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

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

Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afghanistan was a disaster of lesser scale.

Libya were another, more small scale disaster.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Wikipedia

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

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

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

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

Neoconservatism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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

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

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

Democracy promotion as the universal door opener

See also Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Support of Israel as the key goal

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

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

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

Wolfowitz Doctrine as quintessential Neoconservatism

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

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

Superpower status

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

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

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

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

U.S. primacy

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

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

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

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

Unilateralism

The doctrine downplays the value of international coalitions.

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

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

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

Pre-emptive intervention

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

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

This was softened slightly in the April 16 release.

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

Russian threat

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

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

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

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

Middle East and Southwest Asia

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

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

...

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

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

Neocon architects of American foreign policy are destroying American national security

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

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

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

Patrick L. Smith

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

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

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

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

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

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

They were? Please explain.

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

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

It’s an important word for Putin.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is that indeed the ambition?

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

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

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

Interesting.

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

I think Chancellor Merkel understands this, too.

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

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

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

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

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

Can you talk about this?

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

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

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

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

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

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

I would have guessed the latter.

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

Interesting.

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

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

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

Zapatero?

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

Felipe Gonzalez, I think it was.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Old Labour in Britain is a perfect example.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More Patrick L. Smith.  

Nulandgate as an example of disastrous neocon foreign policy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Robert Kagan

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

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

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

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

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

Instead of conclusions: Neocons are the War Party

Justin Raimondo aptly described neocons as the war party:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...


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

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

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

Reality-based community - Wikipedia

[May 28, 2018] Movie: From Here To Eternity

May 28, 2018 | www.amazon.com

D. Blackdeer on September 3, 2001

From Here to Eternity

1953 Best Picture (eight Academy Awards) about Army soldiers dealing with corrupt leadership in Hawaii just prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Burt Lancaster heads the cast as First Sergeant Milt Warden, a top soldier trapped in an infantry company commanded by the incompetent and corrupt Captain Dana "Dynamite" Holmes, played by Philip Ober.

Holmes is an incapable officer seeking promotion as the regiment's boxing coach while Warden holds the company together. Conditions are status quo until Private Robert E. Lee Pruitt, played by Montgomery Clift, arrives from the bugler corps.

Holmes attempts to recruit Pruitt as the new middleweight boxer, but Pruitt refuses for personal reasons. Holmes then embarks on a campaign of harassment, ordering the other boxers in the company to service Pruitt with frequent punishment and extra work detail to change his mind. In the meantime, Warden falls for Holmes's wife Karen played by Deborah Kerr, and risks his career in an adulterous relationship that soon develops into a serious love affair.

Frank Sinatra turns in a great performance as "Maggio," a fellow soldier who becomes Private Pruitt's best friend during the ordeal. Other marvelous features are the supporting cast providing terrific characters around the main actors, and the production's location at the historic Schofield Barracks on Oahu. It's easy to see why this was Best Picture in 1953.

JCY 500 on July 21, 2014
A film for all time

One of my all-time favorite films. Superb performances by Burt Lancaster, Frank Sinatra, Donna Reed, and Montgomery Clift in a gripping tale set in an army base on Hawaii in the period leading up to the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Frank Sinatra was born to play the part of Angelo Maggio in what is, along with Manchurian Candidate, his best work.

The most impressive acting is from Clift. The extended scene with Donna Reed, as she unsuccessfully pleads with him to not attempt to rejoin his unit, is simply breathtaking. What he does with his eyes and simple gestures so richly reveals his inner torment.

[May 28, 2018] Why You Should Read These Military Classics by Andrew J. Bacevich

May 28, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

There are, in my judgment, three great novels that explore American military life in the twentieth century. They are, in order of publication, Guard of Honor (1948) by James Gould Cozzens, From Here To Eternity (1951) by James Jones, and The Sand Pebbles (1962) by Richard McKenna.

The first is a book about airmen, set at a stateside air base during World War II. The second is a soldier's story, its setting Schofield Barracks in the territory of Hawaii on the eve of Pearl Harbor. In The Sand Pebbles, the focus is on sailors. It takes place in China during the 1920s when U.S. Navy gunboats patrolled the Yangtze River and its tributaries.

As far as I can tell, none of the three enjoys much of a following today. Despite winning the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, Guard of Honor has all but vanished. To the extent that the other two retain any cultural salience, they do so as movies, superb in the case of From Here to Eternity , colorful but mediocre in the case of The Sand Pebbles.

Yet for any American seeking an intimate account of military service, all three novels remain worth reading. Times change, as do uniforms, weapons, and tactics, but certain fundamentals of military life endure. Leaders and led see matters differently, nurse different expectations, and respond to different motivations. The perspective back at higher headquarters (or up on the bridge) differs from the way things look to those dealing with the challenges of a typical duty day. The biggest difference of all is between inside and outside -- between those in uniform and the civilians who necessarily inhabit another world. Each in his own way, Cozzens, Jones, and McKenna unpack those differences with sensitivity and insight.

Of the three, McKenna's novel in particular deserves revival, not only because of its impressive literary qualities, but because the story it tells has renewed relevance to the present day. It's a story about the role that foreign powers, including the United States, played in the emergence of modern China.

Prompted in part by the ostensible North Korean threat, but more broadly by the ongoing rise of China and uncertainty about China's ultimate ambitions, the American military establishment will almost inevitably be directing more of its attention toward East Asia in the coming years. To be sure, the conflict formerly known as the Global War on Terrorism continues and appears unlikely to conclude anytime soon. Yet the character of that conflict is changing. Having come up short in its efforts to pacify the Islamic world, the United States is increasingly inclined to rely on proxies, generously supported by air power, to carry on the jihadist fight in preference to committing large numbers of U.S. troops. Almost imperceptibly, East Asia is encroaching upon and will eventually eclipse the Greater Middle East in the Pentagon's hierarchy of strategic priorities.

It's this reshuffling of Pentagon priorities that endows The Sand Pebbles with renewed significance. If past is prologue, McKenna's fictionalized account of actual events that occurred 90 years ago involving U.S. forces in China should provide context for anyone intent on employing American military power to check China today.

Of course, the armed forces of the United States have a long history of involvement in East Asia. Ever since 1898, when it liberated, occupied, and subsequently annexed the Philippines, the United States has maintained an enduring military presence in that part of the world.

To the extent that Americans are even dimly aware of what that presence has entailed, they probably think in terms of three 20th-century Asian wars: the first in the 1940s against Japan; the second during the 1950s in Korea; the third from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s in Vietnam. In each, whether as ally or adversary, China figured prominently.

Yet even before the attack on Pearl Harbor initiated the first of those wars, U.S. air, land, and naval forces had been active in and around China. Dreams of gaining access to a lucrative "China Market" numbered among the factors that persuaded the United States to annex the Philippines in the first place. In 1900, U.S. troops participated in the China Relief Expedition, a multilateral intervention mounted to suppress the so-called Boxer Rebellion, which sought to expel foreigners and end outside interference in Chinese affairs. The mission succeeded and the U.S. military stayed on. Army and Marine Corps units established garrisons in "treaty ports" such as Shanghai and Tientsin.

Decades earlier, the U.S. Navy had begun making periodic forays into China's inland waterways. In the early 20th century, employing small shallow-draft vessels captured from Spain in 1898, this presence became increasingly formalized. As American commercial and missionary interests in China grew, the Navy inaugurated what it called the Yangtze Patrol, with Congress appropriating funds to construct a flotilla of purpose-built gunboats for patrolling the river and its tributaries. Under the direction of COMYANGPAT back in Shanghai, small warships flying the Stars-and-Stripes sailed up and down the Yangtze's immense length to "protect American lives and property."

This is the story that McKenna, himself a YANGPAT veteran, recounts, focusing on a single fictional ship the U.S.S. San Pablo. Known as "Sand Pebbles," the few dozen sailors comprising the San Pablo's crew are all lifers. A rough bunch, their interests rarely extend beyond drinking and whoring. In 1920s China, an American sailor's modest paycheck provides ample funds for both pursuits.

Even afloat, life for the Sand Pebbles is more than agreeable. Onboard the San Pablo, an unofficial second crew consisting of local Chinese -- "contractors," we would call them today -- does the dirty work and the heavy lifting. The Americans stay topside, performing routines and rituals meant to convey an image of power and dominance.

San Pablo is a puny and lightly armed ship. Yet it exists to convey a big impression, thereby sustaining the privileged position that the United States and the other imperial powers enjoyed in China.

The revolutionary turmoil engulfing China in the 1920s necessarily challenged this proposition. Nationalist fervor gripped large parts of the population. Imperial privilege stoked popular resentment, which made San Pablo 's position increasingly untenable, even if the Sand Pebbles themselves were blind to what was coming. That their own eminently comfortable circumstances might be at risk was literally unimaginable.

McKenna's narrative describes how the world of the Sand Pebbles fell apart. His nominal protagonist is Jake Holman, a machinist mate with a mystical relationship to machinery. Jake loathes the spit-and-polish routine topside and wants nothing more than to remain below decks in the engine compartment, performing duties that on San Pablo white American sailors have long since ceased to do. In the eyes of his shipmates, therefore, Jake represents a threat to the division of labor that underwrites their comforts.

The ship's captain, one of only two commissioned officers assigned to San Pablo, likewise sees Jake as a threat to the status quo. To my mind, Lieutenant Collins is McKenna's most intriguing creation and the novel's true focal point. Although the Sand Pebbles are oblivious to how they may figure in some larger picture, for Collins the larger picture is a continuing preoccupation. He sees his little ship, the entire U.S. Navy, America's providential purpose, and the fate of Western civilization as all of a piece. Serious, sober, and dutiful, he is also something of a fanatic.

Collins dimly perceives that powerful forces within China pose a direct threat not only to the existing U.S. position there, but to his own worldview. Yet he considers the prospect of accommodating those forces as not only intolerable, but inconceivable. So in the book's culminating episode he leads Jake and several other Sand Pebbles on a symbolic but utterly futile gesture of resistance. Fancying that he is thereby salvaging his ship's honor (and his own as well), he succeeds merely in killing his own men.

I interpret McKenna as suggesting that there is no honor in denying reality. Only waste and needless sacrifice result. Today a national security establishment as blind to reality as Lieutenant Collins presides over futile gestures far more costly than those inflicted upon the Sand Pebbles. It's not fiction and it's happening right before our eyes.

So skip the movie. But read McKenna's book. And then reflect on its relevance to the present day.

Andrew J. Bacevich is TAC's writer-at-large.

[May 28, 2018] >A Major Win for Trump's War Cabinet

Notable quotes:
"... by Melvin Goodman 25 May, 2018 ..."
"... * Melvin A. Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and a professor of government at Johns Hopkins University. A former CIA analyst, Goodman is the author of Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism. His latest book is A Whistleblower at the CIA . (City Lights Publishers, 2017). Goodman is the national security columnist for counterpunch.org . ..."
May 28, 2018 | www.defenddemocracy.press

28/05/2018

by Melvin Goodman
25 May, 2018
President Donald Trump's abrupt decision to run away from a summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un should not be a surprise to anyone. The White House is encouraging the notion that China's Xi Jinping is to blame for souring the notion of a U.S.-North Korean summit and for toughening Kim Jong Un's negotiating position, and the mainstream media is doing its predictable best to validate such a self-serving explanation. In actual fact, the Trump administration was never prepared to discuss any issue that resembled arms control and disarmament, and national security adviser John Bolton, the formidable chairman of the new "war cabinet," was never agreeable to the idea of U.S.-North Korean diplomacy.

Any exercise in arms control and disarmament involves two sets of negotiations: first is the internal set within the administration itself; second is the external set with foreign counterparts. Typically, the internal negotiations within any administration is the tougher road. One of President John F. Kennedy's greatest successes was disciplining the Pentagon in 1963 in order to negotiate the Partial Test Ban Treaty. Over the past fifty years, there has never been an arms control and disarmament treaty that the Pentagon has welcomed.

President Richard Nixon and national security advisor Henry Kissinger were particularly skillful at disciplining the national security bureaucracy that found the civilian and uniformed military leaders of the Pentagon opposed to any arms control negotiations with the Soviet Union. Nixon and Kissinger had to win the bureaucratic battles before garnering the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty and the Antiballistic Missile Treaty in 1972. Nixon and Kissinger also knew how to prepare for summitry, which finds the Trump administration particularly clueless.

President Ronald Reagan learned important lessons in the 1980s when Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger and his senior advisor, Richard Perle, had to be defeated bureaucratically on the way to the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty in 1987. Weinberger and Perle were routed and ultimately resigned. It is not an exaggeration to say that the internal negotiations on the home front were just as difficult as the external negotiations with the Soviet Union. And in some ways, negotiating with Soviet leaders Khrushchev, Brezhnev, and Gorbachev was less problematic because they had a genuine interest in disarmament and they had more control over their military establishments than their U.S. rivals.

Read also: Bernie Sanders, Israel and Palestine

In the case of the U.S.-North Korean summit, which probably would not have led to North Korean denuclearization, there was a reasonable opportunity of arranging a serious deescalation of U.S. and North Korean military activities on the Korean peninsula. National security adviser Bolton has never shown any interest in deescalating military rivalries with any U.S. adversaries, and the general officers around President Trump are not prepared to reduce the U.S. military presence in South Korea or to temper U.S.-South Korean exercises that are so threatening to the North Koreans. Communist military doctrine views such exercises as a possible prelude to an actual attack.

Bolton is new to Trump's national security team, but he is clearly the major winner in this diplomatic setback. Other members of the team, including the Secretaries of State and Defense were not consulted prior to the sudden announcement on May 24, 2018, and there is no record of any deliberations at the National Security Council for preparations for an historic meeting with Kim Jong Un, let alone the possible trade offs in any disarmament discussion. In record time, Bolton has taken charge of the national security and foreign policies of the Trump administration, and has quietly built a neoconservative team of staffers at the NSC that will take hardline positions on all items on the international agenda.

Inside and outside government, Bolton has typically surrounded himself with a like-minded group of advisers and staffers who share his bellicose views and his bellicose manner that deprived him of any chance to gain congressional confirmation for a senior position in previous administrations. Bolton is already consulting with former members of the Pentagon's short-lived Office of Special Plans (OSP) that was responsible for falsifying intelligence in 2002-2003 to make the case for war against Iraq. In previous assignments at the United Nations and the Department of State for the Reagan and Bush administrations, Bolton had a well-earned reputation for falsifying intelligence on a variety of issues in order to justify hardline positions and to argue against arms control negotiations.

Read also: The Only Thing That Can Save Trump's Presidency Now Is War With North Korea

Any connection to OSP is particularly revealing because of the results of a study by the Pentagon's Inspector General that determined the office's major mission was to provide the White House with "intelligence" to make the case for war. According to the IG, David Wurmser was the creator of a provocative and specious Power Point presentation that linked Iraq and al Qaeda for which there was no credible evidence. The phony intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and possible Iraqi-al Qaeda links were the keys to making the case for war. Wurmser is now advising Bolton on staffing decisions at the NSC.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may not have been involved in the decision making to scuttle the summit, but it is noteworthy that his first selection of an important ambassadorial post was a senior uniformed officer and not a foreign service professional. One of Pompeo's first decisions as secretary of state was to select Admiral Harry Harris Jr. as ambassador to South Korea. It was predicted at the time that Harris would join Bolton and Pompeo in arguing against the pursuit of a diplomatic bargain with North Korea. Admiral Harris was well known for his hard line briefings over the years before the Senate Armed Services Committee, and the Obama administration actually issued a "gag order" on Harris prior to President Barack Obama's meetings with Xi Jinping.

The emergence of Bolton and the neoconservative staffing at the NSC points to more hardline decision making that will be influenced by cherry-picked data, unexamined assumptions, and an unwillingness to hold open debates on foreign policy options. President Trump survived his first foreign policy crisis in Syria last month because of the effective and moderating role played by Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Bolton's "success" in halting the diplomatic minuet between Washington and Pyongyang points to greater instability in the near term with U.S. allies as well as adversaries. And if Bolton's neoconservative allies dominate the debates at the NSC, there will be little room for Secretary of Defense Mattis to operate and more room for Bolton's pursuit of hardline foreign policies.

Read also: 1,400 US Mayors Just Slammed the White House for Risking Nuclear War With Russia

* Melvin A. Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and a professor of government at Johns Hopkins University. A former CIA analyst, Goodman is the author of Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism. His latest book is A Whistleblower at the CIA . (City Lights Publishers, 2017). Goodman is the national security columnist for counterpunch.org .

[May 27, 2018] Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is Run by MI6

May 27, 2018 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

"Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" is Run by MI6?

On Sources And Information - The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

By Moon Of Alabama

May 26, 2018 " Information Clearing House " - The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights (SOHR) claims to be a one person shop in Coventry, Britain. But that is only the front story. It is part of a larger organization and the intelligence infrastructure used to wage war on Syria.

A few commentators have recently criticized that I used SOHR as a source in some of my pieces. Here is why.

SOHR is not a pure propaganda operation like the White Helmets are . It is relatively truthful in its reporting of events and casualties in Syria. The total casualty count of the war SOHR gives is likely too high due to some estimates it uses in its bottom numbers. But an early check of its detailed accounts showed that its reports from incidents on the ground were mostly correct.

SOHR's numbers have been quoted by about every news outlet in the world, usually in pro-rebel propaganda pieces. But it is not the observatory that turns the information it collects into propaganda. The media do that when they quote SOHR without the necessary caveats or when they disregard it where its information contradicts the official story. The examples below show that this is now often the case.

One of the first descriptions of the one man who allegedly runs SOHR is in a Reuters portrait from late 2011:

With only a few hours sleep, a phone glued to his ear and another two ringing, the fast-talking director of arguably Syria's most high-profile human rights group is a very busy man.

"Are there clashes? How did he die? Ah, he was shot," said Rami Abdulrahman into a phone, the talk of gunfire and death incongruous with his two bedroom terraced home in Coventry, from where he runs the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

When he isn't fielding calls from international media, Abdulrahman is a few minutes down the road at his clothes shop, which he runs with his wife.

The idea that one man alone could keep track of all casualties in Syria, or stay in contact with so many local contacts on the ground, never made sense. It is simply too much work for one man who also runs a shop and cares for a family. It was obvious that there was more behind it.

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SOHR's main function was to keep a current casualty count of the war in Syria. The Reuters piece noted:

According to the observatory's latest figures, 3,441 civilians and 1,280 security forces have been killed.

The overall number in the casualty count SOHR gave did make sense. The categorization of the numbers did not. The numbers led casual readers assume that only one side of the war in Syria was armed. The numbers could not explained how the security forces were killed. It took a while before people woke up to that mismatch and asked SOHR. It willingly answered the question . But only few reports, like this one from June 2012 , used the answer and explained the mismatch to their readers:

Those killed since March last year comprised 9,862 civilians, 3,470 soldiers and 783 army deserters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Britain-based watchdog counts rebel fighters who are not deserters from the army as civilians.

This was a technical correct but crude mislabeling of killed "civilians", most of which were in fact anti-government fighters. But SOHR did not hide its dubious categorization. Anyone who asked was provided with the caveat above. But only few journalist asked despite the obvious mismatch in the casualty numbers and even fewer put the caveat into print. You will hardly find it in any current news piece that uses SOHR numbers.

Patrick Lang, a trained military spy and former Middle East chief of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, asserted several times that the "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" is run by MI6, Britain's foreign intelligence service.

Peter Hitchens recently reported that SOHR is at least partially financed by the British Foreign Office:

Talking of war, and Syria, many of you may have noticed frequent references in the media to a body called the 'Syrian Observatory for Human Rights', often quoted as if it is an impartial source of information about that complicated conflict, in which the British government clearly takes sides. The 'Observatory' says on its website that it is 'not associated or linked to any political body.'

To which I reply: Is Boris Johnson's Foreign Office not a political body? Because the FO just confirmed to me that 'the UK funded a project worth £194,769.60 to provide the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights with communications equipment and cameras. ' That's quite a lot, isn't it? I love the precision of that 60p. Your taxes, impartially, at work.

MI6 is subordinated to the British Foreign Office. The paltry sum of £195,000 pounds was surely not the only money Rami Abdulrahman received for more than seven years of daily work. There must be a rather large organization behind the dozens of news items and tweets the observatory puts out each and every day.

The SOHR reports often contain valuable information.

Over the last year, as the Syrian government side regained more and more ground, a new phenomenon arose. SOHR appeared less in western media reports on Syria. Its version of events was often missing in stories that involved U.S. operations. The reason was simple. SOHR continued to report somewhat truthful versions of events while the propaganda moved further away from reality.

Here are several incidents of many more where SOHR contradicted the official western propaganda tale. In reports about these incidents in the New York Times and elsewhere the SOHR's version of the events was simply ignored.

On October 13 2017 the U.S. coalition made a deal with the Islamic State to give free passage for ISIS fighters from the besieged Raqqa to south-east Syria. The U.S. military, which leads the coalition, loudly denied that it was involved.

SOHR disagreed :

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights received information from Knowledgeable and independent sources confirming reaching a deal between the International Coalition and the Syria Democratic Forces in one hand; and the "Islamic State" organization in the other hand, and the deal stated the exit of the remaining members of the "Islamic State" organization out of Al-Raqqah city.

In January 10 2018 SOHR reported that the U.S. coalition released 400 ISIS fighters from prison and that at least 120 of them joined the Syrian Democratic Forces led by Kurdish fighters and U.S. special forces. It confirmed several U.S. attacks which had killed dozens of civilians in east Syria. The U.S. military denied that it let ISIS fighters go and it denied all civilian casualty claims.

On April 8 2018 the White Helmets propaganda organization claimed that a chlorine gas attack in East-Ghouta had killed dozens.

SOHR disagreed . It reported of people suffocating after their shelter came down on them. It did not report of any gas incident or casualties:

[A]mong the casualties there are 21 civilians including 9 children and 3 women were killed as a result of suffocation caused by the shelling which destroyed basements of houses as a result of the violence bombardment that stopped about an hour ago on Douma area.

Witnesses on the ground and especially the doctors in the field hospital in east-Ghouta also spoke of suffocation and breathing problems caused by dust clouds after intense aerial bombing and artillery strikes.

On April 16 the U.S. launched a large cruise missile attack against Syria "in retaliation" for the fake gas attack in east-Ghouta. It claimed that all 105 cruise missiles hit the three intended targets.

SOHR disagreed :

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights managed to monitored interception by the regime forces to tens of missiles which targeted their positions and military bases in the Syrian territory, where several intersected sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory, that the number missiles that were downed, exceeded 65 missiles, of the total number of missiles fired by the Trio Coalition ...

SOHR also said that eight targets were attacked but only three received hits. The SOHR report is consistent with witness reports, earlier published U.S. targeting plans and with statements by the Syrian and Russian military.

On May 24 2018 Syrian positions in east Syria near the T-2 pumping station were first attacked by ISIS and then by U.S. airplanes. The U.S. denied to have attacked there.

SOHR disagreed :

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned from several reliable sources that the airstrikes that were carried out on sites of the pro-regime gunmen in Desert Deir Ezzor; have caused human losses, where the Syrian Observatory documented the killing of at least 12 pro-regime gunmen of non-Syrian nationalities, as a result of the airstrikes that were carried out by warplanes believed to belong to the International Coalition , which targeted positions of the above-mentioned forces near the 2nd Station "T2", which is more than 65 km away of al-Bokamal city in Deir Ezzor Desert, while others were injured with varying severity, and the death toll is expected to rise because there are some people in critical situation.

The Russian, Syrian or Iraqi air force are generally not operating in the east, southwards of the Euphrates. Only U.S. coalition planes are flying there. It is thus very likely that the SOHR report is correct.


Patrick Lang, the former DIA Middle East chief and a trained spy, always urges to distinguish between information and its source. A reputable source can give bad information. A source with a bad repute may nonetheless make correct claims.

There are a few simple rules I use to come nearer to the truth:

SOHR, despite being an intelligence outlet of a government hostile to Syria, can be regarded as a relatively reliable source. Some of its reports may well be wrong or slandered. But that should not prevent one from using it.

[ Moon of Alabama is currently asking for donations. Please support this site.]

This article was originally published by " Moon Of Alabama " -

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

See also:

RT Outs Rami Abdulrahmn (SOHR), Source of Lies and Vitriol Against Syria

[May 27, 2018] Northwestern University roundtable discusses regime change in Russia Defend Democracy Press

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... By Marcus Day and Kristina Betinis ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... The panel showcased the institute's first "Distinguished Visitor," Strobe Talbott, former deputy secretary of state in the Clinton administration, president of the Brookings Institution think tank from 2002 to 2017, and a key architect of US imperialist strategy in relation to the breakup of the USSR in the 1990s. ..."
"... obe Talbott outlined three main challenges faced by the current Russian government: its internal problems, including economic and demographic decline; the "threat from the Islamic world, it's the southern belly and it's very vulnerable;" and finally, potential conflict with China over access to natural resources. "They know Russia has resource wealth and human poverty that could spell trouble down the line," Talbott said. ..."
"... Read also: Is (or can be) the western Far (Hard) Right a friend of Russia? The Ukrainian Test ..."
"... To the question, "Do we have another Cold War?" Talbott answered, "Yes, we've got a Cold War. It's the old McCarthy line: If it quacks like a duck, and it walks like a duck, it's a Cold War." ..."
"... Historian John Bushnell raised only one objection against the panel's official State Department line. Referring to the 2014 US-German-led coup in Ukraine, he said, "The Russians, I think with some justification, point out that John McCain didn't need to show up in Kiev. There was no reason for a top State Department official [Victoria Nuland] to be caught giving advice, deciding who would sit in the next Ukrainian cabinet. There clearly was a direct American intervention in Ukrainian politics. ..."
"... Kelly emphasized at different points in the discussion that there is no plan for succession in Russia after Putin. He said, "There really is no succession plan. And in many ways, that is absolutely terrifying. Because if everything does depend on one man, do we really want to push Russia to the edge with more sanctions, and try and undermine their regime? Because if there is no successor, then you have a similar situation without any kind of management of the transition that we had in '91, with a country that has thousands of nuclear weapons and chaos." ..."
"... The WSWS wrote in 2016 that the establishment of the Buffett Institute at Northwestern -- with the assistance of a $101 million donation from Roberta Buffett Elliott, the sister of billionaire Warren Buffett -- was part of an international effort of the capitalist elite to transform leading universities into ideological centers of imperialist military strategy. ..."
www.defenddemocracy.press
By Marcus Day and Kristina Betinis
25 May 2018

The Northwestern University Buffett Institute for Global Studies hosted a roundtable event in the Chicago area on May 23 titled, "The Kremlin's Global Reach," moderated by Medill journalism professor and Washington Post veteran Peter Slevin. The panel showcased the institute's first "Distinguished Visitor," Strobe Talbott, former deputy secretary of state in the Clinton administration, president of the Brookings Institution think tank from 2002 to 2017, and a key architect of US imperialist strategy in relation to the breakup of the USSR in the 1990s.

Also present were political science professor Jordan Gans-Morse, public opinion pollster Dina Smeltz, lecturer and former US ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly and historian John Bushnell.

The event took place amid a steady escalation of US militarism against Syria, Iran and Russia. Just two days earlier, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered an ultimatum to Iran demanding a capitulation to the US in the face of additional sanctions. This followed on the heels of the Trump administration's scrapping of a nuclear agreement reached in 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 group, the US, UK, France, Germany, China and Russia. Earlier this month, the US relaunched a naval force, the Second Fleet, in the North Atlantic in preparation for military confrontation with Russia.

The political perspective of the event was clear from Slevin's opening questions: "What is to be done? How do you solve a problem like Vladimir Putin?"

Str obe Talbott outlined three main challenges faced by the current Russian government: its internal problems, including economic and demographic decline; the "threat from the Islamic world, it's the southern belly and it's very vulnerable;" and finally, potential conflict with China over access to natural resources. "They know Russia has resource wealth and human poverty that could spell trouble down the line," Talbott said.

Read also: Is (or can be) the western Far (Hard) Right a friend of Russia? The Ukrainian Test

To the question, "Do we have another Cold War?" Talbott answered, "Yes, we've got a Cold War. It's the old McCarthy line: If it quacks like a duck, and it walks like a duck, it's a Cold War."

In line with this reactionary narrative, Talbott presented the conflict between the US and Russia as one between "democracy" and "tyranny," while some of the other panelists admitted that is not the way the conflict is viewed in Russia and Europe.

Later, Talbott emphasized the challenge to US hegemony posed by the Balkans, particularly Serbia, citing their cultural and religious affinities with Russia. In 2015, Montenegro entered NATO.

Historian John Bushnell raised only one objection against the panel's official State Department line. Referring to the 2014 US-German-led coup in Ukraine, he said, "The Russians, I think with some justification, point out that John McCain didn't need to show up in Kiev. There was no reason for a top State Department official [Victoria Nuland] to be caught giving advice, deciding who would sit in the next Ukrainian cabinet. There clearly was a direct American intervention in Ukrainian politics. "

A number of the panelists interrupted at this point, some laughing nervously, others strongly protesting.

Slevin, in concluding the discussion, posed the question of regime change in Russia, stating, "How does this end? How does Putin fall? Retire? Get replaced? What is the fate of Vladimir Putin?"

The main obstacle to regime change in Russia was, according to the panelists, the chaos it would inevitably unleash. Kelly emphasized at different points in the discussion that there is no plan for succession in Russia after Putin. He said, "There really is no succession plan. And in many ways, that is absolutely terrifying. Because if everything does depend on one man, do we really want to push Russia to the edge with more sanctions, and try and undermine their regime? Because if there is no successor, then you have a similar situation without any kind of management of the transition that we had in '91, with a country that has thousands of nuclear weapons and chaos."

Read also: Breakdown in North Korea Talks Sounds Alarms on Capitol Hill

However, expressing the position of significant sections of the Democratic Party, aligned with the US state-military-intelligence apparatus, Talbott concluded, "Putin has presided over Russia in a way that is very, very much like the Soviet Union. That didn't work. This won't work. He will be an aberration. It would also help if we had a different president in the United States."

A notable feature of the event was its casual militarism. In introducing himself, Kelly noted that the US has recently provided both Georgia and Ukraine with Javelin anti-tank weaponry.

In line with the propaganda pumped out about the US media and political establishment, the panel speakers presented a picture of reality turned upside down: Russia was presented as an aggressive, expansionist power, and a growing threat to the American way of life. In fact, it is the US government and its imperialist allies which have increasingly encircled Russia via NATO expansion, crippled its economy with sanctions and sought to provoke a military conflict.

As US Defense Secretary James Mattis noted in releasing the Pentagon's new National Security Strategy, "Great power competition -- not terrorism -- is now the primary focus of US national security."

Before the audience assembled by this national security institute, which appeared to include only a handful of undergraduate students, these leading political figures spoke more bluntly about imperialist foreign policy than they would normally do on national television or in supposedly democratic arenas like the US Congress.

The WSWS wrote in 2016 that the establishment of the Buffett Institute at Northwestern -- with the assistance of a $101 million donation from Roberta Buffett Elliott, the sister of billionaire Warren Buffett -- was part of an international effort of the capitalist elite to transform leading universities into ideological centers of imperialist military strategy.

Read also: Exxon Mobil Exits Joint Oil Ventures With Russia Due to Sanctions

At the time of the Buffett Institute's founding, university students and faculty protested the appointment as its head of former the US commander in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, whose qualifications were based on military rank and bellicose politics, rather than any academic credentials. Northwestern faculty members charged that he "advocates instrumentalizing the humanities and social sciences research to advance US soft power."

The International Youth and Students for Social Equality are leading the opposition internationally to the transformation of colleges and universities into think tanks for imperialism and militarism. Contact the Socialist Equality Party to start an IYSSE chapter on your campus.

SOURCE www.wsws.org

[May 27, 2018] Turning on Russia by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould

Notable quotes:
"... By Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould ..."
"... Copyright © 2018 Fitzgerald & Gould All rights reserved. This article first appeared on Invisible History. ..."
"... Coming Next, Part 2: The post WWII global strategy of the neocons has been shaped chiefly by Russophobia against the Soviet Union and now Russia ..."
"... * Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould are the authors of Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story , Crossing Zero The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire and The Voice . Visit their websites at invisiblehistory and grailwerk .com ..."
May 27, 2018 | www.defenddemocracy.press

Turning on Russia 11/05/2018

In this first of a two-part series, Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould trace the origins of the neoconservative targeting of Russia.

By Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould
April 29.2018

The German newsmagazine Der Spiegel last September reported that, "Stanley Fischer, the 73–year-old vice chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, is familiar with the decline of the world's rich. He spent his childhood and youth in the British protectorate of Rhodesia before going to London in the early 1960s for his university studies. There, he experienced first-hand the unravelling of the British Empire Now an American citizen, Fischer is currently witnessing another major power taking its leave of the world stage the United States is losing its status as a global hegemonic power, he said recently. The U.S. political system could take the world in a very dangerous direction "

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the creation of the so called Wolfowitz Doctrine in 1992 during the administration of George Herbert Walker Bush, the United States claimed the mantle of the world's first and only. Unipower with the intention of crushing any nation or system that would oppose it in the future. The New World Order, foreseen just a few short years ago, becomes more disorderly by the day, made worse by varying degrees of incompetence and greed emanating from Berlin, London, Paris and Washington.

As a further sign of the ongoing seismic shocks rocking America's claim to leadership, by the time Fischer's interview appeared in the online version of the Der Spiegel , he had already announced his resignation as vice chair of the Federal Reserve -- eight months ahead of schedule. If anyone knows about the decline and fall of empires it is the "globalist" and former Bank of Israel president, Stanley Fischer. Not only did he experience the unravelling of the British Empire as a young student in London, he directly assisted in the wholesale dismantling of the Soviet Empire during the 1990s.

As an admitted product of the British Empire and point man for its long term imperial aims, that makes Fischer not just empire's Angel of Death, but its rag and bone man.

Alongside a handful of Harvard economists led by Jonathan Hay, Larry Summers, Andrei Shleifer, and Jeffry Sachs, in the "Harvard Project," plus Anatoly Chubais, the chief Russian economic adviser, Fischer helped throw 100 million Russians into poverty overnight – privatizing, or as some would say piratizing – the Russian economy. Yet, Americans never got the real story because a slanted anti-Russia narrative covered the true nature of the robbery from beginning to end.

As described by public policy scholar and anthropologist Janine R. Wedel in her 2009 book Shadow Elite: "Presented in the West as a fight between enlightenment Reformers trying to move the economy forward through privatization, and retrograde Luddites who opposed them, this story misrepresented the facts. The idea or goal of privatization was not controversial, even among communists the Russian Supreme Soviet, a communist body, passed two laws laying the groundwork for privatization. Opposition to privatization was rooted not in the idea itself but in the particular privatization program that was implemented, the opaque way in which it was put into place, and the use of executive authority to bypass the parliament."

Intentionally set up to fail for Russia and the Russian people under the cover of a false narrative, she continues "The outcome rendered privatization 'a de facto fraud,' as one economist put it, and the parliamentary committee that had judged the Chubais scheme to 'offer fertile ground for criminal activity' was proven right."

If Fischer, a man who helped bring about a de facto criminal-privatization-fraud to post-empire Russia says the U.S. is on a dangerous course, the time has arrived for post-empire Americans to ask what role he played in putting the U.S. on that dangerous course. Little known to Americans is the blunt force trauma Fischer and the "prestigious" Harvard Project delivered to Russia under the leadership of Boris Yeltsin during the 1990s. According to The American Conservative's James Carden "As the Center for Economic and Policy Research noted back in 2011 'the IMF's intervention in Russia during Fischer's tenure led to one of the worst losses in output in history, in the absence of war or natural disaster.' Indeed, one Russian observer compared the economic and social consequences of the IMF's intervention to what one would see in the aftermath of a medium-level nuclear attack."

Neither do most Americans know that it was President Jimmy Carter's national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski's 1970s grand plan for the conquest of the Eurasian heartland that boomeranged to terrorize Europe and America in the 21 st century. Brzezinski spent much of his life undermining the Communist Soviet Union and then spent the rest of it worrying about its resurgence as a Czarist empire under Vladimir Putin. It might be unfair to say that hating Russia was his only obsession. But a common inside joke during his tenure as the President's top national security officer was that he couldn't find Nicaragua on a map.

If anyone provided the blueprint for the United States to rule in a unipolar world following the Soviet Union's collapse it was Brzezinski. And if anyone could be said to represent the debt driven financial system that fueled America's post-Vietnam Imperialism, it's Fischer. His departure should have sent a chill down every neoconservative's spine. Their dream of a New World Order has once again ground to a halt at the gates of Moscow.

Whenever the epitaph for the abbreviated American century is written it will be sure to feature the iconic role the neoconservatives played in hastening its demise. From the chaos created by Vietnam they set to work restructuring American politics, finance and foreign policy to their own purposes. Dominated at the beginning by Zionists and Trotskyists, but directed by the Anglo/American establishment and their intelligence elites, the neoconservatives' goal, working with their Chicago School neoliberal partners, was to deconstruct the nation-state through cultural co-optation and financial subversion and to project American power abroad. So far they have been overwhelmingly successful to the detriment of much of the world.

From the end of the Second World War through the 1980s the focus of this pursuit was on the Soviet Union, but since the Soviet collapse in 1991, their focus has been on dismantling any and all opposition to their global dominion.

Pentagon Capitalism

Shady finance, imperial misadventures and neoconservatism go hand in hand. The CIA's founders saw themselves as partners in this enterprise and the defense industry welcomed them with open arms. McGill University economist R.T. Naylor, author of 1987's Hot Money and the Politics of Debt , described how "Pentagon Capitalism" had made the Vietnam War possible by selling the Pentagon's debt to the rest of the world.

"In effect, the US Marines had replaced Meyer Lansky's couriers , and the European central banks arranged the 'loan-back,'" Naylor writes. "When the mechanism was explained to the late [neoconservative] Herman Kahn – lifeguard of the era's chief 'think tank' and a man who popularized the notion it was possible to emerge smiling from a global conflagration – he reacted with visible delight. Kahn exclaimed excitedly, 'We've pulled off the biggest ripoff in history! We've run rings around the British Empire.'" In addition to their core of ex-Trotskyist intellectuals early neoconservatives could count among their ranks such establishment figures as James Burnham, father of the Cold War Paul Nitze, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, Jeane Kirkpatrick and Brzezinski himself.

From the beginning of their entry into the American political mainstream in the 1970s it was known that their emergence could imperil democracy in America and yet Washington's more moderate gatekeepers allowed them in without much of a fight.

Peter Steinfels' 1979 classic The Neoconservatives: The men who are changing America's politics begins with these fateful words. "THE PREMISES OF THIS BOOK are simple. First, that a distinct and powerful political outlook has recently emerged in the United States. Second, that this outlook, preoccupied with certain aspects of American life and blind or complacent towards others, justifies a politics which, should it prevail, threatens to attenuate and diminish the promise of American democracy."

But long before Steinfels' 1979 account, the neoconservative's agenda of inserting their own interests ahead of America's was well underway, attenuating U.S. democracy, undermining détente and angering America's NATO partners that supported it. According to the distinguished State Department Soviet specialist Raymond Garthoff, détente had been under attack by right-wing and military-industrial forces ( led by Senator "Scoop" Jackson ) from its inception. But America's ownership of that policy underwent a shift following U.S. intervention on behalf of Israel during the 1973 October war. Garthoff writes in his detailed volume on American-Soviet relations Détente and Confrontation , "To the allies the threat [to Israel] did not come from the Soviet Union, but from unwise actions by the United States, taken unilaterally and without consultation. The airlift [of arms] had been bad enough. The U.S. military alert of its forces in Europe was too much."

In addition to the crippling Arab oil embargo that followed, the crisis of confidence in U.S. decision-making nearly produced a mutiny within NATO. Garthoff continues, "The United States had used the alert to convert an Arab-Israeli conflict, into which the United States had plunged, into a matter of East-West confrontation. Then it had used that tension as an excuse to demand that Europe subordinate its own policies to a manipulative American diplomatic gamble over which they had no control and to which they had not even been privy, all in the name of alliance unity."

In the end the U.S. found common cause with its Cold War Soviet enemy by imposing a cease-fire accepted by both Egypt and Israel thereby confirming the usefulness of détente. But as related by Garthoff this success triggered an even greater effort by Israel's "politically significant supporters" in the U.S. to begin opposing any cooperation with the Soviet Union, at all.

Garthoff writes, "The United States had pressed Israel into doing precisely what the Soviet Union (as well as the United States) had wanted: to halt its advance short of complete encirclement of the Egyptian Third Army east of Suez Thus they [Israel's politically significant supporters] saw the convergence of American-Soviet interests and effective cooperation in imposing a cease-fire as a harbinger of greater future cooperation by the two superpowers in working toward a resolution of the Israeli-Arab-Palestinian problem."

Copyright © 2018 Fitzgerald & Gould All rights reserved. This article first appeared on Invisible History.

Coming Next, Part 2: The post WWII global strategy of the neocons has been shaped chiefly by Russophobia against the Soviet Union and now Russia

* Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould are the authors of Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story , Crossing Zero The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire and The Voice . Visit their websites at invisiblehistory and grailwerk .com

Published at consortiumnews.com

[May 27, 2018] The origin and the logic of the neocon imperial project Balkanizing the Middle East, Balkanizing the World Defend Democracy

Notable quotes:
"... Shatter Syria and Iraq Into Many Small Pieces ..."
"... By WashingtonsBlog ..."
"... February 25, 2016 ..."
"... "[T]he actual purpose was to blow the country to smithereens: to atomize it, and crush it, so that it would never rise again. ..."
"... "When we invaded and occupied Iraq, we didn't just militarily defeat Iraq's armed forces – we ..."
"... dismantled their army ..."
"... , and their police force, along with all the other institutions that held the country together. The educational system was destroyed, and not reconstituted. The infrastructure was ..."
"... , and never restored. Even the physical hallmarks of a civilized society – ..."
"... electrical plants ..."
"... water facilities ..."
"... – were bombed out of existence or else left to fall into disrepair. Along with that, the spiritual and psychological infrastructure that enables a society to function – the bonds of trust, allegiance, and custom – was ..."
"... , leaving Iraqis to fend for themselves in a war of all against all. ..."
"... By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya , Global Research, November 2006) ..."
May 27, 2018 | www.defenddemocracy.press

The origin and the logic of the neocon imperial project: Balkanizing the Middle East, Balkanizing the World 24/05/2018

Shatter Syria and Iraq Into Many Small Pieces

By WashingtonsBlog
February 25, 2016

The Guardian noted in 2003:

President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt predicted devastating consequences for the Middle East if Iraq is attacked. "We fear a state of disorder and chaos may prevail in the region," he said.

***

They are probably still splitting their sides with laughter in the Pentagon. But Mr Mubarak and the [Pentagon] hawks do agree on one thing: war with Iraq could spell disaster for several regimes in the Middle East. Mr Mubarak believes that would be bad. The hawks, though, believe it would be good .

For the hawks, disorder and chaos sweeping through the region would not be an unfortunate side-effect of war with Iraq, but a sign that everything is going according to plan .

***

The "skittles theory" of the Middle East – that one ball aimed at Iraq can knock down several regimes – has been around for some time on the wilder fringes of politics but has come to the fore in the United States on the back of the "war against terrorism".

Its roots can be traced, at least in part, to a paper published in 1996 by an Israeli thinktank, the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies. Entitled "A clean break: a new strategy for securing the realm", it was intended as a political blueprint for the incoming government of Binyamin Netanyahu . As the title indicates, it advised the right-wing Mr Netanyahu to make a complete break with the past by adopting a strategy "based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism "

***

The paper set out a plan by which Israel would "shape its strategic environment", beginning with the removal of Saddam Hussein and the installation of a Hashemite monarchy in Baghdad.

With Saddam out of the way and Iraq thus brought under Jordanian Hashemite influence, Jordan and Turkey would form an axis along with Israel to weaken and "roll back" Syria. Jordan, it suggested, could also sort out Lebanon by "weaning" the Shia Muslim population away from Syria and Iran, and re-establishing their former ties with the Shia in the new Hashemite kingdom of Iraq. "Israel will not only contain its foes; it will transcend them", the paper concluded.

***

The leader of the "prominent opinion makers" who wrote it was Richard Perle – now chairman of the Defence Policy Board at the Pentagon .

Also among the eight-person team was Douglas Feith, a neo-conservative lawyer, who now holds one of the top four posts at the Pentagon as under-secretary of policy .

***

Two other opinion-makers in the team were David Wurmser and his wife, Meyrav (see US thinktanks give lessons in foreign policy , August 19). Mrs Wurmser was co-founder of Memri, a Washington-based charity that distributes articles translated from Arabic newspapers portraying Arabs in a bad light. After working with Mr Perle at the American Enterprise Institute, David Wurmser is now at the State Department, as a special assistant to John Bolton, the under-secretary for arms control and international security.

A fifth member of the team was James Colbert, of the Washington-based Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (Jinsa) – a bastion of neo-conservative hawkery whose advisory board was previously graced by Dick Cheney (now US vice-president), John Bolton and Douglas Feith.

***

With several of the "Clean Break" paper's authors now holding key positions in Washington, the plan for Israel to "transcend" its foes by reshaping the Middle East looks a good deal more achievable today than it did in 1996. Americans may even be persuaded to give up their lives to achieve it.

Read also: The Coming Wave Of Oil Refugees

(Before assuming prominent roles in the Bush administration, many of the same people – including Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, John Bolton and others – advocated their imperial views during the Clinton administration via their American think tank, the "Project for a New American Century".)

Thomas Harrington – professor of Iberian Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut – writes :

[While there are some good articles on the chaos in Iraq, none of them] consider whether the chaos now enveloping the region might, in fact, be the desired aim of policy planners in Washington and Tel Aviv .

***

One of the prime goals of every empire is to foment ongoing internecine conflict in the territories whose resources and/or strategic outposts they covet .

***

The most efficient way of sparking such open-ended internecine conflict is to brutally smash the target country's social matrix and physical infrastructure.

***

Ongoing unrest has the additional perk of justifying the maintenance and expansion of the military machine that feeds the financial and political fortunes of the metropolitan elite.

In short divide and rule is about as close as it gets to a universal recourse the imperial game and that it is, therefore, as important to bear it in mind today as it was in the times of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, the Spanish Conquistadors and the British Raj.

To those -- and I suspect there are still many out there -- for whom all this seems too neat or too conspiratorial , I would suggest a careful side-by side reading of:

  1. a) the "Clean Break" manifesto generated by the Jerusalem-based Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS) in 1996

and

  1. b) the "Rebuilding America's Defenses" paper generated by The Project for a New American Century (PNAC) in 2000, a US group with deep personal and institutional links to the aforementioned Israeli think tank, and with the ascension of George Bush Junior to the White House, to the most exclusive sanctums of the US foreign policy apparatus.

To read the cold-blooded imperial reasoning in both of these documents -- which speak, in the first case, quite openly of the need to destabilize the region so as to reshape Israel's "strategic environment" and, in the second of the need to dramatically increase the number of US "forward bases" in the region .

To do so now, after the US's systematic destruction of Iraq and Libya -- two notably oil-rich countries whose delicate ethnic and religious balances were well known to anyone in or out of government with more than passing interest in history -- , and after the its carefully calibrated efforts to generate and maintain murderous and civilization-destroying stalemates in Syria and Egypt (something that is easily substantiated despite our media's deafening silence on the subject), is downright blood-curdling.

And yet, it seems that for even very well-informed analysts, it is beyond the pale to raise the possibility that foreign policy elites in the US and Israel, like all virtually all the ambitious hegemons before them on the world stage, might have quite coldly and consciously fomented open-ended chaos in order to achieve their overlapping strategic objectives in this part of the world.

Antiwar's Justin Raimondo notes :

Iraq's fate was sealed from the moment we invaded: it has no future as a unitary state. As I pointed out again and again in the early days of the conflict, Iraq is fated to split apart into at least three separate states: the Shi'ite areas around Baghdad and to the south, the Sunni regions to the northwest, and the Kurdish enclave which was itching for independence since well before the US invasion. This was the War Party's real if unexpressed goal from the very beginning: the atomization of Iraq, and indeed the entire Middle East. Their goal, in short, was chaos – and that is precisely what we are seeing today.

Read also: Tell the Senate: Block Trump's War Cabinet

***

As I put it years ago :

"[T]he actual purpose was to blow the country to smithereens: to atomize it, and crush it, so that it would never rise again.

"When we invaded and occupied Iraq, we didn't just militarily defeat Iraq's armed forces – we dismantled their army , and their police force, along with all the other institutions that held the country together. The educational system was destroyed, and not reconstituted. The infrastructure was pulverized , and never restored. Even the physical hallmarks of a civilized society – roads , bridges , electrical plants , water facilities , museums , schools – were bombed out of existence or else left to fall into disrepair. Along with that, the spiritual and psychological infrastructure that enables a society to function – the bonds of trust, allegiance, and custom – was dissolved , leaving Iraqis to fend for themselves in a war of all against all.

" What we are witnessing in post-Saddam Iraq is the erasure of an entire country. We can say, with confidence: We came, we saw, we atomized."

Why? This is the question that inevitably arises in the wake of such an analysis: why deliberately destroy an entire country whose people were civilized while our European ancestors were living in trees?

The people who planned, agitated for, and executed this war are the very same people who have advanced Israeli interests – at America's expense – at every opportunity. In " A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm ," a 1996 document prepared by a gaggle of neocons – Perle, Douglas Feith, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Robert Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was urged to "break out" of Israel's alleged stagnation and undertake a campaign of "regime change" across the Middle East, targeting Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iraq, and eventually Iran. With the exception of Iran – and that one's still cooking on the back burner – this is precisely what has occurred. In 2003, in the immediate wake of our Pyrrhic "victory" in Iraq, then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared to a visiting delegation of American members of Congress that these "rogue states" – Iran, Libya, and Syria – would have to be next on the War Party's target list.

( Indeed .)

And Michel Chossudovsky points out :

The division of Iraq along sectarian-ethnic lines has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for more than 10 years .

What is envisaged by Washington is the outright suppression of the Baghdad regime and the institutions of the central government, leading to a process of political fracturing and the elimination of Iraq as a country .

This process of political fracturing in Iraq along sectarian lines will inevitably have an impact on Syria, where the US-NATO sponsored terrorists have in large part been defeated.

Destabilization and political fragmentation in Syria is also contemplated: Washington's intent is no longer to pursue the narrow objective of "regime change" in Damascus. What is contemplated is the break up of both Iraq and Syria along sectarian-ethnic lines .

The formation of the caliphate may be the first step towards a broader conflict in the Middle East, bearing in mind that Iran is supportive of the al-Maliki government and the US ploy may indeed be to encourage the intervention of Iran.

The proposed re-division of both Iraq and Syria is broadly modeled on that of the Federation of Yugoslavia which was split up into seven "independent states" (Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia (FYRM), Slovenia, Montenegro, Kosovo). According to Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, the re division of Iraq into three separate states is part of a broader process of redrawing the Map of the Middle East.

Read also: Venezuela zwischen den Fronten

The above map was prepared by Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters. It was published in the Armed Forces Journal in June 2006, Peters is a retired colonel of the U.S. National War Academy. (Map Copyright Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters 2006).

Although the map does not officially reflect Pentagon doctrine, it has been used in a training program at NATO's Defense College for senior military officers". (See Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a "New Middle East" By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya , Global Research, November 2006)

Breaking Apart Syria

Similarly, Neooconservatives in the U.S. and Israel have long advocated for the balkanization of Syria into smaller regions based on ethnicity and religion. The goal was to break up the country, and to do away with the sovereignty of Syria as a separate nation.

In 1982, a prominent Israeli journalist formerly attached to the Israeli Foreign Ministry allegedly wrote a book expressly calling for the break up of Syria:

All the Arab states should be broken down, by Israel, into small units . Dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel's primary target on the Eastern front in the long run.

It is well-documented that – in 1996 – U.S. and Israeli Neocons advocated :

Weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria .

As Michel Chossudovsky points out :

Destabilization and political fragmentation in Syria is also contemplated: Washington's intent is no longer to pursue the narrow objective of "regime change" in Damascus. What is contemplated is the break up of both Iraq and Syria along sectarian-ethnic lines.

In 2013, former Israeli diplomat Alon Pinkas said :

Let them both [sides] bleed, haemorrhage to death: that's the strategic thinking here. As long as this lingers, there's no real threat from Syria.

Indeed, in May 2015, one of the key architects of the Iraq war – John Bolton – said:

The Arabs divided between Sunnis and Shias – I think the Sunni Arabs are never going to agree to be in a state where the Shia outnumber them 3-1. That's what ISIS has been able to take advantage of.

I think our objective should be a new Sunni state out of the western part of Iraq, the eastern part of Syria run by moderates or at least authoritarians who are not radical Islamists. What's left of the state of Iraq, as of right now, is simply a satellite of the ayatollahs in Tehran. It's not anything we should try to aid.

In September 2015, Pentagon intelligence chief Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart said that he has "a tough time" seeing either Iraq or Syria really coming back together as sovereign nations.

Dan Sanchez noted last week:

In general, Israel ideally prefers regime changes that result in the installation of stable puppets. That is Plan A. But Plan B is to balkanize . Better to divide and conquer than to countenance a "rogue" (independent) neighbor.

So it is noteworthy that Israel is endorsing its Plan B for Syria just when its enemies are making it plain that Plan A (" Assad Must Go ") is not happening any time soon.

And SecState John Kerry confirmed just yesterday that "Plan B" is to break Syria up into different states.

[May 27, 2018] War, propaganda and smears An interview with Professor Piers Robinson by Julie Hyland

Notable quotes:
"... The following is the third part of a three-part interview with Professor Piers Robinson, an academic at the University of Sheffield and a member of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media. Parts one and two appeared on May 24 and May 25. ..."
"... We initially issued two briefing notes on Skripal. That was partly because some of the people in the Working Group who had been looking at chemical/biological events in Syria had relevant knowledge and were aware that what the British government was saying straight off was inaccurate, i.e., the idea that the nerve agent used was Russian and only the Russians could have produced it, etc. ..."
"... I did feel, because at the time the Syrian government was retaking large portions of territory, that the representation of Skripal might be being exploited as part of a broader propaganda drive against Russia (which was providing military support to Syria). ..."
"... If there was going to be an escalation in Syria, beyond the bombing that occurred, that would take us up against the Russians. There was a good possibility that the Skripal event was going to be exploited as part of a broader anti-Russian propaganda drive. ..."
"... when [Foreign Secretary] Boris Johnson pretty much said it was the Russians who must have poisoned the Skripals, that appeared to be a statement of certainty that was not warranted. And, of course, the recent history of Iraq and UK government claims regarding alleged WMD stockpiles was an important reminder that governments can be strongly motivated to distort and manipulate their claims, especially when intelligence is involved. ..."
"... I think the Skripal poisoning might be connected to events in the US. We do know, because Alex Thomson from Channel 4 tweeted on March 12 that the government had put a D-notice restriction on the reporting of [MI6 agent] Pablo Miller. Professor Paul McKeigue (University of Edinburgh) has issued a new briefing talking about this matter. ..."
"... Pablo Miller was Skripal's handler. He was connected to [former MI6 officer] Christopher Steele. He was responsible for the dossier alleging Trump's collusion with Russia. That, as I understand it, was a key part of initiating proceedings and investigations against Trump. It appears that the dossier was linked to the Democratic National Committee in that they apparently commissioned it. ..."
"... If it is the case that Skripal was in any way connected with that, it forms a possibility that there was a motive for someone other than Russia to have carried out the poisoning. ..."
"... More broadly, there is the possibility that the whole Russia-gate narrative is being used for bigger political purposes -- to influence Trump, to try and shore up action in the Middle East, perhaps on some level to distract Western publics from increasing awareness of how we have been involved in wars in the Middle East. ..."
May 26, 2018 | www.wsws.org

The following is the third part of a three-part interview with Professor Piers Robinson, an academic at the University of Sheffield and a member of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media. Parts one and two appeared on May 24 and May 25.

Julie Hyland: What is your estimation of the alleged poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal by Russia, and how do they relate to the war in Syria?

PR: We initially issued two briefing notes on Skripal. That was partly because some of the people in the Working Group who had been looking at chemical/biological events in Syria had relevant knowledge and were aware that what the British government was saying straight off was inaccurate, i.e., the idea that the nerve agent used was Russian and only the Russians could have produced it, etc.

I did feel, because at the time the Syrian government was retaking large portions of territory, that the representation of Skripal might be being exploited as part of a broader propaganda drive against Russia (which was providing military support to Syria).

If there was going to be an escalation in Syria, beyond the bombing that occurred, that would take us up against the Russians. There was a good possibility that the Skripal event was going to be exploited as part of a broader anti-Russian propaganda drive.

It's not something you can pinpoint for sure at this stage because you don't have access to the information. I don't think we will know the full truth of exactly what is happening for some time. But you can make an informed judgement call.

What we do know is that the claims being made at the time were not tenable. So when [Foreign Secretary] Boris Johnson pretty much said it was the Russians who must have poisoned the Skripals, that appeared to be a statement of certainty that was not warranted. And, of course, the recent history of Iraq and UK government claims regarding alleged WMD stockpiles was an important reminder that governments can be strongly motivated to distort and manipulate their claims, especially when intelligence is involved.

I think the Skripal poisoning might be connected to events in the US. We do know, because Alex Thomson from Channel 4 tweeted on March 12 that the government had put a D-notice restriction on the reporting of [MI6 agent] Pablo Miller. Professor Paul McKeigue (University of Edinburgh) has issued a new briefing talking about this matter.

Pablo Miller was Skripal's handler. He was connected to [former MI6 officer] Christopher Steele. He was responsible for the dossier alleging Trump's collusion with Russia. That, as I understand it, was a key part of initiating proceedings and investigations against Trump. It appears that the dossier was linked to the Democratic National Committee in that they apparently commissioned it.

If it is the case that Skripal was in any way connected with that, it forms a possibility that there was a motive for someone other than Russia to have carried out the poisoning.

More broadly, there is the possibility that the whole Russia-gate narrative is being used for bigger political purposes -- to influence Trump, to try and shore up action in the Middle East, perhaps on some level to distract Western publics from increasing awareness of how we have been involved in wars in the Middle East.

... ... ...


Ken Davis15 hours ago

An interview with Eva Bartlett https://ingaza.wordpress.co...
Ken Davis15 hours ago
In a related area that people don't usually connect, the same psychological warfare methods being used in the Middle East are being used in the attack on public education to privatize education globally.
FireintheHeada day ago
I've had a degree of dialogue with Piers on Facebook .

Despite the fact that he has done some important work here regards state propaganda and Syria I have found his political positions very much the typical University sociology professor , where bourgeois ideology and Post modernism runs rampant .

Not immune to running off a line of expletives and ad hominems as if they constitute an argument, Piers came to the defence of Eva Bartlett and Vanessa Bealey when I had the audacity to make a distinction between the defence of Syria against US Imperialism and a defence of Assad per se and Putin

Both engaged in a somewhat lumpen diatribe on the question, despite the fact that I clearly never once promoted an Imperialist line . The situation was in fact reminiscent of what in more recent times the WSWS faced in regards Iran , when it seemingly ''had the audacity'' to support the Iranian working class against its own bourgeois rulers.

Skipa day ago
Very nice interview. As a regular reader of the wsws most of what this man says is already understood. I will share this.

[May 26, 2018] Sex and the Brain by James Thompson

May 26, 2018 | www.unz.com

Pity the poor blogger's lot: there are more interesting papers being published every week than any essayist, however diligent, can possibly cope with. And there will be more, as the vast genetic databases give up their secrets. No sooner does one team scoop the others with a savage novelty than their rivals counter-attack with their own surprising findings. If you are curious about mankind, it is the best time to be alive. We are likely to learn more about ourselves in the next few decades than was possible in the last few centuries.

[May 26, 2018] Reabilitation of Summers speech about sex differences in abilities by James Thompson

May 26, 2018 | www.unz.com

Sex Differences in the Adult Human Brain: Evidence from 5216 UK Biobank Participants
Stuart J Ritchie, Simon R Cox, Xueyi Shen, Michael V Lombardo, Lianne M Reus, Clara Alloza, Mathew A Harris, Helen L Alderson, Stuart Hunter, Emma Neilson, David C M Liewald, Bonnie Auyeung, Heather C Whalley, Stephen M Lawrie ,Catharine R Gale, Mark E Bastin, Andrew M McIntoshIan, J Deary.
Cerebral Cortex, bhy109, https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhy109
Published: 16 May 2018

https://academic.oup.com/cercor/advance-article/doi/10.1093/cercor/bhy109/4996558

The authors say:

Sex differences in the human brain are of interest for many reasons: for example, there are sex differences in the observed prevalence of psychiatric disorders and in some psychological traits that brain differences might help to explain. We report the largest single-sample study of structural and functional sex differences in the human brain (2750 female, 2466 male participants; mean age 61.7 years, range 44–77 years). Males had higher raw volumes, raw surface areas, and white matter fractional anisotropy; females had higher raw cortical thickness and higher white matter tract complexity. There was considerable distributional overlap between the sexes. Subregional differences were not fully attributable to differences in total volume, total surface area, mean cortical thickness, or height. There was generally greater male variance across the raw structural measures. Functional connectome organization showed stronger connectivity for males in unimodal sensorimotor cortices, and stronger connectivity for females in the default mode network. This large-scale study provides a foundation for attempts to understand the causes and consequences of sex differences in adult brain structure and function.

There is much to discuss here, but my attention was drawn by two phrases "considerable distributional overlap" (which in my experience means that one group is pretty different from another) and "generally greater male variance" (which agrees with most of the observations on sex differences indicating that men are leptokurtic (more variable), women more platykurtic (less variable).

Women are more at risk of dementia, depression, schizophrenia and dyslexia. Men are better than women at mental rotation tasks, and are more physically aggressive; women are more interested in people than in things, are more neurotic and more agreeable.

One of the most interesting sex differences is intelligence. Here is their introduction to the topic:

There is more to sex differences than averages: there are physical and psychological traits that tend to be more variable in males than females. The best-studied human phenotype in this context has been cognitive ability: almost universally, studies have found that males show greater variance in this trait (Deary et al. 2007a; Johnson et al. 2008; Lakin 2013; though see Iliescu et al. 2016). This has also been found for academic achievement test results (themselves a potential consequence of cognitive differences, which are known to predict later educational achievement; Deary et al. 2007b; Machin and Pekkarinen 2008; Lehre et al. 2009a, 2009b), other psychological characteristics such as personality (Borkenau et al. 2013), and a range of physical traits such as athletic performance (Olds et al. 2006), and both birth and adult weight (Lehre et al. 2009a). To our knowledge, only two prior studies have explicitly examined sex differences in the variability of brain structure (Wierenga et al. 2017; Lange et al. 1997), and no studies have done so in individuals older than 20 years. Here, we addressed this gap in the literature by testing the "greater male variability" hypothesis in the adult brain.
[]
We tested male–female differences (in mean and variance) in overall and subcortical brain volumes, mapped the magnitude of sex differences across the cortex with multiple measures (volume, surface area, and cortical thickness), and also examined sex differences in white matter microstructure derived from DT-MRI and NODDI. We tested the extent to which these differences were regionally-specific or brain-general, by adjusting them for the total brain size (or other relevant overall measurement; for instance, adjusting volume differences for total brain volume and cortical thickness differences for mean cortical thickness), and examining whether the differences found in the raw analyses were still present. We tested the extent to which these structural differences (in broad, regional, and white matter measures) mediated sex variation in scores on two cognitive tests, one tapping a mixture of fluid and crystallized reasoning skills (skills previously found to be linked to brain volumes; Pietschnig et al. 2015) and one testing processing speed (previously found to be linked to white matter microstructural differences; see Penke et al. 2012). At the functional level, we also examined large-scale organization of functional networks in the brain using resting-state fMRI functional connectivity data and data-driven network-based analyses.

The study compared 2750 females (mean age = 61.12 years, SD = 7.42, range = 44.64–77.12) and 2466 males (mean age = 62.39 years, SD = 7.56, range = 44.23–76.99). These are extremely large samples, two orders of magnitude larger than the early studies in the 1980s, and way larger than many of the studies that the Press report so frequently. Consider them "Foxtrot Oscar" samples.

The first result is startling: male brains are very much bigger, a colossal 1.4 effect size. 92% of men will be above the mean for women. On average men have 117.8 cm3 more brain than women. All this extra brain must be doing something for men, you might surmise, other than just helping them perpetually contemplate the relative advantages of the more complicated positions adopted during sexual intercourse. Perhaps not. Broadly the same effect of male advantage can be found in all the brain region sub-comparisons. Male brains are both larger, and also vary more in size. Greater male variability seems a fact of nature. If there were a direct relationship between brain size and cognitive ability, there would be many, many more bright men than bright women.

The cognitive test was limited to a 13-item verbal-numerical test to be completed in 2 minutes, which ought to be enough to grade the general population. The mere notion of such a test will discomfort those citizens who regard their own intellects as more wide-ranging and multi-faceted than could ever be measured by mere earthly means, and who rank their brainpower of greater value to Western Civilization in ways that could not possibly be assayed in 120 seconds. Personally, I quail at the thought of having to subject myself to such a harsh evaluation. I mean, 13 into 120 is, let me see, well, not very long at all to solve each item. On reflection, 9 seconds to pass each question. Can such people exist?

The test might be a little crude if the purpose is to detect sex differences across the broad range of different cognitive tasks, and also a bit limited if the volunteers are, as one might expect of this database, somewhat brighter volunteers interested in contributing to science. However, these are minor quibbles. All intellects can be evaluated in 2 minutes. I like it. Here are the details:

Verbal-numerical reasoning. This test (UK Biobank data field 20016) consisted of thirteen multiple-choice items, six verbal and seven numerical. Participants responded to the items on a touch-screen computer. One of the verbal items was: "Stop means the same as: Pause/Close/Cease/Break/Rest/Do not know/Prefer not to answer". One of the numerical items was: "If sixty is more than half of seventy-five, multiply twenty-three by three. If not subtract 15 from eighty-five. Is the answer: 68/69/70/71/72/Do not know/Prefer not to answer". Participants had a two-minute time limit to answer the thirteen questions. The "prefer not to answer" option was considered as missing data for the purposes of the present analyses. The scores from the test formed a normal distribution.

Reaction Time. This test (UK Biobank data field 100032), which followed immediately after the verbal-numerical reasoning test, was modelled on the game of 'snap': participants responded by pressing a button on a button box as quickly as possible with their dominant hand whenever the symbols on two 'cards' displayed to them on the computer screen matched. The test had twelve rounds; the first four rounds were considered 'training' (or practice) rounds so were not included in the calculation of the final score, and four of the remaining rounds did not include matching symbols. Thus, the final score was calculated on the basis of the four rounds with matching symbols (the mean time in ms to press the button across these four trials was the score variable). We excluded the scores of 8 participants who had Reaction Times of 1100ms or longer. After this exclusion, the Reaction Times formed an approximately normal distribution. Note that, for analyses, we reflected the raw scores so that higher scores meant better performance (this meant that the two cognitive tests correlated positively with each other).

The choice reaction time task should be a good measure of mental alertness, though 4 out of 8 trials is on the short side. However, there is a case for saying that all reaction time tests should have only one trial. If the person responds very slowly, in real life he would be dead. That is what reaction times are for. Here are the results for the two cognitive tests:

The insert above shows: female mean, male mean, t-test, probability, d (effect size), and finally the Bayes Factor showing the probability there is a sex difference. The full results for Table 2 are in the paper.

Sure enough, Table 2 shows that the cognitive tests are only an effect size of about 0.2 in favour of men. Where did all the male brain size advantage go? 0.2 of a standard deviation works out to 3 IQ points. Nothing much, you may say, considering that the test-retest reliability of the Wechsler is 4 IQ points, but if this is a true representation of male-female differences, then we can calculate what it would mean for the male/female balance at the higher levels of ability. As you may have seen in previous posts, if men are really 3 points brighter than women, and women's standard deviation is narrower than men, say 14 rather than 15 points, then this makes a big difference at the higher reaches of intelligence.

Here are the estimates, if one assumes men have an IQ of 102, (sd 15) and women an IQ of 99, (sd 14).

At IQ 130: 69.8% men
At IQ 145: 80.3% men

The authors correctly point out that the sample, though the biggest collected for scanning, may not be a perfect representation of the population at large (though I doubt this directly affects sex differences).

This is a very substantial paper. It shows a massive sex difference in brain size of 1.4 d, and when one factors in that brain size relates to intelligence at a correlation of about 0.28, then the predicted intelligence difference will be a large 0.39 d, but the observed difference is only half that. Paradoxical. One implication is that there are sex-linked differences in brain structure and dendritic arborization which overcome pure size differences. If so, how is this balancing act achieved? Why don't all people have the smaller, more craftily wired version of the human brain, which presumably requires a smaller blood supply. On the other hand, it might be that the cognitive testing has not been wide enough, and has ignored tasks in which males have an advantage. By the way, if one sex has an advantage in one skill, this is not an error of testing, it is a triumph of testing that a real difference has been revealed.

It is possible that, in a rush to ensure that men and women's mental ability scores can be presented as equal, in general men's stronger subject areas have been under-sampled. Test producers are under pressure to minimize sexual and racial differences. This may have suppressed the size of real differences. In defence of any group who think that their specialist strong points have been ignored, we should set the sampling frame for cognitive tests as wide as possible. These points do not invalidate the findings of this fine paper on brains, but they leave open the possibility that there is a small but real male advantage in intelligence which a broader scope of tests would reveal.

[May 26, 2018] Buchanan Is US Bellicosity Backfiring?

May 26, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

U.S. threats to crush Iran and North Korea may yet work, but as of now neither Tehran nor Pyongyang appears to be intimidated.

Repeated references by NSC adviser John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence to the "Libya model" for denuclearization of North Korea just helped sink the Singapore summit of President Trump and Kim Jong Un. To North Korea, the Libya model means the overthrow and murder of Libya strongman Col. Gadhafi, after he surrendered his WMD.

Wednesday, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui exploded at Pence's invocation of Libya:

"Vice-President Pence has made unbridled and impudent remarks that North Korea might end like Libya I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks.

"Whether the U.S. will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision and behavior of the United States."

Yesterday, Trump canceled the Singapore summit.

Earlier this week at the Heritage Foundation, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo laid out our Plan B for Iran in a speech that called to mind Prussian Field Marshal Karl Von Moltke.

Among Pompeo's demands:

Iran must end all support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and Hamas in Gaza, withdraw all forces under Iranian command in Syria, and disarm its Shiite militia in Iraq.

Iran must confess its past lies about a nuclear weapons program, and account publicly for all such activity back into the 20th century.

Iran must halt all enrichment of uranium, swear never to produce plutonium, shut down its heavy water reactor, open up its military bases to inspection to prove it has no secret nuclear program, and stop testing ballistic missiles.

And unless Iran submits, she will be strangled economically.

What Pompeo delivered was an ultimatum: Iran is to abandon all its allies in all Mideast wars, or face ruin and possible war with the USA.

It is hard to recall a secretary of state using the language Pompeo deployed:

"We will track down Iranian operatives and their Hezbollah proxies operating around the world and crush them. Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East."

But how can Iran "dominate" a Mideast that is home to Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt, as well as U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea and Syria?

To Iran's east is a nuclear-armed Pakistan. To its west is a nuclear-armed U.S. Fifth Fleet and a nuclear-armed Israel. Iran has no nukes, no warships to rival ours and a 1970s air force.

Yet, this U.S.-Iran confrontation, triggered by Trump's trashing of the nuclear deal and Pompeo's ultimatum, is likely to end one of three ways:

First, Tehran capitulates, which is unlikely, as President Hassan Rouhani retorted to Pompeo: "Who are you to decide for Iran and the world? We will continue our path with the support of our nation." Added Ayatollah Khamenei, "Iran's presence in the region is our strategic depth."

Second, Iran defies U.S. sanctions and continues to support its allies in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen. This would seem likely to lead to collisions and war.

Third, the U.S. could back off its maximalist demands, as Trump backed off Bolton's demand that Kim Jong Un accept the Libyan model of total and verifiable disarmament before any sanctions are lifted.

Where, then, are we headed?

While our NATO allies are incensed by Trump's threat to impose secondary sanctions if they do not re-impose sanctions on Tehran, the Europeans are likely to cave in to America's demands. For Europe to choose Iran over a U.S. that has protected Europe since the Cold War began and is an indispensable market for Europe's goods would be madness.

Vladimir Putin appears to want no part of an Iran-Israel or U.S.-Iran war and has told Bashar Assad that Russia will not be selling Damascus his S-300 air defense system. Putin has secured his bases in Syria and wants to keep them.

As for the Chinese, she will take advantage of the West's ostracism of Iran by drawing Iran closer to her own orbit.

Is there a compromise to be had?

Perhaps, for some of Pompeo's demands accord with the interests of Iran, which cannot want a war with the United States, or with Israel, which would likely lead to war with the United States.

Iran could agree to release Western prisoners, move Shiite militia in Syria away from the Golan Heights, accept verifiable restrictions on tests of longer-range missiles and establish deconfliction rules for U.S. and Iranian warships in the Persian Gulf.

Reward: aid from the West and renewed diplomatic relations with the United States.

Surely, a partial, verifiable nuclear disarmament of North Korea is preferable to war on the peninsula. And, surely, a new nuclear deal with Iran with restrictions on missiles is preferable to war in the Gulf.

Again, we cannot make the perfect the enemy of the good.

[May 26, 2018] Creative Chaos by David Lorimer

9/11 remains a problem for the legitimacy of the Neocons and the US political elite in general. But like with JFK assassination they hope to weather the storm. And not without reason. The power of MSM almost guarantee that.
Notable quotes:
"... So far as the Twin Towers are concerned, their core consisted of 287 steel columns, and steel does not begin to melt until 2,770°F, while fires caused by kerosene can only rise to around 1,700°F. The Twin Towers collapsed at virtually free fall speed, as did WTC 7, which was not hit by an aeroplane, a fact that was not even mentioned by the 9/11 Commission. ..."
"... in the view of a former NIST employee, 'reached a predetermined conclusion by ignoring, dismissing and denying the evidence.' In other words, the official account – and all the more so in the case of Building 7 with 82 steel columns – is a lie. ..."
May 26, 2018 | www.unz.com

Creative chaos is an interesting concept by itself. In modern socity persention of event is moderated by MSM and, especially TV coverage. That create Matrix style soituation, when power that be can control narrative, no matter how unscientific it is and how many hole it contain. Somebody clled the USA the "society of illusions" and that nickname reflects this reality.

Review of David Ray Griffin, Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World (Olive Branch Press, 2017, 398 pp.)
published in Paradigm Explorer: The Scientific & Medical Network (London, 2018/2)

This brilliant, meticulous and searing analysis is David Ray Griffin's most powerful and important book about 
the hegemonic foreign policy ambitions 
of US neoconservatives and the way in which 9/11 was used to pursue these Machiavellian ends. This is a book that should have been written by a mainstream investigative journalist, but David has done their work for them, which they have signally failed to do by accepting the 9/11 Commission claims and labelling those who questioned these as 'conspiracy theorists', a term originally devised by the CIA to use against their opponents when the position of plausible deniability in undercover operations was under threat. The book is widely endorsed, for instance by Professor Daniel Sheehan, who remarks that it is 'a clear and non-sensationalist presentation of the historical and scientific facts, by one of our generation's most cogent thinkers. This book should convince any honest and objective person – with a political and scientific IQ above room temperature – that we have been systematically lied to about the events of 9/11 and the American invasions in the Middle East.' Seasoned readers of this journal will recall that I have reviewed all of David's books on 9/11 – here he summarises his case in the context of the foreign-policy background, with the first part devoted to this, and the second to a concise discussion of the shortcomings of official explanations of 9/11.

The failure to prevent 9/11 attack was
 in itself a massive intelligence disaster, and may partly be explained by some of the background elaborated in this book. The aftermath of 1989 and the fall of the Soviet Union left the US in a unipolar geopolitical position and without any clear enemy. The war on terror declared in the wake of 9/11 gave rise a new enemy and justified further increases in military expenditure on 'security' grounds. During the 1990s, neoconservative thinkers had urged the US to consolidate its status as an unchallenged superpower and, where deemed necessary in terms of its strategic interests, to act unilaterally to establish a Pax Americana. This injunction was reinforced by the doctrine of American exceptionalism, only recently reiterated by the incoming Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and also espoused by John Bolton, the newly appointed National Security Adviser. As a 'benign' power, the US has the right to intervene where it sees fit; other countries such as Russia may be equally unique, but they are not 'exceptional'.

In 1997, William Kristol founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) with a call to shape this new century in a way favourable to American principles and interests. In September 2000, PNAC published a document called Rebuilding America's Defences where they advocated the use of US military supremacy to establish an empire including the whole world – hence 'the next president of the United States must increase military spending to preserve American geopolitical leadership.' This aim should be understood in the Pentagon context of achieving Full Spectrum Dominance, a policy already developed in the 1990s. Chillingly, the document reflected that the process of transformation might be a slow one in the absence of 'some catastrophic and catalysing event – like a new Pearl Harbour' – 9/11 was this event and enabled a fast track of neoconservative policies, beginning with the attack on Afghanistan that had actually been planned many months previously, and the destructive consequences of which are spelt out in detail. It should be noted that Dick Cheney has been a leading figure in the neoconservative movement, and
 it would be more accurate to describe the Bush – Cheney administration as the Cheney – Bush administration, at least in the first term.

The chapter on military spending, pre-emptive war and regime change is an eye-opener. The idea of pre-emptive-preventive war came to be known as the Bush Doctrine, elaborated in a 2002 national security strategy document with the dangerous clause that America can in self-defence 'act against such emerging threats before they are fully formed' – I will come back to this below when discussing drones. Challenging regimes hostile to US interests meant overthrowing them and replacing them, and the 2002 list ominously included Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia and Sudan. The events of the last 15 years show how dangerous it is in terms 
of unintended consequences to sow a
 wind without reaping a whirlwind: the emergence of ISIS as a result of the invasion of Iraq is just one example.

This document was written by Philip Zelikow, who would later be named the executive director of the 9/11 commission.

The next chapter is a detailed analysis of the Iraq war and the propaganda campaign of lies required to justify it, both in the 
US and the UK. David refers to meetings by Sir Richard Dearlove, head of MI6, with members of the Bush administration and CIA director George Tenet. Dearlove remarked that 'the intelligence and facts are being fixed around the policy', which was also the case in the UK with the so-called dodgy dossier. Amazingly, a 2008 report by the Centre for Public Integrity enumerates as many as 935 false statements made by members of the Bush administration
 in the two years following 9/11. David itemises a few of these with reference to weapons of mass destruction as well as biological and chemical weapons. During this time, the Joint Chiefs of Staff produced a much more cautious assessment, which was set aside. In addition, (p. 61) CIA analysts felt pressured by Dick Cheney to make their assessments fit with the Bush administration's policy objectives, which dictated the conclusions their analyses should yield. The consequences of the Iraq war are well-known and include 
an estimated 2.3 million Iraqi deaths, 4,500 American deaths and hundreds of thousands of serious injuries, including 320,000 brain injuries. As to the economic cost, this had reached $4 trillion by 2014, a devastating opportunity cost in terms of what the money might have been spent on. It should also be noted that the contract for rebuilding Iraqi infrastructure went
 to Halliburton, of which Dick Cheney
 is a major shareholder and former chief executive officer.

Space does not permit a detailed discussion of all the global chaos brought about by US interventions in the Middle East
 on the basis that it could solve all of its problems by means of military power. Chaotic collapse was regarded as a form of 'creative destruction' providing a basis for destabilising a regime and eventually removing the incumbent, especially in this geopolitically significant area for oil and gas (p. 109). David discusses Libya, showing how the same kinds of lies were used to bring about regime change there, then he moves on to Syria, where the intractable disaster is ongoing, as we all know. In addition to military factors, it may also be a case that a form of weather warfare was used (this is not suggested in the book) to help create the drought as a key destabilising factor; in either event, whether deliberate or due to climate change, the drought was significant. In Syria, out of the pre-war population of 22 million, 11% have been killed or injured, 
5 million have fled the country and a further 8 million are internally displaced. In addition, as we know, this chaos also led to the refugee crisis that precipitated the Brexit vote.

David devotes a separate chapter to
 drone warfare, posing and responding 
to a number of key questions: are drone killings acceptable? Are they de facto assassination? Do drone strikes rarely kill civilians? Are drone strikes used only when capture is impossible? Are drone strikes used only for imminent threats? Do drone strikes help defeat terrorism? Don't drones at least keep American warriors safe? There is no good case to be made for drone warfare extrajudicial killing in the name of 'self-defence'; sometimes 'signature strikes' were employed and continued on a large scale during the Obama administration. The justification is tortuous to say the 
least where 'an imminent threat of violent attack does not require the US to have clear evidence that a specific attack on US persons will take place in the immediate future' (p. 146). This is a 'more flexible' understanding of imminence which 'defines the term in a way that excludes its only actual meaning' (!).

The chapter on shredding the Constitution makes depressing reading where 'unaccountable executive power has replaced due process and the checks and balances established by the US constitution', first embodied in the Patriot Act. David systematically shows how various amendments to the Constitution have been violated: the first on freedom of speech and assembly, the fourth on security against unreasonable searches and seizures, and the fifth relating to deprivation of life, liberty or property without due process of law. In addition, torture violates the Constitution, and
 the overall result has been an undoing of democracy in the name of security – an Orwellian outcome.

After chapters on potential nuclear and ecological holocaust (the latter the subject of one of David's previous books – Unprecedented ), he moves on to a summary analysis of the events of 9/11 and its aftermath. Here he condenses the findings of his previous books to show how numerous miracles, defined as violations of the laws of nature, were necessary in order to sustain the 9/11 Commission's official explanation. He shows how the choice of Philip Zelikow as Executive Director of this supposedly impartial and independent commission was in fact an insider selection leading to a foregone structure and conclusion and tight control on individual commissioners. As early as March 2003, prior to the first meeting of the commission, Zelikow had prepared a detailed outline including chapter headings, subheadings and sub sub-headings. The pre-ordained task was to explain how the building had been brought down by fire and the impact of the airliners.

So far as the Twin Towers are concerned, their core consisted of 287 steel columns, and steel does not begin to melt until 2,770°F, while fires caused by kerosene can only rise to around 1,700°F. The Twin Towers collapsed at virtually free fall speed, as did WTC 7, which was not hit by an aeroplane, a fact that was not even mentioned by the 9/11 Commission.

The official reports on WTC 7 and the Twin Towers were provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which was an agency of the Bush-Cheney administration. Its reports are more political than scientific as it is a fact of physics that a steel frame building can only come down essentially in freefall if all the core columns are severed simultaneously by explosives – in the case of Building 7, the roofline remained virtually horizontal throughout the sudden collapse. Readers can consult comparative videos for themselves showing an example of controlled demolition compared with the destruction of Building 7. In addition, massive sections of steel columns and beams were horizontally ejected from the Twin Towers up to 650 feet, which is quite inconsistent with the vertical effects of gravitational collapse. David summarises six miracles required by the official explanation that, in the view of a former NIST employee, 'reached a predetermined conclusion by ignoring, dismissing and denying the evidence.' In other words, the official account – and all the more so in the case of Building 7 with 82 steel columns – is a lie.

In his conclusion and after further short chapters on the Pentagon attack and Mohamed Atta, David lists 15 miracles required by the official 9/11 commission explanation. He asks why mainstream media have not properly examined the evidence, and one significant factor already mentioned is the fear of being labelled a 'conspiracy theorist', implying credulity, gullibility and irrationality. In the case of David Ray Griffin, nothing could be further from the truth: his analysis is thorough and forensic. He explains how the CIA invented this conspiracy theory tactic in 1964 in the wake of the Warren Report into the Kennedy assassination. It has become a powerful and intimidating rhetorical device, especially for journalists who pride themselves on their scepticism
 and objectivity.

Rather than follow the a priori argument that no government could be evil or competent enough to cover up 9/11, David urges people to look at the empirical evidence – and if you, the reader, are feeling similarly uncomfortable, I encourage you to read this book and his other ones for yourself and to understand the logic of false flag operations that can be attributed to opponents by means of a suitable propaganda campaign. So far as 9/11 is concerned, there is a large body of informed and expert professional opinion across various disciplines that has studied the evidence and concluded that the official account is false – see also the 9/11 Consensus Panel, the results of which was soon be published in 9/11 Unmasked: A Six-Year Investigation by an International Review Panel . This book is a highly significant contribution to exposing the Big Lie of 9/11 and the neoconservative foreign policy background, and is as such a passionate plea for mainstream media exposure to put a stop to further Machiavellian ambitions for full spectrum dominance of the world.

[May 25, 2018] The Simulation of Democracy, by C.J. Hopkins - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. He can reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org . ..."
May 25, 2018 | www.unz.com

One of the most complicated and frustrating aspects of operating a global capitalist empire is maintaining the fiction that it doesn't exist. Virtually every action you take has to be carefully recontextualized or otherwise spun for public consumption. Every time you want to bomb or invade some country to further your interests, you have to mount a whole PR campaign. You can't even appoint a sadistic torture freak to run your own coup-fomenting agency, or shoot a few thousand unarmed people you've imprisoned in a de facto ghetto, without having to do a big song and dance about "defending democracy" and "democratic values."

Naked despotism is so much simpler, not to mention more emotionally gratifying. Ruling an empire as a godlike dictator means never having to say you're sorry. You can torture and kill anyone you want, and conquer and exploit whichever countries you want, without having to explain yourself to anyone. Also, you get to have your humongous likeness muraled onto the walls of buildings, make people swear allegiance to you, and all that other cool dictator stuff.

Global capitalists do not have this luxury. Generating the simulation of democracy that most Western consumers desperately need in order to be able to pretend to believe that they are not just smoothly-functioning cogs in the machinery of a murderous global empire managed by a class of obscenely wealthy and powerful international elites to whom their lives mean exactly nothing, although extremely expensive and time-consuming, is essential to maintaining their monopoly on power. Having conditioned most Westerners into believing they are "free," and not just glorified peasants with gadgets, the global capitalist ruling classes have no choice but to keep up this fiction. Without it, their empire would fall apart at the seams.

This is the devil's bargain modern capitalism made back in the 18th Century. In order to wrest power from the feudal aristocracies that had dominated the West throughout the Middle Ages, the bourgeoisie needed to sell the concept of "democracy" to the unwashed masses, who they needed both to staff their factories and, in some cases, to fight revolutionary wars, or depose and publicly guillotine monarchs. All that gobbledegook about taxes, tariffs, and the unwieldy structure of the feudal system was not the easiest sell to the peasantry. "Liberty" and "equality" went over much better. So "democracy" became their rallying cry, and, eventually, the official narrative of capitalism. The global capitalist ruling classes have been stuck with "democracy" ever since, or, more accurately, with the simulation of democracy.

The purpose of this simulation of democracy is not to generate fake democracy and pass it off as real democracy. Its purpose is to generate the concept of democracy , the only form in which democracy exists. It does this by casting a magic spell (which I'll do my best to demystify in a moment) that deceives us into perceiving the capitalist marketplace we Westerners inhabit, not as a market, but as a society. An essentially democratic society. Not a fully fledged democratic society, but a society progressing toward "democracy" which it is, and simultaneously isn't.

Obviously, life under global capitalism is more democratic than under feudal despotism, not to mention more comfortable and entertaining. Capitalism isn't "evil" or "bad." It's a machine. Its fundamental function is to eliminate any and all despotic values and replace them with a single value, i.e., exchange value, determined by the market. This despotic-value-decoding machine is what freed us from the tyranny of kings and priests, which it did by subjecting us to the tyranny of capitalists and the meaningless value of the so-called free market, wherein everything is just another commodity toothpaste, cell phones, healthcare, food, education, cosmetics, et cetera. Despite that, only an idiot would argue that capitalism is not preferable to despotism, or that it hasn't increased our measure of freedom. So, yes, we have evolved toward democracy, if we're comparing modern capitalism to medieval feudalism.

The problem is that capitalism is never going to lead to actual democracy (i.e., government by and for the people). This is never going to happen. In fact, capitalism has already reached the limits of the freedom it can safely offer us. This freedom grants us the ability to make an ever-expanding variety of choices none of which have much to do with democracy. For example, Western consumers are free to work for whatever corporation they want, and to buy whatever products they want, and to assume as much debt as the market will allow to purchase a home wherever they want, and to worship whichever gods they want (as long as they conform their behavior to the values of capitalism and not their religion), and men can transform themselves into women, and white people can deem themselves African Americans, or Native Americans, or whatever they want, and anyone can mock or insult the President or the Queen of England on Facebook and Twitter, none of which freedoms were even imaginable, much less possible, under feudal despotism.

But this is as far as our "freedom" goes. The global capitalist ruling classes are never going to allow us to govern ourselves, not in any meaningful way. In fact, since the mid-1970s, they've been systematically dismantling the framework of social democracy throughout the West, and otherwise relentlessly privatizing everything. They've been doing this more slowly in Europe, where social democracy is more entrenched, but, make no mistake, American "society" is the model for our dystopian future. The ruling classes and their debt-enslaved servants, protected from the desperate masses by squads of hyper-militarized police, medicated in their sanitized enclaves, watching Westworld on Amazon Prime as their shares in private prisons rise and the forces of democracy defend their freedom by slaughtering men, women, and children in some faraway country they can't find on a map, and would never visit on vacation anyway this is where the USA already is, and where the rest of the West is headed.

Which is why it is absolutely crucial to maintain the simulation of democracy, and the fiction that we're still living in a world where major geopolitical events are determined by sovereign nations and their leaders, rather than by global corporations and a class of supranational elites whose primary allegiance is to global capitalism, rather than to any specific nation, much less to the actual people who live there. The global capitalist ruling classes need the masses in the West to believe that they live in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and so on, and not in a global marketplace. Because, if it's all one global marketplace, with one big global labor force (which global corporations can exploit with impunity), and if it's one big global financial system (where the economies of supposed adversaries like China and the United States, or the European Union and Russia, are almost totally interdependent), then there is no United States of America, no United Kingdom, no France, no Germany or not as we're conditioned to perceive them. There is only the global capitalist empire, divided into "national" market territories, each performing slightly different administrative functions within the empire and those territories that have not yet surrendered their sovereignty and been absorbed into it. I think you know which those territories are.

But getting back to the simulation of democracy (the purpose of which is to prevent us from perceiving the world as I just suggested above), how that works is, we are all conditioned to believe we are living in these imperfect democracies, which are inexorably evolving toward "real" democracy but just haven't managed to get there quite yet. "Real" being the key word here, because there is no such thing as real democracy. There never has been, except among relatively small and homogenous groups of people. Like Baudrillard's Disneyland, "Western democracy" is presented to us as "imperfect" or "unfinished" (in other words, as a replica of "real democracy") in order to convince us that there exists such a thing as "real democracy," which we will achieve someday.

This is how simulations work. The replica does not exist to deceive us into believing it is the "real" thing. It exists to convince us that there is a "real" thing . In essence, it invokes the "real" thing by pretending to be a copy of it. Just as the images of God in church invoke the "god" of which they are copies (if only in the minds of the faithful), our imperfect replica of democracy invokes the concept of "real democracy" (which does not exist, and has never existed, beyond the level of tribes and bands).

This is, of course, ceremonial magic but then so is everything else, really. Take out a twenty dollar bill, or a twenty Euro note, or your driver's license. They are utterly valueless, except as symbols, but no less powerful for being just symbols. Or look at some supposedly solid object under an electron microscope. Try this with a tablespoon. As that bald kid in The Matrix put it, you will "realize that there is no spoon" or, rather, that there is only the spoon we've created by believing that there is a spoon.

Look, I don't mean to get all spooky. What that kid (among various others throughout history) was trying to get us to understand is that we create reality, collectively, with symbols or we allow reality to be created for us. Our collective reality is also our religion, in that we live our lives and raise our children according to its precepts and values, regardless of whatever other rituals we may or may not engage in on the weekend. Western consumers, no matter whether nominally Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, or of any other faith, live their lives and raise their children according to the values and rules of capitalism. Capitalism is our religion. Like every religion, it has a cosmology.

In the cosmology of global capitalism, "democracy" is capitalist heaven. We hear it preached about throughout our lives, we're surrounded by graven images of it, but we don't get to see it until we're dead. Attempting to storm its pearly gates, or to create the Kingdom of Democracy on Earth, is heresy, and is punishable by death. Denying its existence is blasphemy, for which the punishment is excommunication, and consignment to the City of Dis, where the lost souls shout back and forth at each other across the lower depths of the Internet, their infernal voices unheard by the faithful but, hey, don't take the word of an apostate like me. Go ahead, try it, and see what happens.

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. He can reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .


animalogic , May 23, 2018 at 2:49 pm GMT

Really good, amusing article.
Our replica of democracy is not to deceive us, but to convince us that there really IS an(unattainable) democracy. The promised land is always just beyond the horizon
SunBakedSuburb , May 23, 2018 at 5:26 pm GMT
"It does this by casting a magic spell that deceives us into perceiving the capitalist marketplace we Westerners inhabit, not as a market, but as a society."

Yes. Consumer capitalism requires illusion and MK-ULTRA programs to function.

"We create reality, collectively, with symbols "

And those symbols, often repurposed from earlier iterations like the swastika, stem from ancient sources. Maybe the structure of our reality was designed years ago.

"This is, of course, ceremonial magic but then so is everything else, really."

Yep. The narrow-focused rationalists who have degraded science into a religion will never accept that there is a sliver of magic and sorcery, originating from Kabbalistic practices, that operate as a higher level science, the mechanics of which non-initiates can't quantify.

Excellent, thought-provoking article.

Per/Norway , May 23, 2018 at 8:08 pm GMT
well written.
Speak Truth To Power , May 24, 2018 at 4:55 am GMT
I agree with much of what this columnist wrote. However this entire globalist criminal enterprise is rapidly crumbling. This is shown in the rise of patriotic/loyalist and Marxist parties in Europe and the Far Right and Far Left in the U.S. The globalist elite 0.001% empire of the banksters, crapitalists and fingerciers and their lackeys, knaves and varlets, along with their political prostitute puppets, is built on sand. These worthless cretins have loaded down every nation on earth, and especially in the West, with massive, crushing debt. Ditto for individuals and businesses. It is not sustainable. In addition they have off shored much of Western industry into Third World nations and flooded Western nations with Third World proles to hold down wages and depress living conditions. Reaction among the native Whites is building stronger by the day. At some point this volcano is going to blow. When it does all bets are off as to how much destruction will happen.

At this point the super rich and their banks and trans-national corporations can either gradually give way to democratic change and re-industrialize the West, discount all these debts, and stop this Third World invasion and begin swift repatriation of these interlopers and save much of their wealth and power or they will soon face armed revolution and civil/class/racial war in the streets. These worthless elites have fouled their own nests since they have left virtually no Western nation untouched by these triple evils of debt, immigration and de-industrialization. They either never learned the lessons of the French and Russian revolutions or believe it could not happen in the 21st Century to them. Either way it makes no difference. Globalism is crumbling and going the way of other evil isms: Fascism, Communism, Nazism, Imperialism, Colonialism, etc. Its days are numbered and the writing is on the wall. Meanwhile those nations not controlled by the Western White Collar Mafia, namely Russia and China, along with Iran and a few other Asian and Middle Eastern nations, are building up their economies and militaries and increasingly challenging the Western tyrants. We are definitely in for troubled times ahead. Always remember: Those who make peaceful change impossible, make violent change inevitable. Globalism has had its evil day and its black sun is setting. The only questions now are will it go peacefully and quietly or loudly and violently and what will replace it. I hope and pray something good and true.A new world order built that that is God and Christ and not man based with peace, prosperity, and justice for all in a natural order of things.

jilles dykstra , May 24, 2018 at 6:41 am GMT
Free movement of capital, in Europe since 1997, took away power from politicians.
The German Lafontaine made it clear.
He stated that when in Basel a German spoke to the bankers assembled there, blaming them, they clapped their hands.
One sees it in the terminology used, what in the good old days was called protectionism, a word suggesting something positive, now is trade war, definitely something bad.
It for me is the same as with privatisation of universal services, water, electricity, etc., neither privatising anything is good, also a state economy is not good, as the USSR made clear.
In the good old days in W European countries we had mixed exonomies, commercial enterprises for cars and jeans, state enterprise for electricity and public transport.
In my opinion a mixed world economy also is the best option, this means regulation of capital movement, to mention one thing.
gsjackson , May 24, 2018 at 6:43 am GMT
A little snapshot to illustrate the point. Standing in the passport control line at Newark Airport -- interminably, because of about 24 stations for checking people back in to the motherland, maybe five were manned. This was in mid-afternoon on a weekday, a time when many international flights were arriving. The wait was about an hour and a half.

While waiting, you get a superb view through the window of the Manhattan skyline, and might have occasion to think about all the swells in the financial sector whose ever-growing prosperity has sucked money not only out of the real economy of goods and services, but out of government as well, a point Michael Hudson often makes. E.g., cap those property taxes in California, but drive housing prices in California and interest rates sky high to transfer wealth out of the hands of home owners and governments, and into finance capital.

You can work yourself up into a pretty good lather thinking about this while you wait your turn at an under-funded passport control station.

renfro , May 24, 2018 at 7:37 am GMT
I would recommend this book to unz readers. I read it years ago and its basic premise becomes more observably true every year .and pertains to the US as well, something Chu didn't mention.

World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability

By Amy Chua
Category: World Politics | Economics | Management

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/27643/world-on-fire-by-amy-chua/9780385721868/

"Chua shows how in non-Western countries around the globe, free markets have concentrated starkly disproportionate wealth in the hands of a resented ethnic minority. These "market-dominant minorities" – Chinese in Southeast Asia, Croatians in the former Yugoslavia, whites in Latin America and South Africa, Indians in East Africa, Lebanese in West Africa, Jews in post-communist Russia – become objects of violent hatred.
At the same time, democracy empowers the impoverished majority, unleashing ethnic demagoguery, confiscation, and sometimes genocidal revenge."

So maybe revolutions will be the new way of managing the world,

llloyd , Website May 24, 2018 at 9:51 am GMT
@Speak Truth To Power

An ex furniture salesman, now the Prime Minister of Israel would not agree. He thinks history has ended. Jerusalem is soon to be or already is the capital of the globalist world. Hate speech laws replace the sanctity of the Monarchs and Churches with the sanctity of Israel and identity politics. His lackeys have even taken away the freedom to shop via the criminalisation of BDS. Talpiot program has turned everything into a video game. He is either a genius or a complete fool. But I hope you are right and he is wrong. Another point. Democracy real and simulated only became fashionable a hundred years ago.

Daniil Adamov , May 24, 2018 at 11:05 am GMT
That's the first I've heard of "progressing towards democracy" as a major feature of the modern Western worldview (a la USSR progressing towards communism, I suppose). No, I've encountered such ideas before among pundits, but I don't think most people in America, say, believe that they currently don't live in a democracy but will later live in a "true" democracy. That seems like a rather exotic notion outside of very narrow intellectual circles.

Also, "as long as they conform their behavior to the values of capitalism and not their religion". But people are free to conform their behaviour to the values of their religion to a large extent. They're not free to violate the laws of what you'd call capitalist society. But that is not the same as being forced to conform to its values.

Jake , May 24, 2018 at 11:14 am GMT
Another CJ Hopkins must-read.

So how long before he is imprisoned alongside Julian Assange? Truth-telling is not allowed in Globalist Democracy.

Miro23 , May 24, 2018 at 11:26 am GMT

Which is why it is absolutely crucial to maintain the simulation of democracy, and the fiction that we're still living in a world where major geopolitical events are determined by sovereign nations and their leaders, rather than by global corporations and a class of supranational elites whose primary allegiance is to global capitalism, rather than to any specific nation, much less to the actual people who live there.

But it can go wrong. The simulation was supposed to make Hillary Clinton President – but, in the event, it veered over to real Democracy and produced Trump.

Equally the Brexit vote was planned to fail – but that also turned in a real Democratic result with a majority for Brexit.

Simulated Democracy is a difficult process and it's probably due for more failures given the difficulty of controlling the modern flow of information.

Borsalino , May 24, 2018 at 11:43 am GMT
Damn, Hopkins, you nailed it!
ScientistInHiding , May 24, 2018 at 11:49 am GMT
I suppose we are all going to spend the rest of our lives listening to bitter millenials rant about the evils of capitalism. After all, they could move out of their parent's basement if the government would force the banks to forgive all their student loans.

It should be obvious by now that all forms of government eventually morph into what we see all around us today. But let's not confuse free market capitalism (which has never existed) with the aristocratic fascisms that we call "Communism" or "Democracy."

The only way to really solve the problem of government is make government irrelevant.

Ronald Thomas West , Website May 24, 2018 at 12:32 pm GMT
Well, CJ, If I were your political science professor, I'd fail your sorry ass for 'communist jargon' and 'Marxist jingoism' maybe that works fine if you're into looking for strokes when singing to the choir but it won't build alliances that accomplish anything. But maybe that's not your point, and the substance of your butt-hurt whining is about "I'm CJ Hopkins!" kinda like "I'm Rick James!"

Look dude, if you want to get down and dirty with your enemies, hit below the belt, and do it like this:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2015/11/29/whereas-the-enemy-of-your-friend-is-your-favorite-fk/

If you want to entertain, you do it like this:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2015/04/01/merge/

And like this:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2014/10/09/liberals/

^

DESERT FOX , May 24, 2018 at 12:44 pm GMT
The worlds elites have us mind controlled and financially controlled via the Zionist Fed that creates money out of thin air and then loans this money to our gov and we goyim and charge interest on this ether created money and there in lies the control for by their control over the money they control every thing.

In addition the Zionists fastened the IRS on we goyims and this IRS is a off shoot of the FED and so our money is sent to the Zionist bankers who own the FED to make sure we pay for the wars that the Zionists have arranged for we Americans and so this is a trap that has been laid by the central bankers which insures their dominance for ever and ever.

This system of control has been in existence since 1913 when the zionist bankers fastened the FED and the IRS on to the American people and the author of this article is exactly right, we are in a financial prison a prison without bars but a prison none the less.

In regards to voting as Stalin said ie it is not who votes that counts but who counts the votes.

Seamus Padraig , May 24, 2018 at 1:52 pm GMT

there is no such thing as real democracy. There never has been, except among relatively small and homogenous groups of people.

Yeah, like Sweden in the 50s.

ancient archer , May 24, 2018 at 2:05 pm GMT
Best article I have read in a long long time.
Keep it up
manorchurch , May 24, 2018 at 2:16 pm GMT
@Speak Truth To Power

These worthless cretins have loaded down every nation on earth, and especially in the West, with massive, crushing debt. Ditto for individuals and businesses. It is not sustainable.

Any given iteration of the capitalism model is unsustainable by its very nature, of course. Any capitalist instantiation is self-exhausting, as capitalism eventually transfers all wealth (or some very large fraction) to the wealthy. ALL. At that point, that instance collapses at some rate determined by its state of monetization.

But not all wealth evaporates. After a financial collapse, a new zero-point establishes at or near "true value". The capitalism model reasserts, and continues. It may be inherent to the nature of Man.

manorchurch , May 24, 2018 at 2:18 pm GMT
@Ronald Thomas West

Gee, Ron, usually you write something with some trace of substance.

TG , May 24, 2018 at 2:19 pm GMT
Well said!

'Democracy' is a scam that privatizes power, while socializing responsibility.

Reminds me of Oswald Spengler, though he is better read about than read, IMHO. From wikipedia: "Spengler asserts that democracy is simply the political weapon of money, and the media are the means through which money operates a democratic political system."

But one minor quibble: yes, for now, in the West, fake democracy is certainly better than old-style feudalism. But it doesn't have to be, and it doesn't have to stay that way. In many nominally capitalist and 'democratic' countries – like India, Bangladesh, etc. – half the population is chronically malnourished, the physical standard of living well below that of late medieval europe (!). Now that communism has been vanquished, capitalism has no need of a bargain of power for a decent standard of living, and the rich are moving towards dragging the entire world towards the Indian model of cheap-labor serfdom. Yes it can happen here.

redmudhooch , May 24, 2018 at 2:22 pm GMT
Citizens United isn't helping, brought to you by the corrupt Supreme Court. They're starting to push putting Ted Cruz in SCOTUS, that would be a huge mistake.

"Democracy" is a sham, the candidates are carefully pre-selected and promoted by the corrupt media, if that fails, the unelected delegates and super delegates can always void your vote.

This is why we only get Mitt Romneys, Clintons, Bushes, the same ol dirtbags out of millions of people.
Americans clearly want the homicidal wars to end, are the wars/occupations ending?
More Americans clearly are turning away from supporting Israel, does it matter?
Most Americans want mass immigration and illegal immigration stopped, is it stopping?

There is a petition to End the Federal Reserve scam, do any of the petitions go anywhere? Go sign it, lets find out .

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/petition-president-congress-remove-privately-owned-federal-reserve-our-central-bank

manorchurch , May 24, 2018 at 2:24 pm GMT
@Jake

So how long before he is imprisoned alongside Julian Assange? Truth-telling is not allowed in Globalist Democracy.

Long time. He circumspects skillfully. Besides, he uses a level of abstraction that few Inet denizens will understand.

Dagon Shield , May 24, 2018 at 2:37 pm GMT
The Mexican maid is the answer to our collective misery. What do I mean? Well! The white boys have given up on rebelling against the Empire (1% + 10% Jews and Whites with a small sprinkling of non-white goys) and da coloreds (Indians and Chinese) are too wrapped up in trying to prove their worth to the lost crackas while the niggas (Blacks et al) are simply too stupid to understand, let alone do anything about improving their lot. Alas, fear not! The unwelcome army of latinas from Central America, employed as caretakers will prove their worth by simply poisoning the whole perfidious lot, slowly. So, welcome to America, Guadalupe!
Justwondering , May 24, 2018 at 3:09 pm GMT
The suffocating hold that propaganda has on an uncritical public must rank as an historic coup for the ages. It is the modern version of the allegory of the cave. Simpletons are willing to die for their puppeteers in wars that serve no other purpose than to enrich their owners. But die for their masters they will. Yet there is a glaring contradiction in foreign wars and America's favorite pastime, regime change. The chances of "real" democracy, for instance, taking root in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Emirates, Egypt are virtually non-existent. Worse still, they are simply not allowed. And any other countries that steer an independent course from American hegemony will suffer consequences -- regime change, economic sanctions or direct military action. Yet it is the public sold on its exceptionalism, living in a "real" democracy (confused with rampant consumerism and hedonism) that has so utterly failed to see -- and act, on these contradictions. Although the notion of "inching" toward "real" democracy may serve to pacify the public, with the ever growing militarization of the deep police state, true democracy will simply not be allowed to flourish. It is the only credible threat to rampant capitalism. What is significant is that the lumpen proletariat firmly believe that they live in a democracy. So change is rendered redundant in such a scenario.
m___ , May 24, 2018 at 3:20 pm GMT
Best expression of capitalism, religion, democracy as a Weltanschauung.

To fuse the totalitarian, univeral concept that paires so well to 98% of the world population we suggest consumerism.

Do not take for granted that our de facto global elites, and the mercenary middle-classes have a clear understandig where they are heading. There is cognitive dissonance in idea, method and projection of their in-group opportunism. Ethics being nothing more then superior opportunism. Smart, but ailing and failing a religion. In fact the theory proves the cognitive capacity of the authors.

Wally , May 24, 2018 at 3:51 pm GMT
@Per/Norway

said:
"well written"

Seriously?

The usual Marxist strawmen in play here by Hopkins.

What Hopkins describes is not "capitalism", yet he tries to excoriate capitalism.

Wally , May 24, 2018 at 4:02 pm GMT
@llloyd

said:
"Hate speech laws "

The ongoing debunking of the sacred yet impossible '6M Jews' is what is really driving so called "hate speech laws". What your told is merely the pretext.

Below is where free speech on the impossible 'holocaust' storyline is illegal, violators go to prison for Thought Crimes.
An obvious admission that the storyline doesn't stand up to scientific, logical, & rational scrutiny.
And coming to your neighborhood.

discussion: https://forum.codoh.com/download/file.php?id=1858

Why is this happening you ask:

The 'holocaust' storyline is one of the most easily debunked narratives ever contrived. That is why those who question it are arrested and persecuted. That is why violent, racist, & privileged Jewish supremacists demand censorship. What sort of truth is it that denies free speech and the freedom to seek the truth? Truth needs no protection from scrutiny.

Only liars demand censorship.

http://www.codoh.com

manorchurch , May 24, 2018 at 4:04 pm GMT
@Wally

What Hopkins describes is not "capitalism", yet he tries to excoriate capitalism.

True, but that's what the elites call it.

Stop complaining about terminology. You are so whiny.

densa , May 24, 2018 at 4:11 pm GMT
This is an elegant fleshing out of fashionable despair. Yes, self-rule is a myth. What does Hopkins recommend to replace it with? Is the aspiration of a democratic republic the problem, or is it money, media, and the subversion of power?

As flawed as our belief in democracy is, I haven't heard the better alternative. Just as some say we must go to Mars because we are destroying earth, I think we should take care of this earth as repairing and caring for it might be within our means. Instead of throwing democracy out, we should try and make it work.

For example, been reading about the rise of antibiotic resistant germs and industrial farming. The problem was long known, but there was no political will to do anything about it because the industry could lobby and also control regulators. In theory, the government worked for the greater good of all the people, but in practice it auctions us all to special interest.

Capitalists defend the current system by saying it's not really capitalism. Well, whatever it is, it came about because democracy was not actual but rather an ongoing auction of national interest to special interest.

It's a good article and makes a good case, but you will have to wait just a bit longer until us believers die off as you will not pry this democracy, our heritage and our best chance, from my cold hands.

bjondo , May 24, 2018 at 5:24 pm GMT
@gsjackson

similar experience coming through Atlanta.
Want to create jobs? Coulda created 50 there. At least. And prevented missed flight connections. Obama time.

Wally , May 24, 2018 at 6:02 pm GMT
@manorchurch

Oh yeah, you're another whining Zionist who has been demolished by my 'holocaust' debunking information. Hurts don't it?

Your projection is noted. LOL

"If you can't say what you mean, then you can't mean what you say".

http://www.codoh.com

AaronB , May 24, 2018 at 6:11 pm GMT
I shall proudly call myself an idiot then, as I believe capitalism and democracy are both bad.

The only system capable of inspiring passion and loyalty is some form of feudalism – personal loyalty to a lord is a beautiful thing, noblesse oblige a beautiful thing, sacred kingship is a beautiful thing, the tradition of beautiful craftsmanship that arises when economic considerations are not uppermost is a beautiful thing, the standards of excellence that are natural to a system that recognizes hierarchy and inequality is a beautiful thing.

I also think personal freedom, and tolerance for eccentricity is far greater when the social system is firmly grounded. In a democracy where nothing is secure conformity of opinion and personality become urgent – to maintain even minimum stability.

Japan has retained elements of feudalism to this day yet is economically far more egalitarian than America – because when economics is the sole standard of value, the ambitious will gather all wealth into their hands.

Seeing the Japanese bow to each other – such a beautiful gesture.

Ronald Thomas West , Website May 24, 2018 at 6:14 pm GMT
@manorchurch

Yeah, I suppose I could have half tried but the self-righteous indignation (tone) puts me off. It's like Tom Englehardt, get people all tied up in some hopeless, helpless outrage that accomplishes precisely nothing, no solutions, no pointing to a direction that might get something done. In any case CJ is in Berlin but I bet he wouldn't give a New York second's thought to risking his butt and work to put the German politicians nuts in a vise, but Hey! you never know, here's his chance, he can promote this:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2018/04/08/open-letter-to-die-linke/

Of my five years exile in Germany, two of those years were in Berlin and I can assure you the German political animal is an authentic coward, and Gregor Gysi of Die Linke is no exception, he'd go after CJ before he'd go after the NATO war criminals is my best bet. Maybe CJ has the balls to risk it?

Backwoods Bob , May 24, 2018 at 6:53 pm GMT
Marxist twaddle about "democracy", lol. As if the founders didn't warn us so strenuously about the tyranny of the majority.

Our government was formed not so that we could vote on what I am allowed to eat, but so that others would have no say in it.

The centralization of power and conformity across previously sovereign states now prohibits people from voting with their feet. The globalists are the next extension of the same tyranny.

We don't have limited governments and free markets. We have big brother government and a captured regulatory apparatus ensuring only large corporations can survive. Regulatory law is nowhere in the constitution and they dictate over subjects also not in the constitution.

I knew it was over when the US electorate was swooned over Iraqis having purple fingers voting "secret ballots". The candidates names were secret. But all you need to tell the sheeple is that they voted.

This piece is typical Marxist sleight of hand. To have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, you limit what the government can do. Then you have liberty. Self-rule.

exiled off mainstreet , May 24, 2018 at 7:02 pm GMT
Mr. Hopkins' article is an effective, accurate description of why and how things have declined into a sort of soft fascism during the last 40 years or so in particular.
The Scalpel , Website May 24, 2018 at 7:24 pm GMT
@Ronald Thomas West

If you want to hijack someone else's article for the purpose of shameless self-promotion, do it like Ronald Thomas West lol.

The Scalpel , Website May 24, 2018 at 7:28 pm GMT
Democracy can easily be done on the individual level. There are plenty of resources for this. I am not my brother's keeper anyway. don't tell me there is no democracy – just people who want others to give it to them. Go all Thoreau on the world. Go off the grid, or Alaska, or an island somewhere. Democracy is not for pansies.
manorchurch , May 24, 2018 at 7:40 pm GMT
@Ronald Thomas West

no solutions, no pointing to a direction that might get something done

Preceding "solution" is description, and descriptive explanation. The article is not intended as a set of solutions. It is a description and explanation.

Perhaps you have an axe to grind. Not my problem

HPLCguru , Website May 24, 2018 at 7:43 pm GMT
Excellent article with much needed humor. We no longer have a word for an economic system that supports human life. Hunting and gathering was early agriculture. Moving some rocks and dirt out of the way to get some obsidian was mining. Knocking rocks against the obsidian was early manufacturing. The excess from farms, mines and factories is what WAS called capital. We are supposed to believe that a farmer can't plant a seed without a loan! We are in the last stages of financialism. Since the word capitalism is useless how about "real stuffism"? I'm a physical scientist and I can guarantee that math and the physical world always ends financialism.
manorchurch , May 24, 2018 at 7:43 pm GMT
@Backwoods Bob

This piece is typical Marxist sleight of hand.

That line got me to laughing a lot harder than the rest of your bullshit, so I had to stop reading. Your comments are now relegated to the "Duuuuuuuhhhhhh .MARXISM!!!" bin.

Ronald Thomas West , Website May 24, 2018 at 8:36 pm GMT
@The Scalpel

Thanks for the promotion, here's one for CJ's 'democracy'

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2013/05/19/maison-de-lhistoire-de-france/

^

Cheery Bint , May 24, 2018 at 10:05 pm GMT
You could open up the scope of this post's valid point and say that it's not just democracy that's simulated here. Rights and rule of law are simulated too. Democracy, fetishized though it is, in degenerate ritual form, is a very small part of rights and rule of law (specifically, ICCPR Article 25, one article of one of nine core human rights instruments or about 100 total instruments in world-standard customary and conventional international law. http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/UniversalHumanRightsInstruments.aspx )

Here's CIA telling you how the world works now.

https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/deep-state-swamp-monster-says-there-is-no-deep-state-f4c944e21533

This exchange is a really good catch. Latching on to the term deep state allows CIA to bat away a puffball question that avoids the real question. Their scripted answer to the scripted easy question: employees 'aimed at' the president's objectives and Amerca's objectives. This is clever first of all because it says objectives and not orders. It's a weaker formulation that the Pike-Committee era line, CIA works for the president. CIA is trying to evade the US commitment to command responsibility in the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture. Secondly, the DCI purports to interpret the president's objectives and proclaim America's objectives. Used to be State or NSC did that, subject to presidential directives or decision documents. Pompeo says CIA works for him. We're at the point Frank Zappa told us to expect: CIA's removing the stage set so we're sitting looking at the brick wall. Pompeo's telling you that CIA's in charge.

The hard question is: Does CIA have impunity in municipal law? The answer is yes, of course it does. It's there in black and white in the Central Intelligence Agency Act, the Houston memo, the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, the operational files exemption, and the political questions doctrine. If the DCI had no impunity the new DCI would be in prison. CIA is obligated to prosecute or extradite its torturers and murderers. Na ga happen. CIA has the arbitrary life-and-death power of a totalitarian state. CIA is beyond criminal. Its arbitrary suspension of non-derogable rights and jus cogens says, Law? Fuck law.

Miro23 , May 24, 2018 at 10:57 pm GMT
I agree that the US is the ultimate expression of materialism.

The original Pilgrim Fathers were looking for religious freedom, but later waves of immigrants came for economic opportunity, and the US was the first place that "Citizens" morphed into "Consumers".

Congressmen are bought and sold, and they're probably OK with that, along the lines that their vote has value, and they'll support whoever bids the highest (which isn't the electors back home).

Like AaronB says, the US (and West in general) has no spiritual foundation, and is just a cynical game of exploitation and corruption pretending to be "Democratic" . Real Democracy does exist, but it's not something that Americans would want to be involved with – it requires a high level of personal commitment and responsibility (probably obligatory), regular local public meetings, investment in studying issues, and the primacy of local decision making and voting over Federal power ( i.e. power residing at the lowest level possible – which in the US would be the County and State). In other words it's hard and time consuming work.

To take a parallel, the late Roman Empire was also a sink of absolute corruption and self interest that couldn't defend its frontiers and finally collapsed, first socially, then economically.

The spiritual Phoenix that rose out of its ashes was Christianity, with the barbarian invaders converting and building Christendom in Europe (Rome) and also in the Middle East (Byzantium). The early Christian communities in the Late Roman Empire were heavily persecuted but still recognized for their high level of morality, work ethic and "respectability", and in its last days (too late), the Empire actually adopted to Christianity through the conversion of Constantine.

A good but difficult source is Robin Lane Fox's "Pagans and Christians" https://www.amazon.com/PAGANS-CHRISTIANS-Robin-Lane-Fox/dp/0394554957/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1527202127&sr=1-2&keywords=pagans+christians+lane+fox

Stonehands , May 24, 2018 at 11:01 pm GMT
@ScientistInHiding

It should be obvious by now that all forms of government eventually morph into what we see all around us today. But let's not confuse free market capitalism (which has never existed) with the aristocratic fascisms that we call "Communism" or "Democracy."

You are on the right path, good observations.

Thinking people are aware of the fact that Moderns have permission not freedom.

Realist , May 24, 2018 at 11:09 pm GMT
@Speak Truth To Power

Sadly your scenario is probably not viable.
A dream of the pipe variety.

Realist , May 24, 2018 at 11:12 pm GMT
Great article.
Stonehands , May 24, 2018 at 11:52 pm GMT
@manorchurch

Peckerwood you are a fine specimen of American Communism. Where were you indoctrinated- Columbia University or the New School?

76239 , Website May 25, 2018 at 12:53 am GMT
What a surprise another commie writer on economic issues on Unz! These economic pos articles resemble what you read in the NY times. Sheesh.

"Western consumers are free to buy whatever products they want"

Pure crap. Depending on the state you live in, think for a moment of all the restrictions, taxes and permission you must go through to own a car, buy gass, freon, herbicide. Pharmacy products, illegal drugs guns etc. A list a mile long. Anyone who describes the USA as a free market is plain wrong and has no idea about the problems we face.

Liberty and the free market are not part of the problem. They are part of the solution.

Switzerland, Singapore, and old Hong Kong to name a few examples are some of the wealthiest in the world because of low to no taxes and max economic freedom. Two of the three were crushed by ww2. Came back stronger than ever in 40 yrs or so.

manorchurch , May 25, 2018 at 1:17 am GMT
@Stonehands

Peckerwood you are a fine specimen of American Communism.

Pecker-putty, fuck off. You wouldn't know commanizm if it bit you in the ass.

Wally , May 25, 2018 at 1:21 am GMT
@AaronB

You won't see the Japanese opening their borders to low IQ illegal immigrants.

Ilya G Poimandres , May 25, 2018 at 2:00 am GMT
You only discuss democracy as some monolithic idea, with some idealised notion that 'real' democracy can only be tribal or small scale. This is not true.

Representative democracy = evolutionary autocracy and the right to shout. Laws and regulations, being made by representatives – and only representatives – remain purely autocratic in their creation and destruction.

Direct democracy – those tribes. Doesn't work for a society that has a huge population and needs a 'directing mind' as Aurelius likened the individuals' equivalent.

Semi-direct democracy – a combination of the power to create or strike law by both representatives (elected or selected), and the electorate. Switzerland has it (to a degree because of its media, just check the June 10th banking referendum propaganda machine), China approximates it because it polls its population on every level, decision and preference.

At the very least, the electorate should have power to strike laws made by representatives and rescind previously struck laws by representatives. This is only fair – people should have a process for declaring directly what laws they want to abide by. Representatives may not like it, but society is society, it should be able to make these choices, for good or bad.

Representative democracy – democracy in the spirit of the law, and autocracy in the letter of the law – is for the most part an autocracy, with a progressive dumbing down, frustration, and marginalisation of the electorate due to their practical lack of true power to change society.

Then there's the question of education and media, as you need a smart and well informed public with semi-direct much more than with representative. And preferably constitutionally enforced armed military neutrality, as herd behaviour often tends to violence.

Finally – revolutionary democracy: revolts against systems can often be democratic, if bloody, so build an effective system that considers the opinions and worries of the masses.

willieskull68 , May 25, 2018 at 2:02 am GMT
Three sentences and I was done; and a play wright living in Berlin. Berrrrlin Dude, lets do some history, Socialism sucks. But I do agree that my vote has been diluted to zero, by design.
Biff , May 25, 2018 at 2:45 am GMT
@Speak Truth To Power

A new world order built that that is God and Christ

Been there, done that, and it sucked! Anymore dumb ideas?

[May 25, 2018] Democracy as a hologram generated by neoliberal state machine by C.J. Hopkins

Democracy s a hologram -- interesting concept ;-)
May 25, 2018 | www.unz.com

One of the most complicated and frustrating aspects of operating a global capitalist empire is maintaining the fiction that it doesn't exist. Virtually every action you take has to be carefully recontextualized or otherwise spun for public consumption. Every time you want to bomb or invade some country to further your interests, you have to mount a whole PR campaign. You can't even appoint a sadistic torture freak to run your own coup-fomenting agency, or shoot a few thousand unarmed people you've imprisoned in a de facto ghetto, without having to do a big song and dance about "defending democracy" and "democratic values."

Naked despotism is so much simpler, not to mention more emotionally gratifying. Ruling an empire as a godlike dictator means never having to say you're sorry. You can torture and kill anyone you want, and conquer and exploit whichever countries you want, without having to explain yourself to anyone. Also, you get to have your humongous likeness muraled onto the walls of buildings, make people swear allegiance to you, and all that other cool dictator stuff.

Global capitalists do not have this luxury. Generating the simulation of democracy that most Western consumers desperately need in order to be able to pretend to believe that they are not just smoothly-functioning cogs in the machinery of a murderous global empire managed by a class of obscenely wealthy and powerful international elites to whom their lives mean exactly nothing, although extremely expensive and time-consuming, is essential to maintaining their monopoly on power. Having conditioned most Westerners into believing they are "free," and not just glorified peasants with gadgets, the global capitalist ruling classes have no choice but to keep up this fiction. Without it, their empire would fall apart at the seams.

... ... ...

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. He can reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .

[May 25, 2018] How John Bolton Sabotaged The North Korea Talks

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
May 25, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Since the very first summit talk National Security Advisor John Bolton set impossibly high expectations for the results. Trump fell for it.

The various 'hostile statements' go back to remarks by Bolton who has for some time compared disarmament of North Korea to Libya. On April 29 Bolton again asserted that the 'complete de-nuclearization' of North Korea would follow the 'Libya model'. North Korea never really offered to 'de-nuclearize'. It rejects the 'Libya model' for two reasons:

North Korea pushed back against the Bolton statement. On May 16 the White House made amends by not endorsing what Bolton said :

Referring to the Libya comparison, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday that she hadn't "seen that as part of any discussions so I'm not aware that that's a model that we're using.

"I haven't seen that that's a specific thing. I know that that comment was made. There's not a cookie cutter model on how this would work."

But a day later Donald Trump was asked about the Libya comparison and he seemed to agree with it:

"The model, if you look at that model with Gaddafi, that was a total decimation . We went in there to beat him. Now that model would take place if we don't make a deal , most likely. But if we make a deal, I think Kim Jong-un is going to be very, very happy."

We called that the 'art of the mafia deal': "Sign here or we will kill you." Signing under threat is something North Korea will never do.

The U.S. media played down Trump's talk as somewhat off-the-cuff. North Korea did not react to it. The summit train was still on track.

But on May 21 Vice President Pence revived the issue in an interview with Fox News :

PENCE: We really hope that Kim Jong-un will seize the opportunity to dismantle his nuclear weapons program and do so by peaceable means. You know, there were some talk about the Libya model last week. And you know, as the president made clear, you know, this will only end like the Libya Model ended if Kim Jong-un doesn't make a deal .

MACCALLUM: Some people saw that as a threat.

PENCE: Well, I think it's more of a fact. President Trump made it clear the United States of America under his leadership is not going to tolerate the regime in North Korea possessing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles that threaten the United States and our allies. We've made it clear that we are continuing to bring economic and diplomatic pressure to bear on North Korea that all options are on the table to achieve that end .

It was clear from the beginning that North Korea would not negotiate a complete de-nuclearization and would not talk while under such a threat. As the Washington Post noted: The more Pence and Trump say 'Libya,' the angrier North Korea gets .

The continuation of the Libya comparison was now a tactic to avoid the little prepared summit talks while blaming North Korea for the failure.


Ace Hanlon , May 24, 2018 12:10:40 PM | 1

possible silver lining? will continued Korea tensions make it harder for US to deploy military assets against Iran?
karlof1 , May 24, 2018 12:26:40 PM | 3
Propaganda System says summit cancelled because of DPRK's "aggressive talk." Well, it's very clear that all the "aggressive talk" came from the Outlaw US Empire, making Trump's letter a fraud despite its authenticity.

As for JCPOA, yesterday I provided this link to Khamenei's "conditions" to EU for Iran to remain within JCPOA. Today, Khamenei has tweeted a listing of his "Experiences from the #JCPOA for decisions to make today and in the future" with point #2 being the most important as it goes to the root of the impasse existing between the Islamic Republic and the Outlaw US Empire.

psychohistorian , May 24, 2018 12:34:52 PM | 6
I am going to disagree with your projected outcome b while thanking you again for such fine reporting.

I project the reunification of North and South Korea as a result of this latest "throw America under the bus" move by the plutocrat "Apprentice" Trump.

It is sad to comment that we are watching our species "leadership" battle about who will be in charge and no time is spent on discussing what sort of future might be best for humanity..........sigh

dh , May 24, 2018 12:40:22 PM | 7
The last paragraph in that letter is a jewel of Trumpspeak.

"If you change your mind having to do with this important summit do not hesitate to call me or write....."

Didn't Trump just change his mind?

Christian Chuba , May 24, 2018 12:54:02 PM | 9
Now even more aggression against Iran ...

This may seem counter-intuitive but the crazies will say that it is more imperative than ever to stop Iran before they get nuclear armed ICBM's from N. Korea or help N. Korea build nuclear ICBM's. I've already heard this crazy talk on FOX and the FDD brigades.

Can't wait to hear Sean Hannity bray ... 'appeasement doesn't work, Trump is Winston Churchill. It's all Bill Clinton's fault.'

Mike Maloney , May 24, 2018 1:08:45 PM | 14
Trump suffered two big losses this week: 1) he got rolled by the Chinese in trade negotiations, and 2) he won't take home a Nobel to Trump Tower.

Trump won a very narrow election because he was going to bring jobs back, and he wasn't going to fight any stupid wars.

Now he's painted himself into a corner where his only options are war: a trade war with China or, as jawbone speculates, a jailhouse scenario where Trump targets the weakest opponent. I think he's cooked.

Red Ryder , May 24, 2018 1:09:52 PM | 15
US/Trump gain several levers in this cancellation.
With the Trade Talks w/China going nowhere, they get to use sanctions hard against China. The excuse will be North Korea. Banking and commodities moving again to N.K. will be the excuse.

This gains leverage for Trade Talks.

Also, South China Sea, requires the forceful presence of the QUAD navies. To bring them into SCS and ECS to show Maximum Force to Pyongyang also is leverage against China.

It whips up Japan, India and Australia to a froth against China's naval power.

So, Trump gains useful tools to look like the Hegemon he is.

Parity with Kim was a big problem in Singapore meeting. Trump never wants parity. He always wants dominance.
One reason why he doesn't want to sit with Putin as equals.

There's always a lot more to any of these "events".

China, Eurasia and Russia are the game for the Hegemon. North Korea is just a sector on the GO board.

dh-mtl , May 24, 2018 1:29:41 PM | 16
It was clear from the start that the 'Globalist/Deep State' wanted nothing to do with this summit. The U.S. presence on the Korean Peninsula depends on a permanent state of war.

However the damage may already be done. The U.S. now clarifies its role as being at the root of the problem, not the solution.

It will be interesting to see if the U.S. will be able to maintain its control over South Korea, or will South Korea begin to move closer to the Multi-polar World Order.

Mike Maloney , May 24, 2018 1:30:23 PM | 17
Red Ryder @ 16: You assume that Trump enjoys Putin-like levels of support domestically. He does not. Yes, now he can ratchet things up now against China. But eventually the pain must come home, and the U.S. population has very little capacity to endure pain, and certainly not on behalf of political leadership engaged in brinkmanship.

Trump is cooked.

Robert Snefjella , May 24, 2018 2:00:27 PM | 22 Circe , May 24, 2018 2:17:46 PM | 23
1.How John Bolton Sabotaged The North Korea Talks
Trump is fully responsible for this outcome. Trump hired Bolton and has been itching to have him on board since day one. Trump put a hawk like Pompeo at State. Trump thinks he can bully everyone into submission and he used the Libya model to threaten Kim if he doesn't agree to de-nuclearize. Trump has shown all his full Neocon colors, soliciting Neocons to boost his poll numbers by declaring Jerusalem capital of Israel and destroying the JCPOA and then threatening the EU to submit to this disastrous decision, and since his polls numbers are rising. Trump is a thug and a fraud so quit treating him like he's a man-baby in baby pants who still doesn't know any better. It's all intentional and was planned from the start with his Zionist financiers.
2.Giving up its nuclear capabilities would be suicidal as the U.S. will not honor any security guarantees it might give in exchange. Trump proved such when he canceled the JCPOA deal with Iran.

Did you think that maybe, just maybe when Trump realized Kim was playing hardball and would not cower to de-nuclearization; he turned on the fake outrage to postpone, yes postpone the summit because there would be no way that he could justify giving NK a deal that was more lenient and weaker than the JCPOA? I've been writing, that upon recognizing that Kim is no pushover, Trump would find an excuse to save face; a way to slither out of this, so he could justify the irrational demands being exacted against Iran.

3.The U.S. media played down Trump's talk as somewhat off-the-cuff. North Korea did not react to it. The summit train was still on track.

NO it wasn't still on track. North Korea had already given the U.S. the shut out and channels of comm. were cut after Max Thunder military exercises offended and humiliated Kim who had just recently made the gesture of releasing of releasing 3 U.S. prisoners.

The U.S. was already shut out and NKn officials incommunicado and the WH was keeping this under wraps. So, to save face, Trump used NKs reaction to the Pence comments to postpone while he still had a chance to posture strength.

Trump has no clue how to operate in good faith and respect because he's a thug, an egotistical opportunist and a blowhard and has surrounded himself with Neocon birds of a feather that he chose deliberately thinking that he could bully Kim into submission and then claim the Nobel Prize for himself when really all the rapprochement diplomacy was initiated by Kim around the Olympics and then through subsequent gestures towards Moon.

Trump is getting a well-deserved schooling from young Kim.

Den Lille Abe , May 24, 2018 2:33:05 PM | 24
It was to be expected. Never trust the US. It is all just a theater, as it was withh Hussein an Qaddafi and others before them. The Evil Empire will not budge.
The Evil Empire needs a "color revolution", methinks. So we will just fund some outlying "LEGAL" radical group, :) , free speech and all, you know like the IRA back in the day, just fund them. They will find they way.
Kalen , May 24, 2018 2:35:51 PM | 25
Majority of South Koreans see unified nuclear Korea as strongly stabilizing politically and militarily factor in the region.

Yes, SK does not trust US that ignores openly returning of Japanese militarism while Japanese are capable of building 100 nukes in 9-12 months while missiles threatening Koreans they already have.

Both Koreans want nukes as guarantee that Japanese occupation and Chinese influence will never happen again.

Of course blinded globalists do not want to see it in DC as much as in Beijing or Moscow.

Trailer Trash , May 24, 2018 3:59:25 PM | 36
Posted by: Den Lille Abe 24
The Evil Empire needs a "color revolution", methinks.

It will never happen. Fifty years ago Uncle Sam learned how to crush all resistance movements. Here in Uncle Sam Land we are living with the results: a militarized police state where folks are regularly gunned down for failure to instantly obey police commands. Even obeying their commands can still result in death.

Police gun down three civilians a day. Every day. Three hundred and sixty-five days a year. When the police strap on their gun belt at the beginning of each duty shift, they are confirming their willingness to gun down a civilian on a moment's notice. Not even the military does that - they train to kill combatants, not civilians. Yes their definition of "combatant" is very loose, but they still claim most of the dead are "combatants". Not so the police.

Anything that has even a *hint* of being a potential movement is co-opted or crushed, like the "Occupy Movement" a few years ago. Instead of a non-violent revolution there will be more repression, more police murder, and more suffering as the empire continues to decay from the incompetence, greed, and corruption of Our Dear Leaders.

I'm not sad to be closer to the end of my life than to the beginning. The near-term future looks to be very, very grim indeed.

gepay , May 24, 2018 4:17:56 PM | 40
The very real possibility of China carrying through on its statement that it would not help N Korea if it initiated hostilities but would come to N Korea's aid if it was attacked make a war in Korea unlikely. Israel really wants the US to go to war with Iran. It almost succeeded in 2006 with Bush junior in office. The realists in the US military know that war with Iran would be a no-win contest. That doesn't mean it won't happen. However, Hezbollah is still in Lebanon and Syria has won its war against the jihadis although many more will die before its over. So unless Israel can manipulate a unilateral US attack on Iran it won't happen in the near future. When the inevitable next economic downturn happens (which will be worse than 2008 because they really didn't fix anything but just created 10s of trillions of dollars to kick the can down the road - this coming downturn will be worse) the war needed to keep control will happen. That leaves Venezuela. It's nearby. It has oil. The Venezuelan military will be a slam dunk for the US military. I can remember Grenada and Panama.
Red Ryder , May 24, 2018 4:29:14 PM | 41
#17

The public counts for nothing in Hegemonic policy. 17 years of war in Afghanistan is meaningless to the voter. Trillions missing, 11 T, 20 T. is nothing. They only care about their wallet, their stomach and today's Latte.

This move was to disrupt Moon's influence, to separate (again and forever) the South and the North, and to leverage against China.

You can judge American domestic sensibilities as integral to this policy, but I think you are really off base.

Hegemony is Empire. And the citizens of the Empire enjoy security at all costs. They have given their privacy to the Deep State, their jobs to Global Liberalism, their children to drugs (legaliziation is universal) and just want a Latte in the a.m. and the blue pill to get hard.

Most males are neutered. The Army is Volunteer. They fear nothing but random terror or psychotic events or false flag violence.

But they could care less if Trump nukes Pyongyang and Teheran in the same day.

Cooked? The enemies of Empire are cooked, and the dolts called voters are cooked.

Pft , May 24, 2018 6:24:59 PM | 57
US and its European/British commonwealth vassal states do not want peace. It wants perpetual war and conflict. Nothing new here

We are in the calm before the storm. Events in June will keep b awful busy me thinks. Just a feeling. Hope I am wrong.

Robert Snefjella , May 24, 2018 7:17:26 PM | 62
South Korea has over 20 nuclear reactors and has re-evaluated its nuclear enthusiasm after the Fukushima catastrophe involving primarily four reactors. Japan has over 50 reactors, most idle since Fukushima. But these reactors whether operating or not have also left a legacy of large amounts of highly radioactive materials, for example spent fuel pools.

Japan has attempted to cleanup its contaminated environment, and one of the highly visible results is tens of millions of large plastic bags containing radioactive material.

Much of the radioactive material from Fukushima ended up in the North Pacific Ocean, and much has been deposited around Earth. The North Pacific Ocean coincidentally over the last few years has experienced unprecedented loss of life.

A real war in the region, even without involvement of nuclear weapons, would have the potential to create a global scale nuclear catastrophe, among other terrible results.

So for this, as well as other reasons, there is an enormous incentive for all the countries in the area to find peaceful solutions.

The problem is, as often noted, that the US has a war habit, a war dependence, and a war 'belief system'; simultaneously, a declining military and financial Empire to hang onto. They also have an elite and deep state with deeply pathological characteristics. And they are at a seeming 'safe' distance from the Koreas etc. So the horrific remains a possibility.

One of the great problems with the 'Russia did it' crazy-dishonest meme, and the Ukraine coup, is that it is now difficult for the Americans to have any kind of sensible dialogue with Russia, let alone one that Russia could trust. And by making China into the 'next big enemy' an adult type dialogue is again made near impossible.

Curtis , May 24, 2018 7:46:54 PM | 67
Mike Maloney 17
The US support for foreign wars has dropped a bit. TPTB don't care. If they can't get support, they'll take a lack of protest. It's boots on the ground that gets attention. And the media is on board with either keeping things like Libya below the public radar or only one-sided viewpoints as with Syria.

Circe 23
I tend to agree that it's not Bolton wagging the tail (Trump). But it is back to birds of a feather. Trump brought him in of his own accord. It's like the way the media portrayed Obama as being on the fence for wars with the usual suspects (Hillary, Kerry, Power, Rice) pushing for war. Whether Obama, Bush, or Trump, Harry Truman was right that the "buck stops here" (the President's desk).

Ron Paul's video headline says "Trump yields to Bolton" but in the video they admit it was Trump who brought in Bolton.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHywLqNz7uw

karlof1 , May 24, 2018 7:51:56 PM | 68
Putin and Russian Senators on Summit cancelation . Their observations are similar to those expressed by us Barflies. None seemed surprised by Trump's backing out.
Yeah, Right , May 24, 2018 8:18:19 PM | 71
Has anyone considered that this is simple a face-saving exercise from both sides?

As in: both sides have understood that the chasm between them is much too wide to warrant a top-level summit and, therefore, that meeting should be delayed until there is at least *some* prospect of something coming from it.

I mean, the idea that Trump can be offended by belligerent rhetoric is, well, it's pretty outlandish, don't ya' think?

And, after all, despite the "suddenness" of Kim and Moon meeting on the DMZ line, it bears mention that when Kim did step over the line there was - surprise! surprise! - a pre-prepared document just waiting for both of them to sign.

Debsisdead , May 24, 2018 8:28:25 PM | 72
As I said earlier in another thread before this one went up, the prevailing emotion that drove the orange incompetent to tip over the card table and deny the chance of cutting a deal with North Korea, has nothing to do with paper tiger Bolton's aggression and everything to do with Trump's lack of spine - cowardice in short.

Last weekend the NYT ran a story highlighting the chaotic manner that trumpist 'negotiators' aka sunkist fell into when attempting to do a trade deal with China. This was a 'home' match conducted on amerikan soil where there could be no problem with screwy communications being intercepted yet still orangekist failed to present a unified front - chiefly because trump had provided no leadership about negotiation priorities - how could he? Trump remains ignorant of the nuts and bolts inner workings of the policy positions that he trumpets should be adopted.
In the middle of high level talks with China the two lead amerikan negotiators have to step outside for a quick blue. Coats didn't come off but the cursing out of each other could be heard back in Beijing without any reliance on 'new tech'. What a joke. Now the other side were free to run a wedge play and get what they needed.

I apolgise to those who cannot get past the nyt paywall, I only lucked in/out because I never read the f##kin' rag any more.
I was wised up to orange negotiating incompetence by this article Trump Has No Idea How Diplomatic Deals Work at FPdotcom. In it a former oblamblam era negotiator outlines the screwups which orangekist idiots make:

Based on these experiences, what was stunning to learn about the China trade negotiations was how at every step of the way, U.S. President Donald Trump's economic team did precisely the wrong the thing. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Director of Trade and Industrial Policy Peter Navarro, Chief Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross executed a textbook case study in how to not conduct international negotiations.

yep the writer one Ilan Goldenberg is likely a dem partisan and maybe even a liberal interventionist zionist to boot, but he/she does set out a cogent set of reason about how orangekist screwed the pooch listed under three main hedings which detail exactly how orangekist destroyed any chance of a viable outcome. They are elementary school mistakes in negotiating but sunkist made them:
Failure to prepare
Leaking sensitive negotiating positions
Circular firing squad

The NYT on the other hand in typical pseudo-intellectual bitchy style it uses concentrates on the gossip around last week's summit that led to the collapse of negotiation. The NYT kicked off with:

"On Friday, Mr. Trump's chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, told reporters that China had offered to reduce its trade surplus with the United States by $200 billion. Two days later, he said that the number was merely a "rough ballpark estimate," and that the two countries never expected to reach an agreement and merely planned to issue a statement laying out next steps.

It was a muddled end to a chaotic process -- one that revealed an American team riven by conflicts over tactics and policy, working for a president eager for a victory but torn by his desire to have a smooth summit meeting next month with North Korea, over which China wields enormous influence."

Yep so what? Given that both these publications are like user manuals for empire, who reads 'em except as a somewhat amusing way to see the collapse of amerika Inc. Certainly not me, or most readers at MoA I imagine, but the idjits of pennsylvania ave have lived and died on the NYT since they first nutured their megalomania. Being taken apart so publically hurt everyone on the sunkist team sure, but Trump couldn't a flying F*ck bout that. However it also made him look like a prize goose hanging around the oval office waiting to be cooked.

trump has become what he claimed to despise - the criticism has cut his fragile persona and he has now decided only re-election can give him the acceptance and validation to which he aspires.
Consequently instead of calling in his team and giving them an exact & achievable set of outcomes, with fallback positions and a workable toolbox of targets, li'l donnie tells the world he has lost his balls attempting to conceal his cowardice with the usual trumpian bumptious bluster.

What a mess; both China and the people of North Korea can have a quick laugh up their sleeves and then get down to factoring trumpian cowardly incompetence into any further dealings.
Japan's Abe creep will be alternating between anger at the crass stupidity and fear at the way this issue has suddenly been boiled down to one option - extreme violence, when even old blind Freddie can see that the amerikans really have no stomach for conflict with a comparably strong, superior strategically China. Japan will have no choice but go through 'back channels' to cut a deal with China and by proxy North Korea.

A major bulwark has been pulled outta the foundations of empire and replaced with a yellow belly. hahahha it couldn't have happened to a bigger hatful of arseholes.

dh-mtl , May 24, 2018 8:29:15 PM | 73
This is not about North Korea. It is about controlling China and Russia.

The 'Globalists/Deep State' want regime change in North Korea so that they can put their military on the N.K./Chinese border. N.K. nuclear capability is just an excuse. For the 'Globalist/Deep State' this summit is the worst news possible.

Russia and China want the U.S. out of East Asia altogether. They have already told the U.S. that they will not allow the U.S. to attack or take over N.Korea.

I look for the gamesmanship around de-nuclearization to continue. The question is whether or not Russia/China will be able to shake South Korea loose from U.S. control. I am not sure that Trump even knows what the real game is.

There will be no U.S. attack on North Korea, for the same reason that they haven't attacked Syria (beyond token strikes with no follow-up). The U.S. cannot afford to show the world that it is just a paper tiger, and thus dares not face Russia directly.

blues , May 24, 2018 8:29:26 PM | 74
The following items are very nearly certain to be correct. The USSA is not going to reach any direct agreements with N. Korea, since the only card in play is N. Korea removing its nuclear deterrent, and that card will never be played. (The whole Trump and Kim meeting was doomed from the start.)

The USSA is most unlikely to attack Iran. The geographic obstacles alone would make it very cost ineffective, and they also have Russian anti-air. Plus they would destroy the Saudi oil facilities. Besides, the Chinese would not put up with either of these adventures; all they would have to do is recall their giant cargo ships and the USSA economy would sink like a rock.

So that leaves Venezuela. Where might that go? Nobody knows. Brazil would likely be very unhappy about that. Brazil is probably the third most powerful nuclear power. But the assholes are fairly likely to go for Venezuela.

dh , May 24, 2018 8:54:34 PM | 75
@71 "Has anyone considered that this is simple a face-saving exercise from both sides?"

Yes but this is very high stakes poker they are playing. More than just saving face is involved.
Trump was losing the 'diplomatic game' and his advisors kept reminding him of that. So now he is looking for a major concession from Kim.
The question is what happens if he doesn't get guaranteed denuclearisation before agreeing to talks? And it's hard to see that happening.

Debsisdead , May 24, 2018 8:58:58 PM | 76
Posted by: blues | May 24, 2018 8:29:26 PM | 74

Yeah probably correct amerika has been pushed off the block and now it can only hide behind the high walls n locked gate of it's funky and unkempt backyard playing cowboys and indians with itself.
It would be great if the honest injuns leapt out from behind that rotten orange tree down the back whooping & waving tomahawks but I just don't see that happening since foggy bottom has hospitalised injun leaders by dobbing them in to mommy. That gave power back to the slimy arse kissers of yesteryear. That shift is only temporary but the timing does mean there won't be much initial push back until the people of Latin America take back what has been stolen.
Of course JCPOA plays a role here too since europe won't sit on it's hands for a south american fuck over, but equally they may use that situation as a trading card for their own agenda...

Ghost Ship , May 24, 2018 9:00:07 PM | 77
I get the feeling Trump is like Hitler - he makes his expectations known and then sits back while all the competing groups within his regime squabble with each other over who does what. Didn't work too well for Hitler, why does anybody think it'll work any better for Trump.

Otherwise, this is just the neo-con fuckwits like Bolton hammering a few more nails into the exceptionalist coffin - in a few days or weeks Trump will realize what a threat to Trump's ambitions Bolton is and sack the cretin.

OJS , May 24, 2018 9:46:33 PM | 78
@Jen | May 24, 2018 7:33:49 PM | 65

......If the US cannot hold onto its beach-head in SK, then a future invasion of China becomes near-impossible .

My goodness such radical dream "future invasions of China become near-impossible"

Two countries the fucking USA should never invade: One is India and the other China. Why you might ask? These are two most populated countries. The populations multiples fast and swallow its invaders. Both arms with nuclear weapons. They were invaded and colonized for centuries. They learned and moving fast into the next century not as frens but arch rivals. China unlike India took an aggressive>peaceful dictatorial system while India the fucking western Democracy . Nevertheless both systems are doom to fail as history had shown to date. The dictatorial and democracy systems still control by the rich and powerful Oligarch - sugar coated outside to please its citizens.

Grieved , May 24, 2018 9:54:17 PM | 79
I think there was general consensus here beforehand that the US never wanted a summit with Kim.

But also some had said that North Korea didn't want a meeting either, and I agree strongly with this. But talking with the US seemed a piece of the necessary protocol that had to be played out.

So we've seen the round of betting go full circle, and the US checked the bet - and it could be argued, so did North Korea, since its own actions were not very costly. It's like the face-saving suggested by commenters, but it's even more than this, it's much more simply an empty play, a "free round" in the poker parlance. [Explanation of checking the bet , for non-poker players.]

The protocol has been observed with the US for this round, now the play moves back to the Koreas. The next round of betting increases the pot. Would this be the peace treaty? I don't know. One supposes that the US remains in the betting to an extent, but the Koreas will continue to drive the game. This round has shown all of Asia that the US is not serious. The day comes closer that China and the UN can sponsor the reunification of the Koreas, and the US will have to leave.

This game is being run by Korea. As far as I can tell, it proceeds apace.

Yeah, Right , May 24, 2018 10:33:00 PM | 82
@65 "If the US cannot hold onto its beach-head in SK, then a future invasion of China becomes near-impossible. "

It always was an impossibility. But a US military presence all the way up to the Yalu River is the ultimate prize for the USA, in the same way that pushing NATO up to the very border of the Russian Federation gives the USA a major strategic advantage.

In both cases it brings the idea of a 1st strike nuclear decapitation into the picture, and that is just as big a nightmare to Beijing as it is to Moscow.

It is a crazy way to deal with other nuclear powers, but that's modern-day America for you.....

[May 24, 2018] Since at least 1945, the United States has only fought stupid wars. Obama, the Nobel laureate, launched several under the radar, lower intensity stupid wars on his own (Lybia, Syria and Ukraine). Trump still did not lauched any althouth he already bombed Syria several times; As he is controlled by neocons he will have his own war as well

Too many words to describe what already is known: the US foreign policy is imperial foreign policy controlled by Military Industrial Complex and alliance of financial oligarchy and transnational corporations. Neocons are just lobbyists of MIC.
Trump, Pompeo and Haley are clear sign of degradation of the US neoliberal elite. Actually Trump is just a figurehead of government a Marinette. He folded in April of 2017, just two months after inauguration.
Notable quotes:
"... Trump had been, and maybe still is, agitating for an even stupider war than the one that might soon break out against Iran, a war against North Korea, a country with nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to the United States. ..."
"... Ironically, though, the gods seem, for now, still to be smiling upon the Donald, saving him from a mistake monumental enough to turn even his willfully blind, fatally obtuse, and, yes, "deplorable" base against him. ..."
"... Trump's ability to wreck everything he touches should not be underestimated, however; Korea could still be his, and the world's, undoing. But, for now, his blustering, along with the diplomatic skills of all the parties involved, except of course the United States, may, at last, have paved the way for a resolution to the seven decades long state of war that has existed between the two Koreas. It might even lead to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. ..."
May 18, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

Originally from: The Donald, Vlad, and Bibi by Andrew Levine

As a general rule, it is pointless to rank world leaders or lesser political figures by measures that track their vileness or how much harm they inflict upon the world.

Sometimes, though, it can be enlightening to do precisely that -- provided it is understood that what is being compared are not so much the character traits of deplorable individuals, but the political lines they advance in the circumstances they confront.

One such time is now -- as Donald Trump is doing his best to launch a "stupid war" against Iran. That expression was candidate Barack Obama's in 2008; he used it to describe the war George W. Bush and Dick Cheney launched against Iraq.

Since at least 1945, the United States has only fought stupid wars. Some have been stupider than others, but, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, Democrats and Republicans have supported them all. If Trump does get an Iran War going, count on bipartisan support for it too, though, for sheer stupidity, it would rival and perhaps even exceed the Kennedy-Johnson-Nixon war against Vietnam.

It is telling that, notwithstanding his characterization of the Bush-Cheney Iraq War, Obama, the least lethal of our twenty-first century presidents and also the least odious, kept it going for many years.

It says a lot too that that Obama never had any problem with the Bush-Cheney Afghanistan War. Quite to the contrary, he actually revved that one up. It continues to this day, some seventeen years after it began.

Obama, the Nobel laureate, also launched several under the radar, lower intensity stupid wars on his own -- in Africa and throughout the Greater Middle East. His machinations were so deeply under the radar that there is no general agreement about how many wars he started or even about when and where they took or are still taking place.

Trump had been, and maybe still is, agitating for an even stupider war than the one that might soon break out against Iran, a war against North Korea, a country with nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to the United States.

Ironically, though, the gods seem, for now, still to be smiling upon the Donald, saving him from a mistake monumental enough to turn even his willfully blind, fatally obtuse, and, yes, "deplorable" base against him.

Trump's ability to wreck everything he touches should not be underestimated, however; Korea could still be his, and the world's, undoing. But, for now, his blustering, along with the diplomatic skills of all the parties involved, except of course the United States, may, at last, have paved the way for a resolution to the seven decades long state of war that has existed between the two Koreas. It might even lead to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

However, I wouldn't hold my breath.

Trump's new Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, Islamophobe and nativist extraordinaire , may not be quite the "deconstructer" of the State Department that Rex Tillerson -- purportedly one of the "adults in the room" -- was; and he certainly knows more and is smarter than Jarvanka and Trump's idiot sons. Nevertheless, he is bad news; with him in charge and Trump calling the shots, the Korean deal could well fall apart.

For the time being, though, the world can breathe a sigh of relief. We should relish the moment.

There has been talk about how success in Korea would put Trump in line for a Nobel Prize. The idea is preposterous on its face, but hardly surprising; the Donald would be far from the only moral monster to be so honored. If a Nobel Peace Prize could go to Henry Kissinger, it could go to anybody.

Obama's prize came to him before he had a chance to do anything to earn it, which, of course, he never did. Were the "honor" to come Trump's way, he would deserve it even less. Even if all comes out well, the most he will have done is bluster, and then not squander whatever benefits resulted. Could the man even find Pyongyang on the map? Don't count on it.

Insofar as his ravings do ultimately contribute to a good outcome, it would be because the stars are aligned in just such a way that a madman in the White House is the very thing needed to bring out diplomatic impulses in others.

Richard Nixon's "madman strategy," which some pundits credit Trump with following, is just that -- mad, in much the way that a Dr. Strangelove Doomsday Machine would be. But it is a strategy, and it can sometimes work.

However, to praise or blame Trump for applying it would be a mistake. If it or anything like it does help defuse tensions in the Korean peninsula, it is just dumb luck that an emotionally immature "dodderer," as Kim Jong-un aptly called him, managed somehow to stumble into it while acting out.

Compared to other major political figures currently on the world stage, Trump wouldn't stand in any relevant competition. But he is so far off the charts that comparing him to anyone else would be pointless.

He must be taken seriously, however, because of the office he holds and because, on Iran, he controls the script.

This is well known even in corporate media circles. It is about the only aspect of the political scene that they get right.

It is different with two of the other important players in the developing Iran story: the West's all-purpose demon, Vladimir Putin, and the darling of the American political and media establishment, Benjamin Netanyahu.

... ... ...

But the hypocrisy inherent in the self-righteous protestations of Russophobic Cold War revivalists that it has occasioned is mind-boggling. The United States is, and long has been, a serial meddler in Russian affairs and in the affairs of other former Soviet republics. Worse still: it regularly meddles in the affairs of nearly every country on the face of the earth.

It is also clear that homegrown assaults on what little (small-d) democracy we have, have been more damaging by many orders of magnitude than anything even the most ardent Cold Warriors have ever dared blame on Russians.

Republican voter suppression efforts have done more to diminish democracy than an entire army of Russian trolls possibly could. American plutocrats like the Koch Brothers, the Mercers, Sheldon Adelson, and countless others are worse by far than those Russian oligarchs we hear so much about or the demonic figure that the word "Putin" has come to denote.

.... ... ...

***

What Israel's leaders want has always counted for a lot with the White House and Congress, no matter which duopoly party is in control. Trump didn't invent the problem, but, as with so much else, he has made it worse.

He could not have done so, however, were Washington not disposed to wallow in hypocrisy and, in the case of Israel and therefore Iran, were it not in thrall to an infrangible double standard.

Compared to whatever Putin did and is still doing, what our own plutocrats have been doing over the years, as a matter of course, is a lot more harmful to (small-d) democracy. The only plausible justification for singling out Putin's meddling is the fact that he is the leader of a country that our leaders find it advantageous to consider an adversary.

However, to hear the pundits that serve them talk, it might seem that their concern is just that foreigners should not ever even think of influencing our elections. That view is not without merit; for (small-d) democrats, citizenship matters. But it does not matter in the way or to the extent that demonizers of Putin suggest. They want to make a fetish of the idea.

It turns out, though, that the citizenship fetishism that has lately taken hold in their circles is selective. For his meddling, Putin is a demon from hell, while Netanyahu's more egregious and effective meddling, when noticed at all, is accepted and even welcomed.

Israeli meddling is so extensive that, for all practical purposes, it transcends the ordinary kind. Directly and through the offices of powerful lobbies representing both Jewish and Christian Zionists, the Israeli government and the larger Zionist movement effectively own the American political class -- all of it, left, right (especially right!) and center.

Netanyahu himself is too corrupt, and has been in power too long, for most Israelis, including the vilest among them, to hold him in high regard. American politicians, on the other hand, let him ride roughshod over them as a matter of course.

It was largely to please him and the American plutocrats who support him -- and also to please that other anti-Iranian miscreant, Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince and de facto leader of Saudi Arabia -- that Trump scuttled the deal with Iran that the United States, along with Great Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia, painstakingly concluded three years ago.

This folly may go over well with Zionists of the Sheldon Adelson sort, and with America's death merchants ("defense" industry executives), but it is the stupidest and most self-destructive "achievement" of American diplomacy in living memory.

When it goes sour, will Netanyahu be villainized in anything like the way that Putin now is? Don't count on it. Hell will freeze over before a mainstream Democrat or Republican will have a bad word to say about the Bibster. Corporate media will follow suit; it always does.

Public opinion, however, is catching on. Notwithstanding the deafening corporate media silence about Israeli atrocities in Gaza, throughout the West Bank and in Israel itself, the news is getting through and changing Americans' minds.

With the Israel Defense Force, the IDF, mowing down unarmed protestors with live ammunition, murdering many scores of Palestinians and wounding hundreds, if not thousands, more, it is impossible to keep the American public and the publics of other nations entirely in the dark.

And so, Israel continues to lose support all over the world, including in those countries without which the Zionist project could not be sustained: the United States, Europe, and the former White Dominions of the British Empire.

Worse still, for the Zionist establishment, liberal Zionists in the United States and elsewhere have been increasingly losing, when not expressly rejecting, their erstwhile Zionist sympathies.

... ... ...

[May 24, 2018] It's long been an American conceit that the way you negotiate is to demand a surrender by your opponent, and then you hammer out the terms of that surrendert by Dave Lindorff

Notable quotes:
"... But the concept didn't work in Vietnam, which drove the US out. It didn't work in Iraq, which is now an client state of Iran, it didn't work in Afghanistan, where the US is still fighting the Taliban 17 years after invading that poorest of countries. ..."
"... But history doesn't matter for the world's "exceptional nation," and so now we have Trump's key advisors -- the neoconservative nut-job John Bolton, Trump's latest National Security Advisor whose primary asset seems to be hair, not brains or even military experience, and Mike Pompeo, recently shifted from the CIA director post over to Secretary of State, a porcine West Point graduate whose international experience appears to be limited to his having concluded that former President Barack Obama somehow managed to be both an "evil Muslim" and a Commuinist. ..."
"... Kim says he is all for denuclearizing the North Korean peninsula (in return for foreign aid and an end to sanctions), but that would include having the US sign an enforceable peace treaty including both China and Russia as guarantors, with the US recognizing his as the legitimate government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. It would also include the US pulling its forces out of South Korea, where they used to keep hundreds of nuclear weapons, and are in place to stock up on them again at a moment's notice at present. ..."
May 24, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

Originally from: The Trump White House is a Chaotic Clown Car Filled with Bozos Who Think They're Brilliant

It's long been an American conceit that the way you negotiate is to demand a surrender by your opponent, and then you hammer out the terms of that surrender.

Ir worked great in World War II after the Red Army chewed up Germany's elite army and left the country with the choice of being overrun by the Soviets or surrendering at least part of the country to the US, Britain and France. It worked great in Japan too after the US, with a temporary monopoly on an unimaginably powerful new weapon, incinerated two of the country's cities and threatened to keep on doing so until The emperor and his generals gave up or let the Island nation be turned into charcoal.

But the concept didn't work in Vietnam, which drove the US out. It didn't work in Iraq, which is now an client state of Iran, it didn't work in Afghanistan, where the US is still fighting the Taliban 17 years after invading that poorest of countries. Truth to tell, the only time the policy really has worked was against the tiny island nation of Grenada, where the primary resistance to the US armada that assaulted the place was a company of Cuban construction workers working on a new airport. (7000 medals were awarded to US military personnel following that triumphant victory.)

But history doesn't matter for the world's "exceptional nation," and so now we have Trump's key advisors -- the neoconservative nut-job John Bolton, Trump's latest National Security Advisor whose primary asset seems to be hair, not brains or even military experience, and Mike Pompeo, recently shifted from the CIA director post over to Secretary of State, a porcine West Point graduate whose international experience appears to be limited to his having concluded that former President Barack Obama somehow managed to be both an "evil Muslim" and a Commuinist.

This goofy pair, appointed by that wiley deal-maker Trump, have managed to queer the deal on a summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. First to give Kim second thoughts was Bolton who announced that the model for a peace agreement between the two nuclear powers, the US and North Korea, would be Libya, where of course, the US got Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafy to ship off all his nuclear bomb-making equipment to the US, and then orchestrated his overthrow and brutal murder. Bolton has insisted, with no disagreement from his boss, that for starters, North Korea would have to fork over all its nuclear weapons, and destroy all its nuclear weapons-making facilities. Then we can talk, the idea goes.

Kim, of course, no dummy he, especially backed as he is by a treaty with neighboring China which commits China to come to North Korea's aid -- as it did quite decisively only a year after the foundation of the People's Republic of China, remember? -- should North Korea be attacked by the US or any other foreign power, has said no deal. Kim says he is all for denuclearizing the North Korean peninsula (in return for foreign aid and an end to sanctions), but that would include having the US sign an enforceable peace treaty including both China and Russia as guarantors, with the US recognizing his as the legitimate government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. It would also include the US pulling its forces out of South Korea, where they used to keep hundreds of nuclear weapons, and are in place to stock up on them again at a moment's notice at present.

Next up, Bozo number two, Pompeo, let Kim know that just because he signs a treaty with Trump, it doesn't mean the deal will mean anything. Pompeo did this by pushing for Trump to pull the US out of the P5+1 treaty agreed in 2015 to by the US and five other countries under which Iran ceased its nuclear fuel refining program, shipped off all its refined uranium 235 to Russia, and agreed not to start the process again for 15 years in return for a lifting of all sanctions on the country. After Trump pulled the US, Pompeo vowed publicly that the US will "crush" Iran with punishing sanctions, and maybe even by allowing Israel to launch attacks on Iran's supposed nuclear weapons-making infrastructure. Never mind that international inspectors say there is no such infrastructure and hasn't been for years, never mind that Iran is known to have been, unlike the US, abiding by the letter of the P5+1 agreement to end its nuclear fuel enrichment program. Pompeo says Iran's government has to be ousted by making its economy scream.

These two White House bozos seem to think that America's multi-trillion-dollar military gives it the winning hand, but in fact, North Korea's little batch of home-made nukes give him the trump cards as it were, and Kim knows this. The US military, which is just a bunch of bull's eyes sitting on bases in South Korea literally seconds away from North Korean nukes or on ships not much farther away, knows this too, which is why Gen. Jim Mattis, the only one of Trump's advisors who has any experience with actual war-making, has said a war in Korea would be terrible and difficult, not just for Koreans, but fo the Americans who would have to fight it.

So if Trump's goal was to win himself a Nobel Peace Prize by finally having the US sign a peace treaty ending the Korean War, almost 65 years after the fighting ended, Bozo Bolton appears to have scotched the plan by letting Kim know the real goal is to put his head on a pike once he surrendered his nukes. With that cat out of the bag, it means now if there are to be negotiations with North Korea, they will have to be entered into by equals, not by a superpower dictating the terms.

Meanwhile the trouble for Trump & Co's scheme in Iran's case is that none of the other parties to the agreement -- France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany -- see things their way. They all say that Tehran has been abiding by the terms of the agreement struck in 2015, and they aren't about to slap sanctions back on Iran. In fact, the European countries are outraged that Pompeo and Bolton are threatening sanctions against European companies that defy what would now be US -- not UN -- sanctions on Iran by continuing to trade with or invest in that country. China meanwhile is vowing to cut deals with Iran for long term oil contracts which it will pay for in Chinese renminbi, forgoing the heretofore requirement to pay in dollars. Europe too is talking about protecting its companies from sanctions by striking a deal to deliver Euros to Iranian banks, thus opting out of the US dollar-based international trading system.

That is to say, Pompeo and Bolton are triggering the very cataclysm that the US Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve have long feared, in which countries would abandon the US dollar as the international currency -- a status that for decades has allowed the US to live beyond its means and to fund its trillion-dollar-per-year military by simply printing more dollars at will. If countries don't need the dollar to conduct their international trade and investment deals, the dollar will crash to its inherent value, which, given the US's horrendous trade deficit, would be a small fraction of what it is worth today. To prop up the currency, the US would have to raise interest rates through the roof, crushing the economy.

Nice going Bozos!

It's going to be interesting to watch how all this plays out.

China knew it had the upper hand in trade negotiations when Trump's top trade negotiators, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chief Trade Negotiator Peter Navarro, were spotted engaged in a vulgarity-laced shouting match outside their hotel in Beijing. As the Washington Post wrote of the incident, "It's been amateur hour at the China negotiations."

Indeed it has. The US opening position -- a version of the usual surrender first, negotiate with us afterwards format -- was that China must give up its decades-long and very successful system of state planning for development, in particular its latest 10-year plan of government-directed investment to make China a leader in 10 key areas of technology, including communications, aircraft manufacturing and artificial intelligence. Right. Like they're going to do that. Instead, China turned around and announced plans to include the Chinese special administrative region of Hong Kong in the government funding program. Take that bozos.

The "moratorium" announced by China and the US on any trade sanctions against each other for alleged trade violations is a meaningless face-saving sop for Trump. The US actually gets nothing but the usual vague and unenforceable promises by China to buy more US goods. They probably will buy more US agricultural products, but there will still be a huge trade deficit for the US with respect to China. Why? Because the US doesn't make stuff anymore -- not just stuff that China or other countries would want to buy, but even stuff that Americans want and need. That means the US cannot hope to sell much more than Third World-type products and raw materials to China, and that at the same time, it will still have to keep importing increasing amounts of manufactured goods, from vehicles to iPhones and computers, from China.

The Bozos in the White House don't get this. Maybe they think they can bully China with their fancy weapons, but that's not likely to work either. China is fast catching up with the US in military hardware too. Already US aircraft carriers -- the core of US power projection in Asia -- cannot sail too close to China in any showdown because they would be sitting ducks for Chinese cruise missiles and other weapons. Short of an all-out nuclear war that nobody would win, China is pretty much immune to US military threats.

Iran is similarly in a much stronger position than Pompeo and his "crushing" threat implies. Russia has already been offering support to Iran -- support that is likely to include provision of top-of-the-line anti-aircraft weapons which would make any Isreali or US strike on Iran too costly to contemplate. No doubt Russia iis eager to offer Iran some of its state-of-the-art aircraft too, which would also up the ante for would-be attackers.

The blustery Pompeo, whose technical training was in law, not international affairs (and not even international law), should probably check out the CIA fact book on Iran. He'd discover that it is a country more than twice as large in population as Iraq or Afghanistan, and one that is much more unified than the stitched-together amalgam of Sunnis, Shia's, Arabs, Turkmen and other nationalities that comprised Iraq under Saddam Hussein, With a national history dating back at least as far as China's. Iran's citizens may have their gripes about the religious junta that rules over their sort-of democratically elected government, but like the Chinese, Russians or Vietnamese, they would all rally quickly to support the defense of their nation and civilization against any foreign invader.

Only fools would contemplate a war with Iran.

Sadly, the Trump administration, perhaps even more than the Johnson administration in 1965, is filled with fools with inflated egos and senses of their own intellect and infallibility -- in a word, bozos. And while clowns can be funny, lately we've been seeing cases where they have been downright dangerous psychos.

We'll have to hope that the next few years will be simply amusing, and not tragic.

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

[May 24, 2018] MSM misled their readers, they made fools of themselves, and they committed a crime against journalism. And now they're trying to dodge the blame

Notable quotes:
"... " . . . Nevertheless, their work is done. The poison seeds of their lies have been planted in millions of unquestioning U.S. brains, from the high and mighty to the average consumer of "news" and will continue to sprout and spread. More lies are needed to cover up the first lies and on and on and on it goes. . ." ..."
"... A lot of accusations that are not backed up by any evidence ..."
"... " personally i blame clinton" Personally I blame AIPAC, BIS, and the Shadow Masters Clinton is just another scapegoat-puppet. ..."
"... It was British Intelligence which first sounded the alarm wrt pre-candidate Trump due to his stated intention to establish a positive relationship with Putin and Russia, thus overturning the basis for the entire post-war paradigm based on the division of the world into East and West. ..."
"... In my view, the purpose of the congress authorized investigation is not to impeach POTUS. That would provide a precedent that neither the democrats, nor the republican would accept. Instead, the investigation is intended to discredit the president and by proxy, the republicans for the upcoming elections. ..."
May 24, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

jsinton , May 19, 2018 at 8:49 am

Since day one, I felt the entire Russia-gate fiasco was horse excrement. It just never passed the smell test. My suspicions were confirmed day by day as Mueller came up with nothing. To my amazement, the MSM pushed the story to the limit with no objectivity, agenda driven, politically motivated, journalistic suicide. They've shown themselves as the propaganda outlets they always were, but we were loath to admit.

Robert Emmett , May 19, 2018 at 8:43 am

"They misled their readers, they made fools of themselves, and they committed a crime against journalism. And now they're trying to dodge the blame."

That may well be. And Robert Parry meticulously documented such a case. Nevertheless, their work is done. The poison seeds of their lies have been planted in millions of unquestioning U.S. brains, from the high and mighty to the average consumer of "news" and will continue to sprout and spread. More lies are needed to cover up the first lies and on and on and on it goes. That's the nature of a infectious culture of lies. The cultured medium explodes, escapes the lab and runs rampant, leaving those who initiated the whole mess to scramble in a mad attempt to "save face". It wouldn't surprise me if the H-ill-re eventually becomes the first, and last, U.S. woman CEO to drop the big one. If you sometimes hear a faint glug-glug-glug pulsing in your ears, that's the sound of U.S. circling the drain.

mike k , May 19, 2018 at 10:03 am

Very well stated Robert. I like the virus metaphor for propaganda. It's like gossip -- spreading, infecting the gullible with lies .

Rob , May 19, 2018 at 1:51 pm

Excellent point. As you say, their work is done. The Russiagate meme is now firmly implanted in the minds of tens of millions of Americans, and nothing short of a public confession by the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton that they fabricated the story and fanned the flames in the media will dislodge it. I cannot envision any other means of killing this particular virus. All contrary facts and logic will be brushed aside as fake news created by Russian agents or stooges.

Dave P. , May 19, 2018 at 2:26 pm

Robert Emmet,

" . . . Nevertheless, their work is done. The poison seeds of their lies have been planted in millions of unquestioning U.S. brains, from the high and mighty to the average consumer of "news" and will continue to sprout and spread. More lies are needed to cover up the first lies and on and on and on it goes. . ."

Yes. You have summarized it very well. That is how it is in our home too. My wife had been listening to this for some time, Russia, Russia, Russia, and Putin , Putin, evil Putin destroying our democracy, and so on on TV and in Newspapers, that it has gone into the subconscious now. And I read that they, the Ruling Power Structures have done the same to people in Western Europe too.

j. D. D. , May 19, 2018 at 7:54 am

While many of the particulars are correct regaring the paucity of evidence against associates of the President, the author misses two key points, upon which the entire Mueller coup operation rests. First, that the campaign against Trump started not in the Clinton campaign or anywhere related, but rather in London with British intelligence, as the Guardian itself has boasted. Not only did MI6's Steele prepare the document that formed the basis of the allegations of "collusion" but it is well known that GCHQ's Hannigan met personally with Brennan in the summer of 2016 to sound the alarm with a "not yet with it" US intel community. Second, the basis of the investigation itself hinges on the alleged "hacking" of the Clinton/DNC emailswhich showed her to be a craven puppet of Wall Street, released just prior to the Democratic Convention. That entire scenario, that the source of the infamous emails were a result of "Russian hacking," was conclusively and repeatedly demolished on this website by fomer top NSA analyst William Binney, and his cohorts at the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

mike k , May 19, 2018 at 10:07 am

The Clinton campaign paid Steele to do his thing. Their operation against Trump began the day after his surprise victory.

backwardsevolution , May 19, 2018 at 9:16 pm

Their operation began long before Trump's victory. It began in earnest just a few days after Hillary Clinton was wrongfully exonerated, way back in July of 2016.

voza0db , May 19, 2018 at 6:29 am

The funniest part of all this nonsense is that the democrats are going to keep this Illusion of RUSSIAGATE alive until the next elections!
So after the next loss in the upcoming elections we all know who to blame for another democratic loss, right?!

RnM , May 19, 2018 at 3:34 am

You paint a nearly hopeless picture, Mike.

Let us all trust that Mr. Trump, who, despite the intentions of the Totalitarians outed in Daniel Lazare's fine summary article, is the DULY ELECTED POTUS (by the common folk -- no one has made a serious demonstration of vote counting fraud, from my recollections), continues in office.

The American Experiment (in enlightened governance of, by, and for the governed) is in grave jeopardy. The enemy of the Enlightenment's fine accomplishment is Monotheism, which is the philosophical parent of Monarchy, which is the civic governing manifestation of said religious thought patterns.

Sam F , May 19, 2018 at 8:52 am

I'll suggest that the "American Experiment" is threatened by money power, more than religion, although many fundamentalists are deluded to support zionism. Religion is a problem where it rationalizes simplistic political views, but the root causes are ignorance and selfishness. Monotheism is not really the problem now that there are few monarchies. The Enlightenment, and enlightenment of individuals, has many enemies.

mike k , May 19, 2018 at 10:12 am

The enemies of good government are the greedy and powerful oligarchs who hate democracy, and do everything to distort and destroy it. No need to drag monotheism into it.

RnM , May 19, 2018 at 4:25 pm

My career was spent working with local rural politics. Good governance is by far imperiled by corrupt locals on the take.

Also, Stalin did his purging by setting up secret local committees of three, who fed him names through a beaurocratic pipeline. The Big Guy gets the blame (or credit), but the little fellas do the dirty work.

Sam F , May 20, 2018 at 4:21 pm

You are very right about local government corruption, which may have factions based upon tribal loyalties, but is caused by poor moral standards throughout our society. Most local officials are elected with little or no public knowledge of who they are, and as a result are mere low-end power-seekers who will abuse whatever power they can get.

David G , May 19, 2018 at 2:50 am

"[The NY Times] article fails to mention that at the time the conversation with the Australian ambassador took place, the Clinton communications in the news were the 30,000 State Department emails that she had improperly stored on her private computer. Instead of spilling the beans about a data breach yet to come, it's more likely that Papadopoulos was referring to emails that were already in the news -- a possibility the Times fails to discuss."

I've been shouting just this at my TV set (oddly, to little effect). And the same goes for other allegedly damning references to "Clinton emails" in connection with the infamous Trump Tower meeting and probably elsewhere.

Thanks to Daniel Lazare for pointing it out.

Adrian E. , May 19, 2018 at 4:29 am

A lot of accusations that are not backed up by any evidence and some of which have officially been rejected by the officials that investigated the case (e.g. as far as France is concerned see https://www.yahoo.com/news/latest-putin-says-attempts-contain-russia-wont-101117186.html ).

But unfortunately, there are many people who don't care about evidence and rational inquiry, and they prefer believing in evidencefree conspiracy theories that match their prejudices. One accusation that is not backed up by any evidence is used to making other accusations that are not based on evidence look more likely.

voza0db , May 19, 2018 at 6:49 am

:lol: " A lot of accusations that are not backed up by any evidence " the good old PROPAGANDA ! It's alive and kicking

voza0db , May 19, 2018 at 6:47 am

Russia is in fact the only REAL EMPIRE in this world!

They hack and manipulate everything and everyone

Anna , May 19, 2018 at 8:26 am

Have you checked the number of US overseas military bases recently?
Do you know why the US Congress is called "Israel-occupied territory?"
Don't you love -- love! -- MSM.

voza0db , May 19, 2018 at 3:35 pm

Hello Anna!

I know that my written sarcasm is very bad sorry about that! And yes I do love MainShitMedia! Their the best.

Sam F , May 19, 2018 at 7:08 am

Try defining "hacking an election." The term pretends that a few techies tampered machines. In the US the election machine makers do that, no doubt, but not likely elsewhere. The US has a very long history of manipulating elections throughout the world and in the US. Even while it pretends to be "promoting democracy" it is installing dictators and faking elections.

The ultimate election hack is allowing big money to control mass media and political campaigns, as in the US.
Only when we restrict funding of mass media and elections to limited contributions will we restore democracy.

Realist , May 20, 2018 at 4:21 am

Washington and its media tools have hacked this guy's brain is what it amounts to.

They could tell the American public anything and have it believed, like, for instance, that the ideal gas law does not apply to inflated footballs in cold weather.

Realist , May 21, 2018 at 3:32 am

Correction: All your unfounded assertions are bogus. Just read this one simple piece that just came out for the accurate course of events.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-20/how-fbi-and-cia-restarted-cold-war-protect-themselves

David G , May 19, 2018 at 2:20 am

While I am fully on board with rubbishing Russia-gate as malignant nonsense, I do think it may be a mistake to rely too much on there turning out to be no nefarious nexus between Trump and Russia.

In Trump we have someone devoid of knowledge, sense, or character, an almost altogether wrong guy -- very much including his views on U.S. foreign policy -- who for some reason has a positive and constructive attitude toward Russia and Putin (though, of course, he has mostly gone along with the anti-Russia Beltway consensus in his actions as president when pressured).

It's possibly it's just an isolated, unexplained instance of Trumpian sanity, but to me it's at least as likely to be the result of greed or fear, based on some grubby link to Russia that is as yet undisclosed.

J. Decker , May 19, 2018 at 7:43 am

"who for some reason has a positive and constructive attitude toward Russia and Putin".

Maybe the reason is that Putin is one of history's penultimate statesman who presents the strongest opposition to the global war/banking beast and last bastion of hope? Time magazine's Most Powerful Man of the Year (or something like that as I wouldn't be caught dead reading it.

So does that make Trump a puppet for Russia or a keen observer?

David G , May 19, 2018 at 11:54 am

Do you think Cheeto Dust really capable of appreciating Putin for the reasons you cite?

"Keen" isn't a word that springs to my mind when I think of Trump.

backwardsevolution , May 20, 2018 at 2:32 am

David G -- maybe you need to oil your springs. When you're trying to navigate your way through the swamp, you tend to notice capable players who are doing it and admire them for it.

Anna , May 19, 2018 at 8:28 am

Let's begin with Uranium One and the $500.000 fee for a half-hour speech by Bill.

Mike From Jersey , May 19, 2018 at 1:59 pm

I am also a Green voter. When the choice became Hillary vs Donald that -- for me -- was the last straw. I de-registered as a Democrat and registered as a Green.

Skip Scott , May 21, 2018 at 7:32 am

Good for you Mike. I refuse to be a part of the "lesser of two evils" gambit any longer. Let's hope we can build a movement.

andrew , May 18, 2018 at 10:40 pm

the core accusations are
1. that the russians hacked the dnc, there is no evidence and no basis for this accusation. none.
2. that the russians spread a deadly fake news virus that was incredibly damaging to hillary's campaign. there is no evidence of this and it is a completely ridiculous idea if one just stops for a moment to contemplate the astronomical amount of fake news available at all times on the internet and television. what was the fake news lie that was so supremely effective? nobody knows. there wasn't one. there was for hillary unfortunately a real news truth about the dnc released by wikileaks but that was not from russians or a lie.
3. that the russians hacked the election. again absolutely no proof or evidence of this has been offered.

it is in fact a political witch hunt that has been incredibly destructive. it has distracted energy and attention away from real things that have happened. it has instigated proxy warfare with russia in syria. it has discredited journalism. it has made an honest man out of trump.

personally i blame clinton. this mendacious , self defeating , and bizarre ruse is so in keeping with so many of her and bill's greatest hits. these two people continue to damage the progressive movement . they won't go away it would seem. i hope after russiagate sputters to a stop the clintons will finally be finished.

David G , May 19, 2018 at 1:59 am

well said, andrew

RnM , May 19, 2018 at 4:37 am

A Witch Hunt, alright! Not FOR a witch, but BY a witch.

J. Decker , May 19, 2018 at 7:51 am

" personally i blame clinton" Personally I blame AIPAC, BIS, and the Shadow Masters Clinton is just another scapegoat-puppet.

j. D. D. , May 19, 2018 at 11:41 am

Yes, all true but you fail to identify the cause, which goes well beyond naming Russia as an excuse for Hillary's defeat. It was British Intelligence which first sounded the alarm wrt pre-candidate Trump due to his stated intention to establish a positive relationship with Putin and Russia, thus overturning the basis for the entire post-war paradigm based on the division of the world into East and West.

Jeff , May 19, 2018 at 11:59 am

Thanx, Andrew. You wrote the comment I was going to write. I do, however, have one nit. Russia-gate has not made an honest man out of Trump. Nothing could make an honest man out of Trump. He is nothing but an incompetent con artist whose real skill was getting people to lend him money after he had blown it all on bad deals and lousy management. I personally suspect that the connection between Trump and Russia is not with the Russian government but with the Russian oligarchs who are laundering their ill-gotten gains looting Russian state enterprises through Trump.

mike k , May 18, 2018 at 10:28 pm

The slimy rats always indulge in phony alibis for their criminal tricks. They should be investigated and charged with falsely accusing an elected President, in order to unseat him. Anyone who votes for a "democrat" in the future is just a simple clueless idiot. Trump is a horrible President, but this does not justify the criminal conspiracy to unseat him through slander and innuendo lacking any evidence whatever. The appointment of a "special council" was meant to change the result of the presidential election, and nothing else.

mike k , May 18, 2018 at 10:32 pm

If Trump were to be impeached on the basis of this phony witch hunt, it would be the end of whatever semblance we have of a democracy forever. The whole affair reminds me of the criminal removal of the President of Brazil recently.

Al Pinto , May 19, 2018 at 11:01 am

In my view, the purpose of the congress authorized investigation is not to impeach POTUS. That would provide a precedent that neither the democrats, nor the republican would accept. Instead, the investigation is intended to discredit the president and by proxy, the republicans for the upcoming elections.

The results of the investigations, actual and/or fabricated, will be invaluable campaign material for the democrats. Especially with the help of the main stream media, it's going to very effective headlines to grab the limited attention that most people in the US have for politics

Sam F , May 18, 2018 at 10:10 pm

The Russia-gate hysteria worked fine as a distraction from Israel-gate. All of Hillary's top ten donors were zionists, and Trump appointed Goldman Sachs to run the economy. Not that KSA, the MIC, or WallSt et al lost any bribery chances.

Russia-gate also pressured Trump into the zionist camp. Just what Israel ordered. Of course the US mass media are almost entirely owned by zionists. Mission accomplished; time to backtrack; we never really said that.

[May 24, 2018] There are some [inconclusive] signs that anti-Russian hysteria is weakening in the USA. Still The Empire is falling, and the Empire is blaming all it's idiotic decisions on the Russians

Notable quotes:
"... Back in 1973 there was a feeling of inevitability as the Watergate investigation progressed, every week more incriminating details that we know now came from inside the FBI. The Mueller probe, on the contrary, seems to be stumbling forward and not really getting anywhere as it goes fishing for info and issues like Stormy's accusations take over the news. ..."
"... Joe -- Russiagate was made up, fashioned out of nothing. If we want to talk about collusion, we need to talk about Uranium One. Now there's where some serious money changed hands, and the Clinton's hands are all over it. ..."
"... I think RussiaGate was invented also. I also think it's pretty obvious that Hillary gets a free get out of jail card when it comes to any FBI investigation over her. I also believe that if Trump were in cahoots with Putin, that Mueller by now would have revealed it, as Democrates would be whooping it up better than a homeless person hitting the super multi-million dollar lotto. ..."
"... The Empire is falling, and the Empire is blaming all it's idiotic decisions on the Russians. Our MSM which was always a subject of debate, has gone off the rails with this 24/7 anti-Trump, anti-Russian, news business. I'm suffering from all this hate aimed at Russia, and I'm believing that our MSM is winning on that front. Like I said, both Hillary and Donald's past practices may need investigated, but when will we Americans start discussing the many other issues of our day, is all I'm asking? ..."
"... No backwardsevolution the Empire is in trouble, and we are watching it make an ass out of itself while it goes down the drain. I'm sorry at this point in time I don't see any good guys, or gals. ..."
May 24, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Realist , May 20, 2018 at 3:44 am

It also seems that Yahoo also has the total (if not enthusiastic) support of Putin these days. Pretty tough to buck Israel and achieve peace in the Middle East when it has the full support of both the American Zionist oligarchs and the Russian Zionist oligarchs (who harbor most of their wealth in the West and represent the Atlanticist faction in Russia, in other words play for team USA) who probably comprise the largest and most influential power factions in both countries. No wonder AIPAC is the most powerful lobby whose existence is vehemently denied. If it comes to pass, World War III may essentially be fought because of perceived grievances by thin-skinned megalomaniacs like Adelson and Browder and their ability to wrap politicians around their pinkies using their billions in wealth. I think the Russians especially dislike being played by con-men like Browder, who gets full support from the bought-off American Congress.

voza0db , May 19, 2018 at 12:01 pm

GOOD NEWS EVERYONE!

Here's the solution to your RUSSIA HYSTERIA!

https://youtu.be/M7M4y8jEn_s

Lawrence Magnuson , May 19, 2018 at 11:34 am

Excellent in the facts and your conclusions. It is difficult to imagine what you have done in so few words -- summarize so clearly what became a maze of groundless speculation early on only to end as major byzantine monument to almost nothing but empty accusation, political invective, widespread loose talk and media posturing/gossiping. You described, in the end, a failed circus of second-rate illusions.

Mike From Jersey , May 19, 2018 at 10:07 am

The Times used to be a credible source of information. Now, I won't even read Times article unless it is on an issue in which I am very well versed. I simply don't want to be propagandized. And when I read an article in a matter in which I am well versed, I am often outraged at the slants and selective omissions.

Joe Tedesky , May 19, 2018 at 9:22 am

I have come to the conclusion that they are all bad, and that this constant pounding of Russia interference in our American political establishments is nonsense.

Whether it be Russia-Gate or Uranium One scandals, it always leads back to Russian collusion, or how Putin is hell bent on subverting American democracy. It's like the word come down from a Bilderberg high echelon get together where the supreme elite said, 'now you political puppies go fight amongst yourselves but remember Putin is our target'. After all Putin's handling of the Rothschild oligarchs is enough to get even the most least powerful leaders into hot water, let a lone the world's other nuclear super power. So Putin must go.

So while Palestinians this week died protesting their confinement, N Korea was insulted away from the negotiating table over a Gaddafi inspired threat, as Europeans looked for another currency to replace the U.S. Dollar, our American news media gave little time to those news stories, as it stayed stuck on Russia-Gate, or as FOX is attempting to do with their trying to launch a Hillary investigation into her poor use of computer servers added to her selling off uranium stock, we Americans are isolated by what really should matter. Please keep your eyes on the center ring, for what's around it doesn't matter, is the mantra.

What I'm saying, is that these scandals are in house fights, and that the MSM's circumventing of any real news, is just another way to dumb us Americans down. Not to say that investigating political chicanery isn't a priority, but should these investigations be so overwhelmingly reported over any or all other news? If you answered no to that, then should we next begin to wonder to what we are not being told, is exactly the very news we should be talking about?

phillip sawicki , May 19, 2018 at 2:02 pm

Back in 1973 there was a feeling of inevitability as the Watergate investigation progressed, every week more incriminating details that we know now came from inside the FBI. The Mueller probe, on the contrary, seems to be stumbling forward and not really getting anywhere as it goes fishing for info and issues like Stormy's accusations take over the news.

It's possible, I suppose, that Mueller will come up with something before November, but there's no sense of inevitability. How could there be? Sixty three American citizens voted for Trump. Bad news for the country, bad news for Clinton, bad news for the MSM, bad news for the Deep State. Ironies abound.

Joe Tedesky , May 19, 2018 at 2:58 pm

The one comparison between 1973 and 2018, is that they have the exact same calendar dates. In my mind, the only thing WaterGate has in common with Russia-Gate is that the MSM likes to say that the two scandals are the same. And why not, when you are huckstering the news to sell insurance and pharmaceutical commercials?

WaterGate was of course a break in, and finding Nixon's involvement was key. Russia-Gate wasn't a break in, and as Mueller's Investigation is struggling to find Russian collusion, Mueller gives the impression that he's on to something, when eventually we find out he has nothing. I mean the WaterGate investigation started out with the knowledge that there was a break in, but the Russia-Gate investigation began with lots of allegations with no proof to be found. WaterGate didn't, at least in my opinion, start out as a fishing expedition, but the Russia-Gate Investigation was not only a fishing expedition in as much as it has been a deep sea fishing trip at its best.

You pointed out the voter support of Trump phillip but might I reference you to the many who didn't vote, or at least the bunches of voters who left the presidential pick a blank? America is broken phillip, every institution and every agency which operates inside of it is too. In my estimation to make it right we Americans will need to go back to starting from scratch. Let it begin!

backwardsevolution , May 19, 2018 at 8:05 pm

Joe -- Russiagate was made up, fashioned out of nothing. If we want to talk about collusion, we need to talk about Uranium One. Now there's where some serious money changed hands, and the Clinton's hands are all over it.

What is comparable to Watergate, but a hundred times worse, is what is trickling out now and what the media have gone out of their way to cover up -- the plot by James Comey and other members of the FBI, John Brennan and others in the CIA, Clapper, the Department of Justice (Rod Rosenstein, Sally Yates, Loretta Lynch, Hillary Clinton) to overthrow a duly-elected President.

The Inspector General's report on the FBI and the Department of Justice's role in all of this is apparently damning. Some of these people may end up in jail.

I think Russiagate was invented because, as Hillary said, "If they find out what we've done, we'll all hang." She was trading favors with foreign governments in exchange for cash into the Clinton Foundation. That's why she was using a private server. She didn't want to use the government servers as they would have a back-up of her files, and when you're intent on stealing, the last thing you want is a "back-up" of your dirty dealings.

All of this Russiagate insanity has been one great big deflection away from the true crimes.

It looks like all of them are going to have a date with a Grand Jury.

Joe Tedesky , May 19, 2018 at 9:03 pm

I think RussiaGate was invented also. I also think it's pretty obvious that Hillary gets a free get out of jail card when it comes to any FBI investigation over her. I also believe that if Trump were in cahoots with Putin, that Mueller by now would have revealed it, as Democrates would be whooping it up better than a homeless person hitting the super multi-million dollar lotto.

The Empire is falling, and the Empire is blaming all it's idiotic decisions on the Russians. Our MSM which was always a subject of debate, has gone off the rails with this 24/7 anti-Trump, anti-Russian, news business. I'm suffering from all this hate aimed at Russia, and I'm believing that our MSM is winning on that front. Like I said, both Hillary and Donald's past practices may need investigated, but when will we Americans start discussing the many other issues of our day, is all I'm asking?

I'm tired of the constant insinuating that Trump is a Putin puppet, as I'm also experiencing fatigue over Hillary's being continually left off the hook. Although even more so, I'm sick of all of them, I'm just venting over our sad state of us citizens being well informed.

Good to hear from you backwardsevolution. Joe

backwardsevolution , May 19, 2018 at 9:48 pm

Joe Tedesky -- "Like I said, both Hillary and Donald's past practices may need investigated, but when will we Americans start discussing the many other issues of our day, is all I'm asking?"

Yes, you are so right, Joe, because those other issues are what the average American really cares about: the price of health care and housing, and whether they're going to be able to put food on the table.

Of course, had Donald Trump been colluding with the Russians, that certainly would have been of importance to the country, but they've been looking under every rock for almost two years now and haven't found anything. Well, Stormy Daniels did pop up, but, hey, Trump never professed to be an angel. All they've done is tied him up in knots and prevented him from dealing with the important issues. They have also left far too many Americans with the impression that he's a traitor when he's not, and by holding these charges above his head, they've probably pushed him into doing things that he wouldn't ordinarily have done.

If what I'm hearing about the Inspector General's report is anything close to the truth, then these people (the Deep State people I mentioned above) tried to overthrow a sitting President. These people are running a parallel government. That is very dangerous and will have to be dealt with severely, with criminal charges.

Hey, Joe, on that happy note, you have a good night.

Joe Tedesky , May 19, 2018 at 10:37 pm

I'm suffering from RussiaGate fatigue, like I said. I never bought into the Russian collusion thing. I'm more bothered by the forever nonsense the MSM has us on, where there is no closure. I mean you sit and listen to people like Rachel go through their hysterics and after 20 minutes per monologue she gives you nothing.

The Hillary crimes are frustrating because nothing comes of her getting to meet the hard justice she deserves. Seriously this evil witch starts a civil war withinside of our governments bureaucracy, and yet no one hears that much about it the way it's going down. On the other hand Donald Trump for mostly the bad of it, gets news coverage beyond what any America politician ever gets, and we're suppose to believe we are operating on normal.

No backwardsevolution the Empire is in trouble, and we are watching it make an ass out of itself while it goes down the drain. I'm sorry at this point in time I don't see any good guys, or gals.

I might add Trump's Middle East policies among his other hard nosed geopolitical endeavors leaves me exhausted trying to figure him out. Hillary should no doubt be in jail, but here we are still on the down low and nothing seems to be working as it should.

Thanks, I do value your opinion. Joe

backwardsevolution , May 19, 2018 at 11:38 pm

Joe Tedesky -- "I'm sorry at this point in time I don't see any good guys, or gals."

Yes, I agree. One good thing about Trump's presidency is that it has exposed the Deep State actors. These are the people who run the government, not the President, and it doesn't matter who is elected. If you don't play along, you're Kennedy'd! That's why so few good people ever vie for top positions; you get hammered.

Joe, the World Cup is coming and all is well! I'm going to knock off, watch some old videos, and get myself psyched up. Good talking to you, Joe, as always.

Realist , May 20, 2018 at 4:06 am

Watergate was focussed. Iran-Contra was focussed. Underlings were convicted in both on charges directly related to the main issues. Nixon resigned and Reagan retired, the Congress not having the will to impeach him, which would have been politically unpopular. "Out-of-the-loop" Bushdaddy saved himself from later impeachment by pardoning some key cabinet members under Reagan (most notably Caspar Weinberger). In contrast, Whitewater blossomed into a full-blown fishing expedition, as has so-called Russiagate. Ken Starr didn't just investigate a land deal or management of the White House travel office, but went over the lives of both Clinton's with a fine tooth comb, eventually precipitating impeachment charges over a stained blue dress. Now, I suppose, the Clinton's and their Democratic adherents feel that turnabout is fair play, though it is undoubtedly just as divisive and destructive to the country as their go round. The woman has obviously been traumatized during her years in the public arena and in the aftermath of the election, but she does the country a great disservice by pushing her vendetta.

Joe Tedesky , May 20, 2018 at 9:09 am

The Clinton pass was always going to be a problem, and many people knew that going into the 2016 Presidential Election Campaign. This didn't stop Hillary though. Why, many here on this comment board wrote with good reason why the Clintons should remain in retirement, but oh no Hillary was going to run come hell or high water. Only a sociopath would overlook so many good reasons of why not to run.

Great perspective Realist. One would think you had a scientific mind . oh wait you do. Joe

Herman , May 19, 2018 at 9:09 am

As I'm sure others commenters on this site will note, those guilty of trying to create a lynch mob and encourage hysteria, will as with Iraq WMD's, emerge unscathed, even more honored for their service to America. And with and increasing number of Americans, we will feel more and more that you cant believe anything anymore and that is a disastrous position to be in for a nation.

mike k , May 19, 2018 at 9:59 am

Herman, it has always been a mistake to rely on belief without careful examination. Plato said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Discerning the truth is intellectual work -- something our false educational system does not teach us to do. Those who learn to sort things out and demand the real truth are mostly self-educated. To wake others up who have been taught to conform and accept authorities, is a lengthy and often thankless task. The tenacity with which many hold onto their false beliefs, is a formidable obstacle to creating a new and better society. I wish I knew a way to accomplish this awakening of our fellows, but I do not. We are left with the option of shortcuts, which are no better than new forms of propaganda to compete with those our subjects have already incorporated in their thinking and character. Following a new leader or movement seems the most one can expect from our brainwashed brothers and sisters

[May 24, 2018] The diversion of Russia Gate is a continuation of former diversions such as the Tea Party which was invented by the banksters to turn public anger over the big banking collapse and the resulting recession into a movement to gain more deregulation for tax breaks for the wealthy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In the case of the fabricated Russia Gate narrative the results of the Trump election and widespread public distrust of the election process was turned into a new cold war with Russia which benefited major defense contractors and resulted in sanctions against Russia and huge windfalls for the Military Industrial Complex as the US ponied up to fund our national defense industry. ..."
"... We should by now be educated that major failures of our economy and political processes precipitated by government deregulation or corrupted elections will be used by the main stream media to create fictional enemies of our nation to turn public anger into a public movement to blame a target of opportunity which will benefit the wealth and power structures which is based on fiction and contrived plots to benefit the very powerful and wealthy organizations such as big banks and the military. ..."
"... The root cause of this is that they (the MSM) own the microphone. They have the ability to lie without rebuttal because they own that single megaphone to tell lies. They have the ability to create fictions and fantasies which go unchallenged because they own the megaphone. ..."
"... From our history: The creation of the Tea Party was a watershed moment where the big banks turned their bailout by the US government into a political movement which was manufactured by the press as a new and never heard about new political party (The Tea Party) into a political movement aimed to grant the big banks and wealthy Americans tax breaks which resulted in a 3.5 trillion bailout we are now on the hook for. ..."
"... How many news corporations supported the lies about WMDs and Iraq's secret stockpiles of Uranium and chemical weapons? The NY Times and the Washington Post were among the most fervent supporters of those lies and they have never acknowledged their errors. ..."
"... So it is with the Trump administration and the media's aim to turn our attention away from the real reasons our election system is corrupted by dark money by creating fake facts to convince us that Russia is a war monger which stole the election and must be countered by more massive military spending and a renewal of the old Cold War. ..."
"... The NY Times got it wrong in Iraq. They got it wrong in Ukraine. They got it wrong in the last election. They got it wrong on savings and loan deregulation under Reagan. They got it wrong on banking deregulation under Clinton. They got it wrong with Russia Gate. They have gotten it wrong so many times that the statement "they got it wrong" is a testament of their ability to fool us all. ..."
"... Yes, I continually read that the government was "in error", they "didn't understand", or "their models were incorrect". Yeah, sure, whatever you say. ..."
"... It's all just one big "Fleece the Sheep" game, except they can't let the sheep know they're being fleeced. Errors and omissions are all part of the game, and the media act to call the sheep to the starting line. ..."
"... Dan if Robert Blum had had his way the CIA would have been privately funded by secret donations. CIA got caught laundering money in the middle to late 60″s and as always CIA makes investigations go away. A recount of the episode can be found in Jane Mayers book Dark Money. The CIA wrote the book on laundering money. Then the ICIJ and the Paradise Papers expose how large the off shore industry is. ..."
"... I was convinced that Russiagate was a complete fabrication after reading the following penned by Caitling Johnstone:" this administration has already killed Russians in Syria, greatly escalated nuclear tensions with Russia, allowed the sale of arms to Ukraine, established a permanent military presence in Syria with the goal of effecting regime change, forced RT and Sputnik to register as foreign agents, expanded NATO with the addition of Montenegro, assigned Russia hawk Kurt Volker as special representative to Ukraine, shut down a Russian consulate in San Francisco and expelled Russian diplomats " ..."
"... Trump is a thug and a money laundering crook, not a machievelian plotter. His total ignorance of world politics is dangerously leading us to armagedden. ..."
May 24, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

CitizenOne May 20, 2018 at 1:32 am

The diversion of Russia Gate is a continuation of former diversions such as the Tea Party which was invented by the banksters to turn public anger over the big banking collapse and the resulting recession into a movement to gain more deregulation for tax breaks for the wealthy.

In the case of the fabricated Russia Gate narrative the results of the Trump election and widespread public distrust of the election process was turned into a new cold war with Russia which benefited major defense contractors and resulted in sanctions against Russia and huge windfalls for the Military Industrial Complex as the US ponied up to fund our national defense industry.

We should by now be educated that major failures of our economy and political processes precipitated by government deregulation or corrupted elections will be used by the main stream media to create fictional enemies of our nation to turn public anger into a public movement to blame a target of opportunity which will benefit the wealth and power structures which is based on fiction and contrived plots to benefit the very powerful and wealthy organizations such as big banks and the military.

Trump won because the media cleaned up big time by playing the Super PACs for suckers just as deregulation of the big banks enabled them to clean up by merging savings banks with investment banks which moved all the savings banks deposits into risky investments.

There is a clear and present danger born out and evidenced by former economic collapses that the media and the big financial institutions will create public relations campaigns based on the mantra of deregulation to swindle Americans even further. They have a proven ability to use their power to persuade Americans that some other reason is responsible for the latest swindle.

The root cause of this is that they (the MSM) own the microphone. They have the ability to lie without rebuttal because they own that single megaphone to tell lies. They have the ability to create fictions and fantasies which go unchallenged because they own the megaphone.

From our history: The creation of the Tea Party was a watershed moment where the big banks turned their bailout by the US government into a political movement which was manufactured by the press as a new and never heard about new political party (The Tea Party) into a political movement aimed to grant the big banks and wealthy Americans tax breaks which resulted in a 3.5 trillion bailout we are now on the hook for.

How many media/news organizations signed onto the Tea Party after the implosion of the banking industry and beat the drums to grant tax breaks for billionaires? All of them.

How many of the media corporations beat the drums to blame Russia for the election results which resulted in sanctions against Russia and a new Cold War with Russia which resulted in windfall profits for the defense industry? All of them.

How many news corporations supported the lies about WMDs and Iraq's secret stockpiles of Uranium and chemical weapons? The NY Times and the Washington Post were among the most fervent supporters of those lies and they have never acknowledged their errors.

The facts are clear in all of these major failures of our free press to get it right. In every case the media have conspired to fool most of the people into believing the lies of the government and the financial sectors published by main stream press as facts which are giant falsehoods.

The result of this collaboration between the press and the wealth in our nation has been to deceive us and to lead us down paths that twist our understanding to a new understanding that benefits the wealthy in times of prosperity and in times of crisis.

So it is with the Trump administration and the media's aim to turn our attention away from the real reasons our election system is corrupted by dark money by creating fake facts to convince us that Russia is a war monger which stole the election and must be countered by more massive military spending and a renewal of the old Cold War.

The NY Times got it wrong in Iraq. They got it wrong in Ukraine. They got it wrong in the last election. They got it wrong on savings and loan deregulation under Reagan. They got it wrong on banking deregulation under Clinton. They got it wrong with Russia Gate. They have gotten it wrong so many times that the statement "they got it wrong" is a testament of their ability to fool us all.

Reply


backwardsevolution , May 20, 2018 at 5:16 pm

CitizenOne – "'They got it wrong' is a testament of their ability to fool us."

Yes, I continually read that the government was "in error", they "didn't understand", or "their models were incorrect". Yeah, sure, whatever you say. They can't come out and inform us that they lied from the get-go because that would prove intent to deceive, so they cover up their tracks by saying they made an "error" whenever things fall apart, as they knew they would.

It's all just one big "Fleece the Sheep" game, except they can't let the sheep know they're being fleeced. Errors and omissions are all part of the game, and the media act to call the sheep to the starting line.

Dave P. , May 20, 2018 at 11:49 pm

Citizen One – Excellent post. Very informed comments indeed.

Skip Scott , May 21, 2018 at 7:15 am

Citizen One-

Great post. It reminded me of a joke I saw the other day:

"A unionized public employee, a member of the Tea Party, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table there is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, looks at the Tea Partier and says, "look out for that union guy, he wants a piece of your cookie."

munchma quchi , May 19, 2018 at 11:51 pm

re: "Without offering a shred of evidence, the FBI, CIA, NSA, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper issued a formal assessment on Jan. 6, 2017, that "Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election [in order] to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency." The "assessment" contains this disclaimer: " [You (the author) did not include a disclaimer. please remedy this.]

F. G. Sanford , May 20, 2018 at 9:39 am

Ms. Quchi,
I think the disclaimer said that intelligence assessments are based on sources, methods and interpretations and rely on raw data. It's raw, so it has to be properly marinated until it's fit for consumption. Addenda to the disclaimer indicate that the Intelligence Community will not accept outrageous conspiracy theories, noting specifically that, "They hate us for our freedom, and those weapons of mass destruction must be here somewhere." It's the standard "release from liability" which accompanies all official narratives. Kinda like eating tuna fish: It's pretty good once you get past the smell.

Chet Roman , May 20, 2018 at 11:35 am

Page 13 of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) of Jan. 6, 2017
explains: "High confidence does not imply that the assessment is a fact or a certainty; such judgments might be wrong. Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that show something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents."

robert e williamson jr , May 19, 2018 at 7:35 pm

Dan I really can not disagree with much you have to say here. Except there are a few things about this whole affair that bug the hell out of me. For instance the fact that the village idiot from new york spent over $400 million in cash the last 9 years before he ran for president.

Your effort here sounds quite a lot like whining about having nothing to report. Calm down these things take time. If Russia isn't to blame fine but Mueller is not talking and seems to be conducting himself very professionally.

Dan if Robert Blum had had his way the CIA would have been privately funded by secret donations. CIA got caught laundering money in the middle to late 60″s and as always CIA makes investigations go away. A recount of the episode can be found in Jane Mayers book Dark Money. The CIA wrote the book on laundering money. Then the ICIJ and the Paradise Papers expose how large the off shore industry is.

Trump like doing business with Russians during a time when Russian oligarchs were hiding the money they pulled from the Soviet coffers. I think it has gotten him in trouble.

Also interesting is the accounts of what has happen with the Inslaw / PROMIS case and Bill Hamilton. Was this software and early version of what CIA and NSA use to monitor the world now?

One last thing in your last paragraph here you claim the Dimocraps have gone off the deep end with the Russian Connection thing. Dan the dimocraps went off the deep end with their undying allegiance to Israel. And they do little damned else.

When this is finished if CIA allows the release of the Dogdamned files maybe we will learn what happened. Chill my brotha !

kntlt , May 20, 2018 at 6:14 pm

Listen to this man.

drC , May 19, 2018 at 7:27 pm

"The press, the intelligence community, and the Democrats" have committed FAR MORE than a mere "crime against journalism". For kryssakes, this isn't a debating society at Yale! They have provoked international tensions, suspicions and distrust that have pushed the world far closer to the brink of a third world war, damaging national economies across the globe & negatively impacting the lives of millions.

jose , May 19, 2018 at 6:30 pm

I was convinced that Russiagate was a complete fabrication after reading the following penned by Caitling Johnstone:" this administration has already killed Russians in Syria, greatly escalated nuclear tensions with Russia, allowed the sale of arms to Ukraine, established a permanent military presence in Syria with the goal of effecting regime change, forced RT and Sputnik to register as foreign agents, expanded NATO with the addition of Montenegro, assigned Russia hawk Kurt Volker as special representative to Ukraine, shut down a Russian consulate in San Francisco and expelled Russian diplomats "

Since the US national media have been aware of the lack of solid evidence against Russia allege meddling case, they now want to pretend it has not been their fault. Their sheer dishonesty underscores their deviant reporting.

ranney , May 19, 2018 at 5:54 pm

Joe, Abe, Andrew, Sam, Mike,

You are all correct in blaming the MSM for ignoring Israel in all this and whitewashing the main cause of our problems in the middle east. I agree that Russia has not been interfering in our politics any more than virtually all the other countries in the world who have embassys here and things they want to "lobby" for. I believe spying is universal and the US does it more than most, but everyone does it including Russia (and UK, France Germany Israel, Ukraine and on and on for everyone on the map).

What I find increasingly strange is the fact that the MSM and just about everyone else is ignoring the fact that Trump did indeed have business with Russia. He was trying to get permission and financial backing for a Trump tower to be built in Moscow. and he had been trying for a while before he even thought of running for president. THAT is what his now indicted lawyer was doing initially, along with others in Trump's employ. That is why there is indeed evidence of contact with Russians during the pre- campaign and during the campaign as well. Trump didn't want to lose this lucrative deal which, also involves money laundering and other illegal, and/or shady dealings.
I can't figure out why Muller hasn't subpoenaed or somehow got hold of Trump's tax returns. I'm pretty sure he'd find all the crimes we need to impeach him.

Trump is a thug and a money laundering crook, not a machievelian plotter. His total ignorance of world politics is dangerously leading us to armagedden. And I can't help but wonder why Muller is slow walking this whole investigation. I'm pretty sure he can see what I can see. Trump is a crooked, money launderer, ultra con man with his Trump towers and other ploys, and too dumb and ignorant of history and science to understand how dangerous the game he plays is to the world when he has the power of the presidency. But Muller knows that! So what else is really going on that explains why he has moved at snails pace to stop the damage?
Does anyone have a good guess at that? I'd really like to read it.

[May 23, 2018] Complex hostory of Israel as a nation and the role of external support in sustaining it

May 23, 2018 | www.unz.com

Zumbuddi , May 22, 2018 at 3:57 pm GMT

@iffen

Compared to Israel, Hamas and the Palestinia s are on a fast-track.

Jews started colonizing Palestine at latest by 1910. In 1930, the project was still sparse and in danger of financial collspse.

British sponsorship and protection from 1917 to 1948 provided the security guarantee rich Jews required before investing in the project –ideology is one thing but busi eds is business. While under the British security blamket, mansions were built for Chain Weizmann & the Schockens; banking was established and a hospital, and the beginnings of Hebrew University.

In addition to the British providing security in the period 1917 – 1948, Germans provided organizational, cultural and intellectual talent and expertise as well as an infusion of capital. This carried Israel for a time, but the Talmudist Polish Jews who took over Israel never, in all their history, developed the ability to get along with others, not even other Jews.

Based on ancient as well as more recent bonds among Iran, Germany, and Jews, Iran served as Israel's security "pillar" 1948 – 1979, Iran sharing its oil wealth with still-struggling Israel. By the mid-1960s, Jews opened a major artery into the German body politic/money vault and has vampires on that revenue stream ever since.

Still, and with all these advantages and supports, well into the 1980s, Israel had not achieved cultural cohesion nor economic vigor.

Only with the injection of Russian brain power, created by Russian taxpayers then subsidized to migrate by American taxpayers -- only then did Israel start to develop a sound economy. "Startup Nation" is very young and was NOT a home-grown phenomenon; there are serious doubts whether Israel's education system can equal the capacities migrated in from Germany and Russia.

... ... ...

[May 23, 2018] If the Trump-Russia set up began in spring 2016 or earlier, presumably it was undertaken on the assumption that HRC would win the election. (I say "presumably" because you never can tell..) If so, then the operation would have been an MI6 / Ukrainian / CIA coordinated op intended to frame Putin, not Trump

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Could it be that Mueller is there for some other reason? we know there are special interests that the democrats represent and since the US federal system doesn't really lend itself to any sort of coalition govt of any form, that the investigation is cover for the those interests being represented in some fashion the form doesn't allow for. ..."
"... Presumably the op would have allowed HRC to undertake just the sort of actions against Russia that, after Trump's election, have been undertaken in any case. The difference being that there is at least some reason to bet that HRC along with Obama knew something of the operation, and that in conjunction with UK/Ukrainian interests was planning her early foreign policy directives. The election of Trump on this reading was accidental to the op as originally designed. Is this right? ..."
May 23, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

heath | May 22, 2018 11:28:05 AM | 8

Could it be that Mueller is there for some other reason? we know there are special interests that the democrats represent and since the US federal system doesn't really lend itself to any sort of coalition govt of any form, that the investigation is cover for the those interests being represented in some fashion the form doesn't allow for.

fastfreddy , May 22, 2018 11:46:23 AM | 11

Heath,

That's what I'm thinking. It is apparent the "The Mueller Investigation" is - firstly - a major distraction. It is also apparent that it doesn't make any headway, lead to any conclusions or indictments of any big fish.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/2/20/17031772/mueller-indictments-grand-jury

WJ , May 22, 2018 1:00:41 PM | 17
Re: Mueller. If the Trump-Russia set up began in spring 2016 or earlier, presumably it was undertaken on the assumption that HRC would win the election. (I say "presumably" because you never can tell..) If so, then the operation would have been an MI6 / Ukrainian / CIA coordinated op intended to frame Putin, not Trump.

Presumably the op would have allowed HRC to undertake just the sort of actions against Russia that, after Trump's election, have been undertaken in any case. The difference being that there is at least some reason to bet that HRC along with Obama knew something of the operation, and that in conjunction with UK/Ukrainian interests was planning her early foreign policy directives. The election of Trump on this reading was accidental to the op as originally designed. Is this right?

WJ , May 22, 2018 1:08:52 PM | 18
The other possibility being that the operation was demanded by Trump winning the Republican primary, as a kind of insurance policy. He being the only candidate who could not be predictably counted on to follow the anti-Putin hard liners in the Military-intelligence community, something needed to be done to ensure that, on the off chance that he won, the anti-Russian measures already being planned for would not be affected.

So it is perhaps unlikely that this op would have been necessary had, say, Jeb Bush or Rubio won the primary.

What made it necessary was the unknown quantity that Trump represented. This would mean, again, that the op was not so much partisan (Dem v Rep) as it was about ensuring continuity of military-intelligence decisions in face of relatively unknown entity. Had Bush won the R nomination, there would have been no op because the Bush family like the Clintons are down for whatever.

BraveNewWorld , May 22, 2018 1:25:22 PM | 20
If they shutdown Mueller you can expect a sudden gush of leaks like some one took a shot gun to a fire hose.

[May 23, 2018] The Messiah Is Here, by Israel Shamir - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... Weltanschauung ..."
"... maya ..."
"... Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net ..."
"... The Unz Review ..."
May 23, 2018 | www.unz.com

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Perhaps the Jewish Messiah is already here, though we are not aware of his coming? All Jewish dreams and desires were fulfilled this mid-May. Well, almost all. Two great world power leaders competed in their benevolence to Jews, while ordinary Israelis had fun and exhilarating soft target practice shooting unarmed Gazans or at least cheering the sharpshooters. Iranians gnashed their teeth but did nothing. The US Congress deemed that the Poles should pay the Jews $300 billion in tribute. And an exceedingly obnoxious Jewish wench got the crown of the European art scene, accidentally ensuring that the new capital of Israel, Jerusalem, will be the location of a prominent international gathering next year.

If you think that some of this benevolence should drip to you and that your lot should be somewhat better, think again. Nobody promised you a rose garden. The Jewish Messiah is good for the Jews, while non-Jews should just work harder and prepare for divine vengeance. There are arguments about whether all the goyim will be hit by vengeance, or whether some should survive to buy retail. However, benevolence towards non-Jews is not a striking feature of this arrangement.

I was quite apprehensive in the beginning of May. The schedule appeared scary. The Iranians had established themselves in Syria, the Russians were prepared to equip Syria with their best S-300 system (it is more reliable than the new and fancy S-400). The Palestinians planned to demonstrate on the 70 th anniversary of their Nakba loosely coinciding with the US Embassy move to Jerusalem and with beginning of Ramadan. A war with Iran and Hezbollah, riots in the Palestinian territories, loss of the God-given right to fly and bomb as we wish all over the Middle East – dangers galore were stored for the first half of May. With all my critical attitude, the utter destruction of the beloved land is not my wet dream.

Prudent people would tread cautiously, preferring to minimize their risks in such a situation, but Jews are all for maximising them. If we must have trouble, let us have all the trouble now to have it done with, said Netanyahu. And all troubles – the Iran nuclear deal collapse, the Nakba anniversary, the shift of the US embassy to Jerusalem, the confrontation in Syria, the beginning of Ramadan – were unloaded at once. Israel passed it with flying colours. There was no big war.

Palestine

True, some 60 Palestinian demonstrators were shot dead, the same number as were martyred in the Sharpeville Massacre , but what a difference! South Africa turned into a pariah state overnight, and the global campaign to dismantle apartheid began in earnest. The Gaza Massacre has been whitewashed by the obedient mainstream media, reported the RT . This event proved once again that mass media and social networks all over the world are in the Jewish grip, firm and invisible. Governments, parties, diplomats can and did protest, but the general public was insulated from the event.

The global system of mass information has changed a lot since 1960. There is an incredible abundance of information, a veritable flood that washes off everything. People think only what they are told today, and mass campaigns are produced by media and think tanks, they do not produce themselves. People are being told every day about, say, the Holocaust, or about Assad's atrocities, or Putin's meddling so it is kept in their minds. The moment the campaign is turned off, interest flags and the matter is totally forgotten, like the Skripal Affair was forgotten after it had been played to full capacity. Now Skripal has been disappeared by the British Secret Services, but this is not mentioned, outside of this publication.

And the mass murder in Gaza is already on its way to oblivion. They wanted to remind the world that they are buried alive in the grave of Gaza, and now they are dead. The people of Gaza have been locked up there for 70 years; the last 12 years were the worst, as the Gaza Strip has been under siege by Israel since they voted for Hamas. Gaza is almost unliveable, as Israel has bombed its power station, its sewage plants, its harbour and airfield. They can't even fish, as Israeli boats machinegun the fishing boats. They can see their homes and fields taken from them just because they aren't Jews, and they can't reach them. This expulsion, dispossession, imprisonment of three generations, and siege are a unique Jewish sin.

Perhaps, the Holocaust was a divine punishment for Jewish treatment of Gaza, since for God, time sequence is of no importance. In the Torah, there are no earlier or later events, בתורה מאוחר ואין מוקדם אין, teaches the Talmud, and it is true. One can be punished for the sins not yet committed, and if they will not be committed, the punishment will be undone, too. If the Jews wouldn't torture Gaza, there would be no Auschwitz.

Gaza is a noble place despite its depredation. In many countries, children of rulers are turning into billionaires. The daughter of the Angolan president is the richest woman in Africa: she is the only mobile telephony provider in diamond-rich Angola. But there is another tradition, of the children of the rulers being first to war. That is the tradition of Gaza. Among those shot by Israeli sharpshooters, there were thee children of Gaza's leaders.

The son of the ex-Prime Minister of Gaza, Ismail Haniye, Maaz, has been among the heavily wounded. Ahmed al-Rantisi, the son of Abd el Aziz al-Rantisi, the founder of Hamas, has been killed. His father, called the Lion of Palestine, was been assassinated by the Jews in 2004, when an Israeli helicopter gunship launched a missile at his car in the centre of Gaza, killing him, his bodyguards and wounding passers-by. And now his son has followed him. Izz al-Din al-Sammak, son of Musa al-Sammak, a Hamas leader, was killed, and he was only 14 years old.

ORDER IT NOW

Altogether over a hundred boys and young men, the flower of Palestine, have been reaped in these unarmed demonstrations of April-May. A purpose of this killing spree was to show that non-violent resistance is futile. It is more fun to kill an armed opponent, if you are much better armed. When you kill an unarmed one, it is obviously not cricket. But such consideration has never stopped a Jew.

The reason is the serious doubt in the humanity of non-Jews that is planted in the centre of the Jewish religious Weltanschauung . A good Israeli who condemns Gaza killings most probably is a vegetarian, who objects to the killing of animals, too. Such good Israelis are often anti-male, and prefer to use a feminine form of nouns, like Zochrot . Such good Israelis usually are anti-native, and support unlimited immigration of Africans to Palestine. Such people can't be numerous, and they aren't.

As for other Jews, they learned from the Matrix protagonist, Neo (Keanu Reeves), who had been taught to (dis)regard obvious dangers as maya , as a mirage created by the Matrix, and he jumped from skyscrapers and dodged bullets. Jews apparently have a similar attitude to reality. One day it won't work, to their surprise, but this time it worked.

The transfer of the US Embassy had been described as the main reason for the bloodshed. However, this is a line of @neverTrump brotherhood. This spiteful decision had done a lot of good, as it ruined the carefully nurtured fiction of the US as an honest broker. Very few Palestinians cared about this Trump decision, a few dozens demonstrated against it in Jerusalem and other places, while the mammoth demonstration in Gaza was unrelated to Trump, as described above. It is not Trump who declared siege on Gaza, it is not Trump who expelled Palestinians from their homes, it is not Trump who perpetuated the Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe. Trump undermined the Machiavellian tactics of the State Department and made it hard for the Arab stooges to follow Washington, and this is not bad.

Iran

Iran is a big, far away country, and there is no practical reason for Israel to quarrel with them. But Iran is the last and only country in the Middle East that is not subject to Jewish hegemony. Netanyahu did its best to set the US upon Iran by doing a Colin Powell act. Jews prevailed upon Trump to take his country out of the nuclear deal of six powers, and after that, in the moment of highest tension, Israel bombed so-called Iranian bases in Syria. Nothing happened. Iranians, upset and annoyed, still submit to the laws of the Matrix, and they aren't going to jump from skyscrapers or counterattack Israel and experience Trump's fury. For this president is a tame elephant for the Jews.

The best gift God Almighty gave the Jews this season is the Matzo balls of president Trump. The Chosen people have got him by the balls in more ways than one. He had been caught with a loose woman, just like President Clinton, and he was justifiably afraid of impeachment. In this moment of sorrow he decided to surrender to Jewish mercies, and to do all they asked.

He tore up the Iran nuclear deal, just as Bibi Netanyahu asked. He promised to heap sanctions on Iran until they surrender and change their regime for an Israel-friendly one. And then he delivered on his promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. A fat lot of good that did him.

I do not envy Trump. The Jewish mode of support for a leader is a form of waterboarding: the leader is allowed to survive, but only just. The Jewish logic works like that: if we shall save him, he will forget about us and disregard our wishes. So he should be saved but left imperilled. This is what happened to the US President. Jews, and even Israelis were strategically located between the Stormy wench and Trump's Cohen; they have the heights of the Attorney General's office and strong positions in the Congress. Like in waterboarding, Trump remains of the verge of drowning, and he has to do the wishes of his persecutors.

Israel will continue to goad Iran, hoping to cause an American-Iranian war. This is a given. If Trump is clever, he won't strike Iran. Instead, he should strike the Mueller-Gestapo. While Rouhani is the President of Iran, probably Iran will not respond to the Israeli/US provocations, but Rouhani's position is precarious. Iranians feel that Kim the King of the North managed the American threat better, and they may change their ruler and take a Kim line as a guidance. Israel as a forward base of the US Empire can come under threat.

The best thing about Trump's Iran policy is that it broke the seemingly unbreakable link between the US and Europe. Where Obama would try to patch differences, Trump enlarged the gap, and even docile Europeans came to the conclusion that they have to be more independent from Washington. This can bring a disconnect between the US banks and European banks, and allow the Europeans to disobey the US sanctions against Iran and Russia. This process is not close to its completion, but it has started. Iran, Russia and European businesses will be the beneficiaries, while the US will find itself out of this game.

Turkey

The strongest voice against Israeli brutality was that of President Erdogan of Turkey. He sent Israeli ambassador home, called back his own ambassador, and organised a meeting of Muslim states' leaders to deal with Israel. Independence of Israel had been Erdogan's hallmark for a long time: he argued with Shimon Peres at Davos years ago, and the recent attempted coup against him also had some Israeli support.

ORDER IT NOW

If you are against Israel, you have to be against the US, the bigger Jewish state. This suits Erdogan. Because of this animosity, no American plane took off from the Turkish NATO base to bomb Syria. The Turkish fight against Kurdish separatists undermined the US will to stay in Syria by all means, and now there are strong indications that Trump intends to dry up financing of the rebels' enclave in NW Syria, unhappy Idlib. Israel is likely to find itself facing a united and rebuilt Syria, a prospect it hardly cherishes.

Russia

The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, could throw a wrench into the Israeli plans. He is heavily invested in Syria; he needs Iranian troops there, for without them, he'd have to send Russian infantry to dislodge Islamist rebels from the ruins of Syrian cities. He had been humiliated by the US as they had stricken Syrian bases and cities while the Russians sat on their hands. His Chief of Staff said that Syria would get the S-300, and then woe betide the Israeli and American transgressors.

Israelis took this threat in their stride. The Israeli Minister of Defence Avigdor Lieberman said that Israelis would take out the S-300 ("even S-700", he added) if it would be on our way. And Netanyahu made a strong political gesture – he flew to Moscow and he spent the whole of May 9th with the Russian president.

May 9 is the Russian V-day; it became the biggest and most important Russian holiday under Putin, as the old Soviet feasts had been cancelled while the new ones were in the process of gestation. This was the day when Russians would love to receive prominent guests of honour, but they weren't coming. This was the Lonely Putin Day. Very few leaders responded to his invitation to come and to review the military parade on the Red Square.

The choice of the holiday was not a natural one: the war is a distant event for vast majority of Russians. Their allies in the war are their present adversaries, the US and England. World War Two has been privatised by the Jews, at least in Western public opinion. For the Westerners, this was the war for the Jews and against the enemy of Jews. There are few references to the war where the Holocaust hasn't been mentioned. Being aware of these narrative deficiencies, the Soviet leaders didn't make much out of V-day.

Putin for his nation-building needed a holiday to unite people, to co-opt the pro-Soviet majority without antagonising the anti-Soviet groups. He took V-day and made it into a big event, discounting its faults.

The arrival of Benjamin Netanyahu on that day was a heaven-sent gift for Putin. Here was the man who could call upon the US Senate, who can deal with the US President, and now he came in person, Mr World Jewry personified, supporting the Russian narrative of history. Bibi pinned up the black-and-orange St George ribbon , the mark of a Russian patriot and Putin's loyalist, he took a poster with a portrait and a name of a (Jewish) war hero and marched next to Putin in the Immortal Regiment parade. Grateful Putin acknowledged the Holocaust and declared friendship with Jewish people.

Netanyahu repaid his host by a missile strike upon Syria, almost right away. This is a standard Israeli procedure: upon any high-level meeting with the Russians, bomb their allies, so they would know who is more important. They bombed Syria while Russian Defence Minister Shoygu's jet was still in flight from Moscow to Tel Aviv.

Putin swallowed it, and promised to refrain from supplying S-300 to Syria, despite his Chief of Staff's words. Soon, Israel attacked Syria in force; according to Israel, they attacked Iranian bases; according to Iranians, there are no such things; there are no Iranian bases and no Iranian troops. However, this Israeli attack remained without response.

Since that fateful May 9th day, Russian media has been treating Israel very cautiously. Even the Gaza massacre didn't bring many condemnations in the Russian media, though the Russian Foreign Office condemned this brutal act. The official state agency RIA reported that Israeli soldiers shot at "especially aggressive individuals". The second state news agency TASS minimized its reporting about the massacre.

The Russians in power are not keen on Iran and Iranians, an Iranian friend told me. Though Iran would like to buy everything the Russians are willing to sell, the Russians drag their feet. The volume of trade between Russia and Iran is the same as between Russian and tiny Israel, less than $2 billion per annum. Israel has a lot of supporters in the Russian elites, Russians visit Israel by their thousands, while Iran is an unwanted partner.

In short, the Jews overcame their problems by mid-May 2018, and emerged as a leading polity on the planet Earth, in perfect rapport with both superpowers and in control over mind of billions. The massacre of Gaza furnished the proof they can kill with impunity. Yet, until now, the Jews always exceeded a good measure and brought calamity upon themselves. There is no reason to doubt it will happen this time, too. More about it, about the Jewish assault on Poland and on European aesthetics in the next piece.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review . ← The Korean Summit Category: Foreign Policy Tags: Donald Trump , Gaza , Iran , Israel , Israel/Palestine , Russia Recently from Author

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Rational , May 20, 2018 at 5:36 am GMT

RULE 1: KNOW THYSELF. RULE 2: KNOW THE ENEMY.

Thanks for the excellent article, Sir. You make excellent points. But I do not know what you mean when you say "Jews".

The most important words in the English language are on the Tower of Delph: "Know Thyself." The second most important words in the English language are on the Tower (my computer tower): "Know The Enemy."

"Jews" is an English term for Hebrew Yehudi, which means a citizen or resident of Yehud (Judah). It refers to citizen of a place, like Texans, New Yorkers, etc.

The Judaists who live in New York or Florida or Germany are obviously not Yehudi, as they are NOT residents of Yehud (Judah). In fact, the province of Judah no longer exists, so nobody is a Yehudi (Jew) any more.

There was a country called Rhodesia, and if somebody came to you and says he is a Rhodesian, he is lying. So if somebody comes to you and says he is a "Jew" (Yehudi), citizen of Yehud, tell him to show you his passport from the nation of Yehud. He won't have any, and he is surely lying.

See: https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/why-are-jews-called-jews-1.5410757

So there are no more Jews in this world, since there is no more Judea. Only Judaists.

RealAmerican , May 20, 2018 at 10:28 am GMT
Resistance is also futile for Americans. That there must be zero separation between US and Israeli policies is already in place, and the Masters do not reside in Washington. Bolton, Haley, and the rest of the so called cabal of advisors cannot even conceive of what is in the interest of ordinary Americans. All hope is lost for MAGA. Those who continue to believe Trump's lofty rhetoric are not paying attention.
sarz , May 20, 2018 at 11:51 am GMT
A remark I posted at Xymphora seems relevant to this article:

Globalist and Resistance accounts of the Golan missile battle are very different. The regional Resistance-aligned press says the Israelis got creamed. Here is a summary by Sayed Hasan.

http://thesaker.is/syria-im&#8230 ;

The Hezbollah leader, Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah gives a detailed analysis of what he takes to be a serious Israeli defeat.

http://thesaker.is/syria-im&#8230 ;

Nasrallah puts a lot of store in his reputation for telling the truth, and has a following in Israel for that reason.

But Thierry Meyssan, the war correspondent of Libya and Syria, who also has some credibility, gives a very different account. He is, however, not sounding like his own self. He now seems to favour recognition of right to conquered territory if it has been held long enough.

http://www.voltairenet.org/&#8230 ;

It's important to get the facts right. Putin's statement that tbe Syrians had all they need, and so no need for the S-300, could mean a lot of different things, depending on the actual facts. Could even be Syrians have the Irani clone of the S-300, as some Israeli reports presuppose.

If Israel has been overmastered in the Golan, it makes the ritual slaughter of Gaza somewhat bearable. Could be that relief is in sight. Inshallah.

Renoman , May 20, 2018 at 11:57 am GMT
Not since WW2 has hatred and disdain for the Jews been higher. I would say Israel is closer to being wiped off the face of the Earth than ever before.
Brabantian , Website May 20, 2018 at 1:46 pm GMT
Notable perspectives from Israel Shamir here interesting the evidence he gives that Putin is more of a sell-out to the oligarch-Israeli complex than Trump

Putin's state media spinning an Israeli-indulging line on the Gaza massacres, Putin letting Israel kill Syrians and Iranians in Syria, Putin denying Syria even the S-300 missile defence ZeroHedge now suggesting Putin has asked Iranians to leave Syria altogether

Whilst, as Shamir suggests, Trump – tho a Deep State hostage – has struck two major blows against Israel, via the technique of exploiting Israeli over-reach and giving them more than they expect to get as Shamir writes, firstly of the Embassy in Jerusalem ploy -

Trump undermined the Machiavellian tactics of the State Department and made it hard for the Arab stooges to follow Washington, and this is not bad

And then re the new Iran sanctions, about to cause billions of losses to European business

The best thing about Trump's Iran policy is that it broke the seemingly unbreakable link between the US and Europe

Maybe Trump is indeed a brave man cleverly doing what he can in the most deadly dangerous circumstances imaginable

Whilst with Vladimir Putin

Robert Magill , May 20, 2018 at 2:11 pm GMT
Enough already with the SideShow, US-Russia-Israel; the main event is in the Big Tent China. We get 24/7 the squabble and noise these three create while China slips though the clutter and does business. High speed bullet trains are beginning to whip all over the Eastern Hemisphere. They run both ways carrying people and freight in and out of the Peoples Republic. While the US freaks out, having just noticed a massive trade deficit that is decades old, China makes business that profits themselves and sixty other countries.
If the US doesn't soon get its act together, China will line up the Western Hemisphere as well. Maybe the US will serve as a coaling station or parking lot?

https://robertmagill.wordpress.com/2018/05/16/is-chairman-xi-modeling-kubilai-khan/

Per/Norway , May 20, 2018 at 3:42 pm GMT
@Robert Magill

i dont think the US will much of anything after the empire fails,, the oceans that have kept them safe from knowing what war really is will now serve as a fence.. if they are lucky they will get their wall on the mexican border to keep them enslaved. no escape for the surviving slaves i fear.. the honest Americans i know have my deepest sympathy, the rest i pray for.

utu , May 20, 2018 at 4:00 pm GMT
Summary

Jews are winning on all fronts.

Russia humiliated and ready to surrender.

Iran isolated. Was correct to not trust Russia.

Poor grotesque Poland. Always #1 among losers.

Do not count on Europe. Merkel overslept.

China remains isolated. Was correct in assessment of Russia as not a viable ally.

Realist , May 20, 2018 at 4:58 pm GMT
@Renoman

I would say Israel is closer to being wiped off the face of the Earth than ever before.

Not with the Bibi butt kisser as President ..although he's not in control.

Realist , May 20, 2018 at 5:07 pm GMT
@Brabantian

Notable perspectives from Israel Shamir here interesting the evidence he gives that Putin is more of a sell-out to the oligarch-Israeli complex than Trump

Putin's state media spinning an Israeli-indulging line on the Gaza massacres, Putin letting Israel kill Syrians and Iranians in Syria, Putin denying Syria even the S-300 missile defence ZeroHedge now suggesting Putin has asked Iranians to leave Syria altogether

Putin has indeed sold out Iran and Syria, but it is hard to believe that Putin is more of a sell out than Trump.

Why in hell did the White gentiles allow the Jews to get so powerful?

utu , May 20, 2018 at 7:42 pm GMT

Friedrich Nietzsche – Daybreak : Book III – Aphorism # 205

Of the people of Israel. Among the spectacles to which the coming century invites us is the decision as to the destiny of the Jews of Europe. That their die is cast, that they have crossed their Rubicon, is now palpably obvious: all that is left for them is either to become the masters of Europe or to lose Europe as they once a long time ago lost Egypt, where they had placed themselves before a similar either-or. In Europe, however, they have gone through an eighteen-century schooling such as no other nation of this continent can boast of and what they have experienced in this terrible time of schooling has benefited the individual to a greater degree than it has the community as a whole. As a consequence of this, the psychological and spiritual resources of the Jews today are extraordinary; of all those who live in Europe they are least liable to resort to drink or suicide in order to escape from some profound dilemma something the less gifted are often apt to do. Every Jew possesses in the history of his fathers and grandfathers a great fund of examples of the coldest self-possession and endurance in fearful situations, of the subtlest outwitting and exploitation of chance and misfortune; their courage beneath the cloak of miserable submission, their heroism in spernere se sperni, surpasses the virtues of all the saints. For two millennia an attempt was made to render them contemptible by treating them with contempt, and by barring to them the way to all honours and all that was honourable, and in exchange thrusting them all the deeper into the dirtier trades and it is true that they did not grow cleaner in the process. But contemptible? They themselves have never ceased to believe themselves called to the highest things, and the virtues which pertain to all who suffer have likewise never ceased to adorn them. The way in which they honour their fathers and their children, the rationality of their marriages and marriage customs, distinguish them among all Europeans. In addition to all this, they have known how to create for themselves a feeling of power and of eternal revenge out of the very occupations left to them (or to which they were left); one has to say in extenuation even of their usury that without this occasional pleasant and useful torturing of those who despised them it would have been difficult for them to have preserved their own self-respect for so long. For our respect for ourselves is tied to our being able to practise requital, in good things and bad. At the same time, however, their revenge does not easily go too far: for they all possess the liberality, including liberality of soul, to which frequent changes of residence, of climate, of the customs of one's neighbours and oppressors educates men; they possess by far the greatest experience of human society, and even in their passions they practise the caution taught by this experience. They are so sure in their intellectual suppleness and shrewdness that they never, even in the worst straits, need to earn their bread by physical labour, as common workmen, porters, agricultural slaves. Their demeanour still reveals that their souls have never known chivalrous noble sentiments nor their bodies handsome armour: a certain importunity mingles with an often charming but almost always painful submissiveness. But now, since they are unavoidably going to ally themselves with the best aristocracy of Europe more and more with every year that passes, they will soon have created for themselves a goodly inheritance of spiritual and bodily demeanour: so that a century hence they will appear sufficiently noble not to make those they dominate ashamed to have them as masters. And that is what matters! That is why it is still too soon for a settlement of their affairs! They themselves know best that a conquest of Europe, or any kind of act of violence, on their part is not to be thought of: but they also know that at some future time Europe may fall into their hands like a ripe fruit if they would only just extend them. To bring that about they need, in the meantime, to distinguish themselves in every domain of European distinction and to stand everywhere in the first rank: until they have reached the point at which they themselves determine what is distinguishing. Then they will be called the inventors and signposts of the nations of Europe and no longer offend their sensibilities. And whither shall this assembled abundance of grand impressions which for every Jewish family constitutes Jewish history, this abundance of passions, virtues, decisions, renunciations, struggles, victories of every kind whither shall it stream out if not at last into great men and great works! Then, when the Jews can exhibit as their work such jewels and golden vessels as the European nations of a briefer and less profound experience could not and cannot produce, when Israel will have transformed its eternal vengeance into an eternal blessing for Europe: then there will again arrive that seventh day on which the ancient Jewish God may rejoice in himself, his creation and his chosen people and let us all, all of us, rejoice with him!

Bliss , May 20, 2018 at 10:41 pm GMT

The Russians in power are not keen on Iran and Iranians, an Iranian friend told me. Though Iran would like to buy everything the Russians are willing to sell, the Russians drag their feet. The volume of trade between Russia and Iran is the same as between Russian and tiny Israel, less than $2 billion per annum. Israel has a lot of supporters in the Russian elites, Russians visit Israel by their thousands, while Iran is an unwanted partner.

Another reason why Iran is not a good partner for Russia (in the long run) is that it is a conservative Shi'a Theocracy, while Russian muslims (the largest minority group) are Sunnis who tend towards moderacy and Sufism.

anon [425] Disclaimer , May 20, 2018 at 11:00 pm GMT
This was the day when Russians would love to receive prominent guests of honour, but they weren't coming. This was the Lonely Putin Day

I wonder why no-one showed up. If that were true, then Putin have very right not trust anybody in times of distress when certain moral supports could have gone a long way to give him the courage he needs

AaronB , May 20, 2018 at 11:09 pm GMT
@utu

lol, I remember reading that when I was a kid.

All Nietzsche's hyperventilating aside, the basic issue is between an Enlightenment people that has killed itself with logic, and a non-Enlightenment people that retains vitality because it is still connected to the irrational.

Not eighteen centuries of training or any such nonsense – this training just happened to manifest when European people's became weak and without motivation through too much Enlightenment? Ah-ha.

The situation is reversible, and will be reversed. Europeans will reconnect to the irrational, rediscover the emotional sources of motivation, and the Jewish issue won't matter anymore.

Felix Keverich , May 20, 2018 at 11:42 pm GMT
@utu

Russia humiliated and ready to surrender.

Iran isolated. Was correct to not trust Russia.

China remains isolated. Was correct in assessment of Russia as not a viable ally.

What, you don't like Putin's Russia no more? lol

Iran doesn't have a lot of options. Russia is one of the few countries in the world willing to brave American sanctions regime and do business with Iran. And that means Russia can afford to hurt Iran's feelings. It doesn't matter how many times Russia hurts Iran's feelings, because at the end of the day Iran has nobody else to turn to: they are genuinely isolated, and China isn't exactly rushing to defend Iranians from Israeli airstrikes.

El Dato , May 21, 2018 at 12:07 am GMT
@Realist

Israel as a forward base of the US Empire can come under threat.

Israel is not a forward base, it is now part of the decision core. Yes, geographically exposed, not safely ensconced in the (so-awkwardly-renamed) Homeland.

A bit like orbiting the moon the Endor.

And there is some cackling going on in the management room.

"Your overconfidence is your weakness."
"Your faith in your friends is yours."

Bliss , May 21, 2018 at 1:46 am GMT
@RealAmerican

All hope is lost for MAGA. Those who continue to believe Trump's lofty rhetoric are not paying attention.

Maybe all hope is lost for your ilk (far right racists consumed with hatred for Jews and Blacks), but America is greater today both economically and geopolitically than it was before Trump.

You must not have been paying attention to what Trump was saying during the campaign. When was the last time a President kept so many of his promises so fast?

utu , May 21, 2018 at 3:40 am GMT
@Felix Keverich

I would like to know what was the Plan in 2015 when Putin moved in to Syria? Or what was Netanyahu getting from it. It was Netanyahu who gave Putin the green light. W/o it Putin would not move to Syria. Was a trap?

What Russia is getting in return now that she could not get w/o its Syrian adventure? Is there something positive? That Syria regime is still there, that Hezbollah is still there?

Besides, is it really over? It looks like it but we can't be sure.

Is China responsible for this outcome by being too timid and too distant?

In 2015 Putin looked good and many projected their hopes on him as the Great Savior of White Man Gentile Civilization. Now they must cope with their disappointment. There are several stages to it like denial, anger and so on.

RobinG , May 21, 2018 at 4:45 am GMT
@utu

Substitute Shamir for Saker?

https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/05/the-saker-isnt-just-wrong-hes-irrelevant-putins-an-excellent-warrior/

Monty Ahwazi , May 21, 2018 at 4:51 am GMT
Putin is a money hungry and corrupt thug! Once he's finished sucking off the money and oxygen from the Zionists, he will throw them under the bus! At which time the Russian Mobs will take care of him!
Biff , May 21, 2018 at 4:57 am GMT
Through out western history, the Jews seemed to get into power, and then whacked and exiled. Then return to power, and again whacked and exiled. Such a vicious cycle for the wandering tribe. They should just give up, and learn to get along with others.
Wally , May 21, 2018 at 5:00 am GMT
@Realist

Whether he intended it or not, Trump has created even more anger against "that shitty little country".
That's a very good thing.

'Israel' as we know it is living on borrowed time.

http://www.codoh.com

Wally , May 21, 2018 at 5:03 am GMT
@Realist

"Why in hell did the White gentiles allow the Jews to get so powerful?"

It's called force, coercion, jail sentences.

Shoving the fake '6M Jews' down everyone's throat has done the job as well. Power and cash are the man reason the scam was created in the first place. And Jews have been trying that lie since at least 1823.

Below is where free speech on the impossible 'holocaust' storyline is illegal, violators go to prison for Thought Crimes.
An obvious admission that the storyline doesn't stand up to scientific, logical, & rational scrutiny.

http://www.codoh.com

Wally , May 21, 2018 at 5:26 am GMT
Shamir said:

"Perhaps, the Holocaust was a divine punishment for Jewish treatment of Gaza, since for God, time sequence is of no importance."

Except the ridiculous and impossible '6M Jews, 5M others, & gas chambers' are frauds. And easily demonstrated as such. The mere fact that free speech concerning it gets you arrested in 'Israel' & much of Europe confirms it's fraudulence.

The stupid 'holocau$t' tall tales simply cannot withstand rational, scientific scrutiny.

Revisionists are just the messengers, the absurd impossibility of the ridiculous 'holocaust' storyline is the message.

See the 'holocaust' scam easily & thoroughly debunked here: http://codoh.com
No name calling, level playing field debate here: http://forum.codoh.com

CuriousInSeattle , May 21, 2018 at 5:52 am GMT
So you're saying that accounts from Israeli relatives stationed at the border during Naqva day are lies? You're saying these "protesters" were "unarmed"? Then how did said relatives come under hostile fire?

If a bunch of people try to destroy a border fence, what do you think would be an appropriate response?

gT , May 21, 2018 at 6:09 am GMT
@Bliss

The Iranians are stupid, instead of pining for Russian support / trade they should just consolidate / build on what they already have. They have 3 countries right now, Iran, Iraq and Syria, they should concentrate on making this big market work. Build highways from Iran to Syria, get trade moving, strengthen their hand in all 3 countries, strengthen the defense, the resolve, and the belligerence capabilities of all 3 countries. They have won the Middle East already, no need to fret about when the final blow to the enemy will be delivered, slow strangulation works just as well as a knife to the jugular.

Eventually when the time is right, the Golan Heights can be taken back and Israel put in its proper place, but Iran might need nukes by that time.

And Utu is correct about Poland, those are a bunch of dumb arses, sucking up to the USA and still get shafted anyway, just like Bulgaria, and now Ukraine also. Such is the vassal lot.

Dmitry , May 21, 2018 at 6:38 am GMT
For the first time, Shamir seems to be opening writing down some kind of schizophrenic symptoms ("for God, time sequence is of no importance") – he seems more open when he writes in English than I have seen before.

As for Israel, Jews, a few small insignificant air-strikes, some predictable protests on the border with Gaza, someone taking part in Victory Day, someone opening an embassy, someone winning a homosexual song contest mainly known for comedy, etc.

It's funny people like Shamir pretending this is of some kind of cosmic importance. It is of infinitely less important than even the general media attention given to it.

These minor stories were not even very important for Israel itself (let alone for the world).* Next month there will be another group of minor stories the website will be writing about.

Far more interesting things have happened around the world this month.

Trying to inflate world politics to a minor country like Israel is not just ridiculous, but why you can't even predict basic behaviours of countries and leaders.

Not just Putin himself, but really nobody in Russia – well maybe a few thousand people – gives a shit about Israel bombing some Iranians in Syria. It's only a secondary or distant relevance outside the Middle East.

-

* It seems in Israel itself, people give less attention to these trivial events than average reader, living thousands of kilometers away, on this website.

The largest news story of a last month was the drowning of ten teenagers from a flash flooding.

Dmitry , May 21, 2018 at 6:46 am GMT
@utu

Russia does not care about Israel when it went to Syria. The operation has nothing to do with Israel, except to an extent there is a need to co-ordinate air-activities with the neighbouring countries (and that process was incompetently done with Turkey).

jilles dykstra , May 21, 2018 at 6:47 am GMT
" Yet, until now, the Jews always exceeded a good measure and brought calamity upon themselves. There is no reason to doubt it will happen this time, too. More about it, about the Jewish assault on Poland and on European aesthetics in the next piece. "

Jews caused the holocaust ?
But it is simply is not true, the jewish disaster began when jews resisted the Roman empire, and they were not the only ones.
Who knows something about the history of the Roman empire knows that it was wars all over the place, for hundreds of years.
A probably excellent summary one finds under 'Background' in
Otto J. Maenchen-Helfen, ' The world of the Huns', 1973 Berkeley.
I'm inclined to suppose it was christianity that was THE jewish calamity, a rival ideology that destroyed jewish power.
The jewish centre, Palestine, Jerusalem, had the disadvantage of being easily accessible for Roman armies.
All those resisting the Romans mainly in what was the USSR, had the advantage of the terrain.
Even N Great Britain was never subdued.

Dmitry , May 21, 2018 at 6:55 am GMT
@anon

First of all, there is not special need for visitors at Victory Day. Nobody is feeling 'lonely'. It is not a highschool prom. Claiming this shows lack of concept or elementary understanding of the meaning of the holiday.

As for other leaders showing respect. There was not just the Prime Minister of Israel, but also the President of Serbia. In 2015, there was the President of China (the world's largest nationality).

jilles dykstra , May 21, 2018 at 6:56 am GMT
@El Dato

GB was blackmailed into the Balfour declaration, otherwise no USA military support, and capitulation in November 1917.
Not for nothing GB forbade jewish immigration into Palestine in 1939, in order to keep Arabic and/or Muslim support in the war against Germany and Japan.
After WWII the British supported Hitler's Madagaskar solution.
How the Middle East would be now had not Israel been created is anybody's guess, my idea is not such a mess as it is today.
Probably the threat of Islamisation of Europe would also never have been.
Until 1967 the USA was no friend of Israel.
In 1948 the State Department was against recognising Israel.
Truman had other ideas, the theory is that he was bribed.

Jim Christian , May 21, 2018 at 7:10 am GMT
@Realist

Why in hell did the White gentiles allow the Jews to get so powerful?

Because Carl and Rob Reiner and Norman Lear said so. Remember them?

Jim Christian , May 21, 2018 at 7:27 am GMT
@AaronB

The situation is reversible, and will be reversed. Europeans will reconnect to the irrational, rediscover the emotional sources of motivation, and the Jewish issue won't matter anymore.

Well, yes. Once the over-breeding imported Muslims have bred with and eliminated the Euro-Goy, they will set themselves upon the Jews (they have already, Jews complain in France, Sweden and Norway of the new hatreds by new 'citizens'). Islam-in-power unleashed in Europe will make Hitler look like Kindergarten if the Chosen Ones haven't departed the scene. White Goy in Europe will not protect their own daughters for crying out loud, they aren't going to protect Jews from the Blacks in their midst. This is the price for marginalizing the Whites, who used to exist in sufficient numbers to protect and rescue Jews. You are correct that the Jewish issue won't matter anymore, except that statement means different things to you and me. You think Europe will have an epiphany. I think Europe is simply about to go dark and genocidal. The wedding over the weekend will be taken as another 'surrender'. London's Mayor is another, the process is well-on.

The nut of the matter as *I* see it is, now the Euro-Goy are swamped with refugees of a darker intent. Israel now needs more room to grow. Bibi knows this, which is why they want to break off an enormous slice of Syria for themselves, if nothing else, to accommodate/expand the over-breeding settlements they already have. Give up the Golan? They mean to expand it. All in the interest of security, of course. The Pali's? Who are they again?

Vojkan , May 21, 2018 at 7:31 am GMT
Maybe Netanyahu went to Moscow and said to Putin let's call it a draw.
The Russians went to Syria not because they wanted to but because they had to. Just as they annexed Crimea and not Donbass because they had to not because they wanted to.
With Russia having the population of France and Germany combined and a GDP approximately the same as that of more than three times less populated Spain and down 40% since 2014, maybe we all overestimate Russia's capabilities.
Now that the regime change operation in Syria seems to have failed, that Assad is consolidated, and that Russian bases there are secured, maybe Putin thinks that it isn't unreasonable to call it a draw. Maybe he remembers how it ended the last time Russian military were sent to save a friendly regime, in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Granted, this time they have popular support from locals but the whole effort nevertheless has enormous daily cost which Russia maybe cannot afford to sustain. In September, the intervention will be three years old. Military prowess is not enough. L'argent est le nerf de la guerre.
Can Putin trust Netanyahu? I think we all know the answer to that question. Is he right to accept to call it a draw? I think he isn't, Israelis just can't be trusted. What I think is irrelevant though, I don't have Putin's information nor responsiblity. The most important thing to me is that islamist psychos don't behead children any more and that is thanks to the Russian.
Realist , May 21, 2018 at 7:49 am GMT
@El Dato

I don't know who you're quoting .but it's not me.

El Dato , May 21, 2018 at 7:50 am GMT
@utu

It was Netanyahu who gave Putin the green light.

Evidence?

Duke , Website May 21, 2018 at 8:23 am GMT
Peace be with the reader,

Yes ! I am here, I have come like a thief in the night.

The faithful witness

Our Father willing this comment will not be ' moderated ' (Censored)

RealAmericanValuesCirca1776Not1965 , May 21, 2018 at 8:26 am GMT

Is China responsible for this outcome by being too timid and too distant?

What makes you think China is any less paralyzed than the West? Both entities (like most of the world) are perfectly capable of speaking up and internationally naming the enemy, some just as easily as they could wipe Israel off the map. But it doesn't happen. Not even a peep. Not from any of them. Not in the Americas, not in Europe, not in Asia, not in Africa. Nowhere.

Some like to spin China's reactions to . literally everything, as some kind of Chinese master 'long game' strategy. Others, like myself, prefer to note that there are certain unspoken rules that China abides by at least as strictly as the US and Europe.

Rules like not criticizing those who rule you.

Besides, what benefit could there possibly be in waiting until Israel achieves regional superpower status before making a move against them? America is at it's weakest. Israel is as weak as it's ever going to be at this point.

The simplest answer would be that whatever keeps America so inexplicably obedient is also keeping everyone else the same way.

Beyond that, only speculation as to what that leash is made of. Samson Option? Kill switch on the global economy/infrastructure? Some kind of chemical or bio or other weapon that's so impossibly heinous that the mere threat of it's use paralyzes the largest and the smallest member nations of the international community alike into silently watching everything Israel does and gets away with?

The bigger picture never fails to suggest that the enemy has more dogs on their leash than most are prepared to acknowledge. Even now.

m___ , May 21, 2018 at 9:06 am GMT
@Per/Norway

-- On China, Xi,

Trade, in the light of the long term(10 years plus), is no miracle solution. The finity of the planet speaks against "overheating" exchanges, quantities of goods to quantities of people. Trade is basically acceleration of transactions, which in a sense is the equivalent, but more nuisible then financial capitalism, since it involves physical interaction, while financial capitalism augments to the extreme the disparity between the elites and everybody else as the dominant derivative.

Any exchange acceleration, trade, must and will grind to a standstill, leaving a situation of greater exhaustion of the planet, toxicity and less quality of life for the most, the bulk of humanity. The US cannot follow suit, it has exhausted it's physical capabilities except for "military capitalism", which it pursues.

Run the above note through your system data, and let me know if you see any truth in it. The definition of efficiency should change after that, to you personally, being the least possible physical exchanges over distance, in time, to "rest" the overheated human logistics, instead attending the planet's biodiversity beyond human intercourse.

You could still make a point, insisting on the short-term opportunism of politics, that since there is more conflictive standing between power systems, then synchronism, that the China approach has limited value as a counter measure to US militarism.

In the end though, rationality, the long term, universal agreement is the only chance. Data analysis, later AI, and the added confidence that humanity and it's numbers can be tweaked(the biology of genetics will play a big role) should lead up to a more stable and qualitative planetary system, with higher intelligence leading to smarter rule.

In all the China moves are not very original, at the same time smart in the light of conflicting stands of rivalling nations, infighting. Include the corporate elites, the International Jew conceptualism, and any hidden actors. What we see is infighting of the global elites, have it done with, and attend the real problems and apply the hammer to the nail: population and consumption, toxicity, resource exhaustion, all related negatively to trade.

Momus , May 21, 2018 at 9:24 am GMT
@sarz

The Israeli's have just been creamed again in an around Damascus:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/report-explosions-heard-at-iranian-facility-near-damascus/

and again:

https://www.debka.com/iranian-electronic-warfare-facility-blown-up-south-of-damascus-second-explosion-in-4-days/

Momus , May 21, 2018 at 9:29 am GMT
@utu

Netanyahu has no interest in a disintegrated, failed state Syria on Israel's doorstep.

He saw the Russians as a support for Assad to prevent this and as a counter balance for the Iranians. Here the Israeli real politik diverged from the US's

Russia gained a warm water Mediterranean naval port and an air base.

The too big for their boots Iranians are now being evicted.

Gordo , May 21, 2018 at 10:26 am GMT
Excellent article Dr. Shamir.
m___ , May 21, 2018 at 10:35 am GMT
@utu

-- On your questions,

All of them legitimate, except for Putin as a place holder without defining his hold to told factor.

Essentially the lifetime of political solutions expires faster as opposed to the rational and long term logic of the necessities of planet earth. That means closer then ever expiration dates.

While commenting and thus making the same exact mistake, the variables available to the public are tainted with "pesticides", the farmers(our dear scribes and editors of columns), themselves being dependent on the products of "Bayer" and fertilizer.

These systemics should be addressed, and the best current model that has shortly gotten the limelight was Wikileaks and the driving force Assange. Whistle-blowers needed, anonymous and encrypted access needed, hardware and software open sourcing, middle-men being algorithms, before a fighting chance to cope with the stealthy elites globally. Then let's have another go at "analysing". Our best guess, the quality of argument of our elites' exchanges will show as very poor indeed, especially in the light of better details on the drivers and needs of geopolitics.

Guess who keeps silent on this major issue that involves all of us, makes your comments meaningful or just exposing the weaknesses of the bulk of humanity(us) and what dumbstruck suggestions the elites can get away with. Put your energy where it counts! At least be lucid.

Anon [257] Disclaimer , May 21, 2018 at 10:41 am GMT
@Renoman

Who's going to wipe Israel off the face of the earth?

Eustace Tilley (not) , May 21, 2018 at 10:45 am GMT
In the Oculus Dei , it's Now.
But the atheist physicists bow
To the Arrow of Time.
Is (((their))) Trinity crime
Fiat lux! to the Holocaust "how?"
Momus , May 21, 2018 at 11:19 am GMT
@Renoman

Not since Moses has respect, fear and admiration for the Israelites been so high.

Jake , May 21, 2018 at 11:29 am GMT
'There is an incredible abundance of information, a veritable flood that washes off everything. People think only what they are told today, and mass campaigns are produced by media and think tanks, they do not produce themselves. People are being told every day about, say, the Holocaust, or about Assad's atrocities, or Putin's meddling so it is kept in their minds. The moment the campaign is turned off, interest flags and the matter is totally forgotten, like the Skripal Affair was forgotten after it had been played to full capacity. Now Skripal has been disappeared by the British Secret Services, but this is not mentioned, outside of this publication."

We live in Orwell's nightmare. And the first step to getting us here was Henry VIII. The second step was the rise of the radical reformation Anglo-Saxon Puritans, who were hardcore Judaizers. The third step was the winning Puritan revolution, which culminated in archetypal WASP Oliver Cromwell making alliance with Jews, inviting Jews back into England, granting Jews special rights and privileges, and doing so precisely so the newly formed culture – WASP, as as American would later title it – could slaughter white Christians native to the British Isles and exterminate their cultures.

The fourth step was the blessings of Satan spreading that Judaizing war-loving culture around the globe, slaughtering uncounted millions and ruining virtually every 'traditional' culture encountered, converting the remains to some step on the ladder toward being Anglicized which means being Judaized.

axbycz , May 21, 2018 at 11:43 am GMT
"Jewish wench got the crown of the European art scene"

Please: Specifically who won what?

Anonymous [299] Disclaimer , May 21, 2018 at 11:55 am GMT
How come your jive turkey holy Paleostinian dunces were acting out and acting nuts like a St Vitus dance during the allegedly holy month of RamaLamaDingDong? This RamaLama whatever is better spent stuffing yer Muslim guts after sundown than getting shot full of holes. Next year these rage-a-holic Muslims should be holy for their imaginary Allah instead of hole-y- shot full of holes- courtesy of IDF.
Anonymous-299 , May 21, 2018 at 12:07 pm GMT
There is great video footage of the Putin + Netanyahu + Vucic walk down to the Russian Victory Day walk. My own lift on the Putin-Netanyahu discussions in that the Jewish immigrants we got from you (Russia-USSR) were smart enough to find the back doors to your s-300-400 missile systems. Plus if you cannot hack a system you must hack people. That exiled Russians in Israel knew the right people to hack in Russia because most are tribal members -Jews.
Gordo , May 21, 2018 at 12:33 pm GMT
@CuriousInSeattle

How many border fences are you in favour of?

Anonymous-299 , May 21, 2018 at 12:41 pm GMT
@Momus

Netanyahu has no interest in a disintegrated, failed state Syria on Israel's doorstep.
The too big for their boots Iranians are now being evicted.

In the last few months Israel has said to Iran
=You can pay Hamas to pay their clowns to tear down the border fence but IDF bullets will prevent this
=All significant military assets that you place near us in Syria will be blasted along with your people manning them
= Syrian skies belong to Israel. We can counteract all Russian missile systems because we have back doors to them. When you turn them on you will see Micky Mouse cartoons.
= Sure sucks for you that Donald Trump has cut you off. The US sanctions are back meaning you can sell only half the oil you projected for the next few years on International markets.
=Meaning more chaos and poverty in your failed Allah -Muslim state as it become like Venezuela.
= Iranian pistachios are the best and we will pay cash for them

It is also obvious that Israel has replaced Iran as Putin/Russian favorite son. Iranians will be chumps and losers until they depose Ayatollahs and bring back Zoroastrianism. Iranians are not natural Muslims. Only Arabians are.

Dr. X , May 21, 2018 at 12:41 pm GMT
@RealAmerican

Since the State of Israel is the fulfillment of the Jewish religion, doesn't American support for Israel violate the Establishment Clause of the first Amendment?

Imagine the outcry of the U.S. government gave the Vatican $4 billion annually and established a military base there.

anarchyst , May 21, 2018 at 12:41 pm GMT
@Wally

Ursula Haverbeck
Monika Schaefer
Two 80-plus year-old grandmothers who are doing "hard-time" in maximum-security prisons in Germany for merely questioning the jewish holocaust ™.

What's wrong with this picture?

macilrae , May 21, 2018 at 1:24 pm GMT
Mr Shamir writes with courage, as usual – but is Israel nearing the end of its incredible run of good fortune?

How extreme do Israeli policies have to become before they are too embarrassing even for the US government to support any longer? I have been asking myself that question since the 1960s.

A crack has now appeared between the neocon movement with its leader, Netanyahu, and a sizable proportion of Washington's 'thinking' establishment (obviously not including Congress or the MSM!) – a glimmer of daylight filters through this crack. After all, ordinary Americans are looking at $3.69 (California) gasoline and tying this to pressure from Israel and even the opinion polls show them to be massively opposed to Trump's rejection of the JCPOA.

It remains to be seen whether the Europeans (forget Donald Tusk and Jean-Claud Juncker!) will follow through on their threats and so come into direct conflict with the US administration but there are signs (beginning with pressure from Germany and even France) that this is now conceivable. And the consequences – closer European ties to Russia and China; partial de-fanging of NATO; retaliatory sanctions; completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline – will further isolate the neocons of the US and Israel from the rest of the world.

If the Europeans are 'allowed' to get away with such defiance, who knows what further changes may come about as the two foreign policies diverge – their fetters finally struck off? Will this sentiment then be echoed in the US and, if so, what happens to Israel?

For those of us who, even now, are muttering "still, thank God it wasn't Hillary" there is, perversely, even more reason to be hopeful. Maybe this had to happen before reason could ever hope to prevail.

utu , May 21, 2018 at 1:28 pm GMT
@m___

At least be lucid.

Medice, cura te ipsum.

utu , May 21, 2018 at 1:43 pm GMT
@El Dato

If Netanyahu objected in 2015 Russia would not move in to Syria. The only reason I can see he did not because he had no backing of Obama administration at that time because he and Obama did not see eye to eye and Syria situation was dragging for too long. The no fly zone should have been imposed and executed on several occasions but it was not. The no fly zone also would de facto kill Iran deal which was being ratified in mid 2015. But Obama would not do it.

AaronB , May 21, 2018 at 1:50 pm GMT
@Jim Christian

Europeans are now going through a massive phase of attrition – a great culling, if you will. I suspect 50%