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Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA
and destroys not enhances national security

News Neoconservatism Recommended Links Paleoconservatism Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization "F*ck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place New American Militarism
Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Obama: a yet another Neocon Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS Wolfowitz Doctrine Hillary role in Libya disaster Lock her up movement
From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss  Color revolutions John Dilulio letter Mayberry Machiavellians Madeleine Albright Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Leo Strauss and the Neocons
Neoliberalism as a New form of Corporatism Deception as an art form The History of Media-Military-Industrial Complex Concept Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism The ability and willingness to employ savage methods Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism   IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement
American Exceptionalism Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Robert Kagan Samantha Power Jeb "Wolfowitz Stooge" Bush Corporatism Big Uncle is Watching You
Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization Guardian paper LA Times Paper by Neal Gabler   Washington Post paper by Mike Allen    
Mayberry Machiavellians Corporatism Hong Cong Color Revolution of 2014   Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few Politically Incorrect Humor Etc
Note: This page is partially based on Wikipedia materials.

Introduction

The neoconservative impulse became visible in modern American foreign policy since Reagan, but it became dominant ideology and foreign policy practice during criminal George W. Bush administration, which unleashed disastrous for American people Iraq war and destabilized the region, which eventually led to creation of ISIS. Those disastrous neoconservative policies were continued during Obama administration ("Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place. Especially sinister role was played  Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton  while she was the Secretary of State. She was the butcher of Libya and Syria.

Unlike traditionalist conservatism (which in the USA survived in the form of Paleoconservatism and preaches noninterventionism), Neoconservatism has nothing to do with conservative doctrine at all. This is neoliberal interpretation of Trotskyism -- neoTrotskyism. Like neofascism it glorifies militarism (in the form of New American Militarism as described by Professor Bacevich), emphasizes confrontation, and regime change in countries hostile to the interests of global corporations, and which are a barrier of spread of neoliberalism and extension of global, US dominated neoliberal empire. It is an extremely jingoistic creed.  All Secretaries of state starting from Madeleine "not so bright" Albright subscribed to neocon thinking.

The unspoken assumptions of neocon cult have led the United States into a senseless, wasteful, and counter-productive posture of nearly perpetual wars of neoliberal conquest.  Which overextended the USA as a country and lowered the standard living of population further, as if neoliberalism alone was not enough.

It also led to destabilization of the whole regions. It was the USA that launched political Islam into its current position, which at the end resulted in creation of ISIS and "institutionalization" of  suicide bombings as the only means to fight against global neoliberal empire by people deprived of regular military means.  From which many nations, suffered especially Russia and several European nations such as GB and France. 

In Russia neocons supported radical Islam and Wahhabism promoting it in such areas as Chechnya and Dagestan, facilitated import of extremists (sponsored by Saudi Arabia and Gulf monarchies). Like in Afghanistan before that they considered Wahhabi extremists as a useful political tool in their attempts to dismember Russia, as the lesser evil.

In Ukraine neocons supported far right nationalists with distinct national socialism leanings and history of crimes against humanity (Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia - Wikipedia). Organized by them putsch against the legitimate (albeit corrupt) government of Yanukovich. Which was done with full support of several EU nations which also now have imperial ambitions and wanted to cut the country from Russia and use it the market for EU goods as well as the source of cheap commodities and labor for EU.

EuroMaydan as this color revolution was called made the country a debt slave of IMF and dropped already low standard of living of population almost three times. Making the Ukraine probably the poorest country in Europe where large percent of population (especially pensioners and single mothers) needs to survive of less the $2 a day. Average (note the word "average")  pension in Ukraine is about $1500 grivna which at the current exchange rate is approximately $60. It was three times higher before the Maydan color revolution which State Department so skillfully organized.

Everywhere neocons bring wars and disasters. And they impoverish the US middle class. To say nothing about desperate, completely robbed 50 or so million people with McJobs, who are liming essentially in the third world country that exists within the USA now  (Food Stamp Beneficiaries Exceed 46,000,000 for 38 Straight Months ). 

They are concerned mainly with enriching themselves and their masters from military industrial complex and bloated government bureaucracy, especially "national security parasites"). In other words they behave like the USSR nomenklatura -- a privileged, above the law class, degeneration of which eventually led to collapse of the USSR. Such a conservatives. And not unlike Party bureaucracy of the Third Reich, despite being disproportionally Jewish. 

In foreign policy they were a real, unmitigated  disaster.  Or more correctly series of disaster of varying magnitudes.

Iraq was a huge, humiliating disaster. Probably the biggest one. 

Afghanistan was a disaster of lesser scale.

Libya were another, more small scale disaster.

Syria is a potentially huge disaster, due to international consequences of creating ISIS in this region. 

Ukraine is a huge and very expensive disaster, which might lead to the WWIII, a nuclear holocaust (neocons like to speculate on tragedy of Jewish population during the WWII but now are acting like Nazi and ally with far right extremists)

They successfully revived the threat of nuclear war with Russia (probably in the name of "US security", as neocons understand it ;-). Moreover they moved Russia closer to China, which is no way is in the USA geopolitical interests.

Starting from Clinton administration their attitude to Russia was essentially was: be our vassal, or you have no right to exist. Which is reckless attitude to the second most powerful nuclear armed state in the world.  Even taking into account huge difficulties and huge deterioration of the Russia military capabilities after the dissolution of the USSR they were playing with fire initiating  the rearmament of Russia (which negatively affected the well-being of Russian people).  And they are enjoying every minute of their destructive actions.  Just look at glib face of Robert Kagan (the husband of Victoria Nuland, who was appointed as advisor to State Department by Hillary Clinton) during his public speeches. This man is definitely enjoying himself and his wit. 

An assertion that the fundamental determinant of the relationship between states rests on military power and the willingness to use it, is clearly wrong. It is a foreign policy equivalent to Al Capone idea that "You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone". It is very close to neo-Nazi idea that "War is a natural state, and peace is a utopian dream that induces softness, decadence and pacifism." The problem here is that it's the person who promotes this creed can be shot. Of course neocons are chickenhawks and prefer other people die for their misguided adventures.  Almost non of them served in Vietnam.

The idea  that disagreement about some unrealistic postulates (such as "full spectrum dominance") is tantamount to defeatism is simply silly. "Global unilateralism" promoted by neocon since dissolution of the USSR is capable to bankrupt the USA and it awakened  really powerful countervailing forces. The military alliance of Russia, China and Iran now is a distinct possibility at least in certain areas, despite all differences. Pakistan might be  the next to join this alliance. 

Democracy promotion was a nice racket (via color revolutions) until probably 2008, but now way too many countries understand the mechanics of color revolutions and created mechanism to defend themselves from such attempts. bout. They failed in Russia in 2012 and in Hong Cong later.   Their last success was EuroMaydan in Ukraine which can well turn in Pyrrhic victory.

Neocon policies created the level of anti-American sentiment at Middle East unheard before,  provoked rearmament of Russia and armament of China which together represent a formidable force able to turn the USA into radioactive ash no less effectively then the USA can turn them. 

Despite disastrous results of the Neocon foreign policy neocons remain a powerful, dominant political force in Washington. In recent Presidential race neocons were represented by Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton which managed to get almost half of the votes (or steal then for Sanders, to be exact -- DNC pushed Sanders under the bus).

After the defeat they launched anti-Russian hysteria (as the way of rallying the nation around the flag and preventing loss of power of Clinton's wing of the Democratic Party) and then the color revolutions against Trump (with heavy involvement of FBI and CIA). Russiagate will remain one of the most sordid stories in the US political life, next to McCarthyism  

Neoconservatives are attempting to build an American Empire, seen as successor to the British Empire

From Wikipedia

John McGowan, professor of humanities at the University of North Carolina, states, after an extensive review of neoconservative literature and theory, that neoconservatives are attempting to build an American Empire, seen as successor to the British Empire, its goal being to perpetuate a Pax Americana. As imperialism is largely considered unacceptable by the American media, neoconservatives do not articulate their ideas and goals in a frank manner in public discourse. McGowan states,[68]

Frank neoconservatives like Robert Kaplan and Niall Ferguson recognize that they are proposing imperialism as the alternative to liberal internationalism. Yet both Kaplan and Ferguson also understand that imperialism runs so counter to American's liberal tradition that it must... remain a foreign policy that dare not speak its name...

While Ferguson, the Brit, laments that Americans cannot just openly shoulder the white man's burden, Kaplan the American, tells us that "only through stealth and anxious foresight" can the United States continue to pursue the "imperial reality [that] already dominates our foreign policy", but must be disavowed in light of "our anti-imperial traditions, and... the fact that imperialism is delegitimized in public discourse"...

The Bush administration, justifying all of its actions by an appeal to "national security", has kept as many of those actions as it can secret and has scorned all limitations to executive power by other branches of government or international law.

Neoconservatism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In foreign policy, the neoconservatives' main concern is to prevent the development of a new rival. Defense Planning Guidance, a document prepared during 1992 by Under Secretary for Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz, is regarded by Distinguished Professor of the Humanities John McGowan at the University of North Carolina as the "quintessential statement of neoconservative thought". The report says:[68]
"Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power."

.... For its opponents it is a distinct political ideology that emphasizes the blending of military power with Wilsonian idealism...

Donald Rumsfeld and Victoria Nuland at the NATO-Ukraine consultations in Vilnius, Lithuania, October 24, 2005

Democracy promotion as the universal door opener

See also Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair

Neoconservative foreign policy is a descendant of so-called Wilsonian idealism. Neoconservatives endorse democracy promotion by the US and other democracies, based on the claim  that human rights belong to everyone, while killing thousand hundred people in their attempt to install puppet regimes in various countries in the globe. They practice so call liberation by killing, or "in order to free the village you need to destroy it". They hypocritically criticized the United Nations and, in the past, the  detente with the USSR not understanding the existence of the USSR, while disastrous to Russian people, were the main factor that protected the middle class in the USA from looting by financial oligarchy and prevented the US elite from self-destructive impulses, which became apparent after 1991.

Democracy promotion is allegedly derived from a belief that "freedom" (understood as the rule of neoliberal oligarchy subservant to the USA) is a universal human right and by opinion polls showing majority support for democracy in countries with authoritarian regimes. But the neocons driven "democracy promotion" provided fertile ground to the rise of Radical Islamism the most anti-democratic regime in existence. This essentially created ISIS. They also consider medieval Saudi Arabia to be the US ally and close eyes on horrible social condition of woman in this country.  Such a despicable hypocrites.

Another Neoconservative myth is that democratic regimes are less likely to start wars. The USA is perfect count-argument to that (although  the idea that it is a democratic country is open to review -- empires usually are not democracies, and not even republics). If we assume that the USA is still a republic, it is the most war-hungry and aggressive republic in the history of the world. Being  a direct successor of British empire, they actually managed to beat British in this respect, which is not easy, taking into account British record of mass murders in India, Opium wars and like.

Neocons argue that not extreme debilitating poverty, but the lack of freedoms, lack of economic opportunities, and the lack of secular general education in authoritarian regimes promotes radicalism and extremism. At the same time they promote nationalism and islamist extremists movement in Russia ("divide and conquer" strategy). In short  neoconservatives advocate democracy promotion to regions of the world with natural resources to loot, such  the Arab nations, Iran, Russia, and China.

During April 2006 Robert Kagan wrote in The Washington Post that Russia and China may be the greatest "challenge [neo]liberalism faces today":

"The main protagonists on the side of autocracy will not be the petty dictatorships of the Middle East theoretically targeted by the Bush doctrine. They will be the two great autocratic powers, China and Russia, which pose an old challenge not envisioned within the new "war on terror" paradigm. ... Their reactions to the "color revolutions" in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan were hostile and suspicious, and understandably so. ... Might not the successful liberalization of Ukraine, urged and supported by the Western democracies, be but the prelude to the incorporation of that nation into NATO and the European Union -- in short, the expansion of Western liberal hegemony?"[77]

During July 2008 Joe Klein wrote in TIME magazine that today's neoconservatives are more interested in confronting enemies than in cultivating friends.  In other words in foreign policy they tend to behave like a bully. He questioned the sincerity of neoconservative interest in exporting democracy and freedom, saying, "Neoconservatism in foreign policy is best described as unilateral bellicosity cloaked in the utopian rhetoric of freedom and democracy."[78]

"Neoconservatism in foreign policy is best described as unilateral bellicosity cloaked in the utopian rhetoric of freedom and democracy." ~  Joe Klein

Support of Israel as the key goal

During February 2009 Andrew Sullivan wrote that he no longer took Neoconservatism seriously because its basic tenet became the defense of Israel:[79]

The closer you examine it, the clearer it is that neoconservatism, in large part, is simply about enabling the most irredentist elements in Israel and sustaining a permanent war against anyone or any country who disagrees with the Israeli right. That's the conclusion I've been forced to these last few years. And to insist that America adopt exactly the same constant-war-as-survival that Israelis have been slowly forced into... But America is not Israel. And once that distinction is made, much of the neoconservative ideology collapses.

Neoconservatives respond to charges of merely rationalizing aid for Israel by noting that their "position on the Middle East conflict was exactly congruous with the neoconservative position on conflicts everywhere else in the world, including places where neither Jews nor Israeli interests could be found – - not to mention the fact that non-Jewish neoconservatives took the same stands on all of the issues as did their Jewish confrères."[80]

Wolfowitz Doctrine as quintessential Neoconservatism

Wolfowitz Doctrine is an unofficial name given to the initial version of the Defense Planning Guidance for the 1994–99 fiscal years (dated February 18, 1992) authored by Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz and his deputy Scooter Libby. Not intended for public release, it was leaked to the New York Times on March 7, 1992,[1] and sparked a public controversy about U.S. foreign and defense policy. The document was widely criticized as imperialist as the document outlined a policy of unilateralism and pre-emptive military action to suppress potential threats from other nations and prevent any other nation from rising to superpower status.

Such was the outcry that the document was hastily re-written under the close supervision of U.S. Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell before being officially released on April 16, 1992. Many of its tenets re-emerged in the [2] which was described by Senator Edward M. Kennedy as "a call for 21st century American imperialism that no other nation can or should accept."[3]

Superpower status

The doctrine announces the US’s status as the world’s only remaining superpower following the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War and proclaims its main objective to be retaining that status.

Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.

This was substantially re-written in the April 16 release.

Our most fundamental goal is to deter or defeat attack from whatever source... The second goal is to strengthen and extend the system of defense arrangements that binds democratic and like-minded nations together in common defense against aggression, build habits of cooperation, avoid the renationalization of security policies, and provide security at lower costs and with lower risks for all. Our preference for a collective response to preclude threats or, if necessary, to deal with them is a key feature of our regional defense strategy. The third goal is to preclude any hostile power from dominating a region critical to our interests, and also thereby to strengthen the barriers against the re-emergence of a global threat to the interests of the U.S. and our allies.

U.S. primacy

The doctrine establishes the US’s leadership role within the new world order.

The U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. In non-defense areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. We must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.

This was substantially re-written in the April 16 release.

One of the primary tasks we face today in shaping the future is carrying long standing alliances into the new era, and turning old enmities into new cooperative relationships. If we and other leading democracies continue to build a democratic security community, a much safer world is likely to emerge. If we act separately, many other problems could result.

Unilateralism

The doctrine downplays the value of international coalitions.

Like the coalition that opposed Iraqi aggression, we should expect future coalitions to be ad hoc assemblies, often not lasting beyond the crisis being confronted, and in many cases carrying only general agreement over the objectives to be accomplished. Nevertheless, the sense that the world order is ultimately backed by the U.S. will be an important stabilizing factor.

This was re-written with a change in emphasis in the April 16 release.

Certain situations like the crisis leading to the Gulf War are likely to engender ad hoc coalitions. We should plan to maximize the value of such coalitions. This may include specialized roles for our forces as well as developing cooperative practices with others.

Pre-emptive intervention

The doctrine stated the US’s right to intervene when and where it believed necessary.

While the U.S. cannot become the world's policeman, by assuming responsibility for righting every wrong, we will retain the preeminent responsibility for addressing selectively those wrongs which threaten not only our interests, but those of our allies or friends, or which could seriously unsettle international relations.

This was softened slightly in the April 16 release.

While the United States cannot become the world's policeman and assume responsibility for solving every international security problem, neither can we allow our critical interests to depend solely on international mechanisms that can be blocked by countries whose interests may be very different than our own. Where our allies interests are directly affected, we must expect them to take an appropriate share of the responsibility, and in some cases play the leading role; but we maintain the capabilities for addressing selectively those security problems that threaten our own interests.

Russian threat

The doctrine highlighted the possible threat posed by a resurgent Russia.

We continue to recognize that collectively the conventional forces of the states formerly comprising the Soviet Union retain the most military potential in all of Eurasia; and we do not dismiss the risks to stability in Europe from a nationalist backlash in Russia or efforts to reincorporate into Russia the newly independent republics of Ukraine, Belarus, and possibly others....We must, however, be mindful that democratic change in Russia is not irreversible, and that despite its current travails, Russia will remain the strongest military power in Eurasia and the only power in the world with the capability of destroying the United States.

This was removed from the April 16 release in favor of a more diplomatic approach.

The U.S. has a significant stake in promoting democratic consolidation and peaceful relations between Russia, Ukraine and the other republics of the former Soviet Union.

Middle East and Southwest Asia

The doctrine clarified the overall objectives in the Middle East and Southwest Asia.

In the Middle East and Southwest Asia, our overall objective is to remain the predominant outside power in the region and preserve U.S. and Western access to the region's oil. We also seek to deter further aggression in the region, foster regional stability, protect U.S. nationals and property, and safeguard our access to international air and seaways. As demonstrated by Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, it remains fundamentally important to prevent a hegemon or alignment of powers from dominating the region. This pertains especially to the Arabian peninsula. Therefore, we must continue to play a role through enhanced deterrence and improved cooperative security.

...

The April 16 release was more circumspect and it reaffirmed U.S. commitments to Israel as well as its Arab allies.

In the Middle East and Persian Gulf, we seek to foster regional stability, deter aggression against our friends and interests in the region, protect U.S. nationals and property, and safeguard our access to international air and seaways and to the region's oil. The United States is committed to the security of Israel and to maintaining the qualitative edge that is critical to Israel's security. Israel's confidence in its security and U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation contribute to the stability of the entire region, as demonstrated once again during the Persian Gulf War. At the same time, our assistance to our Arab friends to defend themselves against aggression also strengthens security throughout the region, including for Israel.

Neocon architects of American foreign policy are destroying American national security

Regular Americans can't even imagine the level of hate and resentment that neocon policies produce. . And those feeling became material force when they are shared by the majority of people of a particular country. In some countries it is now really uncomfortable to be an America tourist. I know the cases then American tourists in Spain pretended being from other country to avoid this resentment. But spectrum of problems neocons inflict on the USA are much wider and more dangerous. Professor Stephen Cohen recently gave a very insightful interview to  Patrick L. Smith in salon.com (Architects of American policy towards Russia and Ukraine are destroying American national security) which we will reproduce verbatim:

“Architects of American policy towards Russia and Ukraine are destroying American national security”: Stephen F. Cohen on the truths U.S. media and politicians hide

Myths of American nationalism busted as our interview with noted scholar concludes

Patrick L. Smith

If there is a lesson in Stephen F. Cohen’s professional fortunes over the past year, it is the peril of advancing a dispassionate reading of our great country’s doings abroad. Cohen’s many pieces in The Nation on the Ukraine crisis and the consequent collapse of U.S.-Russia relations now leave him in something close to a state of siege. “My problem with this begins with the fact that… I don’t have a vested interest in one of the ‘isms,’ or ideologies,” Cohen says in this, the second part of a long interview conducted last month. 

The problem lies with the ideologues infesting the waters wherein Cohen swims. Terminally poisoned by Cold War consciousness, they cannot abide disinterested thought. Cohen has been mostly scholar, partly journalist, since the 1970s. His “Sovieticus” column, launched in The Nation in the 1980s, put a magazine traditionally tilted toward domestic issues among the few American publications providing consistent analysis of Russian affairs. At this point, Cohen’s Nation essays are the bedrock scholarly work to which those (few) writing against the orthodoxy turn.

The first half of our exchange, last week on Salon, began with events during the past year and advanced toward the post-Soviet origins of the current crisis. In part two, Cohen completes his analysis of Vladimir Putin’s inheritance and explains how he came to focus his thinking on “lost alternatives”—outcomes that could have been but were not. Most surprising to me was the real but foregone prospect of reforming the Soviet system such that the suffering that ensued since its demise could have been averted.

Salon: Putin inherited a shambles, then—as he would say, “a catastrophe.”

Stephen F. Cohen: As Russia’s leader, Putin has changed over the years, especially in foreign policy but also at home. His first impulse was toward more free-market reforms, anti-progressive taxes. He enacted a 13 percent flat tax—Steve Forbes would’ve been ecstatic, right? He offers [George W.] Bush what Clinton never really offered Yeltsin: a full partnership. And what does he do? On September 11, 2001, he called George and said, Whatever you want, we’re with you. Bush says, Well, I think we’re going to have to go to war in Afghanistan. And Putin said, I can help you. We’ve got major resources and assets in Afghanistan. I even have an army over there called the Northern Alliance. I’ll give it to you! You want overflight? It’s all yours!

How many American lives did Putin save during our land war in Afghanistan? And do you know what a political price he paid in Russia for that? Because his security people were completely against it.

They were? Please explain.

Oh, yeah. You think they minded seeing America being brought to its knees? They’d been invaded so often; let America get a taste of it! But Putin assumes he’s achieved what Yeltsin couldn’t and that this benefits the Russian state. He has a real strategic partnership with America. Now, remember, he’s already worried about his radical Islamic problem because Russia has nearly 20 million Muslim citizens of its own. Russia sits in the East and in the West; it’s on the front lines.

What does Bush give him in return? He expands NATO again and he unilaterally withdraws the United States from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the bedrock of Russia’s nuclear security— it’s a complete betrayal. Is that how you repay somebody who’s helped you save the lives of your citizens? This is where the word “betrayal” begins to enter into the discourse.

It’s an important word for Putin.

It’s not only Putin; [Dmitry] Medvedev uses it, too, when he becomes president [in 2008]. America has broken its word, it’s betrayed us, it’s deceived us, and we no longer take America at its word— well, they never should’ve in the first fucking place, just as Gorbachev should have got the promise not to expand NATO in writing. We’d have done it anyway, but at least they would have had a talking point.

This trust, this naive trust on the part of Russians, that there’s something about American presidents that makes them honorable—it suggests they need a crash course in something. This was betrayal for Putin, and for the entire Russian political class, and Putin paid a price.

I’ve heard him called, among right-wing Russian intellectuals, an appeaser of the West. Soft. You can hear this today: Mariupol? Odessa? Should’ve taken them a year ago; they belong to us. What’s he thinking? Why is he discussing it? [Mariupol and Odessa are two contested cities in the southeastern region of Ukraine.]

So Putin sets his course, and then comes this famous speech he gives in 2007 in Munich, with McCain sitting in the front row. Putin says just what I told you. He says, Look, we want to be your partner; this is what we’ve wanted to be since Gorbachev. We believe in the common European home. But every time we turn to you or we negotiate with you or we think we have an agreement with you, you act like a hegemon and everybody has to do exactly what you say if they want to be on your side. 

Putin has come to tell them that America is risking a new Cold War with more than a decade of bad behavior towards post-Soviet Russia. John McCain interprets this as the declaration of a new Cold War.

But the demonization of Putin came earlier, before the Munich speech, when he began to drive a few favorite American oligarchs [oil companies] out of the country. I looked it up: No major oil-producing country permits majority foreign ownership of its oil. So there’s a long a long history of how Putin goes from a democrat for sure in the U.S. media and an aspiring partner of America to becoming the Hitler of today, as Hillary Clinton put it. You can see what a disease it’s become, this Putin-phobia….

RT just aired a documentary in which Putin explains exactly when and why he decided to move as he did in Crimea. It’s striking: The deliberations began the night President Yanukovych was ousted in the American-supported coup last year. Can you talk about Putin’s thinking on the Crimea question, leading to the annexation? 

Putin, in my judgment, did some wrong-headed things. We now know much more about Crimea, but even given what he has said, there was an argument. It wasn’t quite as clear-cut as he says it was. There was a debate with two sides.

One side said, “Take Crimea now or fight NATO there later.” The other said, “Let the referendum [on association with Russia, held in March 2014] go forward and they’re going to vote 80-plus percent to join Russia. We don’t have to act on it; they’ve just made a request and we’ll say what we think about it. Meanwhile, we see what happens in Kiev.” The Kremlin had done polling in Crimea. And it’s the best bargaining chip Putin will have. He’ll have Crimea wanting to join Russia and he can say to Washington, Well, you would like the Crimea to remain in Ukraine? Here’s what I’d like in return: an eternal ban on NATO membership and federalization of the Ukrainian constitution, because I have to give my Crimean brethren something.

But those arguing that Crimea was the biggest bargaining chip Putin was ever going to have lost. The other side prevailed.

Now, Putin took all the credit, but that’s not what really happened. They were all dependent on intelligence coming out of Kiev and Crimea and Donbass. You see now, if you watch that film, what a turning point the overthrow of Yanukovych was. Remember, the European foreign ministers—Polish, German, and French—had brokered an agreement saying that Yanukovych would form a coalition government and stay in power until December, and that was burned in the street. I’ll never forget the massive Klitschko [Vitali Klitschko, a prizefighter-turned-political oppositionist, currently Kiev’s mayor] standing on a platform at Maidan, all 6’ 8” of him, announcing this great triumph of negotiation, and some smaller guy whipping away the microphone and saying, Go fuck yourself. This thing is going to burn in the streets. The next day it did. That night you saw what an undefeated heavyweight champion looks like when he’s terror-stricken.

This is the turning point, and “It’s all due to Putin,” but it’s all due to Putin because demonization has become the pivot of the analysis.

What do we do from here to resolve the Ukraine question? You used the word “hope” when talking about the February cease-fire, Minsk II—“the last, best hope.” It tripped me up. Hope’s a virtue, but it can also be very cruel.

Anyone of any sense and good will knows that it [the solution] lies in the kind of home rule they negotiated in the U.K.—and don’t call it a federated Ukraine if that upsets Kiev. As the constitution stands, the governors of all the Ukrainian provinces are appointed by Kiev. You can’t have that in eastern Ukraine. Probably can’t even have that in Western and Central Ukraine anymore. Ukraine is fragmenting.

I want to turn this around: what is your view of America’s strategic goal? I ask in the context of your analysis, in “Failed Crusade,” of “transitionology,” as you term the paradigm wherein Russia was supposed to transition into a free-market paradise. As the book makes clear, it amounted to the elevation and protection of crooks who asset-stripped most of an entire nation. Now we don’t hear much about Russia’s “transition.” What is Washington’s ambition now?

I think the Ukrainian crisis is the greatest blow to American national security— even greater than the Iraq war in its long-term implications— for a simple reason: The road to American national security still runs through Moscow. There is not a single major regional or issue-related national security problem we can solve without the full cooperation of whoever sits in the Kremlin, period, end of story.

Name your poison: We’re talking the Middle East, we’re talking Afghanistan, we’re talking energy, we’re talking climate, we’re talking nuclear proliferation, terrorism, shooting airplanes out of the sky, we’re talking about the two terrorist brothers in Boston.

Look: I mean American national security of the kind I care about—that makes my kids and grandkids and myself safe—in an era that’s much more dangerous than the Cold War because there’s less structure, more non-state players, and more loose nuclear know-how and materials…. Security can only be partial, but that partial security depends on a full-scale American-Russian cooperation, period. We are losing Russia for American national security in Ukraine as we talk, and even if it were to end tomorrow Russia will never, for at least a generation, be as willing to cooperate with Washington on security matters as it was before this crisis began.

Therefore, the architects of the American policy towards Russia and Ukraine are destroying American national security—and therefore I am the patriot and they are the saboteurs of American security. That’s the whole story, and any sensible person who doesn’t suffer from Putin-phobia can see it plainly.

Is it too strong to say that the point is to destabilize Moscow?

What would that mean? What would it mean to destabilize the country that may have more weapons of mass destruction than does the U.S.?

Is that indeed the ambition?

I don’t think there’s any one ambition. I come back to the view that you’ve got various perspectives in discussion behind closed doors. I guess Mearsheimer [John Mearsheimer, the noted University of Chicago scholar] is right in the sense of saying that there’s a faction in Washington that is behaving exactly as a great power would behave and trying to maximize its security, but it doesn’t understand that that’s what other great powers do, too. That’s its failure. Gorbachev and Reagan, though it wasn’t originally their idea, probably agreed on the single most important thing: Security had to be mutual. That was their agreement and they built everything on that. We have a military build-up you’re going to perceive as a threat and build up, and I will perceive your build-up as a threat… and that’s the dynamic of permanent and conventional build-up, a permanent arms race. And that’s why Gorbachev and Reagan reasoned, We’re on the edge of the abyss. That’s why we are going to declare the Cold War over, which they did.

That concept of mutual security doesn’t mean only signing contracts: It means don’t undertake something you think is in your security but is going to be perceived as threatening, because it won’t prove to be in your interest. Missile defense is the classic example: We never should have undertaken any missile defense program that wasn’t in cooperation with Russia, but, instead, we undertook it as an anti-Russian operation. They knew it and we knew it and scientists at MIT knew it, but nobody cared because some group believed that you’ve got to keep Russia down.

The truth is, not everything depends on the president of the United States. Not everything, but an awful lot does, and when it comes to international affairs we haven’t really had a president who acted as an actual statesman in regard to Russia since Reagan in 1985-88. Clinton certainly didn’t; his Russia policy was clownish and ultimately detrimental to U.S. national security interests. Bush’s was reckless and lost one opportunity after another, and Obama’s is either uninformed or completely out to lunch. We have not had a statesman in the White House when it comes to Russia since Reagan, and I am utterly, totally, 1000 percent convinced that before November 2013, when we tried to impose an ultimatum on Yanukovych—and even right now, today—that a statesman in the White House could end this in 48 hours with Putin. What Putin wants in the Ukraine crisis is what we ought to want; that’s the reality.

Interesting.

What does Putin want? He’s said the same thing and he’s never varied: He wants a stable, territorial Ukraine—Crimea excepted—and he knows that’s possible only if Ukraine is free to trade with the West and with Russia but is never a member of NATO. However, somebody’s got to rebuild Ukraine, and he’s not going to take that burden on himself, but he will help finance it through discounted energy prices. It could all be done tomorrow if we had a statesman in the White House. Tomorrow! Nobody else has to die.

I think Chancellor Merkel understands this, too.

I think she’s come to, but how strong she is and whether Washington will cut her legs out from under her as they’re trying to do now… [Shortly before this interview Senator McCain delivered a blunt attack on Merkel at a security conference in Munich for opposing the supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine. The Arizona Republican was similarly critical when Merkel began to explore a diplomatic solution in Ukraine in spring 2013.]

They have very little respect for her, which is wrong.

What Lindsay Graham and McCain did in Germany, in her own country, on German national television, to her face—and the fact that she’s a woman didn’t help, either. The way they spoke to her, I can’t think of a precedent for that.

Parts of your work are very moving, and that’s not a word a lot of scholarship prompts. The enormous value the Soviet Union accreted—most Americans know nothing of this; with the media’s encouragement, we’re completely ignorant of this. There’s nothing encouraging us to understand that the hundreds of billions of misappropriated assets during the 1990s was essentially the misappropriation of Soviet wealth.

A lot of it came here, to the United States.

Can you talk about this?

I can tell you about a guy who was formerly very high up in the CIA. I called him about a something I was writing on Russian wealth smuggled through the banks into the United States, and he said, We have informed the FBI exactly where all this wealth is in the United States but we are under strict political orders to do nothing about it. Now, the interesting thing is, why now? Well, it would have badly damaged the Yeltsin regime, which the Clinton administration had unconditionally embraced, but also because that money became part of the flourishing stock and real estate markets here at that time.

Even today in Russia, when you ask people if they wish the Soviet Union hadn’t ended, you’re still getting over 60 percent, among young people, too, because they hear the stories from their parents and grandparents. It requires a separate study, but it’s not rocket science. If young kids see their grandparents dying prematurely because they’re not being paid their pensions, they’re going to resent it. When the bottom fell out of the Soviet welfare state and out of the professions, what happened in the 1990s was that the Soviet middle class— which was one of the most professional and educated, and had some savings and which therefore should have been the building block of a Russian free market sector— that middle class was wiped out, and it’s never been recreated. Instead, you got a country of impoverished people and of very, very rich people—with a small middle class serving the rich. That changed under Putin; Putin has rebuilt the middle class, gradually.

The Russian middle class isn’t the same as ours. A lot of Russia’s middle class are people who are on the federal budget: Army officers, doctors, scientists, teachers—these are all federal budget people. They’re middle class, but they don’t become middle class as autonomous property owners. A lot of my friends are members of this class, and a lot of them are very pro-Putin, but a lot of my friends are very anti-Putin, too. The thing about the Soviet Union can be summarized very simply: The Soviet Union lasted 70-plus years, so that would be less than the average life of an American male today. A person cannot jump out of his or her autobiography any more than they can jump out of their skin; it’s your life. You were born in the Soviet Union, you had your first sexual experience in the Soviet Union, you were educated, you got a career, you got married, you raised your kids: That was your life. Of course you miss it, certainly parts of it.

There were ethnic nationalities in the Soviet Union who hated it and wanted to break away, and this became a factor in 1991, but for a great many people— certainly the majority of Russians and a great many Ukrainians and Belorussians and the central Asians— it’s not surprising that 25 years later, those adults still remember the Soviet Union with affection. This is normal, and I don’t find anything bad in it. You know, Putin wasn’t actually the first to say this but he did say it and it’s brilliant and tells you who Putin is and who most Russians are. He said this: Anyone who doesn’t regret the end of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who thinks you can recreate the Soviet Union has no head. That’s it, that’s exactly right!

Didn’t Putin say that the end of the Soviet Union was the 20th century’s greatest catastrophe?

It all has to do with the word “the.” There’s no “the” in Russian. Did Putin say, in translation, that the end of the Soviet Union was “the” greatest catastrophe of the 20th century? If so, there’s something wrong with that, because for Jews it was the Holocaust. Or did he say, “one of” the greatest catastrophes?

I would have guessed the latter.

All four professional translators I sent Putin’s phrase to said you have to translate it as “one of the greatest catastrophes of the 20th century.” Now, we can have a discussion. He’s taken a moderate position, but what are the others? Fair enough, but catastrophe for whom? Americans don’t think it was a catastrophe. Putin would say, “Look, 20 million Russians found themselves outside the country when the Soviet Union broke up, that was a tragedy for them, a catastrophe. Seventy or 80 percent plunged into poverty in the 1990s, lost everything. Can I put that on the list of “one of the greatest?” I would say sure, because for everybody there’s a greater catastrophe. For the Jews there’s no catastrophe greater than the Holocaust. For the Armenians, their genocide. Again, people can’t jump out of their history. A tolerant, democratic person acknowledges that. Each people and nation has its own history. I’d like to write an article about this, but I’m not going to live long enough to write all the articles or books I want to write. We say, for example, the Russians have not come to grips with and fully acknowledged the horrors of Stalinism and its victims. I would argue in this article that they have done more to acknowledge the horrors of Stalinism than we have of slavery.

Interesting.

For example, do we have a national museum of the history of slavery in the United States? They’re building a large one in Moscow to commemorate Stalin’s victims. He recently signed a decree mandating a monument in central Moscow to those victims.

In the way of being moved by some of the things you write, I’ve wanted to ask you about this for years. It has to do with the sentiments of Russians and what they wanted, their ambitions for themselves, some form of… as I read along in these passages I kept saying, “I wonder if he’s going to use the phrase ‘social democracy.’” And, sure enough, you did. These passages got me to take Rudolph Bahro [author of “The Alternative in Eastern Europe”] off the shelf. The obvious next step after East-West tension subsided was some form of social democracy. I don’t know where you want to put it. I put it between Norway and Germany somewhere. To me what happened instead is a horrific tragedy, not only for Russia but for Eastern Europe.

My problem with this begins with the fact that I’m not a communist, I’m not a socialist, a social democrat. I’d like to have enough money to be a real capitalist, but it’s a struggle. [Laughs.] I don’t have a vested interest in one of the “isms” or the ideologies, but I agree with you. I don’t know about Eastern Europe, let’s leave it aside, but look at Russia. You’d have thought that the logical outcome of the dismantling of the Stalinist Communist system, because the system was built primarily by Stalin from the 1930s on, would have been Russian social democracy and that, of course, was what Gorbachev’s mission was. Lots of books have been written, most persuasively by Archie Brown, the great British scholar, who knows Gorbachev personally, probably as well as I do, that Gorbachev came to think of himself as a European social democrat while he was still in power. That’s what his goal was. He had this close relationship with the Social Democratic prime minister of Spain, I forget his name.

Zapatero?

I don’t remember, but I remember that they did a lot of social democratic socializing and talking.

Felipe Gonzalez, I think it was.

Gonzalez, that’s right. Gorbachev was a very well-informed man and his advisors during his years in power were mostly social democrats and had been for years. Their mission had been to transform the Soviet Union. Now, remember, Lenin began as a social democrat, and the original model for Lenin had been not only Marx but the German Social Democratic Party. The Bolshevik or Communist Party was originally the Russian Social Democratic Party, which split into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. So in a way, and I once said this to Gorbachev, historically you want to go back to Lenin before he became a Bolshevik. He said, “Well that’s kind of complicated.” Then Gorbachev said, “Everybody agrees Russia is a left-of-center country.”

The Russian people are left of center. They’re a welfare-state country. Gorbachev had this interesting conversation with Putin, when he went to tell Putin that he, Gorbachev, was going to start a social democratic party. There had been several start-ups and they never went anywhere. And Putin said that’s the right thing to do, because Russia really is a left-of-center country. So Putin said the same thing. And so Russia is, if you look at the history of Russia…

Are you talking about Russia very early, thinking about Russian givenness to community and all that?

However you put it all together, the peasant tradition, the urban tradition, the socialist tradition. Almost all the revolutionary parties were socialist. You didn’t have a Tea Party among them. This is a Russian tradition. Now, it’s obviously changed, but I would say that today, looking at the polls, most Russians overwhelmingly believe that the state has obligations that include medical care, free education, and guaranteeing everybody a job. In fact, it’s in the Russian constitution, the guarantee of a job. Most Russians feel there should not be a “free market” but a social or regulated market, that some things should be subsidized, that the government should regulate certain things, and that nobody should be too rich or too poor. For that you get 80 percent of the vote every time. So that’s a social democratic program, right? Why don’t they have it?

I ask everybody in Russia who wants a social democratic party. They exist, but not a party that can win elections? What’s the problem here? I think know, but I want to hear Russians tell me what’s right. People cite what you and I would guess. First of all, there’s the hangover from communism, which was social democratic and somewhat socialist, in some form.

Second, and this is probably the key thing, social democratic movements tended to grow out of labor movements—labor unions, historically, in England and Scandinavia and Germany. They became the political movement of the labor movement, the working class movement. So you normally get a labor movement that favors political action instead of strikes, creates a political party, you have a parliamentary system, they begin to build support in the working class, elements of the middle class join them, and you end up eventually with European social democracy.

Old Labour in Britain is a perfect example.

Well, the labor unions in Russia are a complete mess. I shouldn’t say that, but they’re complicated. The major one remains the old Soviet official one, which is in bed deeply with state employers. The independent one, or ones, haven’t been able to get enough traction. In almost every European country there were circumstances, you might say the political culture was favorable. Those objective circumstances don’t exist [in Russia]. First, you have an insecure savaged middle class that’s seen its savings confiscated or devalued repeatedly in the last 25 years. You’ve got a working class trapped between oligarchs, state interests and old industries, and private entrepreneurs who are very vulnerable. In other words, the working class itself is in transition. Its own insecurities don’t lead it to think in terms of political organizations but in terms of issues—of whether Ford Motor Company is going to fire them all tomorrow. They’re localized issues.

Then you don’t have a leadership. Leadership really matters. No one has emerged, either in the Russian parliament or in Russian political life. By the 1990s Gorbachev was past his prime and too hated for what had happened to the country. He hoped to be, when he ran for president that time [in 1996] and got 1 percent, he hoped to be the social democratic leader. There are a couple guys in Parliament who aspire to be the leader of Russian social democracy…. When I’m asked, and I’ve told this to young social democrats and to Gennady Zyuganov, whom I’ve known for 20 years, the leader of the Russian Communist Party, the only real electoral party, that Russia needs social democracy with a Russian face….

What this means is that the most important force in Russia, and people were wrong to say Putin created it, is nationalism. This began, in fact, under Stalin. It was embedded during the Brezhnev years, and it was overshadowed during perestroika in the late-1980s. Then there was an inevitable upsurge as a result of the 1990s. You cannot be a viable political candidate in Russia today unless you come to grips with nationalism.

Therefore, the best way, in my judgment, if you also want democracy, is social democracy with a Russian nationalist face. What’s interesting is the guy who was until recently the most popular opposition leader, Navalny [Alexei Navalny, the noted anti-corruption activist], who got nearly 30 per cent of the vote in the Moscow mayoral elections and then blew it by becoming again a foe of the entire system instead of building on his electoral success—he’s too nationalistic for the taste of a lot of democrats.

Truly? You wouldn’t know it from what you read.

He’s got a bad history in regards to the Caucasus people, among others. But what’s interesting in this regard is, we don’t ever speak of American nationalism. We call it patriotism. It’s weird, isn’t it? We don’t have a state, we have a government….

Every American politician who seeks the presidency in effect tries to make American nationalism the program of his or her candidacy, but they call it patriotism. They’re fully aware of the need to do this, right? So why they think Putin doesn’t have to do it, too, is completely beyond me. There’s no self-awareness.

In Russia, people had lost hope tremendously after 1991 but their hope later attached to Putin—imagine what he faced. For example, can you imagine becoming the leader of such a country and for the sake of consensus having a textbook putting together Tsarist, Soviet and post-Soviet history? Our presidents had a hard time dealing with slave and post-slave, Civil War and post-Civil War history. How do they do it? Each president did it differently, but Putin inherited this conflicting history, and the way he’s tried to patch all three together into a consensual way for Russians to view their history and to teach kids in school is very interesting. Now, of course, it’s being ruptured again with this war and with Crimea and with this new nationalism.

I’d like to change the subject. Often in the books you mention an interest in alternatives: What could’ve happened if this or that hadn’t. We just covered one, the missed opportunity for a historically logical social democratic outcome in Russia. How do you account for this tendency in your thinking?

We have formative experiences—what shaped you, at least so you think when you look back. You don’t know it at the time, you don’t know a formative experience is formative until later. You’d agree with that.

It’s only in hindsight. “Reality takes form only in memory.” Proust.

For me it was growing up in the segregated South. But the reality was valid in retrospect, because I later realized that what I was doing had been so shaped by growing up in the segregated South, the way I reacted to that and the way I learned from it later, actually, in a strange way, led me to Russia.

You suggested this in the book on gulag returnees, “The Victims Return.” I wonder if you could explain the connection. How did growing up in Kentucky [Cohen was raised in Owensboro] lead you to Russian studies, and what does it do for your analysis of the Russian situation? How does a Kentucky childhood keep you alert to alternatives?

Well, you have to remember what segregation was. I didn’t understand this as a little boy, but it was American apartheid. Owensboro, probably had fewer than  20,000 people then, including the farmers. For a kid growing up in a completely segregated county, first of all, the world you’re born into is the normal world. I had no questions about it…. I didn’t perceive the injustice of it.

And then you get older and you begin to see the injustice and you wonder, how did this happen?… At Indiana University I run into this professor who becomes my mentor, Robert C. Tucker, [Tucker, who died in 2010, was a distinguished Russianist and author of a celebrated biography of Stalin]. I’d been to Russia—accidentally, I went on a tour—and he asked, “What in Russia interests you?” And I said, “Well, I’m from Kentucky, and I’ve always wondered if there was an alternative in Kentucky’s history between being deep South and not being deep South.” And Tucker said, “You know, one of the biggest questions in Russian history is lost alternatives. Nobody ever studies them.” And I said, “Aha!”

So the title of your 2009 book, “Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives,” is in his honor?

I began to live in Russia in 1976, for two or three months a year until they took my visa away in 1982. This is when I got deeply involved in the dissident movement, smuggling manuscripts out and books back in and all these things. I begin to think, how does Russia change today? And my mind reverted to segregation and the end of segregation and the friends and foes of change…. I wrote an article called “The Friends and Foes of Change” about reformism and conservatism in the Soviet system, because I thought that it was institutions, it was culture, it was history and leaders and that you needed a conjunction of these events before you could get major change in Russia and the Soviet Union…. I published that as an article in 1976 or 1977 and I expanded it for a book I wrote, “Rethinking the Soviet Experience,” which was published in 1985, a month before Gorbachev came to power. And everybody would later say, “He foresaw Gorbachev.”

Actually I didn’t quite. What I foresaw was perestroika. For me it wasn’t about the name of the leader, but the policy such leader would enact. I got one thing wrong. Because it was so hard to make this argument in Cold War America, that the Soviet Union had a capacity for reform awaiting it, if factors came together. I didn’t think to carry the argument beyond liberalization to actual democratization. So I didn’t foresee a Gorbachev who would enact actual democratization, free voting, and dismantle the Communist Party…. But I always thought that thinking about the history of Kentucky, living through segregation, watching the change, seeing the civil rights movement, seeing the resistance to it and why helped me think more clearly about the Soviet Union under Brezhnev and about my dissident friends. And I also knew reformers in the party bureaucracy pretty well, and when we would talk at night, I never mentioned this but my mind would always kind of drift back.

The connection is not at all obvious but you explain it very well and it’s clear once you do. 

Well, sometimes people read a book that opens their eyes. I think the whole secret, particularly as you get older… Trotsky I think wrote that after some age, I think he said 39 or 45, all we do is document our prejudices. And there’s some truth to that, obviously. But one of the ways that you avoid becoming dogmatic about your own published views is to keep looking for things that challenge what you think. You try to filter them through whatever intellectual apparatus you’ve been using for, in my case, 40 years.

I thought it would be interesting to get through those sections of Kennan’s journals [“The Kennan Diaries,” 2014] that would be germane to our exchange. What struck me coming away from them was the enormous sadness and pessimism that hung over him in the later years. I wonder if you share that.

My position has always been, America doesn’t need a friend in the Kremlin. We need a national security partner. Friendships often don’t last. Partnerships based on common interests, compatible self-interests, do.

I have always known such a partnership would be difficult to achieve because there are so many differences, conflicts, and Cold War landmines. There were numerous chances to enhance the relationship—during the Nixon-Brezhnev détente period, Gorbachev and Reagan, Gorbachev and Bush, even with Putin after 9/11, when he helped [George W.] Bush in Afghanistan. But they all became lost opportunities, those after 1991 lost mainly in Washington, not Moscow.

When I speak of lost alternatives I do not mean the counter-factuals employed by novelists and some historians—the invention of “what-ifs.” I mean actual alternatives that existed politically at turning points in history, and why one road was taken and not the other. Much of my work has focused on this large question in Soviet and post-Soviet Russian history and in U.S.-Russian relations.

So you ask if I’m disappointed by the lost opportunities for an American-Russian partnership, especially in light of the terrible confrontation over Ukraine? Having struggled for such a partnership for about 40 years, yes, of course, I’m personally disappointed—and even more so by the Ukraine crisis because I think it may be fateful in the worst sense.

On the other hand, as an historian who has specialized in lost alternatives, well, now I have another to study, to put in historical context and analyze. And it’s my historical analysis—that an alternative in Ukraine was squandered primarily in Washington, not primarily in Moscow—that those who slur me don’t like.

To which I reply, Let them study history, because few of them, if any, seem ever to have done so.

Patrick Smith is the author of “Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century.” He was the International Herald Tribune’s bureau chief in Hong Kong and then Tokyo from 1985 to 1992. During this time he also wrote “Letter from Tokyo” for the New Yorker. He is the author of four previous books and has contributed frequently to the New York Times, the Nation, the Washington Quarterly, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter, @thefloutist.

More Patrick L. Smith.  

Nulandgate as an example of disastrous neocon foreign policy

While moving Ukraine closer to the West might be a worthwhile goal, but handing of this geopolitical task by the USA is a classic case of "elephant in china store". Level of incompetence, Chutzpah demonstrated by Nuland and her neocon friends in State Department is simply staggering. With the level of control of Yanukovich they demonstrated  during EuroMaydan events, including their ability simply buy some key government figures (and control of a part of Ukrainian security apparatus, inherited by Yanukovich from Yushchenko, who was a pro-Western president)  the need to violet overthrow of his government is highly questionable.

As a result, Ukrainians (like Iranian and Libyans before them) became another victim of Washington's dirty geopolitical games. And they are paying for those games with their lives,  with dramatically (to the level of starvation of pensioners; and I am not exaggerating) diminished standard of living and destroyed infrastructure, completely broken economic ties with Russia -- which was the major economic partner and major market for Ukrainian goods.

While rise of Ukrainian nationalism was given, taking into account the mere fact of independence, the forms which it took are definitely sub optional. Now they have a civil war in the South East, with all the associated cruelty and destruction. In other words "Somalization" of Ukraine proceeded after February 22, 2014 at full speed. It's very easy to destroy a civil order in a fragile country, but it will take decades to repair the damage and bring citizens back to their previous level of well-being and security.

Victoria Nuland will probably enter the history as a person who instigated the start of civil war in Ukraine. Generally Ukraine proved to be another colossal failure of the USA foreign policy: they tried to hit Russia, but got closer alliance of Russia and China. And like elephant in China store they hit Ukraine first, breaking country into peaces,  destroying the economy in the process. And what West needed is a new market for manufacturing, not a new hot spot. Not another failed country that now needs to be financed and maintained by Western loans which have little chance to be repaid.  Actually the role of Germany and personally Angela Merkel in all this mess is pretty negative too, although Germans definitely can't match the level of Chitzpah of their transatlantic masters.

Important factor contributing to the failures of the US foreign policy in recent years is the decrease of the intellectual potential of the "foreign policy establishment". To see the trend it's enough to compare Kissinger or Brzezinski, with the current Secretary Kerry and Victoria Nuland. The result is the degradation of quality of the USA foreign policy, which now creates a lot of unnecessary anger and indignation in large part of Europe and Asia. Even when goals of the USA are not that imperialistic per se. 

Unlike McFaul who got Ph.D, Nuland has just BA from Brown University (1983) where she studied Russian literature, political science, and history. She never served in Russian or even any Eastern European embassy. Her major previous position were  U.S. ambassador to NATO and State Department spokeswoman. Both positions required very little diplomacy and destructive influence of being the State Department spokeswoman (which is the propagandist, not a diplomat) were clearly detrimental to her current role.  Especially, her previous position as the US ambassador to NATO which essentially conditions a person to view Russia only via hairlines. And she lacks real, native diplomatic skills which the following dialogs clearly attests:

The start of this trend toward the intellectual degradation probably has began with the collapse of the USSR. At that time, the USA elite suddenly became the actual "master of the world", which does not need to be engaged in maneuvers in international politics, but can simply to impose their will through various levers of political and economic coercion, and, if necessary, by military operations. So the USA became a bully.

The first robin of this degradation was "not so bright" Madeleine (not so bright) Albright -- an interesting example if not a female sociopath, then a pretty much borderline personality. Those personalities do not care about building lasting fundament of international relations based on UN (which was created as an effort for preventing the repeat of WWII), they were hell bent on destroying this framework to provide the USA maximum political and economic advantages in the unipolar world. As such they all work toward WWIII ( Jen, July 13, 2014 at 6:11 pm ):

Since when Madeleine Albright (she who uttered the notorious line “What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” to Colin Powell) was US State Secretary, the US State Department has more or less acted as a rogue element within the US government. Not that this particular gallery of rogues has been the only one with a mind of its own. The US Treasury is dominated by Goldman Sachs management, some of whose people have investments and links with arms companies and thus clear conflicts of interest. Plus US economic and foreign policies have been dictated by University of Chicago alumni who worship Friedrich Hayek / Milton Friedman free market economics and Leo Strauss’s faux-Platonian Republic political philosophy in which a ruling elite tells lies to its subjects to keep them all under control.

Nuland can also can be viewed as example of a related trend: the trend for the appointment to senior posts in the State Department people on the criteria of loyalty to a particular clan of the political elite to the detriment of the interests of the state as a whole. This trend started under Reagan and which got in full force under Bush II and continued under Barack Obama administration. Victoria Nuland was a member of Cheney's Cabal of Zealots:

'Cabal' of Zealots - Wilkerson calls Cheney’s inner group a “cabal” of arrogant, intensely zealous, highly focused loyalists. Recalling Cheney’s staff interacting in a variety of interagency meetings and committees, “The staff that the vice president sent out made sure that those [committees] didn’t key anything up that wasn’t what the vice president wanted,” says Wilkerson.

“Their style was simply to sit and listen, and take notes. And if things looked like they were going to go speedily to a decision that they knew that the vice president wasn’t going to like, generally they would, at the end of the meeting, in great bureaucratic style, they’d say: ‘We totally disagree. Meeting’s over.’” The committee agendas were generally scuttled.

And if something did get written up as a “decision memo” bound for the Oval Office, Cheney himself would ensure that it died before ever reaching fruition.”

It does not help that Nuland is married to Washington Post columnist and neoconservative historian Robert Kagan, who helped sell the case for the Iraq War, advised both Mitt Romney and John McCain’s presidential campaigns, and co-founded the Project for a New American Century think tank with Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol. His credentials as neocon chickenhawk in the conservative foreign policy establishment are unimpeachable. Obama has spoken fondly of some of Kagan’s work as well.

And it does not help that her previous job was State Department spokesmen, the job which definitely further  radicalized her into right-wing neocon zealot. And would negatively effect the political views of  even more moderate person then Nuland was at the moment of her appointment.  Now she is definitely far tot he right from her husband Robert Kagan, who along with Wolfowitz is a leading US neocon:

Nuland is married to Washington Post columnist and neoconservative historian Robert Kagan, who helped sell the case for the Iraq War, advised both Mitt Romney and John McCain’s presidential campaigns, and co-founded the Project for a New American Century think tank with Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol. Obama has spoken fondly of some of Kagan’s work as well, but his credentials in the conservative foreign policy establishment are unimpeachable.

"Republicans are good at wielding power, but they're not so wonderful when it comes to the more idealistic motives of liberal internationalism. The Democrats are better at liberal internationalism, but they're not so good at wielding power. I would say that if there were a Joe Lieberman/John McCain party, I'm in the Joe Lieberman/John McCain party."

- Robert Kagan

Leading antiwar blogger Marcy Wheeler called her a “former Cheney hack.” In both Bush and Obama State Departments when such people commit errors, some of which had all the signs of intentional crimes, they are swiped under the carpet. This has created favorable conditions for creation of the situation when real national interests and the security of the USA were sacrificed to the private interests of individual corporations and oligarchic clans, which enriched themselves using "sacred" neoliberal principle: " profits to private corporations, expenses to the state."

This reduction of the intellectual potential of the American elite contributed to gradual replacement of real experts in the higher echelons of power with incompetents who are sometimes called "effective managers" - people with close, often family connection to powerful clans (such as neoconservatives) and who after obtaining particular position try to advance interests of those clans on international arena. Occupying senior positions, such "effective managers" select the relevant employees. Both Hillary Clinton and Victoria Nuland can be viewed as examples of this trend.

Foreign policy became yet another area in which, in best traditions of neoliberalism, the objective interests of the United States as a state are sacrificed to the interests of private corporations. for example by driving the United States into military conflicts, in result of which the country suffers tremendous losses -- both material and image-related -- and only certain corporations reap huge profits (Iraq). There are similar signs of the same intellectual degradation in other areas, for example development of new types of military hardware based on unproven technologies. Which gives zero results but still generating huge profits for military-industrial complex.

This intellectual degradation strengthen Messianic elements in the USA foreign policy, the confidence that only the USA should solely determine all the elements of the new world order in all countries. And for this trend EuroMaidan in general and Victoria Nuland in particular is a textbook example.

See more in "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place

Instead of conclusions: Neocons are the War Party

Justin Raimondo aptly described neocons as the war party:

Such phrases as "the War Party" (yes, capitalized like that), and casual mention of "the neocons" – language pretty much confined to this site, until relatively recently – are now commonplace. The anti-interventionist lexicon is defining the terms of the debate, and I think Antiwar.com can take much of the credit.

All during the period leading up to the Kosovo war – and long after – we warned of the danger posed by the neoconservatives, and their doctrine of "benevolent global hegemony," as Bill Kristol, their Lenin, put it in 1996. In my first column, dated February 26, 1999, I wrote:

"Well-funded and well-connected, the War Party is such a varied and complex phenomenon that a detailed description of its activities, and its vast system of interlocking directorates and special interests, both foreign and domestic, would fill the pages of a good-sized book. The alternative is to break down the story, and serve up its constituent parts in brief glimpses, portraits of individuals and organizations that lobbied hard for this war and its bloody prosecution."

Except that the war I was referring to was the Kosovo war, those words might easily have been written today. The face of the enemy is unchanged: what's changed is that it is increasingly recognized, and resented. That is what we have been doing, here at www.antiwar.com: revealing, with every link and article, the many faces of the War Party – in all its aspects, and from a wide variety of viewpoints.

Our eclecticism has been the focus of criticism by some: David Frum, the ex-White House speechwriter turned neocon enforcer of political correctness, recently took us to task for running links to pieces by John Pilger, Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, Alexander Cockburn, and other demons of the right-wing imagination. It is typical of Commissar Frum that he would misunderstand the whole purpose of linking in this way: the very concept of the internet, with its constant cross-referencing interconnectivity, is utterly alien to the party-lining neocon mentality.

Another problem for the neocons is that it's much harder to smear someone on the internet than it is on paper, without showing up the smearer as a liar. In criticizing the views of an opponent, one is obliged to come up with a link – so that readers can see for themselves if the criticism is fair. The artful use of ellipses no longer works, because the entire context of a statement is readily available. Of course, one always can do what Commissar Frum did in his National Review screed against antiwar libertarians and conservatives, and not provide any links to the targets of abuse. But that isn't very convincing. Indeed, it is highly suspicious: no wonder many conservatives are now rising up against the self-appointed arbiters of political correctness on the Right. The neocon campaign to smear conservative opponents of the Iraq war as "anti-American" has backfired badly – and we at Antiwar.com take a special pride in knowing that this site had a lot to do with that.

We have, from the beginning, cultivated anti-interventionist sentiment on the Right, not only among libertarians – who already accept it as a defining principle of their ideology – but also among conservatives. The idea that we cannot be a republic and an empire is finally beginning to dawn on the advocates of limited government -–as they see the national security state swallowing up the last of our freedoms. Big Brother reads our email and tracks our every move, while Big Government just keeps on getting bigger.

Conservatives are catching on, and, while Antiwar.com alone can't take credit for this, what we can take credit for is amplifying and popularizing anti-interventionist views on the right, injecting them into the national debate.

Over the years Antiwar.com has presented a wide range of opinion, from left to right and all points in between, yet we have always been pretty up-front about our own ideological predilections. We are libertarians: we stand for the free market, and we don't take the view that American culture and American capitalism are the repositories of all that is wrong with the world. We reserve that role for governments –notably, and especially lately, the U.S. federal government.

We support the antiwar movement, yet we are not uncritical: far from it. We have tried to promote some sense of self-awareness, and of responsibility, while doing our best to correct what we view as the mistakes and misconceptions that are rife in antiwar circles. You may not always agree with our analysis – of tactics, or of general principles – but it is hard to contend that we haven't consistently tried to broaden and deepen the anti-interventionist current, in America and internationally.

Looking back on where we've been, I am filled with pride – and a sense of optimism. Looking ahead, however, to the prospect of future wars, I can feel only a gathering sense of dread.

My friend Pat Buchanan has recently posed the question: "Is the Neoconservative Moment Over?" He makes the case that the worst may already be behind us:

"The salad days of the neoconservatives, which began with the president's Axis-of-Evil address in January 2002 and lasted until the fall of Baghdad may be coming to an end. Indeed, it is likely the neoconservatives will never again enjoy the celebrity and cachet in which they reveled in their romp to war on Iraq.

"…the high tide of neoconservatism may have passed because the high tide of American empire may have passed. 'World War IV,' the empire project, the great cause of the neocons, seems to have been suspended by the President of the United States."

It's a nice thought, but I don't believe it for a moment. Not when the same propaganda campaign once directed at Iraq is now being launched against Iran; not when leading politicians declare that U.S. troops may have to go after Hamas – and certainly not as long as the President of the United States reserves the "right" to carry out a policy of "regime change" as a means of preemptive "defense."

The empire project may or may not be temporarily suspended: perhaps stalled is the right word. We can be sure, however, that the War Party isn't going away. As long as they're around, and more active than ever, Antiwar.com is a necessity. But our continued existence is by no means assured.

Unlike the interventionists, who lavish billions – much of it taxpayer dollars – on their permanent propaganda campaign, Antiwar.com doesn't have access to unlimited funding. Arrayed against us is the whole complex of neocon think tanks, newspaper chains, radio networks and special interests that keep the arteries of the media clogged with a constant stream of warmongering disinformation and outright fabrications. We have no Rupert Murdoch, no "merchants of death," and no government subsidies to fill our coffers. We depend on you, our readers, for the support we need to survive.

... ... ...


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The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.

And while you're studying that reality-judiciously, as you will-we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."[2]

An unnamed aide to George W. Bush (later attributed to Karl Rove:

Reality-based community - Wikipedia

[Jan 17, 2019] Brasil neoliberal counterevolution by James Petras

Jan 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Originally from: President Trump's Losing Strategy: Embracing Brazil and Confronting China James Petras January 8, 2019

Introduction

The US embraces a regime doomed to failure and threatens the world's most dynamic economy. President Trump has lauded Brazil's newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro and promises to promote close economic, political, social and cultural ties. In contrast the Trump regime is committed to dismantling China's growth model, imposing harsh and pervasive sanctions, and promoting the division and fragmentation of greater China.

Washington's choice of allies and enemies is based on a narrow conception of short-term advantage and strategic losses.

In this paper we will discuss the reasons why the US-Brazilian relation fits in with Washington's pursuit for global domination and why Washington fears the dynamic growth and challenge of an independent and competitive China.

Brazil in Search of a Patron

Brazil's President, Jair Bolsonaro from day one, has announced a program to reverse nearly a century of state directed economic growth. He has announced the privatization of the entire public sector, including the strategic finance, banking, minerals, infrastructure, transport, energy and manufacturing activities. Moreover, the sellout has prioritized the centrality of foreign multi-national corporations. Previous authoritarian civilian and military regimes protected nationalized firms as part of tripartite alliances which included foreign, state and domestic private enterprises.

In contrast to previous elected civilian regimes which strived – not always successfully – to increase pensions, wages and living standards and recognized labor legislation, President Bolsonaro has promised to fire thousands of public sector employees, reduce pensions and increase retirement age while lowering salaries and wages in order to increase profits and lower costs to capitalists.

President Bolsonaro promises to reverse land reform, expel, arrest and assault peasant households in order to re-instate landlords and encourage foreign investors in their place. The deforestation of the Amazon and its handover to cattle barons and land speculators will include the seizure of millions of acres of indigenous land.

In foreign policy, the new Brazilian regime pledges to follow US policy on every strategic issue: Brazil supports Trump's economic attacks on China, embraces Israel's land grabs in the Middle East, (including moving its capital to Jerusalem), back US plots to boycott and policies to overthrow the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. For the first time, Brazil has offered the Pentagon military bases, and military forces in any and all forthcoming invasions or wars.

The US celebration of President Bolsonaro's gratuitous handovers of resources and wealth and surrender of sovereignty is celebrated in the pages of the Financial Times, the Washington Post and the New York Times who predict a period of growth, investment and recovery – if the regime has the 'courage' to impose its sellout.

As has occurred in numerous recent experiences with right wing neo-liberal regime changes in Argentina, Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador, financial page journalists and experts have allowed their ideological dogma to blind them to the eventual pitfalls and crises.

The Bolsonaro regime's economic policies ignore the fact that they depend on agro-mineral exports to China and compete with US exports Brazilian ago-business elites will resent the switch of trading partners.. They will oppose, defeat and undermine Bolsonaro's anti-China campaign if he dares to persists.

Foreign investors will takeover public enterprises but are not likely to expand production given the sharp reduction of employment, salaries and wages, as the consumer market declines.

Banks may make loans but demand high interest rates for high 'risks' especially as the government will face increased social opposition from trade unions and social movements, and greater violence from the militarization of society.

Bolsonaro lacks a majority in Congress who depend on the electoral support of millions of public employees, wage and salaried workers ,pensioners,and gender and racial minorities. Congressional alliance will be difficult without corruption and compromises Bolsonaro's cabinet includes several key ministers who are under investigation for fraud and money laundering. His anti-corruption rhetoric will evaporate in the face of judicial investigations and exposés.

Brazil is unlikely to provide any meaningful military forces for regional or international US military adventures. The military agreements with the US will carry little weight in the face of deep domestic turmoil.

Bolsanaro's neo-liberal policies will deepen inequalities especially among the fifty million who have recently risen out of poverty. The US embrace of Brazil will enrich Wall Street who will take the money and run, leaving the US facing the ire and rejection of their failed ally.

The US Confronts China

Unlike Brazil, China is not prepared to submit to economic plunder and to surrender its sovereignty. China is following its own long-term strategy which focuses on developing the most advanced sectors of the economy – including cutting edge electronics and communication technology.

Chinese researchers already produce more patents and referred scientific articles than the US. They graduate more engineers, advanced researchers and innovative scientists than the US based on high levels of state funding . China with an investment rate of over 44% in 2017, far surpasses the US. China has advanced, from low to high value added exports including electrical cars at competitive prices. For example, Chinese i-phones are outcompeting Apple in both price and quality.

China has opened its economy to US multi-national corporations in exchange for access to advanced technology, what Washington dubs as 'forced' seizures.

China has promoted multi-lateral trade and investment agreement ,including over sixty countries, in large-scale long-term infrastructure agreements throughout Asia and Africa.

Instead of following China's economic example Washington whines of unfair trade, technological theft, market restrictions and state constraints on private investments.

China offers long-term opportunities for Washington to upgrade its economic and social performance – if Washington recognized that Chinese competition is a positive incentive. Instead of large-scale public investments in upgrading and promoting the export sector, Washington has turned to military threats, economic sanctions and tariffs which protect backward US industrial sectors. Instead of negotiating for markets with an independent China, Washington embraces vassal regimes like Brazil's under newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro who relies on US economic control and takeovers.

ORDER IT NOW

The US has an easy path to dominating Brazil for short-term gains – profits, markets and resources, but the Brazilian model is not viable or sustainable. In contrast the US needs to negotiate, bargain and agree to reciprocal competitive agreements with China ..The end result of cooperating with China would allow the US to learn and grow in a sustainable fashion.

[Jan 15, 2019] The Trump-Russia Scam - How Obama Enabled The FBI To Spy On Trump

Mueller investigation is a continuation of JFK assassination by other means.
Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Now, as the 'Russian influence' narrative is dying down, the anti-Trump - anti-Russian campaign is moving to new grounds. ..."
"... Initiating a counter-intelligence investigation, for which there was no basis, gave the FBI, and later the Mueller investigation, unfettered access to NSA 'signals intelligence' that could then possibly be used to incriminate Trump or his associates. ..."
"... It was the Obama administration which had given the FBI access to this tool : ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Trump is no populist. A populist can't be elected by the money-based US political system. Trump's election was almost certainly arranged ..."
"... Then why did Trump nominate Gina Haspel as head of the CIA? She is the acolyte of Trump nemesis Brennan. Why does Trump choose people like Nikki Halley, Pompeo, Bolton? ..."
"... "I very much dislike most of Trump's domestic and foreign policy. But he was duly elected under the existing rules. The campaign the media and the intelligence services have since run against him undermines the will of the people." ..."
"... the assassination of JFK opened the floodgates of blatant depravity perpetrated by those whose greed and lust for power will ultimately destroy us. ..."
"... There are trends: A growing US citizen realization that their political system prior to Trump was nearly completely corrupt; the Clintons are more broadly understood as the pathological criminals that they are; the Podesta emails with their sick connotations remain 'in the air' - See Ben Swann's work, for example. The Clinton Foundation is far more broadly understood as a massive criminal enterprise. ..."
"... "Pompeo met on October 24 [at Trump's request] with William Binney, a former National Security Agency official-turned-whistleblower who co-authored an analysis published by a group of former intelligence officials that challenges the U.S. intelligence community's official assessment that Russian intelligence was behind last year's theft of data from DNC computers. Binney and the other former officials argue that the DNC data was "leaked," not hacked, "by a person with physical access" to the DNC's computer system." ..."
"... In short the last two years have been about trying to defeat Trump but the attackers are looking more and more wounded, and Trump, well, he's hanging in there. General Kelly and others have described Trump's work ethic as exhausting. ..."
"... Trump has been put under intense investigation by Deep State hacks who are determined to see him impeached. And all they have come up with is that he is a compulsive pussy-grabber (no shit, hey?). ..."
"... Well, if he has then he has hidden them extraordinarily well, because Mueller with all his resources hasn't found any. Indeed, Mueller's investigation is so well-resourced that the only conclusion I can reach is that Trump has no such skeletons. ..."
"... "Simply put, the Russia NIA is not an "IC-coordinated" assessment -- the vehicle for such coordination, the NIC, was not directly involved in its production, and no NIO was assigned as the responsible official overseeing its production. Likewise, the Russia NIA cannot be said to be the product of careful coordination between the CIA, NSA and FBI -- while analysts from all three agencies were involved in its production, they were operating as part of a separate, secretive task force operating under the close supervision of the Director of the CIA, and not as an integral part of their home agency or department." ..."
"... Escalation towards war with Russia was a matter of public record in late pre-election 2016, thanks to Clinton News Network ... now ask yourselves where is that general in the press conference nowadays? ..."
"... For a thorough update on the Integrity Initiative and its offshoots, check out the latest from legal investigator Barbara Boyd. ..."
"... To defeat the "Deep State" in the U.S., it is essential to understand the role of British Intelligence. While it is essential to know the role of Hillary Clinton, Obama, Comey, DOJ/FBI operatives, et.al., it is even more important to understand the geopolitical assumptions behind Russiagate. And for that, one must turn to the British. ..."
"... The aim of the counterintelligence operation and of the Russiagate hoax was not to build a prosecution case against President Trump. It was to put the United States in constitutional limbo by creating a parallel and competing center of constitutional legitimacy. ..."
"... Very difficult to judge: what is the result of infighting in the US vs. any agreed-on never mind coherent foreign policy? That the question is even asked - all over the world now - spells stage one collapse. ..."
"... Trump's nationalist credentials are further belied by such things as: adding TPP provisions to the new North American trade agreement; attacking Syria based on false flags; arming Ukraine; pulling out of the INF treaty and engaging in an unnecessary and costly arms race; actively seeking to overthrow the governments of Iran and Venezuela; etc. ..."
"... My own theory about 2016 is that everybody miscalculated. Trump was (IMO) running as an ego-building publicity stunt. Hillary (and her Deep State sponsors) had actively helped Trump get the nomination with hundreds of millions of dollars of free publicity which also enhanced the bottom lines of Big Media. His multiple flaws were airbrushed away. ..."
Jan 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Despite the loss of major narratives, the war of the deep state against U.S. President Trump continues unabated. The main of tool in this war are allegations of relations between Trump and anything Russia. The war runs along several parallel paths.

The narrative war in the media is most visible one. When any of the fake stories about Trump and Russia gets debunked and disposed, new ones are created or others intensified.

In parallel to these propaganda efforts the deep state created an investigation that Trump has no way to escape from. Enabled by one of the Obama administrations last acts the investigation is using signal intelligence to entrap and flip the people surrounding Trump (see section three below). The big price will be Trump himself. Here we take a look at what transpired during the last weeks.


One major anti-Trump narrative was that 'Russian influence' helped to put him into office. This was based on the alleged nefarious influence a Russian clickbait company, the Internet Research Agency (IRA) in St. Peterburg, had on the U.S. electorate. That explanation never made sense. Little of the IRA activities had to do with the election. It used sockpuppets on Facebook and Twitter to attract people to websites filled with puppy pictures or similar nonsense. The IRA would then sell advertisement and promotions on these sites.

This was obvious for anyone following the factual content of the news instead of the 'opinions' a whole bunch of anti-Trump 'experts' and the media formed around them.

That the Mueller investigation finally indicted several of the IRA's officers over minor financial transactions was seen as a confirmation of the political aspects of the IRA activities. But nearly all the reporting left out that Mueller confirmed the commercial intent behind the IRA and its activities. There is nothing political in the accusations. Indeed point 95 of the Mueller indictment of the IRA says:

Defendants and their co-conspirators also used the accounts to receive money from real U.S. persons in exchange for posting promotions and advertisements on the ORGANIZATION-controlled social media pages. Defendants and their co-conspirators typically charged certain U.S. merchants and U.S. social media sites between 25 and 50 U.S. dollars per post for promotional content on their popular false U.S. persona accounts , including Being Patriotic, Defend the 2nd, and Blacktivist.

Part of the false narrative of a political influence campaign was the claim that the $100,000 the IRA spent for advertisement to promote its clickbait webpages through Facebook ads somehow moved people to vote for Trump. But 56% of the IRA ads ran after the election, 25% of all its ads were never seen by anyone. How a few $10,000 for ads only few saw moved an election that was fought with several billions spent by each candidate's campaign was left unexplained.

This week, only fifteen month after this site came to the conclusion that IRA was a commercial clickbait business , the Washington Post finally admitted that the alleged political targeting of voters by the IRA never happened:

[T]he common understanding is that Russia's interference efforts included sophisticated targeting of specific voting groups on Facebook, which could have made the difference in states that Trump narrowly won on his way to an electoral-vote victory.

That understanding about Russia's sophisticated targeting, though, is not supported by the evidence -- if it's not flat-out wrong.
...
Most of the ads purchased by the Russians didn't specify a geographic target smaller than the United States on the whole, according to a Post review of the ads released by the House Intelligence Committee. Those that did target specific states heavily targeted those that weren't really considered targets of the 2016 election, such as Missouri and Maryland. And of those ads that did target specific states, most happened well before or well after the final weeks of the campaign.

All the claims that some Russian sockpuppets influenced the 2016 elections were and are nonsense. The IRA sockpuppets never had any political intent.

Likewise the allegations that Russian intelligence hacked the DNC and Clinton crony Podesta's email are mere assertions for which no hard evidence was ever provided. The only known fact is that the emails and papers were real, and that there content revealed the shoddiness of Hillary Clinton, the DNC, and her campaign.

Now, as the 'Russian influence' narrative is dying down, the anti-Trump - anti-Russian campaign is moving to new grounds. Last week the New York Times claimed that Paul Manafort, who for some time ran the Trump election campaign, gave public and internal polling data to the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska: Manafort Accused of Sharing Trump Polling Data With Russian Associate . A day after that sensational claim made a large splash throughout U.S. media the New York Times recanted:

Kenneth P. Vogel @kenvogel - 18:39 utc - 9 Jan 2019

CORRECTION: PAUL MANAFORT asked KONSTANTIN KILIMNIK to pass TRUMP polling to the Ukrainian oligarchs SERHIY LYOVOCHKIN & RINAT AKHMETOV, & not to OLEG DERIPASKA, as originally reported. We have corrected the story & I deleted a tweet repeating the error.

Duh. Manafort gave polling data to his Ukrainian fixer Konstantin Kilimnik with the request to pass it along to Ukrainian oligarchs for who he had worked before joining the Trump campaign. Kilimnik had long worked for the International Republican Institute office in Moscow. The IRI is a CIA offshot under Republican Party tutelage that is used to influence politics abroad. Its long time head was the deceased hawkish Senator John McCain. While he worked with Kilimnik in the Ukraine, Manafort concentrated on moving the Ukraine towards the European Union and away from Russia. His and Kilimnik efforts were always opposed to Russian interests. But the NYT and others falsely try to pass them off as the opposite with the sole purpose of feeding the anti-Trump/anti-Russia campaign.

Another anti-Trump/anti-Russian propaganda effort is a new sensational NYT piece on obvious misbehavior in the upper rows of the FBI :

In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president's behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests , according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president's own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow's influence.

The NYT lets it seem as if the decision to launch a counter-intelligence investigation related to Trump was as based on some reasonable suspicion the FBI had. It was not. This was an act of revenge by the upper anti-Trump echelons in the FBI with which they attempted to undermine Trump's presidency. Note what the claimed suspicion was based on:

Mr. Trump had caught the attention of F.B.I. counterintelligence agents when he called on Russia during a campaign news conference in July 2016 to hack into the emails of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Mr. Trump had refused to criticize Russia on the campaign trail, praising President Vladimir V. Putin. And investigators had watched with alarm as the Republican Party softened its convention platform on the Ukraine crisis in a way that seemed to benefit Russia.

Other factors fueled the F.B.I.'s concerns, according to the people familiar with the inquiry. Christopher Steele, a former British spy who worked as an F.B.I. informant, had compiled memos in mid-2016 containing unsubstantiated claims that Russian officials tried to obtain influence over Mr. Trump by preparing to blackmail and bribe him.

Trump made a joke during the election campaign asking Russia to release the 30,000 emails Hillary Clinton had deleted from her illegal private email server. There is no requirement, as far as I know, for any candidate to criticize this or that country. How can not following the non existing requirement to criticize Russia be suspicious? The Republican Party did not soften its convention platform on Ukraine. It rejected an amendment that would have further sharpened it. Overall the Republican platform was more hawkish than the Democratic one. The Steele dossier was of course from A to Z made up nonsense paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

It is non sensible to claim that these were reasonable suspicions sufficient to open a counter-intelligence investigation. The hasty FBI move to launch a counter-intelligence operation obviously had a different motive and aim.

After Trump fired FBI director Comey, the FBI was led by Andrew McCabe, later also fired for leaking to the media and lying about it. His legal council was Lisa Page who exchange tons of anti-Trump SMS messages with her lover, the FBI agent Peter Strozk. These are the people who initiated the counter-intelligence investigation :

Strzok and Page sent other text messages that raise the possibility they were discussing opening up a counterintelligence investigation against Trump before Comey's firing.

"And we need to open the case we've been waiting on now while Andy is acting ," Strzok wrote to Page on the day of Comey's ouster.

Andy is Andrew McCabe, who served as deputy FBI director.

Page gave some indication in her congressional testimony in July 2018 that the text message was a reference to an investigation separate from the obstruction probe that has already been reported.

Normally the FBI needs to clear such counter-intelligence investigations with the Justice Department. In this case it did not do so at all :

In the case of the investigation into Trump, the FBI's decision to open a file on the president so quickly after Comey's firing in May 2017 was a source of concern for some officials at the Justice Department because the FBI acted without first consulting leadership at the department . But those worries were allayed when, days later, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III was appointed to oversee the Russia probe ...

After Comey was fired, the FBI made a very hasty move, without reasonable suspicion and without informing the Justice Department, to launch a counter-intelligence operation involving the sitting president and his administration. What was the real purpose of this move?

Initiating a counter-intelligence investigation, for which there was no basis, gave the FBI, and later the Mueller investigation, unfettered access to NSA 'signals intelligence' that could then possibly be used to incriminate Trump or his associates.

It was the Obama administration which had given the FBI access to this tool :

The Hoarse Whisperer @HoarseWisperer - 4:05 utc - 12 Jan 2019

On his way out the door, we all were wallowing in our winter of discontent, Obama signed an executive order...
...
The order revised the rules around intelligence sharing among our intel community. Specifically, it made the firehose of raw intelligence collected by the NSA directly accessible to the FBI and CIA. Instead of having to ask for intel and getting what they filtered down the FBI and CIA could directly access the unfiltered "SigInt" or signals intelligence. Intercepted phone calls, emails, raw intel from human sources. Everything our vast intelligence vacuum hoovers up, available directly... but only for counterintel and foreign intel purposes .

The NSA can sit on virtually every communication into and out of the U.S. that takes place over networks. Obama made it possible for the FBI to directly access everything they had on Trump, et al. Obama supercharged the FBI's ability to investigate Trump.

The Obama administration enacted the changed executive order EO 12333 in early January 2017, shortly before Trump took over:

Previously, the N.S.A. filtered information before sharing intercepted communications with another agency, like the C.I.A. or the intelligence branches of the F.B.I. and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The N.S.A.'s analysts passed on only information they deemed pertinent, screening out the identities of innocent people and irrelevant personal information.

Now, other intelligence agencies will be able to search directly through raw repositories of communications intercepted by the N.S.A. and then apply such rules for "minimizing" privacy intrusions.
...
[T]he 12333 sharing procedures allow analysts, including those at the F.B.I., to search the raw data using an American's identifying information only for the purpose of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence investigations , not for ordinary criminal cases. And they may do so only if one of several other conditions are met, such as a finding that the American is an agent of a foreign power.

However, under the rules, if analysts stumble across evidence that an American has committed any crime, they will send it to the Justice Department.

At that time Peter Lee, aka Chinahand, already had the suspicion that Obama was behind the FBI campaign against Trump.

With the changes in EO 12333 Obama gave the FBI the ability to launch a world wide snooping operation against the incoming Trump administration under the guise of a 'counter-intelligence' operation. The hasty FBI move after Comey was fired activated this instrument. The Mueller investigation has since used it extensively. 'Crimes' revealed through the snooping operation are turned over to the Justice Department.

The NYT claim that the counter-intelligence investigation was initiated because of reasonable suspicion of Russian influence over Trump is nonsense. It was initiated to get access to a set of tools that would allow unlimited access to communication of Trump and anyone related to him. It was Obama who on his way out of the door gave the FBI these capabilities.

There are signs that the unlimited access the FBI and Mueller investigation have to signal intelligence is used to create prosecutions via ' parallel construction ':

The Hoarse Whisperer @HoarseWisperer - 18:50 utc - 12 Jan 2019

An active counterintel investigation means the Trump Administration's crimes were only as secure as the weakest link in their weakest moment. We got hints of this early. Our intelligence folks picked up "signals intelligence" or SigInt from Russians talking to Russians.
Those "signals" aren't the kind of evidence that finds its way into a courtroom. In fact, it's important that it doesn't. It would burn sources and methods. It lays out the crimes and the players though... and then prosecutors find ways to make triable cases other ways .
The public sees cases for specific charges carrying significant prison time without ever knowing that the NSA and prosecutors knew so much more than they ever revealed. Now, apply those principles to the cases we've seen Mueller bring forward so far.

Mike Flynn: pleaded out to a minor charge, rolled over in full and then produced five rounds of documents. Likely: Flynn was confronted with the intel they had on him and knew he was cooked. They knew the crimes. They heard and saw everything. There'd be no escape.

By flipping and pleading out Flynn, all of that secret intel stays secret. Our intelligence efforts are protected. And Flynn goes down. And he cooks a bunch of other gooses. He's savvy enough to know that once they have the intel, all that's left to do is make the case.
...

The 'crime' that di Flynn in was misremembering a phone call he had with the Russian ambassador. Similar happened with Rick Gates, Paul Manafort's righthand man and a member of Trump's transition team. Then it happened to Paul Manafort himself and to George Papadopoulos.

The Mueller investigation, thanks to the snooping Obama and the FBI enabled, knows the content of every phonecall, chat and email any member of the Trump administration made and make to someone abroad (and likely also within the U.S.). It invites people as witnesses and asks them about the content of a specific calls they made. If they misremember or lie - bang - Mueller has the transcript ready. A crime has been created and an indictment for lying to the FBI will follow. This is what happened to Flynn and the others the Mueller investigation entrapped and convicted.

Because of the counter-intelligence investigation the anti-Trump gang in the FBI hastened to initiate, the investigators got hands on signal intelligence - phone calls, chats and emails - that allowed them to indict minor people for petty crimes and to flip them to talk to the investigation.

The aim, in the end, was and is to build a prosecution case against President Trump for whatever minor and petty half-backed illegal doing there may be.


To make such a prosecution and an indictment publicly palpable the media is assigned with launching story after story about nefarious relations between Trump and anything Russia.

As we have seen above with the IRA story, the retracted NYT 's Manafort bang, and the NYT's false claims about the motive of the FBI's counter-intelligence investigation, none of these stories hold up to diligent scrutiny. Today's Washington Post adds another example of no-beef stories that insinuate mystic 'Russian influence' over Trump:

Trump has concealed details of his face-to-face encounters with Putin from senior officials in administration .

The first graph claims:

President Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin , including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials, current and former U.S. officials said.

The rest of the story largely refutes the claim made in its headline and very first sentence:

Trump did so after a meeting with Putin in 2017 in Hamburg that was also attended by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
...
Trump generally has allowed aides to listen to his phone conversations with Putin ..
...
In an email, Tillerson said that he " was present for the entirety of the two presidents' official bilateral meeting in Hamburg,"...

After Trump had a first White House meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in Washington, lots of leaks about the talk appeared in the DC media. Trump was accused of giving information about an ISIS plot to the Russians that was allegedly secret. It was not . Since then Trump clamped down on the number of participants, briefings and readouts for such talks. That is simply a necessary and laudable behavior. Now the media try to construct that into 'Trump is concealing details' about talks with Russia even when the U.S. Secretary of State and others are present in these.


Ever since Trump won the Republican primaries, the Clinton campaign, the Obama administration and the U.S. and British intelligence services prepared to prevent a successful Trump presidency. The Steele dossier, created by 'former' British intelligence agents and paid for by the Clinton campaign, was the basis for an FBI investigation that was seen as an insurance against a Trump win. Any possible Russia relations Trump might have came under scrutiny. This prevented him from fulfilling his campaign promise of coming to better relations with Russia.

Shortly before Obama left the office he created the tool the FBI needed to put its investigation on steroids. When Trump fired Comey for his handling of the Clinton email affair, the FBI put that tool into action. With unfettered access to signal intelligence the Mueller investigation was able to entrap a number of Trump related people and to flip them to its side. It will use any information they give up to find some angle under which Trump can be prosecuted and eventually impeached. Even if nothing comes off this investigations, the media reports and slander all this created may well be enough to prevent an election of Trump for a second term.

I very much dislike most of Trump's domestic and foreign policy. But he was duly elected under the existing rules. The campaign the media and the intelligence services have since run against him undermines the will of the people. Unfortunately I see no way that Trump could escape from the hold it has gained over him. Exposing it as much as possible might well be his best defense.


Jose Garcia , Jan 13, 2019 1:51:10 PM | link

It is information that is put out there that is never cross checked by the American people. They are too busy, too involved with other things or too stupid to find out the true facts. It is hard to predict what will occur next year. I feel it all depends who wins the primary on the Democrat side.

Jackrabbit , Jan 13, 2019 2:32:02 PM | link
I have to take issue with a few points, b.

[Trump] ... was duly elected under the existing rules. The campaign the media and the intelligence services have since run against him undermines the will of the people.

There is a major flaw in reasoning here. Trump is no populist. A populist can't be elected by the money-based US political system. Trump's election was almost certainly arranged:

  • The anti-Russia campaign began in earnest in 2014 (well before the 2016 election);
  • Trump's pre-election relationship to the Clinton's is highly suspect: they were likely to be much closer than we have been led to believe;
  • An FBI informant worked for Trump for over 10 years - during the time that Mueller was FBI director;
  • Trump was the ONLY populist on the Republican side (out of 19 contenders!);
  • Sanders was a 'sheepdog' and Hillary ran a terrible campaign in which she made obvious mistakes that a seasoned campaigner like herself would never make;
  • British involvement in the election (Fusion GPS, Cambridge Analytica, a Brit 'spy' in the Sanders campaign, etc.) suggests CIA-MI6 working together;
  • Trump Administration policies are consistent those of Clinton-Bush-Obama:
> Obamacare was not repealed "on day one" - it has been strengthened by not defending coverage for prior conditions;

> Trump put TPP provisions into his new North American trade deal;

> Trump continues ME meddling;

> Trump continues militarism and tax cutting;

> Etc.

The only major "difference" that I can think of are Trump's Wall and China tariffs. But these are consistent with the 'Deep State' goals.
Surveys show that the "will of the people" is very different than the neoliberal, neoconservative policies that the establishment fosters upon us.

MAGA is a POLICY CHOICE as much as it is a campaign slogan. It is designed to meet the challenge posed by Russia and China and 'turn the page' on the deceit and duplicity of the Obama Administration just as Obama's "Change You Can Believe In" was designed to turn the page on the the militarism of the Bush Administration. These BI-PARTISAN page-turnings ensure that there is no accountability and provides each new Administration with a new sly story line that the public readily swallows. Each new Presidential charade entertains and misdirects as the interests of the Empire are advanced with a refreshed box of tricks and dishonest narratives.

...war of the deep state against U.S. President Trump continues unabated.

Then why did Trump nominate Gina Haspel as head of the CIA? She is the acolyte of Trump nemesis Brennan. Why does Trump choose people like Nikki Halley, Pompeo, Bolton?

The war of the Deep State is a psyop to crush dissent as the butt-hurt Deep State continues to pursue their dream of global hegemony. Anyone that believes that Trump is no part of that psyop is delusional.

radiator , Jan 13, 2019 2:36:06 PM | link
Wow, man. Thanks to you and all the regulars here who contribute to gathering relevant info from all kinds of sources. I hate to repeat myself, but I feel that a little praise every 3 or 6 months is not too much spamming. This is what serious journalism looks like.
Jackrabbit , Jan 13, 2019 2:43:34 PM | link
Zachary Smith @2: ... I just don't buy into the "insurance" theory.

And I don't buy the theory that Hillary is hell bent on war. The Clinton's are very rational and calculating and no President has the freedom that your theory suggests. IMO what the Deep State has done under their man Trump is very similar to what the Deep State would have done if they had selected Clinton instead. The fact is, a populist nationalist is what was deemed necessary to meet the challenge from Russia and China. And that is what we got (surprise!).

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Furthermore, focusing on personality and Party is just what they want

"Watch what they do, not what they say" has a corollary: pay attention to the polices, not the politicians.

jacktheokie , Jan 13, 2019 3:01:49 PM | link
MoA's final paragraph is just about how I feel.

"I very much dislike most of Trump's domestic and foreign policy. But he was duly elected under the existing rules. The campaign the media and the intelligence services have since run against him undermines the will of the people."

This pretty well sums it up for me. Being old enough to remember FDR and the brief rise of the middle class in the 40's, 50's and 60's (and having benefited from that attempt at leveling the playing field), I am more than saddened at the downward spiral of our nation. Politics have obviously never been clean and fair, but the assassination of JFK opened the floodgates of blatant depravity perpetrated by those whose greed and lust for power will ultimately destroy us.

donkeytale , Jan 13, 2019 3:19:32 PM | link
Of course b you have nothing here to offer except your opinion. Your views regarding the relentlessness of the US criminal justice system are on target, just ask the underclasses about that. Once in view, you are never let be and in the US everyone can be found guilty of something.

Rather nice to see the pampered son of inherited tax-free wealth on the receiving end for once, in my opinion.

Trump is a crook. Russian collusion is his smokescreen. His crimes have already been demonstrated through what little we already know and there is still much we don't know and probably never will know.

This essay reads something like a veiled mea culpa from you.

You were wrong about Trump from the get go. Why not just admit it and move along? Why remain steadfastly in thrall to any shred of rightwing, authoritarianism of the elite masquerading as populism?

Whatever Trump gets from the criminal justice system, Congress or the voters appears to be well-deserved. He has brought this on himself and really there is no one else to blame even as he never will accept responsibility. He is stupid at best, dishonest at best, a useful idiot at best.

Trump saved his ass financially after a series of disastrous business bankruptcies by accepting what appears by all indications to be laundered money from literally hundreds of anonymous shell companies investing in his condos since at least 2008.

He has run roughshod over the emoluments clause quite openly.

I do believe, knowing what we know now, he will probably avoid indictment and escape impeachment, maybe only through resignation/pardon but more likely the old fashioned way: defeat at the polls in 2020.

In many ways Trump has done some good by reinvigorating the US left (such as it is) and bringing at least enough cohesion in the ranks of a badly splintered populace mainly among white females and white college educated voters who now reject the GOP, or at least the GOP of Trump.

Whether this will lead to badly needed fixes for the heinous wealth inequality (started with Reagan) is doubtful but at least the conversation is now underway (started with Bernie) which is the first step.

Tax increases, social security stabilisation, re-funneling wasted MIC billions to domestic programs for the poor, etc.

It is a start. Will it become a solution or a revolution in time?

That is up to the people who are still under the yoke of neoliberalism and global capital flight.

Don Bacon , Jan 13, 2019 3:29:06 PM | link
re:
Mike Flynn: pleaded out to a minor charge, rolled over in full and then produced five rounds of documents. Likely: Flynn was confronted with the intel they had on him and knew he was cooked. They knew the crimes. They heard and saw everything. There'd be no escape.
By flipping and pleading out Flynn, all of that secret intel stays secret. Our intelligence efforts are protected. And Flynn goes down. And he cooks a bunch of other gooses. He's savvy enough to know that once they have the intel, all that's left to do is make the case.//

So the situation is worse than I thought. The clear inference is that (1) Flynn (and others) really did commit some major crimes, and then (2) got off easy by admitting to a memory lapse (3) while cooking a bunch of other gooses.

Flynn does the easy (2) and gets away with (1) and (3), both very serious. This is justice?

Zachary Smith , Jan 13, 2019 3:42:11 PM | link
@ Jackrabbit #6

Well sir, opinions certainly do vary on this issue.

As you may recall, the woman threatened conflict on cyberattacks.

"As president, I will make it clear that the United States will treat cyberattacks just like any other attack," the Democratic presidential nominee said. "We will be ready with serious political, economic and military responses."

Regarding the Deep State and Trump, Syria is in the process of winning against the neocons. And Iran has not yet been attacked. Hillary has a record, and for the most part hasn't even tried to run away from it.

Hillary Clinton's War Record – 100% For Genocide

If you know of any instances of the woman speaking against the War Solution to problems, kindly tell me about them.

Trump is an incomparable jerk, but perhaps not quite as bad as HRC.

james , Jan 13, 2019 3:43:30 PM | link
thanks b... the topic is so very tiring.. i am sick of hearing about it.. if the usa fell off a cliff and never came back again - i would be fine with that.. thank you regardless, for taking it apart and trying ti dispel the bullshite.. it is so thick, it defies logic.. i agree with @1 jose garcia, and @4 radiator...

trump is a crook... so what? most of the business class in the west are at this point! politics and crookery go hand in hand... i would be surprised if it was any different at this point in time.. how about the intel agencies? you want to sleep with them? lol..

Hoarsewhisperer , Jan 13, 2019 3:57:17 PM | link
There's either something wrong with this assumption, or something we're not being told...

The Mueller investigation, thanks to the snooping Obama and the FBI enabled, knows the content of every phonecall, chat and email any member of the Trump administration made and make to someone abroad (and likely also within the U.S.). It invites people as witnesses and asks them about the content of a specific calls they made. If they misremember or lie - bang - Mueller has the transcript ready. A crime has been created and an indiction for lying to the FBI will follow. This is what happened to Flynn and the others the Mueller investigation entrapped and convicted.

Option 1. Something wrong? If you're being cross-examined in a court or pseudo-legal forum about things you may or may not remember, you have the right to decline to answer a question, or to preface any and every answer with the phrase "If I remember correctly blah blah blah..."

Option 2. Something we're not being told? If the interrogators were able to ambush Flynn, then it's probably because they didn't acquaint him with all of his rights, or he didn't have a lawyer with him.

Trump's not stupid. He won't blunder into a situation bereft of any semblance of legal Human Rights protections designed to ambush him. And if he can't have a lawyer with him when the questions start, then he can probably refuse to attend without breaking any law.

Tess Ting , Jan 13, 2019 3:57:41 PM | link
@donkeytale There has been close to three years of serious investigative intent to lay a glove on Trump (HRC's team, the FBI and Mueller) and there is only the merest scratch of a womaniser (which with three marriages doesn't come as a surprise). What is quite remarkable, despite all the investigative effort, is how clean Trump has managed to keep himself despite building a fortune in one of the toughest cities in the world, building himself up through the eras of the five families, junk bonds and ponzi schemes and soviet union mobsters, not to mention the corruption of the poltical classes and regulatory abuses and unionised labor.

For the world's he moves in, the only explanation that gives him enough protection is that for a long time Trump has been a protected FBI asset for one of the field offices, possibly now senior service figures. And it's this deep relationship with well connected parts of the FBI or other secret services that has given him the ability to steer past the various attempts by the deep state. Why, for instance, do we have such a lot of leakage of the inner workings of the anti-Trump FBI? Some part of the deep state has become disgusted at the spying (eg on congress), the blackmailing, the warmongering, and deep corruption of the anti-constitutionalists, and Trump is their vengence. You just have to decide which side you are on...

Zachary Smith , Jan 13, 2019 4:06:26 PM | link
"Tess Ting" #14

I read that as Testing - perhaps a trial/demonstration as a professional troll for somebody or other. How else to interpret "only the merest scratch of a womaniser" or "how clean Trump has managed to keep himself". Maybe I'm surprised not to also see praise for the clever Government Shutdown.

Peter AU 1 , Jan 13, 2019 4:11:46 PM | link
Hoarsewhisperer 13 I think it unlikely that the likes of Flynn would not know their basic legal rights.
brian , Jan 13, 2019 4:17:24 PM | link
meanwhile..trump and his appointees attack legitimacy of Venezuela govt.
Trump is in bad odor at home while seeking to attack other govts.

' Washington has explicitly expressed its support for a potential coup against the elected Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, by offering its backing to the opposition and stating outright it was time for a "new government."

"The Maduro regime is illegitimate and the United States will continue ... to work diligently to restore a real democracy" to Venezuela, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on his trip to the Middle East on Saturday, adding that Washington would attempt to make the Latin American nations "come together to deliver that."'
https://www.rt.com/news/448673-us-venezuela-time-new-government/

Peter AU 1 , Jan 13, 2019 4:25:14 PM | link
One thing the US deep state and their muller proxy would have on Trump, and most if not all of Trump's team, is collusion with Israel (can this convert into charges of treason as threats). A weapon that is good for threats against and turning those around Trump, and possibly used in as a last resort to remove Trump.
Peter AU 1 , Jan 13, 2019 4:33:00 PM | link
Adding to my post @ 18
Pat Lang has a post up "What is wrong with Trump?" "But, how does one explain his lack of action on the border? Does someone or some thing in Russia, Israel, the UK, his former business associates, have something really juicy on Trump, something that he fears to unleash through decisive action? pl"

Collusion with Israel is something neither side - team Trump and the deep state - would wish to bring into the open, but this may be the only thing they have on Trump.

Robert Snefjella , Jan 13, 2019 4:43:58 PM | link
Great journalism b!

A few more points: from: https://theconservativetreehouse.com/

"On Thursday November 17th, 2016, NSA Director Mike Rogers traveled to New York and met with President-Elect Donald Trump.

On Friday November 18th The Washington Post reported on a recommendation in "October" that [NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers] Mike Rogers be removed from his NSA position:

The heads of the Pentagon and the nation's intelligence community have recommended to President Obama that the director of the National Security
Agency, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, be removed.

In a move apparently unprecedented for a military officer, Rogers, without notifying superiors, traveled to New York to meet with Trump on Thursday at Trump Tower.

Occam's Razor. NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers didn't want to participate in the spying scheme [on Trump]

(Clapper, Brennan, Etc.), which was the baseline for President Obama's post presidency efforts to undermine Donald Trump and keep Trump from digging into [who knows what crimes]"

After the visit by Rogers, Trump vacated Trump Towers. There is considerable irony in the Mueller 'probe' and the continuing avalanche of MSM lies and evasions and spin etc pertaining to Trump.

There are trends: A growing US citizen realization that their political system prior to Trump was nearly completely corrupt; the Clintons are more broadly understood as the pathological criminals that they are; the Podesta emails with their sick connotations remain 'in the air' - See Ben Swann's work, for example. The Clinton Foundation is far more broadly understood as a massive criminal enterprise.

Serious criminality at the highest levels of the FBI is now far more obvious to far more people

MSM as evil propaganda is more widely understood.

It is understood widely that the DNC material to Wikileaks was not 'hacked' (Binney)

From the theintercept.com :

"Pompeo met on October 24 [at Trump's request] with William Binney, a former National Security Agency official-turned-whistleblower who co-authored an analysis published by a group of former intelligence officials that challenges the U.S. intelligence community's official assessment that Russian intelligence was behind last year's theft of data from DNC computers. Binney and the other former officials argue that the DNC data was "leaked," not hacked, "by a person with physical access" to the DNC's computer system."

In short the last two years have been about trying to defeat Trump but the attackers are looking more and more wounded, and Trump, well, he's hanging in there. General Kelly and others have described Trump's work ethic as exhausting.

Brendan , Jan 13, 2019 5:12:30 PM | link
The Internet Research Agency (IRA) paid $100,000 for Facebook ads and then charged its customers for the clickbait service (between 25 and 50 U.S. dollars per post for promotional content). So even if the IRA didn't manage to make a profit, the net cost for them must have been much lower than $100,000. Does anyone know how much revenue it made from that operation? Facebook must know but they've kept quiet about it. Same with Mueller.
juliania , Jan 13, 2019 5:17:56 PM | link
Thank you, b. I am so glad I did not vote for Obama a second time around. A very rotten duopoly has taken over the US government, all based on the premise that money is speech and money runs government, the people be damned. Hence the shutdown being orchestrated by money, with Trump in the crosshairs.

I also very much adhere to your final paragraph's sentences. Let no one be in any doubt - what is underway is no less than traitorous activity, a clear violation of the US Constitution, motivated by corrupt individuals whose meanness is beyond dispute. How it can be redressed at this very late stage beggars the mind; I can only hope it be done as peacefully as possible.

vk , Jan 13, 2019 5:19:18 PM | link
If this is really true, then it's a clear sign of decline: Obama sacrificed a huge chunk of American freedom just for the sake of personal political revenge. The USA is transitioning from a laissez faire to a highly burocratized, byzantine economy.
Hal Duell , Jan 13, 2019 6:27:54 PM | link
Shortly after the USSR's experiment with communism collapsed, I read an article which suggested that if the noise from that fall was loud, even louder will be the noise when the second shoe (the American experiment with capitalism) falls. And this is the crux of why I appreciate The Donald. His is the most honest face the US can present to the world at this point in time. So look at it closely, and marvel at where we have come to.
Zachary Smith , Jan 13, 2019 6:47:25 PM | link
@ juliania #23
I am so glad I did not vote for Obama a second time around.

LOL (first time I've ever written this!)

You made the same mistake I did in 2008. The deck was really stacked in that election, though I was too blind to see it at the time. Smiling & smooth-talking black face issuing zillions of promises, and this was right after the Codpiece Commander. It took me a whole year to realize I'd been suckered, and by 2012 understood the fix was STILL on. Obama had lost most all of his glitter by then, so the Power Elites arranged his opposition to be a financial predator/Mormon bishop paired up with the most awful Libertarian POS I've ever seen. Speaking the honest truth here, I'd prefer to have Sarah Palin as POTUS to Paul Ryan. What a combo! That's why I offered anybody I met 10:1 odds on Obama winning. Hillary thought she had had seen a winning pattern from all that, and arranged to have as her opponent a fellow named Donald Trump.

Yeah, Right , Jan 13, 2019 8:35:30 PM | link
@15 Zachary Smith "How else to interpret 'only the merest scratch of a womaniser' or 'how clean Trump has managed to keep himself'."

Zachary Smith, I have been posting here for a number of years, and on this I have to agree with the newcomer Tess Ting

Trump has been put under intense investigation by Deep State hacks who are determined to see him impeached. And all they have come up with is that he is a compulsive pussy-grabber (no shit, hey?).

To my mind Trump is a very offensive human being, but that isn't an impeachable character trait. I had assumed that he would have skeletons in his cupboard that would be grounds for impeachment.

Well, if he has then he has hidden them extraordinarily well, because Mueller with all his resources hasn't found any. Indeed, Mueller's investigation is so well-resourced that the only conclusion I can reach is that Trump has no such skeletons.

As I say, that is extraordinary. But - apparently - also true.

Blooming Barricade , Jan 13, 2019 9:21:09 PM | link
Astonishing how out in the open the military coup plotting against Venezuela is right now, it was consisted an outrage to overthrow Allende and that was even before direct proof of US involvement, now the anti-war and left wing consciousness of the public and the intellectual class has been so corroded that nobody care and many even see an attempted coup as a god thing. The ideological counter revolution in full swing.
psychohistorian , Jan 13, 2019 9:48:09 PM | link
@ Yeah, Right who wrote:
"
Indeed, Mueller's investigation is so well-resourced that the only conclusion I can reach is that Trump has no such skeletons.
"

I would just bring your attention to the possibility that bringing Trump down brings them down as well. Your assertion that Trump doesn't have any skeletons in the closet is laughable.

Also consider that most of what is known comes from compromised sources and much of the house of cards we live is built on sketchy assumptions.

Cui Bono for Trump?

I am beginning to understand how Trump fits the elite plan and instead of your "grab them by the pussy" thought change it to "they have him by the balls". They played his ego to get him to run the race and then, gee, he won.

I now see Trump as the last great hope of the elite to carve out as big a chunk as they can of the new world....and try and hold onto it. The ongoing proxy conflicts will keep the musical chair game playing for a bit more but then something is going to stop the music.

A shrink told me once that after fire came music. What comes after music?

NemesisCalling , Jan 13, 2019 10:18:57 PM | link
@3 jr

How did I know that you would be first up after b's exhaustive story on the IC's corruption and utterly obvious attempt to take Trump down to cry, "Fiction."

Here is a reply to all your points:

- yes, the Russia-bad narrative was picking up steam before Trump's election. The MSM and TPTB incorrectly surmised that there would be enough anti-Russia fervor among the masses that pinning the accusation on Trump would stick. It did not. It is evidence of THEIR stupidity.
- you must have never heard of keeping your enemies close. The Clintons are powerbrokers. Trump used them. Maybe he did like them at one point, but clearly shat on his relationship with them and since the election they have truly been trashed and unable to recover any good fortune or power. The Dems made a mistake will backing HRC. They weren't acting under Deep State orders once again, Occam's Razor dictates that stupidity is the culprit here.
- How does FBI informant in campaign neccessarily implicate Trump in conspiracy and not confirm IC's weasely attempts to dig up dirt?
- Look at prior Repub primaries? Notice anything? Populists don't float in the Yacht Club Party, do they? Trump was an anomoly indicitive of the times (again, Occam's Razor).
- Again, it is absolutely absurd and suspicious that you can not admit that the Dems are a party of retards and that they consistently step over quarters to pick up pennies.
- Your opinion that Trump's policies do not differ from the Dems needs qualifying. I don't agree that his domestic policies align and verdict is still out on his FP. We know he is not a True-Believer, which is good.
- British involvement again suggests that the IC is compromised and globalized yielding national sovereignty to centralized planning. Trump deserves that ire and proves that there is a contest afoot.

Jen , Jan 13, 2019 10:32:05 PM | link
Tess Ting @ 14, Zachary Smith (really?!) @ 15, Yeah, Right @ 28, Psychohistorian @ 30:

Donald Trump has declared six business bankruptcies and there is considerable information on these bankruptcies if you Google for information on them, such as the article linked to here:
https://www.thoughtco.com/donald-trump-business-bankruptcies-4152019

If Trump's corporate bankruptcies are so well-known, and picked over several times by different media sources (even Snopes has covered them), surely any other behaviour or incident that might call Trump's character or ethics into question must have been uncovered by Robert Mueller by now?

ab initio , Jan 13, 2019 11:03:11 PM | link
I can't imagine the scale of exploding heads among the media talking heads and the establishment of the two parties, IF, Trump gets re-elected. DC would be in serious melt down. After 4 years of continuous assault the voters may actually repudiate the corporate media and the DC elites in the 2020 elections.

In any case with the Democrat candidates starting to announce we are essentially into the next presidential campaign. I don't think it is smart to under-estimate Trump's electoral chances.

slit , Jan 13, 2019 11:05:10 PM | link
Great work, B!

"Normally the FBI needs to clear such counter-intelligence investigations with the Justice Department. In this case it did not do so at all:"This sounds like the same "kangaroo court" MO Scott Ritter detailed a few years ago:

"Simply put, the Russia NIA is not an "IC-coordinated" assessment -- the vehicle for such coordination, the NIC, was not directly involved in its production, and no NIO was assigned as the responsible official overseeing its production. Likewise, the Russia NIA cannot be said to be the product of careful coordination between the CIA, NSA and FBI -- while analysts from all three agencies were involved in its production, they were operating as part of a separate, secretive task force operating under the close supervision of the Director of the CIA, and not as an integral part of their home agency or department."

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/did-17-intelligence-agencies-really-come-to-consensus-on-russia/

slit , Jan 13, 2019 11:25:22 PM | link
Zachary @2, JackRabbit:

Why does it have to be either-or?; it could have been for insurance AND warmongering narrative/dog whistling.

Escalation towards war with Russia was a matter of public record in late pre-election 2016, thanks to Clinton News Network ... now ask yourselves where is that general in the press conference nowadays?

DNC Russia Hotwar

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dIYHje-rv5w

Jackrabbit , Jan 14, 2019 1:19:29 AM | link
NemesisCalling @31: Here is a reply to all your points

Well, you haven't replied to all my points, nor have you addressed the the thrust of my remarks. But I'll answer the issues that you raised so my view is clear to everyone.

=
- yes, the Russia-bad narrative was picking up steam before Trump's election. The MSM and TPTB incorrectly surmised that there would be enough anti-Russia fervor among the masses that pinning the accusation on Trump would stick. It did not. It is evidence of THEIR stupidity.
Wrong. Firstly, I was referring to the anti-Russia imperative in official circles NOT to the propaganda effort. That imperative intensified greatly after Russia blocked USA-proxy takeover of Syria (2013), and Crimea and Donbas (2014). In fact, Kissinger wrote a WSJ Op-Ed in Aug 2014 that issued a cryptic call for MAGA.

"picking up steam before Trump's election" needs some unpacking. The anti-Russia fervor among the masses has been entirely concocted, and mostly AFTER 2014.

Nothing has stuck to Trump because there's no substance to the allegations.

=
- you must have never heard of keeping your enemies close. The Clintons are powerbrokers. Trump used them. Maybe he did like them at one point, but clearly shat on his relationship with them and since the election they have truly been trashed and unable to recover any good fortune or power. The Dems made a mistake will backing HRC. They weren't acting under Deep State orders once again, Occam's Razor dictates that stupidity is the culprit here.
What does Occam's Razor have to say about the remarkable continuity of US foreign and domestic policy for the last 30 years?

Trump and the Clintons were known to be close. Even their daughter's were/are close.

Are you unaware of the CIA connections of Clinton, Bush, and Obama? Should we assume that Trump is free of any such connection?

=
- How does FBI informant in campaign neccessarily implicate Trump in conspiracy and not confirm IC's weasely attempts to dig up dirt?
The FBI informant (Felix Sater) worked for Trump from about 2001 to 2013. This was essentially the same period in which Mueller was FBI Director. Mueller and Comey are close and are connected to the Clinton's.

The informant wasn't investigating Trump or digging up dirt on him, he was informing on the Russian mob, and probably using employment by Trump to get closer to the mob. FBI/counter intel might have also used info provided to turn some of the Russians into US intel assets.

=
- Look at prior Repub primaries? Notice anything? Populists don't float in the Yacht Club Party, do they? Trump was an anomoly indicitive of the times (again, Occam's Razor).
Have you heard of the Tea Party? Have you heard of Obama using the IRS against the Tea Party? Seems that a Republican populist would get a lot of votes against the hated Hillary who championed Obama's "legacy".

- Again, it is absolutely absurd and suspicious that you can not admit that the Dems are a party of retards and that they consistently step over quarters to pick up pennies.
You can't admit that the Dem's have failed the left so consistently that it is unlikely to be due to their mental capacity or an accident of circumstance.

=
- Your opinion that Trump's policies do not differ from the Dems needs qualifying. I don't agree that his domestic policies align and verdict is still out on his FP. We know he is not a True-Believer, which is good.
I didn't say that they don't differ from the Dems, I said that Trump policies are consistent with policies of previous Administrations and that Hillary likely would've ruled in much the same way.

=
- British involvement again suggests that the IC is compromised and globalized yielding national sovereignty to centralized planning. Trump deserves that ire and proves that there is a contest afoot
The US IC is undoubtedly primary and universally acknowledged to be the lead in the US-Brit Intel relationship.

The only 'contest' I can discern is how best to fool the people.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

You seem to believe that a populist outsider can be elected President. And, you also believe that a US President can be both all powerful (Obama) or constrained by Deep State whim (Trump).

You also seem to believe that Trump's rhetoric is gospel-truth and means what you think it does. Surprise! "Negotiation with Russia" doesn't mean peace. Troop 'pull out' doesn't mean it'll happen any time soon (and possibly never). Anti-TPP doesn't mean he won't implement TPP provisions in other trade agreements. Etc.

PS The establishment doesn't benefit DESPITE our populist President's, they benefit BECAUSE we are willing to believe that our populist President's work for US.

NemesisCalling , Jan 14, 2019 2:14:54 AM | link
Jr, it was a fruitless endeavor, to be sure, but I gave it a shot.

For the record, I never counted Trump as savior, although he could very well be if he continues on getting caught with his dick in his hand as the empire around him crumbles. He's not a true believer, but he can at the very least be a useful idiot for the real anti-imperialists in the world.

bryan hemming , Jan 14, 2019 7:05:34 AM | link
It is of note that Oleg Deripaska is not a stranger to the world of politics and politicians. Before his fortunes changed dramatically, Oleg Deripaska was well-known for entertaining world politicians on his luxury yacht moored off Kassiopi in the northwest corner of the Greek Island of Corfu.

The Rothschilds have an estate outside Kassiopi. Among the many high-powered friends and guests of Deripaska was UK Tory politician, George Osborne, who visited him on his yacht at Kassiopi while still British Chancellor of the Exchequer. Osborne and EU Commissioner Peter Mandelson, a powerful force in Tony Blair's government, were both guests at a function held aboard the yacht in 2008. Baron Mandelson's position in the EU, at the time, led to accusations of a conflict of interest.

Among other movers and shakers, John McCain was also a friend of Oleg Deripaska, but that friendship may have soured after the virtual collapse of the Russian billionaire companies. McCain was more a fairweather friend than a stalwart ally through thick and thin. The reason I mention these tidbits is because the corporate media fails to join all the pieces that show just how corrupt Western politicians have become.

Harley Schlanger , Jan 14, 2019 7:06:30 AM | link
For a thorough update on the Integrity Initiative and its offshoots, check out the latest from legal investigator Barbara Boyd.

To defeat the "Deep State" in the U.S., it is essential to understand the role of British Intelligence. While it is essential to know the role of Hillary Clinton, Obama, Comey, DOJ/FBI operatives, et.al., it is even more important to understand the geopolitical assumptions behind Russiagate. And for that, one must turn to the British.

https://larouchepac.com/20190110/part-ii-integrity-initiatives-foreign-agents-influence-invade-united-states

Hoarsewhisperer , Jan 14, 2019 7:36:44 AM | link
It would help to get a handle on the precise nature and format of these FBI "under oath" fishing expeditions if the FBI released transcripts of a few of the recent hi-profile Q & A sessions. If suspects are being convicted for misdemeanors of dubious relevance to the stated aim of the Mueller Crusade then transcripts would allow inconsistencies to be counted and evaluated. It would also be interesting to discover whether the FBI uses a seductive approach to questioning, or a confrontational approach, given the petty nature of the 'crimes' exposed to date.
Petri Krohn , Jan 14, 2019 8:58:50 AM | link
The aim of the counterintelligence operation and of the Russiagate hoax was not to build a prosecution case against President Trump. It was to put the United States in constitutional limbo by creating a parallel and competing center of constitutional legitimacy.

The Obama Administration would live on in the structure of this "investigation", without ever having to relinquish power to Trump. The investigation would form the center of "The Resistance", with the ability to question the legitimacy of the Trump Administration.

donkeytale , Jan 14, 2019 9:43:31 AM | link
Jackrabbit @ 37

I didn't say that they don't differ from the Dems, I said that Trump policies are consistent with policies of previous Administrations and that Hillary likely would've ruled in much the same way.

This is very true but only in the same sort of overgeneralised sense with you populate your latest CT. That is, sweep any of the plainly ridiculous assumptions in your theory under the widest possible rug available to conspiratards.

At least you aint exactly drinking the Orange Kool-Aid like so many of the posters on this thread. That's a big positive in my book. As for them, it's more a reflection of the love for rightwing authoritarianism than for Trump himself. What they really wish for is a crafier, shrewder Amerikkkan version of Putin, but they accept Trump because his bumbling is the existential proof of US decline in relative power, as if such proof was necessary.

And if you overlook all Trump's achievements (such as they are):

1. Obamacare/Medicaid expansion repeal and subsequent degradation of the enrollment and funding processes by executive degree when appeal failed thanks only to McCain's "in yo office sucka" thumbs down vote.

2. Tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations (basically same thing)

3. SCOTUS and federal bench selections


The US system is meant to create a uniparty environment whereby opposing views are compromised into a "third way" legislative process.

I grok this system is broken and completely controlled by the wealthiest (show me a political system anywhere that you prefer that is not controlled by the wealthiest) but the funding mechanisms need changing before there will ever be significant change to governing processes.

Trump through his ignorance, corruption and loose lips has tilted the playing field left. Hilliary through her elitism, arrogance, corruption and lack of retail political skills gets a big assist in the same tilting.

Those who believe (if any truly do) that Trump represents anything more than the end of Reaganist conservatism are "wishin' and hopin'" as Dusty Springfield would say.

I do applaud those who are willing to show in the comments that they suffer from the real "Trump Derangement Syndrome," such as your good buddy James. They're all crooks, in his opinion.

So what is it Jim? Do you excuse Trump only or do you excuse them all? LMAO

Peter AU 1 , Jan 14, 2019 9:45:39 AM | link
Putin January 2017 - "You know, there is a category of people who leave without saying goodbye, out of respect for the situation that has evolved, so as not to upset anything. And then there are people who keep saying goodbye but don't leave. I believe the outgoing administration belongs to the second category.

What are we seeing in the United States? We are seeing the continuation of an acute internal political struggle despite the fact that the presidential election is over and it ended in Mr Trump's convincing victory. Nevertheless, in my opinion, several goals are being set in this struggle. Maybe there are more, but some of them are perfectly obvious."

The first is to undermine the legitimacy of the US president-elect. By the way, in this regard, I would like to point out that whether deliberately or not, these people are causing enormous damage to US interests. Simply enormous. The impression is that, after a practice run in Kiev, they are now ready to organise a Maidan in Washington to prevent Trump from taking office."

Peter AU 1 , Jan 14, 2019 9:46:40 AM | link
The link for my post @45
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53744

Posted by: pretzelattack , Jan 14, 2019 10:05:43 AM | link

sure, no doubt trump has been involved in financial improprieties; this in no way means he colluded with Russia to fix the election, or that russia on its own hacked the election, or any of the other false narratives the ic is trying to cram down our throats with the connivance of the msm and (mostly, but there are some republicans pushing it, too) the "centrist" dems.

And the clintons have their own skeletons, but they seem to be judgement proof with the aid of comey et al.

donkeytale , Jan 14, 2019 10:22:40 AM | link
pretzelattack @ 47

The only real difference between Trump and the Clintons at end of the day is they are smart lawyers who obviously better understand how to navigate the treacherous legal waters surrounding them.

They also know what the definition of "is, is" and how to carefully craft their words in public, while Trump is all loose cannon all the time ahd his legal representation appears to follow his lead, IE Giuliani and Cohen.

Jackrabbit , Jan 14, 2019 10:53:12 AM | link
Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 14, 2019 9:45:39 AM | 45:
We are seeing the continuation of an acute internal political struggle despite the fact that the presidential election is over and it ended in Mr Trump's convincing victory.
Not really. What we are seeing is Deep State controlled media force-feeding the public a toxic concoction: the narrative of a political struggle that centers on anti-Russia hysteria.

Maybe you missed Romney's Op-Ed in which he praised Trump's pro-establishment policies while attacking his Russia-friendly 'pull out' from Syria. That's the best example of the two-faced establishment bullsh*t.

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

Robert Snefjella , Jan 14, 2019 10:57:29 AM | link
What is loosely called 'globalism', consisting of various trends and ideologies and practices: the EU and the aborted for now 'North American Union' and satellites, and cell phones able to instantly transmit images from the other side of the planet, and so on, has also importantly aimed at and advocated for and implemented various means by which national sovereignty was eroded.

And this erosion meant a reduction of the ability of a country's people to wield an effective national politics, let alone something vaguely democratic, or to implement policies which were at odds with the various globalist institutions and imperatives and programs. So we've seen on numerous occasions, for example, the IMF impose its globalist economic 'recipe' on a nation's economic policies.

And even the destruction of Libya in 2011 was primarily or importantly directed at preventing Libya from implementing a national financial strategy intended to give African countries an alternative to the depredations of global financial 'business as usual'.

But over the last two years the movement to restore or renovate national sovereignty has made something of a comeback.

So for example, Macron as recently as roughly two years ago was being lauded as a great new leader of the globalist project, and both he and Merkel have gone on record decrying the very concept of national sovereignty.

But now Macron and Merkel are largely reviled, especially Macron, by their people, and 'populist' enthusiasm strengthens. You can see the same trend in virtually every European country.

And in the United States, the tens of millions of 'deplorables' backing Trump are doing so partly, perhaps mostly, because he champions the restoration of national sovereignty and has questioned dominant globalist institutions.

Now for those who are committed to the view that Trump doesn't really mean it, that he isn't really an American nationalist, and so on, well, fine, believe what you like. But in the end, Trump's base of support is nationalistic, and that is as I noted above a very general trend that is quickly manifesting.

pretzelattack , Jan 14, 2019 11:17:45 AM | link
https://theintercept.com/2019/01/14/the-fbis-investigation-of-trump-as-a-national-security-threat-is-itself-a-serious-danger-but-j-edgar-hoover-pioneered-the-tactic/
Noirette , Jan 14, 2019 12:00:27 PM | link
Collapse ctd.

Re. the USA, when the handmaidens of power, aka politicians, the servant class in an oligarchic corporatist 'state,' are alarmingly seen to fight to the death in public it is crystal clear that control (which may take the shape of relatively informal and obscure networks ) is lost, .. > the 'fight' will only serve to weaken all parties.

Trump is loathed because he upset the apple cart and revealed weakness and fissures in the system. (+ possibly because he is an upstart, from the wrong side of whatever, has bad hair, is dumb, a thief, more )

He ran as an anti-establishment maverick:

- and was elected only for that reason. It was disconcertingly easy to do, which is also terrifying to the PTB. Plus, election/voter fraud did not perform as expected - help !! The MSM promoted him with mega 24/24 coverage - help !!

As the no. 1 disruptive foe is merely an elderly scummy biz type, an intruder, some other entity like malignant agressive Russia had to be associated with him. (Yes, is was Obama-Clinton who started the highjinks + the following Mueller investig.; see b at top - also, bashing Russia gradually took wing as it recovered under Putin, the Ukraine plots did not work out, etc. *Crimea!* the last straw! ..)

If Obama had announced that 2K USA personnel were to be withdrawn from Syria because the good folks want their wonderful husbands and wives, great ppl, our folks, home soon, they have dutifully served, etc. the MSM and anyone who bothered to digest that news would have clapped and sent off pixel sparkles and sweet tweets.

Very difficult to judge: what is the result of infighting in the US vs. any agreed-on never mind coherent foreign policy? That the question is even asked - all over the world now - spells stage one collapse.

Jackrabbit , Jan 14, 2019 12:23:45 PM | link
Robert Snefjella @50:
Now for those who are committed to the view that Trump doesn't really mean it, that he isn't really an American nationalist, and so on, well, fine, believe what you like. But in the end, Trump's base of support is nationalistic ..."

Did Obama really mean it when he touted "Change You Can Believe In"? No. His rhetoric was meant to turn the page from the Bush Administration excesses and convince the world that USA was not the threat that they perceived us to be. In fact, he was given a Nobel Prize for essentially not being Bush. But it was all psyop. Obama refused to hold CIA accountable for rendition and torture, refused to stop NSA pervasive spying, conducted covert wars and regime change ops, bragged of his drone targeting skills, made Bush tax cuts permanent, bailed out bankers, etc.

Does Trump really mean his nationalism? Only to the extent that a nationalist was needed to meet the challenge from Russia and China. People don't fight for globalist principals.

US is still a member of NATO, still involved in the Middle East, still has hundreds of bases around the world.

Trump's nationalist credentials are further belied by such things as: adding TPP provisions to the new North American trade agreement; attacking Syria based on false flags; arming Ukraine; pulling out of the INF treaty and engaging in an unnecessary and costly arms race; actively seeking to overthrow the governments of Iran and Venezuela; etc.

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

Peter AU 1 , Jan 14, 2019 12:41:01 PM | link
dahoit 53

Is there a requirement for an open trial on these sort of things. I'm not sure about the US, but normally gag orders are all that's required to keep something quiet. All the people around Trump could be taken down in this way with charges that would stick.
Apparently the only one they cannot take down in this way is the president (Another post up now at SST on the legalities of investigating the president). As far as I know, the president can only be taken down by impeachment so I guess they wouldn't try to use collusion with Israel for that unless they could keep what they were impeaching him for secret.

donkeytale , Jan 14, 2019 1:18:09 PM | link
Snefjella @ 50

And in the United States, the tens of millions of 'deplorables' backing Trump are doing so partly, perhaps mostly, because he champions the restoration of national sovereignty and has questioned dominant globalist institutions.

Yes, "Amerikkka First" represents nationalism for sure. Many, maybe most Amerikkkans have always been nationalistic and detest globalist structures because they view them as limiting Amerikkka's rightful global sovereignty. This is a fine distinction I believe gets lost in commentary such as yours. Trump isn't looking to retreat from Amerikkkan Exceptionalism at all, it his raison d etre for the tariffs and increases in military spending.

The movement which elected Trump represents the nostalgic view of a lost Amerikkkan dominance over the globe, which of course they blame on those hated Democratic and Republican establishment globalists, Bushes, Clintons and Obama.

donkeytale , Jan 14, 2019 1:23:22 PM | link
And I meant "rightful" in quotation marks not that I believe it is rightful but is the opinion of the "Deplorables".
Zachary Smith , Jan 14, 2019 1:43:05 PM | link
@ Jackrabbit #28
You see all that and then assume that the Hillary-Trump contest was genuine?

Why not assume that the Deep State's candidate won in every election since Carter and work from there.

That first is a difficult one to answer, for I quite agree with you on the second part. Rigged elections from Carter on to the present day matches my own thoughts as well. In 2000 "they" had to go all the way to the Supreme Court to get their man in office, but GWB did indeed move into the White House.

My own theory about 2016 is that everybody miscalculated. Trump was (IMO) running as an ego-building publicity stunt. Hillary (and her Deep State sponsors) had actively helped Trump get the nomination with hundreds of millions of dollars of free publicity which also enhanced the bottom lines of Big Media. His multiple flaws were airbrushed away. Hillary ran a horrible campaign because she is an arrogant and "entitled" woman. The incompetence of that campaign simply didn't uncover the extent to which she was hated by so many people. (myself included, but I didn't vote for the torture-loving Trump, either)

The biggest mistake of all was not having any plan in place to use the touch-screen voting systems (think "Diebold") to nail down her victory. Again an opinion, but I think that was judged to be a little too risky plus the fact it was obviously totally unnecessary. Hillary didn't have a "loss" speech prepared, and Trump didn't have a "victory" one.

This is why I call Trump an "accidental" President. I'll admit the Deep State has reacted pretty well since 2016, but they're still playing catchup. Israel - to name just one - remains in shell shock.

In summary, I think we barely disagree. :)

vk , Jan 14, 2019 1:55:56 PM | link
I think Trump's election was a miscalculation of the American elites...
Robert Snefjella , Jan 14, 2019 2:54:31 PM | link
Further to American's general support for Trump's declared intention of reduction of troops in Syria and Afghanistan, the Daily Caller on the 9th of January 2019 cited 56 % in support, 20 % not sure, and 27 % opposing. This is after MSM and general national political outrage and 'deep concern' over Trump's decision.

Note that US involvement in Syria has been justified by the most lurid of lies and disinfo continually poured for years into American's psyches. For Tulsi Gabbard to have a direct conversation with Assad (the designated 'butcher of Damascus', the 'horrid monstrous dictator' accused over and over of attacking his own people, often with chemical weapons from barrel bombs, and especially targeting children and hospitals: the man can have no soul, no heart! We must help the Syrians in their struggle against this animal!) was an outrage!

So not only do most Americans want American troops out of Syria, it would seem that there is some growing immunity among the people of the United States to their diet of diseased propaganda.

karlof1 , Jan 14, 2019 3:16:31 PM | link
Just finished b's excellent recap and the entire affair reeks of Treason -- not against Trump, but against the Nation.
Jackrabbit , Jan 14, 2019 4:57:11 PM | link
Posted by: vk | Jan 14, 2019 1:55:56 PM | 60

Donald Trump as an outsider of the GOP

The populist hero must be portrayed as an "outsider" that takes on the establishment. Obama was positioned in much the same way.

Trump is no "outsider". He is very establishment. Even before running for President, he had access that ordinary people never get.

Trump only won because of a bizarre technicality of the American electoral system.

You are directing our attention to what the establishment wants us to see. It ignores Hillary's spectacular failure: snubbing of Sanders progressives; Cold shoulder to black voters; insult to white voters ("deplorables"); choosing not to campaign in crucial states; the wierdness of Bill Clinton being discovered meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch (Bill Clinton is one of the most recognizable people in America - why why why would be meeting with the Attorney General on an airport tarmac?), etc.

If the race were easy, Trump woundn't be a populist hero, would he? And Hillary's winning the popular vote is a nice consolation prize to the Clinton's. Plus, it nicely sets up the fake Deep State vs. Trump conflict.

Linda Amick , Jan 14, 2019 8:22:16 PM | link
While Trump is a member of the elite establishment that practically owns the country he has always been a pariah for one main reason. He does not honor the unspoken code of never exposing inside information about other elite members. He is a big mouth.

Given that, the establishment and their propaganda arm of the media have been out to get him even before he was elected. His presidency has largely been an inside struggle. However, Trump is clever and crafty. During his tenure he has been give access to tremendous amounts of information about his political enemies and he continues to bait, insult and fire them, pushing them deeper and deeper into insanity.

He will fight fire with fire. If they attempt to impeach him he will tit for tat release information incriminating his enemies. I view this as a positive direction for the US in the long run. ALL of these people need to be banished to "Elba". Maybe they will fight to the death of both sides. One can dream.

[Jan 15, 2019] State Department was employing a de facto foreign agent

Jan 15, 2019 | grayzoneproject.com

Of all the State Department officials named in Integrity Initiative documents, the one who appeared most frequently was Todd Leventhal. Leventhal has been a staffer at the State Department's Global Engagement Center, boasting of "20 years of countering disinformation, misinformation, conspiracy theories, and urban legends." In an April 2018 Integrity Initiative memo, he is listed as a current team member:

Funded to the tune of $160 million this year to beat back Russian disinformation with "counter-propaganda," the State Department's Global Engagement Center has refused to deny targeting American citizens with information warfare of its own. "My old job at the State Department was as chief propagandist," confessed former Global Engagement Center Director Richard Stengel. "I'm not against propaganda. Every country does it and they have to do it to their own population and I don't necessarily think it's that awful."

Like so many of the media and political figures involved in the Integrity Initiative's international network, the Global Engagement Center's Leventhal has a penchant for deploying smear tactics against prominent voices that defy the foreign policy consensus. Leventhal appeared in an outtake of a recent NBC documentary on Russian disinformation smugly explaining how he would take down a 15-year-old book critical of American imperialism in the developing world. Rather than challenge the book's substance and allegations, Leventhal boasted how he would marshall his resources to wage an ad hominem smear campaign to destroy the author's reputation. His strategic vision was clear: when confronting a critic, ignore the message and destroy the messenger.

Like so many of the media and political figures involved in the Integrity Initiative's international network, the Global Engagement Center's Leventhal has a penchant for deploying smear tactics against prominent voices that defy the foreign policy consensus. Leventhal appeared in an outtake of a recent NBC documentary on Russian disinformation smugly explaining how he would take down a 15-year-old book critical of American imperialism in the developing world. Rather than challenge the book's substance and allegations, Leventhal boasted how he would marshall his resources to wage an ad hominem smear campaign to destroy the author's reputation. His strategic vision was clear: when confronting a critic, ignore the message and destroy the messenger.

Integrity Initiative documents reveal that Leventhal has been paid $76,608 dollars (60,000 British pounds) for a 50% contract.

While those same documents claim he has retired from the State Department, Leventhal's own Linkedin page lists him as a current "Senior Disinformation Advisor" to the State Department. If that were true, it would mean that the State Department was employing a de facto foreign agent.

[Jan 15, 2019] Buchanan Is Bolton Steering Trump Into War With Iran

Jan 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

devo , 1 minute ago link

That fact Trump can be "steered into war" is disturbing.

2handband , 2 minutes ago link

This article is asinine. By the book, Bolton takes orders from Trump... not the other way around. Bolton is just being used as an excuse. Trump was never serious about getting the US out of any wars. I confidently predict that US troops will still be in Syria this time next year.

ne-tiger , 4 minutes ago link

"Was he aware of Bolton's request for a menu of targets in Iran for potential U.S. strikes? Did he authorize it? Has he authorized his national security adviser and secretary of state to engage in these hostile actions and bellicose rhetoric aimed at Iran? "

Yes, Yes and Yes, that's why he's an orange fucktard.

Taras Bulba , 12 minutes ago link

Bolton's former deputy, Mira Ricardel, reportedly told a gathering the shelling into the Green Zone was "an act of war" to which the U.S. must respond decisively.

This war mongering harpy fortunately was kicked to the curb by melania trump!

pelican , 13 minutes ago link

How did that psychopath appointed anyway? Another warmonger that hasn't served a day in the military.

MozartIII , 13 minutes ago link

Bolton can run the operation on the ground!

MozartIII , 14 minutes ago link

Send the House, Senate, FBI, CIA, IRS & all others state operatives to fight in Iran. Include the TSA for gods sake. Include the Obamas, Clintons and Bush's. So they can verify that their weapons are all delivered again and work properly. Bring our troops home to defend are border. Include NYT, WaPo and most of our current media in the Iran light brigade, so they can charge with the rest of the parasites. Many problems will be solved in very short order.

punchasocialist , 16 minutes ago link

This is another really infantile, softball article again by Buchanan.

As if Trump is anything more than an actor, and Bolton is anything more than a buffoon who has been laughed off the world stage FOREVER.

As if Trump and Bolton steer each other, instead of TAKING ORDERS from trillionaires.

resistedliving , 58 minutes ago link

You think Bolton is the new Alexander "I'm in charge now" Haig?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qarDtgSVpM

Captain Chlamydia , 22 minutes ago link

Yes he is.

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 1 hour ago link

Obviously.

And so are Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, and Kushner, and his bankster pals.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YW4CvC5IaFI

Bolton is a traitor and agent of a foreign power. The Mouth of Netanyahu.

But Trump hired him, and Trump hasn't fired him.

Duc888 , 57 minutes ago link

Enjoy the show. Bolton has a half life of about 90 days. Can't you see a pattern when it's laid bare in front of you?

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 40 minutes ago link

Like not having a wall, appointing neocon swamp creatures, still being in Afghanistan and Syria, and not releasing the FISAgate texts?

Like that pattern?

I... gee, I don't know.

You're right. I should prolly just ' trust the plan' like a good goy.

Thanks, newfriend!

🤨

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 57 minutes ago link

Remarks by National Security Advisor Ambassador John Bolton to the Zionist Organization of America

JimmyJones , 27 minutes ago link

He also hasn't followed his recommendations. Perhaps he keeps him around so he knows what not to do?

Duc888 , 4 minutes ago link

He's a temporary useful idiot for Trump who will flush him at his convenience. He's handy to have around to encourage the Hawks do a group masturbation.

Seriously, if Ertogen tells Bolton to go **** off, he has no sauce. He's been neutered. Let him act all important and play in the sand box all he wants.

ted41776 , 1 hour ago link

trust the plan. there are white hats in government who have your best interest in mind. you don't need to do anything other than pretend like everything is fine, they'll take care of the rest. go to work and continue accepting continually devalued worthless fiat in exchange for time you spend away from your family and doing things you love. trust the plan, it's all going to be alright

/sarc

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 47 minutes ago link

+ 1

Four chan , 41 minutes ago link

BOLTON IS MULLERS BUDDY, THATS ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW.

Francis Marx , 42 minutes ago link

I doubt Bolton has that much clout. Trump is no fool.

Haus-Targaryen , 42 minutes ago link

No, because the oil price to follow would blowup the US war machine.

Iran isn't going anywhere.

Erek , 38 minutes ago link

Time for Bolton to lay his **** on the anvil.

I woke up , 24 minutes ago link

Yeah, if Bolton is so enthused about it, send him first

Erek , 17 minutes ago link

And alone!

Duc888 , 3 minutes ago link

...it would be lost amongst the metal filings and swarf.

resistedliving , 16 minutes ago link

Israel uses natgas and coal

Helps their little conflict in the Tamar/Leviathan gas fields.

[Jan 14, 2019] Nobel Peace Price winner main achievements: destroying Libya, killing half-million people in Syria, the covert support for the Saudis in Yemen, the coup in Honduras, the deterioration in US/Russia relations to the point where nuclear war can flare

Jan 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Carolinian , , January 14, 2019 at 1:54 pm

So will the buck stop with Obama/Hillary for destroying Libya, the half million dead in Syria, the covert support for the Saudis in Yemen which started under Obama, the coup in Honduras, the deterioration in US/Russia relations to the point where nuclear war has once again started to become thinkable? By these standards Trump's wrecking ball is quite tiny.

[Jan 14, 2019] Something about MIC gargantuan appetites: the cost of running Texas Railroad Commsion (RRC) for year are less that one half of the cost of (mostly useless) F35 not including fuel

Jan 14, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

GuyM x Ignored says: 01/13/2019 at 8:26 pm

In support of RRC, I looked up their agency expenses, and found they are less than $50 million. That's to pay for keeping up with almost a half million oil and gas wells, thousands of operators, and multiple other duties, including taking care of a significant amount of State income. There is a grand total of about 725 employees. Hats off!
Longtimber x Ignored says: 01/14/2019 at 8:24 pm
Could have 1/2 of a F35 not including Fuel.

[Jan 14, 2019] The Push to Get Rid of Bolton by Daniel Larison

The US foreign policy generally doesn't depend on individual people. It is the Swamp which drive neolib/neocon policy which is driven mostly by the Deep State which means the coalition of MIC, Wall Street and intelligence agencies and their agents of influence within the government.
The most important question is how he managed to get into administration?
bolton is a bully and such people have no friends.
Notable quotes:
"... The National Security Advisor has had a reputation of being an abrasive and obnoxious colleague for a long time, and his attempts to push his aggressive foreign policy agenda have made him even more enemies. ..."
"... If Bolton is "under attack" from within the administration, it is because he has behaved with the same recklessness and incompetence that characterize his preferred policies overseas. He should be attacked, and with any luck he will be defeated and driven from office. Unfortunately, we have been seeing the opposite happen over the last few weeks: more Bolton allies are joining the administration in important positions and at least one major rival has exited. ..."
"... the longer he remains National Security Advisor the worse it will be for U.S. interests. ..."
Jan 14, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Henry Olsen is very worried that other people in the administration might be out to get Bolton:

Whatever the motive, conservatives who favor more robust U.S. involvement abroad should sit up and take notice. One of their strongest allies within the administration is under attack. Whether Bolton's influence wanes or even whether he remains is crucially important for anyone who worries that the president's impulses that deviate from past American foreign policy will weaken American security.

There have been a number of unflattering reports about Bolton in the last few weeks, but for the most part those stories are just proof that Bolton has no diplomatic skills and does a terrible job of managing the administration's policy process. If Bolton had done a better job of coordinating Syria policy, the administration's Syria policy wouldn't be the confused mess that it is. If he hadn't made such a hash of things with the Turkish government, there would have been no snub by Erdogan for anyone to report. There may be quite a bit of hostile leaking against Bolton, but that is itself a testament to how many other people in the administration loathe him.

The National Security Advisor has had a reputation of being an abrasive and obnoxious colleague for a long time, and his attempts to push his aggressive foreign policy agenda have made him even more enemies.

If Bolton is "under attack" from within the administration, it is because he has behaved with the same recklessness and incompetence that characterize his preferred policies overseas. He should be attacked, and with any luck he will be defeated and driven from office. Unfortunately, we have been seeing the opposite happen over the last few weeks: more Bolton allies are joining the administration in important positions and at least one major rival has exited.

Bolton's influence in the administration is an important indication of what U.S. foreign policy will look like in the months and years to come, and the longer he remains National Security Advisor the worse it will be for U.S. interests.

[Jan 14, 2019] 'A Reckless Advocate of Military Force' Demands for John Bolton's Dismissal After Reports He Asked Pentagon for Options to Str

Notable quotes:
"... By Jessica Corbett, staff writer at Common Dreams. Originally published at Common Dreams ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... Daniel W. Drezner, a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, called the news "a reminder that when it comes to Iran, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo are batshit insane ..."
"... Trita Parsi, founder of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), tweeted, "Make no mistake: Bolton is the greatest threat to the security of the United States!" Parsi, an expert on U.S.-Iranian relations and longtime critic of Bolton, called for his immediate ouster over the request detailed in Journal ..."
"... Bolton: Chickenhawk-in-Chief ..."
"... Great point. None of my fellow comrades who actually participated in firefights (not just drove trucks behind the lines) are eager to be led into battle by National Guard and bone-spur deferrals, much less student deferral draft dodgers. ..."
"... Why did Trump appoint Bolton? ..."
"... I think Bolton is a sop to Sheldon Aldelson. He may be playing a similar role to "The Mooch", I hope. ..."
"... Likewise, Pompeo is the Koch brother's man. Both authoritarian billionaires trying to guarantee their investment in Trump. You see the US is being run like a business, or is that like a feudal fiefdom? ..."
"... Steven Cohen has an interesting editorial in RT, not about directly about Bolton but about the war parties' demand for ongoing M.E. conflict. https://www.rt.com/op-ed/448688-trump-withdrawal-syria-russia/ ..."
"... see what we could do ..."
"... Trump is interested in what is good for Trump. Why he thinks Bolton at his side is good for him is a mystery. Rather a hand grenade with the pin pulled in your pocket than Bolton. Much the same can be said of Pompeo. ..."
"... I agree with author Nicholas Taleb's view of the military interventionists, who include Bolton, that have repeatedly urged that we "intervene in foreign countries -- Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria -- whose governments did not meet their abstract standards of political acceptability." Besides the losses suffered by our troops and economy, as Taleb observed each of those interventions "made conditions significantly worse in the country being 'saved'. Yet the interventionists pay no price themselves for wrecking the lives of millions. Instead they keep appearing on CNN and PBS as 'experts' who should guide us in choosing what country to bomb next." Now, after imposing economic sanctions on Iran, they're evidently again seeking war. ..."
Jan 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on January 14, 2019 by Yves Smith Yves here. I am surprised that Bolton has lasted this long. Bolton has two defining personal qualities that are not conducive to long-term survival with Trump: having a huge ego and being way too obvious about not caring about Trump's agenda (even with the difficulties of having it change all the time). Bolton is out for himself in far too obvious a manner.

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer at Common Dreams. Originally published at Common Dreams

Reminding the world that he is, as one critic put it, " a reckless advocate of military force ," the Wall Street Journal revealed on Sunday that President Donald Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton "asked the Pentagon to provide the White House with military options to strike Iran last year, generating concern at the Pentagon and State Department."

"It definitely rattled people," a former U.S. official said of the request, which Bolton supposedly made after militants aligned with Iran fired mortars into the diplomatic quarter of Baghdad, Iraq that contains the U.S. Embassy in early September. "People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran."

"The Pentagon complied with the National Security Council's request to develop options for striking Iran," the Journal reported, citing unnamed officials. "But it isn't clear if the proposals were provided to the White House, whether Mr. Trump knew of the request, or whether serious plans for a U.S. strike against Iran took shape at that time."

The Journal 's report, which comes just days after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered an "arrogant tirade" of a speech vilifying Iran, sparked immediate alarm among critics of the Trump administration's biggest warmongers -- who, over the past several months, have been accused of fomenting unrest in Iran and laying the groundwork for war.

Daniel W. Drezner, a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, called the news "a reminder that when it comes to Iran, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo are batshit insane."

me title=

Trita Parsi, founder of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), tweeted, "Make no mistake: Bolton is the greatest threat to the security of the United States!" Parsi, an expert on U.S.-Iranian relations and longtime critic of Bolton, called for his immediate ouster over the request detailed in Journal 's report.

me title=

"This administration takes an expansive view of war authorities and is leaning into confrontation with Iran at a time when there are numerous tripwires for conflict across the region," NIAC president Jamal Abdi warned in a statement . "It is imperative that this Congress investigate Bolton's request for war options and pass legislation placing additional legal and political constraints on the administration's ability to start a new war of choice with Iran that could haunt America and the region for generations."

In a series of moves that have elicited concern from members of Congress, political experts, other world leaders, and peace activists, since May the Trump administration has ditched the Iran nuclear deal -- formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -- and reimposed economic sanctions .

NIAC, in November, urged the new Congress that convened at the beginning of the year to challenge the administration's hawkish moves and restore U.S. standing on the world stage by passing measures to block the sanctions re-imposed in August and November , and reverse Trump's decision to breach the deal -- which European and Iranian diplomats have been trying to salvage .

Iran continues to comply with the terms of JCPOA, according to the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). However, Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's nuclear chief, told state television on Sunday that "preliminary activities for designing modern 20 percent (enriched uranium) fuel have begun." While Iran has maintained that it is not pursuing nuclear weapons, the nation would still have to withdraw from the deal if it resumed enrichment at the level.

As Iran signals that it is considering withdrawing from the JCPOA, the Journal report has critics worried that Bolton and Pompeo have the administration on a war path -- with Bolton, just last week, insisting without any evidence that Iranian leadership is committed to pursuing nuclear weapons. Some have compared that claim to former Vice President Dick Cheney's infamous lie in 2002, to bolster support for the U.S. invasion, that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

me title=

As the Journal noted, "Alongside the requests in regards to Iran, the National Security Council asked the Pentagon to provide the White House with options to respond with strikes in Iraq and Syria as well."


The Rev Kev , January 14, 2019 at 5:55 am

So Bolton wants war with Iran? Pretty tall talk from a man who during the war in 'Nam ducked into the Maryland Army National Guard because he had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy as he considered the war in Vietnam already lost. His words, not mine. The Iranian military will not be the push over the Iraq army was. They are much better equipped and motivated and have a healthy stock of missiles. They even have the Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missile system up and running.

Once you start a war, you never know where it will go. Suppose the Iranians consider – probably correctly – that it is Israel's influences that led to the attack and so launch a few missiles at them. What happens next? Will Hezbollah take action against them as well. If the US attacks Iran, then there is no reason whatsoever for Iran not to attack the various US contingents scattered around the Middle East in places like Syria. What if the Russians send in their Aerospace Forces to help stop an attack. Will they be attacked as well? Is the US prepared to lose a carrier?

And how will the war end? The country is mountainous like Afghanistan so cannot be occupied unless the entire complete total of all US forces are shipped over there. This is just lunacy squared and surely even Trump must realize that if the whole thing is another Bay of Pigs, it will be his name all over it in the history books and so sinking his chances for a 2020 re-election. And if the justification for the whole thing is a coupla mortars on a car park, how will he justify any American loses? At this point I am waiting for Bolton to finish each one of his speeches and tweets with the phrase-

"Parthia delenda est!"

Tomonthebeach , January 14, 2019 at 2:17 pm

Bolton: Chickenhawk-in-Chief

Great point. None of my fellow comrades who actually participated in firefights (not just drove trucks behind the lines) are eager to be led into battle by National Guard and bone-spur deferrals, much less student deferral draft dodgers.

Calling Bolton on Pompeo "batshit crazy" cries out for revisions in the APA Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).

Ignim Brites , January 14, 2019 at 7:36 am

Why did Trump appoint Bolton? A saying of LBJ, I believe attributed to Sam Rayburn, might illuminate. "It is better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in."

Edward , January 14, 2019 at 8:26 am

I think Bolton is a sop to Sheldon Aldelson. He may be playing a similar role to "The Mooch", I hope.

Allegorio , January 14, 2019 at 12:49 pm

Likewise, Pompeo is the Koch brother's man. Both authoritarian billionaires trying to guarantee their investment in Trump. You see the US is being run like a business, or is that like a feudal fiefdom?

Edward , January 14, 2019 at 1:01 pm

I feel like the U.S. is an occupied country, invaded by corporate lobbyists. We have the kind of crap government you get from occupations.

Carolinian , January 14, 2019 at 8:33 am

Why did Trump appoint Bolton?

Not to be a broken record but should we blame the Dems? Arguably Trump's "out there" gestures to the right are because he has to keep the Repubs on his side given the constant threat of impeachment from the other side. Extremes beget extremes. There's also the Adelson factor.

Of course this theory may be incorrect and he and Bolton are ideological soul mates, but Trump's ideology doesn't appear to go much beyond a constant diet of Fox News. He seems quite capable of pragmatic gestures which are then denounced by a horrified press.

Lou Mannheim , January 14, 2019 at 10:11 am

"Not to be a broken record but should we blame the Dems?"

No. Despite Trump's wishes the buck stops with him.

Carolinian , January 14, 2019 at 10:27 am

... the Iran situation could have been solved years earlier by Obama and Hillary making it harder for Trump to stir up trouble.

https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/iran-brazil-and-turkey-make-new-nuclear-proposal/

ChiGal in Carolina , January 14, 2019 at 11:25 am

The point might be, sure the Dems as part of the duopoly created the context within which Trump now acts as president. Nonetheless there is a direct linear responsibility for his actions that rests with him.

Unless you consider him so impaired as not to be responsible for his actions ;-)

Carolinian , January 14, 2019 at 1:54 pm

So will the buck stop with Obama/Hillary for destroying Libya, the half million dead in Syria, the covert support for the Saudis in Yemen which started under Obama, the coup in Honduras, the deterioration in US/Russia relations to the point where nuclear war has once again started to become thinkable? By these standards Trump's wrecking ball is quite tiny.

neo-realist , January 14, 2019 at 11:53 am

It's not like the Obama administration and the EU didn't strike a nuclear deal with Iran to freeze nuclear capable production and allow for lifting of sanctions -- how could they have gone further? How could its deal be worse then the saber rattling of Trump/Bolton? Not saying this as a fan of the Obama administration in general.

Bill Smith , January 14, 2019 at 2:03 pm

Pied Piper Memo. It's up in Wikileaks. Clinton campaign laid out a strategy to help Trump along so he would be their opponent. They bet that he was too far out there for the general public to vote him in as president.

Yves Smith Post author , January 14, 2019 at 2:20 pm

...Everyone including Trump was shocked he won. He has made an only partly successful hostile takeover of the Republican party. The fact that he got only at best the second string, and mainly the fourth string, to work in his Administration, Trump's repudiation of international institutions and his trade war with China are all evidence that he was chosen by anyone, much the less a cabal you create out of thin air called "the oligarchy"

As Frank Herbert said in Dune, the most enduring principles in the universe are accident and error. Trump did not want to win. This was a brand-enhancing stunt for him that got out of control.

KLG , January 14, 2019 at 7:46 am

Something for our would be Croesus and his minions: If you go to war with Persia, you will destroy a mighty empire OK, not so mighty, but an empire nevertheless.

Ben Wolf , January 14, 2019 at 8:29 am

Reminiscent of John Kerry and Susan Rice publicly demanding bombing of Syria in 2015 after Obama had taken that option off the table.

Anon , January 14, 2019 at 12:26 pm

Iran is a much more formitable foe than Syria. Bullies love to taunt the weak; Iran is not weak.

Mark James , January 14, 2019 at 8:48 am

The US has previously run multiple conventual war simulations and in all cases the US lost against Iran, only when the US used its nuclear option did the US prevail. The implications of a nuclear strike and how the Russian Federation will react, to having yet another one of its allies attacked is unknown?

Bill Smith , January 14, 2019 at 2:10 pm

Really, in all cases? Seems unlikely. What did these conventional war simulations cover? What was the definition of wining and losing?

Jeremy Grimm , January 14, 2019 at 2:36 pm

Really -- who cares? Any claim of 'all' is difficult to support under the best of circumstances and unwise. Besides, suppose we could 'prevail' in a war with Iran -- why should or would we want to? Are you OK with a little war with Iran if a couple of conventional war simulations suggest we could win?

johnnygl , January 14, 2019 at 9:07 am

Couple of quick points

1) I really hope jim webb gets the def sec job. That would be a strong signal.

2) if the TDS infected bi-partisan consensus wants to impeach. They can build on this. I suspect they won't though.

3) Keep in mind Trump like some trash talk. Pompeo seems here to stay. Not sure about Bolton. But, as we saw with N. Korea, sometimes the crazy gets dialed up to 11, right before things get calmed down.

The Rev Kev , January 14, 2019 at 9:34 am

Because that worked so well in the Balkans and Iraq and Libya, etc, etc etc. The world is not what you think it is. Let us compare Iran as a country with America's loyal ally Saudi Arabia as an example. Would you believe that Iran has a Jewish population that feel safe there and have no interest in moving to Israel? In Saudi Arabia, if you renounce Islam that is a death sentence. Women have careers in Iran and drive cars. Woman have burkas in Saudi Arabia and have very few freedoms. Iran has taken in refugees from the recent wars. Saudi Arabia has taken virtually none from Syria. Iran wants to have their own country and work out their own problems as they are a multicultural country. Saudi Arabia is a medieval monarchy that has been exporting the most extremist view of Islam around the world using their oil money. Ideologically, all those jihadists the past few decades can be traced to Wahhabi teachings. Now tell me that if you had a choice, which country sounds more attractive to live in?

Redlife2013 , January 14, 2019 at 10:46 am

Having been to Iran, it is an amazing place and they are the most welcoming of people. One of the few places I have seen female taxi drivers, too. Women are very self-assured there – they will blow past men to get to what they want to do. Lots of people don't like the Islamic government (and they will note that to you), but as you mentioned, they are NOT medieval.

The government praises science and technology in roadside ads up and down the country. The ads, by the way, are almost always in Farsi and English, as English is the 2nd language of the country. And I'd like to add that they love Americans. It didn't matter what town I was in and we went to some small towns. I literally had people yelling "We love America" and asking for my autograph. And no – I am not famous. They are the most generous, gregarious people I have ever met in my life.

I have odd memories of my trip like being in a taxi going into Tehran listening to a instrument only version of Madonna's La Isla Bonita (they really like Madonna). And going to beautiful mosques which are filled with mirrors and coloured light so it's almost like a disco (mirrors and water are ancient pre-Islamic symbols). And the gardens – in odd places like underpasses that happen to have a bit of opening to light and rain. Where ever they can stick a garden they will do it.

Iran is a hodgepodge of so many thoughts, peoples, and currents. One thing they are though – is fiercely loyal to Iran. Not the government, but to their homeland, to their people. There is no way we would win. Due to geography and due to the losses they would be willing to sustain we would be destroyed. We would lose so badly that it would look like the First Anglo-Afghan War where only one Brit got back after the entire army was destroyed. We tussle with them on their own land at our peril.

Kilgore Trout , January 14, 2019 at 10:52 am

+10

Roger , January 14, 2019 at 11:42 am

Saudi Arabia is America's loyal ally! You mean the SA that financed, planned, and manned the 9/11 attacks? Because SA is a bigger shithole than Iran is no argument. What does need to be faced is that SA has a lock on American politics through its financial control of Washington DC swamp dwellers.

The Balkans is quiet now. Iraq became a mess when Paul Bremer snatched defeat from near total victory. Libya, Syria and Ukraine are the victims of malevolent US meddling (as was Vietnam). I am hoping that President Trump can reverse course and create a foreign policy that puts the interests of people first, particularly the interests of the people of the USA. Forlorn hope perhaps. I would not want to live in either of them.

Keith Howard , January 14, 2019 at 11:02 am

How about we throw the Ayatollah Pence and the rest of his contemptible ilk out of our own government first?

Tony Wright , January 14, 2019 at 2:12 pm

Well said. All religious fundamentalists are dangerous because they believe they are the "chosen ones" and therefore superior to "non-believers", whose lives are less important and therefore expendable if and when they feel so inclined.

pjay , January 14, 2019 at 11:05 am

Re "the Iranian people":

(1) Echoing other responses, I suggest we ask the "Iranian people" if they would like the U.S. to help them into modernity. Given our track record in Iran and other ME nations, I'm not sure they would welcome our assistance, particularly if it involved "a few explosions" or so.

(2) It is "the people" that are always hurt first, and the most, in such interventions, not the government.

I wasn't sure if this was a serious comment or one meant to provoke. It did provoke me to make an earlier response. I thank the moderators for blocking it (sincerely – not being sarcastic).

Adams , January 14, 2019 at 2:05 pm

Bah, who cares about a little collateral damage. The Iranian people obviously don't know what's good for them. We just need to bring back Wolfowitz to make sure they are on hand to lay down palm fronds before the US forces as they enter Baghdad after we nuke it into rubble. Speaking of sociopaths, I am sure Darth Vader would make himself available to advise from Wyoming. Where the hell is Elliot Abrams when you need him. What's Rumsfeld doing these days? How great would it be to get the old gang together again, under the maniacal leadership of Bolton. Maybe Dubya would be willing to do the "mission accomplished" as the smoke clears over the whole MENA region. What a great bunch of guys.

Eureka Springs , January 14, 2019 at 11:54 am

You're a regular humanitarian bomber. Reminds me of "Assad must go" and the fact 'we' never bombed him but all the people, all around the nation of the ilk you pretend to want to help by doing the same thing in Iran.

At best, you are speaking a bunch of hooey without thinking. Oh, and last I heard Iran has not invaded another country for something like 400 years. Look in your mirror.

Edward , January 14, 2019 at 12:28 pm

Are the Iranian people asking us to invade their country? In the U.S. there seems to be this bizarre nonchalance about war, which used to be considered a terrible scourge. After the recent disasters in Libya, Ukraine, and Iraq, "regime change" should be discredited. The U.S. has caused nothing but misery in the third world. We should focus on our own human rights and democracy problems. If we want to do something abroad I favor ending our support for Israeli crimes against Palestinians.

lyman alpha blob , January 14, 2019 at 1:42 pm

Yeah! We can bomb those priests right into the modern world with our own fundamentalist Air Force. Murica #1

https://www.salon.com/2014/09/17/air_forces_mind_boggling_violation_members_forced_to_swear_religious_allegiance/

flora , January 14, 2019 at 9:23 am

re: Bolton asking for war plans

Steven Cohen has an interesting editorial in RT, not about directly about Bolton but about the war parties' demand for ongoing M.E. conflict. https://www.rt.com/op-ed/448688-trump-withdrawal-syria-russia/

Tony Wright , January 14, 2019 at 2:46 pm

Gotta keep the military industrial complex well fed. George Orwell was right, sadly; constant state of military alert and occasionally shifting loose alliances between three competing major military powers. What a waste of human resources.

Off The Street , January 14, 2019 at 9:48 am

IMHO, Bolton serves two roles in the Trump Administration.

  1. As a symbol for the hawkier folks in Congress and the media
  2. As a foil to Trump in a good cop-bad cop, or bad cop-worse cop role, if you prefer

The first provides air cover and the second forestalls ground action. The air cover says see what we could do , and the ground action blusters to draw attention by the media thereby serving to defuse any escalationist tendencies pushed by neo-cons.

Bolton is a price of admission, and will not have much of a purpose as the effects of the Iran sanctions become more evident and that regime becomes more pliable. The people on the ground in Iran seem to want de-escalation and more normal lives, like so many around the world and at home.

John , January 14, 2019 at 10:02 am

Trump is interested in what is good for Trump. Why he thinks Bolton at his side is good for him is a mystery. Rather a hand grenade with the pin pulled in your pocket than Bolton. Much the same can be said of Pompeo.

I have never understood the lust for war with Iran it looks entirely irrational to me. The Iranian government may not be to your taste and pursue policies you dislike in the extreme, but is this a reason to gin up a war. I could never support such a conflict and would do whatever I could to thwart it.

L , January 14, 2019 at 10:31 am

This is not news and while concerning is not fundamental.

Bolton was hired precisely because of his uberhawk obsession with Iran. That is in fact the central credential that he brought to the table and as such there should be zero surprise in this. Indeed the only real shocker is that he asked for plans rather than pulling them out of his own fevered mind as he usually does.

And as others have noted the Pentagon draws up plans like this all the time. This kind of speculative planning is a big part of what the Pentagon does and somewhere no doubt is someone who is paid to prepare for the "inevitable" war in Jamaca.

The question really is whether we will act upon these plans, or some others, and from what I read of this article that is no more likely than it was a few months ago. Scary yes but no scarier than it already was.

Mattski , January 14, 2019 at 1:03 pm

Well, what do they want us to think? Of course this is predictable–even SOP–for Bolton. But someone in the Pentagon is offering some pushback, or wants to suggest there is resistance. Or someone in the CIA. Some of these people prefer wars to quagmires, especially after an exhausting 20 years. And climbing into bed with the Saudis and Israelis to fight Iran may not appeal to everyone.

Some may even see that Iran is a much more promising place for consumer and capital growth, and implementation of bourgeois democracy, than Saudi Arabia. But Mr. Bolton might say that that's the point.

Ashburn , January 14, 2019 at 11:10 am

I think we may be closer to war with Iran than most of us care to think. Trump is under siege from multiple investigations with no room to run, the Democrats now have the House and will only intensify the pressure, Pompeo and Bolton–both Iran hawks–are now in charge of our foreign policy, and a former Boeing executive (with stock options?) is in charge of the Pentagon, Trump is also being pushed into war by Saudi Arabia and Israel–his two closest buddies–and probably the two most malign influences on US policy, and finally, our economy is beginning to look shakey, and the normal functions of government are now in shutdown. Shock doctrine holds that now is the time to act.

ChiGal in Carolina , January 14, 2019 at 11:39 am

I recall a piece by Chris Hedges and Ralph Nader posted by another commenter here that he would likely do so BEFORE the Dems took control of the House. I thought there was a lot of huffing and puffing going on, except for the likelihood of wagging the dog, a tried and true tactic of US presidents.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/are-we-about-to-face-our-gravest-constitutional-crisis/

Harry , January 14, 2019 at 12:31 pm

Was chatting to a someone who was a junior official in the GWB administration. He suggested the first thing Bolton does when he joins an administration is request these plans. If you didn't, you wouldn't be able to take advantage of any interesting events to bomb Iran. Besides, he hasn't actually implemented them yet!

Amusingly its standard bureaucratic form to ensure you have plans on file. Otherwise when asked to list the options, how would you make sure your plan for covert opps, or democracy subsidizing/subverting payments appeared to be the most reasonable plan on the table?

Bolton is the same paleoconservative he ever was. And in that sense he is refreshing. One gets tired of seeing Israelis and Saudis make proposals for spending American lives on countless critically important projects.

Mattski , January 14, 2019 at 12:55 pm

There's also word that the US and Bolton have been giving quiet encouragement, with the new President in Brazil, for a Venezuela intervention.

I think it's important, though, not to simply characterize these people as monsters but to finger the system behind them. There was word before the election that Ms. Clinton has become chummy with Bolton and some of the other neocons; we might be looking at much the same if she had been elected.

Also, Kissinger bombed Cambodia and set off a genocide. Bolton is awful, but nothing whatsoever will make me yearn for Mr. K. I have a friend who's still unhappy with me because I turned down an invite to dine with him long ago, but I was just too frightened of what I might say in his presence.

Mattski , January 14, 2019 at 2:07 pm

We can take it for granted that they are nuts–but nuttiness is like monstrousness, not always so useful as explanation. They're also operating out of the logic of a contradictory and decaying system. The neocons are the ideological successors of the neoliberals (who liked to follow with the velvet fist rather than lead with it, but hardly eschewed it). . . the culmination of much of the same logic. Egalite and fraternite trail far behind these days.

Chauncey Gardiner , January 14, 2019 at 1:17 pm

I agree with author Nicholas Taleb's view of the military interventionists, who include Bolton, that have repeatedly urged that we "intervene in foreign countries -- Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria -- whose governments did not meet their abstract standards of political acceptability." Besides the losses suffered by our troops and economy, as Taleb observed each of those interventions "made conditions significantly worse in the country being 'saved'. Yet the interventionists pay no price themselves for wrecking the lives of millions. Instead they keep appearing on CNN and PBS as 'experts' who should guide us in choosing what country to bomb next." Now, after imposing economic sanctions on Iran, they're evidently again seeking war.

The National Security Advisor is a senior official in the executive branch. Who placed these people in charge of our nation's foreign policy and to act in our name?

There is no threat to the United States involved here. I don't recall being given the opportunity to vote on them or the policies they represent and push. It's past time these individuals be removed from positions of power and influence and for American soft power and diplomacy to be restored to preeminence. I want this country to stand for peace, freedom, equal opportunity and hope; not war, chaos, fear and death.

[Jan 14, 2019] Its official: was of terrorism was replaced by war on populism

Jan 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

Like that scene in Orwell's 1984 where the Party switches official enemies right in the middle of the Hate Week rally, the War on Terror was officially canceled and replaced by the War on Populism. Or all right, it wasn't quite that abrupt. But seriously, go back and scan the news. Note how the "Islamic terrorist threat" we had been conditioned to live in fear of on a daily basis since 2001 seemed to just vanish into thin air. Suddenly, the "existential threat" we were facing was "neo-nationalism," "illiberalism," or the pejorative designator du jour, "populism."

[Jan 14, 2019] Ship of Fools How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution by Tucker Carlson

Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars October 2, 2018

Don't drink and read

Don't drink wine and read this book, you'll get angry and make posts on social media that are completely accurate and your friends will hate you.

[Jan 13, 2019] As FBI Ramped Up Witch Hunt When Trump Fired Comey, Strzok Admitted Collusion Investigation A Joke

Highly recommended!
All links are going to Brennan and CIA. Rosenstein was just a tool, necessary to appoint the Special Prosecutor. And launching the prove was the meaning of "insurance" that Strock mentioned to his mistress. Both Strzok and McCabe have their liasons (read bosses) at CIA, so in essence they were "CIA infiltration group" within the FBI. And it is also important to understand that Obama was just a CIA snowperson.
There is Stalin's NKVD chief Beria shadow over CIA and FBI now. He famously said "Show me the man and I'll find you the crime."
Notable quotes:
"... The Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross has made a brilliant observation, noting Peter Strzok - then the FBI's deputy chief of counterintelligence, admitted to his FBI lawyer mistress, Lisa Page, that there was no merit to the investigation. ..."
"... Interestingly, another series of Strzok-Page texts refers to "coordinating investigation" after Strzok apparently met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who both recommended Comey's firing, then authorized the special counsel probe ..."
"... As Ross notes in The Daily Caller , there were other text messages that between Strzok and Page which raise suspicion over whether the FBI was working on a "gotcha" against Trump. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

As FBI Ramped Up "Witch Hunt" When Trump Fired Comey, Strzok Admitted Collusion Investigation A Joke

A Friday report in the New York Times revealing that the FBI supercharged its Trump-Russia collusion investigation after President Trump fired FBI director James Comey appears to have backfired - especially when one reviews internal FBI communications from the time period in question.

The Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross has made a brilliant observation, noting Peter Strzok - then the FBI's deputy chief of counterintelligence, admitted to his FBI lawyer mistress, Lisa Page, that there was no merit to the investigation.

Nine days after Comey was fired and the DOJ "sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia," Strzok texted Page on May 18, 2017: "You and I both know the odds are nothing. If I thought it was likely I'd be there no question. I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern there's no big there there. "

It is unclear from The Times report what information was used as a predicate to open the investigation. The article suggests that the FBI had long considered the move and that Comey's firing and Trump's subsequent comments marked a tipping point.

...

A source close to Strzok told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Jan. 26, 2018, shortly after the text was released, that the message reflected Strzok's concern that the FBI would not find evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia . - Daily Caller

The Times' explanation for the FBI's rationale that Trump may have been a Russian asset consists of Trump's call for Moscow to release Hillary Clinton's emails an election debate, and allegations contained within the unverified Steele Dossier. The Times was also quick to note that Trump may have "unwittingly fallen under Moscow's influence," to temper the accusation that he was an agent of a foreign power. In short, weak sauce.

It's no wonder Strzok was hesitant to join Mueller's team.

Interestingly, another series of Strzok-Page texts refers to "coordinating investigation" after Strzok apparently met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who both recommended Comey's firing, then authorized the special counsel probe.

As Ross notes in The Daily Caller , there were other text messages that between Strzok and Page which raise suspicion over whether the FBI was working on a "gotcha" against Trump.

" And we need to open the case we've been waiting on now while Andy is acting ," Strzok texted Page the day Comey was fired, referring to then-deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe.

Meanwhile, Page - who served as McCabe's deputy, provided some additional color on the text messages during her July 2018 congressional testimony, suggesting that the "case we've been waiting on" text referred to an investigation separate of the obstruction probe we already knew about.

"Well, other than obstruction, what could it have been?" one lawmaker asked Page in her interview, details of which were published by The Epoch Times on Friday.

" I can't answer that, sir. I'm sorry ," she replied.

"If I was able to explain in more depth why the Director firing precipitated this text, I would," she continued while declining to say if the text message referred to an obstruction of justice investigation or something more. - Daily Caller

That said, Page admitted that Comey's firing prompted the text exchange.

"So the firing of Jim Comey was the precipitating event as opposed to the occupant of the Director's office?" asked one lawmaker.

"Yes, that's correct," replied Page.

Meanwhile, The Times went to great lengths to imply that the FBI was justified in their ratcheted-up collusion investigation - failing to mention who started the probe, who led it, and more importantly - waiting until the 9th paragraph to mention the fact that it turned up nothing .

"No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials. An F.B.I. spokeswoman and a spokesman for the special counsel's office both declined to comment."

VideoEng_NC

"It is unclear from The Times report what information was used as a predicate to open the investigation."

Should be pretty simple with one question. "Was it Hillary who was the responsible party to open an investigation on Trump?". About as direct as it gets & we already know the answer.

adampeart

TDS sufferers hate Trump so bad that they have become (at 70%) pro-warmonger. Pathetic. I guess that I shouldn't be surprised. They were fine with Black Jesus starting wars, overthrowing governments and bombing brown people for 8 years.

Teeter

McCabe initiated the investigation. Nobody likes McCabe, so he is likely to be the one guy that gets thrown under the bus. Of course what he knows may protect him to some extent... they won't want a trial.

Duc888

Sedition? Treason?

Yippie21

7 Days in May.... except for current version we use the DOJ and FBI! Interesting times.

[Jan 13, 2019] What is wrong with Trump

Trump was elected using Adelson money. That;s probably is what is wrong with Trump.
Is Trump a Republican Obama? As in "Brain dead Dems kept saying Obama would do the right thing by the nation, that he was playing 4D chess, up till the moment he was no longer president, and in the end he was a narcisstic, self-aggrandizing politician who transferred trillions to the 0.1% and made America worse by any standard."
Notable quotes:
"... The struggle between the neocons and Trump over control of foreign policy has become ridiculous. One must remember that he can dismiss them all with the stroke of a pen, just he can dismiss his non civil service tormentors in the justice department and the FBI. ..."
"... Bolton has tried to countermand Trump's decision in Syria. His attempt and that of Jeffrey were rebuked in Ankara and DoD then announced an immediate commencement of the withdrawal. ..."
"... And yet the unholy trio of Pompeo (first in the hearts of his USMA class), Jeffrey, a career neocon hack at State, and Bolton (the mustachioed menace) are still in their jobs? Say what? ..."
"... And then there is the Great Southern Border Crisis. The Democrats have repeatedly voted for a great deal of money for barrier systems on the border. Chancy (Chuck and Nancy) were in the lead in such votes over the years. Now Nancy (who may not remember her votes) is denying Trump "a single dollar" for border barriers. ..."
"... To say that barriers are ineffective is dishonest. By now Trump knows that he can declare a national emergency and fund the barriers after however much litigation the Dems can arrange. There is ample money available for the purpose. So, why does he not do it? ..."
"... I voted for Trump. He lost me when he filled his cabinet with swamp creatures and then further when he replaced the generals with neo-cons like Bolton. You cant change the government if you don't understand how the government works - its not a real estate business that you can declare bankruptcy to make a buck. ..."
"... Brain dead Dems kept saying Obama would do the right thing by the nation, that he was playing 4D chess, up till the moment he was no longer president, and in the end he was a narcisstic, self-aggrandizing politician who transferred trillions to the 0.1% and made America worse by any standard. ..."
"... If he cared about illegal immigration, how about enforcing laws against employing illegal immigrants ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

According to Hido, Washington's Special Representative for Syria, James Jeffrey, delivered several messages to the leadership of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) demanding them to slow down the negotiations with Damascus and promising to discuss the idea of establishing a no-fly zone over northeastern Syria.

The Kurdish political described Jeffery's messages as "disturbing" and called on the Kurdish leadership to deal with them in careful manner.

Furthermore, Hido stressed that the SDF should take a decision on the talks with the Damascus government as soon as possible and regretted that some Kurdish officials are still pinning their hopes on a possible change in the U.S. decision to withdraw from Syria .

"Talks with the Syrian government are still ongoing in a positive atmosphere," RT quoted Hido as saying.

Jeffrey made a visit to Turkey recently, where he tried to strike a deal with Ankara over northeastern Syria. However, Turkey's plans to attack US-backed Kurdish forces and invade the region hindered his efforts.

It appears to be that the SDF's only real option is the deal with Damascus as any U.S. solution would likely involve Turkey, which has demonstrated its agressive attitude towards Syrian Kurdish groups during its operation in Afrin in 2018." SF

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

The struggle between the neocons and Trump over control of foreign policy has become ridiculous. One must remember that he can dismiss them all with the stroke of a pen, just he can dismiss his non civil service tormentors in the justice department and the FBI.

Bolton has tried to countermand Trump's decision in Syria. His attempt and that of Jeffrey were rebuked in Ankara and DoD then announced an immediate commencement of the withdrawal.

What could that have been other than a renewed presidential order to the Defense Department? And yet the unholy trio of Pompeo (first in the hearts of his USMA class), Jeffrey, a career neocon hack at State, and Bolton (the mustachioed menace) are still in their jobs? Say what?

And then there is the Great Southern Border Crisis. The Democrats have repeatedly voted for a great deal of money for barrier systems on the border. Chancy (Chuck and Nancy) were in the lead in such votes over the years. Now Nancy (who may not remember her votes) is denying Trump "a single dollar" for border barriers.

BTW, any soldier will tell you that the purpose of barriers IS NOT to stop all movement. No, it is to slow up movement and canalize it so that Quick Reaction Forces (QRF) can get there first with the most. To say that barriers are ineffective is dishonest. By now Trump knows that he can declare a national emergency and fund the barriers after however much litigation the Dems can arrange. There is ample money available for the purpose. So, why does he not do it?

On Smerconish's show today, Bob Baer, spy extraordinaire, (read his books) asserted that the various bits and pieces of circumstantial "evidence" about Trump's contacts with and attitude toward Russia, as well as those of his flunkies and relatives amount to a "good enough" case for Trump being a Russian agent of influence. That is how a HUMINT spook judges such things. It is a matter of probabilities, not hard evidence. Assets of an alien government are not always witting (understanding) of their status from the POV of the foreign government, but that does not necessarily make other than agents. Sometimes they think they are merely cooperating in a good and normal way when, in fact, the relationship is much deeper. Jane Fonda in North Vietnam would be an example.

OTOH the president is responsible for the conduct of US foreign policy and is not under an obligation to accept the perhaps hackneyed views of his subordinates. Perhaps his world view is quite different and he is not mesmerized by the group think of the Borg. If that is so ...

But, how does one explain his lack of action on the border? Does someone or some thing in Russia, Israel, the UK, his former business associates, have something really juicy on Trump, something that he fears to unleash through decisive action? pl

https://southfront.org/kurdish-politician-washington-trying-to-sabotage-talks-between-sdf-and-damascus/

Eric Newhill , a day ago

Sir, I think he's just being cautious and exhausting all other options because half of the country has been made to believe he's a dictator. He's being sensitive to that. He will act. Give it time.
ISL -> Eric Newhill , 17 hours ago
Sensitive? Cautious? Caring about Americans not in his base (whatever his base means)? Doesnt sounds like president Donald Trump the last two years. He acts more like he is confused about what the president's powers are while the wormtongues he appointed and replaces with more of the same continue to whisper in his ear.
Eric Newhill -> ISL , 10 hours ago
Contrary to all the TDS out there, maybe he prefers to do things the right way and have Congress make laws and budgets that work for all of us whether or not we all understand how.
ISL -> Eric Newhill , 3 hours ago
If that was the case, why so many signing statements (particularly since republicans control congress ). He is on target to pass Obama. who also preferred not to do things by laws. http://www.coherentbabble.c... Its just that the trend towards an imperial, unitary presidency keeps getting worse with full acquiescence of congress who suckles on the corporate money teat, under both Dems and Repubs.

I voted for Trump. He lost me when he filled his cabinet with swamp creatures and then further when he replaced the generals with neo-cons like Bolton. You cant change the government if you don't understand how the government works - its not a real estate business that you can declare bankruptcy to make a buck.

Brain dead Dems kept saying Obama would do the right thing by the nation, that he was playing 4D chess, up till the moment he was no longer president, and in the end he was a narcisstic, self-aggrandizing politician who transferred trillions to the 0.1% and made America worse by any standard.

-----
Here's a nice plot - US apprehensions comparable to 1970 when the US had a much smaller population.

ISL -> ISL , 3 hours ago
Now if Trump shut the govt down until congress did something about big pharma and the opioid crisis because Congress is in their pocket he would have my support. But then the republicans and dems would jointly impeach him to keep the money spigot flowing.

Decreasing life expectancy is what happens in the sh-tholes to use his term. If he cared about illegal immigration, how about enforcing laws against employing illegal immigrants. Don't republicans who theoretically support capitalism (as opposed to crony capitalism) understood supply and demand? (If there is a demand, then supply will meet it)

Oh, because illegal immigrants are good for the bottom line of people, like, well, Trump:

https://www.washingtonpost....

[Jan 13, 2019] Mitt Romney, Commander of the Fake Internationalists by Doug Bandow

Notable quotes:
"... Mitt Romney, Commander of the Fake Internationalists Newly-inaugurated Senator has been promoted to standard-bearer for the bipartisan War Party, filling in for John McCain. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is author of ..."
Jan 10, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Mitt Romney, Commander of the Fake Internationalists Newly-inaugurated Senator has been promoted to standard-bearer for the bipartisan War Party, filling in for John McCain.

No surprise: Senator Mitt Romney does not like President Donald Trump, as he recently explained in The Washington Post . But what, one wonders, was the former GOP presidential candidate thinking two years ago when he supped with the man he now claims to deplore while seeking an appointment as secretary of state?

Much of Romney's complaint is over manners. Yes, the president is a boor. Most people, including many of Trump's supporters, recognize that. Trump won not because of his etiquette but because of what he stood for -- and against.

Romney also defended The Blob, Washington's bipartisan foreign policy establishment. In his article attacking the president, he offered the usual vacuous bromides that characterize the interventionist consensus, which poses as internationalism but with plenty of bombing raids, illegal occupations, and nation-building. Most importantly, this perspective presumes permanent American domination, irrespective of cost.

Romney wrote: "America has long been looked to for leadership. Our economic and military strength was part of that, of course, but our enduring commitment to principled conduct in foreign relations, and to the rights of all people to freedom and equal justice, was even more esteemed." Indeed, "The world needs American leadership, and it is in America's interest to provide it. A world led by authoritarian regimes is a world -- and an America -- with less prosperity, less freedom, less peace."

In fact, Romney appears more committed to dependence on allies than American leadership. For him, these are two sides of the same coin. The only alternative he sees to Washington in control is the bad guys leading.

Related is Romney's apparent belief that foreign policy is fixed, irrespective of circumstance: the very same U.S.-dominated alliances created in 1950 are needed today. Although America's friends have raced ahead economically, politically, even militarily, Washington must forever treat them as helpless derelicts. For instance, Russia, a weakened declining power, faces the U.S. and Europe -- which together have more than 20 times its GDP. Yet Romney sees Moscow as the greatest threat facing America. It is 1945 all over again.

Romney's most important omission is Iraq. After the war there turned bad, he remained silent about his support for it. The Iraq disaster is an important reason why Trump won and other Republicans, including Romney, lost. In 2008, Americans rejected John McCain, the very symbol of promiscuous war-making. Four years later, Romney criticized President Barack Obama for leaving Iraq too soon, by which the Republican nominee probably meant leaving at any time. In saying he would keep more troops in Iraq, he ignored the fact that the Iraqis had refused to negotiate a status of forces agreement with the Bush administration.

Romney also failed to mention Afghanistan, both as a presidential candidate in 2012 and senator in 2019. After all, what good can be said for entering the 18th year of nation-building in a region of little strategic interest? As for Syria, last November, Romney predictably denounced as "recklessness in the extreme" exiting a multi-sided civil war in a country never important to America.

Whose Side is Mitt Romney On? Robert Kagan's Jungle Book of Forever War

Now Romney is being touted as the new standard-bearer for the bipartisan War Party, filling in for John McCain. Bloomberg columnist Hal Brands theorized that Romney was attempting to "position himself as heir to John McCain as the congressional conscience of U.S. diplomacy" (defined as advocating policies designed to prolifically kill and destroy).

Towards this effort, Romney is articulating "a renewed Republican internationalism based on opposition to aggressive authoritarian regimes." Brands celebrates Romney's Russophobia, saying he "deserves credit for being anti-Russia before being anti-Russia was cool." No hint that the U.S. might have contributed to Moscow's hostility through the aggressive "internationalism" of Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama -- violating commitments not to expand NATO, dismantling Moscow's Slavic friend Serbia, and encouraging violent regime change against an elected government that neighbored Russia. After all, equivalent Russian intervention in Mexico would have triggered an extremely hostile reaction in Washington.

Neoconservative Max Boot lauded Romney for throwing "down the gauntlet to President Trump." Indeed, argued Boot, "it now falls upon Romney to champion the cause of principled conservatism in Washington." Boot hoped the freshman senator would lead a general opposition and seemed especially pleased at Romney's support for the interventionist status quo.

Yet the passion-less Romney is a poor substitute for the perennially angry McCain. It is difficult to imagine Romney leading Lindsey Graham and Joseph Lieberman on another apocalyptic ride, demanding that death and destruction be visited upon an enemy du jour. Indeed, Romney admitted as much, complained The New York Times , which noted that he said he "would only speak out against Mr. Trump on issues of 'great significance,' which means not much."

Worse, Romney is a typical denizen of Washington and lacks any connection to the disastrous consequences of his policies. Give McCain credit: he and his sons served in the military. Not Romney. He received four deferments during the Vietnam War, explaining that he "had other plans." This sounds eerily like Dick Cheney, who said his five deferments reflected "other priorities."

Moreover, none of Romney's five sons served. That is, of course, their prerogative. But their decision further insulated Romney from any consequences of his policies. His response to questions about their lack of service: "One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president." Did Romney believe working for him was as dangerous as fighting Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah? Or that his personal interest in winning the election was as important as the nation winning a war?

My friend William Smith at the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at Catholic University argued that Romney's article "is another clear sign that the bipartisan political establishment is largely oblivious to the terrible tragedy of wartime casualties disproportionately inflicted on certain communities." Candidate Trump did particularly well in states that so suffered. Complained Smith: "What is astonishing is that, after all this tragedy, Romney offers only cliched neoconservative bromides to the many heartbroken communities across the nation."

However, The Blob, which dominates foreign policy under both parties, poses an even larger problem. These policymakers consider permanent war to be America's natural condition. They seek to suppress dissident views to ensure united support for permanent war. Anyone who hesitates to back every proposed new intervention is demonized and marginalized.

The favorite technique, recently employed by Frederick Kagan in The Hill, is to call opponents, irrespective of their actual positions, "isolationists." Thus did Kagan urge left and right "internationalists" -- meaning military interventionists -- to work together to defend "the principle that the United States must remain actively engaged in the world," by which he meant warring without end on multiple countries.

Exclaimed Kagan: "The isolationists who have condemned the United States involvement in the Middle East and the rest of the world for decades are about to get their wish. We will witness what the world looks like when left to its own devices."

Egads. Imagine what might have happened had the U.S. not intervened in the Lebanese Civil War, armed Turkey to kill tens of thousands of Kurds and destroy thousands of Kurdish villages, invaded Iraq and triggered sectarian conflict, fostered civil war in Libya and the chaos that followed, supported decades of violent occupation over millions of Palestinians by Israel, backed murderous Saudi Arabia in Bahrain and Yemen, supported a coup against Iran's democratically elected government and a brutal invasion backed by chemical weapons against Iran's Islamist regime, actively underwritten tyranny across the Middle East, and tried to sort out the Syrian Civil War. Something bad might have happened.

Yeah.

In Syria, Kagan views as "isolationist" the withdrawal of an illegal military deployment that risks violent confrontation with Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Russia over minor stakes. In contrast, "internationalism" means war everywhere all the time, especially in a country like Syria.

Trump, complained Kagan, is leaving "Afghanistan for no clear reason whatsoever." No reason other than Washington long ago having achieved its objective of degrading and displacing al-Qaeda and punishing the Taliban for hosting al-Qaeda. And eventually having recognized, after more than 17 years passed, trillions of dollars were spent, and thousands of lives were lost, that using force to create a liberal democracy in Central Asia is a fool's errand. Why leave, indeed?

It has oft been recognized that Donald Trump is a flawed vehicle to achieve almost any foreign policy end. However, he still possesses far more common sense than Mitt Romney. It is time to rescue "internationalism" from those who love humanity so much that they would destroy the world in order to save it.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is author of Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire . MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR

Attack of the Pork Hawks Does It Really Matter If North Korea Denuclearizes? Hide 20 comments 20 Responses to Mitt Romney, Commander of the Fake Internationalists

EliteCommInc. January 9, 2019 at 11:01 pm

"No reason other than Washington long ago having achieved its objective of degrading and displacing al-Qaeda and punishing the Taliban for hosting al-Qaeda."

One should avoid the back pedal here. the Taliban did not host Al Quaeda in the manner your reference suggests.

John_M , , January 9, 2019 at 11:06 pm
I truly voted against Romney when he ran for president because of his omnidirectional belligerence. I also didn't like his vulture capitalism style (and I did technical due diligence for venture capital activities as a side line).

I don't see that he has gotten any wiser.

Own Goal , , January 10, 2019 at 2:22 am
Romney just guaranteed that he won't get the nomination. Amazing, really, stupid and gratuitous.

He could at the least have shown a little "growth" in the direction of populist disgust with the wasteful, reckless, failed wars, not to mention concerns about the growth of government and corporate mass surveillance of the public, and the continuing unholy collaboration between Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and Washington in ripping off taxpayers and importing cheap labor to take American jobs.

Not Mitt. He seems to think he's running for president of our utterly discredited, pseudo-meritocratic "Establishment".

steve mckinney , , January 10, 2019 at 2:48 am
Let's all thank the knuckle-headed Utahns for delivering another unimaginative empty suit to the Nation's State House. Sure, Trump is often a boor, and unmistakably human, but give me a man-child with conviction and Devil-may-care determination over a dapper dolt whose ideas are contrived platitudes and whose passion is a Macbeth-like obsession with stature and power any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Well written Mr. Bandow! Keep fighting the good fight.
polistra , , January 10, 2019 at 4:10 am
I get the sense that the "isolationist" line doesn't work any more. It was a commonly used rhetorical weapon 10 years ago, and it effectively silenced opposition. Now it's not used much, and it seems to be ignored or derided when it is used. Most Americans understand now that maintaining and expanding an empire is destroying us.
Aunt Lila , , January 10, 2019 at 7:44 am
You really don't get Romney, do you. Who are you to decided what anyone sees or feels. Do you think you could use the word seems like a professional journalist. I don't construe
Romney that way. You SEEM to put words in his mouth and thought in his head. Please be professional.
Dan Green , , January 10, 2019 at 8:12 am
My take is Mitt see's himself as a Gerald Ford calming effect, for this 4 year disruption, the Swamp battles with. The Deep state needs an impeachment win and soon. With that said it will be ever difficult for the Beltway to change Americans perception , they don't trust the government.
Kolya Krassotkin , , January 10, 2019 at 10:23 am
For someone so smart Romney should realize that Americans will reject him (again), when he takes up the mantle of McCain (again) as quickly as they did the last time. But that he fails to realize that substance trumps form, which is why 67 million Americans voted for the President, demonstrates what a shallow narcisst and sociopath he is. I mean, it's okay to rob your neighbor so long as you say "please" and "thank you," isn't it?
Stephen J. , , January 10, 2019 at 11:31 am
The writer states: "Now Romney is being touted as the new standard-bearer for the bipartisan War Party, filling in for John McCain."

I believe The "War Party" are:
"The Maniacs of Militarism"

The maniacs of militarism are creating wars
Countries are bombed by warmongering whores
Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and other countries too
Are hell holes of the earth, "The work," of this insane crew

Enabled by politicians in positions of power
These well dressed war criminals hide and cower
The generals salute their political masters
Then the brainwashed obey these bemedaled disasters

Cities are destroyed and reduced to rubble
Where are the perpetrators that created all this trouble?
They are residing in luxury and given fancy titles
War crimes trials are needed, and are so vital

But this is not happening: the system is corrupted
And these evil beings, by some are worshiped
Blood-soaked villains that never do the fighting
They are the "experts" that do the inciting

They are the producers of death and destruction
Others are profiteers of all the bloody actions
Missiles, bombs and horrendous weapons
There is no end to the endless aggression

Millions are dead, and millions are homeless
Millions are refugees, and all this is atrocious
Once they had jobs, families, and homes as well
Then their countries were bombed by the agents from hell

Setting the world on fire is what these war arsonists do
The money for their depredations comes from me and you
They have made us all accessories to their criminal acts
Our Taxes are the blood money and that is a fact

Will the people ever say: "We have had enough"?
And put all these villains in secure handcuffs
Then lock them up in maximum security prisons
Then, we can say "goodbye" to the maniacs of militarism
[more info at link below]
http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-maniacs-of-militarism.html
-- --
And:
"More War "

More war is needed to keep armies trained and employed
More wars are needed so that countries can be destroyed
More killing, bombing, destruction and death
More of this is needed until the victims have nothing left
[read more at link below]

https://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2017/08/more-war.html

prodigalson , , January 10, 2019 at 1:21 pm
Romney is such an empty suit i'm not sure if he isn't weakening his position just by virtue that, he Romney, supports it.

Does this guy inspire anyone to any emotion other than revulsion? Along with Hillary, they both strike me both as elites who want to become president, not from any actual passions or desires, but because they've run out of other things to add to their C.V.

The only thing I can say with certainty that Mitt Romney believes in, is Mitt Romney. So I'm intensely skeptical that ANYONE in America, aside from the most firebrand resistance types, are going to take anything coming out of this corporate drone's mouth with any seriousness. And even for the resistance types the support would equally follow a labrador retriever, just so long as it opposed Trump, so Mitt doesn't even have that thin thread of loyatly going for him.

I guess that leaves him with the neocons as BFFs. They're welcome to each other.

One Guy , , January 10, 2019 at 1:32 pm
Why are we ragging on Romney? Is it because he had the audacity to criticize Trump? Shouldn't we wait until he actually does something bad before ragging on him? Has he lied 6,000 times in the last few years, for example? Did he refuse to rake the forests?
Mike Clements , , January 10, 2019 at 2:54 pm
Such trashing of Romney becomes a real challenge for me.

I can't decide if it's the fevered imaginings or the straw man arguments that disappoint me the most.

Tim , , January 10, 2019 at 3:34 pm
I think Romney is simply miffed that the boorish Trump became president and he did not and sadly, he may be running for president again. I think someone used the word revulsion about Romney. I approve. It's ironic the boorish Trump isn't nearly as revolting as the urbane Mitt.
Jeeves , , January 10, 2019 at 4:09 pm
@Mike Clements
For me it's the straw man arguments that are most egregious. As an Arizonan, I knew John McCain, and Romney is no McCain (whose like we will never see again, if we're lucky).

Just to single out one objection to Mr. Bandow's argument: Romney didn't refer to the SOFA, which supposedly required Obama to abandon Iraq, for the very good reason that Leon Panetta, who should know, has said that Obama, with plenty of time to do it, made no effort whatsoever to re-negotiate the SOFA 2011 deadline. Panetta regrets this and so do I.

fabian , , January 10, 2019 at 4:34 pm
Romney is the epitome of the decay of the USA. Further, he shows the complete inability of the Republican party to choose the correct casting. After Bush and Iraq they propose McPain. After the Great Financial Crisis they propose Mittens. It's akin to cast Dany de Vito to play Casanova. When Trump is gone, this party is finished.
Kolya Krassotkin , , January 10, 2019 at 5:06 pm
I approve. It's ironic the boorish Trump isn't nearly as revolting as the urbane Mitt.

That Americans are revolted more by Romney than by Trump, in fact, speaks well for them. All morally mature folk should be repelled more by a polite, urbane, well-scrubbed pirate, who made his fortune destroying people's lives and wealth than by a loud-talking, crude womanizer, who creates wealth and, in fact, shows his concern for the people below him more than the polite, charming, well-bred pirate.

Bacon , , January 10, 2019 at 10:11 pm
As I understand it, Romney's saying we need more Middle East wars, more Wall Street bailouts, and more immigrants.

I think we already knew that Romney wants those things. It's why we don't want Romney.

Also, it's its unnecessary to counter Kagan's arguments. He's not taken seriously any more. Too many bad and wrong judgments about important things.

rta , , January 11, 2019 at 10:09 am
@Jeeves, Obama would have stayed in Iraq if the Iraqi's had allowed us to continue to kill with impunity. Thankfully, they said no. And why on earth would you regret us not negotiating a new SOFA?
kswc , , January 11, 2019 at 11:24 am
Mitt Romney is the Republican's answer to the Democrat's John Kerry.
WorkingClass , , January 11, 2019 at 5:06 pm
If Utah has a problem with Trump they could have elected a Democrat.

Romney is obsolete. Never Trump Republicans are sinking in a tar pit. Romney cannot be nominated much less elected even if Trump does not run. He can help with the impeachment of Trump if it comes to that. But again, a Democrat would be more useful.

[Jan 13, 2019] Obama revenge

Notable quotes:
"... Obama sacrificed a huge chunk of American freedom just for the sake of personal political revenge. The USA is transitioning from a laissez faire to a highly burocratized, byzantine economy. ..."
"... Smiling & smooth-talking black face issuing zillions of promises, and this was right after the Codpiece Commander. It took me a whole year to realize I'd been suckered, and by 2012 understood the fix was STILL on. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Jan 13, 2019 5:19:18 PM | link

If this is really true, then it's a clear sign of decline: Obama sacrificed a huge chunk of American freedom just for the sake of personal political revenge. The USA is transitioning from a laissez faire to a highly burocratized, byzantine economy.
Zachary Smith , Jan 13, 2019 6:47:25 PM | link
@ juliania #23
I am so glad I did not vote for Obama a second time around.

LOL (first time I've ever written this!)

You made the same mistake I did in 2008. The deck was really stacked in that election, though I was too blind to see it at the time. Smiling & smooth-talking black face issuing zillions of promises, and this was right after the Codpiece Commander. It took me a whole year to realize I'd been suckered, and by 2012 understood the fix was STILL on.

Obama had lost most all of his glitter by then, so the Power Elites arranged his opposition to be a financial predator/Mormon bishop paired up with the most awful Libertarian POS I've ever seen.

Speaking the honest truth here, I'd prefer to have Sarah Palin as POTUS to Paul Ryan. What a combo! That's why I offered anybody I met 10:1 odds on Obama winning. Hillary thought she had had seen a winning pattern from all that, and arranged to have as her opponent a fellow named Donald Trump.

[Jan 13, 2019] Deep State neutered Trump: I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President

He essentially became a Republican Obama, save Nobel Peace Price. If Obama was/is a CIA-democrat, this guy is a Deep State controlled republican. In any case he betrayed his voters in a way that resembles Obama betrayal. One has a fake slogan "change we can believe in" that other equally fake "Make [middle] America Great Again" (which means restoration of well-being of middle class and working class in my book, not the continuation of Obama foreign wars, and tax cuts for for corporations and super rich.
And that means that he lost a considerable part of his electorate: the anti-war republicans and former Sanders supporters. He might do good and not to try to run in 2020. He definitely is no economic nationalist. Compare his policies with Tucker Carlson Jan 2, 2019 speech to see the difference. He is "national neoliberal" which rejects parts of neoliberal globalization based on treaties and prefer to bully nations to compliance that favor the US interests instead of treaties.
And his "fight" with the Deep State resemble so closely to complete and unconditional surrender, that you might have difficulties to distinguish between the two.
Most of his appointees would make Hillary proud. That that extends beyond rabid neocons like Haley, Mattis, Bolton and Pompeo.
Notable quotes:
"... The Washington Post is without a doubt the most pro-establishment among all large mainstream publications, not only do they defend the narratives of the Deep State but actively attacks anyone who challenges them. ..."
"... Jeff Bezos owner of the Washington Post is also a contractor with the CIA and sits on a Pentagon advisory board all part of doing everything he can to cozy up and ingratiate himself to the establishment on which his empire is built. ..."
"... It's really sad that people in the public believe this stuff. It's insane and ridiculous. We're living in an Insane Asylum and the ones who should be there for the safety of themselves and others are walking around giving orders to Media and USG, fomenting war and making a mockery of laws and "normal behaviors. ..."
"... They flooded the news with the old Helsinki/Putin stuff to hide the real news. Lisa Page's testimony revealed that John Carlin, Mueller's former chief of staff was running the Russia investigation from the DOJ end, showing another conflict of Mueller's. Now Mueller is covering for two best friends, Comey and Carlin and he has to frame Trump to save them. ..."
"... The testimony also showed FBI David Bowditch was heavily involved, and Bowditch is now 2nd in command at the FBI and blocking the public release of witness testimony, and one reason for it is it reveals his involvement. ..."
"... It is also now revealed that John Brennan CIA had the dossier before the FBI, and the dossier was likely written by Nellie Ohr, who belonged to a CIA group, and then the dossier was laundered by Steele to look like foreign intelligence to get the Crossfire Hurricane investigation started on Trump. You would think it would be big news that Russians may have had nothing to do with the dossier but the media doesn't see it that way ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Washington Post stating that he "has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details" of his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin - telling Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in a phone interview that he would be willing to release the details of a private conversation in Helsinki last summer.

"I would. I don't care," Trump told Pirro, adding: "I'm not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn't care less."

"I mean, it's so ridiculous, these people making up," Trump said of the WaPo report.

The president referred to his roughly two-hour dialogue with Putin in Helsinki -- at which only the leaders and their translators were present -- as "a great conversation" that included discussions about "securing Israel and lots of other things."

"I had a conversation like every president does," Trump said Saturday. "You sit with the president of various countries. I do it with all countries." - Politico

In July an attempt by House Democrats to subpoena Trump's Helsinki interpreter was quashed by Republicans.

"The Washington Post is almost as bad, or probably as bad, as the New York Times," Trump said.

When Pirro asked Trump about a Friday night New York Times report that the FBI had opened an inquiry into whether he was working for Putin, Pirro asked Trump "Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?"

"I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked," Trump responded. "I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written."

Trump went on an epic tweetstorm Saturday following the Times article, defending his 2017 firing of former FBI Director James Comey, and tweeting that he has been "FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!"

rumcho

Jeff Bezos paid $250 million for Washington Post, five years later he gets a government contract with the CIA for $600 million. Are you connecting the dots? You do the numbers. This is how fascism works. Bezos is a crony capitalist joker.

Anunnaki

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/01/the-trump-russia-scam-how-obama-enabled-the-fbi-to-spy-on-trump.html#more

is Trump waiting for Mueller to lay down his cards? Head him off at the pass and arrest Obama, Rice, Jarrett, Lynch, Comey, Rosenstein and McCabe all on day 1

best defense is a good offense. Make the narrative about Dem sedition not impending House impeachment hearings.

You are President, start acting like it. Make them fear you.

your re-election depends on Mike Obama not being your opponent.

Let it Go

WaPo, again?

The Washington Post is without a doubt the most pro-establishment among all large mainstream publications, not only do they defend the narratives of the Deep State but actively attacks anyone who challenges them.

Jeff Bezos owner of the Washington Post is also a contractor with the CIA and sits on a Pentagon advisory board all part of doing everything he can to cozy up and ingratiate himself to the establishment on which his empire is built. The article below delves into how WaPo is behind many of the big stories that manipulate America and moves the needle of public opinion in huge ways.

http://Washington-post-influence-and-power.html

MoralsAreEssential

It's really sad that people in the public believe this stuff. It's insane and ridiculous. We're living in an Insane Asylum and the ones who should be there for the safety of themselves and others are walking around giving orders to Media and USG, fomenting war and making a mockery of laws and "normal behaviors.

shadow54

They flooded the news with the old Helsinki/Putin stuff to hide the real news. Lisa Page's testimony revealed that John Carlin, Mueller's former chief of staff was running the Russia investigation from the DOJ end, showing another conflict of Mueller's. Now Mueller is covering for two best friends, Comey and Carlin and he has to frame Trump to save them.

The testimony also showed FBI David Bowditch was heavily involved, and Bowditch is now 2nd in command at the FBI and blocking the public release of witness testimony, and one reason for it is it reveals his involvement.

It is also now revealed that John Brennan CIA had the dossier before the FBI, and the dossier was likely written by Nellie Ohr, who belonged to a CIA group, and then the dossier was laundered by Steele to look like foreign intelligence to get the Crossfire Hurricane investigation started on Trump. You would think it would be big news that Russians may have had nothing to do with the dossier but the media doesn't see it that way.

Then there is the news that Fusion GPS worked with the Democracy Integrity Project and Knew Knowledge to run a fake Russian bots campaign against Roy Moore. The Democracy Integrity Project was started by Feinstein's aide and with New Knowledge wrote a report on Russian bots for the Senate Intelligence Committee. So the Senate Intelligence Committee hired creators of fake Russian bots to write a report on Russian bots.

[Jan 13, 2019] Ask your Senators if they've heard/read Browder's 2015 deposition in the Prevezon case

Jan 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

RobinG , says: July 24, 2018 at 4:59 am GMT

@exiled off mainstreet #BROWDERGATE

A perfectly good article, I'm sure, but why diffuse ourselves [and engender feelings of fear and hopelessness as you express] when a strategic pressure point has presented? Johnstone makes no mention of Bill Browder. Nor do the [100, so far] commenters.

BILL BROWDER is a key figure in the anti-Trump, anti-Russia hysteria. The notorious Trump Tower meeting was about the Magnitsky Act, a fabrication by Browder to hide his financial crimes. Browder "testified" in the Senate expressly to demonize Putin. Browder's contacts in the IC, the Jewish Lobby, and the fawning media have enabled his propaganda assault this week. He's appeared -- unchallenged, virtually unquestioned -- on countless talk shows. But he's been running scared at the mention of interrogation by Russians. There are huge holes in his story, made clear in his deposition in the Prevezon case. The truth will bring him down! And perhaps his Deep State supporters, along with him.

Ask your Senators if they've heard/read Browder's 2015 deposition in the Prevezon case. (See comment 161 under The Untouchable Mr. Browder? by Israel Shamir for links.)

Research links to primary sources on #Browdergate --
https://populist.tv/2018/01/20/bill-browder-links-and-resources-to-understand-controversy/

RobinG , says: July 24, 2018 at 5:02 pm GMT
@yurivku How about Idiot AND Troll.

BTW, have you seen "THE MAGNITSKY ACT – BEHIND THE SCENES" that Phil Giraldi posted today? Debunking anti-Russian criminal sociopaths like Bill Browder will go a long way to improving relations. Not to mention easing pressure on the unfortunate Trump.

Full research primary links available here, including Browder's 2015 deposition in the U.S. vs. Prevezon Holdings case. Every Senator who voted to support Browder should see this. [Any who already have, double shame!]
https://populist.tv/2018/01/20/bill-browder-links-and-resources-to-understand-controversy/

Yurivku , says: July 24, 2018 at 5:26 pm GMT
@RobinG UWell, we here in Russia know all this (about Browder) for quite a time. What new did you find? It's just one story in long list of those written and spoken for western idiots like Scripals
, MH17, chemicals in Syria and WMD in Iraq, Russian meddling in f-n US elections and so on. Eat it all dummies.

[Jan 13, 2019] RFK knew how it works. RFK junior explained the reason for RFK's focus on organized-crime until CIA whacked him. That's why his book was made to sink without a ripple.

Jan 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

MK-DELTABURKE , says: July 23, 2018 at 12:40 pm GMT

@Cagey Beast Yup. Furthermore, CIA is organized crime and organized crime is CIA. CIA recruits and runs agents in favored criminal syndicates in every illicit trade: drugs, child sexual trafficking, arms, fraud, bustouts, extortion, money laundering. Their purpose is not to interdict the trade but to control it.

CIA manages transnational organized crime to top up their budget for unauthorized clandestine operations, like killing JFK.

CIA protects its criminal proteges with their chartered impunity. They call off law enforcement with the magic words national security or 'sources and methods.' If the plan gets exposed, CIA's criminal cutouts insulate the agency from exposure.

RFK knew how it works. RFK junior explained the reason for RFK's focus on organized-crime until CIA whacked him. That's why his book was made to sink without a ripple.

https://popularresistance.org/the-mass-media-will-not-review-rfk-jr-s-book-why/

Evenfurthermore, CIA is the government and the government is CIA. Decades ago Fletcher Prouty showed that CIA's deepest-cover illegal moles are embedded in our own government. Every agency with repressive capacity is infiltrated with focal points, who report to CIA handlers without the other agency's knowledge.

https://ratical.org/ratville/JFK/ST/ST.html

Of course Israel is trying to infiltrate it -- they understand the levers of power.

Assange has got some mighty stinkers in his insurance file. All we can do is hope they're enough to destabilize the CIA Reich that has ruled America since 1949.

[Jan 13, 2019] CIA is boosting the volume of its anti-Russian vilification because more and more CIA assets are getting flushed out. Stephan Halper is an obvious spook. Page is the corniest traitor since Lee Harvey Oswald

Notable quotes:
"... CIA is boosting the volume of its anti-Russian vilification because more and more CIA assets are getting flushed out. Stephan Halper is an obvious spook. Page is the corniest traitor since Lee Harvey Oswald ..."
"... Strzok has clearly got a dotted-line report to his real boss in CIA ..."
"... Publius Tacitus is incorrect, though, in making a distinction between the Obama administration and the intelligence community. Obama is a third-generation CIA spook he's a CIA spokesmodel, not a head of state (see Andrew Krieg's Presidential Puppetry.) ..."
"... To add to the list of things that the Russians had on Hillary . IIRC, she was Sec of State at the time the US election-meddling-and-color-revolution brigade tried to rig the Russian elections against Putin. ..."
"... Putin does not seem to be the sort to let emotion be more important than policy, but I've always wondered that to the small extent the Russians did take a pop at Hillary's campaign, if it didn't bring a bit of a smile to Putin's face to know he was just giving back the hits he'd already taken from her. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Halper , says: July 23, 2018 at 6:52 pm GMT

CIA is boosting the volume of its anti-Russian vilification because more and more CIA assets are getting flushed out. Stephan Halper is an obvious spook. Page is the corniest traitor since Lee Harvey Oswald .

https://dailystormer.name/is-carter-page-a-cia-spook/

Strzok has clearly got a dotted-line report to his real boss in CIA :

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/07/22/a-review-of-the-doj-fbi-fisa-application-release/

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/07/fisa-fraud-by-obamas-doj-and-intel-community-by-publius-tacitus.html

Publius Tacitus is incorrect, though, in making a distinction between the Obama administration and the intelligence community. Obama is a third-generation CIA spook he's a CIA spokesmodel, not a head of state (see Andrew Krieg's Presidential Puppetry.)

Daniel Rich , says: July 23, 2018 at 10:35 pm GMT
@peterAUS It's impossible to asses [correctly] who's influenced by what, but it seems that telling lies doesn't work that well any longer. You can find some numbers in the following article: Democracy Dies in Debt? US News Outlets Slashing Staff Left and Right -- Link to Sputnik.

Excerpt : "A Pew Research analysis on Monday found that more than a third of the US' largest newspapers and more than a fifth of its largest digital outlets experienced layoffs between January 2017 and April 2018."

Bill the Cat , says: July 24, 2018 at 12:06 am GMT
To add to the list of things that the Russians had on Hillary . IIRC, she was Sec of State at the time the US election-meddling-and-color-revolution brigade tried to rig the Russian elections against Putin.

Putin does not seem to be the sort to let emotion be more important than policy, but I've always wondered that to the small extent the Russians did take a pop at Hillary's campaign, if it didn't bring a bit of a smile to Putin's face to know he was just giving back the hits he'd already taken from her.

Hillary of course was incompetent in having America interfere in Russian elections. That campaign never had a chance as Putin is a lot more popular in Russia than Hillary is in America. So, she took a pot shot at a rival world leader knowing (or at least some smart people did) that it would have no effect and that Putin would win that election anyways. And of course Hillary the Arrrogant could never imagine that another player in the game would get to take a turn, and that others might interfere in her election, and she knew she'd run and she knew she'd rig the Dem party to get the nod, in the same way the NED and the Soros NGO's tried to interfere in Russia.

skrik , says: July 24, 2018 at 1:59 pm GMT
@Northgunner

'ruling class', 'elites'

I share your sentiments [in a slightly different vernacular]; of course they, the usurping 'rulers' are neither a class nor in any way 'elite,' but who/what ever they are [jews, oligarchs, 'simply' psychopaths or 'true' spawn of Satan], they do seem to be 'in control.' Proof of that is the coordinated criminal actions of 'the West.'

Find "CIA is the government and the government is CIA" above; it's the obvious place to expect a ccc = covert criminal cabal to establish itself. Add to that the truly weird concept of having spies a) out of all control and b) with apparently unlimited power. We 'shall know them by their deeds' which is almost unrelievedly a 'bad look.' Odd is that the 1st mention of any conspiracy that I heard of was that of 'jewish banksters ruling the world.' We since know that such was pilloried by the CIA, but it seems to me to be a case of the tar-baby: The more they [CIA, jews] howl/deny, the guiltier they prove themselves to be. rgds

Mulegino1 , says: July 24, 2018 at 9:55 pm GMT
I would say that what is affecting the western establishment elites at this juncture is not mere dementia but the madness which arises from acts of pure, hellish evil. These people are the Gadarine swine of the contemporary era; a good portion of them appear to be Satanic perverts and pedophiles, if we are to judge from recent revelations. I am not being hyperbolic when I write that Antichrist's reign has been postponed. They had imagined it would be installed by November of 2016 and this is driving them to despair. They hate Trump because his election blocked their lord and master's ascent and they hate Putin because he represents the great restraining power.
Cagey Beast , says: July 24, 2018 at 10:16 pm GMT
@yurivku He's of course is a bone in DC's throat, but his level of intelligence and real power seem to be extremely low.

Yes, he's a golden chandelier stuck in the belly of the Beast. I think he's quite smart, in his own way, but can only do so much on his own. He also has some bad ideas and makes enemies when it isn't necessary but he's still the only hope for change at the centre of the American empire.

Jeff Stryker , says: July 25, 2018 at 4:12 am GMT
@skrik Be that as it may, Romper Stomper took place 30 years after the Vietnam War began. The reverberations of the war were felt in Australia long afterwards.
Jeff Stryker , says: July 25, 2018 at 4:27 am GMT
@peterAUS That's an armchair rugby referee for you, encouraging a Civil War in a country he's probably never set foot. What do you believe would change its policy towards Oz.

If you remember when Reagan broke the air-traffic control union strikes and 30,000 of them immigrated to Oz in 1981, what would happen would be that many qualified Americans would come to Australia and take Australian jobs.

That's how such unrest would affect you.

At any rate, the US would still have the same grip on popular culture (If not financial markets) and Vegemite would not suddenly replace McDonald's everywhere.

Also, though the Asians seem to slowly taking over your economy anyhow, if the US military was busy suppressing a civil war and Asian countries might get aggressive towards you militarily.

Jeff Stryker , says: July 25, 2018 at 4:31 am GMT
@peterAUS The Asians might get more aggressive if the US military suddenly found itself preoccupied with a Civil War.

Asia is taking over your country economically anyhow but they might get a bit anti-social if suddenly the US were to lose all capacity to maintain its presence in your hemisphere.

peterAUS , says: July 25, 2018 at 5:12 am GMT
@Jeff Stryker O.K.

Good luck.

skrik , says: July 25, 2018 at 6:15 am GMT
@peterAUS

I know, for your types. Feels comfortable

Aw, don't go all wussy -- you're acting like a wounded suitor. I suppose it was my rejection of your

I'd need to trust you and then we'd have a long chat somewhere in open public place

Similr to which you you offered Backstay

Have a quiet chat somewhere in a park, for example. Just two of us. Two

Try this google ; that the sort of place you had in mind? It's also reputedly a secret entrance to an ASIO bunker but I suppose you know that; I call attempted entrapment.

RobinG , says: July 25, 2018 at 6:18 am GMT
@skrik . ? ccc = 'great financial consortiums' ?

"As a matter of fact, the composition of the governments is predetermined, and their actions are controlled by great financial consortiums."

J. V. Stalin, Questions & Answers to American Trade Unionists: Stalin's Interview With the First American Trade Union Delegation to Soviet Russia
Pravda September 15, 1927 ___________(h/t, J.S.)

yurivku , says: July 25, 2018 at 6:52 am GMT
@Cagey Beast

think he's quite smart, in his own way, but can only do so much on his own

But I think he's stupid, ignorant, spineless (as well as most of POTUSes), the only difference is -- he's not completely belongs to DC. Probably it's better than if Clinton was on his place, but who knows, Trump can make any stupid thing

standall , says: July 25, 2018 at 7:39 am GMT
@exiled off mainstreet I agree.
skrik , says: July 25, 2018 at 9:31 am GMT
@RobinG

ccc = 'great financial consortiums' ?

G'day, q.possibly and glad you responded. Yeah sure, Stalin is 'close;' it's why some suggest oligarchs, but it demonstrably falls a bit short. My ccc = covert criminal cabal, each word of the highest significance; let's examine each one:

[COED:] covert = not openly acknowledged or displayed -- this is 100% true, since they operate from 'behind a curtain' of deliberate secrecy. Not declaring who they are is a lie of omission, then see after cabal below. Before moving on, let's consult Cicero:

mendaci neque quum vera dicit, creditor

= A liar is not to be believed, even when speaking the truth. That's never a 'good look,' and leads to the next:

criminal -- self-evident, then:

[COED:] cabal = a secret political clique or faction. Øarchaic a secret intrigue .

ORIGIN
C16 (denoting the Kabbalah): from French cabale, from medieval Latin cabala (see Kabbalah).

Finally [COED:] Kabbalah (also Kabbala, Cabbala, Cabala, or Qabalah = the ancient Jewish tradition of mystical interpretation of the Bible .

I allow myself to propose an exactly apposite example of the latter: 'Xxx promised it to us!' -- Where Xxx comes directly from some "mystical interpretation of the Bible." 'Nuff said?

More? IF it were only "great financial consortiums" THEN one would need to explain the criminality, since I'm pretty sure oligarchs *could* work legally. Then, the 'normal' consortiums' business is to 'make money' [and cheating and/or theft may be sort of 'normal'], but the ccc goes *far* past that into [mass-]murdering for spoil, quite/most often for oil and/or *soil* . The latter is within Nuremberg class = supreme international criminality. That may complete the loop and explain why covert in the 1st place.

I wrote above that I would 'revisit' lies; here's a partial quote:

But it remained for the yyy, with their unqualified capacity for falsehood,

Feel free to 'guess' at the yyy, then I assert QED rgds

Anon [243] Disclaimer , says: July 25, 2018 at 2:30 pm GMT
Great article. Good to read someone not suffering from dementia!
Jeff Stryker , says: July 25, 2018 at 3:00 pm GMT
@peterAUS Good luck?
EugeneGur , says: July 25, 2018 at 3:18 pm GMT
@peterAUS

Or who are the guys, in Ukrainian Armed Forces, presently engaged against Donbass?

Besides those in "volunteer battalions", which tend to be nationalistic with distinct Nazi overtones, people in the regular Armed Forces are there for the money. There are very few paying jobs in today's Ukraine, so men enlist and hope for the best.

the ratio hate/don't care shall shift, hard and fast. Not in Russian favor, I suspect.

That could've been the case in 2014. Today I very much doubt it. Even the Right Sector people are fed up with the current power in Kiev, and even the dumbest nationalists are beginning to realize what a deep hole the country is in. Normal people all over the South-East are hoping and praying for the Russians to come. The problem is the Russians aren't coming.

Poupon Marx , says: July 25, 2018 at 5:05 pm GMT
The moniker "journalist" should immediately by banished by replacement of "reporter", as in report the facts and observations, not interpretations or personal opinions.
Eagle Eye , says: July 25, 2018 at 5:18 pm GMT
@Authenticjazzman

I am not a Scientologist, but I consider [L. Ron Hubbard] to be one of the most brilliant minds of the twentieth century

Interesting point. Serious question -- in your view, what else (other than psychotropic medication) was Hubbard "brilliant" about?

Authenticjazzman , says: July 25, 2018 at 6:51 pm GMT
@Eagle Eye " In your view what else was Hubbard brilliant about?"

Well for example his bizarre sounding concepts regarding the sources of mankind, and the history of this insane planet, which are repeatedly ridiculed and labeled as absurd by the PTB, who of course have their own turf to defend, and their own concepts which they do not want to be brought into question.

AJM

peterAUS , says: July 25, 2018 at 6:53 pm GMT
@EugeneGur Well can't say I disagree with the comment.
Or, better, can't provide any concrete evidence to the contrary, especially re the second paragraph.

The thing is, nationalism is a peculiar feeling.
So, while this

Normal people all over the South-East are hoping and praying for the Russians to come.

could be true, the rest of Ukraine could get into quite the opposite.

But, as you say

The problem is the Russians aren't coming.

so it's all academic.

Now, speaking of

people are fed up with the current power .

one could feel, probably, the same in Donbass.
Things aren't great there either.

In any case the conflict is there, frozen for the moment (not for the people along the front line) and can erupt, again, when the US Deep State wants it.

Interesting times.

Cratylus , says: July 26, 2018 at 5:49 am GMT
@Michael Kenny If one wants a clear example of the Russophobic or Putinophobic hysteria infecting the West, one need go no further than this demented fellow. And to that he adds a conspiracy theory about the gangsters ruling over it all.
Uncle Bee , says: July 26, 2018 at 12:06 pm GMT
@Cyrano Imagine if the WMDs get you attacked rule applied to Israel?
Jeff Davis , says: July 26, 2018 at 3:17 pm GMT
@seeing-thru You got it 100% Right my friend. That's the best reality-connected assessment of the Donald's performance that I've read. I'm going to swipe it for reuse elsewhere. Thank you, and may the force be with you.
seeing-thru , says: July 26, 2018 at 5:58 pm GMT
@Jeff Davis Glad you liked it. Yeah, go ahead use it any which way. BTW, my fear is that the Donald may not be able to succeed because of the massive line-up of forces against him. The whole lunatic asylum is out of their cages, snarling and clawing and planning all sorts of stuff to bring him down. Let us wish him success.
Apolonius , says: July 26, 2018 at 9:54 pm GMT
@Vojkan Bravo Vojkane!
Jeff Davis , says: July 27, 2018 at 6:24 pm GMT
@Lauri Törni

So standing up for American citizens is considered a "mentally insane" thing?

You are utterly and completely out of your mind, virtually from another planet, another reality. A textbook example of insanity. The fact that you don't recognize it, simply confirms the fact.

The Deep state is not, repeat not , the American people.

Regarding the Intel community: There are the guys in the trenches. these are honorable guys. Then there is the leadership. The current leadership is on notice to behave itself, on account of the new "Sheriff" in town. The corrupt politicized leadership from the Clinton/Bush/Obama regimes however, now out of power, are attempting to overthrow the legitimately elected president of the United States. In so doing, they are pursuing treason-lite.

Clapper, Brennan, and Hayden are already full-on war criminals: Iraq & torture. Now, in their attempt to destroy the Trump presidency, they are adding betrayal of democracy and betrayal of the Constitution of the United States to their criminal resume. These are evil men who think it is their job to run the United States from behind a malleable (gutless?) figurehead who does what they tell him to do.

As I said in my original post, it is fascinating to observe people like you, utterly dominated -- brain-raped really -- by a neocon/neoliberal narrative that has reduced them to robotic -- even willing -- slaves of the 1%. Good for you. Enjoy. The others, who prefer self-mastery to self-enslavement, will benefit from your choice of enslavement.

That is what all of this boils down to; Trump treating Americans like s*hit in front of the whole world, while praising Russia and Russians.

The IC war criminals/traitors should not be equated with or allowed to hide anonymous behind the majority population of decent Americans. Which is what simpletons like you enable and then fall for.

I fully understood all the concerns for what the Left is doing to people and to the society.

Trump praises Israel and says that, "Securing Israel's safety is our most important task" not a peep comes from the Trump-supporters?!

Some Trump supporters do object. Others however grasp the political reality of Jewish political influence in the US. Politically incompetent simpletons like yourself think Trump should commit political suicide by taking on the Jews.

The Jews/Israel will be dealt with -- or not -- later, when Trump has secured his presidency. And then, the rebalancing of the US-Israeli relationship will not be grounded in hostility to the Jews, but will be more along the lines of America First.

Never ever did I expect, that it would be the Trump-supporters surfacing as the fifth column, giving the "finishing touch" to the destruction of American citizens.

The above is pure paranoid, "the sky is falling", TDS whackadoodle.

The Liberals seem to have woken up,

The country is in the throes of a cultural war between the bubble-wrapped snowflakes and "real" people. Thankfully, the "real" people will win, precisely because they have the advantage of being reality-connected. The snowflakes will benefit as well -- you will benefit -- by the resulting opportunity to reconnect with reality.

Good luck, best wishes, Trump is rapidly changing the world for the better.

And let me add: The Soviet Union is a quarter century gone, and with it Soviet Communism. Putin is the preeminent statesman of our times. Go to YouTube and listen to what he says. He and Trump, aligned, are a force for good in the world. Peace with Russia is coming, and with it a new era of peace and prosperity in the world.

Which leaves me to echo your closing comment:

Are you ever going to be able to comprehend this?

(Answer: Probably not for another six years, if ever.)

Malcontent , says: July 29, 2018 at 8:59 pm GMT
@Cyrano Are you joking? Russia is the second largest nuclear arsenal in the world.
Malcontent , says: July 29, 2018 at 9:01 pm GMT
@Jeff Davis Bravo! Exactly my thoughts!
peterAUS , says: July 29, 2018 at 9:27 pm GMT
@Jeff Davis

Thankfully, the "real" people will win, precisely because they have the advantage of being reality-connected.

Ah, good.

The last time when "real" people won against the US "Deep State" was let me see .well shame on me, can't think of it.

Let's see after the fall of the Wall:
Yugoslavia, then Serbia proper .no
Afghanistan .no .
Ah Iraq .no ..
Lybia no .
Syria well not so sure.

Ah, yes, those weren't Americans. Yeah.

I got concerned for a bit; all good now.
No need to think about M.A.D. anymore. (Re)focus on fishing. Snapper, preferably.

Jeff Stryker , says: July 30, 2018 at 8:09 am GMT
@peterAUS Australia's problem is going to be an Asian economic overclass you Australians always obsess about country's located halfway around the world first the UK now the US.

you're worried about blacks in the US in the ghetto's wealth inequality while Chinese business elite reduce you to paupers IN Australia and eventually you go the way of the black aborigines.

But you cannot see that because you're focused on US cultural colonization or things you have seen in Hollywood films.

Jeff Stryker , says: July 30, 2018 at 8:15 am GMT
@peterAUS Sorry, countries not country's.

Point is that in the sixties you were still obsessed with the British Empire though you are a bit of a lost colony now you are obsessed with the United States, another waning Empire.

Pretty soon the Chinese will have you sleeping in your cars and you will still be focused on the state of blacks in the US ghetto and inequality in America.

But see, the US won't be the problem in Australia. China will.

You compare yourself to the United States because it is a similar former British colony and white settler nation but it is Asia that will stomp you.

James Bacque , says: Website July 31, 2018 at 7:16 pm GMT
She is most likely onto something important. My solution is that most people are double-minded because it suits us to lazily allow our leaders to control us while we (somewhat) hypocritically condemn them for faults and errors which profit us.

St Paul, Shakespeare and Montaigne all complained of their own double-mindedness.

I hope that a column of mine on this topic will appear soon in The U.R.

James Bacque Penetanguishene ON

peterAUS , says: July 31, 2018 at 8:18 pm GMT
@James Bacque

most people are double-minded because it suits us to lazily allow our leaders to control us while we (somewhat) hypocritically condemn them for faults and errors which profit us ..

I guess you are onto something here.

It could go a bit deeper, though, as:

. most people are double-minded because it suits us to allow our betters to lead us while we (somewhat) hypocritically condemn them for their and our faults and errors which profit us.

skrik , says: August 1, 2018 at 3:18 pm GMT
@Jeff Stryker

But you cannot see that because you're focused on US cultural colonization or things you have seen in Hollywood films You compare yourself to the United States because it is a similar former British colony and white settler nation

If I may intercede, no, and that twice.

1. peterAUS, if my interpretation is correct, sees the world through 'military blinkers,' is assumed not to notice China et al. except as one 'enemy' among many, and probably thinks that ~100 F35s, xxx new warships, yyy new submarines and zzz new 'armoured cars,' costing the Aus-taxpayer nose-bleeding squillions will 'save his/their bacon.' As such, peterAUS cannot be addressed as any valid representative of 'the great Aus-unwashed.'

2. That great Aus-unwashed, hoovering up the trash err, sorry for the US-speak; hoovering up the horrendous rubbish 'presented' to them via their '1984-style telescreens' err, one-finger flat-screen distraction devices [when not actual television sets], is largely unconscious of any 'real world.'

Since the CIA-sponsored coup of 1975, the country has been 'going to the dogs' at an increasing rate. The sheople glory under their 'Lucky Country' delusion, not even knowing its full import: Lucky not to be even partly aware. Yeah sure, the corrupt&venal MSM+PFBCs [= publicly financed broadcasters] try to revive 'the yellow peril' scare, but that's just standard 'Bernays haze' scare mongering, to keep the proles from thinking: Der, they [as peterAUS] didn't think. rgds

PS The great Aus-unwashed, as any 'Western' citizen, has zero choice; so-called 'Western democracy' allows for as good as zero 'citizen input.' The 'choice' of Trump should be put down to an aberration -- some 'clever-clogs' manipulators -- *not* Russians -- pulled off a coup. But as they used to say: "Better red than dead;" better Trump than HRC.

Johnj , says: August 2, 2018 at 11:48 pm GMT
Do we have a democracy? Or even representative government? So what happened to our jobs off-shored. Who approved that? Who approved 100 million legal immigrants in the last 50 years?

Why does anyone accept our stilted self-image, especially Diana?

Johnj , says: August 3, 2018 at 12:10 am GMT
@Lauri Törni Good God, this Lauri reads the NYT and has the gall to post it as proof of her opinions. So that means she is nuts and brainwashed.
Ace , says: September 15, 2018 at 5:55 pm GMT
Outstanding article.

On the point about the "world's greatest prison population" note that some one-third of the federal prison population consists of illegal alien criminals and the large U.S. black criminal underclass commits crimes at a higher rate than everyone else, so there are more blacks in our prisons. Oh, the horror.

If other nations enjoyed large illegal immigrant populations and a large black criminal underclass we would see similar inflated prison populations.

Spare us the silliness on this score as well as the "regular massacres of school children" garbage. No doubt you'll enlighten us with your anti-gun views on American gun nuts at a later time. I wait with bated breath.

Still, you almost got a lock on insightful commentary these days.

Ace , says: September 15, 2018 at 7:59 pm GMT
@Lauri Törni Liberals fight for the existence of Americans?

Amazing. Do you intend to live on our planet or are you just visiting?

james bacque , says: Website October 24, 2018 at 6:51 pm GMT
Ron Unz

This is a very good blog, column, whatever, because it illuminates with the light of reason the mass madness of the Washington crowd, and probably much of the American population. See the New Yorker article in the current issue about the utility of caregivers lying to and/or deceiving demented patients to keep them content. That is what is happening now in the USA and your failure to understand my explanation for it, in my essay on double-mindedness, which I sent you last summer, I mind very much. You could lead the way out of the mess if you would re-read that essay and try to understand it.

I am a very ordinary guy and I understand it. Please try again. The world needs this.

Jim Bacque

[Jan 13, 2019] Potencial of having a nuclear cataclysm out of civil war in Ukraine is firtneing perspecitve

Jan 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

EugeneGur , says: July 23, 2018 at 9:30 pm GMT

@Peter Akuleyev

who has spent time in Ukraine knows how deep hatred of Russia goes

I don't know where is Ukraine you spent your time and in what company, but this is complete BS. The South-Eastern Ukraine hates the Western Ukrainian "banderovtsi" as much as the Russians do if not more -- after all, the followers of Bandera operated mostly on the Ukrainian soil. There are deranged individuals in every country, of course, and Ukraine has been subjected lately to intense hate propaganda as well as repressions, but there is no hatred of Russia. This is contradicted by both sociology and everyday behavior of Ukrainian, which move to Russia in droves, spend time in Russia, support Russian sport teams, etc.

we are supposed to dismiss the actual wishes of Ukrainians, Estonians, Poles, Georgians and other peoples who hate Russia (and love the US)

Nobody is asking about what the real Ukrainians, Estonians, Georgians or even Poles actually think, least of all the US. There are almost as many Georgians living in Russia as there are in Georgia, and they show no desire to move back. In 2008 during the conflict, their biggest fear was that they'd be deported.

The Ukraine's Maidan was a violent coup, where a few thousand militants armed and trained abroad overthrew a government elected by the entire country. Protests that immediately started all over the country were suppressed with force -- the one in Donbass still is.

How could anyone with an access to Internet remain unaware of these facts is beyond me.

Vojkan , says: July 24, 2018 at 8:25 am GMT
@Peter Akuleyev Why should anyone freaking care and put his ass in the line of fire because you bunch of primitives hate Russia? Between having a nuclear cataclysm because you pathetic dwarfs of nations are frustrated to have a neighbour you can't bully and Russia obliterating you, I say let Russia obliterate you, thus we won't have to suffer the ear-hurting dissonnance of your incessant whining any more. Though I doubt Russia would stomp on you. When you see shit, you don't stomp on it, you don't want you don't want your shoes to stink, you just walk around it.

[Jan 13, 2019] Who are the people populating Ukrainian Armed Forces?

Jan 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

peterAUS , says: July 23, 2018 at 10:25 pm GMT

@EugeneGur That's an interesting point. Even if true, doesn't matter. One could wonder ..who are the people populating Ukrainian Armed Forces?

Or who are the guys, in Ukrainian Armed Forces, presently engaged against Donbass? All of them. Including those is logistics/maintenance depots far away from the (current) line of separation?

The will to fight against "Russia" ranges from a deep hate to simply not wishing to go against the (current) Ukrainian government. The former are in those "shock" battalions. The later are manning the logistics train. And everything in between.

Now .if/when a real shooting starts, as soon as Russia, as expected (and desired) by the most of readers here, starts delivering ordnance into operational depth of Donbass enemy, the ratio hate/don't care shall shift, hard and fast. Not in Russian favor, I suspect.

[Jan 13, 2019] Hypocrisy Without Bounds US Army Major Slams The Tragedy Of [Neo]Liberal Foreign Policy

Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Maj. Danny Sjrusen via AntiWar.com,

The president says he will bring the troops home from Syria and Afghanistan. Now, because of their pathological hatred of Trump, mainstream Democrats are hysterical in their opposition.

If anyone else were president, the "liberals" would be celebrating. After all, pulling American soldiers out of a couple of failing, endless wars seems like a "win" for progressives. Heck, if Obama did it there might be a ticker-tape parade down Broadway. And there should be. The intervention in Syria is increasingly aimless, dangerous and lacks an end state. Afghanistan is an unwinnable war – America's longest – and about to end in outright military defeat . Getting out now and salvaging so much national blood and treasure ought to be a progressive dream. There's only one problem: Donald Trump. Specifically, that it was Trump who gave the order to begin the troop withdrawals.

Lost in the haze of their pathological hatred of President Trump, the majority of mainstream liberal pundits and politicians can't, for the life of them, see the good sense in extracting the troops from a couple Mideast quagmires. That or they can see the positives, but, in their obsessive compulsion to smear the president, choose politics over country. It's probably a bit of both. That's how tribally partisan American political discourse has become. And, how reflexively hawkish and interventionist today's mainstream Democrats now are. Whither the left-wing antiwar movement? Well, except for a few diehards out there, the movement seems to have been buried long ago with George McGovern .

Make no mistake, the Democrats have been tacking to the right on foreign policy and burgeoning their tough-guy-interventionist credentials for decades now. Terrified of being painted as soft or dovish on martial matters, just about all the "serious" baby-boomer Dems proudly co-opted the militarist line and gladly accepted campaign cash from the corporate arms dealers. Think about it, any Democrat with serious future presidential aspirations back in 2002 voted for the Iraq War – Hillary, Joe Biden, even former peace activist John Kerry! And, in spite of the party base now moving to the left, all these big name hawks – along with current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer – are still Democratic stalwarts. Heck, some polls list Biden as the party's 2020 presidential frontrunner.

More disturbing than the inconsistency of these political hacks is the vacuousness of the supposedly liberal media. After Trump's announcement of troop withdrawals, just about every MSNBC host slammed the president and suddenly sounded more hawkish than the clowns over at Fox News. Take Rachel Maddow. Whatever you think of her politics, she is – undoubtedly – a brilliant woman. Furthermore, unlike most pundits, she knows a little something about foreign policy. Her 2012 book, Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power was a serious and well-researched critique of executive power and the ongoing failure of the wars on terror. Drift was well reviewed by regular readers and scholars alike.

Enter Donald Trump. Ever since the man won the 2016 election, Maddow's nightly show has been dominated the hopeless dream of Russia-collusion and a desire for Trump's subsequent impeachment. Admittedly, Maddow's anti-Trump rhetoric isn't completely unfounded – this author, after all, has spent the better part of two years criticizing most of his policies – but her zealousness has clouded her judgment, or worse. Indeed, that Maddow, and her fellow "liberals" at MSNBC have now criticized the troop withdrawals and even paraded a slew of disgraced neoconservatives – like Bill Kristol – on their shows seems final proof of their descent into opportunistic hawkishness.

One of the most disturbing aspects of this new "liberal" hawkishness is the pundits' regular canonization of Jim Mattis and the other supposed "adults" in the room . For mainstream, Trump-loathing, liberals the only saving grace for this administration was its inclusion of a few trusted, "grown-up" generals in the cabinet. Yet it is a dangerous day, indeed, when the supposedly progressive journalists deify only the military men in the room. Besides, Mattis was no friend to the liberals. Their beloved President Obama previously canned "mad-dog" for his excessive bellicosity towards Iran. Furthermore, Mattis – so praised for both his judgment and ethics – chose an interesting issue for which to finally fall-on-his-sword and resign. U.S. support for the Saudi-led starvation of 85,000 kids in Yemen: Mattis could deal with that. But a modest disengagement from even one endless war in the Middle East: well, the former SECDEF just couldn't countenance that. Thus, he seems a strange figure for a "progressive" network to deify.

Personally, I'd like to debate a few of the new "Cold Warriors" over at MSNBC or CNN and ask a simple series of questions: what on the ground changed in Syria or Afghanistan that has suddenly convinced you the US must stay put? And, what positivist steps should the military take in those locales, in order to achieve what purpose exactly? Oh, by the way, I'd ask my debate opponents to attempt their answers without uttering the word Trump. The safe money says they couldn't do it – not by a long shot. Because, you see, these pundits live and die by their hatred of all things Trump and the more times they utter his name the higher go the ratings and the faster the cash piles up. It's a business model not any sort of display of honest journalism.

There's a tragic irony here. By the looks of things, so long as Mr. Trump is president, it seems that any real movement for less interventionism in the Greater Middle East may come from a part of the political right – libertarians like Rand Paul along with the president's die hard base, which is willing to follow him on any policy pronouncement. Paradoxically, these folks may find some common cause with the far left likes of Bernie Sanders and the Ocasio-Cortez crowd, but it seems unlikely that the mainstream left is prepared to lead a new antiwar charge. What with Schumer/Pelosi still in charge, you can forget about it. Given the once powerful left-led Vietnam-era protest movement, today's Dems seem deficient indeed on foreign policy substance. Odds are they'll cede this territory, once again, to the GOP.

By taking a stronger interventionist, even militarist, stand than Trump on Syria and Afghanistan, the Democrats are wading into dangerous waters. Maybe, as some say, this president shoots from the hip and has no core policy process or beliefs. Perhaps. Then again, Trump did crush fifteen Republican mainstays in 2015 and shock Hillary – and the world – in 2016. Indeed, he may know just what he's doing. While the Beltway, congressional-military-industrial complex continues to support ever more fighting and dying around the world, for the most part the American people do not . Trump, in fact, ran on a generally anti -interventionist platform, calling the Iraq War "dumb" and not to be repeated. The president's sometimes earthy – if coarse – commonsense resonated with a lot of voters, and Hillary's hawkish establishment record (including her vote for that very same Iraq War) didn't win her many new supporters.

Liberals have long believed, at least since McGovern's 1972 trouncing by Richard Nixon, that they could out-hawk the Republican hawks and win over some conservatives. It rarely worked. In fact, Dems have been playing right into bellicose Republican hands for decades. And, if they run a baby-boomer-era hawk in 2020 – say Joe Biden – they'll be headed for another shocking defeat. The combination of a (mostly, so far) strong economy and practical policy of returning US troops from unpopular wars, could, once again, out weigh this president's other liabilities.

Foreign policy won't, by itself, tip a national election. But make no mistake, if the clowns at MSNBC and "liberal" hacks on Capitol Hill keep touting their newfound militarism, they're likely to emerge from 2020 with not only smeared consciences, but four more years in the opposition.

* * *

Danny Sjursen is a US Army officer and regular contributor to Antiwar.com He served combat tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at his alma mater, West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge . Follow him on Twitter at @SkepticalVet .

[ Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.]

turkey george palmer , 43 minutes ago link

A the politicians carry their recordsike a ball and chain. Trump had no legislative baggage so in comparison he looked ok. There may be a chance that some plan to allow e wrything to sink to near chaos is happening, with that risk of a slip up being total collapse. It would appear total collapse is likely absent some very well thought out plan by a lot of people who appear to be morons

RussianSniper , 46 minutes ago link

The neowackjobs of the bush clinton bush bozo crime sprees must answer for their war crimes!

Put these monsters before a world court in Syria, Libya, Iraq, or Yemen.

Burn them alive on pay per view.

Zero-Hegemon , 53 minutes ago link

In the US the neocons switch between parties like changing underwear. Now that the republicans are soiled they'll wear democrats instead, lobby for more war until they're good and soiled, and switch when republican populism is back on the rise (like during the Bush years, and then Obama).

dogismycopilot , 53 minutes ago link

Lost me at calling Maddow a brilliant woman

halcyon , 1 hour ago link

Danny boy got sucked into the liberel-conservative-democrat fallacy. It is all one big party called the war party. The opposition is always theatrics.

AI Agent , 1 hour ago