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|The Neocons never cease to amaze me and their latest stunt with Venezuela falls into this bizarre category of events which
are both absolutely unthinkable and simultaneously absolutely predictable. This apparent logical contradiction is the direct result
of a worldview and mindset which is, I believe, unique to the Neocons: a mix of imperial hubris and infinite arrogance, a complete
lack of decency, a total contempt for the rest of mankind, crass ignorance, a narcissist/sociopath's inability to have any kind
of empathy or imagine another guy's reaction and, finally, last but most certainly not least, crass stupidity.
The greater the hawkishness, the greater the ignorance.
Max Blumenthal, sited from Zero Hedge
In his volume Cultural Insurrections, Kevin MacDonald has accurately described neoconservatism as “a complex interlocking professional and family network centered around Jewish publicists and organizers flexibly deployed to recruit the sympathies of both Jews and non-Jews in harnessing the wealth and power of the United States in the service of Israel.”Kevin MacDonald, Cultural Insurrections: Essays on Western Civilizations, Jewish Influence, and Anti-Semitism, The Occidental Press, 2007, p. 122. The proof of the neocons’ crypto-Israelism is their U.S. foreign policy:
Laurent Guyénot, The Unz Review. Apr 8, 2019
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. And the US Department of State since 1980 was the citadel of neoconservatives. To the extent that when Trump was elected a bunch of those jingoistic honchos wrote a letter of protest in best color revolution style. Unfortunately Trump proved to be weak they were not summarily fired without pension for this attempt to stage a color revolution (such a "diplomats letter" how this trick is called, widely publicized by MSMs supporting the particular color revolution is as classic method to put heat on opposite side, probably as popular as false flag sniper shootings from rooftops of protester and police attributed to the government).
The unspoken assumptions of neocon cult, which have led the United States into a senseless, wasteful, and counter-productive posture of nearly perpetual wars of neoliberal conquest is that "wars are the health of the state". But in reality wars is the "health of MIC" not the state. Foreign war launched by neocons since 1980th overextended the USA as a country and further lowered the standard living of population of affected countries, as neoliberalism has nothing to do with raising of standard of living of population. It is about the redistribution of wealth to the top.
All-in-all neocons serve as lobbyists of MIC providing yet another confirmation of Eisenhower warning. They are "wardogs" of MIC.
|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. They serve as lobbyists of MIC providing yet another confirmation of Eisenhower warning.|
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. But also several European nations such as GB and France which supported the US policies.
In Russia neocons supported radical Islam and Wahhabism promoting it in such areas as Chechnya and Dagestan. They financially and logistically supported terrorist networks and 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). They organized and financed the putsch against the legitimate (albeit corrupt) government of Yanukovich riding of the wave of population discontent with the slow standard of living and the corruption by (installed by the West) neoliberal government. And instead of promised Euro Integration and an "instant" raise of the standard of living to European level promised by pro-coup propaganda they got three times drop of standard of living (to African level of poverty for the most of the population) and civil war in Donbass. 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.
For their petty mercantile purposes (reckless jingoism is the credo of any MIC lobbyist) they successfully revived the threat of nuclear war with Russia (in the name of "US security", as MIC lobbyists understand it ;-). Moreover they moved Russia closer to China, which is no way is in the USA geopolitical interests. Such a despicable "security parasites" (they really are the "security parasites")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.
|For their petty mercantile purposes (recless jingoism is the credo of any MIC lobbyist) they successfully revived the
threat of nuclear war with Russia (in the name of "US security", as MIC lobbyists understand
it ;-). Moreover they moved Russia closer to China, which is no way is in the USA geopolitical interests. Such a despicable "security
parasites" (they really are the "security parasites")
...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. That's more then 1.5 billion people hostile to the USA interests. Usually when the enemy is twise the size the fight againat it became very difficult indeeed. And EU can't be counted as a reliable ally any longer , as it now has its own geopolitical interests, which are not fully aligned with the USA, especially as for China, which is tremendously important market for Germany manifacturing.
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
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,
Frank neoconservatives like Robert Kaplan and Niall Ferguson recognize that they are proposing imperialism as the alternative to liberal internationalism. Yet both Ka
uson 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:
- "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
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?"
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."
During February 2009 Andrew Sullivan wrote that he no longer took Neoconservatism seriously because its basic tenet became the defense of Israel:
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."
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, 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  which was described by Senator Edward M. Kennedy as "a call for 21st century American imperialism that no other nation can or should accept."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 concludesPatrick 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
... ... ...
For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section
|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."
An unnamed aide to George W. Bush (later attributed to Karl Rove:
Sep 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
camfree , 26 minutes ago linkInsurrexion , 33 minutes ago link
Bibi is desperate for war with Iran to avoid election defeat and prison and Bolton is fired/resigns only to predict "Iranian deception" on the way out the door.attah-boy-Luther , 39 minutes ago link
Re: $100/Bl Oil...
Today, Brent climbed as much as 12% towards $70 per barrel and the US crude oil rose 10% to nearly $61. Historically, Brent crude oil reached an all time high of 147.50 in July of 2008. Remember what happened next?
- KSA, UAE, Qatar
- US Oil Majors, State of Texas
- Transportation costs and cost of goods
- Commuters costs
- Heating costs going into winter
- Airlines and air travel
Iraq, Libya, Venezuela and Iran are a mess and cannot produce to make a difference.
This will be the catalyst for the economic downturn.
Trumptards locked and loaded....sigh and now this:
So the continual plundering and looting of Iranian resources never ceases to amaze me.
Sep 16, 2019 | www.nytimes.com
-Stephen Wertheim / New York Times"American war-making will persist so long as the United States continues to seek military dominance across the globe. Dominance, assumed to ensure peace, in fact guarantees war. To get serious about stopping endless war, American leaders must do what they most resist: end America's commitment to armed supremacy and embrace a world of pluralism and peace."
Sep 16, 2019 | www.wabe.org
- WABE , Apr 14, 2019Carter suggested that instead of war, China has been investing in its own infrastructure, mentioning that China has 18,000 miles of high-speed railroad.
"How many miles of high-speed railroad do we have in this country?"
Zero, the congregation answered.
"We have wasted I think $3 trillion," Carter said of American military spending. " It's more than you can imagine. China has not wasted a single penny on war and that's why they're ahead of us. In almost every way."
Sep 16, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
dh-mtl , Sep 15 2019 15:58 utc | 3b,
The Americans have gotten themselves in a real bind with their maximum pressure campaign on Iran. This latest attack on Saudi Arabia's oil production looks like an escalation of the previous attacks on shipping and the spy drone. It is not evident how the Americans can respond to this latest attack.
As I see it their options are:
1. To let KSA respond to the Houthi attack and continue with their campaign to shut down Iranian oil production, without any direct U.S. response to the attack. However this will achieve nothing, as next month Iran will up pressure again with another attack on Middle-East oil assets, and we'll be back to the same place.
2. To bomb Iran's oil industry, as Pompeo and Graham suggest. However this risks blowing up the whole Middle East, as well as the World's oil market and their own (Western) economies.
3. Forget about Iran and move the fight to maintain U.S. global hegemony to another front: back to Venezuela? Serbia? Hong Kong? Taiwan? However the end result of such a move would more than likely be another humuliating defeat for the U.S.
4. Do as Stephen Wertheim / New York Times suggest and sue for peace. This will end the dream of U.S. World dominance, Globalization and the current western based financial system. The U.S. will become no more than a heavily indebted regional power in a 'Multi-polar World Order' led by China and Russia.
As I see it, the U.S. is out of options to continue their war for global dominance. #4 is the only viable option. But, as one author argued in a recent paper (I don't have the reference), wars continue long after the victor is clear, because the loser can't admit defeat (at heavy additional costs to the loser). I think that this is the position that the U.S. finds itself in now.
DontBelieveEitherPr. , Sep 15 2019 16:21 utc | 4What the attack on Saudi oil infrastructure shows us, is that now Iran has united her proxys into one united front.Don Bacon , Sep 15 2019 20:13 utc | 29
While they were cautious to not leave evidence of their involvment with the Houtis before, they now are putting their support more and more into the open.
The attack seemed to have involved not only Houti drones (already build with help from Iran), but also Iranian backed forces in Iraq, AND pro Iranian forces in Saudi Arabia itself. And maybe even other actors.
This is a major new development. Not only for the war on Yemen, but also in the context of Iran providing a credile detterence against US+Saudi aggression.
They excalated with increasing levels, and one wonders, what could top this last attack off.
And i am pretty sure, we will find out sooner rather than later.@ 27Hercules , Sep 15 2019 21:27 utc | 35
WaPo: Abqaiq . .damaged on the west-northwest sides
That's it! It was Hezbollah for sure. (not)
Actually there were two targets, the Buqaiq (Abqaiq) oil processing plant and the Khurais oil field, both in the Eastern Province.
These attacks are not the first -- from longwarjournal:
Last month, the Houthis claimed another drone operation against Saudi's Shaybah oil field near the United Arab Emirates. At more than 1,000 miles away from it's Yemen territory, that strike marked one of the Houthis farthest claimed attacks.
The Houthis also claimed a drone strike on the Abu Dhabi airport last year, but that has been denied by Emirati officials.
Additionally, a drone strike on Saudi's East-West oil pipeline near Riyadh earlier this year, which the Houthis claimed responsibility, was allegedly conducted by Iranian-backed Iraqi militants. If accurate, that means the Houthi claim of responsibility acted as a type of diplomatic cover for the Iraqi militants.
Since beginning its drone program last year, the Houthis have launched at least 103 drone strikes in Yemen and Saudi Arabia according to data compiled by FDD's Long War Journal. . . here . . .and more here .Really appreciated the write up on the Houthis attack.
Sounds like the attack left substantial damage. Another bigger issue underlying all of this, aside from Saudi inability to get what it wants now from it's IPO, is the fact that the US Patriots did not detect this attack.
The Saudis spent billions last year on this defense system. Sounds like the clown Prince better give Russians a call about their S-400.
But the US wouldn't appreciate that much, would they?
Sep 15, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org
Iran: A Club of Sanctioned Countries in Solidarity Against US Economic Terrorism
by Press TV / September 13th, 2019PressTV Interview – transcript
An Iranian parliamentary faction has come up with the idea of establishing a club of sanctioned countries for concerted action against the US economic terrorism.
The chairman of the Parliament's faction on countering sanctions, Poormokhtar, gave a report on the formation of the faction and its activities, as well as the ongoing efforts to establish the club of sanctioned countries. Iran's FM, Zaraf, said this would be enhancing the already existing alliance of Russia, China, Syria, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela against US economic terrorism.
PressTV: Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Cuba, and Venezuela are among the nations that have come out against the United States' use of sanctions to enforce its foreign policy around the world. In what ways can they fight these US sanctions as a group?
Peter Koenig: Brilliant idea! Solidarity makes stronger and eventually will attract other countries who are sick and tired of the US sanction regime, and since they have the backing of Russia and China, that's a very strong alliance, especially an economic alliance. The sanction regime can only be broken through economics, meaning decoupling from the western monetary system. I said this before and say it again, at the risk of repeating myself.
After all, China is the world's largest and strongest economy in Purchasing Power GDP measures which is the only comparison that really counts. I believe this solidarity alliance against US sanctions is certainly worth a trial.
And personally, I think it will be a successful trial, as more countries will join, possibly even non-sanctioned ones, out of solidarity against a common tyrant.
The countries in solidarity against sanctions, in addition to ignoring them -- and the more they ignore them, the more other countries will follow-suit -- that's logical as fear disappears and solidarity grows.
For example, Iran and Venezuela, oil exporting countries, could accompany their tankers by war ships. Yes, it's an extra cost, but think of it as temporary and as a long-term gain. Would "Grace I" have been accompanied by an Iranian war ship the Brits would not have dared confiscating it. That's for sure.
PressTV: Many of the US sanctions have led to death of civilians in those particular countries. At the same time, sanctions have also led to the improvement of these countries to the point where domestic production in various fields advanced. Don't sanctions become country-productive to US aims?'
PK: Of course, the sanctions are counter-productive. They have helped Russia to become food-self-sufficient, for example. That was not Washington's intention and less so the intention of the EU, who followed Washington's dictate like puppets.
Sanctions are like a last effort before the fall of the empire, to cause as much human damage as possible, to pull other nations down with the dying beast. It has always been like that starting with the Romans through the Ottoman's. They realize their time has come but can't see a world living in peace. So they must plant as much unrest and misery as possible before they disappear
That's precisely what's happening with the US.
Intimidation, building more and more military bases, all with fake money, as we know the dollar is worth nothing – FIAT money – that the world still accepts but less and less so, therefore military bases, deadly sanctions, and trade wars. Trump knows that a trade war against China is a lost cause. Still, he can intimidate other countries by insisting on a trade war with China or that's what he thinks.
PressTV: The more countries US sanctions, illegally, more people turn against the US: doesn't that defeat the US so-called fight against terrorism and violence?
PK: Well, US sanction and the entire scheme of US aggression has nothing to do with fighting terrorism, as you know. It's nothing but expanding US hegemony over the world, and if needed, and more often than not, the US finances terrorism to fight proxy wars against their so-called enemies, meaning anybody not conforming to their wishes and not wanting to submit to their orders and not letting them exploit – or rather steal – their natural resources.
Syria is a case in point. ISIL is funded and armed by the Pentagon, who buys Serbian produced weapon to channel them through the Mid-East allies to Syrian terrorists, the ISIL or similar kinds with different names -- just to confuse.
Venezuela too – the opposition consist basically of US trained, financed and armed opposition "leaders" – who do not want to participate in totally democratic elections – order of the US – boycott them. But as we have seen as of this day, the various coup attempts by the US against their legitimate and democratically elected President, Nicolás Maduro, have failed bitterly, and this despite the most severe sanctions regime South American has known, except for Cuba, against whom the US crime has been perpetuated for 60 years.
So, nobody should have the illusion that Washington's wars are against terrorism. Washington is THE terrorist regime that fights for world hegemony.
Press TV is the first Iranian international news network broadcasting in English on a round-the-clock basis. Read other articles by Press TV , or visit Press TV's website .
This article was posted on Friday, September 13th, 2019 at 7:33am and is filed under China , Cuba , Interview , Iran , Russia , Sanctions , Syria , United States , US Terrorism , Venezuela .
Sep 09, 2019 | original.antiwar.com
When Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev received his peace prize in 1990, the Nobel Prize committee declared that "the two mighty power blocs, have managed to abandon their life-threatening confrontation" and confidently expressed that "It is our hope that we are now celebrating the end of the Cold War." Recently, U.N. General Secretary António Guterres funereally closed the celebrations with the realization that "The Cold War is back."
In a very short span of history, the window that had finally opened for Russia and the United States to build a new international system in which they work cooperatively to address areas of common interest had slammed back closed. How was that historic opportunity wasted? Why was the road from the Nobel committee's hope to the UN's eulogy such a short one?
The doctrinal narrative that is told in the U.S. is the narrative of a very short road whose every turn was signposted by Russian lies, betrayal, deception and aggression. The American telling of history is a tale in which every blow to the new peace was a Russian blow. The fact checked version offers a demythologized history that is unrecognizably different. The demythologized version is also a history of lies, betrayal, deception and aggression, but the liar, the aggressor, is not primarily Russia, but America. It is the history of a promise so historically broken that it laid the foundation of a new cold war.
But it was not the first promise the United States broke: it was not even the first promise they broke in the new cold war.
The Hot War
Most histories of the cold war begin at the dawn of the post World War II period. But the history of U.S-U.S.S.R. animosity starts long before that: it starts as soon as possible, and it was hot long before it turned cold.
The label "Red Scare" first appeared, not in the 1940s or 50s, but in 1919. Though it is a chapter seldom included in the history of American-Russian relations, America actively and aggressively intervened in the Russian civil war in an attempt to push the Communists back down. The United States cooperated with anti-Bolshevik forces: by mid 1918, President Woodrow Wilson had sent 13,000 American troops to Soviet soil. They would remain there for two years, killing and injuring thousands. Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev would later remind America of "the time you sent your troops to quell the revolution." Churchill would record for history the admission that the West "shot Soviet Russians on sight," that they were "invaders on Russian soil," that "[t]hey armed the enemies of the Soviet government," that "[t]hey blockaded its ports, and sunk its battleships. They earnestly desired and schemed for its downfall."
When the cause was lost, and the Bolsheviks secured power, most western countries refused to recognize the communist government. However, realism prevailed, and within a few short years, by the mid 1920s, most countries had recognized the communist government and restored diplomatic relations. All but the US It was not until several years later that Franklin D. Roosevelt finally recognized the Soviet government in 1933.
The Cold War
It would be a very short time before the diplomatic relations that followed the hot war would be followed by a cold war. It might even be possible to pin the beginning of the cold war down to a specific date. On April 22 and 23, President Truman told Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov to "Carry out his agreement" and establish a new, free, independent government in Poland as promised at Yalta. Molotov was stunned. He was stunned because it was not he that was breaking the agreement because that was not what Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin had agreed to at Yalta. The final wording of the Yalta agreement never mentioned replacing Soviet control of Poland.
The agreement that Roosevelt revealed to congress and shared with the world – the one that still dominates the textbook accounts and the media stories – is not the one he secretly shook on with Stalin. Roosevelt lied to congress and the American people. Then he lied to Stalin.
In exchange for Soviet support for the creation of the United Nations, Roosevelt secretly agreed to Soviet predominance in Poland and Eastern Europe. The cold war story that the Soviet Union marched into Eastern Europe and stole it for itself is a lie: Roosevelt handed it to them.
So did Churchill. If Roosevelt's motivation was getting the UN, Churchill's was getting Greece. Fearing that the Soviet Union would invade India and the oil fields of Iran, Churchill saw Greece as the geographical roadblock and determined to hold on to it at all cost. The cost, it turned out, was Romania. Churchill would give Stalin Romania to protect his borders; Stalin would give Churchill Greece to protect his empire's borders. The deal was sealed on October 9, 1944.
Churchill says that in their secret meeting, he asked Stalin, "how would it do for you to have ninety percent predominance in Romania, for us to have ninety percent predominance in Greece? . . ." He then went on to offer a fifty-fifty power split in in Yugoslavia and Hungary and to offer the Soviets seventy-five percent control of Bulgaria. The exact conversation may never have happened, according to the political record, but Churchill's account captures the spirit and certainly captures the secret agreement.
Contrary to the official narrative, Stalin never betrayed the west and stole Eastern Europe: Poland, Romania and the rest were given to him in secret. Then Roosevelt lied to congress and to the world.
That American lie raised the curtain on the cold war.
The New Cold War
Like the Cold War, the new cold war was triggered by an American lie. It was a lie so duplicitous, so all encompassing, that it would lead many Russians to see the agreement that ended the cold war as a devastating and humiliating deception that was really intended to clear the way for the US to surround and finally defeat the Soviet Union. It was a lie that tilled the soil for all future "Russian aggression."
At the close of the cold war, at a meeting held on February 9, 1990, George H.W. Bush's Secretary of State, James Baker, promised Gorbachev that if NATO got Germany and Russia pulled its troops out of East Germany, NATO would not expand east of Germany and engulf the former Soviet states. Gorbachev records in his memoirs that he agreed to Baker's terms "with the guarantee that NATO jurisdiction or troops would not extend east of the current line." In Super-power Illusions , Jack F. Matlock Jr., who was the American ambassador to Russia at the time and was present at the meeting, confirms Gorbachev's account, saying that it "coincides with my notes of the conversation except that mine indicate that Baker added "not one inch." Matlock adds that Gorbachev was assured that NATO would not move into Eastern Europe as the Warsaw Pact moved out, that "the understanding at Malta [was] that the United States would not 'take advantage' of a Soviet military withdrawal from Eastern Europe." At the February 9 meeting, Baker assured Gorbachev that "neither the President or I intend to extract any unilateral advantages from the processes that are taking place."
But the promise was not made just once, and it was not made just by the United States. The promise was made on two consecutive days: first by the Americans and then by West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. According to West German foreign ministry documents, on February 10, 1990, the day after James Baker's promise, West German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher told his Soviet counterpart Eduard Shevardnadze "'For us . . . one thing is certain: NATO will not expand to the east.' And because the conversation revolved mainly around East Germany, Genscher added explicitly: 'As far as the non-expansion of NATO is concerned, this also applies in general.'"
A few days earlier, on January 31, 1990, Genscher had said in a major speech that there would not be "an expansion of NATO territory to the east, in other words, closer to the borders of the Soviet Union."
Gorbachev says the promise was made not to expand NATO "as much as a thumb's width further to the east." Putin also says mourns the broken promise, asking at a conference in Munich in February 2007, "What happened to the assurances our Western partners made after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact? Where are those declarations today? No one even remembers them."
Putin went on to remind his audience of the assurances by pointing out that the existence of the NATO promise is not just the perception of him and Gorbachev. It was also the view of the NATO General Secretary at the time: "But I will allow myself to remind this audience what was said. I would like to quote the speech of NATO General Secretary Mr. [Manfred] Woerner in Brussels on 17 May 1990. He said at the time that: 'The fact that we are ready not to place a NATO army outside of German territory gives the Soviet Union a firm security guarantee.' Where are those guarantees?"
Recent scholarship supports the Russian version of the story. Russian expert and Professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent, Richard Sakwa says that "[r]ecent studies demonstrate that the commitment not to enlarge NATO covered the whole former Soviet bloc and not just East Germany." And Stephen Cohen, Professor Emeritus of Politics at Princeton University and of Russian Studies and History at New York University, adds that the National Security Archive has now published the actual documents detailing what Gorbachev was promised. Published on December 12, 2017, the documents finally, and authoritatively, reveal that "The truth, and the promises broken, are much more expansive than previously known: all of the Western powers involved – the US, the UK, France, Germany itself – made the same promise to Gorbachev on multiple occasions and in various emphatic ways."
That key promise made to Gorbachev was shattered, first by President Clinton and then subsequently supported by every American President: NATO engulfed Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic in 1999; Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia in 2004, Albania and Croatia in 2009 and, most recently, Montenegro.
It was this shattered promise, this primal betrayal, this NATO expansion to Russia's borders that created the conditions and causes of future conflicts and aggressions. When, in 2008, NATO promised Georgia and Ukraine eventual membership, Russia saw the threat of NATO encroaching right to its borders. It is in Georgia and Ukraine that Russia felt it had to draw the line with NATO encroachment into its core sphere of influence. Sakwa says that the war in Georgia was "the first war to stop NATO enlargement; Ukraine was the second." What are often cited as acts of Russian aggression that helped maintain the new cold war are properly understood as acts of Russian defense against US aggression that made a lie out of the promise that ended the Cold War.
When Clinton decided to break Bush's promise and betray Russia, George Kennen, father of the containment policy, warned that NATO expansion would be "the most fateful error of American foreign policy in the entire post-cold-war era." "Such a decision," he prophesied, "may be expected to . . . restore the atmosphere of the cold war in East-West relations . . .."
The broken promise restored the cold war. Though it is the most significant root of the new cold war, it was not the first. There was a prior broken promise, and this time the man who betrayed Russia was President H.W. Bush.
The end of the Cold War resulted from negotiations and not from any sort of military victory. Stephen Cohen says that "Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush negotiated with the last Soviet Russian leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, what they said was the end of the Cold War on the shared, expressed premise that it was ending 'with no losers, only winners.'"
The end of the Cold War and the end of the Soviet Union occurred so closely chronologically that it permitted the American mythologizers to conflate them in the public imagination and create the doctrinal history in which the US defeat of the Soviet Union ended the cold war. But the US did not defeat the Soviet Union. Gorbachev brought about what Sakwa calls a "self-willed disintegration of the Soviet bloc." The Soviet Union came to an end, not by external force or pressure, but out of Gorbachev's recognition of the Soviet Union's own self interest. Matlock flatly states that "pressure from governments outside the Soviet Union, whether from America or Europe or anywhere else, had nothing to do with [the Soviet collapse]." "Cohen demythologizes the history by reinstating the chronological order: Gorbachev negotiated the end of the cold war "well before the disintegration of the Soviet Union." The Cold War officially ended well before the end of the Soviet Union with Gorbachev's December 7, 1988 address to the UN
Matlock says that "Gorbachev is right when he says that we all won the Cold War." He says that President Reagan would write in his notes, "Let there be no talk of winners and losers." When Gorbachev compelled the countries of the Warsaw Pact to adopt reforms like his perestroika in the Soviet Union and warmed them that the Soviet army would no longer be there to keep their communist regimes in power, Matlock points out in Superpower Illusions that "Bush assured Gorbachev that the United States would not claim victory if the Eastern Europeans were allowed to replace the Communist regimes that had been imposed on them." Both the reality and the promise were that there was no winner of the Cold War: it was a negotiated peace that was in the interest of both countries.
When in 1992, during his losing re-election campaign, President Bush arrogantly boasted that "We won the Cold War!" he broke his own promise to Gorbachev and helped plant the roots of the new cold war. "In psychological and political terms," Matlock says, "President Bush planted a landmine under the future U.S.-Russian relationship" when he broke his promise and made that claim.
Bush's broken promise had two significant effects. Psychologically, it created the appearance in the Russian psyche that Gorbachev had been tricked by America: it eroded trust in America and in the new peace. Politically, it created in the American psyche the false idea that Russia was a defeated country whose sphere of interest did not need to be considered. Both these perceptions contributed to the new cold war.
Not only was the broken promise of NATO expansion not the first broken American promise, it was also not the last. In 1997, when President Clinton made the decision to expand NATO much more than an inch to the east, he at least signed the Russia-NATO Founding Act , which explicitly promised that as NATO expanded east, there would be no "permanent stationing of substantial combat forces." This obliterated American promise planted the third root of the new cold war.
Since that third promise, NATO has, in the words of Stephen Cohen, built up its "permanent land, sea and air power near Russian territory, along with missile-defense installations." US and NATO weapons and troops have butted right up against Russia's borders, while anti-missile installations have surrounded it, leading to the feeling of betrayal in Russia and the fear of aggression. Among the earliest moves of the Trump administration were the moving of NATO troops into Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria and nearby Norway.
Mikhail Gorbachev, who offered the West Russia and cooperation in place of the Soviet Union and Cold War, was rewarded with lies, broken promises and betrayal. That was the sowing of the first seeds of the new cold war. The second planting happened during the Yeltsin years that followed. During this stage, the Russian people were betrayed because their hopes for democracy and for an economic system compatible with the West were both destroyed by American intervention.
The goal, Matlock too gently explains, "had to be a shift of the bulk of the economy to private ownership." What transpired was what Naomi Klein called in The Shock Doctrine "one of the greatest crimes committed against a democracy in modern history." The States allowed no gradual transition. Matlock says the "Western experts advised a clean break with the past and a transition to private ownership without delay." But there was no legitimate private capital coming out of the communist system, so there was no private money with which to privatize. So, there was only one place for the money to come. As Matlock explains, the urgent transition allowed "privileged insiders[to] join the criminals who had been running a black market [and to] steal what they could, as fast as they could." The sudden, uncompromising transition imposed on Russia by the United States enabled, according to Cohen, "a small group of Kremlin-connected oligarchs to plunder Russia's richest assets and abet the plunging of some two-thirds of its people into poverty and misery."
The rape of Russia was funded, overseen and ordered by the United States and handed over by President George H.W. Bush to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Much of their advice, Matlock says generously, "was not only useless, but sometimes actually damaging."
Sometimes damaging? In the first year, millions lost their entire life savings. Subsidy cuts meant that many Russians didn't get paid at all. Klein says that by 1992, Russians were consuming 40% less than they were the year before, and one third of them had suddenly sunk below the poverty line. The economic policies wrestled onto Russia by the US and the transition experts and international development experts it funded and sent over led to, what Cohen calls, "the near ruination of Russia." Russia's reward for ending the Cold War and joining the Western economic community was, in Cohen's words, "the worst economic depression in peacetime, the disintegration of the highly professionalized Soviet middle class, mass poverty, plunging life expectancy [for men, it had fallen below sixty], the fostering of an oligarchic financial elite, the plundering of Russia's wealth, and more."
By the time Putin came to power in 2000, Cohen says, "some 75% of Russians were living in poverty." 75%! Millions and millions of Russian lives were destroyed by the American welcoming of Russia into the global economic community.
But before Putin came to power, there was more Boris Yeltsin. Yeltsin was a necessity for Clinton and the United States because Yeltsin was the pliable puppet who would continue to enforce the cruel economic transition. But to continue the interference in, and betrayal of, the Russian people economically, it would now be necessary to interfere in and betray the Russian democracy.
In late 1991, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Boris Yeltsin won a year of special powers from the Russian Parliament: for one year, he was to be, in effect, the dictator of Russia to facilitate the midwifery of the birth of a democratic Russia. In March of 1992, under pressure from the, by now, impoverished, devastated and discontented population, parliament repealed the dictatorial powers it had granted him. Yeltsin responded by declaring a state of emergency, re-bestowing upon himself the repealed dictatorial powers. Russia's Constitutional Court ruled that Yeltsin was acting outside the constitution. But the US sided – against the Russian people and against the Russian Constitutional Court – with Yeltsin.
Intoxicated with American support, Yeltsin dissolved the parliament that had rescinded his powers and abolished the constitution of which he was in violation. In a 636-2 vote, the Russian parliament impeached Yeltsin. But, President Clinton again sided with Yeltsin against the Russian people and the Russian law, backed him and gave him $2.5 billion in aid. Clinton was blocking the Russian people's choice of leaders.
Yeltsin took the money and sent police officers and elite paratroopers to surround the parliament building. Clinton "praised the Russian President has (sic) having done 'quite well' in managing the standoff with the Russian Parliament," as The New York Times reported at the time. Clinton added that he thought "the United States and the free world ought to hang in there" with their support of Yeltsin against his people, their constitution and their courts, and judged Yeltsin to be "on the right side of history."
On the right side of history and armed with machine guns and tanks, in October 1993, Yeltsin's troops opened fire on the crowd of protesters, killing about 100 people before setting the Russian parliament building on fire. By the time the day was over, Yeltsin's troops had killed approximately 500 people and wounded nearly 1,000. Still, Clinton stood with Yeltsin. He provided ludicrous cover for Yeltsin's massacre , claiming that "I don't see that he had any choice . If such a thing happened in the United States, you would have expected me to take tough action against it." Clinton's Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, said that the US supported Yeltsin's suspension of parliament in these "extraordinary times."
In 1996, elections were looming, and America's hegemonic dreams still needed Yeltsin in power. But it wasn't going to happen without help. Yeltsin's popularity was nonexistent, and his approval rating was at about 6%. According to Cohen, Clinton's interference in Russian politics, his "crusade" to "reform Russia," had by now become official policy . And so, America boldly interfered directly in Russian elections . Three American political consultants, receiving "direct assistance from Bill Clinton's White House," secretly ran Yeltsin's reelection campaign. As Time magazine broke the story , "For four months, a group of American political consultants clandestinely participated in guiding Yeltsin's campaign."
"Funded by the US government," Cohen reports, Americans "gave money to favored Russian politicians, instructed ministers, drafted legislation and presidential decrees, underwrote textbooks, and served at Yeltsin's reelection headquarters in 1996."
More incriminating still is that Richard Dresner, one of the three American consultants, maintained a direct line to Clinton's Chief Strategist, Dick Morris. According to reporting by Sean Guillory , in his book, Behind the Oval Office , Morris says that, with Clinton's approval, he received weekly briefings from Dresner that he would give to Clinton. Based on those briefings, Clinton would then provide recommendations to Dresner through Morris.
Then ambassador to Russia, Thomas Pickering, even pressured an opposing candidate to drop out of the election to improve Yeltsin's odds of winning.
The US not only helped run Yeltsin's campaign, they helped pay for it. The US backed a $10.2 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan for Russia, the second-biggest loan the IMF had ever given. The New York Times reported that the loan was "expected to be helpful to President Boris N. Yeltsin in the presidential election in June." The Times explained that the loan was "a vote of confidence" for Yeltsin who "has been lagging well behind in opinion polls" and added that the US Treasury Secretary "welcomed the fund's decision."
Yeltsin won the election by 13%, and Time magazine's cover declared: "Yanks to the rescue: The secret story of how American advisers helped Yeltsin win". Cohen reports that the US ambassador to Russia boasted that "without our leadership we would see a considerably different Russia today." That's a confession of election interference.
Asserting its right as the unipolar victor of a Cold War it never won, betraying the central promise of the negotiated end of the cold war by engulfing Russia's neighbors, arming those nations against its written and signed word and stealing all Russian hope in capitalism and democracy by kidnapping and torturing Russian capitalism and democracy, the roots of the new cold war were not planted by Russian lies and aggression, as the doctrinal Western version teaches, but by the American lies and aggression that the fact checked, demythologized version of history reveals.
Ted Snider writes on analyzing patterns in US foreign policy and history.
Sep 15, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com
likbez -> anne... , September 14, 2019 at 08:30 PM"The US served as a benevolent hegemon, administering the occasional rap on the knuckles to those acting in bad faith"
USA foreign policy since 70th was controlled by neocons who as a typical Trotskyites (neoliberalism is actually Trotskyism for the rich) were/are hell-bent of world domination and practice gangster capitalism in foreign policy.
Bolton attitude to UN is very symptomatic for the neocons as a whole.
Madeline "not so bright" Allbright was the first swan. As well as Clinton attempts to bankrupt and subdue Russia and criminal (in a sense of no permission from the UN) attack on Yugoslavia. Both backfired: Russia became permanently hostile. The fact he and his coterie were not yet tried by something like Nuremberg tribunal is only due to the USA dominance at this stage of history.
The truth is that after the dissolution of the USSR the USA foreign policy became completely unhinged. And inside the country the elite became cannibalistic, as there was no external threat to its dominance in the form of the USSR.
The USA stated to behave like a typical Imperial state (New Rome, or, more correctly, London) accepting no rules/laws that are not written by themselves (and when it is convenient to obey them) with the only difference from the classic imperial states that the hegemony it not based on the military presence/occupation ( like was the case with British empire)
Although this is not completely true as there are 761 US Military Bases across the planet and only 46 Countries with no US military presence. Of them, seven countries with 13 New Military Bases were added since 09/11/2001.In 2001 the US had a quarter million troops posted abroad.
Still as an imperial state and the center of neoliberal empire the USA relies more on financial instruments and neoliberal comprador elite inside the country.
I recently learned from https://akarlin.com/2010/04/on-liberasts-and-liberasty/ that the derogatory term for the neoliberal part of the Russian elite is "liberasts" and this term gradually slipping into English language ( http://onlineslangdictionary.com/meaning-definition-of/liberast ;-)
With the collapse of neoliberal ideology in 2008 the USA centered neoliberal empire experiences first cracks. Brexit and election of Trump widened the cracks in a sense of further legitimizing the ruling neoliberal elite (big middle finger for Hillary was addressed to the elite as whole)
If oil price exceed $100 per barrel there will yet another crack or even repetition of the 2008 Great Recession on a new level (although we may argue that the Great Recession never ended and just entered in Summers terms "permanent stagnation: phase)
Although currently with a bully at the helm the USA empire still going strong in forcing vassals and competitors to reconsider their desire to challenge the USA that situation will not last. Trump currently is trying to neutralize the treat from China by rejecting classic neoliberal globalization mechanism as well as signed treaties like WTO. He might be successful in the short run but in the "long run" that undermines the USA centered neoliberal empire and speed up its demise. .
In the long run the future does not look too bright as crimes committed by the USA during triumphal period of neoliberalism hangs like albatross around the USA neck.
EU now definitely wants to play its own game as Macron recently stated and which Merkel tacitly supports. If EU allies with Russia it will became No.1 force in the world with the USA No. 2. With severe consequences for the USA.
If Russia allied with China the USA Np.1 position will hinge of keeping EU vassals in check and NATO in place. Without them it will became No.2 with fatal consequences for the dollar as world reserve currency and sudden change of the USA financial position due to the level of external debt and requires devaluation of the dollar.
Looks like 75 year after WWII the world started to self-organize a countervailing force trying to tame the USA with some interest expressed by such players as EU, Russia, China, India, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan and even Saudi Arabia. As well as ( in the past; and possibly in the future as neoliberal counterrevolutions in both countries probably will end badly) by Brazil and Argentina.
Only Canada, Australia and probably UK can be counted as the reliable parts of the USA empire. That's not much.
Sep 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
According to reports in both Israeli and Arabic regional media, Israel this past week was preparing to expand major airstrikes against "Iran-backed" targets in Syria, but Moscow imposed its red line. The Independent has published a story describing that Russia's military in Syria threatened to shoot down any invading Israeli warplanes using fighter jets or their S-400 system .
The Jerusalem Post , citing sources in the UK Independent (Arabia) , writes just after the latest meeting in Sochi between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin:
According to the report, Moscow has prevented three Israeli airstrikes on three Syrian outposts recently, and even threatened that any jets attempting such a thing would be shot down, either by Russian jets or by the S400 Anti-aircraft missiles . The source cited in the report claims a similar situation has happened twice, and that during August, Moscow stopped an airstrike on a Syrian outpost in Qasioun, where a S300 missile battery is placed.
Netanyahu's hasty trip to meet with Putin on Thursday - even in the final days before Tuesday's key election - was reportedly with a goal to press the Russian president on essentially ignoring Israel's attacks in Syria.
Citing further sources in the British-Arabic Independent Arabia , The Jerusalem Post continues :
According to the Russian source, Putin let Netanyahu know that his country will not allow any damage to be done to the Syrian regime's army, or any of the weapons being given to it...
Israel sources cited by the Arabic newspaper described Netanyahu's attempts to persuade Putin as "a failure" . This in spite of Netanyahu telling reporters after the meeting that his relations with Moscow were stronger than ever.
Moscow is said to be particularly resistant given the Israeli military's recent spate of attacks on targets in Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria.
Sources in the report claimed further that Putin in a somewhat unprecedented moment raised the issue of Lebanon :
The Russian source said: "Putin has expressed his dissatisfaction from Israel's latest actions in Lebanon" and even emphasized to Netanyahu that he "Rejects the aggression towards Lebanon's sovereignty" something which has never been heard from him. Putin further stated that someone is cheating him in regards to Syria and Lebanon and that he will not let it go without a response. According to him, Netanyahu was warned not to strike such targets in the future.
It could also be simply that Putin understands that Netanyahu, now desperate to extend his political career to a record fifth term as prime minister as next week's elections loom, could be ready to risk a major and very unnecessary Middle East conflagration in order to continue to appeal to Israeli right wing and nationalist voters.
shortingurass , 24 minutes ago linknaro , 22 minutes ago link
Say what you want about Putin, this guy has balls. I wish we had a leader like him. it's been way too long we're being governed by weak zio puppets pussies.naro , 19 minutes ago link
Putin is a good man and loves the Judean people.Noob678 , 40 minutes ago link
SUPPORT FROM PUTIN IN SOCHI
Netanyahu traveled to the Black Sea resort to meet the Russian leader – just five days before the election – in a move widely seen as an effort to woo elder Russian-speaking immigrants.Wahooo , 37 minutes ago link
US, Israel talk about mutual defense treaty – Trump - Trump is anti-establishment ZOG-Rothschild lol
The US and Israel are discussing a mutual defense treaty that would further cement the already "tremendous" alliance between the two countries, President Donald Trump has revealed.
"I had a call today with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss the possibility of moving forward with a Mutual Defense Treaty, between the United States and Israel, that would further anchor the tremendous alliance between our two countries," Trump tweeted.Brazen Heist II , 36 minutes ago link
OrangeZioPedo at his finest. MIGA!petroglyph , 5 minutes ago link
The US has become a bad Jewish comedy sketch and kvetch.ADB , 45 minutes ago link
And just two days ago, Israel was caught again places spy devices in Wash. But today the POTUS is going to sign on for sacrificing what's left of our sovereignty to Israel so they can go around MENA pounding their chest and threatening everyone. https://www.israellobbyus.org/transcripts/1.1Grant_Smith.htmI am Groot , 49 minutes ago link
Einstein101: "Well, so far the Joos are those who are throwing the punches ..."
Only because you can run to America the moment anyone fights back. Until now.
How does it feel to have the whole Oded Yinon/ Greater Israel project crumbling before your eyes?Et Tu Brute , 46 minutes ago link
I hope Putin gives Iran one of those Tsar Bomba's to drop on Israel. Or one of those Satan 2's that can wipe out an area the size of Texas.Airstrip1 , 1 hour ago link
Not sure option 2 would be such good idea, with Damascus being only a few kms from the Israeli border and all...Einstein101 , 53 minutes ago link
Interesting body language/facials -- Nutty still with the smirk, but VVP and background say a grave/serious word has gone out ... similar as the Izzies bend to listen very carefully to the erect and confident-looking Russkies ...
********'s over, Bibi, where it goes from here depends on your nasty little country ... maybe others in your region looking for 70-odd years payback for your murders terrorism land-confiscation cruelty against those weaker than your miserable selves.Airstrip1 , 22 minutes ago link
********'s over, Bibi, where it goes from here depends on your nasty little country
Not so fast, Israel will try not to step on Putin's tows but it can't afford the Iranians to build that ring of missiles around Israel. It's not that Israel does not have leverage too, it can make things complicated for Putin, like one small bomb on Assad's resident in Damascus.Airstrip1 , 7 minutes ago link
... one small bomb on Assad's resident in Damascus.
You can certainly shoot out the ******** yourself, Einstein.
Surely you must be aware that your namesake condemned the founding of Israel in 1948, which has turned out to be the all-round disaster he predicted. Not alone, many Jewish voices round the world continue to condemn it. How inconvenient for you and your bombs on Assad's house ... lol ...ThomasEdmonds , 1 hour ago link
"I am in favor of Palestine being developed as a Jewish Homeland but not as a separate State. It seems to me a matter for simple common sense that we cannot ask to be given the political rule over Palestine where two thirds of the population are not Jewish. What we can and should ask is a secured bi-national status in Palestine with free immigration. If we ask more we are damaging our own cause and it is difficult for me to grasp that our Zionists are taking such an intransigent position which can only impair our cause," Einstein said in a letter in 1946, according to the Shapell Manuscript Foundation.
Read Newsmax: Israel: 5 Albert Einstein Quotes About Zionism | Newsmax.com
In as delicate and diplomatic phrasing as I can attempt, Netanyahu needs to go.
Sep 14, 2019 | www.unz.com
This conflict at the heart of Israeli politics is a window into the Jewish state and its fears. Israel is rapidly becoming an Orthodox Jewish state. Israel's Orthodox Jews are the fastest growing group in the country. They are also the country's poorest population, 45 percent live below the poverty line in segregated communities. Ordinarily, one would expect the poor to support the left, but Israeli Torah Jews are rabid nationalists and openly lend their support to Benjamin Netanyahu and his party.
Prof. Dan Ben-David of Tel Aviv University warned recently that Israel could cease to exist in a couple of generations. He pointed to the astonishingly high birth rate among ultra Orthodox Jews and predicted that, based on current trends, they will comprise 49% of Israel's population by 2065. The ultra Orthodox parties are destined to dominate the Knesset within a generation or less. Ben David predicts that their dependence on Israel's welfare system will lead to a rapid decline is Israel's economy. This is economically damaging enough and is made worse by the refusal of most rabbinical schools to incorporate standard Western subjects such as mathematics, science and English into their core curriculum. Consequently, Israel is educating a growing percentage of its population in a fashion that fails to equip them to contribute to the needs of a hi-tech society that is immersed in a conflict for survival.
The picture that comes across is peculiar. As Israel becomes increasingly Jewish and fundamentalist in its nationalist and religious ethos, it has also become more divided on everything else. The Russian immigrants find it impossible to live alongside the ultra Orthodox and vice versa. The secular enclave in Tel Aviv is committed to seeing their metropolis as an extension of NY.
The Israeli Left has morphed into an LGBT hasbara unit. It has practically removed itself from the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Jewish settlers adhere to the concept of a 'Two Jewish States Solution.' They want to see the West Bank become a Jewish land. Orthodox Jews are barely concerned with any of these political issues. They well know that the future of the Jewish state belongs to them. All they need to do is sustain a productive secular Jewish minority to serve as their milk cow. On top of all of that we face Bibi's survival wars that threaten to escalate any minute into a world conflict.
Altai , says: September 12, 2019 at 8:49 pm GMTThis is why I'm more optimistic the more Trump embraces Israel. He seems to have clearly decided not to get caught in Syria and so has to keep them off his back in some other way, moving the embassy and presumably giving Netanyahu the greenlight for annexation of more of the West Bank is a good thing.Priss Factor , says: Website September 12, 2019 at 9:53 pm GMT
It means Israel incorporates more and more Palestinians that it can't disengage from by keeping within it's existing borders and it means damaging the bi-partisan consensus with Trump's polarising association.
Everything Netanyahu does is just pulling back the sinews for the final reckoning. Instead of staying within reasonable borders and seeking a reconciliation with neighbours, Israel just gets more demanding, more unreasonable, breaks more promises and makes itself impossible to negotiate with and runs headlong into more and more Palestinian citizens.
What's unfortunate is that Europe and the US will be forced to put up with the millions of vagrant Sabras when it all goes kaput. Instead of becoming less anti-social, the Sabra became a magnificent compilation of every annoying and anti-social habit of the nations. Israelis make Sicilians look like Swedes.@Robert Dolan Israeli power is the consequence of Jewish-American Power.Gilad Atzmon , says: September 12, 2019 at 9:56 pm GMT
It's like the princeling brat can romp around and make all kinds of trouble because his father is the king.
The King of Jewish Power is the hold over America.@Altai I agree Altai . at the end of the day this entire mess will fall on Europe and The USA but if I read the map correctly the tolerance and empathy to the primacy of Jewish suffering is running out..the situation is getting complicatedGilad Atzmon , says: September 12, 2019 at 9:56 pm GMT@Altai I agree Altai . at the end of the day this entire mess will fall on Europe and The USA but if I read the map correctly the tolerance and empathy to the primacy of Jewish suffering is running out..the situation is getting complicatedniteranger , says: September 13, 2019 at 1:41 am GMT@Robert Dolan Absolutely correct. If not for the US and it's Jewish Controlled Congress that never met a money bill for the Magic Jews Israel would be under water already. Our infrastructure is collapsing but we continue to find money for Israel no matter that we have cities with thousands of homeless people with the threat of disease and Middle Age plagues on our door step. Orthodox Jews are like Muslims in many ways because they love the "Welfare State" and they stay on it forever. Sections of New York are saturated with these Orthodox Welfare Jews and idiots like DeBlasio caters to them.Dennis Gannon , says: September 13, 2019 at 2:27 am GMT
There is now a backlash by both blacks who hate them and want to kill them for their business practices in real estate and upper middle class residents that refuse to allow them to build their so called "Jewish Orthodox Communes" and take over the areas.
Israel may have overplayed their hand but that doesn't mean they will just disappear. They are sick enough to take mankind with them with their eternal wars. Hopefully Netanyahu is crazy enough to start a conflict with Iran who will bomb the shit out of them and then Hezabollah will destroy the wimp military the IDF.
We can only hope and perhaps mankind will have a chance .It is more accurate to call them Talmudists. They are not "Jews". Jew is a recent abbreviation of Judean. The Ashkenazi came from Asia. They don't follow the Old Testament. They follow the Talmud, which is Maciavellian to the core. Pure evil. Since God made the man Jesus to be Lord, eventually, their works will be judged, they are headed for destruction morally, you reap what you sew. Israel is the most anti-Semitic country on earth. Which makes them hypocrites. The Arabs and Palestinians are a Semitic people and no one hates and kills them more that Israel.Gilad Atzmon , says: Website September 13, 2019 at 4:10 am GMT@Colin Wright As you may know Zionism was born as a reaction to antisemitsm and this fact alone suggests that people including Jews were aware of the problem before Israel was formedGiuseppe , says: September 13, 2019 at 4:34 am GMT@Gilad AtzmonFrankie P , says: September 13, 2019 at 4:57 am GMT
I don't want to ruin the party but as far as I can tell Israel is not the problem it is just a symptom of the problem peculiarly, Israel was born to fix the problem
Interesting point of view, actually, one of the most profound things I have ever read. If this is their calling, and I too somehow believe it is, they need to turn around, because they are kind of falling down on the job. So I look forward to that great day of turning. However, when they call you names, anti-Semite, self-hating Jew, or whatever else they might dig up, they greatly err, because you are a watchman on the wall.@Saggy Gilad has expressed his views on this topic many, many times. The early Zionists desired a Jewish State to make Jews human. By this, I mean that they were well aware of the Jewish Question and the repeated bad behavior of Jews in host societies, both Muslim and Christian. They were conscious of the economic role of powerful Jews, particularly with their usurious financial practices, but also as tax collectors and enforcers for the aristocracy. This, along with their tilted ethnocentric business practices, favoring their own while fleecing the goyim, invariably led to their control of what were traditionally local businesses, creating a growing resentment in local societies that reached critical mass. What followed were pogroms and expulsion. This occurred in both Muslim and Christian lands, but were especially pronouncrd in Christian Europe, which took more aggressive protective actions to shield itself.refl , says: September 13, 2019 at 6:10 am GMT
The early Zionists wanted to be the midwives of a Jewish State that would solve the JQ by making a nation of Jews, in which Jews carried out all of the work, took all the jobs, from garbage collecting to farming, from street cleaner to bank president. They wanted to stop the pogroms and expulsions, but at the same time they were keenly aware that these were effects of Jewish behavior and actions, not senseless anti-Semitism of the goyim. So, yes Israel was conceived and born to solve the problem.
It didn't.@Gilad Atzmonmena , says: September 13, 2019 at 7:50 am GMT
As you may know Zionism was born as a reaction to antisemitsm and this fact alone suggests that people including Jews were aware of the problem before Israel was formed
Was it? Or was antisemitism the solution by the jewish leadership to the dissolution of their community in modern arreligious society? Was antisemitism the virtual ghetto wall?
Tell the people within that those outside want to kill them, at the same time having a small faction of very cunning Jews who go outside and produce trouble that then by necessity falls back on the whole community?
I find it quite astonishing when I read how privileged certain Jews were in European states, compared to what was the norm for regular Christian folks.
And indeed, also Christians were butchered, expelled etc in more religious times.peculiarly, Israel was born to fix the problemsally , says: September 13, 2019 at 8:16 am GMT
I have heard you say this before and remain surprised that you seem to believe this. The whole " people like any other people" hasbara may have been a sales approach tailored to a particular audience at some point, but any sincerity behind it has been demonstrably beside the point. Israel has been a projection of raw power from the start.@niteranger Are you sure => "we continue to find money for Israel" <=unless you are among the elected 527 that run the USA you probably are not included in the WE.. did you vote (either yes or no) to send money to Israel?Germanicus , says: September 13, 2019 at 8:28 am GMT
Three votes (one to select a person to fill one of (1/425) jobs in the house of representatives, and 1 vote to select each of 2 persons to fill two senate jobs (2/100) does not make most Americans into deciding members of the USA. Not only that, at election time, American votes for President or VP do not count, because the electoral college vote decides who shall be President or vice President? So why do the candidates spend billions on the presidential elections?
350,000,000 Americans are governed by 527 salaried persons, who are elected to work at the USA.
Israel is a product of the bankers and their corporations; it began in earnest in 1897 in Switzerland.
The great success of Zionism (not racially or religiously connected) has been its networking ability. It can identify and intercept opposing forces, transport resources($, and people) in invisible ways, to/from multi many places, to focus on and to support a target project (local, regional, national or international) . The network that facilitates this "always win intention" works like a newspaper on one side, keeping all elements informed, and on the other side, like a powerful, but invisible government; seeking or willing to invade, protect or promote a place, project or person on the other side.
The network can concentrate fire power, vote power, impose political pressure, control the media, and develop the means to take advantage of, or put down, situation or opportunity or it can protect a friend in need. In a few days, a local situation or a massive opportunity can be "crowd funded" or "petition protected" via the network. For hypothetical example, say the NYT comes up for sale, in a short while a person with meager credit, tenders a multi-billion dollar offer backed with financing sufficient to acquire the opportunity? So how did the credit come to make this possible?
Its not Israel per se..that the USA congress supports: its the banking establishments and their powerful multi nation corporations, seeking to control the middle east, seeking to use "in the course of commerce" as their excuse for invisible weapon, mind control, and spy technology development. Its Economic Zionism that explains the foreign nation state support for Israel. IMO except for the propaganda value, race or religion has little to do with it.@Gilad Atzmon Why not infuse Israel with the tons of fanatical leftist(godless) Jews we have in Germany and Europe? They could counter the orthodox leeching by providing work force, and could additionally work their bottoms off on "racism", transform settlements in gay discos and do all the other professional complaints they make in Europe, like open borders.Antares , says: September 13, 2019 at 8:45 am GMT
The Jews in Europe are always scared, if Netanyahu calls them to Israel due to "anti-semitism". If a non Jew says something similar, its evil and "anti-semitic" of course.
It is quite interesting to note, that Israel develops in a theocracy(always has been in my view), while the Jews outside Israel seek to disprove/kill god and are in rebellion against god, nature, more or less play god.@FvS "It is the patriotic duty of all American Jews to relocate to Israel and help their nation thrive. Remember the holocaust. Also, democracy is garbage."gotmituns , says: September 13, 2019 at 9:22 am GMT
You could be an American patriot who doesn't want to pay 3.8 billion per year.Theodor Herzl said, "Where there is no anti Semitism, there are no Jews."Lol , says: September 13, 2019 at 9:25 am GMT@Gilad Atzmon The issue is that regular Europeans have diminishing rates of sympathy for Jews and the only reason European politics don't trash Israel is largely vassalage to America and not having an independent foreign policy.Lol , says: September 13, 2019 at 9:34 am GMT
With Americans ruining their relations with everyone, this will most likely change since there's no real reason for Europeans to source military equipment from outside the EU, have sanctions on Iran or Russia instead of backing their infrastructure projects, not back China in the Pacific if it offers a better deal etc.
Essentially, Jews will be America's problem and rightfully so considering right wing Americans can't seem to stop sucking Jewish dick.@A123 The only realistic plan would probably involve Israel not violating the fourth Geneva convention anymore which would mean the Jewish settlements on territories outside the pre-1967 borders will cease to exist as Jewish in any way.Johnny Walker Read , says: September 13, 2019 at 12:19 pm GMT
Once you reject international law, you can't appeal to it anymore, but you must be Jewish if you think you can pick and choose what suits you. Lol@Rational The "Holy Hook" is being exposed on a level never imagined. Charles Giuliani has a great series out exposing the "Tribe". This is one of my favorites:Greg Bacon , says: Website September 13, 2019 at 12:24 pm GMT
http://www.renegadebroadcasting.com/truth-hertz-pimp-daddy-abrahams-adventures-in-egypt-6-17-19/The loonie Avi Lieberman is salivating at the thought being Israeli PM, and the loonie Nuttyahoo is salivating at the thought of staying PM and using that power to keep his sorry ass out of prison.Johnny Walker Read , says: September 13, 2019 at 12:25 pm GMT
Presented with those two choices is like a robber asking its victim, "Do you want to be stabbed with a knife or shot with a gun?"@Robert Dolan America will never be shed of this parasite until the fundamentalist Christian Zionist/NeoCons are swept from power. They are every bit as insane as the radicalized Muslims. You tell me which country this clown truly servers!!anonymous  Disclaimer , says: September 13, 2019 at 12:29 pm GMT
https://www.youtube.com/embed/UYEF8y7IZYc?feature=oembed@AnonFrankie P , says: September 13, 2019 at 12:50 pm GMT
Few goyim will make the leap to figure out the modern implications of the Moses mythology.
You should discuss that with @ Dennis Gannon, who appears to be tangled in a ball of misunderstanding or ignorance, especially of Machiavelli, evident when he wrote:
The Ashkenazi came from Asia. They don't follow the Old Testament. They follow the Talmud, which is Maciavellian to the core. Pure evil.
Crack open The Prince: Machiavelli "figured out the modern implications of the Moses mythology." Of three candidates Machiavelli considered, he selected Moses as the model Prince. Certain "evil" behavior that became necessary to save his beloved city, Florence, and make it a Republic of and for the people of Florence, was acceptable, inasmuch as Moses, whose chief counselor was god himself, used whatever means necessary to achieve the wellbeing of the conquerors of Canaan.
If only the people of the USA had a Prince as evil, and as dedicated to the wellbeing of the American people, as Machiavelli was to Florence.@Brewer "Zionism was born as a reaction to antisemitism." Gilad is correct, but I believe that implicit in his statement is the understanding that the "antisemitism" is reactionary: it is born out of the anti gentile behavior and actions of Jews in gentile host societies. Gilad, please correct me if I've misrepresented you.DESERT FOX , says: September 13, 2019 at 12:59 pm GMTIsrael is a terrorist state ran by terrorists for terrorists and its goal is to destroy the mideast for its greater Israel agenda and with the help of the zionist controlled zio/US government and the American taxpayers funding of these wars and providing the military muscle the zionists are now their way to armageddon!Twodees Partain , says: September 13, 2019 at 1:45 pm GMT@Brewer My definition of antisemitism is any pushback against crimes of the Ashkenazi.Charles Pewitt , says: September 13, 2019 at 2:06 pm GMTIsrael is not an ally of the United States of America.Charles Pewitt , says: September 13, 2019 at 2:18 pm GMT
Israel is a client-state millstone of the American Empire that uses diasporan Jews such as Shelly Adelson to buy off politicians such as President Trump.
Andrew Jackson and George Washington would immediately sever all ties to Israel and they would make sure that diasporan Jews that put the interests of Israel over and ahead of the interests of the USA were strongly encouraged to permanently leave the USA. Those Jews who put the interests of Israel over and ahead of the interests of the USA should be disallowed from gaining entry into any other European Christian nation such as Canada, Australia, Germany, France, England, Italy, Spain etc.
It would also be a no-go Blavatsky for these diasporan Jews who put the interests of Israel ahead of the interests of the USA to go to South America or Asia or anywhere else. Israel must be made into a receptacle that will contain and constrain the ability of diasporan Jews and Israeli Jews from interfering in the governmental affairs of any other nation.
One of the reasons I will not vote for Trump and the Republican Party is that Trump and the Republicans put the interests of Israel over and ahead of the interests of the United States of America.
Trump seems to get the fact that the American Empire is a completely and totally separate entity from the United States of America. Trump seems to understand that resistance to Shelly Adelson's demands about foreign policy decisions regarding Israel is the best way to show patriotism to the USA.
The JEW/WASP ruling class of the American Empire is a clear and present threat to the safety, security and sovereignty of the United States of America
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FIRST!Jew billionaire Shelly Adelson puts the interests of Israel ahead of the interests of the USA.Charles Pewitt , says: September 13, 2019 at 2:21 pm GMT
Jew billionaire Shelly Adelson has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to President Trump and the Republican Party over the years.
What has all that loot bought for diasporan Jew Adelson?
Is Adelson buying the foreign policy of the USA?How come that dumb boob Chris Christie used the word "occupied" in front of Adelson when Christie was trying to pry some loot out of Adelson's checkbook? DUMMY!
Tweet from 2015:The ruling class in Israel wants to continue to use the US military as muscle to fight wars on behalf of Israel.DESERT FOX , says: September 13, 2019 at 2:34 pm GMT
The ADL puts the interests of Israel ahead of the interests of the United States of America.
The ADL is an evil and immoral JEW PRESSURE GROUP that pushes mass legal immigration and mass illegal immigration and REFUGEE OVERLOAD and ASYLUM SEEKER INUNDATION and multicultural mayhem and all manner of other anti-White crud.@Charles Pewitt Agree, the zionists have controlled the American people since 1913 when they fastened their privately owned central bank aka the FED and IRS on to the American people and then came the foreign wars and debt and total control of the American people by the zionists and their banking kabal.Anonymous Snanonymous , says: September 13, 2019 at 3:05 pm GMT
Nathan Rothschild infamously said; I care not what puppet is place on the throne of England for the man who controls the money supply controls the British Empire, and I am that man!
The same holds true here in the zio/US the zionists have control of the money supply via the FED and we are slaves on the zionist plantation aka America, and a central bank and the income tax are 2 of the 10 planks of the communist manifesto, and zionism = communism!So the Orthodox will turn Israel into a big shtetl within the span of next fifty years with the financial help of the "secular" Jews in the West and then they would want to do away with the LGBTQ crowd out of Tel Aviv you reap what you sow!Wally , says: September 13, 2019 at 4:07 pm GMT@J said:
"Under all that noise there is country growing and strengthening very fast"
Without US taxpayers money "that shitty little country" wouldn't last a month.
The True Cost of Parasite Israel
Forced US taxpayers money to Israel goes far beyond the official numbers .
How Zionist Israel Is Robbing America Blind !:
Sep 13, 2019 | www.unz.com
Charles Pewitt , says: September 13, 2019 at 5:13 pm GMT@ChuckOrloskiMark James , says: September 13, 2019 at 5:49 pm GMT
Then having very (unsafely) gone off the Gaderene cliff deep end, you opined, "Trump seems to understand that resistance to Shelly Adelson's demands about foreign policy decisions regarding Israel is the best way to show patriotism to the USA."
Let me elaborate further on that sentence.
Trump has acceded to 2 of the 4 demands of Republican Party donor and Jew billionaire Shelly Adelson in regards to Israel:
1) Trump has killed the Iran nuclear deal and 2) Trump has moved the US embassy to Jerusalem.
3) Trump has refused to invade Iran or start a war with Iran and 4) Trump has not dropped a nuclear bomb on Iran.
Shelly Adelson wants the US military to invade Iran and Shelly Adelson wants the US military to drop a nuclear bomb on Iran.
Trump knows that there is a difference between the American Empire and the United States of America. Trump pushes military Keynesianism for the jobs and the loot for the American people, but Trump doesn't think that the American Empire must continually be at war to justify the war expenditures. Trump gave an interview where he spoke of the military-industrial complex and Trump is a baby boomer who remembers Ike and his warnings about the profiteers and scoundrels who would use the American Empire to profit off the USA.
Trump made the wise decision to not go to war against Iran with that drone incident, and that is a good thing. Trump may have thought about oil at two hundred dollars a barrel or he might have thought it's better to pop the Iranians surreptitiously rather than televised on CNN with air strikes and the like.
I do think that Trump puts the interests of Israel ahead of the interests of the USA, but a lot of the ruling class slobs who run the American Empire don't even think that the USA exists anymore. A lot of us voted for Trump to reclaim the sovereignty and independence of the USA from the American Empire.
So I think Trump is in his own way being patriotic to a certain extent by giving Shelly Adelson some of what Adelson wanted but not all.
Trump may also understand that German American women and other American women in the Great Lakes states don't want their sons or husbands or uncles or fathers getting killed or horribly wounded in endless wars that only benefit Israel. The German Americans, bless them, have historically shown great reluctance to get caught up in all the endless war crud that the JEW/WASP ruling class of the American Empire cooks up.
I won't vote for Trump because of his backstab on immigration, but I think Trump knows that he is the government leader of a big monster and that big monster is the creature that encompasses both the American Empire and the United States of America.
I was long winded, but there's a point in there somewhere!" My relationship with Israel has been great," Trump said, listing some of his pro-Israel accomplishments. "Anything is possible," he conceded, "but I don't believe it."Wally , says: September 13, 2019 at 6:24 pm GMT
Trump, Netanyahu say no spying:
"Yesterday you heard the lies that Israel tried to spy on the White House, a complete lie," Netanyahu said in a Hebrew-language video.
He then quoted Mark Levin as saying on his show that "this is exactly like the tricks carried out by Joel Benenson. He was an adviser to Obama and now he is the adviser to [Blue and White leaders Benny] Gantz and [Yair] Lapid."@Charles Pewitt Trump certainly deserves criticism for his ME policies.
However, it's pure folly to think that the alternatives to Trump would be any better, in fact I suggest that most would be worse.
It's always interesting to see those here who are so quick to bash Trump never tell us which of the alternative candidates they are willing to endorse and why.
Sep 13, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org
"Every time the president, or Pompeo, or anyone in the [Trump] administration came up with an idea, they had to face Dr No."
– Cliff Kupchan, Chairman of the Eurasia Group, The Washington Post , Sep 11, 2011.
Sep 13, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
"Carlson concluded by warning about the many other Boltons in the federal bureaucracy, saying that "war may be a disaster for America, but for John Bolton and his fellow neocons, it's always good business."
He went on to slam Trump's special representative for Iran and contender to replace Bolton, Brian Hook, as an "unapologetic neocon" who "has undisguised contempt for President Trump, and he particularly dislikes the president's nationalist foreign policy." Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif echoed Carlson hours later in a tweet, arguing that "Thirst for war – maximum pressure – should go with the warmonger-in-chief." Reuters and Haaretz
Yes, people tend to forget that Bolton and all the other neocons are worshipers at the altar of a secular religion imported to the US by members of the Frankfurt School of Trotskyite German professors in the 1930s. These people had attempted get the Nazis to consider them allies in a quest for an ordered world. Alas for them they found that the Nazi scum would not accept them and in fact began preparations to hunt them down.
Thus the migration to America and in particular to the University of Chicago where they developed their credo of world revolution under that guidance of a few philosopher kings like Leo Strauss, the Wohlstetters and other academic "geniuses" They also began an enthusiastic campaign of recruitment of enthusiastic graduate students who carefully disguised themselves as whatever was most useful politically.
They are not conservative at all, not one bit. Carlson was absolutely right about that.
They despise nationalism. They despise the idea of countries. In that regard they are like all groups who aspire to globalist dominion for their particular ideas.
They should all be driven from government. pl
Sep 13, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
marku52 , , September 13, 2019 at 3:48 pm
It seems since about the Vietnam war era, US FP has been run by hubristic idiots with delusions of grandeur. Its foreign policy 101 that you never, never, set policy to drive your 2 largest rivals to alliance.
Yet these morons did exactly that. Since Trump, there have been many retirements from the State Dept. And maybe that's not such a bad thing. They show no evidence of competence.
Sep 13, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org
On Saturday September 7, Russia and Ukraine agreed to a prisoner swap which has brought hope of improved relations between the two countries and an end to the 5-year long conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
A peace accord is being planned for later this month in Normandy involving Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany.
Ukraine's newly elected comedian president Volodymyr Zelensky called the prisoner exchange a "first step" in ending the war in Eastern Ukraine, which has killed an estimated 13,000 civilians.
The Ukraine War remains largely unknown to the American public even though the United States has had a great stake in it.
The war started after a coup d'états in Ukraine in February 2014, which overthrew the democratically elected pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovuch.
In a subsequent referendum, 89% in Donetsk and 96% in Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine voted for independence, which the new government of Petro Poroshenko government did not accept.
The United States was a heavy backer of the coup and dirty war that unfolded in the East.
Victoria Nuland, the head of the State Department's European desk, traveled to Ukraine three times during the protests that triggered the coup, handing out cookies to demonstrators.
She told U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in a telephone conversation that was tapped and later leaked that Arseniy Yatsenyuk, neoliberal head of the "Fatherland" Party, should be Prime Minister as he was thought to have the "economic" and "governing experience."
Nuland further revealed that the U.S. had invested over $5 billion in "democracy promotion" in Ukraine since 1991 through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which was carrying on the kind of work previously undertaken by the CIA during the Cold War.
Ukraine has long been considered an important bridge between Eastern and Western Europe and holds lucrative oil and gas deposits.
NED president Carl Gershman called Ukraine "the biggest prize" and an important interim step towards toppling [Russian President Vladimir] Putin who "may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself."
To help achieve this end, the Obama administration pledged $1 billion in loan guarantees to the post-coup government in Ukraine, which Putin considered as the "ideological heirs of [Stephen] Bandera, Hitler's accomplice in World War II."
Swayed by a slick lobbying campaign backed by supporters of the Afghan mujahidin in the 1980s looking for a new cause and by the Senate's Ukraine Caucus, the Obama administration further provided nearly $600 million in security assistance to the Ukrainian military.
It was supplied with counter-artillery radars, anti-tank systems, armored vehicles and drones in a policy expanded upon by Trump.
Before and after the Ukrainian military's campaign began, Secretary of State John Kerry, CIA Director John Brennan, and Vice President Joe Biden visited Kiev, followed by a flow of senior Pentagon officials.
A back-door arms pipeline was set up through the United Arab Emirates and Blackwater mercenaries were allegedly deployed.
American military advisers embedded in the Ukrainian Defense Ministry provided rocket propelled grenades, carried out training exercises and planned military operations including with members of the fascist Azov battalion, which had Nazi-inspired Wolfsangel patches emblazoned on their sleeves.
Obama's National Security adviser, Samantha Power, claimed that the [Ukrainian] governments "response [to alleged provocations by eastern rebels] [was] reasonable, it is proportional, and frankly it is what any of our countries would have done."
The Ukrainian military and allied warlord and neo-Nazi militias were not acting reasonably or proportionally, however, when they carried out artillery and air attacks on cities and struck residential buildings, shopping malls, parks, schools, hospitals and orphanages in Eastern Ukraine, and tortured and executed POWs in what amounted to clear war crimes.
NYU Professor Stephen Cohen notes that even The New York Times , which mainly deleted atrocities from its coverage, described survivors in Slovyansk living "as if in the Middle Ages."
That the American public knows nothing of these events is a sad reflection of the superficiality of our media and decline in the quality of international news coverage.
It is also a testament to the failing of the political left, which has embraced the cause of immigrant and Palestinian rights and fighting climate change, legitimately, but neglected the plight of the Eastern Ukrainian people. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Jeremy Kuzmarov
Jeremy Kuzmarov is the author of The Russians are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce (Monthly Review Press, 2018).
Sep 13, 2019 | consortiumnews.com
Stephen M , September 10, 2019 at 15:14
This is as good a time as any to point to an alternative vision of foreign policy. One based on the principle of non-interference, respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and, above all, international law. One based on peaceful coexistence and mutual cooperation. A vision of the world at peace and undivided by arbitrary distinctions. Such a world is possible and even though there are currently players around the world who are striving in that direction we need look no further than our own history for inspiration. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you one Henry A. Wallace, for your consideration.
(The following excerpts from an article by Dr. Dennis Etler. Link to the full article provided below.) --
The highest profile figure who articulated an alternative vision for American foreign policy was the politician Henry Wallace, who served as vice president under Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1940-1944 and ran for president in 1948 as the candidate of the Progressive Party.
After he became vice president in 1940, as Roosevelt was increasingly ill, Wallace promoted a new vision for America's role in the world that suggested that rather than playing catch up with the imperial powers, the United States should work with partners to establish a new world order that eliminated militarism, colonialism and imperialism.
Wallace gave a speech in 1942 that declared a "Century of the Common Man." He described a post-war world that offered "freedom from want," a new order in which ordinary citizens, rather than the rich and powerful, would play a decisive role in politics.
That speech made direct analogy between the Second World War and the Civil War, suggesting that the Second World War was being fought to end economic slavery and to create a more equal society. Wallace demanded that the imperialist powers like Britain and France give up their colonies at the end of the war.
In diplomacy, Wallace imagined a multi-polar world founded on the United Nations Charter with a focus on peaceful cooperation. In contrast, in 1941 Henry Luce, publisher of Time Magazine, had called for an 'American century,' suggesting that victory in war would allow the United States to "exert upon the world the full impact of our influence, for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit."
Wallace responded to Luce with a demand to create a world in which "no nation will have the God-given right to exploit other nations. Older nations will have the privilege to help younger nations get started on the path to industrialization, but there must be neither military nor economic imperialism." Wallace took the New Deal global. His foreign policy was to be based on non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries and mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty.
Sadly, since then, despite occasional efforts to head in a new direction, the core constituency for US foreign policy has been corporations, rather than the "common man" either in the United States, or the other nations of the world, and United States foreign relations have been dominated by interference in the political affairs of other nations. As a result the military was transformed from an "arsenal for democracy" during the Second World War into a defender of privilege at home and abroad afterwards.
Foreign aid for Wallace was not a tool to foster economic dominance as it was to become, but rather "economic assistance without political conditions to further the independent economic development of the Latin American and Caribbean countries." He held high "the principle of self-determination for the peoples of Africa, Asia, the West Indies, and other colonial areas." He saw the key policy for the United States to be based on "the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations and acceptance of the right of peoples to choose their own form of government and economic system."
Wallace's legacy suggests that it is possible to put forth a vision of an honest internationalism in US foreign policy that is in essence American. His approach was proactive not reactive. It would go far beyond anything Democrats propose today, who can only suggest that the United States should not start an unprovoked war with Iran or North Korea, but who embrace sanctions and propagandist reports that demonize those countries.
Rather than ridiculing Trump's overtures to North Korea, they should go further to reduce tensions between the North and the South by pushing for the eventual withdrawal of troops from South Korea and Japan (a position fully in line with Wallace and many other politicians of that age).
Rather than demonizing and isolating Russia (as a means to score political points against Trump), progressives should call for a real détente, that recognizes Russia's core interests, proposes that NATO withdraw troops from Russia's borders, ends sanctions and reintegrates Russia into the greater European economy. They could even call for an end to NATO and the perpetuation of the dangerous global rift between East and West that it perpetuates.
Rather than attempt to thwart China's rise, and attack Trump for not punishing it enough, progressives should seek to create new synergies between China and the US economically, politically and socioculturally.
In contrast to the US policy of perpetual war and "destroying nations in order to save them," China's BRI proposes an open plan for development that is not grounded in the models of French and British imperialism. It has proposed global infrastructure and science projects that include participants from nations in Africa, Asia, South and Central America previously ignored by American and European elites -- much as Wallace proposed an equal engagement with Latin America. When offering developmental aid and investment China does not demand that free market principles be adopted or that the public sector be privatized and opened up for global investment banks to ravish.
The United States should be emulating China, its Belt and Road Initiative and Community of Common Destiny, as a means of revitalizing its political culture and kicking its addiction to a neo-colonial concept of economic development and growth. Rather than relying on militarization and its attendant wars to spark the economy, progressives should demand that the US work in conjunction with nations such as China and Russia in building a sustainable future rather than creating one failed state after another.
Link to the full article provided below.
Sep 13, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Expat2uruguay , September 13, 2019 at 5:59 pm
"Support and attend the People's Mobilization to Stop the US War Machine and Save the Planet, September 20 through 23, in New York City. Christian liberationist intellectual Cornel West and Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations will speak, and much of the Black Agenda Report team are participating.
Only a mass movement of the streets can begin to dismantle the twin imperial policies of endless austerity and war, end the military occupations of Africa and Black America, and save the world from a wounded and angry ecosphere."
Sep 12, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Bolton's is an extreme black-and-white view of the world: if you aren't an ally of the United States, you are an adversary who needs a boot on your neck in the form of U.S. military force or economic sanctions. The second- and third-order strategic consequences are no obstacle in Bolton's mind. Why go through the humiliating spectacle of negotiations when you can simply bomb Iran's nuclear facilities or take out the Kim regime by force ?
Diplomacy, after all, is for wimps, spineless State Department bureaucrats, and appeasers. If the boss is insisting on diplomacy, then demand the moon, stars, and everything in between before offering a nickel of sanctions relief.
This is how John Bolton made his career: as the proverbial wrecking ball of arms control agreements -- and indeed agreements of any kind. And he makes no excuses for it. Indeed, he takes prideful ownership of his views, seeing anyone who disagrees with him or who isn't on his level as a weasel. Before Bolton joined the Trump administration as national security adviser, he was the short-lived ambassador to the United Nations and the undersecretary of state for arms control, where he attempted to get an intelligence analyst removed for disagreeing with his position on Cuba's alleged biological weapons program.
All of this is why so many of us were worried and confused when President Trump asked Bolton to serve as his national security adviser last year. The two men could not have more fundamental disagreements on foreign policy. While both laugh at the U.N. and international organizations more broadly, they diverge paths on some of the weightiest issues on the docket. Bolton would rather blow up Iran than talk to its leaders, engagement Trump has said numerous times he is more than happy to consider (maybe as soon as next week's U.N. General Assembly meeting).
On Venezuela, Trump seems to have soured on pushing Nicolás Maduro from power, even as Bolton refers to Caracas as part of the "troika of tyranny." Bolton's obsession with getting North Korea denuclearized in one fell swoop -- an approach that came crashing down on Trump's head during his second summit with Kim Jong-un in February -- is far more likely to lead to an end of diplomacy than an end to Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program (an uphill climb if there ever was one).
Trump grew tired of Bolton the same way he grew tired of other staffers. Rex Tillerson, James Mattis, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, H.R. McMaster, and John Kelly were all liked by the president at one time, only to be fired or convinced to resign. Bolton, prickly as a porcupine in dealing with colleagues, had long been under Trump's skin. NBC News reports that the two men had a shouting match behind closed doors the night before Bolton's resignation.
Whatever finally pushed Bolton out the door, however, is far less relevant than where Trump goes from here. He will announce a new national security adviser next week, and the Washington parlor game is already swirling with names.
We don't know who Bolton's replacement will be, but we do know what he or she needs to do: dump most of the previous regime's ideas in the garbage and start over with strategies that actually have a chance at success.
Trump needs an adviser who is willing to engage in a pragmatic negotiation and be prepared for uncomfortable but necessary bargaining. He needs someone who will help him end wars -- like the 18-year-long quagmire in Afghanistan -- that have gone on aimlessly and without purpose.
He needs someone who will hold those within the administration accountable when they refuse to execute policy once it is cleared by the inter-agency. And above all, he or she should prize restraint and think through all the options when the Beltway loudly urges immediate action.
All of this will be easier with Bolton off the team.
Daniel R. DePetris is a foreign policy analyst, a columnist at Reuters, and a frequent contributor to The American Conservative.
Sep 12, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.comThe Bloomberg editors urge Trump not to give up on brain-dead maximalism with Iran:
Rather than push for an extended sunset, Trump should hold out for a complete termination of Iran's nuclear activities and an end to its other threatening behavior -- such as its ballistic-missile program and its support for terrorist groups across the Middle East -- in exchange for readmission into the world economy.
This chance may never come again.
Bloomberg's latest advice to Trump on Iran is terrible as usual, but it is a useful window into how anti-Iran hard-liners see things. They see the next year as their best chance to push for their maximalist demands, and they fear the possibility that Trump might settle for something short of their absurd wish list. If Trump does what they want and "holds out" until Iran capitulates, he will be waiting a long time. He has nothing to show for his policy except increased tensions and impoverished and dying Iranians, and this would guarantee more of the same. The funny thing is that the "extended sunset" they deride is already an unrealistic goal, and they insist that the president pursue a much more ambitious set of goals that have absolutely no chance of being reached. As always, hard-liners ignore the agency and interests of the other government, and they assume that it is simply a matter of willpower to force them to yield.
The Bloomberg editorial is ridiculous in many ways, but just one more example will suffice. At one point it says, "Nor is there any doubt that Iran wants nuclear weapons." Perhaps ideologues and fanatics have no doubt about this, but it isn't true. If Iran wanted nuclear weapons, they could have pursued and acquired them by now. They gave up that pursuit and agreed to the most stringent nonproliferation agreement ever negotiated to prove that they wouldn't seek these weapons, but the Trump administration chose to punish them for their cooperation. Iran has not done any of the things that actual rogue nuclear weapons states have done. They have not left the Non-Proliferation Treaty. On the contrary, they have agreed to abide by the Additional Protocol that has even stricter standards. They are not enriching uranium to levels needed to make nuclear weapons. They certainly haven't built or tested any weapons.
Iran has jumped through numerous hoops to demonstrate that their nuclear program is and will continue to be peaceful, and their compliance has been verified more than a dozen times, but fanatics here and in Israel refuse to take yes for an answer. That is because hard-liners aren't really concerned about proliferation risk, but seek to use the nuclear issue as fodder to justify punitive measures against Iran without end.
They don't want to resolve the crisis with Iran, but rather hope to make it permanent by setting goals that can't possibly be reached and insisting that sanctions remain in place forever.
Sep 12, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Where we are now in Afghanistan- Editorial Opinion by PL
(Lt. Hamilton VC at Kabul where he commanded Sir Louis Cavangnari's escort)
A year or so after the US intervention in Afghanistan began in 2001 I perceived that there was a danger that US public and government opinion might begin to favor the idea of "nation building" in Afghanistan. From long experience in and study of the area of Islamicate civilization and its history it seemed clear to me that such an effort would be doomed to failure at any price that one should be willing to pay in; expended effort over time, money and blood shed on all sides.
The basic problem with Afghanistan is that there "is no there there." Afghanistan is really a geographical expression rather than a country in the sense understood of the word in the post-Westphalian system of independent states.
Across the Islamicate world from Mauritania to BanglaDesh and beyond to Oceania there is a pronounced tendency to atomization in group perception of identity. Arabs do not identify with Berbers, etc., Tribes and clans within these groups regard all others as rivals and often enemies unless they are needed as temporary allies.
The Islamic religion which holds unity to be an ideal is often thought to be a unifier against the atomizing tendency in these cultures, but in fact there are many, many varieties of Islam, each one believing that it is uniquely favored by God. This often cancels out whatever unifying effect Islam, as religion, can have.
Afghanistan, created as a buffer between imperial Russia and British India, is an extreme case of atomization among the inhabitants of a state which has recognition in the world political system including membership in the UN. In spite of that status , a status that might deceive one into believing that there is such a thing as "the Afghan People,"the population of Afghanistan is actually made up of a number of different ethnic nations; Pushtuns, Hazzara, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Turcomans, Arabs, etc. These different peoples all speak mutually unintelligible languages which often have such extreme separation in dialect that this amounts to uninteligibility as well. Some of these groups are Sunni and others Shia. This is yet another factor in the separation of the segments of the population.
The country has little substantial physical infrastructure. What there is was largely constructed in the 50s and 60s as part of Cold War competition between the USSR and the US. There is very little legal or governmental infrastructure. A commercial company investing its own or borrowed money in Afghanistan is taking a great risk of never being able to recover its investment from the local "pirates." Government is generally predatory in its attitude toward foreign investment funds. I tried to find a safe haven in Afghanistan for some of my company's funds and could find none. Senior Afghan government people would typically respond to questions about legal infrastructure with exhortations to "bring your project, all will be well." Needless to say ...
US intervention in this place was inevitable after 9/11, but what was not necessary or wise were repeated US decisions for a COIN nation building campaign. As this tendency began to be evident I argued for a much more limited goal in which the US would keep about 20K troops in country to maintain a government controlled enclave around Kabul and Bagram. This would enable pursuit of located international terrorist groups through raiding operations from that base area. The basis for this strategy was my conclusion that the US could never "pacify" all of the territory of Afghanistan and that we would "break our teeth" trying.
I pressed this belief in various fora and with various individuals within the Obama Administration even as Obama endlessly contemplated the entreaties of the COINista generals, Petraeus, Mattis, McChrystal etc. for a country wide nation building COIN campaign. The most interesting of these encounters was at an IQ2 debate at NYU in 2009 where I (and teammates) argued that "The US can never win in Afghanistan." My side lost on points but the leader of the other team recently told me that he knows now that we were completely correct. Obama gave in to the generals, and gave them the COIN war that they wanted. I suppose that for "Barry" it was immensely flattering to have them "butter him up."
It is clear now that the COIN strategy has failed miserable and totally. Afghanistan is not one bit more united or modernized than it has ever been. The US has spent a sea of money there and many brave people have perished or been wrecked in chasing the idea of Afghanistan as a Central Asian Switzerland.
Trump has allowed Zalmai Khalilzad to attempt to achieve a negotiated peace with the Taliban, the former salafi takfiri, Pushtun rulers of Afghanistan, in the apparent belief that they could be "talked down out of the tree" just as his business competitors could always be talked down to meet at a "closing" table where his supposed "closing genius' would bring a DEAL.
Unfortunately this belief in his closing talent goes unrewarded in Palestine, Syria, Turkey,Yemen, Iran, China (not yet), North Korea and Afghanistan. IMO his difficulty in finding solutions lies in his entrapment within his own New York City business model, a model in which everything is for sale if the deal is structured skillfully to advantage the stronger party while all the while claiming that the party you are screwing is your friend.
Sadly for The Donald all those "stupid" foreigners do not understand that "everything is for sale." Among them, the Taliban, an army and religio-political movement are notable for a lack of belief in the commercial possibilities of selling out to Donald Trump for a "mess of pottage" or thirty pieces of silver whichever reference you prefer. They want to win, and they want to be seen to have driven the "crusaders" from Afghanistan and in the process to have humiliated the US as the leading infidel state. To that end they lie, prevaricate and await the day when they can crush the puny forces of "modernism" after the American departure. Zalmai Khalilzad is an Afghan pushtun Sunni by birth and rearing. Did he not know that they could not be trusted in dealings with the US? I do not blame the Taliban for being what they are. I blame all the American and NATO fools for believing that they could make the Taliban either go away or become "happy campers." They were never going to do either of those things. We should have known that. Some of us did, but Americans are addicted to all the melting pot, right side of history foolishness so common in "levelled" America,
What should the US do now that the scales have fallen from Trump's eyes and the time of "good faith" negotiation with the Taliban is "dead?" The first thing to do is to fire Khalilzad.
Last night, Col. (ret.) Douglas Macgregor told Tucker Carlson that the US should simply leave, and should have never intervened. IOW we should get the hell out totally and forever. This is a tempting thought. I have wrestled with the attractiveness of the idea but there are certain problems with it.
1. We should not want to give the jihadi movements proof of our feckless defeatability. IMO if we leave suddenly the Afghan government and armed forces will soon collapse. The country will then further disintegrate into a welter of jihadi factions and regional tribal strongmen, the strongest of which will be the Taliban.
2. We have encouraged modernist Afghan men, women and girls to emerge from the shadows. Shall we leave them to their fates under the rule of the jihadis.
3. What about all the translators, base workers and other people who have cast their lots with us. The Taliban and other jihadis will simply kill them as apostates. We abandoned a lot of such people in Iraq. Will we do it again?
On balance I would say Macgregor is right that we must leave. The time for a small remaining presence is past. The forces in the field are too strong for a small force to maintain itself even with massive long range air support. Think of Sir Louis Cavangnari. No, we should leave, but we should leave on a schedule that will enable us to control the timing of our going and to protect the departure of those who wish to leave with us. pl
BTW, SWMBO says that no mutually understood languages = no country.
Posted at 06:00 PM in Afghanistan , Policy | Permalink
Keith Harbaugh , 10 September 2019 at 12:57 PMAono , 10 September 2019 at 01:11 PM"We should not want to give the jihadi movements proof of our feckless defeatability."
Gee, like admit to reality? My view: Acknowledge the U.S. is not omnipotent, and has very limited ability to influence, let alone, control, other parts of the world other than those to which it has extremely close ties, most especially the Five Eyes and other parts of what was once called Western Civilization.Col,Dave Schuler , 10 September 2019 at 02:03 PM
I just want to mention that about once a year I dig the IQ2 debate out and watch it again in full. Call it a sanity check I suppose. It is clear that you were trying to be substantive throughout, which was somewhat hampered by the amorphous premise of "success" undergirding the debate question. The other side (Nagle in particular) was trying to "win" the debate by defining success so broadly as to exclude questions over the "how," and they used that as an excuse to dodge your indictment of COIN. But it is very clear who had the right of it, and it is at least somewhat gratifying to hear that same admission was made to you.I suspect that we will retain our forces in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future. To understand why you've got to consider the politics rather than the pragmatics.Barbara Ann said in reply to Dave Schuler ... , 10 September 2019 at 05:54 PM
No president wants to be the one who "lost Afghanistan" (as though it were ours to lose) or, worse yet, be the president who removed forces from a country from which an attack on the U. S. would emanate afterwards or be staged from or planned from.
The greatest likelihood of our removing our forces from Afghanistan would be towards the end of a president's second term, especially if that president were a Democrat and could expect to take less heat from the media. In other words Obama should have removed our forces from Afghanistan and if he wouldn't Trump won't, especially not before being re-elected.These kind of wars seem to take 3 presidents to end. Trump is this war's Nixon and was elected on a platform which included 'losing' Afghanistan. The media will howl once the Taliban take over, but it will swiftly pass as they realize Americans have no interest in a place where their countrymen are no longer dying.blue peacock , 10 September 2019 at 02:45 PMCol. LangGrazhdanochka , 10 September 2019 at 03:08 PM
No matter what the US government does or does not do, wouldn't Afghanistan revert to its natural state as you have described it?
It seems Trump's "negotiated" deal with the Taliban would have been a good approach to getting out but that's now no longer a possibility. Would supporting the Tajiks through Russia and India as a counter-balance to the Taliban work to keep them from completely dominating? Russia and India likely have an interest in preventing jihadis from using Taliban dominated territory to infiltrate. Is it even worth any effort on the part of the US government? It would seem Pakistan and China would continue working to influence events there.My longstanding belief is that Afghanistan to be 'tamed' requires the type of Steel that only existed long ago.The Twisted Genius , 10 September 2019 at 03:28 PM
The Modern World has modernized beyond the brutal realities that taming it likely requires, and as such may lose a fraction of the Lives and Treasure as past - but cannot sustain it politically or socially.
The next Question - If Afghanistan is simply a construct, why not forsake most of it and develop the regions of Afghanistan that ARE more amiable and Homogenous?
A lot of the Tadzhiks and Uzbeks (varied Turkmen) I suspect could be far more easily propped up and supported in their own Lands, which back to back with the Central Asian FSU States is a more viable 'Nation Building' Exercise.
What ultimately tamed the 'Wilds'? The Development of strong local States, Force of Arms and ultimately - Demographics. If you will not do it yourself, pick a unified Team and back them in doing it. Ironically the means to inflict harm on occupying Militaries seems to go down as those Armies means to stomach it does also.
The next obvious Question. Is it worth considering (not necessarily for the US and Western States - who will appear as desperate Losers the idea that Afghanistan if allowed to run as strong Armed Islamic State, albeit modernized - might actually one day develop into one more approachable to further modernization?
All just quick Thoughts for me.I agree we should unilaterally withdraw all our forces from Afghanistan. The military can surely plan and carry out a unilateral withdrawal. Just do it. The Taliban are not al Qaeda or the Islamic State. Their desires don't extend beyond the mountains of Afghanistan. Hell, they're fighting IS. Let them do so and don't give them reason to go over to them.CK said in reply to The Twisted Genius ... , 11 September 2019 at 06:57 AM
The rub will be all those Afghanis who tied their futures to us. We should resettle them here or somewhere more familiar to them as part of that withdrawal. The chance of that happening under the Trump administration is nil.That is the exact same argument I heard in 72 and again in 75. By early 76 no one cared. There are in every country and in every involvement Quislings and main chancers who find the short term gelt available to be worth the future risk of making the wrong and visible choice. In the case of most of these Afghanis the tie was a slip knot at best.Ray R , 10 September 2019 at 03:45 PMA "long, long, time ago" in "a land far away", Najibullah was deposed. Pat, you'll recall that I was then serving as the chair of the Inter-agency Task Force on Afghanistan. Well, we had our regular meeting at which a couple of the folks opined that this was a wonderful development for the country and the folks would now all join hands, dance around the campfire, and sign Kumbaya. To bring the group back to reality, I asked for someone to identify the national sport of Afghanistan. One of the group said that, obviously, it was buzkhasi. So I then asked for someone else to clarify how such a game unfolds and another stalwart did so. This dialogue quickly brought everyone back to reality. For those unfamiliar with the sport, buzkhasi consists of two nominal "teams" on horseback trying to get a headless goat carcass across the opponent's goal line. All goes well at first, but ultimately the teams disintegrate until it's every man for himself in mass mayhem. Thus, IMHO will go Afghanistan.A. Pols , 10 September 2019 at 04:23 PMSadly enough this old quote seems especially true in the case of the "Afghan War" or whatever it is. Our experts' obdurate insistence on pursuing "peace with honor" or some outcome we can get our heads around and feel good about has become a receding horizon...walrus , 10 September 2019 at 05:19 PM
The only way we could "win" would be by waging a war of extermination with the goal of totally depopulating the entire territory and building an impenetrable barrier around it. But of course that would be a hard sell for a country with a good guy reputation to protect. And then what would we do with the land? After all, we still haven't been able to settle most of Nevada and Wyoming!
"History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools."
Ambrose BierceI said at the beginning of this mess that the one sure thing was that we would end up with chains of Iraqi and afghan restaurants begun by the refugees who had to leave their countries with us when we left. I just hope we have progressed from leaving behind card indexes of our in-country supporters for the Taliban to discover, as allegedly happened in Vietnam.Barbara Ann , 10 September 2019 at 06:00 PMI enjoyed the IQ2 debate you reference, particularly your coining of the word "Vermontize". Incredible to think this conversation about an 8 year old war was 10 years ago - and we are still having it. Here is the link for anyone interested:Valissa , 10 September 2019 at 09:05 PM
https://www.intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/america-cannot-and-will-not-succeed-afghanistanpakistanI really enjoy these type of situational overview and analysis posts, thanks!evodevo said in reply to Valissa... , 11 September 2019 at 10:00 AM
Although I see your point about Trump's crass business approach, let's face it... the military and various US gov't orgs have had any many years to try various approaches to "solving" (cough, cough) Afghanistan. After all the US has been in Afghanistan since 2001. We had been in Afghanistan for 15 years before Trump was elected. After all those years of failure by the Borg I have no problem whatsoever with Trump taking a shot at the situation in his own way. Trump tried a certain tactic and it didn't work. Oh well, but lessons learned. He'll regroup, get more advice and try something else. He's making more of an effort to resolve things than previous presidents, and willing to think outside of the Borg box.No, all Trump was doing was looking for a re-election publicity stunt and a shot at that elusive Nobel like Obama got....he's done this kind of thing for the last 40 years - he isn't going to change his personality now...BraveNewWorld , 10 September 2019 at 09:07 PMIf the US leaves and I believe it should it doesn't have to mean the end of days. China, Russia, Iran, India and Pakistan have all expressed interest in clearing the area of terrorists. They have all been blocked by the US presence. Preferably the US would work a deal with those players who are far better connected and prepared to clean up the neighbourhood than the US is from the other side of the world. Russia was willing to act as guarantor for the collapsed deal. Work a deal for one or more of them to move in as the US moves out.Diana C said in reply to turcopolier ... , 11 September 2019 at 10:19 AM
My concern is that with all the big players wanting a piece of the pie that it evolves into an even worse proxy war. But China, Pakistan, Russia and Iran are all rowing in more or less the same direction these days and India has bitten off all it can chew in Kashmir so this may be the perfect time. Americans just have to get over that indispensable nation nonsense.
Ya, I know go fuck myself.Thank you for thinking of the women and girls....and perhaps their little boys.RenoDino , 11 September 2019 at 09:33 AM
I've lived through the abandonment of Vietnam and the influx of refugees from that part of the world, the mess after the Iraq War that included bringing to our country many who had tied their fortunes to us. We can not this time decide to abandon any who have tied their hopes to us after we came in and caused so much turmoil in their country.
I always thought it was hubris on our part to think we could do what the Soviets failed to do.
If we bring these people here, my hope is that we examine how our bringing in Somalis has, in many places, not been a successful effort in regard to integrating them into our society. (Do not many of us, including Nancy Pelosi, regret the bringing in of at least one Somali woman?) We need to prepare for their entry into our country in some way that will not mean just dropping them somewhere and letting them fend for themselves.
I know the government has some sort of protocol for finding them places to live. Often, however, the people seem to be dropped in and left in some ways to depend on themselves "as strangers in a strange land." This should be our last time. Stop the "nation-building" efforts.
I feel that most Americans are welcoming and friendly people, but they often just do not understand how difficult it is for some to adapt to a very different way of life.Afghanistan borders China. For that reason alone, we are never leaving whatever the cost in blood or treasure. The country is a very forward, strategic military base that can be used to launch air attacks on Chinese assets and impede China's Belt and Road initiative.Morongobill , 11 September 2019 at 09:35 AM
Despite his bluster, Trump is very weak and knows the Taliban is winning and fears they will try to drive us out before the election, ushering in his defeat. Most of his time is spent cowering in his golf resorts, ranting and raving on a tiny little cellphone.
The Blob will not allow any of his fears to shake the resolve of the Deep State to make Afghanistan a colony for a thousand years.
They have been successful in implanting in the psyche of every American the incorrect notion that the Taliban launched 9/11. That notion alone means there is no support for any truce or treaty with our bete noir.These lines from Rudyard Kipling immediately came to my mind:turcopolier , 11 September 2019 at 10:01 AM
"When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!"
We are never going to change Afghanistan so getting out and taking those who supported us is appealing to me.RenoDinoconfusedponderer -> turcopolier ... , 11 September 2019 at 11:49 AM
It is not a base. It is a sinkhole.Mr. Lang,RenoDino said in reply to confusedponderer... , 11 September 2019 at 05:10 PM
" It is not a base. It is a sinkhole. "
Maybe that's why Mr. Prince wanted Trump to make him the viceroy of Afghanistan.
What a career that would be - a former SEAL lieutenant, then mercenary, promoted to something like a field marshal, bringing fabulous quarter numbers, strategy or something like that, peace and freedom to the place by privatizing the war and fighting it more
costeffective for himself.
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-19/trump-mulling-blackwater-founder-erik-princes-plan-privatize-war-afghanistanIt is not a base. It is a sinkhole--A distinction without a difference.HK Leo Strauss -> confusedponderer... , 11 September 2019 at 10:01 PM
Your reference to Mr. Prince was spot on. He understood what the long-term plans for Afghanistan were and still are. A viceroy is the designated ruling representative of a colonial power.
American's negotiating position in every instances with rival nations is to dictate the terms for surrender regardless of the circumstances on the ground. It's an untenable position and guarantees perpetual war and occupation which is precisely the point.This has been Trump's true failing - not applying his vast business acumen to turn DoD into a profit center.guidoamm , 11 September 2019 at 11:12 AMIt seems to me that if one parsed reports from the Special Inspector General Afghanistan Reconstruction along with the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime's "Afghanistan Opium Survey", any illusions as to what the reasons for the West's intervention in that country were, should dissipate rather speedily.turcopolier , 11 September 2019 at 11:51 AM
History repeats.guidoammturcopolier , 11 September 2019 at 02:22 PM
so, your belief is that we invaded Afghanistan so that we could steal the foreign aid money that we would give them and could sponsor the opium trade. Funny! A joke right?ISLJM Gavin , 11 September 2019 at 08:45 PM
IMO Trump has no clarity of anyhthing in foreign policy. He is just trying to make a deal in accordance with his experience of deal making and is not doing well. It will be interesting to see if he and Trudeau can sell the USMCA to Pelosi. this is clearly a gooddeal. Let's see how hard he pushes for it. With regard to the ME, have reached the conclusion that his basic attitudes are formed in the culture of New York City Jewry. A Christian Brother who had two PH.D.s in STEM and was a New York City guy once told me that I had to understand that everyone in NY City is to some extent Jewish, even the cardinal archbishop.I spent several years in Afghanistan between 2002 and 2014. I was there, with a front row seat, when the shift to nation-building began. The best days of my life were in Afghanistan, spent amongst the finest men and women from many nations...including Afghanistan. We lost the war a long time ago. By 2006, I could see we were losing. By 2008, I knew it was lost. How many Afghans have hitched their horses to our wagon? More than enough. How many others chose to live as free men and women because we were there? A significant part of the population. They face a reckoning for living that hope out loud, in public.Jim Ticehurst , 11 September 2019 at 11:18 PM
The Afghan people are amazing, and a lot of them believed in us, and in a future where women could be more than a piece of property. I can see why some would say we should walk away, and, it's hard to argue against that.
I'll carry what we did in Afghanistan to my grave. DOL,
JMGColonel ...I agree with your Opinion on this matter of Withdrawal. I have read a Year by Year timeline of The Millions spent. for the Training Of Afghanistan Military and Security Forces and Like in Viet Nam..they will fail. Fail to defend themselves..Jack , 11 September 2019 at 11:31 PM
Their hearts wont be in it..and like Vietnam..It Just made The Communist North Vietnamese the Third Most Powerful Conventional Weapons stockpile in the World..with all the Equipment we Left behind...The..billions spent to keep our military presence there..
The millions Spent for VA Resources to care for our wounded. Many with traumatic head injuries...The loss of Our People there..Overt and Covert...The loss of Seal Team 6 in the Aftermath of Finally Getting Osama Bin Laden...It will Never End...
There will always be those willing to die for JiHad..Forever..Over a Trillion Dollars..Plus all The Money we sent to Pakistan. Which has been Most of Our Foreign Aid..Its been a Tragic Blunder and there has never been such a thing as "Mission Accomplished"..
This has been the second most Costly War since WWII. ..Bring Them Home.. ...
9/11/2001,,,,9/11/2019.A War of the Politicians..By The Politicians For The Politicians.and the Military..Industrial Complex....and Their Egos..and Bank accounts..Period...Thomas Jefferson Knew This was coming.Sirturcopolier , 12 September 2019 at 07:55 AM
I know nothing about Doug Macgregor but he sounds really sane in this interview with Tucker. If Trump does what he suggests it would be a welcome approach and drive the Borg insane.
Do you know him or have an opinion about him?
https://twitter.com/justinbaragona/status/1171583543832715264?s=21jackBill Hatch , 12 September 2019 at 08:10 AM
Yes, I know Doug. A fine soldier. AIPAC would rather see me have the job than DougI agreed with sending SOF in to kill AQ being harbored by the Taliban. I said at the time, "Go in, kill the people who need killing & get the hell out."JM Gavin said in reply to Bill Hatch... , 12 September 2019 at 09:02 AM
There is only one thing that can unify Afgan tribes, that's the presence of foreigners. A very long history has resulted in the reference to "the graveyard of empires." I don't believe that the Taliban is a threat to the US outside of Afghanistan. They are a threat to any American in Afghanistan. Nation building in Afghanistan is domed to failure. The only issue is what is to be the fate of the Afghani's who assisted us or bought into the idea of westernization. Our recent history is to abandon these people.
Eventually we will join the list of Afghan invaders from Cyrus, to Alexander, to the Brits. The only question is how we depart & how much more blood & treasure we spend.In my experience, nothing can unify Afghan tribes, or even the sub-tribes. There is a saying amongst the Pashtun: "Me against my brothers, my brothers and I against my cousins, my cousins and I against the world." The real Taliban (meaning the political entity, exiled to the east, also known as "The Quetta Shura," have never been able to get "Taliban" factions in Afghanistan to unite against anything. COL Lang is spot-on, there is no collective "Afghan" identity.English Outsider , 12 September 2019 at 04:06 PM
Afghanistan is still run by warlords. The vast majority of folks referred to as "Taliban" are really just warlords (and the warlords' minions) wrapping themselves in the Taliban flag, as it suits them now. If the Taliban were to come back to controlling power in Afghanistan, many of the warlords would switch to fighting the Taliban. True territorial gains in Afghanistan are generally made when warlords switch sides. Afghan warlords are the most loyal people money can buy...well, rent, anyway.
JMGThe IQ2 debate was significant for me personally when I first saw it. The arguments for staying in Afghanistan were set out coherently and for perhaps the first time I caught a glimpse of the immense intellectual effort, in the think tanks and the academies, that goes into justifying the neocon position. That neocon position working through almost by osmosis to the heavyweight newspapers and media outlets, and providing the narrative framework within which the Intelligence Initiatives of this world right down to the little propaganda sites work. Such varied figures as Charles Lister or Peter Tatchell have backup, and how.
It's an intellectual fortress, the whole, and for many of us in the general public it confirms us comfortably in the neocon rationale. It gives us the arguments, and the excuses, and as long as one declines to notice that those arguments and excuses do shift around, we pay our taxes for this or that crazy neocon venture without complaint and often gladly. Gramsci and his like stand vindicated. Capture the academies and the rest of us follow, often willingly.
And just a few, of those in the public eye, standing up true and declaring "This emperor has no clothes!"
Which happened, as I saw several years later when I got to view it, in that IQ2 debate. Around that time I came across Major Stueber's documentary which had rather more than seven minutes to lay out how hopeless it was for Western armies to fight alongside local forces, when those local forces were so hopelessly factional, corrupt, and therefore ineffectual.
And a footnote just recently. I head a Swedish aid worker relating just how impossible it was for him too to function in Afghanistan. Money put through to local groups swallowed up in false invoicing, ghost workers whose salaries went to swell the pay packet of their superiors, slush funds because that was the only way to get things done.
It was never a doable venture, Afghanistan. That was clear to a few in that debate ten years ago and it's clear to more now. I hope it's possible to get out without leaving the urban Westernised Afghans too much at the mercy of the rest.
And perhaps, also reflecting that the Rovean narratives that the academies and think tanks conjure up for us, at such expense and at such effort, all crumble eventually when reality, as it must finally, breaks through.
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
cartman September 10, 2019 at 8:51 amTrump Fires John Bolton After "Disagreeing Strongly With His SuggestionsMark Chapman September 10, 2019 at 11:13 am
One less warmongering neo-con in the swamp.
That still leaves Patriarch Pompous Dumpus of the UOC-KP-CIA in place.Good catch; you were first with that blockbuster. You know who would be a good replacement? Tulsi Gabbard. It would please those who moan the government is too partisan, it would remove the only real non-ideologue from the Democratic slate, and leave them with doddering Uncle Joe and a bunch of no-ideas bobbleheads. Few would dare question her lack of foreign-policy experience, given her actual experience of being at the sharp end of it with the military. The American people claim to be sick of war – although not sick enough of it to do any real protesting against it – and Gabbard is anti-war. She's easy on the eyes, but if Trump tried his grab-'er-by-the-pussy move, he would find himself only needing one glove this winter; her obvious toughness would appeal to feminists. I think she'd take it if asked, because although she despises Trump and his government, she would not be able to resist the opportunity to shape America's foreign policy. She would eat news outlets who tried to portray her as an apologist for terror or Putin or whatever for lunch.Northern Star September 10, 2019 at 2:57 pmNope .Major Gabbard is needed as America's CIC aka POTUS.Mark Chapman September 10, 2019 at 10:38 pm
Nothing short of that is called for.
To implement even partially achieve (implement) her agenda she needs the full weight and authority of the Oval office.
BTW Tulsi has the skills to totally fuck up bashers of women:Well, she was not on the short list of names I saw for potential Bolton replacements. I don't see her making president, though, her support base is just not big enough. But if the Democrats put all their eggs in the Burnout Joe basket, he will in all probability lose to Trump. Trump's support has eroded, but not so far that very many people want to see Joe Biden running the country.
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Northern Star September 8, 2019 at 2:05 pmTulsi. Tulsi. TulsiMark Chapman
Harris is making as many gaffes as that moron Biden .
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Mark Chapman September 4, 2019 at 1:04 pmI liked Bernie Sanders back when he was getting shafted by the Clinton juggernaut, but since then a lot of information on his voting record has come to light – not that it was ferreted out, it's all public information for anyone who chooses to look for it – and I have become convinced he is just another lifelong political mouthpiece whose first concern upon getting elected would be getting re-elected.
So I don't really care much for him now, and I think that if he were president, his policies would differ little from those of Barack Obama, and he would support any war that appeared to have enough public backing to get it off the ground. His main concern, obviously – and it will be for anyone who is elected – is preserving US dominance of global affairs, and trade relationships which gain the United States significant advantages.
Re-establishing a more cooperative relationship between the United States and its allies and partners is not on anyone's radar. The USA has made its choice, and it likes the idea of sitting on the throne and detailing off its minions to do busy stuff. Gabbard might have very slightly different ideas about polishing America's global image so it is not viewed as quite so much of a bossy prick and grabby selfish jerk, but if she were elected, America's corporate elite would waste no time in making sure she understood any president who is not going to be zealous in standing up for expansion of American business would be a one-termer at best.
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
et Al September 9, 2019 at 9:14 amI only mentioned Mark 'Gerasimov' Galeotti recently linked to a MT source one of you posted and hey, presto
Dances With Bears: MARK GALEOTTI IS A FACT FAKER – HIS BOOK ON RUSSIAN CRIME IS A HATE CRIME, A WAR CRIME
Repeating lies over and over makes old-fashioned Joseph Goebbels-type propaganda. Repeating lies, then contradicting them; moving them from one government-paid think-tank to another; footnoting a new lie to an older version; quoting policemen and gangsters saying fatuities; adding slang and the words of pop songs -- this is still Goebbels-type but stretched out and product-diversified to make its author more money. This is Mark Galeotti's method .
The rest at the link and a deep dive on Galeotti himself.
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
et Al September 9, 2019 at 10:37 amFlightGlobal.com: MH17: Dutch fail to keep key witness out of prisoner swapMark Chapman September 9, 2019 at 3:03 pm
Blok says the Ukrainian side offered to "postpone" the exchange to give Dutch prosecutors the opportunity to interview Tsemach again, and adds that this questioning subsequently took place
Investigators directing the criminal probe into MH17's loss have previously identified four individuals – three Russians and a Ukrainian, none of which is Tsemach – who they are seeking to prosecute over the attack.
'interview again '. To repeat the f/king obvious, surely if there was sufficient intelligence/evidence/coffee grounds/magda the gypsy/whatever, then Tsemach would have been handed over. Did they honestly thing that having another crack at him would have provided something? Weak as piss.
Of course the Pork Pie New Networks despite being rather more careful than usual in their reporting of this are having their cake and eating it, i.e. not using phraes like ' smoking gun ' but happy with 'key witness' with no qualifier or anything to back this up. The insinuation is there, but not the actual words. Spineless mofos.They're just having so much fun with the ridiculous narrative that Russia moved behind the scenes to ensure he was included in the prisoner swap – before you know it, the entire exchange will have been engineered to get Tsemakh out of Ukrainian hands. Why? Well, you know – where there's smoke, there's a crashed airliner, wink, wink.Jen September 9, 2019 at 3:51 pm
Moscow never mentioned Tsemakh; if they sent Ukraine a list of prisoners recommended for exchange, he was not on it. But the western media planted the seed that his inclusion in the slate of transferred prisoners was owed to Russian pressure, and it just gets wilder as it goes along.I'd have thought that the Dutch investigators would try to persuade the Banderites to keep Tsemakh in custody on the pretence that his life would be in danger if he were to be returned to Russia, because Lord Vlademort would be displeased that Tsemakh might have let something valuable slip from his lips, let alone be inconsiderate enough as to be arrested in the first place.Mark Chapman September 9, 2019 at 7:23 pm
Later on in the distant future, after Tsemakh has been transported to The Hague or Rome, as the court case date draws near, or when Tsemakh is supposed to appear as a "witness" in court, he can always suddenly and unexpectedly expire in prison from some hitherto undiagnosed heart condition.Ukraine released him on bail before the prisoner swap. Obviously they either considered him an insignificant flight risk – given how difficult it must be to collect a bail bond in Ukraine – or knew that he had no information which would be useful to anyone. They might even be using him to spread disinformation in Russia, and all the teeth-grinding from the west all for show, to make the bait sweeter. You never know. But under normal circumstances, when a European country said "Jump", Ukraine's response would be "How high"?
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
et Al September 9, 2019 at 1:25 amOver at MoA, not 'Stef Blok' writes:
If you read the accident investigation report, on page 239 it clearly states that the Ukrainian army was active with heavy anti-aircraft installations in the eastern part of the Ukraine. The Ukrainian army has BUK rockets of the type that downed MH17.
The Ukraine had the means and a motive, they should have been treated as a criminal suspect, yet without further investigation they were promoted to member of the JIT that does the criminal investigation
More at the link, obvs.
Not to mention that Ukranian TV itself showed Ukranian air defense BUKs on manoeuvers in Eastern Ukraine.
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Northern Star September 3, 2019 at 3:52 pmhttps://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/02/yeme-s02.htmlMark Chapman September 3, 2019 at 4:14 pm
"Saudi jets, armed with US and UK bombs and provided with targeting information by US military intelligence officers stationed in Saudi Arabia, have continued to carry out repeated attacks on civilian targets, including schools, hospitals, residential neighborhoods, mosques, funerals and markets. The US had provided coalition jets with mid-air refueling until the end of last year, ensuring maximum carnage."
Like I was saying Too bad the two foremost war criminal terrorist nations sit on the UNSC.Funny – their position is exactly the opposite; too bad Russia and China are on the UNSC, if it were not for them, so much more could get done.
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.comMoscow Exile September 4, 2019 at 4:38 amMark Chapman September 4, 2019 at 7:21 am
1933 – Great Britain, France, Italy – four-power pact
1934 – Poland – Hitler-Pilsudski pact
1935 – Great Britain – Anglo-German naval agreement
1936 – Japan – Anti-Comintern pact
1938, September – Great Britain – non-aggression pact
1938, December – France – non-aggression pact
1939, March – Romania – economic agreement
1939, March – Lithuania – non-aggression pact
1939, May – Italy – pact of friendship and alliance
1939, May – Denmark – non-aggression pact
1939, June – Estonia – non-aggression pact
1939, June – Latvia – non-aggression pact
1939, August – USSR – non-aggression pact
Yet everyone only talks about the Molotov-Ribbentrop PactWell, people talk about Italy – they have to; it was one of the Axis powers, and the allies had to fight it to subdue it. But now Italy is totally rehabilitated and, aside from a certain carelessness with money, a valued friend. Just as Germany itself is totally rehabilitated.
It is only Russia which remains a place of evil, because it will not admit its Stalinist guilt and pay Billions in reparations to the Ukrainians for starving them all to death, and atone as the west demands for its sins. Then it will be broke and helpless but happy.
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
et Al September 10, 2019 at 11:22 amBolt. Off.Mark Chapman September 10, 2019 at 11:37 amHa, ha!! Ever the wit.Jen September 10, 2019 at 9:23 pmThe better moments in John Bolton's career:yalensis September 10, 2019 at 3:22 pm
https://www.youtube.com/embed/fQ-BOqQw_TQ?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparentIt's pathetic how Bolton tries to save face (=his walrus face, such as it is) by insisting that he quit instead of being fired. It's that old canard, "You can't fire me 'cause I quit!" [snif sob]
A variant of "You didn't break up with ME, I broke up with YOU!" [snif sob]
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Moscow Exile September 5, 2019 at 12:54 am"Это дорогого стоит": Госдума оценила готовность американского посла прийти поговорить после интервью "Комсомолке"yalensis September 5, 2019 at 2:47 am
С Джоном Хантсманом хотят обсудить иностранное вмешательство в московские протесты
"It will be well worth while": the state Duma has praised the willingness of the American Ambassador to come and have a talk following his interview "Komsomolskaya Pravda"
Okhotny Ryad [address of State Duma -- ME] is now waiting for the Ambassador of the USA to Russia, following his interview with "Komsomolskaya Pravda". We shall remind you, that Jon huntsman, who, following his resignation, is leaving in October, has stressed that he is ready to discuss allegations of interference (here he was talking about the publication on Twitter by his Embassy of the announcement of the rally and a map of its route, together with a request that these places be avoided these), but there has yet been no invitation made that he do so.
I would be very happy to discuss this with anyone, but nobody has invited me and I think I have not been invited because people know the truth, and it consists of the fact that on the eve of the demonstrations, the Embassy should publish a consular alert and warn its citizens to stay away from the places where they are to take place. My first responsibility is to ensure the safety of American citizens.
And if I do not tell people, I would thereby have demonstrated neglect of my duty, and my official duties. So I did what I did in all other cases – what I was doing in China and what to do in Singapore when I was Ambassador there: we took documents already in the public domain, and warned U.S. citizens that they should stay away from specific locations, and published a map of where these places were marked.
That is what all this is really about, and I am very surprised that the standard function of the Embassy has been presented as something unusual", said the Ambassador."
(above) 02.20 2011, Beijing: Huntsman staying away from a specific place that the US Embassy to China considered as being potentially dangerous to US citizens.Oh, Huntsman is just a misunderstood angel, ain't he? Too bad he had to pack his Mormon underpants and hie himself home.
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Moscow Exile September 9, 2019 at 8:57 pmУ России не осталось чистого государственного долга
06:54 10.09.2019 (обновлено: 07:26 10.09.2019)
Russia has no net public debt left
06:54 09/10/2019 (updated: 07:26 09/10/2019)
MOSCOW, Sep 10 – RIA News. The net public debt of Russia has become negative for the first time since the introduction of the first sanctions for the annexation of the Crimea and the fall in oil prices in 2014, RBC writes, with reference to Ministry of Finance and Central Bank data.
As of August 1, the volume of public debt of the federal government, regions and municipalities, including state guarantees for enterprise loans, amounted to 16.2 trillion rubles.
At the same time, the liquid assets of the state – federal authorities, regions and extrabudgetary state funds – totalled 17.6 trillion ruble son the same date.
Thus, in the widest sense, the public debt since mid-2019 has become less than the liquid assets of the "expanded government", the publication indicates.
As noted, this has became possible owing to record reserves that have fully covered the state debt. That is to say, if Russia needed to immediately pay off all existing debts, this could be done at the expense of only government deposits with the Central Bank and commercial banks.
As the Minister of Economic Development, Maxim Oreshkin, emphasized, "what has been done in Russian macroeconomics from 2014 to 2019 will definitely fall into the textbooks", At the same time, the flip side of such a tough approach is the lack of fiscal incentives for economic development.
Over to you Bloomberg, WSJ, FT etc., etc!
Waddya say to that, arseholes?
And think on this, you happy folk of the Exceptional Nation who prosper ever onwards:
MOSCOW, 16 August 2019/ Radio Sputnik . Russia continues to reduce investments in US bonds in June, reducing their size to 10.8 billion dollars, the United States Ministry of Finance has reported.
According to Finance Department data, 5,296 billion dollars of this amount is for long-term securities and 5,552 billion are short – term.
For comparison, in may, the total amount was $ 12 billion.
As part of the de-dollarization course for Russia, other financial instruments are gaining importance: gold and investments in European and Asian securities, chief expert of FinEk agency Mikhail Belyaev said on Sputnik radio.
According to the economist, the instability of the US economy also contributes to the withdrawal of Russian assets from it.
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
J.T. September 7, 2019 at 6:29 pmDuring the time I am away, KS does both a book review and coverage of Nina Khrushcheva? ))Mark Chapman September 7, 2019 at 7:26 pm
Dr. Khrushcheva maintains a WordPress blog , which also doubles as her official webpage for the New School. It is amusing?
Once, still in grad school and a misanthropic Russian to boot (given our totalitarian history most Russians are unhappy), I wrote a very sad novel Small World, published in Moscow and quickly out of print. But that was a fluke, living in New York I am much happier now. And all in all, my favorite theme is political culture in Russia and America. Politicians lie all the time, but culture never lies about politics. Culture and politics are symbiotically linked like the famous double-headed Russian eagle that used to be on the front of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow and now is rotting in the backyard of the city's museum of architecture. It is the perfect symbol of Russia's former political and cultural grandeur and current decay. American eagle is just one-headed, of course, yet this country is no less interesting in its own idiosyncratic relations between culture and politics.
( source )
I (with the architect colleague Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss) have curated an exhibition titled Romancing True Power: D20. It ran February 12-26, 2015 at Parsons The New School for Design, 66 Fifth Avenue (between 12th and 13th St). In the meantime my amazing research assistant and student Yiqing Wang (who really should be running not-a-small country) and I have produced a supplement to the exhibition, a D20 Journal, in which we put together thoughts on true power, dicktatroship, dicktatorial fashion, economics, philosophy, body count and other stats.
D20 (modeled on G20, group of most industrialized nations) is a selective list of leaders from present and recent past across continents and different political systems. Romancing True Power investigates an idea of power: autocratic, authoritarian and dictatorial. This type of power–the Dick power–could be found in both dictatorships and democracies. The exhibition looks at dicktatorial construct, its typology and trappings. What constitutes a "strong leader"? Why does the public often prefer one? Since everyone's list of dicktators is subjective, at the show visitors were invited to PYOD (Pick Your Own Dick). For the Dick winners and more information check out the D20 Facebook page.
Other topics I am fond of include politics, and mostly Russian politics, and, of course, movies. But whatever I do, all fits neatly into the last line of Billy Wilder's 1959 classic Some Like it Hot, the best ever, "Nobody's perfect."
(source: see hyperlink above)
I do not intend to slam the IMO legitimate topic – only the content and tone of this "analysis." You have a PhD in Comp Lit (Princeton, 1998). You shouldn't be writing like a second-year undergrad.Hey, JT – welcome back, where you been? Yes, that attitude is familiar among the emigre Russian Jews, the too-smart-to-believe Ashkenazim that make American jaws drop with their brilliance: Russians in Russia are miserable and always unhappy, but put them in America and they shine like diamonds, they're so fucking hap-hap-happy you'd better just get out of the way. I don't believe Khrushchev was Jewish, but the complaining sounds just like all the Jewish 'refugees' like Miriam Elder and Julia Ioffe; Russia was a drag, man – but New Yawk, Dahling, now there's a city! It's almost as if they feel denigrating the country of their birth is the price of acceptance. Perhaps it is – for a people who snap to attention whenever they see the American flag, Americans are awfully smitten with Russians who dump on Russia, as if it affirms their own beliefs.J.T. September 8, 2019 at 5:55 am
Khrushcheva seems very stuck on herself, but perhaps she simply believes all the hype. For my part, I find her mean-spirited and shallow, prone to go for the cheap laugh, and most comfortable in a crowd of like-minded 'free thinkers'. It amazes me that anyone who classified him/herself as a free thinker could see American-style democracy as the last word in human development, but perhaps I'm just thick.Between a lecture Dr. Khruscheva gave at my university a year or so ago and an attempted reading of her book, In Putin's Footsteps , I have concluded that she is the kind of writer who takes advantage of an absence of consistent critical voices to let her opinions run wild, untethered from factual backing, theory, or academic standards.moscowexile September 8, 2019 at 1:25 am
She lectured at my university with the backing of some powerful people within "Russia-Watching" (quite literally in this case, as one sat behind her while she lectured). Although she made her argument sloppily, painting in broad brushstrokes, no one challenged the argument during Q&A.
Read the preview of In Putin's Footsteps on A'zon. It's ridiculous. The same generalizing commentary as before but sprinkled on what reads like an extended TripAdvisor review.
For whatever reason, academia and editors give her a free pass. The resulting writing, while insightful re: how she thinks, is not useful [to me] in any professional sense.
Hey, JT – welcome back, where you been?
Haha I've been doing the blog equivalent of breathing into a brown paper bag. Now that I'm back at uni with a capstone/distinction project, Russia Reviewed will hopefully regain its previous sense of direction.Yes, Russians are so miserable, never smile and are permanently depressed at thought of their misfortune of having been born in Russia and, therefore, condemned to a life of woe under an authoritarian regime.
I mean, just look at all those sad bastards who have been celebrating "Moskva Day" since Thursday, 5 September this year.
I wish I could send you some clips that my permanently depressed because he is a Russian son sent me late yesterday evening from Red Square: a big firework display and sad looking Russians pretending to be enjoying themselves.
Most of them, I am sure, had been ordered to go to Tversksya Street and walk down to Red Square.
Tverskaya has been closed to traffic since Thursday (the bogus celebrations end this evening) and along its length are the usual Soviet-style distractions that the oppressed multitudes pretend are so much fun.
Since 5 September until the 8th inclusive the city is celebrating the founding of Moskva in 1147.
Well, not its founding, really, but the earliest date that they have a written record of a place called "Moskva" – in a letter from the Prince of the city of Vladimir, Yuri Dolgoruki, to his brother, inviting him to visit him in Moskva. (Remember, this was when Kiev was the centre of world civilisation.)
It was during the first of these "Moskva Day" celebrations, held 22 years ago, when on 7 September 1997 I asked Mrs. Exile if she wished to marry me.
It was our first date.
I don't like to waste time over important matters.
She jumped at the offer, of course.
No holding her back!
Luckiest break she's ever had, I reckon, for my ebullient presence in her life has most certainly rescued her from the pit of permanent gloom that would most certainly have accompanied her living under this regime and from the likelihood of her being wed to a brute of a balalaika strumming, vodka swilling Russian husband.
Limp-wristed, tea sipping Englishmen are much more preferable!
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
NOrthern Star September 9, 2019 at 3:59 pmHK article gets at the nascent conflicting conflagrations wrt objectives .what is to be cast into the fire and what is to be taken as a new HK socioeconomic script.
The comments are **well worth** reading ,some of which mirror comments on HK by Stooges.
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Jen September 6, 2019 at 3:40 amIf Carrie Lam had half a brain, she could always threaten to bring back the extradition bill with a new provision that people who damage essential infrastructure like railway lines and roads, and who target police with rocks, laser beams and grenades shot from portable grenade launchers will be extradited to Beijing to stand trial for their misdeeds, if the protesters keep changing and ramping up their demands.Mark Chapman September 6, 2019 at 2:57 pmCarrie Lam chose to play it like Yanukovych, and to give the protesters what they asked for. That resulted in Yanukovych running for his life, and Lam might well find herself in the same situation if the police don't get a handle on the hoodlums that are smashing the place up and hurling stones and Molotov cocktails. Appeasing protesters only makes them feel empowered, and that empowerment causes them to wonder why they should be satisfied with only what they originally demanded. That's a natural effect, and this is not a natural protest, but a destabilization effort instigated and nurtured by foreign interests. So the protesters' demands are just going to grow and grow, because the goal is either a violent clash with the police or complete government capitulation. China is not going to let the latter happen.
Lam has said already that there will be no negotiation with groups that destroy public property, but protesters have vowed not to give an inch. The ball is in Lam's court, and if she does not harden up and present a credible defense, she will be removed either by China or by the protesters. Hong Kong is not going to become a democratic independent country – China is not going to let it be snatched away under their noses. Firm action right now might be able to get the situation under control with a minimum of violence, but if it goes on much longer, people are going to be killed And there is zero the west could do to stop it, as it is a domestic Chinese matter, so their continued egging on of the protesters shows how little it cares for their lives.
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Jen September 3, 2019 at 6:26 pmWSWS,org's reporting on the Hong Kong protests has been dismal and ideologically biased. To my knowledge, the protesters' demands have never covered working conditions, housing conditions and the tremendous social inequalities (said to be the highest in the world). They have never covered the state of a tax haven economy used and abused by billionaires in mainland China to minimise their tax obligations to Beijing or to send money to other overseas tax havens through registering their offspring or other people as Hong Kong residents, resulting in money being poured into property speculation which itself has led to sky-high property prices and the inability of ordinary people to afford to buy or rent homes of a suitable space at reasonable prices.Northern Star September 4, 2019 at 2:46 pm
The protesters' initial demands were to withdraw the extradition bill, to force Carrie Lam to resign as Chief Executive and to force her government to investigate what they claimed was police violence – in spite of the fact that most of the violence and sabotage (which has now extended to fighting with commuters and throwing things at them, vandalising MTR stations and throwing rocks and objects onto train lines) has been committed by protesters themselves – and (as if as a last thought) demanding universal suffrage.
Photos and videos of protesters throwing rods onto a train line, and damaging ticket machines at MTR stations:
Full 10-minute video of middle-aged and elderly commuters fighting with protesters, the incident that led to the Prince Edward MTR station staff calling in police over the August / September weekend to subdue and arrest protesters, some of whom attempted to evade arrest by changing clothes:Yes You are correct in that wsws appears to be not on its game in its analysis of the HK situation,as was noted in some of the comments to the article. Addressing fundamental economic disparities in HK does not seem to feature in the agenda of the protesters.Mark Chapman September 4, 2019 at 5:06 pm
As you know,Lam has done a volte-face on the extradition bill:
But it's not clear if that in itself will extinguish the protesters' fires of various complaints.
I've yet to see a cogent analysis of the dynamic interplay-with the potential for lethal conflict- between:
The HK protesters
The Super elite HK billionaires
The Super elite mainland billionaire class
The mainland population as a wholeCan't wait to see the Chinese headline: "Safe in Hong Kong, Chinese Accused Murderer Wei Tu Lukky says, 'Thanks for the Democracy, Students!" Of course you'll never see it, because no western paper would ever print it. As far as the west is concerned, it really is all about freedom and democracy. Like no such things as extradition treaties exist between democracies. Canada and the United States have an extradition treaty – aren't they democracies? Aren't they free?Jen September 4, 2019 at 9:36 pm
What it boils down to is that westerners like Bill Browder do not want to be snatched when they are passing through Hong Kong International Airport, and extradited to China. Westerners do not particularly care otherwise about the rule of law in China, but the usual troublemakers sense an opportunity to destabilize and create a problem for China. If China soft-pedals it, as they have done, it quickly gets out of hand to the point where they are dealing with rioters rather than protesters, smashing and destroying in an orgy of violence. Had they cracked down hard in the beginning and kicked out all western journalists reporting on the issue, the 'protests' would have been strangled in the cradle, and while the west would have gotten a little mileage out of the brutal Chinese authoritarianism, it would have been nowhere near as bad as it is now.
The 'student leaders' of the 'protests', Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow, are 22. I suppose there might be a place somewhere in which 22-year-olds don't feel like they know everything, but I've never heard of it. With political unit chief of the US Consulate Julie Eadeh stroking them and telling them she's never seen anyone so brave, they can barely keep the grins off their faces and fancy they really are somebody important. Lam did indeed flip on the extradition issue, but it's too late for that now. She is going to learn the Yanukovych lesson all over again – appeasing protesters, especially when it is part of a destabilization program, only leads to more demands and more protests.
The Chinese government perhaps thought to go slow and not give the western media any money shots to make a big issue of. That might have worked, if this was a genuine one-issue protest. But it isn't – as i just pointed out, extradition treaties have nothing to do with democracy and freedom, and if a bunch of students think they are going to have their own country to play Independence Doctor in, they have a big surprise coming. Remember when Poroshenko was justified in doing whatever he wanted, including taking students right out of the university parking lot and putting them on a bus to Army training, because he was 'protecting his country'? Well, the Chinese government sees itself as having the same rights where a small group of students is causing a major problem, and is blatantly violating public order in an attempt to win western approbation; it is plainly not legal to throw stones and gas bombs at the police and smash up public infrastructure.
You can't give people whatever they want when they are acting like hooligans – it only makes them think of more things they want. And that's just what is happening here. If they are not very careful, the entire Lam government is going to be replaced overnight with hardliners, and then heads will roll.Withdrawing the extradition bill is an easy move because Lam can always reintroduce it later (perhaps in a changed form) though perhaps when that happens, the guy who killed his pregnant girlfriend in Taiwan on St Valentine's Day in 2018, and used all her bank cards to clear his own debts will have already gone free and for all we know have left Hong Kong.
Also by withdrawing the bill, Lam takes some of the wind out of the sails of the protest movement. If the protesters are not happy over the withdrawal and ratchet up their demands that Lam and her entire government resign, then Beijing knows this is a Color Revolution protest movement and might start to press Hong Kong to expel British and American consular staff stationed in the territory and shut down British and American NGOs and think-tanks using whatever the laws of Hong Kong permit Lam to use against them. Lam may not be able to stop the protests from escalating but she can slow them down by cutting off their funding, advice and support.
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Mark Chapman September 2, 2019 at 12:06 pmYes, it's curious that western governments are justified in using whatever force they feel is necessary to put down anti-government protests, or just to keep order in general – reports abound of ordinary people not doing anything wrong meeting up with a mean cop who decides to slam them around a little in the process of establishing their identity, and the aversion of the American police to bystanders filming them is well-known. But in certain countries – and sometimes just certain governments in those countries – dispersal of protesters or those posing as peaceful protesters is always 'brutal'. So it is in Hong Kong, where 'pro-democracy protesters' – which is a label used to justify pretty much any behavior – throw stones and gas bombs at police and destroy public property (rioting by another, more palatable name). Nothing Saakashvili did to put down protests was ever described by western media as 'brutal' in my recollection.
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Mark Chapman September 3, 2019 at 4:11 pmZelenskiy bends over for western corporate interests, and orders his government to get a law ready which will allow the sale of Ukrainian farmland. Bye-bye, black earth; if the investors can't stay in Ukraine, they'll take it with them, once they've bought it. Get ready for hammering on the door to let GMO agricultural imports in, Europe.cartman September 3, 2019 at 8:27 pm
Speaking of GMO, over 80% of soybeans and corn grown in the USA are GMO's. Which strongly suggests the American soybeans Canada is buying to send to the crushers, since the Americans can't get rid of them and have a year's harvest already in storage, are GMO. And are muscling out Canadian-grown soybeans, so that we have to look for new markets for our own.Raids on farms to confiscate their land have increased a lot since the Maidan, so naturally land "reforms" were going to come through the pipe.
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Mark Chapman September 11, 2019 at 11:45 amI see the French Ambassador to Ukraine expects 'Normandy Four' meetings to resume by the end of this month. Just to make sure everyone knows not to actually expect any progress, the Rada issued an official statement on non-recognition of elections held in 'occupied Crimea'. The people of Crimea – as far as Kuh-yiv is concerned – can have a say in who local leaders should be once they have pledged fealty to Kuh-yiv, and not until.
Actually, Ukraine is just using Crimea, which it knows it is never going to get back again, as a reason not to fulfill any of its own obligations under the Minsk Accords. And so the Normandy Four sessions will resume with no hope of ever seeing any results; it's just a chance to get away from the wife and kiddies for a couple of days, fly First Class and have a couple of meals in nice restaurants and stay in a comfortable hotel, all in exchange for spending a few hours in conversations that might as well be barked like dogs for all the actual use they will be.
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
et Al September 11, 2019 at 11:28 amNeuters via Antiar.com: Ukraine ruling party gets impeachment law through parliamentMark Chapman September 11, 2019 at 11:49 am
Ukraine's ruling party on Tuesday passed legislation that allows a sitting president to be impeached if they break the law, acting on an election pledge by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on the campaign trail this year
But opponents of Tuesday's vote said the legislation was rushed through without proper consultation and that the law itself was so convoluted as to be meaningless.
The law was passed at a first reading and then immediately voted on again a second time. Typically, legislation is sent to a committee for further scrutiny before being voted on again
Meaningless? It's on the books. If there is confusion then it will be up the to judicia branch to make sense of it, but knowing the expresse intent should go most of the way.It's not meaningless, because in all probability it will be retroactively applied to the illegal ouster of Yanukovych. Several sources pointed out, after the Junta appointed itself and graced the nation with Wabbit Senya as Prime Minister, that Yanukovych was still the legal president of Ukraine, as he had never been legally and properly impeached, and could not after he was driven from power.Jen September 11, 2019 at 3:00 pmWho are these opponents of the impeachment law? The article doesn't say. Presumably the opponents are those politicians allied to the previous Porky Pig president. Saying that the bill was "rushed" through the Verkhovna Rada without "proper consultation" (meaning: the bill has to be watered down through endless debate and discussion and inspection with microscopes and tweezers to throw out annoying bits to the point where it has all water and none of the substance of the original bill) and that the law is half-baked is just a ploy to try to stop it from being passed.
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Mark Chapman September 11, 2019 at 11:13 amHa, ha!! Classic narrative management – we are supposed to believe a Ukrainian investigation of Motor Sich when it was about to be sold to a Chinese company 'triggered' concern in Washington. Sure it did. I would bet quite a bit that concern in Washington triggered the Ukrainian investigation.et Al September 11, 2019 at 12:01 pm
And I frankly doubt there were any subversive plans to sell engines or engine components to Russia.
That was just the excuse used to nix the sale due to an investigation. But it sends a clear message both to Ukrainian companies and the Ukrainian administration – the United States very much wants extensive privatization of state assets; let's get those companies thinking profits instead of subsidies.
But the privatization must be carried out so that western investors get first crack; after all, they've been feeding Ukraine subsistence 'loans' for 5 years now. Only when westerners have decided a company or asset is of no value may it be considered for sale to outsiders.
https://www.voanews.com/usa/us-politics/ukraine-defense-firm-caught-us-china-rivalry-probed-subversionAs far as I can see, Motor Sich is as good as dead, unless the Chinese are allowed to buy it. It only benefits from current installed base and future projects – of which there is nothing of note. Russia's future platforms will have indigenous designs and old platforms will become obsolete, so even if Motor Sich does somehow survive it will be competing with Russia (and not western designs) which is far more sustainable. Who else makes economic sense but China? The best case for a western buyer that I can see is if it is used as a low-cost second tier component manufacturer and also take advantage of what little local expertize remains.Mark Chapman September 11, 2019 at 12:52 pmBut the west – like the oil companies we discussed who buy the design rights to fuel-saving technologies and then shelve them, or so they are reputed to do – would be perfectly content to see Motor Sich become a low-level component manufacturer, or disappear altogether, so long as it is taken off the board where a Chinese buy is concerned. It has become a symbol now out of all proportion to its actual worth, in a ball-swinging contest which will see it interpreted as a Chinese victory if it ends up with control, and a western victory if it manages to prevent such a buy. What happens to the Ukrainians employed there is of no concern to anyone but themselves. I guess there's no need to mention how little effect the Ukrainian government has on how it will come out.Jen September 11, 2019 at 3:17 pmMotor Sich won't just be a low-cost second-tier component manufacturer, it'll also be a useful tax shelter for whichever Western company buys it to park profits that can be taxed at a low percentage rate in Ukraine and the income of which (Motor Sich, that is) doesn't need to be declared in the country where the Western country is domiciled.
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Mark Chapman September 5, 2019 at 11:15 amWell, well – the United States allegedly IS considering buying Ukraine's distressed Motor Sich in order to keep it out of Chinese hands.
The buy, if it happens, would be in favour of 'a US company through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)'. If you were wondering what that is, it's just like it sounds – a branch of the US Treasury, used to invest taxpayer money in snapping up foreign companies for US interests, and finance American influence-peddling operations abroad which further its foreign-policy goals.
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
et Al September 4, 2019 at 5:34 amNeuters via Antiwar.com: Quick win for Zelenskiy as Ukraine parliament strips lawmakers` immunity
But the new measure passed easily by 373 votes in the 450-seat parliament
A pre-election survey by the National Democratic Institute in May said only 5% of Ukrainians thought political parties represented citizens' interests and just 3% said politicians met their expectations. On the other hand, 87% believed political parties were engaged in corruption
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
et Al September 7, 2019 at 4:07 amThe subject itself is v. interesting but I'm only posting this because, well you'll see from the brief section below:
The Groaning Man: From mind control to murder? How a deadly fall revealed the CIA's darkest secrets
Olson's doubts deepened. In spring 1953, he visited the top-secret Microbiological Research Establishment at Porton Down in Wiltshire, where government scientists were studying the effects of sarin and other nerve gases. On 6 May, a volunteer subject, a 20-year-old soldier, was dosed with sarin there, began foaming at the mouth, collapsed into convulsions, and died an hour later. Afterward, Olson spoke about his discomfort with a psychiatrist who helped direct the research, William Sargant .
That's very unBritish! Not really. This is not the first time that something that has been declassified in the United States and uncovered British (shameful) secrets. The thing is the Brits like to see themselves as not 'going as far' as their American cousins and this myth is perpetuated – a bit like the British sense of 'fairness'. Yet again we discover that the UK has worked hand in glove in the deepest of sh*t, something that most probably would have been buried forever under their Secrets Act if it wasn't for the US' relative openness.
Olson's doubts deepened. In spring 1953, he visited the top-secret Microbiological Research Establishment at Porton Down in Wiltshire, where government scientists were studying the effects of sarin and other nerve gases. On 6 May, a volunteer subject, a 20-year-old soldier, was dosed with sarin there, began foaming at the mouth, collapsed into convulsions, and died an hour later. Afterward, Olson spoke about his discomfort with a psychiatrist who helped direct the research, William Sargant .
That's very unBritish! Not really. This is not the first time that something that has been declassified in the United States and uncovered British (shameful) secrets. The thing is the Brits like to see themselves as not 'going as far' as their American cousins and this myth is perpetuated – a bit like the British sense of 'fairness'. Yet again we discover that the UK has worked hand in glove in the deepest of sh*t, something that most probably would have been buried forever under their Secrets Act if it wasn't for the US' relative openness.
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Mark Chapman September 10, 2019 at 8:42 amOne reaction Americans are unaccustomed to is pity. When I meet them on the boats, traveling, I am always extra nice to them, because I feel sorry for them. They have to go back. They're nice people, mostly, they've never done anything to me personally. But sooner or later, they have to go back to where those license plates were issued. They can't stay here. And I'm sorry for them. But I would imagine most of them feel they are envied, and their citizenship is coveted by the less-fortunate. That might be true in some third-world hellholes where people would go anywhere to get out, but it certainly isn't so here.
The stars-and-stripes-wavers you meet in comment forums are usually blissfully ignorant, happy in their fool's paradise where everyone wants to be an American, and resistance to Uncle Sam's ruthless bullying is inspired by jealousy and inadequacy. For them, simply acknowledging that Washington sometimes makes mistakes – which it's allowed to do, because it's exceptional – is the essence of responsibility and fairness. There, I said we aren't always right – what could be more fair? But when America invades a country that did nothing to provoke it except refuse when it was ordered to do this or that, sometimes things it couldn't do, like abandon the nuclear weapons program it didn't have well, that was a mistake, but it was an honest mistake because no end of smart people the world over agreed they did indeed have a nuclear weapons program. I mean, if you don't do something quick, the consequences could be a mushroom cloud, ya know. And when it orders the democratically-elected president of a country to stand down and make way for a hand-picked replacement, it's not being arrogant. No; it's taking necessary on behalf of that leader's benighted people, who suffer awful oppression at his hands, and America only wants them to be free to make good choices.
A lot of those comments go unanswered; some because many of those forums now insist you sign in with Facebook so they can go behind the scenes and see who and where you are and gain all sorts of personal information about you, because dimwits love to blabber their entire personal lives on Facebook. But some go unanswered simply because there is no real use in trying to change such made-up minds. You will never dent the my-country-right-or-wrong blathering of ignorant people who know nothing beyond what they see on CNN.
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Mark Chapman September 2, 2019 at 9:00 pmUkraine appears not to have noticed that its backing for the United States to persuade Europe to reject Nord Stream II is supporting American pressure for Europe to buy American LNG instead. Would they be transiting that to Europe through Ukraine? Hardly.
President Trump has repeatedly criticized the project, saying it would make Germany "captive" to Russian interests, and urging the Europeans to buy fuel from the U.S. instead. During their talks in Kyiv this week, Danilyuk discussed this issue at length with Bolton, and he urged the U.S. government to block the project by imposing economic sanctions against it. "Bolton was very supportive," Danilyuk says. "He understands that Nord Stream 2 is bad for the United States."
If – extremely unlikely – that initiative were ever successful, and the EU blew off Nord stream II in favour of American imported LNG the Ukies would still be out $3 Billion a year in transit fees. The USA wants to replace Russian gas supplies to Europe, not supplement them.
As usual, Ukraine is so eager to hurt Russia that it does not care if it hurts itself in doing it. Just the sort of ally the USA loves.
Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Mark Chapman September 3, 2019 at 12:23 pmAmazing; I had no idea Betsy Voss – advocate of for-profit charter schools (privatizing education) and The New Curriculum – and Eric Prince (advocate for privatizing war) are brother and sister. Blood will tell.Jen September 3, 2019 at 2:58 pm
Profiteering is naked and in the open now in the west, and public systems increasingly favour the wealthy – if you want better, you should be ready to pay for it. I guess that's what all those tax cuts were about – shifting a burden off of the wealthy, so that now public services are pay-as-you-go because the government can't afford to provide them for everyone. However, tax cuts also favoured the wealthy – gee, it almost makes you think the class system is coming back, dunnit?I recall Jeremy Scahill mentioning in his book on Blackwater (before it started changing its name faster than you can change your socks) that Erik Prince was related to Betsy deVos. This was long before Scahill turned his own name and reputation into mud when he walked out of a London conference back in 2012 or 2013 because the Syrian nun Agnes Mariam de la Croix, who was known to support President Assad at the time, was a guest speaker at the conference.
Sep 11, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca
Below is a video showing several film sequences taken from different locations and documenting multiple angles of World Trade Center Building 7 collapsing at freefall speed eighteen years ago on September 11, 2001.
The four words "Building Seven Freefall Speed" provide all the evidence needed to conclude that the so-called "official narrative" promoted by the mainstream media for the past eighteen years is a lie, as is the fraudulent 9/11 Commission Report of 2004.
Earlier this month, a team of engineers at the University of Alaska published their draft findings from a five-year investigation into the collapse of Building 7, which was not hit by any airplane on September 11, 2001, and concluded that fires could not possibly have caused the collapse of that 47-story steel-frame building -- rather, the collapse seen could have only been caused by the near-simultaneous failure of every support column (43 in number).
This damning report by a team of university engineers has received no attention from the mainstream media outlets which continue to promote the bankrupt "official" narrative of the events of September 11, 2001.
Various individuals at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) tried to argue that the collapse of Building 7 was slower than freefall speed, but its rate of collapse can be measured and found to be indistinguishable from freefall speed, as physics teacher David Chandler explains in an interview here (and as he eventually forced NIST to admit), beginning at around 0:43:00 in the interview.
Although the collapse of the 47-story steel-beam building World Trade Center 7 into its own footprint at freefall speed is all the evidence needed to reveal extensive and deliberate premeditated criminal activity by powerful forces that had the ability to prepare pre-positioned demolition charges in that building prior to the flight of the aircraft into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center (Buildings One and Two), as well as the power to cover up the evidence of this criminal activity and to deflect questioning by government agencies and suppress the story in the mainstream news, the collapse of Building 7 is by no means the only evidence which points to the same conclusion.
Indeed, the evidence is overwhelming, to the point that no one can any longer be excused for accepting the official story. Certainly during the first few days and weeks after the attacks, or even during the first few years, men and women could be excused for accepting the official story (particularly given the level to which the mainstream media controls opinion in the united states).
However, eighteen years later there is simply no excuse anymore -- except for the fact that the ramifications of the admission that the official story is a flagrant fraud and a lie are so distressing that many people cannot actually bring themselves to consciously admit what they in fact already know subconsciously.
For additional evidence, I strongly recommend the work of the indefatigable Kevin Robert Ryan , whose blog at Dig Within should be required reading for every man and woman in the united states -- as well as those in the rest of the world, since the ramifications of the murders of innocent men, women and children on September 11, 2001 have led to the murders of literally millions of other innocent men, women and children around the world since that day, and the consequences of the failure to absorb the truth of what actually took place, and the consequences of the failure to address the lies that are built upon the fraudulent explanation of what took place on September 11, continue to negatively impact men and women everywhere on our planet.
Additionally, I would also recommend the interviews which are archived at the website of Visibility 9-11 , which includes valuable interviews with Kevin Ryan but also numerous important interviews with former military officers who explain that the failure of the military to scramble fighters to intercept the hijacked airplanes, and the failure of air defense weapons to stop a jet from hitting the Pentagon (if indeed a jet did hit the Pentagon), are also completely inexplicable to anyone who knows anything at all about military operations, unless the official story is completely false and something else was going on that day.
I would also strongly recommend listening very carefully to the series of five interviews with Kevin Ryan on Guns and Butter with Bonnie Faulkner, which can be found in the Guns and Butter podcast archive here . These interviews, from 2013, are numbered 287, 288, 289, 290, and 291 in the archive.Selected Articles: 9/11: Do You Still Believe that Al Qaeda Masterminded the Attacks?
I would in fact recommend listening to nearly every interview in that archive of Bonnie Faulkner's show, even though I do not of course agree with every single guest nor with every single view expressed in every single interview. Indeed, if you carefully read Kevin Ryan's blog which was linked above, you will find a blog post by Kevin Ryan dated June 24, 2018 in which he explicitly names James Fetzer along with Judy Woods as likely disinformation agents working to discredit and divert the efforts of 9/11 researchers. James Fetzer appears on Guns and Butter several times in the archived interview page linked above.
In addition to these interviews and the Dig Within blog of Kevin Ryan, I would also strongly recommend everybody read the article by Dr. Gary G. Kohls entitled " Why Do Good People Become Silent About the Documented Facts that Disprove the Official 9/11 Narrative? " which was published on Global Research a few days ago, on September 6, 2019.
That article contains a number of stunning quotations about the ongoing failure to address the now-obvious lies we are being told about the attacks of September 11. One of these quotations, by astronomer Carl Sagan (1934 – 1996), is particularly noteworthy -- even though I certainly do not agree with everything Carl Sagan ever said or wrote. Regarding our propensity to refuse to acknowledge what we already know deep down to be true, Carl Sagan said:
One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we've been taken.
This quotation is from Sagan's 1995 text, The Demon-Haunted World (with which I have points of disagreement, but which is extremely valuable for that quotation alone, and which I might suggest turning around on some of the points that Sagan was arguing as well, as a cautionary warning to those who have accepted too wholeheartedly some of Sagan's teachings and opinions).
This quotation shows that on some level, we already know we have been bamboozled, even if our conscious mind refuses to accept what we already know. This internal division is actually addressed in the world's ancient myths, which consistently illustrate that our egoic mind often refuses to acknowledge the higher wisdom we have available to us through the reality of our authentic self, sometimes called our Higher Self. Previous posts have compared this tendency of the egoic mind to the blissfully ignorant character of Michael Scott in the television series The Office (US version): see here for example, and also here .
The important author Peter Kingsley has noted that in ancient myth, the role of the prophet was to bring awareness and acknowledgement of that which the egoic mind refuses to see -- which is consistent with the observation that it is through our authentic self (which already knows) that we have access to the realm of the gods. In the Iliad, for example, Dr. Kingsley notes that Apollo sends disaster upon the Achaean forces until the prophet Calchas reveals the source of the god's anger: Agamemnon's refusal to free the young woman Chryseis, whom Agamemnon has seized in the course of the fighting during the Trojan War, and who is the daughter of a priest of Apollo. Until Agamemnon atones for this insult to the god, Apollo will continue to visit destruction upon those following Agamemnon.
Until we acknowledge and correct what our Higher Self already knows to be the problem, we ourselves will be out of step with the divine realm.
If we look the other way at the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children on September 11, 2001, and deliberately refuse to see the truth that we already know deep down in our subconscious, then we will face the displeasure of the Invisible Realm. Just as we are shown in the ancient myths, the truth must be acknowledged and admitted, and then the wrong that has been done must be corrected.
In the case of the mass murder perpetrated on September 11, eighteen years ago, that admission requires us to face the fact that the "terrorists" who were blamed for that attack were not the actual terrorists that we need to be focusing on.
Please note that I am very careful not to say that "the government" is the source of the problem: I would argue that the government is the lawful expression of the will of the people and that the government, rightly understood, is exactly what these criminal perpetrators actually fear the most, if the people ever become aware of what is going on. The government, which is established by the Constitution, forbids the perpetration of murder upon innocent men, women and children in order to initiate wars of aggression against countries that never invaded or attacked us (under the false pretense that they did so). Those who do so are actually opposed to our government under the Constitution and can be dealt with within the framework of the law as established by the Constitution, which establishes a very clear penalty for treason.
When the people acknowledge and admit the complete bankruptcy of the lie we have been told about the attacks of September 11, the correction of that lie will involve demanding the immediate repeal and dismantling of the so-called "USA PATRIOT Act" which was enacted in the weeks immediately following September 11, 2001 and which clearly violates the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Additionally, the correction of that lie will involve demanding the immediate cessation of the military operations which were initiated based upon the fraudulent narrative of the attacks of that day, and which have led to invasion and overthrow of the nations that were falsely blamed as being the perpetrators of those attacks and the seizure of their natural resources.
The imposition of a vast surveillance mechanism upon the people of this country (and of other countries) based on the fraudulent pretext of "preventing terrorism" (and the lying narrative that has been perpetuated with the full complicity of the mainstream media for the past eighteen years) is in complete violation of the human rights which are enumerated in the Bill of Rights and which declare:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
That human right has been grievously trampled upon under the false description of what actually took place during the September 11 attacks. Numerous technology companies have been allowed and even encouraged (and paid, with public moneys) to create technologies which flagrantly and shamelessly violate "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects" and which track their every move and even enable secret eavesdropping upon their conversation and the secret capture of video within their homes and private settings, without any probable cause whatsoever.
When we admit and acknowledge that we have been lied to about the events of September 11, which has been falsely used as a supposed justification for the violation of these human rights (with complete disregard for the supreme law of the land as established in the Constitution), then we will also demand the immediate cessation of any such intrusion upon the right of the people to "be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects" -- including the cessation of any business models which involve spying on men and women.
Companies which cannot find a business model that does not violate the Bill of Rights should lose their corporate charter and the privilege of limited liability, which are extended to them by the people (through the government of the people, by the people and for the people) only upon the condition that their behavior as corporations do not violate the inherent rights of men and women as acknowledged in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
It is well beyond the time when we must acknowledge and admit that we have been lied to about the events of September 11, 2001 -- and that we continue to be lied to about the events of that awful day. September 11, 2001 is in fact only one such event in a long history which stretches back prior to 2001, to other events which should have awakened the people to the presence of a very powerful and very dangerous criminal cabal acting in direct contravention to the Constitution long before we ever got to 2001 -- but the events of September 11 are so blatant, so violent, and so full of evidence which contradicts the fraudulent narrative that they actually cannot be believed by anyone who spends even the slightest amount of time looking at that evidence.
Indeed, we already know deep down that we have been bamboozled by the lie of the so-called "official narrative" of September 11.
But until we admit to ourselves and acknowledge to others that we've ignored the truth that we already know, then the bamboozle still has us .
Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.
David Warner Mathisen graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point and became an Infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division and the 4th Infantry Division. He is a graduate of the US Army's Ranger School and the 82nd Airborne Division's Jumpmaster Course, among many other awards and decorations. He was later selected to become an instructor in the Department of English Literature and Philosophy at West Point and has a Masters degree from Texas A&M University.The original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © David W. Mathisen , Global Research, 2019 Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.
David Warner Mathisen graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point and became an Infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division and the 4th Infantry Division. He is a graduate of the US Army's Ranger School and the 82nd Airborne Division's Jumpmaster Course, among many other awards and decorations. He was later selected to become an instructor in the Department of English Literature and Philosophy at West Point and has a Masters degree from Texas A&M University.
Sep 11, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Matt Curley , 16 hours agoPete G , 18 hours ago
With Romney being "VERY VERY UNHAPPY" makes it all worthwhile..Zentella6 , 18 hours ago
No more Wars Trump America first starts at Home Bring our Troops home 🇺🇸Marcus McCurley , 10 hours ago
Bye bye, douchebag. Great news for America. I'm an 11 year vet, and I approve this message.stantheman1684 , 14 hours ago
I'm a vet who served in the 82nd Airborne and I say good riddance to this War Monger. This is an awful awful man!Rebecca Martinez , 18 hours ago
iv> I see the GLOBALIST shills are in full force on this video, trying to artificially bring down the ratio from probably 99% Positive that such a bad man is gone. Doesn't matter, the Silent Majority & good people everywhere know that Bolton was a poor candidate for that job with a catastrophic failure record & everybody is better of with a more competent person in that position.
MAGA2020Richard Willette , 13 hours ago
Neo-con Bolton war monger turning on military industrial complex! No wars, no conflicts, no ME instability change! Good riddens!Michael Ross , 14 hours ago
Trump only hires the best. Bolton will go to Fox and someone from Fox will be 4th National Security AdvisorTED C , 17 hours ago
Thanks President Trump for getting rid of the globalist John Boltoncaligirl , 16 hours ago
Foreign policy appears to be 17 year wars. Being a perpetual non winner.The Nair , 12 hours ago (edited)
Good job Tucker, thank you for telling the truth about John Bolton and help to stop bombing Iran!yukonjeffimagery , 6 hours ago
John Bolton is owned by foreign powers like many in Washington. They get paid by their lobby to push the neocon agenda which translates into robbing the US of it's $ to fight wars that don't benefit the US.Justin Noordyke , 8 hours ago
War monger Bolton. How did that Libya thing work out for Europe ? Now after looking back, I am sure the African invasion into Europe was planned by Obama and his boss Soros.Marutgana Rudraksha , 6 hours ago
Romney is another swamp rat. All these politicians supporting Bolton have lost their sanity.danielgarrison91 , 17 hours ago
2,200 neo-cons don't like this video.SAROJA Band , 3 hours ago (edited)
Tucker while I agree with you on the mess in Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya. But one thing you left out Tucker. Foxnews hired John Bolton as a Contributer for over a decade. How do you miss that part.Jamie Kloer , 8 hours ago
Bolton is pure evil. A "catastrophic success". Warmonger neo-con-artist. Abject failure. Delusional hubris exemplified. Brilliant reporting Tucker!!BP , 9 hours ago
All the policies in the Middle East are complete and other failures. I'm so sick of neo cons. You can't get rid of them. You can not get rid of them. It doesn't matter who you vote for. Constant war. Like every regime couldn't be replaced around the world. Absolutely ridiculous.Deborah Beaudoin Zaki , 6 hours ago div tabindex="0" class="comment-renderer-te
"In Washington, nobody cares what kind of job you did, only that you did the job. Nobody there learns from mistakes, because mistakes are never even acknowledged. Ever." Yes, Tucker DOES understand Washington!!!Angela J , 6 hours ago div tabindex="0" role="art
xt" role="article"> If Bolton becomes a Fox News contributor: I will change the channel immediately... I already do this when Jeff Epstein's, the child trafficker and rapist, good buddy Alan Dershowitz comes on as a guest... Do not know why Fox News selects guest contributors that have their morals/values in the wrong directions...
icle"> Bolton was signatory to PNAC- the project for a new american century, like other progressives and neo-cons of his generation. They do not view the chaos left by taking out Ghaddafi and Saddam as problems, rather the creation of failed states was their objective all along. Members of the GOP went along with these plans where they coincided with their own political and business objectives- the military industrial complex and the oilmen.
Sep 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
September 11, 2019 by Yves Smith Yves here. Note that for all of Trump's considerable faults, including hiring John Bolton in the first place and taking too long to get rid of him, Bolton's opposition to finding a way for the US to extricate itself from the war in Afghanistan was reportedly the last straw.
By Andrew Bacevich, who serves as president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft . His new book The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory will be published in January. Originally published at TomDispatch
When the conflict that the Vietnamese refer to as the American War ended in April 1975, I was a U.S. Army captain attending a course at Fort Knox, Kentucky. In those days, the student body at any of our Army's myriad schools typically included officers from the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN).
Since ARVN's founding two decades earlier, the United States had assigned itself the task of professionalizing that fledgling military establishment. Based on a conviction that the standards, methods, and ethos of our armed forces were universally applicable and readily exportable, the attendance of ARVN personnel at such Army schools was believed to contribute to the professionalizing of the South Vietnamese military.
Evidence that the U.S. military's own professional standards had recently taken a hit -- memories of the My Lai massacre were then still fresh -- elicited no second thoughts on our part. Association with American officers like me was sure to rub off on our South Vietnamese counterparts in ways that would make them better soldiers. So we professed to believe, even while subjecting that claim to no more scrutiny than we did the question of why most of us had spent a year or more of our lives participating in an obviously misbegotten and misguided war in Indochina.
For serving officers at that time one question in particular remained off-limits (though it had been posed incessantly for years by antiwar protestors in the streets of America): Why Vietnam? Prizing compliance as a precondition for upward mobility, military service rarely encourages critical thinking.
On the day that Saigon, the capital of the Republic of Vietnam, fell and that country ceased to exist, I approached one of my ARVN classmates, also a captain, wanting at least to acknowledge the magnitude of the disaster that had occurred. "I'm sorry about what happened to your country," I told him.
I did not know that officer well and no longer recall his name. Let's call him Captain Nguyen. In my dim recollection, he didn't even bother to reply. He simply looked at me with an expression both distressed and mournful. Our encounter lasted no more than a handful of seconds. I then went on with my life and Captain Nguyen presumably with his. Although I have no inkling of his fate, I like to think that he is now retired in Southern California after a successful career in real estate. But who knows?
All I do know is that today I recall our exchange with a profound sense of embarrassment and even shame. My pathetic effort to console Captain Nguyen had been both presumptuous and inadequate. Far worse was my failure -- inability? refusal? -- to acknowledge the context within which that catastrophe was occurring: the United States and its armed forces had, over years, inflicted horrendous harm on the people of South Vietnam.
In reality, their defeat was our defeat. Yet while we had decided that we were done paying, they were going to pay and pay for a long time to come.
Rather than offering a fatuous expression of regret for the collapse of his country, I ought to have apologized for having played even a miniscule role in what was, by any measure, a catastrophe of epic proportions. It's a wonder Captain Nguyen didn't spit in my eye.
I genuinely empathized with Captain Nguyen. Yet the truth is that, along with most other Americans, soldiers and civilians alike, I was only too happy to be done with South Vietnam and all its troubles. Dating back to the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the United States and its armed forces had made a gargantuan effort to impart legitimacy to the Republic of Vietnam and to coerce the Democratic Republic of Vietnam to its north into giving up its determination to exercise sovereignty over the entirety of the country. In that, we had failed spectacularly and at a staggering cost.
"Our" war in Indochina -- the conflict we chose to call the Vietnam War -- officially ended in January 1973 with the signing in Paris of an "Agreement Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam." Under the terms of that fraudulent pact, American prisoners of war were freed from captivity in North Vietnam and the last U.S. combat troops in the south left for home, completing a withdrawal begun several years earlier. Primary responsibility for securing the Republic of Vietnam thereby fell to ARVN, long deemed by U.S. commanders incapable of accomplishing that mission.
Meanwhile, despite a nominal cessation of hostilities, approximately 150,000 North Vietnamese regulars still occupied a large swathe of South Vietnamese territory -- more or less the equivalent to agreeing to end World War II when there were still several German panzer tank divisions lurking in Belgium's Ardennes Forest. In effect, our message to our enemy and our ally was this: We're outta here; you guys sort this out . In a bit more than two years, that sorting-out process would extinguish the Republic of Vietnam.
Been There, Done That
The course Captain Nguyen and I were attending in the spring of 1975 paid little attention to fighting wars like the one that, for years, had occupied the attention of my army and his. Our Army, in fact, was already moving on. Having had their fill of triple-canopy jungles in Indochina, America's officer corps now turned to defending the Fulda Gap, the region in West Germany deemed most hospitable to a future Soviet invasion. As if by fiat, gearing up to fight those Soviet forces and their Warsaw Pact allies, should they (however improbably) decide to take on NATO and lunge toward the English Channel, suddenly emerged as priority number one. At Fort Knox and throughout the Army's ranks, we were suddenly focused on "high-intensity combined arms operations" -- essentially, a replay of World War II-style combat with fancier weaponry. In short, the armed forces of the United States had reverted to "real soldiering."
And so it is again today. At the end of the 17th year of what Americans commonly call the Afghanistan War -- one wonders what name Afghans will eventually assign it -- U.S. military forces are moving on. Pentagon planners are shifting their attention back to Russia and China. Great power competition has become the name of the game. However we might define Washington's evolving purposes in its Afghanistan War -- "nation building," "democratization," "pacification" -- the likelihood of mission accomplishment is nil. As in the early 1970s, so in 2019, rather than admitting failure, the Pentagon has chosen to change the subject and is once again turning its attention to "real soldiering."
Remember the infatuation with counterinsurgency (commonly known by its acronym COIN) that gripped the national security establishment around 2007 when the Iraq "surge" overseen by General David Petraeus briefly ranked alongside Gettysburg as a historic victory? Well, these days promoting COIN as the new American way of war has become, to put it mildly, a tough sell. Given that few in Washington will openly acknowledge the magnitude of the military failure in Afghanistan, the incentive for identifying new enemies in settings deemed more congenial becomes all but irresistible.
Only one thing is required to validate this reshuffling of military priorities. Washington needs to create the appearance, as in 1973, that it's exiting Afghanistan on its own terms. What's needed, in short, is an updated equivalent of that "Agreement Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam."
Until last weekend, the signing of such an agreement seemed imminent. Donald Trump and his envoy, former ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, appeared poised to repeat the trick that President Richard Nixon and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger pulled off in 1973 in Paris: pause the war and call it peace. Should fighting subsequently resume after a "decent interval," it would no longer be America's problem. Now, however, to judge by the president's twitter account -- currently the authoritative record of U.S. diplomacy -- the proposed deal has been postponed, or perhaps shelved, or even abandoned altogether. If National Security Advisor John Bolton has his way , U.S. forces might just withdraw in any case, without an agreement of any sort being signed.
Based on what we can divine from press reports, the terms of that prospective Afghan deal would mirror those of the 1973 Paris Accords in one important respect. It would, in effect, serve as a ticket home for the remaining U.S. and NATO troops still in that country (though for the present only the first 5,000 of them would immediately depart). Beyond that, the Taliban was to promise not to provide sanctuary to anti-American terrorist groups, even though the Afghan branch of ISIS is already firmly lodged there. Still, this proviso would allow the Trump administration to claim that it had averted any possible recurrence of the 9/11 terror attacks that were, of course, planned by Osama bin Laden while residing in Afghanistan in 2001 as a guest of the Taliban-controlled government. Mission accomplished , as it were.
Back in 1973, North Vietnamese forces occupying parts of South Vietnam neither disarmed nor withdrew. Should this new agreement be finalized, Taliban forces currently controlling or influencing significant swaths of Afghan territory will neither disarm nor withdraw. Indeed, their declared intention is to continue fighting.
In 1973, policymakers in Washington were counting on ARVN to hold off Communist forces. In 2019, almost no one expects Afghan security forces to hold off a threat consisting of both the Taliban and ISIS. In a final insult, just as the Saigon government was excluded from U.S. negotiations with the North Vietnamese, so, too, has the Western-installed government in Kabul been excluded from U.S. negotiations with its sworn enemy, the Taliban.
A host of uncertainties remain. As with the olive branches that President Trump has ostentatiously offered to Russia, China, and North Koea, this particular peace initiative may come to naught -- or, given the approach of the 2020 elections, he may decide that Afghanistan offers his last best hope of claiming at least one foreign policy success. One way or another, in all likelihood, the deathwatch for the U.S.-backed Afghan government has now begun. One thing only is for sure. Having had their fill of Afghanistan, when the Americans finally leave, they won't look back. In that sense, it will be Vietnam all over again.
What Price Peace?
However great my distaste for President Trump, I support his administration's efforts to extricate the United States from Afghanistan. I do so for the same reason I supported the Paris Peace Accords of 1973. Prolonging this folly any longer does not serve U.S. interests. Rule number one of statecraft ought to be: when you're doing something really stupid, stop. To my mind, this rule seems especially applicable when the lives of American soldiers are at stake.
In Vietnam, Washington wasted 58,000 of those lives for nothing. In Afghanistan, we have lost more than 2,300 troops , with another 20,000 wounded, again for next to nothing. Last month, two American Special Forces soldiers were killed in a firefight in Faryab Province. For what?
That said, I'm painfully aware of the fact that, on the long-ago day when I offered Captain Nguyen my feeble condolences, I lacked the imagination to conceive of the trials about to befall his countrymen. In the aftermath of the American War, something on the order of 800,000 Vietnamese took to open and unseaworthy boats to flee their country. According to estimates by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, between 200,000 and 400,000 boat people died at sea. Most of those who survived were destined to spend years in squalid refugee camps scattered throughout Southeast Asia. Back in Vietnam itself, some 300,000 former ARVN officers and South Vietnamese officials were imprisoned in so-called reeducation camps for up to 18 years. Reconciliation did not rank high on the postwar agenda of the unified country's new leaders.
Meanwhile, for the Vietnamese, north and south, the American War has in certain ways only continued. Mines and unexploded ordnance left from that war have inflicted more than 100,000 casualties since the last American troops departed. Even today, the toll caused by Agent Orange and other herbicides that the U.S. Air Force sprayed with abandon over vast stretches of territory continues to mount. The Red Cross calculates that more than one million Vietnamese have suffered health problems, including serious birth defects and cancers as a direct consequence of the promiscuous use of those poisons as weapons of war.
For anyone caring to calculate the moral responsibility of the United States for its actions in Vietnam, all of those would have to find a place on the final balance sheet. The 1.3 million Vietnamese admitted to the United States as immigrants since the American War formally concluded can hardly be said to make up for the immense damage suffered by the people of Vietnam as a direct or indirect result of U.S. policy.
As to what will follow if Washington does succeed in cutting a deal with the Taliban, well, don't count on President Trump (or his successor for that matter) welcoming anything like 1.3 million Afghan refugees to the United States once a "decent interval" has passed. Yet again, our position will be: we're outta here; you guys sort this out.
Near the end of his famed novel, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald described two of his privileged characters, Tom and Daisy, as "careless people" who "smashed up things and creatures" and then "retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness" to "let other people clean up the mess they had made." That description applies to the United States as a whole, especially when Americans tire of a misguided war. We are a careless people. In Vietnam, we smashed up things and human beings with abandon, only to retreat into our money, leaving others to clean up the mess in a distinctly bloody fashion.
Count on us, probably sooner rather than later, doing precisely the same thing in Afghanistan.
RBHoughton , September 11, 2019 at 1:05 am
Bacevich is right. Vietnam was a tragedy. Here we are at Ground Hog Day in Afghanistan.
I was touched by the author's recollection of Capt Nguyen. I well know that awful moment when , reflecting on some past event, I have recognised my own actions as insensitive, crass and unfeeling. How do we get so wrapped-up in ourselves that the feelings of others hardly impinge on our sensitivities? What happened to society? Is that where the West has gone wrong?
Btw, quote "to judge by the president's twitter account -- currently the authoritative record of U.S. diplomacy" unquote. I hope those owning the Twitter Nest note the future use of their archive.
VietnamVet , September 11, 2019 at 3:42 am
Andrew Bacevich is right. However, there is an amazing human disinclination to face facts but live with delusions which risk extinction for immediate gratification. The lessons from Vietnam were never learned. The Bush/Cheney fateful decision to occupy Afghanistan at the same time as invading Iraq ultimately led to the current predatory corporate military rule that will never voluntarily withdraw from overseas. The intent of the media/intelligence coup against the President is to prevent peace from breaking out. Executives and wealthy shareholders would lose their taxpayer gravy train. The troops and contractors now in Eastern Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are expendable. They will not have two years to get out. No planning, deep-sixing science, and profits over safety all assure that sooner or later there will be another black swan event. Be it Brexit, closure of Strait of Hormuz, subprime auto loans, WWIII, or climate change, assuredly something will give the final push and the American Empire will collapse.
Mattski , September 11, 2019 at 7:43 am
"Après moi, le déluge! is the watchword of every capitalist and of every capitalist nation. Hence Capital is reckless of the health or length of life of the labourer, unless under compulsion from society."
No Pasaran , September 11, 2019 at 5:05 am
Prof. Bacevich is very perceptive and he writes well; his essays are always worth reading. Nevertheless, he is a retired US Army officer after all and there is that thing about leopards and spots. There is a tell in this article, when he speaks of the day that Saigon 'fell'. I too remember well that day in April of '75. I was studying in Madison, on the GI Bill. My friends and I all rejoiced on that day, as Saigon had finally been 'liberated'.
Ian Perkins , September 11, 2019 at 11:13 am
I was at high school in the UK, and my friends and I also rejoiced on that day.
Donald , September 11, 2019 at 12:29 pm
Why rejoice? The point should be that the US had no business in Vietnam, not that one group finally succeeded in uniting the country under the rule of one dictatorial party. Not all Vietnamese welcomed the "liberation" and many died fleeing the country.
I am sure this will be misunderstood, so I'll add that I think that the US role was one massive war crime and we never should have been there at all, that Ho Chi Minh probably would have won a fair election in the 1950's etc
Being antiwar has nothing necessarily to do with favoring the side our government opposes. It simply means that there is no moral justification for the US invading Vietnam or Iraq, supporting jihadists in Syria, helping the Saudis and the Israelis bomb civilians, and so on.
The Rev Kev , September 11, 2019 at 6:39 pm
Prof. Bacevich has an personal stake in what he writes about. His son, Lt. Andrew John Bacevich, was killed in action by an IED during the occupation back in 2007. He was already a severe critic of the war at the time but I am guessing that this underlined the futility of it tall.
Ignacio , September 11, 2019 at 6:01 am
Although it is true that the willing of Trump to put an end to the Afghan occupation must be seen as a positive, his policy of ever increasing military budgets make this affirmation from Bacevich "the incentive for identifying new enemies in settings deemed more congenial becomes all but irresistible" truer that ever. These expenditures must be justified in practical terms and It worries me what the new enemies in Trump's brain are.
fajensen , September 11, 2019 at 8:17 am
One was hoping that the Space Marines would focus The Decider's attention firmly on those pesky Centaurians .
Ignacio , September 11, 2019 at 9:23 am
Ha, ha hah!
Yes, Hollywood has made a big effort to explain us, the common people, that US's military expenses will protect us from Centaurians, Klingons, meteorites and some other rogue invaders. I cannot imagine any other reason.
Steve H. , September 11, 2019 at 6:37 am
> Prizing compliance as a precondition for upward mobility, military service rarely encourages critical thinking.
John Boyd: "And you're going to have to make a decision about which direction you want to go." He raised his hand and pointed. "If you go that way you can be somebody. You will have to make compromises and you will have to turn your back on your friends. But you will be a member of the club and you will get promoted and you will get good assignments." Then Boyd raised his other hand and pointed another direction. "Or you can go that way and you can do something -- something for your country and for your Air Force and for yourself. If you decide you want to do something, you may not get promoted and you may not get the good assignments and you certainly will not be a favorite of your superiors. But you won't have to compromise yourself. You will be true to your friends and to yourself. And your work might make a difference. To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That's when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?" [Robert Coram]
Jesper , September 11, 2019 at 7:42 am
Which is worse? Living in a cave in Afghanistan or living in a prison in Europe/US?
If the invasion of Afghanistan was about capturing some people and then imprisoning them then that question might possibly be relevant.
If the invasion was about prestige then sometimes the best revenge and biggest insult is to treat that someone as irrelevant and insignificant. If the opportunity presents itself to do something then by all means do something, do what prestige demands but if that does not happen then what?
Sometimes the measure of someone is had by the measure of his/her enemies. Giving someone the significance of being the enemy might provide that someone with a better life. There are people with money who'd be willing to fund the enemy of their enemy. But how do those financiers know if they are funding some chancers/charlatans or the real thing? Spread some uncertainty about who are charlatans/chancers and see what happens to the funding . Maybe the guilty ones might feel it necessary to publicly provide the necessary proof of their guilt, doubtful but & if the location of them is found then threaten closure of the diplomatic missions of the nation where they are unless they are handed over. The diplomatic missions are cushy positions and closing them will only hurt the 'elite', the general population is left unharmed.
Afghanistan is unlikely to change anytime soon. As with all predictions of the future that one might be very wrong. However, the ones predicting that Afghanistan can and will change due to military occupation are in my opinion the ones who need to somehow provide support for their prediction.
The Rev Kev , September 11, 2019 at 9:11 am
A few predictions here. After the US and the rest of the Coalition leaves Afghanistan, not much happens for awhile. But then the government starts to lose ground. Slowly at first, and then quickly. Eventually Kabul falls. Long before then the US and other countries would have had evacuated their embassies so that there is no repeat of the frantic helicopter evacuations like happened in Saigon. There is a swell of refugees, particularly those who worked with the Coalition but Trump refuses all entry of them into the US saying that there are "very bad people and some very bad gang members and some very, very bad drug dealers" in Afghanistan.
Five years after the last troops are out of Afghanistan the war is all but forgotten in the same way that the vets of the Korean War were forgotten. Not for nothing did they call Korea the "Forgotten War.' By then the US is immersed in another campaign – probably in Africa – and news about what is happening in Afghanistan is relegated to the back pages. The vets will remember, but the nation will ignore them in the same way that Vietnam vets were forgotten after that war ended until the striking Vietnam Veterans Memorial was built in Washington by the vets themselves. In West Point text books, the war is relegated to the back pages as the cadets will instead study peer warfare with Russia and China.
Alex Cox , September 11, 2019 at 1:50 pm
One very important question remains.
By 2001 the Taliban had reduced opium production to virtually zero. Every year since the US/NATO invasion, opium production has increased.
What will the Afghans do when the US and British are no longer around to facilitate the heroin trade? Perhaps that's why negotiations are proving so difficult.
ewmayer , September 11, 2019 at 4:56 pm
"By 2001 the Taliban had reduced opium production to virtually zero."
You need to update things past 2001 :
The Taliban banned the cultivation of opium in 2001, shortly before being ousted by the US-led NATO coalition. However, after 2005, the Taliban began to regroup, and encouraged opium production to finance its insurgency by forcing locals to grow opium and punishing those who refused. Besides, major opium traffickers annually pay vast amounts to the Taliban in exchange for safe transport routes secured by the group.
The Taliban uses the money it collects from the opium trade to pay fighters' salaries, buy fuel, food, weapons and explosives. Based on some reports, around 40% of the Taliban's funding comes from opium production, while the rest of its expenditure is borne by foreign patrons and tax collections. The group's annual income from the opium trade was estimated to be $400 million in 2011, but it is believed to have significantly increased in recent years.
The Taliban collect two types of taxes from opium businesses: a transportation tax from drug trafficking and a 10% tax from opium cultivation. In exchange, the group provides security for the drug convoys and carries out attacks on government institutions like checkpoints in order to allow drug convoys to pass. The group has also launched attacks on government forces to safeguard drug labs and factories.
The Taliban don't need US/UK to facilitate things. In fact, getting the US out of the country might eliminate one of their major Heroin-related business rivals, the CIA.
Ian Perkins , September 11, 2019 at 11:10 am
Bacevich states, "Rule number one of statecraft ought to be: when you're doing something really stupid, stop. To my mind, this rule seems especially applicable when the lives of American soldiers are at stake. In Vietnam, Washington wasted 58,000 of those lives for nothing."
Why does he find his rule especially applicable to the paltry number of US dead, given that at least fifty times as many Indochinese died?
This attitude is surely one reason for the loathing felt by much of the world toward the USA. People are justifiably sick of hearing how US lives are inherently more valuable than their own.
juliania , September 11, 2019 at 12:24 pm
I guess you missed this part of the article:
" That said, I'm painfully aware of the fact that, on the long-ago day when I offered Captain Nguyen my feeble condolences, I lacked the imagination to conceive of the trials about to befall his countrymen. In the aftermath of the American War, something on the order of 800,000 Vietnamese took to open and unseaworthy boats to flee their country. According to estimates by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, between 200,000 and 400,000 boat people died at sea. Most of those who survived were destined to spend years in squalid refugee camps scattered throughout Southeast Asia. Back in Vietnam itself, some 300,000 former ARVN officers and South Vietnamese officials were imprisoned in so-called reeducation camps for up to 18 years. Reconciliation did not rank high on the postwar agenda of the unified country's new leaders.
Meanwhile, for the Vietnamese, north and south, the American War has in certain ways only continued. Mines and unexploded ordnance left from that war have inflicted more than 100,000 casualties since the last American troops departed. Even today, the toll caused by Agent Orange and other herbicides that the U.S. Air Force sprayed with abandon over vast stretches of territory continues to mount. The Red Cross calculates that more than one million Vietnamese have suffered health problems, including serious birth defects and cancers as a direct consequence of the promiscuous use of those poisons as weapons of war.
For anyone caring to calculate the moral responsibility of the United States for its actions in Vietnam, all of those would have to find a place on the final balance sheet. The 1.3 million Vietnamese admitted to the United States as immigrants since the American War formally concluded can hardly be said to make up for the immense damage suffered by the people of Vietnam as a direct or indirect result of U.S. policy ."
Note in particular the phrase "the people of Vietnam" in the last sentence. I find your criticism to be unwarranted.
Ian Perkins , September 11, 2019 at 1:01 pm
I neither missed nor ignored Bacevich's caveat.
I was focusing on his 'rule number one', which seems to make the lives of a few US soldiers more sacred than those of the many people – civilians as well as soldiers – they kill.
I am not trying to say that Bacevich is as evil and abhorrent as say Bolton. I don't think he is, though I suspect he's on the same side when it comes down to it.
I am suggesting that the USA will fail to win the hearts and minds of the world's people while killing them and belittling their deaths.
(and you might note the phrase "can hardly be said to make up for" in the last sentence!)
John Wright , September 11, 2019 at 6:38 pm
As I remember the movie Dr. Strangelove, as the USA nuclear weapon was launched toward Russia, Russia was given an option to destroy some USA cities as a way of the USA doing fair and suitable penance.
I don't imagine the USA's military is viewed in the world as other than operating in the USA elites' interests, despite any media (Cable, internet, print,Hollywood films) verbiage about "bringing democracy" or "bringing freedom" to other nations.
I believe the Peace Corps was established as a way to make the world a better place with USA's expertise and as a way to win "hearts and minds of the world's people".
Per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_Corps , the Peace Corps budget in 2018 was 398 million.
The USA defense budget for 2019 is shown as 686 billion putting the Peace Corps budget as 0.058% of the, perhaps understated, defense budget.
I believe winning the world's hearts and minds via USA military action is very unlikely at best.
The small Peace Corps budget is evidence that concern about winning hearts and minds in foreign countries is a very small priority in Washington D.C.
Ford Prefect , September 11, 2019 at 11:44 am
If you fund, arm, and train an army for a decade and it still can't defend itself against insurgents, then you have to wonder whose side is right? If it actually had the backing of the people on the ground and dedicated troops and government, then it should be able to hold its ground well.
The US has had exactly the same outcomes in Vietnam and Afghanistan with training the respective armies.
In Iraq, it is largely coherent tribal entities of Kurds and Shiites that have been providing the backbone of relatively successful military organizations (not the same one despite being in the same country). Both groups have their own independent goals. The US forefeited its abiltiy to create a true national army in Iraq when they disbanded the former Iraqi Army shortly after invading. That resulted in a well-trained insurgency.
Ian Perkins , September 11, 2019 at 12:27 pm
"The US has had exactly the same outcomes in Vietnam and Afghanistan with training the respective armies."
Hardly. From 1979 the US funded, armed and trained the Mujaheddin, who won. I'm not aware of them funding, arming or training the Viet Cong or Viet Minh.
They didn't win when they backed the losing sides, that's true. But it isn't saying much beyond the obvious.
Susan the other` , September 11, 2019 at 3:12 pm
I like Bacevich but he really demurred from making his underlying point. He asked "Why Vietnam" and then he proceeded to fluff through that question. But the analogy to Afghanistan remains at a much deeper level. That level (imo) is this: Why Vietnam? Because, at that hysterical cold war turning point, Vietnam was the gateway to Southern China (Gore Vidal). Our main objective was to position ourselves to invade Southern China and protect the old imperialist interests of the UK and France (aka Nato). But we dithered and hesitated. Thank god. It could have been a much worse debacle. So here it is: We invaded Afghanistan and sent a zillion dollars worth of materiel to Iraq in order to take over the Middle East. And that meant invading Iran. But just like China, Iran was a dangerous plan. Too many things could go wrong, so everyone knew they would go wrong. Duh. And so we dithered and hesitated. And made up for it by blatant propaganda for 15 years. We're "outta there" because we should never have been in there. And one of the tragedies is our abandonment of the Kurds. Just like the South Vietnamese. Bacevich didn't mention the Kurds. He implied our abandonment would upset the poor Afghans. But, they won't care at all. They'll be flipping all of our departing helicopters the bird. Still there was a point to be made about our fecklessness. Interesting aside here that Bacevich, a well thought-out moral person, is the new President of the Quincy Institute. It will probably become famous for deep, murky contradictions. And pompous rationalizations without ever really making the point. Just to the taste of Soros and the Kochs.
Susan the other` , September 11, 2019 at 3:25 pm
I suspect, re Afghanistan, there is an upside that will never be made into a finer point. That is, we have worn out the appetite for a wider war for all concerned and managed to come to agreement with all parties of interest in Middle East oil. Including Russia. And Israel. And nobody will make much fuss about it, but we will still leave a very high-tech military contingent in Afghanistan because Eurasia is a vast opportunity.
barrisj , September 11, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Vietnam War strictly motivated by the "Domino Theory" and "monolithic Asian communism", per Dean Rusk, McGeorge Bundy, et al. Kennedy was said to be having "second thoughts" about expanded US presence at the time of his assassination; however, LBJ went all-in, urged on by McNamara and the generals 11 years later it all went tits-up, Nixon ended the draft, all relatively quiet on the war front, then Carter and Brzezinski funded Islamic militants in Afghanistan to harry the Russkies and ca. 20yrs later, Cheney-Bush repeat the Russian quagmire plus ça change etc" .
stan6565 , September 11, 2019 at 3:55 pm
The author is too limited in his appraisals of USA wars, and the commentariat here too polite to expand on the list of the criminal wars waged by the USA since Vietnam.
Iraq and Afghanistan were mentioned, yes, but there were also open wars of aggression against Yugoslavia, then Serbia, Grenada and Libya as well as clandestine wars against a good chunk of the globe, Israel/Palestine, Russian backyard countries, China, Venezuela, a swathe of Central American countries, and so on ad infinitum.
USA's holy grail of subjugating all oil producing countries in the world, except for those that can fight back, and purported payment to those unable to fight back, with readily printable papers of questionable value, is not a long term strategy. Not long term as in 10 or 20 more years. Then what? John Bolton or his clone on a cocktail of steroids and amphetamine, lobbing nuclear weapons indiscriminately all over the place?
The Indispensable Nation.
Sep 11, 2019 | www.rt.com
Firing National Security Advisor John Bolton gives US President Donald Trump a chance to move foreign policy in a more peaceful direction – as long as he's not replaced with another hawk, former congressman Ron Paul told RT.
Bolton has "been a monkey-wrench in Donald Trump's policies of trying to back away from some of these conflicts around the world," Paul observed on Tuesday, after news of Bolton's dismissal from the White House. Also on rt.com Bolton out: Trump ditches hawkish adviser he kept for 18 months despite 'disagreements'
"Every time I think Trump is making progress, Bolton butts in and ruins it," Paul added. Negotiations with Afghanistan and talks with North Korea and Iran have reportedly been scuttled by his aggressive tendencies, with Pyongyang declaring him a "defective human product."
Foreign leaders weren't the only ones who had a problem with Trump's notoriously belligerent advisor, either.
"A lot of people here didn't even want his appointment, because he was only able to take a position that did not require Senate approval," Paul said, suggesting that perhaps the "Deep State" pressure had forced the president to keep Bolton around long past his sell-by date.
While the uber-hawk's firing came "later than it should be," Paul hoped it would clear the way for Trump to follow through on the America First, end-the-wars promises that won him so much support in 2016. "Those of us who would like less intervention, we're very happy with it."
Also on rt.com War and whiskers: Freshly-resigned John Bolton gets meme-roasting
As for whether Bolton's departure would change the White House's policy line significantly, though, Paul was less certain. "I don't think it will change a whole lot," he said, pointing out that "we have no idea" who will replace Bolton. Trump said he would make an announcement next week.
Sep 11, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
confusedponderer , 11 September 2019 at 07:11 AMThere is an nice article about his "Being fired by Don Donald / Nope, actually I quit myself" story:
The Guardian view on John Bolton: good riddance, but the problem is his boss
Many will rightly celebrate the departure of the US national security adviser. But however welcome the news, it reflects the deeper problems with this administration
However satisfying it may be to see him leave, whoever is picked to succeed him may not be much of an improvement. No one should cheer the chaotic and dysfunctional nature of this administration. Its boss revels in divisions and factionalism among his staff, which allows him to continue governing by his whims, kneejerk reactions and vanity.
It is neither normal nor desirable for the national security adviser to be excluded from meetings about Afghanistan – even if it is a relief, when the individual concerned is (or was) Mr Bolton. It is more likely that he was fired because he dented his boss's ego than because his advice was so bad: Mr Trump liked Mr Bolton's bellicose style when he saw it on Fox News, not when it clashed with his own intentions.
The national security adviser may have been the most ferocious of the voices urging Mr Trump to turn up the pressure on Iran, but he was certainly not alone . Mr Bolton's presence in the White House was frightening. But its continued occupation by the man who hired him is much more so.
I read that the main drivers of getting him kicked or retire himself were Mnuchin and Pompeo, both afflicted by that nasty goofy smile disease. I am always happy when I see Mnuchin's hands on the table, eliminating one explanation for the smile.
There is that reported sentence about Bolton - that there is no problem for which war was not his solution. I read about similar sentence about Pompeo - that he has an IR seeker for Donald's ass.
That written, good riddance indeed. Likely, if Bolton had his way, the US would likely be at war with North Korea and Iran.
When I studied I was at the UNFCCC for a time during Bush Jr. presidency and talked about what Bolton did at the UN with my superior, a 20 year UN veteran.
A 'malicious saboteur arsonist' is a polite summary of what he did there directly and indirectly, and with given his flirt with MEK and regime change in Iran he has likely not changed at all.
As far as Pompeo's "moderation" goes, don't expect anything moderate. But general mailiciousness and opportunism aside, as an evangelical he'll certainly get along perfectly with Pence.
Sep 11, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
catherine , 10 September 2019 at 08:48 PMI don't usually find much value at the Atlantic but this article (written before Trump even fired Bolton) about Trump's FP timeline (and flip flops) and Bolton who was acting like he was President is very, very good.different clue , 11 September 2019 at 01:08 AM
It will allow Trump loyalist to more easily support Trump and give everyone else a tad bit of hope that Trump really won't go bonkers and start any wars.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/07/trump-tries-to-fix-his-foreign-policy-without-bolton/593284/Since President Trump appears to talk about things and stuff with Tucker Carlson, perhaps he should ask Tucker Carlson to spend a week thinking . . . and then offer the President some names and the reasoning for offering those names.confusedponderer said in reply to different clue... , 11 September 2019 at 09:10 AM
If the President asks the same Establishment who gave him Bolton, he will just be handed another Bolton. "Establishment" include Pence, who certainly supported Bolton's outlook on things and would certainly recommend another "Bolton" figure if asked. Let us hope Pence is not consulted on Bolton's successor.different clue,
re "Let us hope Pence is not consulted on Bolton's successor."
Understandable point of view but then, Trump still is Trump. He can just by himself and beyond advice easily find suboptimal solutions of his own.
Today I read that Richard Grenell was mentioned as a potential sucessor.
As far as that goes, go for it. Many people here will be happy when he "who always only sais what the Whitehouse sais" is finally gone.
And with Trump's biggest military budget in the world he can just continue the arms sale pitches that are and were such a substantial part of his job as a US ambassador in Germany.
That said, they were that after blathering a lot about that we should increase our military budget by 2%, 4%, 6% or 10%, buy US arms, now, and of course the blathering about Northstream 1 & 2 and "slavedom to russian oil & gas" and rather buy US frack gas of course.
He could then also take a side job for the fracking industry in that context. And buy frack gas and arms company stocks. Opportunities, opportunities ...
Sep 11, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
...Who should the Administration now call on to provide some restraint on the Presidents warlike impulses?
blue peacock , 10 September 2019 at 04:55 PMHow about another peacemaker and lady in waiting for the GOP 2024 nomination - Nimrata "Nikki" Haley. She will immediately call for a Peace & Friendship Treaty with that evil thug Vladimir Putin.Barbara Ann , 10 September 2019 at 05:26 PMI'm sure the Administration will give the matter much thought and due deliberation and using the same selection process as before, choose the candidate most highly
qualifiedrecommended by the Adelsons. Tell me it ain't so.
Lyttennburgh said... Reply 11 September 2019 at 07:05 AM
Subhān Allāh! Sultan Danuld at-Trumphoon al-Quincy dismissed his wazir Yahya al-Boltoni, for verily it’s said to all Faithful: mustache is Shaitan’s brush. /s