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Obama: a yet another Neocon

News Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Recommended Links Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton New American Militarism Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS
Obama, the Prince of Bait-and-Switch Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Robert Kagan Samantha Power Wolfowitz Doctrine
 "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Hillary Clinton email scandal Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Madeleine Albright Color revolutions 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 The ability and willingness to employ savage methods Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism  IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement
Mayberry Machiavellians John Dilulio letter Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Big Uncle is Watching You Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization Anatol Leiven on American Messianism
Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization Guardian paper LA Times Paper by Neal Gabler Washington Post paper by Mike Allen  From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Hong Cong Color Revolution of 2014
Mayberry Machiavellians Corporatism Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few American Exceptionalism Politically Incorrect Humor Etc


It would be wrong to excuse the inaction of the Obama DOJ and SEC crews as being the result of some larger “corrosion of our collective values.” The capos in those crews are the people doing the corroding, and not one of them was forced to (not) do what they did. Notice that every last one of the initial bunch is presently being paid, by Wall Street, to the tune of millions of dollars per year. They opted to cover up crimes and take a pay-off in exchange. And they are owed punishment.
According to Wikipedia

Bait-and-switch is a form of fraud used in retail sales but also employed in other contexts. First, customers are "baited" by merchants' advertising products or services at a low price, but when customers visit the store, they discover that the advertised goods are not available, or the customers are pressured by sales people to consider similar, but higher priced items ("switching").

While used by all presidential candidate, Obama can be called Prince of bait and switch tactics. Even "Slick Willy"  with his "it's economy stupid" did not reach the higher of betrayal of the electorate delivered by Obama  with his famous and completely fraudulent "change we can believe it".   Nicknamed "Barack CIA 0bama" and 'teleprompter" he actually represents the second president closely allied with CIA (the first was Bush the Older). 

Actually it is proper not to view Obama as a person. Obama is a brand, a puppet that was brought to power by the pure force of advertizing. Advertising is the rule of the political game in the USA probably since Reagan. During presidencial elections cycle Obama managed to outspend republican McCain (the darling id MIC) mostly due to financial industry contributions. Tell me who is paying for your election and I will tell what policies you will pursue ;-)

And Obama campaign once again demonstrated old truth: Democratic Party just plays the role of destroyer of radical left, while Republican Party plays the same role for radical right. This provides kind of political stability. to a certan point. See Trump.

And Obama was preselected by the same deep state handlers, that preselected Bill and Hillary clinton. All talks about democracy after 1963, when "shadow government" came in power in the USA is akin to advertizing trick. All the US people are allowed to do is to confirm one two preselected by deep state figures, providing political legitimacy.

Obama has close ties with the "deep state" are undeniable. Historically Obama spend some time working in Business International Corporation, the CIA outlet (Wikipedia)

In the late summer of 1983, future United States President Barack Obama interviewed for a job at Business International Corporation. He worked there for "little more than year."[3] As a research associate in its financial services division, he edited Financing Foreign Operations, a global reference service, and wrote for Business International Money Report, a weekly financial newsletter.[4] His responsibilities included "interviewing business experts, researching trends in foreign exchange, following market developments. . . . He wrote about currency swaps and leverage leases. . . . Obama also helped write financial reports on Mexico and Brazil.[5]

See also Verified CIA Front, Business International Corp, Paid for Obama’s Columbia College Tuition Export Blueprint

After graduating from Columbia University in 1983, Barack Obama went to work for a firm called Business International Corporation (BIC), a firm that was linked to economic intelligence gathering for the CIA.

For one year, Obama worked as a researcher in BIC’s financial services division where he wrote for two BIC publications, Financing Foreign Operations and Business International Money Report, a weekly newsletter. An informed source has told WMR that Obama’s tuition debt at Columbia was paid off by BIC.

In addition, WMR has learned that when Obama lived in Indonesia with his mother and his adoptive father Lolo Soetoro, the 20-year-old Obama, who was known as “Barry Soetoro,” traveled to Pakistan in 1981 and was hosted by the family of Muhammadmian Soomro, a Pakistani Sindhi who became acting President of Pakistan after the resignation of General Pervez Musharraf on August 18, 2008. WMR was told that the Obama/Soetoro trip to Pakistan, ostensibly to go “partridge hunting” with the Soomros, related to unknown CIA business.

The covert CIA program to assist the Afghan mujaheddin was already well underway at the time and Pakistan was the major base of operations for the CIA’s support. Obama also reportedly traveled to India, again, on unknown business for U.S. intelligence. WMR has been told by knowledgeable sources that Obama has, in the past, traveled on at least three passports: U.S., Indonesian, and British. BIC also maintained a European subsidiary, Business International S.A., in Geneva. BIC had long been associated with CIA activities since being founded by Eldridge Haynes, a self-professed liberal Democrat. The BIC headquarters was located at the prestigious address of 1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in Manhattan. BIC held a series of off-the-record, no press, meetings between top U.S. business executives and top government officials, including the President, and the Secretaries of State, Defense, Treasury, Commerce, and Labor; the Attorney General, Senate leadership, and the heads of the Export-Import Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. BIC held international meetings in locations like Brussels and Mexico City.

In 1986, BIC was bought by the Economist Group in London and its operations were merged with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). There have been a number of reports that the EIU works as closely with Britain’s MI-6 intelligence service as BIC once worked with or for the CIA. One of BIC’s directors was the late Lord Pilkington, who was also a director of the Bank of England. Obama’s work for a company having ties to the CIA barely registered a blip on the 2008 presidential campaign radar screen. At the very least, Obama helped in providing economic intelligence to the CIA as a contract employee. At most, Obama was, like previous BIC employees who operated abroad for the CIA, a full-fledged non-official cover (NOC) agent. Since President Obama has backpedaled on CIA renditions and torture, as well as warrantless electronic surveillance by U.S. intelligence, he owes the American people a full explanation of the circumstances behind his being hired by BIC, what his job actually entailed, and whether he continued to have a relationship with BIC or any other CIA operation while attending Harvard Law School and thereafter.

In foreign policy Obama was simply a close variation of Bush II, which can be called Bush III. He behaved like a stanch neocon (no unlike Hillary Clinton to whom he "outsourced" his foreign policy during his first term in the office). He was a firm believer in American Exceptionalism (which is a flavor of radical nationalism), in the necessity of the US global dominance at all costs, in the maintaince and expansion of global neoliberal empire led by the USA. During his presidency he never got tied of imperial adventures and bombing brown people (The Bush-Obama-Neocon Doctrine):

It’s official: When it comes to foreign policy, Barack Obama’s first term is really George W. Bush’s third. Bill Kristol, son of the late neoconservative godfather Irving Kristol and editor of the Weekly Standard, declared that Obama is “a born-again neocon” during a March 30 appearance on the Fox News Channel’s Red Eye w/Greg Gutfeld. Kristol’s remark came in the context of a discussion of Obama’s consultation with Kristol and other influential columnists prior to his March 28 address to the nation about his military intervention in Libya. Gutfeld quizzed Kristol about the President’s asking him for “help” with his speech. Kristol denied that Obama had sought his help. Instead, Kristol said,

In case anyone missed the significance of Kristol’s comment, Gutfeld made it clear: “We’ve got the drones. We’ve got military tribunals. We’ve got Gitmo. We’re bombing Libya. People who voted for Obama got four more years of Bush.”

Kristol agreed, adding: “What’s the joke — they told me if I voted for McCain, we’d be going to war in a third Muslim country…. I voted for McCain and we’re doing it.”

Of course, to Kristol, calling someone a neocon is a compliment. Indeed, Kristol praised Obama’s speech on the Weekly Standard blog, saying the President “had rejoined — or joined — the historical American foreign policy mainstream.” The speech was “reassuring,” Kristol explained, saying, “The president was unapologetic, freedom-agenda-embracing, and didn’t shrink from defending the use of force or from appealing to American values and interests.” In other words, it was a neocon speech, cloaking the use of violence in the language of liberty and treating the U.S. military as the President’s personal mercenaries to reshape the globe rather than as defenders of the territorial United States.

This is not the first time Kristol and other neocons have lauded Obama’s foreign policy. After Obama made a speech in 2009 announcing he was sending more troops to Afghanistan — that is, he was replicating Bush’s Iraq “surge” in another location — Michael Goldfarb, a Weekly Standard writer, asked Kristol for his reaction to the speech. “He said he would have framed a few things differently,” Goldfarb related, “but his basic response was: ‘All hail Obama!’”

Similarly, when the President last August claimed that “the American combat mission in Iraq has ended” while asserting that “our commitment to Iraq’s future is not” ending, New York Post resident neocon John Podhoretz applauded Obama for his “rather neoconservative speech, in the sense that neoconservatism has argued for aggressive American involvement in the world both for the world’s sake and for the sake of extending American freedoms in order to enhance and preserve American security.” [Emphasis in original.]

Sheldon Richman, writing in Freedom Daily, reminded readers of just exactly what neocon policies have wrought:

Just to be clear, the neocons were among the key architects of the war against Iraq in 1991, followed by the embargo that killed half a million children. That war and embargo set the stage for the 9/11 attacks, which were then used to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq (an ambition long predating 9/11) and the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, American’s [sic] longest military engagement — all of which have killed more than a million people, wreaked political havoc, and made life in those countries (and elsewhere) miserable. Let’s not forget the drone assassination and special ops programs being run in a dozen Muslim countries. The neocon achievement also has helped drive the American people deep into debt.

Nice crowd Obama is hanging with these days. And that’s no exaggeration. Frederick Kagan, one of the top neocon brains and a signatory of the Project of the New American Century imperial manifesto, now works for Gen. David Petraeus.

Barack Obama, the candidate of “change we can believe in,” turned out to be the President of “more of the same.” Lest there remain any doubt about this, one need only turn to establishment news organ Time magazine. There Mark Halperin, explaining “why Obama’s Libya address was strong,” states quite bluntly: “George W. Bush could have delivered every sentence.”

In ofreign policy the crown achivement of Obama was putch in Ukraine, which brought in power far right government of Western Ukrainian nationalists, destroyed the Ukranina economy, pluging the majority of population into abysmal, Central-african-level poverty (less then $2 a day) and unleashed civil war in Donbass region. But stragically it cus the most important of post  Soviet Republic from Russia and that all that matters for Obama and his handlers. 

In internal, domestic  policy Obama was iether criminally negligent or criminally complicit , serving as a stooge of financial oligarchy. Essentially trying to imitate worst features of Clinton administration (despite deep hate between Obama and Clinton families, especially Michelle and Hillary; the later called Hillary Hilderbeast). he continued but is much slower page (as after 2008 the wind changed) the same deregulation policies and destruction the remnants of the New Deal.

The crown achievement of Obama is the push for TPP, which will impoverish working Americans, proliferate McJobs and contractor jobs instead of normal full-time well paying jobs (that were the cornerstone of the New Deal) and enlarge the third country that exists within the USA today (50 million Americans who are on food stamps are in reality not a regular "upscale" US citizens, that world wants to imitate, but a citizens of this third world country within the USA).  In other words he was a selloff. The neoliberal transformation of the economy that all three last administrations advocated proved to be a cruel joke.

If you do not pay people well they can't buy the products on their income and go deeply into debts, trying to maintain thier sliding standard of living.  While debt is freely available under neoliberalism to "shmacks" (lower 99% of the US population; the upper 0.1% is called  the "Maters of the Universe"), people can carry only so much of it and at some point the system goes into deep crisis and debt reached the critical mass and sink the economy. 

So you get into "let them eat cakes" situation, in which Obama and Hillary Clinton found themselves during the Democratic convention, when Sanders supporters walked out, it is understandable why they unleashed the new McCarthyism campaign against Russia. They faced the problem of  Demexit and fueling anti-Russian hysteria was a convenient way of offloading the responsibility for this political fiasco and preventing Demexit  from becoming a catastrophe for the neoliberalized by Bill Clinton Democratic Party, which betrayed its working class and lower middle class voters in favor of Wall street financial oligarchy.   

The rise of Trump and Bernie Sanders in the recent presidential election also signify the crisis of neoliberal governance within the USA. People simply became fed of immigration,. globalization and, most important, destruction of jobs and the standard of living for the majority of the population.

People are just fed up with the establishment and the prince of "bait and switch Obama, despite  much better  popularly ratings at the end of his presidency, he is as a disastrous president as Buss II was. Just with slightly darker skin, and without the same speech mistakes. Although it is difficult to say for any teleprompter loving President what was his actual level of conversation. Obama mostly avoid "open questions" interviews during his presidency which suggest that he was afraid of such encounters, where teleprompter is not available. 

What features defines the neocon foreign policy

 

The essence of imperial hubris is the belief that one's country is omnipotent; that the country can shape and create reality. The country's main aspiration is to create clients, dependencies and as the Godfather Zbigniew Bzrezinski candidly put it, "vassals".

Such a mindset does not just appreciate the reality of contingency; it also does not appreciate the nature of complex systems. The country's elites believe that both soft and hard power should be able to ensure the desired outcomes. But resistance to imperial designs and blowback from the imperial power's activities induce cognitive dissonance. Instead of such cognitive crises leading to a return to reality, they lead to denial amongst this elite. This elite lives in a bubble. Their discourse is intellectually incestuous and anybody that threatens this bubble is ostracized. Limits are set to what can be debated.

That is why realists like John Mearsheimer, Steve Walt, Michael Scheuer and Stephen Cohen are ignored by this elite even though their ideas are very germane. If other countries don't bow down to their dictates, they have only a combination of the following responses: sanctions, regime change and chaos. The paradox is that the more they double down with their delusions the more the country's power continues to decline. My only hope is that this doubling down will not take the world down with it.

Makutwa Omutiti | Aug 4, 2017 3:51:17 PM | 25

The neoconservative impulse became visible in modern American foreign policy since Reagan but 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 glories 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 corporation and which are a barrier of spread of neoliberalism and extension of global, US dominated neoliberal empire. It is extremely jingoistic creed.

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. It also led to destabilization of the whole regions, creation of political Islam and at the end 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 in Russia and Europe.  In Russia neocons supported radical Islam and Wahhabism preaching extremists (sponsored by Saudi Arabia and Gulf monarchies), considering it the lesser evil, and were trying to dismember Russia.  In Ukraine neocons supported far right nationalists with distinct national socialism leanings and history of crime against humanity (Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia - Wikipedia), which make 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 $3 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 they 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 bloating government bureaucracy. 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. 

And 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).   which revived the threat of nuclear war with Russia (and probably was done in the name of US security, as neocons understand it ;-). Moreover it 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 are playing with fire. And enjoying every minute of it. Just look at Robert Kagan (the husband of Victoria Nuland, who was appointed as advisor to State Department by Hillary Clinton) face 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.  

The idea  that disagreement about this postulate is tantamount to defeatism is simply silly. "Global unilateralism" is capable to bankrupt the USA.  Democracy promotion was a nice racket until probably 2008, but now way too many countries understand what it is about. The same is true about color revolutions.

It created 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 are represented by Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton.


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[Oct 15, 2017] Is Trump the Heir to Reagan? by Patrick J. Buchanan

Bastard neoliberalism by Trump (and Bannon) are inconsistent. You can't be half pregnant -- to be a neoliberal (promote deregulation, regressive taxes) and be anti-immigration and anti-globalist. In this sense words Trump is doomed: neoliberal are determined to get rid of him.
Reagan was a former governor of California before becoming the President. hardly a complete outsider. Trump was an outsider more similar to Barak Obama in a sense that he has no political record and can ride on backlash against neoliberal globalization, especially outsourcing and offshoring and unlimited immigration, as well as ride anti-globalism sentiments and popular protest against foreign wars. Only quickly betraying those promised afterward. Much like king of "bait and switch" Obama .
Notable quotes:
"... Among the signature issues of Trumpian populism is economic nationalism, a new trade policy designed to prosper Americans first. ..."
"... Reagan preached free trade, but when Harley-Davidson was in danger of going under because of Japanese dumping of big bikes, he slammed a 50 percent tariff on Japanese motorcycles. Though a free trader by philosophy, Reagan was at heart an economic patriot. ..."
"... He accepted an amnesty written by Congress for 3 million people in the country illegally, but Reagan also warned prophetically that a country that can't control its borders isn't really a country any more. ..."
"... Reagan and Trump both embraced the Eisenhower doctrine of "peace through strength." And, like Ike, both built up the military. ..."
"... Both also believed in cutting tax rates to stimulate the economy and balance the federal budget through rising revenues rather than cutting programs like Medicare and Social Security. ..."
"... Both believed in engaging with the superpower rival of the day -- the Soviet Union in Reagan's day, Russia and China in Trump's time. ..."
"... As Ingraham writes, Trumpism is rooted as much in the populist-nationalist campaigns of the 1990s, and post-Cold War issues as economic patriotism, border security, immigration control and "America First," as it is in the Reaganite issues of the 1980s. ..."
"... Coming up on one year since his election, Trump is besieged by a hostile press and united Democratic Party. This city hates him. While his executive actions are impressive, his legislative accomplishments are not. His approval ratings have lingered in the mid-30s. He has lost half a dozen senior members of his original White House staff, clashed openly with his own Cabinet and is at war with GOP leaders on the Hill. ..."
"... And both are fans of the tinkle-down theory of economics, where the govt cuts taxes on the rich and increases them on the poor and middle class, since the rich will do a better job of spreading around the extra money they get to keep, thereby stoking the economy, supposedly. Or as 'Poppy' Bush called it, "voodoo economics." ..."
"... It's a failed regressive tax program that only creates more billionaires while the number of poor swells, due to an influx of the steadily declining middle-class. ..."
"... Bizarrely, comically ignorant of reality. Though the really bizarre thing is the degree to which the same obtusely ignorant world-view permeates the establishment media and the political establishment. ..."
"... There is arguably a fundamental difference here, that in Reagan's day there was a clear ideological threat from the Soviet Union, which was still (albeit increasingly nominally) in the grip of an aggressively destabilising universalist ideology, communism. Reagan's opposition to the Soviet Union was very much bound up in resistance to that ideology, even if that resistance was often as much a pretext as a real motive. ..."
"... Today neither Russia nor China subscribes to any such universalist ideology. It is the US, today, that seeks to impose its liberal democratic political correctness ideologies and its manufactured taboos upon the world and which harasses and menaces any country that tries to live differently. ..."
"... As for Trump supposedly being wrapped up in "America First", that's particularly comical this week as he demonstrates that his idea of "America First" is acting as Israel's bitch, and as he makes ever louder noises about undermining the Iran deal – a policy as clearly counterproductive to any interest plausibly attributable to the American nation (as opposed to the identity lobbies that run the US government politics and media) as it is self-evidently in the self-perceived interests of the Israel Lobby and the foreign country that lobby serves. ..."
"... Trump is an egotistical jackass, nothing else. A liar from the git-go, and a completely ineffective leader, ideologue and President. He's not going to last much longer. I will take note that he did, temporarily, save us from the madness of the Hillary moiety. But, he has molted into a complete fuckup. ..."
"... Goodbye, good riddance. Let's get ready to deal with the next wacko -- Pence. ..."
"... you're forgetting that Trump wasn't a war monger while on the campaign trail, far from it. Which is the only reason he won the election. In other words he fooled just enough people (like you and me) long enough to get elected. Same thing happened with peace candidate, and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Hussein Obama. It's clearly a rigged process. ..."
Oct 15, 2017 | www.unz.com

... ... ...

Both men were outsiders, and neither a career politician. Raised Democratic, Reagan had been a Hollywood actor, union leader and voice of GE, before running for governor of California.

Trump is out of Queens, a builder-businessman in a Democratic city whose Republican credentials were suspect at best when he rode down that elevator at Trump Tower. Both took on the Republican establishment of their day, and humiliated it.

Among the signature issues of Trumpian populism is economic nationalism, a new trade policy designed to prosper Americans first.

Reagan preached free trade, but when Harley-Davidson was in danger of going under because of Japanese dumping of big bikes, he slammed a 50 percent tariff on Japanese motorcycles. Though a free trader by philosophy, Reagan was at heart an economic patriot.

He accepted an amnesty written by Congress for 3 million people in the country illegally, but Reagan also warned prophetically that a country that can't control its borders isn't really a country any more.

Reagan and Trump both embraced the Eisenhower doctrine of "peace through strength." And, like Ike, both built up the military.

Both also believed in cutting tax rates to stimulate the economy and balance the federal budget through rising revenues rather than cutting programs like Medicare and Social Security.

Both believed in engaging with the superpower rival of the day -- the Soviet Union in Reagan's day, Russia and China in Trump's time.

And both were regarded in this capital city with a cosmopolitan condescension bordering on contempt. "An amiable dunce" said a Great Society Democrat of Reagan.

The awesome victories Reagan rolled up, a 44-state landslide in 1980 and a 49-state landslide in 1984, induced some second thoughts among Beltway elites about whether they truly spoke for America. Trump's sweep of the primaries and startling triumph in the Electoral College caused the same consternation.

However, as the Great Depression, New Deal and World War II represented a continental divide in history between what came before and what came after, so, too, did the end of the Cold War and the Reagan era.

As Ingraham writes, Trumpism is rooted as much in the populist-nationalist campaigns of the 1990s, and post-Cold War issues as economic patriotism, border security, immigration control and "America First," as it is in the Reaganite issues of the 1980s.

Which bring us to the present, with our billionaire president, indeed, at the barricades.

The differences between Trump in his first year and Reagan in 1981 are stark. Reagan had won a landslide. The attempt on his life in April and the grace with which he conducted himself had earned him a place in the hearts of his countrymen. He not only showed spine in giving the air traffic controllers 48 hours to get back to work, and then discharging them when they defied him, he enacted the largest tax cut in U.S. history with the aid of boll weevil Democrats in the House.

Coming up on one year since his election, Trump is besieged by a hostile press and united Democratic Party. This city hates him. While his executive actions are impressive, his legislative accomplishments are not. His approval ratings have lingered in the mid-30s. He has lost half a dozen senior members of his original White House staff, clashed openly with his own Cabinet and is at war with GOP leaders on the Hill.

Greg Bacon , Website October 13, 2017 at 10:24 am GMT

And both are fans of the tinkle-down theory of economics, where the govt cuts taxes on the rich and increases them on the poor and middle class, since the rich will do a better job of spreading around the extra money they get to keep, thereby stoking the economy, supposedly. Or as 'Poppy' Bush called it, "voodoo economics."

It's a failed regressive tax program that only creates more billionaires while the number of poor swells, due to an influx of the steadily declining middle-class.

The only parts of the economy it helps are the builders of luxury mansions, antique and pricey art dealers, and the makers of luxury autos and private jets.

Randal , October 13, 2017 at 12:24 pm GMT
@Mark James

when the US Government is trying to prevent alien forces from interfering in our electoral process

Bizarrely, comically ignorant of reality. Though the really bizarre thing is the degree to which the same obtusely ignorant world-view permeates the establishment media and the political establishment.

Two pieces here at Unz you ought to read, and fully take on board the implications of, if you want to even begin the process of grasping reality, rather than living in the manufactured fantasy you appear to inhabit at the moment:

Randal , October 13, 2017 at 12:53 pm GMT

Both believed in engaging with the superpower rival of the day -- the Soviet Union in Reagan's day, Russia and China in Trump's time.

There is arguably a fundamental difference here, that in Reagan's day there was a clear ideological threat from the Soviet Union, which was still (albeit increasingly nominally) in the grip of an aggressively destabilising universalist ideology, communism. Reagan's opposition to the Soviet Union was very much bound up in resistance to that ideology, even if that resistance was often as much a pretext as a real motive.

Today neither Russia nor China subscribes to any such universalist ideology. It is the US, today, that seeks to impose its liberal democratic political correctness ideologies and its manufactured taboos upon the world and which harasses and menaces any country that tries to live differently.

As for Trump supposedly being wrapped up in "America First", that's particularly comical this week as he demonstrates that his idea of "America First" is acting as Israel's bitch, and as he makes ever louder noises about undermining the Iran deal – a policy as clearly counterproductive to any interest plausibly attributable to the American nation (as opposed to the identity lobbies that run the US government politics and media) as it is self-evidently in the self-perceived interests of the Israel Lobby and the foreign country that lobby serves.

Here's the German government being unusually blunt yesterday about the stupidity of the Trump regime's seeming plans in this regard:

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Thursday said that any move by US President Donald Trump's administration to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal would drive a wedge between Europe and the US.

"It's imperative that Europe sticks together on this issue," Gabriel told Germany's RND newspaper group. "We also have to tell the Americans that their behavior on the Iran issue will drive us Europeans into a common position with Russia and China against the USA."

http://www.dw.com/en/germany-warns-donald-trump-against-decertifying-iran-deal/a-40933703

It's difficult to know whether the likes of Gabriel actually believe all the boilerplate nonsense they talk about a supposed Iranian nuclear program – the real reason the European nations want the deal to continue is that it stopped them having to pretend to believe all the outright lies the US told about Iran, and having to kowtow t0 costly and counterproductive sanctions against Iran that did immense general harm for the benefit only of Israel and Saudi Arabia and their US stooges.

The US pulling out of the deal would at least bring that issue of US dishonesty on Iran and past European appeasement of it to a head, I suppose.

John Jeremiah Smith , October 13, 2017 at 4:10 pm GMT
Trump is an egotistical jackass, nothing else. A liar from the git-go, and a completely ineffective leader, ideologue and President. He's not going to last much longer. I will take note that he did, temporarily, save us from the madness of the Hillary moiety. But, he has molted into a complete fuckup.

Goodbye, good riddance. Let's get ready to deal with the next wacko -- Pence. Assuming they won't kill Pence with the same bomb.

YetAnotherAnon , October 13, 2017 at 4:40 pm GMT
@Mark James

"As for Trump I think it's crystal clear his campaign involved the Russians in our election. "

It's crystal clear that some people will believe any crap that The Media Formerly Known As Hillary's broadcast.

reiner Tor , October 13, 2017 at 4:48 pm GMT
@John Jeremiah Smith

I will take note that he did, temporarily, save us from the madness of the Hillary moiety.

Often I feel like it'd be better if Hillary did the same insane policies. It's always worse when our guy does something wrong, and better when the hated enemy does it.

Hillary was a danger that she would start WW3 in Syria, but I don't think we can be certain she'd have started it. Given how risk-averse women are in general, I think the only issue was whether the Russians could've made it clear that shooting at Russian soldiers would mean war with Russia. And I think even Hillary's advisers would've blinked.

On the other hand, I don't think Hillary would be nearly as insane on North Korea or Iran. As a bonus, she would be accelerating the demise of the US, by introducing ever more insane domestic policies, things like gay, transsexual and female quotas in US Special Forces. This would ultimately be a good thing, destroying or weakening US power which is currently only used to evil ends in the world.

reiner Tor , October 13, 2017 at 5:07 pm GMT
@Randal

Unfortunately I can see Orbán and the Poles torpedoing a common EU stance. I'm sure that will be the price for Netanyahu's meeting with the V4 leaders a few months ago.

reiner Tor , October 13, 2017 at 5:15 pm GMT
I think one good thing would be if US conservatives stopped their Reagan worship. He was certainly not a bad person, but he allowed the amnesty to happen, couldn't stop the sanctions on Apartheid South Africa, didn't (or couldn't?) do anything against the MLK cult becoming a state religion, and started the free trade and tax cuts cults, he's also responsible for promoting the neocons to positions of power. So overall he was a mixed bag from a nationalist conservative viewpoint.
Chris Mallory , October 13, 2017 at 5:19 pm GMT
@Mark James

Private citizens are forbidden to ask for help from a foreign country, when the US Government is trying to prevent alien forces from interfering in our electoral process.

You forgot the Clintons, Bush, McCain, Romney, and Obama. China and Israel worked on behalf of all five of them, even though three of them lost

Randal , October 13, 2017 at 5:33 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Yes, that's quite possible, but a common EU stance is not really all that important. What really matters is how far the Germans, and to a lesser extent the less relevant but still big European nations such as France and Italy and the more subservient US tool, the UK, are prepared to continue to kowtow to US and Israeli dishonesty on Iran.

All the signs seem to be that repudiating the deal and trying to return to the days of the aggressive and counter-productive US-imposed sanctions will be a step too far for many of those players.

As a bonus, she would be accelerating the demise of the US, by introducing ever more insane domestic policies, things like gay, transsexual and female quotas in US Special Forces. This would ultimately be a good thing, destroying or weakening US power which is currently only used to evil ends in the world.

Actually I suspect that repudiating the JCPOA, whether openly or by de facto breach, will go immensely farther, and much faster, towards destroying practical US influence and therefore power globally than any of those domestic policies, at least in the short run.

You can see that Trump is at least dimly aware of that likelihood from the way he keeps bottling and postponing the decision, despite his clearly evident and desperate desire to please his pro-Israeli and anti-Iranian advisers and instincts.

John Jeremiah Smith , October 13, 2017 at 6:13 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

On the other hand, I don't think Hillary would be nearly as insane on North Korea or Iran.

An election of Hillary meant open borders. That is official, rapid and deliberate national suicide. All foreign policy issues pale before such a horror.

reiner Tor , October 13, 2017 at 6:43 pm GMT
@John Jeremiah Smith

1) There's a chance foreign policy insanity starts a nuclear war, in which case all domestic policy issues will pale before such horror.

2) The US already has de facto open borders. Why does it matter if it becomes majority nonwhite in 30 or just 20 years?

3) For non-American whites, it's better the earlier the US sphere disintegrates. I bet you it's better for American whites as well. As long as this political/cultural center holds, the rot cannot be stopped.

The Alarmist , October 13, 2017 at 6:55 pm GMT
I watched the movie Independence Day last night: Can we have that guy for President after Trump, or do we have to have an obligatory Democrat (Chelsea Clinton?) President for the next 8 years?
German_reader , October 13, 2017 at 6:57 pm GMT
@John Jeremiah Smith

An election of Hillary meant open borders. That is official, rapid and deliberate national suicide. All foreign policy issues pale before such a horror.

That's understandable, but obviously the calculation must be somewhat different from a non-US perspective. Given how strongly many white Americans are in favor of pro-war policies and mindless Israel worship (how many US blacks or Hispanics care about Israel or confronting Iran?), I'm not even sure nationalists in Europe should really lament the Hispanicization of the US. It might at least have a positive effect in restricting US interventionism and eroding US power. The sooner the US is unable to continue with its self-appointed role as a global redeemer nation, the better.

RadicalCenter , October 13, 2017 at 8:36 pm GMT
@Mark James

Glad you think it's "crystal clear." How about evidence?

nsa , October 13, 2017 at 9:10 pm GMT
History repeats first as tragedy (crushing the spoiled unionized mostly white air traffic controllers), then as farce (crushing the spoiled unionized mostly afro NFL jocks). Reagan was at least an American Firster. Trumpenstein is an obvious traitorous Izzie Firster, with little concern for the so-called deplorables except to convert them into deployables at the service of his jooie sponsors. Maybe Paddy should have titled his screed "Heir to Begin, not Reagan"?
Aren Haich , October 13, 2017 at 9:12 pm GMT
Pat Buchanan points out that " it is far more likely that a major war would do for the Trump presidency and his place in history what it did for Presidents Wilson, Truman, LBJ and George W. Bush."

As for President Trump; Let us hope that war DOES NOT BECOME "The Last Refuge Of This Scoundrel"!

John Gruskos , October 13, 2017 at 9:37 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Orban has been critical of regime change wars.

John Gruskos , October 13, 2017 at 9:43 pm GMT
@German_reader

Rubio was far more of a war-monger than Trump, and he won the primaries in the majority non-White jurisdictions (Washington DC, Puerto Rico).

If only non-White votes were counted, Hillary Clinton would have been elected unanimously by the electoral college, and Hillary is more of a war-monger than Trump is.

The few reliable voices for foreign policy sanity in congress, such as Senator Rand Paul and Congressmen Walter Jones, John Duncan, Thomas Massie, and Justin Amash, represent overwhelmingly White, Protestant, old-stock American districts.

German_reader , October 13, 2017 at 10:39 pm GMT
@John Gruskos

Rubio was far more of a war-monger than Trump, and he won the primaries in the majority non-White jurisdictions (Washington DC, Puerto Rico).

Maybe, but is there any data indicating many blacks in Washington DC actually voted in the Republican primaries? Why would they when most of them are a solid Democrat voting block? I'd guess Rubio got his votes from white elites in DC.
As for Puerto Rico, I didn't know they actually have primaries, seems odd given they don't vote in US presidential elections.

Hillary is more of a war-monger than Trump is.

Hillary was horrible all around, and I agree she might well have been disastrous as president given her dangerous proposals for no-fly zones in Syria, and the potential of conflict with Russia this entailed. But I'm no longer sure Trump is really better regarding foreign policy. His behaviour on the North Korea issue is irresponsible imo, and his willingness to wreck the nuclear deal with Iran at the behest of neoconservatives and Zionist donors like Sheldon Adelson is a big fat minus in my view. Sorry, but I think you guys who hoped for something different have all been (neo-)conned.

Jonathan Mason , October 13, 2017 at 11:42 pm GMT
Reagan said: My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.

Trump said: We will totally destroy North Korea if the United States is forced to defend itself or its allies.

Reagan was a joker, Trump is a wildcard.

Carroll Price , October 14, 2017 at 1:51 am GMT
The only similarities I see between Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump is that both live (lived) in a sort of la-la land, totally out of touch with reality. The only difference between them is that Reagan had sensible people around him (like Pat Buchannan) who wrote good speeches and make good decisions which he took full credit for. Trump, on the other hand delivers abbreviated, one-sentence speeches via Twitter while surrounded by mental midgets with military minds.
Carroll Price , October 14, 2017 at 2:08 am GMT
@Randal

There is arguably a fundamental difference here, that in Reagan's day there was a clear ideological threat from the Soviet Union, which was still (albeit increasingly nominally) in the grip of an aggressively destabilising universalist ideology, communism

Not really Randal. The Cold War was an invented war like the War on Terror that replaced just in the nick of time, and for the same purpose, which is to justify unlimited defense budgets necessary to sustain a bloated MIC that would not otherwise exist.

Carroll Price , October 14, 2017 at 2:35 am GMT
@John Gruskos

Rubio was far more of a war-monger than Trump, and he won the primaries in the majority non-White jurisdictions (Washington DC, Puerto Rico).

but you're forgetting that Trump wasn't a war monger while on the campaign trail, far from it. Which is the only reason he won the election. In other words he fooled just enough people (like you and me) long enough to get elected. Same thing happened with peace candidate, and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Hussein Obama. It's clearly a rigged process.

Randal , October 14, 2017 at 7:48 am GMT
@Carroll Price

Not really Randal. The Cold War was an invented war like the War on Terror that replaced just in the nick of time, and for the same purpose, which is to justify unlimited defense budgets necessary to sustain a bloated MIC that would not otherwise exist.

Well, yes and no. In both cases. It really is more complicated than that.

KA , October 14, 2017 at 11:18 am GMT
Reagan didn't undo Arab Israel Camp David Peace Treaty He didn't keep the Israeli side and undo the Egyptian side of the American obligation . He kept both.

Trump is dangerous malevolent anti-American and anti- anything that hurts his ego or pocket . He has malcontent displaced sycophants as inner circle supporters who want a piece in the pie denied to them by the establishment .

Here is a quote from antiwar -"In other words, it's all about the war that Trump and his still-loyal lieutenant Steve Bannon, assisted by UN ambassador Nikki Haley, have declared on the "deep state."

Also, Trump and Bannon aren't really interested in draining the foreign policy swamp in DC. They simply want to install their own cronies who will ensure that war and globalization benefit them rather than Kissinger and his ilk. It's a shell game designed to fool Trump's base, but the rest of the world has kept its eye on the ball." http://original.antiwar.com/feffer/2017/10/13/trump-signaling-unprecedented-right-turn-foreign-policy/

This war between elites have been predicted by a CT professor in an article in 2016 , to get more serious and dangerous by 2020 . The fights among elites are not new but another pathway an empire takes additionally to the final fate of the destruction from within

KA , October 14, 2017 at 11:49 am GMT
@KA

"A large class of disgruntled elite-wannabes, often well-educated and highly capable, has been denied access to elite positions."

Another visible sign of increasing intra-elite competition and political polarization is the fragmentation of political parties

cliodynamic research on past societies demonstrates that elite overproduction is by far the most important of the three main historical drivers of social instability and political violence (see Secular Cycles for this analysis).

But the other two factors in the model, popular immiseration (the stagnation and decline of living standards) and declining fiscal health of the state (resulting from falling state revenues and rising expenses) are also important contributors.

: https://phys.org/news/2017-01-social-instability-lies.html#jCp

polskijoe , October 14, 2017 at 1:04 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Ideally Europe would be strong together, without US and more sane policies on morals and immigration.

Yes v4 is connected to CC, Neocon, Zios.

While Polands stance on immigration, and trying to hold on to old values is good, problem is depending on US too much, and being stuck between Russia and Germany which would isolate it from Europe in some ways. Obviously Poles are not uniform, views on US, Russia, Germany, Ukraine are all over the place. I wish Poland was just European (in politics) but the US-EU connection is still strong.

polskijoe , October 14, 2017 at 1:16 pm GMT
Commenting on US presidents. Presidents are puppets. All of them. Modern leaders in Western world are unlikable. Reagan at least had some balance, had some Catholic and Paleocon involvement. It wasnt all Neocons and Zios. Im quite sure Reagan (and his dad), people like Buchanan had connections to groups like Knights Malta or Knights Colombus. Cant prove it though. Kennedy was KC.

Today Neocon/Zionist influence is even stronger. Trump policies on NK and Iran are nuts. At best a war is avoided.

On the other side you have Clintons, Obamas. They would destroy the US, and have similar policies because again they are puppets. Clinton would likely be involved in Syria, just like Obama was.

German_reader , October 14, 2017 at 3:02 pm GMT
@polskijoe

While Polands stance on immigration, and trying to hold on to old values is good, problem is depending on US too much

Yes, that's a problem, and I think Polish national conservatives are somewhat in denial about what the modern US stands for the "values" pushed by the US establishment today are incompatible with the Polish right's vision for Poland (e.g. conservative values in sexual morality – no homo-lobbyism and transgender nonsense -, strong public role of Catholicism, restrictive and selective immigration policies that keep out Muslims).

I can understand to some degree why the Polish right is so pro-US, given history and apprehensions about Germany and Russia, but they should at least be aware that alliance with the US could have a rather pernicious influence on Poland itself.

[Oct 13, 2017] Sympathy for the Corporatocracy by C. J. Hopkins

Highly recommended!
Biting satire...
Notable quotes:
"... The Tonight Show ..."
"... Now, despite what the Russian propagandists will tell you, this recent outbreak of fascistic behavior has nothing whatsoever to do with these people's frustration with neoliberalism or the supranational Corporatocracy that has been expanding its global empire with total impunity for twenty-five years. And it definitely has nothing at all to do with supranational political unions, or the supersession of national sovereignty by corporate-concocted "free trade" agreements, or the relentless privatization of everything, or the fear that a lot of people have that their cultures are being gradually erased and replaced with a globalized, corporate-friendly, multicultural, market-based culture, which is merely a simulation of culture, and which contains no actual cultural values (because exchange value is its only operative value), but which sells the empty signifiers of their eviscerated cultural values back to them so they can wear their "identities" like designer brands as they hunch together in silence at Starbucks posting pictures of themselves on Facebook. ..."
"... No, this discontent with the political establishment, corporate elites, and the mainstream media has nothing to do with any of that. It's not like global Capitalism, following the collapse of the U.S.S.R. (its last external ideological adversary), has been restructuring the entire planet in accordance with its geopolitical interests, or doing away with national sovereignty, and other nationalistic concepts that no longer serve a useful purpose in a world where a single ideological system (one backed by the most fearsome military in history) reigns completely unopposed. If that were the case, well, it might behoove us to question whether this outbreak of Nazism, racism, and other forms of "hate," was somehow connected to that historical development and maybe even try to articulate some sort of leftist analysis of that. ..."
"... a world where a single ideology rules the planet unopposed from without ..."
"... Brexit is about Britons who want their country back, a movement indeed getting stronger and stronger in EU member states, but ignored by the ruling 'elites'. ..."
"... A lot of these so called "revolutions" are fomented by the elite only to be subverted and perverted by them in the end. They've had a lot of practice co-opting revolutions and independence movements. ..."
"... "Independence" is now so fashionable (as was Communism among the "elite" back in the '30s), that they are even teaching and fostering independence to kids in kindergarten here in the US. That strikes me as most amusing. Imagine "learning" independence in state run brainwashing factories. ..."
Oct 13, 2017 | www.unz.com

Well all right, let's review what happened, or at least the official version of what happened. Not Hillary Clinton's version of what happened, which Jeffrey St. Clair so incisively skewered , but the Corporatocracy's version of what happened, which overlaps with but is even more ridiculous than Clinton's ridiculous version. To do that, we need to harken back to the peaceful Summer of 2016, (a/k/a the "Summer of Fear" ), when the United States of America was still a shiny city upon a hill whose beacon light guided freedom-loving people, the Nazis were still just a bunch of ass clowns meeting in each other's mother's garages, and Russia was, well Russia was Russia.

Back then, as I'm sure you'll recall, Western democracy, was still primarily being menaced by the lone wolf terrorists, for absolutely no conceivable reason, apart from the terrorists' fanatical desire to brutally murder all non-believers. The global Russo-Nazi Axis had not yet reared its ugly head. President Obama, who, during his tenure, had single-handedly restored America to the peaceful, prosperous, progressive paradise it had been before George W. Bush screwed it up, was on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon slow jamming home the TPP . The Wall Street banks had risen from the ashes of the 2008 financial crisis, and were buying back all the foreclosed homes of the people they had fleeced with subprime mortgages. American workers were enjoying the freedom and flexibility of the new gig economy. Electioneering in the United States was underway, but it was early days. It was already clear that Donald Trump was literally the Second Coming of Hitler , but no one was terribly worried about him yet. The Republican Party was in a shambles. Neither Trump nor any of the other contenders had any chance of winning in November. Nor did Sanders, who had been defeated, fair and square, in the Democratic primaries, mostly because of his racist statements and crazy, quasi-Communist ideas. Basically, everything was hunky dory. Yes, it was going to be terribly sad to have to bid farewell to Obama, who had bailed out all those bankrupt Americans the Wall Street banks had taken to the cleaners, ended all of Bush and Cheney's wars, closed down Guantanamo, and just generally served as a multicultural messiah figure to affluent consumers throughout the free world, but Hope-and-Change was going to continue. The talking heads were all in agreement Hillary Clinton was going to be President, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

Little did we know at the time that an epidemic of Russo-Nazism had been festering just beneath the surface of freedom-loving Western societies like some neo-fascist sebaceous cyst. Apparently, millions of theretofore more or less normal citizens throughout the West had been infected with a virulent strain of Russo-Nazi-engineered virus, because they simultaneously began exhibiting the hallmark symptoms of what we now know as White Supremacist Behavioral Disorder, or Fascist Oppositional Disorder (the folks who update the DSM are still arguing over the official name). It started with the Brexit referendum, spread to America with the election of Trump, and there have been a rash of outbreaks in Europe, like the one we're currently experiencing in Germany . These fascistic symptoms have mostly manifest as people refusing to vote as instructed, and expressing oppressive views on the Internet, but there have also been more serious crimes, including several assaults and murders perpetrated by white supremacists (which, of course, never happened when Obama was President, because the Nazis hadn't been "emboldened" yet).

Now, despite what the Russian propagandists will tell you, this recent outbreak of fascistic behavior has nothing whatsoever to do with these people's frustration with neoliberalism or the supranational Corporatocracy that has been expanding its global empire with total impunity for twenty-five years. And it definitely has nothing at all to do with supranational political unions, or the supersession of national sovereignty by corporate-concocted "free trade" agreements, or the relentless privatization of everything, or the fear that a lot of people have that their cultures are being gradually erased and replaced with a globalized, corporate-friendly, multicultural, market-based culture, which is merely a simulation of culture, and which contains no actual cultural values (because exchange value is its only operative value), but which sells the empty signifiers of their eviscerated cultural values back to them so they can wear their "identities" like designer brands as they hunch together in silence at Starbucks posting pictures of themselves on Facebook.

No, this discontent with the political establishment, corporate elites, and the mainstream media has nothing to do with any of that. It's not like global Capitalism, following the collapse of the U.S.S.R. (its last external ideological adversary), has been restructuring the entire planet in accordance with its geopolitical interests, or doing away with national sovereignty, and other nationalistic concepts that no longer serve a useful purpose in a world where a single ideological system (one backed by the most fearsome military in history) reigns completely unopposed. If that were the case, well, it might behoove us to question whether this outbreak of Nazism, racism, and other forms of "hate," was somehow connected to that historical development and maybe even try to articulate some sort of leftist analysis of that.

This hypothetical leftist analysis might want to focus on how Capitalism is fundamentally opposed to Despotism, and is essentially a value-decoding machine which renders everything and everyone it touches essentially valueless interchangeable commodities whose worth is determined by market forces, rather than by societies and cultures, or religions, or other despotic systems (wherein values are established and enforced arbitrarily, by the despot, the church, or the ruling party, or by a group of people who share an affinity and decide they want to live a certain way). This is where it would get sort of tricky, because it (i.e., this hypothetical analysis) would have to delve into the history of Capitalism, and how it evolved out of medieval Despotism, and how it has been decoding despotic values for something like five hundred years. This historical delving (which would probably be too long for people to read on their phones) would demonstrate how Capitalism has been an essentially progressive force in terms of getting us out of Despotism (which, for most folks, wasn't very much fun) by fomenting bourgeois revolutions and imposing some semblance of democracy on societies. It would follow Capitalism's inexorable advance all the way up to the Twentieth Century, in which its final external ideological adversary, fake Communism, suddenly imploded, delivering us to the world we now live in a world where a single ideology rules the planet unopposed from without , and where any opposition to that global ideology can only be internal, or insurgent, in nature (e.g, terrorism, extremism, and so on). Being a hypothetical leftist analysis, it would, at this point, need to stress that, despite the fact that Capitalism helped deliver us from Despotism, and improved the state of society generally (compared to most societies that preceded it), we nonetheless would like to transcend it, or evolve out of it toward some type of society where people, and everything else, including the biosphere we live in, are not interchangeable, valueless commodities exchanged by members of a global corporatocracy who have no essential values, or beliefs, or principles, other than the worship of money. After having covered all that, we might want to offer more a nuanced view of the current neo-nationalist reaction to the Corporatocracy's ongoing efforts to restructure and privatize the rest of the planet. Not that we would support this reaction, or in any way refrain from calling neo-nationalism what it is (i.e., reactionary, despotic, and doomed), but this nuanced view we'd hypothetically offer, by analyzing the larger sociopolitical and historical forces at play, might help us to see the way forward more clearly, and who knows, maybe eventually propose some kind of credible leftist alternative to the "global neoliberalism vs. neo-nationalism" double bind we appear to be hopelessly stuck in at the moment.

Luckily, we don't have to do that (i.e., articulate such a leftist analysis of any such larger historical forces). Because there is no corporatocracy not really. That's just a fake word the Russians made up and are spreading around on the Internet to distract us while the Nazis take over. No, the logical explanation for Trump, Brexit, and anything else that threatens the expansion of global Capitalism, and the freedom, democracy, and prosperity it offers, is that millions of people across the world, all at once, for no apparent reason, woke up one day full-blown fascists and started looking around for repulsive demagogues to swear fanatical allegiance to. Yes, that makes a lot more sense than all that complicated stuff about history and hegemonic ideological systems, which is probably just Russian propaganda anyway, in which case there is absolutely no reason to read any boring year-old pieces, like this one in The European Financial Review , or this report by Corporate Watch , from way back in the year 2000, about the rise of global corporate power.

So, apologies for wasting your time with all that pseudo-Marxian gobbledygook. Let's just pretend this never happened, and get back to more important matters, like statistically proving that Donald Trump got elected President because of racism, misogyny, transphobia, xenophobia, or some other type of behavioral disorder, and pulling down Confederate statues, or kneeling during the National Anthem, or whatever happens to be trending this week. Oh, yeah, and debating punching Nazis, or people wearing MAGA hats. We definitely need to sort all that out before we can move ahead with helping the Corporatocracy remove Trump from office, or at least ensure he remains surrounded by their loyal generals, CEOs, and Goldman Sachs guys until the next election. Whatever we do, let's not get distracted by that stuff I just distracted you with. I know, it's tempting, but, given what's at stake, we need to maintain our laser focus on issues related to identity politics, or else well, you know, the Nazis win.

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

jilles dykstra, October 13, 2017 at 3:15 pm GMT

Yesterday evening on RT a USA lady, as usual forgot the name, spoke about the USA. In a matter of fact tone she said things like 'they (Deep State) have got him (Trump) in the box'.

They, Deep State again, are now wondering if they will continue to try to control the world, or if they should stop the attempt, and retreat into the USA.
Also as matter of fact she said 'the CIA has always been the instrument of Deep State, from Kenndy to Nine Eleven'.

Another statement was 'no president ever was in control'.

How USA citizens continue to believe they live in a democracy, I cannot understand.

Yesterday the intentions of the new Dutch government were made public, alas most Dutch also dot not see that the Netherlands since 2005 no longer is a democracy, just a province of Brussels.

You can fool all people .

Che Guava, October 13, 2017 at 4:22 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

Jilles,

I am thinking you take the article too literally.

jacques sheete, October 13, 2017 at 4:30 pm GMT

Brexit is about Britons who want their country back, a movement indeed getting stronger and stronger in EU member states, but ignored by the ruling 'elites'.

No doubt many do want their country back, but what concerns me is that all of a sudden we have the concept of "independence" plastered all over the place. Such concepts don't get promoted unless the ruling elites see ways to turn those sentiments to their favor.

A lot of these so called "revolutions" are fomented by the elite only to be subverted and perverted by them in the end. They've had a lot of practice co-opting revolutions and independence movements. (And everything else.)

"Independence" is now so fashionable (as was Communism among the "elite" back in the '30s), that they are even teaching and fostering independence to kids in kindergarten here in the US. That strikes me as most amusing. Imagine "learning" independence in state run brainwashing factories.

Does anyone else smell a rat or two?

Anon-og , October 13, 2017 at 5:16 pm GMT

"Now, despite what the Russian propagandists will tell you, this recent outbreak of fascistic behavior has nothing whatsoever to do with these people's frustration with neoliberalism or the supranational Corporatocracy that has been expanding its global empire with total impunity for twenty-five years. And it definitely has nothing at all to do with supranational political unions, or the supersession of national sovereignty by corporate-concocted "free trade" agreements, or the relentless privatization of everything, or the fear that a lot of people have that their cultures are being gradually erased and replaced with a globalized, corporate-friendly, multicultural, market-based culture, which is merely a simulation of culture, and which contains no actual cultural values (because exchange value is its only operative value), but which sells the empty signifiers of their eviscerated cultural values back to them so they can wear their "identities" like designer brands as they hunch together in silence at Starbucks posting pictures of themselves on Facebook."

Very impressed with this article, never really paid attention to CJ's articles but that is now changing!

[Oct 10, 2017] Izreal gets 77 percent of oil from Kurdistan. No wonder Israel is making ties to Kurdistan and bucking the central government of Iraq

Notable quotes:
"... The Kurdish leadership is being very short-sighted – no one is going to back them if they get attacked by those three parties. Is the US going to tango with a NATO member? But it could just be that their army gets trounced in the field after putting up a solid resistance and they are able to use that to get reassurances from those various states that Kurds will have a better seat at their respective national assemblies. I certainly don't know the future, but it just seems like the current trajectory is bad. ..."
Oct 10, 2017 | www.unz.com

Talha, October 10, 2017 at 5:08 pm GMT

@RobinG Hi Talha,

Here's an articulate source. Until the web gets outright censored, beyond the select eliminating and demonetizing that's happening now. See also Ryan Dawson's interview of Phil at comment #28. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybIee-u7qnY

War for Oil? (((Whose oil?))) Wow – thanks RobinG! I actually had no clue about that angle!!!

This article backs that up – 77% – that is massive!

http://www.jpost.com/Business-and-Innovation/Israel-importing-77-percent-of-its-oil-from-Iraqi-Kurdistan-report-says-413056

No wonder Israel is making ties to Kurdistan and bucking the central government of Iraq. If the central govt was to assert control, those numbers would change fairly quickly.

And – damn – Kushner's in on this stuff (it's amazing what that guy is up to in a completely unofficial capacity): http://al-monitor.com/pulse/afp/2017/04/us-politics-iraq-kushner-diplomacy.html

The Kurdish leadership is setting themselves up for disaster.

Peace.

Talha, October 10, 2017 at 5:54 pm GMT

@iffen

What's going to happen when "the Iranians" attack the Kurds?

Not sure if that'll happen – there's still time to prevent that from taking place. But if it does, it'll likely come from three sides; Turks, Persians and Arabs – since a new Kurdish territory is going to affect the territorial integrity of each one of those existing states.

Uncle Sam to the rescue?

The guy who spilled the milk comes back to spill some more – no thanks. Certainly Israel isn't going to lift a finger – maybe they'll give the Kurdish leadership exile status in Haifa or something for being good pets.

The Kurdish leadership is being very short-sighted – no one is going to back them if they get attacked by those three parties. Is the US going to tango with a NATO member? But it could just be that their army gets trounced in the field after putting up a solid resistance and they are able to use that to get reassurances from those various states that Kurds will have a better seat at their respective national assemblies. I certainly don't know the future, but it just seems like the current trajectory is bad.

Peace.

iffen, October 10, 2017 at 6:21 pm GMT

@Talha

What's going to happen when "the Iranians" attack the Kurds?

Where there is war, a cause can be found.

Talha, October 10, 2017 at 6:41 pm GMT

@RobinG Hey RobinG,

I've had some good exchanges with iffen – though rarely on the subject of Israel. We agree to disagree. But others might gain benefit in a serious reply that brings together some things they haven't thought about.

I think what the Kurdish leadership is doing is deplorable and will not lead to anything good – but unfortunately it seems much of their desire for a Kurdistan is being backed by a lot of their population. That being said; I do not want any more Muslim blood (or anybody else's) being shed by other Muslims in that region.

This fratricide has to end: "The believers are but a single brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your brethren; and fear God, that you may receive Mercy." (49:10)

Peace.

[Oct 09, 2017] Autopilot Wars by Andrew J. Bacevich

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... While serving as defense secretary in the 1960s, Robert McNamara once mused that the "greatest contribution" of the Vietnam War might have been to make it possible for the United States "to go to war without the necessity of arousing the public ire." With regard to the conflict once widely referred to as McNamara's War, his claim proved grotesquely premature. Yet a half-century later, his wish has become reality. ..."
"... Why do Americans today show so little interest in the wars waged in their name and at least nominally on their behalf? Why, as our wars drag on and on, doesn't the disparity between effort expended and benefits accrued arouse more than passing curiosity or mild expressions of dismay? Why, in short, don't we give a [ expletive deleted ..."
"... The true costs of Washington's wars go untabulated. ..."
"... On matters related to war, American citizens have opted out. ..."
"... Terrorism gets hyped and hyped and hyped some more. ..."
"... Blather crowds out substance. ..."
"... Besides, we're too busy. ..."
"... Anyway, the next president will save us. ..."
"... Our culturally progressive military has largely immunized itself from criticism. ..."
"... Well, yes, the US has recently killed 100.000′s of Arab civilians because they were Terrorists (?) or to Bring them Democracy (?) or whatever, or something – or who cares anyway. There's more coverage of the transgender toilet access question. ..."
Oct 08, 2017 | www.unz.com

Autopilot Wars Sixteen Years, But Who's Counting?

Consider, if you will, these two indisputable facts. First, the United States is today more or less permanently engaged in hostilities in not one faraway place, but at least seven . Second, the vast majority of the American people could not care less.

Nor can it be said that we don't care because we don't know. True, government authorities withhold certain aspects of ongoing military operations or release only details that they find convenient. Yet information describing what U.S. forces are doing (and where) is readily available, even if buried in recent months by barrages of presidential tweets. Here, for anyone interested, are press releases issued by United States Central Command for just one recent week:

Ever since the United States launched its war on terror, oceans of military press releases have poured forth. And those are just for starters. To provide updates on the U.S. military's various ongoing campaigns, generals, admirals, and high-ranking defense officials regularly testify before congressional committees or brief members of the press. From the field, journalists offer updates that fill in at least some of the details -- on civilian casualties, for example -- that government authorities prefer not to disclose. Contributors to newspaper op-ed pages and "experts" booked by network and cable TV news shows, including passels of retired military officers, provide analysis. Trailing behind come books and documentaries that put things in a broader perspective.

But here's the truth of it. None of it matters.

Like traffic jams or robocalls, war has fallen into the category of things that Americans may not welcome, but have learned to live with. In twenty-first-century America, war is not that big a deal.

While serving as defense secretary in the 1960s, Robert McNamara once mused that the "greatest contribution" of the Vietnam War might have been to make it possible for the United States "to go to war without the necessity of arousing the public ire." With regard to the conflict once widely referred to as McNamara's War, his claim proved grotesquely premature. Yet a half-century later, his wish has become reality.

Why do Americans today show so little interest in the wars waged in their name and at least nominally on their behalf? Why, as our wars drag on and on, doesn't the disparity between effort expended and benefits accrued arouse more than passing curiosity or mild expressions of dismay? Why, in short, don't we give a [ expletive deleted ]?

Perhaps just posing such a question propels us instantly into the realm of the unanswerable, like trying to figure out why people idolize Justin Bieber, shoot birds, or watch golf on television.

Without any expectation of actually piercing our collective ennui, let me take a stab at explaining why we don't give a @#$%&! Here are eight distinctive but mutually reinforcing explanations, offered in a sequence that begins with the blindingly obvious and ends with the more speculative.

Americans don't attend all that much to ongoing American wars because:

1. U.S. casualty rates are low . By using proxies and contractors, and relying heavily on airpower, America's war managers have been able to keep a tight lid on the number of U.S. troops being killed and wounded. In all of 2017, for example, a grand total of 11 American soldiers have been lost in Afghanistan -- about equal to the number of shooting deaths in Chicago over the course of a typical week. True, in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries where the U.S. is engaged in hostilities, whether directly or indirectly, plenty of people who are not Americans are being killed and maimed. (The estimated number of Iraqi civilians killed this year alone exceeds 12,000 .) But those casualties have next to no political salience as far as the United States is concerned. As long as they don't impede U.S. military operations, they literally don't count (and generally aren't counted).

2. The true costs of Washington's wars go untabulated. In a famous speech , dating from early in his presidency, Dwight D. Eisenhower said that "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." Dollars spent on weaponry, Ike insisted, translated directly into schools, hospitals, homes, highways, and power plants that would go unbuilt. "This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense," he continued. "[I]t is humanity hanging from a cross of iron." More than six decades later, Americans have long since accommodated themselves to that cross of iron. Many actually see it as a boon, a source of corporate profits, jobs, and, of course, campaign contributions. As such, they avert their eyes from the opportunity costs of our never-ending wars. The dollars expended pursuant to our post-9/11 conflicts will ultimately number in the multi-trillions . Imagine the benefits of investing such sums in upgrading the nation's aging infrastructure . Yet don't count on Congressional leaders, other politicians, or just about anyone else to pursue that connection.

On matters related to war, American citizens have opted out. Others have made the point so frequently that it's the equivalent of hearing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" at Christmastime. Even so, it bears repeating: the American people have defined their obligation to "support the troops" in the narrowest imaginable terms , ensuring above all that such support requires absolutely no sacrifice on their part. Members of Congress abet this civic apathy, while also taking steps to insulate themselves from responsibility. In effect, citizens and their elected representatives in Washington agree: supporting the troops means deferring to the commander in chief, without inquiring about whether what he has the troops doing makes the slightest sense. Yes, we set down our beers long enough to applaud those in uniform and boo those who decline to participate in mandatory rituals of patriotism. What we don't do is demand anything remotely approximating actual accountability.

4. Terrorism gets hyped and hyped and hyped some more. While international terrorism isn't a trivial problem (and wasn't for decades before 9/11), it comes nowhere close to posing an existential threat to the United States. Indeed, other threats, notably the impact of climate change, constitute a far greater danger to the wellbeing of Americans. Worried about the safety of your children or grandchildren? The opioid epidemic constitutes an infinitely greater danger than "Islamic radicalism." Yet having been sold a bill of goods about a "war on terror" that is essential for "keeping America safe," mere citizens are easily persuaded that scattering U.S. troops throughout the Islamic world while dropping bombs on designated evildoers is helping win the former while guaranteeing the latter. To question that proposition becomes tantamount to suggesting that God might not have given Moses two stone tablets after all.

5. Blather crowds out substance. When it comes to foreign policy, American public discourse is -- not to put too fine a point on it -- vacuous, insipid, and mindlessly repetitive. William Safire of the New York Times once characterized American political rhetoric as BOMFOG, with those running for high office relentlessly touting the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God. Ask a politician, Republican or Democrat, to expound on this country's role in the world, and then brace yourself for some variant of WOSFAD, as the speaker insists that it is incumbent upon the World's Only Superpower to spread Freedom and Democracy. Terms like leadership and indispensable are introduced, along with warnings about the dangers of isolationism and appeasement, embellished with ominous references to Munich . Such grandiose posturing makes it unnecessary to probe too deeply into the actual origins and purposes of American wars, past or present, or assess the likelihood of ongoing wars ending in some approximation of actual success. Cheerleading displaces serious thought.

6. Besides, we're too busy. Think of this as a corollary to point five. Even if the present-day American political scene included figures like Senators Robert La Follette or J. William Fulbright , who long ago warned against the dangers of militarizing U.S. policy, Americans may not retain a capacity to attend to such critiques. Responding to the demands of the Information Age is not, it turns out, conducive to deep reflection. We live in an era (so we are told) when frantic multitasking has become a sort of duty and when being overscheduled is almost obligatory. Our attention span shrinks and with it our time horizon. The matters we attend to are those that happened just hours or minutes ago. Yet like the great solar eclipse of 2017 -- hugely significant and instantly forgotten -- those matters will, within another few minutes or hours, be superseded by some other development that briefly captures our attention. As a result, a dwindling number of Americans -- those not compulsively checking Facebook pages and Twitter accounts -- have the time or inclination to ponder questions like: When will the Afghanistan War end? Why has it lasted almost 16 years? Why doesn't the finest fighting force in history actually win? Can't package an answer in 140 characters or a 30-second made-for-TV sound bite? Well, then, slowpoke, don't expect anyone to attend to what you have to say.

7. Anyway, the next president will save us. At regular intervals, Americans indulge in the fantasy that, if we just install the right person in the White House, all will be well. Ambitious politicians are quick to exploit this expectation. Presidential candidates struggle to differentiate themselves from their competitors, but all of them promise in one way or another to wipe the slate clean and Make America Great Again. Ignoring the historical record of promises broken or unfulfilled, and presidents who turn out not to be deities but flawed human beings, Americans -- members of the media above all -- pretend to take all this seriously. Campaigns become longer, more expensive, more circus-like, and ever less substantial. One might think that the election of Donald Trump would prompt a downward revision in the exalted expectations of presidents putting things right. Instead, especially in the anti-Trump camp, getting rid of Trump himself (Collusion! Corruption! Obstruction! Impeachment!) has become the overriding imperative, with little attention given to restoring the balance intended by the framers of the Constitution. The irony of Trump perpetuating wars that he once roundly criticized and then handing the conduct of those wars to generals devoid of ideas for ending them almost entirely escapes notice.

8. Our culturally progressive military has largely immunized itself from criticism. As recently as the 1990s, the U.S. military establishment aligned itself with the retrograde side of the culture wars. Who can forget the gays-in-the-military controversy that rocked Bill Clinton's administration during his first weeks in office, as senior military leaders publicly denounced their commander-in-chief? Those days are long gone. Culturally, the armed forces have moved left. Today, the services go out of their way to project an image of tolerance and a commitment to equality on all matters related to race, gender, and sexuality. So when President Trump announced his opposition to transgendered persons serving in the armed forces, tweeting that the military "cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail," senior officers politely but firmly disagreed and pushed back . Given the ascendency of cultural issues near the top of the U.S. political agenda, the military's embrace of diversity helps to insulate it from criticism and from being called to account for a less than sterling performance in waging wars. Put simply, critics who in an earlier day might have blasted military leaders for their inability to bring wars to a successful conclusion hold their fire. Having women graduate from Ranger School or command Marines in combat more than compensates for not winning.

A collective indifference to war has become an emblem of contemporary America. But don't expect your neighbors down the street or the editors of the New York Times to lose any sleep over that fact. Even to notice it would require them -- and us -- to care.

Andrew J. Bacevich, a TomDispatch regular , is the author, most recently, of America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History .

Dan Hayes > , October 9, 2017 at 2:30 am GMT

You have enumerated ten general reasons why Americans "don't attend" to ongoing wars.

Let me add a further specific one: the draft or lack of same. If there were a draft in place either the powers-that-be would not even dare to contemplate any of our present martial misadventures, or failing that the outraged citizenry would burn down the Congress!

BTW I had never thought about reason #8: the military's embrace of diversity helps to insulate it from criticism. This explains General Casey's inane statement that diversity shouldn't be a casualty of the Fort Hood massacre by a "diverse" officer!

Carlton Meyer > , Website October 9, 2017 at 5:17 am GMT

One reason Trump won is that he promised to pull back the empire, while suggesting the Pentagon already has plenty of money. After the election, he demanded a 10% increase, and threatens North Korea to justify it! This increase alone is bigger than the entire annual military budget of Russia! The public is informed that this is because of cuts during the Obama years, but there were no cuts, only limits to increases.

How did the Democrats react? Most voted for a bigger military budget than the mindless increase proposed by Trump! That news was not reported by our corporate media, as Jimmy Dore explained:

Miro23 > , October 9, 2017 at 6:52 am GMT

A collective indifference to war has become an emblem of contemporary America.

Well, yes, the US has recently killed 100.000′s of Arab civilians because they were Terrorists (?) or to Bring them Democracy (?) or whatever, or something – or who cares anyway. There's more coverage of the transgender toilet access question.

So who are Mr & Mrs Indifferent, the emblems of contemporary America? https://www.yahoo.com/news/29-couples-boudoir-photos-almost-172445904.html ?.tsrc=fauxdal – Thanks to Priss

Backwoods Bob > , October 9, 2017 at 7:37 am GMT

Structurally, you have arms production, military bases, hospitals, and related service industries across nearly all the congressional districts in the country.

So it is an enormous set of vested interests with both voting power and corporate money for campaign treasuries.

Quoting Ike was good, and he mentions the opportunity cost in schools, roads, etc. – but also the organizing political and economic power of the military industrial complex.

The government schools are with some exceptions worthless. No subject, let alone war, is taken on seriously.

The legacy media has been co-opted by the MIC/Financial interests. The state is spying on everyone and everyone knows so. Free speech, free association, free assembly, right to bear arms, confront your accuser, trial by jury, habeas corpus – all gone now.

So the sheep behave. They walk by the dead whistling, and look straight ahead.

Robert Magill > , October 9, 2017 at 9:27 am GMT

While serving as defense secretary in the 1960s, Robert McNamara once mused that the "greatest contribution" of the Vietnam War might have been to make it possible for the United States "to go to war without the necessity of arousing the public ire." With regard to the conflict once widely referred to as McNamara's War, his claim proved grotesquely premature. Yet a half-century later, his wish has become reality.

He was dead wrong about this in the 60′s as it soon became obvious to everyone else. But we learned how "to go to war without the necessity of arousing the public ire." Cut out the military draft and embed the press into the ranks so they dare not report the actions they witness.

http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

[Oct 04, 2017] Wheels and Deals Trouble Brewing in the House of Saud by Pepe Escobar

The quote attributed to Mark Twain and Yogi Berra "It's Difficult to Make Predictions, Especially About the Future" still holds. This assessment by Pete Escobar about forthcoming bankruptcy of KAS need to be verified in three years from now. It is unclear whether the key future events (such as prediction that the current Crown Prince might be deposed with the CIA help) will take place.
It is, nevertheless, clear that KAS economics is under considerable stress due to low oil prices and that eventually can bankrupt the kingdom as foreign currency reserves shrink rapidly. What such economic crisis might entail for KAS we can only guess by reshuffling at the top is quite probably in this case. So in a way the future of KAS hangs on how soon oil prices will be pushed back into $100 range.
Notable quotes:
"... MBS is surrounded by inexperienced thirty-something princes, and alienating just about everyone else. ..."
"... "the CIA is outraged that the compromise worked out in April, 2014 has been abrogated wherein the greatest anti-terrorist factor in the Middle East, Mohammed bin Nayef, was arrested." That may prompt "vigorous action taken against MBS possibly in early October." And it might even coincide with the Salman-Trump get together. ..."
"... Asia Times' Gulf business source stresses how "the Saudi economy is under extreme strain based on their oil price war against Russia, and they are behind their bills in paying just about all their contractors. That could lead to the bankruptcy of some of the major enterprises in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabia of MBS features the Crown Prince buying a US$600 million yacht and his father spending US$100 million on his summer vacation, highlighted on the front pages of the New York Times while the Kingdom strangles under their leadership." ..."
"... MBS's pet project, the spun-to-death Vision 2030, in theory aims to diversify from mere oil profits and dependency on the US to a more modern economy (and a more independent foreign policy). That's completely misguided, according to the source, because "the problem in Saudi Arabia is that their companies cannot function with their local population and [are] reliant on expatriates for about 70% or more of their staff. Aramco cannot run without expatriates. Therefore, selling 5% of Aramco to diversify does not solve the problem. If he wants a more productive society, and less handouts and meaningless government jobs, he has to first train and employ his own people." ..."
"... The similarly lauded Aramco IPO, arguably the largest share sale in history and originally scheduled for next year, has once again been postponed – "possibly" to the second half of 2019, according to officials in Riyadh. And still no one knows where shares will be sold; the NYSE is far from a done deal. ..."
"... I n parallel, MBS's war on Yemen, and the Saudi drive for regime change in Syria and to reshape the Greater Middle East, have turned out to be spectacular disasters. ..."
"... The Islamic State project was conceived as the ideal tool to force Iraq to implode. It's now public domain that the organization's funding came mostly from Saudi Arabia. Even the former imam of Mecca has publicly admitted ISIS' leadership "draw their ideas from what is written in our own books, our own principles." ..."
"... Salafi-jihadism is more than alive inside the Kingdom even as MBS tries to spin a (fake) liberal trend (the "baby you can drive my car" stunt). The problem is Riyadh congenitally cannot deliver on any liberal promise; the only legitimacy for the House of Saud lies in those religious "books" and "principles." ..."
"... In Syria, besides the fact that an absolute majority of the country's population does not wish to live in a Takfiristan , Saudi Arabia supported ISIS while Qatar supported al-Qaeda (Jabhat al-Nusra). That ended up in a crossfire bloodbath, with all those non-existent US-supported "moderate rebels" reduced to road kill. ..."
"... In Enemy of the State, the latest Mitch Rapp thriller written by Kyle Mills, President Alexander, sitting at the White House, blurts, "the Middle East is imploding because those Saudi sons of bitches have been pumping up religious fundamentalism to hide the fact that they're robbing their people blind." That's a fair assessment. ..."
"... In terms of what Washington wants, the CIA is not fond of MBS, to say the least. They want "their" man Nayef back. As for the Trump administration, rumors swirl it is " desperate for Saudi money , especially infrastructure investments in the Rust Belt." ..."
"... This piece first appeared in Asia Times . ..."
Oct 04, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

No wonder, considering that the ousted Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef – highly regarded in the Beltway, especially Langley – is under house arrest. His massive web of agents at the Interior Ministry has largely been "relieved of their authority". The new Interior Minister is Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef, 34, the eldest son of the governor of the country's largely Shi'ite Eastern Province, where all the oil is. Curiously, the father is now reporting to his son. MBS is surrounded by inexperienced thirty-something princes, and alienating just about everyone else.

Former King Abdulaziz set up his Saudi succession based on the seniority of his sons; in theory, if each one lived to the same age all would have a shot at the throne, thus avoiding the bloodletting historically common in Arabian clans over lines of succession.

Now, says the source, "a bloodbath is predicted to be imminent." Especially because "the CIA is outraged that the compromise worked out in April, 2014 has been abrogated wherein the greatest anti-terrorist factor in the Middle East, Mohammed bin Nayef, was arrested." That may prompt "vigorous action taken against MBS possibly in early October." And it might even coincide with the Salman-Trump get together.

ISIS playing by the (Saudi) book

Asia Times' Gulf business source stresses how "the Saudi economy is under extreme strain based on their oil price war against Russia, and they are behind their bills in paying just about all their contractors. That could lead to the bankruptcy of some of the major enterprises in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabia of MBS features the Crown Prince buying a US$600 million yacht and his father spending US$100 million on his summer vacation, highlighted on the front pages of the New York Times while the Kingdom strangles under their leadership."

MBS's pet project, the spun-to-death Vision 2030, in theory aims to diversify from mere oil profits and dependency on the US to a more modern economy (and a more independent foreign policy). That's completely misguided, according to the source, because "the problem in Saudi Arabia is that their companies cannot function with their local population and [are] reliant on expatriates for about 70% or more of their staff. Aramco cannot run without expatriates. Therefore, selling 5% of Aramco to diversify does not solve the problem. If he wants a more productive society, and less handouts and meaningless government jobs, he has to first train and employ his own people."

The similarly lauded Aramco IPO, arguably the largest share sale in history and originally scheduled for next year, has once again been postponed – "possibly" to the second half of 2019, according to officials in Riyadh. And still no one knows where shares will be sold; the NYSE is far from a done deal.

I n parallel, MBS's war on Yemen, and the Saudi drive for regime change in Syria and to reshape the Greater Middle East, have turned out to be spectacular disasters. Egypt and Pakistan have refused to send troops to Yemen, where relentless Saudi air bombing – with US and UK weapons – has accelerated malnutrition, famine and cholera, and configured a massive humanitarian crisis.

The Islamic State project was conceived as the ideal tool to force Iraq to implode. It's now public domain that the organization's funding came mostly from Saudi Arabia. Even the former imam of Mecca has publicly admitted ISIS' leadership "draw their ideas from what is written in our own books, our own principles."

Which brings us to the ultimate Saudi contradiction. Salafi-jihadism is more than alive inside the Kingdom even as MBS tries to spin a (fake) liberal trend (the "baby you can drive my car" stunt). The problem is Riyadh congenitally cannot deliver on any liberal promise; the only legitimacy for the House of Saud lies in those religious "books" and "principles."

In Syria, besides the fact that an absolute majority of the country's population does not wish to live in a Takfiristan , Saudi Arabia supported ISIS while Qatar supported al-Qaeda (Jabhat al-Nusra). That ended up in a crossfire bloodbath, with all those non-existent US-supported "moderate rebels" reduced to road kill.

And then there's the economic blockade against Qatar – another brilliant MBS plot. That has only served to improve Doha's relations with both Ankara and Tehran. Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was not regime-changed, whether or not Trump really dissuaded Riyadh and Abu Dhabi from taking "military action." There was no economic strangulation: Total, for instance, is about to invest US$2 billion to expand production of Qatari natural gas. And Qatar, via its sovereign fund, counterpunched with the ultimate soft power move – it bought global footballing brand Neymar for PSG , and the "blockade" sank without a trace.

"Robbing their people blind"

In Enemy of the State, the latest Mitch Rapp thriller written by Kyle Mills, President Alexander, sitting at the White House, blurts, "the Middle East is imploding because those Saudi sons of bitches have been pumping up religious fundamentalism to hide the fact that they're robbing their people blind." That's a fair assessment.

No dissent whatsoever is allowed in Saudi Arabia. Even the economic analyst Isam Az-Zamil, very close to the top, has been arrested during the current repression campaign. So opposition to MBS does not come only from the royal family or some top clerics – although the official spin rules that only those supporting Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey, Iran and Qatari "terrorism" are being targeted.

In terms of what Washington wants, the CIA is not fond of MBS, to say the least. They want "their" man Nayef back. As for the Trump administration, rumors swirl it is " desperate for Saudi money , especially infrastructure investments in the Rust Belt."

It will be immensely enlightening to compare what Trump gets from Salman with what Putin gets from Salman: the ailing King will visit Moscow in late October. Rosneft is interested in buying shares of Aramco when the IPO takes place. Riyadh and Moscow are considering an OPEC deal extension as well as an OPEC-non-OPEC cooperation platform incorporating the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).

Riyadh has read the writing on the new wall: Moscow's rising political / strategic capital all across the board, from Iran, Syria and Qatar to Turkey and Yemen. That does not sit well with the US deep state. Even if Trump gets some Rust Belt deals, the burning question is whether the CIA and its friends can live with MBS on the House of Saud throne.

This piece first appeared in Asia Times .

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). His latest book is Empire of Chaos . He may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com .

[Oct 04, 2017] How Kurdish Independence Underpins Israel's Plan to Reshape the Middle East by Jonathan Cook

Notable quotes:
"... It began with Israel's founding father, David Ben Gurion, who devised a strategy of "allying with the periphery" – building military ties to non-Arab states like Turkey, Ethiopia, India and Iran, then ruled by the shahs. The goal was to help Israel to break out of its regional isolation and contain an Arab nationalism led by Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser. ..."
"... Israeli general Ariel Sharon expanded this security doctrine in the early 1980s, calling for Israel to become an imperial power in the Middle East. Israel would ensure that it alone in the region possessed nuclear weapons, making it indispensible to the US. ..."
"... Sharon was not explicit about how Israel's empire could be realised, but an indication was provided at around the same time in the Yinon Plan, written for the World Zionist Organisation by a former Israeli foreign ministry official. ..."
"... Oded Yinon proposed the implosion of the Middle East, breaking apart the region's key states – and Israel's main opponents – by fuelling sectarian and ethnic discord. The aim was to fracture these states, weakening them so that Israel could secure its place as sole regional power. ..."
"... The strategy of "Balkanising" the Middle East found favour in the US among a group of hawkish policymakers, known as neoconservatives, who came to prominence during George W Bush's presidency. ..."
"... Heavily influenced by Israel, they promoted the idea of "rolling back" key states, especially Iraq, Iran and Syria, which were opposed to Israeli-US dominance in the region. They prioritised ousting Saddam Hussein, who had fired missiles on Israel during the 1991 Gulf war. ..."
"... Last month at the Herzliya conference, an annual jamboree for Israel's security establishment, justice minister Ayelet Shaked called for a Kurdish state. She has stated that it would be integral to Israeli efforts to "reshape" the Middle East. ..."
"... The unravelling of Britain and France's map of the region would likely lead to chaos of the kind that a strong, nuclear-armed Israel, with backing from Washington, could richly exploit. Not least, yet more bedlam would push the Palestinian cause even further down the international community's list of priorities. ..."
Oct 04, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

Palestinians and Israelis watched last week's referendum of Iraq's Kurds with special interest. Israeli officials and many ordinary Palestinians were delighted – for very different reasons – to see an overwhelming vote to split away from Iraq.

Given the backlash from Baghdad and anger from Iran and Turkey, which have restive Kurdish minorities, the creation of a Kurdistan in northern Iraq may not happen soon.

Palestinian support for the Kurds is not difficult to understand. Palestinians, too, were overlooked when Britain and France carved up the Middle East into states a century ago. Like the Kurds, Palestinians have found themselves trapped in different territories, oppressed by their overlords.

Israel's complex interests in Kurdish independence are harder to unravel.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the sole world leader to back Kurdish independence, and other politicians spoke of the Kurds' "moral right" to a state. None saw how uneasily that sat with their approach to the Palestinian case.

On a superficial level, Israel would gain because the Kurds sit on plentiful oil. Unlike the Arab states and Iran, they are keen to sell to Israel.

But the reasons for Israeli support run deeper. There has been co-operation, much of it secret, between Israel and the Kurds for decades. Israeli media lapped up tributes from now-retired generals who trained the Kurds from the 1960s. Those connections have not been forgotten or ended. Independence rallies featured Israeli flags, and Kurds spoke of their ambition to become a "second Israel".

Israel views the Kurds as a key ally in an Arab-dominated region. Now, with Islamic State's influence receding, an independent Kurdistan could help prevent Iran filling the void. Israel wants a bulwark against Iran transferring its weapons, intelligence and know-how to Shiite allies in Syria and Lebanon.

Israel's current interests, however, hint at a larger vision it has long harboured for the region – and one I set out at length in my book Israel and the Clash of Civilisations.

It began with Israel's founding father, David Ben Gurion, who devised a strategy of "allying with the periphery" – building military ties to non-Arab states like Turkey, Ethiopia, India and Iran, then ruled by the shahs. The goal was to help Israel to break out of its regional isolation and contain an Arab nationalism led by Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Israeli general Ariel Sharon expanded this security doctrine in the early 1980s, calling for Israel to become an imperial power in the Middle East. Israel would ensure that it alone in the region possessed nuclear weapons, making it indispensible to the US.

Sharon was not explicit about how Israel's empire could be realised, but an indication was provided at around the same time in the Yinon Plan, written for the World Zionist Organisation by a former Israeli foreign ministry official.

Oded Yinon proposed the implosion of the Middle East, breaking apart the region's key states – and Israel's main opponents – by fuelling sectarian and ethnic discord. The aim was to fracture these states, weakening them so that Israel could secure its place as sole regional power.

The inspiration for this idea lay in the occupied territories, where Israel had contained Palestinians in a series of separate enclaves. Later, Israel would terminally divide the Palestinian national movement, nurturing an Islamist extremism that coalesced into Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

In this period, Israel also tested its ideas in neighbouring southern Lebanon, which it occupied for two decades. There, its presence further stoked sectarian tensions between Christians, Druze, Sunni and Shiite Muslims.

The strategy of "Balkanising" the Middle East found favour in the US among a group of hawkish policymakers, known as neoconservatives, who came to prominence during George W Bush's presidency.

Heavily influenced by Israel, they promoted the idea of "rolling back" key states, especially Iraq, Iran and Syria, which were opposed to Israeli-US dominance in the region. They prioritised ousting Saddam Hussein, who had fired missiles on Israel during the 1991 Gulf war.

Although often assumed to be an unfortunate side effect of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Washington's oversight of the country's bloody disintegration into Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish fiefdoms looked suspiciously intentional. Now, Iraqi Kurds are close to making that break-up permanent.

Syria has gone a similar way, mired in convulsive fighting that has left its ruler impotent. And Tehran is, again, the target of efforts by Israel and its allies in the US to tear up the 2015 nuclear accord, backing Iran into a corner. Arab, Baluchi, Kurdish and Azeri minorities there may be ripe for stirring up.

Last month at the Herzliya conference, an annual jamboree for Israel's security establishment, justice minister Ayelet Shaked called for a Kurdish state. She has stated that it would be integral to Israeli efforts to "reshape" the Middle East.

The unravelling of Britain and France's map of the region would likely lead to chaos of the kind that a strong, nuclear-armed Israel, with backing from Washington, could richly exploit. Not least, yet more bedlam would push the Palestinian cause even further down the international community's list of priorities.

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are " Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and " Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair " (Zed Books). His website is www.jkcook.net .

[Oct 02, 2017] The Kurdish independence referendum was a political miscalculation

Independence of small nations always depends on great powers. They are essentially pawns in a bigger game, national aspirations and all that as a tool in often pretty dirty game.
Notable quotes:
"... The Iraqi government has banned international flights to the Kurdish capital Irbil from 6pm this Friday, isolating the Kurds in Iraq to a degree they have not experienced since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003. The isolation is political as well as geographical as traditional Kurdish allies, like the US, UK, France and Germany, have opposed the referendum on Kurdish independence while near neighbours in Turkey, Iran and Baghdad are moving to squeeze the Kurds into submission. ..."
"... The four countries with Kurdish minorities fear that secessionism might spread, but a further problem is that they do not believe that an Iraqi Kurdish state would be truly independent, but would shift into the orbit of another power. The Iranians are paranoid about the possibility that such a state would be an American base threatening Iran. Politicians in Baghdad say that, if the Kurds are serious about self-determination, they would cling onto the oil fields of Kirkuk and be dependent on Turkey through which to export their crude. ..."
Oct 02, 2017 | www.unz.com

The Iraqi government has banned international flights to the Kurdish capital Irbil from 6pm this Friday, isolating the Kurds in Iraq to a degree they have not experienced since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003. The isolation is political as well as geographical as traditional Kurdish allies, like the US, UK, France and Germany, have opposed the referendum on Kurdish independence while near neighbours in Turkey, Iran and Baghdad are moving to squeeze the Kurds into submission.

The referendum succeeded in showing that the Kurds, not just in Iraq but in Turkey, Iran and Syria, still yearn for their own state. Paradoxically, the outcome of the poll has demonstrated both the strength of their demand for self-determination and the weakness of their ability to obtain it. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is revealed as a minnow whose freedom of action – and even its survival – depends on playing off one foreign state against the other and keeping tolerable relations with all of them, even when they detested each other. In the past an American envoy would go out one door just as the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards came in the other.

The referendum has ended, perhaps only temporarily, these delicate balancing acts at which the Kurdish leadership was very skilled. In the last few weeks, the US has denounced the referendum in forthright terms, emboldening Iraq, Turkey and Iran to punish the Kurds for their undiplomatic enthusiasm to be an independent nation.

The poll was always a dangerous gamble but it is too early to say that it has entirely failed: minority communities and small nations must occasionally kick their big power allies in the teeth. Otherwise, they will become permanent proxies whose agreement with what their big power ally wants can be taken for granted. The skill for the smaller player is not to pay too high a price for going their own way. Iraq, Turkey and Iran have all made threatening statements over the last few days, some of them bombast, but they can hit the Kurds very hard if they want to.

The Kurds are in a fix and normally they would look to Washington to help them out, but under President Trump US foreign policy has become notoriously unpredictable. Worse from the Kurdish point of view, the US no longer needs the Iraqi Kurds as it did before the capture of Mosul from Isis in July. In any case, it was the Iraqi armed forces that won a great victory there, so for the first time in 14 years there is a powerful Iraqi army in the north of the country. We may not be on the verge of an Arab-Kurdish war, but the military balance of power is changing and Baghdad, not Irbil, is the gainer.

Anxious diplomats and excited journalists describe Iraq as "being on a collision course", but the different parties will not necessarily collide. Muddling through is not only a British trait. But there is no doubt that the situation has become more dangerous, particularly in the disputed territories stretching across northern Iraq from Syria to Iran.

The referendum always had a risky ambivalence about it which helped ignite the present crisis. It all depended on what audience Kurdish President Masoud Barzani was addressing: when he spoke to Kurdish voters, it was a poll of historic significance when the Kurds would take a decisive step towards an independent state.

But addressing an international and regional audience, Barzani said he was proposing something much tamer, more like an opinion poll, in which the Iraqi Kurds were politely indicating a general preference for independence at some date in the future. Like many leaders who play the nationalist card, Barzani is finding that his rhetoric is being taken more seriously than his caveats. "Bye, Bye Iraq!" chanted crowds in Irbil on the night of the referendum.

Much of this was born of Barzani's bid to outmanoeuvre his political rivals in Kurdistan by re-emerging as the standard bearer of Kurdish nationalism. He will benefit from his decision to defy the world and press ahead with the vote when it comes to the presidential and parliamentary elections in KRG on 1 November.

But the price of this could be high. It is not only Barzani who is facing an election in which national self-assertion is an issue in the coming months. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has a parliamentary election in 2018 and does not want to be accused of being insufficiently tough on the Kurds. Banning of international flights to Irbil is far less than many Iraqi MPs say they want.

By holding a referendum in the disputed territories, Barzani promoted this issue to the top of the Iraqi political agenda. It might have been in the interests of the Kurds to let it lie since the contending claims for land are deeply felt and irreconcilable. Optimists believe that Irbil and Baghdad could never go to war because they are both too dependent militarily on foreign powers. It is true that the Iraqi armed forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga alike could not have held off and defeated Isis without close air support from the US-led coalition. But by putting the future status of the KRG and the territories in play, Barzani has presented the Iraqi government, Turkey and Iran with a threat and an opportunity.

The four countries with Kurdish minorities fear that secessionism might spread, but a further problem is that they do not believe that an Iraqi Kurdish state would be truly independent, but would shift into the orbit of another power. The Iranians are paranoid about the possibility that such a state would be an American base threatening Iran. Politicians in Baghdad say that, if the Kurds are serious about self-determination, they would cling onto the oil fields of Kirkuk and be dependent on Turkey through which to export their crude.

Once the KRG dreamed of becoming a new Dubai with gleaming malls and hotels, but since 2014 it has looked more like Pompeii. The skyline is punctured by dozens of half completed tower blocks beside rusting cranes and abandoned machinery. The boom town atmosphere disappeared in 2014 when the price of oil went down, money stopped coming from Baghdad and Isis seized Mosul two hours' drive away. The state is impoverished and salaries paid late, if at all. This will now all get a lot worse with airports and border crossings closed and 35,000 federal employees no longer being paid.

At all events, the political landscape in Iraq and Syria is changing: we are at the beginning of a new political phase in which the battle to defeat Isis is being replaced by a power struggle between Arabs and Kurds.

[Oct 01, 2017] Goodbye, American neoliberalism. A new era is here by Cornel West

Notable quotes:
"... The Bush and Clinton dynasties were destroyed by the media-saturated lure of the pseudo-populist billionaire with narcissist sensibilities and ugly, fascist proclivities. The monumental election of Trump was a desperate and xenophobic cry of human hearts for a way out from under the devastation of a disintegrating neoliberal order – a nostalgic return to an imaginary past of greatness. ..."
"... This lethal fusion of economic insecurity and cultural scapegoating brought neoliberalism to its knees. In short, the abysmal failure of the Democratic party to speak to the arrested mobility and escalating poverty of working people unleashed a hate-filled populism and protectionism that threaten to tear apart the fragile fiber of what is left of US democracy. And since the most explosive fault lines in present-day America are first and foremost racial, then gender, homophobic, ethnic and religious, we gird ourselves for a frightening future. ..."
"... In this sense, Trump's election was enabled by the neoliberal policies of the Clintons and Obama that overlooked the plight of our most vulnerable citizens. The progressive populism of Bernie Sanders nearly toppled the establishment of the Democratic party but Clinton and Obama came to the rescue to preserve the status quo. And I do believe Sanders would have beat Trump to avert this neofascist outcome! ..."
"... The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang ..."
"... The white house and congress are now dominated by tea party politicians who worship at the altar of Ayn Rand.....read Breitbart news to see how Thatcher and Reagan are idolised. ..."
"... if you think the era of "neo liberalism" is over, you are in deep denial! ..."
"... The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad. ..."
"... Didn't Obama say to Wall Street ''I'm the only one standing between you and the lynch mob? Give me money and I'll make it all go away''. Then came into office and went we won't prosecute the Banks not Bush for a false war because we don't look back. ..."
"... He did not ignore, he actively, willingly, knowingly protected them. At the end of the day Obama is wolf in sheep's clothing. Exactly like HRC he has a public and a private position. He is a gifted speaker who knows how to say all the right, progressive liberal things to get people to go along much better than HRC ever did. ..."
"... Even when he had the Presidency, House and Senate, he never once introduced any progressive liberal policy. He didn't need Republican support to do it, yet he never even tried. ..."
Nov 17, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang. The political triumph of Donald Trump shattered the establishments in the Democratic and Republican parties – both wedded to the rule of Big Money and to the reign of meretricious politicians.

The Bush and Clinton dynasties were destroyed by the media-saturated lure of the pseudo-populist billionaire with narcissist sensibilities and ugly, fascist proclivities. The monumental election of Trump was a desperate and xenophobic cry of human hearts for a way out from under the devastation of a disintegrating neoliberal order – a nostalgic return to an imaginary past of greatness.

White working- and middle-class fellow citizens – out of anger and anguish – rejected the economic neglect of neoliberal policies and the self-righteous arrogance of elites. Yet these same citizens also supported a candidate who appeared to blame their social misery on minorities, and who alienated Mexican immigrants, Muslims, black people, Jews, gay people, women and China in the process.

This lethal fusion of economic insecurity and cultural scapegoating brought neoliberalism to its knees. In short, the abysmal failure of the Democratic party to speak to the arrested mobility and escalating poverty of working people unleashed a hate-filled populism and protectionism that threaten to tear apart the fragile fiber of what is left of US democracy. And since the most explosive fault lines in present-day America are first and foremost racial, then gender, homophobic, ethnic and religious, we gird ourselves for a frightening future.

What is to be done? First we must try to tell the truth and a condition of truth is to allow suffering to speak. For 40 years, neoliberals lived in a world of denial and indifference to the suffering of poor and working people and obsessed with the spectacle of success. Second we must bear witness to justice. We must ground our truth-telling in a willingness to suffer and sacrifice as we resist domination. Third we must remember courageous exemplars like Martin Luther King Jr, who provide moral and spiritual inspiration as we build multiracial alliances to combat poverty and xenophobia, Wall Street crimes and war crimes, global warming and police abuse – and to protect precious rights and liberties.

Feminists misunderstood the presidential election from day one Liza Featherstone By banking on the idea that women would support Hillary Clinton just because she was a female candidate, the movement made a terrible mistake Read more

The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad.

Rightwing attacks on Obama – and Trump-inspired racist hatred of him – have made it nearly impossible to hear the progressive critiques of Obama. The president has been reluctant to target black suffering – be it in overcrowded prisons, decrepit schools or declining workplaces. Yet, despite that, we get celebrations of the neoliberal status quo couched in racial symbolism and personal legacy. Meanwhile, poor and working class citizens of all colors have continued to suffer in relative silence.

In this sense, Trump's election was enabled by the neoliberal policies of the Clintons and Obama that overlooked the plight of our most vulnerable citizens. The progressive populism of Bernie Sanders nearly toppled the establishment of the Democratic party but Clinton and Obama came to the rescue to preserve the status quo. And I do believe Sanders would have beat Trump to avert this neofascist outcome!

Click and elect: how fake news helped Donald Trump win a real election Hannah Jane Parkinson The 'alt-right' (aka the far right) ensnared the electorate using false stories on social media. But tech companies seem unwilling to admit there's a problem

In this bleak moment, we must inspire each other driven by a democratic soulcraft of integrity, courage, empathy and a mature sense of history – even as it seems our democracy is slipping away.

We must not turn away from the forgotten people of US foreign policy – such as Palestinians under Israeli occupation, Yemen's civilians killed by US-sponsored Saudi troops or Africans subject to expanding US military presence.

As one whose great family and people survived and thrived through slavery, Jim Crow and lynching, Trump's neofascist rhetoric and predictable authoritarian reign is just another ugly moment that calls forth the best of who we are and what we can do.

For us in these times, to even have hope is too abstract, too detached, too spectatorial. Instead we must be a hope, a participant and a force for good as we face this catastrophe.

theomatica -> MSP1984 17 Nov 2016 6:40

To be replaced by a form of capitalism that is constrained by national interests. An ideology that wishes to uses the forces of capitalism within a market limited only by national boundaries which aims for more self sufficiency only importing goods the nation can not itself source.

farga 17 Nov 2016 6:35

The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang.

Really? The white house and congress are now dominated by tea party politicians who worship at the altar of Ayn Rand.....read Breitbart news to see how Thatcher and Reagan are idolised.

That in recent decades middle ground politicians have strayed from the true faith....and now its time to go back - popular capitalism, small government, low taxes.

if you think the era of "neo liberalism" is over, you are in deep denial!

Social36 -> farga 17 Nov 2016 8:33

Maybe, West should have written that we're now in neoliberal, neofascist era!

ForSparta -> farga 17 Nov 2016 14:24

Well in all fairness, Donald Trump (horse's ass) did say he'd 'pump' money into the middle classes thus abandoning 'trickle down'. His plan/ideology is also to increase corporate tax revenues overall by reducing the level of corporation tax -- the aim being to entice corporations to repatriate wealth currently held overseas. Plus he has proposed an infrastructure spending spree, a fiscal stimulus not a monetary one. When you add in tax cuts the middle classes will feel flushed and it is within that demographic that most businesses and hence jobs are created. I think his short game has every chance of doing what he said it would.

SeeNOevilHearNOevil 17 Nov 2016 6:36

The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad.

Didn't Obama say to Wall Street ''I'm the only one standing between you and the lynch mob? Give me money and I'll make it all go away''. Then came into office and went we won't prosecute the Banks not Bush for a false war because we don't look back.

He did not ignore, he actively, willingly, knowingly protected them. At the end of the day Obama is wolf in sheep's clothing. Exactly like HRC he has a public and a private position. He is a gifted speaker who knows how to say all the right, progressive liberal things to get people to go along much better than HRC ever did.

But that lip service is where his progressive views begin and stop. It's the very reason none of his promises never translated into actions and I will argue that he was the biggest and smoothest scam artist to enter the white house who got even though that wholly opposed centre-right policies, to flip and support them vehemently. Even when he had the Presidency, House and Senate, he never once introduced any progressive liberal policy. He didn't need Republican support to do it, yet he never even tried.

ProbablyOnTopic 17 Nov 2016 6:37

I agree with some of this, but do we really have to throw around hysterical terms like 'fascist' at every opportunity? It's as bad as when people call the left 'cultural Marxists'.

LithophaneFurcifera -> ProbablyOnTopic 17 Nov 2016 7:05

True, it's sloganeering that drowns out any nuance, whoever does it. Whenever a political term is coined, you can be assured that its use and meaning will eventually be extended to the point that it becomes less effective at characterising the very groups that it was coined to characterise.

Keep "fascist" for Mussolini and "cultural Marxist" for Adorno, unless and until others show such strong resemblances that the link can't seriously be denied.

I agree about the importance of recognising the suffering of the poor and building alliances beyond, and not primarily defined by, race though.

l0Ho5LG4wWcFJsKg 17 Nov 2016 6:40
Hang about Trump is the embodiment of neo-liberalism. It's neo-liberalism with republican tea party in control. He's not going to smash the system that served him so well, the years he manipulated and cheated, why would he want to change it.
garrylee -> l0Ho5LG4wWcFJsKg 17 Nov 2016 9:38
West's point is that it's beyond Trump's control. The scales have fallen from peoples eyes. They now see the deceit of neo-liberalism. And once they see through the charlatan Trump and the rest of the fascists, they will, hopefully, come to realize the only antidote to neo-liberalism is a planned economy.

Nash25 17 Nov 2016 6:40

This excellent analysis by professor West places the current political situation in a proper historical context.

However, I fear that neo-liberalism may not be quite "dead" as he argues.

Most of the Democratic party's "establishment" politicians, who conspired to sabotage the populist Sanders's campaign, still dominate the party, and they, in turn, are controlled by the giant corporations who fund their campaigns.

Democrat Chuck Schumer is now the Senate minority leader, and he is the loyal servant of the big Wall Street investment banks.

Sanders and Warren are the only two Democratic leaders who are not neo-liberals, and I fear that they will once again be marginalized.

Rank and file Democrats must organize at the local and state level to remove these corrupt neo-liberals from all party leadership positions. This will take many years, and it will be very difficult.


VenetianBlind 17 Nov 2016 6:42

Not sure Neo-Liberalism has ended. All they have done is get rid of the middle man.

macfeegal 17 Nov 2016 6:46

It would seem that there is a great deal of over simplifying going on; some of the articles represent an hysteric response and the vision of sack cloth and ashes prevails among those who could not see that the wheels were coming off the bus. The use of the term 'liberal' has become another buzz word - there are many different forms of liberalism and creating yet another sound byte does little to illuminate anything.

Making appeals to restore what has been lost reflects badly upon the central political parties, with their 30 year long rightward drift and their legacy of sucking up to corporate lobbyists, systems managers, box tickers and consultants. You can't give away sovereign political power to a bunch of right wing quangos who worship private wealth and its accumulation without suffering the consequences. The article makes no contribution (and neither have many of the others of late) to any kind of alternative to either neo-liberalism or the vacuum that has become a question mark with the dark face of the devil behind it.

We are in uncharted waters. The conventional Left was totally discredited by1982 and all we've had since are various forms of modifications of Thatcher's imported American vision. There has been no opposition to this system for over 40 years - so where do we get the idea that democracy has any real meaning? Yes, we can vote for the Greens, or one of the lesser known minority parties, but of course people don't; they tend to go with what is portrayed as the orthodoxy and they've been badly let down by it.

It would be a real breath of fresh air to see articles which offer some kind of analysis that demonstrates tangible options to deal with the multiple crises we are suffering. Perhaps we might start with a consideration that if our political institutions are prone to being haunted by the ghost of the 1930's, the state itself could be seen as part of the problem rather than any solution. Why is it that every other institution is considered to be past its sell by date and we still believe in a phantom of democracy? Discuss.

VenetianBlind -> macfeegal 17 Nov 2016 7:00

I have spent hours trying to see solutions around Neo-Liberalism and find that governments have basically signed away any control over the economy so nothing they can do. There are no solutions.

Maybe that is the starting point. The solution for workers left behind in Neo-Liberal language is they must move. It demands labor mobility. It is not possible to dictate where jobs are created.

I see too much fiddly around the edges, the best start is to say they cannot fix the problem. If they keep making false promises then things will just get dire as.

[Sep 30, 2017] Yanis Varoufakis Schauble Leaves but Schauble-ism Lives On by Yanis Varoufakis

Notable quotes:
"... Why did Dr Schäuble aim at maintaining the eurozones fragility? Why was he, in this context, ever so keen to maintain the threat of Grexit? The simple answer is: Because a state of permanent fragility was instrumental to his strategy for using the threat of expulsion from the euro (or even of Germanys withdrawal from it) to discipline the deficit countries – chiefly France. ..."
"... Deep in Dr Schäuble thinking there was the belief that, as a federation is infeasible, the euro is a glorified fixed exchange rate regime. ..."
"... It really seems that the outcomes of both versions of economic conservatism produce similar neoliberal outcomes in aggregate: reduced wages, precarious working conditions, increasing economic inequality, reduced services, tax money being funnelled to businesses, and vanishing/crumbling infrastructure ..."
"... Then again, Obsourne* was all about the rhetoric of balanced budgets – that is, balanced budget for the poor, unbalanced budget stimulus for the rich. So, there can also be a Tory similarity with the German type of economic conservative strand. ..."
"... For the average working punter the situation, in toto, just keeps getting worse. ..."
"... I think ordoliberal is the appropriate term of art for schauble, a lawyer not an economist, and one with a rather dredd like approach to jurisprudence (bribes being acceptable business expenses in Germany until recently). ..."
"... I think ordoliberal is the appropriate term of art for schauble ..."
"... with a rather dredd like approach to jurisprudence ..."
"... I agree that he is on board with ordoliberallism which is basically a nutcase extremist version of neoliberalism that is mainstream in Germany but I didn't want to over-egg the pudding. Let us not forget that the non-ordoliberal IMF has fronted for the Troikas tender ministrations to debtor countries during pretty much all of Schaubles tenure, save its pushback in the latest round of financing for Greece over the refusal of EU state lenders to Greece to write off some of the debt owed. And the IMF still capitulated. ..."
"... So if the IMF stood shoulder to shoulder with Schauble, does the fact that he was an ordoliberal as opposed to neoliberal make any difference in practice? ..."
"... On the other hand, while Neoliberals are True Believers on the benefits of free movement and trade, Ordoliberals are far more pragmatic, and are at heart mercantilists and corporatists (and this includes being quite happy to keep Trade Unions and other social sectors on board rather than seeing them as enemies). This is clearly reflected in the constitutional make-up of the EU. ..."
"... Its also worth pointing out that while in the Anglosphere liberals have a unified approach and dominate the main parties, in many European countries, in particular Germany, there are, and always have been, distinct parties representing the different shades of liberal views, with Christian Democrats being Ordos, while smaller parties such as the Free Democrats representing a purer form of liberalism. As Yanis points out, a strengthened FDP is a disaster for Europe, we can only hope that the Greens somehow manage to wrestle away some of the economic portfolio from them. ..."
"... Philip Mirowski, who seems to have tried as much as anyone to clarify what is and isn't neoliberalism, considers ordoliberalism one of at least three or four variants: ordo, Austrian, Chicago School and, probably, James Buchanans public choice. He identifies Carl Schmitt as a key influence on Hayek, particularly Schmitts notions that the economy was too important to be left to the whims of democracy (only a strong state can preserve and enhance a free-market economy) and the exception, which is to say that the state should stay out of the economy at all times (i.e. no bailouts for you) except when preserving the market requires state intervention. Think Obama and big banks. ..."
"... I agree that Im surprised so many German workers have blithely accepted this constriction on their incomes. ..."
Sep 30, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on September 29, 2017 by Yves Smith

Originally published at his website

Yves here. It was painful to read the encomiums for Wolfgang Schäuble yesterday as he is about to leave his post as German finance minister and become speaker of the Bundestag.

The New York Times and Financial Times, among others, praised for his role as austerity enforcer and depicted him as the truest defender of European unity. In fact, the neoliberal policies that Schauble backed increased the centrifugal forces in the Eurozone, weakened an already anemic recovery, and provided powerful evidence that Europeans are anti-democratic, which in turn helped fuel Brexit and the rise of nationalist parties, particularly in France and Germany.

These accounts also either failed to mention or greatly underplayed the fact that Schäuble took bribes from an arms merchant, which put an end to his aspirations to become Chancellor.

Yanis Varoufakis

Wolfgang Schäuble may heave left the finance ministry but his policy for turning the eurozone into an iron cage of austerity, that is the very antithesis of a democratic federation, lives on.

What is remarkable about Dr Schäubles tenure was how he invested heavily in maintaining the fragility of the monetary union, rather than eradicating it in order to render the eurozone macro-economically sustainable and resilient. Why did Dr Schäuble aim at maintaining the eurozones fragility? Why was he, in this context, ever so keen to maintain the threat of Grexit? The simple answer is: Because a state of permanent fragility was instrumental to his strategy for using the threat of expulsion from the euro (or even of Germanys withdrawal from it) to discipline the deficit countries – chiefly France.

Deep in Dr Schäuble thinking there was the belief that, as a federation is infeasible, the euro is a glorified fixed exchange rate regime. And the only way of maintaining discipline within such a regime was to keep alive the threat of expulsion or exit. But to keep that threat alive, the eurozone could not be allowed to develop the instruments and institutions that would stop it from being fragile. Thus, the eurozones permanent fragility was, from Dr Schäubles perspective an end-in-itself, rather than a failure.

The Free Democratic Partys ascension will see to it that Wolfgang Schäubles departure will not alter the policy of doing whatever it takes to prevent the eurozone s evolution into a sustainable macroeconomy. The FDPs sole promise to its voters was to prevent any of Emmanuel Macrons plans, for some federation-lite, from being agreed to, and for pursuing Grexit. Even worse, whereas Wolfgang Schäuble understood that austerity plus new loans were catastrophic for countries like Greece (but insisted on them as part of his campaign to discipline France and Italy), his FDP successors at the finance ministry will probably be less enlightened believing that the tough medicine is fit for purpose.

And so the never ending crisis of Europes social economy, that feeds the xenophobic political monsters, continues.

PlutoniumKun , September 29, 2017 at 3:23 am

Just a slight – perhaps pedantic – point. Im not sure its correct except in its loosest sense to say that Schauble is a neoliberal. I think it can be deceptive sometimes to label everything we leftists dont like as neoliberal. He comes from quite a distinct line of German thought which explicitly rejects Keynesianism (even though the German economy has in reality many carefully built in counter-cyclical stabilisers) but mixes some Hayek with old fashioned mercantilism. The obsession with trade surpluses is one obvious differential between them and what we would consider neoliberalism. There is a good discussion of the distinctiveness of German conservative economic thought here .

As for the praise Schauble gets, it continually astonishes me, even in the victim countries, that Merkel and Schauble get such a free pass for the enormous damage they have done to Europe in the past 10 years, and that includes from many on the notional left. I think it shows just how hard it is to shift the notion of balanced budgets and living within our needs as a form of virtue . The (in many ways justified) worldwide admiration for the German economic model is such that people find it very hard not to feel somehow that they are always right. Even in Germany of course the potential for long term ruin has been set by the almost complete absence of investment in infrastructure over the last 2 decades.

Frenchguy , September 29, 2017 at 4:48 am

While I agree that German economic thought is archaic and that Merkel/Schauble were quite narrow-minded during the euro crisis, one criticism that I think is unfair is the one where they supposedly imposed austerity. Schauble in particular was always quite clear: if you want to stay in the Eurozone, you have to respect the fiscal rules that were agreed beforehand otherwise no worries, we will help you leave. Ill repeat that, Schauble was aware that Grexit might be the better option and was prepared to help but he left the choice to Greek leaders (side note, its actually the French that ruled out an exit from the Eurozone). The rules might have been dumb but the time to complain was before signing them, not after (newsflash: Germans are stickler for rules). Of course, peripheral countries knew that exiting the eurozone was actually not a panacea and Varoufakis in particular hoped to blackmail Germany into accepting his plans, that went well

So yeah, to say that they saved the Eurozone is far-fetched and they were certainly not visionnary in any sense of the world but they did bend the rules and they did spend a lot of domestic political capital on that (on the other hand, a bailout for the periphery was not that unpopular in France but French leaders pretty much capitulated on the issue). If you want a comparison, Merkel allowed the AfD to take flight in order to help the periphery while Tories in the UK did bail out of the EU in order to woo back UKIP voters. And of course, I am still waiting for the US governement to send any money to the Euro periphery since it is so simple.

There were few good guys during the euro crisis: Trichet was a disaster, Sarkozy signed on the Deauville accord a bit too enthusiastically, the Greeks did fake their deficit numbers (something that people forget too quickly, it was a major breach of trust) and Varoufakis played the blackmail game, Spanish politicians gunned for new records of corruption, Ireland set up one of the biggest corporate tax heavens of all time, Berlusconi was morally the worst of the bunch, even Draghi was perhaps a bit too slow to push spreads back to down (though he probably did the best he could) Among all of that mess, I think you can argue that Merkel was relatively the best of all, not that much of a compliment though.

makedoanmend , September 29, 2017 at 4:55 am

Yes, these are all very good points, excellent points in fact. And one should be able understand and delineate the differences between German conservatism and its UK variety of tory conservatism for instance. Id just interpret/input your points in a slightly different perspective.

It really seems that the outcomes of both versions of economic conservatism produce similar neoliberal outcomes in aggregate: reduced wages, precarious working conditions, increasing economic inequality, reduced services, tax money being funnelled to businesses, and vanishing/crumbling infrastructure.

It really seems to be a matter of degree rather absolutes.

UK infrastructure seems to be in decent shape and with PPP even the Tories can buy into a degree of Keynesian stimulus via public works, whilst it seems the Germans have largely dropped the ball. Then again, Obsourne* was all about the rhetoric of balanced budgets – that is, balanced budget for the poor, unbalanced budget stimulus for the rich. So, there can also be a Tory similarity with the German type of economic conservative strand.

So, I suppose, like everything else, the complexity is revealing in itself; and knowing how the different strands of economic conservatism evolved might help us understand how to counteract the pernicious effects.

For the average working punter the situation, in toto, just keeps getting worse.

[*To all NCers, Osbourne was finance minister under Cameron in the UK. If you should ever meet him, dont ask him what the product of 8 x 7 is. He thinks that kind of question isnt cricket and is basically a subversive type of activity.]

paul , September 29, 2017 at 5:37 am

To be fair, he was the only person to publicly shed tears over Margaret Thatcher's quite natural death. I'm sure he mopped his eyes afterward with an old hang mandela t shirt (de rigeur for his generation) before popping out to walk the dog with his old pal natalie rowe

skippy , September 29, 2017 at 4:56 am

Its not all black: European Parliament members decide to bar Monsanto lobbyists

https://www.ft.com/content/5c1c61e6-a457-11e7-b797-b61809486fe2

paul , September 29, 2017 at 5:20 am

I think ordoliberal is the appropriate term of art for schauble, a lawyer not an economist, and one with a rather dredd like approach to jurisprudence (bribes being acceptable business expenses in Germany until recently).

That gross chancellor kohls bagmans career was eclipsed by agent Angela must have been a terrible stone in his shoe.

I still remember him gelatinising Michael Portillo in one of his many TV license funded flounces around Europe. He pummelled poor Michael with his hausfrau hogwash as mercilessly as he vivisected Greece.

It was noticeable that Michael assumed that Germanys strength was due to Schaubles character rather than seeing a rather rank case of institutional inheritance.

Mark P. , September 29, 2017 at 5:56 am

I think ordoliberal is the appropriate term of art for schauble

It is. And the first responder to the OP, Plutonium Kun, up top, in fact provides a link to an analysis of ordoliberalism, and how it played out during and since the GFC.

with a rather dredd like approach to jurisprudence

I like the way you put that

Yves Smith Post author , September 29, 2017 at 6:06 am

I agree that he is on board with ordoliberallism which is basically a nutcase extremist version of neoliberalism that is mainstream in Germany but I didn't want to over-egg the pudding. Let us not forget that the non-ordoliberal IMF has fronted for the Troikas tender ministrations to debtor countries during pretty much all of Schaubles tenure, save its pushback in the latest round of financing for Greece over the refusal of EU state lenders to Greece to write off some of the debt owed. And the IMF still capitulated.

So if the IMF stood shoulder to shoulder with Schauble, does the fact that he was an ordoliberal as opposed to neoliberal make any difference in practice?

paul , September 29, 2017 at 6:27 am

It is probably splitting hairs from the same mangy dog, but I think ordoliberalism captures the prim sanctimony of monsters like schauble.

PlutoniumKun , September 29, 2017 at 6:57 am

Second try here (I wrote a reply to you which disappeared into cyberspace, it may pop up again).

I agree that the distinction between ordoliberalism, liberalism and neoliberalism is a bit irrelevant when the outcome is the same. And they do agree with each other on most subjects. I just think its worth paying attention to the distinct differences between the mainstream German version of liberalism and Anglo liberalism.

To take the issue of austerity, it always seems to me that the Germans are True Believers. They have a moral belief that excess spending, government deficits, and trade deficits are wrong in every circumstances. Neoliberals pay lip service to this but (correctly) ignore this in practice. Tories and Republicans are always quite happy to bust budgets when it suits them and in reality dont seem to care about trade deficits.

On the other hand, while Neoliberals are True Believers on the benefits of free movement and trade, Ordoliberals are far more pragmatic, and are at heart mercantilists and corporatists (and this includes being quite happy to keep Trade Unions and other social sectors on board rather than seeing them as enemies). This is clearly reflected in the constitutional make-up of the EU.

I think that one of the crucial failures in the Eurozone is that for a whole series of reasons the structural design of the Eurozone was hijacked by liberal True Believers, and much of the fault for this was the intellectual failure of the broader left to understand the importance of controlling monetary policy.

Its also worth pointing out that while in the Anglosphere liberals have a unified approach and dominate the main parties, in many European countries, in particular Germany, there are, and always have been, distinct parties representing the different shades of liberal views, with Christian Democrats being Ordos, while smaller parties such as the Free Democrats representing a purer form of liberalism. As Yanis points out, a strengthened FDP is a disaster for Europe, we can only hope that the Greens somehow manage to wrestle away some of the economic portfolio from them.

Left in Wisconsin , September 29, 2017 at 12:16 pm

Philip Mirowski, who seems to have tried as much as anyone to clarify what is and isn't neoliberalism, considers ordoliberalism one of at least three or four variants: ordo, Austrian, Chicago School and, probably, James Buchanans public choice. He identifies Carl Schmitt as a key influence on Hayek, particularly Schmitts notions that the economy was too important to be left to the whims of democracy (only a strong state can preserve and enhance a free-market economy) and the exception, which is to say that the state should stay out of the economy at all times (i.e. no bailouts for you) except when preserving the market requires state intervention. Think Obama and big banks.

For those who arent familiar with Mirowski, here is a good piece on Defining Neoliberalism (in which, parenthetically, he provides an excellent takedown of Wikipedia as a forum for learning about anything controversial). To some, he takes a bit of getting used to but he is a terrific writer and you are bound to learn some new words. Have dictionary at the ready!
Defining Neoliberalism

PlutoniumKun , September 30, 2017 at 5:15 am

Ive read a little of Mirowski before, a very good writer, thanks for the link.

digi_owl , September 29, 2017 at 12:53 pm

The basic problem with EU is that what left there is present in it, is of the student/champagne left that is more about glitz and humanitarian causes than they are workers rights and similar that used to define the left both before and after WW2.

I keep bumping into students and young professionals that praise the EU because first of all they got to study abroad under some EU scheme, and now can take their credit card and smartphone and set up camp anywhere their hearts desire within the euro zone.

They are effectively blind to the problems this freeflow cause for long fought for rights and protections of the working man and woman. This while parroting the idea that EU is what has not caused a major European war in a generation or two

makedoanmend , September 30, 2017 at 4:32 am

Being a European leftist myself, I seldom bump into my compatriots who are drinking champagne as if its fizzy water, flashing credit cards and so on. Many are working middle class people struggling to get by; many others are working poor; and some are getting along just fine. In other words, there is an entire gamut of socio-economic backgrounds represented in the left in Europe.

Many of my compatriots are educated. When did leftists have to eschew higher and further education? One of the primary acts of socialist leaning peoples in the late nineteenth century was to lobby for and provide additional channels of education to sections of the community who previously didnt have the resources to study, or simply didnt have time during the day and were denied physical facilities when they did have the time.

Yes, there are many people who seem to be doing fairly well and might espouse leftist viewpoints without bothering to understand better why they espouse such views. I would suggest this is the case with many of our compatriots, whatever their political leanings. And its not so easy either to categorise and identify the working class. I know of several manual labourers who would go ballistic if you suggested they were anything less than middle class citizens.

Also, its rather easy to conflate liberals with leftists? I would argue they are not the same political beast.

Some students in my biology course (an admixture of biochem & agrics) just started an anarchist society. The first in the universitys history. I hope these young and well educated people, who come from many different backgrounds and from several European countries, can explore what leftism means and how it impacts on everyone for good or ill. Equally, I hope they are successful in better understanding the human condition as they down pints of wallop in some pub around town.

Terry Flynn , September 29, 2017 at 7:58 am

Thank you. Just an anecdotal observation that supports this based on 15+ years of Spanish holidays. I always had an apartment so I had options to go eat out with friends I made in the complex or cook for myself.

Spanish restauranteurs, if you got them to give their private views, hated German tourists compared to Brits: the latter would far more often go sod it, were eating out thus benefiting the local hospitality industry (and deal with the resulting credit card debt later!) . I and others noted how less often Germans did this. They clearly had a food budget which dictated finding the nearest LIDL/ALDI and cooking dinner for themselves in their apartments. In the shops (in areas that definitely werent dominated by German holidaymakers) youd see a disproportionate number of Germans buying pasta/bread/sauces – obviously intending to cook most nights.

Ive read on NC the increasing pressure on German domestic budgets following the schroeder reforms etc and anecdotally I saw plenty of living strictly within ones means on display on holidays And Spanish restauranteurs saw it too.

PlutoniumKun , September 29, 2017 at 8:07 am

Ask any tourist town hustler and theyll tell you the way to sell to Brits is to say its on discount! while the way to sell to Germans is to say its the best quality!.

Mind you, its also a cultural thing. I had a French acquaintance say that the big complaint in her small village is that the Dutch insist on bringing their horrible tasteless tomatoes with them on holiday. The Brits will always eat out of course, there is no point to being on holiday otherwise and quite right too.

But on a purely anecdotal basis Id agree with you that Germans seem much less inclined to splash out on holiday (Ive noticed that about supermarkets in Spain/France too). German incomes certainly have been squeezed unnecessarily for 2 decades now (its still amazes me that the German workers blandly accept this in most sectors). Germans used to be known as big spenders when they holidayed in Ireland, but they dont have that reputation anymore.

Terry Flynn , September 29, 2017 at 8:28 am

I agree that Im surprised so many German workers have blithely accepted this constriction on their incomes.

Again, there must be cultural factors at play that mean they have accepted that this is all part of how Germany apparently works so well as a country /society.

I am curious how long this mindset will continue as neoliberalism – even with the better German constraints on its effects – inevitably creeps further up the income distribution. Things like the balanced budget law (if fully adopted and adhered to) will cause increasing problems The AfD electoral success may be the canary in the coalmine.

paul , September 29, 2017 at 9:33 am

while I havent been in Germany in the last few years,last time I was in berlin,amid the cranes(the parliament island seemed to be a noble attempt at architectural landfill) and the infrastructure that was clearly behind demand, I was astonished at how many familiblogged characters were there, on the trams,busses, streets.
Went into a local bar, (much to my better 50% advice), we were the only ones that were not chronically disabled,no beer on tap but they all could hardly been nicer to us.
The german miracle is being worn to a thread was my conclusion.

paul , September 29, 2017 at 10:01 am

Wander into a german village town and you will see how unhappily this is playing out. Visiting the charmingly understated max ernst museum outside koln, I remember a well pensioned hausfrau rolling her eyes in our direction at a couple of young lads (dark skinned of course),her face would have turned milk.
They were just young lads talking loudly.
Because we are both tall and blue eyed she did not seem to have a problem with us at all.

Left in Wisconsin , September 29, 2017 at 12:29 pm

I agree that Im surprised so many German workers have blithely accepted this constriction on their incomes.

The German manufacturing economy is very strong but German workers in the exposed sector are no less subject to job relocation blackmail than workers anywhere else. The macro-economic data might prove that German workers are underpaid, but German wages are based off the export economy and the relocation threat is real. German manufacturing workers are already probably the highest paid in the world (depending on choice of measure). Widening the cost differential with Eastern and Southern Europe, not to mention other places with even lower wages, I think is rightly perceived as risky.

Ignacio , September 29, 2017 at 7:07 pm

I think you have a point here and it has to do with mercantilism. Probably, those workers employed in large factories exporting all around the world know that such mercantilism helps them keep their positions and relatively well paid positions compared with their peers in other countries. This must be the way CDU attracts labor to their side.

Nevertheless, if german tourists spent more in Spain, we would have more money to spend in their factories, somebody should educate them, HA,HA, HA!!!

digi_owl , September 29, 2017 at 1:09 pm

Apparently it has been sold as a way to keep Germany as an export powerhouse, thus allowing the nation to run a trade surplus.

Never mind that especially since the intro of the Euro, this has lead Germany to effectively operating a beggar-thy-neighbor policy.

Keep in mind that before the Euro, many neighboring nations would operate with a exchange rate hitched to the D-Mark. So if ever (West) Germany tried to push ahead, the others would devalue, and appear to drag Germany back down.

But since the Euro, Germany have been (not necessarily intentionally) using their domestically suppressed wages to muscle the products and services into neighboring markets.

Notice btw that much of the loans causing troubles in the PIIGS came from German banks (French banks were also involved, but to a lesser extent as France do not have the suppressed local wages). So if they fold, effectively Germany banking folds.

Oregoncharles , September 29, 2017 at 2:49 pm

one obvious differential between them and what we would consider neoliberalism is Germanys enormous economic and political success over the last decade or more. Of course, the recent election indicates that a lot of Germans disagree with that judgement, so evidently the bag is mixed in ways not so obvious from here.

That huge accumulation of power is the reason for the sometimes grudging respect granted to Schaueble and Merkel. Its also a great danger to Germany, because in a continent with long historical memories (compared to Americans), it looks more and more like a Fourth Reich. Even though his domestic policies are so extremely neoliberal, Macrons speech looks like the beginning of a rebellion, from the country qualified to lead it. Well see how that goes.

digi_owl , September 29, 2017 at 7:22 pm

Economic might that has since at least the reunification, if not earlier, have been predicated on a, in practice, beggar-thy-neighbor trade policy.

This by suppressing German wages to make German products and services cheaper than local equivalents.

This has been particularly effective since the Euro came into use, as now the Euro nations cant devalue their currencies to counteract this effect.

pietro gori , September 29, 2017 at 5:39 am

What is remarkable about Dr Schäubles tenure was how he invested heavily in maintaining the fragility of the monetary union, rather than eradicating it in order to render the eurozone macro-economically sustainable and resilient

Well, yes, but the fact is that the eurozone cannot possibly be redered maco-economically sustainable
and resilient. That is just well-entrenched wishful thinking on the part of Mr. Varoufakis

Yves Smith Post author , September 29, 2017 at 5:51 am

Thats not quite right. Varoufakis and Jamie Galbraith published a series of finesses, the biggest of which would have been creating an infrastructure bank that would invest, particularly in deficit countries.

A big flaw of government accounting is that it does everything on a cash-flow basis, when private sector accounting separates balance sheet and income statement items. Germany could have supported this work around, using the accounting justification or other pretexts. It didnt want to. By contrast, theyve been extremely creative in figuring out ways to create much more complicated facilities and financial structures to shore up the banks.

Chauncey Gardiner , September 29, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Thank you for this suggestion. I appreciate the values, intelligence, energy and experience of Yanis Varoufakis, and especially his insightful thoughts here on both the nature of the eurozone, Schaubles desire to preserve its fragility, and his wish to strengthen it.

Jamie Galbraith is no slouch, either. I would like to see their suggestions regarding policy initiatives both within and outside existing EU and other supranational structures that they believe could enable Greece to negate further abuse of its citizens, minimize the effects of Teutonic ordoliberal austerity, reverse privatization of the nations public assets, and strengthen the Greek economy. Hard to do when you dont have a sovereign currency and must seek to build alliances. Might have applications elsewhere in the world.

digi_owl , September 29, 2017 at 1:11 pm

That is sadly the one big flaw of Varoufakis, that he is of the champagne left that think the EU both can be saved and is worth saving.

This means that when push comes to shove he will not go all the way, driving for reforms rather than disbandment.

Ignacio , September 30, 2017 at 6:55 am

Well, despite it flaws, the EU is worth saving if it is to the better. There are quite good initiatives coming from the EU and it provides a political framework above traditional nationalism that by itself is very positive. I like that from Varoufakis, his priorities are well positioned.

Mickey Hickey , September 29, 2017 at 6:17 am

@Frenchguy

You hit the nail on the head with Ireland set up one of the biggest tax heavens of all time.. With the help of corporate lobbyists at the European Commission in Brussels without that it would have been shut down quickly. My take on Germany is that they have still not recovered from the Weimar era hyperinflation and economic collapse. Germany tends to cling tightly to strategies whether they be winners or losers. The currency printing presses were cranked up to insane levels. Money was something to be turned into goods or services within minutes.

Then overnight the gold backed Reichsmark was introduced and became an object of adoration that should under no circumstances be spent except for absolute necessities.

The Reichsmark precipitated economic collapse. The inflation phobia of todays Germany stems from the 1920s. Frau Merkel was not and is not a political leader. She is above all a successful politician who tests the direction of the political winds daily and makes micro adjustments accordingly. As for Germans being sticklers for rules, I have a 9 year old grandson who is a stickler for rules even a good portion of Irishness did not save him. I found that he was amenable to changing the rules so I encouraged that and now he is almost Irish.

With respect to German spending on infrastructure over the past twenty years. German infrastructure is in excellent shape compared to the rest of the developed world. Their public transit system is amongst the best in the world. Only in Canada (where I live normally) will you find better infrastructure than in Germany and that is due to large population increases resulting in newer infrastructure. Infrastructure lobbyists are preaching gloom and doom all over the developed world, a grain of salt is advised.

PlutoniumKun , September 29, 2017 at 7:08 am

Its complete hyperbole to describe Ireland as one of the biggest tax havens of all time. It is dwarfed within Europe by Luxembourg (which is a true tax haven in the literal sense) and the various UK off-shore havens. Vastly more money is moved through Switzerland and London for crooked or tax purposes and the Netherlands is an equal in using questionable rules to encourage investment.

Irelands dodgy tax policies, largely designed by T.K. Whitaker , actually predate membership of the EU (1958 to be precise) and were implicitly accepted upon its membership.

Oregoncharles , September 29, 2017 at 2:56 pm

Sort of like Greeces dodgy balance sheets (if thats the right term), intentionally overlooked when it applied for Eurozone membership?

Of course, if youre right about the others, the EU had compelling reason to overlook a few foibles. I gather Ireland rather paid for it after the GFC, though, and Greece is still paying for it.

PlutoniumKun , September 30, 2017 at 5:28 am

Not really – Ireland was a pioneer in using favourable taxes to bring in jobs to poorer areas. So much so that even China essentially copied the Irish model (so the Tiger economies were actually copying the Celtic tiger, not vice versa to some extent). Essentially, the Irish model was to allow transfer pricing in exchange for screwdriver plants – in addition to special secret deals for promising new companies, like Apple (its often forgotten just how small Apple was when it first moved into Ireland – it was something of a triumph of the Irish development agencies to have identified it). This was all open and obvious when Ireland joined the EU. Essentially, it was considered legitimate at the time for smaller countries to use tactics like this – it was completely in line with academic theory on the time in development economics, especially clustering theories (the idea that if you get enough factories in one area together, they will organically develop into more integrated industries). There was nothing hidden from the EU. If anything, the EU approved as it was seen as important to have star pupils among the smaller members.

Ireland is not a tax haven in the sense that its not a large repository for dodgy money. There are some elements of tax haven laws in the Irish banking system, but its not considered a tax haven in international terms. The main issue is that manufacturing companies based in Ireland are allowed to use loopholes in Irish laws to hide profits. Thats something of a different matter – all countries do this to some extent, Ireland is just a more egregious offender.

And its not really appropriate to compare it to Greece. Greece has been ruined by its poor model and its betrayal by the Eurozone. Ireland has gone from developing country status in the 1950s to one of the most prosperous countries in Europe. The losses from the crash of the Celtic Tiger have been more or less made up. Much as I hate to say it, the Irish economic development model has by any measures been a stunning success. This is why neoliberals love Ireland so much.

digi_owl , September 29, 2017 at 1:17 pm

You are right, and perhaps what is making the workforce willing to accept wage suppression.

This because the cause of the hyperinflation was exchange rates and trade deficits. Germany were forced to pay reparations denominated in foreign currency, but had little to no export industry to earn said currency with (the Ruhr were under French administration for one). Thus they had to print ever more notes to buy the currency to make the payments, and each round would lead to worse inflation.

The crazy thing is that Keynes warned about this, but was ignored.

So based on this, it may well be that German leadership is hell bent on maintaining a trade surplus, even if it means beggaring neighbors and in the long run create a massive buildup of ill will against Germany.

Distrubed Voter , September 29, 2017 at 6:38 am

Thanks for quoting Varoufakis, and thanks for allowing wonderful commentaries again by such knowledgeable readers.

Futility , September 29, 2017 at 10:18 am

Incidentally, Der Spiegel published today an article about a photographer who documented the plight of prostitutes in Greece. There one can see the real world consequences of Schäubles policies. The women (and men) work for 15 Euro or less per customer. A lot of people see this as their last resort to feed their family. The article mentions that Greece increased the VAT from 13% to 24%, making condoms prohibitively expensive for the prostitutes which resulted in a marked increase in HIV infections. How Schäuble can live with himself, I dont know.

WARNING: The article is in German and some of the pictures are not fit for work.

Eustache De Saint Pierre , September 29, 2017 at 11:12 am

There was once an article that was I believe posted here which outlined the fact that the legalised & supposedly efficient German prostitution industry was not all it was cracked up to be – it appeared around the same time that a German woman had her benefits sanctioned due to refusing to work in the industry.

I would just like to say that there is at least one Englishmen who finds cooking a pleasurable experience when on holiday, which when I can manage it due to the lady in my lifes preference would be Italy. Beautiful bread, real mozzarella, white creamy butter, divine proscuitto, & large perfect for Caprese salad tomatoes bought from small grocers – Just some of the treats on offer the make the break very special.

Synoia , September 29, 2017 at 3:54 pm

Even worse, whereas Wolfgang Schäuble understood that austerity plus new loans were catastrophic for countries like Greece (but insisted on them as part of his campaign to discipline France and Italy), his FDP successors at the finance ministry will probably be less enlightened believing that the tough medicine is fit for purpose.

And now perhaps one understands the 30 years war, the Franco-Prussian war, WW I and WW II.

The Im certain Im correct in the face of a other reasonableness.

digi_owl , September 29, 2017 at 7:27 pm

It is effectively a variant of the problem of becoming a monster while one believe one is defeating monsters

Scott , September 29, 2017 at 11:28 pm

Keynes was perceptive, and I can believe his warnings were understood, if not at the time, later. His portrait of Woodrow Wilson out of his depth completely when seated with politicians of France who were adept at bypassing and then destroying the Points the Germans had signed the Armistice because of.

America was not successful at out witting the French. Moral leadership? Wilson just turned into a sidelined ignored & defeated character. It is no wonder Germany went to war again.

The question now is whose warnings are we to hear now?

Michael Hudson would say that capitalism is destroying itself. I have yet to see him on Rachel Maddow who often has David Cay Johnston on, though the questions are about Trump, not the Tax Code. Mr. Johnston could give us a good Tax Code.

Mr. Hudson? Who in Government is listening to him?

Mark P. , September 30, 2017 at 4:08 am

Whos listening to Hudson in the U.S. government?

Well, maybe they arent now. Lots of folks at the DoD and State read him in 1972, right after he left off working for David Rockefeller and wrote SUPER IMPERIALISM: THE ECONOMIC STRATEGY OF AMERICAN EMPIRE as a diagnosis of how the dollar as global reserve currency was going to work once Nixon and Kissinger had taken the U.S. off the gold standard. They used Hudsons book as a how-to manual and did their best to buy up all the copies.

You arent going to see Hudson on the Rachel Maddow show, in short.

[Sep 29, 2017] Escalating Tensions Over Kurdish Referendum by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... A unilateral declaration of independence wont be accepted by any of the surrounding states, and very few other governments would recognize the new state because of the manner of its separation. ..."
"... Turkey, Iran, and the Iraqi government were already ratcheting up economic pressure on the region because of the vote, but a declaration of independence would likely trigger immediate military responses from one or more of them. ..."
"... The situation has quickly escalated to a point where none of the governments involved is willing to back down or compromise, and that makes it much harder to avoid the worst-case scenario of a major armed conflict breaking out. Both Turkey and Iran fear the creation of a Kurdish state because of the possible implications for the aspirations of their own Kurdish minorities. ..."
Sep 29, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
... continue to rise following the independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan:

Iraqi Kurds overwhelmingly voted in favor of independence in a referendum on Monday, which Mr. Ali said obliges Mr. Barzani to negotiate independence from the rest of Iraq. Baghdad has refused to enter such negotiations, and Mr. Ali said that if it maintained that attitude, Kurdistan would be forced to unilaterally declare independence.

A unilateral declaration of independence wont be accepted by any of the surrounding states, and very few other governments would recognize the new state because of the manner of its separation.

Turkey, Iran, and the Iraqi government were already ratcheting up economic pressure on the region because of the vote, but a declaration of independence would likely trigger immediate military responses from one or more of them.

The situation has quickly escalated to a point where none of the governments involved is willing to back down or compromise, and that makes it much harder to avoid the worst-case scenario of a major armed conflict breaking out. Both Turkey and Iran fear the creation of a Kurdish state because of the possible implications for the aspirations of their own Kurdish minorities.

Ariane Tabatabai explained the Iranian governments view earlier this week:

Rather than seeing it as a single, contained event, Tehran views it as opening the door to a more comprehensive effort at cleaving the Kurdish territories off Iran, Syria, and Turkey to create a new country in the region.

Because Baghdad opposed the referendum and opposes the creation of a Kurdish state, Turkey and Iran can both dress up their respective responses as helping the Iraqi government to preserve its territorial integrity.

If Barzani were reckless enough to follow through on the threat his spokesman made, he would be setting up his new state for a fall.

The U.S. should do what it can to dissuade Barzani from doing this, and it should appeal to all of the parties to dial down their rhetoric and refrain from taking any more provocative actions. If tensions continue to escalate as they have over the last week, the disaster that many observers feared will follow.

[Sep 28, 2017] John Kiriakou on blowing the whistle on the CIA torture network

Notable quotes:
"... Doing Time Like A Spy: How the CIA Taught Me to Survive and Thrive in Prison ..."
Sep 15, 2017 | www.antiwar.com
Famed whistleblower John Kiriakou, the former chief of counter-terrorism operations in Pakistan, returns to the show to discuss his latest book on Abu Zubaydah "The Convenient Terrorist" which he co-authored with Guantanamo whistleblower Joseph Hickman. Kiriakou retells his history at the CIA and explains why the crux of the Abu Zubaydah saga were Zubaydah's lies about supposed ties between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, which helped the U.S. spin the lies that led to the Iraq War. Kiriakou explains the American fetish with torture and his role in blowing the whistle on the torture network within the CIA and explains how the United States made the decision to invade Iraq long before the invasion. Finally Kiriakou discusses how the drone program is the greatest recruitment tool for Islamic terrorists.

John Kiriakou is a former CIA officer and author of Doing Time Like A Spy: How the CIA Taught Me to Survive and Thrive in Prison. Kiriakou was the only CIA officer to be jailed over the CIA's torture regime-for telling the truth. Follow him on Twitter @JohnKiriakou .

[Sep 27, 2017] Come You Masters of War by Matthew Harwood

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Middle East was now a U.S. military priority, and the pursuit of direct American domination of the region came from none other than the supposed peacenik, Jimmy Carter. ..."
"... The result was the Carter Doctrine. Delivered to the American people during the 1980 State of Union Address, Carter started Americas War for the Greater Middle East. ..."
"... he declared Americas right to cheap energy. Let our position be absolutely clear, he said. An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force. ..."
"... Analyzing the Carter Doctrine, Bacevich writes that it represented a broad, open-ended commitment, one that expanded further with time -- one that implied the conversion of the Persian Gulf into an informal American protectorate. Defending the region meant policing it. And police it America has done, wrapping its naked self-interest in the seemingly noble cloth of democratization and human rights. ..."
"... They didnt see that the U.S.-armed Afghan mujahideen also believed they were the victors and that they had every intention of resisting Americas version of modernity as much as they had resisted the Soviet Unions. (Americas self-destructive trend of arming its eventual enemies -- either directly or indirectly from Saddam Hussein to ISIS, respectively -- is a recurring theme of Bacevichs narrative.) ..."
"... History cannot be controlled, and it had its revenge on a U.S. military and political elite who somehow believed they could see the future and manage historical forces toward a predestined end that naturally benefitted America. As Reinhold Niebuhr warned, and Bacevich quotes approvingly, The recalcitrant forces in the historical drama have a power and persistence beyond our reckoning. ..."
"... Another piece of connective tissue, according to Bacevich, is the belief that war is not the failure of diplomacy but a necessary ingredient to its success. The U.S. military establishment learned this lesson in Bosnia when U.S.-led NATO bombing brought Serbia to the negotiating table at the Dayton Peace Accords. The proper role of armed force, writes Bacevich, was not to supplant diplomacy but to make it work. Gen. Wesley Clark was more succinct when he called war coercive diplomacy during the Kosovo conflict. U.S. military force was no longer a last resort, particularly when technology was making it easier to unleash violence without endangering U.S. service members lives. ..."
"... The people on the ground, as the D.C. elites just learned in November, have a way of not going along with the best-laid plans made for them in the epicenters of power. ..."
"... Without any unifying aim or idea, according to Bacevich, the Obama administrations principal contribution to Americas War for the Greater Middle East was to expand its fronts. ..."
"... As Bacevich clearly shows over and over again in his narrative, the men and women who make up the defense establishment have a fanatical, almost theological, belief in the transformational power of American violence. ..."
"... Expect Uncle Sams fangs to grow longer, his talons sharper, his violence huge. ..."
"... Bacevich, himself, is not hopeful. In a note to readers that greets them before the prologue, Bacevich is refreshingly terse with his assessment of Americas war for the Greater Middle East: We have not won it. We are not winning it. Simply trying harder is unlikely to produce a different outcome. ..."
Sep 26, 2017 | www.fff.org

Review of America's War for the Greater Middle East by Andrew J. Bacevich (New York: Random House, 2016; 480 pages)

Americas War for the Greater Middle East. Over time, other considerations intruded and complicated the wars conduct, but oil as a prerequisite of freedom was from day one an abiding consideration.

By 1969, oil imports already made up 20 percent of the daily oil consumption in the United States. Four years later, Arab oil exporters suspended oil shipments to the United States to punish America for supporting Israel in the October War. The American economy screeched to a halt, seemingly held hostage by foreigners -- a big no-no for a country accustomed to getting what it wants. Predictably the U.S. response was regional domination to keep the oil flowing to America, especially to the Pentagon and its vast, permanent war machine.

The Middle East was now a U.S. military priority, and the pursuit of direct American domination of the region came from none other than the supposed peacenik, Jimmy Carter. Before him, Richard Nixon was content to have the Middle East managed by proxies after the bloodletting America experienced in Vietnam. His arch-proxy was the despised shah of Iran, whom the United States had installed into power and then armed to the teeth. When his regime collapsed in 1979, felled by Islamic revolutionaries who would eventually capture the American embassy and initiate the Iranian hostage crisis, so too did the Nixon Doctrine. That same year, the Soviet Union rolled into Afghanistan. The world was a mess, and Carter was under extreme pressure to do something about it, lest he lose his bid for a second term. (He suffered a crushing defeat anyway.)

Furies beyond reckoning

The result was the Carter Doctrine. Delivered to the American people during the 1980 State of Union Address, Carter started Americas War for the Greater Middle East. Months earlier, in his infamous malaise speech, Carter asked Americans to simplify their lives and moderate their energy use. Now he declared Americas right to cheap energy. Let our position be absolutely clear, he said. An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.

Analyzing the Carter Doctrine, Bacevich writes that it represented a broad, open-ended commitment, one that expanded further with time -- one that implied the conversion of the Persian Gulf into an informal American protectorate. Defending the region meant policing it. And police it America has done, wrapping its naked self-interest in the seemingly noble cloth of democratization and human rights.

It is illustrative, and alarming, to list Bacevichs selected campaigns and operations in the region since 1980 up to the present, unleashed by Carter and subsequent presidents. Lets go in alphabetical order by country followed by the campaigns and operations:

  1. Afghanistan (Cyclone, 1980–1989; Infinite Reach, 1998; Enduring Freedom, 2001–2015; Freedoms Sentinel, 2015–present);
  2. Bosnia (Deny Flight, 1993–1995; Deliberate Force, 1995; Joint Endeavor, 1995–1996);
  3. East Africa (Enduring Freedom -- Trans Sahara, 2007–present);
  4. Egypt (Bright Star, 1980–2009);
  5. Iraq (Desert Storm, 1991; Southern Watch, 1991–2003; Desert Strike, 1996; Northern Watch, 1997–2003; Desert Fox, 1998; Iraqi Freedom, 2003–2010; New Dawn, 2010–2011; Inherent Resolve, 2014–present);
  6. Iran (Eagle Claw, 1980; Olympic Games, 2007–2010)
  7. Kosovo (Determined Force, 1998; Allied Force, 1999; Joint Guardian, 1999–2005);
  8. Lebanon (Multinational Force, 1982–1984);
  9. Libya (El Dorado Canyon, 1986; Odyssey Dawn, 2011);
  10. North/West Africa (Enduring Freedom -- Trans Sahara, 2007– present);
  11. Pakistan (Neptune Spear, 2011);
  12. Persian Gulf (Earnest Will, 1987–1988; Nimble Archer, 1987; Praying Mantis, 1988);
  13. Saudi Arabia (Desert Shield, 1990; Desert Focus, 1996);
  14. Somalia (Restore Hope, 1992–1993; Gothic Serpent, 1993); Sudan (Infinite Reach, 1998);
  15. Syria (Inherent Resolve, 2014–present);
  16. Turkey (Provide Comfort, 1991);
  17. Yemen (Determined Response, 2000)

While Bacevich deftly takes the reader through the history of all those wars, the most important aspect of his book is his critique of the United Statess permanent military establishment and the power it wields in Washington. According to Bacevich, U.S. military leaders have a tendency to engage in fantastical thinking rife with hubris. Too many believe the United States is a global force for good that has the messianic duty to usher in secular modernity, a force that no one should ever interfere with, either militarily or ideologically.

As Bacevich makes plain again and again, history does not back up that mindset. For instance, after the Soviet Unions crippling defeat in Afghanistan, the Washington elite saw it as an American victory, the inauguration of the end of history and the inevitable march of democratic capitalism. They didnt see that the U.S.-armed Afghan mujahideen also believed they were the victors and that they had every intention of resisting Americas version of modernity as much as they had resisted the Soviet Unions. (Americas self-destructive trend of arming its eventual enemies -- either directly or indirectly from Saddam Hussein to ISIS, respectively -- is a recurring theme of Bacevichs narrative.)

Over and over again after 9/11, America would be taught this lesson, as Islamic extremists, both Sunni and Shia, bloodied the U.S. military across the Greater Middle East, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq. History cannot be controlled, and it had its revenge on a U.S. military and political elite who somehow believed they could see the future and manage historical forces toward a predestined end that naturally benefitted America. As Reinhold Niebuhr warned, and Bacevich quotes approvingly, The recalcitrant forces in the historical drama have a power and persistence beyond our reckoning.

Yet across Americas War for the Greater Middle East, presidents would speak theologically of Americas role in the world, never admitting the United States is not an instrument of the Almighty. George H.W. Bush would speak of a new world order. Bill Clintons Secretary of State Madeleine Albright would declare that America is the indispensable nation. George W. Bushs faith in this delusion led him to declare a global war on terrorism, where American military might would extinguish evil wherever it resided and initiate Condoleeza Rices 'paradigm of progress -- democracy, limited government, market economics, and respect for human (and especially womens) rights across the region. As with all zealots, there was no acknowledgment by the Bush administration, flamboyantly Christian, that evil resided inside them too. Barack Obama seemed to pull back from this arrogance in his 2009 Cairo speech, declaring, No system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other. Yet he continued to articulate his faith that all people desire liberal democracy, even though that simply isnt true.

All in all, American presidents and their military advisors believed they could impose a democratic capitalist peace on the world, undeterred that each intervention created more instability and unleashed new violent forces the United States would eventually engage militarily, such as Saddam Hussein, al-Qaeda, and ISIS. Bacevich explains that this conviction, deeply embedded in the American collective psyche, provides one of the connecting threads making the ongoing War for the Greater Middle East something more than a collection of disparate and geographically scattered skirmishes.

War and diplomacy

Another piece of connective tissue, according to Bacevich, is the belief that war is not the failure of diplomacy but a necessary ingredient to its success. The U.S. military establishment learned this lesson in Bosnia when U.S.-led NATO bombing brought Serbia to the negotiating table at the Dayton Peace Accords. The proper role of armed force, writes Bacevich, was not to supplant diplomacy but to make it work. Gen. Wesley Clark was more succinct when he called war coercive diplomacy during the Kosovo conflict. U.S. military force was no longer a last resort, particularly when technology was making it easier to unleash violence without endangering U.S. service members lives.

This logic would run aground in Iraq after 9/11 during what Bacevich calls the Third Gulf War. In an act of preventive war, the Bush administration shocked and awed Baghdad, believing U.S. military supremacy and its almost divine violence would bring other state sponsors of terrorism to heel after America quickly won the war. Vanquishing Saddam Hussein and destroying his army promised to invest American diplomacy with the power to coerce. Although the Bush administration believed the war ended after three weeks, Bacevich notes, the Third Gulf War was destined to continue for another 450. The people on the ground, as the D.C. elites just learned in November, have a way of not going along with the best-laid plans made for them in the epicenters of power.

There was hope that Barack Obama, a constitutional professor, would correct the Bush administrations failures and start to wind down Americas War for the Greater Middle East. Instead, he expanded it into Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and West Africa through drone warfare and special-operations missions. Without any unifying aim or idea, according to Bacevich, the Obama administrations principal contribution to Americas War for the Greater Middle East was to expand its fronts.

Now this war is in the hands of Donald J. Trump. If there is any upside to a Trump presidency -- and I find it hard to find many -- its the possibility that the intensity of American imperialism in the Middle East will wane. But I find that likelihood remote. Trump has promised to wipe out ISIS, which means continued military action in at least Iraq, Syria, and Libya. He has also called for more military spending, and I find it hard to believe that he or the national-security establishment will increase investment in the military and then show restraint in the use of force overseas.

As Bacevich clearly shows over and over again in his narrative, the men and women who make up the defense establishment have a fanatical, almost theological, belief in the transformational power of American violence. They persist in this belief despite all evidence to the contrary. These are the men and women who will be whispering their advice into the new presidents ear. Expect Uncle Sams fangs to grow longer, his talons sharper, his violence huge.

Bacevich, himself, is not hopeful. In a note to readers that greets them before the prologue, Bacevich is refreshingly terse with his assessment of Americas war for the Greater Middle East: We have not won it. We are not winning it. Simply trying harder is unlikely to produce a different outcome. And to this its not hard to hear Trump retort, Loser! And so the needless violence will continue on and on with no end in sight unless the American population develops a Middle East syndrome to replace the Vietnam syndrome that once made Washington wary of war.

That lack of confidence in the masters of war cant come soon enough.

This article was originally published in the July 2017 edition of Future of Freedom .

[Sep 24, 2017] How Sony, Obama, Seth Rogen and the CIA Secretly Planned to Force Regime Change in North Korea by Tim Shorrock

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The U.S., he warned in a recent speech on Capitol Hill that I attended, must deliver Kim a simple message: "We know the only thing you care about is your regime's survival. Either denuclearize or we will take actions politically to destabilize your regime." His talk was a basic primer for this "uprising" from within, which is exactly what the Bush administration sought in Iraq when it invaded in 2003. ..."
"... K-Pop, the South Korean musical genre that's popular around the world, could be another weapon: "It's acidic as far the regime is concerned." And commercials about South Korean life planted in DVDs smuggled into the North "would be terrible for Kim Jong-un." ..."
"... The purpose of the operation, he said, is to convince the people of the DPRK that their "paranoid" leader is not a "god," and to plant the idea that his country is unstable: "If that's in his mind, it will affect his behavior." In short, a psy-op. ..."
"... Why Bennett? His official biography states that he has worked for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Forces in South Korea and Japan, the U.S. Pacific Command as well as the South Korean and Japanese militaries. According an email he wrote to Sony's Lynton in 2014, he got his start in Asia as a Mormon missionary to Japan and began working on Korea in 1989 "at the request of the Pentagon." By 2014, he said, he had made over 100 trips to South Korea to advise the U.S. Army and senior South Korean military personnel "on how to deter North Korea." Even though he has never been to the DPRK, he bases his knowledge of the country on his "extensive interviews with senior North Korean defectors." ..."
"... The film allegedly sparked North Korea to hack Sony and leak thousands of internal Sony emails. North Korea also warned the Obama administration not to allow the film to be released, branding it "an act of terrorism." So, when Bennett invited questions at his congressional briefing, I asked him: what was his involvement in The Interview , and did he think it was effective? ..."
"... As Americans come to grips with Trump's confrontational policies with North Korea, it's easy to forget that U.S. relations with North Korea reached a nadir under Barack Obama. Here's why: Bennett's regime change proposals were, and are, the culmination of policies hatched by Obama's left-liberal administration to weaken Kim's hold on power and hasten what they considered North Korea's inevitable collapse. Obviously they failed, yet elements of the plan still abound. ..."
"... To head off that development, in 1994 President Bill Clinton negotiated an agreement with North Korea's founding leader, Kim Il-sung, that sought to allay his government's fears by ending America's hostile policies. Under the "Agreed Framework," the DPRK shut down its one test reactor -- its only source for plutonium -- in return for U.S. shipments of oil for its power grid and two new light-water reactors to be built by an international consortium. Most importantly, both sides agreed to end mutual hostility by fully normalizing their economic and political relations. ..."
"... The agreement, which froze North Korea's nuclear program for 12 years, held for several years. But in 2002, the Bush administration accused the DPRK -- falsely it turned out -- of building a secret uranium program as a second route to a bomb and tore up the framework. In response, North Korea, which was by now led by Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un's father, restarted its nuclear program, and by 2006 had exploded its first nuclear device. ..."
"... Surprisingly, Bush reopened negotiations only three weeks later, and by 2007, under the rubric of the Six Party Talks, the DPRK agreed again to freeze its program. That accord was still pending when Obama was elected in 2009. He had run for president pledging to talk to Iran and North Korea, but quickly changed course on Korea. ..."
"... Obama and his top adviser on Asia, Jeff Bader, decided in 2009 to side with the new, conservative president of South Korea, Lee Myung Bak, who had campaigned against engagement and demanded stronger pressure tactics against the DPRK. Soon, the idea of direct talks and regular was abandoned. Officially, the doctrine for replacing direct engagement with pressure tactics was known as "strategic patience." Behind it was a mistaken assumption!the same one made by Bennett today!that North Korea was headed for collapse, making even the chance of an agreement a futile exercise. ..."
"... It's difficult to overstate how reactionary Obama's policies became. In contrast to Bush, and even Trump, Obama flatly rejected the idea of negotiating with the North without a prior commitment to denuclearization. He also expressed no interest in the DPRK's offer to sign a peace agreement. More disturbingly, he was the first president in history to refer to the Korean War, which has been universally recognized as a bloody stalemate, as a "victory." In doing so, Obama revived a right-wing trope that was first used in the 1950s and resurrected during the Bush years by David Frum and other neocons. So from the onset, Obama caused America's policy toward Korea to take a sharp right turn. ..."
"... But the U.S. government had no doubts at all. In January 2015, Obama called the DPRK's alleged hack an "act of war" and used it as an excuse to launch one of the most aggressive American actions on behalf of a private corporation in U.S. history. His executive order imposed sanctions against three North Korean agencies and nearly a dozen "critical North Korean operatives" in retaliation for the hack. The Treasury Department said the sanctions were in direct response to North Korea's "numerous provocations, particularly the recent cyber-attack targeting Sony Pictures Entertainment." The action marked a major escalation, returning "the U.S. to a posture of open hostility with its oldest remaining Cold War adversary," the Wall Street Journal noted . ..."
"... Shortly after these actions were taken, the New York Times published a revelation that raised serious questions about the hack, reporting that the NSA had broken into the DPRK's computer systems as early as 2010 and "penetrated directly into the North with the help of South Korea and other American allies." If that was true, the NSA might have watched the alleged hackers and allowed them to do their work. Here's what the Times concluded: ..."
"... Today, Kim Jong-un remains firmly in control of North Korea, and the Trump administration -- despite Trump's tweets on Sunday equating engagement with "appeasement " -- appears to be slowly moving toward negotiations of some kind with his government. Bruce Bennett continues to fantasize about bringing the leader down. Kim, he argued in a recent post , craves his weapons not for self-defense but because "nukes are one way to show his subjects he's a god." Kim is "a weak leader consumed by paranoia," he wrote in a separate piece. ..."
"... And on August 29, in a departing interview with Fox News, ousted White House adviser Sebastian Gorka let it slip that the cyber attacks on North Korea probably continue. "On the more covert side of things, you have seen a lot of missile tests fail," he said . "Most tests actually fail. Sometimes there may be reasons beyond just incompetence by North Korea." ..."
"... And there was an intriguing exchange recently between one of Obama's top national security officials and South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in . On August 4, Moon spoke out against Korean right-wingers who send anti-DPRK propaganda over the border in large balloons!one of the tactics frequently suggested by Bennett and carried out by neocons Kirchick and Halvorssen. These actions, he warned , unnecessarily aggravate the North, and particularly during times of severe tension, "could prompt accidental clashes." ..."
"... That sparked an angry tweet from Samantha Power, the Obama administration's former U.N. ambassador and perhaps the most famous proponent of "humanitarian intervention" against enemy states like North Korea. "So mistaken," Power tweeted in response to Moon. "Information is what Kim Jong-un fears most. ..."
Sep 05, 2017 | www.alternet.org

Grayzone Project 294 COMMENTS

Over the past month, President Trump's incendiary threats to rain " fire and fury " on North Korea in response to its ballistic missile program set off a chain of military escalations that climaxed this week with Pyongyang's sixth test of a nuclear device , a hydrogen bomb three to five times more powerful than the American bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

As the crisis unfolded, the Rand Corporation, a military-intelligence think tank founded during the Cold War, relentlessly promoted the views of Bruce W. Bennett, a defense researcher it calls "one of the leading experts on the world's most reclusive country." Two or three times a day, Rand's media shop tweets out links to Bennett's writings on Kim Jong-un, the 33-year-old who rules the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (DPRK), its formal and preferred name.

While Trump has vowed to use sanctions, war threats and diplomacy to stop Kim from developing a ballistic missile that could fire nuclear weapons at the United States!exactly what Kim claimed to do on Sunday!Bennett believes that the only target worth considering is North Korea's " Supreme Leader " himself.

Bennett's basic theme is that North Korea is teetering on collapse and internal unrest because the military and technocratic elite who run the country have given up on Kim and his dynastic family. It's a theory that's been around for decades , but has picked up steam in reaction to Kim's recent purges, including possibly his own brother and a string of high-level defections that includes Thae Yong-ho , the erudite former North Korea ambassador to London.

In glossy books and pamphlets ("Preparing North Korean Elites for Unification") and in appearances from CNN to Fox to Teen Vogue , Bennett lays out his plan for overthrowing the North Korean government by saturating the country with leaflets and propaganda and providing assurances to potential plotters in the North that they would have a place within a new, unified Korea!but only under South Korean and U.S. control.

The U.S., he warned in a recent speech on Capitol Hill that I attended, must deliver Kim a simple message: "We know the only thing you care about is your regime's survival. Either denuclearize or we will take actions politically to destabilize your regime." His talk was a basic primer for this "uprising" from within, which is exactly what the Bush administration sought in Iraq when it invaded in 2003.

The plan, Bennett said, might begin with the U.S. Air Force dropping leaflets on North Korean missile bases that invite North Korean soldiers to defect. "If there were one or two, that would be a political loss of face." K-Pop, the South Korean musical genre that's popular around the world, could be another weapon: "It's acidic as far the regime is concerned." And commercials about South Korean life planted in DVDs smuggled into the North "would be terrible for Kim Jong-un."

The purpose of the operation, he said, is to convince the people of the DPRK that their "paranoid" leader is not a "god," and to plant the idea that his country is unstable: "If that's in his mind, it will affect his behavior." In short, a psy-op.

As I listened to his spiel, I was reminded of Bennett's advisory role in the 2014 Seth Rogen comedy The Interview , about two Hollywood stoners hired by the CIA to kill Kim. It depicted, in graphic detail, Kim's head being blown apart by a guided missile fired by fed-up North Korean "elites" who had come over to the U.S. side after their conversations with the fake American journalists, played by Rogen and his sidekick James Franco.

The film was produced by Japan's Sony Pictures, but finalized only after receiving critical advice and assistance from the Obama State Department, the Rand Corporation, and according to a 2014 interview Rogen gave to the New York Times, the CIA. ("We made relationships with certain people who work in the government as consultants, who I'm convinced are in the CIA.") But it was all under the tutelage of Bruce Bennett, who was brought into the project by Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton, a prominent member of Rand's board of directors and a close confidante of President Obama.

Why Bennett? His official biography states that he has worked for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Forces in South Korea and Japan, the U.S. Pacific Command as well as the South Korean and Japanese militaries. According an email he wrote to Sony's Lynton in 2014, he got his start in Asia as a Mormon missionary to Japan and began working on Korea in 1989 "at the request of the Pentagon." By 2014, he said, he had made over 100 trips to South Korea to advise the U.S. Army and senior South Korean military personnel "on how to deter North Korea." Even though he has never been to the DPRK, he bases his knowledge of the country on his "extensive interviews with senior North Korean defectors."

The movie's plot closely follows Bennett's vision for regime change from within, and is illustrated in two key scenes.

"We're aware of a small faction in the existing leadership that already wants him gone," the CIA agent overseeing the assassination plot tells her American recruits early on. "They want change and they're too scared to act alone. And they need you two to go in there and remove Kim and embolden them to revolt." Later, "Sook," the sexy assistant to Kim who joins the regime change plot, pleads with Rogen: "How do you prove to the 24 million people of North Korea that their god is a murderer and a liar? The people need to be shown that he's not a god."

The film allegedly sparked North Korea to hack Sony and leak thousands of internal Sony emails. North Korea also warned the Obama administration not to allow the film to be released, branding it "an act of terrorism." So, when Bennett invited questions at his congressional briefing, I asked him: what was his involvement in The Interview , and did he think it was effective?

At first, Bennett was elusive, saying, "I did not work on the movie." When I reminded him that he had been listed as an adviser, he changed course. "I heard about it for the first time when I was sent a copy of the DVD by the president of Sony Pictures, who was asking, do we need to be worried about this?" he explained, inspiring a ripple of laughter throughout the room. Bennett continued: "So I had a tail-end role in trying to help them appreciate what they might be worried about."

But there's a lot more to the story. Now that Kim is dominating the news once again, it's time to revisit this film and how it became a weapon in the long-running American war against North Korea.

Obama's hard line on DPRK

As Americans come to grips with Trump's confrontational policies with North Korea, it's easy to forget that U.S. relations with North Korea reached a nadir under Barack Obama. Here's why: Bennett's regime change proposals were, and are, the culmination of policies hatched by Obama's left-liberal administration to weaken Kim's hold on power and hasten what they considered North Korea's inevitable collapse. Obviously they failed, yet elements of the plan still abound.

Let's start with some basic background. The hostile U.S. relationship with the DPRK dates back to the Korean War, when U.S. bombers turned the country into cinders in a destructive campaign of carpet-bombing that killed millions of people. In 1953, an armistice ended the fighting, leaving the country divided and in a perpetual state of war. A peace treaty was never signed. Sometime in the late 1980s, with the border still tense and the U.S. showing no signs of withdrawing its military forces from the South, the DPRK decided to embark on a nuclear program to defend itself from wars of regime change and guarantee its sovereignty.

To head off that development, in 1994 President Bill Clinton negotiated an agreement with North Korea's founding leader, Kim Il-sung, that sought to allay his government's fears by ending America's hostile policies. Under the "Agreed Framework," the DPRK shut down its one test reactor -- its only source for plutonium -- in return for U.S. shipments of oil for its power grid and two new light-water reactors to be built by an international consortium. Most importantly, both sides agreed to end mutual hostility by fully normalizing their economic and political relations.

The agreement, which froze North Korea's nuclear program for 12 years, held for several years. But in 2002, the Bush administration accused the DPRK -- falsely it turned out -- of building a secret uranium program as a second route to a bomb and tore up the framework. In response, North Korea, which was by now led by Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un's father, restarted its nuclear program, and by 2006 had exploded its first nuclear device.

Surprisingly, Bush reopened negotiations only three weeks later, and by 2007, under the rubric of the Six Party Talks, the DPRK agreed again to freeze its program. That accord was still pending when Obama was elected in 2009. He had run for president pledging to talk to Iran and North Korea, but quickly changed course on Korea.

According to Leon Sigal, a former State Department official who has met with North Korea many times in unofficial talks, Obama and his top adviser on Asia, Jeff Bader, decided in 2009 to side with the new, conservative president of South Korea, Lee Myung Bak, who had campaigned against engagement and demanded stronger pressure tactics against the DPRK. Soon, the idea of direct talks and regular was abandoned. Officially, the doctrine for replacing direct engagement with pressure tactics was known as "strategic patience." Behind it was a mistaken assumption!the same one made by Bennett today!that North Korea was headed for collapse, making even the chance of an agreement a futile exercise.

It's difficult to overstate how reactionary Obama's policies became. In contrast to Bush, and even Trump, Obama flatly rejected the idea of negotiating with the North without a prior commitment to denuclearization. He also expressed no interest in the DPRK's offer to sign a peace agreement. More disturbingly, he was the first president in history to refer to the Korean War, which has been universally recognized as a bloody stalemate, as a "victory." In doing so, Obama revived a right-wing trope that was first used in the 1950s and resurrected during the Bush years by David Frum and other neocons. So from the onset, Obama caused America's policy toward Korea to take a sharp right turn.

The tensions were exacerbated by the covert cyber war Obama launched against North Korea to damage and slow its missile program. During the Obama years, North Korea tested three more nuclear bombs, and despite the cyber war, rapidly expanded its missile abilities. As the situation deteriorated, Obama embarked on a series of military exercises with South Korea that increased in size and tempo over the course of his administration. They included unprecedented overflights by B-52 and stealth B1-B bombers as well as training in " decapitation strikes " designed to take out Kim and his leadership. All of this led straight to the crisis Trump inherited and has only made worse.

But while Trump critics rightly chafe over his reckless allusions to a nuclear attack on Korea, it's often forgotten that Obama himself made similar statements, couched in his trademark cool. "We could, obviously, destroy North Korea with our arsenals," Obama told CBS News in April 2016. A few months later, Daniel Russel, the president's senior diplomat on Asia who had earlier viewed The Interview at Sony's request, actually threatened North Korea's destruction. If Kim gets "an enhanced capacity to conduct a nuclear attack," Russel told defense reporters, he would "immediately die."

At the time, these threats hardly caused a ripple in the media, and sparked few complaints from the liberals who now criticize Trump for pushing the U.S. to war or the progressive reporters who criticized Bush for his invasion of Iraq.

Seth Rogen 'melted head' assassination scene

Although the idea for The Interview had been around for a while, the real inspiration, director Seth Rogen told the Los Angeles Times, was some "idle kidding around" he did with his friends after the assassination of Osama bin Laden in 2011. He and Sony were also encouraged by the wild success of the 2004 hit movie Team America , which ridiculed Kim Jong-il's big glasses and bouffant hair-do. But what sparked Sony's decision to go ahead with its $35 million investment was the crisis that shook the Korean Peninsula when the DPRK tested its third nuclear device in February 2013.

The nuclear test vaulted Kim Jong-un into the headlines for the first time, giving Sony the moment it had been seeking. In a "strategic marketing and research" paper later leaked by hackers, the studio told promoters to push the theme of "the dictator's bizarre behavior!he's a young, inexperienced guy with self-esteem and 'daddy' issues." The film used every racist image and trope that Rogen could dream up, from the sing-songy caricatures of Asian speech that were a film staple in the 1940s and '50s, to the concept that Koreans are either robotic slaves (like Kim's security guards) or sex-starved submissives who crave American men (like Sook, the "elite" aide to Kim who falls for the Rogen character).

In the end of the film, the Hollywood rebels triumph after badgering Kim with tough questions about his ability to feed his own people, an allusion to the terrible famine that occurred in the late-1990s. Kim goes crazy, forcing "a man once revered among mortals to cry and shit in his pants," the Rogen character explains. After the stoner character screams, "he's no god, he's a butthole," Kim is struck on his helicopter by the fatal missile shot by Sook's rebels, and his head explodes in a fireball. The rebels' job now "is to make sure power is transferred to the right hands," the Americans explain.

It was that ending that caused most of the controversy, both at the studio and when the film was later pre-screened to select officials of the Obama administration. When the first takes were shown in June 2014, some of Sony's Japanese executives were disturbed by both the violence and the racism. By this time, North Korea (which relentlessly monitors U.S. media) had got wind of the film and its theme of assassinating its head of state. So the studio asked Rogen to tone it down by removing one scene in which moviegoers watched Kim's face slowly melt and slide off his head. This sent Rogen on a tirade.

"We feel the story of censorship and trying to appease North Korea WILL in fact hurt the film critically, and thus financially," he wrote to Amy Pascal , Sony Pictures' top executive at the time. "The head melting shot described vividly in all these articles is universally received as awesome by the articles writing about them, and when these critics see a shot that is decidedly LESS awesome, regardless of what story we put out there, the truth will be apparent: it's a compromised product." (The head-melting scene was removed, but Rogen's Hollywood version of selective morality was revealing nonetheless).

By this point, North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs was denouncing the film as tantamount to "an act of war," and threatening "a decisive and merciless countermeasure" if the Obama administration allowed it to be shown. That was apparently the result Rogen was looking for.

"There was a lot of high-fiving," he told the Los Angeles Times. Even if it caused a war?

"Hopefully," Rogen said, "people will say, 'You know what? It was worth it. It was a good movie!'"

It was then that Sony turned to the government for help, through Rand and its Korea expert, Bruce Bennett.

With top Obama contacts, Sony and Rand collaborate on coup narrative

The Rand Corporation first became famous in 1971, when Daniel Ellsberg, a Rand analyst, leaked the Pentagon Papers that exposed the secret history of the Vietnam War. The incredible tale of official lies that unfolded in pages of the New York Times and other papers helped end the war four years later and triggered the beginning of the end of Richard Nixon. After shaking off that incident, Rand emerged as one of the premiere research centers for the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence.

As a result of 9/11 and the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Rand returned full force to refining the practice of counterinsurgency , or COIN, the "soft power" side of empire-building that got its start in Vietnam and aims at winning "hearts and minds" of countries that the United States invades or subverts. Bennett's policy proposals to divide members of the North Korean "elite" from their government with offers of political support and financial assistance come right out of the COIN playbook .

The link between Rand and Sony was made shortly after the first public viewing of the film by Rand CEO Michael Rich, a lifelong employee of the think tank. Under his leadership, Rand developed close ties with U.S. intelligence. In November 2014, for example, Rich presided over a "rare dialogue" with the National Security Agency that took place at Sony's headquarters in Century City and included then NSA director Michael Rogers as well as Michael Leiter, the former director of the CIA's National Counterterrorism Center.

In June 2014, after the first clips of the movie where shown, Rich emailed Bennett, informing him he had recommended that Rand "trustee Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment, get in touch with you for some quick assistance." Lynton, too, had high-level connections. As the hacked Sony emails collected by Wikileaks would later reveal , he had attended dinners at Martha's Vineyard with President Obama, and as a Rand board member, had contacts throughout government. From June on, Bennett, through Lynton, became a critical adviser to the film and acted as a liaison between the studio and the Obama administration.

The makers of The Interview were especially interested in advice on crafting the ending of the film. The scene of Kim's head exploding pleased Bennett, as he wrote in one of his emails. "I have been clear that the assassination of Kim Jong-Un is the most likely path to a collapse of the North Korean government," he wrote .

Bennett continued: 'Thus while toning down the ending may reduce the North Korean response, I believe that a story that talks about the removal of the Kim family regime and the creation of a new government by the North Korean people (well, at least the elites) will start some real thinking in South Korea and, I believe, in the North once the DVD leaks into the North (which it almost certainly will). So from a personal perspective, I would personally prefer to leave the ending alone."

Bennett firmly believed the film could spark the U.S.-led coup he had dreamed about for so long. "There are many ways that United States and even Sony Pictures could affect North Korean internal politics," he wrote on the Rand website. "Slipping DVDs of at least parts of The Interview into the North, including a narration describing what their 'god' Kim is really like is one way." (In fact, a version of this stunt was attempted right after the film came out by two of the more fanatical regime-changers in Washington, the neocon writer Jamie Kirchik and right-wing human rights hustler Thor Halvorssen .)

To make sure the film was on the right track, Sony arranged to show the ending to officials at the State Department. Lynton emailed Daniel Russel, who was the assistant Secretary of State for East Asia, that the studio was "concerned for the safety of Americans and American and North Korean relations." He and other U.S. officials gave their blessing to the film's violent ending. After word of Russel's involvement leaked out, the State Department denied any role, only to be contradicted by Russel himself. In a 2016 speech in Los Angeles, he said , "I'm the U.S. government official who told Sony there was no problem 'greenlighting' the movie The Interview ."

Despite the official go-ahead, Sony agreed at first to only release The Interview on DVD. Then, when Sony temporarily pulled the film in December 2014, Obama became its champion, declaring that "we cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States." That led to the remarkable sight of Hollywood actors and directors from the liberal left, led by the likes of George Clooney and Michael Moore, defending the film as an act of free speech and urging Americans to defy Kim's "censorship" and go see it in a theater.

By this time, Sony had been hacked by a group that called itself the " Guardians of Peace ." The FBI later claimed this group was secretly working for North Korea. The Obama administration agreed, and said its top intelligence officials had concluded that North Korea was "centrally involved." This finding was questioned by many cyber-security experts (especially Gregory Elich's critique in Counterpunch and Kim Zetter's analysis in Wired). They concluded that the FBI's "evidence" found in servers in Thailand, Singapore and elsewhere was thin and speculative, and found signs that the real hackers (who had an uncanny insider knowledge of Hollywood) could still be at large and might have been former Sony employees.

But the U.S. government had no doubts at all. In January 2015, Obama called the DPRK's alleged hack an "act of war" and used it as an excuse to launch one of the most aggressive American actions on behalf of a private corporation in U.S. history. His executive order imposed sanctions against three North Korean agencies and nearly a dozen "critical North Korean operatives" in retaliation for the hack. The Treasury Department said the sanctions were in direct response to North Korea's "numerous provocations, particularly the recent cyber-attack targeting Sony Pictures Entertainment." The action marked a major escalation, returning "the U.S. to a posture of open hostility with its oldest remaining Cold War adversary," the Wall Street Journal noted .

Shortly after these actions were taken, the New York Times published a revelation that raised serious questions about the hack, reporting that the NSA had broken into the DPRK's computer systems as early as 2010 and "penetrated directly into the North with the help of South Korea and other American allies." If that was true, the NSA might have watched the alleged hackers and allowed them to do their work. Here's what the Times concluded:

"The extensive American penetration of the North Korean system raises questions about why the United States was not able to alert Sony as the attacks took shape last fall, even though the North had warned, as early as June, that the release of the movie would be 'an act of war.'"

By this time, however, the film had done its damage by convincing Kim's government that the Obama administration did indeed want its destruction. More missile and nuclear tests followed, and by the end of the Obama administration relations were far worse than they were when Bush left office in 2009. In other words, the film had the opposite of its intended effect, prompting a clampdown by Kim and suppressing whatever internal dissent existed.

Today, Kim Jong-un remains firmly in control of North Korea, and the Trump administration -- despite Trump's tweets on Sunday equating engagement with "appeasement " -- appears to be slowly moving toward negotiations of some kind with his government. Bruce Bennett continues to fantasize about bringing the leader down. Kim, he argued in a recent post , craves his weapons not for self-defense but because "nukes are one way to show his subjects he's a god." Kim is "a weak leader consumed by paranoia," he wrote in a separate piece.

At the same time, there is abundant evidence that the combination regime-change/cyber war project adopted by the Obama administration is still in force. A few weeks ago, CIA Director Mike Pompeo told a crowd at the Aspen Forum that he's been ordered to find ways to "separate" Kim from his "missiles and nuclear weapons" -- a "strong hint," the New York Times reported , "that the United States was considering seeking a regime change in North Korea." And on August 29, in a departing interview with Fox News, ousted White House adviser Sebastian Gorka let it slip that the cyber attacks on North Korea probably continue. "On the more covert side of things, you have seen a lot of missile tests fail," he said . "Most tests actually fail. Sometimes there may be reasons beyond just incompetence by North Korea."

The Democrats haven't let up, either. Last month, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal told NBC News that the Obama administration should have responded more aggressively to North Korea's alleged hack of Sony in 2014. And there was an intriguing exchange recently between one of Obama's top national security officials and South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in . On August 4, Moon spoke out against Korean right-wingers who send anti-DPRK propaganda over the border in large balloons!one of the tactics frequently suggested by Bennett and carried out by neocons Kirchick and Halvorssen. These actions, he warned , unnecessarily aggravate the North, and particularly during times of severe tension, "could prompt accidental clashes."

That sparked an angry tweet from Samantha Power, the Obama administration's former U.N. ambassador and perhaps the most famous proponent of "humanitarian intervention" against enemy states like North Korea. "So mistaken," Power tweeted in response to Moon. "Information is what Kim Jong-un fears most."

[Sep 24, 2017] A German Election Analysis

Sep 24, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

The result is bad for the top-candidates Merkel (CDU) and Schulz (SPD). The CDU lost 9 percentage points compared to the 2013 election, the SPD lost 5.

Voter migration analysis will show that the CDU loss was caused by Merkel's centrist policies and especially her gigantic immigration ("refugees") mistake. It caused the right-wing CDU voters to go over to the new right-wing party AFD.

Her party will punish Merkel for this catastrophic result. I doubt that she has two years or more years left in her position. Her party will shun her and move away from the center and back into its traditional moderate-right corner.

The voters lost by the formerly moderate-left, now also centrist SPD went over to the liberal-leftish FDP. The FDP is back in the game after having been kicked out of parliament is the 2013 elections.

The Greens and the Left Party results are mostly unchanged.

Over the last 20 years both of the traditionally big parties, CDU and SPD, had moved from their moderate-right, respectively moderate-left positions towards centrist neo-liberalism. In consequence The Left split off the SPD and now the AFD from the CDU.

The AFD is by no means a "Nazi" party though a few Nazis may try to hide under its mantle. The voters are mostly traditionalist, staunch conservatives and anti-globalization. They were earlier part of the CDU.

The SPD will not want to enter another government coalition with Merkel, It played Merkel's junior partner over the last eight years and that led to ever increasing voter losses. It nearly killed the party. The mistake of selecting the colorless Schulz as top-candidate will lead to some (necessary) blood loss in the party's leadership. SPD head Gabriel will, like Schulz, have to step back from leadership positions.

Merkel will have difficulties forming a coalition. She will avoid the AFD as her campaign had discriminated that party as "Nazi" (in itself a huge strategic mistake). She will try to build a coalition with the Green and the FDP. It will be enough to rule for a while but is a somewhat unstable configuration.

We will likely have new elections within the next two years.

Anon | Sep 24, 2017 1:53:15 PM | 1

Just like the American election with Clinton, western media doing everything to uncritically support Merkel and demonize, especially AFD, the oppostional parties. Propaganda all over.
dan of steele | Sep 24, 2017 2:10:19 PM | 2
having just been exposed to the AFD party and somewhat taken aback by their huge gains, I used the google to find out a bit about them. one of the first hits is from the Intercept where they talk about a very wealthy woman who just happens to be a Trump supporter as well funneling money and fake news to support this "scary" new party. B wrote about how right wing parties gained support because the traditional left has abandoned them. this is probably the case in Germany as well with the SPD being quite disappointing to many. The FDP seems to have gained a bit due to time passing and people not remembering how badly they got screwed by Westerwelle and his crew some years back.

anyway, for what it is worth, here is the link to the Intercept story

[Sep 24, 2017] Ex-CIA Director Obama Should Retaliate To Russian Election Hacks Now

Looks like Obama was a puppet of CIA guys like Brenna and Mike Morell
Sep 24, 2017 | www.forbes.com
Russia's alleged hacking of this year's election , according to former acting and deputy director of the CIA Mike Morell . Donald Trump, he suggested, did not appear to be ready to issue any such deterrent.

A suitable retaliation might include supplying weapons to Russia's enemies, such as Ukraine, in order to stymie an emboldened Kremlin and respond to an unprecedented attack on American democracy, Morell told FORBES today. "I think it's very important we push back, that we retaliate, that we take actions that deter Putin from doing anything like this again, not only Putin, but other countries watching this - China, Iran, North Korea," he said. "It should be significant: possibly broad and deep sanctions in general, or providing offensive weapons to the Ukraine."

Morell's comments came just days after president-elect Trump suggested intelligence from the CIA and the FBI that Russia carried out an attack on the U.S. election had little basis in fact. On Twitter yesterday, Trump said attribution was particularly difficult in the cyber realm.

[Sep 24, 2017] Obama exposed as White House 'salter' -- foreign CIA operative, puppet, with falsified credentials " Intellihub

Sep 24, 2017 | www.intellihub.com

A new bombshell report written by Jerome Corsi suggests that President Barack H. Obama's passport records were likely 'sanitized' by the acting Director of the Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan, leading up to the 2008 presidential election after Brennan achieved the status of Director of the National Counterterrorism Center under the Bush Administration.

... ... ...

But what is even more shocking about all of this is the fact that the late Michael Hastings, a renown investigative journalist who covered hardcore national security issues, was actually working on a major exposé before his death at the age of 33 that would have ultimately exposed the Obama-Brennan CIA connection as well as Obama's rise to power.

Additionally, Corsi points out that Hastings autopsy results, taken months after his death, yielded only mild traces of marijuana and amphetamine, not enough to make him lose control of his vehicle.

... ... ...

Corsi wrote:

Hastings died when his Mercedes, traveling at a high rate of speed, crossed into the median on a deserted Highland Avenue at 4:20 a.m. and struck a tree. The automobile burst into flames, charring Hastings' body so badly that it took several days to make a positive identification.

Los Angeles newspapers have suggested Hastings had become obsessed with Edward Snowden's revelations about the National Security Agency's massive domestic surveillance capabilities and with disclosures the Department of Justice had obtained of the phone records of Associated Press reporters.

His neighbor and close friend, Jordanna Thigpen, told the LA Weekly that just before his death, Hastings' behavior had become erratic because of his increasing concerned that helicopters commonly seen in the Hollywood Hills were spying on him and that his Mercedes had been tampered with.

"He was scared, and he wanted to leave town," Thigpen told the newspaper.

Could Hastings have been killed by factions of the Obama Administration or the CIA?


[Sep 24, 2017] Former CIA director on Clinton, Bush, and Obama's leadership styles - Business Insider

Sep 24, 2017 | www.businessinsider.com

Obama sought 'other views and perspectives'

"President Obama, as somebody who I worked obviously most closely with, he would, you know, stay up into the early hours of the morning reading papers and absorbing it, and so any meeting he would go to, he had a lot of background already on it. But what I always found interesting, as well as I admired, he would always ask, 'What do you think?' He tried to draw out from people other views and perspectives."

[Sep 24, 2017] Former CIA Officer Just EXPOSED OBAMA... Our Worst Fears Are TRUE!

Sep 24, 2017 | thepoliticalinsider.com

Lopez noted that the war on terrorism has always been about stopping the spread of Shariah Islamic law, until Obama started to make major changes which clearly supported the Muslim Brotherhood's jihadist interests.

She said the global war on terror had been an effort to "stay free of Shariah," or repressive Islamic law, until the Obama administration began siding with such jihadist groups as the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates.

The transition was easy for Obama, who already hates American values and principles as an ideologically radical

Why the switch?

Lopez explained, when the so-called Arab Spring appeared in late 2010, "It was time to bring down the secular Muslim rulers who did not enforce Islamic law. And America helped."

And why would Obama want to do that?

As she told WND earlier this month, Lopez believed the Muslim Brotherhood has thoroughly infiltrated the Obama administration and other branches of the federal government.

[Sep 24, 2017] Barack Obama, CIA Agent

Sep 24, 2017 | www.spingola.com

According to Dr. Manning, Obama (born in 1961) enrolled at the very pricey Occidental College in Los Angeles, California in 1979 where the CIA recruited him in 1980. Since its inception, the CIA regularly recruits college students. He was, by his own admission, a "C" student, a dope smoker and a member of the Marxist Club at Occidental, a co-educational liberal arts college. In 1981, Obama allegedly transferred from Occidental to Columbia University to major in Political Science with a specialization in international relations. It is atypical for a student to begin their education in one four-year school and then transfer to another school. Columbia University requires that incoming students pass certain academic requirements which Obama obviously lacked. However, Columbia had a foreign student program and the CIA has major connections and influence with Columbia and some of the nation's other educational facilities. Interestingly, Zbigniew Brzezinski, known to have ties to the CIA as early as 1959, was on the Columbia University faculty (1960-1989) and was in charge of the Institute on Communist Affairs. He was also Obama's mentor. Brzezinski was President Carter's National Security Advisor (1977-1981) and recently admitted that his objective was to entice the Soviet Union to invade Afghanistan in December 1979.

The CIA needed Muslims or others who could easily blend into the Muslim environment in the Middle East. The CIA persuaded Columbia University to extend their foreign student program to Obama, now a Columbia student, so that he might travel to Pakistan and enroll in the universities around Karachi in addition to the Patrice Lumumba School in Moscow. [1] The school, one of Russia's most prestigious universities was founded on February 5, 1960 as The Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (PFUR). It was renamed the Patrice Lumumba School on February 22, 1961. On February 5, 1992 the university re-adopted its former name. According to their web site, "The main aim was to give young people from Asia, Africa and Latin America, especially from poor families, an opportunity to get University education and to become highly qualified specialists. The students were admitted through non-governmental organizations, governmental establishments, and the USSR embassies and consulates." [2]

Obama, perhaps as an undercover agent, may have been the lead agent in the arms and money supply for the CIA-trained Taliban Army against the Soviet Army war machine. His actions were integral to the Taliban's success in their opposition to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Officials have publicly acknowledged that Obama went to Pakistan in 1981. There is no way of knowing how often Obama traveled between Pakistan and Russia. According to Dr. Manning, Obama was an interpreter for the CIA during the war in Afghanistan. When Obama completed his CIA operations in the mid-1980s he returned to the United States. Apparently, the State Department then maneuvered his entrance into Harvard Law School. The CIA has always functioned as the president's personal agency for black operations throughout the world. It also has connections to federal and state politicians. It managed to arrange Obama's entrance to yet another elite school in 1988.

Percy Ellis Sutton, a civil-rights activist and lawyer, was the Manhattan Borough President (1966-1977). He was an intelligence officer with the Tuskegee Airmen, the name of a group of African American pilots who were part of the 332 nd Fighter Group of the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. Sutton entered Harlem politics and became a leader of the Harlem Clubhouse, known as the "Gang of Four" which has controlled Democratic politics in Harlem for at least fifty years. His Clubhouse allies were New York City Mayor David Dinkins, Representative Charles Rangel, and New York Secretary of State Basil Paterson, father of David Paterson who replaced Spitzer as New York Governor in 2008. Percy Sutton wrote a letter to Harvard officials requesting that they admit Obama as a student after a hiatus of five years (from 1983 when he allegedly left Columbia to 1988).

Despite a five-year absence from the rigors of college activity Harvard accepted Obama where he allegedly excelled. On February 5, 1990, students elected Obama as president of the venerable celebrated Harvard Law Review , the highest student position at Harvard Law School, a term that lasts for one year. [3] After graduation he could have worked in any leading law firm except that he lacked the proper citizenship qualifications which would have come to light during the interview and normal background checks pursued by major law firms. Moreover, his academic deficiencies at Occidental College would have disqualified him from the top law firms. Furthermore, he was a CIA operative in the Middle East during the time that he was supposed to be attending Columbia University. Therefore, despite his supposed Harvard achievements, Obama became a Saul Alinsky-style community organizer in South Chicago which alleviated the necessity of providing a legitimate background check. [4]

In 1990, Obama accepted a job with Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a law firm which represented civil rights cases but also represented Rezmar Corporation, owned by Chicago slumlord, Tony Rezko. The law firm helped Rezmar get more than $43 million in government funding. As early as 1995, Rezko started contributing to Obama who had high political aspirations. In 2003, Rezko was a fundraiser for Obama's Senatorial campaign as part of a group that raised over $14 million. In 2006, the authorities found Rezko guilty of sixteen out of twenty-four charges filed against him.

Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP, the same law firm that Harvard graduate Michelle Robinson worked hired Barack Obama for a short summer stint then as an associate from 1988 to 1991. Robinson became his trainer and supervisor and, as such, may have handled any background information. Robinson, through the efforts of Valerie Jarrett, then-deputy chief of staff for Mayor Richard Daley, became an assistant to the mayor. Robinson later became an economic development coordinator. Obama married the politically connected Robinson in October 1992 in the Trinity United Church of Christ, giving him green-card style citizenship and needed credibility. [5] In 1993, according to the Records at the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois, attorney Michelle Obama became "voluntarily inactive and not authorized to practice law" per her request. After she relinquished her hard-won law license, Michelle Obama worked for the University of Chicago Medical Center where she received a very generous annual salary of $317,000. [6]

Michelle Obama helped to improvise a scheme to shift low-income charity cases to other area hospitals in order to make room for insurance-carrying patients to enhance the hospital's profitability. She did this under the guise of improving the health care of the Southside residents. In 2006, in conjunction with this scheme, Obama persuaded the hospital to hire lawyer and extremely skillful public relations mastermind, David Axelrod, to conjure up a publicity campaign to market this fallacious program to the poor black community, and make it not only palatable but highly desirable. [7] Axelrod became Barack Obama's Senior Advisor and undoubtedly masterminded the publicity behind the current healthcare scam the Obamas have hoisted on the rest of the country after its test run in Chicago, a city tarnished by its long-term corrupt political shenanigans.

[Sep 24, 2017] Bombshell Barack Obama conclusively outed as CIA creation

Sep 24, 2017 | www.infowars.com

Far from being the mere 'son of a goat herder' (as he deceptively paraded during and even before his candidacy), strong evidence has emerged that President Barack Obama is the product of the intelligence community. Investigative reporter and former NSA employee Wayne Madsen has put together an extensive three-part (and growing) series with conclusive proof and documentation that Barack Obama Sr., Stanley Ann Dunham, Lolo Soetoro and President Barack Obama himself all hold deep ties to the CIA and larger intelligence community. And that's just the beginning.

After his election, President Obama quickly moved to seal off his records via an executive order. Now, after two years of hints and clues, there is substantial information to demonstrate that what Obama has omitted is that his rare rise to power can only be explained by his intelligence roots. However, this is more than the story of one man or his family. There is a long-term strategic plan to recruit promising candidates into intelligence and steer these individuals and their families into positions of influence and power. Consider that it is now declassified former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was recruited into MI5 before becoming a labour leader, or that George H. W. Bush not only became CIA director in 1976 but had a deeper past in the organization. While we may never know many pertinent details about these matters, one thing that is certain is that the American people have never been told the truth about who holds the real power, nor who this president– and likely many others– really is. Thus, we urge everyone to read Wayne Madsen's deep report and seek the truth for yourself.

... ... ...

President Obama's own work in 1983 for Business International Corporation, a CIA front that conducted seminars with the world's most powerful leaders and used journalists as agents abroad, dovetails with CIA espionage activities conducted by his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham in 1960s post-coup Indonesia on behalf of a number of CIA front operations, including the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Ford Foundation. Dunham met and married Lolo Soetoro, Obama's stepfather, at the East-West Center in 1965. Soetoro was recalled to Indonesia in 1965 to serve as a senior army officer and assist General Suharto and the CIA in the bloody overthrow of President Sukarno.

Barack Obama, Sr., who met Dunham in 1959 in a Russian language class at the University of Hawaii, had been part of what was described as an airlift of 280 East African students to the United States to attend various colleges ! merely "aided" by a grant from the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation, according to a September 12, 1960, Reuters report from London. The airlift was a CIA operation to train and indoctrinate future agents of influence in Africa, which was becoming a battleground between the United States and the Soviet Union and China for influence among newly-independent and soon-to-be independent countries on the continent.

[Sep 24, 2017] Trump allies see vindication in reports on Manafort wiretapping

Obama did spied on his political opponents... He really was a well connected to intelligence agencies wolf in sheep's clothing.
Sep 24, 2017 | www.msn.com

For some of President Trump's staunchest allies, reports that former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was under U.S. surveillance are nothing short of vindication of the president's widely-dismissed claims that former President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.

... ... ...

Longtime advisor Roger Stone has gleefully circulated a segment from Tucker Carlson's show on Fox News in which the host says "all those patronizing assurances that nobody is spying on political campaigns were false" and "it looks like Trump's tweet may have been right."

... ... ...

A spokesperson for Manafort, Jason Maloni, has characterized the court orders as an abuse of power by the Obama administration, which he says wanted to spy on a political opponent.

"It's unclear if Paul Manafort was the objective," Maloni told The Journal. "Perhaps the real objective was Donald Trump."

Surveillance experts are skeptical of that suggestion. For one thing, it is illegal for investigators to "reverse target" a U.S. person by spying on a person with whom they know their true target to be in communication.

If the president were in fact the oblique target of government surveillance - either as a candidate or as the president-elect - both Eddington and Shedd say, it would have been so explosive that it would have almost certainly been leaked to the press.

... ... ...

The disclosure of the warrants targeting Manafort have drawn legitimate scrutiny as a violation of Manafort's civil liberties and a possible criminal leak - the mere existence of a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, warrant is classified.

House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who first raised alarm about the practice of "unmasking" the names of Americans caught up in government surveillance, is currently under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for allegedly exposing classified information when he disclosed his findings to reporters.

[Sep 23, 2017] Russia's foreign minister said Friday the downturn in relations with the United States began with the Obama administration's "small-hearted" and "revengeful" actions and has plummeted further because of "Russo-phobic hysteria."

Notable quotes:
"... Russia's top diplomat said he can't believe this because "first and foremost the United States has all the information leaking all the time." And he said with so many people involved in hearings and investigations related to the alleged Russian meddling, "it cannot be that not a single fact has leaked. It would have leaked." ..."
"... But he said relations are suffering because former president Barack Obama's administration "put this time bomb in U.S.-Russian relations. "I did not expect that from a Nobel Peace Prize winner, but he did manifest himself and we can still see the ramifications," he said. ..."
"... Today, Lavrov said, "our relations are contracting due to Russo-phobic hysteria." As a result, "the immense potential of our bilateral relations" isn't being realized and international issues aren't being solved because the U.S. and Russia cannot coordinate, he said. ..."
"... He said a lot of U.S. politicians say "Russia has to do this and that on Syria," and Russia has to solve the North Korea nuclear problem, and other global crises. But the U.S. military has "a ban on cooperating with Russia," Lavrov said. "Why? Because legislators who find it important not to solve issues in different parts of the world, and not to develop beneficial relations with Russia. Such legislators need to have these political signals. They did it, and that's the reality we live in." ..."
"... "We have to calm down the hotheads," and this requires contacts between the Trump administration and Kim's government, he said. Lavrov said Russia would welcome any efforts at mediation, saying "the mediators could be one of the neutral European countries." He added that U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has talked about mediation and said if he received such a request "he would try to fulfill that." ..."
"... If the Iran nuclear deal falls apart, he said, "then North Korea would say, 'why do I need to negotiate with you if you do not carry out your promises?'" ..."
Sep 23, 2017 | www.yahoo.com

UNITED NATIONS (AP) ! Russia's foreign minister said Friday the downturn in relations with the United States began with the Obama administration's "small-hearted" and "revengeful" actions and has plummeted further because of "Russo-phobic hysteria."

Sergey Lavrov told a news conference there has been a lengthy campaign claiming Russia interfered in the U.S. election to ensure victory for President Donald Trump ! "but we do not see any facts."

When he asked U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson how Russia could confirm his words that Moscow interfered in the American election process, Lavrov said Tillerson replied: "I cannot show you anything because this is confidential information.'"

Russia's top diplomat said he can't believe this because "first and foremost the United States has all the information leaking all the time." And he said with so many people involved in hearings and investigations related to the alleged Russian meddling, "it cannot be that not a single fact has leaked. It would have leaked."

Lavrov recalled World War II when the United States and Russia fought as allies against Nazi Germany.

But he said relations are suffering because former president Barack Obama's administration "put this time bomb in U.S.-Russian relations. "I did not expect that from a Nobel Peace Prize winner, but he did manifest himself and we can still see the ramifications," he said.

Today, Lavrov said, "our relations are contracting due to Russo-phobic hysteria." As a result, "the immense potential of our bilateral relations" isn't being realized and international issues aren't being solved because the U.S. and Russia cannot coordinate, he said. The U.S. and Russian militaries maintain contact to prevent accidents or confrontations between their forces fighting in Syria, but Lavrov said "in order to eliminate terrorists we need not only de-confliction, we need coordination."

He said a lot of U.S. politicians say "Russia has to do this and that on Syria," and Russia has to solve the North Korea nuclear problem, and other global crises. But the U.S. military has "a ban on cooperating with Russia," Lavrov said. "Why? Because legislators who find it important not to solve issues in different parts of the world, and not to develop beneficial relations with Russia. Such legislators need to have these political signals. They did it, and that's the reality we live in."

He was asked about Trump's combative speech to the General Assembly on Tuesday in which the American president threatened "to totally destroy North Korea" if the U.S. is forced to defend itself or its allies and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un responded calling Trump "deranged" and saying he will "pay dearly" for his threats.

Calling the exchange of threats "quite bad," Lavrov said "it is unacceptable to simply sit back and to look at the nuclear and military gambles of North Korea, but it is also unacceptable to start war on the peninsula."

"We have to calm down the hotheads," and this requires contacts between the Trump administration and Kim's government, he said. Lavrov said Russia would welcome any efforts at mediation, saying "the mediators could be one of the neutral European countries." He added that U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has talked about mediation and said if he received such a request "he would try to fulfill that."

The Russian minister said he had no new initiatives to bring the two sides together, explaining that he believes "the potential" for the Russian-Chinese freeze-for-freeze proposal "is not yet exhausted." It would halt North Korean nuclear and missile tests in exchange for the U.S. and South Korea stopping their joint military exercises, but the Trump administration has rejected it.

Lavrov was asked whether he saw a link between the crisis in North Korea and Trump's threat to pull out of the 2015 agreement to cap Iran's nuclear program. He stressed that all other parties to the deal, including Russia, support the agreement and don't want it reopened. "Right now, North Korea is being told, renounce nuclear weapons and we will lift the sanctions," Lavrov said.

If the Iran nuclear deal falls apart, he said, "then North Korea would say, 'why do I need to negotiate with you if you do not carry out your promises?'"

[Sep 23, 2017] The Iraqi regime was completely transparent to U.S. intelligence. They had an asset right at the top of the government, at the cabinet level, for example, somebody who would have known whether Iraq had WMD or not.

Notable quotes:
"... The Iraqi regime was completely transparent to U.S. intelligence. They had an asset right at the top of the government, at the cabinet level, for example, somebody who would have known whether Iraq had WMD or not. And they surely had informers throughout the Iraqi government, it was totally infiltrated. If U.S. Intelligence knew what was going on in Iraq, you can be pretty damned sure that Mossad knew whatever they did. ..."
Sep 23, 2017 | www.unz.com

Jonathan Revusky > , Website September 13, 2016 at 2:23 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz Thanks for that link to the Telegraph story. It incidentally offers an explanation for Cheney's urging the CIA to come up with an Iraq connection as shown in the PBS doco "The Secret History of ISIS". After all if Mossad had been ahead of the CIA on the main plot they might well be right about Iraq. It will be a long time before we will know whether Mossad believed there was an Iraqi connection.

It will be a long time before we will know whether Mossad believed there was an Iraqi connection.

Oh, well, this is all just total bullshit. But hey, what can one expect from some pathetic old Aussie shit eater who thinks that the proof of the official story is that it's the official story?

The Iraqi regime was completely transparent to U.S. intelligence. They had an asset right at the top of the government, at the cabinet level, for example, somebody who would have known whether Iraq had WMD or not. And they surely had informers throughout the Iraqi government, it was totally infiltrated. If U.S. Intelligence knew what was going on in Iraq, you can be pretty damned sure that Mossad knew whatever they did.

The whole idea that Mossad or CIA sincerely believed that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11, this is complete nonsense, of course. Everybody who knows anything knows that at this point. Of course, you don't know anything, which is why you don't know that.

This is another characteristic of a shit eater. They just manage, year after year, to remain ignorant of the most basic facts that are available.

[Sep 23, 2017] "The Telegraph has learnt that two senior experts with Mossad, the Israeli military intelligence service, were sent to Washington in August to alert the CIA and FBI to the existence of a cell of as many of 200 terrorists said to be preparing a big operation.

Sep 23, 2017 | www.unz.com

KA > , September 13, 2016 at 12:28 am GMT

@Boris


Hundreds of people? Really? You mean, hundreds of people saw one or more planes fly into a building with their own two eyes, i.e. NOT on the TV like the rest of us?
Millions of people live in New York.

Look, you know what's easier than faking 40-odd videos with CGI and paying/planting lots of witnesses and praying that no one squeals and hoping no one finds your planes and hoping that no one videotaped the non-plane crash, and dropping a bunch of airplane debris from...somewhere? It's just crashing a plane into a building. That is so easy compared to your ludicrous scenario. The reason that you find whatever 9/11 CGI video you've seen convincing is because you just don't understand much about the evidence you're watching. And you show this behavior with the other evidence too, focusing in on car rentals. I don't know why that's in his Wiki page, but no one says it's important or vital.

I mean, I fully intended to just keep mocking you because your persona is so grating, but...I'm just out of juice here. I mean, honestly, you're probably a nice guy. I don't know. I think you're confused on some things, but we're all confused about some things, and I understand you don't trust the government. I don't either--it just seems like there's this disconnect, that you let your distrust carry you away. I don't know, it just feels sad piling onto you at this point. And not in a sense that you're pathetic, but just in the sense that there's no common language here at all. We see logic and evidence in very different ways, at least when it comes to these topics.

And you are not alone, lots of people believe these things. From my point of view, that's terrifying not because of 9/11 but because if people give in to their own biases when evaluating the world, then that has massive implications. That's one of the reasons I seek out places like Unz: to always challenge my own thinking. That's why I'm sitting here, slowing down and thinking about things you've written.

If you said Bush and Cheney knew exactly what the hijackers were going to do, I might, at times, share that suspicion. But that's an unproveable conjecture with only a bit of evidence hinting at the possibility. I'm okay with never knowing. It sucks, but here we are.

Anyway, I hereby retract all the nasty things I've said to you and wish you the best. Sure I could be lying, but I hope you'll consider that it's sincere. Unless you ARE an actual Nazi, in which case I meant every word. :) Israeli did warn about potential attack by terrorist on US soil. But Israel packaged the entire information mixing with Saddam Hussen and likely terrorism from Iraqi administration. against US .That made sure that the entire information would be treated as disinformation ,because no one in intelligence ever believed

that Saddam would attack US on its soil or anywhere .

"The Telegraph has learnt that two senior experts with Mossad, the Israeli military intelligence service, were sent to Washington in August to alert the CIA and FBI to the existence of a cell of as many of 200 terrorists said to be preparing a big operation.

"ISRAELI intelligence officials say that they warned their counterparts in the United States last month that large-scale terrorist attacks on highly visible targets on the American mainland were imminent.

""They had no specific information about what was being planned but linked the plot to Osama bin Laden and told the Americans that there were strong grounds for suspecting Iraqi involvement," said a senior Israeli security official."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1340698/Israeli-security-issued-urgent-warning-to-CIA-of-large-scale-terror-attacks.html

Still it should not have been ignored . Why was it ignored?

[Sep 21, 2017] The Worst Mistake in US History by Jacob G. Hornberger

Notable quotes:
"... Bush and his people were simply lying. It certainly wouldn't be the first time that a president had lied in order to garner support for a war. Lyndon Johnson's lies regarding a supposed North Vietnamese attack on US warships in the Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam come to mind. Two, Bush didn't secure the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war, most likely because he knew that congressional hearings on the issue would expose his WMD scare for the lie it was. And three, only the UN, not the US government, was entitled to enforce its resolutions regarding Iraq's WMDs. ..."
"... Moreover, the circumstantial evidence establishes that Bush was lying and that the WMD scare was entirely bogus. Many people forget that throughout the 1990s the US government was hell-bent on regime change in Iraq. That's what the brutal sanctions were all about, which contributed to the deaths of half a million Iraqi children. When US Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright was asked on Sixty Minutes whether the deaths of half a million Iraqi children from the sanctions were "worth it," she responded that such deaths were "worth it." By "it," she was referring to regime change. ..."
"... Reprinted with permission from the Future of Freedom Foundation . ..."
Sep 21, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

A good example of how the national-security state has adversely affected the thinking of US soldiers was reflected in an op-ed entitled "What We're Fighting For" that appeared in the February 10, 2017, issue of the New York Times. Authored by an Iraq War veteran named Phil Klay, the article demonstrates perfectly what the national-security state has done to soldiers and others and why it is so imperative for the American people to restore a constitutional republic to our land.

Klay begins his op-ed by extolling the exploits of another US Marine, First Lt. Brian Chontosh, who, displaying great bravery, succeeded in killing approximately two dozen Iraqis in a fierce firefight during the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. Klay writes:

When I was a new Marine, just entering the Corps, this story from the Iraq invasion defined heroism for me. It's a perfect image of war for inspiring new officer candidates, right in line with youthful notions of what war is and what kind of courage it takes ! physical courage, full stop.
Klay then proceeds to tell a story about an event he witnessed when he was deployed to Iraq in 2007. After doctors failed to save the life of a Marine who had been shot by an Iraqi sniper, those same doctors proceeded to treat and save the life of the sniper, who himself had been shot by US troops. Klay used the story to point out the virtuous manner in which US forces carried out their military mission in Iraq.

Well, except perhaps, Klay observes, for Abu Ghraib, the Iraqi prison in which Saddam Hussein's government had tortured and abused countless Iraqis and which the US military turned into its own torture and abuse center for Iraqis captured during the 2003 US invasion of the country. Klay tells the story of a defense contractor named Eric Fair, who tortured an Iraqi prisoner into divulging information about a car-bomb factory. Encouraged by that successful use of torture, Fair proceeded to employ it against many other Iraqis, none of whom had any incriminating evidence to provide.

Klay points out that both Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay were major turning points in the Iraq War because prisoner abuse at both camps became a driving force for Iraqis to join the insurgency in Iraq. Thus, while Fair may have saved lives through his successful use of torture, he and other US personnel who tortured and abused people at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay may well have cost the lives of many more US soldiers in the long term.

Klay, however, suggests that none of that was really Fair's fault. While he might have crossed some moral lines, everything he did, Klay suggests, was in accordance with legal rules and regulations. Klay writes:

And Eric did what our nation asked of him, used techniques that were vetted and approved and passed down to intelligence operatives and contractors like himself. Lawyers at the highest levels of government had been consulted, asked to bring us to the furthest edge of what the law might allow. To do what it takes, regardless of whether such actions will secure the "attachment of all good men," or live up to that oath we swear to support and defend the Constitution.
Klay refers to the oath that US soldiers take to support and defend the Constitution. Clearly patting himself and other members of the US military on the back, he says US soldiers fight with honor to defend a "set of principles" that are reflected in the Constitution and that define America.

It would be difficult to find a better example of a life of the lie than that of Phil Klay. He provides an absolutely perfect demonstration of what a national-security state does to soldiers' minds and why the Founding Fathers were so opposed to that type of governmental structure.

The rights of invaders

Notice one big omission from Klay's self-aggrandizing article: Iraq never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so. Instead, it was the U.S government, operating through its troops, that was the aggressor nation in the Iraq War. Wars of aggression ! i.e., attacking, invading, and occupying other countries ! were among the crimes of which the defendants at Nuremburg were convicted.

It is absolutely fascinating that that critically important point seems to escape Klay so completely. It's as if it just doesn't exist or just doesn't count. His mindset simply begins with the fact that US troops are engaged in war and then it proceeds from there to focus on the courage and humanity of the troops, how their bravery in battle inspired him, and how they treated the enemy humanely. It never occurs to him to ask the vital question: Did US troops have any legal or moral right to be in Iraq and to kill anyone there, including Iraqi soldiers, insurgents, civilians, and civil servants working for the Iraqi government?

Many years ago, I posed a question about the US invasion and occupation of Iraq to a libertarian friend of mine who was a Catholic priest. I asked him, If a US soldier is placed in Iraq in a kill-or-be-killed situation, does he have a right to fire back at an Iraqi who is shooting at him?

My friend's answer was unequivocal: Absolutely not, he responded. Since he has no legitimate right to be in Iraq, given that he is part of the aggressor force that initiated the war, under God's laws he cannot kill anyone, not even by convincing himself that he is only acting in "self-defense."

I responded, "Are you saying that his only choice is to run away or permit himself to be killed"? He responded, "That is precisely what I am saying. Under the laws of God, he cannot kill anyone in Iraq because he has no right to be there."

Suppose a burglar enters a person's home in the dead of night. The homeowner wakes up, discovers the intruder, and begins firing at him. The burglar fires back and kills the homeowner.

The burglar appears in court and explains that he never had any intention of killing the homeowner and that he was simply firing back in self-defense. He might even explain to the judge how bravely he reacted under fire and detail the clever manner in which he outmaneuvered and shot the homeowner.

The judge, however, would reject any claim of self-defense on the part of the burglar. Why? Because the burglar had no right to be in the homeowner's house. Like the US soldier in Iraq, when the homeowner began firing the burglar had only two legal and moral options: run away or be killed.

That's what my Catholic priest friend was pointing out about US soldiers in Iraq. They had no right to be there. They invaded a poor, Third World country whose government had never attacked the United States and they were killing, torturing, and abusing people whom they had no right to kill, torture, or abuse.

That's what Klay as well as most other members of the US military and, for that matter, many Americans still don't get: that the Iraqi people were the ones who wielded the right of self-defense against an illegal invasion by a foreign power and that US forces, as the aggressor power in the war, had no legal or moral right to kill any Iraqi, not even in "self-defense."

Klay waxes eloquent about the US Constitution and the oath that soldiers take to support and defend it, but it's really just another perfect demonstration of the life of the lie that he and so many other US soldiers live. The reality is that when US soldiers vow to support and defend the Constitution, as a practical matter they are vowing to loyally obey the orders and commands of the president, who is their military commander in chief.

There is no better example of this phenomenon than what happened in Iraq. The US. Constitution is clear: The president is prohibited from waging war without a declaration of war from Congress. No declaration, no war. Every US soldier ordered to invade Iraq knew that or should have known that.

Everyone, including the troops, also knew that Congress had not declared war on Iraq. Yet, not a single soldier supported or defended the Constitution by refusing George Bush's order to attack and invade Iraq. Every one of them loyally obeyed his order to attack and invade, knowing full well that it would mean killing people in Iraq ! killing people who had never attacked the United States. And they all convinced themselves that by following the president's orders to invade Iraq and kill Iraqis, they were supporting and defending the Constitution.

How do US soldiers reconcile that? They convince themselves that they are supporting and defending the Constitution by obeying the orders of the president, who has been democratically elected by the citizenry. It's not their job, they tell themselves, to determine what is constitutional and what isn't. Their job, they believe, is simply to do what the president, operating through his subordinates, orders them to do. In their minds, they are supporting and defending the Constitution whenever they loyally and obediently carry out the orders of the president.

That means, then, that the standing army is nothing more than the president's private army. As a practical matter, soldiers are going to do whatever they are ordered to do. If they don't, they are quickly shot or simply replaced, which provides a good incentive for others to do as they are told. That's why soldiers invaded Iraq, which had never attacked the United States, and killed people who were defending their country against an unlawful invasion. That's also why soldiers and defense contractors tortured and abused people at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and elsewhere. They all believed they were carrying out the orders of their superiors, from the president on down, and that they were supporting and defending the Constitution in the process.

As people throughout history have learned, that is also why a standing army constitutes such a grave threat to the freedom and well-being of the citizenry. It is the means by which a tyrant imposes and enforces his will on the citizenry. Just ask the people of Chile, where the troops of a military regime installed into power by the US national-security establishment rounded up tens of thousands of innocent people and incarcerated, tortured, raped, abused, or executed them, all without due process of law and with the support of the US government.

Prior to the invasion of Iraq, I read that some Catholic soldiers were deeply troubled by the prospect of killing people in a war that the US government was initiating. I was stunned to read that a US military chaplain told them that they had the right under God's laws to obey the president's order to invade Iraq and kill Iraqis. God would not hold it against them, he said, if they killed people in the process of following orders.

Really? Are God's laws really nullified by the orders of a government's military commander? If that were the case, don't you think God's commandment would have read: "Thou shalt not kill, unless your ruler orders you to do so in a war of aggression against another nation"?

To this day, there are those who claim that George W. Bush simply made an honest mistake in claiming that Saddam Hussein, Iraq's dictator, was maintaining weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and that US soldiers were justified in trusting him by loyally obeying his orders to invade and occupy Iraq to "disarm Saddam."

They ignore three important points: it was a distinct possibility that Bush and his people were simply lying. It certainly wouldn't be the first time that a president had lied in order to garner support for a war. Lyndon Johnson's lies regarding a supposed North Vietnamese attack on US warships in the Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam come to mind. Two, Bush didn't secure the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war, most likely because he knew that congressional hearings on the issue would expose his WMD scare for the lie it was. And three, only the UN, not the US government, was entitled to enforce its resolutions regarding Iraq's WMDs.

Moreover, the circumstantial evidence establishes that Bush was lying and that the WMD scare was entirely bogus. Many people forget that throughout the 1990s the US government was hell-bent on regime change in Iraq. That's what the brutal sanctions were all about, which contributed to the deaths of half a million Iraqi children. When US Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright was asked on Sixty Minutes whether the deaths of half a million Iraqi children from the sanctions were "worth it," she responded that such deaths were "worth it." By "it," she was referring to regime change.

That desire for regime change in Iraq grew with each passing year in the 1990s, both among liberals and conservatives. Demands were ever growing to get rid of Saddam. Therefore, when Bush started coming up with his WMD scare after the 9/11 attacks, everyone should have been wary because it had all the earmarks of an excuse to invade Iraq after more than 10 years of sanctions had failed to achieve the job.

The best circumstantial evidence that Bush lied about the WMD scare appeared after it was determined that there were no WMDs in Iraq. At that point, if Bush had been telling the truth, he could have said, "I'm very sorry. I have made a grave mistake and my army has killed multitudes of people as a consequence of my mistake. I am hereby ordering all US troops home and I hereby announce my resignation as president."

Bush didn't do that. In fact, he expressed not one iota of remorse or regret over the loss of life for what supposedly had been the result of a mistake. He knew that he had achieved what the US national-security state had been trying to achieve for more than a decade with its brutal sanctions ! regime change in Iraq ! and he had used the bogus WMD scare to garner support for his invasion. And significantly, the troops were kept occupying Iraq for several more years, during which they killed more tens of thousands of Iraqis.

One thing is for sure: By the time Phil Klay arrived in Iraq in 2007, he knew full well that there had been no WMDs in Iraq. He also knew that Iraq had never attacked the United States. By that time, he knew full well that the US government had invaded a country under false or, at the very least, mistaken pretenses. He knew there had been no congressional declaration of war. He knew that there was no legal or moral foundation for a military occupation that was continuing to kill people in an impoverished Third World country whose worst "crime" was simply trying to rid their country of an illegal occupier.

Yet, reinforced by people who were thanking them for "their service in Iraq," Klay, like other US troops, convinced himself that their "service" in Iraq was a grand and glorious sacrifice for his nation, that they were defending Americans' rights and freedoms, and that they were keeping us safe. It was a classic life of the lie because our nation, our rights and freedoms, and our safety were never threatened by anyone in Iraq, including the millions of Iraqis who were killed, maimed, injured, tortured, abused, or exiled, or whose homes, businesses, or infrastructure were destroyed by bombs, missiles, bullets, and tanks.

In fact, the entity that actually threatened the rights and freedoms of the American people was the US government, given the totalitarian-like powers that it assumed as part of its effort to keep us safe from the enemies its interventionist policies were producing. Coming to mind are the totalitarian-like power to assassinate Americans, secret mass surveillance, and the incarceration and torture of American citizens as suspected terrorists ! all without due process of law and without trial by jury.

This is what a national-security state does to people ! it warps, damages, or destroys their conscience, principles, and values; induces them to subscribe to false bromides; and nurtures all sorts of mental contortions to enable people to avoid confronting reality.

Many years after Brian Chontosh's exploits in Iraq, Phil Klay was surprised to learn that Chontosh was experiencing some ambivalence about what he had done. "It's ugly, it's violent, it's disgusting. I wish it wasn't part of what we had to do," Chontosh later wrote.

Perhaps that's because conscience was beginning to stir within him. That's a good sign. Maybe it will begin to stir in Phil Klay too. And other members of the military as well.

Reprinted with permission from the Future of Freedom Foundation .

[Sep 20, 2017] The Politics of Military Ascendancy by James Petras

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In this paper we will discuss the advantages that the military elite accumulate from the war agenda and the reasons why ' the Generals' have been able to impose their definition of international realities. ..."
"... We will discuss the military's ascendancy over Trump's civilian regime as a result of the relentless degradation of his presidency by his political opposition. ..."
"... The massive US-led bombing and destruction of Libya, the overthrow of the Gadhafi government and the failure of the Obama-Clinton administration to impose a puppet regime, underlined the limitations of US air power and the ineffectiveness of US political-military intervention. The Presidency blundered in its foreign policy in North Africa and demonstrated its military ineptness. ..."
"... The invasion of Syria by US-funded mercenaries and terrorists committed the US to an unreliable ally in a losing war. This led to a reduction in the military budget and encouraged the Generals to view their direct control of overseas wars and foreign policy as the only guarantee of their positions. ..."
"... The Obama-Clinton engineered coup and power grab in the Ukraine brought a corrupt incompetent military junta to power in Kiev and provoked the secession of the Crimea (to Russia) and Eastern Ukraine (allied with Russia). The Generals were sidelined and found that they had tied themselves to Ukrainian kleptocrats while dangerously increasing political tensions with Russia. The Obama regime dictated economic sanctions against Moscow, designed to compensate for their ignominious military-political failures. ..."
"... The Obama-Clinton legacy facing Trump was built around a three-legged stool: an international order based on military aggression and confrontation with Russia; a ' pivot to Asia' defined as the military encirclement and economic isolation of China – via bellicose threats and economic sanctions against North Korea; and the use of the military as the praetorian guards of free trade agreements in Asia excluding China. ..."
"... After only 8 months in office President Trump helplessly gave into the firings, resignations and humiliation of each and every one of his civilian appointees, especially those who were committed to reverse Obama's 'international order'. ..."
"... Trump was elected to replace wars, sanctions and interventions with economic deals beneficial to the American working and middle class. This would include withdrawing the military from its long-term commitments to budget-busting 'nation-building' (occupation) in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and other Obama-designated endless war zones. ..."
"... The Generals provide a veneer of legitimacy to the Trump regime (especially for the warmongering Obama Democrats and the mass media). However, handing presidential powers over to ' Mad Dog' Mattis and his cohort will come with a heavy price. ..."
"... While the military junta may protect Trump's foreign policy flank, it does not lessen the attacks on his domestic agenda. Moreover, Trump's proposed budget compromise with the Democrats has enraged his own Party's leaders. ..."
"... The military junta is pressuring China against North Korea with the goal of isolating the ruling regime in Pyongyang and increasing the US military encirclement of Beijing. Mad Dog has partially succeeded in turning China against North Korea while securing its advanced THADD anti-missile installations in South Korea, which will be directed against Beijing. ..."
"... Mad Dog's military build-up, especially in Afghanistan and in the Middle East, will not intimidate Iran nor add to any military successes. They entail high costs and low returns, as Obama realized after the better part of a decade of his defeats, fiascos and multi-billion dollar losses. ..."
"... The militarization of US foreign policy provides some important lessons: ..."
"... the escalation from threats to war does not succeed in disarming adversaries who possess the capacity to retaliate. ..."
"... Low intensity multi-lateral war maneuvers reinforce US-led alliances, but they also convince opponents to increase their military preparedness. Mid-level intense wars against non-nuclear adversaries can seize capital cities, as in Iraq, but the occupier faces long-term costly wars of attrition that can undermine military morale, provoke domestic unrest and heighten budget deficits. And they create millions of refugees. ..."
"... Threats and intimidation succeed only against conciliatory adversaries. Undiplomatic verbal thuggery can arouse the spirit of the bully and some of its allies, but it has little chance of convincing its adversaries to capitulate. The US policy of worldwide militarization over-extends the US armed forces and has not led to any permanent military gains. ..."
"... Are there any voices among clear-thinking US military leaders, those not bedazzled by their stars and idiotic admirers in the US media, who could push for more global accommodation and mutual respect among nations? The US Congress and the corrupt media are demonstrably incapable of evaluating past disasters, let alone forging an effective response to new global realities. ..."
"... American actions in Europe, Asia and the middle east appear increasingly irrational to many international observers. Their policy thrusts are excused as containment of evildoers or punishment of peoples who think and act differently. ..."
"... They will drive into a new detente such incompatible parties as Russia and Iran, or China and many countries. America risks losing its way in the world and free peoples see a flickering beacon that once shone brighter. ..."
"... How about this comic book tough guy quote: "I'm pleading with you with tears in my eyes: if you fuck with me, I'll kill you all" notice the first person used repetitively as he talks down to hapless unarmed tribesman in some distant land. A real egomaniacal narcissistic coward. Any of you with military experience would immediately recognize the type ... ..."
"... It seems that the inevitable has happened. Feckless civilians have used military adventures to advance their careers , ensure re- elections, capturr lucrative position as speaker, have a place as member of think tank or lobbying firm or consultant . Now being as stupidly greedy and impatient as these guys are, they have failed to see that neither the policies nor the militaries can succeed against enemies that are generated from the action and the policy itself ..."
Sep 15, 2017 | www.unz.com

Introduction

Clearly the US has escalated the pivotal role of the military in the making of foreign and, by extension, domestic policy. The rise of ' the Generals' to strategic positions in the Trump regime is evident, deepening its role as a highly autonomous force determining US strategic policy agendas.

In this paper we will discuss the advantages that the military elite accumulate from the war agenda and the reasons why ' the Generals' have been able to impose their definition of international realities.

We will discuss the military's ascendancy over Trump's civilian regime as a result of the relentless degradation of his presidency by his political opposition.

The Prelude to Militarization: Obama's Multi-War Strategy and Its Aftermath

The central role of the military in deciding US foreign policy has its roots in the strategic decisions taken during the Obama-Clinton Presidency. Several policies were decisive in the rise of unprecedented military-political power.

The massive increase of US troops in Afghanistan and their subsequent failures and retreat weakened the Obama-Clinton regime and increased animosity between the military and the Obama's Administration. As a result of his failures, Obama downgraded the military and weakened Presidential authority. The massive US-led bombing and destruction of Libya, the overthrow of the Gadhafi government and the failure of the Obama-Clinton administration to impose a puppet regime, underlined the limitations of US air power and the ineffectiveness of US political-military intervention. The Presidency blundered in its foreign policy in North Africa and demonstrated its military ineptness. The invasion of Syria by US-funded mercenaries and terrorists committed the US to an unreliable ally in a losing war. This led to a reduction in the military budget and encouraged the Generals to view their direct control of overseas wars and foreign policy as the only guarantee of their positions. The US military intervention in Iraq was only a secondary contributing factor in the defeat of ISIS; the major actors and beneficiaries were Iran and the allied Iraqi Shia militias. The Obama-Clinton engineered coup and power grab in the Ukraine brought a corrupt incompetent military junta to power in Kiev and provoked the secession of the Crimea (to Russia) and Eastern Ukraine (allied with Russia). The Generals were sidelined and found that they had tied themselves to Ukrainian kleptocrats while dangerously increasing political tensions with Russia. The Obama regime dictated economic sanctions against Moscow, designed to compensate for their ignominious military-political failures.

The Obama-Clinton legacy facing Trump was built around a three-legged stool: an international order based on military aggression and confrontation with Russia; a ' pivot to Asia' defined as the military encirclement and economic isolation of China – via bellicose threats and economic sanctions against North Korea; and the use of the military as the praetorian guards of free trade agreements in Asia excluding China.

The Obama 'legacy' consists of an international order of globalized capital and multiple wars. The continuity of Obama's 'glorious legacy' initially depended on the election of Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump's presidential campaign, for its part, promised to dismantle or drastically revise the Obama Doctrine of an international order based on multiple wars , neo-colonial 'nation' building and free trade. A furious Obama 'informed' (threatened) the newly-elected President Trump that he would face the combined hostility of the entire State apparatus, Wall Street and the mass media if he proceeded to fulfill his election promises of economic nationalism and thus undermine the US-centered global order.

Trump's bid to shift from Obama's sanctions and military confrontation to economic reconciliation with Russia was countered by a hornet's nest of accusations about a Trump-Russian electoral conspiracy, darkly hinting at treason and show trials against his close allies and even family members.

The concoction of a Trump-Russia plot was only the first step toward a total war on the new president, but it succeeded in undermining Trump's economic nationalist agenda and his efforts to change Obama's global order.

Trump Under Obama's International Order

After only 8 months in office President Trump helplessly gave into the firings, resignations and humiliation of each and every one of his civilian appointees, especially those who were committed to reverse Obama's 'international order'.

Trump was elected to replace wars, sanctions and interventions with economic deals beneficial to the American working and middle class. This would include withdrawing the military from its long-term commitments to budget-busting 'nation-building' (occupation) in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and other Obama-designated endless war zones.

Trump's military priorities were supposed to focus on strengthening domestic frontiers and overseas markets. He started by demanding that NATO partners pay for their own military defense responsibilities. Obama's globalists in both political parties were aghast that the US might lose it overwhelming control of NATO; they united and moved immediately to strip Trump of his economic nationalist allies and their programs.

Trump quickly capitulated and fell into line with Obama's international order, except for one proviso – he would select the Cabinet to implement the old/new international order.

A hamstrung Trump chose a military cohort of Generals, led by General James Mattis (famously nicknamed ' Mad Dog' ) as Defense Secretary.

The Generals effectively took over the Presidency. Trump abdicated his responsibilities as President.

General Mattis: The Militarization of America

General Mattis took up the Obama legacy of global militarization and added his own nuances, including the 'psychological-warfare' embedded in Trump's emotional ejaculations on 'Twitter'.

The ' Mattis Doctrine' combined high-risk threats with aggressive provocations, bringing the US (and the world) to the brink of nuclear war.

General Mattis has adopted the targets and fields of operations, defined by the previous Obama administration as it has sought to re-enforce the existing imperialist international order.

The junta's policies relied on provocations and threats against Russia, with expanded economic sanctions. Mattis threw more fuel on the US mass media's already hysterical anti-Russian bonfire. The General promoted a strategy of low intensity diplomatic thuggery, including the unprecedented seizure and invasion of Russian diplomatic offices and the short-notice expulsion of diplomats and consular staff.

These military threats and acts of diplomatic intimidation signified that the Generals' Administration under the Puppet President Trump was ready to sunder diplomatic relations with a major world nuclear power and indeed push the world to direct nuclear confrontation.

What Mattis seeks in these mad fits of aggression is nothing less than capitulation on the part of the Russian government regarding long held US military objectives – namely the partition of Syria (which started under Obama), harsh starvation sanctions on North Korea (which began under Clinton) and the disarmament of Iran (Tel Aviv's main goal) in preparation for its dismemberment.

The Mattis junta occupying the Trump White House heightened its threats against a North Korea, which (in Vladimir Putin's words) ' would rather eat grass than disarm' . The US mass media-military megaphones portrayed the North Korean victims of US sanctions and provocations as an 'existential' threat to the US mainland.

Sanctions have intensified. The stationing of nuclear weapons on South Korea is being pushed. Massive joint military exercises are planned and ongoing in the air, sea and land around North Korea. Mattis twisted Chinese arms (mainly business comprador-linked bureaucrats) and secured their UN Security Council vote on increased sanctions. Russia joined the Mattis-led anti-Pyongyang chorus, even as Putin warned of sanctions ineffectiveness! (As if General ' Mad Dog' Mattis would ever take Putin's advice seriously, especially after Russia voted for the sanctions!)

Mattis further militarized the Persian Gulf, following Obama's policy of partial sanctions and bellicose provocation against Iran.

When he worked for Obama, Mattis increased US arms shipments to the US's Syrian terrorists and Ukrainian puppets, ensuring the US would be able to scuttle any ' negotiated settlements' .

Militarization: An Evaluation

Trump's resort to ' his Generals' is supposed to counter any attacks from members of his own party and Congressional Democrats about his foreign policy. Trump's appointment of ' Mad Dog' Mattis, a notorious Russophobe and warmonger, has somewhat pacified the opposition in Congress and undercut any 'finding' of an election conspiracy between Trump and Moscow dug up by the Special Investigator Robert Mueller. Trump's maintains a role as nominal President by adapting to what Obama warned him was ' their international order' – now directed by an unelected military junta composed of Obama holdovers!

The Generals provide a veneer of legitimacy to the Trump regime (especially for the warmongering Obama Democrats and the mass media). However, handing presidential powers over to ' Mad Dog' Mattis and his cohort will come with a heavy price.

While the military junta may protect Trump's foreign policy flank, it does not lessen the attacks on his domestic agenda. Moreover, Trump's proposed budget compromise with the Democrats has enraged his own Party's leaders.

In sum, under a weakened President Trump, the militarization of the White House benefits the military junta and enlarges their power. The ' Mad Dog' Mattis program has had mixed results, at least in its initial phase: The junta's threats to launch a pre-emptive (possibly nuclear) war against North Korea have strengthened Pyongyang's commitment to develop and refine its long and medium range ballistic missile capability and nuclear weapons. Brinksmanship failed to intimidate North Korea. Mattis cannot impose the Clinton-Bush-Obama doctrine of disarming countries (like Libya and Iraq) of their advanced defensive weapons systems as a prelude to a US 'regime change' invasion.

Any US attack against North Korea will lead to massive retaliatory strikes costing tens of thousands of US military lives and will kill and maim millions of civilians in South Korea and Japan.

At most, ' Mad Dog' managed to intimidate Chinese and Russian officials (and their export business billionaire buddies) to agree to more economic sanctions against North Korea. Mattis and his allies in the UN and White House, the loony Nikki Hailey and a miniaturized President Trump, may bellow war – yet they cannot apply the so-called 'military option' without threatening the US military forces stationed throughout the Asia Pacific region.

The Mad Dog Mattis assault on the Russian embassy did not materially weaken Russia, but it has revealed the uselessness of Moscow's conciliatory diplomacy toward their so-called 'partners' in the Trump regime.

The end-result might lead to a formal break in diplomatic ties, which would increase the danger of a military confrontation and a global nuclear holocaust.

The military junta is pressuring China against North Korea with the goal of isolating the ruling regime in Pyongyang and increasing the US military encirclement of Beijing. Mad Dog has partially succeeded in turning China against North Korea while securing its advanced THADD anti-missile installations in South Korea, which will be directed against Beijing. These are Mattis' short-term gains over the excessively pliant Chinese bureaucrats. However, if Mad Dog intensifies direct military threats against China, Beijing can retaliate by dumping tens of billions of US Treasury notes, cutting trade ties, sowing chaos in the US economy and setting Wall Street against the Pentagon.

Mad Dog's military build-up, especially in Afghanistan and in the Middle East, will not intimidate Iran nor add to any military successes. They entail high costs and low returns, as Obama realized after the better part of a decade of his defeats, fiascos and multi-billion dollar losses.

Conclusion

The militarization of US foreign policy, the establishment of a military junta within the Trump Administration, and the resort to nuclear brinksmanship has not changed the global balance of power.

Domestically Trump's nominal Presidency relies on militarists, like General Mattis. Mattis has tightened the US control over NATO allies, and even rounded up stray European outliers, like Sweden, to join in a military crusade against Russia. Mattis has played on the media's passion for bellicose headlines and its adulation of Four Star Generals.

But for all that – North Korea remains undaunted because it can retaliate. Russia has thousands of nuclear weapons and remains a counterweight to a US-dominated globe. China owns the US Treasury and its unimpressed, despite the presence of an increasingly collision-prone US Navy swarming throughout the South China Sea.

Mad Dog laps up the media attention, with well dressed, scrupulously manicured journalists hanging on his every bloodthirsty pronouncement. War contractors flock to him, like flies to carrion. The Four Star General 'Mad Dog' Mattis has attained Presidential status without winning any election victory (fake or otherwise). No doubt when he steps down, Mattis will be the most eagerly courted board member or senior consultant for giant military contractors in US history, receiving lucrative fees for half hour 'pep-talks' and ensuring the fat perks of nepotism for his family's next three generations. Mad Dog may even run for office, as Senator or even President for whatever Party.

The militarization of US foreign policy provides some important lessons:

First of all, the escalation from threats to war does not succeed in disarming adversaries who possess the capacity to retaliate. Intimidation via sanctions can succeed in imposing significant economic pain on oil export-dependent regimes, but not on hardened, self-sufficient or highly diversified economies.

Low intensity multi-lateral war maneuvers reinforce US-led alliances, but they also convince opponents to increase their military preparedness. Mid-level intense wars against non-nuclear adversaries can seize capital cities, as in Iraq, but the occupier faces long-term costly wars of attrition that can undermine military morale, provoke domestic unrest and heighten budget deficits. And they create millions of refugees.

High intensity military brinksmanship carries major risk of massive losses in lives, allies, territory and piles of radiated ashes – a pyrrhic victory!

In sum:

Threats and intimidation succeed only against conciliatory adversaries. Undiplomatic verbal thuggery can arouse the spirit of the bully and some of its allies, but it has little chance of convincing its adversaries to capitulate. The US policy of worldwide militarization over-extends the US armed forces and has not led to any permanent military gains.

Are there any voices among clear-thinking US military leaders, those not bedazzled by their stars and idiotic admirers in the US media, who could push for more global accommodation and mutual respect among nations? The US Congress and the corrupt media are demonstrably incapable of evaluating past disasters, let alone forging an effective response to new global realities.

Raffler, September 15, 2017 at 2:25 pm GMT

American actions in Europe, Asia and the middle east appear increasingly irrational to many international observers. Their policy thrusts are excused as containment of evildoers or punishment of peoples who think and act differently. Those policy thrusts will accomplish the opposite of the stated intention.

They will drive into a new detente such incompatible parties as Russia and Iran, or China and many countries. America risks losing its way in the world and free peoples see a flickering beacon that once shone brighter.

nsa, September 16, 2017 at 4:03 am GMT

Anyone with military experience recognizes the likes of Mad Poodle Mattis arrogant, belligerent, exceptionally dull, and mainly an inveterate suck-up (mil motto: kiss up and kick down).

Every VFW lounge is filled with these boozy ridiculous blowhards and they are insufferable. The media and public, raised on ZioVision and JooieWood pablum, worship these cartoonish bloodletters even though they haven't won a war in 72 years .not one.

How about this comic book tough guy quote: "I'm pleading with you with tears in my eyes: if you fuck with me, I'll kill you all" notice the first person used repetitively as he talks down to hapless unarmed tribesman in some distant land. A real egomaniacal narcissistic coward. Any of you with military experience would immediately recognize the type ...

KA, September 16, 2017 at 3:24 pm GMT

It seems that the inevitable has happened. Feckless civilians have used military adventures to advance their careers , ensure re- elections, capturr lucrative position as speaker, have a place as member of think tank or lobbying firm or consultant . Now being as stupidly greedy and impatient as these guys are, they have failed to see that neither the policies nor the militaries can succeed against enemies that are generated from the action and the policy itself .

Now military has decided to reverse the roles . At least the military leaders don't have to campaign for re employment . But very soon the forces that corrupt and abuse the civilian power structure will do same to military .

The Alarmist, September 19, 2017 at 3:27 pm GMT

Never met him at any of the parties I attended in the '70s and '80s, so I don't know much about Mad Dog, but I can say that only in America can the former commander of a recruiting station grow up to pull the strings of the President.

[Sep 19, 2017] The myth of pro-Israeli groups defining the US foreign policy

Highly recommended!
The US foreign policy is defined by interests of neoliberals and neocons, or to be exact by interests of multinational corporations, who are not necessary led by Jews ;-). The whole discussion of the US foreign policy via the lens of Jew/non-Jew dichotomy is far from the best approach to this problem.
While it is true that a large number of neocons end even some "economic nationalists" like Steve Bannon identify with Israel. But the real allegiance of neocons is not to Israel. It is to many from American MIC. In this sense, neither chickenhawk Michael Ledeen (a second rate figure at best, without much political influence), no chickenhawk Bill Kristol (third rate figure, with little or no political influence at all), but Senator McCain and Dick Cheney are proper examples of really dangerous neocons.
Yes, neocons has a large, sometimes decisive influence on the US foreign policy. But this is because they are neoliberals with the gun, political prostitutes serving MIC interests, not so much because some of them are "Israel-firsters" (this term is not without problems, although it denotes Jewish nationalists pretty well, see an interesting discussion in The Volokh Conspiracy )
Notable quotes:
"... I suppose Ledeen still believes what he said fifteen years ago, when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were still young and dewy-fresh: "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business". ..."
"... This even became known as "The Ledeen Doctrine"; I am sure he is very proud. ..."
"... Perhaps today he thinks Iran is a suitable "small crappy little country". If so, he is very badly mistaken. Ledeen was involved with CIA & overthrow of Allende, I believe. I refer you to Louis Wolfe's "Counterspy," the magazine of the 1970′s. ..."
"... Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews. ..."
"... Of course, the Israel Lobby is much bigger than just jews, and stupid American Christians manipulated by their church leaders into believing fatuous ideas about Israel based upon dubiously interpreted biblical nonsense has historically provided a lot of its political clout. ..."
"... The Jewish individuals named by Giraldi still massively disproportionately dominate the foreign policy media and political debate on ME wars, and the wealthy Jewish Israel supporters mentioned by him still massively disproportionately influence who gets heard and which opinions are suppressed and which promoted. ..."
"... I think solidarity and internationalism are the best weapons against militarism and imperialism. ..."
"... You'd be on the right track if you started paying attention to the central American goal since 1945 of keeping Middle Eastern oil in the hands of obedient governments within the American orbit, so it can serve as a non-Russian/non-Soviet, American-controlled source of energy for American allies (and economic competitors) in Europe and Japan. ..."
"... Anyway, the American public has shown many times that it really doesn't give a rat's ass about foreigners being killed or maimed - not three of them, not three million of them. Foreigners might as well be bugs. What really matters is that feeling of power and superiority: their country is Top Nation and can whip anyone else, yes sir. Politicians continually rely on that undercurrent of nationalist chuavinism, and it never lets them down. ..."
"... A courageous article and spot on. Once again I'm thankful for Ron Unz and the Unz Review. You would never read such an article in the MSM. ..."
"... So now US troops are suddenly bombing "ISIS" in Syria while supplying "rebels" with arms, even though by the CIA's own admission most of the arms supplied have fallen into the hands of ISIS since the rebels joined forces with them. ..."
"... Nikki Haley might as well be renamed Israel's ambassador to the UN. Every time that daft woman opens her mouth the US is in danger of going to war with somebody, usually on behalf of Israel. ..."
"... There's a place for using the term "Zionist" and a place for using the term "Jew" (the two are most certainly not interchangeable). The wider Zionist Israel Lobby in the US is certainly a big problem, but there is also the problem of Jewish nationalists being disproportionately represented in the US foreign policy, media and political elites, while their likely nationalist ulterior motives are not mentioned and are largely unnoticed because of the prevailing taboo against mentioning it.. ..."
"... Bill Kristol appearing on c-span to push, agitate for the 2nd Iraq war was asked by a caller if he had served in the (U.S.) military. Kristol said he had not served but had a friend(s) who had and that he served in other ways. When a country drafts into the military, can one get out of service by saying, "My friend served"? ..."
"... I supported and voted for Trump as well. I don't like his neocon turn now, but which candidate in that election (save for Rand Paul and possibly Jill Stein) wouldn't have declared a non-fly zone in Syria and actively supported the overthrow of Assad? ..."
"... Bernie Sanders (a scary Jew!) wasn't nearly as anti-imperialist as I would have liked him to be, but I doubt he would have attacked Assad regime forces 6 times like Trump has by this point, and certainly not without Congressional approval (which he probably wouldn't have gotten, even if he had wanted it). ..."
"... Even under Hillary, the Iran deal would have stood a better chance, since she was at least verbally committed to it (unlike even Rand Paul), and there would have been Obama loyalists within the Clinton administration who would have been desperate to preserve Obama's signature foreign policy achievement (and one of the only worthwhile ones, in my opinion, along with restoration of diplomatic ties with Cuba). ..."
"... How is the article's factual content fundamentally different from the similar content of the Haaretz article linked by Greg Bacon in post 21 above? Is the Haaretz piece "unhinged and bigoted"? ..."
"... "The USA is a colony of Israel". Fake News Story. Now, let us assume that to be true. What are personally doing about this situation? What active measures are you taking to free yourself from the shackles of your oppressor? Or, are simply impotent while taking it good and hard? ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | www.unz.com

Originally from: America's Jews Are Driving America's Wars by Philip Giraldi September 19, 2017 - The Unz Review

Dump Trump , September 19, 2017 at 8:32 pm GMT

@Brabantian Yet, in a classic, paradox-tinged pro-Israel loop-back, the 'alt-Right' and 'white nationalist' movement, is increasing positive links with security-fence-building, also-ethnic-nationalist Israel:

US alt-right leader, Richard Spencer, appeared on Israeli TV last month to call himself a "white Zionist"
The above from an interesting article by British activist and Nazareth, Palestine resident Jonathan Cook , speaking of how Israel's Netanyahu is making an alliance with even the anti-Semitic Western alt-right, with the instinct to show all other Jews that Israel is their only home & safe haven ... and hence the 'progressive' Jews should abandon any support for boycott of Israel or for Palestinian rights:
The Israeli prime minister has repeatedly called on all Jews to come to Israel, claiming it as the only safe haven from an immutable global anti-semitism. And yet, Mr Netanyahu is also introducing a political test before he opens the door.

Jews supporting a boycott of Israel are already barred. Now, liberal Jews and critics of the occupation like Mr Soros are increasingly not welcome either. Israel is rapidly redefining the extent of the sanctuary it offers – for Jewish supremacists only.

For Mr Netanyahu may believe he has much to gain by abandoning liberal Jews to their fate, as the alt-right asserts its power in western capitals.

The "white Zionists" are committed to making life ever harder for minorities in the West in a bid to be rid of them. Sooner or later, on Mr Netanyahu's logic, liberal Jews will face a reckoning. They will have to accept that Israel's ultra-nationalists were right all along, and that Israel is their only sanctuary.

Guided by this cynical convergence of interests, Jewish and white supremacists are counting on a revival of anti-Semitism that will benefit them both.

Yet, in a classic, paradox-tinged pro-Israel loop-back, the 'alt-Right' and 'white nationalist' movement, is increasing positive links with security-fence-building, also-ethnic-nationalist Israel

Steve Bannon and his supposed alt-right rag Breitbart are incredibly pro-Israel. I supposed it has something to do with its founder Andrew Breitbart being a Jew. Every time Trump or Nikki Haley says something nasty about Iran, you'll get plenty of Breitbart commenters echoing their sentiment egging them on, you can tell by their inane comments many have no idea why they should hate Iran, other than Breitbart told them to.

They've fully bought into the Breitbart narrative that Iran is evil and must be destroyed. The Trump fan boys/girls who continue to blindly support him despite all his betrayals are every bit as stupid as the libtards they claim to hate.

jamsok , September 19, 2017 at 7:03 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh "And I would add a few more names, Mark Dubowitz, Michael Ledeen and Reuel Marc Gerecht..."

I suppose Ledeen still believes what he said fifteen years ago, when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were still young and dewy-fresh: "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business".

This even became known as "The Ledeen Doctrine"; I am sure he is very proud.

Perhaps today he thinks Iran is a suitable "small crappy little country". If so, he is very badly mistaken. Ledeen was involved with CIA & overthrow of Allende, I believe. I refer you to Louis Wolfe's "Counterspy," the magazine of the 1970′s.

matt , September 19, 2017 at 6:42 pm GMT

@Randal

I didn't say there weren't any Jews pushing for a war with Iran, I said there are plenty of non-Jews pushing for one too, including Trump himself.
Which certainly doesn't mean there isn't a particular problem, exactly as Giraldi describes it with plenty of sound supporting examples, of dual loyalty jews pushing wars that favour Israel.

In fact, the reality is that Giraldi might be guilty of, at most, overstatement, but since a large part of the problem is precisely that any reference at all to the problem is suppressed, one might expect an honest opponent of the US's military interventionism to temper his criticism of Giraldi's piece appropriately. For whatever reason, instead, you seem to feel the need to hysterically accuse it as though it contains no truth whatsoever.

What gives?

Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews.
Of course, the Israel Lobby is much bigger than just jews, and stupid American Christians manipulated by their church leaders into believing fatuous ideas about Israel based upon dubiously interpreted biblical nonsense has historically provided a lot of its political clout.

That's another problem, but it doesn't make the problem highlighted by Giraldi not a problem. The Jewish individuals named by Giraldi still massively disproportionately dominate the foreign policy media and political debate on ME wars, and the wealthy Jewish Israel supporters mentioned by him still massively disproportionately influence who gets heard and which opinions are suppressed and which promoted.

"What gives" is that I think lunatic screeds about "America's Jews" (like Noam Chomsky?) manipulating foreign policy do damage to the anti-war cause. I think solidarity and internationalism are the best weapons against militarism and imperialism.

Of course, the Israel Lobby is much bigger than just Jews, and stupid American Christians manipulated by their church leaders into believing fatuous ideas about Israel based upon dubiously interpreted biblical nonsense has historically provided a lot of its political clout.

That's slightly better than the 1-dimensional Joo-paranoia, but it doesn't begin to describe the problem.

You'd be on the right track if you started paying attention to the central American goal since 1945 of keeping Middle Eastern oil in the hands of obedient governments within the American orbit, so it can serve as a non-Russian/non-Soviet, American-controlled source of energy for American allies (and economic competitors) in Europe and Japan.

matt , September 19, 2017 at 6:32 pm GMT

@Sam Shama

I am glad you think Iran isn't stupid or suicidal. Yet it doesn't square with your earlier statement which reads " I'm glad they have the capability, if need be, to destroy the hostile military bases that encircle them ". There are no scenarios in which Iran could destroy US bases without changing the meaning of the word "suicidal", is there?

Before you decide to label as sociopath, anyone who proposes a worldview grounded in reality, you might think long and hard about the multitude of paths this world can take under the scenario of a wholesale withdrawal of U.S. presence in the Gulf. Most one hears on this forum, including your own, reduce to precious nothing over virtue signaling.

Like it or not the world is never going to assume the shape of a collection of nations equal in power, interests and endowments. Hoping for that is to live in a state of delusion.

U.S. does not wish to go on an offensive mission against Iran . Far from it; yet facilitating her allies' aspirations to join the American vision isn't one we are about to walk away from. That is not chest beating. It is eminently in evidence from the number of nations wishing to join the Western economic and cultural model. I am keenly aware of the lunatics on this forum who believe they'd be perfectly happy to embrace other cultures, I can only invite them to make haste.

Spare me the rest of your sanctimony.

"I'm glad they have the capability, if need be, to destroy the hostile military bases that encircle them". There are no scenarios in which Iran could destroy US bases without changing the meaning of the word "suicidal", is there?

In the case of a defensive war with United States, there sure would be. At that point Iran would not have much hope but to inflict as much damage as possible on the aggressor. Although Iran does not nearly have the ability to fully reciprocate the harm the US can inflict on it, it hopefully has the capability to inflict enough damage so that an offensive war against it would be intolerable to the US. That's how deterrence works.

U.S. does not wish to go on an offensive mission against Iran.

If that's true, and I sincerely hope it is, it's because Iran has sufficient deterrent capacity, which includes not only the anti-ship missiles in the Gulf, but also Hezbollah's arsenal of ~130,000 short, medium and long-range rockets capable of reaching every square inch of Israeli territory.

Believe me, I'm a realist. You don't have to lecture me on the reality of aggressive rogue nations.

anonymous , Disclaimer September 19, 2017 at 6:26 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh Nope. As far as I know, he was being perfectly serious.

And that is exactly the way the power elite think - although they are usually much more cautious about speaking their mind in public.

Anyway, the American public has shown many times that it really doesn't give a rat's ass about foreigners being killed or maimed - not three of them, not three million of them. Foreigners might as well be bugs. What really matters is that feeling of power and superiority: their country is Top Nation and can whip anyone else, yes sir. Politicians continually rely on that undercurrent of nationalist chuavinism, and it never lets them down.

Anyway, the American public has shown many times that it really doesn't give a rat's ass about foreigners being killed or maimed – not three of them, not three million of them. Foreigners might as well be bugs. What really matters is that feeling of power and superiority: their country is Top Nation and can whip anyone else, yes sir.

True words sir!

The evil empire sustains itself primarily through this attitude of its people. It does not matter how the Jews connive to shape it. Only thing that matters is that they buy into it without exercising their conscience.

Americans, remember, such glory has a cost. You will find soon enough that a cancerous soul is too high a price to be "Top Nation," for essentially a blink in cosmic time.

Dump Trump , September 19, 2017 at 6:26 pm GMT

A courageous article and spot on. Once again I'm thankful for Ron Unz and the Unz Review. You would never read such an article in the MSM.

The late Samuel Huntington said in his amazing book Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order that Saudi Arabia and Iran are fighting for supremacy in the Islamic world. Syria is a proxy war between the two countries. Now Israel has become BFF with Saudi Arabia because they too want a piece of Syria, for the oil reserve in the Golan Heights. So now US troops are suddenly bombing "ISIS" in Syria while supplying "rebels" with arms, even though by the CIA's own admission most of the arms supplied have fallen into the hands of ISIS since the rebels joined forces with them.

Make no mistake Jews and Arabs run this country. That is why Trump went to Israel and SA for his first foreign trip, he knows who America's daddy is, even if most Americans are still in the dark.

His entire administration is crawling with Israel loving Jews, starting with his son-in-law the most loyal son of Israel. Even Steve Bannon and Breitbart are crazy gung ho pro-Israel. Nikki Haley might as well be renamed Israel's ambassador to the UN. Every time that daft woman opens her mouth the US is in danger of going to war with somebody, usually on behalf of Israel.

When was the last time Iran conducted a jihad against the west? All the Muslim terrorists now attacking the west are Sunnis, funded by Saudi Arabia. The only time Iran had direct armed conflict with the US was when they kicked us out of Tehran, for trying to steal their oil. All their beef is with Israel, not with the US. Why are we taking up Israel's cause? Trump is a moron of the first order and has no understanding of what really goes on in the mideast. He surrounds himself with pro-Israel neocons and Jews and is easily manipulated. He's stupid and dangerous. I voted for him because he presented himself as someone completely different, someone anti-war and anti-immigration, now he's a neocon globalist libtard, the worst of all worlds. Someone needs to primary him out in 2020.

matt , September 19, 2017 at 6:17 pm GMT

@iffen as sociopaths like you

Speaking of unhinged I'd say the sentiment that America has the right to threaten and/or attack other countries to maintain its "economic interests" is sociopathic. What would you call it? And I didn't say that he personally was in charge of US/Israeli/Saudi policy towards Iran, if that's what you thought I meant. That would be unhinged. I just said that sociopaths like him are.

Randal , September 19, 2017 at 6:12 pm GMT

@KBRO [In comments, allcaps is shouting. Stop shouting or your comments will be trashed.]

RE:
BUSH-CHENEY-CLINTON-TRUMP--MCMASTER--KELLY---AND THE LOT OF THEM ALL AIN'T JEWS:

WELL PUT. GIRALDI IS A MIXED BAG, WRITES SOME GOOD STUFF, BUT IT MISIDENTIFIES THE PROBLEM--THE ENEMY-- BY LABELING IT AS "THE JEWS". THE NEO-CONS--AND NEO-LIBERALS--WHO DRIVE U.S. FOREIGN POLICY IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND THROUGHOUT THE WORLD COME IN MANY FLAVORS.
I'M AN ANTI-ZIONIST, AND IT'S CRUCIAL TO MAKE THAT DISTINCTION AND I DON'T QUITE GET WHY GIRALDI DOESN'T USE THE TERM ZIONIST.

IT'S CRUCIAL TO MAKE THAT DISTINCTION AND I DON'T QUITE GET WHY GIRALDI DOESN'T USE THE TERM ZIONIST

There's a place for using the term "Zionist" and a place for using the term "Jew" (the two are most certainly not interchangeable). The wider Zionist Israel Lobby in the US is certainly a big problem, but there is also the problem of Jewish nationalists being disproportionately represented in the US foreign policy, media and political elites, while their likely nationalist ulterior motives are not mentioned and are largely unnoticed because of the prevailing taboo against mentioning it..

Giraldi is discussing the latter and not the former, and doing a service to the American nation by his taboo-busting.

Brooklyn Dave , September 19, 2017 at 6:06 pm GMT

I wonder where Mr. Giraldi would put David Horowitz on the list? Although Horowitz is not a public policy maker, but rather an author and blogger, but definitely is a known Jewish voice. I respect Horowitz tremendously because of his background as an ex-Communist and his dead-on criticism of the American Left, both historically and currently. Although rather knee-jerk in his defense of Israel, I would not doubt his loyalty to this country one iota.

I do not know if David Horowitz is a dual Israeli-American citizen, but he is not a legislator nor a government policy maker, so as far as I am concerned, the issue is moot. If one questions the loyalty to America, of Jews or any other group for that matter, the issue of holding dual citizenship while holding certain government offices should be something of concern. Once out of public office or service, then they can resume their dual citizenship. It makes the issue of loyalty less questionable.

wayfarer , September 19, 2017 at 6:05 pm GMT

@bjondo Regarding jew and war:

Bill Kristol appearing on c-span to push, agitate for the 2nd Iraq war was asked by a caller if he had served in the (U.S.) military. Kristol said he had not served but had a friend(s) who had and that he served in other ways. When a country drafts into the military, can one get out of service by saying, "My friend served"?

reckon his serving in other ways was/is lying and pushing for wars for his real country israel. Truth hurts, America.

Of the 58,220 Americans who were sacrificed during the Vietnam War, 270 were Jewish. That's approximately 0.46 percent or less than a half of one-percent.

Guess they were too busy partying in college, while pursuing their law degrees.

During the Vietnam war the U.S. selective service system gave deferments to those attending college, which delayed their eligibility for conscription.

"Among partners of the top law firms in New York, I estimate that at least 25% are Jews."

source: https://www.archives.gov/research/military/vietnam-war/casualty-statistics.html

source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/4726694_Going_to_College_to_Avoid_the_Draft_The_Unintended_Legacy_of_the_Vietnam_War [accessed Sep 19, 2017].

source: http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2014/6/5/is-lack-of-diversity-at-big-law-firms-a-crisis

Randal , September 19, 2017 at 6:03 pm GMT

@matt I didn't say there weren't any Jews pushing for a war with Iran, I said there are plenty of non-Jews pushing for one too, including Trump himself. Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews. It's not just bigoted, it's a cartoonishly stupid "explanation".

I didn't say there weren't any Jews pushing for a war with Iran, I said there are plenty of non-Jews pushing for one too, including Trump himself.

Which certainly doesn't mean there isn't a particular problem, exactly as Giraldi describes it with plenty of sound supporting examples, of dual loyalty jews pushing wars that favour Israel.

In fact, the reality is that Giraldi might be guilty of, at most, overstatement, but since a large part of the problem is precisely that any reference at all to the problem is suppressed, one might expect an honest opponent of the US's military interventionism to temper his criticism of Giraldi's piece appropriately. For whatever reason, instead, you seem to feel the need to hysterically accuse it as though it contains no truth whatsoever.

What gives?

Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews.

Of course, the Israel Lobby is much bigger than just jews, and stupid American Christians manipulated by their church leaders into believing fatuous ideas about Israel based upon dubiously interpreted biblical nonsense has historically provided a lot of its political clout.

That's another problem, but it doesn't make the problem highlighted by Giraldi not a problem. The jewish individuals named by Giraldi still massively disproportionately dominate the foreign policy media and political debate on ME wars, and the wealthy jewish Israel supporters mentioned by him still massively disproportionately influence who gets heard and which opinions are suppressed and which promoted.

anonymous , Disclaimer September 19, 2017 at 6:00 pm GMT

@matt I'm strongly against any war with Iran, but this comes of as an unhinged and bigoted rant. Not nearly everyone who is pushing for war with Iran is Jewish, and this narrative perpetuates the myth, beloved by alt-right types and paleocons, of a well-intentioned but naive Trump administration that was hijacked by Jewish neocons. In reality, despite differences within the administration, Iran was always something they could all agree on. H.R. McMaster and James Mattis are well known Iran hawks, and neither are Jewish. Nikki Haley isn't Jewish, nor is Rex Tillerson. Steve Bannon and Michael Flynn wouldn't have stopped Trump from going to war if they hadn't been forced out of the administration, as both, especially the latter, were absolute lunatics when it came to Iran. On that subject, they were worse than neocons. And of course there's Trump himself, whose bloodlust regarding Iran has always been on full display from the beginning, if you were paying attention. Hostility toward Iran might in fact be the most consistent theme of the Trump administration and of Trump himself, who has been known to vacillate on virtually every issue, except this one.

If you supported Trump because you thought he might be some sort of isolationist dove, you have only yourself to blame. Evil Jewish neocons didn't force you to ignore the massive evidence that was always right in front of your face. The fact that there are so many who profess to the Christian faith, who are as evil as those Joo neocons, such as those you mentioned, simply cannot be denied. Even if hypothetically speaking the Joos were to vanish overnight, the wars of aggression by the Evil Empire will continue unabated.

The Evil Empire and its Evil b!tch both share the same satanic vision of world domination. Two evil nations, made for each other, in a match made in Hell.

Btw, the orange scumbag was hilariously evil at the UN.

Both N.Korea and Iran should simply call this bastard's bluff, by literally giving him the finger. I say, let the chips fall where they may. Let's see how the American, Japanese, S.Korean, Israeli & "Royal" pussies like the consequences.

To you N.Koreans, its been written that you will target the thousands of American Terrorists stationed in the south. I am counting on that, so don't you miss chaps.

matt , September 19, 2017 at 5:44 pm GMT

@Anonymous

They should. If Raimondo starts blaming the Jews, he can avoid taking responsibility for his idiotic and embarrassing cheerleading for the current warmonger-in-chief.
I supported and voted for Trump as well. I don't like his neocon turn now, but which candidate in that election (save for Rand Paul and possibly Jill Stein) wouldn't have declared a non-fly zone in Syria and actively supported the overthrow of Assad?

And started plans for attacking Iran? Who? Hillary? Hahahaha. Ted Cruz? Hahahaha. Etc.

Bernie Sanders (a scary Jew!) wasn't nearly as anti-imperialist as I would have liked him to be, but I doubt he would have attacked Assad regime forces 6 times like Trump has by this point, and certainly not without Congressional approval (which he probably wouldn't have gotten, even if he had wanted it).

Even under Hillary, the Iran deal would have stood a better chance, since she was at least verbally committed to it (unlike even Rand Paul), and there would have been Obama loyalists within the Clinton administration who would have been desperate to preserve Obama's signature foreign policy achievement (and one of the only worthwhile ones, in my opinion, along with restoration of diplomatic ties with Cuba).

matt , September 19, 2017 at 5:15 pm GMT

@Randal

If an article titled "America's Jews are Behind America's Wars" isn't unhinged and bigoted, I'd like you to tell me what is.
How is the article's factual content fundamentally different from the similar content of the Haaretz article linked by Greg Bacon in post 21 above? Is the Haaretz piece "unhinged and bigoted"?

Or is it not the statement of the facts that you are outraged by, but merely the proposed solutions? If so, then what solutions to the problem identified by Giraldi and by Haaretz would you propose?

If Trump's insane rhetoric on Iran and push for war isn't an example of bloodlust, why don't you tell me what it is?
Good examples might be the desperate attempts to prevent the deal with Iran that hopefully will prove to have cauterised the longstanding efforts to use the spurious nuclear weapons issue to push the US towards confrontation and war with Iran:

KEY JEWISH DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS SAY THEY WILL VOTE AGAINST IRAN DEAL

Or when Israel's primary agents of political influence in the US went "all out" to try to get the US to attack Syria and hand yet another country to (even more) jihadist-ridden chaos:

AIPAC to go all-out on Syria

But hey, I suppose for you those are just more examples of "unhingedness" and "bigotedness".

It must be strange living in the world you inhabit, so far removed from basic reality by a desperate need to avoid being seen as any kind of badwhite. I didn't say there weren't any Jews pushing for a war with Iran, I said there are plenty of non-Jews pushing for one too, including Trump himself. Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews. It's not just bigoted, it's a cartoonishly stupid "explanation".

matt , September 19, 2017 at 5:10 pm GMT

@Sam Shama They can certainly try, and, I suppose you'd require the U.S. to stay her hand as a matter of fair principle while watching said bases destroyed. Nice idea, but I'd stick to reality. U.S. has vast interests, including economic ones; those which benefit every U.S. citizen, and, to be practical, all her allies. Iran isn't stupid or suicidal. Its anti-ship missiles are for deterrence, which Iran has plenty of need for, as sociopaths like you populate the American, Israeli, and Saudi governments and are itching to attack.

matt , September 19, 2017 at 5:07 pm GMT

@WJ Outside of an almost symbolic launch of cruise missiles into Syria in April, how has Trump been a warmonger?

I remember the debate between Pence and the hideous Tim Kaine where the Democrat vowed that there would be No Fly Zone over Syria which would certainly have allowed the head chopping rebels to gain a stronger foothold.

In addition to all that, Trump has also cut off aid to the Syrian rebels. His Afghanistan policy /escalation is also symbolic. US troops won't be in direct combat and there will only be 15000 there anyway.

Outside of an almost symbolic launch of cruise missiles into Syria in April, how has Trump been a warmonger?

You haven't been paying attention. Since the initial strike in April, the Trump administration has deliberately attacked regime or allied forces an additional five times. ( one , two , three , four , five ).

Including the Tomahawks in April, that's a total of 6 deliberate attacks on the Syrian Arab Republic or its allies (so far), which is already 6 more than Obama carried out during his entire presidency. And it's not like this is the end of Trump's tenure, either; it's the 9th goddamn month since he's been in office. I'm sure the war hawks in Wahington are quite pleased with his progress, as they should be.

In addition to all that, Trump has also cut off aid to the Syrian rebels. His Afghanistan policy /escalation is also symbolic.

Anyone could tell by that point that Assad isn't going to be overthrown. The aim now is to limit the Assad regime's territorial gains as much as possible, and the "rebels" proved they were useless at doing that when Shia militia reached the Iraqi border at al-Tanf, and cut them off from reaching Deir ez-Zor back in May (which was what one of the attacks mentioned above was about).

After that, the Trump administration put all its eggs in the "Syrian Democratic Forces/People's Protection Units (SDF/YPG) basket, the mainly Kurdish (with some Arab fighters) militia that the US has been using to fight ISIS since 2015 (it's also, ironically, a hard left socialist organization. Think Kurdish Antifa. Though I doubt Trump knows or cares or could do anything about it even if he did). Trump has given the SDF <a title="" https://sputniknews.com/amp/middleeast/201709141057402885-america-weaponry-deir-ez-zor/&quot ; https://sputniknews.com/amp/middleeast/201709141057402885-america-weaponry-deir-ez-zor/&quot ;heavy weaponry with the aim of confronting Assad and limiting his territorial gains. They've also been pressuring the rebel groups they formerly supported to join the SDF.

I have sympathy for the SDF/YPG and the Syrian Kurds, and it made sense to support them when they were under direct assault from ISIS (though US motives were hardly altruistic even then). But ISIS is all but beaten now, and this is a dangerous game the US is playing, which could readily lead to a military confrontation betweeen the US and Russia and/or Iran. In fact, just a few days ago, the SDF seized part of Deir ez-Zor after SAA forces reached the city, and the Pentagon is now accusing Russia (which has in the past at least had good relations with the SDF/YPG), of deliberately bombing SDF fighters, in close proximity to American special forces.

US troops won't be in direct combat and there will only be 15000 there anyway.

Only 15,000! I guess you wouldn't mind, then, if they Taliban, or the Afghan Army for that matter, or any other country, put 15,000 troops on American soil, as a "symbolic" gesture.

Trump has also accelerated US collaboration in the sadistic torture of Yemen by the Saudis, past the levels under even Obama, which was already shameful.

And again, we should also keep in mind that it's only been 9 months. For his next act, Trump might be thinking about ending the Iran deal in October.

Heather Heyer's Ghost , September 19, 2017 at 4:44 pm GMT

@Thomm Jews are white. Ashkenazi Jews, and those are the ones we are mainly dealing with, are an endogamous caste of bankers, progressive journalists, lawyers, and social scientists (including, now, education), that have migrated all over Europe, but never identifying as European, with exceptions that prove the rule.

As a tribe, once can read Kevin MacDonald's work to see how they work in remarkable ethnic cohesion–not necessarily as an "organized conspiracy" (though that certainly happens), but as an ethnic drive.

Being neither European as such, nor Christian, and although their skin is white, they are not White.

Stan d Mute , September 19, 2017 at 4:41 pm GMT

Dual loyalty is an avoided and career-ending subject for a couple reasons. One must never, ever, criticize Jews (a third rail at complete odds with) and one may not criticize immigrants' behavior.

The obvious problem is Treason. Just how much Treason is the result of so-called "dual loyalty"? And isn't Treason subject to some rather serious legal sanctions?

...

just an internet commenter , September 19, 2017 at 3:47 pm GMT

I just want to point out, being a (fake) "news" consumer, I hear about Israel all the time, all while not hearing a lot of follow-up detail about Israel and its interests. Isn't that a clever sleight of hand? According to the pro-Israel (by extension jews) propaganda I'm required to care about, despite it having nothing to do with my life, my family's life, my neighbors' lives, and my community's lives Israel is that big of a deal. Actually, I hear more about Israel in the media than I hear about my home state of Michigan. Michigan is probably a lot more important to the US economy, US security, US tourism industry, Midwestern industrial technology industry, US engineering industry, and the Midwestern Farming economy, than Israel is. Then there are the people who live here, who are Americans. Israel first, then Americans? Okay, got it.

If the public were exposed to as much emotionally captivating propaganda about Michigan as they were about Israel, I'd posit the public would see a far better investment in Michigan than they would in Israel. That includes an emotional investment.

I don't know what can be politely said or how it would shape up, but Midwesterners desperately need to understand the Israel (by extension jewish) problem. They're bleeding us and getting away with it, all while getting away with incessantly calling us racists and anti-semites. Because again, caring about Michigan and its people first is just morally irreprehensible. Israel first, then Israel second, etc Got it bigot? That sleight of hand, it's just always there. I don't fully grasp how this large scale agit-prop psychology works. I do understand jewish solidarity. I'll hand it to jews, they have the strongest ethnic/religious/cultural solidarity I've ever seen. If Midwesterners realized the value of this level of solidarity, they wouldn't enlist their sons in the military to serve jewish interests overseas.

Anonymous , Disclaimer September 19, 2017 at 3:13 pm GMT

From Money Manipulation And Social Order (Dublin: Browne and Nolan, 1944) by Fr. Denis Fahey, C.S.Sp., Professor of Philosophy and Church History, Holy Ghost Missionary College, Dublin:

When the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States, created in 1913 by Mr. Paul Warburg, a German Jew belonging to the Banking Firm of Kuhn, Loeb and Company, had been a few years in existence, in 1916 to be precise, President Woodrow Wilson thus summed up the situation in U.S.A.: "A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. . .

We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world!no longer a Government by conviction and the free vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men." From the similar testimonies quoted by Christopher Hollis in The Two Nations, let us take one. "Behind the ostensible government," ran Roosevelt's policy, " sits enthroned an invisible government owning no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people."

https://archive.org/details/FaheyDenisMoneyManipulationAndSocialOrder

Corvinus , September 19, 2017 at 2:37 pm GMT

@Che Guava

Bullshit.

Anyone who reads knows that Israel (and its agents, where not dual citizens, the Jewish ones effectively all are, and the goyim dupes and toadies, who are not, 'cept sometimes with marriage) have been the tail that wags the US dog for many years, starting over a century ago, in finance, commerce, and law in NYC, in a small way the scope is ever wider and the effects more and more blatant.

The USA is a colony of Israel, everybody is knowing it, but some lie and deny.

From my reading of history, I would placing the tipping point from 'excessive power' to 'colonial masters' at the 1967 war of Israel and its neighbours.

Others may dating it to the end of the Third Reich, with all sorts of Jewish DPs and US Jews who had never seen combat running around in US military and MP uniforms to persecuting and killing Germans, under the command of Eisenhauer, the Morgenthau plan, etc.

Others may picking a different time.

It is funny that you are posting as Anonymous on this, can only mean that you are a more subtle pro-Israel troll with your usual u-name. "So it is safe to say that much of the agitation to do something about Iran comes from Israel and from American Jews."

Certainly SOME Israelis and American Jews are involved in developing policy designed to generate hostility to the point of potential war.

But Dick Cheney and Erik Prince, among other prominent non-Jews, bear mentioning.

Regardless, the Jew fixation here is duly noted. Boo! Goes the Joo!

"The USA is a colony of Israel". Fake News Story. Now, let us assume that to be true. What are personally doing about this situation? What active measures are you taking to free yourself from the shackles of your oppressor? Or, are simply impotent while taking it good and hard?

[Sep 16, 2017] Germany Is About to Choose a Leader. Heres the Situation

Sep 16, 2017 | www.nytimes.com

After Mr. Trump's victory last year, Ms. Merkel emerged as the " last powerful defender of Europe and the trans-Atlantic alliance ," wrote Alison Smale and Steven Erlanger, then the Times bureau chiefs for Berlin and London.

Ms. Smale and Glenn Thrush, a White House correspondent for The Times, took a look at Ms. Merkel and Mr. Trump, two powerful leaders "estranged by widely diverging temperaments, worldviews, leadership styles and visions of Europe." Ms. Merkel -- who, in more than 11 years in power, has "proved uncommonly adept at solving the puzzle-box challenges posed by the world's most unpredictable leaders" -- may realize there isn't a method with Mr. Trump, they wrote.

The best she has come up with so far is to cultivate a backdoor channel through the president's daughter Ivanka, who tried unsuccessfully to persuade her father to remain in the Paris accord.

But Ms. Merkel is up for re-election in the fall, and challenging Mr. Trump has become essential in German politics. So Ms. Merkel, the courteous daughter of a Protestant cleric, is doing something she finds awkward: calling out Mr. Trump in public and questioning his commitment to the American leadership that Europeans had taken for granted since World War II.

To understand Ms. Merkel's relationship with Mr. Putin, don't miss this in-depth piece on their rivalry of history, distrust and power (Mar. 12) by Ms. Smale and Andrew Higgins, a Moscow correspondent:

Their relationship, and rivalry, is a microcosm of the sharply divergent visions clashing in Europe and beyond, a divide made more consequential by the uncertainty over President Trump's policy toward Russia and whether he will redefine the traditional alliances of American foreign policy.

The Merkel-Putin relationship is defined by wariness, mutual suspicion, if also mutual respect. Yet along the way, there have been missed opportunities and misjudgments, which are culminating now in a moment of reckoning, as Ms. Merkel tries for another term -- and Mr. Putin's Russia is accused of working to thwart her.

That piece also includes a nugget about talks between the two leaders in 2007: Mr. Putin let his large black Labrador into their meeting room, even though the Kremlin had been told that Ms. Merkel was uneasy around dogs.

[Aug 19, 2017] Vassal Aristocracies Increasingly Resist Control by US Aristocracy by Eric Zuesse

Notable quotes:
"... The MIC is their collective arm, and their collective fist. It is not the American public's global enforcer; it is the American aristocracy's fist, around the world. ..."
"... The MIC (via its military contractors such as Lockheed Martin) also constitutes a core part of the U.S. aristocracy's wealth (the part that's extracted from the U.S. taxpaying public via the U.S. government), and also (by means of those privately-owned contractors, plus the taxpayer-funded U.S. armed forces) it protects these aristocrats' wealth in foreign countries. Though paid by the U.S. government, the MIC does the protection-and-enforcement jobs for the nation's super-rich. ..."
"... So, the MIC is the global bully's fist, and the global bully is the U.S. aristocracy -- America's billionaires, most especially the controlling stockholders in the U.S.-based international corporations. These are the people the U.S. government actually represents . The links document this, and it's essential to know, if one is to understand current events. ..."
"... This massacre didn't play well on local Crimean television. Immediately, a movement to secede and to again become a part of Russia started, and spread like wildfire in Crimea. (Crimea had been only involuntarily transferred from Russia to Ukraine by the Soviet dictator Khrushchev in 1954; it had been part of Russia for the hundreds of years prior to 1954. It was culturally Russian.) Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, said that if they'd vote for it in a referendum, then Russia would accept them back into the Russian Federation and provide them protection as Russian citizens. ..."
"... The latest round of these sanctions was imposed not by Executive Order from a U.S. President, but instead by a new U.S. law, "H.R.3364 -- Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act" , which in July 2017 was passed by 98-2 in the Senate and 419-3 in the House , and which not only stated outright lies (endorsed there by virtually everyone in Congress), but which was backed up by lies from the U.S. Intelligence Community that were accepted and endorsed totally uncritically by 98 Senators and 419 Representatives . (One might simply assume that all of those Senators and Representatives were ignorant of the way things work and were not intentionally lying in order to vote for these lies from the Intelligence Community, but these people actually wouldn't have wrangled their ways into Congress and gotten this far at the game if they hadn't already known that the U.S. Intelligence Community is designed not only to inform the President but to help him to deceive the public and therefore can't be trusted by anyone but the President . ..."
Aug 14, 2017 | www.unz.com

The tumultuous events that dominate international news today cannot be accurately understood outside of their underlying context, which connects them together, into a broader narrative -- the actual history of our time . History makes sense, even if news-reports about these events don't. Propagandistic motivations cause such essential facts to be reported little (if at all) in the news, so that the most important matters for the public to know, get left out of news-accounts about those international events.

The purpose here will be to provide that context, for our time.

First, this essential background will be summarized; then, it will be documented (via the links that will be provided here), up till the present moment -- the current news: America's aristocracy controls both the U.S. federal government and press , but (as will be documented later here) is facing increasing resistance from its many vassal (subordinate) aristocracies around the world (popularly called "America's allied nations"); and this growing international resistance presents a new challenge to the U.S. military-industrial complex (MIC), which is controlled by that same aristocracy and enforces their will worldwide. The MIC is responding to the demands of its aristocratic master. This response largely drives international events today (which countries get invaded, which ones get overthrown by coups, etc.), but the ultimate driving force behind today's international news is the aristocracy that the MIC represents, the billionaires behind the MIC, because theirs is the collective will that drives the MIC. The MIC is their collective arm, and their collective fist. It is not the American public's global enforcer; it is the American aristocracy's fist, around the world.

The MIC (via its military contractors such as Lockheed Martin) also constitutes a core part of the U.S. aristocracy's wealth (the part that's extracted from the U.S. taxpaying public via the U.S. government), and also (by means of those privately-owned contractors, plus the taxpayer-funded U.S. armed forces) it protects these aristocrats' wealth in foreign countries. Though paid by the U.S. government, the MIC does the protection-and-enforcement jobs for the nation's super-rich.

Furthermore, the MIC is crucial to them in other ways, serving not only directly as their "policeman to the world," but also indirectly (by that means) as a global protection-racket that keeps their many subordinate aristocracies in line, under their control -- and that threatens those foreign aristocrats with encroachments against their own territory, whenever a vassal aristocracy resists the master-aristocracy's will. (International law is never enforced against the U.S., not even after it invaded Iraq in 2003.) So, the MIC is the global bully's fist, and the global bully is the U.S. aristocracy -- America's billionaires, most especially the controlling stockholders in the U.S.-based international corporations. These are the people the U.S. government actually represents . The links document this, and it's essential to know, if one is to understand current events.

For the first time ever, a global trend is emerging toward declining control of the world by America's billionaire-class -- into the direction of ultimately replacing the U.S. Empire, by increasingly independent trading-blocs: alliances between aristocracies, replacing this hierarchical control of one aristocracy over another. Ours is becoming a multi-polar world, and America's aristocracy is struggling mightily against this trend, desperate to continue remaining the one global imperial power -- or, as U.S. President Barack Obama often referred to the U.S. government, "The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come." To America's aristocrats, all other nations than the U.S. are "dispensable." All American allies have to accept it. This is the imperial mindset, both for the master, and for the vassal. The uni-polar world can't function otherwise. Vassals must pay (extract from their nation's public, and then transfer) protection-money, to the master, in order to be safe -- to retain their existing power, to exploit their given nation's public.

The recently growing role of economic sanctions (more accurately called "Weaponization of finance" ) by the United States and its vassals, has been central to the operation of this hierarchical imperial system, but is now being increasingly challenged from below, by some of the vassals. Alliances are breaking up over America's mounting use of sanctions, and new alliances are being formed and cemented to replace the imperial system -- replace it by a system without any clear center of global power, in the world that we're moving into. Economic sanctions have been the U.S. empire's chief weapon to impose its will against any challengers to U.S. global control, and are thus becoming the chief locus of the old order's fractures .

This global order cannot be maintained by the MIC alone; the more that the MIC fails (such as in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, ), the more that economic sanctions rise to become the essential tool of the imperial masters. We are increasingly in the era of economic sanctions. And, now, we're entering the backlash-phase of it.

A turning-point in escalating the weaponization of finance was reached in February 2014 when a Ukrainian coup that the Obama Administration had started planning by no later than 2011, culminated successfully in installing a rabidly anti-Russian government on Russia's border, and precipitated the breakaway from Ukraine of two regions (Crimea and Donbass) that had voted overwhelmingly for the man the U.S. regime had just overthrown . This coup in Ukraine was the most direct aggressive act against Russia since the Cold War had 'ended' (it had actually ended on the Russian side, but not on the American side, where it continues ) in 1991. During this coup in Kiev, on February 20th of 2014, hundreds of Crimeans, who had been peacefully demonstrating there with placards against this coup (which coup itself was very violent -- against the police, not by them -- the exact opposite of the way that "the Maidan demonstrations" had been portrayed in the Western press at the time), were attacked by the U.S.-paid thugs and scrambled back into their buses to return home to Crimea but were stopped en-route in central Ukraine and an uncounted number of them were massacred in the Ukrainian town of Korsun by the same group of thugs who had chased them out of Kiev .

This massacre didn't play well on local Crimean television. Immediately, a movement to secede and to again become a part of Russia started, and spread like wildfire in Crimea. (Crimea had been only involuntarily transferred from Russia to Ukraine by the Soviet dictator Khrushchev in 1954; it had been part of Russia for the hundreds of years prior to 1954. It was culturally Russian.) Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, said that if they'd vote for it in a referendum, then Russia would accept them back into the Russian Federation and provide them protection as Russian citizens.

On 6 March 2014, U.S. President Obama issued "Executive Order -- Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine" , and ignored the internationally recognized-in-law right of self-determination of peoples (though he recognized that right in Catalonia and in Scotland), and he instead simply declared that Ukraine's "sovereignty" over Crimea was sacrosanct (even though it had been imposed upon Crimeans by the Soviet dictator -- America's enemy -- in 1954, during the Soviet era, when America opposed, instead of favored and imposed, dictatorship around the world, except in Iran and Guatemala, where America imposed dictatorships even that early). Obama's Executive Order was against unnamed "persons who have asserted governmental authority in the Crimean region without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine." He insisted that the people who had just grabbed control of Ukraine and massacred Crimeans (his own Administration's paid far-right Ukrainian thugs, who were racist anti-Russians ), must be allowed to rule Crimea, regardless of what Crimeans (traditionally a part of Russia) might -- and did -- want. America's vassal aristocracies then imposed their own sanctions against Russia when on 16 March 2014 Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to rejoin the Russian Federation . Thus started the successive rounds of economic sanctions against Russia, by the U.S. government and its vassal-nations . (As is shown by that link, they knew that this had been a coup and no authentic 'democratic revolution' such as the Western press was portraying it to have been, and yet they kept quiet about it -- a secret their public would not be allowed to know.)

The latest round of these sanctions was imposed not by Executive Order from a U.S. President, but instead by a new U.S. law, "H.R.3364 -- Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act" , which in July 2017 was passed by 98-2 in the Senate and 419-3 in the House , and which not only stated outright lies (endorsed there by virtually everyone in Congress), but which was backed up by lies from the U.S. Intelligence Community that were accepted and endorsed totally uncritically by 98 Senators and 419 Representatives . (One might simply assume that all of those Senators and Representatives were ignorant of the way things work and were not intentionally lying in order to vote for these lies from the Intelligence Community, but these people actually wouldn't have wrangled their ways into Congress and gotten this far at the game if they hadn't already known that the U.S. Intelligence Community is designed not only to inform the President but to help him to deceive the public and therefore can't be trusted by anyone but the President .

It's basic knowledge about the U.S. government, and they know it, though the public don't.) The great independent columnist Paul Craig Roberts headlined on August 1st, "Trump's Choices" and argued that President Donald Trump should veto the bill despite its overwhelming support in Washington, but instead Trump signed it into law on August 2nd and thus joined participation in the overt stage -- the Obama stage -- of the U.S. government's continuation of the Cold War that U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush had secretly instituted against Russia on 24 February 1990 , and that, under Obama, finally escalated into a hot war against Russia. The first phase of this hot war against Russia is via the "Weaponization of finance" (those sanctions). However, as usual, it's also backed up by major increases in physical weaponry , and by the cooperation of America's vassals in order to surround Russia with nuclear weapons near and on Russia's borders , in preparation for a possible blitz first-strike nuclear attack upon Russia -- preparations that the Russian people know about and greatly fear, but which are largely hidden by the Western press, and therefore only very few Westerners are aware that their own governments have become lying aggressors.

Some excellent news-commentaries have been published about this matter, online, by a few 'alternative news' sites (and that 'alt-news' group includes all of the reliably honest news-sites, but also includes unfortunately many sites that are as dishonest as the mainstream ones are -- and that latter type aren't being referred to here), such as (and only the best sites and articles will be linked-to on this):

All three of those articles discuss how these new sanctions are driving other nations to separate themselves, more and more, away from the economic grip of the U.S. aristocracy, and to form instead their own alliances with one-another, so as to defend themselves, collectively, from U.S. economic (if not also military) aggression. Major recent news-developments on this, have included (all here from rt dot com):

"'US, EU meddle in other countries & kill people under guise of human rights concerns' – Duterte", and presented Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte explaining why he rejects the U.S. aristocracy's hypocritical pronouncements and condemnations regarding its vassals among the world's poorer and struggling nations, such as his. Of course, none of this information is publishable in the West -- in the Western 'democracies'. It's 'fake news', as far as The Empire is concerned. So, if you're in The (now declining) Empire, you're not supposed to be reading this. That's why the mainstream 'news'media (to all of which this article is being submitted for publication, without fee, for any of them that want to break their existing corrupt mold) don't publish this sort of news -- 'fake news' (that's of the solidly documented type, such as this). You'll see such news reported only in the few honest newsmedia. The rule for the aristocracy's 'news'media is: report what happened, only on the basis of the government's lies as to why it happened -- never expose such lies (the official lies). What's official is 'true' . That, too, is an essential part of the imperial system.

The front cover of the American aristocracy's TIME magazine's Asian edition, dated September 25, 2016, had been headlined "Night Falls on the Philippines: The tragic cost of President Duterte's war on drugs" . The 'news'-story, which was featured inside not just the Asian but all editions, was "Inside Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's War On Drugs" , and it portrayed Duterte as a far-right demagogue who was giving his nation's police free reign to murder anyone they wished to, especially the poor. On 17 July 2017, China's Xinhua News Agency bannered "Philippines' Duterte enjoys high approval rating at 82 percent: poll" , and reported: "A survey by Pulse Asia Inc. conducted from June 24 to June 29 showed that 82 percent of the 1,200 people surveyed nationwide approved the way Duterte runs the country. Out of all the respondents, the poll said 13 percent were undecided about Duterte's performance, while 5 percent disapproved Duterte's performance. Duterte, who assumed the presidency in June last year, ends his single, six-year term in 2022." Obviously, it's not likely that the TIME cover story had actually been honest. But, of course, America's billionaires are even more eager to overthrow Russia's President, Putin.

Western polling firms can freely poll Russians, and do poll them on lots but not on approval or disapproval of President Putin , because he always scores above 80%, and America's aristocrats also don't like finding that confirmed, and certainly don't want to report it. Polling is routinely done in Russia, by Russian pollsters, on voters' ratings of approval/disapproval of Putin's performance. Because America's aristocrats don't like the findings, they say that Russians are in such fear of Putin they don't tell the truth about this, or else that Russia's newsmedia constantly lie about him to cover up the ugly reality about him.

However, the Western academic journal Post-Soviet Affairs (which is a mainstream Western publication) included in their January/February 2017 issue a study, "Is Putin's Popularity Real?" and the investigators reported the results of their own poll of Russians, which was designed to tap into whether such fear exists and serves as a distorting factor in those Russian polls, but concluded that the findings in Russia's polls could not be explained by any such factor; and that, yes, Putin's popularity among Russians is real. The article's closing words were: "Our results suggest that the main obstacle at present to the emergence of a widespread opposition movement to Putin is not that Russians are afraid to voice their disapproval of Putin, but that Putin is in fact quite popular."

The U.S. aristocracy's efforts to get resistant heads-of-state overthrown by 'democratic revolutions' (which usually is done by the U.S. government to overthrow democratically elected Presidents -- such as Mossadegh, Arbenz, Allende, Zelaya, Yanukovych, and attempted against Assad, and wished against Putin, and against Duterte -- not overthrowing dictators such as the U.S. government always claims) have almost consistently failed, and therefore coups and invasions have been used instead, but those techniques demand that certain realities be suppressed by their 'news'media in order to get the U.S. public to support what the government has done -- the U.S. government's international crime, which is never prosecuted. Lying 'news' media in order to 'earn' the American public's support, does not produce enthusiastic support, but, at best, over the long term, it produces only tepid support (support that's usually below the level of that of the governments the U.S. overthrows). U.S. Presidents never score above 80% except when they order an invasion in response to a violent attack by foreigners, such as happened when George W. Bush attacked Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of 9/11, but those 80%+ approval ratings fade quickly; and, after the 1960s, U.S. Presidential job-approvals have generally been below 60% .

President Trump's ratings are currently around 40%. Although Trump is not as conservative -- not as far-right -- as the U.S. aristocracy wants him to be, he is fascist ; just not enough to satisfy them (and their oppostion isn't because he's unpopular among the public; it's more the case that he's unpopular largely because their 'news'media concentrate on his bads, and distort his goods to appear bad -- e.g., suggesting that he's not sufficiently aggressive against Russia). His fascism on domestic affairs is honestly reported in the aristocracy's 'news'media, which appear to be doing all they can to get him replaced by his Vice President, Mike Pence. What's not reported by their media is the fascism of the U.S. aristocracy itself, and of their international agenda (global conquest). That's their secret, of which their public must be (and is) constantly kept ignorant. America's aristocracy has almost as much trouble contolling its domestic public as it has controlling its foreign vassals. Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity .

Recently from Author

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Fidelios Automata > , August 19, 2017 at 2:22 am GMT

Fascism is defined as a system that combines private monopolies and despotic government power. It is sometimes racist but not necessarily so. By the correct definition, every President since at least Herbert Hoover has been fascist to some degree.

exiled off mainstreet > , August 19, 2017 at 4:21 am GMT

One bit of silver lining in the deep-state propaganda effort to destabilise the Trump regime is the damage to the legitimacy of the yankee imperium it confers, making it easier for vassal states to begin to jump ship. The claims of extraterritorial power used for economic warfare might confer a similar benefit, since the erstwhile allies will want to escape the dominance of the yankee dollar to be able to escape the economic extortion practised by the yankee regime to achieve its control abroad.

WorkingClass > , August 19, 2017 at 4:43 am GMT

Good news – The beast is dying. Bad news – We Americans are in its belly.

Wally > , August 19, 2017 at 6:00 am GMT

"America's aristocracy" = lying Israel First Zionists. Why doesn't Eric Zuesse just say the truth? What is he afraid of?

Must read:

jilles dykstra > , August 19, 2017 at 6:31 am GMT

" America's aristocracy has almost as much trouble controlling its domestic public as it has controlling its foreign vassals. "

These foreign vassals had a cozy existence as long as the USA made it clear it wanted to control the world. Dutch minister of Foreign Affairs Ben Bot made this quite clear whan the Netherlands did not have a USA ambassador for three months or so, Ben Bot complained to the USA that there should be a USA ambassador.
He was not used to take decisions all by himself.

Right now Europe's queen Merkel has the same problem, unlike Obama Trump does not hold her hand.

Grandpa Charlie > , August 19, 2017 at 6:38 am GMT

Fidelios,

Yes, of course. I don't know about before Herbert Hoover, but certainly during the 50s, business -- monopolistic or oligopolistic (like the old Detroit auto industry) -- and government (including the MIC) were closely integrated. Such was, indeed, as aspect of progressivism. It was considered by most to be a good thing, or at least to be the natural and normal state of affairs. Certainly, the system back then included what amounted to price-fixing as a normal business practice.

On the other hand, the "despotic" thing is less clear. Some assert that since FDR was effectively a dictator during World War II, that therefore the Democratic Party represented despotism ever since FDR (or maybe ever since Wilson).

Having lived through that period of time, I have to say that I am not so sure about that: if it was despotism, it was a heavily democratic and beneficent despotism. However, it is evident that there was a fascist skein running through the entirety of USA's political history throughout the 20th Century.

jilles dykstra > , August 19, 2017 at 6:40 am GMT

@Fidelios Automata

Fascism originates from Mussolini's Italy. It was anti socialist and anti communist, it of course was pro Italian, Italy's great deeds in antiquity, the Roman empire, were celebrated.

One can see this as racist, but as Italy consisted of mostly Italians, it was not racist in the present meaning of the word at all. Italy was very hesitant in persecuting jews, for example. Hitler depised Mussolini, Mussolini was an ally that weakened Germany. Hitler and Mussolini agreed in their hatred of communism.

Calling Hitler a fascist just creates confusion. All discussions of what nowadays fascism is, our could mean, end like rivers in the desert.

Priss Factor > , August 19, 2017 at 7:52 am GMT

Come on

'Aristocracy' and 'fascist' are all weasel words. (I'm the only true fascist btw, and it's National Humanism, National Left, or Left-Right.)

US is an ethnogarchy, and that really matters. The Power rules, but the nature of the Power is shaped by the biases of the ruling ethnic group.

It is essentially ruled by Jewish Supremacists.

Now, if not for Jews, another group might have supreme power, and it might be problematic in its own way. BUT, the agenda would be different.

Suppose Chinese-Americans controlled much of media, finance, academia, deep state, and etc. They might be just as corrupt or more so than Jews, BUT their agenda would be different. They would not be hateful to Iran, Russia, Syria, or to Palestinians. And they won't care about Israel.

They would have their own biases and agendas, but they would still be different from Jewish obsessions.

Or suppose the top elites of the US were Poles. Now, US policy may be very anti-Russian BUT for reasons different from those of Jews.

So, we won't learn much by just throwing words like 'fascist' or 'aristocrat' around.

We have to be more specific. Hitler was 'fascist' and so was Rohm. But Hitler had Rohm wiped out.

Surely, a Zionist 'fascist' had different goals than an Iranian 'fascist'.

One might say the Old South African regime was 'fascist'. Well, today's piggish ANC is also 'fascist', if by 'fascist' we mean power-hungry tyrants. But black 'fascists' want something different from what white 'fascists' wanted.

It's like all football players are in football. But to understand what is going on, we have to know WHICH team they play for.

Jewish Elites don't just play for power. They play for Jewish power.

jacques sheete > , August 19, 2017 at 11:42 am GMT

Good summary of where we're at, but please don't call the ruling goons aristocrats. The word, "aristocrat," is derived from the Ancient Greek ἄριστος (áristos, "best"), and the ruling thugs in this country have never been the best at anything except lies, murder and theft.

I realize that calling them violent bloodthirsty sociopathic parasites is a mouthful, and that "plutacrats" doesn't have quite the appropriate sting, but perhaps it's more accurate.

Or maybe we should get into the habit of calling them the "ruling mafiosi." I'm open to suggestions.

"Goonocrats"?

Anon > , Disclaimer August 19, 2017 at 12:56 pm GMT

and that threatens those foreign aristocrats with encroachments against their own territory, whenever a vassal aristocracy resists the master-aristocracy's will.

They also -- through the joint action of Rating Agencies, the Anglosaxon media, the vassal vassal states' media, make national debt's yield spreads skyrocket. It's been the way to make entire governments tumble in Europe, as well as force ministers for economics to resign. After obeisance has been restored -- and an "ex Goldman Sachs man" put on the presidential/ministerial chair, usually -- investors magically find back their trust in the nation's economic stability, and yield spreads return to their usual level.

jacques sheete > , August 19, 2017 at 1:42 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

These foreign vassals had a cozy existence

No doubt about it. That's how thugs rule; there are plenty of quivering sell outs to do the rulers' bidding. Look at the sickening standing ovations given to Netanyahoo by supposed "US" congresscreeps.

Jake > , August 19, 2017 at 1:46 pm GMT

@Fidelios Automata Abraham Lincoln's economic policy was to combine private monopolies with the Federal Government under a President like him: one who ordered the arrests of newspaper editors/publishers who opposed his policies and more 'despotic' goodies.

Joe Hide > , August 19, 2017 at 1:47 pm GMT

While the article favorably informs, and was written so as to engage the reader, it lacks reasonable solutions to its problems presented. One solution which I never read or hear about, is mandated MRI's, advanced technology, and evidence supported psychological testing of sitting and potential political candidates. The goal would be to publicly reveal traits of psychopathy, narcissism, insanity, etc. Of course, the most vocal opposition would come from those who intend to hide these traits. The greatest evidence for the likelyhood of this process working, is the immense effort those who would be revealed have historically put into hiding what they are.

SolontoCroesus > , August 19, 2017 at 3:04 pm GMT

@jacques sheete

"ruling mafiosi."

No way. How about Jewish terrorists ? Very few Italians in the ruling "aristocracy." Lots of Jews.

Jake > , August 19, 2017 at 3:05 pm GMT

Eric Zuesse is a nasty, hardcore leftist in the senses that matter most. Often, he reveals his Leftism to be based on his hatred of Christianity and his utter contempt for white Christians. But there is that dead clock being correct twice per day matter. In this article, Zuesse gets a good deal right.

First, he delineates the American Elites well. The USA forged by Abe Lincoln is not a real democracy, not a real republic. It is the worst kind of oligarchy: one based on love of money almost exclusively (because if a man does not love money well enough to be bribed, then he cannot be trusted by plutocrats) while proclaiming itself focused on helping all the little guys of the world overcome the power of the rich oppressors.

It is the Devil's game nearly perfected by the grand alliance of WASPs and Jews, with their Saudi hangers-on.

Second, it is fair to label America's Deep State fascist , Elite Fascist. And we should never forget that while Jews are no more than 3% of the American population, they now are at least 30% (my guess would be closer to 59%) of the most powerful Deep Staters. That means that per capita Jews easily are the fascist-inclined people in America.

The most guilty often bray the loudest at others in hope of getting them blamed and escaping punishment. And this most guilty group – Deep State Elites evolved from the original WASP-Jewish alliance against Catholics – is dead-set on making the majority of whites in the world serfs.

Third, the US 'weaponization of finance' seems to have been used against the Vatican to force Benedict XVI to resign so that Liberal Jesuit (sorry for the redundancy) Jorge Bergolgio could be made Pope. The Jesuits are far and away the most Leftist and gay part of the Catholic Church, and the American Deep State wanted a gay-loving, strongly pro-Jewish, strongly pro-Moslem 'immigrant' as Pope.

Fourth, that America's Leftists of every stripe, America's Neocons, and America's 'compassionate conservatives' all hate Putin is all you should need to know that Putin is far, far better for Russia's working class, Russia's non-Elites, than our Elites are for us.

jacques sheete > , August 19, 2017 at 3:36 pm GMT

@Brabantian Good comments.They apply to a few others around here as well, particularly this.

who mixes some truth with big lies

Priss Factor > , Website August 19, 2017 at 3:44 pm GMT

Charlottesville, Occupy Wall St And The Neoliberal Police State. Charlottesville was a Neoliberal ambush designed to crush the Alt Right once and for all. This story must be told.

https://altright.com/2017/08/19/charlottesville-occupy-wall-st-and-the-neoliberal-police-state/

jacques sheete > , August 19, 2017 at 3:46 pm GMT

@SolontoCroesus

"ruling mafiosi."
No way. How about Jewish terrorists ? Very few Italians in the ruling "aristocracy." Lots of Jews.

Very few Italians in the ruling "aristocracy."

Another common misconception is to associate the mafia with Italians mostly. The Italian mafiosi are pikers compared to the American ones of Eastern European descent. The real bosses are not the Italians.

Bugsy Siegel, Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, Longy Zwillman, Moe Dalitz, Meyer Lansky and many many others.

Even the Jewish Virtual Library admits to some of it.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jewish-gangsters-in-america

New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, LA, Miami, and many others all dominated by non-Italian mobsters, not to mention the US government.

[Aug 11, 2017] Iraq mission accomlished 27 Years and several trillion dollars later by William Rivers Pitt

Notable quotes:
"... Twenty-seven years. Hundreds of thousands of deaths, at least. Trillions of dollars squandered? Hardly. This was not an accident. ..."
"... Every bullet fired, every bomb dropped, every missile launched, every gallon of fuel burned, every HumVee destroyed by an IED, every helicopter shot down, every boot on the ground, every private military contractor's paycheck, every MRE, every Kevlar vest, every pill, every helmet, every uniform, every body bag, every coffin and every American flag draped over it throughout all those many long years of war represents money taken from you and given to a small group of people you'll never meet. They hide much of that money offshore so it won't be taxed, and use the rest to buy politicians who tell you the country is broke, we're about austerity now, so no more school lunches for your kids and no more Medicaid for your mother. ..."
Aug 11, 2017 | www.truth-out.org

We have been at war in Iraq, in one form or another, for 27 years. The best estimates of the cost for all this systematic butchery, combined with the expense of simultaneous war in Afghanistan, reach into the trillions of dollars.

... ... ...

For the historical record: There was the initial build-up of Desert Shield, followed by Desert Storm and its lethal cloud of depleted uranium. There were the sanctions/bombing Clinton years when we blew up sewage treatment plants and denied children vaccines in an ongoing act of biological warfare. Then, there was the second Bush invasion based on unprosecuted criminal lies, the long massacre of occupation and torture, the Obama occupation and drone war, the drawdown, the draw-back-up because of ISIS. Now, there is the current trembling mayhem of air strikes, car bombs, militias, factions, confusion and an overwhelming ocean of refugees.

No one in politics or the media seems capable of recognizing this series of events for what it truly is: One large event with a tangible beginning, a middle and no end in sight. There is no dicing it up. It is all of a piece, one long war, the longest by miles in our nation's history. The most recent invasion and occupation saw nearly 5,000 US service members killed and close to 40,000 wounded. That casualty count does not include the many thousands of veterans who have returned home after multiple deployments suffering from a variety of maladies caused by prolonged exposure to chemicals, combat and carnage.

... ... ...

Twenty-seven years. Hundreds of thousands of deaths, at least. Trillions of dollars squandered? Hardly. This was not an accident. It was, and continues to be, a spectacular payday.

Every bullet fired, every bomb dropped, every missile launched, every gallon of fuel burned, every HumVee destroyed by an IED, every helicopter shot down, every boot on the ground, every private military contractor's paycheck, every MRE, every Kevlar vest, every pill, every helmet, every uniform, every body bag, every coffin and every American flag draped over it throughout all those many long years of war represents money taken from you and given to a small group of people you'll never meet. They hide much of that money offshore so it won't be taxed, and use the rest to buy politicians who tell you the country is broke, we're about austerity now, so no more school lunches for your kids and no more Medicaid for your mother.

William Rivers Pitt is a senior editor and lead columnist at Truthout. He is also a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of three books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know, The Greatest Sedition Is Silence and House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America's Ravaged Reputation. His fourth book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible, co-written with Dahr Jamail, is available now on Amazon. He lives and works in New Hampshire.

[Aug 01, 2017] Groupthink at the CIA by

Looks like tail wags the dog -- CIA controls the US foreign policy and in the last elections also played active role in promoting Hillary. A the level of top brass we have several people mentioned by Giraldi who are probably as dangerous as Allen Dulles was. Brennan is one example.
The parade of rogues that Philip describes is really alarming. Each with agenda that directly harms the USA as a country promoting the interest of military-industrial complex and neocon faction within the government...
Notable quotes:
"... Indeed, one can start with Tenet if one wants to create a roster of recent CIA Directors who have lied to permit the White House to engage in a war crime. Tenet and his staff knew better than anyone that the case against Saddam did not hold water, but President George W. Bush wanted his war and, by gum, he was going to get it if the CIA had any say in the matter. ..."
"... Back then as now, international Islamic terrorism was the name of the game. It kept the money flowing to the national security establishment in the false belief that America was somehow being made "safe." But today the terror narrative has been somewhat supplanted by Russia, which is headed by a contemporary Saddam Hussein in the form of Vladimir Putin. If one believes the media and a majority of congressmen, evil manifest lurks in the gilded halls of the Kremlin. Russia has recently been sanctioned (again) for crimes that are more alleged than demonstrated and President Putin has been selected by the Establishment as the wedge issue that will be used to end President Donald Trump's defiance of the Deep State and all that pertains to it. The intelligence community at its top level would appear to be fully on board with that effort. ..."
"... Remarkably, he also said that there is only "minimal evidence" that Russia is even fighting ISIS. The statement is astonishing as Moscow has most definitely been seriously and directly engaged in support of the Syrian Arab Army. Is it possible that the head of the CIA is unaware of that? It just might be that Pompeo is disparaging the effort because the Russians and Syrians have also been fighting against the U.S. backed "moderate rebels." That the moderate rebels are hardly moderate has been known for years and they are also renowned for their ineffectiveness combined with a tendency to defect to more radical groups taking their U.S. provided weapons with them, a combination of factors which led to their being denied any further American support by a presidential decision that was revealed in the press two weeks ago. ..."
"... Pompeo's predecessor John Brennan is, however, my favorite Agency leader in the category of totally bereft of his senses. ..."
"... Brennan is certainly loyal to his cause, whatever that might be. At the same Aspen meeting attended by Pompeo, he told Wolf Blitzer that if Trump were to fire special counsel Robert Mueller government officials should "refuse to carry out" his orders. In other words, they should begin a coup, admittedly non-violent (one presumes), but nevertheless including federal employees uniting to shut the government down. ..."
"... And finally, there is Michael Morell, also a former Acting Director, who was closely tied to the Hillary Clinton campaign, apparently driven by ambition to become Director in her administration. Morell currently provides commentary for CBS television and is a frequent guest on the Charlie Rose show. Morell considerably raised the ante on Brennan's pre-electoral speculation that there had been some Russian recruitment of Trump people. He observed in August that Putin, a wily ex-career intelligence officer, "trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them [did exactly that] early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump's vulnerabilities In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation." ..."
"... Nothing new. In the '50s CIA was making foreign wars and cultivating chaos at home, and blaming all of it on Russia. In the '80s CIA was cultivating anti-nuke groups to undermine Reagan, and blaming it on Russia. CIA has been the primary wellspring of evil for a long time. ..."
"... Yes you read that right and they are going to the rotten core of this coup against the United States by presenting a report stating that the DNC was "Leaked" not hacked. The real hacking came from President Obama's weaponizing of our intelligence agencies against Russia. ..."
"... As has been the case for decades the Deep State allows Presidents and legislators to make minor decisions in our government as long as those decisions do not in any way interfere with the Deep State's goals of total world hegemony and increase in overwhelming power and wealth. Those who make the important decisions in this country are not elected. The elected 'officials' are sycophants of the Deep State. ..."
"... The term is appropriated from the use to describe the mutually loyal corps of Ataturkians in the Turkish military and intelligence services who were united in service to uphold the ideal of Ataturkian secular modernisation. The term implies no public accountability or publicity unnecessary to its purposes. ..."
"... The CIA's source, its birth, is from British secret service. Brit spying. And Brit secret service, long before the official founding of MI5, did exactly the kinds of things you note the CIA has done. ..."
"... The Mossad is another direct fruit of Brit secret service, as is the Saudi General Intelligence Presidency. ..."
"... I am a retired CIA operations officer (something none of the men mentioned by Giraldi are – Brennan was a failed wanna be, couldn't cut it as an ops officer). He is spot on in his comments. The majority of people in the CIA, the ones who do the heavy lifting, are patriotic Americans who are proud of serving their country. I am sure that most voted for Trump as they all know too well the truth about the Clintons and Obama. ..."
"... Giraldi is not the only one to notice the upward progress of the most incompetent yes-men in the Agency. A close look at most of them reveals a track record of little or no operational success balanced by excellent sucking up skills. These characters quickly figured out how to get ahead and doing your job in the field is not it. Of course, most are ego maniacs so they are totally oblivious to their own uselessness. ..."
"... How "Russiagate" began: After the primaries, both Hillary and Donald faced divided political parties even though they had won the nomination. These divisions were worse than the normal situation after contested primaries. On the Democratic side, Hillay had just subverted the will of the voters of her party, who seemed to favor Bernie Sanders over her. Hillay had won with corrupt collusion and rigging amongst the DNC, the higher ranks of the Democratic Party, and major media such as the NYT and CNN. ..."
"... Then, a leak of emails from the DNC HQ publicized her interference in the democratic processes of the Democratic Party. This threatened to ene the Hillary for President campaign right then and there. If the majority of Democrats who'd favored Bernie refused to support Hillary because of her corruption and collusion in denying democracy within the party, she was a sure loser in the fall election. The Hillary camp then immediately started blaming Russia for the exposure of her corruption and rigging of the Democratic process. And that's how "Russiagate" began. ..."
"... Take that bunch of mediocre thinkers, and then make most of them obsessed with their own career advancement above all else. The most dangerous place for a career-obsessed individual is outside the group consensus. ..."
"... So, for instance, Trump should veto the act of war known as the recent sanctions bill. Who cares if it gets overridden? Then he goes back to the voters, who are clearly sick of endless war and who for obvious reasons don't want a nuclear war, and he says this is where I stand. Support me by electing Fill-In-The-Blank to Congress. With the nuclear Doomsday Clock pushing ever closer to midnight, he might just win that fight over the big money and media opposition he's sure to face. ..."
"... Not only has Trump failed to even try to fight the Deep State, but he's also failing to set himself up for success in the next elections. ..."
Aug 01, 2017 | www.unz.com

Long ago, when I was a spear carrying middle ranker at CIA, a colleague took me aside and said that he had something to tell me "as a friend," that was very important. He told me that his wife had worked for years in the Agency's Administrative Directorate, as it was then called, where she had noticed that some new officers coming out of the Career Trainee program had red tags on their personnel files. She eventually learned from her boss that the tags represented assessments that those officers had exceptional potential as senior managers. He added, however, that the reverse appeared to be true in practice as they were generally speaking serial failures as they ascended the bureaucratic ladder, even though their careers continued to be onward and upward on paper. My friend's wife concluded, not unreasonably, that only genuine a-holes had what it took to get promoted to the most senior ranks.

I was admittedly skeptical but some recent activity by former and current Directors and Acting Directors of CIA has me wondering if something like my friend's wife's observation about senior management might indeed be true. But it would have to be something other than tagging files, as many of the directors and their deputies did not come up through the ranks and there seems to be a similar strain of lunacy at other U.S. government intelligence agencies. It might be time to check the water supply in the Washington area as there is very definitely something in the kool-aid that is producing odd behavior.

Now I should pause for a moment and accept that the role of intelligence services is to identify potential threats before they become active, so a certain level of acute paranoia goes with the job. But at the same time, one would expect a level of professionalism which would mandate accuracy rather than emotion in assessments coupled with an eschewing of any involvement in the politics of foreign and national security policy formulation. The enthusiasm with which a number of senior CIA personnel have waded into the Trump swamp and have staked out positions that contradict genuine national interests suggests that little has been learned since CIA Director George Tenet sat behind Secretary of State Colin Powell in the UN and nodded sagaciously as Saddam Hussein's high crimes and misdemeanors were falsely enumerated.

Indeed, one can start with Tenet if one wants to create a roster of recent CIA Directors who have lied to permit the White House to engage in a war crime. Tenet and his staff knew better than anyone that the case against Saddam did not hold water, but President George W. Bush wanted his war and, by gum, he was going to get it if the CIA had any say in the matter.

Back then as now, international Islamic terrorism was the name of the game. It kept the money flowing to the national security establishment in the false belief that America was somehow being made "safe." But today the terror narrative has been somewhat supplanted by Russia, which is headed by a contemporary Saddam Hussein in the form of Vladimir Putin. If one believes the media and a majority of congressmen, evil manifest lurks in the gilded halls of the Kremlin. Russia has recently been sanctioned (again) for crimes that are more alleged than demonstrated and President Putin has been selected by the Establishment as the wedge issue that will be used to end President Donald Trump's defiance of the Deep State and all that pertains to it. The intelligence community at its top level would appear to be fully on board with that effort.

The most recent inexplicable comments come from the current CIA Director Mike Pompeo, speaking at the Aspen Institute Security Forum. He began by asserting that Russia had interfered in the U.S. election before saying that the logic behind Russia's Middle Eastern strategy is to stay in place in Syria so Moscow can "stick it to America." He didn't define the "it" so one must assume that "it" stands for any utensil available, ranging from cruise missiles to dinner forks. He then elaborated, somewhat obscurely, that "I think they find anyplace that they can make our lives more difficult, I think they find that something that's useful."

Remarkably, he also said that there is only "minimal evidence" that Russia is even fighting ISIS. The statement is astonishing as Moscow has most definitely been seriously and directly engaged in support of the Syrian Arab Army. Is it possible that the head of the CIA is unaware of that? It just might be that Pompeo is disparaging the effort because the Russians and Syrians have also been fighting against the U.S. backed "moderate rebels." That the moderate rebels are hardly moderate has been known for years and they are also renowned for their ineffectiveness combined with a tendency to defect to more radical groups taking their U.S. provided weapons with them, a combination of factors which led to their being denied any further American support by a presidential decision that was revealed in the press two weeks ago.

Pompeo's predecessor John Brennan is, however, my favorite Agency leader in the category of totally bereft of his senses. In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee back in May, he suggested that some Trump associates might have been recruited by the Russian intelligence service. He testified that "I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals."

In his testimony, Brennan apparently forgot to mention that the CIA is not supposed to keep tabs on American citizens. Nor did he explain how he had come upon the information in the first place as it had been handed over by foreign intelligence services, including the British, Dutch and Estonians, and at least some of it had been sought or possibly inspired by Brennan unofficially in the first place. Brennan then used that information to request an FBI investigation into a possible Russian operation directed against potential key advisers if Trump were to somehow get nominated and elected, which admittedly was a longshot at the time. That is how Russiagate started.

Brennan is certainly loyal to his cause, whatever that might be. At the same Aspen meeting attended by Pompeo, he told Wolf Blitzer that if Trump were to fire special counsel Robert Mueller government officials should "refuse to carry out" his orders. In other words, they should begin a coup, admittedly non-violent (one presumes), but nevertheless including federal employees uniting to shut the government down.

A lesser known former CIA senior official is John McLaughlin, who briefly served as acting Director in 2004. McLaughlin was particularly outraged by Trump's recent speech to the Boy Scouts, which he described as having the feel "of a third world authoritarian's youth rally." He added that "It gave me the creeps it was like watching the late Venezuelan [President Hugo] Chavez."

And finally, there is Michael Morell, also a former Acting Director, who was closely tied to the Hillary Clinton campaign, apparently driven by ambition to become Director in her administration. Morell currently provides commentary for CBS television and is a frequent guest on the Charlie Rose show. Morell considerably raised the ante on Brennan's pre-electoral speculation that there had been some Russian recruitment of Trump people. He observed in August that Putin, a wily ex-career intelligence officer, "trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them [did exactly that] early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump's vulnerabilities In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."

I and others noted at the time that Putin and Trump had never met, not even through proxies, while we also wondered how one could be both unwitting and a recruited agent as intelligence recruitment implies control and taking direction. Morell was non-plussed, unflinching and just a tad sanctimonious in affirming that his own intelligence training (as an analyst who never recruited a spy in his life) meant that "[I] call it as I see it."

One could also cite Michael Hayden and James Clapper, though the latter was not CIA. They all basically hew to the same line about Russia, often in more-or-less the same words, even though no actual evidence has been produced to support their claims. That unanimity of thinking is what is peculiar while academics like Stephen Cohen, Stephen Walt, Andrew Bacevich, and John Mearsheimer, who have studied Russia in some depth and understand the country and its leadership far better than a senior CIA officer, detect considerable nuance in what is taking place. They all believe that the hardline policies current in Washington are based on an eagerness to go with the flow on the comforting inside-the- beltway narrative that paints Russia as a threat to vital interests. That unanimity of viewpoint should surprise no one as this is more of less the same government with many of the same people that led the U.S. into Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. They all have a vested interested in the health and well-being of a fully funded national security state.

And the other groupthink that seems to prevail among the senior managers except Pompeo is that they all hate Donald Trump and have done so since long before he won the election. That is somewhat odd, but it perhaps reflects a fear that Trump would interfere with the richly rewarding establishment politics that had enabled their careers. But it does not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of CIA employees. Though it is admittedly unscientific analysis on my part, I know a lot of former and some current CIA employees but do not know a single one who voted for Hillary Clinton. Nearly all voted for Trump.

Beyond that exhibition of tunnel vision and sheer ignorance, the involvement of former senior intelligence officials in politics is itself deplorable and is perhaps symptomatic of the breakdown in the comfortable bipartisan national security consensus that has characterized the past fifty years. Once upon time former CIA officers would retire to the Blue Ridge mountains and raise Labradors, but we are now into something much more dangerous if the intelligence community, which has been responsible for most of the recent leaks, begins to feel free to assert itself from behind the scenes. As Senator Chuck Schumer recently warned "Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community -- they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you."

exiled off mainstreet, August 1, 2017 at 5:06 am GMT

In jumping this fascist nihilist shark, the groupthinkers have closed themselves off from the logical conclusion to their viewpoint, which is final annihilation.

Dan Hayes, August 1, 2017 at 5:47 am GMT

Schumer's statement is true (and probably the only such one in his political career!).

annamaria, August 1, 2017 at 6:03 am GMT

Brennan, Morell, and Pompeo should better find ways to justify their salaries: the U.S. has suffered the greatest breach in cybersecurity on their watch:

" an enormous breach of the United States Security Apparatus by as many as 80 Democrat members of Congress (past and present). We rail on about the Russians and Trump, but t he media avoids providing nightly updates about these 5 spies that have compromised Congress ."

http://investmentwatchblog.com/the-awan-brothers-compromised-at-least-80-congregational-computers-and-got-paid-5-million-to-do-it-we-may-never-know-the-extent-of-the-breach/

"In total, Imran's firm was employed by 31 Democrats in Congress, some of whom held extremely sensitive positions on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Committee on Foreign Affair s."

polistra, August 1, 2017 at 6:17 am GMT

Nothing new. In the '50s CIA was making foreign wars and cultivating chaos at home, and blaming all of it on Russia. In the '80s CIA was cultivating anti-nuke groups to undermine Reagan, and blaming it on Russia. CIA has been the primary wellspring of evil for a long time.

Bruce Marshall, August 1, 2017 at 6:39 am GMT

And back to reality we have VIPS Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

Yes you read that right and they are going to the rotten core of this coup against the United States by presenting a report stating that the DNC was "Leaked" not hacked. The real hacking came from President Obama's weaponizing of our intelligence agencies against Russia.

That is war, World War Three and it would seem now that Congress is marching that way, but the report below hold the key to fighting back.

http://larouchepub.com/eiw/public/2017/2017_30-39/2017-30/pdf/37-41_4430.pdf

One of the VIPS is William Binney fomer NSA Technical Director, an important expert. leading the group is Ray McGovern with some whit and grace, well yes how about some sanity, to which humor is important to the insight and to stay in the sights of what is clever thievery and worse. Much worse,
and there is a twinkle in the eye when realize that it is straight forward.

And Congress could stop it tout sweet, but well old habits but they have taken an Oath of Office, so, so what, yeah they did go after Bernie, so will you challenge your elected officials, either do their sworn duty or resign, for what this sanctions bill against Russia and Iran is a declaration of war, not only against Russia and Iran, but a declaration of war against the United States. for there is no reason to do this against Russia when indeed there are great opportunities to get along, but war is the insanity as it is sedition and treason. Tell them that,

https://larouchepac.com/20170731/breaking-lyndon-larouche-crush-british-coup-against-president

Priss Factor, • Website August 1, 2017 at 7:01 am GMT

Moderate Rebels = Toothfairy Rebels

jilles dykstra, August 1, 2017 at 7:21 am GMT

I wonder if groupthink exists. In any organisation people know quite well why the organisation exists, what the threats are to its existence. If they think about this, I wonder.

The CIA is the USA's secret army, it is not comparable to a real intelligence organisation like the British MI5. The CIA is more like WWII SOE, designed to set fire to Europe, Churchill's words. If indeed Trump changes USA foreign policy, no longer trying to control the world, the CIA is obsolete, as obsolete as NATO.

animalogic, August 1, 2017 at 7:44 am GMT

" but President George W. Bush wanted his war and, by gum, he was going to get it if the CIA had any say in the matter."

Not to defend the CIA, but didn't Rumsfeld, doubt the enthusiasm of the CIA for providing the slanted, bogus, "sexed up" intelligence the Executive required to make its "destroy Iraq now" case ? So Rumsfeld therefore set up an independent intelligence agency within the Defence Dept to provide/create the required "intelligence" ?

The Alarmist, August 1, 2017 at 7:45 am GMT

I think they find anyplace that they can make our lives more difficult, I think they find that something that's useful."

Yeah, because that's what resource-constrained countries with limited ability to tap the global capital markets do. Methinks Mr. Pompeo is projecting his and the neocons' fantasies on the Russians.

Realist, August 1, 2017 at 10:14 am GMT

As has been the case for decades the Deep State allows Presidents and legislators to make minor decisions in our government as long as those decisions do not in any way interfere with the Deep State's goals of total world hegemony and increase in overwhelming power and wealth. Those who make the important decisions in this country are not elected. The elected 'officials' are sycophants of the Deep State.

CalDre, August 1, 2017 at 10:43 am GMT

If only Trump would really clean the swamp – particularly the neo-cons and other traitors and globalists. One can dream .

Wizard of Oz, August 1, 2017 at 11:04 am GMT

Being resistant to jargon and catch phrases it is only slowly that I have accepted that "Deep State" is not entirely pretentious waffle when used to describe aspects of the US. However I may not be your only reader PG who would appreciate a clear explanatory description of the American Deep State and how it works.

Here are some suggested parameters.

The term is appropriated from the use to describe the mutually loyal corps of Ataturkians in the Turkish military and intelligence services who were united in service to uphold the ideal of Ataturkian secular modernisation. The term implies no public accountability or publicity unnecessary to its purposes.
And its origins imply that it is not just one in a number of major influences ln government or those who vote for it.

So one has to acknowledge that in the US the Deep State has to be different in the important respect that levers of power are observably wielded by lobbies for the aged, gun owners and sellers, Israel, Wall Street, bio fuels, sugar and other ag, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, the arms industry, Disney and other Hollywood and media, health insurers and the medical profession, and I could go on.

These are all relevant to legal events like votes on impeachment or to hold up appointments. The CIA and FBI together completely united (and note how disunited 9/11 showed them to be) wouldn't remotely approach the old Turkish Deep State's ability to stage a coup. Are all of the putative elements of the Deep State together today as powerful as J.Edgar Hoover with his dirt files on everyone? (A contrast and compare exercise of today's presumed Deep State configuration and modus operandi with the simpler Hoover days might shine some light on who does what and how today. And how effectively).

To avoid lack of focus can a convincing account of the US Deep State be best given in terms of a plausible scenario for

  1. getting rid of Trump as President and/or
  2. maintaining the lunacy and hubris which has the US wasting its substance on totally unnecessary antagonistic relations with China and Russia and interference in the ME?

I would read such accounts with great interest. (Handwavers need not apply).

Jake, August 1, 2017 at 11:26 am GMT

Of course the US Deep State must hate Russia. First, Jews have a very long history of hating Russia and Russians. That never changed. The USSR was not Russia; the USSR was Marxism replacing Russia. Jews tended to love that. Rich Jews from across the world, from the US and the UK of most interest to us, sent money to support the Bolshevik Revolution.

Russia managed to survive the USSR and is slowly coming back around to Russian common sense from the Christian perspective. Neither Jews nor their WASP BFFs can ever forgive that. They want Russia to act now to commit cultural and genetic suicide, like Western Europe and the entire Anglosphere are doing.

Jake, August 1, 2017 at 11:32 am GMT

@polistra The CIA's source, its birth, is from British secret service. Brit spying. And Brit secret service, long before the official founding of MI5, did exactly the kinds of things you note the CIA has done.

The Mossad is another direct fruit of Brit secret service, as is the Saudi General Intelligence Presidency.

jacques sheete, August 1, 2017 at 11:36 am GMT

While there can be no doubt about the crackpots in high positions of the most powerful bureaucracies, it seems to me that the CIA loonies are merely shock troops for an even worse bunch of evil psychos, the bankster mafiosi.

We should always keep that in mind.

Jake, August 1, 2017 at 11:37 am GMT

@CalDre If only

But doing so would mean a voluntary end to playing the role of Sauron, determined to find and wear the One Ring to Rule Them All. The average Elite WASP, and his Jewish BFF, definitely would prefer to destroy the world, at least outside their gated compounds of endless luxury, than to step down from that level of global domination.

Philip Giraldi, August 1, 2017 at 12:02 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz Wiz – Here is an article I did on the Deep State two years ago. It was one of the first in the US media looking at the issue. It would have to be updated now in light of Trump, but much of what it states is still more-or-less correct.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/deep-state-america/

Jake, August 1, 2017 at 12:09 pm GMT

@jacques sheete Yes, indeed.

But we need to make certain that your use of the word 'mafiosi' does not lead anyone to assume that group has more than a handful of Italians. Jews, WASPs, and continental Germanics each will outnumber Italians by at least 30 to 1.

Chris Bridges, August 1, 2017 at 12:46 pm GMT

I am a retired CIA operations officer (something none of the men mentioned by Giraldi are – Brennan was a failed wanna be, couldn't cut it as an ops officer). He is spot on in his comments. The majority of people in the CIA, the ones who do the heavy lifting, are patriotic Americans who are proud of serving their country. I am sure that most voted for Trump as they all know too well the truth about the Clintons and Obama.

Giraldi is not the only one to notice the upward progress of the most incompetent yes-men in the Agency. A close look at most of them reveals a track record of little or no operational success balanced by excellent sucking up skills. These characters quickly figured out how to get ahead and doing your job in the field is not it. Of course, most are ego maniacs so they are totally oblivious to their own uselessness.

Well before he was elected I had a letter delivered to President Trump in which I outlined in detail what would happen to him if he did not immediately purge the CIA of these assholes. I know that at least some people on his staff read it but, of course, my advice was ignored. Trump has paid dearly for not listening to an ordinary CIA guy who wanted to give him a reality brief on those vicious snakes.

Proud_Srbin, August 1, 2017 at 1:00 pm GMT

Historical facts teach humanity that Anglo-Saxon group of Nations was built on slavery, thuggery and theft of other peace loving Civilizations. We Slavs are the New "niggers", hate is the glue that holds you "toGether".
People of color have been successfully conditioned and practice it as well.
Time will tell how well it holds when balloon bursts and 99% gets called to serve as cannon fodder.
Terrorizing UNARMED and WEAKER is not true test of "superiority" and "exceptionalism".
Tiny, extremely tiny minority of Anglo-Saxons and Satraps understand this.

Jake, August 1, 2017 at 1:15 pm GMT

@Chris Bridges You are responsible only for telling the truth and warning. Trump's naivete is his failing.

Bernie voter, August 1, 2017 at 1:20 pm GMT

How "Russiagate" began: After the primaries, both Hillary and Donald faced divided political parties even though they had won the nomination. These divisions were worse than the normal situation after contested primaries. On the Democratic side, Hillay had just subverted the will of the voters of her party, who seemed to favor Bernie Sanders over her. Hillay had won with corrupt collusion and rigging amongst the DNC, the higher ranks of the Democratic Party, and major media such as the NYT and CNN.

Then, a leak of emails from the DNC HQ publicized her interference in the democratic processes of the Democratic Party. This threatened to ene the Hillary for President campaign right then and there. If the majority of Democrats who'd favored Bernie refused to support Hillary because of her corruption and collusion in denying democracy within the party, she was a sure loser in the fall election. The Hillary camp then immediately started blaming Russia for the exposure of her corruption and rigging of the Democratic process. And that's how "Russiagate" began.

Smash Mouth, August 1, 2017 at 1:27 pm GMT

@Jake

"You must be working for the CIA. They wouldn't have you in the Ma-Fi-A"

1960′s song lyric from "Why can't we be friends"

Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was.

War is Hell, August 1, 2017 at 1:33 pm GMT

Fascinating ..

My old brain that was alive in the 60′s, remembers the lyric. But the first link I find on Google's youtube is a version that removes the above lyric, instead just echoing the title endlessly. That's the modern world .. all real content removed from what you find on the internet.

Here's a better version.

Beauracratic Mind, August 1, 2017 at 1:42 pm GMT

@jacques sheete

I wonder if groupthink exists.

It probably does as do group psychoses and group fantasies.. Anyone who's ever served in a beuaracracy knows that groupthink exists.

Take a bunch of mediocre minds. And, they do exist, as Garrison Keiler once famously made a joke out of with his line Welcome to Lake Woebegone, where all the children are above average.

Take that bunch of mediocre thinkers, and then make most of them obsessed with their own career advancement above all else. The most dangerous place for a career-obsessed individual is outside the group consensus. If everyone is wrong, then there is safety in the group. After all, if they are wrong, so was everyone else in the organization. Thus they are immune to attack and censure for being wrong. But if someone takes a position outside of the group consensus, that can be a career-ending move if they are wrong, as now everyone else will be in the I-told-U-So camp. And even if they are correct, they will still be hated and shunned just for being the person who pointed out to the group that they are wrong.

So, you take your typical average mind, and not only do they not have any great insights of their own, but they tend to stick to the group out of sheer survival and then when you take a mass of these mediocre minds you have 'groupthink'.

Wizard of Oz, August 1, 2017 at 1:44 pm GMT

@Philip Giraldi Thank you. As you have my sparingly conferred respect i thank you even before reading it:-)

Eticon, August 1, 2017 at 2:00 pm GMT

@CalDre

If only Trump would really clean the swamp - particularly the neo-cons and other traitors and globalists. One can dream ....

What we've learned from Trump is that 'Draining the Swamp' will take more than an individual. It will take a political movement.

One sees this on the fringes of politics. Someone gets the idea of running for President, and they point out all that is wrong. But, they focus only on their own campaign, their own goal, and they thus gloss over the fact that they'll be outnumbered and powerless even if they win.

Seen this often on the Left. The most recent example is Bernie Sanders. Likewise, had Bernie been elected President, he too would face an entrenched establishment and media with only a small fraction of the Congress supporting him.

Change has to be built from the bottom up. There are no shortcuts. Electing a Trump, or a Nader or a Bernie does not lead to real change. Step one is to build the political movement such that it has real voting block power and which has already won voting majorities in the legislature before the movement achieves the election of a President.

What Trump has needed to be doing for this first two years is to form clear divisions that he could then take to his voters in the mid-term elections. He's needed to lay out his own agenda. So what if he loses votes in Congress? He then takes that agenda back to the voters in 2018 with a nationwide slate of Congressional candidates who support that agenda and runs a midterm campaign asking the voters to help him drain that swamp.

So, for instance, Trump should veto the act of war known as the recent sanctions bill. Who cares if it gets overridden? Then he goes back to the voters, who are clearly sick of endless war and who for obvious reasons don't want a nuclear war, and he says this is where I stand. Support me by electing Fill-In-The-Blank to Congress. With the nuclear Doomsday Clock pushing ever closer to midnight, he might just win that fight over the big money and media opposition he's sure to face.

Not only has Trump failed to even try to fight the Deep State, but he's also failing to set himself up for success in the next elections.

ChuckOrloski, August 1, 2017 at 2:19 pm GMT

@Jake Hey Jake,

It is a serious error to consider President Trump "naive."

What we are seeing now is The Donald's role in the serial Zionist THEATER. Think deeper about the motive behind Mr. Giraldi's choice to use the Orwellian word "Groupthink" in characterizing the CIA zeitgeist? In the classic work "1984," one observes Big Brother as the catalyst in control of the proles' thought pattern & subsequent action.

To rise & FALL as a POTUS is a matter of theater and the American proles are entertained by the political for either 4 or 8 years and the Zionists get their next Chosen actor/actress dramatically sworn in on a bible.

Mr. Trump is neither naive nor stupid. Sheldon Adelson would not donate $millioms to any POTUS wannabe who could not effectively lead the American Groupthink tradition. Subsequently, the politcal horror show is brought to you in the understandable form of the perptually elusive Deep State which gets annual Academy Award.

Beware the fake, Jake!,

Joe Hide, August 1, 2017 at 2:20 pm GMT

I agree with Your take on intelligence services in that they must be putting something in their drinking water. Good article. Keep contributing.

[Jul 28, 2017] New victims of Ukrainian civil war. Nuland should be proud of her accomplishments and Obama for sure deserves his Novel Peace price now

Jul 28, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Pavlo Svolochenko , July 25, 2017 at 8:09 pm

http://www.russiadefence.net/t5484p900-the-situation-in-the-ukraine-26#200208

In short, some sort of battle in the Krasnogorovka sector, which the Ukrainian forces lost:

"Here is a chronicle of events:

On the night from Thursday to Friday, from 13 to 14 July, the APU opened a mortar shell at Staromikhaylovka. I emphasize, not our positions, namely residential buildings. Two houses were damaged. One civilian was wounded. In the morning there was a report of the correspondent of VGTRK Alexander Sladkov.
– On the night from Friday to Saturday from 14 to 15 July, the shelling was repeated, but already more powerful, artillery worked.
– On Saturday evening, July 15, again, there was artillery shelling.
– On Sunday evening, July 16, again shelling and again destroyed houses in Staromikhaylovki.
– In the morning there was a report about the press service of the NM DNR.
– In the night from Monday to Tuesday 17 on 18 July, a civilian died in Staromikhaylovka, one more civilian was killed and another two were injured, another civilian was injured in Kuibyshev district.
– On Tuesday, July 18th, that part of the front was quiet.
– But on Wednesday July 19, Thursday July 20 and until Friday July 21, every evening and night Petrovsky district, Staromikhailovka Kirov district and the Kuibyshev district was subjected to strong mortar and artillery strikes. Every day there were wounded civilians, as well as destroyed houses and infrastructure.

Most likely, from 19 to 20 July, an order was given to suppress the mortar and artillery batteries of the APU with available means, which have been killing civilians and military republics for a week already. The next day, Ukrainian media filled the news with the fact that Novorussians attacked their positions and even beaten something there. Reported about the many dead servicemen of the Armed Forces and so on. Although according to the information provided by the Ukrainian media, 9 soldiers were quoted, and only 4 were killed in the Krasnogorovka district.

Notice in the Svetlodarsk arc area in December 2016, they had killed 80 soldiers and injured more than 200, but there was a silence in the Ukrainian media. The same situation occurred with the exacerbation of the YaBP in January 2017, there were also many deaths of about 60 servicemen and about 120 were wounded and were also quiet.

And here 9 was lost on all 450 km to the front and such attention."

As always, not the least indication that the Ukrainian forces have upped their game since February 2015...

[Jul 18, 2017] Robbery in broad daylight

Notable quotes:
"... But with nothing to show for the delay so far, Russian officials have been issuing repeated statements that their patience is wearing thin. ..."
"... On Tuesday, frustrated by the failure of a meeting the day before in Washington to make any headway on the matter, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a blunt statement . In it, the ministry warned that "if Washington does not address this and other concerns, including persistent efforts to hinder the operation of Russia's diplomatic missions, Russia has the right to take retaliatory measures in accordance with the principle of reciprocity." ..."
"... Sergey V. Lavrov, the foreign minister, said any American preconditions for the return of the diplomatic property were unacceptable. Mr. Lavrov was asked at a news conference on Monday in Minsk, Belarus, about statements emanating from Washington that the compounds should not be handed back without getting something in return. Mr. Lavrov called the seizure "robbery in broad daylight" and said Russian control over the property was enshrined in a bilateral treaty. He blamed the continuing standoff, as Russian officials often do, on "Russophobia" in Washington that he hoped would eventually wane. ..."
"... Mr. Lavrov said he was sure there must be "sensible people" in the Trump administration who would realize that the seizure of the compounds and the expulsion of the diplomats were a last-ditch attempt by the Obama administration to destroy relations in a manner that the Trump administration would find difficult to fix. ..."
Jul 18, 2017 | www.msn.com

Orginally from NYT: Russia Issues New Threats in Dispute Over Diplomatic Compounds by ANDREW E. KRAMER

A 45-acre Russian diplomatic compound near Centreville, Md., that was seized in December 2016.

After President Trump's victory in November, Michael T. Flynn, who went on to become the national security adviser for 24 days , prevailed upon President Vladimir V. Putin to refrain from retaliating , with the promise that United States policy toward Russia would be far more accommodating under a Trump administration.

Mr. Trump, at the time president-elect, praised Mr. Putin's restraint, posting on Twitter , "Great move on delay" and "I always knew he was very smart!"

But with nothing to show for the delay so far, Russian officials have been issuing repeated statements that their patience is wearing thin.

Russia began focusing attention on the two seized compounds in the lead up to the first meeting between Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump at the Group of 20 summit meeting in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7.

Both the Kremlin and the Foreign Ministry mentioned them frequently, hinting that the diplomatic retreats were perhaps something Mr. Trump could easily deliver as a friendly gesture for the first meeting. Mr. Putin did raise the issue with the American president, according to Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman.

But with Trump associates under investigation for ties with the Russians, the president is hesitant to send any signals of weakness. So it did not happen then, either. Since that meeting, the official tone has turned more belligerent, with Russia threatening to expel American diplomats to match the 35 Russian diplomatic staff members kicked out of the United States at the same time that the two compounds were seized.

On Tuesday, frustrated by the failure of a meeting the day before in Washington to make any headway on the matter, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a blunt statement . In it, the ministry warned that "if Washington does not address this and other concerns, including persistent efforts to hinder the operation of Russia's diplomatic missions, Russia has the right to take retaliatory measures in accordance with the principle of reciprocity."

The deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, told the news agency Interfax on Tuesday, "The fact that this issue hasn't been settled actually poisons the atmosphere and makes a lot of things extremely complicated."

Mr. Ryabkov and the United States under secretary of state, Thomas A. Shannon, discussed the property in talks in Washington on Monday.

Sergey V. Lavrov, the foreign minister, said any American preconditions for the return of the diplomatic property were unacceptable. Mr. Lavrov was asked at a news conference on Monday in Minsk, Belarus, about statements emanating from Washington that the compounds should not be handed back without getting something in return. Mr. Lavrov called the seizure "robbery in broad daylight" and said Russian control over the property was enshrined in a bilateral treaty. He blamed the continuing standoff, as Russian officials often do, on "Russophobia" in Washington that he hoped would eventually wane.

Mr. Lavrov said he was sure there must be "sensible people" in the Trump administration who would realize that the seizure of the compounds and the expulsion of the diplomats were a last-ditch attempt by the Obama administration to destroy relations in a manner that the Trump administration would find difficult to fix.

And on Tuesday, Mr. Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, said in a conference call with journalists that "our patience is still running out."

[Jul 14, 2017] Video Shows Iraqi Troops Killing Mosul Detainees – News From Antiwar.com

Jul 14, 2017 | news.antiwar.com

Defense Ministry Vows Investigation Into Killings

Jason Ditz Posted on July 13, 2017 Categories News Tags Iraq The Iraqi Defense Ministry has promised an investigation today after videos emerged of Facebook showing Iraqi soldiers in Mosul killing detainees, saying they were aware of the reports and such incidents wouldn't be tolerated.

The videos show Iraqi soldiers, in uniform, savagely beating detainees, and accusing them of being ISIS. At one point, the soldiers cast detainees off the wall overlooking the Tigris River, wten shoot at their bodies when they land by the river bed.

A second video from the same Facebook page, touting the "heroes" of Iraq's Army 16th division,shows Iraqi soldiers, again in uniform, killing an unarmed man kneeling in front of a car. Two other videos are on the page, but those only show savage beatings and no apparent deaths.

Revenge killing has been a consistent fact of Iraqi military offensives "liberating" Sunni cities from ISIS, though the videos show an increase in brazenness, if nothing else, as the troops clearly know they're being recorded committing war crimes, and are confident that at the end of the day the Iraqi government will look the other way, as they have so often in the past.

[Jul 13, 2017] Progressive Democrats Resist and Submit, Retreat and Surrender by James Petras

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "Have you ever met or talked to any Russian official or relative of any Russian banker, or any Russian or even read Gogol, now or in the past?" ..."
"... Progressives joined the FBI/CIA's 'Russian Bear' conspiracy: " Russia intervened and decided the Presidential election" – no matter that millions of workers and rural Americans had voted against Hillary Clinton, Wall Street's candidate and no matter that no evidence of direct interference was ever presented. Progressives could not accept that 'their constituents', the masses, had rejected Madame Clinton and preferred 'the Donald'. They attacked a shifty-eyed caricature of the repeatedly elected Russian President Putin as a subterfuge for attacking the disobedient 'white trash' electorate of 'Deploralandia'. ..."
"... Progressive demagogues embraced the coifed and manicured former 'Director Comey' of the FBI, and the Mr. Potato-headed Capo of the CIA and their forty thugs in making accusations without finger or footprints. ..."
"... Then Progressives turned increasingly Orwellian: Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more! ..."
"... Progressives, under Obama, supported seven brutal illegal wars and pressed for more, but complained when Trump continued the same wars and proposed adding a few new ones. At the same time, progressives out-militarized Trump by accusing him of being 'weak' on Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. They chided him for his lack support for Israel's suppression of the Palestinians. They lauded Trump's embrace of the Saudi war against Yemen as a stepping-stone for an assault against Iran, even as millions of destitute Yemenis were exposed to cholera. The Progressives had finally embraced a biological weapon of mass destruction, when US-supplied missiles destroyed the water systems of Yemen! ..."
"... Thank you for putting your finger on the main problem right there in the first paragraph. There were exceptions of course. I supported Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic Primary that gave us the first black etc. But I never voted for Obama. Throughout the Cheney Admin I pleaded with progressives to bolt the party. ..."
"... This is an excellent summary of the evolution of "progressives" into modern militarist fascists who tolerate identity politics diversity. There is little to add to Mr. Petras' commentary. ..."
"... Barak Obama is America's biggest con man who accomplished nothing "progressive" during eight years at the top, and didn't even try. (Obamacare is an insurance industry idea supported by most Republicans, which is why it recently survived.) Anyone who still likes Obama should read about his actions since he left office. Obama quickly signed a $65 million "book deal", which can only be a kickback since there is no way the publisher can sell enough books about his meaningless presidency to justify that sum. Obama doesn't get royalties based on sales, but gets the money up front for a book he has yet to write, and will have someone do that for him. (Book deals and speaking fees are legal forms of bribery in the USA.) ..."
"... Then Obama embarked on 100 days of ultra expensive foreign vacations with taxpayers covering the Secret Service protection costs. He didn't appear at charity fundraisers, didn't campaign for Democrats, and didn't help build homes for the poor like Jimmy Carter. He returns from vacation this week and his first speech will be at a Wall Street firm that will pay him $400,000, then he travels to Europe for more paid speeches. ..."
"... They chose power over principles. Nobel War Prize winner Obomber was a particularly egregious chameleon, hiding his sociopathy through two elections before unleashing his racist warmongering in full flower throughout his second term. ..."
"... Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act ..."
Jul 10, 2017 | www.unz.com

Introduction

Over the past quarter century progressive writers, activists and academics have followed a trajectory from left to right – with each presidential campaign seeming to move them further to the right. Beginning in the 1990's progressives mobilized millions in opposition to wars, voicing demands for the transformation of the US's corporate for-profit medical system into a national 'Medicare For All' public program. They condemned the notorious Wall Street swindlers and denounced police state legislation and violence. But in the end, they always voted for Democratic Party Presidential candidates who pursued the exact opposite agenda.

Over time this political contrast between program and practice led to the transformation of the Progressives. And what we see today are US progressives embracing and promoting the politics of the far right.

To understand this transformation we will begin by identifying who and what the progressives are and describe their historical role. We will then proceed to identify their trajectory over the recent decades.

Progressives by Name and Posture

Progressives purport to embrace 'progress', the growth of the economy, the enrichment of society and freedom from arbitrary government. Central to the Progressive agenda was the end of elite corruption and good governance, based on democratic procedures.

Progressives prided themselves as appealing to 'reason, diplomacy and conciliation', not brute force and wars. They upheld the sovereignty of other nations and eschewed militarism and armed intervention.

Progressives proposed a vision of their fellow citizens pursuing incremental evolution toward the 'good society', free from the foreign entanglements, which had entrapped the people in unjust wars.

Progressives in Historical Perspective

In the early part of the 20th century, progressives favored political equality while opposing extra-parliamentary social transformations. They supported gender equality and environmental preservation while failing to give prominence to the struggles of workers and African Americans.

They denounced militarism 'in general' but supported a series of 'wars to end all wars' . Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson embodied the dual policies of promoting peace at home and bloody imperial wars overseas. By the middle of the 20th century, different strands emerged under the progressive umbrella. Progressives split between traditional good government advocates and modernists who backed socio-economic reforms, civil liberties and rights.

Progressives supported legislation to regulate monopolies, encouraged collective bargaining and defended the Bill of Rights.

Progressives opposed wars and militarism in theory until their government went to war.

Lacking an effective third political party, progressives came to see themselves as the 'left wing' of the Democratic Party, allies of labor and civil rights movements and defenders of civil liberties.

Progressives joined civil rights leaders in marches, but mostly relied on legal and electoral means to advance African American rights.

Progressives played a pivotal role in fighting McCarthyism, though ultimately it was the Secretary of the Army and the military high command that brought Senator McCarthy to his knees.

Progressives provided legal defense when the social movements disrupted the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

They popularized the legislative arguments that eventually outlawed segregation, but it was courageous Afro-American leaders heading mass movements that won the struggle for integration and civil rights.

In many ways the Progressives complemented the mass struggles, but their limits were defined by the constraints of their membership in the Democratic Party.

The alliance between Progressives and social movements peaked in the late sixties to mid-1970's when the Progressives followed the lead of dynamic and advancing social movements and community organizers especially in opposition to the wars in Indochina and the military draft.

The Retreat of the Progressives

By the late 1970's the Progressives had cut their anchor to the social movements, as the anti-war, civil rights and labor movements lost their impetus (and direction).

The numbers of progressives within the left wing of the Democratic Party increased through recruitment from earlier social movements. Paradoxically, while their 'numbers' were up, their caliber had declined, as they sought to 'fit in' with the pro-business, pro-war agenda of their President's party.

Without the pressure of the 'populist street' the 'Progressives-turned-Democrats' adapted to the corporate culture in the Party. The Progressives signed off on a fatal compromise: The corporate elite secured the electoral party while the Progressives were allowed to write enlightened manifestos about the candidates and their programs . . . which were quickly dismissed once the Democrats took office. Yet the ability to influence the 'electoral rhetoric' was seen by the Progressives as a sufficient justification for remaining inside the Democratic Party.

Moreover the Progressives argued that by strengthening their presence in the Democratic Party, (their self-proclaimed 'boring from within' strategy), they would capture the party membership, neutralize the pro-corporation, militarist elements that nominated the president and peacefully transform the party into a 'vehicle for progressive changes'.

Upon their successful 'deep penetration' the Progressives, now cut off from the increasingly disorganized mass social movements, coopted and bought out many prominent black, labor and civil liberty activists and leaders, while collaborating with what they dubbed the more malleable 'centrist' Democrats. These mythical creatures were really pro-corporate Democrats who condescended to occasionally converse with the Progressives while working for the Wall Street and Pentagon elite.

The Retreat of the Progressives: The Clinton Decade

Progressives adapted the 'crab strategy': Moving side-ways and then backwards but never forward.

Progressives mounted candidates in the Presidential primaries, which were predictably defeated by the corporate Party apparatus, and then submitted immediately to the outcome. The election of President 'Bill' Clinton launched a period of unrestrained financial plunder, major wars of aggression in Europe (Yugoslavia) and the Middle East (Iraq), a military intervention in Somalia and secured Israel's victory over any remnant of a secular Palestinian leadership as well as its destruction of Lebanon!

Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act, thereby opening the floodgates for massive speculation on Wall Street through the previously regulated banking sector. When President Clinton gutted welfare programs, forcing single mothers to take minimum-wage jobs without provision for safe childcare, millions of poor white and minority women were forced to abandon their children to dangerous makeshift arrangements in order to retain any residual public support and access to minimal health care. Progressives looked the other way.

Progressives followed Clinton's deep throated thrust toward the far right, as he outsourced manufacturing jobs to Mexico (NAFTA) and re-appointed Federal Reserve's free market, Ayn Rand-fanatic, Alan Greenspan.

Progressives repeatedly kneeled before President Clinton marking their submission to the Democrats' 'hard right' policies.

The election of Republican President G. W. Bush (2001-2009) permitted Progressive's to temporarily trot out and burnish their anti-war, anti-Wall Street credentials. Out in the street, they protested Bush's savage invasion of Iraq (but not the destruction of Afghanistan). They protested the media reports of torture in Abu Ghraib under Bush, but not the massive bombing and starvation of millions of Iraqis that had occurred under Clinton. Progressives protested the expulsion of immigrants from Mexico and Central America, but were silent over the brutal uprooting of refugees resulting from US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the systematic destruction of their nations' infrastructure.

Progressives embraced Israel's bombing, jailing and torture of Palestinians by voting unanimously in favor of increasing the annual $3 billion dollar military handouts to the brutal Jewish State. They supported Israel's bombing and slaughter in Lebanon.

Progressives were in retreat, but retained a muffled voice and inconsequential vote in favor of peace, justice and civil liberties. They kept a certain distance from the worst of the police state decrees by the Republican Administration.

Progressives and Obama: From Retreat to Surrender

While Progressives maintained their tepid commitment to civil liberties, and their highly 'leveraged' hopes for peace in the Middle East, they jumped uncritically into the highly choreographed Democratic Party campaign for Barack Obama, 'Wall Street's First Black President'.

Progressives had given up their quest to 'realign' the Democratic Party 'from within': they turned from serious tourism to permanent residency. Progressives provided the foot soldiers for the election and re-election of the warmongering 'Peace Candidate' Obama. After the election, Progressives rushed to join the lower echelons of his Administration. Black and white politicos joined hands in their heroic struggle to erase the last vestiges of the Progressives' historical legacy.

Obama increased the number of Bush-era imperial wars to attacking seven weak nations under American's 'First Black' President's bombardment, while the Progressives ensured that the streets were quiet and empty.

When Obama provided trillions of dollars of public money to rescue Wall Street and the bankers, while sacrificing two million poor and middle class mortgage holders, the Progressives only criticized the bankers who received the bailout, but not Obama's Presidential decision to protect and reward the mega-swindlers.

Under the Obama regime social inequalities within the United States grew at an unprecedented rate. The Police State Patriot Act was massively extended to give President Obama the power to order the assassination of US citizens abroad without judicial process. The Progressives did not resign when Obama's 'kill orders' extended to the 'mistaken' murder of his target's children and other family member, as well as unidentified bystanders. The icon carriers still paraded their banner of the 'first black American President' when tens of thousands of black Libyans and immigrant workers were slaughtered in his regime-change war against President Gadhafi.

Obama surpassed the record of all previous Republican office holders in terms of the massive numbers of immigrant workers arrested and expelled – 2 million. Progressives applauded the Latino protestors while supporting the policies of their 'first black President'.

Progressive accepted that multiple wars, Wall Street bailouts and the extended police state were now the price they would pay to remain part of the "Democratic coalition' (sic).

The deeper the Progressives swilled at the Democratic Party trough, the more they embraced the Obama's free market agenda and the more they ignored the increasing impoverishment, exploitation and medical industry-led opioid addiction of American workers that was shortening their lives. Under Obama, the Progressives totally abandoned the historic American working class, accepting their degradation into what Madam Hillary Clinton curtly dismissed as the 'deplorables'.

With the Obama Presidency, the Progressive retreat turned into a rout, surrendering with one flaccid caveat: the Democratic Party 'Socialist' Bernie Sanders, who had voted 90% of the time with the Corporate Party, had revived a bastardized military-welfare state agenda.

Sander's Progressive demagogy shouted and rasped on the campaign trail, beguiling the young electorate. The 'Bernie' eventually 'sheep-dogged' his supporters into the pro-war Democratic Party corral. Sanders revived an illusion of the pre-1990 progressive agenda, promising resistance while demanding voter submission to Wall Street warlord Hillary Clinton. After Sanders' round up of the motley progressive herd, he staked them tightly to the far-right Wall Street war mongering Hillary Clinton. The Progressives not only embraced Madame Secretary Clinton's nuclear option and virulent anti-working class agenda, they embellished it by focusing on Republican billionaire Trump's demagogic, nationalist, working class rhetoric which was designed to agitate 'the deplorables'. They even turned on the working class voters, dismissing them as 'irredeemable' racists and illiterates or 'white trash' when they turned to support Trump in massive numbers in the 'fly-over' states of the central US.

Progressives, allied with the police state, the mass media and the war machine worked to defeat and impeach Trump. Progressives surrendered completely to the Democratic Party and started to advocate its far right agenda. Hysterical McCarthyism against anyone who questioned the Democrats' promotion of war with Russia, mass media lies and manipulation of street protest against Republican elected officials became the centerpieces of the Progressive agenda. The working class and farmers had disappeared from their bastardized 'identity-centered' ideology.

Guilt by association spread throughout Progressive politics. Progressives embraced J. Edgar Hoover's FBI tactics: "Have you ever met or talked to any Russian official or relative of any Russian banker, or any Russian or even read Gogol, now or in the past?" For progressives, 'Russia-gate' defined the real focus of contemporary political struggle in this huge, complex, nuclear-armed superpower.

Progressives joined the FBI/CIA's 'Russian Bear' conspiracy: "Russia intervened and decided the Presidential election" – no matter that millions of workers and rural Americans had voted against Hillary Clinton, Wall Street's candidate and no matter that no evidence of direct interference was ever presented. Progressives could not accept that 'their constituents', the masses, had rejected Madame Clinton and preferred 'the Donald'. They attacked a shifty-eyed caricature of the repeatedly elected Russian President Putin as a subterfuge for attacking the disobedient 'white trash' electorate of 'Deploralandia'.

Progressive demagogues embraced the coifed and manicured former 'Director Comey' of the FBI, and the Mr. Potato-headed Capo of the CIA and their forty thugs in making accusations without finger or footprints.

The Progressives' far right - turn earned them hours and space on the mass media as long as they breathlessly savaged and insulted President Trump and his family members. When they managed to provoke him into a blind rage . . . they added the newly invented charge of 'psychologically unfit to lead' – presenting cheap psychobabble as grounds for impeachment. Finally! American Progressives were on their way to achieving their first and only political transformation: a Presidential coup d'état on behalf of the Far Right!

Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!

In return, President Trump began to 'out-militarize' the Progressives by escalating US involvement in the Middle East and South China Sea. They swooned with joy when Trump ordered a missile strike against the Syrian government as Damascus engaged in a life and death struggle against mercenary terrorists. They dubbed the petulant release of Patriot missiles 'Presidential'.

Then Progressives turned increasingly Orwellian: Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more!

Progressives, under Obama, supported seven brutal illegal wars and pressed for more, but complained when Trump continued the same wars and proposed adding a few new ones. At the same time, progressives out-militarized Trump by accusing him of being 'weak' on Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. They chided him for his lack support for Israel's suppression of the Palestinians. They lauded Trump's embrace of the Saudi war against Yemen as a stepping-stone for an assault against Iran, even as millions of destitute Yemenis were exposed to cholera. The Progressives had finally embraced a biological weapon of mass destruction, when US-supplied missiles destroyed the water systems of Yemen!

Conclusion

Progressives turned full circle from supporting welfare to embracing Wall Street; from preaching peaceful co-existence to demanding a dozen wars; from recognizing the humanity and rights of undocumented immigrants to their expulsion under their 'First Black' President; from thoughtful mass media critics to servile media megaphones; from defenders of civil liberties to boosters for the police state; from staunch opponents of J. Edgar Hoover and his 'dirty tricks' to camp followers for the 'intelligence community' in its deep state campaign to overturn a national election.

Progressives moved from fighting and resisting the Right to submitting and retreating; from retreating to surrendering and finally embracing the far right.

Doing all that and more within the Democratic Party, Progressives retain and deepen their ties with the mass media, the security apparatus and the military machine, while occasionally digging up some Bernie Sanders-type demagogue to arouse an army of voters away from effective resistance to mindless collaboration.

(Republished from The James Petras Website by permission of author or representative)

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WorkingClass > , July 12, 2017 at 9:21 pm GMT

But in the end, they always voted for Democratic Party Presidential candidates who pursued the exact opposite agenda.

Thank you for putting your finger on the main problem right there in the first paragraph. There were exceptions of course. I supported Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic Primary that gave us the first black etc. But I never voted for Obama. Throughout the Cheney Admin I pleaded with progressives to bolt the party.

This piece accurately traces the path from Progressive to Maoist. It's a pity the Republican Party is also a piece of shit. I think it was Sara Palin who said "We have two parties. Pick one." This should be our collective epitaph.

exiled off mainstreet > , July 12, 2017 at 11:20 pm GMT

This is an excellent summary of the evolution of "progressives" into modern militarist fascists who tolerate identity politics diversity. There is little to add to Mr. Petras' commentary.

alan2102 > , July 13, 2017 at 2:04 am GMT

EXCELLENT.

Astuteobservor II > , July 13, 2017 at 5:17 am GMT

at this point, are they still progressives though? they are the new far right

CCZ > , July 13, 2017 at 5:30 am GMT

"Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!"

Perhaps the spirit of Senator Joseph McCarthy is joyously gloating as progressives (and democrats) take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

Carlton Meyer > , Website July 13, 2017 at 5:56 am GMT

The great Jimmy Dore is a big thorn for the Democrats. From my blog:

Apr 29, 2017 – Obama is Scum!

Barak Obama is America's biggest con man who accomplished nothing "progressive" during eight years at the top, and didn't even try. (Obamacare is an insurance industry idea supported by most Republicans, which is why it recently survived.) Anyone who still likes Obama should read about his actions since he left office. Obama quickly signed a $65 million "book deal", which can only be a kickback since there is no way the publisher can sell enough books about his meaningless presidency to justify that sum. Obama doesn't get royalties based on sales, but gets the money up front for a book he has yet to write, and will have someone do that for him. (Book deals and speaking fees are legal forms of bribery in the USA.)

Then Obama embarked on 100 days of ultra expensive foreign vacations with taxpayers covering the Secret Service protection costs. He didn't appear at charity fundraisers, didn't campaign for Democrats, and didn't help build homes for the poor like Jimmy Carter. He returns from vacation this week and his first speech will be at a Wall Street firm that will pay him $400,000, then he travels to Europe for more paid speeches.

Obama gets over $200,000 a year in retirement, just got a $65 million deal, so doesn't need more money. Why would a multi-millionaire ex-president fly around the globe collecting huge speaking fees from world corporations just after his political party was devastated in elections because Americans think the Democratic party represents Wall Street? The great Jimmy Dore expressed his outrage at Obama and the corrupt Democratic party in this great video.

jilles dykstra > , July 13, 2017 at 6:27 am GMT

Left in the good old days meant socialist, socialist meant that governments had the duty of redistributing income from rich to poor. Alas in Europe, after 'socialists' became pro EU and pro globalisation, they in fact became neoliberal. Both in France and the Netherlands 'socialist' parties virtually disappeared.
So what nowadays is left, does anyone know ?

Then the word 'progressive'. The word suggests improvement, but what is improvement, improvement for whom ? There are those who see the possibility for euthanasia as an improvement, there are thos who see euthanasia as a great sin.

Discussions about left and progressive are meaningless without properly defining the concepts.

Call me Deplorable > , July 13, 2017 at 12:06 pm GMT

They chose power over principles. Nobel War Prize winner Obomber was a particularly egregious chameleon, hiding his sociopathy through two elections before unleashing his racist warmongering in full flower throughout his second term. But, hey, the brother now has five mansions, collects half a mill per speech to the Chosen People on Wall Street, and parties for months at a time at exclusive resorts for billionaires only.

Obviously, he's got the world by the tail and you don't. Hope he comes to the same end as Gaddaffi and Ceaușescu. Maybe the survivors of nuclear Armageddon can hold a double necktie party with Killary as the second honored guest that day.

Seamus Padraig > , July 13, 2017 at 12:10 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

Discussions about left and progressive are meaningless without properly defining the concepts.

Properly defining the concepts would impede the system's ability to keep you confused.

Seamus Padraig > , July 13, 2017 at 12:16 pm GMT

Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson embodied the dual policies of promoting peace at home and bloody imperial wars overseas.

You left out the other Roosevelt.

Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act

Hilarious!

Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more!

This is a huge myth. All that really happened is that the INS changed some of its internal terminology to make it sound as though they were deporting more people: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2014/04/21/lies-damned-lies-and-obamas-deportation-statistics/?utm_term=.7f964acd9b0d

Stephen Paul Foster > , Website July 13, 2017 at 1:28 pm GMT

The Progressives now, failing electorally, are moving on to physical violence.

See: http://fosterspeak.blogspot.com/2017/07/trumps-would-be-assassins.html

annamaria > , July 13, 2017 at 2:22 pm GMT

@Carlton Meyer Obama, a paragon of American scoundrel

Anonymous IV > , July 13, 2017 at 2:49 pm GMT

@Seamus Padraig Agree on the bit about Obama as "deporter in chief." Even the LA Times had to admit this was misleading

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-obama-deportations-20140402-story.html

so it's not just conservative conspiracy theory stuff as some might argue.

Still, the overall point of this essay isn't affected all that much. Open borders is still a "right wing" (in the sense this author uses the term) policy–pro-Wall Street, pro-Big Business. So Obama was still doing the bidding of the donor class in their quest for cheap labor.

I've seen pro-immigration types try to use the Obama-deportation thing to argue that we don't need more hardcore policies. After all, even the progressive Democrat Obama was on the ball when it came to policing our borders, right?! Who needed Trump?

Agent76 > , July 13, 2017 at 3:28 pm GMT

"Who controls the issuance of money controls the government!" Nathan Meyer Rothschild

June 13, 2016 Which Corporations Control The World?

A surprisingly small number of corporations control massive global market shares. How many of the brands below do you use?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44864.htm

"Control the oil, and you control nations. Control the food, and you control the people." Henry Kissenger

Alfa158 > , July 13, 2017 at 5:33 pm GMT

@Carlton Meyer If Jimmy keeps up these attacks on Wall Street, the Banksters, and rent-seekers he is going to get run out of the Progressive movement for dog-whistling virulent Anti-Semitism. Look at how the media screams at Trump every time he mentions Wall Street and the banks.

yeah > , July 13, 2017 at 5:46 pm GMT

Mr. Petra has penned an excellent and very astute piece. Allow me a little satire on our progressive friends, entitled "The path to hell is paved with good intentions".

The early socialist/progressive travellers were well-intentioned but naïve in their understanding of human nature and fanatical about their agenda. To move the human herd forward, they had no compulsions about resorting to harsher and harsher prodding and whipping. They felt entitled to employ these means because, so they were convinced, man has to be pushed to move forward and they, the "progressives", were the best qualified to lead the herd. Scoundrels, psychopaths, moral defectives, and sundry other rascals then joined in the whipping game, some out of the sheer joy of wielding the whip, others to better line their pockets.

So the "progressive" journey degenerates into a forced march. The march becomes the progress, becoming both the means and the end at the same time. Look at the so-called "progressive" today and you will see the fanatic and the whip-wielder, steadfast about the correctness of his beliefs. Tell him/her/it that you are a man or a woman and he retorts "No, you are free to choose, you are genderless". What if you decline such freedom? "Well, then you are a bigot, we will thrash you out of your bigotry", replies the progressive. "May I, dear Sir/Madam/Whatever, keep my hard-earned money in my pocket for my and my family's use" you ask. "No, you first have to pay for our peace-making wars, then pay for the upkeep of refugees, besides which you owe a lot of back taxes that are necessary to run this wonderful Big Government of ours that is leading you towards greener and greener pastures", shouts back the progressive.

Fed up, disgusted, and a little scared, you desperately seek a way out of this progress. "No way", scream the march leaders. "We will be forever in your ears, sometimes whispering, sometimes screaming; we will take over your brain to improve your mind; we will saturate you with images on the box 24/7 and employ all sorts of imagery to make you progress. And if it all fails, we will simply pack you and others like you in a basket of deplorables and forget about you at election time."

TheJester > , July 13, 2017 at 6:18 pm GMT

Knowing who is "progressive" and know who is "far-right" is like knowing who is "fascist" and who is not. For obvious historical reasons, the Russian like to throw the "fascist" slogan against anyone who is a non-Russian nationalist. However, I accept the eminent historian Carroll Quigley's definition of fascism as the incorporation of society and the state onto single entity on a permanent war footing. The state controls everything in a radically authoritarian social structure. As Quigley states, the Soviet Union was the most complete embodiment of fascism in WWII. In WWII Germany, on the other hand, industry retained its independence and in WWII Italy fascism was no more than an empty slogan.

Same for "progressives". Everyone wants to be "progressive", right? Who wants to be "anti-progressive"? However, at the end of the day, "progressive" through verbal slights of hand has been nothing more than a euphemism for "socialist" or, in the extreme, "communist" the verbal slight-of-hand because we don't tend to use the latter terms in American political discourse.

"Progressives" morphing into a new "far-right" in America is no more mysterious than the Soviet Union morphing from Leninism to Stalinism or, the Jewish (Trotskyite) globalists fleeing Stalinist nationalism and then morphing into, first, "Scoop" Jackson Democrats and then into Bushite Republicans.

As you might notice, the real issue is the authoritarian vs. the non-authoritarian state. In this context, an authoritarian government and social order (as in communism and neoconservatism) are practical pre-requisites necessity to force humanity to transition to their New World Order.

Again, the defining characteristic of fascism is the unitary state enforced via an authoritarian political and social structure. Ideological rigor is enforced via the police powers of the state along with judicial activism and political correctness. Ring a bell?

In the ongoing contest between Trump and the remnants of the American "progressive" movement, who are the populists and who the authoritarians? Who are the democrats and who are the fascists?

I would say that who lands where in this dichotomy is obvious.

RobinG > , July 13, 2017 at 6:19 pm GMT

@Alfa158 Is Jimmy Dore really a "Progressive?" (and what does that mean, anyway?) Isn't Jimmy's show hosted by the Young Turks Network, which is unabashedly Libertarian?

Anyway, what's so great about "the Progressive movement?" Seems to me, they're just pathetic sheepdogs for the war-crazed Dems. Jimmy should be supporting the #UNRIG movement ("Beyond Trump & Sanders") for ALL Americans:

On 1 May 2017 Cynthia McKinney, Ellen Brown, and Robert Steele launched

We the People – Unity for Integrity.

The User's Guide to the 2nd American Revolution.

Death to the Deep State.

https://www.unrig.net/manifesto/