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

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

Introduction

  The 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.

Saker, The US aggression against Venezuela as a diagnostic tool Feb 4, 2019

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.”[3]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:

“The confluence of their interests as Jews in promoting the policies of the Israeli right wing and their construction of American interests allows them to submerge or even deny the relevance of their Jewish identity while posing as American patriots. […]

Indeed, since neoconservative Zionism of the Likud Party variety is well known for promoting a confrontation between the United States and the entire Muslim world, their policy recommendations best fit a pattern of loyalty to their ethnic group, not to America.”[4]Kevin McDonald, Cultural Insurrection, op. cit., p. 66.

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  

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

From Wikipedia

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

Frank neoconservatives like Robert Kaplan and Niall Ferguson recognize that they are proposing imperialism as the alternative to liberal internationalism. Yet both 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:[68]
"Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power."

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

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

Democracy promotion as the universal door opener

See also Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Support of Israel as the key goal

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

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

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

Wolfowitz Doctrine as quintessential Neoconservatism

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

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

Superpower status

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

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

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

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

U.S. primacy

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

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

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

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

Unilateralism

The doctrine downplays the value of international coalitions.

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

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

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

Pre-emptive intervention

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

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

This was softened slightly in the April 16 release.

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

Russian threat

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

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

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

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

Middle East and Southwest Asia

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

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

...

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

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

Neocon architects of American foreign policy are destroying American national security

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

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

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

Patrick L. Smith

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

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

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

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

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

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

They were? Please explain.

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

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

It’s an important word for Putin.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is that indeed the ambition?

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

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

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

Interesting.

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

I think Chancellor Merkel understands this, too.

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

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

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

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

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

Can you talk about this?

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

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

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

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

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

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

I would have guessed the latter.

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

Interesting.

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

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

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

Zapatero?

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

Felipe Gonzalez, I think it was.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Old Labour in Britain is a perfect example.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More Patrick L. Smith.  

Nulandgate as an example of disastrous neocon foreign policy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Robert Kagan

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

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

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

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

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

Instead of conclusions: Neocons are the War Party

Justin Raimondo aptly described neocons as the war party:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...


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

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

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

Reality-based community - Wikipedia

[Jul 22, 2019] All Hail Europe's Permanent Ruling Class

Notable quotes:
"... That said, Germany's military readiness directly relates to the invasion threat from Russia Europe actually faces. I.e., ZERO. Washington should take note but of course it won't because there is no money in it for the American Merchants of Death. And the Generals inside the Pentagon just have too much fun fear-mongering about illusory existential enemies. ..."
"... As Politico recently reported, "an investigative committee of the German parliament -- the toughest instrument that lawmakers can use to probe government misdeeds -- is digging into how lucrative contracts from her ministry were awarded to outside consultants without proper oversight ..."
"... Yet another U.S. mirror image. Because that is exactly how inside baseball works in the Pentagon acquisition system. von der Leyen as a European Hack is no worse than the Washington / Pentagon Hacks on the other side of the Atlantic. Note, MIC lifer and Raytheon parasite Mark Esper currently sitting in the Big Seat in the Pentagon. You can be sure that DoD reform is way down on his bucket list. ..."
Jul 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Meet Ursula von der Leyen, the new president-elect of the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union.

Like all those soon to occupy positions of power in the EU, von der Leyen did not run in the recent European elections for the position she is about to hold. She did not participate in the debates in front of various national electorates. But she was chosen -- after the elections -- by the political class in Brussels, ostensibly for her faith in and loyalty to the European superstate, and personally to the German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Since 2013, von der Leyen has been the German defense minister. During that time, a parliamentary report exposed German planes that can't fly and guns that don't shoot. Fewer than a fifth of Germany's helicopters are combat ready. Luftwaffe revealed that most of its 128 Typhoon jets were not ready to leave ground. All of Germany's six submarines were out of commission.

Another report by the Rand Corporation , a think tank, revealed that it would take Germany a month to mobilize in the case of a Russian invasion of the Baltic States. Von der Leyen is very unpopular in the German army , but very popular with the Eurocrats. She's a fervent supporter of a European army and a "United States of Europe" -- the ultimate qualification for being president of the European Commission.

But there is more to the von der Leyen story. As Politico recently reported , "an investigative committee of the German parliament -- the toughest instrument that lawmakers can use to probe government misdeeds -- is digging into how lucrative contracts from her ministry were awarded to outside consultants without proper oversight, and whether a network of informal personal connections facilitated those deals."

The scent of corruption is a common element among those who are to hold key positions in the European Union over the next few years. Josep Borrell, minister of foreign affairs for the socialist government of Spain, was fined 30,000 euros for insider trading. He is expected to hold the foreign policy post in the European Commission.

Christine Lagarde, most recently chief of the IMF, was involved in the case of an arbitration panel that awarded a massive payout to a French tycoon while she was the finance minister of France. A special court for ministerial misconduct found her guilty of "negligence" but "waived any punishment or criminal record, citing her 'international reputation' and role in dealing with 'the international financial crisis.'" A marvelously L'état, C'est Moi form of legal reasoning. Lagarde is expected to be the next president of the European Central Bank.

The common threads of corruption, incompetence, and lack of accountability are what unites a political class that has divorced itself from the concerns of the average European. In the last days before her confirmation, von der Leyen pursued a charm offensive that included a commitment to a "Green New Deal," a continuation of an open borders policy , and a further deepening and enlargement of the European superstate. This included the story of her having offered hospitality to a Syrian immigrant who "now speaks German fluently."

Emmanuel Macron: Trade Wars for Me, But Not for Thee Voters in Europe Just Smashed the Mainstream Establishment

Obviously von der Leyen would never have won the May elections running on an agenda like that. But of course, she never had to run a campaign to win the votes of the peoples of Europe. The campaign that she did run was premised on her having built "an extensive international network in politics and business," as another Politico story put it .

Von der Leyen thrived in the networking atmosphere of World Economic Forum meetings, where she "serves on the organization's board of trustees," Politico noted, adding, "She's also forged close ties to powerful figures outside the world of politics, most notably Bertelsmann, Europe's largest media company, which owns RTL, the Continent's largest commercial broadcaster, book publisher Random House and a stable of magazines."

A senior Green quoted for the article said her fluency in French has helped her establish a rapport with the French political class that is unrivaled in Berlin.

It's clear that von der Leyen's domestic record appears to have had little effect on her election -- what matters is that she is universally liked by the who's who. "What matters most in these circles is the personal connection," said an adviser to the leader of one of the EU's smaller member states.

Those who count and those who are to be ruled are not the same group of people. That seems to be the essence of modern European politics: a political class and ideological cult that masquerades as a competent technocratic elite, despite its long and disastrous history. Von der Leyen's terrible record as defense minister meant nothing. Neither did Lagarde's record as head of the IMF, where, for instance, the Greek debt crisis was transformed into a social catastrophe. The deciding factor was their dedication to something that "those who count" are committed to. Elections are merely a necessary, archaic ritual of legitimization.

Napoleon Linarthatos is a writer based in New York.


Parrhesia 10 hours ago

On Monday 22 July 1940, a major meeting was held at the Reich Economic Ministry in Berlin, under the chairmanship of Minister Walther Funk, to discuss a directive issued by Hermann Göring on 22 June, concerning the organization of a Greater European Economic Area under German leadership. The Germans were well advanced with their plans for a post-war settlement. One of the difficulties of planning lay in the fact that the Führer's aims and decisions were not yet known and the military measures against Britain were not yet concluded.

Plus ça change........

Lars 10 hours ago
What? A techno-managerial clique ruling the rest of us Great Unwashed (see "Deplorables")? It couldn't happen here, could it? It's OK if they went to the right schools, isn't it?
genocidal_maniac 10 hours ago
Too much use if the word disastrous. Disastrous is what Wilhelm II did to the German empire. This is not disastrous, but it is concerning like a rudderless ship.
Salt Lick 7 hours ago
Today's Holy Roman Empire.

Voltaire's comment back then still rings true."It was neither Holy, Roman nor an Empire."

Sid Finster 7 hours ago
Don't be asinine. Russia is not going to invade anything and has no claim on any part of western Europe. The only thing the German military is good for is for sucking up additional budgetary funds.
SteveM 6 hours ago
Another report by the Rand Corporation, a think tank, revealed that it would take Germany a month to mobilize in the case of a Russian invasion of the Baltic States.

For the sake of completeness, the Rand Corporation is actually a marketing arm of the Pentagon fully funded by the U.S. government.

That said, Germany's military readiness directly relates to the invasion threat from Russia Europe actually faces. I.e., ZERO. Washington should take note but of course it won't because there is no money in it for the American Merchants of Death. And the Generals inside the Pentagon just have too much fun fear-mongering about illusory existential enemies.

Of course that does not dismiss the charges of cronyism and corruption associated with Ursula von der Leyen. But re:

But there is more to the von der Leyen story. As Politico recently reported, "an investigative committee of the German parliament -- the toughest instrument that lawmakers can use to probe government misdeeds -- is digging into how lucrative contracts from her ministry were awarded to outside consultants without proper oversight , and whether a network of informal personal connections facilitated those deals."

Yet another U.S. mirror image. Because that is exactly how inside baseball works in the Pentagon acquisition system. von der Leyen as a European Hack is no worse than the Washington / Pentagon Hacks on the other side of the Atlantic. Note, MIC lifer and Raytheon parasite Mark Esper currently sitting in the Big Seat in the Pentagon. You can be sure that DoD reform is way down on his bucket list.

The real story is that taxpayers on both NATO poles are played for chumps by the Power Elites.

[Jul 22, 2019] Russia cannot openly allow/defend Iran installing itself more fully in Syria because there would be retaliation/escalation by Israel , and it cannot say Iran should leave because it is a choice of Assad and Syrian government. So this plays out in the shadows.

Jul 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

gzon , Jul 22 2019 14:17 utc | 149

@ 147 Zanon

The Russia, Syria, Israel, Iran framework is hard to figure, I haven't managed to. I expect there are private understandings aimed at keeping escalation tamed, i.e. known compromises, but when Iran is understood to exceed them by choice, Russia does not defend from Israel .

Russia cannot openly allow/defend Iran installing itself more fully in Syria because there would be retaliation/escalation by Israel , and it cannot say Iran should leave because it is a choice of Assad and Syrian government. So this plays out in the shadows.

Zanon , Jul 22 2019 15:15 utc | 155

On israeli summit:

Syria deal requires Iranian pullback from Iraq and Lebanon, U.S. and Israel tell Russia
https://www.axios.com/syria-summit-russia-israel-bolton-iran-withdrawal-9d2bc7d9-be7d-434c-b5c7-e119375f8286.html

I hope Iran reject any call for more pull-out, we know what happend last summer when Russia on behalf of Israel managed to get some iranians out = more attacks by Israel.

snake , Jul 22 2019 16:06 utc | 166
https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/07/22/601585/Syria-Russia-Idlib-airstrike-Maaret-alNuman-White-Helmets

Russia says it was not involved in the claimed to have happened Idlib airstrike ; its planes were not flying

[Jul 22, 2019] Cold War Success Cost America Its Place in the Global Order The National Interest

www.nakedcapitalism.com
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John Andris 2 hours ago ,

Fukuyama a "great scholar"? Bahahahahaha

commentwars 7 hours ago ,

After the cold war ended in the 1990s the US quickly became the worlds leading police state with mass incarceration, more of its own people in jail and prison then any nation in the history of mankind. Who are we now to preach about freedom to the world ?

Binaj 2 days ago ,

When dollar and yanks are gone,peace and prosperity will come

redeemed626 2 days ago ,

The primary weaknesses of liberal democracy and the capitalist order come from the decisions made by voters and captains of industry. When political and economic freedom create impoverishment, income disparity, racial strife, and nationalist xenophobia, the fruits of a free society die on the vine. I see the Yahoo News elderly guys and the Russian trolls are mystified by this obvious state of world affairs.

Mel Profit 2 days ago ,

One of the silliest pieces TNI has ever published.

toucheamigos 2 days ago • edited ,
Through our words and deeds, America demonstrates a positive alternative to political and religious despotism

A negative alternative.

Znaika toucheamigos 15 hours ago ,

The problem is that for many decades american "words" contradict american "deeds", and the whole world can easily see american double standards. That's why american "alternative" is negative, not positive. As an example (one of 100s) we can remember that famous 1939 phrase "Somoza may be a son of a b.., but he's our son of a b..."

toucheamigos 2 days ago ,

This article shows why America will lose eventually. It sill believes that ideals of human rights and democracy are good.

They are not. As a matter of fact they are source of most evil in this world. America creates its own enemies, so they will never end.

Gary Sellars toucheamigos 2 days ago • edited ,

Institutionalized group-think is the Great Enemy of any Empire. It leads to complacency and a refusal to see the world as it really it, and to view oneself as uniquely gifted and therefore exceptional and eternal.

Eventually this will become the prevailing wisdom in post-hegemony US just as it became so in post-Empire Britain or post-Soviet Russia.

Cool2HatE 2 days ago ,

Lets see, mistakes:
Iraq war, Kosovo war, NATO enlargement, let Russia economy crushed at 90's. Let Libya completely, Syria partially destroyed. Become arrogent see non-western nations low. Etc. etc.

We can tell post cold-war is about "end of freedom commercial" and get real "wild capitalism." China was mis-calculation. They decided to use it as cheap workforce and a not-formal colony which ended surprisingly otherwise.

All above talk is a naive try to turn back "freedom commercial" days. Best thing USA can teach now, how to kill people in every imaginable way.

Yuki 3 days ago ,

The post Cold War worst mistake of US was the EU enlargement, Russia could have become less paranoid and nationalist and perhaps a more solid democratic culture would have been established

Gary Sellars Yuki 2 days ago ,

"Democracy" is simply the rule of a small elite minority of organised people over a much greater majority of disorganised people. Russian "democracy" delivers what its people want to the same degree as US "democracy". In fact, judging by Putins much higher domestic approval numbers that the Trumpster, I'd say it delivers more...

Yuki Gary Sellars a day ago ,

Democracy" is simply the rule of a small elite minority of organised people over a much greater majority of disorganised people. This is "oligarchy", not "democracy", the regime that is running in Russia,China,NK and similar heavens of dictators.

toucheamigos Yuki 2 days ago ,

We will never have a democratic culture. We despise that system too much.

Yuki toucheamigos a day ago ,

Oh well, no problem if you not like democracy. you can live everyday with police that can arrest you at midnight, like in old Soviet times.

Gary Sellars 3 days ago ,

"The result was an economic boom, a wave of democratization, and victory in an existential struggle against Communism without yet another great-power global war. "

Victory? I assume you guys are aware that the Chinese are Communists?

Surely you didn't think that global completion over ideology and nationhood was resolved in the Cold War? That was just a single geopolitical skirmish, one game in a whole season. It ain't over till it over.... and its ain't done by a long shot.

Donald Smith Gary Sellars 3 days ago ,

"...are Communists?" Labels don't mean anything. They're huge, getting richer, have an historically motivated chip on their shoulder and want to assume the place in the world, particularly Asia, they feel is their due. They are sensitive to their public's opinion That we have a buffoon in charge is certainly an impediment; we're still involved in 'unforced error' wars the last appointed, incurious executive began as

Gary Sellars Donald Smith 2 days ago • edited ,

China is hard to classify in the traditional sense. Its government is what we would call "Communist", but its ruling ethos is essentially Confucianist , its social ideology is Socialist, but it uses market economics, mercantilism and Capitalism to generate wealth and pay for it all.

The Chinese are not fools. They have taken the best aspects of many ideologies and wielded them into a system that seems to work well for them. What Americans might feel about it is utterly superfluous.

Walter Tseng 3 days ago ,

Whether realizing or not, the author, quoting the National Security Strategy report of 2018, ironically described the US to a T when they wrote "For today, the dictator (the US) may be your friend, but tomorrow he will need you as an enemy (China)". & "... (the US) seek lifetime tenure (hegemony), expanding territories (bases) total authority (MAGA) & obedient subjects"!
.
The philanthropic & much admired champion has grown into an ugly dictator, bending the world to its will through soft & strong power. The global revulsion towards the misuse of hegemonic muscle is what caused the US to lose its place in the Global Order! Simple as that!

Begemot 3 days ago ,

To this panglossian peaen to the American imperial system and its promotion of democracy, human freedom and all other nice things against the dark forces represented by those other guys like Russia and China, let us consider a reality of American foreign policy that belies this tripe: US support of Saudi Arabia from 1945 to the present moment. I suggest that if any of what this writer proposes we believe is true about the motives underlying US foreign policy, then the theocratic and medieval regime Saudi Arabia would no longer exist. Yet it continues to exist and is a valued partner of America.

[Jul 21, 2019] As Trump Backs Down, the Pips Squeak -- Strategic Culture

Jul 21, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

Last week it was all fire and brimstone. The US was threatening more sanctions on Iran, the Brits were seizing oil tankers and Iran was violating the JCPOA.

This week things look different all of a sudden. An oil tanker goes dark while passing through the Strait of Hormuz, the story fails to get any real traction and the US allows Iranian Foreign Minister, recently sanctioned, to do his job at the United Nations.

Trump then holds a cabinet meeting where he reiterates that "We're not looking for regime change. We want them out of Yemen."

I thought National Security Advisor John Bolton said the US would apply pressure until "the pips squeak."

Where the pips are squeaking is on the Arabian Peninsula, not across the Persian Gulf in Bandar Abbas. Specifically, I'm talking about the United Arab Emirates. The UAE sent a delegation to Tehran recently that coincided with its partial withdrawal of troops from Yemen.

That meeting, according to Elijah Magnier , focused on Emirates realizing they are in the middle of this conflict, up to their skyscrapers.

"The UAE would like to avoid seeing their country transformed into a battlefield between the US and Iran in case of war, particularly if Trump is re-elected. The Emirates officials noted that the US did not respond to Iran's retaliation in the Gulf and in particularly when the US drone was downed. This indicates that Iran is prepared for confrontation and will implement its explicit menace, to hit any country from which the US carries out their attacks on Iran. We want to be out of all this ", an Emirates official told his Iranian counterpart in Tehran.

Iran promised to talk to the Yemeni officials to avoid hitting targets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as long as the UAE pulls out its forces from the Yemen and stops this useless war. Saudi Crown Prime Mohammad Bin Salman is finding himself without his main Emirates ally, caught in a war that is unwinnable for the Saudi regime. The Yemeni Houthis have taken the initiative, hitting several Saudi strategic targets. Saudi Arabia has no realistic objectives and seems to have lost the appetite to continue the war in Yemen.

So, with the Houthis successfully striking major targets inside Saudi Arabia and the UAE abruptly pulling forces out, the war in Yemen has reached a critical juncture. Remember, the Republican-controlled Senate approved a bill withdrawing support for the war back in March, which the White House had to veto in support of its fading hopes for its Israeli/Palestinian deal pushed by Jared Kushner.

But things have changed significantly since then as that deal has been indefinitely postponed with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu facing a second election this fall after he failed to secure a stable coalition.

After that there was the failed economic conference in Bahrain in June where Kushner revealed the economic part of the plan to a half-empty room where only the backers of the plan showed any real support.

And that's the important part of this story, because it was Kushner's plan which was the impetus for all of this insane anti-Iran belligerence in the first place. Uniting the Gulf states around a security pact leveraging the U.S/Israeli/Saudi alliance was part of what was supposed to pressure the Palestinians to the bargaining table.

By placing maximum economic sanctions on both Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iran while continuing to foment chaos in Syria was supposed to force Israel's enemies to fold under the pressure which would, in turn, see the Palestinians surrender to the will of Kushner and Bibi.

The problem is, it didn't work. And now Trump is left holding the bag on this idiotic policy which culminated in an obvious provocation when Iran shot down a $220 million Global Hawk surveillance drone, nearly sparking a wider war.

But what it did was expose the US and not Iran as the cause of the current problems.

Since then Trump finally had to stand up and be the grown-up in the room, such as he is, and put an end to this madness.

The UAE understood the potential for Iran's asymmetric response to US belligerence. The Saudis cannot win the war in Yemen that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began. The fallout from this war has been to push Qatar out of the orbit of the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council, cutting deals with Iran over developing the massive North Pars gas field and pipelines to Europe.

And now the UAE has realized it is facing an existential threat to its future in any confrontation between Iran and the US

What's telling is that Trump is making Yemen the issue to negotiate down rather than Iran's nuclear ambitions. Because it was never about the nuclear program. It was always about Iran's ballistic missile program.

And Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would have us believe that for the first time Iran's missile program is on the negotiating table. I have no idea if that's actually true, but it's a dead giveaway that it's what the US is after.

The main reason why Trump and Netanyahu are so angry about the JCPOA is the mutual outsourcing of the nuclear ballistic missile program by Iran and North Korea. North Korea was working on the warhead while Iran worked on the ballistic missile.

Trump tweeted about this nearly two years ago, confirming this link. I wrote about it when he did this. Nearly everything I said about North Korea in the blog post is now applicable to Iran. This was why he hated the JCPOA, it didn't actually stop the development of Iran and North Korea into nuclear states.

But tearing up the deal was the wrong approach to solving the problem. Stop pouring hundreds of billions of dollars in weapons to the region, as Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif pointed out recently, is the problem . By doing this he took both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping off his side of the table.

Now he stands isolated with only the provocateurs – Israel, the U.K., Saudi Arabia – trying to goad him forward into doing something he doesn't want to do. And all of those provocations that have occurred in the past month have failed to move either Trump or the Iranians. They've learned patience, possibly from Putin. Call it geopolitical rope-a-dope, if you will.

I said last month that the key to solving Iran's nuclear ambitions was solving the relationship with North Korea. Trump, smartly, went there, doing what only he could do , talk with DPRK Chairman Kim Jong-Un and reiterate his sincere desire to end proliferation of nuclear weapons.

He can get Iran to the table but he's going to have to give up something. So, now framing the negotiations with Iran around their demands we stop arming the Saudis is politically feasible.

Trump can't, at this point, back down directly with Iran. Yemen is deeply unpopular here and ending our support of it would be a boon to Trump politically. Trading that for some sanctions relief would be a good first step to solving the mess he's in and build some trust.

Firing John Bolton, which looks more likely every day, would be another.

He's already turning a blind eye to Iranian exports to China, and presumably, other places. I think the Brits are acting independently trying to create havoc and burnish Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt's resume as Prime Minister against Boris Johnson. That's why they hijacked the oil tanker.

But all the little distractions are nothing but poison pills to keep from discussing the real issues. Trump just cut through all that. So did Iran. Let's hope they stay focused.

[Jul 21, 2019] Merchants of Death business uber alles" as the new interpretation of "Drain the Swamp" election time slogan by Trump administration

"Drain the swamp" now means good times for Raytheon.
Jul 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

rwe2late , 1 hour ago link

Draining the swamp means hiring the lobbyists

- Orwell

...err, I meant Trump.

War is Peace

- well, now that's Orwell

(and many others in government and elsewhere)

Klassenfeind , 2 hours ago link

The Donald Trump Administration is looking more and more like George W. Bush's Administration: a dumb clueless idiot surrounded by neocons.

Remember Donald Rumsfeld , Karl Rove, Condoleezza Rice, John Bolton , George Tenet, Henry Paulson, Paul Wolfowitz , and **** Cheney from the George W Bush Administration?

Tell me Trumptards, what's so "different this time" about Donald Trump hiring Bolton, Pompeo, Mattis/Shanahan/Esper, Haley, Haspel and Mnuchin?

[Jul 20, 2019] On Iran, Why Not Rand

Notable quotes:
"... Daniel R. DePetris is a foreign policy analyst, a columnist at ..."
"... , and a frequent contributor to ..."
"... That TAC columnists continue to hold out hope that Trump will revert to his 2016 form astounds me. ..."
"... It's like watching Obama cultists convince themselves that The Real Obama®, the hopey changey guy from 2008, will finally put in an appearance, even as he betrays them over and over again. ..."
Jul 20, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

If there is any direct communication between American and Iranian officials, it is hidden from public view. All of this has made Senator Rand Paul's initiative to open dialogue with Tehran urgent, necessary, and prudent.

According to a July 17 story in Politico , Paul recently pitched himself to President Trump as a possible presidential emissary to the Iranians -- someone who could sit down with Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif and begin a conversation on the issues that have nearly resulted in military conflict. Trump apparently accepted Paul's pitch while the two were on the golf course last weekend. His decision, while not yet confirmed by the White House, suggests that Trump is slowly beginning to recognize the deficiencies of the maximum pressure policy that National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and outside counsels like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies' Mark Dubowitz have peddled for years. Far from forcing Tehran's surrender, economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation have yielded more Iranian aggression. Iran is now a wounded animal backed into a corner, ready to fight rather than submit. The chances of a clash have increased substantially.

In a town filled with tough talkers who see foreign policy as an extension of domestic politics, Rand Paul is one of those strange creatures who is willing to throw himself in front of a bus for the sake of preventing a war. His foes (of which there are many, from Bill Kristol and Lindsey Graham to Marco Rubio and Liz Cheney) use the lazy isolationist epitaph to paint him as a gadfly on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. But at his core, Paul is neither a gadfly nor an isolationist. The junior senator from Kentucky is a non-interventionist who has the audacity to search for diplomatic solutions before doing what most of his colleagues on Capitol Hill would have long preferred -- involuntarily reaching for more punitive options.

This isn't the first time Paul has tried to create space for dialogue with a U.S. adversary. Last year, when so much as talking to a Russian was universally frowned upon by the political class, Paul flew to Moscow and delivered a letter on behalf of President Trump to Russian parliamentarians. A month later, he introduced an amendment that would have lifted travel restrictions on Russian lawmakers if Moscow did the same for their American counterparts. The amendment was a small and reasonable gesture that removed largely symbolic sanctions in order to encourage Americans and Russians to familiarize themselves with each other. It was lambasted in committee and killed .

Paul's latest initiative with Iran could run into the same brick wall. The fact that the arrangement was leaked to the media is an indication that somebody in the Trump administration is totally opposed to the idea and wants to bury any potential conversations with the Iranians before they begin. One can almost picture John Bolton, holed up in the White House basement, hearing the news and frantically ordering his minions on the National Security Council to expose it in the press.

There are also practical questions that need to be answered. With Zarif only in New York for another few days, does Paul have the time for a one-on-one meeting? Would the Iranians be interested in meeting with the senator, even if he does have the president's ear? Or is Khamenei, still seething over the administration's withdrawal from the nuclear deal and watching his government's oil exports disappear, dead set on banning any contact with the Americans for as long as Trump remains in the Oval Office?

It's Not Too Late for Trump to Ignore Bolton and Get Iran Right Is America Ready for John Bolton's War With Iran?

Organizing a backchannel with the Iranians could be difficult, in large measure because it will be fought tooth-and-nail by the usual suspects. But Rand Paul's potential role as an envoy should be pursued. After all, it isn't like the hawks have such a great track record.

Daniel R. DePetris is a foreign policy analyst, a columnist at Reuters , and a frequent contributor to The American Conservative.


Sid Finster2 days ago • edited

That TAC columnists continue to hold out hope that Trump will revert to his 2016 form astounds me.

It's like watching Obama cultists convince themselves that The Real Obama®, the hopey changey guy from 2008, will finally put in an appearance, even as he betrays them over and over again.

Sid Finster2 days ago • edited
That TAC columnists continue to hold out hope that Trump will revert to his 2016 form astounds me.

It's like watching Obama cultists convince themselves that The Real Obama®, the hopey changey guy from 2008, will finally put in an appearance, even as he betrays them over and over again.

dbriz Sid Finster2 days ago
Your pessimism is certainly warranted and frequently seconded by Larison and others at TAC. Agreed. But, what choice do we have but to encourage proposals like this one and recognize that Trump, as infuriatingly inconsistent as he has been, needs to be encouraged when he does something sensible.

Rand at least seems to have his ear, no small feat.

Sid Finster dbriz2 days ago
I am not saying that such moves, if they come to pass, should not be encouraged.

But let's see if anything comes of it, or if the Boltons, Pompeos and Haspels of this world make sure that Rand fails and then chant "But we have to go to war because we tried so hard we tried everything ZOMG war war war!"

bbkingfish2 days ago
The best reason I can think of to choose to send someone other than Rand Paul to negotiate with Iran is that Paul was NOT one of the seven WPP senators who didn't sign Tom Cotton's odious open letter to Iran trying to put the kibosh on the Obama nuke deal with Iran.

Maybe try Corker, or Alexander or Murkowski...someone whom the Iranians might have some reason to trust.

I seriously doubt that Rand Paul has a whit more credibility in Tehran than Trump does, and why would he?. I can't think of a single reason why Iran should trust him.

Fayez Abedaziz2 days ago
Good and very to the point made in this article about the hawks, these neo-cons, these war lovers, not having a good track record.
They have a record of death and destruction and they could care less about people suffering.
Just why do they want America to continue attacking and threaten and make war on numerous nations?
Why...
Sid Finster Fayez Abedaziza day ago
Because most Americans have the memory and attention span of a mosquito.

[Jul 20, 2019] FBI's spreadsheet puts a stake through the heart of Steele's dossier

Jul 20, 2019 | thehill.com

But lest anyone be tempted to think Steele's 2016 dossier is about to be mysteriously revived as credible, consider this: Over months of work, FBI agents painstakingly researched every claim Steele made about Trump's possible collusion with Russia, and assembled their findings into a spreadsheet-like document.

The over-under isn't flattering to Steele.

Multiple sources familiar with the FBI spreadsheet tell me the vast majority of Steele's claims were deemed to be wrong, or could not be corroborated even with the most awesome tools available to the U.S. intelligence community. One source estimated the spreadsheet found upward of 90 percent of the dossier's claims to be either wrong, nonverifiable or open-source intelligence found with a Google search.

In other words, it was mostly useless.

"The spreadsheet was a sea of blanks, meaning most claims couldn't be corroborated, and those things that were found in classified intelligence suggested Steele's intelligence was partly or totally inaccurate on several claims," one source told me.

The FBI declined comment when asked about the spreadsheet.

The FBI's final assessment was driven by many findings contained in classified footnotes at the bottom of the spreadsheet. But it was also informed by an agent's interview, in early 2017, with a Russian that Steele claimed was one of his main providers of intelligence, according to my sources.

The FBI came to suspect that the Russian misled Steele, either intentionally or through exaggeration, the sources said.

The spreadsheet and a subsequent report by special prosecutor Robert Mueller show just how far off the seminal claims in the Steele dossier turned out to be.

For example, U.S. intelligence found no evidence that Carter Page, during a trip to Moscow in July 2016, secretly met with two associates of Vladimir Putin Igor Sechin and senior government official Igor Divyekin -- as part of the effort to collude with the Trump campaign, as Steele reported.

Page did meet with a lower-level Rosneft official, and shook hands with a Russian deputy prime minister, the FBI found, but it was a far cry from the tale that Steele's dossier spun.

Likewise, Steele claimed that Sechin had offered Page a hefty finder's fee if he could get Trump to help lift sanctions on Moscow: "a 19 percent (privatized) stake in Rosneft in return."

That offer, worth billions of dollars, was never substantiated and was deemed by some in U.S. intelligence to be preposterous.

The inaccuracy of Steele's intelligence on Page is at the heart of the inspector general investigation specifically because the FBI represented to the FISA court that the intelligence on Page was verified and strong enough to support the FISA warrant. It was, in the end, not verified.

Another knockdown of the dossier occurred when U.S. intelligence determined former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was not in Prague in the summer of 2016 when Steele claimed he was meeting with Russians to coordinate a hijacking of the election, the sources said.

Steele's theory about who in the Trump campaign might be conspiring with Russia kept evolving from Page to Cohen to former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. None of those theories checked out in the end, as the Mueller report showed.

Again, Steele's intelligence was wrong or unverifiable.

The salacious, headline-grabbing claim that Russians had incriminating sex tapes showing Trump engaged in depraved acts with prostitutes also met a factual dead end when the FBI interviewed the Georgian-American businessman who claimed to know about them. Giorgi Rtskhiladze told investigators "he was told the tapes were fake," according to a footnote in the Mueller report. Rtskhiladze's lawyer subsequently issued a letter taking issue with some of Mueller's characterizations.

Steele had some general things right, of course, including that the Russians were behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee's emails. Of course, there were public reports saying so when Steele reported this.

But even then, his dossier's theory of how the hackers worked, who paid them and how they communicated with Trump was determined in the FBI spreadsheet and subsequent Mueller investigation to be far from accurate.

Even State officials, who listened to Steele's theories in October 2016 -- less than two weeks before his dossier was used to support the FISA request -- instantly determined he was grossly wrong on some points.

Any effort to use Steele's belated cooperation with the inspector general's investigation to prop up the credibility of his 2016 anti-Trump dossier or the FBI's reliance on it for the FISA warrant is deeply misguided.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a key defender of Trump, said he talked with DOJ officials after the most recent stories surfaced about Steele and was told the reporting is wrong. "Based on my conversations with DOJ officials, recent reports which suggest Christopher Steele's dossier and allegations are somehow deemed credible by DOJ, are simply false and not based on any confirmation from sources with direct knowledge of ongoing investigations," Meadows told me.

The FBI's own spreadsheet was so conclusive that it prompted then-FBI Director James Comey (no fan of Trump, mind you) to dismiss the document as " salacious and unverified " and for lead FBI agent Peter Strzok to text, " There's no big there there ." FBI lawyer Lisa Page testified that nine months into reviewing Steele's dossier they had not found evidence of the collusion that Steele alleged.

Two years later, Mueller came to the same conclusion: Steele's intelligence alleging a conspiracy was never verified.

The next time you hear a pundit suggesting Steele's dossier is credible or that the FBI's reliance on it as FISA evidence was justified, just picture all those blanks in that FBI spreadsheet.

They speak volumes as to what went wrong in the Russia investigation.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists' misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He serves as an investigative columnist and executive vice president for video at The Hill. Follow him on Twitter @jsolomonReports .

[Jul 20, 2019] The European Union's New Executive Kowtows to the Left

Jul 20, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Ursula von der Leyen arrives clouded in scandal and ready to implement radical economic policies that will stifle growth.

like Jean-Claude Juncker, she arrives in Brussels with a record of negligence in her country of origin. Whereas Juncker was accused of failing in his duty to inform the Luxembourg Parliament of illegal wiretapping by the intelligence service, von der Leyen was denounced for mismanagement. In October 2018, when she was still Germany's minister of defense, she admitted that her department had made mistakes in awarding contracts to external consultants, amounting to several hundred million euros.

In 2012, Josep Borrell, former president of the European Parliament and former minister in various Spanish socialist governments, was forced to resign from his position as president of the European University Institute (UIE) following allegations of conflicts of interest. At that time, he was receiving €300,000 as a member of the board of directors of the Spanish sustainable energy company Abengoa, while at the same time promoting biofuels through the institute.

Nevertheless, alongside von der Leyen, Borrell is about to be confirmed as the new head of EU diplomacy. Another perfect candidate.

The scandal in Berlin is not the only reason the vote for Von der Leyen was narrow. It was also that socialists and environmentalists weren't given sufficient trade-offs (in their eyes). The European Union is all about distributing the large number of positions and policy priorities between the involved parties, and in this case, the left felt shafted.

The Nationalists Who Could Take Over the European Union Stopped Clocks: The European Union Gets War With Iran Exactly Right

A source from the PiS party (the ruling party in Poland) told journalist Oskar Górzyński of the media company Wirtualna Polska that it was a call from Chancellor Angela Merkel that tipped some Polish MEPs over. What did Mrs. Merkel promise them? More agricultural subsidies? The abandonment of the Article 7 sanction procedure against judicial reforms in Poland? Only Merkel knows that and she won't tell.

Bill Wirtz comments on European politics and policy in English, French, and German. His work has appeared in Newsweek, the Washington Examiner, CityAM, Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Die Welt.

[Jul 20, 2019] The Decline of Our Nation's Generals by Andrew Bacevich

Jul 20, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

... ... ...

The clichés poured forth from Milley's lips with all the practiced smarminess of a car salesman promoting a new line of pickup trucks. But what does this mean in practice, Senator James Inhofe, Senate Armed Services Committee chair, wanted to know? What is General Milley's top priority?

"The very number one for me," Milley replied, "is the modernization, recapitalization of the nation's nuclear triad."

Now pause here for a moment. The triad -- the claim that the safety and security of the United States requires a nuclear strike force consisting of long-range bombers and long-range land-based missiles and missile-firing submarines -- represented fresh thinking some 60 years ago. That was when ICBMs and Polaris submarines were entering service to complement Strategic Air Command's fleet of B47s and B52s. If indeed "the fundamental character of war is changing rapidly," how can it be that Milley's conception of originality is to field glitzier versions of weapons dating back to when he was born? To make such a claim is on a par with arguing that what the U.S. Army needed in 1940 was more horses and the U.S. Navy more battleships.

It is small wonder that so few observers pay serious attention to what senior military officers have to say. What they say is mostly drivel.

Andrew Bacevich is TAC 's writer-at-large and a co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.


TomG 17 hours ago

"What they say is mostly drivel."

Pathetic, expensive, immoral, divisive, destructive drivel with no end in sight...

JohnT 17 hours ago
Wow! Finally! No retreat to the comfort of broad generalization like "the eilites" but rather a well considered, on target consideration of one of the individuals in a position of power and responsibility sufficient to make the absolutely necessary changes our remarkable nation's health demands. Thank you!
And, if the general can't make use of well a intended and considered constructive critique he is not the experienced, compassionate adult the task requires.
SteveM 15 hours ago
It is small wonder that so few observers pay serious attention to what senior military officers have to say. What they say is mostly drivel.


Professor Bacevich has this one exactly backwards. Notice that when the sanctified Pentagon Generals make their fear-monger saturated pronouncements there is zero pushback from either the Politicos or the lapdog MSM. It is not that they are not listening. It's that they fully concur because they are intimidated by anyone wearing Stars on their shoulders.

They accept the "drivel" of the Pentagon Brass by default. BTW, which also includes the includes the updated National Defense Strategy which has the U.S. playing belligerent Global Cop in perpetuity and wasting taxpayer dollars out the wazoo.

If anything, the Congress and MSM should be paying more serious attention to the obsolete and unaffordable pronouncements of the Generals and start questioning their own instinctive deference to Pentagon authority which permits the warped, fully militarized and largely failed U.S. foreign policy to continue as is.

interguru 15 hours ago
I am not the first person to note that the US is displaying more and more symptoms of a dying empire. To name a few; a broken political system, crony capitalism, a bloated military, use of mercenaries, and unpayable debt.

The other day, while watching some general being interviewed, I noticed another symptom. He, and other contemporary generals, have so many ribbons and metals on their chest that they could be melted down for ore. I found a site that lets me compare our beribboned commanders with those of yesteryear.

Civil War generals had few or no ribbons. World War I's General of the Armies Pershing displays two rows of narrow ribbons. By World War II General Eisenhower showed three ribbon rows. In 1950 General Bradley showed 6 rows ( you can see a detailed picture here ).

The pictures of today's generals and officers are bedazzling. Just one example, The page describing William J. Gainey, USA, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman, JCS ( not even a general ), shows a picture with at least 8 rows of ribbons, with a list 24 lines long describing 56 awards after accounting for multiple awards.

As our military officers watch the country fall apart, at least they can fondle their decorations.

baldwin 15 hours ago
The role of the generals and admirals is to advise. They can not make the politicians listen.
Sid Finster 14 hours ago
The absolute last thing this country needs is celebrity generals, or even generals who hold power in the shadows as a sort of eminence grise.
Kent 14 hours ago
Andrew J Bacevich does more for the long-term military strength and international standing of the USA than much of the military and political leadership of this country. A true patriot.
bbkingfish 14 hours ago
Wow. That photograph of Gen. Milley illustrates the author's case beautifully. Worth a thousand words.
marku52 13 hours ago
That was amazing. "War is changing rapidly" coupled with "Most important: updating a 60 year old weapon system"

Not a single world about figuring out why every war since Gulf 1 has been an abject failure? Or the threat of our defense manufacturing infrastructure being sold by Wall Street to China? Not a word?

The man can really talk out of both sides of his mouth, can't he? Should do great on Capitol Hill...

Taras77 13 hours ago
Not sure how we got to this pathetic stage but my guess is that some of the pomposity is directly related to the armies of press following the generals around in Iraq, e.g. petraeus, et al
As a snarky comment, what in the world is with all of these "impressive" ribbons to the top of these generals' shoulders-from what I understand, about 70-80% of them are meaningless, only a few are for combat, valor, some are for merit, but are more or less automatic. Talk about grade creep, how about ribbon creep.
Ike had about one or two rows, all meaningful awards. Marshall had maybe one row, meaningful awards to a very competent general.

Those generals that came out of Iraq and Afghan were mostly mouth pieces for the press and the politicians, i.e. drivel. None of them could win a meaningful engagement without bombing the heck out of civilians and associated cities. In a word, pathetic.

Thomas Cass 12 hours ago
Unless politicians feel pressure to act on military matters in a way that honors their or their constituents' lived experiences, how are they to be incentivized to ask the right questions? Some flavor of draft to increase stakeholders among the citizenry, or a service requirement for government office, might realize the serious attention for which Mr. Bacevich protests here, and drive the selection of better leaders.
James B 11 hours ago
To me for, both the nation and the military, we need to have an update of the high tech weapon systems that the General talks about but we also need to have a reassessment of how we fight wars. The wars the US won are (in my mind) the Revolution and WWII. I think the Civil war was "lost" because although the US defeated the Confederacy it did not reunite the nation. WWI was said to be the war to end all wars - - that didn't happen. No question that both Korea and Vietnam were not won, despite the heroism of those fighting there - - those wars were handled by Washington politics. MacAuthor could have won Korea but was fired. The whole Vietnam was was managed by politics. Now to the middle east. Afghanistan is another example of political warfare as is Iraq and potentially Iran. I believe that a war can be partly won by high tech missiles, bombs, etc. but cannot be actually won except by occupying the ground. We did this in Europe with the troops giving out cigarettes and candy as they patrolled. That made them human to the previous "enemy". Our professional volunteer army doesn't have the manpower to do this. I believe we need to have a secondary low-tech army of drafted men and women who can be trained quickly to be able to follow commands, to use a rifle with accuracy, and to be able to reduce civilian conflict without violent response. The high tech folk require extended training, the low tech force is able to move in and actually win the war. How would this help the nation? It would force people to live and work with a diverse population and realize that we can be a single nation of people of different backgrounds and ethnicity. The "fly over land" people really aren't a bunch of idiot racist red-necks. The coastals are not (all) anxious to destroy America.
Kent James B 11 hours ago
The US didn't just win in WWII because we occupied the ground. We won because we showed the German people that we were happy to fire bomb entire ancient cities and indiscriminately kill their women and children without a second thought.

And we were the good ones to surrender to. The Russians were happy to kill them all, with the exception of a few pretty blonds who would henceforth bear strong Russian boys.

You can't win a war without utterly defeating an entire population. Which is why we can't win our wars. None of these people have done anything to really harm us. And the American people still have enough dignity to not just slaughter these people for no reason. We're not entirely evil, yet.

Steve Naidamast 10 hours ago
I have always wondered what such people mean when they say that the character of warfare is changing and the US has to adopt to such changes.

War is about 2 things; killing and destruction. That in a nutshell is the character of war. Anything else may describe the complexities of tactics and strategies or the causes of such conflicts but the actual features of any conflict are always the same.

The only thing that does change is the types of weapon systems used. The stupidity that has led militaries to use them hasn't changed since the dawn of time...

[Jul 20, 2019] Western Interests Aim To Flummox Russia

Notable quotes:
"... One pressure on Putin comes from the Atlanticist Integrationists who have a material stake in their connections to the West and who want Russia to be integrated into the Western world. ..."
"... We agree with President Putin that the sanctions are in fact a benefit to Russia as they have moved Russia in self-sufficient directions and toward developing relationships with China and Asia. ..."
"... It is a self-serving Western myth that Russia needs foreign loans. This myth is enshrined in neoliberal economics, which is a device for Western exploitation and control of other countries. Russia's most dangerous threat is the country's neoliberal economists. ..."
"... Neoliberals argue that Russia needs privatization in order to cover its budget deficit. Russia's government debt is only 17 percent of Russian GDP. According to official measures, US federal debt is 104 percent of GDP, 6.1 times higher than in Russia. If US federal debt is measured in real corrected terms, US federal debt is 185 percent of US GDP. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/07/08/deteriorating-economic-outlook/ ..."
"... Russia's most dangerous threat is the country's neoliberal economists. ..."
"... Most of Russia's economic block has to be literally purged from their sinecures, some, indeed, have to be "re-educated" near Magadan or Tyumen, or Saransk. Too bad, two of these places are actually not too bad. Others deserved to be executed. Too bad this jackass Gaidar (actually no blood relation to Arkady whatsoever) died before he could be tried for crimes against humanity and genocide. Albeit, some say he died because of his consciousness couldn't take the burden. Looking at his swine face I, somehow, doubt it. ..."
"... This is not a US vs Russia issue. The real conflict is ... Globalism vs Russian nationalism and American nationalism. But since Jews control the media, they've spread the impression that it's about US vs Russia. ..."
"... Trump is an ultra-zionist for Sheldon Adelson and prolongs & creates wars for the Goldman banking crimesyndicat. ..."
"... Voltaire once said, "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize." ..."
"... You write about Russia but have not done your homework. Russia is very dependent on Western technology and its entire high-tech industry depends on the import of Western machinery. Without such machinery many Russian factories, including military ones, would stall. Very important oil industry is particularly vulnerable. ..."
Mar 03, 2017 | www.unz.com
An article by Robert Berke in oilprice.com, which describes itself as "The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News," illustrates how interest groups control outcomes by how they shape policy choices.

Berke's article reveals how the US intends to maintain and extend its hegemony by breaking up the alliance between Russia, Iran, and China, and by oil privatizations that result in countries losing control over their sovereignty to private oil companies that work closely with the US government. As Trump has neutered his presidency by gratuitously accepting Gen. Flynn's resignation as National Security Advisor, this scheme is likely to be Trump's approach to "better relations" with Russia.

Berke reports that Henry Kissinger has sold President Trump on a scheme to use the removal of Russian sanctions to pry President Putin away from the Russian alliance with Iran and China. Should Putin fall for such a scheme, it would be a fatal strategic blunder from which Russia could not recover. Yet, Putin will be pressured to make this blunder.

One pressure on Putin comes from the Atlanticist Integrationists who have a material stake in their connections to the West and who want Russia to be integrated into the Western world. Another pressure comes from the affront that sanctions represent to Russians. Removing this insult has become important to Russians even though the sanctions do Russia no material harm.

We agree with President Putin that the sanctions are in fact a benefit to Russia as they have moved Russia in self-sufficient directions and toward developing relationships with China and Asia. Moreover, the West with its hegemonic impulses uses economic relationships for control purposes. Trade with China and Asia does not pose the same threat to Russian independence.

Berke says that part of the deal being offered to Putin is "increased access to the huge European energy market, restored western financial credit, access to Western technology, and a seat at the global decision-making table, all of which Russia badly needs and wants." Sweetening the honey trap is official recognization of "Crimea as part of Russia."

Russia might want all of this, but it is nonsense that Russia needs any of it.

Crimea is part of Russia, as it has been for 300 years, and no one can do anything about it. What would it mean if Mexico did not recognize that Texas and California were part of the US? Nothing.

Europe has scant alternatives to Russian energy. Russia does not need Western technology. Indeed, its military technology is superior to that in the West. And Russia most certainly does not need Western loans. Indeed, it would be an act of insanity to accept them.

It is a self-serving Western myth that Russia needs foreign loans. This myth is enshrined in neoliberal economics, which is a device for Western exploitation and control of other countries. Russia's most dangerous threat is the country's neoliberal economists.

The Russian central bank has convinced the Russian government that it would be inflationary to finance Russian development projects with the issuance of central bank credit. Foreign loans are essential, claims the central bank.

Someone needs to teach the Russian central bank basic economics before Russia is turned into another Western vassal. Here is the lesson: When central bank credit is used to finance development projects, the supply of rubles increases but so does output from the projects. Thus, goods and services rise with the supply of rubles. When Russia borrows foreign currencies from abroad, the money supply also increases, but so does the foreign debt. Russia does not spend the foreign currencies on the project but puts them into its foreign exchange reserves. The central bank issues the same amount of rubles to pay the project's bills as it would in the absence of the foreign loan. All the foreign loan does is to present Russia with an interest payment to a foreign creditor.

Foreign capital is not important to countries such as Russia and China. Both countries are perfectly capable of financing their own development. Indeed, China is the world's largest creditor nation. Foreign loans are only important to countries that lack the internal resources for development and have to purchase the business know-how, techlology, and resources abroad with foreign currencies that their exports are insufficient to bring in.

This is not the case with Russia, which has large endowments of resources and a trade surplus. China's development was given a boost by US corporations that moved their production for the US market offshore in order to pocket the difference in labor and regulatory costs.

Neoliberals argue that Russia needs privatization in order to cover its budget deficit. Russia's government debt is only 17 percent of Russian GDP. According to official measures, US federal debt is 104 percent of GDP, 6.1 times higher than in Russia. If US federal debt is measured in real corrected terms, US federal debt is 185 percent of US GDP. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/07/08/deteriorating-economic-outlook/

Clearly, if the massive debt of the US government is not a problem, the tiny debt of Russia is not a problem.

Berke's article is part of the effort to scam Russia by convincing the Russian government that its prosperity depends on unfavorable deals with the West. As Russia's neoliberal economists believe this, the scam has a chance of success.

Another delusion affecting the Russian government is the belief that privatization brings in capital. This delusion caused the Russian government to turn over 20 percent of its oil company to foreign ownership. The only thing Russia achieved by this strategic blunder was to deliver 20 percent of its oil profits into foreign hands. For a one-time payment, Russia gave away 20 percent of its oil profits in perpetuity.

To repeat outselves, the greatest threat that Russia faces is not sanctions but the incompetence of its neoliberal economists who have been throughly brainwashed to serve US interests.

Mao Cheng Ji , February 14, 2017 at 6:55 pm GMT \n

When Russia borrows foreign currencies from abroad, the money supply also increases, but so does the foreign debt. Russia does not spend the foreign currencies on the project but puts them into its foreign exchange reserves. The central bank issues the same amount of rubles to pay the project's bills as it would in the absence of the foreign loan. All the foreign loan does is to present Russia with an interest payment to a foreign creditor.

Yes, correct. But this is an IMF rule, and Russia is an IMF member. To control its monetary policy it would have to get out.

Lyttenburgh , February 14, 2017 at 6:57 pm GMT \n

Another pressure comes from the affront that sanctions represent to Russians. Removing this insult has become important to Russians even though the sanctions do Russia no material harm.

Oh dear, neolibs at their "finest"!

This "theory" is simply not true. If anything, Russians don't want the sanctions to be lifted, because this will also force us to scrap our counter-sanctions against the EU. The agro-business in Russia had been expanding by leaps and bounds for the last two years. This persistent myth that "the Russians" (who exactly, I wonder – 2-3% of the pro-Western urbanites in Moscow and St. Pete?) are desperate to have the sanctons lifted is a self-deception of the West, who IS desparate of the fact that the sanctions didn't work.

Russia's most dangerous threat is the country's neoliberal economists.

Yes! Ulyukayev is, probably, feeling lonely in his prison. I say – why not send Chubais, Siluanov and Nabiulina to cheer him up?

WorkingClass , February 14, 2017 at 7:59 pm GMT \n

Berke reports that Henry Kissinger has sold President Trump on a scheme to use the removal of Russian sanctions to pry President Putin away from the Russian alliance with Iran and China.

Kissinger, like Dick Cheney or George Soros, will probably never be completely dead.

SmoothieX12 , Website February 14, 2017 at 8:56 pm GMT \n
@WorkingClass
Berke reports that Henry Kissinger has sold President Trump on a scheme to use the removal of Russian sanctions to pry President Putin away from the Russian alliance with Iran and China.
Kissinger, like Dick Cheney or George Soros, will probably never be completely dead.

LOL! True. You forgot McCain, though.

SmoothieX12 , Website February 14, 2017 at 9:04 pm GMT \n
100 Words @Lyttenburgh
Another pressure comes from the affront that sanctions represent to Russians. Removing this insult has become important to Russians even though the sanctions do Russia no material harm.
Oh dear, neolibs at their "finest"! This "theory" is simply not true. If anything, Russians don't want the sanctions to be lifted, because this will also force us to scrap our counter-sanctions against the EU. The agro-business in Russia had been expanding by leaps and bounds for the last two years. This persistent myth that "the Russians" (who exactly, I wonder - 2-3% of the pro-Western urbanites in Moscow and St. Pete?) are desperate to have the sanctons lifted is a self-deception of the West, who IS desparate of the fact that the sanctions didn't work.
Russia's most dangerous threat is the country's neoliberal economists.
Yes! Ulyukayev is, probably, feeling lonely in his prison. I say - why not send Chubais, Siluanov and Nabiulina to cheer him up? ;)

I say – why not send Chubais, Siluanov and Nabiulina to cheer him up?

Most of Russia's economic block has to be literally purged from their sinecures, some, indeed, have to be "re-educated" near Magadan or Tyumen, or Saransk. Too bad, two of these places are actually not too bad. Others deserved to be executed. Too bad this jackass Gaidar (actually no blood relation to Arkady whatsoever) died before he could be tried for crimes against humanity and genocide. Albeit, some say he died because of his consciousness couldn't take the burden. Looking at his swine face I, somehow, doubt it.

Priss Factor , February 14, 2017 at 10:38 pm GMT \n
100 Words

A silver-lining to this.

If the US continues to antagonize Russia, Russia will have to grow even more independent, nationalist, and sovereign. At any rate, this issue cannot be addressed until we face that the fact that globalism is essentially Jewish Supremacism that fears gentile nationalism as a barrier to its penetration and domination.

This is not a US vs Russia issue. The real conflict is ... Globalism vs Russian nationalism and American nationalism. But since Jews control the media, they've spread the impression that it's about US vs Russia.

Same thing with this crap about 'white privilege'. It is a misleading concept to fool Americans into thinking that the main conflict is between 'privileged whites' and 'people of color'. It is really to hide the fact that Jewish power and privilege really rules the US. It is a means to hoodwink people from noticing that the real divide is between Jews and Gentiles, not between 'privileged whites' and 'non-white victims'. After all, too many whites lack privilege, and too many non-whites do very well in America.

Seamus Padraig , February 14, 2017 at 11:29 pm GMT \n
@SmoothieX12
I say – why not send Chubais, Siluanov and Nabiulina to cheer him up?

Most of Russia's economic block has to be literally purged from their sinecures, some, indeed, have to be "re-educated" near Magadan or Tyumen, or Saransk. Too bad, two of these places are actually not too bad. Others deserved to be executed. Too bad this jackass Gaidar (actually no blood relation to Arkady whatsoever) died before he could be tried for crimes against humanity and genocide. Albeit, some say he died because of his consciousness couldn't take the burden. Looking at his swine face I, somehow, doubt it.

I'm generally a big fan and admirer of Putin, but this is definitely one criticism of him that I have a lot of sympathy for. It is long past time for Putin to purge the neoliberals from the Kremlin and nationalize the Russian Central Bank. I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.

Seamus Padraig , February 14, 2017 at 11:34 pm GMT \n

Does PCR really think that Putin is stupid enough to fall for Kissinger's hair-brained scheme? I mean, give Putin a little bit of credit. He has so far completely outmaneuvered Washington on virtually ever subject. I'm sure he's clever enough to see through such a crude divide-and-rule strategy.

anonymous , February 15, 2017 at 4:17 am GMT

The Russians can't be flummoxed, they aren't children. Russia and China border each other so they have a natural mutual interest in having their east-west areas be stable and safe, particularly when the US threatens both of them. This geography isn't going to change. Abandoning clients such as Syria and Iran would irreversibly damage the Russian brand as being unreliable therefore they'd find it impossible to attract any others in the future. They know this so it's unlikely they would be so rash as to snap at any bait dangled in front of them. And, as pointed out, the bait really isn't all that irresistible. It's always best to negotiate from a position of strength and they realize that. American policy deep thinkers are often fantasists who bank upon their chess opponents making hoped-for predictable moves. That doesn't happen in real life.

SmoothieX12 , Website February 15, 2017 at 2:29 pm GMT \n
@Seamus Padraig

I'm generally a big fan and admirer of Putin, but this is definitely one criticism of him that I have a lot of sympathy for. It is long past time for Putin to purge the neoliberals from the Kremlin and nationalize the Russian Central Bank. I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.

I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.

Partially, because Putin himself is an economic liberal and, to a degree, monetarist, albeit less rigid than his economic block. The good choices he made often were opposite to his views. As he himself admitted that Russia's geopolitical vector changed with NATO's aggression against Yugoslavia–a strengthening of Russia has become an imperative. This comeback was impossible within the largely "Western" monetarist economic model. Russia's comeback happened not thanks but despite Putin's economic views, Putin adjusted his views in the process, his economic block didn't. But many of them still remain his friends, despite the fact that many of them are de facto fifth column and work against Russia, intentionally and other wise. Eventually Putin will be forced to get down from his fence and take the position of industrialists and siloviki. Putin's present for Medvedev's birthday was a good hint on where he is standing economically today and I am beginning to like that but still–I personally am not convinced yet. We'll see. In many respects Putin was lucky and specifically because of the namely Soviet military and industry captains still being around–people who, unlike Putin, knew exactly what constituted Russia's strength. Enough to mention late Evgeny Primakov. Let's not forget that despite Putin's meteoric rise through the top levels of Russia's state bureaucracy, including his tenure as a Director of FSB, Putin's background is not really military-industrial. He is a lawyer, even if uniformed (KGB) part of his career. I know for a fact that initially (early 2000s) he was overwhelmed with the complexity of Russia's military and industry. Enough to mention his creature Serdyukov who almost destroyed Command and Control structure of Russia's Armed Forces and main ideologue behind Russia's military "reform", late Vitaly Shlykov who might have been a great GRU spy (and economist by trade) but who never served a day in combat units. Thankfully, the "reforms" have been stopped and Russian Armed Forces are still dealing with the consequences. This whole clusterfvck was of Putin's own creation–hardly a good record on his resume. Hopefully, he learned.

Vlad , February 17, 2017 at 8:44 am GMT \n
@Seamus Padraig

I'm generally a big fan and admirer of Putin, but this is definitely one criticism of him that I have a lot of sympathy for. It is long past time for Putin to purge the neoliberals from the Kremlin and nationalize the Russian Central Bank. I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.

He has not done it already because he just cannot let go of his dream to have it as he did in 2003, when Russia Germany and France together blocked legality of US war in Iraq. Putin still hopes for a good working relationship with major West European powers. Italy France and even Germany.

He still hopes to draw them away from the US. However the obvious gains from Import substitution campaign make it apparent that Russia does benefit from sanctions, that Russia can get anything it wants in technology from the East rather than the West. So the break with Western orientation is in the making. Hopefully.

annamaria , February 17, 2017 at 3:50 pm GMT \n

You forgot to mention the "moderate" jihadis, including the operatives from NATO, Israel, and US. (It seems that the Ukrainian "patriots" that have been bombing the civilians in East Ukraine, also include special "patriots" from the same unholy trinity: https://www.roguemoney.net/stories/2016/12/6/there-are-troops-jack-us-army-donbass ). There has been also a certain asymmetry in means: look at the map for the number and location of the US/NATO military bases. At least we can see that RF has been trying to avoid the hot phase of WWIII. http://russia-insider.com/sites/insider/files/NATO-vs-Russia640.jpg

annamaria , February 17, 2017 at 4:11 pm GMT \n
200 Words @Priss Factor A silver-lining to this.

If the US continues to antagonize Russia, Russia will have to grow even more independent, nationalist, and sovereign.

At any rate, this issue cannot be addressed until we face that the fact that globalism is essentially Jewish Supremacism that fears gentile nationalism as a barrier to its penetration and domination.

This is not a US vs Russia issue. The real conflict is Jewish Globalism vs Russian nationalism and American nationalism. But since Jews control the media, they've spread the impression that it's about US vs Russia.

Same thing with this crap about 'white privilege'. It is a misleading concept to fool Americans into thinking that the main conflict is between 'privileged whites' and 'people of color'. It is really to hide the fact that Jewish power and privilege really rules the US. It is a means to hoodwink people from noticing that the real divide is between Jews and Gentiles, not between 'privileged whites' and 'non-white victims'. After all, too many whites lack privilege, and too many non-whites do very well in America.

On the power and privilege that really rule the US:
"Sanctions – economic sanctions, as most of them are, can only stand and 'succeed', as long as countries, who oppose Washington's dictate remain bound into the western, dollar-based, fraudulent monetary scheme. The system is entirely privatized by a small Zionist-led elite. FED, Wall Street, Bank for International Settlement (BIS), are all private institutions, largely controlled by the Rothschild, Rockefeller, Morgan et al clans. They are also supported by the Breton Woods Organizations, IMF and World Bank, conveniently created under the Charter of the UN.
Few progressive economists understand how this debt-based pyramid scam is manipulating the entire western economic system. When in a just world, it should be just the contrary, the economy that shapes, designs and decides the functioning of the monetary system and policy.
Even Russia, with Atlantists still largely commanding the central bank and much of the financial system, isn't fully detached from the dollar dominion – yet."

http://thesaker.is/venezuela-washingtons-latest-defamation-to-bring-nato-to-south-america/

Anon , February 17, 2017 at 4:55 pm GMT \n
100 Words

"I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this (nationalize the "central bank) already".

I read about a rumor a few years ago that Putin has been warned that nationalizing the now private Russian central bank will bring absolutely dire consequences to both him and Russia. It is simply a step he cannot take.

How dire are the potential consequences? Consider that the refusal of the American government to reauthorize the private central bank in the US brought about the War of 1812. The Americans learned their lesson and quickly reauthorized the private bank after the war had ended.

Numerous attempts were made to assassinate President Andrew Jacksons specifically because of his refusal to reauthorize the private central bank.

JFK anyone?

Agent76 , February 17, 2017 at 6:07 pm GMT \n
100 Words

Here it is in audio form so you can just relax and just listen at your leisure.

*ALL WARS ARE BANKERS' WARS* By Michael Rivero https://youtu.be/WN0Y3HRiuxo

I know many people have a great deal of difficulty comprehending just how many wars are started for no other purpose than to force private central banks onto nations, so let me share a few examples, so that you understand why the US Government is mired in so many wars against so many foreign nations. There is ample precedent for this.

Priss Factor , February 17, 2017 at 7:31 pm GMT \n
1,000 Words

Here is proof that there is no real Leftist power anymore.

Voltaire once said, "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

If the Left really rules America, how come it is fair game to criticize, condemn, mock, and vilify Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Bakunin, Emma Goldman & anarchists, Castro, Che(even though he is revered by many, one's career isn't damaged by attacking him), Tito, Ceucescu, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Gramsci, Eurgene Debs, Pete Seeger, Abbie Hoffman, Bill Ayers, and etc.

You can say whatever you want about such people. Some will agree, some will disagree, but you will not be fired, blacklisted, or destroyed.

If the Left really rules, why would this be?

Now, what would happen if you name the Jewish Capitalists as the real holders of power?
What would happen if you name the Jewish oligarchic corporatists who control most of media?
What would happen if you said Jews are prominent in the vice industry of gambling?
What would happen if you named the Jewish capitalists in music industry that made so much money by spreading garbage?
What would happen if you said Jewish warhawks were largely responsible for the disasters in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine?
And what would happen if you were question the MLK mythology and cult?
What would happen if you were to make fun of homos and trannies?
Now, keep in mind that blacks and homos are favored by Jews as their main allies.
(Some say the US is not a pro-minority nation, but it's still permissible to criticize, impugn, and vilify Chinese, Iranians, Muslims, Mexicans, Hindus, and etc. Trump was hard on China, Iran, Muslims, and Mexicans, and he got some flak over it but not enough to destroy him. Now, imagine what would have happened if he'd said such things about blacks, Africa, homos, Jews, and Israel? American politics isn't necessarily pro-minority. If it is, it should favor Palestinian-Americans just as much as Jewish-Americans. Actually, since there are fewer Palestinian-Americans than Jewish-Americans, the US, being pro-minority, should favor Palestinians over Jews in America. In reality, it is AIPAC that draws all the politicians. America is about Pro-Power, and since Jews have the Power and since Jews are a minority, it creates the false impression that the US is a minority-supremacist nation. But WHICH minority? Jews would like for us think that all minorities are represented equally in the US, but do Eskimos, Hawaiians, Guatemalans, Vietnamese, and etc. have the kind of power & protection that the Jewish minority has? Do we see politicians and powerbrokers flock to such minorities for funds and favors?)

So, what does it about the real power in America? So many 'conservatives' say the Left controls America. But in fact, an American can badmouth all true bonafide leftist leaders and thinkers(everyone from Lenin to Sartre). However, if an American were to badmouth Sheldon Adelson as a sick demented Zionist capitalist oligarch who wants to nuke Iran, he would be blacklisted by the most of the media. (If one must criticize Adelson, it has to be in generic terms of him a top donor to the likes of Romney. One mustn't discuss his zealous and maniacal views rooted in Zionist-supremacism. You can criticize his money but not the mentality that determines the use of that money.) Isn't it rather amusing how the so-called Liberals denounce the GOP for being 'extreme' but overlook the main reason for such extremism? It's because the GOP relies on Zionist lunatics like Adelson who thinks Iran should be nuked to be taught a lesson. Even Liberal Media overlook this fact. Also, it's interesting that the Liberal Media are more outraged by Trump's peace offer to Russia than Trump's hawkish rhetoric toward Iran. I thought Liberals were the Doves.

We know why politics and media work like this. It's not about 'left' vs 'right' or 'liberal' vs 'conservative'. It is really about Jewish Globalist Dominance. Jews, neocon 'right' or globo-'left', hate Russia because its brand of white gentile nationalism is an obstacle to Jewish supremacist domination. Now, Current Russia is nice to Jews, and Jews can make all the money they want. But that isn't enough for Jews. Jews want total control of media, government, narrative, everything. If Jews say Russia must have homo parades and 'gay marriage', Russia better bend over because its saying NO means that it is defiant to the Jewish supremacist agenda of using homomania as proxy to undermine and destroy all gentile nationalism rooted in identity and moral righteousness.
Russia doesn't allow that, and that is what pisses off Jews. For Jews, the New Antisemitism is defined as denying them the supremacist 'right' to control other nations. Classic antisemitism used to mean denying Jews equal rights under the law. The New Antisemitism means Jews are denied the right to gain dominance over others and dictate terms.
So, that is why Jews hate any idea of good relations with Russia. But Jews don't mind Trump's irresponsible anti-Iran rhetoric since it serves Zionist interest. So, if Trump were to say, "We shouldn't go to war with Russia; we should be friends" and "We should get ready to bomb, destroy, and even nuke Iran", the 'liberal' media would be more alarmed by the Peace-with-Russia statement. Which groups controls the media? 'Liberals', really? Do Muslim 'liberals' agree with Jewish 'liberals'?

Anyway, we need to do away with the fiction that Left rules anything. They don't. We have Jewish Supremacist rule hiding behind the label of the 'Left'. But the US is a nation where it's totally permissible to attack real leftist ideas and leaders but suicidal if anyone dares to discuss the power of super-capitalist Jewish oligarchs. Some 'leftism'!

We need to discuss the power of the Glob.

annamaria , February 17, 2017 at 9:42 pm GMT \n
300 Words @Quartermaster Trump has not been neutered. Buchanan has the right on this and Flynn's actions.

Sorry, but Crimea is Ukraine. Russia is in serious economic decline and is rapidly burning through its reserves. Putin is almost down to the welfare fund from which pensions are paid, and only about a third of pensions are being paid now.

If Sanctions are of benefit to Russia, then the sanctions against Imperial Japan were just ducky and no war was fought.

Roberts is the next best thing to insane.

This is rich from a Ukrainian nationalist ruled by Groysman/Kagans.
First, figure out who is your saint, a collaborationist Bandera (Babiy Yar and such) or a triple-sitizenship Kolomojski (auto-da-fe of civilians in Odessa). If you still want to bring Holodomor to a discussion, then you need to be reminded that 80% of Ukrainian Cheka at that time were Jewish. If you still think that Russians are the root of all evil, then try to ask the US for more money for pensions, education, and healthcare – instead of weaponry. Here are the glorious results of the US-approved governance from Kiev: http://gnnliberia.com/2017/02/17/liberia-ahead-ukraine-index-economic-freedom-2017/ "Liberia, Chad, Afghanistan, Sudan and Angola are ahead of Ukraine. All these countries are in the group of repressed economies (49.9-40 scores). Ukraine's economy has contracted deeply and remains very fragile."

Here are your relationships with your neighbors on the other side – Poland and Romania:
"The right-winged conservative orientation of Warsaw makes it remember old Polish-Ukrainian arguments and scores, and claim its rights on the historically Polish lands of Western Ukraine" http://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/01/17/poland-will-begin-dividing-ukraine/
" the "Assembly of Bukovina Romanians" has recently applied to Petro Poroshenko demanding a territorial autonomy to the Chernivtsi region densely populated by Romanians. The "Assembly" motivated its demand with the Ukrainian president's abovementioned statement urging territorial autonomy for the Crimean Tatars." https://eadaily.com/en/news/2016/06/30/what-is-behind-romanias-activity-in-ukraine
And please read some history books about Crimea. Or at least Wikipedia:
"In 1783, Crimea was annexed by the Russian Empire. In 1954, the Crimean Oblast was transferred to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic by Nikita Khrushchev (a Soviet dictator). In 2014, a 96.77 percent of Crimeans voted for integration of the region into the Russian Federation with an 83.1 percent voter turnout." You see, the Crimeans do not like Nuland-Kagan and Pravyj Sector. Do you know why?

Astuteobservor II , February 17, 2017 at 9:56 pm GMT \n
100 Words @Seamus Padraig Does PCR really think that Putin is stupid enough to fall for Kissinger's hair-brained scheme? I mean, give Putin a little bit of credit. He has so far completely outmaneuvered Washington on virtually ever subject. I'm sure he's clever enough to see through such a crude divide-and-rule strategy.

well it depends. if putin is just out for himself, I can see him getting in bed with kissinger and co. if he is about russia, he would not. that is how I see it. it isn't about if putin is smart or stupid. just a choice and where his royalty lies.

Lyttenburgh , February 17, 2017 at 9:58 pm GMT \n
100 Words @Quartermaster Trump has not been neutered. Buchanan has the right on this and Flynn's actions.

Sorry, but Crimea is Ukraine. Russia is in serious economic decline and is rapidly burning through its reserves. Putin is almost down to the welfare fund from which pensions are paid, and only about a third of pensions are being paid now.

If Sanctions are of benefit to Russia, then the sanctions against Imperial Japan were just ducky and no war was fought.

Roberts is the next best thing to insane.

Sorry, but Crimea is Ukraine.

How so? #Krymnash

Russia is in serious economic decline and is rapidly burning through its reserves.

If by "decline" you mean "expects this year a modest growth as opposed to previous years" then you might be right.

I've been reading about Russia's imminent collapse and the annihilation of the economy since forever. Some no-names like you (or some Big Names with agenda) had been predicting it every year. Still didn't happen.

Putin is almost down to the welfare fund from which pensions are paid, and only about a third of pensions are being paid now.

Can I see a source for that?

If Sanctions are of benefit to Russia, then the sanctions against Imperial Japan were just ducky and no war was fought.

False equivalence.

P.S. Hey, Quart – how is Bezviz? Also – are you not cold here? Or are you one of the most racally pure Ukrs, currently residing in Ontario province (Canada), from whence you teach your less lucky raguls in Nizalezhnaya how to be more racially pure? Well, SUGS to be you!

bluedog , February 17, 2017 at 10:03 pm GMT \n
@Quartermaster Trump has not been neutered. Buchanan has the right on this and Flynn's actions.

Sorry, but Crimea is Ukraine. Russia is in serious economic decline and is rapidly burning through its reserves. Putin is almost down to the welfare fund from which pensions are paid, and only about a third of pensions are being paid now.

If Sanctions are of benefit to Russia, then the sanctions against Imperial Japan were just ducky and no war was fought.

Roberts is the next best thing to insane.

Do you have any links to verify this that Russia is down to bedrock,from everything I read and have read Russia's do pretty damn good, or is this just some more of your endless antiRussian propaganda,,

Philip Owen , February 17, 2017 at 10:54 pm GMT \n

The US needed huge amounts of British and French capital to develop. Russia has the same requirement otherwise it will be another Argentina.

annamaria , February 17, 2017 at 11:00 pm GMT \n
500 Words

A scandal of a EU member Poland: http://thesaker.is/zmiana-piskorski-and-the-case-for-polish-liberation/
Two days after he [Piskorski] publicly warned that US-NATO troops now have a mandate to suppress Polish dissent on the grounds of combatting "Russian hybrid war," he was snatched up by armed agents of Poland's Internal Security Agency while taking his children to school on May 18th, 2016. He was promptly imprisoned in Warsaw, where he remains with no formal charges to this day."

With the Poland's entry into EU, "Poland did not "regain" sovereignty, much less justice, but forfeited such to the Atlanticist project Poland has been de-industrialized, and thus deprived of the capacity to pursue independent and effective social and economic policies Now, with the deployment of thousands of US-NATO troops, tanks, and missile systems on its soil and the Polish government's relinquishment of jurisdiction over foreign armed forces on its territory, Poland is de facto under occupation. This occupation is not a mere taxation on Poland's national budget – it is an undeniable liquidation of sovereignty and inevitably turns the country into a direct target and battlefield in the US' provocative war on Russia."

" it's not the Russians who are going to occupy us now – they left here voluntarily 24 years ago. It's not the Russians that have ravaged Polish industry since 1989. It's not the Russians that have stifled Poles with usurious debt. Finally, it's not the Russians that are responsible for the fact that we have become the easternmost aircraft carrier of the United States anchored in Europe. We ourselves, who failed by allowing such traitors into power, are to blame for this."

More from a comment section: "Donald Tusk, who is now President of the European Council, whose grandfather, Josef Tusk, served in Hitler's Wehrmacht, has consistently demanded that the Kiev regime imposed by the US and EU deal with the Donbass people brutally, "as with terrorists". While the Polish special services were training the future participants of the Maidan operations and the ethnic cleansing of the Donbass, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs made this official statement (02-02-2014): "We support the hard line taken by the Right Sector The radical actions of the Right Sector and other militant groups of demonstrators and the use of force by protesters are justified The Right Sector has taken full responsibility for all the acts of violence during the recent protests. This is an honest position, and we respect it. The politicians have failed at their peacekeeping function. This means that the only acceptable option is the radical actions of the Right Sector. There is no other alternative".

In short, the US has been the most active enabler of the neo-Nazi movement in Europe. Mrs. Clinton seemingly did not get a memo about who is "new Hitler."

Chuck Orloski , February 17, 2017 at 11:17 pm GMT \n
100 Words

Scranton calling Mssrs. Roberts and Hudson:

Do you happen to know anything about western financial giants' influence upon Russia's "Atlanticist Integrationists"?

It's low hanging fruit for me to take a pick, but I am thinking The Goldman Sachs Group is well ensconced among Russian "Atlanticist Integrationists."

You guys are top seeded pros at uncovering Deep State-banker secrets. In contrast, I drive school bus and I struggle to even balance the family Wells Fargo debit card!

However, since our US Congress has anointed a seasoned G.S.G. veteran, Steve Mnuchin, as the administration's Treasury Secretary, he has become my favorite "Person of Interest" who I suspect spouts a Ural Mountain-level say as to how "Atlanticist Integrationists" operate.

Speaking very respectfully, I hope my question does not get "flummoxed" into resource rich Siberia.

Thank you very much!

Bobzilla , February 17, 2017 at 11:46 pm GMT \n
@WorkingClass

Berke reports that Henry Kissinger has sold President Trump on a scheme to use the removal of Russian sanctions to pry President Putin away from the Russian alliance with Iran and China.
Kissinger, like Dick Cheney or George Soros, will probably never be completely dead.

Kissinger, like Dick Cheney or George Soros, will probably never be completely dead

.

Most likely the Spirit of Anti-Christ keeping them alive to do his bidding.

Bill Jones , February 18, 2017 at 12:39 am GMT \n
@Priss Factor Here is proof that there is no real Leftist power anymore.

Voltaire once said, "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

If the Left really rules America, how come it is fair game to criticize, condemn, mock, and vilify Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Bakunin, Emma Goldman & anarchists, Castro, Che(even though he is revered by many, one's career isn't damaged by attacking him), Tito, Ceucescu, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Gramsci, Eurgene Debs, Pete Seeger, Abbie Hoffman, Bill Ayers, and etc.

You can say whatever you want about such people. Some will agree, some will disagree, but you will not be fired, blacklisted, or destroyed.

If the Left really rules, why would this be?

Now, what would happen if you name the Jewish Capitalists as the real holders of power?
What would happen if you name the Jewish oligarchic corporatists who control most of media?
What would happen if you said Jews are prominent in the vice industry of gambling?
What would happen if you named the Jewish capitalists in music industry that made so much money by spreading garbage?
What would happen if you said Jewish warhawks were largely responsible for the disasters in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine?
And what would happen if you were question the MLK mythology and cult?
What would happen if you were to make fun of homos and trannies?
Now, keep in mind that blacks and homos are favored by Jews as their main allies.
(Some say the US is not a pro-minority nation, but it's still permissible to criticize, impugn, and vilify Chinese, Iranians, Muslims, Mexicans, Hindus, and etc. Trump was hard on China, Iran, Muslims, and Mexicans, and he got some flak over it but not enough to destroy him. Now, imagine what would have happened if he'd said such things about blacks, Africa, homos, Jews, and Israel? American politics isn't necessarily pro-minority. If it is, it should favor Palestinian-Americans just as much as Jewish-Americans. Actually, since there are fewer Palestinian-Americans than Jewish-Americans, the US, being pro-minority, should favor Palestinians over Jews in America. In reality, it is AIPAC that draws all the politicians. America is about Pro-Power, and since Jews have the Power and since Jews are a minority, it creates the false impression that the US is a minority-supremacist nation. But WHICH minority? Jews would like for us think that all minorities are represented equally in the US, but do Eskimos, Hawaiians, Guatemalans, Vietnamese, and etc. have the kind of power & protection that the Jewish minority has? Do we see politicians and powerbrokers flock to such minorities for funds and favors?)

So, what does it about the real power in America? So many 'conservatives' say the Left controls America. But in fact, an American can badmouth all true bonafide leftist leaders and thinkers(everyone from Lenin to Sartre). However, if an American were to badmouth Sheldon Adelson as a sick demented Zionist capitalist oligarch who wants to nuke Iran, he would be blacklisted by the most of the media. (If one must criticize Adelson, it has to be in generic terms of him a top donor to the likes of Romney. One mustn't discuss his zealous and maniacal views rooted in Zionist-supremacism. You can criticize his money but not the mentality that determines the use of that money.) Isn't it rather amusing how the so-called Liberals denounce the GOP for being 'extreme' but overlook the main reason for such extremism? It's because the GOP relies on Zionist lunatics like Adelson who thinks Iran should be nuked to be taught a lesson. Even Liberal Media overlook this fact. Also, it's interesting that the Liberal Media are more outraged by Trump's peace offer to Russia than Trump's hawkish rhetoric toward Iran. I thought Liberals were the Doves.

We know why politics and media work like this. It's not about 'left' vs 'right' or 'liberal' vs 'conservative'. It is really about Jewish Globalist Dominance. Jews, neocon 'right' or globo-'left', hate Russia because its brand of white gentile nationalism is an obstacle to Jewish supremacist domination. Now, Current Russia is nice to Jews, and Jews can make all the money they want. But that isn't enough for Jews. Jews want total control of media, government, narrative, everything. If Jews say Russia must have homo parades and 'gay marriage', Russia better bend over because its saying NO means that it is defiant to the Jewish supremacist agenda of using homomania as proxy to undermine and destroy all gentile nationalism rooted in identity and moral righteousness.
Russia doesn't allow that, and that is what pisses off Jews. For Jews, the New Antisemitism is defined as denying them the supremacist 'right' to control other nations. Classic antisemitism used to mean denying Jews equal rights under the law. The New Antisemitism means Jews are denied the right to gain dominance over others and dictate terms.
So, that is why Jews hate any idea of good relations with Russia. But Jews don't mind Trump's irresponsible anti-Iran rhetoric since it serves Zionist interest. So, if Trump were to say, "We shouldn't go to war with Russia; we should be friends" and "We should get ready to bomb, destroy, and even nuke Iran", the 'liberal' media would be more alarmed by the Peace-with-Russia statement. Which groups controls the media? 'Liberals', really? Do Muslim 'liberals' agree with Jewish 'liberals'?

Anyway, we need to do away with the fiction that Left rules anything. They don't. We have Jewish Supremacist rule hiding behind the label of the 'Left'. But the US is a nation where it's totally permissible to attack real leftist ideas and leaders but suicidal if anyone dares to discuss the power of super-capitalist Jewish oligarchs. Some 'leftism'!

We need to discuss the power of the Glob.

Thanks for the digest of hasbarist crap.

Useful to have it all in one place..

annamaria , February 18, 2017 at 1:03 am GMT \n
100 Words

War profiteers (both of a dishonest character) have found each other: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-17/mccain-tells-europe-trump-administration-disarray http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-17/germany-issues-stark-warning-trump-stop-threatening-eu-favoring-russia
" Trump's administration was in "disarray," McCain told the Munich Security Conference, where earlier in the day Germany defense minister Ursula von der Leyen warned Trump to stop threatening the EU, abandoning Western values and seeking close ties with Russia, that the resignation of the new president's security adviser Michael Flynn over his contacts with Russia reflected deep problems in Washington."

What an amazing whoring performance for the war-manufacturers! And here is an interesting morsel of information about the belligerent Frau der Leyen: http://www.dw.com/en/stanford-accuses-von-der-leyen-of-misrepresentation/a-18775432
"Stanford university has said Ursula von der Leyen is misrepresenting her affiliation with the school. The German defense minister's academic career is already under scrutiny after accusations of plagiarism." No kidding. Some "Ursula von der Leyen' values" indeed.

Anonymous IX , February 18, 2017 at 2:42 am GMT \n
200 Words

I doubt we'll see little change from the Trump administration toward Russia.

From SOTT:

Predictable news coming out of Yemen: Saudi-backed "Southern Resistance" forces and Hadi loyalists, alongside al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), launched a new offensive against the Houthis in western Yemen on Wednesday.

This is not the first time Saudi-backed (and by extension, Washington-backed) forces have teamed up with al-Qaeda in Yemen .

Yemen is quickly becoming the "spark that lights the powder keg". The conflict has already killed, maimed and displaced countless thousands (thanks to the stellar lack of reporting from trustworthy western news sources, we can only estimate the scale of Saudi/U.S. crimes in Yemen), but now it seems that elements of the Trump administration are keen on escalation, likely in hopes of giving Washington an excuse to carpet bomb Tehran.

Apparently, we feel satisfied fighting with our old allies, al-Qaeda and Saudis.

I had hoped for much better from Trump.

Kiza , February 18, 2017 at 4:23 am GMT \n
200 Words

I think that the authors may be underestimating Putin in his determination to keep Russia and the Russian economy independent. For example, I find this rumoured offer of "increased access to the huge European energy market" very funny, for at least two reasons:
1) US wants to sell hydrocarbons (LPG) to the European market at significantly higher prices than the Russian prices, and
2) the current dependence of EU countries on the Russian energy would have never happened if there were better alternatives.

In other words, any detente offer that the West would make to Russia would last, as usual, not even until the signature ink dries on the new cooperation agreements. Putin does not look to me like someone who suffers much from wishful thinking.

The Russian relationship with China is not a bed of roses, but it is not China which is increasing military activity all around Russia, it is the West. Also, so far China has shown no interest in regime-changing Russia and dividing it into pieces. Would you rather believe in the reform capability of an addict in violence or someone who does not need to reform? Would the West self-reform and sincerely renounce violence just by signing a new agreement with Russia?

The new faux detente will never happen, as long as Putin is alive.

Max Havelaar , February 18, 2017 at 8:22 pm GMT \n
200 Words

Trump is an ultra-zionist for Sheldon Adelson and prolongs & creates wars for the Goldman banking crimesyndicat.

The only one stopping Trump is Putin or Russia's missile defenses.

Indeed, Putin's main inside enemy is Russia's central bank, or the Jewish oligarchs in Russia (Atlanticists). Also Russia needs to foster and encourage small&medium enterprises, that need cheap credit, to create competitive markets, where no prices are fixed and market shares change. These are most efficient resource users.

In the US, Wallstreet controls government = fascism = the IG Farben- Auschwitz concentration camps to maximize profits. This is the direction for the US economy.

Meanwhile in the EU, the former Auschwitz owners IG Farben (Bayer(Monsanto), Hoechst, BASF) the EU chemical giants, who have patented all natures molecules, are in controll again over EU. Deutsche bank et allies is eating Greece, Italy, Spain's working classes, using AUSTERITY as their creed.

So what is new? Nothing, the supercorporate-fascist elites are the same families, who 's morality is unchanged in a 100 years.

Anon , February 20, 2017 at 4:28 am GMT \n
@Priss Factor

Here is proof that there is no real Leftist power anymore.

Voltaire once said, "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

... ... ...

Sergey Krieger , February 20, 2017 at 12:20 pm GMT \n
@Seamus Padraig

I'm generally a big fan and admirer of Putin, but this is definitely one criticism of him that I have a lot of sympathy for. It is long past time for Putin to purge the neoliberals from the Kremlin and nationalize the Russian Central Bank. I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.

I would really love to like Putin and I am trying but him protecting all those criminals and not reversing the history greatest heist of 90′s makes it impossible. While I am behind all his moves to restore Russian military and foreign policy, I am still waiting for more on home front. Note, not only the Bank must be nationalized. Everything, all industries, factories and other assets privatized by now must be returned to rightful owner. Public which over 70 years through great sacrifice built all of it.

Sergey Krieger , February 20, 2017 at 12:31 pm GMT \n
300 Words @SmoothieX12
I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.
Partially, because Putin himself is an economic liberal and, to a degree, monetarist, albeit less rigid than his economic block. The good choices he made often were opposite to his views. As he himself admitted that Russia's geopolitical vector changed with NATO's aggression against Yugoslavia--a strengthening of Russia has become an imperative. This comeback was impossible within the largely "Western" monetarist economic model. Russia's comeback happened not thanks but despite Putin's economic views, Putin adjusted his views in the process, his economic block didn't. But many of them still remain his friends, despite the fact that many of them are de facto fifth column and work against Russia, intentionally and other wise. Eventually Putin will be forced to get down from his fence and take the position of industrialists and siloviki. Putin's present for Medvedev's birthday was a good hint on where he is standing economically today and I am beginning to like that but still--I personally am not convinced yet. We'll see. In many respects Putin was lucky and specifically because of the namely Soviet military and industry captains still being around--people who, unlike Putin, knew exactly what constituted Russia's strength. Enough to mention late Evgeny Primakov. Let's not forget that despite Putin's meteoric rise through the top levels of Russia's state bureaucracy, including his tenure as a Director of FSB, Putin's background is not really military-industrial. He is a lawyer, even if uniformed (KGB) part of his career. I know for a fact that initially (early 2000s) he was overwhelmed with the complexity of Russia's military and industry. Enough to mention his creature Serdyukov who almost destroyed Command and Control structure of Russia's Armed Forces and main ideologue behind Russia's military "reform", late Vitaly Shlykov who might have been a great GRU spy (and economist by trade) but who never served a day in combat units. Thankfully, the "reforms" have been stopped and Russian Armed Forces are still dealing with the consequences. This whole clusterfvck was of Putin's own creation--hardly a good record on his resume. Hopefully, he learned.

Smoothie, you seem to have natural aversion towards lawyers
Albeit, the first Vladimir, I mean Lenin also was a lawyers by education still he was a rather quick study. Remember that military communism and Lenin after one year after Bolsheviks took power telling that state capitalism would be great step forward for Russia whcih obviously was backward and ruined by wars at the time and he proceeded with New Economic Policy and Lenin despite not being industry captain realized pretty well what constituted state power hence GOELRO plans and electrification of all Russia plans and so forth which was later turned by Stalin and his team into reality.

Now, Lenin was ideologically motivated and so is Putin. But he clearly has been trying to achieve different results by keeping same people around him and doing same things. Hopefully it is changing now, but it is so much wasted time when old Vladimir was always repeating that time is of essence and delay is like death knell. Putin imho is away too relax and even vain in some way, hence those shirtless pictures and those on the bike. And the way he walks a la "Я Московский озорной гуляка". As you said it looks like he is protecting those criminals who must be prosecuted and yes, many executed for what they caused.

I suspect in cases when it comes to economical development he is not picking right people for those jobs and it is his major responsibility to assign right people and delegate power properly, not to be forgotten to reverse what constitutes the history greatest heist and crime so called "privatization". Basically returning to more communal society minus Politburo.

There is a huge elephant in the room too. Russia demographic situation which I doubt can be addressed under current liberal order. all states which are in liberal state of affairs fail to basically procreate hence these waves of immigrants brought into all Western Nations. Russia cannot do it. It would be suicide which is what all Western countries are doing right now.

Boris N , February 20, 2017 at 8:58 pm GMT \n

Russia does not need Western technology. Indeed, its military technology is superior to that in the West.

You write about Russia but have not done your homework. Russia is very dependent on Western technology and its entire high-tech industry depends on the import of Western machinery. Without such machinery many Russian factories, including military ones, would stall. Very important oil industry is particularly vulnerable.

Some home reading (sorry, they are in Russian, but one ought to know the language if one writes about the country).

http://www.fa.ru/fil/orel/science/Documents/ISA%2014644146.pdf

http://rusrand.ru/analytics/stanki-stanki-stanki

[Jul 20, 2019] ... Not the men we thought we were ... - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Jul 20, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

EEngineer , 13 May 2019 at 11:45 AM

I see the parallels, but not that one. I think the neocons hope to force the Iranians into making that "all-in" call though. Perhaps as the neocons see it, such a strike would magically rally the American populous to the war they so desire. Imperial conquest performed as a defensive reflex. So they needle nearly everyone in the hopes of triggering a replay of the WW2 saga which has taken on a mythical good vs evil aura in the US. Ironically, I would say it is the neocons who think they need to start a war with the Iranians so that they can be the men they think they are. The only thing still holding them back is the passive-aggressive need to make it look like someone, anyone, else started it so they can play the victim card once the body bags start coming home.
Ed Lindgren , 13 May 2019 at 11:51 AM
USN CDR A. H. McCollum was the man who conceived the so-called "Eight Action Plan" which he outlined in his Oct 7, 1940 memo. This was his proposal for the U.S. and Britain to initiate actions which would essentially force Japan into making a decision to wage war against the United States.

The key elements of the plan, as outlined in McCollum's memo, include the following:

A. Make an arrangement with Britain for the use of British bases in the Pacific, particularly Singapore
B. Make an arrangement with the Netherlands for the use of base facilities and acquisition of supplies in the Dutch East Indies
C. Give all possible aid to the Chinese government of Chiang-Kai-Shek
D. Send a division of long range heavy cruisers to the Orient, Philippines, or Singapore
E. Send two divisions of submarines to the Orient
F. Keep the main strength of the U.S. fleet now in the Pacific[,] in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands
G. Insist that the Dutch refuse to grant Japanese demands for undue economic concessions, particularly oil
H. Completely embargo all U.S. trade with Japan, in collaboration with a similar embargo imposed by the British Empire

Not too terribly different from the squeeze currently being placed on Iran by the team of Pompeo/Boton.

The text of the McCollum memo can be found here:

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/McCollum_memorandum


turcopolier , 13 May 2019 at 12:09 PM
Lindgren

Was this plan approved by Roosevelt? the embargoes had been in effect for some time by then.

Ed Lindgren said in reply to turcopolier ... , 13 May 2019 at 05:40 PM
COL Lang -

The journalist Robert Stinnett in his now 20 year old book 'Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor' made the case that FDR was aware of McCollum's memorandum. I have not read Stinnett's book, but historians apparently doubted the veracity of Stinnett's thesis regarding FDR's knowledge of the McCollum memo.

You are correct that initial embargoes of essential defense materials went to effect under the Export Control Act during the summer of 1940. Additional items were added to the list of embargoed materials subsequent to October 1940, following the drafting of the McCollum memo.

Fred -> Ed Lindgren... , 14 May 2019 at 08:29 AM
So no FOR did not approve of that plan, but some guy wrote a book 20 years ago, one you didn't read. That's quite helpful in evaluating current war mongering over Iran today.
ex-PFC Chuck said in reply to Ed Lindgren... , 20 July 2019 at 07:33 AM
I read Day of Deceit a month ago and found Stinnett's analysis and sourcing quite convincing. He demolishes the standard narrative that the attack was a total tactical surprise and to a large extent a strategic one as well. Admiral Yamamoto's orders to maintain radio silence were honored very much in the breach, one of the worst offenders being the at-sea mission commander himself, Admiral Nagumo. Many individual ship captains continued reporting their positions at specified times of the day, as was their peacetime practice. This enabled the US, British and Dutch signals monitoring stations, which were sharing information in spite of the fact that the US was not yet a combatant, to triangulate and track the Japanese mission fleet from its assembly point near the Kurile Islands eastward to their launch position several hundred miles north of Oahu. Stinnett assembles a strong circumstantial case asserting this information was available to the intelligence circles in Washington DC and in the US radio detection/cryptanalysis stations at Corregidor, the Aleutian Islands, and Station H on Oahu itself, practically within sight of Admiral Kimmel's office, but it never made it to the admiral himself or to General Short. He got much of the supporting information through the FOIA process, but some of the most damning documents he cited he found by walking into various historical archive sites outside of the DC area and simply asking to see what they had. He makes the point that many of the documents he cites never saw the light of day during any of the three formal investigations of the affair: in the months immediately after the attack; shortly after the end of the war; and half a century later in the early 1990s. What he is unable to cite are documents that concretely connect the president, Admiral Stark the CNO, or General Marshall the Army Chief of Staff with knowledge of the available intelligence. Those known to have existed which might have been smoking guns that he sought via the FOIA were either still highly classified or were "unable to be found." However the circumstantial case that they must have known and been on board, in some cases reluctantly, is strong. For example, it is known that the McCollum memo gained the attention of FDR himself soon after it was published, and the White House chief usher's log documents that the commander had several meetings with the president. McCollum, a USNA graduate, had spent much of his childhood in Japan as the child of Christian missionaries and was almost natively fluent in the language as well as deeply steeped in the culture.
Willy B said in reply to turcopolier ... , 20 July 2019 at 11:29 AM
Col,

I don't know if it came from the McCollum memo or not, but at the ABC-1 meetings in early 1941, the British delegation proposed that the US take over the defense of Singapore from the Royal Navy, a proposal that was rejected by the American delegation.

The minutes of the ABC-1 meetings were published by the British National Archives some years ago and I have it somewhere on my hard drive but I couldn't give you a link. As I recall, it was interesting to see the American side rejecting the Singapore and other schemes to get the US to defend British colonial territories.

blue peacock , 13 May 2019 at 12:21 PM
Col. Lang

It would seem that the best strategic option for Iran is to lay low and absorb the economic squeeze. The Chinese are unlikely to support the oil sanctions, so they'll be able to continue to sell them until the US navy starts to interdict their tankers. But oil is fungible.....

It would also seem that their best military strategy is a defensive one. Obtaining the best air defense systems and significant medium-range missiles with high payload capacity and accuracy. At the very least they'll be able to give a black-eye while going down.

Of course the question is how the Ayatollah controls his fire breathing, martyrdom loving hawks who bristle at their treatment by the US, Israel & the Saudis. My sense is Bibi will get more itchy than the Ayatollah to take advantage of his perception of complete control of Trump.

EEngineer said in reply to blue peacock... , 13 May 2019 at 01:01 PM
I've wondered if the Chinese will use their own tankers to pick up Iranian oil or re-flag Iranian ones with Chinese colors as the US did for Kuwait during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980's.

I can see the neocons wanting open conflict with Iran, but I don't know if they would risk war with China.

John Minehan said in reply to blue peacock... , 19 July 2019 at 05:14 PM
I'm not sure how much control Iran has of its proxies (the Houthi rebels, Hezbollah, the Shia Militias in Iraq, etc.). That strikes me as a reason fo both the US/Britain AND Iran to go carefully and slowly.
turcopolier , 13 May 2019 at 12:23 PM
BP Merely logical
Tidewater said in reply to turcopolier ... , 13 May 2019 at 04:15 PM
Sir,

Nice map, I assume it can't be considered a chart. Maps make me think. Anyway, when I heard about the four tankers at Fujairah damaged by "sabotage" I took a look up at Qeshm island in front of Bandar Abbas (it looks to me like a shark) and wondered how far it was down to Fujairah. I get about 140 nautical miles.

I know that there are hardened sub-pens on the land side of Queshm Island probably out to the western end. Recently I have read comments speculating what the Iranian class of mini- or midget subs would be useful for. One learns that one use would be to deliver a sea-mine; another to launch the one torpedo it can carry; and another would be as a transport for naval commandos, or swimmers trained in demolition and mine warfare.

Then I remembered something. I took a look at the last place down on the right side of the map on the Iranian mangrove shore, Trask, once an old fishing port. Trask is also where the pipeline down from the CIS countries will end, and a large refinery, manufacturing, and shipping complex is planned. Since 2008, Trask has been developed for a number of military uses. First as a naval base which berths fast motor patrol boats of the kind that can launch missiles like the Qader, a sea-skimmer carrying a warhead of 200 kilos which can reach out to 186 miles; also as a drone base, complete with a rail launcher which could indicate proficiency in big stay-aloft reconnaisance drones, soon enough to be weaponized, if not already. Significantly, it is also a base for littoral-class submarines, which would include mini-subs design based on the North Korean Yono class, submarines that would be similar to the one that is thought to have sunk the ROKS Cheonan in 2011 with a torpedo. Travelling at nine or ten knots, the Iranian model of the Yono, the Ghadir, could make the crossing to Fujairah in about twelve hours. That's a distance of 127 miles or so.
It looks to me as if the stern location of the tanker the news videos show would not have been hit unless the ship backed into a mine. And it doesn't look like the kind of damage a naval mine would do. A naval mine would have made an enormous ten or twenty foot cavernous dent in that stern, at the least. What it looks like to me was that a swimmer or swimmers placed a sticky explosive or satchel charge. (?) I think it is meant as a warning. 'We can get you any time..."

There's another message. Fujairah and also the ports of Salalah, Sohar, and Duqm, in Oman, have been billing themselves as "the Gateway to the Arabian Gulf." (For that historical and scholarly insult alone they should pay.) Fujairah is the only one of the UAE that is on the eastern side of the Musandam Peninsula. It has been advertised as the emirate that would not be involved in a Gulf war. Out of range. Think again me buckaroos.

The United States has just signed an agreement in late March with Oman which allows US naval and air forces to use the new state- of-the art port facilities and airport at Duqm, down in the middle of the Oman coast, and also Salalah. Sultan Qaboos, a very impressive leader, one of the best, who happens to be gay (but the father of his country), balances carefully between the various powers he must deal with. Iran is already there in Oman and has the right to establish companies and to store materiel there, and to ship cargoes. Just as Iran does in Qatar, where two hundred trucks come across from Bushire every day and have since June 2017 since Trump the Brain gave the OK to Mohammed Bin Salman to lay siege to Qatar. Consider this: "Sohar Freezone has options for leasing pre-built warehouses and commercial offices, as well as 100% foreign ownership...and a One-Stop-Shop for all relevant permits and clearances." (From Overview--SOHAR Port and Freezone.) As to how you get this cargo to points south, that is an interesting question...

Russia will come in if push comes to shove. Russia will not countenance the idea of an America naval and drone base on the Caspian, which is what will happen if Iran is bombed flat. Russia will second pilots to the Iranians and will send bombers like the Tu-95 Bear or the Backfire capable of carrying the KH-101 which will carry Iranian markings etc. These bombers, with enormous range, could wreck havoc on Diego Garcia, and could destroy a carrier group.

The Iranians show us now that they were the ones who invented the game of chess. Trump can look at China, and then he can look at Fujairah, and he can see the American economy going down... The Iranian move is worthy of a grand master...

Tidewater said in reply to Tidewater... , 13 May 2019 at 04:56 PM
Tidewater to Tidewater,

Ouch. The place is called Jask.

ancientarcher said in reply to Tidewater... , 14 May 2019 at 06:08 AM
Great comment!
I think transferring a Tu-95 bomber will be a bit too much since the Iranians don't have much of an air force. But missiles will do the job anyways, so why bother with planes. You don't need to hit Diego Garcia, Israel is close enough. So is Al Udeid. Plus there will be attacks on all US bases spread across Iraq and I suspect Syria. There is no shortage of targets for sure for the Iranians, it this leads to war.
By the way, Chess was invented in India not ancient Persia. So was the numeral system which is now called Arabic numerals (the Arabs have been trying to give their names to stuff which is not theirs for a long time now) including the decimal system and negative numbers.
Tidewater said in reply to ancientarcher... , 14 May 2019 at 05:00 PM
Thank you for your comment. You remind me that I have a group of expensive, unread books about that part of the world. I may never read them, the way things are going.

I want to stress that Russia and Iran have already worked out the diplomatic agreements which allow Russia to have based bombers at Hamadan, from which attacks were made on Isis in Syria. In other words, Russia knows the way. The question is, is Russia going to stand by and do nothing while the United States bombs Iran back to the stone ages, as it did in North Korea during the Korean conflict? I find that hard to believe. I assume that at some point Russia will, as Russia has previously done in other conflicts, or places, such as in Yemen, in the 1970s and early 80's, assign pilots, and transfer planes ostensibly to the control of the Iranian military.

Diego Garcia is an atoll in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It is a critical anchorage for prepositioning supply ships for any land operations, such as the invasion of Iraq; it is also a support facility, where submarines and other ships can get repairs. It is also an airbase, where B-2 bombers might be assembling as I write, though given everything else that is NOT happening, I assume that is doubtful. Speaking in a general way, the distance from the Persian Gulf, Muscat, or Bahrain, say, to Diego Garcia, is about 2600 or 2700 miles.

If Russia seconded a squadron of bombers such as the TU-22M3 (NATO reporting name Backfire C) under the aegis of Iran, and based them out of Bandar Abbas, Iran will have gotten a lot of reach out into the Indian Ocean, since the Backfire has a combat radius of about 1300-1500 miles.
The missile it will be carrying would be the standard Russian cruise missile--it is not hypersonic-- but it is a sea-skimmer, with a range of about 1550 miles. This is the KH-101/102 (nuclear). It seems certain to me that the Backfire can get the KH-101 (Raduga) missile out there; as can the Blackjack and the Bear. The mission of four or five bombers delivering each about eight missiles could be to sink some of those prepositioning ships; and to wreck the drone base/the airfield, and certain warehouse facilities. There is another thing such an attack could do. Diego Garcia has more than ample rainfall. As things stand today, it has never had a better fresh water supply system. Pipes and water storage, all has been greatly improved. Fresh water for two to three thousand support personnel and base activities is not a problem. I don't think Diego Garcia even needs to have a desalination system. There is one thing, though. Diego Garcia is built on a series of coral reefs, the one stacked on the other in geologic history as ocean levels rose 300 feet from 13,000 years ago. The coral beneath the island is permeated with salt water. The fresh water aquifers of the atoll sit on top of the salt water in what are called "lenses". These lenses hold an enormous amount of water kept stable and tappable by isostatic pressure, I am guessing. If an attack were made by JDAM missiles in areas determined from studies of the island to have these lense aqufiers, and if the missiles went deep into them before exploding, then I think the entire fresh water structure of the island could be ruined. The lenses would be penetrated and ruined. Salt water would permeate, mix and spread through the aquifer. It would become like Basra Governate, which now has an evil polluted salt brine aquifer where once it had fresh water. (And which means that there is already considerable migration from southern Iraq into Kurdish areas around Irbil, to the north.)

eaken , 13 May 2019 at 01:29 PM
Iran should publicly invite Trump to Tehran without his posse.
Artemesia said in reply to eaken... , 14 May 2019 at 03:26 PM
Iran should arrange with Italy for a meeting in Rome with Putin, Xi Jinping, and Trump. The Donald could take the role of Churchill in that meeting, who got an inkling that he was the odd-man out.
Six months later, Mark Clark went to Rome alone rather than execute the British - American pincer plan.

Historian Andrew Buchanan argues that Clark was ordered to take that action by FDR himself in a meeting with Clark at Bernard Baruch's plantation in North Carolina https://www.c-span.org/video/?322137-1/discussion-us-engagement-italy-world-war-ii US forces in control of Rome shut out all diplomats, including Churchill's representatives, from the diplomacy that then took place that determined Italy's future; USA became, effectively, in charge of Mediterranean and trade routes to Levant and North Africa.

Israel and its US lobbies, Jewish & Christian, have GOT to be reined in, or the American empire is on its way to the dustbin of history.

Tidewater said in reply to Artemesia... , 15 May 2019 at 03:40 PM
That historian Andrew Buchanan does not know that Bernard Baruch's plantation was off of Winyah Bay on Waccamaw Neck across from Georgetown, SOUTH Carolina, is, in my view, a red flag about his scholarship. The plantation, Hobcaw Barony, was for FDR, in 1944, a month-long retreat which made it, in effect, the southern White House. Buchanan obviously doesn't know anything at all about southerners in FDR's administration and the New Deal. I cannot help but wonder if Buchanan has ever looked at the papers of James Francis Byrnes, which are held at the University of South Carolina. My guess is that Byrnes might have made some comment about significant matters which happened at Hobcaw, including the visit of General Clark. Shrewd, devious Byrnes is a fascinating figure. (His handiwork is the Santee-Cooper hydroelectric project which you get a glimpse of on I-95 as you drive over lake Marion there, created by damming the Santee. It provided electricity for the whole depression hit state of South Carolina.) Byrnes knew them all, including Stalin. Also, it ought to be noted that Buchanan himself says that there is not a shred of evidence that at Hobcaw FDR personally ordered Mark Clark to disobey the clear orders of Field Marshall Alexander and break away from what could have been a decisive victory and instead go into Rome. It ought to be noted as well that Buchanan's argument that by putting into power the more left-wing politician Ivanoe Bonomi instead of the British backed General Pietro Badoglio, it meant that the communist partisans in northern Italy therefore accepted the new government and willingly laid down their arms, whereas under Badoglio and the King they might not have. I don't think they had a choice; and I wonder if they actually didn't maintain a clandestine arsenal thereafter. They were by no means ready to quit. A quick look at Wikipedia tells us that it was Churchill's government that persuaded Bonomi, who came in in June and was ready to quit by November, to stay on. He did so. The communists were a powerful force in Italy all the way up almost into the 1980s--it was the Red Brigade which kidnapped and murdered Aldo Moro, for example. Further, as a reaction , to the communist threat, there is the whole question of "strategic tension" which gave Italy the "years of lead"-- years of terror bombings by the right, such as the Bologna train station bombing, the bombing of the passenger plane which fell off of Ustica, and the whole mysterious thing that was Gladio. Michael Scammel in 'Koestler', his biography of the writer Arthur Koestler, gives an account of the near hysteria in western Europe in 1948 after the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia. "The coup fulfilled Koestler's direst predictions and worst fears: there was no room for a third force in Europe anymore--not, at least, in countries where the Communists were strong. In France, rife with rumors of a coup of its own and convulsed by increasingly violent strikes, he found a populace growing more jittery by the day. Malraux talked darkly of a plot to foment civil war and publicly threatened "a reorganization of the Resistance" to oppose communism. Charles "Chip" Bohlen, the new American ambassador, talked wildly about dropping an atom bomb on Baku, and newspapers were full of the threat of a new world conflict." (Page 311.) Koestler, when he left Europe for the United States, actually believed that Europe was going to go communist. That Europe was a lost cause.

This is not to say that I am disagreement with what you are saying overall. I find Andrew Buchanan someone new and interesting. Very provocative. Perhaps he overreaches. Don't know enough, really, to make the call. Thank you for the introduction to him. Hobcaw Barony is now a large natural preserve for environmental, oceanographic and coastal studies. Remarkable story about how the foundation was created, mostly by Baruch's daughter, who must have worked a lifetime on it. Sixteen thousand acres on a neck of land that has the Atlantic ocean on one side and marshes and Winyah Bay on the other. It's worth a visit.

ted richard , 13 May 2019 at 01:37 PM
if the true goal of the neocons is war, provoked upon iran then any naval battle group which includes a usa carrier sent into the persian gulf is the match the neocons are looking for once they decide to ''remember the maine'' to it sending it to the bottom, then use that false flag as their pretext.

if its obvious to me wouldn't you suppose its obvious to the pentagon?

O'Shawnessey , 13 May 2019 at 01:39 PM
An apt comparison, no doubt, to "The Day of Deceit."

Then there is the high probability that, even if Iran shows restraint and plays the long game, a provocation in the manner of "Assad gasses his own people" will be arranged for them.

Even so, time is not on the side of the US Entity. How much longer can the Fed's fraudulent T-bill scheme keep running? My sense is that they wouldn't be weaponizing the dollar if they had other actual weapons to hand.

Jack , 13 May 2019 at 01:58 PM
Sir

What real choices do the Iranians have? It would be foolish on their part to launch any kind of military action.

LA Sox Fan -> Jack... , 19 July 2019 at 06:43 PM
While some may think military action from Iran is foolish, a slow death from sanctions isn't going to be something Iran chooses either.
catherine , 13 May 2019 at 01:59 PM

No sooner 'warned' then done. Who did it?

Saudi Arabia said two of its oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and described it as an attempt to undermine the security of crude supplies amid tensions between the United States and Iran.
The reports come as the US warned ships that "Iran or its proxies" could be targeting maritime traffic in the region, and as the US is deploying an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Gulf to counter what it called "threats from Tehran".

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/saudi-oil-tankers-sabotaged-ships-uae-coast-190513055332524.html

ancientarcher , 13 May 2019 at 01:59 PM
Exceptionally good argument. I would also posit that the element of religious belief makes the argument even more potent.
I can't help but think back to more recent instances where the neocons were basically daring the other party to do something - anything. Ukraine in 2014 and Syria later on, come to mind. They had been waiting for the Russians to send in their troops to Ukraine after which they could have totally choked the economy. They also waited for mistakes from Assad, which he wisely avoided.
Similarly, Iran will be wise to avoid reacting in any way to these provocations. Since these provocations are meant to provoke a reaction, if the Iranians bite their lips and hold their hands, they would do more to hurt the neocons than by reacting blindly as the situation and their nature perhaps goads them towards.
D , 13 May 2019 at 03:08 PM
I humbly suggest you watch this series. Unfortunately, I don't know Persian so I can't help with translation. I watched these series with my sister in law who is a Persian Jew with an excellent command of Farsi; the videos are pretty informative.

https://youtu.be/LUHY17zF-9g?t=789

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LersWbaymTM
2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUHY17zF-9g
3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abODp1BeuAg
4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePDXnAe_zm4
5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNboW6WcC3U

Rocketrepreneur , 13 May 2019 at 03:08 PM
Pat,
I share your concern, but for the neocons I fear that they see that backing Iran into a position where it has nothing to lose with a war is a feature, not a bug.
~Jon
walrus , 13 May 2019 at 03:43 PM
Time is not on America's side

In my opinion, the critical element is the forthcoming deployment of advanced Russian and Chinese systems such as the Sarmat heavy ICBM, scheduled I think for 2021, new submarines, etc., etc. and I am not even talking about joint Russo/sino developments.

As Col. Lang/Gingrich explained, we are talking economics here. But unlike Japan, the Russian, Iranian, Syrian, Chinese and associated economies under the stimulus of OBOR are only going to get stronger if left to themselves. The American economy, in my opinion, is no longer capable of replacing ageing infrastructure, matching Russo Chinese military technical capabilities, fielding a million man Army and supporting allies like Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Japan, Poland, etc. without beggaring its population.

To put that another way, the American economic marvel of military production came off a low base with millions of underemployed work hungry people available as a result of the depression. I don't think those conditions obtain today.

Hence the Washington logic of picking off the weakest of the Axis - Iran, right now.

Fred -> walrus ... , 13 May 2019 at 07:51 PM
You mean a million H1B visa holders and 20 million illegal immigrants aren't our strength? Who knew! Maybe we should outsource more manufacturing to China, that'll teach the bastards to mess with us!
ISL said in reply to walrus ... , 19 July 2019 at 07:46 PM
Good points, I would correct:

The "American Political class," rather than the US economy - solutions are available and affordable, but not within the current US political and economic and legal and hence power structures.

FIRE take up too much of the US economy and the best and brightest and has bought the political class hook, line and Epstein.

LJ , 13 May 2019 at 04:09 PM
The chances of war diminished?

https://ejmagnier.com/2019/05/13/from-karbala-to-al-fujairah-an-act-of-sabotage-may-end-prospects-of-a-summer-war-in-the-middle-east/

Eliot said in reply to LJ... , 13 May 2019 at 08:14 PM
LJ

"the chances of war..."

Those damn fools.

This makes war more likely.

- Eliot

Eliot , 13 May 2019 at 04:30 PM
Walrus,

"The American economy, in my opinion, is no longer capable of replacing ageing infrastructure, matching Russo Chinese military technical capabilities"

I was in Russia for the first time last summer. I loved it, but I was surprised by how poor they are. Our debt load aside, they have do have more limited resources.

Sylvia 1 said in reply to Eliot ... , 14 May 2019 at 10:35 AM
I would love to know more about what you mean about Russian poverty. I was there last September and will return again. I would not say the same.
rho , 13 May 2019 at 04:48 PM
I think the key difference is that Japan was isolated on its continent when it made the decision to go to war. (only being allied with Nazi Germany and Italy, which were so far away that the alliance made little difference to Japan's economic situation in 1941)

Going to war must appear more attractive when you have your back against the wall than when you have regional allies who are still willing to support you politically and economically in a meaningful way.

E Publius , 13 May 2019 at 05:17 PM
I have to admit Colonel that this post reminded me of an April 29th profile in the New Yorker of John Bolton. Several days ago after reading the lengthy New Yorker piece I realized how slowly but surely, the Trump admin has been consistently heading toward outright madness with the gradual departure of people like Tillerson, J. Kelly, and Mattis from the office. It was mentioned in the piece how Gen. Mattis thwarted multiple outright crazy attempts by McMaster (who is now at FDD shilling for the "Long War" strategy; once a neocon, always a neocon), Bolton and Mira Ricardel aimed at declaring war against Iran. Now that there are a few key vacant positions in the administration such as the UN Ambs, Homeland Sec, a few at the State Dep, and most importantly at the Pentagon, shouldn't these vacancies act as major restraining factor against war or the Trump admin "is" stupid enough to go full war mode regardless? IMO some things still just do not add up. just wondering...
Christian J Chuba , 13 May 2019 at 07:06 PM
Just curious about something. I hear news stories that we are sending the Lincoln inside the Persian Gulf. That seems like it would negate a lot of our advantage if we actually did fight Iran. It would be in range of every anti-ship missile they have as well as most of their navy which is designed specifically for the Gulf and not much of a blue water navy. Why wouldn't we keep it just outside the Gulf in the open water where our carrier and escorts would seemingly have a bigger advantage?

I don't want a fight and I'm not pretending that I understand naval tactics, but this just seems a bit odd to me.

VietnamVet , 14 May 2019 at 01:16 AM
Colonel,

The damage was above the water line and a slash as if perhaps a missile but did not penetrate the oil bunkers. It does not look like a limpet mine. There are no reports of airplanes or ships but is described as sabotage. It is unlikely to be a false flag. Media reporting has been muted. Simply that it is being investigated. But as pointed out here before there is no stockpiling of supplies needed for an invasion of Iran by a million-man army. Inside the Persian Gulf is the last place the Commander of the Carrier Group wants to be if war breaks out. My guess is that the sabotage to four tankers was a signal of what the Revolutionary Guards could do if they really wanted to and as a counter to ultra-mad man U.S. diplomacy and sanctions. Lloyd's of London must raise their insurance rates. This will raise oil prices at the same time as prices rise due to Mid-West flooding, China's African Swine Fever outbreak, and the imposing of a 25% tariff on Chinese imports. All sorts of bad things are happening at once. Rather than 2003's misleading Shock and Awe propaganda, the 2019 Iranian war drums indicate total incompetence.

Eric Newhill , 14 May 2019 at 09:25 AM
The Imperial Japanese believed that Americans were soft and that US troops would crumble when faced with the mighty spirit of Bushido. They were ultimately banking on that mistaken conclusion. I don't think the Iranians have any such delusions.

I don't see how Iran can do anything more than make some trouble that is minor in the big scheme of things - and which will dig their hole deeper - and then lose.

I don't approve of what is being done, but I think the current Iranian regime could be destroyed if the neocons have their way; albeit with US casualties and great material and financial expense. I don't like how US troops and sailors may be used as bait by the neocons.

Eric Newhill said in reply to Eric Newhill... , 14 May 2019 at 10:12 AM
I should add that to my mind the real question is what would follow in the wake of war. Would the Iranians be happy to be free of the Islamic Revolutionary govt? Or would they go on for generations with wounded pride that demands revenge, like the Palestinians? I think the latter. In which case war/regime change solves nothing. I'm willing to bet the neocons, as usual, have their own delusions about flowers, candy, purple thumbs, smiling faces and freedom.
John Minehan said in reply to Eric Newhill... , 19 July 2019 at 08:26 PM
They had a front row seat for OIF and what came after. I suspect they have a good feeling for our capability and weaknesses . . . whether they can exploit that or not, might be the issue.
turcopolier , 14 May 2019 at 10:03 AM
Eric Newhill - IMO you are underestimating how much damage Iran could do to the fleet in a transition to war situation before the US Navy got its ducks in line and crushed them. As for the illusion about US willingness to fight, all our opponents have believed the same thing before the house fell on them.
Eric Newhill said in reply to turcopolier ... , 14 May 2019 at 10:17 AM
Sir,
Oh, I understand what Iran could do. As you know, it has been war gamed and the US Navy gets hit pretty hard.

But Iran still loses. Each hit the US Navy takes, strengthens the resolve to crush Iran that much harder.

Again, I am in no way approving of what I think may happen. I have been told by someone I know well in the DIA that we are doing to war with Iran sooner or later. The first time I was told this was when Obama was still in office. Then I was told that the election of Trump has changed nothing. Make what you will of that.

blue peacock said in reply to turcopolier ... , 20 July 2019 at 01:58 AM
Col. Lang

"in a transition to war situation before the US Navy got its ducks in line and crushed them" what damage could Iranian ballistic missiles do to UAE, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia? Could they devastate oil & gas, LNG, port and pipeline infrastructure sufficiently that it would take a year to re-build back to full capacity?

It seems it would be a lose-lose proposition for everyone including Trump's re-election prospects. I have seen private surveys of working class people in the mid-west and the south who by an overwhelming majority oppose a war with Iran when informed about some of the potential consequences.

turcopolier , 14 May 2019 at 11:12 AM
Eric Newhill

People in the information parts of the USIC do not know what the US government may do, but they all have opinions.

turcopolier , 14 May 2019 at 11:13 AM
Eric Newhill

We won the Pacific War as well but if you were entombed alive in the bowels of USS Arizona that did nit mean much to you.

Eric Newhill , 19 July 2019 at 05:26 PM
Well, Sir, unfortunately I think you called this one spot on.

IMO, if there's going to be war, then the Europeans and Brits should fight it. Their the ones most impacted (though I recognize that everyone in the global markets will feel the pain resulting from a closure of the straight).

Of course none of them will step up on their own and the US will have to do this. Still holding out hope that some kind of negotiation is possible, but becoming skeptical. The Iranians want to prove they are the men they thought they were. Still, maybe a good deal will satisfy that need.

LA Sox Fan -> Eric Newhill... , 19 July 2019 at 06:58 PM
The Bolton/neoconservative plan of starting a war with Iran is working perfectly. In a tit for tat action, Iran has captured one or more U.K. tankers. My hopes for avoiding a completely unnecessary war with Iran, one we have a fair chance of losing, are becoming slimmer and slimmer.
Walrus said in reply to Eric Newhill... , 19 July 2019 at 10:34 PM
Eric, I'm in Europe right now and I don't think any Europeans are prepared in the slightest to support a war with Iran. For starters, if Iran did not surrender instantaneously, an oil shortage will collapse the European and Chinese economies and that is only one of the minor, first order effects.

The question of "not being the men they thought they were" cuts both ways. Does the European union want to see war with Iran? No. Do the Europeans want to see Britain, egged on by the Neocons, take "a hard line" with Iran? No. Do the Europeans want to aid and abet the U. S. in fighting a war with Iran through NATO? No. Do they want to be "saved from Iran " by the U.S. galloping all over hemisphere as in 1944? No.

So do you really want to see NATO and American relationships with Europe, Russia and China, India and the rest of the world put under severe stress in a @#@# waving contest between Trump and the Mullahs? At the behest of Israel? Because that is what you are going to get.

Then there is the prospect of the Chinese and Russians retaliating, and I don't even want to go there.

The Mullahs have ruined the weekend for the leaders of each and every major nation. What will be happening this weekend in every capital is a series of committee meetings asking the same questions; What should our response to Iran be? What should our response to possible American action be? What is the likely effect of war with Iran on our energy supplies? What is the likely effect of war with Iran on our own security? What is the likely effect of war with Iran on our economy? Public servants will be working late into the night to answer these questions. The only thing for sure is that the price of gold is going to skyrocket when markets open and that a lot of troops are going to get warning orders about notice to move monday morning.

This is the same type of situation that started WW1. ....... So we decide to give those pesky Iranian Mullahs a good whupping because they had it coming. Should be easy, after all they are just more sand niggers, right? All of a sudden Russia drops an air defence regiment into Tehran, We lose aircraft. China let's North Korea off the leash and at the same time issues an ultimatum to Taiwan. Suddenly we are taking losses, have three war theatres going at the same time. What happens then?

I suppose you think nothing is going to affect the continental U.S., so who cares?


Charles Michael -> Eric Newhill... , 20 July 2019 at 08:19 AM
Eric newhill,

There I must disagree:
Nethanyaou is again in election campaign same goes for President Trump; IMHO no war for the newt 6 months and probably never.

A deal is possible ? maybe
but it should encompass the Syrian issue from where all this Iranian crisis is actually born-again.
For example Iran could agree to withdraw its troops from Syria if USA and partners did the same as Trump was considering.
This move would surely have some effect on the YPG position, thus on Turkey's activism along its frontier with Syria (Afrin being not included).


Entering in negociations for a JCPOA bis will not be acceptable for Iran if sanctions (some at least) are not lifted. My educated guess is that is precisely what's going on.

turcopolier , 19 July 2019 at 05:43 PM
JM

IMO the Houthis, the Hizbullah and Hamas are not proxies of Iran. They are allies.

John Minehan said in reply to turcopolier ... , 19 July 2019 at 08:19 PM
Much better choice of words than mine. Thus they are a significant wild card here, I would guess.
Harlan Easley , 19 July 2019 at 06:10 PM
When I read the Iranians captured a British Oil tanker it immediately reminded me of this article.
GeneO , 19 July 2019 at 06:18 PM
pl -

I was hoping yesterdays Zarif/Rand Paul discussion would lead to a ratcheting down of tensions. But the hardliners on both sides would hate to have that happen and will attempt to wreck any détente.

Did Zarif offer the idea of allowing more intrusive inspections of its nuclear program before or after his meeting with Paul? In any case some unnamed US officials said it was a non-starter. Probably the unnamed ones were the Mousetache-of-Idiocy and his minions?

Never should have cancelled JCPOA. Why should we have to do Israel/KSA/UAE's dirty work?

Timothy Hagios , 19 July 2019 at 07:50 PM
One recalls the immortal words of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice: "Absolutely no one could have predicted this."
ambrit , 19 July 2019 at 11:12 PM
Sir;
Isn't the "wild card" here the Israelis?
I can imagine an Iranian government, or perhaps the IRGC in a 'bitter ender' phase targeting Israel proper before they collapse. As the fate of Gerald Ball indicates, the Israelis are understandably paranoid about their regional competitors.
Christian Chuba , 19 July 2019 at 11:34 PM
Iranian grain ships stuck in Brazil due to U.S. sanctions
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-brazil-iran-sanctions/iran-grain-ships-stuck-in-brazil-without-fuel-due-to-u-s-sanctions-idUKKCN1UD2QM

We are now engaging in cartoon villainy in terms of trying to squeeze Iran into a tiny box. Iran cannot transact in dollars so they are reduced to bartering with Brazil for corn. Oops, even their urea export is sanctioned but that doesn't matter because we won't let Brazil sell them fuel oil to ship corn back to their home port. This is flat out evil.

Jim Ticehurst , 20 July 2019 at 12:04 AM
I wondering if the former Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejah ...2005 to 2013 and His "Apocalyptic Shiites" were put in the background...with disinformation about His falling out of Favor....So Iran could play strategic games with the P5+1 agreement IN 2015 especially with President Obama..
SysATI , 20 July 2019 at 12:06 AM
Eric Newhill

"But Iran still loses. Each hit the US Navy takes, strengthens the resolve to crush Iran that much harder."

Cm'on man... wake up and open your eyes...

The US hasn't won any war since... Eternity...
Do I have to remind you what happens in Afghanistan, in Irak or more recently in Syria ?

Well Iran is FIVE times bigger than Syria and is not a divided multicultural/multi-religious country. Do you think that anything you do could change the fact that those 80 something millions people will survive and will ALL be behind their leaders whoever he might be ?

If I was Iranian and even if the leader of the country was Adolf Hitler or some fanatic religious Abu Satanist al Muslim, I would still be behind him if my country was attacked by some foreign bully. My guess is that 99% of the Iranians think the same way....

Forget about allies like Hamas, Hezbollah or Houtis or even China and Russia.
Iran exists since 7000 BC and you really think that the new kid in the block with a couple hundred years of existence would be able to take it out ?
Given your history of military victories ???!!! Don't make me laugh...

Even if you naively believe that, do you think about the consequences of such a war ? Not on Iran, OK, you might level part of the country, but then what ?

Israel would most probably cease to exist. But so as the middle eastern Arab monarchies and most the world's oil industry, which we all depend on...

Which means that the whole planet will suffer for years to come...

If I can't feed my kids because my country can't get enough oil thanks to some nutcase in WDC guess how I'll feel about the US ?

Most of the world already hate you for a reason. If you want to be not just hated but treated like enemies where ever you go, go ahead, bomb Iran, start a war, have the whole world crumble...

And for what ???
Just "because you can" is not a valid answer...

"IMO, if there's going to be war, then the Europeans and Brits should fight it... Of course none of them will step up on their own and the US will have to do this."

Will HAVE TO do this ???!!!

Who the hell is forcing you not to mind your own business ?

Has Iran attacked the US ? Or Britain ? Or Europe ?
Or anyone else in the past several hundreds of years ?
No...


But.... Does the US oil industry would like the oil prices to go up ? YES !!!
Do the crazies in DC want to make more money by selling more weapons ? YES !!!
Do the crazies in Wahabistan hate the Shias and want to get rid of them ? YES !!!
Do the crazies in Israel want to get rid of a powerful neighbor ? YES !!!
Do even some crazies in the US want Israel to go in flames so that Jesus comes back ?

Unfortunately yes...

turcopolier , 20 July 2019 at 11:29 AM
Charles Michael
You are not correct. The Israelis have a deep psychopatholgy about Iranian ballistic missiles and a possible nuclear weapon that might - might exist someday. That has nothing to do with Syria.
David Habakkuk , 20 July 2019 at 01:29 PM
All,

I think the comment by 'Elliot' back in May reflects assumptions which are very deep-seated in the West, are questionable, and if wrong, could prove extraordinarily dangerous. So an extended response seems appropriate.

Of course the Russians have far more limited resources than the United States. What is important is to understand the implications of that fact for their strategic thinking.

On this I would strongly recommend two pieces at the top of the 'Russia' page on the 'World Hot Spots' section of the 'Army Military Press' site.

(See https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Special-Topics/World-Hot-Spots/Russia/ )

The first is a translation of a 2017 article from the journal of the 'Academy of Military Science', entitled 'Color Revolutions in Russia', by A.S. Brychkov and G.A. Nikonorov.

Among other things, this illustrates very well the rather central fact that Russian military strategists are very well aware that one of the things that wrecked the Soviet Union was the attempt to maintain permanent preparedness for a prolonged global war with a power possessing an enormously greater military-industrial potential.

As to the implications for contingency planning for war, these are spelt out in a piece, also published in 207, by the invaluable Major Charles K. Bartles of the Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth, entitled 'Recommendations for Intelligence Staffs Concerning Russian New Generation Warfare.'

At the risk of glossing his meaning overmuch, what is involved is a kind of 'higher synthesis' of the ideas of two figures who were on opposing sides of the arguments of the 'Twenties of the last century, Georgiy Isserson, the pioneering theorist of 'deep operations', and Aleksandr Svechin, who cautioned against an exclusive focus of the 'Napoleonic' strand in Clausewitz.

Both are quoted by the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, General Valery Gerasimov, in his crucial and much misunderstood address to the Academy of Military Science in February 2013, reproduced on the same page as the articles to which I have referred.

What Svechin was saying, in essence, was that an attentive reader of Clausewitz would realise that 'toujours la'audace' should be replaced as a motto by 'l'audace at the right place and time'.

It was crucial to be able to judge when an offensive approach was absolutely the right choice, and caution suicidal, and when the promise of a decisive victory was a snare and a delusion, and defensive and attritional responses appropriate.

(This argument crops up in many contexts: the 'Tabouleh Line' strategy adopted by Hizbullah, which Colonel Lang discussed in posts during and following the 2006 Lebanon War, and also that advocated by James Longstreet at Gettysburg, are classic examples of what Svechin would have seen as circumstances where a sound 'defensive' strategy was the key to victory.)

As regards contemporary Russian thinking, an implication is that one of things they have been trying to create is the ability, in appropriate situations, to use characteristics of 'deep operations' – surprise, speed, shock – in support of clearly limited objectives.

The kind of possibility involved was alluded to in the conversation between the 'Security Adviser' and the 'American Soldier' – seemingly involved on the ground in the 'deconfliction' process – which accompanied Seymour Hersh's June 2017 article in 'Die Welt' on the Khan Sheikhoun sarin incident the previous April, and the U.S. air strikes that resulted.

(See https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article165905618/We-got-a-fuckin-problem.html )

A key exchange:

'SA: There has been a hidden agenda all along. This is about trying to ultimately go after Iran. What the people around Trump do not understand is that the Russians are not a paper tiger and that they have more robust military capability than we do.

'AS: I don't know what the Russians are going to do. They might hang back and let the Syrians defend their own borders, or they might provide some sort of tepid support, or they might blow us the fuck out of the airspace and back into Iraq. I honestly don't know what to expect right now. I feel like anything is possible. The russian air defense system is capable of taking out our TLAMs. this is a big fucking deal...we are still all systems go...'

And that brings one to another critical strand in the approach of contemporary Russian strategic thinkers.

Not simply for war-fighting, but, critically, for 'deterring' the United States from escalating if the Russians do successfully achieve limited objectives, they have been concentrating on 'asymetric' involving focused investment in specific technologies.

So, Bartles explains that the Russian Ground Forces are 'significantly ahead' of the U.S. Army in electronic warfare, key objectives being to disrupt the demonstrated American capability for precision strikes, and also exploit the latent vulnerabilities involved in the dependence of so much equipment on GPS. (As an Army man, he does not discuss the interesting question of naval and air applications.)

And crucially, there has been a focus on developing a very wide range of missiles which 'missile defence' technologies are not going to be able to counter effectively in any forseeable future, and which have steadily increasing range, accuracy and lethality. One central purpose of this, which Gerasimov has spelt out in later addresses to the Academy of Military Science, also available on the page to which I have linked, is to provide non-nuclear 'deterrence' options.

It is, of course, always difficult to be clear as to what is, or is not, hype in claims made for new weapons systems. That said, it is I think at least worth reading some contributions by the Brussels-based American analyst Gilbert Doctorow.

In February, he produced a piece entitled 'The INF Treaty is dead: will the arms race be won this time by the most agile or by the biggest wallet?', and another, headlined 'The Kremlin's Military Posture Re-considered: strategic military parity with the U.S. or absolute military superiority over the U.S.'

(See https://gilbertdoctorow.com/2019/02/05/the-inf-treaty-is-dead-will-the-arms-race-be-won-this-time-by-the-most-agile-or-by-the-biggest-wallet/ ; https://gilbertdoctorow.com/2019/02/24/the-kremlins-military-posture-re-considered-strategic-military-parity-with-the-u-s-or-absolute-military-superiority-over-the-u-s/ .)

Certainly, a good many assertions Doctorow made merit being taken with a pinch of salt, if not a great deal more. However, before one empties the full salt-cellar over them, a few observations are worth making.

How much salt should be applied to Shoigu's assertion that the cost of the systems being developed is hundreds of times less than that of the systems being developed by the United States against Russia I cannot say.

Some questions are however worth putting. It would be interesting to be clearer than I am as to how relevant, or irrelevant, is the fact that for a long time now Russian universities have, frankly, wiped the floor with their Western counterparts in international programming competitions is one.

Another relevant range of issues relates to how expensive the 'software' component of the relevant weaponry actually produced, once it is developed. A third relates to that of how far the new missiles, with their greater range, can be effectively deployed, either by updating old platforms – like Soviet-era bombers – or by creating relatively low cost-ones.

And then of course one comes to the question of how the technical military issues interact with the 'geopolitics' involved. In recent years, a range of different Russian analysts have been claiming, in essence, that the 'Petrine' era of Russian history is over. Three examples, from Dmitri Trenin, Sergei Karaganov, and Vladislav Surkov, can be found at

https://carnegie.ru/2016/12/25/russia-s-post-soviet-journey-pub-66569 ; https://eng.globalaffairs.ru/pubcol/We-Have-Used-Up-the-European-Treasure-Trove-19769 ; https://eng.globalaffairs.ru/book/The-Loneliness-of-the-Half-Breed-19575 .

If, as Trenin argued back in 2016, Russia has moved from aspiring to become part of a 'Greater Europe' to seeing itself as a central part of a 'Greater Eurasia', then this has implications for how it should react to the asymetry which was central to Soviet views of INF in the 'Eighties.'

Put simply, INF in Europe can pose a 'decapitation' threat to Russia, while Russian INF do not do so to the United States.

At that time, the deployment of cruise and Pershing II helped to encourage a burgeoning awareness among important sections of the 'security intelligentsia' in Moscow of the extent to which their own security policies – of which the SS-20 deployment was just one of many examples – had created suspicion, fear and antagonism.

The conclusion – classically expressed in Georgiy Arbatov's joke about the terrible thing that Gorbachev was going to do to the United States, deprive it of an enemy – turned out hopelessly naive. The liquidation of the existing Soviet security posture did not lead to any lesssening of Western antagonism.

In his second piece, Doctorow has an interesting discussion of views expressed by Yakov Kedmi, the sometime 'refusenik' who became a pivotal figure in organising Russian Jewish emigration to Israel, and is now a regular guest on Russian television. And he writes:

'Perhaps Kedmi's most interesting and relevant observation is on the novelty of the Russian response to the whole challenge of American encirclement. He noted that for the past 200 or more years the United States considered itself secure from enemies given the protection of the oceans. However, in the new Russian military threat, the oceans will now become the most vulnerable point in American defenses, from which the decapitating strike can come.'

Putting the point another way. Potentially at least, the 'Greater Eurasia' as Trenin describes it includes the Western European countries – indeed, it appears to include Ireland. It is, obviously, enormously in the interest of the Russians to include these, in that doing so both makes it possible to isolate the 'Anglo-Saxons', and also to provide a counterweight to Chinese preponderance.

To do so however – and at this point I am moving towards my own speculations, rather than simply relying upon better-informed observers – requires a complicated balancing act.

On the one hand, the West Europeans – above all the Germans – have to be persuaded that if they persist in following with the 'Russia delenda est' agendas of traditional 'Anglo' Russophobes, and 'revanchists' from the 'borderlands', they should not think this is going to be cost-free.

But on the other, the promise has to be implied that, if they 'see sense' and realise that their future is with a 'Greater Eurasia', without their needing to 'remilitarise' in any serious way, then they will not be threatened militarily.

This balancing act, ironically, makes it absolutely imperative for the Russians not to threaten the Baltics – particularly given their historical links to Germany.

By the same token, it provides a particularly cogent reason for threatening to respond to new American IMF deployments in Europe with ones that target the United States.

[Jul 20, 2019] The UK's Dubious Role in the New Tanker War With Iran naked capitalism

Jul 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

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The UK's position has now become very dubious. Why did it seize Iran's supertanker Grace 1 in the Gibraltarwaters? Four of Grace 1 's officers, including the ship's captain, all Indians, have been charged in a Gibraltar court and are now out on bail.

In a new twist on this issue, we now know that Gibraltar changed its law underpinning the seizure just one day before it occurred . This adds weight to reports in Spain quoting government sources that the UK carried out the seizing of the tanker under U.S.instructions.

The argument that Grace 1 was carrying crude oil to Syria's Baniyas refinery, and so was violating European sanctions on Syria, sounds weak on various counts.The Gibraltar court's order mentions EU Regulation 36/2012 on sanctions on Syria as the basis for action against Grace 1 . Oil exports from Syria to the EU have been banned, but not oil imports to Syria under EU regulations. Also, imports to the Baniyas refinery are banned for machinery and equipment , not oil.

More important: In international trade, do countries through which transit takes place have the right to impose their laws on the merchandise in transit? For example, can pharmaceutical products from India, which arein consonance with Indian and the receiving country's laws, be seized in transit in Europe if they violate the EU's patent laws? Such seizures have happened , creating a trade dispute between India and the EU. The EU finally agreed not to seize such goods in transit. So can the EU extend its sanctions to goods in transit through its waters? Assuming the crude was indeed for Syria -- which Iran has denied -- do EU sanctions apply when transiting through Gibraltar waters? In short, was the UK imposing EU sanctions on Syria -- or U.S.sanctions on Iran?

There has also been another incident involving Iran and the UK in the developing Tanker War 2. This makes the UK's role even more suspect. Iran has denied the UK's story of its empty tanker Heritage being blocked by Iranian boats in the Persian Gulf. The U.S., which first broke the story, claimed it was five Iranian boats that tried to seize a British tanker. The UK authorities claimed that it was three Iranian boats that were impeding the tanker's journey, which were driven off by a British warship. The Iranians deny that any such incident took place. No video or satellite image of the incident has been made public, though a U.S.aircraft reportedly took video footage of the incident. In his Twitter feed, BBC's Defense Correspondent Jonathan Beale condemned the failure of the British government to release images of the incident: "UK MOD say they will NOT be releasing any imagery from incident in Gulf when @HMS_MONTROSE confronted #Iran IRGC boats. Shame as far as I'm concerned."

What remains unexplained is why the empty UK tanker switched off its transponder before the alleged incident for about 24 hours, particularly in the period when it was passing through the Strait of Hormuz -- or why an empty tanker was accompanied by a British warship. Was the UK baiting Iran by manufacturing a maritime incident in the Gulf?

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said on Twitter that after a phone call with Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, he offered to release the tanker Grace 1 on the condition that it will not send the oil to Syria. This still begs the question of the UK's locus in deciding the destination of Iranian oil -- or why Iran should accept EU sanctions.

[Jul 19, 2019] The 'Unconstitutional Animus' Against UK Labour Leader by Johanna Ross

Notable quotes:
"... A couple of weeks ago, The Times of London published an article about senior civil servants fearing U.K. opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn was "too frail" to be prime minister. Reportedly they also thought he "lacks both a firm grasp of foreign affairs and the domestic agenda. ..."
"... This is the same civil service that is supposed to maintain complete neutrality and according to its code "must not act in a way that unjustifiably favours or discriminates against particular individuals or interests." ..."
"... Corbyn fought back, arguing that it was unacceptable that civil servants were briefing newspapers on an elected politician. He demanded an independent inquiry into who was spreading such fabrications in the press and "compromising the integrity of the civil service." ..."
"... Miller, who runs the Bristol-based Organisation for Propaganda Studies, said the scheme was found to be spreading its own disinformation and openly criticizing opposition leader Corbyn and his party. ..."
"... Miller said this was clear from the very beginning of the Integrity Initiative when it was regularly engaged in tweeting or retweeting attacks on Corbyn and his closest advisors. ..."
"... Miller calls the use of taxpayers' money to interfere in domestic politics an affront to democracy. ..."
"... Chris Williamson, a Labour MP and Corbyn supporter who was trying to investigate the Integrity Initiative, found himself suspended from the party after he was targeted with allegations of anti-Semitism. ..."
"... Corbyn's call for an independent investigation into the civil service leak to the press has also, as expected, been rejected by the government. ..."
"... If you enjoyed this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one. ..."
"... Jews in Europe and the US have gone from being heavily discriminated against to having much more influence on government than their numbers warrant. I'm going to tell the Netanyahu joke to make my point. Don't know who to credit. Kudos anyway. "It is not anti-Semitic to disagree with Benjamin Netanyahu as he is as white as the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan." ..."
"... If the Integrity Initiative really is shut down, the little Simon Bracey-Lane will be free to cross the pond and campaign for Bernie just like he did in 2015 / 2016. Nah, just kiddin', his cover is blown. But seriously, campaign managers for Tulsi Gabbard best be on guard against inflation from these snakes. ..."
"... This is a joke right. You say communist and you reference China, but in the last century it was ok to ship nearly the entire industrial base of Western Democracies to China so that a bunch of fat cat tycoons, investment bankers, hedge funders et al could become so rich they finally had enough money to purchase the U.S. Government, and it looks like the government of Britain too. ..."
"... This incessant accusation of antisemitism against anyone who supports justice for Palestinians does seem to be effective. A decade ago when I first noticed this smear tactic I assumed it would be self defeating on the part of the Zionists and their backers. It sort of seemed obvious that such a tactic would be self limiting with the broader world beginning to reject such slander. However, it seems the smear is more effective today than it was ten years ago. So depressing. Watching Corbyn's supporters ripping apart his own base in the Labour Party in an effort to appease the Israelis is appalling -- it seems the more that is conceded the more aggressive the Zionist become. Ten years ago it was proper to describe the West Bank as "occupied territory", soon it will be considered antisemitic to even go that far. ..."
"... in 2015, an unnamed, serving British general was quoted saying that if a Corbyn government implemented his well-established anti-imperial and anti-nuke agenda, "there would be mass resignations at all levels [of the military] and you would face the very real prospect of an event which would effectively be a mutiny." https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/british-army-could-stage-mutiny-under-corbyn-says-senior-serving-general-10509742.html ..."
"... As Mayhew noted, 'the turning point' was the speech of George Marshall the US Secretary of State in June 1947. From 'the middle of 1947 onwards, decisions were taken towards uniting the free world, at the expense of widening the gap with the Communist world our immediate objective changed, from "one world" to "one free world"'. ..."
"... . That is what all of this is about: this is all a campaign by capitalists, plutocrats, oligarchs, monarchs, aristocrats, to keep expandable, pitiful average plebs from ever voting for something better than corporate serfdom and debt slavery. ..."
Jul 19, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

The 'Unconstitutional Animus' Against UK Labour Leader July 16, 2019 • 39 Comments

Johanna Ross spoke with David Miller, a propaganda researcher, after the recent publicity of U.K. civil service murmurings about Jeremy Corbyn's "fitness."

By Johanna Ross
in Edinburgh, Scotland
Special to Consortium News

A couple of weeks ago, The Times of London published an article about senior civil servants fearing U.K. opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn was "too frail" to be prime minister. Reportedly they also thought he "lacks both a firm grasp of foreign affairs and the domestic agenda."

This is the same civil service that is supposed to maintain complete neutrality and according to its code "must not act in a way that unjustifiably favours or discriminates against particular individuals or interests."

Corbyn fought back, arguing that it was unacceptable that civil servants were briefing newspapers on an elected politician. He demanded an independent inquiry into who was spreading such fabrications in the press and "compromising the integrity of the civil service."

Controversial BBC graphic seeking to link Corbyn to Russia.

For David Miller, a professor of political sociology at the University of Bristol, who investigates concentrations of power and ways to hold them accountable, the idea that the British civil service may not be impartial in its operations is hardly surprising.

Far from ever being objective, he told Consortium News that the civil service now clearly has "an unconstitutional animus against a potential Corbyn government and has been briefing against it one way or another through various agencies for some time now."

Catalog of Smears

Indeed, the anti-Corbyn bias within the establishment has been obvious in the catalog of smears on Corbyn and his team since he came to the Labour leadership; from allegations of being a "Soviet sleeper" to being "anti-Semitic" and now to questions about his overall fitness.

David Miller: Faction fight against Corbyn. (University of Bristol)

Miller said most of the allegations were created by a number of organisations and individuals who are "involved in a faction fight with the Corbyn leadership."

Noam Chomsky, a leading U.S. social critic, is among those who have spoken out against what he termed a "witch hunt" against the Labour leader and his supporters.

Whether or not anti-Semitism exists in the party, Miller said the accusations are out of hand. "Almost everyone who says anything which is either critical of Israel or critical of the party's response to the anti-Semitism crisis is denounced as an anti-Semite," Miller said. "The question is how long will it be before everyone sees that the people who are involved in this have overreached themselves."

Attempts to undermine potential socialist governments are of course, not new.

Miller gives the example of the Zinoviev case – when a fake letter was published in the Daily Mail in 1924 just prior to the general election, suggesting Communists in Britain were taking orders from Moscow. The goal was clearly to undermine the British Labour movement.

Miller also points to the case of former Prime Minister Harold Wilson. "Despite what may now be said by some elements of the security state," Miller said that British agencies were engaged in an active plot to undermine Wilson's elected government.

As another example, Miller offered the "Information Research Department," first proposed in 1947 and sold to the cabinet as a bipartisan, anti-Communist and anti-American propaganda operation. In fact, Miller described it as a "secret, covert, anti-Communist propaganda operation which in the 70s was engaged in undermining the Wilson government."

Today, Miller said, similar agencies in the U.K. government are doing the same thing.

Harold Wilson in 1986. (Allan Warren, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Integrity Initiative

As an example, Miller cites the Integrity Initiative; organized by the government's Institute for Statecraft, which has a stated mission of countering "Russian disinformation and malign influence by harnessing existing expertise and establishing a network of experts, opinion formers and policy makers to educate national audiences in the threat and to help build national capacities to counter it." Its website is incidentally now empty pending an investigation into the "theft of its data" – after a hack exposed detail of the extent to which the government-funded program was itself engaged in disinformation.

Miller, who runs the Bristol-based Organisation for Propaganda Studies, said the scheme was found to be spreading its own disinformation and openly criticizing opposition leader Corbyn and his party.

"Corbyn has recently said in relation to the most recent criticism from the civil service that there are people in the establishment that are trying to undermine Corbyn, his office, his advisors and supporters of him," Miller said. "And that's what the Integrity Initiative was doing."

Cartoon published by Punch after the Zinoviev letter was released, depicting a Bolshevik campaigning for Ramsay MacDonald, head of the short-lived Labour government of 1924. (Wikimedia Commons)

Miller said this was clear from the very beginning of the Integrity Initiative when it was regularly engaged in tweeting or retweeting attacks on Corbyn and his closest advisors.

Miller calls the use of taxpayers' money to interfere in domestic politics an affront to democracy.

"A government-funded project was engaged in attacking the leader of the opposition," Miller said, "which is unconstitutional and something the U.K. civil service should not be involved in they crossed the line when they started attacking Corbyn. And when we look back on this period, the Integrity Initiative, its funding by the Foreign Office and its base in British military intelligence will be one of the strands of the activities which will be seen to have been a secret state campaign against the elected leader of the Labour party."

Miller would like to see an investigation into the attacks on Corbyn and whether they had been effectively funded by the Foreign Office, but doesn't hold out much hope of that happening.

Six months ago, Shadow Home Secretary Emily Thornberry demanded answers to how this could have happened, with no result.

And Chris Williamson, a Labour MP and Corbyn supporter who was trying to investigate the Integrity Initiative, found himself suspended from the party after he was targeted with allegations of anti-Semitism.

Corbyn's call for an independent investigation into the civil service leak to the press has also, as expected, been rejected by the government.

Johanna Ross is a freelance journalist based in the United Kingdom.

If you enjoyed this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.


Michael McNulty , July 18, 2019 at 05:52

After he won the second round to remain Labour Party leader Corbyn should have left the party to form a new socialist party, taking his large following and their subscriptions with him. He would have had three years behind him with a new movement, one which would not have had the back-stabbers and poisoners he's having to deal with daily. It would have been quite established now and a real political force. I think the Labour Party is so polluted that the left must break away; it's the only way we can overturn the excesses and failures of neo-liberalism which for most people is a truly dreadful system.

Maz Palmer , July 17, 2019 at 15:02

They are all much worse than bozos (or Bezos); they are all plutocrats, oligarchs, neo-liberal neo-fascist capitalists. That is what all of this is about: this is all a campaign by capitalists, plutocrats, oligarchs, monarchs, aristocrats, to keep expandable, pitiful average plebs from ever voting for something better than corporate serfdom and debt slavery.

Hopelb , July 17, 2019 at 21:52

Upvote!

Piotr Berman , July 17, 2019 at 14:55

"lacks both a firm grasp of foreign affairs and the domestic agenda."

It makes me wonder how Teresa May and her Cabinet, including the next PM, fares in such assessment. Nincompoops, loud mouths, poodles, and worshipers of woodoo economics.

James , July 17, 2019 at 14:22

I get it. Corbyn is Pro-Palestinian, anti-war and Pro-Worker so they are trying to get rid of him.

All I see are articles attacking him. Are there people/forces behind him supporting him? Is his support significant among other Labour MP's and the Public at large?

Piotr Berman , July 17, 2019 at 16:11

The problem is that UK public opinion is quite chaotic at this point and "everything is possible". At some point, four parties had roughly the same poll numbers: Tories, Brexit, Labour and LibDems. However, in the last two weeks Labour and Tories gained with Labour ahead. In a system with single seat districts, "anything can happen", and a recent by-election suggested that Labour may have an advantage in "foot soldiers", volunteers who walk around a district chatting up voters. The internal fights in Labour attracted many new members, and from the point of view of "sensible folks in the Establishment", this is the worst type of rubble. No respect for monarchy, the Trident, necessity of low taxes on business and the rich and so on. And anti-Semitic to boot.

So the meaning of "Corbyn is frail" is that while he himself seems mild mannered, his victory will unleashed the unwashed hordes wrecking everything which is good and he hold dear, like the monarchy, the Trident and so on.

Piotr Berman , July 17, 2019 at 16:45

The problem is that UK public opinion is quite chaotic lately and "everything is possible". At some point, four parties had roughly the same poll numbers: Tories, Brexit, Labour and LibDems. However, in the last two weeks Labour and Tories gained with Labour ahead. In a system with single seat districts, "anything can happen", and a recent by-election suggested that Labour may have an advantage in "foot soldiers", volunteers who walk around a district chatting up voters. The internal fights in Labour attracted many new members, and from the point of view of "sensible folks in the Establishment", this is the worst type of rabble. No respect for the monarchy, the Trident, the necessity of low taxes on business and the rich and so on. And anti-Semitic to boot.

So the meaning of "Corbyn is frail" is that while he himself seems mild mannered, his victory would unleashed unwashed hordes wrecking everything which is good and that we hold dear, like the monarchy, the Trident and so on.

Jeff Ewener , July 17, 2019 at 13:26

Gob-smacking. To call a man with the intelligence, experience, sensitivity & integrity of Jeremy Corbyn "unfit" to be the British Prime Minister, while a monstrosity like Boris Johnson is standing on the doorstep of Number 10 – just takes the breath away.

rosemerry , July 17, 2019 at 15:45

Not to mention the former "New Labour" leaders whose policies fell far away from the traditional policies Corbyn has held to and which caused so many Britons to support him as leader.

Hayman Fan , July 18, 2019 at 11:49

Integrity? Are you joking? Corbyn has been anti-EU for 40 years. In fact, he is the only main party leader who voted leave in the last people's vote (aka the referendum). But he has tried to hid that fact. He has been sitting on the fence and playing politics with the issue. Many fools in Britain believe Corbyn is a remainer. A man of integrity would have explained to the British people his long held position on the EU and Brexit. But he didn't do that because he isn't a man of integrity. He wants to con his way into power and if he gets there (looking unlikely right now), he and his Stalinist henchpeople will wield that power ruthlessly.

Richard Kuper , July 17, 2019 at 12:37

Fascinating article. May we repost it on jvl.org.uk?

Eddie , July 17, 2019 at 12:36

Comment that I posted on the Malware article do not post.

Zenobia van Dongen , July 17, 2019 at 11:39

In English-speaking countries anti-Semitic is just a code word for pro-Islamic. Miller himself is deeply involved in efforts to make extremist Islam respectable and justifying terrorist indoctrination.

Simeon Hope , July 17, 2019 at 13:05

Okay, I'll take your comment as made in good faith but you will need to back it up with good evidence. Where is it?

Qui? , July 18, 2019 at 03:22

Palestinians are semites, as the rest of the Arabs. So who is the real antisemite now?

Truth first , July 17, 2019 at 11:37

A "communist" who is against war, nukes and massive inequality is OK by me.

Hayman Fan , July 18, 2019 at 07:28

Is it indeed. Then your are a fool. Pol Pot was a communist who was against war and nukes and massive inequality. But implementing totalitarism by force didn't turn out well for the Cambodian people. And it wouldn't turn out well for the British people either. Except for Corbyn and his henchpeople of course.

dean 1000 , July 17, 2019 at 10:42

Jews in Europe and the US have gone from being heavily discriminated against to having much more influence on government than their numbers warrant. I'm going to tell the Netanyahu joke to make my point. Don't know who to credit. Kudos anyway. "It is not anti-Semitic to disagree with Benjamin Netanyahu as he is as white as the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan."

Given the influence of US and European Jews it is well past time for them to stop screaming anti-semitism when someone has a divergent opinion. They should stop using Semitic people as human shields.

The left also likes to hurl anti-Semitism at political opponents when they don't have a relevant answer.

Unfounded criticism of Jews is anti-Jewish rather than anti-Semitic. Call it what it is.

Ron Striebig , July 17, 2019 at 06:26

As Albert Einstein says Capitalism is an Evil supported by those who are terrified of Jeremy Corbyn because like Jesus he is a true Socialist

Que Nelle , July 17, 2019 at 05:52

To be accused of antisemitism by zionists that champion the racist entity israel, is a badge of honor.

Vivian O'Blivion , July 17, 2019 at 03:30

If the Integrity Initiative really is shut down, the little Simon Bracey-Lane will be free to cross the pond and campaign for Bernie just like he did in 2015 / 2016. Nah, just kiddin', his cover is blown. But seriously, campaign managers for Tulsi Gabbard best be on guard against inflation from these snakes.

Hayman Fan , July 17, 2019 at 02:51

Guys be careful with this. Corbyn is a communist. He is surrounded by Stalinists. Their modus operandi is entryism + free stuff + perpetual attacks on cultural norms. They used to laud the USSR. Then Venezuala. Now China. If they ever manage to grab power, they will stamp on individual liberty. Just like China does. The Muslim vote is very important to them and whilst they despise conventional religions, they will happily 'buy' Muslim votes with anti Israeli and anti Semitic rhetoric. The loudest voices speaking up against Corbyn and his henchpeople are on the left. Be a little bit circumspect.

Truth first , July 17, 2019 at 11:36

A "communist" who is against war, nukes and massive inequality is OK by me.

Simeon Hope , July 17, 2019 at 13:09

Errr what ? Israel does enough on its own to show how anti-Arab and undemocratic it is without the need for Jeremy Corbyn to add anything. I'm a socialist. I support what Mr Corbyn is doing to promote socialism in the UK. There's not the slightest evidence he's an anti-Semite, and the tiny amount of anti-Semitism in the Labour party is dwarfed by what's emanating from the right against Jews and Muslims.

Just say no , July 17, 2019 at 13:58

This is a joke right. You say communist and you reference China, but in the last century it was ok to ship nearly the entire industrial base of Western Democracies to China so that a bunch of fat cat tycoons, investment bankers, hedge funders et al could become so rich they finally had enough money to purchase the U.S. Government, and it looks like the government of Britain too. That's where we are today.

There may be "communists" lurking somewhere mostly in the imagination who are trotted out whenever a left person obtains a plurality. What has happened to Jeremy Corbyn is horrifying and we have our own issues in the U.S. with the endless smears and lies regarding the candidacy of Bernie Sanders. We live in a world of fabrication, sanctions enough to go around for everyone. Even the little state of RI is sanctioned by Moody's for having the effrontery to pass a bill which "gives too much away to labor" but Moody's and the other ratings agencies gave triple AAA ratings to junk during the "great recession" plain and simple, and no one cared. We need a Nuremburg trial for Capitalism and all its practioners.

Piotr Berman , July 18, 2019 at 00:33

"You say communist and you reference China, "

You are wrong is several ways. First, "There may be "communists" lurking somewhere mostly in the imagination who are trotted out whenever a left person obtains a plurality." Corbyn was observed to be a threat the moment he was elected Labour leader, something that stumped large segments of "informed public". Due to the surprise element, the anti-Semitic angle was not exploited properly, with possible exception of some Zionist whack jobs who harranged him. Instead, two points were raised that really jolted my attention.

First, Corbyn was sooo extreme that he advocated discontinuation of Trident program and even, horror!, the entirety of British nuclear arms program. You could as well raise huge signs ?????? ?y???? ???????! on English shores.

Second, his bicycling habits were compared to China during the orthodox Communist year, when riding on non-descript bikes was heavily supported by pre-Capitalist leadership.

Mind you, a person of note may ride a bike without shame, but not the cheap and aged specimen favored by Corbyn. Finally, compromising photos were found showing Corbyn relaxing and revealing his red socks.

Paul Merrell , July 17, 2019 at 23:40

@ "Hayman Fan"

A rather dubious name, methinks. See https://preview.tinyurl.com/y3us8776

Sounds like you just couldn't stand not posting a troll comment on an article about your own activities, yes?

ToivoS , July 16, 2019 at 22:54

This incessant accusation of antisemitism against anyone who supports justice for Palestinians does seem to be effective. A decade ago when I first noticed this smear tactic I assumed it would be self defeating on the part of the Zionists and their backers. It sort of seemed obvious that such a tactic would be self limiting with the broader world beginning to reject such slander. However, it seems the smear is more effective today than it was ten years ago. So depressing. Watching Corbyn's supporters ripping apart his own base in the Labour Party in an effort to appease the Israelis is appalling -- it seems the more that is conceded the more aggressive the Zionist become. Ten years ago it was proper to describe the West Bank as "occupied territory", soon it will be considered antisemitic to even go that far.

David G , July 16, 2019 at 21:21

In addition, in 2015, an unnamed, serving British general was quoted saying that if a Corbyn government implemented his well-established anti-imperial and anti-nuke agenda, "there would be mass resignations at all levels [of the military] and you would face the very real prospect of an event which would effectively be a mutiny." https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/british-army-could-stage-mutiny-under-corbyn-says-senior-serving-general-10509742.html

David G , July 16, 2019 at 21:07

" the 'Information Research Department,' first proposed in 1947 and sold to the cabinet as a bipartisan, anti-Communist and anti-American propaganda operation."

"Anti-American" is a slip, right? I assume it was pro-American (or pro-USAian).

David Miller , July 17, 2019 at 04:17

My apologies, I was paraphrasing the work of Lyn Smith in her article on IRD in Millennium in 1980. It should really be 'anti capitalist'. According Smith the founder of IRD (Christopher Mayhew) put forward a plan to set up a cold war propaganda agency:

'Mayhew put forward his ideas: the campaign should be as positive as possible laying stress on the merits of Social Democracy but, he pointed out "we shouldn't appear as defenders of the status quo but should attack Capitalism and Imperialism along with Russian Communism" In fact at this early stage, the idea was more of a "third force" propaganda attacking Capitalism as well as communism (this, however, was not to last for, as later documents reveal, anti Communism soon cam to the fore).'(Covert British Propaganda: The Information Research Department: 1947-77, Millennium, 9(1), p68-9)

In fact the idea that it would be anti capitalist was a ruse used by Mayhew to deceive the left members of the British cabinet. As my colleague and I Will Dinan summarised in our book A Century of Spin (Pluto Press, 2008, p130-1):

IRD was not created with the knowing support of the Labour Cabinet. The author of the paper which went to the cabinet – Christoper Mayhew – was a Labour right winger and cold warrior. He dissembled to the cabinet about the purpose and function of the IRD by claiming that it was to be a 'Third Force' campaign, understood as policy intended by the left to be independent of both the US and the USSR. According to Mayhew himself:

I thought it was necessary to present the whole campaign in a positive way, in a way which Dick Crossman and Michael Foot would fi nd it hard to oppose. And they were calling for a Third Force so I recommended in the original paper I put to Bevin that we call it a Third Force propaganda campaign.

As Mayhew noted, 'the turning point' was the speech of George Marshall the US Secretary of State in June 1947. From 'the middle of 1947 onwards, decisions were taken towards uniting the free world, at the expense of widening the gap with the Communist world our immediate objective changed, from "one world" to "one free world"'.

It is interesting, in this light, to reflect what might/will happen once a Corbyn government is elected with – how should we put this – a minority of leftists in the cabinet.

David G , July 17, 2019 at 15:27

Very interesting! I guess the propagandists back then had a little more finesse than the idiotic bludgeoning the US/UK establishment is laying on us these days. Thanks for the clarification, David Miller!

Jeff Harrison , July 16, 2019 at 21:05

The British Political Class has the same problem as the American Political Class – No integrity, No Honesty, No ethics. Just the sort of bozos we need running countries.

Maz Palmer , July 17, 2019 at 14:59

They are all much worse than bozos (or Bezos); they are all plutocrats, oligarchs, neo-liberal neo-fascist capitalists. That is what all of this is about: this is all a campaign by capitalists, plutocrats, oligarchs, monarchs, aristocrats, to keep expandable, pitiful average plebs from ever voting for something better than corporate serfdom and debt slavery.

[Jul 18, 2019] The more "effective" the sanctions, the closer to war

Jul 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

elkern , Jul 17 2019 16:08 utc | 31

Trailer Trash is exactly right about brittle supply chains. To "maximize Shareholder value" (the Prime Directive from Wall Street), corporations are maximizing (not optimizing) efficiency, at the expense of long-term priorities.

Summer Diaz is sorta right about what I might describe as US cultural/political obesity, but I don't look forward to living here after the shit hits the fan. There are lotsa crazy bastards with guns. We'll see real race war, starvation, all 4 Horsemen.

Re questions about Israel's fate in Marandi's scenario: I think it's smart that he/they don't talk about retaliation against Israel. Everybody knows that Iran has the ability to really hurt Israel (sans Nukes, they probably can't obliterate it); but this threat is much better left unsaid, just hanging in the air. Threatening Israel would be bad PR, decreasing chances that EU, Russia, & China can talk the US back from the brink of WWIII. And making sure Israel knows they're in danger - without bragging about it - gets (non-crazy) Zionists in USA to help prevent all-out war!

It's OK for Iran to talk about the threat to KSA, UAE, etc, because everybody hates them anyway, and cutting off the world's energy supply is their Doomsday Bomb. They need to remind the world that if the US attacks Iran, everybody loses.


karlof1 , Jul 17 2019 16:23 utc | 32

Three main antagonists have aimed at post-revolution Iran: The Outlaw US Empire, Occupied Palestine, and Saudi Arabia, the latter being the most recent and vulnerable, while the first two have already waged varying degrees of war with the Empire's Economic War having existed for 40+ years. The Levant's former Colonial powers--Turkey, France, UK--are feeble, and in Turkey's case is allied with Iran while being spurned by NATO and EU. Lurking in the background are Russia and China's designs for Eurasian Integration which only the Outlaw US Empire seeks to prevent as such integration benefits Saudi Arabia, Occupied Palestine, France and UK. Thus the only entity that might benefit from non-hybrid war with Iran is the Outlaw US Empire--Occupied Palestine's interests actually lie with becoming part of an Integrated Eurasia not in trying to impede it. And the same goes for the other nations occupying the Arabian Peninsula--but they all need to come to their senses by deeply examining their actual long term interests as Qatar seems to have done in its rapprochement with Iran.

But, just how would a non-hybrid conflict with Iran benefit the Outlaw US Empire if it consumes its regional allies? Would it bring more riches or create greater debt atop the human cost? Most analysts have pointed to the Empire's vulnerability upon the trashing of the current global economic structure. Indeed, the only visible benefit might accrue from slowing Eurasian Integration. Then there's the highly negative result to the Empire's global credibility which is already scrapping rock bottom and the likely end of Dollar Hegemony and the Free Lunch it's lived on for the past 70+ years. But what about the fulfillment of the Christian Rapture Myth? Sorry, but there should be no need to answer that fantastical, magical, thinking. Not a very good balance sheet is it as liabilities seem to vastly outweigh assets. Unfortunately, such logic is ignored by ideologues drunk on magical thinking. And these results don't take into consideration an escalation into global nuclear conflict that's in nobody's interest.

But as noted, Trump's up a tree and keeps climbing higher onto ever thinner, more precarious branches. Iran offered him a chance to climb down if he removes illegal sanctions and returns to JCPOA, which Pompeo promptly replied to with a lie that Iran would negotiate on its ballistic missiles, thus giving the overall goal away.

So, Trump can't/won't climb down and non-hybrid conflict would do great damage to Outlaw US Empire interests, which is where we were at July's beginning.

goldhoarder , Jul 17 2019 16:41 utc | 33
Iran will respond to a limited military strike with a massive and disproportionate counterstrike targeting both the aggressor and its enablers.
Which will be the green light for an even more violent & disproportionate counterstrike on Iran. Make no mistake - there are plenty of gung-ho Washington & Tel Aviv power brokers who want to trash Iran. And they will do it, given the chance. The above scenario is precisely what the war gods are hoping for.

I don't know about that. The US and Israel would really be opening up a can of worms. Any over reaction by the USA and Israel gives Russia, India, and China a precedent to follow. China might it easy to settle their difficulties with Taiwan. Kiev might go up in a mushroom cloud. The USA isn't the only country in the world with problems. If they don't play by the rules it just leads to more rule breakers.

arata , Jul 17 2019 16:47 utc | 34
An Alternate Scenario
There is a saying in Persian language called "Namad Maali" translates as "feltman massag", it means slow killing.
This proverb is very often used in contemporary Persian language but most of the people do not know the actual origin of the proverb.
There is an interesting legend behind it. Holagu Khan, a Mongol ruler, the grandson of Chengiz Khan conquered Baghdad on year 1258, and captured the Caliph Al-Mo'tasam, the last Caliph of Abbasid dynasty. Holagu decided to execute the Caliph and finish the 500 years Muslim caliphate.
Many statesmen begged him to hold on. They told him that the caliph is legitimate successor of prophet Mohammad. Caliphate is the pillar of the world, if you remove this pillar there will be sun eclipse, thunder storm and total darkness. Holagu, with his shamanistic believes fearing sky revenge was yielding, but he consulted his prime minister a Persian mullah, Nasir al-Din Tusi. Nasir told him do not worry, these are total nonsense, all of our great Shai twelve imams were direct descendants of prophet Mohammad, they were inherently innocent, while Abbasid are not direct descendants of prophet. See that our imams, eleven out of twelve, were martyred, there was no sun eclipse, no thunder storm, no darkness of the world.
Holagu was bold enough to carry out the execution. Other statesmen brought forward a group of astrologists who searched through their horoscopes and studied signs of stars and concluded that all the signs are catastrophic, if a drop of caliph's blood drops on earth, there will be a devastating thunder storm, rain of bloods pours down from sky and end of world ...
Holagu consulted Nasi again. Nasir being a great humorist, told him not worry, we can devise a pretty easy solution for your peace of mind, send the caliph to hot bath of feltman workshop, order to be wrapped in felt, they will give him a hot water bath with soap, they will roll him slowly over and over, as they are crafting a felt, his life will be ended peacefully in massage, without a drop of blood, meanwhile I will assign one of my intelligent apprentice who is familiar with sky ways ( Nasir was a great mathematician and Astronomer, he founded a famous observatory, he was inventor of trigonometry), to sit on the roof top of the feltman workshop, he will monitor any changes on sky if there is a minor change, he will signal to the feltman to release the caliph.
President Vladimir Khan has been giving warnings to Ayatollah do not burn JCPOA, do not close Strait of Hurmoz. Ayatollah is telling him do not worry we are giving a feltman massage. Just tell Xi khan do not lean his back against the wall street pillar, clean up your hands from future fund casino, the pillars are collapsing slowly.



jason , Jul 17 2019 17:13 utc | 35
the US and its allies are bluffing. don't get caught up in wars and rumors of it. the only way it was going to happen was if syria and iraq fell and both of them didn't.

when it didn't. they resort back to the usual MO, look busy.

OutOfThinAir , Jul 17 2019 17:31 utc | 36
A reminder from Iran that they can hit back.

Hopefully folks who can influence power have been reading the Guns of August.

Possible miscalculations are everywhere and the parties are no strangers to false flags and proxy actors.

So I'm crossing my fingers for strong back channel communications.

I'm not expecting outright major war. Perhaps a skirmish or two, but a negotiated deal is still the most likely outcome.

c1ue , Jul 17 2019 17:56 utc | 37
@C I eh? #14
I don't see China as the same situation as Russia.
The Russians who have largely supported Putin despite economic ill-effects from sanctions are, at best, 1 generation removed from 1991-1996 post-Soviet collapse privation. They remember the bad times and how to get through them.
The mainland Chinese today are 2 generation removed from the famines in the 50s and 60s, and furthermore there is a largely generational break due to the Cultural Revolution.
I don't see China collapsing, but I also don't see the mainstream population taking a oil-starvation induced economic collapse well at all, because the deal is social repression if the economy and standards of living continue to improve.
The difference is French cheese and EU fruits and vegetables - luxury goods vs. oil = energy = everything.
Uncle Jon , Jul 17 2019 17:57 utc | 38
There seems to be misconception about Kuwait, in particular.

Kuwaitis are fed up with the Saudis and are more Iranophile than anything. They see who is a true regional power.

Recently, I happen to be invited to a diplomatic function, welcoming a new Kuwaiti ambassador (Not in US). There were several businessmen associates of the new ambassador at that function. In an impromptu conversation, they professed their love for anything Iranian or Persian, from culture and history to food and the people, and their disdain for the Saudis and their ruling family.

In fact, one of them, much to my shock, uttered the circulating rumor that the ruling family in SA are actually Jews. He said everyone in the region knows about this open secret but afraid to talk about. That was a revelation for me coming from a Kuwaiti since I never did pay attention to those rumors.

I think in the event of a regional conflict, Kuwait will be spared by Iran. What would happen to the ruling family will be another story.

james , Jul 17 2019 18:04 utc | 39
thanks Seyed Mohammad Marandi.. i agree with your headline...

the usa is not agreement friendly.. everything is on their terms only... they rip up contracts when a new president doesn't like it, and make endless demands of others under threat, just like bullies do. they sanction countries and don't mind killing, starving and subjecting people in faraway lands to their ongoing and desperate means of domination.. nothing about the usa is friendly... they spend all their money on the military not just because it works so well for wall st and the corporations but because they think they can continue to bully everyone and anyone indefinitely.. they get support from the obvious suspects and all the other colonies of the usa - europe, canada and etc - turn a type of blind eye to it all, fearful they might be next if they step out of line.. thus, all these chattel countries fail in line with the usa regime sanctions...

basically, the prognosis isn't good.. none of the colonies are capable of speaking up to the usa regime, largely because they lack strong leadership and independence of thought in all this... we continue to slip towards ww3 and at present all the observing countries sit on their hands waiting for the next shoe to drop.. that is where we are at present with regard the ramp up to war on iran...

Harry Law , Jul 17 2019 21:24 utc | 60
The Gulf states know they would be in the front lines in any conflict, Saudi and UAE infrastructure destruction would mean Kings, Princes and Emir's scurrying from their destroyed countries because of their inability to sell oil and feed their people, as one Iranian General said.. the US bases in the region are not threats, "they are targets". Its true Iran has an army of 500,000, they also have millions of military aged men who would form militias and have the reputation of taking their shrouds with them into battle.
I think a major miscalculation by Trump, initiating this kind of scenario is unlikely, those other whack jobs Pence, Pompeo and Bolton are a cause for concern, just hear this nutcase Lindsey Graham threatening the Europeans....
"The United States should sanction "to the ground" European countries that continue to trade with Iran under the 2015 nuclear deal and refuse to join America's pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic, says top Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
"I will tell the Europeans, 'If you want to side with the Iranians, be my guest, but you won't use an American bank or do business with the American economy,'" Graham said".
https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/07/16/601067/US-Graham-Trump-Iran-JCPOA-EU-sanction-to-ground
William Herschel , Jul 17 2019 21:39 utc | 61
Punitive sanctions against nations with a powerful military establishment have an incredibly poor track record. Germany after WWI. Japan prior to Pearl Harbor. And one might add Russia today. The more "effective" the sanctions, the closer to war.

But, of course, military planners in the U.S. and Israel have already picked out the targets for nuclear strikes during the very first wave of attacks on Iran. It will be nuclear first, ask questions later. Heil Trump has already said he will use nuclear weapons: "obliterate". But will even that work? I doubt it. Iran must expect nuclear attacks in the first wave. Yes, their urban populations will be destroyed, but their military? I doubt it.

Formerly T-Bear , Jul 17 2019 21:54 utc | 62
@ Harry Law | Jul 17 2019 21:24 utc | 60

The folks who now are called Iranian once fought the most militaristic society ever - the Spartans. There is likely a memory of that conflict still, and the lessons learned. They face a military that no longer remembers Vietnam or its lessons. Sanctions are an act of war, not military war but war against another who have been made into enemies nonetheless. Be mightily careful who you make your enemy, one sage reminds that you become like them. Look at those the U.S. has made enemy: Hitler and National Socialism; Mussolini and Fascism; Stalin and State Authoritarianism; Franco and Military Repression; and the list continues substantially, and then look at the U.S. in a distortion free mirror and what does one see?

Maracatu , Jul 17 2019 22:00 utc | 63
Taking into consideration the novel Rand Paul intervention, the likely way forward is this, and I'm sure it is what Putin (the master negotiator) has in mind: Trump blundered badly by throwing out the JCPOA, but he needs a way out that allows him to save face and even turn it into a partial "win". On the world stage (ie. for the public) it needs to look like Trump accedes to reinstate the JCPOA IN EXCHANGE for Iran withdrawing from Syria! This will not only save the nuclear deal, thereby reducing tensions, but it will force Israel to back down and shut up. Israel can't complain and Trump can sell it as an achievement of his, "without having to go to war". The US, of course will have to give Iran, Syria and Russia something in exchange: Iran and Russia ultimately bolstered their forces in Syria in order to save Assad. All things considered, Assad has won the war, so the reason for the bolstered Iranian and Russian presence no longer applies. What the US must agree to is to suspend its efforts to overthrow Assad (which Trump has been trying to do via the withdrawal of US troops in northern Syria), thereby returning the country to the status quo ante. The wild card in all of this, however, is Turkey's presence in Syria. Perhaps China can lend a helping hand on that issue?
Yeah, Right , Jul 17 2019 22:14 utc | 64
@35 "when it didn't. they resort back to the usual MO, look busy."

I agree with that comment, though I will add that for this Administration "looking busy" has a Keystone Cops look about it.

I mean, let's be real here: Norman Schwarzkopf did not make a single move against Iraq until he had well over 500,000 GI's at his command, and Tommy Franks was not willing to restart the Crash Boom Bang until he had built up his army to just shy of 500,000 soldiers.

And Iraq then was nowhere near as formidable as Iran is now.

Where are the troop buildups? Where is the CENTCOM army?
Nowhere. And no sign of it happening.

There is a real possibility that Bolton might get his way and start his dinky little war, only to find that the USA loses a great big war before he even manages to get out of bed.

CENTCOM is not ready for war, nowhere close to it, and for that reason alone Iran is correct to tell the USA that if Trump launches a "limited strike" then their response will be "it's on, baby".

Beibdnn. , Jul 17 2019 22:51 utc | 67
@ William Herschel 61. If the U.S. or anyone else uses any type of Nuclear weapons against Iran, a declared ally of Russia, it will result in an immediate and full scale Nuclear retaliation. This is a recent statement made by Vladimir Putin. Pompeo, Bolton et all are well aware of this. The U.S. might talk of using tactical nukes but despite their Hubris, even the most pro war in the Pentagon know what the results of that type of planned anihilation will have on the U.S. mainland. People like Lindsey Graham are merely empty vessels making a lot of noise.
karlof1 , Jul 17 2019 23:14 utc | 69
Why would Iran allow any Western nation to save face through negotiations or otherwise? Khamenei yesterday tweeted several statements that were later posted to his website:

"At this meeting, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran stressed that Western governments' arrogant behavior is the main obstacle in establishing ties and maintained: Western governments' major vice is their arrogance. If they face a weak government, their arrogance will be effective. But if that country knows the truth about them and resists, the Western governments will be defeated.

"Referring to problems rising between Iran and the European partners of the JCPOA, Ayatollah Khamenei said: Now, in the matters between us and the Europeans, the problems persist, because of their arrogance.

"The Leader of the Islamic Revolution highlighted Iran's commitment to the JCPOA -- also known as the Iran Deal -- and criticized European dignitaries of the deal for breaching it, saying: As stated by our Foreign Minister, who works hard, Europe has had eleven commitments, none of which it has met. The Foreign Minister, despite his diplomatic considerations, is clearly stating that. But what did we do? We acted based on our commitments, and even beyond that.

"Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated that Iran continued to stay within the JCPOA despite the fact that the EU partners of the JCPOA as well as the British government violated the international plan of action and yet demanded Iran to stay with its promises: Now that we have started to reduce our commitments, they step forward. They are very insolent, and they have not abided by their eleven commitments. We have just started to reduce some of our commitments, and this process will surely continue."

The hypothetical suggestion Zarif made in his interview with NBC News was just that--hypothetical--as it had to spell out again for the apparently illiterate, deaf or both SoS Pompeo and BigLie Media presstitutes.

In his arrogance, Trump climbed up the tree he's now stuck within; and as I've pointed out again and again, Iran isn't going to help him in his climb down--they'll be no face saving for the arrogant Western nations. I mean, how clear can the Iranians make that?! They quite well understand the very real interests at stake I put forth in my comment @32. And the Turks on their own have upped the stakes with Erdogan assuring :

"that his country is prepared to leave NATO during a meeting with Russian Deputy Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

"'I met twice with Turkish President Recep Erdogan and he told me personally that Turkey was willing to withdraw from NATO,' Zhirinovsky wrote."

Trump seems desperate for a way to climb down from his tree. Controversial Kentucky Senator Rand Paul apparently volunteered his services as an emissary to Iran , which Trump okayed but Paul's office is being mum about. As noted, Iran isn't going to talk unless tangible, visible concessions are made prior to any talks occurring--concessions Zarif and Rouhani have already stated as the minimum required: Ending all illegal sanctions and return to JCPOA.

Uncle Jon , Jul 17 2019 23:38 utc | 72
@karlof1 69

Iran just announced that they would be open to talk about ballistic missiles when US stops selling arms in the Middle East.

You have to hand it to the Iranians. In the one-up-manship game, they are a formidable opponent. Obviously, there is less than zero chance that would ever happen, but they are super smart in driving the message of US arrogance home. I am happy to see they don't take any shit from the Empire.

Master negotiators at work.

[Jul 17, 2019] MAGA. Bow before Netanyahu and present America to the zionists on a silver tray. You MAGA red necks are becoming a joke.

Jul 17, 2019 | www.unz.com

DESERT FOX , says: July 17, 2019 at 12:29 pm GMT

Trump is a zionist puppet and pretends to be doing something about illegal immigration but he has all the authority under the Constitution to close the border and stop the illegal immigration and since the zionists want open borders , Trump is not doing jackshit about stopping illegal immigration!

The zionists in control of the zio/US want open borders so that they can merge the zio/US with Mexico and zio/Canada into the North American Union similar to the European Union with a new currency the Amero similar to the Euro, and so the borders are going to remain a sieve !

Trump and Helliary and all the politicians , be they demonrats or republicons are all under zionist AIPAC control and the borders will remain a pathway to the destruction of America!

Patrikios Stetsonis , says: July 17, 2019 at 12:42 pm GMT
@follyofwar In case you did not hear it, Philip Giraldi is informing us:

25 Senators in Secret Meeting With Jewish Leaders to Plot Strategy Against Growing Anger Over Influence of Jewish Elites

"On June 5, 16 heads of Jewish organizations joined 25 Democratic senators in a private meeting, which, according to the Times of Israel, is an annual event.

As with last year, the meeting was chaired by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and included Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Ed Markey (D-MA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bob Casey (PA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Patty Murray (D-CT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Ron Wyden (D-OR)".

https://russia-insider.com/en/25-senators-secret-meeting-jewish-leaders-plot-strategy-against-growing-anger-over-influence-jewish#.XSyfD369trM.email

Hossein , says: July 17, 2019 at 1:40 pm GMT
MAGA. Bow before Netanyahu and present America to the zionists on a silver tray. You MAGA red necks are becoming a joke.

[Jul 17, 2019] Merkel Ally Narrowly Elected To Top EU Post, Averting Major Institutional Crisis

Looks like EU sanctions will continue
Jul 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

In light of historical events, it would be ironic if that particular twist comes back to bite Poland some day in the not too distant future.


TeethVillage88s , 10 hours ago link

Money, Money, Money,... Old Money, Factories, Russian Mercheant, German Industrialist, American Slave owner... Nord Deutscheland, Bremen, was heavily Communist... Family would understand the power of Communist Equality and Serfdom.

Von der Leyen's great-grandfather was the cotton merchant Carl Albrecht (1875–1952), who married Mary Ladson Robertson (1883–1960), an American who belonged to the Ladson family , a family of the southern aristocracy from Charleston, South Carolina . Her American ancestors had played a significant role in the British colonization of the Americas and the Atlantic slave trade .

admin user , 11 hours ago link

Merkel Ally Narrowly Elected To Top EU Post, Prolonging "Major Institutional Myopia"

FTFY

schroedingersrat , 12 hours ago link

Von der Leyen is a tool for the anglo-zio complex. Well done USA for installing your woman as head of the EU.

Aurelian77 , 13 hours ago link

She has SEVEN children. Very unusual for a European leader...

Davidduke2000 , 13 hours ago link

An old Soviet General said the EU is like the old Soviets , the leaders were not elected, they were appointed by others mostly their friends and the EU process is the same, fat cats appoint other fat cats instead of direct elections.

[Jul 17, 2019] Oil Is Driving the Iran Crisis by Michael T. Klare

Highly recommended!
Washington's aggression is part of a decades-long quest to control the spigot in the Persian Gulf.
Notable quotes:
"... As it happens, the world economy -- of which the United States is the leading beneficiary (despite President Trump's self-destructive trade wars) -- relies on an uninterrupted flow of oil from the Persian Gulf to keep energy prices low. By continuing to serve as the principal overseer of that flow, Washington enjoys striking geopolitical advantages that its foreign policy elites would no more abandon than they would their country's nuclear supremacy. ..."
"... True, Washington fought wars in the Middle East when the American economy was still deeply vulnerable to any disruption in the flow of imported oil. In 1990, this was the key reason President George H.W. Bush gave for his decision to evict Iraqi troops from Kuwait after Saddam Hussein's invasion of that land. "Our country now imports nearly half the oil it consumes and could face a major threat to its economic independence," he told a nationwide TV audience. ..."
"... All told, 33.6 percent of world energy consumption last year was made up of oil, 27.2 percent of coal (itself a global disgrace), 23.9 percent of natural gas, 6.8 percent of hydro-electricity, 4.4 percent of nuclear power, and a mere 4 percent of renewables. ..."
"... Concluding that the increased demand for oil in Asia, in particular, will outweigh reduced demand elsewhere, the IEA calculated in its 2017 World Energy Outlook that oil will remain the world's dominant source of energy in 2040, accounting for an estimated 27.5 percent of total global energy consumption. That will indeed be a smaller share than in 2018, but because global energy consumption as a whole is expected to grow substantially during those decades, net oil production could still rise -- from an estimated 100 million barrels a day in 2018 to about 105 million barrels in 2040. ..."
"... More dramatic yet is the growing centrality of the Asia-Pacific region to the global flow of petroleum. In 2000, that region accounted for only 28 percent of world consumption; in 2040, its share is expected to stand at 44 percent, thanks to the growth of China, India, and other Asian countries, whose newly affluent consumers are already buying cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other oil-powered products. ..."
"... To lend muscle to what would soon be dubbed the "Carter Doctrine," the president created a new US military organization, the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF), and obtained basing facilities for it in the Gulf region. Ronald Reagan, who succeeded Carter as president in 1981, made the RDJTF into a full-scale "geographic combatant command," dubbed Central Command, or CENTCOM, which continues to be tasked with ensuring American access to the Gulf today (as well as overseeing the country's never-ending wars in the Greater Middle East). ..."
"... When ordering US forces into combat in the Gulf, American presidents have always insisted that they were acting in the interests of the entire West. In advocating for the "reflagging" mission of 1987, for instance, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger argued (as he would later recall in his memoir Fighting for Peace ), "The main thing was for us to protect the right of innocent, nonbelligerent and extremely important commerce to move freely in international open waters -- and, by our offering protection, to avoid conceding the mission to the Soviets." Though rarely so openly acknowledged, the same principle has undergirded Washington's strategy in the region ever since: The United States alone must be the ultimate guarantor of unimpeded oil commerce in the Persian Gulf. ..."
"... Look closely and you can find this principle lurking in every fundamental statement of US policy related to that region and among the Washington elite more generally. My own personal favorite, when it comes to pithiness, is a sentence in a report on the geopolitics of energy issued in 2000 by the Center for Strategic and International Studies , a Washington-based think tank well-populated with former government officials (several of whom contributed to the report): "As the world's only superpower, [the United States] must accept its special responsibilities for preserving access to [the] worldwide energy supply." You can't get much more explicit than that. ..."
"... As things stand today, any Iranian move in the Strait of Hormuz that can be portrayed as a threat to the "free flow of commerce" (that is, the oil trade) represents the most likely trigger for direct US military action. Yes, Tehran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and its support for radical Shiite movements throughout the Middle East will be cited as evidence of its leadership's malevolence, but its true threat will be to American dominance of the oil lanes, a danger Washington will treat as the offense of all offenses to be overcome at any cost. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | thenation.com

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com .

It's always the oil. While President Trump was hobnobbing with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G-20 summit in Japan, brushing off a recent UN report about the prince's role in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Asia and the Middle East, pleading with foreign leaders to support "Sentinel." The aim of that administration plan: to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf.

Both Trump and Pompeo insisted that their efforts were driven by concern over Iranian misbehavior in the region and the need to ensure the safety of maritime commerce. Neither, however, mentioned one inconvenient three-letter word -- O-I-L -- that lay behind their Iranian maneuvering (as it has impelled every other American incursion in the Middle East since World War II).

Now, it's true that the United States no longer relies on imported petroleum for a large share of its energy needs. Thanks to the fracking revolution , the country now gets the bulk of its oil -- approximately 75 percent -- from domestic sources. (In 2008, that share had been closer to 35 percent.) Key allies in NATO and rivals like China, however, continue to depend on Middle Eastern oil for a significant proportion of their energy needs.

As it happens, the world economy -- of which the United States is the leading beneficiary (despite President Trump's self-destructive trade wars) -- relies on an uninterrupted flow of oil from the Persian Gulf to keep energy prices low. By continuing to serve as the principal overseer of that flow, Washington enjoys striking geopolitical advantages that its foreign policy elites would no more abandon than they would their country's nuclear supremacy.

This logic was spelled out clearly by President Barack Obama in a September 2013 address to the UN General Assembly in which he declared that "the United States of America is prepared to use all elements of our power, including military force, to secure our core interests" in the Middle East. He then pointed out that, while the United States was steadily reducing its reliance on imported oil, "the world still depends on the region's energy supply and a severe disruption could destabilize the entire global economy."

Accordingly, he concluded, "We will ensure the free flow of energy from the region to the world." To some Americans, that dictum -- and its continued embrace by President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo -- may seem anachronistic. True, Washington fought wars in the Middle East when the American economy was still deeply vulnerable to any disruption in the flow of imported oil. In 1990, this was the key reason President George H.W. Bush gave for his decision to evict Iraqi troops from Kuwait after Saddam Hussein's invasion of that land. "Our country now imports nearly half the oil it consumes and could face a major threat to its economic independence," he told a nationwide TV audience.

But talk of oil soon disappeared from his comments about what became Washington's first (but hardly last) Gulf War after his statement provoked widespread public outrage . ("No Blood for Oil" became a widely used protest sign then.) His son, the second President Bush, never even mentioned that three-letter word when announcing his 2003 invasion of Iraq. Yet, as Obama's UN speech made clear, oil remained, and still remains, at the center of US foreign policy. A quick review of global energy trends helps explain why this has continued to be so.

THE WORLD'S UNDIMINISHED RELIANCE ON PETROLEUM

Despite all that's been said about climate change and oil's role in causing it -- and about the enormous progress being made in bringing solar and wind power online -- we remain trapped in a remarkably oil-dependent world. To grasp this reality, all you have to do is read the most recent edition of oil giant BP's "Statistical Review of World Energy," published this June. In 2018, according to that report, oil still accounted for by far the largest share of world energy consumption, as it has every year for decades. All told, 33.6 percent of world energy consumption last year was made up of oil, 27.2 percent of coal (itself a global disgrace), 23.9 percent of natural gas, 6.8 percent of hydro-electricity, 4.4 percent of nuclear power, and a mere 4 percent of renewables.

Most energy analysts believe that the global reliance on petroleum as a share of world energy use will decline in the coming decades, as more governments impose restrictions on carbon emissions and as consumers, especially in the developed world, switch from oil-powered to electric vehicles. But such declines are unlikely to prevail in every region of the globe and total oil consumption may not even decline. According to projections from the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its " New Policies Scenario " (which assumes significant but not drastic government efforts to curb carbon emissions globally), Asia, Africa, and the Middle East are likely to experience a substantially increased demand for petroleum in the years to come, which, grimly enough, means global oil consumption will continue to rise.

Concluding that the increased demand for oil in Asia, in particular, will outweigh reduced demand elsewhere, the IEA calculated in its 2017 World Energy Outlook that oil will remain the world's dominant source of energy in 2040, accounting for an estimated 27.5 percent of total global energy consumption. That will indeed be a smaller share than in 2018, but because global energy consumption as a whole is expected to grow substantially during those decades, net oil production could still rise -- from an estimated 100 million barrels a day in 2018 to about 105 million barrels in 2040.

Of course, no one, including the IEA's experts, can be sure how future extreme manifestations of global warming like the severe heat waves recently tormenting Europe and South Asia could change such projections. It's possible that growing public outrage could lead to far tougher restrictions on carbon emissions between now and 2040. Unexpected developments in the field of alternative energy production could also play a role in changing those projections. In other words, oil's continuing dominance could still be curbed in ways that are now unpredictable.

In the meantime, from a geopolitical perspective, a profound shift is taking place in the worldwide demand for petroleum. In 2000, according to the IEA, older industrialized nations -- most of them members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) -- accounted for about two-thirds of global oil consumption; only about a third went to countries in the developing world. By 2040, the IEA's experts believe that ratio will be reversed, with the OECD consuming about one-third of the world's oil and non-OECD nations the rest.

More dramatic yet is the growing centrality of the Asia-Pacific region to the global flow of petroleum. In 2000, that region accounted for only 28 percent of world consumption; in 2040, its share is expected to stand at 44 percent, thanks to the growth of China, India, and other Asian countries, whose newly affluent consumers are already buying cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other oil-powered products.

Where will Asia get its oil? Among energy experts, there is little doubt on this matter. Lacking significant reserves of their own, the major Asian consumers will turn to the one place with sufficient capacity to satisfy their rising needs: the Persian Gulf. According to BP, in 2018, Japan already obtained 87 percent of its oil imports from the Middle East, India 64 percent, and China 44 percent. Most analysts assume these percentages will only grow in the years to come, as production in other areas declines.

This will, in turn, lend even greater strategic importance to the Persian Gulf region, which now possesses more than 60 percent of the world's untapped petroleum reserves, and to the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow passageway through which approximately one-third of the world's seaborne oil passes daily. Bordered by Iran, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates, the Strait is perhaps the most significant -- and contested -- geostrategic location on the planet today.

CONTROLLING THE SPIGOT

When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the same year that militant Shiite fundamentalists overthrew the US-backed Shah of Iran, US policy-makers concluded that America's access to Gulf oil supplies was at risk and a US military presence was needed to guarantee such access. As President Jimmy Carter would say in his State of the Union Address on January 23, 1980,

The region which is now threatened by Soviet troops in Afghanistan is of great strategic importance: It contains more than two thirds of the world's exportable oil. The Soviet effort to dominate Afghanistan has brought Soviet military forces to within 300 miles of the Indian Ocean and close to the Strait of Hormuz, a waterway through which most of the world's oil must flow. Let our position be absolutely clear: an attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.

To lend muscle to what would soon be dubbed the "Carter Doctrine," the president created a new US military organization, the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF), and obtained basing facilities for it in the Gulf region. Ronald Reagan, who succeeded Carter as president in 1981, made the RDJTF into a full-scale "geographic combatant command," dubbed Central Command, or CENTCOM, which continues to be tasked with ensuring American access to the Gulf today (as well as overseeing the country's never-ending wars in the Greater Middle East).

Reagan was the first president to activate the Carter Doctrine in 1987 when he ordered Navy warships to escort Kuwaiti tankers, " reflagged " with the stars and stripes, as they traveled through the Strait of Hormuz. From time to time, such vessels had been coming under fire from Iranian gunboats, part of an ongoing " Tanker War ," itself part of the Iran-Iraq War of those years. The Iranian attacks on those tankers were meant to punish Sunni Arab countries for backing Iraqi autocrat Saddam Hussein in that conflict. The American response, dubbed Operation Earnest Will , offered an early model of what Secretary of State Pompeo is seeking to establish today with his Sentinel program.

Operation Earnest Will was followed two years later by a massive implementation of the Carter Doctrine, President Bush's 1990 decision to push Iraqi forces out of Kuwait. Although he spoke of the need to protect US access to Persian Gulf oil fields, it was evident that ensuring a safe flow of oil imports wasn't the only motive for such military involvement. Equally important then (and far more so now): the geopolitical advantage controlling the world's major oil spigot gave Washington.

When ordering US forces into combat in the Gulf, American presidents have always insisted that they were acting in the interests of the entire West. In advocating for the "reflagging" mission of 1987, for instance, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger argued (as he would later recall in his memoir Fighting for Peace ), "The main thing was for us to protect the right of innocent, nonbelligerent and extremely important commerce to move freely in international open waters -- and, by our offering protection, to avoid conceding the mission to the Soviets." Though rarely so openly acknowledged, the same principle has undergirded Washington's strategy in the region ever since: The United States alone must be the ultimate guarantor of unimpeded oil commerce in the Persian Gulf.

Look closely and you can find this principle lurking in every fundamental statement of US policy related to that region and among the Washington elite more generally. My own personal favorite, when it comes to pithiness, is a sentence in a report on the geopolitics of energy issued in 2000 by the Center for Strategic and International Studies , a Washington-based think tank well-populated with former government officials (several of whom contributed to the report): "As the world's only superpower, [the United States] must accept its special responsibilities for preserving access to [the] worldwide energy supply." You can't get much more explicit than that.

Of course, along with this "special responsibility" comes a geopolitical advantage: By providing this service, the United States cements its status as the world's sole superpower and places every other oil-importing nation -- and the world at large -- in a condition of dependence on its continued performance of this vital function.

Originally, the key dependents in this strategic equation were Europe and Japan, which, in return for assured access to Middle Eastern oil, were expected to subordinate themselves to Washington. Remember, for example, how they helped pay for Bush the elder's Iraq War (dubbed Operation Desert Storm). Today, however, many of those countries, deeply concerned with the effects of climate change, are seeking to lessen oil's role in their national fuel mixes. As a result, in 2019, the countries potentially most at the mercy of Washington when it comes to access to Gulf oil are economically fast-expanding China and India, whose oil needs are only likely to grow. That, in turn, will further enhance the geopolitical advantage Washington enjoyed as long as it remains the principal guardian of the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf. How it may seek to exploit this advantage remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that all parties involved, including the Chinese, are well aware of this asymmetric equation, which could give the phrase "trade war" a far deeper and more ominous meaning.

THE IRANIAN CHALLENGE AND THE SPECTER OF WAR

From Washington's perspective, the principal challenger to America's privileged status in the Gulf is Iran. By reason of geography, that country possesses a potentially commanding position along the northern Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, as the Reagan administration learned in 1987–88 when it threatened American oil dominance there. About this reality President Reagan couldn't have been clearer. "Mark this point well: The use of the sea lanes of the Persian Gulf will not be dictated by the Iranians," he declared in 1987 -- and Washington's approach to the situation has never changed.

In more recent times, in response to US and Israeli threats to bomb their nuclear facilities or, as the Trump administration has done, impose economic sanctions on their country, the Iranians have threatened on numerous occasions to block the Strait of Hormuz to oil traffic, squeeze global energy supplies, and precipitate an international crisis. In 2011, for example, Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi warned that should the West impose sanctions on Iranian oil, "not even one drop of oil can flow through the Strait of Hormuz." In response, US officials have vowed ever since to let no such thing happen, just as Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta did in response to Rahimi at that time. "We have made very clear," he said , "that the United States will not tolerate blocking of the Strait of Hormuz." That, he added, was a "red line for us."

It remains so today. Hence, the present ongoing crisis in the Gulf, with fierce US sanctions on Iranian oil sales and threatening Iranian gestures toward the regional oil flow in response. "We will make the enemy understand that either everyone can use the Strait of Hormuz or no one," said Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, in July 2018. And attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz on June 13 could conceivably have been an expression of just that policy, if -- as claimed by the United States -- they were indeed carried out by members of the Revolutionary Guards. Any future attacks are only likely to spur US military action against Iran in accordance with the Carter Doctrine. As Pentagon spokesperson Bill Urban put it in response to Jafari's statement, "We stand ready to ensure the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce wherever international law allows."

As things stand today, any Iranian move in the Strait of Hormuz that can be portrayed as a threat to the "free flow of commerce" (that is, the oil trade) represents the most likely trigger for direct US military action. Yes, Tehran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and its support for radical Shiite movements throughout the Middle East will be cited as evidence of its leadership's malevolence, but its true threat will be to American dominance of the oil lanes, a danger Washington will treat as the offense of all offenses to be overcome at any cost.

If the United States goes to war with Iran, you are unlikely to hear the word "oil" uttered by top Trump administration officials, but make no mistake: That three-letter word lies at the root of the present crisis, not to speak of the world's long-term fate.

Michael T. Klare The Nation 's defense correspondent, is professor emeritus of peace and world-security studies at Hampshire College and senior visiting fellow at the Arms Control Association in Washington, DC. His newest book, All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon's Perspective on Climate Change , will be published this fall.

[Jul 15, 2019] When the CIA organised the shooting down of the Russian bomber by a Turkish planes over Syria, this had nothing to do with Erdogan and everything to do with CIA assets in the Turkish Airforce.

Notable quotes:
"... What is true is that Turkey is a developing country with a low education level and as a result very gullible. The Erdogan-like ugly politicians use and abuse it. So yes, it might look like the people are vindictive and ready to go to war with anyone. But that's only in the 90% Erdogan owned media. ..."
"... Don't forget that 1/3 of the country is 100% behind Atatürk which moto was "yurtta sulh, cihanda sulh" (Peace in the country, peace in the world) so at least 30% of the Turks are totally against war. ..."
Jul 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kiza , Jul 14 2019 14:24 utc | 9

One needs to know a bit of the history of Turkey to understand what is going on now. In the briefest, Turkey is a rare medium power which was allowed to exist without being cut down by the big powers of Europe and now including US. There are several reasons why it was allowed this disliked status, the main one is its amazing geostrategic position of a bridge and a cross-road. The second one is its military proves second to none.

I would never say that Russia won a Turkey, it is not Russia's own achievement at all. But Russia and China are offering an alternative path to Turkey away from the West. The Europeans did not accept Turkey into EU and the US hubris thought that it could manipulate Turkey just as even bigger former European powers. The US simply does not understand Turkey at all, because history is generally an unimportant word in US and because US does not care to understand. Turkey is a corrupt country, but the corruption there does not work the same way as in Europe, mostly because of a tradition of strong nationalistic and imperialistic leaders that Turkey tends to have. This is why the US model of manipulation did not work there.

Russia needs Turkey and Turkey needs Russia right now. But the Turks are never to be trusted and the Russians should know this very well. The relationship between the two countries will always be a tug of war, and the Turks are good at any war. The moment the Turks do not need Russia any more, they will start expanding to the North and to the West (back to the Balkans). For Turks, what they conquered once, must be returned. It is not only Erdogan who is the wannabe neo-Ottoman sultan, all Turks are, all.

When the CIA organised the shooting down of the Russian bomber by a Turkish planes over Syria, this had nothing to do with Erdogan and everything to do with CIA assets in the Turkish Airforce. Yet, Putin blabbered at that time one of the stupidest statements ever - that "Erdogan/Turks knifed him in the back". Even if the Russians did not know that US controlled a good number of the Turkish Airforce generals, ONE NEVER OFFERS HIS BACK TO THE TURKS. Anyone who forgets this maxim whilst listening to the Turkish declarations of friendship, fully deserves the reward of the knife in the back. As a nation, the Turks are extremely militaristic and untrustworthy. This is how they managed to survive as a medium shark among the big sharks.


SysATI , Jul 14 2019 15:42 utc | 18

@kiza

"For Turks, what they conquered once, must be returned. It is not only Erdogan who is the wannabe neo-Ottoman sultan, all Turks are, all."

That is total bullshit...

What is true is that Turkey is a developing country with a low education level and as a result very gullible. The Erdogan-like ugly politicians use and abuse it. So yes, it might look like the people are vindictive and ready to go to war with anyone. But that's only in the 90% Erdogan owned media.

Don't forget that 1/3 of the country is 100% behind Atatürk which moto was "yurtta sulh, cihanda sulh" (Peace in the country, peace in the world) so at least 30% of the Turks are totally against war. Given proper explanations and looking at a few body bags, my guess is that at least another 30% would be very reluctant to send their kids to die.

( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_at_Home,_Peace_in_the_World )

So maybe 1/3 of the dumbest Turks, the hard core Erdogan voters, could be as you describe... That's very far from your "all the Turks" and their number is going down every day...

Look at the last election results... The 3 largest cities and 80% of the economic tissue of Turkey slipped out of the hands of Erdogan. And as the economy continues to crumble, more and more of his followers will flee the ship...

Are all the "Kiza" close minded as miss-informed as you are ? :)

Kiza , Jul 15 2019 0:50 utc | 48

@SysATI 18

Reading what you typed I had an impression that I was reading about US. Not everybody in US is for conquest and subjugation. Also, my "all Turks" really means the dominant majority of Turks and those who run the show. Should I change my view because of a cluster of secular Turks who blame Erdo and his provincial rednecks for everything?

However, one needs to look only at the Cyprus situation and Turkish drilling for oil in Cyprus to understand that it was you who typed total bullshit . But I would not expect anything different from a Turk (although I have met a few wonderful Turks, just as a few wonderful US people).

The bottom line is that as a nation Turkey is militaristic, hyper-nationalistic and aggressively expansionist , in short a neighbor that you would never wish. In this big picture, you few seculars mean absolutely nothing. As long as Turkey is under the current economic and financial pressure by US and Europe, it will behave. But as soon as it returns to economic prosperity, it will be back to its usual behavior. The Russians helping return economic prosperity to Turkey via oil, gas, trade are digging their own graves, but when did oligarchs care ?

Turkey is not the only such nation in this World. But it is because of such alpha-nations, the bullies, the takers, the imperialists (US, UK, France, Turkey, Germany, Japan ...) that the whole of humanity needs to keep spending resources on military defense instead of on betterment.

Kiza , Jul 15 2019 1:15 utc | 50

@DontBelieveEitherPr 20
Yours is a wonderful summary of the Turkish situation: "The ultra nationalistic sentiment in the whole country, through (sic) virtually all classes and affiliations , makes sure of that."

[Jul 11, 2019] Epstein, Trump and CIA

Jul 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Alexander P , Jul 10 2019 19:46 utc | 20

We do not know why Epstein resurfaced, there was no need to re-open the case unless 'they' wanted it to be reopened. Thus, there is definitely a deeper political purpose behind this. As I know the higher ups in both Democrat and Republican Party are in one way or another involved in this (both Clinton and Trump visited his island and I am sure many more prominent high ranking US career politicians), this could indeed be equally dangerous for either political party.

However, I don't think Trump needs convincing with regard to Iran he has been all in on that from day 1 of his presidency and never hesitated a moment to tear up the JCPOA. Bibi was right when he said there was never a US president as friendly towards Israel than Donald Trump. His actions have spoken louder than words. So for this case, we will just have to wait and see what pieces of information they allow the MSM to publish and we will know who they are after or what bigger political goal is at play.


jared , Jul 10 2019 20:03 utc | 27

Something does not smell right about this.
It's not like Epstein was some obscure issue or that Trump was uninformed about the case.
Who would allow a person with such baggage on the team?
And the issue was raised so no possibility it was over-looked.
Congress (including the now concerned repubs) had their shot at him, where was the indignation?
Looks like people were told to disregard the issue, until now.
Now like good soldiers they are all barking alert.
Looks like this guy was a plant, an insurance policy maybe.
Now that policy has been triggered - has Trump failed in playing his role?

Pft , Jul 10 2019 21:22 utc | 51

Trumps ex-pal Epstein linked to intelligence. Makes sense given he has Robert Maxwell's daughter doing the procuring. His was likely a black mail operation run by the intelligence agency

Trumps other ex-pal (partner) was also linked to intelligence. Bayrocks Felix Sater. I imagine some of their business practices could have landed Trump in jail unless like Felix he cooperated

Could Trump himself be a an intelligent asset? Perhaps under duress through his activities with Jeffrey and Felix.

If so, indeed the question is if its Israels or the US agency, or is there any difference now.

I don't pretend to know the answers.

Whats the end game?. Comeys daughter is one of the NY prosecutors.Dershowitz is an Israeli puppet and was behind getting the sealed files opened. Is Clinton and the Dems the target or is it meant to pressure Trump to go hard on Iran or risk something coming out? Something else?

I cant help but wonder why nobody choses to remind us about the case filed against Trump in 2016, where a woman claimed rape at age 13 at Epstein's apartment. Is wasn't covered much at the time either. Apparently silently withdrawn. Curious no? Not even the so called Deep State Media that everyone believes was against Trump. Theydon't seem to want to touch it now either. Maybe its just BS.

Of course, maybe just more distraction as they continue fleecing the bottom 90%

Mr. Lucky , Jul 10 2019 21:28 utc | 53

Epstein was/is Mossad. He ran honey traps for Israel.

This is one of the primary ways the Tribe controls US politicians.

This is how Deep State controls Trump, and why Trump betrayed every campaign promise, except the one to Israel.

Acosta was told to give Epstein a sweetheart deal and to stop the Federal investigation.

For his compliance, he was awarded the job of Labor Secretary in the Trump administration.

fastfreddy , Jul 10 2019 21:30 utc | 54

Billionaire, $6 B, Les Wexner, L Brands, Victoria's Secret.

from Wiki

Wexner had a close relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, who managed Wexner's financial assets. Wexner and Epstein parted when Epstein went to prison.[25] Wexner was believed to be the primary source of Epstein's wealth. [26]

fastfreddy , Jul 10 2019 21:45 utc | 62

I am trying to link Wexner with the Bronfman's (Seagrams Liquor Family) via a source other than the Mega Group (which may not be credible, IDK).Clare Bronfman and NEXIVM.

https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/

seagram-heiress-clare-bronfman-pleads-guilty-in-nxivm-sex-slave-case-825103/

https://www.wexnerfoundation.org/about-us/our-offices--staff


Looks like Epstein was running a high powered honey trap to ensnare Politicians, Lawyers, Government employees for the express purpose of promoting the "Greater Israel Project".

KC , Jul 10 2019 21:51 utc | 63

@fastfreddy - While I hesitate to engage in the ubiquitous Israel is at the root of all debacles conjecture, I think you might be onto something there. Sure would be interesting (now or when whatever shakes out of this) to compare the record on votes of importance to Israeli interests of any politician who gets implicated or indicted with who doesn't.

Alaric , Jul 10 2019 21:52 utc | 64

Protecting Epstein and his clients is secondary. The main goal is to protect his billionaire, Jewish, sponsors and whatever state sponsored him. The pleabs cannot know that their gov is corrupt but the bigger secret that must be kept is who is pulling the strings and how they are doing it.

Andrew Kreig , Jul 10 2019 22:02 utc | 68

Am enjoying the insights here and can share a few responses after years of reporting on Epstein, Clinton, Obama, Trump and Barr.

In response to lysias at #34 on Barr's intelligence and corruption cover-up background, here's a full history with links: "Trump Found His Roy Cohn In Deep State Fixer Bill Barr," May 27, 2019. https://www.justice-integrity.org/1659-trump-found-his-roy-cohn-in-deep-state-fixer-bill-barr

Regarding questions on Acosta by Jared at #27, here's a 2017 article showing that the facts were out about Acosta when the Senate confirmed him: "Did Trump Labor Pick Protect Trump, Rich Rapists, Tax Cheats, Crooked Bankers? Do We Find Out Wednesday?" March 14, 2017. http://ow.ly/hk8b309Uerm

Regarding MSM reluctance to mention rape of 12 and 13 year olds by Trump, as several commentators noted, here's a January 2017 wrap up of those matters with leading to other links: "Welcome To Waterbury: The city that holds secrets that could bring down Trump," Jan. 9, 2018. http://www.justice-integrity.org/1445-welcome-to-waterbury-the-city-that-holds-secrets-that-could-bring-down-trump. My colleague Wayne Madsen and I filed a FOIA action today at the U.S. Justice Department seeking further records.

Our view is that this is an intelligence / foreign policy operation and it's likely that Epstein's time has run out, an occupational hazard in that field. Further, Madsen and I have written separate books years ago documenting that all U.S. presidents after Carter -- but not yet Trump as proven -- have been covert assets of the CIA or FBI before -- stress that -- they entered politics. That's the way it is, and helps explain a lot of the complaints in comments above. Trump is in his own category of a corrupt stooge -- that's not necessarily better.

Can recommend excellent 2008 book "Flat Earth News" by longtime UK journalist Nick Davies that describes the deeply flawed nature of MSM from his perspective as a Guardian and other UK journalist, who aptly describes why lies and quarter-truths get printed. That's a longer story but the gist is what many here are suggesting.

last day of grace , Jul 10 2019 23:04 utc | 79

After years of study and many many books I believe the Mossad and CIA are one and the same. The Mossad is very useful when leaving sovereign footprints is verboten--and vice versa.

Jen , Jul 10 2019 23:06 utc | 80

"...'Belongs to intelligence' makes a lot of sense. The question is to which one. A lot of people will says "Mossad" but I don't believe that to be the (full) truth ..."

At the level that Jeffrey Epstein is operating, he is loyal primarily to himself but happily takes his reward from whichever intel agency at any time offers him the most or whose interests might prove the most lucrative for him.

And the interests of American, British, Israeli and other nations' intelligence agencies are surely so entwined that picking them apart is impossible. One thing for sure though: none of them serve the interests of the nations they supposedly work for.

last day of grace , Jul 10 2019 23:09 utc | 81

The function of the CIA/Mossad is to make sure the agenda and the narrative of the Deep State gets served. In that case one could truly blame Epstein's actions on individuals, or groups of individuals who dictate orders to the Mossad/CIA.

Really? , Jul 10 2019 23:31 utc | 85
@29

Epstein is CFR???
What???
HOw can that be?

Mr.Lucky , Jul 10 2019 23:37 utc | 86
Lozion:

I am not implying, I am stating that they absolutely have the goods on Trump.

His supporters knew he was a scum bag when they voted for him, but he promised to stop the invasion and they fell for it.

Why do you think that Trump did a 180 on every campaign promise once elected, except the promise to Israel?

Why do you think that Trump gave Acosta a job after the sweetheart deal?

Ask yourself another question: Why is happening as the election cycle is beginning?

Anyone who says Clinton is in trouble is delusional. Clinton is invincible.

They are going after Trump.

Really? , Jul 10 2019 23:39 utc | 89

"Something does not smell right about this."

Re timing, could it be connected to Mueller soon to be under oath and testifying?

could Mueller be a target of some kind?

jared , Jul 10 2019 23:50 utc | 93

Epstein reminds me of the Bill Browder affair. And the statement: To know who are the rulers not which are the ones you are not permitted to criticize. Or somethinh like that.

Alexander P. , Jul 11 2019 0:09 utc | 99
If indeed they are after Trump as he failed them on 'Iran', then it makes absolute sense that Dershowitz and Cernovich had the records unsealed as both are strong, strong Zionists and supporters of Israel. Getting a judge do the thing they need is just a formality. I agree with some writer above who asked, why the publicity if pressure can be applied in secret without the media being involved? But this may be the stated goal to bring Trump either completely in line now or publicly topple his presidency.

I get why @94 Really? and others would be sceptical at this stage but I know strong powers in the Zionist/Neo-con deep state want a direct confrontation with Iran for myriad number of reasons (stop the BRI, deal a blow to Syria and Hizbollah, take out Israel's No 1 enemy etc, shore up the Petrodollar), and Trump was still the most likely candidate to follow through with this, given his proximity to Zionism. So far he also has dully followed through with everything imaginable, except for actually attacking Iran.

Interesting development indeed. B. Clinton could be collateral damage, at this stage their power is overestimated in my opinion.

karlof1 , Jul 11 2019 0:11 utc | 100
Andrew Kreig @68--

Okay, An "intelligence op," but which one? The Epstein/Mueller link was made several months ago. I don't see any irregularities in the court judgement to order the unsealing as it's been ongoing for almost 2.5 years and involves odd bedfellows. Was Mueller even aware of the attempt to unseal Epstein's case? So many questions!

ekerbacker , Jul 11 2019 0:16 utc | 103

Arnon Milchan? He was Israeli. Should he be punished, absolutely. But you know who should be hung? Robert DeNiro. He knew Arnon Milchan was a spy and kept his mouth shut for decades. He is a POS of epic proportions.

Insofar as Epstein is concerned. It is all about timing. Mueller is set to testify and probably has skeletons in his closet with regards to Epstein's case. He is likely being told implicitly via the Epstein arrest to be on his best behavior by Barr, and Barr at this age probably can care less that Epstein is being sacrificed so he can make his point, particularly since Barr is probably the 2nd most powerful person in the USA right now.

Epstein was extremely likely an Israeli asset. The Israelis have through political power and force convinced many in the US IC that their ship is sailing in the same direction, and that they should be allowed to serve as the US's dog on a leash, and once in a while be unleashed to do what the US won't. So while he was an Israeli asset, his resources (that is compromising material) was often made available to the CIA, and thus Acosta was told that he is an intelligence asset.

The fireworks will start to fly if and when Epstein realizes he is being hung out to dry and won't be saved. But like almost every other case involving such rich and powerful people, don't hold your breath for justice to be served in the US.

Alexander P , Jul 11 2019 0:29 utc | 104
@96 and 33

What does protecting adolescent teenagers from predatory adults have to do with puritanism? Am I understanding this correctly that you advocate sex with minors as long as they have reached biological puberty? Never mind their mental maturity? So sexual relations involving young women is ok what about sexual relations with young men? This has nothing to do with a false pretentious morality but with the fact that teenagers have not yet reached the level of mental maturity that protects them from sexual exploitation that will haunt them for the rest of their lives, never mind their biological functions and ability to conceive or sire children. It is really puzzling that I even need to make these elaborations in here!

Debsisdead , Jul 11 2019 0:35 utc | 105
In many ways this thread is as sickening as the subject it discusses. All sorts of types left and right competing to show that they have the most insight into the forces behind the anal rape of a 12 year old girl See Andrew Kreig's excellent piece which does consider the horror of the acts, rather than just whether or not it plays into the particular vision of 'power politics' each poster invokes). In no instance does anyone express disgust at the actions of these low life scum other than for the corruption of the pols such as Acosta.
The glee which so many have displayed jumping into this horror story because it can be twisted and forced into their own particular theory about "how the world really works" while totally ignoring that these humans who were abducted at age eleven or twelve & then sold like cattle, now inhabit the netherworld of 'the great society' living in the fringes of prosperous cities in a ramshackle 'double wide', reveals a psychic corruption not a million miles away from that of the rapists.

This story is those young boys & girls, anyone who claims to want to use it to force the greedy rapists and warmongering grubs to face justice, will not succeed as long as they waste time speculating who works for who and who is really in control.

Prince Andrew still bludges off taxpayers despite being photographed with his arm around one of his victims, if you're english & really care about stopping this scum, instead of speculating on which shadowy 'palace spokesman suggested that the Daily Mail include the line "There is no suggestion that the duke had any sexual contact at the house, or knew what was allegedly going on there" you will find out how the at the time 17 y.o. Virginia Roberts feels about her public destruction now (A child the Mail described as an erotic masseuse - presumably to reduce the horror a normal human reacts to that pic whilst ensuring the victim is so humiliated she causes no further problem for "the royal family's" number one arms salesman). This victim first hung out with the andrew sleaze when she was 17 at the pimp's Florida hell hole where the age of consent is 18.

Concentrating on the effect on victims while protecting them from further harm will bring the creeps undone - nothing else will. It was only once people began to see past the priests claims that "the victims led me on" and considered the huge power imbalance that the catholic church came unstuck.
Most of all without humanity, there is no difference between any of us and the scum we criticise.

William Gruff , Jul 11 2019 0:55 utc | 106

Woohoo! Debsisdead isn't dead!

Now, to be on topic, why the insistence that Epstein finally getting outed for real is some mysterious intel op? The CIA has been screwing up left, right and center for years, so is it any surprise that one of their major kompromat operations is getting exposed? Their foolproof plan to install their tool Clinton in the White House in 2016 failed spectacularly and blew up in their faces, so tell me again how great they are at running covert ops? The CIA's own version of James Bond gets snuffed by the CIA's own death squads in Benghazi, but people still think the CIA has a clue what they're doing? The CIA's operatives in multiple embassies are being incapacitated by freakin' crickets and people think these clowns still somehow maintain some vestigial link to reality?

No, this is simply another massive screw-up by the establishment. This blind-sided the Deep State and so much took them by surprise that they were too late to get it clamped down in the mass media. If Epstein dies before the real dirt starts getting exposed then it proves me right and proves wrong all those who worship at the alter of the omnipotent Deep State.

[Jul 09, 2019] Nuland played a role in Russiaqate

Notable quotes:
"... it appears that Strzok is operating under some other authority. ..."
"... Downer walked his 'tip' over to Elizabeth Dibble, Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy. Probably the day after the meeting at the Kensington wine room. Dibble passed the 'tip' on to her boss, Victoria Nuland, European and Eurasian Affairs (EUR) Assistant Secretary of state. ..."
"... Downer/Dibble/Nuland are the evaluating agency behind the evidence that the FISA document is based on. ..."
"... Downer has to lie, eventually, about his actions in re the report. ..."
"... This is why Halper was sent back into the fray, and the weird September meeting a month or so later in a private room at the Travelers Club took place with Papadopoulos ..."
Jul 09, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Bill refers to Bill Priestrap, the head of FBI's counter intelligence operations. Important to remember that Strzok worked for Priestrap at this point. Yet, it appears that Strzok is operating under some other authority.

Lisa Page then writes:

"Also, Andy spoke to ?????. He was out, he has a POC for you over then when you need it."

Strzok was on his way to London. My informed guess is that the ????? was CIA. POC means Point of Contact. Andy had a name of a CIA officer. The Chief of Station in London was Gina Haspel. I do not have a name for her Deputy. The nature of this case means that at least Haspel would have been witting.

The texts start again around noon Washington time, which means 4pm London time. At 13:36:19 (i.e., 1:36 pm EDT), Lisa writes:

"I worry OGC is making happy to glad changes which are nice to have but not legally necessary and which will derail this thing."

OGC refers to Office of General Counsel. What did Page fear would get "derailed?"

Strzok then writes:

Interesting fact. Guy we're about to interview was (BLANKED OUT)

... ... ...

Lisa then wrote:

Just checked yellow and there are two POCs for you from BOTH OGAs waiting there for you. Both may have already reached out.

Both OGAs? Other Government Agencies. Since there are two in question this is shorthand for CIA and NSA.

We know from a May 2019 piece by National Review, based on the Congressional interview with FBI DAD Jonathan Moffa, who was the section chief over counterintelligence analysis, that the FBI actions involved Confidential Human Sources, which were central to this so-called investigation:

The deputy assistant director at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jonathan Moffa, was involved with the Russia–Trump investigation from the start. He was asked, in a closed-door Capitol Hill interview on August 24, 2018, to describe his role: "I was the section chief over counterintelligence analysis during the period of the election," Moffa told lawmakers and staff. "And as a result, I had analysts who reported to me who supported the full range of the FBI's counterintelligence investigations and counterespionage investigations during that period. So in a sense, if there's a Russian-election-related investigation underway in the division at that point, personnel reporting to me are a part of it."

If the CIA and NSA had solid, reliable sources on the Russian angle, we would know that by now. Instead, when you look at the weak January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment, you see a dearth of sources. It is all analytical speculation.

Which brings me to the newest piece to drop, CrowdStrikeOut: Mueller's Own Report Undercuts Its Core Russia Meddling Claims .

Tidewater said in reply to Flavius... ,

My interpretation of the exchange between Strzok and Page is that the Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes has seen a problem with the Downer "tip" or report. What Downer has done is to break the Five Eyes intelligence agencies' procedural rules. Probably by law, certainly by bureaucratic regulations, he was required to send his "tip" about Papadopoulos back to Melbourne to the Australian national intelligence agency for processing. The Five Eyes agreement established the basic rule that the agency of the country that gathers the intelligence must be the agency that processes it. Reasons for this are security, quality control, and independent and unbiased evaluation of the product. This didn't happen. Downer walked his 'tip' over to Elizabeth Dibble, Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy. Probably the day after the meeting at the Kensington wine room. Dibble passed the 'tip' on to her boss, Victoria Nuland, European and Eurasian Affairs (EUR) Assistant Secretary of state.

Downer's report was touted as an intelligence product. It's not. It doesn't have anything at all to do with intelligence. It is a state department product. Ben Rhodes must have noticed this problem. He is concerned. I think what has been decided is that it is now necessary that Halper make another attempt to compromise and incriminate Papadopoulos. The Downer report is flimsy and can be unravelled by judicial inquiry. There's an obvious chain of state department actors promulgating the Downer information. But it is being played as an intelligence product. That's why Lisa Page wants to know if Dibble is at the meeting. It would be better if state department just stays further away. Downer/Dibble/Nuland are the evaluating agency behind the evidence that the FISA document is based on. That's also why Page is relieved that Office of General Counsel (OGC) has just made it far more difficult to identify the people behind the Downer report. She sees the vulnerability.

Downer has to lie, eventually, about his actions in re the report. He tells 'The Australian', a newspaper, that "he officially reported" the Papadopoulos meeting back to Australia "the following day or a day or two after." Then after another interval, Joe Hockey, the Australian Ambassador, passed the information on to Washington. (My source on this is Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal and 'Undercover Huber' on Twitter.) This is a lie. He never reported what amounts to one man's denunciation of Papadopoulos to any intelligence agency. Downer went straight to Elizabeth Dribble at the US Embassy.

This is why Halper was sent back into the fray, and the weird September meeting a month or so later in a private room at the Travelers Club took place with Papadopoulos. It's besides the point, but I agree with everything Halper told the crazy Greek kid about British and American policy in the Mediterranean. Papadopoulos was, and is, no doubt, if he had a chance, ready to force the British out of Cyprus and move Incirlik to the island of Karpathos. He does not seem to understand that Mt. Troodos is the jewel in the crown. He wants to squeeze Turkey away from the natural gas fields which will soon enough be found on the Turkish continental shelf between Turkish North Cyprus and the Turkish mainland. The kid if a Greek at heart. Not entirely an American. He's got the ethnic thing. He hates Turks, like all Greeks. Downer and Halper were right! Funny. It's also funny that Downer went out of the way to have a photo made of himself and the Turkish ambassador in the time frame when he was dropping a shit bomb on the kid and on America.

[Jul 09, 2019] The real issue is the control of Iranian oil by the USA and EU

Notable quotes:
"... It is the Iranian (upper/middle class) exiles who hate and detest the revolutionary regime, because the regime has deprived them of the right to rule, that they thought was their hereditary ..."
"... But the Gulf States don't give a fig about that. They are concerned about the simple renaissance of Iranian power, which might deprive the Sunni potentates of their own position. ..."
"... Yes, it is precisely Iran's success that threatens the Gulf Autocrats, Israel, and Uncle Sugar, each for slightly different reasons, or perhaps the same reasons in different amounts. ..."
Jul 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Laguerre , Jul 8 2019 16:29 utc | 14

re Don 7

Crooke points out, correctly I believe, that the real issue is not nuclear, or the oft-repeated foolish "largest state sponsor of terrorism," it is the revolutionary basis of Iran's success in the Middle East, besting the Gulf dictators.
That bit about the revolution, I don't agree with. It's more the Iranian renaissance that the Gulf States fear.

Two separate aspects need to be distinguished:

1) It is the Iranian (upper/middle class) exiles who hate and detest the revolutionary regime, because the regime has deprived them of the right to rule, that they thought was their hereditary right. Even within Iran, upper/middle class people I met had the same attitude - a kind of hurt that they weren't running the country. The regime is of course populist.

2) But the Gulf States don't give a fig about that. They are concerned about the simple renaissance of Iranian power, which might deprive the Sunni potentates of their own position. The classic case is of course Bahrain, where the "king" is Sunni, and the vast mass of the population Shi'a, and they're kept down by force, supported by the guns of the US 5th fleet. But the case of Saudi is much more serious, because it's so much bigger, and every single oil well is sitting under the feet of the Shi'a, and there are none anywhere else, certainly not in the Saudi homeland of Najd, which is real camel-herder territory (to which we can expect the Saudi princes to return, if ever the poor suffering Shi'a ever manage a successful revolt).

I think Crooke confused the two issues a bit.

Bemildred , Jul 8 2019 16:43 utc | 16

Yes, it is precisely Iran's success that threatens the Gulf Autocrats, Israel, and Uncle Sugar, each for slightly different reasons, or perhaps the same reasons in different amounts.

Those being: it's Shiia, it's populist, and it was indeed a political revolution. And for all of them it represents a viable alternative to the way they wanted things to be. Now, I think, it's too late. Many will take note of what they have done and how, it will be studied.

[Jul 09, 2019] Iran's Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi has demanded an immediate release of an Iranian oil tanker seized by the British government, Fars reported.

Jul 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Don Bacon , Jul 8 2019 17:16 utc | 23

@ UJ 21

As b mentioned, stay tuned for a major op. against the British East India Company.

from the Tehran Times:

TEHRAN – Iran's Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi has demanded an immediate release of an Iranian oil tanker seized by the British government, Fars reported.

"It seems that the British and Europeans are well aware of the Islamic Republic's reach and potential , and accordingly, it is to their own benefit that they immediately release this oil tanker, otherwise they should await the ramifications of their action," Raisi said on Monday.

[Jul 06, 2019] Why is Iran such a high priority for US elite? Because Iran successfully booted out the CIA and CIA-imposed regime out of their country and successfully remained independent since then

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There is at present no other powerful leadership group that is so adamantly unwilling to compromise with the U.S. The potential loss of U.S. control over Middle East oil being at the root of it. ..."
"... The Saudis et al have it, and Israel is a forward operating base for protecting it. The Saudi royal family rightly fear an Iran-inspired popular uprising against them and Israel fears the loss of lands granted to them by their invisible friend as related in a popular fairy tale. ..."
"... Iran is a relatively large country with a semi independent foreign policy and banking,/ financial system, and they want to control their own resources independent of western dictates about opening up their system to the neo liberal system. ..."
"... Because Iran successfully booted out the CIA and CIA-imposed regime out of their country and successfully remained independent since then. ..."
"... Iran was after WW2 a client state of both the US and the UK, the latter installing the Shah as a ruler. Iran was important for the US and the UK through its oil resources and its border with the USSR. ..."
"... Iran is still a major player when it comes to oil, but contrary to the Shah years quite hostile to the aspirations of Israel to become the “western” power in the middle east. ..."
"... The enmity clearest showed up when Israel and the USA supplied Saddam Hussein with intelligence and Germany and France with the capability to produce chemical weapons during the Iraq/Iran war. ..."
"... America essentially followed the old British approach towards Iran: keep it semi-alive so that it can put up enough resistance to the USSR until America’s more important and intrinsic interests, such as those in the Persian Gulf, were safeguarded. But Washington never wanted to turn Iran into a strong ally that one day might be capable of challenging America. ..."
"... By changing the international balance of power and removing the risk of Soviet penetration, the USSR’s fall eliminated Iran’s value to the United States even as a buffer state. In fact, the fundamental shift to a US approach based on the principle of no compromise, can be traced to 1987, when Gorbachev’s reforms began. ..."
"... Since then, the United States has refused to accept any solution to the Iran problem that has not involved the country’s absolute capitulation. ..."
"... For instance, in 2003, Iran offered to put all the outstanding issues between the two countries on the table for negotiations, but the US refused. ..."
"... Because Iran refuses to be a second-class citizen in its own neighborhood. Theirs is an ancient culture whose legacy to the world is enormous, their history is the stuff of legend, and they are the geopolitical power player in the region, not to mention the most powerful Shia Muslim nation. ..."
Jul 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Joe Well, July 5, 2019 at 11:47 am

>>US President Donald Trump’s ruthless use of the centrality of his country’s financial system and the dollar to force economic partners to abide by his unilateral sanctions on Iran has forced the world to recognise the political price of asymmetric economic interdependence.

Why is Iran such a high priority for so many US elites?

Lee, July 5, 2019 at 12:28 pm

Just spit-balling here: The Iranian leadership, with good cause, wants to diminish or eliminate the U.S. grip on the region and this subversive, potentially destabilizing sentiment resonates among the citizenry of various Middle Eastern countries.

There is at present no other powerful leadership group that is so adamantly unwilling to compromise with the U.S. The potential loss of U.S. control over Middle East oil being at the root of it.

The Saudis et al have it, and Israel is a forward operating base for protecting it. The Saudi royal family rightly fear an Iran-inspired popular uprising against them and Israel fears the loss of lands granted to them by their invisible friend as related in a popular fairy tale.

This is hardly definitive and I’m sure others could elaborate.

workingclasshero, July 5, 2019 at 12:53 pm

Iran is a relatively large country with a semi independent foreign policy and banking,/ financial system, and they want to control their own resources independent of western dictates about opening up their system to the neo liberal system.

I’m sure this is obvious to most people at this kind of web site and is overly simplistic but i sense sometimes some people are shocked about the conflict with Iran and don’t get that basic dynamic of this conflict.

Underdog Revolutions, July 5, 2019 at 1:34 pm

Because Iran successfully booted out the CIA and CIA-imposed regime out of their country and successfully remained independent since then.

US elites never forgave them for it. Same reason they hate and punish Cuba, another country that poses no threat to anyone but its own citizens.

Peter Moritz, July 5, 2019 at 1:46 pm

Why is Iran such a high priority for so many US elites?

Iran was after WW2 a client state of both the US and the UK, the latter installing the Shah as a ruler. Iran was important for the US and the UK through its oil resources and its border with the USSR.

Mossadegh, by nationalising the oil supply until, played against the status and he was overthrown in a MI/CIA sponsored coup in 1953, leaving the Shah as the sole ruler in Iran till the revolution of 1979 when Iran came under theocratic rule and basically diminished the power the US had throughout the years of the Shah’s rule.

The US was also shown to be quite powerless -- short of an invasion -- to deal with the hostage crisis in the US embassy, which was finally after more than a year resolved with the help of Canada.

Iran is still a major player when it comes to oil, but contrary to the Shah years quite hostile to the aspirations of Israel to become the “western” power in the middle east.

The enmity clearest showed up when Israel and the USA supplied Saddam Hussein with intelligence and Germany and France with the capability to produce chemical weapons during the Iraq/Iran war.

Here is a more in-depth look:

https://lobelog.com/the-real-causes-of-americas-troubled-relations-with-iran/

This U.S. approach towards Iran has been the result of its lack of an intrinsic interest in the country. The same was true of Britain. The late Sir Denis Right, the UK’s ambassador to Iran in the 1960s, put it best by writing that Britain never considered Iran of sufficient value to colonize it. But it found Iran useful as a buffer against the competing great power, the Russian Empire. Thus, British policy towards Iran was to keep it moribund but not dead, at least not as long as the Russian threat persisted.

America essentially followed the old British approach towards Iran: keep it semi-alive so that it can put up enough resistance to the USSR until America’s more important and intrinsic interests, such as those in the Persian Gulf, were safeguarded. But Washington never wanted to turn Iran into a strong ally that one day might be capable of challenging America.

By changing the international balance of power and removing the risk of Soviet penetration, the USSR’s fall eliminated Iran’s value to the United States even as a buffer state. In fact, the fundamental shift to a US approach based on the principle of no compromise, can be traced to 1987, when Gorbachev’s reforms began.

Since then, the United States has refused to accept any solution to the Iran problem that has not involved the country’s absolute capitulation.

For instance, in 2003, Iran offered to put all the outstanding issues between the two countries on the table for negotiations, but the US refused.

ChiGal in Carolina, July 5, 2019 at 6:38 pm

Because Iran refuses to be a second-class citizen in its own neighborhood. Theirs is an ancient culture whose legacy to the world is enormous, their history is the stuff of legend, and they are the geopolitical power player in the region, not to mention the most powerful Shia Muslim nation.

[Jul 06, 2019] Same old, same old, same old, same old. Prospective candidates spewing out the same tired old hot air about how, this time, it really, really, really, really will be different.

Notable quotes:
"... Just like Dubya. Just like Obomber. Just like the Orange Baboon. Whilst simultaneously begging for shekels from Adelson, Saban, Singer, Marcus. ..."
Jul 06, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

mark , July 3, 2019 at 00:17

Same old, same old, same old, same old. Prospective candidates spewing out the same tired old hot air about how, this time, it really, really, really, really will be different.

There won't be any more crazy multitrillion wars for Israel. Honest.

Just like Dubya. Just like Obomber. Just like the Orange Baboon. Whilst simultaneously begging for shekels from Adelson, Saban, Singer, Marcus.

... ... ...

[Jul 06, 2019] Many critics will blame Putin for betraying Assad, but I think he is merely showing that he is a master negotiator who recognizes the importance of 'good' relations with Turkey, and knows he will not get everything he wants in Syria

Notable quotes:
"... Buying S400 and losing F35 is a win win. ..."
"... Trump administration currently sees Turkey is essentially as a lever in relation to Iran. He suspects Erdo & Trump have a deal since the G20 whereby S-400 sanctions may be held in abeyance, in return for Turkey's acquiescence to, or even assistance with the maximum pressure campaign. ..."
"... Erdogan is still in the regime-changers' sights, under siege in all areas and consequently in a very weak position. I think those forecasting a full-scale defection into Russia's orbit misunderstand the realities of the maximum pressure campaign on Turkey itself and much further it can be pushed if need be. IMO it is more likely NATO will eventually welcome the reluctant black sheep back into the fold. ..."
"... Turkey is going to get their $4.3 billion dollars back at about the same time that Iran gets all of its money back, and Venezuela gets its gold back from the Bank of England - that is to say, never. As soon as Turkey asks for its money back, the US govt will impose sanctions on Turkey and that will be that. ..."
"... Any energy corridor that goes from the Persian Gulf to Europe has to pass through Turkey and also has to pass through either Syria or Iraq. The fact that Syria and Iraq are now effectively in Russia's sphere of influence makes a Turkish-Russian alliance make all the more sense. ..."
"... Reports from several months ago indicate the S-400 was cheaper than the Patriot, more mobile, and Russia was willing to share the technology and the US wasn't. Could be the S-400 being a better deal value factored in there somewhere. Putin? He's a businessman too. ..."
Jul 06, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

plantman , 06 July 2019 at 11:30 AM

What is most interesting to me, is that the Russian air force is actually pounding Turkey's militant allies on the ground in Idlib, but both men (Erdogan and Putin) are still strengthening their ties thru Turkstream, Russian tourism and building of a nuclear power plant. Diplomacy seems to have surpassed conditions on the ground in Syria.

Also, Iran's leaders feel slightly betrayed by Putin's deference to Erdogan. They must believe (as I do) that Putin has agreed to allow Turkey to occupy parts of Syria following the war.

Turkey has been very consistent on this issue from the very beginning...and it has plans to resettle parts of N Syria with the nearly 3 million refugees it is housing in S Turkey.

Many critics will blame Putin for betraying Assad, but I think he is merely showing that he is a master negotiator who recognizes the importance of 'good' relations with Turkey, and knows he will not get everything he wants in Syria. Compromise with Turkey opens up a path to ending the war and for pressuring US-Turkey relations which continue to worsen as Washington continues to support a de facto Kurdistan in E Syria.

Sbin , 06 July 2019 at 12:50 PM

Buying S400 and losing F35 is a win win.

Letting a committee design an aicraft instead of aerospace engineers is a bad idea. Pentagon should cut their loss much like with the Zumwalt program.

Barbara Ann , 06 July 2019 at 12:50 PM

M K Bhadrakumar is a great source for following the frenetic pace of developments in Eurasian geopolitics and he covered this very topic yesterday (see link).

His view of where the Trump administration currently sees Turkey is essentially as a lever in relation to Iran. He suspects Erdo & Trump have a deal since the G20 whereby S-400 sanctions may be held in abeyance, in return for Turkey's acquiescence to, or even assistance with the maximum pressure campaign.

Whilst S-400 delivery is contrary to US/NATO wishes/policy, it makes sense to me that it gets treated as a second order issue in this context. Turkey also wants Iran out of Syria, but if pushed even further into a corner Turkey could make life difficult for the US on Iran and therefore even potentially endanger Trump's re-election chances.

Erdogan is still in the regime-changers' sights, under siege in all areas and consequently in a very weak position. I think those forecasting a full-scale defection into Russia's orbit misunderstand the realities of the maximum pressure campaign on Turkey itself and much further it can be pushed if need be. IMO it is more likely NATO will eventually welcome the reluctant black sheep back into the fold.

The slippery Sultan has pushed it to the limit, but the anti-Iran coalition now needs him - at least in the short term. My guess is he gets to keep his shiny new AD system.

Where Turkey chooses to put it is a very interesting question; facing its ancient enemy in the West, or perhaps sited to cover the Cyprus EEZ and its oil?

https://indianpunchline.com/trump-outflanks-iran-to-the-west-and-east/

JJackson , 06 July 2019 at 12:53 PM

Re. 2 and possibly 5.

Does anyone understand the F35 deal between the participating partner nations.
Wikipedia say Turkey is a level 3 partner which cost it $4.3 billion and that sales are handled via the Pentagon.

Who decides if a partner in the project can be denied the right to buy their product? What I did not see is what F35 components were produced in Turkey and if they stopped exports what redundancy their was in the system.

Can Turkey say fine I will take my $4.3 billion back as the Russians and Chinese have both made me very attractive offers?

JamesT -> JJackson... , 06 July 2019 at 05:03 PM

Turkey is going to get their $4.3 billion dollars back at about the same time that Iran gets all of its money back, and Venezuela gets its gold back from the Bank of England - that is to say, never. As soon as Turkey asks for its money back, the US govt will impose sanctions on Turkey and that will be that.

Eugene Owens , 06 July 2019 at 01:14 PM

Regarding #1 and #2: S-400 is already in Algeria. And it will be in India by next year.

Reuters claims that Trump's good buddy King Salman signed a deal with Russia to buy S-400s.

Reuters also reported that Qatar was considering an S-400 purchase. So why is Pom-Pom only jumping on Turkey's back and not castigating the Saudis, Qataris, Algeriens, and Indians about the S-400? Keeping F-35 stealth capability from snooping by S-400s is the stated reason we don't want Turkey to have the S-400.

But when carrier based F35s are flying in the eastern Med, that stealth capability could be snooped on by the Algerien systems (or by Russian "field service reps" in Algeria with those systems). Ditto for the F35s in Italy. Could Israeli F35 stealth already be jeopardized by Russian system at Khmeimim AB in Syria?

#3 Idiots. But they are being used by Trump. He puts them up to it, so that he can pull back at the last minute and be Mr World Peace.

#4: State owned Rossiya TV lampooned Trump's Fourth of July celebration. Called it фигня (pronounced as 'fignya' and translates as bullshit). They mocked the tanks on display, said "the paint on these vehicles is peeling off. They have no cannons, and the optics were pasted on with adhesive tape" . Host Yevgeny Popov called the President "our Donald Trump" . Co-host Olga Skabeeva calls the parade "Putin's America" .

#5: See #3

#6 & 7: I was hoping #6 would stall #7, but I have serious doubts.

JamesT -> Eugene Owens... , 06 July 2019 at 04:44 PM

Eugene,

Is the S-400 in Algeria already? I have found reports that it was scheduled to be delivered in 2015 - but I can't find any reports on it actually being delivered. I don't think the Russians would have sold it to anyone other than Belarus and China until they had the S-500 ready to go.

Eugene Owens -> JamesT ... , 06 July 2019 at 09:48 PM

James -

Wiki says yes but their references to it are speculative.

Besides those there is a Business Insider article, German Edition, which claims Algeria has the S-400. It was dated last November.

Plus there is a report on Sputnik re S-400 in Algeria. But that is based on a MENAdefense.net article, which has photos (irrefutable they claim??) of several S-400 launchers in Algeria. Plus BAZ-64022 truck-tractors which are used with the S-400 and NOT the S-300. So maybe they do and are trying to hide the fact in order to avoid sanctions? Or maybe they have upgraded their S-300 PMU-2s to the PMU-3, which is a close match to the S-400. Or perhaps it is all propaganda?

Walrus , 06 July 2019 at 01:33 PM

Regarding the F35 and the S400, the obvious thing to do is to let them have both and swap information. We get S400 info and Russia gets F35 data.......except erdo will try and screw both of us.

The Twisted Genius , 06 July 2019 at 03:58 PM

I believe Putin's goal is to transform Turkey from a NATO state into an integral part of Russia's near abroad to eventually secure a guaranteed access to the Mediterranean and beyond and have a reliable buffer between Russia and Middle East. It's ensuring peace of mind, not rebuilding an empire.

JamesT -> The Twisted Genius ... , 06 July 2019 at 04:58 PM

TTG,

I think Putin's goal is more about forming a partnership with Turkey to build an energy corridor through Turkey to Europe. Control of this corridor, or at least membership in the alliance that controls this corridor, is a big deal from a geopolitical standpoint.

Thus Russia and Turkey can form something along the lines of an "OPEC on steroids" - Turkey can control who gets to pipe hydrocarbons to Europe and Russia can provide protection to those who wish to join their alliance (as they have already done for Syria).

Any energy corridor that goes from the Persian Gulf to Europe has to pass through Turkey and also has to pass through either Syria or Iraq. The fact that Syria and Iraq are now effectively in Russia's sphere of influence makes a Turkish-Russian alliance make all the more sense.

What Turkey has to gain from such an arrangement is not only transit fees for the hydrocarbons, but also a chance to develop their economy - if Turkey is at the head of the line for receipt of hydrocarbons to Europe, they are at the head of the line for building industry and businesses which use those hydrocarbons as inputs (eg refineries, plastics, aluminum, chemical production).

CK -> The Twisted Genius ... , 06 July 2019 at 05:09 PM

Access to the Med is already guaranteed by treaty just as is access to the Black Sea. Access beyond the Med is controlled at the Suez and the pillars of Hercules.

Eugene Owens -> CK... , 06 July 2019 at 10:01 PM

CK -

Guaranteed during peacetime. During any hostilities you can throw that treaty out the window.

Which is why TTG is correct that Putin's goal is to get Turkey out of NATO. And he may doublecross Assad by blessing Turkey's permanent occupation (or annexation) of those four districts of northern Aleppo Province (i.e. Afrin, Azaz, al-Bab, & Jarabulus). As payment for getting out of NATO.

Lars , 06 July 2019 at 05:52 PM

Until you fix the problem with, according to a poll, 56% of American parents not wanting Arabic numerals taught to their children. I suspect that an equal number would not be able to find any of the mentioned places on a map.

Where those with crystal balls find certainty, I find something much less. We do know that containment polices can work very well, but any involvement in the world's longest contested area is not worth the cost, nor the risk. The US has already spent a fortune, with very little to show for it.

Maybe it is all about learning?

Mark Logan , 06 July 2019 at 05:52 PM

Reports from several months ago indicate the S-400 was cheaper than the Patriot, more mobile, and Russia was willing to share the technology and the US wasn't. Could be the S-400 being a better deal value factored in there somewhere. Putin? He's a businessman too.

Yosemite Sam Bolton is probably being told to go out there and do his thing, and suffering from whip-lash when Trump yanks the carpet out from under them without apology. The poor dear must be like...

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

[Jul 06, 2019] I do think the protest against the Iraq war was a watershed moment, when the protests were simply ignored, and the in your face response by the powers that be.

Jul 06, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Herman , July 3, 2019 at 14:27

Went on Kunstler's website with the tasteless name and read comment about Hannity screaming to bomb Iran. And if Mr. Kunstler's facts are correct I imagine the Republicans will be saving Mueller's answers for the next election. Whatever Mr. Kunstler has to say, he says it well. What a mess. The way the bad guys have dug in and rigged the election process and the "News" business, it is difficult to imagine anything can change.

The controls of our society have become so efficient it is tempting to say what the hell and see if there is a good old film or an meaningful sporting event and let it go at that.

In saying that, it brings to mind the other CN article about anti-war sentiment and organizing against war and the war machine that has gone missing makes the point very well. I do think the protest against the Iraq war was a watershed moment, when the protests were simply ignored, and the in your face response by the powers that be.

Eddie S , July 4, 2019 at 10:01

"I do think the protest against the Iraq war was a watershed moment, when the protests were simply ignored, and the in your face response by the powers that be."

Yes, I know that the whole Iraq War-crime episode was an extremely disheartening episode to myself and millions of others who had marched in protest. It was horrible enough when the neo-cons were able to blatantly orchestrate an illegal invasion (with the obeisance of the long-cowed Democrats), but the RE-election of 'W' -- a year after the non-existence of the WMDs was proven by our OWN invading military -- was in a political sense worse because it showed that the majority of the US public was indifferent to illegal US invasions of other countries, so there would be little resistance in the future to these 'wars'.

It was only when the media was portraying the deaths & bad injuries to US soldiers occupying Iraq that a modest amount of public sentiment turned against the whole sordid episode.

So the tacit message was pretty clear to powers that be -- - as long as US troops aren't hurt, go-ahead and bomb-away those foreign men, women, and even children getting killed by them don't matter, especially if our military leaders offer-up oh-so-sincere apologies and state that 'these were unavoidable collateral civilian casualties because we only perform surgical strikes on terrorists' (and said in a most serious, gravitas-laden tone, so you KNOW they're telling the truth).

Windup , July 4, 2019 at 16:09

George wasn't 'elected' in the first place, let alone 're-elected'. I don't know if that makes you feel better. Maybe it does- at least about the American public (at that point in time anyway).

But it was certainly a forerunner to how we 'elect' our officials, which at this point is more blatantly fraudulent. At least to those of us not reading/watching msm.

[Jul 06, 2019] In practice, the USSR behaved exactly like a brutal totalitarian theocracy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Maher was right. I've been saying for decades -- since Brezhnev was still alive -- that the Soviet Union was a functional theocracy. ..."
"... In practice, the USSR behaved exactly like a brutal totalitarian theocracy would. They had an impersonal god (the theory of history that would lead inevitably to heaven on Earth) which the government treated as the source of their authority and their justification for everything they did in the name of the Revolution. ..."
"... They had a state church (the Communist Party -- no rivals allowed) that you needed to join to get anywhere in society. They had prophets (look what they did with Lenin after his death), saints (heroes of the Revolution), idols, sacred texts that could not be challenged, brutal suppression of other religions, witch hunts for heretics (anyone who opposed the Revolution). ..."
"... So yes: the USSR turned "communism" into their de facto state religion. ..."
Jul 03, 2019 | theamericanconservative.com

Douglas K 3 days ago • edited

To this day, Maher's response still leaves me dumbfounded: "I would say that's a secular religion." Before Douthat could ask what the hell a secular religion is, Maher changed the subject. The meaning of Maher's nonsensical statement was clear: everything Maher doesn't like is religion.

Maher was right. I've been saying for decades -- since Brezhnev was still alive -- that the Soviet Union was a functional theocracy. Sure, they didn't use God or angels or miracles in their rhetoric, but that's just surface trappings.

In practice, the USSR behaved exactly like a brutal totalitarian theocracy would. They had an impersonal god (the theory of history that would lead inevitably to heaven on Earth) which the government treated as the source of their authority and their justification for everything they did in the name of the Revolution.

They had a state church (the Communist Party -- no rivals allowed) that you needed to join to get anywhere in society. They had prophets (look what they did with Lenin after his death), saints (heroes of the Revolution), idols, sacred texts that could not be challenged, brutal suppression of other religions, witch hunts for heretics (anyone who opposed the Revolution).

So yes: the USSR turned "communism" into their de facto state religion. No, they didn't include personified invisible spirits in their ideology. But if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck ....

[Jul 06, 2019] The Antiwar Movement No One Can See by Allegra Harpootlian

Notable quotes:
"... "Each successor generation is less likely than the previous to prioritize maintaining superior military power worldwide as a goal of U.S. foreign policy, to see U.S. military superiority as a very effective way of achieving U.S. foreign policy goals, and to support expanding defense spending. At the same time, support for international cooperation and free trade remains high across the generations. In fact, younger Americans are more inclined to support cooperative approaches to U.S. foreign policy and more likely to feel favorably towards trade and globalization." ..."
"... Last year, for the first time since the height of the Iraq war 13 years ago, the Army fell thousands of troops short of its recruiting goals. That trend was emphasized in a 2017 Department of Defense poll that found only 14 percent of respondents ages 16 to 24 said it was likely they'd serve in the military in the coming years. This has the Army so worried that it has been refocusing its recruitment efforts on creating an entirely new strategy aimed specifically at Generation Z. ..."
"... These days, significant numbers of young veterans have been returning disillusioned and ready to lobby Congress against wars they once, however unknowingly, bought into. Look no further than a new left-right alliance between two influential veterans groups, VoteVets and Concerned Veterans for America, to stop those forever wars. Their campaign, aimed specifically at getting Congress to weigh in on issues of war and peace, is emblematic of what may be a diverse potential movement coming together to oppose America's conflicts. Another veterans group, Common Defense, is similarly asking politicians to sign a pledge to end those wars. In just a couple of months, they've gotten on board 10 congressional sponsors, including freshmen heavyweights in the House of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. ..."
"... In February 2018, Sanders also became the first senator to risk introducing a war powers resolution to end American support for the brutal Saudi-led war in Yemen. In April 2019, with the sponsorship of other senators added to his, the bill ultimately passed the House and the Senate in an extremely rare showing of bipartisanship, only to be vetoed by President Trump. That such a bill might pass the House, no less a still-Republican Senate, even if not by a veto-proof majority, would have been unthinkable in 2016. So much has changed since the last election that support for the Yemen resolution has now become what Tara Golshan at Vox termed "a litmus test of the Democratic Party's progressive shift on foreign policy." ..."
"... And for the first time ever, three veterans of America's post-9/11 wars -- Seth Moulton and Tulsi Gabbard of the House of Representatives, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg -- are running for president, bringing their skepticism about American interventionism with them. The very inclusion of such viewpoints in the presidential race is bound to change the conversation, putting a spotlight on America's wars in the months to come. ..."
"... In May, for instance, Omar tweeted , "We have to recognize that foreign policy IS domestic policy. We can't invest in health care, climate resilience, or education if we continue to spend more than half of discretionary spending on endless wars and Pentagon contracts. When I say we need something equivalent to the Green New Deal for foreign policy, it's this." ..."
"... It is little recognized how hard American troops fought from 1965 to 1968. Our air mobile troops in particular made a great slaughter of NVA and VC while also taking heavy casualties. ..."
"... We were having such success that no one in the military thought the enemy could keep up the fight. Then, the Tet offensive with the beaten enemy attacking every city in the South. ..."
"... Perhaps there is no open anti-war movement because the Democratic party is now pro-war. ..."
"... President Obama, the Nobel peace prize winner, started a war with Libya, which had neither attacked nor threatened the US and which, by many accounts, was trying to improve relations with the US. GW Bush unnecessarily attacked Iraq and Clinton destroyed Haiti and bombed Yugoslavia, among other actions. ..."
Jul 02, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Originally from: TomDispatch.com

Peace activism is rising, but that isn't translating into huge street demonstrations, writes Allegra Harpootlian.

W hen Donald Trump entered the Oval Office in January 2017, Americans took to the streets all across the country to protest their instantly endangered rights. Conspicuously absent from the newfound civic engagement, despite more than a decade and a half of this country's fruitless, destructive wars across the Greater Middle East and northern Africa, was antiwar sentiment, much less an actual movement.

Those like me working against America's seemingly endless wars wondered why the subject merited so little discussion, attention, or protest. Was it because the still-spreading war on terror remained shrouded in government secrecy? Was the lack of media coverage about what America was doing overseas to blame? Or was it simply that most Americans didn't care about what was happening past the water's edge? If you had asked me two years ago, I would have chosen "all of the above." Now, I'm not so sure.

After the enormous demonstrations against the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the antiwar movement disappeared almost as suddenly as it began, with some even openly declaring it dead. Critics noted the long-term absence of significant protests against those wars, a lack of political will in Congress to deal with them, and ultimately, apathy on matters of war and peace when compared to issues like health care, gun control, or recently even climate change .

The pessimists have been right to point out that none of the plethora of marches on Washington since Donald Trump was elected have had even a secondary focus on America's fruitless wars. They're certainly right to question why Congress, with the constitutional duty to declare war, has until recently allowed both presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump to wage war as they wished without even consulting them. They're right to feel nervous when a national poll shows that more Americans think we're fighting a war in Iran (we're not) than a war in Somalia ( we are ).

But here's what I've been wondering recently: What if there's an antiwar movement growing right under our noses and we just haven't noticed? What if we don't see it, in part, because it doesn't look like any antiwar movement we've even imagined?

If a movement is only a movement when people fill the streets, then maybe the critics are right. It might also be fair to say, however, that protest marches do not always a movement make. Movements are defined by their ability to challenge the status quo and, right now, that's what might be beginning to happen when it comes to America's wars.

What if it's Parkland students condemning American imperialism or groups fighting the Muslim Ban that are also fighting the war on terror? It's veterans not only trying to take on the wars they fought in, but putting themselves on the front lines of the gun control , climate change , and police brutality debates. It's Congress passing the first War Powers Resolution in almost 50 years. It's Democratic presidential candidates signing a pledge to end America's endless wars.

For the last decade and a half, Americans -- and their elected representatives -- looked at our endless wars and essentially shrugged. In 2019, however, an antiwar movement seems to be brewing. It just doesn't look like the ones that some remember from the Vietnam era and others from the pre-invasion-of-Iraq moment. Instead, it's a movement that's being woven into just about every other issue that Americans are fighting for right now -- which is exactly why it might actually work.

An estimated 100,000 people protested the war in Iraq in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 15, 2007 (Ragesoss, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

A Veteran's Antiwar Movement in the Making?

During the Vietnam War of the 1960s and early 1970s, protests began with religious groups and peace organizations morally opposed to war. As that conflict intensified, however, students began to join the movement, then civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. got involved, then war veterans who had witnessed the horror firsthand stepped in -- until, with a seemingly constant storm of protest in the streets, Washington eventually withdrew from Indochina.

You might look at the lack of public outrage now, or perhaps the exhaustion of having been outraged and nothing changing, and think an antiwar movement doesn't exist. Certainly, there's nothing like the active one that fought against America's involvement in Vietnam for so long and so persistently. Yet it's important to notice that, among some of the very same groups (like veterans, students, and even politicians) that fought against that war, a healthy skepticism about America's 21st century wars, the Pentagon, the military industrial complex, and even the very idea of American exceptionalism is finally on the rise -- or so the polls tell us.

"Arlington West of Santa Monica," a project of Veterans for Peace, puts reminders of the costs of war on the beach in Santa Monica, California. (Lorie Shaull via Flickr)

Right after the midterms last year, an organization named Foundation for Liberty and American Greatness reported mournfully that younger Americans were "turning on the country and forgetting its ideals," with nearly half believing that this country isn't "great" and many eyeing the U.S. flag as "a sign of intolerance and hatred." With millennials and Generation Z rapidly becoming the largest voting bloc in America for the next 20 years, their priorities are taking center stage. When it comes to foreign policy and war, as it happens, they're quite different from the generations that preceded them. According to the Chicago Council of Global Affairs ,

"Each successor generation is less likely than the previous to prioritize maintaining superior military power worldwide as a goal of U.S. foreign policy, to see U.S. military superiority as a very effective way of achieving U.S. foreign policy goals, and to support expanding defense spending. At the same time, support for international cooperation and free trade remains high across the generations. In fact, younger Americans are more inclined to support cooperative approaches to U.S. foreign policy and more likely to feel favorably towards trade and globalization."

Although marches are the most public way to protest, another striking but understated way is simply not to engage with the systems one doesn't agree with. For instance, the vast majority of today's teenagers aren't at all interested in joining the all-volunteer military. Last year, for the first time since the height of the Iraq war 13 years ago, the Army fell thousands of troops short of its recruiting goals. That trend was emphasized in a 2017 Department of Defense poll that found only 14 percent of respondents ages 16 to 24 said it was likely they'd serve in the military in the coming years. This has the Army so worried that it has been refocusing its recruitment efforts on creating an entirely new strategy aimed specifically at Generation Z.

In addition, we're finally seeing what happens when soldiers from America's post-9/11 wars come home infused with a sense of hopelessness in relation to those conflicts. These days, significant numbers of young veterans have been returning disillusioned and ready to lobby Congress against wars they once, however unknowingly, bought into. Look no further than a new left-right alliance between two influential veterans groups, VoteVets and Concerned Veterans for America, to stop those forever wars. Their campaign, aimed specifically at getting Congress to weigh in on issues of war and peace, is emblematic of what may be a diverse potential movement coming together to oppose America's conflicts. Another veterans group, Common Defense, is similarly asking politicians to sign a pledge to end those wars. In just a couple of months, they've gotten on board 10 congressional sponsors, including freshmen heavyweights in the House of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.

And this may just be the tip of a growing antiwar iceberg. A misconception about movement-building is that everyone is there for the same reason, however broadly defined. That's often not the case and sometimes it's possible that you're in a movement and don't even know it. If, for instance, I asked a room full of climate-change activists whether they also considered themselves part of an antiwar movement, I can imagine the denials I'd get. And yet, whether they know it or not, sooner or later fighting climate change will mean taking on the Pentagon's global footprint, too.

Think about it: not only is the U.S. military the world's largest institutional consumer of fossil fuels but, according to a new report from Brown University's Costs of War Project, between 2001 and 2017, it released more than 1.2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (400 million of which were related to the war on terror). That's equivalent to the emissions of 257 million passenger cars, more than double the number currently on the road in the U.S.

A Growing Antiwar Movement in Congress

One way to sense the growth of antiwar sentiment in this country is to look not at the empty streets or even at veterans organizations or recruitment polls, but at Congress. After all, one indicator of a successful movement, however incipient, is its power to influence and change those making the decisions in Washington. Since Donald Trump was elected, the most visible evidence of growing antiwar sentiment is the way America's congressional policymakers have increasingly become engaged with issues of war and peace. Politicians, after all, tend to follow the voters and, right now, growing numbers of them seem to be following rising antiwar sentiment back home into an expanding set of debates about war and peace in the age of Trump.

In campaign season 2016, in an op-ed in The Washington Post , political scientist Elizabeth Saunders wondered whether foreign policy would play a significant role in the presidential election. "Not likely," she concluded. "Voters do not pay much attention to foreign policy." And at the time, she was on to something. For instance, Sen. Bernie Sanders, then competing for the Democratic presidential nomination against Hillary Clinton, didn't even prepare stock answers to basic national security questions, choosing instead, if asked at all, to quickly pivot back to more familiar topics. In a debate with Clinton, for instance, he was asked whether he would keep troops in Afghanistan to deal with the growing success of the Taliban. In his answer, he skipped Afghanistan entirely, while warning only vaguely against a "quagmire" in Iraq and Syria.

Heading for 2020, Sanders is once again competing for the nomination, but instead of shying away from foreign policy, starting in 2017, he became the face of what could be a new American way of thinking when it comes to how we see our role in the world.

In February 2018, Sanders also became the first senator to risk introducing a war powers resolution to end American support for the brutal Saudi-led war in Yemen. In April 2019, with the sponsorship of other senators added to his, the bill ultimately passed the House and the Senate in an extremely rare showing of bipartisanship, only to be vetoed by President Trump. That such a bill might pass the House, no less a still-Republican Senate, even if not by a veto-proof majority, would have been unthinkable in 2016. So much has changed since the last election that support for the Yemen resolution has now become what Tara Golshan at Vox termed "a litmus test of the Democratic Party's progressive shift on foreign policy."

Nor, strikingly enough, is Sanders the only Democratic presidential candidate now running on what is essentially an antiwar platform. One of the main aspects of Elizabeth Warren's foreign policy plan, for instance, is to "seriously review the country's military commitments overseas, and that includes bringing U.S. troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq." Entrepreneur Andrew Yang and former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel have joined Sanders and Warren in signing a pledge to end America's forever wars if elected. Beto O'Rourke has called for the repeal of Congress's 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force that presidents have cited ever since whenever they've sent American forces into battle. Marianne Williamson , one of the many (unlikely) Democratic candidates seeking the nomination, has even proposed a plan to transform America's "wartime economy into a peace-time economy, repurposing the tremendous talents and infrastructure of [America's] military industrial complex to the work of promoting life instead of death."

And for the first time ever, three veterans of America's post-9/11 wars -- Seth Moulton and Tulsi Gabbard of the House of Representatives, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg -- are running for president, bringing their skepticism about American interventionism with them. The very inclusion of such viewpoints in the presidential race is bound to change the conversation, putting a spotlight on America's wars in the months to come.

Get on Board or Get Out of the Way

When trying to create a movement, there are three likely outcomes : you will be accepted by the establishment, or rejected for your efforts, or the establishment will be replaced, in part or in whole, by those who agree with you. That last point is exactly what we've been seeing, at least among Democrats, in the Trump years. While 2020 Democratic candidates for president, some of whom have been in the political arena for decades, are gradually hopping on the end-the-endless-wars bandwagon, the real antiwar momentum in Washington has begun to come from new members of Congress like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Ilhan Omar who are unwilling to accept business as usual when it comes to either the Pentagon or the country's forever wars. In doing so, moreover, they are responding to what their constituents actually want.

As far back as 2014, when a University of Texas-Austin Energy Poll asked people where the U.S. government should spend their tax dollars, only 7 percent of respondents under 35 said it should go toward military and defense spending. Instead, in a "pretty significant political shift" at the time, they overwhelmingly opted for their tax dollars to go toward job creation and education. Such a trend has only become more apparent as those calling for free public college, Medicare-for-all, or a Green New Deal have come to realize that they could pay for such ideas if America would stop pouring trillions of dollars into wars that never should have been launched.

The new members of the House of Representatives, in particular, part of the youngest, most diverse crew to date , have begun to replace the old guard and are increasingly signalling their readiness to throw out policies that don't work for the American people, especially those reinforcing the American war machine. They understand that by ending the wars and beginning to scale back the military-industrial complex, this country could once again have the resources it needs to fix so many other problems.

In May, for instance, Omar tweeted , "We have to recognize that foreign policy IS domestic policy. We can't invest in health care, climate resilience, or education if we continue to spend more than half of discretionary spending on endless wars and Pentagon contracts. When I say we need something equivalent to the Green New Deal for foreign policy, it's this."

Ilhan Omar @IlhanMN

We have to recognize that foreign policy IS domestic policy. We can't invest in health care, climate resilience or education if we continue to spend more than half of discretionary spending on endless wars and Pentagon contracts. http://www. startribune.com/rep-ilhan-omar -with-perspective-of-a-foreigner-sets-ambitious-global-agenda/510489882/?om_rid=3005497801&om_mid=317376969&refresh=true

7,176 3:24 PM - May 28, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy Rep. Ilhan Omar, with 'perspective of a foreigner,' sets ambitious global agenda

From her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and with a growing international reputation, the former refugee is wading into debates over various global hot spots and controversies.

startribune.com

2,228 people are talking about this

A few days before that, at a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing, Ocasio-Cortez confronted executives from military contractor TransDigm about the way they were price-gouging the American taxpayer by selling a $32 "non-vehicular clutch disc" to the Department of Defense for $1,443 per disc. "A pair of jeans can cost $32; imagine paying over $1,000 for that," she said. "Are you aware of how many doses of insulin we could get for that margin? I could've gotten over 1,500 people insulin for the cost of the margin of your price gouging for these vehicular discs alone."

And while such ridiculous waste isn't news to those of us who follow Pentagon spending closely, this was undoubtedly something many of her millions of supporters hadn't thought about before. After the hearing, Teen Vogue created a list of the "5 most ridiculous things the United States military has spent money on," comedian Sarah Silverman tweeted out the AOC hearing clip to her 12.6 million followers, Will and Grace actress Debra Messing publicly expressed her gratitude to AOC, and according to Crowdtangle, a social media analytics tool, the NowThis clip of her in that congressional hearing garnered more than 20 million impressions.

Ocasio-Cortez calling out costs charged by military contractor TransDigm. (YouTube)

Not only are members of Congress beginning to call attention to such undercovered issues, but perhaps they're even starting to accomplish something. Just two weeks after that contentious hearing, TransDigm agreed to return $16.1 million in excess profits to the Department of Defense. "We saved more money today for the American people than our committee's entire budget for the year," said House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings.

Of course, antiwar demonstrators have yet to pour into the streets, even though the wars we're already involved in continue to drag on and a possible new one with Iran looms on the horizon. Still, there seems to be a notable trend in antiwar opinion and activism. Somewhere just under the surface of American life lurks a genuine, diverse antiwar movement that appears to be coalescing around a common goal: getting Washington politicians to believe that antiwar policies are supportable, even potentially popular. Call me an eternal optimist, but someday I can imagine such a movement helping end those disastrous wars.

Allegra Harpootlian is a media associate at ReThink Media , where she works with leading experts and organizations at the intersection of national security, politics, and the media. She principally focuses on U.S. drone policies and related use-of-force issues. She is also a political partner with the Truman National Security Project . Find her on Twitter @ally_harp .

This article is from TomDispatch.com .


Edwin Stamm , July 5, 2019 at 10:40

"How Obama demobilized the antiwar movement"
By Brad Plumer
August 29, 2013
Washington Post

"Reihan Salam points to a 2011 paper by sociologists Michael T. Heaney and Fabio Rojas, who find that antiwar protests shrunk very quickly after Obama took office in 2008 -- mainly because Democrats were less likely to show up:

Drawing upon 5,398 surveys of demonstrators at antiwar protests, interviews with movement leaders, and ethnographic observation, this article argues that the antiwar movement demobilized as Democrats, who had been motivated to participate by anti-Republican sentiments, withdrew from antiwar protests when the Democratic Party achieved electoral success, if not policy success in ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Heaney and Rojas begin by puzzling over a paradox. Obama ran as an antiwar candidate, but his first few years in office were rather different: "As president, Obama maintained the occupation of Iraq and escalated the war in Afghanistan. The antiwar movement should have been furious at Obama's 'betrayal' and reinvigorated its protest activity. Instead, attendance at antiwar rallies declined precipitously and financial resources available to the movement dissipated.""

Rob , July 4, 2019 at 14:20

The author may be too young to realize that the overwhelming driving force in the anti-Vietnam War movement was hundreds of thousands of young men who were at risk of being drafted and sent to fight, die and kill in that godforsaken war. As the movement grew, it gathered in millions of others as well. Absent the military draft today, most of America's youth don't seem to give half a damn about the current crimes of the U.S. military. As the saying goes: They have no skin in the game.

bardamu , July 3, 2019 at 20:21

There has again been some shift in Sanders' public positions, while Tulsi Gabbard occupies a position that was not represented in '16, and HR Clinton was more openly bent on war than anyone currently at the table, though perhaps because that much of her position had become so difficult to deny over the years.

That said, Clinton lost to Obama in '08 because she could not as effectively deny her militarism. There was at the time within the Democratic Party more and clearer movement against the wars than there is now. One might remember the run for candidacy of Dennis Kucinich, for example. The 8 years of the Obama regime were a consistent frustration and disappointment to any antiwar or anticorporate voice within the Democratic Party, but complaints were muted because many would not speak against a Blue or a Black president. More than at any prior time, corporate media spokespersons could endorse radically pro-corporate positions and imply or accuse their opposition of racism.

That leaves it unclear, however, what any antiwar voices have to do with the Democratic Party itself, particularly if we take "the party" to mean the political organization itself as opposed to the people whom it claims to represent. The Party and the DNC were major engines in the rigging of the 2016 Democratic nomination–and also, lest we forget, contributors to the Donald Trump nomination campaign.

It should not escape us, as we search for souls and soulfulness among these remnants of Democratic Parties Past, that any turn of the party against war is surely due to Hillary Clinton's loss to presumed patsy candidate Donald Trump in 2016–the least and second-least popular major presidential contenders in history, clearly, in whichever order one wishes to put them.

There is some value in realism, then. So as much as one hates to criticize a Bernie Sanders in anything like the present field that he runs in, his is not a consistently antiwar position: he has gone back and forth. Tulsi Gabbard is the closest thing to an antiwar candidate within the Party. And under even under the most favorable circumstances, 2020 is at best not her year.

Most big money says war. scorched earth, steep hierarchy, and small constitution. Any who don't like it had best speak up and act up.

Jim Glover , July 3, 2019 at 17:43

I am for Tulsi, a Senator from Hawaii not a rep as this article says. Folk Music was in when the peace movement was strong and building, the same for Folk Rock who songs also had words you could get without Google.

So my way of "hoping" for an Anti-War/Peace Movement is to have a Folk Revival in my mind.

Nathan Mulcahy , July 3, 2019 at 14:11

The answer to the question why anti war movement is dead is so simple and obvious but apparently invisible to most Dems/libs/progressives (excuse my inability to discern the distinctions between labels). The answer points to our onetime "peace" president Obama. As far as foreign interventions go (and domestic spying, among other things) Obama had continued Baby Bush's policy. Even worse, Obama had given a bipartisan seal of approval (and legality) to most of Baby Bush's crimes. In other words, for 8 years, meaning during the "peace" president's reign, the loyal "lefty" sheeple have held their mouth when it came to war and peace.

Obama and the Dems have very effectively killed the ant war movement

P.Brooks , July 3, 2019 at 12:54

No More War

Don Bacon , July 3, 2019 at 12:29

The establishment will always be pro-war because there's so much money in it. Street demonstrations will never change that, as we recently learned with Iraq. The only strategy that has a chance of working is anti-enlistment. If they don't have the troops they can't invade anywhere, and recruitment is already a problem. It needs to be a bigger problem.

Anonymot , July 3, 2019 at 11:51

Sorry, ALL of these Democrat wannabes save one is ignorant of foreign affairs, foreign policy and its destruction of what they blather on about – domestic vote-getting sky pies. Oh yes, free everything: schools, health care, social justices and services. It's as though the MIC has not stolen the money from the public's pockets to get rich by sending cheap fodder out there to get killed and wounded, amputated physically and mentally.

Hillary signed the papers and talked the brainless idiocy that set the entire Middle East on fire, because she couldn't stand the sight of a man with no shirt on and sitting on the Russian equivalent of a Harley. She hates men, because she drew a bad one. Huma was better company. Since she didn't know anything beyond the superficial, she did whatever the "experts" whispered in her ears: War! Obama was in the same boat. The target, via gaining total control of oil from Libya to Syria and Iran was her Putin hate. So her experts set up the Ukraine. The "experts" are the MIC/CIA and our fearless, brainless, corrupt military. They have whispered the same psychotic message since the Gulf of Tonkin. We've lost to everyone with whom we've crossed swords and left them devastated and America diminished save for the few.

So I was a Sanders supporter until he backed the warrior woman and I, like millions of others backed off of her party. It's still her party. Everyone just loves every victim of every kind. They all spout minor variations on the same themes while Trump and his neocons quietly install their right wing empire. Except for one who I spotted when she had the independence to go look for herself in Syria.

Tulsi Gabbard is the only candidate to be the candidate who has a balance of well thought through, realistic foreign policy as well as the domestic non-extremist one. She has the hurdle of being a too-pretty woman, of being from the remotest state, and not being a screamer. Even this article, written about peace by a woman fails to talk about her.

Tulsi has the registered voter count and a respectable budget, but the New York Times which is policy-controlled by a few of Hillary's billionaire friends has consistently shut her out, because Tulsi left the corrupt Hillary-owned DNC to back Sanders and Hillary never forgave her.

If you want to know who is against Trump and war, take 5 minutes and listen to what she really said during the 1st debate where the CBS folks gave her little room to talk. It will change your outlook on what really is possible.

https://www.tulsi2020.com/a/first-democratic-debate

P.Brooks , July 3, 2019 at 13:53

Hi Anonymot; I also exited my Sanders support after over 100 cash donations and over a years painful effort. I will never call him Bernie again; now it is Sanders, since Bernie makes him sound cute and cute was not the word that came into my mind as Mr. Sanders missed his world moment at the democratic election and backed Hillary Clinton (I can not vote for EVIL). Sanders then proceeded to give part of my money to the DNC & to EVIL Hillary Clinton.

So then what now? Easy as Pie; NO MORE DEMOCRATS EVER. The DNC & DCCC used Election Fraud & Election Crimes blatantly to beat Bernie Sanders. Right out in the open. The DNC & DCCC are War Mongering more then the Republicans which is saying allot. The mass media and major Internet Plateforms like Goggle & Facebook are all owned by Evil Oligarchs that profit from WAR and blatantly are today suppressing all dissenting opinions (anti Free Speech).

I stopped making cash donation to Tulsi Gabbard upon the realization that the Democrats were not at all a force for Life or Good and instead were a criminal organization. The voting for the lessor of two EVILs is 100% STUPID.

I told Tim Canova I could not support any Democrat ever again as I told Tulsi Gabbard. Tulsi is still running as a criminal democrat. If she would run independent of the DNC then I would start to donate cash to her again. End of my story about Tulsi. I do like her antiwar dialog, but there is no; so called changing, the DNC from the inside. The Oligarchs own the DNC and are not supportive of "We The People" or the Constitution, or the American Republic.

The end of Tim Canova's effort was he was overtly CHEATED AGAIN by the DNC's Election Fraud & Election Crimes in his 2018 run for congress against Hillary Clinton's 100% corrupt campaign manager; who congress seated even over Tim's asking them not to seat her until his law suites on her election crimes against him were assessed. Election crimes and rigged voting machines in Florida are a way of life now and have been for decades and decades.

All elections must be publicly funded. All votes must be on paper ballots and accessible for recounts and that is just the very minimums needed to start changing the 100% corrupted election system we Americans have been railroaded into.

The supreme Court has recently ruled that gerrymandering is OK. The supreme court has proven to be a political organization with their Bush Gore decision and now are just political hacks and as such need to be ELECTED not appointed. Their rulings that Money is Free Speech & that Corporations are People has disenfranchised "We the People". That makes the Supreme Court a tool to be used by the world money elite to overturn the constitution of the United States of America.

No More War. No More War. No More War.

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 16:40

Absolutely spot-on, superb comment, P .Brooks.

DW

Nathan Mulcahy , July 3, 2019 at 18:08

I saw the light (with what the Dems are really about) after Kucinich's candidacy. That made me one of the very few lefties in my circle not to have voted for Obama even the first time around. I hear a lot of talk about trying to reform the party from inside. Utter bu** sh**. "You cannot reform Mafia".

Ever since Kucinich, I have been voting Green. No, this is not a waste of my vote. Besides, I cannot be complicit to war crimes – that's what it makes anyone who votes for either of the two parties.

Steven , July 3, 2019 at 13:56

Wow you said a mouthful. It's worse than that its a cottage industry that includes gun running, drug running and human trafficking netting Trillions to the MIC, CIA and other alphabet agencies you can't fight the mark of the beast.

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 14:01

I fully back/endorse Gabbard, but

The battering of Bernie is not fair. He is NOT a Democrat, therefore him being able to get "inside" that party to run AS a Dem put him in a tenuous situation. He really had no option other than to support HRC lest his movement, everyone's movement, would get extra hammering by the neocons and status quo powers. He wouldn't be running, again, had he not done this. Yeah, it's a bad taste, I get it, but had he disavowed HRC would the outcome -Trump- been any different? The BLAME goes fully on the DNC and the Clintons. Full stop.

I do not see AOC as a full progressive. She is only doing enough to make it appear so. The Green New Deal is stolen from the Green Party and is watered down. Think of this as "Obama Care" for the planet. As you should know, Gabbard's Off Fossil Fuels Act (OFF) actually has real teeth in it: and is closer to the Green Party's positions.

I support movements and positions. PRIMARY is peace. Gabbard, though not a pacifist, has the right path on all of this: I've been around long enough to understand exactly how she's approaching all of this. She is, however, taking on EVERYONE. As powerful a person as she is (she has more fortitude than the entire lot of combined POTUS candidates put together) going to require MASSIVE support; sadly, -to this point- this article doesn't help by implying that people aren't interested in foreign policy (it perpetuates the blockout of it- people have to be reeducated on its importance- not something that the MIC wants), people aren't yet able to see the connections. The education will occur will it happen in a timely way such that people would elect Gabbard? (things can turn on a dime, history has shown this; she has the makeup that suggests that she's going to have a big role in making history).

I did not support Bernie (and so far have not- he's got ample support; if it comes down to it he WILL get my vote- and I've held off voting for many years because there's been no real "peace" candidate on the plate). Gabbard, however, has my support now, and likely till the day I die: I've been around long enough to know what constitutes a great leader, and not since the late 60s have we had anyone like her. If Bernie gets the nomination it is my prediction that he will have Gabbard high on his staff, if not as VP: a sure fire way to win is to have Gabbard as VP.

I'm going to leave this for folks to contemplate as to whether Gabbard is real or not:

http://www.brasilwire.com/holy-war/

[excerpt:]

In a context in which Rio de Janeiro's evangelical churches have been accused of laundering money for the drug trafficking gangs, all elements of Afro-Brazilian culture including caipoeira, Jango drumming, and participation in Carnaval parades, have been banned by the traffickers in many favelas.

[end excerpt]

"caipoeria," is something that Gabbard has practiced:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw-njAmvZ80

"I trained in different martial arts since I was a kid including Capoeira -- an amazing art created by slaves in Brazil who were training to fight and resist against their slave masters, disguising their training with music, acrobatics, and dance. Yesterday I joined my friends Mestre Kinha and others at Capoeira Besouro Hawai'i for their batizado ceremony and some fun! " – Tulsi Gabbard December 9, 2018

The GOAL is to get her into the upper halls of governing power. If the people cannot see fit to it then I'll support Sanders (in the end) so that he can do it.

Harpootlian claims to see what's going on, but, unfortunately, she's not able to look close enough.

Anonymot, thank you for leading out here with Gabbard and her message.

michael , July 4, 2019 at 08:10

If Gabbard had the MSM coverage Buttigieg has received she probably be leading in the polls. It is surprising(?) that this supposedly anti-war author mentions corporatist Mayor Pete but not Gabbard.

David , July 4, 2019 at 19:55

She DOES (briefly)mention Gabbard, but she missed the fact that Gabbard is the most strongly anti-war candidate. She gets it entirely wrong about Buttigieg, who is strikingly pro-war, and supports getting in to a war with Iran.

Robert Harrow , July 3, 2019 at 15:54

And sadly, Ms. Gabbard is mired at the 1% mark in the polls, even after having performed so well in the debate.
This seems to me an indication of the public's lack of caring about our foreign wars.

antonio Costa , July 3, 2019 at 19:06

The reason she's "mired" is because a number of polls don't include her!! However they include, Marianne Williamson.

How's that for inverse totalitarianism par excellence .

Skip Scott , July 4, 2019 at 07:05

I did see one poll that had her at 2%. And given the reputation of many polling outfits, I take any professed results with a grain of salt. Tulsi's press coverage (what little she gets) has been mostly defamatory to the point of being libelous. If her strong performance continues in the primary debates despite all efforts to sabotage her, I think she could make a strong showing. That said, at some point she will have to renounce the DNC controlled democratic party and run as an Independent if she wants to make the General Election debates for 2020.

Piotr Berman , July 3, 2019 at 21:15

"Hillary signed the papers and talked the brainless idiocy that set the entire Middle East on fire, because she couldn't stand the sight of a man with no shirt on and sitting on the Russian equivalent of a Harley. She hates men "

If I were to psychologize, I would conjecture more un-gendered stereotype, namely that of a good student. He/she diligently learns in all classes from the prescribed textbooks and reading materials, and, alas, American education on foreign affairs is dominated by retirees from CIA and other armchair warriors. Of course, nothing wrong about good students in general, but I mean the type that is obedient, devoid of originality and independent thinking. When admonished, he/she remembers the pain for life and strives hard not to repeat it. E.g. as First Lady, Hillary kissed Arafat's wife to emulate Middle East custom, and NY tabloids had a feast for months.

Concerning Tulsi, no Hillary-related conspiracy is needed to explain the behavior of the mass media. Tulsi is a heretic to the establishment, and their idea is to be arbiters of what and who belongs to the "mainstream", and what is radical, marginal etc. Tulsi richly deserves her treatment. Confronted with taunts like "so you would prefer X to stay in power" (Assad, Maduro etc.) she replies that it should not be up to USA to decide who stays in power, especially if no better scenario is in sight. The gall, the cheek!

Strangely enough, Tulsi gets this treatment in places like The Nation and Counterpunch. As the hitherto "radical left" got a whiff of being admitted to the hallowed mainstream from time to time, they try to be "responsible".

Mary Jones-Giampalo , July 4, 2019 at 00:39

Yes! Thank You I was gritting my teeth reading this article #Tulsi2020

Eddie , July 3, 2019 at 11:42

The end of the anti-war movement expired when the snake-oil pitchman with the toothy smile and dark skin brought his chains we could beleive in to the White House. The so-called progressives simply went to sleep while they never criticized Barack Obama for escalating W. Bush's wars and tax cuts for the rich.

The fake left wing in the US remained silent when Obama dumped trillions of dollars into the vaults of his bankster pals as he stole the very homes from the people who voted him into office. Then along came the next hope and change miracle worker Bernie Sanders. Only instead of working miracles for the working class, Sanders showed his true colors when he fcuked his constituents to support the hated Hillary Clinton.

Let's start facing reality. The two-party dictatorship does not care about you unless you can pony up the big bucks like their masters in the oligarchy and the soulless corporations do. Unless and until workers end to the criminal stranglehold that the big-business parties and the money class have on the government, things will continue to slide into the abyss.

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 11:33

An informed awareness of imperialism must also include an analysis of how "technology" is used and abused, from the use of "superior" weaponry against people who do not have such weapons, from blunderbuss and sailing ships, to B-52s and napalm, up to and including technology that may be "weaponized" against civilian populations WiTHIN a society, be it 24/7 surveillance or robotics and AI that could permit elites to dispense with any "need", on the part of the elites, to tolerate the very existence of a laborung class, or ANY who earn their wealth through actual work, from maids to surgeons, from machine operators to professors.

Any assumption, that any who "work", even lawyers or military officers, can consider their occupation or profession as "safe", is to assume that the scapegoating will stop with those the highly paid regard as "losers", such comfortable assumption may very well prove as illusory and ephemeral as an early morning mist before the hot and merciless Sun rises.

The very notions of unfettered greed and limitless power, resulting in total control, must be recognized as the prime drivers of endless war and shock-doctrine capitalism which, combined, ARE imperialism, unhinged and insane.

michael , July 3, 2019 at 11:06

This article is weak. Anyone who could equate Mayor Pete or the eleven Democrat "ex"-military and CIA analysts who gained seats in Congress in 2018 as anti-war is clueless. Tulsi Gabbard is anti-regime change war, but is in favor of fighting "terrorists" (created mostly by our CIA and Israel with Saudi funding). Mike Gravel is the only true totally anti-war 'candidate' and he supports Gabbard as the only anti-War of the Democrats.
In WWI, 90% of Americans who served were drafted, in WWII over 60% of Americans who served were drafted. The Vietnam War "peace demonstrations" were more about the Draft, and skin-in-the-game, than about War. Nixon and Kissinger abolished the Draft (which stopped most anti-war protests), but continued carpet bombing Vietnam and neighboring countries (Operations Menu, Freedom Deal, Patio, etc), and Vietnamized the War which was already lost, although the killing continued through 1973. The abolition of the Draft largely gutted the anti-war movement. Sporadic protests against Bush/ Cheney over Afghanistan and Iraq essentially disappeared under Obama/ Hillary in Afghanistan and Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan. Since their National Emergency proclamations no longer ever end, we are in a position to attack Venezuela (Obama), Ukraine (Obama), South Sudan (Obama), Iran (Carter, Clinton), Libya (Obama), Somalia (Obama), Yemen (Obama), Nicaragua (Trump) and even Burundi (Obama) and the Central African Republic (Obama). The continuing support of death squads in Honduras and other Latin American countries ("stability is more important than democracy") has contributed to the immigration crises over the last five years.
As Pelosi noted about Democratic progressives "there are like five of them". Obama not only failed to reverse any of the police state and warmongering of Bush/Cheney, he expanded both police state (arresting and prosecuting Chelsea Manning for exposing war crimes, as well as more whistleblowers than anyone in history), and wars in seven Arab Muslim countries. Black Americans, who had always been an anti-War bloc prior to Obama, converted to the new America. The Congressional Democrats joined with Republicans to give more to the military budget than requested by Trump. (Clinton squandered the Peace Dividend when the Soviet Union fell, and Lee Camp has exposed the $21 TRILLION "lost" by the Pentagon.)
The young author see anti-war improvements that are not there. The US is more pro-war in its foreign policies than at any time in its history. When there was a Draft, the public would not tolerate decades of war (lest their young men died). Sanctions are now the first attack (usually by National Emergencies!); the 500,000 Iraqi children killed by Clinton's sanctions (Madeline Albright: "we think it was worth it!") is just sadism and psychopathy at the top, which is necessary for War.

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 11:38

Superb comment, michael, very much agreed with and appreciated.

DW

Anonymot , July 3, 2019 at 12:06

You are absolutely right. Obama and Hillary were the brilliant ideas of the MIC/CIA when they realized that NO ONE the Republicans put up after Bush baby's 2nd round. They chose 2 "victims" black & woman) who would do what they were told to do in order to promote their causes (blacks & get-filthy rich.) The first loser would get the next round. And that's exactly what happened until Hillary proved to be so unacceptable that she was rejected. We traded no new war for an administration leading us into a neo-nazi dictatorship.

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 14:04

Thank you for this comment!

Mickey , July 3, 2019 at 10:47

Tulsi Gabbard is the only peace candidate in the Democratic Party

Mary Jones-Giampalo , July 4, 2019 at 00:41

Absolutely! #Tulsi2020

peter mcloughlin , July 3, 2019 at 10:43

Many current crises have the potential to escalate into a major confrontation between the nuclear powers, similar to the Cuban missile crisis, though there is no comparable sense of alarm. Then, tensions were at boiling point, when a small military exchange could have led to nuclear annihilation. Today there are many more such flashpoint – Syria, the South China Sea, Iran, Ukraine to name a few. Since the end of the Cold War there has been a gradual movement towards third world war. Condemnation of an attack on Iran must include, foremost, the warning that it could lead the US into a confrontation with a Sino-Russian alliance. The warning from history is states go to war over interests, but ultimately – and blindly – end up getting the very war they need to avoid: even nuclear war, where the current trend is going.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 10:36

Many truly superb, well-informed, and very enlightening comments on this thread.

My very great appreciation to this site, to its authors, and to its exceptionally thoughtful and articulate commenters.

DW

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 10:20

I appreciate this author's perspective, research, and optimism.

Clearly, the young ARE far more open to embracing a future less warlike and hegemonic, while far too many of my generation are wedded to childish myth and fantasy around U$ driven mayhem.

However, I would suggest that vision be broadened beyond opposition to war, which opposition, while important, must be expanded to opposition to the larger issue of imperialism, itself.

Imperialism is not merely war, it includes economic warfare, both sanctions, internationally, and predatory debt loads, domestically, in very many nations of the world, as well as privatization of the commons (which must be understood to include all resources necessary to human existence).

Perpetual war, which profits only the few, is driven by precisely the same aims as pitting workers against each other, worldwide, in a "game" of "race to the bottom", creating "credit" rather than raising wages, thus creating life-long indebtedness of the many, which only benefits monopolized corporate interests, as does corporate ownership of such necessities as water, food production, and most channels of communication, which permits corporations to easily shape public perception toward whatever ends suit corporate purposes while also ensuring that deeper awareness of what is actually occurring is effectively stifled, deplatformed, or smeared as dangerous foreign fake news or as hidden, or even as blatant, racial or religious hatred.

Above all, it is critically important that all these interrelated aspects of deliberate domination, control, and diminishment, ARE talked about, openly, that we all may have better grasp of who really aligns with creating serious systemic change, especially as traditionally assumed "tendencies" are shifting, quickly and even profoundly.

For example, as many here point out, the Democrats are now as much a war party as the Republicans, "traditionally" have been, even as there is clear evidence that the Republican "base" is becoming less willing to go to war than are the Democratic "base", as CNN and MSNBC media outlets strive to incite a new Cold War and champion and applaud aggression in Syria, Iran, and North Korea.

It is the elite Democratic "leadership" and most Democratic Presidential hopefuls who now preach or excuse war and aggression, with few actual exceptions, and none of them, including Tulsi Gabbard, have come anywhere near openly discussing or embracing, the end of U$ imperialism.

Both neoliberal and neocon philosophies are absolutely dedicated to imperialism in all its destructive, even terminal, manifestations.

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 14:16

Exactly!

Gabbard has spoken out against sanctions. She understands that they're just another form of war.

The younger generations won't be able to financially support imperialist activities. And, they won't be, as the statements to their enlistment numbers suggest, able to "man the guns." I'm thinking that TPTB are aware of this (which is why a lot of drone and other automation of war machinery has been stepped up).

The recent alliance of Soros and Charles Koch, the Quincy Institute, is, I believe, a KEY turning point. Pretty much everything Gabbard is saying/calling for is this institute's mission statement: and people ought to note that Gabbard has been in Charles Koch's circle- might very well be that Gabbard has already influenced things in a positive way.

I also believe that all the great independent journalists, publishers (Assange taking the title here) and whistleblowers (Manning taking the title here) have made a HUGE impact. Bless them all.

O Society , July 3, 2019 at 09:48

The US government consistently uses psychological operations on its own citizens to manufacture consent to kill anyone and everyone. Meaningless propaganda phrases such as "Support Our Troops" and "National Security" and "War on Terror" are thrown around to justify genocides and sieges and distract us from murder. There is no left wing or in American politics and there has not been one since the inauguration of Ronald Reagan. All we have is neoconservatives and neoliberals representing the business party for four decades. Killing is our business and business is good. Men are as monkeys with guns when it comes to politics and religion.

http://osociety.org/2019/07/03/the-science-of-influencing-people-six-ways-to-win-an-argument/

jmg , July 3, 2019 at 13:55

Seen on the street:

Support Our Troops
BRING THEM HOME NOW

https://media.salon.com/2003/03/the_billboard_bush_cant_see.jpg

Bob Van Noy , July 3, 2019 at 08:39

New

Bob Van Noy , July 3, 2019 at 08:42

New and better link here:
https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/_cache/files/7/e/7ebd2b61-aa29-49ac-9991-53a53da6a57f/3163D991E047042C0F52C929A2F60231.israel-syria-letter-5-21.pdf

Gregory Herr , July 3, 2019 at 21:40

One might be hard-pressed to find more outright perversions of reality in a mere two pages of text. Congratulations Congress, you have indeed surpassed yourself.

So it's those dastardly Russians and Iranians who are responsible for the destabilization of the Middle East, "complicating Israel's ability to defend itself from hostile action emanating from Syria." And apparently, it's the "ungoverned space" in Syria that has "allowed" for the rise of terrorist factions in Syria, that (we must be reminded) are ever poised to attack "Western targets, our allies and partners, and the U.S. homeland."

Good grief.

Bob Van Noy , July 3, 2019 at 08:29

Thank you Joe Lauria and Consortiumnews.

There is much wisdom and a good deal of personal experience being expressed on these pages. I especially want to thank IvyMike and Dao Gen. Ivy Mike you're so right about our troops in Vietnam from 1965 to 1968, draftees and volunteers, they fought what was clearly an internal civil war fought valiantly, beyond that point, Vietnam was a political mess for all involved. And Dao Gen all of your points are accurate.

As for our legislators, please read the linked Foreign Affairs press release signed by over 400 leglislators On May 20th., 2019 that address "threats to Syria" including the Russia threat. Clearly it will take action by the People and Peace candidates to end this travesty of a foreign policy.

https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/2019/5/nearly-400-lawmakers-call-on-trump-to-address-threats-in-syria

Is your legislator a signee of this list? All of mine are

James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 10:11

Vietnam a war triggered by the prevention of a mandated election by the USA which Ho Chi Minh was likely to win, who had already recently been Premier of a unified Vietnam.

Sorry, being courageous in a vicious cause is not honorable.

Speaking a true history and responsibility is honorable.

Bob Van Noy , July 3, 2019 at 11:07

No need to be sorry James Clooney. I did not mention honor in my comment, I mentioned valiant (courage and determination). American troupes ultimately fight honorably for each other not necessarily for country. This was the message and evaluation of Captain Hal Moore To General Westmorland And Robert McNamera after the initial engagement of US troops and NVA and can be viewed as a special feature of the largely inaccurate DVD "We Were Soldiers And Young).

Karen , July 3, 2019 at 07:59

The veterans group About Face is doing remarkable work against the imperial militarization that threatens to consume our country and possibly the world. This threat includes militarization of US police, a growing nuclear arms race, and so-called humanitarian wars. About Face is also working to train ordinary people as medics to take these skills into their communities whose members are on the front lines of police brutality.
Tulsi Gabbard is the only candidate with a strong, enlightened understanding of the costs of our many imperial wars Costs to ourselves in the US and costs to the people we invade in order to "save" them. I voted for McGovern in 1972. I would vote for Tuldi's Gabbard in 2020 if given the chance.

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 14:35

Vote for her now by supporting her*! One cannot wait until the DNC (or other party) picks the candidate FOR us. Anyone serious about peace ought to support her, and do it now and far into the future. I have always supported candidates who are champions for peace, no matter their "party" or whatever: I did not, though I wish that I had, support Walter Jones -of Freedom Fries fame- after he did a 180 (Gabbard knew Jones, and respected him); it took a lot of guts for him to do this, but his honest (like Ron Paul proved) was proven and his voters accepted him (and likely shifted their views along with him).

* Yeah, one has to register giving money, but for a lousy $1 She has yet to qualify for the third debate (need 130k unique donations): and yet Yang has! (nothing against him, but come on, he is not "Commander in Chief" material [and at this time it is, as Gabbard repeats, the single most important part of being president]).

Mary Jones-Giampalo , July 4, 2019 at 00:43

Strongly agree Only Tulsi

triekc , July 3, 2019 at 07:14

Not surprising there was little or no antiwar sentiment in the newfound civic engagement after Trump's election, since the majority of those participating were supporters of the war criminals Obama, Clinton, and their corporate, war mongering DEM party. Those same people today, support Obama-chaperone Biden, or one of the other vetted corporate DEMs, including socialist-in-name-only Sanders, who signed the DEM loyalty oath promising to continue austerity for the poor, socialism for rich, deregulation, militarism, and global war hegemony. The only party with an antiwar blank was the Green Party, which captured >2% of the ~130 million votes in the rigged election- even though Stein is as competent as Clinton, certainly more competent than Trump, and the Green platform, unlike Sanders', explained how to pay for social and environmental programs by ending illegal wars in at least 7 countries, closing 1000 military command posts located all over earth, removing air craft carrier task forces from every ocean, cutting defense spending.

James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 10:22

I believe the CIA operation "CARWASH" was under Obama, which gave us Ultra fascism in one of the largest economies in the world, Brazil.

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 12:02

Superb comment, trieke, and I especially appreciate your mention of Jill Stein and the Green Party.

It is unfortunate that the the Green New Deal, championed by AOC is such a pale and intentionally pusillanimous copy of the Green New Deal articulated by Stein, which pointedly made clear that blind and blythe economic expansion must cease, that realistic natural constraints and carrying capacity be accepted and profligate energy squandering come to an end.

That a sane, humane, and sustainable economic system, wholly compatible with ecological responsibility can provide neaningful endeavor, justly compensated, for all, as was coherently addressed and explained to any who cared to examine the substance of that, actual, and realistic, original, GND.

Such a vision must be part of successfully challenging, and ending, U$ imperialism.

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 14:53

And Trump likely signed a GOP pledge. It's all superficial crap, nothing that is really written in stone.

I LOVE Stein. But for the sake of the planet we have little time to wait on getting the Green Party up to speed (to the clasp the levers of power). Unless Gabbard comes out on top (well, the ultimate, and my favorite, long-shot would be Gravel, but reality is something that I have to accept) it can only really be Sanders. I see a Sanders nomination as being the next best thing (and, really, the last hope as it all falls WAY off the cliff after that). He would most certainly have Gabbard along (if not as VP, which is the best strategy for winning, then as some other high-ranking, and meaningful cabinet member). Also, there are a lot of folks that would be coming in on his coattails. It is THESE people that will make the most difference: although he's got his flaws, Ro Kana would be a good top official. And, there are all the supporters who would help push. Sanders is WAY better than HRC (Obama and, of course, Trump). He isn't my favorite, but he has enough lean in him to allow others to help him push the door open: I'll accept him if that's what it take to get Gabbard into all of this.

Sometimes you DO have to infiltrate. Sanders is an infiltrator (not a Dem), though he treads lightly. Gabbard has already proven her intentions: directly confronted the DNC and the HRC machine (and her direct attack on the MIC is made very clear); and, she is indirectly endorsed by some of the best people out there who have run for POTUS: Jill Stein; Ron Paul; Mike Gravel. We cannot wait for the Dems (and the MIC) to disarm. We need to get inside "the building" and disarm. IF Sanders or Gabbard (and no Gravel) don't get the nomination THEN it is time to open up direct "warfare" and attack from the "outside" (at this time there should be enough big defectors to start swinging the tide).

Eddie S , July 3, 2019 at 23:34

Yes trieke, I voted for Stein in 2016, and I plan on voting Green Party again in 2020. I see too many fellow progressives/liberals/leftists (whatever the hell we want to call ourselves) agonizing about which compromised Democrat to vote-for, trying to weigh their different liabilities, etc. I've come to believe that my duty as a voter is to vote for the POTUS candidate/party whose stances/platform are closest to my views, and that's unequivocally the Green Party. My duty as a voter does NOT entail 'voting for a winner', that's just part of the two-party-con that the Dems & Reps run.

jmg , July 3, 2019 at 07:06

The big difference is that, during the Vietnam years, people could *see* the war. People talked a lot about "photographs that ended the Vietnam war", such as the napalm girl, etc.

The government noticed this. There were enormous pressures on the press, even a ban on returning coffin photos. Now, since the two Iraq wars, people *don't see* the reality of war. The TV and press don't show Afghanistan, don't show Yemen, didn't show the real Iraq excepting for Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange, who are in prison because of this.

And the wars go on:

"The US government and military are preventing the public from seeing photographs that depict the true horror of the Iraq war."

Dan Kennedy: Censorship of graphic Iraq war photographs -- 29 Jul 2008
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2008/jul/29/iraqandthemedia.usa

jmg , July 3, 2019 at 18:36

For example, we all know that mainstream media is war propaganda now, itself at war on truth and, apart from some convenient false flags to justify attacks, they very rarely let the very people suffering wars be heard to wake viewers up, and don't often even show this uncensored reality of war anymore, not like the true images of this old, powerful video:

Happy Xmas (War Is Over! If You Want It)

So this is Xmas
And what have you done
-- John Lennon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KY7gPcDFwQc

Dao Gen , July 3, 2019 at 05:20

mbob -- thank you -- has already put this very well, but it is above all the Dems, especially Obama and the Clintons, who killed the antiwar movement. Obama was a fake, and his foreign policy became even more hawkish after Hillary resigned as SoS. His reduction of Libya, the richest state in Africa, to a feudal chaotic zone in which slavery is once more prominent and his attempt to demonize Syria, which has more semi-democracy and women's rights than any of the Islamic kingdoms the US supports as its allies, and turn Syria into a jihadi terrorist hell, as well as Obama's bombing of other nations and his sanctions on still other nations such as Venezuela, injured and killed at least as many people as did GW Bush's invasion of Iraq. Yet where was the antiwar movement? In the 21st century the US antiwar movement has gained most of its strength from anti-Repub hatred. The current uptick of antiwar feeling is probably due mostly to hatred of Trump. Yet Trump is the first president since Carter not to invade or make a major attack on a foreign country. As a businessman, his policy is to use economic warfare instead of military warfare.

I am not a Trump supporter, and strong sanctions are a war crime, and Trump is also slow to reduce some of Obama's overseas bombing and other campaigns, yet ironically he is surely closer to being a "peace president" than Obama. Moreover, a major reason Trump won in 2016 was that Hillary was regarded as the war and foreign intervention candidate, and in fact if Hillary had won, she probably would have invaded Syria to set up her infamous "no-fly zone" there, and she might have bombed Iran by now. We might even be in a war with Russia now. At the same time, under Trump the Dem leadership and the Dem-leaning MSM have pursued an unabashedly neocon policy of attacking from the right Trumps attempts at detente with Russia and scorning his attempts to negotiate a treaty with N Korea and to withdraw from Syria and Afghanistan. The main reason why Trump chose dangerous neocons like Bolton and Pompeo as advisors was probably to shield himself a little from the incessant and sometimes xenophobic attacks from the Dem leadership and the MSM. The Dem leadership seems motivated not only by hatred of Trump but also, and probably more importantly, by a desire to get donations from the military-industrial complex and a desire to ingratiate itself with the Intel Community and the surveillance state in order to get various favors. Look, for example, at Adam Schiff, cheerleader-in-chief for the IC. The system of massive collusion between the Dem party elite and the US deep state was not as advanced during the Vietnam War era as it is now. 2003 changed a lot of things.

The only Dem presidential candidates who are philosophically and securely antiwar are Gabbard and Gravel. Even Bernie (and even more so, Warren) can't be trusted to stand up to the deep state if elected, and anyway, Bernie's support for the Russiagate hoax by itself disqualifies him as an antiwar politician, while the Yemen bill he sponsored had a fatal loophole in it, as Bernie well knew. I love Bernie, but he is neither antiwar nor anti-empire. As for Seth Moulton, mentioned in the article, he is my Rep, and he makes some mild criticisms of the military, but he is a rabid hawk on Syria and Iran, and he recently voted for a Repub amendment that would have punished Americans who donate to BDS organizations. And as for the younger generation of Dems, they are not as antiwar as the article suggests. For every AOC among the newly elected Dems in 2018, there were almost two new Dems who are military vets or who formerly worked for intel agencies. This does not bode well. As long at the deep state, the Dem elite, and the MSM are tightly intertwined, there will be no major peace movement in the near future, even if a Dem becomes president. In fact, a Dem president might hinder the formation of a true antiwar movement. Perhaps when China becomes more powerful in ten or twenty years, the unipolar US empire and permanent war state will no longer look like a very good idea to a large number of Americans, and the idea of a peace movement will once again become realistic. The media have a major role to play in spreading truthful news about how the current US empire is hurting domestic living standards. Rather than hopey-hope wish lists, no-holds-barred reporting will surely play a big role.

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 12:05

Absolutely superb comment, Dao Gen.

DW

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 15:07

Another fine example of why I think there is hope! (some very sharp commentators!)

A strong leader can make all the difference. The example gets set from the top: not that this is my preference, just that it's the reality we have today. MLK Jr. was such a leader, though it was MANY great people that were in his movement/orbit that were the primary architects. I suppose you could say it's a "rally around the flag" kind of deal. Just as Trump stunned the System, I believe that it can be stunned from the "left" (the ultimate stunning would be from a Gravel win, but I'm thinking that Gabbard would be the one that has what it takes to slip past).

I really wish that people would start asking candidates who they think have been good cabinet members for various positions. This could help give an idea of the most important facet of an administration: who the POTUS selects as key cabinet members tells pretty much everything you need to know. Sadly, Trump had a shot at selecting Gabbard and passed on her: as much as I detest Trump, I gave him room in which to work away from the noecon/neolib death squads (to his credit he's mostly just stalemated them- for a rookie politician you could say that this has been an impressive feat; he's tried to instigate new wars but has, so far, "failed" [by design?]).

geeyp , July 3, 2019 at 01:19

"We saved more money today for the American people ." – Elijah Cummings. Yea? Well then, give it to us!! You owe us a return of our money that you have wasted for years.

mark , July 3, 2019 at 00:17

Same old, same old, same old, same old. Prospective candidates spewing out the same tired old hot air about how, this time, it really, really, really, really will be different. There won't be any more crazy multitrillion wars for Israel.
Honest. Just like Dubya. Just like Obomber. Just like the Orange Baboon. Whilst simultaneously begging for shekels from Adelson, Saban, Singer, Marcus.

And this is the "new anti war movement." Yeah.

Tom Kath , July 3, 2019 at 00:04

Every extreme elicits an extreme response. Our current western pacifist obsession is no exception. By prohibiting argument, disagreement, verbal conflict, and the occasional playground "dust up" on a personal level, you seem to make the seemingly less personal war inevitable.

Life on earth is simply not possible without "a bit of biff".

James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 09:38

An aware person may not react extremely to a extreme. USA slaughtered 5 to 10 million Vietnamese for no apparent reason other than projection of power yet the Vietnamese trade with the USA today.

Who prohibits argument? Certainly not those with little power; it's the militarily and politically powerful that crush dissent, (Tinamen Square , Occupy Wall Street). How much dissent does the military allow? Why is Assange being persecuted?

I believe even the most militant pacifist would welcome a lively debate on murder, death and genocide, as a channel for education and edification.

Antonio Costa , July 2, 2019 at 20:53

Weak essay. AOC hops from cause to cause. She rarely/ever says anything about US regime change wars, and the bombing of children. She's demonstrated no anti-war bona fides.

Only Tulsi Gabbard has forthright called for an end to regime change wars, the warmongers and reduction in our military.

The power is with the powerful. We'll not see an end to war, nor Medicare for All or much of anything regarding student debt. These are deep systemic problems calling for systemic solutions beginning with how we live on the planet(GND is a red herring), the GDP must become null and void if we are to behave as if plundering the planet is part of "progress". It needs to be replaced to some that focuses on quality of life as the key to prosperity. The geopolitics of the world have to simply STOP IT. It's not about coalitions between Russia and China and India to off-set the US imperialists. That's an old game for an empty planet. The planet is full and exceeding it capacity and is on fire. Our geopolitics must end!

Not one of these candidates come close to focusing on the systemic problem(s) except Gabbard's focus on war because it attacks the heart of the American Imperial Empire.

Maxime , July 3, 2019 at 09:24

I agree with you that you americans will probably not see the end of your system and the end of your problems any time soon.

BUT I disagree on that you seems to think it's inevitable. I'm not american, I'm french, and reading you saying you think medicare for all, no student debt and end to endless wars are systemic problems linked to GDP and the current economic system is well, amusing. We have medicare for all, in fact even better than your medicare, we have no student cost for our educating system, and still in both cases often better results than yours, even if we are behind some of our northern neighbors, but they don't pay for these either. And we don't wage endless wars, even if we have ourselves our own big war problems, after all we were in Lybia, we are in Syria, we are in Mali and other parts of Africa.

We also have a big militaro-industrial complex, in fact very alike the american one. But we made clear since much longer than we would not accept as much wars, in part because the lesson we got from WW2 and Cold War was to learn to live together with our hated neighbor. You know, the one the other side of the Rhine. Today France is a diplomatic superpower, often the head of the european spear onthe subject, we got feared elite military, and we are proud of that, but we would not even accept more money (in proportion) given to our military complex.

And you know the best news (for the americans)? we have an history of warmongering going back millenias. We learn to love Caesar and the "Guerre des Gaules", his invasion of Gauls. We learn how Franks invaded their neighbors and built the first post-roman Empire. We learn how crusaders were called Franks, how we built our nation and his pride on ashes of european continental english hopes and german holy empire aspirations. We learn how Napolean nearly achieved to built a new continental Empire, how we never let them passed at Verdun, and how we rose in the face of a tyran in 1944.

All of this is still in our history books, and we're still proud of it. But today, if most of us were to be asked what we were proud about recent wars France got into, it would be how our president vetoed USA when they tried to got UN into Irak and forced them to invade illegally, and without us.
I think my country's revelation was Algeria's independance war. One bloody and largely filled with war crimes and crimes against humanity. We're ashamed of it, and I think we, as a nation, learned from it that stopping wars on our soil wasn't enough. I still don't understand how americans can still wage wars after Vietnam, but I am not american. Still, even the most warmongering nation can learn. Let's hope you will be quicker than us, because we got millennias of bloody history before even the birth of USA.

Eddie S , July 3, 2019 at 23:15

Thanks Maxime for a foreign perspective! I'm often curious what people in foreign countries think of our current politics in the US,especially when I read analysis/commentaries by US writers (even ones I respect) who say "Oh most of our allies think this or that" -- - maybe they're right or maybe they're wrong or somewhere in-between, but it's interesting getting a DIRECT opinion from a fellow left-of-center citizen from a foreign state.

I agree with your points that European countries like France almost all have their own bloody history including an imperial period, but the two big World Wars that killed SO many people and destroyed so many cities in Europe were so tragic and wasteful that I suspect they DO continue to act as a significant deterrent to the saber-rattling that the US war mongers are able to engage-in. For too many US citizens 'war' is just something that's mentioned & sometimes displayed on a screen, just like a movie/TV program/video-game, and there's a non-reality to it because it's so far away and seldom directly affects them. Geography has famously isolated us from the major death & destruction of war and enables too many armchair warriors to talk boldly and vote for politicians who pander to those conceits. In a not-so-subtle way, the US IS the younger offspring of Europe, where Europe has grown-up due to some hard lessons, while the US is going through its own destructive stage of 'lesson-learning'. Hopefully this learning stage will be over soon and won't involve a world war.

DW Bartoo , July 3, 2019 at 12:48

Tulsi Gabbard is, indeed,pointing at part of a major organ of imperialism, Antonio Costa, yet habeas corpus, having the whole body of imperialism produced is necessary for the considered judgement of a people long terrorized by fictitious "monsters" and "demons", if they are to understand that shooting warfate is but one part of the heart, while the other is economic warfare. Both brutally destructive, even if the second is hidden from public awareness or dismissed as "a price worth paying". Imperialism pays no price (except "blow-back", which is merely "religious extremism" as explained by a fully complicit MSM).

And the "brain" behind it all?

That is corporate/military/political/deep state/media greed – and their desperate need/ambition for total, and absolute, control.

Only seeing the whole body may reveal the true size of the threat and the vicious nature of the real danger.

Some may argue that it is "too soon", "too early", or "too costly", politically, for Gabbard, even if she, herself, might see imperialism as the real monster and demon, to dare describe the whole beast.

Frankly, this time, Tulsi's candidacy, her "run" for President, is not likely to see her become the Dem nominee, most likely that will be Kamala Harris (who will happily do the bidding of brute power), rather, it is to lay the firm and solid foundation of actual difference, of rational perspective, and thoughtful, diplomatic international behavior.

To expose the whole, especially the role of the MSM, in furthering all the rest of the lumbering body of Zombie imperialism, would be far more effective in creating an substantial "opening" for alternative possibilities, even a new political party, next time.

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 15:31

I'm figuring that Warren and Harris will take one another out. Climbing to the top requires this. But, Gabbard doesn't stop fighting, and if there's a fighter out there it is her: mentally and physically she is the total package.

Sanders' 2016 campaign was ignored, he wasn't supposed to go anywhere, but if not for the DNC's meddling he would be POTUS right now (I have zero doubt over that). So too was Obama's climb from nowhere: of course, Obama was pushed up by the System, the System that is NOT behind Gabbard. And then there's the clown at the helm (Trump). I refuse to ignore this history.

Gababard is by no means out. Let's not speak of such things, especially when her campaign, and message, is just starting to burst out: the MSM is the last to admit the state of things unfavorable to the wealthy, but out on the Internet Gabbard is very much alive. She is the best candidate (with the best platform of visibility) for peace. She has all the pieces. One comment I read out on the internet (someone, I believe, not in the US) was that Gabbard was a gift to the Americans. Yes, I believe this to be the case: if you really look closely you'll see exactly how this is correct. I believe that we cannot afford to treat this gift with other than the utmost appreciation. Her sincerity when she says that she was/is willing to die for her fellow soldiers (in reference to LBGT folks, though ALL apply) is total. She is totally committed to this battle: as a warrior in politics she's proven herself with her support, the loyalty, for Sanders (at risk to her political career- and now look, she's running for POTUS, she continues to come out on top!).

IvyMike , July 2, 2019 at 20:14

I burned my draft card, grew my hair out, and smoked pot and was anti war as heck. But the peace demonstrations (and riots) in the 60's and 70's did not have much effect on how the U.S. Government prosecuted the Vietnam War. It is little recognized how hard American troops fought from 1965 to 1968. Our air mobile troops in particular made a great slaughter of NVA and VC while also taking heavy casualties.

We were having such success that no one in the military thought the enemy could keep up the fight. Then, the Tet offensive with the beaten enemy attacking every city in the South.

Then the politicians and Generals knew, given the super power politics surrounding the war, that we had lost. We had failed to recognize that we had not intervened in a Civil War, in truth Vietnam as a whole was fighting for freedom from Imperialism and we had no friends in the South, just a corrupt puppet government. Instead of getting out, Nixon made the unforgivable choice to slowly wind the war down until he could get out without losing, Peace With Honor the ultimate triumph of ego over humanity. Americans had a chance to choose a peace candidate in 1972, instead Nixon won with a big majority.

The military has never been able to admit they were defeated on the battlefield by North Vietnam, blaming it instead on the Liberal Media and the Anti War movement. Believing that lie they continue to fight unwinnable wars in which we have no national interest at stake. The media and the people no longer fight against war, but it never really made a difference when we did.

Realist , July 3, 2019 at 05:17

I too hoped for a miracle and voted for George. But then I always voted for the loser in whatever state I happened to be living in at the particular time. I think Carter was a rare winning pick by me but only once. I got disgusted with voting and sat out the Clinton campaigns, only returning to vote against the Bush juggernaut. In retrospect, Perot should have won to make a real difference. I sided with the winner in Obama, but the loser turned out to be America getting saddled with that two-faced hypocrite. Nobel Peace Prize winner indeed! (What did he spend the money on?) When you listen to their campaign promises be aware they are telegraphing how they plan to betray you.

triekc , July 3, 2019 at 07:45

American people in mass need to hit reset button. A yellow vest-like movement made up of tens of millions of woke people, who understand the democrats and republicans are the left and right wing of the oligarch party,

US elections have been and continue to be rigged, and the US constitution was written to protect the property (such as slaves) of oligarchs from the people, the founding oligarchs feared real democracy, evident by all the safeguards they built into our government to protect against it, that remain in tact today.

We need a new 21st century constitution. Global capitalism needs to be greatly curtailed, or ended out right, replaced by ecosocialism, conservation, restoration of earth focussed society

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 15:38

And just think that back then there was also Mike Gravel. The CIA did their work in the 60s to kill the anti-war movement: killing all the great social leaders.

Why wars are "lost" is because hardly is there a time when there's an actual "mission statement" on what the end of a given war will look like. Tulsi Gabbard has made it clear that she would NOT engage in any wars unless there was a clear objective, a clear outcome lined out, and, of course, it was authorized by THE PEOPLE (Congress).

All wars are about resources. We cannot, however, admit this: the ruling capitalists won't allow that to be known/understood lest they lose their power.

Realist , July 3, 2019 at 04:59

Ya got all that right, especially the part about the analysts essentially declaring the war lost after Tet. I remember that offered a lot of hope on the campuses that the war would soon end (even though we lost), especially to those of us near graduation and facing loss of that precious 2S deferment. Yet the big fool marched on, getting my generation needlessly slaughtered for four or five more years.

And, yes, the 2 or 3 million dead Vietnamese did matter, to those with a conscience. Such a price to keep Vietnam out of Russia's and China's orbit. Meanwhile they set an independent course after kicking us out of their land and even fought a war with China. We should still be paying reparations for the levels of death and destruction we brought to a country half a world away with absolutely no means or desire to threaten the United States. All our wars of choice, starting with Korea, have been similar crimes against humanity. Turkey shoots against third world societies with no way to do us any harm. But every one of them fought ferociously to the death to defend their land and their people. Inevitably, every occupier is sent packing as their empire crumbles. Obviously, Americans have been too thick to learn this from mere history books. We will only learn from our tragic mistakes. I see a lot of lessons on the upcoming schedule.

James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 08:36

USA did not "intervene" in a civil war. USA paid France to continue it's imperial war and then took over when France fled defeated. USA prevented a mandated election Ho Chi Minh would win and then continued western imperial warfare against the Vietnamese ( even though Vietnamese was/is bulwark against China's territorial expansion).

mauisurfer , July 2, 2019 at 20:12

The Watson study says: "Indeed, the DOD is the world's largest institutional user of petroleum and correspondingly, the single largest producer of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the world.4"

This is a gross UNDERcount of emissions. It includes ONLY petroleum burned.
It does NOT count explosions from bombs, missiles, rockets, rifles, etc.

Perhaps someone could provide an estimate of this contribution to greenhouse gases???

triekc , July 3, 2019 at 07:25

US military contribution to ecocide: https://climateandcapitalism.com/2015/02/08/pentagon-pollution-7-military-assault-global-climate/

Seer , July 3, 2019 at 16:35

Don't worry, Elizabeth Warren has a plan to operate the military on renewables! (she can continue to make sure her constituency, which is Raytheon, is well served)

From https://www.mintpressnews.com/shes-hot-and-shes-cold-elizabeth-warren-and-the-military-industrial-complex/253542/

Raytheon, one of the biggest employers in Warren's state, where it's headquartered, "has a positive relationship with Sen. Warren, and we interact with her and her staff regularly," Michael Doble, a spokesman for the company, said.

jo6pac , July 2, 2019 at 20:12

This awful news for the merchants of death and I'm sure they're working overtime to stop silliness;-). I do hope this isn't killed by those that love the endless wars.

Thanks AH

mbob , July 2, 2019 at 20:10

Perhaps there is no open anti-war movement because the Democratic party is now pro-war. Rather than support President Trump's efforts to end the Korean War, to reduce our involvement in the Middle East and to pursue a more peaceful path with Russia, the Democratic party (with very, very few exceptions) is opposed to all these things.

The Democratic party places its hatred for Trump above its professed love of peace.

President Obama, the Nobel peace prize winner, started a war with Libya, which had neither attacked nor threatened the US and which, by many accounts, was trying to improve relations with the US. GW Bush unnecessarily attacked Iraq and Clinton destroyed Haiti and bombed Yugoslavia, among other actions.

From a peace perspective, Trump looks comparatively great (provided he doesn't attack Iraq or invade Venezuela). But, since it's impossible to recognize Trump for anything positive, or to support him in any way, it's now impossible for Democrats to promote peace. Doing so might help Trump. It would, of necessity, require acknowledging Trump's uniqueness among recent US Presidents in not starting new wars.

Realist , July 3, 2019 at 03:28

I agree. mbob makes perfect sense in his analysis.

The Democrats must be brought back to reality with a sound repudiation by the voters, otherwise they are of no use to America and will have no long-term future.

James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 09:56

Obama escalated Afghanistan when he had a popular mandate to withdraw. He facilitated the the Syrian rebellion in conjunction with ISIS funding Saudi Arabia and Qatar. He instigated the Zalaya (primarily Hillary) and the Ukraine rebellion.

Trump supports the Yemeni genocide.

But yes citizens have been directed to hate Trump the man/symptom rather than the enduring Imperial predatory capitalistic system.

James Clooney , July 3, 2019 at 10:02

Opps sorry; so many interventions and invasions, under Obama, special forces trained Malian general overthrew the democratically elected president of Mali, result, more war,death and destruction.

Robert , July 3, 2019 at 10:48

You are correct in your analysis. Allegra Harpootlian is searching for the peace lobby among Democrat supporters, where it no longer resides.

As a result of corporate-controlled mainstream media and their support for Democrat elites, Democrat supporters have largely been brainwashed into hatred for Donald Trump and everything he stands for. This hatred blinds them to the far more important issue of peace.

Strangely, there is huge US support to remove troops from the ME, but this support resides with the overwhelming majority of Donald Trump voters. Unfortunately, these are not individuals who typically go to peace demonstrations, but they are sincere in bringing all US troops home from the ME. Donald Trump himself lobbied on this, and with the exceptions of his anti-Iranian / pro-Israel / pro-Saudi Arabia stance and withdrawal from JCPOA, he has not only backed down from military adventurism, but is the first President since Eisenhower to raise the issue of the influence of the military-industrial complex.

In the face of strong opposition, he is the first President ever to enter North Korea and meet with Kim Jong Un to discuss nuclear weapons. Mainstream media continues its war-mongering rhetoric, attacking Trump for his "weakness" in not retaliating against Iran, or in meeting "secretly" with Putin.

Opposition to Trump's peace efforts are not limited to MSM, however, but are entrenched in Democrat and Republican elites, who attack any orders he gives to withdraw from the ME. It was not Trump, but Democrat and Republican elites who invited NATO's Stoltenberg to speak to Congress in an attempt to spite Trump.

In essence, you have President Trump and most of his supporters trying to withdraw from military engagements, with active opposition from Democrats like Adam Schiff, and Republican elites, actively promoting war and military spending.

DJT is like a less-likeable Inspector Clouseau. Sometimes ineptitude is a blessing. You also have a few Republicans, like journalist Tucker Carlson of Fox News, and Democrats, like Tulsi Gabbard, actively pushing the message of peace.

Erelis , July 3, 2019 at 20:45

I think you got it. The author is right in the sense that there is an anti-war movement, but that movement is in many ways hidden. As bizarre as it may seen counter to CW wisdom, and in some way ironically crazy, one of the biggest segments of anti-war sentiment are Trump supporters. After Trump's decision not to attack Iran, I went to various right wing commentators who attacked Trump, and the reaction against these major right wing war mongers was to support Trump. And with right wing commentators who supported Trump, absolute agreement. These is of course based on my objective reading reading and totally subjective. But I believe I am right.

This made me realize there is an untapped anti-war sentiment on the right which is being totally missed. And a lack of imagination and Trump derangment syndrome which blocks many on the anti-war Left to see it and use it for an anti-war movement. There was an article in The Intercept that looked research on the correlation between military deaths and voting preference. Here is the article:

STUDY FINDS RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HIGH MILITARY CASUALTIES AND VOTES FOR TRUMP OVER CLINTON
https://theintercept.com/2017/07/10/study-finds-relationship-between-high-military-casualties-and-votes-for-trump-over-clinton/

And the thing is that Trump was in many ways the anti-war candidate. And those areas that had high military death rates voted for Trump. I understand the tribal nature of political affiliation, but it seems what I have read and this article, there may be indeed an untapped anti-war stance with Trump supporters.

And it really just challenges my own beliefs that the major obstacle to the war mongers are Trump supporters.

Helga I. Fellay , July 3, 2019 at 11:09

mbob – I couldn't have said it better myself. Except to add that in addition to destroying Libya, the Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama, ably assisted by Hillary Clinton, also destroyed Honduras and the Ukraine.

Anarcissie , July 3, 2019 at 11:55

Historically, the Democratic Party has been pro-war and pro-imperialism at least since Wilson. The hatred for Trump on their part seems to be based entirely on cultural issues -- he is not subservient enough to their gods.

But as for antiwar demonstrations, it's been proved in the streets that they don't accomplish anything. There were huge demonstrations against the war in Vietnam, but it ground on until conservatives got tired of it. At least half a million people demonstrated against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and no one important cared. Evidently more fundamental issues than the war of the moment are involved and I think that is where a lot of people are turning now. The ruling class will find this a lot harder to deal with because it's decentralized and widely distributed. Hence the panic about Trump and the seething hatred of Sanders.

mbob , July 3, 2019 at 18:15

I attempted to make three points in my post. First, Democrats are now pro-war. Second, solely regarding peace, Trump looks better than all other recent Presidents because he hasn't started any new wars. Third, the inability of Democrats (or the public as a whole) to give Trump the benefit of a doubt, or to support him in any way, is contrary to the cause of peace.

Democrats should, without reservation, support Trump's effort to end the Korean War. They should support Trump's desire to improve relations with Russia. They don't do either of those things. Why? Because it might hurt them politically.

Your comment does not challenge the first two points and reinforces the third.

As for Yemen, yes, Trump is wrong. Democrats rightly oppose him on Yemen -- but remarkably tepidly. Trump is wrong about a lot of things. I don't like him. I didn't vote for him. But I will vote for him if Democrats nominate someone worse than him, which they seem inclined to do. (Gabbard is better than Trump. Sanders probably. Maybe Warren. Of the three, only Warren receives positive press. That makes me skeptical of her.)

Trump stood up to his advisors, Bolton and Pompeo, regarding both Iran and Venezuela. Obama, on the other hand, did not. He followed the advice of his advisors, with disastrous consequences.

Piotr Berman , July 4, 2019 at 07:02

Trump standing up to his nominees:

>>In addition to Tuesday's sanctions, the Treasury Department issued an advisory to maritime shipping companies, warning them off transporting oil to Syria or risking their property and money seized if kept with financial institutions that follow U.S. sanctions law.

"The United States will aggressively seek to impose sanctions against any party involved in shipping oil to Syria, or seeking to evade our sanctions on Iranian oil," said Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, in a release. "Shipping companies, insurers, vessel owners, managers, and operators should all be aware of the grave consequences of engaging in sanctionable conduct involving Iranian oil shipments."<<

Today British marines seized a tanker near Gibraltar for the crime of transporting