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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


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"Civics in Practice". Page 274

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[Nov 18, 2017] State Department's New Victoria Nuland...is Just Like the Old Victoria Nuland

Nov 18, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Yesterday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson swore into office a new Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. Dr. A. Wess Mitchell became the Trump Administration's top diplomat for Europe , "responsible for diplomatic relations with 50 countries in Europe and Eurasia, and with NATO, the EU and the OSCE."

Readers will recall that the position was most recently held during the Obama Administration by Kagan family neocon, Victoria Nuland, who was key catalyst and cookie provider for the US-backed coup overthrowing the elected government in Ukraine. Victoria Nuland's virulently anti-Russia position was a trademark of the neocon persuasion and she put ideology into action by " midwifing ," in her own words, an illegal change of government in Ukraine.

It was Nuland's coup that laid the groundwork for a precipitous decay in US/Russia relations, as Washington's neocons peddled the false line that "Russia invaded Ukraine" to cover up for the fact that it was the US government that had meddled in Ukrainian affairs. The coup was bloody and divisive , resulting in a de-facto split in the country that continues to the day. Ukraine did not flourish as a result of this neocon scheme, but has in fact been in economic free-fall since the US government installed its preferred politicians into positions of power.

You don't hear much about Ukraine these days because the neocons hate to talk about their failures. But the corruption of the US-installed government has crippled the country, extreme nationalist elements that make up the core of the post-coup elites have imposed a new education law so vicious toward an age-old Hungarian population stuck inside arbitrarily re-drawn post-WWI borders that the Hungarian government has blocked Ukraine's further integration into NATO, and a new "Maidan" protest has steadily gathered steam in Kiev despite Western cameras being uninterested this time.

Fortunately Donald Trump campaigned on and was elected to improve relations with Russia and end the Obama Administration's neocon-fueled launch of a new Cold War. He raised eyebrows when he directly challenged the neocon shibboleth -- amplified by the mainstream media -- that Russia was invading Ukraine. But candidate Trump really blew neocon minds -- and delighted voters -- when he said he was looking into ending US sanctions on Russia imposed by Obama and may recognize Crimea as Russian territory.

Which brings us back to Wess Mitchell. Certainly President Trump, seeing the destruction of Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Victoria Nuland's anti-Russia interventionism, would he finally restore a sane diplomat to the position vacated by the unmourned former Assistant Secretary. Would appoint someone in line with the rhetoric that landed him the Oval Office. Right?

Wrong!

If anything, Wess Mitchell may well prove to be Victoria Nuland on steroids. He was co-founder and CEO of the neocon-dominated Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). Mitchell's CEPA is funded largely by the US government, NATO, neocon grant-making mega-foundations, and the military-industrial complex. The "think tank" does the bidding of its funders, finding a Russian threat under every rock that requires a NATO and defense industry response -- or we're doomed!

Mitchell's CEPA's recent greatest hits? " The Kremlin's 20 toxic tactics ," " Russian disinformation and anti-Western narratives in Romania: How to fight back? ," " Winning the Information War ," " Alliances and American greatness ," " Russia's historical distortions ," " What the Kremlin Fears Most ," and so on. You get the idea. The raison d'etre of the organization founded by the new Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia is to foment a new (and very profitable) Cold War (and more?) with Russia.

Last month, CEPA put on its big conference, the " CEPA Forum 2017 ." Speakers included central European heavy hitter politicos like the president of Latvia and also Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, Commanding General of U.S. Army Europe, who gave a talk on how "the unity of the NATO Alliance" is "what Russia fears the most." The grand event was funded, as might be expected, by war contractors Raytheon and Lockheed-Martin. But also, surprisingly, significant funding came from the Hungarian government of Viktor Orban, who is seen as somewhat of a maverick in central Europe for refusing to sign on to the intense Russia-hate seen in the Baltics and in Poland.

The no-doubt extraordinarily expensive conference was funded by no less than three Hungarian government entities: the Embassy of Hungary in Washington, DC, the Hungarian Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade , and the Hungarian Presidency of the Visegrad Group . Again, given Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's reputation for bucking neocon positions vis-a-vis Russia it is surprised to see the virulently anti-Russia CEPA conference so awash in Hungarian taxpayer money. Perhaps there is something to explore in the fact that the recently-fired Hungarian Ambassador to Washington,Réka Szemerkényi, was recently named executive vice president of CEPA. Hmmm. Makes you wonder.

But back to Mitchell. So he founded a neocon think tank funded by a NATO desperate for new missions and a military-industrial complex desperate for new wars. What about his own views? Surely he can't be as bad as Nuland. Right? Wrong! Fortunately Assistant Secretary Mitchell is a prolific writer, so it's easy to track his thinking. In a recent piece for neocon Francis Fukuyama's American Interest , titled "Predators on the Frontiers," Mitchell warns that, "From eastern Ukraine and the Persian Gulf to the South China Sea, large rivals of the United States are modernizing their military forces, grabbing strategic real estate, and threatening vulnerable US allies."

Mitchell continues, in a voice right out of the neocon canon, that:

By degrees, the world is entering the path to war. Not since the 1980s have the conditions been riper for a major international military crisis. Not since the 1930s has the world witnessed the emergence of multiple large, predatory states determined to revise the global order to their advantage -- if necessary by force.
We are on a path to war not seen since the 1930s! And why are our "enemies" so hell-bent on destroying us? Because we are just so isolationist!

Writes Mitchell: "Over the past few years, Russia, China, and, to a degree, Iran have sensed that the United States is retreating in their respective regions..."

We are "retreating"?

So what can we do? Mitchell again does the bidding of his paymasters in advising that the only thing we can do to save ourselves is...spend more on militarism:

The United States should therefore enhance its nuclear arsenal by maintaining and modernizing it. It needs to sustain a credible nuclear extended deterrent at a time when revisionist states are gradually pushing their spheres of influence and control closer to, if not against, U.S. allies. Moreover, it should use the limited tactical nuclear weapons at its disposal and seed them in a few of the most vulnerable and capable frontline states (Poland and Japan, for instance) under "nuclear sharing" agreements.
There is our new Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia. Our top diplomat for Europe. The only solution is a military solution. President Trump. Elected to end the endless wars, to forge better relations with Russia, to roll-back an "outdated" NATO. President Trump has replaced Victoria Nuland with something far more dangerous and frightening. Heckuva job, there, Mr. President!
Copyright © 2017 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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[Nov 18, 2017] MoA - NATO Adds To Turkeys Chagrin

See also Blood Borders A Proposal To Redraw A New Middle East - Brilliant Maps
Notable quotes:
"... Armed Forces Journal ..."
Nov 18, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

NATO Adds To Turkey's Chagrin

There has long been speculation about a Turkish good-bye to NATO .

The U.S. and its military proxy organization in Europe are doing their best to further such a move:

The image of Atatürk was displayed as a target during the drill at NATO's Joint Warfare Center in Stavanger, Norway held between Nov. 8 and Nov. 17, while a NATO soldier posted defamatory words about Erdoğan on the social media.

Atatürk is the founder of the secular Turkey. He was designated as "target" during a desk-top drill. NATO's Joint Warfare Center is not a low level school but an elite officer training institution led by a Major-General. The 40 Turkish soldiers who attended the training course were immediately ordered back home.

Secularists in Turkey have long suspected NATO as promoting "moderate Islamists". That believe is not without factual ground. U.S. President Obama allied with the Muslim Brotherhood during the so called "Arab Spring". But the second incident at the very same NATO institution points to a more comprehensive anti-Turkish position:

A Kurdish-origin Norwegian officer signed up to a social networking website within NATO, using a fake account in the name of President Erdoğan and sharing posts against the organization.

To vilify the Turkish secularist hero Atatürk and its Islamist President Erdogan in related occasions is a comprehensive move against the whole country.

NATO's political spokesperson Jens Stoltenberg, a Norwegian politician, apologized for the incidents. It will soothe no one.

A comparable incident happened in 2006. U.S. Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters published a map with redrawn borders of Middle East in the Armed Forces Journal . The map showed a "Free Kurdistan" and Turkey cut to half its size.

The map was then presented by an American colonel at the NATO's Defense College in Rome while Turkish officers were attending. An uproar ensued and the U.S. had to apologize.

In July 2016 parts of the Turkish military attempted a coup against Erdogan. Turkish jets which attacked the capitol Ankara had launched from the U.S. and NATO base in Incirlik. When the attempt failed several NATO countries granted asylum to Turkish officers who did not want to return to their home country.

After the failed coup Turkey decided to buy Russian air defense systems. The move makes sense. The alternative U.S. systems are suspected to be ineffective against attacking U.S. planes and missiles. The Russian S-400 systems is designed to counter threats from U.S. weapons.

Turkey is a partner in the U.S. F-35 fighter jet program. It has plans to purchase one hundred of them. Now the U.S. Air Force suggests that the deal could be restricted:

If Turkey moves forward with its buy of a Russian air defense system, it will not be permitted to plug into NATO technology, and further action may be forthcoming that could affect the country's acquisition or operation of the F-35, a top Air Force official said Wednesday.
...
Analysts worry that Turkey operating both the S-400 and F-35 together could compromise the jet's security, as any data collected by the air defense system and obtained by Russia could help expose the joint strike fighter's vulnerabilities. For a platform like the F-35, whose major strengths are its stealth and data fusion capabilities, that would be a disaster.

[The deputy undersecretary of the Air Force for international affairs, Heidi] Grant, agreed that a S-400 acquisition creates issues for Turkey's use of the F-35.
...
Her comments echoed those of Gen. Petr Pavel, chairman of NATO's military committee. In October, Pavel said that Turkey is free, as a sovereign nation, to make its own decisions in regards to military procurement, but will face "consequences" if a S-400 buy goes through.

Buying a Russian air defense system is not unprecedented for a NATO state. In 1997 Cyprus bought Russian S-300 systems, ironically to defend against Turkish jets. The Cyprus Missile Crisis ensued and the weapons ended up in Greece where they also serve to keep the Turks away. Greece also flies U.S. made jets.

In Syria the U.S. is arming, training and fighting together with the YPK, a sister organization of the Kurdish PKK which is pursuing a guerilla campaign against the Turkish army and state.

The personal disparaging of Turkish politicians by NATO, U.S. involvement in a coup attempt, restrictions on weapon buys and U.S. cooperation with Turkey's enemy are amounting to an open affront.

It is obvious that NATO is no longer a reliable ally for Turkey. This view is independent of who holds the Turkish presidency. The strategic situation would not change if Erdogan would be replaced by some secular nationalist figure.

Turkey fields NATO's second biggest army. With more than 80 million people it is a large emerging military and economic power. It controls the Bosporus and thereby access to the Black Sea. It has influence in the Balkans as well as in the Central Asian "Stans". It is a crossing point for major energy pathways including the new Russian TurkStream pipeline which will deliver Russian gas to south-Europe.

The is little that hinders Turkey from leaving NATO and from joining a tacit alliance with Russia. Russian fighter jets are as good as the U.S. designed F-35. Even Turkey's economic interests seem to be better aligned with Russia's than with north-Europe or the United States. The voices in Turkey that demand a realignment are gaining ground. The editors of the Erdogan friendly Daily Sabah write :

The U.S. is not the enemy, but neither is it acting like a friend. Its actions are against Turkey's interests as well as its own. Now is the right time for Turkey to formulate its own independent regional policy.

Russia and Iran with their sounder anti-Daesh and counterterrorism policies need to be at the center of measures Turkey will implement from now on. After all that's happened, one thing is certain: The U.S. should definitely be kept out of Turkey's regional policy concerns.

The Zionist lobby in the U.S. has long argued to kick Turkey out of NATO. Such a separation may indeed come true. But it would be Turkey that would leave NATO and not the other way around. The effects would be quote different than those expected a decade ago.

Posted by b on November 17, 2017 at 02:22 PM | Permalink

shaw | Nov 17, 2017 2:49:14 PM | 1

More you Piss Off Turkey, more it goes East !!(Is this the Policy of US?) No Issues, Turkey and Erdogan have thumbed it's Nose to USA and is in Secret block of Russia, China & Pakistan. It will Seek it's Ottoman Glory with the "Stans" of Central Asia. Just gave Pakistan $1.45 million Line of Credit & full "Technology Transfer" of A129 Attack Helicopters to Pakistan. Russian M400 Missiles, etc etc. US keeps eyes closed, World is closing in Fast. And Mr Trump is losing faster. Disaster trip to Asia. China spun a great spell. US is going down.
Virgile | Nov 17, 2017 2:50:49 PM | 2
The US admnistration hates Erdogan and he hates them in return.
After it failed to kick Erdogan out with the 'amateurish' coup, opponents to Erdogan who are in NATO and in the US administration are doing all they can to undermine Erdogan, to put him in the defensive, to isolate him and to weaken him even more. They are working so he won't be elected president in 2019 and Turkey would be ripe for compromises on Palestine.

It is part of Trump's strategy to force an Israel-Palestinian peace plan worked out by Zionists advisors to Trump. The opponents to this plan, Syria,Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Hamas are been subjected to all sorts of assaults to destabilize them and make weaker so they have no choice than to bow.
Parallely Trump is also weakening Israel as he wants serious compromise that the jewish State is not ready to give. Therefore a campaign against Netanyahu is going on to weaken him or replace him.

We will therefore not see large attacks but relentless small attacks on these countries..
In the hands of Trump, Jared, MBS and Netanyahu, the 'plan' risks to make Iran Greater and Saudi Arabia and the USA Smaller!

somebody | Nov 17, 2017 3:10:58 PM | 3
Nato/coalition/US will have to decide if they are with the YPG in Syria or with Turkey.
somebody | Nov 17, 2017 3:13:34 PM | 4
add to 3

Looks like a campaign Time to kick Turkey out of NATO

frances | Nov 17, 2017 3:49:17 PM | 5
"The purchase...could help expose the joint strike fighter's vulnerabilities."
Hahahahah, good joke, the F-35 is a billion dollar deathtrap. To be prevented from purchasing them would be a godsend for Turkey.
C1ue | Nov 17, 2017 4:21:05 PM | 6
Turkey has long played the fan dance between East (Russia) and West (Western European powers). This time is no different. It was just a few years ago that Turkey was such a friend to the US and European interests. The failed coup, however, has changed that but still only time will tell if this is a structural change or just the latest flip flop.
Piotr Berman | Nov 17, 2017 4:22:29 PM | 7
The structural problem of "macro NATO" concept is that it puts together countries that have very little in common, or more precisely, with many seething mutual conflicts. That would matter little if there was a unifying threat, but nothing like that exists.

Supporting Turkey and "free Kurdistan" is an obvious hard case, but Turkey has checkered relationship with KSA+UAE -- while being close to Qatar, and with Greece. Greece and Bulgaria have no enmity toward Russia, although the current government seems to follow anti-Russian line.

Then there is an issue why countries far from Russia and lacking alternative "enemies" or post-colonial clients should strive to keep defense spending at NATO agreed level of 2% of GDP. And huge prices of NATO approved weapon systems. Lithuania increased military spending to the "required 2%" and it still cannot afford tanks (I did not check other Baltic states). Clearly, arms race is cheaper for Russia that has complete domestic military industry, lower costs and more cost aware process of weapon design, so the scheme to beggar Russia with arms race is good only for the overfed western arms producers.

Turkey has decent economy and good strategic position: key straits under control and complicated mountain ranges along problematic borders, so it should survive leaving NATO without loosing quiet sleep. At worst, they should improve relationship with neighbors and their own Kurds, and NATO is more hindrance than help in that respect.

Hausmeister | Nov 17, 2017 4:44:05 PM | 8
C1ue | Nov 17, 2017 4:21:05 PM | 6

„The failed coup, however, has changed that but still only time will tell if this is a structural change or just the latest flip flop."
Please be not that much sure about this coup. People who are better informed do not share the estimation that it was a Western-plotted thing, at least not in its final execution. Some people in Turkey call it a controlled coup. True is that this „moderate Islam" thing was supported by the West, including Saudi-Arabia, but Erdogan/AKP knew this, used its benefits until the very last moment and Erdogan himself welcomed the dirty tricks that his (Gülen-) police people used against his Kemalist opposition.

lysander | Nov 17, 2017 5:39:14 PM | 11
I can't help but notice that Turkey would have avoided all these problems entirely if they had refused to allow terrorists to attack Syria from its territory from the very beginning. Without Turkey, the war against Syria would have collapsed before it even started, saving everyone enormous heartache and pain.
fast freddy | Nov 17, 2017 7:18:08 PM | 15
NATO is a multi-purpose US/UK/Israel Proxy Force and a Figleaf for offensive Full Spectrum Dominance. Other member states are there because there are pictures of their leaders with their pants down.
Jackrabbit | Nov 17, 2017 7:26:58 PM | 16
Unbelievable. Why antagonize Turkey/Erdogan so directly?

No, really ... it's unbelievable. Such 'social proof' of a NATO-Turkish rift will no doubt cause Vlad to allow Erdogan certain liberties ... like remaining in Idlib and standing in the way of improved Kurdish-Syria relations.

karlof1 | Nov 17, 2017 7:34:45 PM | 17
Lysander @11--

An unavoidable truth being swept under the rug, most certainly! Erdogan is every bit as responsible for the deaths, mayhem and destruction as Obama and other facilitators. A trial followed by the gallows is what their fate ought to be. Erdogan may have changed his direction due to external factors, but his initial direction and the crimes he ordered to occur cannot be forgotten or forgiven.

Jackrabbit | Nov 17, 2017 7:44:52 PM | 18
@10 somebody's jewish paranoia has been triggered (again)

"Russia supported US Evangelical right wing" is almost as laughable as "Russia hacked the election" with $100k in facebook ads.

The evidence-free allegation in the first link ...

Russia's masters, whether political or ecclesiastical, have generally been skilled at cultivating friendships and tactical alliances ...
... is promptly contradicted by:
... there will always be limits to the relationship between the Russian Orthodox and America's evangelicals. Theologically, they are a long way apart.... [and US] Evangelicals tend to be philo-Semitic and pro-Israel [and] tend to be uncompromisingly anti-Islam, but conservative Russian Christians ... get along quite well with traditionalist Muslims ... And it is hard to argue that Russian society has anything to teach America about "family values"; rates of divorce and abortion are much higher in Russia than in America.

Then there is the issue of religious freedom in Russia. The meeting on Christian persecution that recently convened in Washington, DC, was originally scheduled to take place in Moscow; but the venue was changed after Russia passed a law that curbed evangelical missionary work, upsetting American Protestants.

terry thomas | Nov 17, 2017 8:02:26 PM | 19
the dog erdogan and his donmeh jewish corleone family have stripped syria bare. taken a billion dollars of plant based machinary helped destroy a world heritage site aleppo.
helped israel ant it's year zero oded yinon projects. turkey and israel are the nexus of one of the world largest live organ human shipping industries only out done by china.
without turkey and jordan the satanick warcrimes in syria could not of happened. as someone called billy hayes said above never trust a turk.

when you speak to the average turk they have zero knowledge of erdogans crimes and blame everyone else but themselves.

dog erdo gets upset at a photoshop image of himself as target, and does not blink at his israeli arts projects in syria for the zionist history erasures. the rape and destruction of an ancient place theft of billions of dollars of oil sold onto tel aviv.

this fella is a donmeh satanist a mason a tool who and should be kept at arms length assad and syria should never forgive the crimes of this pimp.

psychohistorian | Nov 17, 2017 10:08:57 PM | 21
...To the posting matter....Turkey is just part of the realignment of nations that is occurring before our eyes. I keep wanting to see a chart of the evolving multipolar world but the game is still in play so one must practice patience....
<

[Nov 18, 2017] Is America Up for a Second Cold War

Notable quotes:
"... the precise matter of the Sino-Russian border has been conclusively settled in terms of international law. China no longer has territorial quarrels with Russia. ..."
"... As a matter of fact, I would argue that one reason why China is strengthening is great Chinese prudence in terms of picking its fights. China did, in contrast to the west, not seek to gobble up Central Asia during the period of Russian weakness in the 90s. ..."
"... China has invested in infrastructure, manufacturing, and education all those things the US spent decades building in the 40's and 50's, while we have spend decades investing in bombs, bullets, and barely functioning combat aircraft. ..."
"... Sure we have a $4 trillion trade deficit with China over the last 25 years. But we have spent $16.2 Trillion over the same period on our military. We are slowly but surely spending ourselves into the poorhouse to prop up a defense industry that at this point is simply a self perpetuating waste. ..."
"... Okay, let's look at overall foreign policies of Washington, D.C. Washington wants Russia to cooperate, but Washington imposes and sustains economic sanctions on Russia and conducts NATO military exercises at Russia's border-regions! ..."
"... Soviet Union collapsed from unsustainable socialist economic system, but Washington claimed "America defeated Soviet Union and America won the Cold War!" while perpetuating perennial American military hostility towards both Russia and the People's Republic of China even to this moment. ..."
"... Chinese domination of the world is a great blessing for the EU. The Chinese show no sign of wanting to dominate Europe (the "secessionism" and fear of immigration that Mr Buchanan refers to appear to have been largely CIA-sponsored scams intended to destroy the EU and I can see no sign of "depopulation"). ..."
Nov 18, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

November 17, 2017 at 7:42 am The anti-trade, anti immigration, anti-Muslim, pro-plutocrat policy and rhetoric of the Trump administration systematically undermines the power of the US to contain China as we successfully did the USSR.

Kent , says: November 17, 2017 at 8:16 am

China is not a military threat. China's threat is far more insidious. China wants to be the global economic hegemon. With China becoming the world's center for advanced manufacturing, technology, green energy, and finance.

In a globalized economy there is no need for empire. As long as everyone is willing to trade their raw materials, China could care less about imposing its will on other nations. The US can build whatever fancy weapons systems it wants, but China isn't going to play that game. While American engineers work to make the F-35 actually do something, Chinese engineers will be designing better batteries and solar panels. While America graduates millions of Women's Studies majors, China will be graduating millions of civil and electronic engineers.

The US cannot win this game. Our CEOs are only capable of looking at the next quarter. They are finance people who will happily give their technology to China in exchange for some short-term market access and profits. Our technologists are focused on creating apps for taxi service and food delivery. Chinese technologists are building the world's top supercomputers.

China is the future. Our best hope is to figure out how to position ourselves to minimize the associated risks to our economy and children.

Mightypeon , says: November 17, 2017 at 9:15 am
Dear Mr. Buchanan,

the precise matter of the Sino-Russian border has been conclusively settled in terms of international law. China no longer has territorial quarrels with Russia.

As a matter of fact, I would argue that one reason why China is strengthening is great Chinese prudence in terms of picking its fights. China did, in contrast to the west, not seek to gobble up Central Asia during the period of Russian weakness in the 90s.

It did not force remaining Russian influence out of Mongolia or North Korea (2 states where Russia and China are jockeying for influence) and was not a part of the failed western effort to prevent Russia from becoming a great power again.

They can now reap the benefits, as their strongest neighbor, the Russian federation, is now also effectively Chinas ally.

collin , says: November 17, 2017 at 10:02 am
Again, are we Americans up for a Second Cold War, and, if so, why?

Is there really a coming Second Cold War with China? While we need to verify China moves, I rather think of them as a mistrusted Ally versus a Possible Cold War and these issues are negotiating with the Chinese government, they are not deal breakers by any means.

1) The biggest issue of course is NK and I rather us give the China government concessions with South Korea to gain concessions on North Korea.

2) I figure if the Chinese want to invest billions (trillions?) in the New Silk Road, I say more power to them. Either one of two realities occur (actually both are likely and they muddle):

2a) It is a successful in lowering trade cost to Europe and integrates the Central Muslim economies into the global system. Or/And:

2b) China gets mired in the Central Asian Muslim economies with Terrorist Target One in Pakistan who is notorious at turning against Allies.

3) The trade deficit is concern but it is incredible leverage over their economy.

4) I still see the Chinese economy as 1980s Japan Inc. 2: The Revenge of the Mainland so there will be a financial crisis, as it happens to all successful economies, and there will be a decline of manufacturing jobs at some point. (Actually I would not be surprised it already happening.)

5) Most of the concerns of their neighboring nations are their concerns and it seems like a lot of political internet tit for tat with Vietnam and Japan.

6) I am not sure why their style government should be a sticking point here. Their government seems very rationally run and it makes sense to work with them not against them for our interest

7) Of course, is their leader that better knows how to play our current President? OK maybe Saudia Arabia.

Christian Chuba , says: November 17, 2017 at 10:05 am
Simply put, we are going to lose this Cold War the same way the Soviets did, economically because we are still using the same playbook.

We insist on having local superiority to both the Russians and Chinese in their backyard forcing us to spend 10x relative to them on Defense. The Russians learned their lesson and are keeping their military spending in control. The Chinese are now a much stronger economy and growing.

The only 'hope' we have is in convincing their immediate neighbors that they have to commit most of their resources in joining us in containing them. So far they ain't biting.

We are singing the song that 'our military has been gutted'. Congratulations Russia / China, as long as we don't nuke the place, you will eventually see your eccentric, crazy, neighbor implode.

GregR , says: November 17, 2017 at 10:38 am
China has invested in infrastructure, manufacturing, and education all those things the US spent decades building in the 40's and 50's, while we have spend decades investing in bombs, bullets, and barely functioning combat aircraft.

Sure we have a $4 trillion trade deficit with China over the last 25 years. But we have spent $16.2 Trillion over the same period on our military. We are slowly but surely spending ourselves into the poorhouse to prop up a defense industry that at this point is simply a self perpetuating waste.

Dee , says: November 17, 2017 at 12:09 pm
I agree with others here, there will be no new cold war.. The whole world must laugh at the amount of money our govt wastes on conventional weapons that have no enemy to fight.. Until some two-bit client state goads us into some debacle against thier two-bit enemy which of course will even dwarf the cost of the weapons themselves.. Meanwhile this congress is hell-bent on getting the rich richer and of course everyone else can argue about bathroom politics.. We are trying to become china and russia..
ukm1 , says: November 17, 2017 at 12:21 pm
Okay, let's look at overall foreign policies of Washington, D.C. Washington wants Russia to cooperate, but Washington imposes and sustains economic sanctions on Russia and conducts NATO military exercises at Russia's border-regions!

Washington wants India to cooperate while Washington continues military and economic aiding to nuclear-armed Pakistan.

Washington wants North Korea to give up nuclear weapons, but Washington provides nuclear umbrella to Japan and South Korea and conducts bilateral or trilateral military exercises in the water near North Korea every year, if not every now and then!

Washington wants the People's Republic of China to help America destroy North Korea both financially with economic sanctions and militarily with American pre-emptive strikes!

While at the very same time, Washington militarily wants to go after the People's Republic of China for Taiwan as well as for the tiny artificial Chinese islands in the South China Sea.

Washington now wants European-American economic sanctions fully restored on the Islamic Republic of Iran for existing or non-existing Iranian nuclear weapons program, but Washington does not say a thing about hundreds of Israeli nuclear warheads pointing towards the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Both Russia and the People's Republic of China must be utter fools to believe in any American president's words and cooperate with Washington to sustain harmful American military hegemony over both Middle East and the Far East at this juncture.

Washington killed millions of Vietnamese people and Washington killed millions of Koreans in the 20th century A.D., but -- history is witness -- Washington did not win either the Vietnam War or the Korean War.

Soviet Union collapsed from unsustainable socialist economic system, but Washington claimed "America defeated Soviet Union and America won the Cold War!" while perpetuating perennial American military hostility towards both Russia and the People's Republic of China even to this moment.

Michael Kenny , says: November 17, 2017 at 12:35 pm
Chinese domination of the world is a great blessing for the EU. The Chinese show no sign of wanting to dominate Europe (the "secessionism" and fear of immigration that Mr Buchanan refers to appear to have been largely CIA-sponsored scams intended to destroy the EU and I can see no sign of "depopulation"). In addition, the "One Belt, One Road" strategy, by building railways to link the Central Asian republics to ports in China and Iran, is disenclaving them and thereby undermining Putin's attempts to exhume the Soviet Union. That sounds rather good to European ears.
Paul Clayton , says: November 17, 2017 at 2:03 pm
I'm not so sure about this, "For while China seeks to dominate Eurasia, she appears to have no desire to threaten the vital interests of the United States." I think of the scene in Empire of the Sun, about Japan's takeover of China. An English family, along with thousands of foreigners, is run out of their houses and neighborhoods as the Japanese invade. The boy is separated from his parents, on his own. He makes his way back to his abandoned house and hides there. Then the servants that waited on him and his parents, the nanny that wiped his ass, fed him, break in and start stealing the furniture. When he confronts them, she slaps him in the face. That's it. The nation of China has a bad memory of their relationship with America and the foreign powers. There's a lot of bad blood there. A muscled China is not going to let America go its own way. There's going to be a price to pay. Whether it's war or some form of political enslavement, only time will tell.
fabian , says: November 17, 2017 at 3:02 pm
China has no potential without an alliance with Russia. It has no natural resources and no water (that's why, they will never let Tibet go). The mistake the numbskulls in DC are doing is that they throw Russia in the arms of China. Together they can displace the US and gulp Europe in the process. No problems.

[Nov 18, 2017] How Americas Deep State Operates To Control The Message by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... The recent exchanges over the Russia-US relationship exhibit perfectly how the Deep State operates to control the message. ..."
"... Beyond twisting narratives, Russiagate is also producing potentially dangerous collateral damage to free speech, as one of the objectives of those in the Deep State is to rein in the current internet driven relatively free access to information. In its most recent manifestations, an anonymous group produced a phony list of 200 websites that were "guilty" of serving up Russian propaganda, a George Soros funded think tank identified thousands of individuals who are alleged to be "useful idiots" for Moscow, and legitimate Russian media outlets will be required to register as foreign agents. ..."
"... Hegemonic Empire always attacks those nations who are perceived to be weaker than the Empire. ..."
"... Never in my long life have I ever seen such twistedness in the mainstream media. In the days of Nixon and Watergate, there was a media agenda. But it was based in truth. This crap we get now is complete Deep State party line. ..."
"... I wonder if there ever was a time in history where the media in a country was so full of fabrication and propaganda. If there was, I would be interested in hearing how they had a downfall. It seems the media in this country can be so completely covered in deceit and lies and false claims, yet somehow not be accountable for it. ..."
"... The whole Russiagate bullshite has once again destroyed the credibility of the intel agencies and the media. Really old idiots are in charge of these things. ..."
Nov 18, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Philip Giraldi via The Strategic Culture Foundation

It is not possible to overstate the power of certain constituencies and corporate lobbies in the United States.

These pressure groups, joined by powerful government agencies, many of which have secret agendas that focus on national security, constitute what is increasingly being recognized as "Deep State America." Deep State is the widespread belief that there exists in many countries an entrenched and largely hidden infrastructure that really controls the national narrative and runs things. It explains why, for example, a country like the United States is perpetually at war even though the wars have been disastrous failures ever since Korea and have not made the nation more secure.

To be sure, certain constituencies have benefitted from global instability and conflict, to include defense industries, big government in general, and the national security state . They all work together and hand-in-hand with the corporate media to sustain the narrative that the United States is perpetually under threat, even though it is not.

The recent exchanges over the Russia-US relationship exhibit perfectly how the Deep State operates to control the message. American President Donald Trump briefly met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vietnam. Putin reportedly told Trump that Russia "absolutely had not meddled" in the 2016 US election and Trump then told reporters that he believed the Russian leader meant what he said, "which is good." As détente with Russia is not considered desirable by the Deep State, there was an immediate explosion of a contrary narrative, namely that Trump believes a Russian "enemy" and does not trust what his own intelligence agencies have told him about 2016 because he is being "played" by Putin.

This story was repeated both on television news and in all the mainstream newspapers without exception, eventually forcing Trump to recant and say that he does believe in US intelligence.

Not a single major media outlet in the US reported that it just might be possible that Putin was telling the truth and that the intelligence community, which has been wrong many times over the past twenty years, might have to look again at what it considers to be evidence. No journalist had the courage to point out that the claims of the Washington national security team have been remarkably devoid of anything credible to support the conclusions about what the Russian government might or might not have been up to. That is what a good journalist is supposed to do and it has nothing to do with whether or not one admires or loathes either Putin or Trump.

That the relationship between Moscow and Washington should be regarded as important given the capability of either country to incinerate the planet would appear to be a given, but the Washington-New York Establishment, which is euphemism for Deep State, is actually more concerned with maintaining its own power by marginalizing Donald Trump and maintaining the perception that Vladimir Putin is the enemy head of state of a Russia that is out to cripple American democracy.

Beyond twisting narratives, Russiagate is also producing potentially dangerous collateral damage to free speech, as one of the objectives of those in the Deep State is to rein in the current internet driven relatively free access to information. In its most recent manifestations, an anonymous group produced a phony list of 200 websites that were "guilty" of serving up Russian propaganda, a George Soros funded think tank identified thousands of individuals who are alleged to be "useful idiots" for Moscow, and legitimate Russian media outlets will be required to register as foreign agents.

Driven by Russophobia over the 2016 election, a group of leading social media corporations including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter have been experimenting with ways to self-censor their product to keep out foreign generated or "hate" content.

They even have a label for it: "cyberhate" . Congress is also toying with legislation that will make certain viewpoints unacceptable or even illegal, including a so-called Anti-Semitism Awareness Act that would potentially penalize anyone who criticizes Israel and could serve as a model for banning other undesirable speech. "Defamatory speech" could even eventually include any criticism of the government or political leaders, as is now the case in Turkey, which is the country where the "Deep State" was invented.

serotonindumptruck , Nov 17, 2017 8:14 PM

Fear is the order of the day. Be very, very afraid of that militarily-weak nation on the other side of the world, who poses no legitimate and imminent threat to the US. Hegemonic Empire always attacks those nations who are perceived to be weaker than the Empire. It represents the death knell of Empire, and is typically the final stage of economic and political collapse.

Publicus_Reanimated , Nov 17, 2017 9:07 PM

Howard Beale: "We deal in illusions, man. None of it is true! But you people sit there day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds. We're all you know. You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here. You're beginning to think that the tube is reality and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you. You dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube. You even think like the tube. This is mass madness. You maniacs. In God's name, you people are the real thing. We are the illusion. So turn off your television sets. Turn them off now. Turn them off right now. Turn them off and leave them off. Turn them off right in the middle of this sentence I am speaking to you now. Turn them off!"

-- Network

If you are too young to have heard of this movie, now you know.

Cherubim , Nov 17, 2017 9:53 PM

Never in my long life have I ever seen such twistedness in the mainstream media. In the days of Nixon and Watergate, there was a media agenda. But it was based in truth. This crap we get now is complete Deep State party line.

I wonder if there ever was a time in history where the media in a country was so full of fabrication and propaganda. If there was, I would be interested in hearing how they had a downfall. It seems the media in this country can be so completely covered in deceit and lies and false claims, yet somehow not be accountable for it.

The only thing in history that I know that would compare to this is the Pravda in the old Soviet days of Brezhnev. And I'm not sure how that came finally tumbling down.

wide angle tree , Nov 17, 2017 9:55 PM

The whole Russiagate bullshite has once again destroyed the credibility of the intel agencies and the media. Really old idiots are in charge of these things.

[Nov 16, 2017] MoA - Syria Summary The Idlib Battle Comes Into Sight

Nov 16, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

xor | Nov 16, 2017 1:48:29 PM | 5

There is also the successful information attack conducted by US intelligence. The Russian Ministry of Defense published a report where it was showing clear evidence that the US is letting Daesh enter SDF territories unhindered near Abukamal. While the Russian Ministry of Defense evidently has a massive amount of pictures at their disposal, the photos that were attached to the report showing US complicity were easily debunkable fakes. Hours later it became clear something went wrong (computer hack, Facebook hack, officer selling out, ... ) and the Russian Ministry of Defense replaced the pictures by the authentic ones but by then the damage had been done. This successful information attack was then used by presstitute media over the globe to bash Russia, even though they would never have taken to effort to print the obvious truth, that the US is one of driving forces behind Daesh... globally.
frances | Nov 16, 2017 2:26:08 PM | 6
re:..the Russian Ministry of Defense replaced the pictures by the authentic ones but by then the damage had been done.Posted by: xor | Nov 16, 2017 1:48:29 PM | 5
Thank you, this is the only mention of what happened and how that I have seen. I'd assumed the fake photos were a joke, I didn't realize they were posted initially by Russia.
Laguerre | Nov 16, 2017 2:31:25 PM | 7
Abu Kamal is now well defended with the most ferocious ISIS troops inside. They have nowhere to go.
Actually, I didn't agree with that bit. There will be another Jihadi transport, as before, when the time is right. The idea being, I think, to move them from place to place, into weaker and weaker situations, until finally they're pushed over the border (into Turkey), where they'll be finally dispersed. I suppose it would be ideal for the Syrians to move them to Idlib, where they could disrupt al-Nusra, but I doubt that that would be accepted. A good number from Raqqa went over the border.
james | Nov 16, 2017 2:49:09 PM | 9
@5xor... yes, i was following that too.. it was unfortunate, but to be expected... turning usa support for isis into hate russia fodder seems like a full time job for these folks..
jayc | Nov 16, 2017 2:54:53 PM | 10
The complicity of the western mainstream media in information warfare/propaganda (and adjuncts such as Bellingcat, who weighed in on the issue as well) were highlighted yet again by the widely dispersed story that "proof" of ISIS/USA coordination boiled down to a few photos borrowed from a video game. These deceptive reports ignored two widely corroborated issues: the movement of ISIS fighters out of Raqqa to the border town, and use of US air forces to support ISIS in holding the town until, presumably, the SDF arrive. Both of these issues were covered matter-of-factly (if downplayed) in the western press as they occurred, then assigned to the memory-hole when opportunity was presented to score a few cheap points. The utter contempt for their readers by these institutions is thus underscored again.
xor | Nov 16, 2017 3:06:19 PM | 11
Here are the 2 articles on USIS cooroperation. South Front was a bit more elaborate but then my comment will be blocked so not posting any links.

US directly supports IS terrorists in Syria -- Russian Defense Ministry

"The Abu Kamal liberation operation conducted by the Syrian government army with air cover by the Russian Aerospace Force at the end of the last week revealed facts of direct cooperation and support for ISIS terrorists by the US-led 'international coalition,'" the Russian Defense Ministry said.
...
The ministry showed photo shoots made by Russian unmanned aircraft on November 9 which show kilometers-long convoys of IS armed groups leaving Abu Kamal
...
The US refused to conduct airstrikes over the leaving IS convoy.
...
The ministry also said that the coalition's aviation tried to disturb Russia's Aerospace Forces near Abu Kamal to ensure safe exit of terrorists.

"The coalition's aviation tried to create obstacles for the aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces in this area to safely shield militants of the Islamic State , who are leaving Abu Kamal,
...
To this aim, the coalition's attack aircraft entered the airspace over the 15-km zone around the city to hamper the Russian aircraft' mission, it said.
...
"There is indisputable evidence that the United States pretends it is waging irreconcilable struggle against international terrorism in front of the international community, while in reality it provides cover for the combat-ready Islamic State groups to let them regain strength, regroup themselves and advance US interests in the Middle East," the ministry said.

Defense Ministry provides explanation on wrong photos attached to Abu Kamal statement (Tass)

"The Russian Defense Ministry is investigating its civil service employee who erroneously attached wrong photo illustrations to its statement on interaction between the US-led international coalition and Islamic State militants near Abu Kamal, Syria," the ministry said.

"The United States' refusal to carry out strikes against ISIL (former name of Islamic State - TASS) terrorist convoys retreating from Abu Kamal is a fact recorded in the transcripts of the talks and, therefore, well known to the American side, just as the active counteraction by US aircraft to the Russian Aerospace Forces, which were ready to destroy ISIL terrorists who were regrouping for new attacks against government troops near Abu Kamal," the Defense Ministry said.

The Russian Defense Ministry also provided authentic photos of an IS militant convoy heading for the Syrian-Iraqi border.

stonebird | Nov 16, 2017 3:31:18 PM | 12
As well as the US escorting ISIS terrorists to AlBukamel, there was a report that US troops (special forces?) had travelled south across nominally ISIS held territory, during a "sandstorm" (and without firing a shot). They are now apparently, setting up a base about 20 miles from Al Quaim, on the Irakian side of the border. (No details, but obviously to cut the road to Bagdad).

Coincides with the 120 new military vehicles that were sent recently to Syria - the inadvertant admission that there are 5'000 US troops in SA (not counting mercenaries?) - and the discovery that ISIS snipers are using the latest thermal sights, supplied by the US.

Q? When is a semi-war, a real war? With US aircraft stopping the Syrian's bombing ISIS, this is the closest to a real US/Rus fire-fight that we ahve seen. Note also that Israel has just killed four Syrian soldiers without any pretext. Ie. Open aggression.

flankerbandit | Nov 16, 2017 4:28:23 PM | 13
US is toast in Syria...

Even the Syrian Kurds know this...and are gravitating slowly but surely into Moscow's orbit...

Russia has been meeting with Kurdish YPG both at Hmeimim and elsewhere recently...

These talks are moving ahead and there will be closer cooperation...including Kurdish presence at the planned Syria conference this month in Sochi...

'...We are studying the issue and our stance has been positive so far," Badran Jia Kurd, an adviser to the administration that governs Kurdish-led autonomous regions of Syria, told Reuters.

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2017-10-31/kurdish-led-authorities-in-north-syria-invited-to-moscow-backed-congress-official-says

That was Oct 31...much has happened since then... The only real obstacle is Turkey...which is a 'partner' now in Syria...but views the PKK-allied YPG with distrust... But the writing is on the wall...the Kurds are about to ditch Washington at the first opportunity...

What possible motive would they have for choosing the obvious loser as a their partner...? Nobody views the US as an honest broker...that has been proved thoroughly over the ages...starting with the Plains Indians... Another reason is that many Syrian Kurds do consider themselves Syrians first...and do in fact want a whole Syria... They must be quite aware that the US is using them as pawns and nothing more...

Mattis is clown who is way out of his depth... This was described in some detail to journo Pepe Escobar...by highly placed US intel sources...

'...Mattis has no strategic sense at all and should be no more than a minor Marine functionary as his ability is very limited...

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/06/how-the-dprk-riddle-is-freaking-out-the-us-establishment/

john | Nov 16, 2017 4:29:02 PM | 14
Ahmed is back and reopened his shop

what a beautiful and haunting photograph...Edward Hopper nightmarelike...like...

The bad captain madman had ordered their fate

CarlD | Nov 16, 2017 4:46:05 PM | 16
It is to be expected that the US will simply hunker down and make things as difficult as possible for SAA and allies. Remember Obama said it in 2016: "we'll make sure they suffer for it". They are still aiming for regime change and only numerous body bags will force them to reconsider.

The US gambles on the notion that Russia will not push back vigorously, and will only protest but not shoot down the interfering aircraft.

As long as this is the case, the US will bully Syria and the Syrians.

Asking them to leave will produce no tangible results. They will keep entrenching themselves. Israel will not allow them to accept that they cannot achieve their aim: to replace Assad with their puppet/s.

plantman | Nov 16, 2017 4:57:34 PM | 17
The battle for abu Kamal might be more difficult that you think.

General Dunford had been communicating with the Russian military up to this point, but now, it doesn't look like it. Which is understandable since the US and Syria want to control the same city. I thought that Deir Ezzor would be the place where Russia finally faced off with the US. But it could be abu kamal.

just sayin'....

Laguerre | Nov 16, 2017 5:02:14 PM | 18
re CarlD 16. The US 'hunkering down' is not going to work. Sooner or later, the Syrian Kurds are going to operate on their vision of the future, which is make a deal with Asad. The US forces will be left isolated.
CarlD | Nov 16, 2017 5:07:11 PM | 19
Re 18

They can still count on the various Al Sham and whatever is left of ISIS they have been saving all this time. I agree that the Kurds will probably not stay in US's orbit. But ISIS an Al Sham have no choice.

Laguerre | Nov 16, 2017 5:27:39 PM | 20
re 19. So the US will be left with un-winning fragments. Sounds like withdrawal time to me, at some point in the future.
/div
/div
The situation in Iraq is parallel. By a stunning agreement with the Talebanis of Sulaimaniyya, Baghdad has been able to recover Kirkuk, and all the territory occupied by the Kurds. Now there's an agreement to abandon independence. The US is not involved. The US is left without allies. Staying in Iraq is going to be difficult.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 16, 2017 5:40:44 PM | 25

The situation in Iraq is parallel. By a stunning agreement with the Talebanis of Sulaimaniyya, Baghdad has been able to recover Kirkuk, and all the territory occupied by the Kurds. Now there's an agreement to abandon independence. The US is not involved. The US is left without allies. Staying in Iraq is going to be difficult.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 16, 2017 5:40:44 PM | 25 /div

jfb | Nov 16, 2017 5:45:46 PM | 26
@Laguerre: Thanks, you surpass me largely in both knowledge and pedantry now, ouch! I feel more humble master.
james | Nov 16, 2017 5:47:27 PM | 27
i think the problem for many of us here is the close and ongoing connection that usa/uk/israel have with saudi arabia.. however the west wants to rationalize any of it, the headchoppers are a wahabbi death cult and yes - saudi arabia continues to refuse entry into the critical ports of yemen that will prevent what saudi arabia seems quite happy to inflict on the overall people of yemen... so, i think for myself anyway - this ugly trio - usa/uk/israel, can propagandize all they want.. it doesn't change what many can clearly see at this moment..
Bobby | Nov 16, 2017 7:25:30 PM | 29
Mr Matis and his military clowns are violating the international laws and committing war crimes against the human Syrian nationals and should be prosecuted as such. The USA think they have the right to occupy any land they wish without consequences simply because they own the U.N. , the cowardly united nation who basically serve the interest of the western nations and Israel and the Zionism around the world should be ashamed for not keeping with charter of the U.N. .
Laguerre | Nov 16, 2017 7:56:44 PM | 31
Over the next six month Idelb governate will be at the center of the war. Al-Qaeda, which rules the area, is not willing to give up without a fight. They are Takfiri terrorists. There is nothing to negotiate with them.
Evidently
John Merryman | Nov 16, 2017 9:15:16 PM | 33
Interesting theory. Wondering if any corroboration;
http://americandigitalnews.com/index.php/2017/11/07/las-vegas-saudi-crown-prince-salman-assassination-attempt/

[Nov 16, 2017] Russian Interference Now Being Blamed For Swaying Vote In Favor Of Brexit

Nov 16, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Was Brexit also Putin's fault?

The simmering anti-Russia hysteria that has emerged in the UK recently has finally boiled over, and it appears last night's story in the Times of London claiming that a swarm of Twitter bots reportedly created by a troll farm possibly linked to Russian intelligene (sound familiar?) posted more than 45,000 messages about Brexit in 48 hours during last year's referendum to try and "so discord" among the public was the grain of rice that tipped the scale.

Details that will sound familiar to anybody who's been following the ongoing hysteria surrounding the multiple investigations into Russian influence in the US election, the suspicious twitter accounts shared messages that promoted both the 'Remain' and 'Leave' campaigns, purportedly a "sophisticated" ploy to confuse and bewilder voters.

Most of the tweets seen by this newspaper encouraged people to vote for Brexit, an outcome which Russia would have regarded as destabilising for the European Union. A number were pro-Remain, however, suggesting that the Russian goal may have been simply to sow division.

"This is the most significant evidence yet of interference by Russian-backed social media accounts around the Brexit referendum," said Damian Collins, the Tory MP who chairs the digital, culture, media and sport select committee.

"The content published and promoted by these accounts is clearly designed to increase tensions throughout the country and undermine our democratic process. I fear that this may well be just the tip of the iceberg."

According to the Times, more than 150,000 accounts based in Russia, which had previously confined their posts to subjects such as the Ukrainian conflict, switched attention to Brexit in the days leading up to last year's vote, according to research for an upcoming paper by data scientists at Swansea University and the University of California, Berkeley.

In other words, after months of tweeting about pro-Russian forces in Ukraine, these bots started firing off messages amplifying the voice of the 'Leave' campaign into the void.

The researchers said Russian activity spiked on June 23, the day of the referendum, and on June 24 when the result was announced. From posting fewer than 1,000 tweets a day before June 13, the suspicious accounts posted 39,000 tweets on June 24 before dropping off almost entirely.

The Swansea and Berkeley paper says that a "massive number of Russian-related tweets was created a few days before the voting day, reached its peak during the voting and the result and then dropped immediately afterwards". Tho Pham, one of the paper's authors, said that "the main conclusion is that bots were used on purpose and had influence".

Of course, the Times report neglected to explain the Swansea researchers methodology. Facebook, Twitter and Google used the inadequate standard of having one's browser language set to Russian. It's unclear whether these researchers something that, like browser language, can be easily changed or mimicked by other groups.

On Monday, Theresa May accused Moscow of using fake news to "sow discord" and of meddling directly in elections. Her remarks followed a brief, impromptu meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at an Asian economic summit in Vietnam.

In what appeared to be an attempt to deflect attention away from a challenge to her leadership, UK Prime Minister Theresa May blasted Russia Monday evening, using her speech at the Lord Mayor's Banquet to accuse them of interfering in foreign elections.

May accused Moscow of attempting to "weaponize information" as part of a "sustained campaign of cyberespionage and disruption." Russia's actions were "threatening the international order," she said.

"We know what you are doing. And you will not succeed. Because you underestimate the resilience of our democracies, the enduring attraction of free and open societies, and the commitment of Western nations to the alliances that bind us," May said.

May listed off a litany of ills she ascribed to Russia since its annexation of Crimea, including fomenting conflict in eastern Ukraine, violating the airspace of European countries, and hacking the Danish ministry of defense and the German Parliament. Russia has also been accused of interfering in elections in the US, the Brexit referendum in the UK, and the independence vote in Catalonia.

Following May's speech, reports emerged that individuals working on behalf of the Kremlin tried to set up meetings with conservative MPs, including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

Last night, one of the UK's cyber-defense chiefs adding to the anti-Russia sentiment by accusing Russian intelligence of attacking Britain's media, telecommunications and energy sectors over the past year.

Ciaran Martin, chief executive of GCHQ's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), echoed May's claim that Russia was "seeking to undermine the international system."

Of course, there were at least two prominent British polls who decided to question the dubious accusations of interference.

Jeremy Corbyn wants to "see more evidence" that Russia is trying to undermine Western democracy, his spokesman said Wednesday.

And of course, as we noted yesterday, Nigel Farage pointed out during a speech at the European Parliament that financier George Soros has spent billions of dollars to push his political agenda across Europe, the US and the UK.

"How many of you have taken money from Open Society?" He asked his peers, referring to Soros's Open Society foundation.

While the Russian hysteria has been raging for a year in the US now, in the UK, it's only just beginning. In time, we will see of May's government will continue to use Vladimir Putin as a boogeyman on which they can blame their failure to successfully negotiate amenable Brexit terms for the UK.

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MusicIsYou , Nov 16, 2017 3:34 AM

Britain never was part of the EU. But most people are too concerned about Iphones and big dicks to think about much else.

Billy the Poet -> MusicIsYou , Nov 16, 2017 3:36 AM

If the premise is that Putin is the greatest living proponent of national sovereignty and individual liberty then what's the problem?

Shemp 4 Victory -> Billy the Poet , Nov 16, 2017 3:56 AM

"Russian Interference" Now Being Blamed For Democracy

Dank fur Kopf , Nov 16, 2017 3:35 AM

They might as well come out with alfoil hats while claiming 'Russia did it'.

That's how we're all seeing it.

Billy the Poet -> Dank fur Kopf , Nov 16, 2017 3:39 AM

They say "Putin ate my homework," with all the earnestness of a recalcitrant second grade scholar.

Lore , Nov 16, 2017 3:38 AM

This is bloody ridiculous. FOR GOD'S SAKE, GROW UP.

MusicIsYou , Nov 16, 2017 3:38 AM

The only Brits really care about is tea time, big dicks, and making sure their socialist buddies don't one up them.

JDLLDJ -> MusicIsYou , Nov 16, 2017 3:48 AM

I can see you are not English... You need to add orderly queue to that list haha

JDLLDJ , Nov 16, 2017 3:42 AM

I wondered when this would get to our shores... I think that governments are totally undermining themselves with the Russian hacking lies.. They are essentially saying that a few bots can control a country entirely.. Its totally stupid to think they could.

I dont have twitter, facebook or any of the other false realities some people choose to live in.. But yet i voted out.. So who influenced me? Nobody, we are an island culture, we will always lean towards independence.

Oh well, let them blame who they want, it changes little. Just makes politicians seem uneeded, lets replace them with bots!!

OutaTime43 , Nov 16, 2017 3:48 AM

Putin is the master spy. He controls the world. Really getting sick of this crap. They can't admit that their people are turning to nationalism and sovereignty over globalism.

JPMorgan , Nov 16, 2017 3:50 AM

Total BS.

The city areas like London voted to stay, and a good number of rural Britain and pensioners voted to leave.

No Russian conspiracy.

Bondosaurus Rex , Nov 16, 2017 3:52 AM

Brexit was about protecting the City Of London tax haven. Nothing more.

Britain is still turning into a third world shithole just like Europe is.

The Square Mile did not want Eurocretins encroaching. Putin is merely a distraction.

Volaille de Bresse , Nov 16, 2017 3:53 AM

I couldn't get a hard-on last night... Must be THE RUSSIANS!!

[Nov 16, 2017] McCarthyism Redux: Attacks on the Russian Media by John Wight

Notable quotes:
"... In 2017 we are witnessing the rebirth of McCarthyism across the West in response to Russia's recovery from the demise of the Soviet Union and the failed attempt to turn the country into a wholly owned subsidiary of Washington via the imposition of free market economic shock treatment thereafter. ..."
Nov 16, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

In 2017 we are witnessing the rebirth of McCarthyism across the West in response to Russia's recovery from the demise of the Soviet Union and the failed attempt to turn the country into a wholly owned subsidiary of Washington via the imposition of free market economic shock treatment thereafter.

In the process critical thinking and reason has been sacrificed on the altar of Pavlovian conditioning and unreason, resulting in the embrace of hysterical Russophobic nostrums by a liberal political and media class for whom Russia can only ever exist as a vanquished foe or a foe that needs to be vanquished. More

[Nov 16, 2017] Russia Names The 9 US News Outlets It Will Retaliate Against Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... When America's elite decided to takeover America at the end of the 90's, they took full controll of the media and started dumbing down America. ..."
Nov 16, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

After hinting that retaliation was imminent, Russian lawmakers in the Duma - Russia's lower house of Parliament - have approved a law that would require nine US news outlets to be labeled "foreign agents" in response to Washington's decision to require Russia Today to register as a foreign agent last week, a decision that Moscow has slammed as hypocritical and infringing on free speech.

Reuters reports that Russia's lower house of Parliament has approved the law - which allows Moscow to force foreign media to brand news they provide to Russians as the work of "foreign agents" and to disclose the source of their funding.

The law must now pass the upper house, which is likely to happen next week. Once President Vladimir Putin signs it, it will become law. The path to passage looks relatively straightforward, and it's likely the bill will become a law. The Russian Justice Ministry on Thursday published a list of the news outlets that it said could be affected by the law.

Meanwhile, the outlets are the US-government-sponsored Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe (RFE), otherwise known as Radio Liberty, radio channels, along with seven separate Russian or local-language news outlets run by Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty.

One of the seven outlets provides news on Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, one on Siberia, and one on the predominantly Muslim North Caucasus region. Another covers provincial Russia, one is an online TV station, another covers the mostly Muslim region of Tatarstan, and the other is a news portal that fact-checks the statements of Russian officials.

Gaius Frakkin' ... -> Raffie , Nov 16, 2017 6:43 PM

Voice of America is pure distilled CIA propaganda last time I knew.

Mustafa Kemal -> Gaius Frakkin' Baltar , Nov 16, 2017 6:56 PM

"Voice of America is pure distilled CIA propaganda last time I knew."

Radio Free Europe, Stars and Stripes -been CIA for a long, long time.

HRClinton -> Robert Trip , Nov 16, 2017 6:42 PM

VOA and Radio Free Europe is 100% CIA + State Dept.

That's "porn" of a different sort: Oral porn.

johngaltfla -> Proctologist , Nov 16, 2017 7:04 PM

LOL, Putin wimps out. He should have added the AP and CNN to the list. What a pussy.

44magnum , Nov 16, 2017 6:36 PM

"the station remains committed to providing independent news to global audiences." Hmm like RT if independent includes government financing

RumpleShitzkin -> 44magnum , Nov 16, 2017 6:41 PM

All ours get funding. Both white and black budget.

Dickweed Wang -> 44magnum , Nov 16, 2017 7:08 PM

I've been watching RT for years and as far as providing somewhat of a balanced take on things they are far superior to any "news" outlet in the USA or the UK. Everyone watching RT knows going in they are funded by the Russian government. On the other hand we have so-called "news" organizations in the USA that are really nothing more than propaganda arms of the US government and they continually lie about that issue.

Is RT's coverage slanted towards a Russian view of things? Of course they are but the fact is they will talk about issues on RT you will NEVER see mentioned on any US media outlet. There are several things I have a beef with RT on including; their anti-2nd amendment stance, their promoting some really leftist views on things ("Redacted Tonight" is a prime example) and their going along with the "deep state" take on things like the authority's versions of events like Vegas and the Orlando shootings. In the end though you are much better off watching RT than anything produced in the US.

Sudden Debt Nov 16, 2017 6:46 PM

When America's elite decided to takeover America at the end of the 90's, they took full controll of the media and started dumbing down America.

25 years later and overall IQ's have drop to the low 80's is people would still be tested like they where in the 70's

and now they've even leveled EQ's since they took over the internet.

Free media has always been the weapons of freedom and the weapons of mass destruction of tyrants

untill they just ban it all together.

Dickweed Wang -> Yes We Can. But Lets Not. •Nov 16, 2017 7:20 PM

I've been watching RT for years and never once has it been on a regular TV. Their news program is streamed online 24/7. Go to:

https://www.rt.com/on-air/

PressTV out of Iran also has some good stuff you never see on American "news" networks. Go to:

http://www.presstv.com/Default/Live

Moribundus Nov 16, 2017 7:20 PM

This is 2nd towel in ring by USA. 1st was pull out ambasador who specialize on color revolutions. With RT USA expected that Russia will retaliate, but they calculate that while RT is popular, American propaganda is seen as crap and Putin will get 80% votes anyway so there was nothing to lose anyway

Nobodys Home -> JoeTurner Nov 16, 2017 7:27 PM

Was it Iceland that threw out all dual citizens in government? We should too! Declare your allegiance! So The Pledge of Allegiance is wrong huh?

[Nov 16, 2017] 'I'm not a Russian troll I'm a security guard from Glasgow'

Nov 16, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile , November 15, 2017 at 11:28 am

Cortes rumbled?

'I'm not a Russian troll – I'm a security guard from Glasgow'

"The whole issue of anonymous trolls, false personas and automated Twitter accounts is fraught with difficulty, but thanks to the work of James Patrick (among a few others) the public is now becoming aware of the problem of online propaganda, some of it clearly directed (via payments) by Putin's government " -- Peter Jukes, CEO of ByLine, told The Scotsman

"Byline" claims to be the most visited crowdfunded journalism website in the UK.

Moscow Exile , November 15, 2017 at 11:34 am
See: Scot to be kidding: 'Russian troll' turns out to be Glasgow security guard

Reminds me of when years back some smart-arse on the laughable "Comment Is Free" in the Grauniad, having repeatedly stated that I was a Russian troll, congratulated me on my use of English, saying it was quite good for a Russian.

Jen , November 15, 2017 at 3:56 pm
Apparently not the firsht time a Scot was convincing in the role of a Rooshian:

http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/tomclancy/images/c/cc/Sean_Connery_The_Hunt_for_Red_October.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20150714000007

[Nov 16, 2017] McCarthyism Inc: Introducing the Counter-Terror 'Experts' Hyping Russian Threats and Undermining Our Civil Liberties

Nov 16, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

et Al , November 15, 2017 at 12:11 pm

Alernet via Antiwar.com: McCarthyism Inc: Introducing the Counter-Terror 'Experts' Hyping Russian Threats and Undermining Our Civil Liberties

Revelations about Russia's use of social media in the 2016 elections are being used as a pretext for suppressing dissent by some dubious characters.

By Max Blumenthal / AlterNet

November 10, 2017, 2:26 PM GMT

However, an investigation by AlterNet's Grayzone Project has yielded a series of disturbing findings at odds with the established depiction. The researchers behind the ASD's "dashboard" are no Russia experts, but rather a collection of cranks, counterterror retreads, online harassers and paranoiacs operating with support from some of the most prominent figures operating within the American national security apparatus .
####

Plenty more at the link.

Northern Star , November 15, 2017 at 3:54 pm
So why does this fuckin' cnt not have to register as an agent of a Foreign government???

"II. What, Exactly, Does FARA Require / Prohibit?
It's complicated. But in a nutshell, FARA requires individuals acting within the United States as agents of "foreign principals" to, in plain English, "register with the Department of Justice and file forms outlining its agreements with, income from, and expenditures on behalf of the foreign principal. These forms are public records and must be supplemented every six months." An "agent of a foreign principal," in turn, is defined as

any person who acts as an agent, representative, employee, or servant, or any person who acts in any other capacity at the order, request, or under the direction or control, of a foreign principal or of a person any of whose activities are directly or indirectly supervised, directed, controlled, financed, or subsidized in whole or in major part by a foreign principal, and who directly or through any other person -- (i) engages within the United States in political activities for or in the interests of such foreign principal; (ii) acts within the United States as a public relations counsel, publicity agent, information-service employee or political consultant for or in the interests of such foreign principal; (iii) within the United States solicits, collects, disburses, or dispenses contributions, loans, money, or other things of value for or in the interest of such foreign principal; or (iv) within the United States represents the interests of such foreign principal before any agency or official of the Government of the United States. . . .
Moreover, the statute defines "foreign principal" not just to include a foreign government itself, but also foreign political parties, a person or organization outside the United States (except U.S. citizens), and any entity organized under the laws of a foreign country or having its principal place of business in a foreign country. So, in a world in which individuals were receiving financial or other enticements from Russian corporations, oligarchs, or the Russian government itself, in order to "engage[] within the United States in political activities for or in the interests of such foreign principal," that seems to fall within the heartland of what FARA covers."

Indeed, a separate statute, 18 U.S.C. § 219, goes one important step further, making it a crime for any individual who is an "officer or employee or person acting for or on behalf of the United States, or any department, agency, or branch of Government thereof, including the District of Columbia, in any official function," to be or to act as an agent of a foreign principal under FARA.

******In other words, for a private citizen, FARA's entire impact is in requiring disclosure. But for public officials, § 219 actually prohibits such individuals from acting as foreign agents." *****

Thus, whereas a private citizen need only apprise the Justice Department if they are receiving funds from foreign principals to influence U.S. policy, public officials may not receive such funds, period–and face felony charges if they do. (N.B.: There's an interesting question about whether transition officials might qualify as "public officials" for purposes of § 219. I'm skeptical, but at least in Flynn's case, there's still the issue of whether he was continuing to serve as an agent of a foreign power on and after January 20, when he became the National Security Advisor.)

https://www.justsecurity.org/39493/primer-foreign-agents-registration-act/

Northern Star , November 15, 2017 at 3:59 pm
As for AIPAC itself..in case you are wondering:

https://www.globalresearch.ca/should-aipac-register-as-a-foreign-agent/5601653

[Nov 15, 2017] Alex Azar Can There Be Uglier Scenarios than the Revolving Door naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... By Lambert Strether ..."
"... So should Mr Azar be confirmed as Secretary of DHHS, the fox guarding the hen house appears to be a reasonable analogy. ..."
"... In this post, I'd like to add two additional factors to our consideration of Azar. The first: Democrat credentialism makes it hard for them to oppose Azar. The second: The real ..."
Nov 15, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Alex Azar: Can There Be Uglier Scenarios than the Revolving Door? Posted on November 15, 2017 by Lambert Strether By Lambert Strether

Clearly, Alex Azar, nominated yesterday for the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services by the Trump Administration, exemplifies the case of the "revolving door," through which Flexians slither on their way to (or from) positions of public trust. Roy Poses ( cross-posted at NC ) wrote, when Azar was only Acting Secretary:

Last week we noted that Mr Trump famously promised to &#8220;drain the swamp&#8221; in Washington. Last week, despite his previous pledges to not appoint lobbyists to powerful positions, he appointed a lobbyist to be acting DHHS Secretary. This week he is apparently strongly considering Mr Alex Azar, a pharmaceutical executive to be permanent DHHS Secretary, even though the FDA, part of DHHS, has direct regulatory authority over the pharmaceutical industry, and many other DHHS policies strongly affect the pharmaceutical industry. (By the way, Mr Azar was also in charge of one lobbying effort.)

So should Mr Azar be confirmed as Secretary of DHHS, the fox guarding the hen house appears to be a reasonable analogy.

Moreover, several serious legal cases involving bad behavior by his company, and multiple other instances of apparently unethical behavior occurred on Mr Azar&#8217;s watch at Eli Lilly. So the fox might be not the most reputable member of the species.

So you know the drill&#8230;. The revolving door is a species of conflict of interest . Worse, some experts have suggested that the revolving door is in fact corruption. As we noted here , the experts from the distinguished European anti-corruption group U4 wrote ,

The literature makes clear that the revolving door process is a source of valuable political connections for private firms. But it generates corruption risks and has strong distortionary effects on the economy , especially when this power is concentrated within a few firms.

The ongoing parade of people transiting the revolving door from industry to the Trump administration once again suggests how the revolving door may enable certain of those with private vested interests to have excess influence, way beyond that of ordinary citizens, on how the government works, and that the country is still increasingly being run by a cozy group of insiders with ties to both government and industry. This has been termed crony capitalism.

Poses is, of course, correct. (Personally, I've contained my aghastitude on Azar, because I remember quite well how Liz Fowler transitioned from Wellpoint to being Max Baucus's chief of staff when ObamaCare was being drafted to a job in Big Pharma , and I remember quite well the deal with Big Pharma Obama cut, which eliminated the public option , not that the public option was anything other than a decreasingly gaudy "progressive" bauble in the first place.)

In this post, I'd like to add two additional factors to our consideration of Azar. The first: Democrat credentialism makes it hard for them to oppose Azar. The second: The real damage Azar could do is on the regulatory side.[1]

First, Democrat credentialism. Here is one effusive encomium on Azar. From USA Today, "Who is Alex Azar? Former drugmaker CEO and HHS official nominated to head agency" :

"I am glad to hear that you have worked hard, and brought fair-minded legal analysis to the department," Democratic Sen. Max Baucus said at Azar's last confirmation hearing.

And:

Andy Slavitt, who ran the Affordable Care Act and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services during the Obama administration, said he has reason to hope Azar would be a good secretary.

"He is familiar with the high quality of the HHS staff, has real-world experience enough to be pragmatic, and will hopefully avoid repeating the mistakes of his predecessor," Slavitt said.

So, if Democrats are saying Azar is "fair-minded" and "pragmatic" -- and heaven forfend that the word "corruption"[2] even be mentioned -- how do they oppose him, even he's viscerally opposed to everything Democrats supposedly stand for? (Democrats do this with judicial nominations, too.) Azar may be a fox, alright, but the chickens he's supposedly guarding are all clucking about how impeccable his qualifications are!

Second, let's briefly look at Azar's bio. Let me excerpt salient detail from USA Today :

1. Azar clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia .

2. Azar went to work for his mentor, Ken Starr , who was heading the independent counsel investigation into Bill and Hillary Clinton's Whitewater land deal.

3. Azar had a significant role in another major political controversy when the outcome of the 2000 presidential election hinged on a recount in Florida . Azar was on the Bush team of lawyers whose side ultimately prevailed [3]

For any Democrat with a memory, that bio provokes one of those "You shall know them by the trail of the dead" moments. And then there's this:

When Leavitt replaced Thompson in 2005 and Azar became his deputy, Leavitt delegated a lot of the rule-making process to Azar.

So, a liberal Democrat might classify Azar as a smooth-talking reactionary thug with a terrible record and the most vile mentors imaginable, and on top of it all, he's an effective bureaucratic fixer. What could the Trump Administration possibly see in such a person? Former (Republican) HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt explains:

"Understanding the administrative rule process in the circumstance we're in today could be extraordinarily important because a lot of the change in the health care system, given the fact that they've not succeeded legislatively, could come administratively."

We outlined the administration strategy on health care in "Trump Adminstration Doubles Down on Efforts to Crapify the Entire Health Care System (Unless You're Rich, of Course)" . There are three prongs:

1) Administratively, send ObamaCare into a death spiral by sabotaging it

2) Legislatively, gut Medicaid as part of the "tax refom" package in Congress

3) Through executive order, eliminate "essential health benefits" through "association health plans"

As a sidebar, it's interesting to see that although this do-list is strategically and ideologically coherent -- basically, your ability to access health care will be directly dependent on your ability to pay -- it's institutionally incoherent, a bizarre contraption screwed together out of legislation, regulations, and an Executive order. Of course, this incoherence mirrors to Rube Goldberg structure of ObamaCare itself, itself a bizarre contraption, especially when compared to the simple, rugged, and proven single payer system. ( Everything Obama did with regulations and executive orders, Trump can undo, with new regulations and new executive orders . We might compare ObamaCare to a child born with no immune system, that could only have survived within the liberal bubble within which it was created; in the real world, it's not surprising that it's succumbing to opportunistic infections.[2])

On #1, The administration has, despite its best efforts, not achieved a controlled flight into terrain with ObamaCare; enrollment is up. On #2, the administration and its Congressional allies are still dickering with tax reform. And on #3 . That looks looks like a job for Alex Azar, since both essential health benefits and association health plans are significantly affected by regulation.

So, yes, there are worse scenarios than the revolving door; it's what you leave behind you as the door revolves that matters. It would be lovely if there were a good old-fashioned confirmation battle over Azar, but, as I've pointed out, the Democrats have tied their own hands. Ideally, the Democrats would junk the Rube Goldberg device that is ObamaCare, rendering all of Azar's regulatory expertise null and void, but that doesn't seem likely, given that they seem to be doing everything possible to avoid serious discussion of policy in 2018 and 2020.

NOTES

[1] I'm leaving aside what will no doubt be the 2018 or even 2020 issue of drug prices, since for me that's subsumed under the issue of single payer. If we look only at Azar's history in business, real price decreases seem unlikely. Business Insider :

Over the 10-year period when Azar was at Lilly, the price of insulin notched a three-fold increase. It wasn't just Lilly's insulin product, called Humalog. The price of a rival made by Novo Nordisk has also climbed, with the two rising in such lockstep that you can barely see both trend lines below.

The gains came despite the fact that the insulin, which as a medication has an almost-century-long history, hasn't really changed since it was first approved.

Nice business to be in, eh? Here's that chart:

It's almost like Lilly (Azar's firm) and Novo Nordisk are working together, isn't it?

[2] Anyhow, as of the 2016 Clinton campaign , the Democrat standard -- not that of Poses, nor mine -- is that if there's no quid pro quo, there's no corruption.

[3] And, curiously, "[HHS head Tommy] Thompson said HHS was in the eye of the storm after the 2001 terrorist attacks, and Azar had an important role in responding to the resulting public health challenges, as well as the subsequent anthrax attacks "

MedicalQuack , November 15, 2017 at 10:31 am

Oh please, stop quoting Andy Slavitt, the United Healthcare Ingenix algo man. That guy is the biggest crook that made his money early on with RX discounts with his company that he and Senator Warren's daughter, Amelia sold to United Healthcare. He's out there trying to do his own reputation restore routine. Go back to 2009 and read about the short paying of MDs by Ingenix, which is now Optum Insights, he was the CEO and remember it was just around 3 years ago or so he sat there quarterly with United CEO Hemsley at those quarterly meetings. Look him up, wants 40k to speak and he puts the perception out there he does this for free, not so.

diptherio , November 15, 2017 at 11:25 am

I think you're missing the context. Lambert is quoting him by way of showing that the sleazy establishment types are just fine with him. Thanks for the extra background on that particular swamp-dweller, though.

a different chris , November 15, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Not just the context, it's a quote in a quote. Does make me think Slavitt must be a real piece of work to send MQ so far off his rails

petal , November 15, 2017 at 12:52 pm

Alex Azar is a Dartmouth grad (Gov't & Economics '88) just like Jeff Immelt (Applied Math & Economics '78). So much damage to society from such a small department!

sgt_doom , November 15, 2017 at 1:21 pm

Nice one, petal !!!

Really, all I need to know about the Trumpster Administration:

From Rothschild to . . . .

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilbur_Ross

Since 2014, Ross has been the vice-chairman of the board of Bank of Cyprus PCL, the largest bank in Cyprus.

He served under U.S. President Bill Clinton on the board of the U.S.-Russia Investment Fund. Later, under New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Ross served as the Mayor's privatization advisor.

Jen , November 15, 2017 at 7:56 pm

Or from a "small liberal arts college" (which is a university in all but name, because alumni).

Tim Geitner ('82 – Goverment)
Hank Paulson ('68 – English)

jo6pac , November 15, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Well it's never ending game in the beltway and we serfs aren't in it.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/11/15/trump-adds-to-washingtons-swamp/

Alfred , November 15, 2017 at 2:53 pm

I don't believe that the President's "swamp" ever consisted of crooked officials, lobbyists, and cronies I think it has always consisted of those regulators who tried sincerely to defend public interests.

It was in the sticky work of those good bureaucrats that the projects of capitalists and speculators bogged down. It is against their efforts that the pickup-driving cohort of Trumpism (with their Gadsden flag decals) relentlessly rails.

Trump has made much progress in draining the regulatory swamp (if indeed that is the right way to identify it), and no doubt will make considerably more as time wears on, leaving America high and dry. The kind of prevaricator Trump is may simply be the one who fails to define his terms.

Henry Moon Pie , November 15, 2017 at 4:13 pm

I think we've moved past the revolving door. We hear members of the United States Senate publicly voice their concerns about what will happen if they fail to do their employers' bidding (and I'm not talking about "the public" here). In the bureaucracy, political appointees keep accruing more and more power even as they make it clearer and clearer that they work for "the donors" and not the people. Nowhere is this more true than the locus through which passes most of the money: the Pentagon. The fact that these beribboned heroes are, in fact, setting war policy on their own makes the knowledge that they serve Raytheon and Exxon rather than Americans very, very troubling.

I suspect Azar's perception is that he is just moving from one post to another within the same company.

Watt4Bob , November 15, 2017 at 5:28 pm

Perfect cartoon over at Truthout

I'm amazed there is enough private security available on this planet to keep these guys safe.

Larry , November 15, 2017 at 8:01 pm

Big pharma indeed has so much defense from the supposed left. It combines their faith in technological progress, elite institutions, and tugs on the heart strings with technology that can save people from a fate of ill health or premature death. Of course, the aspect of the laws being written to line the pockets of corrupt executives is glossed over. While drug prices and medical costs spiral ever higher, our overall longevity and national health in the US declines. That speaks volumes about what Democrats really care about.

[Nov 15, 2017] >How We Can Be Certain That Mueller Won't Prove Trump-Russia Collusion Zero Hedge

Nov 15, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

How We Can Be Certain That Mueller Won't Prove Trump-Russia Collusion? Tyler Durden Nov 15, 2017 7:30 PM 0 SHARES Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

Dear America. Stop trying to make Russiagate happen. It's not going to happen. Deus ex Mueller isn't coming. You're going to have to solve your country's problems yourselves, America. He may dig up evidence of corruption, but Robert Mueller's investigation will never – ever – find proof that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election using hackers and propaganda. If you attribute all your problems to Trump, you're guaranteeing more Trumps after him, because you're not addressing the disease which created him, you're just addressing the symptom.

A while back I figured out a trick for using Twitter as a tool to find out what sorts of things establishment loyalists really don't want me saying. Once I discover a really hot button, I write an article that bangs on that button as hard as possible. One of those buttons is expressing my certainty that Robert Mueller's investigation will never, ever find any proof that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election using hackers and propaganda.

We are not allowed to say such things. If you debate a Russiagater for any length of time and you know how to debunk their assertions, they always, always, always wind up resorting to a "just you wait until Mueller finishes his investigation" declaration, which from my point of view is the same as debating a fundamentalist Christian whose argument boils down to "Well I'll be proven right when you die and God sends you to Hell!"

You can always feel right if you kick the can around some corner in the future that can't be seen and analyzed critically. Luckily for us, we've got information that we can look at right now which does not require any religious faith ...

Anonymous Leaks to the WashPost About the CIA's Russia Beliefs Are No Substitute for Evidence https://t.co/OB33Xbb49V

-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 10, 2016

U.S. Officials: Putin Personally Involved in U.S. Election Hack https://t.co/339F3GnbRQ

-- AM Joy w/Joy Reid (@amjoyshow) December 15, 2016

NSA staff used spy tools on spouses, ex-lovers. Think it takes a warrant? Nope, just somebody willing to do it. https://t.co/AW2UYitHzb

-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) March 9, 2017

How to tell if the CIA is listening to your Samsung Smart TV: The blue light on the back of the TV is still on. https://t.co/NRlye8j4c2

-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) March 22, 2017

RELEASE: CIA 'ELSA' malware can geolocate your Windows laptop or desktop by listening to surrounding WiFi signals https://t.co/XjyyXIqXAz pic.twitter.com/WCw6dgF9ql

-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) June 28, 2017

We know from the Snowden leaks on the NSA, the CIA files released by WikiLeaks, and the ongoing controversies regarding FBI surveillance that the US intelligence community has the most expansive, most sophisticated and most intrusive surveillance network in the history of human civilization

Following the presidential election last year, anonymous sources from within the intelligence community were hemorrhaging leaks to the press on a regular basis that were damaging to the incoming administration.

If there was any evidence to be found that Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government to steal the 2016 election using hackers and propaganda, the US intelligence community would have found it and leaked it to the New York Times or the Washington Post last year.

Mueller isn't going to find anything in 2017 that these vast, sprawling networks wouldn't have found in 2016. He's not going to find anything by "following the money" that couldn't be found infinitely more efficaciously via Orwellian espionage. The factions within the intelligence community that were working to sabotage the incoming administration last year would have leaked proof of collusion if they'd had it. They did not have it then, and they do not have it now. Mueller will continue finding evidence of corruption throughout his investigation, since corruption is to DC insiders as water is to fish, but he will not find evidence of collusion to win the 2016 election that will lead to Trump's impeachment. It will not happen.

This sits on top of all the many , many , many reasons to be extremely suspicious of the Russiagate narrative in the first place

Russia-gate's Shaky Doundation - The Russia-gate hysteria now routinely includes rhetoric about the U.S. being at "war" with nuclear-armed Russia, but the shaky factual foundation continues to show more cracks, as historian Daniel Herman describes.

Russigate Is More Fiction Than Fact - From accusations of Trump campaign collusion to Russian Facebook ad buys, the media has substituted hype for evidence.

The Big Fat Compendium Of Russiagate Debunkery - Russiagate is like a mirage: from a distance it looks like something, but once you move in for a closer look, there's nothing there. Nothing. Nothing solid, nothing substantial, nothing you can point at and say, "Here it is."

Humans are storytelling creatures.

The most significant and most underappreciated facet of our existence is how much of our interface with the world consists not of our direct experience of it, but of our mental stories about it. Combine that fact with the century of research and development that has gone into refining propaganda tactics and the US plutocracy's stranglehold on mainstream media , and you get a nation lost in establishment narratives. People forming their worldviews based on phantasms of the mind instead of concrete facts.

I've noticed a strange uptick in establishment loyalists speaking to me as though Trump-Russia collusion is already an established fact, and that I'm simply not well-informed. There is still the same amount of publicly available evidence for this collusion as there ever was (zero), so this tells me that the only thing which has changed is the narrative. Pundits/propagandists are increasingly speaking as though this is something that has already been established, and the people who consume that propaganda go out and circulate it as though it's an established fact. When you're not plugged into that echo chamber , though, it looks very weird.

This is why Russiagaters find my certainty that collusion will never be proven so intensely abrasive. Their entire worldview consists of pure narrative? -- ?literally nothing other than authoritative assertions from pundits who speak in a confident tone of voice? -- ?so when they encounter someone doing the same thing but with hard facts, it causes psychological discomfort. This discomfort is called cognitive dissonance. It's what being wrong feels like.

The Only People Who Still Believe In Russiagate Are Those Who Desperately Need To...

I mean, I get it. Really, I do. When I stop listening to the narratives of both his supporters and his detractors and just look at the hard facts, from my point of view Trump is doing some really shitty things and doesn't seem much different from his neoliberal neocon predecessors. Republicans are horrible, and he seems pretty much like a garden variety Republican who says rude things on Twitter. If I look at those hard facts, then add in two years of psychological brutalization by the corporate media telling Americans that Trump is an evil Nazi who will turn the country into a smouldering crater, I can understand why people would be in a hurry to get him out of office.

And when I converse with Russiagaters, that's generally what this boils down to. "Impeach Trump" is a punishment in search of a crime. They've been whipped into a frenzied state of fear by establishment psyops, and they want Mueller to pull a deus ex machina and save them from the evil orange monster. They believe Mueller will get Trump impeached for Russian collusion because they badly want to.

It's not going to happen, though. Deus ex Mueller isn't coming. You're going to have to solve your country's problems yourselves, America.

And this is actually a good thing, because Trump is not the source of your country's problems. Believing that a Trump impeachment will fix any of America's major ills is like believing cough suppressants cure pneumonia. What do you get when you have pneumonia and you take cough suppressants instead of antibiotics? You get wrong-sounding Muppets, that's what.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/4JFkHuIUwF0

[Nov 13, 2017] Arab League To Hold Urgent Meeting On Iran As Saudis Reportedly Mobilize Fighter Jets

Nov 12, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
0 SHARES according to Reuters and various regional sources, at a moment when Saudi fighter jets may be mobilizing for war in an attempted show of force. Egypt-based Ahram Online also reports further that the meeting will discuss "Iranian interference" in the region at League headquarters in Cairo, and other early unconfirmed reports indicate the meeting could come as early as next Sunday.

News of the Arab League extraordinary session comes as tensions are at breaking point as regional powers - especially Saudi Arabia and Israel - talk war against perceived Iranian expansion and domination in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, The Daily Star , citing the Baghdad Post , claims that Saudi Arabia has scrambled its air force for strikes in Lebanon: "Reports now state the Royal Saudi Air Force has placed its warplanes on alert to launch strikes as the region sits on a knife edge." The report accompanies undated footage of Saudi F-15's in aerial maneuvers over what is presumably a Saudi airfield.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/eZoyGajSfq0

The Daily Star adds the following accompanying the video :

The kingdom has mobilized its F-15 fighter jet fleet to launch a military operation against the Iranian-backed terrorist militia of Hezbollah in Lebanon, regional news website The Baghdad Post reports.

Saudi Arabia previously accused both Lebanon and Iran of committing an act of wars against it after rebels fired a missile at the King Khalid International Airport in the kingdom's capital of Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia has reportedly placed its air force on alert

However unlikely it is that the Saudis would take direct military action against Lebanon , the report reveals the legitimate fears of Lebanese citizens who are increasingly aware that their country has fallen in the cross hairs of an unusual alliance between Saudi Arabia, Israel, and anti-Iranian interests which see Hezbollah and pro-Iranian proxies as the number one threat and scapegoat for all of the region's problems.

Iran is currently being scapegoated for just about all tensions which have exploded in the gulf over the past week, including the following:

[Nov 13, 2017] Why Robert Mueller Was Selected To Be The Special Prosecutor

It might well be that Chrystal night in KSA can be a serious blow to fouces which want to depose President Trump. People arrested, especally prince Bandar know way too much. I wonder what will happen if Trump manage to get from Mohammed bin Salman protocols of interrogation of Price Bandarr on interesting to him topics.
Notable quotes:
"... The Saudis were also shielded from Washington's foreign-policy bureaucracy. A government expert on Saudi affairs told me that Prince Bandar dealt exclusively with the men at the top, and never met with desk officers and the like. "Only a tiny handful of people inside the government are familiar with U.S.-Saudi relations," he explained. "And that is purposeful. ..."
"... Both Mueller and Comey were high enough "at the top" so as to know what the people below them needed to hide in order to succeed in their careers ..."
"... William Perry, who was the United States Secretary of Defense at the time that this bombing happened, said in an interview in June 2007 that "he now believes al-Qaida rather than Iran was behind a 1996 truck bombing at an American military base."[25] ..."
"... Although they'd been aware of each other for years, sharing their similar orbits, Comey and Mueller were first brought together professionally by then-FBI director Louis Freeh in the opening days of the Bush administration. As the Bush administration took office in 2001, Freeh asked Bob Mueller, who was acting as John Ashcroft's deputy attorney general, to transfer the [Khobar] case to Comey. ..."
"... So, Comey and Mueller were brought in by Freeh because Freeh was about to retire and he wanted successors who would be committed to the theory of the case, that Freeh had gotten from Prince Bandar. If Comey and Mueller wouldn't go along with that torture-extracted 'testimony' as 'evidence', then their ability to become appointed head the FBI would have been zero. Freeh, Comey, and Mueller are a team - a team that serves the Bushes and the Sauds . But not the American public. ..."
"... CLOSING NOTE: This article had been submitted to, and rejected by, the 39 publications listed here at the bottom, sent to each as an exclusive, but since they all rejected it without comment, I now am sending it not just to them but to the entire U.S. newsmedia, on a non-exclusive and free-of-charge basis to publish. ..."
Nov 12, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

It all began with the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers apartment complex in the Saudi city of Khobar, which killed 19 U.S. military, who worked at the Dharan air base three miles away.

That incident became the lynchpin of the accusation by the Saudi royal family, the U.S. State Department , and the CIA , that Iran is the foremost state sponsor of terrorism .

Both Robert Mueller and his longtime ally James Comey (the latter of whose firing as the FBI chief, by U.S. President Trump, had sparked the appointment of Mueller to become the Special Counsel investigating the U.S. President) performed crucial roles in establishing that the Khobar Towers bombing had been a Hezbollah operation run by the Iranian Government - and, starting upon this basis, in helping to develop the case that Iran "is the foremost state sponsor of terrorism."

However, as has been made clear by several great independent investigative journalists, on the basis of far more-solid documentation than the official account, the Khobar Towers bombing was instead entirely a fundamentalist-Sunni operation, specifically perpetrated by Al Qaeda, which hates Shia and which also hates America's military presence in the Middle East. Osama bin Laden's claim of the bombing's having been done by Al Qaeda, was, in fact, entirely honest and accurate.

America's "Deep State," which extends to Saudi Arabia and to a number of other Governments - it's an international network - is deeply committed to supporting the fundamentalist-Sunni war to conquer and destroy Shia Islam, and not merely to conquer the leading Shia nation, which is Iran. The U.S. Government has intensely taken a side in the Sunni-Shia religious war. That war is comparable in some respects to the 30 Years' War (1618-1648) between Catholics and Protestants , which killed an estimated eight million Europeans; and, both the United States and Israel have clearly joined with the fundamentalist-Sunni leaders, against Iran, and against Shia generally.

The reasons behind the prevailing lies about this matter will also be documented here. Discrepancies between the official story and the solidly documented facts, need to be explained, in order for a reader to be able to understand truthfully why Mueller (who cooperated with Comey in order to rig the official account of the bombing, so as to condemn Iran and Hezbollah instead of Al Qaeda) received his appointment. This is also important in order to understand why Trump, though rabidly anti-Iranian himself, is nonetheless insufficiently anti-Iranian to satisfy the Sauds, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, or the rest of the U.S.-and-allied Deep State.

Before proceeding further here, however, the statistical falseness of the allegation that Iran is the foremost state-sponsor of terrorism has to be clearly recognized as being the ultimate fact ; because, if this entire question - to which Mueller and Comey contributed so importantly to answering by their identifying Iran (and Shia generally) as being precisely that ('the foremost state sponsor of terrorism') -- can be assessed at all objectively, then the statistical answer to it would certainly be the objective one.

Wikipedia's article on "Iran and state-sponsored terrorism" says: "According to the Global Terrorism Database , the majority of deaths, more than 94% attributed to Islamic terrorism since 2001, were perpetrated by Sunni jihadists of the Islamic State , al-Qaeda and others. [3] [4] ." Only 6% were Shiites, at all -- from any country. Similarly, my own independent study of 54 especially prominent global instances of Islamic terrorism was headlined (and reported that) "All Islamic Terrorism Is Perpetrated by Fundamentalist Sunnis, Except Terrorism Against Israel." (The anti-Israel terrorist instances might constitute the "6%" which was referred to in the Wikipedia article, but that article provided no good link to its source for the "6%" figure.)

So: the basic allegation is false, that Iran is the foremost state-sponsor of terrorism; the general allegation isn't anywhere near to being true. It's a lie.

More specifically, now, regarding the Khobar Towers incident, which triggered the start of this fraudulent generalization:

The Saudi royal family asserted, immediately after the bombing, that the attack had been perpetrated by jihadists who had returned from Afghanistan and who were now fighting to overthrow Saudi Arabia's Government (the royal Saud family).

For example, on 15 August 1996, the New York Times headlined "Saudi Rebels Are Main Suspects In June Bombing of a U.S. Base" , and reported that, "The Government of Saudi Arabia now believes that native Saudi Islamic militants, including many veterans of the Afghan war, carried out the June 25 bombing that killed 19 American servicemen at a base in Dhahran, Saudi officials said today." However, the "mujahideen" who had fought in Afghanistan were paid and backed both by the Sauds and by the U.S. Government, For example, as early as 1979, Zbigniew Brzezinski flew into Pakistan and exhorted the Taliban there to become mujahideen in Afghanistan because "That land over there is yours; you'll go back to it one day, because your fight will prevail, and you will have your homes and your mosques back again, because your cause is right and God is on your side."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/A9RCFZnWGE0

Then, starting in 1980, "From the Pakistani border, bin Laden raises funds and provides the mujahedeen with logistical and humanitarian aid." So, the Sauds' allegation that the Khobar bombers had been "veterans of the Afghan war" would have meant that they had been foot-soldiers for the U.S.-Saudi operation in Afghanistan. Both the U.S. Government and the Saud family (who own the Saudi Government) hate Shia and especially hate Iran. Hezbollah are Shia, and they are extremely pro-Iran. How likely is it that Hezbollah, anywhere, would have been fighting under the command of Al Qaeda, or of any other fundamentalist-Sunni jihadist organization that calls all Shia "infidels"? So, the Sauds' account of the Khobar Towers bombing is fishy, at best.

Furthermore, a Google-search for the phrase "Hezbollah in Afghanistan" turns up only "6 results," and all of them say nothing about any "Hezbollah in Afghanistan." No report comes up about such a thing, for any year, or any period. The only countries where Hezbollah was reported to exist were Iran, Syria, and Lebanon. One of the links in that Google search was globally comprehensive for the year 2007, the Center on International Cooperation's "Annual Review of Global Peace Operations -- 2007" . It included reports on wars during that year, in 26 countries, and the chapter for Afghanistan (pages 52-58) doesn't mention Hezbollah even once. However, a search for the phrase "Hezbollah Afghanistan" does bring up "Syria's Other Foreign Fighters: Iran's Afghan and Pakistani Mercenaries" , at the neoconservative (and thus favoring not only the American aristocracy but its allied aristocracies -- especially in Saudi Arabia and Israel) The National Interest, dated 20 November 2015. That article says, "The liwa' fatimiyun (Fatimiyun Brigade) is composed exclusively of Afghans and fights under the auspices of Hezbollah Afghanistan," based in Syria. Other supposed foreign Shiites trying to overthrow Syria's Government are mentioned, as being supposedly "Pakistanis fighting in Syria under the Hezbollah flag." However, if these allegations are true, then those men would be opponents of Syria's secular government, which is headed by the secular Shiite Bashar al-Assad, who is being attacked by fundamentalist Sunnis -- including both ISIS and Al Qaeda there -- who are trying to kill Hezbollah in Syria, who are, in fact, defending Assad. (Such illogical 'historical' accounts as that, are normal in neoconservative publications -- counterfactuality is entirely acceptable to them.) Either that, or else the alleged Shiite Pakistanis who are fighting in Syria to overthrow the Shiite Assad and replace him with a fundamentalist Sunni regime, would be -- not actually members of Hezbollah, but instead -- Shiites from Pakistan who came to Syria in order to help actually not to overthrow the Government but to defend it against its rabidly anti-Shia attackers. That's the opposite of the assumption that The National Interest made, but it conceivably could be the case. A Pew survey scientifically randomly sampled 1,512 Pakistanis, and found that 1,450 of them declared themselves to be "Muslim," which is 96%. It also found that 94% of Pakistanis (of any or no faith) say that religion is "very important" in their lives, and found that 81% of the Muslims said they were "Sunni," 6% said they were "Shiite," and 12% said they were "Just a Muslim." So, only 6% of Pakistanis identify themselves specifically as "Shia." That is such a small percentage of Shiites in Pakistan, as to make unlikely any significant contribution that Pakistanis would be providing to the defense of Syria, which is at least 1,800 miles or 2,900 kilometers, away -- not even in the same general region. But, in any case, that neoconservative magazine's assumptions regarding the entire matter are clearly false.

Clearly, then, the logical feasibility of the U.S. Government's case against Iran is so tiny as to constitute almost an absolute impossibility of that case being true.

Now, then, let's consider the specifics of the case

The great investigative journalist Greg Palast, in his 2003 The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (pages 101-102), wrote:

True-blue Democrats may want to skip the next paragraphs. If President Bush put the kibosh on investigations of Saudi funding of terror and nuclear bomb programs, this was merely taking a policy of Bill Clinton one step further.

Following the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, Clinton hunted Osama with a passion -- but a passion circumscribed by the desire to protect the sheikdom sitting atop our oil lifeline. In 1994, a Saudi diplomat defected to the United States with 14,000 pages of documents from the kingdom's sealed file cabinets. This mother lode of intelligence included evidence of plans for the assassination of Saudi opponents living in the West and, tantalizingly, details of the $7 billion the Saudis gave to Saddam Hussein for his nuclear program -- the first attempt to build an Islamic bomb. The Saudi government, according to the defector, Mohammed Al Khilewi, slipped Saddam the nuclear loot during the Reagan and Bush Sr. years when our government still thought Saddam too marvelous for words [because he was trying to slaughter Shiite Iran]. The thought was that he would only use the bomb to vaporize Iranians [which the rulers of both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia -- and of Israel -- would love].

Clinton granted the Saudi defector asylum, but barred the FBI from looking at the documents. Al Khilewi's New York lawyer, Michael Wildes, told me he was stunned. Wildes handles some of America's most security-sensitive asylum cases. "We said (to the FBI), 'Here, take the documents! Go get some bad guys with them! We'll even pay for the photocopying!" But the agents who came to his office had been ordered not to accept evidence of Saudi criminal activity, even on U.S. soil.

In 1997, the Canadians caught and extradited to America one of the [Saudi-Government-alleged] Khobar Towers attackers. In 1999, Vernon Jordan's law firm stepped in and -- poof! -- the [Saudi-alleged] killer was shipped back to Saudi Arabia before he could reveal all he knew about Al Qaeda (valuable) and the Saudis (embarrassing). I reviewed but was not permitted to take notes on, the alleged [finally, Palast is getting that right] terrorist's debriefing by the FBI. To my admittedly inexpert eyes, there was enough on Al Qaeda to make him a source on terrorists worth holding on to. Not that he was set free -- he's in one of the kingdom's dungeons [likelier dead soon after arriving back in Saudi Arabia] -- but his info is sealed up with him. The terrorist's extradition was "Clinton's." "Clinton's parting kiss to the Saudis," as one insider put it.

Another great investigative journalist is Seymour Hersh, who in the 22 October 2001 issue of the New Yorker, headlined "King's Ransom" and he opened:

Since 1994 or earlier, the National Security Agency has been collecting electronic intercepts of conversations between members of the Saudi Arabian royal family, which is headed by King Fahd. The intercepts depict a regime increasingly corrupt, alienated from the country's religious rank and file, and so weakened and frightened that it has brokered its future by channelling hundreds of millions of dollars in what amounts to protection money to fundamentalist groups that wish to overthrow it.

The intercepts have demonstrated to analysts that by 1996 Saudi money was supporting Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda and other extremist groups in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Yemen, and Central Asia, and throughout the Persian Gulf region. "Ninety-six is the key year," one American intelligence official told me. "Bin Laden hooked up to all the bad guys -- it's like the Grand Alliance -- and had a capability for conducting large-scale operations." The Saudi regime, he said, had "gone to the dark side."

Subsequently, he noted:

In 1994, Mohammed al-Khilewi, the first secretary at the Saudi Mission to the United Nations, defected and sought political asylum in the United States. He brought with him, according to his New York lawyer, Michael J. Wildes, some fourteen thousand internal government documents depicting the Saudi royal family's corruption, human-rights abuses, and financial support for terrorists.

He claimed to have evidence that the Saudis had given financial and technical support to Hamas, the extremist Islamic group whose target is Israel. There was a meeting at the lawyer's office with two F.B.I. agents and an Assistant United States Attorney. "We gave them a sampling of the documents and put them on the table," Wildes told me last week. "But the agents refused to accept them." He and his client heard nothing further from federal authorities. Al-Khilewi, who was granted asylum, is now living under cover.

The Saudis were also shielded from Washington's foreign-policy bureaucracy. A government expert on Saudi affairs told me that Prince Bandar dealt exclusively with the men at the top, and never met with desk officers and the like. "Only a tiny handful of people inside the government are familiar with U.S.-Saudi relations," he explained. "And that is purposeful."

Both Mueller and Comey were high enough "at the top" so as to know what the people below them needed to hide in order to succeed in their careers.

The New York Times's report , on 15 August 1996, quoted a leading Saudi dissident in London as asserting that, "As far as I know, Prince Nayef is keeping the Americans away from all the details at this point." This report went on: "In a statement responding to the earlier reports of confessions, Prince Nayef said Saudi Arabia would make an announcement as soon as the investigation is completed. His comments were also viewed as refuting earlier suggestions by Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, who had said that Saudi investigations might point to an Iranian connection." In other words, at that time (as of August 15th), the U.S. official was suggesting "an Iranian connection" but the Saudi official wasn't -- at least, not yet -- and the expectation was that "confessions" would be providing the decisive 'evidence'. However, these 'confessions', in Saudi cases are typically 'information' extracted under torture, and, where that fails to obtain the 'information' that's desired by the Government, then threats to destroy the person's immediate family are applied; so, the Sauds famously usually do get exactly the 'information' that they want (regardless of whether it's true).

The Wikipedia article "Khobar Towers bombing" summarizes the 'findings' by the U.S. FBI and courts, and ignores the Sauds' 'investigation(s)', because nothing was ever made public from the Sauds' Government or officials or anyone there, about what they 'found' (other than 'found' by torture). Wikipedia's article, which is based entirely upon the U.S. Government (the first party to broach publicly the possibility of "an Iranian connection") states flatly, right up front, "Perpetrators: Hezbollah Al-Hejaz (English: Party of God in the Hijaz)." In common parlance, that's Hezbollah, an "Iranian connection" -- exactly what the U.S. Government wanted.

Here's what that article asserts regarding the operations of the alleged mastermind:

In June 2001, an indictment was issued in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria, Virginia charging the following people with murder, conspiracy, and other charges related to the bombing:[18]

Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Mughassil

Al-Mughassil disappeared from the 'news' after the Sauds announced his capture in 2015, but Wikipedia on 6 November 2017 closed its bizarre article about him by saying, without comment, "Al-Mughassil was believed to be living in Iran.[1][2]" That footnote [1] linked to Front Page mag. in 2005, which actually said nothing of the sort ; footnote [2] linked to FDD in 2006, which actually said nothing of the sort . The obvious likeliest explanation for Wikipedia's blatant falsehoods there is Wikipedia's being edited by the CIA , which serves the Sauds, just like the rest of America's federal Government does.

The Wikipedia article then continued by listing the other alleged defendants:

In July 2001, Saudi Arabia said that eleven of the people indicted in the US were in custody in Saudi prisons, and were to be tried in Saudi court, as the country refused to extradite any of them to the United States to stand trial.[19] The government has not since made public the outcome of the trial or the whereabouts of the prisoners.

All six of the named persons there were Shiites in Saudi Arabia. The respective Wikipedia articles on each provide no evidence that any of them was at all involved in the bombing. However, the article on Hani al-Sayegh , who was living in Canada, is extraordinarily honest: it indicates that he said he had had nothing whatsoever to do with any bombings, nor any terrorism at all, and that the U.S. Government tried to get him to confess to something on the basis of which he could be tried and convicted in the U.S., but that he continued to resist all plea-offers, and to maintain that they were seeking to get him to lie, which he would not do. So, since the U.S. would not torture him on U.S. soil, the U.S. deported him "to Saudi Arabia on October 10, 1999 where it was assumed he would be executed upon arrival.[3][12]." But the Saudi regime never announced anything about any of the men they were charging in the Khobar Towers bombing.

The FBI issued charges against al-Sayegh and 12 others (all allegedly Hezbollah) on 21 June 2001 , for the bombing; and, since that time, the only publication of their names has been in regards to the mere presumption that they were guilty. Their indictments in the U.S. (without evidence), and (since the Saudi Government wouldn't say anything about them -- not even whether they were in prison or free there) the charge in U.S. courts that Iran had helped them to do it, were 100% based upon that 'evidence'. Therefore, Iran was declared guilty in U.S. courts, and fined, again , and again , over $500 million in all, without any reliable evidence, at all, that Iran had anything to do with the Khobar Towers bombing. And, not a cent of those fines was paid; but the U.S. Government's purpose was served nonetheless: getting Iran's 'guilt' onto the official record, such that Wikipedia, for example could say "Perpetrators: Hezbollah Al-Hejaz (English: Party of God in the Hijaz)."

The Wikipedia article on the Khobar Towers bombing closed, however, by saying:

William Perry, who was the United States Secretary of Defense at the time that this bombing happened, said in an interview in June 2007 that "he now believes al-Qaida rather than Iran was behind a 1996 truck bombing at an American military base."[25]

On December 22, 2006, federal judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled that Iran and Hezbollah were responsible for the attack, stating that the leading experts on Hezbollah presented "overwhelming" evidence of the group's involvement and that six captured Hezbollah members detailed the role of Iranian officials in providing money, plans, and maps.[4] This decision was reached as a default judgment, however, in which the Iranian government was not represented in court, and had no opportunity to challenge the allegations.

People who trust the U.S. Government's honesty will interpret the outcome as displaying legal and judicial incompetency, not as displaying political and propagandistic competency.

William Perry announced his opinion only after the 2006 court 'finding' of Iran's 'guilt' in the case. The UPI article on this opened and closed as follows:

Perry: U.S. eyed Iran attack after bombing

Published: June 6, 2007 at 4:25 PM

WASHINGTON, June 6 (UPI) -- A former U.S. defense secretary says he now believes al-Qaida rather than Iran was behind a 1996 truck bombing at an American military base.

Former Defense Secretary William Perry said he had a contingency plan to attack Iran if the link had been proven, but evidence was not to either his nor President Bill Clinton's satisfaction.

The attack would have struck "at a number of their military facilities that would have weakened -- substantially weakened ... the Iranian navy and air force," he said in New York Tuesday during a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations.

"I believe that the Khobar Tower bombing was probably masterminded by Osama bin Laden," Perry said. "I can't be sure of that, but in retrospect, that's what I believe. At the time, he was not a suspect. At the time ... all of the evidence was pointing to Iran."

He said al-Qaida did not emerge as a major threat until Clinton's second term.

"We probably should have been more concerned about it at the time than we were but in the first term we did not see Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida as a major factor, or one that we were concerned with," he said.

In 2001, the U.S. Justice Department announced a 46-count indictment against 13 Saudis and one Lebanese man in the bombing. All were allegedly connected to Hezbollah, a terrorist group the United States believes is linked to Iran.

Perry said the FBI strongly believed at the time the bombing was ordered by Iran, but Saudi officials tried to discourage that theory.

"They feared what action we would take. They rightly feared it. In fact, I had a contingency plan for a strike on Iran, if it had been if it had been clearly established. But it was never clearly established, and so we never did that," Perry said.

So, although Wikipedia started by alleging "Perpetrators: Hezbollah Al-Hejaz (English: Party of God in the Hijaz)" -- and in plain language, that's Hezbollah -- it ended by kaboshing that very theory of the case, which the Wikipedia article had been 'documenting' (with bad logic and some false 'facts').

Subsequently, the fine investigative journalist Gareth Porter explained how Perry had come to think that Iran and Hezbollah had been the culprit. Perry had trusted the head of the FBI, Louis Freeh. Perry didn't know that, behind the scenes, Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud (who was his family's U.S. Ambassador) had told Freeh that Iran and Hezbollah did it. Furthermore, the Sauds had actually blocked the FBI's own investigators from having access to the site or to any of the evidence (other than by providing Freeh himself access to the torture-extracted 'confessions'). Initially, in fact, the Sauds even started bulldozing the site.

The first part of Porter's five-part report was titled "EXCLUSIVE -- PART 1: Al Qaeda Excluded from the Suspects List" . It said: "The Saudi bulldozing stopped only after Scott Erskine, the supervisory FBI special agent for international terrorism investigations, threatened that Secretary of State Warren Christopher, who happened to be in Saudi Arabia when the bomb exploded, would intervene personally on the matter." It said there was: "a systematic effort by the Saudis to obstruct any U.S. investigation of the bombing and to deceive the United States about who was responsible for the bombing. The Saudi regime steered the FBI investigation toward Iran and its Saudi Shi'a allies with the apparent intention of keeping U.S. officials away from a trail of evidence that would have led to Osama bin Laden and a complex set of ties between the regime and the Saudi terrorist organiser."

The second part was titled "EXCLUSIVE -- PART 2: Saudi Account of Khobar Bore Telltale Signs of Fraud" .

The third part was titled "EXCLUSIVE -- PART 3: U.S. Officials Leaked a False Story Blaming Iran" .

The fourth part was titled "EXCLUSIVE -- PART 4: FBI Ignored Compelling Evidence of bin Laden Role" . It noted that, " In October 1996, after having issued yet another fatwa calling on Muslims to drive U.S. soldiers out of the Kingdom, bin Laden was quoted in al Quds al Arabi, the Palestinian daily published in London, as saying, 'The crusader army was shattered when we bombed Khobar.'"

The fifth part was titled "EXCLUSIVE -- PART 5: Freeh Became "Defence Lawyer" for Saudis on Khobar" . This part had the most hair-raising details:

The key to the success of the Saudi deception was FBI director Louis Freeh, who took personal charge of the FBI investigation, letting it be known within the Bureau that he was the "case officer" for the probe, according to former FBI officials. Freeh allowed Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan to convince him that Iran was involved in the bombing, and that President Bill Clinton, for whom he had formed a visceral dislike, "had no interest in confronting the fact that Iran had blown up the towers," as Freeh wrote in his memoirs.

The Khobar Towers investigation soon became Freeh's vendetta against Clinton. "Freeh was pursuing this for his own personal agenda," says former FBI agent Jack Cloonan.

A former high-ranking FBI official recalls that Freeh "was always meeting with Bandar". And many of the meetings were not in Freeh's office but at Bandar's 38-room home in McLean, Virginia. Meanwhile, the Saudis were refusing the most basic FBI requests for cooperation. Freeh quickly made Iranian and Saudi Shi'a responsibility for the bombing the official premise of the investigation, excluding from the inquiry the hypothesis that Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda organisation had carried out the Khobar Towers bombing.

The CIA's bin Laden unit, which had only been established in early 1996, was also excluded by CIA leadership from that Agency's work on the bombing.

Finally, in order to bring his exhaustive investigation up-to-date, Porter headlined on 1 September 2015, "Who Bombed Khobar Towers? Anatomy of a Crooked Terrorism Investigation" . Here's one particularly forceful portion of it:

In order to build a legal case against Iran and Shi'a Saudis, Freeh had to get access to the Shi'a detainees who had confessed. But the Saudis never agreed to allow FBI officials to interview them. In early November 1998, Freeh sent an FBI team to observe Saudi secret police officials asking eight Shi'a detainees the FBI's questions from behind a one-way mirror at the Riyadh detention center.

By then Saudi secret police had already had two and half years to coach the detainees on what to say, under the threat of more torture. But Freeh didn't care. "For Louis, if they would let us in the room, that was the important thing," a senior FBI official involved in the Khobar investigation told me. "We would have gone over there and gotten the answers even if they had been propped up."

But the Justice Department refused to go ahead with an indictment based on the information the FBI team brought back. Department lawyers knew the Shi'a detainees had been subject to torture, so they have ruled that the confessions were not valid.

In other words: the head of the FBI believed torture-extracted 'confessions' as if such would meet U.S. rules of evidence -- which they don't. And coaching of witnesses is likewise prohibited -- under U.S. laws.

On 30 May 2013, The Washingtonian headlined "Forged Under Fire -- Bob Mueller and Jim Comey's Unusual Friendship" and Garrett M. Graff reported:

Although they'd been aware of each other for years, sharing their similar orbits, Comey and Mueller were first brought together professionally by then-FBI director Louis Freeh in the opening days of the Bush administration. As the Bush administration took office in 2001, Freeh asked Bob Mueller, who was acting as John Ashcroft's deputy attorney general, to transfer the [Khobar] case to Comey.

When he finally did so, Mueller called Comey with a warning: "Wilma Lewis is going to be so pissed." Indeed, Lewis blasted the decision, as well as both Freeh and Mueller personally, in a press release, saying the move was "ill-conceived and ill-considered." But Freeh's gambit paid off.

Within weeks, Comey had pulled together the indictment. During a National Security Council briefing at the White House, under the watchful gaze of Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Comey presented overwhelming evidence of Iran's involvement.

On the eve of the expiration of the statute of limitations, fourteen individuals were indicted for the attack. Freeh, who stepped down the next day, said the indictment was "a major step."

So, Comey and Mueller were brought in by Freeh because Freeh was about to retire and he wanted successors who would be committed to the theory of the case, that Freeh had gotten from Prince Bandar. If Comey and Mueller wouldn't go along with that torture-extracted 'testimony' as 'evidence', then their ability to become appointed head the FBI would have been zero. Freeh, Comey, and Mueller are a team - a team that serves the Bushes and the Sauds . But not the American public.

Our continuing war against Iran is due entirely to their crucial assistance. The Deep State appoints such individuals.

* * *

CLOSING NOTE: This article had been submitted to, and rejected by, the 39 publications listed here at the bottom, sent to each as an exclusive, but since they all rejected it without comment, I now am sending it not just to them but to the entire U.S. newsmedia, on a non-exclusive and free-of-charge basis to publish. Since none of them will pay me for publishing it, I shall be happy if any publish it without charge, even small 'alternative news' sites online, because - and especially if a mainstream newsmedium relents and decides to publish it - then perhaps the embargo against the truth of such important matters being published in the United States and its vassal nations, will come to be broken , and the 'news'media in America and in those other countries, might then terminate being actually the U.S-regime's propaganda-media, and might finally begin to pay penance for their all having helped the U.S. Government to deceive the American (and allied-nations') public into supporting the regime's entirely lie-based invasions of Afghanistan in 2001, of Iraq in 2003, of Libya in 2012, of Syria since 2012, of U.S. coups elsewhere (such as in Ukraine ), and, now, potentially repeating it yet again with invasions or coups against Iran or other countries that the U.S. elite want to grab and add to their growing U.S. empire.

If Iran becomes invaded, or another U.S. coup becomes perpetrated there (such as in 1953 ), then perhaps Russia's only realistic response -- as being the ultimate U.S. target -- will be a blitz nuclear attack to destroy the United States, in recognition of the U.S. Government's fanatical reach to control a total global empire -- total global strangulation of freedom and of peace, everywhere. After all, if Russia waits till after a U.S. lie-based invasion of Iran, then it will be simply waiting for a blitz nuclear attack by the U.S. and its NATO alliance against Russia itself, which would be even worse for the world than Russia's striking first -- though the world would end, either way. The U.S. Government now seems to be an out-of-control spreading cancer, a terminal threat to the world in every regard. It's already recognized throughout the world as being "the greatest threat to peace in the world today" . And its 'news'media have helped to keep it that way.

Here is the list of 39 publications that this article had been submitted to as an exclusive (and, of course, it's now being submitted to them, too, yet again, but this time on a non-exclusive, non-fee, basis, along with being submitted to all the rest of the regime's press, including broadcast media):

McClatchy newspapers, New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, Harper's, TIME, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, Mother Jones, The Nation, Progressive, National Review, New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Business Week, Forbes, Politico, thedailybeast, huffingtonpost, slate, bloomberg, businessinsider, newsweek, theintercept, breitbart, alternet, newsbud, spiked-online, vice, mintpressnews, truthdig, truth-out, Independent, Guardian, Daily Mail, Spectator, London Review of Books, New Statesman, Spiegel.

* * *

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity .

[Nov 13, 2017] People who are told at every possible opportunity how exceptional they are, are also likely to accept the war crimes of their leaders, as these are of course exceptional leaders. The U.S. can unilaterally withdraw from all treaties against war crimes and attack anybody at will - because exceptional countries must be given the freedom to do what their decrepitude demands.

Notable quotes:
"... Secondly, those who are told at every possible opportunity how 'exceptional' they are, are also likely to accept the war crimes of their leaders, as these are of course exceptional leaders.The U.S. can unilaterally withdraw from all treaties against war crimes and attack anybody at will - because 'exceptional' countries must be given the freedom to do what their decrepitude demands. ..."
"... The U.S. has destroyed life, liberty and the pursuit of survival of millions of innocent people. Only the most repugnant folks are okay with that and with those who ordered the war crimes. But the problem is that a large part of the population suffers from instilled amnesia and does not know what war crimes these psychopathic puppets need to be tried for. Because killing one million innocent people for resources sounds about right for the average Joe and Jane. Got to fill that SUV up. The destruction of sovereign countries based on lies poses no problem for the average Joe and Jane. Incubator lies, WMD lies, Sarin gas lies are all reason enough to bomb a place that contains more ancient artifacts than any other country into smithereens. Plus, it's job security to commit war crimes. ..."
Nov 13, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

nhs | Nov 12, 2017 3:19:22 PM | 1

How the establishment attempts to brainwash collective memory concerning war criminals
str8arrow62 | Nov 12, 2017 3:46:35 PM | 2
Rolling that wheelchair bound POS ex-Prez. out on to the field at the last super duper bowl to a cheering audience can now be considered a weekly 2 minutes of stupidity ritual.
Daniel | Nov 12, 2017 4:04:02 PM | 3
nhs @2, yes, this rehabilitation of war criminals is startling. I first noticed it a few years ago, and wrote this comment during the primaries when I still had hope that Sanders could present a step in the right direction.


A few years back, Stephen Colbert did a dance routine skit in which he danced into Henry Kissinger's office and then left. I commented that I didn't think it appropriate to include that war criminal in a "progressive" comedy skit that didn't call him out as the monster he is, and I got a lot of grief from Colbert fans (which I was also).

Then, in Jon Stewart's last season on The Daily Show, he had Henry Kissinger on as a guest and did a disgustingly fawning interview. I was sickened.

Why? I asked. Why was Viacom introducing to this younger audience a war criminal and treating him like some great statesman?

Then, the Obama Administration (Ash Carter specifically) gave Kissinger the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest award our country can grant to a civilian.

What???

But then, in one of the debates against Bernie Sanders, HRC gave a shout out to Kissinger as a dear friend whom she has gone to for advice on foreign policy for decades, and to whom she would seek out his "wise counsel" if elected President.

And then the previous couple of years of gradually refurbishing Kissinger made sense.

Why people with liberal/progressive values - or simple humane values - didn't immediately see that as disqualifying for a Democratic candidate is beyond me.

notheonly1 | Nov 12, 2017 6:56:13 PM | 7
@ nhs | Nov 12, 2017 3:19:22 PM | 1

A very good example as to why Krishnamurti called this society 'profoundly sick'.

Although we now know that it is much more than that. Instead of being profoundly sick, this society is terminally ill.

This happening is reminiscent of the practices the Fascists devised in Germany. The media depicted the most rabid war criminals as loyal followers of the Führer. In other words, they were above the law and shielded from any public scrutiny (by the same kind of 'media') until they ended up at the Nuremberg Tribunal, in which the big boys got scot free and the little guys were hung. Which in turn led to the German 'proverb' "Die Kleinen hängt man und die Grossen läßt man laufen." (The little ones are hanged and the big ones walk away.)

So, by itself there is nothing new about that. What is most disturbing though, is the impunity the so called 'news' 'media' displays when lying to the public. One day the chicken will come home to roost.

The archaic leadership delusion needs to go. Abolish the office of the most dangerous man on earth. The government is public enemy number one and there are two ways of denial about it:

The first is related to ' inexterminateable ' obedience . There are really still people out there that believe all the shit the 'media' churns out on behalf of the owners of this planet (at least that's how see themselves).

Secondly, those who are told at every possible opportunity how 'exceptional' they are, are also likely to accept the war crimes of their leaders, as these are of course exceptional leaders.The U.S. can unilaterally withdraw from all treaties against war crimes and attack anybody at will - because 'exceptional' countries must be given the freedom to do what their decrepitude demands.

The U.S. has destroyed life, liberty and the pursuit of survival of millions of innocent people. Only the most repugnant folks are okay with that and with those who ordered the war crimes. But the problem is that a large part of the population suffers from instilled amnesia and does not know what war crimes these psychopathic puppets need to be tried for. Because killing one million innocent people for resources sounds about right for the average Joe and Jane. Got to fill that SUV up. The destruction of sovereign countries based on lies poses no problem for the average Joe and Jane. Incubator lies, WMD lies, Sarin gas lies are all reason enough to bomb a place that contains more ancient artifacts than any other country into smithereens. Plus, it's job security to commit war crimes.

After all we only do it to protect the American people and their allies from all these dictators that we have prepped up prior. With the exception of Syria, that is on the regime change wish list of public enemy number one since 70 years.

Thanks for the link, even though I had some stomach fluid coming up at the sight of these pathetic excuses for what goes for a Human Being.

Sigh. It really looks like it will get a lot worse before it can get slightly better.

[Nov 12, 2017] The Islamic Emirate of Iraq (future Daesh) was created during the term of George W. Bush, under the control of General Petraeus who commanded the troops in Iraq, to deflect the wrath of the Iraqis against the troops of occupation and turn it into a civil war; a device that Leon Panetta took on and supported

Notable quotes:
"... The Islamic Emirate of Iraq (future Daesh) was created during the term of George W. Bush, under the control of General Petraeus who commanded the troops in Iraq, to ​​deflect the wrath of the Iraqis against the troops of occupation and turn it into a civil war; a device that Leon Panetta took on and supported [1]. John McCain met with Daesh leaders and has long maintained close ties with them in the name of the "Vietnamese" strategy against Syria [2]. ..."
"... Bannon then ran into a criticism of the policies of George W. Bush and John McCain when the chairperson cut him off and ended the "debate" by saying, "Well, the elite of politics A foreigner here in Washington who asked me to give you the floor today also asked me to close this debate if you were dealing with other topics than the one we have planned. That's why we finish. Thank you for coming. ..."
Nov 12, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

PeacefulProsperity | Oct 25, 2017 10:42:28 PM | 86

@Lozion Are you that blind to not see Augustine's post as a War Party propaganda piece?

@all This in quite interesting: Bannon sows trouble in Washington

The Hudson Institute held a debate in Washington on October 23, 2017 titled "Countering Violent Extremism: Qatar, Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood".

The Hudson Institute is a forecasting agency created by the futurologist Herman Kahn. It brings together many followers of the philosopher Leo Strauss.

The audience was high-ranking members of Congress and Administration, ambassadors and journalists.

Former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and his successor at the head of the CIA, David Petraeus, were to point to Iran while supporting Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood.

To make a good impression, the Institute also invited Steve Bannon, former special adviser to President Trump. In introducing his guests, the director of the Hudson Institute, Ambassador Hussain Haqqani, declared that the first two were "enlightened", while their opponent embodied the "Forces of Darkness" (sic).

Speaking last, Steve Bannon described the New York Times as an "opposition party", refuted the "isolationist" term the newspaper used to describe President Trump's foreign policy, and recalled his action against Daesh.

The Islamic Emirate of Iraq (future Daesh) was created during the term of George W. Bush, under the control of General Petraeus who commanded the troops in Iraq, to ​​deflect the wrath of the Iraqis against the troops of occupation and turn it into a civil war; a device that Leon Panetta took on and supported [1]. John McCain met with Daesh leaders and has long maintained close ties with them in the name of the "Vietnamese" strategy against Syria [2].

In the Saudi Arabia / Qatar conflict, Bannon welcomed Saudi Arabia's change of attitude towards the jihadists and condemned Qatar, while officially the Trump administration took no position. The audience listened attentively in silence.

Bannon then ran into a criticism of the policies of George W. Bush and John McCain when the chairperson cut him off and ended the "debate" by saying, "Well, the elite of politics A foreigner here in Washington who asked me to give you the floor today also asked me to close this debate if you were dealing with other topics than the one we have planned. That's why we finish. Thank you for coming.

[Nov 12, 2017] Hillary Clinton, DNC - and One Republican - Paid for Russia Dossier Report - Breitbart

Notable quotes:
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the " most influential " people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of ..."
"... , is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak . ..."
Nov 12, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee paid opposition research firm Fusion GPS to compile the "Russian dossier" that triggered an FBI investigation into possible collusion between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government, according to a report Tuesday by the Washington Post .

A Republican had contracted first with Fusion GPS, and Clinton and the DNC continued to fund Fusion GPS's work, the report says.

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According to the Post :

Mark Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.

After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community

Before that agreement, Fusion GPS's research into Trump was funded by a still unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.

The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS's research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.

The "Russian dossier," whose contents Trump has denied and which has been widely discredited, is believed to have led the FBI to investigate the Trump campaign and several Trump associates.

Until now, Fusion GPS has continued to refuse to cooperate with congressional panels investigating Russian attempts to intervene in the election, and how the Obama administration probed those efforts. Democrats have also protected the company.

The revelation that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee were involved in procuring the salacious accusations against Trump that fed their own later accusations of Russian interference in the election lends credence to those who, like Trump himself, have regarded the Russia accusations as conspiracy theories.

Last week, Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal observed :

The Washington narrative is focused on special counsel Robert Mueller's probe. But the ferocious pushback and unseemly tactics from Democrats suggest they are growing worried. Maybe the real story is that Democrats worked with an opposition-research firm that has some alarming ties to Russia and potentially facilitated a disinformation campaign during a presidential election.

On the heels of revelations that the FBI was investigating Russian attempts to influence Hillary Clinton to approve a controversial uranium deal, Democrats will have more questions to answer about possible collusion with Russia. The FBI, too, will face additional scrutiny from Congress -- especially as it agreed to pay Steele after the election for additional research into Trump's potential Russia ties.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the " most influential " people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution , is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak .

[Nov 12, 2017] The Russia hoax might not survive

When a particular MSN outlet call Intelligence assessment the work of "intelligence community" and not a handful of analysis picked by Brannan and Clapper from just three agencies (NSA, CIA and FBI) it ia fair to say it spreads propaganda in best Josef Gebbels tradition: "The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over."
"Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play." ― Joseph Goebbels
"That propaganda is good which leads to success, and that is bad which fails to achieve the desired result. It is not propaganda's task to be intelligent, its task is to lead to success."
Joseph Goebbels
Nov 12, 2017 | www.wsj.com

This here is The Wall Street Journal on the Steele Dossier .

This is utterly untrue. In British court documents Mr. Steele has acknowledged he briefed U.S. reporters about the dossier in September 2016. Those briefed included journalists from the New York Times , the Washington Post, Yahoo News and others. Mr. Steele, by his own admission (in an interview with Mother Jones), also gave his dossier in July 2016 to the FBI.

... ... ...

To that point, it is fair to ask if the entire Trump-Russia narrative -- which has played a central role in our political discourse for a year, and is now resulting in a special counsel issuing unrelated indictments -- is based on nothing more than a political smear document. Is there any reason to believe the FBI was probing a Trump-Russia angle before the dossier? Is there any collusion allegation that doesn't come in some form from the dossier?

The idea that the federal government and a special counsel were mobilized -- that American citizens were monitored and continue to be investigated -- based on a campaign-funded hit document is extraordinary. Especially given that to this day no one has publicly produced a single piece of evidence to support any of the dossier's substantive allegations about Trump team members.

And CNN CIA director met with DNC hack conspiracy theorist at Trump's urging - CNNPolitics

CIA Director Mike Pompeo recently met -- at the urging of President Donald Trump -- with one of the principal deniers of Russian interference in the US election, according to multiple intelligence sources. Trump apparently made the highly unusual request that Pompeo meet with the former National Security Agency employee and look into a theory that the leak of Democratic Party emails last year was an inside job rather than a cyberattack by Russian hackers.

William Binney, the former NSA employee-turned-whistleblower who circulated the conspiracy theory, confirmed to CNN that he met with Pompeo for about an hour on October 24 -- despite the fact the intelligence community concluded early this year that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. The meeting was first reported by The Intercept.

The CIA responded to CNN's inquiry about the meeting by saying that Pompeo "stands by and has always stood by the January 2017 intelligence community assessment" that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

[Nov 12, 2017] People are the same all over, they fall for propaganda if the lie is repeated constantly. In the US, this has produced a general culture of arrogance and exceptionalism that has killed many millions around the world and therein lies the difference.

Nov 12, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

/div

/div
Peter AU 1 | Nov 12, 2017 1:24:16 AM | 43
Don Bacon @40

"I've lived in many countries and have found the people in all of them to be wonderful, just as the American people are."

Edward Abbey: "The tragedy of modern war is not so much that the young men die but that they die fighting each other--instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals."

I would totaly agree with most of this. Away from anything political, many Americans are just ordinary down to earth people. Even in geo-politics, a percentage, perhaps 10% fully understand the dirty shit that is going on, and that in the name of the state of USA, what their state is doing. But Americans as a general population goes, are different from the other five eyes. Much bragado and exceptionalism and theater. This is general population, as compared to the other five eyes. Not individuals.

The general attitude/culture whatever it can be called seems to go back a long way Don.

My father in law who as an 18/19 year old was part of defence of US airstrips as the US island hopped to Japan had no enminty for the Japanes but dissliked Americans from that time.
Same for two relatives who were in Vietnam, one a conscript, the other a carrer military officer. I never really understood that, and it was only in the months after MH17 I began to feel the same.
But the question is this. Why do they not feel this way towards other five eye forces they have fought alongside?

I watch a lot of youtube videos, when I can't do much else, on things that interest me. When dealing with another culture, some of the US videos are very good, but in others, the exceptionalism or perhaps condescension towards the 'lower' culture just oozes out and I find these unwatchable even though I am interested in what they are filming.

There is a huge amount of inovation come from the US, and this I like reading about or watching, but there is also something else about the US, this is just speaking of population in general rather than idividuals, is a general feeling of arrogance, or exceptionalism, that has come perhaps from the huge inovations the US has made, and also generations of indoctrination.

This would be unnoticable to Americans who have grown up and lived their lives thinking this is the norm.

Peter AU 1 | Nov 12, 2017 1:45:50 AM | 44
@ Don Bacon

As far as swallowing propaganda goes, all people in all countries are the same.

In Australia, not one fucking polition made waves that reached the media about MH17. Although very few people I know, make that no one trusts MSM or their politicians, because it was all around them, thought MH17 had been shot down by the 'rebel' side and Russia may or may not have had involvement. People are the same all over, they fall for propaganda if the lie is repeated constantly. In the US, this has produced a general culture of arrogance and exceptionalism that has killed many millions around the world and therein lies the difference. I have thought for the last few years now, that the only way to break this culture, is for the US to go through what Russia went through in the nineties.

George Smiley | Nov 12, 2017 1:59:11 AM | 45
@43

Yes I agree wholeheartedly. We can pretend that every culture is smart and just a-okay or we can seriously look at some glaring problems that exist in the USA collectively. Its not unique to them either, a lot of the west holds quite similar attitudes, but in America its just taken to it's extreme.

One only has to look towards the end of the Roman, Athenian or Ottoman states to get a sense of this too. Culture at the end of most empires is usually often very "flawed" (for lack of a better word) and filled with its own hubris. You can blame it on the state, or media, or anything really, but it doesn't change much besides the explanation of why.

No one is calling Americans "sheeple" here

[Nov 11, 2017] Trump Points To Falsehoods In Russian Hacking Claims - Media Still Ignore Them

Possibly all of the Russia-gate allegations, which have been taken on faith by Democratic partisans and members of the anti-Trump Resistance, trace back to claims paid for or generated by Democrats. If for a moment one could remove the often justified hatred many people feel toward Trump, it would be impossible to avoid the impression that the scandal may have been devised by the DNC and the Clinton camp in league with Obama's intelligence chiefs to serve political and geopolitical aims. In other words this is a sophisticated false flag operation.
Even more alarmingly (what really smells like a part on intelligence agencies coup d'état against Trump ) is the basis for much of the Jan. 6 intelligence "assessment" by those "hand-picked" analysts from three U.S. intelligence agencies - the CIA, the FBI and the NSA - not all 17 agencies that Hillary Clinton continues to insist were involved. (Obama's intelligence chiefs, DNI Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, publicly admitted that only three agencies took part and The New York Times printed a correction saving so.)
Notable quotes:
"... Well its three . And one is Brennan . And one is whatever. I mean, give me a break. They're political hacks . So you look at it, and then you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey . Comey's proven now to be a liar and he's proven to be a leaker. So you look at that. ..."
"... Trump gets it. He knows the weak points of the propaganda claims of "Russian hacking": Podesta and the fake Steele dossier, the DNC server, the lack of any FBI investigation of the alleged hack, the NYT's long false insistence on the '17 agencies' assessment, the "political hacks" who fitted their claims to the Obama/Clinton narrative. ..."
"... But neither the Washington Post nor the NY Times or others mention the crucial points Trump spelled out in their write-ups of the gaggle. There is no word on the DNC servers in them. Instead they create a claim of "Putin says and Trump just believes him". The do not name the facts and questions Trump listed to support his position. Taking up the valid questions Trump asked would of course require the news outlets to finally delve into them. We can't have that. ..."
"... Trump is not the brightest bulb and he is not well informed. I dislike nearly all of his policies. But he understands that the "Russian hacking" narrative is false and is carried by lunatic political hacks who want to push the U.S. back into a cold, or maybe even hot war with Russia, China, Iran and probably everyone else. ..."
"... I guess it could be that the DNC really was hacked, but maybe they faked the hack story, fed the story to Crowdstrike, then paid Crowdstrike a lot of money to fabricate a fairytale about Russian hacking... ..."
"... This Russian fairytale would be the bedrock of Hillary's campaign, and it gave her a reason to badmouth trump who intended to get along with Putin, which deeply offended the neocon Bolsheviks who've been running things since 9/11 ..."
"... If the hacking really happened, it's maybe more likely to have been the US NSA that did the hacking... that might explain why the DNC and Hillary were not alarmed by the hacking --if it happened-- and did nothing about it, and continued to write incriminating emails... ..."
"... Russia gate is Really Hillary Gate... And that's just the beginning as we consider the DNC lid coming off via Donna Brazile and the Uranium scandal. Mueller has been gatekeeper for the Deep State for OKC bombing, 911,...other False Flag...and now today's Intrigues. ..."
"... Back when Trump looked like he was in the running in the US presidential election, I wondered how one man, even if he was genuine, could without the backing of US intelligence, take down the deepstate/borg/whatever. Putin pulled Russia out of the nineties with key backing from patriotic intelligence and military leadership, but Trump even if genuine would be on his own. Just ordered 'Art of the deal' to try and understand Trump a bit more. Looks like he has just destroyed a big chunk of deep state financing so will be interesting to see how long he can stay alive. ..."
"... well, Mueller declined to find 9/11 evidence against bin laden... or maybe we should say, "he declined to manufacture evidence"... for some unkown reason... ..."
"... Can we just face the facts here that there is a coordinated effort by these elite to get Trump dethroned? What reason for this? Simple...he's a threat. ..."
"... Mike Whitney posted a great piece this week suggesting Brennan, Obama's political 'hack', is behind this mess - "Brennan spearheaded the anti-Russia campaign from the get-go. As early as August 2016, Brennan was providing classified briefings to ranking members of Congress expressing his conviction that Moscow was helping Trump to win the election. The former Director offered no proof to back up his claims nor has he since then. It was also Brennan who gradually persuaded Clapper, Comey and Morrell to join his anti-Russia jihad, although all were reluctant participants at first. Were they won over by compelling secret evidence that has been been withheld from the public?" - http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48172.htm ..."
"... These are but a few sources digging and reporting on these bogus charges against Putin. I'd like to believe the majority of the U.S. electorate isn't being fooled by the nonsense. I can't speak for those who choose to remain inside the brainwashing corporate media bubble, but for those of us who divorced ourselves from their propaganda long ago ain't buying nor ever did buy into the muh Russia crap. ..."
"... Meanwhile, USG declares RT and Sputnik to be foreign agents and must register as such -- and Trump had nothing to do with that?!? ..."
"... The media is now now in permanent psy op mode, colonizing the public's mind and jamming people's ability to reason, think critically and even tell fact from fiction. It is only a matter of time before overt repression becomes widespread (to protect our freedoms of course) and the last remnants of democracy give way to an Orwellian/Huxleyite dystopia. ..."
"... CNN covers the Binney/Pompeo meeting, and describes Binney in the headline as a "conspiracy theorist": http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/07/politics/mike-pompeo-william-binney-meeting/index.html ..."
Nov 11, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Trump Points To Falsehoods In "Russian Hacking" Claims - Media Still Ignore Them

During the flight of his recent Asia tour U.S. President Donal Trump held a press gaggle on board of the plane. Part of it were questions and answers about the alleged "Russian hacking" of the U.S. election.

There is no public transcript available yet but the Washington Post's Mark Berman provided a screenshot of some relevant parts:

Mark Berman @markberman - 6:20 AM - 11 Nov 2017

Full comment from @realDonaldTrump again questioning the US intel community conclusion that Russia meddled last year

In the attached transcript Trump talks about his very short encounter with the Russian President Putin in Hanoi:

Q: When did you bring up the issue of election meddling? Did you ask him a question?

A: Every time he sees me he says he didn't do that and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. But he says, I didn't do that. I think he is very insulted by it, ...
...
He says that very strongly and he really seems to be insulted by it he says he didn't do it.

Q: Even if he didn't bring it up one-on-one, do you believe him?

A: I think that he is very, very strong on the fact that didn't do it. And then you look and you look what's going on with Podesta , and you look at what's going on with the server from the DNC and why didn't the FBI take it ? Why did they leave it? Why did a third party look at the server and not the FBI ? You look at all of this stuff, and you say, what's going on here? And you hear it's 17 agencies. Well its three . And one is Brennan . And one is whatever. I mean, give me a break. They're political hacks . So you look at it, and then you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey . Comey's proven now to be a liar and he's proven to be a leaker. So you look at that. And you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently say he has nothing to do with that. Now, you are not going to get into an argument, you are going to start talking about Syria and the Ukraine.

Trump gets it. He knows the weak points of the propaganda claims of "Russian hacking": Podesta and the fake Steele dossier, the DNC server, the lack of any FBI investigation of the alleged hack, the NYT's long false insistence on the '17 agencies' assessment, the "political hacks" who fitted their claims to the Obama/Clinton narrative.

But neither the Washington Post nor the NY Times or others mention the crucial points Trump spelled out in their write-ups of the gaggle. There is no word on the DNC servers in them. Instead they create a claim of "Putin says and Trump just believes him". The do not name the facts and questions Trump listed to support his position. Taking up the valid questions Trump asked would of course require the news outlets to finally delve into them. We can't have that.

Instead we get more "Russian influence" claptrap. Like this from the once honorable Wired which headlines:

Here's the first evidence Russia used Twitter to influence Brexit

Russian interference in Brexit through targeted social media propaganda can be revealed for the first time. A cache of posts from 2016, seen by WIRED, shows how a coordinated network of Russian-based Twitter accounts spread racial hatred in an attempt to disrupt politics in the UK and Europe.

Interesting, enthralling, complicate and sensational ...
... until you get down to paragraph 14(!):

Surprisingly, all the posts around Brexit in this small snapshot were posted after the June vote

"Russian agents" influenced the U.S. election by buying mostly irrelevant Facebook ads - 25% of which were never seen by anyone and 56% of which were posted AFTER the election

"Russian-based Twitter accounts" influenced the Brexit vote in the UK by tweeting affirmative AFTER the vote happened

Trump is not the brightest bulb and he is not well informed. I dislike nearly all of his policies. But he understands that the "Russian hacking" narrative is false and is carried by lunatic political hacks who want to push the U.S. back into a cold, or maybe even hot war with Russia, China, Iran and probably everyone else.

Tannenhouser | Nov 11, 2017 2:15:01 PM | 1

"Trump is not the brightest bulb and he is not well informed. I dislike nearly all of his policies. But he understands that the "Russian hacking" narrative is false and is carried by lunatic political hacks who want to push the U.S. back into a cold, or maybe even hot war with Russia, China, Iran and probably everyone else."

I couldn't agree more B. The distraction to cover up the DNC crimes and the 'pay to play' antics during HRC's tenure at SECState are part of this nonsense as well.

james | Nov 11, 2017 2:21:31 PM | 2
thanks b.. i 2nd @1 tannenhousers comment above..
wadosy | Nov 11, 2017 2:31:10 PM | 3
the term "hacked" implies that someone came in on the internet, right?

I guess it could be that the DNC really was hacked, but maybe they faked the hack story, fed the story to Crowdstrike, then paid Crowdstrike a lot of money to fabricate a fairytale about Russian hacking...

This Russian fairytale would be the bedrock of Hillary's campaign, and it gave her a reason to badmouth trump who intended to get along with Putin, which deeply offended the neocon Bolsheviks who've been running things since 9/11

If the hacking really happened, it's maybe more likely to have been the US NSA that did the hacking... that might explain why the DNC and Hillary were not alarmed by the hacking --if it happened-- and did nothing about it, and continued to write incriminating emails...

...they assumed the hackers were on their side

OK, then, if the hacking was a fairytale, made up by Debbie and Hillary, and reinforced by Crowdstrike, then what? Maybe it doesn't make any difference in the long run, if the DNC was hacked or not

Whatever happened, the emails got out, Assange strongly hints that Seth Rich was the leak, Seth Rich was murdered, and his murder was intended to be a warning to people like Donna Brazile, who, after Seth was murdered, started drawing her office blinds because she didn't want to be sniped... presumably by the people who murdered Seth Rich

broders | Nov 11, 2017 2:33:17 PM | 4
the real question is : what is j.sessions doing ? and if nothing , why trump doesn't fire him ?
Brad | Nov 11, 2017 2:55:42 PM | 5
Russia gate is Really Hillary Gate... And that's just the beginning as we consider the DNC lid coming off via Donna Brazile and the Uranium scandal. Mueller has been gatekeeper for the Deep State for OKC bombing, 911,...other False Flag...and now today's Intrigues.

Will Podesta and Hillary escape?...or get Prison? John McCain with ISIS and photo opp,.. Evil in your face 24. If certain people are not in Prison....Mueller could wear the label Satan's guardian. ..and it wouldn't be exaggeration

Peter AU 1 | Nov 11, 2017 3:00:44 PM | 6
Back when Trump looked like he was in the running in the US presidential election, I wondered how one man, even if he was genuine, could without the backing of US intelligence, take down the deepstate/borg/whatever. Putin pulled Russia out of the nineties with key backing from patriotic intelligence and military leadership, but Trump even if genuine would be on his own. Just ordered 'Art of the deal' to try and understand Trump a bit more. Looks like he has just destroyed a big chunk of deep state financing so will be interesting to see how long he can stay alive.
wadosy | Nov 11, 2017 3:05:39 PM | 7

well, Mueller declined to find 9/11 evidence against bin laden... or maybe we should say, "he declined to manufacture evidence"... for some unkown reason...

whatever, if seth rich's murder was an attempt to terrorize politicians and the media into parroting the party line --like the anthrax letters did after 9/11-- it worked

donna is still saying, "the Russians dun it".

NemesisCalling | Nov 11, 2017 3:07:36 PM | 8
b, it is so funny that everytime you allude to Trump being in the right against the teeming hordes or globalist, anti-Russia elites, you always offer the caveat: "but...he's a bastard and I hate him."

Can we just face the facts here that there is a coordinated effort by these elite to get Trump dethroned? What reason for this? Simple...he's a threat.

Enemy of my enemy anyone?

P.s. I view him as an opportunist. a chameleon. At the very least, perhaps he realizes the absolute absurdity of trying to keep the house of cards aloft in the ME. So far, no wars, and a de-escalation in Syria. Pundits are talking about 3+% growth in US for first time in decade. I dont't know...perhaps Donald can cut and run in time to salvage some of the US prosperity.

PavewayIV | Nov 11, 2017 3:22:45 PM | 9
I'm almost inclined to think Trump is letting this Russian hack thing play out on purpose despite his Tweets to the contrary. Preventing the feds from 'investigating' it wouldn't make it go away, it would just cement the notion of guilt and a cover-up into the anti-Trump, anti-Russian segment of the public. More importantly, the similarly-inclined political/government leaders (pro-Hillary, DNC, politicized FBI and intel, neocons, deep state, whatever...) and MSM slowly expose themselves for what they are. They get too confident in the big lie actually working and go into a feeding frenzy. Trump trolls them on Twitter and they go insane.

When you want to catch sharks, you don't chase them around the ocean to hunt them. You chum the waters and wait for them to come to you. Trump isn't the one chumming the waters here - he's letting the sharks do that themselves.

I scratched my head like everyone else trying to figure out Trump's earlier incomprehensible hiring/firing volley his first few months. Maybe that was just a bit of theatre. Trump might not understand the 'little people' too much, but he does understand his opponent psychopaths (corporate, banking or government/intel) and how to use their basic flaws against them. 'Draining the swamp' sells well, but letting his opponents stick their necks out far enough before Trump's own Night of the Long Knives would (to me) be a far more effective strategy towards his ends. And probably much safer for him than Kennedy's approach.

Kind of worrying that one has to rely on outsider psychopaths to cull other psychopath's well-entrenched herds within the US government. Does that ever turn out well?

Laguerre | Nov 11, 2017 3:30:12 PM | 10
Was anything Trump did really illegal? It hasn't been demonstrated yet. The US does much the same in Russia.
h | Nov 11, 2017 3:31:16 PM | 11
Only the most strident partisans hold tightly to the Russian interference nonsense.

Those who simply want to deal in facts bother ourselves to self inform using multiple sources who have been trying to make sense of the dastardly twists and turns in this muh Russia whodunit scandal. The DNC emails, dossier, collusion the whole escapade, from the beginning, could be seen as being built on nothing more than quicksand.

Mike Whitney posted a great piece this week suggesting Brennan, Obama's political 'hack', is behind this mess - "Brennan spearheaded the anti-Russia campaign from the get-go. As early as August 2016, Brennan was providing classified briefings to ranking members of Congress expressing his conviction that Moscow was helping Trump to win the election. The former Director offered no proof to back up his claims nor has he since then. It was also Brennan who gradually persuaded Clapper, Comey and Morrell to join his anti-Russia jihad, although all were reluctant participants at first. Were they won over by compelling secret evidence that has been been withheld from the public?" - http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48172.htm

Then you have Joe Lauria's outstanding piece which lived less than 24 hours at HuffPo before being disappeared - http://raymcgovern.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/CLEANOn-The-Origins-of-Russia-gate-_-HuffPost.pdf

And then you have the Intercept's piece on Binney's meeting with CIA's Pompeo with Ray McGovern providing a lot more detail and an interview with his favorite news outlet RT - http://raymcgovern.com/

Oh, and about Binney's meeting with Pompeo? Trump requested Pompeo meet with him. He did. But Pompeo, as of today, remains steadfast in supporting the ICA crap report Obama's political intel hacks put out.

These are but a few sources digging and reporting on these bogus charges against Putin. I'd like to believe the majority of the U.S. electorate isn't being fooled by the nonsense. I can't speak for those who choose to remain inside the brainwashing corporate media bubble, but for those of us who divorced ourselves from their propaganda long ago ain't buying nor ever did buy into the muh Russia crap.

wadosy | Nov 11, 2017 3:36:47 PM | 12
we got to wonder why donna brazile made such a fuss about Seth Rich. She's being way too cagey for comfort but even if we leave seth rich out of it, none of it make any sense

... ... ...

Muslim Dude | Nov 11, 2017 3:42:36 PM | 13
According to journalist, Liz Crokin and others online, Trump is pulling the biggest sting operation in history.

https://www.lizcrokin.com/hillaryclinton/mueller-president-trump-pulling-biggest-sting-history/

Also from a Youtube video I saw earlier there are claims this is what is happening.

1. Obama regime was chronically corrupt including sell of Uranium to Russia for bribes. Elements of the US military and intelligence were disgusted by this and approached Trump BEFORE the elections as a figure who could help them.

2. Trump decided to work with them and during his election campaign he deliberately made constant exaggerated claims of his supposed friendship with Putin, this was bait for the Democrats to smear him as a Putin-lover, Putin puppet.

3. Once elected, the whole "Trump is a Putin puppet" was allowed to run so that a huge demand for some sort of investigation in to Trump and his Russia links could be built. Only this investigation would in fact be used to target the Democrats and Clinton including for their corruption over the Uranium sales with the Russians.

4. This was apparently (according to these claims) the game plan from the beginning and Mueller is apparently going to work to convict Hillary Clinton and other senior Democrats.

I don't know how true this is, but it does answer a lot of questions and anomalies and also ties in with B's thesis that we are essentially seeing a quasi-military government in D.C. under Trump.

psychohistorian | Nov 11, 2017 3:49:19 PM | 14
@ PavewayIV who ended his comment with: "Kind of worrying that one has to rely on outsider psychopaths to cull other psychopath's well-entrenched herds within the US government. Does that ever turn out well? "

Yep! And we add our textual white noise to the rearranging of the deck chairs on the top deck of the good ship Humanity as it careens over the falls/into the shoals/pick-your-metaphor

PavewayIV | Nov 11, 2017 4:30:10 PM | 15
psychohistorian@14 - Captain to crew: "I will not have this ship go down looking like a garbage scow. Deck chairs will be arranged in a neat and orderly manner at all times!"
Augustin L | Nov 11, 2017 4:32:46 PM | 16
The orange Chump is using diversionary tactics. Will the mafia Front goy thief disclose his extensive exposure/links to Russian and foreign banks ?

The same media you're decrying here is also ignoring this week's paradise papers revelations about Wilbur Ross, Trump's commerce secretary and business links with Russian Israeli mobsters and oligarchs like Mogilevich. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMhzkvWuXEM

There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what is not true. The other is to refuse to believe what is true. Can't fix stupid sociopathy. I pity deplorable goyims, They deserve their plight...

renfro | Nov 11, 2017 5:10:26 PM | 17
Please someone end this idiot circus! Russia hacked THE ELECTION ...hacked THE ELECTION ??? For the love of gawd..the ELECTION, meaning the voting was hacked.....it was NOT. Nothing has focused on Russian 'hacking' of VOTES. Russia 'if' they hacked, at best hacked some emails and info used to expose Hillary. And posted negative info on the net. So, so what? How many leakers weren't doing that?

I have had it with the Dems, they have IQs somewhere below that of cabbages. But I guess there are a certain number of citizens that will believe anything if it is repeated enough by their herd leaders.

notheonly1 | Nov 11, 2017 5:31:12 PM | 18
All this pathetic, lousy street theater resembling staging can only serve one important reason: Distraction. What is it that people need to be distracted from? That the US has turned openly into a military dictatorship? That the extermination proceedings are speeding up?

Hitler used gas chambers, as did the US after the war. While the first was a psychopathic dictator, the latter is a psychopathic society. It has spend trillions in research and design of lethal weapons and systems to exterminate any 'enemy'.

With all the technological progress, people do no longer need to be dragged to a gas chamber. The gas chamber will come to them. Sprayed into the atmosphere and making its way into earth's life systems.

Trump, Dump, Busch, Koch, Clinton, Reagan, Nixon - plutocratic hand puppets. It is not the people who decide where and when the ship sinks. It will be sunken for them - with all the useless eaters on board.

Jack Oliver | Nov 11, 2017 6:03:23 PM | 19
Trump is too stupid to realize that the very reason the election was rigged in his favour was - the derailment of ANY ZIO/US/Russia relations !! Their top priority ( as always) has been to keep Russia and Germany apart ! Russia's 'resources' and German 'innovation' is a match made in heaven - would spell the end of the US economy !
karlof1 | Nov 11, 2017 6:27:43 PM | 20
Not only did the Propaganda System refuse to correctly report as b details, but nowhere has it mentioned the defeat of Daesh, as Pepe Escobar discloses: "This is History in the making.

"And right on cue, VIRTUALLY NOTHING about this REAL ON THE GROUND VICTORY OF A REAL WAR ON TERROR is being covered by Western corporate media.

"No wonder. Because this was the work of Damascus, Russia, Hezbollah, Iran advisers, Baghdad and the PMUs – actually the "4+1" - and not the US-led "coalition" that includes Wahhabi mongrels House of Saud and UAE - that totally smashes to bits the monochord Washington narrative.

"So History in the making must be silenced." [Emphasis in original.] http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48186.htm

Meanwhile, USG declares RT and Sputnik to be foreign agents and must register as such -- and Trump had nothing to do with that?!?

Temporarily Sane | Nov 11, 2017 6:30:23 PM | 21
The war on Syria and the Russian "hacking" debacle has corrupted the entire western media. Not that it was ever squeaky clean - far from it - but it was at least somewhat independent from the dominant establishment. There were pauses between the outrageous lies and blatant fact twisting and it did not overtly shill for neoliberal political parties and work overtime pushing massive amounts of propaganda on the public 24/7/365 and relentlessly demonize, in the most crude fashion imaginable, the leaders of some of the the world's most powerful countries and any sovereign nation that values its independence and freedom from Western exploitation.

The media is now now in permanent psy op mode, colonizing the public's mind and jamming people's ability to reason, think critically and even tell fact from fiction. It is only a matter of time before overt repression becomes widespread (to protect our freedoms of course) and the last remnants of democracy give way to an Orwellian/Huxleyite dystopia.

jayc | Nov 11, 2017 6:32:58 PM | 22
CNN covers the Binney/Pompeo meeting, and describes Binney in the headline as a "conspiracy theorist": http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/07/politics/mike-pompeo-william-binney-meeting/index.html
Peter AU 1 | Nov 11, 2017 6:37:08 PM | 23
karlof1 20

If by chance Trump or anyone is genuine about taking down the deep state, they cannot do it by running around in a pathetic attempt trying to fix small issues. They would have to leave the machine to carry on as normal and go for its foundations. I thought about this months ago, and now looking at the latest events, this could be what is happening.

gut bugs galore | Nov 11, 2017 6:52:35 PM | 24
Meanwhile a revolution threatening the federation of Australia is taking place in Canberra utilizing a formless and compliant press corps and a fake issue of dual citizenship. Chaos is a disease agent which has jumped out of the Middle Eastern laboratory into all western nations.
Krollchem | Nov 11, 2017 7:13:34 PM | 25
Educational Youtube videos on how the world works at "Rules for rulers"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rStL7niR7gs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig_qpNfXHIU

[Nov 11, 2017] There are some indications that McCain was the one who hired the company which created the infamous Steele dossier

This is from July, 2017, before the most recent revelations...
Notable quotes:
"... Azerbaijan's Silk Way Airlines transported hundreds of tons of weapons under diplomatic cover to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan Congo ..."
"... the weapons and ammunition are usual from east Europe (Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Ukraine ...) ..."
"... the contracts are with U.S. companies themselves hired by the CIA and/or Pentagon as well as with Saudi and Israeli companies ..."
"... offloading during unusual "fueling stops" allowed to disguise the real addressee of the loads ..."
"... With lots of details from obtained emails. Ten thousands of tons of weapons and ammunition to al-Qaeda and other Takfiris in Syria also came first from Libya by ship, then on at least 160 big cargo flights via Saudi Arabia and Qatar to Turkey and during the last years by various ships under U.S. contracts from mostly east-European countries. ..."
"... A British spy. An Arizona senator. And one inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump. The connection between them is starting to unravel... ..."
"... there are indications that McCain was the one who hired the company which created the infamous Steele dossier. ..."
"... there is evidences that he distributed it to the CIA, FBI and to the media. ..."
"... the "Reason" article is complete nonsense. I've covered the details the last two weeks. The "dodgy dossier" was shared by Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, with the British MI6 and the FBI starting in August 2016. That's why I claim it's not RussiaGate but IC-Gate. A complot by the Intelligence Community of the UK and US. McCain is just a distraction of the true effort to dump Trump. ..."
"... Christopher Steele and Sir Andrew Wood worked in a British spy nest in Moscow during the Yeltsin years of the 90s. ..."
"... Is RussiaGate Really IC-Gate Did MI6/CIA Collude with Chris Steele to Entrap Trump? ..."
Jul 23, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
Murder, Spies And Weapons - Three Fascinating 'Deep State' Stories

350 "diplomatic" flights transporting weapons for terrorists - Trud

Azerbaijan's Silk Way Airlines transported hundreds of tons of weapons under diplomatic cover to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan Congo

With lots of details from obtained emails. Ten thousands of tons of weapons and ammunition to al-Qaeda and other Takfiris in Syria also came first from Libya by ship, then on at least 160 big cargo flights via Saudi Arabia and Qatar to Turkey and during the last years by various ships under U.S. contracts from mostly east-European countries.

---

With all the Trump-Russia nonsense flowing around one person's involvement in the creation of the issue deserves more scrutiny:

McCain and the Trump-Russia Dossier: What Did He Know, and When? - Reason

A British spy. An Arizona senator. And one inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump. The connection between them is starting to unravel...

likklemore | Jul 21, 2017 12:56:46 PM | 5
McCain and the Trump-Russia Dossier. The third time is the Charm. I am reminded. McCain can do no wrong:

His service to his country (it's alleged, by aiding the enemy); The Keating Five; (I dindu nuttin wrong) The Trump-Russia Dossier (by political treason stabbing the nominee of his own Party; ignoring the words of Reagan). McCain, once again, will be excused and forgiven. His actions were due to illness – the most aggressive cancer of the brain. How is that so?

james | Jul 21, 2017 1:00:13 PM | 8
@5 likklemore ... in an exceptional country, there is no accountability... according to obama, you have to move on and not dwell on the past, lol...
ben | Jul 21, 2017 1:07:44 PM | 9
Thanks b, the mountain of evidence you provide daily, as proof of the corporate empire's malignancy, is therapeutic and empowering, but, until this information reaches the bulk of the U$A's masses we're all just treading water here.
WorldBLee | Jul 21, 2017 1:11:43 PM | 10
@2: The last thing McCain has to worry about is prosecution or even criticism for fomenting war crimes. The cancer is real and he will be lauded for his courage and lionized if he dies. But should he survive he will carry on as usual with no apologies and no criticism.
Oui | Jul 21, 2017 2:29:43 PM | 12
Sorry b .... the "Reason" article is complete nonsense. I've covered the details the last two weeks. The "dodgy dossier" was shared by Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, with the British MI6 and the FBI starting in August 2016. That's why I claim it's not RussiaGate but IC-Gate. A complot by the Intelligence Community of the UK and US. McCain is just a distraction of the true effort to dump Trump.
McCain and the Trump-Russia Dossier: What Did He Know, and When? - Reason

A British spy. An Arizona senator. And one inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump. The connection between them is starting to unravel...

  • there are indications that McCain was the one who hired the company which created the infamous Steele dossier.
  • there is evidences that he distributed it to the CIA, FBI and to the media.
  • the issue is now in front of a British court.

Christopher Steele and Sir Andrew Wood worked in a British spy nest in Moscow during the Yeltsin years of the 90s.

Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 21, 2017 3:02:30 PM | 13
Thanks, b. Love the lede...
350 "diplomatic" flights transporting weapons for ter'rists - Trud

What a slimy little cur John McCain (Satan's Mini-Me) turns out to be. Guess how surprised I'm not that the little skunk is up to his eyeballs in weapons proliferation & profiteering, not to mention that old Yankee favourite Gun-barrel "Diplomacy".

I suspected during the Prez Campaign that Trump had McCain well and truly scoped when he said (of Satan's Mini-Me) "I like my war "heroes" not to get captured."

This story says a lot for China & Russia's approach to long-term Strategic Diplomacy. I imagine that they both know all this stuff and a helluva lot more, but they go to all the summits, prattle about Our AmeriKKKan Friends, and then presumably laugh their asses off when the summit is over. Xi & Putin seem to truly believe that the blowback from all this Yankee Duplicity will eventually do as much harm to the American Dream as an Ru/Cn Military Solution.

likklemore | Jul 21, 2017 4:52:05 PM | 18
@james 8
[Reported by Independent.co.uk, New York Post and the Guardian.co.uk] McCain admitted he handed the dossier to Comey."

NYPost: McCain "I gave Russia blackmail dossier on Trump to the FBI"

Senator John McCain passed documents to the FBI director, James Comey, last month alleging secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow and that Russian intelligence had personally compromising material on the president-elect himself

New York Post
http://nypost.com/2017/01/11/john-mccain-i-gave-russia-blackmail-dossier-on-trump-to-fbi/

Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/10/fbi-chief-given-dossier-by-john-mccain-alleging-secret-trump-russia-contacts

Yes, there will be no accountability in the U.S. for the exceptional ones. However, the British courts setting aside "special relationships" may take a different view that McCain has a case to answer.


@kpax 17

Did I mis-read? McCain's cerebral?

fast freddy | Jul 21, 2017 8:20:34 PM | 29
Craven McCain has been teflon for his entire political career and he was teflon when he wrecked airplanes in the navy. McCain is just a teflon guy. Untouchable. Probably has "dossiers" on anybody that can damage him.
Yeah, Right | Jul 22, 2017 6:40:44 AM | 45
@2 I have no doubt that McCain's medical condition is real. I well remember the news stories in early June when McCain put up a bizarre performance during testimony by James Comey - asking questions that simply didn't make any sense whatsoever and leaving everyone utterly gob-smacked regarding McCain's mental state.

So, yeah, brain tumour.

[Nov 11, 2017] Brennan was a strong-arm facilitator for the foreign policy establishment which includes leaders from Big Oil, Wall Street, and the giant weapons manufacturers

Notable quotes:
"... as Russiagate widens, it's becoming clear that some part of the US intelligence community and part of the US financial elite were involved in the manipulation of the 2016 election. ..."
"... The spooks have been trying (and failing!) for years to break up the EU ..."
"... As for the gangsters, nobody could compete with the thug (felon) Avigdor Lieberman in the Knesset and the neo-Nazi activists in Kevan government. Don't forget that Mr. Kolomojsky, an Israeli citizen and big-time criminal and financier of the neo-Nazi battalion Azov, is also a pillar of Jewish Community in Ukraine (and a darling of the Wall Street Journal) and that Mr. D. Alperovitch, the Russophobe who conducted the fraudulent analysis of the data with his fraudulent CrowdStrike, is from a ziocon company of Atlantic Council. The Tokyo Rose has been, of course, documented in a company of neo-Nazis. ..."
"... Oh? And what evidence would that be? The CrowdStrike report? The Steele dossier? James Comey's say-so? Or perhaps that of some other DNC contractor or Obama administration flunkee? Do come back and enlighten us when they find some real evidence–i.e., something that might actually stand an outside chance of winning a conviction in court. ..."
"... Precisely. Thanks for highlighting this succinct explanation. Those who point to intel agencies or career bureaucrats as Deep State are identifying the puppets, not the masters. Kudos to Whitney for getting it right. ..."
Nov 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

Michael Kenny, November 11, 2017 at 2:23 pm GMT • 300 Words

Russiagate still scaring the daylights out of some people! The distinction between "Hillary paid for it" and "Hillary fabricated it" has already been made umpteen times. The reason, I think, why this author is trying to tie Hillary to the intelligence agencies and the millionaires is because, as Russiagate widens, it's becoming clear that some part of the US intelligence community and part of the US financial elite were involved in the manipulation of the 2016 election.

A part of the US financial elite have invested heavily (and for the most part, legally) in Russia but have thereby done business with some very dubious characters, some probably linked to the Russian Mafia. Having installed their stooge in the Kremlin, the gangsters took the logical next step and tried to install a stooge in the White House. The US elite was happy to let the Russians have a slice of the cake but by manipulating the election, the gangsters were in practice making a grab for the whole cake. The US elite wasn't willing to accept that. Hence the current fight.

The spooks have been trying (and failing!) for years to break up the EU and what both the US elite and the Russian gangsters had in mind was to carve up Europe between them ("spheres of influence"). The two projects came together in Ukraine. In other words, all of this has very little to do with politics or international relations and a great deal to do with dirty money.

Trying to pin that on Hillary is a rather flat-footed attempt to divert attention away from the links between the Russian gangsters, the spooks and the Trump's entourage.

Anon , Disclaimer November 11, 2017 at 3:36 pm GMT

@Michael Kenny

"Trying to pin that on Hillary is a rather flat-footed attempt to divert attention away from the links between the Russian gangsters, the spooks and the Trump's entourage."

We understand your frustration with the events in Syria. The ziocons' vicious hatred towards Russians for the "loss" of Syria to the Syrian citizens (instead the US/Israel/SA-sponsored ISIS) is evident.

As for the gangsters, nobody could compete with the thug (felon) Avigdor Lieberman in the Knesset and the neo-Nazi activists in Kevan government. Don't forget that Mr. Kolomojsky, an Israeli citizen and big-time criminal and financier of the neo-Nazi battalion Azov, is also a pillar of Jewish Community in Ukraine (and a darling of the Wall Street Journal) and that Mr. D. Alperovitch, the Russophobe who conducted the fraudulent analysis of the data with his fraudulent CrowdStrike, is from a ziocon company of Atlantic Council. The Tokyo Rose has been, of course, documented in a company of neo-Nazis.

Mike Whitney' paper has a hall mark of a courageous and principled person, whereas your Russophobic insinuations have been Russophobic insinuations and nothing more.

You do protest too much.

DaveE , November 11, 2017 at 5:27 pm GMT
Yeah, yeah. Poor, prosecuted Hillary is just a victim. Like all the rest of the poor, prosecuted leftist sore losers. Or rather, losers, sore or otherwise.

Hillary has a long, long career playing in the sandbox with Murder Inc, Political Division.

DaveE , November 11, 2017 at 5:39 pm GMT
@DaveE

Of course, she will take the fall for failure. Mobsters whack other mobsters quite frequently if they "fail"or are disloyal. And of course, glory-seekers like Hillary set themselves up for complete humiliation, at minimum, when things don't go so well.

Seamus Padraig , November 11, 2017 at 5:45 pm GMT
@Dr. Crow

And yet and yet there is evidence that the Trump campaign was in contact with various Russians all during the campaign.

Oh? And what evidence would that be? The CrowdStrike report? The Steele dossier? James Comey's say-so? Or perhaps that of some other DNC contractor or Obama administration flunkee? Do come back and enlighten us when they find some real evidence–i.e., something that might actually stand an outside chance of winning a conviction in court.

And they too were looking for "dirt" -on Clinton.

Well that isn't too hard to find, is it! No need to go to the black market for that.

The question now is: to what extent was the Trump campaign conspiring with Russia to subvert our election process? If they were involved in such a conspiracy, then the Trump organization has violated Federal laws and should be held to account, each and every one who so conspired.

Opposition research is not a crime. Nor is talking about US politics with foreign nationals; if it were, I'd be guilty of treason on a weekly basis, since I now live in Europe.

Although you may not like the source of the information nor its underlying purposes, if it exposes criminal actions by anyone than it served a good cause.

This is hilarious! I can remember using almost exactly those same words with Hillbots every time one of her corrupt schemes came to light. For example, isn't interceding with the Attorney General on your wife's behalf to head off an investigation in to her before an election a crime known as 'obstruction of justice'? Riddle me that, Batman.

RobinG , November 11, 2017 at 6:59 pm GMT
@Anon

Precisely. Thanks for highlighting this succinct explanation. Those who point to intel agencies or career bureaucrats as Deep State are identifying the puppets, not the masters. Kudos to Whitney for getting it right.

[Nov 11, 2017] Saudi Crown Prince Consolidates Power With Anti-Corruption Arrests

Charge in corruption is a standard instrument in regime change effort. Most widely used in in color revolutions. So this is a pretty old way tested in xUSSR republics.
Nov 10, 2017 | angrybearblog.com

Everybody is against corruption, so it has become the new cool way to concentrate power in dictatorial societies to engage in an anti-corruption drive, as Putin and Xi Jinping have done. Actually corrupt people may well be arrested, but somehow included in the set of those arrested are rivals of the leader who are conveniently disposed of.

likbez , November 10, 2017 8:53 pm

Barkley,

You should probably think in a wider framework of color revolution, not in the narrow framework of (possibly inflated) corruption charges. This is about de-legitimization, not about the corruption per se.

BTW the charge in corruption is a standard tool used in color revolutions. So it is far from only "the new cool way to concentrate power in dictatorial societies". It is more of an old way to induce "regime change".

It is perfectly applicable to political struggle in neoliberal societies as well as we see now with Trump. Probably even more, as "greed is good" morale imperative implies. Also provides opponents of Trump high moral ground to attach him and his entourage.

We can start analysis from Trump campaign against Hillary. If it would be more interesting to analyze the current anti-Trump campaign from this angle. Especially recent Robert Mueller's indictments. We can view then as a kind of attempt to "import" color revolution methods of "regime change" into the USA in order to depose Trump.

In other words boomerang eventually returns.

Several listed in from https://www.sott.net/article/334026-SOTT-Exclusive-A-Purple-Color-revolution-in-the-US-Learn-the-signs-of-color-revolutions ) tell-tell signs of regime change is probably applicable to anti-Trump campaign.

== quote ==

The Chinese pastor Leung has outlined the 12 steps of regime change.

The key difference is that this time it is not the U.S. making regime change overseas, but in America itself to serve the powers that be. The 12 steps are:

1.Dispatch CIA, MI6 and other intelligence officers as students, tourists, volunteers, businessmen, reporters to the target country

2.Set up Non Governmental Organizations (NGO's) under the guise of humanitarianism to fight for "democracy" and "human rights" in order to attract advocates of freedom and ideals

3.Attract local traitors, especially academics, politicians, reporters, soldiers etc. through bribery or threaten those who have some stain in their life

4.If the target country has unions, bribe them

5.Pick a catchy theme or color for the revolution. Examples include the Praque spring (1968), Velvet Revolution (Eastern Europe, 1989), Rose Revolution (Georgia, 2003), Cedar Revolution (Lebanon, 2005), Orange Revolution (Ukraine 2004), Green Revolution (Iran), Jasmine Revolution, Arab Spring and even Hong Kong's Umbrella Revolution

6.Start protests for whatever reasons to kick off the revolution. It could be human rights, democracy, government corruption or electoral fraud. Evidence isn't necessary; an excuse will do.

7.Write protest signs and banners in English to let Americans see and get Americans politicians and civilians involved

8.Let those corrupted politicians, intellectuals and union leaders join the protests and call upon all people with grievances to join

9.The US and European mainstream media help by continuously emphasizing that the revolution is caused by injustice and thereby gaining the support of the majority

10.When the whole world is watching stage a false-flag action. The target government will soon be destabilized and lose support among its people

11.Add in violent agent provocateurs to provoke the police to use force. This will cause the target government to lose the support of other countries and become "delegitimized" by the international community

12.Send politicians to the US, EU, the UN to petition so that the target government will face the threat of economic sanctions, no-fly zones and even airstrikes and an armed rebel uprising.

Barkley Rosser , November 10, 2017 11:34 pm

Oh, I don't think so, Likbez. The really big numbers of arrests for corruption as part of a power grab have not been in color revolution nations, but in long estabilished regimes. So in China Xi Joinping has arrested about 1.4 million people in the CPC on anti-corruption charges since he took power. No wonder nobody was voting against him at the recent party congress.

Then we have Erdogan in Turkkey, who has arrested something like 70,000. Now a lot of those have been busted for supposedly being part of the Gulenist copu attempt, but many have been buseed for couurption. Yeah, color places do it, but these are the places with the reallyi big numbers.

Oh, and the numbers arrested in Saudi Arabia apparently now exceed 200, and that is not coloar revolution, nor is what has gone on in the US.

likbez , November 11, 2017 9:32 pm

"Oh, I don't think so, Likbez. The really big numbers of arrests for corruption as part of a power grab have not been in color revolution nations, but in long estabilished regimes."

Not true. After Ukrainian Maidan color revolution (2014) there were wide purges on corruption charges of supporters of ousted President Yanukovich.

The current "Russiagate" color revolution against Trump recently started to concentrate on corruption charges too (Mueller's first indictments). They are definitely not wide. But they send a message to Trump and serve classic for color revolution de-legitimization purpose. In the context of the USA they probably do not actually need them to be wide as they can be amplified 100 or 1000 times by anti-Trump MSM.

See https://www.amazon.com/Power-Struggle-Politics-Nonviolent-Action/dp/087558070X/

In both cases there is a strong support within the intelligence agencies of the actions that can help to depose elected President (Brennan, Clapper, possibly Comey in case of the USA). Along with the goal to froze the possibility of détente with Russia. Which was achieved to the delight of all neocons.

There are also some discussions about the possibility that DNC hack was a false flag operation in classic color revolutions fashion. See

[Nov 11, 2017] On The Origins of Russia-gate by Joe Lauria

Notable quotes:
"... As Russia-gate continues to buffet the Trump administration, we now know that the "scandal" started with Democrats funding the original dubious allegations of Russian interference, notes Joe Lauria. ..."
"... Voice of America reported ..."
"... How I Lost By Hillary Clinton ..."
Nov 11, 2017 | kickthemallout.com

As Russia-gate continues to buffet the Trump administration, we now know that the "scandal" started with Democrats funding the original dubious allegations of Russian interference, notes Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria

The two sources that originated the allegations claiming that Russia meddled in the 2016 election -- without providing convincing evidence -- were both paid for by the Democratic National Committee, and in one instance also by the Clinton campaign: the Steele dossier and the CrowdStrike analysis of the DNC servers. Think about that for a minute.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

We have long known that the DNC did not allow the FBI to examine its computer server for clues about who may have hacked it – or even if it was hacked – and instead turned to CrowdStrike, a private company co-founded by a virulently anti-Putin Russian. Within a day, CrowdStrike blamed Russia on dubious evidence.

And, it has now been disclosed that the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid for opposition research memos written by former British MI6 intelligence agent Christopher Steele using hearsay accusations from anonymous Russian sources to claim that the Russian government was blackmailing and bribing Donald Trump in a scheme that presupposed that Russian President Vladimir Putin foresaw Trump's presidency years ago when no one else did.

Since then, the U.S. intelligence community has struggled to corroborate Steele's allegations, but those suspicions still colored the thinking of President Obama's intelligence chiefs who, according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, "hand-picked" the analysts who produced the Jan. 6 "assessment" claiming that Russia interfered in the U.S. election.

In other words, possibly all of the Russia-gate allegations, which have been taken on faith by Democratic partisans and members of the anti-Trump Resistance, trace back to claims paid for or generated by Democrats.

If for a moment one could remove the sometimes justified hatred that many people feel toward Trump, it would be impossible to avoid the impression that the scandal may have been cooked up by the DNC and the Clinton camp in league with Obama's intelligence chiefs to serve political and geopolitical aims.

Absent new evidence based on forensic or documentary proof, we could be looking at a partisan concoction devised in the midst of a bitter general election campaign, a manufactured "scandal" that also has fueled a dangerous New Cold War against Russia; a case of a dirty political "oppo" serving American ruling interests in reestablishing the dominance over Russia that they enjoyed in the 1990s, as well as feeding the voracious budgetary appetite of the Military-Industrial Complex.

Though lacking independent evidence of the core Russia-gate allegations, the "scandal" continues to expand into wild exaggerations about the impact of a tiny number of social media pages suspected of having links to Russia but that apparently carried very few specific campaign messages. ( Some pages reportedly were devoted to photos of puppies. )

'Cash for Trash'

Based on what is now known, Wall Street buccaneer Paul Singer paid for GPS Fusion, a Washington-based research firm, to do opposition research on Trump during the Republican primaries, but dropped the effort in May 2016 when it became clear Trump would be the GOP nominee. GPS Fusion has strongly denied that it hired Steele for this work or that the research had anything to do with Russia.

Couple walking along the Kremlin, Dec. 7, 2016. (Photo by Robert Parry)

Then, in April 2016 the DNC and the Clinton campaign paid its Washington lawyer Marc Elias to hire Fusion GPS to unearth dirt connecting Trump to Russia. This was three months before the DNC blamed Russia for hacking its computers and supposedly giving its stolen emails to WikiLeaks to help Trump win the election.

"The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee retained Fusion GPS to research any possible connections between Mr. Trump, his businesses, his campaign team and Russia, court filings revealed this week," The New York Times reported on Friday night.

So, linking Trump to Moscow as a way to bring Russia into the election story was the Democrats' aim from the start.

Fusion GPS then hired ex-MI6 intelligence agent Steele, it says for the first time, to dig up that dirt in Russia for the Democrats. Steele produced classic opposition research, not an intelligence assessment or conclusion, although it was written in a style and formatted to look like one.

It's important to realize that Steele was no longer working for an official intelligence agency, which would have imposed strict standards on his work and possibly disciplined him for injecting false information into the government's decision-making. Instead, he was working for a political party and a presidential candidate looking for dirt that would hurt their opponent, what the Clintons used to call "cash for trash" when they were the targets.

Had Steele been doing legitimate intelligence work for his government, he would have taken a far different approach. Intelligence professionals are not supposed to just give their bosses what their bosses want to hear. So, Steele would have verified his information. And it would have gone through a process of further verification by other intelligence analysts in his and perhaps other intelligence agencies. For instance, in the U.S., a National Intelligence Estimate requires vetting by all 17 intelligence agencies and incorporates dissenting opinions.

Instead Steele was producing a piece of purely political research and had different motivations. The first might well have been money, as he was being paid specifically for this project, not as part of his work on a government salary presumably serving all of society. Secondly, to continue being paid for each subsequent memo that he produced he would have been incentivized to please his clients or at least give them enough so they would come back for more.

Dubious Stuff

Opposition research is about getting dirt to be used in a mud-slinging political campaign, in which wild charges against candidates are the norm. This "oppo" is full of unvetted rumor and innuendo with enough facts mixed in to make it seem credible. There was so much dubious stuff in Steele's memos that the FBI was unable to confirm its most salacious allegations and apparently refuted several key points.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (right) talks with President Barack Obama
in the Oval Office, with John Brennan and other national security aides present.
(Photo credit: Office of Director of National Intelligence)

Perhaps more significantly, the corporate news media, which was largely partial to Clinton, did not report the fantastic allegations after people close to the Clinton campaign began circulating the lurid stories before the election with the hope that the material would pop up in the news. To their credit, established media outlets recognized this as ammunition against a political opponent, not a serious document.

Despite this circumspection, the Steele dossier was shared with the FBI at some point in the summer of 2016 and apparently became the basis for the FBI to seek Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against members of Trump's campaign. More alarmingly, it may have formed the basis for much of the Jan. 6 intelligence "assessment" by those "hand-picked" analysts from three U.S. intelligence agencies – the CIA, the FBI and the NSA – not all 17 agencies that Hillary Clinton continues to insist were involved. (Obama's intelligence chiefs, DNI Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, publicly admitted that only three agencies took part and The New York Times printed a correction saying so.)

If in fact the Steele memos were a primary basis for the Russia collusion allegations against Trump, then there may be no credible evidence at all. It could be that because the three agencies knew the dossier was dodgy that there was no substantive proof in the Jan. 6 "assessment." Even so, a summary of the Steele allegations were included in a secret appendix that then-FBI Director James Comey described to then-President-elect Trump just two weeks before his inauguration.

Five days later, after the fact of Comey's briefing was leaked to the press, the Steele dossier was published in full by the sensationalist website BuzzFeed behind the excuse that the allegations' inclusion in the classified annex of a U.S. intelligence report justified the dossier's publication regardless of doubts about its accuracy.

Russian Fingerprints

The other source of blame about Russian meddling came from the private company CrowdStrike because the DNC blocked the FBI from examining its server after a suspected hack. Within a day, CrowdStrike claimed to find Russian "fingerprints" in the metadata of a DNC opposition research document, which had been revealed by an Internet site called DCLeaks, showing Cyrillic letters and the name of the first Soviet intelligence chief. That supposedly implicated Russia.

Dmitri Alperovitch, the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of CrowdStrike Inc.,
leading its Intelligence, Technology and CrowdStrike Labs teams.

CrowdStrike also claimed that the alleged Russian intelligence operation was extremely sophisticated and skilled in concealing its external penetration of the server. But CrowdStrike's conclusion about Russian "fingerprints" resulted from clues that would have been left behind by extremely sloppy hackers or inserted intentionally to implicate the Russians.

CrowdStrike's credibility was further undermined when Voice of America reported on March 23, 2017, that the same software the company says it used to blame Russia for the hack wrongly concluded that Moscow also had hacked Ukrainian government howitzers on the battlefield in eastern Ukraine.

"An influential British think tank and Ukraine's military are disputing a report that the U.S. cyber-security firm CrowdStrike has used to buttress its claims of Russian hacking in the presidential election," VOA reported. Dimitri Alperovitch, a CrowdStrike co-founder, is also a senior fellow at the anti-Russian Atlantic Council think tank in Washington.

More speculation about the alleged election hack was raised with WikiLeaks' Vault 7 release, which revealed that the CIA is not beyond covering up its own hacks by leaving clues implicating others. Plus, there's the fact that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has declared again and again that WikiLeaks did not get the Democratic emails from the Russians. Buttressing Assange's denials of a Russian role, WikiLeaks associate Craig Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, said he met a person connected to the leak during a trip to Washington last year.

And, William Binney, maybe the best mathematician to ever work at the National Security Agency, and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern have published a technical analysis of one set of Democratic email metadata showing that a transatlantic "hack" would have been impossible and that the evidence points to a likely leak by a disgruntled Democratic insider. Binney has further stated that if it were a "hack," the NSA would have been able to detect it and make the evidence known.

Fueling Neo-McCarthyism

Despite these doubts, which the U.S. mainstream media has largely ignored, Russia-gate has grown into something much more than an election story. It has unleashed a neo-McCarthyite attack on Americans who are accused of being dupes of Russia if they dare question the evidence of the Kremlin's guilt.

The Washington Post building in downtown Washington, D.C.
(Photo credit: Washington Post)

Just weeks after last November's election, The Washington Post published a front-page story touting a blacklist from an anonymous group, called PropOrNot, that alleged that 200 news sites, including Consortiumnews.com and other leading independent news sources, were either willful Russian propagandists or "useful idiots."

Last week, a new list emerged with the names of over 2,000 people, mostly Westerners, who have appeared on RT, the Russian government-financed English-language news channel. The list was part of a report entitled, "The Kremlin's Platform for 'Useful Idiots' in the West," put out by an outfit called European Values, with a long list of European funders.

Included on the list of "useful idiots" absurdly are CIA-friendly Washington Post columnist David Ignatius; David Brock, Hillary Clinton's opposition research chief; and U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The report stated: "Many people in Europe and the US, including politicians and other persons of influence, continue to exhibit troubling naïveté about RT's political agenda, buying into the network's marketing ploy that it is simply an outlet for independent voices marginalised by the mainstream Western press. These 'useful idiots' remain oblivious to RT's intentions and boost its legitimacy by granting interviews on its shows and newscasts."

The intent of these lists is clear: to shut down dissenting voices who question Western foreign policy and who are usually excluded from Western corporate media. RT is often willing to provide a platform for a wider range of viewpoints, both from the left and right. American ruling interests fend off critical viewpoints by first suppressing them in corporate media and now condemning them as propaganda when they emerge on RT.

Geopolitical Risks

More ominously, the anti-Russia mania has increased chances of direct conflict between the two nuclear superpowers. The Russia-bashing rhetoric not only served the Clinton campaign, though ultimately to ill effect, but it has pushed a longstanding U.S.-led geopolitical agenda to regain control over Russia, an advantage that the U.S. enjoyed during the Yeltsin years in the 1990s.

Time magazine cover recounting how the U.S. enabled Boris Yeltsin's reelection as Russian president in 1996.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Wall Street rushed in behind Boris Yeltsin and Russian oligarchs to asset strip virtually the entire country, impoverishing the population. Amid widespread accounts of this grotesque corruption, Washington intervened in Russian politics to help get Yeltsin re-elected in 1996. The political rise of Vladimir Putin after Yeltsin resigned on New Year's Eve 1999 reversed this course, restoring Russian sovereignty over its economy and politics.

That inflamed Hillary Clinton and other American hawks whose desire was to install another Yeltsin-like figure and resume U.S. exploitation of Russia's vast natural and financial resources. To advance that cause, U.S. presidents have supported the eastward expansion of NATO and have deployed 30,000 troops on Russia's border.

In 2014, the Obama administration helped orchestrate a coup that toppled the elected government of Ukraine and installed a fiercely anti-Russian regime. The U.S. also undertook the risky policy of aiding jihadists to overthrow a secular Russian ally in Syria. The consequences have brought the world closer to nuclear annihilation than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.

In this context, the Democratic Party-led Russia-gate offensive was intended not only to explain away Clinton's defeat but to stop Trump -- possibly via impeachment or by inflicting severe political damage -- because he had talked, insincerely it is turning out, about detente with Russia. That did not fit in well with the plan at all.

Joe Lauria is a veteran foreign-affairs journalist. He has written for the Boston Globe, the Sunday Times of London and the Wall Street Journal among other newspapers. He is the author of How I Lost By Hillary Clinton published by OR Books in June 2017. He can be reached at joelauria@gmail.com and followed on Twitter at @unjoe .

[Nov 11, 2017] Is Hillary Just the "Fall Guy" for the Intel Agencies and their Moneybags Bosses by Mike Whitney

See Wikipedia article CIA influence on public opinion . The role on Brennan probably deserves a special prosecutor and/or a Congressional commettee similar to Church Committee
The question arise: "Was hacking DNC another CIA false flag operation with the specific goal to poison US-Russian relations and using Hillary Clinton as a patsy?"
According fo church committee report: "Approximately 50 of the [Agency] assets are individual American journalists or employees of U.S. media organizations. Of these, fewer than half are "accredited" by U.S. media organizations ... The remaining individuals are non-accredited freelance contributors and media representatives abroad ... More than a dozen United States news organizations and commercial publishing houses formerly provided cover for CIA agents abroad. A few of these organizations were unaware that they provided this cover. [7] "
"Journalist Carl Bernstein , writing in an October 1977 article in the magazine Rolling Stone , claims that the Church Committee report "covered up" CIA relations with news media, and names a number of journalists whom he says worked with the CIA. [10] Like the Church Committee report, however, Bernstein does not refer to any Operation Mockingbird."
Notable quotes:
"... "Russian meddling" became the perfect rallying cry for the CIA's broader information operation (IO) that was designed to poison public opinion against "Russian aggression" and to reign in Trump's plans to normalize relations with Moscow. ..."
"... Clinton became the "fall guy" in a darker, deep-state propaganda campaign for which she is only partially responsible. ..."
"... the Steele dossier was shared with the FBI at some point in the summer of 2016 and apparently became the basis for the FBI to seek Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against members of Trump's campaign. ..."
"... More alarmingly, it may have formed the basis for much of the Jan. 6 intelligence "assessment" by those "hand-picked" analysts from three U.S. intelligence agencies -- the CIA, the FBI and the NSA -- not all 17 agencies that Hillary Clinton continues to insist were involved ..."
"... The article proves that the nation's premier law enforcement agency was using parts of a discredited "raw intelligence" report that was paid for by the DNC and was clearly commissioned as a part of a smear campaign -- to spy on members of the opposition party. Clearly, one could easily make the case that the FBI was abusing its extraordinary police-state powers to subvert the democratic process. ..."
"... The FBI, under James Comey, also attempted to use agent Steele for future research but abandoned the idea after parts of the dossier began to surface in the media making it politically impossible to maintain the relationship. ..."
"... The fact that the FBI was willing to build its investigation on the sensational and unverified claims in the DNC-bought-and-paid-for dossier, suggests that the real motive was not to reveal collusion between Trump and Moscow or even to uncover evidence related to the hacking claims. The real goal was to vilify Russia and derail Trump's efforts at détente. ..."
"... Steele's July report helped to prop up the threadbare "hacking" storyline that was further reinforced by the dubious cyber-forensic analysis of DNC servers performed by CrowdStrike, "a private company co-founded by a virulently anti-Putin Russian." ..."
"... Russia-gate is entirely a Democratic Party invention. Both sources of information (Crowdstrike and Steele) were chosen by members of the Democratic hierarchy (through their intermediaries) to create stories that coincided with their political objectives. Due to the obvious bias of the people who funded the operations, neither the methods nor the information can be trusted. But that's just part of the story. The bigger story relates to the role played by the nation's premier intelligence and law enforcement agencies. And that's where we see signs of institutional corruption on a truly colossal scale. ..."
"... Nov. 18: Arizona Sen. John McCain and a former assistant, David Kramer, are told about the existence of the dossier by an associate of Steele's, former British diplomat Sir Andrew Wood. Kramer travels to London later that month to meet with Steele and find out more about the dossier. Steele forwards a copy of the dossier to Fusion, Kramer and McCain. ..."
"... This is a damning admission that the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) that was released on January 6, and was supposed to provide rock-solid proof of Russia hacking and collusion, was built (at least, in part) on the thin gruel and specious allegations found in the sketchy "Trump dossier". Former CIA Director John Brennan has refuted this claim, but there's significant circumstantial evidence to suggest that it is true. ..."
"... On December 9, 2016, The Washington Post reported that the CIA determined that Russian hacking was conducted to boost Trump and hurt Clinton during the presidential campaign. This same theory that was propounded in the ICA report just a month later. It appears that Brennan and his "hand-picked" intelligence analysts decided to carefully comb the dossier cherry-picking the most credible allegations to weave into their dubious intelligence Assessment. So even though large sections of the dossier were scrapped, the report itself was used as the foundation for the ICA. ..."
"... It's clear that Brennan had no "information or intelligence" that would lead a reasonable man to think that anyone in Trump's entourage was colluding with Russian officials or agents. The whole story is spun from whole cloth. The disturbing implication however is that Brennan, who was an outspoken supporter of Hillary and equally harsh critic of Trump, was using the CIA's intrusive surveillance powers to spy on a rival political party in the heat of a presidential campaign. If that is not a flagrant example of subverting democracy, then what is? ..."
"... It all started with Brennan, he's the ringleader in this dodgy caper. But Brennan was not operating as a free agent pursuing his own malign political agenda, but as a strong-arm facilitator for the powerful foreign policy establishment which includes leaders from Big Oil, Wall Street, and the giant weapons manufacturers. These are the corporate mandarins who pull Brennan's chain and give Brennan his marching orders. This is how power trickles down in America. ..."
"... So while the moneytrail may lead back to the DNC and Hillary's Campaign, the roots of Russia-gate extend far beyond the politicians to the highest-ranking members of the permanent state. ..."
Nov 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

For nearly a year, Hillary Clinton failed to admit that her campaign and the Democratic National Committee had provided funding for the notorious dossier that alleged Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election. Then, two weeks ago, the Washington Post published a blockbuster article that proved that Clinton had been misleading the public about her Campaign's role in producing the report.

Following the article's publication, Clinton went into hiding for more than a week during which time she huddled with her political advisors to settle on a strategy for dealing with the crisis.

"Russian meddling" became the perfect rallying cry for the CIA's broader information operation (IO) that was designed to poison public opinion against "Russian aggression" and to reign in Trump's plans to normalize relations with Moscow.

The fact that the CIA had essentially extracted a credible narrative from sections of the notorious dossier, left Hillary with no other option except to play-along even after the votes had been counted. As a result, Clinton became the "fall guy" in a darker, deep-state propaganda campaign for which she is only partially responsible. Here's a little background from Joe Lauria's "must read" article "The Democratic Money Behind Russia-gate":

" the Steele dossier was shared with the FBI at some point in the summer of 2016 and apparently became the basis for the FBI to seek Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against members of Trump's campaign.

More alarmingly, it may have formed the basis for much of the Jan. 6 intelligence "assessment" by those "hand-picked" analysts from three U.S. intelligence agencies -- the CIA, the FBI and the NSA -- not all 17 agencies that Hillary Clinton continues to insist were involved .

If in fact the Steele memos were a primary basis for the Russia collusion allegations against Trump, then there may be no credible evidence at all." (Consortium News)

So, were "the Steele memos the primary basis for the Russia collusion allegations against Trump"? This is the pivotal question that still remains largely unanswered. As Lauria notes, the FBI did in fact use the "salacious and unverified" dossier to obtain at least one FISA warrant. This is from The Hill:

"The FBI used the dossier alleging Russian ties to President Trump's campaign associates to help convince a judge to grant a warrant to secretly monitor former campaign aide Carter Page, CNN reports.

FBI Director James Comey has cited the dossier in some of his briefings with lawmakers in recent weeks as one of the information sources used by his bureau to bolster its probe, U.S. officials briefed on the investigation told CNN." ("FBI used Trump dossier to help get warrant to monitor ex-aide: report", The Hill)

The article proves that the nation's premier law enforcement agency was using parts of a discredited "raw intelligence" report that was paid for by the DNC and was clearly commissioned as a part of a smear campaign -- to spy on members of the opposition party. Clearly, one could easily make the case that the FBI was abusing its extraordinary police-state powers to subvert the democratic process.

The FBI, under James Comey, also attempted to use agent Steele for future research but abandoned the idea after parts of the dossier began to surface in the media making it politically impossible to maintain the relationship. This is from a February article in the Washington Post:

"The former British spy who authored a controversial dossier on behalf of Donald Trump's political opponents alleging ties between Trump and Russia reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him to continue his work, according to several people familiar with the arrangement. The agreement to compensate former MI6 agent Christopher Steele came as U.S. intelligence agencies reached a consensus that the Russians had interfered in the presidential election by orchestrating hacks of Democratic Party email accounts ..

Ultimately, the FBI did not pay Steele. Communications between the bureau and the former spy were interrupted as Steele's now-famous dossier became the subject of news stories, congressional inquiries and presidential denials, according to the people familiar with the arrangement, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter." ("FBI once planned to pay former British spy who authored controversial Trump dossier", Washington Post)

The fact that the FBI was willing to build its investigation on the sensational and unverified claims in the DNC-bought-and-paid-for dossier, suggests that the real motive was not to reveal collusion between Trump and Moscow or even to uncover evidence related to the hacking claims. The real goal was to vilify Russia and derail Trump's efforts at détente.

It's also worth noting , that Steele's earliest report implausibly alleges that the "Russian authorities had been cultivating and supporting US presidential candidate Trump for at least 5 years." (No one had any idea that Trump would run for president 5 years ago.) The report also details perverted sexual acts involving Trump and urinating prostitutes in a hotel in Moscow. (All fake, of course) The point we are trying to make, is that Steele's first report focused on corruption, perversion and blackmail, whereas, his second installment completely changed direction to cyber-espionage operations on foreign targets.

Why?

It was because, on July 22, 2016, just days before the Democratic National Convention, WikiLeaks published 20,000 emails hacked from DNC computers revealing the corrupt inner-workings of the Democratic establishment. In response, Steele decided to craft a story that would support the Dems plan to blame the Russians for the moral cesspit they-alone had created. In other words, his report was a way of "passing the buck".

Steele's July report helped to prop up the threadbare "hacking" storyline that was further reinforced by the dubious cyber-forensic analysis of DNC servers performed by CrowdStrike, "a private company co-founded by a virulently anti-Putin Russian."

The hacking theme was also aided by the deluge of unsourced, evidence-lite articles cropping up in the media, like this gem in the Washington Post:

"Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach.

The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC's system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic, said DNC officials and the security experts.

The intrusion into the DNC was one of several targeting American political organizations. The networks of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were also targeted by Russian spies " ("Russian government hackers penetrated DNC, stole opposition research on Trump", Washington Post)

What's remarkable about the above excerpt is that it follows the same basic approach to propaganda as nearly all the other pieces on the topic. Unlike the lead-up to the Iraq War, where journalists at the New York Times made every effort to create a believable storyline that included references to aluminum tubes, Niger uranium, mobile weapons labs, etc. The media no longer tries to support their narrative with evidence or eyewitnesses. The major media now simply tells people what they want them to think and leave it at that. Even so, it doesn't require much critical thinking to see the holes in the Russia hacking story. One merely needs to suspend judgment long enough to see that main claims all emerge from (Democratic) sources who have every reason to mislead the public. Here's an excerpt from Joe Lauria's article that sums it up perfectly:

"The two sources that originated the allegations claiming that Russia meddled in the 2016 election were both paid for by the Democratic National Committee, and in one instance also by the Clinton campaign: the Steele dossier and the CrowdStrike analysis of the DNC servers.

Think about that for a minute .

In other words, possibly all of the Russia-gate allegations, which have been taken on faith by Democratic partisans and members of the anti-Trump Resistance, trace back to claims paid for or generated by Democrats.

If for a moment one could remove the sometimes justified hatred that many people feel toward Trump, it would be impossible to avoid the impression that the scandal may have been cooked up by the DNC and the Clinton camp in league with Obama's intelligence chiefs to serve political and geopolitical aims." ("The Democratic Money Behind Russia-gate", Consortium News)

Russia-gate is entirely a Democratic Party invention. Both sources of information (Crowdstrike and Steele) were chosen by members of the Democratic hierarchy (through their intermediaries) to create stories that coincided with their political objectives. Due to the obvious bias of the people who funded the operations, neither the methods nor the information can be trusted. But that's just part of the story. The bigger story relates to the role played by the nation's premier intelligence and law enforcement agencies. And that's where we see signs of institutional corruption on a truly colossal scale.

As we noted earlier, the Clinton smear campaign would probably have ended after the votes were counted had not the intel agencies, particularly the CIA, decided the hacking story could be used to inflict more damage on Russia. It wasn't Clinton's decision to gather more information for the dossier, but others whose motives have remained largely concealed. Who are they?

According to a timeline in the Daily Caller:

November: The contract between the Democrats, Fusion and Steele ends along with the presidential campaign.

Nov. 18: Arizona Sen. John McCain and a former assistant, David Kramer, are told about the existence of the dossier by an associate of Steele's, former British diplomat Sir Andrew Wood. Kramer travels to London later that month to meet with Steele and find out more about the dossier. Steele forwards a copy of the dossier to Fusion, Kramer and McCain.

Dec. 9: McCain provides a copy of the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey during a meeting at the latter's office.

Dec. 13: Steele writes the final memo of the dossier. It alleges that a Russian tech executive used his companies to hack into the DNC's email systems. The executive, Aleksej Gubarev, denied the allegations after the dossier was published by BuzzFeed on Jan. 10, 2017. He is suing both BuzzFeed and Steele.

Jan. 6: Comey and other intelligence community officials brief then-President-elect Trump on some of the allegations made in the dossier.

Jan. 10: CNN reports that the briefing of Trump took place four days earlier. Citing that reporting as justification, BuzzFeed publishes the dossier. (The Daily Mail)

John McCain? Is that who we're talking about? Was it McCain who paid former M16 agent Christopher Steele to add another report to the dossier? Why?

Is it that hard to imagine that a Russophobic foreign policy wonk like McCain -- who has expressed his vehement hatred for Vladimir Putin on the floor of the senate -- would hire a mud-slinging free agent like Steele to craft a story that would further demonize Russia, discourage Trump from normalizing relations with Moscow, and reinforce the theory that the Kremlin meddled in the 2016 elections?

Does that mean that McCain may have told Steele (or his intermediaries) precisely what he wanted the final draft to say? It certainly seems probable. And here's something else to mull over. This is from the Business Insider:

Steele gave the dossier to Republican Sen. John McCain. McCain then gave it to the FBI director at the time, James Comey. Comey, along with the former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan, briefed both President Barack Obama and then-President elect Trump on the dossier's allegations in January.

Intelligence officials purposefully omitted the dossier from the public intelligence report they released in January about Russia's election interference because they didn't want to reveal which details they had corroborated, according to CNN." ("Mueller reportedly interviewed the author of the Trump-Russia dossier -- here's what it alleges, and how it aligned with reality", Business Insider)

This is a damning admission that the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) that was released on January 6, and was supposed to provide rock-solid proof of Russia hacking and collusion, was built (at least, in part) on the thin gruel and specious allegations found in the sketchy "Trump dossier". Former CIA Director John Brennan has refuted this claim, but there's significant circumstantial evidence to suggest that it is true.

On December 9, 2016, The Washington Post reported that the CIA determined that Russian hacking was conducted to boost Trump and hurt Clinton during the presidential campaign. This same theory that was propounded in the ICA report just a month later. It appears that Brennan and his "hand-picked" intelligence analysts decided to carefully comb the dossier cherry-picking the most credible allegations to weave into their dubious intelligence Assessment. So even though large sections of the dossier were scrapped, the report itself was used as the foundation for the ICA.

Brennan spearheaded the anti-Russia campaign from the get-go. As early as August 2016, Brennan was providing classified briefings to ranking members of Congress expressing his conviction that Moscow was helping Trump to win the election. The former Director offered no proof to back up his claims nor has he since then. It was also Brennan who gradually persuaded Clapper, Comey and Morrell to join his anti-Russia jihad, although all were reluctant participants at first. Were they won over by compelling secret evidence that has been been withheld from the public?

Not likely. It's more probable that Brennan was merely able to convince them that the powerful foreign policy establishment required their cooperation on an issue that would have grave impact on Washington's imperial plan for Syria, Ukraine, Central Asia and beyond?

Some readers might remember when Brennan testified before Congress way-back on May 23 and boldly stated:

BRENNAN: "I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals and it raised questions in my mind, again, whether or not the Russians were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals."

It's clear that Brennan had no "information or intelligence" that would lead a reasonable man to think that anyone in Trump's entourage was colluding with Russian officials or agents. The whole story is spun from whole cloth. The disturbing implication however is that Brennan, who was an outspoken supporter of Hillary and equally harsh critic of Trump, was using the CIA's intrusive surveillance powers to spy on a rival political party in the heat of a presidential campaign. If that is not a flagrant example of subverting democracy, then what is? Here's a clip from the Washington Times:

"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 told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians

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." (The Washington Times)

It all started with Brennan, he's the ringleader in this dodgy caper. But Brennan was not operating as a free agent pursuing his own malign political agenda, but as a strong-arm facilitator for the powerful foreign policy establishment which includes leaders from Big Oil, Wall Street, and the giant weapons manufacturers. These are the corporate mandarins who pull Brennan's chain and give Brennan his marching orders. This is how power trickles down in America.

So while the moneytrail may lead back to the DNC and Hillary's Campaign, the roots of Russia-gate extend far beyond the politicians to the highest-ranking members of the permanent state.

[Nov 10, 2017] Moon of Alabama

Notable quotes:
"... internal purge seem too impulsive to be part of a greater plan. ..."
"... Zio-Jazeera TV are reproducing tweets which focus on the 'irony' of MbS detaining and blackmailing Lebanon's Hariri and then expressing a desire to punish Iran for 'interfering' in the affairs of other countries. ..."
"... I wondered what could have persuaded Macron to jump ship on the Iran agreement . The Emirates made him an offer that he was only to willing to accept. It was wise of the Emirates to make it two now, two later 'cos he's a two-faced c**t. ..."
"... The success of " MBS ", who has just overturned the oligarchy in order to install his autocracy, does not, however, guarantee his capacity to govern. Aged only 32, this entitled rich kid from a super-wealthy family has hardly had the time to get to know his people, and only entered politics two year ago. His first decisions were catastrophic - decapitation of the leader of the opposition and the war against Yemen. ..."
"... "On Lebanon Tillerson warns Israel of any intervention" It sounds like Tillerson is intent on committing political hara-kiri. Unless he has the backing of the generals in Trump's inner sanctum, his days are numbered. By stating a position not fully in compliance with Netanyahoo's agenda he is challenging the power of the Israeli/jewish lobby as represented by boy wonder Kushner. Good luck with that. ..."
"... We have, in effect, another instance of official state policy (as represented by Tillerson) being undermined by someone (Kushner) with a pro-Israeli agenda. Where have we seen this picture before? ..."
"... Trump/MbS, a match made. What a duo, with Trump wishing he could be MbS. Strangely enough Tillerson seems to be the adult in the room. ..."
"... As Carl Rove would say the empire weaves new realities for you to choke upon and while you are analyzing it, the Empire is weaving a new reality to keep you wondering and awed. ..."
"... I completely agree re your description of the situation Tillerson finds himself in. "It sounds like Tillerson is intent on committing political hara-kiri", this however makes it seem like you think Tillerson is not aware of where he's at. But maybe he is? Maybe he just doesn't give a flying F? After all, there's no need for him to watch his career, and he probably has some money in the bank, too. Anyway, what's he supposed to do, fall in line with the lunatics, crooks and climbers who conduct US foreign policy these days? Maybe he just can't help but act like a decent SoS should, carefully worded statements and all. I have to say, I really like the guy. He seems smart, sober-minded. ..."
"... It turns out that Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Clinton Foundation Donor and anti-Trump Hillary Supporter... ..."
"... ... and Trump tweeting support to MBS... It would be very interesting to know how many sponsors of this faction now have their assets frozen. Trump undermining their foundations? ..."
"... @ Paveway. The other option is that Lebanon may be a minor sideshow, and that domestic politics in US and KSA is the main but largely unseen play. ..."
"... Aerial campaign is possible but it wont achieve anything positive for the attacker, regardless if its Israel, US or Saudis. And "destruction of Hezbollah" is a physical impossibility, while Nasrallah and similar high profile targets are ready for anything ..."
"... As if they sleeping and have no prepared missiles or anything :) It would take them an hour or two (max) to launch a barrage of ballistic missiles towards attacker. In case of Saudis, it would mean destruction of their oil production, ..."
"... Hezbollah would be idiots if they weren't already prepared for a sudden massive air attack by the IAF (316 attack aircraft) from just across the border, and they certainly aren't idiots. ..."
"... What many USA Americans believe: Most here at moa are well aware. that the average American idiot is under the impression that Obama-Muslim-Brotherhood was friendly with "Muslims" which conflate with "Al Qaida". And now, Trump ! The tough guy is kicking Al Qaida's ass over there (somewhere). Totally unaware of USA/CIA/UK/IS/NATO/AQ Nexus. Therefore: They believe whatever they are told. ..."
"... The more likely case is all of this is smoke as the Prince needed some distraction to draw attention away from his Game of Thrones Redux at home. ..."
Nov 10, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

The similarities with the idiotic Saudi campaign against Qatar is obvious. The Saudi made an impulsive hostile move without having thought through the second or third step. He soon found himself out of ammunition but had left no way out to solve the issue without losing face.

Clueless Joe | Nov 10, 2017 11:01:56 AM | 1

"Meanwhile the Saudi tyrant's purge of all potential internal competition continues. Some 500 people have been arrested.
One important aspect of the purge is the open robbery that is part of it. Everyone arrested is accused of "corruption". This in a country where taking a share of every state contract is seen as an inherited right of the ruling class. The Wall Street Journal reports that the people around MbS expect to steal up to $800 billion in assets from the ultra rich businessmen and princes they have now under their control. They will probably need the money to keep the country afloat."
I get it now! Salman has been reading Suetonius' Life of Caligula and has taken it as his blueprint for ruling.

B's conclusion seems to confirm this - or makes me think he shares my suspicion:
"But his country is unlikely to survive another five years of such impulsive and tyrannic behavior. Chances are that one his guards will be merciful enough to solve the problem with a single bullet."

likklemore | Nov 10, 2017 11:03:50 AM | 2
Well b, glad you went there.

You asked who will invest a penny in Saudi Arabia after such a shakedown?

Ask Theresa May who thinks weapons sales will continue and the oil reserves are there. Never mind that the IPO prospectus on KSA oil reserves mis-states.

The bidding to list the Aramco IPO has begun:

UK hands world's largest oil company Saudi Aramco $2bn loan to secure IPO
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/11/09/uk-hands-saudi-aramco-2bn-loan-listing-battle-drags/


The UK Government has offered the world's largest oil company a $2bn (£1.5bn) loan guarantee as the battle to host the Saudi oil giant's market debut drags on.
The Treasury has admitted to finalising the details of the deal which comes amid a fierce battle between the world's largest exchanges to secure what could prove to be the world's largest initial public offering.

The timing of the significant loan has raised eyebrows because Saudi Aramco, the kingdom's state-back oil giant, is yet to decide where to list 5pc of the oil behemoth in its market debut expected next year.

The float is a central piece within Saudi Arabia's plans to overhaul its economic future in the wake of the global oil crisis which could leave prices depressed indefinitely.
The listing could raise up to $100m through a joint listing on the Saudi exchange and a foreign partner, but complex rules around transparency has thrown into question which exchange will be able to offer the Saudis the best terms.

The Saudis are considering a listing on the London Stock Exchange but ministers in Japan, China and the US are also pushing for their own exchanges to be considered.[.]

You know, it always is about money. It's a Big Club and we likkle people ain't in it and never will be invited to join.

norman wisdom | Nov 10, 2017 11:06:45 AM | 3
internal purge seem too impulsive to be part of a greater plan.

mr moon ever heard of oded yinon. i believe it is a plan.

... ... ...

Sid2 | Nov 10, 2017 11:09:10 AM | 4
This is interesting: on MbS possibly miscalculating re national guard forces in SA

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/will-backlash-to-crusading-prince-begin-within-saudi-military-salman-mbs/

Don Bacon | Nov 10, 2017 11:15:57 AM | 5
The decline of the US, and its obvious reluctance to deal with it despotic "strong partner" Saudi Arabia, was obvious at State's Daily Press Briefing yesterday. (excerpts)

QUESTION: On the various situations that we have going on – the domestic situation in Saudi, the Yemen situation, and the Lebanon situation.

MS NAUERT: Understood. Let me start here. Secretary Tillerson spoke with Foreign Minister al-Jubeir yesterday. Let's see – wait, no, I'm sorry. It was Tuesday. He spoke with him on Tuesday. I'm not going to be able to provide a whole lot about that conversation for you. I know that'll be to the frustration of a lot of you in the room.

I can tell you part of the conversation included our recognition that Saudi Arabia is a strong partner of the United States. We continue to encourage the Government of Saudi Arabia to pursue prosecution of corruption in a fair and transparent manner. That's something that we stress not only with Saudis but with other governments as well. In terms of whether – how these prosecutions may be going in the future, the Government of Saudi Arabia would have to address that.
As you know, Secretary Mattis spoke with his counterpart, the President spoke with the King of Saudi Arabia a few days ago, so we're in constant communication with the government.

QUESTION: On Yemen?

MS NAUERT: In terms of Yemen, one of the issues that the Secretary has followed closely is the humanitarian situation in Yemen. We've seen tremendous food shortages in Yemen. We've talked about how this is really a man-made situation there. We've seen the cholera problem as well. The announcement that the ports were being closed down or limited in terms of some of the supplies is an area that's of concern to us, because the Yemeni people are not the ones at fault for their situation. We would like to see food aid, medical equipment, and all of that be able to be brought into the ports. That is a key area where that – the supplies and the food aid are able to get in. We would like to see that open so that people are not suffering any more.

QUESTION: Well, is it fair to say that you have made that – or that the Secretary or others have made that clear to the Saudis?

MS NAUERT: Well, I think this is something – that's a part of a series of ongoing conversations. We have often had conversations with people in the region in addition with the Saudis about our concerns about the humanitarian situation. The United States has contributed a lot of money to the humanitarian situation there, so we'd like to see that opened up so people can get their supplies.

QUESTION: I mean, it's not only the ports but also the airspace, the borders – the complete closure.

MS NAUERT: Yeah.

QUESTION: So we can understand what you said clearly --

MS NAUERT: Yeah. I don't know the percentages of what comes through in terms of the ports versus --

QUESTION: Okay. But you are calling on the Saudis to open the borders and open the ports so the Yemeni people can receive these humanitarian aid and so on?
MS NAUERT: We believe that there should be unimpeded access.
QUESTION: Yes.
MS NAUERT: Unimpeded access for commercial and humanitarian goods to get into Yemen.
QUESTION: And you'd like to see this happen immediately?
MS NAUERT: That hasn't changed. I mean, we called for that months ago, and we would call for that again today.
QUESTION: Hi there. So do you support the call by the UN yesterday to open the borders immediately for humanitarian aid?
MS NAUERT: I don't have the UN comments in front of me, so I'm not going to comment on those.
QUESTION: They called for the airspace and the ports to be opened immediately; otherwise there would be a famine greater than seen in many decades.
MS NAUERT: Look, that has been a concern of ours, that this could --
QUESTION: I'm just – do you support the call?
MS NAUERT: -- hold on – that this could develop into a famine. It's close. There is tremendous food insecurity in Yemen right now. Some have said that this could be the top humanitarian disaster in the world. I don't know that we've assessed that personally and can actually make that designation, but I have certainly heard that.
I think what you're saying, that has come out of the UN, is consistent with our overall concerns, our overall concerns about getting humanitarian aid and also medical supplies into the people of Yemen.
Okay. Anybody else on Yemen? . .. here

Shakesvshav | Nov 10, 2017 11:33:47 AM | 6
Tillerson might well be concerned: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/exclusive-senior-figures-tortured-and-beaten-saudi-purge-1489501498
Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 10, 2017 11:44:04 AM | 7
Zio-Jazeera TV are reproducing tweets which focus on the 'irony' of MbS detaining and blackmailing Lebanon's Hariri and then expressing a desire to punish Iran for 'interfering' in the affairs of other countries.

Considering the silliness of such prattle, I'm expecting the jaded tyrant to capitalise on the Free Publicity and launch his Standup Comedy Career debut at Hammersmith in a Super Special episode of Live At The Apollo with his good friend QEII (aka The Mad Hatter) if we're lucky. You can never have too much silliness - especially in the UK...

Ghostship | Nov 10, 2017 11:52:33 AM | 8
I wondered what could have persuaded Macron to jump ship on the Iran agreement . The Emirates made him an offer that he was only to willing to accept. It was wise of the Emirates to make it two now, two later 'cos he's a two-faced c**t.
PeacefulProsperity | Nov 10, 2017 12:11:19 PM | 9
I like this POV Palace Coup in Riyadh, by Thierry Meyssan
While the war against Daesh is drawing to a close in Iraq and Syria, and the war against the pseudo-Kurdistan seems to have been avoided, several States of the Greater Middle East are regaining the initiative. Profiting from the fluidity of the moment, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has brutally eliminated the members of the royal family who may be in a position to contest his Power. So not only has the regional balance of power been modified by war, but one of the region's main actors has just changed its objectives.

Although no nominative list of the suspects has been published, we know that Prince Walid Ben Talal is on it. Considered to be one of the wealthiest men in the world, he was the kingdom's secret ambassador to Israël. His company, the Kingdom Holding Company, a share-holder notably of Citygroup, Apple, Twitter and Euro-Disney, fell by 10 % at the opening of the Riyadh Stock Exchange on Sunday morning, before its credit rating was suspended.

Contrary to appearances, it seems that the victims of the purge were not chosen because of their functions or their ideas, which seems to confirm the official anti-corruption story.

On Sunday evening, a helicopter crashed near Abha. We learned that several dignitaries died in the accident, including a certain Prince Mansour.

The success of " MBS ", who has just overturned the oligarchy in order to install his autocracy, does not, however, guarantee his capacity to govern. Aged only 32, this entitled rich kid from a super-wealthy family has hardly had the time to get to know his people, and only entered politics two year ago. His first decisions were catastrophic - decapitation of the leader of the opposition and the war against Yemen.

Having neutralised all those who could have stood against him within the royal family, " MBS " has no choice but to ensure himself of popular support in order to be able to exercise Power. He has already taken various measures in favour of the young (70 % of the population) and women (51 % of the population). For example, he has opened cinemas and organised concerts – which until now had been forbidden. As from 2018, women will be allowed to drive. He will soon have to abolish the sinister religious police on one hand and the tutelage system on the other – both to satisfy women and also free men from this charge – making it possible to kick-start the economy.

Above all, " MBS " has announced that he wants to transform Islam in his country and make it a " normal " religion. He has declared that he not only wants to modernise Wahhabism, but also to cleanse the Hadîths - the golden legend of Mohammed – of their violent or contradictory passages. This is a secular project which goes against the practice of the whole of the Muslim community over the last few centuries.

This strategy prevents " MBS " from waging a war against Iran and Hezbollah, and gives the lie to the current official story – it is impossible to imagine a war against Teheran because ever since the Revolutionary Guard came to help the Houthis, Saudi Arabia has suffered defeat after defeat in Yemen. And it is also impossible to rally the Saudis to the flag while " MBS " is radically reforming society.

pantaraxia | Nov 10, 2017 12:28:03 PM | 10
"On Lebanon Tillerson warns Israel of any intervention" It sounds like Tillerson is intent on committing political hara-kiri. Unless he has the backing of the generals in Trump's inner sanctum, his days are numbered. By stating a position not fully in compliance with Netanyahoo's agenda he is challenging the power of the Israeli/jewish lobby as represented by boy wonder Kushner. Good luck with that.

We have, in effect, another instance of official state policy (as represented by Tillerson) being undermined by someone (Kushner) with a pro-Israeli agenda. Where have we seen this picture before?

The front-runners to replace Tillerson as S.O.S are rumoured to be John Bolton, a fanatical neocon, and Nikki Haley, America's version of Priti Patel (see previous post). In either case expect to see a State Department more closely aligned to Netanyahoo's agenda (if that is even possible).

PeacefulProsperity | Nov 10, 2017 12:57:47 PM | 12
How about this?

EXCLUSIVE: Saudi crown prince wants out of Yemen war, email leak reveals

Jackrabbit | Nov 10, 2017 1:17:29 PM | 13
@pantaraxia

1. You mention Tillerson vs. Kushner but fail to mention that Trump's position (as tweeted) is that MbS is doing EXACTLY the right thing.

2. If PavewayIV is right, then maybe Tillerson is providing cover for what is actually a covert op?

... ... ...

Jackrabbit | Nov 10, 2017 1:25:14 PM | 14
PeacefulProsperity 12:
How about this?
Yeah, they "want out" on their terms - which is to say after they have won and subdued the population.

IMO Their lame protesting is a response to the bad publicity that their genocidal tactics have engendered.

"But we want to get out!" is almost as transparently bullsh*t as the US position (that the famine is due to the poor logistics of the Yemenis) .

stonebird | Nov 10, 2017 1:55:42 PM | 15
b's title is correct ; .... An impulsive tyrant.

However, there has been a lot of comment about what "Saudi Arabia" will do or want. SA is a Monarchy, - the King is the "state" and the State is the King. Only. What I think he wants is absolute power, where all the decisions and all the rest of the official system (power), goes through him alone. (The cash is his as well.)
He will become "King" very soon, in which case all the country will be expected to swear allegiance to him.

The "Corruption" play could enable him to use other courts (US, UK or EU) to reclaim assets now held "off-Arabia".

The "women driving ploys..." etc. are to assure favour with the US and the other countries of the West (PR stunt). They also set the ordinary Saudi's against their Clerics. (At least in theory).

.....

I must agree with PavewayIV that this is a set-up by Israel and the US, but you have to also note that massive air "drills" are being held in southern Israel by planes from a large number of countries (NATO?). These could be used a "bait" or "sacrifices" to involve NATO or the EU on the "side" of Israel. Saudi has sent planes to Cyprus on what is nominally a UK base. (So does the US.) (ie a missile - immediately claimed by the MSM as fired by Herzbollh - downs a F-15 of a NATO country? Particularly if it overflies Lebanon)

PavewayIV | Nov 10, 2017 1:56:39 PM | 16
Jackrabbit@13 - If the fake air campaign lasted 12 hours and took out key Hezbollah leaders, supposed Hezbollah 'missile warehouses', Aoun and Assad then that's plenty long enough. Diminishing returns over time after that for striking individual Hezbollah HQ/units in Syria. There's nothing else to be accomplished.

They will be the same targets Israel would choose to strike if they could get away with it. Israel can't do this themselves though, without expecting missiles raining down on their infrastructure, military installations and possibly civilian population centers. If Hezbollah is convinced its a purely-Saudi op, then they'll be gunning for Saudi Arabia, not Israel. By time they figure out they've been duped (if they ever do), it will be too late.

These are the targets that Israel/US would certainly want to destroy first before they can invade with troops/armor to continue seizing Syrian and Lebanese land. They don't want a toe-to-toe battle on the ground with Hezbollah or Iranian-backed militias for obvious reasons. The air campaign will not totally destroy them, but it will weaken them and add enough other chaos into the mix to make the invasion far easier than it otherwise would have been.

b's scenario is still valid, but that comes after the however brief US/Israeli false-flag aerial campaign.

ben | Nov 10, 2017 2:14:04 PM | 17
Trump/MbS, a match made. What a duo, with Trump wishing he could be MbS. Strangely enough Tillerson seems to be the adult in the room.

Thanks b....

PavewayIV | Nov 10, 2017 2:20:02 PM | 18
stonebird@15 - Good point, stonebird. Plenty of opportunities for additional false flags to justify a massive, combined response.

US buzzes around the boarders in a remotely-piloted F-16 and 'lets' Hezbollah shoot it down in plain sight, with plenty of shakey cellphone videos of the aircraft's destruction. Followed immediately by a MSM campaign showing plenty of tear-jerking fake family photos of the non-existent hero. Oh yeah, his imaginary wife will be six month's pregnant. The type of aircraft or flag it's painted under really doesn't matter - maybe the UK will step in this time to be the victim.

Alternatively, a supposed Hezbollah missile or two could strike an Israeli air base, taking out several nation's aircraft participating in the exercise. Toss in a couple dozen allied casualties. Heck, make it a couple hundred - how's anyone ever going to know?

For that matter, a false-flag missile attack could target some sacrificial lambs like a Druze city. Maybe even one of those remote kibbutz that Israel uses to warehouse those 'undesirable' black Jewish immigrants that keep showing up. Good God, the MSM would have a field day with that one. If that happened, how could we NOT invade Syria and Lebanon to kill Hezbollah?

I better stop now, or the CIA will start banging on my door. Not to kill me, but to recruit me. "We read some of your work on MoA and were impressed by the sheer evil of your schemes. Ever consider working for the CIA?"

likklemore | Nov 10, 2017 2:32:34 PM | 19
I think we should re-read Pepe Escobar's analysis of the purge – mirrors b's. MbS will soon find his. You can't confiscate assets of princes and expect they'll be sending Christmas gifts. You will be kicked off santa's good boys' list. Escobar's The Inside Story --watch -- the KSA army is said to be in an uproar.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-07/pepe-escobar-inside-story-saudi-night-long-knives
[.]
Nayef – who replaced Bandar – is close to Washington and extremely popular in Langley due to his counter-terrorism activities. His arrest earlier this year angered the CIA and quite a few factions of the House of Saud – as it was interpreted as MBS forcing his hand in the power struggle.

According to the source, "he might have gotten away with the arrest of CIA favorite Mohammed bin Nayef if he smoothed it over but MBS has now crossed the Rubicon though he is no Caesar. The CIA regards him as totally worthless."

Some sort of stability could eventually be found in a return to the previous power sharing between the Sudairis (without MBS) and the Chamars (the tribe of deceased King Abdullah). After the death of King Salman, the source would see it as "MBS isolated from power, which would be entrusted to the other Prince Mohammed (the son of Nayef). And Prince Miteb would conserve his position."

MBS acted exactly to prevent this outcome. The source, though, is adamant; "There will be regime change in the near future, and the only reason that it has not happened already is because the old King is liked among his family. It is possible that there may be a struggle emanating from the military as during the days of King Farouk, and we may have a ruler arise that is not friendly to the United States."

'Moderate' Salafi-jihadis, anyone?

Before the purge, the House of Saud's incessant spin centered on a $500 billion zone straddling Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, on the Red Sea coast, a sort of Dubai replica to be theoretically completed by 2025, powered by wind and solar energy, and financed by its sovereign wealth fund and proceeds from the Aramco IPO.

In parallel, MBS pulled another rabbit from his hat swearing the future of Saudi Arabia is a matter of "simply reverting to what we followed – a moderate Islam open to the world and all religions."

In a nutshell: a state that happens to be the private property of a royal family inimical to all principles of freedom of expression and religion, as well as the ideological matrix of all forms of Salafi-jihadism simply cannot metastasize into a "moderate" state just because MBS says so.

Meanwhile, a pile-up of purges, coups and countercoups shall be the norm.

@Paveway 16

I respect your opinion. But, Russia's and China's combined interests are at stake and they will not sit this one out. Israel and its sidekick MbS will not be given a free hand. Israel will be destroyed if in the next few days or weeks the Israeli police do not move to charge and arrest Bibi.

Bibi's chief-of-staff and close confidant has turned state's witness in the two cases of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

Lochearn | Nov 10, 2017 2:39:21 PM | 20

With "drills" going on in Israel and Saudi threats, Hezbollah will be on high alert meaning leaders will be impossible to locate and all valuable weapons and material will be stored below ground. Any "missile warehouses" visible above ground will be decoys. So limited air strikes ain't gonna do it. All they can do is bomb civilians and infrastructure like the Israelis did in 2006. Then what?

Posted by: Lochearn | Nov 10, 2017 2:39:21 PM | 20 /div

stonebird | Nov 10, 2017 2:42:06 PM | 21
Paveway@18
Lovely, How about writing for Hollywood, although that seems to be NOT the place to be associated with at the moment?

.....

Has this SA and Isr/US activity all been timed to coincide with the Herzbollah, Iranians, Russian airforce and the Syrians having a large force tied up at AlBukamal? In which case we are seeing a plan - not a reaction to a situation.

ie. is a distraction from US/KSA activity in East Syria, to consolidate the areas held and forestall any advance by the Syrians on the east bank of the Euphrates?

CarlD | Nov 10, 2017 2:46:32 PM | 22
@PavewayIV

As Carl Rove would say the empire weaves new realities for you to choke upon and while you are analyzing it, the Empire is weaving a new reality to keep you wondering and awed.

Your theory is utterly realistic and possible and would be the pride of Niccolo Machiavelli himself. And I fear it is exactly the montage a fertile mind made. So supposedly, Iran and Nasrallah will not see through this and will concentrate on the Saudis? Rouhani has been appealing to MBS to discern between his handlers and his possible real friends. To them, any action against Lebanon and Syria will be construed to stem from the Israeli no matter who mans the planes.

Also, it will be difficult to conceal a multi planes intrusion over the Lebanese skies without raising automatic commensurate retaliation by the hezbollah.

The Lebanese and Iranians know that the sole instigator of all this can only be the Israeli. So plan A will be put into action certainly but the reply might be not what is expected.

Laguerre | Nov 10, 2017 2:49:41 PM | 23
Yeah, I agree. Some kind of strikeback from the rest of the family is to be expected. I doubt that MbS has been able to decapitate all the potential opposition. There are so bloody many of them. But it might affect the success of the assassination attempt. When such serious money is in question, people don't give up easily.
psychohistorian | Nov 10, 2017 2:51:11 PM | 24
It certainly reads like many believe that there is something imminent in the works as the precipitator of a more global conflict. In some ways we have been preparing for just such an event. What will be interesting to watch is what sides form....it is not about ISIS anymore......bigger prey are at stake now. As wars go, I hope this one is a wimp.....a fitting end to the social cancer of private finance. Thanks to b and all for the "good for me" online community.
stonebird | Nov 10, 2017 2:55:52 PM | 25
Me@22
That should be FSA (Kurds) not KSA troops on the East of the Euphrates. As an aside the US army is now claiming that THEY took Al Quaim in Iraq (which blocks the Syrian Iraq-Iran road route. To follow)

https://www.armytimes.com/flashpoints/2017/11/10/as-isis-caliphate-crumbles-us-builds-outposts-in-western-iraq/

Scotch Bingeington | Nov 10, 2017 2:56:31 PM | 26
pantaraxia | 10

I completely agree re your description of the situation Tillerson finds himself in. "It sounds like Tillerson is intent on committing political hara-kiri", this however makes it seem like you think Tillerson is not aware of where he's at. But maybe he is? Maybe he just doesn't give a flying F? After all, there's no need for him to watch his career, and he probably has some money in the bank, too. Anyway, what's he supposed to do, fall in line with the lunatics, crooks and climbers who conduct US foreign policy these days? Maybe he just can't help but act like a decent SoS should, carefully worded statements and all. I have to say, I really like the guy. He seems smart, sober-minded.

---

MBS and Saudi Arabia... So the whole world is basically left to wonder, trying very, very hard to read the mind of a - well, psychopath. That's what MBS is to me. His actions as far as they can be ascertained speak volumes, but there's also that mischievous glint in his eyes. He's got it on every picture I see. It's the kind of facial expression that I'd expect to see in a psychiatric ward or on shows like "Forensic Files", when they present the perpetrator who managed to completely dupe his/her surroundings. And just like I see that guy as someone with a dangerous personality disorder, Saudi Arabia as a country, to me, is the equivalent of a psychopath. Good luck trying to ever come to terms with it.

The irony of it all is: no matter how much politicians are sucking up to the Saudis, we still have to pay for the oil that we're sacrificing decency, soundness and independence for.

somebody | Nov 10, 2017 3:14:52 PM | 28
add to 4

From August - Qatar plans to destabilize Saudi

The Saudi government is mistakenly thought of as a tribal kingdom. In fact, it marginalised all tribal groups and eliminated their troublesome leadership. It incorporated the tribes in the National Guard but failed to incorporate them in government and leadership. In this part of the world, history matters.

Many tribal groups have no serious affinity to al-Saud and can easily switch allegiance as they used to do in the past. Tribal leaders, and there are many aspiring ones, are pragmatic political actors who pursue their own interests. They switch allegiance depending on their specific needs and follow the one who promises to fulfil their aspirations.

Although their rhetoric emphasises a rigid tribal code, any historian can trace their oscillating loyalties and their shrewd manoeuvres. Only an Orientalist can still hold the view that Arabian tribal allegiances follow rigid codes like fossils from the past.

They are, above all, shrewd political actors who have survived the colonial past and the onslaught of the nation states. They may express themselves in archaic poetry and celebrate camels, coffee pots and chivalry of a bygone era but they remain a dormant force that governments can mobilise should they need them.

They are now educated and willing to switch from old rhetoric about tribal solidarity and glory to new political ideas. Kuwait's famous lawmaker and activist Mussalam al-Barak, who had been in and out of prison for defying the Al-Sabah ruling family, is a stark example of the "tribal modern", who can mobilise across tribal divides. Qatar can easily find a Saudi version who will no doubt trouble Riyadh.

Did they find someone or did Saudi think they found someone so there was a preemptive coup?

Lozion | Nov 10, 2017 3:22:48 PM | 29
If Paveway IV, our resident anon-type whistleblower has figured out (leaked?) the plan, you can bet your life Hezb/IRGC has contingencies in place for such scenarios. Also, Russia has stated many times the Syrian state's sovereignty is not negociable and with both air defense assets fully integrated and unified, I just dont see how an KSA/UAE air campaign can happen while the targets sit idly, sipping maté..
NemesisCalling | Nov 10, 2017 3:28:29 PM | 30
@13 jackrabbit

Syria was a large territory with pockets of sympathetic populations to Sunni jihadism. My understanding of Lebanon is that it is held together much firmly and is a smaller geographical area. Notwithstanding a tunnel rat invasion or a cell emergence, I think Lebanon security forces and Hezbollah are ready for any kind of insurgency. A move into Lebanon would probably relieve the grip over Idleb in Syria, too. In effect, an operation over there will be suicide for Nusra and the Turkmen, even though they might be able to pinch Hezbollah between themselves and an Israeli airforce for a little while.

Debisdead is right with their analogy of a drowning victim thrashing about looking for something to grab onto.

Fitting that Putin practices Judo and that it's main tenet is using the energy of your enemy against them.

Which begs the question: is NATO and America really that stupid, or was there an agreement to let the tyrants in the MENA perish through theater?

Tobin Paz | Nov 10, 2017 3:39:38 PM | 32
Slightly off topic, but I couldn't stop laughing when I found this out (yes, I have a sick sense of humor, but I do believe that all human beings, regardless of race, gender, class, or disabilities should be treated with the utmost respect). It turns out that Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Clinton Foundation Donor and anti-Trump Hillary Supporter...

Alwaleed Tweet @realDonaldTrump: You are a disgrace not only to the GOP but to all America. Withdraw from U.S. presidential race as you will never win.

...had an entourage of little people whom he had no problems tossing:

The Stockholder in the Sand

The prince's defenders hastened to put it all into context: dwarves are outcasts in Saudi Arabia; when they come begging, Alwaleed, in his great beneficence, hires them to be a roving band of court jesters, thus instilling in them "a work ethic, and you really can't fault that." In Saudi Arabia the wealthy think it is lucky to have dwarves around, and the dwarves enjoy it, "kind of like a circus situation." When they are pressed into service as human projectiles, there are pillows to catch them. Pillows are obviously moot, however, when Alwaleed has the dwarves dive for $100 bills in bonfires, as the Business Insider story also alleged.
Jen | Nov 10, 2017 3:41:58 PM | 33
PavewayIV's scenario as delineated @ 11 could succeed on the assumption that Hezbollah does not call on Iran, Russia and China for assistance both military and non-military (as in withdrawing any investments they have in Saudi infrastructure projects).

How would Egypt also react to a Saudi invasion of Lebanon? If Saudi Arabia were to call on Egypt, Pakistan and other Sunni Muslim countries to participate as its allies and supply pilots to engage in aerial bombing of Beirut and other cities, what would these nations say?

Does the Israeli air force also have sufficient motivation to engage in air strikes against Lebanon on behalf of the KSA? Is the Israeli military "moral" enough to support Satanyahu's government?

james | Nov 10, 2017 4:25:45 PM | 34
thanks b... great piece!!! i liked these quotes -

... ... ...

john | Nov 10, 2017 4:29:16 PM | 35
PavewayIV says_

By time they figure out they've been duped (if they ever do), it will be too late. your implication is that Hezbollah's a bunch of clueless twits. not very prescient of you.

Peter AU 1 | Nov 10, 2017 4:35:29 PM | 36
From comment 32 "Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Clinton Foundation Donor and anti-Trump Hillary Supporter..."

... and Trump tweeting support to MBS... It would be very interesting to know how many sponsors of this faction now have their assets frozen. Trump undermining their foundations?

I see the Whitehouse blocked... "conflicting schedules"... Trump from having an official meeting with Putin at ASEAN.

Peter AU 1 | Nov 10, 2017 4:40:03 PM | 38
@ Paveway. The other option is that Lebanon may be a minor sideshow, and that domestic politics in US and KSA is the main but largely unseen play.
Alfred | Nov 10, 2017 5:07:14 PM | 41
Hariri is the bastard son of Abdullah. He is a Saudi royal. His mother was always treated as a princess when she went to Saudi Arabia. He is family. However, his branch of the family is now being persecuted.

As for MbS, his mother is Syrian. That is why he was so keen to become king of Syria. He won't last long. All of Israel's plans for the Middle East are being rubbished by events. I cannot wait for the real story of 9/11 to come out and the role of Israel and Bush/Cheney in it. These Saudis being rounded up know all the details and it is only a matter of time before the truth leaks out. They got double-crossed by the Isarelis and must be livid and thirsting for revenge.

I never thought I would live to see the day. :)

Ghostship | Nov 10, 2017 5:08:41 PM | 42
It should be pointed out that Cyprus is not a member of NATO and only the British have unrestricted access to Akrotiri, other countries are at the mercy of the Cyprus government. So while Saudi or Emirati planes might be allowed to land there, I very much doubt that they would be allowed to attack Lebanon or Syria from there because the British following international law probably wouldn't allow it without a UNSC resolution which Russia and/or China would veto anyway. Article 1 of the Washington Treaty which governs NATO makes it quite clear:
The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

So that would be Article 5 collective defence out the window even if a few cruise missiles hit RAF Akrotiri after Saudi or Emirati warplanes were allowed to start attacking Lebanon or Syria from there.

Saudi Arabia or the UAE even with mercenary pilots couldn't attack Lebanon or Syria without overflying Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Iraq or even Iran and I doubt that any of those countries except perhaps Israel would want to be seen as complicit in the attack by allowing Saudi or Emirati aircraft to pass through their air space. And as soon as the aircraft fly through Israeli air space, probably the most heavily defended in the Middle East any pretence of deniability by the Israelis also goes out the window.

Harry | Nov 10, 2017 5:18:57 PM | 43
@ PavewayIV | 40

Aerial campaign is possible but it wont achieve anything positive for the attacker, regardless if its Israel, US or Saudis. And "destruction of Hezbollah" is a physical impossibility, while Nasrallah and similar high profile targets are ready for anything, and no bunker busters will reach them.

If this only lasted a day or two, then Hezbollah and Iran will only have time to express outrage.

As if they sleeping and have no prepared missiles or anything :) It would take them an hour or two (max) to launch a barrage of ballistic missiles towards attacker. In case of Saudis, it would mean destruction of their oil production, with 'n' months to rebuild. Lightning retaliation - fully legal too. There wouldn't be any UNSC condemnation due to Russia's veto, and many countries would see it as "MBS got what he deserved." Temporary shortages would be covered by Russia, Iran and others.

Again, I don't see any win for the attacker in the end, regardless who it is.

somebody | Nov 10, 2017 5:22:12 PM | 44
Le Figaro: Saudi Arabia wants to replace Hariri by one of his brothers
Petra | Nov 10, 2017 5:28:42 PM | 45
One great urgency to effect the Paveway Plan is the upcoming Sochi deal, which is to be no mere tete a tete but something groundbreaking. Washington will want to make sure it literally is.

Jen, since Washington has failed in its sunni-shia false antagonising, the forthcoming season's antagonism is Arab v. Other Muslim. By that token, Egypt should be in on that side. To counteract, Moscow, Beijing have been doing sterling work on Sisi (and Haftar). Let's see how the wind blows.

somebody | Nov 10, 2017 5:35:19 PM | 46
Tillerson: US still calling Hariri Prime Minister
Ghostship | Nov 10, 2017 5:44:29 PM | 47
Hezbollah would be idiots if they weren't already prepared for a sudden massive air attack by the IAF (316 attack aircraft) from just across the border, and they certainly aren't idiots.

But could the Saudis (264 attack aircraft) and Emiratis (104 attack aircraft) manage a similarly ferocious attack when the nearest Saudi air base (Tabuk) is 340 miles away and the nearest Emirati air base (Al Dhafra) is 1,800 miles way? I doubt it. Hezbollah could probably survive anything the Saudis and Emiratis could throw at them over a couple of days and if the United States blocked any UNSC action, Russia might start shooting back because it needs the SAA and Hezbollah to complete the destruction of Al Qaeda. If it's only Saudi and Emiratis aircraft over Lebanese territory that are being shot down, will the United States act in their defence? I doubt it because Trump will be having wet dreams thinking about all the billions more dollars the United States will earn for the replacement aircraft.

fast freddy | Nov 10, 2017 5:45:07 PM | 48
What many USA Americans believe: Most here at moa are well aware. that the average American idiot is under the impression that Obama-Muslim-Brotherhood was friendly with "Muslims" which conflate with "Al Qaida". And now, Trump ! The tough guy is kicking Al Qaida's ass over there (somewhere). Totally unaware of USA/CIA/UK/IS/NATO/AQ Nexus. Therefore: They believe whatever they are told.

(And further, they love police brutality as long as it is not themselves or a loved one on the receiving end of it).

norman wisdom | Nov 10, 2017 5:48:53 PM | 50

... ... ...

Virgile | Nov 10, 2017 7:04:23 PM | 52
Erdogan accuses MBS ( "the person") of claiming ownership of Islam. "Recently the concept of 'moderate Islam' has received attention. But the patent of this concept originated in the West," Erdoğan said. "Perhaps the person voicing this concept thinks it belongs to him. No, it does not belong to you," he added, noting that he was "asked about 'moderate Islam' at meetings in the European Parliament many years ago.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-criticizes-saudi-crown-princes-moderate-islam-pledge-122262

france

@PavewayIV | Nov 10, 2017 5:47:26 PM | 49

You are assuming SA/Israel can attack Lebanon and Syria without anyone stopping them and will be able to do so without consequences. I disagree. Russia's defense systems will block them from entering Syria. And there is no way Russia/Iran will allow Lebanon to suffer given Hezbollah's value to them both. The moment SA jets were in the air they would be told to turn back or be shot down. As for Israel, its goal is to seize control of Lebanese land/water, they can't accomplish that unless they enter on foot in which case they will be chased out faster than you can say, Bob's your uncle.

The more likely case is all of this is smoke as the Prince needed some distraction to draw attention away from his Game of Thrones Redux at home.

PavewayIV | Nov 10, 2017 9:12:25 PM | 54
frances@53 - You might be right. Part of my reckoning is that Russia will NOT get involved, regardless how valuable Hezbollah has been in the fight against ISIS. Russia keeps saying it is in the fight to destroy the head-choppers and Syria must defend itself against anyone else. It never lifted a finger against the Israeli attacks that they were watching unfold on their very capable surveillance radars. I don't recall Russia even acknowledging most of the Israeli air strikes.

Russia will not be happy about a Saudi air attack because it's destabilizing, but they have no intention of starting WWIII over Hezbollah, Lebanon or Syria. Same with an Iranian response - but I have far less conviction about that one. The US is really pissing them off lately. This might be the provocation that broke the camel's back. Saudi Arabia and GCC military installations near the Persian Gulf could be smoked pretty easily. Of course, the Pentagon chickenhawks would explode with glee - casus belli to start destroying Iran.

Virgile | Nov 10, 2017 9:29:43 PM | 55
The enigmatic Mohamed Bin Salman by Ghassan Kadi

Love him or hate him, Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman (MBS) is like no other prince that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has seen since its inception under the rule of his founding grandfather King Abdul Aziz in 1932 and the establishment of the Al-Saud dynasty that changed Arabia; including its name. Some argue that even the worst of humans can do a bit of good. The question is this; is MBS capable of doing any?

Krollchem | Nov 10, 2017 10:37:32 PM | 57
Long analysis of Hezbollah capabilities at: https://southfront.org/hezbollah-capabilities-and-role-in-the-middle-east/

[Nov 10, 2017] Saudi Arabia's Desperate Gamble

More wars... more victims... More destruction...
Nov 10, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Abe , November 10, 2017 at 10:03 pm

Israel's next desperate gamble is direct military attack on Lebanon and Syria.

On 5 November, the ever more delusional Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu complained to the BBC about an "Iranian takeover" of Lebanon.

On 9 November, the equally delusional Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz complained to the Associated Press that "Lebanon is Hezbollah and Hezbollah is Iran".

Israel is by no means content to merely "contemplate" a war.

With the rollback of ISIS and Al Qaeda terrorist proxy forces in Syria, and the failure of Kurdish separatist efforts in Iraq, Israel plans to launch military attacks against southern Lebanon and Syria.

War against Lebanon and Syria is the next stage of the Israeli-Saudi-US Axis "project".

Saudi Arabia and the United States are very much available to "assist" the upcoming Israeli military adventure.

South Front has presented a cogent and fairly detailed analysis of Israel's upcoming war in southern Lebanon.

Conspicuously absent from the South Front analysis is any discussion of the Israeli planned assault on Syria, or possible responses to the conflict from the United States or Russia.

Israeli propaganda preparations for attack are already in high gear. Unfortunately, sober heads are in perilously short supply in Israel and the U.S., so the prognosis can hardly be optimistic.

"Scenarios for the Third Lebanon War

Over time, IDF's military effectiveness had declined. [ ] In the Second Lebanon War of 2006 due to the overwhelming numerical superiority in men and equipment the IDF managed to occupy key strong points but failed to inflict a decisive defeat on Hezbollah. The frequency of attacks in Israeli territory was not reduced; the units of the IDF became bogged down in the fighting in the settlements and suffered significant losses. There now exists considerable political pressure to reassert IDF's lost military dominance and, despite the complexity and unpredictability of the situation we may assume the future conflict will feature only two sides, IDF and Hezbollah. Based on the bellicose statements of the leadership of the Jewish state, the fighting will be initiated by Israel.

"The operation will begin with a massive evacuation of residents from the settlements in the north and centre of Israel. Since Hezbollah has agents within the IDF, it will not be possible to keep secret the concentration of troops on the border and a mass evacuation of civilians. Hezbollah units will will be ordered to occupy a prepared defensive position and simultaneously open fire on places were IDF units are concentrated. The civilian population of southern Lebanon will most likely be evacuated. IDF will launch massive bombing causing great damage to the social infrastructure and some damage to Hezbollah's military infrastructure, but without destroying the carefully protected and camouflaged rocket launchers and launch sites.

"Hezbollah control and communications systems have elements of redundancy. Consequently, regardless of the use of specialized precision-guided munitions, the command posts and electronic warfare systems will not be paralysed, maintaining communications including through the use of fibre-optic communications means. IDF discovered that the movement has such equipment during the 2006 war. Smaller units will operate independently, working with open communication channels, using the pre-defined call signs and codes.

"Israeli troops will then cross the border of Lebanon, despite the presence of the UN peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon, beginning a ground operation with the involvement of a greater number of units than in the 2006 war. The IDF troops will occupy commanding heights and begin to prepare for assaults on settlements and actions in the tunnels. The Israelis do not score a quick victory as they suffer heavy losses in built-up areas. The need to secure occupied territory with patrols and checkpoints will cause further losses.

"The fact that Israel itself started the war and caused damage to the civilian infrastructure, allows the leadership of the movement to use its missile arsenal on Israeli cities. While Israel's missile defence systems can successfully intercept the launched missiles, there are not enough of them to blunt the bombardment. The civilian evacuation paralyzes life in the country. As soon IDF's Iron Dome and other medium-range systems are spent on short-range Hezbollah rockets, the bombardment of Israel with long-range missiles may commence. Hezbollah's Iranian solid-fuel rockets do not require much time to prepare for launch and may target the entire territory of Israel, causing further losses.

"It is difficult to assess the duration of actions of this war. One thing that seems certain is that Israel shouldn't count on its rapid conclusion, similar to last September's exercises. Hezbollah units are stronger and more capable than during the 2006 war, despite the fact that they are fighting in Syria and suffered losses there.

"Conclusions

"The combination of large-scale exercises and bellicose rhetoric is intended to muster Israeli public support for the aggression against Hezbollah by convincing the public the victory would be swift and bloodless. Instead of restraint based on a sober assessment of relative capabilities, Israeli leaders appear to be in a state of blood lust. In contrast, the Hezbollah has thus far demonstrated restraint and diplomacy.

"Underestimating the adversary is always the first step towards a defeat. Such mistakes are paid for with soldiers' blood and commanders' careers. The latest IDF exercises suggest Israeli leaders underestimate the opponent and, more importantly, consider them to be quite dumb. In reality, Hezbollah units will not cross the border. There is no need to provoke the already too nervous neighbor and to suffer losses solely to plant a flag and photograph it for their leader. For Hezbollah, it is easier and safer when the Israeli soldiers come to them. According to the IDF soldiers who served in Gaza and southern Lebanon, it is easier to operate on the plains of Gaza than the mountainous terrain of southern Lebanon. This is a problem for armoured vehicles fighting for control of heights, tunnels, and settlements, where they are exposed to anti-armor weapons.

"While the Israeli establishment is in a state of patriotic frenzy, it would be a good time for them to turn to the wisdom of their ancestors. After all, as the old Jewish proverb says: 'War is a big swamp, easy to go into but hard to get out'."

Israeli Defense Forces: Military Capabilities, Scenarios for the Third Lebanon War
https://southfront.org/israeli-defense-forces-military-capabilities-scenarios-for-the-third-lebanon-war/

Sally Snyder , November 10, 2017 at 10:05 pm

Here are some cables that Wikileaks released showing us how the Saudi royal family tries to control the world's media:

http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2016/01/how-saudi-arabia-controls-its-own-media.html

The Saudi Royal Family has bottomless pockets when it comes to controlling negative press coverage.

Zachary Smith , November 10, 2017 at 10:28 pm

And in the shadows, at the back of the gaming room, stands Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. The idea of going to the casino was his, in the first place. If the hero lands on black, he will share in the joy, but if it is red never mind: Bibi's home is not forfeit.

At first glance it looks to me as if Netanyahu wins any coin flip, whether it is "heads" or "tails". No matter what happens, Saudi Arabia is going to be severely shaken up, and chaos in surrounding Muslim nations is almost always a "plus" for Israel.

But at second glance I imagine I can also see a downside. The Arabian Peninsula has a hefty population, and if the Kingdom here does shatter, there is a possibility that an Arabic Napoleon could emerge. During the time of Muhammad there was an outward-moving crusade, and might it not happen again? Saudi Arabia may not have much of an army at the moment, but that could change quickly. A glance at a world globe shows Israel to be very close by. This sort of thing would cause me to lose sleep if I were an Israeli strategist.

At the moment the KSA is being taken over by a young numbskull, if all the accounts I've read are even remotely true. Perhaps Israel is providing the brains. The Moon of Alabama blogger has a low opinion of the young man.

Saudi Arabia – This "Liberal Reformer" Is An Impulsive Tyrant

h**p://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/11/saudi-arabia-the-liberal-reformer-reveals-himself-as-an-impulsive-tyrant-.html

David G , November 10, 2017 at 10:59 pm

The singular fact that the planned next royal succession from Salman to MbS will be the first from father to son since the death of Abdulaziz seems to me to add a whole other level of uncertainty to what is already a difficult time for the kingdom.

[Nov 10, 2017] We don't use private lawyers to cooperate with US -- Russian Prosecutor General's Office to RT

Nov 10, 2017 | www.rt.com

The Russian Prosecutor General's Office has explained to RT how an "efficient mechanism" of information sharing with the US works.

No private lawyers are involved in the process, the agency official said, denying allegations that it has played a part in any meeting between Donald Trump Jr. with lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

[Nov 10, 2017] Steve Keen How I Sold Out To The Putin-Soros-Murdoch Conspiracy To Destroy Western Civilization Zero Hedge

Nov 10, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Nov 9, 2017 6:36 PM 0 SHARES Authored by Steve Keen via RT.com,

I was delighted to find myself in the Top Ten (alright; top 15) of the European Values list of 2,326 "Useful Idiots" appearing regularly on RT shows, and thus legitimizing Vladimir Putin's attempt to destroy Western civilization as we know it.

Why delighted? Because it completes the set of conspiracies to which I can now be accused of belonging. They include:

[Nov 09, 2017] Are Journalists An Enemy Of The American People Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... If the author/site does not have a comment section then they are automatically discredited in my view. ..."
"... I've noticed again and again in many of the mainstream organs that do have fairly busy comments sections (certainly here in the United Kraken), the ability to comment is mysteriously absent for articles where they lay down the party line. It Shall Not Be Disputed, Serfs! Very telling. ..."
"... Every mainstream media outlet is too worried about offending someone. If you want "democracy" and that seems to be that which everyone thinks they want, then there will be a lot of offending going on. The UK does allow some comments but try laying a comment on MSNBC, CNN or Fox: Nor shall you comment on major newspapers sites or even many minor newspaper sites. ..."
Nov 09, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

As usual, it depends who you ask...

You will find more statistics at Statista

Statista's Niall McCarthy notes that according to the Cato 2017 Free Speech and Tolerance Survey , 63 percent of Republicans agree with President Trump that journalists today "are an enemy of the American people".

During his presidency, Trump has taken to Twitter to call the national media "fake news" and in mid-February, he tweeted "The FAKE NEWS media is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people. SICK!"

Generally, 35 percent of Americans agree with Trump's view while nearly two-thirds disagree.

Unsurprisingly, the share of Democrats considering the media an enemy of the people is very low at just 11 percent.

Among Independents, it rises to 38 percent.

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Mena Arkansas , Nov 8, 2017 11:09 PM

There are no "journalists" in the MSM. Just stenographers and propagandists.

loebster -> Mena Arkansas , Nov 8, 2017 11:17 PM

And they ONLY WORK for the REAL ENEMIES of the American People.

Those who OWN the media. http://bit.ly/1W8Hl3Z

TBT or not TBT -> loebster , Nov 8, 2017 11:31 PM

For most definitions of the word "journalist", Yes they're transnational socialist Enemies Of Republic.

wee-weed up -> TBT or not TBT , Nov 8, 2017 11:34 PM

Goebbels is MIGHTY proud of today's Lib MSM! They validate & extol his existence.

MillionDollarButter -> wee-weed up , Nov 9, 2017 1:14 AM

SOOO, after losing control of the narrative, they immediately started down the route of propornot.com attacks on truly independent media. They cannot tolerate real journalism. Media consolidation is the true enemy, yet this was not, and never will be addressed by the controlled "journalism freedom" orgs like the (((Committee to Protect Journalists))): https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Acpj.org+%22media+consolidation%22

This is why shams like "Samantha Bee's 'White House' Dinner" chose to benefit CPJ.

auricle -> Mena Arkansas , Nov 8, 2017 11:18 PM

The are actors who put on a performance. It's why the shill for hollywood, because they are hollywood.

CaptainObvious -> auricle , Nov 8, 2017 11:29 PM

+100 They even read their lines from a script on the teleprompter or get the lines fed to them from the producer speaking into their earpieces. What passes for news these days is nothing more than carefully scripted bullshit from da gubmint and press releases from the megacorps. They don't even bother to alter the wording of the press releases.

Paul Kersey -> Mena Arkansas , Nov 8, 2017 11:22 PM

The Goldmanite wealth extractors, and any elected official that puts them in charge of America's financial decisions, are the biggest enemies of the people. Gary Cohn and Steve Mnuchin are the modern financial criminal versions of Meyer Lansky and Jake Guzik. Follow the money.

WileyCoyote , Nov 8, 2017 11:14 PM

The days of 'real' journalism have long since passed. I always had that suspicion - however it was amplified and confirmed during the prez election and since Trump has been in office. The way they treated Obama (fawning over everything he did) versus the way they treat Trump is unbearable. I simply boycott them now.

Jethro -> WileyCoyote , Nov 8, 2017 11:29 PM

The contrast couldn't be greater. The press corps made a show of falling all over themselves to suck off Obama. They showed how dignified they were, why should I believe anything a sychophant says?

Badsamm -> WileyCoyote , Nov 9, 2017 12:35 AM

I only go to MSM to point and laugh

THORAX , Nov 8, 2017 11:22 PM

Real journalists are an important check on those who want to control and screw the people. FAKE NEWS JOURNALISTS WANT TO CONTROL AND SCREW THE PEOPLE!

Pernicious Gold... , Nov 8, 2017 11:26 PM

I've known this since Nixon. I was too young to pay attention before that but I'm sure journalists have been enemies of the people for a long, long time.

pizdowitz , Nov 8, 2017 11:39 PM

Let's go over that one more time: Reporters re-port (facts), journalists con-tort (opinions).

MSM employs neither. MSM employs only useful idiots, and talking-heads. Genotypically, cockroaches.

The last reporter died in 1991. His name was Harry Truman Reasoner. God bless his soul.

Citizen G , Nov 8, 2017 11:51 PM

Any so called journalist or media outlet that affixes itself to a particular party or ideology is an agent of propaganda, period. Completely defeating the intent and purpose of a free press. Sad!

hyeoncsyu , Nov 9, 2017 12:25 AM

of course they are, most are nothing more than propaganda artists.

Manipuflation , Nov 9, 2017 1:05 AM

Hmm. I don't think all are enemies. We would need to define which journalists and publications are in question. As I cruise around the web I have noticed something that really bothers me that is quantifiable regarding news sources. If the author/site does not have a comment section then they are automatically discredited in my view.

medium giraffe -> Manipuflation , Nov 9, 2017 1:28 AM

I've noticed again and again in many of the mainstream organs that do have fairly busy comments sections (certainly here in the United Kraken), the ability to comment is mysteriously absent for articles where they lay down the party line. It Shall Not Be Disputed, Serfs! Very telling.

Manipuflation -> medium giraffe , Nov 9, 2017 1:50 AM

Every mainstream media outlet is too worried about offending someone. If you want "democracy" and that seems to be that which everyone thinks they want, then there will be a lot of offending going on. The UK does allow some comments but try laying a comment on MSNBC, CNN or Fox: Nor shall you comment on major newspapers sites or even many minor newspaper sites.

Indeed sir.

cheech_wizard , Nov 9, 2017 1:36 AM

So this proves Democrats can't think for themselves?

I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.

[Nov 08, 2017] The Plot to Scapegoat Russia How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Putin by Dan Kovalik

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Kovalik's historical excursion takes in the Soviet Union. Clearly, many of the U. S. military interventions described in this valuable book wouldn't have occurred if the Soviet Union still existed. Beyond that, Kovalik says, "the Soviet Union, did wield sizable political and ideological influence in the world for some time, due to the appeal of its socialist message as well as its critical role in winning [World War] II." ..."
"... Ultimately, Kovalik sides with Martin Luther King, who remarked that, 'The US is on the wrong side of the world-wide revolution' – and with Daniel Ellsberg's clarification: 'The US is not on the wrong side; it is the wrong side.'" ..."
Jun 09, 2017 | www.amazon.com

Review " A powerful contradiction to the present US narrative of the world . . . As shown here, fake news is thriving in Washington, DC."-- Oliver Stone , Academy Award winning director and screenwriter

" The Plot to Scapegoat Russia is a beautifully written, uncommonly coherent, and very compelling treatise on the issues facing America today... a troubling indictment of where we've been and where we're headed. Moreover, this book is profoundly important , and a timely retrospective review of American foreign policy misadventures since the advent of the Cold War." -- Phillip F. Nelson , author of LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination and LBJ: From Mastermind to "The Colossus"

" The Plot to Scapegoat Russia underscores how the CIA's infiltration and shaping of the media, which began in the 1950s, successfully continues today. A very worthwhile account for anyone who wants to understand how 'reality' is manufactured, while 'real truth' is murdered and buried." -- Peter Janney , author of Mary's Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision for World Peace

"At a time when the U.S. military budget is again soaring to enrich the oligarchs, this timely and thought-provoking book turns Orwellian 'double-think' on its head in a cogent analysis of what's really behind all the saber-rattling against Russia. In a scholarly but also deeply personal and fluidly written work , Dan Kovalik pulls no punches in dissecting the history of how America has justified its own imperialistic aims through the Cold War era and right up to the current anti-Putin hysteria." -- Dick Russell , New York Times bestselling author of Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The Men Who Are Destroying Life on Earth and What It Means to Our Children

" The Plot to Scapegoat Russia confronts the timeliest of subjects, the effort to resuscitate the Cold War by blaming Russian president Vladimir Putin for interfering in the 2016 presidential campaign on behalf of Donald Trump, an effort pursued by CIA and the Democratic Party working in tandem. Kovalik establishes... that not a scintilla of evidence has emerged to grant credibility to this self-serving fantasy... [and he] deftly eviscerates the mainstream press . Reading [this book] will be salutary, illuminating and more than instructive ." -- Joan Mellen , author of Faustian Bargains: Lyndon Johnson and Mac Wallace in the Robber Baron Culture of Texas

William T. Whitney Jr on May 28, 2017

Review of "The Plot to Scapegoat Russia"

Beating up on Russia; history tells why
By William T. Whitney Jr. .

Lawyer and human rights activist Dan Kovalik has written a valuable book. He looked at a recent U. S. political development in terms of history and then skewered it. His new book, "The Plot to Scapegoat Russia," looks at mounting assaults against Russia that increased during the Obama administration and that spokespersons for the Democratic Party, among others, are promoting.

The CIA, he claims, without going into specifics, is engaged in anti-Russian activities. For Kovalik, "the CIA is a nefarious, criminal organization which often misleads the American public and government into wars and misadventures."

Kovalik devotes much of his book to what he regards as precedents for the current dark turn in U.S. – Russian relations. Toward that end, he surveys the history of U.S. foreign interventions since World War II. He confirms that the United States government is indeed habituated to aggressive adventurism abroad. That's something many readers already know, but Kovalik contributes significantly by establishing that U.S. hostility against Russia ranks as a chapter in that long story.

But what's the motivation for military assaults and destabilizing projects? And, generally, why all the wars? The author's historical survey provides answers. He finds that the scenarios he describes are connected. Treating them as a whole, he gives them weight and thus provides an intellectual weapon for the anti-imperialist cause. Kovalik, putting history to work, moves from the issue of U.S.-Russian antagonism to the more over-arching problem of threats to human survival. That's his major contribution.

His highly-recommended book offers facts and analyses so encompassing as to belie its small size. The writing is clear, evocative, and eminently readable; his narrative is that of a story – teller. Along the way, as a side benefit, Kovalik recalls the causes and outrage that fired up activists who were his contemporaries.

He testifies to a new Cold War. Doing so, he argues that the anti-communist rational for the earlier Cold War was a cover for something else, a pretext. In his words: "the Cold War, at least from the vantage point of the US, had little to do with fighting 'Communism,' and more to do with making the world safe for corporate plunder." Once more Russia is an enemy of the United States, but now it's a capitalist country.

That's mysterious; explanation is in order. Readers, however, may be hungry to know about the "plot" advertised in the book's title. We recommend patience. History and its recurring patterns come first for this author. They enable him to account for U. S. – Russian relations that are contradictory and, most importantly, for the U.S. propensity for war-making. After that he tells about a plot.

Kovalik describes how, very early, reports of CIA machinations from former agents of the spy organization expanded his political awareness, as did a trip to Nicaragua. There he gained first-hand knowledge of CIA atrocities, of deaths and destruction at the hands of the Contras, anti- Sandinista paramilitaries backed by the CIA. His book goes on fully and dramatically to describe murders and chaos orchestrated by the United States and/or the CIA in El Salvador, Colombia, and in the South America of Operation Condor. Kovalic discusses the U.S. war in Vietnam, occupation and war in Korea, nuclear bombs dropped on Japan, nuclear testing and dying in the Marshall Islands, and the CIA's recruitment of the anti-Soviet Mujahedeen in Afghan¬istan. He recounts U. S. - instigated coups in Iran, 1953; Guatemala, 1954; and Chile, 1973.

These projects were about keeping "the world safe from the threat of Soviet totalitarianism" – in other words, anti-communism. But then the USSR disappeared, and the search was on for a new pretext. The Clinton administration evoked "humanitarian intervention," and continued the intrusions: in Ruanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo (on behalf of "US mining interests"), Yugoslavia, and Libya.

In Kovalik's telling, the U. S. government eventually settled upon the notion of "American exceptionalism," that is to say, "the belief that the US is a uniquely benign actor in the world, spreading peace and democracy." Thus armed, the U. S. military exported terror to Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen (via its Saudi Arabian proxy), and Honduras, through a U. S. facilitated military coup. The book catalogues other episodes, other places. Along the way on his excursion, Kovalik contrasts U. S. pretensions and brutal deeds with the relatively benign nature of alleged Russian outrages.

Good relations with Russia, he says, would be "simply bad for business, in particular the business of war which so profoundly undergirds the US economy As of 2015, the US had at least 800 military bases in over 70 nations, while Britain, France and Russia had only 30 military bases combined." And, "under Obama alone, the US had Special Forces deployed in about 138 countries." Further, "The US's outsized military exists not only to ensure the US's quite unjust share of the world's riches, but also to ensure that those riches are not shared with the poor huddled masses in this country."

Kovalik highlights the disaster that overwhelmed Russia as a fledgling capitalist nation: life expectancy plummeted, the poverty rate was 75 percent, and investments fell by 80 percent. National pride was in the cellar, the more so after the United States backed away from Secretary of State Baker's 1991 promise that NATO would never move east, after the United States attacked Russia's ally Serbia, and after the United States, rejecting Russian priorities, attacked Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011.

The author rebuts U. S. claims that Russian democracy has failed and that Putin over-reached in Ukraine. He praises Putin's attempts to cooperate with the United States in Syria. The United States has abused peoples the world over, he insists, and suffers from a "severe democracy deficit."

By the time he is discussing current U. S. – Russian relations, readers have been primed never to expect U.S. imperialism to give Russia a break. The author's instructional course has taken effect, or should have done so. If readers aren't aware of what the U. S. government has been up to, the author is not to blame.

Kovalik condemns the Obama administration and particularly Secretary of State Hilary Clinton for intensifying the U. S. campaign against Russia. He extends his criticism to the Democratic Party and the media. The theme of anti – Russian scheming by the CIA comes up briefly in the book in connection with hacking attributed to Russia and with WikiLeaks revelations about the Democratic Party. Nothing is said about possible interaction between personnel of the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

Kovalik's historical excursion takes in the Soviet Union. Clearly, many of the U. S. military interventions described in this valuable book wouldn't have occurred if the Soviet Union still existed. Beyond that, Kovalik says, "the Soviet Union, did wield sizable political and ideological influence in the world for some time, due to the appeal of its socialist message as well as its critical role in winning [World War] II."

Kovalik acknowledges "periods of great repression." He adds, however, that "the Russian Revolution and the USSR delivered on many of their promises, and against great odds. . In any case, the goals of the Russian Revolution-equality, worker control of the economy, universal health care and social security- were laudable ones." And, "One of the reasons that the West continues to dance on the grave of the Soviet Union, and to emphasize the worst parts of that society and downplay its achievements, is to make sure that, as the world-wide economy worsens, and as the suffering of work¬ing people around the world deepens, they don't get any notions in their head to organize some new socialist revolution with such ideals."

Ultimately, Kovalik sides with Martin Luther King, who remarked that, 'The US is on the wrong side of the world-wide revolution' – and with Daniel Ellsberg's clarification: 'The US is not on the wrong side; it is the wrong side.'"

Drew Hunkins on May 30, 2017

Dissects the dangerous nonsense

The most important non-fiction work thus far of 2017 is upon us. Finally the book has arrived that cuts through all the hype, deceit, misinformation and disconcerting groupthink.

Kovalik structures TPTSR by starting at the most logical place -- the history of unilateral Washington aggression across the globe, from the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran through the Washington intell agencies' orchestrated coups and proxy wars in Latin America.

This exposition of historical Washington empire building provides a solid foundation when he ultimately addresses why the predatory military-industrial-media-complex is incessantly fomenting this dangerous contemporary Russophobic campaign. The book nails it by presenting in a crystal clear manner the two exact reasons why the demonization of Moscow never seems to subside: 1.) The corporate and Washington military empire builders are deeply threatened by the potential loss of certain markets and a sovereign Russia that desires a say over the diplomatic and military maneuvers on its borders, especially its Western region. 2.) Most importantly, the MIC/national-security state absolutely MUST HAVE a villain (real or imagined, it doesn't matter) in order to justify the trillion dollar budget and careerism that seeps into every pore of the U.S. politico-economic system. This Pentagon system of pseudo economic Keynesianism could potentially lead to nuclear war. The giant house of cards could doom us all.

D. Gordon on June 1, 2017

This book is an amazing contribution. A veritable primer on U

This book is an amazing contribution. A veritable primer on U.S. foreign policy, this book is part memoir, part history, and part analysis of current events. Kovalik makes a compelling case that U.S. policies--not Russia--are the biggest danger to world peace and human rights. The book traces Kovalik's own awakening and transformation from his conservative religious-minded youth to one of our most trenchant critics of U.S. foreign policy writing today. And he does it in his own inimitable, witty, readable, and humane style.

[Nov 08, 2017] Can Putin Survive by George Friedman

It is interesting to access George Friedman after two and half years since it was made. Looks like he is a bad forcaster.
The Us plot to move Ukraine to the "Baltic states model" was the major geopolitical victory of the Obama administration. and the EU has similar goals, so we can talk about joint invasion into traditional Russian geopolitical space by the USA and EU.
Notable quotes:
"... This week, we revisit a Geopolitical Weekly first published in July 2014 that explored whether Russian President Vladimir Putin could hold on to power despite his miscalculations in Ukraine, a topic that returned to prominence with his recent temporary absence from public view . While Putin has since reappeared, the issues highlighted by his disappearing act persist. ..."
"... Ukraine is, of course, the place to start. The country is vital to Russia as a buffer against the West and as a route for delivering energy to Europe, which is the foundation of the Russian economy. ..."
"... Part of the reason Putin had replaced Boris Yeltsin in 2000 was Yeltsin's performance during the Kosovo war. Russia was allied with the Serbs and had not wanted NATO to launch a war against Serbia. Russian wishes were disregarded. The Russian views simply didn't matter to the West. Still, when the air war failed to force Belgrade's capitulation, the Russians negotiated a settlement that allowed U.S. and other NATO troops to enter and administer Kosovo. As part of that settlement, Russian troops were promised a significant part in peacekeeping in Kosovo. But the Russians were never allowed to take up that role, and Yeltsin proved unable to respond to the insult. ..."
"... Putin also replaced Yeltsin because of the disastrous state of the Russian economy. Though Russia had always been poor, there was a pervasive sense that it been a force to be reckoned with in international affairs. Under Yeltsin, however, Russia had become even poorer and was now held in contempt in international affairs. Putin had to deal with both issues. ..."
"... The breaking point came in Ukraine during the Orange Revolution of 2004. Yanukovich was elected president that year under dubious circumstances, but demonstrators forced him to submit to a second election. He lost, and a pro-Western government took office. At that time, Putin accused the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies of having organized the demonstrations. Fairly publicly, this was the point when Putin became convinced that the West intended to destroy the Russian Federation, sending it the way of the Soviet Union. ..."
"... The Ukrainian crisis has made things worse. Capital flight from Russia in the first six months stood at $76 billion, compared to $63 billion for all of 2013. Foreign direct investment fell 50 percent in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. And all this happened in spite of oil prices remaining higher than $100 per barrel. ..."
"... The Politburo model is designed for a leader to build coalitions among factions. Putin has been very good at doing that, but then he has been very successful at all the things he has done until now. His ability to hold things together declines as trust in his abilities declines and various factions concerned about the consequences of remaining closely tied to a failing leader start to maneuver. Like Khrushchev, who was failing in economic and foreign policy, Putin could have his colleagues remove him. ..."
"... Ultimately, politicians who miscalculate and mismanage tend not to survive. Putin miscalculated in Ukraine, failing to anticipate the fall of an ally, failing to respond effectively and then stumbling badly in trying to recoup. His management of the economy has not been exemplary of late either, to say the least. He has colleagues who believe they could do a better job, and now there are important people in Europe who would be glad to see him go. He must reverse this tide rapidly, or he may be replaced. ..."
Mar 24, 2015 | Stratfor
Editor's Note: This week, we revisit a Geopolitical Weekly first published in July 2014 that explored whether Russian President Vladimir Putin could hold on to power despite his miscalculations in Ukraine, a topic that returned to prominence with his recent temporary absence from public view. While Putin has since reappeared, the issues highlighted by his disappearing act persist.

There is a general view that Vladimir Putin governs the Russian Federation as a dictator, that he has defeated and intimidated his opponents and that he has marshaled a powerful threat to surrounding countries. This is a reasonable view, but perhaps it should be re-evaluated in the context of recent events.

Ukraine and the Bid to Reverse Russia's Decline

Ukraine is, of course, the place to start. The country is vital to Russia as a buffer against the West and as a route for delivering energy to Europe, which is the foundation of the Russian economy. On Jan. 1, Ukraine's president was Viktor Yanukovich, generally regarded as favorably inclined to Russia. Given the complexity of Ukrainian society and politics, it would be unreasonable to say Ukraine under him was merely a Russian puppet. But it is fair to say that under Yanukovich and his supporters, fundamental Russian interests in Ukraine were secure.

This was extremely important to Putin. Part of the reason Putin had replaced Boris Yeltsin in 2000 was Yeltsin's performance during the Kosovo war. Russia was allied with the Serbs and had not wanted NATO to launch a war against Serbia. Russian wishes were disregarded. The Russian views simply didn't matter to the West. Still, when the air war failed to force Belgrade's capitulation, the Russians negotiated a settlement that allowed U.S. and other NATO troops to enter and administer Kosovo. As part of that settlement, Russian troops were promised a significant part in peacekeeping in Kosovo. But the Russians were never allowed to take up that role, and Yeltsin proved unable to respond to the insult.

Putin also replaced Yeltsin because of the disastrous state of the Russian economy. Though Russia had always been poor, there was a pervasive sense that it been a force to be reckoned with in international affairs. Under Yeltsin, however, Russia had become even poorer and was now held in contempt in international affairs. Putin had to deal with both issues. He took a long time before moving to recreate Russian power, though he said early on that the fall of the Soviet Union had been the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century. This did not mean he wanted to resurrect the Soviet Union in its failed form, but rather that he wanted Russian power to be taken seriously again, and he wanted to protect and enhance Russian national interests.

The breaking point came in Ukraine during the Orange Revolution of 2004. Yanukovich was elected president that year under dubious circumstances, but demonstrators forced him to submit to a second election. He lost, and a pro-Western government took office. At that time, Putin accused the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies of having organized the demonstrations. Fairly publicly, this was the point when Putin became convinced that the West intended to destroy the Russian Federation, sending it the way of the Soviet Union. For him, Ukraine's importance to Russia was self-evident. He therefore believed that the CIA organized the demonstration to put Russia in a dangerous position, and that the only reason for this was the overarching desire to cripple or destroy Russia. Following the Kosovo affair, Putin publicly moved from suspicion to hostility to the West.

The Russians worked from 2004 to 2010 to undo the Orange Revolution. They worked to rebuild the Russian military, focus their intelligence apparatus and use whatever economic influence they had to reshape their relationship with Ukraine. If they couldn't control Ukraine, they did not want it to be controlled by the United States and Europe. This was, of course, not their only international interest, but it was the pivotal one.

Russia's invasion of Georgia had more to do with Ukraine than it had to do with the Caucasus. At the time, the United States was still bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan. While Washington had no formal obligation to Georgia, there were close ties and implicit guarantees. The invasion of Georgia was designed to do two things. The first was to show the region that the Russian military, which had been in shambles in 2000, was able to act decisively in 2008. The second was to demonstrate to the region, and particularly to Kiev, that American guarantees, explicit or implicit, had no value. In 2010, Yanukovich was elected president of Ukraine, reversing the Orange Revolution and limiting Western influence in the country.

Recognizing the rift that was developing with Russia and the general trend against the United States in the region, the Obama administration tried to recreate older models of relationships when Hillary Clinton presented Putin with a "reset" button in 2009. But Washington wanted to restore the relationship in place during what Putin regarded as the "bad old days." He naturally had no interest in such a reset. Instead, he saw the United States as having adopted a defensive posture, and he intended to exploit his advantage.

One place he did so was in Europe, using EU dependence on Russian energy to grow closer to the Continent, particularly Germany. But his high point came during the Syrian affair, when the Obama administration threatened airstrikes after Damascus used chemical weapons only to back off from its threat. The Russians aggressively opposed Obama's move, proposing a process of negotiations instead. The Russians emerged from the crisis appearing decisive and capable, the United States indecisive and feckless. Russian power accordingly appeared on the rise, and in spite of a weakening economy, this boosted Putin's standing.

The Tide Turns Against Putin

Events in Ukraine this year, by contrast, have proved devastating to Putin. In January, Russia dominated Ukraine. By February, Yanukovich had fled the country and a pro-Western government had taken power. The general uprising against Kiev that Putin had been expecting in eastern Ukraine after Yanukovich's ouster never happened. Meanwhile, the Kiev government, with Western advisers, implanted itself more firmly. By July, the Russians controlled only small parts of Ukraine. These included Crimea, where the Russians had always held overwhelming military force by virtue of treaty, and a triangle of territory from Donetsk to Luhansk to Severodonetsk, where a small number of insurgents apparently supported by Russian special operations forces controlled a dozen or so towns.

If no Ukrainian uprising occurred, Putin's strategy was to allow the government in Kiev to unravel of its own accord and to split the United States from Europe by exploiting Russia's strong trade and energy ties with the Continent. And this is where the crash of the Malaysia Airlines jet is crucial. If it turns out - as appears to be the case - that Russia supplied air defense systems to the separatists and sent crews to man them (since operating those systems requires extensive training), Russia could be held responsible for shooting down the plane. And this means Moscow's ability to divide the Europeans from the Americans would decline. Putin then moves from being an effective, sophisticated ruler who ruthlessly uses power to being a dangerous incompetent supporting a hopeless insurrection with wholly inappropriate weapons. And the West, no matter how opposed some countries might be to a split with Putin, must come to grips with how effective and rational he really is.

Meanwhile, Putin must consider the fate of his predecessors. Nikita Khrushchev returned from vacation in October 1964 to find himself replaced by his protege, Leonid Brezhnev, and facing charges of, among other things, "harebrained scheming." Khrushchev had recently been humiliated in the Cuban missile crisis. This plus his failure to move the economy forward after about a decade in power saw his closest colleagues "retire" him. A massive setback in foreign affairs and economic failures had resulted in an apparently unassailable figure being deposed.

Russia's economic situation is nowhere near as catastrophic as it was under Khrushchev or Yeltsin, but it has deteriorated substantially recently, and perhaps more important, has failed to meet expectations. After recovering from the 2008 crisis, Russia has seen several years of declining gross domestic product growth rates, and its central bank is forecasting zero growth this year. Given current pressures, we would guess the Russian economy will slide into recession sometime in 2014. The debt levels of regional governments have doubled in the past four years, and several regions are close to bankruptcy. Moreover, some metals and mining firms are facing bankruptcy. The Ukrainian crisis has made things worse. Capital flight from Russia in the first six months stood at $76 billion, compared to $63 billion for all of 2013. Foreign direct investment fell 50 percent in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. And all this happened in spite of oil prices remaining higher than $100 per barrel.

Putin's popularity at home soared after the successful Sochi Winter Olympics and after the Western media made him look like the aggressor in Crimea. He has, after all, built his reputation on being tough and aggressive. But as the reality of the situation in Ukraine becomes more obvious, the great victory will be seen as covering a retreat coming at a time of serious economic problems. For many leaders, the events in Ukraine would not represent such an immense challenge. But Putin has built his image on a tough foreign policy, and the economy meant his ratings were not very high before Ukraine.

Imagining Russia After Putin

In the sort of regime that Putin has helped craft, the democratic process may not be the key to understanding what will happen next. Putin has restored Soviet elements to the structure of the government, even using the term "Politburo" for his inner Cabinets. These are all men of his choosing, of course, and so one might assume they would be loyal to him. But in the Soviet-style Politburo, close colleagues were frequently the most feared.

The Politburo model is designed for a leader to build coalitions among factions. Putin has been very good at doing that, but then he has been very successful at all the things he has done until now. His ability to hold things together declines as trust in his abilities declines and various factions concerned about the consequences of remaining closely tied to a failing leader start to maneuver. Like Khrushchev, who was failing in economic and foreign policy, Putin could have his colleagues remove him.

It is difficult to know how a succession crisis would play out, given that the constitutional process of succession exists alongside the informal government Putin has created. From a democratic standpoint, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin are as popular as Putin is, and I suspect they both will become more popular in time. In a Soviet-style struggle, Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov and Security Council Chief Nicolai Patryushev would be possible contenders. But there are others. Who, after all, expected the emergence of Mikhail Gorbachev?

Ultimately, politicians who miscalculate and mismanage tend not to survive. Putin miscalculated in Ukraine, failing to anticipate the fall of an ally, failing to respond effectively and then stumbling badly in trying to recoup. His management of the economy has not been exemplary of late either, to say the least. He has colleagues who believe they could do a better job, and now there are important people in Europe who would be glad to see him go. He must reverse this tide rapidly, or he may be replaced.

Putin is far from finished. But he has governed for 14 years counting the time Dmitri Medvedev was officially in charge, and that is a long time. He may well regain his footing, but as things stand at the moment, I would expect quiet thoughts to be stirring in his colleagues' minds. Putin himself must be re-examining his options daily. Retreating in the face of the West and accepting the status quo in Ukraine would be difficult, given that the Kosovo issue that helped propel him to power and given what he has said about Ukraine over the years. But the current situation cannot sustain itself. The wild card in this situation is that if Putin finds himself in serious political trouble, he might become more rather than less aggressive. Whether Putin is in real trouble is not something I can be certain of, but too many things have gone wrong for him lately for me not to consider the possibility. And as in any political crisis, more and more extreme options are contemplated if the situation deteriorates.

Those who think that Putin is both the most repressive and aggressive Russian leader imaginable should bear in mind that this is far from the case. Lenin, for example, was fearsome. But Stalin was much worse. There may similarly come a time when the world looks at the Putin era as a time of liberality. For if the struggle by Putin to survive, and by his challengers to displace him, becomes more intense, the willingness of all to become more brutal might well increase.

[Nov 08, 2017] Although most Americans today reject the official (lone gunman) account of the Kennedy assassination, they also have doubts about alternative versions involving CIA as the main culprit. This means the CIA program was successful, for its aim was not to sell the Warren Commission, but to sow uncertainty. Today, people are not only uncertain, they have given up ever learning the truth

Arlen Specter - Wikipedia Arlen Specter (February 12, 1930 – October 14, 2012) was an American lawyer and politician who served as United States Senator from Pennsylvania. Specter was a Democrat from 1951 to 1965,[1][2][3] then a Republican from 1965 until 2009, when he switched back to the Democratic Party. First elected in 1980, he represented his state in the Senate for 30 years.
Cyril Wecht - Wikipedia Cyril Harrison Wecht (born March 20, 1931) is an American forensic pathologist. He has been a consultant in numerous high-profile cases, but is perhaps best known for his criticism of the Warren Commission's findings concerning the assassination of John F. Kennedy. See books: Into EVIDENCE: Truth, Lies and Unresolved Mysteries in the Murder of JFK; November 22, 1963: A Reference Guide to the JFK Assassination
Notable quotes:
"... "about 500 people gathered at Duquesne University for a JFK symposium sponsored by the university's Institute of Forensic Science and Law, which is named for Wecht. Appearances by Stone and a doctor who tended to Kennedy brought national attention. People sneered when they mentioned Specter's name or the single-bullet theory. ..."
"... (Specter has been useful to the deep state in other ways: he protected Zalman Shapiro, former head of NUMEC, from prosecution for his part in smuggling uranium to Israel. http://israellobby.org/numec/ ..."
Sep 23, 2017 | www.unz.com

anon, Disclaimer September 6, 2016 at 2:10 am GMT

deHaven Smith is not that impressive on several counts.

one example: book opens:

"Although most Americans today reject the official (lone gunman) account of the Kennedy assassination, they also have doubts about conspiracy theories and those who believe them. This means the CIA program was successful, for its aim was not to sell the Warren Commission, but to sow uncertainty about the commission's critics. Today, people are not only uncertain, they have given up ever learning the truth. "

At least one high-profile person and an entire community that supports him does not have doubts, has not given up. Cyril Wecht blasted holes in Arlen Specter's "one bullet" theory in 1965. He's still at it. In 2013, the fiftieth anniversary of JFK's assassination,

"about 500 people gathered at Duquesne University for a JFK symposium sponsored by the university's Institute of Forensic Science and Law, which is named for Wecht. Appearances by Stone and a doctor who tended to Kennedy brought national attention. People sneered when they mentioned Specter's name or the single-bullet theory.

Across the state, the Single Bullet exhibit opened on Oct. 21. It's the first exhibition in Philadelphia University's Arlen Specter Center for Public Policy. Willens, the former Kennedy aide, delivered a speech. The center's coordinator, Karen Albert, said he was looking forward to defending his conclusion on the 50th anniversary. " http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5017529-74/wecht-commission-specter

Smith did not even mention Wecht or Specter and the single-bullet theory in his book. The omission is important insofar as its inclusion would have demonstrated that for many years the populace has been aware of the dishonesty of the US government and some have been raising their voices against and continue to do so.

That knowledge should give encouragement to activists such as those who demand accountability for Israel's attack on the USS Liberty and the deliberate killing of 34 US sailors and other personnel.

(Specter has been useful to the deep state in other ways: he protected Zalman Shapiro, former head of NUMEC, from prosecution for his part in smuggling uranium to Israel. http://israellobby.org/numec/

[Nov 08, 2017] Russias Line in the Sand on Syria by Dmitri Trenin

This is from 2012 -- fives year from now.
Notable quotes:
"... That cannot be further from the truth, the western public is unsure and ambivalent about the situation in Syria, The West has no choice but to give lip service to the Syrian opposition, that too is a sure bet -- the lip service that is -- the Arab street is divided over the issue, and the conservative Gulf regimes for their own reasons -- are tacitly working and hoping for calm to return to Syria soon. They are very aware of the ramifications of any escalation or a protracted conflict there on their own national interests. ..."
"... While the existence of sectarian sentiments, even passions is undeniable in the Middle East, their characterization however is often overblown and misleading. For example, during the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980's a substantial segment of Iraqi Shiites- especially the educated, influential and affluent strata of society -- sided with the perceived Sunni dominated Saddam regime against Shiite Iran; that support for the regime even increased during the first Iraq war, it started waning -- like support among other Iraqis -- in the aftermath of that war. ..."
"... Secular Sunni power within the regime and within the country has been steadily on the rise for over a generation, and the majority of Sunnis does not see the need to fix what is not broken and what time will take care of in a peaceful and evolutionary manner. "A Sunni majority that feels oppressed" is not a true statement and is a gross mis-characterization of the situation in Syria. That is where the author and I disagree. ..."
"... Conditions and expectations in Syria now are NOT unlike conditions and expectations in the USSR during the Second World WAR! ..."
"... US might is depending on oil being traded in US$. ..."
"... The article starts from the strange assumption that Russia's foreign policy is motivated by cold Machiavellian motives while the US is motivated by sublime humanitarian motives. I believe the opposite could be argued with better arguments. ..."
"... Only a psychopath would argue that a mandate to protect Libyan civilians means a license to murder as much Gadaffi soldiers a you like. Yet that is how the West de facto explained its mandate. As if these soldiers didn't have civilian parents, wives and children... In the end we left Libya with 30,000 dead: much more than even the most pessimist had expected Gadaffi to kill. ..."
"... It is not true that the opposition in Syria does not want to negotiate with Assad. The fact is that just as in Libya we have composed our own opposition whereby we have selected those who don't want to negotiate. In fact the SNC has hardly any support among the protesters inside Syria and it is dominated by revengeful Brotherhood exiles who fled Syria after Assad sr. had squashed their murder campaign against his regime in the 1980s. In fact there was an attempt to negotiate between Assad and the internal opposition in Damascus. The reaction of the US ambassador was to sabotage it by going to Hama shortly before the talks and making there some radical statements. ..."
"... In a few years hence we all will be reading about the failure of a Syrian uprising with a valid cause that enjoyed considerable public support. ..."
"... One major reason will stand out: American open support that intuitively deprived it of many potential Syrian and Arab supporters and unveiled it as the conscious or unconscious open door to Syria for the USA &Co i.e. the EU and Israel and politically brought back Russia as an active major regional player to counter American presence and influence . ..."
"... I think that there is a huge danger of creating a new nuclear superpower in the middle east lead by an Iran-Turkey-Egypt-Pakistan axis, which will replace the States and finally cut them off from Eurasia. ..."
"... If the rest of the regimes were brought down, who can be sure that a similar thing could not happen in Saudi Arabia, even if the states never supported such a thing, because of similar reasons like the Russians still support Assad, neighbor countries' intelligence could efficiently support such an effort. ..."
"... My opinion in short way USA and Israel want attack Iran but because Syria is so close Jewish is a real dangers that they take revenge as Iran will be in a trouble. So is typical dirty game American and Israel politics? They not look after people from Syria because a moral principles. ..."
"... Events in SYRIA are NOT part of the Arab Spring as earlier conceived , conceptualized and supported by the Arab masses. Though clearly an intifada with considerable public support against an indisputably despotic sectarian and corrupt regime they are, never the less, part of an attempted come back by the USA to the crux of the Middle East in Syria. ..."
"... As a USA inspired, Saudi financed and Israel supported the Syrian intifada does not qualify being substantially an America conceived design and coordinated, Saudi financed and Qatar fronted effort targeting the Iran/Syria/Hizb Allah and Palestinian armed resistance common front against Israel and the USA. ..."
Feb 05, 2012 | Foreign Affairs

Nick C. (Feb. 15, 2011)

The author is certainly an expert on Russia, and he writes a brilliant article illustrating the history of the Soviet-Russian Syrian ties, and the reasons for the current Russian support for the regime in Syria; and I agree with him on all what he writes on these subjects; it is on his assessments on the situation in other spots where we disagree.

He writes: " Russia is not blameless: It lost too much time watching others and then criticizing them without shaping an active role for itself. Late last month, Moscow invited the Syrian government and the opposition for talks. This move came much too late. The opposition wants to hang Assad, not negotiate with him. Perhaps last year the response might have been different."

Well, I am glad he used the word "might" towards the end. Let me assure him the Syrian opposition would not have accepted Russia's invitation for negotiations with the regime then, just as it rejects it now; but the timing of the proposal was- to the contrary of what the author writes- actually perfect, because though the opposition would not in the past negotiate with the regime, and will not do it now; they might be inclined to do so in the future, under either Russian or Arab auspices; once they realize it is the only option left for them after they exhaust whatever remaining illusions they have about toppling the regime through a combination of protests and armed insurgency, plus whatever naive drum beating tactics and fabrications- that have become so obvious- they are using through the media . So, I would say the move was actually a master stroke for Russian diplomacy.

Then he writes: "And now it (meaning Russia) has maneuvered itself into a position in which it must bet on Assad's survival to protect its interests. Moscow needs to learn that saying no is not good enough and that in global politics timing is everything."

He and his country are both right, true, Russia has maneuvered itself into a position in which it must bet on Assad's survival to protect its interests, and that is a sure bet; and Moscow knows very well that saying no is not good enough, that is why she is doing much more. It was so necessary for Russia to say no, it also behooves us in the West as well as Turkey and Arab players to help the opposition by making sure they understand international realities. The West, Turkey and the Arabs, in addition to what they are doing -- which is politically understandable -- must help guide the opposition towards negotiations and compromise. The veto presents a reality check to the opposition and offers an opportunity for the West, Turkey and the Arabs to help coax the opposition into a pragmatic and responsible attitude. Russia also understands that in global politics timing is everything, and she is playing this card perfectly.

Then the author writes: "Over the last year, Russia has faced the simultaneous opprobrium of the Western public, the Arab street, and the conservative Gulf regimes"

That cannot be further from the truth, the western public is unsure and ambivalent about the situation in Syria, The West has no choice but to give lip service to the Syrian opposition, that too is a sure bet -- the lip service that is -- the Arab street is divided over the issue, and the conservative Gulf regimes for their own reasons -- are tacitly working and hoping for calm to return to Syria soon. They are very aware of the ramifications of any escalation or a protracted conflict there on their own national interests.

Let me add that I also believe the Syrian revolt is not a conspiracy. It started and continues by Syrian decisions; it however would not have been this intense had it not been for the interference of others. I just wish the Syrian protesters as well as the armed groups including defectors realize they are misguided and they lack political horizon, and the world knows that, and the world is waiting for them to understand they stand alone, and they are predestined to lose until they become pragmatic, and they need to comprehend that you do not get what you want by simply asking for it, or by blindly pursuing it. You need to make sure not to be reckless and not to jeopardize so much.

Now let me list some additional points on which the author and I disagree, Russia understands these points very well.

While the existence of sectarian sentiments, even passions is undeniable in the Middle East, their characterization however is often overblown and misleading. For example, during the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980's a substantial segment of Iraqi Shiites- especially the educated, influential and affluent strata of society -- sided with the perceived Sunni dominated Saddam regime against Shiite Iran; that support for the regime even increased during the first Iraq war, it started waning -- like support among other Iraqis -- in the aftermath of that war. It must also be noted that Iraqi Shiites were split over the Shiite revolt that ensued that war, and many Iraqi Shiites then strongly urged Saddam to put a quick and decisive end to it. During the second Iraq war the regime still had respectable support in the Shiite community in Iraq; some even fought coalition forces as volunteers during their advance into the country. It was in the environment after the regime fell, that sectarian divisions and passions started intensifying in Iraq and the region.

Now before I delve into the current Syrian situation, I would like to say the author chose his words very carefully when describing the situation there, he writes: "Iran, Syria's ally, is already being drawn into the fray, with the Assad regime's Alawite core coming under attack from mainly Sunni opposition. Syria is Bahrain in reverse -- a Sunni majority that feels oppressed by a relatively small sect that many believe is closer to the Shiites."

While it is true that some Alawites are a powerful component of the core of the Syrian regime, elements of other minorities, as well as Sunnis compliment the rest of the powerful core components of the regime. Also, Iran's entry into the fray is not predicated on sectarian lines; add to that the fact that while the opposition is mainly Sunni, the majority of Sunnis still, support the regime over the mainly Sunni opposition. So far, there is no contradiction in what the author and I write on the issue, he simply chooses his words carefully and leaves out some important details, while I bring these details back to the picture. Also while there is no disagreement the majority in Syria is Sunni and true many Sunnis are apprehensive about the perceived inordinate power of the Alawites in the country, the majority of Sunnis, let alone the whole Sunni majority, does not feel oppressed. Secular Sunni power within the regime and within the country has been steadily on the rise for over a generation, and the majority of Sunnis does not see the need to fix what is not broken and what time will take care of in a peaceful and evolutionary manner. "A Sunni majority that feels oppressed" is not a true statement and is a gross mis-characterization of the situation in Syria. That is where the author and I disagree.

It must be noted that - regardless of recent events -- secularism runs deep both in Iraq and in Syria, and both countries will become more secular in the future; same applies to Jordan, the Palestinians and Lebanon -- despite its current confessional political system. Add to the list the obvious secular nations of Israel and Turkey, it then becomes clear that betting on an Islamist movement in Syria- especially one that is so extremist and so different from other Islamist movements- is a losing proposition.

On a different subject, the author recounts the events of the1973 war between Israel on the one side and Egypt and Syria on the other. He writes: "Beginning in 1973, after Egypt's disastrous defeat in the war against Israel and Sadat's embrace of U.S. mediation"

Well, it is for certain that Egypt did not lose that war, let alone disastrously. By most expert accounts, including by Egyptian and Israeli generals in that war, it was militarily a close draw and politically a victory for Egypt, some even saw it as a narrow military victory for Egypt- let us not forget that the Camp David Accords came afterwards where Israel ceded the Sinai peninsula to Egypt though with Egypt signing a peace treaty with Israel.

He then writes: "In 1972, preparing for his political break with Moscow, Sadat sent home 20,000 Soviet military advisers and their dependents" True, he did, in part to exhibit self-confidence at military capability for his country, and in part to pressure the Soviets into helping him build the military he used to mount the war -- the soviets did not believe he could mount a war, let alone win one against Israel; especially only six years after the truly disastrous -- for Egypt -- six day war.

It was not until the last days of the 1973 war that Sadat -- watching the massive American military support for Israel in terms of Armament, munitions, and logistics; and after talking to both the Americans and the Soviets -- decided to break with Moscow.

Gerry Tighe

Once you understand that 9/11 was an inside job, suddenly all the USA actions make sense. Just give it a try and suppose it is true, you will see what I mean.

Gerry Tighe

What a joke -- You pretend to understand the in depth world politics, but you are either disengenguous or pushing the usual western media mind control propaganda. Do you really believe this? Surely you are intelligent enough to work out the real game for the world.

Omar N. (Mar. 20, 2009)

Conditions and expectations in Syria now are NOT unlike conditions and expectations in the USSR during the Second World WAR!

Each was/is living under the horrible yoke of a certain regime BUT faced with a much uglier prospect in case of change: the Nazi alternative for the Soviet Union and the USA/Gulf petroldom for Syria!

It is not only that the Syrian people intuitively and consciously rejects USA neo imperialist cum USA-Israeli alliance "New Middle East" vision of a new Syria but that events and outpourings of the Iraqi change, achieved through a similar alignment of external, regional and internal forces , are still too fresh in every body's mind to ignore.
Which throws everything and all back to the USA perennial regional dilemma of attempting to influence events and gain friends in the Middle while maintaining its strategic relations with and all out support of Israel.

The recent collapse of the Sadat/Mubarak regime in Egypt underscored the impossibility of that vision and the utter non feasibility of such a dual USA role in the region.

Valdi V. (Feb. 12, 2012)

Since Iraq war in 2003 the US has lost credibility. US might is depending on oil being traded in US$. Without it, the demand for the US currency would correspond only to the products it can manufacture.

It could not afford an army bigger than the rest of the world, thousands military bases worldwide, and its population being just 6% of the world population couldn't afford to consume 40% of world production.

For many years the West kept the dictators in oil producing countries in ruling positions to get the oil cheap and without resistance. It is fully responsible for the underdevelopment of the middle east.

When finally the Arabs in Tunesia have woken up, it was a surprise for the US, who was scared to death to loose its main provider for power - Saudi Arabia. As explained, without the connection of oil versus US$, US will become to a normal country, which will struggle as everybody else.

Thats why the Iraq war started, since Saddam Hussein started to trade oil for Euro. The very first administrative order after occupying Iraq was to change the trade to US$. Russia and China are the only powers who can stop US from becoming an unchallenged dictator of the world.

That's why the thief Chodorkovsky was more important in Russia, than millions of oppressed in Middle East, in Saudia Arabia, or in Bahrain. That's why US went 10000 miles to war to free the Kuwait dictator in the first Iraq war in 1991. In order to prevent the Tunesian revolt to jump over to Saudi Arabia, US scarified Mubarak, Libya, now Syria, and simultaneously violently silenced the protests in Bahrein,

Russua wouldn't mind, but since the US administration is pushing forward with it's rocket defense in Europe in encircling Russia, it has woken up the Russian bear. The Russians see the real threat of the shield, which is not defensive, but aggressive! It would allow to neutralize the nuclear response in case of a surpise attack from USA. Will not happen with Russia - US will chop of it's teeth on Russia, as Hitler did.

And yes, Russians drink vodka, are corrupt, and have not the nicest products - and still, they have rescued the world from Hitler and freed the whole Europe, which allowed Hitler to rape its population, with help of US corporations under full knowledge of US government. The West civilization is blinded by US media, and if it doesn't learn the lessons of history, there will be WWIII. It will come sudden, on a nice day, one like June 22 1941. Best.

Wim R. (Oct. 20, 2011)

The article starts from the strange assumption that Russia's foreign policy is motivated by cold Machiavellian motives while the US is motivated by sublime humanitarian motives. I believe the opposite could be argued with better arguments.

The basic principle of international law is non-interference in each other's affairs. Recently this principle has been nuanced by the "Responsibility to protect" argument but it stays the basic principle.

So when the UN gave a mandate for the protection of civilians in Libya this was with the implicit assumption that it would be done in a way that restricted the violation of the principle of non-interference to a minimum. The road was clear: make just enough pressure on Gadaffi that he doesn't conquer Benghazi and get instead a negotiated surrender where the rebels get amnesty. One might also aim for some political reform with more freedom and representation but that certainly was the limit. Instead the US refused all negotiations and went for a military conquest with one goal: total victory.

Only a psychopath would argue that a mandate to protect Libyan civilians means a license to murder as much Gadaffi soldiers a you like. Yet that is how the West de facto explained its mandate. As if these soldiers didn't have civilian parents, wives and children... In the end we left Libya with 30,000 dead: much more than even the most pessimist had expected Gadaffi to kill.

Russia was not alone in condemning this reasoning. China vetoed the Syria resolution too. India supported it only after all language aimed at facilitating a foreign intervention had been removed. Most of the rest of the world supports this line of reasoning. So the "West" is rather isolated in this. We still get a lot of votes from the South for our resolutions in this but that is more thanks to diplomatic pressure - sometimes open blackmail - than to them sharing our convictions.

With the present anarchy the faults of the Western approach in Libya become clearer and clearer. Yet Obama and the other Western leaders refuse to learn from their mistakes and pursue the same strategy in Syria.

It is not true that the opposition in Syria does not want to negotiate with Assad. The fact is that just as in Libya we have composed our own opposition whereby we have selected those who don't want to negotiate. In fact the SNC has hardly any support among the protesters inside Syria and it is dominated by revengeful Brotherhood exiles who fled Syria after Assad sr. had squashed their murder campaign against his regime in the 1980s. In fact there was an attempt to negotiate between Assad and the internal opposition in Damascus. The reaction of the US ambassador was to sabotage it by going to Hama shortly before the talks and making there some radical statements.

It is strange that hardly a Western newspaper pays attention to the reasons why the Russians vetoed the Syria resolution. Their wish to put more effort in negotiations and to ask the armed opposition too to stop with violence are far from outrageous. In fact every textbook on conflict resolution recommends such actions.

Aly-Khan S. (Mar. 28, 2009)

Given the Historical Relationship and the fact that Tartus represents the only Russian Asset in the Meditarranean, the Russian Veto is completely understood as a cold blooded Realpolitik Calculation.

Furthermore, it is now clear that it is the Counter Revolution which is in charge and therefore, Realpolitik Calculations surely trump any shattered Dreams about Greater Democracy and an Arab Spring.

Both China and Russia must be looking at the numbers and thinking that there but for the Grace of God, we too might find ourselves and we would not want held to this Threshold Level.

Aly-Khan Satchu
http://www.rich.co.ke
Nairobi

Omar N. (Mar. 20, 2009)

In a few years hence we all will be reading about the failure of a Syrian uprising with a valid cause that enjoyed considerable public support.

One major reason will stand out: American open support that intuitively deprived it of many potential Syrian and Arab supporters and unveiled it as the conscious or unconscious open door to Syria for the USA &Co i.e. the EU and Israel and politically brought back Russia as an active major regional player to counter American presence and influence .

ALEXANDROS S. (Jan. 9, 2012)

The article is pretty much correct in my opinion, Syria seems to be the last Russian outpost in the middle east. Well it is obvious that the Americans don't want Assad any more and they are doing anything to bring him down, is there a plan though? I mean does the US government have actually a plan of replacing this government or do they just leave this work to the Turks and Muslim brotherhood?

It seems like the US trusts these two players blindly. The past has shown that this kind of blind trust to other similar movements was wrong, Hamas is the best example. I am not quite sure if the US government has foreseen the emerging player of the middle east and this is no-one else than the middle east itself, under the guidance of the master mason, Turkey. I think that there is a huge danger of creating a new nuclear superpower in the middle east lead by an Iran-Turkey-Egypt-Pakistan axis, which will replace the States and finally cut them off from Eurasia.

People might think that i am exaggerating, that Egypt does not have a stable government that is difficult for these countries to agree, that there is Israel, Saudi Arabia and the emirates. Well these countries have a very strong bond, religion, and in Muslim countries this is a huge factor. If the rest of the regimes were brought down, who can be sure that a similar thing could not happen in Saudi Arabia, even if the states never supported such a thing, because of similar reasons like the Russians still support Assad, neighbor countries' intelligence could efficiently support such an effort.

Then it would be very difficult for Israel to stand on its own, even if in the past managed to do show, this kind of conflict would be very hard. Assad is a dictator and is hostile towards Israel and US, but perhaps he is the least bad thing right now. Of course the civil war is a curse to any nation, but if there is a change to happen, then it should be in a really democratic way and not in a way similar to the existing "democracies" of the Middle East. I know that my point of view might sound cynic or even a bit of difficult to happen, but i honestly believe that there are no humanitarian motives in current politics, unfortunately, and that my scenario is very possible.

Guest (Jan. 11, 2012)

My opinion in short way USA and Israel want attack Iran but because Syria is so close Jewish is a real dangers that they take revenge as Iran will be in a trouble. So is typical dirty game American and Israel politics? They not look after people from Syria because a moral principles.

Omar N. (Mar. 20, 2009) • 3 years ago

Events in SYRIA are NOT part of the Arab Spring as earlier conceived , conceptualized and supported by the Arab masses. Though clearly an intifada with considerable public support against an indisputably despotic sectarian and corrupt regime they are, never the less, part of an attempted come back by the USA to the crux of the Middle East in Syria.

As a USA inspired, Saudi financed and Israel supported the Syrian intifada does not qualify being substantially an America conceived design and coordinated, Saudi financed and Qatar fronted effort targeting the Iran/Syria/Hizb Allah and Palestinian armed resistance common front against Israel and the USA.

The Arab Spring had at inception a fundamental common platform that brought together the hitherto wary movements and uneasy relations of the Islamists, the Nationalists and the Progressives together in a joint anti despotism, anti corruption, anti Israel and anti USA alliance.

Events in Syria seem to have removed the Islamist corner stone of the said alliance!

An interesting development it had given birth to is the inescapable tacit alliance it has forged and brought to the forefront of the USA &Co and the Islamist major movement: the Moslem Brotherhood.

Its implications for the rank and file of the Islamist movements, hitherto die hard anti Israel and anti USA ,remains to be seen and may well lead to public disenchantment with the Moslem Brotherhood in particular and Islamist movements in general.

[Nov 08, 2017] Stephen Kotkin How Vladimir Putin Rules

Highly recommended!
This analysis is from 2015 or two years from now. It Is interesting to compare it (along with comments) with he current situation and new developments...
Notable quotes:
"... Russia is classified as a high-income economy by the World Bank (having a per capita GDP exceeding $14,000). Its unemployment remains low (around five percent); until recently, consumer spending had been expanding at more than five percent annually; life expectancy has been rising; and Internet penetration exceeds that of some countries in the European Union. ..."
"... it is the predatory West's efforts to enslave people to the European weltanschauung. ..."
"... This is no World Order: it a man eat man world that has been created. ..."
"... Before America decided to KILL Gadhafi by indiscriminatingly arming gangsters to carry out their will, the incipient-unity state of Libya did not have the sectarian violence that we presently hear about. ..."
"... Dear Jamil: As an American citizen, I take my hat off to you for telling the exact truth--that the terrorist state is the United States of America and our media's propaganda stream is now in overdrive, especially in regard to Russia, which is our latest target. ..."
"... The US State Department's Victoria Nuland and our CIA (+ Blackwater mercenaries) installed the puppet Yatsenyuk/Poroshenko govt. in Kiev (to do our bidding) and CIA Dir. James Brennan himself went to Kiev to launch the civil war against the Eastern provinces that Europeans, at least, are now trying to bring to a halt. The US does leave nothing but failed states behind it, and Western Ukraine will be the next failed state in a long list. Since the end of WWII, the best estimate is that the United States, in 67 military operations and countless covert CIA operations, has destroyed between 20 and 30 million people world-wide, largely in the interest of commandeering their resources or serving the interests of the banks to which they owe money--money they were usually cajoled into borrowing. ..."
"... I hold to my original point that Islamic terrorism has been created by unjustified Western interference. ..."
"... He advocates a world ruled by an elite (unspecified). ..."
"... Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin... :)) ..."
Mar 28, 2015 | Foreign Affairs
How did twenty-first-century Russia end up, yet again, in personal rule? An advanced industrial country of 142 million people, it has no enduring political parties that organize and respond to voter preferences. The military is sprawling yet tame; the immense secret police are effectively in one man's pocket. The hydrocarbon sector is a personal bank, and indeed much of the economy is increasingly treated as an individual fiefdom. Mass media move more or less in lockstep with the commands of the presidential administration. Competing interest groups abound, but there is no rival center of power. In late October 2014, after a top aide to Russia's president told the annual forum of the Valdai Discussion Club, which brings together Russian and foreign experts, that Russians understand "if there is no Putin, there is no Russia," the pundit Stanislav Belkovsky observed that "the search for Russia's national idea, which began after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, is finally over. Now, it is evident that Russia's national idea is Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin."

Russia is classified as a high-income economy by the World Bank (having a per capita GDP exceeding $14,000). Its unemployment remains low (around five percent); until recently, consumer spending had been expanding at more than five percent annually; life expectancy has been rising; and Internet penetration exceeds that of some countries in the European Union.

But Russia is now beset by economic stagnation alongside high inflation, its labor productivity remains dismally low, and its once-vaunted school system has deteriorated alarmingly. And it is astonishingly corrupt. Not only the bullying central authorities in Moscow but regional state bodies, too, have been systematically criminalizing revenue streams, while giant swaths of territory lack basic public services and local vigilante groups proliferate.

Across the country, officials who have purchased their positions for hefty sums team up with organized crime syndicates and use friendly prosecutors and judges to extort and expropriate rivals. President Vladimir Putin's vaunted "stability," in short, has turned into spoliation. But Putin has been in power for 15 years, and there is no end in sight. Stalin ruled for some three decades...

Jamil M Chaudri

Interesting but slanted and one-sided, myopic analysis. Why would the 1.6 billion Muslims spread over three continents, accept Mr Kotkin's concept of "World Order".

There is no World Order; it is the predatory West's efforts to enslave people to the European weltanschauung. It is an effort by the colonialists to prolong their hegemony over Muslim lands and people.

One of the biggest mistakes Pakia made was to join the West in destroying Soviet Russia. A bi-polar world was a better world than a unipolar world, where the west is destroying Muslim nations (one after the other).

This is no World Order: it a man eat man world that has been created.

Jamil M Chaudri -> JACK RICE

Before the invasion (and total destruction) of Afghanis there was no daily violence in Afghania. Before the invasion (and total destruction) of Iraqia, there is no daily violence in Iraqia. Before Pakia allied itself with America (leading to the further debasement of an evolving state) there were no (practically) daily suicide bombings in Pakia. Before America decided to aid Ethiopia (and joined it) in destroying Somalia, the state of Somalia had a pretty vibrant civil society, and no gangster precipitate violence.

Before America decided to KILL Gadhafi by indiscriminatingly arming gangsters to carry out their will, the incipient-unity state of Libya did not have the sectarian violence that we presently hear about. Before America decided to Destroy the Syrian State, by leading a crusade (guised as a push for, of all things, DEMOCRACY), Syria was a fast-developing state. ......... This list could be stretched back to the days of Pilgrim Fathers. But I am hoping you follow the drift.

If the hat fits, wear it! If the shoe fits, wear them!! From the top of the head to the sole of the shoes, everything is dyed deep in BLOOD.

At the moment with more than 2'000'000 deaths in Iraqia, and more than 250'000 deaths in Afgania and more than 10'000 deaths in Pakia,

Jamil M Chaudri -> BAKER ALLON

Take some smelling salts, and read what happened in North and South America, when whole nations were destroyed by the colonialists, and kept in RESERVATIONS; their children were taken to missions for conversion to Christianity, their dwellings were destroyed. Read about the Trail of Tears, when a whole nation was banished from their ancestral lands. Read about 2'000'000 deaths in Afghania. For you destruction of HUMAN LIFE is less important than destruction of statues? Shows the kind of person you are. There are many clips available on the internet showing the destruction of Human Life in most parts of Iraqia(including Mosel) by the blood thirsty invaders. Harping about statues and museums, and totally callus about human lives (millions of them) you are indeed a museum piece! Go back to the shelf you have come off.

Renee Barclay -> Jamil M Chaudri • 19 days ago

Bush was a moron but that doesn't change the fact that Saddam was a murderous dictator. And Saddam's sons were known rapists and murderers.
Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites turned on each other after Bush eliminated Saddam and that's the simple fact. And they're STILL killing each other to this day. Google it.

Jamil M Chaudri -> Renee Barclay

I do not have to Google such assertions. They are non sequitur, in nature. Even then, let us examine your assertion for a moment: Bush was a Moron but Saddam was a murderous dictator.

By your logic we American must be the epitome of Moron-ness, for we ELECTED Bush; Iraqis must be a gentle and good people who were overpowered by the Saddam, the Murderous Dictator..

By the way, how many Iraqis did Saddam murder? And then, how many Iraqis were murdered, at the command of Bush? Since the Iraqis were killed/murdered at the command of Bush, and Americans elected Bush, Americans are responsible for the murders. We Americans have blood on our hands!

My assertion is that America is responsible for 2'000'000 deaths in Iraq.

On your non-sequitur. If a good man has evils sons, does the man become evil? Again, Sunnis turned against Shias; so what? About the American Civil War, Google says: Though the number of killed and wounded in the Civil War is not known precisely, most sources agree that the total number killed was between 640,000 and 700,000.

There was no civil war in Iraq before American Invasion and destruction of Iraqi State and Society. Thus, America is TOTALLY responsible for 2'000'000 deaths in Iraq.

Vivienne Perkins -> Jamil M Chaudri

Dear Jamil: As an American citizen, I take my hat off to you for telling the exact truth--that the terrorist state is the United States of America and our media's propaganda stream is now in overdrive, especially in regard to Russia, which is our latest target.

The US State Department's Victoria Nuland and our CIA (+ Blackwater mercenaries) installed the puppet Yatsenyuk/Poroshenko govt. in Kiev (to do our bidding) and CIA Dir. James Brennan himself went to Kiev to launch the civil war against the Eastern provinces that Europeans, at least, are now trying to bring to a halt. The US does leave nothing but failed states behind it, and Western Ukraine will be the next failed state in a long list. Since the end of WWII, the best estimate is that the United States, in 67 military operations and countless covert CIA operations, has destroyed between 20 and 30 million people world-wide, largely in the interest of commandeering their resources or serving the interests of the banks to which they owe money--money they were usually cajoled into borrowing.

As for political corruption, I don't know much about Russian levels of corruption, but I know a lot about the total corruption of our system of government and the evisceration of all of our civil liberties, subsequent to the passage of the so-called and mis-named Patriot Act. By the provisions of the NDAA, any US citizen can be picked up and held in indefinite military detention without charge or trial. I wonder how much worse is Russia than that?

And since Citizens United, nearly every legislator in our Congress is absolutely bought and paid for. Maybe we should leave Russia alone and think about how to restore what we once thought of as a democratic system of governance h ere in the United States.

jlord37 -> Vivienne Perkins

One thing has nothing to do with the other. While I'm in agreement with you on the Ukrainian matter, lets not forget that Vladimir Putin's Russia also has a very big problem with Islamic extremists in their territories as does a number of countries around the world .

Vivienne Perkins -> jlord37

I'm not sure I get your point. Maybe we should think about why the West has trouble with Islamic extremists. Might it be because for over a hundred years the Western powers have chosen the dictatorial rulers of Muslim countries, drawn their boundaries, supported leaders or removed them at its own whim (as S. Hussein in Iraq, the Shah in Iran, Mubarak in Egypt, Khaddafi in Libya, etc.) and inserted Israel into Arab territory for its own reasons. Has it ever occurred to you that if Muslim nations had been allowed to develop according to their own preferences, we might possibly have a more rational and peaceful world today? I can't prove this obviously, but it does seem clear that the more the US attacks and interferes, the more hostile the Muslims become. As an American I would like to see my country behave in a more decent way and with less self-serving propaganda.

jlord37 -> Vivienne Perkins

And was America to blame for Jihadi activity thousands of years ago before its existence? Do you not realize that their actvity is given full sanction, and indeed commands them to go to war with the Kufar? Currently, there is Jihadi activity in countries stretching from India toChechnya and in several African countries. They all have to do with Islamic aggression against there neighbors and almost nothing to do with " western imperialism'

Vivienne Perkins -> jlord37

"Thousands of years ago" Islam did not exist. I hold to my original point that Islamic terrorism has been created by unjustified Western interference.

jlord37 -> Vivienne Perkins

Islam first appeared on the world stage in about the year 620 AD.

Vivienne Perkins -> jlord37

Which means it is now 1,395 years old (not thousands) and I doubt that it's legitimate to equate its idea that it was entitled to make forcible conversions to the present situation, which seems to me to have arisen fairly recently as a response to Western meddling in Arab lands.

Jamil M Chaudri -> jlord37

The answer to the one of your question is a LOWD Yes: It was the FIRST CRUSADES that brought religiosity into the GAME OF KINGS: enlarging kingdoms at the expense of neighbouring kingdoms. The First Crusade was indeed nearly a thousand years ago. The only differences between JIHAD and CRUSADE are:

1. CRUSADERS are more cruel, surreptitious, deceptive, etc.

2. Crusades have no moral component, the goal is political supremacy. Jihad is about moral supremacy, justice and equality.

Since you bring religion into the mix, try to re-read the bible (the new and the old, both of which) PRESCRIBE DEATH to heretics and non-believers. Here is a action in pursuance of such biblical dictate:

"A Spanish missionary, Bartolome de las Casas, described eye-witness accounts of mass murder, torture and rape. 2 Author Barry Lopez, summarizing Las Casas' report wrote:

"One day, in front of Las Casas, the Spanish dismembered, beheaded, or raped 3000 people. 'Such inhumanities and barbarisms were committed in my sight,' he says, 'as no age can parallel....' The Spanish cut off the legs of children who ran from them. They poured people full of boiling soap. They made bets as to who, with one sweep of his sword, could cut a person in half. They loosed dogs that 'devoured an Indian like a hog, at first sight, in less than a moment.' They used nursing infants for dog food." 3

Currently there is CRUSADING MISSIONARY activity in all non-Christian lands by religious warrior-fanatics (wearing the piety hat of the Christian hue). Read about the recent reaction local Hindu population in India against such activity.

First the Western nations used the RELIGION hat to subdue MORALLY SUPPERIOR but less BLOOD-THURSTY peoples; When that strategy ceased to work they rolled out a second version called DEMOCRACY. The second is as much of a sham as the earlier attempt.

Even internal to American, the "down trodden" masses are beginning to cry foul. The prevailing poverty rate in America is staggering. See the figures in most authoritative publications.

Reading does bring enlightenment. That is why I read from diverse sources.

jlord37 -> Jamil M Chaudri

Yes that's why millions of people are seeking to emigrate by any means necessary., and not the reverse. I can assure the " impoverished masses" in the west are in a lot better shape than they are in your neck of the woods.

But I think your trying to deflect once again. That Christianity ad well as other religions has had a bloody past, is no revelation, band I for one am no big fan. But steps have been taken since than, to temper the extremism that brought on these acts. One does not read of to many beheadings and or sucide bombings in the name of Jesus, Buddha, or Shiva. This is not meant as a criticism of Muslim people per se, or a put down of that particular of the world, it is merely mea by as a critique of some of the problems that I, and countless others see in the Islamic faith. There's no question that the leadership in the west, can be very corrupt and rapacious at times, but I think the general trend is towards an attempt at understanding and accommodation. Now, I think it is time for the Muslim world to attempt some sort of inner dialogue where they take steps towards a dressing and correcting their own problems. I enjoyed our discussion, and I hope we will be able to part in civil terms. Best wishes.

Jamil M Chaudri -> jlord37

First of all let me disabuse your notion of "my neck of the woods". In one of my earlier posting I have clearly stated that I am a proud American Citizen, living in a well wooded and watered part of the US of A. But as my country has gone wayward (essentially in pursuit of the buck) from its charter I am trying to bring America back to its promise.

You have levied accusation against me of "deflecting" arguments. Let me tell you what your problem is: you want to levy unsubstantiated accusations against others, and when they, with references, confront your falsehoods and soothsaying, you accuse the other of "deflecting" or "hijacking" the discussion! Pot calling the kettle black? Man, it is you who is unable to stick to the argument – but then, as you have no argument, of course, you have nothing to stick to. Your statements are based on your penchant for name-calling, bad mouthing, others. Perhaps your mind-set suggests that with such strategies, you will be the last "man standing" (?).
.
In my first posing on Dr Kotkin's article, I simply wanted to repudiate the so called "World Order". By what right have Great Britain and France seats at the Security Council. By definition in a democratic set-up, every unit has equal rights. What Dr Kotkins calls a World Order is therefore a sham democracy, created to benefit the West.

Under the guise of bringing democracy to Iraqia, Afghania, Libya, the Yemen, etc. the west is simply trying to prolong its hegemony. It is a sham democracy they impose on weak nations. Pliant regimes are being installed, and millions of people being killed. Any voice that is raised against such pseudo-democracy is silenced by force, by the thugs installed as "democratic" regimes. This is western patronage.

Presently, you read about EXCESSES done by the lunatic fringes of the Muslim Society (these groups, by the way, were created by and operate with the support of CIA – so that organisations like HOMELAND Security can get more dollars), because 90% of the news buzz is created by American media.

The USA is a state trying to improve its democracy on a continuous basis. In 1777 did America treat all people the same way? When was the promulgation of freedom (of SLAVES) passed in America? When was the voting rights acts passed? Are the economic developments of the Whites and Blacks (call it Afro-American, if you like) even TODAY at the same level?

I wish you and your, the very best. May Allah have his mercy on us as a Nation, so that we can STANDING TOGETHER still sing the Star-Spangled Banner.

jlord37 -> Jamil M Chaudri

We currently have a black president, black attorney General, a black director of homeland security, and a black national security adviser. That's not to mention the various statutes and regulations on the books that are strictly enforced to prevent discrimination and instances of inequality. Are these details of such small consequence? With regards to your observations of so called regime change, I am in complete agreement with you . I against such interventions wether it is Cairo or Kiev. It is up to the indigenous population of that country to determine the course that their country should take, and not have to be subjected to outside interference. However, I have to ask the question, do you really think that the CIA bears the sole responsibility for the for the existence of these groups? Could it be that they're trying to co opt them and use them for their own purposes? Im almost certain that the CIA didn't create the leaders who take certain texts and use them for recruitment purposes. All I'm suggesting is that we need to hear more from the moderate elements, and that some sort of reformation May have to be undertaken, much in the way it occurred in other religions. ( Christianity for example )

Finally, Im not sure where you got the idea that I " have a penchant of bad mouthing others" but nevertheless, I sincerely apologize if I have offended you in anyway. You are a worthy opponent, and it's been an enlightening discussion to say the least.

Robert Munro -> Jamil M Chaudri

Stephen Kotkin is a Jewish shill for the oligarchy.

Jamil M Chaudri -> Robert Munro

I only knew Dr Kotkin's background as a historian; his religious affiliation did not concern me. The only part of his writing that offended me was the concept of "World Order". I do not accept nor do I want anybody else to be suppressed by the unbridled-capitalists.

Unfortunately, to exercise unbridled capitalism, the underpinning is provided by exercise of power over others. It is the RAPE OF NATIONS.

Robert Munro -> Jamil M Chaudri

I've read Kotkin before. He advocates a world ruled by an elite (unspecified). However, from his background and affiliations, it's very possible that his mind-set matches that of Baruch Levy, below..........

"The Jewish people as a whole will become its own Messiah. It will attain world domination by the dissolution of other races, by the abolition of frontiers, the annihilation of monarchy and by the establishment of a world republic in which the Jews will everywhere exercise the privilege of citizenship.

In this New World Order, the children of Israel will furnish all the leaders without encountering opposition. The Governments of the different peoples forming the world republic will fall without difficulty into the hands of the
Jews. It will then be possible for the Jewish rulers to abolish private property and everywhere to make use of the
resources of the state.

Thus will the promise of the Talmud be fulfilled, in which it is said that when the Messianic time is come, the Jews will have all the property of the whole world in their hands."

Baruch Levy, Letter to Karl Marx (1879), printed in La Revue de Paris, p. 574, June 1, 1928

Given the 3000 year history of Judaism, its religious writings, its possession of nuclear weapons and control of the American government/economy/media, it seems appropriate to take such claims very seriously.

Robert Munro -> BAKER ALLON

Here's some more "fantasy" about your barbaric cult............

http://www.haaretz.com/news/di...

http://www.richardsilverstein....

http://www.btselem.org/downloa...

BTW- All three of the links above are to Jewish web sites - civilized Jews.

Robert Munro -> BAKER ALLON

It is the cult for which you shill that is the disease.......for 3000 years you have been a malignant cancer trying to metastasize throughout our world.

Robert Munro -> BAKER ALLON

The disease that sickens and, hopefully, will kill your cult is truth...............

"To communicate anything with a Goy about our relations would be equal to the killing of all Jews, for if the Goyim knew what we teach about them, they would kill us openly." (found in both the Torah and Talmud)

Jamil M Chaudri -> ARJAN VELLEKOOP

Of course, of course. But then, there are even some people with eyes who do not see. For them it is a blessing, for they see no evil. It is really a mental condition due to aberrant eye. By the way, Yogi Berra is supposed to have said: "You can observe a lot just by watching". But perhaps street-walkers in Europe do not watch, because their game is different, and they are enjoying the benefits of their game.

I do not want to shatter your innocence, but slaves are not seen by street-walkers: Slaves are consigned to SLAVE QUARTERS. Present day, western world has built slave quarters in India, Pakistan, Sudan, Congo, etc. This is where the Western Worlds Slaves Live. If you want to read the whole report goto: http://www.globalslaveryindex....

India has the largest number of slaves in the world (14 million).

Mind you, A related concept is "wage slavery". To understand this concept requires sensibility.

Yet another but even more subtle concept is "mental slavery". A variation of this is known as the Stockholm Syndrome. Mental Slavery is a totally abject state where the person ceases to think eigenartig but assumes the likes and hates of the person/people who have programmed him/her.

From the last line in your post, I can only assume that deep programming has been done. Programmed consciousness is virtual reality.

ARJAN VELLEKOOP -> Jamil M Chaudri

So, now the west should care for what governments in other countries do with their citizens? I thought you hated imperialists! Your reference to India is just idiotic. Why should the west feel responsible for the condition India is in?! You are probably going to say the colonial past. Well, thats bullcrap since there are plenty of countries which have grown, since their liberty, into decent and reasonably wealthy states. The west is not responsible for India, India is responsible for itself.

Particularly the Middle Eastern countries have shown behaviour to shift the blame away from their own failures. Maybe it have to do with their Islamic background, in which so many actions are based/motivated from religious basis. And of course the prophet is never wrong, so it must be the fault of a imperialist outsider.

Get real. The countries which contain these so called slaves, can make their own choices. They dont have to be part of the capitalist terrible world order. They can make the better choice like you and other believe it. Sadly enough, that idea is, apparently, not that good. Because good ideas sell itself.

Jamil M Chaudri -> ARJAN VELLEKOOP

You seem unable to differentiate between an imperialist and a "good Samaritan". You had earlier written that, as a street walker in Europe you had not seen any slaves, my response to that posting simply told you where you could go to see slavery. And specific reference to India was simply to help you find slavery most easily - with 14 million slaves India is the centre of Modern Slavery. However, in my conversations with Indians, especially the demi-literate ones, instead of admitting to the prevailing REALITY in India, they do not admit to seeing it. With their eyes open, the street walkers do not see it.

There is absolutely no religious underpinning for State Government in any of the states where Muslims are in Majority. The Saudi Family are are there because of America; the present rule in Iran is a reaction to America (re-)installing the 2-cent "SHAH" to rule the Iranian Nation. The present excesses of the Iranian state are essentially defense postures against America intransigence, and mechanisms to harm (and if possible) destroy the Iranian Nation.

I experience reality every day. If you would just come out of your VIRTUAL REALITY, you might by just watching observe some. I know deprogramming is not easy, and self-deprogramming is even more difficult.

All the same, I suggest that you wake up and smell the Coffee; if not try some smelling salts.

Robert Munro -> ARJAN VELLEKOOP

And we have read the drivel of thousands of shills for the oligarchy and the Zionist/Fascist cult...............such as yourself.

Ivan Night Terrible

Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin... :))

Hmmm... oк, about Putin:

Look at Putin's foreign agenda this past year: Latin America just as the sanctions came in - an intentional finger in Washington's eye, as I read it - then China, China again recently, Turkey more recently, India just now. He has not been to Iran, but there, as in all these other places, he has forged or reiterated promising relations. The deals cut are too numerous to list.

A couple are worth mentioning. The twin gas deals with China, worth nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars, are historic all by themselves. In six years' time China will be buying more gas from Russia than the latter now sells to Europe. And do not miss this: My sources tell me that this gas can be priced such as to crowd the U.S. at least partially out of the Asian market. Other side of the world: Putin has just canceled a planned pipeline to southeastern Europe, the South Stream. This is the defeat Western media put it over as, surely: Russia loses some customers. But two points:

[Nov 08, 2017] Trump's Anti-Restraint Foreign Policy by Daniel Larison

The obsession with the USA "leadership" (a.k.a., hegemony) is widely shared between two parties...
Notable quotes:
"... Obviously, I agree with Merry on this, but it is worth spelling out in a little more detail what this means and why this is the case. Trump's speechwriters like to insert the phrase "principled realism" into some of the president's statements, but as I've said more than a few times the administration's so-called "principled realism" is neither principled nor realist. The administration's foreign policy does not seem to follow any guiding principles (unless maximizing arms sales counts as a principle). ..."
"... Since taking office, Trump has escalated multiple wars and ended none. He has deepened U.S. involvement in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen, and that has just been in the first nine months of his presidency. ..."
"... One of the more worrisome aspects of Trump's foreign policy to date has been his tendency to encourage what Barry Posen calls "reckless driving" by U.S. clients. Trump is hardly the first president to do this, but he has made a point of doing it fairly often since taking office. Increasing U.S. support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen is one obvious example of this. Then there was Trump's Riyadh speech in which he effectively told U.S. Gulf clients that they had Washington's blessing to do whatever they wanted. In a matter of weeks, the Saudi-led bloc launched their campaign against Qatar. Since then, the White House has backed every Saudi move without hesitation, which has just encouraged the Saudis to engage in more destabilizing behavior. ..."
"... Foreign policy restraint was never likely under a Trump administration for a few reasons. First, the president's preferences for a bigger military and his preoccupation with shows of "strength" and "greatness" mean that his instincts are to reject some of restraint's core features. Second, there are very few people in the Republican Party, whether "establishment" or populist, who think that the U.S. needs to be significantly less activist abroad. They may disagree among themselves about where and why to interfere around the world, but the obsession with "leadership" (a.k.a., hegemony) is widely shared. ..."
"... "Being White House chief of staff is not something John Kelly has been trained for. Being Secretary of Defense is not something that James Mattis has been trained for. Providing international and foreign policy assessments is not something H. R. McMaster has been trained for. They're out of their lane. And it shows." ..."
"... "We have civilian government for a reason. We have politicians doing political jobs for a reason. I'm not sure where this leads . . . But I think we've seen . . . that the 'adults in the room' . . . are more like the president than we might imagine. . . . They might, in fact, reflect the military that they're from, which is, expeditionary" -- prone to interest in conflict abroad. ..."
"... Their intense hostility to Iran has also reinforced Trump's own. Because Trump has no relevant experience or knowledge to draw that would cause him to overrule their judgment, these Cabinet members and advisers will keep talking him into deeper entanglements in many different countries. The result is a foreign policy that is consistently the opposite of restraint. ..."
"... They are not going to be able to make up the failures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya or elsewhere by instigating more of the same. If they didn't question the need to invade Ira strategically and press for an incisive , and limited incursion into Afghanistan to deal with the culprits of 9/11, I think its fair to challenge their decision making on other strategic goals as well. ..."
"... There have been some moral ground – responsibility for making a mess of their house (Iraq) -- but I suspect that the window is closed for correcting that mistake. Iran is going to be a force in the region, by our hand and sadly, for the time being -- that's the way it is. ..."
"... At the moment I think one has to conclude that Mr. Bannon was correct, whatever the campaign agenda it is losing to the opposing advocacy. Pres. Trump has it appears chosen not to be a trans-formative Pres. I don't have a beef with the generals, they are doing what generals (dogs of war do). It is the civilian leadership in and out of congress that have failed. ..."
Nov 08, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Curt Mills reports on TAC 's realism and restraint conference that was held last week at George Washington University:

TAC editor Robert Merry, a staunch realist and prolific author, went further than many: "There is no realism and restraint in American foreign policy in the Trump era."

Obviously, I agree with Merry on this, but it is worth spelling out in a little more detail what this means and why this is the case. Trump's speechwriters like to insert the phrase "principled realism" into some of the president's statements, but as I've said more than a few times the administration's so-called "principled realism" is neither principled nor realist. The administration's foreign policy does not seem to follow any guiding principles (unless maximizing arms sales counts as a principle). In practice, the administration neglects managing relations with other great powers, it encourages "cheap-" and "free-riding" by allies and clients, and it treats threats that can be managed with deterrence as intolerable menaces that must be eliminated. If Trump has not yet launched a preventive war, it is not because he thinks there is anything wrong in doing so.

Since taking office, Trump has escalated multiple wars and ended none. He has deepened U.S. involvement in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen, and that has just been in the first nine months of his presidency. He has simultaneously sought to blow up a non-proliferation agreement with Iran while stoking tensions with a nuclear-armed North Korea. He wants a larger military budget than the already bloated one that we have, and he has been even more inclined than his predecessors to give U.S. clients a blank check. A strategy of restraint would reject all of this.

One of the more worrisome aspects of Trump's foreign policy to date has been his tendency to encourage what Barry Posen calls "reckless driving" by U.S. clients. Trump is hardly the first president to do this, but he has made a point of doing it fairly often since taking office. Increasing U.S. support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen is one obvious example of this. Then there was Trump's Riyadh speech in which he effectively told U.S. Gulf clients that they had Washington's blessing to do whatever they wanted. In a matter of weeks, the Saudi-led bloc launched their campaign against Qatar. Since then, the White House has backed every Saudi move without hesitation, which has just encouraged the Saudis to engage in more destabilizing behavior.

A foreign policy of restraint would be one that keeps the U.S. out of local and regional conflicts that pose no threat to our security. The U.S. would not be stuck policing foreign battlefields in the Near East or Central Asia in perpetuity, and it wouldn't be entangled in foreign civil wars where we have nothing at stake. The U.S. wouldn't be taking sides in regional rivalries for the sake of "reassuring" our clients, and our government wouldn't be rewarding clients that destabilize their regions through ill-conceived and unnecessary wars. There would be no place for preventive war in such a foreign policy, and in general the U.S. would seek to avoid land wars whenever possible.

Foreign policy restraint was never likely under a Trump administration for a few reasons. First, the president's preferences for a bigger military and his preoccupation with shows of "strength" and "greatness" mean that his instincts are to reject some of restraint's core features. Second, there are very few people in the Republican Party, whether "establishment" or populist, who think that the U.S. needs to be significantly less activist abroad. They may disagree among themselves about where and why to interfere around the world, but the obsession with "leadership" (a.k.a., hegemony) is widely shared. Finally, Trump's fascination with current and former generals has meant that he has filled his administration with Cabinet members and advisers that have been very involved in the expeditionary wars of the last decade and a half, and as a result his views of these wars and of U.S. foreign policy more broadly have been heavily influenced by men that have no problem with continuing these wars more or less indefinitely. This is connected to a point Mark Perry made on one of the panels last Friday, which Mills quotes in his article:

"Being White House chief of staff is not something John Kelly has been trained for. Being Secretary of Defense is not something that James Mattis has been trained for. Providing international and foreign policy assessments is not something H. R. McMaster has been trained for. They're out of their lane. And it shows."

He continued: "We have civilian government for a reason. We have politicians doing political jobs for a reason. I'm not sure where this leads . . . But I think we've seen . . . that the 'adults in the room' . . . are more like the president than we might imagine. . . . They might, in fact, reflect the military that they're from, which is, expeditionary" -- prone to interest in conflict abroad.

Their intense hostility to Iran has also reinforced Trump's own. Because Trump has no relevant experience or knowledge to draw that would cause him to overrule their judgment, these Cabinet members and advisers will keep talking him into deeper entanglements in many different countries. The result is a foreign policy that is consistently the opposite of restraint.

EliteCommInc., says: November 8, 2017 at 8:04 pm

"Their intense hostility to Iran has also reinforced Trump's own. Because Trump has no relevant experience or knowledge to draw that would cause him to overrule their judgment, these Cabinet members and advisers will keep talking him into deeper entanglements in many different countries."

I'll be honest here. I think it is the other way around. I don't think these are the executives instincts. I think it reflects those of the men around him.

I was hoping he would govern them, but he doesn't seem to have much a back to tell them no.

They are not going to be able to make up the failures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya or elsewhere by instigating more of the same. If they didn't question the need to invade Ira strategically and press for an incisive , and limited incursion into Afghanistan to deal with the culprits of 9/11, I think its fair to challenge their decision making on other strategic goals as well.

There have been some moral ground – responsibility for making a mess of their house (Iraq) -- but I suspect that the window is closed for correcting that mistake. Iran is going to be a force in the region, by our hand and sadly, for the time being -- that's the way it is.

At the moment I think one has to conclude that Mr. Bannon was correct, whatever the campaign agenda it is losing to the opposing advocacy. Pres. Trump has it appears chosen not to be a trans-formative Pres. I don't have a beef with the generals, they are doing what generals (dogs of war do). It is the civilian leadership in and out of congress that have failed.

But as always, I am not inclined to abandon this President yet -- the commentaries, including my own are speculative.

[Nov 08, 2017] More 'Fake News,' Alas, From the New York Times The American Conservative by Andrew J. Bacevich

Notable quotes:
"... Third, Manafort's efforts mattered bigly. In 2010, he helped Victor F. Yanukovych become president of Ukraine. An unquestionably nasty piece of work, Yanukovych was, according to Farkas, "Putin's man in Kiev." Yet like it or not, he came to power as the result of democratic election. In 2013, Yanukovych opted against joining the EU, which along with NATO, had, in Farkas's words, "experienced a burst of membership expansion" right up to Russia's own borders. ..."
"... In response to Yanukovych's action, "the Ukrainian people," that is, the enlightened ones, "took to the streets," forcing him to flee the country. Rather than bowing to the expressed will of the people, however, Russia's Vladimir Putin "instigated a separatist movement" in eastern Ukraine, thereby triggering "a war between Russia and Ukraine that continues to this day." ..."
"... To accept Farkas's account as truthful, one would necessarily conclude that as Manafort was hijacking history, the United States remained quietly on the sidelines, an innocent bystander sending prayers heavenward in hopes that freedom and democracy might everywhere prevail ..."
"... Furthermore, Russia was not alone in its meddling. The United States has been equally guilty. When "the Ukrainian people took to the streets," as Farkas puts it, the State Department and CIA were behind the scenes vigorously pulling strings. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland believed it was incumbent upon the United States to decide who should govern Ukraine. ("Yats is the guy," she said on a leaked call). Nuland would brook no interference from allies slow to follow Washington's lead. ("F–k the EU," she told the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.) ..."
"... That Ukraine is, as Farkas correctly states, a torn country, did not give Nuland pause. Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. policymakers have assigned to themselves a magical ability to repair such tears and to make broken countries whole. The results of their labors are amply on display everywhere from Somalia and Haiti to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Now add Ukraine to that sorry list. ..."
"... Even so, can't we at least assume Nuland's motives were morally superior to Putin's? After all, President Putin is clearly a thug whereas Nuland is an estimable product of the American foreign policy establishment. She's married to Robert Kagan, for heaven's sake. ..."
"... This is why we should disband politically oriented NGO's. In essence, a country is only a democracy if it is pro-U.S. Resistance is futile. Meddling at this level will only bring about more conflict, instability and military obligations will follow. It is good to be king but it is also quite expensive and ultimately ruinous. ..."
"... Imperialism rules other peoples against their will, necessitating for its survival the lessening of democratic accountability at home, too, since it lessens the importance of citizens' own concerns, also requiring for its warmaking security keeping voters in the dark. ..."
"... Make that, More 'Fake News,' Of Course From the New York Times. Saturated with Fake News of various manifestations, the NY Times and its rancid analog Washington Post on the other end of the Crony-Elite NY-DC axis are unreadable. ..."
"... Given a ham-fisted EU run by Elite hacks in Brussels that is white washing Europe's Christian legacy, mandating overbearing economic and social controls and absorbing millions of net negative migrants, the Czechs, Poles, Hungarians and Balts seem to be having second thoughts. BTW, The Russians will not and do not want to invade those countries. As the EU spins out of control and the One Belt One Road initiative develops, Russia only needs to ask them what direction they want to face in the future. ..."
"... So, having said that, on foreign policy they, all newspapers and the vast majority of magazines, are war-peddling neo-con supporters. ..."
"... Do not buy any major newspaper. Let them wither away and, it wasn't fake spun 'news' we have been getting only this year: fake agenda driven bull has been going on for decades. Go to the internet and overseas for news think what I said over and you will see ..."
"... All this social, economic and political mess is the result of deregulation in the economic, social, political spheres. The effects of those deregulations are now quite obvious in: economy, society, morality and politics that are already corrupted to the core, but the corruption is not stopping there, it is consuming everything else on its way. There is no end to it, and what is even more surprising is that people want even more of all kinds of deregulations etc. ..."
"... Wouldn't it be more logical to bring back responsibility, moral standards and decency to politics, society and economy etc? What I now see in media is the total lack of any ideas on how to correct the obvious, but instead everybody is spinning his/her lies to make them more believable to the yet unconverted. This is pure relativism and sophistry and it destroys not only the USA, but the West as well. ..."
"... If an opinion piece in NYT or other MSM blatantly distorts the facts, then it belongs to the category of "fake news." Which should probably be called "malicious rumors." So the defense of some commenters that you can blatantly lie in opinion pieces (the right NYT exercised to the full extent in this particular example and for which Bacevich criticized them) is wrong. Anti-Russian witch hunt in NYT and other MSM destroys the credibility of the USA version of neoliberalism as well as the USA foreign policy. Along with Trump election, I view it as a symptom of the crisis of neoliberalism for which the US elite is unable to find a more suitable answer than scapegoating. Also the fact that Nuland is married to neocon warmonger Kagan is a material fact. ..."
Nov 08, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Disregarding President Trump's insistent claim that the establishment press propagates "fake news" requires a constant effort -- especially when a prestigious outlet like the New York Times allows itself to be used for blatantly fraudulent purposes.

I cherish the First Amendment. Mark me down as favoring journalism that is loud, lively, and confrontational. When members of the media snooze -- falling for fictitious claims about Saddam's WMD program or Gaddafi's genocidal intentions, for example -- we all lose.

So the recent decision by Times editors to publish an op-ed regarding Paul Manafort's involvement in Ukraine is disturbing. That the Times is keen to bring down Donald Trump is no doubt the case. Yet if efforts to do so entail grotesque distortions of U.S. policy before Trump, then we are courting real trouble. Put simply, ousting Trump should not come at the cost of whitewashing the follies that contributed to Trump's rise in the first place.

The offending Times op-ed, the handiwork of Evelyn N. Farkas, appears under the title "With Manafort, It Really Is About Russia, Not Ukraine." During the Obama administration, Farkas served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia, and Mess Kit Repair. Okay, I added that last bit, but it does seem like quite an expansive charter for a mere deputy assistant secretary.

The story Farkas tells goes like this.

First, from the moment it achieved independence in 1991, Ukraine was a divided nation, "torn between Western Europe and Russia." Ukrainians in the country's western precincts wanted to join the European Union and NATO. Those further to east "oriented themselves toward Russia, which exerted maximum influence to keep Ukraine closely aligned." In one camp were enlightened Ukrainians. In the other camp, the unenlightened.

Second, Manafort's involvement in this intra-Ukrainian dispute was -- shockingly -- never about "advanc[ing] the interests of democracy, Western Europe or the United States." Manafort's motives were strictly venal. In what Farkas describes as a "standoff between democracy and autocracy," he threw in with the autocrats, thereby raking in millions.

Third, Manafort's efforts mattered bigly. In 2010, he helped Victor F. Yanukovych become president of Ukraine. An unquestionably nasty piece of work, Yanukovych was, according to Farkas, "Putin's man in Kiev." Yet like it or not, he came to power as the result of democratic election. In 2013, Yanukovych opted against joining the EU, which along with NATO, had, in Farkas's words, "experienced a burst of membership expansion" right up to Russia's own borders.

In response to Yanukovych's action, "the Ukrainian people," that is, the enlightened ones, "took to the streets," forcing him to flee the country. Rather than bowing to the expressed will of the people, however, Russia's Vladimir Putin "instigated a separatist movement" in eastern Ukraine, thereby triggering "a war between Russia and Ukraine that continues to this day."

To accept Farkas's account as truthful, one would necessarily conclude that as Manafort was hijacking history, the United States remained quietly on the sidelines, an innocent bystander sending prayers heavenward in hopes that freedom and democracy might everywhere prevail .

Such was hardly the case, however. One need not be a Putin apologist to note that the United States was itself engaged in a program of instigation, one that ultimately induced a hostile -- but arguably defensive -- Russian response.

In the wake of the Cold War, the EU and NATO did not experience a "burst" of expansion, a formulation suggesting joyous spontaneity. Rather, with Washington's enthusiastic support, the West embarked upon a deliberate eastward march at the Kremlin's expense, an undertaking made possible by (and intended to exploit) Russia's weakened state. In football, it's called piling on.

That this project worked to the benefit of Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, the Baltic Republics, and others is very much the case. On that score, it is to be applauded.

That at some point a resentful Russia would push back was all but certain. Indeed, more than a few Western observers had warned against such a response.

The proposed incorporation of Ukraine into NATO brought matters to a head. For Putin, this was an unacceptable prospect. He acted as would any U.S. president contemplating the absorption of a near neighbor into hostile bloc of nations. Indeed, he acted much as had Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy when they assessed the implications of Cuba joining the Soviet bloc.

That doesn't justify or excuse Putin's meddling in Ukraine. Yet it suggests an explanation for Russian behavior other than the bitterness of an ex-KGB colonel still with his shorts in a knot over losing the Cold War. Russia has an obvious and compelling interest in who controls Ukraine, even if few in Washington or in the editorial offices of the New York Times will acknowledge that reality.

Furthermore, Russia was not alone in its meddling. The United States has been equally guilty. When "the Ukrainian people took to the streets," as Farkas puts it, the State Department and CIA were behind the scenes vigorously pulling strings. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland believed it was incumbent upon the United States to decide who should govern Ukraine. ("Yats is the guy," she said on a leaked call). Nuland would brook no interference from allies slow to follow Washington's lead. ("F–k the EU," she told the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.)

That Ukraine is, as Farkas correctly states, a torn country, did not give Nuland pause. Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. policymakers have assigned to themselves a magical ability to repair such tears and to make broken countries whole. The results of their labors are amply on display everywhere from Somalia and Haiti to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Now add Ukraine to that sorry list.

Even so, can't we at least assume Nuland's motives were morally superior to Putin's? After all, President Putin is clearly a thug whereas Nuland is an estimable product of the American foreign policy establishment. She's married to Robert Kagan, for heaven's sake.

Persuade yourself that the United States is all about democracy promotion, as Farkas appears to believe, and the answer to that question is clearly yes. Alas, the record of American statecraft stretching over decades provides an abundance of contrary evidence. In practice, the United States supports democracy only when it finds it convenient to do so. Should circumstances require, it unhesitatingly befriends despots, especially rich ones that pay cash while purchasing American weaponry.

Yanukovych was Putin's man, "and therefore, indirectly, so was Mr. Manafort," Farkas concludes. All that now remains is to determine "the extent to which Mr. Manafort was Putin's man in Washington." For Farkas, the self-evident answer to that question cannot come too soon.

As to whether Russia -- or any other great power -- might have legitimate security interests that the United States would do well to respect, that's not a matter worth bothering about. Thus does the imperative of ousting Trump eclipse the need to confront the pretensions and the hubris that helped make Trump possible.

Andrew Bacevich is writer-at-large at The American Conservative

John Fargo , says: November 7, 2017 at 11:17 pm

This is why the term "fake news" is so harmful and should not be used by media outlets. The use of "bad journalism" would be much more useful as it forces the claimants to justify their reasons for doing so.
"Fake news" is just a dog whistle.
William Dalton , says: November 8, 2017 at 12:02 am
Has it not occurred to the foreign policy establishment in Washington that it is more in America's national interests for Ukraine to remain in Moscow's orbit, so as to strengthen U.S.-Russian relations, not exacerbate tensions, rather than to pull them into the EU, or, God forbid, NATO? Isn't this what any of the seasoned experts at Foggy Bottom would tell you? Why aren't they doing so?
Tiktaalik , says: November 8, 2017 at 2:49 am
Two comments in order

1) Yanukovich won in 2004 as well and the election results were hijacked by 'Maidan'

2) Yanukovich wasn't Putin man back in 2010. As a matter of fact, he and his party actively promoted EU integration deal, until they read its actual conditions. After that they backtracked and rushed to Putin for a support.

So it was classical case of sitting on two chairs simultaneously.

JonB , says: November 8, 2017 at 5:39 am
Completely agree with John Fargo. "Fake News" should be reserved for deliberate falsehoods published knowingly. This NYT op-ed amounts to "an interpretation of history Bacevich doesn't agree with." I may not agree with it either – but it's not like claiming that the Vegas shooter was anti-Trump, or creating a Facebook account for a non-existent person or organization.
Nolan , says: November 8, 2017 at 6:42 am
Mr Fargo: Disagree. "Bad journalism" implies the author is lazy yet innocent in their way. "Fake news" is more about narrative control and manipulation of the reader through reinvention or exaggeration, et cetera. Calling articles and outlets fake news is more accurate and levies much more weight against the lies and deceit than simply accusing someone or thing of bad journalism.
Christian Chuba , says: November 8, 2017 at 6:54 am
This is why we should disband politically oriented NGO's. In essence, a country is only a democracy if it is pro-U.S. Resistance is futile. Meddling at this level will only bring about more conflict, instability and military obligations will follow. It is good to be king but it is also quite expensive and ultimately ruinous.
Fran Macadam , says: November 8, 2017 at 7:30 am
If it were all about democracy promotion, they wouldn't also be so anxious to negate an election here at home. Imperialism rules other peoples against their will, necessitating for its survival the lessening of democratic accountability at home, too, since it lessens the importance of citizens' own concerns, also requiring for its warmaking security keeping voters in the dark.
SteveM , says: November 8, 2017 at 7:36 am
Re: "More 'Fake News,' Alas, From the New York Times"

Make that, More 'Fake News,' Of Course From the New York Times. Saturated with Fake News of various manifestations, the NY Times and its rancid analog Washington Post on the other end of the Crony-Elite NY-DC axis are unreadable.

Re: "That this project worked to the benefit of Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, the Baltic Republics, and others is very much the case. On that score, it is to be applauded."

Given a ham-fisted EU run by Elite hacks in Brussels that is white washing Europe's Christian legacy, mandating overbearing economic and social controls and absorbing millions of net negative migrants, the Czechs, Poles, Hungarians and Balts seem to be having second thoughts. BTW, The Russians will not and do not want to invade those countries. As the EU spins out of control and the One Belt One Road initiative develops, Russia only needs to ask them what direction they want to face in the future.

Dee , says: November 8, 2017 at 8:08 am
How is it someone's "opinion" constitutes "fake News"? Trump did not win by policy issues, he rode the right-wing outrage at all things clinton/libtard better than anyone else. His policy positions were mostly promise everything to everyone, but his campaign was about Lock her up/ build the wall! After bashing Goldman Sachs during the election, once he won he promptly filled his cabinet with them and other mega donor types.
Mario Diana , says: November 8, 2017 at 9:30 am
@John Fargo – I'm in almost complete sympathy with Mr. Bacevich's essay, but you make an excellent point. "Bad journalism" is the better term. In fact, the only criticism I can make of your statement is that "dog whistle" is the wrong term. Everyone associates the term "fake news" with Donald Trump. (If it were possible, he no doubt would have trademarked it.) Using the term alienates the very people who need to hear criticisms like those in Mr. Bacevich's essay. They hear it, too; and upon hearing it, they stop listening.
Egypt Steve , says: November 8, 2017 at 11:34 am
Look, elite and non-elite self-delusion about the purity of U.S. motives abroad dates back to the Roosevelt administration at least -- and I mean the Teddy Roosevelt administration. I don't see how any of this amounts to a defense of charges of money-laundering against Manafort.
Janek , says: November 8, 2017 at 11:37 am
I disagree with John Fargo. The news that NYT, Washington Post, and other media outlets (not only liberal ) "produce" is the "Fake News". "Bad journalism" should be reserved and used in the sense Nolan explains. Besides the "Fake News" on the so called "left" in American politics in general is the problem of "double speak" and speaking with the "forked tongues". American "right" is the camp of the white flag.
Tom , says: November 8, 2017 at 12:20 pm
The op-ed page is for opinion pieces of writing and that is what this was an opinion. It isn't fake news because it isn't news.
SteveM , says: November 8, 2017 at 12:43 pm
Re: Janek:

Besides the "Fake News" on the so called "left" in American politics in general is the problem of "double speak" and speaking with the "forked tongues". American "right" is the camp of the white flag.

I've mentioned the various "flavors" of Fake News before. There is (1) the obvious – what is claimed as true is actually false. But also (2), what is claimed as important, actually isn't. And (3) what is important, is weakly or not reported at all.

An example of Type 2 is the WaPost reporting on its front page before the 2016 that Jared Kushner may have been greased into the Harvard MBA program. As if Ivy League greasing by monied Elites is unheard of. How was that front page news? And how about the acceptances of Chelsea Clinton (Stanford) and Malia Obama (Harvard)?

The cases of Type 3 Fake News are much more egregious. For example, the reasoned arguments and analysis by retired American intelligence officers and academics that the Syrian forces "chemical weapon attack" in April was almost certainly a false flag with staged recovery activity.

The NY Times and WaPost have consistently refused to acknowledge that those arguments and analysis even exist.

The linking of Russia to the DNC email leaks as factual by the Times, Post and NPR without a scintilla of published hard evidence is another example.

There are many more examples of Type 3 Fake News that could be demonstrated. Much of what claims to be journalism by the MSM is now Fake News trash.

Siarlys Jenkins , says: November 8, 2017 at 1:09 pm
Disregarding President Trump's insistent claim that the establishment press propagates "fake news" requires a constant effort -- especially when a prestigious outlet like the New York Times allows itself to be used for blatantly fraudulent purposes.

I agree in principal, although I note that President Trump and his team are as guilty of fake news as anyone, and the president himself appears to be positively delusional. I might at times disagree with Bacevich as to which news is fake.

I would also agree that there has been a great deal of "fake news" out of Ukraine, and what is really going on their is a former SSR with a bitterly divided population that each has about equal numbers, proponderance in some territories compared to others, and equally opportunistic leadership showing no great commitment to anything recognizable as "democracy."

Fayez Abedaziz , says: November 8, 2017 at 3:22 pm
Say, can we refrain from using the word 'journalism' when we refer to the American media? We should.

The internet and sources overseas, such as the Independent News paper/site out of Britain, have news that is not purposely spun as is by the neo-con American news papers and magazines. Not as much, anyway. Several points here, for example of what bad news (pun intended) the joke of American media is:

1- quit calling the main stream media liberal or left. They are liberal in a 'social issues sense,' that is, to be politically correct.

2- So, having said that, on foreign policy they, all newspapers and the vast majority of magazines, are war-peddling neo-con supporters.

3-They have agendas. Do we not remember how they, at the new york times, peddled the war against Iraq and how, when you look at the editorial page you feel that these people and the guests opinion writers are soulless people that have no concern for America's 'flyover' country?

4- Yeah, isn't that ironic that these people look down on America's middle class, blue collar workers and yes, it's troops, by that constant bashing of nations here and there and pushing for aggressive stands or even military attacks? Let the people at the major newspapers like this n.y.times rag tell us when they served in the U.S. military or their when their offspring did or when they're gonna join and volunteer for combat duty. Never mind, I've got the answer-none of 'em.

Do not buy any major newspaper. Let them wither away and, it wasn't fake spun 'news' we have been getting only this year: fake agenda driven bull has been going on for decades. Go to the internet and overseas for news think what I said over and you will see

Janek , says: November 8, 2017 at 3:39 pm
@SteveM

Not everybody has the time to analyze the deluge of all the "Fake News" and categorize it into classes and/or sub-classes you or somebody else proposes. Where all that leads? Soon we will have new sociopolitical discipline and experts on "fake-newsology" that will introduce another layer of pseudo-information that will have to be translated to the uninitiated and unwashed.

All this social, economic and political mess is the result of deregulation in the economic, social, political spheres. The effects of those deregulations are now quite obvious in: economy, society, morality and politics that are already corrupted to the core, but the corruption is not stopping there, it is consuming everything else on its way. There is no end to it, and what is even more surprising is that people want even more of all kinds of deregulations etc.

Wouldn't it be more logical to bring back responsibility, moral standards and decency to politics, society and economy etc? What I now see in media is the total lack of any ideas on how to correct the obvious, but instead everybody is spinning his/her lies to make them more believable to the yet unconverted. This is pure relativism and sophistry and it destroys not only the USA, but the West as well.

nikbez

If an opinion piece in NYT or other MSM blatantly distorts the facts, then it belongs to the category of "fake news." Which should probably be called "malicious rumors."

So the defense of some commenters that you can blatantly lie in opinion pieces (the right NYT exercised to the full extent in this particular example and for which Bacevich criticized them) is wrong.

Anti-Russian witch hunt in NYT and other MSM destroys the credibility of the USA version of neoliberalism as well as the USA foreign policy. Along with Trump election, I view it as a symptom of the crisis of neoliberalism for which the US elite is unable to find a more suitable answer than scapegoating.

Also the fact that Nuland is married to neocon warmonger Kagan is a material fact.

[Nov 08, 2017] Learning to Love McCarthyism by Robert Parry

Highly recommended!
Russiagate witch hunt is destroying CIA franchise in Facebook and Twitter, which were used by many Russians and Eastern Europeans in general.
One telling sign of the national security state is "demonizing enemies of the state" including using neo-McCarthyism methods, typically for Russiagate.
In the beginning, "Russiagate" was about alleged actions by Russian secret services. Evidence for these allegations has never emerged, and it seems that the Russiagate conspiracy theorists largely gave up on this part (they still sometimes write about it as if it was an established fact, but since the only thing in support of it they can adduce is the canard about the 17 intelligence services, it probably is not that interesting any more).
Now, they have dropped the mask, and the object of their hatred are openly all Russian people, as the new Undermensch. If these people and US MSM recognized the reality that they are now a particularly rabid part of the xenophobic far right in the United States
Notable quotes:
"... Buried in the story's "jump" is the acknowledgement that Milner's "companies sold those holdings several years ago." But such is the anti-Russia madness gripping the Establishment of Washington and New York that any contact with any Russian constitutes a scandal worthy of front-page coverage. On Monday, The Washington Post published a page-one article entitled, "9 in Trump's orbit had contacts with Russians." ..."
"... The anti-Russian madness has reached such extremes that even when you say something that's obviously true – but that RT, the Russian television network, also reported – you are attacked for spreading "Russian propaganda." ..."
"... We saw that when former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile disclosed in her new book that she considered the possibility of replacing Hillary Clinton on the Democratic ticket after Clinton's public fainting spell and worries about her health. ..."
"... In other words, the go-to excuse for everything these days is to blame the Russians and smear anyone who says anything – no matter how true – if it also was reported on RT. ..."
"... The CIA has an entire bureaucracy dedicated to propaganda and disinformation, with some of those efforts farmed out to newer entities such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) or paid for by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). NATO has a special command in Latvia that undertakes "strategic communications." ..."
"... Israel is another skilled player in this field, tapping into its supporters around the world to harass people who criticize the Zionist project. Indeed, since the 1980s, Israel has pioneered many of the tactics of computer spying and sabotage that were adopted and expanded by America's National Security Agency, explaining why the Obama administration teamed up with Israel in a scheme to plant malicious code into Iranian centrifuges to sabotage Iran's nuclear program. ..."
"... And, if you're really concerned about foreign interference in U.S. elections and policies, there's the remarkable influence of Israel and its perceived ability to effect the defeat of almost any politician who deviates from what the Israeli government wants, going back at least to the 1980s when Sen. Chuck Percy and Rep. Paul Findley were among the political casualties after pursuing contacts with the Palestinians. ..."
"... The answer seems to be the widespread hatred for President Trump combined with vested interests in favor of whipping up the New Cold War. That is a goal valued by both the Military-Industrial Complex, which sees trillions of dollars in strategic weapons systems in the future, and the neoconservatives, who view Russia as a threat to their "regime change" agendas for Syria and Iran. ..."
"... After all, if Russia and its independent-minded President Putin can be beaten back and beaten down, then a big obstacle to the neocon/Israeli goal of expanding the Mideast wars will be removed. ..."
"... Right now, the neocons are openly lusting for a "regime change" in Moscow despite the obvious risks that such turmoil in a nuclear-armed country might create, including the possibility that Putin would be succeeded not by some compliant Western client like the late Boris Yeltsin but by an extreme nationalist who might consider launching a nuclear strike to protect the honor of Mother Russia. ..."
"... The likely outcome from the anti-Russian show trials on Capitol Hill is that technology giants will bow to the bipartisan demand for new algorithms and other methods for stigmatizing, marginalizing and eliminating information that challenges the mainstream storylines in the cause of fighting "Russian propaganda." ..."
"... America's Stolen Narrative, ..."
"... witch hunt by congressional Democrats, working with the intelligence agencies and leading media outlets, to legitimize censorship and attack free speech on the Internet. ..."
"... The aim of this campaign is to claim that social conflict within the United States arises not from the scale of social inequality in America, greater than in any other country in the developed world, but rather from the actions of "outside agitators" working in the service of the Kremlin. ..."
"... The McCarthyite witch hunts of the 1950s sought to suppress left-wing thought and label all forms of dissent as illegitimate and treasonous. Those who led them worked to purge left-wing opinion from Hollywood, the trade unions and the universities. ..."
"... Likewise, the new McCarthyism is aimed at creating a political climate in which left-wing organizations and figures are demonized as agents of the Kremlin who are essentially engaged in treasonous activity deserving of criminal prosecution. ..."
"... Danny there was a time not to long ago, I would have said of how we are 'moving towards' to us becoming a police state, well instead replace that prediction of 'moving towards' to the stark reality to be described as 'that now we are', and there you will have it that we have finally arrived to becoming a full blown 'police state'. ..."
"... Thanks to Mr. Parry for this very fair and complete review of the latest attempts to generate a fake foreign enemy. The tyrant over a democracy must generate fake foreign enemies to pose falsely as a protector, so as to demand domestic power and accuse his opponents of disloyalty, as Aristotle and Plato warned thousands of years ago. ..."
"... The insanity of the entire "Russian hacking" narrative has been revealed over and over, including this past weekend when +/-100 Clinton loyalists published a screed on Medium saying Donna Brazile had been taken in by Russian propaganda. ..."
"... I have come to expect just about anything when it comes to Russia-Gate, but I was taken aback by the Hillary bots' accusation that videos of Hillary stumbling and others showing her apparently having a fit of some kind and also needing to be helped up the steps to someone's house -- which were taken by Americans and shown by Americans and seen by millions of shocked Americans -- were driven by Russia-Gate. ..."
"... Now, since the extremist xenophobic idea that contact with *any* Russians is a scandal has taken hold in the United States, people are probably not too eager to mention these contacts in these atmosphere of extreme xenophobic anti-Russian hatred in today's United States. Furthermore, people who have contact with large numbers of people probably really have difficulties remembering and listing these all. ..."
"... Their contacts are with Russian business and maybe the Russian mob, not the Russian state. There is really not question that Trump and his cronies are crooks, but they are crooks in the US and in all the other countries where they do business, not just Russia. I'm sure Mueller will be able to tie Trump directly to some of the sleeze. But there is no evidence that the Russian government is involved in any of it. "Russia-gate" implies Russian government involvement, not just random Russians. There is no evidence of that and moreover the logic is against. ..."
"... Mr. Cash . I think George Papadopoulis, Trump's young Aide, was an inside mole for neocon pro-Israel interests. Those interests needed to knock the unreliable President Trump out of the way to get the "system" back where it belonged – in their pocket. Papadopoulis, on his own, was rummaging around making Trump/Russian connections that finally ended with the the William (Richard?) Browder (well-known Washington DC neocon)/Natalia Veselnitskaya/Donald Trump, Jr. fiasco. The Trumps knew nothing of those negotiations, and young Trump left when he realized Natalia was only interested in Americans being allowed to adopt Russian children again and had no dirt on Hillary. ..."
"... It was never my impression that Cold War liberals opposed McCarthy or the anti-Communist witch hunt. Where they didn't gleefully join in, they watched quietly from the sidelines while the American left was eviscerated, jailed, driven from public life. Then the liberals stepped in when it was clear things were going a little too far and just as the steam had run out of McCarthy's slander machine. ..."
"... At that point figures like Adlai Stevenson, Hubert Humphrey and John F. Kennedy found the path clear for their brand of political stagecraft. They were imperialists to a man, something they proved abundantly when given the chance. Liberals supplanted the left in U.S. life- in the unions, the teaching profession, publishing and every other field where criticism of the Cold War and the enduring prevalence of worker solidarity across international lines threatened the new order. ..."
"... The book concludes that by equating dissent with disloyalty, promoting guilt by association, and personally commanding loyalty programs, ""Truman and his advisors employed all the political and programmatic techniques that in later years were to become associated with the broad phenomenon of McCarthyism."" ..."
"... Formed by Google in June 2015 with Eliot Higgins of the Atlantic Council's Bellingcat as a founding member, the "First Draft" coalition includes all the usual mainstream media "partners" in "regime change" war propaganda: the Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, the UK Guardian and Telegraph, BBC News, the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensics Research Lab and Kiev-based Stopfake. ..."
"... In the beginning, "Russiagate" was about alleged actions by Russian secret services. Evidence for these allegations has never emerged, and it seems that the Russiagate conspiracy theorists largely gave up on this part (they still sometimes write about it as if it was an established fact, but since the only thing in support of it they can adduce is the canard about the 17 intelligence services, it probably is not that interesting any more) ..."
"... Now, they have dropped the mask, and the object of their hatred are openly all Russian people, anyone who is "Russian linked" by ever having logged in to social networks from Russia or using Cyrillic letters. If these people and their media at least recognized the reality that they are now a particularly rabid part of the xenophobic far right in the United States ..."
"... The interview of Roger Waters on RT is one of the best I have seen in a long while. I wish some other artists get the courage to raise their voices. The link to the Roger Waters interview is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7jcvfbLoIA This Roger Waters interview is worth watching. ..."
"... It would seem that everyone on the US telivision , newspaper and internet news has mastered the art of hand over mouth , gasp and looking horrified every time Russia is mentioned. It looks to me that the US is in the middle of another of it´s mid life crises. Panic reigns supreme every where. If it was not so sad it would be funny. i was born in the 1940s and remember the McCarthy witch hunts and the daily shower of people jumping out of windows as a result of it. ..."
"... In The Fifties (1993), American journalist and historian David Halberstam addressed the noxious effect of McCarthyism: "McCarthy's carnival like four year spree of accusation charges, and threats touched something deep in the American body politic, something that lasted long after his own recklessness, carelessness and boozing ended his career in shame." (page 53) ..."
"... Halberstam specifically discussed how readily the so-called "free" press acquiesced to McCarthy's masquerading: "The real scandal in all this was the behavior of the members of the Washington press corps, who, more often than not, knew better. They were delighted to be a part of his traveling road show, chronicling each charge and then moving on to the next town, instead of bothering to stay behind and follow up. They had little interest in reporting how careless McCarthy was or how little it all meant to him." (page 55) ..."
"... Why have they not investigated James Comey? Why has the MSM instead created a Russian Boogeyman? Why was he invited to testify about the Russian connection but never cross examined about his own influence? Why is the clearest reason for election meddling by James Comey not even spoken of by the MSM? This is because the MSM does not want to cover events as they happened but wants to recreate a alternate reality suitable to themselves which serves their interests and convinces us that the MSM has no part at all in downplaying the involvement of themselves in the election but wants to create a foreign enemy to blame. ..."
Nov 08, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Special Report: Many American liberals who once denounced McCarthyism as evil are now learning to love the ugly tactic when it can be used to advance the Russia-gate "scandal" and silence dissent, reports Robert Parry.

The New York Times has finally detected some modern-day McCarthyism, but not in the anti-Russia hysteria that the newspaper has fueled for several years amid the smearing of American skeptics as "useful idiots" and the like. No, the Times editors are accusing a Long Island Republican of McCarthyism for linking his Democratic rival to "New York City special interest groups." As the Times laments, "It's the old guilt by association."

Yet, the Times sees no McCarthyism in the frenzy of Russia-bashing and guilt by association for any American who can be linked even indirectly to any Russian who might have some ill-defined links to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On Monday, in the same edition that expressed editorial outrage over that Long Island political ad's McCarthyism, the Times ran two front-page articles under the headline: "A Complex Paper Trail: Blurring Kremlin's Ties to Key U.S. Businesses."

The two subheads read: " Shipping Firm Links Commerce Chief to Putin 'Cronies' " and " Millions in Facebook Shares Rooted in Russian Cash ." The latter story, which meshes nicely with the current U.S. political pressure on Facebook and Twitter to get in line behind the New Cold War against Russia, cites investments by Russian Yuri Milner that date back to the start of the decade.

Buried in the story's "jump" is the acknowledgement that Milner's "companies sold those holdings several years ago." But such is the anti-Russia madness gripping the Establishment of Washington and New York that any contact with any Russian constitutes a scandal worthy of front-page coverage. On Monday, The Washington Post published a page-one article entitled, "9 in Trump's orbit had contacts with Russians."

The anti-Russian madness has reached such extremes that even when you say something that's obviously true – but that RT, the Russian television network, also reported – you are attacked for spreading "Russian propaganda."

We saw that when former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile disclosed in her new book that she considered the possibility of replacing Hillary Clinton on the Democratic ticket after Clinton's public fainting spell and worries about her health.

Though there was a video of Clinton's collapse on Sept. 11, 2016, followed by her departure from the campaign trail to fight pneumonia – not to mention her earlier scare with blood clots – the response from a group of 100 Clinton supporters was to question Brazile's patriotism: "It is particularly troubling and puzzling that she would seemingly buy into false Russian-fueled propaganda, spread by both the Russians and our opponents about our candidate's health."

In other words, the go-to excuse for everything these days is to blame the Russians and smear anyone who says anything – no matter how true – if it also was reported on RT.

Pressing the Tech Companies

Just as Sen. Joe McCarthy liked to haul suspected "communists" and "fellow-travelers" before his committee in the 1950s, the New McCarthyism has its own witch-hunt hearings, such as last week's Senate grilling of executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google for supposedly allowing Russians to have input into the Internet's social networks. Executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google hauled before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism on Oct. 31, 2017. Trying to appease Congress and fend off threats of government regulation, the rich tech companies displayed their eagerness to eradicate any Russian taint.

Twitter's general counsel Sean J. Edgett told the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism that Twitter adopted an "expansive approach to defining what qualifies as a Russian-linked account."

Edgett said the criteria included "whether the account was created in Russia, whether the user registered the account with a Russian phone carrier or a Russian email address, whether the user's display name contains Cyrillic characters, whether the user frequently Tweets in Russian, and whether the user has logged in from any Russian IP address, even a single time. We considered an account to be Russian-linked if it had even one of the relevant criteria."

The trouble with Twitter's methodology was that none of those criteria would connect an account to the Russian government, let alone Russian intelligence or some Kremlin-controlled "troll farm." But the criteria could capture individual Russians with no link to the Kremlin as well as people who weren't Russian at all, including, say, American or European visitors to Russia who logged onto Twitter through a Moscow hotel.

Also left unsaid is that Russians are not the only national group that uses the Cyrillic alphabet. It is considered a standard script for writing in Belarus, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbo-Croatia and Ukraine. So, for instance, a Ukrainian using the Cyrillic alphabet could end up falling into the category of "Russian-linked" even if he or she hated Putin.

Twitter's attorney also said the company conducted a separate analysis from information provided by unidentified "third party sources" who pointed toward accounts supposedly controlled by the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency (IRA), totaling 2,752 accounts. The IRA is typically described in the U.S. press as a "troll farm" which employs tech-savvy employees who combat news and opinions that are hostile to Russia and the Russian government. But exactly how those specific accounts were traced back to this organization was not made clear.

And, to put that number in some perspective, Twitter claims 330 million active monthly users, which makes the 2,752 accounts less than 0.001 percent of the total.

The Trouble with 'Trolling'

While the Russia-gate investigation has sought to portray the IRA effort as exotic and somehow unique to Russia, the strategy is followed by any number of governments, political movements and corporations – sometimes using enthusiastic volunteers but often employing professionals skilled at challenging critical information or at least muddying the waters.

Those of us who operate on the Internet are familiar with harassment from "trolls" who may use access to "comment" sections to inject propaganda and disinformation to sow confusion, to cause disruption, or to discredit the site by promoting ugly opinions and nutty conspiracy theories.

As annoying as this "trolling" is, it's just a modern version of more traditional strategies used by powerful entities for generations – hiring public-relations specialists, lobbyists, lawyers and supposedly impartial "activists" to burnish images, fend off negative news and intimidate nosy investigators. In this competition, modern Russia is both a late-comer and a piker.

The U.S. government fields legions of publicists, propagandists, paid journalists, psy-ops specialists , contractors and non-governmental organizations to promote Washington's positions and undermine rivals through information warfare.

The CIA has an entire bureaucracy dedicated to propaganda and disinformation, with some of those efforts farmed out to newer entities such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) or paid for by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). NATO has a special command in Latvia that undertakes "strategic communications."

Israel is another skilled player in this field, tapping into its supporters around the world to harass people who criticize the Zionist project. Indeed, since the 1980s, Israel has pioneered many of the tactics of computer spying and sabotage that were adopted and expanded by America's National Security Agency, explaining why the Obama administration teamed up with Israel in a scheme to plant malicious code into Iranian centrifuges to sabotage Iran's nuclear program.

It's also ironic that the U.S. government touted social media as a great benefit in advancing so-called "color revolutions" aimed at "regime change" in troublesome countries. For instance, when the "green revolution" was underway in Iran in 2009 after the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Obama administration asked Twitter to postpone scheduled maintenance so the street protesters could continue using the platform to organize against Ahmadinejad and to distribute their side of the story to the outside world.

During the so-called Arab Spring in 2011, Facebook, Twitter and Skype won praise as a means of organizing mass demonstrations to destabilize governments in Tunisia, Egypt and Syria. Back then, the U.S. government denounced any attempts to throttle these social media platforms and the free flow of information that they permitted as proof of dictatorship.

Social media also was a favorite of the U.S. government in Ukraine in 2013-14 when the Maidan protests exploited these platforms to help destabilize and ultimately overthrow the elected government of Ukraine, the key event that launched the New Cold War with Russia.

Swinging the Social Media Club

The truth is that, in those instances, the U.S. governments and its agencies were eagerly exploiting the platforms to advance Washington's geopolitical agenda by disseminating American propaganda and deploying U.S.-funded non-governmental organizations, which taught activists how to use social media to advance "regime change" scenarios.

A White Helmets volunteer pointing to the aftermath of a military attack.

While these uprisings were sold to Western audiences as genuine outpourings of public anger – and there surely was some of that – the protests also benefited from U.S. funding and expertise. In particular, NED and USAID provided money, equipment and training for anti-government operatives challenging regimes in U.S. disfavor.

One of the most successful of these propaganda operations occurred in Syria where anti-government rebels operating in areas controlled by Al Qaeda and its fellow Islamic militants used social media to get their messaging to Western mainstream journalists who couldn't enter those sectors without fear of beheading.

Since the rebels' goal of overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad meshed with the objectives of the U.S. government and its allies in Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, Western journalists uncritically accepted the words and images provided by Al Qaeda's collaborators.

The success of this propaganda was so extraordinary that the White Helmets, a "civil defense" group that worked in Al Qaeda territory, became the go-to source for dramatic video and even was awarded the short-documentary Oscar for an info-mercial produced for Netflix – despite evidence that the White Helmets were staging some of the scenes for propaganda purposes.

Indeed, one argument for believing that Putin and the Kremlin might have "meddled" in last year's U.S. election is that they could have felt it was time to give the United States a taste of its own medicine.

After all, the United States intervened in the 1996 Russian election to ensure the continued rule of the corrupt and pliable Boris Yeltsin. And there were the U.S.-backed street protests in Moscow against the 2011 and 2012 elections in which Putin strengthened his political mandate. Those protests earned the "color" designation the "snow revolution."

However, whatever Russia may or may not have done before last year's U.S. election, the Russia-gate investigations have always sought to exaggerate the impact of that alleged "meddling" and molded the narrative to whatever weak evidence was available.

The original storyline was that Putin authorized the "hacking" of Democratic emails as part of a "disinformation" operation to undermine Hillary Clinton's candidacy and to help elect Donald Trump – although no hard evidence has been presented to establish that Putin gave such an order or that Russia "hacked" the emails. WikiLeaks has repeatedly denied getting the emails from Russia, which also denies any meddling.

Further, the emails were not "disinformation"; they were both real and, in many cases, newsworthy. The DNC emails provided evidence that the DNC unethically tilted the playing field in favor of Clinton and against Sen. Bernie Sanders, a point that Brazile also discovered in reviewing staffing and financing relationships that Clinton had with the DNC under the prior chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The purloined emails of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta revealed the contents of Clinton's paid speeches to Wall Street (information that she was trying to hide from voters) and pay-to-play features of the Clinton Foundation.

A Manchurian Candidate?

Still, the original narrative was that Putin wanted his Manchurian Candidate (Trump) in the White House and took the extraordinary risk of infuriating the odds-on favorite (Clinton) by releasing the emails even though they appeared unlikely to prevent Clinton's victory. So, there was always that logical gap in the Russia-gate theory.

Since then, however, the U.S. mainstream narrative has shifted, in part, because the evidence of Russian election "meddling" was so shaky. Under intense congressional pressure to find something, Facebook reported $100,000 in allegedly "Russian-linked" ads purchased in 2015-17, but noted that only 44 percent were bought before the election. So, not only was the "Russian-linked" pebble tiny – compared to Facebook's annual revenue of $27 billion – but more than half of the pebble was tossed into this very large lake after Clinton had already lost.

So, the storyline was transformed into some vague Russian scheme to exacerbate social tensions in the United States by taking different sides of hot-button issues, such as police brutality against blacks. The New York Times reported that one of these "Russian-linked" pages featured photos of cute puppies , which the Times speculated must have had some evil purpose although it was hard to fathom. (Oh, those devious Russians!).

The estimate of how many Americans may have seen one of these "Russian-linked" ads also keeps growing, now up to as many as 126 million or about one-third of the U.S. population. Of course, the way the Internet works – with any item possibly going viral – you might as well say the ads could have reached billions of people.

Whenever I write an article or send out a Tweet, I too could be reaching 126 million or even billions of people, but the reality is that I'd be lucky if the number were in the thousands. But amid the Russia-gate frenzy, no exaggeration is too outlandish or too extreme.

Another odd element of Russia-gate is that the intensity of this investigation is disproportionate to the lack of interest shown toward far better documented cases of actual foreign-government interference in American elections and policymaking.

For instance, the major U.S. media long ignored the extremely well-documented case of Richard Nixon colluding with South Vietnamese officials to sabotage President Lyndon Johnson's Vietnam War peace talks to gain an advantage for Nixon in the 1968 election. That important chapter of history only gained The New York Times' seal of approval earlier this year after the Times had dismissed the earlier volumes of evidence as "rumors."

In the 1980 election, Ronald Reagan's team – especially his campaign director William Casey in collaboration with Israel and Iran – appeared to have gone behind President Jimmy Carter's back to undercut Carter's negotiations to free 52 American hostages then held in Iran and essentially doom Carter's reelection hopes.

There were a couple of dozen witnesses to that scheme who spoke with me and other investigative journalists – as well as documentary evidence showing that President Reagan did authorize secret arms shipments to Iran via Israel shortly after the hostages were freed during Reagan's inauguration on Jan. 20, 1981.

However, since Vice President (later President) George H.W. Bush, who was implicated in the scheme, was well-liked on both sides of the aisle and because Reagan had become a Republican icon, the October Surprise case of 1980 was pooh-poohed by the major media and dismissed by a congressional investigation in the early 1990s. Despite the extraordinary number of witnesses and supporting documents, Wikipedia listed the scandal as a "conspiracy theory."

Israeli Influence

And, if you're really concerned about foreign interference in U.S. elections and policies, there's the remarkable influence of Israel and its perceived ability to effect the defeat of almost any politician who deviates from what the Israeli government wants, going back at least to the 1980s when Sen. Chuck Percy and Rep. Paul Findley were among the political casualties after pursuing contacts with the Palestinians.

If anyone doubts how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has continued to pull the strings of U.S. politicians, just watch one of his record-tying three addresses to joint sessions of Congress and count how often Republicans and Democrats jump to their feet in enthusiastic applause. (The only other foreign leader to get the joint-session honor three times was Great Britain's Prime Minister Winston Churchill.)

So, what makes Russia-gate different from the other cases? Did Putin conspire with Trump to extend a bloody war as Nixon did with the South Vietnamese leaders? Did Putin lengthen the captivity of U.S. hostages to give Trump a political edge? Did Putin manipulate U.S. policy in the Middle East to entice President George W. Bush to invade Iraq and set the region ablaze, as Israel's Netanyahu did? Is Putin even now pushing for wider Mideast wars, as Netanyahu is?

Indeed, one point that's never addressed in any serious way is why is the U.S. so angry with Russia while these other cases, in which U.S. interests were clearly damaged and American democracy compromised, were treated largely as non-stories.

Why is Russia-gate a big deal while the other cases weren't? Why are opposite rules in play now – with Democrats, many Republicans and the major news media flogging fragile "links," needling what little evidence there is, and assuming the worst rather than insisting that only perfect evidence and perfect witnesses be accepted as in the earlier cases?

The answer seems to be the widespread hatred for President Trump combined with vested interests in favor of whipping up the New Cold War. That is a goal valued by both the Military-Industrial Complex, which sees trillions of dollars in strategic weapons systems in the future, and the neoconservatives, who view Russia as a threat to their "regime change" agendas for Syria and Iran.

After all, if Russia and its independent-minded President Putin can be beaten back and beaten down, then a big obstacle to the neocon/Israeli goal of expanding the Mideast wars will be removed.

Right now, the neocons are openly lusting for a "regime change" in Moscow despite the obvious risks that such turmoil in a nuclear-armed country might create, including the possibility that Putin would be succeeded not by some compliant Western client like the late Boris Yeltsin but by an extreme nationalist who might consider launching a nuclear strike to protect the honor of Mother Russia.

The Democrats, the liberals and even many progressives justify their collusion with the neocons by the need to remove Trump by any means necessary and "stop fascism." But their contempt for Trump and their exaggeration of the "Hitler" threat that this incompetent buffoon supposedly poses have blinded them to the extraordinary risks attendant to their course of action and how they are playing into the hands of the war-hungry neocons.

A Smokescreen for Repression

There also seems to be little or no concern that the Establishment is using Russia-gate as a smokescreen for clamping down on independent media sites on the Internet. Traditional supporters of civil liberties have looked the other way as the rights of people associated with the Trump campaign have been trampled and journalists who simply question the State Department's narratives on, say, Syria and Ukraine are denounced as "Moscow stooges" and "useful idiots."

The likely outcome from the anti-Russian show trials on Capitol Hill is that technology giants will bow to the bipartisan demand for new algorithms and other methods for stigmatizing, marginalizing and eliminating information that challenges the mainstream storylines in the cause of fighting "Russian propaganda."

The warning from powerful senators was crystal clear. "I don't think you get it," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, warned social media executives last week. "You bear this responsibility. You created these platforms, and now they are being misused. And you have to be the ones who do something about it. Or we will."

As this authoritarian if not totalitarian future looms and as the dangers of nuclear annihilation from an intentional or unintentional nuclear war with Russia grow, many people who should know better are caught up in the Russia-gate frenzy.

I used to think that liberals and progressives opposed McCarthyism because they regarded it as a grave threat to freedom of thought and to genuine democracy, but now it appears that they have learned to love McCarthyism except, of course, when it rears its ugly head in some Long Island political ad criticizing New York City.

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 ).

Joe Tedesky , November 6, 2017 at 3:12 pm

I watched the C-Span 'Russian/2016 Election Investigation Hearings' in horror, as each congressperson grilled the Hi-Tech executives in a way to suggest that our First Amendment Rights are now on life support, and our Congress is ready to pull the plug at any moment. I thought, of how this wasn't the America I was brought up to believe in. So as I have reached the age in life where nothing should surprise me, I realize now how fragile our Rights are, in this warring nation that calls itself America.

When it comes to Israel I have two names, Jonathan Pollard & the USS Liberty, and with that, that is enough said.

Danny Weil , November 6, 2017 at 6:33 pm

This week's congressional hearings on "extremist content" on the Internet mark a new stage in the McCarthyite witch hunt by congressional Democrats, working with the intelligence agencies and leading media outlets, to legitimize censorship and attack free speech on the Internet.

One after another, congressmen and senators goaded representatives of Google, Twitter and Facebook to admit that their platforms were used to sow "social divisions" and "extremist" political opinions. The aim of this campaign is to claim that social conflict within the United States arises not from the scale of social inequality in America, greater than in any other country in the developed world, but rather from the actions of "outside agitators" working in the service of the Kremlin.

The hearings revolved around claims that Russia sought to "weaponize" the Internet by harnessing social anger within the United States. "Russia," said Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff, promoted "discord in the US by inflaming passions on a range of divisive issues." It sought to "mobilize real Americans to sign online petitions and join rallies and protests."

The McCarthyite witch hunts of the 1950s sought to suppress left-wing thought and label all forms of dissent as illegitimate and treasonous. Those who led them worked to purge left-wing opinion from Hollywood, the trade unions and the universities.

Likewise, the new McCarthyism is aimed at creating a political climate in which left-wing organizations and figures are demonized as agents of the Kremlin who are essentially engaged in treasonous activity deserving of criminal prosecution.

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/11/03/pers-n03.html

Joe Tedesky , November 7, 2017 at 12:32 am

Thanks for the informative link Danny.

Watching this Orwellian tragedy play out in our American society, where our Congress is insisting that disclaimers and restrictions be placed upon suspicious adbuys and editorial essays, is counterintuitive to what we Americans were brought up to belief. Why, all my life teachers, and adults, would warn us students of reading the news to not to believe everything we read as pure fact, but to research a subject before coming to a conclusion toward your accepting an opinion to wit. And with these warnings of avoiding us being suckered into a wrong belief, we were told that this was the price we were required to pay for having a free press society. This freedom of speech was, and has always been the bedrock of our hopes and wishes for our belief in the American Dream.

Danny there was a time not to long ago, I would have said of how we are 'moving towards' to us becoming a police state, well instead replace that prediction of 'moving towards' to the stark reality to be described as 'that now we are', and there you will have it that we have finally arrived to becoming a full blown 'police state'. Little by little, and especially since 911 one by one our civil liberties were taken away. Here again our freedom of speech is being destroyed, and with this America is now where Germany had been in the mid-thirties. America's own guilty conscience is rapidly doing some physiological projections onto their imaginary villain Russia.

All I keep hearing is my dear sweet mother lecturing me on how one lie always leads to another lie until the truth will finally jump up and bite you in the ass, and think to myself of how wise my mother had been with her young girl Southside philosophy. May you Rest In Peace Mum.

Martin , November 7, 2017 at 3:21 pm

Yankees chicks are coming home to roost. So many peoples rights and lives had to be extinguished for Americans to have the illusion of pursuing their happiness, well, what goes around comes around.

Gregory Herr , November 7, 2017 at 8:39 pm

Gee wiz Adam Schiff you make it sound as if signing petitions and rallying to causes and civil protests are unamerican or something. And Russians on the internet are harnessing social anger! Pathetic. These jerks who would have us believe they are interested in "saving" democracy or stopping fascism have sure got it backward.

Geoffrey de Galles , November 8, 2017 at 12:33 pm

Joe, Allow me please, respectfully, to add Mordecai Vanunu -- Israel's own Daniel Ellsberg -- to your two names.

Erik G , November 6, 2017 at 3:55 pm

Thanks to Mr. Parry for this very fair and complete review of the latest attempts to generate a fake foreign enemy. The tyrant over a democracy must generate fake foreign enemies to pose falsely as a protector, so as to demand domestic power and accuse his opponents of disloyalty, as Aristotle and Plato warned thousands of years ago.

It is especially significant that the zionists are the sole beneficiaries of this scam as well as the primary sponsors of the DNC, hoping to attack Russia and Iran to support Israeli land thefts in the Mideast. It is well established that zionists control US mass media, which never examine the central issue of our times, the corruption of democracy by the zionist/MIC/WallSt influence upon the US government and mass media. Russia-gate is in fact a coverup for Israel-gate.

Those who would like to petition the NYT to make Robert Parry their senior editor may do so here:
https://www.change.org/p/new-york-times-bring-a-new-editor-to-the-new-york-times?recruiter=72650402&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink
While Mr. Parry may prefer independence, and we all know the NYT ownership makes it unlikely, and the NYT may try to ignore it, it is instructive to them that intelligent readers know better journalism when they see it. A petition demonstrates the concerns of a far larger number of potential or lost subscribers.

mike k , November 6, 2017 at 4:10 pm

Why did we ever believe that the democrat party was a defender of free speech? These bought and paid for tools of the economic elites are only interested in serving their masters with slavish devotion. Selfishness and immorality are their stock in trade; betraying the public their real intention.

Cratylus , November 6, 2017 at 4:11 pm

Great essay.

But one disagreement. I may agree with Trump on very, very few things, among them getting rid of the horrible TPP, one cornerstone of Hillary's pivot; meeting with Putin in Hamburg; the Lavrov-Tillerson arranged cease-fire in SE Syria; the termination of the CIA's support for anti-Assad jihadis in Syria; a second meeting with Putin at the ASEAN conference this week; and in general the idea of "getting along with Russia" (a biggie) which Russia-gate is slowing to a crawl as designed by the neocons.

But Trump as an "incompetent buffoon" is a stretch albeit de rigueur on the pages of the NYT, the programs of NPR and in all "respectable" precincts. Trump won the presidency for god's sake – something that eluded the 17 other GOP primary candidates, some of them considered very"smart" and Bernie and Jill, and in the past, Ralph Nader and Ron Paul – and the supposedly "very smart" Hillary for which we should be eternally grateful. "Incompetent" hardly seems accurate. The respectable commentariat has continually underestimated Trump. We should heed Putin who marveled at Trump's seemingly impossible victory.

Bill Cash , November 6, 2017 at 4:13 pm

How do you explain all the connections between Trump acolytes and Russia and their lying about it. I think they've all lied about their contacts. Why would they do that?I lived through the real McCarthyism and, so far, this isn't close to what happened then.

Bill , November 6, 2017 at 4:40 pm

Probably because they are corruptly involved. Thing is, the higher priority is to avoid another decades-long cold war risking nuclear war. Do you remember how many close calls we had in the last one?

I'm more suspicious of Trump than most here, but even I think we need some priorities. Far more extensive corruption of a similar variety keeps occurring and no one cares, as Mr. Parry points out here yet again.

As for McCarthyism, whatever the current severity, the result is unfolding as a new campaign against dissenting voices on the internet. That's supremely not-okay with me.

Gregory Herr , November 7, 2017 at 8:46 pm

Right. Just because we don't yet have another fulll-fledged HUAC happening doesn't mean severe perils aren't attached to this new McCarthyism. Censorship of dissent is supremely not-okay with me as well.

Elizabeth Burton , November 6, 2017 at 4:58 pm

That class of people lie as a matter of course; it's standard procedure. If you exacerbate it by adding on the anti-Russia hysteria that was spewed out by the Democrats before the ink was dry on the ballots, what possible reason would they have for being truthful?

The insanity of the entire "Russian hacking" narrative has been revealed over and over, including this past weekend when +/-100 Clinton loyalists published a screed on Medium saying Donna Brazile had been taken in by Russian propaganda.

Litchfield , November 6, 2017 at 7:10 pm

I have come to expect just about anything when it comes to Russia-Gate, but I was taken aback by the Hillary bots' accusation that videos of Hillary stumbling and others showing her apparently having a fit of some kind and also needing to be helped up the steps to someone's house -- which were taken by Americans and shown by Americans and seen by millions of shocked Americans -- were driven by Russia-Gate.

Obviously, Brazile, like millions of voters, saw these films and made appropriate inferences: that Hillary's basic health and stamina were a question mark. Of course, Hillary also offered Americans nothing in her campaign rhetoric. She came across as the mother-in-law from hell.

Was it also a Russia-Gate initiative when Hillary hid from her supporters on election night and let Podesta face the screaming sobbing supporters? Too much spiked vodka or something? Our political stage in the USA is a madhouse.

Adrian Engler , November 6, 2017 at 6:20 pm

These people probably have "connections" with a relatively large number of people, and only very small fraction of the people they have contact with are probably Russians. Now, since the extremist xenophobic idea that contact with *any* Russians is a scandal has taken hold in the United States, people are probably not too eager to mention these contacts in these atmosphere of extreme xenophobic anti-Russian hatred in today's United States. Furthermore, people who have contact with large numbers of people probably really have difficulties remembering and listing these all.

Today's political atmosphere in the United States probably has a lot in common with the Soviet Union. There, people got in trouble if they had contacts with people from Western, capitalist countries – and if they were asked and did not mention these contacts in order to avoid problems, they could get in trouble even more.

I think it is absolutely clear that no one who takes part in this hateful anti-Russian campaign can pretend to be liberal or progressive. The kind of society these xenophobes who detest pluralism and accuse everyone who has opinions outside the mainstream of being a foreign agent is absolutely abhorrent, in my view.

Leslie F , November 6, 2017 at 6:40 pm

Their contacts are with Russian business and maybe the Russian mob, not the Russian state. There is really not question that Trump and his cronies are crooks, but they are crooks in the US and in all the other countries where they do business, not just Russia. I'm sure Mueller will be able to tie Trump directly to some of the sleeze. But there is no evidence that the Russian government is involved in any of it. "Russia-gate" implies Russian government involvement, not just random Russians. There is no evidence of that and moreover the logic is against.

occupy on , November 7, 2017 at 12:47 am

Mr. Cash . I think George Papadopoulis, Trump's young Aide, was an inside mole for neocon pro-Israel interests. Those interests needed to knock the unreliable President Trump out of the way to get the "system" back where it belonged – in their pocket. Papadopoulis, on his own, was rummaging around making Trump/Russian connections that finally ended with the the William (Richard?) Browder (well-known Washington DC neocon)/Natalia Veselnitskaya/Donald Trump, Jr. fiasco. The Trumps knew nothing of those negotiations, and young Trump left when he realized Natalia was only interested in Americans being allowed to adopt Russian children again and had no dirt on Hillary.

In the meantime, Trump Jr. was connected with an evil Russian (Natalia), William Browder was able to link the neocon-hated Trump Sr with neocon-hated, evil Russians (who currently have a warrant out for Browder's arrest on a 15 [or 50?] million dollar tax evasion charge), and neocons have a good chance of claiming victory out of chaos (as is their style and was their intent for the Middle East [not Washington DC!] in the neocon Project For a New American Century – 1998). Clinton may have lost power in Washington DC, but Clinton-supporting neocons may not have – thanks to George Papadopoulis. We shall see. Something tells me the best is yet to come out of the Mueller Investigations.

Roy G Biv , November 7, 2017 at 2:03 pm

You are seeing it clearly Bill. This site was once a go-to-source for investigative journalism. Now it is a place for opinion screeds, mostly with head buried in the sand about the blatant Russian manipulation of the 2016 election. The dominant gang of posters here squash any dissent and dissenting comments usually get deleted within a day. I don't understand why and how it came to be so, but the hysterical labeling of Comey/Mueller investigations as McCarthyism by Parry has ruined his sterling reputation for me.

Stygg , November 7, 2017 at 2:24 pm

If this "Russian manipulation" was as blatant as everyone keeps telling me, how come it's all based on ridiculous BS instead of evidence? Where's the beef?

anon , November 7, 2017 at 3:22 pm

Unable to substantiate anything you say nor argue against anything said here, you disgrace yourself. Do you think anyone is fooled by your repeated lie that you are a disaffected former supporter of this site? And you made the "Stygg" reply above.

Tom Hall , November 6, 2017 at 4:46 pm

It was never my impression that Cold War liberals opposed McCarthy or the anti-Communist witch hunt. Where they didn't gleefully join in, they watched quietly from the sidelines while the American left was eviscerated, jailed, driven from public life. Then the liberals stepped in when it was clear things were going a little too far and just as the steam had run out of McCarthy's slander machine.

At that point figures like Adlai Stevenson, Hubert Humphrey and John F. Kennedy found the path clear for their brand of political stagecraft. They were imperialists to a man, something they proved abundantly when given the chance. Liberals supplanted the left in U.S. life- in the unions, the teaching profession, publishing and every other field where criticism of the Cold War and the enduring prevalence of worker solidarity across international lines threatened the new order.

So it's no surprise that liberalism is the rallying point for a new wave of repression. The dangerous buffoon currently occupying the White House stands as a perfect foil to the phony indignation of the liberal leadership- Schumer, Pelosi et al.. The jerk was made to order, and they mean to dump him as their ideological forebears unloaded old Tail Gunner Joe. In fact, Trump is so odious, the Democrats, their media colleagues and major elements of the national security state believe that bringing down the bozo can be made to look like a triumph of democracy. Of course, by then dissent will have been stamped out far more efficiently than Trump and his half-assed cohorts could have achieved. And it will be done in the name of restoring sanity, honoring the constitution, and protecting everyone from the Russians. I was born in the fifties, and it looks like I'm going to die in the fifties.

Danny Weil , November 6, 2017 at 6:37 pm

Truman started it. And he used it very well.

THE TRUMAN DOCTRINE AND ORIGINS OF ""McCARTHYISM
By Richard M. Freeland

This book argues that Truman used anti-Communist scare tactics to force Congress to implement his plans for multilateral free trade and specifically to pass the Marshall Plan. This is a sound emphasis, but other elements of postwar anti-Communist campaigns are neglected, especially anti-labor legislation; and Freeland attributes to Truman a ""go-soft"" attitude toward the Soviets, which is certainly not proven by the fact that he restrained the ultras Forrestal, Kennan, and Byrnes -- indeed, some of Freeland's own citations confirm Truman's violent anti-Soviet spirit.

The book concludes that by equating dissent with disloyalty, promoting guilt by association, and personally commanding loyalty programs, ""Truman and his advisors employed all the political and programmatic techniques that in later years were to become associated with the broad phenomenon of McCarthyism."" Freeland's revisionism is confined and conservative: he deems the Soviets most responsible for the Cold War and implies that ""subversion"" was in fact a menace.

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/richard-m-freeland/the-truman-doctrine-and-origins-of-mccarthyism/

Howard Mettee , November 6, 2017 at 4:50 pm

Bob,

You are one of the very few critical journalists today willing to print objective measures of the truth, while the MSM spins out of control under the guise of "protecting America" (and their vital sources), while at the same time actually undermining the very principles of a working democracy they sanctimoniously pretend to defend. It makes me nostalgic for the McCarthy era, when we could safely satirize the Army-McCarthy Hearings (unless you were a witness!). I offer the following as a retrospective of a lost era.:

Top-Ten Criteria for being a Putin Stooge, and a Chance at Winning A One Way Lottery Ticket:to the Gala Gitmo Hotel:
:
(1) Reading Consortium News, Truth Dig, The Real News Network, RT and Al Jeziera
(2) Drinking Starbucks and vodka at the Russian Tea Room with Russian tourists (with an embedded FSS agent) in NYC.
(3) Meeting suspicious tour guides in Red Square who accept dollars for their historical jokes.
(4) Claiming to catch a cell phone photo of the Putin limousine passing through the Kremlin Tower gate.
(4) Starting a joint venture with a Russian trading partner who sells grain to feed Putin's stable of stallions. .
(5) Catching the flu while being sneezed upon in Niagara Falls by a Russian violinist.
(6) Finding the hidden jewels in the Twelfth Chair were nothing but cut glass.
(7) Reading War and Peace on the Brighton Beach ferry.
(8) Playing the iPod version of Rachmaninoff's "Vespers" through ear buds while attending mass in Dallas, TX..
(9) Water skiing on the Potomac flying a pennant saying "Wasn't Boris Good Enough?"
(10) Having audibly chuckled even once at items (1) – (9). Thanks Bob, Please don't let up!

Lisa , November 6, 2017 at 7:47 pm

Howard,

I chuckled loudly more than once – but luckily, no one heard me! No witnesses! So you are acquainted with the masterpiece "12 chairs"? Very suspicious.

David G , November 6, 2017 at 8:42 pm

I've heard that's Mel Brooks favorite among his own movies.

David G , November 6, 2017 at 8:48 pm

I always find it exasperating when I have to remind the waiter at the diner to bring Russian dressing along with the reuben sandwich, but these days I wonder if my loyalty is being tested.

Dave P. , November 6, 2017 at 10:27 pm

David G –

They will change the name of dressing very soon. Remember 2003 when French refused to endorse the invasion of Iraq. I think they unofficially changed the name of "French Fries" to "Freedom Fries".

It is just the start. The whole History is being rewritten – in compliance with Zionist Ideology. Those evil Russkies will be shown as they are!

Elizabeth Burton , November 6, 2017 at 4:53 pm

Clearly, since I've published one book by a Russian, one by a now-deceased US ex-pat living in Russia, and have our catalog made available in Russia via our international distributor, I am a traitor to the US. If you add in my staunch resistance to the whole Russiagate narrative AND the fact I post links to stories in RT America, I'm doomed.

I wish I could think I'm being wholly sarcastic.

Danny Weil , November 6, 2017 at 6:38 pm

You are not alone. Many of us live outside the open air prison and feel the same way

Abe , November 6, 2017 at 5:29 pm

Robert Parry has described "the New McCarthyism" having "its own witch-hunt hearings". In fact "last week's Senate grilling of executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google" was merely an exercise in political theatre because all three entities already belong to the "First Draft" coalition:

http://fortune.com/2016/09/13/facebook-twitter-join-first-draft-coalition/

Formed by Google in June 2015 with Eliot Higgins of the Atlantic Council's Bellingcat as a founding member, the "First Draft" coalition includes all the usual mainstream media "partners" in "regime change" war propaganda: the Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, the UK Guardian and Telegraph, BBC News, the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensics Research Lab and Kiev-based Stopfake.

In a remarkable post-truth declaration, the "First Draft" coalition insists that members will "work together to tackle common issues, including ways to streamline the verification process".

In the "post-truth" regime of US and NATO hybrid warfare, the deliberate distortion of truth and facts is called "verification".

The Washington Post / PropOrNot imbroglio, and "First Draft" coalition "partner" organizations' zeal to "verify" US intelligence-backed fake news claims about Russian hacking of the US presidential election, reveal the "post-truth" mission of this new Google-backed hybrid war propaganda alliance.

Abe , November 6, 2017 at 5:45 pm

The Russia-gate "witch-hunt" has graduated from McCarthyism to full Monty Pythonism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3jt5ibfRzw

Dan Kuhn , November 6, 2017 at 6:41 pm

You get the gold star for best comment today.

Abe , November 7, 2017 at 1:57 pm

Hysterical demonization of Russia escalated dramatically after Russia thwarted the Israeli-Saudi-US plan to dismember the Syrian state.

With the rollback of ISIS and Al Qaeda terrorist proxy forces in Syria, and the failure of Kurdish separatist efforts in Iraq, Israel plans to launch military attacks against southern Lebanon and Syria.

South Front has presented a cogent and fairly detailed analysis of Israel's upcoming war in southern Lebanon.

Conspicuously absent from the South Front analysis is any discussion of the Israeli planned assault on Syria, or possible responses to the conflict from the United States or Russia.

Israeli propaganda preparations for attack are already in high gear. Unfortunately, sober heads are in perilously short supply in Israel and the U.S., so the prognosis can hardly be optimistic.

"Scenarios for the Third Lebanon War

Over time, IDF's military effectiveness had declined. [ ] In the Second Lebanon War of 2006 due to the overwhelming numerical superiority in men and equipment the IDF managed to occupy key strong points but failed to inflict a decisive defeat on Hezbollah. The frequency of attacks in Israeli territory was not reduced; the units of the IDF became bogged down in the fighting in the settlements and suffered significant losses. There now exists considerable political pressure to reassert IDF's lost military dominance and, despite the complexity and unpredictability of the situation we may assume the future conflict will feature only two sides, IDF and Hezbollah. Based on the bellicose statements of the leadership of the Jewish state, the fighting will be initiated by Israel.

"The operation will begin with a massive evacuation of residents from the settlements in the north and centre of Israel. Since Hezbollah has agents within the IDF, it will not be possible to keep secret the concentration of troops on the border and a mass evacuation of civilians. Hezbollah units will will be ordered to occupy a prepared defensive position and simultaneously open fire on places were IDF units are concentrated. The civilian population of southern Lebanon will most likely be evacuated. IDF will launch massive bombing causing great damage to the social infrastructure and some damage to Hezbollah's military infrastructure, but without destroying the carefully protected and camouflaged rocket launchers and launch sites.

"Hezbollah control and communications systems have elements of redundancy. Consequently, regardless of the use of specialized precision-guided munitions, the command posts and electronic warfare systems will not be paralysed, maintaining communications including through the use of fibre-optic communications means. IDF discovered that the movement has such equipment during the 2006 war. Smaller units will operate independently, working with open communication channels, using the pre-defined call signs and codes.

"Israeli troops will then cross the border of Lebanon, despite the presence of the UN peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon, beginning a ground operation with the involvement of a greater number of units than in the 2006 war. The IDF troops will occupy commanding heights and begin to prepare for assaults on settlements and actions in the tunnels. The Israelis do not score a quick victory as they suffer heavy losses in built-up areas. The need to secure occupied territory with patrols and checkpoints will cause further losses.

"The fact that Israel itself started the war and caused damage to the civilian infrastructure, allows the leadership of the movement to use its missile arsenal on Israeli cities. While Israel's missile defence systems can successfully intercept the launched missiles, there are not enough of them to blunt the bombardment. The civilian evacuation paralyzes life in the country. As soon IDF's Iron Dome and other medium-range systems are spent on short-range Hezbollah rockets, the bombardment of Israel with long-range missiles may commence. Hezbollah's Iranian solid-fuel rockets do not require much time to prepare for launch and may target the entire territory of Israel, causing further losses.

"It is difficult to assess the duration of actions of this war. One thing that seems certain is that Israel shouldn't count on its rapid conclusion, similar to last September's exercises. Hezbollah units are stronger and more capable than during the 2006 war, despite the fact that they are fighting in Syria and suffered losses there.

"Conclusions

"The combination of large-scale exercises and bellicose rhetoric is intended to muster Israeli public support for the aggression against Hezbollah by convincing the public the victory would be swift and bloodless. Instead of restraint based on a sober assessment of relative capabilities, Israeli leaders appear to be in a state of blood lust. In contrast, the Hezbollah has thus far demonstrated restraint and diplomacy.

"Underestimating the adversary is always the first step towards a defeat. Such mistakes are paid for with soldiers' blood and commanders' careers. The latest IDF exercises suggest Israeli leaders underestimate the opponent and, more importantly, consider them to be quite dumb. In reality, Hezbollah units will not cross the border. There is no need to provoke the already too nervous neighbor and to suffer losses solely to plant a flag and photograph it for their leader. For Hezbollah, it is easier and safer when the Israeli soldiers come to them. According to the IDF soldiers who served in Gaza and southern Lebanon, it is easier to operate on the plains of Gaza than the mountainous terrain of southern Lebanon. This is a problem for armoured vehicles fighting for control of heights, tunnels, and settlements, where they are exposed to anti-armor weapons.

"While the Israeli establishment is in a state of patriotic frenzy, it would be a good time for them to turn to the wisdom of their ancestors. After all, as the old Jewish proverb says: 'War is a big swamp, easy to go into but hard to get out'."

Israeli Defense Forces: Military Capabilities, Scenarios for the Third Lebanon War
https://southfront.org/israeli-defense-forces-military-capabilities-scenarios-for-the-third-lebanon-war/

Realist , November 6, 2017 at 5:36 pm

Yes, the latest "big fish" outed yesterday as an agent of the Kremlin was the U.S. Secretary of Commerce (Wilbur Ross) who was discovered to hold stock in a shipping company that does business with a Russian petrochemical company (Sibur) whose owners include Vladimir Putin's son-in-law (Kirill Shamalov). Obviously the orders flow directly from Putin to Shamalov to Sibur to the shipping company to Ross to Trump, all to the detriment of American citizens.

From RT (another tainted source!): "US Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross Jr. has a stake in a shipping firm that receives millions of dollars a year in revenue from a company whose key owners include Russian President Vladimir Putin's son-in-law and a Russian tycoon sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department as a member of Putin's inner circle," says the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the main publisher of the Paradise Papers. After the report was published, some US lawmakers accused Ross of misleading Congress during his confirmation hearings." Don't go mistaking the "International Consortium of Investigative Journalists for "Consortium News." These guys are dedicated witch hunters, searching for anyone with six degrees of separation to Vladimir Putin and his grand plan to thwart the United States and effect regime change within its borders.

In a clear attempt to weasel out of his traitorous transgression, Ross stated "In a separate interview with CNBC, that Sibur [which is NOT the company he owned stock in] was not subject to US sanctions." 'A company not under sanction is just like any other company, period. It was a normal commercial relationship and one that I had nothing to do with the creation of, and do not know the shareholders who were apparently sanctioned at some later point in time,' he said." Since when can we start allowing excuses like that? Not knowing that someone holds stock in a company that does business with a company in which you own stock may at some later point in time become sanctioned by the all-wise and all-good American federal government?

I can't wait till they make the first Ben Stiller comedy based on this fiasco twenty years from now. It will be hilarious slap-stick, maybe titled "Can You Believe these Mother Fockers?" President Chelea Clinton of our great and noble idiocracy will throw out the first witch on opening day of the movie.

Danny Weil , November 6, 2017 at 6:27 pm

Let's be honest. Most Americans think McCarthy is a retail store. No education. And they think Russia is the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, Trump is in Japan to start war with N. Korea to hide the blemishes or the canker on his ass. America is rapidly collapsing.

Adrian Engler , November 6, 2017 at 6:34 pm

In the beginning, "Russiagate" was about alleged actions by Russian secret services. Evidence for these allegations has never emerged, and it seems that the Russiagate conspiracy theorists largely gave up on this part (they still sometimes write about it as if it was an established fact, but since the only thing in support of it they can adduce is the canard about the 17 intelligence services, it probably is not that interesting any more).

Now, they have dropped the mask, and the object of their hatred are openly all Russian people, anyone who is "Russian linked" by ever having logged in to social networks from Russia or using Cyrillic letters. If these people and their media at least recognized the reality that they are now a particularly rabid part of the xenophobic far right in the United States

But when people daily spew hate against anything and anyone "Russia linked" and still don't recognize that they have gone over to the far right and even claim they are liberal or progressive, this is completely absurd.

McCarthyism, as terrible as it was, at least originally was motivated by hatred against a certain political ideology that also had its bad sides. But today's Russiagate peddlers clearly are motivated by hatred against a certain ethnicity, a certain country, and a certain language. I don't think there is any way to avoid the conclusion that with their hatred against anyone who is "Russia linked", they have become right-wing extremists.

Litchfield , November 6, 2017 at 6:46 pm

"Israel is another skilled player in this field, tapping into its supporters around the world to harass people who criticize the Zionist project."

Yes, very well organized.
In fact virtually every synagogue is a center for organizing people to harass others who are exercising their First Amendment rights to diseminate information about Israel's occupation of Palestine. The link below is to a protest and really, personal attack, against a Unitarian minister in Marblehead, Mass., for daring to screen the film ""The Occupation of the American Mind, Israel's Public Relations War in the United States." In other words, for daring to provide an dissenting opinion and, simply, to tell the truth. Ironic is that the protesters' comment actually reinforce the basic message of the film.
No other views on Israel will be allowed to enter the public for a good airing and discussion and debate. The truth about the illegal Israeli occupation will be shouted down, and those who try to provide information to the public on this subject will be vilified as "anti-semites." Kudos to this minister for screening the film.

http://www.salemnews.com/news/local_news/screening-of-film-sparks-protest-in-marblehead/article_0b075cbc-c2ae-5d46-916a-24eed79d30cd.html

http://cdn.field59.com/SALEMNEWS/ebb60114f782c4213f068bf0a39a4a46451ed871_fl9-360p.mp4

Abe , November 7, 2017 at 1:03 am

The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel's Public Relations War in the United States (2016) examines pro-Israel Hasbara propaganda efforts within the U.S.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LD7mOyfclIk

This important documentary, narrated by Roger waters, exposes how the Israeli government, the U.S. government, and the pro-Israel Lobby join forces to shape American media coverage in Israel's favor.

Documentary producer Sut Jhally is professor of Communication at the University of Massachusetts, and a leading scholar on advertising, public relations, and political propaganda. He is also the founder and Executive Director of the Media Education Foundation, a documentary film company that looks at issues related to U.S. media and public attitudes.

Jhally is the producer and director of dozens of documentaries about U.S. politics and media culture, including Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land: U.S. Media & the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict.

The Occupation of the American Mind provides a sweeping analysis of Israel's decades-long battle for the hearts, minds, and tax dollars of the American people – a battle that has only intensified over the past few years in the face of widening international condemnation of Israel's increasingly right-wing policies.

Dave P. , November 7, 2017 at 2:45 am

Abe –

The interview of Roger Waters on RT is one of the best I have seen in a long while. I wish some other artists get the courage to raise their voices. The link to the Roger Waters interview is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7jcvfbLoIA This Roger Waters interview is worth watching.

Dan Kuhn , November 6, 2017 at 6:57 pm

It would seem that everyone on the US telivision , newspaper and internet news has mastered the art of hand over mouth , gasp and looking horrified every time Russia is mentioned. It looks to me that the US is in the middle of another of it´s mid life crises. Panic reigns supreme every where. If it was not so sad it would be funny. i was born in the 1940s and remember the McCarthy witch hunts and the daily shower of people jumping out of windows as a result of it.

As a Canadian I could not get over, even though I was just a teenager back then, just how a people in a supposedly advanced country could be so collectively paniced. I think back then it was just a scam to get rid of unions and any kind of collective action against the owners of the country, and this time around I think it is just a continuation of that scam, to frighten people into subservience to the police state. I heard a women on TV today commenting on the Texas masscre, she said " The devil never sleeps", well in the USA the 1/10 of 1% never sleeps when it comes to more control, more pwoer and more wealth, in fact I think they are after the very last shekle still left in the pockets of the bottom 99.9 % of the population. Those evil Russians are just a ploy in the scam.

Litchfield , November 6, 2017 at 6:58 pm

"The Democrats, the liberals and even many progressives justify their collusion with the neocons by the need to remove Trump by any means necessary and "stop fascism." But their contempt for Trump and their exaggeration of the "Hitler" threat that this incompetent buffoon supposedly poses have blinded them to the extraordinary risks attendant to their course of action and how they are playing into the hands of the war-hungry neocons."

And they are driving more and more actual and potential Dem Party members away in droves, further weakening the party and depriving it of its most intelligent members. Any non-senile person knows that this is all BS and these people are not only turning their backs on the Dem Party but I think many of them are being driven to the right by their disgust with this circus and the exposure of the party's critical weaknesses and derangement.

Paolo , November 6, 2017 at 6:59 pm

You correctly write that "the United States intervened in the 1996 Russian election to ensure the continued rule of the corrupt and pliable Boris Yeltsin". The irony is that a few years later Yeltsin chose Putin as his successor, and presumably the 'mericans gave him a hand to win his first term.
How extremely sad it is to see the USA going totally nuts.

Abe , November 6, 2017 at 9:00 pm

In The Fifties (1993), American journalist and historian David Halberstam addressed the noxious effect of McCarthyism: "McCarthy's carnival like four year spree of accusation charges, and threats touched something deep in the American body politic, something that lasted long after his own recklessness, carelessness and boozing ended his career in shame." (page 53)

Halberstam specifically discussed how readily the so-called "free" press acquiesced to McCarthy's masquerading: "The real scandal in all this was the behavior of the members of the Washington press corps, who, more often than not, knew better. They were delighted to be a part of his traveling road show, chronicling each charge and then moving on to the next town, instead of bothering to stay behind and follow up. They had little interest in reporting how careless McCarthy was or how little it all meant to him." (page 55)

Abe , November 6, 2017 at 9:15 pm

On March 9, 1954, Edward R. Murrow and a news team at CBS produced a half-hour See It Now special titled "A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy".

Murrow interspersed his own comments and clarifications into a damaging series of film clips from McCarthy's speeches. He ended the broadcast with a warning:

"As a nation we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves–as indeed we are–the defenders of freedom, what's left of it, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. The actions of the junior senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad and given considerable comfort to our enemies, and whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn't create the situation of fear; he merely exploited it, and rather successfully. Cassius was right: 'The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves.'"

CBS reported that of the 12,000 phone calls received within 24 hours of the broadcast, positive responses to the program outnumbered negative 15 to 1. McCarthy's favorable rating in the Gallup Poll dropped and was never to rise again.

Gary , November 6, 2017 at 11:34 pm

Sad to see so many hypocrites here espousing freedom from McCarthyism while they continue to vote for capitalist candidates year in year out. Think about the fact that in 2010 when Citizens United managed to get the Supreme Court to certify corporations as people the fear among many was that this would open US company subsidiaries to be infiltrated by foreign money. I guess it is happening in spades with collusion between Russian money & Trump's organization along with Facebook, Twitter & many others. How Mr. Parry can maintain that this parallels the 1950s anti-communist crusade is quite ingenuous. When libertarians, the likes of Bannon, Mercer, Trump et al, with their "destruction of the administrative state" credo are compared to the US communists of the 50s we know progressives have become about as disoriented as can be.

geeyp , November 7, 2017 at 3:30 am

I guess these "Paradise Papers" were released just yesterday, i.e., Sunday the 5th. Somehow I didn't get to it.

john wilson , November 7, 2017 at 6:01 am

So it looks like Hillary will be crossing Putin off her Xmas card list this year! I sometimes wonder if all we posters on here and other similar sites are on a list somewhere and when the day of reckoning comes, the list will be produced and we will have to account for our treasonous behaviour? Of course, one man's treason is another man's truth. I suppose in the end it boils down to the power thing. If you have a perceived enemy you can claim the need for an army. If you have an army you have power and with that power you can dispose of anyone who disagrees with you simply by calling them the enemy.

Lisa , November 7, 2017 at 9:38 am

John, your post made me wonder whether I would be on a list of traitors. I've written three posts, starting yesterday, and tried to explain something about the background of Yuri Milner, mentioned in the article. After "your comment has been posted, thank you" nothing has appeared on this thread.
Well, once more: Milner is known to me as a well-educated physicist from Moscow State University, and the co-founder and financier of The Breakthrough Prize, handing out yearly awards to promising scientists, with a much larger sum than the humble Nobel Prize. The awarding ceremony is held in December in Silicon Valley.

john wilson , November 7, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Hi Lisa, I have just looked up Milner on Wiki and he appears to be into everything including investment in internet companies. He is the co-founder of the "break through prize" that you mention and seems to have backed face book and twitter in their start up. I don't see why you posts haven't appeared as anyone can look Milner up on Wiki and elsewhere in great detail. You don't say where you have tried to post, but I would have thought on this site you would have no trouble whatever. If you have watched the last episode of 'cross talk' on RT you will see that anyone who as ever mentioned Russia in a public place is regarded as some kind of traitor. I guess you and me are due for rendition anytime now!! LOL

Lisa , November 7, 2017 at 1:49 pm

Hi John,
Naturally I had been trying to post on this site. First I tried three times in the comment space below all other posts, and they never went through. Only when I posted a reply to someone else's comment, my reply appeared. Maybe some technical problem on the site.

My motive was to show that Milner is doing worthwhile things with his millions, even if he is an "evil Russian oligarch". The mentioned prize has its own website: breakthroughprize.org. Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) is a board member.

The prize is certainly a "Putin conspiracy", as it has links to Russia. (sarc)

Zachary Smith , November 7, 2017 at 8:05 pm

Maybe some technical problem on the site.

Possibly that's the case. Disappearing-forever posts happen to me from time to time. For at least a while afterwards I cut/paste what I'm about to attempt to "post" to a WORD file before hitting the "post comment" button.

In any event, avoid links whenever possible. By cut/pasting the exact title of the piece you're using as a reference, others can quickly locate it themselves without a link.

K , November 7, 2017 at 9:44 am

I'm a lifelong Democrat. I was a Bernie supporter. But logic dictates my thinking. The Russia nonsense is cover for Hillary's loss and a convenient hammer with which to attack Trump. Not biting. Bill Maher is fixated on this. The Rob Reiner crowd is an embarrassment. The whole thing is embarrassing. The media is inept. Very bizarre times.

Patricia Schaefer , November 7, 2017 at 10:14 am

Excellent article which should shed light on the misunderstandings manifested to manipulate and censor Americans. Personally, it's ludicrous to imply that Russia was the primary reason I could not vote for Hillary. My interest in Twitter peaked when Sidney Blumenthal's name popped up selling arms in Libya. He was on The Clinton Foundation's Payroll for $120K, while the Obama Administration specifically told HRC Sidney Blumenthal was not to work for the State Department.

Further research showed Chris Stevens had no knowledge of Sidney Blumenthal selling arms in Libya. Hillary NEVER even gave Chris Stevens, a candidate with an outstanding background for diplomatic relations in the Middle East, her email. Chris Stevens possessed a Law Degree in International Trade, and had previously worked for Senator Lugar (R). Senator Lugar had warned HRC not to co-mingle State Department business with The Clinton Foundation.

To add salt to the wound Hillary choose to put a third rate security firm in Libya, changing firms a couple of short weeks before the bombing. I think she anticipated the bombing, remarking "What difference does it make? " at the congressional hearings.

If you remember Guccifer (that hacker) he said he'd hacked both Hillary and Sidney Blumenthal. He also said he found Sidney Blumenthal's account more interesting.

That's just one reason why I started surfing the internet. Sidney Blumenthal was a name that hung in the cobwebs of my memory, and I wanted to know what this scum-job of a journalist was doing!

Then there was Clinton Cash, BoysonTheTracks, Clinton Chronicles, the outrageous audacity of the Democrats Superdelegates voting before a single primary ballot had been cast, MSM bias to Hillary, Kathy Shelton's video "I thought you should know." and maybe around September 2016, wondering what dirty things Hillary had done with Russia since 1993?

So I guess it's true. In the end after witnessing what has transpired since the election I would not vote for Hillary because she'd rather risk WWIII, than have the TRUTH come out why she lost.

Gary , November 7, 2017 at 3:16 pm

After living in Europe much of the last three years we've recently returned to the U.S. I must say that life here feels very much like I'm living within a strange Absurdist theatre play of some sort (not that Europe is vastly better). Truth, meaning, rationality, mean absolutely nothing at this juncture here in the United States. Reality has been turned on its head. The only difference between our political parties runs along identity politics lines: "do you prefer your drone strikes, illegal invasions, regime change black-ops, economic warfare and massive government spying 'with' or 'without' gender specific bathrooms?" MSM refer to this situation as "democracy" while of course any thinking person knows we are actually living within a totalitarian nightmare. Theatre of the Absurd as a way of life. I must admit it feels pretty creepy being home again.

Realist , November 7, 2017 at 4:09 pm

Should this give us hope? https://sputniknews.com/us/201711071058899018-trump-cia-meet-whistleblower-russian-hacking/ Trump ordered Pompeo to meet with Binney of VIPS re "Russian hacking." Is it time for the absurd Russia-gate narrative to finally be publicly deconstructed? Or is that asking too much?

Skip Scott , November 8, 2017 at 9:04 am

I wish it wasn't asking too much, but I suspect it is. If the NYT was reporting it, I'd feel better about our chances. But the Deep State controls the narrative, and thus controls Pompeo, Trump's order notwithstanding. I hope I'm wrong.

Dave P. , November 7, 2017 at 4:17 pm

Yes Joe. It is rather painful to watch as you said this Orwellian Tragedy playing out in the Country which has just about become a police state. For those of us who grew up admiring the Western Civilization starting with the Greeks and Romans, and then for its institutions enshrining Individual Rights; and its scientific, literary, and cultural achievements, it is as if it still happening in some dream, though it has been coming for some time now – more than two decades now at least. The System was not perfect but I think that it was good as it could get. The system had been in decline for four decades or so now.

From Robert Parry's article:

"The warning from powerful senators was crystal clear. "I don't think you get it," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, warned social media executives last week. "You bear this responsibility. You created these platforms, and now they are being misused. And you have to be the ones who do something about it. Or we will."

Diane Feinstein's multi-billionaire husband was implicated in those Loan and Savings scandals of Reagan and G.H.W. Bush Era and in many other financial scandals later on but Law did not touch him. He has a dual residency in Israel. These are very corrupt people.

Paul Wolfowitz, Elliot Abrams, Perle, Nulad-Kagan clan, Kristol, Gaffney . . . the list goes on; add Netanyahu to it. In the Hollywood Harvey Weinstein, Rob Reiner. and the rest . . . In Finance and wall Street characters like Sandy Weiss and the gang. The Media and TV is directly or indirectly owned and controlled by "The Chosen People". So, where would you put the blame for all what is going on in this country, and all this chaos, death, and destruction going on in ME and many countries in Africa.

Any body who points out their role in it or utters a word of criticism of Israel is immediately called an anti-semite. Just to tell my own connections, my wife youngest sister is married to person who is Jewish (non-practicing). In all the relatives we have, they are closest to us for more than thirty five years now. They are those transgender common restroom liberals, but we have many common views and interests. In life, I have never differentiated people based on their ethnic or racial backgrounds; you look at the principles they stand for.

As I see it, this era of Russia-Gate and witch hunt is hundred times worse than McCarthy era. It seems irreversible. There is no one in the political establishment or elsewhere in Media or academia left for regeneration of the "Body Politic". In fact, what we are witnessing here is much worse than it was in the Soviet Union. It is complete degeneration of political leadership in this country. It extends to Media and other institutions as well. People in Soviet Union did not believe the lies they were told by the government there. And there arose writers like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in Soviet Union. What is left here now except are these few websites?

Maedhros , November 7, 2017 at 4:27 pm

If there is evidence, you should be able to provide some so that readers can analyze and discuss it. Exactly what evidence has been provided that the Russian government manipulated the 2016 election?

CitizenOne , November 7, 2017 at 10:42 pm

Robert Parry You Nailed It!!!

I need to do a little research to see how far back you used the term "New McCarthyism" to describe the next cold war with Russia. It was about the same time the first allegations of a Trump-Russia conspiracy was floated by the MSM. I do not pretend to know how much airtime they spent covering their coverup for all that the MSM did to profit from SuperPacs. They have webed a weave that conspires to conceive to the tunes of billions of dollars spent to reprieve their intent to deceive us and distract us away from their investment in Donald Trump which was the real influence in the public spaces to gain mega profits from extorting the SuperPacs into spending their dollars to defeat the trumped up candidate they created and boosted. One has to look no further than the Main Stream Press (MSM) to find the guilty party with motive and opportunity to cash in on a candidacy which if not for the money motive would not pass any test of journalistic integrity but would make money for the Media.

The Russian Boogeyman was created shortly after the election and is an obvious attempt to shield and defend the actions of the MSM which was the real fake news covered in the nightly news leading up to the election which sought to get money rather than present the facts.

This is an example of how much power and influence the MSM has on us all to be able to upend a National election and turn around and blame some foreign Devil for the results of an election.

The Russians had little to do with Trumps election. The MSM had everything to do with it. They cast blame on the Russians and in so doing create a new Cold War which suits the power establishment and suitably diverts all of our attention away from their machinations to influence the last presidential election.

Win Win. More Nuclear Weapons and more money for the MIC and more money for all of the corporations who would profit from a new Cold War.

Profit in times of deceit make more money from those who cheat.

CitizenOne , November 7, 2017 at 11:25 pm

Things not talked about:

1. James Comey and his very real influence on the election has never entered the media space for an instant. It has gone down the collective memory hole. That silence has been deafening because he was the person who against DOJ advice reopened the investigation into Hillary Clinton and the Servergate investigation after it had been closed by the FBI just days before the election.

The silence of the media on the influence on the election by the reopening of James Comey's Servergate investigation and how the mass media press coverage implicating Hillary Clinton (again) in supposed crimes (which never resulted in an indictment) influenced the National Election in ways that have never been examined by the MSM is a nail in the coffin of media impartiality.

Why have they not investigated James Comey? Why has the MSM instead created a Russian Boogeyman? Why was he invited to testify about the Russian connection but never cross examined about his own influence? Why is the clearest reason for election meddling by James Comey not even spoken of by the MSM? This is because the MSM does not want to cover events as they happened but wants to recreate a alternate reality suitable to themselves which serves their interests and convinces us that the MSM has no part at all in downplaying the involvement of themselves in the election but wants to create a foreign enemy to blame.

It serves many interests. The MSM lies to all of us for the benefit of the MIC. It serves to support White House which will deliver maximum investments in the Defense Industry. It does this by creating a foreign enemy which they create for us to fear and be afraid of.

It is obvious to everyone with a clear eyed history of how the last election went down and how the MSM and the government later played upon our fears to grab more cash have cashed in under the present administration.

It is up to us to elect leaders who will reject this manipulation by the media and who will not be cowed by the establishment. We have the power enshrined in our Constitution to elect leaders who will pave the path forward to a better future.

Those future leaders will have to do battle with a media infrastructure that serves the power structure and conspires to deceive us all.

Jessica K , November 8, 2017 at 9:43 am

Clear critical thinking must accompany free speech, however, and irrationality seems to have beset Americans, too stuck in the mud of identity politics. Can they get out? I have hopes that a push is coming from the new multipolar world Xi and Putin are advocating, as well as others (but not the George Soros NWO variety). The big bully American government, actually ruled by oligarchy, has not been serving its regular folks well, so things are falling apart. Seems like the sex scandals, political scandals especially of the Democrat brand, money scandals are unraveling to expose underlying societal sickness in the Disunited States of America.

It is interesting that this purge shakeup in Saudi Arabia is happening in 2017, one hundred years since the shakeup in Russia, the Bolshevik Revolution. So shake-ups are happening everywhere. I think a pattern is emerging of major changes in world events. Just yesterday I read that because "Russia-gate" isn't working well, senators are looking to start a "China-gate", for evidence of Trump collusion with Chinese oligarchs. Ludicrous. As Seer once said, "The Empire in panic mode".

Patricia, thanks for the info on Sid Blumenthal, HRC and the selling of arms from Libya to ME jihadists, which seems to exonerate Chris Stevens from those dirty deeds and lays blame squarely at Blumenthal's and Clinton's doorstep; changes my thinking. And thanks to Robert Parry for continuing to push back at the participation of MSM and government players in the Orwellian masquerade being pulled on the sheeple.

Truther , November 8, 2017 at 12:54 pm

Just the facts for those of you who have minds still open. suggest you bookmark it quickly as the moderator will delete it within the hour.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/a-timeline-of-the-trump-russia-scandal-w511067

[Nov 08, 2017] The Trump Administration's Contempt for Diplomacy

Nov 08, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

SteveM , says: November 8, 2017 at 11:21 am

When you have a Global Cop War Machine hammer and surround yourself with a Pentagon/Security State steering committee advising you to use it, everything else is a nail. I have to admit, Trump is even a much smaller man than I imagined him to be at his worst.

Belligerent global power projection is currently unaffordable and quickly becoming obsolete. While China is eating America's lunch with it's productive foreign aid and investments that do not involve killing, destroying and intimidation.

Neither of which Trump comprehends. And of his in-house Neocon minions ("my generals"), it goes without saying

SDS , says: November 8, 2017 at 11:53 am
"and the American diplomatic core is down to Nikki Haley screaming into a phone in some basement office of the Pentagon"

That would be hilarious if it weren't so prophetic

rayray , says: November 8, 2017 at 1:13 pm
Every time a diplomat works to reduce tensions, build relationships, avoid conflict, this is literally taking money and opportunity out of the pockets of the Military/Industrial complex.

Trump, being ironically a terrible negotiator and, as @SDS notes above, has never had the temperament, intelligence, or empathy to be much more than a bully, is the perfect tool for the military/industrial complex.

[Nov 08, 2017] Harvey Weinstein's Stasi by Rod Dreher

Notable quotes:
"... Perhaps men and women who enter into service in a national military or intelligence agency should be required to sign a life-time oath NOT to accept employment in any investigative or paramilitary outfit in the private sector, enforceable by a life prison sentence? ..."
"... The two are by and large antithetical. Now the weakness of socialism, to date, is that without a sense of community and ethics, it looks an awful lot like monopoly capitalism. Fidel Castro understood that, but his error was thinking he could inculcate community and ethics by decree (and if necessary force). ..."
"... There are all kinds of reasons why Harvey W. was not outed earlier, some having to do with the culture at large, some having to do with the extreme insecurity of anyone in show business. But I am a little uneasy with the frenzy of accusations across the country that have followed. Some have got to be opportunistic rather than real. ..."
"... Anybody who goes to the show right now, knowing what we know or will eventually discover – Weinstein is just the tip of the iceberg – is simply subsidizing evil. ..."
"... Anybody who's lived in Hollywood, knows that the lure of fame is such that any compromise will be acceded to as the cost of obtaining it. Of course, those who prostituted themselves and violated their consciences, won't mind getting revenge if the opportunity someday arises. ..."
"... What David Boies did was just about the worse thing a lawyer can do which is to betray a client. Not even a former client, a current one, and not by accident either. This was intentional betrayal made with a sober mind. This Harvey guy is so important to him that Boies has basically thrown away his integrity, hopefully his law license, and his reputation forever just to stop some rumors. ..."
"... The Mossad (or "ex-Mossad") angle brings in the hint of state action on behalf of individuals. Groups like that one do not work for everyone, and how do we know if those agents really are "ex-" or not. ..."
Nov 07, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Here's more reporting by Ronan Farrow that suggests a good reason why people were afraid to speak out about Harvey Weinstein's sexual assaults:

In the fall of 2016, Harvey Weinstein set out to suppress allegations that he had sexually harassed or assaulted numerous women. He began to hire private security agencies to collect information on the women and the journalists trying to expose the allegations. According to dozens of pages of documents, and seven people directly involved in the effort, the firms that Weinstein hired included Kroll, which is one of the world's largest corporate-intelligence companies, and Black Cube, an enterprise run largely by former officers of Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies. Black Cube, which has branches in Tel Aviv, London, and Paris, offers its clients the skills of operatives "highly experienced and trained in Israel's elite military and governmental intelligence units," according to its literature.

Two private investigators from Black Cube, using false identities, met with the actress Rose McGowan, who eventually publicly accused Weinstein of rape, to extract information from her. One of the investigators pretended to be a women's-rights advocate and secretly recorded at least four meetings with McGowan. The same operative, using a different false identity and implying that she had an allegation against Weinstein, met twice with a journalist to find out which women were talking to the press. In other cases, journalists directed by Weinstein or the private investigators interviewed women and reported back the details.

The explicit goal of the investigations, laid out in one contract with Black Cube, signed in July, was to stop the publication of the abuse allegations against Weinstein that eventually emerged in the New York Times and The New Yorker . Over the course of a year, Weinstein had the agencies "target," or collect information on, dozens of individuals, and compile psychological profiles that sometimes focussed on their personal or sexual histories. Weinstein monitored the progress of the investigations personally. He also enlisted former employees from his film enterprises to join in the effort, collecting names and placing calls that, according to some sources who received them, felt intimidating.

Weinstein's lawyer, the cream-of-the-croppy David Boies, knew a lot about this. Farrow also reports about how Weinstein allegedly conspired with the owner of the National Enquirer to dig up dirt on those who accused him.

Read the whole thing.

Harvey Weinstein is a monster. After reading this piece, it is easier to understand why people stayed quiet about his behavior.

Centralist ,, November 7, 2017 at 10:22 am

The sins of capitalism without ethics and a man without ethics, in perfect harmony.

The joke that this brings to mind is "What is the worst thing for capitalism?" "A pure capitalist". To have a good capitalist system you need sense of community and ethics to guide them. The sense of only "I" is the greatest cause of such abuse. Sadly though this is more in line with a return to old power politics of city states that use to dominate the Italy, Greece, and the Mideast. While often apart of larger empires with their own security forces individual wealth magnates and nobles had their own private forces to keep the rift raft in check because of legal grey area and coupled with official leadership to weak or to in the pocket of the rich to do anything about it.

The further forward we go, the more we go back. I think Mr. Dreher and interesting idea for a novel from you would be a Benedict Option Society in a cyberpunk post nation-state world. Just an idea.

Siarlys Jenkins , says: November 7, 2017 at 10:43 am
The monstrosity is hardly unique to Weinstein. After all, Black Cube must have quite a few other well-heeled clients with similar needs or it wouldn't be in business on several continents. That seems to be more of a threat to peace and freedom and democracy and liberty and public morality than one man's particular sins, or his desires to cover them up.

Perhaps men and women who enter into service in a national military or intelligence agency should be required to sign a life-time oath NOT to accept employment in any investigative or paramilitary outfit in the private sector, enforceable by a life prison sentence?

To have a good capitalist system you need sense of community and ethics to guide them.

The two are by and large antithetical. Now the weakness of socialism, to date, is that without a sense of community and ethics, it looks an awful lot like monopoly capitalism. Fidel Castro understood that, but his error was thinking he could inculcate community and ethics by decree (and if necessary force).

TR , says: November 7, 2017 at 10:53 am
I suggest opening the TAC link to Joseph Epstein's take-down of Leon Wieseltier in the Weekly Standard. A masterpiece.

There are all kinds of reasons why Harvey W. was not outed earlier, some having to do with the culture at large, some having to do with the extreme insecurity of anyone in show business. But I am a little uneasy with the frenzy of accusations across the country that have followed. Some have got to be opportunistic rather than real.

For those interested in tales of the cssting couch of old, check out the life of Harry Cohn, the longtime head of Columbia Pictures.

Potato , says: November 7, 2017 at 11:05 am
I am concerned about the part in all this played by attorney David Boies, and I think the Bar should initiate an investigation into his involvement. This falls seriously short of the ethical behavior we expect of people who are, after all, officers of the Court.

I also believe that any claim of attorney-client privilege as to these materials, in a situation where Boies is claiming that he and his firm did not direct the investigative agencies involved and did not know much about their findings, is farcical, and would never have held up in court. Assuming that he is telling the truth about this ignorance of his, Mr. Boies should surely have known that a claim of privilege would not hold up, and should so have advised his client at the beginning of this entire transaction.

Or, alternatively, he is lying his head off about how much he knew, which is worse.

David Boies is now very understandably backing quickly away from this whole situation, but I believe that it may be too late for him to be in the clear.

One wonders, or I do, why Mr. Boies consented to be involved in the first place. Surely he personally and his firm both have plenty of money, so financial desperation cannot play a part. Is a man in his position so blinded by Fame and Fortune that his good judgment was compromised to this degree? He seems to be at least marginally good, at this late date, at naming all the reasons this was a bad idea for him. One wonders why all this did not occur to him sooner.

Another possibility is that Weinstein or someone closely connected to Weinstein "has the goods" on Mr. Boies, and was able to in effect blackmail him. Weinstein and his associates seem uncommonly good at that.

Or, I wonder, is it just One Of Those Things? You do things, then you do something that is a tiny bit questionable (but hugely profitable), and then the next thing is a tiny bit more questionable until, without really thinking about it, you find yourself in the position David Boies is now in, or worse, in commission of a felony. This kind of thing happens all the time, sadly, when someone like Boies has a moral compass which is a bit out of adjustment.

Jason , says: November 7, 2017 at 11:23 am
Anybody who goes to the show right now, knowing what we know or will eventually discover – Weinstein is just the tip of the iceberg – is simply subsidizing evil.
charles cosimano , says: November 7, 2017 at 11:43 am
Seems he did everything right except the execution. He never would have made it in the mafia.
Sam M , says: November 7, 2017 at 11:54 am
"After reading this piece, it is easier to understand why people stayed quiet about his behavior."

But also easier to believe that, "I didn't know."

This matters. It's one thing for a young aspiring starlet getting off a bus in Hollywood with $20 in her pocket to fall in line. But it's quite another for multi-millionaire power brokers who worked with Weinstein to sit back and watch him abuse one such aspiring starlet after another for 20 years.

There were plenty of producers and actors and directors who knew plenty and never raised a finger, despite having the financial and professional wherewithal to take that risk.

Captain P , says: November 7, 2017 at 1:07 pm
Potato

> I am concerned about the part in all this played by attorney David Boies, and I think the Bar should initiate an investigation into his involvement. This falls seriously short of the ethical behavior we expect of people who are, after all, officers of the Court.

Sounds like the NYT is going to be suing Boies for his unethical behavior:

"We learned today that the law firm of Boies Schiller and Flexner secretly worked to stop our reporting on Harvey Weinstein at the same time as the firm's lawyers were representing us in other matters," Eileen Murphy, a New York Times spokesperson, told TheWrap.

"We consider this intolerable conduct, a grave betrayal of trust, and a breach of the basic professional standards that all lawyers are required to observe," she continued. "It is inexcusable, and we will be pursuing appropriate remedies."

https://www.thewrap.com/new-york-times-david-boies-harvey-weinstein/

Fran Macadam , says: November 7, 2017 at 1:08 pm
Anybody who's lived in Hollywood, knows that the lure of fame is such that any compromise will be acceded to as the cost of obtaining it. Of course, those who prostituted themselves and violated their consciences, won't mind getting revenge if the opportunity someday arises.

And whatever happens on casting couches, is simply the behind the scenes sideplay of the same things acted out onscreen.

In a way, it's consensual if that is the bargain you agreed with yourself to make to get what you wanted.

We've already determined what you are, now we're just negotiating about the price.

theMann , says: November 7, 2017 at 1:30 pm
Weinstein is stone cold via RICO on extortion, multiple times. Any prosecutor worth his salt (very few of them actually, but another subject) can and should start rolling out the counts. All the people covering up for him, launch discovery and see just how far their accessory goes, also prosecutable under RICO.

hum .Hollywood. Lets all hold our breath until it happens.

ludo , says: November 7, 2017 at 1:47 pm
At least he didn't have anybody disappeared, unlike routinely happens in Mexico and so many other increasingly neo-medieval places in the world, so credit for that.
pitchfork , says: November 7, 2017 at 2:02 pm
"The monstrosity is hardly unique to Weinstein. After all, Black Cube must have quite a few other well-heeled clients with similar needs or it wouldn't be in business on several continents. That seems to be more of a threat to peace and freedom and democracy and liberty and public morality than one man's particular sins, or his desires to cover them up."

Indeed. And a common tactic seems to be to run everything through a law firm, thereby putting it all under attorney-client privilege. The cyber-security team that Bank of America hired to take down Glenn Greenwald a few years back was apparently organized through Hunton and Williams. At the DOJ's suggestion, no less.

https://wikileaks.org/hbgary-emails/emailid/13730

And this kind of thing isn't confined to media moguls and banks, either. When I was a PhD student I was involved in organizing against certain development plans at my university. On one of the emails between myself, other organizers, and the university vice president, the VP had copied some university employees that had nothing apparent to do with the issue we were protesting. When I researched who _they_ were, one of them had just been hired away from Booz Allen Hamilton. Later on, after the protests were over (we lost, by the way), an insider in the administration told me directly, in great detail, that I, my wife, and other organizers had been carefully watched the whole time. Lucky for me, I'm a good boy with a squeaky clean past, but that's how this university VP rolled.

Lllurker , says: November 7, 2017 at 2:19 pm
Shades of Roger Ailes. One more story that shows how ignorant some of us who live out our lives in flyover country can be about this sort of thing. Until the Roger Ailes thing broke I pretty much assumed that hiring "security firms" of this nature was something that just took place in spy novels and westerns.

I wonder if these hired guns who stalk and intimidate people for a living are ever convicted of crimes like stalking and intimidating.

Countme-a-Demon , says: November 7, 2017 at 2:20 pm
Odd that the title of the article reads "Harvey Weinstein's Stasi", when "Harvey Weinstein's Mossad" was right there for the picking. Is Mossad a different kind of Stasi? Those agents should be arrested and charged as well. Then deported, if ICE isn't too overworked.
JCM , says: November 7, 2017 at 3:20 pm
I wonder why Mr. Weinstein didn't save himself the trouble and hooked himself up with A-list call girls. I can't imagine that a sense of morality would have kept him from consorting with prostitutes. He would have saved himself a word of trouble and money if he had been inclined to pay for services from the outset. Perhaps, he felt the need to denigrate the women that he so callously approached. Not a nice man, this Mr. Weinstein.
Potato , says: November 7, 2017 at 3:49 pm
a common tactic seems to be to run everything through a law firm, thereby putting it all under attorney-client privilege.

Allegedly. Actually you have to do more than just get a lawyer involved somehow, or other in some capacity or other, to invoke the privilege. I haven't researched this transaction specifically, but it sounds to me like the assertion of privilege in this Weinstein business would have had more holes in it than a colander.

Sounds like the NYT is going to be suing Boies for his unethical behavior:

"We learned today that the law firm of Boies Schiller and Flexner secretly worked to stop our reporting on Harvey Weinstein at the same time as the firm's lawyers were representing us in other matters," Eileen Murphy, a New York Times spokesperson, told TheWrap. "We consider this intolerable conduct, a grave betrayal of trust, and a breach of the basic professional standards that all lawyers are required to observe," she continued. "It is inexcusable, and we will be pursuing appropriate remedies."

Good, they have it coming. Among everything else that was wrong with it, this business was a very serious conflict of interest, and worse, Boies was well aware of the conflict at the time. (Actually the Bar will whap you good for conflicts of interest whether you were aware of them or not, taking the position that attorneys are supposed to keep track of such things. But doing it knowingly is worse.)

More cause for head-shaking. Why why why did David Boies consent to become involved?? What did these people have to threaten him with, if that's what happened?

xx

As an irrelevancy, may I say yet again that Harvey Weinstein is one of the most physically unattractive men I have ever seen or seen pictures of. To call him a "pig" is an insult to pigs everywhere.

Dan Green , says: November 7, 2017 at 4:35 pm
Hooray for Hollywood, is anybody really surprised what goes on in that fantasy world?
cka2nd , says: November 7, 2017 at 4:38 pm
TR "But I am a little uneasy with the frenzy of accusations across the country that have followed. Some have got to be opportunistic rather than real."

I agree, some are. Corey Haim's mom is calling out Corey Feldman for trying to raise a millions of dollars for some documentary instead of just naming the names of those he claims abused him and her son, who she says was abused by just one person, not the hordes Feldman alleges.

By the way, I'm with Luke and Conewago on being careful about using the dehumanizing term "monster."

Our Thing , says: November 7, 2017 at 8:42 pm
"After all, Black Cube must have quite a few other well-heeled clients with similar needs or it wouldn't be in business on several continents. "

Anybody who hires a company called "Black Cube" deserves whatever bad things happen to them. And what stupid ex-Mossad hack chose the name? I can't imagine one better calculated to call forth an all-out international investigation. I mean, why not just call it SPECTRE and have done with it?

Philly guy , says: November 7, 2017 at 10:29 pm
Am pretty sure Uncle Chuckie said something about Weinstein's henchmen on a previous thread. In 2017 this must be outsourced i.e. Black cube. The words "private" and "security" when used together, make me cringe.
Ben H , says: November 7, 2017 at 10:41 pm
This story just gets more and more extraordinary.
Elijah , says: November 8, 2017 at 7:33 am
"Why why why did David Boies consent to become involved?? What did these people have to threaten him with, if that's what happened?"

You really have to wonder if the lure of Weinstein's fund-raising prowess was that strong or if he was investigating and blackmailing hundreds of people all over the nation.

The more you read about this wretched Weinstein, the less outlandish the conspiracy theories sound.

[Nov 07, 2017] Moon of Alabama: Saudi Arabia This 'Night Of The Long Knives' Is A Panic-Fueled Move

Nov 07, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

et Al , November 6, 2017 at 8:04 am

Moon of Alabama: Saudi Arabia – This 'Night Of The Long Knives' Is A Panic-Fueled Move
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/11/saudi-purge.html

Yesterday the ruling Salman clan in Saudi Arabia executed a Night of the Long Knives cleansing the state of all potential competition. The Saudi King Salman and his son Clown Prince Mohammad bin Salman initiated a large arrest wave and purge of high ranking princes and officials. Part of this internal coup was the confiscation of huge financial estates to the advantage of the Salman clan.

The earlier forced resignation of the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri is probably related to the last night's events. The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahoo endorsed the resignation. This guarantees that Hariri will never again be accepted in a leading role in Lebanon .
####

Plenty more at the link and don't forget to check the comments, of which PaveWay IV & guidoamm are enlightening, the latter: I know from someone that, till last month, managed a fleet of personal jets for the great and the good in Saudi Arabia, that there is an exodus under way. The great and the good are literally taking the cuckoo clocks onboard their 380s and relocating to their foreign residences. Owners of the fleets have not been paying their bills for months neither to the crews, nor to the management nor, indeed, to the facilities.
####

Just what Europe needs, a bunch of Saudi princes permanently flaunting themselves away from home in various capitals.

saskydisc , November 6, 2017 at 1:56 pm
Saudi declares war on Lebanon, by claiming that Lebanon declares war on Saudi Arabia . Given that the Saudis have made their alliance with Israel open, this is a threat to the Lebanese government and society, and a dare to the Russian government regarding its anti-ISIS and anti-Al Qaeda policy.
marknesop , November 7, 2017 at 8:28 am
Not to mention the S-400 sale.

[Nov 07, 2017] Consortium News: Israeli-Saudi Tandem Adjusts to Syria Loss

Nov 07, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

et Al , November 6, 2017 at 8:31 am

Consortium News: Israeli-Saudi Tandem Adjusts to Syria Loss
https://consortiumnews.com/2017/11/04/israeli-saudi-tandem-adjusts-to-syria-loss/

Facing defeat in the proxy war in Syria, the Israeli-Saudi tandem is planning a new front against Hezbollah, presaged by Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri's sudden resignation, as ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke explains.

By Alastair Crooke
####

All at the link.

I don't think Israel will start to face any kind of reality as long as Nut & Yahoo and his clique remain in power, even then In other news, the US has just ordered 186 more cruise missiles (that we know about). War with I-ran is the goal, but how to get there? More weapons is the easy bit but the earth beneath the war parties' feet has long since shifted. I-ran is prepared and expects it too.

[Nov 07, 2017] The international organization for migration has published official data which shows that every fourth prostitute in Europe is a citizen of Ukraine.

Nov 07, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Patient Observer , November 6, 2017 at 1:02 pm

Did not the Kremlin Stooges predict this years ago?

http://theduran.com/new-migration-data-shows-every-fourth-prostitute-europe-citizen-ukraine/

The international organization for migration has published official data which shows that every fourth prostitute in Europe is a citizen of Ukraine.

The article discusses pamphlets that are distributed to young Ukrainian girls/women advising them on how to survive and flourish in new realities of life in the EU.

the Ukrainian labor market is being formed and is growing. Even if there is no other work and none is expected, girls should know that Europe will take care of them. The younger generation of Ukrainian schoolgirls will find out how to apply themselves If you are involved in the sex business, then this brochure is for you," it is said in the introduction. "You have chosen a very dangerous profession, but if you always follow these simple rules, then you will get a chance to live a long life You shouldn't serve several clients alone, you should avoid drunk clients, and also always to take payment in advance. And when you go to the client's apartment, try to learn in what district of the city it is located, give preference to hotels".

marknesop , November 6, 2017 at 1:15 pm
It's okay if you're a hooker, and all you have to sell is yourself. You have chosen a dangerous profession, but really the writing was on the wall, wasn't it, if only you'd had sense to read it? And the economic calamity which has come to pass in your country is really no concern of ours, while for our part we are not too upset at being offered the choice of some of the most beautiful young women on the planet, who will do anything you say for a handful of euros.

Here's to your bright new future in the EU. Incredible. I wonder if Poroshenko will tout this statistic as another validation of Ukrainians' confidence in his leadership.

[Nov 07, 2017] Mueller is going after money laundering, which unsurprisingly leads to Ukraine. It's one of the oldest known tricks in the book keep in mind, Al Capone fell due to tax evasion.

Manafort can expose Nulandgate dirty kitchen. That's a danger for Mueller and for all Russiagate sponsors (including Podesta) ... So this possibility needs to be neutralized.
Notable quotes:
"... I suspect most here would find little to disagree with in the premise that Washington loves the elegance of 'the deal', in which it pressures an individual or organization or nation into caving in against his/its best interests, knowing it is getting the shitty end of the stick but unable to resist the relentless pressure. The USA calls it 'soft power', and it used to mean something quite different. Now it's like the difference between pulled pork and fast food. Both are satisfying, but one takes a long time to achieve. Instant gratification is all the rage these days, and Washington would much rather bring about an overnight coup than a decade-long transformation. ..."
"... But Yanukovych is still very much alive, and that was not likely in the script. I daresay he has a tale or two to tell about the terms he was offered and the deals he was encouraged to make, which is likely why no western journalists have ever sought permission to interview him in Russia. It's still surprising, because western analysts could have chimed in that he's pro-Russian, what did you expect but lies, if they didn't like what he said. ..."
"... I think what Washington wants is to strike a deal with Manafort which will avoid a trial and testimony which might introduce uncomfortable facts and avenues which might prove uncomfortable to explore. Consider; Manafort was right at the heart of the regime-change effort, and he must have seen and heard quite a few things that Washington would not like made public. It is just crazy to get at Russia and will absorb considerable risk to reach that goal, but a public trial of Manafort might be more of a liability than a show of western jurisprudence. ..."
"... Hence the hilarity. Those who wanted this probe have two bad option: defend Manafort, and thus be part of the corruption that Trump denounces; allow Manafort to fall and take Podesta with him. And to think that it all started in Ukraine. Every Zrada turns into Peremoga, even in DC. ..."
"... History will one day review this period as a mass hysteria equaled only by the Dreyfus Affair. Critical thinking is dead, and a significant group – if not a majority – simply accepts whatever pap it is fed by the popular media. ..."
"... Alexander makes an excellent point – what kind of incredible leverage must Russia possess, that a covert campaign of which no evidence exists to this day to sway public opinion in favour of leaving the EU prevailed over a very public and extremely overt effort by the United States and some European leaders to influence the vote for "Stay"? Further, how could such a feat be accomplished by an international pariah which is friendless and isolated? ..."
Nov 07, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

ucgsblog , November 6, 2017 at 11:36 am

Mueller is going after money laundering, which unsurprisingly leads to Ukraine. It's one of the oldest known tricks in the book – keep in mind, Al Capone fell due to tax evasion. In this case, money laundering can replace tax evasion. Also, anyone surprised that there have been links to Ukraine and the UK, but no links to Russia?
marknesop , November 6, 2017 at 12:06 pm
I suspect most here would find little to disagree with in the premise that Washington loves the elegance of 'the deal', in which it pressures an individual or organization or nation into caving in against his/its best interests, knowing it is getting the shitty end of the stick but unable to resist the relentless pressure. The USA calls it 'soft power', and it used to mean something quite different. Now it's like the difference between pulled pork and fast food. Both are satisfying, but one takes a long time to achieve. Instant gratification is all the rage these days, and Washington would much rather bring about an overnight coup than a decade-long transformation.

I imagine the pressure is on Manafort to agree to this sort of 'deal' to escape prison. And the narrative is shaping up to be that he was a lobbyist for the PRO-RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, Viktor Yanukovych. There's your Russian connection. Even though Putin did not care for Yanukovych, and Yanukovych only went to Moscow when he had come up against a stone wall with the EU, which obviously wanted Ukraine for free and could not have cared less for the economic damage forcing it to change its loyalties wholesale would have brought about. Still, according to the narrative, Yanukovych was pro-Russian.

But Yanukovych is still very much alive, and that was not likely in the script. I daresay he has a tale or two to tell about the terms he was offered and the deals he was encouraged to make, which is likely why no western journalists have ever sought permission to interview him in Russia. It's still surprising, because western analysts could have chimed in that he's pro-Russian, what did you expect but lies, if they didn't like what he said.

I think what Washington wants is to strike a deal with Manafort which will avoid a trial and testimony which might introduce uncomfortable facts and avenues which might prove uncomfortable to explore. Consider; Manafort was right at the heart of the regime-change effort, and he must have seen and heard quite a few things that Washington would not like made public. It is just crazy to get at Russia and will absorb considerable risk to reach that goal, but a public trial of Manafort might be more of a liability than a show of western jurisprudence.

ucgsblog , November 6, 2017 at 2:30 pm
There are several issues with that. First, the Judicial System is supposed to be beyond reproach. The DNC played that Russia Card, and have suffered as a result, because Americans responded with the "I Don't Give a Shit" card, and the RNC quickly pounced on that. I doubt that Mueller would sacrifice his career for political gains.

The problem that politicians face with the probe, is that he's leading a bipartisan effort. Yanukovich being pro-Russian isn't going to be enough, considering that most Americans know that the FSA was pro-American, and most don't support the FSA. So Mueller won't mind if Manafort spills the beans.

The problem is with the system. While Mueller might not mind, quite a few lobbyists will. The Russia bashing has given Mueller the chance to clean house from the major lobbyists. This means that the pro-Clinton people will be forced to defend Manafort, in an irony of ironies, because when it comes to money laundering, they're probably in on it. Instead of hitting Russia, they hit the "Drain the Swamp" button, which coincidentally happened to be Trump's slogan, which he is sure to take credit for.

Hence the hilarity. Those who wanted this probe have two bad option: defend Manafort, and thus be part of the corruption that Trump denounces; allow Manafort to fall and take Podesta with him. And to think that it all started in Ukraine. Every Zrada turns into Peremoga, even in DC.

ucgsblog , November 6, 2017 at 2:31 pm
It's neither chickenshit nor drunk; I was talking about the campaign managers for Trump and Clinton.
Cortes , November 5, 2017 at 4:55 am
The unseen [¿?] Kremlin hand:

http://theduran.com/putin-behind-brexit-russiagate-hysteria-spreads-britain/

The comment by "Ancient Briton" is priceless.

marknesop , November 5, 2017 at 9:43 am
History will one day review this period as a mass hysteria equaled only by the Dreyfus Affair. Critical thinking is dead, and a significant group – if not a majority – simply accepts whatever pap it is fed by the popular media.

Alexander makes an excellent point – what kind of incredible leverage must Russia possess, that a covert campaign of which no evidence exists to this day to sway public opinion in favour of leaving the EU prevailed over a very public and extremely overt effort by the United States and some European leaders to influence the vote for "Stay"? Further, how could such a feat be accomplished by an international pariah which is friendless and isolated?

The west would be wise to give over before its spiteful efforts do it irreparable damage. It will not, of course, wisdom being in short supply while idiocy is going spare.

kirill , November 5, 2017 at 7:01 am
http://russia-insider.com/en/nato-blogger-takes-sarin-bucket-challenge-raise-awareness-about-harmless-nerve-agent/ri21488

When you snooker them with facts, they just make shit up to wiggle their way out. Galeotti, Higgins and the rest of the NATzO bootlick slime.

[Nov 07, 2017] Washington's Wonderful World of Corruption - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... On the next day, Woolsey and his wife met separately with the same two Turkish businessmen at the Peninsula Hotel in New York City and discussed with them a more general but broadly based $10 million plan of their own that would combine lobbying with public relatio