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Surrender to neocons: Trump administration after its Colin Powell moment

Trump bowed to NeoCon pressure: hello Ms Clinton

Is the US air forces assuming the role of  Al Qaeda/Al Nusra air forces  a "right idea"?

News The Deep State  Recommended Links Shoot-first-ask-questions-later: Trump ME policy Trump after his Colin Powell moment Purple revolution Khan Sheikhoun gas attack History of American False Flag Operations Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations
 False flag operations as important part of demonization of the enemy strategy Anti Trump Hysteria Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Sacrifice of Michael Flynn Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Trump foreign policy platform National Security State Demonization of Putin
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Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Myth about intelligent voter Libertarian Philosophy Pluralism as a myth Anti-globalization movement Doublespeak New American Militarism Bait and Switch
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“Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action”

― Ian Fleming

After three following event there is no doubt  that Thump became a neocon stooge with the only fotign pollicy intiiaves of his own that can be attributied to his own  impulsivity  and lack of international experience. Those three event  are as following

  1. Bombing of Syria after fake chemical attack at Khan Sheikhoun gas attack
  2. Expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats after Skripal poisoning
  3. Bombing Syria again after Douma gas attack --  yet another false flag poisoning

The initial conversion  happened  just three month after inauguration and full evolution into neocon took slightly more then a year.

Attack in Syria after Khan Sheikhoun gas attack was a game changer. And a sign that Trump capitulated due to the intensity of anti-Russian hysteria. In other words Trump surrendered to the neocons. Suddenly the the neoliberal/neocon MSM who launched the witch hunt against him after the elections are lauding him for a senseless escalation.  His plan now is just to survive, and under the implicit agreement signed at capitulation,  he can no longer control US foreign policy under any circumstances. It is neocons who again in change of the US foreign policy. The Trump administrations motivations appear to be purely  political, defensive, dictation in conditions when he is under siege, and extremely short term. I want to survive is tootoed on his forehead.  Nikki Haley's TV remarks that the US now thinks there can be no solution to the Syrian crisis (created by the USA) that leaves Assad in power signify that Trump is no longer has any inflince on forerigh policy. He is a puppet, not a puppeteer and he does not control  Nikki Haley. It is Nikki Haley and her neocon hanglers who control Trump:

meshpal | Apr 11, 2017 7:46:36 AM | 6

It appears that US foreign policy is in turmoil and no longer well managed. The key goal has been to keep the US dollar as a reserve currency and every state in-line with their privately owned central bank. The petrol dollar is no longer working and debts are out-of-control. Libya and Operation Odyssey Dawn helped bring down a functional government but remember the first thing they did was establish a new private central bank and get rid of an independent one. Cuba, North Korea, Syria, and Sudan still have an independent bank and people at the top don’t like that. What a coincidence that having an independent central bank and being an enemy of America are the same.

In any case, it looks like the US is just winging it in Syria; anything to stop Russia, Iran, and Syria working together in peace. And make sure that central bank ownership is changed. Chaos may not be great, but it seems to generate profits and achieve goals for people at the top of the food chain. I do not hear much complaining about Libya. Why not the same for Syria?

The new Syria policy seems to be the plan of Kushner, who resembles/is a neocon: No More Mister Nice Blog IN THE TRUMP WHITE HOUSE, THE DEMOCRATS (AND THE DEMOCRATS) COULD BE OUT OF FAVOR BY SUMMER

Meanwhile, an interventionist foreign policy may be getting Trump good press for the moment, but do you honestly believe he's going to get results? I don't say that because Kushner appears to be running foreign policy and he's completely unqualified to do so. I say it because even the administration's wiser, more experienced foreign policy aides -- the generals Trump admires so much -- aren't going to help him score crowd-pleasing wins.

There is little chance that the US can split Syria from Russia by staging of suporting the staged false flag attack using sarin. While Russia is under pressure in Kaliningrad, Crimea and Syria it has lived through way worse situation and these have always increased its determination. So chances that Putin fold right now are slim. His couse is right: to get rid of Islam fundamentalists in Syria even if this means preserving Assad government, as there is no real alternative to Assad in Syria other then islamists.

The key warning sign that something is wrong is the fact that the USA hit Assad forces before any investigation, US Congress resolution, or God forbid UN Security Council resolution. So Trump behaves exactly like previous administration, and it is clear that not the previous dysfunctional jingoistic neoliberal elite, hell bent of the idea of global neoliberal empire led by the USA dictates trump policies.  Of course, the USA is an exceptional nation, so it does not need any UN support.

And the reason for the existence of UN is probably as unclear to Trump as it was unclear to Bush II, but the latter at least arranged this historical spectacle with Colin Powell.

What is interesting is that this was not the first attempt to stage a false flag operation using sarin to get the US into action to remove Assad goverment and install jihadists in power, as already happened in Lybia.  The first was 2013 Ghouta chemical attack

Sarin is an organophosphorus compound with the formula [(CH3)2CHO]CH3P(O)F. It can be lethal even at very low concentrations, where death can occur within one to ten minutes after direct inhalation of a lethal dose, due to suffocation from lung muscle paralysis, unless some antidotes, typically atropine and an oxime, such as pralidoxime, are quickly administered. People who absorb a non-lethal dose, but do not receive immediate medical treatment, may suffer permanent neurological damage.

... ... ...

2004: Iraqi insurgents detonated a 155 mm shell containing binary precursors for sarin near a U.S. convoy in Iraq. The shell was designed to mix the chemicals as it spun during flight. The detonated shell released only a small amount of sarin gas, either because the explosion failed to mix the binary agents properly or because the chemicals inside the shell had degraded with age. Two United States soldiers were treated after displaying the early symptoms of exposure to sarin.[50]

2013: Ghouta chemical attack; sarin was used in an attack in the Ghouta region of the Rif Dimashq Governorate of Syria during the Syrian civil war.[51] Varying[52] sources gave a death toll of 322[53] to 1,729.[54]

See also Herch discussion of  2013 Ghouta chemical attack

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PS5DOg-_XXE

As sarin is extremely toxic anybody who approached a child killed by the gas without protective suits should probably be dead by now unless he/she wear full protection suit. Which was not the case. Touching the victim is enough to be dead.

That means that sarin "gas attack" hypothesis propagated by the US MSM smells with Iraq WDMs.

Also in Syria children are usually accompanied by women. There was little  women casualties (full list of causalities and whether they were locals or hostages is currently unknown). What is known is that many victims are children.

That means that it might be a cloud of some herbicide with similar formula, but less toxic for adults; can happen if the bomb his the storage unit ).

Now MSM downgraded the gas to chlorine (can you imaged any sovereign state air force use chorine - based munitions, but Al Qaeda and affiliated groups do use them as well as sarin).

The last but least: the US is essentially acting as air force for Al Nusra is a questionable use of 30 million or so which those Tomahawks cost. Each cruse missile cost is about $569,000 in 1999 dollars, according to the US Navy, -- equivalent to about $832,000 today. The cost of 50 units is the cost of a pretty nice residential complex in the USA for 100-200 families.

BTW both Turkey and KSA had bet all cards on Syrian insurgency. In the past Turkey's intelligence service MIT was supporting not only the Free Syrian Army but also Al-Nusra, which produced sarin from components bought in Turkey.

Even if we assume that this was a "Monica" type of attack, to distuct from "russian probe" witch hunt, it is still very questionable act by Trump administration. Who BTW already lost two key people which were anti-globalists. The last was Bannon.

It looks like it took Trump metamorphosed around 100 days to metamorphose into Hillary Clinton administration ;-).

Around the same time Obama transformed is administration into Bush II administration. So Trump might even beat the king of "bait and switch" Obama in this area.

 

 
12 13
Is this the same situation as Sadaam Hussein - "We know they've got chemical weapons, because we've got the receipts"? It certainly seems to be the usual unfortunate situation where it's a terrible thing for "them" to use chemical weapons and kill civilians, but nowhere near as bad when "we" do it.

 

The UN haven't even concluded who is actually responsible for the attack yet, but Trump ordered the attack. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/06/donald-trumps-senseless-syria-strikes-accomplish-nothing#comments

Donald Trump, the man who just over a month ago wanted to bar entry of all Syrian refugees into the United States, now wants us to think that he cares deeply about Syrian children. I don’t believe it.

What I do believe is that our president is a bad actor. He was a bad actor on his old television show, and he’s still a bad actor today. And he’s a bad actor in both senses of the term, which is to say his actions are poorly executed and morally questionable.

Addressing the nation from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, the president announced that he had authorized “a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched”. Trump was referring to a chemical weapons attack on Tuesday that killed more than 80 people, including dozens of women and children, in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun. The chemical attack had in all likelihood been carried out by the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

 
21 22
.

Well, definitely an act of aggression and hence illegal under the UN Charter - now, who will bring a condemning Resolution in the Security Council ? And who will vote against it, or even veto it ?

I see the UK Government has already mindlessly agreed with the aggressive act.

But what will the US’s military strike – a barrage of at least 59 (offensively named) Tomahawk cruise missiles aimed at a lone airfield – really accomplish?

 
  • 9 10
    It's pretty clear that this is Trump just being the lunatic amateur that he is, you know the one we all worried because he had his finger on the button. He authorised the fatally flawed Yemen raid only days after assuming office. This is Dr Trumplove in action, there's nothing the public and his sycophantic fans would enjoy more than a reprise of the missiles down elevator chutes that lit up our televisions in '92. This time the war will not be televised...it will be on twitter.
  • 0 1
    Interesting that America claims to care about Arab children, while it recently killed over 150 civilians in Iraq.

    Having said that, I find it difficult not to support a targeted strike at Assad's military bases. I would never however support an invasion or occupation of another Arab country as we all know that would be a huge mistake; the tens of thousands of Arabs that would die, Western military personnel put at risk and financial cost.

    Assad must be stopped, but only the Syrians themselves must take the lead in forming a new government without continued interference from the outside. Formation of a new government at any point must be home-grown alone.

    7 8
    Why must Assad be stopped he is fighting the same demented loonies who have done attacks all over Europe, including the UK. Are you saying its ok for us to kill these loonies but not Syria.Get real.
  •  
    55 56
    Using gas was a terrorist attack, not a military one.
    In that case, why on earth would Assad do it. It weakens his case in all respects and strengthens his enemies.
    But of course such an argument flies in the face of hawks worldwide.
     
    67 68
    The whole thing is a sad sorry affair. I'm not sure I can trust anything any side is saying. One thing is certain is this proxy wars between Russia and the US will continue in all shapes and form first the next 20 years at least.
    One question though. Those US air strikes that killed over 100 civilians last week. Why have they not got the same coverage as the chemical weapons? Isn't killing, killing?
     
    30 31
    Well, the deep state always wins. The idea that assad used chemical weapons (which the country was declared free of a fee years ago) immediately after trump declared a policy of non regime change beggars belief.

    This article is calling for the grounding of Russian and syrian planes. The first action could cause WWIII. The second would allow isis to invade Damascus.

     
  • 4 5
    I suppose the use of chemical weapons in 2013 in Syria was doen to the CIA and Obama? You are probably yet another conspiracy "nut" who thinks that the gassing of the Kurds in northern Iraq by Assad's chum Saddam was Fake News.
  • 8 9
  •  
    42 43
    Are we sure it wasn't the so called rebels? It would make no sense for Assad to do this now. Who financed the whole coup in the first place arming the 'rebels'? They are responsible for the whole mess.
     
    27 28
    Yes, Syrian and Russian forces are striking ISIS, Al-Queda and Al-Nusra, while the US strikes Syria. Sums up the whole thing really.
     
    61 62
    According to a poll this morning between 41% and 51% of British voters would support an escalation even if it meant conflict with Russia. We're being turned into a country of gurning imbeciles and if I die because of all this bollocks I'll be really pissed off.
     
    3 4
    It depends what you mean by 'accomplish nothing.'

    The chances are that there will be no response of any kind. Will this drive a President, having an unhealthy mix of behavioral problems and frustrated by failure in his domestic policy, to take further dramatic action in order to attract attention in the style of his spoilt brat counterpart in North Korea, Kim Jong-un?

    1 2
    Trump will feel emboldened by this move. A frighening thought indeed.
     
    8 9
    I am sure that Netanyahu will be pleased that America has finally agreed to remove another Arab leader.
     
    9 10
    This is a set up by the criminal regime in Washington and their servile allies in London. I don't believe their propaganda claims about this chemical attack, and in any case they are not interested in waiting for any evidence. They must be made to pay a heavy price for this criminal act.
    1 2
    "They must be made to pay a heavy price for this criminal act."

    As long as "they" does not include the innocent UK/US population.

     
    2 3
    No, certainly not. I would never advocate terrorist acts against anybody. But this action will do the US and the Western alliance no good at all and will diminish their standing in the world. The US/UK population must hold their leaders to account over this nonsense, and demand proof of the dubious claims over the supposed chemical attack.
     
    70 71
    This was a failed US aggression based on propaganda. A repetition of the invented story about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq Syrian style.

    The rebels will get an advantage if they use chemical weapons and blames Assad. Assad has nothing to gain from using such weapons.

    It's simply not logical and believable that Assad. used chemical weapons. What happened to information based decisions and critical journalism?

     
    26 27
    So here we go, nothing really changes in the land of the free. Warmongers they will remain. Al Qaeda rejoices.
     
    7 8
    I actually feel that Trump may have got this just about right. If we actually believe that a plane from this airbase delivered a Sarin attack, then it was necessary to prevent a repetition. But equally it was necessary to avoid the US being dragged into a war against Assad, which so many are desperate to see happen, and it was necessary to avoid World War 3 by avoiding killing Russians.

    If the Russians, as they probably did, warned the Syrians and few people were actually killed by this strike, then maybe it will all calm down now, the Syrian air force won't ever use Sarin again and can concentrate on defeating the rebels instead which, like it or not, is probably the quickest route to peace.

    5 6
    I have to question whether or not it was actually Assad who committed the attack, why would he risk retaliation from the US when he is currently winning the Syrian Civil war
     
    7 8
    Agreed the main thing it shows is a kneejerk reaction. Incredibly dangerous from a US president but perhaps not unexpected.

    Even if Assad needs to be removed the idea as well that Trump has a post regime plan to do that is laughable.

    We have seen what happened in Iraq and Libya when bad dictators were overthrown and a bad situation ended up much worse in terms of a replacement by militant Islamist groups.

    Unfortunately what we have here is ISIS 1 (Trump o.g), Commonsense and sanity 0

     
    3 4
    But if the alleged planes carrying chemical weapons came from Homs that just got 59 bombs, where was the topic cloud? Weren't they suppose to have a chemical stock in this airbase ? Strange that no chemical in sight.
     
    0 1
    Trump – Russia...Trump – Russia...Trump – Russia...

    Oh, wait a minute...

    1. Susan Rice – mother lode for all the Trump-Russia conspiracy theories via her unmasking of names and wide dispersal of same, but “nothing to see here”.

    2. “Donald Trump's Syrian air-strike 'significant blow to US-Russia relations', says Kremlin” (Guardian headline).

    I would have posted this comment below said title but, of course, no comments are possible, just as they aren't below most of, for example, David Smith's execrable anti-Trump 'output'.

     
    3 4
    This attack is an act of war against Syria. North Korea has nuclear weapons will the usa warmongers risk a nuclear war.
     
    2 3
    "Lavrov, please release some pictures from the videos of Trump with the prostitutes!"
     
    9 10
    Five months ago: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/12/02/politics/donald-trump-terrorists-families/

    "The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don't kid yourself. When they say they don't care about their lives, you have to take out their families," Trump said.

    Now:

    “I will tell you that attack on children had a big, big impact on me,” he said. “That was a horrible, horrible thing.”

    Eh?

     
    23 24
    Assad has absolutely no motive to order this attack. His forces, with Russia's assistance have gained the upper hand in the protracted conflict with US and UK backed terrorists. Why on earth would he do something that he knows would bring international condemnation and likely military action from the US?

    Stinks to high heaven of a false flag- the fact that global MSM had solved the crime and broadcast the perpertrators all over global media within an hour is enough proof for me - the stories would have had to have been pre-packaged.

     
    10 11
    Breaking news, Assad has Sarin tipped long-range missiles that can hit the UK in 30 mins. We need to go in and destroy these WMDs immediately.

    "S**t, we've used that one before, any ideas?"

     
    12 13
    Spot-on.

    Perhaps you could tell that to the Guardian writers (the "liberal interventionists") who have been beating the war drums for years, failing to learn any lessons from Iraq and Libya. I see no plan for the aftermath, and I see no real consideration given to the threat of a further decline in relations with Russia.

    And, do these people seriously want Trump overseeing a regime change? It would be more chaotic than when Bush tried it in Iraq.

     
    14 15
    There are at likely two parties that are very happy about the USA attack on Syrian airfield. They are Syrian al-Qaeda which governs Idlib province where the alleged chemical attack happened and ISIS.

    Both can count that alleging Assad for chemical attacks may get Donald Trump´s USA to become their air force. If there is a red line, cross it and blame Assad. I think that may be how al-Qaeda and ISIS leaders are interpreting the events.

     
    5 6

    a barrage of at least 59 (offensively named) Tomahawk cruise missiles aimed at a lone airfield – really accomplish?

    That's $70 million down the drain JUST on missiles.
    .
    Made a certain group of shareholders owning a certain military company trading in NYSE slightly wealthier.
    .
    Also, a participatory certificate for participating in a virility contest.

     
    0 1
    I thought Russian air defences were supposed to be able to shoot down tomahawk missiles. They don't travel all that fast. Perhaps they wanted to put pressure on Assad and let them pass.
     
    5 6
    As the missile strike have already happened ('justice' before investigation) so will there be an independent investigation about what was the cause of the gas leakage ?
     
    4 5
    The usual suspects, those actually responsible for false flag unleashing chemical weapons, have apparently achieved only a limited response from el trumpo... and one unlikely to satisfy their lust ultimately to bring down the Syrian government. This action designed as a stage to that end to uncouple trumpo and putin...
     
    5 6
    This will improve his ratings!
    3 4
    That is all he cares about.
     
    12 13
    Trump bowed to NeoCon pressure. He was supposed to be different. But then so was Obama. 300,000 people have died! Were those killed by bombs any less tragic? Who is funding, arming and supporting ISIS? It's not about these children it's about anti Assad/Iran/Russia influence in the region. Again, 300,000 have died already!

     


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    NEWS CONTENTS

    Old News ;-)

    [Aug 03, 2019] Features of the military-political line of Russia on the Syrian "track"

    Aug 03, 2019 | alaff84.wordpress.com

    ALAFF continues to post the translation of chapters from the newest book of Russian diplomat Maria Khodynskaya-Golenischeva. The first part of the translation (as well as information about the book and other details) can be read here

    ... ... ...

    The deliberate distancing of the Russian side from the actions of the Syrian government was manifested not only in this, but also, for example, in the unwillingness of Moscow -- the co-chair of the Ceasefire Task Force and Humanitarian Access International Syria Support Group -- to bear full responsibility for the behavior of Damascus in the area of adherence to the cessation of hostilities and to ensure humanitarian access. The thesis regularly voiced by the Russian leadership that "Moscow does not hold on to B. Assad" (2012) [9] and Russia "does not support B. Assad" (2017) [10] contained only a small share of guile.

    It makes no sense to deny that, in parallel with being drawn into the conflict, Russia and the government of B. Assad naturally increased their cooperation, which means that relations were gradually getting closer and closer. However, if for B. Assad and his entourage, the involvement of Moscow in the conflict on the side of Damascus was directly related to the issue of political survival, for Russia -- and the author was personally convinced of this, interacting with the Syrian leadership -- the SAR became an ally largely due to circumstances. If at the global level Russia believed that it was pursuing a policy of giving the world system greater justice through strengthening the foundations of international humanitarian law and updating the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states, then translated into Russian-Syrian relations for Moscow this meant preventing the regime from falling. Official Damascus has often used this in attempts to "bind" the Russian side closer to itself.

    Thus, it is futile and harmful to look for elements of foreign policy intercession in the motives of the Russian line [on Syria], because it can distract from the definition of the driving forces and understanding of the essential content of Russia's policy on the Syrian "dossier". The desire to establish a fair world order (which, from the point of view of the Russian leadership, meant returning closer to the post-war principles of international relations) was dictated not only by anxiety over the fate of the Middle East. And the desire to avoid negative security consequences, which are becoming a consequence of the destabilization of the region, played an important but not the key role.

    1.3. Motivation of Moscow's policy on the Syrian direction

    Let's look at the complex of considerations that formed the line of Moscow in the Syrian direction.

    The first group is internal-local considerations. In their center is to prevent fragmentation and weakening of the post-Soviet space and Russia itself. Hence, a permanent emphasis on the inadmissibility of an unconstitutional change of power in the SAR, the importance of building the process of resolving the crisis in Syria in the framework of the norms of international law enshrined in the UN Charter. This, however, was achieved without dispersion of resources and with an eye on internal public opinion. This explains Moscow's unwillingness to get too deeply involved in the Syrian conflict, in particular, to send a ground force troops to the SAR, which threatened a repetition of the Afghan (USSR) and Iraqi (US) scenarios.

    The second group is global considerations. It is about the "return" of Russia to the international arena through the Middle East and participation in the formation of a more equitable (from the point of view of Moscow) world order.

    The question arises: why was the Syrian conflict chosen by Moscow to solve this problem? At the same time, other crises that Moscow could use to restore geopolitical weight were present on the world map -- Libya, Yemen, Ukraine.

    The unequivocal support of a particular military or political force in post-Gaddafi Libya, and even more so armed intervention, involved a difficult choice between numerous armed units that fought in the country with no guaranteed result. In the conditions of victories of H. Haftar "in the field", the support of the "legitimate government" in Tobruk threatened a major foreign policy loss (although Moscow officially recognized Tobruk as legitimate). The unconditional stake on H. Haftar was risky and would go against the resolutions of the UN Security Council on Libya.

    Moreover, an in-depth intervention in the Libyan crisis would mean that Moscow would have to deal with the legacy left by Western countries in Libya. Illegal migration resulting from the short-sighted policies of Europe in Libya did not pose a threat to Russia.

    If Yemen, which is very far from Russia both politically and geographically, was of interest to Moscow [at all], then not from a counter-terrorist point of view (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was localized and, to a certain extent, grew out of the local tribal structure, not posing a direct threat to Russia), but rather in the context of securing [Russia] the role of power, without whose participation the settlement of regional crises was of little prospect.

    Ukraine was a special crisis for Russia. The tough, clearly anti-Russian position of the US and the EU with regard to the sequence of implementation of the Minsk agreements and the lifting of sanctions demanded from Moscow verified, careful steps, hybrid forms of regulation and extreme caution in the choice of means. An open demonstration of the position, as was the case in Syria, for example, the participation of Russian military personnel in armed actions on the side of the DPR and the LPR, and especially the armed assistance of the Russian Aerospace Forces would cost Moscow very dearly, both economically and politically. Syria did not fit into the paradigm about the "expansionist policy" of Russia, which was being advanced by the Western elites, and therefore was not perceived as the intersection of the "red line" requiring serious anti-Russian measures from the West.

    It was in this connection that the instructions to Russian diplomats on how to respond to calls by international non-governmental organizations to receive work permits in the DPR and LPR indicated that it was necessary to respond in the spirit of Moscow not exercising control over the self-proclaimed republics, and therefore international workers should directly contact authorities of the DPR and LPR. At the same time, Moscow did not hide the opportunity to influence the Syrian leadership. Keeping distance from the most odious steps of Damascus (methods of warfare, attitude to international initiatives on the Syrian settlement, rhetoric against the armed opposition and the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Syria, etc.), Moscow nevertheless recognized that, if necessary, it can get from the Syrian leadership of various steps (as was the case when the LAS mission obtained permission to work in the SAR; export and destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons in 2013; resolutions of the UN Security Council on SAR; agreements in the framework of the Astana format, some of which Damascus perceived critically).

    It is on the basis of these considerations that Russia agreed to the role of one of the two co-chairs of the International Syria Support Group, which assumed pressure on the authorities of the SAR in favor of implementing the decisions of the Group. Thus, the demonstration of "implication" in the Syrian settlement, involvement in it was not so politically costly for Russia, and the Syrian crisis could be used by the Russian leadership to return positions in the international arena.

    When deciding on active participation in resolving the Syrian conflict, the Russian leadership could not fail to take into account the internal situation in which it had to act.

    Thus, after the Libyan drama, which in Russian society was linked to "Medvedev's soft policy", the country's top leadership realized the impossibility of further demonstrating flexibility with respect to the steps of the West (in the minds of Russians it was the generalized "West" that overthrew M. Gaddafi, not a coalition of states which included, among other things, the countries of the region) in its policy of redrawing the geopolitical map of the Middle East to its liking.

    Moscow could not afford to contemplate detachedly the overthrow of B. Assad. In this case, it threatened to lose the support of the part of the population that was negatively disposed towards the West in general and the USA in particular. Russian public opinion demanded that V.V. Putin (Russia's foreign policy, which, in accordance with the Constitution, is determined by the head of state [11], is personified), who again led the country, take a tough stance on the Syrian issue and prevent the overthrow of the next Middle Eastern regime.

    ... ... ...

    It is worth mentioning the personal-psychological factor that was present in the politics of Russia and reflected in the events in the SAR. In the context of cooling relations with the West (including the US and the EU), which reached its peak during the events in Ukraine, Moscow began to pay special attention to developing relations with the new centers of power. The development and strengthening of cooperation with the countries of the post-Soviet space, the Middle East and Asia -- taking into account the mentality and specifics of these regions -- required the head of state to build personal relations with the leaders of the respective countries. The latter were to see in Moscow an ally who would not give up on them due to some short-term reasons or under the pretext of their non-observance of human rights or humanitarian standards. V.V. Putin's position on V.F. Yanukovych and B. Assad (and his regime) inspired many regional leaders, in contrast watching the indifferent attitude of the B. Obama administration towards the fate of H. Mubarak, who built close relations with Washington.

    It is characteristic that a positive perception of the prospects for the return of Moscow to the region as a key player was shown not only by Russia's former allies (for example, Egypt, Syria, Iran), but also by some Gulf countries -- for example, the UAE and KSA, whose leaders, in conversations with the author's participation, positively spoke up about a consistent line of Russia that was not subject to fluctuations.

    Such a position combining two components: the rejection of the implementation of transformations of state systems outside the constitutional field and the de facto firm support of an ally on all fronts (political and military) could not but arouse the approval of the leaders of states that for one reason or another felt vulnerable and did not rule out that [they] may be subject to aggressive action by the United States.

    A typical example is the approach publicly voiced during a visit to Moscow on July 24, 2017 by the Vice President and former Prime Minister of Iraq, the leader of the "Daawa" party N. Al-Maliki during a trip to Moscow in favor of strengthening Russia's position in the region [18]. This looked particularly symptomatic against the background of the fact that the Shiites were obliged to obtain a serious role in the political life of Iraq for the American invasion.

    The beginning in the fall of 2015 of the operation of the Russian Aerospace Forces against terrorists in the SAR strengthened Moscow's position not only in the Syrian "dossier", but also in the international arena as a whole, having served as a catalyst for the creation of new formats of Syrian settlement involving both Russia and the countries of the region -- International Syria Support Group, Lausanne "Five", Astana format.

    [Jun 26, 2019] VIPS Memo to the President Is Pompeo's Iran Agenda the Same As Yours Consortiumnews

    Notable quotes:
    "... UPDATED: VIPS says its direct experience with Mike Pompeo leaves them with strong doubt regarding his trustworthiness on issues of consequence to the President and the nation. ..."
    "... As for Pompeo himself, there is no sign he followed up by pursuing Binney's stark observation with anyone, including his own CIA cyber sleuths. Pompeo had been around intelligence long enough to realize the risks entailed in asking intrusive questions of intelligence officers -- in this case, subordinates in the Directorate of Digital Innovation, which was created by CIA Director John Brennan in 2015. ..."
    "... CIA malware and hacking tools are built by the Engineering Development Group, part of that relatively new Directorate. (It is a safe guess that offensive cybertool specialists from that Directorate were among those involved in the reported placing of "implants" or software code into the Russian grid, about which The New York Times claims you were not informed.) ..."
    "... The question is whose agenda Pompeo was pursuing -- yours or his own. Binney had the impression Pompeo was simply going through the motions -- and disingenuously, at that. If he "really wanted to know about Russian hacking," he would have acquainted himself with the conclusions that VIPS, with Binney in the lead, had reached in mid-2017, and which apparently caught your eye. ..."
    "... For the Steering Groups of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity: ..."
    Jun 21, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

    UPDATED: VIPS says its direct experience with Mike Pompeo leaves them with strong doubt regarding his trustworthiness on issues of consequence to the President and the nation.

    DATE: June 21, 2019

    MEMORANDUM FOR : The President.

    FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

    SUBJECT: Is Pompeo's Iran Agenda the Same As Yours?

    A fter the close call yesterday when you called off the planned military strike on Iran, we remain concerned that you are about to be mousetrapped into war with Iran. You have said you do not want such a war (no sane person would), and our comments below are based on that premise. There are troubling signs that Secretary Pompeo is not likely to jettison his more warlike approach, More importantly, we know from personal experience with Pompeo's dismissive attitude to instructions from you that his agenda can deviate from yours on issues of major consequence.

    Pompeo's behavior betrays a strong desire to resort to military action -- perhaps even without your approval -- to Iranian provocations (real or imagined), with no discernible strategic goal other than to advance the interests of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. He is a neophyte compared to his anti-Iran partner John Bolton, whose dilettante approach to interpreting intelligence, strong advocacy of the misbegotten war on Iraq (and continued pride in his role in promoting it), and fierce pursuit of his own aggressive agenda are a matter of a decades-long record. You may not be fully aware of our experience with Pompeo, who has now taken the lead on Iran.

    That experience leaves us with strong doubt regarding his trustworthiness on issues of consequence to you and the country, including the contentious issue of alleged Russian hacking into the DNC. The sketchy "evidence" behind that story has now crumbled, thanks to some unusual candor from the Department of Justice. We refer to the extraordinary revelation in a recent Department of Justice court filing that former FBI Director James Comey never required a final forensic report from the DNC-hired cybersecurity company, CrowdStrike.

    Comey, of course, has admitted to the fact that, amid accusations from the late Sen. John McCain and others that the Russians had committed "an act of war," the FBI did not follow best practices and insist on direct access to the DNC computers, preferring to rely on CrowdStrike reporting. What was not known until the DOJ revelation is that CrowdStrike never gave Comey a final report on its forensic findings regarding alleged "Russian hacking." Mainstream media have suppressed this story so far; we reported it several days ago.

    The point here is that Pompeo could have exposed the lies about Russian hacking of the DNC, had he done what you asked him to do almost two years ago when he was director of the CIA.

    In our Memorandum to you of July 24, 2017 entitled "Was the 'Russian Hack' an Inside Job?," we suggested:

    "You may wish to ask CIA Director Mike Pompeo what he knows about this.["This" being the evidence-deprived allegation that "a shadowy entity with the moniker 'Guccifer 2.0' hacked the DNC on behalf of Russian intelligence and gave DNC emails to WikiLeaks ."] Our own lengthy intelligence community experience suggests that it is possible that neither former CIA Director John Brennan, nor the cyber-warriors who worked for him, have been completely candid with their new director regarding how this all went down."

    Three months later, Director Pompeo invited William Binney, one of VIPS' two former NSA technical directors (and a co-author of our July 24, 2017 Memorandum), to CIA headquarters to discuss our findings. Pompeo began an hour-long meeting with Binney on October 24, 2017 by explaining the genesis of the unusual invitation: "You are here because the President told me that if I really wanted to know about Russian hacking I needed to talk to you."

    But Did Pompeo 'Really Want to Know'?

    Apparently not. Binney, a widely respected, plain-spoken scientist with more than three decades of experience at NSA , began by telling Pompeo that his (CIA) people were lying to him about Russian hacking and that he (Binney) could prove it. As we explained in our most recent Memorandum to you, Pompeo reacted with disbelief and -- now get this -- tried to put the burden on Binney to pursue the matter with the FBI and NSA.

    As for Pompeo himself, there is no sign he followed up by pursuing Binney's stark observation with anyone, including his own CIA cyber sleuths. Pompeo had been around intelligence long enough to realize the risks entailed in asking intrusive questions of intelligence officers -- in this case, subordinates in the Directorate of Digital Innovation, which was created by CIA Director John Brennan in 2015.

    CIA malware and hacking tools are built by the Engineering Development Group, part of that relatively new Directorate. (It is a safe guess that offensive cybertool specialists from that Directorate were among those involved in the reported placing of "implants" or software code into the Russian grid, about which The New York Times claims you were not informed.)

    If Pompeo failed to report back to you on the conversation you instructed him to have with Binney, you might ask him about it now (even though the flimsy evidence of Russia hacking the DNC has now evaporated, with Binney vindicated). There were two note-takers present at the October 24, 2017 meeting at CIA headquarters. There is also a good chance the session was also recorded. You might ask Pompeo about that.

    Whose Agenda?

    The question is whose agenda Pompeo was pursuing -- yours or his own. Binney had the impression Pompeo was simply going through the motions -- and disingenuously, at that. If he "really wanted to know about Russian hacking," he would have acquainted himself with the conclusions that VIPS, with Binney in the lead, had reached in mid-2017, and which apparently caught your eye.

    Had he pursued the matter seriously with Binney, we might not have had to wait until the Justice Department itself put nails in the coffin of Russiagate, CrowdStrike, and Comey. In sum, Pompeo could have prevented two additional years of "everyone knows that the Russians hacked into the DNC." Why did he not?

    Pompeo is said to be a bright fellow -- Bolton, too–with impeccable academic credentials. The history of the past six decades , though, shows that an Ivy League pedigree can spell disaster in affairs of state. Think, for example, of President Lyndon Johnson's national security adviser, former Harvard Dean McGeorge Bundy, for example, who sold the Tonkin Gulf Resolution to Congress to authorize the Vietnam war based on what he knew was a lie. Millions dead.

    Bundy was to LBJ as John Bolton is to you, and it is a bit tiresome watching Bolton brandish his Yale senior ring at every podium. Think, too, of Princeton's own Donald Rumsfeld concocting and pushing the fraud about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to "justify" war on Iraq, assuring us all the while that "the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." Millions dead.

    Rumsfeld's dictum is anathema to William Binney, who has shown uncommon patience answering a thousand evidence-free "What if's" over the past three years. Binney's shtick? The principles of physics, applied mathematics, and the scientific method. He is widely recognized for his uncanny ability to use these to excellent advantage in separating the chaff from wheat. No Ivy pedigree wanted or needed.

    Binney describes himself as a "country boy" from western Pennsylvania. He studied at Penn State and became a world renowned mathematician/cryptologist as well as a technical director at NSA. Binney's accomplishments are featured in a documentary on YouTube, "A Good American." You may wish to talk to him person-to-person.

    Cooked Intelligence

    Some of us served as long ago as the Vietnam War. We are painfully aware of how Gen. William Westmoreland and other top military officers lied about the "progress" the Army was making, and succeeded in forcing their superiors in Washington to suppress our conclusions as all-source analysts that the war was a fool's errand and one we would inevitably lose. Millions dead.

    Four decades later, on February 5, 2003, six weeks before the attack on Iraq, we warned President Bush that there was no reliable intelligence to justify war on Iraq.

    Five years later, the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, releasing the bipartisan conclusions of the committee's investigation, said this :

    " In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent. As a result, the American people were led to believe that the threat from Iraq was much greater than actually existed."

    Intelligence on the Middle East has still been spotty -- and sometimes "fixed" for political purposes. Four years ago, a U.S. congressional report said Central Command painted too rosy a picture of the fight against Islamic State in 2014 and 2015 compared with the reality on the ground and grimmer assessments by other analysts.

    Intelligence analysts at CENTCOM claimed their commanders imposed a "false narrative" on analysts, intentionally rewrote and suppressed intelligence products, and engaged in "delay tactics" to undermine intelligence provided by the Defense Intelligence Agency. In July 2015, fifty CENTCOM analysts signed a complaint to the Pentagon's Inspector General that their intelligence reports were being manipulated by their superiors. The CENTCOM analysts were joined by intelligence analysts working for the Defense Intelligence Agency.

    We offer this as a caution. As difficult as this is for us to say, the intelligence you get from CENTCOM should not be accepted reflexively as gospel truth, especially in periods of high tension. The experience of the Tonkin Gulf alone should give us caution. Unclear and misinterpreted intelligence can be as much a problem as politicization in key conflict areas.

    Frequent problems with intelligence and Cheney-style hyperbole help explain why CENTCOM commander Admiral William Fallon in early 2007 blurted out that "an attack on Iran " will not happen on my watch," as Bush kept sending additional carrier groups into the Persian Gulf. Hillary Mann, the administration's former National Security Council director for Iran and Persian Gulf Affairs, warned at the time that some Bush advisers secretly wanted an excuse to attack Iran. "They intend to be as provocative as possible and make the Iranians do something [America] would be forced to retaliate for," she told Newsweek. Deja vu. A National Intelligence Estimate issued in November 2007 concluded unanimously that Iran had stopped working on a nuclear weapon in 2003 and had not resumed such work.

    We believe your final decision yesterday was the right one -- given the so-called "fog of war" and against the background of a long list of intelligence mistakes, not to mention "cooking" shenanigans. We seldom quote media commentators, but we think Tucker Carlson had it right yesterday evening: "The very people -- in some cases, literally the same people who lured us into the Iraq quagmire 16 years ago -- are demanding a new war -- this one with Iran. Carlson described you as "skeptical." We believe ample skepticism is warranted.

    We are at your disposal, should you wish to discuss any of this with us.

    For the Steering Groups of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity:

    [Jun 26, 2019] Pompeo is a MIC lobbyist, not a diplomat

    Highly recommended!
    Pretty harsh evaluation of Pompeo by usually very polite Chinese newspaper. And what is true that in no way Pompeo is a diplomat. He is a lobbyist for MIC, no more no less. Kind of Madeline Albright of different sex.
    As Chinese journalist observed "Diplomacy is governed by international conventions, which require all countries to observe basic norms. Pompeo behaves like a gangster. He is abandoning the traditional US major-power diplomacy and defying the gentle style of diplomats. "
    Notable quotes:
    "... Chinese people will remember Pompeo as a representative who breaks the bottom line of US diplomatic ethics. Letting such a person dominate US diplomacy will unsettle the world and put global peace at risk. ..."
    "... Pompeo also has turned the US State Department into a strategic headquarters used to antagonize the international community. By provoking conflict between countries who have unique differences, Pompeo has done nothing but threaten for world peace. ..."
    "... Additionally, Pompeo is arguably the most active lobbyist and by all standards, a bully who coerces US allies to block Huawei. He has also spared no effort in criticizing China's policies in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. ..."
    "... Pompeo's background reveals military and intelligence capabilities. While serving in the US House of Representatives, he initiated multiple foreign conflicts. Confrontation seems to be his preferred weapon of choice and the only option when engaging with anyone. Only when confronted with China, Russia, and Iran, can he see his true self. He feels such aggressive behaviour is necessary to prove his personal value. ..."
    Jun 26, 2019 | www.globaltimes.cn

    Chinese people will remember Pompeo as a representative who breaks the bottom line of US diplomatic ethics. Letting such a person dominate US diplomacy will unsettle the world and put global peace at risk.

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continues to be a politically troublesome figure in the global arena. Washington stands at a critical juncture as it redesigns the national strategy blueprint within a Cold War framework. The highest-ranking US diplomat has single-handedly activated an outdated mindset, smashing it to the point of climax.

    Known as an extreme hardliner at the White House, Pompeo has redefined the traditional understanding of the chief diplomat's role among the world's major powers with his signature reckless behaviour.

    Pompeo also has turned the US State Department into a strategic headquarters used to antagonize the international community. By provoking conflict between countries who have unique differences, Pompeo has done nothing but threaten for world peace.

    During his visits to other nations, Pompeo has bad-mouthed and tried to suppress China, Russia, and Iran. His offensive remarks on China have destroyed the past China-US diplomatic language that was enjoyed for decades, preferring to use negligent words from his personal arsenal.

    Additionally, Pompeo is arguably the most active lobbyist and by all standards, a bully who coerces US allies to block Huawei. He has also spared no effort in criticizing China's policies in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

    His outspoken opinions on the recent events in Hong Kong was more of a Rubicon River crossing than someone was just merely speaking their mind. Rather than adhere to a big power game like his predecessors, Pompeo has transformed himself into anti-China flag on two legs.

    The US relationship between China , Russia, and Iran will determine the future course of international relations. The condition of each relationship serves as a wind vane indicating stability or turbulence worldwide.

    Pompeo is not only disrupting China, Russia, and Iran but also damaging the interests of other countries. His words and actions have jinxed the very notion of 21st-century peace.

    It is understandable how the US could feel threatened, due to the pattern shift among world powers. However, Pompeo's goal has nothing to do with enhancing trust or easing concerns expressed by other countries. Instead, he wants to turn US insecurity into a form of visible hatred and increase hostility worldwide. He has consistently influenced stable international conditions to the point of deterioration.

    "Make America Great Again" is not a one-man show. The notion, which is nothing more than an illiterate slogan, will never materialize and connect with the harmony enjoyed elsewhere throughout the world.

    In the past decades, the US has engaged in too many wars and conflicts, while also issuing sanctions against foreign countries which were later drained of their national strength.

    Pompeo has continued to push the US toward the flames of confrontation when dealing with major foreign powers. He has not helped Trump achieve earlier campaign promises, and on the contrary, he is making it difficult for the US president to keep them.

    Pompeo's background reveals military and intelligence capabilities. While serving in the US House of Representatives, he initiated multiple foreign conflicts. Confrontation seems to be his preferred weapon of choice and the only option when engaging with anyone. Only when confronted with China, Russia, and Iran, can he see his true self. He feels such aggressive behaviour is necessary to prove his personal value.

    Judging from the US and its Cold War reboot strategy, Pompeo has roamed too far outside of the perimeter and has officially lost his way. The US government has labelled China as its "strategic competitor." Meanwhile, Pompeo has ignited hostility from China.

    Pompeo's words are by no means an accurate consensus of the US public who also want to enjoy a harmonious existence. By making volatile claims against China look reasonable, Pompeo has turned himself into a cheerleader of hatred, who uses slander and vitriol for pompoms.

    Having a secretary of state of this calibre is a tragedy of US politics and the sorrow of international politics. The world needs to be exposed to the damage Pompeo has brought to humankind's peaceful existence. His destructive power should not be tolerated because of his title. He has repeatedly crushed diplomacy's constructive role while ignoring opportunities to ease international conflicts. He is a stain upon the professional honour of diplomacy. The global diplomatic community should detest his actions and join together in a crusade against him.

    This article originally appeared on the Global Times website.

    [Jun 24, 2019] Beijing Slams Pompeo As Trade Talks Loom He Can No Longer Play Role Of Top US Diplomat

    Notable quotes:
    "... Pompeo is a rapture supremacist warmonger that is not good for anything. ..."
    "... Not a fan of Pompeo, nor of any Secy of State that champions the cause of military adventurism instead of negotiations. We've had far too many Secys of State who have beat the drums of war instead of doing what the job entails.....being the nation's chief diplomatic negotiator. Pompeo is a bigger (chicken) hawk than the Secy of Defense for crying out loud. ..."
    Jun 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

    Furthermore, Hu had some particularly harsh words for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, labeling the Secretary of State a "troublesome" figure in US-China relations and insisting that Pompeo "can no longer play the role of a top US diplomat between the two countries."

    ... ... ...

    Beijing's attacks on the secretary of state come as Pompeo wrapped up a string of meetings in the Middle East with King Salman of Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince.

    This isn't the first time Pompeo has earned the ire of Beijing. Last October, Pompeo became embroiled in a public confrontation with top Chinese official during what was supposed to be an amicable press conference in Beijing.


    AriusArmenian , 1 hour ago link

    Pompeo is a rapture supremacist warmonger that is not good for anything.

    Bay Area Guy , 1 hour ago link

    Not a fan of Pompeo, nor of any Secy of State that champions the cause of military adventurism instead of negotiations. We've had far too many Secys of State who have beat the drums of war instead of doing what the job entails.....being the nation's chief diplomatic negotiator. Pompeo is a bigger (chicken) hawk than the Secy of Defense for crying out loud.

    brianshell , 1 hour ago link

    China doesn't like Pompeo? We will bring in Bolton.

    Thordoom , 1 hour ago link

    Whenever i see Pompeo it reminds me that horror movie The Blob. The trailer for that movie is a perfect depiction of Pompeo.

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

    [Jun 18, 2019] Schr dinger's Cat view on Pompeo interview to Fox News Saturday

    Jun 18, 2019 | www.washingtonpost.com

    Schrodingers Cat 10 hours ago

    "There is no doubt," Pompeo told "Fox News Sunday,"

    This, from Sec. Mike Pompous, to the Apparatchik arm of the Administration. As if the American public, or the world, would/could believe anything out of the mouths of these pathetic, bombastic, buffoons.

    mcsmcs

    ...We are supposed to believe the intelligence community about this, but not anything else apparently.

    BassHunter

    The trifecta of ignorant bellicosity (ie Trump/Bolton/Pompeo) have no credibility because they constantly and consistently lie about everything all the time. It is a situation of their own making. The true surprise here is that THEY are surprised that others refuse to believe them...

    [Jun 18, 2019] Iran, Trump -- and what the crisis says about his lack of credibility - The Washington Post

    Jun 18, 2019 | www.washingtonpost.com

    13 hours ago Would someone please explain to me why anyone would attempt to remove an unexploded mine from the side of a ship, and take it on board their own vessel? Seriously. Is this a case of waste not, want not?

    It doesn't matter much, though, even if it's true. Nobody believes a word coming out of this administration. We are a global laughing stock run by pathological liars. Like thumb_up 5 Reply Link link Report

    mcsmcs 12 hours ago They would take it because it could be traced back to the country that made it and/or put it there.

    But it they could have taken it off and let it fall to the bottom of the ocean. Like thumb_up 1 Reply Link link Report

    longretired 10 hours ago The other question is why was the min attached above the waterline? Mrine mines are designed to explode underwater.
    Like thumb_up 1 Reply Link link Report Patti C 14 hours ago Trump and Pompeo are abhorrent. They have destroyed our foreign policy. No one in their right mind should be voting for Trump for a second term. This administration has no credibility nationally and internationally. Americans who support Trump are ruining our country and are voting against their interests over and over again. Wake up! Republicans and Mitch McConnell should be punished for the amoral Trump Administration. Democrats need to dominate in the 2020 elections! Democrats need to work with all communities across the country to save our democratic republic. Vote Democrats across the nation in 2020. 10 hours ago About what? He actually said the Government has determined. And we all know how unreliable this government is.

    The intelligence community always has lots of dat . Like the lies about the Iraq war start, it did not support their assertions. 15 hours ago Odd the only countries siding with the US version of this incident are the ones who stand to gain from continuing to isolate Iran.
    Saudi Arabia especially is not a fair player, as exemplified by their behavior in Sudan as well. 15 hours ago Simple. Reread The Boy Who Cried Wolf. When you have a narcissistic president who cannot speak the truth and goes around naked in The Emperor's New Clothes, his sycophantic appointees say, "Oh yes, you are wearing the most Beautiful new robe." Like thumb_up 4 Reply Link link Report Portia1992 15 hours ago The U.S. has zero credibility and should never be trusted. We are warmongers controlled by U.A.E., Saudi Arabia & Israel.
    22 hours ago (Edited) This is how stupid we've become: My fear is the real reason we pulled out of a deal that was very effective at both keeping Iran from developing nuclear weapons and incentivizing them to behave (for greater economic opportunities) is that Trump hates the fact that Obama developed the deal.

    He's forever spoke of developing "a better deal" with regard to everything Obama did. He wanted a "better" healthcare plan to replace Obamacare too. But the very folks that voted for Trump (especially in places like Kentucky) benefited too greatly from "Obamacare" and loudly demanded that Trump not touch it.

    Here we go again with Trump trying to screw things up (even if it means risking American military lives in a conflict that was COMPLETELY unnecessary when Trump took office).

    It was never truly about what Iran was doing. They were behaving so well that all of our European allies cheered the former peace deal (IT WAS WORKING VERY WELL). Some of this is about Trump's weird love for Saudi Arabia (a bitter enemy of Iran).

    But most of this is in Trump's bigoted head. Put simply, we are on the brink of war with a very nasty adversary mainly because Trump hates Obama and everything he did. Even our closest allies (that loved Obama) are not treated as well as Putin (who hated Obama, too). Like thumb_up 9 Reply Link link Report BassHunter 12 hours ago Bingo! Like thumb_up 1 Reply Link link Report NormaLee10 22 hours ago (Edited) Report from my last trip to Iran. I just love the Chinese sneakers I bought in Ahwaz (sorry Nike) Love the Russian fur hat I bought in Tabriz((sorry Gap) The high speed train, built by the Chinese, was a wonderful ride. . Thank you to the Russian Crew inviting us to tour their ship in the port near the Caspian. I get compliments on my Turkish scarves , my Indian cotton dresses. The new boutique hotel, refurbished by a German chain was great.
    Just think, if the Dump would have stayed and expanded on the Nuclear agreement,he could have sent Ivanka over to pick up where she left off, designing a hotel in Kazakhstan , or stolen some designs off Persian carpets.
    23 hours ago The U.S. lost all credibility under W, who claimed that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction.

    Not a single person in a gubbmint office has learned a damned thing since. Like thumb_up 6 Reply Link link Report decaff 23 hours ago So we watched W. Bush get into a huge mess in Iraq (actually it was Cheney). Just imagine the mess that the Orange Clown may get us into with Iran. (which benefits his relationships with Saudi Arabia).
    Like thumb_up 5 Reply Link link Report Ralph Carlson 23 hours ago Trump is and always has been nothing more than a bully
    Like thumb_up 4 Reply Link link Report RGR 23 hours ago This guy came in on a wild horse ride, Mexicans are rapists, etc...Pull out of the Iran deal (even though it appeared to be working)....and how he is helping the military (while taking money out of their budget for 'the wall').

    TURNS OUT...he is the wild horse, and this one is not one that should be allowed out of the barn...

    He is a fool...how long does it take to figure this out...his district in NY only voted 10% for him...they knew! Like thumb_up 5 Reply Link link Report Citizen of the Planet 1 day ago You are now witnessing the manifestation of 2 years of Trump's chest pounding and bullying. No one trusts us. No one. Nobody. Like thumb_up 6 Reply Link link Report Al Terego Oz 1 day ago Interesting how quickly it's gone from being possibly a mine to definitely a mine. Like thumb_up 3 Reply Link link Report Bimberg 22 hours ago Very soon Trump will announce that "It's mine, mine, mine!"
    Like thumb_up 1 Reply Link link Report Pinky_the_Cat 1 day ago The reason Trump can't make a case for this is that there is no evidence.

    There is so little evidence that Trump had to buy propaganda from Heritage.org . That is how thin this

    [Jun 18, 2019] Another neocon reshuffling in Trump administration

    Notable quotes:
    "... Acting totally mad and indicating you don't care is a good way to defeat those who is your equal. Isn't this is exactly how the US government has been acting lately? ..."
    "... Interesting this WaPost op/ed totally trashing Trump/Pompeo foreign policy and their utter inability didn't generate any further comment on the previous thread. Sure, it came from BezosPost, but it surely represents some powerful faction that's totally at odds with the directionlessness of Trump and Pompeo. ..."
    "... Its June and you know who loves blood to be spilled in June, and right before July 4 you know. Look for a limited aerial strike per PCR, and then they hope Iran retaliates and gives an excuse for them to escalate. ..."
    "... Americans are so brainwashed into buying into US militarism and exceptionalism that Trumps approval ratings will go up. Anyone criticizing the military or war is labelled anti-American and censored by Social Media. ..."
    "... Seems that Shanahan balked at being the scapegoat for the next war so they found another. Shanahan is said to be pretty smart (Masters and MBA from MIT). ..."
    "... Has Trump been misled by his advisors, when he twitted about the infamous video shot in the dark by modern means that would surprise the Iranians?I Mean ,because now it turns out to be made in clear daylight with the newly published images. Is Trump angry about being cheated or did he play with the game and was his twitted remark kind of an inside joke? ..."
    "... Previously we had G.Haspel showing non-pertinent to the matter camera shots of duck and children to convince him into expelling a max number of Russian diplomats. ..."
    "... I am sure there are many Americans interested to know who is in charge at the USA.. ..."
    "... ... the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts. Doublethink is related to, but differs from, hypocrisy and neutrality... Doublethink is notable due to a lack of cognitive dissonance -- thus the person is completely unaware of any conflict or contradiction. ..."
    "... Such that Trump is both peace-loving nationalist and empire-loving antagonist. Except that the latter is expressed as a positive: "staunch ally", "tough negotiator", "protector", etc instead of a negative. Some people fall for it (Kool-Aid drinkers) and MSM ignores those that talk about the meta issues of MSM complicity. ..."
    "... IMO President's are just members of the Deep State team. Presidents lead the team that's "on the field" - like a quarterback in American football. But the Deep State 'coach' calls the plays. And the 'coach' is, in turn, ultimately responsible to the owners (capitalists). ..."
    "... In light of what the WaPost published I linked to above regrading the utter lack in confidence in both Trump and Pompeo to conduct a rational foreign policy, I seriously doubt the change at SecDef will provide optimism for improvement. Some apparently think such dissent is just shadowplay; IMO, they are mistaken. And I will again note the dissent isn't just about Iran; rather, it's about the conduct of overall foreign policy, especially Trade Policy, which is eating into corporate profitability. ..."
    "... That would be a terrible miscalculation from US leadership. The one reason why Pearl Harbour wasn't a lasting disaster for the US is that the carriers survived. What if Iran actually manages to sink a carrier air group? I mean, nukes and nearly untouchable power projection through aircraft carriers are the two main reasons why the US is still the supreme superpower around. Show people that the carriers can be taken out and actually begin to take them out, and plenty of people and countries will begin to consider leaving that mad army parading as a country to itself - not to mention some will soon openly rebel. ..."
    "... The US has 50,000 troops and a carrier strike group "protecting American interests" in the Persian Gulf area of the Middle East. Somebody in government ought to tell us what those "interests" are, which require such an investment. That would be nice. ..."
    "... The Guardian-- The Iran crisis was created in Washington. The US must be talked down ..."
    Jun 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Trump Fires Shanahan. Pompeo For Sec Def? Bolton To State?

    Trump just fired his acting Secretary of Defense.

    Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump - 16:59 UTC· 18 Jun 2019

    Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, who has done a wonderful job, has decided not to go forward with his confirmation process so that he can devote more time to his family....

    ....I thank Pat for his outstanding service and will be naming Secretary of the Army, Mark Esper, to be the new Acting Secretary of Defense. I know Mark, and have no doubt he will do a fantastic job

    On May 9 the White House announced that it would nominate Shanahan for the Secretary of Defense position. But it never sent the nomination request to Congress to have Shanahan confirmed. During the usual FBI background check before a confirmation, a 2010 domestic violence incident Shanahan was involved in came up . It seems that it now ended his short career at the Pentagon.

    Shanahan had zero experience in the military. He is a former Boeing manager. A recent Politico portrait of Shanahan described him as weak leader who allowed the war hawks in National Security Council to directly talk with regional commanders without even informing him. He was no counterweight for Bolton and Pompeo who are eager to wage war on Iran.

    Yesterday ABC News reported that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would meet with talk with the Central Command and Special Operations Command leaders without Shanahan being there. It was extremely unusual:

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Florida on Monday to meet with leaders from U.S. Central Command and Special Operations Command on Tuesday. The U.S. is considering "all options," including military force, to respond to Iran's reported attack on two oil vessels, Pompeo said on Sunday, raising concerns of a U.S. strike.
    ...
    Pompeo will meet with CENTCOM and Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida on Tuesday to "discuss regional security concerns and ongoing operations," according to Ortagus, after calling several world leaders over the weekend to discuss America's evidence that Iran was behind last week's attacks.

    There is no information what plans those talks were about.

    Mark Knoller @markknoller - 16:45 utc - 18 Jun 2019

    At @CENTCOM at @MacDill_AFB, @SecPompeo says he conferred with military commanders to coordinate State and Defense Dept policy on Iran.
    Says US is serious about deterring Iran regime from further aggression in the region.
    Says Pres Trump does not want war against Iran.

    [Another very unusual sign is that the old war criminal Henry Kissinger visited the Pentagon yesterday and today .]

    Trump already had difficulties to find a new Secretary of Defense. Shanahan was not his first choice. To now find a new candidate will be difficult.

    It is unlikely that the U.S. would launch a war without a Secretary of Defense in place. Bolton and Pompeo obviously want a war on Iran and they try their best to instigate it. They need a new SecDef in place as soon as possible. Pompeo served five years as an officer in the U.S. army. He has extensive political experience. Would he want to become Secretary of Defense?

    That would leave the Secretary of State position open for John Bolton to move in. The confirmation would be a bit difficult but the Senate is in Republican hands and might go with it. One of Bolton's cronies could then take over the National Security Advisor position. From the war-hawks' point of view it would be the ideal configuration to launch a big one.

    Posted by b on June 18, 2019 at 02:03 PM | Permalink


    Blue , Jun 18, 2019 2:11:15 PM | 1

    Apparently, he is choosing Mark Esper https://sputniknews.com/us/201906181075942685-trump-mark-esper-shanahan-quits/
    b , Jun 18, 2019 2:17:45 PM | 2
    Esper was Trumps third choice for Secretary of Army. He only got the job after two preferred candidates did not want it.

    He is now made acting Secretary because someone needs to do that job. But I doubt that Trump really wants him.

    Bruce , Jun 18, 2019 2:30:23 PM | 3
    https://consortiumnews.com/2019/06/12/john-boltons-long-goodbye/
    John Kiriakou's sources indicate Bolton is on the way out. That would support speculation Trump is unhappy with a Sec of Def that cannot control Bolton/Pompeo.
    Blue , Jun 18, 2019 2:35:34 PM | 4
    @2 b,

    Possibly true. I was only looking at this from Sputnick:

    "The numerous US media stated that Secretary of the Army Mark Esper had been discussed as a possible alternative choice as defense secretary to Shanahan if Trump decided not to nominate him."

    Jonathan Everett Gil , Jun 18, 2019 3:34:54 PM | 9
    I have hard time believing that Bolton and Pompeo under consideration. Pompeo isn't gonna wanna leave his current job and as for Bolton John Kiriakou wrote last week that Trump is quietly working behind the scenes to find a replacement for him. If anything it might suggest that Trump is working to covertly reign in Bolton and Pompeo with another SecDef who can better control them.
    b , Jun 18, 2019 3:38:38 PM | 10
    Oh boy -
    NYT
    Besides Mr. Esper, who was confirmed as secretary of the Army in November 2017, officials said that Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, and Richard V. Spencer, the secretary of the Navy, are on the short list for defense secretary.

    ... and I thought I was to far out speculative with the above.

    Stever , Jun 18, 2019 3:40:28 PM | 11

    Jimmy Dore - Mike Gravel Smashes War Machine With Facts

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ByAkTiwQEw

    Yul , Jun 18, 2019 3:48:57 PM | 13
    @ b

    WRT Henry the warmonger. He was attending this :

    https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/06/05/2019-11628/defense-policy-board-notice-of-federal-advisory-committee-meeting

    Norwegian , Jun 18, 2019 3:52:24 PM | 15
    It is unlikely that the U.S. would launch a war without a Secretary of Defense in place.

    Well, they are not exactly planning to defend themselves.

    Ash , Jun 18, 2019 4:07:34 PM | 16
    Posted by: Norwegian | Jun 18, 2019 3:52:24 PM | 14

    Purely euphemistic of course, though it actually did used to be called the Department of War.

    ralphieboy , Jun 18, 2019 4:07:46 PM | 17
    "From the war-hawks' point of view it would be the ideal configuration to launch a big one." Gosh, and I thought that Hillary was the big warmonger...guess it would've only been worse under her.
    KC , Jun 18, 2019 4:19:24 PM | 21
    Obama didn't have a problem getting re-elected with all of his own secret foreign wars and dronings going on. If indeed Pimpeo and Bolt-On get their way, Trump will execute the same type of campaign against Iran except there will be no boots on the ground, even "advisors" given the relationship status of the countries surrounding Iran. The U.S. has exhausted its credibility and goodwill. So we'll be funding terrorists, perpetrating false flags, using drones to attack Iranian seagoing military vessels and launching the occasional "precision" cruise missile strike against alleged nuclear weapons and maybe even chemical weapons processing facilities.

    If there is a land war, Israel will fight to the last American troop.

    dus7 , Jun 18, 2019 4:31:33 PM | 23
    Trump's list of Most Unsuitable Candidates for Higher Office is getting perilously short. Assuming our most famous U.S. billionaire capitalists are not interested, what are Cheney and Condoleezza doing these days? Erik Prince? Some aging Grand Wizard of the KKK? A random death row inmate? The mind boggles.
    james , Jun 18, 2019 4:32:03 PM | 24
    i said this on the last thread, but i would be curious for others feedback on it..

    "think about it... is there going to be more money made and generated starting a war on iran, or not?? the choice is obvious for those into money... create mayhem and raise a lot of money off of it.. and what countries seem to excel at that??"

    as for innocent people dying, that has never been a concern for those into money...

    criag murray has a good article up from yesterday i read earlier today that is relevant..
    The Broader View Reveals the Ugliest of Prospects

    Clueless Joe , Jun 18, 2019 4:37:50 PM | 25
    Just to see how far we've come, or how bad the situation is, I'd consider Kissinger going on his own to check things out with the top military brass to actually be a good sign. He's no fool and knows that war with Iran will only confirm to Russia and China that they have to stand together, strong, against the USA, and that they'd probably better back Iran up on this one. I wouldn't be surprised if Kissinger is back to his old ways, and that's it's a similar move to when he warned the generals to call him right away if Nixon ever gave the order to use nukes. The guy is slimy and ruthless, but knows the limits and doesn't plan to suicide half the planet.

    Colonel Pat Lang assumes that Shanahan just resigns in disgust because Pompeo and Bolton are running the show without consulting with the military. Not sure which is right.

    One can hope that the neo-con buddies overplayed their hands and that they just put Trump in such a shitty situation that he's going to tell them to go to Hell soon - hopefully before anyone does something *really* stupid. But right now, that's just that, hope.

    NYT saying Pompeo is considered for SecDef might just be Pompeo and his neo-con buddies saying dumb shit and leaking false information to appear important, and trying to force Trump's hands. I really hope that's what happened - because then it would piss Trump off and he might be looking for a way of getting rid of him. If the leak is genuine, on the other hand, that's a terrible sign.

    ken , Jun 18, 2019 4:46:16 PM | 26
    @21 ADKC

    Yes, I believe the US would use nukes if they think they could get away with it... that's how crazy works. Would the other nuclear powers step in,,, highly doubtful. If that happens then the US might even threaten them with annihilation. They would believe the US is sooo insane that it would really risk planet destruction and could decide to cave to the US wishes.

    Acting totally mad and indicating you don't care is a good way to defeat those who is your equal. Isn't this is exactly how the US government has been acting lately?

    Christian J Chuba , Jun 18, 2019 5:04:11 PM | 28
    "I believe the US would use nukes if they think they could get away with it...that's how crazy evil works."

    and Sean Hannity would say ... "never has a country had so much power and abused it so little, the Iranians [10 minute Litany of robotic talking point lies] left us no choice." Pompeo, Pence and Haley all declaring it the most righteous and justifiable act ever. Trump would close the border to any Iranian refugees and embargo any Iranians who survived just like he is doing to the Syrians and Venezuelans now.

    These people are depraved.

    ADKC , Jun 18, 2019 5:14:59 PM | 30
    Isn't the Secretary of State the most senior member of the cabinet and regarded as more powerful that POTUS? The position where real power resides? How could a buffoon like Bolton even be considered for Secretary if State? Just another one of Trump's ricaldoodlelus appointments? What a lark!

    Bolton graduated from Yale in 1970. I wonder if he is a member of the Skull & Bones? Or closely associated? If so, that makes him much, much more than a mere buffoon but, rather, the very embodiment of the Deep State's and neo-Con's war strategy; that would make Bolton a very, very dangerous person in a very, very powerful position.

    Trump would appear to be nothing more than a facilitator.

    Both George H.W & George W. Bush were bonesman. Cheney only went to Yale but didn't graduate. Far from Cheney being the controlling influence over George W. (as presented in media and movies) maybe Cheney was just following orders.

    Marie Colville (did she ever really exist?) also appears to have been an alumni of Yale (was a fake background constructed?).

    Supposedly, the Skull & Bones control Yale; what a very strange place. Anyone, associated with Yale (like Bolton) should be kept well away from power!

    GeorgeV , Jun 18, 2019 5:16:30 PM | 31
    Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! Just when you think the US of A's Generalissimo Bone Spur and President Chief Kaiser of Ignorance Arrogance, Stupidity and Hypocrisy (aka: Donald Trump) could not sink to any lower level of idiocy than he already has, he does so. What a country! Only in America!
    fastfreddy , Jun 18, 2019 5:28:16 PM | 32
    Shouldn't be difficult for Iran, if bmobed at all by US/NATO, to hit Israel - in a big way - from a number of geographic locations and a variety of methods. It would be major and catastrophic.

    It poses too great a danger to good friends, with whom the USA maintains an "irrevocable bond", according to the US Congress, the Apartheid State of Israel.

    wagelaborer , Jun 18, 2019 5:39:49 PM | 33
    I guess Shanahan resigned so he could spend more time abusing his family. I find it interesting that one of the ships attacked, the Front Altair, had a crew of Russians and Filipinos. This was the crew saved by the Iranians. The US story is that they were picked up by a Dutch tanker and then kidnapped by the Iranians. Clearly, the Iranians still saved them, no matter who actually picked them up first.

    If the Dutch had turned the crew over to the US, who believes that they would already be released? (The Iranians already released them).

    I know that B thinks that this attack was from the Iranians, but the fact that one ship was Japanese, while Abe was in Tehran, and the other had a crew of Russians and Filipinos, both countries under attack from the US, makes me believe that those men were destined to be held for leverage.

    Damn straight they were saved by the Iranians.

    fx , Jun 18, 2019 5:40:11 PM | 34
    For a preview of what things would look like with Pompeo and Bolton in those positions, I recommend a viewing of the movie Vice. (Vice, as in Cheney, working with Rumsfeld and narcissistic poodles such as Powell to start the current ME quagmire.)
    Virgile , Jun 18, 2019 5:49:02 PM | 35
    Trump went too far with Iran under the devilish advice and initiatives of Heckle and Jeckle... If he wants to stop the escalation with Iran, before it gets out of control, the only way is to move Pompeo to Sec of Defense where he will have to face the powerful and war-reluctant military. Trump would also simultaneously fire Bolton. Depending on the reactions of the neocons and Jewish lobby, he will then choose a new sec of state, 'brilliant' Jared Kushner?
    wagelaborer , Jun 18, 2019 6:14:10 PM | 37
    Sharon @ 36. I was going by this post....
    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/06/todays-attacks-on-ships-in-the-gulf-of-oman-are-not-in-irans-interest.html#more

    Posted by: paulll , Jun 18, 2019 6:16:14 PM | 38

    I think the US has become very skilled at fighting wars without taking casualties. I think the air attacks in Syria - on Iranian forces - have made it pretty clear that Iran has no meaningful defense capabilities vs air attack. What Trump is probably counting on is a turkey shoot and I think that is exactly what it will be.
    brian , Jun 18, 2019 6:16:25 PM | 39
    What is Trump's motivation to be provocative with Iran?' Pelosi asks – and the answer is Adelson. Adelson called on the last president, Barack Obama, to nuke Iran in 2013 https://mondoweiss.net/2019/06/motivation-provocative-adelson/ its a war for israel
    Harry Law , Jun 18, 2019 6:34:19 PM | 41
    We should take heart from readers comments in the New York Times in response to an article by the NYT Editorial Board.
    There were 473 of them before the Times closed the discussion, and we could not find a single one that is supportive of war or of U.S. efforts to continue pressure on Iran. So Bret Stephens gets to spur on a war in his Times column, but the paper's readers are universally against the idea. Moreover, they hold the Times responsible and see through the equivocations in the editorial. Several point out that the press was the handmaiden of the Iraq disaster. https://mondoweiss.net/2019/06/readers-newspaper-abetting/#comments

    The US position is an attempt to keep hegemony over the region because both Israel and Saudi Arabia feel the US is losing it, and they are correct.

    Trump walked away from the JCPOA at the behest of Israel with the accusation that it was a bad deal, the deal did in fact rule out enrichment of uranium above 3.5%, approx 90% enrichment is required to build a nuclear device.

    The Ayatollah issued a decree to the effect that nuclear weapons were un-Islamic, therefore Iran should not have them.

    The real reason Trump walked away was because Iran was in rapid production of highly accurate conventional ballistic missiles some of which would find their way to Hezbollah, the UN Resolution banned the building of missiles capable of carrying a nuclear payload, but not conventional warheads, to ban the latter would have rendered Iran defenseless, which was the whole idea of the Israeli and Saudi Arabian intervention.

    Being incapable of defending itself is not something any state could countenance, that's why it will never happen, hence the stand off.

    In my opinion there will be no war with Iran, too many losers, Saudi Arabia/UAE, Israel, the US fleet [in Bahrain] the US bases all over the Middle East, of course Iran and its friends could be destroyed [but at what cost?] The Strait of Hormus is bristling with Iranian anti ship missiles, the first sign of war would see the US fleet depart from Bahrain, the lumbering giant and vulnerable B52's based in Qatar would not get off the ground and US airbases in the region well within range if Iranian missiles would be reduced to rubble. As for any US carriers in the area and why US carriers are obsolete, especially in the Iranian situation here is an article by Gary Brecher from 10 years ago and very witty.. http://exiledonline.com/the-war-nerd-this-is-how-the-carriers-will-die/all/1/

    karlof1 , Jun 18, 2019 6:39:05 PM | 42
    Interesting this WaPost op/ed totally trashing Trump/Pompeo foreign policy and their utter inability didn't generate any further comment on the previous thread. Sure, it came from BezosPost, but it surely represents some powerful faction that's totally at odds with the directionlessness of Trump and Pompeo.

    After so many fiascos, there seems to be very little appetite for armed conflict amongst the Vassals except for UK. There's lots of domestic uproar over Trump policies the tanker attacks have muted so far but won't go away anytime soon -- particularly the Concentration Camp charges, which are 100% correct, extremely damning and damaging.

    Look at the situation from overseas. Escalating belligerency across the board aimed at enemies and allies alike is combined with visibly repressive, likely unconstitutional and, in the world's eyes, morally reprehensible actions toward vulnerable innocents from which horror stories occur on a daily basis. Oh, and don't forget Assange and the War against Truth. And your government is being asked to support TrumpCo's policies?! I bet plenty of leaders are biting their tongues. The G-20's in ten days.

    Curtis , Jun 18, 2019 6:49:27 PM | 43
    At least Gates resisted the Obama/Hillary mission to destroy Libya (worked with JCS to contact Gaddhafi's sons). Hillary put a stop to that. One wonders if Pompeo and Bolton are playing a multi-view game of picking a SecDef that they (and Kushner/Netanyau) approve of.
    Curtis , Jun 18, 2019 6:55:29 PM | 44
    Oops. It wasn't so much Gates as Kucinich leading that effort with the JCS. But Gates was hesitant in a TIME article about a meeting with Obama and KerryHillary to discuss possible military action against Iran. At the time, I figured it was posturing for Israel. I focused on the description of Kerry and Hillary as "interventionists."
    Pft , Jun 18, 2019 7:01:27 PM | 45
    This is rather ominous. Sounds a bit like cleaning house and removing potential witnesses who aren't will the program or may soon have a grudge to bear.

    Its June and you know who loves blood to be spilled in June, and right before July 4 you know. Look for a limited aerial strike per PCR, and then they hope Iran retaliates and gives an excuse for them to escalate.

    Americans are so brainwashed into buying into US militarism and exceptionalism that Trumps approval ratings will go up. Anyone criticizing the military or war is labelled anti-American and censored by Social Media. Declining IQ's and chronic illnesses due to vaccines and other environmental toxins will limit any protests. Besides, the military is the one way to get a free college education while getting paid to go to school. The young will continue lining up to serve and fight these threats to the American way of life. Shouting America First. MAGA. Waving their Made in China flag. God blesses US. Might makes right, etc

    Puppet regimes in occupied Europe will go along. Fellow Fake wrestlers in China and Russia will make squeaky noises. So predictable

    karlof1 , Jun 18, 2019 7:02:15 PM | 46
    It dawned on me that those outside the Outlaw US Empire don't know about TrumpCo's Concentration Camps and the surrounding, escalating controversy. As I've written, conflation of Concentration with Death Camps and decades of propaganda are fueling the issue:

    "'The Holocaust did not begin with the murder of six million Jews,' writer Bess Kalb tweeted in response to Cheney. 'It began with the same dehumanization, deportation, and internment we see today. You, sickeningly, invoke the Holocaust to minimize their suffering. Shame.'

    As you might imagine given the level of Jewish/Zionist support, Cheney and the Republicans have made an enormous mistake.

    Pft , Jun 18, 2019 7:07:54 PM | 47
    Ort@27

    "Come to think of it, unless Dick Cheney is busy with other priorities, he ought to be available for a reboot of Shock & Awe."

    There are some who believe he is the unofficial President running things from his underground city built as part of the Continuity of Government that kicks in during National Emergencies such as the one declared 18 years ago and still in effect

    Not 100% sure this is true but I suspect his voice is being heard

    Don Bacon , Jun 18, 2019 7:08:32 PM | 48
    President Trump made the announcement with a pair of midday tweets that Shanahan was withdrawing and that Army Secretary Mark Esper would take his place as acting Defense secretary

    On Esper, in April Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan announced that the president nominated Army Gen. Mark Milley to serve as the next JCS chairman which would be effective in about September when General Joseph Dunford leaves after four years on the job. His predecessor was an Army general, so it was considered odd to select another Army general to be top dog.

    Now, Esper is Army too and if he were nominated for SecDef that would shake some people. What about Air Force and Navy? What are they, chopped liver?

    . . .more on Esper from The Hill:

    Esper graduated from West Point in 1986 and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel before retiring. His Army career includes a combat tour in Iraq during the Gulf War. Several Republican senators have already said they'd support Esper should he be nominated.

    . . .(but) Esper was a lobbyist at defense contractor Raytheon for seven years prior to becoming Army secretary. Esper's lobbyist past could bring up some of the issues that dogged Shanahan on potential conflicts of interest.

    Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement that Esper "risk[s] being tainted by his previous work for a major defense contractor. The group's allegations against Shanahan in part prompted the inspector general investigation.

    "While Esper may not have had sway over these types of deals as secretary of the Army, as acting secretary of Defense he will have potential influence over such deals, as well as over the controversial proposed merger of Raytheon and UTC to become the second largest defense company in the U.S.," Bookbinder said. "His ethics agreement -- and his ability to follow it -- will be something we will be watching closely." . . . here

    Jackrabbit , Jun 18, 2019 7:11:25 PM | 49
    SecDef: A Poisoned Chalice

    Seems that Shanahan balked at being the scapegoat for the next war so they found another. Shanahan is said to be pretty smart (Masters and MBA from MIT).

    Is it that he's not a strong manager or did he just play along to get his ticket stamped? I wouldn't be surprised if he's made the new CEO of Boeing (It's now clear that Boeing will have to do more to recover from their 737Max debacle) . Or perhaps he'll join a Defense-focused Private Equity firm, or simply sit on the Boards of several defense-related enterprises. Any of these will be better than accepting the Trump Administration's Poison Chalice.

    Jackrabbit , Jun 18, 2019 7:11:49 PM | 50
    SecDef: A Poisoned Chalice

    Seems that Shanahan balked at being the scapegoat for the next war so they found another. Shanahan is said to be pretty smart (Masters and MBA from MIT).

    Is it that he's not a strong manager or did he just play along to get his ticket stamped? I wouldn't be surprised if he's made the new CEO of Boeing (It's now clear that Boeing will have to do more to recover from their 737Max debacle) . Or perhaps he'll join a Defense-focused Private Equity firm, or simply sit on the Boards of several defense-related enterprises. Any of these will be better than accepting the Trump Administration's Poison Chalice.

    willie , Jun 18, 2019 7:30:12 PM | 51
    Has Trump been misled by his advisors, when he twitted about the infamous video shot in the dark by modern means that would surprise the Iranians?I Mean ,because now it turns out to be made in clear daylight with the newly published images. Is Trump angry about being cheated or did he play with the game and was his twitted remark kind of an inside joke?

    Previously we had G.Haspel showing non-pertinent to the matter camera shots of duck and children to convince him into expelling a max number of Russian diplomats.

    And much earlier it was pictures shown to Melania and him of dead or agonizing Syrian children that made him order missile attack on Syria. Is that the way he is being handled by his surroundings in his decision process? Is there a doctor around at the White House?

    Peter AU 1 , Jun 18, 2019 7:33:05 PM | 52
    Reading Harry Law's post @41, it looks like the US needs another Pearl Harbour to carry its people to war.
    Plenty of Pearl Harbour type assets around the Persian Gulf. Problem for the US is getting Iran to react and hit some of these.
    snake , Jun 18, 2019 8:06:12 PM | 53
    Henry Law @ 41 and Peter Au 1 @ 52 might find the content of this link very interesting. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51773.htm

    I am sure there are many Americans interested to know who is in charge at the USA..

    Jackrabbit , Jun 18, 2019 8:17:51 PM | 54
    willie @51: Has Trump been misled by his advisors ...

    The media promote Doublethink

    ... the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts. Doublethink is related to, but differs from, hypocrisy and neutrality... Doublethink is notable due to a lack of cognitive dissonance -- thus the person is completely unaware of any conflict or contradiction.

    Such that Trump is both peace-loving nationalist and empire-loving antagonist. Except that the latter is expressed as a positive: "staunch ally", "tough negotiator", "protector", etc instead of a negative. Some people fall for it (Kool-Aid drinkers) and MSM ignores those that talk about the meta issues of MSM complicity.

    And it's not just Trump. Whenever a President does things that might cause cognitive dissonance, apologists and the feckless press explain it away as a positive or blame subordinates for "sabotaging" the hero President.

    TLDR: stop falling for MSM false narratives .

    Jackrabbit , Jun 18, 2019 8:24:14 PM | 56
    snake @53: I am sure there are many Americans interested to know who is in charge at the USA..

    IMO President's are just members of the Deep State team. Presidents lead the team that's "on the field" - like a quarterback in American football. But the Deep State 'coach' calls the plays. And the 'coach' is, in turn, ultimately responsible to the owners (capitalists).

    dltravers , Jun 18, 2019 8:38:10 PM | 57
    They appointed a VP of Raetheon as Secretary of Defense which is appropriate because that is who is selling the US the missiles to demolish Iran.

    US intelligence learns from a highly credible source that Iran's Revolutionary Guards have completed preparations for a large-scale assault on an important Saudi oil facility within days.

    @DEBKA

    You know this stuff is being fed to the military industrial congressional complex. It looks like they will start some limited bombing of Iran prior to the 2020 elections to get everyone waving their flags and shouting Hurahh.

    Zachary Smith , Jun 18, 2019 8:50:30 PM | 58
    @ Harry Law | Jun 18, 2019 6:34:19 PM #41

    I hope there isn't a war, but there is one nation you didn't mention which doesn't figure it'll be hurt much by an outbreak of violence. A large number of goyim ending up dead doesn't bother them the least bit. I'd imagine the smashing of Iran would be worth receiving a few bombs on their stolen land. But not a lot, for if that happened they'd start waving around the nuke option and cause Trump to keep on till the job was done to their satisfaction.

    Thanks for the old War Nerd link. If the situation with aircraft carriers was bad then, a 2019 update would show them to be even worse in the death-trap category. But we're still building them.

    karlof1 , Jun 18, 2019 8:57:19 PM | 59
    In light of what the WaPost published I linked to above regrading the utter lack in confidence in both Trump and Pompeo to conduct a rational foreign policy, I seriously doubt the change at SecDef will provide optimism for improvement. Some apparently think such dissent is just shadowplay; IMO, they are mistaken. And I will again note the dissent isn't just about Iran; rather, it's about the conduct of overall foreign policy, especially Trade Policy, which is eating into corporate profitability.

    Which side will take the next move is the question now. Perhaps another Houthi attack on Saudi oil infrastructure, which present very soft, vulnerable targets. Perhaps a Houthi ballistic missile attack on UAE port facilities. The Idlib offensive will begin again after the non-ceasefire that saw continual al-Qaeda attacks and mounting Terrorist losses; perhaps, the long awaited push West from Aleppo will occur. But Syria is tangential to the Iranian confrontation. Maybe the EU will announce something significant that shows independent thinking? Time marches inexorably onward to the next event.

    Clueless Joe , Jun 18, 2019 8:58:11 PM | 60
    Peter AU1 - 52

    That would be a terrible miscalculation from US leadership. The one reason why Pearl Harbour wasn't a lasting disaster for the US is that the carriers survived. What if Iran actually manages to sink a carrier air group? I mean, nukes and nearly untouchable power projection through aircraft carriers are the two main reasons why the US is still the supreme superpower around. Show people that the carriers can be taken out and actually begin to take them out, and plenty of people and countries will begin to consider leaving that mad army parading as a country to itself - not to mention some will soon openly rebel.

    Grieved , Jun 18, 2019 9:11:23 PM | 61
    @60 Clueless Joe - "..mad army parading as a country"

    nice one. Good analysis too.

    Don Bacon , Jun 18, 2019 9:18:28 PM | 62
    The US has 50,000 troops and a carrier strike group "protecting American interests" in the Persian Gulf area of the Middle East. Somebody in government ought to tell us what those "interests" are, which require such an investment. That would be nice.
    SharonM , Jun 18, 2019 9:18:37 PM | 63
    Wagelaborer@37

    I think that article is about Iran having a reason to do it, but I didn't read in it that "b" believed that Iran had done it. I took him as more musing about the possibility without believing it himself?

    Don Bacon , Jun 18, 2019 9:24:03 PM | 64
    The Guardian-- The Iran crisis was created in Washington. The US must be talked down
    Unnecessarily aggressive, ill-considered – and deceptively presented – US policies have once again brought the Middle East to the brink of an accidental war very few want. America's European friends, including Britain, have an urgent responsibility to talk it down – and drag it back from the abyss.

    [Jun 18, 2019] Sections

    Jun 18, 2019 | www.washingtonpost.com

    Democracy Dies in Darkness

    Share Options Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Share on Pinterest Share on Tumblr Comments 524 Link to homepage Resize Text Print Article

    [Jun 18, 2019] Pompeo plays 'I've Got A Secret" during an interview with Margaret Brennan of CBS Face The Nation, responding to a request for evidence that Iran was behind a Taliban attack on a US convoy in Afghanistan

    Jun 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Don Bacon , Jun 18, 2019 10:13:32 AM | 111

    Pompeo plays 'I've Got A Secret" during an interview with Margaret Brennan of CBS Face The Nation, responding to a request for evidence that Iran was behind a Taliban attack on a US convoy in Afghanistan. Pompeo had painted the Taliban-claimed attack as one of "a series of attacks instigated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its surrogates against American and allied interests."
    QUESTION: One of the things when you were at the podium at the State Department earlier this week you presented as a fact was an attack that was carried out in Kabul in May. The Taliban said they carried it out, but you blamed Iran for it. What evidence do you have that Iran was behind that attack?
    SECRETARY POMPEO: We have confidence that Iran instigated this attack. I can't share any more of the intelligence, but I wouldn't have said it if the Intelligence Community hadn't become convinced that this was the case.
    QUESTION: So there's more that you can't share with us to back that up?
    SECRETARY POMPEO: Yes, ma'am. That's correct. . . here

    Juan Cole, an American academic and commentator on the modern Middle East and South Asia, takes a look at that charge.
    Once Again Pompeo Displays Hopeless Ignorance of Sunni & Shiite, Iran and Taliban
    . . .Pompeo painted the incident as one of "a series of attacks instigated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its surrogates against American and allied interests."
    Pompeo's statement is so embarrassing as to be cringe-worthy. It is either a lie in the service of war propaganda or a display of such bottomless ignorance on the part of America's chief diplomat as to be grounds for impeachment (or perhaps just consignment to an asylum). . . here

    Pompeo -- Liar, liar, pants on fire.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    [May 28, 2019] Pompeo redefined Trumpism as Neoconservatism hijacking Made America great again slogan for the push for regime change in other countries> by William S. Smith

    Notable quotes:
    "... Brissot's dilemma when facing the French nationalists of his time was precisely the dilemma of contemporary neoconservatives when Donald Trump was elected president. Trump's criticism of the Iraq war and his nationalistic America First rhetoric was a direct repudiation of the central tenet of neoconservatism, the need to spread universal ideals with American military power. Or, as George W. Bush speechified, to seek "the expansion of freedom in all the world." ..."
    "... In reaction to Trump's criticisms, some of the less-savvy neoconservatives, such as Max Boot and Bill Kristol, simply went out into the public square and lit themselves on fire in protest. These self-immolating Never Trumpers will likely never wield power again. ..."
    "... continue to treat all non-democratic regimes with belligerence, continue to disparage the traditions of all other nations and cultures by asserting American moral superiority -- but adopt and co-opt the language of Trumpian nationalism. ..."
    "... Cotton and Pompeo are, after all, good Straussians, admirers of the late political theorist Leo Strauss. They understand that the masses live in dark ignorance and that smart philosophers can manipulate them into supporting universal ideals through the use of cant phrases like "Make America Great Again." ..."
    "... Like Brissot, Pompeo accomplished this bait and switch by rewriting history. He argued that the framers of the American Constitution were not skeptical of entangling alliances, standing armies and global commitments; they were actually warlike neoconservative crusaders. ..."
    "... Pompeo argued, as forever war: "Conflict is the normative experience for nations." ..."
    "... Adams's admonition was to respect other nations. Pompeo turned this upside down by warning other nations to respect us -- or else. ..."
    "... He then, like Brissot, laid out the threats and conspiracies that erode "America's power." The only solution to this challenge was to "proudly" associate with "nations that share our principles and are willing to defend them." How about George Washington's warning against permanent alliances? ..."
    "... There is here not even a faint resemblance to what Washington actually believed, but Pompeo's ideological hucksterism drew a warm reception from the Claremont audience, composed in part by people considering themselves scholars of 18th-century America. ..."
    "... Toward the end of the speech, Pompeo proceeded to redefine the meaning of "America First" to make it agree with a neoconservative agenda. "Here is what this really means," he said. While Trump has expressed no desire to spread the American model, "America is exceptional -- a place and history apart from normal human experience " (emphasis mine) and "among political ideas, there is none better than the American idea." As compared with this metaphysical American Exceptionalism, the cultures, traditions, and political histories of all other nations shrink into illegitimacy and nothingness. ..."
    May 28, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    Given contemporary events, one of the most interesting figures of the 18th-century French revolutionary period was Jacques-Pierre Brissot, a leader of the Girondins, the neoconservatives of revolutionary France.

    Brissot believed that the animating universal ideals of the Revolution had made France, as one of his allies put it, "the foremost people of the universe," not just better than all earthlings, better even than Martians. Yet, despite France's position as the exceptional nation, the Girondins worried that universal ideals were under siege by a complex array of conspiracies hatched by the absolutist powers surrounding France.

    The only way to confront these foreign conspiracies, he believed, was preemptive war. Robespierre, who hated Brissot, was skeptical. Robespierre believed that war would strengthen the monarchy, which was wobbly but still intact in 1791, and that foreign adversaries would be formidable military opponents. Robespierre famously quipped: "No one loves armed missionaries." In true neoconservative fashion, Brissot countered that the people of many nations who were longing for liberty, especially the Dutch and Flemish, would welcome France's revolutionary army with open arms. Sound familiar?

    But, Brissot had a problem. When he rose to prominence in the Assembly in 1791, the monarchists and other traditionalists still held significant sway, and Louis XVI was still on the throne. How to persuade these traditional French nationalists to launch crusading wars to spread universal ideals when these retrogrades understood the only sound French foreign policy to be one that advanced France's interests, its raison d'état?

    Brissot's solution was pure genius: mask wars for French national glory as the ideological crusade for universal liberty. As one scholar put it, Brissot argued that, "patriotic virtue would emanate out of these cosmopolitan ideals and their diffusion, thus allowing France to once again become a 'great nation.'" Brissot co-opted the language of traditional French nationalism paving the way for the Assembly and Louis XVI to embrace war with Austria and Prussia.

    Brissot's dilemma when facing the French nationalists of his time was precisely the dilemma of contemporary neoconservatives when Donald Trump was elected president. Trump's criticism of the Iraq war and his nationalistic America First rhetoric was a direct repudiation of the central tenet of neoconservatism, the need to spread universal ideals with American military power. Or, as George W. Bush speechified, to seek "the expansion of freedom in all the world."

    In reaction to Trump's criticisms, some of the less-savvy neoconservatives, such as Max Boot and Bill Kristol, simply went out into the public square and lit themselves on fire in protest. These self-immolating Never Trumpers will likely never wield power again.

    But the clever neoconservatives, such as Tom Cotton and Mike Pompeo, adopted the Brissot strategy. Continue the military crusade for universal ideals, continue to treat all non-democratic regimes with belligerence, continue to disparage the traditions of all other nations and cultures by asserting American moral superiority -- but adopt and co-opt the language of Trumpian nationalism.

    Cotton and Pompeo are, after all, good Straussians, admirers of the late political theorist Leo Strauss. They understand that the masses live in dark ignorance and that smart philosophers can manipulate them into supporting universal ideals through the use of cant phrases like "Make America Great Again."

    In Pompeo's May 11 speech at the Claremont Institute, the bastion of the West Coast Straussians, the Brissot strategy was on full display and, understandably, was met with raucous cheering by the neoconservatives in the audience who understood that Pompeo and John Bolton had succeeded in hijacking Trump's foreign policy for neoconservatives, a significant accomplishment. While Trump's rhetoric is still the husk of American foreign policy, when it comes to core principles and political practice, "America First" is out, the " Freedom Agenda " is in. "Getting along" with other nations is out; regime change and belligerence is in.

    Like Brissot, Pompeo accomplished this bait and switch by rewriting history. He argued that the framers of the American Constitution were not skeptical of entangling alliances, standing armies and global commitments; they were actually warlike neoconservative crusaders.

    He argued that the "foreign policy of the early republic" could be characterized by three words: "realism, restraint, and respect." This is fine as far as it goes, but he then proceeded to define these terms in ways that would have made them unrecognizable to the Framers. Alexander Hamilton defined realism, Pompeo argued, as forever war: "Conflict is the normative experience for nations." Quoting Thomas Jefferson, he defined "restraint" as the willingness to go to war, because "the temper and folly of our enemies may not leave this in our choice." Finally, without a hint of irony as the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier battle group was steaming to the Persian Gulf in search of monsters to destroy, Pompeo quoted John Quincy Adams on the need for respect in international relations. Adams's admonition was to respect other nations. Pompeo turned this upside down by warning other nations to respect us -- or else.

    He then, like Brissot, laid out the threats and conspiracies that erode "America's power." The only solution to this challenge was to "proudly" associate with "nations that share our principles and are willing to defend them." How about George Washington's warning against permanent alliances? What Washington really meant in his Farewell Address, Pompeo said, is to have many, many alliances "based on 'policy, humanity and interest.'" If he were president today, Washington would welcome America's alliances with Israel, Australia, India, Japan, and South Korea in order to make certain, for example, that "each Indo-Pacific nation can protect its sovereignty from coercion." Washington was really a neoconservative, you see.

    There is here not even a faint resemblance to what Washington actually believed, but Pompeo's ideological hucksterism drew a warm reception from the Claremont audience, composed in part by people considering themselves scholars of 18th-century America.

    Pompeo's rhetoric represents the transvaluation of the Framers' foreign policy restraint into those of neoconservatism. It is hard to know if Trump is aware that his foreign policy principles have been hijacked, but given his apparent disdain of intellectual pursuits, the answer is probably in the negative.

    Toward the end of the speech, Pompeo proceeded to redefine the meaning of "America First" to make it agree with a neoconservative agenda. "Here is what this really means," he said. While Trump has expressed no desire to spread the American model, "America is exceptional -- a place and history apart from normal human experience " (emphasis mine) and "among political ideas, there is none better than the American idea." As compared with this metaphysical American Exceptionalism, the cultures, traditions, and political histories of all other nations shrink into illegitimacy and nothingness.

    George Washington's view of Pompeo's puffed up triumphalism would be that a nation that hubristically pounds its chest and claims exceptional moral purity and righteousness may just be a nation that has lost its virtue. The American Framers were well aware that the great republican experiments in ancient Greece and Rome ended with prideful imperial overreach.

    In 1792, when Louis XVI read, "in a flat, faltering voice," the war proclamation against Austria he understood it to be a death sentence for the French monarchy. We should know that if neoconservatives are able actually to carry out the wars that their ideology and will to power suggest, it would be a death sentence for the American republic.

    William S. Smith is Research Fellow and Managing Director of the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at The Catholic University of America

    [May 18, 2019] What is the representative of Allmighty Nation doing un Russia?

    May 18, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

    Bianca , May 16, 2019 at 06:46

    So, what is the representative of Allmighty Nation doing un Russia? Why bothering to hint on better relations? Noted in the press conference was the absence of Pompeo's moralizing, limiting itself on US position on issues. What is the point in this flying back and forth?

    Yes, Iran -- and arms control. Venezuela -- and arms control. North Korea -- and arms control. I think they are paranoid about Russian weapons. And if Iranians by any chance have some of the new weaponry, providing perfect testing ground, would Russia own to that? What was obvious, no concessions on any issue from Moscow. Not even softened language.

    This time, it is different. The economic and military power has shifted east, Europeans forever without a spine this time are spineless in all directions, and it will come as a shock to the establishment that the presumed animosity towards Iran in Gulf, will nowhere to be found. Wil Saudis host US troops against Iran, Doubt that deeply.

    [May 14, 2019] Transcript Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Face the Nation

    What is funny is that MARGARET BRENNAN is to the right of Pompeo. That's a real achievement. Pompeo probably was surprised that he was put on the defensive from his right-wing position by this warmongering female neocon.
    May 05, 2019 | www.cbsnews.com
    MARGARET BRENNAN: You've got the whole world as your portfolio so let's move on to Venezuela and Russia. There was this phone call between Vladimir Putin and President Trump that just happened. The president described it to us in an Oval Office spray. Why didn't he bring up election interference on this phone call when he said he did discuss the findings of the Mueller Report which found sweeping and systematic Russian interference in 2016?

    SEC. POMPEO: Well you'll have to ask the White House that question. The president's been very clear. The administration has taken great action. I wish the previous one had stopped the election interference that took place in 2016. They failed to do so. Between 2017 when President Trump came into office and 2018, we had a successful election year, a set of midterm elections. We're working diligently to ensure that the elections in 2020 aren't interfered with by Russia, by Iran, by North Korea or anyone else. We have enormous resource deployed against that challenge. And the American people should be sure that their government is working hard to keep our election safe and secure.

    MARGARET BRENNAN: You said, this week, that Moscow has hundreds of people in Venezuela and you were very clear that you think it was Russia that convinced Nicolas Maduro not to get on a plane and to flee the country. Here's what the president said during his- after his phone call with Vladimir Putin.

    *Take SOT*

    MARGARET BRENNAN: There seems to be a difference in how the president described the situation and how you and Ambassador Bolton have described it.

    SEC. POMPEO: No, no difference, no difference. The- the president has said, I think he in fact tweeted, that the Russians must leave Venezuela. We've asked every nation that is in- interfering with Venezuelan democracy- you've seen this. I- I was down on the border. We saw mothers who couldn't feed their children, fleeing the country. We saw families that had sick kids but couldn't get medicines, all sitting, was sitting within 50 miles of where we were located. And Maduro won't allow it to come in. The president's been very clear, we want the Cubans out. There are Iranians on the ground there. We want the Russians- we want everyone out so that the Venezuelan people can get the democracy they deserve. That includes Mr. Maduro leaving.

    MARGARET BRENNAN: So when he says, the president says, "Putin is not looking to get involved at all in Venezuela," that is not the president accepting him at face value?

    SEC. POMPEO: You'll- you'll have to leave- you'll have to look at--

    MARGARET BRENNAN: He knows that that's not the case?

    SEC. POMPEO: The- the president has tweeted that he wants the Russians out of Venezuela.

    MARGARET BRENNAN: So he was just putting a positive spin on things in that moment?

    SEC. POMPEO: We- we are working very diligently to ensure that Maduro leaves and we get free and fair elections in Venezuela. That will require the 2,300 Cuban security personnel, the- frankly, the people closest to Maduro who are protecting the in- tight security for Maduro, they've got to leave. We're working on that as well. We're working with the Cubans to try and get an outcome that will let the Venezuelans have this opportunity.

    MARGARET BRENNAN: On this, I know you'll be meeting with the Russian foreign minister in the coming days. Is there a deal to be struck with Russia on this front? I mean, Russia benefits, right, by having Venezuelan oil off the market, by having a level of influence in America's backyard. Is the U.S. going to negotiate a deal with Russia on Venezuela?

    SEC. POMPEO: I'll certainly bring up Venezuela, be one of many topics that Foreign Minister Lav- Lavrov and I speak about- speak about. Whether there's a particular deal that can be reached? Only time will tell.

    MARGARET BRENNAN: Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina who I know you know well tweeted this week, "Cuba, Russia sent troops to prop up Maduro in Venezuela while we talk and have sanctions. Where's our aircraft carrier?" He seems to be calling a bluff here on your mention and mention from others that military options aren't off the table. What is actually being considered here because you can't refer to the use of military force lightly. Is there an actual option that you are considering deploying in the coming days?

    [May 13, 2019] Pompeo is a real piece of work

    There were some reports quoted in Alexander Mercouris has a much rosier view of Trump's intentions that the US military brass are vigorously apposed to the Bolton and Pompeo efforts to provoke war against Iran. The Pentagon has found its niche pounding upon third world countries which can't defend themselves, and that's not Iran.
    May 12, 2019 | www.unz.com

    Republic , says: May 12, 2019 at 11:37 am GMT

    @El Dato

    Pompeo is a real piece of work

    This thug is Secretary of State. He doesn't do diplomacy, he only issues threats.

    follyofwar , says: May 12, 2019 at 12:58 pm GMT
    @Republic Seems that Pomp-ass Pompeo is from the Queen Hitlary school of diplomacy.
    KA , says: May 12, 2019 at 1:02 pm GMT
    @Endgame Napoleon Americans probably don't understand Russia. Americans don't even mostly understand their own history. "

    and they inquire why they hate us .

    Don Bacon | May 11, 2019 11:56:00 AM | 23

    @ ToivoS 16

    the US military brass are vigorously apposed to the Bolton and Pompeo efforts to provoke war against Iran.

    Yes, for the reasons I noted in my 4 above. The Pentagon has found its niche pounding upon third world countries which can't defend themselves, and that's not Iran. The recent US defeats in Iraq and Syria also sent a message. So the Pentagon is now content with aerial bombing of Afghanistan and Somalia while spending big bucks to (supposedly) contend with Russia and China, which of course is also out of the question when it comes to execution.

    The Pentagon materiel acquisition system is riddled with corruption and poor management, the army is handicapped by low recruiting, drugs and obesity, the navy suffers from performance and maintenance problems, and the air force has been decimated by personnel problems and by an overly zealous procurement of useless F-35 prototypes. So bombers dropping bombs on villages in poor countries is as far as the Pentagon can go.

    Taffyboy | May 11, 2019 5:07:56 PM | 62

    On May 14/2019 Pompeo is to meet Lavrov in Sochi! ..."Pompeo is scheduled to meet with Putin and Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, in Sochi on May 14 to “discuss the full range of bilateral and multilateral challenges.” Before that, he will meet with officials at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow."...

    A messenger boy on the errant trip overseas from his handlers. Something to tell in person, mano a mano no less.

    ..."“On May 13, he will arrive in Russia to meet with his team at U.S. Embassy Moscow before meeting with U.S. business leaders and U.S. exchange alumni. Secretary Pompeo will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said."... That's rich, a nobody faces an unknown.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/443071-pompeo-to-travel-to-russia-meet-with-putin-next-week

    Anyway...have a pleasant weekend, sir(B).

    [May 04, 2019] Pompeo and Pemce chistianity is a joke

    Notable quotes:
    "... It’s also a white thing or Republican thing (Nikki Haley). But frankly, political Zionism is just as pro-Israel and is pervasive among nearly D.C. establishment politicos. People like Hillary, Samantha Power, Susan Rice are every bit as warmongering for Israel as John Hagee. ..."
    "... My only interest in the “State of Israel” is they should keep their hands out of our federal treasury, i.e. our tax dollars, and quit spreading lies that they are “just like us.” They are not. ..."
    "... Christian Zionism is a minor problem. The major one is the Zionist fifth column in this country that infests and largely controls the government, the economy, the mass media, etc. ..."
    May 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

    Pompeo: "My Faith in Jesus Christ Makes a Real Difference"

    Pompeo says God may have sent Trump to save Israel from Iran

    "As a Christian, I certainly believe that's possible," said Mr Pompeo ."I am confident that the Lord is at work here,"

    Pence, a Catholic Evangelical who almost became a priest: "I made a commitment to Christ."

    Christians? These Christians support a war on Yemen in which huge numbers of people are dying of mutilation, cholera, and starvation, a war they could stop with a telephone call. They similarly support butchery of Afghans from the air, massive killing in Syria, bombing of Somalis, and torture chambers around the world. Such is their Christianity. They lack even a shred of human decency. But they are Christians.


    Rational , says: April 26, 2019 at 5:52 pm GMT

    OLD TESTAMENT, THE ROOT OF CHRISTIANITY = PURE EVIL.

    Thanks for the article, Fred. You are so right. But when I see the Pope kissing the feet of alien invaders and Pence groveling to Israel, I remember these:

    The 18th-century Anglo-American philosopher Thomas Paine wrote in The Age of Reason that “Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible [i.e. the Old Testament] is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the Word of God.” When he says Bible, Paine is referring to the OT.

    See: http://www.evilbible.com

    “Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world.” – VOLTAIRE

    See online the book: “Crimes of Christianity” by Foote:

    http://www.ftarchives.net/foote/crimes/contents.htm

    “There is no text more barbaric than the Old Testament….–books like Deuteronomy and Leviticus and Exodus*. The Quran pales in comparison.”–Jewish author Dr. Samuel Benjamin Harris.

    *i.e. Torah, or OT.

    Bragadocious , says: April 26, 2019 at 7:29 pm GMT
    We have Pompeo, a malignant manatee looking to start wars in which he will not risk his flabby amorphous ass also parading his Christianity

    Actually Pompeo served in the military for five years, reaching the rank of captain. Now he’s 55, so yes, he will not be risking his “flabby ass,” only his job.

    Fred should really do more research, ‘cuz he just seems lazy.

    Whatever Pompeo’s shortcomings, the guy’s resume is top-notch: first in his class at West Point, STEM degree, Harvard law, veteran, successful businessman, yada yada. I do find it odd that someone of his ilk believes in the Rapture; my only guess is that he’s playing to his (former) Kansas electoral base, and he can’t back out now. No way he believes this stuff.

    As far as Impressive Humans go, Pompeo > Reed.

    Anonymous [388] • Disclaimer , says: April 26, 2019 at 11:20 pm GMT
    Protestantism is pseudo-Christianity. It started 1500 years after the Christian Church was founded and now has over 40K different splinter groups (denominations) in the U.S. alone. This Johnny-come-lately of heresies began because of greed and lust, and as usual, a Jewish revolutionary spirit (read E. Michael Jones’ The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit ).

    But on Trump’s über-neocon turn E. Michael Jones sums it up well in this Sputnik News interview of March 22, 2019:

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/ByB3aT-jF_A?feature=oembed

    Patrick , says: April 26, 2019 at 11:40 pm GMT
    I am not in favor of christian zionism but the irrational has always played a prominent role in human politics, that being said I am a great fan of Fred Reed.
    Anatoly Karlin , says: • Website April 27, 2019 at 1:51 pm GMT
    The one nice thing is that Israelophilia amongst young Americans rapidly drops off along with secularization and Europeanization of social attitudes, as well as of course greater diversity (Latinos couldn’t care less about creating Greater Israel). There was a recent survey which showed that even young Republicans are not much more pro-Israel than young Democrats. This Christian Zionism thing is very much a boomer thing.

    There’s a good chance that the Trump administration is a last hurrah for the Israel First agenda.

    nickels , says: April 27, 2019 at 2:28 pm GMT
    Christians didn’t invent hypocrisy, nor are they the only ones who apply it. However, they are the one group that knows and professes to do better, so they are easy target.
    Christo , says: April 27, 2019 at 2:47 pm GMT
    “Pence -a Catholic Evangelical” mutually exclusive terms . He is a former Catholic, and now, they just did not hold him underwater long enough. LOL
    Amerimutt Golem , says: April 27, 2019 at 3:25 pm GMT
    The closest to original Christianity is the Eastern Orthodox brand which is less corrupted compared to Romanism with its heavy doses of ‘pagan’ influences.

    Christian Zionism is a fraud like most American heresies including those snake-handling ‘churches’, Mormonism, Seventh Day Adventists, Christian Identity, Christian Science, Jehovah Witnesses plus countless Jim Jones-like cults.

    In fact Luther, the founder of Protestantism, was initially a ‘Zionist’ till he saw the ‘light’, prompting him to pen On the Jews and Their Lies (Von den Juden und ihren Lügen) . The modern apostate Lutheran church has since been compromised.

    Besides the ‘perks’ of being philo-Semitic are terrible. Take the Brits. After they failed to fulfill the fraudulent Balfour Declaration, Zionists turned nasty – terror groups like the Haganah, Irgun and Stern Gang resorted to letter bombs, blowing up hotels and hanging British troops with piano wire.

    turtle , says: April 27, 2019 at 7:38 pm GMT
    @Bragadocious Reed >> Pompeo
    As a cadet @ West Point, Mr. Pompeo swore to this:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadet_Honor_Code

    West Point’s Cadet Honor Code reads simply that

    “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.”

    In modern times, he brags and laughs about having done all three as director of CIA:

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/OifY3sqrmXQ?feature=oembed

    By contrast, Mr. Reed is one of these:
    https://www.marines.com/who-we-are/our-values.html
    DUCTUS EXEMPLO
    A Latin term that means “lead by example,”
    it’s about behaving in a manner that inspires others.

    Don’t know about you, but I am not inspired by a fat body who brags about lying, cheating and stealing, just for starters.
    He is also welcome to peddle his crazed religious beliefs somewhere else.
    As an agnostic, I really do not give a rat’s ass what happens to the terrorist state of Israel.
    Israel’s battles are not my battles, and I resent anyone attempting to tell me they are.
    I also do have Iranian friends, but no Iranian enemies.
    Notice to Mr. Pence:
    Iran is not my enemy.
    Israel’s enemies are not my enemies.
    I do NOT “stand with Israel.”

    The United States of America is a separate country from the State of Israel, with far different values.

    I stand with the United States, the country of my birth, so long as it adheres to the principles embodied in its founding documents, the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Lately, it does not appear to be doing much of that, no thanks to shitheads like Mr. Pompeo, and his compadre in crime, Mr. Bolton.

    turtle , says: April 27, 2019 at 7:51 pm GMT
    @Anatoly Karlin

    This Christian Zionism thing is very much a boomer thing.

    I disagree. In my opinion, “Christian Zionism” is very much an ignorance thing. Snake handlers and “young earth creationists” are probably its major constituency. I was born in 1949, turned 21 and graduated university in 1970. None of my friends past or present, Christian or not, believe such absolute nonsense. Unfortunately, it appears there are all too many who do.

    Bragadocious , says: April 27, 2019 at 10:01 pm GMT
    @turtle You’re pretty naive if you think the CIA doesn’t lie. Every intelligence outfit across the world lies. You think MI6 doesn’t lie, like every day of its life?

    Since you’re so interested in Israel, you might want to know that Fred Reed is a total Johnny come lately on critiquing Israel. He used to make fun of people e-mailing him about Israel. In 2005, he wrote a hugely embarrassing positive review of a book claiming that Israel was getting a raw deal in the press because Palestinians were orchestrating the coverage. Imagine shilling for a book like that. Fred Reed did.

    Anonymous [388] • Disclaimer , says: April 27, 2019 at 11:16 pm GMT
    @turtle

    In my opinion, “Christian Zionism” is very much an ignorance thing.
    Snake handlers and “young earth creationists” are probably its major constituency.

    I was born in 1949, turned 21 and graduated university in 1970.
    None of my friends past or present, Christian or not, believe such absolute nonsense.
    Unfortunately, it appears there are all too many who do.

    It’s also a white thing or Republican thing (Nikki Haley). But frankly, political Zionism is just as pro-Israel and is pervasive among nearly D.C. establishment politicos. People like Hillary, Samantha Power, Susan Rice are every bit as warmongering for Israel as John Hagee.

    But the rapid demographic shift and the the decline of whites in large metro areas will certainly reduce future support for Israel and the U.S. kowtowing to Israel.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/70-of-school-districts-newest-students-are-immigrants-legal-status-unknown

    70 percent of school district’s newest students are immigrants, legal status unknown

    Seven of 10 new students in a Baltimore-Washington area school district are immigrants, their legal status unknown and their second language English, according to a series of new media reports about the impact of surging immigration on local communities.

    A recent Baltimore Sun report said that of the 5,000 new students jamming Baltimore County schools in the past five years, 3,500 are “recent immigrants or children whose family speak another language.”

    That has helped to double the percentage of students who speak English as a second language, part of a national trend.

    turtle , says: April 27, 2019 at 11:20 pm GMT
    @Bragadocious

    You’re pretty naive if you think the CIA doesn’t lie.

    I never said that, or believed it either. What I said:

    I am not inspired by a fat body who brags about lying, cheating and stealing

    Nor is Pompeo the only Pointer known to lie. There was a certain General Powell, for example. Perhaps the USMA should change their motto – truth in advertising, etc. FWIW, I had two close friends in HS who were both USMA, Class of 1970. I know for a fact neither of them would stoop to Mr. Pompeo’s level.

    Since you’re so interested in Israel

    My only interest in the “State of Israel” is they should keep their hands out of our federal treasury, i.e. our tax dollars, and quit spreading lies that they are “just like us.” They are not.

    Jus' Sayin'... , says: April 27, 2019 at 11:53 pm GMT
    @Anatoly Karlin Christian Zionism is a minor problem. The major one is the Zionist fifth column in this country that infests and largely controls the government, the economy, the mass media, etc.
    wayfarer , says: April 28, 2019 at 12:11 am GMT
    “Michele Bachmann and Alex Jones on Biblical Prophecy”

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/lBt-3X0A9OE?feature=oembed

    turtle , says: April 28, 2019 at 3:39 am GMT
    @Anonymous

    People like Hillary, Samantha Power, Susan Rice are every bit as warmongering for Israel as John Hagee.

    Yep.

    Realist , says: April 28, 2019 at 10:15 am GMT
    Religion is used to control people.
    Realist , says: April 28, 2019 at 10:26 am GMT
    @Bragadocious

    Whatever Pompeo’s shortcomings, the guy’s resume is top-notch: first in his class at West Point, STEM degree, Harvard law, veteran, successful businessman, yada yada.

    I would not consider a degree in engineering management a STEM degree

    Realist , says: April 28, 2019 at 10:39 am GMT
    @turtle

    Christian Zionism

    Here is an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0bU0HBZ7Nk

    The Alarmist , says: April 28, 2019 at 11:14 am GMT

    “This puts Evangelicals in the curious position of being pro-Israel but anti-Semitic.”

    Tuning around Freesat in Europe, particularly the UK, get you get a lot of religious channels, mostly Muslim, but also more than a few Christian. One day I tuned past a Christian guy standing in front of a phone bank and a flag of Israel, asking for money while expressing his solidarity with Israel.

    You make a good point Fred: They don’t care so much about the Jews, they just want to get their hands on the Holy Lands, even if it takes every Jewish and Muslim life they can throw at the problem.

    The Alarmist , says: April 28, 2019 at 11:43 am GMT
    @Bragadocious

    “Actually Pompeo served in the military for five years, reaching the rank of captain.”

    The top of a Service Academy class only “reaching” the rank of Captain (Railroad Tracks, not Bird) after five years of active service is hardly an accomplishment … it is fulfilling the service requirement in exchange for a free-ride on the taxpayers teat. He conveniently ended his service just before he might have been dragooned into Gulf War 1, and if he did reserve time, it was while at Harvard Law; while many other reserve officers had their civvy careers interrupted by an increasing ops tempo of deployments that followed GW1, Mike did just fine.

    Having been given seed money for his business by the Kochs and Bain Capital, he was plucked, like B. Hussein Obama, out of relative obscurity and fast-tracked to greatness. Kind of like a poorer George H.W. Bush.

    The Alarmist , says: April 28, 2019 at 11:53 am GMT
    @Swede55 There was a Byzantium, but it wasn’t as Chi-Chi as Rome at the time of Christ. Making Rome the centre of the Gurch then would be like making it New York or DC now. I would be hard-pressed to see Christ himself embracing Rome as the seat of Christendom then, but it would not be much of a reach for his followers who wanted to be closer to the cosmopolitan action of the day.
    Fran Macadam , says: • Website April 28, 2019 at 12:18 pm GMT
    I guess you’d call me one of those detestable fundamentalists, Fred. You see, I take very seriously what Jesus says in the New Testament. The authority of the Son of God makes clear that His interpretations are the ones that those really transformed and following Him would model.

    Now people who’ve never directly experienced things for themselves can be misled by others, who will use the disguise of faith. As for love of country, patriotism is also misused to become the first refuge of scoundrels: instead of loving your neighbors, used by them as Mark Twain pointed out to require hating others in countries further away.

    But what happens when you find out you’ve been lied to? For me, having had some involvement with the military in the computer industry during the Cold War, it was clear after the Russians abandoned sovietism that the American corporations involved cared not a whit for liberty – war meant profits. Then came the lies justifying the Iraq war and all its cousins, along with the Abu Ghraib tortures approved to the highest levels – which because of my own involvement I knew had to follow the chain of command. Both religious leaders and political leaders approved of these tortures. But although I had believed these folks, the revelations and the excuses made did not jibe with my Savior’s clear speaking in scripture – quite the opposite. This was not the Jesus I know, nor the witness of the Holy Spirit who leads me.

    Now these manifestations of political cooperation and human organizations calling themselves Christian, are self identifying. They claim the name Christian, but when they defy Christ’s own example and teaching, they are in fact anti-Christian, either self-deceived or knowingly deceiving others.

    All along, there have been those who truly were following His path and taking up His cross, even where weeds choked the Gospel as best they could, and wolves moved among the sheep in disguise. Often those with the power to do so marginalized, persecuted and even tortured and murdered these, while masquerading as Christians while defying His every command.

    I am evangelical, in that I would like to see others meet the real Jesus, not substitute false idols like the War Jesus constructed by merely human hands. But I also know that despite billions supposedly Christian, Jesus warned the path is narrow, the road to destruction broad, and that those taking up His cross would ever only be a minority – and that such a minority would be persecuted, even by religious authorities. Such folks cannot be conflated with membership rolls on institutional records, but are known to God.

    My orientation of faith is identical to that of the anabaptists who were the Christians persecuted by Catholics and Protestants alike, reformers who refused to take up arms against either. They often rescued their own pursuers, yet were rewarded with burning, drowning, throttling, dismemberment, along with wives and children by those who pretended they were serving Christ by doing so.

    So I appreciate your pointing out how wicked it is to do evil things in the name of Christ, but I would like to remind you that just as the counterfeit can’t exist without the genuine, that there are those who won’t participate in these things, because they are determined to follow Christ, the Holy Spirit and the conscience this dictates, regardless of both those who hate Christ and those who worship a false Christ whose actions bear more resemblance to the methods of Satan himself.

    Thanks Fred.

    Anon [114] • Disclaimer , says: April 28, 2019 at 1:21 pm GMT
    @Fran Macadam Nietzsche once wrote that the first, and also last, Christian had been Christ himself.
    Thorfinnsson , says: April 28, 2019 at 1:24 pm GMT
    @turtle The honor code at West Point was always taken seriously. Like so much else it has deteriorated lately, but it’s still observed.

    Unfortunately, once the plebs graduate and become officers they enter the United States Army, in which lying is required to advance your career. The entire officer corps as a result is dishonest, and the higher your rank the greater the lying.

    See John T. Reed on this, USMA Class of 1968: https://johntreed.com/blogs/john-t-reed-s-blog-about-military-matters/61085187-is-military-integrity-a-contradiction-in-terms-part-1

    John T. Reed refused to sign false reports as a junior officer in Vietnam, the result of which was that he was never promoted (highly irregular) and his commanding officer attempted to get him killed.

    Fred Reed was an enlisted Marine, but he has said similar things about officers and especially brass.

    Anon [114] • Disclaimer , says: April 28, 2019 at 1:25 pm GMT
    @Fran Macadam This comment of yours suggests, to my mind, that Nietzsche was wrong. By a short stretch, but, luckily, still wrong.
    Anon [100] • Disclaimer , says: • Website April 28, 2019 at 2:53 pm GMT
    They are hypochristians.
    turtle , says: April 28, 2019 at 2:58 pm GMT
    @Thorfinnsson Thank you for the link to Mr. John T. Reed’s site.
    He evidently embodies the sort of integrity we should expect from leaders, but seldom get.
    Anon [163] • Disclaimer , says: April 28, 2019 at 3:36 pm GMT
    @Thorfinnsson

    they enter the United States Army, in which lying is required to advance your career. The entire officer corps as a result is dishonest, and the higher your rank the greater the lying.

    That bears an awesome similarity with dating and romance. I wonder how come.

    Anonymous [207] • Disclaimer , says: April 28, 2019 at 4:39 pm GMT
    @The Anti-Gnostic The pro British Congress Party ruled for 6 decades.

    Now look

    Also, FYI

    Indus Valley had first flush toilets anywhere in world..

    FB , says: • Website April 28, 2019 at 9:41 pm GMT
    @Anatoly Karlin As usual Munchhausen Karlin immediately snags the stupidest comment award…without wasting undue time…

    Does this dunce really know so fucking little…about just about everything…or is he simply retarded…?

    His bear-trap logic relies on ‘a recent survey’…SMFH

    FB , says: • Website April 28, 2019 at 10:51 pm GMT
    Excellent piece by Mr Reed…he really tore a righteous strip of bacon off that walking side of pork Pompeo…

    There are millions of evangelical Christians that fanatically support Israel for the reason of this end times nonsense, as stated in the article…so that is a very large base…and not all of them insist that Jews must convert…that is just one slice of a very wide spectrum…

    In fact not all evangelical Christians support Israel…there is a very wide spectrum on the Israel issue…right up to those that see Iran and Russia [especially] in a positive light…which is encouraging…

    These American Christians sympathize with Russia’s Christianity and also with the conservatism they see in Russian society, and the sobriety of Russian politics…I have no idea how the numbers stack up for these various slices of the spectrum…but the mainstream is probably along the lines of the Pences and Pompeos of the world…

    Thorfinnsson , says: April 28, 2019 at 11:10 pm GMT
    @FB

    ……………..?

    marylou , says: April 29, 2019 at 1:04 am GMT
    @Fran Macadam yep.

    Matthew 7:21-23

    21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
    N

    KenH , says: April 29, 2019 at 2:02 am GMT
    Christian fundamentalism is full of whack jobs and Dr. Strangeloves and Pompeo and Pence are two shining examples. I just hope they don’t get us all blown to smithereens.

    In Fred’s adopted nation a six year old was just caught in the crossfire of drug cartel gunfire in Cancun and has died of his injuries. This is hard to believe as Fred tells us that in addition to being a nation on the cutting edge of technology, it also has the most bookstores per square mile of any nation. So the bookish Mexican people should be reading books and not dealing drugs and shooting people, especially kids:
    https://www.breitbart.com/border/2019/04/26/cartel-gunfire-in-cancun-kills-6-year-old-wounds-parents/

    Mexico has 33K homicides annually but Fredrico gets peeved if American whites don’t want these problems in America.

    Escher , says: April 29, 2019 at 8:28 am GMT
    @Anatoly Karlin IMHO, it is very much a $$ thing (as someone said: “all about the Benjamins”)
    dearieme , says: April 29, 2019 at 1:04 pm GMT
    @Anonymous “the schism of Eastern Orthodoxy” is an odd way to put it; the Roman Catholics flounced out from the old church in the schism of 1054. Or to put it another way, the Pope flounced out from the other Patriarchs.

    “Ss. Peter and Paul went to Rome”: Paul yes; he had no choice, being under arrest. Peter: of course he didn’t, that’s just another of those old religious fabrications.

    If the earliest Christians had a True Home it was either Jerusalem or Galilee, of course.

    dearieme , says: April 29, 2019 at 1:11 pm GMT
    @Brabantian “the 3 Abrahamic religions … all founded by the same kind of desert tribals used to life and death battles for control of a single watering hole.

    Hardly. It would seem that the earliest Hebrews were probably settled villagers in the hills of Palestine. The earliest Christians were villagers in Galilee.

    It’s not at all clear who the earliest Moslems were, since the initial conquerors were referred to as Saracens: the witness statements to their success make no reference to their having a distinct religion or distinct holy book. They do seem to have had a general called Mahomet, though, who had earlier been a merchant. Where they were from is also unclear. There’s a fair chance that they were originally from around Petra, which is on the edge of cultivation, not deep in the Arabian desert.

    The Anti-Gnostic , says: • Website April 29, 2019 at 2:44 pm GMT
    @Anonymous Congratulations!
    The scalpel , says: • Website April 29, 2019 at 3:13 pm GMT
    @turtle West Point honor grad here. Also a conscientious objector. It took me a bit to overcome my childhood indoctrination into the cult of imperialism, but before long, I realized that imperialism was in no way defending the people who reside in the USA.

    http://thescalpel.net/underpantsl.html

    The sad reality of current US culture is that West Point is extremely proud of lying, cheating, and stealing Pompeo, and considers me to be an embarrassment. The true mission of West Point is not “Duty, Honor, Country” as far as I can tell, but to bait idealistic young men and women into attending college there in an attempt to turn them into soulless, self-serving, corporate bag men like they did to Mike Pompeo.

    (FWIW, my money is on Pompeo having somewhat cheated his way through West Point. I have seen it with my own eyes, and Pompeo does not seem that intelligent to me)

    lysias , says: April 29, 2019 at 7:12 pm GMT
    @Brabantian Jesus a desert tribal used to battles? Huh?
    turtle , says: April 29, 2019 at 7:38 pm GMT
    @The scalpel Good on you, Doctor.
    The scalpel , says: • Website April 30, 2019 at 1:29 am GMT
    @KenH Christian fundamentalism is also full of con-artists who take the gullible for a ride. Pence seems quite dull. He might really believe that stuff. Pompeo is the wolf in sheep’s clothes. I have enough faith to at least hope that short of complete repentance (as likely as him getting knocked off a horse by God) – short of that, a special hell awaits him
    FB , says: • Website April 30, 2019 at 4:57 am GMT
    @The scalpel Porker Pompeo on a horse…?…being a horse lover that mental image sends shivers down my spine…

    OTOH…a well placed back hoof to the nether regions of the ‘malignant manatee’ [classic coinage right there…thanks Mr Reed]…would be divinely appreciated…let us hope and, dare I say it, pray…

    Truth , says: May 1, 2019 at 2:19 am GMT
    @The Alarmist

    The top of a Service Academy class only “reaching” the rank of Captain (Railroad Tracks, not Bird) after five years of active service is hardly an accomplishment …

    You know someone who was a colonel after 5 years?

    The scalpel , says: • Website May 1, 2019 at 3:17 am GMT
    @Truth Captain after 5 years is the most common result. The rank of Major is used as an incentive to stay in after one’s (typically 5 year) obligation. Looking at Plumpeo, I’d guess one of the reasons he got out was because he couldn’t pass his fitness tests
    anon [271] • Disclaimer , says: May 1, 2019 at 12:34 pm GMT
    @tex tickles If the Torah isn’t for Christians, why is it quoted 695 times and referenced a total of 4,105 times in the New Testament?

    How many times do the writers of the New Testament quote the Old Testament? An index in the Jewish New Testament catalogs 695 separate quotations from the books of the Old Testament in the New (Jewish New Testament Publications, Jerusalem, 1989). There are many other passages where the Old Testament is referred to , as in cases where an Old Testament figure is mentioned, but no specific scripture is quoted. Depending on which scholar’s work you examine, the number of quotations and references in the New Testament to the Old may be as high as 4,105.

    The Expositor’s Bible Commentary
    Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1979, Vol. I, p. 617

    Mick Jagger gathers no Mosque , says: May 1, 2019 at 12:48 pm GMT
    The Inquisition: It’s prolly best to begin at the beginning, with Moses, the first, and deadliest, inquisitor.

    Moses, the 1st inquisitor ordered killed 23 thousand one day (Exodus 32)

    Moses, the 1st Inquisitor, ordered killed 24 thousand one day (Numbers 25).

    Forty Seven Thousand ordered killed by The First Inquisitor, Moses, in two days, including women and children.

    Non-Catholic historian Edward Peters:, in his work, “Inquisition” (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989, p. 87),

    The Spanish Inquisition, in spite of wildly inflated estimates of the numbers of its victims, acted with considerable restraint in inflicting the death penalty, far more restraint than was demonstrated in secular tribunals elsewhere in Europe that dealt with the same kinds of offenses. The best estimate is that around 3000 death sentences were carried out in Spain by Inquisitorial verdict between 1550 and 1800, a far smaller number than that in comparable secular courts.

    ++++++++++++++

    Mr. Reed is an odd individual whose understanding of Christianity suffers from a lack of knowledge.

    He seems to think that Christian Catholics have no right to defend themselves and he also suffers from the error of Presentism.

    Of course, secular governments were far worse during the era when torture was acceptable and, of course, one must note that heretics were treated then as today’s traitors ought be treated.

    If Germany had an Inquisition, wed have never heard of Hitler, but men like Fred hated that which men like Fred have never understood

    anon [271] • Disclaimer , says: May 1, 2019 at 1:00 pm GMT
    @Anonymous Christianity itself, in all forms, is pseudo-Jewdaism, from the very start of it, even for you ever-kvetching Jew-worshiping Catholics.

    • “ To the Jews ‘belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship …’” Catechism of the Catholic Church
    • “ We worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews .” John 4:22
    • “For it is we [Christians] who are the Circumcision.” Philippians 3:3

    anon [271] • Disclaimer , says: May 1, 2019 at 1:08 pm GMT
    @Patrick “Christian Zionism” has been woven into the fabric of the Jew-worshiping cult of Christianity, from the very beginning, with Jewish storytellers writing these Zionist principles the Jew Testament:

    • Matthew 21:5 “Say to Daughter Zion , ‘See, your king comes to you.”
    • John 12:15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion ; see, your king is coming.”
    • Romans 9:33 “See, I lay in Zion a stone…”
    • Romans 11:26 “The deliverer will come from Zion …”
    • Hebrews 12:22 “Mount Zion , to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.”
    • 1 Peter 2:6 “See, I lay a stone in Zion .”
    • Revelation 14:1 “Standing on Mount Zion , and with him 144,000.”

    anon [271] • Disclaimer , says: May 1, 2019 at 1:13 pm GMT
    @Mick Jagger gathers no Mosque The Inquisition started in 12th-century France . The Spanish Inquisition wasn’t the only region of Inquisition. Stop trying to minimize the horrors.
    anon [271] • Disclaimer , says: May 1, 2019 at 1:19 pm GMT
    @The scalpel Christianity was started by con -artists who take the gullible for a ride. As Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is con fidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” That sounds exactly like a sales pitch from con fidence man Bernie Madoff, another one of the Hebrews.
    The Alarmist , says: May 1, 2019 at 2:05 pm GMT
    @Truth No, but if you say Captain to a squid, they get confused.
    anon [271] • Disclaimer , says: May 1, 2019 at 2:18 pm GMT
    @dearieme The earliest Christians were villagers in Galilee? Bible says Syria; “Christians first in Antioch.” (Acts 11:26) Not surprisingly, it seems Muslims got their start from Syria too; as the Quran was substantially derived from Syriac Christian liturgy. ( Luxenberg, 2007 ) Let’s not forget Christians and Muslims from Syria both like to shout “Aloha Snackbar!”
    Mick Jagger gathers no Mosque , says: May 1, 2019 at 6:15 pm GMT
    @anon And you did not mention the Roman Inquisition

    You also did not mention the Jewish Inquisition in Europe.

    I could go on…

    Mick Jagger gathers no Mosque , says: May 1, 2019 at 6:17 pm GMT
    @anon Jews created Islam

    http://www.culturewars.com/2018/Gardinerreview.htm

    anon [417] • Disclaimer , says: May 1, 2019 at 7:03 pm GMT
    @Mick Jagger gathers no Mosque Teachers refer to that as the “everybody’s doing it” excuse. Stay after class, to explain how those inquisitions too weren’t so awfully bad.
    anon [417] • Disclaimer , says: May 1, 2019 at 7:05 pm GMT
    @Mick Jagger gathers no Mosque Sadly, none of the three Abrahamic religions were started by Whites, who need their own native religion that better fits their evolutionary biology.
    polaco , says: May 1, 2019 at 8:35 pm GMT
    @anon Torture has never been anything out of the ordinary throughout history, when the police of the day took you in for questioning they wouldn’t offer treats in exchange for a confession, torture has been standard operating procedure, it was the normal, expected course of any investigation. Why don’t people blame the governments of today for what the countries they rule now used to do in the past?

    If you can trust the History channel, there is no proof of an Iron Maiden device ever having been used, rather, it was used as a fear inducing object having a profound psychological impact.

    Rich , says: May 1, 2019 at 8:42 pm GMT
    @The scalpel Major after 5 years? When, during WW2? The War Between the States? Whether you agree with his politics, or not, being promoted to captain after 5 years in peace time is perfectly normal. The man was an athlete in high school, graduated first in his class at West Point, was an infantry officer then was on the Harvard Law Review before being elected to Congress. And not as a liberal pantywaist. Give him his due, the man’s led a remarkable life.
    FB , says: • Website May 1, 2019 at 11:24 pm GMT
    @Rich Wow…there’s really such a member [provisional at least] of the human race that actually admires the malignant manatee…?

    Pompeo’s only possible use to humanity would be as a source of protein to a starving Yemeni family…[providing they can get over the pork part]…

    Rich , says: May 2, 2019 at 1:21 am GMT
    @FB Okay, you dislike the guy, doesn’t change his accomplishments. All without Affirmative Action.
    The scalpel , says: • Website May 2, 2019 at 3:31 pm GMT
    @Rich He found that affirmative action was not as good as lying, cheating, and stealing. I will grant that he is pretty smart, (though I am suspicious that he is not smart enough to have graduated 1st in his West Point class without cheating.)

    Take a smart person who wisely uses lying, cheating, and stealing without any remorse as a means to outcompete his friends and enemies alike, and you have someone who, with a little luck and without being caught, can slither their way to the top of some competetive hierarchies. These people are known as psychopaths, or more precisely, antisocial personality disorders.

    Do I respect psychopaths? No. They generally are purely takers, and make very few contributions to humanity. Additionally, I would like to believe in things like truth, honor, and justice, and no matter how “successful” these psychopaths are, they are complete and utter failures on criteria I value. Then again, most government officials score very low on those scales. Sadly, it almost seems that they must in order to obtain such positions. We are governed by psychopaths.

    Rich , says: May 2, 2019 at 6:16 pm GMT
    @The scalpel What evidence do you have that Mr Pompeo is a psychopath? Look, you don’t like the guy’s politics, that’s okay, but why do you guys all of a sudden become Sigmund Freud and start psychoanalyzing people you’ve never met? It’s almost impossible to get through West Point cheating, lying or stealing. If anyone sees you doing anything even slightly dishonorable, they’ll rat you out faster than a Kapo would run to a German guard if he saw someone doing something wrong. The guy is obviously a very intelligent and hard working man who’s looked out at the world and drawn different conclusions than you. Doesn’t make him “evil” or a “psychopath”. Just makes him a powerful guy you don’t agree with.
    turtle , says: May 2, 2019 at 8:11 pm GMT
    @The scalpel

    am suspicious that he is not smart enough to have graduated 1st in his West Point class without cheating.

    Maybe not cheating, per se, but at least picking his (academic) battles.
    In my experience, it is frequently the case (though not always) that those who major in “management” are those who cannot hack it in a technical discipline, or choose not to work quite that hard.
    Evidently Harvard Law places great importance on undergraduate GPA.
    Speculation:
    An outstanding GPA in a soft major might carry more weight at Harvard than a lower GPA in a more demanding field. I emphasize this is speculation, as I do not actually know.

    I do know that I scored 786 out of 800 on LSAT in 1970 and was not admitted to Harvard Law. My undergraduate grades at a small technical school farther down the Charles were only average among my peers.

    Endgame Napoleon , says: May 2, 2019 at 10:01 pm GMT
    All of the world’s religions can be associated with killings. They are either deeds of evil individuals, policy wrongs that do not involve direct murder, self defense or the defense of an attacked nation. Political policy can be rendered unto Cesar, while murder is accurately blamed on the individuals who do it. Mass murder is particularly evil, spawning military action that can affect innocents in other nations when it gets as heinous as the murdering of 3,000 innocent office workers on 9/11 by Muslims.

    Sure, Christians have done some heinous & barbaric things over the centuries. After making a big deal of religion, Henry the Eighth beheaded some of his wives.

    But when we get past what happened 500 years ago, we see a succession of evil mass murders committed in the recent past by non-Christian religious zealots, shouting Allah Akbar: the concert and nightclub massacres in France, England and America; the mass shooting of office workers on the American West Coast; the mass shootings & random mass stabbings in American Midwestern malls and in England; the Christmas market massacre in Germany; the mass murder of military personnel in office settings in the American South & the Midwest; the mass murder in Belgium; the bombing of a New England sporting event; the truck-ramming mass murders in France, Sweden and Canada; the mass murder of churchgoers in Sri Lanka, etc., etc, etc.

    World wars have been started over only one incident, with much less extensive losses of life.

    In some centuries, the beheading and stabbing by radical Islamic terrorists of two innocent, Danish girls, hiking in Morocco, or the beheading of an 85-year-old priest in the middle of mass might have provoked military action.

    The murderers who did all of those evil deeds (and others) in the last few years knew that they were taking the chance of a military response that might hurt innocent people in the non-Christian countries that they purport to care about, and yet, they still did it, showing that they regarded potential casualties in Muslim lands as collateral damage.

    The cause was the only thing that counted to them, not the people, even when the people were fellow Muslims.

    bluedog , says: May 2, 2019 at 11:47 pm GMT
    @Rich No they use to rat you out, but like all things that are subject to change they have to,now it wasen’t so long ago that they had the very large cheating affair at west point,and to put it bluntly the man is a lying,cheating,stealing(his words when he worked for the C.I.A.) whore that would do anything to further his cause of hurrying along the rapture, that he and Pence and Bolton dream about.!!!
    Rich , says: May 3, 2019 at 1:12 am GMT
    @bluedog Do you guys really think men who have risen to the heights Pompeo, Pence, and Bolton have, aren’t realists? Don’t you think that if they wanted to be ministers, they’d have followed a different path? I can’t read other people’s minds, but I sincerely doubt any of the three you mentioned is trying to bring about the “rapture”. That’s just silly. They simply see Israel as a close ally and some of the Islamic nations as enemies as well as seeing various other states as friends or enemies. You have your opinion on how the world should be run, I have mine and they have theirs, that’s just the way it.
    FB , says: • Website May 3, 2019 at 2:39 am GMT
    @Rich Pence, Pompeo realists…?

    Are you living in Disneyland…?

    You haven’t figured out yet that the more you are immune to reality, the better your chances in DC…?

    Tell me one single thing that Pompeo or Pence has ever said or done that is even remotely connected to reality…

    Trump is capable of spurts of realism, I’m convinced of that…but those impulses are quickly blocked and checked by the likes of Pompeo and Pence…

    Look at the North Korea debacle…it was Porker Pompeo that torpedoed that last summit…Trump was going to remove him from the DPRK file, but Porker announces to the world that he ‘can’t’ be sidelined…directly contradicting the POTUS…how fucking ‘realistic’ is that…?

    So once again the latest Korea initiative is set to sink, despite a president who is a realist…problem is he’s surrounded by complete fantasists like Pompeo…

    The scalpel , says: • Website May 3, 2019 at 9:58 am GMT
    @Rich “What evidence do you have that Mr Pompeo is a psychopath?”

    Well, I have his behavior, which, owing to the fact that he is a public figure is, well, public knowledge. For one, he brags about his ability to lie,cheat, and steal. For two, he does those things without remorse.

    Also,I have the DSM IV

    https://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/pn.39.1.0025a

    Read it yourself and see if you agree.

    True, I don’t like his politics BECAUSE he is dangerous – a psycopath

    The Scalpel , says: • Website May 3, 2019 at 12:21 pm GMT
    @turtle You are correct. I was at West Point the same time as Plumpeo. In those days, there were 2 academic divisions MSE and BSL which stood for Math, Science, and Engineering and Behavioral Sciences and Leadership aka Bullshit and Lies. (Seriously that’s what we called it). For MSE guys like me, when we had to take a BSL course like management, it was usually a breather and a relatively easy “A” versus our MSE courses, so you might have a point there.
    turtle , says: May 3, 2019 at 2:15 pm GMT

    I was at West Point the same time as Plumpeo.

    Do you know the man personally? I do not know size of class at West Point.

    Bullshit and Lies. (Seriously that’s what we called it)

    Sounds appropriate to me. In my opinion, Benjamin Nutandyahoo is another “piece of work” in the same mold .

    Born in 1949
    SB (Course IV – Architecture) MIT 1975
    SM (Course XV – Management) 1976
    Both IV & XV would be considered “soft” majors compared to School of Science or School of Engineering.
    Just smart enough to think he can BS the rest of the world. Lives by making a career of deceit. At least one known alias.

    No surprise he and Pompous-e-o are best buds.

    turtle
    Born 1949
    SB MIT 1970 (School of Science)*
    Graduated in June, turned 21 in September
    Junior author of one published scientific paper for undergraduate work.

    *I would state my Course #, but prefer to retain a degree of anonymity on this site. There are only a few possibilities, all of which are tougher than Architecture or the Sloan School. Sloanies actually had “coat and tie practice,” in which they were required to play “dress up” and carry a briefcase to class on certain days. Most of the rest of us thought that was rather silly.

    Rich , says: May 3, 2019 at 10:26 pm GMT
    @The scalpel If that’s what you’re going by, every single national leader throughout history is a psychopath. And maybe that’s true, but who cares? The world is what it is and we have to deal with its realities. You may be a pacifist, another may believe the Israelis are the problem, Pompeo and his fellows disagree with you. I don’t think that makes them any “crazier” than anyone else. And I have to give the man his due, he has done very well for himself.
    anon [170] • Disclaimer , says: May 4, 2019 at 4:18 am GMT
    @Anonymous

    read E. Michael Jones’ The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit

    jewish revolutionary spirit = jews stirring up shit in your country

    annamaria , says: May 4, 2019 at 4:20 am GMT
    @G. Poulin It’s long to overdue to expose this fraud-in-Jesus. If Vatican excommunicates Tony Blair, the profiteer and mega-war criminal, and similar “Christian” arch-enemies of humanity, then your irritation would be vindicated. IF .

    [May 01, 2019] Are we seeing the end of Pompeo and Bolton approaching after the humiliating failure of the latest coup d tat?

    May 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Virgile , May 1, 2019 8:59:36 PM | link

    Are we seeing the end of Pompeo and Bolton approaching after the humiliating failure of the latest coup d'état? How long can Trump endure looking like à fool with these two incompetent advisors.

    Pompeo and Bolton have blown up the North Korea dialog initiated by Trump? With the Venezuela circus, Trump will probably terminate their services .

    "What absolute joy it is to picture the faces of the Three Stooges when they realized they had been snookered."

    Really? , May 1, 2019 8:23:30 PM | link

    Life imitates art: Similar to the two comedians who snookered Abrams and then Macron.

    Ha ha ha. The vanity of these marks is so predictable that a pair of comedians can take them in easily and get them to divulge state secrets (there won't be a military invatins of Ven) on the phone! Same dynamic with Bolton & cie is pretty easy to imagine.

    The guy is so full of himself and clueless---that kind of fool is easily taken in.

    dh-mtl , May 1, 2019 8:16:38 PM | link
    B, I fully agree with you that Guaido, and Pompeo, Bolton, Trump, etc., got snookered.

    This, however, makes the situation all the more dangerous. People like these don't take public humiliation very well. Added to the frustration of not being able to act at will in their own hemisphere, they are likely to be beside themselves with fury.

    Perhaps this is why Trump struck out at Cuba with threats of a total blockade.

    They will not give up on Venezuela, and given their level of frustration and humiliation, their next actions could be both irrational and dangerous.

    Posted by: telescope | May 1, 2019 7:17:54 PM | 53

    Make no mistake, Russia's move to start handing out passports to Donetsk and Luhansk inhabitants is intimately linked to events in Venezuela. And the fate of Ukraine rests on whether the US undertakes direct action vs Caracas or not. The moment Bolton justified possible invasion by the duty to protect US citizens in Venezuela was also the moment Moscow made the final decision to create similar pretext for the dismantling of the Ukraine. Russians had already proven their ability to take quick advantage of American moves against its allies by taking symmetrical action against vulnerable vassals of Washington. Kosovo was reciprocated by Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Takeover of Kiev - by severing of Crimea and Donbass. Invasion of Venezuela will inevitably result in Ukraine losing all of Black Sea coast and becoming completely unviable. And unlike US Special Forces, Russian troops will actually be greeted with flowers and genuine popular support in Kherson and Odessa.

    [May 01, 2019] Hope everyone saw Blitzer's interview with Pompeo! Pompeo stated that Maduro was getting ready to leave for Cuba; as in FLEE!,

    Notable quotes:
    "... If Maduro doesn't have iron-clad intelligence, then the Russians better provide significant help in this regard, because I sense heavy black ops (CIA) in the works. ..."
    May 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Circe , Apr 30, 2019 5:59:33 PM | link

    Omg!

    Hope everyone saw Blitzer's interview with Pompeo! Pompeo stated that Maduro was getting ready to leave for Cuba; as in FLEE!, and his plane was on the tarmac and Pompeo claimed THE RUSSIANS TALKED HIM OUT OF IT! When asked whether the U.S. could guarantee Maduro safe passage to Cuba; Pompeo EQUIVOCATED! This is CRAZY.

    Bolton also answered questions from the press earlier and lies were coming out of both sides of his mouth. Both Pompeo and Bolton refused to answer questions on details relating to U.S. involvement at this time but there were veiled threats all over the place.

    If Maduro doesn't have iron-clad intelligence, then the Russians better provide significant help in this regard, because I sense heavy black ops (CIA) in the works.

    Sasha , Apr 30, 2019 6:00:20 PM | link

    The only similarity of this chapuza coup with "Bay of Pigs" event, is in the quality of organizers, orchestrators and perpetrators of this new intend on coup in Venezuela, outright fascist pigs...

    Some out there, of course, are excited, since they have felt nostalgias from their times at "Assault Brigades" and "Hunters Battalions".... Even though they try sometimes to disguise themselves as democrats and constitutionalists, it is in these times when they show all the way their real colors.

    To talk about alleged repressions by socialist governments from the US, when they are currently oppressing every nation and peoples in the world who do not pledge to their interests, is not like calling the kettle black, but worst, and exercise of projection of Olympic size.

    [Apr 24, 2019] Mike Pompeo and Julian Assange - Sealing the Fate of WikiLeaks

    Apr 24, 2019 | viableopposition.blogspot.com

    April 12, 2019 Back in April 2017, then CIA Director Mike Pompeo delivered a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. In this speech, he made some very pointed comments about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange that provide us with a glimpse into the mindset that currently inhabits the Department of State in particular and Washington as a whole and why the events of April 11th, 2019 occurred.
    Here are some key quotes from the rather lengthy speech which looked at America's intelligence community. Early in the speech, he makes this comment:
    " As a policy, we at CIA do not comment on the accuracy of purported intelligence documents posted online. In keeping with that policy, I will not specifically comment on the authenticity or provenance of recent disclosures.
    But the false narratives that increasingly define our public discourse cannot be ignored. There are fictions out there that demean and distort the work and achievements of CIA and of the broader Intelligence Community. And in the absence of a vocal rebuttal, these voices -- ones that proclaim treason to be public advocacy -- gain a gravity they do not deserve." (my bolds)
    It is important to note that Mr. Pompeo will not comment on the authenticity of documents that are disclosed by whistleblowers but that, in the next breath, he states that these documents are part of a false narrative that demean and distort the work of America's intelligence community.
    He goes on to note that the CIA does admit to making mistakes and that it is accountable to the "free and open society that they help to defend" and that the CIA is willing to make its mistakes public to a degree that other nations cannot match.`
    Here's what he has to say about WikiLeaks and Mr. Assange:
    " And that is one of the many reasons why we at CIA find the celebration of entities like WikiLeaks to be both perplexing and deeply troubling. Because while we do our best to quietly collect information on those who pose very real threats to our country, individuals such as Julian Assange and Edward Snowden seek to use that information to make a name for themselves. As long as they make a splash, they care nothing about the lives they put at risk or the damage they cause to national security.
    WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service. It has encouraged its followers to find jobs at CIA in order to obtain intelligence. It directed Chelsea Manning in her theft of specific secret information. And it overwhelmingly focuses on the United States, while seeking support from anti-democratic countries and organizations.
    It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is – a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia. I n January of this year, our Intelligence Community determined that Russian military intelligence -- the GRU -- had used WikiLeaks to release data of US victims that the GRU had obtained through cyber operations against the Democratic National Committee. And the report also found that Russia's primary propaganda outlet, RT, has actively collaborated with WikiLeaks.
    Now, for those of you who read the editorial page of the Washington Post -- and I have a feeling that many of you in this room do -- yesterday you would have seen a piece of sophistry penned by Mr. Assange. You would have read a convoluted mass of words wherein Assange compared himself to Thomas Jefferson, Dwight Eisenhower, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning work of legitimate news organizations such as the New York Times and the Washington Post. One can only imagine the absurd comparisons that the original draft contained.
    Assange claims to harbor an overwhelming admiration for both America and the idea of America. But I assure you that this man knows nothing of America and our ideals. He knows nothing of our third President, whose clarion call for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness continue to inspire us and the world. And he knows nothing of our 34th President, a hero from my very own Kansas, who helped to liberate Europe from fascists and guided America through the early years of the Cold War.
    No, I am quite confident that had Assange been around in the 1930s and 40s and 50s, he would have found himself on the wrong side of history.
    We know this because Assange and his ilk make common cause with dictators today. Yes, they try unsuccessfully to cloak themselves and their actions in the language of liberty and privacy; in reality, however, they champion nothing but their own celebrity. Their currency is clickbait; their moral compass, nonexistent. Their mission: personal self-aggrandizement through the destruction of Western values.
    They do not care about the causes and people they claim to represent. If they did, they would focus instead on the autocratic regimes in this world that actually suppress free speech and dissent. Instead, they choose to exploit the legitimate secrets of democratic governments -- which has, so far, proven to be a much safer approach than provoking a tyrant.
    Clearly, these individuals are not especially burdened by conscience. We know this, for example, because Assange has been more than cavalier in disclosing the personal information of scores of innocent citizens around the globe. We know this because the damage they have done to the security and safety of the free world is tangible. And the examples are numerous. " (my bolds)
    Actually, when it comes to Russia and the "pass" that it has been given by WikiLeaks, Mr. Pompeo could not be more wrong. On September 19, 2017, WikiLeaks published its " Spy Files Russia " documents which provided insight into Russia's surveillance contractors. In the case of Russia, Russias communication providers are required by law to install components for surveillance which is provided by the FSB which are linked to the FSB, Russia's Federal Security Service. And, perhaps we can attribute WikiLeaks ability to release information on America's intelligence community because it is far more prone to leaks than the intelligence communities of other nations.
    Mr. Pompeo also provided his audience with a direct link between WikiLeaks and terrorism:
    " As for Assange, his actions have attracted a devoted following among some of our most determined enemies. Following a recent WikiLeaks disclosure, an al Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula member posted a comment online thanking WikiLeaks for providing a means to fight America in a way that AQAP had not previously envisioned.
    AQAP represents one of the most serious terrorist threats to our country and the world. It is a group that is devoted not only to bringing down civilian passenger planes, but our way of life as well. That Assange is the darling of terrorists is nothing short of reprehensible ." (my bold)
    Here is Mr. Pompeo's three part solution to the Assange "problem":
    1.) It is high time we called out those who grant a platform to these leakers and so-called transparency activists. We know the danger that Assange and his not-so-merry band of brothers pose to democracies around the world. Ignorance or misplaced idealism is no longer an acceptable excuse for lionizing these demons.
    2.) There are steps that we have to take at home -- in fact, this is a process we've already started. We've got to strengthen our own systems; we've got to improve internal mechanisms that help us in our counterintelligence mission. All of us in the Intelligence Community had a wake-up call after Snowden's treachery. Unfortunately, the threat has not abated. I can't go into great detail, but the steps we take can't be static. Our approach to security has to be constantly evolving. We need to be as clever and innovative as the enemies we face. They won't relent, and neither will we.
    3.) We have to recognize that we can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us. To give them the space to crush us with misappropriated secrets is a perversion of what our great Constitution stands for. It ends now."
    Let's close with two brief items. First, here's what the ACLU has to say about the arrest and potential American prosecution of Julian Assange:

    Second, after Assange's arrest, Donald Trump had this to say about WikiLeaks:

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/5ztxcRHCHj4
    " I know nothing about WikiLeaks. It's not my thing and I know there is something having to do with Julian Assange. I've been seeing what's happened with Assange and that will be a determination I would imagine mostly by the Attorney General who is doing an excellent job."
    Here's what the President had to say about WikiLeaks during the 2016 Presidential election cycle:

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/xnEoVzLKNPw
    While it may have taken a few days less than two years to complete his dream of getting rid of Julian Assange, it is abundantly clear from the CIA Director's speech that Mr. Assange's fate was sealed once Mike Pompeo had direct access Washington's power brokers no matter what Donald Trump had to say about WikiLeaks back in 2016. Fortunately for those of us on the outside that rely on WikiLeaks to learn more about the hidden secrets of governments and the corporate world, the group will continue to exist with or without its founder.
    Posted by A Political Junkie at 8:30 AM Labels: Julian Assange , Mike Pompeo , Wikileaks 2 comments:

    1. Nick Ginex April 12, 2019 at 5:19 PM

      Dedicated to revealing facts that allows the public to "see" the truth is Julian Assange, a man of integrity that is lacking in many of our politicians. They say the "truth" hurts but it is the only way to gain wisdom to improve our world.

    [Apr 24, 2019] Pompeo Finally Tells The Truth 'We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal'

    Apr 24, 2019 | www.youtube.com

    Streamed live 14 hours ago

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton have vowed to strangle Iran and cut off all oil exports. They claim it's because of Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and missiles and its support for terrorism. In a recent speech at Texas A&M University he finally told the truth about the CIA and the neocons - they lie and cheat and steal. So should we believe him now?

    [Apr 22, 2019] Our Iran Policy Is Run By Fanatics

    Apr 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    The Trump administration won't be issuing any more waivers to importers of Iranian oil:

    The Trump administration is poised to tell five nations, including allies Japan, South Korea and Turkey, that they will no longer be exempt from U.S. sanctions if they continue to import oil from Iran.

    U.S. officials say Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to announce on Monday that the administration will not renew sanctions waivers for the five countries when they expire on May 2.

    Refusing to offer new sanctions waivers is the latest sign that Trump is once again giving in to the most extreme Iran hawks. When sanctions on Iran's oil sector went into effect last November, the administration initially granted waivers to the top importers of Iranian oil to avoid a spike in the price of oil, but that is now coming to an end. The economic war that the U.S. has been waging against Iran over the last year is about to expand to include some of the world's biggest economies and some of America's leading trading partners. It is certain to inflict more hardship on the Iranian people, and it will damage relations between the U.S. and other major economic powers, including China and India, but it will have no discernible effect on the Iranian government's behavior and policies. India, China, and Turkey are practically guaranteed to ignore U.S. demands that they eliminate all Iranian oil imports.

    Josh Rogin reported on the same story:

    The decision to end waivers has implications for world oil markets, which have been eagerly anticipating President Trump's decision on whether to extend waivers. The officials said market disruption should be minimal for two reasons: supply is now greater than demand and Pompeo is also set to announce offsets through commitments from other suppliers such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Trump spoke about the issue Thursday with the UAE's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

    Between the administration's Venezuela and Iran oil sanctions and increased instability in Libya (also supported by the Trump administration), oil prices are nonetheless likely to rise. Even if they don't, Trump's Iran obsession is causing significant economic dislocation for no good reason as part of a regime change policy that can't and won't succeed. It cannot be emphasized enough that the reimposition of sanctions on Iran is completely unwarranted and represents a betrayal of previous U.S. commitments to Iran and our allies under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The decision to refuse any new sanctions waivers is a clear sign that the most fanatical members of the Trump administration have prevailed in internal debates and U.S. Iran policy is held hostage to their whims.


    liberal, says: April 21, 2019 at 11:44 pm

    Maybe Trump will reap the benefits of this if oil prices go up a lot and it torpedos his reelection in 2020.

    One thing I'm really not clear on how are these proposed sanctions against third parties (e.g. Japan, etc etc) not a violation of trade agreements? Are there escape clauses in those agreements that allow the US to do these things, or is it merely that these other countries are (usually) not willing to rely on the trade agreements' protections because, at the end of the day, it would mean a trade war with the US, which they're not willing to countenance?

    JR , says: April 22, 2019 at 6:27 am
    One would be naive to expect any truth from Pompeo. Self satisfied creature considers this funny too. How deep can one sink..

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/tsnAR3yqfQ0?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

    cosmo , says: April 22, 2019 at 7:19 am
    Iran policy ??? What about foreign policy in general ?? Interventionism is NOT what Americans want, or can afford! No more lives & limbs (and dollars) for foreign countries!!
    Dry Dock , says: April 22, 2019 at 8:34 am
    "Between the administration's Venezuela and Iran oil sanctions and increased instability in Libya (also supported by the Trump administration), oil prices are nonetheless likely to rise. Even if they don't, Trump's Iran obsession is causing significant economic dislocation for no good reason "

    But there is a good reason. Forcing up oil prices is a shot in the arm for the Saudi economy. Remember "Israel first, and Saudi Arabia second". That formula explains most of Trump's foreign policy, the rest being a jumble of random impulses and the consequences of infighting among his advisors.

    KXB , says: April 22, 2019 at 10:24 am
    Gas is already $3.20 in the Chicago suburbs, and we are not into the summer driving season yet. Overseas – India is going to the poll. India imports most of its oil, and Iran is a major supplier. Yes, the Saudis have been trying to get India to switch over to more Saudi imports – but it would look like "strong" Modi is giving in to Trump and MBS.
    TheSnark , says: April 22, 2019 at 10:59 am
    We are going to sanction China for buying Iranian oil? Does anyone seriously think they are going to submit to that gracefully? Japan and Korea might, they are much smaller and stuck with us. But China?

    And I seriously doubt that sanctioning India for buying Iranian oil will advance our strategic alliance with them, either.

    [Apr 20, 2019] Here is an interesting interpretation of Trumps selection of cabinet and advisor positions

    Notable quotes:
    "... Trump's main problem in this respect is that the diversity of viewpoints within the military, the NSA or other government agencies might already be too narrow and he needs a Republican version of Stephen Cohen who has always advocated for engagement with Russia, along with other people from outside Washington DC but with experience in state legislatures for the various departments. ..."
    "... I agree and I suspect Trump regards Putin as a fellow CEO and perhaps the best one on the planet. ..."
    "... A more fundamental problem is that the US has not yet reached rock bottom. So, its delusions remain strong. Trump, as said before, may be a false dawn unless the bottom is closer than suspected and he has new allies (perhaps foreign allies). ..."
    Nov 20, 2016 | marknesop.wordpress.com

    Patient Observer , November 19, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Here is an interesting interpretation of Trump's selection of cabinet and advisor positions:

    https://sputniknews.com/politics/201611191047623363-trump-administration-analysis/

    It is not about politics, but Trump's peculiar management style, Timofey Bordachev, Director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs at Russia's High School of Economics, told RIA Novosti.

    "Those who have been studying the business biography of the newly elected president have noted that he has always played off his high-ranking employees against each other. While doing so he remained above the fight," he said.

    And

    Gevorg Mirzayan, an assistant professor of the Political Science department at the Financial University in Moscow pointed out two purposes for the nominations.

    "Trump needs to consolidate the Republican Party, hence he should nominate representatives of different party groups to key positions in his administration to win the support of the whole party," he told RIA Novosti. Surveillance © Photo: Pixabay Trump National Security Team Reportedly Wants to Dismantle Top US Spy Agency The second purpose is to form an administration that doesn't look too "dovish" or too "hawkish" to be able to avoid further accusations of excessive loyalty towards Moscow, he suggested. Thus without an image of a 'dove" who neglects the national interests, he will be able to normalize Russian-American relations, the expert said.

    The above brings rationality to the diverse selections made by Trump.

    However, the black swan event will be an economic collapse (fast or protracted over several years). That will be the defining event in the Trump presidency. I have no inkling how he or those who may replace him would respond.

    Jen , November 19, 2016 at 12:18 pm
    I had guessed myself that Trump was going to run the government as a business corporation. Surrounding himself with people of competing viewpoints, and hiring on the basis of experience and skills (and not on the basis of loyalty, as Hillary Clinton might have done) would be two ways Trump can change the government and its culture. Trump's main problem in this respect is that the diversity of viewpoints within the military, the NSA or other government agencies might already be too narrow and he needs a Republican version of Stephen Cohen who has always advocated for engagement with Russia, along with other people from outside Washington DC but with experience in state legislatures for the various departments.

    If running the US government as a large mock business enterprise brings a change in its culture so it becomes more open and accountable to the public, less directed by ideology and identity politics, and gets rid of people engaged in building up their own little empires within the different departments, then Trump might just be the President the US needs at this moment in time.

    Interesting that Russian academics have noted the outlines of Trump's likely cabinet and what they suggest he plans to do, and no-one else has. Does this imply that Americans and others in the West have lost sight of how large business corporations could be run, or should be run, and everyone is fixated on fake "entrepreneurship" or "self-entrepreneur" (whatever that means) models of running a business where it's every man, woman, child and dog for itself?

    Patient Observer , November 19, 2016 at 5:21 pm Patient Observer , November 19, 2016 at 5:21 pm
    I agree and I suspect Trump regards Putin as a fellow CEO and perhaps the best one on the planet. Trump may have noted how Putin did an incredible turnaround of Russia and it all started with three objectives: restore the integrity of the borders, rebuild the industrial base and run off the globalists/liberals/kreakles. I am certainly not the first one to say this and I think that there is a lot of basis for that analysis. However, Trump will have a far more difficult challenge and frankly I don't think he has enough allies or smarts to pull it off.

    A more fundamental problem is that the US has not yet reached rock bottom. So, its delusions remain strong. Trump, as said before, may be a false dawn unless the bottom is closer than suspected and he has new allies (perhaps foreign allies).

    [Apr 19, 2019] Pompeo Appoints Fox News Neocon as Spokesperson by Kurt Nimmo

    Apr 04, 2019 | ronpaulinstitute.org
    And the neocon-ization of the Trump administration continues. While The Donald is packing away Big Macs and Diet Cokes, his neocon secretary of state is appointing likeminded warmongers.

    me title=

    From Bezos' propaganda mill, The Washington Post :

    Ortagus has been a fixture of the GOP foreign policy establishment for more than a decade. She has served as a press officer at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), a financial intelligence officer at the Treasury Department and an intelligence officer in the US Naval Reserve. She has also worked with several political campaigns, as well as a political action committee, and has experience working on Wall Street and in foreign policy consulting.
    In addition to working with spooks and a federal agency that undermines elections and foments coups in foreign lands, Ortagus "served on the boards" at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a coven of warmongers run by Kimberly Kagan, wife of notorious neocon Frederick Kagan.

    ISW is funded by the death merchants -- Raytheon, General Dynamics, DynCorp, and others -- and it pushes the concept of the indispensable nation engaged in forever war around the world, a conflict promoted in the name of "democracy," which is code for mass murder campaigns waged by the financial elite in its quest for total domination and theft of everything valuable on planet Earth.

    Naturally, some folks over on the so-called "New Right" support the appointment of an ardent neocon -- a former pretty face from Fox News -- at the State Department, thus demonstrating they are little different than establishment Republicans, or for that matter Democrats.

    [Apr 16, 2019] Pompeo Has Lost His Mind - China Hits Back At Latin America Remarks

    There should be a new term "Pompeocity" for the style the Secretary of State exhibits.
    Apr 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
    China has come out swinging after Mike Pompeo's three-day Latin America tour in which the Secretary of State publicly called out China for spreading "disorder" in Latin America alongside Russia. Pompeo identified the two countries, both of which have over the past two months condemned US efforts toward regime change in Venezuela, of backing failing investment projects that only fuel corruption and undermine democracy, especially in Venezuela.

    China's ambassador to Chile, Xu Bu, quickly lashed out in response to America's top diplomat blaming China for Latin America's economic woes which first came last Friday while standing alongside Chilean President Sebastian Pinera. Ambassador Xu told the Chilean newspaper La Tercera : "Mr Pompeo has lost his mind."

    Pompeo had asserted during his tour that Chinese investment and economic intervention in Venezuela, now facing financial and infrastructural collapse amidst political turmoil, had "helped destroy" the country and said Latin American leaders must therefore see who their "true friend" is.

    "China's bankrolling of the Maduro regime helped precipitate and prolong the crisis in that country," Pompeo had stated , and further described Maduro as "a power-hungry tyrant who has brought ruin to his country and to his people".

    "I think there's a lesson to be learned for all of us: China and others are being hypocritical calling for non-intervention in Venezuela's affairs. Their own financial interventions have helped destroy that country," Pompeo added.

    China is Venezuela's biggest foreign creditor has provided up to $62bn in loans since 2007, according to estimates.

    The Chinese foreign ministry didn't hold back in its response: "For some time, some US politicians have been carrying the same version, the same script of slandering China all over the world , and fanning the flames and sowing discord everywhere," Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a Monday statement .

    "The words and deeds are despicable. But lies are lies, even if you say it a thousand times, they are still lies. Mr Pompeo, you can stop, " the spokesman said.

    Hinting at Washington's Cold War era record of overthrowing governments in Latin America -- a longstanding tradition that can be traced all the way back to the Cold War, the statement added: "The Latin American countries have good judgment about who is their true friend and who is false, and who is breaking rules and making trouble," Lu said.

    The Chinese Ambassador to Chile's remarks had also remotely invoked a continued Monroe Doctrine mentality on the part of US officials, saying "Pompeo's body has entered the 21st century but his mind remains in the 20th century, full of thoughts about hegemony and the cold war ," Amb. Xu told La Tercera .

    In addition to being the Maduro government's single largest creditor, China has recently offered to help Venezuela with its failing power grid, after a series of devastating mass outages over the past month has resulted in "medieval" conditions amidst an already collapsing infrastructure. This as Pompeo and Bolton came close to positively celebrating the mass outages as proof of the ineptness of the Maduro regime.

    Beijing also recently denied it has deployed troops to Venezuela after media reports a week ago cited online photos which appeared to show a Chinese military transport plane deployed to Caracas.

    Given how boldly and directly Chinese officials' Monday statements were, it appears Beijing's patience with Pompeo is running thin, to the point of giving up on a positive avenue with the White House, also amidst a broader trade war. It appears the proverbial gloves are coming off.

    AriusArmenian , 3 minutes ago link

    China's ambassador Xu Bu is certainly correct that "Mr Pompeo has lost his mind" like the rest of US supremacist elites. Another good example is the demented Nikki Haley. Then there is Bolton that is in a class of his own.

    [Apr 13, 2019] China, Russia Spread Disorder And Corruption In Latin America Pompeo

    Trump administration still is playing old color revolution game: accusing somebody of corruption is the best way to endure the regime change.
    Unfortunately for them the game is well known now, and as such is less effective.
    It might succeed this time though, as Venezuela is their backyard, so to speak. But after Libya there will be a fight and it it will cost the USA. .
    Looks like they are now trying to bribe China.
    Notable quotes:
    "... Pompeo and Piñera also generally discussed the U.S.-China trade war and Beijing's "Belt and Road" initiative, with Pompeo suggesting he was optimistic about solving the tariff war with China. But the focus remained finding a US-desired outcome to the Venezuela crisis. ..."
    Apr 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

    Speaking Friday in Chile upon the start of his three-day South American tour, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called out China and Russia for spreading "disorder" in Latin America through failing investment projects that only fuel corruption and undermine democracy , especially in places like Venezuela.

    According to Bloomberg , Pompeo specifically listed a failing dam project in Ecuador, police advisory programs in Nicaragua, and Chinese loans to the Maduro government, which goes further back to Chavez.

    Pompeo asserted Chinese loans in Latin America "often injects corrosive capital into the economic bloodstream, giving life to corruption, and eroding good governance." Both Beijing and Moscow have ultimately spread their economic tentacles into the region to "spread disorder," he added.

    In what appears an effort to sustain momentum toward pressuring regime change in Caracas, America's highest diplomat met Chilean President Sebastian Pinera earlier Friday, and will hit Paraguay, Peru next, and finally on Sunday will travel to a Colombian town on the border with Venezuela.

    Pompeo and Piñera also generally discussed the U.S.-China trade war and Beijing's "Belt and Road" initiative, with Pompeo suggesting he was optimistic about solving the tariff war with China. But the focus remained finding a US-desired outcome to the Venezuela crisis.

    According to Bloomberg :

    As part of the broader pressure campaign on Maduro, Pompeo said the U.S. has revoked visas for 718 people and sanctioned over 150 individuals and entities. On Friday, the U.S. sanctioned four companies it says transport much of the 50,000 barrels of oil that Venezuela provides to Cuba each day.

    [Mar 18, 2019] Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine by Seraphim Hanisch

    [Video]
    Mar 18, 2019 | theduran.com

    Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine [Video]

    Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history.

    After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to "prove" that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

    Apparently, Secretary Pompeo believed this ruse, or is being paid to believe this ruse because in a speech recently, he talked about it as fact:

    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia's annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine an attempt to gain access to Ukraine's oil and gas reserves. He stated this at IHS Markit's CERAWeek conference in Houston, the USA, Reuters reports.

    Pompeo urged the oil industry to work with the Trump administration to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in Asia and in Europe, and to punish what he called "bad actors" on the world stage.

    The United States has imposed harsh sanctions in the past several months on two major world oil producers, Venezuela and Iran.

    Pompeo said the U.S. oil-and-gas export boom had given the United States the ability to meet energy demand once satisfied by its geopolitical rivals.

    "We don't want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 project, any more than we ourselves want to be dependent on Venezuelan oil supplies," Pompeo said, referring to a natural gas pipeline expansion from Russia to Central Europe .

    Pompeo called Russia's invasion of Ukraine an attempt to gain access to the country's oil and gas reserves.

    Although the state-run news agency Vesti News often comes under criticism for rather reckless, or at least, extremely sarcastic propaganda at times, here they rightly nailed Mr. Pompeo's lies to the wall and billboarded it on their program:

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/b5uF_svBasA?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

    The news anchors even made a wisecrack about one of the political figures, Konstantin Zatulin saying as a joke that Russia plans to invade the United States to get its oil. They further noted that Secretary Pompeo is uneducated about the region and situation, but they offered him the chance to come to Russia and learn the correct information about what is going on.

    To wit, Russia has not invaded Ukraine at all. There is no evidence to support such a claim, while there IS evidence to show that the West is actively interfering with Russia through the use of Ukraine as a proxy . While this runs counter to the American narrative, it is simply the truth. Ukraine appears to be the victim of its own ambitions at this point, for while the US tantalizes the leadership of the country and even interferes with the Orthodox Church in the region, the country lurches towards a presidential election with three very poor candidates, most notably the one who is president there now, Petro Poroshenko.

    However, the oil and gas side of the anti-Russian propaganda operation by the US is significant. The US wishes for Europe to buy gas from American suppliers, even though this is woefully inconvenient and expensive when Russia is literally at Europe's doorstep with easy supplies. However, the Cold War Party in the United States, which still has a significant hold on US policy making categorizes the sale of Russia gas to powers like NATO ally Germany as a "threat" to European security.

    It is interesting that Angela Merkel herself does not hold this line of thinking. It is also interesting and worthy of note, that this is not the only NATO member that is dealing more and more with Russia in terms of business. It underscores the loss of purpose that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suffers now since there is no Soviet Union to fight.

    However, the US remains undaunted. If there is no enemy to fight, the Americans feel that they must create one, and Russia has been the main scapegoat for American power ambitions. More than ever now, this tactic appears to be the one in use for determining the US stance towards other powers in the world.

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    [Feb 26, 2019] War whore. Well, they sure pay well

    Feb 26, 2019 | www.unz.com

    Asagirian says: Website February 26, 2019 at 4:34 pm GMT War whore. Well, they sure pay well.

    Boeing taps Nikki Haley to join board of directors

    hill.cm/f4w38Wm

    0:19 AM-Feb 26, 2019

    108 people are talking about this

    follyofwar , says: February 26, 2019 at 6:12 pm GMT

    @Asagirian I've read that she is still in line to primary Trump. Surely someone will, so it might as well be a neocon Israel-first Sikh woman who is even more ignorant and psychotic that our current Tweeter-in-Chief. If she wins, she can even keep Pompeo and Bolton to finish off Iran and start WWIII.

    [Feb 21, 2019] But, scum like Pompeo puts forth hard-line stance against terrorists. What a bunch of vile phonies and hypocrites.

    Feb 21, 2019 | www.unz.com

    Asagirian , says: Website February 20, 2019 at 9:15 pm GMT

    Incredible. US government cooks up lies to invade and wreck Iraq, destroy Libya, and subvert Syria. It pulled off a coup in Ukraine with Neo-Nazis. US and its allies Saudis and Israel gave aid, direct and indirect, to ISIS and Al-Qaida to bring down Assad or turn Syria upside down.

    But, scum like Pompeo puts forth hard-line stance against terrorists. What a bunch of vile phonies and hypocrites.

    [Feb 10, 2019] Pussy John Bolton and His Codpiece Mustache by Fred Reed

    Highly recommended!
    We have until recently never had government as aggressive, reckless, or psychiatrically fascinating as now.
    Appointment on Bolton essentially confirms Fred Reed diagnose of Trump: "profoundly ignorant, narcissistic, a real-estate con man who danced just out of reach of the law.
    Notable quotes:
    "... Until Bush II, those governing were never lunatics. Eisenhower, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Obama, Clinton had their defects, were sometimes corrupt, and could be disagreed with on many grounds. They weren't crazy. ..."
    "... The problem with the current occupants of the White House is not that they are conservatives, if they are. It is that they are nuts. ..."
    "... Start with the head cheese, Donald Trump, profoundly ignorant, narcissistic, a real-estate con man who danced just out of reach of the law ..."
    "... A particularly loathsome sort of politician is one who dodges his country's wars when of military age, and then wants to send others to die in later wars. This is Pussy John, arch hawk, coward, amoral, bully, willing to kill any number while he prances martially in Washington. Speaking as one who carried a rifle in Viet Nam, I would like to confine this fierce darling for life in the bottom of a public latrine in Uganda. ..."
    "... I remarked how it seemed so strange that many of these hawks never fought in a war even when they had ample opportunity in their youth ..."
    "... The crazy irresponsibility of Trump's foreign policy is entirely counter productive & inexcusable, however it's symptomatic of a slowly swelling sense of unconscious desperation. The reality, the feeling of unconstrained power the US experienced in the 90's & naughties has gone. The US has slowly woken to the nightmare possibility of real peer competitors. ..."
    Feb 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

    American government has become a collection of sordid and dangerous clowns. It was not always thus. Until Bush II, those governing were never lunatics. Eisenhower, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Obama, Clinton had their defects, were sometimes corrupt, and could be disagreed with on many grounds. They weren't crazy. Today's administration would seem unwholesome in a New York bus station at three in the morning. They are not normal American politicians.

    In particular they seem to be pushing for war with Iran, China, Russia, and Venezuela. And -- this is important -- their behavior is not a matter of liberals catfighting with conservatives. All former presidents carefully avoided war with the Soviet Union, which carefully avoided war with America.

    It was Reagan, a conservative and responsible president, who negotiated the INF treaty, to eliminate short-fuse nuclear weapons from Europe. By contrast, Trump is scrapping it. Pat Buchanan, the most conservative man I have met, strongly opposes aggression against Russia. The problem with the current occupants of the White House is not that they are conservatives, if they are. It is that they are nuts.

    Donald the Cockatoo

    Start with the head cheese, Donald Trump, profoundly ignorant, narcissistic, a real-estate con man who danced just out of reach of the law. His supporters will explode in fury at this. All politics being herd politics, the population has coalesced into herds fanatically pro-Trump and fanatically anti-Trump. Yet Trump's past is not a secret. Well-documented biographies describe his behavior in detail, but his supporters don't read them. The following is a bit long, but worth reading.

    From The Making of Donald Trump , Johnston, David Cay. (p. 23). Melville House. Kindle Edition.

    "I always get even," Trump writes in the opening line of that chapter. He then launches into an attack on the same woman he had denounced in Colorado. Trump recruited the unnamed woman "from her government job where she was making peanuts," her career going nowhere. "I decided to make her somebody. I gave her a great job at the Trump Organization, and over time she became powerful in real estate. She bought a beautiful home.

    "When Trump was in financial trouble in the early nineties .."I asked her to make a phone call to an extremely close friend of hers who held a powerful position at a big bank and would have done what she asked. She said, "Donald, I can't do that." Instead of accepting that the woman felt that such a call would be inappropriate, Trump fired her. She started her own business. Trump writes that her business failed. "I was really happy when I found that out," he says.

    "She had turned on me after I did so much to help her. I had asked her to do me a favor in return, and she turned me down flat. She ended up losing her home. Her husband, who was only in it for the money, walked out on her and I was glad. Over the years many people have called me asking for a recommendation for her. I always gave her bad recommendation. I can't stomach disloyalty. ..and now I go out of my way to make her life miserable."

    All that because (if she exists) she declined to engage in corruption for the Donald. That is your President. A draft dodger, a pampered rich kid, and Ivy brat (Penn, Wharton). This increasingly is a pattern at the top: Ivy, money, no military service.

    Pussy John Bolton

    A particularly loathsome sort of politician is one who dodges his country's wars when of military age, and then wants to send others to die in later wars. This is Pussy John, arch hawk, coward, amoral, bully, willing to kill any number while he prances martially in Washington. Speaking as one who carried a rifle in Viet Nam, I would like to confine this fierce darling for life in the bottom of a public latrine in Uganda.

    Pussy John, an Ivy flower (Yale) wrote in a reunion books that, during the 1969 Vietnam War draft lottery, "I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. I considered the war in Vietnam already lost." In an interview, Bolton explained that he decided to avoid service in Vietnam because "by the time I was about to graduate in 1970, it was clear to me that opponents of the Vietnam War had made it certain we could not prevail, and that I had no great interest in going there to have Teddy Kennedy give it back to the people I might die to take it away from."

    This same Pussy John, unwilling to risk his valuable being in a war he could have attended, now wants war with Iran, Venezuela, Russia, Syria, and Afghanistan. In these wars millions would die while he waggled his silly lip broom in the West Wing. His truculence is pathological and dangerous.

    Here is PJ on Iran: which has not harmed and does not threaten America: "We think the government is under real pressure and it's our intention to squeeze them very hard," Bolton said Tuesday in Singapore. "As the British say, 'squeeze them until the pips squeak'."

    How very brave of him. He apparently feels sadistic delight at starving Venezuelans, inciting civil war, and ruining the lives of millions who have done nothing wrong. Whence the weird hostility of this empty jockstrap, the lack of humanity? Forgot his Midiol? Venezuela of course has done nothing to the US and couldn't if it wanted to. America under the Freak Show is destroying another country simply because it doesn't meekly obey. While PJ gloats.

    Bush II

    Another rich kid and Yalie, none too bright, amoral as the rest, another draft dodger, (he hid in the Air National Guard.) who got to the White House on daddy's name recognition. Not having the balls to fight in his own war, he presided over the destruction of Iraq and the killing of hundreds of thousands, for no reason. (Except oil, Israel, and Empire. Collectively, these amount to no reason.) He then had the effrontery to pose on the deck of an aircraft carrier and say, "Mission accomplished." You know, just like Alexander the Great. Amoral. No empathy. What a man.

    The striking pattern of the Ivy League avoiding the war confirmed then, as it does now, that our present rulers regard the rest of America as beings of a lower order. These armchair John Waynes might have called them "deplorables," though Hillary, another Yalie bowwow hawk, had not yet made the contempt explicit. This was the attitude of Pussy John, Bushy-Bushy Two, and Cockatoo Don. Compare this with the Falklands War in which Prince Andrew did what a country's leadership should do, but ours doesn't..

    Wikipedia: "He (Prince Andrew) holds the rank of commander and the honorary rank of Vice Admiral (as of February 2015) in the Royal Navy, in which he served as an active-duty helicopter pilot and instructor and as the captain of a warship. He saw active service during the Falklands War, flying on multiple missions including anti-surface warfare, Exocet missile decoy, and casualty evacuation"

    The Brits still have class. Compare Andrew with the contents of the Great Double-Wide on Pennsylvania Avernus.

    Gina

    A measure of the moral degradation of America: It is the only country that openly and proudly engages in torture. Many countries do it, of course. We admit it, and maintain torture prisons around the globe. Now we have a major government official, Gina Haspel, head of the CIA, a known sadist. "Bloody Gina." Is this who represents us? Would any other country in the civilized world put a sadist publicly in office?

    Think of Gina waterboarding some guy, or standing around and getting off on it. You don't torture people unless you like it. The guy is tied down, coughing, choking, screaming, begging, desperate, drowning, and Gina pours more water. The poor bastard vomits, chokes. Gina adds a little more water .

    What kind of woman would do this? Well, Gina's kind obviously. Does she then run off to her office and lock the door for half an hour? Maybe it starts early. One imagines her as a little girl, playing with her dolls. Cheerleader Barbie, Nurse Barbie, Klaus Barbie .

    Michael Pompeo

    Another pathologically aggressive chickenhawk. In a piece in Foreign Affairs he describes Iran as a "rogue state that America must eliminate for the sake of all that is good. Note that Pompeo presides over a foreign policy seeking to destroy Venezuela's economy and threatens military invasion, though Venezuela is no danger to the US and is not America's business; embargoes Cuba, which in no danger to the US and is not America's business; seeks to destroy Iran's economy, though Iran is no danger to the US and none of Americas business; sanctions Europe and meddles in its politics; sanctions Russia, which is not a danger to the United States, in an attempt to destroy its economy, pushes NATO up to Russia's borders, abandons the INF arms-control treaty and establishes a Space Command which will mean nuclear weapons on hair trigger in orbit, starts another nuclear arms race; wages a trade war against China intended to prevent its economic progress; sanctions North Korea; continues a seventeen-year policy of killing Afghans for no discernible purpose; wages a war against Syria; bombs Somalis; maintains unwanted occupation forces in Iraq; increasingly puts military forces in Africa; supports regimes with ghastly human-rights records such as Saudi Arabia and Israel; and looks for a war with China in the South China Sea, which is no more America's business than the Gulf of Mexico is China's.

    But Pompeo is not a loon, oh no, and America is not a rogue state. Perish forfend.

    Nikki Haley

    A negligible twit -- I choose my vowel carefully -- but characterized, like Trump, PJ, and Pompeo Mattis

    "After being promoted to lieutenant general, Mattis took command of Marine Corps Combat Development Command. On February 1, 2005, speaking at a forum in San Diego, he said "You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them. Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right upfront with you, I like brawling."

    Perhaps in air-to-air combat you want someone who regards killing as fun, or in an amphibious assault. But in a position to make policy? Can you image Dwight Eisenhower talking about the fun of squaring a man's brains across the ground?

    The Upshot

    We have until recently never had government as aggressive, reckless, or psychiatrically fascinating as now. Again, it is not a matter of Republicans and Democrats. No administration of any party, stripe, or ideology has ever pushed to aggressively toward war with so many countries. These people are not right in the head.


    Gene Su , says: February 8, 2019 at 3:07 am GMT

    I remember in high school one of my teachers stating how weird it seems that it would be the leadership of the US military who would call for the American government to intervene less in the affairs of other countries and to not be so quick to use military force. This was, of course, decades ago.

    A few years ago, I had a conversation with one of my colleages. He remarked how scary it was that so many American politicians were calling for war with Russia (with Hillary Clinton leading the pack?). I remarked how it seemed so strange that many of these hawks never fought in a war even when they had ample opportunity in their youth (Vietnam).

    animalogic , says: February 8, 2019 at 8:05 am GMT
    Fred is absolutely correct: the current administration is pathological & insane.

    However, it's worth remembering that their insane behavior is based on the same Imperial goals that have been in play since at least 1945.

    The crazy irresponsibility of Trump's foreign policy is entirely counter productive & inexcusable, however it's symptomatic of a slowly swelling sense of unconscious desperation. The reality, the feeling of unconstrained power the US experienced in the 90's & naughties has gone. The US has slowly woken to the nightmare possibility of real peer competitors.

    China & Russia are real novelties -- & as such, damn scary. Taken together, they are near equal military & economic rivals of the US.

    To US elites this is almost incomprehensible. How ? How did China suddenly become leaders in cutting edge tech? How did Russia suddenly appear with hypersonsic missiles ?

    It's impossible ! Given the already existing moral & psychological inadequacies of individual Trump team members, insanity & juvenile behavior are fairly predictable responses .

    MikeatMikedotMike , says: February 8, 2019 at 7:20 pm GMT
    The fact that you left Bill Clinton off this list (you know, the president that fired Tomahawk missiles into the country of Sudan to take attention away from the Lewinsky hearings, sexually assaulted subordinate women for decades, and spent time banging underage sex slaves via the Lolita Express, pardons a bunch of Puerto Rican terrorists in 2000 to help swing PR votes to his bag of shit wife in the New York Senate race and was, oh yeah, a draft dodger) is pathetic even for you , Kiko. I guess NAFTA makes up for all that rapey shit, huh?

    And when can we expect a detailed critique of the Mexican political climate, Kiko? Is it still never? A little too worried about that knock on the door if you bring up all the inconvenient murder going on down there, and all of the gutless politicians and law enforcement that turn a blind eye to it, you insufferable hypocrite?

    Reactionary Utopian , says: February 8, 2019 at 10:31 pm GMT

    No administration of any party, stripe, or ideology has ever pushed to aggressively toward war with so many countries. These people are not right in the head.

    Now there, I will certainly agree with Mr. Reed, but in a qualified way. The Trump administration is somewhat more warlike and interventionist in its talk than previous ones have been. But, so far, all talk (except for its repudiation of the Iran nuclear deal, which is ominous).

    Also, even in terms of the bellicose hot air, the current regime's increase over its predecessors is a matter of degree, not of kind. Even the increase itself I'd call incremental.

    Also, I wrote, "So far, all talk." That doesn't mean I'm not concerned. As the man who jumped off a skyscraper said, when passing the 2nd floor, "All right so far!"

    Truth , says: February 9, 2019 at 1:28 am GMT
    @NoseytheDuke My friend, I understand what you are saying, but at some point the wise man stops playing checkers on the chessboard.

    There is, functionally, no difference between The Donna and Cackles.

    riversedge , says: February 9, 2019 at 1:43 am GMT
    So what's the difference between Trump's neocons and the neocons who would have run Hillary? Nothing. There is no one more chicken hawkish, and slavish to Israel than Hillary.
    Asagirian , says: February 9, 2019 at 2:11 am GMT
    Until Bush II, those governing were never lunatics. Eisenhower, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Obama, Clinton had their defects,

    Obama came AFTER Bush II and continued his Zionist-supremacist policies.

    Asagirian , says: February 9, 2019 at 2:14 am GMT
    Give Trump some credit. He tried to ease ties with Russia and end war in Syria. But look how the Jewish supremacists in media and Deep State goons all jumped on him. And almost no one in the Establishment came to his side.

    Obama and his goons pushed the Russia Collusion Hoax. Obama and Bush II have more in common.

    Trump tried but he's seen turned pussy.

    ThreeCranes , says: February 9, 2019 at 3:15 pm GMT
    @Sean wages a trade war against China intended to prevent its economic progress

    "About time too. Nixon deciding the US would getting pally with China was a hostile act as far as Russia was concerned."

    Exactly right. Glad someone else remembers things as they were. Getting pally with China will turn out to be the most disastrous mistake the USA has ever made in foreign policy.

    Arrogantly thinking that we could make them our junior partners we have given or sold them everything which made us great. Our industries, technology, patents, education at premier research institutions etc. Now, utilizing everything we provided them, they will surpass and then suppress us. Meanwhile our ignorant politicians, blinded by traitorous, dual-citizen economists and bankers who promised a new economy based upon finance and "information", plod along, single file, to oblivion.

    KenH , says: February 9, 2019 at 9:50 pm GMT

    Start with the head cheese, Donald Trump, profoundly ignorant, narcissistic, a real-estate con man who danced just out of reach of the law. His supporters will explode in fury at this.

    Most of us knew that Trump is a flawed man but were willing to overlook that because he was the only one talking sense on immigration and offering solutions that would benefit white America. Of course, after two years Trump has been all tweet and little action on immigration and appears poised to sell out out to Javanka, Sheldon Adelson, the Koch brothers and the Business Roundtable.

    He's narcissistic and a bit of a con man but not profoundly ignorant. Profoundly ignorant people don't become billionaires and will themselves to the presidency.

    Trump has done a 180 on his campaign foreign policy and filled his administration with Israel first neocon retreads from the George W. Bush era instead of America firsters. People like Bolton deserve all the hate and condemnation heaped upon them by Fredrico.

    Fredrico just hates Trump because he doesn't worship Mexico and Mexicans like Fredrico does and spoke the truth about many Mexican illegals being predisposed to violent crime. Fredrico and his hispandering Bobbsey twin Ron Unz get easily triggered at the slightest criticism of hispanics, even if based in fact, and fly into a foaming at the mouth rage.

    Carroll Price , says: February 10, 2019 at 1:29 am GMT
    @KenH The first priority of any president is staying alive, which probably explains why every US president, including Donald Trump ends up doing the exact opposite of what they promise on the campaign trail. As to Trump's neocon advisors, I suspect they were appointed by the deep state, with him having no say in the matter.

    [Feb 10, 2019] Pussy John Bolton and His Codpiece Mustache by Fred Reed

    We have until recently never had government as aggressive, reckless, or psychiatrically fascinating as now.
    Appointment on Bolton essentially confirms Fred Reed diagnose of Trump: "profoundly ignorant, narcissistic, a real-estate con man who danced just out of reach of the law.
    Notable quotes:
    "... I remarked how it seemed so strange that many of these hawks never fought in a war even when they had ample opportunity in their youth ..."
    "... The crazy irresponsibility of Trump's foreign policy is entirely counter productive & inexcusable, however it's symptomatic of a slowly swelling sense of unconscious desperation. The reality, the feeling of unconstrained power the US experienced in the 90's & naughties has gone. The US has slowly woken to the nightmare possibility of real peer competitors. ..."
    Feb 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

    American government has become a collection of sordid and dangerous clowns. It was not always thus. Until Bush II, those governing were never lunatics. Eisenhower, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Obama, Clinton had their defects, were sometimes corrupt, and could be disagreed with on many grounds. They weren't crazy. Today's administration would seem unwholesome in a New York bus station at three in the morning. They are not normal American politicians.

    In particular they seem to be pushing for war with Iran, China, Russia, and Venezuela. And -- this is important -- their behavior is not a matter of liberals catfighting with conservatives. All former presidents carefully avoided war with the Soviet Union, which carefully avoided war with America.

    It was Reagan, a conservative and responsible president, who negotiated the INF treaty, to eliminate short-fuse nuclear weapons from Europe. By contrast, Trump is scrapping it. Pat Buchanan, the most conservative man I have met, strongly opposes aggression against Russia. The problem with the current occupants of the White House is not that they are conservatives, if they are. It is that they are nuts.

    Donald the Cockatoo

    Start with the head cheese, Donald Trump, profoundly ignorant, narcissistic, a real-estate con man who danced just out of reach of the law. His supporters will explode in fury at this. All politics being herd politics, the population has coalesced into herds fanatically pro-Trump and fanatically anti-Trump. Yet Trump's past is not a secret. Well-documented biographies describe his behavior in detail, but his supporters don't read them. The following is a bit long, but worth reading.

    From The Making of Donald Trump , Johnston, David Cay. (p. 23). Melville House. Kindle Edition.

    "I always get even," Trump writes in the opening line of that chapter. He then launches into an attack on the same woman he had denounced in Colorado. Trump recruited the unnamed woman "from her government job where she was making peanuts," her career going nowhere. "I decided to make her somebody. I gave her a great job at the Trump Organization, and over time she became powerful in real estate. She bought a beautiful home.

    "When Trump was in financial trouble in the early nineties .."I asked her to make a phone call to an extremely close friend of hers who held a powerful position at a big bank and would have done what she asked. She said, "Donald, I can't do that." Instead of accepting that the woman felt that such a call would be inappropriate, Trump fired her. She started her own business. Trump writes that her business failed. "I was really happy when I found that out," he says.

    "She had turned on me after I did so much to help her. I had asked her to do me a favor in return, and she turned me down flat. She ended up losing her home. Her husband, who was only in it for the money, walked out on her and I was glad. Over the years many people have called me asking for a recommendation for her. I always gave her bad recommendation. I can't stomach disloyalty. ..and now I go out of my way to make her life miserable."

    All that because (if she exists) she declined to engage in corruption for the Donald. That is your President. A draft dodger, a pampered rich kid, and Ivy brat (Penn, Wharton). This increasingly is a pattern at the top: Ivy, money, no military service.

    Pussy John Bolton

    A particularly loathsome sort of politician is one who dodges his country's wars when of military age, and then wants to send others to die in later wars. This is Pussy John, arch hawk, coward, amoral, bully, willing to kill any number while he prances martially in Washington. Speaking as one who carried a rifle in Viet Nam, I would like to confine this fierce darling for life in the bottom of a public latrine in Uganda.

    Pussy John, an Ivy flower (Yale) wrote in a reunion books that, during the 1969 Vietnam War draft lottery, "I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. I considered the war in Vietnam already lost." In an interview, Bolton explained that he decided to avoid service in Vietnam because "by the time I was about to graduate in 1970, it was clear to me that opponents of the Vietnam War had made it certain we could not prevail, and that I had no great interest in going there to have Teddy Kennedy give it back to the people I might die to take it away from."

    This same Pussy John, unwilling to risk his valuable being in a war he could have attended, now wants war with Iran, Venezuela, Russia, Syria, and Afghanistan. In these wars millions would die while he waggled his silly lip broom in the West Wing. His truculence is pathological and dangerous.

    Here is PJ on Iran: which has not harmed and does not threaten America: "We think the government is under real pressure and it's our intention to squeeze them very hard," Bolton said Tuesday in Singapore. "As the British say, 'squeeze them until the pips squeak'."

    How very brave of him. He apparently feels sadistic delight at starving Venezuelans, inciting civil war, and ruining the lives of millions who have done nothing wrong. Whence the weird hostility of this empty jockstrap, the lack of humanity? Forgot his Midiol? Venezuela of course has done nothing to the US and couldn't if it wanted to. America under the Freak Show is destroying another country simply because it doesn't meekly obey. While PJ gloats.

    Bush II

    Another rich kid and Yalie, none too bright, amoral as the rest, another draft dodger, (he hid in the Air National Guard.) who got to the White House on daddy's name recognition. Not having the balls to fight in his own war, he presided over the destruction of Iraq and the killing of hundreds of thousands, for no reason. (Except oil, Israel, and Empire. Collectively, these amount to no reason.) He then had the effrontery to pose on the deck of an aircraft carrier and say, "Mission accomplished." You know, just like Alexander the Great. Amoral. No empathy. What a man.

    The striking pattern of the Ivy League avoiding the war confirmed then, as it does now, that our present rulers regard the rest of America as beings of a lower order. These armchair John Waynes might have called them "deplorables," though Hillary, another Yalie bowwow hawk, had not yet made the contempt explicit. This was the attitude of Pussy John, Bushy-Bushy Two, and Cockatoo Don. Compare this with the Falklands War in which Prince Andrew did what a country's leadership should do, but ours doesn't..

    Wikipedia: "He (Prince Andrew) holds the rank of commander and the honorary rank of Vice Admiral (as of February 2015) in the Royal Navy, in which he served as an active-duty helicopter pilot and instructor and as the captain of a warship. He saw active service during the Falklands War, flying on multiple missions including anti-surface warfare, Exocet missile decoy, and casualty evacuation"

    The Brits still have class. Compare Andrew with the contents of the Great Double-Wide on Pennsylvania Avernus.

    Gina

    A measure of the moral degradation of America: It is the only country that openly and proudly engages in torture. Many countries do it, of course. We admit it, and maintain torture prisons around the globe. Now we have a major government official, Gina Haspel, head of the CIA, a known sadist. "Bloody Gina." Is this who represents us? Would any other country in the civilized world put a sadist publicly in office?

    Think of Gina waterboarding some guy, or standing around and getting off on it. You don't torture people unless you like it. The guy is tied down, coughing, choking, screaming, begging, desperate, drowning, and Gina pours more water. The poor bastard vomits, chokes. Gina adds a little more water .

    What kind of woman would do this? Well, Gina's kind obviously. Does she then run off to her office and lock the door for half an hour? Maybe it starts early. One imagines her as a little girl, playing with her dolls. Cheerleader Barbie, Nurse Barbie, Klaus Barbie .

    Michael Pompeo

    Another pathologically aggressive chickenhawk. In a piece in Foreign Affairs he describes Iran as a "rogue state that America must eliminate for the sake of all that is good. Note that Pompeo presides over a foreign policy seeking to destroy Venezuela's economy and threatens military invasion, though Venezuela is no danger to the US and is not America's business; embargoes Cuba, which in no danger to the US and is not America's business; seeks to destroy Iran's economy, though Iran is no danger to the US and none of Americas business; sanctions Europe and meddles in its politics; sanctions Russia, which is not a danger to the United States, in an attempt to destroy its economy, pushes NATO up to Russia's borders, abandons the INF arms-control treaty and establishes a Space Command which will mean nuclear weapons on hair trigger in orbit, starts another nuclear arms race; wages a trade war against China intended to prevent its economic progress; sanctions North Korea; continues a seventeen-year policy of killing Afghans for no discernible purpose; wages a war against Syria; bombs Somalis; maintains unwanted occupation forces in Iraq; increasingly puts military forces in Africa; supports regimes with ghastly human-rights records such as Saudi Arabia and Israel; and looks for a war with China in the South China Sea, which is no more America's business than the Gulf of Mexico is China's.

    But Pompeo is not a loon, oh no, and America is not a rogue state. Perish forfend.

    Nikki Haley

    A negligible twit -- I choose my vowel carefully -- but characterized, like Trump, PJ, and Pompeo Mattis

    "After being promoted to lieutenant general, Mattis took command of Marine Corps Combat Development Command. On February 1, 2005, speaking at a forum in San Diego, he said "You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them. Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right upfront with you, I like brawling."

    Perhaps in air-to-air combat you want someone who regards killing as fun, or in an amphibious assault. But in a position to make policy? Can you image Dwight Eisenhower talking about the fun of squaring a man's brains across the ground?

    The Upshot

    We have until recently never had government as aggressive, reckless, or psychiatrically fascinating as now. Again, it is not a matter of Republicans and Democrats. No administration of any party, stripe, or ideology has ever pushed to aggressively toward war with so many countries. These people are not right in the head.


    Gene Su , says: February 8, 2019 at 3:07 am GMT

    I remember in high school one of my teachers stating how weird it seems that it would be the leadership of the US military who would call for the American government to intervene less in the affairs of other countries and to not be so quick to use military force. This was, of course, decades ago.

    A few years ago, I had a conversation with one of my colleages. He remarked how scary it was that so many American politicians were calling for war with Russia (with Hillary Clinton leading the pack?). I remarked how it seemed so strange that many of these hawks never fought in a war even when they had ample opportunity in their youth (Vietnam).

    animalogic , says: February 8, 2019 at 8:05 am GMT
    Fred is absolutely correct: the current administration is pathological & insane.

    However, it's worth remembering that their insane behavior is based on the same Imperial goals that have been in play since at least 1945.

    The crazy irresponsibility of Trump's foreign policy is entirely counter productive & inexcusable, however it's symptomatic of a slowly swelling sense of unconscious desperation. The reality, the feeling of unconstrained power the US experienced in the 90's & naughties has gone. The US has slowly woken to the nightmare possibility of real peer competitors.

    China & Russia are real novelties -- & as such, damn scary. Taken together, they are near equal military & economic rivals of the US.

    To US elites this is almost incomprehensible. How ? How did China suddenly become leaders in cutting edge tech? How did Russia suddenly appear with hypersonsic missiles ?

    It's impossible ! Given the already existing moral & psychological inadequacies of individual Trump team members, insanity & juvenile behavior are fairly predictable responses .

    MikeatMikedotMike , says: February 8, 2019 at 7:20 pm GMT
    The fact that you left Bill Clinton off this list (you know, the president that fired Tomahawk missiles into the country of Sudan to take attention away from the Lewinsky hearings, sexually assaulted subordinate women for decades, and spent time banging underage sex slaves via the Lolita Express, pardons a bunch of Puerto Rican terrorists in 2000 to help swing PR votes to his bag of shit wife in the New York Senate race and was, oh yeah, a draft dodger) is pathetic even for you , Kiko. I guess NAFTA makes up for all that rapey shit, huh?

    And when can we expect a detailed critique of the Mexican political climate, Kiko? Is it still never? A little too worried about that knock on the door if you bring up all the inconvenient murder going on down there, and all of the gutless politicians and law enforcement that turn a blind eye to it, you insufferable hypocrite?

    Reactionary Utopian , says: February 8, 2019 at 10:31 pm GMT

    No administration of any party, stripe, or ideology has ever pushed to aggressively toward war with so many countries. These people are not right in the head.

    Now there, I will certainly agree with Mr. Reed, but in a qualified way. The Trump administration is somewhat more warlike and interventionist in its talk than previous ones have been. But, so far, all talk (except for its repudiation of the Iran nuclear deal, which is ominous).

    Also, even in terms of the bellicose hot air, the current regime's increase over its predecessors is a matter of degree, not of kind. Even the increase itself I'd call incremental.

    Also, I wrote, "So far, all talk." That doesn't mean I'm not concerned. As the man who jumped off a skyscraper said, when passing the 2nd floor, "All right so far!"

    Truth , says: February 9, 2019 at 1:28 am GMT
    @NoseytheDuke My friend, I understand what you are saying, but at some point the wise man stops playing checkers on the chessboard.

    There is, functionally, no difference between The Donna and Cackles.

    riversedge , says: February 9, 2019 at 1:43 am GMT
    So what's the difference between Trump's neocons and the neocons who would have run Hillary? Nothing. There is no one more chicken hawkish, and slavish to Israel than Hillary.
    Asagirian , says: February 9, 2019 at 2:11 am GMT
    Until Bush II, those governing were never lunatics. Eisenhower, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Obama, Clinton had their defects,

    Obama came AFTER Bush II and continued his Zionist-supremacist policies.

    Asagirian , says: February 9, 2019 at 2:14 am GMT
    Give Trump some credit. He tried to ease ties with Russia and end war in Syria. But look how the Jewish supremacists in media and Deep State goons all jumped on him. And almost no one in the Establishment came to his side.

    Obama and his goons pushed the Russia Collusion Hoax. Obama and Bush II have more in common.

    Trump tried but he's seen turned pussy.

    ThreeCranes , says: February 9, 2019 at 3:15 pm GMT
    @Sean wages a trade war against China intended to prevent its economic progress

    "About time too. Nixon deciding the US would getting pally with China was a hostile act as far as Russia was concerned."

    Exactly right. Glad someone else remembers things as they were. Getting pally with China will turn out to be the most disastrous mistake the USA has ever made in foreign policy.

    Arrogantly thinking that we could make them our junior partners we have given or sold them everything which made us great. Our industries, technology, patents, education at premier research institutions etc. Now, utilizing everything we provided them, they will surpass and then suppress us. Meanwhile our ignorant politicians, blinded by traitorous, dual-citizen economists and bankers who promised a new economy based upon finance and "information", plod along, single file, to oblivion.

    KenH , says: February 9, 2019 at 9:50 pm GMT

    Start with the head cheese, Donald Trump, profoundly ignorant, narcissistic, a real-estate con man who danced just out of reach of the law. His supporters will explode in fury at this.

    Most of us knew that Trump is a flawed man but were willing to overlook that because he was the only one talking sense on immigration and offering solutions that would benefit white America. Of course, after two years Trump has been all tweet and little action on immigration and appears poised to sell out out to Javanka, Sheldon Adelson, the Koch brothers and the Business Roundtable.

    He's narcissistic and a bit of a con man but not profoundly ignorant. Profoundly ignorant people don't become billionaires and will themselves to the presidency.

    Trump has done a 180 on his campaign foreign policy and filled his administration with Israel first neocon retreads from the George W. Bush era instead of America firsters. People like Bolton deserve all the hate and condemnation heaped upon them by Fredrico.

    Fredrico just hates Trump because he doesn't worship Mexico and Mexicans like Fredrico does and spoke the truth about many Mexican illegals being predisposed to violent crime. Fredrico and his hispandering Bobbsey twin Ron Unz get easily triggered at the slightest criticism of hispanics, even if based in fact, and fly into a foaming at the mouth rage.

    Carroll Price , says: February 10, 2019 at 1:29 am GMT
    @KenH The first priority of any president is staying alive, which probably explains why every US president, including Donald Trump ends up doing the exact opposite of what they promise on the campaign trail. As to Trump's neocon advisors, I suspect they were appointed by the deep state, with him having no say in the matter.

    [Feb 04, 2019] Haley resorts to a good, tried way of Us politicians to sell themselves to money interests.

    Notable quotes:
    "... The nuttiest member of the Trump administration is UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. Her latest neo-nazi stunt was to join protestors last week calling for the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Venezuela. She grabbed a megaphone at a tiny New York rally and told the few "protesters" (organized by our CIA) to say the USA is working to overthrow their President. This was so bizarre that our corporate media refused to report it. ..."
    Feb 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

    renfro , says: January 30, 2019 at 11:41 pm GMT

    @Carlton Meyer

    The nuttiest member of the Trump administration is UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. Her latest neo-nazi stunt was to join protestors last week calling for the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Venezuela. She grabbed a megaphone at a tiny New York rally and told the few "protesters" (organized by our CIA) to say the USA is working to overthrow their President. This was so bizarre that our corporate media refused to report it.

    She's being paid no doubt by the usual suspects. She is personally 1 million in debt and has signed with a Speakers agency to give speeches for 200,000 a pop.

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV)

    "Haley is currently quoting $200,000 and the use of a private jet for domestic speaking engagements, according to CNBC
    In October 2018, when Haley resigned, she said, she would be taking a "step up" into the private sector after leaving the U.N. According to a public financial disclosure report based on 2017 data, at the rate quoted for her engagements, just a handful would pay down more than $1 million in outstanding debt that was accrued during her 14 years

    [Jan 30, 2019] Just one more to a long list of Trump appointments. I believe Trump is some kind of pervert, like the ones that like to get whipped, only Trump likes to get stabbed in the back

    Jan 30, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

    XXX

    Just one more to a long list of Trump appointments. I believe Trump is some kind of pervert, like the ones that like to get whipped, only Trump likes to get stabbed in the back. XXX , 34 minutes ago

    He does what Sheldon and Bibi tell him.

    You think you're so ******* smart, but this some how eludes you?

    YYY, 3 hours ago (Edited)

    Donald Trump's House of Cons, Clowns, Crappolas, Criminals, and Conspirators:

    1. Mike Pence
    2. Mike Pompeo
    3. Steven Mnuchin
    4. John Bolton
    5. Elliot Abrams
    6. Nikki Haley
    7. Gina Haspel
    8. Peter Navarro
    9. Wilbur Ross
    10. Kirstjen Nielsen
    11. Robert Lighthizer
    12. Dan Coats

    [Jan 19, 2019] Welcome to the rabbit hole

    Jan 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Jackrabbit , Jan 19, 2019 10:25:14 PM | link

    bevin @48

    Yes. Not an "insurance policy" for overturning the election. But I'd say that how they used the dossier was exactly how they intended to use it:

    • - to get wiretaps from the FISA court;
    • - to poison Trump campaign media relations;
    • - to justify a cloud of suspicion (17 intelligence agencies agree!) over the Trump Administration that prompts a special council investigation after Trump fires Comey.
    But there is a more basic problem with your analysis: You think personalities matter. You think it is absurd that the establishment would choose Trump as President over Hillary. That is their firewall. What you and millions of others think is impossible is a lever for manipulation/psyop. Constitutional lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama can be nothing but good! Western democracies are trustworthy! Well funded humanitarian organizations working in a war zone are heros! Etc.

    (Repeating:) MAGA is a Deep State/establishment POLICY CHOICE as much as it is Trump's campaign slogan. A populist nationalist is exactly what they wanted to lead the Empire (just as a populist socialist was what was wanted when Obama was elected.) Trump "unlikely" win was conveniently pinned on the Russians and Wikileaks.

    How else does one explain Trump's Deep State/establishment nominations that further the agenda of people that are supposedly against Trump:

    • VP Pence Besties with McCain
    • John Bolton Most neocons are 'Never Trump' (or pretend to be)
    • Gina Haspel Brennan's acolyte
    • William Barr Long time friend of Bushes, Mueller, and Comey (Comey is Mueller's pal)
    Welcome to the rabbit hole.

    [Jan 09, 2019] Mattis One More General For The Self-Licking Ice Cream Cone

    Jan 09, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

    Mattis: One More General For The "Self-Licking Ice Cream Cone"

    by Tyler Durden Wed, 01/09/2019 - 21:55 20 SHARES Authored by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos via The American Conservative,

    Big brass and government executives play both sides of the military revolving door, including "the only adult in the room."

    Before he became lionized as the "only adult in the room" capable of standing up to President Trump, General James Mattis was quite like any other brass scoping out a lucrative second career in the defense industry. And as with other military giants parlaying their four stars into a cushy boardroom chair or executive suite, he pushed and defended a sub-par product while on both sides of the revolving door. Unfortunately for everyone involved, that contract turned out to be an expensive fraud and a potential health hazard to the troops.

    According to a recent report by the Project on Government Oversight, 25 generals, nine admirals, 43 lieutenant generals, and 23 vice admirals retired to become lobbyists, board members, executives, or consultants for the defense industry between 2008 and 2018. They are part of a much larger group of 380 high-ranking government officials and congressional staff who shifted into the industry in that time.

    To get a sense of the demand, according to POGO, which had to compile all of this information through Freedom of Information requests, there were 625 instances in 2018 alone in which the top 20 defense contractors (think Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin) hired senior DoD officials for high-paying jobs -- 90 percent of which could be described as "influence peddling."

    Back to Mattis. In 2012, while he was head of Central Command, the Marine General pressed the Army to procure and deploy blood testing equipment from a Silicon Valley company called Theranos. He communicated that he was having success with this effort directly to Theranos's chief executive officer. Even though an Army health unit tried to terminate the contract due to it's not meeting requirements, according to POGO, Mattis kept the pressure up. Luckily, it was never used on the battlefield.

    Maybe it shouldn't be a surprise but upon retirement in 2013, Mattis asked a DoD counsel about the ethics guiding future employment with Theranos. They advised against it. So Mattis went to serve on its board instead for a $100,000 salary. Two years after Mattis quit to serve as Trump's Pentagon chief in 2016, the two Theranos executives he worked with were indicted for "massive" fraud , perpetuating a "multi-million dollar scheme to defraud investors, doctors and patients," and misrepresenting their product entirely. It was a fake.

    But assuming this was Mattis's only foray into the private sector would be naive. When he was tapped for defense secretary -- just three years after he left the military -- he was worth upwards of $10 million . In addition to his retirement pay, which was close to $15,000 a month at the time, he received $242,000 as a board member, plus as much as $1.2 million in stock options in General Dynamics, the Pentagon's fourth largest contractor. He also disclosed payments from other corporate boards, speech honorariums -- including $20,000 from defense heavyweight Northrop Grumman -- and a whopping $410,000 from Stanford University's public policy think tank the Hoover Institution for serving as a "distinguished visiting fellow."

    Never for a moment think that Mattis won't land softly after he leaves Washington -- if he leaves at all. Given his past record, he will likely follow a very long line, as illustrated by POGO's explosive report, of DoD officials who have used their positions while inside the government to represent the biggest recipients of federal funding on the outside. They then join ex-congressional staffers and lawmakers on powerful committees who grease the skids on Capitol Hill. And then they go to work for the very companies they've helped, fleshing out a small army of executives, lobbyists, and board members with direct access to the power brokers with the purse strings back on the inside.

    Welcome to the Swamp

    "[Mattis's' career course] is emblematic of how systemic the problem is," said Mandy Smithberger, POGO's lead on the report and the director of its Center for Defense Information.

    "Private companies know how to protect their interests. We just wish there were more protections for taxpayers."

    When everything is engineered to get more business for the same select few, "when you have a Department of Defense who sees it as their job to promote arms sales does this really serve the interest of national security?"

    That is something to chew on. If a system is so motivated by personal gain (civil servants always mindful of campaign contributions and private sector job prospects) on one hand, and big business profits on the other, is there room for merit or innovation? One need only look at Lockheed's F-35 joint strike fighter, the most expensive weapon system in history, which was relentlessly promoted over other programs by members of Congress and within the Pentagon despite years of test failures and cost overruns , to see what this gets you: planes that don't fly, weapons that don't work, and shortfalls in other parts of the budget that don't matter to contractors like pilot training and maintenance of existing systems.

    "It comes down to two questions," Smithberger noted in an interview with TAC.

    " Are we approving weapons systems that are safe or not? And are we putting [servicemembers'] lives on the line" to benefit the interests of industry?

    All of this is legal, she points out. Sure, there are rules -- "cooling off" periods before government officials and members of Congress can lobby, consult, or work on contracts after they leave their federal positions, or when industry people come in through the other side to take positions in government. But Smithberger said they are "riddled with loopholes" and lack of enforcement.

    Case in point: current acting DoD Secretary Patrick Shanahan spent 31 years working for Boeing , which gets about $24 billion a year as the Pentagon's second largest contractor. He was Boeing's senior vice president in 2016 just before he was confirmed as Trump's deputy secretary of defense in 2017. Last week he recused himself from all matters Boeing, but he wasn't always so hands off. At one point, he "prodded" for the purchase of 12 $1.2 billion Boeing F-15X fighter planes, according to Bloomberg.

    But the revolving door is so much more pervasive and insidious than POGO could possibly catalogue. So says Franklin "Chuck" Spinney , who worked as a civilian and military officer in the Pentagon for 31 years, beginning in 1968. He calls the military industrial complex a "quasi-isolated political economy" that is in many ways independent from the larger domestic economy. It has its own rules, norms, and culture, and unlike the real world, it is self-sustaining -- not by healthy competition and efficiency, but by keeping the system on a permanent war footing, with money always pumping from Capitol Hill to the Pentagon to the private sector and then back again. Left out are basic laws of supply and demand, geopolitical realities, and the greater interest of society.

    "That's why we call it a self-licking ice cream cone," Spinney explained to TAC.

    " [This report] is just the tip of the iceberg. There's a lot more subtle stuff going on. When you are in weapons development like I was at the beginning of my career, you learn about this on day one, that having cozy relationships with contractors is openly encouraged. And then you get desensitized. I was fortunate because I worked for people who did not like it and I caught on quickly."

    While the culture has evolved, basic realities have persisted since the massive build-up of the military and weapons systems during the Cold War. The odds of young officers in the Pentagon making colonel or higher are slim. They typically retire out in their 40s. They know implicitly that their best chance for having a well-paid second career is in the only industry they know -- defense. Most take this calculation seriously, moderating their decisions on program work and procurement and communicating with members of Congress as a matter of course.

    " Let's just say there's a problem [with a program]. Are you going to come down hard on a contractor and try to hold his feet to the fire? Are you going to risk getting blackballed when you are out there looking for a job ? Sometimes there is no word communicated, you just don't want to be unacceptable to anyone," said Spinney. It's ingrained, from the rank of lieutenant colonel all the way up to general.

    So the top five and their subsidiaries continue to get the vast majority of work, usually in no-bid contracts ($100 billion worth in 2016 alone) , and with cost-plus structures that critics say encourage waste and never-ending timetables, like the $1.5 trillion F-35. "The whole system is wired to get money out the door," said Spinney. "That is where the revolving door is most pernicious. It's everywhere."

    The real danger is that under this pressure, parties work to keep bad contracts alive even if they have to cook the books. "Essentially from the standpoint of Pentagon contracting you are not going to have people writing reports saying this product is a piece of shit," said Spinney. Worse, evaluations are designed to deflect criticism if not oversell success in order to keep the spigot open. The most infamous example of this was the rigged tests that kept the ill-fated "Star Wars" missile defense program going in the 1980s.

    * * *

    Everyone talks about generals like Mattis as though they're warrior-gods. But for decades, many of them have turned out to be different creatures altogether - creatures of a semi-independent ecosystem that operates outside of the normal rules and benefits only a powerful minority subset: the military elite, defense contractors, and Congress. More recently, the defense-funded think tank world has become part of this ecology, providing the ideological grist for more spending and serving as a way-station for operators moving in and out of government and industry.

    Call it the Swamp, the Borg, or even the Blob, but attempting to measure or quantify the revolving door in the military-industrial complex can feel like a fool's errand. Groups like POGO have attempted to shine light on this dark planet for years. Unfortunately, there is little incentive in Capitol Hill or at the Pentagon to do the very least: pull the purse strings, close loopholes, encourage real competition, and end cost-plus practices.

    "We generally need to see more (political) championing on this issue," Smithberger said. Until then, all outside efforts "can't result in any meaningful change."


    Son of Captain Nemo , 4 minutes ago link

    So tell me again how "Mad Pedo" evaded Obama's axing of all the non-compliant General(s) and Admiral(s) in charge of the U.S. strategic command?!!!

    Answered my own question. He's like the rest of them since the Balkans that just does counter insurgencies!...

    "SUCCESS" in every direction on the weather vane you look!!!

    Or... Another way of saying it.

    How to build your successful U.S. military career turning $8 trillion in unfunded liability debt into $200 trillion in unfunded liability debt in less than 20 years!

    Who wants to line up for that 'self help book"?!!!

    MusicIsYou , 9 minutes ago link

    Mattis is just another self serving cockroach in a U.S uniform.

    __name___3O4jF">Realname Wild tree , 31 minutes ago link

    It has nothing to do with the defense of our nation, or the unnecessary spilling of the blood of our nation.

    It has everything to do with greed at the expense of our youths blood and the nations security. Follow the money.

    As the light of truth shines as this article illustrates, the cockroaches scurry. Rumsfield's DoD 2 trillion missing comment the day before 9/11 comes to mind. Wonder how he knew.......

    Wild tree , 31 minutes ago link

    It has nothing to do with the defense of our nation, or the unnecessary spilling of the blood of our nation.

    It has everything to do with greed at the expense of our youths blood and the nations security. Follow the money.

    As the light of truth shines as this article illustrates, the cockroaches scurry. Rumsfield's DoD 2 trillion missing comment the day before 9/11 comes to mind. Wonder how he knew.......

    hotrod , 39 minutes ago link

    All this corruption in so nauseating. Yet Americans do nothing

    peippe , 39 minutes ago link

    These generals have been in the military a long time.

    Not long enough to remember winning a real war....

    Mr. Kwikky , 25 minutes ago link

    It was and is never about winning, but keeping the US in perpetual war state (report from iron moutain). Cui bono? the mic

    [Jan 05, 2019] Are Trump's senior people going rogue?

    Numerous MSM articles appear about Trump's standing up to the Generals: Mattis, Kelly, Dunford, etc. Yet Bolton feels free to conspire against the President's agenda? The narrative that Trump is fighting for his campaign promises, but allows Bolton and Pompeo to scheme against him does not make any sense.
    A more realistic take is that rump is a faux populist. He is the Republican Obama - pretending to be a populist peacemaker while working for the establishment. The "populist hero" is a gimmick that reinforces people's belief in USA democracy and the righteousness of USA actions. The Trump/Deep-State conflict is a propaganda psy-op.
    The major inconsistency here is why the Deep State is hell bent of deposing him. Is The Trump/Deep-State conflict is a propaganda psy-op? I do no not think so.
    Trump is certainly a 'faux populist' as all right wing populists are: promises to the people while promoting the interests of the 1%. But there is a genuine struggle going on within the ruling class due to the crisis of neoliberal governance. The world is a complex place and Washington's influence is declining. No surprise that parts of the US elite that got used to "full spectrum dominance" are panicking. And it is all real.
    Notable quotes:
    "... "The president's statement offered the latest illustration of the dramatic gyrations that have characterized his foreign policy and fueled questions about whether his senior advisers are implementing his policies or pursuing their own agendas." ..."
    "... Here we have the question asked, in effect: Are Trump's senior people going rogue? Does the master of spin Washington Post, by putting the question in a manner sympathetic to Trump and unsympathetic to Bolton and Pompeo, and by extension the hordes denouncing Trump's decision to reduce US involvement in Syria suggest a new orientation in the Mockingbird media? ..."
    Jan 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Robert Snefjella , Jan 5, 2019 10:21:56 PM | link

    The Washington Post article that b links to ("never signed off") has the headline " 'They can do what they want' Trump's Iran comments defy his top aids"

    The "They" in the quote in the headline is a reference to Iran in Syria. "President Trump stuck a dagger in a major initiative advanced by his foreign policy team:
    Iran's leaders, the president said, "can do what they want" in Syria.

    With a stray remark, Trump snuffed out a plan from his national security adviser, John Bolton, who this fall vowed that the United States would not leave Syria
    "as long as Iranian troops are outside Iranian borders." Pompeo has of course also obsessed over Iran.

    Now the next paragraph in the WP piece is I think quite remarkable: "The president's statement offered the latest illustration of the dramatic gyrations that have characterized his foreign policy and fueled questions about whether his senior advisers are implementing his policies or pursuing their own agendas."

    Here we have the question asked, in effect: Are Trump's senior people going rogue? Does the master of spin Washington Post, by putting the question in a manner sympathetic to Trump and unsympathetic to Bolton and Pompeo, and by extension the hordes denouncing Trump's decision to reduce US involvement in Syria suggest a new orientation in the Mockingbird media?

    Also note that acting Defense Sec Patrick Shanahan, who was injected immediately into his position when Trump gave Mattis the boot, is becoming part of the strategic scene.

    From the NYT: "He is the brightest and smartest guy I worked with at Boeing," said Carolyn Corvi, a former executive at the company. "He has the ability to see over the horizon and {implement needed change]."

    "Ana Mari Cauce, the president of University of Washington, worked with Mr. Shanahan .... She said his outsider perspective was helpful in questioning old practices, forcing people to look at problems in different ways."

    [Dec 29, 2018] Why Mattis' Exit Is A Defining Moment In US Foreign Policy

    Dec 29, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

    William Bowles , Dec 27, 2018 4:52:43 AM | link

    Why Mattis' Exit Is A Defining Moment In US Foreign Policy

    by M. K. BHADRAKUMAR

    An important analysis!

    https://orientalreview.org/2018/12/27/why-mattis-exit-is-a-defining-moment-in-us-foreign-policy/

    [Dec 28, 2018] Send Mad Dog James Mattis to the Corporate Kennel

    Notable quotes:
    "... Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer before working as a CIA analyst for the next 27 years. Ray admits to a modicum of bias against Marine officers, but not those with whom he worked back in the day. He is co-creator of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, which includes Marines who remember what Semper Fi means. ..."
    "... A case in point is when you hear members of congress criticize Trump decision to withdraw the US army personals from Syria and Afganistan. These members forget that the US army in Syria is in violation of international laws and US laws as well. ..."
    Dec 28, 2018 | www.mintpressnews.com

    utgoing Defense Secretary Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis was famous for quipping , "It's fun to shoot some people." It remains a supreme irony that Mattis was widely considered the only "adult in the room" in the Trump administration. Compared to whom? John Bolton, the rabid neocon serving as national security adviser? That would be the epitome of "condemning with faint praise."

    With his ramrod-straight image, not to mention his warrior/scholar reputation extolled in the media, Mattis was able to disguise the reality that he was, as Col. Andrew Bacevich put it on Democracy Now! this morning, "totally unimaginative." Meaning that Mattis was simply incapable of acknowledging the self-destructive, mindless nature of U.S. "endless war" in the Middle East, which candidate-Trump had correctly called "stupid." In his resignation letter, Mattis also peddled the usual cant about the indispensable nation's aggression being good for the world.

    Mattis was an obstacle to Trump's desire to pull troops out of Syria and Afghanistan (and remains in position to spike Trump's orders). Granted, the abrupt way Trump announced his apparently one-man decision was equally stupid. But the withdrawal of ground troops is supremely sane, and Mattis was and is a large problem. And, for good or ill, Trump -- not Mattis -- was elected president.

    Marine Wisdom

    Historically, Marines are the last place to turn for sound advice. Marine Gen. Smedley Butler (1881-1940), twice winner of the Medal of Honor, was brutally candid about this after he paused long enough to realize, and write, "War is a Racket":

    I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all members of the military profession I never had an original thought until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of the higher- ups. "

    Shortly after another Marine general, former CENTCOM commander Anthony Zinni, retired, he stood by silently as he personally watched then-Vice President Dick Cheney give his most important speech ever (on August 26, 2002). Cheney blatantly lied about Iraq's (non-existent) WMD, in order to grease the skids for the war of aggression against Iraq. Zinni had kept his clearances and was "back on contract." He was well read-in on Iraq, and knew immediately that Cheney was lying.

    A few years later, Zinni admitted that he decided that his lips would be sealed. Far be it for a Marine to play skunk at the picnic. And, after all, he was being honored that day at the same Veterans of Foreign Wars convention where Cheney spoke. As seems clear now, Zinni was also lusting after the lucrative spoils of war given to erstwhile generals who offer themselves for membership on the corporate Boards of the arms makers/merchants that profiteer on war.

    (For an earlier critique of senior Marines, see: "Attacking Syria: Thumbing Noses at Constitution and Law." )

    Marine officer, now Sen. Pat Roberts, R, Kansas, merits "dishonorable mention" in this connection. He never rose to general but did become Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee at an auspicious time for Cheney and Bush. Roberts kowtowed, like a "good Marine," to their crass deceit, when a dollop of honesty on his part could have prevented the 2003 attack on Iraq and the killing, maiming, destruction, and chaos that continues to this day. Roberts knew all about the fraudulent intelligence and covered it up -- together with other lies -- for as long as he remained Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman

    Scott Ritter on Pat Roberts

    Roberts's unconscionable dereliction of duty enraged one honest Marine, Maj. Scott Ritter, who believes "Semper Fi" includes an obligation to tell the truth on matters of war and peace. Ritter, former UN chief weapons inspector for Iraq, who in April 2005 wrote, "Semper Fraud, Senator Roberts," based partly on his own experience with that complicit Marine.

    Needless to say, higher ranking, more malleable Marines aped Zinni in impersonating Uncle Remus's Tar Baby -- not saying nuttin'.

    It is conceivable that yet another sharply-saluting Marine, departing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford, may be tapped by Trump to take Mattis's job. If that happens, it will add to President Trump's bizarre penchant for picking advisers hell-bent on frustrating the objectives he espoused when he was running for office, some of which -- it is becoming quite clear -- he genuinely wants to achieve.

    Trump ought to unleash Mattis now, and make sure Mattis keeps his distance from the Pentagon and the Military-Industrial Complex before he is asked to lead an insurrection against a highly vulnerable president -- as Gen. Smedley Butler was asked to do back in the day. Butler said no.

    Top Photo | U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, sits on stage during a change of command ceremony at the U.S. Southern Command headquarters on Nov. 26, 2018, in Doral, Fla. Brynn Anderson | AP

    Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer before working as a CIA analyst for the next 27 years. Ray admits to a modicum of bias against Marine officers, but not those with whom he worked back in the day. He is co-creator of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, which includes Marines who remember what Semper Fi means.

    Mahmoud HAm 4 days ago ,

    I am not so much surprised that military generals keep their mouths shot rather than tell the truth when the truth is needed to avoid wars. But worse is that the US congress which are supposed to overlook over the government misbehavior to make the government abide by the laws and protect the interests of the people against government wrongs.

    A case in point is when you hear members of congress criticize Trump decision to withdraw the US army personals from Syria and Afganistan. These members forget that the US army in Syria is in violation of international laws and US laws as well.

    The congress are supposed the authority to declare war but the US is engaged in multiple wars without US Congress authorization. Worse off these idiots want to force the Trump administration to keep its illegal wars going on? What is the role of the congress??? To correct and force the Administration to abide by the rule of laws of the force them to keep violating international laws and US laws as well????

    Felix Hoenikker 5 days ago ,

    Trump's bizarre penchant for picking advisers hell-bent on frustrating the objectives he espoused when he was running for office

    It's bizarre that he's hired so many Bill Kristol approved neocons when they abandoned him for Hillary in 2016. Or not so bizarre when one remembers what Russ Tice said about Cheney using the NSA to get blackmail dirt. Now they've lost control, so it will be interesting to see how they try to regain it.

    [Dec 24, 2018] Mattis Resigns

    Notable quotes:
    "... The Defense Department under Mattis became more opaque and less accountable to the public and Congress. He presided over two years of shameful support for the Saudi coalition war on Yemen, and he went out of his way to offer absurd justifications for continued U.S. support for the war to the end of his tenure. ..."
    "... No less than Secretary Pompeo, Mattis discredited himself in the desperate, unsuccessful effort to derail S.J.Res. 54. An administration that fights as hard as this has to keep the war on Yemen going is definitely not one interested in peace and restraint no matter what else happens. ..."
    Dec 24, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    Secretary Mattis has resigned :

    Officials said Mr. Mattis went to the White House on Thursday afternoon with his resignation letter already written, but nonetheless made a last attempt at persuading Mr. Trump to reverse his decision about Syria, which the president announced on Wednesday over the objections of his senior advisers.

    Mr. Mattis, a retired four-star Marine general, was rebuffed. Returning to the Pentagon, he asked aides to print out 50 copies of his resignation letter and distribute them around the building.

    Mattis' departure from the administration after the midterms had been floated as a possibility for months, but I don't think anyone seriously expected him to resign suddenly over a policy disagreement with the president. It is telling and not to Mattis' credit that ending an illegal war in Syria was the one policy disagreement with Trump that Mattis couldn't stomach. The Defense Secretary had repeatedly disagreed with Trump on a range of issues, and he usually lost the internal debate. The only times that he prevailed with Trump were when he advised him to escalate ongoing U.S. wars, and his influence had waned enough that he couldn't get his way on that, either. I was extremely skeptical that a Syria withdrawal would actually happen. Now that Mattis has tried and failed to reverse that decision, I have to acknowledge that I overestimated the ability of Trump's advisers to change his mind.

    The Defense Department under Mattis became more opaque and less accountable to the public and Congress. He presided over two years of shameful support for the Saudi coalition war on Yemen, and he went out of his way to offer absurd justifications for continued U.S. support for the war to the end of his tenure. The disagreement over Syria will dominate coverage of Mattis' resignation, but it is important to remember that when it came to the most indefensible U.S.-backed war he and Trump were always on the same page. No less than Secretary Pompeo, Mattis discredited himself in the desperate, unsuccessful effort to derail S.J.Res. 54. An administration that fights as hard as this has to keep the war on Yemen going is definitely not one interested in peace and restraint no matter what else happens.

    As wrong as Mattis was on a number of foreign policy issues, there is a real danger that his successor could be far worse. Even if Trump doesn't nominate a Tom Cotton or Lindsey Graham, the next Defense Secretary is very likely to be a yes-man in the mold of Mike Pompeo. Almost every time that Trump has replaced his top national security officials, he has chosen someone who will flatter and praise him instead of telling him the truth and giving him the best advice.

    The next Defense Secretary is less likely to resist Trump's belligerent tendencies, and he is more likely to indulge the president's worst impulses. Just as Pompeo has proven to be a worse Secretary of State than Tillerson, Mattis' successor will very likely prove to be an inferior Secretary of Defense.

    about:blank


    Robert December 20, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    How about Rand Paul as SecDef?
    Farewells , says: December 21, 2018 at 12:46 am
    You're right to fear what may replace him, especially after the disgusting Pompeo replaced the decent but ineffectual Tillerson, but I'm glad Mattis is gone, especially if he quit over the Syria decision, a no-brainer which should have been made two years ago.

    It's hard to imagine anyone being worse than he was. Sadly, we may not have to imagine it.

    another take , says: December 21, 2018 at 1:54 am
    There's also the danger that the elites and establishment will now escalate their efforts to remove him from office.

    I've disagreed with Trump about many things, and I don't like the man, but I still trust him more than the corrupt incompetents and foreign agents who dragged us into these Middle East hellholes.

    That is the terrible and ongoing damage that must be stopped.

    But now that Trump has made a move in the direction of winding it down, you will almost certainly see the fury and resentment of the elites and establishment redoubled. From their point of view, the only thing worse than a Trump who doesn't keep his campaign promises is one who does.

    prodigalson , says: December 21, 2018 at 8:55 am
    I'm still happy to see him go. Someone with the handle of "Mad Dog" is perhaps not the best fit for national defense issues.

    Agree his replacement will likely be worse but such seems to be the case for hardening our pharoah's hearts.

    Christian Chuba , says: December 21, 2018 at 9:09 am
    His next appointee will be no better and more than likely worse, a crafty Neocon who will bite their tongue when they disagree with Trump in order to remain so that he can encourage his worst tendencies. Bolton is a stellar example of this.

    If he appoints someone like Cotton or Gen Jack Keane then Trump will be the last adult in the room.

    Alex (the one that likes Ike) , says: December 21, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    what this withdrawal means to the Kurds? Leaving them once again in the lurch?

    Perhaps ceasing to deceive them with impossible promises given by both the previous Democratic and the current Republican administrations?

    Sid Finster , says: December 21, 2018 at 1:51 pm
    My SWAG, and this is merely SWAG, is that, since his election, Trump has given the neocons everything they wanted or asked for, but he still is allowed any freedom of action.

    In spite of governing much like a garden variety Republican, his enemies are still looking for any excuse to remove him.

    This is Trump reminding his enemies that he can do lots of things to upset the apple cart, so cut him some slack, already.

    [Dec 24, 2018] What Is the Point of Pompeo's Cairo Speech by Daniel Larison

    Notable quotes:
    "... "Regional clients are happy to "stand with" the Trump administration so long as they aren't required to do very much" ..."
    "... Yes. And that tells you how much of a threat they think Iran really poses. ..."
    "... Their attitude is like this: "Well, if you want to threaten Iran in order to keep Israel and Saudi Arabia happy, go ahead. You can even attack Iran. We're okay with it. Just don't expect us to do any fighting, dying, or paying. And if you make a mess, don't expect us to help you clean it up. In fact, if you make a mess, we're going to jack up our foreign aid request. And we're not taking any of your goddamn refugees this time." ..."
    Dec 19, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
    Then-Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-KS, speaking at a rally in 2013. He faces a senate grilling for his secretary of state nomination today. Mark Taylor/Creative Commons Nahal Toosi reports on an upcoming Pompeo speech planned for his visit to Egypt next month:

    Pompeo's speech will likely focus heavily on Iran, as have many of his past public remarks. The chief U.S. diplomat is likely to try to rally Arab capitals to stand with the United States and thwart Iran's use of proxy forces, support for terrorism and other activities in the region.

    The Trump administration has made a regular habit of denouncing Iran in speeches by top officials, and the administration's Iran policy has no more international support today than it did a year ago. It's not clear what purpose another high-profile Iran-bashing session serves. The administration's talking points are tediously familiar by now, and Pompeo's brusque and overbearing manner is the opposite of persuasive.

    Regional clients are happy to "stand with" the Trump administration so long as they aren't required to do very much, and every attempt to get these clients to do more has so far produced no results. The administration's ill-conceived, so-called Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA) has stalled, thanks to the broader anti-Saudi backlash in Washington and the lack of interest on the part of many of its would-be members. The administration's Iran policy of regime change in all but name isn't working as planned and isn't going to work, and there is not much else for Pompeo to talk about that reflects well on the administration. He and the president have gone out of their way to thwart Congressional opposition to the war on Yemen, and they have bent over backwards to make excuses for Saudi crimes.

    Pompeo won't admit it in his speech, but the current U.S. role in the region is a destabilizing one that involves aiding and abetting war crimes and helping to cause mass starvation.

    about:blank

    they've seen it before December 19, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    "Regional clients are happy to "stand with" the Trump administration so long as they aren't required to do very much"

    Yes. And that tells you how much of a threat they think Iran really poses.

    Their attitude is like this: "Well, if you want to threaten Iran in order to keep Israel and Saudi Arabia happy, go ahead. You can even attack Iran. We're okay with it. Just don't expect us to do any fighting, dying, or paying. And if you make a mess, don't expect us to help you clean it up. In fact, if you make a mess, we're going to jack up our foreign aid request. And we're not taking any of your goddamn refugees this time."

    Zebesian , says: December 20, 2018 at 6:04 pm
    Pompeo wants another expensive, bloody war that will wreck another nation and result in more refugees...

    [Dec 23, 2018] Good riddance to James Mattis, Trump's last general

    Notable quotes:
    "... You want to know what those casualty numbers tell us? American forces in Syria, Afghanistan, or Iraq aren't going outside the wire – off American bases – very often. That's how you stay alive in places like Syria and Afghanistan. You stay away from places where things like IEDs can kill you. And even then, in the comparative safety of American bases, you're not safe, because there are enemy soldiers posing as "friendly" Afghan soldiers who will kill you. ..."
    "... This is the nature of the conflicts we're engaged in. You take thousands of American soldiers and send them thousands of miles away from home into combat zones in foreign lands, and you have them do as little as possible so not too many of them get killed. ..."
    "... It pains me to say this, but Trump pulling 2,000 soldiers out of Syria and 7,000 soldiers out of Afghanistan is the right thing to do. It might be getting done by a certifiable loon with an orange muskrat on his head, but it's the right thing to do and it should have been done a long time ago. ..."
    Dec 23, 2018 | www.salon.com

    ... ... ...

    The arm-waving and hand-flapping and pearl-clutching in the foreign affairs and national security "communities," not to mention in the Congress and among prominent Democrats, is something to behold. Significant portions of all those communities have long thought we didn't have any business being in Syria in the first place. Not to mention fighting our 17th year of the so-called "war" in Afghanistan, from which Trump intends to remove some 7,000 American troops...

    More than 2,400 American soldiers dead in Afghanistan so far. More than 30,000 Afghan civilians killed. Sixty percent of Afghan districts under control of the Taliban. Opium production at an "all-time high." Dozens, sometimes hundreds of Afghan soldiers killed every single week. You thought Vietnam was a misbegotten military misadventure? How about 17 years in Afghanistan with no end in sight? Hell, opium production was said to be at an "all-time high" when I was in the Kunar River Valley in Afghanistan in 2004. That's 14 years ago, 14 years of record-setting opium crops!

    And what are the pundits saying about our military foray into the morass called Syria? Listen to what I heard from one "expert" on MSNBC yesterday.

    "Syria is a very winnable proposition," this numbskull said, looking gravely at the other "experts" at the table. "The U.S. presence is actually very small numbers." Two thousand is the "very small number" this blazer-and-tie wearing "expert" was talking about as he reached for his "I'm a Pundit on the Katy Tur Show" cup and went on to blather about how "winnable" Syria is.

    Let me tell you what 2,000 soldiers is. It's about the size of a brigade, commanded by a full colonel. A brigade is typically three to five battalions of 500 to 1,000 soldiers, commanded by lieutenant colonels. Battalions are made up of three to five companies with around 200 soldiers, commanded by captains. Companies comprise three to four platoons of 40 to 100 soldiers, commanded by second lieutenants. So 2,000 soldiers is about 30 to 40 platoons of soldiers. I used to command a platoon. I was 22 years old. There were about 40 soldiers in my platoon. Let me tell you, taking care of 40 soldiers was a big fucking job, and we weren't even in combat.

    Taking care of 2,000 soldiers in a place like Syria with bullets flying and IEDs going off is a huge fucking job. Taking care of 14,000 soldiers, like we currently have in Afghanistan, or 7,000 which we'll have when Trump gets finished with his draw-down, is a massive fucking job.

    ... ... ...

    And now Trump's Last General's feelings are all hurt, because he wasn't consulted about pulling 2,000 troops out of Syria or 7,000 troops out of Afghanistan. What were those troops doing in Syria? We don't know, and I don't think Mattis had much of an idea what they were doing, either.

    We can get some idea what they're doing by the number of casualties American forces have suffered in both places. An American soldier was killed in Manbij, Syria, by a roadside bomb in March of this year. He was the fourth American killed in Syria since our forces entered the country in 2014. There have been 18 Americans killed in Afghanistan this year. Eleven were killed there last year. About half of those killed in Afghanistan have been so-called "green-on-green" killings, incidents where "friendly" Afghans killed American soldiers, usually on American bases.

    You want to know what those casualty numbers tell us? American forces in Syria, Afghanistan, or Iraq aren't going outside the wire – off American bases – very often. That's how you stay alive in places like Syria and Afghanistan. You stay away from places where things like IEDs can kill you. And even then, in the comparative safety of American bases, you're not safe, because there are enemy soldiers posing as "friendly" Afghan soldiers who will kill you.

    This is the nature of the conflicts we're engaged in. You take thousands of American soldiers and send them thousands of miles away from home into combat zones in foreign lands, and you have them do as little as possible so not too many of them get killed.

    It pains me to say this, but Trump pulling 2,000 soldiers out of Syria and 7,000 soldiers out of Afghanistan is the right thing to do. It might be getting done by a certifiable loon with an orange muskrat on his head, but it's the right thing to do and it should have been done a long time ago.

    Advertisement:

    All the talk you're hearing about how we've got to have American forces in this desert or that mountainous no-man's land as a "counterbalance" to countries like Russia and Iran is lip-flapping twaddle from the kind of "experts" who got us involved in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan in the first place. They are the same "experts" you didn't hear a peep from when Mattis stood loyally by Trump as he virtually capitulated to Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, trashed NATO every chance he got, and sat down for Nuclear Kimchi with Kim Jong Un. Now Mattis is all "maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies" in his resignation letter. Talk about a day late and a dollar short, he should call Angela Merkel and ask her how much "respect" she's felt from the United States lately.

    You want to know who can stop the resident of the adult day care center in the White House? It wasn't Adult in the Room General McMaster. It wasn't Adult in the Room General Kelly. It wasn't Adult in the Room General Mattis. And it's sure as hell not going to be somebody like Secretary of Defense Kushner, or whoever the hell Trump decides he's going to sentence to a padded cell on the E-Ring in the Pentagon next.

    Trump can be stopped by Congress. The Congress can cut the funding for our misbegotten misadventures in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. It can refuse to fund the laughable wall along our 1,900 mile border with Mexico that Trump apparently thinks 6,000 soldiers can guard in the meantime. And Congress can impeach and convict Trump's insane clown ass for conspiring with a foreign nation to defraud the United States of America. Congress can do all of this if Republicans will stop bowing down before the Orange Hair Helmet and start looking out for the United States of America.

    I told you before that Trump's generals wouldn't save us , and they sure as hell haven't, not even Mad Dog Mattis, who's now being lauded as the only thing standing between us and the total collapse of the Western World.

    Just between you and me, we'll wake up tomorrow morning, and even with The Last Adult in the Room on his way out the door, the Western World will still be here, and so will Trump. Trust me.


    Lucian K. Truscott IV

    Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist and screenwriter. He has covered stories such as Watergate, the Stonewall riots and wars in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels and several unsuccessful motion pictures. He has three children, lives on the East End of Long Island and spends his time Worrying About the State of Our Nation and madly scribbling in a so-far fruitless attempt to Make Things Better. He can be followed on Facebook at The Rabbit Hole and on Twitter @LucianKTruscott.

    [Dec 22, 2018] Fallout Of Trump's Syria Withdrawal - Why Erdogan Does Not Want To Invade

    Notable quotes:
    "... Defense Secretary James "Mad Dog" Mattis resigned from his position effective February 28. He disagreed with the president's decision. It was the second time in five years that an elected commander in chief had a serious conflict with Mattis' hawkishness. President Obama fired him as Central Command chief for urging a more aggressive Iran policy. Mattis is also extremely hawkish towards Russia and China. ..."
    "... Mattis is an ingrained imperialist. He always asked for more money for the military and for more meddling abroad. One of Mattis' little notice acts as Defense Secretary was a unannounced change in the mission of the Pentagon : ..."
    "... The Pentagon no longer "deters war" but provides "lethal force" to "sustain American influence abroad." There was no public nor congressional debate about the change. I doubt that President Trump agreed to it. Trump will now try to recruit a defense secretary that is more aligned with his own position. ..."
    "... Associated Press ..."
    "... Trump did not "capitulate". He always wanted to pull the U.S. troops out of Syria. He said so many times. When he was finally given a chance to do so, he grabbed the opportunity. Erdogan though, was not ready for that: ..."
    "... Erdogan had planned to only occupy a 10 miles deep strip along the Syrian-Turkish border. Some 15,000 Turkish controlled 'Syrian rebels' stand ready for that. He would need some 50-100,000 troops to occupy all of east Syria northward of the Euphrates. It would be a hostile occupation among well armed Kurds who would oppose it and an Arab population that is not exactly friendly towards a neo-Ottoman Turkey. ..."
    "... Any larger occupation of northeast Syria would create a serious mess for Turkey. Its army can do it, but it would cost a lot of casualties and financial resources. Turkey will hold local government election in March and Erdogan does not want any negative headlines. He will invade, but only if Syria and Russia fail to get the Kurds under control. ..."
    "... 'The Pentagon's official website now defines its mission this way: "The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide a lethal Joint Force to defend the security of our country and sustain American influence abroad."' ..."
    "... '"We had decided last week to launch a military incursion... east of the Euphrates river," he said in a speech in Istanbul'. So much for the UN Charter, then. Anyone who wants to can invade any other country and take over as much of its territory as he wants to - as long as Washington agrees. But, as Saddam Hussein could testify if he were still alive, it would be sensible to get such consent in writing. ..."
    "... Macron's forces are illegally present too. Assad would have to request their presence, but I really doubt he will given the harm France has done to Syria over the past 7 years. Word is SAA's Tiger Forces will get sent East of Euphrates; when is now the question. ..."
    "... One's got to worry about who will replace Mad Dog Mattis after February 28 next year. It would seem that whoever succeeds Mattis will be another former general, likely to share his views on maintaining and increasing US forces in Syria, Iraq and other parts of western Asia ..."
    "... Compared to Mattis, Pompeo and Bolton, and now Nauert at the UN, are raving jingos. Thank Gord they have no ties to the US military. ..."
    "... "there also a contingent of 1,100 French troops"... You can hear me laughing after reading this. The French empire was over a long long time ago and they still think that Syria is their colony. France has been sending French Jihadists for regime change in Syria since 2011 and their mission has failed since Russia intervened in 2015. France cannot even send troops to Mali - destabilized by Jihadists created by France in Libya to topple Kadhafi, without the help of the US!!! France is a de-facto vassal state of the US since they decided to joined the NATO central command under Sarkozy who was bribed by the zionist neocons. ..."
    "... I personally distinguish between Trump's decision to withdraw from Syria and his move to withdraw partially from Afghanistan. The latter is a step towards ending a brutal, illegal NATO occupation war of over 17 years. The former is also illegal but the Syrian Kurds (left wing and largely communist) are likely to be supplanted as counters to "Iran" by fascists Turkey and Israel (this has been confirmed in reports), so we're moving from tactical NATO proxies to actual NATO governments seizing Syrian land. ..."
    Dec 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Fallout Of Trump's Syria Withdrawal - Why Erdogan Does Not Want To Invade uuu , Dec 21, 2018 1:37:31 PM | link

    President Trump's strategic decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria creates some significant fallout. The U.S. and international borg is enraged that Trump ends an occupation that is illegal under international as well as U.S. domestic law. "That's un-American!"

    Defense Secretary James "Mad Dog" Mattis resigned from his position effective February 28. He disagreed with the president's decision. It was the second time in five years that an elected commander in chief had a serious conflict with Mattis' hawkishness. President Obama fired him as Central Command chief for urging a more aggressive Iran policy. Mattis is also extremely hawkish towards Russia and China.

    President Trump campaigned on lessening U.S. involvement in wars abroad. He wants to get reelected. He does not need a Secretary of Defense that involves him in more wars that have little to none defined purpose.

    Mattis is an ingrained imperialist. He always asked for more money for the military and for more meddling abroad. One of Mattis' little notice acts as Defense Secretary was a unannounced change in the mission of the Pentagon :

    For at least two decades, the Department of Defense has explicitly defined its mission on its website as providing "the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country." But earlier this year, it quietly changed that statement, perhaps suggesting a more ominous approach to national security.
    ...
    The Pentagon's official website now defines its mission this way: "The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide a lethal Joint Force to defend the security of our country and sustain American influence abroad."

    The Pentagon no longer "deters war" but provides "lethal force" to "sustain American influence abroad." There was no public nor congressional debate about the change. I doubt that President Trump agreed to it. Trump will now try to recruit a defense secretary that is more aligned with his own position.

    The White House also announced that 7,000 of the 14,000 soldier the U.S. has in Afghanistan will withdraw over the next few months. The war in Afghanistan is lost with the Taliban ruling over more than half of the country and the U.S. supported government forces losing more personal than they can recruit. It was Mattis who had urged Trump to increase the troop numbers in Afghanistan from 10,000 to 14,000 at the beginning of his term. There are also 8,000 NATO and allied troops in Afghanistan which will likely see a proportional withdrawal.

    The Associated Press has a new tic toc of Trump's decision to withdraw from Syria:

    Trump stunned his Cabinet, lawmakers and much of the world with the move by rejecting the advice of his top aides and agreeing to a withdrawal in a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week, two officials briefed on the matter said.
    ...
    "The talking points were very firm," said one of the officials, explaining that Trump was advised to clearly oppose a Turkish incursion into northern Syria and suggest the U.S. and Turkey work together to address security concerns. "Everybody said push back and try to offer (Turkey) something that's a small win, possibly holding territory on the border, something like that."

    Erdogan, though, quickly put Trump on the defensive, reminding him that he had repeatedly said the only reason for U.S. troops to be in Syria was to defeat the Islamic State and that the group had been 99 percent defeated. "Why are you still there?" the second official said Erdogan asked Trump, telling him that the Turks could deal with the remaining IS militants.
    ...
    Erdogan's point, Bolton was forced to admit, had been backed up by Mattis, Pompeo, U.S. special envoy for Syria Jim Jeffrey and special envoy for the anti-ISIS coalition Brett McGurk, who have said that IS retains only 1 percent of its territory, the officials said.
    ...
    Bolton stressed, however, that the entire national security team agreed that victory over IS had to be enduring, which means more than taking away its territory.

    Trump was not dissuaded, according to the officials, who said the president quickly capitulated by pledging to withdraw, shocking both Bolton and Erdogan.

    Trump did not "capitulate". He always wanted to pull the U.S. troops out of Syria. He said so many times. When he was finally given a chance to do so, he grabbed the opportunity. Erdogan though, was not ready for that:

    Caught off guard, Erdogan cautioned Trump against a hasty withdrawal , according to one official. While Turkey has made incursions into Syria in the past, it does not have the necessary forces mobilized on the border to move in and hold the large swaths of northeastern Syria where U.S. troops are positioned , the official said.

    The call ended with Trump repeating to Erdogan that the U.S. would pull out , but offering no specifics on how it would be done, the officials said.


    bigger

    Erdogan had planned to only occupy a 10 miles deep strip along the Syrian-Turkish border. Some 15,000 Turkish controlled 'Syrian rebels' stand ready for that. He would need some 50-100,000 troops to occupy all of east Syria northward of the Euphrates. It would be a hostile occupation among well armed Kurds who would oppose it and an Arab population that is not exactly friendly towards a neo-Ottoman Turkey.

    Erdogan knows this well. Today he announced to delay the planned invasion :

    "We had decided last week to launch a military incursion... east of the Euphrates river," he said in a speech in Istanbul. "Our phone call with President Trump, along with contacts between our diplomats and security officials and statements by the United States, have led us to wait a little longer.

    "We have postponed our military operation against the east of the Euphrates river until we see on the ground the result of America's decision to withdraw from Syria."

    The Turkish president said, however, that this was not an "open-ended waiting period".

    Any larger occupation of northeast Syria would create a serious mess for Turkey. Its army can do it, but it would cost a lot of casualties and financial resources. Turkey will hold local government election in March and Erdogan does not want any negative headlines. He will invade, but only if Syria and Russia fail to get the Kurds under control.

    Unfortunately the leaders of the anarcho-marxist PKK/YPK in Syria have still not learned their lesson. They make the same demands to Damascus that were already rejected when similar demands were made for Afrin canton before Turkey invaded and destroyed it.

    agitpapa @agitpapa 11:14 utc - 21 Dec 2018
    YPG delegation was flown in to Mezzeh yday. Negos were inconclusive because they just repeated their usual line of "SAA protects the border, we control the rest." No army allows someone else allied with an enemy to control its rear and its supply lines. +
    + The YPG leadership is still stuck in its pro-Western rut. It needs to be purged before any deal can be made with Damascus. Their present track will just lead to another Afrin, then another, then another. Thousands of brave YPG/YPJ fighters will have died for nothing.
    Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai - 16:31 utc - 21 Dec 2018
    #Breakingnews: Private sources : President Bashar al Assad has rejected the Kurdish proposal while Turkey is gathering forces (Euphrates Shield et al) to attack the Kurdish controlled area north of #Syria. #Russia seems holding back president Erdogan for a while. A lot of pressure

    It is not (only) Russia that is holding Erdogan back. As seen above he has serious concerns about such an operation. Moreover, he does not have enough troops yet and the U.S. troops have not yet changed their pattern. As of today they still patrolled on the Turkish border and yesterday new U.S. war material was still coming in from Iraq. Erdogan does not dare to attack U.S. troops.

    He will most likely want to avoid any additional military involvement in Syria. If Damascus and Moscow can get the PKK under control, Ankara will be satisfied.

    Besides the presence of 4,000 to 5,000 U.S. troops and contractors in northeast Syria there also a contingent of 1,100 French troops and an unknown number of British forces. France for now says it wants to stay to finish the fight against the Islamic State enclave along the Euphrates.

    But France does not have the capability to sustain those forces without U.S. support. Syria and Russia could ask Macron to put them under their command to finish the fight against ISIS, but it is doubtful that President Macron would agree to that. It is more likely that he will agree to a handover of their position to Russian, Syrian or even Iraqi or Iranian forces. Those forces can then finish the fight.

    Posted by b on December 21, 2018 at 01:09 PM | Permalink

    Comments next page " Some of the conclusions toward the end of this article don't entirely make sense to me. Trump is withdrawing 2000-4000 US troops. Why does it follow that their absence would create a space requiring 50000 Turkish troops to fill? I don't see how occupation of the entire eastern would be under consideration at all.

    As far as IS is concerned, their defeat will be "enduring" when their sponsors stop paying them, first of all.


    Guy Thornton , Dec 21, 2018 1:38:25 PM | link

    Mattis comes across to me as a psycho case of a suppressed faggot who has spent his life trying to disprove and conceal the blatantly obvious. There we go...fairly succinct analysis.
    Tobin Paz , Dec 21, 2018 1:44:44 PM | link
    The neo-liberal meltdown is astonishing, it's like the Iraq war never happened: James Mattis Is a War Criminal: I Experienced His Attack on Fallujah Firsthand
    More importantly, Mattis, known to some by the nickname of "Mad Dog," has shown a callous disregard for human life, particularly civilians, as evidenced by his behavior leading marines in Iraq, comments he made about enjoying fighting in Afghanistan because "it's fun to shoot some people. You know, it's a hell of a hoot," and myriad other problems.
    ...
    While reporting from inside Fallujah during that siege, I personally witnessed women, children, elderly people and ambulances being targeted by US snipers under Mattis' command. Needless to say, all of these are war crimes.
    Russ , Dec 21, 2018 1:46:37 PM | link
    For at least two decades, the Department of Defense has explicitly defined its mission on its website as providing "the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country." But earlier this year, it quietly changed that statement, perhaps suggesting a more ominous approach to national security.
    ...
    The Pentagon's official website now defines its mission this way: "The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide a lethal Joint Force to defend the security of our country and sustain American influence abroad."

    At least Mattis is more honest than most of his fellow psychopath war criminals.

    If the AP account is factually accurate (i.e. leaving aside the tendentious pro-imperial, pro-war editorializing), then it's funny how fast Erdogan goes from "What are you doing here? Why don't you leave?" to "I didn't mean now!" He was probably angling for something else and didn't really want US withdrawal.

    As for the French, what a contemptible squeak from a government on the ropes trying to look tough.

    Never Mind the Bollocks , Dec 21, 2018 1:48:37 PM | link
    It's the US imperialism that has been defeated in Syria, but it's now gathering forces to go after Iran
    Sally Snyder , Dec 21, 2018 1:49:03 PM | link
    Here is a look at how the United States is putting a mechanism in place that will increase its ability to sell arms around the world:

    https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/11/american-international-arms-sales-and.html

    The hawks in Washington need not worry, there will be plenty of war to go around.

    Tom Welsh , Dec 21, 2018 1:52:40 PM | link
    'The Pentagon's official website now defines its mission this way: "The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide a lethal Joint Force to defend the security of our country and sustain American influence abroad."'

    I wonder whether, perchance, the Chief Executive and Commander in Chief should have been consulted about that. Traditionally, US Presidents have had some considerable say in defining the country's foreign policy.

    Although one could interpret the change as being wholly in tune with Mr Trump's overriding policy of transparent honesty. After all, as long ago as 1900 - on the evidence of Marin Major-General Smedley Butler - we know that the US armed forces were used almost exclusively to promote American interests abroad. Maybe it's just refreshingly open to admit it at last.

    Tom Welsh , Dec 21, 2018 1:54:45 PM | link
    "Trump stunned his Cabinet, lawmakers and much of the world with the move by rejecting the advice of his top aides..." Please remind me: who was elected in 2016 - Mr Trump, or "his top aides"?
    lysias , Dec 21, 2018 1:54:56 PM | link
    When David Ignatius reported that Mattis's bedtime reading was Marcus Aurelius in the original Latin, who was responsible for the mistake? (Marcus Aurelius wrote in Greek.) Ignatius, an aide of Mattis's, or Mattis himself?
    Tom Welsh , Dec 21, 2018 1:57:50 PM | link
    "While Turkey has made incursions into Syria in the past, it does not have the necessary forces mobilized on the border to move in and hold the large swaths of northeastern Syria where U.S. troops are positioned, the official said".

    Splendid! Let them hand it back to the lawfully elected democratic government of Syria, then.

    Tom Welsh , Dec 21, 2018 2:00:51 PM | link
    '"We had decided last week to launch a military incursion... east of the Euphrates river," he said in a speech in Istanbul'. So much for the UN Charter, then. Anyone who wants to can invade any other country and take over as much of its territory as he wants to - as long as Washington agrees. But, as Saddam Hussein could testify if he were still alive, it would be sensible to get such consent in writing.
    james , Dec 21, 2018 2:14:27 PM | link
    thanks b... who replaces the war criminal mattis? and when does any american get charged in the hague for the countless wars they start? how long do we have to wait for this to happen? the fact he changed the wording is at least more honest, so i give him credit for that... he could have said 'we are the worlds policeman, and we will continue to be the worlds policeman too' which would have been equally appropriate...

    one thing i do like about trump is his ability to surprise... he could have done this earlier in his term - pull out of syria - but i guess he was waiting to see how things went... as it stands i think the knifes are out for trump big time now, and i suspect he is not going to last as president.. someone else mentioned this on the previous thread, and i agree with that assessment..

    at some point in the next month, it is going to look different if USA follows thru with the commanders new position... meanwhile Russia has to continue to keep turkey on a leash and Syria, Russia and Iran have to continue to work at regaining the area east of the Euphrates as this unfolds... the leadership in France at this point are loony... the smart thing for them would be to leave or hand it over to syria/ russia...

    karlof1 , Dec 21, 2018 2:21:14 PM | link
    Macron's forces are illegally present too. Assad would have to request their presence, but I really doubt he will given the harm France has done to Syria over the past 7 years. Word is SAA's Tiger Forces will get sent East of Euphrates; when is now the question.

    Rolling-back the Outlaw US Empire's overseas troop deployments and shuttering their bases is something I've argued for since I was honorably discharged in 1985, with the monies turned to desperate domestic needs -- the financial statement may declare the USA the world's richest nation, but reality tells a very different story. That reality got Trump elected. The haphazard, laissez-faire, unplanned structural nature of the USA's economy is in no way prepared for the rising technological revolution, which is in stark contrast to China and Russia's plans. The most important message Putin delivered in his annual meeting yesterday was about the whys and hows of changing the structure of Russia's economy:

    "I have said it on numerous occasions, and I will repeat it today. We need a breakthrough. We need to transition to a new technological paradigm. Without it, the country has no future . This is a matter of principle, and we have to be clear on this....

    " Healthcare, education, research and human capital come first, since without them there is no way a breakthrough can be achieved . The second vector deals with manufacturing and the economy. Of course, everything is related to the economy, including the first part. But the second part is directly linked to the economy, since it deals with the digital economy, robotics, etc. I have already mentioned infrastructure....

    "But we will not be able to achieve the GDP growth rates necessary for this breakthrough unless the structure of the economy is changed. This is what the national projects are aimed at, and why such enormous funds will be invested, which I have already said – to change the structure and build an innovation-based economy . The Government is counting on this, because if this happens, and we should all work towards this, then the growth rates will increase and there will be other opportunities for development." [My Emphasis]

    200 million residents of the USA--2/3s of the populous--also need a breakthrough, which is why the Green New Deal has such widespread support : "The survey results show overwhelming support for the Green New Deal, with 81% of registered voters saying they either 'strongly support' (40%) or 'somewhat support' (41%) this plan." IMO, domestic political pressure generally supports Trump's MAGA, but the monies need to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is from the Outlaw US Empire part of the USA.

    lysias , Dec 21, 2018 2:25:14 PM | link
    It was only a couple of years after de Gaulle returned to power in 1958 that it became clear that he was going to pull out of Algeria.
    Jen , Dec 21, 2018 2:36:37 PM | link
    One's got to worry about who will replace Mad Dog Mattis after February 28 next year. It would seem that whoever succeeds Mattis will be another former general, likely to share his views on maintaining and increasing US forces in Syria, Iraq and other parts of western Asia where they're despised by the local people, and perhaps not averse to sounding out good ol' Erik Prince to fill the vacancies left when US troops start leaving.

    Krishnadev Calamur, "Four People Who Could Be the Next Defense Secretary" https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/578809/ Good God, not David Petraeus!

    CD Waller , Dec 21, 2018 2:51:41 PM | link
    Tom Welsh. It's my understanding that the Constitution states that foreign policy IS the job of the President. This Congress doesn't seem to have gotten the memo and though strictly a legislative body, have engaged in some pretty spectacular over reach.

    The Constitution also puts an elected civilian (the President) in charge of the armed forces but put the power to declare war firmly in the hands of Congress.

    The 1973 War Powers act has obscured this division of power. The President can order troops anywhere for a short time but must get an Authorization for Military Force from Congress. However, this is supposed to only in the case of attack or imminent danger, hardly the case in the ME.
    Time limits on AFMF are often ignored and Congressional! purse strings almost never limit (exception: at the end of Viet Nam Congress was about to cut funding) any and all military adventurism.

    Don Bacon , Dec 21, 2018 2:52:31 PM | link
    @ karlof1 14
    Healthcare, education, research and human capital come first, since without them there is no way a breakthrough can be achieved.

    It would seem to me that if US politicians really cared about their job performance they would be working more on your "human capital" and less on warfare and Russian collusion. But there's no money in that, so they don't. So much for "democracy." Here's a recent article on a US achieved "breakthrough," in a negative sense that is.

    WaPo, Nov 29

    Life expectancy in the United States declined again in 2017, the government said Thursday in a bleak series of reports that showed a nation still in the grip of escalating drug and suicide crises.

    The data continued the longest sustained decline in expected life span at birth in a century, an appalling performance not seen in the United States since 1915 through 1918. That four-year period included World War I and a flu pandemic that killed 675,000 people in the United States and perhaps 50 million worldwide.

    Public health and demographic experts reacted with alarm to the release of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's annual statistics, which are considered a reliable barometer of a society's health. In most developed nations, life expectancy has marched steadily upward for decades. . . here

    Kevin J Quinn , Dec 21, 2018 2:53:40 PM | link
    Compared to Mattis, Pompeo and Bolton, and now Nauert at the UN, are raving jingos. Thank Gord they have no ties to the US military.
    uncle tungsten , Dec 21, 2018 3:02:58 PM | link
    Mattis could not, would not accept responsibility for the misappropriated 21 trillion dollars at HIS defence department. Kick him out. He was always a moron and demonstrated his arrogant dismissal of the elected president almost every day. $21 trillion buys a lot of MAGA.
    ConfusedPundit , Dec 21, 2018 3:05:43 PM | link
    Kurdish population in Syria is only 5% whereas the land they now control is 30% of the country thanks to the democratic EUSA nations?

    They can no longer feed the ISIS inmates (they'll end up in France or Germany or elsewhere undertaking new projects?) since Khashoggi case (or Mr. Erdogan who caught the Saudis by their balls) made Saudis quit financing the YPG. Almost all ISIS inmates left in Syria are from abroad (they had been released from Libyan, Afghan, Iraqi prisons en mass at the beginning of the war and are ready for relocation?

    Will the globalists controlled China arrive to rebuild what the US demolitionmen destroyed in Syria?

    Who founded (USrael?) ISIS and made them lose water and oil rich territories in Syria to the PKK/YPG/SDF and what are they planning to do now?

    Hoarsewhisperer , Dec 21, 2018 3:09:39 PM | link
    It'd be funny if Trump appointed Tulsi Gabbard to the post of DefSec. I don't know much about her except that she's definitely very cute and probably isn't a pushover. If the glowing praise of her MoA fans is any guide then she'd do a better job than any recent appointment to the role and would then become a shoe-in for POTUS. If that came to pass then 'Hillary Who?' would become part of America's Permanent Lexicon.
    karlof1 , Dec 21, 2018 3:26:44 PM | link
    Don Bacon @18--

    Thanks for your reply! Yes, the financialization and industrial hollowing-out of the USA's economy renders following the path being broken by Russia/China very difficult, but the projected outcome will be dire if the economy isn't radically restructured and the fake economists and their financial predators aren't driven from the Temple by modern Tribunes.

    Meanwhile, shrouded by the Trump/Mattis circus, Turkey & Iran held an "historic summit" that likely had an impact on Trump's decision as everywhere he looks his previous foreign policy choices driven by his neocon advisors are mostly backfiring.

    Robert Snefjella , Dec 21, 2018 3:35:04 PM | link
    Re US president and foreign policy:

    The language of the US Constitution gives the President the power to make treaties and choose Ambassadors, in consultation with and with the consent (2/3 majority) of the Senate. Also, President is Commander-in-Chief of the military. This includes state militias if formed. He also receives political figures from abroad.

    Like so much else in the US Constitution, there has been creepy or 'necessary' or when it's handy mission creep in regard to these delineated functions.

    But more to the point, the US is and has long been a serial de facto repudiator of the US Constitution and of International law. 'Let us discuss the fine points of law pertaining to the repeated launching of wars of aggression on the basis of lies.'

    karlof1 , Dec 21, 2018 3:37:58 PM | link
    CD Waller @17 and others never having taken a US Civics course--

    This essay details how the separation of powers construct works in the formulation of US foreign policy.

    Hoarsewhisperer , Dec 21, 2018 3:39:00 PM | link
    Forgive the levity but here's Hillary's theme song.

    Oh yes I'm the great pretender (ooh ooh)
    Pretending that I'm doing well (ooh ooh)
    My need is such I pretend too much
    I'm lonely but no one can tell.

    Oh yes I'm the great pretender (ooh ooh)
    Adrift in a world of my own (ooh ooh)
    I play the game but to my real shame
    You've left me to dream all alone.

    Too real is this feeling of make believe
    Too real when I feel what my heart can't conceal

    Ooh ooh yes I'm the great pretender (ooh ooh)
    Just laughing and gay like a clown (ooh ooh)
    I seem to be what I'm not (you see)
    I'm wearing my heart like a crown
    Pretending that I'm still around.
    (stiill a rounnd)

    michael smith , Dec 21, 2018 3:49:49 PM | link
    If the U.S. withdraws its forces from NE Syria who will control the air space. That will likely determine who controls the territory in the future. I don't think the Kurds have an airforce.

    mls

    financial matters , Dec 21, 2018 4:13:46 PM | link
    karlof1 @ 14

    """But we will not be able to achieve the GDP growth rates necessary for this breakthrough unless the structure of the economy is changed. This is what the national projects are aimed at, and why such enormous funds will be invested, which I have already said – to change the structure and build an innovation-based economy. The Government is counting on this, because if this happens, and we should all work towards this, then the growth rates will increase and there will be other opportunities for development."""

    Similar sentiments are expressed by Rhiana Gunn-Wright.

    After Sanders lost the Democratic primary in 2016 a group called 'Brand New Congress' formed to carry on his ideas. This morphed into 'Justice Democrats' which helped Ocasio-Cortez get elected. She is serving as a lightning rod giving the Green New Deal popularity.

    Rhiana Gunn-Wright is a young energetic and talented policy wonk working for 'New Consensus' which is a spin off of the 'Justice Democrats'.

    She is being tasked with forming policy for the Green New Deal.

    'Again, the GND is not just climate policy. It's about transforming the economy, lifting up the poor and middle class, and creating a more muscular, active public sector.

    The GND "opens an opportunity to renegotiate power relationships between the public sector, the private sector, and the people," says Gunn-Wright. "We are interested in solutions that create more democratic structures in our economy.'

    green new deal explained

    slit , Dec 21, 2018 4:16:39 PM | link
    Thanks to b for stellar continued coverage!

    $21 Trillion + "interests abroad" DoD mission creep
    >>
    Silicon Valley hot air equity ($150,000 starting salaries for fresh graduates) on cash flow only digital assetts
    + offshore oligarch accounts (kkr et al)

    I found it helpful to take stock of reported conditions surrounding the troops out move:

    * ksa reportedly going bankrupt
    * ksa reneges on golden glow globe sword dance MIC mou-s
    * failed israeli missile attempt to start wwiii & ensuing s300 reinforcements
    * kashoggi and related muslim brotherhood entanglements
    * clinton foundation in DC "hearings" censored by msm
    * continued censorship of Awan bros Blackberry scandal (espionage?)
    * Cricket hero Khan batting for Pakistan
    * Huawei affair
    * Bibi & family corruption scandal

    Trump has a keen eye for ratings, and surely knows giving the deplorables (private contractors, self employeds etc) trying to rub two pennies together gasoline under $3/gallon in the holiday season will mean much more to the public than Cnn Russiagate drivel working people have no time for anyway. Keeping armed forces rank and file happy and re purposing for disaster relief would be a good move.

    Karlof1 is correct to make the most of the narrative. Glad b is on it. Hope troops arent cleared for nuclear Armeggedon!

    Josh , Dec 21, 2018 4:23:57 PM | link
    @mls The US currently does not control Syrian airspace. The Russians do, ever since they switched from using the existing old Syrian S200 to the current advanced model S300, after the downing of their plane by the Israeli interference.
    This was probably another factor that made operating in Syria increasingly problematic and handicapped: options of 'punishing Assad' or bombing mobile Iranian units were limited if they didn't want to coordinate with the Russians.
    The Syrians now have to amass a large contingent to 'control' the Kurdish area; likely the Russians will be go-between to lower Kurdish demands as well as placate the SAA and achieve some kind of tense co-existence which can keep Turkey satisfied.
    Interesting to see how Syria will handle both wanting to mop up Idlib as well as re-establish control over the North-East and its oil wells.
    Noirette , Dec 21, 2018 4:29:57 PM | link
    I read that Trump did not inform Netanyahu of the USA's Syria 'withdrawal' until about an hour before it was made public via tweet. Five mins! according to another article. Also, that Trump did discuss it with B.N. several days before (Haaretz), that sounded like a smoothing over. Another article claimed that it was Pompeo who clued in Israel a short while before. So who knows?

    Right from the first time they met, Bibi was terrified of Trump, though I could not find one telling vid. I saw.

    Feb. 15 2017.

    Trump today said that he is keeping his options open about how best to reach a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian situation but urged Israel to hold back on settlement building in occupied territories.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmfseeZt5fA

    President Trump veered from years of U.S. policy in the Middle East by backing off the "two-state solution," as the only path to peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

    https://youtu.be/Wf-3916zpGA

    One article stated that Macron and Merkel learnt of the 'withdrawal' from the media! I have noted that Macron is always very 'late' and 'behind the times' as far as the US is concerned, obviously the F 'info' services have no clue, or he isn't kept informed, etc.

    Not that there will be consequent 'fall-out' from either, for the moment. (Israel can only go along, and the EU has more serious stuff on its plate.)

    Pnyx , Dec 21, 2018 4:39:59 PM | link
    "If Damascus and Moscow can get the PKK under control, Ankara will be satisfied."
    Well - let's hope Allah (or whoever) will enlighten Erdo...
    steve , Dec 21, 2018 4:42:14 PM | link
    First President since JFK to say no to the CIA. Lets see that SITRAP
    Kadath , Dec 21, 2018 4:42:18 PM | link
    Re: #3 Tobin Pa,


    Yes, it's dispiriting, but not surprising that the anti-war "Left" movement has almost totally dissolved following their failure to prevent the Iraq war. As a deeply cynical person I'm certain that Hillary and the Clintonites worked behind the scenes in the DNC to undermine the Anti-war movement in expectation of her eventual 2008 & 2016 runs, since she and Bill supported the Iraq war and were no shrinking violets when it came to the use of military force in furtherance of their foreign policy goals. The consequence of destroying the Anti-war movement with the Democratic Party is that they have become a defacto Pro-war party even in situations where the use of the military is blatantly illegal, futile and against the National interest (since there is no organized Anti-war movement articulating why they should not go to war/use military force to stand against the Military Industrial Complex that is constantly advocating for more war). Hilariously, by becoming a Pro-war Party when the American people are increasingly tired of constant warfare the Democratic Party lost the 2016 election to a mildly anti-war Trump, who will most likely be re-elected (unless he is impeached or assassinated). In the long-term, unless the DNC faces up to the 30 years of disastrous Clinton mismanagement and corruption and cleans house, I could certainty see the Democratic Party collapsing over the next 15 years just like how the Labour Party in the UK is still struggling with the legacy of Tony Blair.

    What's really galling to me though is watching all these so called "liberals" (Cher, Beth Midler, Rachael "Mad Cow" Maddow & Mia Farrow) whine about how the US should never leave Syria and stay there indefinitely; Are they or their children going to be fighting this war? Who gave the US such authority take seize parts of Syria? What exactly is the benefit to the US & her people in doing all of this? How many hundreds of thousands people (mostly Syrians) need to die for this ill-defined goal of spiting Syria & Russia? Just like the destruction of the Anti-war left in the Democratic Party had long term consequences, people will remember how Hollywood liberals behaved like jabbering, ignorant, warmongering ideologues during this period of US decline and it will cause profound damage to them and their professed causes.

    stonebird , Dec 21, 2018 4:48:40 PM | link
    KarlofI@14 and Fin Matters @33

    Nice thoughts, but I don't think you have the time.
    "Worst December since the great depression"
    Just look at the pictures (charts), and scroll down.
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-21/fear-reaches-most-extreme-ever-traders-see-panic-air
    ....
    Trump has a tactic of "giving people what they ask for" (eg Jerusalem). Just to break a deadlock. This Syria gambit seems to be something of the same as Erdogan now gets what he has been asking for - and finds he doesn't want it yet.

    I still think that there will be a continued US presence in Syria, concentrated around the Oil sources. The Agricultural lands further north were owned by "Arabic", Christian, Yadizi and other various tribes and ethnies. The Kurds only made up a small portion.
    One reason that Trump may have decided to throw the Kurds to the wolves, is that they were overstretched, and not motivated enough to continue to be cannon fodder for Uncle Sam. The SDF (Which incorporates some turncoat ISIS members, which partly explains why there has only been slow "progress" against the last ISIS enclave in Eastern Syria, brother against ex-brother), also contains foreign mercenaries from various sources. What they will "demand" is open to question. The tribal forces in the SAA who are directly opposite contain members of the Shaitah, who saw 700 of their women and children massacred by ISIS. They may want their own land back too, as well as "payback".

    The other reason for Trump to act now is that Flynn has been given three months in which to change his guilty "plea". After which, Mueller will HAVE TO provide proof, and not just accusations and people that have been blackmailed into "plea deals". Trump doesn't have too much time left for subtle tweet-tweets before the Dems arrive. etc (big topic by itself)

    .... By the way, OT; Butina was really "brain-washed". 67 days in solitary confinement with all the recognised means of brainwashing used on her. Assault (including sexual) sleep deprivation, continued stress (including randomly timed "strip searches") probably lighting either permanently on or randomly used to destroy time awareness. There are other methods to be included, and at a "key" break point, a "counsellor/handler will whisper sweet nothings in hear ear to control her way of thinking ( I am NOT a specialist in Brainwashing, but the outline of what she suffered, means that she will always repeat what she has been told to say.) Real Brainwashing from the cold war era .

    Red Ryder , Dec 21, 2018 5:09:03 PM | link
    b's statement regarding Turkey: "Its army can do it, but it would cost a lot of casualties and financial resources."

    During the entire war, Turkey's army has done not so much and not so well. Manbij, Afrin, and where else? Well before the US presence with bases, the Turks could not hold their border region from the Kurds.

    They cannot impact deep anywhere. Their AF is not even as effective as Syria's, yet it is a much better, more advanced arm of the military. It's special forces?

    They are used to doing what NATO and US troops do. They murder civilians and massacre opposition. They did little against ISIS which was a very fierce, mobile and effective military.

    They do have logistical advantage and can move heavy weapons for a siege. But they are a set piece land force.

    The Kurds also are quite overrated.

    Erdogan knows that the notion of him holding the East is a pipedream. His FSA allies are the weakest lot in Syria.
    His real fighters are those in Idlib, al Nusra and the Uyghurs.

    If he intends to hold land the US has marked out in the North-east and East, he will have to move the headchoppers.
    The Russians will annihilate them if they cross the zones in Idlib.

    With the US vacuum the Syrians, Hezbollah, Quds, Iranian militias and the Russians will complete the war.

    The French and Brits say they are staying. They should write their Last Will letters. They will be shot out of the sky and incinerated on the ground. Folly.

    The pullouts from Syria and Afghanistan are severe blows to NATO as hegemonic shock troops.
    This time next year we will hear and see how Russia won and NATO is gone from Eurasia.

    This is also an object lesson to those nations on Russia's periphery who are flirting with the US, EU and NATO. Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan will have to recalculate.


    Grieved , Dec 21, 2018 5:14:15 PM | link
    @b

    I think we will see many more updates such as this one, showing us who's pushing back, who's wavering, and who's simply blowing hot air. I could wish for better sources of the back story than AP and Reuters, but we must wait for better analysis I think. I'm sure I'll see it here first - thanks for your continued vigilance.

    Meanwhile my guesses are that Trump holds the longest knife and will prevail in this course. And that Erdogan is not faltering as the Reuters report implies, but is simply letting players and forces adjust to the new situation. And that, regardless of the details on the ground, the US flag has been struck in Syria, irreversibly. This is a geopolitical milestone, and everything now changes from this.

    mls , Dec 21, 2018 5:17:11 PM | link
    @35 It has been my understanding that while the Russian forces have stepped up their air defense systems the Americans still fly freely to the north-east of the Euphrates and have not hesitated to attack SAA forces who came close to their proxies on the ground, as well as attacking the SAA when they moved toward the U.S. base at al-Tanf. If the U.S. really does evacuate their troops it will be interesting to see if they discontinue their air movements over the eastern bank of the Euphrates. mls
    Sasha , Dec 21, 2018 5:19:12 PM | link
    Almost all ISIS inmates left in Syria are from abroad (they had been released from Libyan, Afghan, Iraqi prisons en mass at the beginning of the war and are ready for relocation?

    Who founded (USrael?) ISIS and made them lose water and oil rich territories in Syria to the PKK/YPG/SDF and what are they planning to do now?

    Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Dec 21, 2018 3:05:43 PM | 23

    Terrorice Europe?

    Two Scandinavian backpackers hacked to death in Morocco, mother spammed with gruesome images

    Sasha , Dec 21, 2018 5:35:59 PM | link
    But how this "withdrawal" holds when new equipment is arriving to US bases in Syria?

    US reinforces new base in Syria despite announcement of withdrawal

    Schmoe , Dec 21, 2018 5:40:34 PM | link
    @ Kadath 39
    As respects Rachel Mad Cow,MSNBC has been reading from the neo-con playbook for several years now. Pre-Iraq War,Chris Matthews was vehemently against it, but in my limited recent viewership they are silent on Syria in general. They did however have a one hour special by Richard Engle which was essentially an hour of showing the carnage and saying "look what Assad did". It was even more absurd than Fox's islamaphobic specials they ran a few times. Truly pathetic and it feels like MSNBC is hewing to the HRC model "of no one can criticize me fro the right on "national security".
    james , Dec 21, 2018 5:41:33 PM | link
    emptywheel is suggesting tom cotton as a replacement for mattis.. this is the first time i can recall ew
    james , Dec 21, 2018 5:43:43 PM | link
    my comment was chopped off... first time i can recall ew writing on foreign policy! at any rate, skip the ew comment section, as the folks at ew can completely in denial about the role the democrats have played in bringing the usa to this point in time... read @35 kadath post for greater c