Softpanorama

May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Contents Bulletin Scripting in shell and Perl Network troubleshooting History Humor

Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few

Journalism Vacation from Truth is a direct threat to democracy. Without journalistic integrity, there is no democracy as the average voter cannot make an informed choice. Inverted totalitarism won some time ago.

Skepticism > Political Skeptic > Media-Military-Industrial Complex > Propaganda

News Neoliberal newspeak Recommended Links Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Purple revolution against Trump Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak
Demonization of Putin Hillary Clinton email scandal: Timeline and summary Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Obama's Putin-did-it fiasco Media-Military-Industrial Complex Anti Trump Hysteria
Doublespeak Discrediting the opponent as favorite tactic of neoliberals The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Freedom of speech played by Western MSM as three card monte Patterns of Propaganda The importance of controlling the narrative
MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Cold War II "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Neoconservatism as the USA version of Neoliberal ideology  Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers New American Militarism
Swiftboating: Khan gambit against Trump at Democratic Convention Pussy Riot Provocation and "Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome" Deception as an art form The Deep State National Security State Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair US and British media are servants of security apparatus The attempt to secure global hegemony American Exceptionalism Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Manipulation of the term "freedom of press"
Lewis Powell Memo Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Edward Lucas as agent provocateur Groupthink Soft propaganda
Diplomacy by deception Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Deconstructing neoliberalism's definition of 'freedom' The Real War on Reality Nation under attack meme Bullshit as MSM communication method
Neo-fascism Classic Hypocrisy of British Ruling Elite Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Big Uncle is Watching You What's the Matter with Kansas Media as a weapon of mass deception
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass The Good Soldier Svejk Nineteen Eighty-Four Propaganda Quotes Humor Etc

"The truth is that the newspaper is not a place for information to be given,
rather it is just hollow content, or more than that, a provoker of content.
If it prints lies about atrocities, real atrocities are the result."

Karl Kraus, 1914

WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

1984

We are the world, we are exceptional, we cannot fail. The elite will lie, and the people will pretend to believe them. Heck about 20 percent of the American public will believe almost anything if it is wrapped with the right prejudice and appeal to passion.

jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com, Feb 04, 2015

I think journalists today — elite journalists at least — absorb the biases of the ruling neoliberal oligarchy far more readily than they used to do. The media establishment is populated by yes-men. I do not understand how any skeptical person can, in good conscience, trust a western MSM description of foreign events. You need a second source to compare coverage. The mainstream media gives us no real news. Just the regurgitation of  talking points they were given. Seeing how they treat the concept of truth these days, one might think that 1984 dystopia was an understatement.  Truth killing is a meta-issue ( nationalinterest.org

The problem is fundamental, and relates to a broad spectrum of policy issues both foreign and domestic, because truth — factual reality — is a necessary foundation to consider and evaluate and debate policy on any subject. 

Crushing the truth means not just our having to endure any one misdirected policy; it means losing the ability even to address policy intelligently. 

To the extent that falsehood is successfully instilled in the minds of enough people, the political system loses what would otherwise be its ability to provide a check on policy that is bad policy because it is inconsistent with factual reality.

Propaganda can be  defined as a war on reality using fake news, disinformation, projection, witch-hunts (see neo_Mccarthhyism)  and other methods. An attempt to create an artificial reality.  The key here is controlling the narrative.  For example, "fake news" hysteria is a perfect method of suppressing of dissent and questioning of MSM ties to three-letter agencies: 

Journalists manipulate us in the interest of the Powerful. Do you also have the feeling, that you are often manipulated by the media and  lied to? Then you're like the majority of Germans. Previously it was considered as a "conspiracy theory". Now it revealed by an Insider, who tells us what is really happening under the hood.

The Journalist Udo Ulfkotte ashamed today that he spent 17 years in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. ...he reveals why opinion leaders produce tendentious reports and serve as the extended Arm of the NATO press office. ...the author also was admitted into the networks of American elite organizations, received in return for positive coverage in the US even a certificate of honorary citizenship.

In this book you will learn about industry lobby organisations. The author calls hundreds of names and looks behind the Scenes of those organizations, which exert bias into media, such as: Atlantic bridge, Trilateral Commission, the German Marshall Fund, American Council on Germany, American Academy, Aspen Institute, and the Institute for European politics. Also revealed are the intelligence backgrounds of those lobby groups, the methods and forms of propaganda and financing used, for example, by the US Embassy. Which funds  projects for the targeted influencing of public opinion in Germany 

...You realize how you are being manipulated - and you know from whom and why. At the end it becomes clear that diversity of opinion will now only be simulated. Because our "messages" are often pure brainwashing.

Gekaufte Journalisten - Medienwelt Enthüllungen Bücher - Kopp Verlag

How does Fake History and Fake News gradually supersede their reality-based version (which never was perfect, and often quite distorted)  and were enforced on the US society as the only acceptable narrative? Which, is essence, is a real war on reality.

My impression that that this process started after WWII with the creation of CIA and was put in front burner during McCarthyism witch hunt. McCarthyism was not exactly or only about Communists. It has elements of a more general framework of suppressing any "dissidents" who question "official narrative" and simultaneously served as the framework of brainwashing of population craeting a stereotype of enemy, in best Bolsheviks style. In other words, like in 1984, under McCarthyism questioning of official narrative, much like it was in the USSR, has  become a "though  crime".  And repressions were real, although far less extensive and brutal, than in the USSR in 30th.

While Senator McCartney has a certain gist for blackmailing people and, being an alcoholic, he probably would be a suitable candidate for high position in NKVD, he was not a pioneer. He was just a talented follower. This type of modem witch hunt was first implemented on large scale by Bolsheviks in Russia after 1917.  Actually Bolsheviks originated many modern methods of brainwashing of the population.  Which later were enhanced and further developed in Nazi Germany and than imported to the USA after WWII. Creation of intelligence agencies by Truman was actually a creation of national security state and with it the huge apparatus of state propaganda (and by extension of suppressing of dissent) controlled and directed by intelligence  agencies, which gradually acquired considerable level of control of MSM  (see Church Committee - Wikipedia ).  The problem with this approach is that  communism as an ideology was dead after WWII, and even Soviet people despite constant brainwashing started to have wide-ranging doubts about the communist state and communist ideology. Listening to state-sponsored propaganda radio-stations from the West such as BBC and Voice of America became national pasture of Soviet citizens, especially educated one. Despite all the jamming. In this particular sense, imitating the enemy by the USA elite was a very dangerous course with far reaching consequences.

In other words we can observe a gradual switch to a "high demand cults" style practice of mind control of population (Bolshevism actually can be best viewed as a religious cult merged with the political movement, much like political Islam today ). The main methods here always was the generation and totalitarian control of "suitable" narrative (that's why Sheldon Volin called neoliberal society "inverted totalitarism"):

"The primary aim of official propaganda is to generate an "official narrative" that can be mindlessly repeated by the ruling classes and those who support and identify with them. This official narrative does not have to make sense, or to stand up to any sort of serious scrutiny. Its factualness is not the point. The point is to draw a Maginot line, a defensive ideological boundary, between "the truth" as defined by the ruling classes and any other "truth" that contradicts their narrative. "

Due to the size an introductory article was converted to a separate page Neoliberal Propaganda


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

"It tends to be all accurate, but not in an over-all context."

Donald Rumsfeld

"Citizens must be alert to propaganda and
glittering generalities is a type of propaganda
which often uses words such as freedom and patriotism."

"Civics in Practice". Page 274

2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001

[Oct 22, 2017] Silicon Valley is not your friend by Dan Crawford

Notable quotes:
"... Growth becomes the overriding motivation -- something treasured for its own sake, not for anything it brings to the world. Facebook and Google can point to a greater utility that comes from being the central repository of all people, all information, but such market dominance has obvious drawbacks, and not just the lack of competition. As we've seen, the extreme concentration of wealth and power is a threat to our democracy by making some people and companies unaccountable. ..."
"... Out of curiosity, the other day I searched "cellphones" on Google. Before finding even a mildly questioning article about cellphones, I paged down through ads for phones and lists of phones for sale, guides to buying phones and maps with directions to stores that sell phones, some 20 results in total. Somewhere, a pair of idealistic former graduate students must be saying: "See! I told you so!" ..."
Oct 20, 2017 | angrybearblog.com
Vis New York Times

Growth becomes the overriding motivation -- something treasured for its own sake, not for anything it brings to the world. Facebook and Google can point to a greater utility that comes from being the central repository of all people, all information, but such market dominance has obvious drawbacks, and not just the lack of competition. As we've seen, the extreme concentration of wealth and power is a threat to our democracy by making some people and companies unaccountable.

In addition to their power, tech companies have a tool that other powerful industries don't: the generally benign feelings of the public. To oppose Silicon Valley can appear to be opposing progress, even if progress has been defined as online monopolies; propaganda that distorts elections; driverless cars and trucks that threaten to erase the jobs of millions of people; the Uberization of work life, where each of us must fend for ourselves in a pitiless market.

As is becoming obvious, these companies do deserve the benefit of the doubt. We need greater regulation, even if it impedes the introduction of new services. If we can't stop their proposals -- if we can't say that driverless cars may not be a worthy goal, to give just one example -- then are we in control of our society? We need to break up these online monopolies because if a few people make the decisions about how we communicate, shop, learn the news, again, do we control our own society?

Out of curiosity, the other day I searched "cellphones" on Google. Before finding even a mildly questioning article about cellphones, I paged down through ads for phones and lists of phones for sale, guides to buying phones and maps with directions to stores that sell phones, some 20 results in total. Somewhere, a pair of idealistic former graduate students must be saying: "See! I told you so!"

[Oct 22, 2017] What Facebook Did to American Democracy by Alexis C. Madrigal

The danger is that intelligence agencies cause Facebook to influence elections.
Notable quotes:
"... Fowler told Rosen that it was "even possible that Facebook is completely responsible" for the youth voter increase. And because a higher proportion of young people vote Democratic than the general population, the net effect of Facebook's GOTV effort would have been to help the Dems. ..."
"... In June 2014, Harvard Law scholar Jonathan Zittrain wrote an essay in New Republic ..."
"... The Filter Bubble, ..."
"... The Filter Bubble ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The Washington Post, ..."
"... the Pope himself ..."
"... New York Magazine ..."
"... The New York Times Magazine ..."
"... 340 million times ..."
"... Information Operations and Facebook ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... sat with the Obama tech team ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Prototype Politics , ..."
"... The Huffington Post ..."
"... But the point isn't that a Republican beat a Democrat. The point is that the very roots of the electoral system -- the news people see, the events they think happened, the information they digest -- had been destabilized. ..."
"... Chaos Monkeys ..."
"... The information systems that people use to process news have been rerouted through Facebook, and in the process, mostly broken and hidden from view. It wasn't just liberal bias that kept the media from putting everything together. Much of the hundreds of millions of dollars that was spent during the election cycle came in the form of "dark ads." ..."
"... Update: After publication, Adam Mosseri, head of News Feed, sent an email describing some of the work that Facebook is doing in response to the problems during the election. They include new software and processes "to stop the spread of misinformation , click-bait and other problematic content on Facebook." ..."
"... "The truth is we've learned things since the election, and we take our responsibility to protect the community of people who use Facebook seriously. As a result, we've launched a company-wide effort to improve the integrity of information on our service," he wrote. "It's already translated into new products, new protections, and the commitment of thousands of new people to enforce our policies and standards... We know there is a lot more work to do, but I've never seen this company more engaged on a single challenge since I joined almost 10 years ago." ..."
Oct 22, 2017 | www.theatlantic.com

And why it was so hard to see it coming

In the media world, as in so many other realms, there is a sharp discontinuity in the timeline: before the 2016 election, and after.

Things we thought we understood -- narratives, data, software, news events -- have had to be reinterpreted in light of Donald Trump's surprising win as well as the continuing questions about the role that misinformation and disinformation played in his election.

Tech journalists covering Facebook had a duty to cover what was happening before, during, and after the election. Reporters tried to see past their often liberal political orientations and the unprecedented actions of Donald Trump to see how 2016 was playing out on the internet. Every component of the chaotic digital campaign has been reported on, here at The Atlantic , and elsewhere: Facebook's enormous distribution power for political information, rapacious partisanship reinforced by distinct media information spheres, the increasing scourge of "viral" hoaxes and other kinds of misinformation that could propagate through those networks, and the Russian information ops agency.

But no one delivered the synthesis that could have tied together all these disparate threads. It's not that this hypothetical perfect story would have changed the outcome of the election. The real problem -- for all political stripes -- is understanding the set of conditions that led to Trump's victory. The informational underpinnings of democracy have eroded, and no one has explained precisely how.

* * *

We've known since at least 2012 that Facebook was a powerful, non-neutral force in electoral politics. In that year, a combined University of California, San Diego and Facebook research team led by James Fowler published a study in Nature , which argued that Facebook's "I Voted" button had driven a small but measurable increase in turnout, primarily among young people.

Rebecca Rosen's 2012 story, " Did Facebook Give Democrats the Upper Hand? " relied on new research from Fowler, et al., about the presidential election that year. Again, the conclusion of their work was that Facebook's get-out-the-vote message could have driven a substantial chunk of the increase in youth voter participation in the 2012 general election. Fowler told Rosen that it was "even possible that Facebook is completely responsible" for the youth voter increase. And because a higher proportion of young people vote Democratic than the general population, the net effect of Facebook's GOTV effort would have been to help the Dems.

The research showed that a small design change by Facebook could have electoral repercussions, especially with America's electoral-college format in which a few hotly contested states have a disproportionate impact on the national outcome. And the pro-liberal effect it implied became enshrined as an axiom of how campaign staffers, reporters, and academics viewed social media.

In June 2014, Harvard Law scholar Jonathan Zittrain wrote an essay in New Republic called, " Facebook Could Decide an Election Without Anyone Ever Finding Out ," in which he called attention to the possibility of Facebook selectively depressing voter turnout. (He also suggested that Facebook be seen as an "information fiduciary," charged with certain special roles and responsibilities because it controls so much personal data.)

In late 2014, The Daily Dot called attention to an obscure Facebook-produced case study on how strategists defeated a statewide measure in Florida by relentlessly focusing Facebook ads on Broward and Dade counties, Democratic strongholds. Working with a tiny budget that would have allowed them to send a single mailer to just 150,000 households, the digital-advertising firm Chong and Koster was able to obtain remarkable results. "Where the Facebook ads appeared, we did almost 20 percentage points better than where they didn't," testified a leader of the firm. "Within that area, the people who saw the ads were 17 percent more likely to vote our way than the people who didn't. Within that group, the people who voted the way we wanted them to, when asked why, often cited the messages they learned from the Facebook ads."

In April 2016, Rob Meyer published " How Facebook Could Tilt the 2016 Election " after a company meeting in which some employees apparently put the stopping-Trump question to Mark Zuckerberg. Based on Fowler's research, Meyer reimagined Zittrain's hypothetical as a direct Facebook intervention to depress turnout among non-college graduates, who leaned Trump as a whole.

Facebook, of course, said it would never do such a thing. "Voting is a core value of democracy and we believe that supporting civic participation is an important contribution we can make to the community," a spokesperson said. "We as a company are neutral -- we have not and will not use our products in a way that attempts to influence how people vote."

They wouldn't do it intentionally, at least.

As all these examples show, though, the potential for Facebook to have an impact on an election was clear for at least half a decade before Donald Trump was elected. But rather than focusing specifically on the integrity of elections, most writers -- myself included , some observers like Sasha Issenberg , Zeynep Tufekci , and Daniel Kreiss excepted -- bundled electoral problems inside other, broader concerns like privacy , surveillance , tech ideology , media-industry competition , or the psychological effects of social media .

The same was true even of people inside Facebook. "If you'd come to me in 2012, when the last presidential election was raging and we were cooking up ever more complicated ways to monetize Facebook data, and told me that Russian agents in the Kremlin's employ would be buying Facebook ads to subvert American democracy, I'd have asked where your tin-foil hat was," wrote Antonio García Martínez, who managed ad targeting for Facebook back then. "And yet, now we live in that otherworldly political reality."

Not to excuse us, but this was back on the Old Earth, too, when electoral politics was not the thing that every single person talked about all the time. There were other important dynamics to Facebook's growing power that needed to be covered.

* * *

Facebook's draw is its ability to give you what you want. Like a page, get more of that page's posts; like a story, get more stories like that; interact with a person, get more of their updates. The way Facebook determines the ranking of the News Feed is the probability that you'll like, comment on, or share a story. Shares are worth more than comments, which are both worth more than likes, but in all cases, the more likely you are to interact with a post, the higher up it will show in your News Feed. Two thousand kinds of data (or "features" in the industry parlance) get smelted in Facebook's machine-learning system to make those predictions.

What's crucial to understand is that, from the system's perspective, success is correctly predicting what you'll like, comment on, or share. That's what matters. People call this "engagement." There are other factors, as Slate' s Will Oremus noted in this rare story about the News Feed ranking team . But who knows how much weight they actually receive and for how long as the system evolves. For example, one change that Facebook highlighted to Oremus in early 2016 -- taking into account how long people look at a story, even if they don't click it -- was subsequently dismissed by Lars Backstrom, the VP of engineering in charge of News Feed ranking , as a "noisy" signal that's also "biased in a few ways" making it "hard to use" in a May 2017 technical talk.

Facebook's engineers do not want to introduce noise into the system. Because the News Feed, this machine for generating engagement, is Facebook's most important technical system. Their success predicting what you'll like is why users spend an average of more than 50 minutes a day on the site, and why even the former creator of the "like" button worries about how well the site captures attention. News Feed works really well.

But as far as " personalized newspapers " go, this one's editorial sensibilities are limited. Most people are far less likely to engage with viewpoints that they find confusing, annoying, incorrect, or abhorrent. And this is true not just in politics, but the broader culture.

That this could be a problem was apparent to many. Eli Pariser's The Filter Bubble, which came out in the summer of 2011, became the most widely cited distillation of the effects Facebook and other internet platforms could have on public discourse.

Pariser began the book research when he noticed conservative people, whom he'd befriended on the platform despite his left-leaning politics, had disappeared from his News Feed. "I was still clicking my progressive friends' links more than my conservative friends' -- and links to the latest Lady Gaga videos more than either," he wrote. "So no conservative links for me."

Through the book, he traces the many potential problems that the "personalization" of media might bring. Most germane to this discussion, he raised the point that if every one of the billion News Feeds is different, how can anyone understand what other people are seeing and responding to?

"The most serious political problem posed by filter bubbles is that they make it increasingly difficult to have a public argument. As the number of different segments and messages increases, it becomes harder and harder for the campaigns to track who's saying what to whom," Pariser wrote. "How does a [political] campaign know what its opponent is saying if ads are only targeted to white Jewish men between 28 and 34 who have expressed a fondness for U2 on Facebook and who donated to Barack Obama's campaign?"

This did, indeed, become an enormous problem. When I was editor in chief of Fusion , we set about trying to track the "digital campaign" with several dedicated people. What we quickly realized was that there was both too much data -- the noisiness of all the different posts by the various candidates and their associates -- as well as too little. Targeting made tracking the actual messaging that the campaigns were paying for impossible to track. On Facebook, the campaigns could show ads only to the people they targeted. We couldn't actually see the messages that were actually reaching people in battleground areas. From the outside, it was a technical impossibility to know what ads were running on Facebook, one that the company had fought to keep intact .

Pariser suggests in his book, "one simple solution to this problem would simply be to require campaigns to immediately disclose all of their online advertising materials and to whom each ad is targeted." Which could happen in future campaigns .

Imagine if this had happened in 2016. If there were data sets of all the ads that the campaigns and others had run, we'd know a lot more about what actually happened last year. The Filter Bubble is obviously prescient work, but there was one thing that Pariser and most other people did not foresee. And that's that Facebook became completely dominant as a media distributor.

* * *

About two years after Pariser published his book, Facebook took over the news-media ecosystem. They've never publicly admitted it, but in late 2013, they began to serve ads inviting users to "like" media pages. This caused a massive increase in the amount of traffic that Facebook sent to media companies. At The Atlantic and other publishers across the media landscape, it was like a tide was carrying us to new traffic records. Without hiring anyone else, without changing strategy or tactics, without publishing more, suddenly everything was easier.

While traffic to The Atlantic from Facebook.com increased, at the time, most of the new traffic did not look like it was coming from Facebook within The Atlantic 's analytics. It showed up as "direct/bookmarked" or some variation, depending on the software. It looked like what I called "dark social" back in 2012. But as BuzzFeed 's Charlie Warzel pointed out at the time , and as I came to believe, it was primarily Facebook traffic in disguise. Between August and October of 2013, BuzzFeed 's "partner network" of hundreds of websites saw a jump in traffic from Facebook of 69 percent.

At The Atlantic, we ran a series of experiments that showed, pretty definitively from our perspective, that most of the stuff that looked like "dark social" was, in fact, traffic coming from within Facebook's mobile app. Across the landscape, it began to dawn on people who thought about these kinds of things: Damn, Facebook owns us . They had taken over media distribution.

Why? This is a best guess, proffered by Robinson Meyer as it was happening : Facebook wanted to crush Twitter, which had drawn a disproportionate share of media and media-figure attention. Just as Instagram borrowed Snapchat's "Stories" to help crush the site's growth, Facebook decided it needed to own "news" to take the wind out of the newly IPO'd Twitter.

The first sign that this new system had some kinks came with " Upworthy -style " headlines. (And you'll never guess what happened next!) Things didn't just go kind of viral, they went ViralNova , a site which, like Upworthy itself , Facebook eventually smacked down . Many of the new sites had, like Upworthy , which was cofounded by Pariser, a progressive bent.

Less noticed was that a right-wing media was developing in opposition to and alongside these left-leaning sites. "By 2014, the outlines of the Facebook-native hard-right voice and grievance spectrum were there," The New York Times ' media and tech writer John Herrman told me, "and I tricked myself into thinking they were a reaction/counterpart to the wave of soft progressive/inspirational content that had just crested. It ended up a Reaction in a much bigger and destabilizing sense."

The other sign of algorithmic trouble was the wild swings that Facebook Video underwent. In the early days, just about any old video was likely to generate many, many, many views. The numbers were insane in the early days. Just as an example, a Fortune article noted that BuzzFeed 's video views "grew 80-fold in a year, reaching more than 500 million in April." Suddenly, all kinds of video -- good, bad, and ugly -- were doing 1-2-3 million views.

As with news, Facebook's video push was a direct assault on a competitor, YouTube . Videos changed the dynamics of the News Feed for individuals, for media companies, and for anyone trying to understand what the hell was going on.

Individuals were suddenly inundated with video. Media companies, despite no business model, were forced to crank out video somehow or risk their pages/brands losing relevance as video posts crowded others out.

And on top of all that, scholars and industry observers were used to looking at what was happening in articles to understand how information was flowing. Now, by far the most viewed media objects on Facebook, and therefore on the internet, were videos without transcripts or centralized repositories. In the early days, many successful videos were just "freebooted" (i.e., stolen) videos from other places or reposts. All of which served to confuse and obfuscate the transport mechanisms for information and ideas on Facebook.

Through this messy, chaotic, dynamic situation, a new media rose up through the Facebook burst to occupy the big filter bubbles. On the right, Breitbart is the center of a new conservative network. A study of 1.25 million election news articles found "a right-wing media network anchored around Breitbart developed as a distinct and insulated media system, using social media as a backbone to transmit a hyper-partisan perspective to the world."

Breitbart , of course, also lent Steve Bannon, its chief, to the Trump campaign, creating another feedback loop between the candidate and a rabid partisan press. Through 2015, Breitbart went from a medium-sized site with a small Facebook page of 100,000 likes into a powerful force shaping the election with almost 1.5 million likes. In the key metric for Facebook's News Feed, its posts got 886,000 interactions from Facebook users in January. By July, Breitbart had surpassed The New York Times ' main account in interactions. By December, it was doing 10 million interactions per month, about 50 percent of Fox News, which had 11.5 million likes on its main page. Breitbart 's audience was hyper-engaged.

There is no precise equivalent to the Breitbart phenomenon on the left. Rather the big news organizations are classified as center-left, basically, with fringier left-wing sites showing far smaller followings than Breitbart on the right.

And this new, hyperpartisan media created the perfect conditions for another dynamic that influenced the 2016 election, the rise of fake news.

Sites by partisan attention ( Yochai Benkler, Robert Faris, Hal Roberts, and Ethan Zuckerman )

* * *

In a December 2015 article for BuzzFeed , Joseph Bernstein argued that " the dark forces of the internet became a counterculture ." He called it "Chanterculture" after the trolls who gathered at the meme-creating, often-racist 4chan message board. Others ended up calling it the "alt-right." This culture combined a bunch of people who loved to perpetuate hoaxes with angry Gamergaters with "free-speech" advocates like Milo Yiannopoulos with honest-to-God neo-Nazis and white supremacists. And these people loved Donald Trump.

"This year Chanterculture found its true hero, who makes it plain that what we're seeing is a genuine movement: the current master of American resentment, Donald Trump," Bernstein wrote. "Everywhere you look on 'politically incorrect' subforums and random chans, he looms."

When you combine hyper-partisan media with a group of people who love to clown "normies," you end up with things like Pizzagate , a patently ridiculous and widely debunked conspiracy theory that held there was a child-pedophilia ring linked to Hillary Clinton somehow. It was just the most bizarre thing in the entire world. And many of the figures in Bernstein's story were all over it, including several who the current president has consorted with on social media.

But Pizzagate was but the most Pynchonian of all the crazy misinformation and hoaxes that spread in the run-up to the election.

BuzzFeed , deeply attuned to the flows of the social web, was all over the story through reporter Craig Silverman. His best-known analysis happened after the election, when he showed that "in the final three months of the U.S. presidential campaign, the top-performing fake election-news stories on Facebook generated more engagement than the top stories from major news outlets such as The New York Times , The Washington Post , The Huffington Post , NBC News, and others."

But he also tracked fake news before the election , as did other outlets such as The Washington Post, including showing that Facebook's "Trending" algorithm regularly promoted fake news. By September of 2016, even the Pope himself was talking about fake news, by which we mean actual hoaxes or lies perpetuated by a variety of actors.

The longevity of Snopes shows that hoaxes are nothing new to the internet. Already in January 2015 , Robinson Meyer reported about how Facebook was " cracking down on the fake news stories that plague News Feeds everywhere ."

What made the election cycle different was that all of these changes to the information ecosystem had made it possible to develop weird businesses around fake news. Some random website posting aggregated news about the election could not drive a lot of traffic. But some random website announcing that the Pope had endorsed Donald Trump definitely could . The fake news generated a ton of engagement, which meant that it spread far and wide.

A few days before the election Silverman and fellow BuzzFeed contributor Lawrence Alexander traced 100 pro–Donald Trump sites to a town of 45,000 in Macedonia . Some teens there realized they could make money off the election, and just like that, became a node in the information network that helped Trump beat Clinton.

Whatever weird thing you imagine might happen, something weirder probably did happen. Reporters tried to keep up, but it was too strange. As Max Read put it in New York Magazine , Facebook is "like a four-dimensional object, we catch slices of it when it passes through the three-dimensional world we recognize." No one can quite wrap their heads around what this thing has become, or all the things this thing has become.

"Not even President-Pope-Viceroy Zuckerberg himself seemed prepared for the role Facebook has played in global politics this past year," Read wrote.

And we haven't even gotten to the Russians.

* * *

Russia's disinformation campaigns are well known. During his reporting for a story in The New York Times Magazine , Adrian Chen sat across the street from the headquarters of the Internet Research Agency, watching workaday Russian agents/internet trolls head inside. He heard how the place had "industrialized the art of trolling" from a former employee. "Management was obsessed with statistics -- page views, number of posts, a blog's place on LiveJournal's traffic charts -- and team leaders compelled hard work through a system of bonuses and fines," he wrote. Of course they wanted to maximize engagement, too!

There were reports that Russian trolls were commenting on American news sites . There were many, many reports of Russia's propaganda offensive in Ukraine. Ukrainian journalists run a website dedicated to cataloging these disinformation attempts called StopFake . It has hundreds of posts reaching back into 2014.

A Guardian reporter who looked into Russian military doctrine around information war found a handbook that described how it might work. "The deployment of information weapons, [the book] suggests, 'acts like an invisible radiation' upon its targets: 'The population doesn't even feel it is being acted upon. So the state doesn't switch on its self-defense mechanisms,'" wrote Peter Pomerantsev.

As more details about the Russian disinformation campaign come to the surface through Facebook's continued digging, it's fair to say that it's not just the state that did not switch on its self-defense mechanisms. The influence campaign just happened on Facebook without anyone noticing.

As many people have noted, the 3,000 ads that have been linked to Russia are a drop in the bucket, even if they did reach millions of people. The real game is simply that Russian operatives created pages that reached people "organically," as the saying goes. Jonathan Albright, research director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, pulled data on the six publicly known Russia-linked Facebook pages . He found that their posts had been shared 340 million times . And those were six of 470 pages that Facebook has linked to Russian operatives. You're probably talking billions of shares, with who knows how many views, and with what kind of specific targeting.

The Russians are good at engagement! Yet, before the U.S. election, even after Hillary Clinton and intelligence agencies fingered Russian intelligence meddling in the election, even after news reports suggested that a disinformation campaign was afoot , nothing about the actual operations on Facebook came out.

In the aftermath of these discoveries, three Facebook security researchers, Jen Weedon, William Nuland, and Alex Stamos, released a white paper called Information Operations and Facebook . "We have had to expand our security focus from traditional abusive behavior, such as account hacking, malware, spam, and financial scams, to include more subtle and insidious forms of misuse, including attempts to manipulate civic discourse and deceive people," they wrote.

One key theme of the paper is that they were used to dealing with economic actors, who responded to costs and incentives. When it comes to Russian operatives paid to Facebook, those constraints no longer hold. "The area of information operations does provide a unique challenge," they wrote, "in that those sponsoring such operations are often not constrained by per-unit economic realities in the same way as spammers and click fraudsters, which increases the complexity of deterrence." They were not expecting that.

Add everything up. The chaos of a billion-person platform that competitively dominated media distribution. The known electoral efficacy of Facebook. The wild fake news and misinformation rampaging across the internet generally and Facebook specifically. The Russian info operations. All of these things were known.

And yet no one could quite put it all together: The dominant social network had altered the information and persuasion environment of the election beyond recognition while taking a very big chunk of the estimated $1.4 billion worth of digital advertising purchased during the election. There were hundreds of millions of dollars of dark ads doing their work. Fake news all over the place. Macedonian teens campaigning for Trump. Ragingly partisan media infospheres serving up only the news you wanted to hear. Who could believe anything? What room was there for policy positions when all this stuff was eating up News Feed space? Who the hell knew what was going on?

As late as August 20, 2016 , the The Washington Post could say this of the campaigns:

Hillary Clinton is running arguably the most digital presidential campaign in U.S. history. Donald Trump is running one of the most analog campaigns in recent memory. The Clinton team is bent on finding more effective ways to identify supporters and ensure they cast ballots; Trump is, famously and unapologetically, sticking to a 1980s-era focus on courting attention and voters via television.

Just a week earlier, Trump's campaign had hired Cambridge Analytica. Soon, they'd ramped up to $70 million a month in Facebook advertising spending. And the next thing you knew, Brad Parscale, Trump's digital director, is doing the postmortem rounds talking up his win .

"These social platforms are all invented by very liberal people on the west and east coasts," Parscale said. "And we figure out how to use it to push conservative values. I don't think they thought that would ever happen."

And that was part of the media's problem, too.

* * *

Before Trump's election, the impact of internet technology generally and Facebook specifically was seen as favoring Democrats. Even a TechCrunch critique of Rosen's 2012 article about Facebook's electoral power argued, "the internet inherently advantages liberals because, on average, their greater psychological embrace of disruption leads to more innovation (after all, nearly every major digital breakthrough, from online fundraising to the use of big data, was pioneered by Democrats)."

Certainly, the Obama tech team that I profiled in 2012 thought this was the case. Of course, social media would benefit the (youthful, diverse, internet-savvy) left. And the political bent of just about all Silicon Valley companies runs Democratic . For all the talk about Facebook employees embedding with the Trump campaign , the former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, sat with the Obama tech team on Election Day 2012.

In June 2015, The New York Times ran an article about Republicans trying to ramp up their digital campaigns that began like this: "The criticism after the 2012 presidential election was swift and harsh: Democrats were light-years ahead of Republicans when it came to digital strategy and tactics, and Republicans had serious work to do on the technology front if they ever hoped to win back the White House."

It cited Sasha Issenberg, the most astute reporter on political technology. "The Republicans have a particular challenge," Issenberg said, "which is, in these areas they don't have many people with either the hard skills or the experience to go out and take on this type of work."

University of North Carolina journalism professor Daniel Kreiss wrote a whole (good) book, Prototype Politics , showing that Democrats had an incredible personnel advantage. " Drawing on an innovative data set of the professional careers of 629 staffers working in technology on presidential campaigns from 2004 to 2012 and data from interviews with more than 60 party and campaign staffers," Kriess wrote, "the book details how and explains why the Democrats have invested more in technology, attracted staffers with specialized expertise to work in electoral politics, and founded an array of firms and organizations to diffuse technological innovations down ballot and across election cycles."

Which is to say: It's not that no journalists, internet-focused lawyers, or technologists saw Facebook's looming electoral presence -- it was undeniable -- but all the evidence pointed to the structural change benefitting Democrats. And let's just state the obvious: Most reporters and professors are probably about as liberal as your standard Silicon Valley technologist, so this conclusion fit into the comfort zone of those in the field.

By late October, the role that Facebook might be playing in the Trump campaign -- and more broadly -- was emerging. Joshua Green and Issenberg reported a long feature on the data operation then in motion . The Trump campaign was working to suppress "idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans," and they'd be doing it with targeted, "dark" Facebook ads. These ads are only visible to the buyer, the ad recipients, and Facebook. No one who hasn't been targeted by then can see them. How was anyone supposed to know what was going on, when the key campaign terrain was literally invisible to outside observers?

Steve Bannon was confident in the operation. "I wouldn't have come aboard, even for Trump, if I hadn't known they were building this massive Facebook and data engine," Bannon told them. "Facebook is what propelled Breitbart to a massive audience. We know its power."

Issenberg and Green called it "an odd gambit" which had "no scientific basis." Then again, Trump's whole campaign had seemed like an odd gambit with no scientific basis. The conventional wisdom was that Trump was going to lose and lose badly. In the days before the election, The Huffington Post 's data team had Clinton's election probability at 98.3 percent. A member of the team, Ryan Grim, went after Nate Silver for his more conservative probability of 64.7 percent, accusing him of skewing his data for "punditry" reasons. Grim ended his post on the topic, "If you want to put your faith in the numbers, you can relax. She's got this."

Narrator: She did not have this.

But the point isn't that a Republican beat a Democrat. The point is that the very roots of the electoral system -- the news people see, the events they think happened, the information they digest -- had been destabilized.

In the middle of the summer of the election, the former Facebook ad-targeting product manager, Antonio García Martínez, released an autobiography called Chaos Monkeys . He called his colleagues "chaos monkeys," messing with industry after industry in their company-creating fervor. "The question for society," he wrote, "is whether it can survive these entrepreneurial chaos monkeys intact, and at what human cost." This is the real epitaph of the election.

The information systems that people use to process news have been rerouted through Facebook, and in the process, mostly broken and hidden from view. It wasn't just liberal bias that kept the media from putting everything together. Much of the hundreds of millions of dollars that was spent during the election cycle came in the form of "dark ads."

The truth is that while many reporters knew some things that were going on on Facebook, no one knew everything that was going on on Facebook, not even Facebook. And so, during the most significant shift in the technology of politics since the television, the first draft of history is filled with undecipherable whorls and empty pages. Meanwhile, the 2018 midterms loom.

Update: After publication, Adam Mosseri, head of News Feed, sent an email describing some of the work that Facebook is doing in response to the problems during the election. They include new software and processes "to stop the spread of misinformation , click-bait and other problematic content on Facebook."

"The truth is we've learned things since the election, and we take our responsibility to protect the community of people who use Facebook seriously. As a result, we've launched a company-wide effort to improve the integrity of information on our service," he wrote. "It's already translated into new products, new protections, and the commitment of thousands of new people to enforce our policies and standards... We know there is a lot more work to do, but I've never seen this company more engaged on a single challenge since I joined almost 10 years ago."

[Oct 22, 2017] Trump and His 'Beautiful' Weapons by William Blum

Notable quotes:
"... It's easy to understand why some of President Trump's senior advisers privately consider him a "moron," with a limited vocabulary and stunning lack of normal human empathy, as William Blum explains at Anti-Empire Report. ..."
"... Capturing the wisdom and the beauty of Donald J. Trump in just one statement escaping from his charming mouth: "Our military has never been stronger. Each day, new equipment is delivered; new and beautiful equipment, the best in the world – the best anywhere in the world, by far." [Washington Post, Sept. 8, 2017] ..."
"... And in case you still don't fully appreciate that, notice that he specifies that our equipment is the best in the world BY FAR! That means that no other country is even close! Just imagine! ..."
"... Lucky for the man his seeming incapacity for moral or intellectual embarrassment. He's twice blessed. His fans like the idea that their president is no smarter than they are. This may well serve to get the man re-elected, as it did with George W. Bush. ..."
"... Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II ..."
"... Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower ..."
Oct 21, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

It's easy to understand why some of President Trump's senior advisers privately consider him a "moron," with a limited vocabulary and stunning lack of normal human empathy, as William Blum explains at Anti-Empire Report.

Capturing the wisdom and the beauty of Donald J. Trump in just one statement escaping from his charming mouth: "Our military has never been stronger. Each day, new equipment is delivered; new and beautiful equipment, the best in the world – the best anywhere in the world, by far." [Washington Post, Sept. 8, 2017]

Here the man thinks that everyone will be impressed that the American military has never been stronger. And that those who, for some unimaginable reason, are not impressed with that will at least be impressed that military equipment is being added EACH DAY. Ah yes, it's long been a sore point with most Americans that new military equipment was being added only once a week.

And if that isn't impressive enough, then surely the fact that the equipment is NEW will win people over. Indeed, the newness is important enough to mention twice. After all, no one likes USED military equipment. And if newness doesn't win everyone's heart, then BEAUTIFUL will definitely do it. Who likes UGLY military equipment? Even the people we slaughter all over the world insist upon good-looking guns and bombs.

And the best in the world. Of course. That's what makes us all proud to be Americans. And what makes the rest of humanity just aching with jealousy. And in case you don't fully appreciate that, notice that he adds that it's the best ANYWHERE in the world.

And in case you still don't fully appreciate that, notice that he specifies that our equipment is the best in the world BY FAR! That means that no other country is even close! Just imagine! Makes me choke up.

Lucky for the man his seeming incapacity for moral or intellectual embarrassment. He's twice blessed. His fans like the idea that their president is no smarter than they are. This may well serve to get the man re-elected, as it did with George W. Bush.

William Blum is an author, historian, and renowned critic of U.S. foreign policy. He is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II and Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower , among others. [This article originally appeared at the Anti-Empire Report, https://williamblum.org/ .]

[Oct 22, 2017] Reason FBI Denied Access DNC Server

Jun 22, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Integrity Now , 3 months ago

We need Y'all at #UNRIG . Stop the deep state and two party tyranny. Unite and #UNRIG

Thomas Rocco , 3 months ago

Savage is the best

[Oct 22, 2017] CNN EXPOSED IN UNDERCOVER STING - Russia-Trump Story Admitted FAKE NEWS - Driving to Bohemian Grove

Oct 22, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Five Star Productions , 3 months ago

CNN is toast. Everyone (anyone) with a brain knows this. I feel badly for the professional reporters there that can't get out to a new location ..... they will be ruined also.

[Oct 22, 2017] Clinton, Assange and the War on Truth by John Pilger

Notable quotes:
"... This high-profile journalist made no mention of Clinton's own "clear and present danger" to the people of Iran whom she once threatened to "obliterate totally," and the 40,000 Libyans who died in the attack on Libya in 2011 that Clinton orchestrated. Flushed with excitement, the Secretary of State rejoiced at the gruesome murder of the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi. ..."
"... "Libya was Hillary Clinton's war," Julian Assange said in a filmed interview with me last year. "Barack Obama initially opposed it. Who was the person championing it? Hillary Clinton. That's documented throughout her emails there's more than 1,700 emails out of the 33,000 Hillary Clinton emails that we've published, just about Libya. It's not that Libya has cheap oil. She perceived the removal of Gaddafi and the overthrow of the Libyan state -- something that she would use in her run-up to the general election for President. ..."
"... "Not only did you have people fleeing Libya, people fleeing Syria, the destabilization of other African countries as a result of arms flows, but the Libyan state itself was no longer able to control the movement of people through it." ..."
"... In a tweet from London, Assange cited the ABC's own Code of Practice, which states: "Where allegations are made about a person or organisation, make reasonable efforts in the circumstances to provide a fair opportunity to respond." ..."
"... Following the ABC broadcast, Ferguson's executive producer, Sally Neighbour, re-tweeted the following: "Assange is Putin's bitch. We all know it!" The slander, since deleted, was even used as a link to the ABC interview captioned 'Assange is Putins (sic) b****. We all know it!' ..."
"... Today, Assange remains a political refugee from the war-making dark state of which Donald Trump is a caricature and Hillary Clinton the embodiment. His resilience and courage are astonishing. Unlike him, his tormentors are cowards. ..."
Oct 22, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Drivel such as this, trivializing women's struggles, marks the media hagiographies of Hillary Clinton. Her political extremism and warmongering are of no consequence. Her problem, wrote Trainster, was a "damaging infatuation with the email story." The truth, in other words.

The leaked emails of Clinton's campaign manager, John Podesta, revealed a direct connection between Clinton and the foundation and funding of organized jihadism in the Middle East and Islamic State (known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh). The ultimate source of most Islamic terrorism, Saudi Arabia, was central to her career.

One email, in 2014, sent by Clinton to Podesta soon after she stepped down as U.S. Secretary of State, discloses that Islamic State is funded by the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Clinton accepted huge donations from both governments for the Clinton Foundation.

As Secretary of State, she approved the world's biggest ever arms sale to her benefactors in Saudi Arabia, worth more than $80 billion. Thanks to her, U.S. arms sales to the world – for use in stricken countries like Yemen – doubled.

This was revealed by WikiLeaks and published by The New York Times. No one doubts the emails are authentic. The subsequent campaign to smear WikiLeaks and its editor-in-chief, Julian Assange, as "agents of Russia," has grown into a spectacular fantasy known as "Russiagate." The "plot" is said to have been signed off on by Vladimir Putin himself. There is not a shred of public evidence.

Smear and Omission

The ABC Australia interview with Clinton is an outstanding example of smear and censorship by omission. I would say it is a model.

"No one," the interviewer, Sarah Ferguson, says to Clinton, "could fail to be moved by the pain on your face at that moment [of the inauguration of Trump] Do you remember how visceral it was for you?"

Having established Clinton's visceral suffering, Ferguson asks about "Russia's role."

CLINTON: I think Russia affected the perceptions and views of millions of voters, we now know. I think that their intention coming from the very top with Putin was to hurt me and to help Trump.

FERGUSON: How much of that was a personal vendetta by Vladimir Putin against you?

CLINTON: I mean he wants to destabilize democracy. He wants to undermine America, he wants to go after the Atlantic Alliance and we consider Australia kind of a an extension of that

(The opposite is true. It is a combination of Western armies massing on Russia's border for the first time since the Russian Revolution 100 years ago.)

FERGUSON: How much damage did [Julian Assange] do personally to you?

CLINTON: Well, I had a lot of history with him because I was Secretary of State when, ah, WikiLeaks published a lot of very sensitive, ah, information from our State Department and our Defense Department.

(What Clinton fails to say – and her interviewer fails to remind her – is that in 2010, WikiLeaks revealed that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had ordered a secret intelligence campaign targeted at the United Nations leadership, including the Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon and the permanent Security Council representatives from China, Russia, France and the U.K. A classified directive, signed by Clinton, was issued to U.S. diplomats in July 2009, demanding forensic technical details about the communications systems used by top U.N. officials, including passwords and personal encryption keys used in private and commercial networks. This was known as Cablegate. It was lawless spying.)

CLINTON: He [Assange] is very clearly a tool of Russian intelligence. And, ah, he has done their bidding.

(Clinton offered no evidence to back up this serious accusation, nor did Ferguson challenge her.)

CLINTON: You don't see damaging negative information coming out about the Kremlin on WikiLeaks. You didn't see any of that published.

(This was false. WikiLeaks has published a massive number of documents on Russia – more than 800,000, most of them critical, many of them used in books and as evidence in court cases.)

A 'Nihilistic Opportunist'

CLINTON: So I think Assange has become a kind of nihilistic opportunist who does the bidding of a dictator.

FERGUSON: Lots of people, including in Australia, think that Assange is a martyr for free speech and freedom of information. How would you describe him? Well, you've just described him as a nihilist.

CLINTON: Yeah, well, and a tool. I mean he's a tool of Russian intelligence. And if he's such, ah, you know, martyr of free speech, why doesn't WikiLeaks ever publish anything coming out of Russia?

(Again, Ferguson said nothing to challenge this or correct her.)

CLINTON: There was a concerted operation between WikiLeaks and Russia and most likely people in the United States to weaponize that information, to make up stories to help Trump.

FERGUSON: Now, along with some of those outlandish stories, there was information that was revealed about the Clinton Foundation that at least in some of the voters' minds seemed to associate you .

CLINTON: Yeah, but it was false!

FERGUSON: with the peddling of information

CLINTON: It was false! It was totally false! ..

FERGUSON: Do you understand how difficult it was for some voters to understand the amounts of money that the [Clinton] Foundation is raising, the confusion with the consultancy that was also raising money, getting gifts and travel and so on for Bill Clinton that even Chelsea had some issues with?

CLINTON: Well you know, I'm sorry, Sarah, I mean I, I know the facts .

Generational 'Icon'

The ABC interviewer lauded Clinton as "the icon of your generation." She asked her nothing about the enormous sums she creamed off from Wall Street, such as the $675,000 for speaking to Goldman Sachs, one of the banks at the center of the 2008 crash. Clinton's greed deeply upset the kind of voters she abused as "deplorables."

Clearly looking for a cheap headline in the Australian press, Ferguson asked her if Trump was "a clear and present danger to Australia" and got her predictable response.

This high-profile journalist made no mention of Clinton's own "clear and present danger" to the people of Iran whom she once threatened to "obliterate totally," and the 40,000 Libyans who died in the attack on Libya in 2011 that Clinton orchestrated. Flushed with excitement, the Secretary of State rejoiced at the gruesome murder of the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi.

"Libya was Hillary Clinton's war," Julian Assange said in a filmed interview with me last year. "Barack Obama initially opposed it. Who was the person championing it? Hillary Clinton. That's documented throughout her emails there's more than 1,700 emails out of the 33,000 Hillary Clinton emails that we've published, just about Libya. It's not that Libya has cheap oil. She perceived the removal of Gaddafi and the overthrow of the Libyan state -- something that she would use in her run-up to the general election for President.

"So in late 2011 there is an internal document called the Libya Tick Tock that was produced for Hillary Clinton, and it's the chronological description of how she was the central figure in the destruction of the Libyan state, which resulted in around 40,000 deaths within Libya; jihadists moved in, ISIS moved in, leading to the European refugee and migrant crisis.

"Not only did you have people fleeing Libya, people fleeing Syria, the destabilization of other African countries as a result of arms flows, but the Libyan state itself was no longer able to control the movement of people through it."

This – not Clinton's "visceral" pain in losing to Trump nor the rest of the self-serving scuttlebutt in her ABC interview – was the story. Clinton shared responsibility for massively de-stabilizing the Middle East, which led to the death, suffering and flight of thousands of women, men and children.

Ferguson raised not a word of it. Clinton repeatedly defamed Assange, who was neither defended nor offered a right of reply on his own country's state broadcaster.

In a tweet from London, Assange cited the ABC's own Code of Practice, which states: "Where allegations are made about a person or organisation, make reasonable efforts in the circumstances to provide a fair opportunity to respond."

'Putin's Bitch'

Following the ABC broadcast, Ferguson's executive producer, Sally Neighbour, re-tweeted the following: "Assange is Putin's bitch. We all know it!" The slander, since deleted, was even used as a link to the ABC interview captioned 'Assange is Putins (sic) b****. We all know it!'

In the years I have known Julian Assange, I have watched a vituperative personal campaign try to stop him and WikiLeaks. It has been a frontal assault on whistleblowing, on free speech and free journalism, all of which are now under sustained attack from governments and corporate Internet controllers.

The first serious attacks on Assange came from the Guardian, which, like a spurned lover, turned on its besieged former source, having hugely profited from WikiLeaks' disclosures. With not a penny going to Assange or WikiLeaks, a Guardian book led to a lucrative Hollywood movie deal. Assange was portrayed as "callous" and a "damaged personality."

It was as if a rampant jealousy could not accept that his remarkable achievements stood in marked contrast to that of his detractors in the "mainstream" media. It is like watching the guardians of the status quo, regardless of age, struggling to silence real dissent and prevent the emergence of the new and hopeful.

Today, Assange remains a political refugee from the war-making dark state of which Donald Trump is a caricature and Hillary Clinton the embodiment. His resilience and courage are astonishing. Unlike him, his tormentors are cowards.

John Pilger is an Australian-British journalist based in London. Pilger's Web site is: www.johnpilger.com . His new film, "The Coming War on China," is available in the U.S. from www.bullfrogfilms.com

[Oct 22, 2017] Is [neo]Liberalism a Dying Faith

Nationalism really represent a growing threat to neoliberlaism.
Rumor about eminent death of neoliberalism are slightly exaggerated ;-). Currently there is still no alternative social order that can replace it. Collapse of the USSR discredited both socialism even of different flavors then was practiced in the USSR. National socialism would be a step back from neoliberalism.
Notable quotes:
"... What is today called "Liberalism" and "Conservatism" both are simply corrupted labels applied to the same top-down corporate-fascistic elite rule that I think Mr. Buchanan once referred to as "two wings of the same bird of prey." ..."
"... Nobody at the top cares about 'diversity.' They care about the easy profits that come from ever cheaper labor. 'Diversity' is not suicide but rather murder: instigated by a small number of very powerful people who have decided that the long-term health of their nations and civilization is less important than short-term profits and power. ..."
"... Hillary and Obama are to the right of the President that Buchanan served in his White House. Richard Nixon was to the Left of both Hillary and Obama. I can't even imagine Hillary accepting and signing into law a 'Clean Water Act' or enacting Price Controls to fight inflation. No way. Heck would freeze over before Hillary would do something so against her Banker Backers. ..."
"... It's sure that financial (neo)liberalism was in a growth phase prior to year 2000 (under Greenspan, the "Maestro") with a general belief that the economy could be "fine tuned" with risk eliminated using sophisticated financial instruments, monetary policy etc. ..."
"... If [neo] Liberalism is a package, then two heavy financial blows that shook the whole foundation were the collapse of the dot.com bubble (2000) and the mortgage bubble (2008). ..."
"... And, other (self-serving) neoliberal stories are now seen as false. For example, that the US is an "advanced post-industrial service economy", that out-sourcing would "free up Americans for higher skilled/higher wage employment" or that "the US would always gain from tariff free trade". ..."
"... The basic divide is surely Nationalism (America First) vs. Globalism (Neo-Liberalism), as shown by the last US Presidential election. ..."
"... Neoliberalism, of which the Clintons are acolytes, supports Free Trade and Open Borders. Although it claims to support World Government, in actual fact it supports corporatism. This is explicit in the TPPA Trump vetoed. Under the corporate state, the state controls the corporations, as Don Benito did in Italy. Under corporatism, the corporations tell the state what to do, as has been the case in America since at least the Clinton Presidency. ..."
"... But I recall that Pat B also said neoconservatism was on its way out a few years after Iraq war II and yet it's stronger than ever and its adherents are firmly ensconced in the joint chiefs of staff, the pentagon, Congress and the White House. It's also spawned a close cousin in liberal interventionism. ..."
Oct 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

Is Liberalism a Dying Faith? Pat Buchanan • October 20, 2017 • 900 Words • 30 CommentsReply

Asked to name the defining attributes of the America we wish to become, many liberals would answer that we must realize our manifest destiny since 1776, by becoming more equal, more diverse and more democratic -- and the model for mankind's future.

Equality, diversity, democracy -- this is the holy trinity of the post-Christian secular state at whose altars Liberal Man worships.

But the congregation worshiping these gods is shrinking. And even Europe seems to be rejecting what America has on offer.

In a retreat from diversity, Catalonia just voted to separate from Spain. The Basque and Galician peoples of Spain are following the Catalan secession crisis with great interest.

The right-wing People's Party and far-right Freedom Party just swept 60 percent of Austria's vote, delivering the nation to 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz, whose anti-immigrant platform was plagiarized from the Freedom Party. Summarized it is: Austria for the Austrians!

Lombardy, whose capital is Milan, and Veneto will vote Sunday for greater autonomy from Rome.

South Tyrol (Alto Adige), severed from Austria and ceded to Italy at Versailles, written off by Hitler to appease Mussolini after his Anschluss, is astir anew with secessionism. Even the Sicilians are talking of separation.

By Sunday, the Czech Republic may have a new leader, billionaire Andrej Babis. Writes The Washington Post, Babis "makes a sport of attacking the European Union and says NATO's mission is outdated."

Platform Promise: Keep the Muslim masses out of the motherland.

To ethnonationalists, their countrymen are not equal to all others, but superior in rights. Many may nod at Thomas Jefferson's line that "All men are created equal," but they no more practice that in their own nations than did Jefferson in his

... ... ...

European peoples and parties are today using democratic means to achieve "illiberal" ends. And it is hard to see what halts the drift away from liberal democracy toward the restrictive right. For in virtually every nation, there is a major party in opposition, or a party in power, that holds deeply nationalist views.

European elites may denounce these new parties as "illiberal" or fascist, but it is becoming apparent that it may be liberalism itself that belongs to yesterday. For more and more Europeans see the invasion of the continent along the routes whence the invaders came centuries ago, not as a manageable problem but an existential crisis.

To many Europeans, it portends an irreversible alteration in the character of the countries their grandchildren will inherit, and possibly an end to their civilization. And they are not going to be deterred from voting their fears by being called names that long ago lost their toxicity from overuse.

And as Europeans decline to celebrate the racial, ethnic, creedal and cultural diversity extolled by American elites, they also seem to reject the idea that foreigners should be treated equally in nations created for their own kind.

Europeans seem to admire more, and model their nations more, along the lines of the less diverse America of the Eisenhower era, than on the polyglot America of 2017.

And Europe seems to be moving toward immigration polices more like the McCarran-Walter Act of 1950 than the open borders bill that Sen. Edward Kennedy shepherded through the Senate in 1965.

Kennedy promised that the racial and ethnic composition of the America of the 1960s would not be overturned, and he questioned the morality and motives of any who implied that it would.

Jason Liu , October 20, 2017 at 12:02 pm GMT
Yes. Fuck yes.

Liberalism is the naivete of 18th century elites, no different than today. Modernity as you know it is unsustainable, mostly because equality isn't real, identity has value for most humans, pluralism is by definition fractious, and deep down most people wish to follow a wise strongman leader who represents their interests first and not a vague set of universalist values.

Blind devotion to liberal democracy is another one of those times when white people take an abstract concept to weird extremes. It is short-sighted and autistically narrow minded. Just because you have an oppressive king doesn't mean everyone should be equals. Just because there was slavery/genocide doesn't mean diversity is good.

The retreat of liberalism is very visible in Asia. All Southeast Asian states have turned their backs on liberal democracy, especially Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar in the last decade. This NYT article notes that liberalism has essentially died in Japan, and that all political contests are now between what the west would consider conservatives:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/15/opinion/liberalism-japan-election.html

Good riddance. The idea that egalitarianism is more advanced than hierarchy has always been false, and flies against the long arc of history. Time for nationalists around the world to smash liberal democracy and build a new modernity based on actual humanism, with respect to hierarchies and the primacy of majorities instead of guilt and pathological compassion dressed up as political ideology.

TG , October 20, 2017 at 1:10 pm GMT
"Liberalism" is not dying. "Liberalism" is dead, and has been since at least 1970.

What is today called "Liberalism" and "Conservatism" both are simply corrupted labels applied to the same top-down corporate-fascistic elite rule that I think Mr. Buchanan once referred to as "two wings of the same bird of prey."

Nobody at the top cares about 'diversity.' They care about the easy profits that come from ever cheaper labor. 'Diversity' is not suicide but rather murder: instigated by a small number of very powerful people who have decided that the long-term health of their nations and civilization is less important than short-term profits and power.

Paul's Ghost , October 20, 2017 at 6:08 pm GMT
Its been dead for nearly 20 years now. Liberalism has long been the Monty Python parrot nailed to its perch. At this point, the term is mainly kept alive in right-wing attacks by people who lack the imagination to change their habitual targets for so long.

To my eye, the last 'liberal' politician died in a susupicious plane crash in 2000 as the Bush Republicans were taking the White House by their famous 5-4 vote/coup and also needed to claim control of the Senate. So, the last authentic 'liberal' Senator, Paul Wellstone of MN was killed in a suspicious plane crash that was never properly explained.

Hillary and Obama are to the right of the President that Buchanan served in his White House. Richard Nixon was to the Left of both Hillary and Obama. I can't even imagine Hillary accepting and signing into law a 'Clean Water Act' or enacting Price Controls to fight inflation. No way. Heck would freeze over before Hillary would do something so against her Banker Backers.

And, at the root, that is the key. The 'Liberals' that the right now rails against are strongly backed and supported by the Wall Street Banks and other corporate leaders. The 'Liberals' have pushed for a government Of the Bankers, By the Bankers and For the Bankers. The 'Liberals' now are in favor of Endless Unconstitutional War around the world.

Which can only mean that the term 'Liberal' has been so completely morphed away from its original meanings to be completely worthless.

The last true Liberal in American politics was Paul Wellstone. And even by the time he died for his sins, he was calling himself a "progressive" because after the Clintons and the Gores had so distorted the term Liberal it was meaningless. Or it had come to mean a society ruled by bankers, a society at constant war and throwing money constantly at a gigantic war machine, a society of censorship where the government needed to control all music lyrics, the same corrupt government where money could by anything from a night in the Lincoln Bedroom to a Presidential Pardon or any other government favor.

Thus, 'Liberals' were a dead movement even by 2000, when the people who actually believed in the American People over the profits of bankers were calling themselves Progressives in disgust at the misuse of the term Liberal. And now, Obama and Hillary have trashed and distorted even the term Progressive into bombing the world 365 days a year and still constantly throwing money at the military machine and the problems it invents.

So, Liberalism is so long dead that if you exumed the grave you'd only find dust. And Pat must be getting senile and just throwing back out the same lines he once wrote as a speechwriter for the last Great Lefty President Richard Nixon.

Miro23 , October 20, 2017 at 6:17 pm GMT

Is Liberalism a Dying Faith?

Another question is whether this is wishful thinking from Pat or some kind of reality.

I think that he's right, that Liberalism is a dying faith, and it's interesting to check the decline.

It's sure that financial (neo)liberalism was in a growth phase prior to year 2000 (under Greenspan, the "Maestro") with a general belief that the economy could be "fine tuned" with risk eliminated using sophisticated financial instruments, monetary policy etc.

If [neo] Liberalism is a package, then two heavy financial blows that shook the whole foundation were the collapse of the dot.com bubble (2000) and the mortgage bubble (2008).

And, other (self-serving) neoliberal stories are now seen as false. For example, that the US is an "advanced post-industrial service economy", that out-sourcing would "free up Americans for higher skilled/higher wage employment" or that "the US would always gain from tariff free trade".

In fact, the borderless global "world is flat" dogma is now seen as enabling a rootless hyper-rich global elite to draw on a sea of globalized serf labour with little or no identity, while their media and SWJ activists operate a scorched earth defense against any sign of opposition.

The basic divide is surely Nationalism (America First) vs. Globalism (Neo-Liberalism), as shown by the last US Presidential election.

reiner Tor , October 20, 2017 at 6:39 pm GMT
@Randal

A useful analogy might be Viktor Orbán. He started out as a leader of a liberal party, Fidesz, but then over time started moving to the right. It is often speculated that he started it for cynical reasons, like seeing how the right was divided and that there was essentially a vacuum there for a strong conservative party, but there's little doubt he totally internalized it. There's also little doubt (and at the time he and a lot of his fellow party leaders talked about it a lot) that as he (they) started a family and having children, they started to realize how conservatism kinda made more sense than liberalism.

With Kurz, there's the possibility for this path. However, he'd need to start a family soon for that to happen. At that age Orbán was already married with children

Verymuchalive , October 20, 2017 at 10:10 pm GMT
@Paul's Ghost

Liberalism ( large L) is indeed long dead.

Neoliberalism, of which the Clintons are acolytes, supports Free Trade and Open Borders. Although it claims to support World Government, in actual fact it supports corporatism. This is explicit in the TPPA Trump vetoed. Under the corporate state, the state controls the corporations, as Don Benito did in Italy. Under corporatism, the corporations tell the state what to do, as has been the case in America since at least the Clinton Presidency.

Richard Nixon was a capitalist, not a corporatist. He was a supporter of proper competition laws, unlike any President since Clinton. Socially, he was interventionist, though this may have been to lessen criticism of his Vietnam policies. Anyway, his bussing and desegregation policies were a long-term failure.

Price Control was quickly dropped, as it was in other Western countries. Long term Price Control, as in present day Venezuela, is economically disastrous.

KenH , October 21, 2017 at 1:51 pm GMT
Let's hope liberalism is a dying faith and that is passes from the Western world. If not it will destroy the West, so if it doesn't die a natural death then we must euthanize it. For the evidence is in and it has begat feminism, anti-white racism, demographic winter, mass third world immigration and everything else that ails the West and has made it the sick and dying man of the world.

But I recall that Pat B also said neoconservatism was on its way out a few years after Iraq war II and yet it's stronger than ever and its adherents are firmly ensconced in the joint chiefs of staff, the pentagon, Congress and the White House. It's also spawned a close cousin in liberal interventionism.

What Pat refers to as "liberalism" is now left wing totalitarianism and anti-white hatred and it's fanatically trying to remain relevant by lashing out and blacklisting, deplatforming, demonetizing, and physically assaulting all of its enemies on the right who are gaining strength much to their chagrin. They resort to these methods because they can't win an honest debate and in a true free marketplace of ideas they lose.

[Oct 21, 2017] Dying for the Empire Is Not Heroic by Sheldon Richman

Oct 21, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

Posted on October 20, 2017 October 20, 2017 Predictably, the news media spent most of the week examining words Donald Trump may or may not have spoken to the widow of an American Green Beret killed in Niger, in northwest Africa, in early October. Not only was this coverage tedious, it was largely pointless. We know Trump is a clumsy boor, and we also know that lots of people are ready to pounce on him for any sort of gaffe, real or imagined. Who cares? It's not news. But it was useful to those who wish to distract Americans from what really needs attention: the U.S. government's perpetual war.

The media's efforts should have been devoted to exploring – really exploring – why Green Berets (and drones) are in Niger at all. ( This is typical of the establishment media's explanation.)

That subject is apparently of little interest to media companies that see themselves merely as cheerleaders for the American Empire. For them, it's all so simple: a US president (even one they despise) has put or left military forces in a foreign country – no justification required; therefore, those forces are serving their country; and that in turn means that if they die, they die as heroes who were protecting our way of life. End of story.

Thus the establishment media see no need to present a dissenting view, say, from an analyst who would question the dogma that inserting American warriors into faraway conflicts whenever a warlord proclaims his allegiance to ISIS is in the "national interest." Patriotic media companies have no wish to expose their audiences to the idea that jihadists would be no threat to Americans who were left to mind their own business.

Apparently the American people also must be shielded from anyone who might point out that the jihadist activity in Niger and neighboring Mali is directly related to the US and NATO bombing of Libya, which enabled al-Qaeda and other Muslim militants to overthrow the secular regime of Col. Muammar Qaddafi. That Obama-Clinton operation in 2011, besides producing Qaddafi's grisly murder and turning Libya into a nightmare, facilitated the transfer of weapons and fanatical guerrillas from Libya to nearby countries in the Sahel – as well as Syria. Since then the US government has been helping the French to "stabilize" its former colony Mali with surveillance drones and Green Berets based in Niger. Nice work, Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. (Citizen Trump was an early advocate of US intervention in Libya.) Need I remind you that the US/NATO regime-change operation in Libya was based on a lie ? Obama later said his failure to foresee the consequences of the Libya intervention was the biggest mistake of his presidency. (For more on the unintended consequences for the Sahel, see articles here , here , and here .)

So the media, which pretends to play a role in keeping Americans informed, have decided the people need not hear the truth behind the events in Niger. Instead, "reporters" and "analysts" perform their role as cheerleaders for the American Empire by declaring the dead men "heroes" and focusing on the tragedy that has befallen their families. Public scrutiny of the military operation is discouraged because it thought to detract from the Green Berets' heroism.

What makes them heroes? They were killed by non-Americans in a foreign land while wearing military uniforms. That's all it takes, according to the gospel of what Andrew Bacevich calls the Church of America the Redeemer and its media choir.

But are they really heroes? We can question this while feeling sorrow for the people who will never see their husbands, sons, brothers, and fathers again. Reporters and analysts who emote over alleged heroism base their claim on the dubious proposition that the men were "serving their country" and "protecting our freedom." A brief examination, however, is enough to show this is not so, although the troops, their families, and many others believe it.

First, their "country," if by this term we mean the American people, did not call them to "service," which itself a question-begging word. The source of the call was a collection of politicians and bureaucrats (including generals) who wouldn't know the public interest from a hole in the ground.

Second, US intervention in the Muslim world, which predates 9/11 and the creation of al-Qaeda and ISIS, has not made Americans safe. On the contrary, it has put them at risk, as the attacks on the World Trade Center demonstrated. Is it hard to believe that people will seek vengeance against those whose government bombs them and starves their children, as the US government did in Iraq all through the 1990s (to take just one example)?

Dying (and killing) for the Empire is not heroic. Allowing yourself to be ordered to intervene in distant conflicts you surely don't understand is not worthy of admiration. What's heroic is resisting the Empire.

Anyone who thought Trump would bring the troops back should now know better. He, of all people, is not about to give up imperial power. The Guardian quotes a former military officer saying, "Since [President] Trump took power, US forces deployed around the world have had a lot more room to maneuver. Decisions about when and what to engage have been devolved right down to unit level. Any soldier knows that if you give guys on the ground more independence, then they will be that much more aggressive and will take more risks."

At this point we can't expect the corporate media to quit propagandizing on behalf of the war state and start informing the public of the harm "their" government has inflicted abroad and at home. Fortunately, we have virtually costless access to alternative sources of information about the politicians' and military's mischief. The conundrum is that most people, having been fed a steady diet of pro-war propaganda, won't turn to those sources until they become suspicious of power.

Sheldon Richman is the executive editor of The Libertarian Institute , senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society , and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com . He is the former senior editor at the Cato Institute and Institute for Humane Studies, former editor of The Freeman , published by the Foundation for Economic Education , and former vice president at the Future of Freedom Foundation . His latest book is America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited . Reprinted with permission from The Libertarian Institute .

Read more by Sheldon Richman Flags, Football, and Begged Questions – October 3rd, 2017 Operation CYA – Afghanistan – August 25th, 2017 Trump's 'Fire and Fury' Wouldn't Be the First for North Korea – August 11th, 2017 Truman, A-Bombs, and the Killing of Innocents – August 6th, 2017 The American Way of War – July 2nd, 2017

[Oct 21, 2017] Socialism, Land and Banking 2017 compared to 1917 by Michael Hudson

Notable quotes:
"... Socialism a century ago seemed to be the wave of the future. There were various schools of socialism, but the common ideal was to guarantee support for basic needs, and for state ownership to free society from landlords, predatory banking and monopolies. In the West these hopes are now much further away than they seemed in 1917. Land and natural resources, basic infrastructure monopolies, health care and pensions have been increasingly privatized and financialized. ..."
"... Instead of Germany and other advanced industrial nations leading the way as expected, Russia's October 1917 Revolution made the greatest leap. But the failures of Stalinism became an argument against Marxism – guilt-by-association with Soviet bureaucracy. European parties calling themselves socialist or "labour" since the 1980s have supported neoliberal policies that are the opposite of socialist policy. Russia itself has chosen neoliberalism. ..."
"... Few socialist parties or theorists have dealt with the rise of the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE) sector that now accounts for most increase in wealth. Instead of evolving into socialism, Western capitalism is being overcome by predatory finance and rent extraction imposing debt deflation and austerity on industry as well as on labor. ..."
"... Failure of Western economies to recover from the 2008 crisis is leading to a revival of Marxist advocacy. The alternative to socialist reform is stagnation and a relapse into neofeudal financial and monopoly privileges. ..."
"... Russia's Revolution ended after 74 years, leaving the Soviet Union so dispirited that it ended in collapse. The contrast between the low living standards of Russian consumers and what seemed to be Western success became increasingly pronounced. ..."
"... When the Soviet Union dissolved itself in 1991, its leaders took neoliberal advice from its major adversary, the United States, in hope that this would set it on a capitalist road to prosperity. But turning its economies into viable industrial powers was the last thing U.S. advisors wanted to teach Russia. [3] Their aim was to turn it and its former satellites into raw-materials colonies of Wall Street, the City of London and Frankfurt – victims of capitalism, not rival producers. ..."
"... It should not be surprising that banks became the economy's main control centers, as in the West's bubble economies. Instead of the promised prosperity, a new class of billionaires was endowed, headed by the notorious Seven Bankers who appropriated the formerly state-owned oil and gas, nickel and platinum, electricity and aluminum production, as well as real estate, electric utilities and other public enterprises. It was the largest giveaway in modern history. The Soviet nomenklatura became the new lords in outright seizure that Marx would have characterized as "primitive accumulation." ..."
"... The American advisors knew the obvious: Russian savings had been wiped out by the polst-1991 hyperinflation, so the new owners could only cash out by selling shares to Western buyers. The kleptocrats cashed out as expected, by dumping their shares to foreign investors so quickly at such giveaway prices that Russia's stock market became the world's top performer for Western investors in 1994-96. ..."
"... The basic neoliberal idea of prosperity is financial gain based on turning rent extraction into a flow of interest payments by buyers-on-credit. This policy favors financial engineering over industrial investment, reversing the Progressive Era's industrial capitalism that Marx anticipated would be a transition stage leading to socialism. Russia adopted the West's anti-socialist rollback toward neofeudalism. ..."
"... Russia joined the dollar standard. Buying Treasury bonds meant lending to the U.S. Government. The central bank bought U.S. Treasury securities to back its domestic currency. These purchases helped finance Cold War escalation in countries around Russia. Russia paid 100% annual interest in the mid-1990s, creating a bonanza for U.S. investors. On balance, this neoliberal policy lay Russia's economy open to looting by financial institutions seeking natural resource rent, land rent and monopoly rent for themselves. Instead of targeting such rents, Russia imposed taxes mainly on labor via a regressive flat tax – too right wing to be adopted even in the United States! ..."
"... Theories of Surplus Value ..."
"... This Western financial advice became a textbook example of how not ..."
"... By 1991, when the Soviet Union's leaders decided to take the "Western" path, the Western economies themselves were reaching a terminus. Appearances were saved by a wave of unproductive credit and debt creation to sustain the bubble economy that finally crashed in 2008. ..."
"... The same debt overgrowth occurred in the industrial sector, where bank and bondholder credit since the 1980s has been increasingly for corporate takeovers and raiding, stock buybacks and even to pay dividends. Industry has become a vehicle for financial engineering to increase stock prices and strip assets, not to increase the means of production. The result is that capitalism has fallen prey to resurgent rentier ..."
"... Theories of Surplus Value ..."
"... American Journal of Economics and Sociology ..."
"... Super-Imperialism ..."
"... The Great Credit Crash ..."
"... The Contradictions of Austerity: The Socio-Economic Costs of the Neoliberal Baltic Model ..."
"... Journal of Economic Issues ..."
Oct 20, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org
Socialism a century ago seemed to be the wave of the future. There were various schools of socialism, but the common ideal was to guarantee support for basic needs, and for state ownership to free society from landlords, predatory banking and monopolies. In the West these hopes are now much further away than they seemed in 1917. Land and natural resources, basic infrastructure monopolies, health care and pensions have been increasingly privatized and financialized.

Instead of Germany and other advanced industrial nations leading the way as expected, Russia's October 1917 Revolution made the greatest leap. But the failures of Stalinism became an argument against Marxism – guilt-by-association with Soviet bureaucracy. European parties calling themselves socialist or "labour" since the 1980s have supported neoliberal policies that are the opposite of socialist policy. Russia itself has chosen neoliberalism.

Few socialist parties or theorists have dealt with the rise of the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE) sector that now accounts for most increase in wealth. Instead of evolving into socialism, Western capitalism is being overcome by predatory finance and rent extraction imposing debt deflation and austerity on industry as well as on labor.

Failure of Western economies to recover from the 2008 crisis is leading to a revival of Marxist advocacy. The alternative to socialist reform is stagnation and a relapse into neofeudal financial and monopoly privileges.

Socialism flowered in the 19 th century as a program to reform capitalism by raising labor's status and living standards, with a widening range of public services and subsidies to make economies more efficient. Reformers hoped to promote this evolution by extending voting rights to the working population at large.

Ricardo's discussion of land rent led early industrial capitalists to oppose Europe's hereditary landlord class. But despite democratic political reform, the world has un-taxed land rent and is still grappling with the problem of how to keep housing affordable instead of siphoning off rent to a landlord class – more recently transmuted into mortgage interest paid to banks by owners who pledge the rental value for loans. Most bank lending today is for real estate mortgages. The effect is to bid up land prices toward the point where the entire rental value is paid as interest. This threatens to be a problem for socialist China as well as for capitalist economies.

Landlords, banks and the cost of living

The classical economists sought to make their nations more competitive by keeping down the price of labor so as to undersell competitors. The main cost of living was food; today it is housing. Housing and food prices are determined not by the material costs of production, but by land rent – the rising market price for land.

In the era of the French Physiocrats, Adam Smith, David Ricardo and John Stuart Mill, this land rent accrued to Europe's hereditary landlord class. Today, the land's rent is paid mainly to bankers – because families need credit to buy a home. Or, if they rent, their landlords use the property rent to pay interest to the banks.

The land issue was central to Russia's October Revolution, as it was for European politics. But the discussion of land rent and taxation has lost much of the clarity (and passion) that guided the 19 th century when it dominated classical political economy, liberal reform, and indeed most early socialist politics.

In 1909/10 Britain experienced a constitutional crisis when the democratically elected House of Commons passed a land tax, only to be overridden by the House of Lords, governed by the old aristocracy. The ensuing political crisis was settled by a rule that the Lords never again could overrule a revenue bill passed by the House of Commons. But that was Britain's last real opportunity to tax away the economic rents of landlords and natural resource owners. The liberal drive to tax the land faltered, and never again would gain serious chance of passage.

The democratization of home ownership during the 20 th century led middle-class voters to oppose property taxes – including taxes on commercial sites and natural resources. Tax policy in general has become pro- rentier and anti-labor – the regressive opposite of 19 th -century liberalism as developed by "Ricardian socialists" such as John Stuart Mill and Henry George. Today's economic individualism has lost the early class consciousness that sought to tax economic rent and socialize banking.

The United States enacted an income tax in 1913, falling mainly on rentier income, not on the working population. Capital gains (the main source of rising wealth today) were taxed at the same rate as other income. But the vested interests campaigned to reverse this spirit, slashing capital gains taxes and making tax policy much more regressive. The result is that today, most wealth is not gained by capital investment for profits. Instead, asset-price gains have been financed by a debt-leveraged inflation of real estate, stock and bond prices.

Many middle-class families owe most of their net worth to rising prices for their homes. But by far the lion's share of the real estate and stock market gains have accrued to just One Percent of the population. And while bank credit has enabled buyers to bid up housing prices, the price has been to siphon off more and more of labor's income to pay mortgage loans or rents. As a result, finance today is what is has been throughout history: the main force polarizing economies between debtors and creditors.

Global oil and mining companies created flags of convenience to make themselves tax-exempt, by pretending to make all their production and distribution profits in tax-free trans-shipping havens such as Liberia and Panama (which use U.S. dollars instead of being real countries with their own currency and tax systems).

The fact that absentee-owned real estate and natural resource extraction are practically free of income taxation shows that democratic political reform has not been a sufficient guarantee of socialist success. Tax rules and public regulation have been captured by the rentiers , dashing the hopes of 19 th -century classical reformers that progressive tax policy would produce the same effect as direct public ownership of the means of production, while leaving "the market" as an individualistic alternative to government regulation or planning.

In practice, planning and resource allocation has passed to the banking and financial sector. Many observers hoped that this would evolve into state planning, or at least work in conjunction with it as in Germany. But liberal "Ricardian socialist" failed, as did German-style "state socialism" publicly financing transportation and other basic infrastructure, pensions and similar "external" costs of living and doing business that industrial employers otherwise would have to bear. Attempts at "half-way" socialism via tax and regulatory policy against monopolies and banking have faltered repeatedly. As long as major economic or political choke points are left in private hands, they will serve s springboards to subvert real reform policies. That is why Marxist policy went beyond these would-be socialist reforms.

To Marx, the historical task of capitalism was to prepare the way for socializing the means of production by clearing away feudalism's legacy: a hereditary landlord class, predatory banking, and the monopolies that financial interests had pried away from governments. The path of least resistance was to start by socializing land and basic infrastructure. This drive to free society from economic overhead in the form of hereditary privilege and unearned income by the "idle rich" was a step toward socialist management, by minimizing rentier costs (" faux frais of production").

Proto-socialist reform in the leading industrial nations

Marx was by no means alone in expecting a widening range of economic activity to be shifted away from the market to the public sector. State socialism (basically, state-sponsored capitalism) subsidized pensions and public health, education and other basic needs so as to save industrial enterprise from having to bear these charges.

In the United States, Simon Patten – the first economics professor at the new Wharton business school at the University of Pennsylvania – defined public infrastructure as a "fourth factor of production" alongside labor, capital and land. The aim of public investment was not to make a profit, but to lower the cost of living and doing business so as to minimize industry's wage and infrastructure bill. Public health, pensions, roads and other transportation, education, research and development were subsidized or provided freely. [1]

The most advanced industrial economies seemed to be evolving toward some kind of socialism. Marx shared a Progressive Era optimism that expected industrial capitalism to evolve in the most logical way, by freeing economies from the landlordship and predatory banking inherited from Europe's feudal era. That was above all the classical reform program of Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and the intellectual mainstream.

But the aftermath of World War I saw the vested interests mount a Counter-Enlightenment. Banking throughout the Western world find its major market in real estate mortgage lending, natural resource extraction and monopolies – the Anglo-American model, not that of German industrial banking that had seemed to be capitalism's financial future in the late 19 th century.

Since 1980 the Western nations have reversed early optimistic hopes to reform market economies. Instead of the classical dream of taxing away the land rent that had supported Europe's hereditary landed aristocracies, commercial real estate has been made virtually exempt from income taxation. Absentee owners avoid tax by a combination of tax-deductibility for interest payments (as if it is a necessary business expense) and fictitious over-depreciation tax credits that pretend that buildings and properties are losing value even when market prices for their land are soaring.

These tax breaks have made real estate the largest bank customers. The effect has been to financialize property rents into interest payments. Likewise in the industrial sphere, regulatory capture by lobbyists for the major monopolies has disabled public attempts to keep prices in line with the cost of production and prevent fraud by breaking up or regulating monopolies. These too have become major bank clients.

The beginning and end of Russian socialism

Most Marxists expected socialism to emerge first in Germany as the most advanced capitalist economy. After its October 1917 Revolution, Russia seemed to jump ahead, the first nation to free itself from rent and interest charges inherited from feudalism. By taking land, industry and finance into state control, Soviet Russia's October Revolution created an economy without private landlords and bankers. Russian urban planning did not take account of the natural rent-of-location, nor did it charge for the use of money created by the state bank. The state bank created money and credit, so there was no need to rely on a wealthy financial class. And as property owner, the state did not seek to charge land rent or monopoly rent.

By freeing society from the post-feudal rentier class of landlords, bankers and predatory finance, the Soviet regime was much more than a bourgeois revolution. The Revolution's early leaders sought to free wage labor from exploitation by taking industry into the public domain. State companies provided labor with free lunches, education, sports and leisure activity, and modest housing.

Agricultural land tenure was a problem. Given its centralized marketing role, the state could have reallocated land to build up a rural peasantry and helped it invest in modernization. The state could have manipulated crop prices to siphon off agricultural gains, much like Cargill does in the United States. Instead, Stalin's collectivization program waged a war against the kulaks. This political shock led to famine. It was a steep price to pay for avoiding rent was paid to a landlord class or peasantry.

Marx had said nothing about the military dimension of the transition from progressive industrial capitalism to socialism. But Russia's Revolution – like that of China three decades later – showed that the attempt to create a socialist economy had a military dimension that absorbed the lion's share of the economic surplus. Military aggression by a half dozen leading capitalist nations seeking to overthrow the Bolshevik government obliged Russia to adopt War Communism. For over half a century the Soviet Union devoted most of capital to military investment, not provide sufficient housing or consumer goods for its population beyond spreading literacy, education and public health.

Despite this military overhead, the fact that the Soviet Union was free of a rentier class of financiers and absentee landlords should have made the Soviet Union the world's most competitive low-cost economy in theory. In 1945 the United States certainly feared the efficiency of socialist planning. Its diplomats opposed Soviet membership on the ground that state enterprise and pricing would enable such economies to undersell capitalist countries. [2] So socialist countries were kept out of the IMF, World Bank and the planned World Trade Organization, explicitly on the ground that they were free of land rent, natural resource rent, monopoly rent and financial charges.

Capitalist economies are now privatizing and financializing their basic needs and infrastructure. Every activity is being forced into "the market," at prices that need to cover not only the technological costs of production but also interest, ancillary financial fees and pension set-asides. The cost of living and doing business is further privatized as financial interests pry roads, health care, water, communications and other public utilities away from the public sector, while driving housing and commercial real estate deeply into debt.

The Cold War has shown that capitalist countries plan to continue fighting socialist economies, forcing them to militarize in self-defense. The resulting oppressive military overhead is then blamed on socialist bureaucracy and inefficiency.

The collapse of Russian Stalinism

Russia's Revolution ended after 74 years, leaving the Soviet Union so dispirited that it ended in collapse. The contrast between the low living standards of Russian consumers and what seemed to be Western success became increasingly pronounced. In contrast to China's housing construction policy, the Soviet regime insisted that families double up. Clothing and other consumer goods had only drab designs, needlessly suppressing variety. To cap matters, public opposition to Russia's military personnel losses in Afghanistan caused popular resentment.

When the Soviet Union dissolved itself in 1991, its leaders took neoliberal advice from its major adversary, the United States, in hope that this would set it on a capitalist road to prosperity. But turning its economies into viable industrial powers was the last thing U.S. advisors wanted to teach Russia. [3] Their aim was to turn it and its former satellites into raw-materials colonies of Wall Street, the City of London and Frankfurt – victims of capitalism, not rival producers.

Russia has gone to the furthest anti-socialist extreme by adopting a flat tax that fails to distinguish wages and profits of labor and capital from unearned rental income. By also having to pay a value-added tax (VAT) on consumer goods (with no tax on trading in financial assets), labor is taxed much higher than the wealthy.

Most Western "wealth creation" is achieved by debt-leveraged price increases for real estate, stocks and bonds, and by privatizing the public domain. The latter process has gained momentum since the early 1980s in Margaret Thatcher's Britain and Ronald Reagan's America, followed by Third World countries acting under World Bank tutelage. The pretense is that privatization will maximize technological efficiency and prosperity for the economy as a whole.

Following this advice, Russian leaders agreed that the major sources of economic rent – natural resource wealth, real estate and state companies – should be transferred to private owners (often to themselves and associated insiders). The "magic of the marketplace" was supposed to lead the new owners to make the economy more efficient as a byproduct of making money in the quickest way possible.

Each Russian worker got a "voucher" worth about $25. Most were sold off simply to obtain money to buy food and other needs as many companies stopped paying wages. Russia had wiped out domestic savings with hyperinflation after 1991.

It should not be surprising that banks became the economy's main control centers, as in the West's bubble economies. Instead of the promised prosperity, a new class of billionaires was endowed, headed by the notorious Seven Bankers who appropriated the formerly state-owned oil and gas, nickel and platinum, electricity and aluminum production, as well as real estate, electric utilities and other public enterprises. It was the largest giveaway in modern history. The Soviet nomenklatura became the new lords in outright seizure that Marx would have characterized as "primitive accumulation."

The American advisors knew the obvious: Russian savings had been wiped out by the polst-1991 hyperinflation, so the new owners could only cash out by selling shares to Western buyers. The kleptocrats cashed out as expected, by dumping their shares to foreign investors so quickly at such giveaway prices that Russia's stock market became the world's top performer for Western investors in 1994-96.

The Russian oligarchs kept most of their sales proceeds abroad in British and other banks, beyond the reach of Russian authorities to recapture. Much was spent on London real estate, sports teams and luxury estates in the world's flight-capital havens. Almost none was invested in Russian industry. Wage arrears often mounted up half a year behind. Living standards shrank, along with the population as birth rates plunged throughout the former Soviet economies. Skilled labor emigrated.

The basic neoliberal idea of prosperity is financial gain based on turning rent extraction into a flow of interest payments by buyers-on-credit. This policy favors financial engineering over industrial investment, reversing the Progressive Era's industrial capitalism that Marx anticipated would be a transition stage leading to socialism. Russia adopted the West's anti-socialist rollback toward neofeudalism.

Russian officials failed to understand the State Theory of money that is the basis of Modern Monetary Theory: States can create their own money, giving it value by accepting it in payment of taxes. The Soviet government financed its economy for seventy years without any need to back the ruble with foreign exchange. But Russia's central bank was persuaded that "sound money" required it to back its domestic ruble currency with U.S. Treasury bonds in order to prevent inflation. Russian leaders did not realize that dollars or other foreign currencies were only needed to finance balance-of-payments deficits, not domestic spending except as this money was spent on imports.

Russia joined the dollar standard. Buying Treasury bonds meant lending to the U.S. Government. The central bank bought U.S. Treasury securities to back its domestic currency. These purchases helped finance Cold War escalation in countries around Russia. Russia paid 100% annual interest in the mid-1990s, creating a bonanza for U.S. investors. On balance, this neoliberal policy lay Russia's economy open to looting by financial institutions seeking natural resource rent, land rent and monopoly rent for themselves. Instead of targeting such rents, Russia imposed taxes mainly on labor via a regressive flat tax – too right wing to be adopted even in the United States!

When the Soviet Union dissolved itself, its officials showed no apprehension of how quickly their economies would be de-industrialized as a result of accepting U.S. advice to privatize state enterprises, natural resources and basic infrastructure. Whatever knowledge of Marx's analysis of capitalism had existed (perhaps in Nicolai Bukharin's time) was long gone. It is as if no Russian official had read Volumes II and III of Marx's Capital (or Theories of Surplus Value ) where he reviewed the laws of economic rent and interest-bearing debt.

The inability of Russia, the Baltics and other post-Soviet countries to understand the FIRE sector and its financial dynamics provides an object lesson for other countries as to what to avoid. Reversing the principles of Russia's October 1917 Revolution, the post-Soviet kleptocracy was akin to the feudal epoch's "primitive accumulation" of the land and commons. They adopted the neoliberal business plan: to establish monopolies, first and most easily by privatizing the public infrastructure that had been built up, extracting economic rents and them paying out the resulting as interest and dividends.

This Western financial advice became a textbook example of how not to organize an economy. [4] Having rejoined the global economy free of debt in 1991, Russia's population, companies and government quickly ran up debts as a result of its man-made disaster. Families could have been given their homes freely, just as corporate managers were given their entire companies virtually for free. But Russian managers were as anti-labor as they were greedy to grab their own assets from the public domain. Soaring housing prices quickly plagued Russian's economy with one of the world's highest-priced living and business costs. That prevented any thought of industrial competitiveness with the United States or Europe. What passed for Soviet Marxism lacked an understanding of how economic rents and the ensuing high labor costs affected international prices, or how debt service and capital flight affected the currency's exchange rate.

Adversaries of socialism pronounced Marxist theory dead, as if the Soviet dissolution meant the end of Marxism. But today, less than three decades later, the leading Western economies are themselves succumbing to an overgrowth of debt and shrinking prosperity. Russia failed to recognize that just as its own economy was expiring, so was the West's. Industrial capitalism is succumbing to a predatory finance capitalism that is leaving Western economies debt-ridden. [5] The underlying causes were clear already a century ago: unchecked financial rentiers , absentee ownership and monopolies.

The post-Soviet collapse in the 1990s was not a failure of Marxism, but of the anti-socialist ideology that is plunging Western economies under domination by the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE) sector's symbiosis of the three forms of rent extraction: land and natural resource rent, monopoly rent, and interest (financial rent). This is precisely the fate from which 19 th -century socialism, Marxism and even state capitalism sought to save the industrial economies.

A silver lining to the Soviet "final" stage has been to free Marxist analysis from Russian Marxology. Its focus of Soviet Marxology was not an analysis of how the capitalist nations were becoming financialized neo- rentier economies, but was mainly propagandistic, ossifying into a stereotyped identity politics appealing to labor and oppressed minorities. Today's revival of Marxist scholarship has begun to show how the U.S.-centered global economy is entering a period of chronic austerity, debt deflation, and polarization between creditors and debtors.

Financialization and privatization are submerging capitalism in debt deflation

By 1991, when the Soviet Union's leaders decided to take the "Western" path, the Western economies themselves were reaching a terminus. Appearances were saved by a wave of unproductive credit and debt creation to sustain the bubble economy that finally crashed in 2008.

The pitfalls of this financial dynamic were not apparent in the early years after World War II, largely because economies emerged with their private sectors free of debt. The ensuing boom endowed the middle class in the United States and other countries, but was debt financed, first for home ownership and commercial real estate, then by consumer credit to purchase of automobiles and appliances, and finally by credit-card debt just to meet living expenses.

The same debt overgrowth occurred in the industrial sector, where bank and bondholder credit since the 1980s has been increasingly for corporate takeovers and raiding, stock buybacks and even to pay dividends. Industry has become a vehicle for financial engineering to increase stock prices and strip assets, not to increase the means of production. The result is that capitalism has fallen prey to resurgent rentier interests instead of liberating economies from absentee landlords, predatory banking and monopolies. Banks and bondholders have found their most lucrative market not in the manufacturing sector but in real estate and natural resource extraction.

These vested interests have translated their takings into the political power to shed taxes and dismantle regulations on wealth. The resulting political Counter-Reformation has inverted the idea of "free market" to mean an economy free for rent extractors, not free from landlords, monopolists and financial exploitation as Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and other classical economists had envisioned. The word "reform" as used by today's neoliberal media means undoing Progressive Era reforms, dismantling public regulation and government power – except for control by finance and its allied vested interests.

All this is the opposite of socialism, which has now sunk to its nadir through the Western World. The past four decades have seen most of the European and North American parties calling themselves "socialist" make an about-face to follow Tony Blair's New Labour, the French socialists-in-name and the Clinton's New Democrats. They support privatization, financialization and a shift away from progressive taxation to a value-added tax (VAT) falling on consumers, not on finance or real estate.

China's socialist diplomacy in today's hostile world

Now that Western finance capitalism is stagnating, it is fighting even harder to prevent the post-2008 crisis from leading to socialist reforms that would re-socialize infrastructure that has been privatized and put a public banking system in place. Depicting the contrast between socialist and finance-capitalist economies as a clash of civilizations, U.S.-centered "Western" diplomacy is using military and political subversion to prevent a transition from capitalism into socialism.

China is the leading example of socialist success in a mixed economy. Unlike the Soviet Union, it has not proselytized its economic system or sought to promote revolution abroad to emulate its economic doctrine. Just the opposite: To avert attack, China has given foreign investors a stake in its economic growth. The aim has been to mobilize U.S. and other foreign interests as allies, willing customers for China's exports, and suppliers of modern production facilities in China.

This is the opposite of the antagonism that confronted Russia. The risk is that it involves financial investment. But China has protected its autonomy by requiring majority Chinese ownership in most sectors. The main danger is domestic, in the form of financial dynamics and private rent extraction. The great economic choice facing China today concerns the degree to which land and natural resources should be taxed.

The state owns the land, but does fully tax its rising valuation or rent-of-location that has made many families rich. Letting the resulting real-estate and financialized wealth dominate its economic growth poses two dangers: First, it increases the price that new buyers must pay for their home. Second, rising housing prices force these families to borrow – at interest. This turns the rental value of land – value created by society and public infrastructure investment – into a flow of interest to the banks. They end up receiving more over time than the sellers, while increasing the cost of living and doing business. That is a fate which a socialist economy must avoid at all costs.

At issue is how China can best manage credit and natural resource rent in a way that best meets the needs of its population. Now that China has built up a prosperous industry and real estate, its main challenge is to avoid the financial dynamics that are subjecting the West to debt deflation and burying Western economies. To avoid these dynamics, China must curtail the proliferation of unproductive debt created merely to transfer property on credit, inflating asset prices in the process.

Socialism is incompatible with a rentier class of landlords, natural resource owners and monopolists – the preferred clients of banks hoping to turn economic rent into interest charges. As a vehicle to allocate resources "the market" reflects the status quo of property ownership and credit-creation privileges at any given moment of time, without consideration for what is fair and efficient or predatory. Vested interests claim that such a market is an immutable force of nature, whose course cannot be altered by government "interference." This rhetoric of political passivity aims to deter politicians and voters from regulating economies, leaving the wealthy free to extract as much economic rent and interest as markets can bear by privatizing real estate, natural resources, banking and other monopolies.

Such rent seeking is antithetical to socialism's aim to take these assets into the public domain. That is why the financial sector, oil and mineral extractors and monopolists fight so passionately to dismantle state regulatory power and public banking. That is the diplomacy of finance capital, aiming to consolidate American hegemony over a unipolar world. It backs this strategy with a neoliberal academic curriculum that depicts predatory financial and rentier gains as if they add to national income, not simply transfer it into the hands of the rentier classes. This misleading picture of economic reality poses a danger for China sending its students to study economics at American and European universities.

The century that has elapsed since Russia's October 1917 Revolution has produced a substantial Marxist literature describing how finance capitalism has overpowered industrial capitalism. Its dynamics occupied Marx in Volumes II and III of Capital (and also his Theories of Surplus Value ). Like most observers of his era, Marx expected capitalism to make a substantial step toward socialism by overcoming the dynamics of parasitic capital, above all the tendency for debt to keep on expanding at compound interest until it produces a financial crash.

The only way to control banks and their allied rentier sectors is outright socialization. The past century has shown that if society does not control the banks and financial sector, they will control society. Their strategy is to block government money creation so that economies will be forced to rely on banks and bondholders. Regulatory authority to limit such financial aggression and the monopoly pricing and rent extraction it supports has been crippled in the West by "regulatory capture" by the rentier oligarchy.

Attempts to tax away rental income (the liberal alternative to taking real estate and natural resources directly into the public domain) is prone to lobbying for loopholes and evasion, most notoriously via offshore banking centers in tax-avoidance enclaves and the "flags of convenience" sponsored by the global oil and mining companies. This leaves the only way to save society from the financial power to convert rent into interest to be a policy of nationalizing natural resources, fully taxing land rent (where land and minerals are not taken directly into the public domain), and de-privatizing infrastructure and other key sectors.

Conclusion

Markets have not recovered for the products of American industry and labor since 2008. Industrial capitalism has been sacrificed to a form of finance capitalism that is looking more pre-capitalist (or simply oligarchic and neofeudal) with each passing year. The resulting polarization forces every economy – including China – to choose between saving its bankers and other creditors or freeing debtors and lowering the economy's cost structure. Will the government enforce bank and bondholder claims, or will it give priority to the economy and its people? That is an eternal political question spanning pre-capitalist, capitalist and post-capitalist economies.

Marx described the mathematics of compound interest expanding to absorb the entire economy as age-old, long predating industrial capitalism. He characterized the ancient mode of production as dominated by slavery and usury, and medieval banking as predatory. These financial dynamics exist in socialist economies just as they did in medieval and ancient economies. The way in which governments manage the dynamics of credit and debt thus are the dominant force in every era, and should receive the most pressing attention today as China shapes its socialist future.

Notes.

[1] I give the details in "Simon Patten on Public Infrastructure and Economic Rent Capture," American Journal of Economics and Sociology 70 (October 2011):873-903.

[2] My book Super-Imperialism (1972; new ed. 2002) reviews this discussion during 1944-46.

[3] I discuss the IMF and World Bank plan to wipe out Russian savings with hyperinflation and make manufacturing investment uneconomic in "How Neoliberal Tax and Financial Policy Impoverishes Russia – Needlessly," Mir Peremen (The World of Transformations), 2012 (3):49-64 (in Russian). МИР ПЕРЕМЕН 3/2012 (ISSN 2073-3038) Mir peremen М. ХАДСОН, Неолиберальная налоговая и финансовая политика приводит к обнищанию России, 49-64.

[4] I give details in "How Neoliberals Bankrupted 'New Europe': Latvia in the Global Credit Crisis," (with Jeffrey Sommers), in Martijn Konings, ed., The Great Credit Crash (Verso: London and New York, 2010), pp. 244-63, and "Stockholm Syndrome in the Baltics: Latvia's neoliberal war against labor and industry," in Jeffrey Sommers and Charles Woolfson , eds., The Contradictions of Austerity: The Socio-Economic Costs of the Neoliberal Baltic Model (Routledge 2014), pp. 44-63.

[5] For more analysis see Dirk Bezemer and Michael Hudson, " Finance is Not the Economy: Reviving the Conceptual Distinction ," Journal of Economic Issues , 50 (2016: #3), pp. 745-768.

[Oct 21, 2017] Re-Visiting Russian Counter-Propaganda Methods by Saker

Notable quotes:
"... "You can't handle the truth" – was the famous line from the movie "A few good men". Many people believe that this is the main purpose of propaganda – to tell people something that they can "handle" – which usually is a sugar coated lie. ..."
"... The real purpose of propaganda in the US actually is slightly different. The reason why the US government prefers to tell their subjects lies – i.e. propaganda is not because the people can't handle the truth, it's because the US government wouldn't be able to handle its citizens if they dared to tell them the truth. ..."
"... I don't know, tbh I can't really think of any other country whose political culture is as bizarrely warped as that of the US. I personally don't really approve of Russia's actions in Ukraine (though I can understand the reasons for them), and certainly there is quite a bit of jingoistic sentiment in Russia as well – but at least its goals are limited, and its underlying perception of reality (Russia confronted by a hostile West) isn't totally irrational. Many Americans have this weird view of their country as a global redeemer nation, a force for good against a world of darkness ("the last best hope of humanity" etc.). And then there's the bizarre paranoia constantly cultivated in American culture (both in popular culture like television series, but also in serious political statements) there's always some foreign evil-doer supposedly plotting against virtuous America. I find this immensely irritating given how the US has one of the most secure geopolitical positions on earth and suffered minimal trauma (compared to all other combatants) even during the catastrophes of the world wars. According to that logic the US apparently can't ever be secure unless there is permanent American global hegemony. Which of course will inevitably lead to conflict. ..."
Oct 21, 2017 | www.unz.com

Cyrano , October 20, 2017 at 6:29 am GMT

"You can't handle the truth" – was the famous line from the movie "A few good men". Many people believe that this is the main purpose of propaganda – to tell people something that they can "handle" – which usually is a sugar coated lie.

The real purpose of propaganda in the US actually is slightly different. The reason why the US government prefers to tell their subjects lies – i.e. propaganda is not because the people can't handle the truth, it's because the US government wouldn't be able to handle its citizens if they dared to tell them the truth.

Thus the purpose of propaganda in the US is to make their population more manageable. I think that there is also a cultural difference between US and Russia in how they see the purpose of propaganda.

The Americans see propaganda as useful tool, which when applied skillfully on the domestic population removes the need to oppress them – which they would have to do to their population if they tell them the truth and don't like the reaction of the population after they've been told the truth.

This is called "democracy" – avoid telling them the truth and remove the need to oppress them, which you will have to do if you tell your people a truth that they can't "handle".

The Russians have different approach – which is deeply rooted in their history and culture. The Russian government is less uncomfortable with their population knowing the truth, because if the Russian people don't like the truth, and react to that, the Russian government is more inclined to resort to some kind of oppression on their population – if they think it's in the interest of the Russian state.

Me personally – I like the Russian approach better, I hate lies even if they are told in the name of "democracy". It's better to tell the truth and face the music than be deceitful.

Randal , October 20, 2017 at 9:14 am GMT
Good piece.

Clearly important truths, for anyone wanting to understand both the recent past and the present that developed out of it:

As for the Soviet propaganda in the West, it did have a measurable effect (just look at the influence of various Communist Parties in Europe during the Cold War), but never enough to beat the base appeal to hedonism and consumerism promoted by the best and most effective branch of the western propaganda apparatus: Hollywood.

and:

Third, outrageous, over the top and disgusting as some of the clown shown on Russian TV are, they do not misrepresent the reality of the AngloZionist Empire. Yes, sure, true Russophobes are a tiny minority in the West at least where the people are concerned (especially in southern Europe and the US), but practically the regimes in power in the West controlled by Russophobes or by their puppets. As for the western Ziomedia, it is wall-to-wall russophobic to such a degree that I would call it unambiguously racist.

Randal , October 20, 2017 at 9:30 am GMT

For one thing, the European elites are very very slowly, by tiny steps, waking up to the reality that their abject and total subservience to the US has put them in an extremely uncomfortable situation.

This is one reason why, as I have noted before, the current drive by many of the usual suspects and the rest of the war lobbies in the US to overturn the Iran deal is not necessarily something to be feared. Indeed for those recognising the problems of US interventionism as among the most urgent facing the world, it's probably a win-win situation. Fail, and the US/Israeli/Saudi warmongers have suffered a defeat. Succeed, and they have probably set themselves up for an even more costly defeat.

The Iran deal is widely popular in Europe, even amongst business and other elites, as having halted the necessity for complying with and paying lip-service to the transparently irrational and/or dishonest US nonsense about Iran, and the economically costly and intellectually insupportable sanctions used by the US to wage economic war on that country in the interests of Israel and Saudi Arabia.

If the deal is breached by the US regime, the said regime will massively lose credibility worldwide. There will then be a struggle wherein the US tries to coerce its European and British client states to return to waging economic war against Iran. That risks an open refusal, which will seriously damage US control and quite possibly bring it to an end. Russia and China have already started to develop economic and financial structures beyond the reach of Washington. The door will be open for European businesses and governments to walk through it, to the new world beyond.

If it doesn't itself trigger such final breaks, the process of imposing Washington's will will create huge resentment and set the scene for such breaks in the near future.

The Alarmist , October 20, 2017 at 11:01 am GMT
The average US American's experience with Russians in the past forty years has come from Rambo films and Red Dawn (the first one). Long gone are the days when films like The Russians are Coming exposed Americans to Russians as human beings rather than as killing machines of an evil state. When Putin or Lavrov appear on American TV, which is not very often, it is only in very tightly scripted sound bites that fit the narrative blathering from the talking head telling the viewer what to think about the Russians and their "misdeeds." Perhaps the only friend the Russians have in American media these days is Rush Limbaugh mull that over.

You can get RT on a few cable providers in the US. In my hometown, you have to pay for the "Russian Package" to get it, though I found RT America once on basic cable in Dallas. I doubt many Americans even know RT exists, much less seek it out. I get the European version via U.K. FTA satellite, and wonder how long it will be before it is knocked off the air by Ofcom.

If I want the truth about the US and U.K., I generally can count on getting it, albeit a bit spun, from RT. If I want the truth about Russia, I generally have to ask one of my Russian friends, though RT, to its credit, does occasionally take a pole at the best. If I want to hear what Putin and Lavrov are actually saying, I rarely get that in any Western Media, but RT will let them go on without significant editorial.

What I find amusing is that during the Cold War, American media elites were falling all over one another to kiss Soviet A ** , but even though many of these same elites accuse Putin of being a closeted commie, they portray him as evil personified; I guess he isn't Communist enough for them.

German_reader , October 20, 2017 at 12:08 pm GMT
@Randal

Yes, sure, true russophobes are a tiny minority in the West at least where the people are concerned (especially in southern Europe and the US )

I don't know, does that really sound plausible to you given the "Russia stole our election" hysteria in the US?
More generally, I think people outside of the US need to get beyond the idea that the problem with America is just its government, the military-industrial complex, influential lobbies etc., and that the average American is totally blameless. An awful lot of Americans do support aggressive interventionism abroad, and this includes many, many Trump supporters (one need only look at the readers' comments on a Breitbart piece about North Korea or the Iran deal these people's ideas of national greatness have militarism and armed interventions – "showing who's boss, who's Number one" – as key ingredients). I don't think the kind of anti-interventionists commenting here at Unz review are that representative on the whole.

The Alarmist , October 20, 2017 at 12:27 pm GMT
@The Alarmist

Gotta love auto-correct "pole at the best" should be "poke at the bear."

Randal , October 20, 2017 at 1:33 pm GMT
@German_reader

I don't know, does that really sound plausible to you given the "Russia stole our election" hysteria in the US?

I think Saker is probably not including the general mass of ignorant propaganda victims as "true Russophobes".

US popular opinion on Russia seems pretty mixed, albeit there are certainly plenty of gormless victims of the wall to wall Russophobic propaganda (that's – in its recent guise – mostly partisan anti-Trump in motivation, in truth) in the US. Here's a recent poll (July);

But on the broader issue of relations with Russia, Americans don't appear to be in a bellicose mood. Asked whether it's better for the U.S. to build relationships with Russia or treat Russia as a threat, 59 percent said they want to build relationships, compared to 31 percent who want to treat Russia as a threat.

Registered Democrats were more interested in treating Russia as a threat than Republicans, but 46 percent of them preferred building relationships, 2 percent more than those who favored taking a more aggressive stance. Republicans were far more interested in building relationships, with 67 percent in support.

The poll also asked Americans whether Trump's goal of improving relations with Russia was good or bad for the U.S. While a five percent plurality favored the goal, there was again a sharp partisan divide. 70 percent of Democrats said Trump's goal of improving relations with Russia was bad for the U.S., and 75 percent of Republicans consider it good.

https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/americans-mixed-feelings-trump-russia-new-poll-shows

More generally, I think people outside of the US need to get beyond the idea that the problem with America is just its government, the military-industrial complex, influential lobbies etc., and that the average American is totally blameless. An awful lot of Americans do support aggressive interventionism abroad, and this includes many, many Trump supporters (one need only look at the readers' comments on a Breitbart piece about North Korea or the Iran deal these people's ideas of national greatness have militarism and armed interventions – "showing who's boss, who's Number one" – as key ingredients). I don't think the kind of anti-interventionists commenting here at Unz review are that representative on the whole.

Yes, I agree with this, for sure.

It's true that ordinary Americans are deluged in interventionist and militarist propaganda from the cradle to the grave, and that is perhaps some explanation if not excuse, but the fact does remain that Americans re-elected Clinton, Bush II and Obama (though admittedly they were hardly provided with decent alternatives, but that again shows how they are prepared to vote for warmongers in primaries), and elect and re-elect warmongering interventionist scum like John McCain to Congress time after time after time.

There is clearly a problem in American culture and their political structure that makes them particularly open to manipulation in this area (which is not to say the same isn't true of other countries, mind you).

Arioch , October 20, 2017 at 2:35 pm GMT
> There is no Russian equivalent of the Pokemon story

Half true.

When Pokemon Go was announced, it was widely speculated that this technology may be used to both hoard unexpecting game addicts into some places (like, moving nazi and antifa crowds together, where their firght would be imminent; or nazi and aggressive ethnic minority; or competing sport teams fans, etc) or background surveillance and spying (by placing pokemons in the places, game operator wants to see in photo).

This was quite a hot topic, and i think those potential dangers are real. Just looking how pseudo-private companies like Facebook engage in swept political censorship makes one ask "how Pokemon company is different?".

There indeed was no allegation that US Gov't actually utilizes this already, but there definitely was a lot of debate about laying frameworks and public habits to start doing it.

Not only Russia but many other states and companies limited Pokemon Go at their premises.

Now, what we see is CNN merely combining the real fears about Po-Go embedded capabilities (which, i repeat, were shared by many Russians) with the typical "Putin is under your bed because all the patriots say so" fundamentalists claim.

Arioch , October 20, 2017 at 2:42 pm GMT
@Cyrano

You have also account for Russia being here an underdog. Russia's information outlets are much weaker than USA's and globalists' ones. Russia has only RT and Sputnik against CNN/Fox/WaPo/MSNBC/PB/BBC/DW/AFP and what not

Russia just can not engage in symmetric warfare and win by overwhelming force, Russia only has overwhelming weakness here.

So, Russia has to take truth into allies, not because it likes it that much more, but because it does not have a chance to fight symmetrically, lies with lies and fires with fires.

German_reader , October 20, 2017 at 4:15 pm GMT
@Randal

which is not to say the same isn't true of other countries, mind you

I don't know, tbh I can't really think of any other country whose political culture is as bizarrely warped as that of the US. I personally don't really approve of Russia's actions in Ukraine (though I can understand the reasons for them), and certainly there is quite a bit of jingoistic sentiment in Russia as well – but at least its goals are limited, and its underlying perception of reality (Russia confronted by a hostile West) isn't totally irrational. Many Americans have this weird view of their country as a global redeemer nation, a force for good against a world of darkness ("the last best hope of humanity" etc.). And then there's the bizarre paranoia constantly cultivated in American culture (both in popular culture like television series, but also in serious political statements) there's always some foreign evil-doer supposedly plotting against virtuous America. I find this immensely irritating given how the US has one of the most secure geopolitical positions on earth and suffered minimal trauma (compared to all other combatants) even during the catastrophes of the world wars. According to that logic the US apparently can't ever be secure unless there is permanent American global hegemony. Which of course will inevitably lead to conflict.

Anatoly Karlin , Website October 20, 2017 at 6:35 pm GMT
This is a good, accurate article.

Another great example of this is the entire Inosmi phenomenon, which translates Western MSM texts into Russian. As one my acquaintances pointed out, it was a "machine that turned naive, simple-minded, West-loving normies into hardcore ultranationalists."

Sergey Krieger , October 20, 2017 at 10:15 pm GMT
Truth is the best weapon. By trying to close Soviet union to western news Soviet leadership made things worse. Soviet people than refused to believe even truth about the West believing everything transmitted by those voices. And that despite USSR being in most areas in far better shape than modern Russia. Current Russian propaganda and international policy is head and shoulders above what was passing for those back then managing to achieve excellent results for little expense. Way to go.
Issac , October 21, 2017 at 1:17 am GMT
Much of Europe is presently jailing its citizenry over reactionary tweets and facebook posts. I wouldn't think it accurate to describe them as unwilling to use oppression. In point of fact, I think they're far more willing to directly undermine political reactionaries than the Americans. The American Establishment seems content to stick with propaganda, bureaucratic scheming, and judicial subterfuge.
NoseytheDuke , October 21, 2017 at 2:47 am GMT
@Arioch

I have access to almost all of the sources that you mentioned and a few more. All have their faults but some are so bad that I cannot watch them. RT is definitely one of the best.

Only today I watched RT showing Hillary Clinton being interviewed with RT simultaneously showing screenshots from other media exposing and refuting Clinton's blatant lies. The same technique is used with others such as government (US and EU) spokespersons and officials. It is very effective, in my opinion.

Mathias , October 21, 2017 at 4:07 am GMT
Average Finnish experience about Russia is sadly still from era of Leonid Breznev, cheap vodka and real socialist bar girls of late 1970′s and 1980′s. However hundreds of thousands of people who have visited in Sankt Petersburg and Vyborg during the last 10 years have noticed huge gap between western propaganda and real progress and development in real life Russia.
anonymous , Disclaimer October 21, 2017 at 1:39 pm GMT
@German_reader

the average American is totally blameless.

It's something of a top-down situation. After all, America is where the art of PR was refined and is a large industry, pushing everything from consumer goodies to whatever cultural/political ideas are being sponsored at the moment. American is a big island and most in it grow up in something of a bubble. They are tone-deaf in understanding other countries. Middle-class people I know with decent educational track records seem competent at carrying out the functions of their job but transform into embarrassing babbling fools when giving their opinions on anything foreign. Another thing to keep in mind is that half of the population is mentally average or below average and so what they think about anything beyond their range of experience is pretty much worthless. Of the various commenters giving their opinion on different websites about the Iran nuclear deal how many have actually read it? Mostly they know zero about it. That's pretty much it, Americans know very little so when dealing with them one has to act as one does with a simple-minded neighbor and humor them: yes, you're the fairest one of them all!

Issac , October 21, 2017 at 6:08 pm GMT
"Middle-class people I know with decent educational track records seem competent at carrying out the functions of their job but transform into embarrassing babbling fools when giving their opinions on anything foreign."

In fairness to the American proles, their country is equivalent in approximate size the European continent. Few proles know anything of politics outside their continental bubble on either side of the Atlantic. Jingoism on either continent is equivalent and opposite from my experience as a third party to both. Americans prefer their jingoism to be patriotic and feign ignorance about Europe as unimportant. Europeans prefer their jingoism to be passive-aggressive and feign understanding about American politics that they do not have. Israelis tend to split the difference by taking a great deal of interest in both and claiming their largely uninformed opinions are unimportant.

Anon , Disclaimer October 21, 2017 at 7:44 pm GMT
To conclude, from the analysis of 1 program, that Russia's whole political communication strategy is super professional and way more sophisticated than "the West's" seems a clear overstretch. The conclusion may be true, but it does not follow from the evidence presented.

In fact, the program's general recipe (use of opponent's egregious examples, a bit of humor, giving air time to 'extreme' spokespersons and basic knowledge of audience nature) is what Sailer does.

Putin does have going for him, however, the fact that he is governing with Russia's best interests at heart. Or can credibly hold that position. For propaganda purposes, half the battle (legitimacy and support of the governed) is won right there.

Another good chunk can be won by claiming the defensive: " we are attacked by anti-Russian forces". The use of a common threat (real or perceived) to rally the people is well known in politics, whether campaigning or governing. What does not strike me as Putinesque is to underestimate the adversary, as the author does.

Philip Owen , October 21, 2017 at 8:53 pm GMT
Russia Today was a worthy channel that put the Russian point of view and posted positive stories about Russia. Decades of positive stories are what Russia needs. But it is boring work to do.

RT has become a ridiculous parody that barely comments on Russia (perhaps another channel is needed). It is designed to attract conspiracy theorists and obsessives. It uses editing tricks at two levels. Some obvious heady handed edit to distract analytical attention from a deeper level. That's very good production to be sure.

RT is anti US. THERE IS NO STATION OUT THERE PUTTING A POSITIVE VIEW OF RUSSIA. THIS IS A HUGE LONG TERM ERROR.

[Oct 21, 2017] John Brennan's Police State USA - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... Keep in mind that everything you do will be manipulated by the media which will cancel out the real (positive) effects of your work ..."
"... They promised that we'd "come home in body bags" not only diplomatic representatives but also the Secretary of Defense ..."
"... The absence of evidence suggests that Russia hacking narrative is a sloppy and unprofessional disinformation campaign that was hastily slapped together by over confident Intelligence officials who believed that saturating the public airwaves with one absurd story after another would achieve the desired result, that is, persuading the American people that "evil" Putin is trying to sabotage our pristine democracy and that Donald Trump is not only the country's lousiest president ever, but also a Russian agent. ..."
"... That's not to say, that Brennan's psyops has not been successful. It has been, amazingly successful. According to a recent CBS Poll, a majority of Americans (57%) now believe that "Russia tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election." In contrast, only 34 percent of Americans don't believe there was any Russian interference in the 2016 elections. ..."
"... What the numbers don't explain, however, is how one's own political ideology shapes the results. For example, 71 percent of Democrats believe that Russia interfered, while a mere 18 percent of Republicans agree. In other words, one's own prejudices (about Trump and Russia) have a much greater impact on one's opinion than either facts or evidence. Propaganda campaigns try to exploit public bias to effectively manipulate perceptions. The CBS polling data shows that they have succeeded in that regard. ..."
"... lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition . He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com . ..."
Oct 21, 2017 | www.unz.com

Did the United States warn Russia to stay out of Syria?

Yes, they did.

Did they tell the Russians that if they joined the war against ISIS and helped Bashar al Assad the US would make them pay a heavy price?

Yes.

Did US agents and diplomats warn their Russian counterparts that Russian troops would "come home in body bags" and that the western media would launch a propaganda campaign against them?

Yes, again.

Did US officials say the western media would concoct a phony story about "Russian hacking" that would be used to persuade the American people that Russia was a dangerous enemy that had to be reigned in with harsh economic sanctions, provocative military maneuvers, and threats of violence?

No, but it's not hard to imagine a scenario in which the CIA would pursue such a strategy. After all, the Intel agencies, the media and the entire political establishment have been hammering on Russia for over two years now. Isn't it possible that elements of these three factions decided to pool their resources in order to poison the public's perception Russia? Hasn't the US government dabbled in these type of psychological operations (PSYOPS) many time before?

Of course, they have. And in prior incidents, the facts were fixed to fit the policy just as they have been in this case. For example, the Bush administration had already decided to topple Saddam long-before they cooked up their fake stories about mobile weapons labs, Niger uranium, aluminum tubes and "Curveball". Doesn't the same rule apply here? Haven't the "facts" about collusion, Pokémon Go and Facebook all been concocted after-the-fact to support the original thesis, that Russia meddled in the election?

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. What we know is that high-ranking members of the US State Department and Pentagon threatened Moscow prior to Russia's military intervention in October, 2015. US diplomats made it clear that if Russia helped the Syrian government, Washington would use the media and its other assets to retaliate. According to Russia's Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Maria Zakharova:

We were asked to pass on to you the most serious warnings that Russia will be hurt by its actions.. We will make sure that Russia really knows what pain is Keep in mind that everything you do will be manipulated by the media which will cancel out the real (positive) effects of your work . ..You are going to fight terrorists, but you will be made to look like the bad guy.

These threats were delivered to us many times in 2015 as part of the discussions with the Russia's Representative of Foreign Affairs and his international counterparts. (During Kerry-Lavrov meetings)

We're talking about the world's elite who told us these things.

When we told them exactly what targets we planned to strike, they launched a disinformation media campaign against us. Officials from the White House and State Department directly threatened to hurt us. They promised that we'd "come home in body bags" not only diplomatic representatives but also the Secretary of Defense ..The US showed us that the strongest military has unlimited rights to create evil in the world."

(See the whole interview on YouTube .

Zakharova's admission is interesting for many reasons. First, it confirms that the US did not want to see the jihadist extremists defeated by Russia. These mainly-Sunni militias served as Washington's proxy-army conducting an ambitious regime change operation which coincided with US strategic ambitions.

Second, Zakharova confirms that the western media is not an independent news gathering organization, but a propaganda organ for the foreign policy establishment who dictates what they can and can't say. When Zakharova says, "everything you do will be manipulated by the media", she is tacitly acknowledging that the MSM works in concert with the US government shaping a message that best achieves US imperial objectives. In this case, the obvious goal is the removal of Bashar al Assad and the partitioning of the state consistent with US plans to redraw the map of the Middle East. Russian intervention derailed that plan which is why Russia is despised.

Third, Zakharova's comments suggest a motive for the Russia hacking campaign. Russia has become an insurmountable obstacle to Washington's plans for global hegemony. It has blocked US progress in Ukraine and rolled backed US proxy-forces in Syria. Additionally, Russia has united the countries in Central Asia (EEU) and threatens to economically integrate Europe and Asia into the world's biggest free trade zone spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok. Here's a quote from Putin that explains what's going on:

"Russia is an inalienable and organic part of Greater Europe and European civilization. Our citizens think of themselves as Europeans That's why Russia proposes moving towards the creation of a common economic space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, a community referred to by Russian experts as 'the Union of Europe' which will strengthen Russia's potential in its economic pivot toward the 'new Asia.'"

Putin's dream of Greater Europe is the death knell for the unipolar world order. It means the economic center of the world will shift to Central Asia where abundant resources and cheap labor of the east will be linked to the technological advances and the Capital the of the west eliminating the need to trade in dollars or recycle profits into US debt. The US economy will slip into irreversible decline, and the global hegemon will steadily lose its grip on power. That's why it is imperative for the US prevail in Ukraine– a critical landbridge connecting the two continents– and to topple Assad in Syria in order to control vital resources and pipeline corridors. Washington must be in a position where it can continue to force its trading partners to denominate their resources in dollars and recycle the proceeds into US Treasuries if it is to maintain its global primacy. The main problem is that Russia is blocking Uncle Sam's path to success which is roiling the political establishment in Washington.

The US wants to retaliate for the defeat of its proxy army in Syria but it's not prepared for a military clash. Not yet, at least. And, keep in mind, Washington's Sunni proxies were not a division of the Pentagon; they were entirely a CIA confection: CIA recruited, CIA-armed, CIA-funded and CIA-trained. The defeat is not a loss for the US Military, but a blot on the record of CIA Director John Brennan, the architect and main proponent of the failed project to remove Assad. Brennan's whole scheme has gone down in flames.

Why is that important?

Because it suggests that Brennan had a strong motive to strike back at Moscow. He had "a dog in the fight", and his dog lost. And since he couldn't win on the battlefield, his only choice was to launch an asymmetrical attack via the media. Isn't this where the Russia hacking idea originated?

If it did, then there should be footprints that lead back to Brennan himself, the primary source of the psyops. Check out this excerpt from The Washington Times:

What caused the Barack Obama administration to begin investigating the Donald Trump campaign last summer has come into clearer focus following a string of congressional hearings on Russian interference in the presidential election.

It was then-CIA Director John O. Brennan, a close confidant of Mr. Obama's, who provided the information -- what he termed the "basis" -- for the FBI to start the counterintelligence investigation last summer. Mr. Brennan served on the former president's 2008 presidential campaign and in his White House.

Mr. Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians. Mr. Brennan did not name either the Russians or the Trump people. He indicated he did not know what was said.

But he said he believed the contacts were numerous enough to alert the FBI, which began its probe into Trump associates that same July, according to previous congressional testimony from then-FBI director James B. Comey.

("Obama loyalist Brennan drove FBI to begin investigating Trump associates last summer", The Washington Times)

So it all started with Brennan, the resentful Intel chief who got his nose bloodied by Putin in Syria and decided to seek his revenge. But then Brennan needed to conceal his lead-role in the drama by drawing other agencies into the loop, so he included the FBI, the NSA and DIA. The strategy helped to obfuscate the real braintrust in the hacking affair, John Brennan.

According to Mother Jones, it was not the FBI that initiated the "Trump-Russia connection".. but .."Former CIA Director John Brennan says he was the one who got the ball rolling."

Indeed. Brennan appears to be the central figure in this political fiasco, the source from which many of the spurious accusations originated. It was Brennan who first intimated that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russian agents prior to the 2016 elections.

"I was aware of intelligence and information about contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons that raised concerns in my mind about whether or not those individuals were cooperating with the Russians, either in a witting or unwitting fashion, and it served as the basis for the FBI investigation to determine whether such collusion [or] cooperation occurred," Brennan stated in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in May.

This is a deliberate mischaracterization of what Brennan was actually doing. He was spying on the members of the rival party to gain a political advantage. This is how police state operates. How is it that no one in the media or on Capital Hill has condemned this egregious attack on the democratic process?

So far, none of the four investigations on Capital Hill have produced even a shred of evidence supporting Brennan's claims. Just last week, during a press conference with the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Richard Burr bluntly stated,

"The committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion. Now, I'm not going to even discuss any initial findings because we haven't any."

There's no proof of collusion at all. So what's Brennan's real motive here? What's driving this silly propaganda campaign that has failed to produce any verifiable evidence after a massive 10-month, no-holds-barred investigation involving both Houses of Congress, the establishment media, four intelligence agencies and an Independent Counsel?

The absence of evidence suggests that Russia hacking narrative is a sloppy and unprofessional disinformation campaign that was hastily slapped together by over confident Intelligence officials who believed that saturating the public airwaves with one absurd story after another would achieve the desired result, that is, persuading the American people that "evil" Putin is trying to sabotage our pristine democracy and that Donald Trump is not only the country's lousiest president ever, but also a Russian agent.

That's not to say, that Brennan's psyops has not been successful. It has been, amazingly successful. According to a recent CBS Poll, a majority of Americans (57%) now believe that "Russia tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election." In contrast, only 34 percent of Americans don't believe there was any Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

What the numbers don't explain, however, is how one's own political ideology shapes the results. For example, 71 percent of Democrats believe that Russia interfered, while a mere 18 percent of Republicans agree. In other words, one's own prejudices (about Trump and Russia) have a much greater impact on one's opinion than either facts or evidence. Propaganda campaigns try to exploit public bias to effectively manipulate perceptions. The CBS polling data shows that they have succeeded in that regard.

The US government has a long history of (as Robert Parry says) "cherry-picking or manufacturing evidence to undermine adversaries and to solidify U.S. public support for Washington's policies." That is certainly the case here. Most of the so-called 'evidence' is nothing more than baseless accusations that appear momentarily in the headlines only to vanish a week or so later. Brennan and Co. appear to be exploring new frontiers in state propaganda, propaganda that relies less on semi-credible events or evidence than on incessant repetition of far-fetched allegations (Facebook, Google, Pokémon Go) that reiterate the same underlying claim of Russian meddling. The difference between the fabrications that led up to the war in Iraq (mobile weapons labs, Niger uranium, shadowy connections to al Qaida and aluminum tubes) and those of Russian hacking suggests that the perpetrators of this charade are convinced that frequency trumps credibility. The American people are being carpet-bombed with dodgy, almost-comical disinformation to see if it has the intended effect. Recent surveys indicate the plan is working.

The loosening of rules governing the dissemination of domestic propaganda (In 2013, Obama gutted the Smith Mundt Act "unleashing of thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs for domestic U.S. consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for U.S. domestic propaganda efforts." (Foreign Policy Magazine) In 2016, Obama paved the way for more domestic propaganda by passing the Orwellian-named "Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act" as part of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. Ostensibly, the bill lays the groundwork for responding to "fake news" overseas, but in reality, it marks "a further curtailment of press freedom" and an ambitious attempt to suppress accurate, independent information.) The loosening of rules governing the dissemination of domestic propaganda coupled with the extraordinary advances in surveillance technology, create the perfect conditions for the full implementation of an American police state. But what is more concerning, is that the primary levers of state power are no longer controlled by elected officials but by factions within the state whose interests do not coincide with those of the American people. That can only lead to trouble.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition . He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com . (Republished by permission of author or representative)

Fran Macadam , October 20, 2017 at 3:08 pm GMT

A credible reading of the diverse facts, Mike.
Kirk Elarbee , October 20, 2017 at 8:27 pm GMT
Sadly, Brennan's propaganda coup only works on what the Bell Curve crowd up there would call the dumbest and most technologically helpless 1.2σ. Here is how people with half a brain interpret the latest CIA whoppers.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/10/everyone-hacked-everyone-hacked-everyone-spy-spin-fuels-anti-kaspersky-campaign.html

[Oct 21, 2017] Washington Funds Foreign Think Tanks That Blacklist Opponents of Neocon Foreign Policy

Notable quotes:
"... Štátna bezpečnosť -- ..."
Oct 21, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org


Dear Friends of the Ron Paul Institute:

I just finished an interview on RT.

Someday soon, perhaps, anyone writing the above sentence will land in some sort of gulag, as once did East Europeans found to have appeared on a foreign broadcast questioning the historical inevitability of the worldwide communist revolution.

In my case, I was asked to comment on a new report (see above pic) from a Czech " think tank " exposing 2,327 American "useful idiots" who dared appear on the Russian government-funded RT television network.

Among the "Kremlin stooges" listed in the report of the "European Values" think tank? Alongside critics of US foreign policy like Ron Paul, the Czech "European Values" think tank listed Sen. Lindsay Graham, Joe Lieberman, Dick Cheney, US Rep. Adam Schiff, former acting CIA director Michael Morrell, former CIA director Michael Hayden, and hundreds more prominent Americans who have been notably hostile to Russia and its government.

I said: "Wow! this conspiracy is even deeper than we thought! Even the virulently anti-Russian neocons and Russia-hating CIA bigwigs are in fact Putin's poodles!"

It's funny but it's not. This is when the neo-McCarthyism lately in fashion across the ideological divide descends into the absurd. This is when the mask slips from the witch trials, when the naked emperor can no longer expect to not be noticed.

So what is the "European Values" think tank? A bunch of kooks? Well perhaps, but they are well-funded kooks. In fact they are funded by American taxpayers to defame other Americans who appear on media outlets that are out of favor with Washington's elites. Among the top donors to the "European Values" think tank is the United States Embassy in Prague. Other top funders include George Soros' "Open Society Foundation," the European Commission, and the European Parliament. They are also funded by other US government funded think tanks such as the Prague-based "League of Human Rights."

Since when did "European values" come to be defined as government-funded lists of political "enemies" who dare question US foreign policy on television networks despised by neocons and Washington interventionists? How ironic that such a Soviet-style attack on political dissent in the United States was launched from Prague, which for decades suffered under the Štátna bezpečnosť -- the communist secret police -- that took exactly the same view of those who deviated from the Soviet party line as does the modern Czech "European Values" think tank.

Anyone questioning our one trillion dollar global military empire is automatically considered to be in the pay of hostile foreign governments. How patriotic is that?

"I am not here to defend RT," I said on the program tonight. I am here to defend the marketplace of ideas that is critical to a free society. I am here to defend the right of US citizens to dissent from the foreign policy of their government without being attacked by their own government -- or by foreign think tanks funded by their government.

This should infuriate us: The US government defines anyone who dissents from its foreign policy of endless wars and a global military empire as peddlers of "Russian propaganda" and then Congress appropriates tens of million dollars to "counter Russian propaganda."

That means the US Congress is appropriating tens of millions of our dollars to silence our objection to Washington's trillion dollar global military empire. What a scam! How anti-American! Is that not a declaration of war on the rest of us? Is that not an act of tyranny?

The noose is tightening around us. Yet we must continue to fight for what we believe in! We must continue to fight for the prosperity that comes from a peaceful foreign policy. Your generous support for the Ron Paul Institute helps us continue to be your voice in the fight for free expression and a peaceful foreign policy.

[Oct 21, 2017] Washington Funds Foreign Think Tanks That Blacklist Opponents of Neocon Foreign Policy by Ron Paul

I admired Ron Paul foright policy views for a along time. and this time he also did not disappointed his reader.
Soviet labeled anybody who dissented from communist propaganda line or did not believe in Communist dogma as "agents of imperialism". Neocons similarly bland and-war activists and people who question this war mongering as peddlers of "Russian propaganda". This is what often happen with victors in wars: they acquired worst features of their defeated enemies. for example to defeat the USSR the USA create powerful network of intelligence agencies. Which promptly went out of civil control in 1963, much like KGB in the USSR and became state within the state. In a way now it in now now unfeasible that the Soviet Union posthumously have won the Cold War, as it is more and more difficult to distinguish Soviet propaganda and the US government propaganda.
So the fact that the US government allocate large sums of money for the propaganda against another neoliberal state -- Russia, which represent regional threat to the US hegemonic ambitions -- tells a lot about neoliberalism as a social system. Hostilities among neoliberal states, much like hostilities between communist states are not only possible, they are the reality.
Notable quotes:
"... So what is the "European Values" think tank? A bunch of kooks? Well perhaps, but they are well-funded kooks. In fact they are funded by American taxpayers to defame other Americans who appear on media outlets that are out of favor with Washington's elites. Among the top donors to the "European Values" think tank is the United States Embassy in Prague. Other top funders include George Soros' "Open Society Foundation," the European Commission, and the European Parliament. They are also funded by other US government funded think tanks such as the Prague-based "League of Human Rights." ..."
"... How ironic that such a Soviet-style attack on political dissent in the United States was launched from Prague, which for decades suffered under the Štátna bezpečnosť -- ..."
"... "I am not here to defend RT," I said on the program tonight. I am here to defend the marketplace of ideas that is critical to a free society. I am here to defend the right of US citizens to dissent from the foreign policy of their government without being attacked by their own government -- or by foreign think tanks funded by their government. ..."
"... This should infuriate us: The US government defines anyone who dissents from its foreign policy of endless wars and a global military empire as peddlers of "Russian propaganda" and then Congress appropriates tens of million dollars to "counter Russian propaganda." ..."
"... That means the US Congress is appropriating tens of millions of our dollars to silence our objection to Washington's trillion dollar global military empire. What a scam! How anti-American! Is that not a declaration of war on the rest of us? Is that not an act of tyranny? ..."
Oct 21, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Dear Friends of the Ron Paul Institute:

I just finished an interview on RT.

Someday soon, perhaps, anyone writing the above sentence will land in some sort of gulag, as once did East Europeans found to have appeared on a foreign broadcast questioning the historical inevitability of the worldwide communist revolution.

In my case, I was asked to comment on a new report (see above pic) from a Czech " think tank " exposing 2,327 American "useful idiots" who dared appear on the Russian government-funded RT television network.

Among the "Kremlin stooges" listed in the report of the "European Values" think tank? Alongside critics of US foreign policy like Ron Paul, the Czech "European Values" think tank listed Sen. Lindsay Graham, Joe Lieberman, Dick Cheney, US Rep. Adam Schiff, former acting CIA director Michael Morrell, former CIA director Michael Hayden, and hundreds more prominent Americans who have been notably hostile to Russia and its government.

I said: "Wow! this conspiracy is even deeper than we thought! Even the virulently anti-Russian neocons and Russia-hating CIA bigwigs are in fact Putin's poodles!"

It's funny but it's not. This is when the neo-McCarthyism lately in fashion across the ideological divide descends into the absurd. This is when the mask slips from the witch trials, when the naked emperor can no longer expect to not be noticed.

So what is the "European Values" think tank? A bunch of kooks? Well perhaps, but they are well-funded kooks. In fact they are funded by American taxpayers to defame other Americans who appear on media outlets that are out of favor with Washington's elites. Among the top donors to the "European Values" think tank is the United States Embassy in Prague. Other top funders include George Soros' "Open Society Foundation," the European Commission, and the European Parliament. They are also funded by other US government funded think tanks such as the Prague-based "League of Human Rights."

Since when did "European values" come to be defined as government-funded lists of political "enemies" who dare question US foreign policy on television networks despised by neocons and Washington interventionists? How ironic that such a Soviet-style attack on political dissent in the United States was launched from Prague, which for decades suffered under the Štátna bezpečnosť -- the communist secret police -- that took exactly the same view of those who deviated from the Soviet party line as does the modern Czech "European Values" think tank.

Anyone questioning our one trillion dollar global military empire is automatically considered to be in the pay of hostile foreign governments. How patriotic is that?

"I am not here to defend RT," I said on the program tonight. I am here to defend the marketplace of ideas that is critical to a free society. I am here to defend the right of US citizens to dissent from the foreign policy of their government without being attacked by their own government -- or by foreign think tanks funded by their government.

This should infuriate us: The US government defines anyone who dissents from its foreign policy of endless wars and a global military empire as peddlers of "Russian propaganda" and then Congress appropriates tens of million dollars to "counter Russian propaganda."

That means the US Congress is appropriating tens of millions of our dollars to silence our objection to Washington's trillion dollar global military empire. What a scam! How anti-American! Is that not a declaration of war on the rest of us? Is that not an act of tyranny?

The noose is tightening around us. Yet we must continue to fight for what we believe in! We must continue to fight for the prosperity that comes from a peaceful foreign policy. Your generous support for the Ron Paul Institute helps us continue to be your voice in the fight for free expression and a peaceful foreign policy.

[Oct 20, 2017] Harvey Sweinstein and Hollywood's Hos

Notable quotes:
"... Liberalism and libertinism are intertwined. The more liberal a woman, the more libertine she'll be -- and the more she'll liberate herself to be coarse, immodest, vulgar and plain repulsive. Think of the menopausal Ashley Judd rapping lewdly about her (alleged) menstrual fluids at an anti-Trump rally. Think of all those liberal, liberated grannies adorning pussy dunce-caps on the same occasion. ..."
"... By nature, the human woman is a peacock. We like to be noticed. The conservative among us prefer the allure of modesty. The sluts among us don't. On social media, women outstrip men in the narcissistic and exhibitionist departments. In TV ads, American women, fat, thin, young and old, are grinding their bottoms, spreading their legs, showing the contours of their crotches, and dancing as though possessed (or like primates on heat), abandoning any semblance of femininity and gentility, all the while laughing like hyenas and hollering hokum like, "I Own It." ..."
"... men are punished when they react normally to women behaving badly ..."
"... So endemic is distaff degeneracy these days that "protesters" routinely disrobe or perform lewd acts with objects in public. Vladimir Putin is a great man if only for arresting a demented band of performance artists, Pussy Riot, for desecrating a Russian church. ..."
"... If men flashed for freedom; they'd be arrested, jailed and placed on the National Sex Offender Registry. ..."
"... haute couture, ..."
"... Feminism promises women empowerment. However, there is a pornographic side to the promise. There are legions of women trying to give the world a hard-on for attention, money, status, etc. When the world reacts, as in the story, they say, "Don't touch me what do you think I am?" ..."
"... What's the big difference between Weinstein and former president Bill Clinton except that one was the frickin president of the US? Clinton used his various positions throughout the years to intimidate women, from the days of using Arkansas state troopers to act as procurers for him to later using federal agencies to harass them into shutting up. His wife Hillary, the almost-president, ran interference for him in muzzling the various women who might have spilled the beans. The Clintons postured themselves as champions of women's rights even as the reality of this sleazy couple was really tawdry. Weinstein was just a studio boss with money and film roles to dispense to a never-ending line of wannabe actresses. He fits right in with the Clintons as part of the Hollywood celebrity and glitz crowd and Hillary would never have called him a "deplorable". Yet even now there's many people who are Clinton fans and supporters even as they hypocritically play this game of 'get the fat guy'. The Clintons are a hundred times worse. ..."
"... You do not need philosophy to explain a love for money. Whether the profiteering Kardashians or the profiteering Madonna (and a legion of her imitators), these women did the indecent, lewd, into-your-face pornographic performances for financial gains. They have been denigrating themselves (and other women, by association) for money. They wanted the money. By any means. ..."
"... That the US government has extolled the deeply amoral Pussy Riot scum tells a lot about the moral crisis in the US, including the unending and very expensive wars of aggression run by the country that has no money for a single-payer medical system. ..."
"... Yes, the culture today is far, far more crass and degenerate than say, in the 50s, when Leave it to Beaver played on America's TVs, and Norman Rockwell and all that. But what has happened to our culture? Has the race into the sewer been a consequence of loose women of America (England, etc..) driving the decline? Or, are the causes a more a top down affair? IOW resulting from the big-money producers and all those men who run Hollywood? ..."
"... women, as indeed many men, are given to fashions and peer pressure. If the prevailing culture is one of modesty and self-respect, the women's behavior will reflect that. The American women of the 1950s were of more or less the same stock of women as the gutter skanks Ilana rightfully laments today, but did women drive this downward trend, or did (a few) men? ..."
"... One thing that has been noticed, are the striking similarities between American culture today and that of Weimar, Germany. Weimar was notoriously corrupt, with sexual degeneracy and prostitution rampant. Berlin was described as a giant brothel, where the desperate German youth were exploited and debased. ..."
"... the relentless, drum-beating agenda to destroy Western values. To eviscerate the culture of 1950s America (with virtues like honor and temperance) once and for all, and replace it with a septic tank value system, where self-respect is replaced with self-loathing. Where dignity and femininity is replace with twerking with your tongue out. Where Hollywood starlets howl about how "nasty" they are, as if being a skank is a moral badge of feminine honor. ..."
"... I am nearly 60 years old. And jokes and stories about "hollywood casting couches" and how pretty young women got roles in productions have been around longer than I have. To me, this whole story is just filed under more "fake news". No, I don't doubt the stories. I don't doubt that harvey was not a good man. But, its all basically propaganda. Harvey supported a political opponent of the people now attacking him 24.7 all over the right-wing media, so now these stories that are older than I am are suddenly headline news and the big lead on right-wing sites all over the internet. ..."
Oct 20, 2017 | www.unz.com

I'd like to better understand the conservative media's orgy over Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced and disgraceful Hollywood film producer and studio executive who used his power over decades to have his way with starlets.

To listen to conservative talkers, the women affronted or assaulted by Weinstein were all Shakespearean talent in the making -- female clones of Richard Burton (he had no match among women) -- who made the pilgrimage to Sodom and Gomorrah in the Hollywood Hills, for the purpose of realizing their talent, never knowing it was a meat market. Watching the women who make up the dual-perspective panels "discussing" the Weinstein saga, it's hard to tell conservative from liberal.

"Conservative" women now complain as bitterly as their liberal counterparts about "objectification."

However, the female form has always been revered; been the object of sexual longing, clothed and nude. The reason the female figure is so crudely objectified nowadays has a great deal to do with women themselves. By virtue of their conduct, women no longer inspire reverence as the fairer sex, and as epitomes of loveliness. For they are crasser, vainer, more eager to expose all voluntarily than any male. Except for Anthony Weiner, the name of an engorged organism indigenous to D.C., who was is in the habit of exposing himself as often as the Kardashians do.

The latter clan is a bevy of catty exhibitionists, controlled by a mercenary, ball-busting matriarch called Kris Kardashian. Kris is madam to America's First Family of Celebrity Pornographers. (To launch a career with a highly stylized, self-directed sex tape is no longer even condemned.) Lots of little girls, with parental approval, look up to the Kardashians.

From Kim, distaff America learns to couch a preoccupation with pornographic selfies in the therapeutic idiom. Kardashian flaunts her ass elephantiasis with pure self-love. Yet millions of her admirers depict her obscene posturing online as an attempt to come to terms with her body. "Be a little easier on myself," counsels Kim as she directs her camera to the nether reaches of her carefully posed, deformed derriere. While acting dirty and self-adoring, Kardashian delivers as close to a social jeremiad on self-esteem as her kind can muster. Genius!

Liberalism and libertinism are intertwined. The more liberal a woman, the more libertine she'll be -- and the more she'll liberate herself to be coarse, immodest, vulgar and plain repulsive. Think of the menopausal Ashley Judd rapping lewdly about her (alleged) menstrual fluids at an anti-Trump rally. Think of all those liberal, liberated grannies adorning pussy dunce-caps on the same occasion.

By nature, the human woman is a peacock. We like to be noticed. The conservative among us prefer the allure of modesty. The sluts among us don't. On social media, women outstrip men in the narcissistic and exhibitionist departments. In TV ads, American women, fat, thin, young and old, are grinding their bottoms, spreading their legs, showing the contours of their crotches, and dancing as though possessed (or like primates on heat), abandoning any semblance of femininity and gentility, all the while laughing like hyenas and hollering hokum like, "I Own It."

The phrase a "bum's rush" means "throw the bum out!" When it comes to Allison Williams, daughter of NBC icon Brian Williams, a bum's rush takes on new meaning. Thanks in no small measure to her famous father, the young woman has become a sitcom star. And Ms. Williams has worked extra-hard to hone all aspects of an actress's instrument (the body). Alison has carried forth enthusiastically about a groundbreaking scene dedicated to exploring "ass motorboating" or "booty-eating ," on HBO's "Girls."

The lewder, more pornographic, and less talented at their craft popular icons become -- the louder the Left lauds their artistically dodgy output. (The "Right" just keeps moving Left.) "Singer" Miley Cyrus was mocked before she began twerking tush, thrusting pelvis and twirling tongue. Only then had she arrived as an artist, in the eyes of "critics" on the Left. The power of the average pop artist and her products, Miley's included, lies in the pornography that is her "art," in her hackneyed political posturing, and in the fantastic technology that is Auto-Tune (without which all the sound you'd hear these "singers" emit would be a bedroom whisper).

Liberal women, the majority, go about seriously and studiously cultivating their degeneracy. If "Raising Skirts to Celebrate the Diversity of Vaginas" sounds foul, wait for the accompanying images. These show feral creatures (women, presumably), skirts hoisted, gobs agape, some squatting like farmhands in an outhouse, all yelling about their orifices.

Do you know of a comparable man's movement? If anything, men are punished when they react normally to women behaving badly .

Female soldiers got naked and uploaded explicit images of themselves to an online portal. The normals -- male soldiers -- shared the images and were promptly punished for so doing. And the conservative side of that ubiquitous, dueling-perspectives political panel approved of the punishment meted to the men.

So endemic is distaff degeneracy these days that "protesters" routinely disrobe or perform lewd acts with objects in public. Vladimir Putin is a great man if only for arresting a demented band of performance artists, Pussy Riot, for desecrating a Russian church.

If men flashed for freedom; they'd be arrested, jailed and placed on the National Sex Offender Registry.

Talk about the empress being in the buff, I almost forgot to attach an image of this celebrity, bare-bottomed on the red-carpet. Rose McGowan is hardly unique. Many a star will arrive at these events barely clothed. (Here are 38 more near-naked Red-Carpet appearances .)

Expect a feminist lecture about a woman's right to pretend her bare bottom is haute couture, rather than ho couture, and expecting the Harveys of the world to behave like choir boys around her. Fine.

Being British, BBC News anchors are not nearly as dour about the Harvey hysteria as the American anchors. A female presenter began a Sweinstein segment by saying men claim the coverage of the scandal is excessive; women say the opposite. "That's why we're covering it," quipped her witty male sidekick. She roared with laughter. That's my girl!

Look, Harvey is a lowlife. But Hollywood hos are not as the sanctimonious Sean Hannity portrays them: "naive, innocent young things," dreams shattered.

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly paleolibertarian column since 1999, and is the author of The Trump Revolution: The Donald's Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016) & Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011). Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/IlanaMercer .

whorefinder , Website October 20, 2017 at 12:22 am GMT

Agreed; most of those women are feigning shock at what happened. They're piling on now to prevent being called out as the prostitutes they are.
TheJester , October 20, 2017 at 3:57 am GMT
Thank you, Ilana, for pointing out the hypocrisy of women behaving like sluts who object to men reacting to them signaling the world that they are sluts. Is the real issue that actresses in Hollywood will only take off their clothes for hard cash and Harvey was not offering hard cash but only nebulous hints at future roles in his productions? This is important when surveying the careers of many of the actresses jumping on the bandwagon to destroy Harvey Weinstein. We know they have and will take off their clothes for the right price.

This is captured in the story of a man offering a woman a million dollars to go to bed with him. She agrees. Then, he changes the offer to one dollar. The woman objects! "What do you think I am a prostitute." The man answers, "We know what you are. We're negotiating the price."

Feminism promises women empowerment. However, there is a pornographic side to the promise. There are legions of women trying to give the world a hard-on for attention, money, status, etc. When the world reacts, as in the story, they say, "Don't touch me what do you think I am?"

So, it's about power and control, something dear to the hearts of feminists. "You can want me but you can't have me (until you meet my price)." Men have a word for these women. We call them "prick teasers". It is a dispute over price, and it makes men very, very angry to react to the signals and then be ridiculed for reacting to the signals.

Rurik , October 20, 2017 at 4:12 am GMT

who used his power over decades to have his way with starlets.

shiksas

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=shiksas&form=HDRSC2&first=1&cw=1263&ch=907

Kirt , October 20, 2017 at 4:15 am GMT
Your best column ever, Ilana! An instant Unz Review classic.
utu , October 20, 2017 at 5:23 am GMT
Chief deputy US Marshal 'had sex with multiple women in his office in exchange for prime parking spots outside his office'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4986958/Chief-deputy-Marshal-offered-parking-spots-sex.html#ixzz4w1TgYMes

If they do it for parking spots should anybody be surprised they do it for a movie career?

Thomm , October 20, 2017 at 5:26 am GMT
Cuckservatives are hardcore woman-worshipping feminists first and foremost. They will put aside any other objective when the prospect of groveling to women presents itself.
Dave Pinsen , Website October 20, 2017 at 5:40 am GMT
Ilana,

Miley Cyrus may have been an exhibitionist earlier in her career, but no scare quotes belong around "singer" when describing her. She can sing. See below.

unpc downunder , October 20, 2017 at 6:41 am GMT
Must as I hate a lot of liberal ideology, I would disagree with the argument that left-liberal woman are more libertine than mainstream conservative women. Social class, personality and intelligence have a much bigger bearing on female (and male) sexual behaviour than political ideology. And there is no evidence than liberal women tend to be more sexually explicit in their appearance than non-liberal women. The make up is thicker, the women are louder, and the skirts are shorter on Fox News rather than CNN.

Liberal women like Ashley Judd making vulgar comments to annoy religious conservatives doesn't really count. Playing up for the camera isn't necessarily an indication of real life behaviour.

Dan Hayes , October 20, 2017 at 6:49 am GMT
Ilana,

Thank you for saying what you said about more equitably apportioning the blame among males and females. Fortunately or unfortunately only a woman such as you can say such things in our PC world. In our unfair world this is the best that is possible and for this you deserve our thanks.

Wally , Website October 20, 2017 at 6:58 am GMT
Clueless 'feminists' ignore Muslim treatment of women while they protest for women's dignity, yet they say that Miley Cyrus is advancing women's dignity.

Women are legally stoned in Muslim countries and gays & lesbians are legally executed for being gay / lesbian in Muslim countries. And HILLARY took millions in 'donations' from those countries.

The Clearest Problem With Modern Feminism
Muslim Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), where are the 'feminists'?

http://dailycaller.com/2017/04/16/why-are-feminists-silent-after-revelations-of-female-genital-mutilation-in-the-us/

Something is deeply wrong when people show solidarity with Muslims who believe that women should be forced have their clitorises cut off.

Not Republican, but Muslim

https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/462fa7ccc93ca6d52fda01faf34bd2e32010a23bad6541a8a3d971a959ae67a2.jpg?w=800&h=480

Seraphim , October 20, 2017 at 7:15 am GMT
In the grand times of Hollywood, before the War, an open secret was that all aspiring starlets had to pass through the couch of a personage known by the nickname of Ben Cinema or Kalkeinstein, (described as "horrible and more! ugly, old and dirty, lumbering and stupid, a real piece of garbage, in his person and in his surroundings a real vomiting forth from the ghetto").
History repeats itself
Simon in London , October 20, 2017 at 7:38 am GMT
Well I think there's a causality issue here. Weinstein & co pick on them when they're mostly very young; they become degenerate later. There is an element of truth, but the really obscene behaviour is a feature of established veterans.
The Alarmist , October 20, 2017 at 8:41 am GMT

"To listen to conservative talkers ."

There's your problem. Reminds me of an old joke:

Patient: Doctor, it hurts my head when I bang it against the wall!

Doctor: Have you tried not banging your head against the wall?

animalogic , October 20, 2017 at 9:42 am GMT
Great article. Also funny: "ho couture" well, I liked it.
Couple points:
Worth remembering that often Weinstein selected women with NO power/influence; ie those way beneath Kardashians etc. This is not to contest Illana's points about female celebrities exploiting their sexuality, merely to note that Weinstein really was a slithering predator.

Also worth noting that, although dreckification of female (actually, all) sexuality goes beyond simple commerce, there has been a rough parallel between unleashed Capitalism (neoliberalism) & unleashed sexuality. Of course, it's "old hat" that "sex sells" however, now increasing degrees of pornography are accepted, indeed celebrated as "liberated", artistic etc.

Illana is completly correct when she refers to the rank hypocracy re: male female sexuality. definitely "not equal" (unless male sexuality is considered under the heading of "gay" etc)

Greg Bacon , Website October 20, 2017 at 9:51 am GMT
How can Hollywood proclaim to always be for women and their rights, shouting they are at the front of protecting women when the movie factories in that town have portrayed many a lead actress as a prostitute?

This isn't something recent, women as prostitutes in films goes back decades. How can degrading women by showing them as money-craving whores be in any way defending women?

Renoman , October 20, 2017 at 10:03 am GMT
For thousands of years the terms Prostitute and Actress were interchangeable. Sure Harve is a douche bag but he's far from the only one. They knew what they were in for and were duly compensated.
Lara , October 20, 2017 at 12:53 pm GMT
It's not that hard to deflect unwanted male attention or to downplay your looks. When I hear a woman complain of sexual harassment, I suspect she is most likely a trouble maker and desperate for attention. There are likely exceptions, but this tends to be my first reaction. It's rarely the prettiest women who complain of sexual harassment.

I know plenty of liberal women who are not crude nor overtly sexual. I guess they just ignore that facet of the left.

UKUSA-1 , October 20, 2017 at 12:55 pm GMT
Weinstein has always defended and represented the Western Values .
imbroglio , October 20, 2017 at 1:04 pm GMT
When I was in grad school, there were some women grad students who exchanged sexual favors for the possibility of career advancement. Sometimes the women initiated the swap. Sometimes the more well-connected male (or female) faculty member or administrator initiated the swap. Some women (and possibly men) who were propositioned declined.

Query: If you said yes and got your payoff and if those who said no didn't get an equivalent payoff and if, by virtue of the payoff, you succeeded while those who declined the exchange didn't succeed, do you owe them anything? Morally.

Many who are posting #metoo on social media seem to feel that their membership in the victim class entitles them to receive benefits in exchange for sexual favors and then to recover, in attitudes of righteousness, the consideration they paid for those benefits: shaming, intimidating and threatening, under potential penalty of false or ambiguoous accusation, those who might seek to call them on their hypocrisy.

And let's not turn a blind eye to the feminized male enablers who seek women's approval by lauding this instance of having one's cake and eating it too.

Lest I be susceptible to laches (the legal term for clean hands that do the dirty work,) I was never tempted and, perhaps for that reason, recall the lady who died and sought admission to the pearly gates.

"May I have some evidence of your virtue," Saint Peter said as he riffled through her dossier.
"Indeed. I never succumbed to temptation," the lady proudly asserted.
"But were you ever tempted?"
"No," she said, fearing to lie to Saint Peter.
"Well, madam, if you've never been tempted, you get no credit for not having succumbed to it."

Anonymous , Disclaimer October 20, 2017 at 1:17 pm GMT
Excellent article, Ms. Mercer. And thanks for the puncture holes delivered to Conservative Inc. (Hannity etal). As to the, er, "ladies" who prowl about Hollywood and are now crying wolf, "what goes around comes around."
anonymous , Disclaimer October 20, 2017 at 1:28 pm GMT
What's the big difference between Weinstein and former president Bill Clinton except that one was the frickin president of the US? Clinton used his various positions throughout the years to intimidate women, from the days of using Arkansas state troopers to act as procurers for him to later using federal agencies to harass them into shutting up. His wife Hillary, the almost-president, ran interference for him in muzzling the various women who might have spilled the beans. The Clintons postured themselves as champions of women's rights even as the reality of this sleazy couple was really tawdry. Weinstein was just a studio boss with money and film roles to dispense to a never-ending line of wannabe actresses. He fits right in with the Clintons as part of the Hollywood celebrity and glitz crowd and Hillary would never have called him a "deplorable". Yet even now there's many people who are Clinton fans and supporters even as they hypocritically play this game of 'get the fat guy'. The Clintons are a hundred times worse.
Sergey Krieger , October 20, 2017 at 1:35 pm GMT
This is how feminine looks like. Note the class, the behavior and the voice of course. :

https://youtu.be/KzJgTb2sRxQ

Anon , Disclaimer October 20, 2017 at 1:45 pm GMT
@Malla

You do not need philosophy to explain a love for money. Whether the profiteering Kardashians or the profiteering Madonna (and a legion of her imitators), these women did the indecent, lewd, into-your-face pornographic performances for financial gains. They have been denigrating themselves (and other women, by association) for money. They wanted the money. By any means.

That the US government has extolled the deeply amoral Pussy Riot scum tells a lot about the moral crisis in the US, including the unending and very expensive wars of aggression run by the country that has no money for a single-payer medical system.

The pink pussies that demonstrated against Donald and for Hilary, used to be offended when reminded about Libyan tragedy ("we came, we saw, he died, ha, ha, ha ") and about the hundreds of thousands of human beings (including thousands and thousands children) slaughtered there on the Obama/Clinton watch. Did we have the pink pussies demonstrating against Obama's seven wars? – No. The pink pussies needed some brainwashing before suddenly going into a public activism phase with silly hats on their empty heads. Are pussy hats demonstrating against the impending wars of the US with Iran and Korea? – No. Nobody gave an order for and provided money for organizing the parades. These "progressive" female activists are ridiculous.

By the way, is Dershowitz cleared re his visits to Lolita Island where real underage victims were held for the pleasure of powerful sex predators?

ken satifka , October 20, 2017 at 2:21 pm GMT
I love reading Ilana Mercer's politically incorrect take on events and her brilliant use of language.. Seeing how far US society has descended since I was growing up in the 1960′s, I'm glad to be a married, monogamous senior citizen. We certainly had our problems then, with the Vietnam War at the top of the list, but at least the women were not covered in disgusting tattoos and man-hating feminism was still in its infancy.
c matt , October 20, 2017 at 2:33 pm GMT
I still don't get all the fuss about this. The wannabe starlets knew the price of fame and fortune (or if not, found out quickly), and were willing to pay it. It is just straight up prostitution. Seems to me the only ones with a claim are the ones who paid the price and didn't get the part.
Andrei Martyanov , Website October 20, 2017 at 2:36 pm GMT
@Sergey Krieger

Sergey, you posted here an example of femininity of Senchina – a value long destroyed by feminism in the West–as opposed to sexuality, which is the fad. It is the same as comparing real love and real intimacy to raw sex, or porn. For former one needs a real woman, for the latter a slut will suffice.

gwynedd1 , October 20, 2017 at 2:43 pm GMT
The scandal, as I have portrayed it, was the leftist hypocrisy in their political attacks against Trump. All Trump did was describe a woman's nature around powerful men. They volunteer themselves. Weinstein was far more coercive and they said nothing all these years. Women were victimized by this , but not the ones we know. It was the women who didn't advance their careers by any means who were victims. Perhaps that is one reason why women do not draw so much at the box office. We do not get to enjoy the talent that got them there.
Rurik , October 20, 2017 at 2:48 pm GMT
Yes, the culture today is far, far more crass and degenerate than say, in the 50s, when Leave it to Beaver played on America's TVs, and Norman Rockwell and all that. But what has happened to our culture? Has the race into the sewer been a consequence of loose women of America (England, etc..) driving the decline? Or, are the causes a more a top down affair? IOW resulting from the big-money producers and all those men who run Hollywood?

women, as indeed many men, are given to fashions and peer pressure. If the prevailing culture is one of modesty and self-respect, the women's behavior will reflect that. The American women of the 1950s were of more or less the same stock of women as the gutter skanks Ilana rightfully laments today, but did women drive this downward trend, or did (a few) men?

One thing that has been noticed, are the striking similarities between American culture today and that of Weimar, Germany. Weimar was notoriously corrupt, with sexual degeneracy and prostitution rampant. Berlin was described as a giant brothel, where the desperate German youth were exploited and debased.

Perhaps it was the fault of those young Germans who, while likely starving from the wrath and rapine of the allies, (who deliberately looted the German economy dry). Or perhaps it was more the fault of the wealthy and powerful non-German men, who preyed on these young, often desperate women (and girls and boys). But the parallels are unmistakable.

which is why people are posting propaganda cartoons from back then, because the images are eerily familiar to what seems to be going on today, no?

https://qph.ec.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-01c658fd480082cc2e02392133d69190-c?convert_to_webp=true

how can you not think of Harvey Weinstein when you see those cartoons?

Perhaps Ilana is right, and the blame starts and ends with the women. But then I think of all those Mickey Mouse Club girls who turned into skanks,

[I won't post the pictures, but you can find them..]

and I notice that they were raised in Hollywood, like Miley Cyrus, who seemed to be groomed specifically as an all American type of innocent Hanna Montana who then morphs straight into the gutter skank we all wince at- for all those preteen American girls to emulate. Just like Madonna was a generation before.

I confess it seems to me that the skankification of America's young women is part of a deliberate agenda coming straight out of Hollywood. No?

Mark Presco , Website October 20, 2017 at 2:53 pm GMT
Women have been sexually exploiting Men for a living for 5 million years. Women's price for sex has always been that men provision them. There is nothing wrong with this. It helped shaped both human physical and cultural evolution and we might have gone extinct without it.

The thing that interests me is, why now. The casting couch has been a stereotype all of my life. Why the piling on at this time?

Andrei Martyanov , Website October 20, 2017 at 2:55 pm GMT
@c matt

I still don't get all the fuss about this.

The fuss is about glamour Hollywood whores trying to teach others non-stop what is good and right. Obviously they do all this form the supposition that prostitution is good and liberating. You know, lowest common denominator? Most of them are also dumb as fvcks and this goes not only to wo..sluts there, to the so called men too. Look at Clooneys and other Damons of that cabal. They should concentrate on doing what they allegedly do best–pretend to be other people. Most of them have no serious analytical skills to start with. Hey, at least Brad Pitt is in this just for fvcking chicks at the height of their hotness–at least it is honest.

Joe Hide , October 20, 2017 at 3:00 pm GMT
I first began to totally ignore the MSM's comments on Putin when he had the degeneracy of the "Pussy Riot" in a Russian Church forcefully stopped. It was great to see the Cossacks beat the beejebans out of those morally offensive hooligans trying to illegally impose George Soro's world view on others.
Ludwig Watzal , Website October 20, 2017 at 3:15 pm GMT
Every woman could have said No to Mr. "Sweinstein". Bros before hos are the name of the game not only in Hollywood. The hypocrites should not lament. It takes two to tango!
Wally , Website October 20, 2017 at 3:37 pm GMT
@Rurik

"I confess it seems to me that the skankification of America's young women is part of a deliberate agenda coming straight out of Hollywood. No?"

Here you go. From: 'The Spirit Of Militarism', by Nahum Goldmann. Goldmann was the founder & president of the World Jewish Congress:

"The historical mission of our world revolution is to rearrange a new culture of humanity to replace the previous social system. This conversion and re-organization of global society requires two essential steps: firstly, the destruction of the old established order, secondly, design and imposition of the new order. The first stage requires elimination of all frontier borders, nationhood and culture, public policy ethical barriers and social definitions, only then can the destroyed old system elements be replaced by the imposed system elements of our new order.

The first task of our world revolution is Destruction. All social strata and social formations created by traditional society must be annihilated, individual men and women must be uprooted from their ancestral environment, torn out of their native milieus, no tradition of any type shall be permitted to remain as sacrosanct, traditional social norms must only be viewed as a disease to be eradicated, the ruling dictum of the new order is; nothing is good so everything must be criticized and abolished, everything that was, must be gone."

Rurik , October 20, 2017 at 4:00 pm GMT
@Mark Presco

The casting couch has been a stereotype all of my life. Why the piling on at this time?

perhaps because of The Trumpening

perhaps now that Trump is in DC, there are forces at work that have bristled under the excruciatingly dishonest levels of hypocrisy coming out of the leftisphere.

accusing Trump of being disrespectful to women, as they rape women and girls wholesale, and the entire leftist power structure always looks the other way, so long as the rapist is a leftist himself, and will use his power for the leftist agenda.

so these serial predators like Bill Clinton and Harvey Weinstein all get a pass from the feminists and liberal, progressives, so long as they assist with The Agenda to destroy Western Civilization, (and the people who created it ; ).
As long as Bill Clinton hails the day when whites will be a minority in this country, (to the cheers of liberal college students), he can rape women all day long. He can sexually harass, as the most powerful man in the world, powerless girls in the White House, and all to a thunderous silence from the entire leftist, progressive (hypocritical / hatred-consumed) power structure. Because he works towards their agenda. [the same agenda, BTW - that destroyed S. Africa and Rhodesia]

But for a man like Trump, who seems to have raised daughters who respect themselves, and seem to conduct themselves with a certain dignity- that isn't what's important. What's important is what is always important

THE AGENDA

the relentless, drum-beating agenda to destroy Western values. To eviscerate the culture of 1950s America (with virtues like honor and temperance) once and for all, and replace it with a septic tank value system, where self-respect is replaced with self-loathing. Where dignity and femininity is replace with twerking with your tongue out. Where Hollywood starlets howl about how "nasty" they are, as if being a skank is a moral badge of feminine honor.

That's what's going on here. We're in the trenches of the cold culture war, turned hot culture war.

They wanted to destroy Trump and the deplorables with shrieking about how Trump was disrespectful to women. But now the cover of the giant septic tank known as Hollywood has been lifted off, for all the world to gasp at the slithering creatures and whiff the terrible stench.

I wonder if it's a kind of payback time for Hillary and her army of morally preening orcs, feasting on the flesh of young women, and smacking their liver lips with anticipation of the next young shiksa to walk though that hotel room door.

I only hope we get an investigation into Pizzagate next, with perhaps a nice expose' of Jeffrey Epstein's Child Rape Island, and all those liberal, progressive morally preening men who take so many trips there.

this might just be all a sign of the great Trumpening

unit472 , October 20, 2017 at 4:16 pm GMT
Let's be fair here. Women strut their 'stuff' same as men but in a different way. A man will buy a very expensive car or some other display of wealth or power to attract a female and females respond to these displays by highlighting their sexual desirability and availability. We are animals seeking mates after all and males have to demonstrate their dominance in nature before the female will mate with the male. Thus a Harvey Weinstein could no more have sex with an Ashley Judd than a derelict laying on the sidewalk absent some display of power and wealth that interested Judd.

The other side of this coin is that a woman cannot compel a man to have sex with her no matter how much money or power she has. Men do not sexually respond to a physically repulsive female and he cannot 'fake' an orgasm. This is why I do not believe in criminally prosecuting, e.g., a female school teacher for having sex with a 16 year old student. Fire her for improper conduct but jail her? Come on the boy was willing if he had sex with her!

mp , October 20, 2017 at 4:41 pm GMT
It's like the old joke: Will you have sex with me for a million dollars? OK. What about one dollar? What kind of girl do you think I am? We've already established what kind of girl you are. We're just negotiating.
Chicot le Fou , October 20, 2017 at 5:20 pm GMT
Excellent piece, showcasing your good sense as always. I yield to no man in my hyper enthusiasm for the undraped female form but to cynically "launch a career with a highly stylized, self-directed sex tape" incites my scorn, not lust. I have been fed up for years when perusing the morning headlines seeing articles about the latest, most egregious examples of Hollyweird bimbos showing up at events more or less naked. I've long since ceased looking or caring; they just annoy me.

Putting all one's assets on constant public display destroys the allure and mystery that is woman and does not empower them, it makes them the "pieces of meat" that they've been screaming about for close on a century, especially for the last 50 odd years. Women have made quite the cottage industry of whining that guys don't understand them, "don't get it" but refuse to acknowledge the obverse. By tripping the lights fantastic with their fun bits exposed they appear to the primal great white shark which is the male sex drive as easily gotten chum; and like the Assyrian of old, we fall upon and devour them, in a manner of speaking. A rather old adage said "If it ain't for sale, don't advertise it". As for Harvey, the fascination of the hogs at the slop trough is that the revolting pig~man didn't just want to have sex with these women, but to have them observe his disgusting degeneracy. The Cities of the Pains had nothing on us.

Eric the Manager , October 20, 2017 at 5:54 pm GMT
I am nearly 60 years old. And jokes and stories about "hollywood casting couches" and how pretty young women got roles in productions have been around longer than I have. To me, this whole story is just filed under more "fake news". No, I don't doubt the stories. I don't doubt that harvey was not a good man. But, its all basically propaganda. Harvey supported a political opponent of the people now attacking him 24.7 all over the right-wing media, so now these stories that are older than I am are suddenly headline news and the big lead on right-wing sites all over the internet.

These stories have even bumped the stories about which NFL players should be lined up in front of a firing squad and shot for not maintain the proper posture during the sacred National Anthem here in the Land of the Free.

So, to me, this just more Fake News. Its propaganda and political attack using weaponized 'news'. And I don't care. If I had a daughter going to Hollywood, I'd give her the same warnings about scum-bags in the movie business and the casting couch that have been given out for a century now. Nothing new here.

Art , October 20, 2017 at 6:37 pm GMT
Strange -- it seems that Harvey had the only casting couch in Tinsel Town. Hollywood is wall to wall Jews – yet NO new Jew names are being exposed by all those brave women. Only Gentile names.

Hmm??? What could be going on? Stonewalling maybe – total fear absolutely! Say it isn't so.

p.s. Maybe Weinstein, Woody Allen, Polansky, and Weiner are the only sex obsessed Jews?

Anon , Disclaimer October 20, 2017 at 7:10 pm GMT
@druid

Hold your horses. Bill Clinton is Jewish?

Sean , October 20, 2017 at 7:57 pm GMT
@Art

As I understand it, movies is a very high stakes business, and you cannot get cast in a role by being alone with an obviously-horny-as-a-jackrabbit producer and submitting to sex acts or harassment. It doesn't guarantee anything, and they all knew it.

Casting happens though getting an agent, who sends you to an audition, where there are other people around and the acts performed are of an acting nature. The only professional film actor I know cited Ellen Barkin's acting as superlative. Barkin studied acting for ten years before landing her first audition.

Markus Aurelius Tarkus , October 20, 2017 at 8:10 pm GMT
I try to restrict devoting any of the precious time I have left on Earth to such matters. I made an exception for the Mercer column, which is spot on. 99% of the time, I merely see the unavoidable headlines and continue surfing for something worth the time to read or watch.

My one take-away from l'affaire Weinstein is this: I am enormously enjoying the internecine, riotous and indiscriminate feeding frenzy it has generated. Like Heinlein's Igli, the Left is consuming itself.

in the middle , October 20, 2017 at 8:30 pm GMT
@whorefinder

Their existence is only to provide sexual pleasure to these perverts, and they like it; however, when something goes wrong, they howl and cry, 'he raped me!" Reminds me when I was at a military base, and a friend of mine found his girlfriend screwing another guy, she claimed, well, rape! How appropriate. the poor guy was court martial-ed, and done with!

njguy73 , October 20, 2017 at 8:34 pm GMT
@wow

I am 1000X more attractive and in far better shape that Harvey Fatstein. Yet he has tapped far better poon than I can ever hope to tap.

You should have gone into show biz. If you're what you claim to be, you've have tapped more poon than Justin Timberlake and John Mayer combined. And it would have all been consensual, so no worry about lawsuits.

Anon , Disclaimer October 20, 2017 at 9:00 pm GMT
@Anon-og

Alden's response to you is perfectly correct. But you'd have a good point if you talked about MGM.

Ms. Mercer is not defending Weinstein but attacking the women who allowed this to go on for decades. I declare a half-hearted "boycott" against Hollywood every time something like this happens; alas, this is rendered without force by the fact that I refuse to pay modern ticket prices for what is likely utter trash anyway.

Beefcake the Mighty , October 20, 2017 at 10:17 pm GMT
I tend to assume by default that Hollywood producers (Jewish or otherwise) pressure actresses to have sex, so even if Weinstein was particularly egregious, I wonder what he really did to ignite this shit-storm. He obviously pissed off the wrong person(s).
ThreeCranes , October 20, 2017 at 10:52 pm GMT
@Sergey Krieger

Sergey, realistically, most women–especially the lumbering, low skill, know-nothing women of America–cannot possibly match the woman you put before us in the video above.

They can't measure up and they know it. So instead of dieting, exercising, taking voice lessons or even mastering humble talents like cooking and sewing they take the cowards way out and denigrate her. They will revile her as an unliberated woman who depends on male affirmation for her self esteem, an unwitting tool of the Patriarchy.

While they, themselves? They don't need to charm no stinking men. They themselves depend on their cohort of disagreeable feminists for their "self esteem".

gp , October 21, 2017 at 12:53 am GMT
"The conservative among us prefer the allure of modesty." I'm a fan of 1970s-1980s Bollywood, with its casts of heart-stoppingly beautiful women, like Hema Malini and Sridevi, who performed in modest attire, and were all the more lovely for it. I can't bear to watch today's Bollywood product, featuring writhing undressed wenches indistinguishable from western gangsta ho's. Decades ago, Indian film assimilation from western pop culture often yielded bizarre but charmingly cute mash-ups, but now they've mimicked the very worst of what we have. Or maybe now we have only cultural garbage left for them to adapt.

[Oct 20, 2017] Blaming Russia for the Internet 'Sewer' by Robert Parry

Notable quotes:
"... With the U.S. government offering tens of millions of dollars to combat Russian "propaganda and disinformation," it's perhaps not surprising that we see "researchers" such as Jonathan Albright of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University making the absurd accusation that the Russians have "basically turned [the Internet] into a sewer." ..."
"... I've been operating on the Internet since 1995 and I can assure you that the Internet has always been "a sewer" -- in that it has been home to crazy conspiracy theories, ugly personal insults, click-bait tabloid "news," and pretty much every vile prejudice you can think of. Whatever some Russians may or may not have done in buying $100,000 in ads on Facebook (compared to its $27 billion in annual revenue) or opening 201 Twitter accounts (out of Twitter's 328 million monthly users), the Russians are not responsible for the sewage coursing through the Internet. ..."
"... Even former Clinton political strategist Mark Penn has acknowledged the absurdity of thinking that such piddling amounts could have any impact on a $2.4 billion presidential campaign, plus all the billions of dollars worth of free-media attention to the conventions, debates, etc. Based on what's known about the Facebook ads, Penn calculated that "the actual electioneering [in battleground states] amounts to about $6,500." ..."
"... In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Monday, Penn added, "I have 40 years of experience in politics, and this Russian ad buy mostly after the election anyway, simply does not add up to a carefully targeted campaign to move voters. It takes tens of millions of dollars to deliver meaningful messages to the contested portion of the electorate." ..."
"... Occasionally, the U.S. mainstream media even acknowledges that fact. For instance, last November, The New York Times, which was then flogging the Russia-linked "fake news" theme , ran a relatively responsible article about a leading "fake news" Web site that the Times tracked down. It turned out to be an entrepreneurial effort by an unemployed Georgian student using a Web site in Tbilisi to make some money by promoting pro-Trump stories, whether true or not. ..."
"... The owner of the Web site, 22-year-old Beqa Latsabidse, said he had initially tried to push stories favorable to Hillary Clinton but that proved unprofitable so he switched to publishing anti-Clinton and pro-Trump articles, including made-up stories. In other words, the Times found no Russian connection. ..."
"... But the even larger Internet problem is that many "reputable" news sites, such as AOL, lure readers into clicking on some sensationalistic or misleading headline, which takes readers to a story that is often tabloid trash or an extreme exaggeration of what the headline promised. ..."
"... This reality about the Internet should be the larger context in which the Russia-gate story plays out, the miniscule nature of this Russian "meddling" even if these "suspected links to Russia" – as the Times initially described the 470 Facebook pages – turn out to be true. ..."
"... And, there is the issue of who decides what's true. PolitiFact continues to defend its false claim that Hillary Clinton was speaking the truth when – in referencing leaked Democratic emails last October – she claimed that the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies "have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin, and they are designed to influence our election." ..."
"... That claim was always untrue because a reference to a consensus of the 17 intelligence agencies suggests a National Intelligence Estimate or similar product that seeks the judgments of the entire intelligence community. No NIE or community-wide study was ever done on this topic. ..."
"... Only later – in January 2017 – did a small subset of the intelligence community, what Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described as "hand-picked" analysts from three agencies – the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation – issue an "assessment" blaming the Russians while acknowledging a lack of actual evidence . ..."
"... In other words, the Jan. 6 "assessment" was comparable to the "stovepiped" intelligence that influenced many of the mistaken judgments of President George W. Bush's administration. In "stovepiped" intelligence, a selected group of analysts is closeted away and develops judgments without the benefit of other experts who might offer contradictory evidence or question the groupthink. ..."
"... America's Stolen Narrative, ..."
Oct 18, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Exclusive: As the Russia-gate hysteria spirals down from the implausible to the absurd, almost every bad thing is blamed on the Russians, even how they turned the previously pristine Internet into a "sewer," reports Robert Parry.

With the U.S. government offering tens of millions of dollars to combat Russian "propaganda and disinformation," it's perhaps not surprising that we see "researchers" such as Jonathan Albright of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University making the absurd accusation that the Russians have "basically turned [the Internet] into a sewer."

I've been operating on the Internet since 1995 and I can assure you that the Internet has always been "a sewer" -- in that it has been home to crazy conspiracy theories, ugly personal insults, click-bait tabloid "news," and pretty much every vile prejudice you can think of. Whatever some Russians may or may not have done in buying $100,000 in ads on Facebook (compared to its $27 billion in annual revenue) or opening 201 Twitter accounts (out of Twitter's 328 million monthly users), the Russians are not responsible for the sewage coursing through the Internet.

Americans, Europeans, Asians, Africans and pretty much every other segment of the world's population didn't need Russian help to turn the Internet into an informational "sewer." But, of course, fairness and proportionality have no place in today's Russia-gate frenzy.

After all, your "non-governmental organization" or your scholarly "think tank" is not likely to get a piece of the $160 million that the U.S. government authorized last December to counter primarily Russian "propaganda and disinformation" if you explain that the Russians are at most responsible for a tiny trickle of "sewage" compared to the vast rivers of "sewage" coming from many other sources.

If you put the Russia-gate controversy in context, you also are not likely to have your "research" cited by The Washington Post as Albright did on Thursday because he supposedly found some links at the home-décor/fashion site Pinterest to a few articles that derived from a few of the 470 Facebook accounts and pages that Facebook suspects of having a link to Russia and shut them down. (To put that 470 number into perspective, Facebook has about two billion monthly users.)

Albright's full quote about the Russians allegedly exploiting various social media platforms on the Internet was: "They've gone to every possible medium and basically turned it into a sewer."

But let's look at the facts. According to Facebook, the suspected "Russian-linked" accounts purchased $100,000 in ads from 2015 to 2017 (compared to Facebook's annual revenue of about $27 billion), with only 44 percent of those ads appearing before the 2016 election and many having little or nothing to do with politics, which is curious if the Kremlin's goal was to help elect Donald Trump and defeat Hillary Clinton.

Even former Clinton political strategist Mark Penn has acknowledged the absurdity of thinking that such piddling amounts could have any impact on a $2.4 billion presidential campaign, plus all the billions of dollars worth of free-media attention to the conventions, debates, etc. Based on what's known about the Facebook ads, Penn calculated that "the actual electioneering [in battleground states] amounts to about $6,500."

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Monday, Penn added, "I have 40 years of experience in politics, and this Russian ad buy mostly after the election anyway, simply does not add up to a carefully targeted campaign to move voters. It takes tens of millions of dollars to deliver meaningful messages to the contested portion of the electorate."

Puppies and Pokemon

And, then there is the curious content. According to The New York Times, one of these "Russian-linked" Facebook groups was dedicated to photos of "adorable puppies." Of course, the Times tried hard to detect some sinister motive behind the "puppies" page.

Similarly, CNN went wild over its own "discovery" that one of the "Russian-linked" pages offered Amazon gift cards to people who found "Pokémon Go" sites near scenes where police shot unarmed black men -- if you would name the Pokémon after the victims.

"It's unclear what the people behind the contest hoped to accomplish, though it may have been to remind people living near places where these incidents had taken place of what had happened and to upset or anger them," CNN mused, adding:

"CNN has not found any evidence that any Pokémon Go users attempted to enter the contest, or whether any of the Amazon Gift Cards that were promised were ever awarded -- or, indeed, whether the people who designed the contest ever had any intention of awarding the prizes."

So, these dastardly Russians are exploiting "adorable puppies" and want to "remind people" about unarmed victims of police violence, clearly a masterful strategy to undermine American democracy or – according to the original Russia-gate narrative – to elect Donald Trump.

A New York Times article on Wednesday acknowledged another inconvenient truth that unintentionally added more perspective to the Russia-gate hysteria.

It turns out that some of the mainstream media's favorite "fact-checking" organizations are home to Google ads that look like news items and lead readers to phony sites dressed up to resemble People, Vogue or other legitimate content providers.

"None of the stories were true," the Times reported. "Yet as recently as late last week, they were being promoted with prominent ads served by Google on PolitiFact and Snopes, fact-checking sites created precisely to dispel such falsehoods."

There is obvious irony in PolitiFact and Snopes profiting off "fake news" by taking money for these Google ads. But this reality also underscores the larger reality that fabricated news articles – whether peddling lies about Melania Trump or a hot new celebrity or outlandish Russian plots – are driven principally by the profit motive.

The Truth About Fake News

Occasionally, the U.S. mainstream media even acknowledges that fact. For instance, last November, The New York Times, which was then flogging the Russia-linked "fake news" theme , ran a relatively responsible article about a leading "fake news" Web site that the Times tracked down. It turned out to be an entrepreneurial effort by an unemployed Georgian student using a Web site in Tbilisi to make some money by promoting pro-Trump stories, whether true or not.

The owner of the Web site, 22-year-old Beqa Latsabidse, said he had initially tried to push stories favorable to Hillary Clinton but that proved unprofitable so he switched to publishing anti-Clinton and pro-Trump articles, including made-up stories. In other words, the Times found no Russian connection.

The Times article on Wednesday revealed the additional problem of Google ads placed on mainstream Internet sites leading readers to bogus news sites to get clicks and thus advertising dollars. And, it turns out that PolitiFact and Snopes were at least unwittingly profiting off these entrepreneurial ventures by running their ads. Again, there was no claim here of Russian "links." It was all about good ole American greed.

But the even larger Internet problem is that many "reputable" news sites, such as AOL, lure readers into clicking on some sensationalistic or misleading headline, which takes readers to a story that is often tabloid trash or an extreme exaggeration of what the headline promised.

This reality about the Internet should be the larger context in which the Russia-gate story plays out, the miniscule nature of this Russian "meddling" even if these "suspected links to Russia" – as the Times initially described the 470 Facebook pages – turn out to be true.

But there are no lucrative grants going to "researchers" who would put the trickle of alleged Russian "sewage" into the context of the vast flow of Internet "sewage" that is even flowing through the esteemed "fact-checking" sites of PolitiFact and Snopes.

There are also higher newspaper sales and better TV ratings if the mainstream media keeps turning up new angles on Russia-gate, even as some of the old ones fall away as inconsequential or meaningless (such as the Senate Intelligence Committee dismissing earlier controversies over Sen. Jeff Sessions's brief meeting with the Russian ambassador at the Mayflower Hotel and minor changes in the Republican platform).

Saying 'False' Is 'True'

And, there is the issue of who decides what's true. PolitiFact continues to defend its false claim that Hillary Clinton was speaking the truth when – in referencing leaked Democratic emails last October – she claimed that the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies "have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin, and they are designed to influence our election."

That claim was always untrue because a reference to a consensus of the 17 intelligence agencies suggests a National Intelligence Estimate or similar product that seeks the judgments of the entire intelligence community. No NIE or community-wide study was ever done on this topic.

Only later – in January 2017 – did a small subset of the intelligence community, what Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described as "hand-picked" analysts from three agencies – the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation – issue an "assessment" blaming the Russians while acknowledging a lack of actual evidence .

In other words, the Jan. 6 "assessment" was comparable to the "stovepiped" intelligence that influenced many of the mistaken judgments of President George W. Bush's administration. In "stovepiped" intelligence, a selected group of analysts is closeted away and develops judgments without the benefit of other experts who might offer contradictory evidence or question the groupthink.

So, in many ways, Clinton's statement was the opposite of true both when she said it in 2016 and later in 2017 when she repeated it in direct reference to the Jan. 6 assessment. If PolitiFact really cared about facts, it would have corrected its earlier claim that Clinton was telling the truth, but the fact-checking organization wouldn't budge -- even after The New York Times and The Associated Press ran corrections.

In this context, PolitiFact showed its contempt even for conclusive evidence – testimony from former DNI Clapper (corroborated by former CIA Director John Brennan) that the 17-agency claim was false. Instead, PolitiFact was determined to protect Clinton's false statement from being described for what it was: false.

Of course, maybe PolitiFact is suffering from the arrogance of its elite status as an arbiter of truth with its position on Google's First Draft coalition, a collection of mainstream news outlets and fact-checkers which gets to decide what information is true and what is not true -- for algorithms that then will exclude or downplay what's deemed "false."

So, if PolitiFact says something is true – even if it's false – it becomes "true." Thus, it's perhaps not entirely ironic that PolitiFact would collect money from Google ads placed on its site by advertisers of fake news.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com ).

David G , October 18, 2017 at 5:57 pm

I bet the Russians are responsible for all the naked lady internet pictures as well. Damn you, Vladimir Vladimirovich, for polluting our purity.

TS , October 19, 2017 at 5:43 am

Two-thirds of a century ago, Arthur C. Clarke, who besides being a famous SF author, conceived the concept of the communications satellite, published a short story in which the Chinese use satellite broadcasting to flood the USA with porn in order spread moral degeneracy. Wadya think?

Mr. Mueller! Mr. Mueller! Investigate who the owners of YouPorn are!
It's all a Chinese plot, not a Russian one!

Broompilot , October 19, 2017 at 1:55 pm

I second the motion!

Antiwar7 , October 19, 2017 at 7:48 pm

"Mandrake, have you never wondered why I drink only distilled water, or rainwater, and only pure-grain alcohol?"

richard vajs , October 20, 2017 at 7:50 am

And Vladimir keeps tempting me with offers of money that he found abandoned in Nigerian banks and mysteriously bequeathed to me.

Paul Fretheim , October 18, 2017 at 6:11 pm

This sounds eerily similar to newspeak described by George Orwell "1984" in

Sam F , October 18, 2017 at 7:20 pm

The failure of Russia bashers to rank all nations on FB ads and accounts, proves that they know they are lying. Random Russians (about 2% of the world population) may have spent 100K on mostly apolitical ads on FB (about 0.0004%) and may have 470 accounts on FB (about 0.000025%). So Russians have far fewer FB ads and accounts per capita than the average nation. Probably most developed nations have a higher per capita usage of FB, and many individuals and companies may have a higher total usage of FB.

The fact that 160 million is spent to dig up phony evidence of Russian influence (totaling about 0.13% of the investigation cost), proves that such "researchers" are paid liars; they are the ones who should be prosecuted for subversion of democracy for personal gain.

The fact that all views may be found on internet does not make it a "sewer" because one can view only what is useful. The Dems and Repubs regard the People as a sewer, because they believe that power=virtue=money no matter how unethically they get it, to rationalize oligarchy. They keep the most abusive and implausible ads out of mass media only because no advertiser wants them, but of course they don't want the truth either.

JWalters , October 18, 2017 at 9:03 pm

Add MSNBC to the sources of sewage on the internet. I checked out MSNBC today, and they are full-throttle on any kind of Russia-phobia. For those who read somewhat widely, it is obvious they are not even trying to present a balanced picture of the actual evidence. It is completely one-sided, and includes the trashiest trash of that one side. Their absolute lack of integrity matches Fox on its worst days.

As someone who formerly watched MSNBC regularly, I am sickened at the obvious capituation to the criminal Zionists who own the network. Have these people no decency? Apparently not. Historians will judge them harshly.

Dave P. , October 19, 2017 at 11:28 am

JWalters –

Yes. I completely agree with you. I am beginning to wonder if these people who are spitting out this trashiest trash at MSNBC from their mouths every day for over a year now are really sane people. I believe that along with politicians like Adam Schiff, these talk show hosts have slid into complete madness. The way it is going now, I am afraid that If these people are not removed, there is a danger of the whole country sliding into some form of madness.

anonymous , October 20, 2017 at 2:12 pm

"Historians will judge them harshly."

The western civilisation galloped to worldly success on the twin horses of Greed and Psychopathy. This also provided them the opportunity to write history as they wished.

Are historians judging them harshly now? They are themselves whores to whichever society they belong to.

Anna , October 19, 2017 at 5:32 pm

Jonathan Albright, the Research Director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, j.albright@columbia.edu . https://towcenter.org/about/who-we-are/
Mr. Albright is preparing for himself a feathered nest among other presstitutes swarming the many ziocons' "think tanks," like the viciously russophobic (and unprofessional) Atlantic Council that employs the ignoramus Eliot Higgins (a former salesman of ladies' underwear and college dropout) and Dmitry Alperovitch of CrowdStrike fame, a Russophobe and threat to the US national security
One can be sure that Jonathan Albright knows already all the answers (similar to Judy Miller) and he is not interested in any proven expertise like the one provided by the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/24/intel-vets-challenge-russia-hack-evidence/
.

Dan Kuhn , October 18, 2017 at 6:17 pm

Can anyone out there please supply me with a couple of Russian hit pieces that crippled Hillary´s campaigne. Just askin, because I have never seen one.

Michael K Rohde , October 18, 2017 at 8:29 pm

You obviously haven't looked hard enough. I just finished the book "Shattered" and she had no problem blaming the Russians when the emails of Podesta came out in the summer. It took her a day or 2 to figure out that she couldn't blame the Arabs so the Russians were next up. How could you have missed it?

Sam F , October 18, 2017 at 9:38 pm

He is likely asking for ads from Russia that actually could have served as "hit pieces" against Clinton, versus her accusations.

Elizabeth Burton , October 18, 2017 at 6:21 pm

I fear we must set aside our sarcasm and understand that this entire Russian narrative has the ultimate goal of silencing any oppositional news sources to the corporate media. When we hear that Facebook is seeking to hire people with national security clearances, which is made to sound as if it's a good, responsible reaction to the "Russian ads" and is cheered on by people who should know better, we need to get our tongues out of our cheeks and stay alert.

A good friend, who is an activist battling the fracking industry in Colorado and blogging about it, was urging people this week to sign petitions demanding more censorship on Facebook to "prevent Russian propaganda." When I pointed out that, based on the Jan. 6 "report," which condemned RT America for "criticizing the fracking industry" as proof it was a propaganda organ, her blog is Russian propaganda. Did that change her mind? Nope. Her response was in the category of "Better safe."

So, it appears Russia is not replacing "Muslim terrorists" as the "great danger" our beloved and benevolent government must ask us to hand over our rights to combat. And people who can't seem to get it through their heads the government is NOT their friend are marching in lock-step to agree because it never occurs to them they, too, are a target.

Sam F , October 18, 2017 at 7:39 pm

Yes, the purpose of Russia bashing is to distract from the revelations of DNC corruption by oligarchy (top ten Clinton donors all zionists), attack leakers as opponents of oligarchy, and attack Russia in hope of benefits to the zionists in the Mideast.

Perhaps you meant to say that "Russia is [not] replacing "Muslim terrorists" as the 'great danger' our beloved and benevolent government must ask us to hand over our rights to combat." Or perhaps you meant that the Russia-gate gambit is not working.

Abe , October 18, 2017 at 8:32 pm

American psychologist Gustave Gilbert interviewed high-ranking Nazi leaders during the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. In 1947, Gilbert published part of his diary, consisting of observations taken during interviews, interrogations, "eavesdropping" and conversations with German prisoners, under the title Nuremberg Diary.

Hermann Goering, one of the most powerful figures in the Nazi Party, was founder of the Gestapo and Head of the Luftwaffe.

From an 18 April 1946 interview with Gilbert in Goering's jail cell:

Hermann Goering: "Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."

Gilbert: "There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."

Hermann Goering: "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

Dave P. , October 19, 2017 at 12:44 am

Abe –

Good post. Yes, from all the wars initiated during the last half century what Hermann Goring said is very true of U.S. The opposition to the Vietnam War later on was largely because of the draft.

Bertrand Russell in his autobiography describes in length how they prepared the U.K. public with outrageously false propaganda for War – World War I – against Germany in 1914. Bertrand Russell was vehemently against the War with Germany and spent some time in Jail for his activities to oppose the war.

Brad Owen , October 19, 2017 at 3:58 am

Based on what I have read about him, in his own words,on EIR, he was probably opposed to war with Germany because he was already looking ahead to a revival of the "Imperial Rome" situation we have in the Trans-Atlantic Community today, with its near-global Empire (enforced by America), working on breaking up the last holdout:the Eurasian Quarter with Russia, China, India, Iran, etc.

Dave P. , October 20, 2017 at 2:21 am

Yes Brad, Bertrand Russell did love England and was very proud of English Civilization and it's contributions to the World. Considering his very aristocratic background, his contributions to mathematics and Philosophy are laudable. And he was very much involved in World peace and nuclear disarmament movements.

BobH , October 19, 2017 at 9:47 am

(Goering quote) ahh yes, sometimes it takes a cynical scoundrel to tell the truth!

T.Walsh , October 20, 2017 at 11:09 am

the major war criminals' trial ended in 1946, with the execution of the 10 major war criminals taking place on October 16, 1946.

Joe Tedesky , October 18, 2017 at 8:48 pm

Elizabeth for the mere fact you are on this site may possibly be your reason for your escape from the MSM as it is a propaganda tool, to be used by the Shadow Government to guide your thought processes. (See YouTube Kevin Shipp for explanation for Shadow Government and Deep State) other than that I think it safe to say we are living in an Orwellian predicted state of mass communications, and for sure we are now living in a police state to accompany our censored news. Joe

Joe Tedesky , October 18, 2017 at 10:02 pm

Here is something I feel may ring your bell when it comes to our maintaining a free press. Read this .

"From the PR perspective, releasing one anti-Russia story after another helps cement a narrative far better than an all-at-once approach to controlling the news cycle. The public is now getting maximum effect from what I believe is a singular and cohesive effort to lay the groundwork for global legislation to eradicate any dissent and particular dissent that is pro-Russia or pro-Putin. The way the news cycle works, a campaign is best leveled across two weeks, a month, or more, so that the desired audience is thoroughly indoctrinated with an idea or a product. In this case, the product is an Orwellian eradication of freedom of speech across the swath of the world's most used social media platforms. This is a direct result of traditional media and the deep state having failed to defeat independents across these platforms. People unwilling to bow to the CNN, BBC and the controlled media message, more or less beat the globalist scheme online. So, the only choice and chance for the anti-Russia message to succeed is with the complete takeover of ALL channels. As further proof of a collective effort, listen to this Bloomberg interview the other day with Microsoft CEO Brad Smith on the same "legislation" issues. Smith's rhetoric, syntax, and the flow of his narrative mirror almost precisely the other social CEOs, the US legislators, and especially the UK Government dialogue. All these technocrats feign concern over privacy protection and free speech/free press issues, but their real agenda is the main story."

Here is the link for the rest of the essay to Phil Butler's important news story ..

https://journal-neo.org/2017/10/18/globalist-counterpunch-going-for-the-media-knockout/

Joe Tedesky , October 18, 2017 at 10:20 pm

Here is a great example of American politicians colluding with the Russians.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-18/fbi-informant-says-he-was-threatened-after-offering-details-linking-clinton-foundati

When you read this keep in mind that the Russians weren't doing any backroom illegal deals, because the Russians thought that they were dealing on the upside with the Obama White House State Department. Where you may question this, is where our Obama State Department side stepped the law to make money for those couple of Americans who fronted this deal. This is the epitome of hypocrisy of the worst kind.

Disclaimer; please Clinton and Trump supporters try and attempt to see this scandal for what it is. This fudging of the law to make a path for questionable donations is not a party platform issue. It is an issue of integrity and honesty. Yes Trump is the worst, but after you dig into the above link I provided, please don't come back at me screaming partisan politics. This scandal doesn't deserve a two sided political debate, as much as it deserves our attention, and what we do all should do about it.

Dave P. , October 19, 2017 at 2:56 pm

Joe Tedesky –

Reading about this Russian Bribery case in buying interest in "Uranium One" reminds me that Russians came a century or two late into this Capitalist Game. And they must be novices and rather crude in this business of bribing. This Russia bribery case is just a puddle in this vast Sea of Corruption to sell weapons, fighter jets, commercial airplanes, and other things by U.S., U.K., French, Swedes or other Western Nations to the Third World countries like India, Egypt, Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria etc. To make a sale of three or four billion dollars they would bribe the ministers and other officials in those countries probably with a 100 million dollars easily. Those of us who belong to the two worlds know it much better. The Indian Newspapers used to be always full of it, whenever I visited.

And the bribe money stays in the Western banks with which those ministers and officials sons and daughters buy extensive properties in these countries. In fact, these kind of issues are the topic of conversation at these Ethnic parties of rather prosperous people to which we do get invited once in a year or so – which minister or official bought what property and where with this kind or other type of corruption money. There used to be stories about Egyptian Presidents Sadat and Mubarak's sons playing around in U.S. having bought extensive properties with the bribe money. For Indian Ministers and Officials U.S., Canada, Australia, U.K., and New Zealand are the preferred destinations to buy the properties.

And as we know with the corruption money, rich Russians are buying all these homes and other properties in Spain, U.S., U.K. and other Western Countries. It seems like Putin and his team have stopped most of big time corruption but it is very hard to stop the other corruption in this globalized free market economy, especially in countries where corruption is the norm.

Same is true of these IMF loans to those Third World Countries. Most of the money ends up in these Western Countries. The working class of those countries end up in paying back the high interest loans.

This is the World we are trying to defend with these endless wars and Russia-Gate.

Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 11:20 pm

Dave I concur that even the Russians are not beyond corruption, but we are not talking about the bad habits of the Russians, no we are talking about U.S. officials possibly breaking the law. I'll bet Dave if I had taken you on a vandalizing spree when we were young bad ass little hoodlums, and we got caught, that your father wouldn't have come after me, as much as he would come after you, as he would have given you a well deserved good spanking for your bad actions. So with that frame of mind I am keeping my focus with this Clinton escapade right here at home.

I like that you did point out to how the Russians maybe new to this capitalistic new world they suddenly find themselves in, but I would not doubt that even an old Soviet Commissar would have reached under the table for a kickback of somekind to enrich himself, if the occasion had arisen to do so. You know this Dave, that bribery has no political philosophy, nor does it have a democratic or communist ideology to prevent the corrupted from being corrupt.

I am not getting my hopes up that justice will be served with this FBI investigation into Hillary and Bill's uranium finagling. Although I'm surmising this whole thing will get turned around as a Sessions Trump attack upon the Clintons, and with that this episode of selling off American assets for personal wealth benefits, will instead fade away from our news cycles altogether. Just like the torture stuff went missing, and where did that go?

Dave I always look forward to hearing from you, because I think that you and I often have many a good conversation. Joe

Dave P. , October 20, 2017 at 2:07 am

Yes Joe. I agree with you. The reason I wrote my comments was to make a point that Russian businessmen are not the only one who are in the bribery business, the businessmen of other Western Nations are doing the same thing. Yesterday on the Fox News the "Uranium One" bribery case was the main News. Shawn Hannity was twisting his words to make it look like that it is Putin who did it, and that it is Putin who gave all this 140 million as bribery to Clinton Foundation. Actually , I think the 140 millions was given to the Clinton Foundation by the trustees of the Company in Canada. And Russian officials probably greased the hands of a few of them too.

Of course Clintons are directly involved in this case. Considering how Hillary Clinton has been perpetuating this Russia-Gate hysteria, I hope some truth comes out to show that she may be the real center of this Russia-Gate affair. But way the things in Washington are now, probably they are going to whitewash the Hillary Clinton's role in this bribery scandal.

Joe Tedesky , October 18, 2017 at 10:55 pm

While my one comment i wanted for you to read is being moderated, and it is an important comment, read how the Israeli's handle unwanted news broadcasting. When you read this think of the Kristallnacht episode, and then wonder why the Israeli's would do such a terrible thing similar to what they had encountered under Hitler's reign.

http://theduran.com/rt-provider-off-air-palestine-israeli-regime-takes-palestinian-broadcasters/

Be sure to see my comment I left above, which is being moderated. In the meantime go to NEO New Eastern Outlook and read Phil Butler's shocking story, 'Globalist Counterpunch: Going for the Media Knockout'.

backwardsevolution , October 19, 2017 at 3:41 am

Joe Tedesky – the Zionists had been working (long before Hitler) on getting the Jews into Palestine. Read up on the Balfour Declaration. Hitler was helping them get out to Palestine. During World War II, one of the top German officials (can't remember which one right now) went to Palestine to have discussions with the Zionists. The Zionists basically said to him: "Look, you're sending us lazy Jews. These guys aren't interested in construction. Can't you raise more hell so that the harder-working Jews will want to leave Germany and come to Palestine?"

I think if we ever find out the truth about what happened, we will be shocked.

Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 9:11 am

Edmund de Rothschild who was a big financier of Zionism in 1934 on the subject of Palestine had said, "the struggle to put an end to the Wandering Jew, could not have as its result, the creation of the Wandering Arab."

I personally can't see the legality of the 'Balfour Declaration', but before Zionist trolls attack me, I must admit I'm no legal scholar.

I'll need to research that episode you speak of about the Germans meeting the Zionist. It's not an easy part of the Zionist history to study. Unless, you backwardsevolution can provide some references that would help to learn more about this fuzzy history.

Good to see you posting, for awhile your absence gave me concern that you are doing okay. Joe

Skip Scott , October 19, 2017 at 8:38 am

Thanks for the links Joe. Both great articles.

Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 9:14 am

Your welcome Skip I'll apologize for my posting all these links, but I kind of went nuts getting into the subject we are all talking about here, and more. Joe

Joe Tedesky , October 18, 2017 at 11:21 pm

Although this article by the Saker talks about the U.S. being prepared for war against Iran it speaks to the bigger problem of who is America's puppet master.

http://thesaker.is/trump-goes-full-shabbos-goy/

Tannenhouser , October 19, 2017 at 9:40 pm

Joe start with a book called The Transfer Agreement by Edwin Black

Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 11:25 pm

I put it on my next book to read. Thanks Tannerhouser appreciate your recommendation. Joe

dfc , October 18, 2017 at 8:55 pm

Elizabeth: Tell your good friend that once they get rid of the Russian propaganda on Facebook they will coming after those that oppose the Fracking Industry next:

How Hillary Clinton's State Department Sold Fracking to the World

h**p://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/09/hillary-clinton-fracking-shale-state-department-chevron/

Why Obama's top scientist just called keeping fossil fuels in the ground 'unrealistic'

h**ps://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/07/12/why-obamas-top-scientist-just-called-keeping-fossil-fuels-in-the-ground-unrealistic/

Protesting the Dakota pipeline is not cut and dried

h**ps://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/protesting-the-dakota-pipeline-is-not-cut-and-dried/2016/11/06/2872e228-a207-11e6-8832-23a007c77bb4_story.html

Sorry, but how naive or deeply in the bubble can one be? lol :(

Beverly Voelkelt , October 19, 2017 at 2:50 am

I agree Elizabeth. The ultimate objective is censorship and control, using the pretext of keeping America safe from external meddling just like they enacted the Patroit Act to protect us from the terrists they created.

Daniel , October 19, 2017 at 5:04 am

Thank you Elizabeth. Shutting down alternative voices is clearly the end game here.

David G , October 18, 2017 at 6:25 pm

I'm not crazy about Robert Parry's phrase, "the mistaken judgments of President George W. Bush's administration".

The lying, murdering bastards were lying. It's their parents that made the mistake.

But I'll let it slide.

Tayo , October 18, 2017 at 6:29 pm

I've said this before and I'll say it again: I suggest Mueller focuses on Tinder too. I'm betting there's something on there. Russians have been known to use honey pot plots.

D.H. Fabian , October 18, 2017 at 6:40 pm

Ah, but who is better at it -- Russia or the US? (And dare we even consider the power of China to infiltrate political powers and the media?)

anon , October 18, 2017 at 7:46 pm

So do Martians and every other national, religious, and ethnic group on the planet, with the US out in front. You will not trick more careful thinkers by attacking the target du jour.

D.H. Fabian , October 18, 2017 at 6:38 pm

Yes, and over the past week or two, it appears that work is being redirected into holding the vast military behemoth (?), Israel, accountable for our own political/policy choices. Either way, the US is clearly in its post-reality era.

anon , October 18, 2017 at 7:49 pm

zio-alert

Abe , October 18, 2017 at 10:06 pm

The naked gun of post-reality Hasbara propaganda:

When Israeli influence on US foreign policy choices may be discussed, Hasbara troll "D.H. Fabian" pops up to insist:

"Please disperse! There's nothing for you to see here. Keep moving!"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSjK2Oqrgic

WC , October 19, 2017 at 12:05 am

And what do you want to discuss Abe? That there is undue influence from Israel on the US government? Maybe, but you could say the same thing about the pharmaceuticals, the MIC, big oil and the bankers, just to begin the list.

If you and others wish to focus in on a single culprit (defined as anyone fighting for their own self interests), fine. But there are opposing views that believe the picture is bigger than the one you would like to paint.

Curious , October 19, 2017 at 1:26 am

WC, I don't want to speak for Abe, but I am wondering about your use of the word "maybe". Since the last count of US politicians was 13 Senators, and 27 House Reps who are dual citizens of Israel, does that not imply a conflict of interest just in those stats alone? Israel doesn't allow dual citizenship in their political system as it is a security risk, so why do we? I will wait for your reply.

WC , October 19, 2017 at 4:23 am

Curious.

I can't speak for the legalities that led to allowing dual citizenship in the House and Senate, nor why Israel doesn't allow dual citizenship in their political system. Like a lot of laws it is probably serving someone's best interests. ;)

As for the word "maybe" and how it relates to your overall question. Just because there are dual citizen reps in government, does that automatically say they all vote in the interests of Israel exclusively? And even if that were the case what makes them any different from the rep sold out to the MIC, big oil, pharmaceuticals, bankers, etc., or combination of? We'd then need to do a study of all of the sold-out politicians and chart the percentage of each to the various interests they sold out to. At what percentage does Israel come into the big picture?

No one is denying Israel has a certain influence on the US government, but given all of the vested interests involved, the US also has a big stake in what happens in the region. I also don't know what the overall game plan is, not just for the middle east but all of the sordid shit going on everywhere. If old George is right about "The Big Club", I'm assuming some group or combination of groups have some master plan for us all, so I am not ready to label any group, country or entity good or bad at this stage of the game. If this somehow leaves out the moral question, I am not idealistic enough to believe morality and Geo-politics often work hand in hand. :)

Brad Owen , October 19, 2017 at 4:41 am

WCs point is valid and correct. The picture is MUCH bigger than a tiny desert country of a few million Semites ruling the World. The actual picture is the outgrowth of the several, world-wide, European Empires having united into one, gigantic "Roman Empire" (under Synarchist directorship) and CAPTURED America, post WWII, to be its enforcer, working to break the last holdout: the Eurasian Quarter including Iran, into a truly global Empire. Israel was a strategy of the British Empire to preclude any revival of a Muslim Empire, threatening its MENA holdings. The enemy is still the British Empire of the 1%er oligarchs in City-of-London and Wall Street. The fact that NOBODY pays attention to this situation, and obsesses over Israel, guarantees the success of the Plan.

anon , October 19, 2017 at 7:29 am

No, the problem of Mideast policy and oligarchy control of mass media is entirely due to zionist influence, including all top ten donors to Clinton 2016. Ukraine and the entire problem of surrounding and opposing Russia is due primarily to zionist influence, due to their intervention in the Mideast, although the MIC is happy to join the corruption for war anywhere. The others on your list "pharmaceuticals, big oil and the bankers" are involved in other problems.

WC seeks to divert discussion from zionist influence by changing the subject.

anon , October 19, 2017 at 7:33 am

Brad, you will have a hard time explaining why US wars in the Mideast and surrounding Russia are always for the benefit of Israel, if you think that ancient Venetians and British aristocracy are running the show. Looks like a diversionary attack to me.

Abe , October 20, 2017 at 2:05 am

The naked solo of "D.H. Fabian" has surged into a Hasbara chorus. Where to begin.

Let's start with "Curious", who definitely does not speak for me.

The "dual citizens" canard is a stellar example of Inverted Hasbara (false flag "anti-Israel", "anti-Zionist", frequently "anti-Jewish" or "anti-Semitic") propaganda that gets ramped up whenever needed, but particularly Israel rains bombs on the neighborhood.

Like Conventional Hasbara (overtly pro-Israel or pro-Zionist) propaganda, the primary purpose of Inverted Hasbara false flag propaganda is to divert attention from Israeli military and government actions, and to provide cover for Israel Lobby activities

The Inverted Hasbara canard inserted by "Curious" came into prominence after the Israel-initiated war Lebanon in 2006. Israel's shaky military performance, flooding of south Lebanon cluster munitions, use of white phosphorus in civilian areas brought censure. Further Israeli attacks on Gaza brought increasing pressure on the neocon-infested Bush administration for its backing of Israel.

A Facebook post titled, "List of Politicians with Israeli Dual Citizenship," started circulating. The post mentioned "U.S. government appointees who hold powerful positions and who are dual American-Israeli citizens."

With the change of US administration in 2008, new versions of the post appeared with headlines such as "Israeli Dual Citizens in the U.S. Congress and the Obama Administration." Common versions included 22 officials currently or previously with the Obama administration, 27 House members and 13 senators.

The posts were false for a variety of reasons, not least of which was the misrepresentation of Israeli nationality law. Israel does allow its citizens to hold dual (or multiple) citizenship. A dual national is considered an Israeli citizen for all purposes, and is entitled to enter Israel without a visa, stay in Israel according to his own desire, engage in any profession and work with any employer according to Israeli law. An exception is that under an additional law added to the Basic Law: the Knesset (Article 16A) according to which Knesset members cannot pledge allegiance unless their foreign citizenship has been revoked, if possible, under the laws of that country.

The Law of Return grants all Jews the right to immigrate to Israel and almost automatic Israeli citizenship upon arrival in Israel. In the 1970s the Law of Return was expanded to grant the same rights to the spouse of a Jew, the children of a Jew and their spouses, and the grandchildren of a Jew and their spouses, provided that the Jew did not practice a religion other than Judaism willingly. In 1999, the Supreme Court of Israel ruled that Jews or the descendants of Jews that actively practice a religion other than Judaism are not entitled to immigrate to Israel as they would no longer be considered Jews under the Law of Return, irrespective of their status under halacha (Jewish religious law).

Israeli law distinguishes between the Law of Return, which allows for Jews and their descendants to immigrate to Israel, and Israel's nationality law, which formally grants Israeli citizenship. In other words, the Law of Return does not itself determine Israeli citizenship; it merely allows for Jews and their eligible descendants to permanently live in Israel. Israel does, however, grant citizenship to those who immigrated under the Law of Return if the applicant so desires.

A non-Israeli Jew or an eligible descendant of a non-Israeli Jew needs to request approval to immigrate to Israel, a request which can be denied for a variety of reasons including (but not limited to) possession of a criminal record, currently infected with a contagious disease, or otherwise viewed as a threat to Israeli society. Within three months of arriving in Israel under the Law of Return, immigrants automatically receive Israeli citizenship unless they explicitly request not to.

In short, knowingly or not, "Curious" is spouting Inverted Hasbara propaganda.

Conventional Hasbara (pro-Israel, pro-Zionist) propagandists constantly attempt to portray Israeli military threats against its neighbors, Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian territory, Zionist claims of an "unconditional land grant covenant" for Israel, or the manipulations of the Israel Lobby, as somehow all based on "the way the world really works".

"WC" slithered into the CN comments srael's land grab "solution" was under scrutiny here:
Israel's Stall-Forever 'Peace' Plan (September 23, 2017)
https://consortiumnews.com/2017/09/23/israels-stall-forever-peace-plan/

"WC" has repeatedly promoted a loony "realism" in the CN comments, claiming for example that "The Jews aren't doing anything different than the rest have done since the beginning of time."

The Conventional Hasbara troll refrain is that whatever Israel does "ain't no big thing".

"D.H. Fabian", "WC" and others are not Hasbara trolls because we somehow "disagree". They are Hasbara trolls because they promote propaganda for Israel.

Fellow travellers round out the Hasbara chorus.

Commenter anon discourses in absolutes such as "entirely due to zionist influence" and "always for the benefit of Israel".

Commenter Brad Owen just can't understand why everyone "obsesses" over that "tiny desert country" when "the Plan" outlined by LaRouche is sooo much more interesting.

Dave P. , October 20, 2017 at 11:55 am

Abe – An excellent analysis – very penetrating. Yes, I understand it very clearly.

I am one of those who does not have the background in this area. However, reading the largely British view oriented newspapers since I was fourteen , in a different land where at that time during 1950's and early 60's, all viewpoints were discussed including the communist Russian/Soviet side, and the Communist Chinese side too, one develops a balanced outlook on the World events.

Reading your comments on Israel's citizenship laws, is very eye opening for me. Israel is a very Racist State, which is kind of the opposite of what Jewish Writers write books in this country about America being the melting pot. Some of us have already melted here. I sometimes wonder, Jewish writers are writing all these books, but why don't they melt! Are they special chosen people?

WC , October 20, 2017 at 4:59 pm

Let me first dispel the notion that I am trying to change the subject, as "anon" would like to imply. What I am after is a proper perspective as opposed to something blown out of proportion.

When it comes to the subject of Israel, Jews and Zionism, Abe would appear to be well versed on the subject. He certainly cleared up "Curious"s question on dual citizenship!

With Abe and others on this site, Zionism is the big daddy culprit in the world today. I, on the other hand, see it as simply one part of a bigger picture, which I am still trying to get my head around, but I am quite certain it goes far beyond just a regional issue. In reading what Abe has to say on this subject over the past few months, he may very well be right about Zionist influence and a take no prisoners-type of resolve in pursuing their aims (whatever that may be). But none of this has yet to convince me they are entirely wrong either.

Which brings us to the subject of morality. Take a second look at what Abe has chosen to cherry pick from what he sees as the "Hasbara chorus" – all pointing to "trolls" who (he thinks) are in support of an all powerful and heartless sect. This is what is known as being overly dramatic and speaks volumes about what Abe (and others on this site) view as the most objectionable of all – the moral wrongs being committed. For the sake of clarification "morality" is defined as "principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior". Most of us who are not suffering from a mental disorder can agree on what constitutes right and wrong at its purist level, but thrown into a world filled with crime, corruption, greed, graft, hate, lust, sociopaths and psychopaths vying for power, sectarian violence, a collapsing economy, inner city decay, and all of the vested special interests jockeying to save their piece of the pie, what is right and wrong becomes far more convoluted and mired in mud. Simply throwing perfect world idealism at the problem will not fix it. In fact, it will get you as far as the miles of crucified Christians that lined the road to Rome. Which is a hell of a way to prove you are so right in a world filled with so much wrong.

Since the day I "slithered in" here, I have asked the same question over and over – what are your REAL world solutions to REAL world problems? So far, the chorus of the Church Of The Perfect World has offered up nothing. :)

Abe , October 20, 2017 at 6:07 pm

Making the same statements over and over again, "WC" is clearly "after" a Hasbara "proper perspective" on Israel.

For example, in the CN comments on How Syria's Victory Reshapes Mideast (September 30, 2017), "WC" advanced three key Hasbara propaganda talking points concerning the illegal 50-year military occupation of Palestinian territory seized by Israel during the 1967 War:
– Spurious claims about "what realistically (not idealistically) can be done"
– Insistence that "Israel is not going to go back to the 1948 borders"
– Claims that the US "depends on a strong Israeli presence"

A leading canard of Hasbara propaganda and the Israeli right wing Neo-Zionist settlement movement is the notion of an "unconditional land grant covenant" entitlement for Israel.

Land ownership was far more widespread than depicted in the fictions of Israeli propaganda. In reality, the Israeli government knowingly confiscated privately owned Palestinian land and construct a network of outposts and settlements.

Israel's many illegal activities in occupied Palestinian territory encompass Neo-Zionist settlements, so-called "outposts" and declared "state land".

The United Nations has repeatedly upheld the view that Israel's construction of settlements constitutes a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention (which provides humanitarian protections for civilians in a war zone).
The 1967 "border" of Israel refers to the Green Line or 1949 Armistice demarcation line set out in the Armistice Agreements between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.

The Green Line was intended as a demarcation line rather than a permanent border. The 1949 Armistice Agreements were clear (at Arab insistence) that they were not creating permanent borders. The Egyptian–Israeli agreement, for example, stated that "the Armistice Demarcation Line is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary, and is delineated without prejudice to rights, claims and positions of either Party to the Armistice as regards ultimate settlement of the Palestine question."

Similar provisions are contained in the Armistice Agreements with Jordan and Syria. The Agreement with Lebanon contained no such provisions, and was treated as the international border between Israel and Lebanon, stipulating only that forces would be withdrawn to the Israel–Lebanon border.

United Nations General Assembly Resolutions and statements by many international bodies refer to the "pre-1967 borders" or the "1967 borders" of Israel and neighboring countries.

According to international humanitarian law, the establishment of Israeli communities inside the occupied Palestinian territories – settlements and outposts alike – is forbidden. Despite this prohibition, Israel began building settlements in the West Bank almost immediately following its occupation of the area in 1967.

Defenders of Israel's settlement policies, like David Friedman, the current United States Ambassador to Israel, argue that the controversy over Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory is overblown.

The Israeli government and Israel Lobby advocates like Ambassador Friedman claim the built-up area of settlements comprises only around 2% of the West Bank.

This Hasbara "2%" argument is at best ignorant, and at worst deliberately disingenuous.

The "2%" figure is misleading because it refers restrictively to the amount of land Israeli settlers have built on, but does not account for the multiple ways these settlements create a massive, paralytic footprint in the illegally occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank.

Since 1967, Israel has taken control of around 50% of the land of the West Bank. And almost all of that land has been given to the settlers or used for their benefit. Israel has given almost 10% of the West Bank to settlers – by including it in the "municipal area" of settlements. And it has given almost 34% of the West Bank to settlers – by placing it under the jurisdiction of the Settlement "Regional Councils."

In addition, Israel has taken hundreds of kilometers of the West Bank to build infrastructure to serve the settlements, including a network of roads that crisscross the entire West Bank, dividing Palestinian cities and towns from each other, and imposing various barriers to Palestinian movement and access, all for the benefit of the settlements.

Israel has used various means to do this, included by declaring much of the West Bank to be "state land," taking over additional land for security purposes, and making it nearly impossible for Palestinians to register claims of ownership to their own land.

The Israeli Supreme Court has repeatedly used the term "belligerent occupation" to describe Israel's rule over the West Bank and Gaza. Indeed, Israel's Supreme Court ruled that the question of a previous sovereign claim to the West Bank and Gaza is irrelevant to whether international laws relating to occupied territories should apply there.

Rather, the proper question – according to Israel's highest court – is one of effective military control. In the words of the Supreme Court decision, "as long as the military force exercises control over the territory, the laws of war will apply to it." (see: HCJ 785/87, Afo v. Commander of IDF Forces in the West Bank).

The Palestinian territories were conquered by Israeli armed forces in the 1967 war. Whether Israel claims that the war was forced upon it is irrelevant. The Palestinian territory has been controlled and governed by the Israeli military ever since.

Who claimed the territories before they were occupied is immaterial. What is material is that before 1967, Israel did not claim the territories.

Ariel Sharon, one of the principal architects of Israel's settlement building policy in the West Bank and Gaza, recognized this reality. On May 26, 2003, then Israeli Prime Minister Sharon told fellow Likud Party members: "You may not like the word, but what's happening is occupation [using the Hebrew word "kibush," which is only used to mean "occupation"]. Holding 3.5 million Palestinians under occupation is a bad thing for Israel, for the Palestinians and for the Israeli economy."

Whether one believes that these territories are legally occupied or not does not change the basic facts: Israel is ruling over a population of millions of Palestinians who are not Israeli citizens. Demographic projections indicate that Jews will soon be a minority in the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

Real world solutions:

An end to the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.

An end to apartheid government and the beginning of real democracy in Israel.

What can be done now?

United States government sanctions against Israel for its 50-year military occupation of Palestine, its apartheid social regime, and its arsenal of nuclear weapons.

The United States can require Israel to withdraw its forces to the 1967 line, and honor the right of return to Palestinians who fled their homeland as a result of Israel's multiple ethnic cleansing operations.

In addition, the United States can demand that immediately surrender its destabilizing nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons arsenal or face severe U.S. action.

Hasbara trolls will keep trying to change the subject, continue muttering about "opposing views" and some "bigger picture" picture", and repeatedly insist that an Israel armed with weapons of mass destruction routinely attacking its neighbors "ain't no big thing".

Tannenhouser , October 20, 2017 at 10:30 am

Most of the ones in control of "pharmaceuticals, the MIC, big oil and the bankers" are Israel firsters as well. Round and round we go eh?

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , October 19, 2017 at 4:31 am

This is probably as good a place as any to point out that it isn't just Russophobia at work; Congress is hard at work to protect Israel's abominable human rights record from public criticism as well. The Israel Anti-Boycott Act is squarely aimed at criminalizing advocates of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement and has 50 co-sponsors in the Senate. See https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/720?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22israel+anti-boycott+act%22%5D%7D&r=2

The Act is squarely aimed at our First Amendment right to boycott and to advocate for boycotts. See https://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/first-amendment-protects-right-boycott-israel?redirect=blog/speak-freely/first-amendment-protects-right-boycott-israel

dahoit , October 19, 2017 at 12:33 pm

wapo says Hamas disarm because us and israel want them to.israel won't disarm though.Boy.

Curious , October 18, 2017 at 6:44 pm

Thank you Mr Parry for actually taking the time to read the NYT or WaPo for your readers, so we don't have to. There is only so much disinformation one can cram into our 'cranium soft drives' regarding journalists with no ethics nor moral rudders.
It reminds me of watching Jon Stewarts Daily Show to check out the perverse drivel on Fox News since to watch Fox myself would have damaged me beyond repair. Many of my friends are already Humpty-Dumptied by the volume of fragmented info leeching into their bloodstreams by 140 character news.
Thank you for your fortitude in trying to debunk the news and 'outing' those editors who feel they are insulated from critical analysis.

dahoit , October 19, 2017 at 12:36 pm

jon stewart?WTF?

Curious , October 19, 2017 at 8:56 pm

Well dahoit,
Just chalk it up to a historical reference as that is around the time I stopped watching TV, having worked in the biz for some 30 years. I don't miss it either. Jon gave us a lot of humor and a lot of clever, surreptitious info, and the way they captured the talking points of the politicians by the use of their fast cuts was remarkable. There was a lot of political content in a show meant to just be humorous. Sorry you feel otherwise.

fudmier , October 18, 2017 at 6:59 pm

EITHER OR, INC. (EOI) a secret subsidiary of Deep Sewer Election Manipulators, Inc (DSEMI), a fraudulent make believe Russia company, that changes election outcomes, in foreign countries, to conform the leadership of the foreign country with Russia foreign policy, studied the most recent USA candidates and concluded Russia could not have found persons more suited to Russian foreign policy than the candidates the USA had selected for its American governed, to vote on. The case is not yet closed, EOI is still trying to decide if there is or was a difference between the candidates..

Charles Misfeldt , October 18, 2017 at 7:44 pm

Our election process is so completely corrupted I doubt that a few thousand dollars of Facebook ads that no one pays any attention to could sway the vote, I am much more concerned about bribery, Israel, American Zionists, racists, corporations, evangelicals, dominionists, white nationalists, anarchist's, conservatives, war profiteers, gerrymanders, vote purges, vote repressors, voting machine hackers, seems like Russian's are pretty far down the list.

Joe Tedesky , October 18, 2017 at 8:52 pm

Now you talking, let's get to the real stuff. Good one Charles. Joe

Peter Loeb , October 19, 2017 at 6:08 am

I don't have "FACEBOOK". Or any other "social media (whatever that may be.)
I don't "tweet" and the technology which we were once told would save
the world, has left me behind. I don't text. I have no smart phone
or cell.

I no longer have a TV of any description. Or cable with millions of things
you don't want to see anyway.

Only my mind is left. For some more years.

(J.M. Keynes: " in the long run we will all be dead."

Perhaps one has to have "social media" to be born in
this generation. Do you need it to exit?

Please accept my thoughts with my "asocial" [media]
appologies.

-- -Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

My "tweet"/message is only my fear that the NY Yankees
will be in the World Series where I can hate them with complete
impunity. (I was created a fan of the Washington Senators,
morphed into a Brooklyn Dodgers fan so the usually failing
Boston Red Sox fits me well. Being for that so-called "dodgers"
team on the west coast is a forced marriage at best.

Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 9:27 am

Peter screw Facebook and all the rest of that High Tech Big Brother Inc industry, and the garbage they are promoting.

Also Peter do you have a little Walter Francis O'Malley voodoo doll to stick pins in it? I also haven't followed baseball since Roberto Clemente died.

We kids use to skip school to go watch Clemente play. In fact in 1957 a young ball player who the Pirates had acquired in somekind of trade with the Brooklyn Dodgers chased my seven year old little butt out of right field when I wandered all confused onto the field. That young rookie who chased my loss little being off the field, was none other than the great number 21 Roberto Clemente.

Actually the only thing you left out Peter was the Braves moving to Atlanta. Take care Peter, and let's play more ball in the daylight, and let's make it more affordable game to watch again. Play ball & BDS. Joe

Thomas Phillips , October 19, 2017 at 12:30 pm

I'm envious now Joe. Roberto Clemente was one of my favorite baseball players. My no. 1 favorite, though, was Willie Mays. And speaking of the Braves moving to Atlanta, my father took my brother and I there the first year the team was in Atlanta. The Giants were there for a series with the Braves, and I got to see Mays play (my first and only time). I would have loved to have been able to skip school and watch Clemente play.

On the subject of concern here, The Hill has a couple of stories on the zerohedge.com story you referenced above. From what I read, it appears to me that if this is still an open case with the FBI, Ms. Clinton (and Obama?) could possibly face criminal charges in this matter. We can only hope. To Peter – I do have an old 1992 console TV, but no cable; so I have no television to speak of. I have a VHS and DVD player though and watch old movies and such on the old TV.

Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 2:42 pm

Thomas how cool. My buddies and I would purchase the left field bleacher seats for I think fifty cents or maybe it was a dollar. Then around the third inning we would boogie on over into the right field stands overlooking the great Roberto, and yell 'hey Roberto'. From right field we kids would eye up the empty box seats off of third base. Somewhere about the sixth or seventh inning we would sneakily slide into those empty box seats along third base side, where you could see into the Pirate dugout along first. Now the Pirate dugout is along third. The box seat ushers would back then justbsimply tell us kids to be good, and that they got a pat on the back from management for filling up those empty box seats, because the television cameras would pick that up. The best part was, we little hooky players did all of this on our school lunch money.

About that FBI thing with Hillary I'm hoping this doesn't get written off as just another Trump attack, and that this doesn't turn into another entertaining Benghazi hearing for Hillary to elevate her status among her identity groupies. Joe

mark , October 18, 2017 at 7:46 pm

All this nonsense will soon die an evidence-free natural death, but rather than admit to the lies the MSM will divert the Deplorables with some convenient scandal like the Weinstein affair.

The effect of all this will be to hammer the final nails in the coffin of the political establishment and its servile MSM. This process began with the Iraqi WMD lies, and now 6% of the population believes what it sees in the MSM.

Skip Scott , October 19, 2017 at 8:47 am

mark-

I wish you were right, but with all the money being thrown around, and scumbag Mueller in the mix, how this will end is anybody's guess. I'm also curious where you got the 6% figure. Sounds like wishful thinking to me.

Stephen J. , October 18, 2017 at 7:49 pm

We have sewer rats in our depraved "democracy."
More info at link below:
October 18, 2017
Is This The "Democracy" of the Depraved?
http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/10/is-this-democracy-of-depraved.html

falcemartello , October 18, 2017 at 7:54 pm

Great take Mr Parry
Smoke and mirrors to distract we the sheeple of this dying paradigm. Fascism alive and well in the land of the free. The sheeple r now entering the critical stage, they have hit 20 percent. Dangerous times for the western masters of the universe. Get ready for more false flags to keep the sheeple blinded from reality. The recent events globally with regards to Iran, Syria and the DPRK are all their for distractions add the Russians ate my homework and viola distraction heaven. But like I said more and more people in the US and the west are turning off 1/5 to be exact and that spells trouble for the masters. They want war at all costs 600 percent debt is not a sustainable economic system . IMF warning just the other day that all it will take is one major European bank to crash and viola. So dangerous and interesting times we r living. Is it by design in order to get their way.?I would say yes to that.

Sam F , October 18, 2017 at 9:44 pm

Good notes. Incidentally you may intend the French "voila" rather than the musical instrument "viola."

Skip Scott , October 20, 2017 at 3:37 pm

Voila, viola. Didn't Curly of the three stooges do a bit on that?

Michael K Rohde , October 18, 2017 at 8:27 pm

Should I say it? Shocker. NYT and HIllary are a potent team. Add on Google and CNN and you have a formidable propaganda organization that is going to influence millions of American. Plus Face Book and you have most of America covered without a dissenting voice. I used to be one of their customers, reading and believing everything they put out until Judith Miller was exposed with W and Scooter. I confess to a jaundiced eye since then. Unfortunately there isn't a whole lot out there if you like to read good writers of relevant material. We have a problem, Houston.

Joe Tedesky , October 18, 2017 at 9:07 pm

If it is possible to consider Russia helped throw the 2016 presidential election with 100k spent over a three year period, then why not suspect and investigate the American MSM, who gave Donald Trump 4.9 billion dollars worth of free media coverage? Surely you all may recall the wall to wall commercial free cable network coverage Trump used to receive during the way too long of a presidential campaign? Now we are being led to believe that a few haphazard placed Russian adbuys on FB stool the election from 'it's my turn now boys' Hillary. Here I must admit that as much as I would love to have a woman President, I would choose almost any qualified women other than Hillary. But yeah, this Russia-gate nonsense is a creation of the Shadow Government, who wants so badly to see Putin get thrown out of office, that they would risk starting WWIII doing it.

Larry Gates , October 18, 2017 at 9:44 pm

A single person started all this nonsense: Hillary Clinton.

Jessica K , October 18, 2017 at 9:46 pm

No need for America to be influenced to turn the internet into a sewer, America is doing just fine on that with no help at all. The Russians are just mocking us over there, which is perfectly understandable. In fact, from what I read, Russians are actually more religious and concerned about immorality than Americans.

This whole thing is a joke, we know it, it's an attempt to control people, and I for one am pretty sick of it and don't mind telling anyone just that. Let them sputter, stomp their feet, or whatever. Keep it up, United States, and you'll be playing in the schoolyard all by yourself!

Stephen J. , October 18, 2017 at 10:04 pm

Was the article below in corporate media? Link below:
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -
Thousands of govt docs found on laptop of sex offender married to top Clinton adviser
Published time: 18 Oct, 2017 16:45Edited time: 18 Oct, 2017 18:37
https://www.rt.com/usa/407120-fbi-found-3k-docs-weiner/

Sam , October 19, 2017 at 12:10 am

It's amazing how the "mainstream media" has pushed this Russian collusion nonsense. What's more amazing is how every time an article is published my these outlets claiming some new evidence of Russian collusion, within 24 hours there's evidence to the contrary. I think the whole Pokemon and Facebook claims are the lowest point in this Russian collusion nonsense. The worst part is we won't see it end anytime soon

Sam F , October 19, 2017 at 7:38 am

Good points, Sam. There are many named "Sam" so please distinguish your pen name from mine, perhaps with an initial. Thanks!

Drew Hunkins , October 19, 2017 at 12:46 am

Absolutely crucial and outstanding piece by Mr. Parry. His well thought out dissection of Politifact is invigorating.

backwardsevolution , October 19, 2017 at 12:52 am

Peter Schweizer, author of "Clinton Cash", has been talking about the biggest Russian bribe of all, the one no one wants to talk about – Uranium One. This deal may have been the reason why $145 million ended up in Clinton Foundation coffers, all while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.

Here is Peter Schweizer today on Tucker Carlson's program talking about it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNTdlyx7EMQ

Daniel , October 19, 2017 at 5:21 am

Her emails showed that HRC's internal polling proved her greatest vulnerability with her supporters was when they were told the details of her uranium deal.

Skip Scott , October 19, 2017 at 9:03 am

Thanks for the link. Great interview. The real Russia-gate!

flip diving , October 19, 2017 at 12:54 am

Your site has a lot of useful information for myself. I visit regularly. Hope to have more quality items.

Dave P. , October 19, 2017 at 1:33 am

Joe – I never had interest in conspiracy type stories and narratives like that. However, after reading the zerohedge article in the link in your post, I am beginning to seriously doubt the Seth Rich murder investigation findings by the Washington DC police – I had some misgivings before about it too. I think there was not any significant involvement by FBI in the case. And the Justice department under Loretta Lynch did not pursue the investigation.

Knowing all kind of stories in the news about Clintons friend Vince Foster's death during 1990's , and many other episodes in Bill and Hillary Clinton's political life, I wonder about the power and reach of this couple. And now this article and no investigation of this bribery and corruption scandal during Obama's presidency. It all smells fishy.

Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 1:58 am

Dave not only as what you had mentioned, but the Seth Rich story seems to have become taboo in our news. I realize what the Rich family requested, but when did ever a request from the family ever get honored by the big media ever before? I'm not suggesting anything more, than why is the Seth Rich murder appearing to be off limits, and further more with Seth's death being in question and implicated to the Wikileaks 'Hillary Exposures' being Seth one of those 'leakers', then take responsibility DNC and ask the same questions, or at least answer the questions asked. I hope that made sense, because somehow it made sense to me.

The suggestion of any alternative to the establish narrative gets tossed to the wind. I think this drip, drip, flood, of Russia collusion into the gears of American Government is a way of America's Establishment, who is now in charge, way of going out with a bang. The world is starting to realize it doesn't need the U.S., and the U.S. is doing everything in it's power to help further that multi-polar world's growing realization that it doesn't.

Okay Dave. Joe

Dave P. , October 19, 2017 at 2:57 am

Joe, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has the power to initiate investigations into these cases. However, it seems to me that the Ruling Elite/Deep State does not want to wash the dirty linen in front of the whole World. It would be very embarrassing; it will show the true picture of this whole sewage/swamp it is. Jeff Sessions or others in high places, have no independence at all, even if they want to pursue their own course – which they rarely do.

It seems like that all these investigations are a kind of smoke screen to hide the real issues. During 1950's or 60's , people in this country mostly trusted the leaders and elected officials. And majority of the leaders, whatever their policies or sides they took on issues, had some integrity, depth, solidity and dignity about them. But it seems to me that these days politicians do not have any of it. The same is true of the Media. This constant mindless Russia-Gate hysteria being perpetuated by the elected leaders, Media, and pundits without any thought or decorum is not worthy of a civilized country. Also, it is not good for the Country or the World.

Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 9:34 am

Yes Dave the quality of accountability and responsibility in DC is sorely lacking of concern to be honest, and do the right thing by its citizens. This is another reason why it's good to talk these things over with you, and many of the others who post comments here. Joe

BobH , October 19, 2017 at 10:08 am

Joe,Dave, glad you bring it up Russiagate seems to be providing a full eclipse of any investigation into the Seth Rich murder and just whatever happened to his laptop?

Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 10:45 am

I think Bob the Rich investigation got filed under 'conspiracy theory do not touch' file. Joe

backwardsevolution , October 19, 2017 at 1:39 am

Hours ago:

"Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley asked the attorney of a former FBI informant Wednesday to allow her client to testify before his committee regarding the FBI's investigation regarding kickbacks and bribery by the Russian state controlled nuclear company that was approved to purchase twenty percent of United States uranium supply in 2010, Circa has learned.

In a formal letter, Grassley, an Iowa Republican, asked Victoria Toensing, the lawyer representing the former FBI informant, to allow her client, who says he worked as a voluntary informant for the FBI, to be allowed to testify about the "crucial" eyewitness testimony he provided to the FBI regarding members of the Russian subsidiary and other connected players from 2009 until the FBI's prosecution of the defendants in 2014. [ ]

FBI officials told Circa the investigation could have prevented the sale of Uranium One, which controlled 20 percent of U.S. uranium supply under U.S. law. The deal which required approval by CFIUS, an inter-agency committee who reviews transactions that leads to a change of control of a U.S. business to a foreign person or entity that may have an impact on the national security of the United States. At the time of the Uranium One deal the panel was chaired by then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and included then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-Attorney General Eric Holder."

https://www.circa.com/story/2017/10/18/judiciary-committee-calls-on-former-fbi-informant-to-testify-about-uranium-one

This FBI informant was apparently gagged from speaking to Congress by either Loretta Lynch or Eric Holder (I've heard both names). Why would they have done this?

Sven , October 19, 2017 at 1:44 am

Very well written article

Lee Francis , October 19, 2017 at 2:41 am

The whole Russia-Gate brouhaha has become a monumental bore. How anyone with a modicum of intelligence and moral integrity can believe this garbage is beyond me. I salute Mr Parry for his fortitude in clearing the Augean stables of this filth; it reminds of the old Bonnie Raitt song, to wit – 'It's a dirty job but someone's got to do it." personally I can't be bothered reading it anymore.

backwardsevolution , October 19, 2017 at 2:51 am

Stefan Molyneux does a great job in this 25-minute video where he outlines the absolute corruption going on in the Banana Republic of Americastan on both the left and right.

He ends up by saying that all of the same actors (Rosenstein, McCabe, Mueller, Comey, Lynch, Clinton) who were part of covering up Hillary's unsecured servers and Uranium One are the very same people who are involved with going after Trump and his supposed collusion with Russia. Same people. And the media seem to find no end of things to say about the latter, while virtually ignoring the former.

https://www.sgtreport.com/articles/2017/10/18/shocking-fbi-corruption-exposed-true-news

Dave P. , October 19, 2017 at 3:39 am

backwardsevolution –

Yes, Media ignores the other scandal while beating up 24/7 on Russian inference/collusion in the Presidential Election. It is the same with the Foreign News. There was this more than 10,000 strong torchlit Neo-Nazi March in Kiev last Saturday. The pictures in the Sputnik News of these neo-Nazis in the march were very threatening. I think that most of the Russians have probably left West Ukraine. There was not even a mention of this March in the Los Angeles Times.

However, a week before Alexander Navalny had this protest – 500 figure as given the Western media – in Moscow. The picture was splashed across the entire page of Los Angeles Times with a half page article, mostly beating up on Putin.

I rarely watch TV shows. However, this Tuesday, because of the some work going on our house, I was home most of the day. My wife was watching TV starting in the afternoon well into the evening – MSNBC, CNN, PBS newshour; Wolg Blitzer, Lawrence O'Donnell, Don Lemon, Rachel Maddow, and others with all these so called experts invited to the shows. Just about most of it was about beating up on Trump and Russia as if it is the only news in the Country and in the World to report. It was really pathetic to hear all these nonsensical lies and garbage coming out the mouths of these talk show hosts and experts. It is becoming Banana Republic of Americanistan as you wrote.

backwardsevolution , October 19, 2017 at 4:04 am

Hi, Dave P. Yeah, I swear they have things on the shelf that are ready-to-go stories whenever there's a lull in the Trump/Russia collusion nonsense. This last week they pulled Harvey Weinstein off the shelf and crucified the guy (not that he shouldn't have been). If this Uranium One deal gets legs, watch for some huge false flag to coincidentally appear to take our minds off of it.

The biggest thing separating a "first world" country from a "third world" country is the rule of law. Without it, you might as well hoist up a flag with a big yellow banana on it and call it a day. Bananastan has a nice ring to it.

Cheers, Dave.

Lee Francis , October 19, 2017 at 8:10 am

"There was this more than 10,000 strong torchlit Neo-Nazi March in Kiev last Saturday." It never happened, well according to the Washington Post (aka Pravda on the Potomac) or New York Times (aka The Manhattan Beobachter) who, like the rest of the establishment media lie by omission. Other things that didn't happen – the Odessa fire where 42 anti-Maidan demonstrators were incinerated by the Banderist mob who actually applauded as the Union Building went up like a torch with those unfortunate people not only trapped inside with the entrances barricaded, but those who jumped out of windows to escape the flames (a bit like 9/11 in New York) were clubbed to death as they lie injured on the ground. The film is on youtube if you can bear to watch it, I could only bear to watch it once. According to the website of Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh, it was "another bright day in our national history." A Svoboda parliamentary deputy added, "Bravo, Odessa . Let the Devils burn in hell." These people are our allies, along of course with Jihadis in the middle east.

In his the British playwright Harold Pinter's last valediction nailed the propaganda methodology of the western media with the phrase, 'even while it was happening it wasn't happening.'

Dave P. , October 20, 2017 at 2:31 am

Lee Francis –

yes. The words : 'even while it was happening it wasn't happening.' It is from his Nobel lecture. I read the text of Nobel Lecture by Harold Pinter at that time – very passionate lecture. Pinter had terminal throat cancer, he could not go to Sweden. I think he sent his video of the Nobel lecture to be played.

Jessica K , October 19, 2017 at 7:14 am

It will be interesting to see how the so-called left leaning media like MSNBC and CNN spin the Uranium One/Obama-Clinton State Department story. The right, especially Hannity on Fox, are on it, also Tucker Carlson who is moderate mostly. When these pundits say "Russia", they seem to imply "Putin" but that may not be the case. And they always want to imply the US is beyond corrupt business deals, which is a joke. It's about time the Clinton case is cracked, but with corruption rampant, who knows?

JeffS , October 19, 2017 at 9:34 am

The targeting of Pokemon Go users was especially nefarious because aren't about half of those people below voting age? But when they finally are old enough to vote we can say that they were influenced by Russia! And this is always reported in a serious tone and with a straight face. I find the aftermath of the 2016 election to be 'Hillary'ous. The obviously phony from the get-go Russia story was invented out of whole cloth to allow stunned Democrat voters to engage in some sort extended online group therapy session. After a year many are still working through the various stages of the grieving process, and some may actually reach the final stage -- Acceptance (of the 2016 Election results)

mike k , October 19, 2017 at 1:07 pm

Good one!

Jamila Malluf , October 19, 2017 at 12:36 pm

Excellent Report! Consortium needs a video outlet somebody to give these reports. There are many places other than YouTube you could use and I could become one of your Amateur video editor :)

mike k , October 19, 2017 at 1:10 pm

The Rulers fear the internet.

Liam , October 19, 2017 at 3:01 pm

#MeToo – A Course In Deductive Reasoning: Separating Fact From Fiction Through The Child Exploitation Of 8 Year Old Bana Alabed

https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/10/19/metoo-a-course-in-deductive-reasoning-separating-fact-from-fiction-through-the-child-exploitation-of-8-year-old-bana-alabed/

rosemerry , October 19, 2017 at 4:17 pm

I was glad to see that when H Clinton was in England, the RT ads all around were making fun of the blame game. Someone needs to lighten up and stop the ludicrous nonsensical year-long concentration on blaming Russia for the deep defects in almost all aspects of US presence in our world. Observe Pres. Putin and nearly every other real leader getting on with negotiations, agreements, constructive trade deals, ignoring the sinking ship led by the Trumpet and the Republican Party, while the Dems slide down with them.

Realist , October 19, 2017 at 7:20 pm

I think the "Powers that be" in America actually believed it when Karl Rove announced to the world that the U.S. government had the godlike power to create any reality of its own choosing, the facts be damned, and the entire world would come to accept it and live by it, like it or not. They've been incessantly trying to pound this square peg of a governing philosophy into holes of a wide spectrum of geometric shapes ever since, believing that mere proclamation made it so. Russia, China, Iran and any other country that does business with this troika are evil. Moreover, any country that does not kowtow to Israel, or objects to its extermination campaign against the Palestinian people, is evil. Even simply pursuing an independent foreign policy not approved by Washington, as Iraq, Libya and Syria felt entitled to do, is evil. Why? Because we say so. That should suffice for a reason. Disagree with us at your peril. We have slaughtered millions of "evil-doers" in Middle Eastern Islamic states who dared to disagree, and we have economically strapped our own "allies" in Europe to put the screws to Russia. The key to escape from this predicament is how much more blowback, in terms of displaced peoples, violated human rights, abridged sovereignty and shattered economies, is Europe willing to tolerate in the wake of Washington's megalomaniacal dictates before it stands up to the bully and stops supporting the madness. When does Macron, Merkel and May (assuming they are the leaders whom others will follow in Europe) say "enough" and start making demands on Washington, and not just on Washington's declared "enemies?"

And, if the internet has indeed become the world's "cloaca maxima," I'd say first look to its inventors, founders, chief administrators and major users of the service, all of which reside in the United States. In terms of volume, Russia is but a small-time user of the service. If the object is to re-create a society such as described in the novel "1984," it is certainly possible to censor the damned thing to the point where its just a tool of tyranny. The "distinguished" men and corporations basically running the internet planetwide have already conferred such authority to the Chinese government. Anything they don't want their people to see is filtered out, compliments of Microsoft, Google, Facebook and the other heavy hitters. Just looking at trends, rhetoric and the fact that the infrastructure is mostly privately-owned, I can see the same thing coming to the West, unless the users demand otherwise, vociferously and en masse.

Tannenhouser , October 20, 2017 at 4:19 pm

Trump is running point on the distraction op currently being run, to distract from the actual crimes committed by the Blue section of the ruling political party. So far he played his part brilliantly, knowingly or unknowingly, matters not.

Jerry Alatalo , October 19, 2017 at 4:29 pm

Readers of Consortium News come from around the world, from very small towns with populations in the few 1,000's to major cities with populations in the millions, and everything size category in between. In each of those categories of population size, the power is controlled by those possessing the greatest wealth inside that particular population, whether small town, medium, semi-large or major city. One can describe each category of population center as pyramidal in power structure, with those at the top of the pyramid the wealthiest few who "pull the strings" of societies, and, as relates to war and peace, the people who literally fire the first shots.

Identify those at the top of the world category pyramid, call them out for their war crimes, and then humanity has a fighting chance for peace.

Curious , October 19, 2017 at 7:56 pm

For WC,
Thank you for your answer to my question. The 'reply' tab is gone on the thread so I will reply here.
I believe I was trying to figure out the difference between "lawmakers" and the corporate entities you mentioned. Obviously the lawmakers are heavily influenced by the money and the lobbyists from the large corps which muddies the waters and makes it even more difficult to find clarity between politicians and the big money players. When the US sends our military into sovereign countries against international law, it's fair to ask whether it is at the behest of corporate interests, or even Israels' geopolitical agenda, especially in the Middle East.
The large corps you mentioned don't have the legal authority to send our military to foreign lands and perform duties that have nothing to do with US defense (or do they?) and that is why I try to understand the distinction between 40 dual citizens of Israel within the 'lawmakers' of our country and large corporations. When Israels 'allowance' from US tax payers goes remarkably up in value, one has to wonder how and why that occurs when our own country is suffering. That's all I wonder about. I won't distract any more from Mr. Parrys' article.

GM , October 19, 2017 at 9:31 pm

If I recall correctly, Politifact is owned by the majority owners of the St Petersburg times, which family is a major big Clinton donor.

Kevin Beck , October 20, 2017 at 9:01 am

I am curious whether Russia is really able to employ all these "marketing geniuses" to affect elections throughout the world. If so, then America's greatest ad agencies need to look to Moscow for new recruits, instead of within our business schools.

Riikka Söyring , October 20, 2017 at 6:00 pm

Maybe Politifact declares it? stance is based on an alternative fact?

But greetings from Finland. In here is in full swing a MSM war against so called fake media, never mind the fact that many are the stories in fake media that have turned out to be the truth -- or that we are supposed to be a civilized country with free speech.

Our government with the support of the MSM is using a term hatespeech to silence all tongues telling a different tale; some convictions have been given even though our law does not recognise hatespeech as a crime. The police nor the courts can not define exactly what hatespeech is -- so it is what they want it to be.

[Oct 19, 2017] The U.S. Military - Pampered, Safe And Very Scared

Oct 19, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

The U.S. military is a socialist paradise :

Service members and their families live for free on base. People living off base are given a stipend to cover their housing costs. They shop in commissaries and post exchanges where prices for food and basic goods are considerably lower than at civilian stores. Troops and their families count on high-quality education and responsive universal health care. They expect to be safe at home, as bases, on average, have less violence than American cities of comparable size. And residents enjoy a wide range of amenities -- not just restaurants and movie theaters but fishing ponds, camp sites, and golf courses built for their use.

Of course, some bases are better than others. But even the most austere provides a comprehensive network of social welfare provisions and a safety net that does not differentiate between a junior employee and an executive.

For those who stay on, the military provides a generous retirement pay .

"But life in the military is dangerous!"

Not so.

According to a 2012 study by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC) the risk to ones life is lower for soldiers than for civilians:

In the past two decades ( which include two periods of intense combat operations ), the crude overall mortality rate among U.S. service members was 71.5 per 100,000 [person-years] . In 2005, in the general U.S. population, the crude overall mortality rate among 15-44 year olds was 127.5 per 100,000 p-yrs

The huge difference is quite astonishing. The death rate for soldiers would still have been lower than for civilians if the U.S. had started another medium size war:

If the age-specific mortality rates that affected the U.S. general population in 2005 had affected the respective age-groups of active component military members throughout the period of interest for this report, there would have been approximately 13,198 (53%) more deaths among military members overall.

Those working in the U.S. military, even when the U.S. is at war, have a quite pampered life with lots of benefits. They have less risk to their lives than their civilian peers. But when some soldier dies by chance, the announcements speak of "sacrifice". The fishermen, transport and construction workers, who have the highest occupational death rates , don't get solemn obituaries and pompous burials .

There may be occasions where soldiers behave heroic and die for some good cause. But those are rather rare incidents. The reports thereof are at times manipulated for propaganda purposes.

The U.S. military spends more than a billion per year on advertisement. It spends many uncounted millions on hidden information operations. These are not designed to influence an enemy but the people of the United States. In recent years the U.S. military and intelligence services have scripted or actively influenced 1,800 Hollywood and TV productions. Many of the top-rated movie scripts pass through a military censorship office which decides how much 'production assistance' the Department of Defense will provide for the flick.

A rather schizophrenic aspect of its safe life is the military's fear. Despite being cared for and secure, the soldiers seem to be a bunch of scaredy-cats. The military's angst is very ambiguous. It meanders from issue to issue. This at least to various headlines:

Members of the U.S. military live quite well. They are safe. Their propaganda depicts them as heroes. At the same time we are told that they are a bunch of woosies who fear about anything one can think of.

I find that a strange contradiction.

/snark

Posted by b on October 19, 2017 at 12:32 PM | Permalink

Don Bacon | Oct 19, 2017 12:40:38 PM | 1

remember--
"October 13 - 8 Out Of 10 Will Only Read This Headline"
not pampered, but I assume that's a tongue in cheek argument. Live under the rules of a tyrant and call yourself pampered.

Posted by: Stryker | Oct 19, 2017 1:01:21 PM | 2

not pampered, but I assume that's a tongue in cheek argument.
Live under the rules of a tyrant and call yourself pampered.

Posted by: Stryker | Oct 19, 2017 1:01:21 PM | 2 /div

StephenLaudig | Oct 19, 2017 1:15:57 PM | 3
The US military.... losing wars since 1946 [unless you count Panama and/or Grenada]... But in fairness it was tasked with wars that were, by their nature, unwinnable wars. One of the 'grand lessons' of the 20th and 21st centuries is that empires will [almost] always lose wars. The American Empire will lose wars until it runs out of money and then it will quit. All the US needs is a border patrol and a coast guard. All the rest is imperial impedimenta.
la Cariatide | Oct 19, 2017 1:19:49 PM | 4
where do i sign to join american socialist dream?
john | Oct 19, 2017 1:21:01 PM | 5
Their propaganda depicts them as heroes

their suicide rate depicts them as conflicted.

Stryker | Oct 19, 2017 1:23:00 PM | 6
try Venezuela, the United States is of America, it's not America. The "dreamers" all trying to get here.
Ian | Oct 19, 2017 1:23:48 PM | 7
The amenities are good but the pay is low, and health care for veterans is below par.
mischi | Oct 19, 2017 1:26:29 PM | 8
the best soldiers the world has ever seen, like they like to call themselves. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Joe | Oct 19, 2017 1:39:26 PM | 9
Please don't confuse the fears of a lowly enlisted guy, like I used to be, with the published "fears" intended only to extract moar taxpayer dollars....
Burt | Oct 19, 2017 1:43:26 PM | 10
I thought North Korea had a pampered army treated better than the civilian population. Isn't that an Axis of Evil thing?
mena | Oct 19, 2017 1:43:48 PM | 11
Well, and except for the whole Bill of Rights thing. But I guess that's a different conversation.
Of course, the Free Market ideal is to replace as many soldiers with private mercenaries as possible, as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Oct 19, 2017 2:03:05 PM | 12

Of course, the Free Market ideal is to replace as many soldiers with private mercenaries as possible, as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Oct 19, 2017 2:03:05 PM | 12 /div

Piotr Berman | Oct 19, 2017 2:15:40 PM | 13
Honestly, the military exists to respond to "threats", and that entails identifying those threats. The impact of volcano eruptions on jet planes is very real, to give one example, so it is rational to develop options when you cannot use such planes. And so on. I should read "The Airforce 4 biggest fears", just beforehand, I would guess budget cuts are number one. But expenditures imposed by morons in Congress should also be considered. That makes me curious what is number 3 and number 4.
ben | Oct 19, 2017 2:17:18 PM | 14
"Members of the U.S. military live quite well. They are safe. Their propaganda depicts them as heroes."

Not quite as good as depicted b, but, none the less, quite better than the average workers in the U$A today.

IMO, the true heroes in the U$A today are the many workers who struggle daily on minimum wage, to provide for their family's welfare with no job security, and no health care..

james | Oct 19, 2017 2:29:40 PM | 15
b, did you get some kick back for this promotional ad for the us armed forces? i hope so!

@6 stryker. i always get a kick out of when it is referred to as 'america' as if the usa is as big as many in the country think it is! meanwhile us lowly others who inhabit the 'americas' don't get much of a mention...

NemesisCalling | Oct 19, 2017 2:46:06 PM | 16
Even though I have a brother in the Navy who joined because of the shit economy, let me play on the devil's side here, even though I gemerally agree with you.

Ideally, these types of benefits would be welcomed by any country who were legitimately proud of their military. It just so happens that the military we are talking about here is the empire's world police. It really ISN'T the US military any longer, although it takes our cash this way and that for "defense" spending. Although down the list when it comes to defense spending as a per centage of GDP, the US still spends wayyyyyyyy too much. So we are altogether looking at a weird-ass example, b, and although you may be right when it comes to the pussification of our military, I look at it differently for two reasons: 1) as stated above, the US military is unique in their role for the empire; this has created the immense problem of explaining or warranting their existence in faraway lands for almost no discernible reasons. A scattered and bungling approach, meanwhile being stretched way too far, means certain morale and training issues; and 2) it is also a generational thing which ties into the shit economy run by technocratic elites who don't give one iota of a care for the lesser classes which they have massacred through globalization.

So while I think you are in the right to help deconstruct the myth of American military might, I would argue that it is a moot point really and the table is already set for the whole MIC pertaining to US spending to come crashing down once the economy goes tits up. After that, god only knows if militaries will even be useful. In the end, it is difficult for an American like myself to really see the purpose of a military adventure force due to our geographical location. OTOH, a soldier in India looking out from his post over Kashmir might know exactly his worth now and for the future.

Just Sayin' | Oct 19, 2017 2:50:56 PM | 17
The fears of the US Military are the best fears that money can buy.

USA! USA! USA!
Number 1!!!!!!!

notlurking | Oct 19, 2017 2:51:46 PM | 18
I stopped watching most of the war movies dealing with ME conflicts.....a lot of propaganda bullshit.....
Liam | Oct 19, 2017 2:59:43 PM | 19
#MeToo – A Course In Deductive Reasoning: Separating Fact From Fiction Through The Child Exploitation Of 8 Year Old Bana Alabed

https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/10/19/metoo-a-course-in-deductive-reasoning-separating-fact-from-fiction-through-the-child-exploitation-of-8-year-old-bana-alabed/

b | Oct 19, 2017 3:07:51 PM | 20
I now added the /snark tag to the post. Seems necessary ...
S Brennan | Oct 19, 2017 3:09:51 PM | 21
"the crude overall mortality rate among U.S. service members was 71.5 per 100,000 [person-years]. In 2005, in the general U.S. population, the crude overall mortality rate among 15-44 year olds was 127.5 per 100,000 p-yrs"

Roughly two-thirds of all DOD active-duty military personnel were ages 30 or younger in 2015. Only about one-in-ten (9%) were older than 40.*

Compared to**:

15 to 19 years 20,219,890 7.2
20 to 24 years 18,964,001 6.7
25 to 34 years 39,891,724 14.2
35 to 44 years 45,148,527 16.0

So, the disproportionality of the age groups in the cited example would more than account for mortality.

Additionally, massive injuries including dismemberment, permanent brain damage and paralysis are not accounted for. That misrepresentation goes further than the general reader is aware, battlefield casualties that were once fatal are now, though initial response, being treated and the Soldier/Marine returned to society.***

* http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/13/6-facts-about-the-u-s-military-and-its-changing-demographics/

** https://www.infoplease.com/us/comprehensive-census-data-state/demographic-statistics-342

*** http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2004/12/iraq_2004_looks_like_vietnam_1966.html

WorldBLee | Oct 19, 2017 3:17:22 PM | 22
#7 - I agree, the pay for enlisted soldiers is low and VA healthcare doesn't want to treat many chemical issues soldiers get from being around depleted uranium, toxic burn pits, etc. Still, it's a much better life than those bombed by them experience!
Stryker | Oct 19, 2017 3:37:58 PM | 23
@15 James, thanks for the feedback, not too many picking up on that yet.
karlof1 | Oct 19, 2017 3:38:54 PM | 24
The intellectual quality of the Outlaw US Empire's military serfs is reflected in their inability to see that the government they're in service to is the #1 Domestic threat to the Constitution they swore to uphold and protect, with the so-called Deep State tied to it like a shadow.
ken | Oct 19, 2017 3:57:56 PM | 25
A 1st Lieutenant over 3 years makes $4,682 base pay. Thats $30 per hour on average. That is well above most civilian pay. Then many businesses hand them a 10-15% discount.

A Sergeant over 3 5 years makes $2,725 base pay. That's about $17.50 per hour... Not so bad.

Then the get BAS (Meals) $246 for Officers and $347 for enlisted. BAH (Housing) $1291 per month Enlisted. They're hiding the Officers amount.

Then kick in free medical. No Obamacare for them!

And God only know the pension they get after 20 or 30 years. I knew a person receiving a military pension and a Post Office pension. The Post Office is very partial to military and dependents. Almost impossible to work for them full time as a civilian. My wife went to take the 'test' and was told she didn't stand a chance as there were too many military retirees vying for the job.

When I went in the Military in 1967 I made $78 per month. When I got out in 1978 I made $700 per month.

All government workers including military on average make more then civilian counterparts.

What's maddening is when I hear them poor boy everyone. Calling, wanting money for the military or cops.

Debsisdead | Oct 19, 2017 4:24:54 PM | 26
Aha! A hint of how the pampered rapists were left exposed in Niger. According to that bastion of oppression, truth and the amerikan way, Foreign Policy DOT com, the government of Chad is somewhat discomfited by the inclusion of Chad on the most recent iteration of Trump's 'Muslim Ban' list. Hah, Chad is pissed at the latest moronity from Agent Orange eh, at least they have a coupla followers of Islam there, imagine how the population of Venezuela feel since last time anyone looked those Venezuelans who still bought into old wives' tales were prostrating themselves in front of two chunks of wood attached in two dimensional perpendicularity I.E. a cruciform.

Still Chad is pissed and you can hardly blame 'em as for more than 60 years the Chad army has performed vital step & fetchit roles for advancing amerikan and french imperial interests - raping and looting villages from Maghreb to the Sahel, from Nigeria through to Mali whenever it seemed the innate right of amerika to plunder whatever pleases them was being questioned.

From assorted tidbits on offer from the usual corrupt sources, we are told that the band of butchers were visiting a village in Niger to provide a 'pep talk' on anti-terror. when they were attacked by as yet unnamed terrorists; apart from the notion that any group of indigenous persons who attack a gang of armed foreign invaders could ever be called terrorists there is a further irony - the pentagon also asserts that there was no indication of prior 'terrorist activity' in the area where the village was located. If that is correct WTF were amerikan troops going there to provide 'anti-terrorist' information for?

This previously pristine region suddenly filled with alleged 'terrorists' who then proceeded to lay waste to the squad of imperial invaders. Since we know now that this was right after Chad's government, pissed at their inclusion on 'The List' , pulled its mercenary forces out of Niger, it would be fair to surmise that it was they, the Chad gang, who had been keeping the world safe for global exploitation in Niger, but that DC, not wishing to acknowledge the 'muslim ban' had caused such a major screw up, chose to ignore that reality and continued to send it's thugs out to 'disseminate information'.

"This wasn't in the brochure" whined one enabler of empire as he choked out his final words.

Fernando Arauxo | Oct 19, 2017 4:34:32 PM | 27
The USA's armed forces are deadly. We may mock them and while it is true, they don't "win" wars. However the damage they wreak is horrendous, the Armed Forces when unleashed will cause more damage than the mongols. People seem to forget the wars the USA did "win". It's wiped it's ass with the Dominican Republic and Haiti many times. Africa, Asia and Europe suffers under the boot of the G.I.
They don't win, but they don't really "lose" either.
Jagger | Oct 19, 2017 4:43:46 PM | 28
I was trying to figure out the purpose of this article. Since the author didn't list the downsides of serving in the military, I will assume the author has never actually served in the military. My suggestion would be for the author to join as soon as possible to gain access to that great military life and all those fantasic benefits. And since the author believes they are a force of wussies and scaredy-cats, the author should not have any problems getting in. Of course, after the author has spent his third tour humping the boonies in Afghanistan, survived his umpteenth road-side bomb or small arms ambush, should be interesting to see if he turns into a 20 year man so he can fully enjoy the good life.

The article was too one-sided, shallow and exaggerated to be written by anyone but a troll. Waste of time to read it.

Anonymous | Oct 19, 2017 4:57:18 PM | 29
Game over in Syria. After tripartite talks (Syria, Kurds, Russia) at al Qamishli over the Kurdish issue and the US bases in Syria, the Kurds have transferred control of the large Conoco oil facility to Russian ground forces. The Kurds now have no control of oil for financing the so-called 'state'. It looks like they have seen the US casting the Iragi Kurds aside and wondered - 'will the same happen to us?' and gone for the negotiated solution. No wonder Shoigu and Putin have gone on record as saying the Syria issue is nearly over.

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/10/syrians-russians-and-kurds-discuss.html

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/breaking-russian-troops-take-control-key-gas-field-kurdish-forces-deir-ezzor/

gepay | Oct 19, 2017 5:01:41 PM | 30
I wonder if you included suicides or disability post service. WWI the military introduced metal helmets and mortality went down but brain injuries increased. My understanding is that brain injuries due to IED are very common. I would imagine the majority of soldiers returning from a war zone come home maimed in body/and or mind.

As the son of a 20+ year Army vet, I know these perks have been there for a long time. They were necessary to attract anybody before WW2. I imagine they have increased with the volunteer military. Mostly the Army is populated with the more competent people from the lower strata of American society. They have a choice of working at a fast food, convenience store, or motel along the interstate - or the Army - oh yeah being a prison guard is also an option as the burgeoning American prison population is housed in low income rural areas.

I imagine there is bloat in the officer corps - most of those golf courses you mentioned are for officers only. These officers are mainly not coming from low income families. The real bloat though, is in the military contractors - Eisenhower's military-industrial complex with an added national security complex. Amazing how the US has gone from being basically isolationist before WW2 to the militaristic society of today. The US military is the bitch enforcer for global elite. The police are being increasingly militarized. Many of them trained by those human rights paragons - the Israelis.

Just Sayin' | Oct 19, 2017 5:17:18 PM | 31
Amazing how the US has gone from being basically isolationist before WW2 to the militaristic society of today.

Posted by: gepay | Oct 19, 2017 5:01:41 PM | 30

LOL Seriously?

This is only a partial list of US military actions in foreign countries. This list only covers the 50 years from 1890 to WW2

---------------


ARGENTINA 1890 Troops Buenos Aires interests protected.
CHILE 1891 Troops Marines clash with nationalist rebels.
HAITI 1891 Troops Black revolt on Navassa defeated.
IDAHO 1892 Troops Army suppresses silver miners' strike.
HAWAII 1893 (-?) Naval, troops Independent kingdom overthrown, annexed.
CHICAGO 1894 Troops Breaking of rail strike, 34 killed.
NICARAGUA 1894 Troops Month-long occupation of Bluefields.
CHINA 1894-95 Naval, troops Marines land in Sino-Japanese War
KOREA 1894-96 Troops Marines kept in Seoul during war.
PANAMA 1895 Troops, naval Marines land in Colombian province.
NICARAGUA 1896 Troops Marines land in port of Corinto.
CHINA 1898-1900 Troops Boxer Rebellion fought by foreign armies.
PHILIPPINES 1898-1910 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, killed 600,000 Filipinos
CUBA 1898-1902 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, still hold Navy base.
PUERTO RICO 1898 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, occupation continues.
GUAM 1898 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, still use as base.
MINNESOTA 1898 (-?) Troops Army battles Chippewa at Leech Lake.
NICARAGUA 1898 Troops Marines land at port of San Juan del Sur.
SAMOA 1899 (-?) Troops Battle over succession to throne.
NICARAGUA 1899 Troops Marines land at port of Bluefields.
IDAHO 1899-1901 Troops Army occupies Coeur d'Alene mining region.
OKLAHOMA 1901 Troops Army battles Creek Indian revolt.
PANAMA 1901-14 Naval, troops Broke off from Colombia 1903, annexed Canal Zone; Opened canal 1914.
HONDURAS 1903 Troops Marines intervene in revolution.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1903-04 Troops U.S. interests protected in Revolution.
KOREA 1904-05 Troops Marines land in Russo-Japanese War.
CUBA 1906-09 Troops Marines land in democratic election.
NICARAGUA 1907 Troops "Dollar Diplomacy" protectorate set up.
HONDURAS 1907 Troops Marines land during war with Nicaragua
PANAMA 1908 Troops Marines intervene in election contest.
NICARAGUA 1910 Troops Marines land in Bluefields and Corinto.
HONDURAS 1911 Troops U.S. interests protected in civil war.
CHINA 1911-41 Naval, troops Continuous occupation with flare-ups.
CUBA 1912 Troops U.S. interests protected in civil war.
PANAMA 1912 Troops Marines land during heated election.
HONDURAS 1912 Troops Marines protect U.S. economic interests.
NICARAGUA 1912-33 Troops, bombing 10-year occupation, fought guerillas
MEXICO 1913 Naval Americans evacuated during revolution.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1914 Naval Fight with rebels over Santo Domingo.
COLORADO 1914 Troops Breaking of miners' strike by Army.
MEXICO 1914-18 Naval, troops Series of interventions against nationalists.
HAITI 1914-34 Troops, bombing 19-year occupation after revolts.
TEXAS 1915 Troops Federal soldiers crush "Plan of San Diego" Mexican-American rebellion
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1916-24 Troops 8-year Marine occupation.
CUBA 1917-33 Troops Military occupation, economic protectorate.
WORLD WAR I 1917-18 Naval, troops Ships sunk, fought Germany for 1 1/2 years.
RUSSIA 1918-22 Naval, troops Five landings to fight Bolsheviks
PANAMA 1918-20 Troops "Police duty" during unrest after elections.
HONDURAS 1919 Troops Marines land during election campaign.
YUGOSLAVIA 1919 Troops/Marines intervene for Italy against Serbs in Dalmatia.
GUATEMALA 1920 Troops 2-week intervention against unionists.
WEST VIRGINIA 1920-21 Troops, bombing Army intervenes against mineworkers.
TURKEY 1922 Troops Fought nationalists in Smyrna.
CHINA 1922-27 Naval, troops Deployment during nationalist revolt.
MEXICO 1923 Bombing
HONDURAS 1924-25 Troops
PANAMA 1925 Troops Marines suppress general strike.
CHINA 1927-34 Troops Marines stationed throughout the country.
EL SALVADOR 1932 Naval Warships send during Marti revolt.

-------------
You know, I hear they have this new-fangled thing call "The Internet" now.
The hipster kids tell me you can actually connect to it and do things like research a statement before you go and say something stupid.
Can't make head nor tail of it myself, but the local hipster voung 'uns swear by it

ToivoS | Oct 19, 2017 5:28:30 PM | 32
In terms of the most dangerous occupations b seemed to have omitted loggers. From life insurance data published about 30 years ago the most dangerous occupations are (number of deaths per 100,000):

commercial fishermen (about 100)
loggers (70-80)
construction workers (20+)
taxi drivers and 24 hour store clerks (~10)
fire fighters (5)
policemen (4)

With policemen the leading cause of occupational fatalities are from traffic accidents. Every time, any where in the US if a cop is shot by a criminal it becomes front page news across the entire country and their funerals are attended by hundreds of uniformed cops to great press fanfare. This is followed by outpouring of press discussion about the horrible dangers our policemen are exposed to.

Edward | Oct 19, 2017 5:41:16 PM | 33
If you look at battlefield injuries, the picture is not so good; in the Iraq occupation, injuries were often debilitating but not fatal. One also has to worry about being poisoned by burn pits or uranium. The military people who are truly pampered, with a royal lifestyle, are the generals.

Another American group that receives special privileges is the police. Have you heard of the law enforcement bill of rights?

This military socialism resembles Israeli socialism. A technique the Israeli state uses to grant benefits to Israeli Jews and deny them to Palestinians is to tie the benefits to military service which is denied to Palestinians. As a result, Israeli Palestinians pay more taxes but receive less benefits then Israeli Jews.

Just Sayin' | Oct 19, 2017 6:21:27 PM | 34
One of the many "Socialist" benefits on offer to members of the USMilitary

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/apr/19/genital-injuries-taliban-ieds

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/13/health/genital-injuries-among-us-troops.html


-------------

This military socialism resembles Israeli socialism. A technique the Israeli state uses to grant benefits to Israeli Jews and deny them to Palestinians is to tie the benefits to military service which is denied to Palestinians. As a result, Israeli Palestinians pay more taxes but receive less benefits then Israeli Jews.

Posted by: Edward | Oct 19, 2017 5:41:16 PM | 33

Nationalist and Socialist?

A bit of a mouthful, maybe someone should come up with a snappy acronym for it. . . .

wonder what they'd call it?

ERing46Z | Oct 19, 2017 6:23:14 PM | 35
"b" You just way out of your way to beat up the military. SO. The reason the "mortality rate" is so much lower is because better than 98% of us are not only armed, but are private fire arms owners at our homes and the criminal world knows that BUT YOU WENT OUT OF YOUR WAY TO IGNORE THAT! YOU "b" just took your credibility off the cliff, complete with a "snark" all the way to the rocks below. Yes, I served on SECARMY Staff in the E Ring at the Pentagon. So, "been there" all the way to the end. Deployments, sand, live fire convoys and all.
blues | Oct 19, 2017 6:26:34 PM | 36
Every dozen or whatever months I get this spam phone call from this big booming American voice asking me if I would be good enough to contribute to a charity for medical care and/or support of the loved ones of police officers slain or injured while on duty. It's pretty much sort of a shake down, since they do have my number.

This pisses me way off!

So I politely explain to them that my cat, Curly, has severe epilepsy and I must spend $2,000 a month for this Vimpat medicine to keep Curly from having dreadful seizures. So of course I have no leftover money for charity.

Screw them!

<== Jagger | Oct 19, 2017 4:43:46 PM | 28
Yup. Don't waste any more time reading this. (You didn't read the fine print on your auto insurance either, did you?)

Boyo | Oct 19, 2017 6:36:56 PM | 37
One day when the dollar fails and is no longer the petro dollar, then the military cuts will happen like the old USSR. This may be sooner than later after how Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia, Hezbollah and others stuck together in Syria and now Iraq.

This has scared the shit out of the Saudis. The Saudi king ran to Russia to meet with Putin. The petrodollars days are numbered.

Just Sayin' | Oct 19, 2017 6:38:08 PM | 38
Deployments, sand, live fire convoys and all.

Posted by: ERing46Z | Oct 19, 2017 6:23:14 PM | 35

Balls too?

Peter AU 1 | Oct 19, 2017 6:41:45 PM | 39
Good post b.
Looks like the yanks are out in force justifying/finding excuses for the numbers.
james | Oct 19, 2017 7:06:57 PM | 40
all those innocent people, not to mentioned the armed forces people being exposed to depleted uranium, and none of them are a statistic.. thank you barbaric usa..anyone who thinks the usa looks after their vets- i don't think so...
karlof1 | Oct 19, 2017 7:19:56 PM | 41
james @40--

One only need view the film Born on the Fourth of July to learn how vets were treated then and now. My partner's dad has a host of ailments, PTSD amongst them, and ought to be in a VA Nursing Home, but they are almost nonexistent nowadays--they were once called Old Soldiers Homes.

Jackrabbit | Oct 19, 2017 7:48:22 PM | 42
b, your post raises many good questions.

At what point does a military become mercenaries, out for their own good? Who has incentive to make them mercenaries? How can we tell when a military has been compromised? How can society guard against the slippery slope? Etc.

Peter AU 1 | Oct 19, 2017 8:17:07 PM | 43
United States of America = Americans?
In Europe, none of the countries are called Europe and the people collectivly are called Eropeans.
In Asia, no country has the name Asia, but collectivly the people are called Asians.
In Africa, South Africa has Africa in its name, and the people of South Africa a called South africans. Easy to say and people who live in Africa a collectively Africans.
The Americas. Only one country has America in its name, but who the fuck is going to say "United States of Americans" when refering to the arseholes that inhabit the place. Much easier to just say Americans, Canadians, Venezuelans - whatever.
Josh Stern | Oct 19, 2017 8:32:18 PM | 44
How do the life expectancies of adult an adult 'A', 'B', or 'C' compare? Who is most likely to be murdered soonest by Heine gang? Hard to know...most A's are off the map, shut off from any large scale publicity or commerce or media coverage. While the status of 'B' and 'C' is secret. Heine gang shortens the life expectancy of all in a significant way, but I don't know how the current stats would play out.
Edward | Oct 19, 2017 8:53:54 PM | 45
@34 Just Sayin,

That comparison gets made more often these days. In some ways the Israelis are worse then the Nazis.

peter | Oct 19, 2017 9:07:46 PM | 46
I guess if it's a country you like the soldiers are patriotic and morally upright.

If you don't like the country then they're all low-life scum looking for a free ride.

Debsisdead | Oct 19, 2017 10:17:22 PM | 47
The nonsense has started again. I have posted the same epistle twice and both times the missive has disappeared into the black hole, I shan't do it again until I'm certain the original has gone forever -in the meantime no one should be surprised if they both suddenly reappear.
barrisj | Oct 19, 2017 10:53:46 PM | 48
OK. give the reprobate Donald credit (maybe)...he was quoted in saying to the dead soldier's mum: "It's what he signed up for...",blah,blah. But, the Donald called it: Special Forces are nothing but trained assassination teams...they go in, off their target, fly out, end of story. Only this time, the buggers got caught with their shorts down, and...casualties...oh, boo-hoo. All these young bodies that sign up for the US military some time in their enlistment will be posted to "bases" that they didn't even realise existed. And so they get educated, really fast. Then those who go further in their military careers decide to go for the "elite" units: hard-core training, propaganda, "know your enemy",how to murder stealthily, etc. Then, after many "kills", they themselves get capped...it's how the game is played, yo. So, bottom-line - Trump let out the BIG secret: "We" kill, and should expect to be killed in return...who can cavil with that?
J Swift | Oct 19, 2017 11:07:32 PM | 49
@34 Just Sayin,
I'm still chuckling....

@42 Jackrabbit,
This is hugely important. Ditching the draft in the '70's wasn't for any altruistic reason, nor to make the US military "more professional." In draft days, even though most wealthy families could buy their way out of being impacted, a significant cross section of the citizenry could expect to find themselves contributing their pride and joy to some crazy war effort in some far off place. There had better be a damn good reason for it. One of the big lessons the Establishment learned from Vietnam was that even the terminally passive American people could become violently anti-war when it was a life or death situation for them personally. So the move was made to an "all volunteer" force, which would generally draw from a less politically powerful cross section, and there would automatically be less bitching because "those guys wanted to go fight--that's what they signed up for." And as Jackrabbit points out, haven't indeed you at least started down the road to mercenary when your current army must admit they're there for the money, and maybe the promise of adventure, not because they were drafted and just fulfilling their duty as a citizen and eager to get home to the plow?

This is doubly troubling, because now your soldiers are vastly more mercenary than before (and of course will be recruited as true mercenaries upon ETS to meet the growing demand for true mercs), but are fewer and more socially isolated, so they are getting 3, 4, MORE tours in some sand pit where they are basically a walking target and are rightly hated as foreign occupiers, so even the best of them cannot help but become resentful and sociopathic. But at the same time, the Deep State has divorced the military from the citizenry at large, so citizens care less and less how many wars the US is engaged in, how many destroyed young men come home, and not only does protest of wars evaporate, warfare is mythically transformed into something heroic and to be desired, not feared. All empires have gradually been forced to employ more and more mercenaries (or slaves) to maintain their wars, but it never ends well.

[Oct 19, 2017] Privacy is dead Get over it by Paul Croke

Mar 24, 2015 | baltimorepostexaminer.com
In the days before cellular communications were well on their way to being the dominant form of personal electronic communication, the Federal Communications Commission had strict regulatory control governing third party monitoring of telephone conversations. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies were the only branches of government which could legally tap phones, and these only with a court order.

Into the ether

But cellular communications, being radio transmissions, had no such official protection. And the Internet, either carried by cable or through wireless data transmission, is still baffling government regulatory agencies as to whether they have any jurisdiction over Net use or Internet service providers.

So although we got along pretty well with the status quo regarding personal privacy from the government for 200 years or so, the explosive growth of the Internet and the many, many ways we usually unwittingly expose our private affairs to Big Business and the government has raced toward the formation of behemoths of so-called Big Data.

Big Data is a catchall term which includes the collection of personal, business and government information that has brought us to a point beyond the extremely pessimistic dreams of George Orwell.

Exposure of the willing

Millions spill the most intimate details of their lives on Facebook. Their photo posts to Instagram may contain geolocational tags. Hackers have figured out how to use the front facing cameras on laptops to catch their owners' parading by in various states of undress. Illicit credit card readers are inserted into gas station swipers, recording hundreds of card numbers and passwords, then removed, numbers collected, then sold to brokers, or fences, who resell them to the usual suspects. There are even butt swipers, devices that scan back pockets and purses to read your credit card card info.

internet-of-thingsGoogle reads your email and if you mention a brand name for a product or an item you're thinking of buying, the next search you make Google throws up ads for that product or its competitors.

But we're just now on the brink of a yawning chasm. Be prepared to take the leap into the new age of No Privacy, courtesy of the coming ubiquity of the Internet of things. Not only will your remaining privacy be rendered a dead letter, but the very definition of privacy is about to change.

The Internet of things is already here in nascent form, from smart cars to smart refrigerators to smart thermostats to home security monitors which know when you're home and when you're not, what room you're in and what you're doing there.

Death by a thousand cuts

We're no strangers in the past century to technological advances that change our lives. We've also witnessed how the pace of technological change accelerates. And these changes, in their turn, have not only altered our lives, but each has affected them faster and has been more keenly felt by society.

1373563853701.cachedBut previous changes have been mostly incremental, a rapidly moving series of small steps that affect one portion of our lives. These include instant phone calls or texts to anyone on the planet, email, cloud storage of personal or business data, the latter facilitating group work on projects or reports.

But still a measure of personal privacy was maintained, depending a lot on how much you were willing to share using that cunning new app or seductive new Internet-connected device.

But the sheer volume of small personal habits and activities added up over time, allowing government and business to put the pieces together to form quite an accurate, and highly detailed, snapshot of you, your spending habits, your circle of friends, your politics etc.

Your life, exposed

But with the Internet of things, these sketches of you will turn into full-fledged portraits. No longer will one device or app do its one trick to change your life, such as storage in the cloud of personal data, or online banking or Internet shopping. The sheer number of embedded sensors in your house and car, the latter long legally protected as bastions of privacy, will reveal every detail of your private life. The Internet of things will affect not just one facet of your life, such as industry, commerce or politics, it will completely rewrite the definition of personal privacy.

[Oct 18, 2017] Spy Schools How the CIA, FBI and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America's Universities by Nick Roll

Notable quotes:
"... Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America's Universities ..."
"... The Boston Globe ..."
"... Inside Higher Ed ..."
"... The Wall Street Journal ..."
"... The Price of Admission ..."
"... Inside Higher Ed ..."
"... Inside Higher Ed ..."
"... look back to Stalin, Hitler, Franco, Mao, Mussolini et.al with THIER use of domestic agencies to impose lock-step thinking and to ferret out free-thinkers. ..."
"... It is amazing how many biochemists and microbiologists from the People's Republic of China would e-mail me asking if I had a position in my "lab," touting their bench skills, every time I published a paper on the federal bioterrorism program, medical civic action programs, etc. ..."
"... When I started teaching 48 years ago, the president of my college was James Dovonan, Bill Donovan's (founder of the OSS) brother, portrayed by Tom Hanks in the movie, "Bridge of Spies." ..."
"... Beyond NIH funded grant-based research, Homeland Security, Energy, Defense, and the Intelligence Community agencies have long histories of relationships with American academia. This could be funded research, collaborative research, shared personnel relationships, or all other manner of cooperation. Sometimes it's fairly well known and sometimes it's kept quiet, and sometimes it's even classified. But it is much more extensive and expansive than what Golden describes, and much less "cozy" or suspicious. ..."
"... For years I have said that it is foolish to look to universities for moral guidance, and this story is one more instance. In this case, the moral ground is swampy at best, and the universities do not appear to have spent a lot of time worrying about possible problems as long as the situation works to their advantage financially. ..."
"... Does Golden discuss at all the way in which the CIA and other intelligence services funnel money into academic research without the source of the funding ever being revealed? This was common practice in the 1960s and 1970s, and colleges like MIT were among those involved in this chicanery. ..."
"... Where has IHE been for the past several decades? Read Rosenfeld's book, Subversives..... about the FBI's illegal acts at Berkeley. Or read this, a summary of his book: https://alumni.berkeley.edu... Or read George R. Stewart, The Year of the Oath. ..."
www.chronicle.com
October 3, 2017

The CIA Within Academe 21 Comments

Book documents how foreign and domestic intelligence agencies use -- and perhaps exploit -- higher education and academe for spy operations.
Foreign and domestic intelligence services spar and spy on one another all across the world. But it would be naïve to think it's not happening in the lab or classroom as well.

In his new book, Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America's Universities ( Henry Holt and Company ), investigative journalist Daniel Golden explores the fraught -- and sometimes exploitative -- relationship between higher education and intelligence services, both foreign and domestic. Chapters explore various case studies of the Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation using the open and collaborative nature of higher education to their advantage, as well as foreign governments infiltrating the U.S. via education.

"It's pretty widespread, and I'd say it's most prevalent at research universities," Golden, an editor at ProPublica and an alumnus of The Boston Globe 's "Spotlight" team, told Inside Higher Ed . "The foreign intelligence services have the interest and the opportunity to learn cutting-edge, Pentagon-funded or government-funded research."

Golden, who has also covered higher education for The Wall Street Journal , previously wrote about the intersection of wealth and admissions in his 2006 book The Price of Admission .

Each of the case studies in Spy Schools , which goes on sale Oct. 10, is critical. One could read the chapters on the Chinese government's interest in U.S. research universities as hawkish, but then turn to the next chapter on Harvard's relationship with the CIA and read it as critical of the American intelligence establishment as well.

"People of one political persuasion might focus on [the chapters regarding] foreign espionage; people of another political persuasion might focus on domestic espionage," Golden said. "I try to follow where the facts lead."

Perhaps the most prestigious institution Golden examines is Harvard University, probing its cozy relationship with the CIA. (While Harvard has recently come under scrutiny for its relationship with the agency after it withdrew an invitation for Chelsea Manning to be a visiting fellow -- after the agency objected to her appointment -- this book was written before the Manning incident, which occurred in September.) The university, which has had varying degrees of closeness and coldness with the CIA over the years, currently allows the agency to send officers to the midcareer program at the Kennedy School of Government while continuing to act undercover, with the school's knowledge. When the officers apply -- often with fudged credentials that are part of their CIA cover -- the university doesn't know they're CIA agents, but once they're in, Golden writes, Harvard allows them to tell the university that they're undercover. Their fellow students, however -- often high-profile or soon-to-be-high-profile actors in the world of international diplomacy -- are kept in the dark.

"Kenneth Moskow is one of a long line of CIA officers who have enrolled undercover at the Kennedy School, generally with Harvard's knowledge and approval, gaining access to up-and-comers worldwide," Golden writes. "For four decades the CIA and Harvard have concealed this practice, which raises larger questions about academic boundaries, the integrity of class discussions and student interactions, and whether an American university has a responsibility to accommodate U.S. intelligence."

But the CIA isn't the only intelligence group operating at Harvard. Golden notes Russian spies have enrolled at the Kennedy School, although without Harvard's knowledge or cooperation.

When contacted by Inside Higher Ed , Harvard officials didn't deny Golden's telling, but defended the university's practices while emphasizing the agreement between the university and the CIA -- which Golden also writes about -- on not using Harvard to conduct CIA fieldwork.

"Harvard Kennedy School does not knowingly provide false information or 'cover' for any member of our community from an intelligence agency, nor do we allow members of our community to carry out intelligence operations at Harvard Kennedy School," Eric Rosenbach, co-director of the Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, said in a statement.

While Golden said the CIA's involvement on campus raises existential questions about the purpose and integrity of higher education, Harvard maintained that the Kennedy School was living up to its mission.

"Our community consists of people from different spheres of public service. We are proud to train people from the U.S. government and the intelligence community, as well as peace activists and those who favor more open government," Rosenbach said in his statement. "We train students from a wide range of foreign countries and foreign governments, including -- among others -- Israel, U.K., Russia and China. That is consistent with our mission and we are proud to have that reach."

On the other hand, other countries are interested in exploiting U.S. higher education. Golden documents the case of Ruopeng Liu, a graduate student at Duke University who siphoned off U.S.-government-funded research to Chinese researchers. Liu eventually returned to China and has used some of the research for his Chinese-government-funded start-up ventures.

Golden is comprehensive, interviewing Duke researchers who worked with Liu, as well as dispatching a freelance journalist in China to interview Liu (he denied wrongdoing, saying his actions were taken as part of higher education's collaborative norms regarding research projects). Despite questions that arose while Liu was a student, he received his doctorate in 2009 without any formal questions or pushback from the university. A week before Liu defended his dissertation, Golden notes that Duke officials voted to move forward in negotiations with the Chinese government regarding opening a Duke campus in China -- raising questions about whether Duke was cautious about punishing a Chinese student lest there were negative business implications for Duke. ( The building of the campus proved to be a controversial move in its own right. )

The Duke professor Liu worked under told Golden it would be hard to prove Liu acted with intentional malice rather than out of genuine cultural and translational obstacles, or ethical slips made by a novice researcher. Duke officials told Inside Higher Ed that there weren't any connections between Liu and the vote.

"The awarding of Ruopeng Liu's degree had absolutely no connection to the deliberations over the proposal for Duke to participate in the founding of a new university in Kunshan, China," a spokesman said in an email.

These are just two chapters of Golden's book, which also goes on to document the foreign exchange relationship between Marietta College, in Ohio, and the controversial Chinese-intelligence-aligned University of International Relations. Agreements between Marietta and UIR, which is widely regarded a recruiting ground for Chinese intelligence services, include exchanging professors and sending Chinese students to Marietta. Conversely, Golden writes, as American professors teach UIR students who could end up spying on the U.S., American students at Marietta are advised against studying abroad at UIR if they have an interest in working for the government -- studying at UIR carries a risk for students hoping to get certain security clearances. Another highlight is the chapter documenting the CIA's efforts to stage phony international academic conferences, put on to lure Iranian nuclear scientists as attendees and get them out of their country -- and in a position to defect to the U.S. According to Golden's sources, the operations, combined with other efforts, have been successful enough "to hinder Iran's nuclear weapons program."

But Golden's book doesn't just shed light on previously untold stories. It also highlights the existential questions facing higher education, not only when dealing with infiltration from foreign governments, but also those brought on by cozy relationships between the U.S. intelligence and academe.

"One issue is American national security," Golden said. "Universities do a lot of research that's important to our government and our military, and they don't take very strong precautions against it being stolen," he said. "So the domestic espionage side -- I'm kind of a traditionalist and I believe in the ideal of universities as places where the brightest minds of all countries come together to learn, teach each other, study and do research. Espionage from both sides taints that that's kind of disturbing."

After diving deep into the complex web that ties higher education and espionage together, however, Golden remains optimistic about the future.

"It wouldn't be that hard to tighten up the intellectual property rules and have written collaboration agreements and have more courses about intellectual safeguards," he said. "In the 1970s, Harvard adopted guidelines against U.S. intelligence trying to recruit foreign students in an undercover way they didn't become standard practice [across academe, but], I still think those guidelines are pertinent and colleges would do well to take a second look at them."

"In the idealistic dreamer mode, it would be wonderful if the U.N. or some other organization would take a look at this issue, and say, 'Can we declare universities off-limits to espionage?'"

Nicholas Dujmovic , October 3, 2017 8:18 AM

Equating the presence and activities of US intelligence on campuses with that of foreign intelligence is pretty obtuse moral relativism. US academia and US intelligence alike benefit from cooperation, and the American people are the winners overall. By the way, is it really necessary to twice describe this relationship as "cozy"? What does that mean, other to suggest there's something illicit about it?

Grace Alcock -> Nicholas Dujmovic , October 4, 2017 1:30 AM

It'd be nice if American intelligence was paying a bit more attention to what goes on in academic research--as far as I can tell, the country keeps making policies that don't seem particularly well-informed by the research in relevant areas. Can we get them to infiltrate more labs of scientists working on climate change or something?

Maybe stick around, engage in some participant observation and figure that research out? It's not clear they have any acquaintance with the literature on the causes of war. Really, pick a place to start, and pay attention.

alsotps -> Nicholas Dujmovic , October 3, 2017 5:20 PM

If you cannot see how a gov't intelligence agency, prohibited from working in the USA by statute and who is eye-deep in AMERICAN education is wrong, then I am worried. Read history. Look back to the 1970's to start and to the 1950's with FBI and the military agents in classrooms; then read about HUAC.

Now, look back to Stalin, Hitler, Franco, Mao, Mussolini et.al with THIER use of domestic agencies to impose lock-step thinking and to ferret out free-thinkers.

Get it? it is 'illicit!"

Nicholas Dujmovic -> alsotps , October 4, 2017 12:38 PM

Actually, I read quite a bit of history. I also know that US intelligence agencies are not "prohibited from working in the USA." If they have relationships in academia that remind you of Stalin, Hitler, etc., how have US agencies "imposed lock-step thinking and ferreted out free-thinkers?" Hasn't seemed to work, has it? Your concern is overwrought.

Former Community College Prof -> Nicholas Dujmovic , October 3, 2017 12:12 PM

"Cozy" might refer to the mutual gains afforded by allowing the federal government to break many rules (and laws) while conducting their "intelligence operations" in academe. I do not know if I felt Homeland Security should have had permission to bring to this country, under false premises supported by ICE and accrediting agencies, thousands of foreign nationals and employed them at companies like Facebook, Apple, Morgan Stanley and the U.S. Army. While Homeland Security collected 16K tuition from each of them (and the companies that hired these F-1s didn't have to pay FICA) all our nation got was arrests of 20 mid level visa brokers.

https://www.nytimes.com/201...

Personally, I think cozy was quite complimentary as I would have chosen other words. Just imagine if there are additional "undercover students" with false credentials in numbers significant enough to throw off data or stopping universities and colleges from enforcing rules and regulations. If you set up and accredit a "fake university" and keep the proceeds, it strikes me as illicit.

alsotps -> Former Community College Prof , October 3, 2017 5:21 PM

Hey...don't imagine it. Read about Cointelpro and military 'intelligence' agents in classes in the early 1970's....

Trevor Ronson -> Nicholas Dujmovic , October 3, 2017 2:36 PM

And behaving as if the "the presence and activities of US intelligence on campuses" is something to accept without question is also "obtuse moral relativism". We are talking about an arrangement wherein a / the most prestigious institutions of higher learning has an established relationship with the CIA along with some accepted protocol to ongoing participation.

Whether it is right, wrong, or in between is another matter but please don't pretend that it's just business as usual and not worthy of deeper investigation.

alsotps -> Trevor Ronson , October 3, 2017 5:16 PM

Unfortunately for many people, it IS business as usual.

George Avery , October 3, 2017 9:46 AM

It is amazing how many biochemists and microbiologists from the People's Republic of China would e-mail me asking if I had a position in my "lab," touting their bench skills, every time I published a paper on the federal bioterrorism program, medical civic action programs, etc.

Never mind that I primarily do health policy and economics work, and have not been near a lab bench since I returned to school for my doctorate.....anything with a defense or security application drew a flurry of interest in getting involved.

As a result, I tended to be very discerning in who I took on as an advisee, if only to protect my security clearance.

alsotps -> George Avery , October 3, 2017 5:22 PM

PAr for the course for both UG and grad students from China who have not paid a head hunter. ANY school or program offering money to international students was flooded by such inquiries. Get over yourself.

John Lobell , October 3, 2017 6:25 AM

When I started teaching 48 years ago, the president of my college was James Dovonan, Bill Donovan's (founder of the OSS) brother, portrayed by Tom Hanks in the movie, "Bridge of Spies."

We had a program in "Tropical Architecture" which enrolled students form "third world" countries. Rumor was -- --

jloewen , October 3, 2017 10:38 AM

When I got my Ph.D. from Harvard in 1968, the Shah of Iran got an honorary doctorate at the same commencement. The next year, by pure coincidence!, he endowed three chairs of Near Eastern Studies at H.U.

alsotps -> jloewen , October 3, 2017 5:24 PM

Absolutely a coincidence! You don't think honoraria have anything whatsoever to do with the Development Office do you? (Snark)

Kevin Van Elswyk , October 3, 2017 9:31 AM

And we are surpised?

Robert4787 , October 4, 2017 6:28 PM

So glad to see they're on campus. Many young people now occupy the CIA; the old "cowboys" of the Cold War past are gone. U may find this interesting>> http://osintdaily.blogspot....

TinkerTailor1620 , October 3, 2017 5:29 PM

Hundreds of government civil servants attend courses at the Kennedy School every year. That a few of them come from the CIA should be no surprise. It and all the other intelligence agencies are nothing more than departments within the federal government, just like Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, the FDA, Energy, and so on. Nothing sneaky or suspicious about any of it. Why anyone with cover credentials would tell the Kennedy School admin that is beyond me. When I was in cover status, I was in cover status everywhere; to not be was to blow your cover, period, and was extremely dangerous.

Beyond NIH funded grant-based research, Homeland Security, Energy, Defense, and the Intelligence Community agencies have long histories of relationships with American academia. This could be funded research, collaborative research, shared personnel relationships, or all other manner of cooperation. Sometimes it's fairly well known and sometimes it's kept quiet, and sometimes it's even classified. But it is much more extensive and expansive than what Golden describes, and much less "cozy" or suspicious.

Phred , October 3, 2017 1:49 PM

For years I have said that it is foolish to look to universities for moral guidance, and this story is one more instance. In this case, the moral ground is swampy at best, and the universities do not appear to have spent a lot of time worrying about possible problems as long as the situation works to their advantage financially.

alsotps -> Phred , October 3, 2017 5:25 PM

The key, here, is financially. The bean counters and those whose research is funded don't look hard at the source of the funding. Just so it keeps coming.

Jason , October 4, 2017 6:34 PM

Academic treason.

Sanford Gray Thatcher , October 4, 2017 6:13 PM

Does Golden discuss at all the way in which the CIA and other intelligence services funnel money into academic research without the source of the funding ever being revealed? This was common practice in the 1960s and 1970s, and colleges like MIT were among those involved in this chicanery.

Remember also how intelligence agency money was behind the journal Encounter? Lots of propaganda got distributed under the guise of objective social science research.

donald scott , October 3, 2017 6:05 PM

Where has IHE been for the past several decades? Read Rosenfeld's book, Subversives..... about the FBI's illegal acts at Berkeley. Or read this, a summary of his book: https://alumni.berkeley.edu... Or read George R. Stewart, The Year of the Oath.

In the research for my biography of Stewart I found significant information about CIA presence on the UC Berkeley campus, in the mid-twentieth century, which reached in to the highest levels of the administration and led to a network of "professors" recruited by that unAmerican spy agency.

The oaths, the current gender wars and the conviction by accusation of harassment are all later attempts to politicize education and turn fiat lux into fiat nox. IHE should be writing more about that and about the current conviction by sexual accusation, and the effect of such on free thought and free inquiry.

[Oct 17, 2017] Ukrainian foreign trade deficit in January-August has grown to over three billion dollars

Slightly edited Google translation from Ukrainian
Please note that grivna generally kept its value and fluctuated in the band of 26-27 grivna per dollar for the same period. The general impression from 2015 to 2017 is slight growth of economic activity, especially in home building. Standard of living did not change much for this period and remains low. Food prices were more or less stable, which communal services costs especially house/apartment heating skyrocketed and even for one bedroom apartment now at winter can well exceed average pension.
Some percentage of foreign trade deficit might well be due to additional costs of import of coal (with some coming from the USA now) and gas (which is bought not directly but from Eastern European countries which has extra volumes at low prices from Russia). The continuing war at Donbass although at very low level still also attracts a lot funds.
Notable quotes:
"... Ukrainian foreign trade deficit in January-August has grown to 3.279 billion dollars, which is 2.3 times higher than the deficit for the same period last year - 1.448 billion dollars. ..."
"... The export coverage ratio was 0.89, while in January-August 2016 it was 0.94. ..."
"... For the whole 2016, Ukraine enjoyed a small surplus of foreign trade balance amounted to 337.3 million dollars. ..."

Ukrainian foreign trade deficit in January-August has grown to 3.279 billion dollars, which is 2.3 times higher than the deficit for the same period last year - 1.448 billion dollars.

Those data were reported by the Ukrainian National State Statistics Service.

Exports of goods from Ukraine over the period in comparison with the same period in 2016 increased by 21,1% - to 27,512 billion dollars, import - by 27,4%, to 30,791 billion dollars.

The export coverage ratio was 0.89, while in January-August 2016 it was 0.94. Foreign trade operations were conducted with partners from 219 countries of the world. For the whole 2016, Ukraine enjoyed a small surplus of foreign trade balance amounted to 337.3 million dollars.

[Oct 17, 2017] Google launches advanced Gmail security features for high-risk users

Notable quotes:
"... The program would include additional reviews and requests in the account recovery process to prevent fraudulent access by hackers who try to gain access by pretending they have been locked out. ..."
Oct 17, 2017 | www.msn.com

Alphabet's Google Inc said on Tuesday that it would roll out an advanced protection program in order to provide stronger security for some users such as government officials and journalists who are at a higher risk of being targeted by hackers.

The internet giant said that users of the program would have their account security continuously updated to deal with emerging threats.

The company said it would initially provide three defenses against security threats, which include blocking fraudulent account access and protection against phishing.

The program would include additional reviews and requests in the account recovery process to prevent fraudulent access by hackers who try to gain access by pretending they have been locked out.

... ... ...

[Oct 17, 2017] Kiev Should Give Up on the Donbass by Alexander J. Motyl

The article was written before April, 2017 and as such has only historical interest.
foreignpolicy.com

It didn't take long for things in Ukraine to go south in the Trump era.

Before last fall's U.S. election, Ukraine had finally appeared to be stabilizing after several tumultuous years. The country was receiving generally good grades and assistance from the International Monetary Fund; it enjoyed the political, diplomatic, and financial -- if not quite military -- support of the West; and it was making headway on internal reforms in the legal, economic, social, educational, health, and energy sectors. Finally, its armed forces had successfully transformed themselves from the 6,000 combat-ready troops available in mid-2014 to a powerful, battle-hardened army that managed to fight Russia and its proxies to a standstill in the east.

... ... ...

Kiev couldn't turn down such an offer, because it has continually insisted that the Donbass must, and will, be brought back into the Ukrainian fold. But the consequences of this gift would be ugly. Kiev would likely face an all-out war with the abandoned separatists, one that it would probably win, but then have to follow with enormous investments to fix the devastated region and try to win the hearts and minds of its anti-Kiev population. Estimates of how much it would cost to undo the damage done by Russia start at $20 billion, according to economist Anders Aslund; Ukraine's entire budget amounts to about $26 billion.

No less debilitating for Ukraine would be the political consequences of reintegrating the occupied Donbass. Several million anti-Western voters would be brought into the fold, to vote against Ukraine's pro-Western reforms. The pro-Russian political forces that ruled and still rule the region would get a second life. And the oligarchs and thieves who mismanaged the Donbass for decades would return to power. The Donbass would then play the same retrograde role it has played in Ukrainian politics since independence in 1991. Political tensions would increase, East-West polarization would return, Kiev would be rendered politically and economically impotent, and Putin would have achieved what he wanted all along -- a thoroughly unstable Ukraine, minus the cost of funding a low-level conflict in an economically doomed enclave.

Of course, it's impossible to say just which of these scenarios -- ranging from all-out war to dumping the Donbass to some other intermediate move -- will happen. The point is that, with Trump's unpredictability, radicalism, and pro-Russian sympathies, all of them are now possible or far more possible than they were before Trump's election.

The point is that, with Trump's unpredictability, radicalism, and pro-Russian sympathies, all of them are now possible or far more possible than they were before Trump's election.

Since the status quo that has held for the past two years is unlikely to do so for long, Ukraine needs to develop a realistic strategy toward the occupied Donbass -- one attuned to the new geopolitical circumstances -- and prepare for all of Trump and Putin's possible faits accomplis.

The good news is that Ukraine is prepared for all-out war with Russia; it is also prepared for and could cope with aid cutoffs from Washington and the end of sanctions. The bad news is that Kiev is thoroughly unprepared for the one scenario that could destroy Ukraine at little cost to Putin: Russia's return of the Donbass.

Whatever Kiev decides to do, Ukrainians must first decide what they believe is more important: independence or territorial integrity. The Minsk accords enabled Ukraine to enjoy the first and aspire to the second. This state of affairs could not have lasted forever, but Trump and Putin have brought it to a premature end.

Before Trump, Ukrainians could avoid making too many tough decisions about their strategic priorities. After Trump, they cannot.

[Oct 17, 2017] The Lobby British Style

Notable quotes:
"... To be sure, my observations are neither new nor unique. Former Congressmen Paul Findley indicted the careful crafting of a pro-Israel narrative by American Jews in his seminal book They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby , written in 1989. Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's groundbreaking book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy said much the same thing nine years ago and discussions of Jewish power do emerge occasionally, even in the mainstream media. In the Jewish media Jewish power is openly discussed and is generally applauded as a well-deserved reward bestowed both by God and by mankind due to the significant accomplishments attributed to Jews throughout history. ..."
"... That many groups and well-positioned individuals work hand-in-hand with the Israeli government to advance Israeli interests should not be in dispute after all these years of watching it in action. Several high level Jewish officials, including Richard Perle , associated with the George W. Bush Pentagon, had questionable relationships with Israeli Embassy officials and were only able to receive security clearances after political pressure was applied to "godfather" approvals for them. Former Congressman Tom Lantos and Senator Frank Lautenberg were, respectively, referred to as Israel's Congressman and Senator, while current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has described himself as Israel's "shomer" or guardian in the U.S. Senate. ..."
"... The documentary reveals that local Jewish groups, particularly at universities and within the political parties, do indeed work closely with the Israeli Embassy to promote policies supported by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. ..."
"... I'd also add Adlai E. Stevenson III and John Glenn. Stevenson was crucial in getting compensation -- paltry sum though it was– payed to "Liberty" families for their loss. The Israelis had been holding out. Something for which the Il Senator was never forgiven (especially by The Lobby). ..."
"... And Israeli interference in U.S. government and elections is also a given. Endorsement of Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election by the Netanyahu government was more-or-less carried out in the open. ..."
"... All embassies try to further their national interest through political machinations and all people in politics tend to use hyperbolic language to describe what they are doing. I don't know if your shock is just for show or you are just a bit dim. The same applies to Buzzfeed's 'expose' of Bannon and the gasps the article let out at his use of terms like #War. ..."
"... The British government attitude was that everything was fine because the Israeli government "apologised" and the "rogue individual" responsible was taken out of the country, and the British media mostly ignored the story after an initial brief scandal. Indeed the main substantive response was the Ofcom fishing expedition against Al Jazeera looking for ways to use the disclosure of these uncomfortable truths as a pretext for shutting that company's operations down. ..."
"... The supreme irony behind all this is that Trump has been prevented by his own personal and family/adviser bias from using the one certain way of removing all the laughably vague "Russian influence" nonsense that has been used against him so persistently. All he had to do was to, at every opportunity, tie criticism and investigation of Russian "influence" to criticism and investigation of Israel Lobby influence under the general rubric of "foreign influence", and almost all of the high level backing for the charges would in due course have quietly evaporated. ..."
Oct 17, 2017 | www.unz.com

One month ago, I initiated here at Unz.com a discussion of the role of American Jews in the crafting of United States foreign policy. I observed that a politically powerful and well-funded cabal consisting of both Jewish individuals and organizations has been effective at engaging the U.S. in a series of wars in the Middle East and North Africa that benefit only Israel and are, in fact, damaging to actual American interests. This misdirection of policy has not taken place because of some misguided belief that Israeli and U.S. national security interests are identical, which is a canard that is frequently floated in the mainstream media. It is instead a deliberate program that studiously misrepresents facts-on-the ground relating to Israel and its neighbors and creates casus belli involving the United States even when no threat to American vital interests exists. It punishes critics by damaging both their careers and reputations while its cynical manipulation of the media and gross corruption of the national political process has already produced the disastrous war against Iraq, the destruction of Libya and the ongoing chaos in Syria. It now threatens to initiate a catastrophic war with Iran.

To be sure, my observations are neither new nor unique. Former Congressmen Paul Findley indicted the careful crafting of a pro-Israel narrative by American Jews in his seminal book They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby , written in 1989. Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's groundbreaking book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy said much the same thing nine years ago and discussions of Jewish power do emerge occasionally, even in the mainstream media. In the Jewish media Jewish power is openly discussed and is generally applauded as a well-deserved reward bestowed both by God and by mankind due to the significant accomplishments attributed to Jews throughout history.

There is undeniably a complicated web of relationships and networks that define Israel's friends. The expression "Israel Lobby" itself has considerable currency, so much so that the expression "The Lobby" is widely used and understood to represent the most powerful foreign policy advocacy group in Washington without needing to include the "Israel" part. That the monstrous Benjamin Netanyahu receives 26 standing ovations from Congress and a wealthy Israel has a guaranteed income from the U.S. Treasury derives directly from the power and money of an easily identifiable cluster of groups and oligarchs – Paul Singer, Sheldon Adelson, Bernard Marcus, Haim Saban – who in turn fund a plethora of foundations and institutes whose principal function is to keep the cash and political support flowing in Israel's direction. No American national interest, apart from the completely phony contention that Israel is some kind of valuable ally, would justify the taxpayers' largesse. In reality, Israel is a liability to the United States and always has been.

And I do understand at the same time that a clear majority of American Jews, leaning strongly towards the liberal side of the political spectrum, are supportive of the nuclear agreement with Iran and do not favor a new Middle Eastern war involving that country. I also believe that many American Jews are likely appalled by Israeli behavior, but, unfortunately, there is a tendency on their part to look the other way and neither protest such actions nor support groups like Jewish Voice for Peace that are themselves openly critical of Israel. This de facto gives Israel a free pass and validates its assertion that it represents all Jews since no one important in the diaspora community apart from minority groups which can safely be ignored is pushing back against that claim.

That many groups and well-positioned individuals work hand-in-hand with the Israeli government to advance Israeli interests should not be in dispute after all these years of watching it in action. Several high level Jewish officials, including Richard Perle , associated with the George W. Bush Pentagon, had questionable relationships with Israeli Embassy officials and were only able to receive security clearances after political pressure was applied to "godfather" approvals for them. Former Congressman Tom Lantos and Senator Frank Lautenberg were, respectively, referred to as Israel's Congressman and Senator, while current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has described himself as Israel's "shomer" or guardian in the U.S. Senate.

A recent regulatory decision from the United Kingdom relates to a bit of investigative journalism that sought to reveal precisely how the promotion of Israel by some local diaspora Jews operates, to include how critics are targeted and criticized as well as what is done to destroy their careers and reputations.

Last year, al-Jazeera Media Network used an undercover reporter to infiltrate some U.K. pro-Israel groups that were working closely with the Israeli Embassy to counter criticisms coming from British citizens regarding the treatment of the Palestinians. In particular, the Embassy and its friends were seeking to counter the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), which has become increasingly effective in Europe. The four-part documentary released late in 2016 that al-Jazeera produced is well worth watching as it consists mostly of secretly filmed meetings and discussions.

The documentary reveals that local Jewish groups, particularly at universities and within the political parties, do indeed work closely with the Israeli Embassy to promote policies supported by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It also confirms that tagging someone as an anti-Semite has become the principal offensive weapon used to stifle any discussion, particularly in a country like Britain which embraces concepts like the criminalization of "hate speech." At one point, two British Jews discussed whether "being made to feel uncomfortable" by people asking what Israel intends to do with the Palestinians is anti-Semitic. They agreed that it might be.

The documentary also describes how the Embassy and local groups working together targeted government officials who were not considered to be friendly to Israel to "be taken down," removed from office or otherwise discredited. One government official in particular who was to be attacked was Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan.

Britain, unlike the U.S., has a powerful regulatory agency that oversees communications, to include the media. It is referred to as Ofcom. When the al-Jazeera documentary was broadcast, Israeli Embassy political officer Shai Masot, who reportedly was a Ministry of Strategic Affairs official working under cover, was forced to resign and the Israeli Ambassador offered an apology. Masot was filmed discussing British politicians who might be "taken down" before speaking with a government official who plotted a "a little scandal" to bring about the downfall of Duncan. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is the first head of a political party in Britain to express pro-Palestinian views, had called for an investigation of Masot after the recording of the "take down" demand relating to Duncan was revealed. Several Jewish groups (the Jewish Labour Movement, the Union of Jewish Students and We Believe in Israel) then counterattacked with a complaint that the documentary had violated British broadcast regulations, including the specific charge that the undercover investigation was anti-Semitic in nature.

On October 9 th , Ofcom ruled in favor of al-Jazeera, stating that its investigation had done nothing improper, but it should be noted that the media outlet had to jump through numerous hoops to arrive at the successful conclusion. It had to turn over all its raw footage and communications to the investigators, undergoing what one source described as an "editorial colonoscopy," to prove that its documentary was "factually accurate" and that it had not "unfairly edited" or "with bias" prepared its story. One of plaintiffs, who had called for critics of Israel to "die in a hole" and had personally offered to "take down" a Labour Party official, responded bitterly. She said that the Ofcom judgment would serve as a "precedent for the infringement of privacy of any Jewish person involved in public life."

The United States does not yet have a government agency to regulate news stories, though that may be coming, but the British tale has an interesting post script. Al-Jazeera also had a second undercover reporter inserted in the Israel Lobby in the United States, apparently a British intern named James Anthony Kleinfeld, who had volunteered his services to The Israel Project, which is involved in promoting Israel's global image. He also had contact with at least ten other Jewish organizations and with officials at the Israeli Embassy,

Now that the British account of "The Lobby" has cleared a regulatory hurdle the American version will reportedly soon be released. Al-Jazeera's head of investigative reporting Clayton Swisher commented "With this U.K. verdict and vindication past us, we can soon reveal how the Israel lobby in America works through the eyes of an undercover reporter. I hear the U.S. is having problems with foreign interference these days, so I see no reason why the U.S. establishment won't take our findings in America as seriously as the British did, unless of course Israel is somehow off limits from that debate."

Americans who follow such matters already know that groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) swarm over Capitol Hill and have accomplices in nearly every media outlet. Back in 2005-6 AIPAC Officials Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman were actually tried under the Espionage Act of 1918 in a case involving obtaining classified intelligence from government official Lawrence Franklin to pass on to the Israeli Embassy. Rosen had once boasted that, representing AIPAC and Israel, he could get the signatures of 70 senators on a napkin agreeing to anything if he sought to do so. The charges against the two men were, unfortunately, eventually dropped "because court rulings had made the case unwinnable and the trial would disclose classified information."

And Israeli interference in U.S. government and elections is also a given. Endorsement of Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election by the Netanyahu government was more-or-less carried out in the open. And ask Congressmen like Paul Findley, Pete McCloskey, William Fulbright, Charles Percy and, most recently, Cynthia McKinney, what happens to your career when you appear to be critical of Israel. And the point is that while Israel calls the shots in terms of what it wants, it is a cabal of diaspora American Jews who actually pull the trigger. With that in mind, it will be very interesting to watch the al-Jazeera documentary on The Lobby in America.

Rurik , October 17, 2017 at 4:29 am GMT

Philip Giraldi is a rare American treasure. A voice of integrity and character in a sea of moral cowardice and corruption. If there is any hope for this nation, it will be due specifically to the integrity of men like Mr. Giraldi to keep speaking truth to power.
googlecensors , October 17, 2017 at 5:00 am GMT
One is unable to open the documentary – all 4 parts – on YouTube suggesting that google/YouTube are censoring it and have caved into the Jewish Lobby
Malla , October 17, 2017 at 5:03 am GMT
When the Jewish Messiah comes, all of us goyim (Black, White, Yellow, brown or Red) will be living like today's Palestinians. Our slave descendant will be scurrying around in their ghettos afraid of the Greater Israeli Army military andriod drones in the sky.

But if I was a Westerner, I would support Israel any day. Because if the Israeli state were to be ever dismantled, all of them Israelis would go to the West. Why would you want that?

Frankie P , October 17, 2017 at 5:42 am GMT
@Rurik

He has been set free by the truth, proving the old maxim.

wayfarer , October 17, 2017 at 5:43 am GMT
Understand a Spoiled Child, and You Will Understand Israel. source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoiled_child

Discipline the Spoiled Child, and Boycott Israel. source: https://bdsmovement.net/

Israel Anti-Boycott Act – An Attack on Free Speech?

Dan Hayes , October 17, 2017 at 5:48 am GMT
Philip,

My admittedly subjective impression is that your UR reports are becoming more open/unbounded after your release from the constraints of the American Conservative . In other word, you're now being enabled to let it all hang out. In my book that's all to the good.

Of course your work and those of the other UR writers are enabled by the beneficence of its patron, Ron!

Uebersetzer , October 17, 2017 at 6:14 am GMT
There may be limits to their power in Britain. Jeremy Corbyn is hated by them, and stories are regularly run in the MSM, in Britain and also (of course!) in the New York Times claiming that under Corbyn Labour is a haven of anti-Semitism. Corbyn actually gained millions of votes in the last election. Perhaps they will nail him somewhere down the road but they have failed so far.
JackOH , October 17, 2017 at 6:59 am GMT
" . . . [W]ars in the Middle East and North Africa that benefit only Israel and are, in fact, damaging to actual American interests (emphases mine).

That's the money shot, Phil. I'm okay with Jews, okay with the existence of Israel, all that, but I think we were massively had by Iraq II. When Valerie Plame spoke in my area, she talked disgustedly about a plan to establish American military power throughout the Middle East. She used the euphemism "neocons" for the plan's authors, and seemed about to burst with anger. I looked up the plan, but don't recall the catch phrase for it.

I recall the basic idea was for the U. S. to do Israel's dirty work at U. S. expense and without a U. S. benefit, and I think there was the usual "God talk" cover in it about "democratization", "development", blah-blah.

jilles dykstra , October 17, 2017 at 7:07 am GMT
All these things are known for a long time for those interested. The problem is how to end it. I do not see how, in a democracy.
22pp22 , October 17, 2017 at 7:10 am GMT
A journalist with a drop of courage. Wow. I thought they were extinct. Is Giraldi the only one?
Lemurmaniac , October 17, 2017 at 7:38 am GMT
If you think the Zionist drain on American blood and treasure is bad, wait till you find out what their liberal counterparts are up to.
Cloak And Dagger , October 17, 2017 at 7:43 am GMT
I remain skeptical that the Al-Jazeera undercover story in the US will be able to be viewed. I anticipate a hoard of Israel-firster congress critters to crawl out from under their respective rocks and deem Al-Jazeera to be antisemitic and call for it being banned as a foreign propaganda apparatus, much as is being done with RT and Sputnik.

I fear that we are long past the point of being redeemed as a nation. We can only watch with sorrow as this great nation crumbles under the might of Jewish power – impotent in our ability to arrest its fall.

Mark James , October 17, 2017 at 9:32 am GMT
ask Congressmen like Paul Findley, Pete McCloskey, William Fulbright, Charles Percy

I'd also add Adlai E. Stevenson III and John Glenn. Stevenson was crucial in getting compensation -- paltry sum though it was– payed to "Liberty" families for their loss. The Israelis had been holding out. Something for which the Il Senator was never forgiven (especially by The Lobby).

Netanyahu should not have been allowed to address the joint session. No foreign leader should be speaking in opposition to any sitting President (in this case Obama). It only showed the power of "The Lobby." Netanyahu who knew that Iran didn't have the weapons the Bush Adm. had claimed, was treated like a trusted ally. He shouldn't have been.

geokat62 , October 17, 2017 at 9:35 am GMT
Phil, this is exactly "the retraction" I was expecting from you. 100% pure gold.
Kevin , October 17, 2017 at 9:37 am GMT
And the point is that while Israel calls the shots in terms of what it wants, it is a cabal of diaspora American Jews who actually pull the trigger. With that in mind, it will be very interesting to watch the al-Jazeera documentary on The Lobby in America.

Maybe, instead of Russia-Gate, we have is Israel-Gate. This time Netanyahu discreetly interfering in US Presidential Election ..Chilling thought though!

Tyrion , October 17, 2017 at 9:53 am GMT

And Israeli interference in U.S. government and elections is also a given. Endorsement of Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election by the Netanyahu government was more-or-less carried out in the open.

London's Mayor, Sadiq Khan, actually went to America to campaign for Hillary. Numerous European leaders endorsed her, while practically all denounced Trump. Exactly the same can be said of the Muslim world, only more so.

The problem with criticism of Israel is not that it lacks basis in truth. It is that it is removed from the context of the rest of the world. Israel's actions do not make Israel an outlier. Israel fits very much within the norm. Even with the recording this is the case.

All embassies try to further their national interest through political machinations and all people in politics tend to use hyperbolic language to describe what they are doing. I don't know if your shock is just for show or you are just a bit dim. The same applies to Buzzfeed's 'expose' of Bannon and the gasps the article let out at his use of terms like #War.

Unfortunately, contemporary idiots of all stripes seem to specialise in removing context so that they can further their specious arguments.

Randal , October 17, 2017 at 9:58 am GMT

"so I see no reason why the U.S. establishment won't take our findings in America as seriously as the British did"

Sadly, Clayton Swisher is probably correct that the US establishment will take their findings in America just as "seriously" as the British media and political establishment, and government, did.

The British government attitude was that everything was fine because the Israeli government "apologised" and the "rogue individual" responsible was taken out of the country, and the British media mostly ignored the story after an initial brief scandal. Indeed the main substantive response was the Ofcom fishing expedition against Al Jazeera looking for ways to use the disclosure of these uncomfortable truths as a pretext for shutting that company's operations down.

But there's no "undue influence" or bias involved, and if you say there might be then you are an anti-Semite and a hater.

The supreme irony behind all this is that Trump has been prevented by his own personal and family/adviser bias from using the one certain way of removing all the laughably vague "Russian influence" nonsense that has been used against him so persistently. All he had to do was to, at every opportunity, tie criticism and investigation of Russian "influence" to criticism and investigation of Israel Lobby influence under the general rubric of "foreign influence", and almost all of the high level backing for the charges would in due course have quietly evaporated.

geokat62 , October 17, 2017 at 9:59 am GMT
@Rurik

Philip Giraldi is a rare American treasure.

Rare, indeed, Rurik.

And in this rare company I would place former congressman, Ron Paul.

Here's an excerpt from his latest article, President Trump Beats War Drums for Iran :

Let's be clear here: President Trump did not just announce that he was "de-certifying" Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal. He announced that Iran was from now on going to be in the bullseye of the US military. Will Americans allow themselves to be lied into another Middle East war?

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/october/16/president-trump-beats-war-drums-for-iran/

animalogic , October 17, 2017 at 10:54 am GMT
This state of affairs, where the Zionist tail wags -- thrashes -- the US dog is bizarre to the point of laughter. Absent familiarity with the facts, who could believe it all? Is there a historical parallel ? I can't think of one that approaches the sheer profundity of the toxic embrace the Zionists have cover the US & west generally.
The Alarmist , October 17, 2017 at 11:01 am GMT
So how is using money we give them as foreign aid (it's fungible by any definition of the US Treasury and Justice Department) to lobby our legislators not a form of money laundering? Somebody ought to tell Mnuchin to get FINCEN on this yeah, I know, it sounded naive as I typed it. FINCEN is only there to harass little people like you and me.
Bardon Kaldian , October 17, 2017 at 11:05 am GMT
@googlecensors

Not true.

jacques sheete , October 17, 2017 at 11:15 am GMT
@Malla

Abby Martin is amazingly sharp. Many of the things she says can be confirmed by Uri Avnery, both his books and articles.

Here's a link to his weekly columns.

http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery

Incredible stuff there; thanks for posting it.

jacques sheete , October 17, 2017 at 11:21 am GMT
@Malla

Our slave descendant will be scurrying around in their ghettos afraid of the Greater Israeli Army military andriod drones in the sky.

According to the first vid, those drones will be built by the goyim.

Maybe there's a message there for us.

jacques sheete , October 17, 2017 at 11:32 am GMT
@Cloak And Dagger

I fear that we are long past the point of being redeemed as a nation. We can only watch with sorrow as this great nation crumbles

We are long past that point.

I myself am watching with joy, because this supposedly "great nation" was corrupt to the core from its inception.

For evidence, all one has to do is read the arguments of the anti-federalists who opposed the ratification of the constitution* such as Patrick Henry, Robert Yates and Luther Martin. Their predictions about the results have come true. Even the labels, "federalist" and "anti-federalist" are misleading and no doubt intentionally so.

Those who spoke out against the formation of the federal reserve bank* scheme were also correct.

The only thing great about the US in a moral sense are the high sounding pretenses upon which it was built. As a nation we have never adhered to them.

*Please note that I intentionally refrain from capitalizing those words since I refuse to show even that much deference to those instruments of corruption.

ISmellBagels , October 17, 2017 at 11:45 am GMT
Philip, glad to see you undaunted after the recent attacks on you. We can maybe take solace in the fact that their desire for MORE will finally pass a critical point, and dumbass Americans will finally wake up.
jacques sheete , October 17, 2017 at 11:47 am GMT

"She said that the Ofcom judgment would serve as a "precedent for the infringement of privacy of any Jewish person involved in public life."

I have news for that twister of words.

In my opinion, if you choose to put yourself in the limelight, you have no private life. That is especially true for those who think they're entitled to a position of power.

In other words, if you think you're special, then you get judged by stricter standards than the rest of us.

It's called accountability.

BTW, speaking of Netanyahu, why do we hear so little about the scandal involving the theft of nuclear triggers from the US?

"The Israeli press is picking up Grant Smith's revelation from FBI documents that Benjamin Netanyahu was part of an Israeli smuggling ring that spirited nuclear triggers out of the U.S. in the 80s and 90s."

http://mondoweiss.net/2012/07/netanyahu-implicated-in-nuclear-smuggling-from-u-s-big-story-in-israel.html

jacques sheete , October 17, 2017 at 11:58 am GMT
Thank you Mr Giraldi. You covered an amazing number of issues in such a well written and compact article.

Thanks also to Mr Unz for publishing these sorts of things.

ISmellBagels , October 17, 2017 at 12:30 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

What she really meant by that was HOLOCAUST ALERT HOLOCAUST ALERT!!

Anon , Disclaimer October 17, 2017 at 12:42 pm GMT
@Malla

When you listen to Abby Martin describe her experience regarding this brutal apartheid system in Israel and the genocide of the Palestinian people, remember, Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic , was a prison guard in the Israeli Defense Forces guarding the West Bank death camp. And David Brooks, political and cultural commentator for The New York Times and former op-ed editor for The Wall Street Journal , has a son in the Israel Defense Forces helping to perpetuate this holocaust of the Palestinian people. I hope I live to see the day when some Palestinian Simon Wiesenthal hunts these monsters down and brings them to trial in The Hague.

iffen , October 17, 2017 at 12:47 pm GMT
NPR Morning Edition 10/17/17

Rachel Martin talks to Vahil Ali, the communications director for the Kurdish president.

In which she tries to steer him into calling for armed American intervention in Kurdistan to resist the Iranian sponsored militia.

LondonBob , October 17, 2017 at 12:58 pm GMT
The lobby is not as powerful in Britain as it is the US, we can talk about it and someone like Peter Oborne is still a prominent journalist, but I don't see that it makes that much difference. We seem to end up in the same places the US does.
Sherman , October 17, 2017 at 1:15 pm GMT
I had my meeting with the Rothschilds, Goldman Sachs and the Israeli Department of Hasbara last week and we discussed how our plan to suppress both the US and British governments is progressing.

Apparently we are meeting our targets and everything is going according to plan.

Thanks for update Phil!

ChuckOrloski , October 17, 2017 at 1:25 pm GMT
@geokat62

Hey geokat62,

Speaking about how greatly rare a treasure are the P.G.'s words, below is linked a deliberately rare letter written by Congressman Donald Rumsfeld on behalf of the AZC.

http://www.israellobby.org/azcdoj/congress/defaultZAC .

Also, re, "Will Americans allow themselves to be lied into another M.E. war?"

(Sigh)

History shows that, in order for ZUSA to start M.E. wars, Americans are routinely fed Executive Branch / Corporate Media-sauteed lies. Such deceit is par-for-the-course.

At present, it would be foolish for me to not realize there is a False Flag Pentagon plan "on the table" & ready for a war with Iran.

Jake , October 17, 2017 at 1:27 pm GMT
What is playing out in the UK, and is in early stages in America, is the fight between the two side of Victorian WASP pro-Semtiism.

WASP culture has always been philo-Semitic. That cannot be stated too much. WASP culture is inherently philo-Semtic. WASP culture was born of Anglo-Saxon Puritanism, which was a Judaizing heresy. Judaizing heresy naturally and inevitably produces pro-Jewish culture. No less than Oliver Cromwell made the deal to get Jewish money so he could wage culture war to destroy British Isles natives were not WASPs.

WASP culture has always been allied with Jews to destroy white Christians who are not WASPs. You cannot solve 'the Jewish problem' unless you also solve 'the WASP problem.'

By the beginning of the Victorian era, virtually all WASP Elites in the Empire – who then had a truly globalist perspective – were divided into two pro-Semitic camps. The larger one was pro-Jewish. It would give the world the Balfour Declaration and the state of Israel.

The smaller and growing one was pro-Arabic and pro-Islamic. It would give the world the people who backed Lawrence of Arabia and came to prop up the House of Saud.

Each of these philo-Semitic WASP Elites groups was more than happy to keep the foot on the pedal to destroy non-WASP European cultures while spending fortunes propping up its favorite group of Semites.

And while each of those camps was thrilled to ally to keep up the war against historic Christendom and the peoples who naturally would gravitate to any hope of a revival of Christendom, they also squabbled endlessly. Each wished, and always will wish, to be the A-#1 pro-Semitic son of daddy WASP. Each will play any dirty trick, make any deal with the Devil himself, to get what he wants.

The Israeli lobby is more powerful throughout the Anglosphere than the Saudi/Arabic lobby, but the Saudi lobby is equally detestable and probably even a more grave threat to the very existence of Western man.

It is impossible to take care of a serious problem without knowing its source and acting to sanitize and/or cauterize and/or cut out that source. The source of this problem is WASP culture.

Michael Kenny , October 17, 2017 at 1:31 pm GMT
That the intelligence services of many countries engage in such conduct is not really news. Indeed, you could say that it's part of their normal job. They usually don't get caught and when accused of anything they shout "no evidence!" (now, where have I heard that recently?) Of course, if the Israelis engage in such conduct, then, logically, other countries' services do so too. Thus, Mr Giraldi's argument lends credibility to the claims that Russia interfered in the US election and to the proposition that US intelligence agents are seeking to undermine the EU. Since those two operations are part of the same transaction, i.e. maintain US global hegemony by breaking the EU up into its constituient Member States or even into the regional components of the larger Member States, using Putin as a battering ram and a bogeyman to frighten the resultering plethora of small and largely defenceless statlets back under cold war-era American protection, could it be that US and Russian intelligence services collaborated to manipulate Trump into the White House? If that were true, it would be quite a scandal! Overthrowing foreign governments is one thing, collaborating with a foreign power to manipulate your own country's politics is quite another! But of course, there's "no evidence"
anonymous , Disclaimer October 17, 2017 at 1:32 pm GMT
@Malla

Sorry, but these linked videos to such as the Joe Rogan Show are often underwhelming.

I just forced myself to watch the entire 25 minute clip of Mr. Rogan and Ms. Martin. The documentation of the rally on behalf of the Israeli soldier was probably enlightening, but the buzzy, vulgar overtalk against the backdrop of Warholian Elvis & Jimi pictures makes for an annoying waste of time. Saddening, too, that since her tenure on RT a few years back, Ms. Martin seems to have regressed to sounding like a three-beered college sophomore.

Unz Review has allowed me to curtail the time spent viewing online. The video medium has its place. Black Pigeon Speaks, for example, is a craftsman with a sense of humor whose relatively concise efforts are both entertaining and informative. But when I want to learn and think critically about something, give me an essay or book every time.

Do others here agree that written journalism is both more efficient (in terms of the audience's time) and effective than talk-radio-on-camera?

Fran Macadam , Website October 17, 2017 at 1:32 pm GMT
Not surprising that the Jewish public gets gamed by Israeli political elites, just as the American public keeps getting gamed by our own cabal of bought politicians. Trying to fool enough of the people, enough of the time, contra Lincoln (who was not exactly a friend of critical dissent either against war.)
Anon , Disclaimer October 17, 2017 at 1:53 pm GMT
@wayfarer

Daphne Caruana Galizia exposed both local thieves and the CIA-Azerbaijan cooperation in supplying ISIS with arms: https://www.rt.com/news/406963-assange-reward-caruana-galizia-death/ https://www.newsbud.com/2017/10/16/breaking-gladio-b-assassinates-journalist-with-car-bomb/
"Azerbaijan considers Malta to be "one of its provinces": https://daphnecaruanagalizia.com/2017/09/azerbaijan-considers-malta-one-provinces/
The Middle Eastern wars have repercussion .

[Oct 17, 2017] For War Hawks, Iran Deal Dump Is Music to the Ears

As one commenter aptly said: " 'Moron', as Tillerson would say." and as another noted "Don the Neocon.. We can keep the military in the end-stateless, goal-less, sinkhole known as Afghanistan for decades, STILL subsidize the defense of rich EU and Asian countries, fight the latest "Al Qaeda offshoot" everywhere on the African continent but we can't afford universal healthcare like US welfare baby Israel or about every other developed country, or restore power or drinking water in a US territory."
Notable quotes:
"... the question is, who are these people all excited about Iran? Other than politicians who may be working for foreign lobbies? ..."
"... This is pure lawlessness. We are breaking an agreement and by advocating regime change against a govt that has not attacked us or even threatened us in a serious manner are breaking the U.N. charter. ..."
"... Screw Trump. I mean really, screw him. He got my vote because I thought he was going to first crush ISIS and then get us out of the Middle East. Instead he's intensifying nearly every aspect of our Middle East entanglements. ..."
"... Now he's creating a new mess of his own. And this crap he's pulling with Iran is for Saudi Arabia and Israel. America First really? ..."
"... Of all of the Obama-era foreign policy decisions Trump could pull back, he's hell-bent on crushing one of the only good ones. I'd be shocked if he has even an elementary understanding of the agreement. "Moron", as Tillerson would say. ..."
"... "Cotton is one of the biggest Israel money guys in the Senate, if not the biggest. Really whopping contributions – "the Swamp" personified. In return for Israel money he has tirelessly pushed the core Israeli policy of hostility to Iran, so much so that it hardly makes sense to think of him as an American senator anymore." ..."
"... It appears that Trump's strategy is to insult and ruin Ran's economy to the point where he can get Iran to do something that will allow him to declare war against Iran because they attacked us. ..."
"... And how many countries has Iran invaded in the last 200 years? And how many countries has Israel invaded in the last 80 years? ..."
"... We will really find out who the Swamp creatures are now. Any congressman or Senator who votes for new sanctions against Iran – a country that poses virtually no threat to the United States – exposes himself as a bought-and-paid-for tool of Saudi Arabia and the jihadist fanatics the Saudis support. ..."
"... it's less that Trump wants to undo what Obama did and more that he wants to do what Netanyahu wants. ..."
"... Any notion of American excellence has now been erased. Our country will not soon recover all that Trump has tossed away and as citizens, we cannot absolve ourselves from blame. We have elected the most odious leader in our history and have allowed (mostly) a Republican Party to participate in government without having made a single contribution to the welfare of the American republic. Cotton is not alone in his folly that dismisses all real national interest. Like others, there have been many times I have despaired at the state of affairs in our Country, but this is different. Trump and his vandal allies I believe have inflicted permanent and irreversible damage to our country. Joe F , says: October 13, 2017 at 5:07 pm One follow up to earlier post: with this action, Trump has proven beyond doubt that the Mullah regime in Iran is a far more trustworthy nation than the United States. Well done Donald ..."
Oct 13, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Fran Macadam , says: October 13, 2017 at 12:48 am

Making war in other people's countries is what an American government captured by globalist financial elites is all about. For elites, such wars, paid for by the deplorable ordinary Americans they loathe, have no downside and carry no risk to them. Lose-lose for the American public is win-win for them, they cannot lose, especially since wars that can't be won will never end, perfect profit streams.
80 Percent Polyester , says: October 13, 2017 at 5:39 am
"Cotton was among the fiercest and loudest opponents of the agreement before it was made, and he has continued to look for ways to sabotage it."

Cotton is one of the biggest Israel money guys in the Senate, if not the biggest. Really whopping contributions – "the Swamp" personified. In return for Israel money he has tirelessly pushed the core Israeli policy of hostility to Iran, so much so that it hardly makes sense to think of him as an American senator anymore.

He's more like a member of the Netanyahu government who somehow ended up in one of Arkansas's US Senate seats.

Early To Rise , says: October 13, 2017 at 5:58 am
Does anyone here know any real Americans who are pushing for this policy against Iran? My family and friends are nearly all real Americans, and not one of them has any interest in ending the deal with Iran. Most of them wish we would get out of the Middle East altogether.

So the question is, who are these people all excited about Iran? Other than politicians who may be working for foreign lobbies?

Christian Chuba , says: October 13, 2017 at 7:16 am
This is pure lawlessness. We are breaking an agreement and by advocating regime change against a govt that has not attacked us or even threatened us in a serious manner are breaking the U.N. charter.

We are doing this while condemning other countries for not following a 'liberal, rules based world order' (whatever that is, oh, wait, it is following Caesar's decrees). Our Hubris will catch up to us, whether it will be by the Almighty that the Haley's and Cotton's claim to serve or just the law of reciprocity, I don't know. No one is more blind than those corrupted by power.

John Quincy Adams, "But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force . She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit."

He was able to see this because we were not yet intoxicated by power.

Everything Must Go , says: October 13, 2017 at 8:01 am
Screw Trump. I mean really, screw him. He got my vote because I thought he was going to first crush ISIS and then get us out of the Middle East. Instead he's intensifying nearly every aspect of our Middle East entanglements.

Now he's creating a new mess of his own. And this crap he's pulling with Iran is for Saudi Arabia and Israel. America First really?

Frederick Martin , says: October 13, 2017 at 9:38 am
Of all of the Obama-era foreign policy decisions Trump could pull back, he's hell-bent on crushing one of the only good ones. I'd be shocked if he has even an elementary understanding of the agreement. "Moron", as Tillerson would say.
Fred Bowman , says: October 13, 2017 at 10:14 am
What seem to be missing here is anybody talking about Israel nuclear capability. That's the "dirty little secret" that nobody talks about. Imho, as long as Iran is in compliance the deal should. Of course Trump and the Hawks in Congress are going to do everything to scuttle it and bring about a war with Iran which will end up being a World War and will necessitate the US returning to a military draft to fight this war. It will be a sad way to "wake up" America to what is being done militarily in their name. But perhaps when they see their little "Johnny and Jill" marched off to war, they'll see what has been done in these endless, unwinnable wars in the Middle East.
AR complaint , says: October 13, 2017 at 10:31 am
[Tom Cotton gets] "Really whopping contributions – "the Swamp" personified."

He got a $700,000 check from a single Israel donor in 2014. You think anybody in Arkansas not named "Walton" can match that? No sir. Tom Cotton does what Israel tells him to do. Scuttle the Iran deal? No problem.

It's time that my fellow Arkansans did for Tom Cotton what those upstanding Virginians did for Eric Cantor back in 2014, and for the same reason: we want our government back from corrupt politicians working for foreign interests.

SDS , says: October 13, 2017 at 11:53 am
I second EVERYTHING said above by all –
Steve Waclo , says: October 13, 2017 at 11:53 am
" the president made clear over the summer, he didn't "believe" Iran was in compliance and would not certify again."

Wait, what?! What does Trump know that the IAEA has been unable to learn and at the risk of compromising intelligence sources, why has he not shared that knowledge? As with many of the man's "beliefs", such attitudes do not make issues remotely true. We don't need to stir the Iran pot, for goodness sake. Has not this man kicked enough hornets nests around the world?

Stephen J. , says: October 13, 2017 at 11:58 am
I believe the "War Hawks"are leading Trump into another war. Therefore, I asked on: February 4, 2017 Will There Be War With Iran?
http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/02/will-there-be-war-with-iran.html
Steve in Ohio , says: October 13, 2017 at 12:35 pm
"Cotton is one of the biggest Israel money guys in the Senate, if not the biggest. Really whopping contributions – "the Swamp" personified. In return for Israel money he has tirelessly pushed the core Israeli policy of hostility to Iran, so much so that it hardly makes sense to think of him as an American senator anymore."

Cotton is wrong on this issue, but he's hardly a Swamp politico. He understands the dangers of mass immigration and looks likely to replace Jeff Sessions as the leading immigration hawk in the Senate. Unfortunately, I suspect he has presidential ambitions and being pro Israel is a must in GOP primaries.

Rand Paul, on the other hand, like his dad, is good on foreign policy, but doesn't get the immigration issue. People like me who want a non interventionist FP and low immigration seldom have candidates that believe in both to support. I had high hopes for Trump, but he seems to have too many generals around him telling him the wrong things.

the times they are a'changing , says: October 13, 2017 at 1:23 pm
"Cotton is wrong on this issue, but he's hardly a Swamp politico. He understands the dangers of mass immigration and looks likely to replace Jeff Sessions as the leading immigration hawk in the Senate. Unfortunately, I suspect he has presidential ambitions and being pro Israel is a must in GOP primaries. "

No it's not. It was a litmus test for the old neocon Establishment GOP, and it's gone the way of Eric Cantor. You have to go to New York, DC, or some left coastal city to find anyone who gives a goddamn about it, and those places don't vote Republican anyway.

Politicians who take the Israel dollar care about it a lot, naturally. And Cotton's near the top of the list.

jk , says: October 13, 2017 at 2:04 pm
Don the Neocon.. We can keep the military in the end-stateless, goal-less, sinkhole known as Afghanistan for decades, STILL subsidize the defense of rich EU and Asian countries, fight the latest "Al qaeda offshoot" everywhere on the African continent but we can't afford universal healthcare like US welfare baby Israel or about every other developed country, or restore power or drinking water in a US territory.

"NO KIN IN THE GAME": STUDY FINDS MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WITHOUT DRAFT-AGE SONS WERE MORE HAWKISH"

https://theintercept.com/2017/10/11/congress-war-hawkish-policies-study/

That explains "lifetime bachelor" Graham's behavior!

Kent , says: October 13, 2017 at 3:09 pm
To our neocon friends:

1. Even though Iran and Iraq are 4 letter words and share the first 3, they are very, very different animals. Iran is an industrial state of 85 million capable of designing and building effective rockets. It is highly unlikely the US can defeat Iran in a conventional war on its own turf.

2. Even if we did defeat them, there is nobody there yearning for American style pseudo-democracy. While they are not perfectly happy with their own government, they'll be dammed if they're going to accept one from us. So you'd have to put millions of American troops in harms way against the civilian population essentially forever.

And a note on the President. I don't believe he knows or cares a thing about Iran or their capabilities. What he does know, after watching Fox News for the last 8 years is: Obama bad. So the only reason, I'm certain, that Trump cares about this is because it was an Obama initiative.

Robert Charron , says: October 13, 2017 at 3:34 pm
It appears that Trump's strategy is to insult and ruin Ran's economy to the point where he can get Iran to do something that will allow him to declare war against Iran because they attacked us.

And how many countries has Iran invaded in the last 200 years? And how many countries has Israel invaded in the last 80 years?

As I recall we made a regime change in the Iranian government when we had the CIA along with the English intelligence by replacing the elected Prime Minister of Iran with the despotic, tyrannical Shah.

As an American, Trump has desecrated our flag with his flat out lies, not the NFL athletes who simps knelt during the National Anthem.

simon94022 , says: October 13, 2017 at 3:54 pm
We will really find out who the Swamp creatures are now. Any congressman or Senator who votes for new sanctions against Iran – a country that poses virtually no threat to the United States – exposes himself as a bought-and-paid-for tool of Saudi Arabia and the jihadist fanatics the Saudis support.

Let them be counted!

Ollie , says: October 13, 2017 at 4:26 pm
No president in history has been more feckless and reckless than Trump. The danger demands that the 25th amendment be asserted.
Why Does The Heathen Rage? , says: October 13, 2017 at 4:49 pm
"So the only reason, I'm certain, that Trump cares about this is because it was an Obama initiative."

I've heard this before, but if it were true than why is Trump helping the Saudis wreck and starve Yemen? That was an Obama initiative too. That's why I now think that it's not really the Obama connection so much as the Netanyahu connection that drives Trump. In other words, it's less that Trump wants to undo what Obama did and more that he wants to do what Netanyahu wants.

Joe F , says: October 13, 2017 at 5:05 pm
Any notion of American excellence has now been erased. Our country will not soon recover all that Trump has tossed away and as citizens, we cannot absolve ourselves from blame. We have elected the most odious leader in our history and have allowed (mostly) a Republican Party to participate in government without having made a single contribution to the welfare of the American republic.

Cotton is not alone in his folly that dismisses all real national interest. Like others, there have been many times I have despaired at the state of affairs in our Country, but this is different. Trump and his vandal allies I believe have inflicted permanent and irreversible damage to our country.

Joe F , says: October 13, 2017 at 5:07 pm
One follow up to earlier post: with this action, Trump has proven beyond doubt that the Mullah regime in Iran is a far more trustworthy nation than the United States. Well done Donald
Liam , says: October 13, 2017 at 5:21 pm
Regarding the 25th amendment option: how far down the line of succession must one go to find someone who has solid, bona fide cred to stop this inanity?
picture window , says: October 13, 2017 at 5:45 pm
The Economist today opines that Xi Jinping has more clout than Donald Trump.

And I read on TAC that Trump is p***ing away our wealth and power doing favors for Israel and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East, like scuttling the Iran deal and picking fights with the Iranian government. And I conclude that the reason that the Economist may be right about Xi Jinping is because Trump is doing what I read about in TAC, wasting our time, blood, money, and focus on appeasing a bunch of goddamn foreigners in the form of the Israel and Saudi lobbies.

Pretty damn grim.

[Oct 17, 2017] Trump Decertifies Iran Deal, Vows New Sanctions by Jason Ditz

The immediate costs of decertification for the USl include the loss of the trust of allies, increased tensions with Iran, and much greater skepticism from all other governments. It also create additional difficulties the next time America wants to negotiate a major international agreement as some countries will view the USA as a rogue nation which is unable to keep its word. If decertification leads to the U.S. breaching its obligations under the nuclear deal, as seems likely, that the costs will increase even more, and so will the chances of war with Iran.
It might well be that Trump made a step increasing the probability of his removal from the current position by cabinet members.
Looks like Trump focus on appeasing a bunch of foreigners in the form of the Israel and Saudi lobbies.
Pretty damn grim.
Oct 13, 2017 | news.antiwar.com

President Trump started his long-anticipated anti-Iran speech by complaining about the 1979 hostage situation. What followed was an increasingly fantastical and absurd accounting of Iran's history, before finally announcing he is decertifying the nuclear deal for "violations," and announcing new sanctions.

The allegations against Iran went from things that happened a generation ago to treating things like the specious "Iranian plot" to attack a DC restaurant as not only the government's fault, but absolute established fact. Beyond that, he blamed Iran for the ISIS wars in Iraq and Syria, repeatedly accused them of supporting al-Qaeda, and claimed Iran was supporting the 9/11 attackers.

The allegations were so far-fetched by the end, that even President Trump appeared cognizant that many won't be taken seriously. Later in his speech, he insisted that the claims were "factual."

When addressing "violations" of the P5+1 nuclear deal, Trump similarly played fast and loose with the facts, citing heavy water claims that are really more the international community's violation than Iran's (Iran was guaranteed an international market for the water, but after Congress got mad the US has refused to buy any more, meaning Iran's totally non-dangerous stock grew), and accusing them of "intimidating" inspectors, insinuating that was the reason there aren't investigations at Iranian military sites.

In reality, Iranian military sites are only subject to investigation in the case of a substantiated suspicion of nuclear activities, and there simply are none. The IAEA has in recent days clarified multiple times that they don't need or want to visit any military sites right now. The only allegations about the sites are from the Mujahedin-e Khalq, which has been the source of repeated false accusations in the past.

And while this was supposed to be a speech about the nuclear deal, Trump closed it off with comments that very much sound like his goal is regime change, saying Iran's people want to be able to interact with their neighbors (despite Iran being on very good terms with most of its neighbors already), and suggesting that whatever he's going to do will lead to "peace and stability" across the Middle East.

[Oct 17, 2017] The Deep Unfairness of America's All-Volunteer Force by Dennis Laich and Lawrence Wilkerson

Notable quotes:
"... Fiscally, the AVF is going to break the bank. The land forces in particular are still having difficulties fielding adequate numbers -- even with lowered standards, substituting women for men (from 1.6 percent of the AVF in 1973 to more than 16 percent today), recruitment and reenlistment bonuses totaling tens of millions of dollars, advertising campaigns costing billions, massive recruitment of non-citizens, use of psychotropic drugs to recycle unfit soldiers and Marines to combat zones, and overall pay and allowances that include free world-class health care and excellent retirement plans that are, for the first time in the military's history, comparable to or even exceeding civilian rates and offerings. ..."
"... A glaring case in point is the recent recruitment by the Army of 62,000 men and women, its target for fiscal year 2016. To arrive at that objective, the Army needed 9,000 recruiting staff (equivalent to three combat brigades) working full-time. If one does the math, that equates to each of these recruiters gaining one-point-something recruits every two months -- an utterly astounding statistic. Additionally, the Army had to resort to taking a small percentage of recruits in Mental Category IV -- the lowest category and one that, post-Vietnam, the Army made a silent promise never to resort to again. ..."
"... Moreover, the recruiting and retention process and rich pay and allowances are consuming one half of the Army's entire annual budget slice, precluding any sort of affordable increase in its end strength. This end strength constraint creates the need for more and more private contractors on the nation's battlefields in order to compensate. The employment of private contractors is politically seductive and strategically dangerous. To those enemies we fight they are the enemy and to most reasonable people they are mercenaries. Mercenaries are motivated by profit not patriotism -- despite their CEOs' protestations to the contrary -- and place America on the slippery slope towards compromising the right of sovereign nations to the monopoly of violence for state purposes. In short, Congress and the Pentagon make the Army bigger than the American people believe that it is and the American people allow themselves to be convinced; thus it is a shared delusion that comforts both parties. ..."
"... There is yet another dimension to the AVF that is truly an "unmentionable." As President Barack Obama said to one of us in the Roosevelt Room in November 2015 -- referring to Washington, D.C. -- "There is a bias in this town toward war." ..."
"... What the president meant was quite clear: powerful forces such as the military-industrial complex, a less-than-courageous Congress that has abandoned its constitutional duty with respect to the war power, extreme ideologies, and a nation with no skin in the game, work together to persuade all presidents to consider war as the first instrument of national power rather than the last. ..."
"... Is there anyone among us who would not believe that having an all-volunteer (or, more to the point, an all-recruited) military coming only from the 1 percent does not contribute to the facility with which presidents call upon that instrument? In a rational world, we would be declared insane to believe otherwise. ..."
"... Said more explicitly, if the sons and daughters of members of Congress, of the corporate leadership, of the billionaire class, of the Ivy Leagues, of the elite in general, were exposed to the possibility of combat, would we have less war? From a socio-economic class perspective, the AVF is inherently unfair. ..."
"... "From a socio-economic class perspective, the AVF is inherently unfair." ..."
"... "Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." ..."
"... Now, I, and maybe you, read the 13th amendment to the constitution as clearly banning conscription, but the courts don't think so. Their reasoning actually being, that since conscription was in place at the time of the 13th amendment's passage, the words written and printed couldn't possibly mean what they clearly mean as common English usage. ..."
"... I realize how unpopular this statement will be, but that 1 percent who are bleeding and dying are generally doing so in foreign wars that are not truly defending the 99 percent. They are doing it for the pro-war, pro-intervention subsets of various elite populations, popularly supported by misinformed people of the lower/middle classes. ..."
"... Perhaps the shortage of volunteer soldiers indicates war-weariness? ..."
"... In the late 60s -- early 70s we used to chide Pat Buchanan and his mates with "War is good business -- invest your sons". Of course, even then, he was investing other people's sons. His good mate Trump has already bragged about his "contribution" to the war effort, dodging STIs rather than bullets. ..."
"... The only ethical course of action when faced with an insufficient number of volunteers for a war is, of course, to cancel the war. ..."
"... Simple solution: Constitutional amendment stating, In order to vote in Federal Elections or to hold Federal office, appointed or elected, you must: ..."
"... a DD214 showing honorable discharge ..."
"... Nothing the US Army does "protects America". On the contrary it's a bigger threat than anything it can protect the US from. They fight for combinations of cash, training, education, travel, to carry on the family tradition , travel and adventure. The people who send them to fight do so for power and ego. Not "national interests" There are none only the interests of people who want power. ..."
"... What the old saying about war "Rich man's game with the poor man paying the price." ..."
"... Smedley Butler saw this happening in his time, too. The wars were smaller and less expensive, but they had the same root cause. Wherever our companies go and are thwarted by locals in any way, we find an excuse to deploy and make that area safe for commercial activity. Libya is a shambles now after Gaddafi's removal, but it's out of the news because organized, government-led resistance to oil companies benefiting from one-sided leases is impossible. This year, Libya hit a four-year high for oil production, in the middle of a six-cornered civil war. ..."
Oct 16, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

As far as we know, the phrase "all-recruited force" was coined by Karl Marlantes, author of Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War , a book that provides vivid insight into the U.S. Marines who fought in that conflict. Mr. Marlantes used the expression to describe what's happened to today's allegedly "volunteer" force, to say in effect that it is no such thing. Instead it is composed in large part of people recruited so powerfully and out of such receptive circumstances that it requires a new way of being described. We agree with Mr. Marlantes. So do others.

In The Economist back in 2015 , an article about the U.S. All-Volunteer Force (AVF) posed the question: "Who will fight the next war?" and went on to describe how the AVF is becoming more and more difficult to field as well as growing ever more distant from the people from whom it comes and for whom it fights. The piece painted a disturbing scene. That the scene was painted by a British magazine of such solid reputation in the field of economics is ironic in a sense but not inexplicable. After all, it is the fiscal aspect of the AVF that is most immediate and pressing. Recruiting and retaining the force has become far too costly and is ultimately unsustainable.

When the Gates Commission set up the rationale for the AVF in 1970, it did so at the behest of a president, Richard Nixon, who had come to see the conscript military as a political dagger aimed at his own heart. One could argue that the decision to abolish conscription was a foregone conclusion; the Commission simply provided a rationale for doing it and for volunteerism to replace it.

But whatever we might think of the Commission's work and Nixon's motivation, what has happened in the last 16 years -- interminable war -- was never on the Commission's radar screen. Like most crises, as Colin Powell used to lament when he was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, this one was unexpected, not planned for, and begs denial as a first reaction.

That said, after 16 years of war it is plain to all but the most recalcitrant that the U.S. cannot afford the AVF -- ethically, morally, or fiscally.

Fiscally, the AVF is going to break the bank. The land forces in particular are still having difficulties fielding adequate numbers -- even with lowered standards, substituting women for men (from 1.6 percent of the AVF in 1973 to more than 16 percent today), recruitment and reenlistment bonuses totaling tens of millions of dollars, advertising campaigns costing billions, massive recruitment of non-citizens, use of psychotropic drugs to recycle unfit soldiers and Marines to combat zones, and overall pay and allowances that include free world-class health care and excellent retirement plans that are, for the first time in the military's history, comparable to or even exceeding civilian rates and offerings.

A glaring case in point is the recent recruitment by the Army of 62,000 men and women, its target for fiscal year 2016. To arrive at that objective, the Army needed 9,000 recruiting staff (equivalent to three combat brigades) working full-time. If one does the math, that equates to each of these recruiters gaining one-point-something recruits every two months -- an utterly astounding statistic. Additionally, the Army had to resort to taking a small percentage of recruits in Mental Category IV -- the lowest category and one that, post-Vietnam, the Army made a silent promise never to resort to again.

Moreover, the recruiting and retention process and rich pay and allowances are consuming one half of the Army's entire annual budget slice, precluding any sort of affordable increase in its end strength. This end strength constraint creates the need for more and more private contractors on the nation's battlefields in order to compensate. The employment of private contractors is politically seductive and strategically dangerous. To those enemies we fight they are the enemy and to most reasonable people they are mercenaries. Mercenaries are motivated by profit not patriotism -- despite their CEOs' protestations to the contrary -- and place America on the slippery slope towards compromising the right of sovereign nations to the monopoly of violence for state purposes. In short, Congress and the Pentagon make the Army bigger than the American people believe that it is and the American people allow themselves to be convinced; thus it is a shared delusion that comforts both parties.

A more serious challenge for the democracy that is America, however, is the ethical one. Today, more than 300 million Americans lay claim to rights, liberties, and security that not a single one of them is obligated to protect and defend. Apparently, only 1 percent of the population feels that obligation. That 1 percent is bleeding and dying for the other 99 percent.

Further, that 1 percent does not come primarily or even secondarily from the families of the Ivy Leagues, of Wall Street, of corporate leadership, from the Congress, or from affluent America; it comes from less well-to-do areas: West Virginia, Maine, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and elsewhere. For example, the Army now gets more soldiers from the state of Alabama, population 4.8 million, than it gets from New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles combined, aggregate metropolitan population more than 25 million. Similarly, 40 percent of the Army comes from seven states of the Old South. As one of us has documented in his book, Skin in the Game: Poor Kids and Patriots , this is an ethically poisonous situation. And as the article in The Economist concludes, it's dangerous as well.

The last 16 years have also generated, as wars tend to do, hundreds of thousands of veterans. The costs of taking care of these men and women are astronomical today and will only rise over the next decades, which is one reason our veterans are already being inadequately cared for. Without the political will to shift funds, there simply is not enough money to provide the necessary care. And given the awesome debt America now shoulders -- approaching 20 trillion dollars and certain to increase -- it is difficult to see this situation changing for the better.

In fact, when one calculates today's U.S. national security budget -- not simply the well-advertised Pentagon budget -- the total expenditure of taxpayer dollars approaches $1.2 trillion annually, or more than twice what most Americans believe they are paying for national security. This total figure includes the costs of nuclear weapons (Energy Department), homeland security (Homeland Security Department), veteran care (Veterans Administration), intelligence needs (CIA and Defense Department), international relations (State Department), and the military and its operations (the Pentagon and its slush fund, the Overseas Contingency Operations account). The Pentagon budget alone is larger than that of the next 14 nations in the world combined. Only recently (September 2016), the Pentagon leadership confessed that as much as 50 percent of its slush fund (OCO) is not used for war operations -- the fund's statutory purpose -- but for other expenses, including "military readiness." We suspect this includes recruiting and associated costs.

There is still another dimension of the AVF that goes basically unmentioned and unreported. The AVF has compelled the nation to transition its reserve component forces from what they have been since colonial times -- a strategic reserve -- into being an operational reserve. That's military-speak for our having used the reserve components to make up for deeply felt shortages in the active force. Nowhere is this more dramatically reflected than in the rate of deployment-to-overseas duty of the average reservist, now about once every 3.8 years.

Such an operational tempo causes extreme problems for both civilian employers and for National Guard and reserve units. What employer, for example, wants to hire a young man or woman who will be gone for a year every four years on average, when that employer can reach out and hire someone from the 99 percent who will likely not be absent? And how do the reserve units keep up recruiting numbers when faced with such a situation?

Moreover, when we look at the reserve component deployment statistics over a decade or so of what now seems like interminable war, we discover how badly skewed such deployments are. For example, as of 2011, North Dakota, Mississippi, and South Dakota had Guard/Reserve deployment rates of over 40 per 10,000, and Iowa had a rate of over 30 per 10,000. In contrast, the Guard/Reserve deployment burdens for New York, California, and Texas were all less than 15 per 10,000. Perhaps surprisingly, Massachusetts had a higher Guard/Reserve deployment burden per 10,000 than Texas did (these numbers cover the 9/30/01 -- 12/31/10 timeframe).

A deeper look at the county levels within each state demonstrates that the Guard/Reserve deployment burden really is an urban/suburban vs. rural divide. New York is a case study. Niagara County (Niagara Falls and Lockport) had a deployment rate of over 30 per 10,000, while Jefferson County (Watertown) and Clinton County (Plattsburgh) had rates over 25 per 10,000. In contrast, New York State overall had a Guard/Reserve deployment rate a bit higher than 10 per 10,000, with Kings County (Brooklyn) and New York County (Manhattan) having rates well below 10 per 10,000.

Most Americans are completely ignorant of the facts outlined above, or understand only partial truths about them. In fact, the majority view the military in general and the way we man the force in particular through a lens of fear, apathy, ignorance, and guilt. The media is unhelpful in this regard because in the main journalists and TV personalities are as unknowing as the people. Few in the military leadership have the courage to speak up about these realities, or are themselves so brainwashed that they are incapable of doing so. But if the country does not wake up soon and demand action, we will be looking at another crisis and asking the question posed by The Economist : "Who will fight the next war?"

Worse, we might be asking the question that Skin in the Game poses: "What if we had a war and nobody came?"

When we put that question to a U.S. senator recently, he replied that "If the enemy were 'on the shore,' Americans would respond."

"Would they?" we asked. "And tell us how you know that, please."

"They just would, I know they would," the senator replied.

There is yet another dimension to the AVF that is truly an "unmentionable." As President Barack Obama said to one of us in the Roosevelt Room in November 2015 -- referring to Washington, D.C. -- "There is a bias in this town toward war."

What the president meant was quite clear: powerful forces such as the military-industrial complex, a less-than-courageous Congress that has abandoned its constitutional duty with respect to the war power, extreme ideologies, and a nation with no skin in the game, work together to persuade all presidents to consider war as the first instrument of national power rather than the last.

Is there anyone among us who would not believe that having an all-volunteer (or, more to the point, an all-recruited) military coming only from the 1 percent does not contribute to the facility with which presidents call upon that instrument? In a rational world, we would be declared insane to believe otherwise.

Said more explicitly, if the sons and daughters of members of Congress, of the corporate leadership, of the billionaire class, of the Ivy Leagues, of the elite in general, were exposed to the possibility of combat, would we have less war? From a socio-economic class perspective, the AVF is inherently unfair.

Major General (Ret) Dennis Laich served 35 years in the U.S. Army Reserve. Col. (Ret.) Lawrence Wilkerson is visiting professor of government and public policy at the College of William and Mary. He was chief of staff to secretary of state Colin Powell from 2002-05, special assistant to Powell when Powell was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989-93), and deputy director and director of the USMC War College (1993-97).

KevinS , , October 15, 2017 at 11:16 pm

"From a socio-economic class perspective, the AVF is inherently unfair."

The same can be said of American society more generally, which is fast becoming a plutocracy.

b , , October 16, 2017 at 12:22 am
These topics are widely discussed within the military. Not in staff meetings mind you. But the civilians wouldn't realize it regardless. So what is to be done? Is there an organization we can join that will speak up and get lobbyists to have the concerns heard? This is our national defense and we all have an interest in knowing that we leave something better behind for the next generation. Otherwise all our efforts truly are in vain.
theMann , , October 16, 2017 at 2:48 am
"Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

Now, I, and maybe you, read the 13th amendment to the constitution as clearly banning conscription, but the courts don't think so. Their reasoning actually being, that since conscription was in place at the time of the 13th amendment's passage, the words written and printed couldn't possibly mean what they clearly mean as common English usage.

Well, leaving aside for the moment that every (so far at least) man who ever got drafted felt it was pretty effing involuntary, we can proceed to the greater question:

Why do we perpetually need a million men\women\hesheit qwerty's under arms? By all means, let us draft every 18 year old in the entire United States into our SJW Social Science\Daycare center joke of a military, it would at least be a far greater education than college. And having so infused our armed forces with so much fresh human material, we could spend EVEN MORE on Contracts, currently about 50% of the near trillion dollar war making budget.

Yea, that'll fix everything.

Zebesian , , October 16, 2017 at 4:25 am
I realize how unpopular this statement will be, but that 1 percent who are bleeding and dying are generally doing so in foreign wars that are not truly defending the 99 percent. They are doing it for the pro-war, pro-intervention subsets of various elite populations, popularly supported by misinformed people of the lower/middle classes.

Perhaps the shortage of volunteer soldiers indicates war-weariness? Less war would solve the problems