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America's alternative to war and empire is not "isolationism."
By Daniel Larison, June 11, 2014
Americans have grown understandably weary of foreign entanglements over the last 12 years of open-ended warfare, and they are now more receptive to a noninterventionist message than they have been in decades. According to a recent Pew survey, 52 percent of Americans now prefer that the U.S. “mind its own business in international affairs,” which represents the most support for a restrained and modest foreign policy in the last 50 years. That presents a challenge and an opportunity for noninterventionists to articulate a coherent and positive case for what a foreign policy of peace and prudence would mean in practice. As useful and necessary as critiquing dangerous ideas may be, noninterventionism will remain a marginal, dissenting position in policymaking unless its advocates explain in detail how their alternative foreign policy would be conducted.
A noninterventionist foreign policy would first of all require a moratorium on new foreign entanglements and commitments for the foreseeable future. A careful reevaluation of where the U.S. has vital interests at stake would follow. There are relatively few places where the U.S. has truly vital concerns that directly affect our security and prosperity, and the ambition and scale of our foreign policy should reflect that. A noninterventionist U.S. would conduct itself like a normal country without pretensions to global “leadership” or the temptation of a proselytizing mission. This is a foreign policy more in line with what the American people will accept and less likely to provoke violent resentment from overseas, and it is therefore more sustainable and affordable over the long term.
When a conflict or dispute erupts somewhere, unless it directly threatens the security of America or our treaty allies, the assumption should be that it is not the business of the U.S. government to take a leading role in resolving it. If a government requests aid in the event of a natural disaster or humanitarian crisis (e.g., famine, disease), as Haiti did following its devastating earthquake in 2010, the U.S. can and should lend assistance—but as a general rule the U.S. should not seek to interfere in other nations’ domestic circumstances.
If parties to a dispute request outside arbitration, the U.S. should be in a position to act as a neutral mediator—which presupposes that the U.S. is not actively backing one side against another. We have seen the futility and absurdity of trying to act as an “honest broker” while providing lopsided support to one side in a conflict, and this should have no place in a noninterventionist foreign policy. There could be a potentially large and active role for U.S. diplomats abroad, but not one in which the U.S. was attempting to dictate terms or to promote a particular cause. International engagement could not and would not cease in a noninterventionist foreign policy, but it would be of a very different kind.
One of the priorities of a noninterventionist agenda would be the scaling back of America’s numerous commitments overseas. This would be accomplished mainly by shifting burdens gradually to current allies and regional powers: ceding regional influence in Central Asia to India and Russia, for example, and encouraging a more independent foreign policy for allies such as Japan and Germany. In general, the states that have the most at stake in maintaining regional stability should be given the responsibility for securing it. U.S. commitments have been building up over decades, so it is neither realistic nor desirable to end them suddenly. Nonetheless, there are also far more commitments than the U.S. can afford, and many of them are relics of the struggle with the Soviet Union or the remains of a “War on Terror” that has expanded beyond anything that most Americans imagined when it began a decade ago. Cutting back security entanglements is a long-delayed and necessary adjustment that the U.S. should have been making for the last 20 years. But it will not be sufficient simply to return to status quo ante at the start of the 21st century. The U.S. was already overcommitted around the world before the Bush era and will still be so after the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Ideally, the U.S. would reduce its overseas military presence in the Near East to at most what it was in the years before Desert Storm in 1991, and continue to reduce its presence in Europe as European governments bear more of the costs of their own defense. To date, wealthy allies have been able to skimp on their military spending, on the safe assumption that the U.S. would be ready and willing to make up the difference, but this arrangement is neither sustainable nor in our best interests. It not only creates an unhealthy dependence that ends up dragging unwilling Europeans into U.S. wars of choice, but as we saw in Libya, it perversely pulls the U.S. into European wars of choice because Europe’s governments cannot fight them on their own.
NATO is outdated and unnecessary, but provided that it functions purely as a defensive alliance it wouldn’t necessarily have to be dissolved. If the alliance continued to exist, the U.S. should not use it or permit it to be used as cover for members’ wars of choice and “out of area” missions. It should go without saying that there would be no further NATO expansion, which does nothing except antagonize Russia to the detriment of regional stability. If the alliance’s security guarantees to current members are to mean anything, they shouldn’t be extended to countries that the U.S. and other member nations are not actually willing to defend. To that end, U.S. and NATO officials should stop giving false encouragement to would-be member states that will never be admitted.
A noninterventionist U.S. would keep the major treaty allies it has for the time being but would also review its relationships with the many client states that neither act like nor deserve the name of ally. Clients that expose the U.S. to unnecessary conflicts or create dangerous tensions with other major powers are liabilities, and the U.S. should alter relations with them accordingly. That doesn’t require the U.S. to have poor relations with those states, but it does mean that they would stop receiving support and indulgence when their interests and ours clearly diverge. Many client state relationships would need to be downgraded as a result, and U.S. aid to them would be correspondingly reduced or eliminated.
In keeping with President Washington’s exhortation in his Farewell Address, the U.S. would seek to “observe good faith and justice toward all nations” and to “cultivate peace and harmony with all.” That means that a noninterventionist U.S. would work to maintain normal and full diplomatic relations with as many states as possible, and it would restrict or cut off trade with other states only in the most extreme cases. A noninterventionist foreign policy would very rarely rely on sanctions as a tool, and then only when they are targeted specifically against regime officials rather than the civilian population. In general, an America following Washington’s advice would promote both trade and diplomatic engagement rather than employing the tactics of embargo and isolation.
The U.S. would also refuse to take sides in the internal quarrels of other countries. The sovereignty of other states would be respected much more consistently than in past decades. The U.S. would refrain from destabilizing foreign governments or aiding in their overthrow, and it would not make a habit of siding with whichever protest movement happened to be in the streets of a foreign capital. Likewise, it would refrain from propping up and subsidizing abusive and dictatorial regimes and would condition U.S. aid on how a government treats its people. While there may be a need to cooperate with authoritarian states on certain issues, governments that torture or violently suppress peaceful protests, including the current Egyptian government, shouldn’t be supported in any way by American taxpayers.
War might be necessary at some point, but if so it would be waged only in self-defense or the defense of a treaty ally. A noninterventionist U.S. would never wage a preventive war— which is contrary both to international law and morality—and would generally be wary of using force even when it could be justified. The U.S. should always avoid giving allies and clients the impression that they have a blank check from Washington, since that will tend to make them more combative and unreasonable in disputes with their neighbors. Allies and clients that wanted to pursue reckless and provocative courses of action would be actively discouraged, and it would be the responsibility of the U.S. to pull these states back from avoidable conflicts. A noninterventionist U.S. would manage relations with other major powers by seeking to cooperate on matters of common interest and by avoiding unnecessary disagreements on those issues where the U.S. has relatively little at stake. The U.S. and other major powers are bound to have conflicting interests from time to time, but these unavoidable disagreements shouldn’t be compounded by picking fights over every issue where we differ. As long as the U.S. has allies on the borders of other major powers, there will always be a certain degree of mistrust and tension in our relations. However, the U.S. shouldn’t make this worse by seeking to enlarge our alliances or increase our influence in countries that have historically been in the orbit of another major power. The goal here should be to keep tensions with other major powers at a tolerable minimum and to reduce the possibility of renewed great power conflict in the new century.
As George Washington also said: “In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated.” For that reason, a noninterventionist U.S. would be one that doesn’t seek to demagogue or exaggerate foreign threats, nor would it cultivate either hostility towards or adoration of any other country. Above all, it won’t seek to make the U.S. the champion of any other country’s interests at our expense.
Noninterventionism is a rather clunky and unappealing label for a set of very appealing ideas: that the U.S. should mind its own business, act with restraint, respect other nations, refrain from unnecessary violence, and pursue peace. If future administrations took just a few of these as guiding principles for the conduct of foreign policy, America and the world would both be better off.
Senior editor Daniel Larison blogs at TheAmericanConservative.com/Larison.
Libertarians (along will less numerous and less influential paleoconservatives) are the only more or less influential faction of the US society that oppose what Basevich called New American Militarism. The foreign policy of the USA since the dissolution of the USSR was and is "open militarism". Recently John Quiggin tried to define militarism is came to the following definition (crookedtimber.org):
100 years after the Battle of the Somme, it's hard to see that much has been learned from the catastrophe of the Great War and the decades of slaughter that followed it. Rather than get bogged down (yet again) in specifics that invariably decline into arguments about who know more of the historical detail, I'm going to try a different approach, looking at the militarist ideology that gave us the War, and trying to articulate an anti-militarist alternative. Wikipedia offers a definition of militarism which, with the deletion of a single weasel word, seems to be entirely satisfactory and also seems to describe the dominant view of the political class, and much of the population in nearly every country in the world.Militarism is the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it
aggressively[^1] to defend or promote national interests
This new epidemic of the US militarism which started after Cold War ended was well analyzed by Professor Bacevich (who is former colonel of the US army) who called it New American Militarism. Bacevich's book Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War describe the "sacred trinity" of global military presence, global power projection, global interventionism is used to achieve those ends.
Professor Bacevich had shown that the main driver of the US militarism is neocons domination of the US foreign policy, and, especially, neocons domination in State Department regardless of whether Republicans or Democrats are in power. They profess that the US that we are uniquely qualified to take on the worldwide foes of peace and democracy, forgetting, revising, or ignoring the painful lessons of World War II, Vietnam, and beyond that might have taken the USA into periods of unprecedented peace, instead of numerous conflicts:
Bacevich scores a direct hit on the foundations of the American national security state with this scathing critique, and demolishes the unspoken assumptions that he believes have led the United States into a senseless, wasteful, and counter-productive posture of nearly perpetual war. These assumptions take the form of the "credo" -- which holds that the United States has the unique responsibility to intervene wherever it wants, for whatever purpose it wants, by whatever means it wants -- and the supporting "trinity" of requirements for the U.S. to maintain a global military presence, to configure its military forces for global power projection, and to counter threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism.
In other words they advocate permanent war for permanent peace. Lessons that the author shows President Obama is clearly in the midst of learning, using a modified sacred trinity. Written in engaging prose, his book Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War is an excellent peace of research with sections that some may find very troubling. Here is the summary:
UFPPC (www.ufppc.org) Digging Deeper CXXXVII: September 27, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
Andrew J. Bacevich, Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War (New York: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company, August 2010).
The Washington consensus on national security policy that constitutes convention wisdom in American foreign policy began with the Cold War and survived, remarkably, the Vietnam War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, no longer serves American interests, but the failure of the Obama administration to alter it shows that change can only come from the American people.
Introduction: Slow Learner
The author's faith in orthodoxy began to crumble when visiting the BrandenburgGate in Berlin in the winter of 1990-1991(1-4). In October 1990 a visit to Jenarevealed the backwardness of EastGermany (4-6). During his years in the Army, Bacevich had kept down doubts; after the end of the Cold War he retired, and his loss of status freed him to educate himself (6-10).
"George W.Bush's decision to launch Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 pushed me fully into opposition" (10). "This book aims to take stock of conventional wisdom" (11). The past 60 years of American history shows continuity: a symbiotic "credo" (formulated by Henry Luce in 1941 as the "American Century") and a "sacred trinity" ("the minimum essentials of international peace and order require the United States to maintain a global military presence, to configure its forces for global power projection, and to counter existing or anticipated threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism") together define "the rules to which Washington adheres" (11-15).
In this book, "Washington" refers to the upper echelons of the three branches of government, the main agencies of the national security state, select think tanks and interest groups, "big banks and other financial institutions, defense contractors and major corporations, television networks and elite publications like the New York Times, even quasi-academic entities like the Council on Foreign Relations and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government" (15).
This book aspires to
(1) trace the history of the Washington rules;
(2) show who wins, who loses, and who pays under them;
(3) explain how itis perpetuated;
(4) show that the rules have lost what utility they might once have had;
and (5) re-legitimate "disreputable (or 'radical') views to our national security debates" (16).
The American Century is ending, and it "has become essential" to devise an "alternative to the reining national security paradigm" (16-18).
Ch. 1: The Advent of Semiwar.
As president, Barack Obama's efforts to change the U.S.'s exercise of power "have seldom risen above the cosmetic"(20). He made clear he subscribes to the "catechism of American statecraft," viz. that 1) the world must be organized, 2)only the U.S. can do it, 3) this includes dictating principles, and 4) not to accept this is to be a rogue or a recalcitrant (20-21).
It follows that the U.S. need not conform to the norms it sets for others and that it should maintain a worldwide network of bases (22-23).
Imagine if China acted in a comparable manner (23-25). The extraordinary American military posture in the world (25-27). To call this into question puts one beyond the pale(27). James Forrestal called this a permanent condition of semiwar, requiring high levels of military spending(27-28).
American citizens are not supposed to concern themselves with it (29-30). As to how this came about, the "standard story line" presents as the result of the decisions of a "succession of presidential administrations," though this conceals as much as it reveals (30-32).
Eisenhower's 1961 Farewell Address on the "military-industrial complex" was a rare exception (32-34). More important than presidents were Allen Dulles [1893-1969] and Curtis Lemay [1906-1990] (34-36).
Bacevich attributes the vision for an American-dominated post-World War II world with the CIA playing an active role to the patrician Dulles (36-43). The development of the U.S. military into a force capable of dominating the world, especially in the area of strategic weapons, he attributes to the hard-bitten Curtis LeMay, organizer of the StrategicAir Command (SAC) (43-52). Dulles and LeMay shared devotion to country, ruthlessness, a certain recklessness (52-55). They exploited American anxieties and insecurities in yin (Dulles's CIA) yang(LeMay's SAC) fashion, leaving the mainstay of American military power, the U.S. Army, in a relatively weak position(55-58).
Ch. 2: Illusions of Flexibility and Control
Kennedy kept Dulles and LeMay to signal continuity, but there was a behind-the-scenes struggle led by Gen. Maxwell Taylor to reassert the role of the U.S. Army by expanding and modernizing conventional forces that was "simultaneously masked by, and captured in, the phrase flexible response " (60; 59-63).
This agenda purported to aim at "resisting aggression" but really created new options for limited aggressive warfare by the U.S. (63-66).
McNamara engaged in a struggle with LeMay to control U.S. policy on nuclear weapons, but he embraced the need for redundancy based on a land-sea-air attack "triad" and LeMay et al. "got most of what they wanted" (66-72).
In the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy instituted the morally and legally "indefensible" Operation Mongoose," in effect, a program of state-sponsored terrorism" against Cuba (80; 72-82 [but Bacevich is silent on its wilder elements, like Operation Northwoods]).
U.S. recklessness caused the Cuban Missile Crisis, and to his credit Kennedy acknowledged this (albeit privately) and "suspended the tradition" in defusing the crisis (82-87).
Bacevich rejects as a romantic delusion the view that in the aftermath of this crisis Kennedy turned against the military-industrial complex and the incipient Vietnam war and shows no interest in Kennedy's assassination itself (87-92).
He sees a parallel between escalation in Vietnam and post-9/11 aggression as "fought to sustain the Washington consensus" (107; 92-107).
Ch. 3: The Credo Restored.
William Fulbright's The Arrogance of Power (1966) urged a rethinking of the Washington rules (109-15). A radicalized David Shoup, a Medal of Honor winner and former commandant of the MarineCorps, argued in "The New American Militarism" (Atlantic, April 1969) that the U.S. had become "a militaristic and aggressive nation" (120; 115-21). The 1960s Zeitgeist shift made LeMay "an embarrassment, mocked and vilified rather than venerated," which showed that the Washington rules had incurred serious damage in Vietnam; the Army was in dire shape (122; 121-27).
Yet astonishingly, in the subsequent decade the "sacred trinity" (cf. 11-15) was "fully restored" (127). As in post-1918 Germany, élites looked for scapegoats and worked to reverse "the war's apparent verdict" (128). The Council on Foreign Relations 1976 volume entitled The Vietnam Legacy: The War, American Society, and the Future of American Foreign Policy is an expression of élite consensus that the Vietnam war was insignificant, an anomaly (129-34).
By 1980, Democrats and Republicans were again on the same page (134-36).Reagan's election "sealed the triumph of Vietnam revisionism" (136; 136-38). Andthe end of the Cold War posed no challenge to the Washington rules, as Madeleine Albright's pretentious arrogance exemplifies (138-45).
Ch. 4: Reconstituting the Trinity
The period from 1980 to 2000 saw "not retrenchment but reconfiguration" (147). The
Except from Macmillan
Introduction: Slow Learner Worldly ambition inhibits true learning. Ask me. I know. A young man in a hurry is nearly uneducable: He knows what he wants and where he's headed; when it comes to looking back or entertaining heretical thoughts, he has neither the time nor the inclination. All that counts is that he is going somewhere. Only as ambition wanes does education become a possibility.
My own education did not commence until I had reached middle age. I can fix its start date with precision: For me, education began in Berlin, on a winter's evening, at the Brandenburg Gate, not long after the Berlin Wall had fallen. As an officer in the U.S. Army I had spent considerable time in Germany. Until that moment, however, my family and I had never had occasion to visit this most famous of German cities, still littered with artifacts of a deeply repellent history. At the end of a long day of exploration, we found ourselves in what had, until just months before, been the communist East. It was late and we were hungry, but I insisted on walking the length of the Unter den Linden, from the River Spree to the gate itself. A cold rain was falling and the pavement glistened. The buildings lining the avenue, dating from the era of Prussian kings, were dark, dirty, and pitted. Few people were about. It was hardly a night for sightseeing. For as long as I could remember, the Brandenburg Gate had been the preeminent symbol of the age and Berlin the epicenter of contemporary history.
Yet by the time I made it to the once and future German capital, history was already moving on. The Cold War had abruptly ended. A divided city and a divided nation had re united. For Americans who had known Berlin only from a distance, the city existed primarily as a metaphor. Pick a date— 1933, 1942, 1945, 1948, 1961, 1989—and Berlin becomes an instructive symbol of power, depravity, tragedy, defiance, endurance, or vindication. For those inclined to view the past as a chronicle of parables, the modern history of Berlin offered an abundance of material. The greatest of those parables emerged from the events of 1933 to 1945, an epic tale of evil ascendant, belatedly confronted, then heroically overthrown.
A second narrative, woven from events during the intense period immediately following World War II, saw hopes for peace dashed, yielding bitter antagonism but also great resolve. The ensuing stand-off—the "long twilight struggle," in John Kennedy's memorable phrase— formed the centerpiece of the third parable, its central theme stubborn courage in the face of looming peril. Finally came the exhilarating events of 1989, with freedom ultimately prevailing, not only in Berlin, but throughout Eastern Europe.
.... ... ...
Although commonly depicted as the most advanced and successful component of the Soviet Empire, East Germany more closely resembled part of the undeveloped world.
... ... ...
Briquettes of soft coal used for home heating made the air all but unbreathable and coated everything with soot. In the German cities we knew, pastels predominated—houses and apartment blocks painted pale green, muted salmon, and soft yellow. Here everything was brown and gray
... ... ...
Bit by bit, my worldview started to crumble. That worldview had derived from this conviction: that American power manifested a commitment to global leadership, and that both together expressed and affirmed the nation's enduring devotion to its founding ideals. That American power, policies, and purpose were bound together in a neat, internally consistent package, each element drawing strength from and reinforcing the others, was something I took as a given. That, during my adult life, a penchant for interventionism had become a signature of U.S. policy did not—to me, at least—in any way contradict America's aspirations for peace. Instead, a willingness to expend lives and treasure in distant places testified to the seriousness of those aspirations. That, during this same period, the United States had amassed an arsenal of over thirty-one thousand nuclear weapons, some small number of them assigned to units in which I had served, was not at odds with our belief in the inalienable right to life and liberty; rather, threats to life and liberty had compelled the United States to acquire such an arsenal and maintain it in readiness for instant use.2 I was not so naíve as to believe that the American record had been without flaws. Yet I assured myself that any errors or misjudgments had been committed in good faith. Furthermore, circumstances permitted little real choice. In Southeast Asia as in Western Europe, in the Persian Gulf as in the Western Hemisphere, the United States had simply done what needed doing. Viable alternatives did not exist. To consent to any dilution of American power would be to forfeit global leadership, thereby putting at risk safety, prosperity, and freedom, not only our own but also that of our friends and allies.
The choices seemed clear enough. On one side was the status quo: the commitments, customs, and habits that defined American globalism, implemented by the national security apparatus within which I functioned as a small cog. On the other side was the prospect of appeasement, isolationism, and catastrophe. The only responsible course was the one to which every president since Harry Truman had adhered. For me, the Cold War had played a crucial role in sustaining that worldview.
Given my age, upbringing, and professional background, it could hardly have been otherwise. Although the great rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union had contained moments of considerable anxiety — I remember my father, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, stocking our basement with water and canned goods — it served primarily to clarify, not to frighten.
The Cold War provided a framework that organized and made sense of contemporary history. It offered a lineup and a scorecard. That there existed bad Germans and good Germans, their Germans and our Germans, totalitarian Germans and Germans who, like Americans, passionately loved freedom was, for example, a proposition I accepted as dogma. Seeing the Cold War as a struggle between good and evil answered many questions, consigned others to the periphery, and rendered still others irrelevant.
Back in the 1960s, during the Vietnam War, more than a few members of my generation had rejected the conception of the Cold War as a Manichean struggle. Here too, I was admittedly a slow learner. Yet having kept the faith long after others had lost theirs, the doubts that eventually assailed me were all the more disorienting. Granted, occasional suspicions had appeared long before Jena and Berlin
My own Vietnam experience had generated its share, which I had done my best to suppress. I was, after all, a serving soldier. Except in the narrowest of terms, the military profession, in those days at least, did not look kindly on nonconformity. Climbing the ladder of career success required curbing maverick tendencies. To get ahead, you needed to be a team player. Later, when studying the history of U.S. foreign relations in graduate school, I was pelted with challenges to orthodoxy, which I vigorously deflected. When it came to education, graduate school proved a complete waste of time — a period of intense study devoted to the further accumulation of facts, while I exerted myself to ensuring that they remained inert.
Now, however, my personal circumstances were changing. Shortly after the passing of the Cold War, my military career ended. Education thereby became not only a possibility, but also a necessity. In measured doses, mortification cleanses the soul. It's the perfect antidote for excessive self-regard. After twenty-three years spent inside the U.S. Army seemingly going somewhere, I now found myself on the outside going nowhere in particular. In the self-contained and cloistered universe of regimental life, I had briefly risen to the status of minor spear carrier. The instant I took off my uniform, that status vanished. I soon came to a proper appreciation of my own insignificance, a salutary lesson that I ought to have absorbed many years earlier. As I set out on what eventually became a crablike journey toward a new calling as a teacher and writer—a pilgrimage of sorts—ambition in the commonly accepted meaning of the term ebbed. This did not happen all at once. Yet gradually, trying to grab one of life's shiny brass rings ceased being a major preoccupation.
Wealth, power, and celebrity became not aspirations but subjects for critical analysis.
History—especially the familiar narrative of the Cold War—no longer offered answers; instead, it posed perplexing riddles. Easily the most nagging was this one: How could I have so profoundly misjudged the reality of what lay on the far side of the Iron Curtain? Had I been insufficiently attentive? Or was it possible that I had been snookered all along? Contemplating such questions, while simultaneously witnessing the unfolding of the "long 1990s"— the period bookended by two wars with Iraq when American vainglory reached impressive new heights—prompted the realization that I had grossly misinterpreted the threat posed by America's adversaries. Yet that was the lesser half of the problem. Far worse than misperceiving "them" was the fact that I had misperceived "us." What I thought I knew best I actually understood least. Here, the need for education appeared especially acute.
George W. Bush's decision to launch Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 pushed me fully into opposition. Claims that once seemed elementary—above all, claims relating to the essentially benign purposes of American power— now appeared preposterous. The contradictions that found an ostensibly peace-loving nation committing itself to a doctrine of preventive war became too great to ignore. The folly and hubris of the policy makers who heedlessly thrust the nation into an ill-defined and open-ended "global war on terror" without the foggiest notion of what victory would look like, how it would be won, and what it might cost approached standards hitherto achieved only by slightly mad German warlords. During the era of containment, the United States had at least maintained the pretense of a principled strategy; now, the last vestiges of principle gave way to fantasy and opportunism. With that, the worldview to which I had adhered as a young adult and carried into middle age dissolved completely. *
What should stand in the place of such discarded convictions? Simply inverting the conventional wisdom, substituting a new Manichean paradigm for the old discredited version—the United States taking the place of the Soviet Union as the source of the world's evil—would not suffice. Yet arriving at even an approximation of truth would entail subjecting conventional wisdom, both present and past, to sustained and searching scrutiny. Cautiously at first but with growing confidence, this I vowed to do. Doing so meant shedding habits of conformity acquired over decades. All of my adult life I had been a company man, only dimly aware of the extent to which institutional loyalties induce myopia. Asserting independence required first recognizing the extent to which I had been socialized to accept certain things as unimpeachable. Here then were the preliminary steps essential to making education accessible. Over a period of years, a considerable store of debris had piled up. Now, it all had to go. Belatedly, I learned that more often than not what passes for conventional wisdom is simply wrong. Adopting fashionable attitudes to demonstrate one's trustworthiness—the world of politics is flush with such people hoping thereby to qualify for inclusion in some inner circle—is akin to engaging in prostitution in exchange for promissory notes. It's not only demeaning but downright foolhardy. This book aims to take stock of conventional wisdom in its most influential and enduring form, namely the package of assumptions, habits, and precepts that have defined the tradition of statecraft to which the United States has adhered since the end of World War II— the era of global dominance now drawing to a close. This postwar tradition combines two components, each one so deeply embedded in the American collective consciousness as to have all but disappeared from view.
The first component specifies norms according to which the international order ought to work and charges the United States with responsibility for enforcing those norms. Call this the American credo. In the simplest terms, the credo summons the United States—and the United States alone—to lead, save, liberate, and ultimately transform the world. In a celebrated manifesto issued at the dawn of what he termed "The American Century," Henry R. Luce made the case for this spacious conception of global leadership. Writing in Life magazine in early 1941, the influential publisher exhorted his fellow citizens to "accept wholeheartedly our duty to exert upon the world the full impact of our influence for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit." Luce thereby captured what remains even today the credo's essence.3 Luce's concept of an American Century, an age of unquestioned American global primacy, resonated, especially in Washington. His evocative phrase found a permanent place in the lexicon of national politics. (Recall that the neoconservatives who, in the 1990s, lobbied for more militant U.S. policies named their enterprise the Project for a New American Century.) So, too, did Luce's expansive claim of prerogatives to be exercised by the United States.
Even today, whenever public figures allude to America's responsibility to lead, they signal their fidelity to this creed. Along with respectful allusions to God and "the troops," adherence to Luce's credo has become a de facto prerequisite for high office. Question its claims and your prospects of being heard in the hubbub of national politics become nil. Note, however, that the duty Luce ascribed to Americans has two components. It is not only up to Americans, he wrote, to choose the purposes for which they would bring their influence to bear, but to choose the means as well. Here we confront the second component of the postwar tradition of American statecraft. With regard to means, that tradition has emphasized activism over example, hard power over soft, and coercion (often styled "negotiating from a position of strength") over suasion. Above all, the exercise of global leadership as prescribed by the credo obliges the United States to maintain military capabilities staggeringly in excess of those required for self-defense. Prior to World War II, Americans by and large viewed military power and institutions with skepticism, if not outright hostility. In the wake of World War II, that changed. An affinity for military might emerged as central to the American identity. By the midpoint of the twentieth century, "the Pentagon" had ceased to be merely a gigantic five-sided building.
Like "Wall Street" at the end of the nineteenth century, it had become Leviathan, its actions veiled in secrecy, its reach extending around the world. Yet while the concentration of power in Wall Street had once evoked deep fear and suspicion, Americans by and large saw the concentration of power in the Pentagon as benign. Most found it reassuring. A people who had long seen standing armies as a threat to liberty now came to believe that the preservation of liberty required them to lavish resources on the armed forces. During the Cold War, Americans worried ceaselessly about falling behind the Russians, even though the Pentagon consistently maintained a position of overall primacy. Once the Soviet threat disappeared, mere primacy no longer sufficed. With barely a whisper of national debate, unambiguous and perpetual global military supremacy emerged as an essential predicate to global leadership. Every great military power has its distinctive signature. For Napoleonic France, it was the levée en masse— the people in arms animated by the ideals of the Revolution. For Great Britain in the heyday of empire, it was command of the seas, sustained by a dominant fleet and a network of far-flung outposts from Gibraltar and the Cape of Good Hope to Singapore and Hong Kong. Germany from the 1860s to the 1940s (and Israel from 1948 to 1973) took another approach, relying on a potent blend of tactical flexibility and operational audacity to achieve battlefield superiority.
The abiding signature of American military power since World War II has been of a different order altogether. The United States has not specialized in any particular type of war. It has not adhered to a fixed tactical style. No single service or weapon has enjoyed consistent favor. At times, the armed forces have relied on citizen-soldiers to fill their ranks; at other times, long-service professionals. Yet an examination of the past sixty years of U.S. military policy and practice does reveal important elements of continuity. Call them the sacred trinity: an abiding conviction that the minimum essentials of international peace and order require the United States to maintain a global military presence, to configure its forces for global power projection, and to counter existing or anticipated threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism. Together, credo and trinity—the one defining purpose, the other practice—constitute the essence of the way that Washington has attempted to govern and police the American Century. The relationship between the two is symbiotic. The trinity lends plausibility to the credo's vast claims. For its part, the credo justifies the trinity's vast requirements and exertions.
Together they provide the basis for an enduring consensus that imparts a consistency to U.S. policy regardless of which political party may hold the upper hand or who may be occupying the White House. From the era of Harry Truman to the age of Barack Obama, that consensus has remained intact. It defines the rules to which Washington adheres; it determines the precepts by which Washington rules. As used here, Washington is less a geographic expression than a set of interlocking institutions headed by people who, whether acting officially or unofficially, are able to put a thumb on the helm of state. Washington, in this sense, includes the upper echelons of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government. It encompasses the principal components of the national security state— the departments of Defense, State, and, more recently, Homeland Security, along with various agencies comprising the intelligence and federal law enforcement communities. Its ranks extend to select think tanks and interest groups. Lawyers, lobbyists, fixers, former officials, and retired military officers who still enjoy access are members in good standing. Yet Washington also reaches beyond the Beltway to include big banks and other financial institutions, defense contractors and major corporations, television networks and elite publications like the New York Times, even quasi-academic entities like the Council on Foreign Relations and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
With rare exceptions, acceptance of the Washington rules forms a prerequisite for entry into this world. My purpose in writing this book is fivefold: first, to trace the origins and evolution of the Washington rules—both the credo that inspires consensus and the trinity in which it finds expression; second, to subject the resulting consensus to critical inspection, showing who wins and who loses and also who foots the bill; third, to explain how the Washington rules are perpetuated, with certain views privileged while others are declared disreputable; fourth, to demonstrate that the rules themselves have lost whatever utility they may once have possessed, with their implications increasingly pernicious and their costs increasingly unaffordable; and finally, to argue for readmitting disreputable (or "radical") views to our national security debate, in effect legitimating alternatives to the status quo. In effect, my aim is to invite readers to share in the process of education on which I embarked two decades ago in Berlin. The Washington rules were forged at a moment when American influence and power were approaching their acme. That moment has now passed. The United States has drawn down the stores of authority and goodwill it had acquired by 1945. Words uttered in Washington command less respect than once was the case. Americans can ill afford to indulge any longer in dreams of saving the world, much less remaking it in our own image. The curtain is now falling on the American Century. Similarly, the United States no longer possesses sufficient wherewithal to sustain a national security strategy that relies on global military presence and global power projection to underwrite a policy of global interventionism. Touted as essential to peace, adherence to that strategy has propelled the United States into a condition approximating perpetual war, as the military misadventures of the past decade have demonstrated.
To anyone with eyes to see, the shortcomings inherent in the Washington rules have become plainly evident. Although those most deeply invested in perpetuating its conventions will insist otherwise, the tradition to which Washington remains devoted has begun to unravel. Attempting to prolong its existence might serve Washington's interests, but it will not serve the interests of the American people.
Devising an alternative to the reigning national security paradigm will pose a daunting challenge—especially if Americans look to "Washington" for fresh thinking. Yet doing so has become essential. In one sense, the national security policies to which Washington so insistently adheres express what has long been the preferred American approach to engaging the world beyond our borders. That approach plays to America's presumed strong suit—since World War II, and especially since the end of the Cold War, thought to be military power. In another sense, this reliance on military might creates excuses for the United States to avoid serious engagement: Confidence in American arms has made it unnecessary to attend to what others might think or to consider how their aspirations might differ from our own.
In this way, the Washington rules reinforce American provincialism—a national trait for which the United States continues to pay dearly. The persistence of these rules has also provided an excuse to avoid serious self-engagement. From this perspective, confidence that the credo and the trinity will oblige others to accommodate themselves to America's needs or desires — whether for cheap oil, cheap credit, or cheap consumer goods—has allowed Washington to postpone or ignore problems demanding attention here at home.
Fixing Iraq or Afghanistan ends up taking precedence over fixing Cleveland and Detroit. Purporting to support the troops in their crusade to free the world obviates any obligation to assess the implications of how Americans themselves choose to exercise freedom. When Americans demonstrate a willingness to engage seriously with others, combined with the courage to engage seriously with themselves, then real education just might begin.
Apr 18, 2019 | www.unz.com
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I'm not quite sure why I loathe Assange. I've never actually met the man. I just have this weird, amorphous feeling that he's a horrible, disgusting, extremist person who is working for the Russians and is probably a Nazi. It feels kind of like that feeling I had, back in the Winter of 2003, that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons, which he was going to give to those Al Qaeda terrorists who were bayonetting little babies in their incubators, or the feeling I still have, despite all evidence to the contrary, that Trump is a Russian intelligence asset who peed on Barack Obama's bed, and who is going to set fire to the Capitol building, declare himself American Hitler, and start rounding up and murdering the Jews.
I don't know where these feelings come from. If you challenged me, I probably couldn't really support them with any, like, actual facts or anything, at least not in any kind of rational way. Being an introspective sort of person, I do sometimes wonder if maybe my feelings are the result of all the propaganda and relentless psychological and emotional conditioning that the ruling classes and the corporate media have subjected me to since the day I was born, and that influential people in my social circle have repeated, over and over again, in such a manner as to make it clear that contradicting their views would be extremely unwelcome, and might negatively impact my social status, and my prospects for professional advancement.
Take my loathing of Assange, for example. I feel like I can't even write a column condemning his arrest and extradition without gratuitously mocking or insulting the man. When I try to, I feel this sudden fear of being denounced as a "Trump-loving Putin-Nazi," and a "Kremlin-sponsored rape apologist," and unfriended by all my Facebook friends. Worse, I get this sickening feeling that unless I qualify my unqualified support for freedom of press, and transparency, and so on, with some sort of vicious, vindictive remark about the state of Assange's body odor, and how he's probably got cooties, or has pooped his pants, or some other childish and sadistic taunt, I can kiss any chance I might have had of getting published in a respectable publication goodbye.
But I'm probably just being paranoid, right? Distinguished, highbrow newspapers and magazines like The Atlantic , The Guardian , The Washington Post , The New York Times , Vox , Vice , Daily Mail , and others of that caliber, are not just propaganda organs whose primary purpose is to reinforce the official narratives of the ruling classes. No, they publish a broad range of opposing views. The Guardian, for example, just got Owen Jones to write a full-throated defense of Assange on that grounds that he's probably a Nazi rapist who should be locked up in a Swedish prison, not in an American prison! The Guardian, remember, is the same publication that printed a completely fabricated story accusing Assange of secretly meeting with Paul Manafort and some alleged "Russians," among a deluge of other such Russiagate nonsense, and that has been demonizing Jeremy Corbyn as an anti-Semite for several years.
Plus, according to NPR's Bob Garfield (who is lustfully "looking forward to Assange's day in court"), and other liberal lexicologists, Julian Assange is not even a real journalist, so we have no choice but to mock and humiliate him, and accuse him of rape and espionage oh, and speaking of which, did you hear the one about how his cat was spying on the Ecuadorean diplomats ?
But seriously now, all joking aside, it's always instructive (if a bit sickening) to watch as the mandarins of the corporate media disseminate an official narrative and millions of people robotically repeat it as if it were their own opinions. This process is particularly nauseating to watch when the narrative involves the stigmatization, delegitimization, and humiliation of an official enemy of the ruling classes. Typically, this enemy is a foreign enemy, like Saddam, Gaddafi, Assad, Milošević, Osama bin Laden, Putin, or whoever. But sometimes the enemy is one of "us" a traitor, a Judas, a quisling, a snitch, like Trump, Corbyn, or Julian Assange.
In either case, the primary function of the corporate media remains the same: to relentlessly assassinate the character of the "enemy," and to whip the masses up into a mindless frenzy of hatred of him, like the Two-Minutes Hate in 1984 , the Kill-the-Pig scene in Lord of the Flies , the scapegoating of Jews in Nazi Germany , and other examples a bit closer to home .
Logic, facts, and actual evidence have little to nothing to do with this process. The goal of the media and other propagandists is not to deceive or mislead the masses. Their goal is to evoke the pent-up rage and hatred simmering within the masses and channel it toward the official enemy. It is not necessary for the demonization of the official enemy to be remotely believable, or stand up to any kind of serious scrutiny. No one sincerely believes that Donald Trump is a Russian Intelligence asset, or that Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite, or that Julian Assange has been arrested for jumping bail, or raping anyone, or for helping Chelsea Manning "hack" a password.
The demonization of the empire's enemies is not a deception it is a loyalty test. It is a ritual in which the masses (who, let's face it, are de facto slaves) are ordered to display their fealty to their masters, and their hatred of their masters' enemies....
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C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political 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 Paperbacks. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .
Apr 18, 2019 | thesaker.is
The Saker: You recently wrote an article titled " Is the USS Ship of Fools Taking on Water? " in which you discuss the high level of stupidity in modern US politics? I have a simple question for you: do you think the Empire can survive Trump and, if so, for how long?
Dmitry Orlov: I think that the American empire is very much over already, but it hasn't been put to any sort of serious stress test yet, and so nobody realizes that this is the case. Some event will come along which will leave the power center utterly humiliated and unable to countenance this humiliation and make adjustments. Things will go downhill from there as everyone in government in media does their best to pretend that the problem doesn't exist. My hope is that the US military personnel currently scattered throughout the planet will not be simply abandoned once the money runs out, but I wouldn't be too surprised if that is what happens.
The Saker: Lastly, a similar but fundamentally different question: can the USA (as opposed to the Empire) survive Trump and, if so, how? Will there be a civil war? A military coup? Insurrection? Strikes? A US version of the Yellow Vests?
Dmitry Orlov: The USA, as some set of institutions that serves the interests of some dwindling number of people, is likely to continue functioning for quite some time. The question is: who is going to be included and who isn't? There is little doubt that retirees, as a category, have nothing to look forward to from the USA: their retirements, whether public or private, have already been spent. There is little doubt that young people, who have already been bled dry by poor job prospects and ridiculous student loans, have nothing to look forward to either.
But, as I've said before, the USA isn't so much a country as a country club. Membership has its privileges, and members don't care at all what life is like for those who are in the country but aren't members of the club. The recent initiatives to let everyone in and to let non-citizens vote amply demonstrates that US citizenship, by itself, counts for absolutely nothing. The only birthright of a US citizen is to live as a bum on the street, surrounded by other bums, many of them foreigners from what Trump has termed "shithole countries."It will be interesting to see how public and government workers, as a group, react to the realization that the retirements they have been promised no longer exist; perhaps that will tip the entire system into a defunct state.
And once the fracking bubble is over and another third of the population finds that it can no longer afford to drive, that might force through some sort of reset as well. But then the entire system of militarized police is designed to crush any sort of rebellion, and most people know that. Given the choice between certain death and just sitting on the sidewalk doing drugs, most people will choose the latter.
And so, Trump or no Trump, we are going to have more of the same: shiny young IT specialists skipping and whistling on the way to work past piles of human near-corpses and their excrement; Botoxed housewives shopping for fake organic produce while hungry people in the back of the store are digging around in dumpsters; concerned citizens demanding that migrants be allowed in, then calling the cops as soon as these migrants set up tents on their front lawn or ring their doorbell and ask to use the bathroom; well-to-do older couples dreaming of bugging out to some tropical gringo compound in a mangrove swamp where they would be chopped up with machetes and fed to the fish; and all of them believing that things are great because the stock market is doing so well.
At this rate, when the end of the USA finally arrives, most of the people won't be in a position to notice while the rest won't be capable of absorbing that sort of upsetting information and will choose to ignore it. Everybody wants to know how the story ends, but that sort of information probably isn't good for anyone's sanity. The mental climate in the US is already sick enough; why should we want to make it even sicker?
Chris Cosmos on April 17, 2019 , · at 11:23 am EST/EDTI love Orlov’s wit and general cynical attitude as it mirrors mine (perhaps not the wit). I think he seems to understand the Ukraine and Russia relatively well though I’m not in a position to question him on that but I do know something about the politics of NATO/EU/USA and their intentions and that Orlov gets.B.F. on April 17, 2019 , · at 5:29 pm EST/EDT
But he simply does not understand the USA. He’s been predicting collapse for some time and it has not occurred or come close to happening. Washington is filled with smart kleptocrats who understand they cannot afford to destroy the country that keeps on giving them the wealth and power they crave. Trump, can flounce around Washington and the rest of the country and do and say outrageous things and it has no effect on life whatsoever.
If anything the economy actually is “better” not as good as the cooked statistics indicate but things have improved for people I know in that area. Americans, despite the obvious propaganda nature of the media still are true-believers in the official Narrative because meaning and myth always trumps reality.
While, on the surface, people support ideas like higher minimum wage, universal health-care and other aspects of social democracy, it their masters say “no” then they’ll forgo it and take pride in their ability to endure suffering, early death, their children on heroin or meth, and so on.
Since I’m fairly “connected” to the lower/working class and its struggles in my part of the world I can assure you people almost enjoy suffering to a degree that foreigners easily miss and seldom ascribe it to the thieves and criminals who run our society. Americans strut around but feel powerless and don’t have a plan or think they can have a plan because they lack the conceptual frameworks to understand that their leadership is thoroughly rotten.
Having said that, I agree with Auslander, Americans don’t need the central government and would do better, initially, in a highly chaotic situation and establish their own order in their communities and rig up a new set of arrangements very quickly.
In some ways the fall of Washington would be the best thing to ever happen in my country.Chris CosmosAnonymous on April 17, 2019 , · at 7:08 pm EST/EDT
I am afraid you are wrong. Orlov does understand the US, just like I do, as I have lived in the US. Yes, Orlov has been predicting the collapse of the US, and it will happen. I would like to direct your attention to the following video (the second part is very interesting):
Will there be a civil war in the US, like in the 1861-1865 period ? No, I don’t think so. Will there be severe social disturbances ? Yes, these I do expect, leading to the break up of the US. The only part of the US which probably will emerge as a cohesive force will be the old South, Dixie land, which has history and tradition behind it. The US has been kicking the financial can down the road for a long time. This cannot last for ever.FB on April 17, 2019 , · at 11:45 am EST/EDT“The only part of the US which probably will emerge as a cohesive force will be the old South, Dixie land, which has history and tradition behind it. ”
Maybe, but actually I would say most regions of the USA have some kind of “old tradition” —and a lot nicer ones than that of the old racist South. I’ll take New England and the Maritimes any day over the steamy South where the kudzu creeps over I mean *everything*, the snakes proliferate, and you can’t survive the summer without AC 24/7.
Check out American Nations, by Colin Woodard.
KatherineWell…I just started in on this piece and already I have a major beef…Orlov’s notion that the dissolution of the Soviet Union was good for Russia…Anonymous on April 17, 2019 , · at 12:52 pm EST/EDT
China was [and arguably still is] an empire of diverse regions, ethnicities and religions…but how is that holding China back today, or during previous centuries of imperial glory…?
Clearly China doesn’t fit into Orlov’s idea of an empire as a ‘wealth pump’ that sucks from the periphery to enrich the center…this is true of course of exploitation-based imperial projects such as western colonialism…but is clearly not applicable to the Chinese model, which has been both the biggest and most durable empire in human history…so that is a big hole in Orlov’s ‘theory’…
It is true that the USSR was a fundamentally different kind of empire from the exploitative western colonialism…and it is also true that it ultimately did not succeed…although it managed to accomplish almost incomprehensible progress in modernization, science and technology…and industrialization…the foundations of Russian strength today rest squarely on the foundations put in place during the Stalin era…
Elsewhere on this site there is a brilliant series of essays by Ramin Mazaheri about the tumultuous cultural revolution of the 1960s…and why it was necessary…Russia also needed a cultural revolution around this time…the system needed to be rejigged to better serve the people…in living standard…fairness and justice…opportunity for social advance…etc…
But it never happened…instead the system became more sclerotic than ever…and the welfare of the people stagnated…at the very moment in time when the capitalist west, especially the United States, was able to reign in the appetites of its parasite class and provide the people with a decent share of its [largely ill-gotten, by means of global finance colonialism] gains…[during the postwar decades, the share of national wealth of the 0.1 percent fell to an all time low of about 7 percent…about a quarter of historic, and current levels]…
This was the golden age in the US…well paying jobs in industry were plentiful and the company president made perhaps ten times what the shop floor worker took home…a second household income was completely unnecessary…university education at state colleges was practically free…
The life of the Soviet citizen in the1960s was not too far behind…Stalin’s five year plans in the1930s had created an industrial powerhouse…it was Russia’s ability to produce that allowed it to prevail over Germany in the existential war…and despite the devastation of the people, cities and countryside Russia was able to quickly become a technological superpower…as an aerospace engineer I have a deep appreciation of the depth and breadth of Russian technical achievements and the basic scientific advances that made that possible…the US was laughably left in the dust, despite having skimmed the cream of Nazi Germany’s technical scientific talent…and contrary to what US propaganda would have the people believe…
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Of course the massive Chinese empire has been adapting like this for centuries, if not millennia…Russia with the Soviet Union only needed to make similar smart adjustments…instead they threw out the baby with the bathwater…let’s see where Russia goes from here, but with people like Siluanov and Nabiullina in charge of the nation’s money, I am not optimistic…
But back to Orlov…let’s see where he goes after starting off very clumsily. .The acceleration of economic collapse in the West will be likely bring (overt) fascism and war–world war.
In particular, the AngloNazi sorry Anglosphere nations (Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and of course America) are a clear and present threat that should not be underestimated, discounted, or spin-doctored away.
As collapse intensifies, these Anglo American entities led by the USA will surely lash out in even more aggressive wars to maintain their unipolar world order that they have ruled over since the fall of the Soviet Union. The use of tactical nuclear weapons, bio-warfare, and other "exotic" weapons should not be ruled out.
At base, the Anglo Americans possess an inbred sense of economic entitlement. They whine like snowflakes about the foreign outsourcing of jobs or "illegal immigrants stealing our jobs" as a chauvinistic demand for a greater share of the economic spoils of imperialism.
But the Anglos studiously avoid facing the reality that their precious way of life, capitalist system, and Anglo-American world order itself are premised upon their own ruthless exploitation of the Global South and developing nations in general.
And God forbid that the Anglos lose their parasitic way of life and (horror) are compelled to live like the vast majority of humanity in the developing world from Africa to Asia to Latin America to the Middle East.
The disaffected middle classes and labor aristocracy of the Anglosphere will comprise the grassroots basis for 21st-century fascism, similar to how these socio-economic classes were the grassroots support for the German Third Reich or Mussolini's Italy in the 1930s-40s.
Trump and the MAGA hordes, as well as similar xenophobic and nationalist movements throughout the Anglosphere and Europe, are only a precursor to what is coming. They represent the grievances of the lower-middle classes within the Anglo American Empire and Europe who want a greater cut of the economic loot of empire for themselves–which necessitates an even more aggressive and militaristic grab for global resources, markets, and geopolitical power.
As Martin Lee has put it, the Beast reawakens.
Boswald Bollocksworth on April 17, 2019 · at 9:37 pm EST/EDT
He’s way too negative on the USA’s domestic prospects. Despite its absurdities, the US system is fundamentally robust and unlikely to suffer any major, sudden collapse, at least for many decades. It will certain decline further, plumbing the depths of depravity more than it has to date, but the system will chug along. The US has vacuumed up talent from all over the world, bolstering it’s economic capacity and the rents extracted by oligo. It’s day to day institutions, such as courts, post offices and the like function better now than they did in the 80s or 90s.
All the incentives are there to keep the thing together, with little real risk of some sort of succession movement or serious insurrection. The main advantages the US has on this score are it’s mass surveillance system, policing infrastructure and media. The US media can make the great bulk of the people believe absolutely anything, if given enough time.
The US capacity to meddle overseas will wither, after all how well can a submarine filled with drag queens and single mothers operate? And who’d be willing to endure shelling for a monstrosity like contemporary America?
But the domestic system is brilliantly designed, not going anywhere.
Mar 19, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Before Gina became the Chief of Staff for Rodriguez, what role did she play in the waterboarding of two AQ operatives in Thailand? It appears that she was at least witting of what was going on. Did she have the authority to decide what measures to apply to the two? Did she make such decisions?
Those are facts still to be determined. I am inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt. But there are others who I respect that are adamant in opposing her nomination. The only thing I know for sure is that her nomination will be a bloody and divisive political battle. If it comes down to embracing waterboarding as an appropriate method to use on suspected terrorists, then a majority of Americans are supportive of that practice and will cheer the appointment of Haspel.
That fact is a very sad and disturbing commentary on what America is or has become. Tolerating torture and excusing such an activity in the name of national security is the same justification that Stalin and Castro employed to punish dissidents. It is true that one man's terrorist is another woman's freedom fighter.
Let me be clear about my position. If Gina was in fact the Chief of Base and oversaw the application of the waterboarding and other inhuman treatment then she lacks the moral authority to head the CIA. Unfortunately, the United States has a long history of overlooking human rights violations and war crimes.
Students of WW II will recall that US military intelligence recruited and protect Klaus Barbie, the Butcher of Lyon, as an asset after the war. He murdered Jews and sent others to Auschwitz. He should have been hung. Instead, we turned a blind eye and gave him a paycheck.
Cee , 18 March 2018 at 12:55 PMPT,steve , 18 March 2018 at 01:11 PM
I've read that she enjoyed torture and mocked a prisoner who was drooling by accused him of faking it. I never knew anything about her sexual orientation but now I have to consider if she's so cruel because she hates men.
No to her confirmation.IIRC, Haspel was the chief of staff to whom Rodriguez refers. That does not sound like a bit player. Would you say that Kelly is a bit player in the Trump admin? As you say, we should know the facts, but so far it looks like she both participated in torture and in its cover-up.tv , 18 March 2018 at 01:11 PM
SteveIs waterboarding "torture?" It does not draw blood nor leave any physical damage. Psychological damage? These ARE admitted terrorists.BillWade , 18 March 2018 at 01:20 PMWith all the crap going on at the FBI, the last thing we need now is a divisive candidate for any top level government position (torture advocacy is divisive for many of us).Publius Tacitus -> tv... , 18 March 2018 at 01:23 PM
A woman, a lesbian, who cares as long as they are a capable and decent law-abiding individual.Yes, waterboarding is torture. We considered it so egregious that we prosecuted Japanese military officers after WWII for using it on POWs.Apenultimate said in reply to turcopolier ... , 18 March 2018 at 01:26 PM
And where do you get "admitted" terrorists from? In America, even with suspected terrorists, there is the principle of innocent until proven guilty. At least we once believed in that standard.And I very much respect you for your position on this (it is this American's view as well).Laura , 18 March 2018 at 01:42 PM
What amazes me (and yet doesn't) is the example of Rodriguez's supposed introspection "How bad could this be?" Really?!? That just strikes me as not having any feel for the media, US citizenry, or even common sense, and just reinforces the feeling that those at the upper echelons are completely out of touch or alternatively are just lying/posturing to present themselves in a better light.PT -- Thank you. Much to consider in these times. I come down on the "no torture and waterboarding is torture" side of the debate but am also just eager for some competence and professional experience in key positions.Kooshy , 18 March 2018 at 01:42 PM
That these positions may be mutually exclusive says a great deal about our current situation. Again, thank you, for your opinions and information.A torturer is a torturer, no matter how one try to glaze it, or sugar coat it. If one is against torture, or the fancy name for it EIT, one should come out and say it like it is. This lady is accused of torturing captives ( enemy combatant) that can't and will not go away unless she come clean.
At the end of the day that don't matter, since as a policy, and base on your own statement, this country's government will prosecut and punish for liking of torture but not torture and tortures. And, furthermore, is not even willing to do away with it, per it's elected president. Trying to show a clean, moral, democracy on the hilltop image, is a BS and a joke.
Mar 19, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Nothing will say more about who we are, across three American administrations -- one that demanded torture, one that covered it up, and one that seeks to promote its bloody participants -- than whether Gina Haspel becomes director of the CIA.
Haspel oversaw the torture of human beings in Thailand as the chief of a CIA black site in 2002. Since then, she's worked her way up to deputy director at the CIA. With current director Mike Pompeo slated to move to Foggy Bottom, President Donald Trump has proposed Haspel as the Agency's new head.
Haspel's victims waiting for death in Guantanamo cannot speak to us, though they no doubt remember their own screams as they were waterboarded. And we can still hear former CIA officer John Kiriakou say : "We did call her Bloody Gina. Gina was always very quick and very willing to use force. Gina and people like Gina did it, I think, because they enjoyed doing it. They tortured just for the sake of torture, not for the sake of gathering information."
It was Kiriakou who exposed the obsessive debate over the effectiveness of torture as false. The real purpose of torture conducted by those like Gina Haspel was to seek vengeance, humiliation, and power. We're just slapping you now, she would have said in that Thai prison, but we control you, and who knows what will happen next, what we're capable of? The torture victim is left to imagine what form the hurt will take and just how severe it will be, creating his own terror.
Haspel won't be asked at her confirmation hearing to explain how torture works, but those who were waterboarded under her stewardship certainly could.
I met my first torture victim in Korea, where I was adjudicating visas for the State Department. Persons with serious criminal records are ineligible to travel to the United States, with an exception for dissidents who have committed political crimes. The man I spoke with said that under the U.S.-supported military dictatorship of Park Chung Hee he was tortured for writing anti-government verse. He was taken to a small underground cell. Two men arrived and beat him repeatedly on his testicles and sodomized him with one of the tools they had used for the beating. They asked no questions. They barely spoke to him at all.
Though the pain was beyond his ability to describe, he said the subsequent humiliation of being left so utterly helpless was what really affected his life. It destroyed his marriage, sent him to the repeated empty comfort of alcohol, and kept him from ever putting pen to paper again. The men who destroyed him, he told me, did their work, and then departed, as if they had others to visit and needed to get on with things. He was released a few days later and driven back to his apartment by the police. A forward-looking gesture.
The second torture victim I met was while I was stationed in Iraq. The prison that had held him was under the control of shadowy U.S.-trained Iraqi security forces. Inside, masked men bound him at the wrists and ankles and hung him upside-down. He said they neither asked him questions nor demanded information. They did whip his testicles with a leather strap, then beat the bottoms of his feet and the area around his kidneys. They slapped him. They broke the bones in his right foot with a steel rod, a piece of rebar ordinarily used to reinforce concrete.
It was painful, he told me, but he had felt pain before. What destroyed him was the feeling of utter helplessness, the inability to control things around him as he once had. He showed me the caved-in portion of his foot, which still bore a rod-like indentation with faint signs of metal grooves.
Gina Haspel is the same as those who were in the room with the Korean. She is no different than those who tormented the Iraqi.
As head of a black site, Haspel had sole authority to halt the questioning of suspects, but she allowed torture to continue. New information and a redaction of earlier reporting that said Haspel was present for the waterboarding and torture of Abu Zubaydah (she was actually the station chief at the black site after those sessions) makes it less clear whether Haspel oversaw the torture of all of the prisoners there, but pay it little mind. The confusion arises from the government's refusal to tell us what Haspel actually did as a torturer. So many records have yet to be released and those that have been are heavily redacted. Then there are the tapes of Zubaydah's waterboarding, which Haspel later pushed to have destroyed.
Arguing over just how much blood she has in her hands is a distraction from the fact that she indeed has blood on her hands.
Gina Haspel is now eligible for the CIA directorship because Barack Obama did not prosecute anyone for torture; he merely signed an executive order banning it in the future. He did not hold any truth commissions, and ensured that almost all government documents on the torture program remained classified. He did not prosecute the CIA officials who destroyed videotapes of the torture scenes.
Obama ignored the truth that sees former Nazis continue to be hunted some 70 years after the Holocaust: that those who do evil on behalf of a government are individually responsible. "I was only following orders" is not a defense of inhuman acts. The purpose of tracking down the guilty is to punish them, to discourage the next person from doing evil, and to morally immunize a nation-state.
To punish Gina Haspel "more than 15 years later for doing what her country asked her to do, and in response to what she was told were lawful orders, would be a travesty and a disgrace," claims one of her supporters. "Haspel did nothing more and nothing less than what the nation and the agency asked her to do, and she did it well," said Michael Hayden, who headed the CIA during the height of the Iraq war from 2006-2009.
Influential people in Congress agree. Senator Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which will soon review Haspel's nomination, said , "I know Gina personally and she has the right skill set, experience, and judgment to lead one of our nation's most critical agencies."
"She'll have to answer for that period of time, but I think she's a highly qualified person," offered Senator Lindsey Graham. Democratic Senator Bill Nelson defended Haspel's actions, saying they were "the accepted practice of the day" and shouldn't disqualify her.
His fellow Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein, ranking member on the Intelligence Committee, signaled her likely acceptance, saying , "Since my concerns were raised over the torture situation, I have met with her extensively, talked with her She has been, I believe, a good deputy director." Senator Susan Collins added that Haspel "certainly has the expertise and experience as a 30-year employee of the agency." John McCain, a victim of torture during the Vietnam War, mumbled only that Haspel would have to explain her role.
Nearly alone at present, Republican Senator Rand Paul says he will oppose Haspel's nomination. Senators Ron Wyden and Martin Heinrich, both Democrats, have told Trump she is unsuitable and will likely also vote no.
Following World War II, the United States could have easily executed those Nazis responsible for the Holocaust, or thrown them into some forever jail on an island military base. It would have been hard to find anyone who wouldn't have supported brutally torturing them at a black site. Instead, they were put on public trial at Nuremberg and made to defend their actions as the evidence against them was laid bare. The point was to demonstrate that We were better than Them.
Today we refuse to understand what Haspel's victims, and the Korean writer, and the Iraqi insurgent, already know on our behalf: unless Congress awakens to confront this nightmare and deny Gina Haspel's nomination as director of the CIA, torture will have transformed us and so it will consume us. Gina Haspel is a torturer. We are torturers. It is as if Nuremberg never happened.
Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well : How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People and Hooper's War : A Novel of WWII Japan. He tweets @WeMeantWell.
Douglas K. March 19, 2018 at 3:19 amCovering up torture is quite possibly the worst thing Obama did. (I'd put it neck-and-neck with targeted killing.) This nation desperately needs a president who will expose all of these horrors, and appoint an attorney general who will prosecute these acts as war crimes.I Don't Matter , says: March 19, 2018 at 4:49 amTrump likes waterboarding. He said so himself. One assumes he meant, being a whimpering coward himself, when someone else does it to someone else. But who knows? Enjoy judge Gorsuch.Mark Thomason , says: March 19, 2018 at 4:49 am"doing what her country asked her to do, and in response to what she was told were lawful orders"Peter Hopkins , says: March 19, 2018 at 6:52 am
To complete the parallel, we would need to prosecute and punish those who asked her to do it, and those who told her those orders were lawful. Instead, some are doing paintings of their toes, some are promoted to be Federal judges, and some are influential professors at "liberal" law schools. Why punish *only* her?Those who forget the past are destined to repeat it.Ian , says: March 19, 2018 at 7:10 amAs we've proved, we're not better than them. Any of them.Bagby , says: March 19, 2018 at 8:00 amI was not in the least surprised at reports that a known torturer was slated to head the CIA, and I expected quick confirmation. Such is my opinion of our ruling classes. I am in full support of Mr. Van Buren's thesis. However, Pro Publica, which seems to have been the source of much reporting of Haspel's torture record, has retracted the claim that Haspel had tortured in Thailand. Mr. Van Buren quotes another source from his blog that supports the thesis that Haspel is a torturer. How does one know what to believe? Whatever Haspel may be, we can be sure the CIA will continue to torture, detain people without charge, assassinate and terrorize with its own drone force, and cause mayhem around the world and at home. No one can be trusted with the Ring of Power.Centralist , says: March 19, 2018 at 8:19 amIts because we lost our sense of what makes us who we are. We are an empire that dances for private interests. In Rome they were called families and led by patricians, they had money private guards, gladiators, and even street people supporting them. In the Modern USA they are called Interest Groups and/or Corporations. They are lead by CEOs and instead of gladiators they have Lawyers. Our being better matters less then their own squabbles which is why a torturer could reach the highest seat in intel. The majority of Americans have lost their sense of being Americans instead they are Republicans, Democrats, etc, etc. Things that once use to be part of an American have come to define us.Banger , says: March 19, 2018 at 9:09 amAmerican Exceptionalism is perhaps the most toxic ideology since Nazism and Stalinism. It says that the United States is always virtuous even when it tortures, when it bombs towns, villages, cities in the name of "freedom or installs dictators, military governments, trains torturers, and, yes, rapes and loots in the name of "democracy."Peter Van Buren , says: March 19, 2018 at 9:31 am
At least this appointment along with the election of Trump shows the true face of the United States in international affairs. When we face the fact we are (a) an oligarchy and (b) a brutal Empire we might have a chance to return to something more human. Few readers, even of TAC, will want to look at our recent history of stunning brutality and lack of interest in even being in the neighborhood of following international law.CIA has purposefully refused to disclose Haspel's role for a decade+ They have selectively released information last week to discredit those criticizing her. I don't think we should play their game, letting them set the agenda. Instead, I declaim torture itself and any role she played in it, whether she poured the water or kept the books.Kurt Gayle , says: March 19, 2018 at 9:34 amDoes Peter Van Buren's criticism of the CIA's Haspel put him at risk?Peter Van Buren , says: March 19, 2018 at 9:35 am
In the 2003 film "Love Actually" the British Prime Minister (played by Hugh Grant) jokes with a Downing Street employee Natalie (Martine McCutcheon):
"PM: You live with your husband? Boyfriend, three illegitimate but charming children? –
"NATALIE: No, I've just split up with my boyfriend, so I'm back with my mum and dad for a while.
"PM: Oh. I'm sorry.
"NATALIE: No, it's fine. I'm well shot of him. He said I was getting fat.
"PM: I beg your pardon?
"NATALIE: He said no one's going to fancy a girl with thighs the size of big tree trunks. Not a nice guy, actually, in the end.
"PM: Right You know, being Prime Minister, I could just have him murdered.
"NATALIE: Thank you, sir. I'll think about it.
"PM: Do – the SAS are absolutely charming – ruthless, trained killers are just a phone call away."
It's just a film. It's just a joke. But the joke works because the public knows that – in reality – the security services have the skills-sets and the abilities, to do damage anyone they want to do damage to -- and to probably get away with it.
Fast forward to January, 2017 and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer telling MSNBC's Rachael Maddow that President-elect Donald Trump is "being really dumb" by criticizing the intelligence community and its assessments on Russia's cyber activities: Shumer: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you, So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he's being really dumb to do this." No, Shumer wasn't joking. He was serious.
Fast forward again to yesterday, March 17, 2018: Former CIA Director John Brennan wasn't joking when he reacted to the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe -- and President Donald Trump's tweeted celebration of it -- by tweeting this attack against Trump:
"When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America America will triumph over you."
Obama UN Representative Samantha Power followed up on the Brennan tweet with this:
"Not a good idea to piss off John Brennan."
When public officials and former public officials -- like Shumer, Brennan and Power -- make such public statements it must necessarily have a chilling effect on public criticism of the security services.
After all, none of the three are joking. They're serious. And the American people know that they're serious.
Does Peter Van Buren's criticism of CIA operative Haspel put him at risk?New information makes it less clear whether Haspel oversaw the torture of all of the prisoners at her black site, but pay it little mind. The confusion is because the government refuses to tell us what Haspel actually did as a torturer. Arguing over just how much blood she has on her hands is a distraction when she indeed has blood on her hands.Wilfred , says: March 19, 2018 at 10:25 am
The idea is her participation on any level at the black site is sufficient to disqualify her from heading the Agency. If the Agency wishes to clarify her role, as was done via trial for the various Nazis at Nuremberg, we can deal with her actions more granularly.Since we have not had any more successful attacks on the scale of 9-11, it is very easy to be scrupulous regarding rough treatment of terrorists.furbo , says: March 19, 2018 at 10:45 am
But if we had suffered a dozen or more such attacks, of increasing magnitude and maybe involving nuclear weapons, how many of you would still be condemning Mrs Haspel et al.? Or would you then be complaining they had not used water-boarding enough?
The 20th hijacker, Zacarias Moussaoui, was caught weeks before 9-11. Investigators figured out he was up to no good, tried to get permission to search his computer, but were denied. The U.S. Government carefully protected his privacy rights. So are you pleased with the outcome, Mr van Buren?I'm sorry – this whole piece is a massive non sequitur. Ms. Haspel has no 'blood' on her hands as US extreme interrogation techniques (sleep deprivation, uncomfortable positions, waterboarding) didn't draw any. They are not equivalent to forcible sodomy, beating the genitals, pounding the kidneys, or breaking bones. US techniques might have been bad policy – won't argue – but lets not fall for a false equivalency.Sid Finster , says: March 19, 2018 at 10:59 am
Ms. Haspel was an agent of her government, acting on it's orders under it's policies and guidelines. Which leads to
Nuremberg. The Nuremberg tribunals (they were military tribunals – not trials) were conducted by a victorious military force against a defeated military force. They were widely criticized as vengeance even by such august people as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Stone and associate Justice Douglas. There won't be a 'Nuremberg' tribunal because Al Qaida didn't defeat the United States, and you'd have to convict not just Ms. Haspel, but a sizeable portion of the U.S. Government.
And lastly there's this from a comment of the authors: "The idea is her participation on any level at the black site is sufficient to disqualify her from heading the Agency." Utter nonsense. That was the mission of the Agency at that time. It's like saying a 33yr old Drone Pilot who takes out an ISIS/Al Qaida operative as well as 15 civilians is disqualified to be the Sec Def 2 decades later.
Just stop.Sally Stewart , says: March 19, 2018 at 11:11 am
If nothing else, the appointment of Bloody Gina as CIA head finally drives a wooden stake through the heart of the myth that "we're The Good Guys(tm)!" or its cousin "all we gotta do is elect Team D and we can be The Good Guys(R) again!"
We demonize Russia at every opportunity, but I don't see Russia rewarding torturers by appointing them to high office.Douglas K. What are you talking about? Covered up? You mean Bush http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/promise/175/end-the-use-of-torture/Stephen J. , says: March 19, 2018 at 11:12 amA lot of info below on the War criminals at large.connecticut farmer , says: March 19, 2018 at 11:49 am
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- –
May 26, 2015 Do We Need Present Day Nuremberg Trials? http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2015/05/do-we-need-present-day-nuremberg-trials.html
March 9, 2018 Are We Seeing Government By Gangsters? http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2018/03/are-we-seeing-government-by-gangsters.htmlI didn't know too much about this woman's background until I read that Rand Paul opposes her nomination. I tend to take notice whenever Rand Paul holds forth on any subject. All I can say is that if her actual record even approximates what has been alleged, then this woman is unfit for the post–Nuremberg or no Nuremberg.Winston , says: March 19, 2018 at 11:54 am"As we've proved, we're not better than them. Any of them." Oh, -PLEASE-, spare us the hyperbole! WE burn alive captives held in cages? WE saw off their heads?Lex Talionis , says: March 19, 2018 at 12:00 pm
Thousands of US Navy and Air Force pilots have been waterboarded as part of their Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (S.E.R.E.) training programs.All of the torturers should be brought to justice. So should all of the officials who ordered or authorized torture.bob sykes , says: March 19, 2018 at 12:16 pm
There is no statute of limitations on capital Federal crimes. For a U.S. citizen to kill via torture is a capital Federal crime, no matter where the torture took place. If statutes of limitations make it too late to prosecute some acts of torture, it is not too late to bring about some measure of justice by making torturers pariahs. As many sexual harassers have recently learned, there is no statute of limitations in the court of public opinion.The story linking her to torture has been formally retracted. She had nothing to do with torture anywhere. How about a retraction of this story and an apology.Youknowho , says: March 19, 2018 at 12:30 pmI do not know whether to admire Mr. van Buren's idealism or be astonished at his naivete. Has he never heard of the School of the Americas, of sinister reputation, or the Condor Plan, aided and abetted by U.S. intelligence? People in Latin America know better than to believe the U.S. protestations of virtue. They know about torturers, and the U.S. support for them.Tyrone Slothrop , says: March 19, 2018 at 1:07 pm
Personally, I prefer that the cruelty should be, as Lincoln once put it, "unalloyed by the base metal of hypocrisy"bob sykes: you should read Pro Publica's retraction ( https://www.propublica.org/article/cia-cables-detail-its-new-deputy-directors-role-in-torture ) of the claim that Haspel was in charge of the Thai black site when Abu Zubaydeh was tortured. She was put in charge there not long after and oversaw the waterboarding of at least one prisoner, and later followed orders to destroy the tapes of waterboarding at that site. Your claim that " She had nothing to do with torture anywhere" is incorrect.Near Rockaway , says: March 19, 2018 at 1:31 pm
Winston: why do you suppose "thousands of US Navy and Air Force pilots have been waterboarded as part of their Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (S.E.R.E.) training programs"? Is it not to prepare them for the possibility of what we call torture when used by our adversaries?
furbo: your contention that " US extreme interrogation techniques are not equivalent to forcible sodomy, beating the genitals, pounding the kidneys, or breaking bones" is wrong. The UN Convention against Torture, to which the US is a signatory, states " For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person " Ask anyone who has been waterboarded whether that fits the official definition?"Has he never heard of the School of the Americas, of sinister reputation, or the Condor Plan, aided and abetted by U.S. intelligence?"Chris Mallory , says: March 19, 2018 at 1:47 pm
Evil stuff. And we're still paying for it. Keeping Haspel out of the Director's chair is a basic step toward avoiding more such needless, stupid evil.Wilfred, the problem was not that the Feds protected Zacarias Moussaoui's right to privacy. The problem is that it let any of the 20 Arab Muslims into the US in the first place. Closing our borders and mass deportations would have been the best thing to do in the aftermath of 9/11, not torture and invasions.b. , says: March 19, 2018 at 1:58 pmVery well put. Lest we forget: Bush also delivered the stern warning that "war crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished, and it will be no defense to say, 'I was just following orders'."Wilfred , says: March 19, 2018 at 4:28 pm
Ceterum censeo: given that the Iraq invasion and occupation was an act of aggressive war in violation of the UN Charter and thus illegal under US law, it is not just torturers but also war criminals in government and general staff that have to be considered in the contexts of these words.Chris Mallory (Mar 19 @1:47 p.m.), I agree with you. We shouldn't be letting them in.
But if someone had sneaked-a-peek at Moussaoui's laptop during the 3 weeks they had him before 9-11, we might have been able to thwart the attack altogether. (And the Press has been strangely incurious about investigating whoever it was who issued the injunction protecting Moussie's precious computer). This type of hand-wringing cost us 3,000 lives. Even more, considering the Afghan & 2nd Iraq wars would never have been launched, were it not for 9-11.
Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
Amerimutt Golem , says: April 16, 2019 at 10:28 am GMT@Thomm .... ... ...
Actually smart Northern European men enabled the very Internet you are using to spread kosher propaganda.
1. Gottfried Leibniz/German – binary number system.
2. George Boole/English – Boolean logic.
3. Konrad Kuze/German – electronic computer.
4. Donald Davies/Welsh – packet switching.
5. Clifford Cocks/English – public key encryption years before Rivest , Shamir, and Adleman.
6. Edsger Dijkstra/Dutch – Dijkstra's algorithm and programming.
7. Tim Berners-Lee/English – HTML and http.
8. Håkon Wium Lie/Norwegian – Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
9. Linus Torvalds/Finn – Linux on which many web servers run. Klaus Knopper/German – Knoppix Linux variant.
10. Frank Codd/English – relational database model.
11. Michael Widenius/Swede – MySQL on which many web applications run.
12. Kristen Nygaard & Ole-Johan Dahl/Norwegians – object-oriented programming and Simula programming language.
13. Guido van Rossum/Dutch – Python programming language.
14. Lennart Augustsson/Swede – Haskell programming language.
15. Bjarne Stroustrup/Dane – C++ programming language.
17 Geoffrey Hinton/English – artificial intelligence.
18. Jürgen Dethloff and Helmut Göttrup/Germans – chip card used in mobile phones plus credit and debit cards.
19. Karlheinz Brandenburg/German – MP3 format.
Apr 16, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Capitalist Tool Electoral successes have caused conservatives to lose sight of an important question: what is it that we are trying to conserve? By TAC Staff • April 16, 2019Credit: Gage Skidmore | Flickr Editor's Note: This editorial was published in the March/April issue of the magazine.
Bernie Sanders. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Tucker Carlson. If one of those names on a list of examples of ascendant socialism strikes you as out of place, you may have missed weeks of debate on the Right over a reasonable comment made by the popular Fox News host.
"Market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster," Carlson said. "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families isn't worth having." Does this observation make Tucker a socialist? Hardly. As is often the case, TAC founding editor Patrick J. Buchanan was more than a decade ahead of the curve.
"To me, the country comes before the economy; and the economy exists for the people," Buchanan said in a 1998 speech to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations. "I believe in free markets, but I do not worship them. In the proper hierarchy of things, it is the market that must be harnessed to work for man -- and not the other way around."
In practice, conservatives often have worshiped free markets. As John Zmirak argued in these pages in 2003, the need to come up with a universal ideology that could compete with Marxism led some Cold War conservatives to lose the plot. The early neoconservatives and their forebears, he writes, "brought with them vast talents, literary learning, and serious moral concern for universal issues of human rights. But they also carried a strong tendency towards pure abstraction, towards viewing national questions purely in ideological terms."
The end result was they often "defended America bravely during the Cold War -- but they did so not as our homeland, as the particular place where a people and their treasured institutions took root, but rather as the (almost accidental) spot where certain ideas had taken hold."
Similarly, the "fusionist" conception of conservatism propounded by National Review senior editor Frank Meyer sought to use libertarian means to achieve traditionalist ends. Some conservatives have misconstrued that as a decree that libertarian means will necessarily achieve traditionalist ends.
We know that to not be the case. Free markets can be corrosive of other values or priorities that are important to authentic conservatives: family, faith, and community. We see major corporations promoting social and cultural liberalism, social media monopolies -- all privately owned -- de-platforming conservatives and suppressing their ideas, big business and big government working hand in hand against religion and tradition.
"In states such as Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky, countless children are growing up with parents in jail, incapacitated, or underground," writes J.D. Vance in Meyer's publication. "Yes, they live in a country with a higher GDP than a generation ago, and they're undoubtedly able to buy cheaper consumer goods, but to paraphrase Reagan: Are they better off than they were 20 years ago?"
Among conservatives, there has been a course correction. Since the election of Donald Trump, a Republican president who divides conservatives, more people on the Right speak of the United States as a homeland rather than a mere abstraction. The global economy and mass immigration are being subjected to cost-benefit analysis, as champions of the marketplace should have it. There is more of a willingness to contest the idea that what's good for General Motors is good for conservatives -- or America.
Maybe conservatives will overcorrect, putting too much faith in government, even at the local level, at the expense of free markets. But fusionists once understood that liberty and virtue, individualism and tradition, are to some extent in tension. Efforts to manage that balance are necessary but will not always produce a perfect synthesis, a straight line from low marginal tax rates to intact families.
The periodic electoral successes conservatives have enjoyed since the 1980s have caused us to lose sight of an important question: what is it that we are trying to conserve? The search for answers is finally ready for primetime.
Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
akka , says: April 13, 2019 at 12:52 am GMTIt is possible, now that Assange has been arrested, that the American charge against him is relatively minor only in order to encourage the UK to extradite him. Once he is in American custody those charges may well change.
btw Trump suddenly dropping any love for Wikileaks after enthusiastically stating his approval of them over 100 times during the last election is going to cause a lot of damage to his chances of being reelected.
Wikileaks is probably already putting him under the microscope, and there are all the Wikileaks fans to contend with as well.
Bad move Donald, you just sacrificed a bishop to no advantage and placed yourself in danger of checkmate. More people are starting to see your 'veracity' as the facade it is.
Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
Thinker , says: April 16, 2019 at 1:39 pm GMTLook on the bright side, Trump's overt pandering to Israel has disgusted the Europeans so much that Macron is at the lowest point in his popularity as Rothschild's puppet, and there is rising support for the AfD in Germany.
The NYT reported that 40% of Germans now think it's right to blame Jews for Israel's policy in the Mideast, German youth couldn't care less about the holocaust, and Merkel is pivoting to Russia.
It is now (America + Israel) vs. (the rest of the world led by Russia, China, Iran, Syria, with increasing pivot from Germany and India)
Even the rest of the Five Eyes a.k.a. America's lap dogs are casting a wary eye towards this unholy alliance, and avoid outright support for Israel. Netanyahu has let his new found power, i.e. America's muscles, gone to his head. He's digging a grave for himself, turning Israel more and more into a pariah state with each passing day.
I'm guessing chess is not Trump's strong suit, nor any of the Israel Firsters (incl. Pence & Pompeo) hanging around him. They're all letting their new found power go to their collective heads. Things are going to backfire on them sooner or later.
Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
Thinker , says: April 16, 2019 at 1:51 pm GMT@wayfarer "Trump panders to his base at the Republican Jewish Coalition."
The trouble is, the Republican Jewish Coalition was never his base. These people were the biggest Trump haters until he got elected. Now they're just holding their noses to buy power through him.
Meanwhile, the real Trump's base could care less about Israel, and are frankly disgusted with his foreign policy and complete failure on immigration.
Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
Mark Bruzonsky , says: Website April 16, 2019 at 4:39 am GMT"Trump also told the Republican Coalition audience how he came to a decision on recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights."
He should and probably will recognize USA as the colony of Isreal and the Jews, and get it over with.
Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
So newly reelected Israeli monster-in-chief Benjamin Netanyahu has boasted , with a grin, that America's President Donald J. Trump followed through on his proposal to declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a terrorist group. Bibi was smiling because the timing of the move, one day before the Israeli election, strongly suggests it was done to assist him against what had become a very strong opposition challenge. That Trump likely colluded with Netanyahu to blatantly interfere in the election has apparently bothered no one in Israel or in the tame American media.
The gift from Washington came on top of recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, threatening members of the International Criminal Court if they try to prosecute Israel for war crimes, moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, removing the word "occupation" from the State Department's assessments of human rights infringements on the West Bank, eliminating relief funding for Palestinian refugees, leaving the U.N. Human Rights Council because it was too critical of Israel, and looking the other way as Israel declared itself a state only for Jews. Washington also ignored the bombing of hospitals, schools and water treatment infrastructure in Gaza while Israeli army snipers were shooting unarmed demonstrators demanding their freedom.
The labeling of the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group is particularly disturbing as it means that the United States military by virtue of the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) now has a mandate to attack the IRGC wherever it appears, including in Syria or even in the waterway the Straits of Hormuz, where the guard has regular patrols in small boats. It is a de facto declaration of war and it comes on top of a number of deliberate provocations directed against Iran starting with the withdrawal from the nuclear agreement Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) one year ago, which led to the unilateral imposition of harsh sanctions directed against the Iranian economy to bring about a popular uprising as well as regularly repeated false claims that Iran is the leading "state sponsor of terrorism." Next month, the U.S. will begin enforcing a unilaterally declared worldwide sanction on any and all Iranian oil sales.
Netanyahu pledged to annex Israeli settlements on the largely Palestinian West Bank if elected, which is undoubtedly a move cleared in advance with the Trump team of foreign policy sociopaths as it de facto puts an end to any delusional speculation over a possible two-state negotiated solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict. It will also lead to a massive upsurge in violence as the Palestinians object, which is neither a concern for the White House or Netanyahu, as they are assuming that it can be suppressed by overwhelming force directed against an almost completely unarmed civilian population.
And Trump will no doubt expect Bibi to return the favor when he is running for reelection in 2020 by encouraging American Jews who care about Israel to support the Republicans. Trump is focused on his own electability and is absolutely shameless about his betrayal of actual American interests in the Middle East, possibly because he has no inkling of the actual damage that he is doing. His speech last week before the casino multi-billionaire Sheldon Adelson-hosted Jewish Republican Coalition Annual Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas was a disgusting pander to a group that includes many key players who have little or no concern for what happens to the United States as long as Israel flourishes. The only good news that came out of the meeting was that Adelson himself appears to be "gravely ill."
Trump at times appeared to be speaking to what he thought was a group of Israelis, referring to "your prime minister" when mentioning Benjamin Netanyahu and several times describing Israel as "yours," suggesting that deep down he understands that many American Jews are more loyal to Israel than to the United States. At another point, Trump declared that "The Democrats have even allowed the terrible scourge of anti-Semitism to take root in their party and their country," apparently part of a White House plan to keep playing that card to turn American Jews and their political donations in a Republican direction before elections in 2020.
Trump also told the Republican Coalition audience how he came to a decision on recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights. He described how "he'd been speaking to his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, as well as U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman and his Israel adviser, Jason Greenblatt, over the phone about an unrelated issue when he suddenly brought up the Golan Heights." Trump shared how "I said, 'Fellows, do me a favor. Give me a little history, quick. Want to go fast. I got a lot of things I'm working on: China, North Korea. Give me a quickie.' After the advisers filled him in, Trump said he asked Friedman: 'David, what do you think about me recognizing Israel and the Golan Heights?' Friedman, apparently surprised by the suggestion, reacted like a 'wonderful, beautiful baby,' Trump said, and asked if he would 'really do that.' 'Yeah, I think I'm doing it right now. Let's write something up,' Trump said he responded, prompting applause and cheers from his audience in Las Vegas. 'We make fast decisions and we make good decisions.'"
Putting the Trump story about the Golan Heights in some kind of context is not really that difficult. He wanted an answer to please Netanyahu and he went to three Orthodox Jews who support the illegal Israeli settlements and have also individually contributed financially to their growth so he was expecting the response that he got. That he was establishing a precedent by his moves on Jerusalem and the Golan apparently did not occur to him as his administration prides itself on having a foreign policy vision that extends no longer than the beginning of next week, which is why he hired Mike Pompeo, John Bolton and Elliott Abrams. And then there is always the doleful Stephen Miller lurking in the background as well as the three musketeers of Kushner, Greenblatt and Friedman for really serious questions relating to why acceding to the wishes of parasite state Israel should continue to be the apparent number one priority of the government of the United States.
Donald Trump neither poses nor answers the question why he feels compelled to fulfill all of the campaign pledges he made to the Jewish community, which by and large did not vote for him, while failing to carry out the promises made to those who actually did support him . The absurd Jewish Republican Coalition narrative about how Trump gave Israel the Golan Heights should have resulted in a flood of opprobrium in the U.S. media about his profound ignorance and fundamental hypocrisy, but there was largely silence.
The nonsense going on in Las Vegas in front of a lot of fat cats who regard the United States as little more than a cash cow that they control as well as in the White House itself unfortunately has real world consequences. America is being led by the nose by a well-entrenched and powerful group of Israeli loyalists and this will not end well. The U.S. doesn't even have a Middle Eastern foreign policy anymore – it has a "to do" list handed by Netanyahu to whomever is president. The fact that the current man in charge in Washington is either so ignorant or so deluded as to allow the process to escalate until the U.S. is drawn into yet more catastrophic wars is beyond regrettable. U.S. foreign policy should not depend on the perceptions of Kushner and company. It should be based on real, tangible American interests, not those of Israel. Someone should explain that to the president.
Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anon  Disclaimer , says: April 16, 2019 at 2:59 am GMTMark Bruzonsky , says: Website April 16, 2019 at 4:21 am GMT
The gift from Washington came on top of recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, threatening members of the International Criminal Court if they try to prosecute Israel for war crimes
It reminds me of the following agreements concluded during the Bush era:
US Bilateral Exemption Agreements
"The Bush Administration is actively opposed to the International Criminal Court. Its insistence on placing all Americans above international law risks undermining the ICC in its earliest and most fragile years. Currently, the State Department is pushing individual countries to conclude bilateral agreements with the US, exempting all Americans (and even some non-nationals) from accountability for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes . These proposed agreements, in the form requested by the US government, are illegal under the Rome Statute and are not required by US law.
– see http://www.iccnow.org/html/aiusimpunity200208.pdf
– http://www.iccnow.org/html/ciccart98memo20020823.pdf .
· The European Union has concluded that "Entering into US agreements – as presently drafted would be inconsistent with ICC States Parties' obligations with regard to the ICC Statute and may be inconsistent with other international agreements."
To bring the US proposal back within the legal scope of Article 98(2), the EU would require four modifications:
· No impunity: A guarantee that the US would investigate and potentially prosecute the accused in its domestic courts.
· No reciprocity: Nationals of ICC States Parties must be excluded from coverage.
· No universal scope: These agreements can only cover persons officially sent on government business by a State.
· Ratification: The agreement must be approved according to the constitutional procedures of each individual state.
US Bilateral Exemption Agreements
http://www.iccnow.org/documents/FS-WFA-Art98Impunity.pdfDoes any election matter? Does who is elected matter at all ? Is it election or selection by TPTB?
The monster has total control of the West and beyond for ages, and it will not end well.
About the book
Soon after WWII, U.S. statesman Dean Acheson warned that creating Israel on land already inhabited by Palestinians would "imperil" both American and all Western interests in the region. Despite warnings such as this one, President Truman supported establishing a Jewish state on land primarily inhabited by Muslims and Christians.
Few Americans today are aware that U.S. support enabled the creation of modern Israel. Even fewer know that U.S. politicians pushed this policy over the forceful objections of top diplomatic and military experts.
As this work demonstrates, these politicians were bombarded by a massive pro-Israel lobbying effort that ranged from well-funded and very public Zionist organizations to an "elitist secret society" whose members included Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis.
Against Our Better Judgment brings together meticulously sourced evidence to illuminate a reality that differs starkly from the prevailing narrative. It provides a clear view of the history that is key to understanding one of the most critically important political issues of our day.
Interview with Scholar and Journalist, Mark Bruzonsky. Mark Bruzonsky, a Jewish, American Scholar and Journalist, has been a key member behind the scenes of the Israeli Palestinian peace initiative in the 1980s, meeting with Former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and with Palestinian officials. In this exclusive interview with Press TV's Autograph, Mr. Bruzonsky talks about the challenges and missed opportunities he witnessed first-hand, and how Zionist groups infiltrated American politics, US institutions and organizations. He goes further to explain the specific time and day Obama sold out to the AIPAC lobby, and how President Obama would never dare oppose the stronghold of the Zionist, Israeli Lobby in the US.
Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
Escher , says: April 13, 2019 at 1:01 pm GMT@The Alarmist Trump doesn't strike me as someone with principles or opinions of his own. He will say and do whatever his base of "deplorables" likes to hear and whatever helps him get what he wants.
Apr 15, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Return of the Just April 14, 2019 at 10:46 amYou're right. I see people like Robert Kagan's opinions being respectfully asked on foreign affairs, John Bolton and Elliott Abrams being hired to direct our foreign policy.Ken Zaretzke , says: April 14, 2019 at 3:38 pm
The incompetent, the corrupt, the treacherous -- not just walking free, but with reputations intact, fat bank balances, and flourishing careers. Now they're angling for war with Iran.
It's preposterous and sickening. And it can't be allowed to stand, so you can't just stand off and say you're "wrecked". Keep fighting, as you're doing. I will fight it until I can't fight anymore.Fact-bedeviled JohnT: “McCain was a problem for this nation? Sweet Jesus! There quite simply is no rational adult on the planet who buys that nonsense.”Joe Dokes , says: April 14, 2019 at 11:55 pm
McCain had close ties to the military-industrial complex. He was a backer of post-Cold War NATO. He was a neoconservative darling. He never heard of a dictator that he didn’t want to depose with boots on the ground, with the possible exception of various Saudi dictators (the oil-weaponry-torture nexus). He promoted pseudo-accountability of government in campaign finance but blocked accountability for the Pentagon and State Department when he co-chaired the United States Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs with John Kerry.
And, perhaps partly because of the head trauma and/or emotional wounds he suffered at the hands of Chinese-backed Commies, it’s plausible to think he was regarded by the willy-nilly plotters of the deep state as a manipulable, and thus useful, conduit of domestic subversion via the bogus Steele dossier.
Unfortunately, the episode that most defines McCain’s life is the very last one–his being a pawn of M-16 in the the deep state’s years-long attempt to derail the presidency of Donald Trump.Measuring success means determining goals. The goals of most wars is to enrich the people in charge. So, by this metric, the war was a success. The rest of it is just props and propaganda.Andrew Stergiou , says: April 15, 2019 at 5:11 am“Pyrrhic Victory” look it up the Roman Empire Won but lost if the US is invaded and the government does not defend it I would like to start my own defense: But the knee jerk politics that stirs America’s cannon fodder citizens is a painful reminder of a history of jingoist lies where at times some left and right agree at least for a short moment before the rich and powerful push their weight to have their way.Peter Smith , says: April 15, 2019 at 5:13 am
If All politics is relative Right wingers are the the left of what? Nuclear destruction? or Slavery?My goodness! I am also a veteran, but of the Vietnam war, and my father was a career officer from 1939-1961 as a paratrooper first, and later as an intelligence officer. He argued vigorously against our Vietnam involvement, and was cashiered for his intellectual honesty. A combat veteran’s views are meaningless when the political winds are blowing.Fayez Abedaziz , says: April 12, 2019 at 12:25 am
Simply put, we have killed thousands of our kids in service of the colonial empires left to us by the British and the French after WWII. More practice at incompetent strategies and tactics does not make us more competent–it merely extends the blunders and pain; viz the French for two CENTURIES against the Britsh during the battles over Normandy while the Planagenet kings worked to hold their viking-won inheritance.
At least then, kings risked their own lives. Generals fight because the LIKE it…a lot. Prior failures are only practice to the, regardless of the cost in lives of the kids we tried to raise well, and who were slaughtered for no gain.
We don’t need the empire, and we certainly shouldn’t fight for the corrupt businessmen who have profited from the never-ending conflicts. Let’s spend those trillions at home, so long as we also police our government to keep both Democrat and Republican politicians from feathering their own nests. Term limits and prosecutions will help us, but only if we are vigilant. Wars distract our attention while corruption is rampant at home.Thanks, I appreciate this article.kingdomofgodflag.info , says: April 12, 2019 at 8:19 am
I’ll make two points, my own opinion:
it’s the same story as Vietnam, the bull about how the politicians or anti-war demonstrators tied the military ‘hand,’ blah, blah.
Nonsense. Invading a nation and slaughtering people in their towns, houses…gee…what’s wrong with that, eh?
The average American has a primitive mind when it comes to such matters.
Second point I have, is that both Bushes, Clinton, Obama, Hillary and Trump should be dragged to a world court, given a fair trial and locked up for life with hard labor… oh, and Cheney too,for all those families, in half a dozen nations, especially the children overseas that suffered/died from these creeps.
And, the families of dead or maimed American troops should be apologized to and compensation paid by several million dollars to each.
The people I named above make me sick, because I have feelings and a conscience. Can you dig?Though there is a worldly justification for killing to obtain or maintain freedoms, there is no Christian justification for it. Which suggests that Christians who die while doing it, die in vain.Mark Thomason , says: April 12, 2019 at 10:43 am
America’s wars are prosecuted by a military that includes Christians. They seldom question the killing their country orders them to do, as though the will of the government is that of the will of God. Is that a safe assumption for them to make? German Christian soldiers made that assumption regarding their government in 1939. Who was there to tell them otherwise? The Church failed, including the chaplains. (The Southern Baptist Convention declared the invasion of Iraq a just war in 2003.) These wars need to be assessed by Just War criteria. Christian soldiers need to know when to exercise selective conscientious objection, for it is better to go to prison than to kill without God’s approval. If Just War theory is irrelevant, the default response is Christian Pacifism.“has gone un-investigated, unheard of, or unpunished.”Stephen J. , says: April 12, 2019 at 10:51 am
The one guy who did tell us has just been arrested for doing exactly that.
The arrest is cheered by those who fantasize about Russiagate, but it is expressly FOR telling us about these things.“Iraq Wrecked” a lot of innocent people. Millions are dead, cities reduced to rubble, homes and businesses destroyed and it was all a damned lie. And the perpetrators are Free.the the , says: April 12, 2019 at 11:53 am
Now there is sectarian violence too, where once there was a semblance of harmony amongst various denominations. See article link below.
“Are The Christians Slaughtered in The Middle East Victims of the Actions of Western War Criminals and Their Terrorist Supporting NATO ‘Allies’”?
http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2017/04/are-christians-slaughtered-in-middle.htmlWe are a globalist open borders and mass immigration nation. We stand for nothing. To serve in this nation’s military is very stupid. You aren’t defending anything. You are just a tool of globalism. Again, we don’t secure our borders. That’s a very big give away to what’s going on.the the , says: April 12, 2019 at 11:57 amIf our nation’s military really was an American military concerned with our security we would have secured our border after 9/11, reduced all immigration, deported ALL muslims, and that’s it. Just secure the borders and expel Muslims! That’s all we needed to do.Kouros , says: April 12, 2019 at 12:02 pm
Instead we killed so many people and imported many many more Muslims! And we call this compassion. Its insane.Maybe if Talibans get back in power they will destroy the opium. You know, like they did when they were first in power…. It seems that wherever Americans get involved, drugs follow…JohnT , says: April 12, 2019 at 2:03 pm“Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” In Eisenhower’s televised farewell address January 17, 1961.Ken Zaretzke , says: April 12, 2019 at 2:10 pm
Rational thought would lead one to believe such words from a fellow with his credentials would have had a useful effect. But it didn’t. In point of fact, in the likes of Eric Prince and his supporters the notion of war as a profit center is quite literally a family affair.The military-industrial complex couldn’t accomplish this all by its lonesome self. The deep state was doing its thing. The two things overlap but aren’t the same. The deep state is not only or mainly about business profits, but about power. Power in the world means empire, which requires a military-industrial complex but is not reducible to it.
We now have a rare opportunity to unveil the workings of the deep state, but it will require a special counsel, and a lengthy written report, on the doings in the 2016 election of the FBI (Comey, Strzok, et. al.), and collaterally the CIA and DIA (Brennan and Clapper). Also the British government (M-16), John McCain, and maybe Bush and Obama judges on the FISA courts.
Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
Saoirse , says: April 13, 2019 at 1:39 am GMThttp://raymcgovern.com/
Ray on Why the Deep State Hates Julian Assange
Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
jacques sheete , says: April 16, 2019 at 1:03 pm GMT@Germanicus
This is reminiscent Supreme Soviet.
Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
Mark Bruzonsky , says: Website April 16, 2019 at 5:22 am GMTTo understand how such total control is done, one has to look at the role of banking serfdom, led by the FED and the central bankers, and media brainwash, run by Hollywood and mainstream media.
In terms of banking, here is a great explanation, including The City of London that owns UK:
Prof. Werner brilliantly explains how the banking system and financial sector really work.
The workings of the monetary system have been a mystery throughout globalisation, which is why we have had so many financial crises.
The central banks were charged with bringing financial stability, but they didn't understand it either, so they didn't stand a chance.
The BIS is just as bad and Richard Werner points out the Basel regulations are based on the assumption that banks are financial intermediaries, but they are not.
This is RT, but this is the most concise explanation available on YouTube.
Professor Werner, DPhil (Oxon) has been Professor of International Banking at the University of Southampton for a decade.
The central banks even know banks are not financial intermediaries.
The central banks know a bit, but obviously not enough.
Financial stability is a lot easier than it looks when you know what you are doing.
Richard Werner was in Japan in the 1980s when it went from a very stable economy and turned into a debt fuelled monster. He worked out what happened and had all the clues necessary to point him in the right direction.
The three types of bank lending:
1) Into business and industry – gives a good return in GDP and doesn't lead to inflation
2) To consumers – leads to consumer price inflation
3) Into real estate and financial speculation – leads to asset price inflation and gives a poor return in GDP and shows up in the graph of debt-to-GDP
Bank credit has been used for all the wrong things during globalisation and the bankers have just been inflating asset prices, not creating real wealth as measured by GDP and this has caused nearly all the financial crises.
1929 and 2008 stick out like sore thumbs when you know where to look, but the FED didn't.
Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
jacques sheete , says: April 16, 2019 at 12:22 pm GMT@ThommCarroll Price , says: April 16, 2019 at 12:24 pm GMT
i) If gentiles are so smart, why are Jews, whom gentiles outnumber 40:1 across the combined Western World, able to control everything?
If you're so smart, then what makes you think it has much to do with smarts? Violence may trump intelligence in the likely event you haven't figured that out.@ThommIlyana_Rozumova , says: April 16, 2019 at 1:12 pm GMT
If gentiles are so smart, why are Jews, whom gentiles outnumber 40:1 across the combined Western World, able to control everything?
It's the Benjamins baby.@jacques sheete Please do not try to teach dishonest person about honesty. Dishonest person know about honesty. He only did figure out that being dishonest is more rewarding than being honest.Justsaying , says: April 16, 2019 at 1:19 pm GMT@Thomm Posing a question without giving it a thought first will backfire. The same question could be asked of Whites in the Western world: if they are so smart, why are >99% of them totally controlled by <1%? It is that <1% that is the dog wagged by the Zio-tail.
Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
Johnny Walker Read , says: April 16, 2019 at 3:17 pm GMTTrump is a weak and easily controlled puppet, and his puppet masters are Bibi and Javanka.DESERT FOX , says: April 16, 2019 at 3:35 pm GMT
http://aristocratsofthesoul.com/why-trumps-maga-agenda-is-failing-a-review-of-kushner-inc/@Johnny Walker Read In my opinion Kushner is mossad !
Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
Even people on the fringe of the Jewish Israeli society, the Russian Israelis, were all for Jewish nationalism and against socialism and Arabs. This is really silly. They are hardly considered Jews, to begin with. The Ministry of Interior plans to check them for DNA and whether they are Jewish at all.
The Russians are weak economically, and their participation in the national discourse is minimal. There is not a single Russian on the national Israeli TV channels.
They have a party of their own, the party of Mr Lieberman. However, the main demands of Mr Lieberman are (1) to bring the death penalty upon Arabs, (2) to bomb and invade Gaza, and (3) to make Mr Lieberman the Minister of Defence. And the Russian Israelis voted for him – or for Mr Netanyahu – anyway.
Israelis of Oriental origins who inhabit poor peripheral towns are similar to Russians. They also vote for Netanyahu and for his nationalist right-wing party, Likud. They are proud they vote against the Ashkenazi Blue-and-White Party, though all leaders of Likud are Ashkenazi Jews.
Is there a chance to change things in Israel, with such a Parliament? Well, yes. A military defeat can change minds, like it did in many countries many times. Otherwise, it is hard to imagine what would cause Netanyahu to change his course in view of the US support, Saudi friendship, Syrian weakness, and good election results. He is not for resolving conflicts, he is for managing conflict, and he is doing that well.
Russia's Putin plays ball with Bibi, too. Perhaps he does not like Bibi's relentless attacks on Syria, perhaps his heart goes for Palestinians, but he is a cautious statesman, and he does not want to antagonise the man who can mobilise American Jews into an action against Russia. There are enough American Jews against Russia and against Putin as things are; Putin does not need more. Besides, the Israeli opposition is not keen on Putin; they are lining up with the US Democrats and with Brussels Europeans. They called for direct intervention in Syria on the side of 'moderate rebels', while Netanyahu had kept Israel out of Syrian War and did not obstruct Putin's Syrian campaign.
Will Netanyahu annex the whole of the West Bank, as he said during the election campaign? Probably not; as nothing will be obtained by such an act but making apartheid visible. Instead, he is likely to annex every place where Jews live in the West Bank, turning the territory of Palestine into a slug-eaten cabbage leaf. He also may annex Area C, a bigger part of Palestinian territory presently under Israeli military control and Palestinian civilian administration. The Jewish settlers demand it, for, they say, Palestinians damage the contiguity of the Jewish settlements.
The Jewish religious parties came out stronger in the new parliament. They also enjoy a very high natural growth with families of 5 to 8 children average. They are not eager to compete on the labour market, and prefer to be paid for studying Talmud and having kids. While it may annoy some Israelis, in my view, it is an internal issue of little interest or importance for anybody outside the Jewish milieu.
Is there a possible solution for the conflict? It is definitely not the Deal of the Century of Mr Jared Kushner, some yet undefined arrangement usually done with smoke and mirrors. Probably One Democratic State, where Jews and non-Jews are equal, is the only possible solution, as the place is too small to divide but large enough to share.
Apr 15, 2019 | www.unz.com
neutral , says: April 11, 2019 at 11:37 am GMTThis will at least wake up those morons at places like Breitbart that Trump is nothing more than a neocon swine. I mean how much more evidence do they need to see that he is invite the world, invade the world.Colin Wright , says: Website April 13, 2019 at 5:18 am GMT
On top of that mass censorship being unleashed under Trump, how can anyone still be conned into supporting him.@neutral 'On top of that mass censorship being unleashed under Trump, how can anyone still be conned into supporting him 'Liberty Mike , says: April 13, 2019 at 1:56 pm GMT
We'll be 'conned' the same way as always; what's the alternative?@Colin Wright For one, its not reposing any confidence, faith, and trust in DJT. He is a charlatan who appeals to low IQ whites.Cagey Beast , says: April 13, 2019 at 2:17 pm GMT
Why do so many intelligent people delude themselves into rationalizing their support and vote for Trump upon the basis of the lesser of two evils loser mindset?
- Look at the labor participation numbers. Worse under Trump than under the Kenyan mulatto.
- Look at the rate the debt is increasing. Look at the total increase in the debt since the serial adulterer took office.
- Look at the surge in immigration under this congenital prevaricator.
- Look at the failure to build a wall.
- Look at his Hebrew obsequiousness.@Liberty MikeLiberty Mike , says: April 15, 2019 at 1:36 pm GMT
One doesn't have to be stupid to support Trump but it helps. The same can be said for his prominent enemies though. To unconditionally and faithfully support Trump, Hillary Clinton, or Nancy Pelosi, one would have to be stupid or totally controlled by one's emotions.
That being said, a smart person could still support Trump. A smart person could recognize Trump finishing his term as the least bad option. In 2020, this same smart person might recognize that, amazingly, a Trump second term had become the least bad option. People can scream and throw around insults or they can present an alternative to Trump.@Cagey Beast
Wouldn't a smart person recognize that his vote does not matter?
Wouldn't a smart person recognize that Stalin's maxim, "its not who votes that counts, its who counts the votes" controls?
Wouldn't a smart person recognize that falling for a grifter who cares not about Heritage America and who dances to Bibi's tune is never a good option?
Cagey Beast , says: April 15, 2019 at 2:14 pm GMT@Liberty Mike Wouldn't a smart person recognize that his vote does not matter?
You and I are voting right now just by publicly engaging in politics. Voting on election day is worth it in the same way posting comments online is worth it.
Wouldn't a smart person recognize that falling for a grifter who cares not about Heritage America and who dances to Bibi's tune is never a good option?
Yes. But during the election, Trump was the least bad option who sometimes seemed like a good option. That's still true today.
Apr 15, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
John, says: April 13, 2019 at 3:18 amWith all due respect, Iraq didn't wreck you. The US wrecked Iraq, and the US wrecked you.Uncle Billy , says: April 13, 2019 at 8:00 amThe invasion of Iraq was a mistake of historic dimensions. The "weapons of mass destruction" excuse was a lie. When I see George W. Bush smiling on TV, I want to puke. Likewise, I cannot view an image of Lyndon Johnson without revulsion. They are both responsible for much death and suffering. I have heard people try to excuse both of them, with the statement that "they meant well." The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.JohnT , says: April 13, 2019 at 8:06 am@Ken Zaretzke.Bob , says: April 13, 2019 at 9:57 am
For Christ's sake! The "Deep State"!?! With a well documented pathological liar and a seemingly endless supply of professional sycophants in our government selling our nation to the highest bidder in plain sight why in the world do you folks continue to need grand delusions of demons in the woodwork???
I have no reason to believe Comey, Clapper and Brennen have served this nation with honor and integrity in dealing with more responsibility than that required to sit safely at home and blabber about as the victim of some grand conspiracy.The war In Afghanistan would have ended 15 years ago if the sons of members of Congress were being drafted. "It's easy to send someone else's sons to war."Ken Zaretzke , says: April 13, 2019 at 4:43 pm@JohnT,Sarto , says: April 13, 2019 at 5:02 pm
You left out the phrase "anything other than" following the phrase "have served this nation with" in your last sentence.
You forgot to express your confidence in John McCain. Good luck with that. McCain's top aide flew to a foreign city to receive the Steele dossier, gave it to the senator, who then gave it to the FBI–as per Steele's script, I assume. It's another reason why we need a special counsel to look into the FBI's role. A special counsel can hardly omit the McCain piece of the puzzle, whereas a regular prosecutor can easily ignore it and cover McCain's keister.
To the extent that McCain comes out looking bad in a special counsel's report, Trump haters like you will no longer be able to talk about Trump's supposed terrible character in dissing noble John McCain, and holding it up as Exhibit A of why Trump shouldn't be president.
More than anything else concerning the FBI's election shenanigans, the McCain-Steele nexus–specifically the report written about it by a special counsel–could expose the deep state's modus operandi. Not even an inspector general's report can do that as well as a special counsel's report.Remember, 75% of Americans wanted Bush to invade Iraq. War is the force that gives America its meaning.Lee Green , says: April 13, 2019 at 8:11 pmYour book will go out of print. In 10 to 20 years it will be reprinted and sell well. It takes that long for people to remove their heads from their nether regions and be willing to contemplate the errors made.George Hoffman , says: April 13, 2019 at 10:09 pm
The real irony is that we know better. There is a vast body of literature on major cognitive errors, and the whole catalog is on display in the debacle described. Our failures of statecraft are quite analogous to the ongoing errors in my field (medicine), well described in "To Err is Human." We've made a lot of progress in medicine in addressing them, mostly though systems engineering. That's because the tendency toward these errors is a result of how human brains are wired, and if you have a human brain, no matter how smart or well educated you are, you have those tendencies. The key is to create systems that catch the errors.
Now we have to figure out how to create systems to constrain politicians, and especially the military-industrial-Congressional complex (Eisenhower's actual original term), from making those errors.I commiserate with your disillusioning journey because I went through a similar odyssey into self-awareness like yours many decades ago. I served as a medical corpsman in Vietnam (31 May 1967 – 31 May 1968). It's all been downhill from there. A gradual slide down the slippy slope of history in our decline as a nation. There's not much one can really do. But at my age, I will be long gone when our country hits burns and crashes as it hits bottom.Talltale , says: April 13, 2019 at 10:11 pm"Iraq wrecked me, even though I somehow didn't expect it to. I was foolish to think that traveling to the other side of the world and spending a year seeing death and poverty, bearing witness to a war, learning how to be mortared at night and deciding it didn't matter that I might die before breakfast, wasn't going to change me. Of the military units I was embedded in, three soldiers did not come home; all died at their own hands."Craig Morris , says: April 14, 2019 at 1:59 am
Enough books and movies about those poor damaged American boys yet?
The navel gazing never stops.
Here is a thought; the unprovoked American aggression in Iraq wrecked Iraq! There is no comparison between the millions of dead, dispossessed, displaced, terrorized and radicalized Iraqis and a few thousand PTSD cases with the richest government in the world on their side.
Get over yourselves! Honestly! It's like a pimp complaining about bruised knuckles on account of hitting a woman too many times!The title of your book sounds like "Invading Iraq was a Good Idea but the Implementation was Bad and I Couldn't Fix It". Did you really think we could invade a sovereign country based on lies and win "hearts and minds" if we just did it the right way? Not possible.
Apr 15, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Adam E, says: April 14, 2019 at 8:50 amJust a cynical take, but implying that there are lessons to be learned from previous or present wars that should keep us from engaging in future wars presumes that the goal is to, where possible, actually avoid war.WJ , says: April 14, 2019 at 9:13 am
It also suggests a convenient, simplistic narrative that the military/DOD is incompetent and stupid, and unable to learn from previous engagements.
I wonder if the Middle East is nothing more than a live-fire laboratory for the military; if it seems as though there is no plan, no objective, no victory for these engagements, maybe that is because the only objectives and victory are to provide practical war training for our troops, test equipment and tactics, keep defense contractors employed and the Pentagon's budget inflated, and to project power and provide a convenient excuse for proximity to our 'real' enemies.
Draping these actions under a pretense of spreading 'peace and democracy' is just a pretense and, as we can see by our track record, has nothing to do with actual victory. "Victory", depending on who you ask, is measured in years of engagement and dollars spent, period.
And because it is primarily taking place in the far away and poorly understood Middle East, it is never going to be enough of an issue with voters for politicians to have to seriously contend with.This person is a crybaby. At 49 he went to a war that most rational people knew already, was an immoral, illegal waste of people, time and money. But now he wants to whine about PTSD. I have the same opinion about most soldiers who fought there also. Nobody made them volunteer for that junk war so quit whining when things get a little hard
Apr 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Paul Damascene , Apr 14, 2019 10:19:30 AM | link
You ask a question about European political class's perception and defence of European interests that is as perplexing here as it is in regard to Libya and Syria, to name just these. There was at least some coherent defence of international law and principle during Bush II's lead up to the Iraq war, but Europe's defence of law and Europe's common interests seem to have ceased at some point since then.
pretzelattack , Apr 14, 2019 10:31:57 AM | linkso many poodles, but there can only be one alpha poodle and that's the uk so far.Babyl-on , Apr 14, 2019 10:43:53 AM | link"Why are they playing this game?"
Because, like the US European government is a tool of the Global Power Elite, it is nothing more than pantomime. The West is fully owned and operated by the global elite.
In books going back to C Wright Mills' The Power Elite in 1956 to SUPERCLASS by David Rothkopf, and GIANTS: The Global Power Elite by Peter Phillips clearly outline just how powerful the Global Elites really are.
In SUPERCLASS we learn that this class of people actually own and control the three largest Western religions and many of the secondary ones - they all preach obedience to authority as paramount. They also own the drugs trade around the world. 95% of the world supply of opium comes out of Afghanistan under the watchful eye of the Elite through use of the US military.
There is one and only one Western empire - that of the Global Elites.
85% of the valuable assets in the world are controlled by the Global Elites.
There is no offsetting force against them, there simply does not exist today a force capable of challenging their ownership of the world.
And just as an aside to any historians out there, Thomas Piketty's book Capital in the Twenty-first Century shows how a critical mass of capital was had formed 500 years ago and has grown consistently at a rate greater than the general economy ever sense. He showed that before, during and after the French Revolution and later the US "revolution" the core capital of the west made profits. These revolutions, like government today, were pantomimes whilew the real power profited from the slaughter. The Elite prosper from war that is why there has been continual war and slaughter on their behalf sinse August 6, 1945. The nuclear weapons belong to them.
May 03, 2017 | www.unz.com
2) Trucklers – (LBJ) lower class White Americans who gain wealth and power by championing non White, minority causes just because it's a path to power, pleasing the elites who would otherwise dismiss them as hicks.
3) Pussyfooters (Bush Sr. Country Club Conservatives) White Americans who prefer their own safe life, don't hate their own people but rarely defend them – they don't like trouble, they're pussies. Alt Right has given them a new word "Cuckservatives".
4) Old Believers (Ron Paul, Pat Robertson) Sincere old guys who wish things could go back to the way things used to be when some systems supposedly worked for us when we were 90% White European American, before the Great Society, New Deal, feminism, etc
5) Proditors – (John Brown, Jane Fonda, SDS)
These are the forms of White traditional British oriented American traitors, not racial or ethnic groups with historic envy, hatreds of our people.
Do you have links to other Wilmot Robertson sites?Svigor , December 2, 2016 at 3:19 am GMTI really can't emphasize #2 strongly enough. The term "fog of war" is an apt one. People in a war generally don't know much at all about what's going on, at the time. They're lucky if they ever do. But in every single orthodox eye-witness account I've ever read, the storytellers know exactly what was going on, and why . Even when they shouldn't. They set off my skeptic alarms left and right.
Read some of the accounts critically, and see for yourself. They're mostly "everybody knows," "it is known," type stuff. Not credible at all. These are the bricks the orthodox narrative is made of.
Apr 17, 2017 | www.unz.com
Ethno-religious (ER) beliefs and practices have been harmless when individuals or groups linked to those practices have limited influence over the state and economy. In contrast, when such groups exercise a disproportionately powerful influence over the state and economy, they dominate and exploit majorities while forming closed self-replicating networks.
Examples of powerful ethno-centric regimes in the 1930's are well known for their brutality and devastating consequences. These include the white Christians in the US, Germany and the European colonial settlement regimes in Rhodesia, South Africa, India and Indonesia, as well as the Japanese imperialists in Asia.
In the post-colonial or neo-colonial era, ethno-centrism has taken the form of virulent anti-Islamic hysteria resulting in predatory Western regimes embarking on wars and military occupations in the Middle East.
The rise of Judeo-centrism, as an economic and political force, occurred in the last half of the 20th century. The Jewish-Zionist seizure, occupation and ethnic cleansing of historic Palestine and their rising economic and political influence within the United States has created a formidable power bloc with significant implications for world peace.
The rise of Jewish ethnocentrism (JE) has confounded its proponents as well as its adversaries; Zionists and anti-Semites alike are surprised by the scope and depth of JE.
Advocates and adversaries, of all persuasions, conflate the power of what they call 'the Jews', for their own purposes. Advocates find proof of 'Jewish genius' in every prestigious position and attribute it to their own unique culture, heredity and scholarship, rather than the result of a greater social-cultural context. The anti-Semites, for their part, attribute all the world's nefarious dealings and diabolic plots to 'the Jews'. This creates a strange duality of illusions about the exceptionalism of a minority group.
In this paper I will focus on demystifying the myths buttressing the power of contemporary Judeo-centric ideology, belief and organizational influence. There is little point in focusing on anti-Semitism, which has no impact on the economy and the exercise of state power with the possible exception of Saudi Arabia. Even the Saudi Monarchy's occasional outbursts against Israel do not inhibit it from engaging in large-scale financial transactions with the Jewish banking elite on Wall Street and City of London and from forming covert alliances with Israeli intelligence in order to overthrow secular pro-Palestinian Arab regimes – as has happened in Libya, Iraq and Syria. They have both benefited from the massive ethnic cleansing of the highly educated minority Christian populations of secular Iraq and Syria.
Fake Anti-Semitism: Operational Weapon of the Ethno-Centric Jews
Fake anti-Semitism is most recently seen in the launching of series of anti-Semitic 'threats' by ethno-centric Jews to create hysteria, serves many purposes following the recent rise of populism in Europe and the election of the American President Donald Trump who had promised to withdraw the US from wars in the Middle East. First, it secures widespread support from North American and European regimes, especially when Israel is criticized throughout the world and at the United Nations for its war crimes in occupied Palestine. Widespread fake anti-Semitic attacks divert attention to Judeo-ethno centrists and validate their claims to be the first among the history's victims. Second, widely publicized 'fake' acts of anti-Semitism arouse the ethnocentric foot soldiers and increase rich donor contributions to the illegal Jewish settlements and the Israeli military. Third, 'fake anti-Semitism' is used to threaten, repress and outlaw any organizations and individuals who criticize Israel and the influence of Jewish ethnocentric organizations in their home countries.
How many 'anti-Semitic' acts are staged is uncertain: On March 23, 2017, an Israeli-American man was arrested in Israel for sending hundreds of fake anti-Semitic threats to Jewish institutions and schools in four European countries and nine US states. Such threats led to the emergency grounding of two US airlines and the panicked evacuation of countless schools and cultural centers. This man used a sophisticated system of cloaking accounts to appear to originate in other countries. Despite his high skills at cyber-terrorism, Israeli authorities preposterously described him as a 'teenager with a learning disability'. The Israeli-American cyber-terrorist's arrest made the 'back-pages' news in the US for one day while his (and others') fake threats continued to make international headlines for weeks.
These scores of fake anti-Semitic bomb threats were cited by the major ethnocentric leaders in the US to pressure the US President and hundreds of Congressional leaders, University Presidents, etc. to mindlessly echo their clamor for greater police state investigations against critics of Israel and to offer special 'protection' for potential 'Jewish victims'. Moves to outlaw criticism of Israel as 'anti-Semitism' and a 'hate crime' increased.
Not surprisingly the leading Jewish organizations never backed down or called on the US government to investigate the source of the fake anti-Semitic threats: that is Israeli-American Zionists, who carry both nations' passports and can enter and exit with total ease and enjoy immunity from extradition.
It is almost certain that the US FBI had identified the perpetrator of these acts as they uncovered the sophisticated operation based in Israel. The FBI would have demanded Israeli police arrest 'the culprit' and shut down the operation. Israeli police staged their own 'fake' investigation and concluded that the complex cloaked cyber operations 'were the work of a shy nineteen year old with dyslexia' – clearly another example of the Jewish genius.
It is more likely that the hundreds of false-anti-Semitic threats were part of an Israeli state operation identified by the FBI who 'diplomatically' pressured Tel Aviv to cut out the monkey business. The news report of the lone-wolf teenager in Israel allowed the Israeli intelligence to cover-up their role. Once the Israelis passed off the unbelievable tale of a brilliant, if troubled, young 'lone wolf', the entire US mass media buried the story forever. In due time the so-called perpetrator will be released, amply rewarded and his identity re-cycled. In the meantime the US government, as well as several European governments, was forced to allocate tens of millions of dollars to provide extra security to Jewish institutions in the wake of these fake threats.
Jewish Power: The Top 25 American Multi-Billionaires
In February 2017, Forbes magazine compiled a list of the world's billionaires, including a country-by-country account. The top five countries with multi-billionaires among its citizens are: the US with 565, China with 319, Germany with 114, India with 101, and Russia with 96. Moreover, since 2016 the net worth of the multi-billionaires grew 18% to $7.67 trillion dollars.
While the US has the greatest number of billionaires, China is fast catching up.
Despite China's advances, the US remains the center of world capitalism with the greatest concentration of wealth, as well as the greatest and growing inequalities. One reasonably can argue that who controls US wealth controls the world.
'Jews' among the Top 25 Multi-Billionaires in the US
A review of the top 10 US multi-billionaires finds four who are identified as 'Jews': Mark Zuckerberg with $56 billion, Larry Ellison with $52.2 billion, Michael Bloomberg with $47.5 billion and Sergey Brin $39.4 billion. In other words 40% of the super-richest Americans are 'Jews' while 60% are non-Jews. Among the top ten in the US, billionaire Jews with a total of $195.1 billion are collectively less rich than the top billionaire Gentiles who own $282.7 billion.
Of the top 25 multi-billionaires in the US, 11 of the 25 are Jews. In other words 'the Jews' represent 44% of the top 25 biggest billionaires – outnumbered by Gentiles but catching up.
Analysis of the 'Richest Jews'
We place 'Jews' in quotation marks because this is a doubtful signifier – more useful to both Zionist fanatics and anti-Semitic polemicists. Most are not 'practicing' or are completely disinterested in tribal religions. Nevertheless, half of secular Jews in the US are active supporters of Israel or involved in Fifth Column Israeli 'front groups'.
In other words, about half of the richest 'Jews' do not consider themselves to be religiously or ethnically 'Jewish'. Super rich Jews are divided regarding their ethnic loyalties between the US and Israel.
Moreover what is murkier, many of the richest so-called 'Jews' were born to 'mixed marriages'. Strictly religious Jews do not recognize the children of such marriages as Jews because their mothers are not Jewish. The omnivorous Zionists, on the other hand, classify all of them as Jews on the basis of their actual or potential contribution to the State of Israel. In other words, the Zionist classification of 'Jews' becomes arbitrary, politicized and dependent on organizational affiliation. Religious practice and ethno-cultural purity are less important.
Judeo-Centrism and the Intrinsic Superiority Fallacy
Among the many zealous advocates of the Judeo-centric world, the most tiresome are those who claim they represent the product of superior genetics, culture and heritage – unique and intrinsic to Jews.
For many centuries most Jews were illiterate believers of religious tribal myths, taught by anti-scientific rabbis, who closed off the ghettos from the accomplishments of higher culture and forbade integration or mixed marriages. The high priests punished and expelled any Jews who were influenced by the surrounding Hellenistic, Romanized, Arabic, Renaissance and Rationalists cultures, like the great Spinoza.
In other words, Jews who had rejected Jewish law, the Scriptures and the Torah were expelled as apostates. But these 'apostates' were most open to the modern ideas of science. Jews greatly benefited from the emancipatory laws and opportunities following the French Revolution. Under Napoleon, Jews became citizens and were free to advance in science, the arts and finance by attending secular universities away from the primitive, superstitious Rabbi-controlled ghetto 'schools'.
The dramatic growth of intellectual excellence among Jews in the 19th century was a result of their ceasing to be Jews in the traditional closed religious sense. Did they suddenly switch on their 'genius genes' or invent a fake history or religion, as the ethno-centrist would have us believe? It seems far more likely that they took great advantage of the opportunities opened to them with major social and political developments in the greater society. As they assimilated and integrated in secular traditions, they ceased to be Jews in the tribal religious sense. Their scientific, medical and financial success came from learning, absorbing and exchanging scientific ideas, high culture and conservative, liberal and socialist ideas with the larger progressive non-Jewish society.
It is no coincidence that 'great Jewish achievers' like the totally secular Albert Einstein were educated in German universities by German professors and drew on scientific knowledge by German and non-Jewish scholars. His intellectual development was due to his free association with the great scientists and scholars of Germany and Europe, not closeted away in some ethno-tribal commune.
The Jews who remained embedded in the Polish, Lithuanian and Russian ghettos, under the reign of the leading Rabbis, remained illiterate, poor and backward. Most of the claims of 'superior' cultural heritage or traditions are the creation of a mythical folk history serving ethno-national supremacists.
The Myth of the Contemporary Genius
The modern ethnocentric ideologues ignore the 'dilution of Jewishness' in their celebratory identification with successful 'Jews'.
Many of the best thinkers, writers, scientists and political leaders were conversos (Christian converts), or integrated European secular nationalists, socialists, monarchists, bankers and professionals.
Some remained 'reformed Jews' or later transformed into secular Zionists: nationalists who despised non-Europeans as inferior and couldn't even conceive of Arab Palestine as their 'homeland'. It wasn't until the 20th century that Zionism was in part 'Judacized'. Early Zionists looked at various locations for a homeland, including Argentina and parts of Africa and Russia.
These ethno-chauvinist ideologues lay claim to all brilliant individuals, no matter how tenuous as examples of 'Jewish genius'. Even those personally opposed Jewish ethno-religious beliefs and indifferent to tribal loyalties end up being claimed as examples of the 'Jewish genius'. Once some 'matrilineal link' could be found, their success and brilliance was tied to the mystical lineage, no matter how tenuous.
This bizarre practice became even more commonplace following the Jewish military conquest and brutal ethnic cleansing of Palestine, with the military, political and financial backing of non-Jewish Europe and the United States. With myths and inflated ideas of unique virtue and brilliance, Israel was established as a racist apartheid state. A new militant, ethnocentric Judaism converted Israel and its overseas backers into an ethno-ideological international power with religious trappings, based on the myth of its 'exceptionalism'. To maintain this myth, the personal histories of all prominent 'Israel Firsters' were sanitized and scrubbed of anti-social and destructive behavior.
All Jewish billionaires were to be portrayed as uniquely philanthropic, while the exploits of Jewish billionaire swindlers (Bernie Madoff, Michael Milken and Ivan Boesky) were not to be mentioned in polite company. The conquests of billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, rapist-procurer head of the IMF Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Governor Elliot Spitzer, Congressman Anthony Weiner and other similar perverts quietly slithered off the edge of the planet although all had once been hailed as examples of 'ethnocentric genius'.
Major Jewish political donors to US-UK-French electoral parties were hailed while their work on behalf of Israel was naturally assumed but not discussed. The dizzying shifts between open adulation and selective whitewash served to reinforce the illusion of superiority. Anyone, Jew or Gentile, bold enough to point out the obvious hypocrisy would be immediately censored as 'self-hating' (Jew) or 'anti-Semite' (Gentile).
Return to the Beginning: Judeo-Centric Power
As mentioned above, Jews represent a substantial minority among the top multi-billionaires, but they are still a minority. Below the top level of wealth are the single digit billionaires and triple and double digit multi-millionaires; here the proportion of 'Jews' increases. These 'less-than-super-billionaires' are among the most active and the biggest financial and political supporters of the ethno centric ideology and tribal cohesion.
Los Angeles-based Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban contributed tens of millions of dollars to support of the Jewish state's occupation of Palestine and brutal colonial land grabbing 'settlers'. His wealth is largely based on his 'genius' in pushing culturally vacuous Japanese cartoons (Mighty Morphing Power Rangers) on the nation's children. He is the primary donor to the Democratic Party pushing Israel's agenda – his number one priority as an American citizen.
The lesser 'foot soldiers' of the Zionist power structure are the millionaires and affluent professionals, dentists, stockbrokers, lawyers, doctors and impresarios. The middle and lower levels of wealth and power are a diverse group – mostly ethno-religious and secular, but very self-identified ethno-Jews. A minority is totally secular or converted to non-Jewish religions (especially Buddhism, Christianity)
Despite the constant drumbeat of ethnocentric identity, an increasing number of young US 'Jews' do not identify with Judaism or Israel. Their influence however is minimal.
The wealthy ethno-religious and secular ethnic Jews may or may not constitute a numerical majority but they are the best organized, most political and most adamant in their claims to 'speak for and represent the Jewish community' as a whole, especially during waves of (fake) 'anti-Semitism'!
The many former-Jews, anti-tribal Jews and 'non-Jewish' Jews are no match for the ethnocentric political apparatus controlled by the chauvinists.
When the tribalists appropriate the glory of a secular non-Jewish Jewish scientist or major 'prize winner' they claim his or her tribal affiliation in order to impress the 'goys' and to seduce younger more skeptical Jews about the advantages of ethno-chauvinism.
All the high-tech computer and financial billionaires are just assumed by the tribalists to view themselves as 'Jewish geniuses' even though they may have learned and borrowed ideas and knowledge from their non-Jewish partners and mentors in Silicon Valley or Wall Street.
Upward mobility within academia, government and business circles is automatically assumed by the tribalists to be a reward for superior merit – 'Jewish genius' – rather than nepotism or connections. Tribal networks and 'understandings' play a powerful unspoken role in career success and immunity from the consequences of failure, incompetence or dishonesty.
Multi-billionaires and multi-millionaires prospered because they entered establish lucrative fields or made their career choices highly profitable.
Early on, many powerful Gentile bankers provided entry for talented Jews to succeed. This is despite revisionist history bemoaning the exclusion of US Jews on Wall Street and their degrading denial of membership in select WASP country clubs. These myths of brutal oppression on Wall Street or Long Island yacht clubs have empowered generations of American Jews to assume the role of spokespersons for the oppressed everywhere. The expression 'crying all the way to the bank' comes to mind.
By the last quarter of the 20th century and especially in the 21st century, deindustrialization and the shift to financialization in the US economy increased the power and privilege of a disproportionate number of multi-billionaire/millionaire Jews. This seismic shift has coincided with the pervasive impoverishment of the marginalized working class in the former 'rust belt' and central parts of the country and the incredible concentration of national wealth at the top 1%. This is a demographic shift and ethno-class apartheid of huge, but unstudied, significance.
The most important political question is not how many Jews are super-wealthy but what proportion of them are influential political donors and active in the Democratic or Republican Parties in order to intervene on behalf of clan, tribe and motherland (Israel). Majorities among Jews are not crucial – most are not politically active. What is decisive is the percentage of all the super-wealthy who are politically active, organized and contribute substantially to influence and control the mass media to promote their ethno-centric ideology and punish critics.
Overt and covert Jewish supremacists have embroidered a fake history and legacy of exceptional intelligence ignoring the context of advanced non-Jewish science and cultures, which preceded and later provided Jews with opportunities for education and wealth.
The danger inherent in all ethno-centric tribes is that they work to dominate majority populations by creating systems of assigning superiority and inferiority. They then use these to justify growing inequalities of wealth, education and political power!
Historically favored minorities tend to overreach and, like the eyeless Sampson, bring down the Temple on everyone. Power corrupts and absolute ethno-chauvinist power corrupts absolutely. Intelligent Jews of principle are abandoning
Mar 20, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
As usual, Trump made the announcement of recognizing Israel's claim to the Golan Heights without any consultation with any of the relevant administration officials:
President Donald Trump's tweet on Thursday recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory surprised members of his own Middle East peace team, the State Department, and Israeli officials.
U.S. diplomats and White House aides had believed the Golan Heights issue would be front and center at next week's meetings between Trump and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. But they were unprepared for any presidential announcement this week.
No formal U.S. process or executive committees were initiated to review the policy before Trump's decision, and the diplomats responsible for implementing the policy were left in the dark.
Even the Israelis, who have advocated for this move for years, were stunned at the timing of Trump's message.
After more than two years of watching Trump's impulsive and reckless "governing" style, it doesn't come as a surprise to anyone that he makes these decisions without advance warning. There is no evidence that Trump ever thinks anything through, and so he probably sees no reason to tell anyone in advance what he is going to do.
Trump almost never bothers consulting with the people who will be responsible for carrying out his policies and dealing with the international fallout, and that is probably why so many of his policy decisions end up being exceptionally poor ones. The substance of most of Trump's foreign policy decisions was never likely to be good, but the lack of an organized policy process on major decisions makes those decisions even more haphazard and chaotic than they would otherwise be.
There is absolutely no upside for the United States in endorsing illegal Israeli claims to the Golan Heights. It is a cynical political stunt intended to boost Netanyahu and Likud's fortunes in the upcoming election, and it is also a cynical stunt aimed at shoring up Trump's support from Republican "pro-Israel" voters and donors.
Whatever short-term benefit Israel gains from it, the U.S. gains nothing and stands to lose quite a bit in terms of our international standing.
There has been no consideration of the costs and problems this will create for the U.S. in its relations with other regional states and beyond because Trump couldn't care less about the long-term effects that his decisions have on the country.
Once again, Trump has put narrow political ambitions and the interests of a foreign government ahead of the interests of the United States. That seems to be the inevitable result of electing a narcissist who conducts foreign policy based on which leaders flatter and praise him.
Trump's bad decision can be traced back to Bolton's visit to Israel earlier this year:
Administration officials said that National Security Advisor John Bolton was instrumental to the decision, after visiting Israel in January to assure officials there that the United States would not abandon them in Syria despite Trump's sudden withdrawal of troops from the battlefield.
Nervous Israeli officials saw an opportunity. "It was an ask," one Israeli source said, "because of the timing -- it suddenly became a relevant issue about Iran."
Bolton is usually the culprit responsible any destructive and foolish policy decision over the last year, and his baleful influence continues to grow. We can also see the harmful effects of the administration's Iran obsession at work. In the end, the Syria "withdrawal" hasn't happened and apparently isn't going to, but Trump nonetheless gives Israel whatever it wants in exchange for nothing so that they will be "reassured" of our unthinking support.
SF Bay March 21, 2019 at 10:28 pmWell, of course Trump puts America last. There is one and only one person he is interested in -- himself. As you say this is his narcissistic personality at work.Kouros , , March 21, 2019 at 11:39 pm
My never ending question is always, "Why does any Republican with a conscience remain silent? Are they really all this shallow and self absorbed? Is there nothing Trump does that will finally force them to put country before party and their own ambition?"
It's a really sad state of events that has put this country on the road to ruin.I wonder what Mr. Kagan has to say now about "authoritarian" regimes?!Trump 2016 , , March 22, 2019 at 1:45 amTrump is making one hell of a mess for the next president to clean up. Straightening out all this stupidity will take years. Here's hoping that Trump gets to watch his foreign policy decisions tossed out and reversed from federal prison.Grumpy Old Man , , March 22, 2019 at 3:29 amHe ought to recognize Russia's seizure of Crimea. Why not? Кто кого?Tony , , March 22, 2019 at 8:50 amThe decision to leave the INF treaty was taken in a similar way and with a total disregard for the consequences. The leaders of the European NATO countries have shown utter spinelessness in going along with it.Some Perspective , , March 22, 2019 at 9:08 am
The administration says that a Russian missile violates the treaty but it will not tell us what the range of the missile is. Nor will it allow its weapons inspectors to go and look at it.
The reason is clear: Fear that the weapons inspectors' findings would contradict the administration's claims.I voted Republican ever since I started voting. I voted for Bush I, Dole, Dubya, and McCain. I couldn't vote for either Obama or Romney, but I voted for Trump because of Hillary Clinton.Sid Finster , , March 22, 2019 at 10:22 am
I am shocked and horrified by what I've seen under Trump. I am deeply disappointed that so few Republicans (or Democrats, for that matter) have stood up to him on foreign policy, and I will never vote Republican again. This GOP/Israel connection stinks to high heaven. Anyone who studied or remembers our problem with Communist spies back in the '50s has got to be hearing alarm bells ringing in their ears. Worries about Soviet spying and Russian meddling pale in comparison to what's now going on in plain sight with Israel.
We're losing our country. We're losing America.To be fair, it ain't just Team R that has the sloppy crush on Israel. Team D is just as bad, even if they don't gush quite so publicly. In fact, episodes such as this one are useful in a way, as they make it hard to pretend that this is just a one-off, a misguided decision that we have to go along with to appease a powerful friend.G-Pol , , March 22, 2019 at 11:15 am
Europoliticians tell that last one a lot. "We really don't want to but the Americans twisted our arms ZOMG Special Relationship so sorry ZOMG!" Only with a lot more Eurobureaucratese.I agree with the article's premise, but not because of this move regarding Israel.
Personally, I believe this move will have little impact on the outcome of the crisis in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and the other Arab monarchies are too focused on containing Iran and Turkey to give a crap about what Israel does. The only Arab states that I can see objecting to this move are Syria (obviously) and the others who were already allied with Iran and/or Turkey to begin with.
Right now, the REAL center of attention in the region should be Northern Syria. THAT's where the next major war likely will begin. In that area, Saudi Arabia and to a lesser extent Turkey and the United Arab Emirates are the ones doing the major escalations, while Israel has virtually no role at all aside from sideline cheer-leading. And of course, Trump is doing nothing to stop what could become the next July Crisis. What's "America First" about that?
Nevertheless, Israel should be very concerned about Northern Syria. If war breaks out and the US is forced to go to war with its own NATO ally as a result, Israel should prepare to kiss its alliance with the US goodbye.
There is no way our international reputation will come out of this war unscathed, and odds are we'll be in a far worse position diplomatically than we were at any point in our history, even during the Iraq war. When that happens, the American people will be out to assign blame. Many (rightfully or not) will blame Israel due to its connections to neoconservatism and Saudi jingoism, and consequently we may end up seeing BOTH parties becoming unfriendly to Israel over the subsequent generation.
All of this could be prevented if President Trump would just tell Saudi Arabia to STOP the nonsense. But no. He's too focused on MIC profits. He's not America First. And quite frankly, I'm starting to think Benjamin Netanyahu is not Israel-first either, because if he were he'd be warning Trump about the mess he's going to end up getting America, Israel, and much of Europe and the Middle East into.
Apr 12, 2019 | www.unz.com
Grahamsno(G64) , says: April 10, 2019 at 5:54 am GMT@Thomm That's so true that it's almost incredible, Andrew Anglin of the daily stormer has been campaigning for Tulsi Gabbard & Andrew Yang for well over a month
He could be said to be instrumental in putting Yang on the democratic primaries and possibly Tulsi as well all the while using his weaponized memes against Trump!! I'm in disbelief.
Apr 12, 2019 | www.unz.com
Art , says: April 12, 2019 at 6:52 am GMTGood On Tulsi Gabbard.
Gabbard: Assange arrest is a threat to journalists
By Rachel Frazin – 04/11/19 06:10 PM EDT
Democratic presidential hopeful Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) condemned the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday, calling the arrest a threat to journalists.
"The arrest of #JulianAssange is meant to send a message to all Americans and journalists: be quiet, behave, toe the line. Or you will pay the price," Gabbard tweeted.
The Democrat's remark came hours after police in London arrested Assange, citing charges he is facing in the U.S.
Assange is accused of conspiring to hack into computers in connection with WikiLeaks's release of classified documents from former Army private and intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.
Think Peace -- Art
Apr 11, 2019 | caucus99percent.com
span y apenultimate on Wed, 04/10/2019 - 7:09pm She did it, an hour ago!
Tulsi Gabbard now has enough individual donors to make it into the televised Democratic debates! Thanks to those of you who helped, either by becoming a donor, or in spirit!
Feb 09, 2019 | www.youtube.com
President Trump campaigned against regime change wars when he ran for President, but now he bows to the wishes of the neocons who surround him, clamoring for the regime change wars that he claimed to oppose--this time in Venezuela and Iran.
These powerful politicians dishonor the sacrifices made by every one of my brothers and sisters in uniform, their families - as they are the ones who pay the price for these wars.
In fact, every American pays the price for these wars that have cost us trillions of dollars since 9/11.
Every dollar that we spend on regime change wars or on the new cold war and this nuclear arms race is a dollar coming out of our pockets dollars that should be used to address the very real, urgent needs of our people and our communities right here at home.
- Tulsi Gabbard
Apr 09, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia want to drag the United States into war with Iran, and Trump is submitting to their wishes. The cost in money and lives will be catastrophic.
Apr 09, 2019 | www.youtube.com
John S , 1 week agodouble down , 1 week ago
She needs like 5000 more donors. Put in that dollar!
Getting my news from Jimmy and my comedy from CNN and CNBC. Go Figure.
Apr 09, 2019 | failedevolution.blogspot.com
The start of current decade revealed the most ruthless face of a global neo-colonialism. From Syria and Libya to Europe and Latin America, the old colonial powers of the West tried to rebound against an oncoming rival bloc led by Russia and China, which starts to threaten their global domination.
Inside a multi-polar, complex terrain of geopolitical games, the big players start to abandon the old-fashioned, inefficient direct wars. They use today other, various methods like brutal proxy wars , economic wars, financial and constitutional coups, provocative operations, 'color revolutions', etc. In this highly complex and unstable situation, when even traditional allies turn against each other as the global balances change rapidly, the forces unleashed are absolutely destructive. Inevitably, the results are more than evident.
Proxy Wars - Syria/Libya
After the US invasion in Iraq, the gates of hell had opened in the Middle East. Obama continued the Bush legacy of US endless interventions, but he had to change tactics because a direct war would be inefficient, costly and extremely unpopular to the American people and the rest of the world.
The result, however, appeared to be equally (if not more) devastating with the failed US invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US had lost total control of the armed groups directly linked with the ISIS terrorists, failed to topple Assad, and, moreover, instead of eliminating the Russian and Iranian influence in the region, actually managed to increase it. As a result, the US and its allies failed to secure their geopolitical interests around the various pipeline games.
In addition, the US sees Turkey, one of its most important ally, changing direction dangerously, away from the Western bloc. Probably the strongest indication for this, is that Turkey, Iran and Russia decided very recently to proceed in an agreement on Syria without the presence of the US.
Yet, the list of US failures does not end here. The destruction of Syria and Libya created massive refugee flows which have proved that the European Union was totally unprepared to deal with such a major issue. On top of that, the latest years, we have witnessed a rapid rise of various terrorist attacks in Western soil, also as a result of the devastating wars in Syria and Libya.
Evidence from WikiLeaks has shown that the old colonial powers have started a new round of ruthless competition on Libya's resources. The usual story propagated by the Western media, about another tyrant who had to be removed, has now completely collapsed. They don't care neither to topple an 'authoritarian' regime, nor to spread Democracy. All they care about is to secure each country's resources for their big companies.
The Gaddafi case is quite interesting because it shows that the Western hypocrites were using him according to their interests .
Whenever they wanted to blame someone for some serious terrorist attacks, they had a scapegoat ready for them, even if they had evidence that Libya was not behind these attacks. When Gaddafi falsely admitted that he had weapons of mass destruction in order to gain some relief from the Western sanctions, they presented him as a responsible leader who, was ready to cooperate. Of course, his last role was to play again the 'bad guy' who had to be removed.
Economic Wars, Financial Coups – Greece/Eurozone
It would be unthinkable for the neo-colonialists to conduct proxy wars inside European soil, especially against countries which belong to Western institutions like NATO, EU, eurozone, etc. The wave of the US-made major economic crisis hit Greece and Europe at the start of the decade, almost simultaneously with the eruption of the Arab Spring revolutionary wave and the subsequent disaster in Middle East and Libya.
Greece was the easy victim for the global neoliberal dictatorship to impose catastrophic measures in favor of the plutocracy. The Greek experiment enters its seventh year and the plan is to be used as a model for the whole eurozone. Greece has become also the model for the looting of public property, as happened in the past with the East Germany and the Treuhand Operation after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
While Greece was the major victim of an economic war, Germany used its economic power and control of the European Central Bank to impose unprecedented austerity, sado-monetarism and neoliberal destruction through silent financial coups in Ireland , Italy and Cyprus . The Greek political establishment collapsed with the rise of SYRIZA in power, and the ECB was forced to proceed in an open financial coup against Greece when the current PM, Alexis Tsipras, decided to conduct a referendum on the catastrophic measures imposed by the ECB, IMF and the European Commission, through which the Greek people clearly rejected these measures, despite the propaganda of terror inside and outside Greece. Due to the direct threat from Mario Draghi and the ECB, who actually threatened to cut liquidity sinking Greece into a financial chaos, Tsipras finally forced to retreat, signing another catastrophic memorandum.
Through similar financial and political pressure, the Brussels bureaufascists and the German sado-monetarists along with the IMF economic hitmen, imposed neoliberal disaster to other eurozone countries like Portugal, Spain etc. It is remarkable that even the second eurozone economy, France, rushed to impose anti-labor measures midst terrorist attacks, succumbing to a - pre-designed by the elites - neo-Feudalism, under the 'Socialist' François Hollande, despite the intense protests in many French cities.
Germany would never let the United States to lead the neo-colonization in Europe, as it tries (again) to become a major power with its own sphere of influence, expanding throughout eurozone and beyond. As the situation in Europe becomes more and more critical with the ongoing economic and refugee crisis and the rise of the Far-Right and the nationalists, the economic war mostly between the US and the German big capital, creates an even more complicated situation.
The decline of the US-German relations has been exposed initially with the NSA interceptions scandal , yet, progressively, the big picture came on surface, revealing a transatlantic economic war between banking and corporate giants. In times of huge multilevel crises, the big capital always intensifies its efforts to eliminate competitors too. As a consequence, the US has seen another key ally, Germany, trying to gain a certain degree of independence in order to form its own agenda, separate from the US interests.
Note that, both Germany and Turkey are medium powers that, historically, always trying to expand and create their own spheres of influence, seeking independence from the traditional big powers.
Economic Wars, Constitutional Coups, Provocative Operations – Argentina/Brazil/Venezuela
A wave of neoliberal onslaught shakes currently Latin America. While in Argentina, Mauricio Macri allegedly took the power normally, the constitutional coup against Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, as well as, the usual actions of the Right opposition in Venezuela against Nicolás Maduro with the help of the US finger, are far more obvious.
The special weight of these three countries in Latin America is extremely important for the US imperialism to regain ground in the global geopolitical arena. Especially the last ten to fifteen years, each of them developed increasingly autonomous policies away from the US close custody, under Leftist governments, and this was something that alarmed the US imperialism components.
Brazil appears to be the most important among the three, not only due to its size, but also as a member of the BRICS, the team of fast growing economies who threaten the US and generally the Western global dominance. The constitutional coup against Rousseff was rather a sloppy action and reveals the anxiety of the US establishment to regain control through puppet regimes. This is a well-known situation from the past through which the establishment attempts to secure absolute dominance in the US backyard.
The importance of Venezuela due to its oil reserves is also significant. When Maduro tried to approach Russia in order to strengthen the economic cooperation between the two countries, he must had set the alarm for the neocons in the US. Venezuela could find an alternative in Russia and BRICS, in order to breathe from the multiple economic war that was set off by the US. It is characteristic that the economic war against Russia by the US and the Saudis, by keeping the oil prices in historically low levels, had significant impact on the Venezuelan economy too. It is also known that the US organizations are funding the opposition since Chávez era, in order to proceed in provocative operations that could overthrow the Leftist governments.
The case of Venezuela is really interesting. The US imperialists were fiercely trying to overthrow the Leftist governments since Chávez administration. They found now a weaker president, Nicolás Maduro - who certainly does not have the strength and personality of Hugo Chávez - to achieve their goal.
The Western media mouthpieces are doing their job, which is propaganda as usual. The recipe is known. You present the half truth, with a big overdose of exaggeration. The establishment parrots are demonizing Socialism , but they won't ever tell you about the money that the US is spending, feeding the Right-Wing groups and opposition to proceed in provocative operations, in order to create instability. They won't tell you about the financial war conducted through the oil prices, manipulated by the Saudis, the close US ally.
Regarding Argentina, former president, Cristina Kirchner, had also made some important moves towards the stronger cooperation with Russia, which was something unacceptable for Washington's hawks. Not only for geopolitical reasons, but also because Argentina could escape from the vulture funds that sucking its blood since its default. This would give the country an alternative to the neoliberal monopoly of destruction. The US big banks and corporations would never accept such a perspective because the debt-enslaved Argentina is a golden opportunity for a new round of huge profits. It's happening right now in eurozone's debt colony, Greece.
'Color Revolutions' - Ukraine
The events in Ukraine have shown that, the big capital has no hesitation to ally even with the neo-nazis, in order to impose the new world order. This is not something new of course. The connection of Hitler with the German economic oligarchs, but also with other major Western companies, before and during the WWII, is well known.
The most terrifying of all however, is not that the West has silenced in front of the decrees of the new Ukrainian leadership, through which is targeting the minorities, but the fact that the West allied with the neo-nazis, while according to some information has also funded their actions as well as other extreme nationalist groups during the riots in Kiev.
Plenty of indications show that US organizations have 'put their finger' on Ukraine. A video , for example, concerning the situation in Ukraine has been directed by Ben Moses (creator of the movie "Good Morning, Vietnam"), who is connected with American government executives and organizations like National Endowment for Democracy, funded by the US Congress. This video shows a beautiful young female Ukrainian who characterizes the government of the country as "dictatorship" and praise some protesters with the neo-nazi symbols of the fascist Ukranian party Svoboda on them.
The same organizations are behind 'color revolutions' elsewhere, as well as, provocative operations against Leftist governments in Venezuela and other countries.
Ukraine is the perfect place to provoke Putin and tight the noose around Russia. Of course the huge hypocrisy of the West can also be identified in the case of Crimea. While in other cases, the Western officials were 'screaming' for the right of self-determination (like Kosovo, for example), after they destroyed Yugoslavia in a bloodbath, they can't recognize the will of the majority of Crimeans to join Russia.
The war will become wilder
The Western neo-colonial powers are trying to counterattack against the geopolitical upgrade of Russia and the Chinese economic expansionism.
Despite the rise of Donald Trump in power, the neoliberal forces will push further for the expansion of the neoliberal doctrine in the rival field of the Sino-Russian alliance. Besides, Trump has already shown his hostile feelings against China, despite his friendly approach to Russia and Putin.
We see, however, that the Western alliances are entering a period of severe crisis. The US has failed to control the situation in Middle East and Libya. The ruthless neo-colonialists will not hesitate to confront Russia and China directly, if they see that they continue to lose control in the global geopolitical arena. The accumulation of military presence of NATO next to the Russian borders, as well as, the accumulation of military presence of the US in Asia-Pacific, show that this is an undeniable fact.
New book by David NorthA Quarter Century of War: The US Drive for Global Hegemony 1990–2016
Jul 11, 2016 | www.wsws.org
We publish here the preface to A Quarter Century of War: The US Drive for Global Hegemony, 1990-2016 by David North. The book will be published on August 10, and is available for preorder today at Mehring Books in both softcover and hardcover .
"In the period of crisis the hegemony of the United States will operate more completely, more openly, and more ruthlessly than in the period of boom."
-- Leon Trotsky, 1928
"U.S. capitalism is up against the same problems that pushed Germany in 1914 on the path of war. The world is divided? It must be redivided. For Germany it was a question of 'organizing Europe.' The United States must 'organize' the world. History is bringing mankind face to face with the volcanic eruption of American imperialism."
-- Leon Trotsky, 1934
This volume consists of political reports, public lectures, party statements, essays, and polemics that document the response of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) to the quarter century of US-led wars that began in 1990–91. The analyses of events presented here, although written as they were unfolding, stand the test of time. The International Committee does not possess a crystal ball. But its work is informed by a Marxist understanding of the contradictions of American and world imperialism. Moreover, the Marxist method of analysis examines events not as a sequence of isolated episodes, but as moments in the unfolding of a broader historical process. This historically oriented approach serves as a safeguard against an impressionistic response to the latest political developments. It recognizes that the essential cause of an event is rarely apparent at the moment of its occurrence.
Much of what passes for analysis in the bourgeois press consists of nothing more than equating an impressionistic description of a given event with its deeper cause. This sort of political analysis legitimizes US wars as necessary responses to one or another personification of evil, such as Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the "warlord" Farah Aideed in Somalia, Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia, Osama bin Laden of Al Qaeda, the Mullah Omar in Afghanistan, Muammar Gaddafi in Libya; and, most recently, Bashar al Assad in Syria, Kim Jong Un in Korea, and Vladimir Putin in Russia. New names are continually added to the United States' infinitely expandable list of monsters requiring destruction.
The material in this volume is the record of a very different and far more substantial approach to the examination of the foreign policy of the United States.
First, and most important, the International Committee interpreted the collapse of the Stalinist regimes in Eastern Europe in 1989–90, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, as an existential crisis of the entire global nation-state system, as it emerged from the ashes of World War II. Second, the ICFI anticipated that the breakdown of the established postwar equilibrium would lead rapidly to a resurgence of imperialist militarism. As far back as August 1990 -- twenty-six years ago -- it was able to foresee the long-term implications of the Bush administration's war against Iraq:
It marks the beginning of a new imperialist redivision of the world. The end of the postwar era means the end of the postcolonial era. As it proclaims the "failure of socialism," the imperialist bourgeoisie, in deeds if not yet in words, proclaims the failure of independence. The deepening crisis confronting all the major imperialist powers compels them to secure control over strategic resources and markets. Former colonies, which had achieved a degree of political independence, must be resubjugated. In its brutal assault against Iraq, imperialism is giving notice that it intends to restore the type of unrestrained domination of the backward countries that existed prior to World War II. [ 1 ]
This historically grounded analysis provided the essential framework for an understanding, not only of the 1990–91 Gulf War, but also of the wars that were launched later in the decade, as well as the post-9/11 "War on Terror."
In a recently published front-page article, the New York Times called attention to a significant milestone in the presidency of Barack Obama: "He has now been at war longer than Mr. Bush, or any other American president." But with several months remaining in his term in office, he is on target to set yet another record. The Times wrote:
If the United States remains in combat in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria until the end of Mr. Obama's term -- a near-certainty given the president's recent announcement that he will send 250 additional Special Operations forces to Syria -- he will leave behind an improbable legacy as the only president in American history to serve two complete terms with the nation at war. [ 2 ]
On the way to setting his record, Mr. Obama has overseen lethal military actions in a total of seven countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. The number of countries is growing, as the United States escalates its military operations in Africa. The efforts to suppress the Boko Haram insurgency involve a buildup of US forces in Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, and Chad.
Without any sense of irony, Mark Landler, author of the Times article, notes Obama's status as a Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2009. He portrays the president as "trying to fulfill the promises he made as an antiwar candidate. . . ." Obama "has wrestled with this immutable reality [of war] from his first year in the White House . . ."
Landler informs his readers that Obama "went for a walk among the tombstones at Arlington National Cemetery before giving the order to send 30,000 additional troops into Afghanistan." He recalls a passage from Obama's 2009 speech accepting the Nobel Prize, in which the president wearily lamented that humanity needed to reconcile "two seemingly irreconcilable truths -- that war is sometimes necessary, and war at some level is an expression of human folly."
During the Obama years, folly has clearly held the upper hand. But there is nothing that Landler's hero can do. Obama has found his wars "maddeningly hard to end."
The Times ' portrayal of Obama lacks the essential element required by genuine tragedy: the identification of objective forces, beyond his control, that frustrated and overwhelmed the lofty ideals and humanitarian aspirations of the president. If Mr. Landler wants his readers to shed a tear for this peace-loving man who, upon becoming president, made drone killings his personal specialty, and turned into something akin to a moral monster, the Times correspondent should have attempted to identify the historical circumstances that determined Obama's "tragic" fate.
But this is a challenge the Times avoids. It fails to relate Obama's war-making record to the entire course of American foreign policy over the past quarter century. Even before Obama entered office in 2009, the United States had been at war on an almost continuous basis since the first US-Iraq War of 1990–91.
The pretext for the Gulf War was Iraq's annexation of Kuwait in August 1990. But the violent US reaction to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's dispute with the emir of Kuwait was determined by broader global conditions and considerations. The historical context of the US military operation was the imminent dissolution of the Soviet Union, which was finally carried out in December 1991. The first President Bush declared the beginning of a "New World Order." [ 3 ] What Bush meant by this phrase was that the United States was now free to restructure the world in the interests of the American capitalist class, unencumbered by either the reality of the countervailing military power of the Soviet Union or the specter of socialist revolution. The dissolution of the USSR, hailed by Francis Fukuyama as the "End of History," signified for the strategists of American imperialism the end of military restraint.
It is one of the great ironies of history that the definitive emergence of the United States as the dominant imperialist power, amid the catastrophe of World War I, coincided with the outbreak of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which culminated in the establishment of the first socialist workers state in history, under the leadership of the Bolshevik Party. On April 3, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson delivered his war message to the US Congress and led the United States into the global imperialist conflict. Two weeks later, V.I. Lenin returned to Russia, which was in the throes of revolution, and reoriented the Bolshevik Party toward the fight to overthrow the bourgeois Provisional Government.
Lenin and his principal political ally, Leon Trotsky, insisted that the struggle for socialism was indissolubly linked to the struggle against war. As the historian R. Craig Nation has argued:
For Lenin there was no doubt that the revolution was the result of a crisis of imperialism and that the dilemmas which it posed could only be resolved on the international level. The campaign for proletarian hegemony in Russia, the fight against the war, and the international struggle against imperialism were now one and the same. [ 4 ]
Just as the United States was striving to establish its position as the arbiter of the world's destiny, it faced a challenge, in the form of the Bolshevik Revolution, not only to the authority of American imperialism, but also to the economic, political, and even moral legitimacy of the entire capitalist world order. "The rhetoric and actions of the Bolsheviks," historian Melvyn P. Leffler has written, "ignited fear, revulsion and uncertainty in Washington." [ 5 ]
Another perceptive historian of US foreign policy explained:
The great majority of American leaders were so deeply concerned with the Bolshevik Revolution because they were so uneasy about what President Wilson called the "general feeling of revolt" against the existing order, and about the increasing intensity of that dissatisfaction. The Bolshevik Revolution became in their minds the symbol of all the revolutions that grew out of that discontent. And that is perhaps the crucial insight into the tragedy of American diplomacy. [ 6 ]
In a desperate effort to destroy the new revolutionary regime, Wilson sent an expeditionary force to Russia in 1918, in support of counterrevolutionary forces in the brutal civil war. The intervention was an ignominious failure.
It was not until 1933 that the United States finally granted diplomatic recognition to the Soviet Union. The diplomatic rapprochement was facilitated in part by the fact that the Soviet regime, now under Stalin's bureaucratic dictatorship, was in the process of repudiating the revolutionary internationalism that had inspired the Bolsheviks in 1917. It was abandoning the perspective of world revolution in favor of alliances with imperialist states on the basis of "collective security." Unable to secure such an alliance with Britain and France, Stalin signed the notorious Non-Aggression Pact with Hitler in August 1939. Following Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, and the entry of the United States into World War II in December 1941, the exigencies of the struggle against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan required that the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt forge a military alliance with the Soviet Union. But once Germany and Japan were defeated, relations between the United States and the Soviet Union rapidly deteriorated. The Truman administration, opposing the extension of Soviet influence into Eastern Europe, and frightened by the growth of Communist parties in Western Europe, launched the Marshall Plan in 1948 and triggered the onset of the Cold War.
The Kremlin regime pursued nationalistic policies, based on the Stalinist program of "socialism in one country," and betrayed working class and anti-imperialist movements all over the world. But the very existence of a regime that arose out of a socialist revolution had a politically radicalizing impact throughout the world. William Appleman Williams was certainly correct in his view that "American leaders were for many, many years more afraid of the implicit and indirect challenge of the revolution than they were of the actual power of the Soviet Union." [ 7 ]
In the decades that followed World War II, the United States was unable to ignore the existence of the Soviet Union. To the extent that the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, which was established in 1949, provided limited political and material support to anti-imperialist movements in the "Third World," they denied the US ruling class a free hand in the pursuit of its own interests. These limitations were demonstrated -- to cite the most notable examples -- by the US defeats in Korea and Vietnam, the compromise settlement of the Cuban missile crisis, and the acceptance of Soviet domination of the Baltic region and Eastern Europe.
The existence of the Soviet Union and an anticapitalist regime in China deprived the United States of the possibility of unrestricted access to and exploitation of the human labor, raw materials, and potential markets of a large portion of the globe, especially the Eurasian land mass. It compelled the United States to compromise, to a greater degree than it would have preferred, in negotiations over economic and strategic issues with its major allies in Europe and Asia, as well as with smaller countries that exploited the tactical opportunities provided by the US-Soviet Cold War.
The dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991, combined with the restoration of capitalism in China following the Tiananmen Square massacre of June 1989, was seen by the American ruling class as an opportunity to repudiate the compromises of the post-World War II era, and to carry out a restructuring of global geopolitics, with the aim of establishing the hegemony of the United States.
There was no small element of self-delusion in the grandiose American response to the breakup of the Soviet Union. The bombastic claims that the United States had won the Cold War were based far more on myth than reality. In fact, the sudden dissolution of the Soviet Union took the entire Washington foreign policy establishment by surprise. In February 1987, the Council on Foreign Relations published an assessment of US-Soviet relations, authored by two of its most eminent Sovietologists, Strobe Talbott and Michael Mandelbaum. Analyzing the discussions between Reagan and Gorbachev at meetings in Geneva and Reykjavik in 1986, the two experts concluded:
No matter how Gorbachev comes to define perestroika in practice and no matter how he modifies the official definition of security, the Soviet Union will resist pressure for change, whether it comes from without or within, from the top or the bottom. The fundamental conditions of Soviet-American relations are therefore likely to persist. This, in turn, means that the ritual of Soviet-American summitry is likely to have a long run. . . . [ 8 ]
The "long run," Talbott and Mandelbaum predicted, would continue not only during the reign of "Gorbachev's successor," but also his "successor's successor." No substantial changes in relations between the United States and the Soviet Union were to be expected. The two prophets from the Council on Foreign Relations concluded:
Whoever they are, and whatever changes have occurred in the meantime, the American and Soviet leaders of the next century will be wrestling with the same great issue -- how to manage their rivalry so as to avoid nuclear catastrophe -- that has engaged the energies, in the latter half of the 1980s, of Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. [ 9 ]
In contrast to the Washington experts, who foresaw nothing, the International Committee recognized that the Gorbachev regime marked a climactic stage in the crisis of Stalinism. "The crisis of Gorbachev," it declared in a statement dated March 23, 1987, "has emerged as every section of world Stalinism confronts economic convulsions and upheavals by the masses. In every case -- from Beijing to Belgrade -- the response of the Stalinist bureaucrats has been to turn ever more openly toward capitalist restorationism." [ 10 ]
The Cold War victory narrative encouraged, within the ruling elite, a disastrous overestimation of the power and potential of American capitalism. The drive for hegemony assumed the ability of the US to contain the economic and political centrifugal forces unleashed by the operation of global capitalism. Even at the height of its power, such an immense project was well beyond the capacities of the United States. But amid the euphoria generated by the end of the Soviet Union, the ruling class chose to ignore the deep-rooted and protracted crisis of American society. An objective observer, examining the conditions of both the United States and the Soviet Union between 1960 and 1990, might well have wondered which regime was in greater crisis. During the three decades that preceded the dissolution of the USSR, the United States exhibited high levels of political, social, and economic instability.
Consider the fate of the presidential administrations in power during those three decades: (1) The Kennedy administration ended tragically in November 1963 with a political assassination, in the midst of escalating social tensions and international crises; (2) Lyndon B. Johnson, Kennedy's successor, was unable to seek reelection in 1968, as a result of urban riots and mass opposition to the US invasion of Vietnam; (3) Richard Nixon was compelled to resign from office in August 1974, after the House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee voted for his impeachment on charges related to his criminal subversion of the Constitution; (4) Gerald Ford, who became president upon Nixon's resignation, was defeated in the November 1976 election amid popular revulsion over Nixon's crimes and the US military debacle in Vietnam; (5) Jimmy Carter's one term in office was dominated by an inflationary crisis that sent the federal prime interest rate to 20 percent, a bitter three month national coal miners strike, and the aftershocks generated by the Iranian Revolution; and (6) Ronald Reagan's years in office, despite all the ballyhoo about "morning in America," were characterized by recession, bitter social tension, and a series of foreign policy disasters in the Middle East and Central America. The exposure of an illegal scheme to finance paramilitary operations in Nicaragua (the Iran-Contra crisis) brought Reagan to the very brink of impeachment. His administration was saved by the leadership of the Democratic Party, which had no desire to remove from office a president who was politically weakened and already exhibiting signs of dementia.
The one persistent factor that confronted all these administrations, from Kennedy to Reagan, was the erosion in the global economic position of the United States. The unquestioned dominance of American finance and industry at the end of World War II provided the economic underpinnings of the Bretton Woods system of dollar-gold convertibility that formed the basis of global capitalist growth and stability. By the late 1950s, the system was coming under increasing strain. It was during the Kennedy administration that unfavorable tendencies in the US balance of trade first began to arouse significant concern. On August 15, 1971, Nixon suddenly ended the Bretton Woods system of fixed international exchange rates, pegged to a US dollar convertible at the rate of $35 per ounce of gold. During the 1970s and 1980s, the decline in the exchange rate of the dollar mirrored the deterioration of the American economy.
The belligerent response of the United States to the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union reflected the weakness, not the strength, of American capitalism. The overwhelming support within the ruling elite for a highly aggressive foreign policy arose from the delusion that the United States could reverse the protracted erosion of its global economic position through the deployment of its immense military power.
The Defense Planning Guidance, drafted by the Department of Defense in February 1992, unambiguously asserted the hegemonic ambitions of US imperialism:
There are other potential nations or coalitions that could, in the further future, develop strategic aims and a defense posture of region-wide or global domination. Our strategy must now refocus on precluding the emergence of any potential future global competitor. [ 11 ]
The 1990s saw a persistent use of US military power, most notably in the first Gulf War, followed by its campaign to break up Yugoslavia. The brutal restructuring of the Balkan states, which provoked a fratricidal civil war, culminated in the US-led 1999 bombing campaign to compel Serbia to accept the secession of the province of Kosovo. Other major military operations during that decade included the intervention in Somalia, which ended in disaster, the military occupation of Haiti, the bombing of Sudan and Afghanistan, and repeated bombing attacks on Iraq.
The events of September 11, 2001 provided the opportunity to launch the "War on Terror," a propaganda slogan that provided an all-purpose justification for military operations throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and, with increasing frequency, Africa. They furnished the Bush administration with a pretext to institutionalize war as a legitimate and normal instrument of American foreign policy.
The administration of the second President Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan in the autumn of 2001. In speeches that followed 9/11, Bush used the phrase "wars of the twenty-first century." In this case, the normally inarticulate president spoke with precision. The "War on Terror" was, from the beginning, conceived as an unending series of military operations all over the globe. One war would necessarily lead to another. Afghanistan proved to be a dress rehearsal for the invasion of Iraq.
The military strategy of the United States was revised in line with the new doctrine of "preventive warfare," adopted by the US in 2002. This doctrine, which violated existing international law, decreed that the United States could attack any country in the world judged to pose a potential threat -- not only of a military, but also of an economic character -- to American interests.
In a verbal sleight of hand, the Bush administration justified the invasion of Iraq as a preemptive war, undertaken in response to the imminent threat posed by the country's "weapons of mass destruction" to the national security of the United States. Of course, the threat was as non-existent as were Saddam Hussein's WMDs. In any event, the Bush administration rendered the distinction between preemptive and preventive war meaningless, by asserting the right of the United States to attack any country, regardless of the existence or non-existence of an imminent threat to American national security. Whatever the terminology employed for propaganda purposes by American presidents, the United States adheres to the illegal doctrine of preventive war.
The scope of military operations continuously widened. New wars were started while the old ones continued. The cynical invocation of human rights was used to wage war against Libya and overthrow the regime of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The same hypocritical pretext was employed to organize a proxy war in Syria. The consequences of these crimes, in terms of human lives and suffering, are incalculable.
The last quarter century of US-instigated wars must be studied as a chain of interconnected events. The strategic logic of the US drive for global hegemony extends beyond the neocolonial operations in the Middle East and Africa. The ongoing regional wars are component elements of the rapidly escalating confrontation of the United States with Russia and China.
It is through the prism of America's efforts to assert control of the strategically critical Eurasian landmass, that the essential significance of the events of 1990–91 is being revealed. But this latest stage in the ongoing struggle for world hegemony, which lies at the heart of the conflict with Russia and China, is bringing to the forefront latent and potentially explosive tensions between the United States and its present-day imperialist allies, including -- to name the most significant potential adversary -- Germany. The two world wars of the twentieth century were not the product of misunderstandings. The past is prologue. As the International Committee foresaw in 1990–91, the American bid for global hegemony has rekindled interimperialist rivalries simmering beneath the surface of world politics. Within Europe, dissatisfaction with the US role as the final arbiter of world affairs is being openly voiced. In a provocative essay, published in Foreign Affairs , the journal of the authoritative US Council on Foreign Relations, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has bluntly challenged Washington's presumption of US global dominance:
As the United States reeled from the effects of the Iraq war and the EU struggled through a series of crises, Germany held its ground. . . .
Today both the United States and Europe are struggling to provide global leadership. The 2003 invasion of Iraq damaged the United States' standing in the world. After the ouster of Saddam Hussein, sectarian violence ripped Iraq apart, and U.S. power in the region began to weaken. Not only did the George W. Bush administration fail to reorder the region through force, but the political, economic, and soft-power costs of this adventure undermined the United States' overall position. The illusion of a unipolar world faded. [ 12 ]
In a rebuke to the United States, Steinmeier writes: "Our historical experience has destroyed any belief in national exceptionalism -- for any nation." [ 13 ]
The journalists and academics, who work within the framework of the official narrative of the defense of human rights and the "War on Terror," cannot explain the progression of conflicts, from the 1990–91 Gulf War, to the current expansion of NATO eight hundred miles eastward, and the American "pivot to Asia." On a regular basis, the United States and its allies stage war games in Eastern Europe, in close proximity to the borders of Russia, and in strategically critical waters off the coast of China. It is not difficult to conceive of a situation in which events -- either as a result of deliberate calculation or of reckless miscalculation -- erupt into a clash between nuclear-armed powers. In 2014, as the centenary of World War I approached, a growing number of scholarly papers called attention to the similarities between the conditions that precipitated the disaster of August 1914 and present-day tensions.
One parallel between today and 1914 is the growing sense among political and military strategists that war between the United States and China and/or Russia may be inevitable. As this fatalistic premise increasingly informs the judgments and actions of the key decision makers at the highest level of the state, it becomes a dynamic factor that makes the actual outbreak of war more likely. A specialist in international geopolitics has recently written:
Once war is assumed to be unavoidable, the calculations of leaders and militaries change. The question is no longer whether there will or should be a war, but when the war can be fought most advantageously. Even those neither eager for nor optimistic about war may opt to fight when operating in the framework of inevitability. [ 14 ]
Not since the end of World War II has there existed so great a danger of world war. The danger is heightened by the fact that the level of popular awareness of the threat remains very limited. What percentage of the American population, one must ask, realizes that President Barack Obama has formally committed the United States to go to war in defense of Estonia, in the event of a conflict between the small Baltic country and Russia? The media has politely refrained from asking the president to state how many human beings would die in the event of a nuclear war between the United States and either Russia or China, or both at the same time.
On the eve of World War II, Leon Trotsky warned that a catastrophe threatened the entire culture of mankind. He was proven correct. Within less than a decade, the Second World War claimed the lives of more than fifty million people. The alarm must once again be sounded. The working class and youth within the United States and throughout the world must be told the truth.
The progressive development of a globally integrated world economy is incompatible with capitalism and the nation-state system. If war is to be stopped and a global catastrophe averted, a new and powerful mass international movement, based on a socialist program, and strategically guided by the principles of revolutionary class struggle, must be built. In opposition to imperialist geopolitics, in which national states fight brutally for regional and global dominance, the International Committee counterposes the strategy of world socialist revolution. As Trotsky advised, we "follow not the war map but the map of the class struggle. . . ." [ 15 ]
In the weeks prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, there were mass protests against the war policies of the United States and its allies. Millions took to the streets. But after the war began, public opposition virtually disappeared. The absence of popular protest did not signify support for the war. Rather, it reflected the repudiation, by the old middle-class protest movement, of its former Vietnam-era opposition to imperialism.
There are mounting signs of political radicalization among significant sections of the working class and youth. It is only a matter of time before this radicalization gives rise to conscious opposition to war. It is the aim of this volume to impart to the new antiwar movement a revolutionary socialist and internationalist perspective and program.
... ... ...solerso • 2 years agoThe quotes from Trotsky are glaring. These and others were used to argue against socialism in the post war decades, but all that was needed was time and the working of the forces of capitalism itself. History never ended, it is right on scheduleSteve Naidamast • 2 years ago"Landler informs his readers that Obama "went for a walk among the tombstones at Arlington National Cemetery before giving the order to send 30,000 additional troops into Afghanistan." He recalls a passage from Obama's 2009 speech accepting the Nobel Prize, in which the president wearily lamented that humanity needed to reconcile "two seemingly irreconcilable truths -- that war is sometimes necessary, and war at some level is an expression of human folly."peatstack • 3 years ago
Typical American philosophy... "War is peace!"...VI lenin crushed the Krondstadt rebellion that was the true 'soviet union' model and instituted a hard right revolutionary regime of ruthless dictatorial control from smolny, not a workers state. The US borgeouis (and french and english) intervened to keep russia in the war and 160 german divisions from leaving the eastern front. The threat of a workers state was not the concern of the victors. The failure of revolutionary russia to represent what this article is propping it up to be (some kind of genuine workers state) leaves me deeply suspect about the other conclusions he's bent history to. Anyone who's read "2 years in russia" by emma goldman, and "the victors dilemma" - john silverlight and any number of books on the russian civil war, it is clear that the intervention was for military tactical reasons and that the nascient state was in no ways a workers state but a totalitarian military dictatorship. Emma Goldman's disillusionment is not her falling out of love with her ideals, but her coming to terms with the reality vs the PR of Russia. Which is why this website (Wsws) advertised a book repudiating the rejection of socialism with the faiure of the soviet union as a false narrative a year or few ago.fds peatstack • 3 years agoThe historical memoir is clear, diaries, memos, news articles, and the Western soldier revolts, time to smash the revolution. Kronstadt was a tragedy, but the regime was under threat. history is messy.OL peatstack • 3 years agoOn Kronstadt : https://www.marxists.org/ar... I never found an attempt at refuting these that was more than hot air.iv_int OL • 3 years ago
I can imagine that the leadership of imperialist countries was underestimating the bolsheviks in 1917, but once the Russian revolution had given enough confidence to the German masses to make the war stop one year later, once the French black sea fleet had rebelled in 1919, etc... they were all very conscious of the risks (potential risks, not immediate threats).The evidence in favour of what Trotsky wrote about Kronstadt is simply overwhelming. A cmd above gave some basic evidence. Trotsky was absolutely right and absolutely honest on what he wrote later on ("hue and cry over Kronstadt")Larka • 3 years agoThe working class has been the victim of betrayal after betrayal by pseudo-left forces in the 20th century, which led to two catastrophic world wars and all the other conflicts that have created needless bloodshed around the world. The great task will be, when the new mass working class anti-war movement arises, to give the working class the political knowledge it needs to not fall for the traps that dissipated anti-war movements in the past. It must be made clear to the workers of the world that for us, it's do or die time - literally, as the obscene levels of social inequality and the prospect of nuclear confrontation prove.Carolyn Zaremba Larka • 3 years agoI understand this very well, having seen what happened to what I thought at the time was a powerful antiwar movement in the 1960s against the war in Vietnam. I was quite politically naive at the time and became so disillusioned with politics in general and what I then thought to be the "left" in particular, that I went off politics completely and started reading Ayn Rand.Robert Seaborne Carolyn Zaremba • 3 years ago
After being turned off by Rand's misanthropy and hatred of the working class (even though I admired her atheism), I became more or less apolitical until 1998, when I first read the World Socialist Web Site and found what I had been looking for.thank you Carolyn Zaremba,FireintheHead • 3 years ago
for this affirming comment. Me too, having all but given up on politics and following a last ditch search of the web I was rewarded with a political program and party that was more than compatible with my world view and personal values. Something I had not thought possible, thank you ICFI/SEP.There are times when even we as Marxists find ourselves scouring the past for a word that befits the character and luminosity of a moment in human understanding. In this respect David North has given new meaning to the word 'Biblical'.Eric • 3 years ago
As a word, its essence is transcendent. For whoever defines an epoch in the clearest and most profoundest way as this, is elevated to the realms of Greatness.
As the bourgeoisie now scrabbles, in fights, and drowns in the last dregs of its alchemy, a Phoenix arises out of their chaos lest the bourgeoisie commits all to the Fires of Hell ....
Most excellent words comrade David ...a most excellent call to class struggle .This is a remarkably panoramic account, grounded in both history and economics, of the unfolding of U.S. militarism and imperialist warfare over the past 30 or so years. It is without peer in anything else I have seen in terms of showing that events and tendencies - which we may have been separately aware of - were in fact part of a historical continuum growing out of economic developments and the perceived interests of the U.S. ruling class.iv_int • 3 years agoAlways interesting to read cmd. North. ''First, and most important, the International Committee interpreted the collapse of the Stalinist regimes in Eastern Europe in 1989–90, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, as an existential crisis of the entire global nation-state system, as it emerged from the ashes of World War II. Second, the ICFI anticipated that the breakdown of the established postwar equilibrium would lead rapidly to a resurgence of imperialist militarism''. This is great but we also have German militarism on the rise and we should not underestimate. The working class must be prepared for economic and even actual wars in Europe and elsewhere. The redivision of markets and resources is evident with Germany and China on the table.
Apr 08, 2019 | www.wsws.org
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared his intention of extending Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank, captured in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, if he is re-elected prime minister in Tuesday's general election.
In so doing, he has effectively repudiated the entire post-World War II international order and signalled that wars of conquest and territorial aggrandisement are the order of the day. Such annexations were declared illegal under the Geneva Conventions, enacted in the wake of the Second World War to prevent the repetition of similar actions carried out by Germany's Nazi regime, which set the stage for the outbreak of war in 1939.
Netanyahu's announcement will give succour to his support base among fascistic layers of the settlers and religious nationalists, driving Israel's capitalist political setup ever further toward outright apartheid, fascism and military dictatorship. It is a prelude to intensified Israeli military aggression in the occupied West Bank, Gaza and the broader Middle East.
Netanyahu told a television Channel 12 interviewer on Saturday that he would not "evacuate any community." Nor would he divide Jerusalem, a reference to Palestinian demands for East Jerusalem to serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state. He said, "I will not divide Jerusalem, I will not evacuate any community and I will make sure we control the territory west of Jordan."
He added, "A Palestinian state will endanger our existence and I withstood huge pressure over the past eight years. No prime minister has withstood such pressure. We must control our destiny."
Netanyahu made it clear that he viewed President Donald Trump's recognition of Israel's illegal annexation of Syria's Golan Heights, captured in 1967, as a green light to press on with Likud's long-held expansionist policy of a Greater Israel. He said, "Will we move ahead to the next stage? Yes. I will extend sovereignty, but I don't distinguish between the settlement blocs and the isolated ones, because each settlement is Israeli, and I will not hand it over to Palestinian sovereignty."
Speaking about the Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar, which he has pledged to evacuate despite international outrage, Netanyahu promised that "it will happen." He added, "I promised, and it will happen at the soonest opportunity."
Netanyahu's announcement was aimed at bolstering his position in the election, which he had called ahead of schedule in order to win political backing to ensure his immunity from prosecution on a raft of corruption charges. Facing unexpectedly strong opposition from a slate of generals assembled by the so-called Blue and White coalition, headed by former chief of staff Benny Gantz, he has leveraged Trump's support to appeal to his right-wing support base.
He has brought into his electoral coalition, and a possible share of government power should he win, outright fascist elements linked to the banned Kach Party of the late Meir Kahane, a party that was designated a terrorist organization by the US, Canada, the European Union, Japan and Israel itself.
Trump's naked interference in the Israeli elections is bound up with US imperialism's broader aim of escalating its military intervention in the Middle East to roll back the growth of Iranian influence in the wake of the successive debacles suffered by Washington in Iraq, Libya and Syria.
Netanyahu's growing alliance with the House of Saud and the petro-monarchs of the Gulf has served to ensure their acquiescence -- with pro forma denunciations -- to this latest assault on the Palestinians.
But apart from Netanyahu's short-term political calculations, his announcement derives from Zionism's foundation upon exclusivist conceptions of racial, religious and linguistic hegemony to justify the establishment of a Jewish state through the violent dispossession of the indigenous Arab population, who formed the overwhelming majority of the population, making use of the horrors of the Holocaust as a rationale for the oppression of another people.
The political antecedents of Netanyahu's Likud Party, Vladimir Jabotinsky's Revisionists, who were to remain a minority tendency until the 1970s, articulated this position most clearly. Their aim was the establishment of a Jewish state on the entire land of Biblical Palestine, including Transjordan. With the Jews a minority in Palestine, such a state would necessarily mean expelling the Arab population to ensure its Jewish character.
In 1923, Jabotinsky explained, in an article titled "The Iron Wall," that the Zionist project could be achieved only against the wishes of the native population. He envisaged the need for an iron wall to protect the Jews from the native population. He said, "A voluntary reconciliation with the Arabs is out of the question either now or in the near future." Without a garrison, Zionist colonization of Palestine would be impossible, and "therefore it stands or falls by the question of armed force."
The establishment of a Jewish state was viewed with sympathy by millions of people around the world, who were appalled at the catastrophe that had befallen the Jews. But the major powers excluding Britain, but including the Soviet Union, supported the establishment of a Jewish state as a means of blocking Britain's position in the Middle East. As a result, the UN voted in 1947 for the partition of Palestine, hailing the new state as a progressive entity dedicated to building a democratic and egalitarian society for the most cruelly oppressed people of Europe.
As soon as the State of Israel was declared in 1948, war broke out between the Arabs and the Jews, who were able to seize more land than was included in the 1947 partition plan, driving out some 750,000 Palestinians from their homes. Not wanting to pay the price of the concessions demanded by the superpowers, in terms of borders and refugees, Israel's Labour government did not try to make peace after the war, instead instituting a policy of "striving for peace" -- but not too fast -- which became the template for future governments. The more Israel got used to the situation of neither peace nor war, the louder grew the voices calling for the maintenance of the status quo.
After the 1967 war, when Israel captured East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan, Gaza from Egypt and the Golan Heights from Syria, the Labour government moved rapidly to annex East Jerusalem and build settlements in the occupied territories that are now home to some 700,000 Israeli Jews, many of them extreme nationalists and religious zealots who are heavily armed. Labour had, in effect, adopted the Revisionists' policy.
The war and the settlement movement spawned the growth of immensely reactionary political and social forces within Israel itself, with Menachem Begin's Likud party demanding the territories be brought under Israeli sovereignty on the grounds that they were the Biblical lands of Samaria and Judea, promised by God to the Jewish people.
In 1993, a Labour government signed an illusory peace deal, the Oslo Accords, brokered by the US, with the Palestine Liberation Organization. Ostensibly, the agreement was to usher in a Palestinian statelet. But its real purpose was to prevent the intifada that broke out in 1987 from developing into a revolutionary uprising by the Palestinian masses in the occupied territories, and to subcontract the task of suppressing the masses to the Palestinian bourgeoisie.
Instead of peace and a Palestinian state, the Oslo Accords set the stage for an expansion of the settlements and land seizures to control the access roads to these enclaves and strengthen their connection to Israel itself, with the Palestinian Authority left to police small patches of land, mostly impoverished cities, surrounded and cut off by Israeli troops.
In line with its long-held policy, the Likud Party vehemently opposed any territorial concessions to the Palestinians embodied in the Accords. Its leaders stood by as its angry supporters called Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin a traitor, paving the way for his murder in 1995 by a right-wing fanatic. With none of the mainstream political parties prepared to make any fundamental changes, the fraudulent peace process was all but dead.
Netanyahu has now made explicit what has long been implicit: the incorporation of the West Bank into a Greater Israel. It can be achieved and sustained only through the imposition of military rule. To this end, his government has passed a series of measures, including the openly racist "Nation-State Law" enshrining Jewish supremacy as the legal foundation of the state, bringing the political and legal system into alignment with the reality of Jabotinsky's garrison state, based on the brutal oppression of an entire people, the Palestinians.
The so-called "centre-left" opposition in the elections, led by Gantz, has not challenged Netanyahu's annexation pledge, resorting to verbal obfuscations and calls for a "regional conference" or "secure separation," thereby signifying consent.
This marks the historic bankruptcy and culmination of the entire reactionary Zionist project and all such nationalist programs.
Apr 05, 2019 | www.rt.com
US President Donald Trump, who has been relentlessly bashing everything linked to what he sees as 'socialism,' is himself no stranger to using socialist principles to support the US arms industry, Tulsi Gabbard has claimed. One could hardly suspect Trump of being a socialist in disguise.
After all, the US president has emerged as one of the most ardent critics of the leftist ideological platform. Just recently, he announced he would "go into the war with some socialists," while apparently referring to his political opponents from the Democratic Party.
But the president also seems to be quite keen on borrowing some socialist ideas when it fits his agenda, at least, according to the congresswoman from Hawaii and Democratic presidential candidate, Tulsi Gabbard, who recently wrote in a tweet that "Trump is for socialism when it comes to taxpayers underwriting military contractors and arms manufacturers."
Trump is for socialism when it comes to taxpayers underwriting military contractors and arms manufacturers. The same money would create more jobs used for rebuilding our country's infrastructure and green economy, and it would be better for humanity. https://t.co/tcNqsNQVbN-- Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) April 5, 2019
She was referring to a piece in The Los Angeles Times, which cheerfully reported that Trump's whopping military budget helps to breathe some new life into a Pentagon-owned tank manufacturing plant somewhere in northwestern Ohio that was once on the verge of a shutdown.
While the paper hailed the fact that the Pentagon's budget increase allowed local workers to keep their jobs and encouraged a skilled workforce to move to a small town in rural Ohio, Gabbard apparently hinted that the whole story in fact described what amounted to re-distribution of money from taxpayers to a de-facto depressed area to save some jobs – a social-democratic if not outright socialist move indeed.
It is very much unclear if Trump had this Ohio plant or any other factories like it in mind when he supported the record Pentagon budget. After all, redistributing large sums of public money in favor of the booming US military industrial complex does not look very much like socialism.
In her post, Gabbard also added that the US might have had a better use for a $160 billion boost in defense spending over two years. “The same money would create more jobs used for rebuilding our country’s infrastructure and green economy, and it would be better for humanity,” she wrote.
Trump, meanwhile, seems to be pretty confident that his policies indeed “make America great again” while it is those pesky socialists that threaten to ruin everything he has achieved. “I love the idea of 'Keep America Great' because you know what it says is we've made it great now we're going to keep it great because the socialists will destroy it,” he told an audience of Republican congress members this week, while talking about the forthcoming presidential campaign.
Apr 05, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
whybother , 34 minutes ago link
Tulsi Gabbard is the only candidate with any real substance on either side of the political divide.
Everybody else is a slimy, gutless, servile tool of the military industrial complex.
You know its true.
Apr 03, 2019 | caucus99percent.com
apenultimate on Wed, 04/03/2019 - 11:53pm
The Tulsi2020 campaign continues to gain unique donors, closing in on the magic number. As of tonight, Tulsi has 61,029 of them, and needs only 3,971 more to get into the Democratic debates. That's only 97 new donors per day through May 14.
Centaurea on Thu, 04/04/2019 - 4:39amFrom what I've heard,gulfgal98 on Thu, 04/04/2019 - 7:15am
Tulsi didn't join in the standing ovation for NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg during his warmongering speech to the US Congress on Weds. Good for her.IMHO, Michael Tracey has done the best interview>
with Tulsi Gabbard so far. Tracey has allowed Tulsi to explain the nuances of her foreign policy stands concerning regime change, war, and fighting terrorism. I do not believe any other interviewer has been able to bring out those distinctions.
I hope people will take the time to listen to Tracey's interview. It is posted on YouTube, but it is an audio interview only. Tracey does a nice introduction to both parts of the interview which was conducted over two days.
Apr 04, 2019 | www.unz.com
RobinG says: April 2, 2019 at 11:35 pm GMT 100 Words @Cloak And Dagger What do they say about Tulsi? Please note in this interview when Cenk asks her directly if she opposes the Occupation, she says Yes! A true Zio supporter (as some here have accused her!) would object to even using the word. And she addresses the Adelson question. On the conflict, her answer is pretty pablum, but probably as far as she can go strategically.
Cenk has been castigated from both sides, either as too harsh or too easy with her. IMO it's a very good interview. Can you picture for a moment, Tulsi in a debate with Trump? What are her boosters doing to prepare her for that? She's handling all the animosity with equanimity, and she'll arrive at the final contest battle-hardened.
Tulsi Gabbard Interview On TYT
Cloak And Dagger , says: April 3, 2019 at 5:56 am GMT@RobinGCloak And Dagger , says: April 3, 2019 at 6:30 am GMT
Cenk has been castigated from both sides, either as too harsh or too easy with her.
It is a good interview and she handles herself very well and her positions are well articulated. I remain wary of her, however, but I will keep an open mind and watch her in the months ahead to see where her funding comes from.@RobinG You may also be interested in this interview:
Apr 04, 2019 | www.unz.com
Wally , says: April 4, 2019 at 4:43 pm GMT@JR ssaid:
If one recognizes that Brzezinski's "The Grand Chessboard, American Primacy & Its Geostrategic Imperatives (1997)" in replacing "Lebensraum" with "control over Eurasia", "Tausendjähriges Reich" with "American Primacy" and providing our 'elite' with an "realist" and "amoral" excuse to act completely and consistently immoral one has to recognize too that this "Grand Chessboard" is an amalgamation of 'Mein Kampf' and 'Il Principe".
Except that Germany did not send Germans into the conquered territories during WWII, though they wanted to do so.
Apr 04, 2019 | www.amazon.com
Still another noted that Fascism is often linked to people who are part of a distinct ethnic or racial group, who are under economic stress, and who feel that they are being denied rewards to which they are entitled. "It's not so much what people have." she said, "but what they think they should have -- and what they fear." Fear is why Fascism's emotional reach can extend to all levels of society. No political movement can flourish without popular support, but Fascism is as dependent on the wealthy and powerful as it is on the man or woman in the street -- on those who have much to lose and those who have nothing at all.
This insight made us think that Fascism should perhaps be viewed less as a political ideology than as a means for seizing and holding power. For example, Italy in the 1920s included self-described Fascists of the left (who advocated a dictatorship of the dispossessed), of the right (who argued for an authoritarian corporatist state), and of the center (who sought a return to absolute monarchy). The German National Socialist Party (the
Nazis) originally came together ar ound a list of demands that ca- tered to anti-Semites, anti-immigrants, and anti-capitalists but also advocated for higher old-age pensions, more educational op- portunities for the poor, an end to child labor, and improved ma- ternal health care. The Nazis were racists and, in their own minds, reformers at the same time.
If Fascism concerns itself less with specific policies than with finding a pathway to power, what about the tactics of lead- ership? My students remarked that the Fascist chiefs we remem- ber best were charismatic. Through one method or another, each established an emotional link to the crowd and, like the central figure in a cult, brought deep and often ugly feelings to the sur- face. This is how the tentacles of Fascism spread inside a democ- racy. Unlike a monarchy or a military dictatorship imposed on society from above. Fascism draws energy from men and women who are upset because of a lost war, a lost job, a memory of hu- miliation, or a sense that their country is in steep decline. The more painful the grounds for resentment, the easier it is for a Fascist leader to gam followers by dangling the prospect of re- newal or by vowing to take back what has been stolen.
Like the mobilizers of more benign movements, these secular evangelists exploit the near-universal human desire to be part of a meaningful quest. The more gifted among them have an apti- tude for spectacle -- for orchestrating mass gatherings complete with martial music, incendiary rhetoric, loud cheers, and arm-
lifting salutes. To loyalists, they offer the prize of membership in a club from which others, often the objects of ridicule, are kept out. To build fervor, Fascists tend to be aggressive, militaristic, and -- when circumstances allow -- expansionist. To secure the future, they turn schools into seminaries for true believers, striv- ing to produce "new men" and "new women" who will obey without question or pause. And, as one of my students observed, "a Fascist who launches his career by being voted into office will have a claim to legitimacy that others do not."
After climbing into a position of power, what comes next: How does a Fascist consolidate authority? Here several students piped up: "By controlling information." Added another, "And that's one reason we have so much cause to worry today." Most of us have thought of the technological revolution primarily as a means for people from different walks of life to connect with one another, trade ideas, and develop a keener understanding of why men and women act as they do -- in other words, to sharpen our perceptions of truth. That's still the case, but now we are not so sure. There is a troubling "Big Brother" angle because of the mountain of personal data being uploaded into social media. If an advertiser can use that information to home in on a consumer because of his or her individual interests, what's to stop a Fascist government from doing the same? "Suppose I go to a demonstra- tion like the Women's March," said a student, "and post a photo
on social media. My name gets added to a list and that list can end up anywhere. How do we protect ourselves against that?"
Even more disturbing is the ability shown by rogue regimes and their agents to spread lies on phony websites and Facebook. Further, technology has made it possible for extremist organiza- tions to construct echo chambers of support for conspiracy theo- ries, false narratives, and ignorant views on religion and race. This is the first rule of deception: repeated often enough, almost any statement, story, or smear can start to sound plausible. The Internet should be an ally of freedom and a gateway to knowledge; in some cases, it is neither.
Historian Robert Paxton begins one of his books by assert- ing: "Fascism was the major political innovation of the twentieth century, and the source of much of its pain." Over the years, he and other scholars have developed lists of the many moving parts that Fascism entails. Toward the end of our discussion, my class sought to articulate a comparable list.
Fascism, most of the students agreed, is an extreme form of authoritarian rule. Citizens are required to do exactly what lead- ers say they must do, nothing more, nothing less. The doctrine is linked to rabid nationalism. It also turns the traditional social contract upside down. Instead of citizens giving power to the state in exchange for the protection of their rights, power begins with the leader, and the people have no rights. Under Fascism,
the mission of citizens is to serve; the government's job is to rule.
When one talks about this subject, confusion often arises about the difference between Fascism and such related concepts as totalitarianism, dictatorship, despotism, tyranny, autocracy, and so on. As an academic, I might be tempted to wander into that thicket, but as a former diplomat, I am primarily concerned with actions, not labels. To my mind, a Fascist is someone who identifies strongly with and claims to speak for a whole nation or group, is unconcerned with the rights of others, and is willing to use whatever means are necessary -- including violence -- to achieve his or her goals. In that conception, a Fascist will likely be a tyrant, but a tyrant need not be a Fascist.
Often the difference can be seen in who is trusted with the guns. In seventeenth-century Europe, when Catholic aristocrats did battle with Protestant aristocrats, they fought over scripture but agreed not to distribute weapons to their peasants, thinking it safer to wage war with mercenary armies. Modern dictators also tend to be wary of their citizens, which is why they create royal guards and other elite security units to ensure their personal safe- ty. A Fascist, however, expects the crowd to have his back. Where kings try to settle people down, Fascists stir them up so that when the fighting begins, their foot soldiers have the will and the firepower to strike first.
petarsimic , October 21, 2018Madeleine Albright on million Iraqis dead: "We think the price is worth It"<img src="https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/amazon-avatars-global/default._CR0,0,1024,1024_SX48_.png"> P. Bierre , June 11, 2018
Hypocrisy at its worst from a lady who advocated hawkish foreign policy which included the most sustained bombing campaign since Vietnam, when, in 1998, Clinton began almost daily attacks on Iraq in the so-called no-fly zones, and made so-called regime change in Iraq official U.S. policy.
In May of 1996, 60 Minutes aired an interview with Madeleine Albright, who at the time was Clinton's U.N. ambassador. Correspondent Leslie Stahl said to Albright, in connection with the Clinton administration presiding over the most devastating regime of sanctions in history that the U.N. estimated took the lives of as many as a million Iraqis, the vast majority of them children. , "We have heard that a half-million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And -- and, you know, is the price worth it?"
Madeleine Albright replied, "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price -- we think the price is worth it.Does Albright present a comprehensive enough understanding of fascism to instruct on how best to avoid it?Anat Hadad , January 19, 2019
While I found much of the story-telling in "Fascism" engaging, I come away expecting much more of one of our nation's pre-eminent senior diplomats . In a nutshell, she has devoted a whole volume to describing the ascent of intolerant fascism and its many faces, but punted on the question "How should we thwart fascism going forward?"
Even that question leaves me a bit unsatisfied, since it is couched in double-negative syntax. The thing there is an appetite for, among the readers of this book who are looking for more than hand-wringing about neofascism, is a unifying title or phrase which captures in single-positive syntax that which Albright prefers over fascism. What would that be? And, how do we pursue it, nurture it, spread it and secure it going forward? What is it?
I think Albright would perhaps be willing to rally around "Good Government" as the theme her book skirts tangentially from the dark periphery of fascistic government. "Virtuous Government"? "Effective Government"? "Responsive Government"?
People concerned about neofascism want to know what we should be doing right now to avoid getting sidetracked into a dark alley of future history comparable to the Nazi brown shirt or Mussolini black shirt epochs. Does Albright present a comprehensive enough understanding of fascism to instruct on how best to avoid it? Or, is this just another hand-wringing exercise, a la "you'll know it when you see it", with a proactive superficiality stuck at the level of pejorative labelling of current styles of government and national leaders? If all you can say is what you don't want, then the challenge of threading the political future of the US is left unruddered. To make an analogy to driving a car, if you don't know your destination, and only can get navigational prompts such as "don't turn here" or "don't go down that street", then what are the chances of arriving at a purposive destination?
The other part of this book I find off-putting is that Albright, though having served as Secretary of State, never talks about the heavy burden of responsibility that falls on a head of state. She doesn't seem to empathize at all with the challenge of top leadership. Her perspective is that of the detached critic. For instance, in discussing President Duterte of the Philippines, she fails to paint the dire situation under which he rose to national leadership responsibility: Islamic separatists having violently taken over the entire city of Marawi, nor the ubiquitous spread of drug cartel power to the level where control over law enforcement was already ceded to the gangs in many places...entire islands and city neighborhoods run by mafia organizations. It's easy to sit back and criticize Duterte's unleashing of vigilante justice -- What was Mrs. Albright's better alternative to regain ground from vicious, well-armed criminal organizations? The distancing from leadership responsibility makes Albright's treatment of the Philippines twin crises of gang-rule and Islamist revolutionaries seem like so much academic navel-gazing....OK for an undergrad course at Georgetown maybe, but unworthy of someone who served in a position of high responsibility. Duterte is liked in the Philippines. What he did snapped back the power of the cartels, and returned a deserved sense of security to average Philippinos (at least those not involved with narcotics). Is that not good government, given the horrendous circumstances Duterte came up to deal with? What lack of responsibility in former Philippine leadership allowed things to get so out of control? Is it possible that Democrats and liberals are afraid to be tough, when toughness is what is needed? I'd much rather read an account from an average Philippino about the positive impacts of the vigilante campaign, than listen of Madame Secretary sermonizing out of context about Duterte. OK, he's not your idea of a nice guy. Would you rather sit back, prattle on about the rule of law and due process while Islamic terrorists wrest control over where you live? Would you prefer the leadership of a drug cartel boss to Duterte?
My critique is offered in a constructive manner. I would certainly encourage Albright (or anyone!) to write a book in a positive voice about what it's going to take to have good national government in the US going forward, and to help spread such abundance globally. I would define "good" as the capability to make consistently good policy decisions, ones that continue to look good in hindsight, 10, 20 or 30 years later. What does that take?
I would submit that the essential "preserving democracy" process component is having a population that is adequately prepared for collaborative problem-solving. Some understanding of history is helpful, but it's simply not enough. Much more essential is for every young person to experience team problem-solving, in both its cooperative and competitive aspects. Every young person needs to experience a team leadership role, and to appreciate what it takes from leaders to forge constructive design from competing ideas and champions. Only after serving as a referee will a young person understand the limits to "passion" that individual contributors should bring to the party. Only after moderating and herding cats will a young person know how to interact productively with leaders and other contributors. Much of the skill is counter-instinctual. It's knowing how to express ideas...how to field criticism....how to nudge people along in the desired direction...and how to avoid ad-hominem attacks, exaggerations, accusations and speculative grievances. It's learning how to manage conflict productively toward excellence. Way too few of our young people are learning these skills, and way too few of our journalists know how to play a constructive role in managing communications toward successful complex problem-solving. Albright's claim that a journalist's job is primarily to "hold leaders accountable" really betrays an absolving of responsibility for the media as a partner in good government -- it doesn't say whether the media are active players on the problem-solving team (which they have to be for success), or mere spectators with no responsibility for the outcome. If the latter, then journalism becomes an irritant, picking at the scabs over and over, but without any forward progress. When the media takes up a stance as an "opponent" of leadership, you end up with poor problem-solving results....the system is fighting itself instead of making forward progress.
"Fascism" doesn't do nearly enough to promote the teaching of practical civics 101 skills, not just to the kids going into public administration, but to everyone. For, it is in the norms of civility, their ability to be practiced, and their defense against excesses, that fascism (e.g., Antifa) is kept at bay.
Everyone in a democracy has to know the basics:
• when entering a disagreement, don't personalize it
• never demonize an opponent
• keep a focus on the goal of agreement and moving forward
• never tell another person what they think, but ask (non-rhetorically) what they think then be prepared to listen and absorb
• do not speak untruths or exaggerate to make an argument
• do not speculate grievance
• understand truth gathering as a process; detect when certainty is being bluffed; question sources
• recognize impasse and unproductive argumentation and STOP IT
• know how to introduce a referee or moderator to regain productive collaboration
• avoid ad hominem attacks
• don't take things personally that wrankle you;
• give the benefit of the doubt in an ambiguous situation
• don't jump to conclusions
• don't reward theatrical manipulation
These basics of collaborative problem-solving are the guts of a "liberal democracy" that can face down the most complex challenges and dilemmas.
I gave the book 3 stars for the great story-telling, and Albright has been part of a great story of late 20th century history. If she would have told us how to prevent fascism going forward, and how to roll it back in "hard case" countries like North Korea and Sudan, I would have given her a 5. I'm not that interested in picking apart the failure cases of history...they teach mostly negative exemplars. Much rather I would like to read about positive exemplars of great national government -- "great" defined by popular acclaim, by the actual ones governed. Where are we seeing that today? Canada? Australia? Interestingly, both of these positive exemplars have strict immigration policies.
Is it possible that Albright is just unable, by virtue of her narrow escape from Communist Czechoslovakia and acceptance in NYC as a transplant, to see that an optimum immigration policy in the US, something like Canada's or Australia's, is not the looming face of fascism, but rather a move to keep it safely in its corner in coming decades? At least, she admits to her being biased by her life story.
That suggests her views on refugees and illegal immigrants as deserving of unlimited rights to migrate into the US might be the kind of cloaked extremism that she is warning us about."Fascism is not an exception to humanity, but part of it."Matthew T , May 29, 2018
Albright's book is a comprehensive look at recent history regarding the rise and fall of fascist leaders; as well as detailing leaders in nations that are starting to mimic fascist ideals. Instead of a neat definition, she uses examples to bolster her thesis of what are essential aspects of fascism. Albright dedicates each section of the book to a leader or regime that enforces fascist values and conveys this to the reader through historical events and exposition while also peppering in details of her time as Secretary of State. The climax (and 'warning'), comes at the end, where Albright applies what she has been discussing to the current state of affairs in the US and abroad.
Overall, I would characterize this as an enjoyable and relatively easy read. I think the biggest strength of this book is how Albright uses history, previous examples of leaders and regimes, to demonstrate what fascism looks like and contributing factors on a national and individual level. I appreciated that she lets these examples speak for themselves of the dangers and subtleties of a fascist society, which made the book more fascinating and less of a textbook. Her brief descriptions of her time as Secretary of State were intriguing and made me more interested in her first book, 'Madame Secretary'. The book does seem a bit slow as it is not until the end that Albright blatantly reveals the relevance of all of the history relayed in the first couple hundred pages. The last few chapters are dedicated to the reveal: the Trump administration and how it has affected global politics. Although, she never outright calls Trump a fascist, instead letting the reader decide based on his decisions and what you have read in the book leading up to this point, her stance is quite clear by the end. I was surprised at what I shared politically with Albright, mainly in immigration and a belief of empathy and understanding for others. However, I got a slight sense of anti-secularism in the form of a disdain for those who do not subscribe to an Abrahamic religion and she seemed to hint at this being partly an opening to fascism.
I also could have done without the both-sides-ism she would occasionally push, which seems to be a tactic used to encourage people to 'unite against Trump'. These are small annoyances I had with the book, my main critique is the view Albright takes on democracy. If anything, the book should have been called "Democracy: the Answer" because that is the most consistent stance Albright takes throughout. She seems to overlook many of the atrocities the US and other nations have committed in the name of democracy and the negative consequences of capitalism, instead, justifying negative actions with the excuse of 'it is for democracy and everyone wants that' and criticizing those who criticize capitalism.
She does not do a good job of conveying the difference between a communist country like Russia and a socialist country like those found in Scandinavia and seems okay with the idea of the reader lumping them all together in a poor light. That being said, I would still recommend this book for anyone's TBR as the message is essential for today, that the current world of political affairs is, at least somewhat, teetering on a precipice and we are in need of as many strong leaders as possible who are willing to uphold democratic ideals on the world stage and mindful constituents who will vote them in.An easy read, but incredibly ignorant and one eyed in far too many instancesAvid reader , December 20, 2018
The book is very well written, easy to read, and follows a pretty standard formula making it accessible to the average reader. However, it suffers immensely from, what I suspect are, deeply ingrained political biases from the author.
Whilst I don't dispute the criteria the author applies in defining fascism, or the targets she cites as examples, the first bias creeps in here when one realises the examples chosen are traditional easy targets for the US (with the exception of Turkey). The same criteria would define a country like Singapore perfectly as fascist, yet the country (or Malaysia) does not receive a mention in the book.
Further, it grossly glosses over what Ms. Albright terms facist traits from the US governments of the past. If the author is to be believed, the CIA is holier than thou, never intervened anywhere or did anything that wasn't with the best interests of democracy at heart, and American foreign policy has always existed to build friendships and help out their buddies. To someone ingrained in this rhetoric for years I am sure this is an easy pill to swallow, but to the rest of the world it makes a number of assertions in the book come across as incredibly naive. out of 5 stars Trite and opaqueBiast much? Still a good start into the problem&amp;amp;amp;lt;img src="https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/amazon-avatars-global/0e64e0cb-01e4-4e58-bcae-bba690344095._CR0,0.0,333,333_SX48_.jpg"&amp;amp;amp;gt; NJ , February 3, 2019
We went with my husband to the presentation of this book at UPenn with Albright before it came out and Madeleine's spunk, wit and just glorious brightness almost blinded me. This is a 2.5 star book, because 81 year old author does not really tell you all there is to tell when she opens up on a subject in any particular chapter, especially if it concerns current US interest.
Lets start from the beginning of the book. What really stood out, the missing 3rd Germany ally, Japan and its emperor. Hirohito (1901-1989) was emperor of Japan from 1926 until his death in 1989. He took over at a time of rising democratic sentiment, but his country soon turned toward ultra-nationalism and militarism. During World War II (1939-45), Japan attacked nearly all of its Asian neighbors, allied itself with Nazi Germany and launched a surprise assault on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, forcing US to enter the war in 1941. Hirohito was never indicted as a war criminal! does he deserve at least a chapter in her book?
Oh and by the way, did author mention anything about sanctions against Germany for invading Austria, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Poland? Up until the Pearl Harbor USA and Germany still traded, although in March 1939, FDR slapped a 25% tariff on all German goods. Like Trump is doing right now to some of US trading partners.
Next monster that deserves a chapter on Genocide in cosmic proportions post WW2 is communist leader of China Mao Zedung. Mr Dikötter, who has been studying Chinese rural history from 1958 to 1962, when the nation was facing a famine, compared the systematic torture, brutality, starvation and killing of Chinese peasants compares to the Second World War in its magnitude. At least 45 million people were worked, starved or beaten to death in China over these four years; the total worldwide death toll of the Second World War was 55 million.
We learn that Argentina has given sanctuary to Nazi war criminals, but she forgets to mention that 88 Nazi scientists arrived in the United States in 1945 and were promptly put to work. For example, Wernher von Braun was the brains behind the V-2 rocket program, but had intimate knowledge of what was going on in the concentration camps. Von Braun himself hand-picked people from horrific places, including Buchenwald concentration camp. Tsk-Tsk Madeline.
What else? Oh, lets just say that like Madelaine Albright my husband is Jewish and lost extensive family to Holocoust. Ukrainian nationalists executed his great grandfather on gistapo orders, his great grandmother disappeared in concentration camp, grandfather was conscripted in june 1940 and decommissioned september 1945 and went through war as infantryman through 3 fronts earning several medals. his grandmother, an ukrainian born jew was a doctor in a military hospital in Saint Petersburg survived famine and saved several children during blockade. So unlike Maideline who was raised as a Roman Catholic, my husband grew up in a quiet jewish family in that territory that Stalin grabbed from Poland in 1939, in a polish turn ukrainian city called Lvov(Lemberg). His family also had to ask for an asylum, only they had to escape their home in Ukraine in 1991. He was told then "You are a nice little Zid (Jew), we will kill you last" If you think things in ukraine changed, think again, few weeks ago in Kiev Roma gypsies were killed and injured during pogroms, and nobody despite witnesses went to jail. Also during demonstrations openly on the streets C14 unit is waving swastikas and Heils. Why is is not mentioned anywhere in the book? is is because Hunter Biden sits on the board of one of Ukraine's largest natural gas companies called Burisma since May 14, 2014, and Ukraine has an estimated 127.9 trillion cubic feet of unproved technically recoverable shale gas resources? ( according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).1 The most promising shale reserves appear to be in the Carpathian Foreland Basin (also called the Lviv-Volyn Basin), which extends across Western Ukraine from Poland into Romania, and the Dnieper-Donets Basin in the East (which borders Russia).
Wow, i bet you did not know that. how ugly are politics, even this book that could have been so much greater if the author told the whole ugly story. And how scary that there are countries where you can go and openly be fascist.Interesting...yes. Useful...hmmmGderf , February 15, 2019
To me, Fascism fails for the single reason that no two fascist leaders are alike. Learning about one or a few, in a highly cursory fashion like in this book or in great detail, is unlikely to provide one with any answers on how to prevent the rise of another or fend against some such. And, as much as we are witnessing the rise of numerous democratic or quasi-democratic "strongmen" around the world in global politics, it is difficult to brand any of them as fascist in the orthodox sense.
As the author writes at the outset, it is difficult to separate a fascist from a tyrant or a dictator. A fascist is a majoritarian who rouses a large group under some national, racial or similar flag with rallying cries demanding suppression or exculcation of those excluded from this group. A typical fascist leader loves her yes-men and hates those who disagree: she does not mind using violence to suppress dissidents. A fascist has no qualms using propaganda to popularize the agreeable "facts" and theories while debunking the inconvenient as lies. What is not discussed explicitly in the book are perhaps some positive traits that separate fascists from other types of tyrants: fascists are rarely lazy, stupid or prone to doing things for only personal gains. They differ from the benevolent dictators for their record of using heavy oppression against their dissidents. Fascists, like all dictators, change rules to suit themselves, take control of state organizations to exercise total control and use "our class is the greatest" and "kick others" to fuel their programs.
Despite such a detailed list, each fascist is different from each other. There is little that even Ms Albright's fascists - from Mussolini and Hitler to Stalin to the Kims to Chavez or Erdogan - have in common. In fact, most of the opponents of some of these dictators/leaders would calll them by many other choice words but not fascists. The circumstances that gave rise to these leaders were highly different and so were their rules, methods and achievements.
The point, once again, is that none of the strongmen leaders around the world could be easily categorized as fascists. Or even if they do, assigning them with such a tag and learning about some other such leaders is unlikely to help. The history discussed in the book is interesting but disjointed, perfunctory and simplistic. Ms Albright's selection is also debatable.
Strong leaders who suppress those they deem as opponents have wreaked immense harms and are a threat to all civil societies. They come in more shades and colours than terms we have in our vocabulary (dictators, tyrants, fascists, despots, autocrats etc). A study of such tyrant is needed for anyone with an interest in history, politics, or societal well-being. Despite Ms Albright's phenomenal knowledge, experience, credentials, personal history and intentions, this book is perhaps not the best place to objectively learn much about the risks from the type of things some current leaders are doing or deeming as right.Wrong warning
Each time I get concerned about Trump's rhetoric or past actions I read idiotic opinions, like those of our second worst ever Secretary of State, and come to appreciate him more. Pejorative terms like fascism or populism have no place in a rational policy discussion. Both are blatant attempts to apply a pejorative to any disagreeing opinion. More than half of the book is fluffed with background of Albright, Hitler and Mussolini. Wikipedia is more informative. The rest has snippets of more modern dictators, many of whom are either socialists or attained power through a reaction to failed socialism, as did Hitler. She squirms mightily to liken Trump to Hitler. It's much easier to see that Sanders is like Maduro. The USA is following a path more like Venezuela than Germany.
Her history misses that Mussolini was a socialist before he was a fascist, and Nazism in Germany was a reaction to Wiemar socialism. The danger of fascism in the US is far greater from the left than from the right. America is far left of where the USSR ever was. Remember than Marx observed that Russia was not ready for a proletarian revolution. The USA with ready made capitalism for reform fits Marx's pattern much better. Progressives deny that Sanders and Warren are socialists. If not they are what Lenin called "useful idiots."
Albright says that she is proud of the speech where she called the USA the 'Indispensable Nation.' She should be ashamed. Obama followed in his inaugural address, saying that we are "the indispensable nation, responsible for world security." That turned into a policy of human rights interventions leading to open ended wars (Syria, Yemen), nations in chaos (Libya), and distrust of the USA (Egypt, Russia, Turkey, Tunisia, Israel, NK). Trump now has to make nice with dictators to allay their fears that we are out to replace them.
She admires the good intentions of human rights intervention, ignoring the results. She says Obama had some success without citing a single instance. He has apologized for Libya, but needs many more apologies. She says Obama foreign policy has had some success, with no mention of a single instance. Like many progressives, she confuses good intentions with performance. Democracy spreading by well intentioned humanitarian intervention has resulted in a succession of open ended war or anarchy.
The shorter histories of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Venezuela are much more informative, although more a warning against socialism than right wing fascism. Viktor Orban in Hungary is another reaction to socialism.
Albright ends the book with a forlorn hope that we need a Lincoln or Mandela, exactly what our two party dictatorship will not generate as it yields ever worse and worse candidates for our democracy to vote upon, even as our great society utopia generates ever more power for weak presidents to spend our money and continue wrong headed foreign policy.
The greatest danger to the USA is not fascism, but of excessively poor leadership continuing our slow slide to the bottom.
Apr 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Christian J Chuba , Mar 31, 2019 3:08:20 PM | link
"U.S. Regime blocks international waterway" [actual story, Reuters title story] ... "Iranian fuel oil cargo sits off Malaysia as U.S. urges sanctions compliance"
I cannot stand the tone of this article, apparently the U.S. was able to coerce Singapore and Malaysia into not buying Iranian oil. The story is peppered with the usual loaded terms such as, 'evading U.S sanctions' as if they are lawful. If Iran blocked access to the Persian Guld would we hear stories about Qatar and the Saudis 'evading Iranian sanctions'?
What got my attention post this common story was this statement ...talks were to make sure Malaysian and Singaporean authorities "are alert and make important decisions about whether or not to even allow the vessels to come through their waterways."
So now it is somehow acceptable to block a merchant ship from an international waterway? WTF. This is an act of war.
Mar 31, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by US Army Major Danny Sjursen (ret.) via TruthDig.com, Still Waiting: 2020 Fever and the Quest for a Progressive Foreign Policy
The 2020 election will not turn on global issues – and more's the pity. After all, thanks to decades upon decades of accumulating executive power in an increasingly imperial presidency, it is in foreign affairs that the commander-in-chief possesses near dictatorial power. Conversely, in domestic policy, a hostile Congress can – just ask Barry Obama – effectively block most of a president's agenda.
Still, the vast majority of Americans don't give a hoot about issues of war, peace, and international diplomacy. Why should they care? It's not as though anything is asked of them as citizens. By cynically ditching the draft, Tricky Dick Nixon took the wind out of the sails of current and future antiwar movements, and permanently cleaved a gap between the U.S. people and their military.
Mothers no longer lose sleep over their teenage sons serving their country and they – along with the rest of the family – quit caring about foreign policy. Such it is, and so it will be, that the 2020 presidential election is likely to be decided by "kitchen-table" affairs like healthcare, immigration, race, and taxes.
Be that as it may, serious observers should pay plenty of attention to international strategy.
- First, because the occupant of the Oval Office makes policy almost unilaterally – including the decision of whether or not to end the human race with America's suicidal nuclear button.
- Second, because 2020 is likely to be another close contest, turning on the votes of a few hundred thousand swing state voters. As such, Trump's opponent will need to win every vote on every issue – including foreign affairs. What's more, there are still some folks who genuinely care about a potential commander-in-chief's international bonafides.
So, while Dems can't win the White House with foreign policy alone, they can lose it by ignoring these issues or – oh so typically – presenting a muddled overseas strategy.
This is serious.
Just in case there are any out there still underestimating Trump – I, for one, predict he'll win in 2020 – make no mistake, he's no pushover on foreign policy. Sure he doesn't know much – but neither does the average voter. Nonetheless, Trump is no dope. He's got the pulse of (white) voters across this country and senses that the populace is tired of spending blood and cash (but mostly its cash) on Mideast forever wars. In 2016, he (correctly) made Hillary"regime change" Clinton out to be the true hawk in the race. Trump, on the other hand, combined tough guy bravado (he'd "bomb the shit" out of ISIS) with earthy good sense (there'd be no more "stupid" Iraq invasions. And it worked.
So, with 2020 in mind, whether you're a progressive, a libertarian, or just a Trump-hater, its vital that the opposition (most likely the Dems) nominate a candidate who can hang with Trump in foreign affairs.
Mark my words: if the DNC – which apparently picks the party's candidates – backs a conventional neoliberal foreign policy nominee, Trump will wipe the floor with him or her. And, if the Dems national security platform reads like a jumbled, jargon-filled sheet full of boring (like it usually does) than Joe the proverbial plumber is going to back The Donald.
That's what has me worried. As one candidate after another enters an already crowded field, this author is left wondering whether any of them are commander-in-chief material. So far I see a huge crew (Liz, Kirsten, Kamala, Beto) that live and die by domestic policy; two potentially conventional foreign policy guys (Biden and Booker); and two other wildcards (Bernie and Tulsi). That's not a comprehensive list, but you get the point. If they want to stand a chance in 2020, the Dems had better back a nominee with a clear, alternative progressive foreign policy or get one the domestic-focused candidates up to speed and fast.
So here's how my mental math works: a progressive candidate needs to win over libertarian-minded Republicans and Independents (think Rand Paul-types) by force of their commonsense alternative to Trump's foreign policy. That means getting the troops out of the Mideast, pulling the plug from other mindless interventions and cutting runaway defense spending. Then, and only then, can the two sides begin arguing about what to do with the resultant cash surplus. That's an argument for another day, sure, but here and now our imaginary Democratic (or Third Party?) nominee needs to end the wars and curtail the excesses of empire. I know many libertarians – some still nominally Republican – who could get behind that agenda pretty quickly!
Still, there's more than a little reason for concern . Look at how "Nasty" Nancy Pelosi and the establishment Dems came down on Ilhan Omar for that representative's essentially accurate tweets criticizing the Israel Lobby. Then there's Joe Biden. Look, he's definitely running. He's also definitely been wrong time and again on foreign policy – like how he was for the Iraq War before he was against it (how'd that turn out for John Kerry in 2004?). And, for all the talk of a progressive "blue wave" in the party ranks, Biden still polls as the top choice for Democratic primary voters. Yikes.
Behind him, thankfully, is old Bernie – who sometimes shows potential in foreign affairs – the only candidate who has both backed Omar and been consistent in a career of generally antiwar votes. Still, Bernie won his household name with domestic policy one-liners – trashing Wall Street and pushing populist economic tropes. Whether he can transform into a more balanced candidate, one that can confidently compose and deliver a strong alternative foreign policy remains to be seen.
Tulsi Gabbard, though she still looks the long shot, remains intriguing given here genuine antiwar (and combat veteran) credentials. Still, she'll have her hands full overcoming problematic skeletons in her own closet: ties to Indian Hindu nationalists, opposition to the Iran deal, and sometime backing of authoritarians and Islamophobes. Then again, even Bernie has his foreign affairs flaws – such as reflexively denouncing the BDS movement and occasionally calling for regime change in Syria. Nevertheless, both Bernie and Tulsi demonstrate that there's some promise for fresh opposition foreign policy.
Here's (some) of what that would look like:
- speedily withdraw all U.S. troops from the (at least) seven shooting wars in the Greater Middle East;
- choke off excessive arms deals and expensive military handouts to Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other frenemies;
- quit bombing or enabling the bombing of impoverished civilians in places like Yemen and Gaza; begin dismantling America's "empire of bases" overseas;
- seek firm détente rather than conflict with Russia and China;
- and cut defense and war-related spending down to size.
Our imaginary candidate would need to convey this commonsense course to a war-weary American people as plainly and coherently as Trump can. No jargon, no Clintonian wonky crap – simple and to the point. Imagine it: a commonsense course for a clear-eyed country!
Less war and more investment at home. Less war and more middle-class tax cuts. Whatever. That fight will come and the progressives and independents/libertarians will fight it out. For now, though, what's essential is checking the war machine and military-industrial behemoth before its too late (it may be already!).
None of this will be easy or likely, of course. But count on this much: the establishment Democrats, media-mogul "left," and centrist DC think tanks won't save us from the imperial monster or deliver a Trump-defeating strategy in foreign affairs. The Mueller-will-save-us, Mattis-was-a-hero, reflexively anti-Trump, born-again hawks like Rachel Maddow and the other disappointing chumps at MSNBC or CNN aren't on our side. Worse yet, they're born losers when it comes to delivering elections.
All of this may be far-fetched, but is not impossible. Neither libertarians nor progressives can countenance Trump. Nor should they. One of their only true hopes for compromise rest on foreign policy and a genuine antiwar message. It can be done.
Look, on a personal note, even America's beloved and over-adulated soldiers are reachable on this issue – that's how you know the foreign policy alliance has potential! For every rah-rah war-fever cheerleader in uniform, there's an exhausted foot soldier on his Nth tour in the Mideast. There's also a huge chunk ( 40%! ) who are racial minorities – usually a reliably anti-Trump demographic. Finally, among the white men and women in uniform I've personally met a solid core of libertarians. And the data backs up my anecdotal observation – Ron Paul was highly popular among active-duty military members and their families. A progressive foreign policy alliance with the libertarian wing of Republicans and Independents would sell better with these such voters both in and out of uniform. You know the type: sick of war but just as sick of stereotypical liberal snowflakes.
So here's a plea to the "opposition" such at it is: avoid the usual mistakes – don't cede foreign affairs to the Trump and the Republicans; don't nominate anyone remotely resembling Joe Biden; don't alienate libertarians and independents with wonky or muddled international policy.
Try something new. Like winning
* * *
Danny Sjursen is a retired U.S. Army officer and regular contributor to antiwar.com . He served combat tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at his alma mater, West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge . Follow him on Twitter at @SkepticalVet .
Nov 23, 2016 | www.theguardian.com
Donald Trump's unorthodox US presidential transition continued on Monday when he held talks with one of the most prominent supporters of leftwing Democrat Bernie Sanders.
The president-elect's first meeting of the day at Trump Tower in New York was with Tulsi Gabbard, a Democratic maverick who endorsed the socialist Sanders during his unsuccessful primary battle with Hillary Clinton.
... ... ...
At first glance Gabbard, who is from Hawaii and is the first Hindu member of the US Congress, seems an unlikely counsellor. She resigned from the Democratic National Committee to back Vermont senator Sanders and formally nominated him for president at the party convention in July, crediting him with starting a "movement of love and compassion", although by then Clinton's victory was certain.
But the Iraq war veteran has also expressed views that might appeal to Trump, criticising Obama, condemning interventionist wars in Iraq and Libya and taking a hard line on immigration. In 2014, she called for a rollback of the visa waiver programme for Britain and other European countries with what she called "Islamic extremist" populations.
In October last year she tweeted: "Al-Qaeda attacked us on 9/11 and must be defeated. Obama won't bomb them in Syria. Putin did. #neverforget911." She was then among 47 Democrats who joined Republicans to pass a bill mandating a stronger screening process for refugees from Iraq and Syria coming to the US.
Jan 21, 2017 | www.unz.com
What I found most impressive this time was the reaffirmation of America's dedication to the peaceful transfer of political power. This was the 45th time this miracle has happened. Saying this is perhaps banal, but the handover of power never fails to make me proud to be an American and thankful we had such brilliant founding fathers.
This peaceful transfer sets the United States apart from many of the world's nations, even Britain and Canada, where leaders under the parliamentary system are chosen in a process resembling a knife fight in a dark room. The US has somehow managed to retain its three branches of government in spite of the best efforts of self-serving politicians to wreck it.
Each new president inherits a sea of problems from his predecessor. Donald Trump's biggest legacy headaches and priority will be in the Mideast, a disaster area on its own but made far, far worse by the bungling of the Obama administration and its dimwitted attempts to put the US and Russia on a collision course.
Thanks to George W. Bush – who dared show his face at the inauguration – and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Obama, Trump inherits America's longest war, Afghanistan, with our shameful support of mass drug dealing, endemic corruption and war crimes. Add the crazy mess in Iraq and now Syria.
This week US B-2 heavy bombers attacked Libya. US forces are fighting in Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan and parts of Africa. For what? No one is quite sure. America's foreign wars, fueled by its $1 trillion military budget, have assumed a life of their own. Once a great power goes to war, its proponents insist, 'we can't be seen to back down or our credibility will suffer.'
Trump will struggle to find a face-saving retreat from these unnecessary conflicts and shut his ears to the siren songs of the war party and deep state which just failed to stage a 'soft' coup to block his inauguration. Waging little wars against weak nations is a multi-billion dollar national industry in the US. America has become as addicted to war as it has to debt.
If President Trump truly wants to bring some sort of peace to the explosive Mideast, he will have to reject the advice of the hardline Zionists with whom he has chosen to surround himself. Their primary interest is Greater Israel, free of Arabs, not in a Greater America. Trump is too smart not to know this. But he may also listen to his blood and guts former generals who lost the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Trump appears to have been gulled into believing the canard that Mideast-origin violence is caused by what he called in his inaugural speech, radical Islamic terrorism. This is a favorite device promoted by the hard right and Israel to de-legitimize any resistance to Israel's expansion and ethnic cleansing. The label of 'terrorism' serves the same purpose.
Trump should be reminded that the 9/11 attackers cited two reasons for their attack: 1. Occupation of Saudi Arabia by the US; 2. Continued US-backed occupation of Palestine. Persistent attacks on western targets that we call terrorism are, in most cases, acts of revenge for our neo-colonial actions in the Muslim world, the 'American Raj' as I term it.
Unfortunately, President Trump is unlikely to get this useful advice from the men who now surround him, with the possibly exception of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Let's hope that Tillerson and not Goldman Sachs bank ends up steering US foreign policy.
(Reprinted from EricMargolis.com by permission of author or representative)
Apr 06, 2017 | www.unz.com
utu , April 6, 2017 at 3:43 pm GMTn@Buzz MohawkThis turn of events is the biggest challenge ever to my support of Trump. If he really goes the way he is indicating, he will lose the support of people like me -- and there may be millions like me. We have no alternative candidate, but we will never again be led down this road." we will never again be led down this road." You will, you will because you like most losers are driven by your own projections. You projected your hopes and wishful thinking on Trump and it worked perfectly for him. He got elected.
If Trump turns, that is the end of everything.
But now after firing Bannon there is nothing left. He was the last and the only guarantor of your hopes. That's why MSM hated Bannon so much.
The only pre-election promises that actually will be retained are torture, Guantanamo and stealing their oil. Did you vote for these items? Anyway, that is all you are left with. Get used to it:
torture, Guantanamo and stealing their oil
And enjoy your Trump as president.
Jan 16, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.comreason : January 16, 2017 at 02:25 AMJust as an aside - not really economics, but I am really worrying about what the war between the future white house team and the CIA that seems to be brewing. I don't see good solutions to this. It is sort of unprecedented in a major western country. Can you think of a similar case (where the intelligence services - and perhaps the military as well regarded there own government head as an enemy agent)?reason -> reason ... , January 16, 2017 at 03:02 AMPerhaps MI5 and Wilson?Fang__z -> reason ... , January 16, 2017 at 04:03 AMCanaris and Hitler. :pilsm -> reason ... , January 16, 2017 at 04:41 AMHenry VI Pt2: dems playing Yorksilsm -> reason ... , January 16, 2017 at 04:49 AM
put the CIA in
CIA been the neocon
payroll too long
who told you Soviets
were never going
Define unprecedented. What are your standards for a "major western nation"? Any moral standard? Do they include blowing up countries, using militarized spooks with unlimited secret funding?jonny bakho -> reason ... , January 16, 2017 at 05:03 AM
If you side with the devil what are you? In tilting with the CIA, Trump is a saint.Don't worry. Be happy. Nothing can be done now. The voters wanted someone to "shake things up." Trump will be applying creative destruction to governmentChris G -> jonny bakho... , January 16, 2017 at 05:06 AM
Obama failed to drive the NeoCons out of government. Trump may do so, but the replacement might be fundamentally more corrupt.
As with Obamacare, the idea is to destroy it and replace it with something better. Most revolutions find it easy to destroy and very much harder to build Most sane leaders recognize this difficulty and modify the existing rather than destroy and never getting around to replacement or find the replacement to be worse than the existing.
Looters on the other hand love destruction. The resulting chaos affords them more opportunity to get windfalls. Trump will give the voters the radical change they think they want. But Trump will use the destruction as an opportunity for personal gain. The public will be left with a gutted government that will need to be rebuilt before it will function againOne quibble: The destruction he applies will not be creative. It will be thorough but entirely unimaginative.reason -> jonny bakho... , January 16, 2017 at 07:24 AMI don't believe in "creative destruction", I believe in "destructive creation" which is something quite different. But that is not the point. This is not about the government as such, it is about the security apparatus in itself. It could get very nasty if that ends up either totally alienated or politicized.Chris G -> reason ... , January 16, 2017 at 05:03 AMIf I were President, provoking an organization whose specialty is covert operations and which has track record of bringing about the demise of insufficiently agreeable leaders would not be high on my to-do list.ilsm -> Chris G ... , January 16, 2017 at 05:20 AMHas the imperator surrounded himself with the wrong praetorians?Peter K. -> reason ... , January 16, 2017 at 05:37 AMWhy do you think a war is brewing? What do you think is going to happen? They'll give him bad intel like they did with Bush?ilsm -> Peter K.... , January 16, 2017 at 05:44 AMThe meme that Trump will "get US into war" is a Clinton loser-whiner meme! Delusional and misleading; the neocon Clinton would have done Putin first CIA fictional, regime change excuse the yellow press could spread.Peter K. -> ilsm... , January 16, 2017 at 05:54 AMTrump is an isolationist who repeatedly said the Iraq war was a disaster, which it was. If the CIA is going after Trump they're doing a bad job. The worst they could come up with is some unverified accounts that Trump likes pee-pee parties.reason -> Peter K.... , January 16, 2017 at 07:29 AMBecause they are already reportedly telling some of their contacts not to trust the government with information in case it ends up with hostile governments. Maybe using the word "war" is misleading. Maybe "cold war" is more accurate, but in general I mean a state of mutual distrust.
Mar 29, 2019 | consortiumnews.com
This should be the end of the Democratic party. This dismal state of affairs is their fault, from the content of the leaked emails to their handling of it. They have had choices on the way to clean up their act but, they have blankly refused at every juncture. Not one thing has changed since the emails revealed that the DNC rigs its primaries, and yet here we are in the middle of another fake primary with everyone going along with it like it's a real thing. It's weird. In a healthy democratic republic the party would be dead already, and a new one would've taken its place fueled by fresh energy and enthusiasm but the donor-class corruption is so deeply entrenched that that possibility has seemed like a fantasy.
Gregory Herr , March 27, 2019 at 19:30
As an old-fashioned labor-lefty who used to call himself a Democrat, I'd say the alienation continues unabated.
No illusions about who and what the party represents. Bad enough at home, but shit, they also drop bombs like no tomorrow and spout lines from Langley and Likud like the back of their hand.
As an armchair goof playing early guessing games, I'd say Sanders will pull at least the weight he did last time as the uninspiring field of corporatists will split Hillary's wing and the wild card Gabbard may draw support widely.
SteveK9 , March 28, 2019 at 10:03
Lifelong Democrat here that saw the writing on the wall, one year into Obama's first term (gave up on MSM during the runup to the Iraq invasion). Although, I could hardly have imagined how low the Democratic leadership would sink with Russia-gate. Gabbard is inspiring, but they are already starting to wear her down. I can't see anyone winning against imperial propaganda at this point, but I will support her as much as I can.
Gregory Herr , March 28, 2019 at 18:40
I'm sending a small donation to help her get into the Dem debates.
Mar 29, 2019 | consortiumnews.com
Skip Scott , March 26, 2019 at 08:24
I posted this on Medium when this article first came out.
Unfortunately, in every way that matters, RussiaGate has been a complete success. When Donald Trump said "wouldn't it be great to get along with Russia" RussiaGate was born. The thought of detente was his cardinal sin. That possibility has been completely demolished.
The MIC and its trillions of wasted dollars are safe. The Evil Empire's Forever War continues unabated, and even has new horizons in places such as Iran and Venezuela. Nuclear brinksmanship keeps the R&D money flowing to Lockheed Martin and the other death dealers.
Though Trump says he is a Nationalist, his every move in foreign policy shows him to be toeing the line for the interests of the PNACers, and whenever he bucks their interests, he has shown that he can be brought to heel as long as they don't trample his ego.
The DNC/RNC theater will go on, and the MSM will seek to ensure that our choice for 2020 will be corporate sponsored warmonger from column A or B.
... ... ...
The young people of today spend more time on the internet than they do watching network television, and 42 percent of registered voters didn't bother to cast a ballot in 2016. Therein lies our hope.
Gregory Herr , March 26, 2019 at 20:30
The time is ripe for leaving the Democrats, Skip. I think Tulsi should take your advice. But I've a funny feeling she'll throw the support she builds to Bernie towards a VP slot on the ticket.
Tulsi Gabbard is saying things fairly directly that Americans aren't used to hearing from their politicians. I love hearing it. But I have to say I'm bothered by her handling of the "Assad question". She could simply relate some of her experience in Syria, including her time with Assad. She could, in point of fact, refer to Assad as the President of Syria.
She could say that Syria's culture and political system are their own and that we would all do better to seek understanding of that culture before we set about trying to destroy it by arming terrorists.
She did say the CIA armed terrorists in Syria, didn't she? Come on Tulsi. Just part of the truth isn't enough truth. Tell them they ought to go to Syria themselves. Tell them the reporters aren't doing their jobs.
Tell them how utterly abhorrent and degenerate this war of terrorism against the Syrian people has been...
Skip Scott , March 28, 2019 at 08:13
I think there will be a major smear campaign against Bernie and Tulsi. Wikileaks has shown that the DNC had plans to smear Bernie as an atheist in 2016, among other things. They have Bob Parry's "Mighty Wurlitzer" and a vast toolkit.
They will say that the progressives are splintering the party, and that getting rid of Trump is all that matters, so you need to hold you nose and choose warmonger from column B.
They will say that Socialism will bankrupt the Nation, and if we don't keep bombing everyone the "terrorists" will win. Divide and conquer is the game plan.
They have retained the superdelegates for the second ballot, and they are running so many candidates that they are purposely aiming for a second ballot, where the oligarchs will once again decide for the people.
That's why a real progressive needs to split from the Dems in a dramatic fashion , go third party, and shoot for the 15% to make the debates. In the end, that's the only venue that matters.
AelfredRex , March 26, 2019 at 06:31
Next step for the MSM propaganda machine? Probably assisting the CIA in whipping up war fever against Venezuela.
They've pounded "Putin evil!" into the heads of their party fanatics long enough that shouting "Putin plus Maduro!" at them will have the most ardent Democrat voter screaming to massacre all of Caracas.
Zhu , March 26, 2019 at 01:44
US elections are like those in the Roman Empire: prestigious but meaningless.
Zhu , March 26, 2019 at 01:47
America. We are definitely a genocidal nation. In all ways we are to blame for your own problems.
Feb 26, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Jools Tyler , 1 day agoCindy Klenk , 1 day ago
Thank you Jimi, for calling out even Bernie when he buys the corporate bullshit, You restored my faith in you man.poofendorf , 1 day ago (edited)
Aloha! Tulsi for President! No excuses!!! Bernie is compromised. Peace, Love and Aloha #Tulsi2020Eric Anderson , 1 day ago
Here's a list of Bernie's foreign policy stances:
- Supported bombing of Yugoslavia.
- Supported Afghanistan war.
- Supported Israeli bombing of Gaza.
- Demanded that Gaddafi step down as leader of Libya and supported no-fly zone over Libya thus making way for US regime change.
- Supported CIA narrative of Assad using chemical weapons.
- Supported CIA narrative on Venezuela.
- Supported CIA narrative of Russia/collusion conspiracy theory.
- Supported CIA and MIC candidate Hillary Clinton even after getting cheated by her campaign.
- Supported CIA efforts in Ukraine.
Seriously, if you still support this clown, you are part of the problem.Vas Sagar , 18 hours ago
Aaron Maté tweets -- Do we need a new category for progressives whose progressive values stop at the US border?
There's nothing progressive about silence, tepidness, or even support for destructive policies abroad by the same forces -- & for the same interests -- that we claim to oppose at home.b cornejo , 23 hours ago
this is the bargain Bernie made to run as a Democrat..
Bernie lost credibility when he endorsed Hilary in 2016... Tulsi is the one for 2020...
pandastratton. 23 hours ago
Donate to Tulsi to get her on the debate stage!!!!
Dionysos, 19 hours ago
Jimmy I know Tulsi is the best candidate in terms of foreign policy, but Bernie is our only chance at getting a real progressive in the White House!
People are suffering economically and that is the issue where the vast majority of support lies. If stuff like this splits the progressive support and allows someone like Kamala to win in the primaries, things will get really bad.
Robert Rowland23 hours ago
Jimmy (God love ya), the Military Industrial Complex is the single most gut-wrenchingly ruthless, most awesome entity on the planet. It has the ability to kill pretty much anyone they want without repercussion. No domestic political movement, even one that holds the Whitehouse, is capable of bringing them down or even reining them in. They will eventually meet their demise through bad management in combination with a series of misfortunes resulting in defeat in all-out global war. Until then, and while we as a nation are still able, the best we common folks can hope for is this juggernaut (the true boss) to give us some measure of these desperately needed social reforms. In other words, Bernie is just being realistic.
Meanwhile, Tulsi, The Real Deal Gabbard (God bless her soul), if successful, will be on a course to join the ranks of JFK, RFK, and MLK.
Our much-vaunted democracy is a sham and our freedom isn't actually what it is represented as being. May I suggest you watch this video and view it as a metaphor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vb8Rj5xkDPk
Mar 28, 2019 | www.youtube.com
George Washington , 1 week ago
I am a former Trump supporter, hardcore Trump supporter but I got off the Trump train 2 years ago after he bombed Syria. I got fooled once but I will not be fooled a second time. This country needs a real leader with real sincerity with a real heart for the American people and that's Tulsi Gabbard!!!
Mar 28, 2019 | www.youtube.com
handbanana19 , 1 week agoCarl Huffman , 1 week ago
Tulsi Gabbard has always said she does and will always put people and policy over political party. She is a legit leader.Mauel Thomas , 1 week ago
The main reason I support Tulsi is for her anti-interventionism.Raj Bodepudi , 1 week ago
The main stream media and pollsters are ignoring Tulsi. That means she is doing a lot better than they are letting on. They will not be able to ignore her forever.Valentine Xavier , 2 weeks ago
Tulsi is a Thought Leader & a Principled PractitionerBuster Friendly , 1 week ago
i love tulsi. something ive noticed a lot is her bipartisan support. both sensible thoughtful republicans and sensible thoughtful democrats (yes they both exist) seem to be for her. either way her anti war stance is something that i hope gets more coverage and people see through the blantant mainstream media smear attempts. whether you vote for her or not, it's refreshing and compelling to hear an iraq veteran take a strong stance against endless regime change war.
Thanks for your thoughtful analysis. I agree that Tulsi would indeed be THE most formidable opponent against "The Donald". She offers the greatest contrast to him and in that, gives the electorate a clear defined choice. As a woman with a multi-cultural and strong religious upbringing, a Gen Xer and a veteran, she has all the qualities that "The Donald" lacks. In addition, her life long commitment to public service, as well as her well-defined policy platform, puts the icing on the cake as the best "Anti-Donald" candidate.
Apr 22, 2017 | www.youtube.com
Some Democrats have been taking a lot of heat at town halls because they refuse to get behind a 'Medicare For All' system. And it's not just that they're getting booed; their constituents are literally calling for them to retire. Dianne Feinstein has been one of the recipients of this outrage. Tulsi Gabbard, however, had overwhelming support from enthusiastic constituents at her town hall because she actually pledged to support a 'Medicare For All' system. In this segment, we juxtapose Feinstein's town halls with Gabbard's to illustrate EXACTLY how you talk with your constituents about healthcare.
- Tulsi Town Hall (Full Video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQbOb...
- Feinstein Comes Out Against Single-Payer (Full Video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbq6t...
- Feinstein Town Hall - TYT (Full Video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9OBm...
- Feinstein Asked to Retire: http://fusion.net/dianne-feinstein-re...
- Feinstein's Donors: https://www.opensecrets.org/politicia...
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The Humanist Report (THR) is a progressive political podcast that discusses and analyzes current news events and pressing political issues. Our analyses are guided by humanism and political progressivism. Each news story we cover is supplemented with thought-provoking, fact-based commentary that aims for the highest level of objectivity.
paul lymberopoulos , 2 months agoMark McCarty , 1 year ago
OMG Australia, Canada, UK and most other European countries can do it, BUT the mighty USA can't????? TULSI 2020Craig Holman , 1 year ago
Is Medicare "government take over of health care"? Hell no. People on Medicare visit the doctor of their choice, and the doctors are private entrepreneurs - unlike the doctors in the VA, they aren't paid a salary by the govt. Time to retire, Dianne!Edulis , 1 year ago
Ecuador is a small country without the resources we have. They have single payer system. In this country my medication, Xeralto, costs $300 a month. In Ecuador the cost is $90 a month. I practiced medicine in Canada for two years. It is the way to go. It is less expensive and provides better care.Simon Smith , 1 year ago (edited)
Watching this old fartbag talk and STILL have a seat in the senate really boils my blood, I can't watch this without my blood pressure rising which I'd get checked out if Medicare for all was a thing lolmike bengyak , 1 year ago
Tulsi will be the Bernie of the 2020 election. The problem is, the same corrupt sellouts are still in control of the DNC. So unless something changes she will be shut down in favour of people like Corey Booker, Elizabeth Warren and Adam Schiff.D LG , 1 year ago
she is what is called a Public Servant not a low life politician, seeking either power or my! like say chris christie - old man mike begyak
I'm happy to say that my rep, Tim Ryan, was an early co-sponsor of HR676 and is a real blue color progressive. However, I'm still calling and emailing others. Don't stop at your own rep, folks. Please contact as many corporate dems as you have time for and let them know that their job is on the line. The pressure must be turned up to 100!
Apr 19, 2018 | www.youtube.com
In this video, I argue that Tulsi Gabbard could potentially make a very strong run in 2020 and that everyone who tries to dismiss her is vastly underestimating her potential.
- Patreon link: https://www.patreon.com/thersites
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edfou5 , 4 months agoFarero Lobos , 4 months ago
Tulsi is my first choice, by a mile, for all the reasons you've mentioned. The #1 liability she has, only because of the fact that half of the American populace are ignorant intolerant lunkheads, is her faith. She's a Hindu (which easily translates as being a Krishna devotee.)Ralph P. , 11 months ago
Only one correction. Assad isn't a dictator, he's been elected president of Syria in democratic elections. And if you want to argue that the elections in Syria are rigged or that the opposition candidates don't get impartial coverage in the press Well then I'd say that's the same case of the USA and many other democracies around the world!Henry H. , 11 months ago
Tulsi Gabbard stands alone, she should form an independent party by asking the people to donate to her cause. Bernie Sanders is a deferential failed candidate that is too worried about the democratic party than winning for the people. It is too late to reform the 2 parties in charge since they are part of the cancer created by the Kakistocracy. Eventually the masses will wake up, unfortunately they are in a catatonic state allowing the current situation.Alax Martin , 11 months ago
Surprised you didn't mention her religion: Hinduism. The left doesn't care, but you mentioned that the right will have a hard time hitting her on traditional stuff... I think that's wrong in one instance, religion. If she gets the nomination, the right wing establishment will absolutely hit her on her religion, no question. I think you shoulda mentioned that in your analysis.edy kubiak , 11 months ago
Howard Dean, decided to use this occasion to taunt Trump in schoolyard fashion. "Why are you such a wimp for Assad and Putin?" Dean tweeted.aerily1 , 4 months ago
She should run independent. The democrats are corrupt liars.
I think your analysis is outstanding, many thanks! I haven't yet watched your other videos but it's my intention. I agree with you almost 100% about Tulsi but am not yet convinced Trump will be defeatable in 2020. I've been watching a lot of coverage from the conservative right and he is way more popular than people on the left understand.
Mar 28, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Nika D , 11 months agoassault and battery , 1 year ago
She and Rand Paul are the voices of reason with only a handful of others. Stop unjust wars now!
Beautiful, strong, correct woman. Please God, turn more hearts to her point of view. It's the only hope now, for your world. Please protect her.
Mar 25, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Michael Tracey (@mtracey) interviewed Democratic presidential candidate and Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) in New Hampshire on March 23 and 24, 2019. They discussed topics ranging from the farce of the Trump/Russia saga, her views on identity politics, her religious background, her relationship with Bernie Sanders, and much more.
Subscribe to Michael Tracey's podcast on Patreon: https://patreon.com/mtracey
Support Tracey's ventures through PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/mctracey
Read Tracey's New York Daily News column on the collapse of the Trump/Russia narrative: https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/n...CategoryFilm & Animation
PathToAutonomy , 2 days agoDominik Fabianowski , 2 days ago
Good job Michael. This is real journalism unlike the poison peddled by MSM vipers.Scripts 2 Clips 4 Series & Flicks , 2 days ago
Enjoying this interview very much. I hope she has a good run, it will be good for the USA and the world.
Nice job, Michael. It's great to hear an interview with Tulsi w/o all the smears!
Mar 28, 2019 | www.youtube.com
"Mirek M. , 4 days agoStealieSteve , 1 day ago
Tulsi needs around 20000 more donors to be eligible for the Democratic debates. Please donate a dollar to her campaign and tell your friends and family to do the same!meeg_2005 , 1 day ago
I support BDS of Israel. They are an apartheid state and Netanyahu is guilty of crimes against humanity. These are cold hard facts.iruz29 , 1 day ago
Great answer, tulsi. Let's get her on the debate stage and bring down aipac. Everybody donate $1. We are getting closerpolara01 , 1 day ago
She will be dragged through so much mud by the establishment in the coming days, we saw a glimpse of it in Colbert show, her training will help her a lot thoughmeach TheAmericanPatriot , 3 days ago
Rod, you just gained this subscriber excellent pointing this out! Once again Tulsi is demonstrating she is on the right side of history and will even stand up to AIPEC like ilhan Omar did sure would be nice to see Bernie make a similar stand!saj h , 1 day ago
Donate to Tulsi Gabbard campaign to help her get into the debates by donating to tulsi2020.com you can donate more than once and they'll each count as a unique donation even $1 at a timeGeorge Washington , 4 days ago
Trump drained the swamp and put them in his government , he surrounds himself all kinds of human crap, the oval Office must stink to high heavenGlyne Martin , 4 days ago
AIPAC is a foreign terrorist organization that needs to be outlawed and any American that takes their bribe money to do their bidding should be arrested for treason.Dublin Bay , 9 hours ago
In other wotds, she's totally, comprehensively, completely against the lobbying zionist faction of AIPAC...A J , 6 hours ago
The more I hear Tulsi Gabbard speak the more I want her to win, and I am Irish living in Dublin, Ireland.You can tell by the reaction of the people there, what it means to them not to have foreign government dictate their foreign policyYevrah Hipstar , 1 day ago
It's absurd to ask her to return money to someone who has donated to aipac. They would probably just donate more to aipac.Joey , 14 hours ago
Really can't imagine AIPAC wanting to donate to Tulsi...Ric Pel , 1 hour ago
Trump is just looking for s big war, I think he reallys believe America can't be touched. Meaning what he did with the golden Heights. Like really that's so wrong and you did it in the open like it's not a bad thing. He's pissing off many countries and Russia is one of them. Putin isn't happy ab the golden height thing.HRivera , 3 days ago
Is there a website that list where candidates stand as far as the numbers they have and in what states? I find it hard to believe that Tulsi hasn't reached the number yet, while other less known candidates who entered after her have already blown past the needed 65K mark. If this is something that is kept hidden, who's to know if more lying and cheating is going on?
Tulsi Gabbard on AIPAC: "Our opportunity is to challenge leaders to see where we stand and the policies we are pushing forward; and the kinds of debates and discussions we need to have about our foreign policy and where our tax-payer dollars are going." My understanding: FP = The US position on Israel 's policy vis a vis settlements and military entanglements. Tax-Payer $$ = The money spent by the government in supporting the above.
This is, in my opinion, a very sane way to open the door to a healthy discussion about such an important issue which up to now has been lopsided towards the Establishment's position with little opportunity for the people to have a say in the matter.
Mar 07, 2019 | www.youtube.com
The Daily Kos has made it their personal mission to make sure Tulsi has no success - or so they said in an email just a couple of days after she announced. However, that didn't stop one of the "Kosters" from putting out a more objective poll on Kos's website. 20k people voted in this poll, and the results bode well for Tulsi.
#kamalaharris #tulsigabbard #tulsi2020
Nalu Rash , 2 weeks agoDan Extrinsic01 , 2 weeks ago (edited)
It's so frustrating what is happening to Tulsi Gabbard. She is being shut out/hidden. It's just so frustrating.
Gabbard deserves to be higher up. She should be side by side with Yang. Tho, its still makes you feel warm inside that Kamala Harris lost to her.
Feb 06, 2019 | www.youtube.com
In this segment, we look at Tulsi's savvy and brutally honest rebuttal when the Morning Show hosts allege that "Russia" is looking to help Tulsi when the 2020 Democratic Primary election
Mar 22, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Mirek M. , 4 days agochuckuc , 4 days ago
Tulsi needs about 20000 more unique donors to get to the debate stage! Tell your friends and family to donate a dollar at tulsi2020.com ! Even if she isn't their preferred candidate, they might still appreciate a strong anti-interventionist voice on the debate stage!Mia Lovely , 3 days ago
A calm, thoughtful, anti-war progressive voice that we need to hear in the coming debates. Please make a donation or buy something at Tulsi2020.com She needs another 20,000 contributors to meet the DNC requirement.illegalmonkey , 5 days ago
100% facts! Thank you Tulsi. Never stop speaking the truth.Raj Bodepudi , 4 days ago
Tulsi is one of the most genuine, no bullshit people in congress!Mok Palo , 3 days ago
She is a Thought Leader & ACTS upon her principles
Tulsi is the best thing that could ever happen to the US and then the world.
Mar 27, 2019 | www.theguardian.com
No country in the world recognizes Israel's rule over the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel in 1967 and unilaterally annexed in 1981 – no country, that is, until now.
Donald Trump signed a presidential proclamation on Monday formally recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, still considered Syrian territory under international law. Standing by President Trump's side during an address by the two heads of state in Washington DC, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, reportedly called Trump's decision " historic justice " and gifted the president a box of wine from the occupied territory. As they embraced, Israeli forces began an aerial bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip after rockets launched from Gaza hit a house in a community north of Tel Aviv earlier that day.
Trump's announcement is unmistakably an election-time favor for Netanyahu. Saddled with multiple corruption charges, including one for bribery, Netanyahu and his Likud party have been flagging in the polls. Likud increasingly appears threatened by the center-right Blue and White party, jointly headed by the taciturn retired general Benny Gantz and former TV personality Yair Lapid. Netanyahu's desperation can be measured by the extremity of his rhetoric. He and his surrogates have spent the past several weeks waging a hateful, vicious campaign, accusing the Arab political parties of supporting terrorism and explicitly warning that a Gantz and Lapid victory would lead to dead Israelis.
Many in Israel, however, view Netanyahu, despite his flaws, as a talented statesman and skilled advocate for the country's interests on the international stage, and Netanyahu has campaigned on achievements such as normalizing relations with the Gulf states and the US embassy's move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Golan Heights declaration – which initially took even the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, who was in Israel at the time, by surprise – is likely meant to bolster this image.
Trump's recognition of the Golan Heights marks the total capture of US policymaking in the Middle East by pro-Israel right
But Trump's Golan Heights proclamation is not just a cynical political gambit. It is a dramatic change in US policy in the Middle East that could have serious consequences. Trump, unlike his predecessors, has never even pretended to abide by international norms and conventions. And yet the decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over territory that the international community nearly unanimously considers occupied, or at the very least disputed, is unprecedented.
It gives a formal US stamp of approval to Israel's violation of international law, and, in particular of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying power from transferring its civilians into occupied territory. Roughly 20,000 Israeli settlers live in the occupied Golan Heights today – now with the unambiguous backing of the US government.
This potentially paves the way for Israel's annexation, in part or whole, of the West Bank. It has long been a talking point on the Israeli hard right that, despite the international community's protestations, there would be few consequences for extending Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank . Trump's declaration, it seems, has not only proven them right, but given them an added boost: unlike during the Obama years, they can be confident that the global hegemon will take their side.
If Netanyahu's Likud wins enough seats on 9 April to form a government, it is very like that annexation, at the very least, will be on the table for discussion. The Likud's central committee unanimously voted in 2017 in favor of annexing the West Bank. Naftali Bennett, co-chair of the New Right party, has proposed a plan to annex parts of Area C of the West Bank. And the other rightwing parties – the extremist Union of Parties of the Right and Moshe Feiglin's Identity party, both of which would almost certainly sit in a future Likud government – have only more extreme proposals for dealing with "the Palestinian question", including the forced transfer of Palestinians out of the West Bank and into Jordan.
Trump's recognition of the Golan Heights marks the total capture of US policymaking in the Middle East by pro-Israel right. US ambassador to Israel David Friedman is an opponent of the two-state solution who previously operated the charitable arm of a rightwing orthodox religious seminary in the West Bank settlement of Beit El. Jared Kusher's family is so close Netanyahu that the prime minister once slept in Kushner's childhood bedroom . Between the Trump administration's personnel and rightward lurch in Israeli politics, the pieces that would make the current one-state reality permanent are rapidly falling into place.
It is important to remember this in light of the glitz and pablum of the AIPAC policy conference taking place this week in Washington DC, where the PR hacks and policy flacks are working hard to launder Israel's image, to obscure the fact that there is one sovereign state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea that determines the lives of roughly 13 million people; that of those 13 million, only half – Israeli Jews – have full citizenship and social rights; and that the other half, the Palestinians, live under a range of discriminatory systems, from codified discrimination but legal citizenship within Israel, to residency without the right to vote in East Jerusalem, to military dictatorship in the West Bank. Donald Trump , his administration, the pro-Israel lobby, and Netanyahu all intend to keep it that way.Joshua Leifer is an associate editor at Dissent. Previously, he worked at +972 Magazine and was based in Jerusalem
Mar 22, 2019 | twitter.com
Niko House 10:57 AM - 22 Mar 2019
Tulsi Gabbard is less than 20K individual donations away from getting on the debate stage! Help her get there by donating just $1 to her campaign!
Tulsi Gabbard 5:21 PM - 22 Mar 2019
Thank you! So far we have 44,255 unique donors of the 65,000 needed to get on the debate stage! Almost 4,000 people contributed in the last 2 days. I'm humbled by your support. Stay tuned for updates! pic.twitter.com/UOd5Ky39vf
Mar 23, 2019 | original.antiwar.com
This month marks the 20th anniversary of Operation Allied Force, NATO's 78-day air war against Yugoslavia. It was a war waged as much against Serbian civilians – hundreds of whom perished – as it was against Slobodan Milošević's forces, and it was a campaign of breathtaking hypocrisy and selective outrage. More than anything, it was a war that by President Bill Clinton's own admission was fought for the sake of NATO's credibility.
One Man's Terrorist
Our story begins not in the war-torn Balkans of the 1990s but rather in the howling wilderness of Afghanistan at the end of the 1980s as defeated Soviet invaders withdrew from a decade of guerrilla warfare into the twilight of a once-mighty empire. The United States, which had provided arms, funding and training for the mujahideen fighters who had so bravely resisted the Soviet occupation, stopped supporting the jihadis as soon as the last Red Army units rolled across the Hairatan Bridge and back into the USSR. Afghanistan descended deeper into civil war.
The popular narrative posits that Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network, Washington's former mujahideen allies, turned on the West after the US stationed hundreds of thousands of infidel troops in Saudi Arabia – home to two out of three of Sunni Islam's holiest sites – during Operation Desert Shield in 1990. Since then, the story goes, the relationship between the jihadists and their former benefactors has been one of enmity, characterized by sporadic terror attacks and fierce US retribution. The real story, however, is something altogether different.
From 1992 to 1995, the Pentagon flew thousands of al-Qaeda mujahideen, often accompanied by US Special Forces, from Central Asia to Europe to reinforce Bosnian Muslims as they fought Serbs to gain their independence from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Clinton administration armed and trained these fighters in flagrant violation of United Nations accords; weapons purchased by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran were secretly shipped to the jihadists via Croatia, which netted a hefty profit from each transaction. The official Dutch inquiry into the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, in which thousands of Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) men and boys were slaughtered by Bosnian Serb and Serbian paramilitary forces, concluded that the United States was "very closely involved" in these arms transfers.
When the Bosnian war ended in 1995 the United States was faced with the problem of thousands of Islamist warriors on European soil. Many of them joined the burgeoning Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which mainly consisted of ethnic Albanian Kosovars from what was still southwestern Yugoslavia. Emboldened by the success of the Slovenes, Croats, Macedonians and Bosnians who had won their independence from Belgrade as Yugoslavia literally balkanized, KLA fighters began to violently expel as many non-Albanians from Kosovo as they could. Roma, Jews, Turks and, above all, Serbs were all victims of Albanian ethnic cleansing.
The United States was initially very honest in its assessment of the KLA. Robert Gelbard, the US special envoy to Bosnia, called it "without any question a terrorist group." KLA backers allegedly included Osama bin Laden and other Islamic radicals; the group largely bankrolled its activities by trafficking heroin and sex slaves. The State Department accordingly added the KLA to its list of terrorist organizations in 1998.
However, despite all its nastiness the KLA endeared itself to Washington by fighting the defiant Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milošević. By this time Yugoslavia, once composed of eight nominally autonomous republics, had been reduced by years of bloody civil war to a rump of Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo. To Serbs, the dominant ethnic group in what remained of the country, Kosovo is regarded as the very birthplace of their nation. Belgrade wasn't about to let it go without a fight and everyone knew it, especially the Clinton administration. Clinton's hypocrisy was immediately evident; when Chechnya fought for its independence from Moscow and Russian forces committed horrific atrocities in response, the American president called the war an internal Russian affair and barely criticized Russian President Boris Yeltsin. But when Milošević resorted to brute force in an attempt to prevent Yugoslavia from further fracturing, he soon found himself a marked man.
Although NATO called the KLA "the main initiator of the violence" in Kosovo and blasted "what appears to be a deliberate campaign of provocation" against the Serbs, the Clinton administration was nevertheless determined to attack the Milošević regime. US intelligence confirmed that the KLA was indeed provoking harsh retaliatory strikes by Serb forces in a bid to draw the United States and NATO into the conflict. President Clinton, however, apparently wasn't listening. The NATO powers, led by the United States, issued Milošević an ultimatum they knew he could never accept: allow NATO to occupy all of Kosovo and have free reign in Serbia as well. Assistant US Secretary of State James Rubin later admitted that "publicly we had to make clear we were seeking an agreement but privately we knew the chances of the Serbs agreeing were quite small."
Wagging the Dog?
In 1997 the film Wag the Dog debuted to rave reviews. The dark comedy concerns a Washington, DC spin doctor and a Hollywood producer who fabricate a fictional war in Albania to distract American voters from a presidential sex scandal. Many observers couldn't help but draw parallels between the film and the real-life events of 1998-99, which included the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Clinton's impeachment and a very real war brewing in the Balkans. As in Wag the Dog , there were exaggerated or completely fabricated tales of atrocities, and as in the film the US and NATO powers tried to sell their war as a humanitarian intervention. An attack on Yugoslavia, we were told, was needed to avert Serb ethnic cleansing of Albanians.
There were two main problems with this. First, there was no Serb ethnic cleansing of Albanian Kosovars until after NATO began mercilessly bombing Yugoslavia. The German government issued several reports confirming this. One, from October 1998, reads, in part:
The violent actions of the Yugoslav military and police since February 1998 were aimed at separatist activities and are no proof of a persecution of the whole Albanian ethnic group in Kosovo or a part of it. What was involved in the Yugoslav violent actions and excesses since February 1998 was a selective forcible action against the military underground movement (especially the KLA) A state program or persecution aimed at the whole ethnic group of Albanians exists neither now nor earlier.
Subsequent German government reports issued through the winter of 1999 tell a similar story. "Events since February and March 1998 do not evidence a persecution program based on Albanian ethnicity," stated one report released exactly one month before the NATO bombing started. "The measures taken by the armed Serbian forces are in the first instance directed toward combating the KLA and its supposed adherents and supporters."
While Serbs certainly did commit atrocities (especially after the ferocious NATO air campaign began), these were often greatly exaggerated by the Clinton administration and the US corporate mainstream media. Clinton claimed – and the media dutifully parroted – that 600,000 Albanians were "trapped within Kosovo lacking shelter, short of food, afraid to go home or buried in mass graves." This was completely false . US diplomat David Scheffer claimed that "225,000 ethnic Albanian men are missing, presumed dead." Again, a total fabrication . The FBI, International War Crimes Tribunal and global forensics experts flocked to Kosovo in droves after the NATO bombs stopped falling; the total number of victims they found was around 1 percent of the figure claimed by the United States.
However, once NATO attacked, the Serb response was predictably furious. Shockingly, NATO commander Gen. Wesley Clark declared that the ensuing Serbian atrocities against the Albanian Kosovar population had been "fully anticipated" and were apparently of little concern to Washington. Not only did NATO and the KLA provoke a war with Yugoslavia, they did so knowing that many innocent civilians would be killed, maimed or displaced by the certain and severe reprisals carried out by enraged Serb forces. Michael McGwire, a former top NATO planner, acknowledged that "to describe the bombing as a humanitarian intervention is really grotesque."
The other big problem with the US claiming it was attacking Yugoslavia on humanitarian grounds was that the Clinton administration had recently allowed – and was at the time allowing – far worse humanitarian catastrophes to rage without American intervention. More than 800,000 men, women and children were slaughtered while Clinton and other world leaders stood idly by during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The US also courted the medievally brutal Taliban regime in hopes of achieving stability in Afghanistan and with an eye toward building a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan. Clinton also did nothing to stop Russian forces from viciously crushing nationalist uprisings in the Caucuses, where Chechen rebels were fighting for their independence much the same as Albanian Kosovars were fighting the Serbs.
Colombia, the Western Hemisphere's leading recipient of US military and economic aid, was waging a fierce, decades-long campaign of terror against leftist insurgents and long-suffering indigenous peoples. Despite horrific brutality and pervasive human rights violations, US aid to Bogotá increased year after year. In Turkey, not only did Clinton do nothing to prevent government forces from committing widespread atrocities against Kurdish separatists, the administration positively encouraged its NATO ally with billions of dollars in loans and arms sales. Saudi Arabia, home to the most repressive fundamentalist regime this side of Afghanistan, was – and remains – a favored US ally despite having one of the world's worst human rights records. The list goes on and on.
Much closer to the conflict at hand, the United States tacitly approved the largest ethnic cleansing campaign in Europe since the Holocaust when as many as 200,000 Serbs were forcibly expelled from the Krajina region of Croatia by that country's US-trained military during Operation Storm in August 1995. Krajina Serbs had purged the region of its Croat minority four years earlier in their own ethnic cleansing campaign; now it was the Serbs' turn to be on the receiving end of the horror. Croatian forces stormed through Krajina, shelling towns and slaughtering innocent civilians. The sick and the elderly who couldn't escape were executed or burned alive in their homes as Croatian soldiers machine-gunned convoys of fleeing refugees.
"Painful for the Serbs"
Washington's selective indignation at Serb crimes both real and imagined is utterly inexcusable when held up to the horrific and seemingly indiscriminate atrocities committed during the NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia. The prominent Australian journalist John Pilger noted that "in the attack on Serbia, 2 percent of NATO's missiles hit military targets, the rest hit hospitals, schools, factories, churches and broadcast studios." There is little doubt that US and allied warplanes and missiles were targeting the Serbian people as much as, or even more than, Serb forces. The bombing knocked out electricity in 70 percent of the country as well as much of its water supply.
NATO warplanes also deliberately bombed a building containing the headquarters of Serbian state television and radio in the middle of densely populated central Belgrade. The April 23, 1999 attack occurred without warning while 200 employees were at work in the building. Among the 16 people killed were a makeup artist, a cameraman, a program director, an editor and three security guards. There is no doubt that the attack was meant to demoralize the Serbian people. There is also no doubt that those who ordered the bombing knew exactly what outcome to expect: a NATO planning document viewed by Bill Clinton, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac forecast as many as 350 deaths in the event of such an attack, with as many as 250 of the victims expected to be innocent civilians living in nearby apartments.
Allied commanders wanted to fight a "zero casualty war" in Yugoslavia. As in zero casualties for NATO forces, not the people they were bombing. "This will be painful for the Serbs," Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon sadistically predicted. It sure was. NATO warplanes flew sorties at 15,000 feet (4,500 meters), a safe height for the pilots. But this decreased accuracy and increased civilian casualties on the ground. One attack on central Belgrade mistakenly hit Dragiša Mišović hospital with a laser-guided "precision" bomb, obliterating an intensive care unit and destroying a children's ward while wounding several pregnant women who had the misfortune of being in labor at the time of the attack. Dragana Krstić, age 23, was recovering from cancer surgery – she just had a 10-pound (4.5 kg) tumor removed from her stomach – when the bombs blew jagged shards of glass into her neck and shoulders. "I don't know which hurts more," she lamented, "my stomach, my shoulder or my heart."
Dragiša Mišović wasn't the only hospital bombed by NATO. Cluster bombs dropped by fighter jets of the Royal Netherlands Air Force struck a hospital and a market in the city of Niš on May 7, killing 15 people and wounding 60 more. An emergency clinic and medical dispensary were also bombed in the mining town of Aleksinac on April 6, killing at least five people and wounding dozens more.
Bridges were favorite targets of NATO bombing. An international passenger train traveling from Belgrade to Thessaloniki, Greece was blown apart by two missiles as it crossed over Grdelica gorge on April 12. Children and a pregnant woman were among the 15 people killed in the attack; 16 other passengers were wounded. Allied commander Gen. Wesley Clark claimed the train, which had been damaged by the first missile, had been traveling too rapidly for the pilot to abort the second strike on the bridge. He then offered up a doctored video that was sped up more than three times so that the pilot's behavior would appear acceptable.
On May 1, at least 24 civilians, many of them children, were killed when NATO warplanes bombed a bridge in Lužane just as a bus was crossing. An ambulance rushing to the scene of the carnage was struck by a second bomb. On the sunny spring afternoon of May 30, a bridge over the Velika Morava River in the small town of Vavarin was bombed by low-flying German Air Force F-16 fighters while hundreds of local residents gathered nearby to celebrate an Orthodox Christian holiday. Eleven people died, most of them when the warplanes returned and bombed the people who rushed to the bridge to help those wounded in the first strike.
No One Is Safe
The horrors suffered by the villagers of Surdulica shows that no one in Serbia was safe from NATO's fury. They endured some 175 bombardments during one three-week period alone, with 50 houses destroyed and 600 others damaged in a town with only around 10,000 residents. On April 27, 20 civilians, including 12 children, died when bombs meant to destroy an army barracks slammed into a residential neighborhood. As many as 100 others were wounded in the incident. Tragedy befell the tiny town again on May 31 when NATO warplanes returned to bomb an ammunition depot but instead hit an old people's home; 23 civilians, most of them helpless elderly men and women, were blown to pieces. Dozens more were wounded. The US military initially said "there were no errant weapons" in the attack. However, Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre later testified before Congress that it "was a case of the pilot getting confused."
The CIA was also apparently confused when it relied on what it claimed was an outdated map to approve a Stealth Bomber strike on what turned out to be the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade. Three Chinese journalists were killed and 27 other people were wounded. Some people aren't so sure the attack was an accident – Britain's Observer later reported that the US deliberately bombed the embassy after discovering it was being used to transmit Yugoslav army communications.
There were plenty of other accidents, some of them horrifically tragic and others just downright bizarre. Two separate attacks on the very Albanians NATO was claiming to help killed 160 people, many of them women and children. On April 14, NATO warplanes bombed refugees along a 12-mile (19-km) stretch of road between the towns of Gjakova and Deçan in western Kosovo, killing 73 people including 16 children and wounding 36 more. Journalists reported a grisly scene of "bodies charred or blown to pieces, tractors reduced to twisted wreckage and houses in ruins." Exactly one month later, another column of refugees was bombed near Koriša, killing 87 – mostly women, children and the elderly – and wounding 60 others. In the downright bizarre category, a wildly errant NATO missile struck a residential neighborhood in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, some 40 miles (64 km) outside of Serbia. The American AGM-88 HARM missile blew the roof off of a man's house while he was shaving in his bathroom.
NATO's "Murderous Thugs"
As the people of Yugoslavia were being terrorized by NATO's air war, the terrorists of the Kosovo Liberation Army stepped up their atrocities against Serbs and Roma in Kosovo. NATO troops deployed there to keep the peace often failed to protect these people from the KLA's brutal campaign. More than 164,000 Serbs fled or were forcibly driven from the Albanian-dominated province and by the summer of 2001 KLA ethnic cleansing had rendered Kosovo almost entirely Albanian, with just a few die-hard Serb holdouts living in fear and surrounded by barbed wire.
The KLA soon expanded its war into neighboring Macedonia. Although NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson called the terror group "murderous thugs," the United States – now with George W. Bush as president – continued to offer its invaluable support. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice personally intervened in an attempt to persuade Ukraine to halt arms sales to the Macedonian army and when a group of 400 KLA fighters were surrounded at Aracinovo in June 2001, NATO ordered Macedonian forces to hold off their attack while a convoy of US Army vehicles rescued the besieged militants. It later emerged that 17 American military advisers were embedded with the KLA at Aracinovo.
The bombing of Yugoslavia was really about preserving the credibility of the United States and NATO. The alliance's saber rattling toward Belgrade had painted it into a corner from which the only way out was with guns blazing. Failure to follow threats with deadly action, said President Clinton, "would discredit NATO." Clinton added that "our mission is clear, to demonstrate the seriousness of NATO's purpose." The president seemed willfully ignorant of NATO's real purpose, which is to defend member states from outside attack. British Prime Minister Tony Blair agreed with Clinton, declaring on the eve of the war that "to walk away now would destroy NATO's credibility." Gary Dempsey, a foreign policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, wrote that the Clinton administration "transformed a conflict that posed no threat to the territorial integrity, national sovereignty or general welfare of the United States into a major test of American resolve."
Waging or prolonging war for credibility's sake is always dangerous and seems always to yield disastrous results. Tens of thousands of US troops and many times as many Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian soldiers and civilians died while Richard Nixon sought an "honorable" way out of Vietnam. Ronald Reagan's dogged defense of US credibility cost the lives of 299 American and French troops killed in Hezbollah's 1983 Beirut barracks bombing. This time, ensuring American credibility meant backing the vicious KLA – some of whose fighters had trained at Osama bin Laden's terror camps in Afghanistan. This, despite the fact that al-Qaeda had already been responsible for deadly attacks against the United States, including the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
It is highly questionable whether bombing Yugoslavia affirmed NATO's credibility in the short term. In the long term, it certainly did not. The war marked the first and only time NATO had ever attacked a sovereign state. It did so unilaterally, absent any threat to any member nation, and without the approval of the United Nations Security Council. "If NATO can go for military action without international blessing, it calls into question the reliability of NATO as a security partner," Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, then Moscow's ambassador to NATO, told me at a San Francisco reception.
Twenty years later, Operation Allied force has been all but forgotten in the United States. In a country that has been waging nonstop war on terrorism for almost the entire 21st century, the 1999 NATO air war is but a footnote in modern American history. Serbs, however, still seethe at the injustice and hypocrisy of it all. The bombed-out ruins of the old Yugoslav Ministry of Defense, Radio Television of Serbia headquarters and other buildings serve as constant, painful reminders of the horrors endured by the Serbian people in service of NATO's credibility.
Brett Wilkins is a San Francisco-based author and activist. His work, which focuses on issues of war and peace and human rights, is archived at www.brettwilkins.comRead more by Brett Wilkins
- IHCHR: 11,800 Civilians Killed In US-Led Air Strikes in Syria, Iraq – February 22nd, 2019
- Why Must Ilhan Omar Apologize for Telling the Truth? – February 13th, 2019
- Elliott Abrams: A Human Rights Horror Show in Three Acts – February 1st, 2019
- Former Blackwater Guard Found Guilty of Murder for Role in Nisour Square Massacre – December 20th, 2018
- Afghan Officials: US Air Strike Kills at Least 30 Civilians, Including 16 Children – November 28th, 2018
Mar 23, 2019 | twitter.com
Mike Gravel 6:48 AM - 22 Mar 2019
U.S. out of Iraq. U.S. out of Syria. U.S. out of Afghanistan. U.S. out of South Korea. U.S. out of Okinawa. U.S. out of Germany. U.S. out of Saudi Arabia. U.S. out of Cameroon. U.S. out of Djibouti. U.S. out of Qatar. U.S. out of Niger.
America, come home.
Mar 23, 2019 | twitter.com
Tulsi Gabbard Verified account @ TulsiGabbard Mar 17/ol
For decades, Space has been a model of cooperation between global superpowers. But such cooperation is the latest victim of the new Cold War. Trump/Neocon efforts to start a space war/arms race will lead to destruction of our country and planet.
Tulsi Gabbard Verified account @ TulsiGabbard Mar 17
For decades, Space has been a model of cooperation between global superpowers. But such cooperation is the latest victim of the new Cold War. Trump/Neocon efforts to start a space war/arms race will lead to destruction of our country and planet.
Mar 22, 2019 | twitter.com
Tulsi Gabbard 1:09 PM - 21 Mar 2019
Another example of Trump and Netanyahu putting their own political interests ahead of the interests of our respective countries. Will escalate tensions and likelihood of war between Israel/US/Syria/Iran/Russia. Shortsighted. https:// twitter.com/nytimes/status /1108783266075684865
Omani 1:12 PM - 21 Mar 2019
How long will this continue to go on? They must be stopped.
Dana Moretti Fairbanks, MD 1:28 PM - 21 Mar 2019
LET'S BE CLEAR – Israel's Long-Running Settlement Policy Constitutes A
#WarCrime : "ALL Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) are illegal" https://www. amnestyusa.org/lets-be-clear- israels-long-running-settlement-policy-constitutes-a-war-crime/ @Amnesty #OccupiedTerritoriesNOTSettlements @DonnaLynnNH
Dana Moretti Fairbanks, MD 1:32 PM - 21 Mar 2019
@Netanyahu Accidentally Tells the Truth: Are the U.S., Israel and its Arab allies meeting in Warsaw "to advance the common interest of war with Iran"? Not officially, says @elilake , but the @IsraeliPM 's tweet was a classic #KinsleyGaffe https://www. bloomberg.com/opinion
Mar 22, 2019 | twitter.com
Tulsi Gabbard 7:34 AM - 19 Mar 2019
"So you ask what I will change? I will change our priorities so we stop wasting trillions of our dollars on wasteful counterproductive wars and dedicate them to taking care of the urgent needs of our communities across this country."
Tulsi Gabbard 7:44 AM - 20 Mar 2019
"I'm not running for president to BE president. I'm running for president to be able to bring about this sea change in our foreign policy that is so necessary for us and for the world, and I'm most qualified to do that."
#ServiceBeforeSelf #Tulsi2020 pic.twitter.com/wk2M7O0CgR
Mar 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
lgfocus , Mar 19, 2019 5:09:15 PM | linkpsychohistorian @14
Actually Tulsi Gabbard made this point strongly in her last town hall.
Tulsi Gabbard Answers The Question, "How Are You Different From Bernie Sanders"
Oct 07, 2015 | The Guardian
goatrider 7 Oct 2015 17:12
I wonder if everyone on the Guardian staff has the same "man crush" on Putin? Could explain all these obsessive articles. I also wonder if he spent any time in the penalty box?
laticsfanfromeurope -> Extracrispy 7 Oct 2015 17:06
You prefer ISIS and Al-Nusra then the legitimate Syrian gov. and the legitimate help of Russia...not a surprise from stupid western supporters!
pfox33 7 Oct 2015 17:05
There isn't one of our western politicians that wouldn't sell his fucking mother to be getting the attention that Putin's getting. I thought he was supposed to be isolated.
So to keep the hockey thing going, Putin's stolen the puck in the neutral zone, split the Nato defensemen who were too far forward and is on a breakaway.
I feel sorry for Obama because I think he's a good leader but when it comes to trying to maneuver in a geopolitical situation like Syria he's fucked before he leaves the house. Putin can just act without trying to herd cats like Obama has to do with his Nato minions. He doesn't have a bunch of recalcitrant GOP senators calling him everything but a white man and running their mouths about what they would do.
... ... ...
filin led -> Braminski 7 Oct 2015 16:55
It's you who are a troll, sir. By what you say, anything can be dismissed as paid propaganda. That means, you are as likely to be a paid agent yourself. So, if you can't come up with a constructive argument, stop commenting please.
Mordantdude -> Poppy757 7 Oct 2015 16:40
As Russians say: "Envy silently".
giacinto101 7 Oct 2015 15:59
We could all use a real leader like Putin who takes no b.s. from anybody and is quick to adapt to any situation in a calm assertive way. He earns our admiration every day, the way he steers across an ever changing minefield and not because of his mucho image. We do not need leaders who deceit people by spewing relentless propaganda and no clarity. They fail as individuals and as a group because they are spineless. If multiple people repeat the same lie it does not make it true. It must be a club membership requirement to play the politics game and keep quiet about wrong things you see.
SilkverBlogger 7 Oct 2015 15:54
Action man outwitting the Neocons in the international chess game. More surprises to come
CIAbot007 -> Poppy757 7 Oct 2015 15:39
Most of Aussies have a bit of common sense which says that you can't blame anyone before it is prooved. With Western MSM propaganda machine blaming Russia and Putin even before anything happens you bet there's no such thing as balanced and unskewed reporting and even will for any kind of such thing. Don't get fooled, use your brain or your brain will be used by someone else.
SilkverBlogger 7 Oct 2015 14:48
Karl Rove said "Empire creates its own reality". No wonder the mantra "Assad must go" is now enshrined in international politics by the Neocon alliance. They didnt figure on Putin obviously.
PekkaRoivanen MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:30
In the West, we don't have a sycophantic press kissing the leader's backside:
Guardian: Barack Obama scores just 2 out of 22 basketball hoops - video
You wrote that Obama plays basketball and you prove it with this video where Obama wears dress shirt (tie removed :-D) and scores badly.
Are you sure Obama plays basketball? Or is it just press kissing his backside?
Kev Kev Hektor Uranga 7 Oct 2015 14:28
the USA persecutes and kills people who speak out against it. Only difference is the USA does it in ways that nobody sees.. In other words the USA is the same as Russia only they do their work in the dark. When nobody is looking.
Abiesalba MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:26
That's the guy who is wishing Putin a happy birthday.
The US/UK duo have caused with their insane illegal wars more than a million deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and counting.
I recommend you look up a little the complex history and present situation in Chechnya and the North Caucasus region.
ISIS (which the insanely aggressive US/UK duo have in effect created) is already spreading its influence INSIDE the Russian Federation. So Putin has direct interests to defeat ISIS and stabilise Syria (and Iraq). In addition, the south of the Russian Federation is on the map of territories which ISIS plans to conquer.
See for example:
8 ISIS supporters killed in N. Caucasus special op
(2 August 2015)
Russian security forces have foiled a terrorist group that recently pledged allegiance to ISIS in Ingushetia, in the Northern Caucasus, according to the National Anti-Terror Committee (NAC). Security forces seized explosives, weapons and over 2,000 rounds of ammunition.
How Russian Militants Declared A New ISIS 'State' In Russia's North Caucasus
(26 June 2015)
The Islamic State group announced the creation of its northernmost province this week, after accepting a formal pledge of allegiance from former al Qaeda militants in the North Caucasus region of Russia.
It is true that at present, the Chechens are begging Putin to let them strike in Syria (and this is also closely linked to the complicated history of North Caucasus), but Putin has not unleashed them. See for example here:
Kadyrov asks Putin to allow Chechen infantry to fight in Syria (RT, 2 October 2015)
The head of the Chechen Republic has asked the Russian president to send Chechen units to fight Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria, adding that his fighters have sworn to fight terrorists till the end.
"Being a Muslim, a Chechen and a Russian patriot I want to say that in 1999 when our republic was overrun with these devils we swore on the Koran that we would fight them wherever they are," the Chechen leader said. "But we need the Commander-in-Chief's decision to do this," he emphasized. According to the Russian Constitution, the president [Putin] is also the commander-in-chief of the military forces.
BMWAlbert clanview46 7 Oct 2015 14:26
It happens regardless, take the example in Volgograd (Vauxhall) two years ago. I am afraid that KSA and the Gulf States will be funding the usual mix of 'moderately terroristic shenanigans" in reprisal, but they did this before anyways.
Julian1972 MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:21
That was last year...also it was authored by a combination of the CIA and their right-wing 'Operation Stay Behind' cohorts...though, if you don't know that by now you doubtless never will.
Abiesalba MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:16
Murderers, thieves and embezzlers stroking each other's egos.
Putin has a long way to go to match the US/UK.
Here is a recent report about 'collateral damage' compiled by Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival and the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War:
Body Count: Casualty Figures After 10 Years of the 'War on Terror' (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan)
This investigation comes to the conclusion that the war has, directly or indirectly, killed around 1 million people in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan, i.e. a total of around 1.3 million.
NOT included in this figure are further war zones such as Yemen.
The figure is approximately 10 times greater than that of which the public, experts and decision makers are aware of and propagated by the media and major NGOs.
And this is only a conservative estimate. The total number of deaths in the three countries named above could also be in excess of 2 million, whereas a figure below 1 million is extremely unlikely.
For more about civilian casualties due to the US-led coalition strikes in Syria and Iraq, see the Airwars website:
584 – 1,720 civilians killed:
To date, the international coalition has only conceded two "likely" deaths, from an event in early November 2014. It is also presently investigating seven further incidents of concern; is carrying out credibility assessments on a further 13; and has concluded three more investigations – having found no 'preponderance of evidence' to support civilian casualty claims.
More Power -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:13
He making the US looked like whiny bitches. Good job; you alienate Russia and manage to strengthen the China-Russo relationrelationship. Sanctions that don't work, secret economic wars and multiple failed coup d'etat in Georgia and Ukraine [also do not work]. Just look at the World Bank, BRICS is on the door step. Happy birth day Putin. A badass mofo
blueskis -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:06
The vats majority of the 5500 killed have been civilians in East Ukraine killed by airstrikes ordered by kiev/washington, fully justifying Russian intervention.
ooTToo -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 13:40
Like US - Hospital - Afganistain. anyway ISIS are paid money by the CIA and don't care who they work for it's money that they are motivated by not ideology, that ideology stuff is made-up. Google it and dig, get yourself informed.
geedeesee -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 13:19
Russia is attacking what they said they'd attack, Tavernier. ISIS, al-Nusrah, and other terrorist organisations.
inconvenienttruth13 -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 13:18
No he isn't. Anybody with a functioning brain knows he had nothing to do with that. Unlike the US genocide in the Middle East - over 2 million dead and counting - not to mention the deliberate and sustained attack on a hospital. Maybe you don' get to see the news in your ward?
inconvenienttruth13 -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 13:13
The US created, funds, trains and arms ISIS - they are only supporting terrorists in their campaign to effect regime change. Russia is responding to a request fro the Syrian government, so its actions are entirely legal. The faces that the USA and the KSA are the biggest sponsors of terrorism in the world.
monteverdi1610 7 Oct 2015 12:22
Not quite sure why Mr Putin playing ice-hockey on his birthday is worthy of a story to open up for comments unless the Guardian is ' trawling ' to encourage some new anti-Putin Cold War rhetoric in the comments section.
PS / Don't forget that nice Israeli Prime Minister Mr Netanyahu's birthday and how he celebrates it. Ensure you open it up for comment as I'm sure also that many will wish to voice an opinion. Will this now be a standard ' Birthday Feature ' for all world leaders in the Guardian, or has this newspaper just granted an exception for Mr Putin's birthday ?
Mar 18, 2015 | Russia Insider
Washington is betraying the best interests of the American people through its current foreign policy... European democracy is threatened by US, not Russian, foreign policy
The avalanche of commentary since the Ukrainian crisis erupted a year ago has overshadowed any reflections on the immense forgone benefits (technically speaking, the "opportunity cost") of what might have been if Washington had been working for peace and stability instead of war and chaos.
Imagine the following: After the unraveling of the Communist bloc, Europe, in partnership with the US, had forged a new security system in which Russia was treated as a valued and equal partner – one whose interests were respected. Russia, decimated by a century of wars and Communist imperialism, would doubtless have eagerly reciprocated in kind. Most countries of the former Soviet Union would have then proceeded to build a new Eurasian structure of which Russia would have served as the natural umbrella, given its long-standing interaction with the region's diverse nations and cultures.
Indeed, as Putin himself had proposed in his visionary October 2011 article, the Eurasian Union could have become one of the pillars of a huge harmonized economic area stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok and based on the EU's single-market rules (acquis communautaire).
The rising Far Eastern economic powerhouse, with the world's most populous country, China, at its centre, would have linked up with the world's largest economy (the EU). An enormous Eurasian production and financial bloc would have been created – one that drew primarily on secure supplies of Russian energy and other natural resources. Untold investment opportunities would have opened up in Siberia and Russia's Far East as well as in Central Asia. Hundreds of millions of people in Eurasia and elsewhere would have been lifted out of poverty. And, not least, the EU would have been refashioned as an integral part of the dynamic trans-Eurasian economy (rather than as a German-centred empire, as appears to be the case today), thereby making a major contribution to overcoming the ongoing global economic depression.
All of this was not to be, however. Why not? First and foremost, because the self-proclaimed "exceptional" power (actually, a mere "outlying island" in the Atlantic, according to the founder of geopolitics, Halford Mackinder) and its dysfunctional "deep-state" officialdom did not want it to be. How could they have permitted such a thing? How could they have allowed other countries to get on with improving the lives of their citizens without being obliged to seek Washington's approval every step of the way?
European democracy is threatened by US, not Russian, foreign policy
In order to make sure that they were not side-lined, the US elites had to intervene. The Western propaganda machine started churning out all sorts of nonsense that Putin is a new Hitler who is bent on restoring the Soviet empire and who is bullying Europe, while continuing to bang on about his "increasingly autocratic rule".
Deadly attacks by chauvinistic proxies were launched on the Russophone people in South Ossetia, Georgia in 2008 and more recently in Ukraine.
And in what is eerily reminiscent of Stalinist "bloc discipline", the EU/NATO nomenclature was ordered to implement the absurd strategy of severing the Russian economy from the EU. For their part, the cowering Eurocrats willingly obliged by imposing sanctions on Russia that, perversely, have had a negative impact on their own economies (but, let it be stressed, not that of the US). No questions raised and no public debate on the wisdom of such a strategy permitted.
Stuck in an Orwellian nightmare, Europe has to demonstrate its unfailing loyalty to Big Brother and go along with the view that Russia, an intrinsic and valuable part of the European mainstream both historically and culturally, represents universal evil and that the Earth will not be safe until the Federation has been dismembered and Putinism wiped out once and for all.
This abuse and humiliation of Europe is unparalleled. The continent that gave the world the wonders of the Antiquity, modern democracy, the industrial revolution and what is arguably the greatest tradition of philosophy, fine arts and classical music is being bullied by its oversized offspring. Having self-destructed in two world wars, it has become an easy and even willing prey to an arrogant, ignorant and power-drunk predator that has never experienced the hardships and horrors that Europe has. War and extermination camps are etched into the European DNA. America "knows" about them only from afar – and, not least, from the Hollywood entertainment industry.
Even more terrifying, intellectually third-rate Washington viceroys such as Victoria Nuland and the freelancing armchair warrior Senator McCain are allowed to play God with our continent. The so-called European "leaders" are colluding with them in plunging Europe into the abyss and thereby risking nuclear confrontation.
America, too, is a loser
But this is not just a tragedy for Europe and Eurasia. We are also witnessing the wilful misrule of America and, by default, of the entire West. Indeed, Washington is betraying the best interests of the American people through its current foreign policy. The "democracy-promoters" running Washington's foreign-policy apparatus apparently do not understand that America has nothing to lose and a lot to gain from the Eurasian economic project: the rising tide of global economic welfare would lift everyone's boats, including its own. Why should it matter to Washington if the rising tide comes from other quarters beyond its control?
Indeed, the damage extends beyond the economy. By aligning with the forces of chaos – such as chauvinistic extremists in Ukraine – Washington and its Euro-vassals are corrupting the moral (and intellectual) core of the West. If it continues to support such forces against Russia, united Europe will lose not only its backbone but its very soul. The moral consequences of this loss will be enormous and could lead to the precipitous erosion of Western democracy.
The 'autocrats' want to work with the West, not against it
US and EU leaders believe that the Russian and Chinese "autocrats" are out to destroy the West because the latter hate freedom (as George W. Bush might have put it). And hence, they argue, the autocrats must be stopped in their tracks. The simple truth is that Western leaders are too blinkered to understand that far from desiring to destroy the West, Russia and China want it to prosper so that they can work with it to everyone's benefit. Having enjoyed a privileged position over several centuries and having attained unprecedented prosperity in recent decades, the West simply cannot understand that the rest of humanity has no interest in fomenting the "clash of civilizations" but rather craves peace and stability so that it can finally improve its economic lot.
Perhaps, however, all is not yet lost. It is still possible that reason – and economic forces – will prevail and force the West to correct the errors of its ways. What we need, perhaps, more than ever is the ability to step out of the box, question our fundamental assumptions (not least about Russia and China) and find the courage to change policies that have proved disastrous. After all, critical thought, dispassionate analysis and the ability to be open to new ideas is what made the West so successful in the past. If we are to thrive once again in the future, we must resurrect these most valuable and unsurpassed assets.
Vlad Sobell teaches political economy in Prague and Berlin Europeans Look On as US Sows Discord on the Continent Wed, Nov 2
What I cannot understand is the naive belief that elected politicians would act in the interests of those whom they represent. Under what other circumstances do we see human beings act with disinterested altruism? So why would a bunch of people who have been ruthlessly selected for selfishness, arrogance, and callousness - a bunch of carefully chosen psychopaths, if you will - behave in that way?
'My Ph.D. dissertation chairman, who became a high Pentagon official assigned to wind down the Vietnam war, in answer to my question about how Washington gets Europeans to always do what Washington wants replied: "Money, we give them money." "Foreign aid?" I asked. "No, we give the European political leaders bagfuls of money. They are for sale. We bought them. They report to us." Perhaps this explains Tony Blair's $50 million fortune one year out of office'.
- Paul Craig Roberts
"Washington is betraying the best interests of the American people through its current foreign policy".
Not only it's foreign policy but it's domestic policy as well. Let's call it for what it really is. The Wall Street/Corporate policy which is the driving force behind behind everything the US does
"We, the [CENSORED] people, control America and the Americans know it." -- Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of [CENSORED]
"When we're done with the U.S. it will shrivel up and blow away." -- Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of [CENSORED]
The welfare or future of the American people are not part of the equation.
May 31, 2017 | jackrabbit.blogThere are numerous clues that point to the 2016 US Presidential Election as having been a set-up. Few seem willing to take a close look at these facts. But it is necessary for an understanding of the world we live in today.
Trump's first 100 days has come and gone and he has proven to be every bit the faux populist that Obama was (as I explained in a previous post). In hind-sight we can see how a new faux populist was installed.
- Sanders as sheep-dog Black Agenda Report called Sanders a sheep-dog soon after he entered the race .
Sanders made it clear from the start that he ruled out the possibility of running as an independent. That was only the first of many punches that Sanders pulled as he led his 'sheep' into the Democratic fold.
- ; "Enough with the emails!"
- ; Not pursuing Hillary's 'winning' of 6 coin tosses in Iowa;
- ; Virtually conceding the black and female vote to Hillary;
- ; Not calling Hillary out about her claim to have NEVER sold her vote;
- ; Endorsing Hillary despite learning of Hillary-DNC collusion;
- ; Continuing to help the Democratic Party reach out to Bernie supports even after the election.
As one keen observer noted: Sanders is a Company Man .
- Trump as Clinton protege
Mar 20, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Jandy Thomas , 1 week agoChainMail , 1 week ago (edited)
Ms. Bash is the personification of what's wrong with our country. Tulsi was extremely patient with her. Tulsi Gabbard 2020softminimal1 , 1 week ago
i am impressed how she handles baited questionsPhilip Murphy , 1 week ago
She can serve in the army and still be anti interventionist because our military is supposed to be a defense force not an offense force. You can be willing to fight to protect your country without wanting to go running round the world creating conflict for oil and regime change.Joel Alvarado , 1 week ago
This is how bad the Dems are: 12 are running, and the only one with military service is the peace candidate, I will change my party to vote for her.edfou5 , 1 week ago
Dana Bash is another foot soldier for corporate elitists who want less for the American people.
'm 66, a Progressive formerly from Boston where we eat and breathe politics and I'll tell you... never in my life have I seen a Democratic candidate like this fearless young woman who will simultaneously attract veterans AND anti-war folks AND moderate Republicans AND youth. NO OTHER CANDIDATE CAN DO THIS. My absolute belief is that if Tulsi's not on the ticket... Trump wins. Sorry Bernie, this time I'm going with Tulsi.
Mar 20, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Errol Tumarae , 3 weeks agoSharon Abreu , 3 weeks ago
Assad didn't gas his people it was the US backed moderate rebels you yanks are brainwashedDebbie Vretis , 3 weeks ago
I hope Tulsi's message is getting through. We have become accustomed to a pro-war society. It's very concerning to me.Simon Threlkeld , 3 weeks ago (edited)
Why doesn't anyone say...Assad did not gas his own people...US backed rebels gassed the Syrian people. It's called manufactured consent. Sometimes I really hate the ignorance too many Americans choose.Io inthenightsky , 3 weeks ago
Megan is such a lying fake news propagandist. Yes Assad is a brutal dictator. However, the allegations of gassing his people are debunked fake news (her stating them as facts is fake news). There was no ISIS and Al Qaeda in Syria before the US backed regime change war. Hundreds of thousands have been killed, millions displaced.
Her calm and poise in the face of these right wing hacks is impressive. The american entitlement, as if it is your buisness what happens in other countries to the point that you have a right to invade, kill, and oppress their citizens is disgusting. The U.S. sanctions are starving Venezeualans, as is the theft of billions of dollars by the wannabe puppet president. Sanders/Gabbard all the way.
Mar 07, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
ex-SA , Mar 5, 2019 3:55:53 PM | 13Desolation Row , Mar 5, 2019 6:41:25 PM | link
Thank you! This may well be the most important link I've encountered in my years of lurking here @ MoA and elsewhere.
There is a video linked in the article which may be more important than the article itself. Easily overlooked, so here: https://swprs.org/video-the-cia-and-the-media/
It appears in the article here:
"In a remarkable report by British Channel 4, former CIA officials and a Reuters correspondent spoke candidly about the systematic dissemination of propaganda and misinformation in reporting on geopolitical conflicts:"
Many thanks, and much respect to you Sir for bringing this important piece to my attention.
May I humbly offer in return, https://archive.org/details/publicenemyno1 (don't neglect the 2nd reel)I apologize for another somewhat off topic posting, but I have not seen it posted here earlier, and I think that this should be seen by as many eyes as possible.
The Propaganda Multiplier:How Global News Agencies and Western Media Report on Geopolitics
By Swiss Propaganda Research
It is one of the most important aspects of our media system -- and yet hardly known to the public: most of the international news coverage in Western media is provided by only three global news agencies based in New York, London and Paris.
The key role played by these agencies means that Western media often report on the same topics, even using the same wording. In addition, governments, military and intelligence services use these global news agencies as multipliers to spread their messages around the world.
A study of the Syria war coverage by nine leading European newspapers clearly illustrates these issues: 78% of all articles are based in whole or in part on agency reports, yet 0% on investigative research. Moreover, 82% of all opinion pieces and interviews are in favor of the US and NATO intervention, while propaganda is attributed exclusively to the opposite side...
Mar 20, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Kim Iversen , 5 days agoArgentiumTea , 5 days ago
Well, this was demonetized and is under copyright review....:(Cody Hald , 5 days ago
Stephen Colbert should be ashamed of himselfJared Oborny , 5 days ago
I unsubscribed from Colbert's channel because of his hackey establishment propaganda. He is now in the same category as Bill MaherSteve Smith , 5 days ago
I grew up watching and loving Colbert. Over the last few years I have not really liked him or his views, but still had a sot spot in my heart for him. This interview makes me never want to even watch another clip of his again. I felt disgust and anger after watching his interrogation of Tulsi.Gordon Adams , 5 days ago
Tulsi meeting with Assad is called diplomacy. Apparently, this is no longer a concept that our government recognizes.Fay A , 5 days ago
I have never before heard a politician give a straight yes or no answer to a direct question and follow through with, "in my opinion". She is fantastic.ND Williams , 5 days ago (edited)
I wish Tulsi told Colbert that he and the media are giving David Duke too much power giving them the voice to discredit any presidential election.Loro sono umano , 5 days ago
What Tulsi should point out is that we created the vacuum in the first place. If we had not intervened there would be no power vacuum for China or Russia to fill. The first rule of getting out of a hole: stop diggingTroy McGarrigle , 5 days ago
China is going to become the worlds biggest super power because they're playing the long game. Although you can say their building is a "debt trap" it's still business deals that the other countries need and it's not like we Americans dont use credit cards and are in a bunch of debt.
The US keeps losing trust in the world because of how we've gone about things. We need someone like Tulsi to gain that trust back and actually do good in the worldGundyG B , 5 days ago (edited)
U.S. drops a bomb every 20 minutes for the past 10 years, on countries its not even at war with, and to this Colbert says 'nature abhors a vacuum'.ND Williams , 5 days ago (edited)
Great video as usual. Stephen Colbert is a total disgrace and surprisingly really stupid. However, it doesn't matter if Tulsi doesn't win the presidency in 2020. What is most important is she becomes a part of Sander's team so that she can put a stop to the crazy US military ambition.
Tulsi is perfect as the Sec of State. She can be the president a few years into a Sanders presidency. Her time is not in 2020, but in 2024 or 2028. Her support will grow over time.Greg Rubin , 5 days ago
That's how the propaganda works. Repeat repeat repeat. 'sometimes you gotta propel the truth to get it to sink in' Bush, Jr. TULSI 2020rambanita , 5 days ago
Colbert is a corporate toadie and an apologist for neocon regime change wars. Tulsi put him in check.Norbert Rosendahl , 5 days ago
Quote of the day..."Use your own goddamn Brain ! " ApplausePatience Goudledieu , 2 days ago
The USA does not force for good . Look for Venezuela .... the USA does force for access to the resources.
Stephen is the establishment. His idol, Les Moonves, passed him the torch. Colbert needs to go away.
Feb 21, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Once again Tulsi Gabbard was smeared by War Friendly Agents this time it was The View's Meghan McCain. Tulsi Gabbard explains her positions on a series of issues. #TulsiGabbard #TheView #TimBlackShow Pinned by TBTV
TBTV , 3 weeks agoE Menz , 1 week ago
DEBUNKING ANOTHER TULSI GABBARD SMEAR HERE: https://youtu.be/Lo3GM760a2sCASSINE70 , 1 week ago
She is a very smart woman. Her demeanor and composure to answering questions was darren alevi , 3 weeks ago
What a classy, compassionate, intelligent, empathetic WOMAN!!!!! Go Tulsi!Lakeview Recording Studio , 2 weeks ago
Meghan McCain is a disgusting little Neocon warmonger who has been brought up in an elite bubble she wouldn't have the guts or integrity to serve like Tulsi did. Tulsi handed this with class.savagemaestro , 2 weeks ago
Tulsi has a clue. She knows the dynamics of war. She knows why we need to stop been the world police. She's amazing and so brave.justafanintexas , 1 week ago
These old girls got schooled by an actual WOMAN.Mint & Tea , 2 weeks ago
For the record, I always cringe when Meghan McCain opens her mouth Anyone remember her appearance on Bill Maher's show when she engaged Paul Begalla in a little debate on a specific moment in history and she replied, "I wasn't born yet," and then Begalla immediately stated, "I wasn't round during the French Revolution but I know about it"? Time to stop employing the uninformed daughter of a deceased Senator, dontcha think? Especially one who is so unmercifully unread.Mel Bowen , 3 weeks ago
Gabbard is fantastic. An incredible level head.Kim Leroux , 1 week ago (edited)
I don't no this lady but after this interview I'm on board with Tulsi Gabbard.ucanthandledatruth01 , 2 days ago
The fact that Americans are still convinced the reasons they intervene in other countries are humanitarian help and defending freedom and not economic or strategic reasons is laughable. Get real, people, you are rarely the good guys. And no, the rest of the world do not want you barging in and patronize them.Celieboo , 3 weeks ago (edited)
First time I've seen this beautiful intelligent compassionate lady named Tulsi. That blonde haired land shark thinks she's smart because she has been allowed to masquerade as some sort of respectable human for so long, she's just a fool even she's fooled by her own foolishnessChaitanya Srishti , 3 days ago
Damn! Tulsi Gabbard just gained my respect. She walked through minefield and came out unscathed because she kept her composure and stuck to her beliefs. And she is right--Assad has never threatened us!Angel Leigh , 1 week ago
hated the way Tulsi was attacked by these women there was literally hate on their faces they were clearly biased unfortunate she had to be interviewed by them but kudos to her, she answered every question and hell yes, there is vagueness in the green new deal Tulsi is talking about environment since a long time now but there is suddenly a new deal and new blood in Congress and all of a sudden ppl are noticing 'women' in Congress talking and making valid points while women like Tulsi have been making their arguments and many valid points w/o shoutingWesley Byrd , 6 days ago (edited)
You're the only person that I've heard be honest enough to say that the Green New Deal is just a framework. It is a starting point to a conversation. Thank you. Secondly, it is always amazing to me when political Talking Heads say we can't pay for universal healthcare or free higher education but are willing to fund regime changes in other countries. Willing to spend unnegotiated billions of dollars and Wars and conflicts in other countries. Where's the sense in that? And finally what would Meghan McCain have done had Hillary Clinton not accepted the Electoral College results and declared herself president in the United States because she won the popular vote? What would all of those Talking Heads and politicians have thought or done at all had all of those voters marched against the White House and Congress to force Hillary into the presidency? Hmmmm
Hello... military industrial complex is the driver here, always has been, always will be, until we come to terms with this, we'll keep intervening.
Mar 19, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Wahpahh , 2 days agoalorr4uz , 2 days ago (edited)
Tulsi 2020! No other democrat focuses on Foreign Policy like her!Majdi Saadieh , 2 days ago (edited)
wow. that was just wow. when she said "I am not someone who will go into the white house and sit back and rely on the foreign policy establishment in Washington to tell me what to do, I don't have to. I'm not intimidated by the stars that someone wears on their shoulders. I am not intimidated by the military industrial complex and what they're pushing for." she literally could have just dropped the mic. I bet the aforementioned military industrial complex just peed themselves a little. This is why MSM and DNC hate her. And why we all love her. I'm all in on #Tulsi2020 .Brooks Rogers , 2 days ago
Hello, Mrs. Gabbard excuse my English which is my third language. I respect you so much, I'm from Syrian, I live in SF you are the only one who really stood up for the Syrian people by talking about the lies of the media toward my country, and also by meeting with The Syrian President who is the legal representative of the Syrian people by election. You had the honor to visit my country and saw the miserable situation caused by the war that was made and supported by the US; please if you become the president end this war and end the suffer of the Syrian people cptsketch13 , 2 days ago
99 year Old Mother, WWII ARMY Nurse Corp Vet on the Comfort when it was hit by a kamikaze, "adores" you Tulsi. So moved when watching the CNN Town Hall. You are her hero!Peter Rieser , 2 days ago
Keep going Tulsi! You are making progress with your visibility and you crush those lame interviews that try to smear youwanowan , 2 days ago
That is my President right there.Agz , 2 days ago
Great speech. If you guys in USA don't want her, will take Tulsi in Canada.eXcommunicate1979 , 2 days ago
Get her to the debate stage America! Donate!!!Highlander77 , 2 days ago
Listening to Tulsi is so inspiring. <3Nate Murdoch , 2 days ago
I don't think I've ever seen a politician who I've listened to and said "This person, THIS is the one I want to be our President. THIS is the one who will truly represent the people, and lead this nation with a true vision and actually fight to do the things they say they want to do". But when I see and hear Tulsi, I feel like I'm seeing just that, for maybe the first time in my life.bones007able , 2 days ago
Who should I support? An incredible woman who is a combat veteran with original ideas, or a white skateboarder who pretends to be Latino and married a rich girl? #Tulsi2020re575817 , 2 days ago
she is starting to talk a little tougher lately.... she needs to ramp up her passion and she can't fail.....Midori L. , 2 days ago (edited)
We all have to work hard to get her up in the polls. She is a brilliant candidate!Jesse Pentecost , 2 days ago
I was overwhelmed with so much warmth when I heard you speak, I swear I have never felt this before. Thank You for all your hard work! No matter what happens, you have my full support and my vote :)uncleo , 2 days ago
The next president of the united states of AmericaRaynaud Moreno , 2 days ago
I've been all in for Bernie but listening to Tulsi is equally if not more inspiring given that her focus is on our insane interventionist foreign policyBigAlShark , 2 days ago
I donated $250. Please donate at least one dollar to her campaign and get her on the debate stage. We will she her crush all the other candidates
No teleprompters, no notes, no platitudes or empty rhetoric. Calm and logical and intelligent. No wonder the establishment is scared of her. GO TULSI!!!!
Mar 18, 2019 | www.youtube.comlalamimix , 1 week agoFMA Bincarim , 1 week ago
Braver then 99.9% of all men in power. They just enjoy watching the blood sports they create for profit. Looks like people are starting to get fed up with the show. About time✌️ 😉softminimal1 , 1 week ago (edited)
CNN has the nerve to claim that Cloudbootjar Copmala Cory and Creepy Joe are polling higher than her.softminimal1 , 1 week ago
WE CURRENTLY HAVE A CRONY CAPITALIST PYRAMID SCHEME AND CNN PLAYS IT'S PART TO KEEP THAT SYSTEM IN PLACE.edfou5 , 1 week ago
CNN LOVES WARS.mb1968nz , 1 week ago (edited)
I'm 66, a Progressive formerly from Boston where we eat and breathe politics and I'll tell you... never in my life have I seen a Democratic candidate like this fearless young woman who will simultaneously attract veterans AND anti-war folks AND moderate Republicans AND youth. NO OTHER CANDIDATE CAN DO THIS. My absolute belief is that if Tulsi's not on the ticket... Trump wins. Sorry Bernie, this time I'm going with Tulsi.mrfuzztone , 1 week ago
Tulsi handled these hacks like a pro LOOL Are you a capitalist? LOL What s stupid question.....CCN usually stacks there town halls with corporate cronies. I bet Bernie picks her for a high position in his government.
People need to donate to Tulsi Gabbard for president so she is allowed on the DNC sponsored debate stages. 65000 unique donors required to be in the debates. Donation can be as small as $1 if you can't afford $25.
Mar 18, 2019 | www.unz.com
Become a Patron/Premium Member: https://www.patreon.com/jimmydore & http://bit.ly/JDPremium Schedule of Live Shows: http://bit.ly/2gRqoyL
PeterMX , says: March 16, 2019 at 12:16 am GMTThe problem with Jimmy Dore is he has some kind of mental block or is somehow completely unaware of the reasons we bomb countries that are hostile to Israel and located right on their border or at least near them. You also have to be completely unaware of the power of the Jewish lobbies and their obvious bias towards their own interests to ignore Jews role in promoting wars that benefit Israel. It's not the "military industrial complex" Jimmy, it's who controls that complex. Jeff Zucker, the head of CNN is a Jew, that like Jake Tapper (also a Jew) sees any destruction of Syria as beneficial to Israel. The neo-Con Max Boot was born in Russia and still wants to bomb Russia because he's a Jew that doesn't want Putin preventing Jewish controlled US from destroying Syria. I can level some similar criticism at Jimmy that he levels at the mainstream media.
Mar 18, 2019 | finance.yahoo.com
Boeing Co. tumbled early Monday on heightened scrutiny by regulators and prosecutors over whether the approval process for the company's 737 Max jetliner was flawed.
A person familiar with the matter on Sunday said that the U.S. Transportation Department's Inspector General was examining the plane's design certification before the second of two deadly crashes of the almost brand-new aircraft.
Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported that a grand jury in Washington, D.C., on March 11 issued a subpoena to at least one person involved in the development process of the Max. And a Seattle Times investigation found that U.S. regulators delegated much of the plane's safety assessment to Boeing and that the company in turn delivered an analysis with crucial flaws.
Boeing dropped 2.8 percent to $368.53 before the start of regular trading Monday in New York, well below any closing price since the deadly crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10. Ethiopia's transport minister said Sunday that flight-data recorders showed "clear similarities" between the crashes of that plane and Lion Air Flight 610 last October.
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration employees warned as early as seven years ago that Boeing had too much sway over safety approvals of new aircraft, prompting an investigation by Transportation Department auditors who confirmed the agency hadn't done enough to "hold Boeing accountable."
The 2012 investigation also found that discord over Boeing's treatment had created a "negative work environment" among FAA employees who approve new and modified aircraft designs, with many of them saying they'd faced retaliation for speaking up. Their concerns pre-dated the 737 Max development.
In recent years, the FAA has shifted more authority over the approval of new aircraft to the manufacturer itself, even allowing Boeing to choose many of the personnel who oversee tests and vouch for safety. Just in the past few months, Congress expanded the outsourcing arrangement even further.
"It raises for me the question of whether the agency is properly funded, properly staffed and whether there has been enough independent oversight," said Jim Hall, who was chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board from 1994 to 2001 and is now an aviation-safety consultant.
At least a portion of the flight-control software suspected in the 737 Max crashes was certified by one or more Boeing employees who worked in the outsourcing arrangement, according to one person familiar with the work who wasn't authorized to speak about the matter.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the inspector general's latest inquiry. The watchdog is trying to assess whether the FAA used appropriate design standards and engineering analysis in approving the 737 Max's anti-stall system, the newspaper said.
Both Boeing and the Transportation Department declined to comment about that inquiry.
In a statement on Sunday, the agency said its "aircraft certification processes are well established and have consistently produced safe aircraft designs," adding that the "737 Max certification program followed the FAA's standard certification process."
The Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed minutes after it took off from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board. The accident prompted most of the world to ground Boeing's 737 Max 8 aircraft on safety concerns, coming on the heels of the October crash of a Max 8 operated by Indonesia's Lion Air that killed 189 people. Much of the attention focused on a flight-control system that can automatically push a plane into a catastrophic nose dive if it malfunctions and pilots don't react properly.
In one of the most detailed descriptions yet of the relationship between Boeing and the FAA during the 737 Max's certification, the Seattle Times quoted unnamed engineers who said the planemaker had understated the power of the flight-control software in a System Safety Analysis submitted to the FAA. The newspaper said the analysis also failed to account for how the system could reset itself each time a pilot responded -- in essence, gradually ratcheting the horizontal stabilizer into a dive position.
Boeing told the newspaper in a statement that the FAA had reviewed the company's data and concluded the aircraft "met all certification and regulatory requirements." The company, which is based in Chicago but designs and builds commercial jets in the Seattle area, said there are "some significant mischaracterizations" in the engineers' comments.
Mar 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.comBrookings Senior Fellow and author Robert Kagan in March 2018. (Brookings Institution/Paul Morigi) Robert Kagan warns us about global authoritarianism:
Of all the geopolitical transformations confronting the liberal democratic world these days, the one for which we are least prepared is the ideological and strategic resurgence of authoritarianism. We are not used to thinking of authoritarianism as a distinct worldview that offers a real alternative to liberalism.
We are not used to thinking of authoritarianism as a distinct worldview because it isn't one. All authoritarian states share certain things in common, and they may see some of the same things as threats, but there isn't a single worldview that all authoritarian governments subscribe to. There is no one ideology that binds them together. Most of them are nationalistic to one degree or another, but because of that they usually have competing and opposing goals. Treating all authoritarian regimes as part of the same global threat lumps illiberal and majoritarian democracies together with kleptocracies, communist dictatorships, and absolute monarchies. That exaggerates the danger that these regimes pose, and it tries to invent a Cold War-like division between rival camps that doesn't really exist. If the U.S. treats these states as if they are all in league with one another, it will tend to drive together states that would otherwise remain at odds and keep each other at arm's length.
Kagan's preferred foreign policy requires that there is some global "ideological confrontation" for the U.S. to be engaged in. If there isn't one, it has to be invented. His account of the history of the 20th century shows how determined he is to see international politics in terms of grand ideological battles even when there wasn't one. He takes seriously the idea that WWI is one of these struggles: "But for those who fought it, on both sides, it was very much a war between liberalism and authoritarianism." Kagan makes the mistake of treating wartime propaganda descriptions of the war as the real motivation for the war, and he relies on stereotypes of the nations on the other side of the war as well. The world's largest colonial empires were not fighting for "the liberties of Europe" and they certainly weren't fighting for the rights of small nations, as wartime British propaganda would have it, and that became abundantly clear in the post-war settlement. It was primarily a war among empires for supremacy in Europe, and the surviving Allied empires consolidated their hold on their own colonial possessions and gained more. To the extent that Americans genuinely believed that joining the war had something to do with vindicating the cause of democracy, they were quickly disabused of that notion when they saw the fruits of the vindictive settlement that their allies imposed on the losing side.
Kagan admits that there are many differences of regime type that he is trying to collapse into one group:
We have become lost in endless categorizations, viewing each type of non-liberal government as unique and unrelated to the others -- the illiberal democracy, the "liberal" or "liberalizing" autocracy, the "competitive" and "hybrid" authoritarianism. These different categories certainly describe the myriad ways non-liberal societies may be governed. But in the most fundamental way, all of this is beside the point.
In other words, Kagan isn't all that interested in details or accuracy. Those are "beside the point." What matters is dividing up the world into two opposing camps: "Nations are either liberal, meaning that there are permanent institutions and unchanging norms that protect the "unalienable" rights of individuals against all who would infringe on those rights, whether the state or the majority; or they are not liberal." The criteria for qualifying as a liberal nation are extremely demanding. What institutions can honestly be called "permanent" and what norms are ever truly "unchanging"? Judged against this extreme and unreasonable standard, there won't ever be many nations that qualify as liberal, including quite a few that we would normally consider liberal democracies in good standing. That makes it a lot easier for Kagan to exaggerate the power of "resurgent authoritarianism."
Kagan doesn't make it explicit in this essay, but his larger goal in all of this is to advocate for a more confrontational foreign policy mobilized against the authoritarian enemies that he has described. He hints at this when he disparages contemporary "realists" whom he doesn't name or cite:
Just as during the 1930s, when realists such as Robert Taft assured Americans that their lives would be undisturbed by the collapse of democracy in Europe and the triumph of authoritarianism in Asia, so we have realists today insisting that we pull back from confronting the great authoritarian powers rising in Eurasia.
To be much more accurate, there are realists, non-interventionists, and progressives that see no compelling reason for the U.S. to engage in destructive rivalries with major authoritarian powers in their own backyards. Except for a lame, overused comparison to the 1930s, Kagan doesn't even try to explain why we are wrong to think this. Kagan assumes that such destructive rivalries are both necessary and desirable, and this essay is the latest part of his effort to lay the groundwork for the ideological justification for those rivalries.
Kagan's analysis suffers from the problem of mirror-imaging that always plagues ideologues. He assumes that everyone sees the world in starkly ideological categories just as he does, and he thinks that other actors are just as determined to export their ideology as he is. His entire worldview depends on linking great power competition with larger ideological causes, and for almost thirty years there has been no such "ideological confrontation" for Kagan to theorize about. Despite Kagan's insistence to the contrary, there still isn't. He wants the U.S. to take a more confrontational approach to dealing with Russia and China, and in order to sell that today he has to dress it up as something more than the destructive and costly pursuit of hegemony that he has been pushing for decades. The U.S. has spent the last twenty years fighting wars that Kagan and other like-minded interventionists advocated for and endorsed. We shouldn't make the same mistake again when the stakes are even higher.
Minnesota Mary March 17, 2019 at 1:56 pmA recent WSJ article (03/11/19) titled "Russian Gas Plan Divides U.S., Allies" with the subtitle "Washington fears undersea project would make Germany too reliant on Moscow" tells the tale of what the real reasons for America to demonize Russia and Putin. The U.S. leaders fear that the German-Russian pipeline project, Nord Stream 2, will make Europe reliant on Russian energy instead of Europe purchasing it energy from the United States. What gives the U.S. the right to stop one nation from doing commerce with other nations? The answer is "Greed."Kouros , says: March 17, 2019 at 3:41 pm
All wars are predicated on lies, and all wars are fought for economic reasons and not the so called humanitarian reasons that are fed to the people.Always insightful indeed: Kagan is and will until the bitter end defend American hegemony and the ideological mantle will be used as a cover (Mel Gibson screaming "Freedom!" in Bravehart; killing the babies and stealing the incubators!).JR , says: March 17, 2019 at 3:57 pm
People also forget that US is not a democracy, but a managed Republic, and according to all indicators, it is not even that liberal
So better save this post because you are still young and in 30 years from now you will be able to re-post it and just change a couple of namesIronically he seems in the same (lack of) weight class (intellectually) as Pompeo.Stephen J. , says: March 17, 2019 at 5:22 pmYou write:Taras 77 , says: March 17, 2019 at 7:15 pm
"The U.S. has spent the last twenty years fighting wars that Kagan and other like-minded interventionists advocated for and endorsed."
Right on the mark. The fallout from the actions of these "interventionists" is millions are dead in a number of countries. Millions are refugees and thousands of soldiers are dead or maimed. More facts on these war criminals at link below.
https://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-facts-on-crimes-of-war-criminals.htmlThanks much for this, Mr Larison.prolegomenon to any future foreign policy , says: March 18, 2019 at 2:27 am
Anytime, anywhere, anyone comes out and destroys kagan's Zionist globalist babble as you have done, it is a very commendable exercise for the good of mankind and America.
This Kagan family, with Robert now the lead figure, has done a great deal towards furthering conflicts and violence in the world. It is long past time that they be put in their place, whatever that is, but it will not happen because their Zionist mindset is very well funded.
Your article does a public service."The U.S. has spent the last twenty years fighting wars that Kagan and other like-minded interventionists advocated for and endorsed. We shouldn't make the same mistake again when the stakes are even higher."
We ought to do more than that. He should be muzzled and sent to live in a cave somewhere to repent the consequences of the terrible damage he and other incompetents have done to America. That people like this still have access to the media is almost beyond belief.
Mar 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Pity The Nation: War Spending Is Bankrupting America
by Tyler Durden Fri, 03/15/2019 - 23:50 9 SHARES Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,
"Pity the nation whose people are sheep
And whose shepherds mislead them
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars
Whose sages are silenced
And whose bigots haunt the airwaves
Pity the nation that raises not its voice
Except to praise conquerors
And acclaim the bully as hero
And aims to rule the world
By force and by torture
Pity the nation oh pity the people
who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away "
-- Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet
War spending is bankrupting America.
Our nation is being preyed upon by a military industrial complex that is propped up by war profiteers, corrupt politicians and foreign governments.
America has so much to offer -- creativity, ingenuity, vast natural resources, a rich heritage, a beautifully diverse populace, a freedom foundation unrivaled anywhere in the world, and opportunities galore -- and yet our birthright is being sold out from under us so that power-hungry politicians, greedy military contractors, and bloodthirsty war hawks can make a hefty profit at our expense.
Don't be fooled into thinking that your hard-earned tax dollars are being used for national security and urgent military needs.
It's all a ruse.
You know what happens to tax dollars that are left over at the end of the government's fiscal year? Government agencies -- including the Department of Defense -- go on a "use it or lose it" spending spree so they can justify asking for money in the next fiscal year.
We're not talking chump change, either.
We're talking $97 billion worth of wasteful spending .
According to an investigative report by Open the Government, among the items purchased during the last month of the fiscal year when government agencies go all out to get rid of these "use it or lose it" funds: Wexford Leather club chair ($9,241), china tableware ($53,004), alcohol ($308,994), golf carts ($673,471), musical equipment including pianos, tubas, and trombones ($1.7 million), lobster tail and crab ($4.6 million) , iPhones and iPads ($7.7 million), and workout and recreation equipment ($9.8 million).
So much for draining the swamp .
Anyone who suggests that the military needs more money is either criminally clueless or equally corrupt, because the military isn't suffering from lack of funding -- it's suffering from lack of proper oversight.
Where President Trump fits into that scenario, you decide. Trump may turn out to be, as policy analyst Stan Collender warned, " the biggest deficit- and debt-increasing president of all time ."
Rest assured, however, that if Trump gets his way -- to the tune of a $4.7 trillion budget that digs the nation deeper in debt to foreign creditors, adds $750 billion for the military budget , and doubles the debt growth that Trump once promised to erase -- the war profiteers (and foreign banks who "own" our debt) will be raking in a fortune while America goes belly up.
This is basic math, and the numbers just don't add up.
As it now stands, the U.S. government is operating in the negative on every front: it's spending far more than what it makes (and takes from the American taxpayers) and it is borrowing heavily ( from foreign governments and Social Security ) to keep the government operating and keep funding its endless wars abroad .
Certainly, nothing about the way the government budgets its funds puts America's needs first.
The nation's educational system is pathetic (young people are learning nothing about their freedoms or their government). The infrastructure is antiquated and growing more outdated by the day. The health system is overpriced and inaccessible to those who need it most. The supposedly robust economy is belied by the daily reports of businesses shuttering storefronts and declaring bankruptcy. And our so-called representative government is a sham.
If this is a formula for making America great again, it's not working.
The White House wants taxpayers to accept that the only way to reduce the nation's ballooning deficit is by cutting "entitlement" programs such as Social Security and Medicare, yet the glaring economic truth is that at the end of the day, it's the military industrial complex -- and not the sick, the elderly or the poor -- that is pushing America towards bankruptcy.
We have become a debtor nation , and the government is sinking us deeper into debt with every passing day that it allows the military industrial complex to call the shots.
Simply put, the government cannot afford to maintain its over-extended military empire.
" Money is the new 800-pound gorilla ," remarked a senior administration official involved in Afghanistan. "It shifts the debate from 'Is the strategy working?' to 'Can we afford this?' And when you view it that way, the scope of the mission that we have now is far, far less defensible." Or as one commentator noted, " Foreclosing the future of our country should not be confused with defending it ."
To be clear, the U.S government's defense spending is about one thing and one thing only: establishing and maintaining a global military empire.
Although the U.S. constitutes only 5% of the world's population, America boasts almost 50% of the world's total military expenditure , spending more on the military than the next 19 biggest spending nations combined.
In fact, the Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety.
The American military-industrial complex has erected an empire unsurpassed in history in its breadth and scope, one dedicated to conducting perpetual warfare throughout the earth.
Since 2001, the U.S. government has spent more than $4.7 trillion waging its endless wars .
Having been co-opted by greedy defense contractors, corrupt politicians and incompetent government officials, America's expanding military empire is bleeding the country dry at a rate of more than $32 million per hour .
In fact, the U.S. government has spent more money every five seconds in Iraq than the average American earns in a year.
Then there's the cost of maintaining and staffing the 1000-plus U.S. military bases spread around the world and policing the globe with 1.3 million U.S. troops stationed in 177 countries (over 70% of the countries worldwide).
Future wars and military exercises waged around the globe are expected to push the total bill upwards of $12 trillion by 2053 .
The U.S. government is spending money it doesn't have on a military empire it can't afford.
As investigative journalist Uri Friedman puts it, for more than 15 years now, the United States has been fighting terrorism with a credit card , "essentially bankrolling the wars with debt, in the form of purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds by U.S.-based entities like pension funds and state and local governments, and by countries like China and Japan."
War is not cheap, but it becomes outrageously costly when you factor in government incompetence, fraud, and greedy contractors .
As The Nation reports :
For decades, the DoD's leaders and accountants have been perpetrating a gigantic, unconstitutional accounting fraud, deliberately cooking the books to mislead the Congress and drive the DoD's budgets ever higher, regardless of military necessity. DoD has literally been making up numbers in its annual financial reports to Congress -- representing trillions of dollars' worth of seemingly nonexistent transactions -- knowing that Congress would rely on those misleading reports when deciding how much money to give the DoD the following year.
For example, a leading accounting firm concluded that one of the Pentagon's largest agencies " can't account for hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of spending ."
Unfortunately, the outlook isn't much better for the spending that can be tracked.
A government audit found that defense contractor Boeing has been massively overcharging taxpayers for mundane parts, resulting in tens of millions of dollars in overspending. As the report noted, the American taxpayer paid :
$71 for a metal pin that should cost just 4 cents; $644.75 for a small gear smaller than a dime that sells for $12.51: more than a 5,100 percent increase in price. $1,678.61 for another tiny part, also smaller than a dime, that could have been bought within DoD for $7.71: a 21,000 percent increase. $71.01 for a straight, thin metal pin that DoD had on hand, unused by the tens of thousands, for 4 cents: an increase of over 177,000 percent.
That price gouging has become an accepted form of corruption within the American military empire is a sad statement on how little control "we the people" have over our runaway government.
Mind you, this isn't just corrupt behavior. It's deadly, downright immoral behavior.
The U.S. government is not making the world any safer. It's making the world more dangerous. It is estimated that the U.S. military drops a bomb somewhere in the world every 12 minutes . Since 9/11, the United States government has directly contributed to the deaths of around 500,000. Every one of those deaths was paid for with taxpayer funds.
The U.S. government is not making America any safer. It's exposing American citizens to alarming levels of blowback, a CIA term referring to the unintended consequences of the U.S. government's international activities. Chalmers Johnson, a former CIA consultant, repeatedly warned that America's use of its military to gain power over the global economy would result in devastating blowback .
Those who call the shots in the government -- those who push the military industrial complex's agenda -- those who make a killing by embroiling the U.S. in foreign wars -- have not heeded Johnson's warning.
The U.S. government is not making American citizens any safer . The repercussions of America's military empire have been deadly, not only for those innocent men, women and children killed by drone strikes abroad but also those here in the United States.
The 9/11 attacks were blowback . The Boston Marathon Bombing was blowback . The attempted Times Square bomber was blowback. The Fort Hood shooter, a major in the U.S. Army, was blowback .
The transformation of America into a battlefield is blowback.
All of this carnage is being carried out with the full support of the American people, or at least with the proxy that is our taxpayer dollars.
The government is destabilizing the economy, destroying the national infrastructure through neglect and a lack of resources, and turning taxpayer dollars into blood money with its endless wars, drone strikes and mounting death tolls.
As Martin Luther King Jr. recognized, under a military empire, war and its profiteering will always take precedence over the people's basic human needs.
Similarly, President Dwight Eisenhower warned us not to let the profit-driven war machine endanger our liberties or democratic processes.
"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. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. [ ] Is there no other way the world may live?"
We failed to heed Eisenhower's warning.
The illicit merger of the armaments industry and the government that Eisenhower warned against has come to represent perhaps the greatest threat to the nation today.
It's not sustainable, of course.
Eventually, inevitably, military empires fall and fail by spreading themselves too thin and spending themselves to death.
It happened in Rome. It's happening again.
The America empire is already breaking down.
We're already witnessing a breakdown of society on virtually every front, and the government is ready.
For years now, the government has worked with the military to prepare for widespread civil unrest brought about by "economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order , purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters."
For years now, the government has been warning against the dangers of domestic terrorism , erecting surveillance systems to monitor its own citizens, creating classification systems to label any viewpoints that challenge the status quo as extremist, and training law enforcement agencies to equate anyone possessing anti-government views as a domestic terrorist.
We're approaching critical mass.
As long as "we the people" continue to allow the government to wage its costly, meaningless, endless wars abroad, the American homeland will continue to suffer: our roads will crumble, our bridges will fail, our schools will fall into disrepair, our drinking water will become undrinkable, our communities will destabilize, our economy will tank, crime will rise, and our freedoms will suffer.
So who will save us?
As I make clear in my book, Battlefield America: The War on the American People , we'd better start saving ourselves: one by one, neighbor to neighbor, through grassroots endeavors, by pushing back against the police state where it most counts -- in our communities first and foremost, and by holding fast to what binds us together and not allowing politics and other manufactured nonrealities to tear us apart.
Start today. Start now. Do your part.
Literally and figuratively, the buck starts and stops with "we the people."
I am Groot , 2 minutes ago linkTiger Rocks Dale , 5 minutes ago link
We have socialism in all of the wrong places !
When we should be paying our seniors a generous amount of social security and pensions to people who earned them, we are paying illegals and their kids to come to America and act like parasites. Our children will be debt slaves because of Congress.
We are also paying trillions to the MIC and three letter agencies with absolutely no oversight. We pay hundreds of thousands of totally useless government employees including the military and over a 1000 bases on foreign soil.
Eisenhower warned against letting the MIC take control of the country.rtb61 , 5 minutes ago link
It's fine. Tyler dudrden is my hero.
What is weird, you spend that money on infrastructure, which would substantially improve the economy through gained efficiencies and you can afford to waste it but if you waste it, you can not spend it on infrastructure to be able to afford to burn it, blow it up, fire it or just plain dump it.
Well, it is pretty clear, from the screams of the insiders, the reform is coming and they know it. The louder the rants of screams of the establishment, the closer they are to losing.
Look at what they do, they kill people for profit, if they could silence us by killing us, they would, they can not, they have already lost, now it is just a matter of political grind and legal process, to root them out and then investigate and prosecute them, en mass.
They had tota