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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
 Zombie state and coming collapse of neoliberalism Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS Cold War II  American Exceptionalism  Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich The Iron Law of Oligarchy Blowback against neoliberal globalization
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
TTP, NAFTA and other supernational trade treates Trump economic platform Predator state Corporatism Nation under attack meme Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers Deception as an art form
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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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    [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.

    Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon! Continue Reading

    [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 clarity on that...
    BRF , Dec 21, 2018 5:50:37 PM | link
    Too many "old men who think in terms of nation states and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There is only the Federal Reserve, the BIS, IMF, WB, WTO and an entourage of multinational corporations all inextricably inter associated." as redux of Ned Beatty's soliloquy from the film Network.

    These pesky wars, as one front of many fronts, are getting in the way of NWO timing. The world's major central banks are now involved in quantitative tightening and much of the liquidity that was handed out as loans will now disappear and the debt trap will now be sprung on many 'nation states' as it was in Greece. Turkey's major industries owe about 300 Billion. This while the Lira drops ever lower in relation to the Fed Reserve Note, euphemistically the USD, and will be hard pressed to pay back the less abundant, higher valued amounts at the higher interest rates of the FRN's borrowed. War, with very real deaths, continues but on another front and Trump as the front figure is the main conductor of this coming war.

    Piotr Berman , Dec 21, 2018 5:51:32 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?

    Posted by: lysias | Dec 21, 2018 1:54:56 PM | 9

    Explanation from an aide of Mattis: the General purchased the volume while visiting Latin America, so he always assumed that it is in Latin.

    Sasha , Dec 21, 2018 5:55:53 PM | link
    What theis "withdrawal" is about....To continue causing turmoil in Syria so as to impede its rebuilt and return to peaceful normal life...This is why Israel has not said a word....

    US pullout from Syria result of secret deal with Turkey, says expert

    Lochearn , Dec 21, 2018 6:03:22 PM | link
    I have been away in the Scottish wilderness for a while, cut off from everything, so it with somewhat jaded joy that I come back to stunning news from this unfailingly brilliant place to hear the latest (US getting out of Syria, Mattis out, Macron on fire, Britain in an existential crisis the like of which I have neither seen nor read about).

    Like a schoolkid who has absented themselves I venture back into the classroom to take my little seat, all the while carrying with me audio of howling winds and the low whistle of a friend who came to visit, an Irish instrument that so resembles native American flutes. In this Highland cabin I filled the stove with ash and oak and beech, listened to the haunting sound of the low whistle and drank whisky as I watched the snow drift down.

    Sasha , Dec 21, 2018 6:12:53 PM | link
    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.

    Posted by: stonebird | Dec 21, 2018 4:48:40 PM | 40

    This is why they wear masks/balaclavas....the same way they used to do on Iraq....

    US-supported militias in eastern Syria take Hayin

    Peter Grafström , Dec 21, 2018 6:14:19 PM | link
    Josh on #35 hints at an explanation for Trumps action which is confirmed by a romanian military expert in the article http://www.voltairenet.org/article204433.html
    Assuming that analysis is correct, Trumps military associates like Mattis must have known but was apparently more willing to risk american casualties.
    Pft , Dec 21, 2018 6:49:31 PM | link
    So the past 2 years of bombing and support for bombing and special forces operations in Syria, Yemen, Africa, Afghanistan and of course the ongoing genocide of the Palestinians in Israel is blamed on Trumps aids, all of whom he hired.

    Whenever something positive comes out (and Trump has said he was done in Syria before only to be followed later by a barrage of missiles due to outrage over the poor babies killed in the CW attack blamed on Assad) its presented as Trump heroically goes against his aids advice and does right.

    This is a common theme in MSM and almost all of the alt media now. Trumps swamp included Bolton, Barr, Devos, Pompeo, Mnuchkin, Acosta, Haspel, Ross, Mulvaney, Kushner, Pruit, Mattis. Blame them instead of the guy who hired them and has authority over them. Right.

    Piotr Berman , Dec 21, 2018 6:55:08 PM | link
    I have been away in the Scottish wilderness for a while, cut off from everything,
    Posted by: Lochearn | Dec 21, 2018 6:03:22 PM | 51

    I once spent a week in Glen Lyon which is not cut off from anything, there is a paved road (one-lane for two way traffic, only in Scotland!) and Royal Mail operated, but these days young people complain when there is no cell phone reception, there was a land line but our niece was could not send any pics and texts to her boyfriend. Thus she very eagerly joined me for a hike and after ascending 1000 m and getting the view of Loch Tay she immediately texted etc. But something is brewing outside quiet glens: [video of parliamentary session] The defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, says the UK will have 3,500 service personnel on standby 'to support any government department on any contingencies they may need'

    Watch the situation, Lochearn, and if needed, run back to the hills.

    karlof1 , Dec 21, 2018 7:03:00 PM | link
    financial matters @33--

    Thanks for your reply with its post-2016 info! I returned to following domestic happenings a few months prior to the 2018 election and was surprised by the gumption of the new Freshman class. There was lots of negative speculation about how AOC would become a sellout, but I'm impressed and added her twitter to my ever lengthening list. The first 2020 polls have appeared with the narrative being Biden over washed up Sanders, but the reality is the opposite. Wife and I had a dinner table discussion about that and related matters last night from the frame of Media Truth from Putin's meeting I posted. There's an ideological divide within the USA; but as AOC notes in this very informative* twitter thread :

    "People are starting to realize our issues aren't left and right, but top and bottom.

    "And the just solutions will come from the bottom-up."

    *--Informative due to the immoral hatred revealed, which unfortunately validates my references to Monopoly philosophy and Zerosumism. Scrooge was tame in comparison.

    hopehely , Dec 21, 2018 7:11:55 PM | link
    Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 21, 2018 5:51:32 PM | 49

    Explanation from an aide of Mattis: the General purchased the volume while visiting Latin America, so he always assumed that it is in Latin.
    Or in Latin American...
    And it wasn't bedtime reading but bathroom reading.

    karlof1 , Dec 21, 2018 7:37:52 PM | link
    stonebird @40--

    Fortunately, the stock markets are not the economy. Trump campaigned on MAGA; the Green New Deal makes MAGA possible and as the polling I linked to shows is popular across political lines--the people know something must be done. Currently, it's the D Party Old Guard standing in the way doing R Party work. When it comes to the traditional definitions of national security and national interest, Trump was correct to say MAGA is a matter of national security. Too many Trillions have already been wasted, and we within the USA cannot afford any more of those mistakes from the past as the margin for success gets thinner daily. When I compare the directions of China, Russia and USA, the former two are rising by attaining their planned national goals, while the USA drops downward thanks to directionless policy that only supports the greed of the greedy. I know its much better for an individual to be a poor worker in China than a poor worker in the state of Georgia and too many other places--very few opportunities and almost no social support very similar to the Great Depression; but nowadays, you can't even hop a freight to go somewhere else as was possible in the '30s.

    Red Ryder , Dec 21, 2018 7:38:55 PM | link
    Apparently, Mattis bought the book for the illustrations.

    Latin America speaks Spanish and Portuguese not Latin American, which is not a language.
    Plus, there are secondary languages of indigenous people, and tertiary languages like German and Italian, Japanese and Chinese as well as English.

    From the "story" about Mattis, I think it is laughable. He pretended his whole life to be a Patton.
    Read their career stories and it is a joke that Mattis had four-stars, as did Patton.

    bjd , Dec 21, 2018 7:42:17 PM | link
    The only reading generals do is Macchhiavelli, Von Clausewitz and Superman
    O yeah -- and the bible, these days.
    karlof1 , Dec 21, 2018 8:25:24 PM | link
    Comic Relief courtesy of the UK government :

    "UK government refuses to release the documents on its 'counter-disinformation' programme linked to the Integrity Initiative. Because (don't laugh now), it could 'undermine the programme's effectiveness'."

    Craig Murray has an update on the affair--all the documents provided by Anonymous have proven genuine.

    Jen , Dec 21, 2018 8:45:15 PM | link
    Lysias, Piotr B, Hopehely, Red Ryder & others:

    Maybe Mattis bought the book for interior decoration. It makes his coffee table look good. What language it's in is irrelevant.

    snedly arkus , Dec 21, 2018 8:49:46 PM | link
    Where is the evidence of widespread support for a green new deal as pushed by a couple of people here. A poll of 966 people sorted by whether or not they are voters does not mean there is widespread support. As in most polls claiming whatever we do not know the questions that were asked or how they were framed. Thus they could have said "would you be for a new green deal if it energized the economy bringing riches to all and extremely cheap rates on power would you be for it." Until we know the full extent of this poll it's a nothing burger pushing an agenda.
    psychohistorian , Dec 21, 2018 9:00:16 PM | link
    @ financial matters # 33 with the link to the Green New Deal....thanks

    The problem with the GND is that it does not seem to address the underlying fact that private finance makes all investment decisions. If they evolve to understand that, they can do all they want if it is within the public government plans for investment.

    If the government controlled finance instead of the private folk I would expect there to be public input to/(control over) investment decisions.....just like the GND folks are pushing for but in a more comprehensive context and manner.

    Piotr Berman , Dec 21, 2018 9:02:39 PM | link
    The only reading generals do is Macchhiavelli, Von Clausewitz and Superman
    O yeah -- and the bible, these days.
    Posted by: bjd | Dec 21, 2018 7:42:17 PM | 60

    A general slurps macchiato while reading The Prince of Niccolò Machiavelli.

    In the history of my country there is a nice episode when one of the main generals was rousing the units before the critical battle that actually went well "In loco, spes in virtute, salus in victoria" - Here, the (only) hope (lies) in bravery, salvation in victory, which quotes Ceasar's De Bello Gallico. . Sadly, while the battle was brilliant, the war was not. Nevertheless, I would recommend Ceasar.

    Ceasar was victorious, so he should be balanced with History of the Peloponnesian War of Thucidites. A terrible was in which one side lost terribly, while the other succumbed to hubris, imposed painful domination on all and sundry to be irreversibly defeated one generation after. Woe to the defeated, but the victors should be careful too.

    The story of "Woe to the defeated", Vae victis , is interested too. Romans were treated mercilessly by victorious (unmitigated?) Gauls, but then see De Bello Gallico above.

    Don Bacon , Dec 21, 2018 9:04:06 PM | link
    Five unforgettable quotes by the killer, James Mattis (He will be missed?):
    >1. 'It's quite fun to shoot them, you know. It's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people.'
    >2. 'There are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot.'
    >3. 'I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I'm pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I'll kill you all.'
    >4. 'Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.'
    >5. 'There are some people who think you have to hate them in order to shoot them. I don't think you do.'. . . here

    Don't let the door hit ya, Jimbo.
    karlof1 , Dec 21, 2018 9:07:15 PM | link
    63--

    You sound just like an D Party hack doing the work of the R Party. Must pay good.

    psychohistorian , Dec 21, 2018 9:10:22 PM | link
    I am sure getting tired of entering my personal info each time I post a comment because the remember doesn't work...

    @ karlof1 with
    "
    "UK government refuses to release the documents on its 'counter-disinformation' programme linked to the Integrity Initiative. Because (don't laugh now), it could 'undermine the programme's effectiveness'."
    "

    They are lying through there teeth. The real problem for them is that some could end up in jail, and rightfully so. We can only hope that they take the City of London down with them.

    What is their long term plan for containing the IntegrityNOTInitiative scandal? The house of cards seems to be falling and now is when we hope that the losers love their children enough to not takes us to extinction with their pride.

    karlof1 , Dec 21, 2018 9:12:46 PM | link
    psychohistorian @64--

    It appears more people are aware of such a threat as this article notes . Pelosi's unfortunately a whore of the sort needing pasteurization, along with Feinstein.

    karlof1 , Dec 21, 2018 9:17:58 PM | link
    Don Bacon @66--

    Mattis makes the fictional Hannibal Lecter a Prince of Peace by comparison. The end of February can't come soon enough.

    hopehely , Dec 21, 2018 9:31:18 PM | link
    Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 21, 2018 9:04:06 PM | 66
    Five unforgettable quotes by the killer, James Mattis ...
    Yep, the influence of Marcus Aurelius is all over him. Through and through.
    True philosopher general indeed.
    Pft , Dec 21, 2018 9:35:07 PM | link
    The problem with the GND being discussed here is in the Green. Any New Deal that starts with a false premise and bad science is a bad idea IMO.

    That said, a New Deal that incorporates Ellen Browns and Edison/Fords ideas on public financing I am all for. Goals should be universal health care, guaranteed income and housing, vast infrastructure projects and alternative energy development. The latter two should be green in the sense of nonpolluting (Co2 is not a pollutant). Jobs are fine but with automation, AI, and robotics lets face it, a world where most people dont work except as a hobby or to live better than others is coming, as my old science teacher predicted with envy over 50 years ago. The neomalthusians and transhumanists have other ideas.

    I would also devote massive resources for researching the safety of GMO , vaccines and medicines as well as upgrading climate monitoring and climate research since climate does change and we have so little understanding of it. Climate measurements are indadequate (number of weather stations in US have dropped by a factor of 3 since climate became a thing and quality is a key concern. This research needs to be free of influence from parties having an agenda (political and financial). Good luck with that.

    Kooshy , Dec 21, 2018 9:54:32 PM | link
    Mattis is a coward, he knows the American efforts in Syria has failed, and will go nowhere. So for him this was a great excuse and a good uportunity to resign and not share the blame for failure of his past advise and insistence to continue a lost effort. Now all the blames for loosing in Syria will go to Trump. The blame game has already started coming out of MSM and the DC swamp (you read sewer).
    ben , Dec 21, 2018 9:56:02 PM | link
    Seems as though we've heard this "withdrawal" meme before. We'll see.

    IMO, the key to ME peace is STILL based on liberty and justice for the Palestinian people.

    Heard some noise about "The green new deal". This from The Nation magazine;

    https://www.thenation.com/article/democrats-green-new-deal/

    psychohistorian , Dec 21, 2018 10:00:12 PM | link
    @ pft will the great follow on the the GND proposal

    I want to add a data point to the universal health care initiative.

    Because we are a society wedded to the profit motive we put it between the client and the health care provider and worse only promote "therapies" that make a profit. Let me provide my personal proof of that statement.

    This week, after a 12 year journey, I can state that I have healed myself (with help) from a traumatic brain injury using neurofeedback. Neurofeedback in a non-drug, non-invasive EEG based therapy based on the mental health brain paradigm of dis-regulated neural networks. The world of Big Pharma does not want to see neurofeedback advance because it will eliminate most of them.

    Some on MoA have read me writing about this before and I will do so more in some future Open Thread.....when the dust settles a bit.

    Yeah, Right , Dec 21, 2018 10:01:41 PM | link
    @1 Isn't it obvious? US forces are there to support the Kurdish forces. Training, supplying, and a little moral "stiffening".

    But Turkisk forces would go in with the aim of defeating those Kurds, and then suppressing the local pop in. That requires an order of magnitude more troops.

    Don Bacon , Dec 21, 2018 10:17:15 PM | link
    One think-tanker expects problems with troop morale, which by the way was the killer that ended the stupid Vietnam War.
    Trump's sudden decisions to drawdown troops in Syria and Afghanistan that sparked Mattis' resignation marked for perhaps the first time in American history the departure of a defense secretary in protest and adds to the overall unease that remains, experts said.
    "I think it adds to a feeling that in some sense the wheels are beginning to come off of American foreign policy and national security policy," said John Hannah, a senior counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute on foreign policy and national security in Washington.
    Hannah said he thinks the Mattis resignation will inevitably affect troop morale . . . . here

    That's a good thing.
    Circe , Dec 21, 2018 11:01:47 PM | link
    @47

    Tom Cotton is a rabid hawk especially on Iran. If Trump choses him then this will signal what Trump meant by the next phase of the campaign after he announced a withdrawal from Syria.

    I read General Jack Keane was in the running but he doesn't want the job.

    That leaves Lindsey Graham and David Petraeus. Both of these might be willing to take the job, but I see Trump picking Petraeus over Graham, although Graham just visited the troops in Afghanistan; maybe he's sending a subtle hint to Trump.

    If it's Cotton, we should brace ourselves for escalation with Iran.

    Pft , Dec 21, 2018 11:19:21 PM | link
    Yeah Right@76

    Well there are 50K Al Nusra fighters in Idlib that Russia and Syria want out of there and Turkey is protecting. Maybe they will be on the move soon to deal with the Kurds in the NE once the US pulls out. US can pretend ignorance and then step back in again under the cover of stabilizing the region with replacement for the kurds to use against Assad and protect assets in the NE. Everyone except the Kurds is happy, almost.

    Kadath , Dec 21, 2018 11:24:12 PM | link
    @46, Schmoe

    Further to your point about MSNBC, I just watched Michael Moore on MSNBC being interviewed by Ali Velshi and Moore was actually advocating that the troops stay in Syria and blamed Putin for ordering Trump to do this ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0SP7puk8f8) - words fail..... Michael Moore, the Anti-Iraq war activist, the Occupy Wall Street advocate, the Anti-Imperialist, has reached the terminal phase of his Trump Derangement Syndrome. His irrational hatred of Trump has just driven him to torch all of his prior Anti-War work; to betray every speech, every millimeter of film he's ever made all because he hates Trump that much and everything he has previously done can be jettisoned if it furthers this new goal.

    Ugh... Is he doing this all for the money he can glean from the mainstream Media by being even more extreme than them, was he always this shallow and empty? This is what I just cant get over, do these jackanapes not understand that their words and behaviours are being recorded and people will remember it, it will haunt their futures and taint their legacies. Hating Trump is one thing (there is certainly no shortage of reasons to hate him), but I'm rethinking my entire interpretation of Moore and his career because of these constant, irrationally hateful and extreme statements. Michael Moore, Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon, Rachal Maddow and Stephen Colbert can play to the crowd for now, but once Trump's term ends people will never be able to take them seriously as public figures again because of all of their delusional tirades while Trump was in office.

    Pft , Dec 21, 2018 11:30:32 PM | link
    Don Bacon@77

    Troop moral today is far different than Vietnam. Reason in no order of importance

    1. Well paid volunteer army, well trained with skills transferrable to private sector
    2. Limited tour length, long paid breaks between tours
    3. Skype/internet access on tours to stay in touch with family firiends
    4. Contractors to do much of the dirty work
    5. Military glorification at home treats them as heros and plenty of discounts
    6. Far fewer casualties
    7. Great benefits once the leave miliitary (loans, paid university transferrable)
    8. Tax benfits for companies hiring vets helps them in job market

    The main negative with fewer troops in Syria or Afghanistan means there are fewer tours which means less money.

    I expect they will be deployed elsewhere. Where is the big question. Like you say, moral not an issue


    flayer , Dec 21, 2018 11:34:45 PM | link
    RE: Posted by: Pft | Dec 21, 2018 11:30:32 PM | 81

    This is why you should never "thank them for their service." They're selfish and/or deluded pricks. Not heroes. It's a scam from start to finish.

    Peter AU 1 , Dec 21, 2018 11:48:20 PM | link
    Kadath 80 "do these jackanapes not understand that their words and behaviours are being recorded and people will remember it"
    The average person that watches MSM have the memory of a goldfish when it comes to politics.

    "His irrational hatred of Trump has just driven him to torch all of his prior Anti-War work"
    Most that make it in politics or entertainment go with the flow - whatever will further their career. Empty people. I don't know this Michael Moor, but sounds lie he is one of this type.

    telescope , Dec 21, 2018 11:48:22 PM | link
    People like Lindsey Graham simply cannot comprehend that USA is in fact a demolished country, with its last leg - the stock market - getting cut off in real time, as we speak. The implications of American equity markets collapse are momentous. The relentless year-end selling means that government revenues will be drastically reduced, by at least couple hundred billion dollars, driving US budget deficit to well in excess of $1.2T in current fiscal year. And that's in a benign case. If America slips in a recession, and has to resort to fiscal stimulus, we are talking about $1.5-2T budget shortfall. Add quickly deteriorating demographics, and "japanisation" of the USA is all but inevitable (and yes, US financial system is a dead man walking)
    Trump, although not the brightest bulb, is infinitely smarter than Grahams, Rubios and Cottons of the world. He knows that it's much better to withdraw on what looks like own accord now, than being kicked out in the most disgraceful fashion upon the passage of time. Or even worse, having your troops marooned in the troubled region without any prospect of being extricated, unless on the most humiliating terms.
    Whether Trump succeeds or fails in returning the troops home is irrelevant at this point. They are coming home anyway. The only question remaining is not if but when, and how.
    Pft , Dec 21, 2018 11:57:14 PM | link
    Bolton announces Trumps Africa strategy

    https://thehill.com/policy/international/421179-bolton-warns-russia-china-threaten-us-in-africa

    The Cebrowski plan for Latin America

    http://www.voltairenet.org/article204400.html

    Maybe Trump is diversyfing, scaling down in the The Middle East (a lots been accomplished already) and ramp up efforts in Africa and Latin America to counter BRICS

    Pft , Dec 22, 2018 12:00:04 AM | link
    Meant "diversifying". Spell check hasnt been working well here since i upgraded to ios12
    once and future , Dec 22, 2018 12:20:01 AM | link
    Thanks, b.

    stonebird @40
    OT (apologies) Can you help with the evidence that Maria Butina was subjected to these abuses while in solitary?

    ben , Dec 22, 2018 12:45:15 AM | link
    @ 80: Yes, agreed, my impressions on MM will change. Too bad really, that people sacrifice their credibility, based on blind hatred.

    I'm speaking only of MM, the rest lost their credibility, IMO, long ago..

    james , Dec 22, 2018 12:50:40 AM | link
    @87 once and future... first off i want to thank stonebird for there comments on this topic.. solitary confinement is inhumane.. that the usa is keen to use it in all sorts of circumstances, is a reflection of their abu ghraib, guantanemo mentality... solitary confinement is more of the same.. in a civilized world it would never be allowed to be done... but this is more exceptional nation stuff from the exceptional nation and what the world has come to expect from a country that preaches one thing while practicing something completely different..

    80 kadath... michael moore has really fallen... i was unaware of this and am not tapped into the usa msm to be able to follow.. in fact, it is so depressing i have no interest in following much of anything coming out of the usa at this point...

    @78 circe.. another name mentioned was this tulsi gabbard from hawaii.. i doubt it very much... the usa continues to fly way off the rails...

    what is especially telling is the response from the usa on trumps decision here... caitin johnstone has a good overview on this..
    Endless War Has Been Normalized And Everyone Is Crazy

    karlof1 , Dec 22, 2018 1:10:40 AM | link
    james @89 and others--

    Michael Moore destroyed his credibility when he failed to denounce Obama for not jailing the Banksters and it's been downhill from there as it's been with so many of his ilk. Another case of money ruining youthful idealism. Caitlin's on a roll and deserves a much larger audience. The propagandizers have deluded themselves via their own machinations and are now going mad.

    Albert Pike , Dec 22, 2018 1:11:24 AM | link
    "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.
    Hoarsewhisperer , Dec 22, 2018 1:44:00 AM | link
    ...
    US can pretend ignorance and then step back in again under the cover of stabilizing the region with replacement for the kurds to use against Assad and protect assets in the NE. Everyone except the Kurds is happy, almost.
    Posted by: Pft | Dec 21, 2018 11:19:21 PM | 79

    I think you're right. And I hope so, too...
    The Yanks should be counting their blessings. I thought it was extraordinarily generous of Putin to agree with Donald that "the US beat ISIS in Syria" considering how half-assed/limp-wristed their anti-ISIS actions were in comparison with Russia's 100+ sorties per day 24/7 for many months.
    Imo, if the Yanks dream up another excuse to go back into Syria, Putin will caution against it and then make sure that none of them get out alive.

    Blooming Barricade , Dec 22, 2018 2:07:30 AM | link
    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.

    All of that being said, both are policy decisions that should be able to be debated freely. I can totally see why many on the anti-imperialist left welcome the decision to withdraw from Syria, I'm not entirely unsympathetic to them. It the US and international media response has been horrific.

    The New York Times and Guardian are basically now neconservative papers indistinguishable from the Wall Steet Journal and Daily Telegraph. Not a word of dissent is even remotely allowed or involved. The Blob has totally taken over the entirety of the liberal global establishment which sees Trump's move as "treasonous." Not looking forward to 2020 when Democrats will run on identical foreign policy platforms to Mitt Romney.

    Circe , Dec 22, 2018 2:15:25 AM | link
    @80

    Not sure if you watched when Michael Moore received the Oscar for Farenheit 9/11. Let's remember he was addressing the top elite Liberal crowd and got booed. What is it they say about prophets in their own land? Oh yeah, Jesus said: A prophet is without honor in his own country.

    I actually have some sympathy for Michael Moore. Aside from being a major critic of the Bush Administration, Michael Moore was also very critical of Obama, and Hillary and was lambasted by liberal centrists and neolibs. He was considered part of the radical left and despite the success of his documentaries, he continued to be marginalized and never received the respect he deserved. In 2015, Moore was supporting Bernie Sanders, but when Bernie was railroaded, Moore who couldn't see himself voting for a Republican ever, especially a depraved billionaire whom he rightly viewed as Chaos personified felt that Hillary was the lesser evil, and from there found the respect that had been denied to him by his own side and especially after he predicted Hillary was about to lose despite the polls and Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania would deny her the Presidency. From the day his prediction materialized Democrats were in awe of his perception. Since then he exchanged integrity for their respect. The Michael Moore of 2003 would never criticize military de-escalation.

    However, Moore recently released a new documentary Farenheit 11/9 wherein apparently he's critical of Democrats whom he blames for the rise of Trump.

    So don't be too hard on Moore who was an outcast in liberal country for too long. Once you've earned the respect of your own and the mainstream it's not so easy to speak your truth anymore. Thanks to Trump and the Dems, Moore has been temporarily altered. But you're right, he'll look back with regret on this Syria opinion.

    I can't stand Trump either, but I agree that getting out of Syria and de-escalating is a good thing...IF in fact that's what he's really up to.

    Circe , Dec 22, 2018 2:20:02 AM | link
    JR might be interested to know that Michael Moore believes that Hillary handed Trump the Presidency.
    b , Dec 22, 2018 2:23:14 AM | link
    Bolton's Hawkish Syria Plan Backfired, Pushing Trump to Get Out

    The national security adviser expanded U.S. goals in Syria to challenge Iran. But Trump wasn't on board, senior officials say, and Turkey took an opportunity to push the U.S. out.

    Hoarsewhisperer , Dec 22, 2018 2:26:43 AM | link
    ...
    Most that make it in politics or entertainment go with the flow - whatever will further their career. Empty people. I don't know this Michael Moor, but sounds lie he is one of this type.
    Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 21, 2018 11:48:20 PM | 83

    Michael Moore has produced some brilliant anti-establishment docos focusing on gun-control (Bowling for Columbine), the US healthcare rort, the sub-prime scam, and the absence of socio-economic well-being in AmeriKKKa (Where To Invade Next?).
    I'm hoping that Kadath @ #80 is kidding, but he's right about Moore being rabidly anti-Trump from the get-go.

    Peter AU 1 , Dec 22, 2018 2:37:58 AM | link
    Geo-political chess. Russia, Turkey, Iran have called check and Trump is moving his pieces accordingly. I think he will pull the US out of Syria. Seems he is not as blinded by his hatred of Iran as his appointees.
    psychohistorian , Dec 22, 2018 2:47:28 AM | link
    @ b with the link about Bolton

    So, does this mean that Bolton should or will resign?

    I thought the update of the linked article with the statement about the Kurds from the White House official was interesting: ""They've done the majority of the fighting against ISIS in Syria," one U.S. official said. "How do you treat a partner like this?""

    [Dec 12, 2018] US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gives speech in Brussels

    This is a typical neocon speech. Could be delivered by Hillary Clinton (if we removed some Tea Party frosting). Attacked both Russia and China. Such a freashly minted US diplomat ;-)
    The fact that he is mentioned Skripal poisoning suggests that his IQ is overrated... Or many be that's his CIA past...
    Trump want to pursue "might makes right" policy but times changed and it remains to be seen how successful he will be.
    Dec 12, 2018 | www.youtube.com

    Jessica Wylde , 6 days ago

    Could you imagine if someone stood up and called out all the US crimes... 3 million prisoners, war crimes in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan ect. Poverty disproportionate to the wealth of the nation. On and on

    landlogger , 1 day ago

    It doesn't get any clearer than this. A group of people, with no conscience and therefore no shame, no empathy, no emotion, no love, hold the reins of power on planet earth. They do not distinguish between Afghani, Iraqi, European, African or American. We are all fodder for their demented psychopathic agenda. It's time to wake up, because it's coming to your doorstep.

    ThePositiveKRP , 13 hours ago (edited)

    Suddenly Mike Pompeo seems like a calm and reasonable man, when not long ago he was threatening North Korea with military action.

    [Dec 12, 2018] Save the INF Treaty

    Notable quotes:
    "... The treaty is one of the most advantageous agreements to the U.S. that our government has ever negotiated, so it is extremely difficult to see how leaving the treaty benefits the U.S. ..."
    Dec 12, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    about:blank

    calls on the Trump administration not to kill the INF Treaty:

    Losing patience with Russia's refusal to address legitimate concerns over its violation of the treaty is understandable, but the way Pompeo framed the problem says a great deal about how poorly the Trump administration is managing this sensitive issue. Pompeo told NATO, "the burden falls on Russia to make the necessary changes. Only they can save this treaty." Having built a rare instance of NATO unity, which for the first time has unanimously stated that it believes Russia is in violation of the INF Treaty, U.S. President Donald Trump's team seems more intent on using it as an opportunity to berate Russia than to save a valuable treaty that benefits European and global security. While Russia is to blame for its own violations, the United States will suffer just as much as Russia does if the treaty fails, and even more so if the collapse produces more discord than unity within the NATO alliance. By going the extra mile to save the treaty, instead of issuing ultimatums, the Trump administration might even pull out a win for once. Excuse me if I don't hold my breath.

    The INF Treaty is very much worth saving, and quitting it over a Russian violation is as short-sighted and self-defeating as can be. If the U.S. withdraws, there will be no chance of negotiating a replacement. Not only will the U.S. be held as the one most responsible for killing the treaty, but by ending it the Trump administration will be opening the door to an arms race that no one should want.

    The treaty is one of the most advantageous agreements to the U.S. that our government has ever negotiated, so it is extremely difficult to see how leaving the treaty benefits the U.S.

    Quitting the INF Treaty unfortunately fits the administration's pattern of reneging on and abandoning agreements without giving any thought to the consequences of withdrawal. It makes no sense to give up on a treaty that has proven its worth to the U.S. and our European allies for more than thirty years.

    The Trump administration has made the absolute minimum effort to resolve the dispute with Russia before quitting the treaty, and that makes it clear that they are just looking for an excuse to abandon it. If the U.S. gave up so easily on every agreement whenever there was a violation, it would not keep any of its agreements for very long. The bigger problem is that the administration's determination to leave the treaty is driven more by Bolton's ideological hostility to all arms control agreements than it is by any concern about any violations. The administration is seizing on Russian violations to withdraw from this treaty, but it also has no desire to keep New START alive, either. Letting New START die would be even more dangerous, but the administration isn't interested in extending a treaty that Russia has complied with for almost eight years.

    [Dec 09, 2018] Pompeo is a Deep State Israel-firster with a nasty neocon agenda

    Trump lost control of foreign policy, when he appointed Pompeo. US voters might elect Hillary with the same effect on foreign policy as Pompeo.
    Notable quotes:
    "... It is to Trump's disgrace that he chose Pompeo and the abominable Bolton. At least Trump admits the ME invasions are really about Israel. ..."
    "... Energy dominance, lebensraum for Israel and destroying the current Iran are all objectives that fit into one neat package. Those plans look to be coming apart at the moment so it remains to be seen how fanatical Trump is on Israel and MAGA. MAGA as US was at the collapse of the Soviet Union. ..."
    "... As for pulling out of the Middle East Bibi must have had a good laugh. Remember when he said he wanted out of Syria. My money is on the US to be in Yemen before too long to protect them from the Saudis (humanitarian) and Iranian backed Houthis, while in reality it will be to secure the enormous oil fields in the North. ..."
    "... The importance of oil is not to supply US markets its to deny it to enemies and control oil prices in order to feed international finance/IMF. ..."
    Nov 30, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

    jim slim | Nov 29, 2018 4:04:44 AM | 24

    Pompeo is a Deep State Israel-firster with a nasty neocon agenda. It is to Trump's disgrace that he chose Pompeo and the abominable Bolton. At least Trump admits the ME invasions are really about Israel.

    Peter AU 1 , Nov 28, 2018 9:44:50 PM | link

    Pompeo is a Deep State Israel-firster with a nasty neocon agenda. It is to Trump's disgrace that he chose Pompeo and the abominable Bolton. At least Trump admits the ME invasions are really about Israel.

    Trump, Israel and the Sawdi's. US no longer needs middle east oil for strategic supply. Trump is doing away with the petro-dollar as that scam has run its course and maintenance is higher than returns. Saudi and other middle east oil is required for global energy dominance.

    Energy dominance, lebensraum for Israel and destroying the current Iran are all objectives that fit into one neat package. Those plans look to be coming apart at the moment so it remains to be seen how fanatical Trump is on Israel and MAGA. MAGA as US was at the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    Pft , Nov 29, 2018 1:15:05 AM | link

    As for pulling out of the Middle East Bibi must have had a good laugh. Remember when he said he wanted out of Syria. My money is on the US to be in Yemen before too long to protect them from the Saudis (humanitarian) and Iranian backed Houthis, while in reality it will be to secure the enormous oil fields in the North.

    Perhaps this was what the Khashoggi trap was all about. The importance of oil is not to supply US markets its to deny it to enemies and control oil prices in order to feed international finance/IMF.

    [Dec 09, 2018] Pax Americana: Pompeo tells UN, WTO, ICC to bow and comply with US-led world order

    Notable quotes:
    "... The senior member of the Donald Trump administration said a multilateral approach is failing to produce a world of unrestricted capitalism, so the US should rule supreme – sorry, assume a leadership role – to ensure that countries like China didn't try to offer an alternative way. ..."
    "... The UN is a vehicle for regional powers to "collude" and vote in bad actors into the Human Rights Council. "Bad actors" are of course not Saudi Arabia. The World Bank and the International Monetary fund are in the way of private lenders. The EU is good, but Brexit should be a wake-up call for its bureaucracy, which doesn't know how good nationalism actually is. The International Criminal Court is "rogue" because it attempts to hold Americans accountable for crimes in Afghanistan. ..."
    "... But what organization was a good boy and doesn't deserve a piece of coal from Uncle Sam? SWIFT was. The banking communications organization caved in to Washington and cut off Iranians from its system, so it has a place in the bright new world of US leadership. ..."
    "... "new liberal order" ..."
    Dec 09, 2018 | www.rt.com

    The US will lead a new liberal world order, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared. Organizations and treaties not fitting this picture must be scrapped or reformed, so that non-compliers could not use them against America. The vision of the bold new and prosperous (for the US and its supporters) world was delivered by Pompeo in a keynote speech to the German Marshall Fund on Tuesday.

    The senior member of the Donald Trump administration said a multilateral approach is failing to produce a world of unrestricted capitalism, so the US should rule supreme – sorry, assume a leadership role – to ensure that countries like China didn't try to offer an alternative way.

    China, as well as Russia, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and other nations on the US grudge list got their share of bashing in the speech, but its focus was more on international institutions, which Pompeo claimed to be incompatible with his grand vision.

    The UN is a vehicle for regional powers to "collude" and vote in bad actors into the Human Rights Council. "Bad actors" are of course not Saudi Arabia. The World Bank and the International Monetary fund are in the way of private lenders. The EU is good, but Brexit should be a wake-up call for its bureaucracy, which doesn't know how good nationalism actually is. The International Criminal Court is "rogue" because it attempts to hold Americans accountable for crimes in Afghanistan.

    Also on rt.com 'Surrealism': Iran blasts US claim its missile test violated UN resolution on nuclear deal

    The Paris Agreement on climate change was bad for America, so it left. NAFTA was bad for America, so it forced a renegotiation. The nuclear deal with Iran didn't make Tehran complacent, so it had to go.

    But what organization was a good boy and doesn't deserve a piece of coal from Uncle Sam? SWIFT was. The banking communications organization caved in to Washington and cut off Iranians from its system, so it has a place in the bright new world of US leadership.

    Watch Murad Gazdiev's report about Pompeo's "new liberal order" to find out more.

    [Dec 05, 2018] The Ignorant and the Arrogant How Pompeo and Bolton Bring Us Closer to War in the Middle East

    Dec 05, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

    Armed conflict between the US and Iran is becoming more probable by the day as super-hawks replace hawks in the Trump administration. The new National Security Adviser, John Bolton, has called for the US to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal of 2015 and advocated immediate regime change in Tehran. The new Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has said the agreement, which Trump may withdraw from on 12 May, is "a disaster". Trump has told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he will not accept a deal with "cosmetic changes" as advocated by European states, according to Israeli reporters. If this is so, then the deal is effectively dead.

    ... ... ...

    The new line-up in Washington is being described as "a war cabinet" and it may turn out to be just that. But looking at ignorant, arrogant men like Bolton and Pompeo, it is difficult to avoid the feeling that it will all end in disaster.

    [Nov 30, 2018] Pompeo's Perverse Yemen Rhetoric by Daniel Larison

    Notable quotes:
    "... The Senate didn't go for Pompeo and Mattis' sales pitch for the war on Yemen on Wednesday. That's because it was filled with dishonest nonsense ..."
    "... The absurdity of Pompeo's position becomes clear when we remember that Yemen would not be suffering from the world's worst humanitarian crisis were it not for the Saudi coalition's intervention, blockade, and interference in Yemen's economy. ..."
    Nov 30, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    The Senate didn't go for Pompeo and Mattis' sales pitch for the war on Yemen on Wednesday. That's because it was filled with dishonest nonsense like this:

    Secretary Pompeo

    * @SecPompeo

    Iran's regime has no interest in easing Yemeni suffering; the
    mullahs don't even care for ordinary Iranians. Saudi Arabia has
    invested billions to relieve suffering in #Yemen. Iran has
    invested zero.

    C10.8K 11:02 AM-Nov 28, 2018 в

    The truth is that Saudi Arabia and the UAE have used their donations as another weapon of war while doing everything in their power to worsen the humanitarian crisis that their policies created. Saudi "aid" efforts have been denounced by humanitarian organizations as a "war tactic," and the Saudi government has used its donations to buy good publicity from aid agencies and silence criticism. The "investments" that the Saudi coalition governments have made are little more than poorly-concealed bribes to relieve international pressure, and these same governments have used their donations as leverage to blackmail the U.N. in the past.

    The absurdity of Pompeo's position becomes clear when we remember that Yemen would not be suffering from the world's worst humanitarian crisis were it not for the Saudi coalition's intervention, blockade, and interference in Yemen's economy. The governments responsible for causing the displacement of millions of people and creating famine conditions potentially affecting up to 14 million do not merit praise for throwing a little money at the catastrophe they have unleashed. Iran's interest in assisting suffering Yemenis or lack thereof is truly beside the point when it is the Saudi coalition backed by the U.S. that has caused so much of that suffering. War criminals do not get credit when they throw some cash at the wreckage of the country they have destroyed, and Pompeo's attempt to give Saudi Arabia credit for "relieving" suffering in Yemen is as perverse and disgusting as it gets.

    about:blank


    TomG November 30, 2018 at 11:07 am

    If only Pompeo could taste the excrement coming out of his mouth. May he go to Yemen and live off the great Saudi relief.

    Daniel Larison for Secretary of State!

    Sid Finster , says: November 30, 2018 at 12:23 pm
    Bravo, TomG!

    TomG for Senate Foreign Relations Committee or something!

    Taras 77 , says: November 30, 2018 at 1:21 pm
    Pompeo's statements about saudi support is absolutely astonishing in a very bad way.

    Does he actually believe such nonsense? Is he being fed these gross distortions of reality by his Iran working group led by Hook?

    At some point,these lies go beyond the absurd, they go beyond propaganda, they become for the world to see a war monger's mantra and justification for an attack on Iran.

    Pompeo and bolton have gained world wide recognition as being mindless war mongers with much power but to continue with absurd twisting of facts on the ground really does this country a huge disservice-meanwhile the population in yemen starve.

    Where is the justice, where is the humanity amongst these lies?

    [Nov 10, 2018] ISIS is as authentic and real as The White Helmets

    Nov 10, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

    never mind , Nov 10, 2018 7:30:32 AM | link

    ISIS is as authentic and real as The White Helmets. There are mercenaries trained, paid and moved around by foreign intelligence, but there is no independent entity with a cyber division between the deserts of syria and iraq.

    It's all make believe.

    [Oct 26, 2018] Mike Pompeo mentored by Papal Advisor Harvard Law Professor Mary Ann Glendon

    Notable quotes:
    "... Another reason to hate the Catholic Church: The Catholic Church= Mike Pompeo mentored by Papal Advisor Harvard Law Professor Mary Ann Glendon ..."
    Oct 19, 2018 | unz.com

    War for Blair Mountain , says: October 19, 2018 at 2:18 pm GMT

    Another reason to hate the Catholic Church: The Catholic Church= Mike Pompeo mentored by Papal Advisor Harvard Law Professor Mary Ann Glendon .

    Pompeo the Cockroach .as it .(Mike Pompeo is an it, as is that other well known BLATARIA .Hillary Clinton) .is known to the residents of Satan's filthy stinking reeking toilet bowl waaaaaaaaay down in putrid HELL!!!!!!!

    Don't mind the split infinitive they are really quite alright .only a girly boy grammar NAZI!!! would shriek about it ..

    [Oct 26, 2018] Russian general says US plane directed drones towards airbase in Syria News

    Oct 26, 2018 | www.dw.com

    A US military aircraft took control of 13 drones over Syria in January and tried to redirect them in an attack on a Russian airbase, a senior Russian official has claimed. Russia's military managed to thwart the attempt.

    The US military helped coordinate an attempted drone attack on Russia's Hemeimeem base in Syria, Russian deputy defense minister Alexander Fomin claimed at a summit in Beijing on Thursday. The alleged attack took place in January 2018.

    Fomin's statement marks the first time Russia has directly accused the US of targeting Russian forces.

    The Russian official said that a coordinated group of 13 drones was directed toward the base while a US Poseidon-8, a high-tech reconnaissance plane, was cruising over the Mediterranean. Once the drones "reached our barrier of radio-electronic interference," they were switched to manual navigation, according to Fomin.

    "This manual control is not conducted by just some villager, but by a normal, modernized Poseidon-8," Fomin added. "It took on manual control."

    Read more: Russia starts drone surveillance missions in Syria

    Fomin did not say who had launched the drones before the the US plane took over their direction. 'This needs to stop'

    Russian forces managed to shoot down seven of the drones and then hack and take control of the remaining six, landing them safely. "And this needs to stop -- in order to avoid high-tech weapons falling into terrorists' hands and having well-equipped terrorists, it is necessary to stop strengthening them," Fomin told delegates at China's Xiangshan security forum.

    The three-day summit in Beijing is organized by the Chinese defense ministry, with delegates expected from 79 countries.

    Moscow has repeatedly accused the US of supplying and arming jihadist groups fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

    Islamist rebels often use drones to target Russian forces in Syria. Russia's defense ministry has claimed that rebel drones appear to be basic, but are equipped with modern navigation and ordinance delivery systems. This suggests that "a country possessing the technology to produce such systems supplied them to international terrorist groups," the ministry said, according to remarks cited by Russia's RIA Novosti agency.

    Syria has been engulfed in a devastating civil war since 2011 after Syrian President Bashar Assad lost control over large parts of the country to multiple revolutionary groups. The conflict has since drawn in foreign powers and brought misery and death to Syrians.

    Syria's army, officially known as the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), is loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and is fighting to restore the president's rule over the entire country. The SAA has been fighting alongside a number of pro-Assad militias such as the National Defense Force and has cooperated with military advisors from Russia and Iran, which back Assad.

    Turkey, which is also part of the US-led coalition against IS, has actively supported rebels opposed to Assad. It has a tense relationship with its American allies over US cooperation with Kurdish fighters, who Ankara says are linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fighting in Turkey. The Turkish military has intervened alongside rebels in northern Aleppo, Afrin and Idlib province.

    The Kremlin has proven to be a powerful friend to Assad. Russian air power and ground troops officially joined the fight in September 2015 after years of supplying the Syrian army. Moscow has come under fire from the international community for the high number of civilian casualties during its airstrikes. However, Russia's intervention turned the tide in war in favor of Assad.

    A US-led coalition of more than 50 countries, including Germany, began targeting IS and other terrorist targets with airstrikes in late 2014. The anti-IS coalition has dealt major setbacks to the militant group. The US has more than a thousand special forces in the country backing the Syrian Democratic Forces.

    The Free Syrian Army grew out of protests against the Assad regime that eventually turned violent. Along with other non-jihadist rebel groups, it seeks the ouster of President Assad and democratic elections. After suffering a number of defeats, many of its members defected to hardline militant groups. It garnered some support from the US and Turkey, but its strength has been greatly diminished.

    Fighting between Syrian Kurds and Islamists has become its own conflict. The US-led coalition against the "Islamic State" has backed the Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias. The Kurdish YPG militia is the main component of the SDF. The Kurds have had a tacit understanding with Assad.

    "Islamic State" (IS) took advantage of regional chaos to capture vast swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria in 2014. Seeking to establish its own "caliphate," IS has become infamous for its fundamentalist brand of Islam and its mass atrocities. IS is facing defeat in both countries after the US and Russia led separate military campaigns against the militant group.

    IS is not the only terrorist group that has ravaged Syria. A number of jihadist militant groups are fighting in the conflict, warring against various rebel factions and the Assad regime. One of the main jihadist factions is Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, which controls most of Idlib province and has ties with al-Qaeda.

    Iran has supported Syria, its only Arab ally, for decades. Eager to maintain its ally, Tehran has provided Damascus with strategic assistance, military training and ground troops when the conflict emerged in 2011. The Iran-backed Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah also supports the Assad regime, fighting alongside Iranian forces and paramilitary groups in the country.

    In Moscow, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the information was "very alarming," but added only the Russian military could provide details.

    Putin might raise the issue when meeting US President Donald Trump in Paris on November 11, Peskov told reporters.

    The US Pentagon did not immediately comment on Fomin's claims.

    The news of the alleged US-coordinated attack comes some two months after Russia lost a high-tech plane in Syria in an incident Moscow says was caused by Israel . Russia responded by pledging to supply Syrian forces with S-300 aerial defense systems.

    dj/jm (AP, Reuters, Interfax, dpa)

    [Oct 25, 2018] Nikki Haley Almost Started a Nuclear War

    Oct 25, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    While soon-to-be ex-UN ambassador Nikki Haley might be the talk of the town at the moment -- from chatter she should run in 2020 against Donald Trump to replacing Mike Pence on the GOP ticket all the way to running against Pence in 2024 -- her many faults are being glossed over. That's a big problem for someone being floated as the next leader of the free world -- as recent history has taught us all too tragically.

    Thankfully, reality always has a way of casting doubt on such picture-perfect narratives before they are ever fully formed. Case in point, buried in a recent article from Harper's Magazine was the fact that Haley tried out her own amateur hour version of what can only be described as nuclear poker: telling China's ambassador to the UN that Trump might invade North Korea.

    I had to read the article over and over to make sure I didn't miss something. But alas it was real -- and terrifying. Such a threat, if relayed to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, combined with several other U.S. actions at the time -- and one that almost occurred that we know of thanks to Bob Woodward's recent book -- could have set in motion a preemptive strike by Pyongyang that almost certainly would have involved the use of nuclear weapons. And that means millions of people would have died.

    Now ask yourself: is this person really ready to be president? Is this what passes as the stuff of presidential timber?

    Here are the details. Journalist Max Blumenthal recorded Haley's remarks -- her last major address before she handed in her resignation -- as the only journalist present at a late September event at the Council for National Policy. In a Q&A session that Blumenthal described as "an extended series of candid, and at times disturbing, recollections of Trump's campaign of maximum pressure against North Korea," Haley broke down her opposition to the president's tough talk at the UN. But the real money shot from Blumenthal's piece is here:

    It was September 2, 2017, and North Korea had just embarked on its sixth nuclear test launch. Haley's mission was to ram a resolution through the UN Security Council to sanction the isolated state. This meant that she had to secure abstentions from Russia and China, the two permanent members that maintained relations with Pyongyang. It was a tall task, but as she boasted to the rapt audience at the CNP, she had a few tricks up her sleeve.

    "I said to the Russians, 'Either you're with North Korea, or you're with the United States of America,'" Haley recalled. She said she went to the Chinese ambassador and raised the prospect of an American military invasion of North Korea. "My boss is kind of unpredictable, and I don't know what he'll do," she said she warned her Chinese counterpart.

    Sadly, besides some mentions on social media and a few articles , her threat received very little mainstream media coverage. Maybe that's a blessing in disguise. But one can easily construct a scenario where Haley's comment sets off a chain of events that starts a Second Korean War. For example, we don't know what the Chinese ambassador did after Haley made the threat, but most likely he promptly reported it back to Beijing. What the Chinese government did with that information is vital. Did they warn the North Koreans? Did they react in some other way?

    Nikki Haley: Trump's Baghdad Bob A War of Choice With North Korea is an Immensely Dumb Idea

    We will never really know. However, if Pyongyang was tipped off by Beijing, seeing three U.S. Navy aircraft carriers drilling with South Korean and Japanese warships in November of last year surely must have terrified them. Such a concentration of firepower would have been a prerequisite for any type of invasion or attack. In fact, could these have been the reasons the north decided to test another ICBM in November?

    Again, we will never know. However, Trump's very real proposal, as reported in Bob Woodward's book Fear , of "sending a tweet declaring that he was ordering all U.S. military dependents -- thousands of the family members of 28,500 troops -- out of South Korea" definitely would have provoked a response from the Kim regime.

    While Woodward does not give specific dates as to when this nearly occurred -- the full text before this section suggests an early 2018 timeframe -- he still reveals that we did dodge a potential war. Just two paragraphs down, Woodward notes that on December 4, 2018, "[M]cMaster had received a warning at the White House. Ri Su-yong, the vice chairman of the [North Korean] Politburo, had told intermediaries 'that the North would take the evacuation of U.S. civilians as a sign of imminent attack.'"

    If you put it all together -- not to mention the now famous call to give Kim a " bloody nose " in early January 2018 -- it is easy to see how close to war we came from roughly September 2017 to early January of this year. If events had occurred just a little differently -- if North Korea had perceived things in a direr way thanks to a Chinese warning of a possible invasion, if Trump had acted on his impulses a little further -- our world would be a very different place. Pyongyang, thinking an invasion was coming, might have decided that its only chance to survive was to use its vast arsenal of weapons of mass destruction before they were destroyed. That would have meant launching atomic weapons at military bases and potential ports of entry for U.S. forces in South Korea, Japan, Guam, Hawaii -- or even attacking the American homeland itself with nuclear weapons. From simulations I have run over the years, I can tell you that millions of people would have died in such an event.

    Thankfully, history broke a little different and it never happened -- and thank God for that. But let's not heap praise on public figures who think they can bluff their way through the great game of global politics. That's not what great presidents are made of.

    Harry J. Kazianis (@Grecianformula ) serves as director of Defense Studies at the Center for the National Interest, founded by President Richard Nixon. The views expressed in this piece are his own.

    [Oct 22, 2018] Ben Norton on Pompeo

    Oct 22, 2018 | friendsofsyria.wordpress.com

    Ben Norton responded on Facebook post :

    "Satire has lost all meaning: The former director of the CIA (which has for decades trained and armed far-right terrorist death squads), who is now US secretary of state, called Iran "the greatest sponsor of terrorism in the world" while he was meeting with regime officials in Saudi Arabia, an extremist Wahhabi absolute monarchy that supported ISIS and al-Qaeda."

    [Oct 16, 2018] Pompeo's North Korea Fantasy

    Oct 16, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    SteveM, October 16, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    Pompeo puts on his Global Cop Gorilla suit again making absolute demands as a condition for even continuing negotiations.

    However the big question is how much North and South Korea move ahead in spite of the ham-fisted United States. Then the revealed scenario will be much more stark. I.e., it's not what the Korea's want that matters, it's what the Gorilla wants.

    The play then will be driven by China and Russia. They don't want North Korea with nuclear weapons either because it's bad for business. As they work with the Korea's toward a settlement, the question then becomes it what way will the U.S. subvert any settlement in which it alone does not define the outcome.

    P.S. like with the Russia led Minsk agreement and the Astana talks in which the U.S. has been shut out, the U.S. cares little about attaining the fundamental peace objectives in Korea, only that it calls the tune in every regard.

    SteveM , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:04 pm
    Re: Correction:

    the question then becomes it what way will the U.S. subvert any settlement in which it alone does not define the outcome?

    Note that this lack of total control by the U.S. in Korea and other venues may eventually induce a pathologically dangerous response on several fronts when the Washington Nomenklatura becomes fully aware of its asymmetric weaknesses. I.e., When a War Machine hammer is all you got, everything else is a nail.

    Sid Finster , says: October 16, 2018 at 3:51 pm
    Pompeo's demands are intended to be something that no sovereign government can agree to, like Austria-Hungary's ultimatum to Serbia in august 1914.

    [Oct 16, 2018] CIA Whistleblower claims Nikki Haley will run for president in 2024

    Oct 16, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

    During a discussion with Tyrel Ventura and Tabetha Wallace, hosts of RT show Watching the Hawks , CIA Whistleblower, John Kiriakou, revealed that Nikki Haley who recently resigned from her position as US ambassador to the United Nations, is planning to run for president in 2024.

    As Kiriakou said:

    I actually had occasion to speak with a former very senior member of the Trump campaign, and he told me a fascinating story. He told me that Henry McMaster, who is currently the governor of South Carolina and had been a lieutenant governor, was the first elected official in America to endorse Donald Trump in early 2016.

    And by the end of the year, Donald Trump had won the presidency and the campaign contacted McMaster and said 'what do you want as a reward?' And he said 'I want to be governor of South Carolina.'

    Well, Nikki Haley was the governor of South Carolina. So, what is Nikki Haley want? Nikki Haley wants to be President of the United States, and she had zero foreign policy experience.

    So, what they did, is they moved Haley to the United Nations to give her a foreign policy experience, Henry McMaster now is a very happy governor of South Carolina. Haley only wanted to be in the position long enough to say she had been in the position and she knew a lot about foreign policy.

    So, now she's resigning. She's going to campaign for Republicans running for Congress - She's gonna campaign for the president in 2020 - She's gonna make a lot of money in the meantime. And then, she's gonna run for president in 2024. During a discussion with Tyrel Ventura and Tabetha Wallace, hosts of RT show Watching the Hawks , CIA Whistleblower, John Kiriakou, revealed that Nikki Haley who recently resigned from her position as US ambassador to the United Nations, is planning to run for president in 2024.

    As Kiriakou said:

    I actually had occasion to speak with a former very senior member of the Trump campaign, and he told me a fascinating story. He told me that Henry McMaster, who is currently the governor of South Carolina and had been a lieutenant governor, was the first elected official in America to endorse Donald Trump in early 2016.

    And by the end of the year, Donald Trump had won the presidency and the campaign contacted McMaster and said 'what do you want as a reward?' And he said 'I want to be governor of South Carolina.'

    Well, Nikki Haley was the governor of South Carolina. So, what is Nikki Haley want? Nikki Haley wants to be President of the United States, and she had zero foreign policy experience.

    So, what they did, is they moved Haley to the United Nations to give her a foreign policy experience, Henry McMaster now is a very happy governor of South Carolina. Haley only wanted to be in the position long enough to say she had been in the position and she knew a lot about foreign policy.

    So, now she's resigning. She's going to campaign for Republicans running for Congress - She's gonna campaign for the president in 2020 - She's gonna make a lot of money in the meantime. And then, she's gonna run for president in 2024.

    https://youtu.be/ETgiMtZk92c

    [Oct 14, 2018] Empire Loyalists Grieve Resignation of Moderate Psychopath Nikki Haley

    Notable quotes:
    "... Describing Nikki Haley as a "moderate Republican" is like describing Jeffrey Dahmer as "a moderate meat eater". Besides John Bolton there is nobody within the depraved Trump administration who's been a more reliable advocate for war, oppression and American/Israeli supremacism, no more virulent a proponent of the empire's photogenic version of fascism than she. ..."
    "... But because she only advocates establishment-sanctioned mass murders (and perhaps partly because she wears the magical "Woman of Color" tiara), Haley can be painted as a sane, sensible adult-in-the-room by empire lackeys who are paid to normalize the brutality of the ruling class. ..."
    "... Haley will be departing with a disgusting 75 percent approval rating with Republicans and 55 percent approval with Democrats, because God is dead and everything is stupid. ..."
    Oct 14, 2018 | medium.com

    Empire Loyalists Grieve Resignation of Moderate Psychopath Nikki Haley "Describing Nikki Haley as a 'moderate Republican' is like describing Jeffrey Dahmer as 'a moderate meat eater'" Caitlin Johnstone Thu, Oct 11, 2018 | 820 words 3,560 164

    World War Three proponent and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has announced her resignation today, to the dismay of establishment bootlickers everywhere.

    "Nikki Haley, ambassador to the United Nations, has resigned, leaving the administration with one less moderate Republican voice," tweeted the New York Times, without defining what specifically is "moderate" about relentlessly pushing for war and starvation sanctions at every opportunity and adamantly defending the slaughter of unarmed Palestinian protesters with sniper fire.

    "Too bad Nikki Haley has resigned," tweeted law professor turned deranged Russia conspiracy theorist Laurence Tribe. "She was one of the last members of Trumplandia with even a smidgen of decency."

    "Thank you @nikkihaley for your remarkable service. We look forward to welcoming you back to public service as President of the United States," tweeted Mark Dubowitz, Chief Executive of the neoconservative think tank/ covert Israeli war psyop firm Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

    "Thank you @nikkihaley for your service in the @UN and unwavering support for Israel and the truth," tweeted the fucking IDF. "The soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces salute you!"

    I'm not going to go over every single fawning, sycophantic tweet, but if you ever ingest poison and can't afford to go to the hospital because of America's disastrous healthcare system, you can always try going to Haley's Twitter page and looking at all the empire loyalists she's been retweeting who've been falling all over themselves to paint her as something other than the bloodthirsty psychopath that she is. If that doesn't empty your stomach contents all over your screen, you are made of stronger stuff than I.

    Describing Nikki Haley as a "moderate Republican" is like describing Jeffrey Dahmer as "a moderate meat eater". Besides John Bolton there is nobody within the depraved Trump administration who's been a more reliable advocate for war, oppression and American/Israeli supremacism, no more virulent a proponent of the empire's photogenic version of fascism than she.

    Whether it's been blocking any condemnation of or UN investigation into the slaughter of unarmed Palestinian protesters via sniper fire, calling for a coalition against Syria and its allies to prevent them from fighting western-backed terrorist factions, outright lying about Iran to advance this administration's regime change agenda in that nation, her attempts to blame Iran for Saudi Arabia's butchery of Yemeni civilians with the help of the US and UK, her calls for sanctions against Russia even beyond those this administration has been willing to implement, her warmongering against North Korea , and many, many examples from a list far too long to get into here, Haley has made death and destruction her life's mission every day of her gore-spattered tenure.

    But because she only advocates establishment-sanctioned mass murders (and perhaps partly because she wears the magical "Woman of Color" tiara), Haley can be painted as a sane, sensible adult-in-the-room by empire lackeys who are paid to normalize the brutality of the ruling class. While you still see Steve Bannon routinely decried as a monster despite his being absent from the Trump administration for over a year, far more dangerous and far more powerful ghouls are treated with respect and reverence because they know what to say in polite company and never smoked cigars with Milo Yiannopoulos. All it takes to be regarded as a decent person by establishment punditry is the willingness to avoid offending people; do that and you can murder as many children with explosives and butterfly bullets as your withered heart desires.

    Haley will be departing with a disgusting 75 percent approval rating with Republicans and 55 percent approval with Democrats, because God is dead and everything is stupid. It is unknown who will replace her once she vacates her position (I've got my money on Reaper drone in a desk chair), but it's a safe bet that it will be someone who espouses the same neoconservative imperialist foreign policy that this administration has been elevating since the beginning. Whoever it is should be watched closely, as should the bipartisan beltway propagandists whose job it is to humanize them.

    UPDATE: Had to include this gem from the New York Times editorial board:


    Source: Medium.com

    [Oct 14, 2018] Nobody in the adults world will miss Haley

    Notable quotes:
    "... They should definitely send more women to the places they messed up - Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Iraq, Iran etc. They should never send them to Iran as they will have a fit when they see how civilised and courteous ordinary people are over there. For some strange reason, most Iranians like America. I could never understand that. ..."
    Oct 14, 2018 | russia-insider.com

    Canosin 3 days ago ,

    what a poisonous snake.. .... nobody in the adults world will miss this piece of lying shit.....

    Alberto Canosin 2 days ago ,

    Samantha Power was terrible too. Hard to say which is worse. They share the same discourse. No difference between democrats and Republicans. Both defend the Empire by resorting to invasions, conspiracies, and murder.

    Seán Murphy Alberto 2 days ago ,

    Think Power had slightly more between her ears... but the same warmongering attitudes. What's wrong with women when they get into positions of power, that so many of them become warhawks? Think Power, Haley, Rice (both of them), Clinton, Albrighton, Thatcher, et al?
    And them the feminists tell us that the world would be a more just and peaceful place if there were more of them in office!

    Nassim7 Seán Murphy 2 days ago ,

    "What's wrong with women when they get into positions of power, that so many of them become warhawks?"

    They should definitely send more women to the places they messed up - Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Iraq, Iran etc. They should never send them to Iran as they will have a fit when they see how civilised and courteous ordinary people are over there. For some strange reason, most Iranians like America. I could never understand that.

    franz kafka Nassim7 2 hours ago ,

    The US propaganda was effective. It worked in the USSR too... but only once.

    Alberto Seán Murphy 2 days ago ,

    Because women in power want to imitate men's behavior. Don't want to differentiate themselves. Bad news for bad feminism. U.S. feminists adore people like Albright or H Clinton. They are not credible.

    JIMI JAMES Alberto 2 days ago ,

    They all suffer severe complex mental deficiencies, this is why the people rejected likes of clintons, bush +co's

    Kjell Hasthi Gonzogal 3 days ago ,

    US and its 100,000 Intelligence community working for "Monaco" makes as much sense as Hitler worked for Luxembourgh. With 22 new Capitol Hill size buildings in Washington DC for CIA since 2001, they could house whole Israeli state administration alone

    Billo Kjell Hasthi 2 days ago ,

    I think maybe they do.

    [Oct 13, 2018] Haley's Poor Record at the U.N. The American Conservative

    Notable quotes:
    "... Haley lied a lot, but maybe half the time at least probably had no idea she was lying. Don't give her too much credit. Remember "Binomo." ..."
    Oct 13, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    Harry Kazianis reviews Nikki Haley's record as ambassador to the U.N. and finds it very lacking:

    That was my problem with the ambassador. Not that she did a bad job, not that she was a terrible representative of our nation's interests, but simply that she lacked of the experience and natural abilities needed in such a role. Spitting back Trumpian rhetoric is not enough to be credible on the world's stage.

    Kazianis is right that Haley was ill-prepared for the job, and I would add that she made a habit of making false claims , unreasonable demands, and unnecessary threats . Whether she was threatening military action over missile tests, telling lies about the nuclear deal with Iran , or warning that the U.S. would be "taking names" of the states that didn't fall in line, Haley proved herself to be a poor diplomat and an ineffective representative of the United States. Her time at the U.N. was marked by unwarranted, cruel actions to punish the Palestinian civilian population, a disgraceful defense of the massacre of protesters in Gaza, and a misguided decision to withdraw from the Human Rights Council. While the world's worst humanitarian crisis intensified in Yemen with U.S. support for the Saudi coalition, Haley was too busy trying to distract everyone's attention by shouting about Iran.

    Haley didn't have a good grasp of substance, and instead relied on talking points to a fault. Kazianis quotes a Republican consultant's view of the ambassador:

    "Haley was a great spokesperson for the administration; in fact, she was great at parroting whatever lines Trump wanted her to deliver," the consultant continued. "But for anyone who has ever interacted with her, one thing became very clear. The second she left the land of talking points, any time she was asked to discuss any issue in any depth, it was apparent there was nothing there. And that is not what we need as ambassador at the UN."

    It is a sign of how little many of her fellow hawks care about substantive knowledge that several of them greeted news of her resignation with dismay. Max Boot described her resignation as a "sad moment," and Bill Kristol began fantasizing about a primary challenge to Trump that will never happen. When these are the people touting Haley's record, it is a safe bet that the U.S. will be better off being represented by someone else at the U.N.


    b. October 10, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    "When these are the people touting Haley's record, it is a safe bet that the U.S. will be better off being represented by someone else at the U.N."

    Sara Palin? She can see 2022 from here house, too.

    b. , says: October 10, 2018 at 2:20 pm
    Haley was just another Cargo Cult politician.

    Following Reagan and Trump, the only reason we don't see actual actors hired for candidacies and campaigns is because the best Judas Goat for any election rodeo is one that believes its own BS.

    Blimbax , says: October 10, 2018 at 4:26 pm
    Thaomos says, "A diplomat is a person sent to lie on behalf of their country. Maybe Haley just got tired of doing it."

    Haley lied a lot, but maybe half the time at least probably had no idea she was lying. Don't give her too much credit. Remember "Binomo."

    Minnesota Mary , says: October 10, 2018 at 7:48 pm
    Let's face it. Trump did not have an army of qualified people to fill government and administration posts. He had to fill positions from the Neocon pool of bureaucrats. Nikki Haley is a mind-numbed robot, drunk on Neocon Kool-Aid and Premillenial Dispensationalism. Really sad that Trump picked her for the UN slot. Even sadder is he will replace her with someone just as bad, but more clever at disguising a rotten foreign policy.

    [Oct 12, 2018] Terrorists Want America to Reverse Engineer Russian Machineguns by Michael Peck

    Notable quotes:
    "... US Special Forces Command wants to copy Russian firearms in the US to give away to proxies around the world ..."
    Oct 12, 2018 | russia-insider.com

    US Special Forces Command wants to copy Russian firearms in the US to give away to proxies around the world

    Wed, Oct 10, 2018 | 500 words 4,029 45 Why would U.S. special forces want to manufacture Russian machine guns?

    Just watch any video of a conflict such as Iraq and Syria, and the answer becomes clear. Many of the combatants are using Russian or Soviet weapons, or local copies thereof, from rifles to rocket launchers to heavy machine guns mounted on pickups. Which means that when U.S. special forces provide some of these groups with weapons, they have to scrounge through the global arms market to buy Russian hardware as well as spare parts.

    So U.S. Special Forces Command, which oversees America's various commando units, has an idea: instead of buying Russian weapons, why not build their own? That's why USSOCOM is asking U.S. companies to come up with a plan to manufacture Russian and other foreign weapons.

    The goal is to "develop an innovative domestic capability to produce fully functioning facsimiles of foreign-made weapons that are equal to or better than what is currently being produced internationally," according to the USSOCOM Small Business Innovation Research proposal .

    v76 a day ago ,

    "develop an innovative domestic capability to produce fully functioning facsimiles of foreign-made weapons that are equal to or better than what is currently being produced internationally,"

    I laughed and stopped reading.

    Kjell Hasthi v76 a day ago ,

    It is a good story. US needed so many AK-47 for African terrorists group, killing Blacks, they had to build a new factory in Africa to handle demand. There were not that many AK-47 available on the black market

    Think about that. Look into a mirror and say slowly
    - WE LIBERALS ARE TERRORISTS

    Mary Floyd Kjell Hasthi 3 hours ago ,

    Actually, that should read: We American politicians and military are terrorists...the worst in the world

    [Oct 11, 2018] Can the replacement be worse than Haley?

    Oct 11, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

    James lake October 9, 2018 at 6:59 am

    Breaking!

    Nikki Haley resigns as US ambassador to UN, reports say
    Sources say Donald Trump has accepted Haley's resignation

    I have no doubt the replacement will be worse than her.

    I thought no one could be as bad as Samantha power until Nikki came along!!

    Northern Star October 9, 2018 at 11:15 am
    https://www.businessinsider.com/nikki-haley-resign-investigation-flights-free-private-jets-2018-10

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/watchdog-demanded-investigation-into-nikki-haleys-private-flights-before-she-resigned

    Pavlo Svolochenko October 10, 2018 at 7:41 am
    If she was forced out for something that petty, Trump must have been looking for an excuse to get rid of her.
    Mark Chapman October 10, 2018 at 7:55 am
    Or those who hate him – and they are legion – wanted her out, because if Trump wanted her out her replacement would already have been announced. I saw on one of those 'sponsored content' trash teaser clickbait headlines that it was going to be Ivanka, but not even Trump would do that. Although you never know – it's not as if Haley brought any wealth of foreign-policy knowledge to the table, and she was mostly there to be a partisan spoiler of initiatives the USA did not want to pass. I suppose anyone could do that.
    Mark Chapman October 9, 2018 at 4:13 pm
    Maybe this loon is still available.

    https://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/563fd2451400006f023ca344.jpeg?ops=scalefit_720_noupscale

    [Oct 11, 2018] Nikki Haley's Surprising Departure

    Oct 11, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

    Dear Friends of the Ron Paul Institute:

    Nikki Haley's resignation as President Trump's Ambassador to the United Nations yesterday came as quite a surprise. Haley seemed pleased to play her imagined role as the world's procurator, as she used her UN perch to incessantly threaten and condemn all the global enemies of her fellow neoconservatives. She came to the job with no foreign policy experience and she will be leaving exactly as she arrived.

    If Haley's departure came as a surprise, so too did her appointment in the first place. During the primaries, she was famously in the " anyone but Donald Trump " camp of neocons, saying that Trump was "everything a governor doesn't want in a president."

    Trump soon returned the compliment, Tweeting that, "The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley!"

    Nevertheless, like many neocons who had been critical of Trump, she found herself rewarded with a top position in the Administration. From her position she had consistently gotten ahead of her boss, the President, in policy pronouncements and at almost every turn she appeared to be pushing a Haley foreign policy rather than a Trump foreign policy.

    For example, just as President Trump was returning from his historic summit meeting in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin, where the US President spoke very optimistically about a new approach to US/Russian relations, Nikki Haley gave an interview in which she said, "we don't trust Russia, we don't trust Putin; we never will...they're never going to be our friend...that's a fact."

    Last September she acted as if she, rather than Trump, were the commander-in-chief, Tweeting of North Korea, "we cut 90% of trade and 30% of oil. I have no problem kicking it to Gen. Mattis because I think he has plenty of options." The idea that she, and not her boss, would "kick it" to Defense Secretary Mattis was preposterous, but contradicting and countermanding Trump's disappointingly rare bobs toward diplomacy and disengagement over bluster and bombs was a chief characteristic of Haley's reign as UN chief finger-wagger.

    President Trump had been extremely critical of Syria's Assad, particularly after he fell for two false-flag rebel gas attacks blamed on Assad, but he had been careful not to explicitly set US policy as "Assad must go," as had his predecessor. Nevertheless Nikki Haley again got out ahead of official US policy with her own policy, stating in September 2017 that, "we're not going to be satisfied until we see a solid and stable Syria, and that is not with Assad in place."

    Nikki Haley had long been associated with neocon warhawk John Bolton and had also benefited from the largesse of GOP moneybags Sheldon Adelson, the Israel-obsessed casino magnate who bankrolled Haley's PAC to the tune of a quarter of a million dollars in 2016 alone. Haley was Adelson's kind of governor: While South Carolina's executive, she signed the nation's first law making it a criminal offense to support a boycott of Israel.

    How did the mainstream media handle the surprise resignation of such an extreme warhawk? Someone one might consider on the far fringe of US political life? The New York Times mourned the departure of Ambassador Haley, Tweeting that it would be "leaving the administration with one less moderate Republican voice."

    "Moderate" voice?

    For such a pro-war extremist to be considered "moderate" by the newspaper of record may strike some as odd, but as Glenn Greenwald so accurately explained :

    The reason NYT calls her "moderate" is because she affirms all of the standard pro-war, pro-imperial orthodoxies that are bipartisan consensus in Washington. That's why @ BillKristol reveres her. She was a Tea Party candidate, but "moderate" means: loves US wars & hegemony.
    That's it in a nutshell. Because in Washington being extreme pro-interventionist and pro-war is the orthodoxy. The facade that there are real differences between the Republican and Democrat party is carefully crafted by the mainstream media to cover the fact that we do live in a one-party state. Pro-war, pro-intervention, pro-bombing, pro-overthrow, pro-meddling - these are moderate positions. For Washington and the mainstream media, the extremists are the ones who wish to abide by the admonitions of our Founding Fathers that we go not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.

    Well, it seems there are plenty of monsters closer to home.

    So good riddance to Nikki Haley...but don't hold your breath that it means the end of Nikki Haley-ism, which is the foundation of US foreign policy. Clearly we have much work left to do.

    Your tax deductible contributions to the Ron Paul Institute allow us to provide you with real analysis of breaking issues. Our continued ability to provide a counter-balance to the mainstream media's false narrative depends on your financial support . We thank you for standing with us.

    Sincerely yours,

    Daniel McAdams
    Executive Director
    Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

    [Oct 11, 2018] I still don't understand why her UN staff did not know until this morning that she was resigning.

    Oct 11, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

    Pat Lang Mod , a day ago

    OK, but I still don't understand why her UN staff did not know until this morning that she was resigning.
    Ken Roberts -> Pat Lang , a day ago
    My guess: DT had delegated to NH the management of UN interface. She flubbed, badly, DT being laughed at during his address. Out she goes!
    confusedponderer -> Pat Lang , a day ago
    Pat,
    " why her UN staff did not know until this morning that she was resigning. "

    Dunno, but what about the possibility that she herself didn't knew she was to "retire" until this morning? That she didn' quit but just quietly (which would be very un-Trumpish) got the boot?

    As for firing people, Trump made a TV show out of that, though usually he prefers to "use megaphones over whispering".

    That'd be the sort of retirement that's more frankly called " get the eff out and shut the eff up on your way out, and don't forget to say thank you! ".

    All it needed for that to happen is the orange king having a "fart sit crosswise". As for Harper's good riddance, indeed.

    Kooshy -> confusedponderer , 14 hours ago
    IMO, at least she knew she is a goner since last week, I also think she agreed to leave on a non-embarrassing way, meaning not to be fired in mob boss' favorite way as in Apprentice. Like Colonel suggest neocons and her Israeli backers like to preserve her for a later day, she is a useful idiot. IMO, Trump, like the mob boss he think he is, and acts like, believes she was cause of his embarrassing performance/program at UN, again like mob bosses Don Trump doesn't give a second chance to anyone.
    Walrus -> Pat Lang , a day ago
    Because she believes they are big leakers like herself? Narcissists assume others have identical (rotten) behaviours as their own.
    im cotton -> Pat Lang , a day ago
    Trump is a master of political timing. Perhaps for whatever reason he wanted to move on from the Kavanaugh hubbub to something else--like Haley resigning. It has dominated the news cycle moreso than if it had been leaked by a staffer. Just my guess.
    Tony -> Pat Lang , a day ago
    Maybe because she didn't know?

    [Oct 11, 2018] HARPER NIKKI FINDS THE DOOR

    Oct 11, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

    [Oct 11, 2018] Nikki Haley Just Screwed Conservatives Going Into Midterms: Bannon

    Haley-Binomo was a liability not an asset.
    Oct 11, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

    Former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon slammed UN ambassador Nikki Haley's decision on Tuesday to announce her resignation, calling it "suspect" and "horrific," and that it overshadowed positive news that Trump and the Republicans need to build support going into midterms, according to Bloomberg .

    The timing was exquisite from a bad point of view ," Bannon told Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait on Wednesday at the Bloomberg Invest London forum. " Everything she said yesterday and everything she said about stepping down could have been done on the evening of November 6. The timing could not have been worse. "

    Haley's announcement, according to Bannon, took White House officials by surprise - and distracted attention from Brett Kavanaugh's first day as a justice on the Supreme Court, along with headlines over the lowest US unemployment rate in five decades. Haley's decision undermines Trump's message to Republican voters, said Bannon.

    In the Oval Office on Tuesday, Trump said Haley told him six months ago she wanted a break after spending two years in the post. She'll continue in her role until year-end. Haley said Tuesday that she was ready for a break after two terms as South Carolina's governor and two years at the United Nations. - Bloomberg

    Bannon also says that he took Haley at her word that she has no political aspirations - particularly when it comes to running against Trump in 2020. She says that she looks forward to campaigning for Trump in two years. That said, Bannon calls Haley "ambitious" and "very talented," though he said so using a backhanded compliment.

    "I think she is incredibly politically ambitious," Bannon added. " Ambitious as Lucifer but that is probably...I am probably taking Milton out of context."

    Trump defended the timing of Haley's departure on Wednesday, saying "there's no good time" for her to have announced her resignation - and that if she'd waited until after midterms, it would have raised questions as to whether her motive was based on the results.


    Yen Cross , 19 seconds ago link

    Bannon is unhinged. Nikki Haley was horrible in her position! If Bannon payed attention to voter base of Trump, he'd see Haley was a thorn in the side of the Trump administration.

    One of the best appointments Trump has made, is Mike Pompeo. I thought he'd be some crazed warmonger, but has turned out to be quite the opposite.

    He's got this kind of easy going swagger and confidence about him. He's chubby, and his every day guy, sort of approach, is affable.

    Grandad Grumps , 1 minute ago link

    She is not human. Maybe she eats babies.

    I am Groot , 1 minute ago link

    Back to Binomo ! Don't let the door hit you in your *** on the way out Nimrata. And take your Obamacare curtains with you.

    Prosource , 13 minutes ago link

    Busted for the NYT memo ?

    Whatever the cause, good riddance.

    Bat-Shiite crazy with a dangerously big war mongering mouth.

    Bannon is totally wrong on this one. Conservatives saw right through her.

    The November vote won't be harmed, may even be bolstered.

    Is Bannon's point that because she is a woman, it hurts Trump with women?

    Regardless, the sooner these neo-con fake patriots are gone, the better

    Albertarocks , 16 seconds ago link

    Yes sir... her rhetoric is pure deep state war mongering of the most evil kind. She was told to stir up as much hatred and fear at the UN as possible and try to get the opposition to do something stupid in response to her remarks. That's not Trump talk for damned sure... that's deep state talk.

    Yippie21 , 23 minutes ago link

    He makes a GREAT point that occurred to me immediately. If you are resigning effective at the end of the year and everything is awesome, just time to move on.... why the hell are you publicly announcing it 3 weeks before a VERY contentious midterm election and only a day or so after a brutal SCOTUS nomination conclusion? Why? Why now? Very curious and a unforced error.

    Vigilante , 44 minutes ago link

    I never trusted Haley

    The timing was no co-incidence for sure

    She trashed Trump during the election season if you remember

    [Oct 10, 2018] Nikki Haley Trump's Baghdad Bob by Harry J. Kazianis

    She should leave directly after Binomo hoax...
    Notable quotes:
    "... Her biggest problem as UN ambassador was simple: she was totally out of her depth. ..."
    Oct 10, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
    Her biggest problem as UN ambassador was simple: she was totally out of her depth. "She was picked for UN Ambassador for one reason," explained a senior GOP political consultant to me, reacting to the news that Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, had just resigned from the Trump administration. "She was supposed to present a feminine, or supposedly softer version of Trump's America First message. Instead she became the administration's national security sledgehammer."

    "Haley was a great spokesperson for the administration; in fact, she was great at parroting whatever lines Trump wanted her to deliver," the consultant continued. "But for anyone who has ever interacted with her, one thing became very clear. The second she left the land of talking points, any time she was asked to discuss any issue in any depth, it was apparent there was nothing there. And that is not what we need as ambassador at the UN."

    Perhaps I can come up with a better description of Nikki Haley. She was Donald Trump's very own "Baghdad Bob," the propaganda chief under Saddam Hussein who appeared on TV during the 2003 Iraq invasion and said anything the regime wanted, no matter how inflammatory or wrong. While Haley was never forced to claim anything so preposterous as that Saddam's Republican Guard was winning a war against a superpower, her ability to trump even Trump in crazy talk was a rare talent -- and not a welcome one.

    That was my problem with the ambassador. Not that she did a bad job, not that she was a terrible representative of our nation's interests, but simply that she lacked of the experience and natural abilities needed in such a role. Spitting back Trumpian rhetoric is not enough to be credible on the world's stage. It would be like asking me to become a plumber: sure, I could figure it out at some point, but I would leave behind quite a few clogged toilets and busted faucets along the way.

    Haley left behind some busted faucets, that's for sure. If she did make any sort of major impression, it was thanks to her tough talk on North Korea and Iran. But it was her hard-hitting rhetoric leveled at the Kim regime that stuck out the most. In an almost comical attempt to parrot the words of President Trump, who in early September said at the UN that America "has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea," Haley stated in November that "if war comes, make no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed."

    That's just for starters. There were also the clear missteps, when we could see her lack of expertise and preparation at work. In a primetime interview with Fox News nighttime anchor Martha MacCallum, Haley was asked about the 2018 Olympics and whether U.S. athletes would participate. North Korea experts knew this was the question that would have to be asked, and were keen to see what Haley would have to say.

    She blew it, big time. The interview, conducted in January, at a time when some thought a war with the Kim regime was still very possible, drove headlines the world over, as Haley said she would not commit to U.S. citizens participating, stating, "there's an open question." MacCallum pounced on Twitter, and rightly so, writing that "Amb. Nikki Haley not certain we should send our athletes to the Olympics. Will depend on NK situation."

    Now, to be fair to Haley, the remarks were more qualified than the press made them out to be. Still, they were confusing to say the least, and show that she was not ready for what was an obvious question. In fact, Haley seemed to stumble, adding, "I have not heard anything about that" and "I do know in the talks that we have -- whether it's Jerusalem or North Korea -- it's about, how do we protect the U.S. citizens in the area?"

    Nikki Haley: The Bold Scold of the Trump Administration America Forfeits Its Influence at the UN

    What? As another Republican put it to me just a day later: "She had no idea what the hell she was talking about."

    Haley even scared some very senior diplomats, who wondered exactly what the administration was planning if Washington would not send its citizens or athletes to the Olympics. "Is America getting ready to attack North Korea? Is that where this is headed?" asked a senior diplomat here in Washington minutes after the interview was over.

    I could go on, but I think you get my point. President Trump can do far better than Haley.

    Harry J. Kazianis ( @grecianformula ) is director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest and executive editor of its publishing arm The National Interest. Previously, he led the foreign policy communications efforts of the Heritage Foundation, and served as editor-in-chief of The Diplomat and as a fellow at CSIS:PACNET. The views expressed are his own.

    [Oct 10, 2018] Nikki Haley's shock resignation prompts various theories

    Oct 10, 2018 | www.rt.com

    Immediately after she resigned, Twitter lit up with theories and opinions about the reason, with many suggesting Haley could be the Trump administration official behind a highly critical anonymous op-ed published by the New York Times last month.

    [Oct 10, 2018] Freedom fighters of Binomo and other notable quotes

    Notable quotes:
    "... "It was abusive, how bad the international community was to Israel. It reminded me of a kid being bullied in the playground I just wasn't going to have it. It was just so upsetting to see, that I just started yelling at everybody " ..."
    "... We had the back of Israel, and if they were going to mess with Israel they had to mess with the US. ..."
    "... As you consider your vote, I encourage you to know the president and the US take this vote personally. The president will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those who voted against us. ..."
    "... We don't trust Russia. We don't trust Putin. We never will. They're never going to be our friend. That's just a fact. ..."
    "... "They are aggressive and they can be difficult to work with in the Council... And they do try to cause some disruption, but we manage them and we continue to remind them what their place is." ..."
    "... "weapon of choice and we have to make sure we get in front of it." ..."
    "... When a country can come interfere in another country's elections, that is warfare. ..."
    "... We are going to fight for Venezuela and we are going to continue doing it until [President Nicolas] Maduro is gone! ..."
    "... If there are chemical weapons that are used, we know exactly who's going to use them. ..."
    "... Judging by how it has fallen short of its promise, the Human Rights Council is the UN's greatest failure. It has taken the idea of human dignity and it has reduced it to just another instrument of international politics. ..."
    "... "Its members included some of the worst human rights violators – the dictatorships of Cuba, China and Venezuela all have seats on the Council," ..."
    "... We're aware of that. We've been watching that [Binomo situation] very closely. And I think we will continue to watch as we deal with the issues that keep coming up about the South China Sea. ..."
    Oct 10, 2018 | www.rt.com

    'Mess with Israel – you'll mess with US'

    Israel seems to be most upset by Haley's resignation from her UN job, since the envoy for Washington often ended up championing Israeli interests at the world body. Statements like this one perfectly explain Tel Aviv's grief:

    "It was abusive, how bad the international community was to Israel. It reminded me of a kid being bullied in the playground I just wasn't going to have it. It was just so upsetting to see, that I just started yelling at everybody "

    We had the back of Israel, and if they were going to mess with Israel they had to mess with the US.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
    "I would like to thank Ambassador @nikkihaley , who led the uncompromising struggle against hypocrisy at the UN, and on behalf of the truth and justice of our country. Best of luck!" pic.twitter.com/Lr6IvkM5U9

    -- PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) October 9, 2018

    The US envoy was also never shy to pressure the UN member states into voting the way Washington saw fit. The most notable example of such extortion was the vote on recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital last December.

    As you consider your vote, I encourage you to know the president and the US take this vote personally. The president will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those who voted against us.

    The threats did not work, however, as the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly rejected Washington's unilateral recognition of the disputed city as Israeli capital.

    Russia is 'never going to be our friend'

    When it came to relations with Moscow, the top US diplomat just wasn't very diplomatic on many occasions, instead choosing to amplify Russophobic rhetoric put forth by Trump's opposition.

    We don't trust Russia. We don't trust Putin. We never will. They're never going to be our friend. That's just a fact.

    "They are aggressive and they can be difficult to work with in the Council... And they do try to cause some disruption, but we manage them and we continue to remind them what their place is."

    FILE PHOTO: Haley laughing with her Russian counterpart at the UN Vassily Nebenzia © Reuters/Lucas Jackson

    Haley was fully on board with accusations that Moscow meddled in the 2016 US election, calling them aggression on Russia's part. Election meddling, she said, is Russia's "weapon of choice and we have to make sure we get in front of it."

    When a country can come interfere in another country's elections, that is warfare.

    'Fight until they're gone'

    The ambassador showed no sign of awareness that her comments about interference sounded ironic and hypocritical when placed next to some others she made – regarding places like Venezuela or Syria.

    Last month, Haley joined Venezuelan protesters outside the UN headquarters in New York, shouting into the megaphone:

    We are going to fight for Venezuela and we are going to continue doing it until [President Nicolas] Maduro is gone!

    Haley takes part in Venezuelans' anti-Maduro protest in New York on September 27, 2018 © AFP/Jim Watson

    The US envoy even showed hints of psychic powers, as she tried to downplay Russia's warnings that Western-backed terrorists were preparing a false flag chemical attack in Syria in order to set up Damascus. Gazing straight into the future, she appeared to point her finger at President Bashar Assad's government.

    If there are chemical weapons that are used, we know exactly who's going to use them.

    In July, the US stunned the international community by withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council, and the American ambassador had some strong words to back the move.

    Judging by how it has fallen short of its promise, the Human Rights Council is the UN's greatest failure. It has taken the idea of human dignity and it has reduced it to just another instrument of international politics.

    "Its members included some of the worst human rights violators – the dictatorships of Cuba, China and Venezuela all have seats on the Council," Haley fumed.

    Freedom fighters of Binomo

    When dealing with other states, the US envoy tried her best to uphold an image of an expert on international affairs including on those nation that... well, didn't even exist.

    In a scandalous YouTube recording made by two Russian pranksters, posing as a high-ranked Polish official, Haley was asked to comment on the aspirations of the nation of Binomo in the South China Sea.

    We're aware of that. We've been watching that [Binomo situation] very closely. And I think we will continue to watch as we deal with the issues that keep coming up about the South China Sea.

    She also said that Russia "absolutely" meddled in the country's election as well – a truly extraordinary achievement, given that Binomo was entirely made up.

    [Oct 10, 2018] Report Nikki Haley Is Resigning by Daniel Larison

    Notable quotes:
    "... The Peter Principle is alive and well in the fractured U.S. governance model. ..."
    "... Is there any advanced country on the planet with a political class saturated with so much mediocrity? ..."
    "... BTW, the BoD scam is a standard political payoff. Susan Bayh the wife of former Senator Evan Bayh is a middling attorney who made over $2 Million a year flitting from BoD meeting to BoD meeting. Must be nice ..."
    "... How did this woman move herself from the dignified, elected position of Governor to trump underling and Israeli bull horn? The things we do for greed! ..."
    "... Good riddance. An embarrassment to US diplomacy. Her full throated echoing of Trump's stupidest and most destructive ideas should end her political career, especially coming on the heels of earlier denunciations of Trump. ..."
    "... She leaves Turtle Bay with no achievements and the sound of jeering delegate laughter at the General Assembly still ringing in her ears. ..."
    "... Out of her depth. Completely. ..."
    Oct 08, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
    NBC News reports that Nikki Haley will be resigning from her position as ambassador to the United Nations:

    In an unexpected development, President Donald Trump's U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, plans to resign, NBC News has confirmed.

    Haley informed her staff that she plans to resign. The news, first reported by Axios, comes ahead of an announcement she plans to make with President Donald Trump at the White House Tuesday morning.

    Haley's tenure as U.N. ambassador was fairly brief and not very successful. The Security Council did approve additional North Korea sanctions during her time there. Otherwise, she was known mostly for ineffectively promoting the administration's Iran obsession , picking fights with most other states over Israel, and calling attention to how isolated the U.S. has become following the withdrawal from the JCPOA. Her last big effort at the U.N. was the Security Council session last month that was originally supposed to focus on criticizing Iran. The administration changed the subject of the meeting to nonproliferation, but that still allowed all of the other members to tout their support for the nuclear deal and criticize U.S. withdrawal from the agreement. If that was meant to be Haley's crowning achievement before she left, it didn't work out very well.

    Trump's decision to appoint Haley to this position struck me as odd from the beginning. Haley had no diplomatic or foreign policy experience, and beyond the usual knee-jerk "pro-Israel" reactions she did not have any record of talking or thinking about foreign policy. It is taken for granted that she took the job to build up her credentials on foreign policy, but her stint as ambassador has been so short that I'm not sure that it will do her very much good in future political campaigns. When she was appointed, I said that "this may prove to be a rather fruitless detour for the next few years." Haley's resignation after less than two years in the job suggests that she concluded that there was no point in sticking around any longer.

    gus October 9, 2018 at 11:09 am

    The speculation I've seen, that after the election Trump fires Sessions, appoints Graham, and Haley gets appointed to Graham's Senate seat, makes a ton of sense. She'll be back, and she'll run for President someday, guaranteed.
    G , says: October 9, 2018 at 11:26 am
    One theory I've heard is that Nikki Haley was thought to be the top contender for a potential primary challenge to Trump in 2020 (if things didn't go well for the Trump administration). As you previously noted, she was a vocal critic of Donald Trump in the primaries (the President doesn't easily forgive or forget criticism). So she was dumped into the UN as a way to keep her from going rogue. The President doesn't like to see figures in his administration outshining him, so as she began to make a name for herself as being exceptionally tough on Iran, Trump kicked the legs out from under that policy directive and sent her to haplessly defend "non-proliferation".

    End result? Two years have passed and Nikki Haley has no real accomplishment to show for it (Sad!), while at the same time by virtue of working within the Trump Administration, she's been effectively silenced for two years in her once-vocal criticism. Trump: 1, Haley 0.

    SteveM , says: October 9, 2018 at 11:43 am
    The Peter Principle is alive and well in the fractured U.S. governance model.

    Of course when that Nitwit Hack transitions to the "private sector" she will be invited to sit on various BoD's to be a potted plant at Board meetings. And she will also live large from the remuneration for just showing up. And don't forget the honorary degrees Nikki will be awarded. It's like the Tin Man getting an honorary "Th.D", (Doctor of Thinkology) from the Wizard of Oz.

    Is there any advanced country on the planet with a political class saturated with so much mediocrity?

    BTW, the BoD scam is a standard political payoff. Susan Bayh the wife of former Senator Evan Bayh is a middling attorney who made over $2 Million a year flitting from BoD meeting to BoD meeting. Must be nice

    rayray , says: October 9, 2018 at 11:52 am
    Yeah, agreed with all of the above. Although it's unclear to me that anyone associated with the Trump administration will walk away with a leg up to seek higher office.

    By virtue of most folks disinterest in foreign policy or the UN Haley may have the advantage over the others in the Trump administration. Getting out early is smart.

    As for her lack of competence and knee-jerk Israel supporting bent this may not hurt her in the long run either with a GOP that has proven itself to be on a path of less and less competence, less and less integrity, and (one can only hope) less and less relevance.

    PAX , says: October 9, 2018 at 12:47 pm
    Well said. She is more the ambassador for Isreal than for America. One can only hope that Trump realizes this and appoints a diplomat with skills and an even keel. Hope he does not have Jared Kushner in mind?
    Ninth and Hennepin , says: October 9, 2018 at 12:51 pm
    The odd thing about Trump's appointment of Haley was *not* that she had virtually no record of talking or thinking about foreign policy.

    It was that, unlike most of Trump's cabinet, she had no record of working to sabotage the very department she was appointed to lead.

    Janet , says: October 9, 2018 at 1:12 pm
    Wherever she ends up, it'll have to be someplace she can exercise her big mouth and small brain, because that's all she did at the UN.
    swb , says: October 9, 2018 at 1:49 pm
    It appears that an ethics inquiry into free rides on corporate jets has been requested.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/nikki-haley-resign-investigation-flights-free-private-jets-2018-10

    Just another day in the Trump administration.

    One Guy , says: October 9, 2018 at 2:02 pm
    There are stories that she accepted gifts she wasn't supposed to accept (no, not curtains). I think she resigned to head those off, as well as to be available for other positions that might open up (Senator? President?).

    Whatever, it's just the latest in an unprecedented amount of people leaving this administration. If Trump only hires the best people, why do those smart people keep leaving him?

    Talltale , says: October 9, 2018 at 2:47 pm
    How did this woman move herself from the dignified, elected position of Governor to trump underling and Israeli bull horn? The things we do for greed!
    One Guy , says: October 9, 2018 at 4:55 pm
    Trump claims he knew about her leaving six months ago, but he hasn't lined up a replacement.

    Or maybe he can't get anyone to accept the position who isn't an outright joke. Ted Nugent? Sarah Palin? Rudy Giuliani?

    Ken T , says: October 9, 2018 at 5:09 pm
    With regard to her possible 2020 WH run:

    1. Yes, she has the Trump stench on her. But by resigning now she has two years to try to wash it off.

    2. To a certain segment of the GOP base, being completely ineffectual at the UN will be seen as a feature, not a bug.

    3. She has one huge advantage over some other potential rivals (Flake, for example) in that by not being in the Senate this past week she played no part in the Kavanaugh fiasco. Since she never had to vote on it, she can still try to play it both ways.

    Bog Man , says: October 9, 2018 at 5:45 pm
    Good riddance. An embarrassment to US diplomacy. Her full throated echoing of Trump's stupidest and most destructive ideas should end her political career, especially coming on the heels of earlier denunciations of Trump.

    Instead, she'll be bankrolled by some rich Zionist creeps, a la Rubio, and turn up again in 2020 or 2024 offering to keep us bogged down in Middle East wars another four years.

    belleville , says: October 9, 2018 at 7:03 pm
    She leaves Turtle Bay with no achievements and the sound of jeering delegate laughter at the General Assembly still ringing in her ears.

    After a year and a few months of failure and eye-rolling from UN colleagues, she knew that all that lay ahead was more of the same.

    Out of her depth. Completely.

    [Sep 29, 2018] The Airwaves Are Still Heaving With Spin Two Days After US Airstrikes Against by Sharmine Narwani

    Notable quotes:
    "... On the ground in Syria, dead civilians - some of them children killed by US bombs - muddied the perfect script. Confused Syrian rebels - many who had called for foreign intervention to help crush the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – demanded to know how these airstrikes were meant to help them. ..."
    "... The Syrian armed forces have spent little time on the ISIL threat because their focus has traditionally been on protecting their interests in Aleppo, Damascus, Homs, Hama – and the countryside in these areas – as well as towns and cities around the Lebanese and Jordanian borders. That changed when ISIL staged successful attacks on Mosul and created new geopolitical urgency for Assad"s allies – which triggered some major Syrian strikes against ISIL targets. ..."
    "... Obama has managed to get the whole world singing from the same hymn sheet in just two months, including, and this is important, the three states - Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey - most instrumental in financing, weaponizing and assisting ISIL and other extremist militias inside Syria. ..."
    "... For three years, Washington has overlooked and even encouraged illegal and dangerous behaviors from its regional Sunni allies – all in service of defeating Assad. With all eyes on America and expectations that Obama will fail in his War on Terror just like his predecessors, the US is going to have to pull some impressive tricks from its sleeves. ..."
    "... Ideally, these would include the shutting down of key border crossings (Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon); punishing financiers of terror and inhibiting the flow of funds and assistance from Washington"s regional allies; cutting off key revenue streams; tightening immigration policies to stem the flow of foreign fighters; disrupting communications networks of targeted terrorist groups; broader intelligence sharing with all regional players; and empowering existing armies and allied militias inside the "chaos zone" to lead and execute ground operations. ..."
    "... If there is the slightest deviation from the "guarantees" provided by the US, this trio has plenty of room to maneuver. Iran, for one, has dallied with the Americans in both Iraq and Afghanistan and they know how to cause some pain where it counts. The Russians, for that matter, have many playgrounds in which to thwart US ambitions – most urgently in Ukraine and in Afghanistan, from which the US hopes to withdraw billions of dollars" worth of military equipment by the end of 2014. ..."
    "... Reprinted with permission from RT . ..."
    Sep 26, 2014 | ronpaulinstitute.org

    Kerry Arab Saudi

    Undoubtedly the attacks were timed to occur on the eve of the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations, so "Coalition" partners could cluster behind the decision to bomb a sovereign state, uninvited.

    The irony, of course, is that they are doing so at the UN – the global political body that pledges to uphold international law, peace and stability, and the sanctity of the nation-state unit.

    The goal this week will be to keep the "momentum" on a "narrative" until it sinks in.

    On day one, heads of state from Turkey, Jordan, Qatar, the UK and France were paraded onto the podium to drum in the urgency of American strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Jabhat al-Nusra and other militant groups inside Syria.

    Every American official – past and present - in the White House rolodex was hooked up to a microphone to deliver canned sound bites and drive home those "messages." In between, video-game-quality footage of US strikes hitting their targets was aired on the hour; clips of sleek fighter jets refueling midair and the lone Arab female fighter pilot were dropped calculatingly into social media networks.

    The global crew of journalists that descends annually on the UN for this star-studded political event, enthused over US President Barak Obama"s ability to forge a coalition that included five Arab Sunni states – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Bahrain and the UAE.

    Few mentioned that these partners are a mere fig leaf for Obama, providing his Syria campaign with Arab and Muslim legitimacy where he otherwise would have none. Not that any of these five monarchies enjoy "legitimacy" in their own kingdoms – kings and emirs aren"t elected after all – and two of these Wahhabi states are directly responsible for the growth and proliferation of the Wahhabi-style extremism targeted by US missiles.

    Even fewer spent time dissecting the legality of US attacks on Syria or on details of the US "mission" – as in, "what next?"

    But with a mission this crippled at the outset, it didn"t take long for an alternative view to peek through the thick media fog.

    On the ground in Syria, dead civilians - some of them children killed by US bombs - muddied the perfect script. Confused Syrian rebels - many who had called for foreign intervention to help crush the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – demanded to know how these airstrikes were meant to help them.

    Sunni Arabs would be radicalized by these strikes, they warned, as ideologically sympathetic citizens of the Arab coalition states took to their information channels and swore revenge for airstrikes against ISIL and al-Nusra.

    The Syrian government, for the most part, remained mute – whether to save face or because they could "smell" the gains coming. Contrary to Washington"s prevailing narrative, privately the story was that the US had informed the Assad government of both the timing and targets of the attacks in advance.

    Sources say that the US even provided "guarantees" that no Syrian military or government interests would be targeted. A Reuters exclusive claiming that the US went so far as to provide assurances to Iran, suggests this version is closer to the truth. When US airstrikes against Syria were on the table a year ago, the various parties went through a similar game of footsies. Last September, the Americans backed off – allegedly because of communications from their adversaries that even a single US missile would trigger a warfront against Israel. This time, Washington needed to know that scenario was not going to be activated, and this week they offered the necessary guarantees to ensure it.

    Although the Russians and Iranians have publicly lashed out at the illegality of US strikes, they do not seem too worried. Both know – like the Syrian government – that these air attacks could be a net gain for their "Axis."

    Firstly, the United States is now doing some useful heavy-lifting for Assad, at no real cost to him. The Syrian armed forces have spent little time on the ISIL threat because their focus has traditionally been on protecting their interests in Aleppo, Damascus, Homs, Hama – and the countryside in these areas – as well as towns and cities around the Lebanese and Jordanian borders. That changed when ISIL staged successful attacks on Mosul and created new geopolitical urgency for Assad"s allies – which triggered some major Syrian strikes against ISIL targets.

    But to continue along this path, the Syrians would have to divert energy and resources from key battles, and so the American strikes have provided a convenient solution for the time being.

    Secondly, the Syrians have spent three years unsuccessfully pushing their narrative that the terrorism threat they face internally is going to become a regional and global problem. The US campaign is a Godsend in this respect – Obama has managed to get the whole world singing from the same hymn sheet in just two months, including, and this is important, the three states - Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey - most instrumental in financing, weaponizing and assisting ISIL and other extremist militias inside Syria.

    Syria, Iran, Russia, Hezbollah and a host of like-minded emerging powers are pleased about this new laser focus on jihadi terror and for the accompanying resource shift to address the problem.

    Thirdly, the US has now been placed in the hot seat and will be expected to match words with action. For three years, Washington has overlooked and even encouraged illegal and dangerous behaviors from its regional Sunni allies – all in service of defeating Assad. With all eyes on America and expectations that Obama will fail in his War on Terror just like his predecessors, the US is going to have to pull some impressive tricks from its sleeves.

    Ideally, these would include the shutting down of key border crossings (Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon); punishing financiers of terror and inhibiting the flow of funds and assistance from Washington"s regional allies; cutting off key revenue streams; tightening immigration policies to stem the flow of foreign fighters; disrupting communications networks of targeted terrorist groups; broader intelligence sharing with all regional players; and empowering existing armies and allied militias inside the "chaos zone" to lead and execute ground operations.

    Thus far, there are signs that some of these things are already happening, with possibly more to come.

    Now for the fun part. The Syrians, Iranians and Russians do not fundamentally trust Washington or its intentions. The suspicion is that the US is on another one of its regime-change missions, displaying its usual rogue-state behavior by violating the territorial integrity of a sovereign state under false pretenses, and that it will shortly revert to targeting the Syrian government.

    While they can see clear gains from the current level of US intervention – as distasteful as they find it - they are watching carefully as events unfold.

    If there is the slightest deviation from the "guarantees" provided by the US, this trio has plenty of room to maneuver. Iran, for one, has dallied with the Americans in both Iraq and Afghanistan and they know how to cause some pain where it counts. The Russians, for that matter, have many playgrounds in which to thwart US ambitions – most urgently in Ukraine and in Afghanistan, from which the US hopes to withdraw billions of dollars" worth of military equipment by the end of 2014.

    All understand that Washington has just assumed a risky public posture and that many, many things can go wrong. The Sunni Arab fig leaf can disappear in a nano-second if domestic pressures mount or revenge attacks take place internally. Information could leak about continued assistance to terrorist militias from one or more of its coalition partners – a huge embarrassment for Washington and its wobbly Coalition. ISIL will almost certainly act against coalition partner soft-targets, like carrying out further kidnappings and executions. Continued airstrikes will almost definitely result in a growing civilian casualty count, turning those "hearts and minds" to stone. Syrian rebels could swiftly turn against the US intervention and radicalize further. Massive displacement caused by airstrikes could exacerbate the humanitarian crisis.And as in all other past US military War-on-Terror adventures, terrorism could thrive and proliferate in quantum leaps.

    As Moscow-based political analyst Vladimir Frolov noted to the Washington Post:

    The United States has underestimated the complexity of the situation before, so let's just wait until they run into problems.
    The idea that US military engagement could continue for the long-term is unlikely given the myriad things that can go wrong fast. Obama is going to be reluctant to have his last two years in office defined by the hazardous Syrian conflict – after all, he was to be the president who extracted America from unessential wars.

    But the most compelling reason that this Coalition will not pass the first hurdle is that its key members have entirely different ambitions and strategic targets.

    Over a decade ago, these US-engineered coalitions were wealthier, less-burdened and shared common goals. Today, many of the coalition members face domestic economic and political uncertainties – and several states are directly responsible for giving rise to ISIL. How can the Coalition fight ISIL and support it, all at once?

    What"s missing is a formula, a strategy, a unified worldview that can be equally as determined as the ideological adversary it faces.

    Down the road, we will discover that the only coalition able and willing to fight extremism does indeed come from inside the region, but importantly, from within the conflict zone itself: Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran. For starters, they are utterly vested in the outcome of their efforts – and would lead with political solutions alongside military ones. Those elusive boots-on-the-ground that everyone is seeking? They live it. Pit that group against Obama"s Coalition-of-the-Clueless any day and you know which side would win handily.

    The question is, can this Coalition stomach a solution it is working so hard to avoid? Will it partner with vital regional players that were foes only a few months ago? It is doubtful. That would require a worldview shift that Washington is still too irrational to embrace.

    Reprinted with permission from RT .

    [Sep 26, 2018] Hired to Drain the Swamp, Fired in Less Than a Year

    Notable quotes:
    "... @markperrydc . ..."
    "... Well, we know where Mattis is going when he leaves the Pentagon. Nice work if you can get it. ..."
    "... Seriously, anyone taking a knife to the Pentagon budget is putting a knife top their throat, unless they have support. ..."
    "... Gen Mattis wants to save big money stop sending US forces to needless adventures. ..."
    "... On top of the firing, I found the last three or four paragraphs all about insider trading as opposed to job performance, goals, budget cutting, not even budget accountability . . . Personalities over performance -- holy petolies. ..."
    "... Given that the United States spends more money on defense than the next seven countries COMBINED including Russia and China it's not a question of how much you spend it's a question of how well. Until DOD passes that financial audit that all other agencies are obligated to do DOD should be get any increase in funding. ..."
    "... When folks learn that the DOD is the swamp, then we can start having a conversation. ..."
    "... "Lap Dog" Mattis. ..."
    "... The Trump Administration is the most incompetent and corrupt since Warren G. Harding. There is no swamp draining going on. It is just a fight on who occupies it. ..."
    Sep 26, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    Hired to Drain the Swamp, Fired in Less Than a Year 'This is the Boeing mafia in all of its glory,' one DoD official said of John 'Jay' Gibson's mysterious demise. By Mark Perry September 26, 2018

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    The Pentagon ( Frontpage / Shutterstock ) On April 4, 2003, Col. Joseph Dowdy -- whose 1st Marine Regiment was then fighting its way through a tangle of Iraqi villages south of Baghdad -- was called to the tent of Gen. James Mattis and told he was being relieved of his command. A career Marine, Dowdy was stunned: Mattis's action in the midst of a battlefield fight was nearly unprecedented and, as Dowdy knew, would mark the end of his military career. Adding to the humiliation, Mattis told Dowdy to remove his sidearm and hand it to him. "We're going to give you a rest," he said.

    Dowdy had known that his job was in danger, the result of complaints from Mattis and his staff that he wasn't moving his regiment quickly enough. But it's not as if Dowdy was taking his time: his troopers had been involved in bitter firefights against tenacious "Saddam Fedayeen" killers every day for the previous two weeks. But Dowdy had no choice in the matter, so while he objected to Mattis's action he packed up his gear, called his wife, returned to the U.S. and retired from the Marine Corps.

    That Mattis acts quickly and decisively is part of his lore -- it's what good Marines do. But while quick and decisive might work on the battlefield, they're not always a good fit for a secretary of defense. Mattis learned this earlier this month, after he fired John H. "Jay" Gibson II, the Pentagon's first-ever Chief Management Officer and its third highest ranking official. The reason for the firing, as The Wall Street Journal's Gordon Lubold reported on September 5, was for "lack of performance."

    The firing was immediately controversial, spurring under-the-radar resentments among senior defense officials in the Pentagon's E-Ring where military and civilian managers huddle to run the world's largest bureaucracy. "This doesn't make any sense," a senior Pentagon official told TAC . "Jay was CMO for seven months; he hadn't even gotten his staff in place."

    John H. 'Jay' Gibson II (U.S. Government)

    Gibson came to Washington to oversee Mattis's attempt to cut waste from the Pentagon budget by identifying savings that would lessen the ballooning impact of the Trump administration's $670 billion defense spending proposal. Armed with an impressive resume (including a successful stint as an assistant secretary of the Air Force and deputy undersecretary of defense for management reform, where his efforts saved billions of dollars), Gibson was tasked with reforming Pentagon procedures in buying and developing weapons and in managing logistics and supply, technology systems, community services, human resources, and health care.

    Gibson was given a broad mandate to "shake up the system," which the deputy defense secretary Patrick Shanahan (the department's number two official and Gibson's boss) admitted would cause "screaming and yelling" from the Pentagon bureaucracy.

    Even so, Gibson was told he would have the Trump administration's support -- which is why he decided to give up his post as president of XCOR Aerospace, a Texas company that develops rocket engines and space launch systems. "Jay did this over his wife's objections," a friend of Gibson and a senior official at a major private sector financial institution told TAC in a wide-ranging interview, "because he thought he could make a difference. He is a cracker-jack administrator; he knows how to dig and dig. So he came into D.C., started digging into the Pentagon budget and was fired. In my world, when that happens it isn't because you're doing a lousy job, but because you're stepping on the wrong toes."

    In fact, as the senior Pentagon official with whom I spoke says, the toes that Gibson stepped on belonged to Patrick Shanahan, the deputy secretary of defense and a former vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems, a major Pentagon contractor. Shanahan and Gibson had a falling out in August, according to the senior Pentagon official with whom I spoke, and Shanahan reported the difficulty to Mattis -- "who pulled a Dowdy." Put simply, this official adds, when the "screaming and yelling" from the Pentagon's senior bureaucracy reached a fever pitch at the end of the summer, Mattis and Shanahan decided that firing Gibson would be easier than defending him.

    The Recruitment Problem the Military Doesn't Want to Talk About Forget Trump: The Military-Industrial Complex is Still Running the Show

    "I am not familiar with the details of what happened here and I wouldn't want to speculate," Todd Harrison, an official with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (and a well-known defense budget expert) says. "But I think that anyone in the new CMO position was signing on to the toughest job in Washington. It's one thing to identify waste, and another to actually get rid of it. The truth is that waste is built into the Pentagon budget; if you eliminate it, you eliminate jobs." A Pentagon official confirms this, but adds that "firing an official charged with making reforms for 'lack of performance' is laughable. Who are these guys trying to kid? The truth is that if Jay didn't perform, he'd still have his job."

    The timing of Gibson's firing, just weeks after the death of Senate Armed Services Committee heavyweight John McCain, also raises uncomfortable questions. "The minute Gibson was fired, McCain would have had Mattis, Shanahan, and Gibson on the carpet in his office, asking them what the hell they were doing," a senior congressional staffer who monitors Pentagon personnel issues notes. "That's not going to happen now."

    In fact, McCain had little love for Shanahan, telling aides that his appointment raised conflict of interest issues. McCain's worries were aired when he grilled Shanahan on answers the Boeing executive gave to written questions posed to him by the committee in June 2017. It was a classic McCain scorcher: "The answers that you gave to the questions," he told Shanahan, "whether intentionally or unintentionally, were almost condescending, and I'm not overjoyed that you came from one of the five corporations that receive 90 percent of taxpayers' dollars. I have to have confidence that the fox is not going to be put back into the henhouse." McCain was livid.

    "Not a good beginning," McCain told Shanahan. "Do not do that again, Mr. Shanahan, or I will not take your name up for a vote before this committee. Am I perfectly clear?" Shanahan nodded his agreement. "Very clear," he said.

    As it turns out, Shanahan's appointment resulted from a series of contentious negotiations between Trump transition official Mira Ricardel and retired Adm. Kevin Sweeney, Mattis's chief of staff. "There was no love loss between Mattis and Ricardel," the senior Pentagon civilian with whom TAC spoke says. "So the SecDef told Sweeney to deal with her. Sweeney is a tough guy and Mira has sharp elbows, so this got nasty."

    The skirmishing got so bad that when Ricardel said she wanted to be the Pentagon's undersecretary for policy, Mattis killed the idea, with Ricardel sidelined as the undersecretary of commerce for export administration. But Ricardel got her revenge: she not only successfully slotted Shanahan as Mattis's number two, she was named as deputy to John Bolton, appointed by Trump to succeed H.R. McMaster as the administration's national security advisor. "It's the ultimate irony," the senior Pentagon official says. "Jim Mattis ignored H.R. and he ends up with Mira Ricardel. Incredible."

    That Jay Gibson has been caught in the Mattis-Ricardel crossfire is an open secret at the Pentagon, where key officials speculate that Ricardel's promotion of Shanahan has less to do with his commitment to Pentagon budget reform than to the fact that the two were close colleagues at Boeing, where Ricardel served for nine years (from 2006 to 2015) as vice president of strategic missile and defense systems. That is to say, Jay Gibson's still unexplained firing has reinforced John McCain's worries that the fox would end up guarding the henhouse.

    "This is the Boeing mafia in all of its glory," the senior Pentagon official says. "Anyone who comes in here [to the Pentagon] will always have Jay Gibson's experience as a marker. You think anyone who's willing to take on the bureaucracy is going to want that job? No way. Budget reform is dead, d-e-a-d dead. So much for draining the swamp."

    Mark Perry is the author of The Most Dangerous Man in America and The Pentagon's Wars . Follow him on Twitter @markperrydc .



    Whine Merchant September 26, 2018 at 12:05 am

    Well, we know where Mattis is going when he leaves the Pentagon. Nice work if you can get it.
    EliteCommInc. , , September 26, 2018 at 3:24 am
    "Even so, Gibson was told he would have the Trump administration's support -- "

    Look these are the issues in which the executive has to be made of sterner stuff. I suspect that the tag line after the articles title heading is more accurate and that has probably nothing to do with COS being quick on the draw.

    Seriously, anyone taking a knife to the Pentagon budget is putting a knife top their throat, unless they have support.

    Gen Mattis wants to save big money stop sending US forces to needless adventures.

    On top of the firing, I found the last three or four paragraphs all about insider trading as opposed to job performance, goals, budget cutting, not even budget accountability . . . Personalities over performance -- holy petolies.

    In this day and age there seems to be no other tune.

    david , , September 26, 2018 at 5:49 am
    All federal agencies are by congressional mandate obligated to pass financial audits EVERY year. DOD hasn't done one in over 10 years. Mattis supposedly was "working" on one for this year. Where is it?

    We see endless stories of waste, fraud, and mismanagement in DOD. The littoral combat ship that more than doubled in price and clearly can't do what it was designed to do. So many others.

    Given that the United States spends more money on defense than the next seven countries COMBINED including Russia and China it's not a question of how much you spend it's a question of how well. Until DOD passes that financial audit that all other agencies are obligated to do DOD should be get any increase in funding.

    Kent , , September 26, 2018 at 6:39 am
    When folks learn that the DOD is the swamp, then we can start having a conversation.
    b. , , September 26, 2018 at 9:24 am
    "Lap Dog" Mattis.
    Scott , , September 26, 2018 at 10:27 am
    The Trump Administration is the most incompetent and corrupt since Warren G. Harding. There is no swamp draining going on. It is just a fight on who occupies it.

    The Trump Administration taking months to fill a position and then not having a support staff in place after 7 months is totally incompetent.

    [Sep 19, 2018] As for Nutty Nikki Haley, Israeli PM Netenyahu wanted Haley in that spot

    Notable quotes:
    "... As for Nutty Nikki Haley, Israeli PM Netenyahu wanted Haley in that spot, both for her rabid pro-Israel stance and to give her the chance to 'make her bones.' To see if she has the right traitorous qualities Israel needs in the WH. Nutty has passed that test with honors, so look for Nutty to get promoted to POTUS, where she'll be a loyal & faithful servant to our Colonial Overlord, Israel. ..."
    Sep 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

    Greg Bacon , says: Website September 19, 2018 at 7:59 am GMT

    There is an ongoing coup against not only Trump, but the entire nation, as this video by "Project Veritas" proves. This State Department subversive claims to be a Democratic Socialist, which are just Antifa terrorists in suits. Antifa was too radical for SANE Americans so they re-branded their putrid form of Communism to call it DSA. They're traitors & saboteurs and should be treated as such .

    As for Nutty Nikki Haley, Israeli PM Netenyahu wanted Haley in that spot, both for her rabid pro-Israel stance and to give her the chance to 'make her bones.' To see if she has the right traitorous qualities Israel needs in the WH. Nutty has passed that test with honors, so look for Nutty to get promoted to POTUS, where she'll be a loyal & faithful servant to our Colonial Overlord, Israel.

    Many Americans labor under the delusion that we're an independent democratic republic, with a USG that honors the cherished Constitution and serves We the People. But that is a fiction, created by a motley assortment of gangsters, think tanks, the MSM and their mighty Wurlitzer organ, Hollywood.

    The USA is under Israeli occupation, with our American neoCON & Zionist Jew Overseers still cracking that whip on our backs, but a digital one, not leather. The NWO Plantation owner is Israel, aided and abetted by the money power of those Rothschild central banks, like the FED, which is the biggest counterfeiting outfit on the planet.

    The only way to fix this sordid mess would be a repeat of what happened back in 1776. Either that, or resign ourselves–and offspring–to a life of misery, poverty, endless wars and terror .

    [Sep 15, 2018] "The United States does not seek to fight the Russians" a Pentagon spokesman said. "However, the United States will not hesitate to use necessary and proportionate force to defend US, coalition or partner forces

    Sep 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

    Northern Star September 12, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    All Stooges should read this wsws article and the accompanying comments

    Why?

    Bcuz I-NS-say so !!!!!

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/09/12/pers-s12.html

    "The Pentagon made clear that US forces are fully prepared to engage Russian troops. "The United States does not seek to fight the Russians" a Pentagon spokesman said. "However, the United States will not hesitate to use necessary and proportionate force to defend US, coalition or partner forces."

    Really?? What psychopaths in the pentagon think this to be the case

    Americans need to understand that complete psycho ccksckers like Groeteschele are as real in 2018 as they were in 1964 .

    http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/429672/Fail-Safe-Movie-Clip-Convicts-And-File-Clerks.html

    Mark Chapman September 13, 2018 at 12:18 pm
    Don't you get it?? You have no right at all to be in Syria, forming 'partnerships' with 'rebels' or anyone else!! Get the fuck out!! Your presence is a violation of sovereignty, as you were not invited by the elected government!

    [Sep 10, 2018] Should Assad subsequently fall - and that is the actual aim of intervention - then Syria will become another anarchic wasteland ruled over by fundamentalist warlords.

    Notable quotes:
    "... We know the proceeds will go unmentioned into offshore havens and the London property market. Britain would derive no geopolitical benefit as a whole. The benefits would accrue only to a kleptocracy who think they have a right to use our country as a loan shark's leg-breaker. ..."
    Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

    Vermithrax , 13 Apr 2018 15:39

    Freedland recently put this argument on Newsnight.

    It is flawed to the point of dishonesty.

    He talks of removing assets as if the process was being conducted under laboratory conditions. There are ten nations enmeshed in a warzone with numerous factions under no one's control. It is magical thinking that cannot be achieved and will only result in rapid, uncontrolled escalation. The idea that there will be no collateral damage is laughable and I regret to suggest that it is deliberately misleading.

    Moreover, in engaging Assad when he is on the brink of victory, the Syrian Civil War will be extended. The Syrian people will then pay the price.

    Should Assad subsequently fall - and that is the actual aim of intervention - then Syria will become another anarchic wasteland ruled over by fundamentalist warlords. The spiral of migration will be renewed bringing loons wrapped in the dispossessed to our own streets. Worse, the militants next stop will be Lebanon and then Israel will be directly involved. Freedland advocates acting against Assad without even attempting to predict the consequences. At the very least I would expect the usual misdirection 'of course this time we must have a plan for rebuilding Syria', secure in the knowledge that by that time there will be another crisis and Syria can be left in entropy.

    No good can come from military intervention. The satisfaction of commentators that the right thing has been done is an irrelevance. The right thing is always just public relations. Every bit of ruthless geopolitics has to have a casus belli to make the killing all righteous and unavoidable. It has always been thus. For resources to be expended on this kind of scale there has to be a rock solid bit of bankable realpolitik. In this case its the struggle for regional hegemony between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Syria can either be part of a supply chain selling Sunni gas/oil to Europe or Shi'a gas/oil to Europe. This is about killing Syrians for the glory of Saudi Arabia. You can see why there has to be a casus belli because thats not something that can be sold. We know the proceeds will go unmentioned into offshore havens and the London property market. Britain would derive no geopolitical benefit as a whole. The benefits would accrue only to a kleptocracy who think they have a right to use our country as a loan shark's leg-breaker.

    It is therefore my contention that Freedland is promoting an immoral act that will have serious consequences without offering any serious improvement in the situation. This is arguably the most dangerous situation since the Cuban Missile crisis and an analysis that advocates pouring oil on the flames is either ridiculously stupid or calculatedly duplicitous.

    thousandautumns -> balancedman , 13 Apr 2018 15:39
    "Up to" 13,000 "opponents" killed over five years during a period of war. I'm assuming that number of "opponents" includes a large number of out and out terrorists who have thrown the country into chaos.
    Brianto , 13 Apr 2018 15:39
    What is Porton Down manufacturing?
    oldeborr , 13 Apr 2018 15:38
    The UK and France bares a heavy responsibility for the current situation in Syria. The cavalier attitude that the ConDems took to international law during the Arab spring encouraged the Saudi s and their proxies to distablise the recognised Govt. Assad is no paragon of virtue, but prior to the insurgency steps were in place to make the country a better place for its citizens, and whilst its true political dissent was not allowed, people could live their lives and go about their business in safety.

    [Sep 09, 2018] A country where an immigrant Sikh girl can become a neocon ambassador

    Notable quotes:
    "... We Americans are totally subject to ziocon propaganda when it comes to Middle East affairs. Anyone that disagrees with that viewpoint is immediately labeled anti-semitic and now banned from social media and of course from the TV talk shows. ..."
    "... Jack posed an interesting question, how does someone like Putin respond to an irrational US who in their delusions can easily escalate military conflict if their ego gets bruised when it is shown that they don't have the unilateral power of a hegemon? ..."
    "... Always thought that Nikki Haley was the price Donald Trump had to pay to get Sheldon Adelson's large campaign contributions in 2016. Adelson was Trump's second biggest contributor. So was recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Sheldon got his money's worth. https://www.investopedia.co... ..."
    "... Nikki Haley's Sikh origins may have something to do with her anti-Muslim feelings. ..."
    "... it is hypocritical in the extreme for the U.S. to be criticising anyone for killing people anywhere after what they have been doing in the Middle East. According to Professor Gideon Polya the total avoidable deaths in Afghanstan alone since 2001 under ongoing war and occupation-imposed deprivation amount to around three million people, about 900,000 of whom are infants under the age of five (see Professor Gideon Polya at La Trobe University in Melbourne book, 'Body Count: Global Avoidable Mortality Since 1950' and Washington DC-based Physicians for Social Responsibility study: http://www.psr.org/assets/p... . ..."
    "... Is it in our DNA that we can't learn lessons from our interventionist experience in the Middle East? Looks like Iraq is spinning out of control once again. I'm sure many including the Shia may reminisce favorably to the Sadam years despite his tyranny. https://ejmagnier.com/2018/... ..."
    "... We are indoctrinated with the idea that all people are basically the same. In fact this is only true at the level of basics like shelter, food, sex, etc. We refuse to really believe in the reality of widely varying cultures. It makes us incapable, as a group, of understanding people who do not share our outlook. i have been dealing with this all my life as a delegated "ambassador" to the "others." ..."
    "... In this context, if you were Vladimir Putin and knowing that President Trump is completely ignorant when it comes to history and policy details and has surrounded himself with neocons as far as foreign policy is concerned and Bibi has him eating out of his hands, how would you deal with him if he starts to get belligerent in Syria and Ukraine? ..."
    "... Did the Syrians get upset by General Sherman's destructive march through South Carolina? No. It was a mistake for the US ever getting involved in Syria, with forming, equipping and training foreign armies and shadow governments including replacement prime ministers, all in violation of the UN Charter. ..."
    "... Trump is more savagely and ignorantly aggressive. ..."
    "... Trump, Nikki and Bolton have been tweeting warnings about the Idlib offensive and already accusing Assad if there are any chemical attacks. Wonder why? Lavrov has also made comments that he expects a chemical use false flag. Not sure about this post on Zerohedge, but if it has any credibility then it would appear that the US military is getting ready for some kind of provocation. ..."
    Sep 08, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

    "In her statement during the UN Security Council briefing, Haley said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its "enablers," Russia and Iran have a playbook for the war in Syria. First, they surround a civilian area. Next, they make the "preposterous claim that everyone in the area is a terrorist," thus making all civilians targets. That is followed by a "starve and surrender" campaign, during which Syrian security forces keep attacking until the people no longer have food, clean water, or shelter. "It's a playbook of death. The Assad regime has spent the last seven years refining it with Russia and Iran's help."

    According to her it has happened many times before, in July 2018 it happened in Dara'a and the southwest of Syria, where Syrian forces "trapped and besieged civilians." In February 2018, it was Ghouta. In 2017 it was Aleppo, and prior to that places like Madaya and Hama.

    According to her, Assad's government has left the country in ruins. "The atrocities committed by Assad will be a permanent stain on history and a black mark for this Council -- which was blocked over and over by Russia from taking action to help," Nikki Haley said." SF

    ------------

    Well, strictly speaking, her parents were immigrants, not she. She was born in Bamberg, South Carolina, a little town in the Piedmont that is majority Black. Her parents were professional people at Amritsar in the Punjab. Haley is the surname of her husband. Nikki is a nickname by which she has long been known. As governor, she was in favor of flying the Confederate flag on the Statehouse grounds before the Charleston massacre of Black Christians at a Bible study session. They were killed by an unstable white teen aged misfit whom they had invited to join their worship. After that Nikki discovered that the Confederate flag was a bad and disruptive symbol. It was a popular position across the country and Nikki became an instant "hit," the flavor of the month so to speak.

    I suppose that she was supposed to be an interesting and decorative figure as UN ambassador. She is quite pretty and the South Carolina accent adds to the effect.

    The positions she has taken at the UN with regard to the ME are similar to those expressed by her boss, President Trump. They are largely reflections of images projected by the popular and mass media operating as Zionist propaganda machines. I don't believe that the State Department's INR analytic bureau believes the crapola that she spouts with such hysteric fervor. I don't believe that my former friend David Satterfield believes the crapola. So, where does she get ideas like the ones quoted above? IMO she is trying to out-Trump Trump. DJT is a remarkably ignorant man concerning the geo-politics of just about everything in the ME. He appears to have once seen the film, "Exodus" and to have decided on the basis of Paul Newman's performance as Begin that the situation was and is quite simple - Israel good! Everyone else bad! Nikki's depth of knowledge appears to be just about the same.

    She also appears to me to be in receipt of a stream of opinion from various Zionist and anti-Muslim groups probably related to the anti-Muslim ravings of Maronite and other Christian ME extremists.

    These groups cannot seem to understand that alliances shift as does policy. They don't seem to understand that Israel's policy in Syria is no longer regime change. They never seem to have understood that the Syrian government is the protector of the religious minorities against Sunni jihadi fanatics.

    They don't seem to understand that the Syrian government has no choice but to recover Idlib Province, a piece of Syria's heartland. pl

    https://southfront.org/us-ambassador-to-un-goes-wild-claims-russia-syria-iran-seek-to-kill-civilians-destroy-schools-and-hospitals-in-idlib/

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

    Posted at 10:31 AM in As The Borg Turns , government , Iran , Middle East , Politics , Russia , Syria , Turkey | Permalink | 2 Comments


    Don Bacon , 19 hours ago

    Haley's "playbook" is used by the US but not by Russia & Iran as she claims, with all civilians being targeted. Instead, Russia & Iran have taken warfare to a higher and better level, allowing the armed factions to surrender their arms and get on a bus or be killed, and many of them took the bus to preserve their lives until the final offensive. A third option, which many of them took, was to join the SAA and fight against their former comrades. All of this statecraft was revolutionary, and was not at all as Haley described, including the crocodile tears over Syrian lives which has never been honest especially considering the level of support Assad has within Syria.
    Jaime -> Don Bacon , 16 hours ago
    I agree it is revolutionary, at least in modern times in the western world. I wonder if it will set a "trend": a more humane way to wage war. I am sure it will be studied in war colleges.
    Jonathan A. Goff , a day ago
    Pat,

    One observation I had while thinking about the Ambassador Haley quote you provided (which I think supports the point you were making in your post):

    When the US was in a somewhat similar situation during the occupation of Iraq, where Sunni militants were in open rebellion and controlling towns like Fallujah, our response wasn't wildly different to the Syrian government's response. The US gov't at the time typically labeled any armed resistance "terrorists", and while they might acknowledge that there were civilians in those territories in addition to terrorists, they were just "human shields" and "regrettable collateral damage". Did the US try a little harder, and have a bit better of technology, training, etc, and do a little bit better of trying to limit damage to civilians when crushing those uprisings? Yes. But we're mostly talking modest quantitative differences in response, not fundamentally morally superior qualitative differences. I bet you if you took pictures of towns like Fallujah, Sadr City, etc, after US counter-insurgency operations, and mixed them in with pictures of trashed Syrian towns that had just been liberated from rebel groups, and showed them to Nikki Haley, or frankly any neocon, they'd have a hard time telling the difference.

    ~Jon

    Biggee Mikeee -> Jonathan A. Goff , 21 hours ago
    As I was reading this topic Raqqa and Fallujah came to mind. In the case of Fallujah I don't recall if the civilians were given an opportunity to evacuate. They were not in ISIS controlled Raqqa. In any event Haley's blather at the UN is for the consumption of the rubes.
    O rly -> Biggee Mikeee , 18 hours ago
    as far as i recall in the battle for fallujah, only women and children were permitted to leave during the siege.and during the siege of Mosul they were dropping leaflets telling people not to try and leave.
    Jonathan A. Goff -> Biggee Mikeee , 19 hours ago
    And giving civilians a chance to evacuate doesn't help as much as one would think if the insurgents/rebels really do want to use them as human shields.

    ~Jon

    stevenwithavee -> Jonathan A. Goff , 16 hours ago
    Speaking to young marines in the aftermath of the second assault on Fallujah I learned that although women and children were allowed to pass the checkpoints but men of fighting age (also known as the father, brother or husband who was driving the families out of the city) were sent back into the city.
    jdledell , 16 hours ago
    In talking with people here in the U.S. about Syria there is the total lack of understanding of Assad's Alawite government. There are a couple million Christians in Syria and it is Assad's government that protects them from the Saudi sponsored Sunni headchoppers who would like to eliminate Christians, Jews, and Shia from the Middle East. Perhaps, the Alawites being an offshoot of Shia makes them sensitive to minority religions. However, mentioning Assad evokes strong negative reaction among U.S. Christians, similar to Trumps "lets kill them all". On my one visit to Damascus, traveling on my U.S. Passport rather than my Israeli one, The Christians I met were uniformly positive about Assad and the need for Assad to control the ENTIRE country.
    blue peacock -> jdledell , 15 hours ago
    Thank you for providing your direct experience of the views of Christian Syrians you met there.

    Unfortunately none of those views ever make it to either to our print or broadcast media. We Americans are totally subject to ziocon propaganda when it comes to Middle East affairs. Anyone that disagrees with that viewpoint is immediately labeled anti-semitic and now banned from social media and of course from the TV talk shows.

    Jack posed an interesting question, how does someone like Putin respond to an irrational US who in their delusions can easily escalate military conflict if their ego gets bruised when it is shown that they don't have the unilateral power of a hegemon?

    Bag Man , 17 hours ago
    Always thought that Nikki Haley was the price Donald Trump had to pay to get Sheldon Adelson's large campaign contributions in 2016. Adelson was Trump's second biggest contributor. So was recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Sheldon got his money's worth. https://www.investopedia.co...
    Pat Lang Mod , 20 hours ago
    Somebody said that Nikki's nonsense is for "the rubes." Nah, you town people are just as gullible.
    ex-PFC Chuck , 17 hours ago
    There's a disturbing piece up today at WaPo by Karen De Young asserting the USA is doubling down in Syria. From the piece, emphasis by ex-PFC Chuck:
    "We've started using new language," [James] Jeffrey said, referring to previous warnings against the use of chemical weapons. Now, he said, the United States will not tolerate "an attack. Period." "Any offensive is to us objectionable as a reckless escalation" he said. "You add to that, if you use chemical weapons, or create refu­gee flows or attack innocent civilians," and "the consequences of that are that we will shift our positions and use all of our tools to make it clear that we'll have to find ways to achieve our goals that are less reliant on the goodwill of the Russians."

    Jeffrey is said to be Pompeo's point person on Syria. Do any of you with ears closer to the ground than those of us in flyover land know anything about this change of tune?

    Biggee Mikeee , 19 hours ago
    .Iraq PM urged to quit as key ally deserts him over unrest.

    Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi faced calls to resign yesterday as his alliance with a populist cleric who won May elections crumbled over deadly unrest shaking the country's south. The two leading groups in parliament called on Abadi to step down, after lawmakers held an emergency meeting on the public anger boiling over in the southern city of Basra.,...

    The Conquest Alliance of pro-Iranian former paramilitary fighters was "on the same wavelength" as Sadr's Marching Towards Reform list and they would work together to form a new government, Assadi said. Abadi, whose grouping came third in the May polls, defended his record in parliament, describig the unrest as "political sabotage" and saying the crisis over public services was being exploited for political ends. http://news.kuwaittimes.net...

    Has McGurk been outmaneuvered by the Iranians?

    The Beaver -> Biggee Mikeee , 18 hours ago
    According to Elijah Magnier :
    Soleimani 1- Brett McGurk 0
    Matina Zia , 20 hours ago
    Nikki Haley's Sikh origins may have something to do with her anti-Muslim feelings. According to J. D Cunningham, author of 'History of the Sikhs (Appendix XX)' included among the injunctions ordained by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth guru, 'a Khalsa (true Sikh) proves himself if he mounts a warhorse; is always waging war; kills a Khan (Muslim) and slays the Turks (Muslims).'

    Aside from this, it is hypocritical in the extreme for the U.S. to be criticising anyone for killing people anywhere after what they have been doing in the Middle East. According to Professor Gideon Polya the total avoidable deaths in Afghanstan alone since 2001
    under ongoing war and occupation-imposed deprivation amount to around three million people, about 900,000 of whom are infants under the age of five (see Professor Gideon Polya at La Trobe University in Melbourne book, 'Body Count: Global Avoidable Mortality Since 1950' and Washington DC-based Physicians for Social Responsibility study: http://www.psr.org/assets/p... .

    Pat Lang Mod -> Matina Zia , 20 hours ago
    I really doubt your numbers. What is your stake in this discussion?
    Fred -> Matina Zia , 12 hours ago
    Your good professor sounds like a great piece of work. "Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950" Perhaps we should have stopped all that foreign aid in the '50s.
    stevenwithavee -> Matina Zia , 15 hours ago
    The under five mortality figures from Afghanistan (1 in 5) are a problem that preceded our involvement by many years. However, the failure of the international community to make any significant progress over the last 17 years would be a legitimate criticism.
    Jack , 20 hours ago
    Sir

    Is it in our DNA that we can't learn lessons from our interventionist experience in the Middle East? Looks like Iraq is spinning out of control once again. I'm sure many including the Shia may reminisce favorably to the Sadam years despite his tyranny. https://ejmagnier.com/2018/...

    Pat Lang Mod -> Jack , 19 hours ago
    We are indoctrinated with the idea that all people are basically the same. In fact this is only true at the level of basics like shelter, food, sex, etc. We refuse to really believe in the reality of widely varying cultures. It makes us incapable, as a group, of understanding people who do not share our outlook. i have been dealing with this all my life as a delegated "ambassador" to the "others."
    Jack -> Pat Lang , 19 hours ago
    Thank you, Sir. It makes perfect sense with the End if History and all those beliefs.

    In this context, if you were Vladimir Putin and knowing that President Trump is completely ignorant when it comes to history and policy details and has surrounded himself with neocons as far as foreign policy is concerned and Bibi has him eating out of his hands, how would you deal with him if he starts to get belligerent in Syria and Ukraine?

    Barbara Ann -> Jack , 4 hours ago
    Jack

    You may be interested in a recent article in Unz by SST's own 'smoothieX12' in response to Paul Craig Roberts asking how long Russia should continue to turn the other cheek: http://www.unz.com/article/...

    Biggee Mikeee -> Jack , 19 hours ago
    Earlier today, the two leading groups in Parliament called on Abadi to step down. http://news.kuwaittimes.net...
    Don Bacon , 21 hours ago
    Did the Syrians get upset by General Sherman's destructive march through South Carolina? No. It was a mistake for the US ever getting involved in Syria, with forming, equipping and training foreign armies and shadow governments including replacement prime ministers, all in violation of the UN Charter.

    A new PM was at the top of H.Clinton's to-do list as Secretary of State. My favorite Assad replacement candidate was Ghassan Hitto from Murphy Texas, but he only lasted a couple months. here

    GreenZoneCafe , 21 hours ago
    I don't trust converts except for the adjustment from Protestant to Catholic or vice versa. I suppose shifts from one madhab to another, or between Buddhist schools are also ok.

    Sad that in a moment of crisis,so many of the rising political stars of both parties are so hollow to the point of dangerousness.

    blue peacock , 21 hours ago
    Col. Lang

    Has anything really changed much with our policies in the ME in the past 50+ years? Haven't we been deeply influenced/controlled by Israeli interests in this period, maybe even beyond if the attacks on USS Liberty are taken into account? Is the Trump administration just following in the traditions of Reagan, Bush Père et fils, Clinton and Obama, or is there a qualitative difference?

    Pat Lang Mod -> blue peacock , 21 hours ago
    Trump is more savagely and ignorantly aggressive.
    GreenZoneCafe -> Pat Lang , 20 hours ago
    Trump talks tough but has an aversion to military action. Is that real aggression, or just bullshit for the Bubbas?

    North Korea, Syria are examples. He's left the door open to talking to Iran.

    Trump won the Republican primaries calling out the Iraq war as a mistake!

    Relative to others, dovishness is a Trump virtue. The Tucker Carlson line.

    Contrast with Obama, who bombed Libya and pumped weapons into Syria. We'd probably be at war with Russia in Syria and Ukraine if Hillary had won.

    blue peacock -> GreenZoneCafe , 19 hours ago
    Trump, Nikki and Bolton have been tweeting warnings about the Idlib offensive and already accusing Assad if there are any chemical attacks. Wonder why? Lavrov has also made comments that he expects a chemical use false flag. Not sure about this post on Zerohedge, but if it has any credibility then it would appear that the US military is getting ready for some kind of provocation.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/n...

    Maybe this is all just "positioning" and "messaging" but maybe not. With Bibi, Nikki, Bolton and Pompeo as THE advisors, does anyone have a clue what Trump decides, when, not if, the jihadi White Helmets stage their chemical event in Idlib?

    GreenZoneCafe -> blue peacock , 17 hours ago
    We'll see. The most I expect is another cruise missile attack to the same empty coordinate.
    Pat Lang Mod -> GreenZoneCafe , 17 hours ago
    That will be true if trump sees Nikki and her real bosses for what they are.
    Biggee Mikeee , a day ago
    I think they understand. I think they view this as a temporary setback.

    [Sep 07, 2018] >An Uber-Hawk Flies High Again in Trump's Washington

    Notable quotes:
    "... Curt Mills is the foreign affairs reporter at ..."
    "... where he covers the State Department, National Security Council, and the Trump presidency. ..."
    Sep 07, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    Professional Islamophobe to some, truthsayer to others, Frank Gaffney's found a new perch among the old gang. By CURT MILLSAugust 3, 2018

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    The spring of 2016 in Washington, D.C. was unusually warm, as I remember, perhaps foreshadowing the raucous year yet to come. One night a group of journalists and policy hands gathered at the Dupont Circle bar Rebellion to commiserate. No one knew it yet but it was the closing moment in Act One of the Trump revolution; our 21st-century P.T. Barnum was well on his way from presidential impossibility to presumptive nominee. Yet no one was talking about Trump. That evening, perhaps bespeaking of both the sleeplessness and sexlessness of those gathered, the conversation focused on a new addition to Senator Ted Cruz's national security team: Frank Gaffney, the former Reagan hand and uber-foreign policy hawk.

    Back in 2016, Cruz -- capable, erudite, and reviled -- was positioning himself as the last great hope of movement conservatism. The only candidate who could still plausibly defeat Trump, or individually force a convention brawl, Cruz wanted to convert his early primary brand -- a kind of diluted libertarianism mixed with cultural evangelicalism -- into something more conventionally Republican. Gone was the poaching of the platforms of Rand Paul and Ben Carson, and in was Lindsey Graham who had previously called the junior Texas senator "demonic."

    "This is what we're supposed to oppose Trump with? The paragon of reason, Frank Gaffney?" intoned one policy veteran sympathetic to a restrained foreign policy and, correspondingly, to Paul, who had only recently dropped out of the race. In truth, Cruz was simply trying to replicate a trick mastered by Trump -- a sort of Heisenberg Uncertainty machination of modern conservative politics -- occupying, at the same time, the least and most hawkish spaces on the political field. For every enthrallingly refreshing "Iraq was a big fat mistake" from candidate Trump, there was "we're going to bomb the s**t out of ISIS" and promises to restart the torture program of the Bush years.

    Gaffney's recent career, now re-ascendent in Trump's orbit, is perhaps most emblematic of that conflict of vision.

    When you talk to Gaffney, as I did in his Washington offices at the Center for Security Policy in August of 2017, you get the sense that he and his allies think that the September 11 attacks are now almost a distraction. For the hardcore -- and this includes some principals at more mainstream outfits such as the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) -- the true, largely unencumbered villain in America's war on terror is either -- pick your poison -- the Muslim Brotherhood or Hezbollah. For Gaffney, and his life's work stands as testament to this, it's decidedly the former. Anxieties about the alleged power of the the Muslim Brotherhood are rife in the publications put out by his Center for Security Policy. This often lapses into matters more sinister and conspiratorial: the enemy within, and the enemy itself. His center's books -- and he readily gave me more than 10 -- have titles such as Star Spangled Sharia and Bridge-Building to Nowhere: The Catholic Church's Case Study in Interfaith Delusion . The texts allege elaborate financial and political influence maneuvers by Muslim agents, most concerningly the Brotherhood. Gaffney even intimated to me, before backtracking, that Congressman Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, could be a Brother, or at least compromised by the Brotherhood.

    "The assertion that the dangers that we're facing, most obviously post-9/11, have nothing to do with Islam and [that] the people who are fighting us with terrorism or in Afghanistan or Iraq or elsewhere, are actually hijacking a great Abrahamic faith and a religion of peace and all of that, is simply uninformed," Gaffney told me. "What the authorities of Islam call sharia , has, at its core, our destruction." He added that adherents to sharia "are obliged to engage in jihad, of one kind or another, to impose it on everybody else."

    Yet Gaffney, in the seventh month of the presidency of the man who once told CNN "I think Islam hates us," seemed lukewarm at best over Donald Trump.

    The week I met with him came just after the largest bloodletting of the administration: the rapid-fire ousters of key figures who had been with Trump during the campaign -- Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, Anthony Scaramucci, and Stephen K. Bannon. From where Gaffney was sitting, the White House inner circle was now a mishmash of the kind of conventional Republicans -- James Mattis, Rex Tillerson, H.R. McMaster, and John Kelly -- who, as Peter Beinart reported in The Atlantic , had long "treated Gaffney as a pariah." The so-called axis of adults was unlikely to prioritize fighting for the embattled travel ban in the courts, or pursuing regime change in Iran or Qatar -- "the ATM of the Muslim Brotherhood," as Jonathan Schanzer of FDD put it in a phone conversation with me.

    John Bolton's History of Tirades and Dirty Tricks Iran Hawks and Trump's Contempt for the Iranian People

    Since that discussion, however, Gaffneyism has experienced a clear uptick in fortunes.

    Gaffney's relevance stems from his relationship with Trump's national security advisor, John Bolton, as well as the chief of staff of Bolton's National Security Council, Fred Fleitz. Fleitz has worked as chief for both men. As I detailed in the Spectator USA , Bolton was eventually able to leverage his media appearances into one of the most senior positions in the government. (Gaffney is also a fellow, though not parallel, traveler of Bannon's.)

    Both the genius and the secret of the modern anti-establishment right is, like Trump, its ability to occupy two places at once. Bannon's former outlet Breitbart News , where Gaffney is a regular radio guest (as was Bolton previously), is proof positive. Breitbart has staunchly defended most actions of the Netanyahu government in Israel while condemning the Pentagon for its support of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. On foreign policy, the Trump coalition is a tenuous alliance between some of the GOP's least interventionist voices, Rand Paul as well as Bannon on most issues, and some of its most interventionist voices, like Gaffney and Bolton.

    But there is one area where the hawks in this arrangement have prevailed: cutting Iran down to size.

    In fact, it hasn't been much of a fight: Trump leaving the Iran nuclear deal in some fashion was never really in doubt. As I reported last fall, at one point, the fight inside Trump circles was essentially between two plans to exit the deal as written during the Obama years: Bolton, Bannon, and Gaffney's plan versus the more restrained architecture favored by the FDD.

    Gaffney didn't get full sway over that decision, but he didn't have to.

    His biggest victory was the president's selection of Bolton. While Bolton himself campaigned to get the job at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), it was Gaffney who was most direct: "You know, everybody says it's great to be back at CPAC, but nobody means it like I do," he said, declaring, "The president of the United States must fire H.R. McMaster and hire John Bolton!" Years back, Gaffney had denounced CPAC's organizing body, the American Conservative Union (ACU), for its support of Suhail Khan, a Muslim former Bush administration official he accused of being an agent of the Brotherhood. The dispute had played out prominently in the national news.

    And that's really the handle: going forward, will Gaffney's very real policy influence be sundered by what some see as a penchant for wacky prejudice? He isn't without real influence, and as Peter Beinart argued earlier this year, Bolton has helped rehabilitate him even further on the right. "The man has one of the best minds in D.C.," said Raheem Kassam, who was raised Muslim and is the former editor of Breitbart London. He added, however: "Genius doesn't come without eccentricity."

    One example is that, in conducting research for this article, two sources familiar with the matter told me of Gaffney's history of compiling opposition research dossiers on those who fall out of his favor. One recent case involved a former member of Gaffney's circle (a clique that includes Ginny Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas) who became romantically involved with a Muslim -- apparently a bridge too far. And Gaffney's flare-ups with Grover Norquist, the conservative tax policy kingmaker who married a Muslim woman in 2004, are well documented. A dossier put out by CSP and its allies on the subject reads: "The Islamists' -- and their Enablers' -- Assault on the Right: The Case Against Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan."

    Cracks on policy have shown. In addition to holding views on Islam that are emphatically outside the mainstream, Gaffney, doctrinaire hawkish in a way that the president is not, recently joined in on the criticism of Trump's Helsinki summit, while his center has repeatedly urged regime change as the best course in North Korea. After Trump's meeting with Vladimir Putin, Gaffney said Trump could be making President Obama look strong by comparison. In a published statement, he intoned: "President Trump needs now to clarify -- and walk back -- any mandates for institutionalizing Moscow's agenda in ways that would make the appalling Obama-Clinton 'reset' with Russia seem robust."

    That's the real question for Bolton's NSC and this Republican Party: as Trump continues to remake American conservatism in his image, at what point, if any, does Gaffney go from lodestar to liability?

    Curt Mills is the foreign affairs reporter at The National Interest, where he covers the State Department, National Security Council, and the Trump presidency. MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR

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    Recommended by Hide 13 comments 13 Responses to An Uber-Hawk Flies High Again in Trump's Washington

    H.D. August 2, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    The unholy alliance of Zionist puppet masters and the crazy-eyed white conspiracists

    Seven Iron , says: August 3, 2018 at 5:11 am

    Gaffney's a crank. This kind of attention only encourages him.

    He and other neoconservatives didn't get the good hard boot in the face they so richly deserved after the Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen disasters they caused. Happily for Christendom, it seems that omission will be remedied in the not too distant future.

    SteveM , says: August 3, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Note that at the February CPAC conference in which Gaffney endorsed Bolton for Trump's NSA, he also called for "regime change" in China.

    Amazing. Gaffney sees the Super-Power U.S. as a giant hegemonic anaconda that can swallow anything no matter how big.

    Note too that Gaffney's Center for Security Policy took in over $7,000,000 in 2016, (last posted IRS Form 990). Where does that money come from? Especially given that Gaffney is a supposed "crank". He obviously has benefactors who want to leverage his fear-monger schtick for their own purposes.

    And OBTW, Gaffney pays himself over $350 Grand via a crony Board of Directors who authorize that kind of mad money. Not bad scratch for just showing up and gas-bagging.

    In the end, Gaffney is the quintessential parasitic Beltway Hack, i.e., paid large for mind dumps scripted for his benefactors.

    LM , says: August 3, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    HD Id agree with the Zionist puppet masters (which I normally think of as neoconservatives and neoliberals).

    I have to wonder whether Trumps embrace of hawks and warmongerers is to placate and passify them so they don't join the ranks of never Trumpers, Russian colluders and other manufactured and fictional stories to undermine the Trump Administration.

    So far he has embraced them with a military buildup, tough talk with North Korea, withdrawing from the JCPOA, chastising NATO, waging trade wars and sending US ships into the South China Sea (to the consternation of China) and sending US troops to African to fight Islamic radicalism (there is more than one place in the world where Islamic wars are being fought).

    But at the same time, Trump has not fallen into the trap of GBushII in being their lapdog following their dictates nor has he opposed them withdrawn and starved the military like Obama.

    Trump has used hawks to appear strong and strengthen his defenses but he has not created any new military confrontations which gives me confidence that Trump knows how to handle powerful constituencies. Lets hope he continues to do so.