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Hillary Clinton can change her views in an instant on trade, guns, gay marriage, and all sorts of issues, but she's consistent in this: she wants war. Washington Examiner
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Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page Hillary Clinton as neocon warmonger
The key points
Here is one exchange from naked capitalism blog that can extend this summary brings several other interesting points (nakedcapitalism.com, Oct 05, 2016)
Oct 05, 2016 | www.James Kroeger October 5, 2016 at 8:02 amlikbez October 5, 2016 at 9:17 pm
So what's a voter to do?
Well, I would hope that informed voters who have a healthy fear of the military-industrial-political complex will vote to keep the scariest of the two re: nuclear war out of office. This particular concern is the reason why I will in all likelihood be voting for the man I've been ridiculing for most of the past year, simply because I am terrified of the prospect of Hillary Clinton as Commander-in-Chief.
Trump is a bad choice for a long list of reasons, but the most outrageous things he has proposed require legislation and I think it will be possible to defeat his essential sociopathy on that level, since he will face not only the opposition of the Dem Party, but also MSM and a significant number of people from his own party.
But when it comes to the President's ability to put American 'boots on the ground' vs. some theoretical enemy, no such approval from Congress is necessary. Hillary Clinton will be in a position to get us into a costly war without having to overcome any domestic opposition to pull it off.
What scares me is my knowledge of her career-long investment in trying to convince the generals and the admirals that she is a 'tough bitch', ala Margaret Thatcher, who will not hesitate to pull the trigger. An illuminating article in the NY Times revealed that she always advocates the most muscular and reckless dispositions of U.S. military forces whenever her opinion is solicited.
All of her experience re: foreign policy that she's been touting is actually the scariest thing about her, when you look at what her historical dispositions have been. The "No Fly Zone" she's been pushing since last year is just the latest example of her instinct to act recklessly, as it directly invites a military confrontation with Russia.
Her willingness to roll the dice, to gamble with other people's lives, is ingrained within her political personality, of which she is so proud.
Her greatest political fear-that she might one day be accused by Republicans of being "weak on America's enemies"-is what we have to fear. That fear is what drives her to the most extreme of war hawk positions, since her foundational strategy is to get out in front of the criticism she anticipates.
It is what we can count on. She will most assuredly get America into a war within the first 6-9 months of her Presidency, since she will be looking forward to the muscular response she will order when she is 'tested', as she expects.
How reckless is Trump likely to be? Well, like Clinton-and all other civilian Commanders-in-Chief, Trump be utterly dependent upon the advice of military professionals in deciding what kind of responses to order. But in the position of The Decider, there is one significant difference between Trump and Clinton. Trump is at least willing and able to 1) view Putin as someone who is not a threat to the United States and 2) is able/willing to question the rationality of America's continued participation in NATO.
These differences alone are enough to move me to actually vote for someone I find politically detestable, simply because I fear that the alternative is a high probability of war, and a greatly enhanced risk of nuclear annihilation-through miscalculation-under a Hillary Clinton Presidency.
Quite simply, she scares the hell out of me.James,
Excellent, really excellent summary. Thank you. Especially this observation:
"Her greatest political fear-that she might one day be accused by Republicans of being "weak on America's enemies"-is what we have to fear. That fear is what drives her to the most extreme of war hawk positions, since her foundational strategy is to get out in front of the criticism she anticipates."
I would like to add a few minor points:
1. Clinton might not have the intellectual capacity to discern critically important distinctions ( http://angrybearblog.com/2015/06/what-worries-me-most-about-clinton-that-she-may-not-have-the-intellectual-capacity-to-discern-even-critically-important-distinctions-even-glaring-ones.html ). From comments: "Hillary is phony as a 3-dollar bill. And I just watched FDR doing his thing on NPR's " The Roosevelts " , reminding me that in universes other than the one I occupy , it's possible to have an outstanding progressive , an outstanding candidate , and an outstanding human being , all in one."
2. She (like most sociopaths, although it is unclear whether she is one or not) is not able to apologize for mistakes. New York Times:In the end, she settled on language that was similar to Senator John Kerry's when he was the Democratic nominee in 2004: that if she had known in 2002 what she knows now about Iraqi weaponry, she would never have voted for the Senate resolution authorizing force.
Yet antiwar anger has festered, and yesterday morning Mrs. Clinton rolled out a new response to those demanding contrition: She said she was willing to lose support from voters rather than make an apology she did not believe in.
"If the most important thing to any of you is choosing someone who did not cast that vote or has said his vote was a mistake, then there are others to choose from," Mrs. Clinton told an audience in Dover, N.H., in a veiled reference to two rivals for the nomination, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina.
Her decision not to apologize is regarded so seriously within her campaign that some advisers believe it will be remembered as a turning point in the race: either ultimately galvanizing voters against her (if she loses the nomination), or highlighting her resolve and her willingness to buck Democratic conventional wisdom (if she wins).
At the same time, the level of Democratic anger has surprised some of her allies and advisers, and her campaign is worried about how long it will last and how much damage it might cause her.
3. Due to her greed she and her close entourage represent a huge security risk. Emailgate had shown that as for computer security she is an absolute zero. Absolutely, horribly incompetent and absolutely, horribly greedy (the key idea of private server was to hide her "pay for play" deals related to Clinton foundation). The same level of computer security incompetence is prevalent in her close circle (Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, etc) .
4. She strongly believe in the neoconservative foreign-policy agenda by re-casting the neoconservatives' goals in liberal-interventionist terms. In reality the difference between "liberal interventionism" and Neoconservatism are pretty superficial (Kagan already calls himself liberal interventionalist) and Hillary's willingness to infest a foreign-policy establishment with neocons is beyond any doubt and comparable with Bush II.
As the recent Republican primary contest had shown neoconservatives have virtually no support among the US voters. Their base is exclusively military-industrial complex. So the reason she is reaching out to those shady figures is a deceptively simple: she shares common views, respects their supposed expertise, and wants them in her governing coalition. That means that "… today's Democrats have become the Party of War: a home for arms merchants, mercenaries, academic war planners, lobbyists for every foreign intervention, promoters of color revolutions, failed generals, exploiters of the natural resources of corrupt governments. …" ( http://crookedtimber.org/2016/09/27/donald-trump-the-michael-dukakis-of-the-republican-party/#comment-693421 )
5. She is completely numb to human suffering. She has a total lack of empathy for other people.
( Aug 01, 2017 , www.counterpunch.org )
May 25, 2018 | www.unz.com
One of the most complicated and frustrating aspects of operating a global capitalist empire is maintaining the fiction that it doesn't exist. Virtually every action you take has to be carefully recontextualized or otherwise spun for public consumption. Every time you want to bomb or invade some country to further your interests, you have to mount a whole PR campaign. You can't even appoint a sadistic torture freak to run your own coup-fomenting agency, or shoot a few thousand unarmed people you've imprisoned in a de facto ghetto, without having to do a big song and dance about "defending democracy" and "democratic values."
Naked despotism is so much simpler, not to mention more emotionally gratifying. Ruling an empire as a godlike dictator means never having to say you're sorry. You can torture and kill anyone you want, and conquer and exploit whichever countries you want, without having to explain yourself to anyone. Also, you get to have your humongous likeness muraled onto the walls of buildings, make people swear allegiance to you, and all that other cool dictator stuff.
Global capitalists do not have this luxury. Generating the simulation of democracy that most Western consumers desperately need in order to be able to pretend to believe that they are not just smoothly-functioning cogs in the machinery of a murderous global empire managed by a class of obscenely wealthy and powerful international elites to whom their lives mean exactly nothing, although extremely expensive and time-consuming, is essential to maintaining their monopoly on power. Having conditioned most Westerners into believing they are "free," and not just glorified peasants with gadgets, the global capitalist ruling classes have no choice but to keep up this fiction. Without it, their empire would fall apart at the seams.
This is the devil's bargain modern capitalism made back in the 18th Century. In order to wrest power from the feudal aristocracies that had dominated the West throughout the Middle Ages, the bourgeoisie needed to sell the concept of "democracy" to the unwashed masses, who they needed both to staff their factories and, in some cases, to fight revolutionary wars, or depose and publicly guillotine monarchs. All that gobbledegook about taxes, tariffs, and the unwieldy structure of the feudal system was not the easiest sell to the peasantry. "Liberty" and "equality" went over much better. So "democracy" became their rallying cry, and, eventually, the official narrative of capitalism. The global capitalist ruling classes have been stuck with "democracy" ever since, or, more accurately, with the simulation of democracy.
The purpose of this simulation of democracy is not to generate fake democracy and pass it off as real democracy. Its purpose is to generate the concept of democracy , the only form in which democracy exists. It does this by casting a magic spell (which I'll do my best to demystify in a moment) that deceives us into perceiving the capitalist marketplace we Westerners inhabit, not as a market, but as a society. An essentially democratic society. Not a fully fledged democratic society, but a society progressing toward "democracy" which it is, and simultaneously isn't.
Obviously, life under global capitalism is more democratic than under feudal despotism, not to mention more comfortable and entertaining. Capitalism isn't "evil" or "bad." It's a machine. Its fundamental function is to eliminate any and all despotic values and replace them with a single value, i.e., exchange value, determined by the market. This despotic-value-decoding machine is what freed us from the tyranny of kings and priests, which it did by subjecting us to the tyranny of capitalists and the meaningless value of the so-called free market, wherein everything is just another commodity toothpaste, cell phones, healthcare, food, education, cosmetics, et cetera. Despite that, only an idiot would argue that capitalism is not preferable to despotism, or that it hasn't increased our measure of freedom. So, yes, we have evolved toward democracy, if we're comparing modern capitalism to medieval feudalism.
The problem is that capitalism is never going to lead to actual democracy (i.e., government by and for the people). This is never going to happen. In fact, capitalism has already reached the limits of the freedom it can safely offer us. This freedom grants us the ability to make an ever-expanding variety of choices none of which have much to do with democracy. For example, Western consumers are free to work for whatever corporation they want, and to buy whatever products they want, and to assume as much debt as the market will allow to purchase a home wherever they want, and to worship whichever gods they want (as long as they conform their behavior to the values of capitalism and not their religion), and men can transform themselves into women, and white people can deem themselves African Americans, or Native Americans, or whatever they want, and anyone can mock or insult the President or the Queen of England on Facebook and Twitter, none of which freedoms were even imaginable, much less possible, under feudal despotism.
But this is as far as our "freedom" goes. The global capitalist ruling classes are never going to allow us to govern ourselves, not in any meaningful way. In fact, since the mid-1970s, they've been systematically dismantling the framework of social democracy throughout the West, and otherwise relentlessly privatizing everything. They've been doing this more slowly in Europe, where social democracy is more entrenched, but, make no mistake, American "society" is the model for our dystopian future. The ruling classes and their debt-enslaved servants, protected from the desperate masses by squads of hyper-militarized police, medicated in their sanitized enclaves, watching Westworld on Amazon Prime as their shares in private prisons rise and the forces of democracy defend their freedom by slaughtering men, women, and children in some faraway country they can't find on a map, and would never visit on vacation anyway this is where the USA already is, and where the rest of the West is headed.
Which is why it is absolutely crucial to maintain the simulation of democracy, and the fiction that we're still living in a world where major geopolitical events are determined by sovereign nations and their leaders, rather than by global corporations and a class of supranational elites whose primary allegiance is to global capitalism, rather than to any specific nation, much less to the actual people who live there. The global capitalist ruling classes need the masses in the West to believe that they live in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and so on, and not in a global marketplace. Because, if it's all one global marketplace, with one big global labor force (which global corporations can exploit with impunity), and if it's one big global financial system (where the economies of supposed adversaries like China and the United States, or the European Union and Russia, are almost totally interdependent), then there is no United States of America, no United Kingdom, no France, no Germany or not as we're conditioned to perceive them. There is only the global capitalist empire, divided into "national" market territories, each performing slightly different administrative functions within the empire and those territories that have not yet surrendered their sovereignty and been absorbed into it. I think you know which those territories are.
But getting back to the simulation of democracy (the purpose of which is to prevent us from perceiving the world as I just suggested above), how that works is, we are all conditioned to believe we are living in these imperfect democracies, which are inexorably evolving toward "real" democracy but just haven't managed to get there quite yet. "Real" being the key word here, because there is no such thing as real democracy. There never has been, except among relatively small and homogenous groups of people. Like Baudrillard's Disneyland, "Western democracy" is presented to us as "imperfect" or "unfinished" (in other words, as a replica of "real democracy") in order to convince us that there exists such a thing as "real democracy," which we will achieve someday.
This is how simulations work. The replica does not exist to deceive us into believing it is the "real" thing. It exists to convince us that there is a "real" thing . In essence, it invokes the "real" thing by pretending to be a copy of it. Just as the images of God in church invoke the "god" of which they are copies (if only in the minds of the faithful), our imperfect replica of democracy invokes the concept of "real democracy" (which does not exist, and has never existed, beyond the level of tribes and bands).
This is, of course, ceremonial magic but then so is everything else, really. Take out a twenty dollar bill, or a twenty Euro note, or your driver's license. They are utterly valueless, except as symbols, but no less powerful for being just symbols. Or look at some supposedly solid object under an electron microscope. Try this with a tablespoon. As that bald kid in The Matrix put it, you will "realize that there is no spoon" or, rather, that there is only the spoon we've created by believing that there is a spoon.
Look, I don't mean to get all spooky. What that kid (among various others throughout history) was trying to get us to understand is that we create reality, collectively, with symbols or we allow reality to be created for us. Our collective reality is also our religion, in that we live our lives and raise our children according to its precepts and values, regardless of whatever other rituals we may or may not engage in on the weekend. Western consumers, no matter whether nominally Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, or of any other faith, live their lives and raise their children according to the values and rules of capitalism. Capitalism is our religion. Like every religion, it has a cosmology.
In the cosmology of global capitalism, "democracy" is capitalist heaven. We hear it preached about throughout our lives, we're surrounded by graven images of it, but we don't get to see it until we're dead. Attempting to storm its pearly gates, or to create the Kingdom of Democracy on Earth, is heresy, and is punishable by death. Denying its existence is blasphemy, for which the punishment is excommunication, and consignment to the City of Dis, where the lost souls shout back and forth at each other across the lower depths of the Internet, their infernal voices unheard by the faithful but, hey, don't take the word of an apostate like me. Go ahead, try it, and see what happens.
C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. He can reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .
animalogic , May 23, 2018 at 2:49 pm GMTReally good, amusing article.SunBakedSuburb , May 23, 2018 at 5:26 pm GMT
Our replica of democracy is not to deceive us, but to convince us that there really IS an(unattainable) democracy. The promised land is always just beyond the horizon"It does this by casting a magic spell that deceives us into perceiving the capitalist marketplace we Westerners inhabit, not as a market, but as a society."Per/Norway , May 23, 2018 at 8:08 pm GMT
Yes. Consumer capitalism requires illusion and MK-ULTRA programs to function.
"We create reality, collectively, with symbols "
And those symbols, often repurposed from earlier iterations like the swastika, stem from ancient sources. Maybe the structure of our reality was designed years ago.
"This is, of course, ceremonial magic but then so is everything else, really."
Yep. The narrow-focused rationalists who have degraded science into a religion will never accept that there is a sliver of magic and sorcery, originating from Kabbalistic practices, that operate as a higher level science, the mechanics of which non-initiates can't quantify.
Excellent, thought-provoking article.well written.Speak Truth To Power , May 24, 2018 at 4:55 am GMTI agree with much of what this columnist wrote. However this entire globalist criminal enterprise is rapidly crumbling. This is shown in the rise of patriotic/loyalist and Marxist parties in Europe and the Far Right and Far Left in the U.S. The globalist elite 0.001% empire of the banksters, crapitalists and fingerciers and their lackeys, knaves and varlets, along with their political prostitute puppets, is built on sand. These worthless cretins have loaded down every nation on earth, and especially in the West, with massive, crushing debt. Ditto for individuals and businesses. It is not sustainable. In addition they have off shored much of Western industry into Third World nations and flooded Western nations with Third World proles to hold down wages and depress living conditions. Reaction among the native Whites is building stronger by the day. At some point this volcano is going to blow. When it does all bets are off as to how much destruction will happen.jilles dykstra , May 24, 2018 at 6:41 am GMT
At this point the super rich and their banks and trans-national corporations can either gradually give way to democratic change and re-industrialize the West, discount all these debts, and stop this Third World invasion and begin swift repatriation of these interlopers and save much of their wealth and power or they will soon face armed revolution and civil/class/racial war in the streets. These worthless elites have fouled their own nests since they have left virtually no Western nation untouched by these triple evils of debt, immigration and de-industrialization. They either never learned the lessons of the French and Russian revolutions or believe it could not happen in the 21st Century to them. Either way it makes no difference. Globalism is crumbling and going the way of other evil isms: Fascism, Communism, Nazism, Imperialism, Colonialism, etc. Its days are numbered and the writing is on the wall. Meanwhile those nations not controlled by the Western White Collar Mafia, namely Russia and China, along with Iran and a few other Asian and Middle Eastern nations, are building up their economies and militaries and increasingly challenging the Western tyrants. We are definitely in for troubled times ahead. Always remember: Those who make peaceful change impossible, make violent change inevitable. Globalism has had its evil day and its black sun is setting. The only questions now are will it go peacefully and quietly or loudly and violently and what will replace it. I hope and pray something good and true.A new world order built that that is God and Christ and not man based with peace, prosperity, and justice for all in a natural order of things.Free movement of capital, in Europe since 1997, took away power from politicians.gsjackson , May 24, 2018 at 6:43 am GMT
The German Lafontaine made it clear.
He stated that when in Basel a German spoke to the bankers assembled there, blaming them, they clapped their hands.
One sees it in the terminology used, what in the good old days was called protectionism, a word suggesting something positive, now is trade war, definitely something bad.
It for me is the same as with privatisation of universal services, water, electricity, etc., neither privatising anything is good, also a state economy is not good, as the USSR made clear.
In the good old days in W European countries we had mixed exonomies, commercial enterprises for cars and jeans, state enterprise for electricity and public transport.
In my opinion a mixed world economy also is the best option, this means regulation of capital movement, to mention one thing.A little snapshot to illustrate the point. Standing in the passport control line at Newark Airport -- interminably, because of about 24 stations for checking people back in to the motherland, maybe five were manned. This was in mid-afternoon on a weekday, a time when many international flights were arriving. The wait was about an hour and a half.renfro , May 24, 2018 at 7:37 am GMT
While waiting, you get a superb view through the window of the Manhattan skyline, and might have occasion to think about all the swells in the financial sector whose ever-growing prosperity has sucked money not only out of the real economy of goods and services, but out of government as well, a point Michael Hudson often makes. E.g., cap those property taxes in California, but drive housing prices in California and interest rates sky high to transfer wealth out of the hands of home owners and governments, and into finance capital.
You can work yourself up into a pretty good lather thinking about this while you wait your turn at an under-funded passport control station.I would recommend this book to unz readers. I read it years ago and its basic premise becomes more observably true every year .and pertains to the US as well, something Chu didn't mention.llloyd , Website May 24, 2018 at 9:51 am GMT
World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability
By Amy Chua
Category: World Politics | Economics | Management
"Chua shows how in non-Western countries around the globe, free markets have concentrated starkly disproportionate wealth in the hands of a resented ethnic minority. These "market-dominant minorities" – Chinese in Southeast Asia, Croatians in the former Yugoslavia, whites in Latin America and South Africa, Indians in East Africa, Lebanese in West Africa, Jews in post-communist Russia – become objects of violent hatred.
At the same time, democracy empowers the impoverished majority, unleashing ethnic demagoguery, confiscation, and sometimes genocidal revenge."
So maybe revolutions will be the new way of managing the world,@Speak Truth To PowerDaniil Adamov , May 24, 2018 at 11:05 am GMT
An ex furniture salesman, now the Prime Minister of Israel would not agree. He thinks history has ended. Jerusalem is soon to be or already is the capital of the globalist world. Hate speech laws replace the sanctity of the Monarchs and Churches with the sanctity of Israel and identity politics. His lackeys have even taken away the freedom to shop via the criminalisation of BDS. Talpiot program has turned everything into a video game. He is either a genius or a complete fool. But I hope you are right and he is wrong. Another point. Democracy real and simulated only became fashionable a hundred years ago.That's the first I've heard of "progressing towards democracy" as a major feature of the modern Western worldview (a la USSR progressing towards communism, I suppose). No, I've encountered such ideas before among pundits, but I don't think most people in America, say, believe that they currently don't live in a democracy but will later live in a "true" democracy. That seems like a rather exotic notion outside of very narrow intellectual circles.Jake , May 24, 2018 at 11:14 am GMT
Also, "as long as they conform their behavior to the values of capitalism and not their religion". But people are free to conform their behaviour to the values of their religion to a large extent. They're not free to violate the laws of what you'd call capitalist society. But that is not the same as being forced to conform to its values.Another CJ Hopkins must-read.Miro23 , May 24, 2018 at 11:26 am GMT
So how long before he is imprisoned alongside Julian Assange? Truth-telling is not allowed in Globalist Democracy.Borsalino , May 24, 2018 at 11:43 am GMT
Which is why it is absolutely crucial to maintain the simulation of democracy, and the fiction that we're still living in a world where major geopolitical events are determined by sovereign nations and their leaders, rather than by global corporations and a class of supranational elites whose primary allegiance is to global capitalism, rather than to any specific nation, much less to the actual people who live there.
But it can go wrong. The simulation was supposed to make Hillary Clinton President – but, in the event, it veered over to real Democracy and produced Trump.
Equally the Brexit vote was planned to fail – but that also turned in a real Democratic result with a majority for Brexit.
Simulated Democracy is a difficult process and it's probably due for more failures given the difficulty of controlling the modern flow of information.Damn, Hopkins, you nailed it!ScientistInHiding , May 24, 2018 at 11:49 am GMTI suppose we are all going to spend the rest of our lives listening to bitter millenials rant about the evils of capitalism. After all, they could move out of their parent's basement if the government would force the banks to forgive all their student loans.Ronald Thomas West , Website May 24, 2018 at 12:32 pm GMT
It should be obvious by now that all forms of government eventually morph into what we see all around us today. But let's not confuse free market capitalism (which has never existed) with the aristocratic fascisms that we call "Communism" or "Democracy."
The only way to really solve the problem of government is make government irrelevant.Well, CJ, If I were your political science professor, I'd fail your sorry ass for 'communist jargon' and 'Marxist jingoism' maybe that works fine if you're into looking for strokes when singing to the choir but it won't build alliances that accomplish anything. But maybe that's not your point, and the substance of your butt-hurt whining is about "I'm CJ Hopkins!" kinda like "I'm Rick James!"DESERT FOX , May 24, 2018 at 12:44 pm GMT
Look dude, if you want to get down and dirty with your enemies, hit below the belt, and do it like this:
If you want to entertain, you do it like this:
And like this:
^The worlds elites have us mind controlled and financially controlled via the Zionist Fed that creates money out of thin air and then loans this money to our gov and we goyim and charge interest on this ether created money and there in lies the control for by their control over the money they control every thing.Seamus Padraig , May 24, 2018 at 1:52 pm GMT
In addition the Zionists fastened the IRS on we goyims and this IRS is a off shoot of the FED and so our money is sent to the Zionist bankers who own the FED to make sure we pay for the wars that the Zionists have arranged for we Americans and so this is a trap that has been laid by the central bankers which insures their dominance for ever and ever.
This system of control has been in existence since 1913 when the zionist bankers fastened the FED and the IRS on to the American people and the author of this article is exactly right, we are in a financial prison a prison without bars but a prison none the less.
In regards to voting as Stalin said ie it is not who votes that counts but who counts the votes.ancient archer , May 24, 2018 at 2:05 pm GMT
there is no such thing as real democracy. There never has been, except among relatively small and homogenous groups of people.
Yeah, like Sweden in the 50s.Best article I have read in a long long time.manorchurch , May 24, 2018 at 2:16 pm GMT
Keep it up@Speak Truth To Powermanorchurch , May 24, 2018 at 2:18 pm GMT
These worthless cretins have loaded down every nation on earth, and especially in the West, with massive, crushing debt. Ditto for individuals and businesses. It is not sustainable.
Any given iteration of the capitalism model is unsustainable by its very nature, of course. Any capitalist instantiation is self-exhausting, as capitalism eventually transfers all wealth (or some very large fraction) to the wealthy. ALL. At that point, that instance collapses at some rate determined by its state of monetization.
But not all wealth evaporates. After a financial collapse, a new zero-point establishes at or near "true value". The capitalism model reasserts, and continues. It may be inherent to the nature of Man.@Ronald Thomas WestTG , May 24, 2018 at 2:19 pm GMT
Gee, Ron, usually you write something with some trace of substance.Well said!redmudhooch , May 24, 2018 at 2:22 pm GMT
'Democracy' is a scam that privatizes power, while socializing responsibility.
Reminds me of Oswald Spengler, though he is better read about than read, IMHO. From wikipedia: "Spengler asserts that democracy is simply the political weapon of money, and the media are the means through which money operates a democratic political system."
But one minor quibble: yes, for now, in the West, fake democracy is certainly better than old-style feudalism. But it doesn't have to be, and it doesn't have to stay that way. In many nominally capitalist and 'democratic' countries – like India, Bangladesh, etc. – half the population is chronically malnourished, the physical standard of living well below that of late medieval europe (!). Now that communism has been vanquished, capitalism has no need of a bargain of power for a decent standard of living, and the rich are moving towards dragging the entire world towards the Indian model of cheap-labor serfdom. Yes it can happen here.Citizens United isn't helping, brought to you by the corrupt Supreme Court. They're starting to push putting Ted Cruz in SCOTUS, that would be a huge mistake.manorchurch , May 24, 2018 at 2:24 pm GMT
"Democracy" is a sham, the candidates are carefully pre-selected and promoted by the corrupt media, if that fails, the unelected delegates and super delegates can always void your vote.
This is why we only get Mitt Romneys, Clintons, Bushes, the same ol dirtbags out of millions of people.
Americans clearly want the homicidal wars to end, are the wars/occupations ending?
More Americans clearly are turning away from supporting Israel, does it matter?
Most Americans want mass immigration and illegal immigration stopped, is it stopping?
There is a petition to End the Federal Reserve scam, do any of the petitions go anywhere? Go sign it, lets find out .
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/petition-president-congress-remove-privately-owned-federal-reserve-our-central-bank@JakeDagon Shield , May 24, 2018 at 2:37 pm GMT
So how long before he is imprisoned alongside Julian Assange? Truth-telling is not allowed in Globalist Democracy.
Long time. He circumspects skillfully. Besides, he uses a level of abstraction that few Inet denizens will understand.The Mexican maid is the answer to our collective misery. What do I mean? Well! The white boys have given up on rebelling against the Empire (1% + 10% Jews and Whites with a small sprinkling of non-white goys) and da coloreds (Indians and Chinese) are too wrapped up in trying to prove their worth to the lost crackas while the niggas (Blacks et al) are simply too stupid to understand, let alone do anything about improving their lot. Alas, fear not! The unwelcome army of latinas from Central America, employed as caretakers will prove their worth by simply poisoning the whole perfidious lot, slowly. So, welcome to America, Guadalupe!Justwondering , May 24, 2018 at 3:09 pm GMTThe suffocating hold that propaganda has on an uncritical public must rank as an historic coup for the ages. It is the modern version of the allegory of the cave. Simpletons are willing to die for their puppeteers in wars that serve no other purpose than to enrich their owners. But die for their masters they will. Yet there is a glaring contradiction in foreign wars and America's favorite pastime, regime change. The chances of "real" democracy, for instance, taking root in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Emirates, Egypt are virtually non-existent. Worse still, they are simply not allowed. And any other countries that steer an independent course from American hegemony will suffer consequences -- regime change, economic sanctions or direct military action. Yet it is the public sold on its exceptionalism, living in a "real" democracy (confused with rampant consumerism and hedonism) that has so utterly failed to see -- and act, on these contradictions. Although the notion of "inching" toward "real" democracy may serve to pacify the public, with the ever growing militarization of the deep police state, true democracy will simply not be allowed to flourish. It is the only credible threat to rampant capitalism. What is significant is that the lumpen proletariat firmly believe that they live in a democracy. So change is rendered redundant in such a scenario.m___ , May 24, 2018 at 3:20 pm GMTBest expression of capitalism, religion, democracy as a Weltanschauung.Wally , May 24, 2018 at 3:51 pm GMT
To fuse the totalitarian, univeral concept that paires so well to 98% of the world population we suggest consumerism.
Do not take for granted that our de facto global elites, and the mercenary middle-classes have a clear understandig where they are heading. There is cognitive dissonance in idea, method and projection of their in-group opportunism. Ethics being nothing more then superior opportunism. Smart, but ailing and failing a religion. In fact the theory proves the cognitive capacity of the authors.@Per/NorwayWally , May 24, 2018 at 4:02 pm GMT
The usual Marxist strawmen in play here by Hopkins.
What Hopkins describes is not "capitalism", yet he tries to excoriate capitalism.@llloydmanorchurch , May 24, 2018 at 4:04 pm GMT
"Hate speech laws "
The ongoing debunking of the sacred yet impossible '6M Jews' is what is really driving so called "hate speech laws". What your told is merely the pretext.
Below is where free speech on the impossible 'holocaust' storyline is illegal, violators go to prison for Thought Crimes.
An obvious admission that the storyline doesn't stand up to scientific, logical, & rational scrutiny.
And coming to your neighborhood.
Why is this happening you ask:
The 'holocaust' storyline is one of the most easily debunked narratives ever contrived. That is why those who question it are arrested and persecuted. That is why violent, racist, & privileged Jewish supremacists demand censorship. What sort of truth is it that denies free speech and the freedom to seek the truth? Truth needs no protection from scrutiny.
Only liars demand censorship.
http://www.codoh.com@Wallydensa , May 24, 2018 at 4:11 pm GMT
What Hopkins describes is not "capitalism", yet he tries to excoriate capitalism.
True, but that's what the elites call it.
Stop complaining about terminology. You are so whiny.This is an elegant fleshing out of fashionable despair. Yes, self-rule is a myth. What does Hopkins recommend to replace it with? Is the aspiration of a democratic republic the problem, or is it money, media, and the subversion of power?bjondo , May 24, 2018 at 5:24 pm GMT
As flawed as our belief in democracy is, I haven't heard the better alternative. Just as some say we must go to Mars because we are destroying earth, I think we should take care of this earth as repairing and caring for it might be within our means. Instead of throwing democracy out, we should try and make it work.
For example, been reading about the rise of antibiotic resistant germs and industrial farming. The problem was long known, but there was no political will to do anything about it because the industry could lobby and also control regulators. In theory, the government worked for the greater good of all the people, but in practice it auctions us all to special interest.
Capitalists defend the current system by saying it's not really capitalism. Well, whatever it is, it came about because democracy was not actual but rather an ongoing auction of national interest to special interest.
It's a good article and makes a good case, but you will have to wait just a bit longer until us believers die off as you will not pry this democracy, our heritage and our best chance, from my cold hands.@gsjacksonWally , May 24, 2018 at 6:02 pm GMT
similar experience coming through Atlanta.
Want to create jobs? Coulda created 50 there. At least. And prevented missed flight connections. Obama time.@manorchurchAaronB , May 24, 2018 at 6:11 pm GMT
Oh yeah, you're another whining Zionist who has been demolished by my 'holocaust' debunking information. Hurts don't it?
Your projection is noted. LOL
"If you can't say what you mean, then you can't mean what you say".
http://www.codoh.comI shall proudly call myself an idiot then, as I believe capitalism and democracy are both bad.Ronald Thomas West , Website May 24, 2018 at 6:14 pm GMT
The only system capable of inspiring passion and loyalty is some form of feudalism – personal loyalty to a lord is a beautiful thing, noblesse oblige a beautiful thing, sacred kingship is a beautiful thing, the tradition of beautiful craftsmanship that arises when economic considerations are not uppermost is a beautiful thing, the standards of excellence that are natural to a system that recognizes hierarchy and inequality is a beautiful thing.
I also think personal freedom, and tolerance for eccentricity is far greater when the social system is firmly grounded. In a democracy where nothing is secure conformity of opinion and personality become urgent – to maintain even minimum stability.
Japan has retained elements of feudalism to this day yet is economically far more egalitarian than America – because when economics is the sole standard of value, the ambitious will gather all wealth into their hands.
Seeing the Japanese bow to each other – such a beautiful gesture.@manorchurchBackwoods Bob , May 24, 2018 at 6:53 pm GMT
Yeah, I suppose I could have half tried but the self-righteous indignation (tone) puts me off. It's like Tom Englehardt, get people all tied up in some hopeless, helpless outrage that accomplishes precisely nothing, no solutions, no pointing to a direction that might get something done. In any case CJ is in Berlin but I bet he wouldn't give a New York second's thought to risking his butt and work to put the German politicians nuts in a vise, but Hey! you never know, here's his chance, he can promote this:
Of my five years exile in Germany, two of those years were in Berlin and I can assure you the German political animal is an authentic coward, and Gregor Gysi of Die Linke is no exception, he'd go after CJ before he'd go after the NATO war criminals is my best bet. Maybe CJ has the balls to risk it?Marxist twaddle about "democracy", lol. As if the founders didn't warn us so strenuously about the tyranny of the majority.exiled off mainstreet , May 24, 2018 at 7:02 pm GMT
Our government was formed not so that we could vote on what I am allowed to eat, but so that others would have no say in it.
The centralization of power and conformity across previously sovereign states now prohibits people from voting with their feet. The globalists are the next extension of the same tyranny.
We don't have limited governments and free markets. We have big brother government and a captured regulatory apparatus ensuring only large corporations can survive. Regulatory law is nowhere in the constitution and they dictate over subjects also not in the constitution.
I knew it was over when the US electorate was swooned over Iraqis having purple fingers voting "secret ballots". The candidates names were secret. But all you need to tell the sheeple is that they voted.
This piece is typical Marxist sleight of hand. To have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, you limit what the government can do. Then you have liberty. Self-rule.Mr. Hopkins' article is an effective, accurate description of why and how things have declined into a sort of soft fascism during the last 40 years or so in particular.The Scalpel , Website May 24, 2018 at 7:24 pm GMT@Ronald Thomas WestThe Scalpel , Website May 24, 2018 at 7:28 pm GMT
If you want to hijack someone else's article for the purpose of shameless self-promotion, do it like Ronald Thomas West lol.Democracy can easily be done on the individual level. There are plenty of resources for this. I am not my brother's keeper anyway. don't tell me there is no democracy – just people who want others to give it to them. Go all Thoreau on the world. Go off the grid, or Alaska, or an island somewhere. Democracy is not for pansies.manorchurch , May 24, 2018 at 7:40 pm GMT@Ronald Thomas WestHPLCguru , Website May 24, 2018 at 7:43 pm GMT
no solutions, no pointing to a direction that might get something done
Preceding "solution" is description, and descriptive explanation. The article is not intended as a set of solutions. It is a description and explanation.
Perhaps you have an axe to grind. Not my problemExcellent article with much needed humor. We no longer have a word for an economic system that supports human life. Hunting and gathering was early agriculture. Moving some rocks and dirt out of the way to get some obsidian was mining. Knocking rocks against the obsidian was early manufacturing. The excess from farms, mines and factories is what WAS called capital. We are supposed to believe that a farmer can't plant a seed without a loan! We are in the last stages of financialism. Since the word capitalism is useless how about "real stuffism"? I'm a physical scientist and I can guarantee that math and the physical world always ends financialism.manorchurch , May 24, 2018 at 7:43 pm GMT@Backwoods BobRonald Thomas West , Website May 24, 2018 at 8:36 pm GMT
This piece is typical Marxist sleight of hand.
That line got me to laughing a lot harder than the rest of your bullshit, so I had to stop reading. Your comments are now relegated to the "Duuuuuuuhhhhhh .MARXISM!!!" bin.@The ScalpelCheery Bint , May 24, 2018 at 10:05 pm GMT
Thanks for the promotion, here's one for CJ's 'democracy'
^You could open up the scope of this post's valid point and say that it's not just democracy that's simulated here. Rights and rule of law are simulated too. Democracy, fetishized though it is, in degenerate ritual form, is a very small part of rights and rule of law (specifically, ICCPR Article 25, one article of one of nine core human rights instruments or about 100 total instruments in world-standard customary and conventional international law. http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/UniversalHumanRightsInstruments.aspx )Miro23 , May 24, 2018 at 10:57 pm GMT
Here's CIA telling you how the world works now.
This exchange is a really good catch. Latching on to the term deep state allows CIA to bat away a puffball question that avoids the real question. Their scripted answer to the scripted easy question: employees 'aimed at' the president's objectives and Amerca's objectives. This is clever first of all because it says objectives and not orders. It's a weaker formulation that the Pike-Committee era line, CIA works for the president. CIA is trying to evade the US commitment to command responsibility in the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture. Secondly, the DCI purports to interpret the president's objectives and proclaim America's objectives. Used to be State or NSC did that, subject to presidential directives or decision documents. Pompeo says CIA works for him. We're at the point Frank Zappa told us to expect: CIA's removing the stage set so we're sitting looking at the brick wall. Pompeo's telling you that CIA's in charge.
The hard question is: Does CIA have impunity in municipal law? The answer is yes, of course it does. It's there in black and white in the Central Intelligence Agency Act, the Houston memo, the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, the operational files exemption, and the political questions doctrine. If the DCI had no impunity the new DCI would be in prison. CIA is obligated to prosecute or extradite its torturers and murderers. Na ga happen. CIA has the arbitrary life-and-death power of a totalitarian state. CIA is beyond criminal. Its arbitrary suspension of non-derogable rights and jus cogens says, Law? Fuck law.I agree that the US is the ultimate expression of materialism.Stonehands , May 24, 2018 at 11:01 pm GMT
The original Pilgrim Fathers were looking for religious freedom, but later waves of immigrants came for economic opportunity, and the US was the first place that "Citizens" morphed into "Consumers".
Congressmen are bought and sold, and they're probably OK with that, along the lines that their vote has value, and they'll support whoever bids the highest (which isn't the electors back home).
Like AaronB says, the US (and West in general) has no spiritual foundation, and is just a cynical game of exploitation and corruption pretending to be "Democratic" . Real Democracy does exist, but it's not something that Americans would want to be involved with – it requires a high level of personal commitment and responsibility (probably obligatory), regular local public meetings, investment in studying issues, and the primacy of local decision making and voting over Federal power ( i.e. power residing at the lowest level possible – which in the US would be the County and State). In other words it's hard and time consuming work.
To take a parallel, the late Roman Empire was also a sink of absolute corruption and self interest that couldn't defend its frontiers and finally collapsed, first socially, then economically.
The spiritual Phoenix that rose out of its ashes was Christianity, with the barbarian invaders converting and building Christendom in Europe (Rome) and also in the Middle East (Byzantium). The early Christian communities in the Late Roman Empire were heavily persecuted but still recognized for their high level of morality, work ethic and "respectability", and in its last days (too late), the Empire actually adopted to Christianity through the conversion of Constantine.
A good but difficult source is Robin Lane Fox's "Pagans and Christians" https://www.amazon.com/PAGANS-CHRISTIANS-Robin-Lane-Fox/dp/0394554957/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1527202127&sr=1-2&keywords=pagans+christians+lane+fox@ScientistInHidingRealist , May 24, 2018 at 11:09 pm GMT
It should be obvious by now that all forms of government eventually morph into what we see all around us today. But let's not confuse free market capitalism (which has never existed) with the aristocratic fascisms that we call "Communism" or "Democracy."
You are on the right path, good observations.
Thinking people are aware of the fact that Moderns have permission not freedom.@Speak Truth To PowerRealist , May 24, 2018 at 11:12 pm GMT
Sadly your scenario is probably not viable.
A dream of the pipe variety.Great article.Stonehands , May 24, 2018 at 11:52 pm GMT@manorchurch76239 , Website May 25, 2018 at 12:53 am GMT
Peckerwood you are a fine specimen of American Communism. Where were you indoctrinated- Columbia University or the New School?What a surprise another commie writer on economic issues on Unz! These economic pos articles resemble what you read in the NY times. Sheesh.manorchurch , May 25, 2018 at 1:17 am GMT
"Western consumers are free to buy whatever products they want"
Pure crap. Depending on the state you live in, think for a moment of all the restrictions, taxes and permission you must go through to own a car, buy gass, freon, herbicide. Pharmacy products, illegal drugs guns etc. A list a mile long. Anyone who describes the USA as a free market is plain wrong and has no idea about the problems we face.
Liberty and the free market are not part of the problem. They are part of the solution.
Switzerland, Singapore, and old Hong Kong to name a few examples are some of the wealthiest in the world because of low to no taxes and max economic freedom. Two of the three were crushed by ww2. Came back stronger than ever in 40 yrs or so.@StonehandsWally , May 25, 2018 at 1:21 am GMT
Peckerwood you are a fine specimen of American Communism.
Pecker-putty, fuck off. You wouldn't know commanizm if it bit you in the ass.@AaronBIlya G Poimandres , May 25, 2018 at 2:00 am GMT
You won't see the Japanese opening their borders to low IQ illegal immigrants.You only discuss democracy as some monolithic idea, with some idealised notion that 'real' democracy can only be tribal or small scale. This is not true.willieskull68 , May 25, 2018 at 2:02 am GMT
Representative democracy = evolutionary autocracy and the right to shout. Laws and regulations, being made by representatives – and only representatives – remain purely autocratic in their creation and destruction.
Direct democracy – those tribes. Doesn't work for a society that has a huge population and needs a 'directing mind' as Aurelius likened the individuals' equivalent.
Semi-direct democracy – a combination of the power to create or strike law by both representatives (elected or selected), and the electorate. Switzerland has it (to a degree because of its media, just check the June 10th banking referendum propaganda machine), China approximates it because it polls its population on every level, decision and preference.
At the very least, the electorate should have power to strike laws made by representatives and rescind previously struck laws by representatives. This is only fair – people should have a process for declaring directly what laws they want to abide by. Representatives may not like it, but society is society, it should be able to make these choices, for good or bad.
Representative democracy – democracy in the spirit of the law, and autocracy in the letter of the law – is for the most part an autocracy, with a progressive dumbing down, frustration, and marginalisation of the electorate due to their practical lack of true power to change society.
Then there's the question of education and media, as you need a smart and well informed public with semi-direct much more than with representative. And preferably constitutionally enforced armed military neutrality, as herd behaviour often tends to violence.
Finally – revolutionary democracy: revolts against systems can often be democratic, if bloody, so build an effective system that considers the opinions and worries of the masses.Three sentences and I was done; and a play wright living in Berlin. Berrrrlin Dude, lets do some history, Socialism sucks. But I do agree that my vote has been diluted to zero, by design.Biff , May 25, 2018 at 2:45 am GMT@Speak Truth To Power
A new world order built that that is God and Christ
Been there, done that, and it sucked! Anymore dumb ideas?
May 24, 2018 | consortiumnews.com
jsinton , May 19, 2018 at 8:49 amRobert Emmett , May 19, 2018 at 8:43 am
Since day one, I felt the entire Russia-gate fiasco was horse excrement. It just never passed the smell test. My suspicions were confirmed day by day as Mueller came up with nothing. To my amazement, the MSM pushed the story to the limit with no objectivity, agenda driven, politically motivated, journalistic suicide. They've shown themselves as the propaganda outlets they always were, but we were loath to admit.mike k , May 19, 2018 at 10:03 am
"They misled their readers, they made fools of themselves, and they committed a crime against journalism. And now they're trying to dodge the blame."
That may well be. And Robert Parry meticulously documented such a case. Nevertheless, their work is done. The poison seeds of their lies have been planted in millions of unquestioning U.S. brains, from the high and mighty to the average consumer of "news" and will continue to sprout and spread. More lies are needed to cover up the first lies and on and on and on it goes. That's the nature of a infectious culture of lies. The cultured medium explodes, escapes the lab and runs rampant, leaving those who initiated the whole mess to scramble in a mad attempt to "save face". It wouldn't surprise me if the H-ill-re eventually becomes the first, and last, U.S. woman CEO to drop the big one. If you sometimes hear a faint glug-glug-glug pulsing in your ears, that's the sound of U.S. circling the drain.Rob , May 19, 2018 at 1:51 pm
Very well stated Robert. I like the virus metaphor for propaganda. It's like gossip -- spreading, infecting the gullible with lies .Dave P. , May 19, 2018 at 2:26 pm
Excellent point. As you say, their work is done. The Russiagate meme is now firmly implanted in the minds of tens of millions of Americans, and nothing short of a public confession by the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton that they fabricated the story and fanned the flames in the media will dislodge it. I cannot envision any other means of killing this particular virus. All contrary facts and logic will be brushed aside as fake news created by Russian agents or stooges.j. D. D. , May 19, 2018 at 7:54 am
" . . . Nevertheless, their work is done. The poison seeds of their lies have been planted in millions of unquestioning U.S. brains, from the high and mighty to the average consumer of "news" and will continue to sprout and spread. More lies are needed to cover up the first lies and on and on and on it goes. . ."
Yes. You have summarized it very well. That is how it is in our home too. My wife had been listening to this for some time, Russia, Russia, Russia, and Putin , Putin, evil Putin destroying our democracy, and so on on TV and in Newspapers, that it has gone into the subconscious now. And I read that they, the Ruling Power Structures have done the same to people in Western Europe too.mike k , May 19, 2018 at 10:07 am
While many of the particulars are correct regaring the paucity of evidence against associates of the President, the author misses two key points, upon which the entire Mueller coup operation rests. First, that the campaign against Trump started not in the Clinton campaign or anywhere related, but rather in London with British intelligence, as the Guardian itself has boasted. Not only did MI6's Steele prepare the document that formed the basis of the allegations of "collusion" but it is well known that GCHQ's Hannigan met personally with Brennan in the summer of 2016 to sound the alarm with a "not yet with it" US intel community. Second, the basis of the investigation itself hinges on the alleged "hacking" of the Clinton/DNC emailswhich showed her to be a craven puppet of Wall Street, released just prior to the Democratic Convention. That entire scenario, that the source of the infamous emails were a result of "Russian hacking," was conclusively and repeatedly demolished on this website by fomer top NSA analyst William Binney, and his cohorts at the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).backwardsevolution , May 19, 2018 at 9:16 pm
The Clinton campaign paid Steele to do his thing. Their operation against Trump began the day after his surprise victory.voza0db , May 19, 2018 at 6:29 am
Their operation began long before Trump's victory. It began in earnest just a few days after Hillary Clinton was wrongfully exonerated, way back in July of 2016.RnM , May 19, 2018 at 3:34 am
The funniest part of all this nonsense is that the democrats are going to keep this Illusion of RUSSIAGATE alive until the next elections!
So after the next loss in the upcoming elections we all know who to blame for another democratic loss, right?!Sam F , May 19, 2018 at 8:52 am
You paint a nearly hopeless picture, Mike.
Let us all trust that Mr. Trump, who, despite the intentions of the Totalitarians outed in Daniel Lazare's fine summary article, is the DULY ELECTED POTUS (by the common folk -- no one has made a serious demonstration of vote counting fraud, from my recollections), continues in office.
The American Experiment (in enlightened governance of, by, and for the governed) is in grave jeopardy. The enemy of the Enlightenment's fine accomplishment is Monotheism, which is the philosophical parent of Monarchy, which is the civic governing manifestation of said religious thought patterns.mike k , May 19, 2018 at 10:12 am
I'll suggest that the "American Experiment" is threatened by money power, more than religion, although many fundamentalists are deluded to support zionism. Religion is a problem where it rationalizes simplistic political views, but the root causes are ignorance and selfishness. Monotheism is not really the problem now that there are few monarchies. The Enlightenment, and enlightenment of individuals, has many enemies.RnM , May 19, 2018 at 4:25 pm
The enemies of good government are the greedy and powerful oligarchs who hate democracy, and do everything to distort and destroy it. No need to drag monotheism into it.Sam F , May 20, 2018 at 4:21 pm
My career was spent working with local rural politics. Good governance is by far imperiled by corrupt locals on the take.
Also, Stalin did his purging by setting up secret local committees of three, who fed him names through a beaurocratic pipeline. The Big Guy gets the blame (or credit), but the little fellas do the dirty work.David G , May 19, 2018 at 2:50 am
You are very right about local government corruption, which may have factions based upon tribal loyalties, but is caused by poor moral standards throughout our society. Most local officials are elected with little or no public knowledge of who they are, and as a result are mere low-end power-seekers who will abuse whatever power they can get.Adrian E. , May 19, 2018 at 4:29 am
"[The NY Times] article fails to mention that at the time the conversation with the Australian ambassador took place, the Clinton communications in the news were the 30,000 State Department emails that she had improperly stored on her private computer. Instead of spilling the beans about a data breach yet to come, it's more likely that Papadopoulos was referring to emails that were already in the news -- a possibility the Times fails to discuss."
I've been shouting just this at my TV set (oddly, to little effect). And the same goes for other allegedly damning references to "Clinton emails" in connection with the infamous Trump Tower meeting and probably elsewhere.
Thanks to Daniel Lazare for pointing it out.voza0db , May 19, 2018 at 6:49 am
A lot of accusations that are not backed up by any evidence and some of which have officially been rejected by the officials that investigated the case (e.g. as far as France is concerned see https://www.yahoo.com/news/latest-putin-says-attempts-contain-russia-wont-101117186.html ).
But unfortunately, there are many people who don't care about evidence and rational inquiry, and they prefer believing in evidencefree conspiracy theories that match their prejudices. One accusation that is not backed up by any evidence is used to making other accusations that are not based on evidence look more likely.voza0db , May 19, 2018 at 6:47 am
:lol: " A lot of accusations that are not backed up by any evidence " the good old PROPAGANDA ! It's alive and kickingAnna , May 19, 2018 at 8:26 am
Russia is in fact the only REAL EMPIRE in this world!
They hack and manipulate everything and everyonevoza0db , May 19, 2018 at 3:35 pm
Have you checked the number of US overseas military bases recently?
Do you know why the US Congress is called "Israel-occupied territory?"
Don't you love -- love! -- MSM.Sam F , May 19, 2018 at 7:08 am
I know that my written sarcasm is very bad sorry about that! And yes I do love MainShitMedia! Their the best.Realist , May 20, 2018 at 4:21 am
Try defining "hacking an election." The term pretends that a few techies tampered machines. In the US the election machine makers do that, no doubt, but not likely elsewhere. The US has a very long history of manipulating elections throughout the world and in the US. Even while it pretends to be "promoting democracy" it is installing dictators and faking elections.
The ultimate election hack is allowing big money to control mass media and political campaigns, as in the US.
Only when we restrict funding of mass media and elections to limited contributions will we restore democracy.Realist , May 21, 2018 at 3:32 am
Washington and its media tools have hacked this guy's brain is what it amounts to.
They could tell the American public anything and have it believed, like, for instance, that the ideal gas law does not apply to inflated footballs in cold weather.David G , May 19, 2018 at 2:20 am
Correction: All your unfounded assertions are bogus. Just read this one simple piece that just came out for the accurate course of events.
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-20/how-fbi-and-cia-restarted-cold-war-protect-themselvesJ. Decker , May 19, 2018 at 7:43 am
While I am fully on board with rubbishing Russia-gate as malignant nonsense, I do think it may be a mistake to rely too much on there turning out to be no nefarious nexus between Trump and Russia.
In Trump we have someone devoid of knowledge, sense, or character, an almost altogether wrong guy -- very much including his views on U.S. foreign policy -- who for some reason has a positive and constructive attitude toward Russia and Putin (though, of course, he has mostly gone along with the anti-Russia Beltway consensus in his actions as president when pressured).
It's possibly it's just an isolated, unexplained instance of Trumpian sanity, but to me it's at least as likely to be the result of greed or fear, based on some grubby link to Russia that is as yet undisclosed.David G , May 19, 2018 at 11:54 am
"who for some reason has a positive and constructive attitude toward Russia and Putin".
Maybe the reason is that Putin is one of history's penultimate statesman who presents the strongest opposition to the global war/banking beast and last bastion of hope? Time magazine's Most Powerful Man of the Year (or something like that as I wouldn't be caught dead reading it.
So does that make Trump a puppet for Russia or a keen observer?backwardsevolution , May 20, 2018 at 2:32 am
Do you think Cheeto Dust really capable of appreciating Putin for the reasons you cite?
"Keen" isn't a word that springs to my mind when I think of Trump.Anna , May 19, 2018 at 8:28 am
David G -- maybe you need to oil your springs. When you're trying to navigate your way through the swamp, you tend to notice capable players who are doing it and admire them for it.Mike From Jersey , May 19, 2018 at 1:59 pm
Let's begin with Uranium One and the $500.000 fee for a half-hour speech by Bill.Skip Scott , May 21, 2018 at 7:32 am
I am also a Green voter. When the choice became Hillary vs Donald that -- for me -- was the last straw. I de-registered as a Democrat and registered as a Green.andrew , May 18, 2018 at 10:40 pm
Good for you Mike. I refuse to be a part of the "lesser of two evils" gambit any longer. Let's hope we can build a movement.David G , May 19, 2018 at 1:59 am
the core accusations are
1. that the russians hacked the dnc, there is no evidence and no basis for this accusation. none.
2. that the russians spread a deadly fake news virus that was incredibly damaging to hillary's campaign. there is no evidence of this and it is a completely ridiculous idea if one just stops for a moment to contemplate the astronomical amount of fake news available at all times on the internet and television. what was the fake news lie that was so supremely effective? nobody knows. there wasn't one. there was for hillary unfortunately a real news truth about the dnc released by wikileaks but that was not from russians or a lie.
3. that the russians hacked the election. again absolutely no proof or evidence of this has been offered.
it is in fact a political witch hunt that has been incredibly destructive. it has distracted energy and attention away from real things that have happened. it has instigated proxy warfare with russia in syria. it has discredited journalism. it has made an honest man out of trump.
personally i blame clinton. this mendacious , self defeating , and bizarre ruse is so in keeping with so many of her and bill's greatest hits. these two people continue to damage the progressive movement . they won't go away it would seem. i hope after russiagate sputters to a stop the clintons will finally be finished.RnM , May 19, 2018 at 4:37 am
well said, andrewJ. Decker , May 19, 2018 at 7:51 am
A Witch Hunt, alright! Not FOR a witch, but BY a witch.j. D. D. , May 19, 2018 at 11:41 am
" personally i blame clinton" Personally I blame AIPAC, BIS, and the Shadow Masters Clinton is just another scapegoat-puppet.Jeff , May 19, 2018 at 11:59 am
Yes, all true but you fail to identify the cause, which goes well beyond naming Russia as an excuse for Hillary's defeat. It was British Intelligence which first sounded the alarm wrt pre-candidate Trump due to his stated intention to establish a positive relationship with Putin and Russia, thus overturning the basis for the entire post-war paradigm based on the division of the world into East and West.mike k , May 18, 2018 at 10:28 pm
Thanx, Andrew. You wrote the comment I was going to write. I do, however, have one nit. Russia-gate has not made an honest man out of Trump. Nothing could make an honest man out of Trump. He is nothing but an incompetent con artist whose real skill was getting people to lend him money after he had blown it all on bad deals and lousy management. I personally suspect that the connection between Trump and Russia is not with the Russian government but with the Russian oligarchs who are laundering their ill-gotten gains looting Russian state enterprises through Trump.mike k , May 18, 2018 at 10:32 pm
The slimy rats always indulge in phony alibis for their criminal tricks. They should be investigated and charged with falsely accusing an elected President, in order to unseat him. Anyone who votes for a "democrat" in the future is just a simple clueless idiot. Trump is a horrible President, but this does not justify the criminal conspiracy to unseat him through slander and innuendo lacking any evidence whatever. The appointment of a "special council" was meant to change the result of the presidential election, and nothing else.Al Pinto , May 19, 2018 at 11:01 am
If Trump were to be impeached on the basis of this phony witch hunt, it would be the end of whatever semblance we have of a democracy forever. The whole affair reminds me of the criminal removal of the President of Brazil recently.Sam F , May 18, 2018 at 10:10 pm
In my view, the purpose of the congress authorized investigation is not to impeach POTUS. That would provide a precedent that neither the democrats, nor the republican would accept. Instead, the investigation is intended to discredit the president and by proxy, the republicans for the upcoming elections.
The results of the investigations, actual and/or fabricated, will be invaluable campaign material for the democrats. Especially with the help of the main stream media, it's going to very effective headlines to grab the limited attention that most people in the US have for politics
The Russia-gate hysteria worked fine as a distraction from Israel-gate. All of Hillary's top ten donors were zionists, and Trump appointed Goldman Sachs to run the economy. Not that KSA, the MIC, or WallSt et al lost any bribery chances.
Russia-gate also pressured Trump into the zionist camp. Just what Israel ordered. Of course the US mass media are almost entirely owned by zionists. Mission accomplished; time to backtrack; we never really said that.
May 24, 2018 | consortiumnews.com
Realist , May 20, 2018 at 3:44 amvoza0db , May 19, 2018 at 12:01 pm
It also seems that Yahoo also has the total (if not enthusiastic) support of Putin these days. Pretty tough to buck Israel and achieve peace in the Middle East when it has the full support of both the American Zionist oligarchs and the Russian Zionist oligarchs (who harbor most of their wealth in the West and represent the Atlanticist faction in Russia, in other words play for team USA) who probably comprise the largest and most influential power factions in both countries. No wonder AIPAC is the most powerful lobby whose existence is vehemently denied. If it comes to pass, World War III may essentially be fought because of perceived grievances by thin-skinned megalomaniacs like Adelson and Browder and their ability to wrap politicians around their pinkies using their billions in wealth. I think the Russians especially dislike being played by con-men like Browder, who gets full support from the bought-off American Congress.Lawrence Magnuson , May 19, 2018 at 11:34 am
GOOD NEWS EVERYONE!
Here's the solution to your RUSSIA HYSTERIA!
https://youtu.be/M7M4y8jEn_sMike From Jersey , May 19, 2018 at 10:07 am
Excellent in the facts and your conclusions. It is difficult to imagine what you have done in so few words -- summarize so clearly what became a maze of groundless speculation early on only to end as major byzantine monument to almost nothing but empty accusation, political invective, widespread loose talk and media posturing/gossiping. You described, in the end, a failed circus of second-rate illusions.Joe Tedesky , May 19, 2018 at 9:22 am
The Times used to be a credible source of information. Now, I won't even read Times article unless it is on an issue in which I am very well versed. I simply don't want to be propagandized. And when I read an article in a matter in which I am well versed, I am often outraged at the slants and selective omissions.phillip sawicki , May 19, 2018 at 2:02 pm
I have come to the conclusion that they are all bad, and that this constant pounding of Russia interference in our American political establishments is nonsense.
Whether it be Russia-Gate or Uranium One scandals, it always leads back to Russian collusion, or how Putin is hell bent on subverting American democracy. It's like the word come down from a Bilderberg high echelon get together where the supreme elite said, 'now you political puppies go fight amongst yourselves but remember Putin is our target'. After all Putin's handling of the Rothschild oligarchs is enough to get even the most least powerful leaders into hot water, let a lone the world's other nuclear super power. So Putin must go.
So while Palestinians this week died protesting their confinement, N Korea was insulted away from the negotiating table over a Gaddafi inspired threat, as Europeans looked for another currency to replace the U.S. Dollar, our American news media gave little time to those news stories, as it stayed stuck on Russia-Gate, or as FOX is attempting to do with their trying to launch a Hillary investigation into her poor use of computer servers added to her selling off uranium stock, we Americans are isolated by what really should matter. Please keep your eyes on the center ring, for what's around it doesn't matter, is the mantra.
What I'm saying, is that these scandals are in house fights, and that the MSM's circumventing of any real news, is just another way to dumb us Americans down. Not to say that investigating political chicanery isn't a priority, but should these investigations be so overwhelmingly reported over any or all other news? If you answered no to that, then should we next begin to wonder to what we are not being told, is exactly the very news we should be talking about?Joe Tedesky , May 19, 2018 at 2:58 pm
Back in 1973 there was a feeling of inevitability as the Watergate investigation progressed, every week more incriminating details that we know now came from inside the FBI. The Mueller probe, on the contrary, seems to be stumbling forward and not really getting anywhere as it goes fishing for info and issues like Stormy's accusations take over the news.
It's possible, I suppose, that Mueller will come up with something before November, but there's no sense of inevitability. How could there be? Sixty three American citizens voted for Trump. Bad news for the country, bad news for Clinton, bad news for the MSM, bad news for the Deep State. Ironies abound.backwardsevolution , May 19, 2018 at 8:05 pm
The one comparison between 1973 and 2018, is that they have the exact same calendar dates. In my mind, the only thing WaterGate has in common with Russia-Gate is that the MSM likes to say that the two scandals are the same. And why not, when you are huckstering the news to sell insurance and pharmaceutical commercials?
WaterGate was of course a break in, and finding Nixon's involvement was key. Russia-Gate wasn't a break in, and as Mueller's Investigation is struggling to find Russian collusion, Mueller gives the impression that he's on to something, when eventually we find out he has nothing. I mean the WaterGate investigation started out with the knowledge that there was a break in, but the Russia-Gate investigation began with lots of allegations with no proof to be found. WaterGate didn't, at least in my opinion, start out as a fishing expedition, but the Russia-Gate Investigation was not only a fishing expedition in as much as it has been a deep sea fishing trip at its best.
You pointed out the voter support of Trump phillip but might I reference you to the many who didn't vote, or at least the bunches of voters who left the presidential pick a blank? America is broken phillip, every institution and every agency which operates inside of it is too. In my estimation to make it right we Americans will need to go back to starting from scratch. Let it begin!Joe Tedesky , May 19, 2018 at 9:03 pm
Joe -- Russiagate was made up, fashioned out of nothing. If we want to talk about collusion, we need to talk about Uranium One. Now there's where some serious money changed hands, and the Clinton's hands are all over it.
What is comparable to Watergate, but a hundred times worse, is what is trickling out now and what the media have gone out of their way to cover up -- the plot by James Comey and other members of the FBI, John Brennan and others in the CIA, Clapper, the Department of Justice (Rod Rosenstein, Sally Yates, Loretta Lynch, Hillary Clinton) to overthrow a duly-elected President.
The Inspector General's report on the FBI and the Department of Justice's role in all of this is apparently damning. Some of these people may end up in jail.
I think Russiagate was invented because, as Hillary said, "If they find out what we've done, we'll all hang." She was trading favors with foreign governments in exchange for cash into the Clinton Foundation. That's why she was using a private server. She didn't want to use the government servers as they would have a back-up of her files, and when you're intent on stealing, the last thing you want is a "back-up" of your dirty dealings.
All of this Russiagate insanity has been one great big deflection away from the true crimes.
It looks like all of them are going to have a date with a Grand Jury.backwardsevolution , May 19, 2018 at 9:48 pm
I think RussiaGate was invented also. I also think it's pretty obvious that Hillary gets a free get out of jail card when it comes to any FBI investigation over her. I also believe that if Trump were in cahoots with Putin, that Mueller by now would have revealed it, as Democrates would be whooping it up better than a homeless person hitting the super multi-million dollar lotto.
The Empire is falling, and the Empire is blaming all it's idiotic decisions on the Russians. Our MSM which was always a subject of debate, has gone off the rails with this 24/7 anti-Trump, anti-Russian, news business. I'm suffering from all this hate aimed at Russia, and I'm believing that our MSM is winning on that front. Like I said, both Hillary and Donald's past practices may need investigated, but when will we Americans start discussing the many other issues of our day, is all I'm asking?
I'm tired of the constant insinuating that Trump is a Putin puppet, as I'm also experiencing fatigue over Hillary's being continually left off the hook. Although even more so, I'm sick of all of them, I'm just venting over our sad state of us citizens being well informed.
Good to hear from you backwardsevolution. JoeJoe Tedesky , May 19, 2018 at 10:37 pm
Joe Tedesky -- "Like I said, both Hillary and Donald's past practices may need investigated, but when will we Americans start discussing the many other issues of our day, is all I'm asking?"
Yes, you are so right, Joe, because those other issues are what the average American really cares about: the price of health care and housing, and whether they're going to be able to put food on the table.
Of course, had Donald Trump been colluding with the Russians, that certainly would have been of importance to the country, but they've been looking under every rock for almost two years now and haven't found anything. Well, Stormy Daniels did pop up, but, hey, Trump never professed to be an angel. All they've done is tied him up in knots and prevented him from dealing with the important issues. They have also left far too many Americans with the impression that he's a traitor when he's not, and by holding these charges above his head, they've probably pushed him into doing things that he wouldn't ordinarily have done.
If what I'm hearing about the Inspector General's report is anything close to the truth, then these people (the Deep State people I mentioned above) tried to overthrow a sitting President. These people are running a parallel government. That is very dangerous and will have to be dealt with severely, with criminal charges.
Hey, Joe, on that happy note, you have a good night.backwardsevolution , May 19, 2018 at 11:38 pm
I'm suffering from RussiaGate fatigue, like I said. I never bought into the Russian collusion thing. I'm more bothered by the forever nonsense the MSM has us on, where there is no closure. I mean you sit and listen to people like Rachel go through their hysterics and after 20 minutes per monologue she gives you nothing.
The Hillary crimes are frustrating because nothing comes of her getting to meet the hard justice she deserves. Seriously this evil witch starts a civil war withinside of our governments bureaucracy, and yet no one hears that much about it the way it's going down. On the other hand Donald Trump for mostly the bad of it, gets news coverage beyond what any America politician ever gets, and we're suppose to believe we are operating on normal.
No backwardsevolution the Empire is in trouble, and we are watching it make an ass out of itself while it goes down the drain. I'm sorry at this point in time I don't see any good guys, or gals.
I might add Trump's Middle East policies among his other hard nosed geopolitical endeavors leaves me exhausted trying to figure him out. Hillary should no doubt be in jail, but here we are still on the down low and nothing seems to be working as it should.
Thanks, I do value your opinion. JoeRealist , May 20, 2018 at 4:06 am
Joe Tedesky -- "I'm sorry at this point in time I don't see any good guys, or gals."
Yes, I agree. One good thing about Trump's presidency is that it has exposed the Deep State actors. These are the people who run the government, not the President, and it doesn't matter who is elected. If you don't play along, you're Kennedy'd! That's why so few good people ever vie for top positions; you get hammered.
Joe, the World Cup is coming and all is well! I'm going to knock off, watch some old videos, and get myself psyched up. Good talking to you, Joe, as always.Joe Tedesky , May 20, 2018 at 9:09 am
Watergate was focussed. Iran-Contra was focussed. Underlings were convicted in both on charges directly related to the main issues. Nixon resigned and Reagan retired, the Congress not having the will to impeach him, which would have been politically unpopular. "Out-of-the-loop" Bushdaddy saved himself from later impeachment by pardoning some key cabinet members under Reagan (most notably Caspar Weinberger). In contrast, Whitewater blossomed into a full-blown fishing expedition, as has so-called Russiagate. Ken Starr didn't just investigate a land deal or management of the White House travel office, but went over the lives of both Clinton's with a fine tooth comb, eventually precipitating impeachment charges over a stained blue dress. Now, I suppose, the Clinton's and their Democratic adherents feel that turnabout is fair play, though it is undoubtedly just as divisive and destructive to the country as their go round. The woman has obviously been traumatized during her years in the public arena and in the aftermath of the election, but she does the country a great disservice by pushing her vendetta.Herman , May 19, 2018 at 9:09 am
The Clinton pass was always going to be a problem, and many people knew that going into the 2016 Presidential Election Campaign. This didn't stop Hillary though. Why, many here on this comment board wrote with good reason why the Clintons should remain in retirement, but oh no Hillary was going to run come hell or high water. Only a sociopath would overlook so many good reasons of why not to run.
Great perspective Realist. One would think you had a scientific mind . oh wait you do. Joemike k , May 19, 2018 at 9:59 am
As I'm sure others commenters on this site will note, those guilty of trying to create a lynch mob and encourage hysteria, will as with Iraq WMD's, emerge unscathed, even more honored for their service to America. And with and increasing number of Americans, we will feel more and more that you cant believe anything anymore and that is a disastrous position to be in for a nation.
Herman, it has always been a mistake to rely on belief without careful examination. Plato said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Discerning the truth is intellectual work -- something our false educational system does not teach us to do. Those who learn to sort things out and demand the real truth are mostly self-educated. To wake others up who have been taught to conform and accept authorities, is a lengthy and often thankless task. The tenacity with which many hold onto their false beliefs, is a formidable obstacle to creating a new and better society. I wish I knew a way to accomplish this awakening of our fellows, but I do not. We are left with the option of shortcuts, which are no better than new forms of propaganda to compete with those our subjects have already incorporated in their thinking and character. Following a new leader or movement seems the most one can expect from our brainwashed brothers and sisters
May 24, 2018 | consortiumnews.com
CitizenOne May 20, 2018 at 1:32 am
The diversion of Russia Gate is a continuation of former diversions such as the Tea Party which was invented by the banksters to turn public anger over the big banking collapse and the resulting recession into a movement to gain more deregulation for tax breaks for the wealthy.
In the case of the fabricated Russia Gate narrative the results of the Trump election and widespread public distrust of the election process was turned into a new cold war with Russia which benefited major defense contractors and resulted in sanctions against Russia and huge windfalls for the Military Industrial Complex as the US ponied up to fund our national defense industry.
We should by now be educated that major failures of our economy and political processes precipitated by government deregulation or corrupted elections will be used by the main stream media to create fictional enemies of our nation to turn public anger into a public movement to blame a target of opportunity which will benefit the wealth and power structures which is based on fiction and contrived plots to benefit the very powerful and wealthy organizations such as big banks and the military.
Trump won because the media cleaned up big time by playing the Super PACs for suckers just as deregulation of the big banks enabled them to clean up by merging savings banks with investment banks which moved all the savings banks deposits into risky investments.
There is a clear and present danger born out and evidenced by former economic collapses that the media and the big financial institutions will create public relations campaigns based on the mantra of deregulation to swindle Americans even further. They have a proven ability to use their power to persuade Americans that some other reason is responsible for the latest swindle.
The root cause of this is that they (the MSM) own the microphone. They have the ability to lie without rebuttal because they own that single megaphone to tell lies. They have the ability to create fictions and fantasies which go unchallenged because they own the megaphone.
From our history: The creation of the Tea Party was a watershed moment where the big banks turned their bailout by the US government into a political movement which was manufactured by the press as a new and never heard about new political party (The Tea Party) into a political movement aimed to grant the big banks and wealthy Americans tax breaks which resulted in a 3.5 trillion bailout we are now on the hook for.
How many media/news organizations signed onto the Tea Party after the implosion of the banking industry and beat the drums to grant tax breaks for billionaires? All of them.
How many of the media corporations beat the drums to blame Russia for the election results which resulted in sanctions against Russia and a new Cold War with Russia which resulted in windfall profits for the defense industry? All of them.
How many news corporations supported the lies about WMDs and Iraq's secret stockpiles of Uranium and chemical weapons? The NY Times and the Washington Post were among the most fervent supporters of those lies and they have never acknowledged their errors.
The facts are clear in all of these major failures of our free press to get it right. In every case the media have conspired to fool most of the people into believing the lies of the government and the financial sectors published by main stream press as facts which are giant falsehoods.
The result of this collaboration between the press and the wealth in our nation has been to deceive us and to lead us down paths that twist our understanding to a new understanding that benefits the wealthy in times of prosperity and in times of crisis.
So it is with the Trump administration and the media's aim to turn our attention away from the real reasons our election system is corrupted by dark money by creating fake facts to convince us that Russia is a war monger which stole the election and must be countered by more massive military spending and a renewal of the old Cold War.
The NY Times got it wrong in Iraq. They got it wrong in Ukraine. They got it wrong in the last election. They got it wrong on savings and loan deregulation under Reagan. They got it wrong on banking deregulation under Clinton. They got it wrong with Russia Gate. They have gotten it wrong so many times that the statement "they got it wrong" is a testament of their ability to fool us all.
backwardsevolution , May 20, 2018 at 5:16 pmDave P. , May 20, 2018 at 11:49 pm
CitizenOne – "'They got it wrong' is a testament of their ability to fool us."
Yes, I continually read that the government was "in error", they "didn't understand", or "their models were incorrect". Yeah, sure, whatever you say. They can't come out and inform us that they lied from the get-go because that would prove intent to deceive, so they cover up their tracks by saying they made an "error" whenever things fall apart, as they knew they would.
It's all just one big "Fleece the Sheep" game, except they can't let the sheep know they're being fleeced. Errors and omissions are all part of the game, and the media act to call the sheep to the starting line.Skip Scott , May 21, 2018 at 7:15 am
Citizen One – Excellent post. Very informed comments indeed.munchma quchi , May 19, 2018 at 11:51 pm
Great post. It reminded me of a joke I saw the other day:
"A unionized public employee, a member of the Tea Party, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table there is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, looks at the Tea Partier and says, "look out for that union guy, he wants a piece of your cookie."F. G. Sanford , May 20, 2018 at 9:39 am
re: "Without offering a shred of evidence, the FBI, CIA, NSA, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper issued a formal assessment on Jan. 6, 2017, that "Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election [in order] to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency." The "assessment" contains this disclaimer: " [You (the author) did not include a disclaimer. please remedy this.]Chet Roman , May 20, 2018 at 11:35 am
I think the disclaimer said that intelligence assessments are based on sources, methods and interpretations and rely on raw data. It's raw, so it has to be properly marinated until it's fit for consumption. Addenda to the disclaimer indicate that the Intelligence Community will not accept outrageous conspiracy theories, noting specifically that, "They hate us for our freedom, and those weapons of mass destruction must be here somewhere." It's the standard "release from liability" which accompanies all official narratives. Kinda like eating tuna fish: It's pretty good once you get past the smell.robert e williamson jr , May 19, 2018 at 7:35 pm
Page 13 of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) of Jan. 6, 2017
explains: "High confidence does not imply that the assessment is a fact or a certainty; such judgments might be wrong. Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that show something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents."kntlt , May 20, 2018 at 6:14 pm
Dan I really can not disagree with much you have to say here. Except there are a few things about this whole affair that bug the hell out of me. For instance the fact that the village idiot from new york spent over $400 million in cash the last 9 years before he ran for president.
Your effort here sounds quite a lot like whining about having nothing to report. Calm down these things take time. If Russia isn't to blame fine but Mueller is not talking and seems to be conducting himself very professionally.
Dan if Robert Blum had had his way the CIA would have been privately funded by secret donations. CIA got caught laundering money in the middle to late 60″s and as always CIA makes investigations go away. A recount of the episode can be found in Jane Mayers book Dark Money. The CIA wrote the book on laundering money. Then the ICIJ and the Paradise Papers expose how large the off shore industry is.
Trump like doing business with Russians during a time when Russian oligarchs were hiding the money they pulled from the Soviet coffers. I think it has gotten him in trouble.
Also interesting is the accounts of what has happen with the Inslaw / PROMIS case and Bill Hamilton. Was this software and early version of what CIA and NSA use to monitor the world now?
One last thing in your last paragraph here you claim the Dimocraps have gone off the deep end with the Russian Connection thing. Dan the dimocraps went off the deep end with their undying allegiance to Israel. And they do little damned else.
When this is finished if CIA allows the release of the Dogdamned files maybe we will learn what happened. Chill my brotha !drC , May 19, 2018 at 7:27 pm
Listen to this man.jose , May 19, 2018 at 6:30 pm
"The press, the intelligence community, and the Democrats" have committed FAR MORE than a mere "crime against journalism". For kryssakes, this isn't a debating society at Yale! They have provoked international tensions, suspicions and distrust that have pushed the world far closer to the brink of a third world war, damaging national economies across the globe & negatively impacting the lives of millions.ranney , May 19, 2018 at 5:54 pm
I was convinced that Russiagate was a complete fabrication after reading the following penned by Caitling Johnstone:" this administration has already killed Russians in Syria, greatly escalated nuclear tensions with Russia, allowed the sale of arms to Ukraine, established a permanent military presence in Syria with the goal of effecting regime change, forced RT and Sputnik to register as foreign agents, expanded NATO with the addition of Montenegro, assigned Russia hawk Kurt Volker as special representative to Ukraine, shut down a Russian consulate in San Francisco and expelled Russian diplomats "
Since the US national media have been aware of the lack of solid evidence against Russia allege meddling case, they now want to pretend it has not been their fault. Their sheer dishonesty underscores their deviant reporting.
Joe, Abe, Andrew, Sam, Mike,
You are all correct in blaming the MSM for ignoring Israel in all this and whitewashing the main cause of our problems in the middle east. I agree that Russia has not been interfering in our politics any more than virtually all the other countries in the world who have embassys here and things they want to "lobby" for. I believe spying is universal and the US does it more than most, but everyone does it including Russia (and UK, France Germany Israel, Ukraine and on and on for everyone on the map).
What I find increasingly strange is the fact that the MSM and just about everyone else is ignoring the fact that Trump did indeed have business with Russia. He was trying to get permission and financial backing for a Trump tower to be built in Moscow. and he had been trying for a while before he even thought of running for president. THAT is what his now indicted lawyer was doing initially, along with others in Trump's employ. That is why there is indeed evidence of contact with Russians during the pre- campaign and during the campaign as well. Trump didn't want to lose this lucrative deal which, also involves money laundering and other illegal, and/or shady dealings.
I can't figure out why Muller hasn't subpoenaed or somehow got hold of Trump's tax returns. I'm pretty sure he'd find all the crimes we need to impeach him.
Trump is a thug and a money laundering crook, not a machievelian plotter. His total ignorance of world politics is dangerously leading us to armagedden. And I can't help but wonder why Muller is slow walking this whole investigation. I'm pretty sure he can see what I can see. Trump is a crooked, money launderer, ultra con man with his Trump towers and other ploys, and too dumb and ignorant of history and science to understand how dangerous the game he plays is to the world when he has the power of the presidency. But Muller knows that! So what else is really going on that explains why he has moved at snails pace to stop the damage?
Does anyone have a good guess at that? I'd really like to read it.
May 23, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Anyone familiar with the hit sitcom Seinfeld knows that Cosmo Kramer, the rambunctious, eccentric neighbor of Jerry Seinfeld, had a lot of big ideas. From make-your-own-pizza parlors to tie dispensers to the infamous " mansierre ," Kramer was -- in his own mind -- a world-changing revolutionary.
Of course, aside from one notable exception ( the Regis Philbin-approved pop-out coffee table book ), none of his ideas ever panned out. But lack of achievement is exactly what viewers expected every week. The whole fun of Kramer was his dream-big mentality and the impracticality that came with it.
No one on the show was senseless enough to support Kramer in his work. In fact, in one episode, Leland fired him even though he did not hold any standing position. Kramer couldn't even keep a job at a bagel store for longer than a few days. It was his friends' open refrigerators that provided him with the life support he needed to continue dreaming and inventing.
This comedy sitcom case study is ironically much more sensible than what occurs in real life. There are plenty of Cosmo Kramers out in the world today with ideas that are even more ambitious than anything Kramerica Industries could have formulated. The only difference is that these individuals have armies of lobbyists that can convince our spendthrift government to finance their ideas, even though they have yet to pass any free-market smell tests.
Perhaps the most recent example of such a politically astute, Kramer-like figure is Elon Musk. This larger-than-life media personality plans to do everything from sending men to the moon and Mars, to creating a 700-miles-per-hour tunnel transportation system, to turbocharging human brains by implanting computers.
All of these are excellent ideas, to be sure, but ones that bear significant amounts of risk. Unfortunately, Mr. Musk does not seem willing to bear all the risk himself. His business model revolves around hiring experts to navigate the waters of the Washington swamp to discover ways to make the American people pick up the tab.
Take Tesla, for example. The car company was created to bring electric vehicles to the general public en masse -- a mission that oddly requires over $1 million in lobbying expenditures annually. As a result, the cars are financed by over $280 million in federal tax incentives, including a $7,500 federal tax break, and tens of millions more in state rebates and development fees.
Despite receiving all this government money, Musk's company has not shown demonstrable results. Yesterday, Bloomberg released a story under the headline "Tesla Doesn't Burn Fuel, It Burns Cash," detailing how the company spends $6,500 a minute and may run out of money by the end of the year. Just weeks ago, Moody's downgraded Tesla's credit rating due to its seeming inability to meet deadlines. Mr. Musk's estimate of producing 20,000 vehicles in December, for instance, turned into just over 2,400 in the entire fourth quarter.
It is no wonder that when these government subsidies die, electric vehicle sales plummet. Three years ago, sales sunk by more than 80 percent in the state of Georgia when the $5,000 state tax credit phased out. Last year, sales declined by 60 percent when its EV tax breaks sharply fell. These empirical case studies do not paint a positive picture of Tesla's future, especially given that its federal tax break is expected to phase out sometime this year. Perhaps funding Kramer's big ball of oil in the name of alleviating the world's spillage problems would have been just as, if not more, fruitful.
SpaceX is no better. Roughly 85 percent of its contracts come directly from the federal government. The aerospace manufacturer hit a then-personal record of $2 million in annual lobbying spending not long ago as it continued its quest to conquer the stars. New York magazine once asked "Are Elon Musk's Aggressive Lobbyists Bad for Silicon Valley? " but without them the government-dependent company might not even exist.
SpaceX has already received roughly $15 billion in subsidy guarantees from Texas, and despite meeting just one sixth of the hiring goals it promised, it is requesting $5 million more . Similarly, even though SpaceX has already received over $70 million from the federal government to develop its BFR, the company would like more on that front as well.
Meanwhile, just last week, NASA's Office of Inspector General found that SpaceX has raised the cost of some launches by over 50 percent due to having "a better understanding of the costs involved after several years of experience with cargo resupply missions." This new development means that the government's deal -- already diluted by costly rocket failures -- continues to get worse and worse.
And don't even get me started on SolarCity, Mr. Musk's solar panel company, which has still not turned an annual profit despite receiving over $490 million in grants from the Treasury Department over the years and the government covering 30 percent of its installation costs.
As a free market capitalist, I am rooting for Mr. Musk to pull it together and succeed. But I don't want the federal government to waste any more of Americans' hard-earned cash to make it happen.
We will never know what the well-intentioned Cosmo Kramer could have accomplished had Jerry and the rest of the gang cut him off from their refrigerators, homes, and other welfare as a means of forcing him to follow through with his goals. However, we can still explore how taking away such measures of comfort will affect Elon Musk's motivation and decision-making. Ironically, it just may be the recipe for success that the ambitious CEO needs.
Norm Singleton is the chairman of Campaign for Liberty.
DJ May 23, 2018 at 1:31 pmThere are legitimate questions to ask regarding tesla, but SpaceX is a whole other issue. Pretty much every rocket manufacturer gets massive government subsidies. SpaceX is not the first and probably not the last. but their increase in price is still cost competitive compared to other manufacturers.KXB , says: May 23, 2018 at 4:20 pmMusk should have gone into defense contracting – ever increasing budgets with no scrutiny.
May 23, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
"Clinton to be honored at Harvard for 'transformative impact'" [ The Hill ]. Irony is not dead.
"From the Jaws of Victory" [ Jacobin ]. Some highlights from Amy Chozick's Chasing Hillary , which really does sound like a fun read:
"In the public's mind, Clinton's 'deplorables' quip is remembered as evidence of her disdain for much of Trump's fan base. But there was one other group Clinton had a similar dislike of: Bernie Sanders supporters.
As one person who had talked to Clinton about the difference between Trump and Sanders crowds recounted, her feeling was that 'at least white supremacists shaved.'"
UPDATE "Why does Trump get away with corruption? Because Bill and Hillary Clinton normalized it" [Josh Barro, Business Insider ].
May 23, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
heath | May 22, 2018 11:28:05 AM | 8
Could it be that Mueller is there for some other reason? we know there are special interests that the democrats represent and since the US federal system doesn't really lend itself to any sort of coalition govt of any form, that the investigation is cover for the those interests being represented in some fashion the form doesn't allow for.
fastfreddy , May 22, 2018 11:46:23 AM | 11Heath,WJ , May 22, 2018 1:00:41 PM | 17
That's what I'm thinking. It is apparent the "The Mueller Investigation" is - firstly - a major distraction. It is also apparent that it doesn't make any headway, lead to any conclusions or indictments of any big fish.
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/2/20/17031772/mueller-indictments-grand-juryRe: Mueller. If the Trump-Russia set up began in spring 2016 or earlier, presumably it was undertaken on the assumption that HRC would win the election. (I say "presumably" because you never can tell..) If so, then the operation would have been an MI6 / Ukrainian / CIA coordinated op intended to frame Putin, not Trump.WJ , May 22, 2018 1:08:52 PM | 18
Presumably the op would have allowed HRC to undertake just the sort of actions against Russia that, after Trump's election, have been undertaken in any case. The difference being that there is at least some reason to bet that HRC along with Obama knew something of the operation, and that in conjunction with UK/Ukrainian interests was planning her early foreign policy directives. The election of Trump on this reading was accidental to the op as originally designed. Is this right?The other possibility being that the operation was demanded by Trump winning the Republican primary, as a kind of insurance policy. He being the only candidate who could not be predictably counted on to follow the anti-Putin hard liners in the Military-intelligence community, something needed to be done to ensure that, on the off chance that he won, the anti-Russian measures already being planned for would not be affected.BraveNewWorld , May 22, 2018 1:25:22 PM | 20
So it is perhaps unlikely that this op would have been necessary had, say, Jeb Bush or Rubio won the primary.
What made it necessary was the unknown quantity that Trump represented. This would mean, again, that the op was not so much partisan (Dem v Rep) as it was about ensuring continuity of military-intelligence decisions in face of relatively unknown entity. Had Bush won the R nomination, there would have been no op because the Bush family like the Clintons are down for whatever.If they shutdown Mueller you can expect a sudden gush of leaks like some one took a shot gun to a fire hose.
May 20, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Ford Says Farewell America's most iconic automaker plans to drive almost all of their passenger sedans into the sunset by 2020. By Telly Davidson • May 16, 2018
The Focus will be first to go this month, followed by the Taurus next March and the Fiesta in May 2019.
Ford Motor Company was always the Eve to General Motors' Adam in Detroit, not only making cars (and profits) by the trunkload, but leading the league in midcentury style. The "Jackie Kennedy" Lincoln Continental Town Car . The Thunderbird . But during the "Big Government" era of unapologetically high property taxes and ballooning environmental regulations, Ford suffered its first postwar crash. Amid the 1975 fuel shortages, Congress passed -- and Detroit's own liberal Republican stalwart Gerald Ford (despite some quibbles and misgivings) signed -- the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Act (CAFÉ), which started off by requiring an 18 mpg standard by the 1978 model year (1975 models were around 13 mpg by average.) The standard would rise to 19 mpg in 1979, 20 in 1980, and then not one but two mileage points per year through 1984 -- with massive, multi-million-dollar IRS and court-imposed fines if a manufacturer was found to be non-compliant.
Like a small-town mayor futilely trying to resist a federal court order, Ford mocked GM's newly streamlined "large" cars when they debuted for 1977 (GM had been planning to go on a diet even before CAFÉ, and had vastly more R&D money than Ford or Chrysler). Ads noted that Ford's family-priced LTD sedan was now the same length as a "downsized" (but still gargantuan by today's standards) new '77 Cadillac. Cynically, both Ford and Chrysler made no secret of the fact that their 1978 model full-size cars would be the last of their kind (Cadillac also let everyone know that their big 1978 Eldorado was heading for the exit door), encouraging not only the "buy it while you still can!" panic buying of the hyperinflationary late '70s -- but also as good as telling customers that next year's forcibly-downsized models would be decidedly inferior. Lincoln gave its Town Car and Mark V one last victory lap before they went, and Ford also renewed the Mark V's shorter-wheelbase platform-mates the Thunderbird and Mercury Cougar for 1979. Still fuming at the imminent loss of their league-leaders, Ford so grossly overproduced for 1979 that Lincoln had a backlog of 210 days' worth of cars by July of 1979, effectively giving them a 1980 model year.
Not surprisingly, the downsized 1979 Ford (and Chrysler) "full size" sedans initially bombed -- sales declined drastically for the '79 LTD and Mercury Grand Marquis, and went off a cliff in 1980. And while the Mark VI "only" fell by half of its 1979 numbers, the Town Car went off Thelma and Louise's cliff -- barely managing one-third of its '79 numbers.
And all this was just a sampling of what became arguably the biggest one-year euthanasia in Ford history, as the 1980 Ford Granada and Mercury Monarch (and their upscale twin, the luxury Lincoln Versailles), and the iconic Pinto/Bobcat were all put to sleep at year's end. All but the Granada were canceled outright, in nameplate as well as body style, with the Granada barely hanging on as a thinly-disguised Fairmont (Ford's first big downsizing-era success, which kept the lights on at Dearborn during the 12-15 percent interest rate era from 1978 to 1983.)
Now the plot thickens. The first downsizing era was complete, but the second one, to bring things into compliance for 1984-85 (and what Detroit assumed would be even more draconian) standards, was now underway. Ford suffered catastrophic losses in 1980-82, and Chrysler had to beg a stern President Carter for a too-big-to-fail bailout in 1979-80 to avoid bankruptcy, as they frantically redesigned their slow-selling car lines yet again.
But out of this "Big Government" intrusion came the impetus to design what became Ford's biggest successes in the mid-to-late 80s and early 90s -- the 1983-88 and 1989-97 Thunderbird, the 1984-94 Ford Tempo, and the 1986-95 Ford Taurus. (Already their 1981-90 Escort flirted with #1 bestseller status in recessionary 1982.) Meanwhile, arch-competitor GM euthanized all but the station wagons and the Chevy Caprice sedan (which lasted until 1990) of their full-size 1977 lines in spring 1984. The cars GM replaced them with were engineering marvels (except when it came to reliability, perhaps) of front-wheel-drive, V6-powered efficiency -- but as folksinger Malvina Reynolds might have said, they all looked ticky-tacky and they all looked the same. GM suffered its largest decade-loss in its then-history during the '80s, according to auto historian Paul Niedemeyer.
But just as it had in 1978, Ford held out -- and this time, the move paid off. As Presidents Reagan and Bush Sr. began relaxing CAFE laws (or at least refusing to raise the standards dramatically), the "downsized" big cars of the first wave of downsizing that still remained in production began selling like hotcakes -- especially to Greatest and Silent Generation traditionalists who wanted cars that reminded them of the unapologetic luxury they drove in the 70s, when they were at the height of their earning power and still healthy. The 1991 LTD/Marquis looked much the same as they did in 1979, and the Town Car of 1989 (and its closest competitor, the '89 Chrysler Fifth Avenue) were virtual reruns of 1980. And the Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham (the only other GM survivor of 1984-85's "second downsizing") was still wearing its chrome-finned, formal-roofed, stately 1977 body all the way into 1992, with only a couple of reshaped-sheetmetal facelifts in between.
But Boomers had already been converted during the energy-conscious '70s to efficient Japanese (and soon, Korean) cars. (Their Gen-X and Millennial children also would have no qualms at all about buying "foreign.") By the late 80s and 90s, the Japanese were second to none in reliability, and rising suns like Hyundai and Kia began offering league-leading, bumper-to-bumper warranties. As the Roger & Me era of globalization took hold, even the saltiest WWII and Korea veterans who were left began seriously considering Japanese and Korean autos -- given that the Asian automakers were consciously building plants in the U.S. and Canada to erase the stigma of buying foreign (and head off potential tariffs), while the allegedly "all American" Big 3 were sending jobs by the thousand to Mexico, Guatemala, Venezuela, and eventually China.
The one big exception, however, was American trucks and vans -- including that ultimate "soccer moms" symbol, the "minivan" (introduced by Chrysler in 1984 and Ford in 1985) and the luxury SUV. Because even the biggest global-warming advocates and environmentalists had to concede that a civilized society needed ambulances, hearses, construction, repair, and delivery trucks, and so forth, trucks were held to a significantly lower MPG standard.
Conscious of his fellow Yuppies (and not wanting to be a gloomy Debbie Down-size-er like Jimmy Carter), Bill Clinton said "No way!" to raising CAFE standards, much less cracking down hard on American-made trucks, vans, Jeeps, and SUVs that were all the rage (and already paying the Big Three's bills) in the late '90s. And naturally, Texas oilman George W. Bush (with his bestie, "Kenny-Boy" Lay of Enron) and Dick "Halliburton" Cheney barely even touched fuel standards. The CAFÉ standard never rose above 27.5 mpg for passenger cars from 1985 all the way through 2010 -- a full 25 years.
By 2010, the US auto industry was in the worst shape since the Great Depression, if not the Carter years. GM was pulling itself out of bankruptcy, and cancelled their Saturn and Pontiac brands on Halloween 2010 (Oldsmobile had been the first to the cemetery in the relatively prosperous June of 2004). Chrysler had long ago put Plymouth and what was left of AMC/Eagle to sleep, and was even more bankrupt than GM. The only real survivor was, ironically, Ford, thanks to its European partnerships and its red-hot truck/SUV presence, and the ever-popular Mustang. (The Focus, Taurus, and Fusion were still doing well, although largely behind the Japanese and Korean majors.) The Town Car (whose body dated to 1998) and Crown Victoria (which went back to 1991-92) finally died in early 2012, after shutting down production at the end of August 2011. And though the iconic Lincoln Continental was revived for 2017, it has largely failed to meet expectations.
So this was your life, Ford Motor Company. You invented the modern working-class hero's sedan with the Model T, you survived and thrived as arguably midcentury middle-class America's most iconic automaker, you stumbled badly and nearly OD'ed on gasoline and outdated styling through the last days of disco, but woke up with Morning in America. "Big Gov'mint" forced you -- kicking and screaming -- to innovate in ways you didn't want to, but that kept you alive during that time. And then, when deregulation happened, and the focus became trucks/minivans/SUVs that didn't need year-to-year changes to stay popular, you had to play it as it laid.
Fare thee well, Ford sedans and wagons. It wouldn't have been the same without ya.
Telly Davidson is the author of a new book, Culture War : How the 90's Made Us Who We Are Today (Like it Or Not) . He has written on culture for ATTN, FrumForum, All About Jazz, FilmStew, and Guitar Player, and worked on the Emmy-nominated PBS series "Pioneers of Television."
John_M May 15, 2018 at 10:47 pmIf oil prices his $100 a barrel as Citi is predicting next year (side effect of Trump's Iran move), this could turn out badly for Ford.
I hope I have purchased my last gas car – a Prius Prime – a year ago. I am in my later 60's and I like long range trips. At 50 mpg+ on gas, I will be able to afford to drive it when I am retired. And for my about town commuting and short trips, I am averaging over 130 mpg – relying mostly upon the battery. With luck, it will last until I am not up for long haul trips.
I hope to buy a fully self driving electric car in 4 years when I have finished paying off the Prius. My wife is directionally challenged and we are likely to be somewhat rural, making Uber-like services less able. In the mean time, she drives her 10 year old Toyota corolla, which gets quite good mileage.
I have driven gas guzzlers in my time, but given the amount I drive, I have decided to optimize my cars for reliability and mileage. The Prius replaces a Suburu Forester that got ~ 23 mpg. It had over 230,000 miles on it before it sustained enough damage from road debris that it wasn't worth repairing.
I don't need another suv or pickup, the kids are finally moving out.
May 19, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
... ... ...
The larger problem with Thiessen's "analysis" is that it fails to grasp that North Korea's government won't accept the "offer" Trump is making because accepting it means giving up the one thing that does more to guarantee the regime's security than any promise that the U.S. could ever make. Trump talked about giving Kim "very strong protections" if he agreed to get rid of the nuclear weapons, but there are no protections that the U.S. could offer that would be any stronger than the ones he currently possesses. Kim is coming to the summit as the leader of a nuclear-weapons state conducting talks at the highest level with the global superpower, and he isn't going to agree to give up that status in exchange for obviously worthless promises from Donald Trump. The more that the Trump administration and its boosters delude themselves into thinking that they have North Korea on the defensive, the worse the summit will go for the U.S. and its allies.
SF Bay May 18, 2018 at 11:14 pm" The more that the Trump administration and its boosters delude themselves into thinking that they have North Korea on the defensive, the worse the summit will go for the U.S. and its allies."b. , says: May 19, 2018 at 10:50 am
This summit can really only go one way. Trump, ever the fool, will swagger in, offer nothing, bluster, and in the end be handed his hat. I don't think there's anyway to spin this as anything other than the poop storm that it is. No Nobel is Trump's future. Sad."giving up the one thing that does more to guarantee the regime's security than any promise that the U.S. could ever make"b. , says: May 19, 2018 at 10:54 am
It could be argued at this point that nuclear proliferation in a world of unipolar aggression might well be stabilizing not only whichever regimes the US decides to destabilize on a given day, but also the international order and even peace. Certainly, China's modest arsenal of minimum means of reprisal and Russia's outsized arsenal matching US folly warhead for warhead and warhead for interceptor demonstrate that US impunitivism is not even deterred by that. But Iraq was attacked precisely because Bush and his cronies were certain Saddam had no effective WMD deterrent – no nukes, everything else a desirable post-hoc justification.
Trump has the EU "cornered", and only fools will believe that this is to the benefit of the world, or even the US – unless the EU finally recognizes the magnitude of its "ally" problem, and their captive populations elect politicians that, for good or ill, will break with the US.
Trump has zero leverage over Iran and North Korea, not only because he is already committed to acts of aggression including all-out economical warfare and soon naval blockade, but also because both nations – and their backers in China and Russia – have long realized that any possible "appeasement" on their part will have as much impact on US conduct as EU "consultations" or South Korean "coordination" – now with a US theater commander as "ambassador". The Moon government has relegated itself to the bleachers as the welfare of South Korea is at stake because, just like the EU3, it does not dare question the unilateral "alliance" it has acquiesced to over decades.
We live in the age of a nation unhinged. But Guatemala, Paraguay and Romania are following from ahead, demonstrating that the US might be acting unilaterally, but not alone, and this "coalition of the unseemly eager" is, in terms of outcomes, no different from posturing collaborators in Germany, France and the UK, or the hapless hostages in South Korea.
Surely, Thiessen and Trump have the world outnumbered and surrounded. What could possibly go wrong, with leaders of such sparkling brilliance in charge?The most pathetic display here is the establishment biparty published opinion applauding Trump for pursuing the purest expression of Godfather Diplomacy, turned into farce. America's sickening fascination with and glorification of organized crime and racketeering aside – prosperity gospel wins – it is quite obvious that we cannot make "offers they cannot refuse" by putting a horse's ass on a pillow.A. G. Phillbin , says: May 19, 2018 at 2:32 pm@b.Blimbax , says: May 19, 2018 at 6:24 pm
America's sickening fascination with and glorification of organized crime and racketeering aside – prosperity gospel wins – it is quite obvious that we cannot make "offers they cannot refuse" by putting a horse's ass on a pillow.
Actually b., that was a horse's head on a pillow in "The Godfather." Were you thinking of Trump or Bolton when you wrote that?Speaking of horses, John Bolton is the south end of a north-bound horse.
May 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
As we reported on Thursday , a long-awaited report by the Department of Justice's internal watchdog into the Hillary Clinton email investigation has moved into its final phase, as the DOJ notified multiple subjects mentioned in the document that they can privately review it by week's end, and will have a "few days" to craft any response to criticism contained within the report, according to the Wall Street Journal .
Those invited to review the report were told they would have to sign nondisclosure agreements in order to read it , people familiar with the matter said. They are expected to have a few days to craft a response to any criticism in the report, which will then be incorporated in the final version to be released in coming weeks . - WSJ
Now, journalist Paul Sperry reports that " IG Horowitz has found "reasonable grounds" for believing there has been a violation of federal criminal law in the FBI/DOJ's handling of the Clinton investigation/s and has referred his findings of potential criminal misconduct to Huber for possible criminal prosecution ."
Who is Huber?
As we reported in March , Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed John Huber - Utah's top federal prosecutor, to be paired with IG Horowitz to investigate the multitude of accusations of FBI misconduct surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The announcement came one day after Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed that he will also be investigating allegations of FBI FISA abuse .
While Huber's appointment fell short of the second special counsel demanded by Congressional investigators and concerned citizens alike, his appointment and subsequent pairing with Horowitz is notable - as many have pointed out that the Inspector General is significantly limited in his abilities to investigate. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) noted in March " the IG's office does not have authority to compel witness interviews, including from past employees, so its investigation will be limited in scope in comparison to a Special Counsel investigation ,"
Sessions' pairing of Horowitz with Huber keeps the investigation under the DOJ's roof and out of the hands of an independent investigator .
Who is Horowitz?
In January, we profiled Michael Horowitz based on thorough research assembled by independent investigators. For those who think the upcoming OIG report is just going to be "all part of the show" - take pause; there's a good chance this is an actual happening, so you may want to read up on the man whose year-long investigation may lead to criminal charges against those involved.
In short - Horowitz went to war with the Obama Administration to restore the OIG's powers - and didn't get them back until Trump took office.
Horowitz was appointed head of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in April, 2012 - after the Obama administration hobbled the OIG's investigative powers in 2011 during the "Fast and Furious" scandal. The changes forced the various Inspectors General for all government agencies to request information while conducting investigations, as opposed to the authority to demand it. This allowed Holder (and other agency heads) to bog down OIG requests in bureaucratic red tape, and in some cases, deny them outright.
What did Horowitz do? As one twitter commentators puts it, he went to war ...
In March of 2015, Horowitz's office prepared a report for Congress titled Open and Unimplemented IG Recommendations . It laid the Obama Admin bare before Congress - illustrating among other things how the administration was wasting tens-of-billions of dollars by ignoring the recommendations made by the OIG.
After several attempts by congress to restore the OIG's investigative powers, Rep. Jason Chaffetz successfully introduced H.R.6450 - the Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2016 - signed by a defeated lame duck President Obama into law on December 16th, 2016 , cementing an alliance between Horrowitz and both houses of Congress .
1) Due to the Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2016, the OIG has access to all of the information that the target agency possesses. This not only includes their internal documentation and data, but also that which the agency externally collected and documented.TrumpSoldier (@DaveNYviii) January 3, 2018
See here for a complete overview of the OIG's new and restored powers. And while the public won't get to see classified details of the OIG report, Mr. Horowitz is also big on public disclosure:
Horowitz's efforts to roll back Eric Holder's restrictions on the OIG sealed the working relationship between Congress and the Inspector General's ofice, and they most certainly appear to be on the same page. Moreover, FBI Director Christopher Wray seems to be on the same page
Here's a preview:
Which brings us back to the OIG report expected by Congress a week from Monday.
On January 12 of last year, Inspector Horowitz announced an OIG investigation based on " requests from numerous Chairmen and Ranking Members of Congressional oversight committees, various organizations (such as Judicial Watch?), and members of the public ."
The initial focus ranged from the FBI's handling of the Clinton email investigation, to whether or not Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe should have been recused from the investigation (ostensibly over $700,000 his wife's campaign took from Clinton crony Terry McAuliffe around the time of the email investigation), to potential collusion with the Clinton campaign and the timing of various FOIA releases. Which brings us back to the OIG report expected by Congress a week from Monday.
On July 27, 2017 the House Judiciary Committee called on the DOJ to appoint a Special Counsel, detailing their concerns in 14 questions pertaining to "actions taken by previously public figures like Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton."
The questions range from Loretta Lynch directing Mr. Comey to mislead the American people on the nature of the Clinton investigation, Secretary Clinton's mishandling of classified information and the (mis)handling of her email investigation by the FBI, the DOJ's failure to empanel a grand jury to investigate Clinton, and questions about the Clinton Foundation, Uranium One, and whether the FBI relied on the "Trump-Russia" dossier created by Fusion GPS.
On September 26, 2017 , The House Judiciary Committee repeated their call to the DOJ for a special counsel, pointing out that former FBI Director James Comey lied to Congress when he said that he decided not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton until after she was interviewed, when in fact Comey had drafted her exoneration before said interview.
And now, the OIG report can tie all of this together - as it will solidify requests by Congressional committees, while also satisfying a legal requirement for the Department of Justice to impartially appoint a Special Counsel.
As illustrated below by TrumpSoldier , the report will go from the Office of the Inspector General to both investigative committees of Congress, along with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and is expected within weeks .
Once congress has reviewed the OIG report, the House and Senate Judiciary Committees will use it to supplement their investigations , which will result in hearings with the end goal of requesting or demanding a Special Counsel investigation. The DOJ can appoint a Special Counsel at any point, or wait for Congress to demand one. If a request for a Special Counsel is ignored, Congress can pass legislation to force an the appointment.
And while the DOJ could act on the OIG report and investigate / prosecute themselves without a Special Counsel, it is highly unlikely that Congress would stand for that given the subjects of the investigation.
After the report's completion, the DOJ will weigh in on it. Their comments are key. As TrumpSoldier points out in his analysis, the DOJ can take various actions regarding " Policy, personnel, procedures, and re-opening of investigations. In short, just about everything (Immunity agreements can also be rescinded). "
Meanwhile, recent events appear to correspond with bullet points in both the original OIG investigation letter and the 7/27/2017 letter forwarded to the Inspector General:
... ... ...
With the wheels set in motion last week seemingly align with Congressional requests and the OIG mandate, and the upcoming OIG report likely to serve as a foundational opinion, the DOJ will finally be empowered to move forward with an impartially appointed Special Counsel.
IntercoursetheEU -> Shitonya Serfs Thu, 05/17/2018 - 14:41 Permalinknmewn -> putaipan Thu, 05/17/2018 - 19:21 Permalink
"To save his presidency, Trump must expose a host of criminally cunning Deep State political operatives as enemies to the Constitution, including John Brennan, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, James Comey and Robert Mueller - as well as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton."
Killing the Deep State , Dr Jerome Corsi, PhD., p xinmewn -> IridiumRebel Fri, 05/18/2018 - 06:19 Permalink
I've been more than upfront about my philosophy. I have said on more than one occasion that progs will rue the day they drove a New Yorker like Trump even further to the right.
Now you see it in his actions from the judiciary to bureaucracy destruction to (pick any) and...as I often cite... some old dead white guy once said ..."First they came for the ___ and I did not speak out. Then they came for..."
Now I advocate for progs to swim in their own deadly juices, without a moment's hesitation on my part, without any furtive look back, without remorse or any compassion whatsover.
Forward! ...I think is what they said, welcome to the Death Star ;-)G-R-U-N-T -> Newspeaktogo Thu, 05/17/2018 - 21:06 Permalink
There have been (and are) plenty on "our side"...Boehner, Cantor, McCain, Romney and the thinly disguised "social democrat" Bill Kristol just to name several off the top of my head but the thing is, they always have to hide what they really are from us until rooted out.
That's what I try to point out to "our friends" on the left all the time, for example, there was never any doubt that Chris Dodd, Bwaney Fwank and Chuck Schumer were (and are) in Wall Streets back pocket. But for any prog to openly admit that is to sign some sort of personal death warrant, to be ostracized, blacklisted and harassed out of "the liberal community" so, they bite their tongue & say nothing...knowing what the truth really is.
Hell, they even named a "financial reform bill" after Dodd & Frank...LMAO!!!
It's just the dripping hypocrisy that gets me.
For another example, they knew what was going on with Weinstein, Lauer, Spacey, Rose etal but as long as the cash flowed and they towed-the-prog-BS-line outwardly, they gladly looked the other way and in the end...The Oprah...gives a speech in front of them (as they bark & clap like trained seals) about...Jim Crow?
Jim Crow?!...lol...one has nothing to do with the other Oprah! The perps & enablers are sitting right there in front of you!
It's just friggin surreal sometimes.Gardentoolnumber5 -> BigSwingingJohnson Thu, 05/17/2018 - 18:50 Permalink
"After the report's completion, the DOJ will weigh in on it. Their comments are key. As TrumpSoldier points out in his analysis, the DOJ can take various actions regarding " Policy, personnel, procedures, and re-opening of investigations. In short, just about everything (Immunity agreements can also be rescinded). "
Rescind Immunity, absolutely damn right, put them ALL under oath and on the stand! This is huge! Indeed this goes all the way to the top, would like to see Obama and the 'career criminal' testify under oath explaining how their tribe conspired to frame Trump and the American people.
Hell, put them on trial in a military court for Treason, what's the punishment for Treason these days???
Also would like to see Kerry get fried under the 'Logan Act'!jin187 -> IridiumRebel Fri, 05/18/2018 - 05:33 Permalink
As are half of their fellow travelers in the GOP. Neocon liars. Talk small constitutional govt then vote for war. Those two are direct opposites, war and small govt. The liars must be exposed and removed. The Never Trumpers have outed themselves but many are hiding in plain sight proclaiming they support the President. It appears they have manipulated Trump into an aggressive stance against Russia with their anti Russia hysteria. Time will tell. The bank and armament industries must be removed from any kind of influence within our govt. Most of these are run by big govt collectivists aka communists/globalists.
NO ONE IS GOING TO JAIL OVER THIS.
Who cares how many task forces, special prosecutors, grand juries, commissions, or other crap they throw at this black hole of corruption? We all know the score. The best we can hope for is that the liberals and neo-cons are embarrassed enough to crawl under a rock for awhile, and it slows down implementation of their Orwellian agenda for a few years.
Jun 09, 2016 | www.truth-out.org
Memorial Day is over. You had your barbeque. Now, you can stop thinking about America's wars and the casualties from them for another year. As for me, I only wish it were so.
It's been Memorial Day for me ever since I first met Tomas Young. And in truth, it should have felt that way from the moment I hunkered down in Somalia in 1993 and the firing began. After all, we've been at war across the Greater Middle East ever since. But somehow it was Tomas who, in 2013, first brought my own experience in the US military home to me in ways I hadn't been able to do on my own.
That gravely wounded, living, breathing casualty of our second war in Iraq who wouldn't let go of life or stop thinking and critiquing America's never-ending warscape brought me so much closer to myself, so bear with me for a moment while I return to Mogadishu, the Somalian capital, and bring you -- and me -- closer to him.
In that spring of 1993, I was a 22-year-old Army sergeant, newly married, and had just been dropped into a famine-ridden, war-torn country on the other side of the planet, a place I hadn't previously given a thought. I didn't know what hit me. I couldn't begin to take it in. That first day I remember sitting on my cot with a wet t-shirt draped over my head, chugging a bottle of water to counter the oppressive heat.
I'd trained for this -- a real mission -- for more than five years. I was a Black Hawk helicopter crew chief. Still, I had no idea what I was in for.
So much happened in Somalia in that " Black Hawk Down " year that foreshadowed America's fruitless wars of the twenty-first century across the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa, but you wouldn't have known it by me. That first day, sitting in a tent on the old Somali Air Force base in Baledogle, a couple of hours inland from the capital city of Mogadishu, I had a face-to-face encounter with a poisonous black mamba snake. Somehow it didn't register. Not really.
This is real , I kept telling myself in the six months I spent there, but in a way it wasn't or didn't seem to be.
After about a month, my unit moved to the airport in Mogadishu -- away from the snakes, scorpions, and bugs that infested Baledogle, but closer to dangers of a more human sort. Within a few weeks, I became used to the nightly rat-tat-tat of machine gun fire coming at us from the city. I watched the tracers streak by as we crouched behind our sandbagged fighting positions. We would return from missions to find bullet holes in the skin or rotor blades of our Black Hawk helicopters, or in one case a beer-can-sized hole that a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) round punched cleanly through the rear stabilizer without -- mercifully -- detonating.
And yet none of it felt like it was quite happening to me. I remember lying on my cot late at night, not far from the flight line full of Black Hawks and Cobras, hearing the drone of low-flying American AC-130 gunships firing overhead for hours on end. The first boom would come from the seaward side of the field as the gunship fired its M102 howitzer. A few seconds later, another boom would mark the round's arrival at its target across town, sometimes with secondary explosions as ammunition stores went up. Lying there, I remember thinking that those weren't the routine training rounds I'd heard a hundred times as they hit some random target in a desolate training area. They were landing on real targets, actual people.
Two other memorable boom s come to mind -- one as we waited in the back of a sun-baked supply truck, heading out on a volunteer mission to give inoculations to kids at a Somali orphanage. Boom . The ground shook to the sound of one of our Humvees and the four Army soldiers in it being blown apart by the sort of remote-controlled bomb that would become a commonplace of insurgents in America's twenty-first century wars. And a second, the loudest during my six months there, as a generator perhaps 20 feet from our tent exploded into flames from an incoming RPG round that found its target in the middle of the night.
This is real . I kept saying that to myself, but truthfully the more accurate word would have been surreal . The care packages I was receiving, the Tootsie Rolls and Cracker Jacks and letters from my wife back home telling me how much she missed me might as well have been from another planet.
Our helicopters flew daily reconnaissance missions ("Eyes over Mog" we called them) above the Somali capital. We did battle damage assessments, checking out pockmarked buildings the AC-130s had targeted the night before, or the shot-up safe house that Somali warlord Mohamed Aidid -- our operation's target (just as the US would target Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, and the leaders of various terror groups) -- had reportedly been using as a control center. Once a beautiful mansion, it was now riddled with thousands of bullet holes and TOW missile craters.
We flew over Mogadishu's bustling marketplace, sometimes so low that the corrugated metal roofs of the stalls would blow off from our rotor wash. We were always looking for what we called "technicals" -- pick-up trucks with machine guns mounted in their beds -- to take out. Viewing that crowded marketplace through the sight of a ready-to-rock M-60 machine gun helped reinforce the message that all of this was beyond surreal.
Lives were ending violently here every day, and my own life, too, could have ended at any moment. Yet it was just about impossible to believe that all of a sudden I was in the middle of a violent set of incidents in a third-world hellhole, the sort of thing you might read about in the paper, or more likely, would never hear about at all. You'd never know about our near-nightly scrambles to our fighting positions behind a pile of sandbags, as the AK-47s cracked and the tracers flew overhead. It wouldn't even register as a blip in the news back home. In some bizarre way, I was there and it still wasn't registering.
A Soldier Just Like Me
Just days after returning home from Somalia, I (like so many others) watched the footage of dead American soldiers -- at least one a Black Hawk crew chief -- being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu by cheering Somalis. For the first time, I found myself filled with a sense of dread, a profound that-could-have-been-me feeling. I imagined my mother looking at such a photo of me, of her dead son's body -- as someone's mother was undoubtedly doing.
If my interior landscape was beginning to shift in unsettling ways, if the war, my war, was finally starting to come home, I remained only minimally aware of it. My wife and I started a family, I got a civilian job, went to college in the evening using the GI Bill, and wrote a couple of books about music -- my refuge.
Still, after Somalia, I found myself drawn to stories about war. I reread Stephen Ambrose's blow-by-blow account of the D-Day landings, picked up Ron Kovic's Vietnam memoir, Born On The Fourth Of July , for the first time, and even read All Quiet On The Western Front . And all of them somehow floored me. But it wasn't until I watched Body of War , Phil Donahue's 2008 documentary about Iraq war veteran and antiwar activist Tomas Young, that something seemed truly different, that I simply couldn't shake the feeling it could have been me.
Tomas was a kid who had limited options -- just like me. He signed up for the military, at least in part, because he wanted to go to college -- just like me. Yes, just like so many other kids, too -- but above all, just like me.
He, too, was deployed to one of America's misbegotten wars in a later hellhole, and that's where our stories began to differ. Five days after his unit arrived in Iraq -- a place he deployed to grudgingly, never understanding why he was being sent there and not Afghanistan -- Tomas was shot, his spinal cord severed, and most of his body paralyzed. When he came home at age 24, he fought the natural urge to suffer in silence and instead spoke out against the war in Iraq. Body of War chronicled his first full year of very partial recovery and the blossoming of his antiwar activism.
Just a few weeks after the film's release, however, it all came crashing down. He suffered a pulmonary embolism and sank into a coma, awakening to find that he'd suffered a brain injury and lost much of the use of his hands and his ability to speak clearly. The ensuing years were filled with pain and debilitating health setbacks. By early 2013, he was in hospice care, suffering excruciating abdominal pain, without his colon, and on a feeding tube and a pain pump. Gaunt, withered, exhausted, he continued to agitate against America's never-ending war on terror from his bed, and finally wrote a " last letter " to former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney, airing his grievances, which got significant media attention .
When I read it, I felt that he might have been me if I hadn't lucked out in Mogadishu two decades earlier. Maybe that's what made me reach out to him that April and tell him I wanted to learn more about what had happened to him in the years between Body of War and his last letter, about what it meant to go from being an antiwar agitator in a manual wheelchair to a bedridden quadriplegic on a feeding tube and under hospice care, planning to soon end his own life.
A Map of the Ravages of War
When I finally met Tomas, I realized how much he and I had in common: the same taste in music and books, the same urge to be a writer. We were both quick with the smart-ass comment and never made to be model soldiers because we liked to question things.
Each moment we spent together only connected us more deeply and brought me closer to the self that war had created in me, the self I had kept at such a distance all these years. I began writing his story because I felt compelled to show other Americans someone no different from them who had had his life, his reality, upended by one of our military adventures abroad, by deployment to a country so distant that it's an abstraction to most of us who, in these days of the All-Volunteer Army, don't have a personal connection either to the US military or to the wars it so regularly fights.
A historically low percentage of our population -- less than half a percent -- actually serves in the military. Compare that to around 9% during the Vietnam War, and 12% during World War II. Remarkably few of us ever see combat, ever even know anyone who was in combat, ever get to hear firsthand stories of what went on or witness what life is like for such a returning veteran. Not surprisingly, America's wars now largely go on without us. There is no personal connection. Here in "the homeland" -- despite the overblown fears of "terrorism" -- it remains "peacetime." As a consequence, few of us are engaged by veterans' issues or the prospect -- essentially, the guarantee -- of more war in the American future.
Tomas understood the importance of sharing the brutal fullness of his story. For him, there were to be no pulled punches. When I told him I wanted others to learn of his harrowing tale, of his version of the human cost of war, that I wanted to help him to tell that story, he responded that he had indeed wanted to write his own book. He'd scrapped the project because he could no longer write, and even Dragon voice-to-text software wouldn't work because his speech had become so degraded after the embolism struck.
Instead, he shared everything. Tomas and his wife, Claudia, opened their lives to me. I slept in their basement. During my periodic visits, he introduced me to an expansive mind in a shrunken world, a mind that wanted to range widely in a body mostly confined to a hospital bed, surrounded by books, magazines, and an array of tubing that delivered medications and removed bodily wastes in a darkened bedroom.
"I need to be fed," he said to me one day. "Do you want to see what that's like?" Then, he lifted his shirt and showed me the maze of tubing and scars on his body. It was a map of the ravages of war.
He was unflinchingly honest, sensing the importance of his story in a country where such experiences have become uncommon fare. Like his comic book heroes Batman and the Punisher, he wanted to make sure that no one would have to endure what he'd gone through.
An All-Too-Real Life and Surreal Wars
Tomas Young's war ended on the night before Veterans' Day 2014 when he passed away quietly in his sleep. His pain finally came to an end.Body of War By Phil Donahue, Ellen Spiro, The Real News Network | Film Veterans, We're Sorry for How Our Country Treated You By The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program | Op-Ed Veterans Urge Presidential Candidates to Say No to Militarism
The bullets that hit him in the streets of Baghdad in 2004 brought on more than a decade of agony and hardship, not only for him, but for his mother, his siblings, and his wife. Their suffering has yet to end.
Stories of the reality of war and its impact on this country are more crucial now than ever as America's wars seem only to multiply. Among us are more than 2.5 million veterans of our recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. We owe it to them to read their accounts -- and an increasing number of them are out there -- and do our best to understand what they've been through, and what they continue to go through. Then perhaps we can use that knowledge not only to properly address their needs, but to properly debate and possibly -- like Tomas Young -- even protest America's ongoing wars.
It would have been perfectly understandable for Tomas to have faced the pain, frustration, and failing health of his final years privately and in silence, but that wasn't him. Instead, he made his story part of our American record. To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com here .
Mark Wilkerson spent eight years in the US Army as an AH-1 Cobra and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crew chief with the 3rd Infantry and 101st Airborne Divisions. He was deployed with the 101st to Somalia for six months in 1993. He is the author of Who Are You: The Life of Pete Townshend and co-wrote Pearl Jam Twenty . He has three children: Alex, Nick and Sam. He lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife, Melissa. His latest book is Tomas Young's War (Haymarket Books).
May 10, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Originally from: Can Michael Hayden Be This Blinded By Hate By Peter Van Buren
Ex-NSA chief says Americans have been conned by Russia and Trump and should look to intel community for salvation.Former Director of the National Security Agency Michael Hayden. Gage Skidmore/Shutterstock The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies, Michael Hayden, Penguin Press, 304 pages
Former NSA and CIA head Michael Hayden's new book The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies wants to be the manifesto behind an intelligence community coup. It ends up reading like outtakes from Dr. Strangelove .
Trump cannot discern truth from falsehood, Hayden says, and is the product of too much fact-free thinking, especially on social media ("computational propaganda" where people can "publish without credentials") where lies are deployed by the Russians to destroy the United States. Instead Hayden calls for artificial intelligence and a media truth-rating system to "purify our discourse" and help "defend it against inauthentic stimulation."
Hayden believes in the "fragility of civilization" as clearly as he believes there is a "FOX/Trump/RT" alliance in place to exploit it. Under Trump, "post-truth is pre-fascism, and to abandon facts is to abandon freedom." Hayden claims Trump has a "glandular aversion" to even thinking about how "Russia has been actively seeking to damage the fabric of American democracy."
Salvation, it would seem, depends on the intelligence community. Hayden makes clear, ominously quoting conversations with anonymous IC officers, that no one else is protecting America from these online threats to our precious bodily fluids . He warns that "the structures we rely on to prevent civil war and societal collapse are under stress." The IC on the other hand "pursues Enlightenment values [and] is essential not just to American safety but to American liberty."
Hayden recalls how he reminded a lad fresh to the IC to "protect yourself. And above all protect the institution. American still needs it." He has a bit of advice about the CIA: "We are accustomed to relying on their truth to protect us from foreign enemies. Now we may need their truth to save us from ourselves." The relationship between Trump and the IC, Hayden threatens, is "contentious, divisive, and unpredictable" in these "uncharted waters for the Republic."
Simply put, Hayden's book is blowing 10 dog whistles at once. Arise ye patriots [of neoliberalism] of Langley and Fort Meade!
Yet for all his emphasis on truth, Hayden is curiously lax in presenting actual evidence of the apocalypse. You are left to believe because Hayden says you must: paternalism at its best. Plus, to disbelieve is to side with Putin. The best we get are executive summary-like statements along the lines of "There is clear evidence of what I would call convergence, the convergence of a mutually reinforcing swirl of Presidential tweets and statements, Russian influenced social media, alt right websites and talk radio, Russian 'white' press like RT and even mainstream U.S. media like Fox News."
With that established, Hayden informs us that when the IC tried to warn Trump of the Russian plot, he "rejected a fact-based intel assessment because it was inconsistent with a preexisting world view or because it was politically inconvenient, the stuff of ideological authoritarianism not pragmatic democracy." Comrade, er, Candidate Trump, says Hayden matter-of-factly, "did sound a lot like Vladimir Putin." The two men, he declaims, are "Russian soulmates."
Hayden figures that if you've read this far into his polemic, he might as well just splurge the rest of his notes on you. Trump is "uninformed, lazy, dishonest, off the charts, rejects the premise objective reality even existed." He's fueled by Russian money (no evidence of this is presented in the book, Hayden says, because it's hidden in the tax returns, as if Line 42 on Trump's 1040 would read "Putin Black Funds $5 mil," and the IRS, which does have the returns, overlooked that).
Trump is an "unwitting agent" of Putin, which Hayden tells us in Russian is polezni durak , so you can see he knows his Cold War lingo. We hear how Wikileaks worked with the Russkies, how Trump Jr. worked with the Russkies, how the Russkies wormed their way into Tower so they could see the Big Board, how the whole brouhaha over #TakeAKnee was Russian meddling, and how Jill Stein existed to "bleed off votes from Clinton" -- every Mueller fan-fiction trope tumbling from the pages like crumbs left over from an earlier reader.
That's why The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies reads like as a polemic. But it also fails as a book.
There are pages of filler, jumbled blog post-like chapters about substate actors and global tectonics. Hayden writes in a recognizable style that might be called Bad Military, where everything must eventually be tied to some Big Idea, preferably with classical references Googled-up to add gravitas.
So it is not enough for Hayden to state Trump is a liar. He has to blame Trump for usurping the entire body of Western thought: "We are in a post-truth world, a world in which decisions are far more based upon emotion and preference. And that's an overturning of the Western way of thought since the Enlightenment." Bad things are Hobbesian; good things Jeffersonian, Madisonian, or Hamiltonian. People Hayden agrees with get adjectival modifiers before their names: the perceptive scholar ____, the iconic journalist ____, the legendary case officer ____. It makes for tiresome reading, like it's Sunday night edging 4 a.m. and you still have nine undergrad papers on the causes of the Civil War to grade.
Hayden is openly contemptuous of the American people, seeing them as brutes who need to be led around, either by the Russians, as he sees it now, or by the IC, as he wishes it to be. Proof of how dumb we are? Hayden cites a poll showing 83 percent of Republicans and 27 percent of Democrats don't believe the IC analysis that Russia meddled in the 2016 election when they damn well should. Further proof? Russian bots at work on Twitter influencing conservative minds by using the hashtags #God and #Benghazi.
In our odd times, Hayden is a Hero of the Resistance. Seemingly forgotten is that, as head of the NSA, he implemented blanket surveillance of American citizens in a rape of the Fourth Amendment, itself a product of the Enlightenment, justifying his unconstitutional actions with a mishmash of post-truth platitudes and still-secret legal findings. Hayden also supported torture during the War on Terror, but whatever.
This book-length swipe right for the IC leaves out the slam dunk work those agencies did on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Any concern about political motives inside the IC is swept away as "baseless." Gina Haspel , who oversaw the torture program, is an "inspired choice" to head CIA. Hayden writes for the rubes, proclaiming that the IC produces facts when in reality even good intel can only be assessments and ambiguous conclusions.
That people so readily overlook Hayden's sins simply because he rolls off snark against Trump speaks to our naiveté. That men like Hayden retain their security clearances while serving as authors and paid commentators to outlets like CNN speaks to how deep the roots of the Deep State reach. That some troubled Jack D. Ripper squirreled inside the IC might take this pablum seriously is frightening.
Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well : How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People and Hooper's War : A Novel of WWII Japan. Follow him on Twitter @WeMeantWell .
Jack May 9, 2018 at 11:09 pmThe "assault on intelligence" indeed.Kent , says: May 10, 2018 at 6:39 amThe IC lost all trust after the Iraqi WMD lie. They'll never get it back. That doesn't mean Trump isn't a liar too. But it's not either/or.Robert Hume , says: May 10, 2018 at 8:57 amHe's not blinded by hate. If you actually read the book, he describes his issues with Obama, Clinton and everyone else. The fact remains he outlined the truth: Trump is a bumbling fool who cannot distinguish truth fro fiction and is the most corrupt president ever to inhabit the oval office, and has no idea what he's doing.Stephen J, , says: May 10, 2018 at 9:06 amThis interesting article states: Gina Haspel, who oversaw the torture program, is an 'inspired choice' to head CIA. Really, torture is used by gangsters and other underworld villains. Therefore, I ask based on the evidence against governments. "Are We Seeing Government by Gangsters"? http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2018/03/are-we-seeing-government-by-gangsters.htmlC. L. H. Daniels , says: May 10, 2018 at 10:00 amThe guy sounds like a certain Senator from Wisconsin:balconesfault , says: May 10, 2018 at 10:40 am
"The reason why we find ourselves in a position of impotency is not because the enemy has sent men to invade our shores, but rather because of the traitorous actions of those who have had all the benefits that the wealthiest nation on earth has had to offer – the finest homes, the finest college educations, and the finest jobs in Government we can give."I've never been a fan of Hayden, and his current salvos against Trump aren't going to change that.Kurt Gayle , says: May 10, 2018 at 10:43 am
But "Trump cannot discern truth from falsehood, Hayden says, and is the product of too much fact-free thinking, especially on social media "
There's a serious rebuttal to this?Peter Van Buren reminds us all: "Seemingly forgotten is that, as head of the NSA, he implemented blanket surveillance of American citizens in a rape of the Fourth Amendment "
The 4th Amendment to the US Constitution:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
May 10, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Blumenthal, Norton, Khalek - The Turncoats Deliver A Poor Excuse - by Daniel
lifted from a comment
... ... ...
He says he "didn't think it was going to become, you know, the 7-year devastating conflict that it became." That is apparent. Libya was already descending into the F-UK-US "Mission Accomplished" with NATO bombers warming up to finish the job. Perhaps Max's dad had assured him that Syria would follow the same pattern his emails with Hillary Clinton show he had helped plan and define in Libya.
BTW: Has he ever addressed his father's role in the destruction of the once most prosperous country on the African continent? I haven't read or heard anything from Max on Syd Blumenthal's pre-Qaddafi "removal" explanation that Libya had to be destroyed to:
- Steal their nationalized oil.
- Confiscate the hundreds of tons of gold and silver Libya held.
- Prevent Libya from establishing a gold-backed currency and pan-African development bank to compete with the US petro-dollar and IMF, and lift Africa out of neo-colonial subservience.
Yeah. Max was "pretty quiet on Libya and not really - didn't really make any coherent statements on that either."
That newspaper that Max publicly maligned and quit ("grandstanding" as he now says) "had taken an anti-imperialist agenda." Did that paper ever reject any articles Max wrote defending "the Syrian revolution"? I didn't think so. Who had "an agenda"? Because it sure sounds like it was Max who was so focused on his new book release and two upcoming book tours that at the least he abandoned journalistic values. Or did he fear that "being associated" with a paper that also published articles critical of "the revolution" could hurt book sales?
After all, he thought it was all going to be over soon anyway.
It would also be nice for Max to explain why, once he changed his position on Syria after Russia had helped turn the tide, he, Ben and Rania scrubbed all their anti-Syrian/pro-"rebel" posts from the internet without explanation. How Orwellian.
Cont. reading: Blumenthal, Norton, Khalek - The Turncoats Deliver A Poor Excuse - by Daniel
Posted by b at 03:54 PM | Comments (98)
karlof1 , May 9, 2018 4:25:05 PM | 1Syria isn't the only topic Blumenthal wrote lies about. Him, his cohort mentioned here, and many other presstitutes destroyed their credibility to the point where no deed no matter how valorous can regain it for them--By their actions, they committed journalistic suicide.UserFriendly , May 9, 2018 4:29:17 PM | 2
It appears greed yet again trumped integrity. It's always for A Few Dollars More.
My only concern is that if this is the reception people can expect for changing their mind and talking about it does that discourage anyone else from doing the same?Richard C , May 9, 2018 4:43:06 PM | 3
They should apologise to those they maligned. But is a vilificatory focus on the insufficiency of their repentance really helping the anti-imperialist cause?ben , May 9, 2018 4:43:14 PM | 4
@ 2: excellent point..Anon , May 9, 2018 4:50:13 PM | 5
Blumenthal, and his vocal support for the Palestinian people deserves kudos. If he has changed his stance on the Syrian debacle, good. I don't know too many people who are always
prescient enough to get everything right from the get-go, so, even without an apology, he deserves credit for finally getting it right.
b you are really beggin for problems, isnt this the second time you attack Blumenthal? Those people are the least to be attacked like this.Laguerre , May 9, 2018 4:57:05 PM | 6
All have been wrong some time, me, even yourself, why rub it in like this?
re 5james , May 9, 2018 5:04:28 PM | 7All have been wrong some time, me, even yourself, why rub it in like this?Does that mean you now support Asad? Difficult to believe.
hey daniel! nice to see that post you did on the other thread getting highlighted here!! kudos..Tobin Paz , May 9, 2018 5:06:20 PM | 8
I became familiar with Max Blumenthal through Democracy Now. His position on Syria was inexplicably appalling, but at least he had the decency to eventually call them out:Daniel , May 9, 2018 5:10:21 PM | 9
Democracy Now & guest slammed for backing 'neocon project of regime change in Syria'
b. I'm genuinely honored that you chose to post a comment of mine. Thank you. And thank you for correcting my errors in spelling Al Akhbar and Ben Norton's actual surname.Your mother , May 9, 2018 5:14:01 PM | 10
Once I catch up on the "news," I'll be back to check comments.
I was a follower of Max before the 2011 turmoil. I thought he was OK. He knew what was going around in Palestine and I was pretty sure he was an advocate for the better. I dont know what to think anymore. What is right and what is wrong. Can someone enlighten me :-(Yul , May 9, 2018 5:14:18 PM | 11
@ DanielHoarsewhisperer , May 9, 2018 5:20:43 PM | 12
Thank you for putting down what most of us who have been following The Arab spring since Tunisia know about those 3 turncoats aka Triumvirate.
@ Anon #5
Speak for yourself. Those who do follow the ME knew and realised what was the goal back in Dara'a in February 2011. It has started since 1980's and Assad didn't want to be another b---h of the US. Colin Powell thought he could sway him with threats back in 2003 and then Robert Ford - so called Ambassador went on with his task when he got the job in Damascus together with Eric Chevallier who was MAN enough to realise what was happening.
Posted by: Daniel | May 9, 2018 5:10:21 PM | 9George Lane , May 9, 2018 5:22:36 PM | 13
(Thanks to b for the recognition)
I agree with b. Your comment was thorough, well-articulated and verifiable.
...and flushed out some Moral Equivalence ideologues of the Thomas L Friedman variety.
Black Agenda Report of course has got it right since day one since Blacks more than any other group know not to trust Western establishment narratives and discourses on human rights and humanitarian intervention. Their articles on Libya from 2011 are but one proof of this.NOBTS , May 9, 2018 5:24:10 PM | 14
Margaret Kimberley's latest on Trump and Israel is excellent as always: here.
Oh please! The first attack on Max Blumenthal was embarrassing enough. Moon of Alabama is very fortunate to have gained as much respect as it has; it's very foolish to squander people's patience with this vindictive tripe. By the way I'm also offended by the fact that someone presumed to edit my Nom de Comment "nationofbloodthirstysheep" when I made what I think was a useful comment on the Gulf of Scripal Incident. If I had wanted to post under the name" nation of sheep" I would have done so.ToivoS , May 9, 2018 5:27:22 PM | 15
Max Blumenthal's support for the Palestians, especially those in Gaza, has been solid. As we all know Gaza is led by the Muslim Brotherhood. As we all should know is that it was the MB in Syria that began war against the Syrian government. It took about a year for Islamists mercenaries to arrive and begin to dominate the opposition to Assad's government. Of course, the Saudis and Qatar were financing the MB forces from the beginning.George Lane , May 9, 2018 5:27:39 PM | 16
I noticed that many westerners who were involved in Palestinian's struggle for their rights immediately backed the MB in Syria in the first year of the Syrian war. Recall how they came out and supported the MB when they seized the Yarmouk refugee camp in opposition to the Syrian government. Many good hearted, but absurdly naive, youthful people who supported the Palestians, came out and attacked Assad.
Max is one of those people. He is young and hopefully is capable of reform. We should accept his apology.
I wasn't aware of Max Blumenthal saying "Alternet Grayzone is the only progressive outlet questioning the main line". I always prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt and respect how these writers have changed their minds and are sticking to it, but this statement leaves a bad taste in the mouth, considering the outlets that have been questioning it since the beginning. Perhaps he meant "mainstream-alternative progressive outlets", or "foundation-funded independent outlets". Thanks b and Daniel for the background of which I was not aware.james , May 9, 2018 5:43:14 PM | 17
@2 userfriendly and @5 anon...james , May 9, 2018 5:44:58 PM | 18
it is one thing for them to be wrong and another for them to never acknowledge it.. it is kinda like bush 2 and his war on iraq... no acknowledgement and as obama used to say, instead of accountability we just have to move on.. bullshit.. these folks would do well to acknowledge when they are wrong.. i don't know that any of them have..
@15 toivo. but did max apologize for being wrong and attacking others for 4 or so years? i never caught sight of that..James , May 9, 2018 5:47:54 PM | 19
Unlike what people believe this came to the benefit of Iran, Russia and China and only affected the US http://www.eurasiafuture.com/2018/05/09/why-cry-its-great-news-that-trump-pulled-out-of-the-iran-deal/Babyl-on , May 9, 2018 5:50:41 PM | 20
UserFriendly #2 and Richard C #3 -NOBTS , May 9, 2018 5:55:12 PM | 21
I wish to identify myself with the remarks above.
This all sounds childish to me. Fixation on the degree of sincerity of an apology is for the playground. They had a view they changed their view from new evidence or by reflection or both. They may have done some harm by simply being human as we all can and do regularly, we humans being human and all.
These people fully acknowledged their error and were suitably contrite. One should bear in mind the fog of propaganda surrounding the so-called Arab spring; CIA Isis recruiters were very active in the pro-Palestinian movements. I actually knew some young people on the streets of Oakland and Berkeley who had been convinced that the Wahhabi Takfiris were a persecuted minority and were nearly swept away.Laguerre , May 9, 2018 5:56:37 PM | 22
Let's be quite clear about this, even if it means going off-message. The Ba'thist regime is not very nice, but it's a million times better than a jihadi regime in Damascus. It's why Asad has retained the support of Syrians.ritzl , May 9, 2018 5:59:19 PM | 23
The Syrian students I know have been asked to repay their scholarships. Up to 300k euros. They can't and so are forced to remain refugees. Even the Alawites. It's not improbable that Asad will forgive them in the end, but suicides are in prospect. They could cope if it weren't for the war.
The war is going well, but hard on those conscripted. I wonder whether it isn't really a volunteer army now, after all the deaths. The hardened army is very small, but enough to knock off Ghouta, and enough to put a big hole in Idlib, some time ago. my opinion is that Idlib won't resist and will collapse, but we'll have to see.
Thank you Daniel and b.Peter Gose , May 9, 2018 6:00:39 PM | 24
While these three did get it wrong about Syria and may not have given the best explanations of what changed their minds, they actually come off as pretty contrite, more than I thought they would be capable of. The podcast is useful for exposing how the Syria issue has crippled the bds movement in North America and the role of gulf state money in that process. I look forward to what they have to say about the particularly insidious role of IS Trotskyism in destroying the anti-war movement in the anglophone world. Its fine to score points against these people for their very real past mistakes, but from an organizing point of view, what matters more is to understand the situation we're in now, and they are contributing. With formerly reliable outlets like Counterpunch getting worse on this issue with every passing day, it seems odd to be attacking those who have rectified their mistakes.NOBTS , May 9, 2018 6:09:11 PM | 25
@24karlof1 , May 9, 2018 6:09:49 PM | 26
"it seems odd to be attacking those who have rectified their mistakes. "
I certainly hope that it is just "odd". I would hate to have to think that the attacks were due to their relative effectiveness and the expanded reach of what they have to say. It's sad to consider that in the best case envy might be a motivation. The worst case is unthinkable.
Been a student of US History and its Empire since 1960s--50+ years--and I'm being told integrity no longer matters. Can someone tell me when the USA lost its integrity regarding its own basic law and the UN Charter it helped create, how hard it is to discover that fact, and why it matters? In our Orwellian Age, just how important is one's credibility, and why should we trust someone who sold hers/his for A Few Dollars More ?Jonathan , May 9, 2018 6:26:19 PM | 27
@25 NOBTS,dahoit , May 9, 2018 6:27:36 PM | 28
Perhaps their heretofore "expanded reach" was dependent on their message of the moment's usefulness to the existing power structure and their willingness to sing on cue? It wouldn't be the first time political capital earned for good cause has been spent in favor of the enemy. Liberal "performative contrition" is meaningless. If those three have done it once, they'll do it again. They are now of no service to the people except as examples, and absolutely replaceable.
It's obvious you're trolling or shilling. Move on to your next assignment please.
15;Hamas is a MB?egypt was under MB, since sisi had a strangle hold on goverment.Jen , May 9, 2018 6:29:28 PM | 29
Thanks Daniel for your comment and to B who elevated it to a full post. Daniel's comment should serve as an inspiration to the rest of us!james , May 9, 2018 6:33:02 PM | 30
While attacking Max Blumenthal, Ben Norton and Rania Khalek for their failure to apologise to people they had previously slandered on their podcast show may seem poor form, I think that what Daniel says and B adds is relevant information to consider "going forward", as the cliche goes, when next the trio cover another or a new Middle Eastern issue, or even revisit the situation in Syria if that should change. Will Blumenthal et al stand steadfast in their opinion or will they revert to supporting the forces trying to topple Assad if they sniff that the tide is turning against the SAA and its allies?
@29 jen.. i agree... it is worth reading daniels comment @163 in 'trump ends the nuclear deal' thread as well as @156 george lanes initial comments to this post of daniels too..the pair , May 9, 2018 6:38:01 PM | 31
i usually try not to judge people by their family connections but blumenthal's dad is such a noxious neoliberal asshole it's hard to believe the apple could have fallen that far from the tree.Jackrabbit , May 9, 2018 6:52:47 PM | 32
a lot of the so called "left" is also infected with the "every revolution is good cuz leaders are teh suck amirite?!?!?" disease. whether it's - as a great article i recently saw suggests - the residue of marxism or just teen angst writ large, they just assume any leader that isn't a 100% pinkwashed socialist-feminist-____ist should be overthrown by the "wisdom of the masses". too bad they fail to see the hands of the "elite" behind every protest and youtube meme.
this also explains the reflexive stupidity that oozes from western mouths every time putin is mentioned (because high approval ratings and legit election wins don't count if it's backwards gay-hating slavs).
while he and the others do write about israel, that falls into the "so you want a damn cookie?" category. opposing israel is opposing every foul part of human nature (especially historical european tendencies) distilled in one arid shithole of a colony pretending to be a country. his hissy fits about gilad atzmon aren't exactly profiles in courage either and offer a glimpse of the "third way" mentality he seems to have inherited from his father.
BAR is indeed great. they have morals and convictions and they actually stick to them consistently. freedom rider is especially good and her recent piece on israel is as good or better than anything on mondoweiss or EI.
extra fun historical context:
the inhabitants of what is now called the GCC or gulf states or whatever were one of the heaviest users of african slaves during the slave trade. this included the barbary pirates that the US marines were basically created to destroy when they committed the dreadful sin of kidnapping white people from the southern beaches of europe. that's where the marine song comes from and the "shores of tripoli" and etc. so the marines have basically been killing muslims for hundreds of years.
as for why the arabian peninsula has so few black folks compared to the west: they castrated all the males. oddly, one slave helped the moors conquer spain (the term "moors" being that time's "muzzies").
UserFriendly @2: . . . If this is the reception people can expect for changing their mind . . .NOBTS , May 9, 2018 6:54:28 PM | 33
Journos, pols, and other public figures that take strategic positions as it is convenient to them are deplorable.
Anyone that was honestly wrong would be contrite.
= = = =
Richard C @3: . . . Is a vilification focus . . . Really helping
Yes it is, especially for those taking strategic positions .
= = = =
Anon @5: All have been wrong some time . . .
Morons, trolls, and opportunists are right as often as a broken clock.
= = = =
NOBTS @14: . . . It's very foolish to squander people's patience with this vindictive tripe
I guess you have no family or friends among the millions dead injured and displaced.
= = = =
Babyl-on @20: They had a view they changed their view . . . being human and all
Not good enough Babyl-on. As a long time patron of the bar I think you should see that more clearly than others.
= = = =
Peter Gose @24: . . . They actually come off as pretty contrite . . . And they are contributing
I always feel that it is best to explain your mistakes and not simply apologize. Very instructive and restores confidence. And if they were "burned" by being misinformed, they should be / would be vindictive toward those that misled them.
@27somebody , May 9, 2018 7:03:22 PM | 34
So... it suits the existing power structure that these people should be speaking relatively truthfully at this point? If that's the case then I suppose the majority of Moon of Alabama's followers ( I contributed €50 by the way) would be in the same boat. The only way I can see this working out for the ruling elite is if being on the right side i.e. the left side, is totally marginal and pathetic, so thoroughly divided and conquered as to be irrelevant.
Posted by: ToivoS | May 9, 2018 5:27:22 PM | 15Observer , May 9, 2018 7:15:53 PM | 35
The context you give is correct. There was an Obama Muslim Brotherhood strategy. Libya was part of it.
Breaking:Curtis , May 9, 2018 7:17:00 PM | 36
In major escalation, Israel attacks southern Syria as Putin has bromance with Bibi Netanyahu
I read Max's book Goliath recently. It's very damning of the rightward turn of the Israeli govt AND the Israeli people. People in the US are nowhere near as xenophobic as a majority of Israelis are now. I admit I had not paid much attention to support he would have had for the "Syrian rebels." But the point is to be made and it would be interesting to know of his thoughts on his father's actions with respect to Libya. Maybe Max realizes he's late to the party and is having a me too moment.Bruce Lesnick , May 9, 2018 7:24:40 PM | 37
The Team Obama love affair with MB was obvious. I thought it interesting that the Egypt military put a stop to their plans once they achieved power there. They were useful for the initial protest violence in Syria until more support could arrive.
Not all who identify as Trotskyist support the bankrupt position on Syria promoted by the ISO and, originally, by Blumenthal et al. See https://socialistaction.org/2018/05/08/big-stake-in-syria-war-for-the-1-and-the-99/ by Socialist Action. Also other, earlier Syria articles on that site.George Lane , May 9, 2018 7:40:12 PM | 38
In a future piece, I will address what Trotsky stood for and use that criteria to differentiate among the various groups that call themselves Trotskyist today.
Bruce @37, this is true. The proud Trotskyists at the WSWS are consistently anti-war and have called out several socialist organizations for being pro-NATO intervention in Libya and Syria. I find their philosophical positions woefully reductive and uninteresting (one of them told me once that both "analytic" and "continental" philosophy are "non-sense" and that the only true philosophy is Marxism-Leninism-Trotskyism, and also that the Frankfurt school is the root of the perversion of Marxist philosophy), but nonetheless they do extremely admirable and important work in reporting on the ground in places like Amazon distribution centers or interviewing immigrant families terrorized by ICE. They have been speaking out loudly on Google censorship as well, which is laudable.karlof1 , May 9, 2018 7:40:24 PM | 39
On this topic of pro-intervention leftists, see Whitney Webb's response to the open letter signed by Chomsky, Judith Butler, and others, calling for the humanitarian US military to save Rojava and "increase support for the SDF": here.
Thanks so much. The silence is deafening.blues , May 9, 2018 7:44:05 PM | 40
Breaking:fast freddy , May 9, 2018 7:56:56 PM | 41
It now appears as though a war may have broken out between Syria and Israel. Israel claims that "Iran" attacked it at the Syria/Israel border at the Golan Heights. See NOW (Syrian) News :
Notwithstanding Israel's attack on Syria, minutes ago, it should be noted, IMHO, that Max Blumenthal is simply a "Limited Hangout". And in it for a "Few Dollars More". h/t Karlof1foo , May 9, 2018 7:58:35 PM | 42
Kinda like re-branding progressives.JTMcPhee , May 9, 2018 8:05:53 PM | 43
So I read in "Breaking News" that IRANIANS have fired TWENTY MISSILES AT THE HOLY SACRED LAND OF ISRAEL. Or so it is claimed, along with how the "Iron Dome" intercepted most of them. http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/05/breaking-iranian-forces-fire-20-rockets-into-israel-iron-dome-defense-sytem-employed-video/james , May 9, 2018 8:39:28 PM | 44
Query whether "Iron Dome" is maybe a bit of a fraud, https://www.technologyreview.com/s/528916/israeli-rocket-defense-system-is-failing-at-crucial-task-expert-analysts-say/ , or whether "the hand of YHWH" is involved in shielding the Israelites, who claim to be YHS}WH's Chosen People, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2717659/Hand-God-prevents-rocket-striking-target-Israeli-Iron-Dome-operator-says-sudden-gust-wind-blew-missile-sea-defence-failed.html .
So the Likudniks, who most resemble the Israelites from the first eight or nine books of the Torah, violent, deceitful, putting the Philistines to the sword, taking their land and cattle and enslaving their women and children, always falling away from the Commandments but always forgiven by YHWH, are building another brick BS box to add to the structure that will, if the dual-citizens that stand atop our Imperial government have their way, lead to some kind of "war on Iran."
I wonder what it feels like to get vaporized in a nuclear explosion... Expect it won't hurt for long -- less painful than having to watch as the Fokkers who own us slow-walk all of us into economic and environmental collapse, maybe quick-stepping now toward an answer to that neocon-naive question, "What good are all these wonderful weapons for if we never USE them?" C;mon, all you Revelation Believers and Armageddonists, GET IT OVER ALREADY, WILL YOU? THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING US!
I long ago rejected the notion that there will be some kind of retribution in some kind of "afterlife" where the people who are bast@rds and sh!ts in this life have to atone, somehow. Anyone who might be a candidate for eternity in the fiery lake obviously shares that disbelief. Fork 'em, if only we could reach them and stop them somehow...
no proof necessary when israel makes a claim... and it becomes front page news immediately in the west.. lap it up baby...james , May 9, 2018 8:42:58 PM | 45
oh and let me aim a quote from pat lang - "Any sort of incident or provocation will be accepted by the US as causus belli." that is indeed how low the usa has sunk to...UserFriendly , May 9, 2018 8:43:43 PM | 46
Sigh. You'd think that the left, whose only real power comes from solidarity, would be natural coalition builders, but they aren't. I feel like all I ever see is ideological purity tests and an eagerness to shun and expel people over differences rather than try and reach people where they are and work to change their views to match your own. It just gets me so depressed because the right does not have this problem at all; the bible thumpers showed up en mass for the pussy grabber. I'll just add this to my list of reasons not to procreate and to commit suicide before the climate change shit hits the fan.james , May 9, 2018 8:44:59 PM | 47
am i the only idiot here who thinks the idea of iran lobbing some missiles into israel from the golan heights is like an oversized pack of lies? maybe i should take out a regular subscription to the times of israel to get the '''real'''news..David G. , May 9, 2018 8:46:22 PM | 48
This makes no sense at all. I can't even tell what we are supposed to be getting so angry about. Is it that these three people sound insufficiently repentant? Is it their tone of voice we are judging? Or is it that they took too long to reach their current positions? Personally I couldn't care less, as long as today they're pushing the conversation in a positive direction. And I don't think there are many people out there communicating more effectively than Blumenthal and Norton.james , May 9, 2018 8:47:19 PM | 49
@47 userfriendly... bullshit.. it isn't about left and right..it is a lot more nuanced then you make it out to be..Michael Murry , May 9, 2018 8:54:39 PM | 50
For JTMcPhee @44 regarding those "Revelation Believers and Armageddonists" who tipped the Electoral College scales in the U.S., giving the world All-About-Him instead of You-Know-Her : sort of like a choice between Genghis Khan and Atilla the Hun (or Hen).blues , May 9, 2018 9:00:48 PM | 51
Left Behind by Jesus
Jesus loves the rich, you know
Ask them, they will tell you so
Help the poor? Why that's a crime!
Best to work them overtime
Off the books, though, lest they say
That you owe them extra pay
Jesus loves those tax cuts, too
Just for some, though, not for you
See a poor kid that's a clerk?
Send him to Iraq to work
Jesus loves the army, see?
Just the place for you and me
Not the rich, though, they don't serve
What a thought! What perfect nerve!
If you think this life's a pain
Wait till Jesus comes again
Then on Armageddon Day
He will take the rich away
Sure, you thought that you'd go, too,
Not that you'd get one last screw
Just like your retirement
That the rich already spent
Jesus with the winners goes
Losers, though, just get the hose
What on earth would make you think
That your lord's shit doesn't stink?
After all he left you here
With the rich, so never fear
They'll upon your poor life piss
In the next life and in this
Jesus loves the rich, so there!
Don't complain it isn't fair
Jesus said to help themselves
Then he'd help them stock their shelves
So they did and he did, too
What has this to do with you?
Jesus loves the rich just fine
Why'd you think he pours their wine?
Jesus votes Republican
Ask them: they'll say "He's the One!"
Still a few loose coins around
That the rich have not yet found
Gotta go now, never mind
If you end up left behind
Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2006
>> UserFriendly | May 9, 2018 8:43:43 PM | 47Massinissa , May 9, 2018 9:01:03 PM | 52
This "solidarity" concept is stupid. There are people who call themselves "leftists" who demand loyalty to Hillary. Um, no, we cannot have "solidarity" with Soros' minions. We never needed "solidarity" to begin with. No significant social movement ever really depended on "solidarity". We must think for ourselves, not just follow the party line.
@38 Wow, even the WSWS Trotskyists buy into that right wing shit about the Frankfurt School now? Man, that 'cultural marxism' conspiracy theory is so virulent even some Marxists believe it...Kiza , May 9, 2018 9:15:03 PM | 53
The only surprising thing here is how many pro trolls jumped in the defense of the spent trio. The three have been used up, sacrificed by their owners and there is no going back. Most of the usual good commenters here understand this well - credibility is a bit like virginity - one can go onto an operating table to regain it, but it is never the same.George Lane , May 9, 2018 9:24:58 PM | 54
When will the ordinary people understand, like the smart commenters here, that many regime agents pose as anti-regime activists and journalists, to be sacrificed by their creators at some important moment. Internet is full of such.
@38, Massinissa, yes they got a bit angry when I made that connection with right-wing libertarians and their Cultural Marxism argument about the Frankfurt school being the source of the downfall of Western civilization. To be fair, they would reject that whole argument as well, but they nonetheless hold the Frankfurt school to be a perversion of Marxist thinking to be rejected entirely, with no usefulness or value whatsoever.jezabeel , May 9, 2018 9:27:33 PM | 55
I study and work with mental illness (mostly others' sometimes my own), and all I can say is, wow, Israel is a beautiful case. B.E.A.yoootiful!Babyl-on , May 9, 2018 9:29:32 PM | 56
As I think further about all this, why do I give a fuck about these intramural cat fights among journalists and blogers. We the consumers are not in the least interested in your petty emotional bruises over improper apologies. This crap goes on day after day in the press - journalists carping at one another and pissing off everyone they subject to it. The Intercept practically has a section devoted to fights with other journalists. I want reporting, the reporting I have seen from those who are sullied here is of high quality nothing in it indicates duplicity of any kind instead it shows almost encyclopedic knowledge of the subject and issues. I am really not interested in the complete moral biography of each and every journalist, are you?>>> blues , May 9, 2018 9:00:48 PM | 52
Clinton? left? LOL Thats the best laugh I've had in awhile. I meant the actual left.
Posted by: UserFriendly | May 9, 2018 9:43:41 PM | 57>>> blues | May 9, 2018 9:00:48 PM | 52Jen , May 9, 2018 9:50:21 PM | 58
Clinton? left? LOL Thats the best laugh I've had in awhile. I meant the actual left.
Posted by: UserFriendly | May 9, 2018 9:43:41 PM | 57 /divJames @ 30: Thanks for the tip and also for your consistent support for my comments across the MoA comments forums.blues , May 9, 2018 10:03:12 PM | 59
/~~~~~~~~~~kooshy , May 9, 2018 10:06:31 PM | 60
As I think further about all this, why do I give a fuck about these intramural cat fights among journalists and blogers. We the consumers are not in the least interested in your petty emotional bruises over improper apologies. This crap goes on day after day in the press - journalists carping at one another and pissing off everyone they subject to it. The Intercept practically has a section devoted to fights with other journalists. I want reporting, the reporting I have seen from those who are sullied here is of high quality nothing in it indicates duplicity of any kind instead it shows almost encyclopedic knowledge of the subject and issues. I am really not interested in the complete moral biography of each and every journalist, are you?
Posted by: Babyl-on | May 9, 2018 9:29:32 PM | 57
As you "think further about all this", consider:
When will the ordinary people understand, like the smart commenters here, that many regime agents pose as anti-regime activists and journalists, to be sacrificed by their creators at some important moment. Internet is full of such.
Posted by: Kiza | May 9, 2018 9:15:03 PM | 54
Then ask: Is it really the case that "....many regime agents pose as anti-regime activists and journalists, to be sacrificed by their creators at some important moment"? Is that the case, or is it not? Because if it is, in fact, the case, then we must address it. I mean, it would be kind of stupid to just ignore that, right?
Well I have seen it several times with my own eyes. So as one of "we the consumers" I cannot just go and dismiss it as a "cat fight".
I remember the first time Trump attacked Syrian forces was over a chocolate cake with chines president. Could this be the same treatment or a reply by Putin if he gave a green light to Syria they can reply in kind inside Israel, while Nuty is the guest of honor in Moscow?Ikl , May 9, 2018 10:11:09 PM | 61
@kooshypaul , May 9, 2018 10:21:22 PM | 62
The ayrian government is not controlled by putin. They can choose to respond any way thry want to for the ongoing aggression and zionist invasion they dont need a "green light" from mosow you only need tosee how rt is covering the news to understand that russia has nothing to do with thi a
I assume a commentator is controlled opposition until they prove otherwise.blues , May 9, 2018 10:44:00 PM | 63
>> canthama | May 9, 2018 10:15:16 PM | 65WJ , May 9, 2018 10:46:09 PM | 64
I don't assume a commenter is controlled opposition "until they prove otherwise". But for anyone named "Hal Turner" (the FBI's honeypot blogger), I have severe doubts to begin with.
UserFriendly @47,60,WJ , May 9, 2018 11:27:13 PM | 65
What you say is true, sorry to say. One reason why it is true is that there has not been a viable American political left for at least a half century now and probably longer. There were some stirrings of legitimate left politics in a few of the civil rights groups (certainly not all) in the early 1960s, and for a long time the Black Panthers represented by far the healthiest left movement in the US since the 1920s-30s. But the mass potential for a real socialist politics came to an end, I think, with the assassination of King, and the local pockets of black nationalist resistance were bombed or shot or disappeared by FBI and police forces over the next decade. The remaining Vietnam anti-war movement was largely useless. Many of them are today the aging equestrians of the professional liberal #Resistance.
Occupy had some promise but was easily dissipated. The Democratic primaries demonstrated that a moderate social democrat could outearn corporate PAC financed tools via aattracting a huge number of small donations from people earning between 35K-100K (which is a *relatively* piss poor class of people, politically speaking). Some of this momentum carried over into socialist party gains and electoral victories in 2018, and in some states motivated a younger social democratic ("progressive" I suppose they call themselves) insurgency against Democratic Party empty suits. How lasting and successfull this development will prove to be is uncertain. My hope is that the 2020 Democratic primary season is much more destructive for internal party structure than that of 2016 was; ideally the party itself would implode, ceasing to exist altogether or remade entirely on an explicitly socialist, or at least social democratic platform, the #Resistance crew jumping over to the Republicans.
But I don't really expect any of this to happen.
NOBTS @69Robert Snefjella , May 9, 2018 11:31:25 PM | 66
Just go away. You are not going to fool anybody round here into taking you seriously with such comically C-grade troll phrases as "return to relevance" and "such a divisive post."
Charles Michael , May 9, 2018 11:35:30 PM | 67
From Ben Norton via the link given by b above ("this episode"):
"We have been criticized, mostly by people who I think have been somewhat unfair, but I think there are valid criticisms, in that early on in the conflict we were kind of knee jerk response supportive of the opposition out of the idea that this is like some progressive revolution against an evil authoritarian regime etc., you know believing a lot of those talking points which we now know are significantly more complex, if not just flat out false."
to b:Daniel , May 9, 2018 11:37:30 PM | 68
are any reference to SST censured ?
First, thanks to many MoA barflies for the kind words. I am far more often than not impressed with the knowledge and analytical abilities of those Bernhard has attracted to this site no doubt attracted by those same qualities in b. I have learned, and continue to learn much from y'all. So getting props from people I admire is really quite touching.Chipnik , May 9, 2018 11:57:27 PM | 69
Most of the criticisms seem to be along the lines of 'we should not criticize people who change their minds lest we scare off others."
Of course we should encourage everyone to cut through the propaganda in every way we can. We are all swimming 24/7 in a 360 degree ocean of PR/Propaganda of a sort that Bernays and Goebbels could have only dreamt. I have no doubt that right this moment I hold some disinformation that was deliberately fed to me, and I hope that I am appreciative when someone else helps to lift a veil for me.
In fact, I have no doubt that some propaganda is designed for people like myself (and others here at MoA and elsewhere), whom the propagandists know are aware of their work, and so we are on the lookout for it. I'll return to that thought.
And when one has a breakthrough as profound as making a 180 degree turn on an issue so great as a war, I absolutely agree that we should welcome that person with warmth and love.
But I also believe we should be skeptical of EVERY journalist/opinion maker who has a substantial platform. For in all but the rarest of cases, the fact of having a substantial platform means having a substantial financial backing. Not all financial backing is dubious of course, but I think we all agree that critical thinking should always be engaged.
So, how should a journalist with a large following who is also a significant opinion maker handle reversing directions on a war? Should that person scrub all previous work from the internet, and just start writing the opposite?
Or should that person help others to have a similar epiphany (most especially those readers who had bought the product this journalist had been selling for the previous 5 years)? In teaching there is a method termed "guided discovery," whereby the teacher lays out a path for the students to use their own minds to come to the correct conclusion. I can think of no better time to use this method than when one is actually having that very same "discovery" process, or had just had it.
Max could have written articles revealing one piece of false propaganda after the other as he now says he and his cohorts did privately amongst themselves. Today, they complain that "leftists/progressives" attack them as "Assad apologists" and such. We all know that the first response to a new viewpoint that is opposite of one already deeply held is almost always rejection. And when the person presenting this new information had for years actually helped instill in the audience the opposite view, it's only normal for people to become suspect of the journalist's motives.
But that's not the path Max, (and Ben and Rania) chose. Was this a case of being a poor teacher, or something else possibly something a bit more sinister?
Let's consider other things in Max's record. ,
In an earlier comment, I described the disinformation in Max's book, "The 51 Day War" and in his characterization of fellow Jewish writer, Gilad Atzmon. At the least, as a journalist, Max should know better than to spread such incorrect and dangerous ideas.
And we cannot ignore that Max was amongst the first to blame a youtube video for the attack at the US Embassy Mission that killed Ambassador Stevens, his aid and later, two former Navy Seals (read: mercenaries). He wrote this even before the Obama Administration officially made that claim. How'd he know? And when his daddy sent Hillary Max's OpEd (and again Max's daddy had worked with Hillary Clinton in understanding why Libya had to be destroyed, and how to do that), Hillary wrote back,
"Your Max is a mitzvah!"
A Mitzvah is any one of the 613 Laws of Moses.
Another author Max vociferously and wrongly labels an "anti-Semite" and liar is Allison Weir. Everyone should read her in depth study of the origins of the Jewish State of Israel in the Levant, "Against Their Better Judgement" and frequent her website, ifamericansknew.org.
BTW: It was Max who coined the JSIL term for Israel which I frequently use. We can be critical of a source and still appreciative of useful and true information from that source. Even Controlled Opposition must reveal some true information not found in MSM in order to build the trust that allows them to then feed disinformation into our minds.
Check out this 4 minute video to see clearly how Max duplicitously slanders this good woman:
And here, Gilad explains quite well why he came to term Max an "anti-Zionism Zionist."
So, back to my earlier question, "what would a propaganda designed for people who already know the MSM is propaganda look like?" I think I may have provided at least one answer.
26Diana , May 10, 2018 12:07:46 AM | 70
¿When the Kent State Cambodian War protesters were shot in the back by the Natiinal Guard?
¿When Billy Graham exorted 'Bomb the Gooks for Jesus!' at the Lincoln Memorial during those protests, and Time Magazine called him 'America's Preacher' while recently released tapes show Graham telling Nixon to nuke Hanoi??
¿When thr Hells Angels beat that guy to death at Altamont while the Stones were pleased to introduce themselves?
¿When has America NOT been a criminal enterprise?
I actually earned a degree in journalism, even though I went to an undistinguished university and was persecuted by the head of the department. I could never support myself as a journalist because unlike Max Blumenthal, I didn't have the resources to travel to other countries and just do journalism. I had to do something else to support myself. Nevertheless, I knew what was up in Syria the minute I saw that al Jazeera had started churning out anti-Assad propaganda: this was early in 2011, while Libya was still in turmoil. There is no excuse for anyone not to have paid attention to Libya--Thierry Meyssan barely escaped with his life after NATO put out an order to kill him! And there is no excuse for anyone to have seen Syria as anything else than an aggression by the U.S., NATO, the GCC and Israel. This is not about some naive kid (and Max Blumenthal is neither young nor naive) falling for romantic propaganda: it is about the son of a highly placed CIA employee who himself claims to be a journalist, and who was the closest advisor to Secretary of State Clinton on the Middle East. As Sidney Blumenthal's son, Max had the best education, a hell of a lot of exposure to the deep state, and is independently wealthy. With these privileges, why wasn't it him who was in Turkey reporting on the U.S., NATO and the World Health Organization sending weapons and terrorists into Syria? Why was it Serena Shim, someone that Turkey, with the nod of the CIA, could murder with impunity? And what is Blumenthal reporting on right now? Nothing that will risk his neck or his reputation, God forbid. Taking risks is for people like Shim, who lost her life, like Wassim Issa, who just lost both legs, like Vanessa Beeley, who has had her name dragged through the mud by FBI agent Sibel Edmonds and the entire British media establishment.Porridge & Lager , May 10, 2018 12:13:48 AM | 71
The really funny thing here is you folks are ripping Blumenberg a new a**hole for "changing his mind" when you guys are so wrong about Syria. Blumenstock and his friends were closer to the truth before their conversion. That's right, the story you guys believe about Assad being a bit of a hard a** but a relatively benign dictator is pure fantasy.Chipnik , May 10, 2018 12:17:48 AM | 72
The Syrian Ba'athist regime is renowned for its savage brutality against even suspected dissenters. How you people can explain away the well documented record of this violence says something about your echo chamber state of mind. And yes the Syrian government and its Russian patron target civilian areas and hospitals. Again, this is credibly documented. You are buying into a propaganda narrative. Vanessa Beeley, for example, is a Ba'athist stenographer who is not telling the whole story. Before you all start hollering, and throwing furniture let me ask how many Syrians post here? Right.
Nothing I can say will convince anyone to change their mind and that's okay because who am I and, besides, everyone here has the internet and knows how to use search. If you are brave or not completely brainwashed yet start with this article (you don't have to agree with everything in it) to get a sense of where your chosen narrative is at its weakest. https://www.thenation.com/article/the-debate-over-syria-has-reached-a-dead-end/
65Andrew , May 10, 2018 12:19:11 AM | 73
I wonder if Syria were to regain the Golan Heights of Syria and then blitzkreig beyond in a New 7 Day War, all the way to Haifa and beyond, whether the same Rabbinicals and Evangelicals who worship Zionism would defend Syria's right to 'the spoils of war' and then turn a blind eye as Syria blockades Haifa into a concentration camp the way Isreal has turned Gaza into one? Would they talk about Syrians being the New Chosen of Jaweh? Would they throw away their yarmulkels, and wear black and white Hezbullah scarves, just to be among the victors? Would Netanyahu be treated in the press like Arafat was treated, as a loser?
#13 Thank you George.Merlin2 , May 10, 2018 12:33:41 AM | 74
I tend to give thanks for small miracles, given the dire straights the world of journalism is in. Blessed are those who repent and at least max, Rhania and Ben appear to have sincerely repented the error of their early days, and max, in particular, has done some truly great work, exposing the Chemical false Flags and the White helmets for what they were and are. Sure, he and others stood on the shoulders of some braver and more perceptive souls such as Sharmine Narwani, Vanessa Beely and Eva Bartlett, among the very - so very - few who dared question the dominant narrative starting in 2011.Pespi , May 10, 2018 12:34:28 AM | 75
I also think that perhaps people don't realize just how difficult it was to be a western journalist/reporter and have any kind of career back in 2011/2012 while questioning the dominant narrative. Very very few did in the west, if truth be said. yes, there were Syrian connected reporters and opinionators like the Syrian perspective, MOA and a few, all too few, others. But one could count the English reporters of truth on one finger. Not just Syria, but also Libya and probably even Egypt. So, not everyone is super-brave from the get-go. not everyone has the analytic skills and integrity of "b", but then b is not stuck with writing for the Guardian, is he? And he and Ziad fadel hand Sharwani and those few others we heard from, many times did not earn their living from writing geopolitic (I think I need to add The Saker to the list. I believe I discovered him only in 2013 or so).
So, if some who first wandered in the desert got some kahunas later, it's definitely better than never. IMO, it's kind of small minded to excoriate those who failed to see the full picture back as it was happening. Me, I see the glass as half full rather than half empty, and as I sit here i can only wish for more converts to the truth. Say Monbiot of The Guardian? now, that would be nice, wouldn't it?
I also would like to remind people just how caught up so many western liberals were in the spectacle of the Arab Spring (that wasn't much in the end, and we should think long and hard about why that was so). We - as in many of us - projected our wishes upon the Arab millennials and students, but little did we do - as in any of us - to research the sad, tragic realities in their own countries. The dependence of Egypt on tourism for example all but doomed their spring to another long Winter. We, who have jobs and/or comfortable positions somewhere and/or comfortable enough retirement that allows some to post here (and post well and thoughtfully for many, which takes time and is definitely a luxury), how could we even imagine what it means to have so little that to lose that meager income from tourists is a catastrophe? In the end the majority of the Egyptians went for bread and butter or Sisi would not have prevailed (please don't read this as defense of the Sisi regime. It's just me trying to understand why the revolution in Egypt did not succeed). But all this happened back in 2011 to 2013, and Syria seemed like one more exclamation mark on some elusive "Arab Spring". Of course, it was no such thing but I only knew that from reading far more widely than most people do, and I wasn't a journalist trying to eke out a living either. As commenters we have the luxury of writing as we see fit, without fear of being fired. Anonymously too, most of us. But for reporters out in the open, I reckon it must have been a little harder.
Actually, I am trying to work up a little piece on the mysterious - and not so mysterious - reasons Syria became such a red line for writers of all kinds, that to cross it back in 2012-2015 meant vitriol in the mailbox and who knows what else. Sure it became easier in 2015 once the Russians stepped in, but I am trying to figure out why that was the case. What was so special about 2016, other than that was the year the russians really helped turn things around? and it was election season in the US too. Still, I am struglgling to wrap arms around this strange conundrum of why Syria?
Finally, speaking about red lines and daniel's comment. Gilad Atzmon is the most obvious case of a red line those who write in the open cannot cross. No matter how pro-palestinians and/or anti-zionists they are. Gilad is a lithmus test and has been for quite a while now. Just another somewhat strange phenomenon, and snother occasion for yet another piece (which I will write under still another name - for good reason. After all, the mere mention of the name Atzmon could be enough to get one kicked out of "polite' society....and I do like the free food and drinks served in those societies - now and then....).
Cheers to b, and all the rest who opposed this war from the very start.K.woods , May 10, 2018 12:55:21 AM | 76
This is not only suspiciously vindictive, it's a bore. Isn't there something more pernicious to explore than Max Blumenthal's lack of perfection? 1) The implication that he changes his positions for financial gain is laughable. If Max is trying to sell out, he's going about it all wrong. 2) He's under no obligation to explain his father's actions. 3) You seem to be implying that he was quiet about Libya because of his father's involvement. Isn't that what you're supposed to do if you have a conflict of interest? 4) You don't like the name "Moderate Rebels?" Dude your writing for a website called "Moon Over Alabama" Let's just agree to judge on content rather than title.Jackrabbit , May 10, 2018 1:00:45 AM | 77
Porridge & Lagerjames , May 10, 2018 1:08:32 AM | 78
. . . will make you fat and dim-witted.
Assad's opposition has turned him into a hero, not us. He is a veritable paladin next to the Jihadi headchoppers that would take over if he fell.
And how has regime-change ever helped anyway? Toppling Saddam was a disaster for USA in terms of international standing, financial cost, and the end result (increased Iranian influence). Libya after Qaddafi is a nightmare where ISIS conducts slave auctions. Afghanistan's 18-year war is a quagmire of dumbfuckery so profound that it is only talked about in hushed terms when reauthorizations are needed. In Ukraine, the West 'won' a money pit.
@61 jen.. thanks.. i am happy you are here!psychohistorian , May 10, 2018 1:46:50 AM | 79
@73 daniel. your question "what would a propaganda designed for people who already know the MSM is propaganda look like?" - the intercept?
@76 diana.. good post.. thanks..
@80 merlin.. thanks for your post.. i am still conflicted on the arab spring.. on the one hand it seemed like a natural occurrence.. on the other hand it seems like the powers that be were waiting to take advantage of it too, especially in the case of syria...i suppose we could give max, ben and rania a pass based on the general view that the arab spring was upon the middle east and everyone knew what a brutal dictator assad was.. i think a few folks woke up during the ukraine shakedown 2014, and they might have got to thinking that indeed the yinon plan was still on track or that general clarks comments which i quote here were indeed relevant.. "As I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and finishing off Iran."
that arab spring thing seemed like good cover for any number of tricks, not to mention regime change.. i have a hard time buying into the thought that someone who is supposed to cultivate critical thinking would overlook this myself.. maybe investigative reporters are supposed to skip the critical thinking class? i don't buy that myself.. i relate more to diana's comment @76 and think that it is fair to criticize max and any other number of public journalists, or bloggers.. i do it with other posters here and i get it when folks do it with b, as a few have here on this thread, even if i don't agree with them in this instance..
thanks to the many commentators here that continue to give me greater insight to overcome the blind spots that i carry around without being fully or even partly aware of them.. it's ongoing..
@ Daniel with the posting....congrats!guidoamm , May 10, 2018 2:10:45 AM | 80
I agree with your assertions about the paid shills of our world....they are paid to get out in front of trains not of their creation and start a parade.
Your posting has brought a new "class" of trolls to MoA. Maybe we can open some of their minds and they will quit their day jobs.
@77RogerK , May 10, 2018 2:31:22 AM | 81
Although par for the course for most people, your short sightedness, your disregard for factual evidence and your sheer inability for critical evaluation is exasperating.
It is because of people like you that offer sustenance to a predatory and exploitative elite that we find ourselves in the bind we are in.
People like you have completely bought into the narrative of the ostensible benevolence of presumably democratic governments. People like you have completely been sold on the desirability of the centralization of power. People like you have gladly waded into the self defeating fable of the righteousness of centralized education.
It is people like you that happily cheer-on our elites as they gradually divest society of their labor and their wealth by lowering interest rates artificially.
It is people like you that merrily support our elites as they progressively reveal themselves to be mere enforcers for predatory financial interests
It is people like you that rejoice in the orgy of government profligacy that gradually weighs down the creativity, the productivity and the mere right to existence of individuals the world over.
It is people like you that revel in the self declared virtue of transnational political entities that, time and again, are caught abetting and often, colluding with retrograde, sanguinary individuals the world over.
You are a deluded soul. Either that, or you have an agenda.
Anon , May 10, 2018 2:54:01 AM | 82
I know how hard it is for people to change their views, my self included. Sure you could say Max and Co. should have known better but what does that say about 99% of journalists on this planet who still firmly sticks with and probably believes the official NATO propaganda narrative?
I think having an article and debating this is both helpful and informative. However resorting to name calling like "turncoats" implies playing for a team. Tribalism and partisan hackery is something we should avoid at all costs. I've been accused of being a Putin lover and Assad lover by those who cling to the NATO narrative. The truth is I think both as assholes but I also understand the position they are in.
Is the Baath regime ideal? Fuck no. Would a Muslim brotherhood Regime be better? Highly doubtful. Would Al-Nusra or and ISIS Regime bet better? WTF? are you kidding me?? There is no black and white here, but some are much more gray that others. Same goes for journalists and people, none of us are without flaws. But the ability to change your mind and correct course is a good property especially in a journalist. This "no true Scotsman" mentality is a luxury we can't really afford in the fight against the onslaught of corporate pro WAR media.
Serious tribalism here, quite ugly to see, no criticism is allowed.uncle tungsten , May 10, 2018 4:58:10 AM | 83
People that are wrong must apologize lol, I mean get off your high horse.
Also attacking Blumenthal, Khalek, Norton, its like a teenager trying to pick a fight with a bodybuilder, and those who play with fire is going to be burnt himself by the same smearing.
Attacking people that is on your own side, also shows how misguided these blogposts are.
Tobin Paz #8Tuyzentfloot , May 10, 2018 5:21:10 AM | 84
Democracy Now, pleeeeease the white wash agency for USA exceptionalism and other crimes against humanity. Next you'll be quoting the Guardian. Reposting content from either of these two is like passing round used toilet paper for another try.
I can understand the alround eagerness to condemn. It's a standard pattern of putting the bar very high for others. It's as people have to demonstrate how good they are themselves by condemning others. Julian Assange is far from perfect as well but he has done a huge service.C , May 10, 2018 6:31:21 AM | 85
I think it was perfectly normal for a progressives to support the demonstrations and rebellion against Assad. This fit in with the Arab Spring and there was a legitimate aspiration for more democracy. There was also a violent component from the start , and there were strong exhortations to avoid all negotiations and avoid all compromise because Assad certainly was going to fall. It's to Max Blumenthal's credit that he caught on to the component which was there from the start and which quickly started to dominate: the intent , mostly from outside, to destroy or degrade the state. I think Blumenthal has done very good work on many fronts and I respect him.
I do not appreciate how he bashes people who have not caught on. It does not necessarily get easier over time to change your mind. The amount of propaganda on the issue has also increased. Once you're on the outside it's easy, but it is also easy to underestimate how hard it is to change your mind from the inside.
I understood the nature of the conflict from the start. Therefore I'm much smarter than Blumenthal. He should listen to me.
I can believe that Blumenthal is obfuscating his change of mind. But I've known about his change of mind for a long time from interviews so I never even noticed the obfuscation.
It's not pretty. Ok. So it's not pretty.
Fantastic piece by Daniel, it's nice to see that some people have some standards. Both Norton and Blumenthal have lied about various issues, not just Syria, though the way Max, Ben and Rania all changed positions at the same time on Syria is highly shady. Same with the deletion without explanation of their past work on Syria, Libya etc. Max has helped his war profiteer, Clinton employee father sell lies on various issues, we should't be grateful that he(or they) rebranded on Syria after he already did so much damage. We should be skeptical as to why.uncle tungsten , May 10, 2018 6:41:54 AM | 86
#76 Thank you Diana. Perspective is everything. Max B has never been a journalist IMHO, merely a propagandist for the permanent state.psychohistorian , May 10, 2018 6:59:49 AM | 87
@ Anon who wrote: "Attacking people that is on your own side, also shows how misguided these blogposts are."Jen , May 10, 2018 7:43:33 AM | 88
Unless you want to replace global private finance with totally sovereign finance you are not on my side. Are you on my side Anon? Do you think Max B is on my side ?
Take your obfuscating BS to some other blog you come in and say is misguided.
As C @ 91 says, the fact that Max Blumenthal et al experienced their Damascene moment (cough, cough) at about the same time is suspicious in itself. The timing of that moment too, with the Russian entry into the Syrian war in September 2015 and the turnabout in Syria's fortunes that started soon after, must also be considered. One might almost have guessed that Blumenthal, Norton and Khalek were planning and co-ordinating their move together, and looking for the right moment.Diana , May 10, 2018 12:07:28 PM | 89
They must surely know that they are playing the role of gatekeepers in demarcating how far dissent from the official narrative about Syria is allowed to go. The fact that some commenters here have taken their contrition at face value and question or criticise others who have reservations about the depth of the trio's actions demonstrates the power of that role, and why some of us might be justified in doubting their motives for acting the way they have.
Until Max Blumenthal does something that truly threatens the powers that be, like Thierry Meyssan and Serena Shim, I will regard him as another Sibel Edmonds--a government infiltrator posing as a dissident. By the way, if anyone wants to know what really happened at the beginning of the invasion of Syria, read Thierry Meyssan's writings from Libya and Damascus at the time: "John McCain, conductor of the Arab Spring" is amazing. So is another one Thierry published on Voltaire, The rebirth of the Syrian Arab Army https://www.voltairenet.org/article190703.htmljames , May 10, 2018 12:35:14 PM | 90
@83 uncle tungsten.. i agree strongly with you there!Anon , May 10, 2018 1:01:47 PM | 91
If Blumenthal, Norton, Khalek must apologize for being wrong, maybe its time to apologize that you were wrong about Trump?Rob , May 10, 2018 1:37:24 PM | 92
This pissing contest comes off very much like the scene in Monty Python's "Life of Brian" in which members of the People's Front of Judea badmouth the Judean People's Front. The ultimate insult was to call anyone with a different opinion a "SPLITTER!" From my point of view, Max, Ben and Rania have their hearts in the right place. (Has no one heard their saber-like takes on Ukraine?) They are not the enemy. In "Brian's" time, it was Rome, and in our time it is the Western Empire. Let's all keep that in mind.Piotr Berman , May 10, 2018 1:50:02 PM | 93
I agree with many posters here that the criticism of "prodigal children" of anti-imperialism should be measured. This is a political cause, and we are not assembling an elite force that can smash most entrenched enemies. Instead, we should strive to analyze the reality, spread the word and convert.Piotr Berman , May 10, 2018 2:00:23 PM | 94
And we have to accept that we differ on many issues, and very often we differ with our own past position. Back when the issue was Kosovo intervention, I though that this is good idea. Now I know that "Beware the Greeks when they bring gifts [Trojan Horse, for those deficient in classics]" should get another corollary "beware imperialists when they care about human rights".
And it is not just vicarious imperialists or people who maintain civil relationship with members of Hamas who may wrongly generalize. Assuming that Muslim Brotherhood is always and everywhere a force of evil violates the good principle "location, location, location". Like Marxism, MB ideology has gamut of different trends, and it is a bit to its credit that in Syria it did such a miserable job, being outplayed by Salafist -- they do not do a good job as a warrior cult, they are actually too normal for that.
Anon @91: my sentiments exactly.Rob , May 10, 2018 2:17:24 PM | 95
If moonofalabama has searchable archive, I was posting that it is immensely speculative that Trump is a lesser evil than Clinton, in particular, his consistent praise of Bolton puts under question mark all reasonable fragments of sentences that one could collect from his tweets and speeches. Domestically, the guy is a wrecking ball, internationally -- it is still a bit open issue, I hope for malignity mellowed by ineptitude, I mean, the outcome leave a chance for recovery. Then again, Clinton is much less smart than some think her to be, so the grounds for opposing her more than Trump were illusionary.
I meant to add to my previous post (92) that requiring absolute ideological purity has been deadly to the left ever since the left began. It is one of the main reasons why a broad-based leftwing movement has never taken hold and lasted. A pox on these sectarian ideological squabbles. If the left wants to win, it must put them aside once and for all.lysias , May 10, 2018 2:21:42 PM | 96
Splintering the opposition is very much in the interest of the powers that be.lysias , May 10, 2018 5:19:01 PM | 97
Malignity tempered by ineptitude. Sort of like how Victor Adler characterized Habsburg rule in Austria: "Despotismus gemildert durch Schlamperei."Jackrabbit , May 10, 2018 8:13:37 PM | 98
Those who argue for leniency for Blumenthal and the others would have us overlook the MANY betrayals of other so-called progressives. Such betrayals are too frequent to be just a matter of 'bad apples' or 'bad judgement'.
These "turncoats" take strategic positions on issues to advance their career. Hillary, the "progressive that gets things done", and Obama, the "community organizer", are two notable examples. Another would be Bernie's 'sheepdog' betrayal of his Movement - even after it was clear that Hillary and the DNC had conspired against him. Such people slyly conflate progressive ideals with divisive identity politics. By throwing off the moral core of progressivism they advance the interests of TPTB. Their many loyal sycophants and apologists rush to defend the indefensible and try their best to muddy waters BUT WE KNOW THE GAME by now so fuck off! You can't piss down our backs and tell us it raining anymore.
'Progressive' pundits and journalists that become useful idiots instead of watchdogs are even worse because they claim to be truth-tellers. You don't get to lead the next parade after you've led people over a cliff.
May 04, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
The Grauniad is slipping deeper into the disinformation business: Revealed: UK's push to strengthen anti-Russia alliance is the headline of a page one piece which reveals exactly nothing. There is no secret lifted and no one was discomforted by a questioning journalist.
Like other such pieces it uses disinformation to accuse Russia of spreading such.
The main 'revelation' is stenographed from a British government official. Some quotes from the usual anti-Russian propagandists were added. Dubious or false 'western' government claims are held up as truth. That Russia does not endorse them is proof for Russian mischievousness and its 'disinformation'.
The opener:The UK will use a series of international summits this year to call for a comprehensive strategy to combat Russian disinformation and urge a rethink over traditional diplomatic dialogue with Moscow, following the Kremlin's aggressive campaign of denials over the use of chemical weapons in the UK and Syria.
"The foreign secretary regards Russia's response to Douma and Salisbury as a turning point and thinks there is international support to do more," a Whitehall official said. "The areas the UK are most likely to pursue are countering Russian disinformation and finding a mechanism to enforce accountability for the use of chemical weapons."
There is a mechanism to enforce accountability for the use of chemical weapons. It is the Chemical Weapon Convention and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). It was the British government which at first rejected the use of these instruments during the Skripal incident:Early involvement of the OPCW, as demanded by Russia, was resisted by the British government. Only on March 14, ten days after the incident happened and two days after Prime Minister Theresa may had made accusations against Russia, did the British government invite the OPCW. Only on March 19, 15 days after the incident happen did the OPCW technical team arrive and took blood samples.
Now back to the Guardian disinformation:In making its case to foreign ministries, the UK is arguing that Russian denials over Salisbury and Douma reveal a state uninterested in cooperating to reach a common understanding of the truth , but instead using both episodes to try systematically to divide western electorates and sow doubt.
A 'common understanding of the truth' is an interesting term. What is the truth? Whatever the British government claims? It accused Russia of the Skripal incident a mere eight days after it happened. Now, two month later, it admits that it does not know who poisoned the Skripals:Police and intelligence agencies have failed so far to identify the individual or individuals who carried out the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, the UK's national security adviser has disclosed.
Do the Brits know where the alleged Novichok poison came from? Unless they produced it themselves they likely have no idea. The Czech Republic just admitted that it made small doses of a Novichok nerve agent for testing purposes. Others did too.
Back to the Guardian :British politicians are not alone in claiming Russia's record of mendacity is not a personal trait of Putin's, but a government-wide strategy that makes traditional diplomacy ineffective.
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, famously came off one lengthy phone call with Putin – she had more than 40 in a year – to say he lived in a different world.
No, Merkel never said that. An Obama administration flunky planted that in the New York Times :Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany told Mr. Obama by telephone on Sunday that after speaking with Mr. Putin she was not sure he was in touch with reality, people briefed on the call said. "In another world," she said.
When that claim was made in March 2014 we were immediately suspicious of it:This does not sound like typically Merkel but rather strange for her. I doubt that she said that the way the "people briefed on the call" told it to the Times stenographer. It is rather an attempt to discredit Merkel and to make it more difficult for her to find a solution with Russia outside of U.S. control.
A day later the German government denied (ger) that Merkel ever said such (my translation):The chancellery is unhappy about the report in the New York Times. Merkel by no means meant to express that Putin behaved irrational. In fact she told Obama that Putin has a different perspective about the Crimea [than Obama has].
A McClatchy journalist investigated further and came to the same conclusion as I did. The 'leak' to the New York Times was disinformation.
That disinformation, spread by the Obama administration but immediately exposed as false, is now held up as proof by Patrick Wintour, the Diplomatic editor of the Guardian , that Russia uses disinformation and that Putin is a naughty man.
The British Defense Minister Gavin Williamson wants journalists to enter the UK reserve forces to help with the creation of propaganda:He said army recruitment should be about "looking to different people who maybe think, as a journalist: 'What are my skills in terms of how are they relevant to the armed forces?'
Patrick Wintour seems to be a qualified candidate.
Or maybe he should join the NATO for Information Warfare the Atlantic Council wants to create to further disinform about those damned Russkies:What we need now is a cross-border defense alliance against disinformation -- call it Communications NATO. Such an alliance is, in fact, nearly as important as its military counterpart.
Like the Guardian piece above writer of the NATO propaganda lobby Atlantic Council makes claims of Russian disinformation that do not hold up to the slightest test:By pinning the Novichok nerve agent on Sweden or the Czech Republic, or blaming the UK for the nerve gas attack in Syria, the Kremlin sows confusion among our populations and makes us lose trust in our institutions.
Russia has not pinned the Novichok to Sweden or the Czech Republic. It said, correctly, that several countries produced Novichok. Russia did not blame the UK for the 'nerve gas attack' in Syria. Russia says that there was no gas attack in Douma.
The claims of Russian disinformation these authors make to not hold up to scrutiny. Meanwhile there pieces themselves are full of lies, distortions and, yes, disinformation.
The bigger aim behind all these activities, demanding a myriad of new organizations to propagandize against Russia, is to introduce a strict control over information within 'western' societies.
Anything that may not confirm to the 'truth' as prescribed from above must be overwhelmed with an onslaught of more lies or, if that does not work, be discredited as 'enemy' disinformation.
That scheme will be used against anyone who deviates from the ordered norm. You dislike that pipeline in your backyard? You must be falling for Russian trolls or maybe you yourself are an agent of a foreign power. Social Security? The Russians like that. It is a disinformation thing. You better forget about it.
c1ue , May 4, 2018 2:27:27 PM | 1Excellent article, in an ongoing run of great journalism.Mike Maloney , May 4, 2018 2:44:12 PM | 3
I am curious - have you read this? https://ratical.org/ratville/JFK/ST/
It purports to be a book by an American military man intimately familiar with the covert ops portion of the US government. The internal Kafka-esque dynamics described certainly feel true.One of the reasons newspapers are getting worse is the economics. They aren't really viable anymore. Their future is as some form of government sanctioned oligopoly. Two national papers -- a "left" and a "right" -- and then a handful of regional papers. All spouting the same neoliberal, neoconservative chicanery.CD Waller , May 4, 2018 2:57:20 PM | 4Genuine journalist Matt Taibbi warned of this sort of branding of disparate views as enemy a month ago. He was also correct. Evil and insidious. The enemy of a free society.chet380 , May 4, 2018 2:58:22 PM | 5Wait for an outbreak of hostilities on the Ukraine-Donbass front shortly before the beginning of the World Cup competition which is as internationally important as the Olympic Games -- as they did in 2014 with Maidan and 2016 with the Sochi Winter Olympics drug uproar, the CIA will create chaos that will take the emphasis off any Russian success, since as to them, anything negative regarding Russia is a positive for them.WJ , May 4, 2018 3:02:57 PM | 6The later history of the 20th century will one day be read as the triumph and normalization of the Nazi state through liberal democratic capitalism.Laguerre , May 4, 2018 3:07:19 PM | 7I agree that it's difficult to see how the drive to renew the Cold War is going to be stopped. I presume that, with the exception of certain NeoCon circles, there isn't a desire for Hot War. Certainly not in the British sources you quote. Britain wouldn't want Hot War with Russia. It's all a question of going to the limit for internal consumption. Do a 1984, in order to keep the population in-line.james , May 4, 2018 3:11:05 PM | 8thanks b... i can't understand how any intelligent thinking person would read the guardian, let alone something like the huff post, and etc. etc... why? the propaganda money that pays for the white helmets, certainly goes to these outlets as well..mk , May 4, 2018 3:31:41 PM | 9
the uk have gone completely nuts! i guess it comes with reading the guardian, although, in fairness, all british media seems very skewed - sky news, bbc, and etc. etc.
it does appear as though Patrick Wintour is on Gavin Williamson's propaganda bandwagon/payroll already... in reading the comments and articles at craig murrays site, i have become more familiar with just how crazy things are in the uk.. his latest article freedom no more sums it up well... throw the uk msm in the trash can... it is for all intensive purposes, done..Meanwhile, OPCW chief Uzumcu seems to have been pranked again, this time by his own staff (this is how I interpret it):b , May 4, 2018 3:49:03 PM | 10
He claimed that the amount of Novichok found was about 100 g and therefore more than research laboratories would produce, i.e. this was weaponized Novichok.
However, the story is being retracted right now because OPCW staff says it was only 100 mg .
Uzumcu looks like a fool.The Russian embassy in the UK must be reading MoA. It just now tweeted this press release: Embassy press officer comments on the Guardian article concerning a new British anti-Russian strategykarlof1 , May 4, 2018 3:52:31 PM | 11Q: What is our reaction to the Guardian article on a "comprehensive strategy" to "deepen the alliance against Russia" to be pursued by the UK Government at international forums?
A: Judging by the publication, the main current challenge for Whitehall is to preserve the anti-Russian coalition that the Conservatives tried to build after the Salisbury incident. This task is challenging indeed. The "fusion doctrine" promoted by the national security apparatus has led to the Western bloc taking hasty decisions that, as life has shown, were not based on any facts.
No traces of chemical weapons have been found in Douma. This means that not only the US/UK/French airstrikes were illegal under international law but even their political justification was inherently flawed. Similarly, in the Salisbury affair, no evidence of Russian involvement has been presented, while the two myths on which the British case was built (the Russian origin of the chemical substance used and the existence of proof of Russian responsibility) have been shattered.
Given the lack of facts, the Tory leadership seems to be adopting a truly Orwellian logic: that the main proof of Russian responsibility are the Russian denials! It is hard to see how they will be able to sell this to their international partners. Self-respecting countries of G20 would not be willing to risk their reputation.Hmmm... My reply to c1ue went sideways it seems. Yes, The late Mr. Prouty's book's the real deal and the website hosting his very rare book is a rare gem itself. Click the JFK at page top left to be transported to that sites archive of writings about his murder. The very important essay by Prouty's there too.WJ , May 4, 2018 3:53:30 PM | 12The detail of b's analysis that stands out to me as especially significant and brilliant is his demolition of the Guardian's reuse of the Merkel "quote."Jose Garcia , May 4, 2018 3:56:03 PM | 13
This one detail tells us so much about how propaganda works, and about how it can be defeated. Successful propaganda both depends upon and seeks to accelerate the erasure of historical memory. This is because its truths are always changing to suit the immediate needs of the state. None of its truths can be understood historically. b makes the connection between the documented but forgotten past "truth" of Merkel's quote and its present reincarnation in the Guardian, and this is really all he *needs* to do. What b points out is something quite simple; yet the ability to do this very simple thing is becoming increasingly rare and its exercise increasingly difficult to achieve. It is for me the virtue that makes b's analysis uniquely indispensable.
Related to the above, consider the nature of the recently christened thought-crime, "whataboutism." The crime may be defined as follows: "Whataboutism" is the attempt to understand a truth asserted by propaganda by way of relation to other truths it has asserted contemporaneous with or prior to this one. It is to ask, "What about this *other* truth? Does this *other* truth affect our understanding of *this* truth? And if so, how does it?"
Whataboutism seems to deny that each asserted truth stands on its own, and has no essential relation to any other past, present, or future asserted truth.1984, anyone?john wilson , May 4, 2018 4:03:04 PM | 14The absurd story that the OPCW says there was a 100gm/100mg who knows which on the door and other sites is just so stupid its painful. This implies that the Skripals both closed the door together and then went off on their day spreading the stuff everywhere, yet no one else was contaminated (apart from the fantasy policeman).ken , May 4, 2018 4:03:13 PM | 15
Presumably the Skripals touch the cutlery, plates and wine glasses in the restaurant, so why weren't the staff there infected as they must have had to pick up the plates etc after the meal. Even the door to the entrance of the restaurant should be affected as they would have to push it open, thus leaving the chemical for other people to touch. Nope, nothing in this stupid story adds up and the OPCW can't even get the amounts of the chemical right.The problem is,,, most know it's all BS but find it 'easier' to believe or at most ignore, as then there is no responsibility to 'do something'. Biggest problem with the world today is lazy insouciant citizens. (Yes,,, I'm a PCR reader) :))karlof1 , May 4, 2018 4:05:15 PM | 16b @10--Ort , May 4, 2018 4:22:35 PM | 17
Did you catch the Lavrov interview I linked to on previous Yemen thread? As you might imagine, the verbiage used is quite similar. One very important point Lavrov made was the anti-Russian group consists of a very small number of nations representing a small fraction of humanity; and that while they have some economic and military clout, it's possible for the rest of the world's nations to sideline them and get on with the important business of forming a genuine Multipolar World Order, which is what the UN and its Charter envisioned.
I won't omit linking to Craig Murray's conclusion :
"I cannot sufficiently express my outrage that Leeds City Council feels it is right to ban a meeting with very distinguished speakers, because it is questioning the government and establishment line on Syria. Freedom of speech really is dead."Passer by , May 4, 2018 4:24:44 PM | 18Anything that may not confirm to the 'truth' as prescribed from above must be overwhelmed with an onslaught of more lies or, if that does not work, be discredited as 'enemy' disinformation.
Yes, exactly. The Western hegemony, i.e. the true "Axis of Evil" led by the US, and including the EU and non-Western allies, have invented the Perpetual Big Lie™.
This isn't a new insight, but it's worth repeating. It struck me anew while I was listening to a couple of UK "journalists" hectoring OPCW Representative Shulgin, and directing scurrilous and provocative innuendo disguised as "questions" to Mr. Shulgin and the Syrian witnesses testifying during his presentation.
It flashed upon me that there is no longer a reasonable expectation that the Perpetual Big Liars must eventually abandon, much less confess, their heinous mendacity. Just as B points out, there are no countervailing facts, evidence, rebuttals, theories, or explanations that can't be countered with further iterations of Big Lies, however offensively incredible and absurd.
Witnesses? They're either confederates, dupes, or terrified by coercion. Evidence and/or technical analysis? All faked! A nominally reliable party, e.g. the president of the Czech Republic, makes statements that undermine the Big Lie Nexus? Again-- he's either been bought off or frightened into making such inconvenient claims. Or he's just a mischievous liar.
And, as I seemingly never get tired of pointing out, the Perpetual Big Lie™ strategy arose, and succeeds, because the "natural enemies" of authoritarian government overreach have been coerced or co-opted to a fare-thee-well. So mass-media venues, and even supposedly independent technical and scientific organizations, are part of the Perpetual Big Lie™ apparatus.
Even as the Big Liars reach a point of diminishing returns, they respond with more of the same. I wish I were more confident that this reprehensible practice will eventually fail due to the excess of malignant hubris; I'm not holding my breath.Formerly T-Bear , May 4, 2018 4:57:25 PM | 21
Is Putin capitulating? Pro US Alexei Kudrin could join new government to negotiate "end of sanctions" with the West.
Former finance minister Alexei Kudrin will be brought back to "mend fences with the West" in order to revive Russia's economy. Kudrin has repeatedly said that unless Russia makes her political system more democratic and ends its confrontation with Europe and the United States, she will not be able to achieve economic growth. Russia's fifth-columnists were exalted: "If Kudrin joined the administration or government, it would indicate that they have agreed on a certain agenda of change, including in foreign policy, because without change in foreign policy, reforms are simply impossible in Russia," said Yevgeny Gontmakher . . . who works with a civil society organization set up by Mr. Kudrin. "It would be a powerful message, because Kudrin is the only one in the top echelons with whom they will talk in the west and towards whom there is a certain trust."
Putting Kudrin -- an opponent of de-dollarization and an upholder of the Washington Consensus -- in charge of Russia's international outreach would be equal to putting Bill Clinton in charge of a girls' school.
It would mark Putin's de facto collapse as a leader. We shall know very soon. Either way, if anyone wondered what the approach to Russia would be from Bolton and Pompeo, we now know: they will play very hard ball with Putin, regardless of what he does (or doesn't do), and with carefree readiness to risk an eventual snap.
https://archive.is/1Ynms#selection-1641.0-1641.66@ 20 LaguerrePeter Schmidt , May 4, 2018 5:08:52 PM | 23
Certainly looks like @ 18 is a fine example of what b is presenting.
A good way to extract one's self from the propaganda is to refuse using whatever meme the disinformation uses, e.g. that Sergei Skripal was a double agent -- that is not a known, only a convenient suggestion.
Military intelligence is far better described as military information needed for some project or mission. Not surreptitious cloak and dagger spying. This is not to say Sergei Scripal was a British spy for which he was convicted, stripped of rank and career and exiled through a spy swap. To continue using Sergei Scripal was a double agent only repeats and verifies the disinformation meme and all the framing that goes with it. Find some alternative to what MSM produces that does not embed truthiness to their efforts.In the Guardian I only read the comments, never the article. Here, I read both. That is the difference between propaganda and good reporting.Emily Dickinson , May 4, 2018 5:09:00 PM | 24@Michael Weddington 19karlof1 , May 4, 2018 5:12:57 PM | 25
I realize it's from one of the biggest propaganda organs in the world... take this New York Times report of the OPCW's retraction with a 100 grams -- 100mg? -- of salt:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/04/world/europe/opcw-skripal-attack.htmlPasser by @18--jalp , May 4, 2018 5:30:35 PM | 26
This same narrative was put forth in 2016 and is just as false now as then. As I posted on Yemen thread earlier, Putin on 5 May is likely to announce the formation of a Stavka.
Kudrin is a neoliberal and as such is an enemy of humanity and will never again be allowed to hold a position of power within Russia's government. Let him emigrate to the West like his fellow parasites and teach junk economics at some likeminded university.Anyone seen this reported elsewhere? https://www.rt.com/news/425810-white-helmets-us-funding-freeze/
May 04, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Barker points out that Marx was correct that "capitalism has an inbuilt tendency to destroy itself." I would add that Marx's view that capitalism was heretofore the most revolutionary force in human history is also true. From the Communist Manifesto :
The bourgeoisie, historically, has played a most revolutionary part.
The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his "natural superiors", and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous "cash payment". It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom -- Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.
The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage labourers.
The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation.
The bourgeoisie has disclosed how it came to pass that the brutal display of vigour in the Middle Ages, which reactionaries so much admire, found its fitting complement in the most slothful indolence. It has been the first to show what man's activity can bring about. It has accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals; it has conducted expeditions that put in the shade all former Exoduses of nations and crusades.
The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.
The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connexions everywhere.
You see what he means here. Capitalism -- for Marx, the merchant class (the "bourgeoisie") were the carriers of capitalism -- turns everything into a market. Capitalism is a revolutionary force that disrupts and desacralizes all things. All that talk in The Benedict Option about "liquid modernity"? That's based in Marx, actually. Zygmunt Bauman, the late sociologist from whom I took the idea, was a Marxist.
Look, most of us conservatives in the West are to some degree supporters of the free market. What we missed for a very long time was that it is hard to support a fully free market while at the same time expecting our social institutions -- the family, the church, and so forth -- to remain stable. This is an insight of Marx's that we conservatives -- and even conservative Christians -- ought to absorb. I write about this a lot, though not in specific Marxist terms.
The thing is, Christian Democratic parties throughout Western Europe have largely absorbed this truth. Catholic social teaching is based in these insights as well. They aren't necessarily against the free market, but rather say that the market must be tempered for the common good.
That wasn't Marx's view, obviously. Marx thought the free market was itself wicked, and ought to be totally controlled by the state. We know where that all ended up: with a hundred million dead, and entire economies and societies destroyed.
But we can agree that Marx was right to diagnose the revolutionary nature of capitalism, if catastrophically wrong about the cure for capitalism's excesses. If that was as far as Jason Barker went, that would be fine. But he doesn't -- and this is the warning. Barker continues:
The key factor in Marx's intellectual legacy in our present-day society is not "philosophy" but "critique," or what he described in 1843 as "the ruthless criticism of all that exists: ruthless both in the sense of not being afraid of the results it arrives at and in the sense of being just as little afraid of conflict with the powers that be." "The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it," he wrote in 1845.
Racial and sexual oppression have been added to the dynamic of class exploitation. Social justice movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, owe something of an unspoken debt to Marx through their unapologetic targeting of the "eternal truths" of our age. Such movements recognize, as did Marx, that the ideas that rule every society are those of its ruling class and that overturning those ideas is fundamental to true revolutionary progress.
We have become used to the go-getting mantra that to effect social change we first have to change ourselves. But enlightened or rational thinking is not enough, since the norms of thinking are already skewed by the structures of male privilege and social hierarchy, even down to the language we use. Changing those norms entails changing the very foundations of society.
Read the whole thing.
There it is, reader. There is the "cultural Marxism" that you hear so much about, and that so many on the left deny. It is in the Marxist principle that there is no such thing as truth; there is only power.
Lenin understood this well. This is the meaning of his famous dictum, "Who, whom?" In Lenin's view, co-existence with capitalism was not possible. The only question was whether or not the communists will smash the capitalists first, or the other way around. One way of interpreting this is to say that the moral value of an action depends on who is doing it to whom .
This is why it is pointless for us conservatives and old-school liberals to stand around identifying contradictions and hypocrisies in how the progressives behave. They don't care! They aren't trying to apply universal standards of justice. They believe that "universal standards of justice" is a cant phrase to disguise white heterosexist patriarchal supremacy. They believe that justice is achieving power for their group, and therefore disempowering other groups. This is why it's not racist, in their view, to favor non-whites over whites in the distribution of power. This is why they don't consider it unfair to discriminate against men, heterosexuals, and other out-groups.
They will use things like "dialogue" as a tactic to serve the long-term strategy of acquiring total power. Resisting them on liberal grounds is like bringing a knife to a gun fight. The neoreactionaries have seen this clearly, while conservatives like me, who can't quite let go of old-fashioned liberalism, have resisted it.
I have resisted it because I really would like to live in a world where we can negotiate our differences while allowing individuals and groups maximum autonomy in the private sphere. I want to be left alone, and want to leave others alone. This, I fear, is a pipe dream. Absent a shared cultural ethos, I can't see how this is possible. I hate to say it -- seriously, I do -- but I think that today's conservatives (including me) are going to end up as neoreactionaries, just as today's old-school liberals are going to end up as progressives, because the forces pulling us to these extremes are stronger than any centrism.
For example, check this out:
I'm running into irreligious people who think that a religious person violating their deeply held principles is just a matter of choice, that they don't truly have any genuine beliefs.
We can't even converse any more b/c we're not speaking the same language.
-- PoliticalMath (@politicalmath) May 1, 2018
This is our country -- and this is the danger we religious people are facing, and are going to face much more intensely. Many non-religious people simply cannot understand why we see the world the way we do, and assume that it can only be out of irrationality and bigotry.
I invite you to read this blog post from three years ago, based on my interview with "Prof. Kingsfield", a closeted Christian teaching at an elite law school. This excerpt:
"Alasdair Macintyre is right," he said. "It's like a nuclear bomb went off, but in slow motion." What he meant by this is that our culture has lost the ability to reason together, because too many of us want and believe radically incompatible things.
But only one side has the power. When I asked Kingsfield what most people outside elite legal and academic circles don't understand about the way elites think, he said "there's this radical incomprehension of religion."
"They think religion is all about being happy-clappy and nice, or should be, so they don't see any legitimate grounds for the clash," he said. "They make so many errors, but they don't want to listen."
To elites in his circles, Kingsfield continued, "at best religion is something consenting adult should do behind closed doors. They don't really understand that there's a link between Sister Helen Prejean's faith and the work she does on the death penalty. There's a lot of looking down on flyover country, one middle America.
"The sad thing," he said, "is that the old ways of aspiring to truth, seeing all knowledge as part of learning about the nature of reality, they don't hold. It's all about power. They've got cultural power, and think they should use it for good, but their idea of good is not anchored in anything. They've got a lot of power in courts and in politics and in education. Their job is to challenge people to think critically, but thinking critically means thinking like them. They really do think that they know so much more than anybody did before, and there is no point in listening to anybody else, because they have all the answers, and believe that they are good."
This is a small part of a larger struggle.
Many on the left deny that cultural Marxism exists, but you have in The New York Times a column by a Marxist professor saying that yes it does, and it's a good thing, too. His final line:
On that basis, we are destined to keep citing him and testing his ideas until the kind of society that he struggled to bring about, and that increasing numbers of us now desire, is finally realized.
Marx didn't come from nowhere. The world of 1848 (when the Communist Manifesto appeared) is a lot like our own world; re-read the section above from that document and see how familiar it sounds. He was more or less right in his diagnosis of the revolutionary nature of capitalism, but his materialism and its relationship to human nature was catastrophically wrong. His thought may have resulted in mass murder, but it is clearly not dead; it is simply turned against culture, not the means of production.
Therefore, I'll end here with this excerpt from Carlo Lancellotti's recent Commonweal essay about Marx, culture, and Catholicism. Excerpt:
Contra the "Catholic Left," which tended to regard Marx's atheism as accidental, and tried to rescue his socio-political analysis from his religious views, Del Noce concluded that what Marx proposed was not just a new theory of history or a new program of political economy, but a new anthropology , one completely different from the Christian tradition. (Louis Dupré had made a similar argument in the pages of Commonweal ; see "Marx and Religion: An Impossible Marriage," April 26, 1968.) Marx viewed humans as "social beings" entirely determined by historical and material circumstances rather than by their relationship with God. He viewed human reason as purely instrumental -- a tool of production and social organization rather than the capacity to contemplate the truth and participate in the divine wisdom. Finally, Marx viewed liberation as the fruit of political action, not as a personal process of conversion aided by grace. Marxist politics was not guided by fixed and absolute ethical principles, because ethics, along with philosophy, was absorbed into politics. Del Noce concluded that there was no way to rescue Marx's politics from his atheism, which had as much to do with his view of man as with his view of God.
Nonetheless, after World War II Marxism experienced a resurgence in Western Europe, not only among intellectuals and politicians but also in mainstream culture. But Del Noce noticed that at the same time society was moving in a very different direction from what Marx had predicted: capitalism kept expanding, people were eagerly embracing consumerism, and the prospect of a Communist revolution seemed more and more remote. To Del Noce, this simultaneous success and defeat of Marxism pointed to a deep contradiction. On the one hand, Marx had taught historical materialism, the doctrine that metaphysical and ethical ideas are just ideological covers for economic and political interests. On the other hand, he had prophesied that the expansion of capitalism would inevitably lead to revolution, followed by the "new man," the "classless society," the "reign of freedom." But what if the revolution did not arrive, if the "new man" never materialized?
In that case, Del Noce realized, Marxist historical materialism would degenerate into a form of radical relativism -- into the idea that philosophical and moral concepts are just reflections of historical and economic circumstances and have no permanent validity. This would have to include the concept of injustice, without which a critique of capitalism would be hard, if not impossible, to uphold. A post-Marxist culture -- one that kept Marx's radical materialism and denial of religious transcendence, while dispensing with his confident predictions about the self-destruction of capitalism -- would naturally tend to be radically bourgeois. By that, Del Noce meant a society that views "everything as an object of trade" and "as an instrument" to be used in the pursuit of individualized "well-being." Such bourgeois society would be highly individualistic, because it could not recognize any cultural or religious "common good." In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels described the power of the bourgeois worldview to dissolve all cultural and religious allegiances into a universal market. Now, ironically, Marxist ideas (which Del Noce viewed as a much larger and more influential phenomenon than political Marxism in a strict sense) had helped bring that process to completion. At a conference in Rome in 1968, Del Noce looked back at recent history and concluded that the post-Marxist culture would be "a society that accepts all of Marxism's negations against contemplative thought, religion, and metaphysics; that accepts, therefore, the Marxist reduction of ideas to instruments of production. But which, on the other hand, rejects the revolutionary-messianic aspects of Marxism, and thus all the religious elements that remain within the revolutionary idea. In this regard, it truly represents the bourgeois spirit in its pure state, the bourgeois spirit triumphant over its two traditional adversaries, transcendent religion and revolutionary thought."
If Del Noce is correct, we may not have to worry about the cultural Marxists of our time taking total power, as consumer capitalism and its comforts will compromise their revolutionary spirit. When and if university presidents start kicking these bumptious brats out of college, the revolution will sputter like Occupy Wall Street did. But before it's all over, they may end up destroying the institutions and ways of life that make life stable and meaningful. Then again, unrestrained capitalism has done the same thing. The problem with Marxism is that it burns the boats so that nobody can return, and calls the resulting fire enlightenment.
The warning is twofold: First, that cultural Marxism is a real thing willing and capable of doing real damage, and that you cannot negotiate with these people; and second, that unless capitalists figure out how to ameliorate the excesses of market and technological change on society, they are tempting fate, just as their 19th and early 20th century forebears did.
UPDATE: Reader Dave:Posted in Christianity , Conservatism , Consumerism , Culture war , Decline and Fall , Economics , Politics , Liberalism , Liberty & The State , Weimar America . Tagged Alasdair MacIntyre , Marxism , capitalism , Marx , cultural Marxism , Augusto Del Noce , neoreaction , Jason Barker .
The bigger problem with the NYT piece that you either missed or didn't feel added to your thesis is the irony that Marx's critiques are seen as a good and carrying that forward cultural Marxist critiques are good, unless you are critiquing those critiques. You aren't allowed to critique arguments from BLM or La Raza or LGBTQXYZ groups or etc because taking a critical eye to those groups is just hateful bigoted nonsense. Never mind that those groups' manifestos generally don't hold up to scrutiny, just accept it as a means to an end (even if that end isn't really where we should like to be). In a world where there is no objective truth and all individuals' "truths" are valid there is no basis culture or society. But you can't bring that up, lest you be labeled an insensitive bigot who should be burned at the stake. My guess is if Marx were revived today he would be ashamed more of the intellectual rot his philosophy has spawned than he would over the millions of innocents dead.
Siarlys Jenkins May 2, 2018 at 8:41 pmSignificantly left of center, "hard left", may only describe 20-25% of the U.S. population, but in certain geographic areas, they control virtually all of the political levers of government. Seattle for instance.Emil Bogdan , says: May 2, 2018 at 9:01 pm
Seattle. Right. The domain of corporate liberalism on steroids. Hard left. Uh-huh. I won't ask what you've been smoking, because I think its congenital.
should read "Goldman bankers aren't interested in funding class consciousness"
Much better and more accurate than removing "not" from the original. Thank you.Marx was a smart guy, but too smart. It was really really weird the older I got and the more I found out about recurring class struggles and sometimes riots and even revolutions, again and again, in ancient Greece and Rome. There's so much documentation, over centuries, that it seems pretty obvious to me that there's nothing significantly new about Marxism at all, it's just a slightly more complex manifestation of a permanent phenomenon: inequality. Can anything be done about it? Nothing, you just have to idealize "equality" and KNOW inequality.
May 03, 2018 | sputniknews.com
Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper, who landed a job at CNN in August 2017 after leaving the government, leaked information to CNN's Jake Tapper regarding the infamous Steele dossier and its salacious allegations against then-candidate Donald Trump - then denied his actions to Congress under oath.
The leak, and the cover up, shows the "collaboration between the media and the intelligence community in building up Russiagate," Max Blumenthal, a journalist and bestselling author, told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear.
... ... ...
The report also states that Clapper "subsequently acknowledged discussing the dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper and admitted that he might have spoken with other journalists about the same topic."
Blumenthal explained that the dossier was the catalyst for the Russiagate scandal.
"I think this should be a bigger scandal than it is," he told hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou.
May 03, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr
Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing
During the 2016 Democratic party primaries we wrote that what Bernie achieved, is to bring back the real political discussion in America, at least concerning the Democratic camp. Bernie smartly "drags" his primary rival, Hillary Clinton, into the heart of the politics. Up until a few years ago, you could not observe too much difference between the Democrats and the Republicans, who were just following the pro-establishment "politics as usual", probably with a few, occasional exceptions. The "politics as usual" so far, was "you can't touch the Wall Street", for example.
Bernie continuously forcing Hillary to appear apologetic about her campaign funding from big financial interests. She tries hard to persuade the public that she will not serve specific interests. Her anxiety can be identified in many cases and it was very clear at the moment when she accused Bernie of attacking her, concerning this funding. Hillary was forced to respond with a deeply irrational argument: anyone who takes money from big interests doesn't mean that he/she will vote for policies in favor of these interests!
Bernie drives the discussion towards fundamental ideological issues. He forced Hillary to defend her "progressiveness". She was forced to speak even about economic interests by names. A few years ago, this would be nearly a taboo in any debate between any primaries.
After the disastrous defeat by Trump in 2016 election, the corporate Democrats realized that the progressive movement, supported mostly by the American youth, would not retreat and vanish. On the contrary, Bernie Sanders' popularity still goes up and there is a wave of progressive candidates who appear to be a real threat to the DNC establishment and the Clintonian empire.
It seems that the empire has upgraded its dirty tactics beyond Hillary's false relocation to the Left. Seeing the big threat from the real progressives, the empire seeks to "plant" its own agents, masked as progressives, inside the electoral process, to disorientate voters and steal the popular vote.
Eric Draitser gives us valuable information for such a type of candidate. Key points:
One candidate currently generating some buzz in the race is Jeff Beals, a self-identified "Bernie democrat" whose campaign website homepage describes him as a " local teacher and former U.S. diplomat endorsed by the national organization of former Bernie Sanders staffers, the Justice Democrats. " And indeed, Beals centers his progressive bona fides to brand himself as one of the inheritors of the progressive torch lit by Sanders in 2016. A smart political move, to be sure. But is it true?
Beals describes himself as a "former U.S. diplomat," touting his expertise on international issues born of his experience overseas. In an email interview with CounterPunch, Beals describes his campaign as a " movement for diplomacy and peace in foreign affairs and an end to militarism my experience as a U.S. diplomat is what drives it and gives this movement such force. " OK, sounds good, a very progressive sounding answer. But what did Beals actually do during his time overseas?
By his own admission, Beals' overseas career began as an intelligence officer with the CIA. His fluency in Arabic and knowledge of the region made him an obvious choice to be an intelligence spook during the latter stages of the Clinton Administration.
Beals shrewdly attempts to portray himself as an opponent of neocon imperialism in Iraq. In his interview with CounterPunch, Beals argued that " The State Department was sidelined as the Bush administration and a neoconservative cabal plunged America into the tragic Iraq War. As a U.S. diplomat fluent in Arabic and posted in Jerusalem at the time, I was called over a year into the war to help our country find a way out. "
This is a Master's class in blatant historical revisionism and outright dishonesty. Beals was not a soldier unwillingly drafted into service, but an intelligence officer who voluntarily accepted an influential and critically important post for the Bush Administration in its ever-expanding crime against humanity in Iraq.
Moreover, no one who knows anything about the Iraq War could possibly swallow the tripe that CIA/State Department officials in Iraq were " looking to help our country find a way out " a year into the war. A year into the war, the bloodletting was only just beginning, and Halliburton, Exxon-Mobil, and the other corporate vultures had yet to fully exploit the country and make billions off it. So, unfortunately for Beals, the historical memory of the anti-war Left is not that short.
It is self-evident that Beals has a laundry list of things in his past that he must answer for. For those of us, especially Millennials, who cut our activist teeth demonstrating and organizing against the Iraq War, Beals' distortions about his role in Iraq go down like hemlock tea. But it is the associations Beals maintains today that really should give any progressive serious pause.
When asked by CounterPunch whether he has any connections to either Bernie Sanders and his surrogates or Hillary Clinton and hers, Beals responded by stating: " I am endorsed by Justice Democrats, a group of former Bernie Sanders staffers who are pledged to electing progressives nationwide. I am also endorsed for the Greene County chapter of the New York Progressive Action Network, formerly the Bernie Sanders network. My first hire was a former Sanders field coordinator who worked here in NY-19. "
However, conveniently missing from that response is the fact that Beals' campaign has been, and continues to be, directly managed in nearly every respect by Bennett Ratcliff, a longtime friend and ally of Hillary Clinton. Ratcliff is not mentioned in any publicly available documents as a campaign manager, though the most recent FEC filings show that as of April 1, 2018, Ratcliff was still on the payroll of the Beals campaign. And in the video of Beals' campaign kickoff rally, Ratcliff introduces Beals, while only being described as a member of the Onteora School Board in Ulster County . This is sort of like referring to Donald Trump as an avid golfer.
Beals has studiously, and rather intelligently, avoided mentioning Ratcliff, or the presence of Clinton's inner circle on his campaign. However, according to internal campaign documents and emails obtained by CounterPunch, Ratcliff manages nearly every aspect of the campaign, acting as a sort of éminence grise behind the artifice of a progressive campaign fronted by a highly educated and photogenic political novice.
By his own admission, Ratcliff's role on the campaign is strategy, message, and management. Sounds like a rather textbook description of a campaign manager. Indeed, Ratcliff has been intimately involved in "guiding" Beals on nearly every important campaign decision, especially those involving fundraising .
And it is in the realm of fundraising that Ratcliff really shines, but not in the way one would traditionally think. Rather than focusing on large donations and powerful interests, Ratcliff is using the Beals campaign as a laboratory for his strategy of winning elections without raising millions of dollars.
In fact, leaked campaign documents show that Ratcliff has explicitly instructed Beals and his staffers not to spend money on food, decorations, and other standard campaign expenses in hopes of presenting the illusion of a grassroots, people-powered campaign with no connections to big time donors or financial elites .
It seems that Ratcliff is the wizard behind the curtain, leveraging his decades of contact building and close ties to the Democratic Party establishment while at the same time manufacturing an astroturfed progressive campaign using a front man in Beals .
One of Ratcliff's most infamous, and indefensible, acts of fealty to the Clinton machine came in 2009 when he and longtime Clinton attorney and lobbyist, Lanny Davis, stumped around Washington to garner support for the illegal right-wing coup in Honduras, which ousted the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya in favor of the right-wing oligarchs who control the country today. Although the UN, and even U.S. diplomats on the ground in Honduras, openly stated that the coup was illegal, Clinton was adamant to actively keep Zelaya out.
Essentially then, Ratcliff is a chief architect of the right-wing government in Honduras – the same government assassinating feminist and indigenous activists like Berta Cáceres, Margarita Murillo, and others, and forcibly displacing and ethnically cleansing Afro-indigenous communities to make way for Carribbean resorts and golf courses.
And this Washington insider lobbyist and apologist for war criminals and crimes against humanity is the guy who's on a crusade to reform campaign finance and fix Washington? This is the guy masquerading as a progressive? This is the guy working to elect an "anti-war progressive"?
In a twisted way it makes sense. Ratcliff has the blood of tens of thousands of Hondurans (among others) on his hands, while Beals is a creature of Langley, a CIA boy whose exceptional work in the service of Bush and Clinton administration war criminals is touted as some kind of merit badge on his resume.
What also becomes clear after establishing the Ratcliff-Beals connection is the fact that Ratcliff's purported concern with campaign financing and "taking back the Republic" is really just a pretext for attempting to provide a "proof of concept," as it were, that neoliberal Democrats shouldn't fear and subvert the progressive wing of the party, but rather that they should co-opt it with a phony grassroots facade all while maintaining links to U.S. intelligence, Wall Street, and the power brokers of the Democratic Party .
Info from the article How Clintonites Are Manufacturing Faux Progressive Congressional Campaigns by Eric Draitser
May 03, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 | May 2, 2018 4:52:58 PM | 174
Neil Clark's become quite the critic of the Neoconism rife within May's UK. His conclusion provides grounds for optimism:
"Despite all the propaganda, all the hysterical headlines, all the blatantly biased coverage, the British haven't bought it. Literally or metaphorically. Inside the Tent gatekeepers have relentlessly attacked those brave individuals who have questioned the official narratives, but its these individuals- smeared as 'crackpots' and 'conspiracy theorists' who the public are turning to for their analysis.
Compare the number of retweets the former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray gets when he publishes on the Skripal case, with those who try and denigrate him. My own Twitter following has increased by several thousands since early March.
Citizen Halo got a big boost in followers after she was smeared by The Times. After the lies told about Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya people no longer tamely accept what the NeoCon Establishment tells us.
We're at an 'Emperor's New Clothes' moment in British politics where more and more people have found the courage to say out loud 'The Emperor has no clothes!'.
The elite have been lying to us and they know that we know they've been lying. The question is: what are we going to do about it?"
May 02, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
WJ , May 1, 2018 4:04:06 PM | 364) When Obama was President, he was kept in line by the "Birthers".
His cabinet was handpicked by Citibank! He didn't need to be "kept in line" at all.
Sanders was arguably a moderate populist hoping to ameliorate the bad effects of capitalism by addressing its more obvious social consequences of its logic in a way that has already been done by every other developed nation. In all these nations he is a somewhat hawkish centrist. But he did raise a TON of money without needing to take donations from mega super PACs and oligarchs; hence his candidacy was a threat to the oligarchy's total ownership of US politics. This ownership is what enables the Israel lobby and others to take hold so easily in the first place, and so it was never going to end well for Sanders -- even assuming he was not just a sheep dog.
I could live in a country where actual left leaning and right leaning people worked out their differences via the democratic process. I am left leaning--well, way left leaning--but I am perfectly willing to engage right leaning people in the procedures of political compromise. But there is no such compromise available because the US is not a democratic representative republic but an oligarchy, pure and simple.
May 01, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Not that there was much doubt who was behind it, but two days after "enemy" warplanes attacked a Syrian military base near Hama on Sunday, killing at least 11 Iranians and dozens of others, and nobody had yet "claimed responsibility" the attack, US officials told NBC that it was indeed Israeli F-15 fighter jets that struck the base, NBC News reported .
Ominously, the officials said Israel appears to be preparing for open warfare with Iran and is seeking U.S. help and support .
"On the list of the potentials for most likely live hostility around the world, the battle between Israel and Iran in Syria is at the top of the list right now," said one senior U.S. official.
The US officials told NBC that Israeli F-15s hit Hama after Iran delivered weapons to a base that houses Iran's 47th Brigade, including surface-to-air missiles. In addition to killing two dozen troops, including officers, the strike wounded three dozen others. The report adds that the U.S. officials believe the shipments were intended for Iranian ground forces that would attack Israel.
Meanwhile, as we reported yesterday, the Syrian army said early on Monday that "enemy" rockets struck military bases belonging to Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. According to several outlets, the strikes targeted the 47th Brigade base in the southern Hama district, a military facility in northwestern Hama and a facility north of the Aleppo International Airport.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday that Israel on Tuesday morning had four problems, one more than the day before: "Iran, Iran, Iran and hypocrisy." The comment came one day after Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu "revealed" a cache of documents the Mossad stole from Iran detailing the country's nuclear program, which however critics said were i) old and ii) not indicative of Iran's current plans.
"This is the same Iran that cracks down on freedom of expression and on minorities. The same Iran that tried to develop nuclear weapons and entered the [nuclear] deal for economic benefits," Lieberman said.
"The same Iran is trying to hide its weapons while everyone ignores it. The state of Israel cannot ignore Iran's threats, Iran, whose senior officials promise to wipe out Israel," he said. "They are trying to harm us, and we'll have a response.
Iran's Defense Minister Amir Khatami threatened Israel on Tuesday, saying it should stop its "dangerous behavior" and vowing that the "Iranian response will be surprising and you will regret it." Khatami's remarks came Following Netanyahu's speech which Khatami described as Israeli "provocative actions," and two days after the strikes in Syria.
* * *
Meanwhile, in a potential hint at the upcoming conflict, Haaretz writes that two and a half weeks after the bombing in which seven members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards were killed at the T4 base in Syria, Israel is bracing for an Iranian retaliation for the Syrian strikes (and if one isn't forthcoming, well that's what false flags are for).
As Haaretz writes, the Iranians' response, despite their frequent threats of revenge, is being postponed, screwing up Iran's war planning. It's also possible that as time passes, Tehran is becoming more aware of the possible complex consequences of any action. Still, the working assumption of Israeli defense officials remains that such a response is highly probable.
The Iranians appear to have many options. Revenge could come on the Syrian border, from the Lebanese border via Hezbollah, directly from Iran by the launch of long-range missiles, or against an Israeli target abroad. In past decades Iran and Hezbollah took part, separately and together, in two attacks in Argentina, a suicide attack in Bulgaria and attempts to strike at Israeli diplomats and tourists in countries including India, Thailand and Azerbaijan.
In any case, Lebanon seems all but out of bounds until the country's May 6 parliamentary elections, and amid Hezbollah's fear of being portrayed as an Iranian puppet. The firing of missiles from Iran would exacerbate the claims about Tehran's missile project a moment before a possible U.S. decision on May 12 to abandon the nuclear agreement. Also, a strike at a target far from the Middle East would require long preparation.
* * *
For now, an Israeli war with Iran in Syria is far from inevitable: the clash of intentions is clear: Iran is establishing itself militarily in Syria and Israel has declared that it will prevent that by force. The question, of course, is whether this unstable equilibrium will devolve into a lethal escalation, or if it will somehow be resolved through peaceful negotiation. Unfortunately, in the context of recent events, and the upcoming breakdown of the Iran nuclear deal, the former is looking like the most likely outcome.
BullyBearish -> FireBrander Tue, 05/01/2018 - 13:30 PermalinkChupacabra-322 -> BullyBearish Tue, 05/01/2018 - 13:36 Permalink
disgusting how anti-war pre-president trump becomes military pandering trumpanyahoo after election...his handlers, knowing he will need them in the near future, set him to constantly stroke the military every opportunity he has...Jackrabbit , May 1, 2018 3:44:58 PM | 31
The Western globalist billionaires and elites are ultimately responsible for any aggression coming from Israel. If they can conquer and control Iran and take over its oil and gas reserves, risking the fate of the millions of people in Iran, Syria and in Israel, then the losses to them will be incidental. The Western-globalist-Zio-hawk Axis no doubt feels it has to act now against Iran in case everything settles down in the ME with the Syrian war cooling off. Any expansion of Israeli turf or getting control of resources to the north would be stymied with further waiting and allowing both Syrian and Iranian defense systems to be further fortified. The Israelis appear to be completely confident that if they can instigate a war with Iran that it will be backed by the US, the UK, France and other NATO nations.
That confidence could only come from the Western elites running things. However, after their last fizzled false-flag poison-gas attack in Syria, the support by many NATO nations for more Axis aggression may not be that solid. So what does the Israeli tough talk and threats mean at this time? Perhaps it means that Israel is in the process of concocting a massive and much more sophisticated false-flag attack, like the taking out of a US war ship and blaming Iran for starting the war.
Remember Five points:
- Isreal will fight to the very last American Soldiers Death.
- The Zionist screams in Pain as he Stikes you.
- The Yinon Plan.
- Operation TALPIOT.
- Qatari Pipeline Petro Dollar Vs. Russia / China Petro Yaun.
One bright aspect is the Anti-Isreal / Jew Zionist movement is gaining steam. More & more Individuals are speaking openly against Israel's War Crimes, False Flag involvements, The Yinon Plan along with Pro Zionist immigrantion policy of migrating Muslim's & Arabs to the EU & US without fear of retribution. Pro migration policy which supports territory boarder expansion via the Yinon Plan & ethnic cleansing & migration of Arabs & Muslim's.
Not to mention the Billions in US foreign aid, AIPAC, ZioNeoConFascist NGO's & dual Israeli Citizen's which hold Political Office in CONgress. Which must be outlawed.As people become more disillusioned with Trump I think it's worthwhile to spend a moment to take stock of what happened in th 2016 election.Jackrabbit , May 1, 2018 3:58:01 PM | 33
1) The US President is the primary determinant of US foreign and military power. The President is much weaker when addressing domestic policy / internal affairs. Any small, paranoid nation with ambitious plans in its neighborhood would want ensure that they have the President's ear ( or his balls). Too much at stake to take chances. And political influence is even easier when you've developed close relation with an oil-rich ally (Saudis) with deep pockets.
2) US democracy is money-driven and no real populist stands much of a chance.
3) Despite a groundswell of discontent on both the left and the right, here were only two populists that ran in the election (note: I'm not counting Rand Paul's because he didn't make an outright populist appeal - he merely spoke in a sensible way.
4) When Obama was President, he was kept in line by the "Birthers". Trump is kept in line by the allegation of Russian interference.
5) "Never Trump-ers" were mainly Jewish (AFAIK) and almost certainly pro-Israel. The Never Trump campaign began in earnest with Kagan's Op-Ed in February 2016 ( some might date it to Bloomberg's public statement in January 2016 that neither Sanders or Trump could be allowed to win).
6) AFAIK Pro-Israel oligarchs (like Saban, Soros, Bloomberg) are big donors to Democratic Party. Hillarry and DNC are known to have colluded against 'sheep-dog' Sanders. Wouldn't Hillary just as easily collide FOR Trump (the Cinton's And Trump's are known to have had close ties - and their daughters are still close).
I'm sure I'm missing some of the many "dots" but it logic suggests that both Obama and Trump are faux populists that - at least in foreign policy (where Presidential powers are greatest) - are greatly influenced by foreign(albeit "allied") interests.
IMO Apologists for the faux populists also play an important part. They respond voraciously to the "crazy opposition" and thereby keep alive faith in the faux hero.
Faux populist leaders seem to be a natural fit for our inverted totalitarian form of government. Perhaps any Empire will naturally gravitate to such a compromised government? Funny thing is, most Americans would say that USA is NOT an Empire.I should point out that "kept in line" (point #4) appears to be a convenience needed to excuse the faux populist's betrayals.
Both Obama and Trump seem more than willing to do as they are told.
And don't bother citing Obama's Iran deal as "proof" that Obama was independent. IMO That deal was made simply to buy time because regime-change in Syria was taking longer than expected. It is foolish to think that Obama did everything the establishment wanted but refused IN THAT ONE MATTER.
Apr 30, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com"Total BS" - Kelly Slams "Pathetic Smear Attempt"; Trump Blasts NBC's "Totally Unhinged" 'Idiot' Report by Tyler Durden Mon, - 16:56 156 SHARES
- Update 2: President Trump has now responded directly, blasting the "fake news making up false stories" as "totally unhinged."
- Update 1 : Bloomberg's White House correspondent Jennifer Jacobs reports that John Kelly has responded to MSNBC's claim he calls Trump an "idiot.
- "I spend more time with the president than anyone else and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship.
- He always knows where I stand and he and I both know this story is total BS. I am committed to the president, his agenda, and our country."
- "This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump..."
* * *
White House chief of staff John Kelly has reportedly been undermining morale in the West Wing in recent months - commenting to aides that President Trump is an idiot, while touting himself as the "savior of the country," reports NBC News , citing "eight current and former White House officials."
The officials said Kelly portrays himself to Trump administration aides as the lone bulwark against catastrophe , curbing the erratic urges of a president who has a questionable grasp on policy issues and the functions of government. He has referred to Trump as "an idiot" multiple times to underscore his point , according to four officials who say they've witnessed the comments. - NBC News
NBC notes that three White House spokespeople say the "idiot" thing just isn't true, and he may have spoken in jest about saving the country.
In one heated exchange between the two men before February's Winter Olympics in South Korea, Kelly strongly -- and successfully -- dissuaded Trump from ordering the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the Korean peninsula , according to two officials.
For Kelly, the exchange underscored the reasoning behind one of his common refrains, which multiple officials described as some version of " I'm the one saving the country. "
"The strong implication being ' if I weren't here we would've entered WWIII or the president would have been impeached ,'" one former senior White House official said. - NBC News
"He doesn't even understand what DACA is. He's an idiot," Kelly said in one meeting, according to two officials who were present. "We've got to save him from himself."
According to NBC's sources, Kelly has been hiding behind his public image as a four-star, while in truth operating in an "undisciplined and indiscreet" manner. "The private manner aides describe may shed new light on why Kelly now finds himself -- just nine months into the job -- grappling with diminished influence and a drumbeat of questions about how long he'll remain at the White House ."
"He says stuff you can't believe," one senior White House official tells NBC News . " He'll say it and you think, 'That is not what you should be saying. '"
According to presidential historian Michael Beschloss, Kelly's comments about Trump vs. prior White House chiefs of "suggest a lack of respect for the sitting president of a kind that we haven't seen before," adding that the closest would have to be President Ronald Reagan's chief of staff, Don Regan, who "somewhat looked down on" The Gipper, and eventually lost Reagan's support - having been replaced after two years by Howard Baker.
Meanwhile, insults or not, Trump is said to have soured on Kelly - and is aware of some, "though not all" of Kelly's comments. And as NBC News points out, " The last time it became public that one of Trump's top advisers insulted his intelligence behind his back, it didn't go over well with the president . White House aides have said Trump never got over former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calling him a "moron" in front of colleagues , which was first reported by NBC News. Trump later challenged Tillerson to an IQ test and fired him several months after the remark became public."
Current and former White House officials said Kelly has at times made remarks that have rattled female staffers . Kelly has told aides multiple times that women are more emotional than men , including at least once in front of the president, four current and former officials said.
And during a firestorm in February over accusations of domestic abuse against then-White House staff secretary Rob Porter, Kelly wondered aloud how much more Porter would have to endure before his honor could be restored , according to three officials who were present for the comments. He also questioned why Porter's ex-wives wouldn't just move on based on the information he said he had about his marriages, the officials said.
So in addition to Kelly allegedly calling Trump an idiot, he's also a misogynist, according to NBC.
Kelly is expected to leave by July - his one-year mark, according to sources, however others say it's anyone's guess. That said, "what's clear is both Trump and Kelly seem to have tired of each other."
" Kelly appears to be less engaged, which may be to the president's detriment ," a second senior White House official said. If NBC is correct, we're about to once again play White House Musical Chairs.
That said, when reached for comment, Kelly that it's all more fake news:
"He and I both know this story is total BS. I am committed to the president, his agenda, and our country. This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump... "
One hopes that is the case, then again one also remembers the Rex Tillerson incident...
Apr 30, 2018 | www.unz.com
NoseytheDuke , April 23, 2018 at 11:39 am GMT@renfro
I'm on the other side of the planet but a friend in the Mid-West sent me this and I thought I'd ask if anyone else had seen it?
Is there corruption in DC?
From 2001 to 2005 there was an ongoing investigation into the Clinton Foundation. A Grand Jury had been empaneled. The investigation was triggered by the pardon of Marc Rich ..
Governments from around the world had donated to the "Charity". Yet, from 2001 to 2003 none of those "Donations" to the Clinton Foundation were declared.
Guess who took over this investigation in 2002? Bet you can't guess. No other than James Comey.
Guess who was transferred in to the Internal Revenue Service to run the Tax Exemption Branch of the IRS? Your friend and mine, Lois "Be on The Look Out" (BOLO) Lerner.
It gets better, well not really, but this is all just a series of strange coincidences, right?
Guess who ran the Tax Division inside the Department of Injustice from 2001 to 2005? No other than the Assistant Attorney General of the United States, Rod Rosenstein.
Guess who was the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation during this time frame??? I know, it's a miracle, just a coincidence, just an anomaly in statistics and chances: Robert Mueller.
What do all four casting characters have in common? They all were briefed and were front line investigators into the Clinton Foundation Investigation.
Now that's just a coincidence, right? Ok, lets chalk the last one up to mere chance.
Let's fast forward to 2009. James Comey leaves the Justice Department to go and cash-in at Lockheed Martin.
Hillary Clinton is running the State Department, on her own personal email server.
The Uranium One "issue" comes to the attention of the Hillary. Like all good public servants do, you know looking out for America's best interest, she decides to support the decision and approve the sale of 20% of US Uranium to no other than, the Russians.
Now you would think that this is a fairly straight up deal, except it wasn't, I question what did the People get out of it?? Oddly enough, prior to the sales approval, Bill Clinton goes to Moscow, gets paid 500K for a one-hour speech then meets with Vladimir Putin at his home for a few hours.
Ok, no big deal right? Well, not so fast, the FBI had a mole inside this scheme.
Guess who was the FBI Director during this time frame? Yep, Robert Mueller. He requested the State Department allow himself to deliver a Uranium Sample to Moscow in 2009, under the guise of a "sting" operation -- (see leaked secret cable 09STATE38943).. while it is never clear if Mueller did deliver the sample, the "implication" is there ..
Guess who was handling that case within the Justice Department out of the US Attorney's Office in Maryland ?? No other than, Rod Rosenstein.
Remember the "informant" inside the FBI -- - Guess what happened to the informant? Department of Justice placed a GAG order on him and threatened to lock him up if he spoke about the Uranium Deal. Personally, I have to question how does 20% of the most strategic asset of the United States of America end up in Russian hands??? The FBI had an informant, a mole providing inside information to the FBI on the criminal enterprise and NOTHING happens, except to the informant -- Strange !!
Guess what happened soon after the sale was approved? 145 million dollars in "donations" made their way into the Clinton Foundation from entities directly connected to the Uranium One deal.
Guess who was still at the Internal Revenue Service working the Charitable Division?
No other than, Lois Lerner. Ok, that's all just another series of coincidences, nothing to see here, right? Let's fast forward to 2015.
Due to a series of tragic events in Benghazi and after the nine "investigations" the House, Senate and at State Department, Trey Gowdy who was running the 10th investigation as Chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, discovers that the Hillary ran the State Department on an unclassified, unauthorized, outlaw personal email server.
He also discovered that none of those emails had been turned over when she departed her "Public Service" as Secretary of State which was required by law.
He also discovered that there was Top Secret information contained within her personally archived email. Sparing you the State Departments cover up, the nostrums they floated, the delay tactics that were employed and the outright lies that were spewed forth from the necks of the Kerry State Department, they did everything humanly possible to cover for Hillary.
Guess who became FBI Director in 2013? Guess who secured 17 no bid contracts for his employer (Lockheed Martin) with the State Department and was rewarded with a six million dollar thank you present when he departed his employer. No other than James Comey. Folks if I did this when I worked for the government, I would have been locked up -- The State Department didn't even comply with the EEO and small business requirements the government places on all Request For Proposals (RFP) on contracts -- It amazes me how all those no-bids just went right through at State -- simply amazing and no Inspector General investigation !!
Next after leaving the private sector Comey is the FBI Director in charge of the "Clinton Email Investigation" after of course his FBI Investigates the Lois Lerner "Matter" at the Internal Revenue Service and exonerates her. Nope couldn't find any crimes there. Nothing here to report --
Then of all surprises, in April 2016, James Comey drafts an exoneration letter of Hillary Rodham Clinton, meanwhile the DOJ is handing out immunity deals like candy on Halloween.
The DOJ didn't even convene a Grand Jury. Like a lightning bolt of statistical impossibility, like a miracle from God himself, like the true "Gangsta" Homey is, James steps out into the cameras of an awaiting press conference on July the 8th of 2016 and exonerates the Hillary from any wrongdoing. As I've said many times, July 8, 2016 is the date that will live in infamy of the American Justice System ..
Can you see the pattern?
It goes on and on, Rosenstein becomes Asst. Attorney General, Comey gets fired based upon a letter by Rosenstein, Comey leaks government information to the press, Mueller is assigned to the Russian Investigation witch hunt by Rosenstein to provide cover for decades of malfeasance within the FBI and DOJ and the story continues.FISA Abuse, political espionage .. pick a crime, any crime, chances are this group and a few others did it. All the same players. All compromised and conflicted. All working fervently to NOT go to jail themselves. All connected in one way or another to the Clinton's. They are like battery acid, they corrode and c