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

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

Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afghanistan was a disaster of lesser scale.

Libya were another, more small scale disaster.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Wikipedia

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

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

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

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

Neoconservatism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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

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

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

Democracy promotion as the universal door opener

See also Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Support of Israel as the key goal

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

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

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

Wolfowitz Doctrine as quintessential Neoconservatism

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

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

Superpower status

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

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

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

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

U.S. primacy

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

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

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

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

Unilateralism

The doctrine downplays the value of international coalitions.

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

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

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

Pre-emptive intervention

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

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

This was softened slightly in the April 16 release.

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

Russian threat

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

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

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

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

Middle East and Southwest Asia

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

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

...

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

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

Neocon architects of American foreign policy are destroying American national security

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

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

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

Patrick L. Smith

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

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

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

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

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

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

They were? Please explain.

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

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

It’s an important word for Putin.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is that indeed the ambition?

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

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

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

Interesting.

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

I think Chancellor Merkel understands this, too.

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

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

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

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

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

Can you talk about this?

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

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

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

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

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

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

I would have guessed the latter.

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

Interesting.

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

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

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

Zapatero?

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

Felipe Gonzalez, I think it was.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Old Labour in Britain is a perfect example.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More Patrick L. Smith.  

Nulandgate as an example of disastrous neocon foreign policy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Robert Kagan

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

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

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

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

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

Instead of conclusions: Neocons are the War Party

Justin Raimondo aptly described neocons as the war party:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...


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

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

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

Reality-based community - Wikipedia

[Nov 14, 2018] Jewish Politics in America A Post Political View by Gilad Atzmon

Nov 14, 2018 | www.unz.com
The Washington Report on the Middle East Affairs has been producing outstanding work as well. The crucial question is, why have Americans let this happen?

My study of Jewish ID politics suggests that America isn't just influenced by one Jewish lobby or another. The entire American political-cultural-spiritual spectrum has been transformed into a internal Jewish exchange. Most American do not see the true nature of the battle they participate in and, for the obvious reasons, their media and their academics do not help. It is more convenient to keep Americans in the dark.

America is rapidly moving towards a civil war. The divide isn't only ideological or political. The split is geographical, spiritual, educational and demographical. In a Vox article titled, "The Midterm Elections Revealed that America is in a Cold Civil War," Zack Beauchamp writes, "This is a country fundamentally split in two, with no real room for compromise." Of the midterm election Beauchamp reports that "American politics is polarized not on the basis of class or even ideology, but on identity One side open to mass immigration and changes to the country's traditional racial hierarchy, the other is deeply hostile to it." He correctly observes that "Republicans and Democrats see themselves as part of cultural groups that are fundamentally distinct: They consume different media and attend different churches; live in distinct kinds of places and rarely interact with people who disagree with them."

Despite this American schism, Israel and its Lobby are somehow able to influence both sides, managing to finding pathways to the secluded corridors of both parties. Although Democrats and Republicans can no longer talk to each other, it seems that both are happy to talk to Israel and the Lobby. And it is at AIPAC's annual conference that these political foes compete in their eagerness to appease a foreign state. This anomaly in American politics demands attention.

As a former Israeli, I had not observed the effects of the Israel/ Jewish Diaspora dilemma until I had my experience at the Student Union Hall in Britain. Israel was born with the Zionist desire to eradicate the identity of Jews as cosmopolitans. Zionism promised to bond the Jew with the soil, with a territory, with borders. Thus, it is consistent with the Zionist paradigm that Israel is notorious for its appalling treatment ofasylum seekers, immigrants and, of course, the indigenous people of the land. Israel has surrounded itself with separation walls. Israel deployed hundreds of snipers in its fight to stop the March of Return – a 'caravan' of Palestinian refugees who were marching towards its border. Israel has been putting into daily practice that which Trump has promised to deliver. For a Trump supporter, Israel's politics is a wet dream. Maybe Trump should consider tweaking his motto in 2020 into 'Let's make America Israel.' This would encompass building separation walls, bullying America's neighbors, the potential to cleanse America of the 'enemy within,' and so on. It is not surprising that in 2016 Trump beat Clinton in an Israeli absentee exit poll . The Israelis do love Trump. To them, he is a vindication of their hawkish ideological path. Although during the election Trump was castigated as a vile anti-Semite and a Hitler figure by the Jewish progressive press, once elected, Fox News was quick to point out that Trump was actually the 'First Jewish President.'

We can see that Israel, Trump and his voters have a lot in common. They want militant anti immigration policies , they love 'walls,' they hate Muslims and they believe in borders. When alt right icon Richard Spencer described himself on Israeli TV as "a White Zionist" he was actually telling the truth. Israel puts into practice the ideas that Spencer and Trump can so far only entertain. But the parallels between Israel and the Trump administration's Republican voters is just one side of the story.

... ... ...

The story of Jewish political strength in America doesn't end there. A New York Jew can easily metamorphosize from an hard-core Identitarian into rabid Zionist settler and vice versa, but such a manoeuvre is not available to ordinary Americans. White nationalist Richard Spencer can not make the political shift that would turn him into a progressive or a liberal just as it is unlikely that a NY transsexual icon would find it possible to become a 'redneck.' While Jewish political identity is inherently elastic and can morph endlessly, the American political divide is fairly rigid. Jewish ideologists frequently change positions and camps, they shift from left to right, from Clinton to Trump (Dershowitz), they support immigration in their host counties yet oppose it in their own Jewish State, they are against rigid borders and even states in general, yet support the two state solution in Palestine (Chomsky). Gentiles are less flexible. They are expected to be coherent and consistent.

It was this manoeuvrability that made PM Netanyahu's 2015 speech in front of a joint session of Congress a 'success,' although it might well have been considered a humiliation for any American with an ounce of patriotic pride. As we wellknow, Bibi can communicate easily with both Republicans and Democrats just as he cansimultaneously befriend Trump and Putin. ....

... ... ...


jilles dykstra , says: November 14, 2018 at 8:35 am GMT

Reading the article the thought came up 'when will the USA, the majority of USA citizens, (begin to) realise that the era of USA foreign politics for internal political reasons, is over, no longer affordable ?'
The 19th century USA Civil War was horrible, as with all civil wars it was, to a large extent a foreign war.
If indeed again a USA civil war starts, I'm not optimistic about the possibility of preventing it, not much of the present USA will still be there at the end, fysically.
And, will there still be a political USA when the fighting stops, or will it end as Germany, the foreign victors creating the USA they want ?
A USA, as Germany now under Merkel, intent on destroying itself culturally ?
Digital Samizdat , says: November 14, 2018 at 11:39 am GMT
So good to see Gilad Atzmon here at Unz. I have read his two books, The Wandering Who? and Being in Time , and can thoroughly recommend them.

These Jewish bodies tend to preach inclusiveness while practicing exclusivity.

But of course! They first begged for inclusion into our powers structures, then once we complied, they returned the favor by taking them over and excluding us from them.

Pongid-American , says: November 14, 2018 at 2:28 pm GMT
This is a bit reductive. This commenter does not recognize himself in the dichotomy above. When forced to choose a race on bureaucratic forms, this commenter enters 'human.' Letting them call you an American opens you up for intensely manipulative statist propaganda. And when you know your rights – your human rights, as opposed to your bullshit half-assed revoked constitutional rights – your race is incidental. You know that nondiscrimination underpins your ethics and the law.

This sort of identity is certainly ferociously suppressed by the Israeli fifth column. Falk is this kind of guy too, a Jew but so what, and look what they did to him. Ajamu Baraka too. This overwhelming tidal wave of immigrants from the global south: they grew up with human rights, including the crucial right to solidarity, which negates all the invidious aspects of identity politics. Basically, as a human you side with underdogs worldwide: Okinawans, Palestinians, landless Latin Americans, Africans, you name it. Cohesive social forces are not confined to ethnic groups.

Tensions behind the Iron Curtain inside the US are incidental. The real conflict is us humans versus overreaching states. Given the downtrodden nature of the US subject population, this conflict is playing out mainly outside US borders. The left/right continuum has always been a CIA construction. Statists and humanists array on an orthogonal axis, and that contention continued when CIA rolled the old left up. Cosmopolitans have not gone away.

Israel may be infecting the US with statist divide et impera, but humanist institutions are penetrating Israel too. Look what's happening as the HRC and other human rights treaty bodies review Israel.

http://www.treatybodywebcast.org/cat-57th-session-israel/

Israel is formally accused of interpreting its commitments in bad faith. This allows treaty bodies to gang up and apply international criminal law to Israeli torture, murder, and extermination. It's already happening to criminal US officials. Israel's next.

Bardon Kaldian , says: November 14, 2018 at 2:51 pm GMT
Atzmon is right re "New York Jews", them being potentially mutable. But, Israelis, being normal nationalists, cannot show the same level of "shape-shifting". A multiculturalist minority in one country can become other nation's nationalist majority. Just, Israeli nationalists cannot become Israeli open borders advocates, multiculturalists, globalists etc.

Only a minority population, basically strangers in another country, can practice various ways of behavior. Host, dominant culture in a country- cannot. Dershowitz can change positions; just, both Netanyahu & any Israeli labor politician can not.

Johnny Smoggins , says: November 14, 2018 at 2:51 pm GMT
It's the hypocrisy that pisses everyone off with Jews. Few people, especially on the right, have any issue with a nation defending itself. It's that the same Jews who are trying to shove diversity/multiculturalism/refugees 49.Reuben Kaspate says: November 14, 2018 at 3:42 pm GMT Civil war? How soon are we talking here? Perhaps, the status quo will be the foreseeable future just humming along. down our throats are either supportive or silent when it comes to Israel making itself into a pure ethnostate behind barbed wire.

... ... ...

Miro23 , says: November 14, 2018 at 4:45 pm GMT

But at a certain point in my life, around my thirties, I started to find all of it too exhausting. I wanted to simplify things. I demoted myself into an ordinary human being.

A lot of people want this, but ordinary humans beings also have to live in societies – and quite sophisticated ones at that. Elected representatives (or leadership) need responsibility and integrity for it to work.

THE US JOINS THE 3RD WORLD

Government responsibility and integrity are not guaranteed (notably in places like Africa and S.E. Asia), but the United States is probably the leading example of a government failure in an advanced society. In the US, like much of the 3rd world, special interests (minority ethnic and commercial) loot the public through a corrupt bargain with the holders of political power. Hillary Clinton was the classic example, with the same "Pay to Play" philosophy as the usual leadership of the Philippines or the Congo.

The 3rd world antidotes are Nationalism and Populism, but having gained power, political leaders usually sell out (sounds familiar). Also the public of the US have learnt to be trusting, and find it hard to believe that they've been hit by a classic 3rd world problem.

In the US, Zionists have looted $ trillions in support of their Special Interest (Israel) and corporations have extracted many more $ trillions through the mass outsourcing of entire industries, complete with their technology and supply networks to Asia. It's not engraved in stone that US industry, had to relocated to Asia or Indians have to be recruited for its IT work. Germany and Japan for example, have held onto their industrial leadership in recent decades and the US could have done the same. At one time the US was the world leader in US based automobile production (Detroit), steel, aluminium, camera and film, industrial chemicals, communications equipment, computers and electronics, aircraft and aerospace (still partly) etc. With what's left in mostly in services and retail (often looted by Hedge Fund asset strippers).

In other words, under a genuine post WW2 "America First" policy involving top quality national education, research and government support of leading industries, the US could still be the world's leading industrial and economic power and not have to worry about debt, deficits and social decline, and also find plenty of jobs for Latino migrants.

However, the US got instead its present 3rd world style corrupt elite who know that nationalism is their Nº1 enemy.

Only Anglos can mount a nationalist challenge, hence the paranoia when Trump arrived on the scene with his "America First" dialogue and Anglo base. In contrast, the whole apparatus of the Zioglob/ deep state/MSM defence is Identitarian, and aimed at destroying the foundations of Anglo society, with LGBT, "White guilt dialectics", multiculturalism, exclusion from Ivy League universities, Hollywood slime, speech laws, statue demolition, in-your-face Africanization, massive debt, political corruption, open frontiers and exporting middle class jobs.

CHINA JOINS THE 1ST WORLD

The Chinese seem to be doing it right.They have an explicit national policy to gain and hold top positions in key world industries and make it a joint national effort to succeed (especially in national human development/education). Also when they find corrupt government officials (even at high levels) they quickly put them on trial and shoot them.

anonymous [739] Disclaimer , says: November 14, 2018 at 5:24 pm GMT
Winston Churchill talked about this/these divisions in the Jewish people in the 1930s, back before Israel became a Jewish ethnostate – he presented the main 2 divisions between ethnic Jews who fell down in to the worst forms of Communism, Bolshevism, Anarchism in Russia and Eastern Europe and those other ethnic Jews who were sort of doing OK being loyal to their European/American countries especially England they lived in while also promoting a healthier form of Zionism working for some eventual Jewish national state somewhere probably in then British administered Palestine.

Zionism vs Communism – a struggle for the Jewish Soul:

https://communismblog.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/zionism-versus-bolshevism-by-winston-churchill/

Churchill didn't present the extremely bad alternative we had today:

Jews in the diasapora everywhere from Russia to Poland to Germany, France, England, Canada, Sweden Australia, few left in South Africa our USA doing this:

Promoting Israel over everything as an exclusively Jewish ethno state with endless US, UK other wars against Israel's neighbors and .

Promoting the worst forms of multi culturalism, open borders immigration in to the West, Jewish media mafia domination/monopoly of the mainstream media, social media in USA, UK, Sweden etc promoting the worst forms of porn, rap music, fake news, endless movies and TV shows demonizing all White European men as evil Racists, rapists – promoting the worst Jewish feminists/lesbians to the US Supreme Court, Rachel Maddow type news commentary etc.

Agent76 , says: November 14, 2018 at 5:54 pm GMT
Nov 3, 2018 The Lobby – USA, episode 1

The Covert War. This video is posted here for news reporting purposes.

Been_there_done_that , says: November 14, 2018 at 6:31 pm GMT
@OMG

He, I believe, was the first to identify or at least name and define the religion of Holocaustianity and deserves credit for that.

Ingrid Rimland openly used that term decades ago already to describe this religion, years before she eventually married Ernst Zündel.

Rurik , says: November 14, 2018 at 6:34 pm GMT
Hello Mr. Atzmom,

I have long admired your noble efforts on behalf of the Palestinian people. You often write in ways that resonate with me, and I'm glad to see you here at The Unz Review.

Israel deployed hundreds of snipers in its fight to stop the March of Return – a 'caravan' of Palestinian refugees who were marching towards its border. Israel has been putting into daily practice that which Trump has promised to deliver. For a Trump supporter, Israel's politics is a wet dream.

But I have to tell you, you're waaayyy off with this characterization of Trump supporters.

There are, I'm sure, a lot of brain-dead "Christian" Zionists who drool at the prospect of slaughtered Palestinians, because murdering Christ's modern day relatives living in his lands are the only way to force Jesus to return and give them their rapture. And I suppose there are perhaps a fraction of a percentage point of people who actually want Trump to throw out (or murder) all non-whites to create the kind of racial purity Bibi and his crew of psychopaths are demanding for Israel.

But from what I've seen, and being one of them, as to the vast majority of what you call "Trump supporters", the idea of murdering people in order to steal their land, is a monstrous absurdity.

For the record, we voted for Trump to end the demonic reign of terror and mass murder in the Middle East. The very kind of mass-murder and daily atrocities that were cackling Hillary's ("we came, we saw, he died) and Bill's ("it's worth it") trademark.

We voted for Trump as a repudiation of those evils, that had long stained our national soul, and indeed had made America the kind of place Bibi was pleased with.

We did not vote for Trump to murder and steal, or otherwise do anyone harm. We voted for Trump to do the opposite, and end the Eternal Wars for Israel. No one on the Alt-right likes the wars. We simply want to be left alone, to pursue our humble lives unmolested by globalists and their nefarious designs for us. Is that so terrible?

. In fact, Israel has become a prime model for American nationalists.

with all due respect, that is a vile smear, Sir.

Where are these 'white nationalists' who're demanding we terrorize and murder and steal other people's land? Eh?

For the record, white nationalists are today's Palestinians. What they're demanding is that they don't have to give up the lands they have, and were born on, and be forced out to make room for unlimited others. Or forced to assimilate to an Hispanic or Muslim culture and way of life. Is that so egregious? To want to persevere as an American in an American culture, with hostility to none, and trade with and good relations with all and any who respond in good faith?

Why is it that all white people, from Europe to N. America and everywhere else, are all expected to invite every non-white, non-Western, often hostile armies of (especially military age young men) into our lands, and then treat them better than the indigenous, white second class citizens?

What is it with that?!

Either Germans and Swedes and Americans hand over their nations or we're all going to be called "Nazis" or "racists" or God help us, "Zionists".

WTF?

We can see that Israel, Trump and his voters have a lot in common. They want militant anti immigration policies , they love 'walls,' they hate Muslims and they believe in borders.

well, only the stupidest imbecile on the planet doesn't believe in borders. (or, an ideologue that wants to see *certain* nations destroyed by armies of immigrants – hostile or otherwise).

No one wants recognized borders more than the Palestinians. It is Israel that refused to state its border, because it want to steal more land. How many Trump voters do you hear talking about stealing other people's land? (I'm not talking about lunatics like Bolton. American nationalists despise Bolton and McCain and all the rest of the Zionist, globalist scum)

And I don't personally know of any reasonable American nationalist who 'hates Muslims'. They just don't want them all here. Have you ever heard of Kosovo, Mr. Atzmon? There are neighborhoods in Michigan that were Polish Catholic for generations. And they liked it that way. They never hated Muslims or anyone else. But they do hate having their communities taken over by alien peoples with alien cultures and now have to listen to 'calls to prayer' at five in the morning every day. And demands for Sharia and other clashes with their former way of life.

Are these people rabid Zionists demanding to murder people and steal their land, just because they don't want throngs of Muslims coming in and transforming their community into something they don't recognize or have any predilection for. Are they simply too racist and hateful, and need to learn to assimilate? Eh?

I don't know who this Spencer guy is, and he sound like controlled opposition to me.

It would be wrong to equate nationalism with the frothing's of some so called "white-Zionist". The only white Zionists I know of are the lunatic "Christian" Zionists.

The nationalists I know of simply want to be left -the fuck- alone!

Stop demanding that we hand over our country to people who don't appreciate it. (Indeed, often hate it) Stop demanding that we doom our children to living in a nation that puts them last in every way, behind every single non-white immigrate that can get to these shores. It is insane to want to have people come to your nation who will be a burden, who often hate you and yours, not to mention your culture, and want to displace you. It is insane to insist that millions of people come in and compete with your children on an un-level playing field. Every non-White immigrant that comes here gets Affirmative Action promotions and jobs and university preference over the white children who were born here. Unless you hate white people, that state of affairs is insane.

And yet here we are being badgered as thieving, psychotic murderous goons (Zionists) simply for wanting what every single sane person on the planet wants: to preserve our way of life and hand it down to our progeny – for them to have a decent life and hope for theirs in turn.

And yet somehow, if we have white skin, wanting this is the most evil and wicked and racist thing imaginable!

Anon [884] Disclaimer , says: November 14, 2018 at 7:00 pm GMT
@Rurik White nationalists are a mixed bunch, going from the very bad (as Atzmon) sees them to, maybe, the peaks of sainthood you attribute to them.

The whole idea of legit owners of land is a rationalization: everybody (meaning: every group) took from someone else the land where they are, and did so by combat and might.

Sure, in our more civilized times we'd like such things to be relegated in the past, borders to become stable, and ethnic cleansing and warfare to be a closed chapter.

These are wishes and words about said wishes, though.

Do you own a swath of land in the countryside, by chance? I do, and over the years all of the three of my neighbours have applied pressure to broaden their owned land so as to include a bit more than mine. Being the first stripe allowed, they'd go on, until I were left with no land at all, all of this while seeing themselves as honest.

Whoever owns land, and whoever doesn't have a need to believe Jews worse than other people knows what human nature is like when it comes to property, borders, and expansion.

L. Allen Bivin , says: November 14, 2018 at 10:03 pm GMT
@Agent76 Thank you for sharing that. Fascinating four-part series.
renfro , says: November 15, 2018 at 1:35 am GMT
@Anon

Do you own a swath of land in the countryside, by chance? I do, and over the years all of the three of my neighbours have applied pressure to broaden their owned land so as to include a bit more than mine.

I doubt your neighbors have attacked you, burned your land, cut off or poisoned your water and then confiscated your house and land ..as is the case of Israel's theft of Palestine.

This is the 21 century, not the 17th or 18th century.

[Nov 14, 2018] Israel Wins 2018 Election by Philip Giraldi

Nov 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

November 13, 2018

inform@cnionline.org

[Nov 14, 2018] Bolton Vows to 'Squeeze' Iran, Escalating Sanctions - News From by Jason Ditz

If this is Trump policy, then Trump is 100% pure neocon. It took just three months for the Deep state to turn him.
Notable quotes:
"... Bolton shrugged off the reality that Iran is still doing business internationally, saying that he believes Iran is "under real pressure" from the sanctions, and that he's determined to see it keep getting worse. ..."
Nov 13, 2018 | news.antiwar.com

Says Europe will be forced to accept US demands

With the newly reimposed US sanctions against Iran having little to no perceivable economic impact, national security adviser John Bolton is talking up his plans to continue to escalate the sanctions track, saying he will " squeeze Iran until the pips squeak ."

Bolton shrugged off the reality that Iran is still doing business internationally, saying that he believes Iran is "under real pressure" from the sanctions, and that he's determined to see it keep getting worse.

Bolton went on to predict that the European efforts to keep trading with Iran would ultimately fail. He said the Europeans are going through the six stages of grief , and would ultimately led to European acceptance of the US demands.

Either way, Bolton's position is that the US strategy will continue to be imposing new sanctions on Iran going forward. It's not clear what the end game is, beyond just damaging Iran.

[Nov 13, 2018] The Lessons of World War I Still Haunt Russia Today by Nikolas K. Gvosdev

That's too simplistic, as Russia is now a neoliberal country that experiences consequences of the global crisis of neoliberalism, but still have some interesting thoughts
And in no way whites have won: "whites" were fragmented movement with no clear agenda other then fighting against bolsheviks; while communist are now discredited, it was the crisis of monarchy and mistakes of Russian imperial leadership (and entering the war was a grave mistake) the brought the county to the catastrophe it experienced.
Nov 10, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

The Russian civil war is finally over -- and the Whites have won.

On November 11, the world will acknowledge the 100 th anniversary of the armistice that ended the carnage that was the First World War. That date, however, doesn't resonate in Russia. A far more significant moment on the calendar that just passed -- the anniversary of the Bolshevik seizure of power -- was similarly marginalized last year when the centennial of the October Revolution was largely ignored by the Russian government and Russian society as a whole. Current Russia sees little to celebrate or reminisce about the events of a century ago. After all, by the time the guns fell silent on the Western front, a Russia gripped in the frenzy of the revolution had already been knocked out of the war, losing more than one-third of the territory of the former Russian Empire in the process. What was left of the country was plunged into a bloody, destructive civil war that would not end for three more years. What followed was a series of famines, purges and the immense human costs wrought by rapid industrialization and the Second World War.

This does not mean that the current Russian political and strategic establishment ignores the lessons of World War I and the Revolution -- but it sees in those events a cautionary tale of what the Russian leadership at the beginning of this century must do to avoid repeating those disasters. The Kremlin today is well aware of the dangers of ignoring how and why Russia so catastrophically failed the last time. In 2018, as in 1918, the leadership remains concerns with the possibility of Russian state collapse brought about either by internal factors or through the machinations of external enemies.

Russia had entered World War I still recovering from the damage done by the Russo-Japanese war and the subsequent "Revolution of 1905" that the economic and military reforms which had begun in 1906 were designed to ameliorate. Nevertheless, Russia's industrial base and infrastructure were insufficient to bear the weight of a sustained global conflict. Prior to his assassination in 1911, Prime Minister Pyotr Stolypin repeatedly urged a policy of restraint -- to give Russia the time it needed to implement reforms so that, at some point in the future, "Russia could speak as in the past" -- from a position of strength. A number of key figures -- from the former Prime Minister Sergei Witte to the faith healer Rasputin, confidant of the imperial family -- urged Emperor Nicholas II not to go to war and that the conflict would bring disaster down upon Russia. Their fears were validated. Ironically, Nicholas himself had acknowledged, in 1911, that Russia was unprepared for war and needed a sustained period of peace in order to get its affairs in order -- but felt he had no choice but to meet the challenge posed by the Central Powers to Russia's Balkan ally Serbia.

History has vindicated the Witte/Rasputin position that war would strain the Russian state to its breaking point. It is those lessons which today guide the strategic rationale of the Kremlin.

First is the need, as Nicholas himself had raised in a conversation with officials, that "everything that might lead to war must be avoided" in order, as was the case a century ago, to give time for the completion of military reforms and the construction of new infrastructure. For the Kremlin today, an additional challenge is managing the inevitable succession crisis that will come when Vladimir Putin retires or becomes incapacitated.

Alex Kuznetsoff 14 hours ago ,

It seems that Mr. Gvozdev still believes in "the end of the history." I have to disappoint him: the history is not over, the victory of the "whites" is not final.

VadimKharichkov 18 hours ago ,

I will briefly present non-antiCommunist view on the events of WW1, Revolutions of 1917 and Civil War in Russia.

1. Russia's economic problems and relative unpreparedness for the war were not due to Russo-Japanese War, 1905 Revolution, or Bolshevik subversion. The problem was in slow rate of transition from feudalism to capitalism which became obvious even during Crimean War of 1853-56.
2. The rapid industrialization after 1905 was absolutely inadequate and proved to be so in 1914.
3. By contrast, Communist economy have done a much better job at preparing for WW2. Even when moved to Urals and Siberia, Soviet industry was able to outproduce and outmanufacture Third Reich by large margin. And, yes, the bulk of Lend Lease had only come after Stalingrad and hardly accounted for more than 4-7% of all produce for military effort.
4. What Whites have won? The monarchists, the anarchists, the Russian nationalists, the supporters of 1917 February Revolution? There was no ideological unity among them, so who presently can claim victory for them? We have simple and pure reactionary Capitalism that had won in Russia, without the roots in Tsarist Russia.

Vladdy VadimKharichkov 15 hours ago ,

4. Reds and their allies (esers, menshevicks, etc.) were the same dispersed as Whites. Until in 30's Stalin aligned and cleaned (yes, repressed) Red flung.

VadimKharichkov Vladdy 13 hours ago ,

No. There was definite unity of command and ideology among the Reds in comparison to the Whites. Esers were running some governments, such as in Ufa when under Revolt of the Czechoslovak Legion, or in Yekaterinburg, where Czar's family was killed, but they were insignificant and never conducted large scale military ops.

Ginger Mari Monin Georgy Platoshin a day ago ,

Disagree, Russia needs only a few changes and its contribution to a New Brave World of Globalization will grow and glow. Putin is in position to make that happen as well just like Henry Kissinger has commented on if President Trump and others in World reach out together along with President Obama wanted to do as well.
1. American Constitution With Citizen Due Process Rights (It has It But Needs Citizen Enforcement)
2. Three Branches Separation of Powers
3. Checks And Balances Among The 3 Branches
4. Independent Judiciary
5. Multiple Or Political Two Party System
6. Military Under Civilian Command
7. Russo-American-China-India Economic Sister Cities

Russia needs help to develop and share its Natural Resources since covering an expanse of over 17,098,242 area million square miles, making Russia the Earth's largest country by landmass. Even Runner-Up Canada area square miles of 9,984,670, followed by America's 9,826,675 and China's 9,596,960. Russia contributions, education, and science is exceptional and the world cannot ignore Russia and needs it to develop a better planet for the future. Russian Arts, Literature, Sports, Music and Culture are world renown as well. Often thought of Russian Culture having a mixture of Sparta and Athens and the Russian Cossack's of free men adventurers much like the American Cowboys.

Just as America had to evolve Russia went through two changeable events in its History. When known as "The Time of Troubles" was a period of Russian History comprising the years of "Interregnum" a period when normal government is suspended, especially between successive reigns or regimes between the death of the last Russian Tsar of the Rurik Dynasty in 1598, and the establishment of the Romanov Dynasty in 1613. As well as, the break up of the USSR from 1989 to 1991, largely due to the great number of radical reforms that Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev had implemented during his six years as the leader of the USSR and were slow to bear fruit and did more to hasten the collapse of the Soviet Union than to help it. Along with the Soviet Union's oil and gas revenue dropped dramatically, the USSR began to lose its hold on Eastern Europe. The Russian Communists System was totally dependent on Oil and Gas revenues back then, but can now thrive even further under Globalization. The same thing that is happening to Iran now and Persia will be better off after the Ayatollahs are long gone from ruling them as well.

Antonio Banderass Airbrush2020 17 hours ago ,

"After the fall of the USSR, Vladmir Putin has tried to return Russia to some previous state of glory (i.e. hostile to the West). Apparently, the Russian view of a great Russia is being anti-western, aggressive, and corrupt." - obviously, the bullshit, you are writing here, just a verbatim copy, intrusively distributed by the Anglo-Saxon media. It's not your thoughts, THEY put'em in your head and now you think they're yours. I do not idealize Russia or Putin, our state have bad experience last 70 years and have got very toxic legacy of 90th with mass corruption, mafia murders and chechen terrorists, against the logic we are still alive, and we are doing our best to improve our society and our life. Come in to Russia, dear Airbrush, you won't hear the bullshit about "state of glory", "restoring the imperia", "pan-Slavic world" and thousands others media cliches. Just come to Russia and make your own view, then, we will able to discuss like an equal. Before this - our discuss is nonsense.

dorotea Airbrush2020 2 days ago ,

Yay,'tried to help' buy means of sending occupying force to Odessa and Murmansk. Thanks but no thanks. And as much as you vilify USSR for the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, don't forget that treaty of Munich was signed first. History was never black and white. Same as Russia's pro- and -anti West division was never clearly drawn with bolsheviks - the 'reds'- on one side and the 'whites' on the other. Russia is way too complex to try and define her in simplistic terms. First and foremost Russia always was and is now self-sufficient, and has her own national interest. Every policy is always negotiable given the right insentive.

toucheamigos Airbrush2020 2 days ago ,

It is the West that is hostile to Russia. Maybe you should meddle less in Russia's politics. Then Russia may become less anti-Western.

Vladdy Airbrush2020 2 days ago ,

God, save us from US "aid"! In 1990's we got US "aid", the contry was broken to catastrophic poverty, hunger and degradation, overflown by crime, corruption and destruction. Then we stopped the "aid" and now we are successful country.
Look at current Ukraine! Now they eat US "aid" with full spoon. The result is the same - destruction, corruption, poverty, decay.
In 1918 you mean US's intervention to Russian North, saying about the "aid"? Then Hitler (the West) also tried to "aid" us?
P.S. Russian view of Great Russia is not being "anti-West". Our view of Great Russia is being self-sufficient, not West's colony, as you dream.
P.P.S. Hitler is West, don't hang your crimes on us! Churchill aligned with Hitler as well as all Europe. USSR and Stalin saved Europe from Hitler. It's our flag was raised above Reichstag in 1945, not yours!
http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/...

[Nov 12, 2018] Trump was elected by advocating a populist-nationalist agenda, he betrayed his voters almost instantly and governed as Bush III

Notable quotes:
"... For his first two years in office, he sunk nearly all his political capital into enacting huge tax cuts for the rich, wholesale Wall Street deregulation, large increases in military spending, and an extremely pro-Israel foreign policy -- exactly the sort of policies near-and-dear to the establishment conservative candidates whom he had crushed in the Republican primaries. Meanwhile, his jilted grassroots supporters have had to settle for some radical rhetoric and a regular barrage of outrageous Tweets rather than anything more substantive. ..."
"... With Republicans in full control of Congress, finding excuses for this widespread betrayal was quite difficult, but now that the Democrats have taken the House, Trump's apologists can more easily shift the blame over to them. ..."
"... Both Trump's supporters and his opponents claim that his presidency represents a drastic break from Republican business-as-usual, and surely that was the hope of many of the Americans who voted for him in 2016, but the actual reality often seems rather different. ..."
"... Although the net election results were not particularly bad for the Republicans, the implications of several state races seem extremely worrisome. The highest profile senate race was in Texas, and Trump may have narrowly dodged a bullet. ..."
Nov 12, 2018 | www.unz.com

Perhaps the loss of the House may actually prove to be a mixed blessing for Trump. Democrats will achieve control of all the investigative committees and their accusations and subpoenas will make Trump's life even more miserable than it was before, while surely removing any chance that significant elements of Trump's remaining agenda will ever be enacted.

However, although Trump had reached the presidency by advocating a radical populist-nationalist agenda, he has hardly governed in those terms. For his first two years in office, he sunk nearly all his political capital into enacting huge tax cuts for the rich, wholesale Wall Street deregulation, large increases in military spending, and an extremely pro-Israel foreign policy -- exactly the sort of policies near-and-dear to the establishment conservative candidates whom he had crushed in the Republican primaries. Meanwhile, his jilted grassroots supporters have had to settle for some radical rhetoric and a regular barrage of outrageous Tweets rather than anything more substantive.

With Republicans in full control of Congress, finding excuses for this widespread betrayal was quite difficult, but now that the Democrats have taken the House, Trump's apologists can more easily shift the blame over to them.

Meanwhile, a considerably stronger Republican Senate will certainly ease the way for Trump's future court nominees, especially if another Supreme Court vacancy occurs, and there will be little chance of any difficult Kavanaugh battles. However, here once again, Trump's supposed radicalism has merely been rhetorical. Kavanaugh and nearly all of his other nominees have been very mainstream Republican choices, carefully vetted by the Federalist Society and other conservative establishment groups, and they would probably have been near the top of the list if Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio were sitting in the Oval Office.

Both Trump's supporters and his opponents claim that his presidency represents a drastic break from Republican business-as-usual, and surely that was the hope of many of the Americans who voted for him in 2016, but the actual reality often seems rather different.

Although the net election results were not particularly bad for the Republicans, the implications of several state races seem extremely worrisome. The highest profile senate race was in Texas, and Trump may have narrowly dodged a bullet. Among our largest states, Texas ranks as by far the most solidly Republican, and therefore it serves as the central lynchpin of every Republican presidential campaign. The GOP has won every major statewide race for more than twenty years, but despite such seemingly huge advantages, incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz faced a very difficult reelection race against a young border-area Congressman named Beto O'Rourke, who drew enormous enthusiasm and an ocean of local and national funding.

[Nov 12, 2018] War has become USA's 2nd nature above beyond the very essence of the military use, which should be to protect the nation's sovereignty

Nov 12, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

All Risk No Reward , 52 seconds ago link

>>Johnstone: The Best Way To Honor War Veterans Is To Stop Creating Them<<

Preach!

The military defends Money Power Monopolist Mega-Corporate Fascist Global Empire, not America, and definitely NOT the Constitution. The New Deal effectively wiped out the Constitution, which was the "Old Deal."

Syria and Iran aren't threats, they are countries that don't have debt-based money systems controlled by the Money Power Monopolists.

"In a sense, there is no "future". Currently, you note a consolidation of the few remaining countries without a "central bank" ...and how rapidly this is occurring. Look for Syria next to fall, and fall quickly. North Korea has already cut a deal under the aegis of China...feit accompli. Cuba has also agreed to the North American integration once Fidel "passes". That leaves IRAN. And biblical prophesy. The fallout from that conflict sets the stage for the true new world order as has been broadcast in the media for the last 13 years or so." ~Unnamed Rothschild

The establishment of central banks is ALWAYS a necessary first step of subjugation of geographically congregated bloodlines. Note that Libya's first official act, before even the corpses turned stiff...was the establishment of a central bank. Those rebel forces were certainly well schooled by someone! ~Unnamed Rothschild

Amazing how Libyan rebels took time out of their daily war duties to establish a CENTRAL BANK! Imagine the paperwork in getting that done on the battlefield! Those rebels are a well educated lot! Laughing out Loud! Seriously, don't the serfs notice things like this? ~Unnamed Rothschild

The financier of the military makes it clear they are attacking Western countries - monetarily and economically.

"Remember, the equity and bond markets exist only to remove fiat from circulation!" ~Unnamed Rothschild

https://ia802300.us.archive.org/8/items/rofschildv1/IAmARofschildAxeMeAQuestion.html

BitchesBetterRecognize , 14 minutes ago link

Difficult to argue the points made in the article, despite the author's background...

War has become USA's 2nd nature above & beyond the very essence of the military use, which should be to protect the nation's sovereignty

Golden Showers , 21 minutes ago link

Our soldiers joined, were trained, given orders. The best way to honor veterans is to quit putting it on them. This is the government we have because it is the government we want. It's the government we allow. This is on all of us . I think it's time for people who are dissatisfied with the treatment of veterans, with the voter fraud, with the lies and theft of elected officials, local, state, and federal, tired of the media lying to us and creating fake events... perhaps it's time to peacefully strike. Perhaps it's time to say No to vote fraud, to say No to lies and deceit.

Perhaps it's time to peacefully petition the government for redress of grievances. That's a Constitutional Right guaranteed to Citizens of the United States. That requires an active, constructive peaceful assembly. Everyone has had it up to the eyes with this ******** and this con-game we're being fed.

I'd rather get stomped to death than live on with this never ending slow coup against We The People. We hold the power. Just us. We designate that power. It should be here to protect us. That social contract deserves respect. You may be watching the only chance in your life that you could do anything about it, given the current President and his attitude. I really think that. It's not enough to watch the Proud Boys punch an Antifa in the jaw. That doesn't do it for me. That's theatre.

My girlfriends father is old army security. I'm paying the bill at Dennys and he says, let me put my military discount on that. So he's behind a guy in an Operation Iraqi Freedom jacket. He says, hey; I like your jacket. The guy looks at him and he says, nice hat. Army Security Agency. The military deserves more than a discount at ******* Denny's. They deserve a country. So do I. So do you. But there's not going to be any country if we don't peacefully come together to hang every last traitor scumbag lying trasonous seditious bastard by just saying NO! Arrest these traitors! I don't want my vote raped. I don't want my speach raped. Or yours! I don't give a **** about illegals or their kids because I take care of my kids legally and lawfully and didn't put them in that **** expecting a parent of the century award.

I don't ******* care what you call yourself. But if it's more important than your right to call yourself whatever you want, you are my enemy and I tell you no.

If it's legal to vote and legal to be off work to vote, to peacefully assemble, it should be legal to redress government. It's time to show out. It's time to say we want this ******** to stop. We have paid very well for the lifestyles and presidential libraries and foundations and kept all the traitors in good health. But we reserve the right to cut you off if you abuse our sacrifice to you and our votes to you. We reserve the right without prejudice to say NO. That's our right. And until we say NO! our silence equals consent.

I say NO. I say **** THE SEDITIOUS TRAITORS trying to hold on to rape us of all our Rights. And I say long live Trump for giving our country back to us at inauguration. That's what's up. Let's peacefully **** these people up. USE IT OR LOSE IT.

Hubbs , 22 minutes ago link

A quiet tribute to the Vets from Dire Straits

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5JkHBC5lDs

And from a movie that says the futility of it all: "We fight because we are here." Imagine dying in the trenches of WWI or in a shithole like the trenches of Korea.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nPdVJQaci0&t=186s&list=LLMCbuscsdXrwVsvALbKO5pw&index=19

@3:16

The least we could do is to learn what really happened and why. I realize I was taught an endless string of lies about history, especially US History, WWI, WWII, Vietnam war.

Be very careful and informed before joining the military.

Mike Rotsch , 42 minutes ago link

Libtards don't really know much about anything, so it seems. Here's the deal:

As long as there are assholes in the world, there will be wars.

I don't have a problem with that. It's the world that I live in. It's been the case throughout all of human history. A world without wars is pure ******* fantasy. It will never happen. It's high time that libtards start accepting the world that they live in.

The problem that we're having , is that we're shooting the wrong assholes instead of the right ones. But you know what? All of human history shows that problems like that are always remedied as well. And if you're doing some soul-searching, trying to figure out who the assholes are, they're probably going to be any group of people, who can't leave other groups of people the hell alone .

Not surprisingly, the 20th century seems to be characterized by assholes fighting each other.

Buddha 71 , 43 minutes ago link

Our psychopathic dna as a nation comes mainly from england, one of the most, if not the most murdering countries in history. england cruelly colonized Asia and Africa, and literally never stopped murdering the innocents. Now as our ALLY, among the other killing nations, such as France and Germany, we the USA can kill literally any country or countries for any reason or no reason.

we as the american people will be blamed for all the monstrous destruction and innocents deaths. separation of our country and our politicians would be necessary if we are to have a future. looking dim. why are we still dirty, and killing innocents, why are we allowing saudi and israel to mass murder innocent women and children ?

no one cares enough yet. you would think by 2018 we all would have banned war and conflict, we have not. this makes me sick. I am a vet.

vic and blood , 43 minutes ago link

"since the end of the second world war..."

No matter how they were presented at the time, ultimately, neither world war served the cause of freedom, either.

vic and blood , 51 minutes ago link

No more wars for Zionists.

punchasocialist , 56 minutes ago link

Happy 99th ARMISTICE DAY everyone!

kudocast , 1 hour ago link

http://www.untoldhistory.com

LeadPipeDreams , 1 hour ago link

Hmmm...what about Israhell and the ZioNazi tribe of the Talmud? Don't they deserve a mention?

hangemhigh77 , 1 hour ago link

I'm actually thinking of not watching football anymore the war propaganda is constant. I went to a game and it was like walking into an armed camp. Hundreds of cops and military. Every five minutes they're marching around and everyone has to "honor" them. It's disgusting. All the players are told to kiss every soldiers ***. The Army are the terrorists. They all make me want to puke.

khnum , 1 hour ago link

In Australia at the moment the suicide rate is a shocker among those coming back from Afghanistan, Iraq and places unknown, the solution they are proposing is for priority airport treatment and more medals and other stuff along the model the US has, which is an insult as it does nothing to financially support or mentally cure, its a cop out.

warpigs , 50 minutes ago link

Yes, it is ******** Khnum.

Very few wars are even about righting some amazing wrong. They merely tend to be about treasure i.e. nat gas, oil, rare earth materials, diamonds, water, blah blah blah. And, if there happens to be some fight, ala WWII, then you can bet your *** on it that all corporate assholes are funding and benefiting from the war....on both sides of the coin i.e. backing each side until a peace is called.

I don't have an answer to the human condition or our propensity to be violent and fight etc., but I sure as **** am not cool with sacking places, and killing kids, over ******* things. We're better than this.

I have 2 kids myself. You can all be on notice that if a bomb were to be dropped on my house, and if my kids were killed, I would likely devolve and start picking off the low hanging fruit i.e. the zombies shuffling in and out of said bomb makers companies, and wasting them 1 person as a time. I'd slowly, if still able, work my way up to the execs. Hopefully, and along the way, I'd be able to wipe shareholders off of the grid, also.

Overfed , 5 minutes ago link

When you go off to fight for "freedom", and arrive home to find that you have little to no real freedom and essentially live in a police state, it's a shocking blow.

halcyon , 2 minutes ago link

You get what you sign up for. It's not like the soldiers didn't know.

kudocast , 56 minutes ago link

Yeh I go to games, it is completely disgusting how the NFL promotes the military at the games.

https://www.facebook.com/DenverBroncosCheerleaders/photos/pb.85485353285.-2207520000.1542000250./10156691022423286/?type=3&theater

They look like a bunch of Nazis.

hangemhigh77 , 1 hour ago link

This sounds like something I would write. And even the damn CHURCHES honor the veteran "serving" his country. What a crock of ****. I tell the pastor that he will be judged harshly when his time comes. And I tell Christians that because they support the rampant murder of millions that when they die and are standing before Jesus for judgement they will be soaked in the blood of the innocent and he will ask you why did you support this? Why did you not speak out against it? Then I look at them and say "good luck because you're gonna need it".

LightBulb18 , 1 hour ago link

The world is not ruled by pure evil yet. In Brazil A nationalist was elected, in Italy and much of eastern Europe other nationalists were elected. You think the Chinese protected the Italian and Brazilian right to free and fair elections? You think Russia is the arsenal of freedom? You think the EU upheld the votes of the people, allowing Britain to vote on leaving the EU and Italy and eastern Europe? You think the unelected rulers of the EU respected other peoples right to vote? Look out onto the world, and recognize that as of today, the nations of the world have A group to join if they chose to fight for liberty, capitalism and all the other virtues, and that group is grounded and guaranteed by the United States of America. In G-d I trust.

stonedogz , 1 hour ago link

Hopeful thinking for a hopeless reality. Truth is tyrants never fall by their own swords. It always takes someone else's. The modern problem is a bit more complex when we make the tyrants that we later topple. The toppling is where the bucks are... just ask any of the the last 4 Presidents and their respective Congresses.

minionz1 , 1 hour ago link

I am eagerly waiting the time when they replace Veterans Day with Peace Day.

Oldwood , 1 hour ago link

So war is just an American problem, something we just invented? Do we read much history or is it all PBS specials now. War has ALWAYS been fucked up. Violence has been a major contributor to immigration for all of history. Like it or not, we live in dangerous times. We can ASSUME that if America shrank it's military and ended all interventions that world peace would magically appear....but it won't. We can pray that while we retreat behind of big screen TVs that China will end their territorial expansion and military programs, but they WON'T.

I'm all for reigning in our interventions, but let's not pretend that America is to blame for human evil and aggressive behaviors....just because we are good at it..

There is an endless stream of history illustrating the absolute brutality and evil that had persisted since the beginning of time. We should avoid embracing it but we should avoid thinking we have the power to end it. More arrogance to be used for destructive purposes.

halcyon , 3 minutes ago link

Nah, it is just that USA has made forever war such a profitable and ongoing mega-business. The degenerate banker and royal families of Europe would only fight every generation or two. You fight all the time and try to start new ones, before you finish off with the old ones, and print global toilet paper to pay for it all. Because it is good business. **** laws, lives and human decency.

And then you have Hollywood make ****-for-brain movies about just wars, war comradery and heroic sacrifice and spread that **** all over the world.

So yeah, you got all the reasons for being hated for your war business.

PuttingIsLikeWisdom , 1 hour ago link

"..nerd somewhere in Washington.."?? 'Washington' is beholding to Netanyahu's ilk.

OZZIDOWNUNDER , 1 hour ago link

The only way to honor veterans, really, truly honor them, is to help end war and make sure no more lives are put into a position where they are on the giving or receiving end of evil, stupid, meaningless violence

A bit too close to the Bone for the average American to appreciate. A well thought out & articulated article.

minionz1 , 1 hour ago link

I predict, one day soon, this Zombie Nation will soon awaken. Great Song by Kernkraft 400: Zombie nation - woah oh oh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRbuvKYKI54

Pooper Popper , 1 hour ago link

Well,Well,Well,,,,,,,, Bomb Scare at Fort Lauderdale Airport....... "Suspicious Package Found" Provisional Ballots,,,,,,,,,,,

https://twitter.com/Richard...

Hmmmmmmmmmm?

WWG1
WGA

DarthVaderMentor , 1 hour ago link

The machine is not the problem. It's like a gun. Guns are just mechanical devices and can't kill until people aim them and pull the trigger. It's people that kill by forcing the machine to do their terrible evil bidding.

It's the business and political leaders that build, guide and enable the machine and facilitate the infrastructure and culture to wage war.

Blue Boat , 1 hour ago link

Absolutely! No more freaking WAR. Instead, death to the MIC, globalists and Marxists. Thank you!

Handful of Dust , 1 hour ago link

Democrats love War as we saw with LBJ, Bill Clinton (bombing the hell out of and destroying Yugoslavia), Obama and Hillary Clinton. Democrat McNamara was one of their finest! McNamara's Folly: The Use of Low-IQ Troops in the Vietnam War

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J2VwFDV4-g

PS: I will add, the Deep State and Neocons are not much better.

kudocast , 1 hour ago link

It's both Republicans and Democrats - George Bush I's Desert Storm, Panama; George Bush II invading Iraq, Afghanistan; Reagan invading GRENADA!, Nixon in Vietnam, assassinating Salvador Allende in Chile, bombing Laos and Cambodia; Eisenhower started in Vietnam, installed a dictator in Guatemala in 1954, installed Batista in Cuba, Kennedy was going to withdraw from Vietnam and part of the reason he was assassinated; and on and on and on.

FrankieGoesToHollywood , 1 hour ago link

Thank you veterans for the cheap oil.

[Nov 12, 2018] The Best Way To Honor War Veterans Is To Stop Creating Them by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Veterans Day is not a holiday to honor the men and women who have dutifully protected their country. The youngest Americans who arguably defended their nation from a real threat to its shores are in their nineties, and soon there won't be any of them left. ..."
"... Every single person who has served in the US military since the end of the second World War has protected nothing other than the agendas of global hegemony, resource control and war profiteering. They have not been fighting and dying for freedom and democracy, they have been fighting and dying for imperialism, Raytheon profit margins, and crude oil. ..."
"... Veterans Day, like so very, very much in American culture, is a propaganda construct designed to lubricate the funneling of human lives into the chamber of a gigantic gun. It glorifies evil, stupid, meaningless acts of mass murder to ensure that there will always be recruits who are willing to continue perpetrating it, and to ensure that the US public doesn't wake up to the fact that its government's insanely bloated military budget is being used to unleash unspeakable horrors upon the earth. ..."
"... Your rulers have never feared the Koreans, the Vietnamese, the Iraqis, the terrorists, the Iranians, the Chinese or the Russians. They fear you. They fear the American public suddenly waking up to the evil things that are being done in your name and using your vast numbers to shrug off the existing power structures without firing a shot, as easily as removing a heavy coat on a warm day. If enough of you loudly withdraw your consent for their insatiable warmongering, that fear will be enough to keep them in check. ..."
Nov 12, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

The US will be celebrating Veterans Day, and many a striped flag shall be waved. The social currency of esteem will be used to elevate those who have served in the US military, thereby ensuring future generations of recruits to be thrown into the gears of the globe-spanning war machine

Veterans Day is not a holiday to honor the men and women who have dutifully protected their country. The youngest Americans who arguably defended their nation from a real threat to its shores are in their nineties, and soon there won't be any of them left.

Every single person who has served in the US military since the end of the second World War has protected nothing other than the agendas of global hegemony, resource control and war profiteering. They have not been fighting and dying for freedom and democracy, they have been fighting and dying for imperialism, Raytheon profit margins, and crude oil.

I just said something you're not supposed to say. People have dedicated many years of their lives to the service of the US military; they've given their limbs to it, they've suffered horrific brain damage for it, they've given their very lives to it. Families have been ripped apart by the violence that has been inflicted upon members of the US Armed Forces; you're not supposed to let them hear you say that their loved one was destroyed because some sociopathic nerds somewhere in Washington decided that it would give America an advantage over potential economic rivals to control a particular stretch of Middle Eastern dirt. But it is true, and if we don't start acknowledging that truth lives are going to keep getting thrown into the gears of the machine for the power and profit of a few depraved oligarchs. So I'm going to keep saying it.

Last week I saw the hashtag #SaluteToService trending on Twitter. Apparently the NFL had a deal going where every time someone tweeted that hashtag they'd throw a few bucks at some veteran's charity. Which sounds sweet, until you consider three things:

1. The NFL's ten wealthiest team owners are worth a combined $61 billion .

2. The NFL has taken millions of dollars from the Pentagon for displays of patriotism on the field, including for the policy of bringing all players out for the national anthem every game starting in 2009 (which led to Colin Kaepernick's demonstrations and the obscene backlash against him).

3. VETERANS SHOULD NOT HAVE TO RELY ON FUCKING CHARITY.

Seriously, how is "charity for veterans" a thing, and how are people not extremely weirded out by it? How is it that you can go out and get your limbs blown off for slave wages after watching your friends die and innocent civilians perish, come home, and have to rely on charity to get by? How is it that you can risk life and limb killing and suffering irreparable psychological trauma for some plutocrat's agendas, plunge into poverty when you come home, and then see the same plutocrat labeled a "philanthropist" because he threw a few tax-deductible dollars at a charity that gave you a decent prosthetic leg?

Taking care of veterans should be factored into the budget of every act of military aggression . If a government can't make sure its veterans are housed, healthy and happy in a dignified way for the rest of their lives, it has no business marching human beings into harm's way. The fact that you see veterans on the street of any large US city and people who fought in wars having to beg "charities" for a quality mechanical wheelchair shows you just how much of a pathetic joke this Veterans Day song and dance has always been.

They'll send you to mainline violence and trauma into your mind and body for the power and profit of the oligarchic rulers of the US-centralized empire, but it's okay because everyone gets a long weekend where they're told to thank you for your service. Bullshit.

Veterans Day, like so very, very much in American culture, is a propaganda construct designed to lubricate the funneling of human lives into the chamber of a gigantic gun. It glorifies evil, stupid, meaningless acts of mass murder to ensure that there will always be recruits who are willing to continue perpetrating it, and to ensure that the US public doesn't wake up to the fact that its government's insanely bloated military budget is being used to unleash unspeakable horrors upon the earth.

The only way to honor veterans, really, truly honor them, is to help end war and make sure no more lives are put into a position where they are on the giving or receiving end of evil, stupid, meaningless violence. The way to do that is to publicly, loudly and repeatedly make it clear that you do not consent to the global terrorism being perpetrated in your name. These bastards work so hard conducting propaganda to manufacture your consent for endless warmongering because they need that consent . So don't give it to them.

Your rulers have never feared the Koreans, the Vietnamese, the Iraqis, the terrorists, the Iranians, the Chinese or the Russians. They fear you. They fear the American public suddenly waking up to the evil things that are being done in your name and using your vast numbers to shrug off the existing power structures without firing a shot, as easily as removing a heavy coat on a warm day. If enough of you loudly withdraw your consent for their insatiable warmongering, that fear will be enough to keep them in check.

This Veterans Day, don't honor those who have served by giving reverence and legitimacy to a war machine which is exclusively used for inflicting great evil. Honor them by disassembling that machine.

* * *

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[Nov 12, 2018] Obama s CIA Secretly Intercepted Congressional Communications About Whistleblowers

Highly recommended!
So the USA Congress operates under CIA surveillance... Due to CIA access to Saudi money the situation is probably much worse then described as CIA tried to protect both its level of influence and shadow revenue streams.
Notable quotes:
"... The idea that the CIA would monitor communications of U.S. government officials, including those in the legislative branch, is itself controversial. But in this case, the CIA picked up some of the most sensitive emails between Congress and intelligence agency workers blowing the whistle on alleged wrongdoing. ..."
"... I am not confident that Congressional staff fully understood that their whistleblower-related communications with my Executive Director of whistleblowing might be reviewed as a result of routine [CIA counterintelligence] monitoring." -- Intelligence Community Inspector General 2014 ..."
"... The disclosures from 2014 were released late Thursday by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). "The fact that the CIA under the Obama administration was reading Congressional staff's emails about intelligence community whistleblowers raises serious policy concerns as well as potential Constitutional separation-of-powers issues that must be discussed publicly," wrote Grassley in a statement. ..."
"... According to Grassley, he originally began trying to have the letters declassified more than four years ago but was met with "bureaucratic foot-dragging, led by Brennan and Clapper." ..."
"... Back in 2014, Senators Grassley and Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) had asked then-Director of National Intelligence Clapper about the possibility of the CIA monitoring Congressional communications ..."
"... CIA security compiled a report that include excerpts of whistleblower-related communications and this reports was eventually shared with the Director of the Office of Security and the Chief of the Counterintelligence Center" who "briefed the CIA Deputy Director, Deputy Executive Director, and the Chiefs of Staff for both the CIA Director and the Deputy Director ..."
"... During Director Clapper's tenure, senior intelligence officials engaged in a deception spree regarding mass surveillance," said Wyden upon Clapper's retirement in 2016. ..."
Nov 02, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Sharyl Attkisson,

Newly-declassified documents show the CIA intercepted sensitive Congressional communications about intelligence community whistleblowers.

The intercepts occurred under CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. The new disclosures are contained in two letters of "Congressional notification" originally written to key members of Congress in March 2014, but kept secret until now.

In the letters, then-Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough tells four key members of Congress that during "routing counterintelligence monitoring of Government computer systems," the CIA collected emails between Congressional staff and the CIA's head of whistleblowing and source protection. McCullough states that he's concerned "about the potential compromise to whistleblower confidentiality and the consequent 'chilling effect' that the present [counterintelligence] monitoring system might have on Intelligence Community whistleblowing."

The idea that the CIA would monitor communications of U.S. government officials, including those in the legislative branch, is itself controversial. But in this case, the CIA picked up some of the most sensitive emails between Congress and intelligence agency workers blowing the whistle on alleged wrongdoing.

"Most of these emails concerned pending and developing whistleblower complaints," McCullough states in his letters to lead Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees at the time: Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia); and Representatives Michael Rogers (R-Michigan) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Maryland). McCullough adds that the type of monitoring that occurred was "lawful and justified for [counterintelligence] purposes" but

"I am not confident that Congressional staff fully understood that their whistleblower-related communications with my Executive Director of whistleblowing might be reviewed as a result of routine [CIA counterintelligence] monitoring." -- Intelligence Community Inspector General 2014

The disclosures from 2014 were released late Thursday by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). "The fact that the CIA under the Obama administration was reading Congressional staff's emails about intelligence community whistleblowers raises serious policy concerns as well as potential Constitutional separation-of-powers issues that must be discussed publicly," wrote Grassley in a statement.

According to Grassley, he originally began trying to have the letters declassified more than four years ago but was met with "bureaucratic foot-dragging, led by Brennan and Clapper."

Grassley adds that he repeated his request to declassify the letters under the Trump administration, but that Trump intelligence officials failed to respond. The documents were finally declassified this week after Grassley appealed to the new Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson.

History of alleged surveillance abuses

Back in 2014, Senators Grassley and Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) had asked then-Director of National Intelligence Clapper about the possibility of the CIA monitoring Congressional communications. A Congressional staffer involved at the time says Clapper's response seemed to imply that if Congressional communications were "incidentally" collected by the CIA, the material would not be saved or reported up to CIA management.

"In the event of a protected disclosure by a whistleblower somehow comes to the attention of personnel responsible for monitoring user activity," Clapper wrote to Grassley and Wyden on July 25, 2014, "there is no intention for such disclosure to be reported to agency leadership under an insider threat program."

However, the newly-declassified letters indicate the opposite happened in reality with the whistleblower-related emails:

"CIA security compiled a report that include excerpts of whistleblower-related communications and this reports was eventually shared with the Director of the Office of Security and the Chief of the Counterintelligence Center" who "briefed the CIA Deputy Director, Deputy Executive Director, and the Chiefs of Staff for both the CIA Director and the Deputy Director."

Clapper has previously come under fire for his 2013 testimony to Congress in which he denied that the national Security Agency (NSA) collects data on millions of Americans. Weeks later, Clapper's statement was proven false by material leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

"During Director Clapper's tenure, senior intelligence officials engaged in a deception spree regarding mass surveillance," said Wyden upon Clapper's retirement in 2016.

"Top officials, officials who reported to Director Clapper, repeatedly misled the American people and even lied to them."

Clapper has repeatedly denied lying, and said that any incorrect information he provided was due to misunderstandings or mistakes.

Clapper and Brennan have also acknowledged taking part in the controversial practice of "unmasking" the protected names of U.S. citizens - including people connected to then-presidential candidate Donald Trump - whose communications were "incidentally" captured in US counterintelligence operations. Unmaskings within the US intelligence community are supposed to be extremely rare and only allowed under carefully justified circumstances. This is to protect the privacy rights of American citizens. But it's been revealed that Obama officials requested unmaskings on a near daily basis during the election year of 2016.

Clapper and Brennan have said their activities were lawful and not politically motivated. Both men have become vocal critics of President Trump.

* * *

Order the New York Times bestseller "The Smear" today online or borrow from your library


Keter , 5 hours ago link

"ah, ah, ah, em, not intentionally." Clapper - ROFL

numapepi , 9 hours ago link

Can you imagine what kind of place the US would have been under Clinton?!!!!!!

All the illegality, spying, conniving, dirty tricks, arcancides, selling us out to the highest bidder and full on attack against our Constitution would be in full swing!

Chaotix , 9 hours ago link

When intel entities can operate unimpeded and un-monitored, it spells disaster for everyone and everything outside that parameter. Their operations go unnoticed until some stray piece of information exposes them. There are many facilities that need to be purged and audited, but since this activity goes on all over the world, there is little to stop it. Even countries that pledge allegiance and cooperation are blindsiding their allies with bugs, taps, blackmails, and other crimes. Nobody trusts nobody, and that's a horrid fact to contend with in an 'advanced' civilization.

numapepi , 9 hours ago link

Almost sounds like the Praetorian guard?

The real power behind the throne.

Rhys12 , 10 hours ago link

Forget the political parties. When the intelligence agencies spy on everyone, they know all about politicians of both parties before they ever win office, and make sure they have enough over them to control them. They were asleep at the switch when Trump won, because no one, including them, believed he would ever win. Hillary was their candidate, the State Department is known overseas as "the political arm of the CIA". They were furious when she lost, hence the circus ever since.

iAmerican10 , 11 hours ago link

From its founding by the Knights of Malta the JFK&MLK-assassinating, with Mossad 9/11-committing CIA has been the Vatican's US Fifth Column action branch, as are the FBI and NSA: with an institutional hiring preference for Roman Catholic "altared boy" closet-queen psychopaths "because they're practiced at keeping secrets."

Think perverts Strzok, Brennan, and McCabe "licked it off the wall?"

Smi1ey , 11 hours ago link

We need to bring back FOIA.

Too much secrecy.

And how is that Pentagon audit doing, btw?

Chaotix , 9 hours ago link

I agree with you 100%. Problem is, tons of secret technology and information have been passed out to the private sector. And the private sector is not bound to the FOIA requests, therefore neutralizing the obligation for government to disclose classified material. They sidestepped their own policies to cooperate with corrupt MIC contractors, and recuse themselves from disclosing incriminating evidence.

archie bird , 12 hours ago link

Everyone knows that spying runs in the fam. 44th potus Mom and Gma BOTH. An apple doesn't fall from the tree. If ppl only knew the true depth of the evil and corruption we would be in the hospital with a heart attack. Gilded age is here and has been, since our democracy was hijacked (McCain called it an intervention) back in 1963. Unfortunately it started WAY back before then when (((they))) stole everything with the installation of the Fed.

Dornier27 , 15 hours ago link

The FBI and CIA have long since slipped the controls of Congress and the Constitution. President Trump should sign an executive order after the mid terms and stand down at least the FBI and subject the CIA to a senate investigation.

America needs new agencies that are accountable to the peoples elected representatives.

greasyknees , 16 hours ago link

Not news. The CIA likely has had access to any and all electronic communication for at least a decade.

Lord JT , 19 hours ago link

what? clapper and brennan being dirty hacks behind the scenes while parading around as patriots? say it aint so!

Racin Rabitt , 20 hours ago link

A determined care has been used to cultivate in D.C., a system that swiftly decapitates the whistleblowers. Resulting in an increasingly subservient cadre of civil servants who STHU and play ostrich, or drool at what scraps are about to roll off the master's table as the slide themselves into a better position, taking advantage to sell vice, weapons, and slaves.

Westcoastliberal , 21 hours ago link

What the hell does the CIA have to do with ANYTHING in the United States? Aren't they limited to OUTSIDE the U.S.? So why would they be involved in domestic communications for anything? These clowns need to be indicted for TREASON!

5onIt , 22 hours ago link

Clapper and Brennan, Brennan and Clapper. These two guys are the damn devil.

It makes me ill.

MuffDiver69 , 22 hours ago link

I'll take " Police State" for five hundred Alex

[Nov 12, 2018] P>rotecting Americans from foreign influence, smells with COINTELPRO. Structural witch-hunt effect like during the McCarthy era is designed to supress decent to neoliberal oligarcy by Andre Damon and Joseph Kishore

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There is something very, very COINTELPRO about the idea of "protecting" Americans from "foreign influence", and that should give liberals the heebie-jeebies. There is also an ongoing structural witch-hunt effect, unchanged from the McCarthy era, when internet firm heads are called to testify before congress. ..."
"... Bottom line - the Russians may have had no more effect on the election than the loose change in your house has on your salary. ..."
"... "Even more extreme measures are being planned and implemented, motivated by the basic principle that the greater the lie, the more aggressive the methods required to enforce it." ..."
"... "While the extortionate salaries commanded by the BBC's biggest stars are justified by "market rates," this underlying premise is never challenged by the women who are leading the gender pay fight. They don't oppose the capitalist market; they just want a bigger slice of the pie, with the working class footing the bill via contributions to the £4 billion annual license fee." - BBC gender pay row: Selective outrage of wealthy women ..."
"... The greater the inequality, the greater the lie to enforce it. ..."
"... While WSWS was uniquely correct in exposing Bush, Powell, and the ruling-elite structure of the U.S. as using deceit and lies to start an 'aggressive war' (the ultimate war crime), your description of this corrupt system of global power headquartered in the U.S. did not fully diagnose and expose it for what it was; a disguised global capitalist EMPIRE. ..."
"... Your description could have more effectively warned American citizen/'subjects' and the world that "Rather, it is a war of colonial (Empire) conquest, driven by a series of economic and geo-political aims that center on the seizure of Iraq's oil resources and the assertion of US global (Empire, not merely) hegemony." ..."
"... In any case, Andre and Joseph, thanks for reminding readers of this dark and deceitful moment of U.S. history in starting another 'aggressive war' almost two decades ago --- which wars will unfortunately continue until Americans themselves expose and ignite an essential Second America "Revolution Against Empire" [Justin duRivage] ..."
"... The Anglo-American-Israelite Empire is globally entrenched and enjoying expansion since 1945 ..."
"... I must admit myself I am disturbed by the sheer volume of unchallenged propaganda regarding these claims in the past few months. The media talking heads and various analysts don't ever really say what the implication of what their claims really mean-war. We are in an age of new mccarthyism ..."
"... What was amazing about Powell's charade was that even if Old Bad Ass as I call Saddam had had some Wombars of Mass Destruction they posed no danger whatsoever! It was obvious 9/11 had put the masses into a tizzy and they would have attacked Mars if told to! ..."
"... Yes, the "New Pearl Harbour" called for and carried out by the authors of the "Project for a New American Century" worked as planned. ..."
"... Quite right. My late father was a structural design engineer, specializing in large steel structures like the WTC and he called it as soon as the buildings imploded! ..."
"... Yes, Michael, the 'media/propaganda-sector' of this seven-sectored Disguised Global Capitalist EMPIRE is currently the most effective sector --- but the other six; corporate, financial, militarist, extra-legal, CFR 'Plot-Tanks', and of course the dual-party Vichy-political facade of the 'rougher-talking' neocon 'R' Vichy Party and the 'smoother-lying' neoliberal-con 'D' Vichy Party are all helping to keep the Empire sound, hidden, and empowered over the only American citizen/'subjects' who could possibly form a "Political Revolution against Empire" ..."
"... While it is true that D.C. is run by delusional psychotics that does not mean they are irrational as far as their greed is concerned. ..."
"... As R. Luxemburg pleaded that WWI was not "our" war but war of bunch of aristocrats wanting to divide colonies and bunch of bankers wanted their bad speculative loans repaid, using working class flesh and blood. ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Wnt1a month ago

This is one of the most sensible editorials on the Russia issue I've seen, and it is true, insofar as it goes. There is something very, very COINTELPRO about the idea of "protecting" Americans from "foreign influence", and that should give liberals the heebie-jeebies. There is also an ongoing structural witch-hunt effect, unchanged from the McCarthy era, when internet firm heads are called to testify before congress.

That said, I wouldn't dismiss the effect of the Russian involvement, or the relevance of the charges against Trump and his people. Bear in mind that the Party of McCarthy has been all about spying on its opponents from the days of HUAC. Nixon's break-in at the Watergate Hotel didn't singlehandedly decide the election ... but who would believe that was the only underhanded tactic he used? Republicans believe that if you're not cheating, you're not trying -- holding out for any ethical standard makes you inherently disloyal and unworthy of support. Something like Kavanaugh's involvement in the hacking of Democrats in 2003 ( http://www.foxnews.com/poli... ) should be no surprise; neither should the "Guccifer" hack that put the Democrats' data in the hands of Wikileaks. (Their subsequent attempts to demand Wikileaks not publish such a newsworthy leak, of course, is the sort of thing that undermines their position with me!)

Bottom line - the Russians may have had no more effect on the election than the loose change in your house has on your salary.

But if you go back in your house after the Republicans were minding it, don't be surprised if together with the missing couch change you notice some missing silverware, your kitchen tap has been sawed off, and the laptop is short half its RAM. By the time you've catalogued everything missing, the stolen brass part from the gas main downstairs might have blown you to smithereens.

Greg8 months ago
"Even more extreme measures are being planned and implemented, motivated by the basic principle that the greater the lie, the more aggressive the methods required to enforce it."

There are many reasons the bourgeoisie is unfit to rule. Each one of them is bound up with the lies required to enforce its rule. The greater its unfitness, "the greater the lie, the more aggressive the methods required to enforce it.

"While the extortionate salaries commanded by the BBC's biggest stars are justified by "market rates," this underlying premise is never challenged by the women who are leading the gender pay fight. They don't oppose the capitalist market; they just want a bigger slice of the pie, with the working class footing the bill via contributions to the £4 billion annual license fee." - BBC gender pay row: Selective outrage of wealthy women

The greater the inequality, the greater the lie to enforce it.

Alan MacDonald8 months ago
While WSWS was uniquely correct in exposing Bush, Powell, and the ruling-elite structure of the U.S. as using deceit and lies to start an 'aggressive war' (the ultimate war crime), your description of this corrupt system of global power headquartered in the U.S. did not fully diagnose and expose it for what it was; a disguised global capitalist EMPIRE.

Your description could have more effectively warned American citizen/'subjects' and the world that "Rather, it is a war of colonial (Empire) conquest, driven by a series of economic and geo-political aims that center on the seizure of Iraq's oil resources and the assertion of US global (Empire, not merely) hegemony."

In any case, Andre and Joseph, thanks for reminding readers of this dark and deceitful moment of U.S. history in starting another 'aggressive war' almost two decades ago --- which wars will unfortunately continue until Americans themselves expose and ignite an essential Second America "Revolution Against Empire" [Justin duRivage]

Ambricourt -> Alan MacDonald8 months ago
The Anglo-American-Israelite Empire is globally entrenched and enjoying expansion since 1945. It is time radical critiques of its values, power and methods should call it by its right name.
Bob Marley8 months ago
I must admit myself I am disturbed by the sheer volume of unchallenged propaganda regarding these claims in the past few months. The media talking heads and various analysts don't ever really say what the implication of what their claims really mean-war. We are in an age of new mccarthyism
michaelroloff8 months ago
What was amazing about Powell's charade was that even if Old Bad Ass as I call Saddam had had some Wombars of Mass Destruction they posed no danger whatsoever! It was obvious 9/11 had put the masses into a tizzy and they would have attacked Mars if told to!
Terry Lawrence -> michaelroloff8 months ago
Yes, the "New Pearl Harbour" called for and carried out by the authors of the "Project for a New American Century" worked as planned.
michaelroloff -> Terry Lawrence8 months ago
don't tell me that you think that the blow-back that was 9/11 is a conspiracy - if you do, be so kind as to mention specific conspirators!
Terry Lawrence -> michaelroloff8 months ago
Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, are a few obvious ones, . . . and that famous CIA asset, Bin Laden, to recruit the expendable hijackers.
michaelroloff -> Terry Lawrence8 months ago
just because it was a convenient act for them to do what they wanted in conquering iraq is not reason that idiots like that are capable of planning and concealing the numerous co-conspirators to arrange something like 9..11. imperialism can always count on blowback to have occasion for further crimes. there is the slim chance that they knew what was being planned and that they let it happen - except that none of those folks is evil enough for that. not even dick cheney. what i love about all conspiracy theories of the american kind is that they never nam or show an actual conspirator conspiring. look at one of the truly great failed conspiracy, that of the 20th july 1944 in germany that was meant to kill hitler and how many people were arrested in no time at all and executed..
Terry Lawrence michaelroloff8 months ago
A "conspiracy" is just any two or more people getting together to discuss something affecting one or more other people without them being party to the discussion. Like a surprise birthday party, for instance. Obviously the "official" version of the 9/11 events is also a "conspiracy theory" that 19 mostly Saudi Arabians led by a guy hiding in a cave in Afghanistan conspired to carry out co-ordinated attacks that just happened to coincide with most of the USAF being conveniently off in Alaska and northern Canada on an exercise that day, and another "coinciding exercise" simulating a multiple hijacking being carried out in the northeast US thereby confusing the Air Traffic Controllers as to whether the hijackings were "real world or exercise", significantly delaying the response, among other things.

Do you really believe that WTC 7, a steel frame building which was not adjacent to WTC 1 & 2, and was NOT hit by any airplanes, coincidentally collapsed due to low temperature paper and furniture office fires? Something that has never happened before or since? Or that such low temperature fires would cause the massive heavily reinforced concrete central core/elevator shaft to collapse first, pulling the rest of the building inward onto it in classic controlled demolition technique?

It is getting more difficult to find the videos showing that now as Google, as with WSWS articles, is pushing them off the front pages of results, while Snopes has put out a some very misleading reports that set up false "straw man" claims and then "disprove" them. Even the "disproofs" are false.

For instance, a Snopes report on the WTC 7 collapse states: "relied heavily on discredited claims, none of which were new, including:

Jet fuel cannot melt steel beams (This claim is misleading, as steel beams do to not need to melt completely to be compromised structurally).

A sprinkler system would have prevented temperatures from rising high enough to cause to cause structural damage. (This claim ignores the fact that a crash from a 767 jet would likely destroy such a system.)

The structural system would have been protected by fireproofing material (similarly, such a system would have been damaged in a 767 crash). "

Jet fuel, which is Kerosene, burns at around 575º in open air, which was the case in WTC buildings 1 & 2. Most of it was vaporized by the impact with the buildings and burned of within minutes. At any rate, 575º is far below the point at which structural steel specifically designed to withstand high temperature fires like that used in the World Trade Centre buildings is weakened.

All of which is irrelevant, as are the other "points" made by Snopes, because Building 7 was not hit by an airplane and there was no jet fuel involved. Something conveniently "overlooked" by Snopes and other similar misleading "disproofs". Not to mention that the Intelligence establishment is busy putting out false trails constantly which use, for instance, obviously faked photos or videos of the three WTC buildings collapsing to discredit the real videos and photos by setting up "straw men" they can then "disprove" and point to as "evidence" that people who don't believe the official version are "creating fake news".

liz_imp Terry Lawrence8 months ago
Brilliant points!! :)
Carolyn Zaremba Terry Lawrence8 months ago
Quite right. My late father was a structural design engineer, specializing in large steel structures like the WTC and he called it as soon as the buildings imploded!
Terry Lawrence michaelroloff8 months ago
"The perpetrators and their conspiracy is not a theory since it has been proved."

By "proved" I assume you are referring to "proofs" such as the fantastical claim that Mohammed Atta's passport was allegedly and fortuitously "found" when it supposedly survived the 600 mph impact of the 767 he was supposedly piloting with a huge steel and concrete building, survived the huge fireball it was supposedly in the middle of unscorched, and conveniently fluttered to the ground intact to land at the feet of an FBI agent who immediately realized it must have belonged to one of the hijackers!

Even Hans Christian Andersen couldn't invent Fairy Tales like that.

Carolyn Zaremba michaelroloff8 months ago
See my comment above. It is the "official" explanation that is a fantasy.
michaelroloff Carolyn Zaremba8 months ago
the best that conspiracy theorist can do is, invariably, to call proven facts "just another theory " which only proves that they are actually aware that they are full of hot air! zarembas father as a structural engineer unless a fantasy is certainly better off among the dead than among the living and perpetrating his ignorance of steel and weight and fire onto the world!
clubmarkgirard michaelroloff8 months ago
Just because all the details aren't known as to who conspired and why there's enough holes in the "official conspiracy theory" of 19 hijackers to conclude that this could not have been pulled off without some conspiring on the American side. Certainly the the neocons benefited greatly from these attacks. So motive is there for sure.
Alan MacDonald michaelroloff8 months ago
Yes, Michael, the 'media/propaganda-sector' of this seven-sectored Disguised Global Capitalist EMPIRE is currently the most effective sector --- but the other six; corporate, financial, militarist, extra-legal, CFR 'Plot-Tanks', and of course the dual-party Vichy-political facade of the 'rougher-talking' neocon 'R' Vichy Party and the 'smoother-lying' neoliberal-con 'D' Vichy Party are all helping to keep the Empire sound, hidden, and empowered over the only American citizen/'subjects' who could possibly form a "Political Revolution against Empire"
Kalen8 months ago
While it is true that D.C. is run by delusional psychotics that does not mean they are irrational as far as their greed is concerned.

There is nothing to win in global nuke war, all know it while the outcome would be surely the current global oligarchy loosing grip on population destroying the system that works for them so well giving chance to what they dread socialist revolution they would have been much weaker to counter.

Regional conflicts are just positioning of oligarchy for management of global oligarchic country club while strict class morality is maintained.

What I do not we are conditions for war (split of global ruling elites) while what I see is broad propaganda of war as a excuse to clamp down on fake enemy in order to control respective populations while there is factual unity among world oligarchy.

As R. Luxemburg pleaded that WWI was not "our" war but war of bunch of aristocrats wanting to divide colonies and bunch of bankers wanted their bad speculative loans repaid, using working class flesh and blood.

She died abandoned by those on the left who embraced the war for their political aspirations, she was murdered for her true internationalism i.e. No war fought between working people of one country and working people of another country.

Alan MacDonald Kalen8 months ago
Kalen, it's only effective to use the correct and understandable term 'Empire' in exposing, warning, and motivating average Americans --- since very few even know what words like; oligarchy, plutocracy, fascism, authoritarianism, corporate-state, or Wolin's 'inverted totalitarianism' mean --- let alone could ever serve as rallying cries for the coming essential Second American Revolution against EMPIRE.

As Pat would have shouted if Tom had taken the Paine to edit his call, "Give me Liberty over EMPIRE, or Give me Death!"

Carolyn Zaremba Alan MacDonald8 months ago
Do you really believe that average Americans are that stupid? Shame on you!
Alan MacDonald Carolyn Zaremba8 months ago
"Sweet Carolyn" OH OH OH --- Yes, only a very small percentage of Americans understand that our former country, the U.S. of America, is categorically, provably, and absolutely a new form of Empire, and is inexorably the first in world history an; 'effectively-disguised', 'truly-global', 'dual-party Vichy', and 'capitalist-fueled' EMPIRE --- an EMPIRE, really just an EMPIRE!

Just do an honest survey, "Sweet Carolyn", yourself, and if you're not a "Sweet Liarlyn", you will have to admit that essentially ZERO of the first 1000 people you ask, will say --- "Oh ya, Carolyn, of course I know that this whole effin 'system' that others less informed may still be so stupid that they think they live in a real country, when I (enter their name) do solemnly swear is just an effin EMPIRE, which is so well disguised, that these few idiots who don't understand that they are just citizen/'subjects' of this monsterous EMPIRE."

Do the survey, "Sweet Carolyn" and if you don't lie to yourself --- which maybe you do, because HELL, your job is to lie to others (so it's quite likely that you'll lie about anything) --- you'll find that exactly zero average Americans have the effin slightest idea in the world that their great 'country' is actually an effin EMPIRE.

HELL, Carolyn, almost half the Americans repeatedly yell, "We're number ONE", "We're number ONE", that their brains would rather rattle themselves to death than even let logic, history, knowledge, or anything into their addled and propaganda filled heads!

liz_imp Alan MacDonald8 months ago
Personal attacks are not allowed on this site.
Alan MacDonald liz_imp8 months ago
Sorry, Liz-imp, are you a friend of "Sweet Carolyn" --- or some other relation? Perhaps working together?
dmorista8 months ago
Excellent article, and it did a particularly good job of tying together the foreign policy and domestic policy stratagems of a major faction of the U.S. ruling class. I, for one, do not doubt that the Russians conduct some sort of cyber warfare against the U.S.; but that must be understood by considering the fact that every major governmental, political, military, and business organization on the face of the Earth must now operate in this manner. A friend of mine's son, who was in the Army, pointed out that the big players, by a wide margin, in spying on and to some degree interfering in the U.S. domestic scene are China and Israel. Kevin Barrett has written and said on various radio shows that much of what is attributed to the "Russians" are actually the actions of Russian/Israeli dual citizens, many of whom move freely between the U.S., Russia, and Israel. And, of course, the U.S. runs major spy and manipulation operations in more countries than any other nation of Earth, and U.S. based corporations are busy both inside the U.S. and in foreign places in similar activities.

It is clearly a desire of significant sectors, of the Capitalist rulers of the U.S., to repress dissent and political activities that oppose their agendas. It took them a few years to realize that their old methods using TV, hate radio, magazines, direct mail, and newspapers were losing their effectiveness. They have been increasing their attacks on leftist websites, hacking into websites, closing websites using phonied-up "national security" justifications, employing numerous trolls, and establishing and funding more far right websites, such as Breitbart and Infowars. These efforts are most effective when they are not overpowering and heavy handed.

The classic book on this was the 1988 book "Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media" by Noam Chomsky and Edward Hermann. Rob Williams has updated the concept for the internet age in
<http: www.vermontindependent.org ="" the-post-truth-world-reviving-the-propaganda-model-of-news-for-our-digital-age=""/>.

The strategy is nothing new, the methods are merely updated and use the latest technologies.

Maxwell dmorista8 months ago
Superb post.

I guess the lesson to be learned here is that rigging elections through byzantine electoral laws and billion dollar corporate slush funds is a thing of the past. All you need now is 13 amateur IT goomba's with a marketing scheme and twitter accounts. Well, sure is a fragile "World's Sole Superpower" we got here. Go Team?

[Nov 12, 2018] Although Trump had reached the presidency by advocating a radical populist-nationalist agenda, he has hardly governed in those terms

Nov 12, 2018 | www.unz.com

Perhaps the loss of the House may actually prove to be a mixed blessing for Trump. Democrats will achieve control of all the investigative committees and their accusations and subpoenas will make Trump's life even more miserable than it was before, while surely removing any chance that significant elements of Trump's remaining agenda will ever be enacted.

However, although Trump had reached the presidency by advocating a radical populist-nationalist agenda, he has hardly governed in those terms. For his first two years in office, he sunk nearly all his political capital into enacting huge tax cuts for the rich, wholesale Wall Street deregulation, large increases in military spending, and an extremely pro-Israel foreign policy -- exactly the sort of policies near-and-dear to the establishment conservative candidates whom he had crushed in the Republican primaries. Meanwhile, his jilted grassroots supporters have had to settle for some radical rhetoric and a regular barrage of outrageous Tweets rather than anything more substantive. With Republicans in full control of Congress, finding excuses for this widespread betrayal was quite difficult, but now that the Democrats have taken the House, Trump's apologists can more easily shift the blame over to them.

Meanwhile, a considerably stronger Republican Senate will certainly ease the way for Trump's future court nominees, especially if another Supreme Court vacancy occurs, and there will be little chance of any difficult Kavanaugh battles. However, here once again, Trump's supposed radicalism has merely been rhetorical. Kavanaugh and nearly all of his other nominees have been very mainstream Republican choices, carefully vetted by the Federalist Society and other conservative establishment groups, and they would probably have been near the top of the list if Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio were sitting in the Oval Office.

Both Trump's supporters and his opponents claim that his presidency represents a drastic break from Republican business-as-usual, and surely that was the hope of many of the Americans who voted for him in 2016, but the actual reality often seems rather different.

Although the net election results were not particularly bad for the Republicans, the implications of several state races seem extremely worrisome. The highest profile senate race was in Texas, and Trump may have narrowly dodged a bullet. Among our largest states, Texas ranks as by far the most solidly Republican, and therefore it serves as the central lynchpin of every Republican presidential campaign. The GOP has won every major statewide race for more than twenty years, but despite such seemingly huge advantages, incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz faced a very difficult reelection race against a young border-area Congressman named Beto O'Rourke, who drew enormous enthusiasm and an ocean of local and national funding.

I was actually in Texas just a couple of days before the vote, speaking at a Ron Paul-related conference in the Houston area, and although most of the libertarian-leaning attendees thought that Cruz would probably win, they all agreed with the national media that it would probably be close. Cruz's final victory margin of less than three points confirmed this verdict.

But if things had gone differently, and O'Rourke had squeaked out a narrow win, our national politics would have been immediately transformed. Any Republican able to win California has a near-lock on the White House, and the same is true for any Democrat able to carry Texas, especially if the latter is a young and attractive Kennedyesque liberal, fluent in Spanish and probably very popular with the large Latino populations of other important states such as Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado. I strongly suspect that a freshman Sen. O'Rourke (R-Texas) would have been offered the 2020 Democratic nomination almost by acclamation, and barring unexpected personal or national developments, would have been a strong favorite in that race against Trump or any other Republican. Rep. O'Rourke raised an astonishing $70 million in nationwide donations, and surely many of his contributors were dreaming of similar possibilities. A shift of just a point and a half, and in twenty-four months he probably would have been our next president. But it was not to be.

[Nov 12, 2018] France The Incredible Shrinking President by Guillaume Durocher

Nov 12, 2018 | www.unz.com

I personally don't understand the French electorate on these matters. Macron in particular did not promise anything other than to deliver more of the same policies, albeit with more youth and more vigor, as a frank globalist. Who, exactly, was excited at his election but is disappointed now? People with a short attention span or susceptibility to marketing gimmicks, I assume.

It is hard to talk about the French media without getting a bit conspiratorial, at least, I speak of "structural conspiracies." Macron's unabashed, "modernizing" globalism certainly corresponds to the id of the French media-corporate elites and to top 20% of the electorate, let us say, the talented fifth. He was able to break through the old French two-party system, annihilating the Socialist Party and sidelining the conservatives. The media certainly helped in this, preferring him to either the conservative François Fillon or the civic nationalist Marine Le Pen.

However, the media have to a certain extent turned on Macron, perhaps because he believes his "complex thoughts" cannot be grasped by journalists with their admittedly limited cognitive abilities . Turn on the French radio and you'll hear stories of how the so-called "Youth With Macron," whose twenty- and thirty-somethings were invited onto all the talk shows just before Macron became a leading candidate, were actually former Socialist party hacks with no grass roots. Astroturf. I could have told you that.

Macron has made a number of what the media call "gaffes." When an old lady voiced concern about the future of her pension, he answered : "you don't have a right to complain." He has also done many things that anyone with just a little sense of decorum will be disgusted by. The 40-year-old Macron, who has a 65-year-old wife and claims not to be a homosexual, loves being photographed with sweaty black bodies.

... ... ...

So there's that. But, in terms of policies, I cannot say that the people who supported Macron have any right to complain. He is doing what he promised, that is to say, steaming full straight ahead on the globalist course with, a bit more forthrightness and, he hopes, competence than his Socialist or conservative predecessors.

Link Bookmark In truth there are no solutions. There is nothing he can do to make the elitist and gridlocked European Union more effective, nothing he can do to improve the "human capital" in the Afro-Islamic banlieues , and not much he can do to improve the economy which the French people would find acceptable. A bit more of labor flexibility here, a bit of a tax break there, oh wait deficit's too big, a tax hike in some other area too, then. Six of one, half a dozen in the other. Oh, and they've also passed more censorship legislation to fight "fake news" and "election meddling" and other pathetic excuses the media-political class across the West have come up with for their loss of control over the Narrative.

Since the European Central Bank has been printing lending hundreds of billions of euros to stimulate the Eurozone economy, France's economic performance has been decidedly mediocre, with low growth, slowly declining unemployment, and no reduction in debt (currently at 98.7% of GDP). Performance will presumably worsen if the ECB, as planned, phases out stimulus at the end of this year.

There is a rather weird situation in terms of immigration and diversity. Everyone seems to be aware of the hellscape of ethno-religious conflict which will thrive in the emerging Afro-Islamic France of the future. Just recently at the commemoration of the Battle of Verdun, an elderly French soldier asked Macron : "When will you kick out the illegal immigrants? . . . Aren't we bringing in a Trojan Horse?"

More significant was the resignation of Gérard Collomb from his position as interior minister last month to return to his old job as mayor of Lyon, which he apparently finds more interesting. Collomb is a 71-year-old Socialist politician who has apparently awakened to the problems of ethnic segregation and conflict. He said in his farewell address :

I have been in all the neighborhoods, the neighborhoods of Marseille-North to Mirail in Toulous, to the Parisian periphery, Corbeil, Aulnay, Sevran, the situation has deteriorated greatly. We cannot continue to work on towns individually, there needs to be an overarching vision to recreate social mixing. Because today we are living side by side, and I still say, me, I fear that tomorrow we will live face-to-face [i.e. across a battle lines].

It is not clear how much Collomb tried to act upon these concerns as interior minister and was frustrated. In any case, he dared to voice the same concerns to the far-right magazine Valeurs Actuelles last February. He told them: "The relations between people are very difficult, people don't want to live together" (using the term vivre-ensemble , a common diversitarian slogan). He said immigration's responsibility for this was "enormous" and agreed with the journalist that "France no longer needs immigration." Collomb then virtually predicted civil war:

Communities in France are coming into conflict more and more and it is becoming very violent . . . I would say that, within five years, the situation could become irreversible. Yes, we have five or six years to avoid the worst. After that . . .

It's unclear why "the next five or six years" should be so critical. From one point of view, the old France is already lost as about a third of births are non-European and in particular one fifth are Islamic . The patterns of life in much of France will therefore likely come to reflect those of Africa and the Middle-East, including random violence and religious fanaticism. Collomb seems to think "social mixing" would prevent this, but in fact, there has been plenty of social and even genetic "mixing" in Brazil and Mexico, without this preventing ethno-racial stratification and extreme levels of violence.

I'm afraid it's all more of the same in douce France , sweet France. On the current path, Macron will be a one-termer like Sarkozy and Hollande were. Then again, the next elections will be in three-and-a-half years, an eternity in democratic politics. In all likelihood, this would be the Right's election to win, with a conservative anti-immigration candidate. A few people of the mainstream Right are open to working with Le Pen's National Rally and some have even defended the Identitarians. Then again, I could even imagine Macron posing as a heroic opponent of (illegal . . .) immigration if he thought it could help get him reelected. Watch this space . . .


utu , says: November 8, 2018 at 9:55 pm GMT

How many immigrants from Africa come to Europe depends only on political will of Europeans. The demography of African has nothing to do with it. Europe has means to stop immigration legal and illegal. Macron talking about how many children are born in Africa is just another cop out.
utu , says: November 8, 2018 at 11:04 pm GMT
Armed force 'led by former MAFIA boss' causing dramatic reduction in migrants to Italy

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/844213/italy-close-migrant-shut-down-mafia-libya-Sabratha-un-election-eu-tripoli-summer-turkey

Italy passes sea rescue of 1,000 to Libya as EU nations hold informal talks on migration

https://www.thejournal.ie/migrants-italy-eu-spain-meeting-4089279-Jun2018/

FKA Max , says: Website November 9, 2018 at 8:07 pm GMT
@Dieter Kief I love Macron, too!

A few months ago I claimed that Emmanuel Macron has/holds an ""Alt Right" worldview" due to him having had interactions with an influential member of the French Protestant Huguenot minority in France: http://www.unz.com/article/collateral-damage/#comment-1955020
[...]
Macron : Germany is different from France. You are more Protestant, which results in a significant difference. Through the church, through Catholicism, French society was structured vertically, from top to bottom. I am convinced that it has remained so until today. That might sound shocking to some – and don't worry, I don't see myself as a king. But whether you like it or not, France's history is unique in Europe. Not to put too fine a point on it, France is a country of regicidal monarchists. It is a paradox: The French want to elect a king, but they would like to be able to overthrow him whenever they want. The office of president is not a normal office – that is something one should understand when one occupies it. You have to be prepared to be disparaged, insulted and mocked – that is in the French nature. And: As president, you cannot have a desire to be loved. Which is, of course, difficult because everybody wants to be loved. But in the end, that's not important. What is important is serving the country and moving it forward.

http://www.unz.com/article/the-elites-have-no-credibility-left/#comment-2042622

French army band medleys Daft Punk following Bastille Day parade

notanon , says: November 9, 2018 at 8:25 pm GMT

Who, exactly, was excited at his election but is disappointed now? People with a short attention span or susceptibility to marketing gimmicks, I assume.

people controlled by the media

the media are the main problem

[Nov 12, 2018] Macron wants to be like Putin, but the leash gets in the way

Nov 12, 2018 | www.unz.com

Anon [425] Disclaimer , says: Website November 9, 2018 at 9:07 pm GMT

Macron. Trudeau. Such lightweights. They are nothing but globe-trotting celebs.
AnonFromTN , says: November 9, 2018 at 9:16 pm GMT
As the French say, Macron wants to be like Putin, but the leash gets in the way.

[Nov 12, 2018] Saudi royals internal fight looks probably like the Austrians in 1913 arguing about who their next Habsburg Ruler is going to be

Nov 12, 2018 | peakoilbarrel.com

Survivalist says: 11/03/2018 at 12:13 am

To put it mildly, I'm not an expert on where to find info Ghawar. Perhaps brighter minds will chime in.
http://peakoilbarrel.com/closer-look-saudi-arabia/
http://crudeoilpeak.info/category/saudi-arabia

My guess is that much of KSA will look a lot like the shabby end of Yemen before too long. This will perhaps strand some assets. Once the House of Saud fragments further among competing clans/factions (Faisal, Sudairi, Abdullah, Bin Sultans) things will hasten. Collapse is preceded by intra-elite rivalry over a shrinking pie, so to speak.
Caspian Report has a nice set on KSA if you look for them. Here's one-
https://youtu.be/9tHwvZ9XDLU
And another-
https://youtu.be/hh8isVX3H9w

Hightrekker once commented something quite apt, along the lines of~ 'And all this is probably like the Austrians in 1913 arguing about who their next Habsburg Ruler is going to be'.

From what I understand there are 4000 Saudi princes (a suspiciously round number, so likely an approximate). It all should make for a very bloody affair. Hopefully Iran will do the right thing and kick 'em while they're down.

  1. Mushalik 10/31/2018 at 8:25 pm
    Saudi Update October 2018
    http://crudeoilpeak.info/saudi-update-october-2018

[Nov 12, 2018] We Are Heading For Another Tragedy Like World War I by Eric Margolis

Notable quotes:
"... officials and politicians in Britain and France conspired to transform Serbia's murder of Austro-Hungary's Crown Prince into a continent-wide conflict. France burned for revenge for its defeat in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War and loss of Alsace-Lorraine. Britain feared German commercial and naval competition. At the time, the British Empire controlled one quarter of the world's surface. Italy longed to conquer Austria-Hungary's South Tyrol. Turkey feared Russia's desire for the Straits. Austria-Hungary feared Russian expansion. ..."
"... Prof Clark clearly shows how the French and British maneuvered poorly-led Germany into the war. The Germans were petrified of being crushed between two hostile powers, France and Russia. The longer the Germans waited, the more the military odds turned against them. Tragically, Germany was then Europe's leader in social justice. ..."
"... Britain kept stirring the pot, determined to defeat commercial and colonial rival, Germany. The rush to war became a gigantic clockwork that no one could stop. All sides believed a war would be short and decisive. Crowds of fools chanted 'On to Berlin' or 'On to Paris.' ..."
"... The 1904 Russo-Japanese War offered a sharp foretaste of the 1914 conflict, but Europe's grandees paid scant attention. ..."
"... This demented war in Europe tuned into an even greater historic tragedy in 1917 when US President Woodrow Wilson, driven by a lust for power and prestige, entered the totally stalemated war on the Western Front. One million US troops and starvation caused by a crushing British naval blockade turned the tide of battle and led to Germany's surrender. ..."
"... Vengeful France and Britain imposed intolerable punishment on Germany, forcing it to accept full guilt for the war, an untruth that persists to this day. The result was Adolf Hitler and his National Socialists. If an honorable peace had been concluded in 1917, neither Hitler nor Stalin might have seized power and millions of lives would have been saved. This is the true tragedy of the Great War. ..."
"... Let us recall the words of the wise Benjamin Franklin: `No good war, no bad peace.' ..."
Nov 12, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Eric Margolis via EricMargolis.com,

We are now upon the 100th anniversary of World War I, the war that was supposed to end all wars. While honoring the 16 million who died in this conflict, we should also condemn the memory of the politicians, officials and incompetent generals who created this horrendous blood bath.

I've walked most of the Western Front of the Great War, visited its battlefields and haunted forts, and seen the seas of crosses marking its innumerable cemeteries.

As a former soldier and war correspondent, I've always considered WWI as he stupidest, most tragic and catastrophic of all modern wars.

The continuation of this conflict, World War II, killed more people and brought more destruction on civilians in firebombed cities but, at least for me, World War I holds a special horror and poignancy. This war was not only an endless nightmare for the soldiers in their pestilential trenches, it also violently ended the previous 100 years of glorious European civilization, one of mankind's most noble achievements.

I've explored the killing fields of Verdun many times and feel a visceral connection to this ghastly place where up to 1,000,000 soldiers died. I have even spent the night there, listening to the sirens that wailed without relent, and watching searchlights that pierced the night, looking for the ghosts of the French and German soldiers who died here.

Verdun's soil was so poisoned by explosives and lethal gas that to this day it produces only withered, stunted scrub and sick trees. Beneath the surface lie the shattered remains of men and a deadly harvest of unexploded shells that still kill scores of intruders each year. The spooky Ossuaire Chapel contains the bone fragments of 130,000 men, blown to bits by the millions of high explosive shells that deluged Verdun.

The town of the same name is utterly bleak, melancholy and cursed. Young French and German officers are brought here to see firsthand the horrors of war and the crime of stupid generalship.

Amid all the usual patriotic cant from politicians, imperialists and churchmen about the glories of this slaughter, remember that World War I was a contrived conflict that was totally avoidable. Contrary to the war propaganda that still clouds and corrupts our historical view, World War I was not started by Imperial Germany.

Professor Christopher Clark in his brilliant book, `The Sleepwalkers' shows how officials and politicians in Britain and France conspired to transform Serbia's murder of Austro-Hungary's Crown Prince into a continent-wide conflict. France burned for revenge for its defeat in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War and loss of Alsace-Lorraine. Britain feared German commercial and naval competition. At the time, the British Empire controlled one quarter of the world's surface. Italy longed to conquer Austria-Hungary's South Tyrol. Turkey feared Russia's desire for the Straits. Austria-Hungary feared Russian expansion.

Prof Clark clearly shows how the French and British maneuvered poorly-led Germany into the war. The Germans were petrified of being crushed between two hostile powers, France and Russia. The longer the Germans waited, the more the military odds turned against them. Tragically, Germany was then Europe's leader in social justice.

Britain kept stirring the pot, determined to defeat commercial and colonial rival, Germany. The rush to war became a gigantic clockwork that no one could stop. All sides believed a war would be short and decisive. Crowds of fools chanted 'On to Berlin' or 'On to Paris.'

Few at the time understood the impending horrors of modern war or the geopolitical demons one would release. The 1904 Russo-Japanese War offered a sharp foretaste of the 1914 conflict, but Europe's grandees paid scant attention.

Even fewer grasped how the collapse of the antiquated Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires would send Europe and the Mideast into dangerous turmoil that persists to our day. Or how a little-known revolutionary named Lenin would shatter Imperial Russia and turn it into the world's most murderous state.

This demented war in Europe tuned into an even greater historic tragedy in 1917 when US President Woodrow Wilson, driven by a lust for power and prestige, entered the totally stalemated war on the Western Front. One million US troops and starvation caused by a crushing British naval blockade turned the tide of battle and led to Germany's surrender.

Vengeful France and Britain imposed intolerable punishment on Germany, forcing it to accept full guilt for the war, an untruth that persists to this day. The result was Adolf Hitler and his National Socialists. If an honorable peace had been concluded in 1917, neither Hitler nor Stalin might have seized power and millions of lives would have been saved. This is the true tragedy of the Great War.

Let us recall the words of the wise Benjamin Franklin: `No good war, no bad peace.'

[Nov 12, 2018] Bolton's Favorite Deranged Cult

Notable quotes:
"... You can always tell just how deep our understanding is of a country by the opposition we choose to support. ..."
Nov 12, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Sid Finster November 9, 2018 at 10:07 am

Sort of like how Bolton and his merry band of neocons seized upon Ahmad Chalabi and his merry men as some sort of Authentic Voice of Resistance to teh Evil Saddam. Does anyone else remember that?

Bolton et al. know better. As long as this gets them the regime change that they and their owners in Jerusalem and Riyadh demand, they do not care.

rayray , says: November 9, 2018 at 11:07 am
You can always tell just how deep our understanding is of a country by the opposition we choose to support.

As @Sid Finster pointed out, the fraudulent Chalabi was a good bellwether of our true understanding of Iraq, and the MEK shows just how equally deep we understand Iran.

SDS , says: November 9, 2018 at 11:13 am
Can't say if Bolton is just a nut; but Giuliani, et. al are probably just being paid; like any other prostitute. IF the $$ stop; they will then say "who knew?" .
AS with Trump; S.A. would have no problem paying enough for them to perform any act demanded.
b. , says: November 9, 2018 at 12:14 pm
So Obama sees a "Responsibility to Protect" MEK war criminals and the business interests of Dean, Bolton, Guiliani et.al, but is perfectly happy to let the Saudis "cross the blood red line" for years to save himself some headaches on JCOPA – an "agreement" that was not worth the paper it was written on without Congress actually binding itself by ratification.

But his minions did consider designating the Houthi "terrorists".

The intended Clinton-Obama "transition" had all the marks of a protection racket, all governance transient and passing and resting on the edifice of unconstitutionally expansive claims of executive power.

Clyde Schechter , says: November 9, 2018 at 5:23 pm
" Whatever else it may claim to be, the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK) is still a deranged totalitarian cult steeped in the blood of many innocent people. "

So true. So, why, Mr. Larison, are you perplexed by the fact that deranged totalitarians like Bolton support MEK?

Sid Finster , says: November 9, 2018 at 5:38 pm
@rayray, thank you for the kind words, but my position is more accurately stated as follows:

I suspect that in 2003, Bolton knew and knew full well that Chalabi was an opportunist at best. A fraudster, a monster, a sociopath, delusional, to put it more bluntly. That his support in Iraq was nil, and that Chalabi would be rejected immediately and rightfully, as an American puppet. Bolton may even have known that Chalabi was in the pay of Iran.

Like the MEK now, as long Bolton gets the war he so craves, he doesn't care about any of that.

[Nov 11, 2018] Trump's Iran Policy Cannot Succeed Without Allies The National Interest by James Clapper & Thomas Pickering

Highly recommended!
It's interesting that Clapper is against abandoned by Trump Iran deal.
Tramp administration is acting more like Israeli marionette here, because while there a strategic advantage in crushing the Iranian regime for the USA and making a county another Us vassal in the middle East, the cost for the country might be way to high (especially if we count in the cost of additional antagonizing Russia and China). Trump might jump into the second Afghanistan, which would really brake the back of US military -- crushing Iran military is one thing, but occupying such a county is a very costly task. And that might well doom Israel in the long run as settlers policies now created really antagonized, unrecognizable minority with a high birth rate.
Vanishing one-by-one of partners are given due to collapse of neoliberalism as an ideology. Nobody believes that neoliberalism is the future, like many believed in 80th and early 90th. This looks more and more like a repetion of the path of the USSR after 1945, when communist ideology was discredited and communist elite slowly fossilized. In 46 years from its victory in WWII the USSR was dissolved. The same might happen with the USA in 50 years after winning the Cold War.
Notable quotes:
"... a vanishing one by one of American partners who were previously supportive of U.S. leadership in curbing Iran, particularly its nuclear program. ..."
"... The United States risks losing the cooperation of historic and proven allies in the pursuit of other U.S. national security interests around the world, far beyond Iran. ..."
Nov 09, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

Only well calibrated multilateral political, economic and diplomatic pressure brought to bear on Iran with many and diverse partners will produce the results we seek.

"Then there were none" was Agatha Christie's most memorable mystery about a house party in which each guest was killed off one by one. Donald Trump's policy toward Iran has resulted in much the same: a vanishing one by one of American partners who were previously supportive of U.S. leadership in curbing Iran, particularly its nuclear program.

Dozens of states, painstakingly cultivated over decades of American leadership in blocking Iran's nuclear capability, are now simply gone. One of America's three remaining allies on these issues, Saudi Arabia, has become a central player in American strategy throughout the Middle East region. But the Saudis, because of the Jamal Khashoggi killing and other reasons, may have cut itself out of the action. The United Arab Emirates, so close to the Saudis, may also fall away.

Such paucity of international support has left the Trump administration dangerously isolated. "America First" should not mean America alone. The United States risks losing the cooperation of historic and proven allies in the pursuit of other U.S. national security interests around the world, far beyond Iran.

... ... ...

European allies share many of our concerns about Iran's regional activities, but they strongly oppose U.S. reinstitution of secondary sanctions against them. They see the Trump administration's new sanctions as a violation of the nuclear agreement and UN Security Council resolutions and as undermining efforts to influence Iranian behavior. The new sanctions and those applied on November 5 only sap European interest in cooperating to stop Iran.

... ... ...

The United States cannot provoke regime change in Iran any more than it has successfully in other nations in the region. And, drawing on strategies used to topple governments in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States should be wary of launching or trying to spur a military invasion of Iran.

Lt. Gen. James Clapper (USAF, ret.) is the former Director of National Intelligence. Thomas R. Pickering is a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Russia and India.

[Nov 11, 2018] The Unraveling of the Netanyahu Project for the Middle East

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
Nov 11, 2018 | theduran.com

There has been, from the outset, a second level , too: This entire 'inverted pyramid' of Middle East engineering had, as its single point of departure, Mohammed bin Salman (MbS). It was Jared Kushner, the Washington Post reports , who "championed Mohammed as a reformer poised to usher the ultraconservative, oil-rich monarchy into modernity. Kushner privately argued for months, last year, that Mohammed would be key to crafting a Middle East peace plan, and that with the prince's blessing, much of the Arab world would follow". It was Kushner, the Post continued, "who pushed his father-in-law to make his first foreign trip as president to Riyadh, against objections from then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson – and warnings from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis".

Well, now MbS has, in one form or another, been implicated in the Khashoggi murder. Bruce Riedel of Brookings, a longtime Saudi observer and former senior CIA & US defence official, notes , "for the first time in 50 years, the kingdom has become a force for instability" (rather than stability in the region), and suggests that there is an element of 'buyer's remorse' now evident in parts of Washington.

The 'seamless office process' to which the Israeli official referred with Caspit, is known as 'stovepiping', which is when a foreign state's policy advocacy and intelligence are passed straight to a President's ear – omitting official Washington from the 'loop'; by-passing any US oversight; and removing the opportunity for officials to advise on its content. Well, this has now resulted in the Khashoggi strategic blunder. And this, of course, comes in the wake of earlier strategic 'mistakes': the Yemen war, the siege of Qatar, the Hariri abduction, the Ritz-Carlton princely shakedowns.

To remedy this lacuna, an 'uncle' (Prince Ahmad bin Abdel Aziz) has been dispatched from exile in the West to Riyadh (with security guarantees from the US and UK intelligences services) to bring order into these unruly affairs, and to institute some checks and balances into the MbS coterie of advisers, so as to prevent further impetuous 'mistakes'. It seems too, that the US Congress wants the Yemen war, which Prince Ahmad consistently has opposed (as he opposed MbS elevation as Crown Prince), stopped. (General Mattis has called for a ceasefire within 30 days.) It is a step toward repairing the Kingdom's image.

MbS remains – for now – as Crown Prince. President Sisi and Prime Minister Netanyahu both have expressed their support for MbS and "as U.S. officials contemplate a more robust response [to the Khashoggi killing], Kushner has emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Saudi alliance in the region", the Washington Post reports . MbS' Uncle (who as a son of King Abdel Aziz, under the traditional succession system, would be himself in line for the throne), no doubt hopes to try to undo some of the damage done to the standing of the al-Saud family, and to that of the Kingdom. Will he succeed? Will MbS accede now to Ahmad unscrambling the very centralisation of power that made MbS so many enemies, in the first place, to achieve it? Has the al-Saud family the will , or are they too disconcerted by events?

And might President Erdogan throw more wrenches into this delicate process by further leaking evidence Turkey has, if Washington does not attend sufficiently to his demands. Erdogan seems ready to pitch for the return of Ottoman leadership for the Sunni world, and likely still holds some high-value cards up his sleeve (such as intercepts of phone calls between the murder cell and Riyadh). These cards though are devaluing as the news cycle shifts to the US mid-terms.

Time will tell, but it is this nexus of uncertain dynamics to which Bruce Reidel refers, when he talks of 'instability' in Saudi Arabia . The question posed here, though, is how might these events affect Netanyahu's and MbS' 'war' on Iran?

May 2018 now seems a distant era. Trump is still the same 'Trump', but Putin is not the same Putin. The Russian Defence Establishment has weighed in with their President to express their displeasure at Israeli air strikes on Syria – purportedly targeting Iranian forces in Syria. The Russian Defence Ministry too, has enveloped Syria in a belt of missiles and electronic disabling systems across the Syrian airspace. Politically, the situation has changed too: Germany and France have joined the Astana Process for Syria. Europe wants Syrian refugees to return home, and that translates into Europe demanding stability in Syria. Some Gulf States too, have tentatively begun normalising with the Syrian state.

The Americans are still in Syria; but a newly invigorated Erdogan (after the release of the US pastor, and with all the Khashoggi cards, produced by Turkish intelligence, in his pocket), intends to crush the Kurdish project in north and eastern Syria, espoused by Israel and the US. MbS, who was funding this project, on behalf of US and Israel, will cease his involvement (as a part of the demands made by Erdogan over the Khashoggi murder). Washington too wants the Yemen war, which was intended to serve as Iran's 'quagmire', to end forthwith. And Washington wants the attrition of Qatar to stop, too.

These represent major unravelings of the Netanyahu project for the Middle East, but most significant are two further setbacks: namely, the loss of Netanyahu's and MbS' stovepipe to Trump, via Jared Kushner, by-passing all America's own system of 'checks and balances'. The Kushner 'stovepipe' neither forewarned Washington of coming 'mistakes', nor was Kushner able to prevent them. Both Congress and the Intelligences Services of the US and UK are already elbowing into these affairs. They are not MbS fans. It is no secret that Prince Mohamed bin Naif was their man (he is still under 'palace arrest').

Trump will still hope to continue his 'Iran project' and his Deal of the Century between Israel and the Palestinians (led nominally by Saudi Arabia herding together the Sunni world , behind it). Trump does not seek war with Iran, but rather is convinced of a popular uprising in Iran that will topple the state.

[Nov 10, 2018] CIA's 'Surveillance State' is Operating Against US

Nov 10, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

BM , Nov 10, 2018 5:56:10 AM | link

Whilst on the topic of ISIS, here is an article about its mother-concern, CIA:

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/11/09/cia-surveillance-state-operating-against-us-all.html
CIA's 'Surveillance State' is Operating Against US All

On two declassified letters from 2014 from the Intelligence Community Inspector General (didn't know there was one, but doesn't do much good anyway, it seems, read further) to the chairpersons of the House and Senate intelligence committees notifying them that the CIA has been monitoring emails between the CIA's head of the whistleblowing and source protection and Congressional. "Most of these emails concerned pending and developing whistleblower complaints". Shows why Edward Snowdon didn't consider it appropriate to rely on internal complaints proceedures. This while under the leadership of seasoned liars and criminals Brennan and Clapper, of course.

It clearly shows a taste of what these buggers have to hide, and why they went to such extraordinary lengths as Russiagate to cover it all up and save their skins - that of course being the real reason behind Russiagate as I have said several times, nothing to do with either Trump or Russia.

guidoamm , Nov 10, 2018 1:32:52 AM | link

And there is this too of course:

Pentagon Fake Al Qaeda Propaganda

Anton Worter , Nov 10, 2018 12:39:39 AM | link
@4

OWS was a Controlled-Dissent operation, sending poor students north to fecklessly march on Wall Street when they could have shut down WADC, and sending wealthy seniors south to fecklessly line Pennsylvania Avenue, when they could have shut down Wall Street.

Both I$I$, and Hamas, and Antifa et al are all Controlled Dissent operations. The followers are duped, are used, abused and then abandoned by honey-pots put there by Central Intelligence, at least since the Spanish Civil War.

That's why MoA articles like this one make you wonder, just who is conning whom, at a time when the Internet is weaponized, when Google Assistant achieved AI awareness indistinguishable from anyone on the phone, China TV has launched a virtual AI news reporter indistinguishable from reality, and Stanford can audio-video a captured image of anyone as well as their voice intonation, then 3D model them, in real time, reading and emoting from a script, indistinguishable from reality, ...and then this.

Another Gift of Trust😂 brought to you by Scientocracy. Be sure to tithe your AI bot, or word will get back to Chairman Albertus, then you'll be called in to confess your thought crimes to the Green Cadre, itself another Controlled Dissent honeypot, in a Tithe-for-Credits Swindle.

I tell my kids, just enjoy life, live it large, and get ready for hell. It's coming for breakfast.

[Nov 10, 2018] US Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan Killed 500,000 by Jason Ditz

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Over 60,000 US troops either killed or wounded in conflicts ..."
"... The study estimates between 480,000 and 507,000 people were killed in the course of the three conflicts. ..."
"... Civilians make up over half of the roughly 500,000 killed, with both opposition fighters and US-backed foreign military forces each sustaining in excess of 100,000 deaths as well. ..."
"... This is admittedly a dramatic under-report of people killed in the wars, as it only attempts to calculate those killed directly in war violence, and not the massive number of others civilians who died from infrastructure damage or other indirect results of the wars. The list also excludes the US war in Syria, which itself stakes claims to another 500,000 killed since 2011. ..."
Nov 10, 2018 | news.antiwar.com

Over 60,000 US troops either killed or wounded in conflicts

Brown University has released a new study on the cost in lives of America's Post-9/11 Wars, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The study estimates between 480,000 and 507,000 people were killed in the course of the three conflicts.

This includes combatant deaths and civilian deaths in fighting and war violence. Civilians make up over half of the roughly 500,000 killed, with both opposition fighters and US-backed foreign military forces each sustaining in excess of 100,000 deaths as well.

This is admittedly a dramatic under-report of people killed in the wars, as it only attempts to calculate those killed directly in war violence, and not the massive number of others civilians who died from infrastructure damage or other indirect results of the wars. The list also excludes the US war in Syria, which itself stakes claims to another 500,000 killed since 2011.

The report also notes that over 60,000 US troops were either killed or wounded in the course of the wars. This includes 6,951 US military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11.

The Brown study also faults the US for having done very little in the last 17 years to provide transparency to the country about the scope of the conflicts, concluding that they are "inhibited by governments determined to paint a rosy picture of perfect execution and progress."

Those wishing to read the full Brown University study can find a PDF version here .

[Nov 10, 2018] ISIS is as authentic and real as The White Helmets

Nov 10, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

never mind , Nov 10, 2018 7:30:32 AM | link

ISIS is as authentic and real as The White Helmets. There are mercenaries trained, paid and moved around by foreign intelligence, but there is no independent entity with a cyber division between the deserts of syria and iraq.

It's all make believe.

[Nov 10, 2018] Neocons linked destinies of the USA and Israel together. Once the US goes down, Israel goes down too

Notable quotes:
"... Yes indeed spurred on by greed and "offshoring" the US has been butt busked hard and violently, devastating the middle class and annihilating the poor class, causing unemployment in masses. ..."
"... The 0.1 % have enriched themselves accordingly, gains of upward of 80 % the last ten years are not uncommon. Meanwhile a skilled worker hardly makes what his dad made in the 70 ties in buying power. ..."
"... At present the US government is much like a roque state, it only accepts laws that is in their (despicable junior: Israel) favour. It does not recognize international law. ..."
Nov 10, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Den Lille Abe , Nov 10, 2018 1:18:25 PM | link

I have no reason to believe what b reports is false.

Altogether the ways of the US have become more and more predictable the deeper it sinks in its own dependence on the MIC.

Lets face it the US produces hardly anything but weapons. It hardly sells any produce , manufactured in the US, globally.

It has become a low level raw materials provider. Yes indeed spurred on by greed and "offshoring" the US has been butt busked hard and violently, devastating the middle class and annihilating the poor class, causing unemployment in masses.

The 0.1 % have enriched themselves accordingly, gains of upward of 80 % the last ten years are not uncommon. Meanwhile a skilled worker hardly makes what his dad made in the 70 ties in buying power.

The US living high with a budge deficit of (estimated) 1,5 trillion a year, giving tax cuts to the very rich, in a feeble and completely disbanded attempt at trick down economics.

... ... ...

That is what we westernes have never learnt, all our empires, short lived but powerful. collapsed because of greed. Go east look at China, they had empires that indeed last "a thousand year reich". Obs: China never brought war on a neighbor. So what did they do: they demanded that a foreign country recognize Chinas statue as a world power and that the Kaiser be paid some tribute, but as the Chinese going goes a gift is rewarded by a bigger one, so you would receive double back. And BTW what has the chinese ever done to civilisation: sigh! The list is too long.

Chinese and Arabian influence on science, maths and surgery/disease control revolutionized our backward "Christian" feudal regimes. Luckily Luther brought some sense into the madness, and today the catholic church is largely irrelevant. Is all superstition.

Which brings me back to a country, in which 37 % believe that the sun orbits Earth.17 believe flat earth, 10 - 15 % believe in 6000 year earth.

So we are dealing with a nuclear armed nation that has come provable among the the most ill-informed, ignorant and badly educated. "Idiocracy" come true. Now the rest of the world is not too happy about this, this mad bull jumping around in the arena is dangerous...

Both Russia has publicly stated that they will never initiate a nuclear first strike, I think they need to revisit that statement, and incorporate a first strike option if the US gets out of hand. At present the US government is much like a roque state, it only accepts laws that is in their (despicable junior: Israel) favour. It does not recognize international law.

I am all in favor of a strict and harsh Morganthau /s

Den Lille Abe , Nov 10, 2018 1:29:14 PM | link

oh and Israhell:

They have to learn that today you do not use nuclear weapons on non armed nuclear states. Iran has no nuclear capabilities as evidenced by god and his mother.

But Israel is such a pitiful small country that a massive bombardment with just conventional weapons would bring the supremacists to the negotiating table.
Israel can not sustain more than 2 weeks of mobilization and total war, without going bankrupt. The state is to 25% funded by the US. Once the US goes, Israel goes too. May be moderates (yes they are there) can build something new.

[Nov 10, 2018] Hacking operations by anyone, can and will be used by US propagandists to provoke Russia or whoever stands in the way of the US war machine

Nov 10, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Harry Law , Nov 10, 2018 9:11:40 AM | link

Hacking operations by anyone, can and will be used by US propagandists to provoke Russia or whoever stands in the way of the US war machine, take this Pompeo rant against Iran and the Iranian response......

Asking of Pompeo "have you no shame?", Zarif mocked Pompeo's praise for the Saudis for "providing millions and millions of dollars of humanitarian relief" to Yemen, saying America's "butcher clients" were spending billions of dollars bombing school buses. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif issued a statement lashing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for his recent comments on the Yemen War. Discussing the US-backed Saudi invasion of Yemen, Pompeo declared Iran to be to blame for the death and destruction in the country. https://news.antiwar.com/2018/11/09/iran-fm-slams-pompeo-for-blaming-yemen-war-on-iran/

The US way of looking at things supposes that up is down, and white is black, it makes no sense, unless the US hopes these provocations will lead to a war or at the very least Russia or Iran capitulating to US aggression, which will not happen. Sanctions by the US on all and sundry must be opposed, if not the US will claim justifiably to be the worlds policeman and the arbiter of who will trade with who, a ludicrous proposition but one that most governments are afraid is now taking place, witness the new US ambassador to Germany in his first tweet telling the Germans to cease all trade with Iran immediately.

https://www.thelocal.de/20180509/us-tells-german-businesses-to-stop-trade-in-iran-immediately

[Nov 10, 2018] How Secession from the Soviet Union Created Booming Economies and Innovative Government Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... With all due cynical respect... I find it highly ironic that some of the biggest money launderers and Mafiosi are Baltic banks. The hilarity never ends. ..."
"... Full scale bull ****. No single former Soviet bloc country get into economic level of pre-Berlin wall fall. They are done. ..."
Nov 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

DoctorFix , 46 minutes ago link

With all due cynical respect... I find it highly ironic that some of the biggest money launderers and Mafiosi are Baltic banks. The hilarity never ends.

Moribundus , 1 hour ago link

Here is classic: GDP PPP per capita. What to pay attention.

#1, After 30 years and joining EU and NATO there is no difference in former Soviet bloc. Just looks like Russia is greatest profiteer. Now those parasites are chained to west.

#2, countries of former Soviet bloc are in better shape than countries that were in sphere of western imperialism. Especially look at countries where USA imperialism worked since 1823 Monroe's doctrine. Chart shows that in 200 years USA was not able to achieve much progress despite permanent military interventions and political influence.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

Moribundus , 1 hour ago link

Latvia, a disappearing nation

https://www.politico.eu/article/latvia-a-disappearing-nation-migration-population-decline/

Moribundus , 1 hour ago link

Full scale bull ****. No single former Soviet bloc country get into economic level of pre-Berlin wall fall. They are done.

Europe's Depopulation Time Bomb Is Ticking in the Baltics

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-20/europe-s-depopulation-time-bomb-is-ticking-in-the-baltics

Cohen-cide-nce , 2 hours ago link

The balts have become them most libtarded cucks in the EU. They all need to get nuked. Bunch of atheist-feminist faggots.

Dick Buttkiss , 1 hour ago link

Due punishment, no doubt, for being on the cutting edge of technology-driven economic development and personal freedom.

From what planet/galaxy/universe does your information emanate?

Trader200K , 2 hours ago link

As much as I like the idea of taking my state to Estonia status, too many winner-take-all politicians and weak thinkers to recognize that new borders would solve lots and lots of problems.

Socialists are clearly smart, but in actuality just simple evil, immoral thieves. They will be unlikely to support any secession because they know their enemies are the source of their lucre.

Balkanization, what little there will be, will most likely come after we are drug into WWIII and we are back to a 1700's subsistence existence.

A pessimist is never disappointed, but I will happily take an optimist's surprise if people just stop and live and let live.

Flankspeed60 , 3 hours ago link

If at first you don't secede.............

Dick Buttkiss , 2 hours ago link

.............. try, try to "Unchain America" next July 4. What better way to celebrate Independence Day than with a joining of hands across the land, if not to secede, then to affirm our right to, one state at a time?

Are one in 66 Americans not prepared to do so?

Salzburg1756 , 3 hours ago link

So... Diversity is their strength? Or was I misinformed?

Dick Buttkiss , 3 hours ago link

It's 2,790 miles from New York to Los Angeles, which is 14,731,200 feet. At three feet per person, it would take around 4,910,400 people -- less than 1/66th of the US population -- to make a human chain like the three Balkan states did.

Count me in.

[Nov 10, 2018] The Reasons for Netanyahu's Panic by Alastair Crooke

Highly recommended!
Looks like time is working against Israelis in general and Netanyahu administration specifically... the nest result of 10`8 is he supply of S300 by Russia, which is a real thereat to Isreli air supremacy, no matter what Israili minister of offence said.
Alastair Crooke: "Belatedly, Israel has understood that it backed the wrong side in Syria -- and it has lost. It is not really in a position to demand anything. It will not get an American enforced buffer zone beyond the Golan armistice line, nor will the Iraqi-Syrian border be closed, or somehow "supervised" on Israel's behalf."
In the next ten years Israel regional position might deteriorate. It antagonized Palestinians to the point of "no reconciliation". And as US faced its own internal difficulties and divisions (and neocons in the USA now are look mostly negatively by wide swats of population), Israel might again face hostile Arab countries on the "never negotiated" borders. To find itself the country without negotiated borders with the hostile encirclement, of a kind Washington tries to create for Russia, is the position that any diplomat would like to avoid.
So it looks like the key idea of Zionism -- colonizing the land and displacing Palestinians much like Indians were displaced in the USA or aborigines in Australia, in retrospect looks not that realistic. A lot of Jewish talent and Western money was spend on a this variation of "Drang nach Osten"
Notable quotes:
"... It will not get an American enforced buffer zone beyond the Golan armistice line, nor will the Iraqi-Syrian border be closed, or somehow "supervised" on Israel's behalf. ..."
"... simply failed ..."
"... Israel's unexpected failure was deeply feared in the West, and in the Gulf too. A small, armed (revolutionary) movement had stood up to Israel -- against overwhelming odds -- and prevailed: it had stood its ground. This precedent was widely perceived to be a potential regional "game changer." The feudal Gulf autocracies sensed in Hizbullah's achievement the latent danger to their own rule from such armed resistance. ..."
"... And the war in Syria started to be mooted as the "corrective strategy" to the 2006 failure (as early as 2007) -- though it was only with the events following 2011 that the "corrective strategy" came to implemented, à outrance ..."
"... Syria -- with indisputable help from its allies -- seems about to prevail: it has stood its ground, against almost unbelievable odds. ..."
"... Syria's "standing its ground" represents a historic turning ..."
"... with each other ..."
"... Netayahu's "near panic" (if that is indeed what occurred) may well be a reflection of this seismic shift taking place in the region. Israel has long backed the losing side -- and now finds itself "alone" and fearing for its near proxies (the Jordanians and the Kurds). The "new" corrective strategy from Tel Aviv, it appears, is to focus on winning Iraq away from Iran, and embedding it into the Israel-U.S.-Saudi alliance. ..."
"... Daniel Levy has written a compelling piece to argue that Israelis generally would not subscribe to what I have written above, but rather: "Netanyahu's lengthy term in office, multiple electoral successes, and ability to hold together a governing coalition [is based on] him having a message that resonates with a broader public. It is a sales pitch that Netanyahu [has] 'brought the state of Israel to the best situation in its history, a rising global force the state of Israel is diplomatically flourishing.' Netanyahu had beaten back what he had called the 'fake-news claim' that without a deal with the Palestinians 'Israel will be isolated, weakened and abandoned' facing a 'diplomatic tsunami.' ..."
"... "Difficult though it is for his political detractors to acknowledge, Netanyahu's claim resonates with the public because it reflects something that is real, and that has shifted the center of gravity of Israeli politics further and further to the right. It is a claim that, if correct and replicable over time, will leave a legacy that lasts well beyond Netanyahu's premiership and any indictment he might face. ..."
"... "And then events took a further turn in Netanyahu's favor with the rise to power in the United States and parts of Central Eastern Europe (and to enhanced prominence elsewhere in Europe and the West) of the very ethno-nationalist trend to which Netanyahu is so committed, working to replace liberal with illiberal democracy. One should not underestimate Israel and Netanyahu's importance as an ideological and practical avant-garde for this trend." ..."
"... And this week, Hassan Nasrallah called on the Lebanese government " to devise a plan and take a sovereign decision to liberate the Shebaa Farms and the Kfarshouba Hills" from Israel. ..."
"... Will ethno-nationalism provide Israel with a new support base? Well, firstly, I do not see Israel's doctrine as "illiberal democracy," but rather an apartheid system intended to subordinate Palestinian political rights. And as the political schism in the West widens, with one "wing" seeking to delegitimize the other by tarnishing them as racists, bigots and Nazis, it is clear that the real ..."
"... The increasingly "not to be" constituency of the Middle East has a simpler word for Netanyahu's "ethnic nationalism." They call it simply Western colonialism. Round one of Chas Freeman's making the Middle East " be ..."
"... For all Netanyahu's bluster about Israel standing stronger, and having beaten back "what he had called the 'fake-news claim' that without a deal with the Palestinians 'Israel will be isolated, weakened and abandoned' facing a 'diplomatic tsunami,'" Netanyahu may have just discovered, in these last two weeks, that he confused facing down the weakened Palestinians with "victory" -- only at the very moment of his apparent triumph, to find himself alone in a new, "New Middle East." ..."
"... [For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com's " The Possible Education of Donald Trump. "] ..."
www.defenddemocracy.press
... ... ...

Belatedly, Israel has understood that it backed the wrong side in Syria – and it has lost. It is not really in a position to demand anything. It will not get an American enforced buffer zone beyond the Golan armistice line, nor will the Iraqi-Syrian border be closed, or somehow "supervised" on Israel's behalf.

Of course, the Syrian aspect is important, but to focus only on that, would be to "miss the forest for the trees." The 2006 war by Israel to destroy Hizbullah (egged on by the U.S., Saudi Arabia -- and even a few Lebanese) was a failure. Symbolically, for the first time in the Middle East, a technologically sophisticated, and lavishly armed, Western nation-state simply failed . What made the failure all the more striking (and painful) was that a Western state was not just bested militarily, it had lost also the electronic and human intelligence war, too -- both spheres in which the West thought their primacy unassailable.

The Fallout from Failure

Israel's unexpected failure was deeply feared in the West, and in the Gulf too. A small, armed (revolutionary) movement had stood up to Israel -- against overwhelming odds -- and prevailed: it had stood its ground. This precedent was widely perceived to be a potential regional "game changer." The feudal Gulf autocracies sensed in Hizbullah's achievement the latent danger to their own rule from such armed resistance.

The reaction was immediate. Hizbullah was quarantined -- as best the full sanctioning powers of America could manage. And the war in Syria started to be mooted as the "corrective strategy" to the 2006 failure (as early as 2007) -- though it was only with the events following 2011 that the "corrective strategy" came to implemented, à outrance .

Against Hizbullah, Israel had thrown its full military force (though Israelis always say, now, that they could have done more). And against Syria, the U.S., Europe, the Gulf States (and Israel in the background) have thrown the kitchen sink: jihadists, al-Qaeda, ISIS (yes), weapons , bribes, sanctions and the most overwhelming information war yet witnessed. Yet Syria -- with indisputable help from its allies -- seems about to prevail: it has stood its ground, against almost unbelievable odds.

Just to be clear: if 2006 marked a key point of inflection, Syria's "standing its ground" represents a historic turning of much greater magnitude . It should be understood that Saudi Arabia's (and Britain's and America's) tool of fired-up, radical Sunnism has been routed. And with it, the Gulf States, but particularly Saudi Arabia are damaged. The latter has relied on the force of Wahabbism since the first foundation of the kingdom: but Wahabbism in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq has been roundly defeated and discredited (even for most Sunni Muslims). It may well be defeated in Yemen too. This defeat will change the face of Sunni Islam.

Already, we see the Gulf Cooperation Council, which originally was founded in 1981 by six Gulf tribal leaders for the sole purpose of preserving their hereditary tribal rule in the Peninsula, now warring with each other , in what is likely to be a protracted and bitter internal fight. The "Arab system," the prolongation of the old Ottoman structures by the complaisant post-World War I victors, Britain and France, seems to be out of its 2013 "remission" (bolstered by the coup in Egypt), and to have resumed its long-term decline.

The Losing Side

Netayahu's "near panic" (if that is indeed what occurred) may well be a reflection of this seismic shift taking place in the region. Israel has long backed the losing side -- and now finds itself "alone" and fearing for its near proxies (the Jordanians and the Kurds). The "new" corrective strategy from Tel Aviv, it appears, is to focus on winning Iraq away from Iran, and embedding it into the Israel-U.S.-Saudi alliance.

If so, Israel and Saudi Arabia are probably too late into the game, and are likely underestimating the visceral hatred engendered among so many Iraqis of all segments of society for the murderous actions of ISIS. Not many believe the improbable (Western) narrative that ISIS suddenly emerged armed, and fully financed, as a result of former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's alleged "sectarianism": No, as rule-of-thumb, behind each such well-breached movement -- stands a state .

Daniel Levy has written a compelling piece to argue that Israelis generally would not subscribe to what I have written above, but rather: "Netanyahu's lengthy term in office, multiple electoral successes, and ability to hold together a governing coalition [is based on] him having a message that resonates with a broader public. It is a sales pitch that Netanyahu [has] 'brought the state of Israel to the best situation in its history, a rising global force the state of Israel is diplomatically flourishing.' Netanyahu had beaten back what he had called the 'fake-news claim' that without a deal with the Palestinians 'Israel will be isolated, weakened and abandoned' facing a 'diplomatic tsunami.'

"Difficult though it is for his political detractors to acknowledge, Netanyahu's claim resonates with the public because it reflects something that is real, and that has shifted the center of gravity of Israeli politics further and further to the right. It is a claim that, if correct and replicable over time, will leave a legacy that lasts well beyond Netanyahu's premiership and any indictment he might face.

"Netanyahu's assertion is that he is not merely buying time in Israel's conflict with the Palestinians to improve the terms of an eventual and inevitable compromise. Netanyahu is laying claim to something different -- the possibility of ultimate victory, the permanent and definitive defeat of the Palestinians, their national and collective goals.

"In over a decade as prime minister, Netanyahu has consistently and unequivocally rejected any plans or practical steps that even begin to address Palestinian aspirations. Netanyahu is all about perpetuating and exacerbating the conflict, not about managing it, let alone resolving it [The] message is clear: there will be no Palestinian state because the West Bank and East Jerusalem are simply Greater Israel."

No Palestinian State

Levy continues: "The approach overturns assumptions that have guided peace efforts and American policy for over a quarter of a century: that Israel has no alternative to an eventual territorial withdrawal and acceptance of something sufficiently resembling an independent sovereign Palestinian state broadly along the 1967 lines. It challenges the presumption that the permanent denial of such an outcome is incompatible with how Israel and Israelis perceive themselves as being a democracy. Additionally, it challenges the peace-effort supposition that this denial would in any way be unacceptable to the key allies on which Israel depends

"In more traditional bastions of support for Israel, Netanyahu took a calculated gamble -- would enough American Jewish support continue to stand with an increasingly illiberal and ethno-nationalist Israel, thereby facilitating the perpetuation of the lopsided U.S.-Israel relationship? Netanyahu bet yes, and he was right."

And here is another interesting point that Levy makes:

"And then events took a further turn in Netanyahu's favor with the rise to power in the United States and parts of Central Eastern Europe (and to enhanced prominence elsewhere in Europe and the West) of the very ethno-nationalist trend to which Netanyahu is so committed, working to replace liberal with illiberal democracy. One should not underestimate Israel and Netanyahu's importance as an ideological and practical avant-garde for this trend."

Former U.S. Ambassador and respected political analyst Chas Freeman wrote recently very bluntly: "the central objective of U.S. policy in the Middle East has long been to achieve regional acceptance for the Jewish-settler state in Palestine." Or, in other words, for Washington, its Middle East policy -- and all its actions -- have been determined by "to be, or not to be": "To be" (that is) -- with Israel, or not "to be" (with Israel).

Israel's Lost Ground

The key point now is that the region has just made a seismic shift into the "not to be" camp. Is there much that America can do about that? Israel very much is alone with only a weakened Saudi Arabia at its side, and there are clear limits to what Saudi Arabia can do.

The U.S. calling on Arab states to engage more with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi seems somehow inadequate. Iran is not looking for war with Israel (as a number of Israeli analysts have acknowledged ); but, too, the Syrian President has made clear that his government intends to recover "all Syria" -- and all Syria includes the occupied Golan Heights. And this week, Hassan Nasrallah called on the Lebanese government " to devise a plan and take a sovereign decision to liberate the Shebaa Farms and the Kfarshouba Hills" from Israel.

Read also: Church Leaders Condemn 'Brutal' US-Led Attack on Syria, Praise Gov't Forces

A number Israeli commentators already are saying that the "writing is on the wall" -- and that it would be better for Israel to cede territory unilaterally, rather than risk the loss of hundreds of lives of Israeli servicemen in a futile attempt to retain it. That, though, seems hardly congruent with the Israeli Prime Minister's "not an inch, will we yield" character and recent statements .

Will ethno-nationalism provide Israel with a new support base? Well, firstly, I do not see Israel's doctrine as "illiberal democracy," but rather an apartheid system intended to subordinate Palestinian political rights. And as the political schism in the West widens, with one "wing" seeking to delegitimize the other by tarnishing them as racists, bigots and Nazis, it is clear that the real America First-ers will try, at any price, to distance themselves from the extremists.

Daniel Levy points out that the Alt-Right leader, Richard Spencer, depicts his movement as White Zionism. Is this really likely to build support for Israel? How long before the "globalists" use precisely Netanyahu's "illiberal democracy" meme to taunt the U.S. Right that this is precisely the kind of society for which they too aim: with Mexicans and black Americans treated like Palestinians?

'Ethnic Nationalism'

The increasingly "not to be" constituency of the Middle East has a simpler word for Netanyahu's "ethnic nationalism." They call it simply Western colonialism. Round one of Chas Freeman's making the Middle East " be with Israel" consisted of the shock-and-awe assault on Iraq. Iraq is now allied with Iran, and the Hashad militia (PMU) are becoming a widely mobilized fighting force. The second stage was 2006. Today, Hizbullah is a regional force, and not a just Lebanese one.

The third strike was at Syria. Today, Syria is allied with Russia, Iran, Hizbullah and Iraq. What will comprise the next round in the "to be, or not to be" war?

For all Netanyahu's bluster about Israel standing stronger, and having beaten back "what he had called the 'fake-news claim' that without a deal with the Palestinians 'Israel will be isolated, weakened and abandoned' facing a 'diplomatic tsunami,'" Netanyahu may have just discovered, in these last two weeks, that he confused facing down the weakened Palestinians with "victory" -- only at the very moment of his apparent triumph, to find himself alone in a new, "New Middle East."

Perhaps Pravda was right, and Netanyahu did appear close to panic, during his hurriedly arranged, and urgently called, Sochi summit.

[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com's " The Possible Education of Donald Trump. "]

* Alastair Crooke is a former British diplomat who was a senior figure in British intelligence and in European Union diplomacy. He is the founder and director of the Conflicts Forum.

[Nov 10, 2018] US, Turkey risk direct military clash as they escalate war in Syria Defend Democracy Press by Barış Demir

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
Aug 11, 2018 | www.defenddemocracy.press

As it pursues its war with US-backed Kurdish-nationalist organizations, the Turkish government is threatening an outright military occupation of large parts of Syria that could provoke war with Syria and a direct clash with US forces.

On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced joint patrols by US forces and Kurdish-led militias as "unacceptable." Speaking to reporters in Ankara, he said: "Not only can we not accept (the joint patrols), such a development will cause serious problems at the border."

This came after Turkey shelled positions of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the Zor Magar region east of the Euphrates River and the town of Tal Abyad starting on October 28, killing at least 10 Kurdish fighters. Two days earlier, Erdogan had delivered a "final warning" to Syrian Kurdish fighters to retreat. He also warned that Turkey's next target would be positions of the People's Protection Units (YPG, a Kurdish force that is the key component of the SDF) east of the Euphrates.

On October 30, as shelling continued, Erdogan stepped up threats to invade Syria to attack the US-backed Kurdish forces: "We are going to destroy the terrorist organization preparations and plans have been completed. We've made our plans and programs, and initiated it in the previous days. We will come down on the terrorist organization's neck with more extensive, effective operations. We could arrive suddenly one night."

This provoked an angry warning from Washington on October 31. State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said: "Unilateral military strikes into northwest Syria by any party, particularly as American personnel may be present or in the vicinity, are of great concern to us Coordination and consultation between the United States and Turkey on issues of security concern is a better approach."

Ankara, however, is determined to crush the YPG, which it views as an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the Turkish Kurdish separatist movement against which it has waged a bloody counter insurgency campaign for more than 30 years. Ankara also fears Kurdish autonomy in Syria, worried it will provoke demands for Kurdish autonomy in eastern Turkey.

Read also: Israel Bombs, Shells Syria in Latest Attempt to Justify More Land Grabs

In an apparent attempt to placate Ankara, Washington announced on Tuesday that it would place bounties on the heads of three PKK leaders. Visiting Turkey, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Palmer announced that the State Department's Rewards for Justice program is offering money for information leading to the capture of the PKK officials. The bounties are $5 million for Murat Karayilan, $4 million for Cemil Bayik and $3 million for Duran Kalkan.

But Ambassador James Jeffrey, the US special representative for Syria engagement, said Washington did not see the YPG and PKK as the same entity. He declared: "For us, the PKK is a terrorist organization. We are not of the same opinion on the YPG. We ensure that the YPG operates as part of the Syrian Democratic Forces in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant [ISIL] in a way that does not pose a threat to Turkey."

Turkish presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin rebuffed the US initiative, saying Ankara would treat it "with caution" and demanding that Washington sever all ties with the YPG.

Turkey's ever-deeper involvement in the bloodshed across the region is the product of Erdogan's decision to support the proxy war for regime change launched by the NATO imperialist powers in Syria in 2011.

As the WSWS previously noted : "All Erdogan's calculations were upended by the intensification of the war and of the class struggle in the Middle East. In 2013, amid growing working class anger against Egypt's Islamist President Mohammad Mursi and social protests in Turkey centred in Gezi Park, the imperialist powers backed an army coup that toppled Mursi. As the Islamic State (IS) militia grew in Syria and invaded Iraq, moreover, they turned to the use of Kurdish nationalist groups as their proxies against IS.

Read also: Proposals for a new Syrian Constitution

"Erdogan could not adapt himself to these sudden, violent shifts in imperialist war policy, and Ankara's imperialist allies rapidly came to see him not as a 'strategic partner,' but as an unreliable one."

After Russia intervened militarily to prevent NATO-backed Islamist militias from overthrowing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Turkish jets shot down a Russian jet over Syria in November 2015, with US support. After Russia escalated its military posture in response and threatened economic sanctions in retaliation against Turkey, however, Ankara tacked back toward Russia and China. Ankara turned first to China and then Russia for an air defence system, while its relations with the Obama administration and its European allies rapidly deteriorated.

In July 2016, a section of Turkey's military, encouraged by Washington and Berlin, launched an abortive putsch out of NATO's Incirlik air base, aiming to murder Erdogan and carry out regime change in Turkey.

Erdogan responded to the coup by stepping up the war against the Kurds and imposing a state of emergency, seeking to strangle all political opposition. Ankara also maneuvered closer to Moscow and Tehran, setting up talks in Astana for a "solution" to the Syria war. And Erdogan ordered the Turkish army to launch its own invasions of Syria, "Operation Euphrates Shield" (in August 2016) and "Operation Olive Branch" (in January 2018), directed against the YPG.

The brief warming of US-Turkish relations that followed the gruesome state murder on October 2 of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul appears to have quickly ended. Ankara clearly saw the investigation of the Khashoggi assassination as a means of promoting Turkish interests in relation to Riyadh and Washington. It had shared tense relations with both the Saudi regime and US imperialism, including over the Saudi blockade of Qatar, a key Turkish ally, and the US alliance with the YPG in Syria.

Read also: The Reasons for Netanyahu's Panic

Erdogan sought to improve relations with Washington by investigating the killing of Khashoggi, who worked extensively for US publications, including the Washington Post . Ankara also released US pastor Andrew Brunson, whom it had accused of helping prepare the 2016 coup. But Washington soon dropped the Khashoggi murder, focusing instead on strategies for intensifying the war in Syria.

Ankara is responding by moving closer to the European powers and seeking to exploit their growing differences with Washington. It joined a new mechanism with Germany, France and Russia to work out a peace deal in Syria acceptable to the European imperialist powers. An inconclusive October 27 Istanbul summit on Syria, hosted by Erdogan, was attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Russia President Vladimir Putin.

After the summit, they called for a new Syrian constitution to be drafted before the end of this year, "paving the way for free and fair elections," according to a joint statement.

Visiting Tokyo on Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also criticized US sanctions against Iran, which have been the subject of escalating conflict between Washington and the European powers. "While we were asking (for) an exemption from the United States, we have also been very frank with them that cornering Iran is not wise," he said. "Turkey is against sanctions, we don't believe any results can be achieved through the sanctions."

[Nov 10, 2018] US Policy On Iran After The Midterm Elections by Barkley Rosser

Nov 09, 2018 | angrybearblog.com
Journalism Politics US/Global Economics

A curious coincidence is that the US midterm elections happened one day after the US reimposed its second round of illegal economic sanctions on Iran, with the focus on oil, shipping, and banking, along with some other sectors. Despite all but a handful of governments around the world supporting Iran in this matter (despite apparently two attempted assassinations of opponents of Iran's government in European nations recently) against the US out of a hope to keep Iran following the JCPOA nuclear agreement as it has by all reports been doing, the impact of the midterm elections is probably to reinforce support for Trump's policy, even as mostly he lost support in the election. The reason is that the most important location for serious critics of a president's foreign policy usually come out of the Senate, not the House of Representatives or governors. So, even though the Dems have taken the House and gained governorships, the GOP gained in the Senate, and some of the GOPs leaving included the few Trump critics, notably departing Foreign Relations committee Chair, Robert Corker of TN. This is the case, even as those GOP gains may only amount to a net two (Dem Sinema now ahead in AZ) or even only one (Nelson in FL may yet pull it out too).

Yet another reason the gains by Dems will probably not lead to much more pressure on Trump on this is that many Dems at least somewhat support his policy, especially those strongly influenced by the Israeli government. Thus in today's Washington Post, a lead editorial (presumably by neoconnish Fred Hiatt) said there may be reasons for imposing some sanctions because of "malignant" policies by Iran, notably supposedly supplying missiles to the Houthis in Yemen, plus the Syrian government, and Hezbollah in Lebanon (there are doubts on the extent of all this), even as WaPo opposes the US withdrawing from the JCPOA and is highly critical of Saudi Arabia due to the murder of their journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, probably on orders of KSA Crown Prince MbS, a main enemy of Iran. Indeed, members of both parties in the Senate have become unhappy with the Saudi war in Yemen and may move to cut US military support of the Saudi war effort there. But this will probably have little to no effect on the reimposed economic sanctions on Iran.

As it is, the ultimate impact of the new sanctions is quite complicated with various cross-cutting effects that are already damaging the Iranian economy, but may end up having less impact than Trump would like. The most important part of the sanctions involves Iran's oil exports, which US officials claim they would like to see go to zero. Early forecasts had those falling to about a third of the about 2.8 million bpd of a few months ago, which anticipation helped push oil prices up substantially, with Brent crude topping $80 per barrel while West Texas intermediate crude topped $70 per barrel. But the Trump administration has granted temporary waivers to 8 countries allowing them to continue importing Iranian oil for a while, supposedly to avoid excessive disruption of global markers (while not officially announced, the Japan Times claims the 8 waivered nations are China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy [only EU nation on list]. and UAE [yes, that big anti-Iran oil exporter imports oil from Iran]). As it is, with surging oil inventories in the US, prices have fallen sharply in the last two weeks, with Brent down to nearly $70 and WTI to nearly $60 , with some commenters today claiming that oil is turning into a "bear market." While this clearly allows Iran to export more oil than previously thought for now, the price decline will hurt Iran.

A fundamental clash in this is between governments and the businesses based in their nations. Only a handful of national governments officially support Trump in this policy, basically the odd group of Saudi Arabia, Israel, UAE, Bahrain, and apparently Egypt, with a few others sort of semi-supportive, such as Jordan, if with little enthusiasm. Russia, China, Turkey, and the major EU nations all oppose Trump's policy. While businesses in Russia in particular go along with their government's view, nearly all of those that are reasonably large in the EU nations are obeying the demands of the US government to cut back business relations with Iran, with poster boys for this being Total and Peugeot from France out of fear of losing markets in the US or facing sanctions from the US government. All of this has led to efforts in both China and the EU to set up alternative payment systems to avoid using US dollars and going through US-controlled financial intermediaries, a big conflict over this involving the SWIFT payment system, which the US would like to prevent Iran from using while the major European nations oppose this move by the US. As it is, given the ongoing efforts by they EU nations to help Iran out, it seems especially unwise of Iranian intel agencies to be attempting to assassinate people in France and Denmark as they have reportedly done, albeit unsuccessfully so far.

A final point is that it is extremely unlikely that this policy by Trump will lead to Iranian leaders kowtowing to him and entering into any negotiations. If anything, they might get pushed into pulling out of the JCPOA or create trouble for their enemies in various ways. OTOH, it may be that the sanctions will not lead to as harsh impacts on the Iranian economy as forecast, whether this is due to the Europeans and Chinese setting up alternative payments systems, or due to Iran wriggling out of the sanctions whether due to waivers or through such maneuvers as barter transactions involving oil or the use of "ghost ships" that do not use any radio communications, something reportedly already going on. We shall see how this all turns out, but for now Trump probably has gotten a modest boost of support for his policies within the US as a result of the midterm elections, much as I am not pleased to see this.

Barkley Rosser

Econospeak "US Policy On Iran After The Midterm Elections"

  1. Karl Kolchak , November 9, 2018 12:52 pm

    This is great news! The more support Trump has for his belligerent foreign policy, the quicker the rest of the world and even the morons who run Europe will finally start to wake up to the fact that the American empire is teetering on the edge of collapse.

    When he was elected, I had.hoped that Trump would inadvertently end up being America's Gorbachev. Now we just half to hope the empire can be destroyed without dragging all of humanity down with it.

[Nov 09, 2018] Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi possible connection to Israel

Nov 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

ardent 19 minutes ago ( Edited ) remove Share link Copy Report

"Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, is an Israeli Mossad-trained operative whose real name is Elliot Shimon, a *** who took courses in Islamic theology and Arabic Speech." - Snowden

Old Poor Richard 49 minutes ago remove Share link Copy

Now how would Ed Snowden know this? Is he some kind of super h4x0r tapped into the Pegasus mainframe?

ShakenNotStirred 42 minutes ago remove Share link Copy

I heard you have a bunch of Mossad agents below your bed. Check it out or you will be "Mossaded" before the morning.

passingthroughtown 2 hours ago remove Share link Copy

Proving once again that the Saudis and Israelies have been working hand in glove for a very long time. Is there any doubt about the connection between the two and what happened on 911?

But what is even more disturbing:

In recent days, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have reached out to the Trump administration to express support for the crown prince, arguing that he is an important strategic partner in the region, said people familiar with the calls.

"Strategic partner" makes it all okay. This is merely a glimpse of what is coming in the future. You ain't seen NOTHIN yet.

He–Mene Mox Mox 3 hours ago remove Share link Copy

Here is more of what Snowden was talking about: https://citizenlab.ca/2018/10/the-nso-connection-to-jamal-khashoggi/ .

Derezzed 3 hours ago ( Edited ) remove Share link Copy

" Israel is routinely at the top of the US' classified threat list of hackers along with Russia and China [ ] even though it is an ally "
Our best allies !
" Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked the United States to stand by Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman (MBS) in the wake of the Khashoggi case. "
The most morale people !
I bet they are behind ISIS too with their (((allies))) and the (((deep state))).
But hey isn't it conspirationnist and antisemitic to accuse them of anything ?
Because you know as the most " kind " and " human " people there needs to be laws, censorship and repression, to protect them from being hated.
< 1% of the global population and they make the headlines 4/5 times a day.
Can only be bad luck and a cohencidence !

Dickweed Wang 3 hours ago remove Share link Copy

"Israel is routinely at the top of the US' classified threat list of hackers along with Russia and China [ ] even though it is an ally"

Sorry Ed, IsraHell isn't an ally of the USA. It's a ******* parasite and it's well on its way to killing the host.

alamac 4 hours ago remove Share link Copy

I guess Netanyahoo and KSM love each other because they have a common hobby: Killing Arabs.

RagnarRedux 4 hours ago ( Edited ) remove Share link Copy

ISRAEL FLAGGED AS TOP SPY THREAT TO U.S. IN NEW SNOWDEN/NSA DOCUMENT (2007)

https://www.newsweek.com/israel-flagged-top-spy-threat-us-new-snowdennsa-document-262991

Former U.S. Officials Say CIA Considers Israel To Be Mideast's Biggest Spy Threat (2012)

U.S. intelligence agents stationed in Israel report multiple cases of equipment tampering, suspected break ins in recent years; CIA officials tell the Associated Press that Israel may have leaked info that led to the capture of an agent inside Syria's chemical weapons program.

https://www.haaretz.com/for-cia-israel-is-a-spy-therat-1.5272328

He–Mene Mox Mox 4 hours ago remove Share link Copy

What Snowden says is true. Here is what the Canadians have put together about NSO: https://citizenlab.ca/2018/09/hide-and-seek-tracking-nso-groups-pegasus-spyware-to-operations-in-45-countries/

What is really troubling, is Kushner's involvement in the affair. He would have been debriefed once he returned to the U.S., not only by his father-in-law, Trump, but the intel community too. You can bet every dollar you have that both the Israelis and Saudis were using NSO surveillance on him. What is even more troubling, it appears that the action taken to "neutralize" Jamal Khashoggi, more than likely had the blessings of Washington, since Kushner met with the Saudis prior to the killing. It really makes one wonder, since Kushner declined to discuss the state of his relationship with Prince Mohammed.

GRDguy 4 hours ago remove Share link Copy

"licensed only to legitimate government agencies"

That's the problem.

There are no legitimate government agencies any more.

[Nov 09, 2018] Globalism Vs Nationalism in Trump's America by Joe Quinn

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... You know something is fundamentally wrong when the average high school drop-out MAGA-hat-wearing Texan or Alabaman working a blue collar job has more sense, can SEE much more clearly, than the average university-educated, ideology-soaked, East Coast liberal. ..."
"... Trump is a "nationalist". More or less every administration previous to his, going back at least 100 years, was "globalist". For much of its history, the USA has been known around the world as a very patriotic (i.e., nationalist) country. Americans in general had a reputation for spontaneous chants of "USA! USA! USA!", flying the Stars And Stripes outside their houses and being very proud of their country. Sure, from time to time, that pissed off people a little in other countries but, by and large, Americans' patriotism was seen as endearing, if a little naive, by most foreigners. ..."
"... Globalism, on the other hand, as it relates to the USA, is the ideology that saturates the Washington establishment think-tanks, career politicians and bureaucrats, who are infected with the toxic belief that America can and should dominate the world . This is presented to the public as so much American largess and magnanimity, but it is, in reality, a means to increasing the power and wealth of the Washington elite. ..."
"... Consider Obama's two terms, during which he continued the massively wasteful (of taxpayer's money) and destructive (of foreigners' lives and land) "War on Terror". Consider that he appointed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, who proceeded to joyfully bomb Libya back to the stone age and murder its leader. Consider that, under Obama, US-Russia relations reached an all-time low, with repeated attacks (of various sorts) on the Russian president, government and people, and the attempted trashing of Russia's international reputation in the eyes of the American people. Consider the Obama regime's hugely destructive war waged (mostly by proxy) on the Syrian people. Consider the Obama era coup in Ukraine that, in a few short months, set that country's prospects and development back several decades and further soured relations with Russia. ..."
"... The problem however, is that the Washington elite want - no, NEED - the American people to support such military adventurism, and what better way to do that than by concocting false "Russian collusion" allegations against Trump and having the media program the popular mind with exactly the opposite of the truth - that Trump was a "traitor" to the American people. ..."
"... The only thing Trump is a traitor to is the self-serving globally expansionist interests of a cabal of Washington insiders . This little maneuver amounted to a '2 for 1' for the Washington establishment. They simultaneously demonized Trump (impeding his 'nationalist' agenda) while advancing their own globalist mission - in this case aimed at pushing back Russia. ..."
"... The US 'Deep State' did this in response to the election of Trump the "nationalist" and their fears that their globalist, exceptionalist vision for the USA - a vision that is singularly focused on their own narrow interests at the expense of the American people and many others around the world - would be derailed by Trump attempting to put the interests of the American people first . ..."
Nov 08, 2018 | www.sott.net
Billed as a 'referendum on Trump's presidency', the US Midterm Elections drew an unusually high number of Americans to the polls yesterday. The minor loss, from Trump's perspective, of majority Republican control of the lower House of Representatives, suggests, if anything, the opposite of what the media and establishment want you to believe it means.

An important clue to why the American media has declared permanent open season on this man transpired during a sometimes heated post-elections press conference at the White House yesterday. First, CNN's obnoxious Jim Acosta insisted on bringing up the patently absurd allegations of 'Russia collusion' and refused to shut up and sit down. Soon after, PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor joined her colleagues in asking Trump another loaded question , this time on the 'white nationalism' canard:

Alcindor : On the campaign trail you called yourself a nationalist. Some people saw that as emboldening white nationalists...

Trump : I don't know why you'd say this. It's such a racist question.

Alcindor : There are some people who say that now the Republican Party is seen as supporting white nationalists because of your rhetoric. What do you make of that?

Trump : Why do I have among the highest poll numbers with African Americans? That's such a racist question. I love our country. You have nationalists, and you have globalists . I also love the world, and I don't mind helping the world, but we have to straighten out our country first. We have a lot of problems ...

The US media is still "not even wrong" on Trump and why he won the 2016 election. You know something is fundamentally wrong when the average high school drop-out MAGA-hat-wearing Texan or Alabaman working a blue collar job has more sense, can SEE much more clearly, than the average university-educated, ideology-soaked, East Coast liberal.

Trump is a "nationalist". More or less every administration previous to his, going back at least 100 years, was "globalist". For much of its history, the USA has been known around the world as a very patriotic (i.e., nationalist) country. Americans in general had a reputation for spontaneous chants of "USA! USA! USA!", flying the Stars And Stripes outside their houses and being very proud of their country. Sure, from time to time, that pissed off people a little in other countries but, by and large, Americans' patriotism was seen as endearing, if a little naive, by most foreigners.

Globalism, on the other hand, as it relates to the USA, is the ideology that saturates the Washington establishment think-tanks, career politicians and bureaucrats, who are infected with the toxic belief that America can and should dominate the world . This is presented to the public as so much American largess and magnanimity, but it is, in reality, a means to increasing the power and wealth of the Washington elite.

Consider Obama's two terms, during which he continued the massively wasteful (of taxpayer's money) and destructive (of foreigners' lives and land) "War on Terror". Consider that he appointed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, who proceeded to joyfully bomb Libya back to the stone age and murder its leader. Consider that, under Obama, US-Russia relations reached an all-time low, with repeated attacks (of various sorts) on the Russian president, government and people, and the attempted trashing of Russia's international reputation in the eyes of the American people. Consider the Obama regime's hugely destructive war waged (mostly by proxy) on the Syrian people. Consider the Obama era coup in Ukraine that, in a few short months, set that country's prospects and development back several decades and further soured relations with Russia.

These are but a few examples of the "globalism" that drives the Washington establishment. Who, in their right mind, would support it? (I won't get into what constitutes a 'right mind', but we can all agree it does not involve destroying other nations for profit). The problem however, is that the Washington elite want - no, NEED - the American people to support such military adventurism, and what better way to do that than by concocting false "Russian collusion" allegations against Trump and having the media program the popular mind with exactly the opposite of the truth - that Trump was a "traitor" to the American people.

The only thing Trump is a traitor to is the self-serving globally expansionist interests of a cabal of Washington insiders . This little maneuver amounted to a '2 for 1' for the Washington establishment. They simultaneously demonized Trump (impeding his 'nationalist' agenda) while advancing their own globalist mission - in this case aimed at pushing back Russia.

Words and their exact meanings matter . To be able to see through the lies of powerful vested interests and get to the truth, we need to know when those same powerful vested interests are exploiting our all-too-human proclivity to be coerced and manipulated by appeals to emotion.

So the words "nationalist" and "nationalism", as they relate to the USA, have never been "dirty" words until they were made that way by the "globalist" element of the Washington establishment (i.e., most of it) by associating it with fringe Nazi and "white supremacist" elements in US society that pose no risk to anyone, (except to the extent that the mainstream media can convince the general population otherwise). The US 'Deep State' did this in response to the election of Trump the "nationalist" and their fears that their globalist, exceptionalist vision for the USA - a vision that is singularly focused on their own narrow interests at the expense of the American people and many others around the world - would be derailed by Trump attempting to put the interests of the American people first .

[Nov 08, 2018] And who do you suppose are the forces which are funding US politicians and thus getting to call their shots in foreign policy?

Nov 08, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

CTacitus , 15 minutes ago link

LetThemEatRand:

America is weak precisely because it is trying so hard to project strength, because anyone with half a brain knows that it is projecting strength to enrich oligarhcs [sic], not to protect or favor the American people.

And who do you suppose are the forces which are funding US politicians and thus getting to call their shots in foreign policy? Can you bring yourself to name them? Oligarchs...you're FULL of ****. Who exactly pools all (((their))) money, makes sure the [s]elected officials know (((who))) to not question and, instead, just bow down to them, who makes sure these (((officials))) sign pledges for absolute commitment towards Israel--or in no uncertain terms-- and know who will either sponsor them/or opposes them next time around?

... ... ...

[Nov 07, 2018] Why oil prices fall when Iran production also falls?

That suggest oil price manipilation...
The event remind preparation to Iraq war.
Also if administration really wants war, Iran is not Ieaq and will fight more efficiently, while the US army despite technological supreiority is demoralized. nobody believe into the the building of global neoliberal empire any longer.
Notable quotes:
"... The administration's policy seems sure to fail on its own terms, and it is also the wrong thing to do. ..."
"... If a foreign power waged an economic war against your country, would you be likely to respond to that foreign coercion by effectively taking their side against your own government? Of course not. The idea that Iranians will do the work of their country's enemies by rising up and toppling the regime has always been far-fetched, but it is particularly absurd to think that Iranians would do this after they have just seen their economy be destroyed by the actions of a foreign government. ..."
"... People normally do not respond to economic hardship and diminishing prospects by risking their lives by starting a rebellion against the state. ..."
"... Making Iranians poorer and more miserable isn't going to encourage them to be more politically active, much less rebellious, but will instead force them to focus on getting by. That is likely to depress turnout at future elections, and that is more likely to be good news for hard-line candidates in the years to come. ..."
"... Iran hawks typically don't understand the country that they obsess over, so perhaps it is not surprising that they haven't thought any of this through, but their most glaring failure is not taking into account the importance of nationalism. ..."
Nov 07, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Originally from: The Futility of Trump's Iran Policy By Daniel Larison November 6, 2018, 10:54 AMThe administration's policy seems sure to fail on its own terms, and it is also the wrong thing to do.

The Trump administration's plan to throttle the Iranian economy is as poorly-conceived as it is cruel:

"For ordinary people, sanctions mean unemployment, sanctions mean becoming poor, sanctions mean the scarcity of medicine, the rising price of dollar," said Akbar Shamsodini, an Iranian businessman in the oil and gas sector who lost his job six months ago as European companies started to pull out of Iran in fear of US sanctions.

" By imposing these sanctions, they want to force Iranians to rise up in revolt against their government but in practice, they will only make them flee their country [bold mine-DL]," he said, adding that ironically it would be Europe that would have to bear the burden of such a mass migration.

"We're being squashed here as an Iranian youth who studied here, worked here, the only thing I'm thinking about now is how to flee my country and go to Europe."

If a foreign power waged an economic war against your country, would you be likely to respond to that foreign coercion by effectively taking their side against your own government? Of course not. The idea that Iranians will do the work of their country's enemies by rising up and toppling the regime has always been far-fetched, but it is particularly absurd to think that Iranians would do this after they have just seen their economy be destroyed by the actions of a foreign government.

People normally do not respond to economic hardship and diminishing prospects by risking their lives by starting a rebellion against the state. As Mr. Shamsodini says above, it is much more likely that they will leave to find a way to make a living elsewhere. All that strangling Iran's economy will manage to do is push young and ambitious Iranians to go abroad while inflicting cruel collective punishment on everyone that remains behind. Making Iranians poorer and more miserable isn't going to encourage them to be more politically active, much less rebellious, but will instead force them to focus on getting by. That is likely to depress turnout at future elections, and that is more likely to be good news for hard-line candidates in the years to come.

Iran hawks typically don't understand the country that they obsess over, so perhaps it is not surprising that they haven't thought any of this through, but their most glaring failure is not taking into account the importance of nationalism. When a foreign power tries dictating terms to another nation on pain of economic punishment, this is bound to provoke resentment and resistance. Like any other self-respecting nation, Iranians aren't going to accept being told what to do by a foreign government, and they are much more likely to band together in solidarity rather than start an uprising against their own government. The stronger the nationalist tradition there is in a country, the more likely it is that the reaction to foreign threats will be one of defiance and unity. It simply makes no sense to think that the U.S. can pressure a proud nation to capitulate like this.

The administration's policy seems sure to fail on its own terms, and it is also the wrong thing to do. President Washington exhorted his countrymen in his Farewell Address : "Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all." The administration's Iran policy represents the total rejection of that advice. If the U.S. followed Washington's recommendations, it would not be abrogating an agreement that it had just negotiated a few years earlier, and it would not be punishing an entire country for the wrongs of a few. Instead, the U.S. would have built on the success of the earlier negotiations and would have sought to reestablish normal relations with them.

Sid Finster November 6, 2018 at 11:56 am

The Administration's Iran policy is identical to the Iraq policy from 1990 – 2003, in that is it is designed to provide an excuse for a war.

[Nov 07, 2018] Trump is now ripe of impeachment for his crimes in Syria, but nobody will push for it

One potential worry in both the extensive Democratic and Republican political criminal cesspool would be that another wealthy populist-esque candidate for the Presidency will emerge in the wake Trump's faux populism to come closer to the real thing. ....
Nov 07, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Robert Snefjella , Nov 7, 2018 3:32:12 PM | link

As I gamely attempt to make some sense out of a daily inundation of various alternative political realities and alternative illusions co-mingling, processing as best I can the bits and pieces that I manage to filter through my taxed cranium, it occurs to me again that Trump won the 2016 election against the Establishment of both parties.

Subsequently, Trump has had various anchors attached to him and booby traps placed in his way and arrows shot at him from many political directions, and some self-inflicted. His own behaviors and policies have managed to alienate just about everybody on the planet except some tens of millions of Deplorables of indeterminate faithfulness.

But it appears to me that the strengthening of his position in the Senate, which previously was at best weakly supportive at Trump and for good reason easily suspected of being poised for betrayal, is potentially very significant. The question is to what extent the new Senate will be more willing to flex its enhanced Republican muscles on behalf of Trump.

"The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments." Okay, so the impeachment possibility is nullified.

Another point is that whereas after 2016 the Democratic minority were reduced to political 'guerrilla-tactics', they are now able to actually propose and win the H. of Rep. vote on their proposals. Since they require the assent of the Senate, will this lead to a more cooperative approach to proposed legislation? After all, bashing Trump has not been a great strategy. Might the Democrats try actually proposing and attempting to pass sensible laws?

One potential worry in both the extensive Democratic and Republican political criminal cesspool would be that another wealthy populist-esque candidate for the Presidency will emerge in the wake Trump's faux populism to come closer to the real thing. Perhaps such a political trend/event in the USA is as far fetched as the unicorn, but after all, who would have thought Russia could have rebounded positively so far from their inebriated depressed life support just a short generation ago?

[Nov 07, 2018] A must watch Jimmy Dore show

Nov 07, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Harry Law , Nov 7, 2018 3:27:30 PM | 86 ">link

This is a must watch Jimmy Dore show, Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University lays out how Obama and Trump have made a mess of Syria and caused the deaths of half a million people, the panel on MSMBC are stunned into silence by this truth telling.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_O2TRzA2ezk

[Nov 06, 2018] The economic sanctions on Iran will be much tighter, beyond what they were, before the nuclear agreement was signed. "Hit them in their pockets", Netanyahu advised Trump: "if you hit them in their pockets, they will choke; and when they choke, they will throw out the ayatollahs"".

Nov 06, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

mauisurfer , Nov 5, 2018 1:07:05 PM | link

Alastair Crooke (former UK dip and MI6) knows more about ME than any other white man. He describes how Jared Kushner became Trump's stovepipe of disinformation on behalf of Netanyahu and MBS.

The economic sanctions on Iran will be much tighter, beyond what they were, before the nuclear agreement was signed. "Hit them in their pockets", Netanyahu advised Trump: "if you hit them in their pockets, they will choke; and when they choke, they will throw out the ayatollahs"".

This was another bit of 'stovepiped' advice passed directly to the US President. His officials might have warned him that it was fantasy. There is no example of sanctions alone having toppled a state; and whilst the US can use its claim of judicial hegemony as an enforcement mechanism, the US has effectively isolated itself in sanctioning Iran: Europe wants no further insecurity. It wants no more refugees heading to Europe.

real full article here

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/11/05/unraveling-netanyahu-project-for-middle-east.html

[Nov 06, 2018] Democrats Want To Take On The War In Afghanistan If They Win The House by Akbar Shahid Ahmed

Nov 06, 2018 | www.huffingtonpost.com

A long fight by lawmakers like Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) is set to go mainstream, and an antiwar push on Yemen soon after the midterms could show how.

WASHINGTON ― As Democrats plan for a potential future in which they have control of the U.S. House, lawmakers, candidates and outside groups close to the party are quietly preparing a new push against the overlooked war in Afghanistan. The last time the party controlled the lower chamber of Congress, the U.S. had close to 50,000 troops in Afghanistan. Today that number is 15,000 -- but it's been eight years, and there's still no clarity about when the longest war in American history will actually come to an end. President Donald Trump 's stated policy is that the U.S. presence has no time limit. So Democrats are considering long-discussed proposals to torpedo the war's entire legal justification -- the sweeping post-9/11 congressional authorization that has been used to support U.S. military action well beyond Afghan borders -- and tie funding for the campaign to clearly outlined strategic goals and troop reductions. There's also talk of using new oversight powers to hold top officials, military commanders, defense contractors and foreign partners accountable for accusations of human rights violations, corruption and political posturing at the cost of human lives. And while party leaders are loath to commit to a particular course, they feel certain this is an issue their colleagues and their political base see as a priority. A dramatic but now largely forgotten vote in June 2017 underscored why this is a natural fight for Democrats. House Appropriations Committee lawmakers from both parties voted for the first time for a measure long pushed by war critic Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) that would repeal the authorization. GOP leadership quashed the effort, but it clearly signaled that, after years of worrying about being seen as too dovish, Democrats have reached a moment when even the other party and its voters can seriously consider serious antiwar action. "We've come a long way from just one vote in opposition [when the authorization came up in 2001] to a widespread recognition among members of Congress that this was an overly-broad authorization that set the stage for perpetual war," Lee wrote in an email to HuffPost. She sees Democratic unity on the issue today: "There's a lot of common ground across the caucus around holding this debate and vote."

[Nov 06, 2018] The sad reality is that the delusion Americans suffer from (result of their universal cradle-to-grave brainwashing that I mentioned earlier) is too deeply rooted as a core component of their identities.

Notable quotes:
"... Even the brightest and most humanistic Americans are horribly twisted to appalling evil by unquestionable faith in their own exceptionalism. ..."
Nov 06, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russ , Nov 6, 2018 1:48:22 PM | link

Circe | Nov 6, 2018 1:27:02 PM | 164

They were saying that Trump didn't promote the economic boom enough. Then they trotted out their economic analyst to tout all the great economic statistics!

Well of course, for the corporate media lying about the economy has priority over any kind of Trump-bashing.

William Gruff , Nov 6, 2018 2:25:31 PM | link

Unfortunately, Debsisdead is correct. The United States cannot be fixed. It could be that Trump knows what's needed and is deliberately trying to set the US on a course towards sanity using shock treatment, and is deliberately trying to wean America from the petrodollar in such a manner that Americans have no other country to blame/bomb, thus saving civilization from America's inevitable spasm of ultraviolence when the BRICS succeed in taking the petrodollar down. This seems unlikely, though.

The sad reality is that the delusion Americans suffer from (result of their universal cradle-to-grave brainwashing that I mentioned earlier) is too deeply rooted as a core component of their identities.

That mass-based delusion must be overcome before America's psychotic behavior on the world stage can be addressed, but I see no forces within the US making any progress in that direction at all.

Even the brightest and most humanistic Americans are horribly twisted to appalling evil by unquestionable faith in their own exceptionalism. As a consequence it could be that the only hope for humanity lies in a radical USA-ectomy with the resulting stump being cauterized.

I certainly wish there were some other way, but I don't see one.

[Nov 06, 2018] The culprit is Neoliberal ideology that resulted in the deindustrialization and financialization of the Outlaw US Empire's domestic economy

Notable quotes:
"... So, as with Rome, Greed is Good has done more to hinder the Outlaw US Empire than anything done by the so-called Revisionist Enemies. Combined with Trump's totally unwise Trade War policy forcing all other nations to abandon US-centric financial institutions and its currency, the specter of the Outlaw US Empire being defeated by its own ideology is rather marvelous, even hilarious, although any levity must be tempered by the Empire's brutality and its massive crimes against humanity that've destroyed millions of innocents. ..."
Nov 06, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Nov 5, 2018 12:51:45 PM | link

Aah . the woeful state of the Outlaw US Empire's military, done in by Neoliberal ideology, the tool designed to help Wall Street being destroyed by its machinations. Yesterday, a translated Russian article based upon a Reuters report and the Department of War research paper (Large PDF) it was based upon appeared at The Saker . Instead of writing a separate comment here, what follows is the comment I made there.

"What the Reuters article makes clear but avoids mentioning is the culprit is Neoliberal ideology that resulted in the deindustrialization and financialization of the Outlaw US Empire's domestic economy all for a Few Dollars More--that such hollowing out was official Washington--and Wall Street--policy starting with Carter in 1978, greatly accelerated by Bush/Reagan during the 1980s, then finished off by Clinton/Bush from 1993-2008.

The Defense Department research paper that's linked is also a hoot as it calls for a level of performance by the procurement and manufacturing systems that's impossible to accomplish given decades of corruption that's made the MIC what it is today--a maker of overpriced junk.

Read the transcript of the latest Michael Hudson interview to discover Wall Street's policy goals and compare them to what Trump wants to accomplish via MAGA, where Hudson states banks don't lend to--help capitalize--industry because not enough profit exists there compared to other opportunities.

So, as with Rome, Greed is Good has done more to hinder the Outlaw US Empire than anything done by the so-called Revisionist Enemies. Combined with Trump's totally unwise Trade War policy forcing all other nations to abandon US-centric financial institutions and its currency, the specter of the Outlaw US Empire being defeated by its own ideology is rather marvelous, even hilarious, although any levity must be tempered by the Empire's brutality and its massive crimes against humanity that've destroyed millions of innocents.

dh-mtl , Nov 5, 2018 1:19:47 PM | link

karlof1 | Nov 5, 2018 12:51:45 PM | 48 says:

"So, as with Rome, Greed is Good has done more to hinder the Outlaw US Empire than anything done by the so-called Revisionist Enemies. Combined with Trump's totally unwise Trade War policy forcing all other nations to abandon US-centric financial institutions and its currency, the specter of the Outlaw US Empire being defeated by its own ideology is rather marvelous"

The U.S. is indeed collapsing under its own mismanagement, the result of converting its (weak) democracy into a full-fledged oligarchic dictatorship. The only solution is for the U.S. to retrench into a shell in order to re-make itself.

Intentionally or not, Trump's policies are hastening this retrenchment.

Augustin L , Nov 5, 2018 1:57:20 PM | link
So Chump is presiding over the Israelization of the American military and we should be proud about this ? ...
Grieved , Nov 5, 2018 12:56:11 PM | link
@42 Michael

Thanks for the link to that poll. Those are astonishing results, to find the mainstream population afraid of the same things we are: that the US is not being representatively governed because its government is totally corrupt, and that meanwhile the planet and country are being stripped of resources, in a vicious downward spiral of paralysis.

It's worth quoting the results in full (sorry it doesn't format well):

[begin]

Below is a list of the 10 fears for which the highest percentage of Americans reported being "Afraid" or "Very Afraid." :
Top Ten Fears of 2018 --->> % Afraid or Very Afraid

1. Corrupt government officials --->> 74%
2. Pollution of oceans, rivers and lakes --->> 62%
3. Pollution of drinking water --->> 61%
4. Not having enough money for the future --->> 57%
5. People I love becoming seriously ill --->> 57%
6. People I love dying --->> 56%
7. Air pollution --->> 55%
8. Extinction of plant and animal species --->> 54%
9. Global warming and climate change --->> 53%
10. High medical bills --->> 53%

-- America's Top Fears 2018 - Chapman University Survey of American Fears

[end]

If there's any reality in these numbers it means that a politically vast majority of people in the US are focused on the right things, principal among which is that their recourse to address these things is completely broken. The obvious thought in a once famously "can-do" culture must obviously be that the government must be fixed or replaced. The tough question lingering is, How?

karlof1 , Nov 5, 2018 6:59:25 PM | link
RJPJR @87--

What you illustrate are known as Structural Adjustment Loans/Programs promoted by both IMF and World Bank as the major plank of Neoliberal ideology begun by McNamara when he was appointed to WB by Carter in 1978. This recap provided by developmental economist and critic Walden Bello details why and for whom the IMF/WB loans were designed to benefit--they differed little from the purposes of bilateral loans made by the US treasury during the Age of Dollar Diplomacy, which provided the ideological basis for robbing those nations. The point being US Imperialism atop centuries of Spanish Colonialism is why Latin America is do developmentally poor and kept that way through gross class distortions and outright Class War sponsored by CIA and Spain.

[Nov 05, 2018] Will US Sanctions Sway Iran to Enter Oil Deal with Russia

Nov 05, 2018 | russia-insider.com

However, the primary problem would not even be the doubtful profitability, but rather logistics. Iran's oil fields are in the south. To reach Russia, the oil would have to make its way to Caspian ports in the north. Iran has no main pipelines connecting its southern oil fields with northern ports. These ports do have the infrastructure for oil, but they were built to receive oil from swap deals with Kazakhstan, Russia and Azerbaijan. They were never meant to export oil.

Consequently, before any exports could begin, Moscow and Tehran would have to invest in creating the necessary storage and loading infrastructure at the Iranian ports. Iran would also need to upgrade its transport infrastructure to deliver oil from the south to the Caspian seashore -- that would also present a challenge.

Finally, Russia and Iran would have to substantially increase their tanker fleets in the landlocked Caspian Sea to exchange large quantities of oil, as the local geography does not allow for the use of large tankers. In this situation, a planned railroad connection between Russia and Iran via Azerbaijan could increase the volume of oil moved from Iran to Russia, but this project has not been completed.

Under these circumstances, Russian officials are demonstrating far greater interest in resuming the so-called oil-for-products program, under which Russia would broker Iranian oil abroad in exchange for Iran buying Russian industrial machinery and providing investment opportunities to Moscow.

Russia and Iran have discussed an oil-for-products initiative for years. Initially, it was supposed to help Tehran evade the oil trade embargo imposed by the United States, European Union (EU) and their partners. When those sanctions were lifted as part of the 2015 nuclear deal, the initiative was expected to compensate for Iran's lack of financial reserves, which kept Tehran from paying for imports of Russian equipment in hard currency. However, after US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018 and began reimposing sanctions, the oil-for-products deal again gained importance as a way to evade sanctions.

In November 2017, Moscow received 1 million barrels from Iran as payment for railroad equipment imported from Russia, and arrangements were in the works for Russia to buy an additional 5 million tons of oil in 2018. Indeed, in January and February there were reports of some oil dispatches transferred from Iran to Russian companies. Yet, by March, they stopped . Moscow still plans to revive the deal in 2019, though it might never happen.

On the one hand, Russia has had problems finding buyers for Iranian oil. Concerned about the US sanctions, potential clients refused to purchase it. On the other hand, Iran's main hopes for sanctions relief are more connected to the EU than Russia. There is a strong belief in Tehran that Europeans will be able to offset the negative influence of US economic pressure on Iran. The EU wants to salvage as much of the nuclear deal as possible. Yet the strength of Tehran's belief is hard to explain: Large EU companies have already pulled out of Iran. The EU officials Al-Monitor interviewed openly said that Tehran should not expect a lot from Brussels.

Though Russian and Iranian officials have an on-again, off-again marriage of convenience, Iran's general public and its elite strongly oppose any substantial deals with Moscow. Russia is not trusted or welcomed by Iranians and the countries have a long history of differences . A well-informed and respected Iranian expert on Tehran's foreign policy told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that a Russian oil-for-products initiative would be difficult to implement.

"A large part of Iranian society believes that giving our oil to Russia -- especially at the discounted prices -- is no better than agreeing to Trump's demands," he said.

[Nov 05, 2018] New Iran Sanctions Risk Long-Term US Isolation

Nov 05, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Patrick Lawrence via ConsortiumNews.com,

The U.S. is going for the jugular with new Iran sanctions intended to punish those who trade with Teheran. But the U.S. may have a fight on its hands in a possible post- WWII turning-point...

The next step in the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran has begun, with the most severe sanctions being re-imposed on the Islamic Republic. Crucially, they apply not only to Iran but to anyone who continues to do business with it.

It's not yet clear how disruptive this move will be. While the U.S. intention is to isolate Iran, it is the U.S. that could wind up being more isolated. It depends on the rest of the world's reaction, and especially Europe's.

The issue is so fraught that disputes over how to apply the new sanctions have even divided Trump administration officials.

The administration is going for the jugular this time. It wants to force Iranian exports of oil and petrochemical products down to as close to zero as possible. As the measures are now written, they also exclude Iran from the global interbank system known as SWIFT.

It is hard to say which of these sanctions is more severe. Iran's oil exports have already started falling. They peaked at 2.7 million barrels a day last May -- just before Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the six-nation accord governing Iran's nuclear programs. By early September oil exports were averaging a million barrels a day less .

In August the U.S. barred Iran's purchases of U.S.-dollar denominated American and foreign company aircraft and auto parts. Since then the Iranian rial has crashed to record lows and inflation has risen above 30 percent.

Revoking Iran's SWIFT privileges will effectively cut the nation out of the dollar-denominated global economy. But there are moves afoot, especially by China and Russia, to move away from a dollar-based economy.

The SWIFT issue has caused i nfighting in the administration between Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser who is among the most vigorous Iran hawks in the White House. Mnuchin might win a temporary delay or exclusions for a few Iranian financial institutions, but probably not much more.

On Sunday, the second round of sanctions kicked in since Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 Obama administration-backed, nuclear agreement, which lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for stringent controls on its nuclear program. The International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly certified that the deal is working and the other signatories -- Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia have not pulled out and have resumed trading with Iran. China and Russia have already said they will ignore American threats to sanction it for continuing economic relations with Iran. The key question is what will America's European allies do?

Europeans React

Europe has been unsettled since Trump withdrew in May from the nuclear accord. The European Union is developing a trading mechanism to get around U.S. sanctions. Known as a Special Purpose Vehicle , it would allow European companies to use a barter system similar to how Western Europe traded with the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Juncker: Wants Euro-denominated trading

EU officials have also been lobbying to preserve Iran's access to global interbank operations by excluding the revocation of SWIFT privileges from Trump's list of sanctions. They count Mnuchin,who is eager to preserve U.S. influence in the global trading system, among their allies. Some European officials, including Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, propose making the euro a global trading currency to compete with the dollar.

Except for Charles de Gaulle briefly pulling France out of NATO in 1967 and Germany and France voting on the UN Security Council against the U.S. invading Iraq in 2003, European nations have been subordinate to the U.S. since the end of the Second World War.

The big European oil companies, unwilling to risk the threat of U.S. sanctions, have already signaled they intend to ignore the EU's new trade mechanism. Total SA, the French petroleum company and one of Europe's biggest, pulled out of its Iran operations several months ago.

Earlier this month a U.S. official confidently predicted there would be little demand among European corporations for the proposed barter mechanism.

Whether Europe succeeds in efforts to defy the U.S. on Iran is nearly beside the point from a long-term perspective. Trans-Atlantic damage has already been done. A rift that began to widen during the Obama administration seems about to get wider still.

Asia Reacts

Asian nations are also exhibiting resistance to the impending U.S. sanctions. It is unlikely they could absorb all the exports Iran will lose after Nov. 4, but they could make a significant difference. China, India, and South Korea are the first, second, and third-largest importers of Iranian crude; Japan is sixth. Asian nations may also try to work around the U.S. sanctions regime after Nov. 4.

India is considering purchases of Iranian crude via a barter system or denominating transactions in rupees. China, having already said it would ignore the U.S. threat, would like nothing better than to expand yuan-denominated oil trading, and this is not a hard call: It is in a protracted trade war with the U.S., and an oil-futures market launched in Shanghai last spring already claims roughly 14 percent of the global market for "front-month" futures -- contracts covering shipments closest to delivery.

Trump: Unwittingly playing with U.S. long-term future

As with most of the Trump administration's foreign policies, we won't know how the new sanctions will work until they are introduced. There could be waivers for nations such as India; Japan is on record asking for one. The E.U.'s Special Purpose Vehicle could prove at least a modest success at best, but this remains uncertain. Nobody is sure who will win the administration's internal argument over SWIFT.

Long-term Consequences for the U.S.

The de-dollarization of the global economy is gradually gathering momentum. The orthodox wisdom in the markets has long been that competition with the dollar from other currencies will eventually prove a reality, but it will not be one to arrive in our lifetimes. But with European and Asian reactions to the imminent sanctions against Iran it could come sooner than previously thought.

The coalescing of emerging powers into a non-Western alliance -- most significantly China, Russia, India, and Iran -- starts to look like another medium-term reality. This is driven by practical rather than ideological considerations, and the U.S. could not do more to encourage this if it tried. When Washington withdrew from the Iran accord, Moscow and Beijing immediately pledged to support Tehran by staying with its terms.If the U.S. meets significant resistance, especially from its allies, it could be a turning-point in post-Word War II U.S. dominance.

Supposedly Intended for New Talks

All this is intended to force Iran back to the negotiating table for a rewrite of what Trump often calls "the worst deal ever." Tehran has made it clear countless times it has no intention of reopening the pact, given that it has consistently adhered to its terms and that the other signatories to the deal are still abiding by it.

The U.S. may be drastically overplaying its hand and could pay the price with additional international isolation that has worsened since Trump took office.

Washington has been on a sanctions binge for years. Those about to take effect seem recklessly broad. This time, the U.S. risks lasting alienation even from those allies that have traditionally been its closest.

[Nov 05, 2018] Tax heavens and inequality

Notable quotes:
"... creates a parallel society in the countryside that never see these money, but are the pros of having that money there and contributing to the economy outweigh these cons? It would if the money were invested with a view of making a profit from a factory, but I don't think that happens in this case. What do you think? ..."
"... The result is what we Australians call a two-speed economy or a split economy, where one sub-economy caters for the very rich (real estate agents specialising in luxury properties, lots of luxury hotels and playgrounds, boutique shops and restaurants) and the other sub-economy is hidden away, made up of local people who have to rent their homes because they can't afford to buy their own homes, who have to hold down two or more jobs to survive and who supply the staff for the hotels, shops and restaurants frequented by the rich. Eventually the local people start disappearing to find better-paying jobs and the hotels, restaurants, etc start bringing in foreign labour to replace them. ..."
Nov 05, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

blatnoi November 5, 2018 at 3:06 am

I've lately been wondering about the economics of being a big tax haven like the UK. A place like the Bahamas, I think benefits from it since there are so few citizens and it's easy to bribe them, and it costs a lot less than paying taxes back home. But then you move on to Panama, and the grey area starts. Someone is getting rich there, but the population of Panama is a lot bigger than that of the Bahamas, and that population is not exactly rich. Does it create bigger class divisions and also retards politics in terms of trying to develop their own unique economy not dependent on servicing the rich foreign tax thieves?

Then you get to London and the UK, with their absolutely enormous population. Most of the people outside of London will never see any of this money, and in London it creates a runaway housing crisis as the best investment for laundered money is thought to be real estate. Obviously there is investment in the local economy other than that, such as buying football clubs and stores, but I don't think that money goes towards funding a pharma start-up or buying stock in a local car company.

So it exacerbates inequality sure (London real estate is insane and out of reach of most locals), and creates a parallel society in the countryside that never see these money, but are the pros of having that money there and contributing to the economy outweigh these cons? It would if the money were invested with a view of making a profit from a factory, but I don't think that happens in this case. What do you think?

Mark Chapman November 5, 2018 at 3:20 am
I think it is an extremely interesting discussion point; one that I would not venture into without doing a bit of research, but right now I have to leave for work. It's definitely something we could chew over for a bit, and I imagine Jen will have something for us on it.
Jen November 5, 2018 at 2:00 pm
Blatnoi, if you get hold of the Nicholas Shaxson book I mentioned before, I recall there's a chapter that discusses the effect of being a tax haven has on the Channel Islands economy and Jersey Island in particular. The money that ends up there is in the pockets of a very few people who use it to buy and real estate as if it were shares on the stock market.

The result is what we Australians call a two-speed economy or a split economy, where one sub-economy caters for the very rich (real estate agents specialising in luxury properties, lots of luxury hotels and playgrounds, boutique shops and restaurants) and the other sub-economy is hidden away, made up of local people who have to rent their homes because they can't afford to buy their own homes, who have to hold down two or more jobs to survive and who supply the staff for the hotels, shops and restaurants frequented by the rich. Eventually the local people start disappearing to find better-paying jobs and the hotels, restaurants, etc start bringing in foreign labour to replace them.

I certainly agree with you that a two-speed economy creates and exacerbates class divisions, and moreover destroys not only local economies in the areas where it operates but also local societies and cultures.

Aha I Googled "Shaxson", "economy" and "Jersey" and out of what Google threw at me, I found this account by Bram Wanrooij of his time living in Jersey with his family for six years:

An excerpt from Wanrooij's post:

".. I have never been so aware of wealth discrepancies as I have in Jersey. And that says a lot, as I have lived in places like Kenya and Sudan when I was younger. Disparity is on full display, in combination with a shameless promotion of greed and privilege. Range Rovers wizz past you, their 4×4 engines sputtering out clouds of pollution, utterly useless on a small island with a decent infrastructure and no real elevation to speak of. You even see flashy sports cars; quite amusing when you consider the speed limit is 40 at most. What are these people trying to prove?

The island caters to the very wealthy, especially reflected in everyday expenses and housing and travel costs. Getting off the island becomes ever more impossible as your family grows, with flights to England ridiculously expensive and ferries charging a small fortune for carrying you across the channel. In this way, Jersey has quickly become a financial and geographical prison for middle and low earners.

In the six years I've lived here, my family has had to move six times and every time we had to rent a house which was slightly beyond our budget, even though both my wife and I are hard workers with honest professions. I have seen qualified, talented people leave because of this, a phenomenon which makes no sense, neither on a social, nor an economic level "

Comparisons between the Jersey-style financial two-speed economy and economies afflicted with so-called Dutch disease (typically economies like Saudi Arabia and others dependent on oil, gas and mineral exploitation) have been made. Characteristics of such economies are outlined in detail at this link:
https://www.economicshelp.org/blog/11977/oil/dutch-disease/

Fern November 5, 2018 at 5:25 pm
I've lived on the outskirts of London for many years and what I've seen is the city becoming increasingly hollowed out. You can walk around street after street at night and everywhere is in darkness – the lights are out because no-one is home, not that evening, not ever. London is permanently under construction; huge numbers of new buildings have gone up in recent years – all of them beyond the purchasing power of most Londoners – and huge numbers of those new buildings have been purchased off plan by overseas investors with no intention or interest in living in them.

When the money moves in existing communities disintegrate, local councils seek to dump those in social housing on other, less fashionable boroughs (thus exacerbating housing problems in those areas) or even outside London so housing can be razed and the land sold to developers, those renting in the private sector are priced out, local businesses close down – their market has gone plus insane rent and rates increases etc etc. London used to have a bit of a 'village' feel to it – distinct areas with settled communities, traditional butcher-baker-candlestick maker high streets, a sense of community. All gone or going.

Moscow Exile November 5, 2018 at 3:51 am
'Billionaires Row': inside Hampstead palaces left empty for decades
On The Bishops Avenue houses worth tens of millions of pounds lay derelict in a spectacular example of waste and profligacy

The multimillion-pound wrecks are evidence of a property culture in which the world's richest people see British property as investments. One Hyde Park, a block of apartments in Knightsbridge, is another example where more than half the flats are registered with the council as empty or second homes.

Rinat Akhmetov pays record £136.4m for apartment at One Hyde Park
Ukraine's richest man spends record amount for a UK home after buying two Knightsbridge flats totalling 25,000 sq ft

He just loves the weather there!

Northern Star November 5, 2018 at 2:35 pm
Hmmm ..
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rinat_Akhmetov#Political_activity
Jen November 5, 2018 at 3:46 pm
Buying properties in hot-spot areas and leaving them empty – because you plan to trade and sell them if and when the prices rocket up to levels you want – would be typical behaviour of people who treat property portfolios like share portfolios. You want to be ready to sell when the price is right so you don't move tenants into them. Getting rid of tenants can be a hassle if you want to sell quickly.

Also buying property and deliberately leaving it to rot is a way of using it as a tax shelter to minimise land and other taxes, lower your income or claim a tax rebate on losses you make because you're forking out more in land taxes, council rates and other rates than you are making on the property, depending on the taxation jurisdiction prevailing in the area or country where you have bought the property.

Evgeny November 5, 2018 at 3:59 am
Thanks for a great article, Mark!

Apparently, the U.S. authorities believe that by squeezing the corrupt Russian money out of the Great Britain, they would force those corrupt rich Russians to return their money home and remake the Russia as a modern Western nation with the rule of law and checks and balances.

At least, that's what I have heard at anti-Putin forums. So -- and especially so in view of your article -- that ought to be taken with a grain of salt.

But if that's indeed the idea -- I'm skeptical that it would work. Definitely, it sounds alright, and if it were implemented, say, 30 years ago -- it might have sort of worked, by preventing the corrupt Russians to move their assets abroad. Now, I think, they would just move their fortunes into some other friendly jurisdiction outside of the reach of Uncle Sam and Russia's authorities.

If getting at dirty money was that easy, I doubt that China would ever need to resort to such a complex operation as the "Fox Hunt".

Moscow Exile November 5, 2018 at 4:25 am
Well it seems that Rusal has said "Kiss my arse goodbye!" to the bounteous, tax-free-zoned West.

Sanctions-hit Rusal decides to move from Jersey to Russia
November 05, 9:24 updated at: November 05, 10:24 UTC+3

That's Jersey the British Channel Island and not "New Jersey", the former British colony.

Mark Chapman November 5, 2018 at 3:36 pm
Another kick in the sack for Britain, caused by Washington but for which Washington will suffer no penalty. That Special Relationship certainly is something, isn't it?
Mark Chapman November 5, 2018 at 3:32 pm
I think you're probably right – although I never thought of such a devious motive as forcing Putin's enemies (in some cases) back to Russia, where they would presumably start financing the opposition and making trouble, I agree it likely would not work according to plan. Very likely all it would accomplish is the withdrawal of their money from London, to be hidden somewhere else.

[Nov 05, 2018] A superb new book on the duty of resistance

Notable quotes:
"... A Duty to Resist: When Disobedience Should Be Uncivil ..."
"... The Duty to Resist: When Disobedience Should Be Uncivil ..."
Nov 05, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

by Chris Bertram on October 31, 2018 Candice Delmas, A Duty to Resist: When Disobedience Should Be Uncivil (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Political obligation has always been a somewhat unsatisfactory topic in political philosophy, as has, relatedly, civil disobedience. The "standard view" of civil disobedience, to be found in Rawls, presupposes that we live in a nearly just society in which some serious violations of the basic liberties yet occur and conceives of civil disobedience as a deliberate act of public lawbreaking, nonviolent in character, which aims to communicate a sense of grave wrong to our fellow citizens. To demonstrate their fidelity to law, civil disobedients are willing to accept the consequences of their actions and to take their punishment. When Rawls first wrote about civil disobedience, in 1964, parts of the US were openly and flagrantly engaged in the violent subordination of their black population, so it was quite a stretch for him to think of that society as "nearly just". But perhaps its injustice impinged less obviously on a white professor at an elite university in Massachusetts than it did on poor blacks in the deep South.

The problems with the standard account hardly stop there. Civil disobedience thus conceived is awfully narrow. In truth, the range of actions which amount to resistance to the state and to unjust societies is extremely broad, running from ordinary political opposition, through civil disobedience to disobedience that is rather uncivil, through sabotage, hacktivism, leaking, whistle-blowing, carrying out Samaritan assistance in defiance of laws that prohibit it, striking, occupation, violent resistance, violent revolution, and, ultimately, terrorism. For the non-ideal world in which we actually live and where we are nowhere close to a "nearly just" society, we need a better theory, one which tells us whether Black Lives Matter activists are justified or whether antifa can punch Richard Spencer. Moreover, we need a theory that tells us not only what we may do but also what we are obliged to do: when is standing by in the face of injustice simply not morally permissible.

Step forward Candice Delmas with her superb and challenging book The Duty to Resist: When Disobedience Should Be Uncivil (Oxford University Press). Delmas points out the manifold shortcomings of the standard account and how it is often derived from taking the particular tactics of the civil rights movement and turning pragmatic choices into moral principles. Lots of acts of resistance against unjust societies, in order to be effective, far from being communicative, need to be covert. Non-violence may be an effective strategy, but sometimes those resisting state injustice have a right to defend themselves. [click to continue ]


Hidari 10.31.18 at 3:41 pm (no link)

Strangely enough, the link I was looking at immediately before I clicked on the OP, was this:

https://www.thecanary.co/opinion/2018/10/30/our-time-is-up-weve-got-nothing-left-but-rebellion/

It would be interesting to see a philosopher's view on whether or not civil disobedience was necessary, and to what extent, to prevent actions that will lead to the end of our species.

Ebenezer Scrooge 10.31.18 at 4:52 pm (no link)
Two points:
As far as the Nazi-punching goes, it is important to remember that we hung Julius Streicher for nothing but speech acts.
I have no idea who Candice Delmas is, but "Delmas" is a French name. The French have a very different attitude toward civil disobedience than we do.
Moz of Yarramulla 10.31.18 at 11:23 pm (no link)

civil disobedience as a deliberate act of public lawbreaking, nonviolent in character, which aims to communicate a sense of grave wrong to our fellow citizens.

I think that's a pretty narrow view of civil disobedience even if you just count the actions of the protesters. Often NVDA is aimed at or merely accepts that a violent response is inevitable. The resistance at Parihaka, for example, was in no doubt that the response would be military and probably lethal. And Animal Liberation are often classified as terrorists by the US and UK governments while murderers against abortion are not.

Which is to say that the definition of "nonviolent" is itself an area of conflict, with some taking the Buddhist extremist position that any harm or even inconvenience to any living thing makes an action violent, and others saying that anything short of genocide can be nonviolent (and then there are the "intention is all" clowns). Likewise terrorism, most obviously of late the Afghani mujahideen when they transitioned from being revolutionaries to terrorists when the invader changed.

In Australia we have the actual government taking the view that any action taken by a worker or protester that inconveniences a company is a criminal act and the criminal must both compensate the company (including consequential damages) as well as facing jail time. tasmania and NSW and of course the anti-union laws . The penalties suggest they're considered crimes of violence, as does the rhetoric.

Moz of Yarramulla 11.01.18 at 12:13 am (no link)
Jeff@11

one should never legitimize any means toward social change that you would not object to seeing used by your mortal enemies.

Are you using an unusual definition of "mortal enemy" here? Viz, other than "enemy that wants to kill you"? Even US law has theoretical prohibitions on expressing that intention.

It's especially odd since we're right now in the middle of a great deal of bad-faith use of protest techniques by mortal enemies. "free speech" used to protect Nazi rallies, "academic freedom" to defend anti-science activists, "non-violent protest" used to describe violent attacks, "freedom of religion" used to excuse terrorism, the list goes on.

In Australia we have a 'proud boys' leader coming to Australia who has somehow managed to pass the character test imposed by our government. He's the leader of a gang that requires an arrest for violence as a condition of membership and regularly says his goal is to incite others to commit murder. It seems odd that our immigration minister has found those things to be not disqualifying while deporting someone for merely associating with a vaguely similar gang , but we live in weird times.

J-D 11.01.18 at 12:50 am ( 18 )
Ebenezer Scrooge

As far as the Nazi-punching goes, it is important to remember that we hung Julius Streicher for nothing but speech acts.

I do remember that*, but it's not clear to me why you think it's important to remember it in this context. If somebody who had fatally punched a Nazi speaker were prosecuted for murder, I doubt that 'he was a Nazi speaker' would be accepted as a defence on the basis of the Streicher precedent.

*Strictly speaking, I don't remember it as something that 'we' did: I wasn't born at the time, and it's not clear to me who you mean by 'we'. (Streicher himself probably would have said that it was the Jews, or possibly the Jews and the Bolsheviks, who were hanging him, but I don't suppose that would be your view.) However, I'm aware of the events you're referring to, which is the real point.

engels 11.01.18 at 12:51 am ( 19 )
Rawls presupposes that we live in a nearly just society in which some serious violations of the basic liberties yet occur For the non-ideal world in which we actually live and where we are nowhere close to a "nearly just" society, we need a better theory
Brandon Watson 11.01.18 at 12:02 pm (no link)
People need to stop spreading this misinterpretation about Rawls on civil disobedience, which I've seen several places in the past few years. Rawls focuses on the case of a nearly just society not because he thinks it's the only case in which you can engage in civil disobedience but because he thinks it's the only case in which there are difficulties with justifying it. He states this very clearly in A Theory of Justice : in cases where the society is not nearly just, there are no difficulties in justifying civil disobedience or even sometimes armed resistance. His natural duty account is not put forward as a general theory of civil disobedience but to argue that civil disobedience can admit of justification even in the case in which it is hardest to justify.

I'm not a fan of Rawls myself, but I don't know how he could possibly have been more clear on this, since he makes all these points explicitly.

LFC 11.02.18 at 12:45 am (no link)
J-D @18

The Nuremberg tribunal was set up and staffed by the U.S., Britain, USSR, and France; so whether Ebenezer's "we" was intended to refer to the four countries collectively or just to the U.S., it's clear who hanged Streicher et al., and the tone of your comment on this point is rather odd.

anon 11.02.18 at 4:23 pm (no link)
Resisting by protesting is OK.

However, here in the USA, actual legislation creating laws is done by our elected representatives.

So if you're an Amaerican and really want Social Change and aren't just posturing or 'virtue signaling' make sure you vote in the upcoming election.

I'm afraid too many will think that their individual vote won't 'matter' or the polls show it isn't needed or some other excuse to justify not voting. Please do not be that person.

Don Berinati 11.02.18 at 5:06 pm (no link)
Recently re-reading '1968' by Kurlansky and he repeatedly made this point about protests – that to be effective they had to get on television (major networks, not like our youtube, I think, so it would be seen by the masses in order to sway them) and to do that the acts had to be outlandish because they were competing for network time. This increasingly led to violent acts, which almost always worked in getting on the news, but flew in the face of King's and others peaceful methods.
So, maybe punching out a Nazi is the way to change people's minds or at least get them to think about stuff.

[Nov 05, 2018] "They Will Not Forgive Us" by James Carroll

Nov 05, 2018 | www.unz.com

It was only an announcement, but think of it as the beginning of a journey into hell. Last week, President Donald Trump made public his decision to abrogate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), a 1987 agreement with the Soviet Union. National Security Advisor John Bolton , a Cold Warrior in a post-Cold War world, promptly flaunted that announcement on a trip to Vladimir Putin's Moscow. To grasp the import of that decision, however, quite another kind of voyage is necessary, a trip down memory lane.

That 1987 pact between Moscow and Washington was no small thing in a world that, during the Cuban Missile Crisis only 25 years earlier, had reached the edge of nuclear Armageddon. The INF Treaty led to the elimination of thousands of nuclear weapons, but its significance went far beyond that. As a start, it closed the books on the nightmare of a Europe caught between the world-ending strategies of the two superpowers, since most of those "intermediate-range" missiles were targeting that very continent. No wonder, last week, a European Union spokesperson, responding to Trump, fervently defended the treaty as a permanent "pillar" of international order.

To take that trip back three decades in time and remember how the INF came about should be an instant reminder of just how President Trump is playing havoc with something essential to human survival.

In October 1986 in Reykjavik, Iceland, the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev , briefly came close to fully freeing the planet from the horrifying prospect of nuclear annihilation. In his second inaugural address, a year and a half earlier, President Reagan had wishfully called for "the total elimination" of nuclear weapons. At that Reykjavik summit, Gorbachev, a pathbreaking Soviet leader, promptly took the president up on that dream, proposing -- to the dismay of the aides of both leaders -- a total nuclear disarmament pact that would take effect in the year 2000.

Reagan promptly agreed in principle. "Suits me fine," he said. "That's always been my goal." But it didn't happen. Reagan had another dream, too -- of a space-based missile defense system against just such weaponry, the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), also dubbed "Star Wars." He refused to yield on the subject when Gorbachev rejected SDI as the superpower arms race transferred into space. "This meeting is over," Reagan then said.

Of the failure of Reykjavik, Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze would then comment : "When future generations read the transcripts of this meeting, they will not forgive us." At that point, the nuclear arsenals of the U.S. and the USSR had hit a combined 60,000 weapons and were still growing. (Five new American nuclear weapons were being added each day.) A month after Reykjavik, in fact, the U.S. deployed a new B-52-based cruise missile system in violation of the 1979 SALT II Treaty. Hawks in Moscow were pressing for similar escalations. Elites on both sides -- weapons manufacturers, intelligence and political establishments, think tanks, military bureaucracies, and pundits -- were appalled at what the two leaders had almost agreed to. The national security priesthood, East and West, wanted to maintain what was termed "the stability of the strategic stalemate," even if such stability, based on ever-expanding arsenals, could not have been less stable.

But a widespread popular longing for relief from four decades of nuclear dread had been growing on both sides of the Iron Curtain. In a surge of anti-nuclear activism , millions of ordinary citizens took to the streets of cities in the U.S. and Europe to protest the superpower nuclear establishments. Even behind the Iron Curtain, voices for peace could be heard. "Listen," Gorbachev pleaded after Reykjavik, "to the demands of the American people, the Soviet people, the peoples of all countries."

A Watershed Treaty

As it happened, the Soviet leader refused to settle for Reagan's no. Four months after the Iceland summit, he proposed an agreement "without delay" to remove from Europe all intermediate missiles -- those with a range well under that of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). When Pentagon officials tried to swat Gorbachev's proposal aside by claiming that there could be no such agreement without on-site inspections, he said fine, inspect away! That was an unprecedented concession from the Soviet Union.

President Reagan was surrounded by men like then-Assistant Secretary of State Paul Wolfowitz (later to become infamous for his role in promoting a post-9/11 invasion of Iraq), who assumed Gorbachev was a typical Soviet "master of deceit." But for all his hawkishness, the president had other instincts as well. Events would show that, on the subject of nukes (SDI notwithstanding), Reagan had indeed recognized the threat to the human future posed by the open-ended accumulation of ever more of those weapons and had become a kind of nuclear abolitionist. Even if ending that threat was inconceivable to him, his desire to mitigate it would prove genuine.

At the time, however, Reagan had other problems to deal with. Just as Gorbachev put forward his surprising initiative, the American president found himself engulfed in the Iran-Contra scandal -- a criminal conspiracy to trade arms for hostages with Iran, while illegally aiding right-wing paramilitaries in Central America. It threatened to become his Watergate. It would, in the end, lead to the indictments of 14 members of his administration. Beleaguered, he desperately wanted to change the subject. A statesman-like rescue of faltering arms-control negotiations might prove just the helping hand he was looking for. So the day before he went on television to abjectly offer repentance for Iran-Contra, he announced that he would accept Gorbachev's INF proposal. His hawkish inner circle was thoroughly disgusted by the gesture. Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger promptly resigned in protest. (He would later be indicted for Iran-Contra.)

On December 8, 1987, Reagan and Gorbachev would indeed meet in Washington and sign the INF Treaty, eliminating more than 2,000 ground-based warheads and giving Europe the reprieve its people had wanted. This would be the first actual reduction in nuclear weapons to occur since two atomic bombs were built at Los Alamos in 1945. The INF Treaty proved historic for turning back the tide of escalation. It showed that the arms race could be not just frozen but reversed, that negotiations could lead the two superpowers out of what seemed like the ultimate impasse -- a model that should be urgently applicable today.

In reality, the mutually reinforcing hair-trigger nuclear posture of the United States and the Soviet Union was not much altered by the treaty, since only land-based, not air- and submarine-launched missiles, were affected by it and longer range ICBMs were off the table. (Still, Europe could breathe a bit easier, even if, in operational terms, nuclear danger had not been much reduced.) Yet that treaty would prove a turning point, opening the way to a better future. It would be essential to the political transformation that quickly followed, the wholly unpredicted and surprisingly non-violent end to the Cold War that arrived not quite two years later. The treaty showed that the arms race itself could be ended -- and eventually, it nearly would be. That is the lesson that somehow needs to be preserved in the Trump era.

A Man for All Apocalypses

In reality, the Trump administration's abandonment of the INF Treaty has little to do with the actual deployment of intermediate-range missiles, whether those that the Pentagon may now seek to emplace in Europe or those apparently already being put in place in Russia. In truth, such nuclear firepower will not add much to what submarine- and air-launched cruise missiles can already do. As for Vladimir Putin's bellicosity, removing the restraints on arms control will only magnify the Russian leader's threatening behavior. However, it should be clear by now that Donald Trump's urge to trash the treaty comes from his own bellicosity , not from Russian (or, for that matter, Chinese) aggressiveness. Trump seems to deplore the pact precisely because of what it meant to Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, as well as to the millions who cheered them on long ago: its repudiation of an apocalyptic future. (As his position on climate change indicates, the president is visibly a man for all apocalypses.)

Trump has launched a second nuclear age by rejecting the treaty that was meant to initiate the closing of the first one. The arms race was then slowed, but, alas, the competitors stumbled on through the end of the Cold War. Shutting that arms-contest down completely remained an unfinished task, in part because the dynamic of weapons reduction proved so reversible even before Donald Trump made it into the Oval Office. George W. Bush, for instance, struck a blow against arms control with his 2002 abrogation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which rekindled Reagan's Star Wars fantasy. The way Washington subsequently promoted missile defense systems in Europe, especially in Poland, where a nearly $5 billion missile contract was agreed to this year, empowered the most hawkish wing of the Kremlin, guaranteeing just the sort of Russian build-up that has indeed occurred. If present Russian intermediate-range missile deployments are in violation of the INF Treaty, they did not happen in a vacuum.

Barack Obama, of course, won the Nobel Peace Prize in the early moments of his presidency for his vision of a nuclear-weapons-free world, yet not even he could curb the malevolent influence of nuclear planning in the Pentagon and elsewhere in Washington. To get approval of the 2010 New START Treaty, which was to further reduce the total number of strategic warheads and launchers on both sides, from the Republican Senate, the Peace Laureate president had to agree to an $80 billion renewal of America's existing nuclear arsenal just when it was ripe for a fuller dismantling. That devil's bargain with Washington's diehard nuclear hawks further empowered Russia's similarly hawkish militarists.

All of this reflects a pattern established relatively early in the Cold War years. U.S. arms escalations in that era -- from the long-range bomber and the hydrogen bomb to the nuclear-armed submarine and the cruise missile to the "high frontier" of space -- inevitably prompted the Kremlin to follow in lockstep (and these days, you would need to add the Chinese into the equation as well). Americans should recall that, since August 6, 1945, the ratcheting up of nuclear weapons competition has always begun in Washington. And so it has again.

By the time the Obama administration left office, the Defense Department was already planning to "modernize" the U.S. nuclear arsenal in a massively expensive way. Last February, with the release of the Pentagon's 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, the Trump administration committed to that arsenal's full bore reinvention, big time, to the tune of at least $1.2 trillion and possibly $1.6 trillion over the next three decades. ICBM silos only recently slated for closing will be rebuilt. There will be new generations of nuclear-armed bombers and submarines, as well as nuclear cruise missiles. There will be wholly new nuclear weapons expressly designed to be "usable." And in that context, American nuclear strategy is also being recast. For the first time, the United States is now explicitly threatening to launch those "usable" weapons in response to non-nuclear assaults.

The surviving lynchpin of arms control is that New START Treaty that mattered so to Obama in 2010. It capped deployed strategic nuclear warheads at 1,550 and implied that there would be further reductions to come. It must, however, be renewed in 2021. Trump is already on record calling it a bad deal, but he may not have to wait until possible reelection in 2020 to do it in. His INF Treaty abrogation might do the trick first. Limits on long-range strategic missiles may not survive the pressures that are sure to follow an arms race involving the intermediate variety.

No less worrisome, the Trump administration's fervent support for the Pentagon's modernization, and so reinvention, of the American nuclear arsenal amounts to a blatant violation of the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which required nuclear powers to work toward "the cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date." The president's explicit desire to maintain an ever more lethal nuclear arsenal into the indefinite future violates that requirement and will certainly undermine that treaty, too.

It's no exaggeration to say that those arms control treaties, taken together, probably saved the world from a nuclear Armageddon

[Nov 05, 2018] James Carroll Entering the Second Nuclear Age by Tom Engelhardt

Notable quotes:
"... TomDispatch ..."
"... The Fate of the Earth ..."
"... In that remarkable volume, Schell offered a stunning vision of what a ten-thousand-megaton nuclear strike on the U.S. might mean. ("In the ten seconds or so after each bomb hit, as blast waves swept outward from thousands of ground zeros, the physical plant of the United States would be swept away like leaves in a gust of wind.") In the end, after radiation had also taken its toll, he wrote, the United States -- in a phrase that's haunted me ever since -- "would be a republic of insects and grass." ..."
Nov 04, 2018 | www.unz.com

He was the candidate who, while talking to a foreign policy expert, reportedly wondered "why we can't use nuclear weapons." He was the man who would never rule anything out or take any "cards," including nuclear ones, off the proverbial table. He was the fellow who, as president-elect, was eager to expand the American nuclear arsenal and told Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski, "Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all." I'm referring, of course, to the president who, early on, spoke with his top national security officials of returning the country to a Cold War footing when it came to such weaponry and called for the equivalent of a tenfold expansion of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. I'm thinking of the president who once threatened North Korea with "fire and fury like the world has never seen" and proudly claimed that he had a "bigger nuclear button" than that country's leader, Kim Jong-un.

Given his fascination with nuclear weaponry, it's hardly surprising that the very same president would decide to pull the U.S. out of the Cold War-era 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) or that his vice president would refuse to rule out -- another potentially treaty-busting act -- the deployment of nuclear weapons in space. It's a gesture that, as TomDispatch regular and former Boston Globe columnist James Carroll explains today, could not be more devastating when it comes to creating a new nuclear arms race on this increasingly godforsaken planet of ours. Reading Carroll's piece, I thought of a mobilizing nuclear moment in my own life. It was the time in 1982 when I read Jonathan Schell's bestselling book The Fate of the Earth , which helped create a global anti-nuclear movement, millions of active citizens desiring a nuke-free world, that prepared the way for the INF Treaty.

In that remarkable volume, Schell offered a stunning vision of what a ten-thousand-megaton nuclear strike on the U.S. might mean. ("In the ten seconds or so after each bomb hit, as blast waves swept outward from thousands of ground zeros, the physical plant of the United States would be swept away like leaves in a gust of wind.") In the end, after radiation had also taken its toll, he wrote, the United States -- in a phrase that's haunted me ever since -- "would be a republic of insects and grass."

That, in other words, is what it might mean, in the twenty-first century, as in the previous one, for a president to put all those nuclear "cards" back on the table and "outmatch and outlast them all."

[Nov 05, 2018] Nuclear war threat is now real

Nov 05, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star November 5, 2018 at 2:25 pm

USA Psychopaths in Power WATCH:

"Phil Collins
The only thing that can stop this ever happening is if the American people stand up to these psychopaths running their country its called people power and would stop them in their tracks madmen now run the Whitehouse"

https://youtu.be/OpQuUMURex8

[Nov 05, 2018] Both in Skriplas affair and in Syria the UK is slowly sinking to its appropriate level of incompetence and self-delusion

Nov 05, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al November 5, 2018 at 8:22 am

I'm not surprised that you are such a fine shot with his harpoon considering your naval background, Mark! The UK is slowly sinking to its appropriate level of incompetence and self-delusion with the likes of former PM Dave Cameron declaring that he is 'shit bored' and would like to return to cabinet, preferably as Foreign Minister. That could be arranged, but as Foreign minister in Libya.

Still, the whole 'Russian corrupting in Britain' is the British government's perception management at its finest. As someone recently posted on the last thread, a Spanish case against RUSSIAN MAFIA collapsed for lack of evidence after ten years , which I suspect was partly provided by British Intelligence paid organized crime experts from Russia like Litvenenko & Skripal. Who's been bilked then?

Yes, this is a classic case of 'LOOK OVER THERE!' rather than the billions upon billions sunk in to London by the UK and the west's bestest Gulf buddies, you know, the one's who fear not their exposure for outrageous human rights abuses on a genocidal scale such as in Yemen, and a much smaller scale with the likes of their own citizens, sic Kashoggi. But, Chelsea & Westminster are such a fundamental part of British Life (coz its London, innit?) and does very well for itself. I have to admit, it is (mostly) nice around there where you can take a stroll along the Embankment, wander around Hyde Park and visit the museums.

Northern Star November 5, 2018 at 5:33 pm
"Like in the Wild West, betting in the saloon is also common when it comes to Syria. The US State Department under Obama placed all its bets on some entity they invented, which they liked to call "moderate rebels" (why not "respectable terrorists" or "polite criminals"?). They lost. Numerous left-wing academics signed on to regime change years ago, and because they only pretend to be seasoned analysts for their day jobs, they did not foresee the collapse of the anti-government forces in Syria. That list included noted "post-colonial" scholars and anthropologists, united in their belief in "democracy promotion" and remaking Syria into something palatable to them, with the right leaders in place. Five years later and a smaller group -- including feminists like Gloria Steinem and Judith Butler, anarchists like Noam Chomsky and the anthropologist David Graeber, the Marxist David Harvey, and advocates of recolonization like Michael Walzer -- placed their bets on socialist Kurdish militias, presumably increasing the value of their bet by the important sign value of their brand name authority. Ironically, in the process of reimagining legendary Rojava as the site of a second Spanish Civil War, they were openly collaborating with Donald Trump (not naming him directly, since "the US government" was more convenient). These signatories were thus complicit with the very same commander-in-chief of the armed forces they were calling on for support of Syrian Kurds. They wanted "the US government," whose President is Donald Trump, to impose sanctions on Turkey, and to develop a foreign policy that put Kurdish interests at the forefront. You can be sure that, elsewhere, in front of different crowds, they return to "the Resistance" by puffing up their little chests and sounding all "anti-Trump" -- but when it came to cheering their favourite band of ethnic anarchists, they could dispense with appearances. Less "prestigious" characters, publishing in a less "prestigious" outlet, countered the call to "defend Rojava", a call which appropriated "progressive" politics for the cause of imperialism (thus reigniting an old marriage). (David Harvey, by the way, having cashed in on abundant sales of his volume, The New Imperialism, has recently changed his mind: he has decided that imperialism is merely a metaphor, "rather than anything real". Out of curiosity, we have to wonder if "capitalism" is also a metaphor, rather than anything real, seeing how Marxists have linked capitalism with imperialism. Perhaps even socialism is a metaphor, rather than anything real."

This Canadian has a lot to say well worth reading!!!!!

https://zeroanthropology.net/2018/10/06/syria-the-new-terra-nullius/

https://syria360.wordpress.com/2018/11/04/syria-the-new-terra-nullius/

[Nov 04, 2018] The U.S. Cannot Win Militarily In Afghanistan, Says Top Commander In Shocking Interview

Nov 04, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Historians of the now seventeen-year old U.S. war in Afghanistan will take note of this past week when the newly-appointed American general in charge of US and NATO operations in the country made a bombshell, historic admission. He conceded that the United States cannot win in Afghanistan .

Speaking to NBC News last week, Gen. Austin Scott Miller made his first public statements after taking charge of American operations, and shocked with his frank assessment that that the Afghan war cannot be won militarily and peace will only be achieved through direct engagement and negotiations with the Taliban -- the very terror group which US forces sought to defeat when it first invaded in 2001.

"This is not going to be won militarily," Gen. Miller said. "This is going to a political solution."

Gen. Austin Scott Miller, the U.S. commander of resolute support, via EPA/NBC

Miller explained to NBC :

My assessment is the Taliban also realizes they cannot win militarily. So if you realize you can't win militarily at some point, fighting is just, people start asking why. So you do not necessarily wait us out, but I think now is the time to start working through the political piece of this conflict.

He gave the interview from the Resolute Support headquarters building in Kabul. "We are more in an offensive mindset and don't wait for the Taliban to come and hit [us]," he said. "So that was an adjustment that we made early on. We needed to because of the amount of casualties that were being absorbed."

Starting last summer it was revealed that US State Department officials began meeting with Taliban leaders in Qatar to discuss local and regional ceasefires and an end to the war . It was reported at the time that the request of the Taliban, the US-backed Afghan government was not invited; however, there doesn't appear to have been any significant fruit out of the talks as the Taliban now controls more territory than ever before in recent years .

Such controversial and shaky negotiations come as in total the United States has spent well over $840 billion fighting the Taliban insurgency while also paying for relief and reconstruction in a seventeen-year long war that has become more expensive, in current dollars, than the Marshall Plan , which was the reconstruction effort to rebuild Europe after World War II.

Even the New York Times recently chronicled the flat out deception of official Pentagon statements vs. the reality in terms of the massive spending that has gone into the now-approaching two decade long "endless war" which began in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.

Via NYT report

As of September of this year the situation was as bleak as it's ever been after over a decade-and-a-half of America's longest running war, per the NYT's numbers :

But since 2017, the Taliban have held more Afghan territory than at any time since the American invasion . In just one week last month, the insurgents killed 200 Afghan police officers and soldiers, overrunning two major Afghan bases and the city of Ghazni.

The American military says the Afghan government effectively "controls or influences" 56 percent of the country. But that assessment relies on statistical sleight of hand . In many districts, the Afghan government controls only the district headquarters and military barracks, while the Taliban control the rest .

For this reason Gen. Miller spoke to NBC of an optimal "political outcome" instead of "winning" -- the latter being a term rarely if ever used by Pentagon and officials and congressional leaders over the past years.

Miller told NBC : "I naturally feel compelled to try to set the conditions for a political outcome. So, pressure from that standpoint, yes. I don't want everyone to think this is forever."

And ending on a bleak note in terms of the "save face" and "cut and run" nature of the U.S. future engagement in Afghanistan, Gen. Miller concluded, "This is my last assignment as a soldier in Afghanistan. I don't think they'll send me back here in another grade. When I leave this time I'd like to see peace and some level of unity as we go forward."

Interestingly, the top US and NATO commander can now only speak in remotely hopeful terms of "some level of unity" -- perhaps just enough to make a swift exit at least. Tags War Conflict Politics

play_arrow Reply Report

God is The Son , 3 minutes ago link

There not going to come out as say, where here because we want BOMB IRAN a few years down the track and maintain US Military deployment for Israel's long-term interests. Israel are suspected of committing 9/11 attacks, if you think about it long term policy of expansion, getting ride of its surrounding threats it's all makes sense. scraficing 3000 americans for Israel's longterm policy's seems to be the pill they were willing to swallow.

R19 , 5 minutes ago link

We spent a lot of money, killed people, and protected and served the **** out of a lot. That is the win that the elite are looking for.

God is The Son , 6 minutes ago link

Prorably remain there because of Zionist Influence in order to get IRAN sooner or later.

veritas semper vinces , 10 minutes ago link

US already lost the war there too.

The Talibans control the country.

US is trying to shift the blame on Russia, as the Talibans went to Moscow for peace talks.

And with Pakistan aligning with Russia/China and Iran ( Pakistan being the main supply route for the US army in Afghanistan), the US army is practically f*cked.

So, this is a face saving movement.

cheoll , 14 minutes ago link

Israhell wants the US bogged down in the Middle East

in order to destroy it, so Apartheid Israhell can become

the regional superpower .

veritas semper vinces , 21 minutes ago link

I just published a caricature of top US generals, including Mattis.

A lot of work , but worth it.

next : Soros, Adelson, Rockefeller and Rothschild.

This is going to take 3-4 days.


https://veritassempervincitscaricaturesdrawings.wordpress.com/

Bricker , 22 minutes ago link

This aint going over well with Trump. not W-W-W-winning?

Tirion , 33 minutes ago link

Good to know that Trump is not prepared to continue to protect Deep State opium production at the taxpayers' expense. I hope he's planning to withdraw US armed forces from all foreign soil.

JuliaS , 26 minutes ago link

Based on what? What did he stop? Which wars did he pull out out of?

Military was a huge contributor to his votes. He's not going to lift a finger. He would have started by pardoning Snowden, or closing Gitmo - something Obama lied about when making campaign promises. Where, here is your chance, Donald. Do at least one single thing that shows you as anything other that a MIC puppet. Just one thing! Anything!

Bombing Syria? Yep. Blind eye to Saudi crimes in Yemen? Yep. Dancing to Zionist demands? Yep.

Trade wars? Oh sure, those things never lead to military conflict either!

Push , 31 minutes ago link

The only reason we were in Afghanistan in the first place was to protect the heroin trade from acquisition by the Taliban. It's time to pull out and let the British protect their poppy fields if they want em that badly.

Push , 28 minutes ago link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUATfLDiwVA

Push , 19 minutes ago link

Notice that Rivera says the Marines just had a visit from Prince Charles. If you want to know more about why we have so much heroin in America now and who benefits.. read Dope Inc.

navy62802 , 42 minutes ago link

Stunning NeoCon victory ... almost 20 years later. This is why I am frightened that John Bolton still has a voice in government.

algol_dog , 47 minutes ago link

It's not about winning. It's about perpetuating a never ending need for defensive tax dollars.

Tirion , 21 minutes ago link

Not tax dollars, Deep State dollars from the sale of opium to fund black projects.

[Nov 02, 2018] 'We have met the enemy and he is us' Who's really 'undermining' US democracy asks Stephen Cohen

Notable quotes:
"... War with Russia? From Putin and Ukraine To Trump and Russiagate ..."
"... undermine American democracy ..."
"... are engaging in an elaborate campaign of 'information warfare' to interfere with the American midterm elections ..."
"... public evidence ..."
"... arsenal of disruption capabilities... to sow havoc on election day ..."
"... Kremlin propaganda ..."
"... portraying Russian and Syrian government forces favorably as they battled 'terrorists' in what US officials for years have portrayed as a legitimate uprising against the authoritarian government of President Bashar al-Assad. ..."
"... Kremlin propaganda ..."
"... what US officials for years have ..."
"... undermining of American democracy ..."
"... We have met the enemy and he is us ..."
"... This article was originally published by The Nation . ..."
Nov 02, 2018 | www.rt.com

Allegations that Russia is still "attacking" US elections, now again in November, could delegitimize our democratic institutions. Summarizing one of the themes in his new book, ' War with Russia? From Putin and Ukraine To Trump and Russiagate ,' Stephen F. Cohen argues that Russiagate allegations of Kremlin attempts to " undermine American democracy " may themselves erode confidence in those institutions.

Ever since Russiagate allegations began to appear more than two years ago, their core narrative has revolved around purported Kremlin attempts to " interfere " in the 2016 US presidential election on behalf of then-candidate Donald Trump. In recent months, a number of leading American media outlets have taken that argument even further, suggesting that Putin's Kremlin actually put Trump in the White House and now is similarly trying to affect the November 6 midterm elections, particularly House contests, on behalf of Trump and the Republican Party. According to a page-one New York Times "report," for example, Putin's agents " are engaging in an elaborate campaign of 'information warfare' to interfere with the American midterm elections ."

Despite well-documented articles by Gareth Porter and Aaron Mate effectively dismantling these allegations about 2016 and 2018, the mainstream media continues to promote them. The occasionally acknowledged lack of " public evidence " is sometimes cited as itself evidence of a deep Russian conspiracy, of the Kremlin's " arsenal of disruption capabilities... to sow havoc on election day ." (See the examples cited by Alan MacLeod .)

Lost in these reckless allegations is the long-term damage they may themselves do to American democracy. Consider the following possibilities:

Even though still unproven, charges that the Kremlin put Trump in the White House have cast a large shadow of illegitimacy over his presidency and thus over the institution of the presidency itself. This is unlikely to end entirely with Trump. If the Kremlin had the power to affect the outcome of one presidential election, why not another one, whether won by a Republican or a Democrat? The 2016 presidential election was the first time such an allegation became widespread in American political history, but it may not be the last.

Now the same shadow looms over the November 6 elections and thus over the next Congress. If so, in barely two years, the legitimacy of two fundamental institutions of American representative democracy will have been challenged, also for the first time in history.

And if US elections are really so vulnerable to Russian " meddling ," what does this say about faith in American elections more generally? How many losing candidates on November 6 will resist blaming the Kremlin? Two years after the last presidential election, Hillary Clinton and her adamant supporters still have not been able to do so.

We know from critical reporting and from recent opinion surveys that the origins and continuing fixation on the Russiagate scandal since 2016 have been primarily a product of US political-intelligence-media elites. It did not spring from the American people – from voters themselves. Thus a Gallup poll recently showed that 58 percent of those surveyed wanted improved relations with Russia. And other surveys have shown that Russiagate is scarcely an issue at all for likely voters on November 6. Nonetheless, it remains a front-page issue for US elites.

Indeed, Russiagate has revealed the low esteem that many US political-media elites have for American voters – for their ability to make discerning, rational electoral decisions, which is the bedrock assumption of representative democracy. It is worth noting that this disdain for rank-and-file citizens echoes a longstanding attitude of the Russian political intelligentsia, as recently expressed in the argument by a prominent Moscow policy intellectual that Russian authoritarianism springs not from the nation's elites but from the "genetic code" of its people .

US elites seem to have a similar skepticism about – or contempt for – American voters' capacity to make discerning electoral choices. Presumably this is a factor behind the current proliferation of programs – official, corporate, and private – to introduce elements of censorship in the nation's " media space " in order to filter out " Kremlin propaganda ." Here, it also seems, elites will decide what constitutes such " propaganda ."

The Washington Post recently gave such an example : " portraying Russian and Syrian government forces favorably as they battled 'terrorists' in what US officials for years have portrayed as a legitimate uprising against the authoritarian government of President Bashar al-Assad. " That is, thinking that the forces of Putin and Assad were fighting terrorists, even if closer to the truth, is " Kremlin propaganda " because it is at variance with " what US officials for years have " been saying. This was the guiding principle of Soviet censorship as well.

If the American electoral process, presidency, legislature, and voter cannot be fully trusted, what is left of American democracy? Admittedly, this is still only a trend, a foreboding, but one with no end in sight. If it portends the " undermining of American democracy ," our elites will blame the Kremlin. But they best recall the discovery of Walt Kelly's legendary cartoon figure Pogo: " We have met the enemy and he is us ."

Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University and a contributing editor of The Nation.

This article was originally published by The Nation .

Read more US invents new 'meddling' charges to play 'Russia card' ahead of midterms - Moscow FM official US Congress has no Russian policy other than sanctions' – Stephen Cohen Suspicious packages could be 'Russian operation,' says MSNBC host

[Nov 02, 2018] The US is using every tool to destabilize russia and change the goverment into Yeltsin style comprador elite

Nov 02, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Kalen Blaine8 months ago

Hitler and Napoleon learned that it is impossible to conquer Russia size of continent of militarily impossible weather with now a network of underground fortifications, tunnels that cannot be nuked.

There is no conquering Russia with measly million soldiers west could at best deploy for their sure deaths. Hence no western strategist plan for that and so the idea of Russia responding to conventional attack with nuke was a propaganda aim to end the conversation about that absurd, no sides really considers, but is used to spread fear.

US may attack Russia with nukes but no strategic goal would be achieved by that while retaliation would have been devastating.

Even conventional attack on Russia is absurd. Poland 50k 5k offensive capability, All Baltic states 10k, Slovakia 5k, Hungary 9k facing what?

Russian allies: Donbas rebels 40k war hardened rebel soldiers would be hard to beat; Belarus 250k highly trained soldiers, fully integrated Air, Space, Ground and electronic warfare with all newest Russian toys, while entire army of 2 millions. Russia 3-5 million military can call at least 10 millions will maintain air and space superiority over their territory , digged in while invaders are exposed.

There is will be no invasion of Russia only intimidation of the elites to submit to US political and economic dictates. Also there is no conquering China as well. Not possible.

The only nuke war can occur when global elite will be losing grip on power and going down in flames in socialist revolution and only to take entire humanity with them to hell.

Blaine OL8 months ago
If faced with an existential conventional attack, Russian doctrine calls for nuclear response. It would be silly to think they'd limit it to low yield missiles in staging areas in E Europe. They WILL hit continental US and the Pentagon whizkids know this.

The US is using every tool to destabilize them for a change of government, and all the provocations to now are not on a scale of all out war. It does serve to build a compelling narrative that allows no discussion when laws are finally passed limiting freedom of information and association.

The US citizen is the real target here.

OL Blaine8 months ago
I see it as the real target being all the natural resources and cheap but skilled labor in the former USSR (on top of bringing down a competitor), and the US population just stading in the way because they're not brainwashed enough for the generals taste.
The capitalist economies can't work in autarchy, they need to get more markets, they need to bring down competitors. or they fall themselves, If you place the control of the population at the top of their priorities, how do you explain the invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq etc ? How do you explain the mamoth military budget ? is it just in case a whole US city turns communist and they need to reduce it to ashes ?
Blaine OL8 months ago
First they would have to make sure the rest of the country didn't learn about the one that went communist. Then instead of reducing it to ashes they would use the association trees they have built tracking internet and social media to identify and round up the ringleaders. Rest of the country might never even know what had happened between partial blackouts and misinformation.

Don't get me wrong, the US would love to replace partial state control of key Russian industries with Western banking interests and have a free hand with the natural resources. This is certainly the long term plan. But...in the near term they have to reestablish control of the narrative.

The military budget is wealth transfer to folks who enjoy and agitate for any war. Afghanistan was about military contracts, hydrocarbons and opium, the Taliban had to go. Iraq (and Syria) are a problem for Israel - problem solved. Libya was setting up an alternative banking system and possessed attractive gold reserves.

OL Blaine8 months ago
Afghanistan was a good occasion for military contracts, but hydrocarbons of the whole region, (especially the project for a pipeline through the caspian sea that Russia and Iran opposed), were a bigger reason.

Why israel so important to the US ? because the resources of the whole region, and because they could threaten the suez canal.

etc

[Nov 02, 2018] The Russian meddling fraud Weapons of mass destruction revisited by Andre Damon and Joseph Kishore

20 February 2018
Notable quotes:
"... World Socialist Web Site ..."
"... Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, who rushed off a column before he could have examined Powell's allegations, declared, "The evidence he presented to the United Nations -- some of it circumstantial, some of it absolutely bone-chilling in its detail -- had to prove to anyone that Iraq not only hasn't accounted for its weapons of mass destruction but without a doubt still retains them. Only a fool -- or possibly a Frenchman -- could conclude otherwise." ..."
"... New York Times ..."
"... While the present campaign over Russian "meddling" has much in common with the claims about "weapons of mass destruction," the implications are far more ominous. The "war on terror" is exhausted, in part because the US is allied in Syria and elsewhere with the Islamic fundamentalist organizations it was purportedly fighting. ..."
"... The Mueller indictment is intended to provide an appropriate "narrative" for military aggression motivated by different aims. At the same time, it serves as a ready-made pretext for censorship and domestic repression that goes far beyond the extraordinary measures adopted under the framework of the "war on terror." Russia, the American people are supposed to believe, uses domestic social opposition to weaken the United States, rendering political dissent effectively treasonous. ..."
"... Even more extreme measures are being planned and implemented, motivated by the basic principle that the greater the lie, the more aggressive the methods required to enforce it. The target of the repressive measures is not Russia, but the American working class. The ruling elite is well aware that as it plots war abroad, it stands upon a social powder keg at home. ..."
Nov 02, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Fifteen years ago, on February 5, 2003, against the backdrop of worldwide mass demonstrations in opposition to the impending invasion of Iraq, then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell argued before the United Nations that the government of Saddam Hussein was rapidly stockpiling "weapons of mass destruction," which Iraq, together with Al Qaeda, was planning to use against the United States.

In what was the climax of the Bush administration's campaign to justify war, Powell held up a model vial of anthrax, showed aerial photographs and presented detailed slides purporting to show the layout of Iraq's "mobile production facilities."

There was only one problem with Powell's presentation: it was a lie from beginning to end.

The World Socialist Web Site , in an editorial board statement published the next day, declared the brief for war "the latest act in a diplomatic charade laced with cynicism and deceit." War against Iraq, the WSWS wrote, was not about "weapons of mass destruction." Rather, "it is a war of colonial conquest, driven by a series of economic and geo-political aims that center on the seizure of Iraq's oil resources and the assertion of US global hegemony."

The response of the American media, and particularly its liberal wing, was very different. Powell's litany of lies was presented as the gospel truth, an unanswerable indictment of the Iraqi government.

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, who rushed off a column before he could have examined Powell's allegations, declared, "The evidence he presented to the United Nations -- some of it circumstantial, some of it absolutely bone-chilling in its detail -- had to prove to anyone that Iraq not only hasn't accounted for its weapons of mass destruction but without a doubt still retains them. Only a fool -- or possibly a Frenchman -- could conclude otherwise."

The editorial board of the New York Times -- whose reporter Judith Miller was at the center of the Bush administration's campaign of lies -- declared one week later that there "is ample evidence that Iraq has produced highly toxic VX nerve gas and anthrax and has the capacity to produce a lot more. It has concealed these materials, lied about them, and more recently failed to account for them to the current inspectors."

Subsequent developments would prove who was lying. The Bush administration and its media accomplices conspired to drag the US into a war that led to the deaths of more than one million people -- a colossal crime for which no one has yet been held accountable.

Fifteen years later, the script has been pulled from the closet and dusted off. This time, instead of "weapons of mass destruction," it is "Russian meddling in the US elections." Once again, assertions by US intelligence agencies and operatives are treated as fact. Once again, the media is braying for war. Once again, the cynicism and hypocrisy of the American government -- which intervenes in the domestic politics of every state on the planet and has been relentlessly expanding its operations in Eastern Europe -- are ignored.

The argument presented by the American media is that the alleged existence of a fly-by-night operation, employing a few hundred people, with a budget amounting to a minuscule fraction of total election spending in the US, constitutes a "a virtual war against the United States through 21st-century tools of disinformation and propaganda" ( New York Times ).

In the countless articles and media commentary along this vein, nowhere can one find a serious analysis of the Mueller indictment of the Russians itself, let alone an examination of the real motivations behind the US campaign against Russia. The fact that the indictment does not even involve the Russian government or state officials is treated as a nonissue.

While the present campaign over Russian "meddling" has much in common with the claims about "weapons of mass destruction," the implications are far more ominous. The "war on terror" is exhausted, in part because the US is allied in Syria and elsewhere with the Islamic fundamentalist organizations it was purportedly fighting.

More fundamentally, the quarter-century of invasions and occupations that followed the dissolution of the Soviet Union is rapidly developing into a conflict between major nuclear-armed powers. The effort of the American ruling class to offset its economic decline using military force is leading mankind to the brink of another world war. As the National Defense Strategy, published less than a month before the release of the indictments, declared, "Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in US national security."

Russia is seen by dominant sections of the military-intelligence apparatus as a principal obstacle to US efforts to control the Middle East and to take on China -- and it is this that has been at the center of the conflict between the Democratic Party and the Trump administration.

There have already been a series of clashes in recent weeks between the world's two largest nuclear-armed powers. On February 3, a Russian close-air support fighter was shot down by al-Nusra Front fighters, which are indirectly allied with the United States in its proxy war against the government of Bashar Al-Assad. Then, on February 7 and 8, Russian soldiers were killed in US air and artillery barrages in Deir Ezzor, in what survivors called a "massacre." Both the US and Russian governments have sought to downplay the scale of the clash, but some sources have reported the number killed to be in the hundreds.

Even as US and Russian forces clashed in Syria, representatives of the Kremlin and the Pentagon sparred at the Munich security conference this weekend over the deployment and development of nuclear weapons. While accusing Russia of violating the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Washington this month issued a nuclear posture review envisioning a massive expansion of the deployment of battlefield nuclear weapons.

The Mueller indictment is intended to provide an appropriate "narrative" for military aggression motivated by different aims. At the same time, it serves as a ready-made pretext for censorship and domestic repression that goes far beyond the extraordinary measures adopted under the framework of the "war on terror." Russia, the American people are supposed to believe, uses domestic social opposition to weaken the United States, rendering political dissent effectively treasonous.

Already, this campaign has led the major US technology firms to implement far-reaching measures to censor political speech on the Internet. Google is manipulating its search results and Facebook is manipulating its news feeds, while seeking to turn the social media platform it has developed into an instrument of corporate-state surveillance.

Even more extreme measures are being planned and implemented, motivated by the basic principle that the greater the lie, the more aggressive the methods required to enforce it. The target of the repressive measures is not Russia, but the American working class. The ruling elite is well aware that as it plots war abroad, it stands upon a social powder keg at home.

The working class must draw the necessary conclusions from its past experiences. In 2003, the Democratic Party supported the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq and provided it with the necessary political cover. Now, the Democrats, along with their appendages among the organizations of the upper-middle class, are at the forefront of the campaign for war, employing neo-McCarthyite tactics to criminalize opposition while seeking to subordinate all popular opposition to the Trump administration to its right-wing and militarist agenda.

The urgent task is to mobilize the working class, in the United States and internationally, against the entire apparatus of the capitalist ruling elite. The fight against war and dictatorship is at the same time the fight against inequality and exploitation, for the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of a global socialist society.

Andre Damon and Joseph Kishore