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Contents Bulletin Scripting in shell and Perl Network troubleshooting History Humor

Trump's bastard neoliberalism and his betrayal of voters

Trump bowed to NeoCon pressure and became closet neocon in foreign policy

He now is just sex reassignment surgery away from becoming Hillary Clinton.

News The Deep State Recommended Links Trump foreign policy Trump after his Colin Powell moment Russiagate -- a color revolution agianst  Trump Khan Sheikhoun gas attack Iran saber-rattling Korea saber-rattling
Reversal of planned detente with Russia Obamacare vs. Trumpcare Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Sacrifice of Michael Flynn Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Trump election time foreign policy platform Donald Trump -- an unusual fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization Anti Trump Hysteria
Demonization of Putin Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Impulsivity and incompetence: shoot first ask questions later foreign policy Cold War II  American Exceptionalism  Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich The Iron Law of Oligarchy Blowback against neoliberal globalization
History of American False Flag Operations  False flag operations as important part of demonization of the enemy strategy Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations Anti-globalization movement Doublespeak New American Militarism Bait and Switch
TTP, NAFTA and other supernational trade treates Trump economic platform Predator state Corporatism Nation under attack meme Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers Deception as an art form
Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Neocons Principal-agent problem  Zombie state and coming collapse of neoliberalism Corporatist Corruption Non-Interventionism Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
  The real Donald Trump has been exposed. The man who promised a sensible and non-interventionist Middle Eastern policy and a reset with Moscow has now reneged on both pledges.

His nitwit United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has directly linked Russia and Syria for punishment by the omnipotent Leader of the Free World lest anyone be confused.

The unconscionable attack on Syria based on the usual unsubstantiated allegations has shifted the playing field dramatically, with the “new sheriff in town” apparently intent on proving he is a real man who can play hardball with the rest of them.

 Iran the Destabilizer - The Unz Review April 11, 2017

 

rumpism" abandoned his election platform and in foreign policy became a favor of "Clintonism". In foreign policy his administration slided to warmongering in best neocon traditions. In economic policy his administration gradually slided toward  "bastard neoliberalism" (mix of neoliberalism with libertarianism). Key features are toxic, clueless deregulation, plus adventurism in foreign relations.  Trump also demonstrated immature, narcissistic behaviour on a state level (attack against Syria airbase on false pretencies), with a smell of nepotism ( The Empire Expands - The Unz Review  )

It turns out that the voters who cast their ballots for Donald Trump, the patriarch, got a package deal for his whole clan. That would include, of course, first daughter Ivanka who, along with her husband, Jared Kushner, is now a key political adviser to the president of the United States. Both now have offices in the White House close to him. They have multiple security clearances, access to high-level leaders whenever they visit the Oval Office or Mar-a-Lago, and the perfect formula for the sort of brand-enhancement that now seems to come with such eminence. President Trump may have an exceedingly “flexible” attitude toward policymaking generally, but in one area count on him to be stalwart and immobile: his urge to run the White House like a business, a family business.

William S. Lind provided good overview of the situation in his article Going Off the Rails ( The American Conservative May 4, 2017). the article should be read in full, but summarizing we can say: 

(1) “Trump won the election because enough people voted against the establishment, both its Republican and Democratic wings, and

(2) “Those voters will not turn out again if he merely puts the Republican establishment in power.

(3) “To the contrary, those voters will again seek someone who is anti-establishment, this time with the seriousness and persistence to fight the establishment and win.”

In other words, unless Trump demonstrates his willingness to fight the neoliberl/neocon establishment,  he will lose support of the considerable part of his voters. He already lost anti-war alt right and as such little chances for reelection if he seeks one.

There are two issues that  can serve a litmus test for Trum desire to "drain the swamp": 

Unfortunately changes that Trump will follow those recommendations are close to zero. Looks like he is seriously weaken by Russiagate and all-in-all his administration is more about showmanship, than substance.


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[Aug 23, 2017] Military leaders consolidate power in Trump administration

Aug 23, 2017 | www.msn.com

Connected by their faith in order and global norms, these military leaders are rapidly consolidating power throughout the executive branch as they counsel a volatile president. Some establishment figures in both political parties view them as safeguards for the nation in a time of turbulence.

Trump's elevation of a cadre of current and retired generals marks a striking departure for a country that for generations has positioned civilian leaders above and apart from the military.

"This is the only time in modern presidential history when we've had a small number of people from the uniformed world hold this much influence over the chief executive," said John E. McLaughlin, a former acting director of the CIA who served in seven administrations. "They are right now playing an extraordinary role."

In the wake of the deadly racial violence in Charlottesville this month, five of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were hailed as moral authorities for condemning hate in less equivocal terms than the commander in chief did.

On social policy, military leaders have been voices for moderation. The Pentagon declined to immediately ac t upon Trump's Twitter announcement that he would ban transgender people from the armed forces, instead awaiting a more formal directive that has yet to arrive.

Inside the White House, meanwhile, generals manage Trump's hour-by-hour interactions and whisper in his ear ! and those whispers, as with the decision this week to expand U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, often become policy.

At the core of Trump's circle is a seasoned trio of generals with experience as battlefield commanders: White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and national security adviser H.R. McMaster. The three men have carefully cultivated personal relationships with the president and gained his trust.

[Aug 23, 2017] How the Brass Talked Another President Into a Losing Strategy The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... The Military Times ..."
"... Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan ..."
"... The American Conservative ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
Aug 23, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
How the Brass Talked Another President Into a Losing Strategy Despite tough talk, Trump approach on Afghanistan is no different than 2009. By Mark Perry August 22, 2017

President Donald Trump walks with U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Michael Howard, commander of Joint Force Headquarters, at Arlington National Cemetery, May 29, 2017. Behind them are Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and U.S. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (Flickr/CreativeCommons/DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley)

The American people don't like long wars with uncertain outcomes!and never have. That was true in 1953, when the U.S. accepted a stalemate and armistice with the Chinese-backed North Koreans, and it was true again in 1975, when the U.S. suffered an ignominious defeat and 58,000 dead at the hands of pajama-clad guerrillas and the North Vietnamese army. "Never fight a land war in Asia," General Douglas MacArthur famously said, and for good reason: in both Korea and Vietnam, the enemy could be endlessly supplied and reinforced.

The solution, in both cases, was to either widen the war or leave. In Korea, MacArthur proposed expanding the war by taking on Chinese military sanctuaries in China (which got him fired), while in Vietnam, Richard Nixon ordered the invasion of Cambodia and mined North Vietnam's harbors, an expansion of the war that sparked a genocide and merely postponed the inevitable. America's adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan have been as unsatisfying. A troop surge retrieved America's position in Iraq, though most military officers now view Baghdad as "a suburb of Tehran" (as a currently serving Army officer phrased it), while the U.S. has spent over $800 billion on a Kabul government whose writ extends to sixty percent of the country!or less.

Given this, it's not surprising that opinion surveys showed that the majority of the U.S. military supported Donald Trump in the last election; Trump promised a rethink of America's Iraq and Afghanistan's adventures, while Clinton was derided as an interventionist, or in Pentagon parlance, "cruise missile liberal." Trump had the edge over his opponent among both military voters and veterans, especially when it came to ISIS: "I would bomb the shit out of them" he said, a statement translated in the military community as "I would bomb the shit out of them!and get out." A headline in The Military Times two months before the election said it all: "After 15 years of war, America's military has about had it with 'nation building.'"

As it turned out, the military weren't the only ones who'd "had it with nation building"!so too did Donald Trump. Back in January 2013, two years before he was a candidate for president, Trump made it clear what he would do if he ever occupied the White House. "Let's get out of Afghanistan," he tweeted. "Our troops are being killed by the Afghanis we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense! Rebuild the USA." Three days later, Trump was even more outspoken, explicitly endorsing Barack Obama's Afghanistan strategy!which amounted to a troops surge, followed by a troop drawdown. "I agree with Pres. Obama on Afghanistan," he wrote. "We should have a speedy withdrawal. Why should we keep wasting our money – rebuild the U.S.!"

Now, after addressing the American people Monday on his "new strategy in South Asia" (a purposeful trope used to signal his intention to shape a broader, regional policy), Trump appears to have embraced the military's anti-nation building sentiments, while adopting a policy of "winning," though without saying exactly how that would happen. The policy! which also includes not saying how many troops "winning" will take, or setting a timetable for victory!includes a pledge of help from America's allies, and a new focus on Pakistan. Trump was also intent to signal that his new strategy (the war will be left in the hands of warfighters, he announced, and not "micro-managed from Washington") is much different than the one adopted by his predecessors who, as he all but said, got it wrong.

In fact, though he would almost certainly deny it, what Trump has proposed is a reprise of what Barack Obama did in January of 2009.

Back then, one of Obama's first decisions on Afghanistan was to assign Bruce Riedel, a 30-year CIA veteran and South Asia expert, to study the conflict and come up with ways to fight it. The following March, on Air Force One, Riedel briefed Obama on his conclusions. Afghanistan would be a big problem for a long time, he said, but the situation in the country was getting worse. The Kabul government was corrupt, its leaders were out-of-touch with the Afghan people and the Taliban and al-Qaeda were gaining strength. But even with that, Riedel added, the real problem wasn't really Afghanistan, it was Pakistan. "That's the real challenge," Riedel said.

Obama agreed with Riedel's sobering assessment and, on March 27, 2009, he announced his decision to the American people. "The future of Afghanistan is inextricably linked to the future of its neighbor Pakistan," Obama said in a nationally televised address. "In the nearly eight years since 9/11, al-Qaeda and its extremist allies have moved across the border to the remote areas of the Pakistani frontier." Put more simply (though Obama did not mention it), the same problem that the U.S. had faced in Korea, and again in Vietnam and Iraq!its failure to destroy the sanctuaries where its enemies could be reinforced and resupplied!it was now facing in Afghanistan. To deal with that problem, Obama appointed super-diplomat Richard Holbrooke to serve as a special envoy to the region (and to work with Centcom commander David Petraeus "to integrate our civilian and military efforts"), launched a drone war against Taliban and al-Qaeda bases in Pakistan, urged Congress to pass a $1.5 billion aid package to Pakistan that would make American strikes more palatable and then, the following May, replaced General David McKiernan, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, with Stanley McChrystal.

It didn't work.

In 2012, reporter and author Rajiv Chandrasekaran (whose book Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan remains the authoritative source on the Obama plan) concluded that while the Taliban was "pushed out of large stretches of southern Afghanistan," and the "influx of U.S. resources accelerated the development of the Afghan security forces" the surge did not achieve its objectives . In effect, the Obama administration threw good money after bad: Afghan president Hamid Karzai never bought into the strategy, the Pakistanis failed to "meaningfully pursue" the Taliban and the Afghan army hung back!allowing the U.S. to do the fighting. What the U.S. should have done, Chandrasekaran wrote, was "go long." Afghanistan is not a sprint, he concluded, but a marathon!and America "got winded too quickly."

James Mattis and H.R. McMaster have digested these lessons, a senior Pentagon official told me just hours before Trump's national address, and "have spent the last weeks trying to convince the president that the 'three yards and a cloud of dust' approach," as he termed it, will work. Roughly translated, what that means is that in adopting a more modest increase in American troops, as McMaster and Mattis told Trump, the president would be signaling that while the U.S. was willing to help the Afghan government fight the Taliban, the numbers would not be significant enough to defeat them!that would have to be done by the Afghan Army. In truth, the McMaster-Mattis approach (what one senior Pentagon officer described as "doubling down on a war that is going nowhere") has some support in the U.S. diplomatic community, and particularly among those civilians who have spent years working in the country.

Among these is David Sedney, a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who is the former acting president of the American University of Afghanistan and served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia. For Sedney, it's the uncertainty of the American commitment that has been the problem. "We've been ambivalent about Afghanistan for the last fifteen years," he told The American Conservative , "and this has given hope to the Taliban and Pakistan. The message that they've taken is that all they need do is wait the U.S. out. Bush focused on Iraq and Obama put in troops caps." One of the keys, Sedney goes on to say, is that the U.S. "has failed to strengthen the Afghan state in fundamental ways, but the most important is to make a commitment and keep it. That's the key."

Sedney also has little use for the views retailed inside the White House by outside experts, like Frontier Services Group president Eric Prince, who advised the administration (in a Wall Street Journal op-ed back in May, and then in a personal meeting with McMaster) to increase the number of contractors in the country, thereby allowing for a drawdown in U.S. troops while also, as Prince argued, saving the U.S. money. While some Pentagon officials speculated as late as last week that secretary Mattis "was not as opposed to the Prince's ideas as was originally thought," more recent reports say that the idea "was dead on arrival in the Pentagon, almost from the minute it was mentioned." Sedney dismisses the idea out of hand, citing his experience with his students in Kabul. "My students don't want an American proconsul," he says, "they want an Afghan government that knows how to do the job, and that should be our focus."

But while Trump has apparently nixed Prince's contractor idea (and it went unmentioned in his speech), Pentagon officials tell The American Conservative that he has quietly bought into claims that the U.S. can help revive the Afghan economy by exploiting the nation's mineral resources. While Trump did not mention the program in his speech, and the claim remains debated in the White House, the president (a senior Pentagon civilian told TAC) "is intent to explore ways for this war to pay for itself"!which apparently includes a review of whether Afghanistan's resources can be exploited sufficiently to put the Afghan government on a sound footing. Will it work?

"This was a good idea back in 2009," one former Pentagon official says, "but it's not going to work now." A geologic survey conducted a decade ago shows that Afghanistan is rich in deposits of gold, silver, and platinum, as well as large quantities of uranium, zinc, bauxite, coal, natural gas and copper! a mother lode of natural resources that could proved Kabul with a badly needed budgetary windfall .

"It's a pig in a poke," a former Pentagon official who worked in Afghanistan on identifying the deposits told The American Conservative , "don't believe a word of it." The archaic "pig in a poke" phrase, which denotes that a buyer should beware of buying a pig that couldn't be seen (because it was in a "poke," or bag), denotes the common belief that while Afghanistan may contain the mineral deposits numerous mining surveys have identified, they remain elusive. Then too, as the former Pentagon official with whom we spoke says, the idea that American companies will realize a windfall on the mineral scheme (to which, as a businessman, Trump is particularly attracted), is simply not in reach.

"American companies no longer do the kind of mining that it would take," this former Pentagon official says, "security is bad, and commodity prices have collapsed. Why would companies invest in mineral deposits in Afghanistan when they won't make the same investments in Australia." Which is to simply say that the Afghanistan problem is now, under Trump, what it was under George W. Bush and Barack Obama!an intransigent challenge whose resolution is dependent on fighting and winning a war against an enemy who can fight, retreat, resupply and reinforce and fight again. The key to that victory is now what it has always been: Pakistan. Trump, and McMaster and Mattis, realize this of course, which is why tonight the president focused on providing a strategy for "South Asia"!a phrase the defense secretary, in particular, has used over the last weeks.

"I have hope for Afghanistan," CSIS's Sedney says. "The Afghan military is fighting better than ever before. When I went to Kabul in 2002, Kabul looked like Dresden, but now it's a vibrant city. Yes, the Taliban can kill people, but most Afghanis are moving ahead with their lives in spite of this. The problem is that, as we've seen over the last decade, a small minority can keep the country destabilized. That's what we have to stop. We have to come up with a way of stopping that."

In the wake of Trump's address, credit for its opening paean was given to new White House chief of staff John Kelly, the retired Marine Corps general who, TAC was told, insisted that Trump use the speech to walk back the controversy of his remarks on Charlottesville!a suggestion that both McMaster and Mattis readily agreed to when Trump's national security team met on Friday at Camp David. In the end, however, it was McMaster and Mattis who had the greatest influence on Trump's thinking. "There was all this speculation that maybe, just maybe, the president would somehow come around to getting out," the senior Pentagon civilian with whom we spoke said, "but that was never going to happen. Jim Mattis wouldn't let it happen. You can see his fingerprints all over this."

Another Pentagon observer had a much different take. "This is Joe Biden's plan, all the way," he said, referring to the then-Vice President's recommendation to Obama back in 2009. "Biden said that we should increase counterterrorism operations, draw down U.S. forces in the provinces, increase pressure on Pakistan and make a deal with India. Obama said 'no' to the idea, but you can bet Mattis was listening. This is his plan all the way."

Almost everyone at the Pentagon agrees, though key senior military officers who have been privy to James Mattis's thinking over the last weeks (but who remain unconvinced by it) provide a cautionary, and nearly fatalistic, note. "This Trump plan, at least so far as I understand it, sounds a lot like the kind of plan we've come up with again and again since the end of World War Two," a senior Pentagon officer says. "We're going to surge troops, reform the government we support and put pressure on our allies. In this building [the Pentagon] there's a hell of a lot of skepticism. And that's because we all know what this new strategy really means – and what it means that the only way we can get out of Afghanistan is to get further in. You know, it seems to me that if there's one thing we've learned, it's that that doesn't work."

Mark Perry is a foreign policy analyst and the author of The Most Dangerous Man in America: The Making of Douglas MacArthur . His next book, The Pentagon's Wars , will be released in October. He tweets @markperrydc

[Aug 22, 2017] Pat Buchanan

Buchanan demonstrates very superficial understanding of the result of the USSR collapse. Afghan war was just one contributing factor. It was never the primary reason. Soviet people understood pretty well that they actually faced the USA in Afghan war. Or more correctly the combination of the USA has technological superiority, Saudi money and political Islam. The fact that the USA supplied Stingers portable anti-aircraft rocket launchers. Which later will shoot down some US helicopters. The fact the the USA fe-factor put political Islam on front burner later will bite the USA several times.
Also Buchanan does not understand the role of neoliberal revolution (or coup d'état if you wish, called quite coup) of 80th in the current US troubles. Trump was the first ever presidential candidate, who companied and managed to win the elections on promises to tame neoliberal globalization. The fact that he was crushed in six month of so is not surprising, as he faced very well organize Trotskyite militants (aka deep state) - neoliberalism is actually Trotskyism for rish. Russiagate witch hunt with its Special Prosecutor is a replica of Stalin processes. As Marx used to say history repeats, first as tragedy, second as farce.
"I have not become the King's First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire," said Winston Churchill. and this is the essence of Trump betrual of his election promises.
Notable quotes:
"... Is it now the turn of the Americans? Persuaded by his generals -- Mattis at Defense, McMasters on the National Security Council, Kelly as chief of staff -- President Trump is sending some 4,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan to augment the 8,500 already there. Like Presidents Obama and Bush, he does not intend to preside over a U.S. defeat in its longest war. Nor do his generals. Yet how can we defeat the Taliban with 13,000 troops when we failed to do so with the 100,000 Obama sent? The new troops are to train the Afghan army to take over the war, to continue eradicating the terrorist elements like ISIS, and to prevent Kabul and other cities from falling to a Taliban now dominant in 40 percent of the country. ..."
"... Writes Bob Merry in the fall issue of The National interest: "War between Russia and the West seems nearly inevitable. No self-respecting nation facing inexorable encirclement by an alliance of hostile neighbors can allow such pressures and forces to continue indefinitely. Eventually (Russia) must protect its interests through military action." ..."
"... Trump himself seems hell-bent on tearing up the nuclear deal with Iran. This would lead inexorably to a U.S. ultimatum, where Iran would be expected to back down or face a war that would set the Persian Gulf ablaze. ..."
"... Yet the country did not vote for confrontation or war. ..."
"... America voted for Trump's promise to improve ties with Russia, to make Europe shoulder more of the cost of its defense, to annihilate ISIS and extricate us from Mideast wars, to stay out of future wars. ..."
"... This agenda did exist and Trump used it to get elected. Once he pulled off that trick he tried to get together again (unsuccessfully) with his New York Plutocrat friends. It's that New York social background. It's always been difficult to see Trump fit together economically or socially with the America that elected him, and after he got elected he quickly weakened his ties with Middle America. So why should he complain about Fake News since he got elected on a Fake Agenda? ..."
"... Trump does not even remember what he was elected to do. A man who was determined to drain the swamp is deep, up to his neck, in that swamp. The neocons and the never-Trumpers are the main decision makers in the Trump administration. All the loyal supporters have been chased out of the Trump's inner circle. A man who built his empire with his brain and shrewdness can't seem to handle the Presidency. He is trying to appease the very same people who opposed him in the election. ..."
"... For a smart businessman, Donald Trump can't seem to make any friends. There is a very simple solution to these wars of choice. Mr. Trump swallow your pride and bring the boys home. You will save American lives and will also earn the gratitude of the families of these soldiers. You may even bring peace to many countries around the world and people who have been displaced by these wars can return home. You may even solve the refugee problem in the process. You might even save your presidency. Give peace a chance. ..."
"... I think The Donald offered the lame excuse that things looks much different when you're in the oval office vs. the campaign trail. That won't be any consolation to people who voted for him in the hopes that their family members in the military would be coming home soon. And it won't be any consolation to some members of his base. ..."
"... Trump isn't going to keep his campaign promises. ..."
"... Continuing to maintain forces in South Korea continues to contribute to our bankruptcy. ..."
"... Now that the generals have gone wild under Trump we may as well admit that we're ruled by a military junta. We'll let them make all the decisions since they're so brilliant while Trump tweets and holds stupid rallies trying to convince people that he hasn't reneged on any campaign promises. ..."
Aug 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

12 Comments

"I have not become the King's First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire," said Winston Churchill to cheers at the Lord Mayor's luncheon in London in November 1942. True to his word, the great man did not begin the liquidation. When his countrymen threw him out in July 1945, that role fell to Clement Attlee, who began the liquidation. Churchill, during his second premiership from 1951-1955, would continue the process, as would his successor, Harold Macmillan, until the greatest empire the world had ever seen had vanished.

While its demise was inevitable, the death of the empire was hastened and made mo re humiliating by the wars into which Churchill had helped to plunge Britain, wars that bled and bankrupted his nation. At Yalta in 1945, Stalin and FDR treated the old imperialist with something approaching bemused contempt. War is the health of the state, but the death of empires. The German, Austro-Hungarian, Russian and Ottoman empires all fell in World War I. World War II ended the Japanese and Italian empires -- with the British and French following soon after. The Soviet Empire collapsed in 1989. Afghanistan delivered the coup de grace.

Is it now the turn of the Americans? Persuaded by his generals -- Mattis at Defense, McMasters on the National Security Council, Kelly as chief of staff -- President Trump is sending some 4,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan to augment the 8,500 already there. Like Presidents Obama and Bush, he does not intend to preside over a U.S. defeat in its longest war. Nor do his generals. Yet how can we defeat the Taliban with 13,000 troops when we failed to do so with the 100,000 Obama sent? The new troops are to train the Afghan army to take over the war, to continue eradicating the terrorist elements like ISIS, and to prevent Kabul and other cities from falling to a Taliban now dominant in 40 percent of the country.

Yet what did the great general, whom Trump so admires, Douglas MacArthur, say of such a strategy? "War's very object is victory, not prolonged indecision." Is not "prolonged indecision" what the Trump strategy promises? Is not "prolonged indecision" what the war policies of Obama and Bush produced in the last 17 years? Understandably, Americans feel they cannot walk away from this war. For there is the certainty as to what will follow when we leave.

When the British left Delhi in 1947, millions of former subjects died during the partition of the territory into Pakistan and India and the mutual slaughter of Muslims and Hindus. When the French departed Algeria in 1962, the "Harkis" they left behind paid the price of being loyal to the Mother Country. When we abandoned our allies in South Vietnam, the result was mass murder in the streets, concentration camps and hundreds of thousands of boat people in the South China Sea, a final resting place for many. In Cambodia, it was a holocaust.

Trump, however, was elected to end America's involvement in Middle East wars. And if he has been persuaded that he simply cannot liquidate these wars -- Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan -- he will likely end up sacrificing his presidency, trying to rescue the failures of those who worked hardest to keep him out of the White House.

Consider the wars, active and potential, Trump faces.

Writes Bob Merry in the fall issue of The National interest: "War between Russia and the West seems nearly inevitable. No self-respecting nation facing inexorable encirclement by an alliance of hostile neighbors can allow such pressures and forces to continue indefinitely. Eventually (Russia) must protect its interests through military action."

If Pyongyang tests another atom bomb or ICBM, some national security aides to Trump are not ruling out preventive war.

Trump himself seems hell-bent on tearing up the nuclear deal with Iran. This would lead inexorably to a U.S. ultimatum, where Iran would be expected to back down or face a war that would set the Persian Gulf ablaze.

Yet the country did not vote for confrontation or war.

America voted for Trump's promise to improve ties with Russia, to make Europe shoulder more of the cost of its defense, to annihilate ISIS and extricate us from Mideast wars, to stay out of future wars.

America voted for economic nationalism and an end to the mammoth trade deficits with the NAFTA nations, EU, Japan and China. America voted to halt the invasion across our Southern border and to reduce legal immigration to

Grandpa Charlie > , August 22, 2017 at 6:33 am GMT

I think that the case of Korea is very different from all the others, but generally I agree with Mr. Buchanan to the extent that I say: Pat Buchanan for President

Miro23 > , August 22, 2017 at 6:44 am GMT

Trump's populist-nationalist and America First agenda,

This agenda did exist and Trump used it to get elected. Once he pulled off that trick he tried to get together again (unsuccessfully) with his New York Plutocrat friends. It's that New York social background. It's always been difficult to see Trump fit together economically or socially with the America that elected him, and after he got elected he quickly weakened his ties with Middle America. So why should he complain about Fake News since he got elected on a Fake Agenda?

MEexpert > , August 22, 2017 at 7:12 am GMT

Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. This quote is so well-known that almost everyone knows it, except perhaps the politicians and the generals. Afghanistan has been called the deathbed of empires. The two recent empires to go down are the British and the Soviet. For almost 200 years the British tried to tame the Afghan tribes but couldn't. The devastation they caused did not deter the natives. It is all there in the history books for everyone to read. The Soviet empire didn't even last ten years. It cut its losses and ran.

The lack of teaching of history and geography in American schools is quite evident when one looks at the performance of American forces in Afghanistan after 17 years. Add the arrogance of the Presidents and the generals to this lack of knowledge and one can understand the disasterous results of the Afghan war. One other subject that is missing from the modern presidency is diplomacy. War over diplomacy seems to be the order of the day.

Trump, however, was elected to end America's involvement in Middle East wars. And if he has been persuaded that he simply cannot liquidate these wars -- Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan -- he will likely end up sacrificing his presidency, trying to rescue the failures of those who worked hardest to keep him out of the White House.

Trump does not even remember what he was elected to do. A man who was determined to drain the swamp is deep, up to his neck, in that swamp. The neocons and the never-Trumpers are the main decision makers in the Trump administration. All the loyal supporters have been chased out of the Trump's inner circle. A man who built his empire with his brain and shrewdness can't seem to handle the Presidency. He is trying to appease the very same people who opposed him in the election.

Trump himself seems hell-bent on tearing up the nuclear deal with Iran. This would lead inexorably to a U.S. ultimatum, where Iran would be expected to back down or face a war that would set the Persian Gulf ablaze.

It is never going to happen. Not only the Middle East would be set ablaze, but America will lose its European allies as well. The relations with Russia are already confrontational and heading fast towards an ultimate war. European allies are also confused about the US foreign policy or lack thereof. Trade war is brewing with China. The only country which is happy with this chaos is Israel.

For a smart businessman, Donald Trump can't seem to make any friends. There is a very simple solution to these wars of choice. Mr. Trump swallow your pride and bring the boys home. You will save American lives and will also earn the gratitude of the families of these soldiers. You may even bring peace to many countries around the world and people who have been displaced by these wars can return home. You may even solve the refugee problem in the process. You might even save your presidency. Give peace a chance.

Renoman > , August 22, 2017 at 8:51 am GMT

No one has ever been able to conquer Afghanistan why would America think it can? Likely just throwing a bone to the neocons. As for Iran, Trump has been beating his chest all over the World and doing nothing, again with the Neocon feeding, I don't think he has any intention of getting into anything larger than a skirmish with anyone, he's a lot smarter than he looks --

syd.bgd > , August 22, 2017 at 9:10 am GMT

Well while Mr. Buchanan is not an expert in Balkans history, or politics, as I've argued here, he is excellent in American history and politics. An article somewhat short, because he is not connecting his sharp analysis to ongoing First Amendment disaster. It comes along, obviously, but still an excellent piece.

To be copied and saved in my personal archives, anyway. I do not believe that even this site will last long. Greetings from Serbia, suicidal country controlled from that feudal fortress (US Embassy) where our Scott-Pasha resides.

Chris Dakota > , August 22, 2017 at 11:21 am GMT

It was the eclipse that swept across America to change it forever. We now know we are on our own, there is no political solution for this war. The eclipse marks the end of a war, our war, we lost. Trump extends Afghan swamp war on the very day. Eclipse was conjunct Trumps Mars, he was castrated. Doesn't mean we won't win, but it won't be via the rigged ballot box and the DC swamp.

KenH > , August 22, 2017 at 11:47 am GMT

I think The Donald offered the lame excuse that things looks much different when you're in the oval office vs. the campaign trail. That won't be any consolation to people who voted for him in the hopes that their family members in the military would be coming home soon. And it won't be any consolation to some members of his base.

Now that the generals have gone wild under Trump we may as well admit that we're ruled by a military junta. We'll let them make all the decisions since they're so brilliant while Trump tweets and holds stupid rallies trying to convince people that he hasn't reneged on any campaign promises.

But if it prevents tens of thousands of knuckle dragging Afghans steeped in a culture of violence, pedophilia and pederasty from entering America as refugees then I guess there's a silver lining.

MEH 0910 > , August 22, 2017 at 1:42 pm GMT

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/full-transcript-donald-trump-announces-his-afghanistan-policy/537552/

My original instinct was to pull out, and historically, I like following my instincts. But all my life I've heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office.

Trump isn't going to keep his campaign promises. That means he's not going to build a beautiful wall on our southern border.

Liberty Mike > , August 22, 2017 at 2:31 pm GMT

@Grandpa Charlie What is different about "the case of Korea"?

Continuing to maintain forces in South Korea continues to contribute to our bankruptcy.

Liberty Mike > , August 22, 2017 at 2:34 pm GMT

@KenH I think The Donald offered the lame excuse that things looks much different when you're in the oval office vs. the campaign trail. That won't be any consolation to people who voted for him in the hopes that their family members in the military would be coming home soon. And it won't be any consolation to some members of his base.

Now that the generals have gone wild under Trump we may as well admit that we're ruled by a military junta. We'll let them make all the decisions since they're so brilliant while Trump tweets and holds stupid rallies trying to convince people that he hasn't reneged on any campaign promises.

... ... ..

[Aug 22, 2017] Hawks Soaring After Bannon's Departure

get=
Hawks Soaring After Bannon's Departure

His exit is a win for backers of a more traditional ! and interventionist ! U.S. foreign policy.

By Michael Crowley

August 21, 2017 " Information Clearing House " - Stephen Bannon may have been a political adviser to President Donald Trump, but his firing Friday could have an impact on U.S. foreign policy from Europe to the Middle East and Asia.

Bannon's exit clears an obstacle for backers of an active U.S. foreign policy in line with recent presidencies ! and is a resounding win for Bannon's internal rival, national security adviser H.R. McMaster.

Bannon was a regular participant in national security debates, often as an opponent of military action and a harsh critic of international bodies like the United Nations and the European Union.

He has also been a withering critic of diplomatic, military and intelligence professionals!"globalists" he says have repeatedly shown bad judgment, particularly when it comes to U.S. military interventions abroad. That put him at loggerheads with Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, as well as McMaster.

"If you look at the balance of power of isolationists versus internationalists in the White House now, it seems safe to say that the pendulum has swung towards the internationalists," said Danielle Pletka, senior vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

Though Bannon has not described himself as an "isolationist," he has proudly adopted Trump's "America First" motto, which he says argues for spending less blood and treasure overseas for anything less than America's most vital interests.

He has also alarmed European leaders with his criticism of the E.U. and his expressed support for some European nationalist movements. Bannon actively backed Great Britain's 2016 "Brexit" from the E.U. and introduced Trump to its chief political advocate, the populist British politician Nigel Farage.

"Our European allies are happy about Bannon's departure," said Jorge Benitez, a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council.

In the immediate term, foreign policy insiders agreed, Bannon's departure also could increase the chances of a U.S. troop increase in Afghanistan!a plan championed by McMaster but strongly opposed by Bannon, who managed to draw out debate on the issue with direct appeals to Trump.

More generally, it will remove an internal brake on U.S. military action abroad. Bannon has argued greater U.S. intervention in Iraq and Syria and was among the few White House officials to oppose President Donald Trump's early-April missile strike in Syria.

Bannon is not totally conflict averse: He calls for a far stronger U.S. posture against China and has warned that war with Beijing could be inevitable. But he pressed Trump to take economic, not military action against Beijing.

And on Wednesday, Bannon told the American Prospect magazine that there is "no military solution" to Trump's standoff with North Korea!undermining the president's recent military threats against that country, and echoing China's view of the situation.

Beyond the policy realm, Bannon's exit is a clear victory for national security adviser H.R. McMaster, who at times seemed to be in zero-sum struggle with the Trump adviser for power and influence in the White House.

Foreign policy veterans were startled when, in early February, Trump designated Bannon as a member of the National Security Council's elite principals committee!calling it unprecedented for a White House political adviser to have a reserved seat at the table for life-and-death debates.

McMaster stripped Bannon of his official NSC position in April, after succeeding the ousted Michael Flynn!a Bannon ally!as national security adviser. Bannon continued to attend NSC meetings and debates about foreign policy in the Oval Office. But Bannon resented McMaster for demoting him, and for purging several Flynn allies from the NSC.

Bannon and McMaster also sharply differed on how Trump should discuss terrorist groups like ISIS and al Qaeda. Bannon favors using the phrase "radical Islamic extremism," but McMaster has largely prevented Trump from saying it in public on the grounds that it could alienate moderate Muslims who hear it as an attack on their religion.

McMaster's defenders have accused Bannon of spearheading a campaign of leaks meant to undermine the top national security aide.

"The campaign to get him out was clearly coming from Bannon or his allies," said Brian McKeon, a former NSC chief of staff and senior Pentagon policy official in the Obama administration. "The national security adviser's job is hard enough without having to always look over your shoulder to see who's trying to knife you.

"This will make McMaster's days a little easier," he added.

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Likely to share McMaster's satisfaction at Bannon's ouster is Tillerson, who chafed at Bannon's role in State Department personnel decisions. Speaking to the American Prospect this week, Bannon boasted that he was working to remove Tillerson's top official for China and East Asia.

"I'm getting Susan Thornton out at State," Bannon said in the interview.

In a pointed show of support the next morning, Tillerson shook Thornton's hand in front of television cameras.

And when Tillerson recommended in February that Trump nominate former Reagan and George W. Bush administration official Elliott Abrams to be his deputy, Bannon intervened to block the choice, according to Abrams.

"Bannon's departure probably means a return to normalcy, where the State and Defense Departments will have greater influence on foreign policy," Abrams said.

Bannon also told the Prospect that he was "changing out people" on the Pentagon's China desk. Mattis, too, has had personnel disputes with the White House.

"Anything that Tillerson and Mattis really push for will now have a better chance of winning out!for better and for worse," Abrams added.

Abrams and others said that Bannon's exit makes it more likely that McMaster and Mattis will convince Trump to send more U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the subject of a meeting among Trump and his national security team at Camp David today.

Some sources downplayed the significance of Bannon's departure, however!noting that, on military and diplomatic issues, Bannon was more dissenter than policy maker.

Ben Rhodes, a former top national security aide to former President Barack Obama, said Bannon's main contributions was his backing for Trump's early executive orders restricting travel from several Muslim-majority countries. Bannon was also a defender of his friend and ally Sebastian Gorka, a controversial White House adviser who often appears on television.

"On national security, it was hard to see Bannon's influence anywhere other than the Muslim ban and Gorka doing cable hits, so I don't think it changes that much," Rhodes said, adding: "It does suggest a greater likelihood of a troop increase in Afghanistan."

And several sources cautioned that while Bannon may not longer occupy the White House, his worldview is still frequently reflected in the words of the most powerful policymaker of all: President Trump.

European allies "will not be popping champagne corks because their main source of worry remains in the White House, Donald Trump," Benitez said. "Most Europeans blame Trump personally rather than Bannon or other subordinates for damaging transatlantic relations."

"The president gets the last vote," McKeon added. "And he has a different approach to foreign policy than all his predecessors."

Eliana Johnson contributed reporting

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Felix · 7 hours ago

As long as there is disagreement there is hope for compromise and moderation. If everyone in the Executive branch were in agreement, there would be no hope for moderation..
DrS · 6 hours ago
Our 'dear' leaders are NOT in control.

North Korea ia a distraction as is Trump.

Examine the military buildup by Nsto against Russia.

Time for Germany, Russia and China to work together militarily for harmony/peace in our world.

andrewboston · 4 hours ago
God help us when Bannon is the voice of reason ......
Bill Malcolm · 4 hours ago
330 million people and a bunch of nutbars in charge of the place, very few of whom have ever had a vote cast for them in any election, Trump being the exception. Some guy like Bannon sits around formulating a wanker worldview and somehow gains power for seven months. I don't suppose the EU gives a tinker's damn that he dislikes it, it's none of his business. Fulminating on it just exposes his acceptance of Imperial America, muttering threats because in his blinkered mind that's not the way the US would have organized Europe - I am unaware that anyone with a brain regards Bannon as an intellectual, merely a weirdo. Then you have all these generals running around thinking they're political geniuses or something, all unelected bozos with little exposure to real life. Giving and taking orders and salutes all around, living a regimented life - just the thing for running the civilian part of the USA.

Why is it that in the US you vote for dogcatchers, sheriffs and judges which no other country bothers with, yet all these high cabinet posts are filled from unelected dorks out there who somehow got noticed, picked by the president, nominated and agreed to by the Senate? The argument has been, well because they're specialists. So what - they're not responsible to the electorate in any direct manner. There's a fat chance that they are managerial competents if they are from the military, a big chance they have developed some warped theory about the world, and few of them are in the slightest bit interested in domestic politics as it relates to the average citizen. 50% of the budget goes to running the armed forces, by nature always measuring foreign "threats" as if diplomacy was a competition or something. The business types picked as cabinet secretaries are invariably from the big business side of the ledger and find foreigners annoying when they don't hand over their natural resources for next to nothing royalties, leading to the government bashing these foreigners over the head until they put someone in charge who sees the "light" and becomes a US ally.

It's a formula for bad government for the domestic population from beginning to end. So up ramps the patriotism to make the people keep the faith which many are happy to do, and then they crap all over the way other countries are organized, their food, customs and "only in America can a hobo be elected President" and there's no opportunity anywhere but in the USA memes. Mesmerized by their own propaganda into thinking the US is the best there is. Cough.

GivingUpOnTrump · 4 hours ago
Tonight if Trump order more troops to Afghanistan, he'd put the last and hardest nail on his own coffin.

I do not understand, how long Americans will let the Deep State win, making them sacrificial animals at the mercy of a perpetual power.

[Aug 21, 2017] Bannon Firing Proves Trump is Winging It by Robert W. Merry

To a certain extent Bannon firing was the sacrifices that converted Trump into Bush II. Globalist coalition won but this is a Pyrrhic victory. the problem that brought Trump to the White house -- crisis of neoliberalism and first of all neoliberal globalization is unsolvable within the neoliberal framework. And Trump administration has now nothing but his bastard version of neoliberal and deregulation and all that staff. And to this "Javanka" problem and Trump looks doomed to be failure.
Notable quotes:
"... He has failed. While he moved quickly on the immigration issue, he did so in such a ham-handed way that any prospect for momentum was lost before it could begin. On foreign policy he has belied his own campaign rhetoric with his bombing of Syrian military targets, his support for Saudi Arabia's nasty war in Yemen, his growing military presence in Syria, his embrace of NATO membership for Montenegro, his consideration of troop augmentations in Afghanistan, and his threat to consider military involvement in Venezuela's internal affairs. On trade, it must be said, he has sought to move in the direction of his campaign rhetoric, though with limited results thus far. ..."
"... In the meantime, he suffered a tremendous defeat with the failure of congressional Republicans to make good on their vow to end and replace the Affordable Care Act. His tax-overhaul initiative is far behind the kind of calendar schedule needed for smooth success (by this point in 1981 Reagan had secured both his big tax package and an even more controversial spending-reduction program). And Trump's infrastructure program must be seen as residing currently in Nowheresville. ..."
"... What we see in these defeats and stalled initiatives is an incapacity on the part of the president to nudge and herd legislators, to mold voter sentiment into waves of political energy, to fashion a dialectic of political action, or to offer a coherent vision of the state of the country and where he wishes to take it. Everything is ad hoc. No major action seems related to any other action. In a job that calls for a political chess master, Trump displays hardly sufficient skills and attentiveness for a game of political checkers. ..."
"... It's telling, but not surprising, that Trump couldn't manage his White House staff in such a way as to maintain a secure place on the team for the man most responsible for charting his path to the White House. This isn't to say that Bannon should have been given outsized influence within West Wing councils, merely that his voice needed to be heard and his connection to Trump's core constituency respected. ..."
"... But that's not the way Trump operates -- another sign of a man who, over his head at the top of the global power structure, is winging it. ..."
"... ...A major part of the reason was, ironically, the economic prosperity that had come through industrialization, massive improvements in transportation, and the advent of telecommunications, ethnic and religious respect, freedom of speech... ..."
"... The differing subspecies of hominids are neither fungible nor equal ..."
"... "There are easily a billion or more people today, who have no concept of either the pipe or the wheel" ..."
Aug 21, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com August 21, 2017

In the wake of Stephen Bannon's firing, it has become almost inconceivable that President Trump can avoid a one-term fate. This isn't because he sacked Bannon but because of what that action tells us about his leadership. In celebrating Bannon's dismissal, The Wall Street Journal wrote in an editorial: "Trump can't govern with a Breitbart coalition. Does he see that?" True enough. But he also can't govern without the Breitbart constituency -- his core constituency -- in his coalition. The bigger question is: Does he see that ?

It's beginning to appear that Trump doesn't see much of anything with precision or clarity when it comes to the fundamental question of how to govern based on how he campaigned. He is merely a battery of impulses, devoid of any philosophical coherence or intellectual consistency.

Indeed, it's difficult to recall any president of recent memory who was so clearly winging it in the Oval Office. Think of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, both of whom made huge mistakes that cost them the White House. But both knew precisely what they wanted to accomplish and how to go about accomplishing it. The result was that both accomplished big things. Ronald Reagan propelled himself into governing mode from campaign mode as if he had shot himself out of a cannon. Even Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush, who stumbled into one-term diminishment, demonstrated more leadership coherence than the current White House occupant.

Trump's political challenge on Inauguration Day was simple but difficult. He had to galvanize his political base and build from there to fashion a governing coalition that could give propulsion to his agenda. Further, that agenda had to give a majority of Americans a sense that the economy was sound and growing, that unnecessary foreign wars would be avoided, that domestic tranquility would prevail, that the mass immigration of recent years would be curtailed, that the health care mess would be fixed, and that infrastructure needs would be addressed.

He has made little or no progress on any of it. And now, with Bannon banished from the White House, the president even seems to be taking a cavalier attitude toward his core constituency, America's white working class, beset by sluggish economic growth, the hollowing out of America's industrial base, unfair competitive practices by U.S. trading partners, unchecked immigration, the opioid crisis, and a general malaise that accompanies a growing sense of decline.

Trump became president because he busted out of the deadlock crisis that had gripped America for years, with both parties rigidly clinging to shopworn nostrums that fewer and fewer Americans believed in but which precluded any fresh or original thinking on the part of the party establishments. Consider some of the elements of conventional wisdom that he smashed during the campaign.

  1. Immigration: Conventional thinking was that a "comprehensive" solution could emerge as soon as officials convinced voters that they would, at some point soon, secure the border, and then the 11 million illegals in the country could be granted some form of amnesty. After all, according to this view, polls indicated solid support for granting illegals a path to citizenship or at least legal residence. Thus the issue was considered particularly hazardous to Republicans. But Trump demonstrated that voter concerns about the magnitude of immigration -- both legal and illegal -- were more widespread and intense than the political establishment wanted to believe. He transformed the dynamics of the issue.
  2. Foreign Policy: Trump railed against George W. Bush's Iraq invasion, the ongoing and seemingly pointless war in Afghanistan, Barack Obama's actions to help overthrow Libya's President Muammar Qaddafi, and the previous administration's insistence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must leave office even though his toughest enemies, ISIS and al-Nusra, were also our enemies. He sought to sooth the tensions then gaining momentum between the United States and Russia, and he did so in the face of widespread hostility from most of the foreign policy establishment. In all this he signaled that, as president, he would formulate an entirely new grand strategy designed to align U.S. policy with U.S. power and avoid foreign wars with little connection to U.S. vital interests.
  3. Trade: Trump took on the establishment view that globalized free trade provided an automatic benefit to the U.S. economy and U.S. workers, even when big trading partners, particularly China, imposed non-tariff trade barriers that slammed America's waning industrial core and the country's working classes. Here again he demonstrated a strong body of political sentiment that had been ignored or brushed aside by the country's economic and financial elites.

The important point about these issues is that they all cut across partisan lines. That's what allowed Trump to forge a nontraditional coalition that provided him a slim margin of victory -- but only in the Electoral College. His challenge was to turn this electoral coalition into a governing one.

He has failed. While he moved quickly on the immigration issue, he did so in such a ham-handed way that any prospect for momentum was lost before it could begin. On foreign policy he has belied his own campaign rhetoric with his bombing of Syrian military targets, his support for Saudi Arabia's nasty war in Yemen, his growing military presence in Syria, his embrace of NATO membership for Montenegro, his consideration of troop augmentations in Afghanistan, and his threat to consider military involvement in Venezuela's internal affairs. On trade, it must be said, he has sought to move in the direction of his campaign rhetoric, though with limited results thus far.

In the meantime, he suffered a tremendous defeat with the failure of congressional Republicans to make good on their vow to end and replace the Affordable Care Act. His tax-overhaul initiative is far behind the kind of calendar schedule needed for smooth success (by this point in 1981 Reagan had secured both his big tax package and an even more controversial spending-reduction program). And Trump's infrastructure program must be seen as residing currently in Nowheresville.

What we see in these defeats and stalled initiatives is an incapacity on the part of the president to nudge and herd legislators, to mold voter sentiment into waves of political energy, to fashion a dialectic of political action, or to offer a coherent vision of the state of the country and where he wishes to take it. Everything is ad hoc. No major action seems related to any other action. In a job that calls for a political chess master, Trump displays hardly sufficient skills and attentiveness for a game of political checkers.

And now Stephen Bannon is gone. The rustic and controversial White House strategist represented Trump's most direct and compelling tie to his political base, the people who flocked to his rallies during the campaign, who kept him alive when his political fortunes waned, who thrilled to his anti-establishment message, and who awarded him the states of Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. As the Journal says, Trump can't govern only with this electoral base. But if his support among these people wanes or dissipates, he will have no base from which to build -- and no prospect for successful governance.

It's telling, but not surprising, that Trump couldn't manage his White House staff in such a way as to maintain a secure place on the team for the man most responsible for charting his path to the White House. This isn't to say that Bannon should have been given outsized influence within West Wing councils, merely that his voice needed to be heard and his connection to Trump's core constituency respected.

But that's not the way Trump operates -- another sign of a man who, over his head at the top of the global power structure, is winging it.

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington, D.C., journalist and publishing executive, is editor of The American Conservative . His next book, President McKinley: Architect of the American Century , is due out from Simon & Schuster in November.

doctor10 Aug 20, 2017 9:06 PM Its all about ideas-and which ones are adopted by society.

The USA has a very poor prognosis-has yet to shed its 20th century Bolshevick Baggage. Occident Mortal doctor10 Aug 20, 2017 9:17 PM It's mostly down to culture.

Some people are more culturally predisposed to exploring and trying new things.

If you believe the future will be better than the past then you will be prepared to work to improve things, if you believe the world is in terminal decline and that the glory days were some time ago, either when gods or prophets did all the important stuff or when your locale was more prosperous then you will not be as encouraged to work on improvements and you will thend to hoarde meagre resources and live by thrift with minimal expenditure. Oracle of Kypseli Occident Mortal Aug 20, 2017 10:00 PM I think that colonialism is in play again as the advance societies are starving for resources and will invest in these countries in exchange. This will change the trend into better education, better jobs and everything that comes with it for the middle classes but perpetuate slave wages for the uneducated masses.

The world is not changing but morphing. It's the nomenclature that changes for the sake of political correcteness and feel good predisposition.

DjangoCat Oracle of Kypseli Aug 20, 2017 10:15 PM

The history of western investment in third world resources does not make for a pretty read. Look now at what has happened just in the last months of a major silver mine being closed in a small Central American country, where the local manager has been accused of murdering protestors and objectors to the mines presence in their midst, destroying the countryside.

The CIA seems to have had, as it's primary objective, the job of clearing the way for US and British, and Canadian industrial, infrastructure and mining interests to come in and take the resources. A good payoff to the man in power greases the wheels, and the people get nothing but a degraded environment and mammoth debt.

The next step is to restructure the debt, in the process privatizing state infrastructure at cut rate prices. This is nothing but mass rape and pillage.

Wake up.

Unknown User DjangoCat Aug 20, 2017 10:54 PM

England never freed its colonies. It simply changed the means of enslavement from physical to financial.

Eeyores Enigma DjangoCat Aug 21, 2017 12:38 AM

Too true DC but that truth doesn't work well with "American Exceptionalism" so we get articles like this one.

Ayreos Eeyores Enigma Aug 21, 2017 3:57 AM

"American exceptionalism" is just a small-time ugly consequence of the actual phenomenon: good old imperialism, taught by the British. And there's nothing wrong with it. All European countries have accepted NATO and american influence on them willingly. They have all recognized and validated American exceptionalism themselves. As subjects of an empire they now complain that the Emperor is quickly losing its clothes,

Crazy Or Not Occident Mortal Aug 21, 2017 5:38 AM

True you have to have "Ambition & Will" for change to stomach the difficult period of creating that change.
(eg Gandhi, US independence etc).

...A major part of the reason was, ironically, the economic prosperity that had come through industrialization, massive improvements in transportation, and the advent of telecommunications, ethnic and religious respect, freedom of speech...

This however while a factor is also bias. Post WWII no weapons (other than US) were permitted in Pacific war region and a decisive factor in limiting the influence of the Brits in their pre war colonies. Post colonials also saw war as a way out of colonial rule, using US leverage to oust Brit influence.

edit - probably BritBob will go apoplectic with this? Cue "Rule Britania"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRwj1SmPF5w

...and other jingoistic bollocks ;)

buttmint Oh regional Indian Aug 21, 2017 12:41 AM ...

all ZHers owe themselves trek to Mother India, quite a head turning experience. One comes to appreciate the West's "can-do philosophy."

This approach to problem solving is in small measure in India. India's fine burgeoning medical capital in Chennai (old Madraas) is a testament to talented Indians being schooled in Occidental universities and then returned to Mother India to set up shop. In many ways, India will lead the West OUT of their self-imposed medical nemesis. There is much progress in India. All Indians love to ORATE. You betcha, they stand on the corner and begin lecturing. A much better approach than USA's 535 idiots and grifters that make up the US Congress.

My own hunch is that India will eclipse the remarkable progress of China. Stay tuned as the world squirms.....

Oh regional Indian Koba the Dread Aug 21, 2017 2:54 AM

Unfortunately, it has become quite the living hell....

Western model of development + rampant corruption + poor engineering standards have made this a hotch-potch of a rending screech of a marriage between east and west....

Ayreos Oh regional Indian Aug 21, 2017 3:51 AM

Perhaps it's time to admit Indians got a chance to take their country back and move their society forward, seen through nationalist Gandhi, but Indians neither want nor understand the concept of moving forward.

Without the "western model of development" there would be no development in India for millennia. Kobe Beef Ayreos Aug 21, 2017 5:20 AM Without the Aryan colonization/admixture of many millennia ago, there would never have been any civilization on the Indian Subcontinent.

The Second Aryan invasion (ie British colonialism) left barely enough behind to last more than the coming century.

The differing subspecies of hominids are neither fungible nor equal . But there is huge amount of paper profits to be derived from pretending otherwise. There is a lot of ruin to be extracted from the Commons. At home, The African Equality Racket has garnered trillions so far, with no sign of stopping. Abroad, The Afghan Equality Racket has garnered trillions so far, with no sign of stopping. No signs of progress with either hominid population. And yet, we still have people arguing that culture is somehow separate from biology.

But back to the topic at hand..

Prediction: India returns to barbarism and warring superstitions.

asstrix Ayreos Aug 21, 2017 5:21 AM

The western way of moving forward is about consuming, using up resources. Once the resources are gone, they have to find a new place to plunder, in order to again move forward.

The eastern culture is in general about living in a sustainable manner, in harmony with nature. Their way is more about trade and not war. This is why they got conquered so easily.

Now I can't say which is better. Plundering and moving forward or staying put and living in peace with nature. My only hope is that the easterners have enough of the western values already in them to not repeat the old mistakes again.

Tallest Skil doctor10 Aug 20, 2017 9:40 PM

Reminder that Europe (((gave up))) the entire colored portion of the map above because Germany wanted a land corridor to East Prussia.

Son of Captain Nemo Aug 20, 2017 9:32 PM

"...the hope among people in the World Bank, the IMF, and other armchair intellectuals was that once the correct incentives were in place and institutions were organized, these structures imposed from on high would put the third world on a path to perpetual growth. They couldn't have been more wrong..."

Anyone who tracked the likes of Hans Adler a German/Brazilian Jew who worked for the World Bank in the 60s and 70s and who I studied under at George Mason University in the 80s knows that the "Latifundio/Minifundio" land tenure structure was the mechanism and means to exploit the gold fillings "literally" out of the mouths of the natives that owned and tended their lands throughout Latin America from the 40s through the 80s doing what the World Bank and IMF always has done it's best to get the multinationals in to take over the most important arable land for exploitation through "incentivized" loan deals that ended up robbing them of all their ownership for worthless "shit paper" -- ... Rinse and repeat for the "model" used everywhere else especially Middle Eastern oil.

John Perkins solidified it in his work "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" 25 years later...

Too little too late I'm afraid. Only wish there were many more like him --

DemandSider Son of Captain Nemo Aug 21, 2017 1:05 AM

I only wish Perkins had explained the role of the dollar. This book, 'The Hidden Hand of American Hegemony' 'Petrodollar Recycling and International Markets' explains that better. He does explain how The IMF and World Bank keep them in line with debt, though.

The Cooler King Aug 20, 2017 9:23 PM

"There are easily a billion or more people today, who have no concept of either the pipe or the wheel"

But they can balance a mean jug of water on their head, which makes make them perfect candidates to GET RICH buying cryptos

Moe Hamhead The Cooler King Aug 20, 2017 9:30 PM

Obummer removed Churchill's bust from the Oval office -- He was offended by his graven image. I recall that it has since been brought back.

TuPhat Jason T Aug 20, 2017 11:20 PM

I agree, except for the part about the internet being responsible for wealth. That part is garbage. Internet wealth is non productive and eventually a drain on any economy.

DjangoCat Aug 20, 2017 10:02 PM

Read "The Confessions of an Economic Hit Man". IMF, USAID and BIS have worked in unison to rape and pillage the "Third World"

This is not a problem of the colonies falling apart, it is a problem of deliberate overselling of debt with a side of mandated privatisation, followed by ruin and sale of government assets, followed by grinding povery and tax to pay the interest on the ever climbing debt.

This is a system of overt debt slavery disguised as aid.

I think this piece is white wash propaganda. Tylers??

Koba the Dread DjangoCat Aug 21, 2017 2:00 AM

Well said, Cat -- The occupying nations left a cadre of native criminals behind to enslave their countrymen. The cadre of native criminals take their cut and pass the rest uphill to London, Paris or New York. They call it "Independence" -- Sort of like what happened in the new United States of America where farmers and artisans fought for freedom from Great Britain and New York, Massachusetts and Virginia aristocrats took over the country.

Oh regional Indian Scanderbeg Aug 20, 2017 10:40 PM

You need to read up on a litle history my friend..... your post is ignorant at so many levels, it's laughable. The number of highly advanced concepts that were stolen from the east over the centuries is legion. India and the ME were the root of all great knowledge, astrology, astronomy, metallurgy (Damascus steel came from India), mathematics (Zero came from India)......

Whites were shitting on the streets and eating their dead not 300 years ago.

Jhonny come lately with a gun, get it? And all your scientific wonders are toxic to the world and humans. All of them, including your "medicine"....

[Aug 21, 2017] Problems Too Big And Too Many To Fix Trump Will Be The Fall Guy Zero Hedge

Aug 21, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com,

The axe fell on Steve Bannon Friday.

Mid-day, mainstream media proclaimed stocks were up because of the firing. Stocks closed the day down. Apparently, stocks were both up and down due to Bannon.

Now Bannon is Back on the Outside , back at Breitbart, and happy to be there.

Stephen K. Bannon has always been more comfortable when he was trying to tear down institutions ! not work inside them.

With his return to Breitbart News, Mr. Bannon will be free to lead the kind of ferocious assault on the political establishment that he relishes, even if sometimes that means turning his wrath on the White House itself.

Hours after his ouster from the West Wing, he was named to his former position of executive chairman at the hard-charging right-wing website and led its evening editorial meeting. And Mr. Bannon appeared eager to move onto his next fight.

"In many ways, I think I can be more effective fighting from the outside for the agenda President Trump ran on," he said Friday. "And anyone who stands in our way, we will go to war with."

Among those already in Mr. Bannon's sights: Speaker Paul D. Ryan; Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader; the president's daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law, Jared Kushner; and Gary D. Cohn, the former president of Goldman Sachs who now directs the White House's National Economic Council.

Thanks But No Thanks

Trump thanked Bannon for his help during the campaign, but not for his tenure in the White House

I want to thank Steve Bannon for his service. He came to the campaign during my run against Crooked Hillary Clinton - it was great! Thanks S

! Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2017

Trump explicitly thanks Bannon for his time on the campaign. Not his 7 months in the W.H. as chief strategist.

Nothing to see here. https://t.co/gqDRj5I2zJ

! Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 19, 2017

New York Times Parting Shot

The New York Times editorial, Exit Steve Bannon , gave Banon a swift kick on his way out the door.

Mr. Bannon's exit is, of course, a relief. As the well-financed Pied Piper of the alt-right Breitbart crowd, Mr. Bannon at the pinnacle of White House policy making was a nightmare come to life.

But Mr. Bannon, who promptly returned to Breitbart as its executive chairman on Friday, still poses a danger for our broader politics. Outside the White House, he is freer to rally his forces against anyone who doesn't toe his nationalist-protectionist line. A Bannon-led right-wing backlash against Mr. Trump, who unleashed the worst impulses of nationalists in service to himself, would be a fitting comeuppance.

More Fun to Throw Mud

Clearly, it's far more fun to throw mud than have it thrown at you.

Lost in the Bannon and Trump bashing is one key question: Who is really the bigger threat, Hillary, Trump, or Bannon?

Why We Are Where We Are

We are in this mess because Obamanomics, war-mongering, Fed policies, and social handouts created a budget mess but did not solve any problems. People revolted, and Trump got elected.

When it comes to trade and protectionism, Trump is wrong. So is Bannon.

Those who think Hillary would have been any better on trade policy are mistaken. If you believe differently, then please take Today's Quiz: Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton – Who Said It?

We would have a no-fly zone over Syria, had Hillary won. That would have risked a confrontation with Russia. Hillary wrecked Libya, and of course Obama and Bush had extremely misguided warmongering policies in the Mideast.

Obamacare was a failure, but no one on either side seems able or willing to fix it.

So here we are, with everything broken, and we still cannot get anything done. Republicans want more military spending and Democrats want more social spending. Warmongers on both sides want more war.

Art of Compromise

Compromise in Washington is more military spending and more social spending.

Repetitive "compromises" sent deficits soaring out of sight. On top of it all, the Fed blew massive bubbles in just about everything.

Problems Too Big and Too Many To Fix

One thing I expect Trump will get right, at least from a public union standpoint, regards appointments to the supreme court.

Overall, I hoped Trump would do better on many fronts. It was not to be. Trump could not drain the swamp. Partisan politics interfered, there was too much infighting, and there is nonsensical Russia bashing on both sides of the aisle.

The problems are too big and too many to fix. If you think Hillary would have fixed them you are delusional

To the victor, goes the blame. Trump will be the fall guy when this mess blows up. https://t.co/99d7BrUfak

! Mike Mish Shedlock (@MishGEA) August 19, 2017

[Aug 20, 2017] McMaster solidifies power at NSC ! and supports Iran deal, sees Israel as occupier by Philip Weiss

Aug 05, 2017 | mondoweiss.net

Last night President Trump issued a statement affirming his support for National Security adviser H.R. McMaster in the face of a storm of criticism from rightwing outlets. The statement is a sign that Trump and his new chief of staff are taking the realist side of the debate inside his administration over foreign policy.

So while Trump claims to be doing everything he can to trash the Iran deal, the good news is that his foreign policy team is for it. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson clearly advocated for the deal at a press briefing earlier this week, while suggesting that he could differ with the president on how effective it's been.

I think there are a lot of alternative means with which we use the agreement to advance our policies and the relationship with Iran.

Tillerson is one of the "adults" who are thought to be able to rein in Trump's worst tendencies on Iran, as Paul Pillar wrote :

Reportedly the adults, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, last month urged a resistant Trump to recognize reality and certify that Iran was complying with the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action].

Further comfort comes from the fact that three days ago, General McMaster fired Ezra Cohen-Watnick , an enigmatic thirtyish intelligence aide who was vehemently opposed to the Iran deal, leading to calls to get rid of McMaster. Like Tillerson, McMaster is plainly a realist. And he is thought to have job security because his predecessor, General Mike Flynn, lasted barely three weeks and went out with a splash. The Atlantic says McMaster is cleaning house at the NSC; two weeks ago he got rid of an ideologue who spread anti-Muslim conspiracies.

Supporters of Israel are upset by the personnel changes. The Israeli-American hothead Caroline Glick writes at her Facebook page that McMaster is "deeply hostile" to Israel as an occupying power.

The Israel angle on McMaster's purge of Trump loyalists from the National Security Council is that all of these people are pro-Israel and oppose the Iran nuclear deal, positions that Trump holds.

McMaster in contrast is deeply hostile to Israel and to Trump. According to senior officials aware of his behavior, he constantly refers to Israel as the occupying power and insists falsely and constantly that a country named Palestine existed where Israel is located until 1948 when it was destroyed by the Jews.

McMaster "has chosen to eliminate the pro-Israel voices at the National Security Council," according to Jordan Schachtel at the Conservative Review, who cited interviews with White House officials who are trying to undermine the general:

McMaster not only shuns Israel, he is also historically challenged on Arab-Israeli affairs, according to the sources.

"McMaster constantly refers to the existence of a Palestinian state before 1947," a senior West Wing official tells CR (there was never an independent Palestinian state), adding that McMaster describes Israel as an "illegitimate," "occupying power."

The NSC chief expressed great reluctance to work with Israel on counterterror efforts, as he shut down a joint U.S.-Israel project to counter the terrorist group Hezbollah's efforts to expand Iran's worldwide influence.

One of the main indictments of McMaster by neoconservatives (right-wing Israel supporters who favor regime change) is that he restrained the president on his tour of occupied territories in May ( as Allison Deger reported at the time ). In this White House briefing, McMaster refused to say that the western wall in occupied East Jerusalem is part of Israel.

[Aug 20, 2017] Mr. Bannon's disdain for General McMaster also accelerated his demise

Notable quotes:
"... The war veteran has never quite clicked with the president, but other West Wing staff members recoiled at a series of smears against General McMaster by internet allies of Mr. Bannon. ..."
Aug 20, 2017 | www.msn.com

Mr. Bannon's disdain for General McMaster also accelerated his demise. The war veteran has never quite clicked with the president, but other West Wing staff members recoiled at a series of smears against General McMaster by internet allies of Mr. Bannon.

The strategist denied involvement, but he also did not speak out against them.

By the time Charlottesville erupted, Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump had a powerful ally in Mr. Kelly, who shared their belief that Mr. Trump's first statement blaming "many sides" for the deadly violence needed to be amended.

Mr. Bannon vigorously objected. He told Mr. Kelly that if Mr. Trump delivered a second, more contrite statement it would do him no good, with either the public or the Washington press corps, which he denigrated as a "Pretorian guard" protecting the Democrats' consensus that Mr. Trump is a race-baiting demagogue. Mr. Trump could grovel, beg for forgiveness, even get down on his knees; it would never work, Mr. Bannon maintained.

"They're going to say two things: It's too late and it's not enough," Mr. Bannon told Mr. Kelly.

[Aug 20, 2017] Breitbart Goes After Ivanka And McMaster

Aug 20, 2017 | dailycaller.com

The first earlier in the day was " Report: Powerful GOP Donor Sheldon Adelson Supports Campaign to Oust McMaster ." This article detailed how major Republican donor Sheldon Adelson reportedly is supporting a campaign against McMaster that claims the national security adviser is anti-Israel.

Later in the day, the lead story on the site was " McMaster Of Disguise: Nat'l Security Adviser Endorsed Book That Advocates Quran-Kissing Apology Ceremonies ." This piece from frequent McMaster critic Aaron Klein said that McMaster endorsed a book that "calls on the U.S. military to respond to any 'desecrations' of the Quran by service members with an apology ceremony, and advocates kissing a new copy of the Quran before presenting the Islamic text to the local Muslim public."

The article went on to say that McMaster has "troubling views" on Islamic terrorism.

The site also published two articles Sunday critical of Ivanka. One of them is an aggregate of a Daily Mail report that claimed Ivanka helped push Bannon out of the White House. Shortly after the story was published, the article received an update that said a White House senior aide stated the Daily Mail report is "totally false."

Breitbart also wrote a piece that highlighted six times Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner's displeasure with President Trump had been leaked to the media.

Bannon said in interviews after his departure from the White House that he will use Breitbart to fight for the president's agenda.

"In many ways, I think I can be more effective fighting from the outside for the agenda President Trump ran on," Bannon told The New York Times . "And anyone who stands in our way, we will go to war with."

[Aug 20, 2017] Breitbart goes after McMaster

Aug 20, 2017 | thehill.com

Breitbart News, the media outlet helmed by President Trump's former chief strategist Stephen Bannon, published an article on Sunday casting national security adviser H.R. McMaster as soft on Islamist extremism and terrorism.

The former chief strategist's exit from the White House on Friday immediately raised questions about the future of Bannon's relationship with Trump, as well as how Breitbart would cover the administration with Bannon at the helm again.

In an interview last week on NBC's "Meet the Press," McMaster repeatedly dodged questions about whether he could work with Bannon, saying simply that he is "ready to work with anybody who will help advance the president's agenda and advance the security, prosperity of the American people."

"I get to work together with a broad range of talented people, and it is a privilege every day to enable the national security team," McMaster told the show's host Chuck Todd.

[Aug 20, 2017] The Bannon - McMaster war can be very easily explained

Aug 20, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

somebody | Aug 20, 2017 5:49:52 AM | 98

The Bannon - McMaster war can be very easily explained

McMaster made sure the US remains in the Iran deal

This is not what Sheldon Adelson or the Mercers paid for. This is not what right wing Israelis want.

Stability is not what the Mercers thrive on .

Hedge fund insiders say that quant funds, whose trading profits typically depend on volatility, have been hurt by what has been a surprisingly steady market environment in the second quarter, most notably in June, when the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX � which reflects investors� views of expected stock market volatility � gained between 10 percent and 12 percent, half of its 52-week highs. The Republicans� failure to pass a health care bill, a steady drumbeat of news about the Russia-Trump investigation, and nuclear missile tests of North Korea did little to jar investor confidence in the stock market. The S&P 500 gained 0.6 percent during the month, putting it up 9.3 percent this year

Grieved | Aug 19, 2017 10:06:59 PM | 86

@58 karlof1

Thanks for the Escobar link. The story makes great sense. It's good to know about Mercer and to see that Trump and Bannon are tight. Oddly, it did seem that with all the jackals circling around Trump's neck, in this one case, Bannon is more use outside the tent pissing in than inside pissing out. And Breitbart has now received a massive profile lift, it'll become a national player in the narrative, one would expect.

By the way, I was pondering lately this whole aspect of a grass roots movement. Funny you should bring it up. The only question here about the US is, will the people actually get a voice in this society? If the electoral system keeps bringing liars and betraying promises, then it's time to Occupy the Ballot and have new movements. This is happening I think, with Trump actually being one of the precursor litmus tests.

~~

As for the generals, what does a ruler need except the people and the army? Trump has them both. It makes him harder to take down with all those generals around. Of course, Caesar will have to accord with his praetorian guard or the guard will get a new Caesar. But the US is a banana republic now, this is how it's done - and I'm serious about this, these are real dynamics I think.

Surely the generals will end up being more conservative in action than in rhetoric? And if they get a little giddy and actually send their soldiers out into the real world, they'll quickly receive more of those globally public humiliations that are lowering the empire to the ground so effectively. What can go wrong, that couldn't always go wrong anyway, regardless of who's in charge, or thinks they're in charge?

V. Arnold | Aug 19, 2017 8:50:03 PM | 80
somebody | Aug 19, 2017 10:01:52 AM | 24

Trump would not have been elected without Robert Mercer. Robert Mercer is the billionaire behind Cambridge Analytica, Breitbart and Steve Bannon.

Who financed Adolf Hitler?

Bingo! Finally, some one got the Mercers; both the father and the daughter.
http://therealnews.com/t2/story:19811:The-Real-Story-of-How-Bannon-and-Trump-Got-to-The-White-House

smuks | Aug 20, 2017 8:45:55 AM | 101
@psychohistorian 85

We express things differently, but think very much alike.

The water and sewage system is a good example, but you could take any basic utility/ basic human need: Everyone needs it, but there's no need for 'growth' and little if any room for efficiency gains. So the only ways to profit as a private investor are to overcharge users or to pay miserable wages and let the infrastructure rot.

Private enterprise and competition can work miracles when an economic sector is rapidly developing, expanding and advancing technologically. Governments should encourage this, so I don't think they're (purely) socialistic. But once the sector is 'grown-up' and enters a more or less 'steady state', there's neither room nor justification for profits. It becomes more important to provide high-quality services to everyone(!) while using as little natural resources as possible - and for this, a democratic form of organization is much more fitting than a private profit-driven one (which strives to maximize throughput).

I'm cautiously optimistic. My impression is that more and more people realize that in our time, 'democracy', 'equal rights' and 'sustainability' more important than 'profits' and 'growth'...don't you think?

nb...'posit' - I just learned a new word, thanks!

@somebody 98

Thanks for pointing out the uncertainty and 'volatility'/ VIX bit. I agree it's what speculative investors like hedge funds need and thrive on - so it's what they try to promote by all means (cf. certain websites).
Especially now that we are saying goodbye to the 'growth' phase of the economy and entering a 'steady state' (s.ab.), financial market volatility is increasingly the only thing to reap (relevant) profits from. It's a fight between the pro-stability and the 'profit at all cost' factions - luckily, the former is winning.

[Aug 20, 2017] The USA are about to face the worst crisis of their history and how Putin's example might inspire Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Putin outsmarted you at every step of the way ..."
Oct 22, 2016 | thesaker.is

Watching the last Presidential debate was a rather depressing experience. I thought that Trump did pretty well, but that really is not the point here. The point is this: no matter who wins, an acute crisis is inevitable.

Option one : Hillary wins. That's Obama on steroids, only worse. Remember that Obama himself was Dubya, only worse. Of course, Dubya was just Clinton, only worse. Now the circle is closed. Back to Clinton. Except this time around, we have a women who is deeply insecure, who failed at every single thing that she every tried to do, and who now has a 3 decades long record of disasters and failures. Even when she had no authority to start a war, she started one (told Bill to bomb the Serbs). Now she has that authority. And now she had to stand there, in front of millions of people, and hear Trump tell her " Putin outsmarted you at every step of the way " (did you see her frozen face when he said that?). Trump is right, Putin did outsmart her and Obama at every step. The problem is that now, after having a President with an inferiority complex towards Putin (Obama) we will have a President with the very same inferiority complex and a morbid determination to impose a no-fly zone over Russian forces in Syria. Looking at Hillary, with her ugly short hair and ridiculous pants, I thought to myself "this is a woman who is trying hard to prove that she is every bit as tough and any man" – except of course that she ain't. Her record also shows her as being weak, cowardly and with a sense of total impunity. And now, that evil messianic lunatic with a deep-seated inferiority complex is going to become Commander in Chief?! God help us all!

Option two : Trump wins. Problem: he will be completely alone. The Neocons have a total, repeat total , control of the Congress, the media, banking and finance, and the courts. From Clinton to Clinton they have deeply infiltrated the Pentagon, Foggy Bottom, and the three letter agencies. The Fed is their stronghold. How in the world will Trump deal with these rabid " crazies in the basement "? Consider the vicious hate campaign which all these "personalities" (from actors, to politicians to reporters) have unleashed against Trump – they have burned their bridges, they know that they will lose it all if Trump wins (and, if he proves to be an easy pushover his election will make no difference anyway). The Neocons have nothing to lose and they will fight to the very last one. What could Trump possibly do to get anything done if he is surrounded by Neocons and their agents of influence? Bring in an entirely different team? How is he going to vet them? His first choice was to take Pence as a VP – a disaster (he is already sabotaging Trump on Syria and the elections outcome). I *dread* the hear whom Trump will appoint as a White House Chief of Staff as I am afraid that just to appease the Neocons he will appoint some new version of the infamous Rahm Emanuel And should Trump prove that he has both principles and courage, the Neocons can always "Dallas" him and replace him with Pence. Et voilà !

I see only one way out:

The (imperfect) Putin model

When Putin came to power he inherited a Kremlin every bit as corrupt and traitor-infested as the White House nowadays. As for Russia, she was in pretty much the same sorry shape as the Independent Nazi-run Ukraine. Russia was also run by bankers and AngloZionist puppets and most Russians led miserable lives. The big difference is that, unlike what is happening with Trump, the Russian version of the US Neocons never saw the danger coming from Putin. He was selected by the ruling elites as the representative of the security services to serve along a representative of the big corporate money, Medvedev. This was a compromise solution between the only two parts of the Russian society which were still functioning, the security services and oil/gas money. Putin looked like a petty bureaucrat in an ill fitting suit, a shy and somewhat awkward little guy who would present no threat to the powerful oligarchs of the semibankirshchina (the Seven Bankers) running Russia. Except that he turned out to be one of the most formidable rulers in Russia history. Here is what Putin did as soon as he came to power:

First, he re-established the credibility of the Kremlin with the armed forces and security services by rapidly and effectively crushing the Wahabi insurgency in Chechnia. This established his personal credibility with the people he would have to rely on to deal with the oligarchs.

Second, he used the fact that everybody, every single businessman and corporation in Russia, did more or less break the law during the 1990s, if only because there really was no law. Instead of cracking down on the likes of Berezovski or Khodorkovski for their political activities, he crushed them with (absolutely true) charges of corruption. Crucially, he did that very publicly, sending a clear message to the other arch-enemy: the media.

Third, contrary to the hallucinations of the western human rights agencies and Russian liberals, Putin never directly suppressed any dissent, or cracked down on the media or, even less so, ordered the murder of anybody. He did something much smarter. Remember that modern journalists are first and foremost presstitutes, right? By mercilessly cracking down on the oligarchs Putin deprived the presstitutes of their source of income and political support. Some emigrated to the Ukraine, others simply resigned, and a few were left like on a reservation or a zoo on a few very clearly identifiable media outlets such as Dozhd TV, Ekho Moskvy Radio or the newspaper Kommersant. Those who emigrated became irrelevant, as for those who stayed in the "liberal zoo" – they were harmless has they had no credibility left. Crucially, everybody else "got the message". After that, all it took is the appointment a few real patriots (such as Dmitri Kiselev, Margarita Simonian and others) in key positions and everybody quickly understood that the winds of fortune had now turned.

Fourth, once the main media outlets were returned back to sanity it did not take too long for the "liberal" (in the Russian sense, meaning pro-USA) parties to enter into a death-spiral from which they have never recovered. That, in turn, resulted in the ejection of all "liberals" form the Duma which now has only 4 parties, all of them more or less "patriotic".

That's the part that worked.

So far, Putin failed to eject the 5th columnists, whom I call the "Atlantic Integrationists" (for details, including their names, see here ) from the government itself.. Even the notorious Alexei Kudrin was not fired by Putin, but by Medvedev. The security services succeeded in finally getting rid of Anatolii Serdyukov but they did not have power needed to put him in jail. I still think that a purge will happen while Alexander Mercouris disagrees . Whatever may be the case, what is certain is that Putin has not tackled the 5th columnists in the banking/finance sector and that the latter have being very careful not to give him a pretext to take action against them.

Russia and the USA are very different countries, and no recipe can be simply copied from one to another. Still, there are valuable lessons from the "Putin model" for Trump, not the least of which that his most formidable enemies probably are sitting in the Fed. One Russian analyst – Rostislav Ishchenko – has suggested that Trump could somehow force the Fed to increase interest rates, which would result in a bankruptcy domino effect for US banks which might be the only way to finally crush the Fed and re-take control of US banking. Maybe. I honestly am not qualified to have an opinion about that.

What is sure is that for the time being the USA will continue to look like that:

A homeless man, possibly a veteran, has built a "corridor of flags" to get people to give him money. Florida, October 2016.

Rich on cheapo patriotism and otherwise poor.

Hillary thinks that this is a stunning success. Trump thinks that this is a disgrace. I submit that the choice between these two is really very simple.

To those who are saying that there cannot be a schism in the AngloZionist elites, I will reply that the example of the conspiracy to prevent Dominique Strauss-Kahn from becoming the next French President shows that, just like hyenas, AngloZionist leaders do sometimes turn on each other. That happens in all regimes, regardless of their political ideology (think SS against SA in Nazi Germany or Trotskists against Stalinists in Boshevik USSR).

Of brooms and body parts

Leon Trotsky used to say the Soviet Russia needed to be cleansed from anarchists and noblemen with an "iron broom". He even wrote an article in the Pravda entitled "We need an iron broom". Another genocidal manic, Felix Derzhinskii, founder of the notorious ChK secret police, used to say that a secret police officer must have a "burning heart, a cool head and clean hands". One would seek weakness, or even compassion, in vain from folks like these. These are ideology-driven "true believers", sociopaths with no sense of empathy, profoundly evil people with a genocidal hatred of anybody standing in their way.

Hillary Clinton and her gang of Neocons are the spiritual (and sometimes even physical) successors of the Soviet Bolsheviks and they, just like their Bolshevik forefathers, will not hesitate for a second to crush their enemies. Donald Trump – assuming he is for real and actually means what he says – has to understand that and do what Putin did: strike first and strike hard. Stalin, by the way, also did exactly that, and for a while the Trotskyists were crushed, but in the years following Stalin's death they gradually bounced back only to seize power again in 1991 (not Trotskyists in a literal sense of the word, but russophobic Jews who had nothing but contempt for the Russian people). I think that the jury is still out on whether Putin will succeed in finally removing the 5th columnist from power. What is sure is that Russia is at least semi-free from the control of these people and that the US is their last bastion right now. Their maniacal hatred of Trump can in part be explained by the sense of danger these folks feel, being threatened for the first time in what they see as their homeland (I don't mean that in a patriotic sense – but rather like a parasite care for "his" host). And maybe they have some good reason to fear. I sure hope that they do.

I am rather encouraged by the way Trump handled the latest attempt to make him cower in fear. Yesterday Trump dared to declare that since the election might be rigged or stolen he does not pledge to recognize their outcome. And even though every semi-literate person knows that elections in the USA have been rigged and stolen in the past, including Presidential ones, by saying that Trump committed a major case of crimethink . The Ziomedia pounced on him with self-righteous outrage and put immense pressure on him to retract his statement (which, by the way, contradicted Pence's stance). Instead of rolling over and recanting his "crime", Trump replied with this:

http://www.liveleak.com/ll_embed?f=7fb0ec4a8ebe

Beautiful no? Let's hope he continues to show the same courage.

Trump is doing now what Jean-Marie Le Pen did in France: he is showing the Neocons that be that he dares to openly defy them, that he refuses to play by their rules, that their outrage has no effect on his and that they don't get to censor or, even less so, silence him. That is also what he did when, yet again, he refused to accuse the Russians of cyber-attacks and, instead, repeated that it would be a good thing for Russia and the USA to be friends. Again, I am not sure that how long he will be able to hold that line, but for the time being there is no denying that he is openly defying the AngloZionist deep state and Empire.

Conclusion

The United States are about to enter what might possibly be the deepest and most dangerous crisis of their history. If Trump is elected, he will have to immediately launch a well-planned attack against his opponents without giving them any pretext to accuse him of politically motivated repressions. In Russia, Putin could count on the support of the military and the security services. I don't know whom Trump can count on, but I am fairly confident that there are still true patriots in the US armed forces. If Trump gets the right person to head the FBI, he might also use that agency to clean house and deliver a steady streams of indictments for corruption, conspiracy to [fill the blank], abuse of authority, obstruction of justice and dereliction of duty, etc. Since such crimes are widespread in the current circles of power, they are also easy to prove and cracking down on corruption would get Trump a standing ovation from the American people. Next, just as Putin in Russia, Trump will have to deal with the media. How exactly, I don't know. But he will have to face this beast and defeat it. At every step in this process he will have to get the proactive support of the people, just like Putin does. Can he do it?

I don't know. Honestly, I doubt it. First, I still don't trust him. But, more relevantly, I would argue that to overthrow the deep state and restore true people power is even harder in the USA than it was in Russia. I have always believed that the AngloZionist Empire will have to be brought down from the outside, most probably by a combination of military and economic defeats. I still believe that. However, I might be wrong – in fact, I hope that I am – and maybe Trump will be the guy to bring down the Empire in order to save the United States. If there is such a possibility, however slim, I think that we have to believe in it and act on it as all the alternatives are far worse.

The Saker

[Aug 20, 2017] Bannon's interview with the American Prospect last week was his shot across the proverbial bow aimed directly at the globalists fomenting more wars

With Bannon Gone, Trump Loses Key Anti-War Aide Trump Loses Anti-War Aide In Bannon The Daily Caller
Notable quotes:
"... For the record, Mr. Bannon gave notice on 8/7 to POTUS. As well, Mr. Bannon, when appointed to Trump's cabinet, stated for any who bothered to read/listen that he would accept under one condition, which was he'd be leaving the WH in eight months. Eight months brings us to 8/7. No one fired him. He is back at Breitbart as its Chairman. ..."
Aug 20, 2017 | t-room.us

h | Aug 20, 2017 12:52:39 PM | 122

Francis @68 - Refreshing to read a comment by someone who obviously has made it her/his business to understand Trump and Team from the conservative perspective. Great comment and spot on IMHO.

For the record, Mr. Bannon gave notice on 8/7 to POTUS. As well, Mr. Bannon, when appointed to Trump's cabinet, stated for any who bothered to read/listen that he would accept under one condition, which was he'd be leaving the WH in eight months. Eight months brings us to 8/7. No one fired him. He is back at Breitbart as its Chairman.

Bannon's interview with the American Prospect last week was his shot across the proverbial bow aimed directly at the globalists who are determined to keep their march toward raping the world from all her resources aka the NWO/neocon/neolib mafia while fomenting more war(s).

Bannon with Mercer and et al backing (and I can make a pretty solid educated guess that there are others) have been developing a new media platform of some kind which will be launched in weeks not months (another educated guess). Sinclair broadcasting has been mentioned on other conservative platforms as getting ready to make a move of some kind as well.

As Breitbart's editor wrote on Friday following the Bannon announcement - "WAR" - is unequivocally that sites way of saying the Swamp in DC is going to be drained. Indeed, Trump and Team have already begun to roll out their 2018 election strategy.

Any who hold the belief that Trump is stupid, naive, or whatever derogatory statement conjured up is just plain wrong and shouldn't be taken seriously by any here who know better.

Trump is a businessman. Trump is not a politician. And he certainly wasn't elected to serve as America's grandpa-he ain't gonna hold your hand...ever.

If you are unaware of the current round of NAFTA negotiations, now in its fourth day, w/Canada and Mexico OR if you are unaware that on Friday the Trump administration formally launched a Section 301 Trade investigation into China's trading practices, then you are not paying attention to what the right hand is doing.

There is always much going on behind all of the noise the insufferable Left makes on a daily basis. Apparently, they don't want you to know about any of the plethora of Executive Orders signed, the roll back of regulations zero and czars put in place, the trade negotiations and so, so much more.

On the other hand, conservative sites are all over the blogosphere report daily what this administration is doing and how it is succeeding. Bannon remains a phone call away.

Oh, and btw, it was Kushner and his data operation who carried Trump over the finish line not Bannon and his policy positions.

[Aug 20, 2017] Ship Rudderless After Trump Drops Its Pilot

Notable quotes:
"... Trump making more and more room for neocons, deepstate, warmongers with these completely irrational moves kicking out he's closest friends and advisors! Now MSM, deepstate will be even stronger, I wouldnt be surpised if Trump step down himself eventually and hand over the presidency to Pence, either that or Trump will more and more tone done his views, policy and go along what msm/deep state wants. ..."
"... These moves clearly show how isolated he really is ..."
"... We could throw away that improvement of Russia/US relationsship, we will see more Nato supporting Trump, more wars and covert ops. in the middle east and elsehwere. Very tragic and bad situation. ..."
"... The US has a military junta in control These are people Trump picked - they were not imposed on him. The people that got Trump elected out lived there usefulness ..."
"... If Bannon turns out to be smarter than I credit him for, things could become interesting. Mainly with strong Bernistas on the other side (they may think they are polar opposite, but they are basically calling for the same thing – no more wars, jobs, education, etc). ..."
"... The war we feared Clinton would bring is now on the horizon. Apparently it was only delayed, not prevented. ..."
"... So what is going on here? Trump in order to physically survive had to dig up allies in the senior military who had the guns, frankly, to keep him in office. The ouster of Bannon may be a "good" thing if we understand that the chief attribute of Washington since Obama was elected for his second term was the power struggle between various gangs within the power-elite exhibited by Ash Carter's mutiny against the Kerry-Lavrov agreement on Syria almost a year ago. So the power struggle appears to have been simplified. The permanent war state is once again in the driver's seat now we'll see where they choose to go. ..."
"... Bannon engineered the ascent of Rex Tillerson at State despite the fact that Tillerson's patron and chief influence is non-other than Condoleezza Rice, the neocon former Bush NSA Director and cheerleader for the Iraq war. Documents which leaked from the Presidential transition proved that Rice was Tillerson's advocate and that several other staffers she recommended where quickly hired at State. Perhaps this is why Politico correctly tabbed the rise of veteran Romney-ites at State. The Trump State Department has failed to excise the Soros control of a number of U.S. embassies and is currently leaning on the Hungarian government not to impede Soros toppling of that democratically elected government. Bannon delivered the Trump State Department into the hands of the Globalists. ..."
"... Trump getting swallowed up and neutered by the Washington establishment makes a complete mockery of anyone who made the asinine claim of a populist lone hero walking into office and 'draining the swamp'. ..."
"... A presidential administration requires years, even decades, to build up the people and relationships that are needed to hit the ground running on day one. The mass of experienced people who can act as the foundations of the new administration. ..."
"... With Trump getting elected by the unique combination of traditional populism and the Democratic part establishment thinking they had enough power to ram a complete piece of shit candidate like Hillary Clinton down the country's throat have managed to put someone in office who completely lacks the tools to effectively operate an administration. ..."
"... Obama deliberately lied to us in 2008, it was all a con. I know this because the instant he was elected, he fired all his liberal economic advisors and brought in Goldman Sachs. I know this because of reports that during his campaign his agents were privately telling his wealthy patrons that he didn't mean a word of it. ..."
"... Trumps started his presidency like he really meant to do what he promised during the campaign. THEN, after enormous pressure, even he started to bend. The inflection point was the missile strike on Syria. Now he's just sailing on, being president, and the promises of the campaign are like the promises of a car salesman... ..."
"... The 2nd bad mistake was H-ikki Haley. - Internationally. Trump had much potential support that was destroyed by this woman. He burned SO many bridges.. ..."
"... Bannon was probably the only non warmonger in the whole Tronald team - including the boss. Although I strongly oppose everything else he believes in his political course would have been much healthier for the rest of the world. ..."
"... Bannon's removal opens wide the door to neo-cons, war mongers and the pro-jewish lobbies that only think of "making america great" through wars. The neo-cons are much more right-wing than Bannon. Without Bannon, Trump is becoming another puppet just like Bush jr. We will come to regret the last anti-Israel voice in the White House. ..."
"... This article totally ignores his position on China. Like the Bush adminstration had planned to destroy 7 countries (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Iran), Bannon said: "We're going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years," "There's no doubt about that. They're taking their sandbars and making basically stationary aircraft carriers and putting missiles on those. They come here to the United States in front of our face - and you understand how important face is - and say it's an ancient territorial sea." ..."
"... Trump's troubles are phoney (Russia, statues) but Trump hasn't been effective in countering them - sometimes shooting himself in the foot (suggesting that he had tapes of Comey; drip-drip-drip of the Trump Jr meeting with Russians; etc) ..."
"... I call him the Republican Obama. Apologists and critics of Trump won't dont like this view. ..."
"... if i thought exxon, goldman sachs, lockheed martin and all these corps that have a huge say on the direction of the usa today, had any other clue then their 'bottom line' or recognized at the whole game is in jeopardy of being lost, i doubt any of them would have the guts or character to say anything about it.. it is not only that the usa is rudderless at this point.. the whole planet looks in much the same point, especially the usa poodles, which would include canada, the country i live in.. no naomi klein book or anything is going to change it either.. ..."
"... firing Bannon mean getting rid of people that think like Trump, so this is quite bad because instead comes pure neocons filling up the WH, and then Trump will be very isolated with his ideas on detente and so on. ..."
"... I highly suggest MoA barflys read Pepe Escobar's analysis of Bannon's departure, https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201708191056603401-steve-bannon-white-house-trump-war/ ..."
"... Obama was heavily backed by the billionaire Pritzker family. One of them was put in charge of the treasury. One of them is a gender-bender, once a he, now a she. Hence the gender wars. Ever feel you've been had? ..."
Aug 20, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
" The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over ," Bannon said Friday, shortly after confirming his departure. "We still have a huge movement, and we will make something of this Trump presidency. But that presidency is over."

Bannon was the "Make America Great Again" guy in the White House. The strategist who had the populist ideas that brought the votes for Trump. Jobs, jobs, jobs, infrastructure investments, immigration limits, taxing globalists were his issue.


Dropping the pilot - Punch 1890

Trump is no young German Emperor and Bannon is no chancellor Bismark. (Both would probably have liked those roles.) But with Bannon leaving, the Trump presidency is losing its chief strategist, the one person which set priorities and could set an alternative course for the ship of state under Trump's command.

The racist Huffington Post headline implies that Bannon prioritized the wrong country.

Cont. reading: Ship Rudderless After Trump Drops Its Pilot

Anon | Aug 19, 2017 4:44:19 AM | 1

Good post,

Trump making more and more room for neocons, deepstate, warmongers with these completely irrational moves kicking out he's closest friends and advisors!
Now MSM, deepstate will be even stronger, I wouldnt be surpised if Trump step down himself eventually and hand over the presidency to Pence, either that or Trump will more and more tone done his views, policy and go along what msm/deep state wants.

These moves clearly show how isolated he really is , he could have been strong instead he backs off ASAP it seems.

We could throw away that improvement of Russia/US relationsship, we will see more Nato supporting Trump, more wars and covert ops. in the middle east and elsehwere. Very tragic and bad situation.

Alexander Grimsmo | Aug 19, 2017 5:03:43 AM | 2
Trump hitting Syria with those missiles was the final nail in the coffin for any hope in the Trump regime. This just confirms it.
Realist | Aug 19, 2017 5:13:45 AM | 3
Trump proves you don't have t be smart to be rich. Trump has the IQ of a corn dog. He is surrounding himself with Deep State assholes....his days are numbered.
James lake | Aug 19, 2017 5:18:08 AM | 4
The US has a military junta in control These are people Trump picked - they were not imposed on him. The people that got Trump elected out lived there usefulness

Now we will see more war - arms to Ukraine and escalation in Syria and against Iran and North Korea. The American public have really been led by the nose as they will see all this as a good thing.

Lea | Aug 19, 2017 5:33:52 AM | 5
I doubt that it will help Trump to implement what Bannon and Trump himself intended to do.

It won't. These globalists, Goldman Sachs lobbyists and MIC/Pentagon vultures are too firmly entrenched in the immediate vicinity of the Oval office to be uprooted that easily. On the other hand, the anti-war, America-First, get-the jobs-back Trump voters can be made into a whole frigging mass movement which could multiply peaceful protest actions and, as they say, " rock the boat ".

It would take brains and planning, but it can be done.

If Bannon turns out to be smarter than I credit him for, things could become interesting. Mainly with strong Bernistas on the other side (they may think they are polar opposite, but they are basically calling for the same thing – no more wars, jobs, education, etc).

From The Hague | Aug 19, 2017 5:55:29 AM | 6
The dismissal of Flynn was the first grave error.
Perimtr | Aug 19, 2017 5:58:28 AM | 7
The war we feared Clinton would bring is now on the horizon. Apparently it was only delayed, not prevented.
Mina | Aug 19, 2017 6:06:58 AM | 8
I wouldn't mind to see Pence taking over at some stage. The two real faces of the White power in the US for everyone in the world to contemplate. Might get their lackeys sober. Let the Titanic drowns to the bottom so the rest of the world can breathe.
charlie | Aug 19, 2017 6:07:14 AM | 9
american zionist war criminal clowns.
somebody | Aug 19, 2017 6:18:02 AM | 10
Staying with the caricature you show, b., Trump will start a war. Yeah, Bannon talked of infrastructure. Hitler built the Autobahn and got rid of unemployment, one way or the other, "economic nationalism" is a relabeling of fascism.

Quoting Likhachev via Putin

Putin recalled the words of outstanding Soviet Russian scholar Dmitry Likhachev that patriotism drastically differs from nationalism.

"Nationalism is hatred of other peoples, while patriotism is love for your motherland," Putin cited his words.

Duh.

somebody | Aug 19, 2017 6:36:08 AM | 11
add to 10

This here is what Trump's presidency has been about right from the start - a capitalist raid on government. Bannon's role has been - and looking at Breitbart still is - to sell Trump to the stupid little people.

ashley albanese | Aug 19, 2017 7:06:24 AM | 12
At school in Australia in the 1960's our regular theme was the inevitability of 'hegemonic ' struggle . I noticed it vanished as a theme from history and social studies, 70's onwards.

Used to think it was deliberately done to subconsciously underline the newness and completeness of the Anglo/ American empire . A product here to stay ! The old forces of struggle - of victory and defeat no longer patterns at play .

Anon | Aug 19, 2017 7:42:53 AM | 13
somebody

Ridiculous! You are using Hitler fallacy blasting Trump, Bannon, their policies, why dont you go to CNN instead and comment? Whiny Trump, Bannon is nazis, fascist is the liberal propaganda fake-news, meanwhile in the real world:

Steve Bannon : white nationalists, neo-Nazis 'losers' and 'a collection of clowns'
http://businessinsider.com/steve-bannon-white-nationalists-neo-nazis-losers-clowns-2017-8?r=US&IR=T

And you talk about "stupid people"?

Banger | Aug 19, 2017 8:07:25 AM | 14
Great analysis. This internal power struggle is not over. Yes, the generals are now in charge as I once predicted long ago when we first started seeing the decline in the polls at all levels of the state except for two major institutions: 1) the military; and 2) the police. The logical conclusion was that, eventually, these institutions would hold most of the political power since they are the most popular.

It's fascinating how martinets who continually lose wars are still considered "heroes" (thank you for your service). So what is going on here? Trump in order to physically survive had to dig up allies in the senior military who had the guns, frankly, to keep him in office. The ouster of Bannon may be a "good" thing if we understand that the chief attribute of Washington since Obama was elected for his second term was the power struggle between various gangs within the power-elite exhibited by Ash Carter's mutiny against the Kerry-Lavrov agreement on Syria almost a year ago. So the power struggle appears to have been simplified. The permanent war state is once again in the driver's seat now we'll see where they choose to go.

Rahul Varshney | Aug 19, 2017 8:33:29 AM | 15
Bannon didn't help things by backing Tillerson.
Bannon engineered the ascent of Rex Tillerson at State despite the fact that Tillerson's patron and chief influence is non-other than Condoleezza Rice, the neocon former Bush NSA Director and cheerleader for the Iraq war. Documents which leaked from the Presidential transition proved that Rice was Tillerson's advocate and that several other staffers she recommended where quickly hired at State. Perhaps this is why Politico correctly tabbed the rise of veteran Romney-ites at State. The Trump State Department has failed to excise the Soros control of a number of U.S. embassies and is currently leaning on the Hungarian government not to impede Soros toppling of that democratically elected government. Bannon delivered the Trump State Department into the hands of the Globalists.

Bannon's Time Is Up decent analysis by Roger Stone.

Recommend people follow twitter.com/ezilidanto. Trump has already re-instated Clinton's people to continue the UN occupation of Haiti. Trump is getting blindsided when all he needs to do is up his twitter game and ignore the lame stream bilderberg media.

Vannok | Aug 19, 2017 8:36:24 AM | 16
Trump getting swallowed up and neutered by the Washington establishment makes a complete mockery of anyone who made the asinine claim of a populist lone hero walking into office and 'draining the swamp'.

A presidential administration requires years, even decades, to build up the people and relationships that are needed to hit the ground running on day one. The mass of experienced people who can act as the foundations of the new administration.

With Trump getting elected by the unique combination of traditional populism and the Democratic part establishment thinking they had enough power to ram a complete piece of shit candidate like Hillary Clinton down the country's throat have managed to put someone in office who completely lacks the tools to effectively operate an administration.

Trump has been effectively reduced to a who might as well just be sitting in the Oval Office jerking off to porn and watching to cat videos.

It is also laughable to see people crying about the country stumbling into a 'civil war'. The Trump base is a bunch of clowns who still believe they won a presidential election with 'meme magic'.

Their 'god emperor' has become the ultimate 'cuck' and they have nothing in response other than crying in their echo chamber forums about how they are 'winning'.

librul | Aug 19, 2017 9:06:01 AM | 17
" liberals are loving it."

Not all liberals are loving it.

The avoidance of war, was always this liberals priority.

TG | Aug 19, 2017 9:20:13 AM | 18
Excellent post.

I have always thought that Obama was a con artist, and Trump, a salesman.

Obama deliberately lied to us in 2008, it was all a con. I know this because the instant he was elected, he fired all his liberal economic advisors and brought in Goldman Sachs. I know this because of reports that during his campaign his agents were privately telling his wealthy patrons that he didn't mean a word of it.

Trump, however, is a salesman. He will simply tell you what you want to hear at the moment to close the deal. 'Oh yeah, that model car is great, no the seats in the other model are exactly the same..." just making it up on the fly, trying to read the customer. A salesman probably doesn't really think of it as lying. And when the deal is made, they won't deliberately stab you in the back - they just maybe won't be too concerned if it doesn't work out quite like they said.

Trumps started his presidency like he really meant to do what he promised during the campaign. THEN, after enormous pressure, even he started to bend. The inflection point was the missile strike on Syria. Now he's just sailing on, being president, and the promises of the campaign are like the promises of a car salesman...

steven t johnson | Aug 19, 2017 9:20:29 AM | 19
Trump lost the vote. If it weren't for the moronic Electoral College crap Trump wouldn't be president. So when Bannon tries to posture as the genius who won the presidency for Trump, Trump knows better. Everyone who talks about Trump winning the election is lying. Trump knows this, because that's the bottom line. Trump doesn't need a loser for an adviser. It's Trump who may now create a significant fascist movement by his support. It is not Bannon who will bring the fascist masses to Trump, because the masses aren't fascist.

As for delusions about Trump's non-imperialist foreign policy? The man ran as a conqueror, not a peacemaker. Trump is an owner. The US economy relies on the dollar and the dollar is backed by blood. Its role is not commensurate with the US' real economy, much less gold. The Soviets could give up their alleged empire because it wasn't an empire, it was an expense. The owners of the US rely on their empire. They can't give it up and they don't want to. Trump is one of them. He's about trashing old politics. Nazis in Charlottesville is the new politics, but he doesn't need Bannon for that.

Anon | Aug 19, 2017 9:38:26 AM | 20
"Trump is nazi"
"Bannon is nazi"
"Trump is a fascist"
"Bannon is a fascist"

Tragic that even people here buying the fake-news liberal propaganda. Nazi? Facists? Come on please. No wonder world is a mess or rather a brainwashed mass.

Noirette | Aug 19, 2017 9:38:51 AM | 21
Trump would not have been elected without him. -Bannon. b's top post.

Wondered about this, probably correct... though Trump, DT - Bannon are a sort of meeting of the minds so who what? etc. DT did veer pragmatically away from Bannon-type core positions on 'Muslims', in the infamous Clash of Civilzations line, as DT relegated religion to the lower drawer, to use violence as a no. 1. criteria - "ISIS", "terrorism", etc. (Campaign.)

DT clarioned the obvious, MAGA was for all Amrikis - LGTB, muslim, black, anyone, etc. That is why he won! (Bannon would of course have understood this.) On Iran DT has also been a little more 'tempered' imho but who knows really, e.g.:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-iran-idUSKBN19Y226

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.780140

I posted about Trump's VP pick at the time saying it was a terrible sign. Response, he had to pick a Rep. estab. figure. NO. That was his first capitulation that led to all the others and those to come. And it will be his downfall. He could have picked a nonenity, anybody really, a woman would have been ~+ (not S. Palin, that type or top Rep. F figures at the time), a young man of Hispanic origin, someone sympathetic with stage presence, etc. Why not, Bannon himself? The bold move would have been to offer it publically to B. Sanders as a challenge.

DT is from the biz world and his intuitions about 'breaking molds' are constrained by the profit motive, which operate in a regulated field, he does not understand politics where 'anything goes.'

The 2nd bad mistake was H-ikki Haley. - Internationally. Trump had much potential support that was destroyed by this woman. He burned SO many bridges..

somebody | Aug 19, 2017 9:53:06 AM | 22
20

It is a fascist road map. Weimar street fights - check. "Wenn das der Führer wüsste"- problems are the people around the leader, not the leader himself. The leader is a saint. - check. "We will have to crash them" ie the Röhm mob who did the street fights - check. Infrastructure projects against unemployment, no matter the conditions of forced labor - check. "Buy German" - check. War against economic competitors - check. Find an interior race to unite against - Jews, Black lives matter - check

Defeat .....

Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 19, 2017 10:00:51 AM | 23

If Bannon is going back to Breitbart then I'm very confident that The Swamp will soon be in deep do-do. He can disrupt their schemes, smear them 24/7, and make them look stupider, from Breitbart, than he ever could have done from inside the White House.

Bannon knows that the Swamp believes ALL of it's own bullshit. With Bannon pointing it out, it won't be long before everyone on Earth knows too.

somebody | Aug 19, 2017 10:39:24 AM | 31
add to 29 Steve Bannon and taxes
The White House is also getting support for its tax-cut plan from the political network of billionaire brothers Charles Koch and David Koch, who didn't support President Donald Trump during his 2016 campaign. Short and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are set to appear on a tax panel hosted by two Koch-funded groups Monday in Washington.

And this is Robert Mercer

Since the IRS found in 2010 that a complicated banking method used by Renaissance and about 10 other hedge funds was a tax-avoidance scheme, Mercer has gotten increasingly active in politics. According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, he doled out more than $22 million to outside conservative groups seeking to influence last year's elections, while advocating the abolition of the IRS and much of the federal government.

Richard Painter, chief White House ethics adviser under President George W. Bush, said the optics surrounding the Mercers' political connections and the IRS case "are terrible."

"The guy's got a big case in front of the IRS," said Painter, now a University of Minnesota law professor who is also vice chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "He's trying to put someone in there who's going to drop the case. Is the president of the United States going to succumb to that or is he not?"

"Are we going to have a commissioner of the IRS who aggressively enforces the law and takes good cases to Tax Court or (somebody who) just throws away tax cases so billionaires don't have to pay their taxes and the rest of us can pay more taxes?"

The Real News - The real story of how Trump and Bannon got to the White House

nobody | Aug 19, 2017 10:42:24 AM | 32
You recognize you are in the middle of a psychological war yet do not act accordingly.

The "two sides" in this war shoot their weapons in the direction of the "other side" but the aim is strictly at the boobs in the middle. You should know this but yet you insist on being the boob in the middle.

Why is that?

Printing is pretty cheap these days. Pamphlets work wonders. Go forth and publish. While you still can.

fastfreddy | Aug 19, 2017 11:24:34 AM | 34
The US is a fascist nation. By degrees it became increasingly fascist. The key element of fascism is collusion between government and big business. This collusion does not serve the common citizen.
somebody | Aug 19, 2017 11:25:41 AM | 35
33

What I did say was - if you dress like a Nazi, if you shout Nazi slogans, if you act like Nazis did, if your political programme is that of Nazis, there is a strong likelihood that you are a Nazi.

Of course there is a cultural difference, these US billionaire backers of potential mass movements are after a " disruptive " tax and regulation free oligarchy, competitive advantage plus the profits of war, whilst German (and US) industrialists of the time were after an authoritarian corporate state, competitive advantage and the profits of war.

The difference between industrialists who depend on a work force and money made by speculation.

What Bannon is selling to the little people is the protection of an authoritarian corporate state.

AriusArmenian | Aug 19, 2017 11:43:35 AM | 36
The neocon and neolib warmongers are in full control. The US now marches in one direction: WAR. Millions (billions?) more will suffer more death and destruction. The US and its Anglosphere and EU vassals are nothing but vile and despicable. All my remaining hope is in the Eastern powers standing strong.
From The Hague | Aug 19, 2017 11:44:02 AM | 37
talk is cheap
nobody | Aug 19, 2017 11:48:32 AM | 38
"What I did say was - if you dress like a Nazi, if you shout Nazi slogans, if you act like Nazis did, if your political programme is that of Nazis, there is a strong likelihood that you are a Nazi."

"programme" << Not in the American tongue.

Anon is a boob. There is hope for Anon yet.

You are a dissimulator and a propaganda agent. (Per your own if it walks like a duck ...)

Anon | Aug 19, 2017 11:55:15 AM | 39
somebody

Nobody reject that there are nazis, I disclaim your attempt to claim that majority of voters for Trump are fascists/nazis.

As for Bannon, I already posted this: Steve Bannon : white nationalists, neo-Nazis 'losers' and 'a collection of clowns'
http://businessinsider.com/steve-bannon-white-nationalists-neo-nazis-losers-clowns-2017-8?r=US&IR=T

That is Bannon himself ok? If you want to deny what he is saying and claim otherwhise, well go ahead, it will then be another fake-news claim.

Pnyx | Aug 19, 2017 12:23:08 PM | 40
Bannon was probably the only non warmonger in the whole Tronald team - including the boss. Although I strongly oppose everything else he believes in his political course would have been much healthier for the rest of the world.
Robert Beal | Aug 19, 2017 12:23:13 PM | 41
The deep state and Wall Street have long run the ship, and now Big Oil's hand is on the rudder. The personality/reality show cast changes but always diverts attention; i.e., grabs eyeballs for the mainstream media.
Yul | Aug 19, 2017 12:36:23 PM | 42
The Hypocrites wrt Charlottesville: http://mondoweiss.net/2017/08/charlottesville-empowered-children/
james | Aug 19, 2017 1:01:13 PM | 43
thanks b.. the usa situation looks increasingly disturbing... not sure what happens next.. trump at this point looks very weak and not in control..
john | Aug 19, 2017 1:25:54 PM | 44
Pnyx says:

Bannon was probably the only non war mongerer in the whole Tronald team

well, there you have it! the guy's gotta go!

virgile | Aug 19, 2017 1:34:02 PM | 45
Bannon's removal opens wide the door to neo-cons, war mongers and the pro-jewish lobbies that only think of "making america great" through wars. The neo-cons are much more right-wing than Bannon. Without Bannon, Trump is becoming another puppet just like Bush jr. We will come to regret the last anti-Israel voice in the White House.
Piotr Berman | Aug 19, 2017 1:39:43 PM | 46
trump at this point looks very weak and not in control..

Posted by: james | Aug 19, 2017 1:01:13 PM | 43

That makes an assumption that Trump has some goals, program or whatever. I always had serious doubt, because he never showed some coherent program. Trump does not really think in terms of abstract ideas, but in terms of people that he knows. Bannon is a favorite of a billionaire lady that has an apartment in Trump Tower and who bankrolled recent Bannon's project. Who knows, with Rebeccah Mercer as a president, USA would have more coherent policies? But Trump hobnobbed with a lot of "good people" and his views seemed to be some incoherent mishmash.

Not that coherence is always a virtue. Probably all his acquaintances believed that "Obamacare" was a terrible idea, and none of them had any notion how to "fix it", so Trump probably projected a consensus "get rid of it, and if you can, replace it with something marvelous". And we all know that getting a "bipartisan consensus" in Congress, with 98-2 vote, requires some profoundly stupid legislation. And dinosaurs of American foreign policy may be pretty consistent.

Bannon was just another loudmouth for hire as far as Trump is concerned, something that he himself did for a living when casinos etc. were less rewarding. Trump is good at repeating stuff heard from acquaintances, but apart of letting the compatriots bask in his greateness, I am not sure if he really wants something.

xor | Aug 19, 2017 1:46:37 PM | 47
What I miss in this Bannon praise is a clear picture on how the globalist neolibcons got rid of Trump's key strategist. What I see is sanctification of Bannon, a far right ghoul who used his power and influence to move the political zenit further to the right.

This article totally ignores his position on China. Like the Bush adminstration had planned to destroy 7 countries (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Iran), Bannon said: "We're going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years," "There's no doubt about that. They're taking their sandbars and making basically stationary aircraft carriers and putting missiles on those. They come here to the United States in front of our face - and you understand how important face is - and say it's an ancient territorial sea."

Let's hope the rudderless ship hits an iceberg and sinks to the bottom of the sea.

Seamus Padraig | Aug 19, 2017 2:22:42 PM | 48
It's sad to see all the defeatism here at MoA right now. Look, I too wish Trump hadn't fired Bannon -- or Flynn. And I wish he hadn't fired missiles at Syria or signed the new sanction bill. But consider this: a mere month after firing those missiles (apparently, after warning the Russians and Syrians in advance so they had time evacuate their troops), Trump agreed to the deconfliction zones in Syria, and then a month after that, he ordered the CIA to pull the plug on their jihadi freak-show there. Two weeks ago, all my liberal friends (yes, I still have some, but it's getting harder and harder to reason with them) over his tweets on N. Korea. And then what happened? Nothing!

Trump is well south of a hundred percent, I grant; but he's definitely more than zero.

As far as Bannon is concerned: please don't fall for the MSM propaganda about Bannon having been 'Trump's brain'. No. If you'll recall, Bannon only joined Trump's campaign toward the end, in August of 2016. And yet Trump never changed his fundamental policies or campaign strategy at all. Détente with Russia was NOT Bannon's idea; it was Trump's from the start. Dropping 'régime change' in Syria was NOT Bannon's idea; it was Trump's all along.

So have some faith, people. The worst has still not happened. There's a chance -- just a chance -- that we may still avoid a nuclear war.

Mina | Aug 19, 2017 2:42:47 PM | 49
OT curious to read Noirette's insiders' jokes on Bluenext and Kyoto ? (+ the Turkish bank) ref to http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/justice/20170529.OBS9978/gregory-zaoui-cerveau-ou-second-couteau-de-l-escroquerie-du-siecle.html
Vannok | Aug 19, 2017 2:50:47 PM | 50
The US Regime has just attacked the SAA fighting on the frontline against IS:

US Regime Attack

Stick a fork in Trump. He's done.

Jackrabbit | Aug 19, 2017 3:03:18 PM | 51
Trump's troubles are phoney (Russia, statues) but Trump hasn't been effective in countering them - sometimes shooting himself in the foot (suggesting that he had tapes of Comey; drip-drip-drip of the Trump Jr meeting with Russians; etc)

His response to Charlottesville is a case in point: he didn't explain what each group had done wrong so his "many mistakes on all sides" was read as a reluctance to denounce right-wing hate groups, then he flip-flopped (denounced white supremists) and flip-flopped again (returned to his earlier position) after out-cry from the right. I call him the Republican Obama. Apologists and critics of Trump won't dont like this view.

james | Aug 19, 2017 3:05:40 PM | 52
@46 piotr... i hear what you are saying.. trump is in it for trump... the guy is all about what corporations are about - branding, logo, etc. etc.. trump inc. and making money... as i was saying to a friend earlier today, if everything is about money - the bottom line of so many - when these folks no longer have a planet, there ain't gonna be no bottom line to look after either...

if i thought exxon, goldman sachs, lockheed martin and all these corps that have a huge say on the direction of the usa today, had any other clue then their 'bottom line' or recognized at the whole game is in jeopardy of being lost, i doubt any of them would have the guts or character to say anything about it.. it is not only that the usa is rudderless at this point.. the whole planet looks in much the same point, especially the usa poodles, which would include canada, the country i live in.. no naomi klein book or anything is going to change it either..

if correct, and i haven't read the link @50 vannok post is further confirmation of it..

Anon | Aug 19, 2017 3:13:30 PM | 53
Seamus Padraig 48

Great points, although if I could add - firing Bannon mean getting rid of people that think like Trump, so this is quite bad because instead comes pure neocons filling up the WH, and then Trump will be very isolated with his ideas on detente and so on.

somebody | Aug 19, 2017 3:21:38 PM | 54
39

I never said Trump voters were Nazis, they were anti-Hillary. Including the non-voters.

Bannon on "clowns" see

"We will have to crash them" ie the Röhm mob who did the street fights - check.

It is a fascist road map
See " Roehm putsch - night of the long knives "

He is dissociating from the Nazis in a left wing publication, why do you think that is? Because his Nazi friends have become toxic but don't read left wing publications. He did not say that in Breitbart.

Now what does Breitbart say: "CNN normalizes Antifa - Leftists seek peace through violence".

Now, again, who was violent in Charlottesville? What do the videos show?

It is obvious that Mercer/Bannon did not split with Trump. Bannon is now firing up the base whilst Trump does what he has to do to satisfy his billionaire friends ie get rid of regulations and taxes.

Whilst Bannon pretends Trump is hostage to Republican elites that have to be removed by his base.

Bannons "War with China" is not non interventionist.

Bannon is a paid tool.

Those Nazis have been filmed from all sides and are being identified online, losing their jobs because of it.
I suggest people send them Bannon's interview in the American Prospect.

StephenLaudig | Aug 19, 2017 3:32:08 PM | 55
The came to mind. Even gets the orange correct but it is misplaced....
......

http://hhgproject.org/entries/president.html

President of the Imperial Galactic Government

The President is very much a figurehead - he wields no real power whatsoever. He is apparently chosen by the government, but the qualities he is required to display are not those of leadership but those of finely judged outrage. For this reason the President is always a controversial choice, always an infuriating but fascinating character. His job is not to wield power but to draw attention away from it.

An orange sash is what the President of the Galaxy traditionally wears.

On those criteria Zaphod Beeblebrox is one of the most successful Presidents the Galaxy has ever had. He spent two of his ten Presidential years in prison for fraud. Very very few people realize that the President and the Government have virtually no power at all, and of these very few people only six know whence ultimate political power is wielded. Most of the others secretly believe that the ultimate decision-making process is handled by a computer. They couldn't be more wrong.
============

cheers.

Krollchem | Aug 19, 2017 3:45:38 PM | 56
For those interlopers who claim Hillery won and that the Electoral college is evil consider the following:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-18/us-has-35-million-more-registered-voters-live-adults-red-flag-electoral-fraud

Anon | Aug 19, 2017 3:50:28 PM | 57
somebody

You spread so much lies and fake news.

1. "I never said Trump voters were Nazis, they were anti-Hillary. Including the non-voters."
No they voted because of his economic policy.

2. "He is dissociating from the Nazis in a left wing publication, why do you think that is? Because his Nazi friends have become toxic but don't read left wing publications. He did not say that in Breitbart."
Lol you are making up stupid conspiracy theories, he said something about Charlottesville because he was asked to obviously.
You cant accept what Bannon is saying you are making up things in your head. If you cant accept reality, what matter is our discussion? But keep those conspiracy theories coming because those are novel.

3. "Now what does Breitbart say: "CNN normalizes Antifa - Leftists seek peace through violence".
Now, again, who was violent in Charlottesville? What do the videos show?"

Yes they sure do, the videos show violence on both sides, apparently you and CNN see the world in such bad/good sides. You have become blind by the liberal MSM apparently.
As far as violence in europe,

Europol: Leftists Carried Out 27 Times More Terror Attacks Than Right-Wingers
- https://twitter.com/prisonplanet/status/877535259952328704

You believe Antifa is some kind of peace loving party. Next time they might get a lunatic behind the wheel.

karlof1 | Aug 19, 2017 4:05:13 PM | 58
I highly suggest MoA barflys read Pepe Escobar's analysis of Bannon's departure, https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201708191056603401-steve-bannon-white-house-trump-war/

On other threads, the need for solidarity's been raised by myself and others. I believe what I'll call the Hate Resistance or Anti-Hate forces could provide the foundation for the required rise of a Progressive-Populist Movement, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/19/alt-right-gathers-boston-thousands-counter-rally-fight-supremacy Now, I understand that those with the money behind these counter protests are anything but Progressive or want to see Populism rise; however, the required solidarity's been generated, so all that's needed is for Direction to be supplied for a bottom->up Movement to grow and become a new political force that could even tap into some of the issues Bannon will certainly raise.

okie farmer | Aug 19, 2017 4:19:56 PM | 59
Night of the Long Knives
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Night of the Long Knives (disambiguation).
Night of the Long Knives

Ernst Röhm (right) with Kurt Daluege
and Heinrich Himmler
Native name
Unternehmen Kolibri
Duration
June 30 – July 2, 1934
Location: Nazi Germany

Also known as
Operation Hummingbird, Röhm Putsch (by the Nazis), The Blood Purge

Type: Coup d'état and purge

Cause: Conflicts between Strasserist and Hitler
Organised by

Adolf Hitler
Joseph Goebbels
Heinrich Himmler
Reinhard Heydrich

Participants
Schutzstaffel (Hitler faction)
Sturmabteilung (Röhm faction)
Unorganized regime opposition
Outcome
Adolf Hitler's supremacy confirmed
Elimination of opposition to the Nazi Government
Casualties
85 officially and upwards to 150–200 total

The Night of the Long Knives (German: Nacht der langen Messer (help·info)), also called Operation Hummingbird (German: Unternehmen Kolibri) or, in Germany, the Röhm Putsch[a] (German spelling: Röhm-Putsch), was a purge that took place in Nazi Germany from June 30 to July 2, 1934, when the Nazi regime carried out a series of political extrajudicial executions intended to consolidate Hitler's absolute hold on power in Germany. Many of those killed were leaders of the SA (Sturmabteilung), the Nazis' own paramilitary Brownshirts organization; the best-known victim was Ernst Röhm, the SA's leader and one of Hitler's longtime supporters and allies.

Leading members of the left-wing Strasserist faction of the Nazi Party (NSDAP), along with its figurehead, Gregor Strasser, were also killed, as were establishment conservatives and anti-Nazis (such as former Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher and Bavarian politician Gustav Ritter von Kahr, who had suppressed Adolf Hitler's Munich Beer Hall Putsch in 1923). The murders of Brownshirt leaders were also intended to improve the image of the Hitler government with a German public that was increasingly critical of thuggish Brownshirt tactics.

smuks | Aug 19, 2017 4:22:09 PM | 60
@somebody 22

The similarities go on and on, it's plain ridiculous, almost embarrassing to even point them out.

Bannon is a dangerous ideologue. I have no idea if Trump himself has any political beliefs, probably not - but he loves and needs popular support. And if he doesn't manage to create 'jobs, jobs, jobs', what will he do?

T. is pretty alone now, that's true. Having no political standpoints, this makes him an easy target for others to drive into a corner and manipulate - and afterwards, they'll say: "Trump is crazy, we told you so, this war was all his fault and his alone!"

Yeah, sure. And of course, the blame for WW2 lies entirely with a few 'crazy Nazis', the German (and international) capital elite had nothing to do with it, they didn't want the Nazis to destroy the Soviet Union, no no...

The parallels are plain ridiculous.

smuks | Aug 19, 2017 4:42:17 PM | 61
@okie farmer 59

Yes, this was the crucial moment: Those Nazis who actually believed their own anti-elite propaganda had to be eliminated, so the rest could serve as a popular figurehead for pro-elite policies. H. had the support of the masses, but what he did served the interest of the '1%' - including the war on Soviet Russia, which they wanted. Of course, afterwards the German money elite had nothing to do with it, it was all done by those 'crazies', and that's what the history books still tell us today...

@StephenLaudig 55

lol, kudos! Last orders, please!

Anon | Aug 19, 2017 4:45:53 PM | 62
smuks and somebody

You consider Trump a nazi/fascists, sure then you you consider Putin a fascist/nazi too?

smuks | Aug 19, 2017 4:49:13 PM | 63
@james 43

"trump at this point looks very weak and not in control.. "

That's exactly what I wrote more than a year ago, and why I didn't want him to be president: He may not be an 'evil person' (I have no idea), but he's weak and prone to doing 'stupid stuff' when in a difficult situation.

I do hope Russia and China understand this, and act accordingly/ offer him a face-saving way out.

smuks | Aug 19, 2017 4:51:14 PM | 64
@Anon 62

re-read my comments, you completely missed the point.

I don't like Putin's policies much, but he's intelligent and responsible.

Just Sayin' | Aug 19, 2017 5:59:31 PM | 66
Trump Continues to Resist Pressure for Afghan Escalation

Pence, McMaster Lead Call for Escalation

Friday's Camp David talks on Afghanistan appear to have ended without a final decision by President Trump on troop levels, as he continues to resist pressure from top cabinet officials to sign off on a massive escalation of the 16-year-old conflict with thousands of fresh troops.

Trump had initially delegated the decision to Defense Secretary James Mattis, but Mattis found a cap limiting his maximum deployment too restrictive.

Now, Vice President Pence and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster are also taking up the cause of large-scale escalation, pushing Trump to accept the recommendations of the commanders.Pence and McMaster were at the Camp David meeting, but Blackwater founder Erik Prince, who has been pushing a "privatize the war" initiative, was blocked, apparently at the behest of McMaster.

Trump aide Steve Bannon, another skeptic of military escalation, was sacked outright.

What's the purpose of the "escalation"?

Why escalate in Afghanistan?
What has happened recently to require such an escaltion?

(Nothing, as far as I can see)

So why "escalate?

As far as I can see Trump is no longer in charge of any of the several wars the US is currebtly waging. If he ever was in charge in the first place.

As far as I can tell, the purpose of any escalation would simply be: "to escalate". With all the increase in expenditure that such an escalation would naturally require.

Throughout the Obama era troop levels in afghanistan were raised and lowered without any rhyme or reason, with no connection to events on the ground, that I could see.

Nothing has changed in that regard since Tronald took charge.

If anything this confirms Orwell's theory, espoused in his "Theory and Practice of Oligarical Collectivism", that the purpose of war is: "To wage war".

Thus filling the coffers of those who profit from waging war. And more importantly emptying the treasury of funds that could be used to improve living conditions for the proles. Proles of all different skin colours.

Nothing has changed in that regard since the Obama era.

Except: the circus has a new show on, to distract the " stupid little people". Instead of "gender wars" the show at the local theatre changed to "race wars"

But at the end of the day, it's still just a show, just like it was under Obomber, designed to distract.

Bread and Circuses.

Since nothing has changed, claims of Nazism aimed at Trump are nonsense, unless the person making the claim was making the exact same claim regarding
Obama.

Which they weren't

Which brings us back to the "stupid little people"

Just Sayin' | Aug 19, 2017 6:04:15 PM | 67
Btw.

Obama was heavily backed by the billionaire Pritzker family. One of them was put in charge of the treasury. One of them is a gender-bender, once a he, now a she. Hence the gender wars. Ever feel you've been had?

frances | Aug 19, 2017 6:07:55 PM | 68
There are a few assumptions that are driving the Trump is doomed story. The first; he is unthinking, borderline stupid. The second: he is isolated. The third; he has no plan.

I think they are wrong on all counts. I believe he is shrewd, his business dealings show that. He is not isolated as he trusts very few people and relies on his family and only his family. He has few people close to him by choice. Finally he clearly has plans and surrounding himself with military give you a glimpse into his thinking. He has just announced an upgrade to the cyber security agency and it may take over NSA responsibilities.

The Pentagon has long been at war with the CIA/State Dept and the NSA. He is backing the Pentagon and with their help can decimate his and their enemies. As for congress, he has been assembling a war chest and in the 2018 elections will support those who are loyal to him. He will bury the Republicans who failed to come up with a healthcare plan, he will bury the Republicans who failed to support him. He was a leading developer worldwide, dealing with some of the world's biggest business sharks do you seriously think he can't take on Congressional sycophants?

MadMax2 | Aug 19, 2017 6:27:02 PM | 69
The U.S. appears ungovernable at this time, the hysterical temper whipped up on all sides, no reasoned thinking. I guess we're now getting a look at the big show Obama was able to put on for us, when in actual fact things were ungovernable all along - it's just so, so exposed now under Trump. He's being bitten by the people closest to him. Repeatedly.

There would be a way for a country to escape such internal capitulation if there were a visible rule of law, or maybe some code of ethics on show. Rule of the rich should look this way, paying for the pleasure of watching other people watch monkeys to throw shit at one another daily.

JustSayin' | Aug 19, 2017 6:36:31 PM | 70
One more:

Trump is probably best known, amongst the proles, as host of the show "The Apprentice". The premise of this show was that he gathered together a whole bunch of asshats and then one by one fired all of them.

Fast Forward to 2017 and the Trump presidency.

He gathered a whole bunch of asshats around him and one by one fired all of em . . . . .

Say what you like about the man, but at least he's consistent ;-)

Copeland | Aug 19, 2017 6:40:47 PM | 71
Americans who simply ignore President Trump's occasionally hints of brutality ( that police should be even rougher or more brutal in their dealings with criminal suspects), are citizens proceeding at their own peril. President Obama, in his heyday, made public statements, in which he pronounced Army private Bradley (Chelsea) Manning guilty of treason;--a young soldier who had been held in brutal detention in a military stockade,--when no trial had even begun. The law is found to be expedient when it serves political ends, and is otherwise ignored.

In preemptive violence they trust: glorification of abusive power and coersion, and demonization of the Other. It's truly a bi-partisan thing we are seeing: the last links to sanity being removed. No one is sure what the little extra nudge it might be, that could hurl us down into social chaos. Whether Trump proves himself more or less dangerous than Hillary Clinton would have been, simply shrinks into insignificance, compared to the US Congress, and the bi-partisan consensus for irrational global dominance that keeps pushing us toward destruction.

But some liberals have decided that the Day of Antifa is not such a bad thing; meaning we should duke it out in the streets with crazier right wingers, hoping that the contagion of hate will spread throughout the land. Mark Bray, a lecturer at Dartmouth College, is giving the necessity of preemptive violence his academic blessing. With the flood of adrenaline, the blood thickens and grows hot, and eventually spills out on the paving stones and the curb.

On the other hand, the inchoate lunges and political retractions, the firings and shuffling of personnel in the administration, is not at all inspiring. If Trump brings any more generals into the National Security Council, people will have even more reason to worry. Bannon's departure, in and of itself, will probably not change the trajectory that the US government is locked into. Bannon is not the pilot of Trump's soul, nor is he the Mephistopheles whispering into the ear of Trump.

What keeps me awake at night is the knowledge that the only time Congress rallies to Trump, is when they are confident that he is about to start pushing out the borders of the empire, economically strangling small countries,--or better still, when he proves his mettle by bombing and killing folks. Does this president have the grit to resist foolhardy military adventures, or improve diplomatic relations with countries that view the US with alarm, or to put people back to work and rebuild the domestic economy? It's hard to say how.

JustSayin' | Aug 19, 2017 6:43:35 PM | 72
re: #71
Says the guy who back in 2008 was pimping for Obama. telling us all how he represented a change.

Seriously: why would anyone ever listen to anything you have to say about anything?

smuks | Aug 19, 2017 6:43:42 PM | 73
@Anon 65

You seem to be rather cognitively challenged: I don't say Trump's a fascist, I say he 'probably has no political beliefs'. Go watch TV if complex arguments are too much for you.

Putin is no fascist either, but he needs extreme right-wing support so Russian fascists have a certain influence on him imo.

Just Sayin' | Aug 19, 2017 6:47:27 PM | 74
It's hard to say how.

Posted by: Copeland | Aug 19, 2017 6:40:47 PM | 71

even if it were easy, given your track record you'd probably fuck it up anyhow

psychohistorian | Aug 19, 2017 7:13:35 PM | 75
Can Trump do any more to show the rest of the world what a craven puppet the US has become to the God of Mammon folks?

I believe that all this strum and drang are the prelude for war or a major shift in geo-political focus on war as an economic engine of society. The next step in the prelude is either war or economic war, both about maintaining global private finance control or away from that model. The propaganda and fear mongering escalate so that rational discussion of the paths forward are obfuscated and misdirected.

Trump may have dropped a pilot but it is foolish to think that those who have piloted global private finance for centuries have let down their guard.

Copeland | Aug 19, 2017 7:14:55 PM | 76
72, 74

Are you one of those rare infallible gentlemen who never has made a mistake? Why are you making it personal? I can only guess that you are trolling. No one born in this world can pass through it free of error. But I guess you have pardoned yourself, given that you are an exception.

fast freddy | Aug 19, 2017 8:02:19 PM | 77
Rational Thought, reasoned thinking and discussion are not the tools of government, the military, religion or the angry mob.

Bullshit and flinging shit like monkeys offer proven and preferred methodologies.

psychohistorian | Aug 19, 2017 8:21:28 PM | 78
@ fast freddy who didn't credit any with the tool of Rational Thought

Below is a recent quote from Lord Rothschild that you can analyze keeping in mind that his organization reduced its US holdings from 62% to 37% of it portfolio in the past 6 months....
"
The period of monetary accommodation may well be coming to an end. Geopolitical problems remain widespread and are proving increasingly difficult to resolve. We therefore retain a moderate exposure to equity markets and have diversified our asset allocation towards equity investments where value creation is driven by some identifiable catalyst or which are exposed to longer-term positive structural trends.
"
Hey, he is being "upfront" about it........I wonder when the music stops?

Curtis | Aug 19, 2017 8:40:01 PM | 79
StephenLaudig 55
Thanks for the HHG reference. Sometimes we need some comedy to temper our outrage.

Yes, I agree Trump is now surrounded by Goldman Sachs, military types, and pro-Israel Jared. Nothing good can come of this. SecDef Gates resisted the warmongering of Team Obama but ultimately he went along with it. So even if there is some common sense among the generals, that doesn't mean they can prevent another warmongering misadventure. Tillerson has shown some restraint but it's hard to trust anyone in govt anymore.

V. Arnold | Aug 19, 2017 8:50:03 PM | 80
somebody | Aug 19, 2017 10:01:52 AM | 24

Trump would not have been elected without Robert Mercer. Robert Mercer is the billionaire behind Cambridge Analytica, Breitbart and Steve Bannon.

Who financed Adolf Hitler? Bingo! Finally, some one got the Mercers; both the father and the daughter.
http://therealnews.com/t2/story:19811:The-Real-Story-of-How-Bannon-and-Trump-Got-to-The-White-House

fudmier | Aug 19, 2017 9:04:03 PM | 81
We Americans have a problem: the USA is not performing as it should . We Americans have not solved the problem of how to satisfactorily staff a two man team capable to manage the white household, nor have we Americans done any better seating old 100 gents to rule the Senate, worse among us we seem unable to supply 425 jugglers, dancers, and actors the house of dancing confusion needs to sell its show time tickets. This staffing problem is an American problem, not a USA problem. Its time Americans set their minds to solving it.

Its disappointing to see that Trump may have a problem supporting people that pledge their reputations, futures, and positions to help Trump. In business I have seen many persons with this psychological problem, its not about the hired person, its about imperfection : even the slightest non-conforming misstep by the supportive employee is sufficient to bring about a vilification, a firing, and the like. It nows seems possible that the surround sound family in the white house was a defensive move designed to overcome a known-to-Trump problem that probably has plagued Trump his entire life. I put a short-run fantastic performing employee in charge of a significant managerial position; within a year he had fired nearly everyone in the place, some fired had 20 years of relevant experience. Five years later the same person repeated the performance, within a year everyone in the new place had been fired. Later, another person, this time an expert with 20 years experience in a particular line of business was bathed in venture capital and tasked to establish a new business within his expertise; he fired nearly everyone that he hired; some made it a year, but that was it. He ended up trying to run the business all by himself.

Gorgar Tilts | Aug 19, 2017 9:12:09 PM | 82
This will likely only hasten the inevitable: either the liquidation of cucks and neocons as the GOP becomes the implicit party of white nationalism, or the liquidation of the GOP as such at the hand of white nationalists.

The sooner either of these occur, the better it is going to be for the majority white population in the US. Probably for the black and brown populations, too.

smuks | Aug 19, 2017 9:17:51 PM | 83
Is it just me, or is Trump's team becoming more and more reminiscent of the Soviet politburo c. 1986 ?

@psycho 75

In other words, we either overcome capitalism or face war...unless, of course, we miraculously stumble upon the driver of a new Kondratieff. Without completely destroying the planet, that is.

psychohistorian | Aug 19, 2017 9:21:41 PM | 84
@ fudmier who posits that Americans have a problem.

I dare say that the problem Americans have is shared by the rest of the species. Society is stuck in feudal mode at its core with its fealty to the powers of global private finance and those who own it and have for centuries. The model of a few, unaccountable people, perpetuating the God of Mammon religion of private property, inheritance to insure continuation and that some humans are better than others inherently is a sick measure of what we think of as civilization.

All this shit going on is proxy manipulations like have been pursued by the elite for centuries. Humanity needs to lose its private finance pilot and set sail with a commonly piloted future.

psychohistorian | Aug 19, 2017 9:43:34 PM | 85
@ smuks who chimed in

Let me expand my thought.

I think our solution is as simple or complicated as we want to make it.....its all about a collective meme.

I have posited before here that the sewage treatment plants and water systems of the world are not the problem. Those things represent social advances that have been built to support towns and cities by governments.

I posit that government, by definition, is socialistic in purpose....and I further posit that we have forgotten this and/or this definition has been twisted by others. I grew up in Tacoma, Washington and had an uncle who was an engineer for the regional water/power SOCIALIST organization that is still in existence today.

The reason I make that point is that I believe that by "simply" evolving the private finance/property/inheritance component of our form of social organization we will immensely improve the incentives we live by.

We need to kill the God of Mammon. Who believes in this religion? Will humanity evolve past fealty to this god?

Grieved | Aug 19, 2017 10:06:59 PM | 86
@58 karlof1

Thanks for the Escobar link. The story makes great sense. It's good to know about Mercer and to see that Trump and Bannon are tight. Oddly, it did seem that with all the jackals circling around Trump's neck, in this one case, Bannon is more use outside the tent pissing in than inside pissing out. And Breitbart has now received a massive profile lift, it'll become a national player in the narrative, one would expect.

By the way, I was pondering lately this whole aspect of a grass roots movement. Funny you should bring it up. The only question here about the US is, will the people actually get a voice in this society? If the electoral system keeps bringing liars and betraying promises, then it's time to Occupy the Ballot and have new movements. This is happening I think, with Trump actually being one of the precursor litmus tests.

~~

As for the generals, what does a ruler need except the people and the army? Trump has them both. It makes him harder to take down with all those generals around. Of course, Caesar will have to accord with his praetorian guard or the guard will get a new Caesar. But the US is a banana republic now, this is how it's done - and I'm serious about this, these are real dynamics I think.

Surely the generals will end up being more conservative in action than in rhetoric? And if they get a little giddy and actually send their soldiers out into the real world, they'll quickly receive more of those globally public humiliations that are lowering the empire to the ground so effectively. What can go wrong, that couldn't always go wrong anyway, regardless of who's in charge, or thinks they're in charge?

Grieved | Aug 19, 2017 10:14:06 PM | 87
Reflecting that b's post is actually about who's steering the ship.

Personally, I don't know - or give much weight to - whether Trump is driving his own train here. The man shows an extraordinary plasticity, which is useful in the whirlwind that buffets him. He can afford to entertain a million ideas, players and plans. He will outlive them all, I suspect. Despite enormous gaffes, he stays afloat. It's not a Teflon thing, it's a buoyancy thing, or something. Maybe it lies in the country being seen as so crazy and screwed up right now that no one can claim the high ground, and meanwhile he is, after all the elected president, and keeps showing up for work every day as if he's in charge.

I don't see the country as broken, unless the people accept this false narrative concocted by the media about sides split by division. Admittedly, from all the arguing and attacking going on in this thread, one could guess that maybe the false narrative will win.

But we could draw much comfort from the words of this young black woman, Red Pill Black, in a 5 minute YouTube essay that has a quarter million views so far in the last 2 days. She makes stunningly good sense - it's worth 5 minutes or your money back: I Don't Care About Charlottesville, the KKK, or White Supremacy

And I have some respect for the tide of history, and would challenge the notion that anyone was ever really in charge anyway. And this is the great promise that I think Trump still holds. I believe he will bend with the prevailing winds, within his belief system - and there are winds stirring that no one controls, I think. History again. I can't prove it, or even point to it at this stage, but I'm happy enough to wait.

Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 19, 2017 11:05:03 PM | 88
Given that Trump's Inauguration speech included a promise to challenge the abusive power of the Swamp/Deep State, anyone who expected something other than a Magical Mystery Tour, or imagined that he would behave predictably, is utterly clueless about Leadership, Power, and the predictable consequences of "throwing down the gauntlet."
fudmier | Aug 19, 2017 11:48:56 PM | 89
All this shit going on is proxy manipulations like have been pursued by the elite for centuries. Humanity needs to lose its private finance pilot and set sail with a commonly piloted future.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 19, 2017 9:21:41 PM | 84

Ever heard of the enclosure acts ? Do you know which wealthy propaganda artist and lobbyist placed Art. I, Sec. 8, (8) in the US constitution? The Congress shall have the power ...to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries..." ?

Any idea how the patent and copyright clause has been used to force on the people of the world the crime of kill and take, lie and steal everything from whomever capitalism? Imagine the monopoly power the Wall Street Bandits can insert into corporations by raising enough money to enable the corporation to acquire monopoly rights in any & all great ideas [THEY CAN OWN the marketing rights and make the profits from ANYTHING ANYONES MIND CAN THINK UP]that can be reduced to objects than can make money.

MONOPOLY POWER is a requirement of SUCCESSFUL CAPITALISM?

Patents and copyrights produce a great portion of the faults we are all so upset about. Americans have a problem, the USA is not performing satisfactorily because those in charge of the USA respond only to the global capitalist who have sufficient funds to purchase what they USA is selling.

Most Americans cannot afford to buy what the USA is selling?

[Aug 20, 2017] Stick a fork in Trump. He's done.

Aug 20, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Vannok | Aug 19, 2017 2:50:47 PM | 50

The US Regime has just attacked the SAA fighting on the frontline against IS:

US Regime Attack

Stick a fork in Trump. He's done.

[Aug 18, 2017] "Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don't die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don't know what you're talking about, there's no military solution here, they got us

At least Bannon does not look like a sociopath as Hillary "We came, we saw he died" and her inner cicle. He has some concerns about South koreian population, dying for US empire geopolitical goals.
Notable quotes:
"... "Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don't die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don't know what you're talking about, there's no military solution here, they got us." ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | www.msn.com

... [in] an Aug. 16 interview he initiated with a writer with whom he had never spoken, with the progressive publication The American Prospect. In it, Mr. Bannon mockingly played down the American military threat to North Korea as nonsensical: "Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don't die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don't know what you're talking about, there's no military solution here, they got us."

He also bad-mouthed his colleagues in the Trump administration, vowed to oust a female diplomat at the State Department and mocked officials as "wetting themselves" over the consequences of radically changing trade policy.

[Aug 18, 2017] Banish Bannon Trump weighs his options as top aides feud Defend Democracy Press

Aug 18, 2017 | www.defenddemocracy.press

For months, U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser and his chief strategist have battled for influence behind the scenes, and their feud may force another shake-up at the White House.

The dispute between Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster and political strategist Stephen Bannon has reached a level of animosity that is destabilizing Trump's team of top advisers just as the administration tries to regain lost momentum, three senior officials said.

Under pressure from moderate Republicans to fire Bannon, Trump declined to publicly back him on Tuesday, although he left his options open. "We'll see what happens with Mr. Bannon," he told reporters at Trump Tower in New York.

Read more at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-bannon-analysis-idUSKCN1AV2MZ

[Aug 18, 2017] Alt-Right and Ultra-Zionist Alliance against National Security Advisor McMaster

Notable quotes:
"... He was then moved quickly to contain the influence of chief strategist Steve Bannon, who McMaster removed from the National Security Council. If you recall, he was appointed to contain other Trump loyalists such as Michael Flynn, as well. ..."
"... Recently, a campaign accusing him of being anti-Israel has been waged with the support of billionaire Sheldon Adelson by a coalition of alt-right nationalists that includes Steve Bannon ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | therealnews.com

Remember Lieutenant-General Herbert Raymond McMaster? He was appointed as President Trump's national security adviser back in February. He was then moved quickly to contain the influence of chief strategist Steve Bannon, who McMaster removed from the National Security Council. If you recall, he was appointed to contain other Trump loyalists such as Michael Flynn, as well.

Recently, a campaign accusing him of being anti-Israel has been waged with the support of billionaire Sheldon Adelson by a coalition of alt-right nationalists that includes Steve Bannon and extreme right-wing Zionists such as the president of the Zionist Organization of America, Morton Klein, as well as by Israeli journalist Caroline Glick from the Jerusalem Post. President Trump, in response to all of this, called McMaster "a good man, very pro-Israel," and Israeli officials have also come forward calling McMaster a friend of Israel.

On to talk about these connections and tensions is Shir Hever. Shir is a Real News correspondent in Heidelberg, Germany. Of course, he covers Israel and Palestine for us extensively. I thank you so much for joining us, Shir.

SHIR HEVER: Thanks for having me, Sharmini.

SHARMINI PERIES: Shir, President Trump is now six months into his office as president. He initially has appointed his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to take up the Israel file, but there are these allegations flying against General McMaster. Explain to us what's going on. Why are these individuals like Sheldon Adelson even concerned about how Trump is responding in terms of Israel and Israel policy?

SHIR HEVER: I think there's very little that General McMaster can actually do about Israel or against Israel. It really doesn't matter much. The only issue that has come up was the Iran nuclear deal, and I think this is going to be a decision taken directly by President Trump and not by McMaster. Also, what exactly is the Israel interest regarding the Iran nuclear deal? It is not so clear. Obviously, Prime Minister Netanyahu has a certain opinion, but other Israeli politicians have other opinions.

I think this is really a symbolic issue. There are people in the alt-right and also the extreme Zionism who are using this old worn-out accusation that somebody is anti-Israel in order to get their own people into the National Security Council, in order to exert influence on the Trump administration. This coalition between extreme right nationalists, white nationalists in the United States, and Jewish Zionists, which traditionally were on opposing sides, are now working together because of this very strange rise of this alt-right.

SHARMINI PERIES: All right. Now, give us a greater sense of the connection or the tensions between these alt-right organizations and McMaster and Bannon. Map this for us.

SHIR HEVER: Yeah. I've been looking through these accusations that Caroline Glick, deputy editor of the Jerusalem Post, and Steve Bannon himself, and also Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America. What problem do they have with McMaster? They make very vague things about some statements that he made, but they couldn't put them in context. He said that Israel is an occupying power. Of course, Israel is an occupying power, but they couldn't place that statement. The only thing that their criticism boils down to is they say McMaster is a remnant of the Obama administration. He continues the Obama policies, and therefore he's not loyal to Trump.

I think this is the crux of the matter, because actually, for people like Caroline Glick and I think also for Sheldon Adelson, their relation to Trump borders on religious. They consider Trump to be some kind of messiah or savior that will allow Israel once and for all to annex the occupied territory, expand its borders, and then the land will be redeemed. They talk about this in religious terminology.

Here's the problem. Trump has been president for six months now, and Israel did not annex the territory. It did not expand its borders. In fact, it has gone from one crisis to the next, and the Israeli government is not able to cement its power over the Palestinians. Palestinian resistance is not tied down. They're looking for an explanation. The explanation is that something is not pure in the Trump administration, and they're pointing the finger at McMaster saying, "Because of people like him who are sabotaging Trump's own policies from the inside, then this is preventing the Trump administration from reaching its full potential."

SHARMINI PERIES: Right. Obviously, Netanyahu and the Israeli government doesn't agree with this assessment. In fact, they have come out supporting McMaster as being a good supporter of Israel. How does this play out here?

SHIR HEVER: Absolutely. Prime Minister Netanyahu is doing real politics. He knows that there's nothing that President Trump can do that will actually make Israel suddenly conquer more territory. That's not the point. Netanyahu is trying to balance a very complicated system with pressure from different points, and he is a populist, and he's only in power because of his populism. Now, his administration is under threat because of corruption allegations, so this is a problem for him. When people expect that the Trump administration will free his hands to do whatever he wants, Netanyahu suddenly has a problem because he needs to come up with a new excuse. Why doesn't he annex all the occupied territory?

Of course, for him, it's not a good time to get into a fight with the Trump administration. He wants to create the impression that things are happening under the surface, that he is in the know, that his friends are involved in this, but I think the fact that Sheldon Adelson, the big financial supporter of Netanyahu, is now switching to support extreme right groups that have nothing to do with the interests of the Israeli current administration, but are actually trying to push the Israeli administration to move further to the extreme right and to annex territory, that puts Netanyahu in trouble. I think it also spells some clouds over the warm relationship between Netanyahu and Adelson.

SHARMINI PERIES: Coming back to this side of things here in the United States, in light of the events of Charlottesville, Shir, showing a direct link between the alt-right and hardcore racists and neo-Nazis, why would extreme right-wing Zionist Jewish organizations and individuals like Glick and Klein agree to cooperate with the alt-right in this way?

SHIR HEVER: I think people on the left tend to forget that, just like the left considers itself to be a kind of universalist movement, and that leftists around the world should have solidarity with each other, the right also has a kind of solidarity, especially the extreme right. Extreme right movements in different countries consider the extreme right in other countries to be their allies. One of the things we saw in Charlottesville is that some of these neo-Nazi groups and white nationalist groups are big supporters of Bashar Al-Assad in Syria, because they see him as the kind of strong leader they would like to see in the United States as well.

For people who see Donald Trump talking about America first, then they're saying, "Okay, that's exactly the kind of administration we want to see in Israel, somebody taking about Israel first." For Caroline Gluck or for a Morton Klein, they are willing to accept a very heavy load of racism and even anti-semitism against Jews from the Trump administration and from its supporters in exchange for being allowed to copy that same kind of racism and that same kind of right-wing policy towards their minorities. Just like the American administration has its minorities, Muslims, Mexicans which are being targeted, Israel also has its minorities, Palestinians and asylum-seekers, and they want those people to be targeted in the same harsh language and the same harsh policies, so that we can [inaudible] a great compromise.

I have to say, the events in Charlottesville had a profound impact on Israeli public opinion. In fact, there are a lot of Israelis who are very concerned about this kind of coalition. They are saying, "No, there's not that much that we're willing to take in order to keep the relations with the Trump administration on good footing." Because of that, the president of Israel, President Rivlin, and also the education minister Naftali Bennett issued statements condemning white nationalists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville. I think Naftali Bennett, who is the head of the Jewish Nationalist Party in Israel, and he's actually of the same political camp as Caroline Glick, as Morton Klein, when he makes that statement, that shows that even he thinks that they have gone too far.

SHARMINI PERIES: Interesting analysis, Shir. I thank you so much for joining us today. I guess the situation in Charlottesville is evolving, and it would be interesting to continue to keep an eye on what's developing here against what's happening in Israel as well. Thank you so much.

SHIR HEVER: Thank you, Sharmini.

SHARMINI PERIES: Thank you for joining us here on the Real News Network.

Jibaro 4 hours ago

Confusing, at least to me, in any case I believe that the Zionists learned a lot from the Nazis and there is very little difference between the two groups. I would say that the main difference lies in the fact that the Zionists are sneakier and know how to play with popular opinion. That's why it doesn't surprise me that they are making a common cause with the white supremacists groups.

The only surprise here is that they are doing it openly now. They have become brave and have decided to take the backlash. Perhaps they are doing so because they know they have the support of Trump.

Divide and conquer. Soon we will be fighting on our own streets against each other. It will be the death of the US...

Donatella 10 hours ago

"For Caroline Gluck or for a Morton Klein, they are willing to accept a very heavy load of racism and even anti-semitism against Jews from the Trump administration and from its supporters in exchange for being allowed to copy that same kind of racism and that same kind of right-wing policy towards their minorities."

I have great respect for Shir Hever, he has great insight into Israel society and politics. However, his statement that Klein and Glick (and maybe Adelson) want to be "allowed" to copy Trump's supporter's racism and right-wing policies towards minorities in Israel is beyond hilarious. Minorities in Israel have been and continue to be subjected to racist and supremacist policies (much worse than anything Trump supporters can even imagine) by the Zionists since the theft of Palestinian's land in 1948. The Israelis are not just pursuing racist policies but as Israeli historian Ilan Pappe said, they are committing slow motion genocide against the Palestinians.

[Aug 18, 2017] Stephen Bannon Out at the White House After Turbulent Run

Now whom Trump represents? GS and military industrial complex ?
Aug 18, 2017 | www.msn.com

"White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day," the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement. "We are grateful for his service and wish him the best."

... ... ...

On Tuesday at Trump Tower in New York, Mr. Trump refused to guarantee Mr. Bannon's job security but defended him as "not a racist" and "a friend." "We'll see what happens with Mr. Bannon," Mr. Trump said. Mr. Bannon's dismissal followed an Aug. 16 interview he initiated with a writer with whom he had never spoken, with the progressive publication The American Prospect.

In it, Mr. Bannon mockingly played down the American military threat to North Korea as nonsensical: "Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don't die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don't know what you're talking about, there's no military solution here, they got us." He also bad-mouthed his colleagues in the Trump administration, vowed to oust a diplomat at the State Department and mocked officials as "wetting themselves" over the consequences of radically changing trade policy.

Of the far right, he said, "These guys are a collection of clowns," and he called it a "fringe element" of "losers." "We gotta help crush it," he said in the interview, which people close to Mr. Bannon said he believed was off the record. Privately, several White House officials said that Mr. Bannon appeared to be provoking Mr. Trump and that they did not see how the president could keep him on after the interview was published.

[Aug 18, 2017] Trump betrayed his antiglobalism agenda when he elevated the roles of Gary D. Cohn, his top economic policy adviser and a former official at Goldman Sachs, and Dina Powell, a former Bush administration official who also worked on Wall Street

Notable quotes:
"... Mr. Bannon had been aligned with Mr. Kelly's predecessor, Reince Priebus, who was forced out in late July. More significantly, Mr. Bannon has been in a battle with Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, since the spring ..."
"... Mr. Bannon, whose campaign against "globalists" was a hallmark of his tenure steering the right-wing website Breitbart.com, and Mr. Kushner had been allies throughout the transition process and through the beginning of the administration. ..."
"... But their alliance ruptured as Mr. Trump elevated the roles of Gary D. Cohn, his top economic policy adviser and a former official at Goldman Sachs, and Dina Powell, a former Bush administration official who also worked on Wall Street... ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | www.msn.com

"We gotta help crush it," he said in the interview, which people close to Mr. Bannon said he believed was off the record.

Mr. Bannon's departure was long rumored in Washington. The president's new chief of staff, John F. Kelly , a retired Marine Corps general who was brought on for his ability to organize a chaotic staff, was said to have grown weary of the chief strategist's long-running feud with Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser.

Mr. Bannon had been aligned with Mr. Kelly's predecessor, Reince Priebus, who was forced out in late July. More significantly, Mr. Bannon has been in a battle with Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, since the spring.

Mr. Bannon, whose campaign against "globalists" was a hallmark of his tenure steering the right-wing website Breitbart.com, and Mr. Kushner had been allies throughout the transition process and through the beginning of the administration.

But their alliance ruptured as Mr. Trump elevated the roles of Gary D. Cohn, his top economic policy adviser and a former official at Goldman Sachs, and Dina Powell, a former Bush administration official who also worked on Wall Street...

[Aug 18, 2017] The Corporate fascist - with grains of salt - USA. The democracy part is fiction, camouflaged via a fools theatre two-party system and ginormous social re-distribution, amongst others.. the Core (PTB) found itself through miscalculation and loss of power subject to a challenger who broke thru the organised/fake elections, to attempt some kind of readjustement - renewal - reset...

Ethnic nationalism rises when the state and the nation experience economic difficulties. Weimar republic is a classic example here.
Notable quotes:
"... That's exactly nationalism, for sure. The work of that wealth creation by the way is done by the all the classes below the rentier class, from working to middle class. The funneling upwards thing is actually theft. ..."
"... The middle class is shrinking and being pushed down closer to rage because the wealth-stealing mechanisms have become bigger and better, and saturated the entire national system, including its electoral politics. This real face of capitalism has driven out the iconic American Dream, which was the essence of upward mobility. ..."
"... Nationalism is an ugly word, but it's easily reached for when there aren't any better words around. In Russia, they already went through what faces the US, and they figured it out. ..."
"... "In our view, faster growth is necessary but not sufficient to restore higher intergenerational income mobility," they wrote. "Evidence suggests that, to increase income mobility, policymakers should focus on raising middle-class and lower-income household incomes." ..."
"... Advocating smoothed-out relations with Russia (for commercial perso reasons, Tillerson, etc. and a need to grade adversaries and accept some into the fold, like Russia, instead of Iran ), a more level playing field, multi-polar world, to actually become more dominant in trade (China etc.) and waste less treasure on supporting enemies, aka proxy stooges, to no purpose (e.g. Muslim brotherhood, Al Q kooks, ISIS) and possibly even Israel ! hmmm. ..."
"... The old guard will do much to get rid of the upstart and his backers (who they are exactly I'd quite like to know?) as all their positions and revenues are at risk ..."
"... The Trump crowd seems at the same time both vulnerable and determined and thus navigating à vue as the F say, by sight and without a plan An underground internal war which is stalemated, leading to instrumentalising the ppl and creating chaos, scandals, etc. ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Tay | Aug 18, 2017 6:56:05 AM | 82

The US has no problem generating wealth, and has no need to force conflict with China. The US's problem is that that wealth is funneled upwards. Wealth inequality is not a meme. "Shrinking middle class" is a euphemism for downward-mobility of the middle class, an historical incubator for Reaction. And that's what we have here, reactionaries from a middle class background who now are earning less than their parents at menial jobs, or who are unemployed, becoming goons; aping the klan, appropriating nazi icons, blaming the foreigner, the negro, the Jew, the Muslim, for their circumstances. A "trade war" will not help them one iota, it will make their lives worse, and Bannon will go out and say it's the fault of the foreigner and the immigrant, their numbers wool swell. More terror, depper culture wars. I suppose that's nationalism to some people.

Grieved | Aug 18, 2017 9:51:21 AM | 83

@82 Tay

That's exactly nationalism, for sure. The work of that wealth creation by the way is done by the all the classes below the rentier class, from working to middle class. The funneling upwards thing is actually theft.

The middle class is shrinking and being pushed down closer to rage because the wealth-stealing mechanisms have become bigger and better, and saturated the entire national system, including its electoral politics. This real face of capitalism has driven out the iconic American Dream, which was the essence of upward mobility.

Nationalism is an ugly word, but it's easily reached for when there aren't any better words around. In Russia, they already went through what faces the US, and they figured it out.

Since we're looking for the grown-ups, let's turn to Vladimir Putin, always reliable for sanity when direction is lost.

Putin recalled the words of outstanding Soviet Russian scholar Dmitry Likhachev that patriotism drastically differs from nationalism. "Nationalism is hatred of other peoples, while patriotism is love for your motherland," Putin cited his words.

-- Putin reminds that "patriotism drastically differs from nationalism"

somebody | Aug 18, 2017 11:00:25 AM | 86
83
Upward mobility has fallen sharply
"In our view, faster growth is necessary but not sufficient to restore higher intergenerational income mobility," they wrote. "Evidence suggests that, to increase income mobility, policymakers should focus on raising middle-class and lower-income household incomes."

Interventions worth considering include universal preschool and greater access to public universities, increasing the minimum wage, and offering vouchers to help families with kids move from poor neighborhoods into areas with better schools and more resources, they said.

Is there any political party or group in the US that suggests this?

Noirette | Aug 18, 2017 11:56:04 AM | 90
The Corporate "fascist" - with grains of salt - USA. The 'democracy' part is fiction, camouflaged via a fools theatre two-party system and ginormous social re-distribution, amongst others.. the Core (PTB) found itself through miscalculation and loss of power subject to a challenger who broke thru the \organised/ fake elections, to attempt some kind of re-adjustement - renewal - re-set - review...

Advocating smoothed-out relations with Russia (for commercial perso reasons, Tillerson, etc. and a need to grade adversaries and accept some into the fold, like Russia, instead of Iran ), a more level playing field, multi-polar world, to actually become more dominant in trade (China etc.) and waste less treasure on supporting enemies, aka proxy stooges, to no purpose (e.g. Muslim brotherhood, Al Q kooks, ISIS) and possibly even Israel ! hmmm.

Heh, the profits of domination are to be organised, extracted and distributed, differently. One Mafia-type tribe taking over from another! Ivanka will be The Sweet First Woman Prezzie! Style, Heart, Love, Looks! Go!

The old guard will do much to get rid of the upstart and his backers (who they are exactly I'd quite like to know?) as all their positions and revenues are at risk, so they are activating all - anything to attack. The Trump crowd seems at the same time both vulnerable and determined and thus navigating à vue as the F say, by sight and without a plan An underground internal war which is stalemated, leading to instrumentalising the ppl and creating chaos, scandals, etc.

[Aug 18, 2017] Steve Bannon goes as the military takes over the Trump administration by Alexander Mercouris

Notable quotes:
"... Bannon's removal does not just remove from the White House a cunning political strategist. It also removes the one senior official in the Trump administration who had any pretensions to be an ideologist and an intellectual. ..."
"... n saying I should say that I for one do not rate Bannon as an ideologist and intellectual too highly. Whilst there can be no doubt of Bannon's media and campaigning skills, his ideological positions seem to me a mishmash of ideas – some more leftist than rightist – rather than a coherent platform. I also happen to think that his actual influence on the President has been hugely exaggerated. Since the inauguration I have not seen much evidence either of Bannon's supposed influence on the President or of his famed political skills. ..."
"... The only occasion where it did seem to me that Bannon exercised real influence was in shaping the text of the speech the President delivered during his recent trip to Poland. ..."
"... I have already made known my views of this speech . I think it was badly judged – managing to annoy both the Germans and the Russians at the same time – mistaken in many of its points, and the President has derived no political benefit from it. ..."
"... As for Bannon's alleged political skills, he has completely failed to shield the President from the Russiagate scandal and appears to me to have done little or nothing to hold the President's electoral base together, with Bannon having been almost invisible since the inauguration. ..."
"... The US's core electorate is becoming increasingly alienated from its political class; elements of the security services are openly operating independently of political control, and are working in alliance with sections of the Congress and the media – both now also widely despised – to bring down a constitutionally elected President, who they in turn despise. ..."
"... The only institution of the US state that still seems to be functioning as normal, and which appears to have retained a measure of public respect and support, is the military, which politically speaking seems increasingly to be calling the shots. ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | theduran.com

The announcement of the 'resignation' of White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon represents the culmination of a process which began with the equally forced 'resignation' of President Trump's first National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn.

Individuals who were close to Donald Trump during his successful election campaign and who largely framed its terms – people like Bannon and Flynn – have been picked off one by one.

Taking their place is a strange coalition of former generals and former businessmen of essentially conventional Republican conservative views, which is cemented around three former generals who between them now have the levers of powers in their hands: General Kelly, the President's new Chief of Staff, General H.R. McMaster, his National Security Adviser, and General Mattis, the Secretary of Defense.

In the case of Bannon, it is his clear that his ousting was insisted on by General Kelly, who is continuing to tighten his control of the White House.

Bannon's removal – not coincidentally – has come at the same time that General H.R. McMaster is completing his purge of the remaining Flynn hold-overs on the staff of the National Security Council.

Bannon's removal does not just remove from the White House a cunning political strategist. It also removes the one senior official in the Trump administration who had any pretensions to be an ideologist and an intellectual.

I n saying I should say that I for one do not rate Bannon as an ideologist and intellectual too highly. Whilst there can be no doubt of Bannon's media and campaigning skills, his ideological positions seem to me a mishmash of ideas – some more leftist than rightist – rather than a coherent platform. I also happen to think that his actual influence on the President has been hugely exaggerated. Since the inauguration I have not seen much evidence either of Bannon's supposed influence on the President or of his famed political skills.

Bannon is sometimes credited as being the author of the President's two travel ban Executive Orders. I am sure this wrong. The Executive Orders clearly originate with the wishes of the President himself. If Bannon did have any role in them – which is possible – it would have been secondary to the President's own. I would add that in that case Bannon must take some of the blame for the disastrously incompetent execution of the first of these two Executive Orders, which set the scene for the legal challenges that followed.

The only occasion where it did seem to me that Bannon exercised real influence was in shaping the text of the speech the President delivered during his recent trip to Poland.

I have already made known my views of this speech . I think it was badly judged – managing to annoy both the Germans and the Russians at the same time – mistaken in many of its points, and the President has derived no political benefit from it.

However it is the closest thing to an ideological statement the President has made since he took office, and Bannon is widely believed – probably rightly – to have written it.

As for Bannon's alleged political skills, he has completely failed to shield the President from the Russiagate scandal and appears to me to have done little or nothing to hold the President's electoral base together, with Bannon having been almost invisible since the inauguration.

In view of Bannon's ineffectiveness since the inauguration I doubt that his removal will make any difference to the Trump administration's policies or to the support the President still has from his electoral base, most of whose members are unlikely to know much about Bannon anyway.

It is in a completely different respect – one wholly independent of President Trump's success or failure as President – that the events of the last few weeks give cause for serious concern.

The events of the last year highlight the extent to which the US is in deep political crisis.

The US's core electorate is becoming increasingly alienated from its political class; elements of the security services are openly operating independently of political control, and are working in alliance with sections of the Congress and the media – both now also widely despised – to bring down a constitutionally elected President, who they in turn despise.

All this is happening at the same time that there is growing criticism of the economic institutions of the US government, which since the 2008 financial crisis have seemed to side with a wealthy and unprincipled minority against the interests of the majority.

The only institution of the US state that still seems to be functioning as normal, and which appears to have retained a measure of public respect and support, is the military, which politically speaking seems increasingly to be calling the shots.

It is striking that the only officials President Trump can nominate to senior positions who do not immediately run into bitter opposition have been – apart from General Flynn, who was a special case – senior soldiers.

Now the military in the persons of Kelly, McMaster and Mattis find themselves at the heart of the US government to an extent that has never been true before in US history, even during the Presidencies of former military men like Andrew Jackson, Ulysses Grant or Dwight Eisenhower.

The last time that happened in a major Western nation – that the civilian institutions of the state had become so dysfunctional that the military as the only functioning institution left ended up dominating the nation's government and deciding the nation's policies – was in Germany in the lead up to the First World War.

Time will show what the results will be this time, but the German example is hardly a reassuring one.

[Aug 18, 2017] Pentagon took over White house: The firing of Bannon leaves the Generals without an opposing view. They will no longer be contradicted.

Notable quotes:
"... We were the sole superpower, Earth's hyperpower, its designated global sheriff, the architect of our planetary future. After five centuries of great power rivalries, in the wake of a two-superpower world that, amid the threat of nuclear annihilation, seemed to last forever and a day (even if it didn't quite make it 50 years), the United States was the ultimate survivor, the victor of victors, the last of the last. It stood triumphantly at the end of history. In a lottery that had lasted since Europe's wooden ships first broke out of a periphery of Eurasia and began to colonize much of the planet, the United States was the chosen one, the country that would leave every imperial world-maker from the Romans to the British in its shadow. ..."
"... Engelhardt still doesn't understand that 911 was supposed to (and did) solidify the justification for the expansion of The American Century since we now made our own rules and reality. ..."
"... The Bannon interview is fascinating, but don't forget that he's a strategist: He says what he thinks will serve his purpose, not necessarily what he believes. ..."
"... Now he's gone, whether for good time will tell. And Trump is looking rather isolated. If he feels his position becomes too complicated or even untenable, he might do 'stupid stuff' - and as I mentioned earlier, this may be just what the Neocons want: With the US decline accelerating both internally and globally, 'war' may seem the last option to them. But of course, they don't want the blame - they want to be able to say 'see, we told you he's crazy, but you didn't listen.' Difficult times. ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Are we a step closer to War?

Posted by: CarlD | Aug 18, 2017 2:16:17 PM | 96

jawbone | Aug 18, 2017 2:19:23 PM | 97

Well, with Bannon gone who will have most influence over Trump now? Will the rest of the Alt-Righters stay at the White House? Hhhmmm...

Meanwhile, while the MCM (mainstream corporate media) is unable to focus on more that one or two things, Trump has signed an executivve order which will have real work consequences as sea levels rise. Under Obama, a rule was developed to require infrastructure projects to consider the effects of global warming on flooding, effects of storms, etc. Now, developers are free to build what and where they want, with no consideration for the possible damage which might destroy those projects in the future.

Throw-away society on a grand --and expensive-- scale.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/donald-trump-scrap-rule-protect-094700052.html

Oh, my. Things ought to be interesting in DC in the near future. Dangerous all over in the long run.

jawbone | Aug 18, 2017 2:20:53 PM | 98
Oops. Real work consequences should have been real world consequences. Preview is a good tool to use....
karlof1 | Aug 18, 2017 2:29:00 PM | 99
Presumably, Bannon's mouth ( American Prospect interview) got him fired--requested to resign--at the instigation of Chief of Staff Gen. Kelly, with it being spun nicely: "Kelly and Bannon "have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. 'We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.'" https://www.rt.com/usa/400175-trump-fires-bannon-strategist/

Now it appears that Trump's completely surrounded by the former generals he appointed--a different version of Seven Days in May? Or is it the fantastical number of contradictions finally coming home to roost as The Saker seems to think, http://thesaker.is/the-neocons-are-pushing-the-usa-and-the-rest-of-the-world-towards-a-dangerous-crisis/

When Trump got elected, I thought the best outcome would be total gridlock in DC; and in some ways, that's what's occurred. Yet, as The Saker points out, something's afoot if the propaganda published by Newsweek--which is owned by Bezos--is any indication.

It's Friday. The Syrian Army is making huge gains. Congress is in recess. And the weather forecast for Monday's eclipse here on the Oregon coast is looking positive--no fog!

karlof1 | Aug 18, 2017 2:37:52 PM | 100 previous page
Yeah jawbone, it's a good tool. I should've used it prior to my comment being grabbed by the spambot. Al Gore's opined Trump should resign, indicating he favors Pence, which send s what sort of message given the context Gore opined? https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/18/al-gore-has-just-one-small-bit-advice-trump-resign As most barflys know, Pence is far worse on most things than Trump. Did Gore just out himself as a previously closeted Neocon?
Anonymous | Aug 18, 2017 2:40:58 PM | 101
Another "grown up"?:

Mattis to back Kiev's claim to Crimea during Ukraine visit

US Defense Secretary James Mattis will visit Ukraine next week and reassure the government in Kiev that the US still considers Crimea a part of the country's territory, the Pentagon said. Mattis will tell Kiev the US is "firmly committed to the goal of restoring Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

fastfreddy | Aug 18, 2017 2:42:16 PM | 102
Manifest Destiny and Religious Zealotry (extremism) were manifested in recent history by America's Great Leaders. Here's General Boykin:

You know what? I knew that my God was bigger than his [about Muslims in Somalia]. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.

Many other quotes here:

http://www.azquotes.com/author/39645-William_G_Boykin

Greg M | Aug 18, 2017 2:55:25 PM | 103
@96, I view this as part of an effort to push back against anti Iran pro Israel hard liners. First with Flynn, then McMaster forcing out Flynn allies, and now Bannon. Not that McMaster and his people are not pro Israel or possess any redeeming qualities, but it is important to understand that Bannon and those in his circle are NOT anti interventionists.
@Madderhatter67 | Aug 18, 2017 3:21:06 PM | 104
Thirdeye & Fastfreddy

Thirdeye "The third eye is a mystical and esoteric concept of a speculative invisible eye which provides perception beyond ordinary sight." Wikipedia ;)

This is a good read. Especially for Thirdeye blind.

Pardon Me!
High Crimes and Demeanors in the Age of Trump
By Tom Engelhardt

Let me try to get this straight: from the moment the Soviet Union imploded in 1991 until recently just about every politician and mainstream pundit in America assured us that we were the planet's indispensable nation, the only truly exceptional one on this small orb of ours.

We were the sole superpower, Earth's hyperpower, its designated global sheriff, the architect of our planetary future. After five centuries of great power rivalries, in the wake of a two-superpower world that, amid the threat of nuclear annihilation, seemed to last forever and a day (even if it didn't quite make it 50 years), the United States was the ultimate survivor, the victor of victors, the last of the last. It stood triumphantly at the end of history. In a lottery that had lasted since Europe's wooden ships first broke out of a periphery of Eurasia and began to colonize much of the planet, the United States was the chosen one, the country that would leave every imperial world-maker from the Romans to the British in its shadow.

Who could doubt that this was now our world in a coming American century beyond compare?

And then, of course, came the attacks of 9/11................ The rest below.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/

Anonymous | Aug 18, 2017 3:34:25 PM | 105
Greg D

You couldnt be more wrong: Bannon, Flynn etcetera was actually quite sane compared to the other neocon, deepstate figures coming in, go figure why these people had to go - think also why someone like Mattis DONT have to go and is loved by the media, deep state etcetera.

karlof1 | Aug 18, 2017 3:37:18 PM | 106
@Madderhatter67 @104--

Engelhardt still doesn't understand that 911 was supposed to (and did) solidify the justification for the expansion of The American Century since we now made our own rules and reality.

smuks | Aug 18, 2017 6:50:43 PM | 107
Nah...don't quite agree on this one. The Bannon interview is fascinating, but don't forget that he's a strategist: He says what he thinks will serve his purpose, not necessarily what he believes.

Now he's gone, whether for good time will tell. And Trump is looking rather isolated. If he feels his position becomes too complicated or even untenable, he might do 'stupid stuff' - and as I mentioned earlier, this may be just what the Neocons want: With the US decline accelerating both internally and globally, 'war' may seem the last option to them. But of course, they don't want the blame - they want to be able to say 'see, we told you he's crazy, but you didn't listen.' Difficult times.

[Aug 18, 2017] Robert Kuttner

Notable quotes:
"... "To me," Bannon said, "the economic war with China is everything. And we have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we're five years away, I think, ten years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we'll never be able to recover." ..."
"... Bannon's plan of attack includes: a complaint under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act against Chinese coercion of technology transfers from American corporations doing business there, and follow-up complaints against steel and aluminum dumping. "We're going to run the tables on these guys. We've come to the conclusion that they're in an economic war and they're crushing us." ..."
"... "The Democrats," he said, "the longer they talk about identity politics, I got 'em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats." ..."
"... For ideas on how to counter the far-right agenda in the aftermath of the events in Charlottesville, click here . ..."
Aug 16, 2017 | prospect.org
You might think from recent press accounts that Steve Bannon is on the ropes and therefore behaving prudently. In the aftermath of events in Charlottesville, he is widely blamed for his boss's continuing indulgence of white supremacists. Allies of National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster hold Bannon responsible for a campaign by Breitbart News, which Bannon once led, to vilify the security chief. Trump's defense of Bannon, at his Tuesday press conference, was tepid.

But Bannon was in high spirits when he phoned me Tuesday afternoon to discuss the politics of taking a harder line with China, and minced no words describing his efforts to neutralize his rivals at the Departments of Defense, State, and Treasury. "They're wetting themselves," he said, proceeding to detail how he would oust some of his opponents at State and Defense.

Needless to say, I was a little stunned to get an email from Bannon's assistant midday Tuesday, just as all hell was breaking loose once again about Charlottesville, saying that Bannon wished to meet with me.

Needless to say, I was a little stunned to get an email from Bannon's assistant midday Tuesday, just as all hell was breaking loose once again about Charlottesville, saying that Bannon wished to meet with me. I'd just published a column on how China was profiting from the U.S.-North Korea nuclear brinkmanship, and it included some choice words about Bannon's boss.

"In Kim, Trump has met his match," I wrote. "The risk of two arrogant fools blundering into a nuclear exchange is more serious than at any time since October 1962." Maybe Bannon wanted to scream at me?

I told the assistant that I was on vacation, but I would be happy to speak by phone. Bannon promptly called.

Far from dressing me down for comparing Trump to Kim, he began, "It's a great honor to finally track you down. I've followed your writing for years and I think you and I are in the same boat when it comes to China. You absolutely nailed it."

"We're at economic war with China," he added. "It's in all their literature. They're not shy about saying what they're doing. One of us is going to be a hegemon in 25 or 30 years and it's gonna be them if we go down this path. On Korea, they're just tapping us along. It's just a sideshow."

Bannon said he might consider a deal in which China got North Korea to freeze its nuclear buildup with verifiable inspections and the United States removed its troops from the peninsula, but such a deal seemed remote. Given that China is not likely to do much more on North Korea, and that the logic of mutually assured destruction was its own source of restraint, Bannon saw no reason not to proceed with tough trade sanctions against China.

Contrary to Trump's threat of fire and fury, Bannon said: "There's no military solution [to North Korea's nuclear threats], forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don't die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don't know what you're talking about, there's no military solution here, they got us." Bannon went on to describe his battle inside the administration to take a harder line on China trade, and not to fall into a trap of wishful thinking in which complaints against China's trade practices now had to take a backseat to the hope that China, as honest broker, would help restrain Kim.

"To me," Bannon said, "the economic war with China is everything. And we have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we're five years away, I think, ten years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we'll never be able to recover."

Bannon's plan of attack includes: a complaint under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act against Chinese coercion of technology transfers from American corporations doing business there, and follow-up complaints against steel and aluminum dumping. "We're going to run the tables on these guys. We've come to the conclusion that they're in an economic war and they're crushing us."

But what about his internal adversaries, at the departments of State and Defense, who think the United States can enlist Beijing's aid on the North Korean standoff, and at Treasury and the National Economic Council who don't want to mess with the trading system?

"Oh, they're wetting themselves," he said, explaining that the Section 301 complaint, which was put on hold when the war of threats with North Korea broke out, was shelved only temporarily, and will be revived in three weeks. As for other cabinet departments, Bannon has big plans to marginalize their influence.

"I'm changing out people at East Asian Defense; I'm getting hawks in. I'm getting Susan Thornton [acting head of East Asian and Pacific Affairs] out at State."

But can Bannon really win that fight internally?

"That's a fight I fight every day here," he said. "We're still fighting. There's Treasury and [National Economic Council chair] Gary Cohn and Goldman Sachs lobbying."

"We gotta do this. The president's default position is to do it, but the apparatus is going crazy. Don't get me wrong. It's like, every day."

Bannon explained that his strategy is to battle the trade doves inside the administration while building an outside coalition of trade hawks that includes left as well as right. Hence the phone call to me.

There are a couple of things that are startling about this premise. First, to the extent that most of the opponents of Bannon's China trade strategy are other Trump administration officials, it's not clear how reaching out to the left helps him. If anything, it gives his adversaries ammunition to characterize Bannon as unreliable or disloyal.

More puzzling is the fact that Bannon would phone a writer and editor of a progressive publication (the cover lines on whose first two issues after Trump's election were "Resisting Trump" and "Containing Trump") and assume that a possible convergence of views on China trade might somehow paper over the political and moral chasm on white nationalism.

The question of whether the phone call was on or off the record never came up. This is also puzzling, since Steve Bannon is not exactly Bambi when it comes to dealing with the press. He's probably the most media-savvy person in America.

I asked Bannon about the connection between his program of economic nationalism and the ugly white nationalism epitomized by the racist violence in Charlottesville and Trump's reluctance to condemn it. Bannon, after all, was the architect of the strategy of using Breitbart to heat up white nationalism and then rely on the radical right as Trump's base.

He dismissed the far right as irrelevant and sidestepped his own role in cultivating it: "Ethno-nationalism!it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more."

"These guys are a collection of clowns," he added.

From his lips to Trump's ear.

"The Democrats," he said, "the longer they talk about identity politics, I got 'em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats."

I had never before spoken with Bannon. I came away from the conversation with a sense both of his savvy and his recklessness. The waters around him are rising, but he is going about his business of infighting, and attempting to cultivate improbable outside allies, to promote his China strategy. His enemies will do what they do.

Either the reports of the threats to Bannon's job are grossly exaggerated and leaked by his rivals, or he has decided not to change his routine and to go down fighting. Given Trump's impulsivity, neither Bannon nor Trump really has any idea from day to day whether Bannon is staying or going. He has survived earlier threats. So what the hell, damn the torpedoes.

The conversation ended with Bannon inviting me to the White House after Labor Day to continue the discussion of China and trade. We'll see if he's still there.

For ideas on how to counter the far-right agenda in the aftermath of the events in Charlottesville, click here .

[Aug 18, 2017] What Bannon's exit might mean the end of even the pretense that Trumpist economic policy is anything different from standard Republicanism

To a certain extent Bannon symbolized backlash against neoliberal globalization, that is mounting in the USA. With him gone Trump is a really emasculated and become a puppet of generals, who are the only allies left capable to run the show. Some of them are real neocons. What a betrayal of voters who are sick and tired of wars for expansion and protection of global neoliberal empire.
Notable quotes:
"... So if Bannon is out, what's left? It's just reverse Robin Hood with extra racism. On real policy, in other words, Trump is now bankrupt. ..."
"... with Bannon and economic nationalism gone, he will eventually double down on that part even more. If anything, Trumpism is going to get even uglier, and Trump even less presidential (if such a thing is possible) now that he has fewer people pushing for trade wars. ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Christopher H. , August 18, 2017 at 01:24 PM

https://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2017/08/18/whither-trumpism/

Whither Trumpism?

by Paul Krugman

AUGUST 18, 2017 1:48 PM

Everyone seems to be reporting that Steve Bannon is out. I have no insights about the palace intrigue; and anyone who thinks Trump will become "presidential" now is an idiot. In particular, I very much doubt that the influence of white supremacists and neo-Nazis will wane.

What Bannon's exit might mean, however, is the end of even the pretense that Trumpist economic policy is anything different from standard Republicanism ! and I think giving up the pretense matters, at least a bit.

The basics of the U.S. economic debate are really very simple. The federal government, as often noted, is an insurance company with an army: aside from defense, its spending is dominated by Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (plus some ACA subsidies).

Conservatives always claim that they want to make government smaller. But that means cutting these programs ! and what we know now, after the repeal debacle, is that people like all these programs, even the means-tested programs like Medicaid. Obama paid a large temporary price for making Medicaid/ACA bigger, paid for with taxes on the wealthy, but now that it's in place, voters hate the idea of taking it away.

So what's a tax-cutter to do? His agenda is fundamentally unpopular; how can it be sold?

One long-standing answer is to muddy the waters, and make elections about white resentment. That's been the strategy since Nixon, and Trump turned the dial up to 11. And they've won a lot of elections ! but never had the political capital to reverse the welfare state.

Another strategy is to invoke voodoo: to claim that taxes can be cut without spending cuts, because miracles will happen. That has sometimes worked as a political strategy, but overall it seems to have lost its punch. Kansas is a cautionary tale; and under Obama federal taxes on the top 1 percent basically went back up to pre-Reagan levels.

So what did Trump seem to offer that was new? First, during the campaign he combined racist appeals with claims that he wouldn't cut the safety net. This sounded as if he was offering a kind of herrenvolk welfare state: all the benefits you expect, but only for your kind of people.

Second, he offered economic nationalism: we were going to beat up on the Chinese, the Mexicans, somebody, make the Europeans pay tribute for defense, and that would provide the money for so much winning, you'd get tired of winning. Economic nonsense, but some voters believed it.

Where are we now? The herrenvolk welfare state never materialized, in part because Trump is too lazy to understand policy at all, and outsourced health care to the usual suspects. So Trumpcare turned out to be the same old Republican thing: slash benefits for the vulnerable to cut taxes for the rich. And it was desperately unpopular.

Meanwhile, things have moved very slowly on the economic nationalism front ! partly because a bit of reality struck, as export industries realized what was at stake and retailers and others balked at the notion of new import taxes. But also, there were very few actual voices for that policy with Trump's ear ! mainly Bannon, as far as I can tell.

So if Bannon is out, what's left? It's just reverse Robin Hood with extra racism. On real policy, in other words, Trump is now bankrupt.

But he does have the racism thing. And my prediction is that with Bannon and economic nationalism gone, he will eventually double down on that part even more. If anything, Trumpism is going to get even uglier, and Trump even less presidential (if such a thing is possible) now that he has fewer people pushing for trade wars.


[Aug 18, 2017] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/18/us/politics/steve-bannon-trump-white-house.html

Notable quotes:
"... Lots of dunces, but chief strategist Steve Bannon, sadly, isn't one of them. The intellectual leader of the alt-right movement is no genius – nobody with his political views could be – but neither is he an idiot. He's one of the few people in that White House with even a primitive grasp of long-term strategy, which makes his impulsive-seeming decision to call The American Prospect this week curious. ..."
"... In the interview, Bannon said there was "no military solution" to North Korea's posturing. He stressed his efforts to fight economic war with China, adding, in a Scaramuccian touch, that his intramural foes on that front were "wetting themselves." ..."
"... "The longer they talk about identity politics, I got 'em," he said. "I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats." ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | www.nytimes.com

Reply Friday, August 18, 2017 at 10:19 AM

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/taibbi-fire-steve-bannon-w498354

Fire Steve Bannon

The Trump administration's stubbly race warrior reminds us why he's so dangerous

By Matt Taibbi
21 hours ago

The list of nitwits in the Trump administration is long. Betsy DeVos, in charge of education issues, seems capable of losing at tic-tac-toe. Ben Carson thought the great pyramids of Egypt were grain warehouses. Rick Perry, merely in charge of the nation's nuclear arsenal, probably has post-it notes all over his office to remind him what things are: telephone, family photo, souvenir atomic-reactor paperweight, etc.

Lots of dunces, but chief strategist Steve Bannon, sadly, isn't one of them. The intellectual leader of the alt-right movement is no genius – nobody with his political views could be – but neither is he an idiot. He's one of the few people in that White House with even a primitive grasp of long-term strategy, which makes his impulsive-seeming decision to call The American Prospect this week curious.

In the interview, Bannon said there was "no military solution" to North Korea's posturing. He stressed his efforts to fight economic war with China, adding, in a Scaramuccian touch, that his intramural foes on that front were "wetting themselves."

When asked about the Charlottesville tragedy, Bannon called the neo-Nazi marchers "a collection of clowns." He also called them "losers" and a "fringe element."

This theoretically should be a dark time for Bannon, since Charlottesville reminded the whole world of his inexplicable and indefensible presence in the White House. The story has even the National Review howling for his dismissal.

But Prospect writer Robert Kuttner noted with surprise in his piece that Bannon seemed upbeat. He essentially told Kuttner he believed the Charlottesville mess and stories like it were a long-term political windfall for people like himself.

"The longer they talk about identity politics, I got 'em," he said. "I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats."

...
Reply Friday, August 18, 2017 at 10:20 AM

The president and senior White House officials were debating when and how to dismiss Stephen K. Bannon as chief strategist.

Mr. Bannon had clashed for months with other senior West Wing advisers and members of the president's family.

Trump Tells Aides He Has Decided to Remove Stephen Bannon https://nyti.ms/2vKGSNG

NYT - MAGGIE HABERMAN - August 18

President Trump has told senior aides that he has decided to remove Stephen K. Bannon, the embattled White House chief strategist who helped Mr. Trump win the 2016 election, according to two administration officials briefed on the discussion.

The president and senior White House officials were debating when and how to dismiss Mr. Bannon. The two administration officials cautioned that Mr. Trump is known to be averse to confrontation within his inner circle, and could decide to keep on Mr. Bannon for some time.

As of Friday morning, the two men were still discussing Mr. Bannon's future, the officials said. A person close to Mr. Bannon insisted the parting of ways was his idea, and that he had submitted his resignation to the president on Aug. 7, to be announced at the start of this week, but the move was delayed after the racial unrest in Charlottesville, Va.

Mr. Bannon had clashed for months with other senior West Wing advisers and members of the president's family.

But the loss of Mr. Bannon, the right-wing nationalist who helped propel some of Mr. Trump's campaign promises into policy reality, raises the potential for the president to face criticism from the conservative news media base that supported him over the past year.

Mr. Bannon's many critics bore down after the violence in Charlottesville. Outraged over Mr. Trump's insistence that "both sides" were to blame for the violence that erupted at a white nationalist rally, leaving one woman dead, human rights activists demanded that the president fire so-called nationalists working in the West Wing. That group of hard-right populists in the White House is led by Mr. Bannon.

On Tuesday at Trump Tower in New York, Mr. Trump refused to guarantee Mr. Bannon's job security but defended him as "not a racist" and "a friend."

"We'll see what happens with Mr. Bannon," Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Bannon's dismissal followed an Aug. 16 interview he initiated with a writer with whom he had never spoken, with the progressive publication The American Prospect. In it, Mr. Bannon mockingly played down the American military threat to North Korea as nonsensical: "Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don't die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don't know what you're talking about, there's no military solution here, they got us." ...
Reply Friday, August 18, 2017 at 10:37 AM
Trump on North Korea https://nyti.ms/2vI6smj
NYT - MARK LANDLER - August 17

WASHINGTON ! For all his fire-breathing nationalism ! the demands to ban Muslims, build a wall on the Mexican border and honor statues of Confederate heroes ! Stephen K. Bannon has played another improbable role in the Trump White House: resident dove.

From Afghanistan and North Korea to Syria and Venezuela, Mr. Bannon, the president's chief strategist, has argued against making military threats or deploying American troops into foreign conflicts.

His views, delivered in a characteristically bomb-throwing style, have antagonized people across the administration, leaving Mr. Bannon isolated and in danger of losing his job. But they are thoroughly in keeping with his nationalist credo, and they have occasionally resonated with the person who matters most: President Trump.

Mr. Bannon's dovish tendencies spilled into view this week in unguarded comments he made about North Korea to a liberal publication, The American Prospect. Days after Mr. Trump threatened to rain "fire and fury" on the North Korean government if it did not curb its belligerent behavior, Mr. Bannon said, "There's no military solution here; they got us." ...
Reply Friday, August 18, 2017 at 10:43 AM

The casualties are not worth the little chance of blunting Kim.

Beside look: with all that money and training and so forth....DDG 62, an Aegis destroyer could not stay safe in peaceful water!

US can't poke ISIS out of Raqqa in 3 years, what would happen with 2 million soldier tough as VC?

+outside of Lemay/MacArthur nukes. Reply Friday, August 18, 2017 at 02:12 PM

"When asked about the Charlottesville tragedy, Bannon called the neo-Nazi marchers "a collection of clowns." He also called them "losers" and a "fringe element.""

Maybe that was it? Why would he call the Prospect? Did he think he was calling the American Conservative and it was off the record? Did he know he was out?
Reply Friday, August 18, 2017 at 10:45 AM

Stephen K. Bannon's exit was described in a White House statement as a mutual decision between Mr. Bannon and Chief of Staff John Kelly.

Critics of Mr. Bannon, a right-wing nationalist, bore down after the violence in Charlottesville.

Stephen Bannon Out at the White House After
Turbulent Run https://nyti.ms/2vKGSNG

Stephen K. Bannon, the embattled chief strategist who helped President Trump win the 2016 election but clashed for months with other senior West Wing advisers, is leaving his post, a White House spokeswoman announced Friday.

"White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day," the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement. "We are grateful for his service and wish him the best." ... Reply Friday, August 18, 2017 at 11:31 AM

What kind of talk doesn't threaten the money and power of the 0.1%?

What kind of talk do we get and from whom? Reply Friday, August 18, 2017 at 10:55 AM

"The Democratic Party isn't going back to the days of welfare reform and the crime bill."

by Jake Johnson, staff writer
....................
"The Democratic Party isn't going back to the days of welfare reform and the crime bill," Warren said. "We're not going back to the days of being lukewarm on choice. We're not going back to the days when universal healthcare was something Democrats talked about on the campaign trail but were too chicken to fight for after they got elected."

"And," Warren concluded, "we're not going back to the days when a Democrat who wanted to run for a seat in Washington first had to grovel on Wall Street."

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/18/centrist-democrats-riled-warren-says-days-lukewarm-policies-are-over

[Aug 18, 2017] Steve Bannon's work is done. Donald Trump doesn't need him now - Opinion - The Guardian

Notable quotes:
"... Tragic that so many in the US don't seem able to see that the problem is gross economic inequality in their country, regardless of race. But divide and rule still works well for the ruling class. ..."
"... There's more to it than that. Its true that the white working class in America are the only group that the media feels it is acceptable to insult/denigrate. What was it Obama said - People in small towns clinging on to their religion & guns. ..."
"... The white middle class has to walk the walk with respect of social justice. Due to the economics of it, multiculturalism has affected the working classes far more than the middle classes. As I say, I'm prepared for the consequences personally, but I wonder how many others would be. ..."
"... People may underestimate the populist element in Bannon's make up. As Scaramucci tells it, both he and Bannon had white middle class fathers who had played with a straight bat and had their retirement savings wiped out in 2008 and all that, while the fat cats were saved by Uncle Sam. Maybe a story just for the telling, but it is out there. ..."
"... "In Bannon's view, we are in the midst of an existential war, and everything is a part of that conflict. Treaties must be torn up, enemies named, culture changed. Global conflagration, should it occur, would only prove the theory correct. For Bannon, the Fourth Turning has arrived. The Grey Champion, a messianic strongman figure, may have already emerged. The apocalypse is now. ..."
"... I got the strong sense that Trump was hunkered down defensively and baring his teeth like a feral dog trapped in a corner. ..."
"... Trump is not Mussolini or Franco in that he is not a true believer ..."
"... With the exception of the military which at this point is a state unto itself the government is a paradox of being both omnipresent and nowhere and thus truly Kafkaesque...utterly opaque and completely visible at all times... ..."
"... The left's focus on identity politics is the reason this Bannon chump is relevant at all. The switch in focus from class to race and gender has segmented the working class from the common struggle. A people divided. This is about the only strategic fact Bannon understands. But it is an important one. ..."
"... Identity politics at its core is mostly untenable and while it might treat the symptoms of disease in the short run it will always collapse under the weight of its internal inconsistencies. The blind squirrel Bannon has found his nut. Continuing to assert that poor white men have it made is demonstrably false and offensive. And gives the alt-right plenty of tools to recruit. ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

jessthecrip , 18 Aug 2017 09:16

Tragic that so many in the US don't seem able to see that the problem is gross economic inequality in their country, regardless of race. But divide and rule still works well for the ruling class.

So a billionaire like Trump, with Bannon's aid, does whatever he can to focus the disatisfaction of the population on people who have a different skin colour, rather than the vastly rich elites who have grabbed such a massive share of US wealth and power - and demand yet more

joey2000 -> jessthecrip , 18 Aug 2017 09:29

There's more to it than that. Its true that the white working class in America are the only group that the media feels it is acceptable to insult/denigrate. What was it Obama said - People in small towns clinging on to their religion & guns.

Must have gone down really well in those rustbelt towns where everyone is on oxycontin out of sheer despair. But hey, they're only rednecks so who cares right ?

JerHig -> jessthecrip , 18 Aug 2017 09:36

Tragic that so many in the US don't seem able to see that the problem is gross economic inequality in their country, regardless of race. But divide and rule still works well for the ruling class.

Exactly, it's all about creating a group you can point to and say "at least you're not as bad off as them!"

When your entire existence is predicated on 'at least I'm not the worst off' it becomes frightening when those who were previously 'worse off' start improving. But instead of improving themselves they try and bring the others down again.

MattSpanner -> Isomewhatagree , 18 Aug 2017 09:34

That's what I don't get about the Nazis who turned up in Charlottsville: they chanted "Jews will not replace us" and also "we're going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump". How can Nazis believe Trump is on their side when his daughter is married to a Jew? There are so many contradictions in this situation that I can't get my head around it.

asparagusnextleft -> MattSpanner , 18 Aug 2017 09:40

It's simple. They're fucking idiots.

Fwaffy -> BrokenLogic , 18 Aug 2017 09:34

It's remarkable isn't it, the man appears to be visibly decomposing. It's been suggested that the statue of Robert E Lee was his penultimate Horcrux.

MattSpanner -> Fwaffy , 18 Aug 2017 09:49

He looks like an alchy.

therebythegrace -> MattSpanner , 18 Aug 2017 10:13

Or Dorian Gray's picture. Maybe the more evil Trump gets, the worse Bannon looks?

Ravenblade -> Bjerkley , 18 Aug 2017 10:35

Someone has to lose out in a redistribution of anything, be it political power or wealth. I mention the white middle classes because they tend to the the keyboard warriors refusing to tackle the insecurities and concerns of the white working class, and simply resorting to calling them racist.

The white middle class has to walk the walk with respect of social justice. Due to the economics of it, multiculturalism has affected the working classes far more than the middle classes. As I say, I'm prepared for the consequences personally, but I wonder how many others would be.

Agree with your latter point and I'm sensitive to the fact that within class groups, minorities and women remain disadvantaged; I'm not saying we don't continue to look at that. But realistically, on an economic level, you're not going to get white working class men accepting that middle class minorities or women are disadvantaged compared to them, are you? The only reason this distinction doesn't seem to happen (class lines) is because most of the SJW contingent suddenly have to check an aspect of privilege they're unkeen to pay attention to.

tamborineman , 18 Aug 2017 09:27

People may underestimate the populist element in Bannon's make up. As Scaramucci tells it, both he and Bannon had white middle class fathers who had played with a straight bat and had their retirement savings wiped out in 2008 and all that, while the fat cats were saved by Uncle Sam. Maybe a story just for the telling, but it is out there.

As to Bannon still in the job, I think LBJ's story about tents and which way the piss goes applies.

Bjerkley -> tamborineman , 18 Aug 2017 09:31

Maybe a story just for the telling, but it is out there.

As others have noted, given that both of them worked in finance/had some background in finance, it's odd that their fathers lost savings which could have been avoided (Bannon's father, for instance, only lost out because he sold his stock but it regained its value shortly afterwards, i.e. it was a bad financial decision). But as you say, its out there.

KeithNJ -> Bjerkley , 18 Aug 2017 09:54

Indeed. If you held on through the crash you now have double the money you had in 2007.

There are some pretty basic retirement rules (60/40 equity to bonds or less, keep 2 years in cash) which if anyone followed would have resulted in no pain from the crash, just some anxiety.

If he got greedy, had 100% in equities and sold at the bottom of the market because he had not kept a cash cushion - well he cannot blame the Chinese for that.

Of course he was bitter before his son became a billionaire, but to still be bitter is more about character than the economy.

MattSpanner , 18 Aug 2017 09:28

"In Bannon's view, we are in the midst of an existential war, and everything is a part of that conflict. Treaties must be torn up, enemies named, culture changed. Global conflagration, should it occur, would only prove the theory correct. For Bannon, the Fourth Turning has arrived. The Grey Champion, a messianic strongman figure, may have already emerged. The apocalypse is now.

"What we are witnessing," Bannon told The Washington Post last month, "is the birth of a new political order.""

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/steve-bannon-apocalypse_us_5898f02ee4b040613138a951

...and along comes N.Korea and makes all Bannon's dreams come true.


richmanchester
-> MattSpanner
, 18 Aug 2017 09:34

Though in Bannon's last interview he explicitly stated there was no military option available wrt North Korea.

Dwaina Tembreull -> userforaday , 18 Aug 2017 09:54

An interesting interpretation of his behavior. I got the strong sense that Trump was hunkered down defensively and baring his teeth like a feral dog trapped in a corner.

ID4524057 , 18 Aug 2017 17:49

" and it has forged an indefatigable core of support that will stay with Trump through the next general election and beyond."

Except that atavistic and uneducated people can and will change their sense of allegiance on a dime or a whim and given the fact that Trump is not an ideologue but rather an unstable pathological narcissist and a bigot (versus espousing a coherent racist plan of action because he has a particular ideological agenda) there is no way to effectively predict what his actions will echo in that part of his base and therefore no way to predict what his base will do if Trump is untethered from Bannon. Trump is as likely to make a boneheaded deal with China that pleases Wall Street as he is to accidentally start a war. He is as likely to break his support as he is to cement it.

As Christopher Hitchens said:

"A feature, not just of the age of the end of ideology, but of the age immediately preceding the age of the end of ideology, is that of the dictator who has no ideology at all."

Trump is not Mussolini or Franco in that he is not a true believer though he is a bigot and clearly dictatorial. Trump is all expediency first and faith second even if he has consistently been a racist.

The second problematic issue is that if you assert that Axelrod and Rove "achieved" anything of lasting consequence then Axelrod could not have followed Rove and Bannon could not have followed Axelrod.

Unlike in France where the president serves far longer the reelection cycle here with its utterly corrupt need to raise massive amounts of cash which then forces candidates to constantly be in race mode (and effectively reduces the period of actual governance to around 18 months) has created a perpetually unstable and ineffective bureaucracy that has more in common with late Ottoman inefficiency than it does with a contemporary "modern" state.

With the exception of the military which at this point is a state unto itself the government is a paradox of being both omnipresent and nowhere and thus truly Kafkaesque...utterly opaque and completely visible at all times...

Further, there is this: "There's another reason why firing Bannon wouldn't be a huge loss: his work is largely done."

In fact, Trump has achieved nothing and done nothing of lasting change to the bureaucracy. In a sense it is analogous to the situation with North Korea where, despite Trump's pale Strangelove imitation it was noted in the media that the military had made no changes to its posture.

... ... ...

jmad357 , 18 Aug 2017 17:53

The only time I have ever agreed with Bannon is that his analysis of the potential for N Korea to destroy S Korea with an artillery barrage. With about 12,000 artillery prices the North could launch somewhere around 50,000 shells per minute into Soul. Do the arithmetic for a 10 minute shelling. Any grandstanding by the US military is simply folly.

MasMaz , 18 Aug 2017 17:59

The left's focus on identity politics is the reason this Bannon chump is relevant at all. The switch in focus from class to race and gender has segmented the working class from the common struggle. A people divided. This is about the only strategic fact Bannon understands. But it is an important one.

Identity politics at its core is mostly untenable and while it might treat the symptoms of disease in the short run it will always collapse under the weight of its internal inconsistencies. The blind squirrel Bannon has found his nut. Continuing to assert that poor white men have it made is demonstrably false and offensive. And gives the alt-right plenty of tools to recruit.

[Aug 17, 2017] Grown-ups Versus Ideologues The Media Narrative of the White House May Be All Wrong

Notable quotes:
"... McMaster's was spewing nonsense. The same was said about the Soviet Union and China when they became nuclear weapons states. North Korea just became one . Conventional deterrence of both sides has worked with North Korea for decades. Nuclear deterrence with North Korea will work just as well as it did with the Soviet and Chinese communists. If North Korea were really not deterrable the U.S. should have nuked it yesterday to minimize the overall risk and damage. It is the McMaster position that is ideological and not rational or "grown up" at all. ..."
"... Compare that to Steve Bannon's take on the issue: ..."
"... "There's no military solution [to North Korea's nuclear threats], forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don't die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don't know what you're talking about, there's no military solution here, they got us." ..."
"... But looking at things now, rather than a spoilt paranoid kid, perhaps someone trained from an early age for leadership, and perhaps rather than being paranoid (Russia/China), perhaps a leader that finds it more important to create a deterrence against the US. Third generation at war with the US and his seen his father was fucked over when trying to make a deal with the US. NK's nuke and missile tech have come a long way in the few short years Kim Jong Un has been in power. ..."
"... "Deterrence is a strategy intended to dissuade an adversary from taking an action not yet started, or to prevent them from doing something that another state desires." ..."
"... Classic deterrence strategy IS working for NK perfectly. ..."
"... All one has to do to know what Bannon's position on Iran is to read Breitbart on any given day. Unless we are supposed to believe that Bannon's opinions are not reflected by the website he ran for four years. Bannon is for war against Islam in general, there is nothing "realist" about his foreign policy. ..."
"... @12... "Bannon is a fascist" I'm not so sure. Mussolini defined fascism as being an alliance of corporate and state powers... but Bannon (and most of his followers) have no trust in the corporate sector as they [the corporate sector] are to a large degree Globalists - they used the US and then threw it aside in pursuit of profit elsewhere. For that, he would even call them traitors. So you could call him a Nationalist. ..."
"... Bannon makes sense. That must be why many want him gone especially the neocons. As to North Korea, the US should have admitted "facts on the ground" long ago and worked to sign the official end of the war and work to get the two Koreas talking and working together. ..."
Aug 17, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

The Democrats and the media love the Pentagon generals in the White House. They are the "grown ups":

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., had words of praise for Donald Trump's new pick for national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster ! calling the respected military officer a "certified, card-carrying grown-up,"

According to the main-stream narrative the "grown ups" are opposed by " ideologues " around Trump's senior advisor Steve Bannon. Bannon is even infectious, according to Jeet Heer, as he is Turning Trump Into an Ethno-Nationalist Ideologue . A recent short interview with Bannon dispels that narrative.

Who is really the sane person on, say, North Korea?

The "grown-up" General McMaster, Trump's National Security Advisor, is not one of them. He claims North Korea is not deterrable from doing something insane.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But your predecessor Susan Rice wrote this week that the U.S. could tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea the same way we tolerated nuclear weapons in the Soviet Union far more during the Cold War. Is she right?

MCMASTER: No, she's not right. And I think the reason she's not right is that the classical deterrence theory, how does that apply to a regime like the regime in North Korea? A regime that engages in unspeakable brutality against its own people? A regime that poses a continuous threat to the its neighbors in the region and now may pose a threat, direct threat, to the United States with weapons of mass destruction?

McMaster's was spewing nonsense. The same was said about the Soviet Union and China when they became nuclear weapons states. North Korea just became one . Conventional deterrence of both sides has worked with North Korea for decades. Nuclear deterrence with North Korea will work just as well as it did with the Soviet and Chinese communists. If North Korea were really not deterrable the U.S. should have nuked it yesterday to minimize the overall risk and damage. It is the McMaster position that is ideological and not rational or "grown up" at all.

Compare that to Steve Bannon's take on the issue:

"There's no military solution [to North Korea's nuclear threats], forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don't die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don't know what you're talking about, there's no military solution here, they got us."

It was indeed the Democratic People's Republic of Korea which "got" the United States and stopped the U.S. escalation game. It is wrong to think that North Korea "backed off" in the recent upheaval about a missile test targeted next to Guam. It was the U.S. that pulled back from threatening behavior.

Since the end of May the U.S. military trained extensively for decapitation and "preemptive" strikes on North Korea:

Two senior military officials ! and two senior retired officers ! told NBC News that key to the plan would be a B-1B heavy bomber attack originating from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.
...
Of the 11 B-1 practice runs since the end of May, four have also involved practice bombing at military ranges in South Korea and Australia.

In response to the B-1B flights North Korea published plans to launch a missile salvo next to the U.S. island of Guam from where those planes started. The announcement included a hidden offer to stop the test if the U.S. would refrain from further B-1B flights. A deal was made during secret negotiations . Since then no more B-1B flights took place and North Korea suspended its Guam test plans. McMaster lost and the sane people, including Steve Bannon, won.

But what about Bannon's "ethno-nationalist" ideology? Isn't he responsible for the right-wing nutters of Charlottesville conflict? Isn't he one of them?

He dismissed the far right as irrelevant and sidestepped his own role in cultivating it: "Ethno-nationalism!it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more."

"These guys are a collection of clowns," he added.

Bannon sees China as an economic enemy and wants to escalate an economic conflict with it. He is said to be against the nuclear deal with Iran. The generals in Trump's cabinet are all anti-Iran hawks. As Bannon now turns out to be a realist on North Korea, I am not sure what real position on Iran is.

Domestically Bannon is pulling the Democrats into the very trap I had several times warned against:

"The Democrats," he said, "the longer they talk about identity politics, I got 'em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats."

This worked well during the presidential election and might continue to work for Trump. As long as the Democrats do not come up with, and fight for, sane economic polices they will continue to lose elections. The people are not interested in LGBT access to this or that bathroom. They are interested in universal healthcare, in personal and economic security. They are unlikely to get such under Bannon and Trump. But, unlike the Democrats, the current White House crew at least claim to have plans to achieve it.

Posted by b on August 16, 2017 at 11:51 PM | Permalink

Peter AU 1 | Aug 17, 2017 1:05:52 AM | 1

A couple of very interesting links from the last thread were the one to the Bannon article, and also the link to the Carter/NK article.

Kim Jong Un, 3rd generation like his father and grandfather leader of NK. From what I have read this is a cultural thing t hat predates communism and the Japanese occupation prior. Many pictures of Kim show an overweight youngster amongst gaunt hungry looking generals. Gave the impression of a spoilt kid simply handed power. Not going to the May 9 parade in Russia when invited also gave the impression he was paranoid.

But looking at things now, rather than a spoilt paranoid kid, perhaps someone trained from an early age for leadership, and perhaps rather than being paranoid (Russia/China), perhaps a leader that finds it more important to create a deterrence against the US. Third generation at war with the US and his seen his father was fucked over when trying to make a deal with the US. NK's nuke and missile tech have come a long way in the few short years Kim Jong Un has been in power.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Kim Jong Un and Trump have a meet one day.

The link to the Carter article http://www.fox5atlanta.com/national-news/273096065-story

ben | Aug 17, 2017 1:22:28 AM | 2
b said: "The people are not interested in LGBT access to this or that bathroom. They are interested in universal healthcare, in personal and economic security. They are unlikely to get such under Bannon and Trump. But, unlike the Democrats, the current White House crew at least claim to have plans to achieve it."

With that statement b, you nailed it..

V. Arnold | Aug 17, 2017 1:32:51 AM | 3
"There's no military solution [to North Korea's nuclear threats], forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don't die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don't know what you're talking about, there's no military solution here, they got us."

Doesn't that at least show Bannon as the adult in the room?
I would say so.

psychohistorian | Aug 17, 2017 1:53:13 AM | 4
So lets start parsing this economic nationalism that Bannon is making happen with Trump.

Economic nationalism is a term used to describe policies which are guided by the idea of protecting domestic consumption, labor and capital formation, even if this requires the imposition of tariffs and other restrictions on the movement of labour, goods and capital. It is in opposition to Globalisation in many cases, or at least on questions the unrestricted good of Free trade. It would include such doctrines as Protectionism, Import substitution, Mercantilism and planned economies.

Examples of economic nationalism include Japan's use of MITI to "pick winners and losers", Malaysia's imposition of currency controls in the wake of the 1997 currency crisis, China's controlled exchange of the Yuan, Argentina's economic policy of tariffs and devaluation in the wake of the 2001 financial crisis and the United States' use of tariffs to protect domestic steel production.

Think about what a trade war with China would do. It would crash the world economy as China tried to cash in on it US Treasury holdings with the US likely defaulting......just one possible scenario.

At least now, IMO, the battle for a multi-polar (finance) world is out in the open.....let the side taking by nations begin. I hope Bannon is wrong about the timing of potential global power shifting and the US loses its empire status.

psychohistorian | Aug 17, 2017 2:19:03 AM | 5
I thought that maybe Bannon was being a bit too forthright in his recent comments and perhaps he has just painted a big bullseye on his back for the racist clowns he has used to aim at. Check this out: Bannons colleagues disturbed by interview with left wing publication
Copeland | Aug 17, 2017 2:30:36 AM | 6
Bannon thinks the bombast on display between the Kim and Trump has been "a sideshow". The real show, on the other hand, has nothing to do with the dramatic sparring between the two leaders. The Mother Of All Policies, according to Bannon, is an all-bets-on trade war with China, whose endgame admits to only one outcome,--that is to say-- that only one hegemon will remain standing at the end of this struggle.

There can be only one King-of-the-Hill. But where is the Greek Chorus?--the prophetic warning that goes by the name of necessity?-- that tries to ward off hubris? "One must never subscribe to absurdities" (it was Camus who aptly said that).

V. Arnold | Aug 17, 2017 2:39:11 AM | 7
psychohistorian | Aug 17, 2017 2:19:03 AM | 5

I had read this before; interesting to say the least.
Truth be told, I'd never heard of Bannon prior to Trumps election and still know little about him.
Politics aside Bannon seems a straight shooter; I certainly can't argue his statement re: what would happen if we attacked NK. His statement is echo'd by many long before today.
I do plan to start paying attention from this point forward.
Oh, and I did read that Trump is afraid of Bannon, but don't remember the reason stated.

Realist | Aug 17, 2017 3:18:01 AM | 8
Here is Bannon's latest:

Bannon dismissed the far-right as irrelevant:

"Ethno-nationalism!it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more."

"These guys are a collection of clowns," he added.

Bannon is no friend of White Nationalists.

somebody | Aug 17, 2017 4:49:34 AM | 12
No, whoever planned that "United Right" rally walked Trump into the trap.

As Trump was incapable to disassociate himself clearly from people who protest against the take down of a statue of General Lee. Trump now owns the race issue.

Steve Bannon is a fascist . That does not mean he is stupid.

The generals are clearly dangerous. They have the power to walk everybody to world war III. Trump has pledged to spend even more on the US military, the military already has the highest spending world wide. The generals don't want to admit that they cannot solve anythings by military power.

Trump going off script in that press conference into a stream of consciousness was bad. He reminded everybody of their rambling demented great-grandfather. He tried to get the discussion to economic issues, he did not succeed.

Veterans Today is a dubious source, but this here sounds genuine Washington behind the mirrors

In stepped more lies and garbage, this time more fake than the other, with chaos theory and psychological warfare organizations drowning in capabilities from the overfunded phony war on terror and too much time on their hands now lending their useless talents toward disinforming the general public.

The result has been a divided US where "alternative facts" fabricated for a vulnerable demographic now competes with the "mainstream" now termed, and I believe rightly so, "fake news" to support different versions of a fictional narrative that resembles reality only in the most rarified and oblique manner.
...

America has left itself open to dictatorship. It long since gave up its ability to govern itself, perhaps it was the central bank, the Federal Reserve in 1913 or more recent erosions of individual power such as the Citizens United Supreme Court decision of 2005. Whatever milestone one chooses, the remains of democratic institutions in the US are now difficult to find.

What we are left with is what increasingly seems to be factions, mistakenly defined as "right" or "far right" jockeying for control over America's military, and with that, control over the planet itself.

You see, whoever controls the American military controls the world, unless a power bloc appears that can challenge, well, challenge what? If the Pentagon controls America's military and the Pentagon is controlled by a cabal of religious extremists as many claim or corporate lackeys as most believe, then where does the world stand?

Then again, if Trump and his own Republican congress are at war over impeachment, and I assure you, little else is discussed in Washington, two sides of the same coin, servants of different masters, has all oversite of the newfound military power over American policy disappeared?

To this, we reluctantly say "yes."

Clueless Joe | Aug 17, 2017 5:24:06 AM | 13
Bannon can be perfectly mature, adult and realist on some points and be totally blinded by biases on others - him wanting total economic war against China is proof enough. So I don't rule out that he has a blind spot over Iran and wants to get rid of the regime. I mean, even Trump is realist and adult in a few issues, yet is an oblivious fool on others.

Kind of hard to find someone who's always adult and realist, actually. You can only hope to pick someone who's more realist than most people. Or build a positronic robot and vote for him.

somebody | Aug 17, 2017 6:16:13 AM | 14
There is something to that interview by Steve Bannon with a left wing website .
More puzzling is the fact that Bannon would phone a writer and editor of a progressive publication (the cover lines on whose first two issues after Trump's election were "Resisting Trump" and "Containing Trump") and assume that a possible convergence of views on China trade might somehow paper over the political and moral chasm on white nationalism.

The question of whether the phone call was on or off the record never came up. This is also puzzling, since Steve Bannon is not exactly Bambi when it comes to dealing with the press. He's probably the most media-savvy person in America.

I asked Bannon about the connection between his program of economic nationalism and the ugly white nationalism epitomized by the racist violence in Charlottesville and Trump's reluctance to condemn it. Bannon, after all, was the architect of the strategy of using Breitbart to heat up white nationalism and then rely on the radical right as Trump's base.

He dismissed the far right as irrelevant and sidestepped his own role in cultivating it: "Ethno-nationalism!it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more."

Explanation a) He wants to explain the climbdown of his boss on North Korea.
Not really helpful to Trump.

b) He wants to save his reputation as the association with the KKK and White Suprematists has become toxic.

Checking on what Breitbart is doing - splitting the Republican Party

A trade war with China would mean prices in the US would become very expensive. It is a fool's strategy.

In other news Iran is threatening to leave the nuclear agreement, and Latin America unites against the US threatening Venezuela with war.

The generals are completely useless.

fairleft | Aug 17, 2017 6:35:17 AM | 15
I think Bannon is an authentic economic nationalist, and one that Trump feels is good counsel on those matters. If this is so, then Bannon cannot be trying to provoke a trade war with China, since that would be an economic catastrophe for the US (and China and the rest of the world). I'm hoping he's playing bad cop and eventually Trump will play good cop in negotiations for more investment by China in the US and other goodies in exchange for 'well, not much' from the US. Similar to what the US dragged out of Japan in the 80s nd 90s.
c | Aug 17, 2017 6:51:35 AM | 16
psychohistorian a
c | Aug 17, 2017 6:59:32 AM | 17
psychohistorian at 4: 'as China tried to cash in on it US Treasury holdings with the US likely defaulting...'

as a sovereign currency issuer of that size the usa can not run out of dollars
to default on their obligations would be a voluntary mistake the federal reserve will avoid
meanwhile the chinese are investing in africa and other countries securing their position in the world

V. Arnold | Aug 17, 2017 7:43:30 AM | 18
c | Aug 17, 2017 6:59:32 AM | 17
as a sovereign currency issuer of that size the usa can not run out of dollars
to default on their obligations would be a voluntary mistake the federal reserve will avoid
meanwhile the chinese are investing in africa and other countries securing their position in the world

Very good; and I agree with your POV; the usa can not run out of dollars.
And therein lies its power; a very dangerous situation that I do not think the world is equipped to deal with in toto...

steven t johnson | Aug 17, 2017 8:18:55 AM | 19
Every political swindler today starts off by pretending Trump won the election instead of the Electoral College, including Steve Bannon. It is the Republican Party, not Trump and his Trumpery who holds majorities in the House, the Senate and the nation's statehouses. Anybody who wants to think that "economic nationalism" will crush the Democrats has forgotten that Trump lost the popular vote on this ticket.

It appears that as a purely nominal Republican, an owner in a hostile takeover, Trump has no qualms about trashing the system. Practically speaking, this is the very opposite of draining the swamp, which requires effective leadership.

Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 8:51:55 AM | 20
Kim Jong Un, 3rd generation like his father and grandfather leader of NK. From what I have read this is a cultural thing that predates communism and the Japanese occupation prior.

But looking at things now, rather than a spoilt paranoid kid, perhaps someone trained from an early age for leadership, and perhaps rather than being paranoid (Russia/China), perhaps a leader that finds it more important to create a deterrence against the US.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 17, 2017 1:05:52 AM | 1

OR, looked at another way:

Perhaps the gurning wunderkind Kim's ascent to the North Korean Throne was completely predictable and was predicted a long time ago, and plans were set in motion to ensure that he was co-opted as a kid, and now works with the US to help counter the rising Chinese power.

Perhaps the alleged face-off Trump, Kim and the western MSM treated the world to over the past while, was merely nothing but a pre-scripted choreographic display, a piece of theater agreed upon beforehand by all participants except China

I wouldn't be surprised to see Kim Jong Un and Trump have a meet one day.

I wouldn't be surprised if Kim Jong Un and Trump actually play for the same side.

Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 8:59:31 AM | 21
Every political swindler today starts off by pretending Trump won the election instead of the Electoral College, i

Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 17, 2017 8:18:55 AM | 19

Actually as far as I can tell the real political swindlers are the ones who refuse to acknowledge that a US Presidential election is, (and has been for nearly whole time the US has been in existence, which is more than 200 years for those who have problems keeping track of such simple matters) decided NOT by the popular vote but by the results of the Electoral College voting.

Anybody who wants to think that "economic nationalism" will crush the Democrats has forgotten that Trump lost the popular vote on this ticket.

Again, just to repeat the actual reality regarding US Presidential elections: They are decided on the basis of Electoral Collage voting and NOT on the basis of the popular vote, as political swindlers would now like everyone to believe.

Thegenius | Aug 17, 2017 9:08:56 AM | 22
Economics PhDs are resisting the only thing that can actully cause higher inflation rate: trade war
somebody | Aug 17, 2017 9:45:00 AM | 23
19

He is doubling down now defending General Lee statues as beautiful. He is doing the same strategy as he did in his duel with Hillary Clinton when everybody thought he was insane, playing to his core Republican base to make sure Republicans have to stay in line or face a primary challenge.

Breitbart is doing the same threatening "Republican traitors".

The problem with this strategy is that Trump won because Hillary Clinton was so unpopular, because their pollsters outsmarted Nate Silver and Co. and possibly because she was a woman.

But Republicans who have to pretend they are religious right wing nuts in the primaries, then have to appeal to independents to win the actual election.

So they cannot go against Trump but cannot defend him. They are paralysed.

That what it comes down to. That the main aim of the president of the United States is to paralyze the party he hijacked.


somebody | Aug 17, 2017 9:58:52 AM | 24
add to 23

Breitbart has gone full culture wars. It is comical, have a look.

john | Aug 17, 2017 10:26:02 AM | 25
Just Sayin' says:

They are decided on the basis of Electoral Collage voting and NOT on the basis of the popular vote, as political swindlers would now like everyone to believe

indeed, though, speaking of political swindlers, there's mucho evidence that Trump may have won the popular vote as well.

likklemore | Aug 17, 2017 10:32:06 AM | 26
Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 17, 2017 8:18:55 AM | 19

Every political swindler today starts off by pretending Trump won the election instead of the Electoral College, including Steve Bannon. It is the Republican Party, not Trump and his Trumpery who holds majorities in the House, the Senate and the nation's statehouses. Anybody who wants to think that "economic nationalism" will crush the Democrats has forgotten that Trump lost the popular vote on this ticket.

Have you read the Constitution of the USA? The Electoral College elects the President by the rank and file voters electing the Electors to the College on November election day. That's how the system works.

Ask Al Gore; he won the popular vote.

Oh and btw, the Hillary won the popular 2016 vote meme. Take a look at Detroit, MI heavy Democrats' precints - more votes than voters - and the millions of illegal aliens' vote in California who voted after the invite of Obama.

WJ | Aug 17, 2017 10:50:13 AM | 27
Trump won the election. Period. End of story. Done. Finished. Get over it and get on with your life. He didn't compete to win the popular vote. He competed and campaigned to win the election. Advice to Democrats - nominate a candidate beside a senile old neocon woman who is corrupt to her ugly core, and then maybe you can beat a former reality show star.
Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 10:56:25 AM | 29
The problem with this strategy is that Trump won because Hillary Clinton was so unpopular, because their pollsters outsmarted Nate Silver and Co. and possibly because she was a woman.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 17, 2017 9:45:00 AM | 23

Nope - first part of the sentence is correct but the rest of is just you, as usual, repeating crap you found on the Internet and then repeating it here pretending it is profound and that you actually understand what you are talking about, which you clearly don't as evidenced by the fact that you then go on to reference Nate Silver whose fame was never anything but media created hype with little or nothing to back it up.

Silver's feet of clay were evident long before the latest Prez election. It became obvious that his alleged electoral statistical prowess rested as much on luck as anything else. Lucky in prediction when it came to the 2008 election but by 2010 things started to go wrong but the media ignored his feet of clay and kept hyping him as a stats genius.

By the time 2016 rolled round Silver was exposed for the lucky fraud he is.

The real truth of Hillarys inability to win lies not in her being female as you and many others disingenuously (at best) try to claim, but simply lies in the fact that she is a thoroughly unpleasant person with a complete lack of charisma and a massive sense of entitlement.

Blacks and others, minorities generally and independents, who came out in droves for the Obama elections simply refused to go and vote for her.

The Republican vote however changed very little - pretty much the exact same demographic voted republican as voted for Romney.

Trump won partly because of Clintons massive hubris in refusing to campaign in several key states. Cambridge analytical were not required to give him the win, no matter what you read, without analysing it, elsewhere on the web and are now repeating here in an effort to pretend you know what you are talking about.

CA probably helped somewhat but it unlikely that they were central to the win. Clintons hubris and her complete lack of charisma, ensured low black/minority/independent for her in key states, especially those where she had refused to even bother to campaign, which was enough to seal the win for Trump

You simply repeating crap you heard on the net and pretending that if you say it in an authoritative fashion it will magically become true, just ends up making you look completely clueless, as usual. (or dishonest)

Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 11:01:18 AM | 30
@ Everybody who bought into the MSM Steve Bannon promoted white supremacy and through Breitbart. Suggested you read his world view expressed in remarks at Human Dignity Institute, Vatican Conference 2014

Posted by: likklemore | Aug 17, 2017 10:51:54 AM | 28

Anyone with any intelligence would be wise to treat with great caution anything Bannon claims in public interviews about himself or his alleged political beliefs,

RUKidding | Aug 17, 2017 11:21:24 AM | 32
US politics is a great big clusterfeck - worse than ever, which is hard to believe. Bannon's big liar. He did heaps to create this very situation with the White Supremacists. Of course the Democrats are worse than useless. All they're doing is presenting themselves as "We're not Trump" and whining about Putin. All of them are clowns. Every last one. Including the so-called "Generals." Worthless.
Pnyx | Aug 17, 2017 11:27:14 AM | 33
"Since then no more B-1B flights took place and North Korea suspended its Guam test plans."
but: "Yesterday (...) two US B-1 strategic bombers, operating with Japanese fighter jets, conducted exercises to the southwest of the Korean Peninsula." says WSWS. ?
james | Aug 17, 2017 12:32:00 PM | 37
@2 ben.. i agree!

everything about the usa today is divisive... i can't imagine the usa being happy if this didn't continue until it's demise..the 2 party system hasn't worked out very well as i see it.. failed experiment basically.. oh well..

anoymous | Aug 17, 2017 12:51:38 PM | 39
@19

If I remember correctly, wasn't it both the President Elect and the Republican Congressmen who won clear majorities in nearly 80 percent of congressional districts? Presuming an issue like the gerrymandering of districts wasn't significant, that's a far more legitimate victory than an extra million Democrats voting in California (determining the future of national policy). I'm not a fan of the Republicans, but denying the short term efficiency of 'populist rhetoric' isn't helping the left win any substantial electoral victories in the future.

Morongobill | Aug 17, 2017 1:03:36 PM | 40
Good Lord. Can't people read anymore? The election is all about the EC. Keep talking and running for the popular vote, and Trump will keep winning the Electoral College. You either want to win or you don't. I hope you keep preaching the popular vote personally.
Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 1:06:52 PM | 41
@ Just Sayin' 30

I won't give you a pass. Your bias and lack of intelligence is on great display.


No pass for little ol me? Aw shucks, I'm heart broken.

The fact that you think Bannon&Trump are going to do anything about Wall Street and the Banking System in general is quite amusing.

Perhaps you could list a few of Bannon&Trumps anti Wall Street achievements or initiatives since Trump took office?

It should by now be clear to anyone paying attention that while both Bannon & Trump certainly TALK a lot, they seem to actually do very little.

So, do please tell us: what have they actually done?

Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 1:15:57 PM | 42
@2 ben.. i agree!

everything about the usa today is divisive...

Posted by: james | Aug 17, 2017 12:32:00 PM | 37

As the CIA might say: "Mission Accomplished!!"

Keep the proles spilt in their little "identity groups", their micro-tribes, and continue building the Kleoptocracy/Prison/Military State while the dumbed down demos are busy hunting micro-aggressions/fighting gender & race wars etc etc

During the last 5 Prez Election cycles the population spilt on utterly retarded lines such as Gay-marriage, Gender-free toilets etc. All this while the US fought or financed numerous very expensive wars in the Middle East ukraine etc, resulting hundreds of thousands of lives lost.

anoymous | Aug 17, 2017 1:16:15 PM | 43
@26

The 2008 elections had one of the highest ever voter turnout rates for the Democrats and the 2016 elections had one of the lowest ever. The turnout rates (abysmal if ever compared to voter turnout rates in Germany and Japan) easily explain the initial victory and the eventual defeat, not 'Detroit fraud' or 'the millions of illegals' voting in your head. Racial gerrymandering against black voters in the Southern States is a far more real issue.

ben | Aug 17, 2017 1:33:55 PM | 44
somwbody @ 12: Good link thanks..Interesting read about "The Forth Turning"

psycho @ 5: good link also..

WJ @ 27 said:" Advice to Democrats - nominate a candidate beside a senile old neocon woman who is corrupt to her ugly core, and then maybe you can beat a former reality show star."

Yep, so-called "Russian hacking" wasn't the problem, HRC was the problem...

ben | Aug 17, 2017 1:40:34 PM | 45
Just Sayin' @ 41 said:"It should by now be clear to anyone paying attention that while both Bannon & Trump certainly TALK a lot, they seem to actually do very little."

Kinda' waitin' myself to see all those "accomplishments"....

anoymous | Aug 17, 2017 2:01:34 PM | 46
@40

I'll assume this was directed to me.

I understand and respect your point, but I was responding to the initial comment's implicit argument on public opinion: "a common argument is the lower-middle-to-upper-middle-class social base of the Republicans is less receptive to the short term effects of Protectionist policy and this would reduce political morale, as well as grassroots and voting organization. However, the Democrats 'won the popular vote.' So, it's 'obvious' in saying the classless definition of 'the American people' oppose this Republican policy, and naturally, the social base of the Republican Party isn't especially relevant to consider when organizing voters and grassroots movements for a renewed Democratic Party."

To be fair, I think like the early Unionist and Communist circles, and presume public opinion translates to expressions of grassroots politics between conflicting classes (more so than it actually happens in American class society).

Mina | Aug 17, 2017 2:32:30 PM | 47
From Syria with love

https://arabic.rt.com/liveevent/894352-%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%AA%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%AD-%D9%85%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%B6-%D8%AF%D9%85%D8%B4%D9%82-%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84%D9%8A-5-%D8%B3%D9%86%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%BA%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%A8/

Sad Canuck | Aug 17, 2017 2:52:38 PM | 48
If one proceeds on the assumption that politics in the United States closely follows themes, scripts and production values pioneered by WWF, then all becomes clear. It's simply pro-wrestling on a global scale with nuclear weapons and trillions of dollars in prize money.
james | Aug 17, 2017 2:58:51 PM | 49
@42 just sayin'.. yes to all you say - it is quite sad actually.. not sure of the way out at this point, short of complete rebellion in the streets which looks like a longs ways off at this point..
Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 3:12:27 PM | 50
not sure of the way out at this point, short of complete rebellion in the streets which looks like a longs ways off at this point..

Posted by: james | Aug 17, 2017 2:58:51 PM | 49

Most of the younger generation seem to be much to busy, obsessing over non-existent things like "Micro-agressions" or "hetero-normative cis-gender oppression", to pay attention to, let alone acknowledge, the enormous global macro-aggressions their own country is engaged in on a world-wide scale.

Thirdeye | Aug 17, 2017 3:24:12 PM | 52
But, unlike the Democrats, the current White House crew at least claim to have plans to achieve it.
Is there a "don't" missing from that sentence?

I must disagree that DPRK nuclear missiles are a qualitatively similar threat to those possessed by the Soviet Union and China. DPRK's guiding Suche ideology is a literal cult that goes far beyond the cult-of-personality that held sway over the Soviet Union and China when Stalin and Mao ruled. And by the time the Soviets developed delivery capabilities Stalin was dead and his cult was done. By the time the Chinese developed delivery capabilities Mao was declining into figurehead status and Zhou Enlai, who as commander of the PLA realized how weak China really was militarily, had no illusions about what would happen in a military confrontation with the US. But DPRK is still ruled by a cult that believes the Kims are ordained with supernatural powers that allowed them to drive the Japanese off the peninsula then fight off an American "invasion." They truly don't mention the role of the Soviets and the Chinese in saving their bacon. In terms of face-saving, the Kims have set the bar pretty high for themselves by fostering their cult. Their legitimacy would be threatened if their statecraft as rational actors undermined their Suche cult.

DPRK have been rogue actors against ROK and Japan out of sheer spitefulness, fully exploiting the umbrella provided by the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Assistance with China. They have done extraterritorial kidnappings and murders not for perceived strategic reasons but merely to intimidate. DPRK has pointedly refused to enter talks for a formal peace between them and the ROK. Those kinds of motives do not bespeak of someone who can be trusted with nukes.

Charles R | Aug 17, 2017 3:39:13 PM | 53
Posted by: RUKidding | Aug 17, 2017 12:23:40 PM
Bannon is someone whom I hold quite responsible for contributing to the rise of White Supremacy in the USA, which I consider a clear and present danger. Bannon's dismissive hand waving yesterday is meant to dissemble. Guess some are willing to buy what he was selling yesterday. Not me.

What are your reasons for believing this about Bannon? What counts as contributing, and how did you come to your decision?

It's not that I don't believe you. It's rather important to establish in what way his words (whether the ones you found or the recent ones in American Prospect ) are lies or misdirection, so that I, and anyone interested, can evaluate this for ourselves and come to similar or different conclusions.

stonebird | Aug 17, 2017 3:40:47 PM | 54
I don't think Bannon wants a "trade" war with China but he is right that there is an economic war going on. The "silk roads" and the various new organisations that the Chinese-Russians have set up, (Major Banks, "Swift" equivalent, Glossnass satellites, card payment systems, industrial independence, and food self-sufficiency etc), plus the use of currencies other than the dollar - are all examples of a break-away from a US-EU domination.

However, they have not suddenly introduced everything at once to "bring the US house down". Why? One possible reason could be that they are expecting the US to collapse anyway. Another is that viable alternatives also take time to set up.

b has mentioned the "grown ups" v the Idealogues". The impact of the military on the economic war seems to be underestimated. How much longer can the US afford the more than trillion dollars per year of the "visible" arms? This does not include hidden costs ("Intelligence agencies and pork). Nor does it include costs borne by other countries. ie. Italy has about 80 US bases (the most in the EU) and about 77 nuclear warheads on its soil. Italy PAYS for those bases, and even that does not include infrastucture (roads, increased airport capacity, sewage, water mains, etc) which are paid for by the Italians themselves. Other countries will have similar systems. Some like Kuwait are "paying" back the amounts spent on arms for example.
The total cost is astronomical.

A brief reminder the USSR collapsed because of massive overspending on arms and military projects - leaving the rest of the economy in the lurch. Presumably the Chinese and Russians are expecting the same thing to happen again.

(Aside - yes, you can print dollars as a sovereign state, but printing roubles didn't help the soviets either)
So McMasters and the others are in fact just spoilt brats who think that the good times are forever.
----
One example of the new "bluff-calling" cheaper method of economic warfare (*NK is the another) were the recent NATO/US manoeuvres in Georgia (country) on the anniversary of the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia. The number of troops and means involved would have been enough to carry out a "surprise" attack this time too. The Russians - sent in Putin, who declared that the Russians supported S.Ossetia and were ready to deal with any threat - exactly as they did "last" time. Cost? One plane trip.

(*The NK threat by the US would have seen about 40'000 men from S. Korea and Japan sent against about 700'000 motivated local troops and massive artillery arrays. It was a non-starter, even with nukes)

Tom in AZ | Aug 17, 2017 4:03:19 PM | 55
thirdeye @52

You are forgetting to mention the main sticking point to talks is our refusal to halt our annual̶d̶e̶f̶e̶n̶s̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶d̶r̶i̶l̶l̶s̶ invasion practice before they will come to the table. At least from what I read.

Thirdeye | Aug 17, 2017 4:04:22 PM | 56
54

Even with China's international financial position growing more robust with SWIFT independence, AIDB, the New Silk Road and such, they still have an interest in the Dollar-based western financial system as long as they can make money off of it. They are not going to shoot themselves in the foot by deliberately causing it to collapse. They might even prop it up in a crisis, but I suspect they would drive a hard bargain.

@Madderhatter67 | Aug 17, 2017 4:09:49 PM | 57
Thirdeye says, "But DPRK is still ruled by a cult that believes the Kims are ordained with supernatural powers." What is American Exceptionalism?


MCMASTER: Says classic deterrence strategy won't work with NK.

"Deterrence is a strategy intended to dissuade an adversary from taking an action not yet started, or to prevent them from doing something that another state desires."

Classic deterrence strategy IS working for NK perfectly.

RUKidding | Aug 17, 2017 4:31:17 PM | 60
@53 Charles R: fair enough question.

What I base my analysis of Bannon is his leadership at Bretibart which may or may not be continuing right now. Just read Breitbart if you think Bannon isn't fully behind the White Supremacists rising up right now.

somebody | Aug 17, 2017 5:26:37 PM | 64
35
Steve Bannon is a fascist.

exhibit A
Steve Bannon Allies with Catholic Theo-Fascism Against Pope Francis

exhibit B
Steve Bannon shares a fascist's obsession with cleansing, apocalyptic war. And now he's in the White House

exhibit C
Generation Zero - Bannons Film using the theory of the fourth turning

The idea that people (a people) have to suffer a big war in order to cleanse themselves from moral depravity is fascism pure and simple as who should force people to do this but a dictator.

Greg M | Aug 17, 2017 6:15:08 PM | 67
All one has to do to know what Bannon's position on Iran is to read Breitbart on any given day. Unless we are supposed to believe that Bannon's opinions are not reflected by the website he ran for four years. Bannon is for war against Islam in general, there is nothing "realist" about his foreign policy.
Thirdeye | Aug 17, 2017 6:15:20 PM | 68
55 Tom in AZ

That's a different issue from entering talks for a formal peace with with ROK. DPRK has been refusing that for years. Did you ever consider that DPRK's constant saber rattling against ROK was what lent impetus to US exercises in the region in the first place? The US knows that China would not tolerate a US invasion of DPRK. Why take the risk of invading across great defensive terrain when you can simply destroy?

57 Madhatter67

Thirdeye says, "But DPRK is still ruled by a cult that believes the Kims are ordained with supernatural powers." What is American Exceptionalism?

That's a dumb analogy and a pathetic attempt at deflection. Criticize American Exceptionalism all you want, but don't compare it to a supernaturalist cult. That's just stupid.

DPRK has a history of doing whatever they think they can get away with, exploiting their treaty with China. If their delusional Suche ideology leads them to miscalculate or paints them into a corner trying to prop it up, it could lead to war.

If there's any bright spot in the whole picture it's China's chilly stance towards DPRK after recent events. The excesses of DPRK's ruling cult have occurred largely because they figured China had their back. But China's regional interests have changed dramatically over the past 30 years. ROK is no longer a competitive threat to China and is economically more important to China than DPRK ever was. DPRK's military power is of much less benefit to China than it was in the past. It might even be considered a liability.

61 Stonebird

It wouldn't be cash, it would be be assets and/or the means of controlling them. Big Chinese money is already coming into the west coast of the US and Canada. Oh well, we fucked things up here; maybe the Chinese will do a better job.

Greg M | Aug 17, 2017 6:20:48 PM | 69
@10, this article was written while Bannon was heading Breitbart, bragging about being "conceived in Israel." http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/11/17/breitbart-news-network-born-in-the-usa-conceived-in-israel/

Bannon is against the nuclear deal, and is one of the top people in the administration arguing for Trump to move the Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Bannon has been cited as promoting Sheldon Adelson's Israel policy in meetings with Trump. http://www.timesofisrael.com/pro-abbas-lauder-hawkish-adelson-battling-to-influence-trump-on-mideast/ If anything Bannon/Breitbart push an even harder line on Israel than most politicians and media do.

blues | Aug 17, 2017 6:27:33 PM | 70
First of all, I will now declare that I am 99% confused! So please let me review the 1% that comes through my little keyhole. What has been said?

/~~~~~~~~~~
<< = Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 11:01:18 AM | 30

Anyone with any intelligence would be wise to treat with great caution anything Bannon claims in public interviews about himself or his alleged political beliefs,
\~~~~~~~~~~

Well sure! The guy's a political operative -- One does not get to be a political operative by being some kind of a Dudly Do-Right. Damn.

/~~~~~~~~~~
<< = les7 | Aug 17, 2017 12:27:02 PM | 35

@12... "Bannon is a fascist" I'm not so sure. Mussolini defined fascism as being an alliance of corporate and state powers... but Bannon (and most of his followers) have no trust in the corporate sector as they [the corporate sector] are to a large degree Globalists - they used the US and then threw it aside in pursuit of profit elsewhere. For that, he would even call them traitors. So you could call him a Nationalist.
\~~~~~~~~~~

Well since we can't believe anything from Bannon... And aside from that I am sick of hearing Mussolini's definition of fascism -- After all, he was a psycho-villain -- so why believe it?!

UNTIL WE HAVE STRATEGIC HEDGE SIMPLE SCORE VOTING WE WILL BE SADDLED WITH THE TWO-PARTY "SYSTEM" (really only one party). Who cares if we really have no choice whatsoever. We are held hostage to the false alternatives of the vast legion of the election methods cognoscenti.

See my simple solution soon at Global Mutiny!

Greg M | Aug 17, 2017 6:30:54 PM | 71
@31, "except for the Zion-flavored warmongering." I don't know about you but completely disqualifies him in my view.
Greg M | Aug 17, 2017 6:34:43 PM | 72
@35, please refer to post 69. If Bannon was not a Zionist, he would not have ran a site which brags of being conceived in Israel and which pushes a harder line on Israel than almost any other, and he would not be promoting Adelson's Israel policy within the administration.
Curtis | Aug 17, 2017 7:03:10 PM | 73
Bannon makes sense. That must be why many want him gone especially the neocons. As to North Korea, the US should have admitted "facts on the ground" long ago and worked to sign the official end of the war and work to get the two Koreas talking and working together.
anoymous | Aug 17, 2017 7:41:46 PM | 74
"That's a different issue from entering talks for a formal peace with with ROK. DPRK has been refusing that for years."

I doubt any substantial transcripts from early talks will ever be released, so whoever had diplomats offering the 'fairest' compromises for terms of an early framework (resulting in a later settlement) cannot be known (regarding specifics).

If I remember correctly, there has been at least three Chinese-sponsored peace conferences (on Korea) since 2007, where the general position of the U.S. was: North Korea had to freeze total nuclear production, accept existing and additional (U.N.) verification missions, and dismantle all warheads PRIOR to the signing of any peace treaty. How is demanding unconditional surrender not intransigence? Are we going to just pretend the United States hadn't sponsored military coups in Venezuela and Honduras and hadn't invaded Iraq and Libya (in a similar time frame)?

During peace talks, any terms are argued, refused, and eventually compromised (usually over years and sometimes over decades). Why presume the United States and South Korea had the fairest offers and general settlements in a handful of conferences (especially when we have no transcripts)?

"Did you ever consider that DPRK's constant saber rattling against ROK was what lent impetus to US exercises in the region in the first place?"

You're presuming your case and not giving specific information on what you might know.

Personally, I don't know who 'started it' (I would guess Japan 'started it' by forcing through the Protectorate Treaty of 1905, or the United States 'started it' by forcing through the Amity and Commerce Treaty of 1858), but if North Korea isn't testing missiles near Guam and the United States isn't flying specific planes over South Korea, a compromise WAS made this last week, and more can be made to ensure peace.

Why do any Americans oppose this?

[Aug 15, 2017] Israel's Chorus Sings Again

Aug 15, 2017 | www.unz.com

Tillerson has long been a target of the American-Jewish media because of the perception that oil company executives are traditionally not friendly to Israel. There have also been claims that he is "less hard" on Iran than the Israel Lobby would like. But what Tillerson is really experiencing is the hard truth regarding Israel: that its Lobby and friends in congress are both unrelenting and unforgiving. Even when they get 90% of the pie they are furious over someone else getting 10%.

Donald Trump's National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has also been under siege for the past several weeks and his "loyalty" to Israel is now under the microscope. McMaster made the mistake of firing three National Security Council officials that were brought in by his predecessor Michael Flynn. The three – Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Rich Higgins, and Derek Harvey – are all regarded by the Israel Lobby as passionately pro-Israel and virulently anti-Iran. It was therefore inevitable that McMaster would take some heat, but the "speed and intensity" of the attacks has surprised even The Atlantic , which failed to note in its thorough examination of the development that while much of the anger flows from extreme right-wing sources there is also considerable pressure coming directly from friends of Israel.

It is interesting to note just how and by whom the argument against McMaster is being framed. Caroline Glick, an American-born Israeli journalist who might reasonably be described as extreme right wing, has led the charge in a posting that described McMaster as "deeply hostile to Israel." She cites anonymous sources to claim that he refers to Israel as an occupying power and also has the audacity to claim that there once existed a place called Palestine. Oh, and he apparently also supports the nuclear agreement with Iran, as does Tillerson.

McMaster's other crimes consist of allegedly altering the agenda of Donald Trump's recent trip to Israel in ways that are somewhat arcane but which no doubt contributed to Glick's sense of grievance. What is most interesting, however, is the unstated premise supporting Glick's point of view, which is that the United States national security team should be subject to approval by Israel. Her view is not dissimilar to what lies behind the attacks on Tillerson and the real irony is that neither Tillerson nor McMaster has actually demonstrated any genuine animosity towards Israel, so the whole process is part of a perverse mindset that inevitably sees nearly everything as a threat.

We Americans are way beyond the point where we might simply demand that Israel and its partisans butt out of our politics. Israel-firsters are literally deeply embedded everywhere in the media, in politics at all levels, in academia, and in the professions. They are well funded and highly disciplined to respond to any threats to their hegemony. Their policy is to never give an inch on anything relating to Israel and their relentless grinding is characteristic of how they behave. The Israel Lobby controls Congress and can literally get any bill it wants through the legislature. And it also has its hooks in the White House, though the unpredictable Trump obviously makes many American Zionists nervous because it is rightly believed that once the president takes a position on anything he cannot be trusted either to understand what he has committed to or to stick with it subsequently.

So what is to be done? To match the passion of the Israel Lobby we Americans have to become passionate ourselves. Do what they do but in reverse. Write letters to congressmen and newspapers opposing the junkets to Israel. When a congress critter has a town hall, show up and complain about our involvement in the Middle East. Keep mentioning the pocket book issues, i.e. how Israel costs the taxpayer $9 million a day. Explain how its behavior puts our diplomats and soldiers overseas in danger. The reality is that Israel is built on a lot of lies promoted by people who frequently cite the holocaust every time they turn around but who have no actual regard for humanity outside their own tribe. The hypocrisy must stop if the United States is to survive as a nation. Pandering to Israel and engaging in constant wars to directly or indirectly defend it, be they against Iran or in Syria, will wear our country down and erode our freedoms. We are already on a slippery slope and it is past time to put our own interests first.So what is to be done? To match the passion of the Israel Lobby we Americans have to become passionate ourselves. Do what they do but in reverse. Write letters to congressmen and newspapers opposing the junkets to Israel. When a congress critter has a town hall, show up and complain about our involvement in the Middle East. Keep mentioning the pocket book issues, i.e. how Israel costs the taxpayer $9 million a day. Explain how its behavior puts our diplomats and soldiers overseas in danger. The reality is that Israel is built on a lot of lies promoted by people who frequently cite the holocaust every time they turn around but who have no actual regard for humanity outside their own tribe.

The hypocrisy must stop if the United States is to survive as a nation. Pandering to Israel and engaging in constant wars to directly or indirectly defend it, be they against Iran or in Syria, will wear our country down and erode our freedoms. We are already on a slippery slope and it is past time to put our own interests first.So what is to be done? To match the passion of the Israel Lobby we Americans have to become passionate ourselves. Do what they do but in reverse. Write letters to congressmen and newspapers opposing the junkets to Israel. When a congress critter has a town hall, show up and complain about our involvement in the Middle East. Keep mentioning the pocket book issues, i.e. how Israel costs the taxpayer $9 million a day. Explain how its behavior puts our diplomats and soldiers overseas in danger. The reality is that Israel is built on a lot of lies promoted by people who frequently cite the holocaust every time they turn around but who have no actual regard for humanity outside their own tribe. The hypocrisy must stop if the United States is to survive as a nation. Pandering to Israel and engaging in constant wars to directly or indirectly defend it, be they against Iran or in Syria, will wear our country down and erode our freedoms. We are already on a slippery slope and it is past time to put our own interests first.

[Aug 14, 2017] Slouching Toward Mar-a-Lago

Notable quotes:
"... Expectations that Trump's ouster will restore normalcy ignore the very factors that first handed him the Republican nomination (with a slew of competitors wondering what hit them) and then put him in the Oval Office (with a vastly more seasoned and disciplined, if uninspiring, opponent left to bemoan the injustice of it all). ..."
"... Not all, but many of Trump's supporters voted for him for the same reason that people buy lottery tickets: Why not? In their estimation, they had little to lose. Their loathing of the status quo is such that they may well stick with Trump even as it becomes increasingly obvious that his promise of salvation ! an America made "great again" ! is not going to materialize. ..."
"... Yet those who imagine that Trump's removal will put things right are likewise deluding themselves. To persist in thinking that he defines the problem is to commit an error of the first order. Trump is not cause, but consequence. ..."
"... the election of 2016 constituted a de facto referendum on the course of recent American history. That referendum rendered a definitive judgment: the underlying consensus informing U.S. policy since the end of the Cold War has collapsed. Precepts that members of the policy elite have long treated as self-evident no longer command the backing or assent of the American people. Put simply: it's the ideas, stupid. ..."
"... "Without the Cold War, what's the point of being an American?" As the long twilight struggle was finally winding down, Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, novelist John Updike's late-twentieth-century Everyman , pondered that question. ..."
"... Unfettered neoliberalism plus the unencumbered self plus unabashed American assertiveness: these defined the elements of the post-Cold-War consensus that formed during the first half of the 1990s ! plus what enthusiasts called the information revolution. The miracle of that "revolution," gathering momentum just as the Soviet Union was going down for the count, provided the secret sauce that infused the emerging consensus with a sense of historical inevitability. ..."
"... The three presidents of the post-Cold-War era ! Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama ! put these several propositions to the test. Politics-as-theater requires us to pretend that our 42nd, 43rd, and 44th presidents differed in fundamental ways. In practice, however, their similarities greatly outweighed any of those differences. Taken together, the administrations over which they presided collaborated in pursuing a common agenda, each intent on proving that the post-Cold-War consensus could work in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary. ..."
"... To be fair, it did work for some. "Globalization" made some people very rich indeed. In doing so, however, it greatly exacerbated inequality , while doing nothing to alleviate the condition of the American working class and underclass. ..."
"... I never liked Obama, but I don't think he has personal animus against Russia, Syria, Iran, Libya, or Palestinians. But given who was looking over his shoulder, he had to make things difficult for those nations, and that is why leaders of those nations and Obama came to hate one another. As for North Korea, much of the tensions wouldn't exist if US hadn't threatened or invaded 'axis of evil' nations and forced S. Korea to carry out joint exercises to prepare for invasion. ..."
"... Same with Trump. I seriously doubt if Trump has personal animus against Syrians, Russians, Iranians, Palestinians, and etc. But who is looking over his shoulder? So, he has to hate the same people that Obama had to hate. ..."
Aug 14, 2017 | www.unz.com

If we have, as innumerable commentators assert, embarked upon the Age of Trump, the defining feature of that age might well be the single-minded determination of those horrified and intent on ensuring its prompt termination. In 2016, TIME magazine chose Trump as its person of the year . In 2017, when it comes to dominating the news, that "person" might turn out to be a group ! all those fixated on cleansing the White House of Trump's defiling presence.

Egged on and abetted in every way by Trump himself, the anti-Trump resistance has made itself the Big Story. Lies, hate, collusion, conspiracy, fascism: rarely has the everyday vocabulary of American politics been as ominous and forbidding as over the past six months. Take resistance rhetoric at face value and you might conclude that Donald Trump is indeed the fifth horseman of the Apocalypse , his presence in the presidential saddle eclipsing all other concerns. Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death will just have to wait.

The unspoken assumption of those most determined to banish him from public life appears to be this: once he's gone, history will be returned to its intended path, humankind will breathe a collective sigh of relief, and all will be well again. Yet such an assumption strikes me as remarkably wrongheaded ! and not merely because, should Trump prematurely depart from office, Mike Pence will succeed him. Expectations that Trump's ouster will restore normalcy ignore the very factors that first handed him the Republican nomination (with a slew of competitors wondering what hit them) and then put him in the Oval Office (with a vastly more seasoned and disciplined, if uninspiring, opponent left to bemoan the injustice of it all).

Not all, but many of Trump's supporters voted for him for the same reason that people buy lottery tickets: Why not? In their estimation, they had little to lose. Their loathing of the status quo is such that they may well stick with Trump even as it becomes increasingly obvious that his promise of salvation ! an America made "great again" ! is not going to materialize.

Yet those who imagine that Trump's removal will put things right are likewise deluding themselves. To persist in thinking that he defines the problem is to commit an error of the first order. Trump is not cause, but consequence.

For too long, the cult of the presidency has provided an excuse for treating politics as a melodrama staged at four-year intervals and centering on hopes of another Roosevelt or Kennedy or Reagan appearing as the agent of American deliverance. Donald Trump's ascent to the office once inhabited by those worthies should demolish such fantasies once and for all.

How is it that someone like Trump could become president in the first place? Blame sexism, Fox News, James Comey, Russian meddling, and Hillary's failure to visit Wisconsin all you want, but a more fundamental explanation is this: the election of 2016 constituted a de facto referendum on the course of recent American history. That referendum rendered a definitive judgment: the underlying consensus informing U.S. policy since the end of the Cold War has collapsed. Precepts that members of the policy elite have long treated as self-evident no longer command the backing or assent of the American people. Put simply: it's the ideas, stupid.

Rabbit Poses a Question

"Without the Cold War, what's the point of being an American?" As the long twilight struggle was finally winding down, Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, novelist John Updike's late-twentieth-century Everyman , pondered that question. In short order, Rabbit got his answer. So, too, after only perfunctory consultation, did his fellow citizens.

The passing of the Cold War offered cause for celebration. On that point all agreed. Yet, as it turned out, it did not require reflection from the public at large. Policy elites professed to have matters well in hand. The dawning era, they believed, summoned Americans not to think anew, but to keep doing precisely what they were accustomed to doing, albeit without fretting further about Communist takeovers or the risks of nuclear Armageddon. In a world where a " single superpower " was calling the shots, utopia was right around the corner. All that was needed was for the United States to demonstrate the requisite confidence and resolve.

Three specific propositions made up the elite consensus that coalesced during the initial decade of the post-Cold-War era. According to the first, the globalization of corporate capitalism held the key to wealth creation on a hitherto unimaginable scale. According to the second, jettisoning norms derived from Judeo-Christian religious traditions held the key to the further expansion of personal freedom. According to the third, muscular global leadership exercised by the United States held the key to promoting a stable and humane international order.

Unfettered neoliberalism plus the unencumbered self plus unabashed American assertiveness: these defined the elements of the post-Cold-War consensus that formed during the first half of the 1990s ! plus what enthusiasts called the information revolution. The miracle of that "revolution," gathering momentum just as the Soviet Union was going down for the count, provided the secret sauce that infused the emerging consensus with a sense of historical inevitability.

The Cold War itself had fostered notable improvements in computational speed and capacity, new modes of communication, and techniques for storing, accessing, and manipulating information. Yet, however impressive, such developments remained subsidiary to the larger East-West competition. Only as the Cold War receded did they move from background to forefront. For true believers, information technology came to serve a quasi-theological function, promising answers to life's ultimate questions. Although God might be dead, Americans found in Bill Gates and Steve Jobs nerdy but compelling idols.

More immediately, in the eyes of the policy elite, the information revolution meshed with and reinforced the policy consensus. For those focused on the political economy, it greased the wheels of globalized capitalism, creating vast new opportunities for trade and investment. For those looking to shed constraints on personal freedom, information promised empowerment, making identity itself something to choose, discard, or modify. For members of the national security apparatus, the information revolution seemed certain to endow the United States with seemingly unassailable military capabilities. That these various enhancements would combine to improve the human condition was taken for granted; that they would, in due course, align everybody ! from Afghans to Zimbabweans ! with American values and the American way of life seemed more or less inevitable.

The three presidents of the post-Cold-War era ! Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama ! put these several propositions to the test. Politics-as-theater requires us to pretend that our 42nd, 43rd, and 44th presidents differed in fundamental ways. In practice, however, their similarities greatly outweighed any of those differences. Taken together, the administrations over which they presided collaborated in pursuing a common agenda, each intent on proving that the post-Cold-War consensus could work in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary.

To be fair, it did work for some. "Globalization" made some people very rich indeed. In doing so, however, it greatly exacerbated inequality , while doing nothing to alleviate the condition of the American working class and underclass.

The emphasis on diversity and multiculturalism improved the status of groups long subjected to discrimination. Yet these advances have done remarkably little to reduce the alienation and despair pervading a society suffering from epidemics of chronic substance abuse , morbid obesity , teen suicide , and similar afflictions. Throw in the world's highest incarceration rate , a seemingly endless appetite for porn , urban school systems mired in permanent crisis, and mass shootings that occur with metronomic regularity, and what you have is something other than the profile of a healthy society.

As for militarized American global leadership, it has indeed resulted in various bad actors meeting richly deserved fates. Goodbye, Saddam. Good riddance, Osama. Yet it has also embroiled the United States in a series of costly, senseless, unsuccessful, and ultimately counterproductive wars. As for the vaunted information revolution, its impact has been ambiguous at best, even if those with eyeballs glued to their personal electronic devices can't tolerate being offline long enough to assess the actual costs of being perpetually connected.

In November 2016, Americans who consider themselves ill served by the post-Cold-War consensus signaled that they had had enough. Voters not persuaded that neoliberal economic policies, a culture taking its motto from the Outback steakhouse chain, and a national security strategy that employs the U.S. military as a global police force were working to their benefit provided a crucial margin in the election of Donald Trump.

The response of the political establishment to this extraordinary repudiation testifies to the extent of its bankruptcy. The Republican Party still clings to the notion that reducing taxes, cutting government red tape, restricting abortion, curbing immigration, prohibiting flag-burning, and increasing military spending will alleviate all that ails the country. Meanwhile, to judge by the promises contained in their recently unveiled (and instantly forgotten ) program for a "Better Deal," Democrats believe that raising the minimum wage, capping the cost of prescription drugs, and creating apprenticeship programs for the unemployed will return their party to the good graces of the American electorate.

In both parties embarrassingly small-bore thinking prevails, with Republicans and Democrats equally bereft of fresh ideas. Each party is led by aging hacks. Neither has devised an antidote to the crisis in American politics signified by the nomination and election of Donald Trump.

While our emperor tweets, Rome itself fiddles.

... ... ...

Robert Magill > , August 8, 2017 at 5:06 pm GMT

First, abolish the Electoral College. Doing so will preclude any further occurrence of the circumstances that twice in recent decades cast doubt on the outcome of national elections and thereby did far more than any foreign interference to undermine the legitimacy of American politics.

The November numbers indicate that for the time being without the Electoral College, California and New York will elect our President well into the future.

http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

Priss Factor > , Website August 8, 2017 at 5:17 pm GMT

If Bacevich had really balls, he would cut to the chase and say it like it is.

I think Trump the person doesn't want trouble with Iran, Syria, and Russia. He's a businessman who wants to do business with the world while protecting US borders and sovereignty. Trump is anti-Iran because of Jewish Lobby. His peace with Russia was destroyed by the Lobby and its purse-strings and puppet-strings.

The undeniable fact of the US is it's not a democracy in terms of real power. It is a Jewish Supremacist Oligarchy. To be sure, there are Jewish critics of Jewish power. Think of Philip Weiss and others. Technically, US still has rule of law and due process. But in the end, the Power decides. Look at the anti-BDS bill supported even by Republicans who make a big stink about liberty and free speech.

California is said to be uber-'progressive', and many grassroots people there are supportive of BDS. But California elites and whore politicians are anti-BDS and even passed laws against it. What does that tell you?

Rule of Law is for little people. The Power has Rule of Rule. And if American People, along with their politicians, seem to schizo, well, what does one expect? They get their info from J-Media that feed that lies 24/7.

What is often called 'American' is processed mindset, like yellow American singles is bogus processed 'cheese food'. Because handful of industries control all the media that beam same signals to over 300 million TV sets in the US, 'Americanism' is processed mind-food. We need more organic minds. Too many minds have been processed and re-processed by Great Mind Grinder of J-Media.

The Scalpel > , Website August 9, 2017 at 9:51 pm GMT

AB's 10 recommendations remind me of the beauty pageant contestant answering the question about what she intended to do ."promote world peace".

Actually the beauty queen is being more sincere and realistic. AB's points are very nice sounding, but he gives us no idea how realistically, he or anyone could achieve them and we are left with the feeling that he is just grandstanding. Like the beauty queen, he knows that he will never do much of anything concrete to further these goals, not even if his life or his son' life, depended on it.

DYiFC > , August 10, 2017 at 10:04 am GMT

Well said. I agree – Trump is a symptom of the underlying problems in this country.

Stogumber > , August 12, 2017 at 5:49 am GMT

"Without the Cold War, what's the point of being an American?"

Well, Updike speaks from the position of a "universalist"? Did he ever consider that being an American may not mean standing up for universal ideas, but simply caring for one's own children and grandchildren? But even from a universalist position the answer seems simple now – not for Bacevich, but for me. The United States are singled out and unique w.r.t. their First Amendment. Whereas all other Western countries have succumbed to Bolshevist propaganda and have undermined freedom of speech, the "Americans" are the only ones to stand up for it. Why, even Damore may win a lawsuit against Google.

Carlton Meyer > , Website August 14, 2017 at 4:50 am GMT

Whoops Colonel, you forgot to add slashing military spending to your list. The USA could cut its military budget in half and still spend more than Russia, Iran, North Korea, and China combined. Trump's insane push for more military spending undermines his effort at cutting domestic programs to balance the budget. Yet Jimmy Dore explains that most Democrats voted boost the military budget even more than Trump!

It is unfair to depict Trump as a bumpkin. He graduated from an excellent university and used a few million dollars from Dad's seed money to become a billionaire. Moreover, he defied all odds to become President of the USA. I challenge all his brilliant critics to run for President in 2020 to prove that is simple.

LarryS > , August 14, 2017 at 4:59 am GMT

@Robert Magill The US Constitution would have to be amended to eliminate the Electoral College by 3/4 of the states ratifying the amendment. The smaller states would never vote to eliminate their role in electing the president. Nor should they. My respect for Bacevich is waning.

anonymous > , Disclaimer August 14, 2017 at 7:05 am GMT

As for militarized American global leadership, it has indeed resulted in various bad actors meeting richly deserved fates. Goodbye, Saddam. Good riddance, Osama.

Goodbye Saddam?? The implication being that all the death and destruction was somehow worth it?? You scum, of the most evil *beep* nation on earth! A pox on all of you.

The Alarmist > , August 14, 2017 at 8:07 am GMT

"First, abolish the Electoral College. Doing so will preclude any further occurrence of the circumstances that twice in recent decades cast doubt on the outcome of national elections and thereby did far more than any foreign interference to undermine the legitimacy of American politics."

Yeah, let's trade the consensus of a nation of local communities for the tyranny of the (bi-coastal) majority. I might give up the EC, however, if the system was replaced by gladiatorial combat to the death for all who want the job, or, if we're sticking to a two-party system, the decision can come by pistols at dawn (Good Morning America can't get the nod I hate that Roker chap, and I don't think Megan Kelly should be anywhere near selection of a President). Real skin in the game, so to say.

Yeah, bring back the draft. Military service only. We won't end senseless wars unless many more of our young people actually experience them, and that's not going to happen if they are picking up litter or emptying bed pans.

More money for public education? We've been doing that for years dude, and we get worse results as we spend more. There's already too much money in public education. College for all is a mistake, and in gen snowflake, tell me who isn't deserving. How about serious testing for results and beating for those who do not achieve them?

Income equality sounds nice, but it's never been had anywhere by taxation. It takes a certain societal moderation and modesty requiring our ruling elites to not want to be so conspicuous in their consumption (this in the age of the Rich Kids of Instagram) and to share the wealth through employment and good wages to their fellow citizens. Good luck with that ever gracing our shores.

Stop yakking about the pseudoscience nay the religion of climate change. Plant some more trees and take a couple aspirin. Add the costs of global wars for resources to the cost of gas, which will spike it to $6 per gallon and dissuade a lot of unnecessary driving.

Require all candidates for Federal elective office to be physically neutered, and forbid any of their progeny for at least three generations as well as any immediate relations closer than fourth cousin from holding any position of honor, elective office, or Federal employment whatsoever.

Priss Factor > , Website August 14, 2017 at 9:20 am GMT

Trump or no Trump, things would be much saner without Jewish globalist pressure.

I never liked Obama, but I don't think he has personal animus against Russia, Syria, Iran, Libya, or Palestinians. But given who was looking over his shoulder, he had to make things difficult for those nations, and that is why leaders of those nations and Obama came to hate one another. As for North Korea, much of the tensions wouldn't exist if US hadn't threatened or invaded 'axis of evil' nations and forced S. Korea to carry out joint exercises to prepare for invasion.

Same with Trump. I seriously doubt if Trump has personal animus against Syrians, Russians, Iranians, Palestinians, and etc. But who is looking over his shoulder? So, he has to hate the same people that Obama had to hate.

In the US, politicians must hate according to Jewish neurosis. And that's the problem. We don't have autonomy of likes and dislikes. Like dogs, we have to like or hate what our master likes or hates. And Jewish Globalists are elites. The great evil of America is we are forced to HATE whatever Jewish globalists Hate. It is a culture of Hate. Ironically, the biggest haters accuse others of hate.

Priss Factor > , Website August 14, 2017 at 9:49 am GMT

Jeff & Gerald Celente – The Trump Presidential Freak Show

Priss Factor > , Website August 14, 2017 at 10:25 am GMT

Stephen Cohen on why we need close cooperation with Russia.

A new kind of terrorism in aftermath of state collapse in Middle East.

But it seems new sanctions will totally derail any sane policy.

Reactionary Utopian > , August 14, 2017 at 11:05 am GMT

Most of Mr. Bacevich's piece was quite good. Then we got to the Ten-Point Program. A bold, revolutionary program calling for more of how we got here. What the hell?

Wizard of Oz > , August 14, 2017 at 12:10 pm GMT

@LarryS The US Constitution would have to be amended to eliminate the Electoral College by 3/4 of the states ratifying the amendment. The smaller states would never vote to eliminate their role in electing the president. Nor should they. My respect for Bacevich is waning. Yes, it is interesting how smaller states in federations show that they understand and will hold on to their leverage even when , as in Australia, the people themselves vote on constitutional change.

But why would eliminating the Electoral College allow presidentlal elections to be decided by the popular vote in California and NY as someone suggested? Aren't the number of electoral college votes adjusted quite promptly in proportion to population changes?

Wizard of Oz > , August 14, 2017 at 12:20 pm GMT

Here's an anti Imperial Presidency policy for the author to consider and perhaps endorse .

1. Move towards the constitutiobal monarchy or limited presidency parliamentary model by strengthening the H of R and relying on ordinary human ambition to forward the project;

2. Specifically extend Congressional terms from 2 years to 4 (and perhaps provide lots of public financing and free publicity to diminish thevcorruption by donors)

3. Enhance the role of Majority leader – indeed facilitate his forming his own Cabinet – and restrict the amending of budget bills submitted (as the main ones would have to be) by the leader of the majority – or his nominated Finance spokesperson..

Wizard of Oz > , August 14, 2017 at 12:44 pm GMT

@The Alarmist Aren't the votes in the Electoral College quite promptly adjusted for population changes?

The Alarmist > , August 14, 2017 at 1:40 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz To some extent, but since each state has at least one Representative and two Senators, there is a bias toward political geography that is difficult to overcome by population. This is a good thing.

The Alarmist > , August 14, 2017 at 1:51 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz Sorry, should have connected the dots each state's Electors total the same as their Congressional delegations in House and Senate, and House is capped at 435.

bliss_porsena > , August 14, 2017 at 1:57 pm GMT

Eleven: write more articles with never-can-be-done lists until the whole aberrant construct cracks wide open.

anonymous > , Disclaimer August 14, 2017 at 2:14 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz Only with respect to the EC votes corresponding to the number of House Representatives. From Wikipedia:

"Each state chooses electors, totaling in number to that state's combined total of senators and representatives."

Each state – irrespective of population – has two senators, so this protects citizens of less populous states from those in, e.g., California. Part of the Constitutional bargain that makes for a republic as opposed to a national democracy.

Were you sincerely unaware of this?

Wizard of Oz > , August 14, 2017 at 2:47 pm GMT

@The Alarmist Sorry, should have connected the dots ... each state's Electors total the same as their Congressional delegations in House and Senate, and House is capped at 435. Yes, the effect of adding in the senators is substantial. The two biggest (Democrat) states add just 4 out of 543 to their basic Congressional weighting while the 48 other states add 96/543. Thus 17.6 per cent against just an extra 0.7 per cent.
Not even Texas would think of supporting the abolition of the Electoral College. A pity yhe excellent author should be so sloppy as not at least to acknowledge which items on his wish list are pure fantasy.

Logan > , August 14, 2017 at 3:00 pm GMT

"Nominally, the Constitution assigns responsibilities and allocates prerogatives to three co-equal branches of government."

Oh, dear, I do get tired of this meme.

No, the Constitution does not create "three co-equal branches of government," no matter how often the phrase is repeated.

The Constitution establishes a legislative branch that, whenever it is sufficiently united and desirous, has absolute power over the other two branches.

The Congress can remove any member of the other two branches from office, among other powers, but the countervailing power of the other two branches over Congress, at least per the Constitution, is very limited indeed.

In most republics and constitutional monarchies, the executive branch has a number of ways to influence the legisilature, including calling new elections when desired. Our Constitution has none of that.

Under the Constitution, the Congress is not co-equal. Its supreme.

Logan > , August 14, 2017 at 3:17 pm GMT

@gustafus " as we import more and more of the LOW IQ 3rd world – education will be more about the reasons we don't boink our children siblings and cousins"

Nahh, that would be imposing our Eurocentric values on their vibrant cultures.

Wizard of Oz > , August 14, 2017 at 3:37 pm GMT

@Joe Franklin That sounds like another valid reason to stick with the EC.

Wizard of Oz > , August 14, 2017 at 3:40 pm GMT

@Logan And that's why it's ownership by the donors is so destructive.

Jus' Sayin'... > , August 14, 2017 at 4:09 pm GMT

@Robert Magill Any citizen of the USA and/or student of its history who writes in the same essay both that he is a conservative and that he favors abolishing the Electoral College is either a fool, an unprincipled knave, or most likely both.

Olorin > , August 14, 2017 at 4:36 pm GMT

@Robert Magill I came in to make the same point and will add that it would be effectively only two metropolitan areas–LA and NYC.

Whoever would control those cities politically would control the nation politically, economically, and socially the way Chicago's elites control much of Wisconsin (to use an example recently discussed at iSteve).

The republic would be ripe for division into two coastal demesnes vying with each other for power, resources, and serfs (both in the coastal hives and the "flyover states").

What is undermining the legitimacy of American politics isn't the United States Constitution. It is the countless billions of dollars spend on election campaigning each year. That includes all corollary expenditures, as on media buys and polling.

Not the kind of polling that involves voting. The kind of polling that Nate Silver does.

Election campaigns engineer infiltration of the public culture at every level–federal, state, county, municipal, and local–by divisive discourse and methods. These originally were developed so that merchants could differentiate and sell to the masses soap and junk food brands. Not even the commodities themselves–but brands of them.

Political campaigning rolls up the worst elements of advertising, PR, propaganda, and opinion research into one unending tsunami of hostility, division, manufactured conflict, false equivalencies, forced choices, and sneering tearing-down of what others believe, want, or have built.

The people who create political campaigns for a living–with all the corollary products that go with that, including the candidate himself/herself–are, like the people who communicate those, among the biggest parasites in the republic. They literally create positions, opinions, and ideas, then go out and create the demand for them by whatever means it takes. They produce nothing of value. They siphon off value and resources and set the conditions where by organic excellence is drowned in a sea of mass communications.

If the Electoral College were demolished tomorrow, they would have even more unfettered access to more billions of dollars as Candidate Cool Ranch Dorito vied for an influential and lucrative sinecure with Candidate Salty Crunchy Triangular Fried Corn Thing.

And thanks to Citizens United, money is free speech, and free speech means carefully selected, constructed, massaged, spun, and polled speech.

Keeping the campaign-media-finance industrial complex operating is all that matters to these people. Sounds like Bacevich is one of them. Members of the Pontificating Caste usually are. The Constitution is a barrier to their aspirations.

As it was designed to be.

Linda Green > , August 14, 2017 at 4:45 pm GMT

The author did a decent job of describing the zeitgeist. But his list of 10 big government solutions is a riot! The solution is a return to human liberty and acceptance of the reality that all politics that matter to people is local. But our owners don't like local, they like global, they like universal, they claim to be supporters of diversity but their diversity if they have their way looks exactly the same everywhere you go – wow, how diverse. You can be in any major metropolitan area in the US these days and you find it has the same chain store signage dominating the landscape, the same stories in the newspapers, the same ideological megaphones spouting (((their))) doctrines to the masses, the same conformity of expressed opinions (don't say what you really think if you want to keep your job at xyz corp), the same. And unbeknownst to most Americans who are quick to thank servicemen for "their service", their actual service is that when are elites have finally won the entire world will be indistinguishable like US metropolitan areas are today. There is not a big government solution to these issues, big xxx is the problem. The real question at least in my mind is if our owners would allow pockets of American style, liberty based pockets to emerge?

If we could find responsible enough men to do it, we could take back monetary sovereignty from the federal reserve and start a Bank of America. We have our politicians beginning to sell off the commons (highways for example) to investors. We can fund that by letting some money creation occur by being earned into existence rather than loaned into existence. This is explicitly disallowed in the FEDs charter, and it is not for certain we can find men responsible enough to handle this task without problems nor is it certain that global finance would not retaliate. But we have a lot of infrastructure that needs upgrading and maintenance. This would allow some level of exodus from the metros back to Mayberry if there were jobs. We need a small effective government that has a long term plan of how we are going to maintain our infrastructure. Presently the elected children in Washington, short sighted immature bunch they are, put construction money for bridges in the back of bills recognizing a particular day as "insert bullshit day here day" to make their fellow child go along with the pork they put is some other garbage bill. This is an awful way to run a country and the chickens have come home and are roosting. Let the metros continue their present course of forced conformity via peer shaming and propaganda.

Flavius > , August 14, 2017 at 5:44 pm GMT

Alarm bells going off in the night? How about Bill Clinton? Robert Dole? Al Gore? George W Bush? How about the stupendously unqualified mirage of Presidential gravitas, Barrack Obama? his opponents, the snarling ignoramus from Arizona, John McCain? the leaden corporatist Mitt Romney. Perhaps we are to understand these names that the Colonel leaves unmentioned as constituting the "slouching:" But the reason we have arrived at Mar-a-Lago is that the terminally corrupt Democratic Party chose as their candidate the terminally corrupt, stupendously unqualified former President's wife. The foresight of our founding Father's saved us from that miserable fate, thank you US Constitution.
But lest we become too nostalgic for a time when our co-equal legislative branch had members who could assert themselves against the stooge of the moment who the people had installed in the White House, let us take a moment to ponder the stupendous stupidity of our current body that just recently, with near unanimity, chose to lump Russia in with Iran and North Korea on its sanctions bill while producing no evidence of any kind to justify its measure.

Alden > , August 14, 2017 at 5:46 pm GMT

@Joe Franklin Vote fraud is not necessary in California. I'm the only person I know who votes Republican.

Logan > , August 14, 2017 at 6:00 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz Quite right. Though the whole thing started when the "real" job of the congressman became re-election. Once that was internalized, the rest was pretty much inevitable. As long as the government is heavily involved with businesses, determining not only their profit rate but perhaps whether they even survive, they will continue efforts to influence government decisions. Limiting contribution's primary effect, I suspect, would be to drive the influence-buying underground.

The solution, of course, is to get the government out of business and indeed everything else to the extent possible.

[Aug 12, 2017] Memo by Former Aide Warns of Leftist Conspiracy Against Trump

It is not hard left. This is neocons and neoliberals.
Notable quotes:
"... The episode came to light during what appears to be General McMaster's slow-rolling purge against hard-line aides on his staff who were close to Michael T. Flynn, ..."
"... Last week, Mr. McMaster dismissed Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who ran the council's intelligence division and whose ouster had been opposed by Mr. Bannon and Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser. ..."
"... efore arriving at the White House, Mr. Higgins had been outspoken. He appeared on Sean Hannity's talk radio show and on other conservative news outlets last year to share his views, including that the Muslim Brotherhood had taken over the decision-making in the White House during the Obama administration, ..."
"... Get politics and Washington news updates via Facebook , Twitter and the Morning Briefing newsletter . ..."
Aug 12, 2017 | www.msn.com

The seven-page memo by Rich Higgins, who had been a director for strategic planning at the council, is a manifesto against multiculturalism and political correctness, and a call, using apocalyptic language, for the president to return to the message that animated his campaign.

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While it is not clear the document ever reached Mr. Trump's desk, its emergence highlights the deep divide within the White House between Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser, and harder line officials aligned with Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump's chief strategist, over the administration's direction.

With its highly charged language and overtly political tone, the memo, which Mr. Higgins drafted on his White House computer and circulated to colleagues, set off alarm bells inside the West Wing. Most documents emanating from the National Security Council amount to dryly worded policy dissertations and intricate planning documents.

"This is not politics as usual but rather political warfare at an unprecedented level that is openly engaged in the direct targeting of a seated president through manipulation of the news cycle," Mr. Higgins wrote in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by Foreign Policy and published on Thursday. "Recognizing in candidate Trump an existential threat to cultural Marxist memes that dominate the prevailing cultural narrative, those that benefit recognize the threat he poses and seek his destruction."

Among those threatened by Mr. Trump is the "hard left," Mr. Higgins wrote. He said it was "aligned with lslamist organizations," including the Muslim Brotherhood and the Council on American-Islamic Relations; the American Civil Liberties Union and Black Lives Matter; and the United Nations.

"Complicating the current situation, many close to the president have pushed him off his message when he was candidate Trump thus alienating him from his base thereby isolating him in the process," Mr. Higgins wrote. He was echoing the concerns of some of Mr. Trump's earliest supporters, who have recently stepped up a public campaign to press for General McMaster's ouster. "When President Trump is not candidate Trump, he becomes dangerously exposed."

Mr. Higgins did not respond to messages requesting comment on Friday. A White House spokesman also declined to comment.

But two administration officials with knowledge of the situation said that after Mr. Higgins had circulated the document, which was widely viewed as inappropriate, he was ordered to resign. His resignation was demanded by Maj. Gen. Ricky Waddell, the deputy national security adviser, after consulting with General McMaster, according to the two officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it.

The episode came to light during what appears to be General McMaster's slow-rolling purge against hard-line aides on his staff who were close to Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump's first national security adviser, and shared Mr. Bannon's antiglobalist views. General McMaster succeeded Mr. Flynn after he resigned in February after the revelation that he misled Vice President Mike Pence and others about a telephone call with Russia's ambassador.

Last week, Mr. McMaster dismissed Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who ran the council's intelligence division and whose ouster had been opposed by Mr. Bannon and Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser. Derek Harvey, the top Middle East adviser, and Tera Dahl, the deputy chief of staff and a former writer for Breitbart News, which Mr. Bannon once ran, also resigned last month. The departure of Mr. Higgins as a result of his memo was first reported by The Atlantic .

The housecleaning has inflamed conservatives who have long been wary of General McMaster. Frank Gaffney Jr., the president of the Center for Security Policy and the architect of a public campaign to lobby for the general's firing, has singled out Mr. Higgins, a former Department of Defense employee, as a cause célèbre and on Friday called his memo "required reading."

"The document's alarming depiction of a multidimensional campaign to take down the president of the United States, backed by rigorous analysis, makes clear that the man deserving termination is not Rich Higgins, but the general who punished him ! and, thereby, tried to suppress his warning," Mr. Gaffney said in a statement on Friday.

Paul Nehlen, who is mounting his second Republican primary challenge against Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, posted a message on Twitter last week urging activists to call the White House and tell Mr. Trump "we want #McMaster fired for exiting Rich Higgins and other warriors fighting the Islamists."

Yet Mr. Trump has appeared to be unmoved by the campaign to remove his national security adviser. On Thursday, the president said he "absolutely" had full confidence in General McMaster, adding: "He's our friend. He's my friend. And he's a very talented man. I like him and I respect him."

B efore arriving at the White House, Mr. Higgins had been outspoken. He appeared on Sean Hannity's talk radio show and on other conservative news outlets last year to share his views, including that the Muslim Brotherhood had taken over the decision-making in the White House during the Obama administration, and that the concept of Islamophobia had been invented by terrorists to squelch critical thinking in the West.

In a video posted on Friday by the liberal-leaning group Right Wing Watch, Mr. Higgins is seen giving a talk in which he said administrations of both parties were to blame for the failure of the United States to curb terrorism.

"You'd sit in these meetings in the Bush administration, and the Muslim Brotherhood guys ! they'd be in the meetings, at the table with you; in the Obama administration, they're running the meetings," Mr. Higgins said in the video, which appeared to have been recorded last year. "You don't have to hate all Muslims ! all right, I have Muslim friends ! but you have to hate Islam."

Get politics and Washington news updates via Facebook , Twitter and the Morning Briefing newsletter .

[Aug 09, 2017] A hypothesis about Trump after-election malleability. It might be not deep state who forced him to shed his election campaign skin

Notable quotes:
"... Those with an interest in political economy will need to bend a little and admit that to some degree, beneath the workings of large macro forces of class and transnational capital, personal factors also play a role. Idiosyncratic characteristics, personality, and family life cannot be excluded. Nor can we ignore the role of the media, the new Cold War atmosphere that dominates US politics, the entrenched bureaucracy, the role of elite class prejudices, and a Trump support base divided into factions. ..."
"... Others have looked at institutional factors, such as Trump's insufficient number of loyal personnel with experience in government, to legislators acting as hostage-takers in holding up a large number of nominations. Another form of institutional explanation, one common in alternative media, is that there has been a coup by the "deep state". ..."
"... However, what they refer to as the deep state in most cases is just the state -- without anything particularly deep or mysterious about it. They refer to the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, the military, Congress, which are all very much the state . ..."
"... There were disturbing signs that Trump had begun to shed his campaign skin from the first days after his electoral triumph. First, there was his inexplicable need to ingratiate himself with his enemies, with those who worked assiduously to demonize him personally, and to demoralize and stigmatize his base. On prosecuting Hillary Clinton, after revelling in chants of "lock her up" at campaign rallies, after nearly promising she would be in jail if he were president, and explicitly vowing he would appoint a special prosecutor -- Trump instead told CBS' 60 Minutes on November 13: " I don't want to hurt them [the Clintons] , I don't want to hurt them. They're, they're good people. I don't want to hurt them". ..."
"... Trump misled people if he implied that his days of being a Clinton golf partner and patron were in the distant past. On Barack Obama, who had repeatedly mocked and berated him, Trump would then turn around and say about the man he said was virtually a founder of ISIS, "We get along. I don't know if he'll admit this, but he likes me. I like him ". When Trump visited Obama in the White House at the start of the transition, he seemed almost obsequious and unnecessarily generous in his flattery of Obama. ..."
Aug 09, 2017 | zeroanthropology.net

No single definitive explanation has been provided by any others analyzing Trump's malleability, and at best I am offering a draft of an explanation. What we have is a bundle of possible influences, pressures, constraints, mixed in with opportunism and class prejudice.

Those with an interest in political economy will need to bend a little and admit that to some degree, beneath the workings of large macro forces of class and transnational capital, personal factors also play a role. Idiosyncratic characteristics, personality, and family life cannot be excluded. Nor can we ignore the role of the media, the new Cold War atmosphere that dominates US politics, the entrenched bureaucracy, the role of elite class prejudices, and a Trump support base divided into factions.

Others have looked at institutional factors, such as Trump's insufficient number of loyal personnel with experience in government, to legislators acting as hostage-takers in holding up a large number of nominations. Another form of institutional explanation, one common in alternative media, is that there has been a coup by the "deep state".

However, what they refer to as the deep state in most cases is just the state -- without anything particularly deep or mysterious about it. They refer to the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, the military, Congress, which are all very much the state .

My concern is that "deep" state might mystify knowable actors and processes, shrouding them in a conspiratorial pall under which they operate with seemingly limitless power and with the independent ability to reproduce and fund themselves. Put another way, I have yet to read a "deep state" explanation for Trump's course changes, that does not sound like it is handing an alibi to Trump.

Next, let's review some of the main course changes charted by Trump after his electoral victory.

Trump's Deference to Obama and the Clintons

There were disturbing signs that Trump had begun to shed his campaign skin from the first days after his electoral triumph. First, there was his inexplicable need to ingratiate himself with his enemies, with those who worked assiduously to demonize him personally, and to demoralize and stigmatize his base. On prosecuting Hillary Clinton, after revelling in chants of "lock her up" at campaign rallies, after nearly promising she would be in jail if he were president, and explicitly vowing he would appoint a special prosecutor -- Trump instead told CBS' 60 Minutes on November 13: " I don't want to hurt them [the Clintons] , I don't want to hurt them. They're, they're good people. I don't want to hurt them".

Trump misled people if he implied that his days of being a Clinton golf partner and patron were in the distant past. On Barack Obama, who had repeatedly mocked and berated him, Trump would then turn around and say about the man he said was virtually a founder of ISIS, "We get along. I don't know if he'll admit this, but he likes me. I like him ". When Trump visited Obama in the White House at the start of the transition, he seemed almost obsequious and unnecessarily generous in his flattery of Obama.

Then there was the endless parade of visitors to Trump Tower in New York, invited by Trump as he possibly considered them for cabinet roles -- including the leader of the "Never Trump" campaign, and arch neoliberal Mitt Romney. Various familiar neoconservatives were also considered for key posts -- and each time a name was floated, such as that of Elliot Abrams, it was left to his legions of supporters to frantically try to change Trump's mind, well trained as they were by the experience of trying to clean up his messes over and over again during the campaign.

The uncertainty seemed to leave many of them desperate and worried about the strangely wavering Trump. In voting for Trump, his supporters certainly got neither what they asked for , nor what they deserved.

[Aug 09, 2017] Trump adviser fired over memo warning of globalist-Islamist 'deep state'

Aug 08, 2017 | www.wnd.com
Rich Higgins

Rich Higgins

But the fired adviser, Rich Higgans, is only the latest chip to fall in an ongoing "purge" of "America-first" stalwarts from the National Security Council.

The idea that an alliance of Obama holdovers consisting of globalists and Islamists are working inside the government as part of a "deep state" effort to destroy the Trump presidency has been a common theme put forth by outside analysts trying to explain the intrigue behind Trump's first six months in the White House.

But the idea apparently was not confined to outsiders. Higgins, a high-level official inside the president's National Security Council, sent a memo up the chain of command in May, warning of just such a plot. Higgins' memo caught the eye of McMaster and cost him his job.

According to a report Wednesday by the Atlantic , McMaster removed Higgins from his post as director of strategic planning on July 21 after reading the memo, which was considered too "conspiratorial."

The memo alleged that leftists, globalists, Islamists and "deep state" actors are engaged in "political warfare" against Trump. It states:

"Through the campaign, candidate Trump tapped into a deep vein of concern among many citizens that America is at risk and slipping away. Globalists and Islamists recognize that for their visions to succeed, America, both as an ideal and as a national and political identity, must be destroyed."

The memo described the insurrection against Trump as "Maoist" in nature.

"In Maoist insurgencies, the formation of a counter-state is essential to seizing state power," the memo reads. "Functioning as a hostile complete state acting within an existing state, it has an alternate infrastructure. Political warfare operates as one of the activities of the 'counter-state.'

"Because the left is aligned with Islamist organizations at local, national, and international levels, recognition should be given to the fact that they seamlessly interoperate through coordinated synchronized interactive narratives. These attack narratives are pervasive, full spectrum, and institutionalized at all levels. They operate in social media, television, the 24-hour news cycle in all media and are entrenched at the upper levels of the bureaucracies."

Several sources told the Atlantic they believed the memo made its way to Trump's desk, but that has not been confirmed.

Higgins spent a little more than two months on the job before he was ousted. Prior to joining the government, Higgins hit on similar issues in his writings, asserting Islam is in an alliance with secular, Marxist-oriented global elites in an effort to destroy America.

"National Security officials are prohibited from developing a factual understanding of Islamic threat doctrines, preferring instead to depend upon 5th column Muslim Brotherhood cultural advisors," he wrote in a September 2016 op-ed for the Washington Times .

The exit of Higgins and another official within the NSC apparatus, Senior Director for the Middle East Derek Harvey, could be an indication that the "deep state," if it exists, is gunning for its ultimate enemy within the White House – former Breitbart executive chairman Steve Bannon.

Bannon, the president's chief strategist, has already been removed, at McMaster's behest, from the daily briefings of the NSC.

McMaster recoils at 'list' of Obama holdovers

Like Higgins, Harvey is a Bannon ally. Harvey reportedly kept a list of Obama holdovers who were seeking to undermine the Trump agenda.

McMaster declined to fire any of the persons on the list and, in fact, made statements at a NSC town-hall meeting that "there is no such thing as a holdover." He said career federal staffers were among the most loyal public servants.

Yet, that would seem to conflict with comments made by Obama's own top domestic-policy adviser, Cecilia Muñoz, in April 2015. As reported by WND , Muñoz, speaking at a symposium of the White House Task Force on New Americans live-streamed over the Internet, said it was her top priority to "institutionalize" Obama's policies throughout all federal agencies so they would live on long after she and her boss left the White House.

In addition to the terminations of Harvey and Higgins, McMaster also purged from the NSC staff Tera Dahl, a former Breitbart writer and congressional aide to Michele Bachmann.

A fourth Trump conservative, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, has been fired from his position as senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council, according to a report by Conservative Review on Wednesday .

As for the future, continued volatility could be in the cards, depending on McMaster's ability to retain the president's confidence, said Philip Haney, a former DHS immigration officer who co-authored the whistleblower book " See Something, Say Nothing ."

"If you are Trump, you need to realize your people are being purged out of the agencies, one by one, and if there are no holdovers why is McMaster firing people?" Haney told WND.

"The people he's letting go are not Obama holdovers. He's keeping those designated as holdovers and purging the people who helped President Trump get elected. So if he's seeking unity, he seems to be replacing people who are loyal to Trump or prominently supportive of Trump.

"If you are (presidential deputy assistant) Sebastian Gorka and Steve Bannon, you've got to be pretty nervous right now."

More important than the faces of the people leaving or entering the administration is the future of American foreign policy as it relates to Islamic terrorism and its more subtle counterpart – civilizational jihad.

Higgins may have tipped his hand to what he believes a responsible national security policy would look like in his op-ed last fall in the Washington Times.

He wrote :

A strategic reassessment of the entire combating terrorism effort that is free from politically correct nonsense is long overdue. The "Islam has nothing to do with terrorism" narratives have effectively shut down the intelligence process for the war in any meaningful sense. Sure, we CT officers could look at organizations and people and places, some of which had Islamic names, but we could never dig into the political and ideological reasons the enemy was attacking us – which is supposed to be the first order of business in any strategic threat assessment.

He tried to provide a vivid picture to his higher ups of what he believed they were up against, and he was rewarded with a pink slip.

[Aug 02, 2017] President Trump Signs Russia Sanctions Bill but Issues Signing Statement of 'Concern' by Jason Ditz

This looks like attempt of Republicans to placate DemoRats (Neoliberal democrats) at the expense of Russia... A lot of internal politics involved.
Notable quotes:
"... And while he clearly had big problems with the bill, he signed it anyhow, saying he plans to work with Congress to "make the bill better," even though it's already the law of the land now. After struggles within Congress to get the bills through, there is little appetite to re-negotiate it. ..."
"... The bill imposes new sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea, and limits the president's ability to remove sanctions without Congressional permission. Russia and Iran have threatened retaliation over the bill, as has the European Union, which fears the bill is going to target German energy companies. ..."
Aug 02, 2017 | news.antiwar.com

Condemns 'Seriously Flawed' Bill, Signs It Anyhow

Despite comments from the administration in recent days suggesting they were satisfied with the changes made to the Russia sanctions bill, President Trump's signing statement on the bill was an outright condemnation, insisting it improperly encroaches on his power, and hurts European allies .

And while he clearly had big problems with the bill, he signed it anyhow, saying he plans to work with Congress to "make the bill better," even though it's already the law of the land now. After struggles within Congress to get the bills through, there is little appetite to re-negotiate it.

In reality, Trump didn't have a lot of choice on the matter, as the overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate meant they could've easily overridden a veto if he'd offered it, which would've been politically embarrassing, particularly on a Russia-themed bill.

The bill imposes new sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea, and limits the president's ability to remove sanctions without Congressional permission. Russia and Iran have threatened retaliation over the bill, as has the European Union, which fears the bill is going to target German energy companies.

[Aug 02, 2017] Sanctions, smoke and mirrors from a kindergarten on LSD by Saker

Notable quotes:
"... "Israel Lobby" is, of course, a misnomer. The Israel Lobby has very little interest in Israel as a country or, for that matter, for the Israeli people. If anything, the Israel Lobby ought to be called the "Neocon Lobby". ..."
"... For one thing, it does not represent US interests. Neither does it represent the interests of Israel. Rather, it represents the interests of a specific subset of the US ruling elites, in reality much smaller than 1% of the population, which all share in the one common ideology of worldwide domination typical of the Neocons. ..."
"... Keep in mind that the historical record shows that while the Neocons are fantastically driven, they are not particularly smart. Yes, they do have the kind of rabid ideological determination which allows them to achieve a totally disproportionate influence over US policies, but when you actually read what they write and listen to what they say you immediately realize that these are rather mediocre individuals with a rather parochial mindset which makes them both very predictable and very irritating to the people around them. ..."
"... urbi et orbi ..."
"... Zero effects? Speaking of changing policy is true but not that it won't create troubles for Russia. Anyway, any aggression requires swift and ruthless response otherwise it invites more of aggression. Putin is wrong to behave the way he behaves. There must be zero patience and head for an eye response. Than aggression stops. ..."
"... someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq? And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to? "rights on climate change and refugee admissions" Seriously? Oh please. ..."
"... The Syrian Government did not ask Washington to intervene, so under international law American intervention and bombings there are as legitimate as "Saving Vietnam from the commies", "Bringing democracy to Iraq", or . the list is long. No adventure on that list turned out well for America or anyone else, with the exception of the merchants of death. ..."
"... This could no doubt be more accurately stated as, the Israel Lobby has nothing to do with the interests of the Israeli people. It seems to exist for the benefit of the ultra moneybag crowd and its deranged puppets such as Netanyahooooo! ..."
"... anything is possible with this gang of criminal sociopaths. Their poster boy is now an insatiable warmonger who is suffering from brain cancer! How could things get any worse? ..."
"... After the impressive military victories the US has achieved against such formidable foes as Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, mighty Grenada, Serbia and Libya, taking on Russia should be a "cakewalk", right? And to think there is a sizable demographic in this country which still believes this! Unbelievable. The last time that the US took on a military opponent at rough conventional parity with it (the Chinese in Korea) the result was a stalemate. To paraphrase Cardinal Newman, "To be deep in history is to cease to be a neocon." ..."
"... I'm afraid you're right. But I remain puzzled at how 98 Senators could have been lined up for that stupidity. ..."
"... The current crisis between the largely special interest owned American executive branch and the largely failing reformer Donald Trump can be a historic opportunity for Europe to mend the artificial divide between the European Union and Russia. The crisis can also be a golden opportunity to shake the corrupt system of government in the USA. These opportunities are subject to having strong and free leaders who can capitalize on the hubris of the ignorant senators and representatives on Capitol Hill. ..."
"... This sanctions bill is a domestic US matter. The Republicans are trying to pacify the Democrats' rage and bitterness over losing the election. It is most convenient for them to adopt the canard blaming Russia for the result of the election. The voters knew exactly where Trump stands on Russia, so even if Russia leaked the DNC and Podesta emails, there was no theft of the election. Voters were not mislead about positions, and knew very well the Democrats accuse the Russian of the leaks. ..."
"... We have an old saying: when you're enemy's committing suicide, stand back and let him. That's what Washington is doing now: committing suicide. ..."
"... I don't believe the "with every fiber of their being" part. This is just wishful thinking on the part of Saker. If this were so, they wouldn't just be grumbling or trusting their corrupt representatives. Average Americans still elect people like McCain, Graham and Schumer and I haven't seen any mass anti-war demonstrations in Washington or New York or anywhere else. ..."
"... Oil is the only reason the global population has quadrupled in only the last 100 years. The Industrial Revolution was not enough. Oil is necessary to maintain this population and keep it fed. ..."
"... Much is made of this so-called "neocon" business. They appear to be a current highly aggressive strain of American expansionism. However, there were no "neocons" in 1898 when the US saw it's opportunity to attack Spain and grab away it's holdings. The US has been aggressively expanding ever since, inserting itself into both world wars at the very last minute in order to gain as much for itself as possible. ..."
"... And, yes, that another THING; this time the opponent can retaliate hard. Nukes do make all that difficult to execute. ..."
Jul 31, 2017 | www.unz.com

The latest US sanctions and the Russian retaliatory response have resulted in a torrent of speculations in the official media and the blogosphere – everybody is trying to make sense of a situation which appears to make no sense at all. Why in the world would the US Senate adopt new sanctions against Russia when Russia has done absolutely nothing to provoke such a vote? Except for Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders, every single US Senator voted in favor of these sanctions. Why?! This is even more baffling when you consider that the single biggest effect of these sanctions will be to trigger a rift, and possibly even counter-sanctions , between the US and the EU. What is absolutely clear is that these sanctions will have exactly zero effect on Russia and I don't think anybody is seriously expecting the Russians to change anything at all in their policies. And yet, every Senator except Paul and Sanders voted for this. Does that make any sense to you?

Let's try to figure out what is going on here.

First, a simple reminder: like all US politicians, from the county level to the US Congress, Senators have only one consideration when then vote – "what's in it for me?". The very last thing which any US Senator really cares about are the real life consequences of his/her vote. This means that to achieve the kind of quasi unanimity (98%) for a totally stupid vote there was some kind of very influential lobby which used some very forceful "arguments" to achieve such a vote. Keep in mind that the Republicans in the Senate knew that they were voting against the wishes of their President. And yet every single one except for Rand Paul voted for these sanctions, that should tell you something about the power of the lobby which pushed for them. So who would have such power?

The website " Business Pundit: Expert Driven " has helpfully posted an article which lists the 10 top most powerful lobbies in Washington, DC . They are (in the same order as in the original article)

Okay, why not? We could probably rearrange them, give them different labels, add a couple (like the "Prison Industrial Complex" or the "Intelligence Community") but all in all this is an okay list. Any name on it jump at you yet?

One could make the case that most of these lobbies need an enemy to prosper, this is certainly true of the Military-Industrial Complex and the associated high tech industry, and one could also reasonably claim that Big Oil, Mining and Agribusiness see Russia has a potential competitor. But a closer look at the interests these lobbies represent will tell you that they are mostly involved in domestic politics and that faraway Russia, with her relatively small economy, is just not that important to them. This is also clearly true for Big Pharma, the AARP and the NRA. Which leaves the Israel Lobby as the only potential candidate.

"Israel Lobby" is, of course, a misnomer. The Israel Lobby has very little interest in Israel as a country or, for that matter, for the Israeli people. If anything, the Israel Lobby ought to be called the "Neocon Lobby". Furthermore, we also have to keep in mind that the Neocon Lobby is unlike any other lobby in the list above. For one thing, it does not represent US interests. Neither does it represent the interests of Israel. Rather, it represents the interests of a specific subset of the US ruling elites, in reality much smaller than 1% of the population, which all share in the one common ideology of worldwide domination typical of the Neocons.

These are the folks who in spite of their 100% ironclad control of the media and Congress lost the Presidential election to Donald Trump and who are now dead set to impeach him. These are the folks who simply use "Russia" as a propagandistic fulcrum to peddle the notion that Trump and his entourage are basically Russian agents and Trump himself as a kind of "Presidential Manchurian Candidate".

Keep in mind that the historical record shows that while the Neocons are fantastically driven, they are not particularly smart. Yes, they do have the kind of rabid ideological determination which allows them to achieve a totally disproportionate influence over US policies, but when you actually read what they write and listen to what they say you immediately realize that these are rather mediocre individuals with a rather parochial mindset which makes them both very predictable and very irritating to the people around them. They always overplay their hand and then end up stunned and horrified when all their conspiracies and plans come tumbling down on them.

I submit that this is exactly what is happening right now.

First, the Neocons lost the elections. For them, it was a shock and a nightmare. The "deplorables" voted against the unambiguously clear "propaganda instructions" given to them by the media. Next, the Neocons turned their rabid hatred against Trump and they succeeded at basically neutering him, but only at the cost of terribly weakening the USA themselves! Think of it: 6 months plus into the Trump administration the USA has already managed to directly threaten Iran, Syria, the DPRK and in all cases with exactly zero results. Worse, Trump's behavior towards Europe and the anti-Trump propaganda inside Europe has now put the EU and the US on a collision course. This is absolutely amazing: for the Russians the current tensions between the EU and the USA are a dream come true and yet they had absolutely nothing to do with it – it was all done by the self-defeating stupidity of the Americans who created this situation completely ex nihilo !

So while Kim Jong-un fires missiles on the 4th of July, the Syrian Army is closing in on Deir ez-Zor, the Ukraine is turning into Somalia, the Russian economy is back to growth and Putin's popularity is as high as ever, the Neocons are totally freaking out and, as is typical of a person losing control, they don't do things which would make sense but do what they are used to doing: slapping sanctions (even if they are totally ineffective) and sending messages (even if they are totally ignored). In other words, the Neocons are now engaging in magical thinking, the deliberately chose to delude themselves about their power and influence and they are coping with their full-spectrum failure at everything by pretending that their votes in Congress matter. They truth is – they don't.

Here is where we need to turn to the other misconception in this matter, that the Russian reaction to these latest sanctions is really about these sanctions. It is not.

First, let's tackle the myth that these sanctions are hurting Russia. They really don't. Even the 100% russophobic Bloomberg is beginning to realize that, if anything, all these sanctions have made both Putin and Russia stronger . Second, there is the issue of timing: instead of slapping on some counter-sanctions the Russians suddenly decided to dramatically reduce the US diplomatic personnel in Russia and confiscate a two US diplomatic facilities in a clear retaliation for the expulsion of Russian diplomats and seizure of Russian diplomatic facilities by Obama last year. Why now?

Many observers say that the Russians are "naive" about the West and the USA, that Putin was "hoping" for better relations and that this hope was paralyzing him. Others say that Putin is "weak" or even "in cahoots" with the West. This is all total nonsense.

People tend to forget that Putin was an officer in the foreign intelligence branch of the KGB, the so-called "First Main Directorate" (PGU). Furthermore, Putin has recently revealed that he worked in the highly secretive "Directorate S" of the PGU and he was in charge of contacts with a network of illegal Soviet spies in East-Germany (were Putin was under the official cover of Director of the USSR-GDR Friendship House). If the PGU was the "elite of the elite" of the KGB, and its most secretive part, then the "Directorate S" was the "elite of the elite" of the PGU and its most secretive part. This is most definitely not a career for "naive" or "weak" people, to put it mildly! First and foremost, PGU officers were "specialists of the West" in general, and of the United States especially because the USA was always officially considered as the "main enemy" (even if most PGU officers personally considered the British as their most capable, dangerous and devious adversary). Considering the superb level of education and training given to these officers, I would argue that the PGU officers were amongst the best experts of the West anywhere in the world. Their survival and the survival of their colleagues depended on their correct understanding of the western world. As for Putin personally, he has always taken action in a very deliberate and measured way and there is no reason to assume that this time around the latest US sanctions have suddenly resulted in some kind of emotional outburst in the Kremlin. You can be darn sure that this latest Russian reaction is the result of very carefully arrived to conclusion and the formulation of a very precise and long-term objective.

I submit that the key to the correct understanding of the Russian response is in the fact that the latest US sanctions contain an absolutely unprecedented and, frankly, shocking feature: the new measures strip the President from the authority to revoke the sanctions. In practical terms, if Trump wanted to lift any of these sanctions, he would have to send an official letter to Congress which would then have 30 days to approve or reject the proposed action. In other words, the Congress has now hijacked the power of the Presidency to conduct foreign policy and taken upon itself to micromanage the US foreign policy.

That, my friends, is clearly a constitutional coup d'état and a gross violation of the principles of separation of powers which is at the very core of the US political system.

It also is a telling testimony to the utter depravity of the US Congress which took no such measures when Presidents bypass Congress and started wars without the needed congressional authority, but which is now overtly taking over the US foreign policy to prevent the risk of "peace breaking out" between Russia and the USA.

And Trump's reaction?

He declared that he would sign the bill.

Yes, the main is willing to put his signature on the text which represents an illegal coup d'état against this own authority and against the Constitution which he swore to uphold.

With this in mind, the Russian reaction is quite simple and understandable: they have given up on Trump.

Not that they ever had much hope in him, but they always strongly felt that the election of Trump might maybe provide the world with a truly historical opportunity to change the disastrous dynamic initiated by the Neocons under Obama and maybe return the international relations to a semblance of sanity. Alas, this did not happen, Trump turned out to be an overcooked noodle whose only real achievement was to express his thoughts in 140 characters or less. But the one crucial, vital, thing which Trump absolutely needed to succeed in – mercilessly crushing the Neocons – he totally failed to achieve. Worse, his only reaction to their multi-dimensional attempts at overthrowing him were each time met with clumsy attempts at appeasing them.

For Russia is means that President Trump has now been replaced by "President Congress".

Since it is absolutely impossible to get anything done with this Congress anyway, the Russians will now engage in unilaterally beneficial measures such as dramatically reducing the number of US diplomats in Russia. For the Kremlin, these sanctions are no so much an unacceptable provocation has an ideal pretext to move on a number of Russian internal policies. Getting rid of US employees in Russia is just a first step.

Next, Russia will use the frankly erratic behavior of the Americans to proclaim urbi et orbi that the Americans are irresponsible, incapable of adult decision-making and basically "gone fishing". The Russians already did that much when they declared that the Obama-Kerry team was недоговороспособны (nedogovorosposobny: "non agreement capable", more about this concept here ). Now with Trump signing his own constitutional demise, Tillerson unable to get UN Nikki to shut the hell up and Mattis and McMaster fighting over delusional plans to stop "not winning" in Afghanistan, the Obama-Kerry teams starts to look almost adult.

Frankly, for the Russians now is the time to move on.

I predict that the Neocon-crazies will not stop until they impeach Trump. I furthermore predict that the USA will not launch any major military interventions (if only because the USA has run out of countries it can safely and easily attack). Some "pretend interventions" (like the ill-fated missile strike on Syria) remain, of course, quite possible and even likely. This internal slow-mo coup against Trump will absorb the vast majority of the energy to get anything done, and leave foreign policy as simply another byproduct of internal US politics.

The East-Europeans are now totally stuck. They will continue to haplessly observe the unfolding Ukrainian disaster while playing at silly games pretending to be tough on Russia (the latest example of that kind of "barking from behind a fence" can be seen in the rather pathetic closure of the Romanian air space to a civilian aircraft with Russian Vice-Premier Dmitri Rogozin amongst the passengers). The real (West) Europeans will gradually come back to their senses and begin making deals with Russia. Even France's Emmanuel Macron de Rothschild will probably prove a more adult partner than The Donald.

But the real action will be elsewhere – in the South, the East and the Far-East. The simple truth is that the world cannot simply wait for the Americans to come back to their senses. There are a lot of crucial issues which need to be urgently tackled, a lot of immense projects which need to be worked on, and a fundamentally new and profoundly different multi-polar world which needs to be strengthened. If the Americans want to basically recuse themselves from it all, if they want to bring down the constitutional order which their Founding Fathers created and if they want to solely operate in the delusional realm which has no bearing on reality – that is both their right and their problem.

Washington DC is starting to look like a kindergarten on LSD – something both funny and disgusting. Predictably, the kids don't look too bright: a mix of bullies and spineless idiots. Some of them have their fingers on a nuclear button, and that is outright scary. What the adults need to do now is to figure out a way of keeping the kids busy and distracted so they don't press the damn button by mistake. And wait. Wait for the inevitable reaction of a country which is so much more and better than its rulers and which now desperately needs a real patriot to stop Witches' Sabbath in Washington DC.

I will end this column on a personal note. I just crossed the USA, literally, from the Rogue River in Oregon to East Central Florida. During that long trip I did not only see breathtakingly beautiful sights, but also plenty of beautiful people who oppose the satanic ball in DC with every fiber of their being and who want their country to be free from the degenerate demonic powers which have taken over the federal government. I have now lived a total of 20 years in the USA and I have learned to love and deeply appreciate the many kind, decent, honorable and simply beautiful people who live here. Far from seeing the American people as enemies of Russia, I see them has natural allies, if only because we have the same enemy (the Neocons in DC) and absolutely no objective reasons for conflict, none whatsoever. Moreover, in many ways Americans and Russians are very much alike, sometimes in comical ways. Just as during the Cold War I never lost hope in the Russian people, I now refuse to lose hope in the American people. Yes, the US federal government is disgusting, evil, ugly, stupid, degenerate and outright satanic, but the people of the USA are not. Far from it. I don't know if this country can survive the current regime as one unitary USA or whether it will break up in several quite different entities (something I see as very possible), but I do believe that the people of the USA will survive and overcome just as the Russian people survived the horrors of the 1980s and 1990s.

[Sidebar: after being accused of being a "paid Putin agent" (Vladimir, please send me money!!), a "Jew-lover" or even a "crypto-Jew" myself, a Nazi and Anti-Semite (which decent and good person has not been called an Anti-Semite" at least once in his/her life), a Communist and a Muslim (or, at least, a "Muslim propagandist"), I will now be called an "USA lover". Fine. Guilty as charged! I do love this country very much, as I do love its people. In fact, my heart often breaks for them and for the immense sufferings the Anglo-Zionist Empire also inflicts upon them. In the fight between the people of the USA and the Empire I unapologetically side with the people whom I see as friends, allies and even brothers.]

Right now the USA appears to be plunging into a precipice very similar to the one the Ukraine has plunged into (which is unsurprising, really, the same people inflicting the same disasters on whatever country they infect with their presence). The big difference is that immense and untapped potential of the USA to bounce back. There might not even be a Ukraine in 10 years, but there will most definitely be a USA, albeit maybe a very different one or even maybe several successor states.

But for the time being, I can only repeat what Floridians say when a hurricane comes barreling down on them: "hunker down" and brace for some very difficult and dangerous times to come. (Republished from The Vineyard of the Saker by permission of author or representative)

Bragadocious > , August 1, 2017 at 12:58 am GMT

Worse, Trump's behavior towards Europe and the anti-Trump propaganda inside Europe has now put the EU and the US on a collision course. This is absolutely amazing: for the Russians the current tensions between the EU and the USA are a dream come true and yet they had absolutely nothing to do with it – it was all done by the self-defeating stupidity of the Americans who created this situation completely ex nihilo

So I guess the Americans are stupid for antagonizing Russia, they're stupid for antagonizing Russia's enemies in the EU–they're just plain stupid, according to this Dutch-Russian emigre. I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't. And if this upsets Western Europe, so much the better. Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq? And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to?

Sharrukin > , August 1, 2017 at 1:50 am GMT

@Bragadocious Worse, Trump's behavior towards Europe and the anti-Trump propaganda inside Europe has now put the EU and the US on a collision course. This is absolutely amazing: for the Russians the current tensions between the EU and the USA are a dream come true and yet they had absolutely nothing to do with it – it was all done by the self-defeating stupidity of the Americans who created this situation completely ex nihilo

So I guess the Americans are stupid for antagonizing Russia, they're stupid for antagonizing Russia's enemies in the EU--they're just plain stupid, according to this Dutch-Russian emigre. I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't. And if this upsets Western Europe, so much the better. Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq? And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to? Americans and the US government are two different things.

That is no small part of why Trump got elected.

Antagonize Russia to what purpose?

Now we have Haley at the UN, Tillerton, and McMaster making statements at odds with Trumps and they still have a job. Can Trump even remove them?

Who is actually in charge of the American government? Is it Trump or the Neocons?

The entire Russia hacking story is a joke and probably a setup by the Democrats if their links to Fusion GPS is true.

Regardless, foreign nations have to deal with the world outside of Washington DC and its looks like the lunatics have taken control of the DC asylum which may well be the case.

The problem is the lack of coherence from Washington.

We may be looking at a slow motion coup, or simple incompetence, but Trump never struck me as incompetent in his other business dealings.

A power struggle seems to make the most sense.

Ned > , August 1, 2017 at 2:07 am GMT

God bless you Saker

Ned > , August 1, 2017 at 2:08 am GMT

@Bragadocious Worse, Trump's behavior towards Europe and the anti-Trump propaganda inside Europe has now put the EU and the US on a collision course. This is absolutely amazing: for the Russians the current tensions between the EU and the USA are a dream come true and yet they had absolutely nothing to do with it – it was all done by the self-defeating stupidity of the Americans who created this situation completely ex nihilo

So I guess the Americans are stupid for antagonizing Russia, they're stupid for antagonizing Russia's enemies in the EU--they're just plain stupid, according to this Dutch-Russian emigre. I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't. And if this upsets Western Europe, so much the better. Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq? And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to? Your trolling comment is offensive

Excal > , August 1, 2017 at 2:26 am GMT

"During that long trip I did not only see breathtakingly beautiful sights, but also plenty of beautiful people who oppose the satanic ball in DC with every fiber of their being and who want their country to be free from the degenerate demonic powers which have taken over the federal government."

I am anything but beautiful, but everything else about that sentence describes me.

I have never been to Russia, but I have known many Russians, and I am a bit of a Russophile. I voted for Trump partly because I was certain that Clinton would immediately plunge us into war with Russia. It sickens me that the senate are now rattling sabres against them. I am praying for them, and that this country is stopped from doing any real damage to them.

I can't help but wonder whether the all-but-signed alliance with the Saudis has something to do with this. There must be something diabolical there too.

Bragadocious > , August 1, 2017 at 3:45 am GMT

@Ned Your trolling comment is offensive You returned from a 3-year posting absence to write that?

exiled off mainstreet > , August 1, 2017 at 5:07 am GMT

Great picture and great description. Hopefully, things will degenerate to the point where they can't gin up a nuclear war.

NoseytheDuke > , August 1, 2017 at 6:21 am GMT

@Bragadocious You returned from a 3-year posting absence to write that? So Ned took a break for whatever reason, what of it? He wrote that your comment was offensive, I would have called it simply stupid. It smacks of knee-jerk chest-thumping of the sort that the US has already had more than enough of.

Yes, the neocons took over before Trump. Good observation, Sherlock. Trump was elected because he promised to do something about it but so far he's been a wimp. Many people still hope that Trump is merely playing rope-a-dope but Saker makes it clear in the article that this time is different in that it undermines the president's authority and it neuters his ability to effect change. Chew on that please, or better still, re-read the article.

Saker was hoping for peace just like so many Americans were when they voted for DT but it is increasingly looking like it's not going to happen.

Grandpa Charlie > , August 1, 2017 at 6:22 am GMT

I see USA as analogous to the Chinese Empire during its "decline and fall" 1850-1950 (very last part of the Manchu dynasty). Of course, it's a rough analogy, but it's there all the same. Like China back then, the "Court" of the USA like the imperial court of China was willing to sell off anything and everything. It's all been for sale for at least the last 50 years. (If you want an example, take the Panama Canal.)

In that milieu, consider the neocons. What are they unless (like the DNC and the GOP's National Central Committee) but a money-laundering and influence-peddling center. So apply that to the "known known" that the main 'position' of the neocons (their excuse for some kind of principle) is "Russia is dangerous and must be destroyed." As seen in the Saker's article, that is a destructive proposition – destructive of the interests of the USA and its people. So then WHY – why do the neocons pursue that agenda? Well, if you think about the nature of the neocons, of Congress, etc., you realize that the neocons must be making money off of this. They are pushing the anti-Russia agenda because they are paid to do so. Then, ask yourself, as with any money-following effort, CUI BONO? Well. what is accomplished by keeping the heat turned up on Russia? Isn't it that the anti-Russia agenda provides a distraction from what China is doing? And who, almost certainly, has been paying off the neocons for almost 50 years now – ever since Kissinger (godfather of the neocons) took his secret trip to Beijing in 1973. Put it this way: the old China lobby had been providing huge amounts of $US to the entire USA establishment – in particular to political parties and to the media – since way back in WW II. Now there would be a huge hole where the old China lobby had been. Who would fill that? Kissinger, for all his many faults, was smart enough to know, and Chou En-Lai was smart enough to know, what had to be done. And the old China Lobby had long seen the writing on the wall. So the old China Lobby was taken over by the New China Lobby. Lo-and-behold, Kissinger created the neocons where the paleocons had been. (If you want, you can also find evidence of an effective conspiracy extending back into WW II and the 1930′s, but that might mean identifying with the old JBS, and I want to stay focused on issues more current.)

That's the basic reality about the neocons. The PRC (or its rulers in the Standing Committee) are the neocons' bread-and-butter. Oh, sure they appreciate the Israel lobby and they need it to keep Congress dumb and afraid but their bread-and-butter is the PRC. Or more precisely, the Standing Committee. Americans like to think that we have all the billionaires (or the billionaires have us), but the reality is that USA's politicians, bureaucrats and bankers deal with many billionaires, including the billionaires (active and retired) of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China and the billionaires of the Kim dynasty of the DPRK. These billionaires use their money much more in concert with one another than do most billionaires. So they get what they want. And what they want includes the ability not to be bothered by, e.g., the US Navy when they decide to extend their empire over the SCS and do not want USA's people even to know that Hanoi asks pleadingly to become a port and outpost of the US Navy. Etc. etc.

If you find this hard to believe, google on "Clinton china bribery." Or, here at the Unz Review, check out Peter Lee's 'China Matters' blog story "Four Corners/Fairfax". Just think it over. If your mind has been closed, let it open.

"Yet none dare call it treason."

Parbes > , August 1, 2017 at 6:27 am GMT

The neocons and their media in the U.S. and the rest of the West simply HAVE to be taken out, one way or another. This is the only acceptable route – a knot tying the whole world up in insanity, which must be broken.

utu > , August 1, 2017 at 7:56 am GMT

@Bragadocious Worse, Trump's behavior towards Europe and the anti-Trump propaganda inside Europe has now put the EU and the US on a collision course. This is absolutely amazing: for the Russians the current tensions between the EU and the USA are a dream come true and yet they had absolutely nothing to do with it – it was all done by the self-defeating stupidity of the Americans who created this situation completely ex nihilo

So I guess the Americans are stupid for antagonizing Russia, they're stupid for antagonizing Russia's enemies in the EU--they're just plain stupid, according to this Dutch-Russian emigre. I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't. And if this upsets Western Europe, so much the better. Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq? And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to? Did I miss it or Saker does not even explain what kind of sanctions were imposed but nevertheless he assures his readers that they won't hurt Russia and possibly make it even stronger and basically everything will be hunky-dory because PGU has extremely well qualified individuals on its staff: "superb level of education and training." And obviously Putin is a superman who was in charge of spies in East Germany which required as much sophistication and risk taking as spying in Wales for James Bond.

Randal > , August 1, 2017 at 8:15 am GMT

But the one crucial, vital, thing which Trump absolutely needed to succeed in – mercilessly crushing the Neocons – he totally failed to achieve.

Indeed. The next step, as with Buchanan's piece today which is similarly discouraged as far as US foreign policy under Trump is concerned, is to name the neocons. Identify the people burrowing into the institutions of the US administration and subverting any hope of any substantive change in foreign policy from the Clinton/Bush/Obama years. Name the people who act as the tools of the Neocon Lobby within the administration, because those Trump can at least deal with, if he ever comes to understand what is going on (which admittedly seems unlikely so long as he tolerates Nikki Haley's open warmongering).

The subservience of Congress can only be dealt with by the American people defeating these sitting members and replacing them with ones who fear, and are loyal to, their constituents more than the lobbyists – which of course requires Americans to recognise when they are being manipulated by lobbyists via the media.

See the piece yesterday by Ron Maxwell, naming some of the neocons:

How Romney Loyalists Hijacked Trump's Foreign Policy

Randal > , August 1, 2017 at 8:29 am GMT

@Bragadocious Worse, Trump's behavior towards Europe and the anti-Trump propaganda inside Europe has now put the EU and the US on a collision course. This is absolutely amazing: for the Russians the current tensions between the EU and the USA are a dream come true and yet they had absolutely nothing to do with it – it was all done by the self-defeating stupidity of the Americans who created this situation completely ex nihilo

So I guess the Americans are stupid for antagonizing Russia, they're stupid for antagonizing Russia's enemies in the EU--they're just plain stupid, according to this Dutch-Russian emigre. I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't. And if this upsets Western Europe, so much the better. Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq? And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to?

I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't.

Saker didn't refer to any of those things in his criticism of the Trump regime's foreign policy stupidity. The only aspect of "Trump's behaviour towards Europe" that he (absolutely correctly) singles out for criticism is the literally stupid sanctions resolution. Though he could equally well have criticised the delusional stupidity of Trump's seeming wholesale swallowing of neocon propaganda about Iran and the nuclear agreement.

Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq?

He's clearly well aware of that. As he has rightly pointed out previously (and Buchanan also points out again today), Trump was elected in part precisely because he seemed to offer an escape from the neocon-driven invade the world/invite the world lunacy. But his actual foreign policy seems to have been little more than continuity with minor trimming only when forced by reality, especially with the likes of Nikki Haley in such a prominent position.

And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to?

Not trying to right all the world's suppose wrongs by force (military or economic) would be a good start. That and ceasing to regard the interests of Israel and of Saudi Arabia as of primary importance for US foreign and military policy.

JL > , August 1, 2017 at 8:34 am GMT

This article is something of a mixed bag. The idea that there is going to be some rift between the EU and US is, at best, wishful thinking, but probably closer to downright delusion. No, European countries ceased to be subjects of history, and became objects, when they ceded their sovereignty to the implicitly Atlanticist and supranational structure that is the EU. So they may growl and gnash their teeth a bit, but will eventually roll over and hope that their bellies are scratched and not slashed.

As for Trump signing the sanctions legislation as it is written, Saker's point is valid. No president should abrogate power without a fight. He should, at the very least, insist that the restrictions on his ability to unilaterally cancel sanctions be removed from the legislation or he will veto the bill and fight it all the way to the Supreme Court. And, he should make clear that this isn't about sanctioning or not sanctioning Russia, but the fact that the law is unconstitutional.

Saker is also correct that the US is simply too dysfunctional now to pursue any kind of coherent foreign policy. If I were Putin, I would ask Trump who in Congress he should be negotiating with, since neither Trump himself, nor anyone in his cabinet, possesses the authority to follow through with any possible agreements. The smarter commentators are actually all coming around to the same view. Dmitry Trenin:

"I think the Kremlin views the U.S. as a dysfunctional polity, with its political class at war with itself and its society deeply divided along cultural fault lines. Under these circumstances one hardly expects a consistent policy Bad as they are now, U.S.-Russian relations continue to get worse, edging ever closer to a kinetic collision between their armed forces somewhere: in Syria, over the Baltic and Black Seas, or Ukraine."

It does indeed seem like something dramatic needs to happen, at which point the US will either come to its senses or it's mushroom cloud time for all of us.

animalogic > , August 1, 2017 at 8:58 am GMT

Although I think there is some hypobole involved, I would like to thank the Saker for raising this very interesting and very pregnant issue:

"In other words, the Congress has now hijacked the power of the Presidency to conduct foreign policy and taken upon itself to micromanage the US foreign policy.
That, my friends, is clearly a constitutional coup d'état and a gross violation of the principles of separation of powers which is at the very core of the US political system."

This is a very disturbing development, to say the least.

However, I do disagree with the Saker on this point:
"If the Americans want to basically recuse themselves from it all, if they want to bring down the constitutional order which their Founding Fathers created and if they want to solely operate in the delusional realm which has no bearing on reality – that is both their right and their problem."

The "Americans" ! that is US citizens ! do NOT want to bring down the constitution, nor have a government operate in a delusional realm. Nor does the US "government have the "right" to operate in the way they do: that amounts to saying they have the right to commit treason ( a meaningless concept for the Elites). Finally, it is NOT just an American "problem": unfortunately, it's a world problem. We are all liable to suffer for the insane shenanigans of the US Ruling class.

Anonymous > , Disclaimer August 1, 2017 at 10:19 am GMT

I predict that the Neocon-crazies will not stop until they impeach Trump.

And that's probably behind this clusterfuck. The globalist cabal is working hard to make Trump look bad and he's falling for it (him asking Comey – a certified swamp creature – to be loyal is proof of his naivete). This same cabal is running Western Europe so any "positive" developments between Macron de Rothchild and Putin will be temporary and designed to further ostracise Trump. With Jews you loose and Russia will forever be their ultimate target. Russian nukes are the only thing standing in the way of One World Government.

I furthermore predict that the USA will not launch any major military interventions

Don't be so sure. They want him to make mistakes . A new war would disappoint a lot of Trump's core supporters and destroy his capability to expand the base.

Bragadocious > , August 1, 2017 at 12:53 pm GMT

@NoseytheDuke So Ned took a break for whatever reason, what of it? He wrote that your comment was offensive, I would have called it simply stupid. It smacks of knee-jerk chest-thumping of the sort that the US has already had more than enough of.

Yes, the neocons took over before Trump. Good observation, Sherlock. Trump was elected because he promised to do something about it but so far he's been a wimp. Many people still hope that Trump is merely playing rope-a-dope but Saker makes it clear in the article that this time is different in that it undermines the president's authority and it neuters his ability to effect change. Chew on that please, or better still, re-read the article.

Saker was hoping for peace just like so many Americans were when they voted for DT but it is increasingly looking like it's not going to happen. Yes, the neocons took over before Trump. Good observation, Sherlock

Thanks. The reason I wrote that was because Saker wrote this:

Not that they ever had much hope in him, but they always strongly felt that the election of Trump might maybe provide the world with a truly historical opportunity to change the disastrous dynamic initiated by the Neocons under Obama

See, the key word there Sherlock, is initiated . That means to start, in case you didn't know. I know, I'm Captain Obvious again. Maybe Saker should write more carefully, and not sound like a kindergartner on LSD.

"I would have called it stupid"

Yes, that's the operative word for Saker and his minions. Everyone's stupid. Except you. You're smart. Especially when you're peddling 9/11 truther stuff. Then you're a special kind of smart.

Bragadocious > , August 1, 2017 at 1:28 pm GMT

@Randal


I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't.
Saker didn't refer to any of those things in his criticism of the Trump regime's foreign policy stupidity. The only aspect of "Trump's behaviour towards Europe" that he (absolutely correctly) singles out for criticism is the literally stupid sanctions resolution. Though he could equally well have criticised the delusional stupidity of Trump's seeming wholesale swallowing of neocon propaganda about Iran and the nuclear agreement.

Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq?
He's clearly well aware of that. As he has rightly pointed out previously (and Buchanan also points out again today), Trump was elected in part precisely because he seemed to offer an escape from the neocon-driven invade the world/invite the world lunacy. But his actual foreign policy seems to have been little more than continuity with minor trimming only when forced by reality, especially with the likes of Nikki Haley in such a prominent position.

And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to?
Not trying to right all the world's suppose wrongs by force (military or economic) would be a good start. That and ceasing to regard the interests of Israel and of Saudi Arabia as of primary importance for US foreign and military policy. Saker didn't refer to any of those things

I agree, he didn't, but then again, it seems Saker doesn't do nuance very well. He specializes in grandiose insults (stupid, LSD, kindergartners, overcooked noodle, gone fishing) without mentioning some pretty important stuff, like Trump cutting off funding to the Syrian rebels. That move infuriated the neocons. Why doesn't Saker mention that? I guess it doesn't jibe with his overall "incompetence" theme and anti-Trump snark.

As for the sanctions, they seem to upset Saker. But then he says it's water off a duck's back for Putin. Hey, they probably even strengthen his hand ! So really, who gives a shit? He contradicts himself.

Finally, he says Trump has turned over foreign policy responsibility to Congress. I'm no constitutional expert, but Congress is in charge of declaring war. Sanctions can be interpreted as an act of war. In any case, forcing the congresscritters to go on record for something like this can be seen as very useful, just as the Iraq war vote was in blocking Hillary from higher office.

anonymous > , Disclaimer August 1, 2017 at 1:51 pm GMT

Thanks for the compliments regarding the American people. They all want peace just like all others and have always voted for what they thought was the peace candidate only to be betrayed later. I've lived here longer than just twenty years, however, but my whole life and am not so sanguine about the nature of most Americans. I'd say the vast majority, perhaps 70%, are ignorant dolts and easily bamboozled. Elections are just festivals of lies and deceit with few being able to learn from the previous experience. The population is composed mostly of dodo birds. The ruling class are predators looking for the next dollar to be extorted or stolen. This is a bad formula and can only go so far. The fault is not in our stars but in us.

Grandpa Charlie > , August 1, 2017 at 3:56 pm GMT

" The ruling class are predators looking for the next dollar to be extorted or stolen."

And who exactly is this "ruling class" if not the neocons? Are they not exactly like Milovan Djilas' "new class" – a class of apparatchiks in positions to profit enormously (while living very comfortably) from the decline and fall of an empire. How could this be, if their treasonous profiteering could only leave them as having no place to turn but the China-dominated new world order? Well, perhaps they actually know that the very millionaires who controlled key industries in China prior to 1950, were also millionaires who lived, have lived even during the Cultural Revolution, and for their families, continue to live, very comfortably and securely in Shanghai from 1950 onward – assuming that they were astute enough to have been doing business with the Communists all along. Perhaps they realize that the Communists are about as communistic as the National Socialists were socialistic so that course which is most profitable in the short-run is also most profitable in the long run.

"Yet none dare call it treason."

Robert Magill > , August 1, 2017 at 4:41 pm GMT

I submit that the key to the correct understanding of the Russian response is in the fact that the latest US sanctions contain an absolutely unprecedented and, frankly, shocking feature: the new measures strip the President from the authority to revoke the sanctions.

This is part of the plan to sideline Russia, render it untouchable on the Executive's part and move on to China. The plan is to stun everyone with the announcement (probably on Labor Day) of 50k new, well paying, mostly private sector jobs, with benefits. China will feature prominently. Chinese built factories in Wisconsin, Chicago etc. just teasers. Bigly deal to follow: much, much bigly. All will be well !

http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

Sean > , August 1, 2017 at 7:33 pm GMT

Largely due to Obama's timidity in Syria on top of his denial of defensive weapons to Kiev, Russia humiliated America in Syria. Putin will rue the day, because America is going to hit back at Russia (it has to). Trump is going to take asymmetric vengeance and bleed Russia white. A fraction of what has been spent in Syria will go a very long way in you-know-where.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/world/europe/pentagon-and-state-department-are-said-to-propose-arming-ukraine.html

Sean > , August 1, 2017 at 7:58 pm GMT

@Robert Magill


I submit that the key to the correct understanding of the Russian response is in the fact that the latest US sanctions contain an absolutely unprecedented and, frankly, shocking feature: the new measures strip the President from the authority to revoke the sanctions.
This is part of the plan to sideline Russia, render it untouchable on the Executive's part and move on to China. The plan is to stun everyone with the announcement (probably on Labor Day) of 50k new, well paying, mostly private sector jobs, with benefits. China will feature prominently. Chinese built factories in Wisconsin, Chicago etc. just teasers. Bigly deal to follow: much, much bigly. All will be well !

http://robertmagill.wordpress.com The production facilities of the future will be automated and the elimination of workers will mean there is no particular reason to continue offshoring production. The factories will come back to the West, but the jobs won't exist .

Alan Donelson > , August 1, 2017 at 8:03 pm GMT

@exiled off mainstreet Great picture and great description. Hopefully, things will degenerate to the point where they can't gin up a nuclear war. Great picture ! just not congruent with the title of the post. With a moniker like that, EoM, one might think you'd notice the size of that girl's pupils. Not on LSD. Ill bet she had already graduated from kindergarten, too. But then, why be critical of what one sees and reads. I take SAKER's input with a salt shaker on hand.

Anonymous > , Disclaimer August 1, 2017 at 8:34 pm GMT

And yet, every Senator except Paul and Sanders voted for this.

2 men out of "100″ men looks like the regular average.

Chuck > , August 1, 2017 at 9:38 pm GMT

@Grandpa Charlie I see USA as analogous to the Chinese Empire during its "decline and fall" 1850-1950 (very last part of the Manchu dynasty). Of course, it's a rough analogy, but it's there all the same. Like China back then, the "Court" of the USA like the imperial court of China was willing to sell off anything and everything. It's all been for sale for at least the last 50 years. (If you want an example, take the Panama Canal.)

In that milieu, consider the neocons. What are they unless (like the DNC and the GOP's National Central Committee) but a money-laundering and influence-peddling center. So apply that to the "known known" that the main 'position' of the neocons (their excuse for some kind of principle) is "Russia is dangerous and must be destroyed." As seen in the Saker's article, that is a destructive proposition - destructive of the interests of the USA and its people. So then WHY - why do the neocons pursue that agenda? Well, if you think about the nature of the neocons, of Congress, etc., you realize that the neocons must be making money off of this. They are pushing the anti-Russia agenda because they are paid to do so. Then, ask yourself, as with any money-following effort, CUI BONO? Well. what is accomplished by keeping the heat turned up on Russia? Isn't it that the anti-Russia agenda provides a distraction from what China is doing? And who, almost certainly, has been paying off the neocons for almost 50 years now - ever since Kissinger (godfather of the neocons) took his secret trip to Beijing in 1973. Put it this way: the old China lobby had been providing huge amounts of $US to the entire USA establishment - in particular to political parties and to the media - since way back in WW II. Now there would be a huge hole where the old China lobby had been. Who would fill that? Kissinger, for all his many faults, was smart enough to know, and Chou En-Lai was smart enough to know, what had to be done. And the old China Lobby had long seen the writing on the wall. So the old China Lobby was taken over by the New China Lobby. Lo-and-behold, Kissinger created the neocons where the paleocons had been. (If you want, you can also find evidence of an effective conspiracy extending back into WW II and the 1930's, but that might mean identifying with the old JBS, and I want to stay focused on issues more current.)

That's the basic reality about the neocons. The PRC (or its rulers in the Standing Committee) are the neocons' bread-and-butter. Oh, sure they appreciate the Israel lobby and they need it to keep Congress dumb and afraid ... but their bread-and-butter is the PRC. Or more precisely, the Standing Committee. Americans like to think that we have all the billionaires (or the billionaires have us), but the reality is that USA's politicians, bureaucrats and bankers deal with many billionaires, including the billionaires (active and retired) of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China and the billionaires of the Kim dynasty of the DPRK. These billionaires use their money much more in concert with one another than do most billionaires. So they get what they want. And what they want includes the ability not to be bothered by, e.g., the US Navy when they decide to extend their empire over the SCS and do not want USA's people even to know that Hanoi asks pleadingly to become a port and outpost of the US Navy. Etc. etc.

If you find this hard to believe, google on "Clinton china bribery." Or, here at the Unz Review, check out Peter Lee's 'China Matters' blog story "Four Corners/Fairfax". Just think it over. If your mind has been closed, let it open.

"Yet none dare call it treason." Kingmaker Sheldon Adelson also has a China connection.

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/homeland-security/259853-training-tactical-officers-critical-for-national

Priss Factor > , Website August 2, 2017 at 4:08 am GMT

Let the US reveal itself to be totally owned by Zionist globalists.

And if EU goes along, it will only show itself as cuck vassals of the US.

Russia needs to fix its problems and build a super-economy of its own.

With China and Iran as partners, Russia can do much if they put their mind to it.

But do Russians have the National Character?

Stephen R. Diamond > , Website August 2, 2017 at 4:15 am GMT

@utu Did I miss it or Saker does not even explain what kind of sanctions were imposed but nevertheless he assures his readers that they won't hurt Russia and possibly make it even stronger and basically everything will be hunky-dory because PGU has extremely well qualified individuals on its staff: "superb level of education and training." And obviously Putin is a superman who was in charge of spies in East Germany which required as much sophistication and risk taking as spying in Wales for James Bond.

And obviously Putin is a superman

Have you notice that the same folks you say Trump is a superman say the same of Putin? Everything is a stroke of genius.

These folks might study up a bit on the nature of intelligence. It would help them recognize these mediocrities for what they are.

NoseytheDuke > , August 2, 2017 at 4:35 am GMT

@Bragadocious Yes, the neocons took over before Trump. Good observation, Sherlock

Thanks. The reason I wrote that was because Saker wrote this:

Not that they ever had much hope in him, but they always strongly felt that the election of Trump might maybe provide the world with a truly historical opportunity to change the disastrous dynamic initiated by the Neocons under Obama

See, the key word there Sherlock, is initiated . That means to start, in case you didn't know. I know, I'm Captain Obvious again. Maybe Saker should write more carefully, and not sound like a kindergartner on LSD.

"I would have called it stupid"

Yes, that's the operative word for Saker and his minions. Everyone's stupid. Except you. You're smart. Especially when you're peddling 9/11 truther stuff. Then you're a special kind of smart. I see that you've outed yourself as a Coincidence Theorist there so you may console yourself as at least being "useful", even if it is only as being a useful idiot.

Start with ae911truth.org, grap a book on high-school physics and go on from there. There's plenty of reading and learning ahead for you, but you'll be much better for it. Oh, and stop the chest-thumping, it only results in bruises.

Grandpa Charlie > , August 2, 2017 at 4:41 am GMT

@Chuck Kingmaker Sheldon Adelson also has a China connection.

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/homeland-security/259853-training-tactical-officers-critical-for-national "Kingmaker Sheldon Adelson also has a China connection." – Chuck, citing to The Hill

Thanks, Chuck. That's a great catch.

aaaa returns > , August 2, 2017 at 4:45 am GMT

As always, a good read from the Saker.
I think his assessment is spot on; Trump and his movement have been disabled. Now Congress members seem to be jockeying for future power-gains, while Trump might be starting to check out. He'll keep tweeting or whatever, but Nikki Haley, Pence and the generals might end up grabbing more decision-making power or perhaps not.. who knows.

There's always the 25th amendment scenario, the Russian collusion angle, or maybe some other damning revelation to pop up in the future to sink Trump, but I think many in Washington may be under warning that his removal could have a devastating impact.

I am not as optimistic about a lack of militarism in response to the crisis. That has been the go-to option for all modern American presidents in times of crisis.

nsa > , August 2, 2017 at 5:08 am GMT

The worms in the House and Senate have been totally terrorized by the vile jooies. Give the loathsome jooies whatever they want, no matter how foul, and keep their jobs or cross the abominable jooies and lose their jobs when a well funded opponent supported by the repulsive KM (kosher media) just happens to appear in the next primary. The Jooie Lobby runs the Knesset on the Potomac, not the US citizenry who are held in the utmost contempt by the bloodthirsty jooie elites. Government of the jooies, by the jooies, for the jooies .

KA > , August 2, 2017 at 5:25 am GMT

Many events are sprouting up all over the map
India China, Taliban in Afghanistan ,Venezuela , Iran Syria Lebanon , Israel Palestine ! all are moving rapidly into unknown territory . America is no longer is in a position to influence these events. . despite not wanting American policy makers will be forced to look inwards . Those counytriesmay nt bother to inform America .

Health Care, Student loans, next inevitable housing bubble, millennial not saving and being forced to spend the income on health care and rents along , nation as a whole see increasing social fragmentation on ethnic lines ! these forces will make America much weaker economically and socially . Foreign countries like China and Gulf monarchies will influence American foreign and domestic policies .

America democracy itself may not survive the changes . Neocons with eager media may settle down on dictatorship.

F > , August 2, 2017 at 6:32 am GMT

@Ned God bless you Saker Creepy comment.

Sergey Krieger > , August 2, 2017 at 7:52 am GMT

"The latest US sanctions and the Russian retaliatory response"

There has not been any response so far. Response was to US expelling 35 Russian diplomats 6+ months ago. This is why I am not a fan of delayed responses. As saying goes, spoon is for dinner, not afterwards. Russia so far failed to respond to USA aggression which is what sanctions are.
Putin has been doing this whole patience expectations of US coming to her senses for some 10 years with poor results as US belligerence seems to grow in lack of appropriate responses from Russia.
Putin being liberal he is, seems cannot abandon hope to be part of the club so far hence this treatment in white gloves when it is stick across US face and kick into US groin what's necessary.
USA is like a dog that understands only stick. And stick has been missing despite Russia having enough options to start really hurting USA where it hurts and stop cooperation everywhere even in Syria.
I am not holding my breath with Putin though. He still insists on not letting up and talking to madman despite that doing everything to hurt him.
Slow learner he is both in regards to USA and Russian economy.

Sergey Krieger > , August 2, 2017 at 7:56 am GMT

"What is absolutely clear is that these sanctions will have exactly zero effect on Russia and I don't think anybody is seriously expecting the Russians to change anything at all in their policies."

Zero effects? Speaking of changing policy is true but not that it won't create troubles for Russia. Anyway, any aggression requires swift and ruthless repsonse otherwise it invites more of agression. Putin is wrong to behave the way he behaves. There must be zero patience and head for an eye response. Than aggression stops.

anonymous > , Disclaimer August 2, 2017 at 8:07 am GMT

@Randal


But the one crucial, vital, thing which Trump absolutely needed to succeed in – mercilessly crushing the Neocons – he totally failed to achieve.
Indeed. The next step, as with Buchanan's piece today which is similarly discouraged as far as US foreign policy under Trump is concerned, is to name the neocons. Identify the people burrowing into the institutions of the US administration and subverting any hope of any substantive change in foreign policy from the Clinton/Bush/Obama years. Name the people who act as the tools of the Neocon Lobby within the administration, because those Trump can at least deal with, if he ever comes to understand what is going on (which admittedly seems unlikely so long as he tolerates Nikki Haley's open warmongering).

The subservience of Congress can only be dealt with by the American people defeating these sitting members and replacing them with ones who fear, and are loyal to, their constituents more than the lobbyists - which of course requires Americans to recognise when they are being manipulated by lobbyists via the media.

See the piece yesterday by Ron Maxwell, naming some of the neocons:

How Romney Loyalists Hijacked Trump's Foreign Policy

The subservience of Congress can only be dealt with by the American people defeating these sitting members and replacing them with ones who fear, and are loyal to, their constituents more than the lobbyists – which of course requires Americans to recognise when they are being manipulated by lobbyists via the media.

Yet, that has never happened, and will never happen. People elect leaders quite like themselves.

It is the people, stupid (I don't necessarily mean you).

The Alarmist > , August 2, 2017 at 9:06 am GMT

The neoconservative are like junkies. Does a junkie ever really appreciate the risk whilst in the middle of pursuing his next fix? Each successive fix is never quite enough, so they go on to bigger fixes at the risk of overdose. Neocons seem to think kicking Russia's ass will be a manageable high, a cakewalk nonetheless, same for China thereafter, because the wars and dying will be done over there in their estimation.

TheJester > , August 2, 2017 at 10:20 am GMT

Furthermore, we also have to keep in mind that the Neocon Lobby is unlike any other lobby in the list above. For one thing, it does not represent US interests. Neither does it represent the interests of Israel. Rather, it represents the interests of a specific subset of the US ruling elites, in reality much smaller than 1% of the population, which all share in the one common ideology of worldwide domination typical of the Neocons.

These are the folks who in spite of their 100% ironclad control of the media and Congress lost the Presidential election to Donald Trump and who are now dead set to impeach him.

Many people who notice believe that "Neocon" is a euphemism for "Jew". Yes, there are non-Jewish outliers among the Neocons like John McCain and Lindsey Graham but this need be no more complex than assuming that they, like so many others in government such as Bill and Hillary Clinton, have cut their deals with the Jewish lobby. Indeed, when I read an article on Neocons, the list of culprits does read like a list of Ashkenazi Jews.

The import is that if the Neocons are religiously committed to world domination and "Neocon" is a euphemism for "Jew", then it follows that the age-old stereotype that there are cabals of Jews seeking world domination at the expense of the goyim they live among is true.

jacques sheete > , August 2, 2017 at 10:54 am GMT

Does that make any sense to you?

No.

And one of the things I've learned is to NOT seek a reasonable answer to situations provoked by utter crackpots.

It's simple; many of those in positions of power and responsibility are not only nuts in the head, but no human is built to shoulder much power at all.

mp > , August 2, 2017 at 10:56 am GMT

Of the lobby groups listed, probably only Big Oil and Big Jew (and not in that order) have much of an interest in going to war with Russia. The Military-Industrials are happy just to get contracts to build stuff. They don't really care, or particularly want, their stuff to be used. Most of it is too expensive to use, and probably doesn't work as advertised, anyhow.

Wizard of Oz > , August 2, 2017 at 10:58 am GMT

I'm afraid you're right.

But I remain puzzled at how 98 Senators could have been lined up for that stupidity.

Can you enlarge on the details of neo-con ideas, personnel and means of influence to explain the neo-con part? I mean 98 out of 100 Senators!!!

And, given especially your assertion that Israeli lobbyists aren't acting in Israel's real interests, can you give a fuller explanation of what they are up to and why, with particular reference to that Senate vote?

Following on from that, or, if you insist, as an aside would you care to give your view of what rational Israeli lobbying might seek Americann help for. Here's my attempt at starting your explanation .. Israel knows it can no longer defeat the battle hardened Hezbollah forces, from which they have already received a bloidy nose, without using nuclear weapons or losing a high proportion of young Israelis. So it fears that Hezbollah, still connected to Iran and protected in that by Syria, will launch intolerable rocket attacks to provoke Israeli attack against its dug in positions.

The need to remove Assad's regime has to be seen in that light??? Could it be as simple as that?

white noise > , August 2, 2017 at 11:44 am GMT

@Anonymous


I predict that the Neocon-crazies will not stop until they impeach Trump.
And that's probably behind this clusterfuck. The globalist cabal is working hard to make Trump look bad and he's falling for it (him asking Comey - a certified swamp creature - to be loyal is proof of his naivete). This same cabal is running Western Europe so any "positive" developments between Macron de Rothchild and Putin will be temporary and designed to further ostracise Trump. With Jews you loose and Russia will forever be their ultimate target. Russian nukes are the only thing standing in the way of One World Government.

I furthermore predict that the USA will not launch any major military interventions
Don't be so sure. They want him to make mistakes . A new war would disappoint a lot of Trump's core supporters and destroy his capability to expand the base. "Russian nukes are the only thing standing in the way of One World Government."

Indeed. Vladimir Putin has big balls, and the elites hate him. But he's not afraid of a murder attempt. The elites know that if something happens to him, Europe, Israel and North America would be reduced to radioactive debris in about one hour

KA > , August 2, 2017 at 12:11 pm GMT

A new alignment is likely to emerge .t will be much less adversarial and much less enthused with polemic. America China Israel Saudi Arab – pitted against – India Russia Iran Japan, . China will embrace US because of Neocon and myriad financial connections with US .India will be forced to return to Russia . China joining America or America deciding to join China is the game changer and disrupt very other relationship. China will try to occupy American position after WW2 while US will find itself occupying post WW2 British position. Neoconservatives and financial system of the world will force this merger .

Pakistan Germany Turkey will try to juggle and hedge theirs bets . Central Asian Stan will be politically connected to Russia but economically to China .China and Russia will quarrel here and these countries will face a period of turmoil. Balkans will move back to Russia . NATO will be largely irrelevant with no ability to have consensus and a mission .
The world will become more rambunctious and hyper verbal but it won't fight .
Polyglot countries like India and America will try to talk along ethnic lines more but the fundamental underlying realities will not change . Despite the divisiveness promoted by parties, the citizen will move to closer relationship and understanding and common ground partly because the divisiveness will fail to accrue any benefit to the groups most interested in harvesting it .But the divisiveness will not disappear from daily discourse .

ffff > , August 2, 2017 at 12:15 pm GMT

Anyone else find their comments censored on thesaker? Seems like a "pro"-russian version of CNN

utu > , August 2, 2017 at 12:16 pm GMT

@Stephen R. Diamond


And obviously Putin is a superman
Have you notice that the same folks you say Trump is a superman say the same of Putin? Everything is a stroke of genius.

These folks might study up a bit on the nature of intelligence. It would help them recognize these mediocrities for what they are. ;) Everything is a stroke of genius.

Like playing 3D or nD (n–>inf) chess, right?

I think it come from desperation and hope, I think. And as they say, hope does not want to die in spite of the evidence that it should long time ago.

n230099 > , August 2, 2017 at 12:31 pm GMT

" 10 top most powerful lobbies in Washington, DC. They are (in the same order as in the original article)

Tech Lobby
Mining Industry
Defense Industry
Agribusiness Industry
Big Oil
Financial Lobby
Big Pharma
AARP
Pro-Israel Lobby
NRA"

Well, some are 'lobbies' but some are just bogeymen.

white noise > , August 2, 2017 at 12:34 pm GMT

@The Alarmist The neoconservative are like junkies. Does a junkie ever really appreciate the risk whilst in the middle of pursuing his next fix? Each successive fix is never quite enough, so they go on to bigger fixes at the risk of overdose. Neocons seem to think kicking Russia's ass will be a manageable high, a cakewalk nonetheless, same for China thereafter, because the wars and dying will be done over there ... in their estimation. " Neocons seem to think kicking Russia's ass will be a manageable high"

That's what they think. Given that Russia currently has more nuclear power than USA and Israel combined, to think that they can handle Russia is sheer stupidity.

anonymous > , Disclaimer August 2, 2017 at 1:00 pm GMT

Much is made of this so-called "neocon" business. They appear to be a current highly aggressive strain of American expansionism. However, there were no "neocons" in 1898 when the US saw it's opportunity to attack Spain and grab away it's holdings. The US has been aggressively expanding ever since, inserting itself into both world wars at the very last minute in order to gain as much for itself as possible. It got a couple bloody rebuffs in Korea and Vietnam but learned how to refine it's technique from those experiences. The US has been on the march ever since 1898, sometimes slowly sometimes quickly. It's not something new but is an inherent dynamic. Like a balloon things expand until they reach some sort of internal or external limiting factor. For the US one can imagine what those might be.

John Q. Public > , August 2, 2017 at 1:08 pm GMT

We need a better term than "neo-con." People like Brennan, Clapper and McMaster were never Trotskyites and they never wrote for Commentary. Their view is really a liberal internationalism update for the post-Cold War, post-9/11 situation. And this view is ubiquitous inside the Beltway.

Joe Hide > , August 2, 2017 at 1:17 pm GMT

Saker,
I especially liked your use of the term "demonic" which is an appropriate term both figuratively and possibly literally to describe many neocon adherents.
The internet is providing "Light coming into the world", that is, Truth or information coming into mass consciousness. Mass consciousness must shape which possible futures become reality, or the controlled media wouldn't be spending billions to try to influence it. Some would say that this is solely because of the physical changes that people then force to happen, but evidence also supports consciousness simply altering possible outcomes "The prayers of a righteous man availeth much".
Saker, thanks much for Your articles!

jacques sheete > , August 2, 2017 at 1:18 pm GMT

Lesson unlearned.

Abstinence from all injustice to other first-rate powers is a greater tower of strength than anything that can be gained by the sacrifice of permanent tranquillity for an apparent temporary advantage.

Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, Book I, 1.42-[3]

Aedib > , August 2, 2017 at 1:25 pm GMT

Great article. Quite accurate description of the hubris infected American establishment.

jacques sheete > , August 2, 2017 at 1:26 pm GMT

@Sergey Krieger "What is absolutely clear is that these sanctions will have exactly zero effect on Russia and I don't think anybody is seriously expecting the Russians to change anything at all in their policies."

Zero effects? Speaking of changing policy is true but not that it won't create troubles for Russia. Anyway, any aggression requires swift and ruthless response otherwise it invites more of aggression. Putin is wrong to behave the way he behaves. There must be zero patience and head for an eye response. Than aggression stops.

Anyway, any aggression requires swift and ruthless repsonse

Not always, and not necessarily now. Sometimes no response is the most powerful. Aggressive and ruthless responses are often best reserved for the times they're likely to succeed decisively. Responding to petulant pissants is more often than not a waste of time, energy and concentration. Putin appears to know all that, and good for him. I 'd love to see him knock the bastards on their collective asses permanently. Sometime.

Aedib > , August 2, 2017 at 1:31 pm GMT

@utu

Did I miss it or Saker does not even explain what kind of sanctions were imposed but nevertheless he assures his readers that they won't hurt Russia and possibly make it even stronger and basically everything will be hunky-dory because PGU has extremely well qualified individuals on its staff: "superb level of education and training." And obviously Putin is a superman who was in charge of spies in East Germany which required as much sophistication and risk taking as spying in Wales for James Bond. Russia had quite satisfactorily surfed sanctions.

https://www.awaragroup.com/blog/russian-economy-2014-2016-the-years-of-sanctions-warfare/

Pandos > , August 2, 2017 at 2:19 pm GMT

@Bragadocious Worse, Trump's behavior towards Europe and the anti-Trump propaganda inside Europe has now put the EU and the US on a collision course. This is absolutely amazing: for the Russians the current tensions between the EU and the USA are a dream come true and yet they had absolutely nothing to do with it – it was all done by the self-defeating stupidity of the Americans who created this situation completely ex nihilo

So I guess the Americans are stupid for antagonizing Russia, they're stupid for antagonizing Russia's enemies in the EU--they're just plain stupid, according to this Dutch-Russian emigre. I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't. And if this upsets Western Europe, so much the better. Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq? And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to? "rights on climate change and refugee admissions" Seriously? Oh please.

yeah > , August 2, 2017 at 2:28 pm GMT

@Sean Largely due to Obama's timidity in Syria on top of his denial of defensive weapons to Kiev, Russia humiliated America in Syria. Putin will rue the day, because America is going to hit back at Russia (it has to). Trump is going to take asymmetric vengeance and bleed Russia white. A fraction of what has been spent in Syria will go a very long way in you-know-where.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/world/europe/pentagon-and-state-department-are-said-to-propose-arming-ukraine.html

Regarding Syria and your comments thereon: Excuse me, but is it all about Russia versus America or can the Syrian people and their Government have any say? The world has people and Governments other than American ones, you know, and they don't like freedom, democracy, or whatever delivered by bombs, not even by smart bombs. The Syrian Government did not ask Washington to intervene, so under international law American intervention and bombings there are as legitimate as "Saving Vietnam from the commies", "Bringing democracy to Iraq", or . the list is long. No adventure on that list turned out well for America or anyone else, with the exception of the merchants of death.

Now your fond hope is "Trump is going to bleed Russia white" and no doubt you would welcome "Getting tough on Russia". Maybe you prefer your news to be exciting – with trade wars, sanctions-wars, hot wars, cold wars, shooting wars, full blown mushroom-cloud-wars – but you will have to spare us such merry excitement.

John Q. Public > , August 2, 2017 at 3:27 pm GMT

You are making too big a deal about the 30 day repeal. I bet you Trump will include a signing statement that he reserves the right to ignore the parts of the law that are unconstitutional.

schmenz > , August 2, 2017 at 4:12 pm GMT

I'm afraid I had to stop reading when our beloved Saker stated that the Israel Lobby has nothing to do with Israel. I'm really not sure what planet Saker lives on but he might ask the destroyed nations around Israel if they think the Lobby has nothing to do with Israel.

jacques sheete > , August 2, 2017 at 4:36 pm GMT

@schmenz I'm afraid I had to stop reading when our beloved Saker stated that the Israel Lobby has nothing to do with Israel. I'm really not sure what planet Saker lives on but he might ask the destroyed nations around Israel if they think the Lobby has nothing to do with Israel.

I'm afraid I had to stop reading when our beloved Saker stated that the Israel Lobby has nothing to do with Israel.

This could no doubt be more accurately stated as, the Israel Lobby has nothing to do with the interests of the Israeli people. It seems to exist for the benefit of the ultra moneybag crowd and its deranged puppets such as Netanyahooooo!

Mulegino1 > , August 2, 2017 at 5:49 pm GMT

Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. Thus, the "American" (please note the quotation marks) oligarchy is imploding. Hopefully, they will not exercise a Samson Option of their own, but anything is possible with this gang of criminal sociopaths. Their poster boy is now an insatiable warmonger who is suffering from brain cancer! How could things get any worse?

After the impressive military victories the US has achieved against such formidable foes as Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, mighty Grenada, Serbia and Libya, taking on Russia should be a "cakewalk", right? And to think there is a sizable demographic in this country which still believes this! Unbelievable. The last time that the US took on a military opponent at rough conventional parity with it (the Chinese in Korea) the result was a stalemate. To paraphrase Cardinal Newman, "To be deep in history is to cease to be a neocon."

Trump should have just let the veto proof sanctions become law without his signature.

Moi > , August 2, 2017 at 5:56 pm GMT

"The big difference is that immense and untapped potential of the USA to bounce back."

This tells me the writer is delusional. The "American Century" is over, and it did not last one hundred years. Too bad.

Moi > , August 2, 2017 at 6:01 pm GMT

@TheJester

Furthermore, we also have to keep in mind that the Neocon Lobby is unlike any other lobby in the list above. For one thing, it does not represent US interests. Neither does it represent the interests of Israel. Rather, it represents the interests of a specific subset of the US ruling elites, in reality much smaller than 1% of the population, which all share in the one common ideology of worldwide domination typical of the Neocons.

These are the folks who in spite of their 100% ironclad control of the media and Congress lost the Presidential election to Donald Trump and who are now dead set to impeach him.

Many people who notice believe that "Neocon" is a euphemism for "Jew". Yes, there are non-Jewish outliers among the Neocons like John McCain and Lindsey Graham ... but this need be no more complex than assuming that they, like so many others in government such as Bill and Hillary Clinton, have cut their deals with the Jewish lobby. Indeed, when I read an article on Neocons, the list of culprits does read like a list of Ashkenazi Jews.

The import is that if the Neocons are religiously committed to world domination and "Neocon" is a euphemism for "Jew", then it follows that the age-old stereotype that there are cabals of Jews seeking world domination at the expense of the goyim they live among is true. Agree!

Anonymous > , Disclaimer August 2, 2017 at 6:03 pm GMT

@Sean Largely due to Obama's timidity in Syria on top of his denial of defensive weapons to Kiev, Russia humiliated America in Syria. Putin will rue the day, because America is going to hit back at Russia (it has to). Trump is going to take asymmetric vengeance and bleed Russia white. A fraction of what has been spent in Syria will go a very long way in you-know-where.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/world/europe/pentagon-and-state-department-are-said-to-propose-arming-ukraine.html

Russia humiliated America in Syria

They humiliated Tel Aviv. American people never wanted to spill their blood and treasure on the other side of the Globe for the Grater Israel project.

Suman > , August 2, 2017 at 6:03 pm GMT

Rand Paul and Mike Lee voted against the sanctions. Bernie Sanders is getting undue credit.

Moi > , August 2, 2017 at 6:04 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz

I'm afraid you're right. But I remain puzzled at how 98 Senators could have been lined up for that stupidity. Can you enlarge on the details of neo-con ideas, personnel and means of influence to explain the neo-con part? I mean 98 out of 100 Senators!!!

And, given especially your assertion that Israeli lobbyists aren't acting in Israel's real interests, can you give a fuller explanation of what they are up to and why, with particular reference to that Senate vote?

Following on from that, or, if you insist, as an aside would you care to give your view of what rational Israeli lobbying might seek Americann help for. Here's my attempt at starting your explanation..... Israel knows it can no longer defeat the battle hardened Hezbollah forces, from which they have already received a bloidy nose, without using nuclear weapons or losing a high proportion of young Israelis. So it fears that Hezbollah, still connected to Iran and protected in that by Syria, will launch intolerable rocket attacks to provoke Israeli attack against its dug in positions.

The need to remove Assad's regime has to be seen in that light??? Could it be as simple as that? That kind of overwhelming support in the Senate is usually reserved for Israel.

Joe Levantine > , August 2, 2017 at 6:17 pm GMT

The current crisis between the largely special interest owned American executive branch and the largely failing reformer Donald Trump can be a historic opportunity for Europe to mend the artificial divide between the European Union and Russia. The crisis can also be a golden opportunity to shake the corrupt system of government in the USA. These opportunities are subject to having strong and free leaders who can capitalize on the hubris of the ignorant senators and representatives on Capitol Hill.

Germany, absent Merkel, can resurrect the reinsurance treaty with Russia which Kaiser Wilhelm II abrogated much to the frustration and disapproval of Bismarck, the pilot of German unification. What followed was a precarious geopolitical divide in Europe which led to the WWI with its disastrous consequences for Germany, followed by the ordeal of the Versailles Treaty and ultimately the breakout of WWII.

By putting the energy gun to the head of the Europeans, the American legislature will force the Europeans to rethink and revamp their self defeating policies towards Russia that are done at the behest of the USA. Any rapprochement with Russia will seal the fate of Eurasia as an integrated economic bloc with the New Silk Road at its backbone.

As for the United States internal politics, it is obvious that the neocons are pushing matters to a head with Trump whose only resort is to knit a special relationship with those leaders of the military establishment who do not fancy the dominance of the deep state under the leadership of the CIA. The neocons move to impeach the president should create the kind of unrest that should spur the military to take action against the corruption of the legislative branch and its extension in the neocons media complex.

Yet this very much desired scenario that could a boon for world peace hinges on the emergence of a new leadership in the western world that is willing to defy the powers that be. Currently Europe is woefully lacking in the quality of leadership that can seize the moment to break free from the dominance of the neocons.

Zogby > , August 2, 2017 at 6:21 pm GMT

This sanctions bill is a domestic US matter. The Republicans are trying to pacify the Democrats' rage and bitterness over losing the election. It is most convenient for them to adopt the canard blaming Russia for the result of the election. The voters knew exactly where Trump stands on Russia, so even if Russia leaked the DNC and Podesta emails, there was no theft of the election. Voters were not mislead about positions, and knew very well the Democrats accuse the Russian of the leaks.

Trump did not veto the the bill because of the veto proof majority, but will effectively veto the bill by ignoring it. I don't see any Federal Court issuing orders to enforce this bill, and can ignore that too. It's like Congress declaring a war the President doesn't want to fight. Who is gonna make him?

Harold Smith > , August 2, 2017 at 6:33 pm GMT

"Why in the world would the US Senate adopt new sanctions against Russia when Russia has done absolutely nothing to provoke such a vote? Except for Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders, every single US Senator voted in favor of these sanctions. Why?!"

There is no satisfactory "worldly" explanation for what's happening here, but there is an explanation. The Jew-controlled "U.S. government" apparently hates Russia for the same reason that Cain hated (and eventually murdered) Abel. To put it another way, "bad" (evil) hates "good" because if there were no such thing as "good", then there would be no such thing as "bad" by comparison. The Russian government demonstrates respect for international law, mutual cooperation, diplomacy, stability, restraint, etc., while the U.S. government simply trashes everything, including America.

The Jews HATE a good example, and Russian re-emergence onto the world scene as an example of relative goodness, in stark contrast to U.S. evil, is simply too much for them to bear.

"An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked" (Proverbs 29:27).

Seamus Padraig > , August 2, 2017 at 6:46 pm GMT

@Sergey Krieger "What is absolutely clear is that these sanctions will have exactly zero effect on Russia and I don't think anybody is seriously expecting the Russians to change anything at all in their policies."

Zero effects? Speaking of changing policy is true but not that it won't create troubles for Russia. Anyway, any aggression requires swift and ruthless repsonse otherwise it invites more of agression. Putin is wrong to behave the way he behaves. There must be zero patience and head for an eye response. Than aggression stops.

Putin is wrong to behave the way he behaves. There must be zero patience and head for an eye response. Than aggression stops.

I second what 'jaques sheete' said. I just want to add that we could be on the verge of a major break between Washington and the EU ! something Putin has been working towards for years. We have an old saying: when you're enemy's committing suicide, stand back and let him. That's what Washington is doing now: committing suicide.

Miro23 > , August 2, 2017 at 6:47 pm GMT

During that long trip I did not only see breathtakingly beautiful sights, but also plenty of beautiful people who oppose the satanic ball in DC with every fiber of their being and who want their country to be free from the degenerate demonic powers which have taken over the federal government.

I don't believe the "with every fiber of their being" part. This is just wishful thinking on the part of Saker. If this were so, they wouldn't just be grumbling or trusting their corrupt representatives. Average Americans still elect people like McCain, Graham and Schumer and I haven't seen any mass anti-war demonstrations in Washington or New York or anywhere else.

Seamus Padraig > , August 2, 2017 at 7:04 pm GMT

Even more depressing than the bill is Trump's craven capitulation:

In a signing statement released by the White House, Trump said the legislation "included a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions" in lawmakers' "haste" to pass it.

"While I favor tough measures to punish and deter aggressive and destabilizing behavior by Iran, North Korea and Russia, this legislation is significantly flawed," he said

Trump, however, said in another statement accompanying the bill that he would not allow the U.S. to "tolerate interference in our democratic process and that we will side with our allies and friends against Russian subversion and destabilization."

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-trump-signs-russia-sanctions-bill/story?id=48985465

So Trump now officially regards his own election as illegitimate? As the result of Russian "subversion and destabilization"? Incredible! I realize he can't stop the bill; but that doesn't mean he has to officially sign it.

Sean > , August 2, 2017 at 7:36 pm GMT

@yeah Regarding Syria and your comments thereon: Excuse me, but is it all about Russia versus America or can the Syrian people and their Government have any say? The world has people and Governments other than American ones, you know, and they don't like freedom, democracy, or whatever delivered by bombs, not even by smart bombs. The Syrian Government did not ask Washington to intervene, so under international law American intervention and bombings there are as legitimate as "Saving Vietnam from the commies", "Bringing democracy to Iraq", or .... the list is long. No adventure on that list turned out well for America or anyone else, with the exception of the merchants of death.

Now your fond hope is "Trump is going to bleed Russia white" and no doubt you would welcome "Getting tough on Russia". Maybe you prefer your news to be exciting - with trade wars, sanctions-wars, hot wars, cold wars, shooting wars, full blown mushroom-cloud-wars - but you will have to spare us such merry excitement.

https://defenceindepth.co/2017/02/17/the-russian-militarys-view-on-the-utility-of-force-the-adoption-of-a-strategy-of-non-violent-asymmetric-warfare/

Russian military thinking seems to have reached the point now where the idea of using force intentionally in conflicts with peer-state adversaries has been almost completely ruled out. This seems a radical move. But there has been a clear recognition within this military that better strategic outcomes for Russia will result from the use of non-violent 'asymmetric warfare' activities rather than those which will or can involve the use of force – such as conventional war or hybrid warfare. [...] The principal aim of Russian asymmetric warfare is to create degrees of destabilisation (destabilizatsiya) within targeted states and within collectives of targeted states (e.g. NATO, EU). [...] And all this plays to the Russian military's own strengths – its 'own relative advantages'. While it might lack 'quantitative indicators' – the tanks, aircraft and ships – it does have a massive capacity to gather information, to disseminate (mis)information and to employ considerable cyber abilities

The most painful sanctions for Putin are old news, it was the cancellation of the Exxon deal by the Obama administration. ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-exxon-treasury-fight-and-the-roots-of-russiagate_us_597de928e4b0c69ef70528ff ).

Too backward to frack, Russia tried to bribe the tech from Exxon with massive access to Russia untapped resources to show them how. I would really like someone to tell me why Russia should be rewarded by transfer of crucial US technology for what it did in Ukraine. Were they expecting a pat on the back? Russia will it not start a conventional or nuclear war unless it thinks there is a chance of it winning, and there isn't.

Sean > , August 2, 2017 at 7:43 pm GMT

@Anonymous

Russia humiliated America in Syria
They humiliated Tel Aviv. American people never wanted to spill their blood and treasure on the other side of the Globe for the Grater Israel project. No because Jordan not Syria is just across the river from the occupied territories' Palestinian population. Syria has little or no bearing on the West Bank Arab problem, which is the main one for Israel
Johnny Rico > , Website August 2, 2017 at 7:47 pm GMT

It is all about the oil.

Oil is the only reason the global population has quadrupled in only the last 100 years. The Industrial Revolution was not enough. Oil is necessary to maintain this population and keep it fed.

The remaining relatively-cheap oil is all in Russia, Saudia Arabia, Iraq, Iran, and The UAE. Everybody understands this. The Russians, the Chinese, the Neocons, Donald Trump. They all get this.

The United States is for all intents-and-purposes energy independent when you include supplies from Canada and rapidly-dwindling supplies from Mexico. But the United States relies on "control" of the oil coming from the Persian Gulf to maintain control of its Empire and as tenuous control over its real one and only rival – China.

South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan are completely dependent for survival economically on energy that comes from the Middle-East and is protected by the U.S. Navy.

The constant tension between Israel and Saudi Arabia (The two worst regimes in the world) on the one side and Iran on the other is necessary to give the American Deep State and Empire purpose.

While it 'appears' that all the American military equipment and bases and meddling in the Middle East are aimed at surrounding and blunting Iran's power – it should be obvious from 75-plus years of history that the real purpose is to surround Saudi Arabia.

Whether it is Roosevelt meeting with the King in 1945 on the way back from Yalta or Trump meeting with the King a month ago – the message is clear – The heads belonging to the House of Sand are only attached to their necks at the discretion of the United States.

peterAUS > , August 2, 2017 at 8:26 pm GMT

@anonymous

Much is made of this so-called "neocon" business. They appear to be a current highly aggressive strain of American expansionism. However, there were no "neocons" in 1898 when the US saw it's opportunity to attack Spain and grab away it's holdings. The US has been aggressively expanding ever since, inserting itself into both world wars at the very last minute in order to gain as much for itself as possible. It got a couple bloody rebuffs in Korea and Vietnam but learned how to refine it's technique from those experiences. The US has been on the march ever since 1898, sometimes slowly sometimes quickly. It's not something new but is an inherent dynamic. Like a balloon things expand until they reach some sort of internal or external limiting factor. For the US one can imagine what those might be. Agree.

The only difference, at this stage of expansion, is that the lower classes do not get the spoils of the expansion. If they did .well .it would be interesting to see how much they'd be against The Empire.

And, yes, that another THING; this time the opponent can retaliate hard. Nukes do make all that difficult to execute. What a conundrum ..

[Jul 31, 2017] How Romney Loyalists Hijacked Trumps Foreign Policy

Notable quotes:
"... This isn't merely a story of palace intrigue and revolving chairs in the corridors of power. Brave Americans in the uniform of their country will continue to be sent into far-off lands to intercede in internecine conflicts that have little if anything to do with U.S. national security. Many will return physically shattered or mentally maimed. Others will be returned to Andrews Air Force Base in flag-draped coffins, to be saluted by serial presidents of both parties, helpless to stop the needless carnage. ..."
"... Ron Maxwell wrote and directed the Civil War trilogy of movies: ..."
"... Great piece. Thank you, Mr. Maxwell. Reading this, I burn with anger ! then a sense of utter futility washes over me. I think history will show that the Trump era was the moment the American people realized that the Deep State is more powerful than the presidency. ..."
"... The rogues' gallery of neocons and apprentice neocons described above is really disturbing. We didn't vote for this. ..."
"... Re Nikki Haley, she's already an embarrassment, an ignorant neocon-dependent. She's dragging us down the same old road of anti-Russia hysterics and Middle East meddling. The best that can be said of her presence at the UN is that by putting her there Trump promoted one of his allies into the SC governor's mansion. I don't think he was under any illusions as to her foreign policy knowledge, competence, or commitment to an America First policy. But she's become a vector for neocons to reinfect government, and she needs to be removed. ..."
"... Neoconism and neoliberalism is like a super-bug infection. None of the anti-biotics are working. We have only one hope left. Rand Paul, the super anti-neocon/neoliberal. ..."
"... In this country we can talk about resenting elites all we want, but when it comes to making American foreign policy there still is an American foreign policy elite – and it's very powerful. Why has there been no debate? Actually, Michael Mandelbaum, an author with whom I seldom agree on anything, but in his book "The Frugal Superpower" he actually tells you why there's no debate in the foreign policy establishment. ..."
"... And to be part of the establishment you have to buy into it – to its ideology, to its beliefs system, and that is a very hard thing to break. And so before we all jump up and down and say, "Wow! Donald Trump won! NATO is going to be changed. Our commitments in East Asia are going to change. The Middle East may change!" We'd better take a deep breath and ask ourselves, and I think Will Ruger raised this point on the first panel, where is the counter-elite? ..."
"... Where is a Trumpian counter-elite that not only can take the senior positions in the cabinet like Defense Secretary and Secretary of State, but be the assistant secretaries, the deputy assistant secretaries, the NSC staffers. ..."
"... I think that elite doesn't exist right now, and that's a big problem, because the people who are going to be probably still in power are the people who do not agree with the kinds of foreign policy ideas that I think most of us in this room are sympathetic to. So, over time maybe that will change. ..."
"... The problem with the neocons is that their ambition vastly exceeds their ability. ..."
Jul 31, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Rex Tillerson, formidably accomplished in global business, was nevertheless as much a neophyte as his boss when it came to navigating the policy terrain of the D.C. swamp. As is well known, in building his team he relied on those two neocon avatars, Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice, who had originally promoted his own candidacy for secretary of state. But Rice had been a vocal part of the neocon Never Trump coalition. Her anti-Trump pronouncements included: "Donald Trump should not be president .He doesn't have the dignity and stature to be president." The Washington Post greeted her 2017 book, Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom , as "a repudiation of Trump's America First worldview."

Thus it wasn't surprising that Rice would introduce Elliott Abrams to Tillerson as an ideal candidate for State's No. 2 position. This would have placed a dyed-in-the-wool neocon hardliner at the very top of the State Department's hierarchy and given him the power to hire and fire all undersecretaries across the vast foreign policy empire. Rice, one of the architects of George W. Bush's failed policies of regime change and nation building, would have consolidated a direct line of influence into the highest reaches of the Trump foreign policy apparatus.

Not only was Abrams' entire career a refutation of Trump's America First foreign policy, but he had spent the previous eighteen months publicly bashing Trump in harsh terms. Cleverly, however, he had not signed either of the two Never Trump letters co-signed by most of the other neocon foreign policy elite. Abrams almost got the nod, except for a last-minute intervention by Trump adviser Steve Bannon, who was armed with every disparaging anti-Trump statement Abrams had made. Examples: "This is a question of character. He is not fit to sit in the chair of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln .his absolute unwillingness to learn anything about foreign policy .Hillary would be better on foreign policy. I'm not going to vote for Trump ."

But Abrams' rejection was the exception. As a high profile globalist-interventionist he could not easily hide his antipathy toward the Trump doctrine. Others, whose track records and private comments were more easily obscured, were waived in by gatekeepers whose mission it was (and remains) to populate State, DoD, and national security agencies with establishment and neocon cadres, not with proven Trump supporters and adherents to his foreign policy.

But how did the gatekeepers get in? Romney may have disappeared from the headlines, but he never left the sidelines. His chess pieces were already on the board, occupying key squares and prepared to move.

Once the president opened the door to RNC chairman Reince Priebus as his chief of staff, to Rex Tillerson at State, to James Mattis as defense secretary, and to H. R. McMaster at NSC, the neocons just walked in. While each of these political and military luminaries may publicly support the president's policies and in some instances may sincerely want to see them implemented, their entire careers have been spent within the establishment and neocon elite. They don't know any other world view or any other people.

Donald Trump ran on an America First foreign policy, repeatedly deriding George W. Bush for invading Iraq in 2003. He criticized Clinton and Obama for their military interventions in Libya and their support for regime change in Syria. He questioned the point of the endless Afghan war. He criticized the Beltway's hostile obsession with Russia while it ignored China's military buildup and economic threat to America.

Throughout the campaign Trump made abundantly clear his foreign policy ethos. If elected he would stop the policy of perpetual war, strengthen America's military, take care of U.S. veterans, focus particularly on annihilating the ISIS caliphate, protect the homeland from Islamist radicalism, and promote a carefully calibrated America First policy.

But, despite this clear record, according to Politico and other Beltway journals, the president has been entreated in numerous White House and Pentagon meetings to sign off on globalist foreign policy goals, including escalating commitments to the war in Afghanistan. These presentations, conducted by H.R. McMaster and others, were basically arguments to continue the global status quo; in other words, a foreign policy that Clinton would have embraced. Brian Hook and Nadia Schadlow were two of the lesser known policy wonks who participated in these meetings, determining vital issues of war and peace.

Brian Hook, head of State Department policy planning, is an astute operative and member in good standing of the neocon elite. He's also a onetime foreign policy adviser to Romney and remains in close touch with him. Hook was one of the founders, along with Eliot Cohen and Eric Edelman, of the anti-Trump John Hay Initiative. Hook organized one of the Never Trump letters during the campaign, and his views are well-known, in part through a May 2016 piece by Julia Hoffe in Politico Magazine. A passage: "My wife said, 'never,'" said Brian Hook, looking pained and slicing the air with a long, pale hand. .Even if you say you support him as the nominee," Hook says, "you go down the list of his positions and you see you disagree on every one."

One might wonder how a man such as Hook could become the director of policy planning and a senior adviser to Rex Tillerson, advising on all key foreign policy issues? The answer is: the Romney network.

Consider also the case of Margaret Peterlin, assigned as a Sherpa during the transition to guide Tillerson through the confirmation process. Another experienced Beltway insider, Peterlin promptly made herself indispensable to Tillerson and blocked anyone who wanted access to him, no matter how senior. Peterlin then brought Brian Hook onboard, a buddy from their Romney days, to serve as the brains for foreign policy while she was serving as the Gorgon-eyed chief of staff.

According to rumor, the two are now blocking White House personnel picks, particularly Trump loyalists, from appointments at State. At the same time, they are bringing aboard neocons such as Kurt Volker, executive director of the McCain Institute and notorious Russia hawk, and Wess Mitchell, president of the neocon Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). As special representative for Ukraine negotiations, Volker is making proclamations to inflame the conflict and further entangle the United States.

Meanwhile, Mitchell, another Romney alumnus and a Brian Hook buddy from the John Hay Initiative, has been nominated as assistant secretary of state for European and Erurasian affairs. Brace yourself for an unnecessary Cold War with Russia, if not a hot one. While Americans may not really care whether ethnic Russians or ethnic Ukrainians dominate the Donbass, these guys do.

Then there's Nadia Schadlow, another prominent operative with impeccable neocon credentials. She was the senior program officer at the Smith Richardson Foundation, where her main job was to underwrite the neocon project by offering grants to the many think tanks in their network. For the better part of a decade she pursued a PhD under the tutelage of Eliot Cohen, who has pronounced himself a "Never Trumper" and has questioned the president's mental health. Cohen, along with H.R. McMaster, provided editorial guidance to Schadlow for her book extolling nation-building and how we can do more of it.

Relationships beget jobs, which is how Schadlow became deputy assistant to the president, with the task, given by her boss H.R. McMaster, of writing the administration's National Security Strategy. Thus do we have a neocon stalwart who wrote the book on nation building now writing President Trump's national security strategy.

How, we might ask, did these Never Trump activists get into such high positions in the Trump administration? And what was their agenda at such important meetings with the President if not to thwart his America First agenda? Put another way, how did Trump get saddled with nearly Mitt Romney's entire foreign policy staff? After all, the American people did not elect Mitt Romney when they had the chance.

Trump is a smart guy. So is Barack Obama. But even Obama, Nobel Peace Prize in hand, could not prevent the inexorable slide to violent regime change in Libya, which resulted in a semi-failed state, tens of thousands killed, and a foothold for Al Queda and other radical Islamists in the Maghreb. He also could not prevent the arming of Islamist rebels in Syria after he had the CIA provide lethal arms strictly to "moderate rebels." Unable or unwilling to disengage from Afghanistan, Obama acquiesced in a series of Pentagon strategies with fluctuating troop levels before bequeathing to his successor an open ended, unresolved war.

Rumors floating through official Washington suggest the neocons now want to replace Tillerson at State with Trump critic and Neocon darling Nikki Haley, currently pursuing a one-person bellicose foreign policy from her exalted post at the United Nations. Not surprisingly, Haley and Romney go way back. As a firm neocon partisan, she endorsed his presidential bid in 2011 .

As UN ambassador, Haley has articulated a nearly incoherent jumble of statements that seem more in line with her own neocon worldview than with Trump's America First policies. Some samples:

"I think that, you know, Russia is full of themselves. They've always been full of themselves. But that's – its more of a façade that they try and show as opposed to anything else."

"What we are is serious. And you see us in action, so its not in personas. Its in actions and its what we do."

"The United States calls for an immediate end to the Russian occupation of Crimea. Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control over the peninsula to Ukraine."

One must ask: Is Ambassador Haley speaking on behalf of the Trump administration when she says it is official U.S. policy that Russia, having annexed Crimea, must return it to Ukraine? Is the Russo-American geopolitical relationship to be held hostage indefinitely because in 2014 the people of Crimea voted for their political reintegration into Russia, which they had been part of since 1776?

Since there is as much chance of Russia ceding Crimea back to Ukraine as there is of the United States ceding Texas back to Mexico, does this mean there is no possibility of any meaningful cooperation with Russia on anything else? Not even in fighting the common ominous threat from Islamist radicalism? Has Haley committed the American people to this dead-end policy on her own or in consultation with the President?

On July 14, the Washington Examiner wrote that "Haley's remarks set the tone for Trump's reversal from the less interventionist, 'America First' foreign policy he campaigned on." Little wonder, then, that in a little-noticed victory lap of her own, coinciding with the release of her book, Condoleezza Rice acknowledged the near complete takeover of Trump's foreign policy team. "The current national security team is terrific," she said. She even gave Trump her anointed blessing following their recent White House meeting, during which the septuagenarian schoolboy received the schoolmarm's pat on the head: " He was engaging," she said. "I found him on top of his brief .asking really good questions." That's a far cry from her campaign-season comment about Trump that he "doesn't have the dignity and stature to be president."

American foreign policy seems to be on auto-pilot, immune to elections and impervious to the will of the people. It is perpetuated by an entrenched contingent of neocon and establishment zealots and bureaucratic drones in both the public and private sector, whose careers, livelihoods, and very raison d'etre depend on an unchallenged policy of military confrontation with the prestige, power, and cash flow it generates. Those who play the game by establishment rules are waived in. Those who would challenge the status quo are kept out. This is the so-called Deep State, thwarting the will of President Trump and the people who voted for him.

This isn't merely a story of palace intrigue and revolving chairs in the corridors of power. Brave Americans in the uniform of their country will continue to be sent into far-off lands to intercede in internecine conflicts that have little if anything to do with U.S. national security. Many will return physically shattered or mentally maimed. Others will be returned to Andrews Air Force Base in flag-draped coffins, to be saluted by serial presidents of both parties, helpless to stop the needless carnage.

Ron Maxwell wrote and directed the Civil War trilogy of movies: Gettysburg, Gods and Generals, Copperhead.

Andrew , says: July 30, 2017 at 11:04 pm

This is all very convincing, but the point remains: Trump won and is the one responsible for allowing all these neocons through the door. Had Pat Buchanan won the nomination and the Presidency back in the nineties, does anyone believe he would make the same blunders, and not be equipped to find the right traditional conservatives instead of the establishment DC neocons that try and swamp every GOP Administration now since Reagan? Trump is simply too naive and doesn't have any feel for the political ideologies of all of these people, being not much of a political animal himself. And replacing Priebus with General Kelly isn't likely to change all that. He should be talking to Ann Coulter and Buchanan as unofficial advisers or something.
Fran Macadam , says: July 31, 2017 at 12:36 am
Globalism is the twenty-first century euphemism for old fashioned imperialism, now on Wall Street propelled nuclear steroids.
KaneV , says: July 31, 2017 at 1:15 am
Good God how shallow is the Trump foreign policy bench that the American Con has a director writing in its defense?
reelectclaydavis , says: July 31, 2017 at 4:43 am
Interesting argument, though you ignore other factors besides the conspiratorial-sounding "Romney network" that account for American interventionist neo-conservatives finding their way back into power: 1) that they are by far the largest group of people available to staff the government because of a) the dominance of aggressive liberal internationalism over more restrained realism in graduate schools which educate these foreign policy specialists; b) an inherent bias of these specialists not to admit that America cannot influence world events (that would be like a social worker who didn't believe s/he could usually mediate conflicts). Also, 2) Trump's alleged non-interventionist beliefs are less well-formed than you imply, you just project on him what you wish to see; a) you ignore his comments about taking the oil of other countries, an idea the neo-conservatives had as a way to pay for operations in Iraq; and b) Beliefs closer to Trump's core: that others not paying their fair share and that America is being taken advantage of, are not incompatible with the American interventions you oppose.
polistra , says: July 31, 2017 at 8:13 am
You can't hijack an executive's policy unless the executive is either hopelessly weak or a faker. Doesn't matter which.

The only good part is that the fake image of a somewhat less warlike "Trump", stirred up by the media to destroy Trump, is actually DOING what a real non-interventionist Trump would have done. EU is breaking away from US control, just as a real antiwar Trump would have ordered it to do.

Dan Stewart , says: July 31, 2017 at 8:23 am
Great piece. Thank you, Mr. Maxwell. Reading this, I burn with anger ! then a sense of utter futility washes over me. I think history will show that the Trump era was the moment the American people realized that the Deep State is more powerful than the presidency.
For Virginia , says: July 31, 2017 at 8:23 am
It's good to see Ron Maxwell published in these pages. I watch Gettysburg at least once a year. And don't think Virginians aren't grateful for Maxwell's role in helping put paid to Eric Cantor's political career.

The rogues' gallery of neocons and apprentice neocons described above is really disturbing. We didn't vote for this. And we don't want it.

Re Nikki Haley, she's already an embarrassment, an ignorant neocon-dependent. She's dragging us down the same old road of anti-Russia hysterics and Middle East meddling. The best that can be said of her presence at the UN is that by putting her there Trump promoted one of his allies into the SC governor's mansion. I don't think he was under any illusions as to her foreign policy knowledge, competence, or commitment to an America First policy. But she's become a vector for neocons to reinfect government, and she needs to be removed.

Johann , says: July 31, 2017 at 8:27 am
Neoconism and neoliberalism is like a super-bug infection. None of the anti-biotics are working. We have only one hope left. Rand Paul, the super anti-neocon/neoliberal.
SDS , says: July 31, 2017 at 8:46 am
"Trump is a smart guy" ..
??
If so; why does he not see this happening all around him? Except for his pompous, ignorant, hands-off method of governing, that is . The Emperor has no clothes but doesn't seem to know, nor care that he doesn't
Kurt Gayle , says: July 31, 2017 at 9:03 am
Christopher Layne, Robert M. Gates Chair in National Security, Texas A&M at the American Conservative Conference "Foreign Policy in America's Interest" (Nov 15 2016) said:

"In this country we can talk about resenting elites all we want, but when it comes to making American foreign policy there still is an American foreign policy elite – and it's very powerful. Why has there been no debate? Actually, Michael Mandelbaum, an author with whom I seldom agree on anything, but in his book "The Frugal Superpower" he actually tells you why there's no debate in the foreign policy establishment.

You see, debate is – basically goes from here to there [Dr. Layne puts his two index fingers close together in front of his face], like from the 45-yard-line to the 45-yard-line. And why does it stop there? Because people who try to go down towards the goal line have their union cards taken away. They're kicked out of the establishment. They're not listened to. They're disrespected.

And to be part of the establishment you have to buy into it – to its ideology, to its beliefs system, and that is a very hard thing to break. And so before we all jump up and down and say, "Wow! Donald Trump won! NATO is going to be changed. Our commitments in East Asia are going to change. The Middle East may change!" We'd better take a deep breath and ask ourselves, and I think Will Ruger raised this point on the first panel, where is the counter-elite?

Where is a Trumpian counter-elite that not only can take the senior positions in the cabinet like Defense Secretary and Secretary of State, but be the assistant secretaries, the deputy assistant secretaries, the NSC staffers.

I think that elite doesn't exist right now, and that's a big problem, because the people who are going to be probably still in power are the people who do not agree with the kinds of foreign policy ideas that I think most of us in this room are sympathetic to. So, over time maybe that will change.

Over time maybe a counter-elite will emerge. But in the short term I see very little prospect for all the big changes that most of us are hoping to see, and so for me the challenge that we face is really to find ways to develop this counter-elite than can staff an administration in the future, that has at least what we think are the views that Donald Trump holds."

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/watch-foreign-policy-in-americas-interest/

We're in a new period – a period of learning for President Trump and for those in the administration who back his anti-establishment foreign policy view. And while it is true that (as Chris Layne said) "in the short term I see very little prospect for all the big changes that most of us are hoping to see," as we move into the medium and long term, many of us are hopeful that these big Trumpian foreign policy changes can begin to be made.

Kevin , says: July 31, 2017 at 10:13 am
Shorter Ron Maxwell: good tsar, evil advisors !
Bill Smith , says: July 31, 2017 at 10:24 am
This article is sharply contradicted by an earlier and more informed article in Conservative Review, an outlet with a considerably larger audience than American Conservative. You might want to read that as a corrective to this one. You can find it here: https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/trump-nat-sec-strategy-to-translate-maga-into-foreign-policy

Money quote:

A senior administration official familiar with the work of Nadia Schadlow, a national security expert brought on to help draft the National Security Strategy, tells CR that she will attempt to produce an NSS as "iconoclastic as our new commander in chief," adding, "the era of milquetoast boilerplate is over."

Henri James , says: July 31, 2017 at 10:44 am
I do love that in all of these scenarios, Trump is just some innocent moon-eyed man child who can't possibly be expected to think on his own.
Charlie , says: July 31, 2017 at 11:27 am
The problem with the neocons is that their ambition vastly exceeds their ability. Neocons developed their minds in the Cold war dealing with a western power, the USSR. The problem is that once one enters the Middle East and Asia one is dealing with languages and cultures of which they [knew] next to nothing. How many speak Arabic, Farsi, Turkish and Urdu such that they understand every nuance of what is said and unsaid?

When dealing with the arabs and many in Afghanistan everything is personnel and this can go back 5 generations and includes hundreds if not thousands of people.

Trump has the common sense not to become involved in that he does not understand.

David Skerry , says: July 31, 2017 at 11:51 am
They come back in boxes while those who sent them to their deaths remain in the bags of the "America Second" group which highjacked our Congress. It's no longer "God Bless America"; it's "God Help America."

[Jul 30, 2017] Derek Harvey - one less neocon

Looks like there are a lot of neocons in Trump administration. Sad...
Notable quotes:
"... Individual incompetence is rarely a path to senior position. But when the Command is rotten from the top down, it happens more frequently. ..."
"... In a similar vein how can the entire US Senate minus 2 vote for a sanctions proposal which is patently and demonstrably based on false premises? ..."
"... American policy in regards to everything is easily understood by one basic concept. Follow the money. ..."
"... Legend in his own mind. How many more like him are influencing/making foreign policy decisions? Scary. Nice take down pl. ..."
"... Update: the blue ticks on twitter are reporting Trump 'sources' associated with Preibus are saying Trump is moving toward an independent whitehouse detached from the GOP. ..."
"... In fact, if true, this looks like a "neocon coup". It was bad enough they had control of State and influence at the Pentagon during Bush, now it looks they have total control of the White House AND State and still influence in the Pentagon... ..."
"... In hindsight it was a big mistake for Trump to think he could work with the GOP establishment. Better to rely on business, the military and other outsiders for his staff. ..."
"... It was straight Leo Strauss/neocon stuff. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5010.htm ..."
"... The Protestant Christians in US and in UK - as a big part of Electorate - are largely responsible for enabling the neocons. The West has bought and paid for A RELIGIOUS indulgence, called Israel and is unwilling to either admit or accept that it has led to a religious war. I guess the West expects to prevail. ..."
"... "Are you calling CNN fake news?" The more apt description would be Fraudulent news. ..."
Jul 30, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

" Derek J. Harvey was the first Director of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Center of Excellence at U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and a retired United States Army Colonel . He was selected by General David Petraeus in 2009 to lead the new organization. [1] Harvey is a Senior Executive Service -member of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and was the previous senior analytical specialist for Iraq to Petraeus, then Commander, Multi-National Forces-Iraq."

Wiki on Harvey

-------------

A very odd biographical wiki. It doesn't say much of anything about him. It is as though he was born anew when he came to Petraeus' attention as a briefer/analyst working in the big FOB at the Baghdad airport. Usually these things describe your life, parentage, education, marriage, etc. There is none of that. It is also rather out of date, being from the time when Mike Flynn brought him into DIA as a member of the Senior Executive Service.

I have known DH for a very long time.

  1. He evidently does not like to talk about his service in DIA as a captain in the late '80s. He was then a very green junior analyst in the Current Intelligence branch of DIA down in the basement of the Pentagon. Bob Woodward in "The War Within..." writes that in the late 80s Harvey wandered the back roads in Iraq traveling about 500 miles, chatting with villagers, headmen and tribal leaders to learn what the true state of affairs might be. This is untrue. If Harvey told Woodward that, he lied IMO. Saddam was then fully in power and an American who wandered in Iraq would shortly have been in prison or worse. No, Harvey was scribbling away in his basement cubicle in the Pentagon and hanging around my upstairs offices whenever my staff were silly enough to let him in through the alarmed door. I finally banned him from the office suite because he had no legitimate business there other than to try to obtain tutoring from me.
  2. I should be clear about his supposed adventures in Saddam's Iraq. Nobody in DIA would have sent or allowed this junior desk jockey to go do anything of the kind. He would have required orders in writing to make this trip. A number of people would have been needed as signatures on the permission, among them, me, and that never happened. If there had been official orders they would have required the allocation of funds in the orders. The idea that DIA would have funded this is laughable. If he had gone to Iraq on leave without permission the Iraqi police would have picked him up at the point of entry. In any event he would have needed the permission of the US ambassador and the US DATT to be in the country. That never happened either. In other words he seems to have built a "Harvey of Iraq" legend about himself out of whole cloth.
  3. He speaks no Arabic. None. That would have made his Laurentian or Munchausian adventures somewhat more difficult. In some web bios he is said to have an elementary knowledge of French and Farsi. Farsi? How would that have happened?
  4. He does not seem to have ever had any training as a field intelligence collector.
  5. He does not seem to have been board selected for senior Army schools like C&GSC and the War College. Perhaps he did these schools by correspondence or was given constructive credit for "experience?"
  6. So far as I know he never served in a Middle East or North African country before 9/11.
  7. His teaching job at South Florida University does not seem to have involved teaching about the Middle East. It was something about management that he taught.

Well, pilgrims, perhaps I have all this wrong, if so, then I will welcome your corrections. I am sure there will be some.

In the present instance of his dismissal from the NSC staff it is now clear to me that he thought he could wrestle control of the ME policy function away from McMaster and Mattis. He seems to have believed that he could do that with the slick persuasiveness that had worked so well for so long on so many and with the support of his neocon patrons.

Here is the statement he released yesterday on the occasion of his departure for greener pastures:

"Subject: Derek Harvey - Statement

I will be leaving the National Security Council today to take advantage of a new opportunity to continue serving our President and the United States of America in an important capacity.

Since January, I have had the special honor to serve as the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Middle East Affairs in the National Security Council. This has been work of vital importance to our country, and my departure comes with mixed emotions. In addition to the criticality of the mission, the people I have worked with in the NSC and the White House make this a tough decision.

I have known LTG H.R. McMaster for many years, and H.R. and I have worked closely together to tackle some of our nation's most difficult challenges. I value our friendship and deeply respect his visionary leadership. I look forward to working with H.R. in my future capacity. I have also appreciated the chance to work with the superb, selfless professionals on our team at the NSC, an amazing group of American patriots who have been instrumental in supporting the President, integrating U.S. policies toward the Middle East, and developing a series of strategies to protect and advance American interests in the region.

I treasure having had the opportunity to support committed and visionary leaders such as Mrs. K.T. McFarland, Mr. Jared Kushner, and Mr. Steve Bannon, and consummate professionals like Mr. Jason Greenblatt and Ms. Dina Powell. I am especially grateful for the Middle East Directorate and those on the NSC with whom we have worked so closely and with such great effect. I remain humbled by their dedication, commitment, and patriotism and wish them all the very best as they face the challenges ahead.

Most importantly, I am excited about the opportunities to advance American interests in the Middle East under President Trump's leadership, and I look forward to shouldering greater responsibilities in support of the President.

Sincerely,

Derek J. Harvey

Special Assistant to the President

Near East Region"

Vic -> Larry Kart ... , 29 July 2017 at 09:31 AM

As a single individual alone accomplishing it, it is rare (just as the opposite is true, extremely talented officers are also rare). However, in a case where the leadership of a Command is rotten, it is not rare at all.

Flynn at DIA IMO was a disaster. His "vision" behind reorganizing was to make DIA mostly an annex of J2 CENTOM. It was so disruptive and counter productive that he was replaced before the normal tour end. Harvey thrived on the CENTOM focused mission. Harvey was not the only questionable person that Flynn bumped up to the senior ranks.

So where did Flynn come from? He made his spurs working with General Petraeus. He bought into Petraeus's perpetual war, and hearts and minds COIN doctrine (with associated intelligence concept of the "human terrain"). In the end Petraeus also self destructed as a fraud and a very flawed officer.

In turn, Petraeus was a result of President Bush (2). A leader with incredibly poor judgement who brought together an incompetent circus of NeoCons (Chicken Hawks) to wage an unnecessary war in an incoherent manner.

Individual incompetence is rarely a path to senior position. But when the Command is rotten from the top down, it happens more frequently.

Vic

Mark Chapman -> Larry Kart ... , 29 July 2017 at 09:54 AM
Does everyone remember Michael "Heck of a Job, Brownie" D. Brown, the first-ever Undersecretary of Emergency Preparedness and Response? His Baptism by Mud in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina? Michael D. Brown's background experience for running a large casualty-management organization was as Judges and Stewards Commissioner for the International Arabian Horse Association.

To be fair, he was not so much a weasel as he had others do the promotion for him, which appears to have been based on doglike loyalty and nothing else. You'd be surprised how far that will take you - depending on the character of your leader - in quite a few organizations.

Haralambos , 28 July 2017 at 12:20 PM
This is up from yesterday on Harvey's dismissal: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/27/derek-harvey-trump-middle-east-adviser-dismissed-241037

Here is a revealing quote from the article:

"Harvey was viewed as one of Trump's more hawkish foreign policy advisers, particularly on Iran, whose leadership he has studied closely and which he recommends confronting more aggressively. He has also been a staunch critic of the Iran nuclear deal.... Many military officials consider him the government's most knowledgeable source on the Sunni insurgency in Iraq and Syria."

turcopolier , 28 July 2017 at 12:37 PM
Larry Kart

This level of self-promotion is unusual in one so specialized. pl

Old Microbiologist -> turcopolier ... , 28 July 2017 at 01:07 PM
I have seen the equivalent in the science arena. I know of at least 2 biodefense scientists who were so bad at getting funding for projects they were moved over to management positions. This is what happens with permanent GS civilians.

You can't fire them so you move them to relatively harmless positions such as program managers or outreach program people. After 9/11 Congress in their wisdom decided we needed yet another mother of all government agencies and created the Department of Homeland Security.

However, they failed to create any permanent GS slots to put into this agency. So, every government agency was required to move authorized/obligated positions over to DHS and this would include any personnel currently holding those slots. No one would ever give up good and productive people so all the dregs were moved over to DHS. This might help explain why DHS has been so screwed up from the get go. As you might expect these 2 scientists were moved over to senior positions and eventually slimed their way to the top and became SES scientific managers and ultimately heads of programs. Kissing ass works well for a lot of people especially when the ass you are kissing is more incompetent that you are.

This might explain why the DHS biodefense programs are so screwed up. One of them is now over at FDA working hard to screw that agency up and the other went over to DHHS (NIH) where they are working hard to screw that up as well. A few very rare people went over to DHS who were good and did it voluntarily but they eventually regretted it having to work for these former loser scientists.There are no smiling faces at DHS.

EEngineer -> Old Microbiologist... , 28 July 2017 at 05:41 PM
And the bulk was staffed up with any college republican that could fog a mirror. Got to deal with a few of those while developing a bio-particle detector. Basic science seemed to be missing on their resumes. But Moore's law seemed to apply to everything!
Old Microbiologist -> EEngineer... , 29 July 2017 at 06:44 AM
But, they probably did have PHD's but ended up doing nothing later. I agree with you about that. The same things happened over at DTRA, where I have never seen such incompetence. I also ran into similar ignorance with DoS people involved in the BWPPP (counter proliferation program funded under the Nunn-Luger Act). They thought all the former Soviet field labs doing agricultural disease surveillance were bioweapons labs.

The labs were set up to monitor endemic zoonotic disease like anthrax and plague which are relatively common. For years they wanted to get their hands on the "weapon" strains and the local guys figured out pretty quickly how to game it for never ending funding on the promise the strains would be sent "real soon".

I can't blame them for that. But I can blame these "geniuses" managing these projects for being incompetent.

Ishmael Zechariah -> turcopolier ... , 28 July 2017 at 02:01 PM
Colonel,

I might be becoming a conspiracy nut in my old age. Could it be that this fellow was promoted and placed as part of an infiltration operation? There are so many claims on his vita which could have been verified with minimal effort. Were these not checked? Could it be that they were checked and the discrepancies were being used for control?

In a similar vein how can the entire US Senate minus 2 vote for a sanctions proposal which is patently and demonstrably based on false premises?

Ishmael Zechariah

Old Microbiologist -> Ishmael Zechariah... , 29 July 2017 at 06:45 AM
American policy in regards to everything is easily understood by one basic concept. Follow the money.
Babak Makkinejad -> Old Microbiologist... , 29 July 2017 at 08:07 PM
I do not credit that. On the whole US has gained nothing from Japan - except unemployment. And then there is the little matter of Afghanistan, for which, the money trail goes through her anf back in DC.
WG McCreedy , 28 July 2017 at 02:00 PM
https://www.linkedin.com/in/colonelderekharvey/
Tel -> WG McCreedy... , 29 July 2017 at 05:47 PM
http://www.cas.usf.edu/news/s/546

"He also has shown great courage personally, for example entering Fallujah at the height of the uprising there and spending the day and night talking with leaders in the insurgency."

That would have been early 2004, while Col Harvey was "Red Team" Chief.

Randy , 28 July 2017 at 02:05 PM
Legend in his own mind. How many more like him are influencing/making foreign policy decisions? Scary. Nice take down pl.
SmoothieX12 , 28 July 2017 at 02:06 PM
Farsi? How would that have happened?

When playing back-gammon as it is played in the region? I joke, of course. But I remember playing the game (known in the area as Nard(y)) All numbers (combinations) of dice were called out loud in Farsi. Everybody in Caucasus pretty much knew counting to six in Farsi plus some additional (proprietary) names of numbers' combinations. Sadly, I forgot that--I don't play backgammon in its "westernized" configuration--the board has to be done in a specific way. But, probably, would recall numbers and titles given couple of games with native speakers pretty fast.

Kooshy -> SmoothieX12 ... , 28 July 2017 at 05:15 PM
The Board must be of hard wood ( specific species) and the dice must be small ( like 1/4 in) made of tusk, so one can hear an specific sound of rolling dice. The board is called Takhteh ( board made of wood) Nard
SmoothieX12 -> Kooshy... , 28 July 2017 at 08:27 PM
It is also known as Shesh-Besh (the game--six-five) and every move of the essentially checker has to be loud and fixated in the own nest. Drinking tea from armuda glass is desirable;) You got it right about dice known as zary. It is a ritual of an incredible delight and power.

http://obruch.com.ua/sites/obruch.com.ua/files/khyqx_baku_hjmobt_rhunuq._kepmohu.gif

Eric Newhill -> Kooshy... , 29 July 2017 at 06:40 AM
Kooshy,

Brings back memories. The hard wood board inlaid with ivory and mother of pearl and the little ivory dice vigorously thrown and ricocheting wildly. The smacking of the chips on the table; even harder when you "hit" the opponent's piece or make a "dur" in a strategic slot.

We called the game "tobli", but we always counted in a mix of Persian, Arabic and a salting of Turkish. There were also proclamations that would be shouted; usually when misfortune befell one's opponent. "Gehleh"! (sometimes pronounced "Gallah") when his piece had been hit and then couldn't get back on the board.

6 and five was "shesh/besh". 4 and 2 was "juward/du", But 1 and 2 was "eekie beer", 1 and 1 was "hap yeck"......

It was said that the game of tobli would reveal a man's character and that it was a microcosm of life.

Babak Makkinejad -> SmoothieX12 ... , 28 July 2017 at 09:34 PM
I think the word for six is the same in both Russian and in Persian. The expression "losing at Love's Nard" is well-known in Persian. (In Love, one wins by losing; as I am sure you know.)
SmoothieX12 -> Babak Makkinejad... , 28 July 2017 at 09:54 PM
I think the word for six is the same in both Russian and in Persian.

It is Shest' in Russian and Shesh both in Farsi, Azeri and Turkic.

Babak Makkinejad -> SmoothieX12 ... , 29 July 2017 at 09:30 AM
Funny - "Shest" mean thumb in Persian. Or Sixty - depending on the accent of the local dialect.
The Beaver , 28 July 2017 at 02:20 PM
committed and visionary leaders such as Mrs. K.T. McFarland

Yep, Troia who went MIA since 1985 after marrying a rich banker and became more or less a socialite only to resurface in 2006.

Envoy Jason Greenblatt who couldn't do much last WE about the hot spot of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and Bibi had to remove his electronic gear to "control the Arab Muslims". Jared would have loved to accompany him on that school trip but he was busy on the Hill.

The Beaver , 28 July 2017 at 03:05 PM
This may be a good read:

https://www.cfr.org/blog/our-man-middle-east-confusing-worldview-trump-aide-derek-harvey

When it comes to Iran, Harvey has articulated a tough line, but there is a fair amount of bipartisan support for this in Washington. When he turns his attention to other issues, however, Harvey offers a curious set of dubious assertions and contradictory claims, wrapped up in a troubling lack of knowledge about the region for which he is now primarily responsible. Needless to say, this combination is bad for U.S.-Middle East policy.

MRW , 28 July 2017 at 03:20 PM
Hope someone at the White House reads this. It is delicious.
Lars -> MRW... , 28 July 2017 at 05:41 PM
Nobody in the White House will read this, or anything else. They are too busy watching TV. Of course, the old Greeks had a story about somebody who flew too close to the sun.
Emad , 28 July 2017 at 05:17 PM
Reminds of that other paragon of ME knowledge Larry Franklin.
Lemur , 28 July 2017 at 05:33 PM
Breaking: Trump's fired Priebus, hired John Kelly as Chief of Staff.

"My hunch is that Reince Priebus will be gone by the end of August along with Sean Spicer and most of their RNC team of White House leakers." ~ Conservative Treehouse, July 23rd<