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US Presidential Elections of 2016:

Transitional period as a fight between Trump and the attempts of Deep State to enslave him (and remind him about JFK destiny)  

Neocons counterattacked using "Russian spy scandal and neo-McCarthyism witch hunt " as a ruse
 and  managed to enslave and emasculate Trump by promoting birds of a feather for key Trump administration positions

Version 5.2 (Nov 25, 2016)

See also

News Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Recommended Links Trump vs. Deep State The Deep State New American Militarism Anti-Russian hysteria Anti Trump Hysteria Trump post-election transformation into neocon
Trump's bustard neoliberalism and his betrayal of his voters Trump turns to neocon unilateralism in foreign policy DNC emails leak Two Party System as Polyarchy US Presidential Elections of 2016: Primaries US Presidential Elections: from primaries to election day Reversal of planned detente with Russia Trump after his Colin Powell moment Korea saber-rattling
Donald Trump Trump foreign policy platform Personnel is Policy Khan Sheikhoun gas attack Obama: a yet another Neocon Hillary role in Libya disaster Bernie Sanders: A turncoat socialist, who betrayed his voters Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Hillary health issues
Monday morning quarterbacking Understanding Hillary Clinton email scandal  "Fuck the EU": neocons show EU its real place  Hillary wet kiss with neocons Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Non-Interventionism Is Hillary Clinton a toxic manager? Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Trump economic platform
Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoconservatism Demonization of Putin  American Exceptionalism New American Militarism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Perjury Investigation of Hillary Clinton
The Iron Law of Oligarchy Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Myth about intelligent voter Pluralism as a myth Libertarian Philosophy Nation under attack meme   Trump on immigration
Principal-agent problem Corporatist Corruption Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Ethno-linguistic Nationalism Corporatism National Security State Predator state Machiavellism Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few
Betrayal by Bernie Sanders of his supporters Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention Jeb "Wolfowitz Stooge" Bush US Presidential Elections of 2012  Mayberry Machiavellians Politically Incorrect Humor Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

Note: due to the size introduction was moved to a separate page November 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization

This election is about the backlash against neoliberalism that became the dominant ideology of the ruling elite in the USA since 1980th. At this point blue color workers became sick of Demorats (aka Neoliberal Democrats) who are betraying them after each elections ("Change we can believe in" in worlds of the king of "bait and switch" Obama) and expecting still they will vote for Democratic as they have nowhere to go (Clinton strategy). They want to show middle finger to Clinton and other neoliberal criminals who deprived them of work, of dignity, of health (heroine epidemic is hitting the USA really hard). It's a class war all over again. Note how neoliberal media tried to misrepresent it accusing Trump supporters of racism, bigotry, and all other sins to mask anti-neoliberal backlash of the US population, and the revolutionary situation in the county, when the elite lost the control of the population. Which really somewhat reminds me the last days of the USSR when communist propaganda stopped working and people start seeing the "Politburo" as "naked king" -- a bunch of corrupt priests of obscure religion, who do not believe in the ideology they promote for "shmucks", only with their own and their families well-being. that their sons and daughters attend Western universities and their wives are shopping in Paris.

It is not an exaggeration to see in 2016 Presidential election as a referendum on neoliberal globalization. But the political power still belongs to  Neoliberals, which dominates both the government and the economy (transnationals are the cornerstone of neoliberal world order). It's a big question if the American people will be able to change neoliberal dogma, the official civil religion of the USA without a violent revolution...

The great Trump political breakthrough was consolidating the white working class and white middle class vote. At last "clintonization" (sellout of the Party to Wall Street whichwas initialed by Bill Clinton, converting it into the party of "soft neoliberalism" which at times was undistinguishable from "hard neoliberalism" )  of Democratic Party backfired.  Demexit -- abandoning of Demorats by white working and middle class is now a reality.

Writing in Politico, Georgetown political scientist Joshua Mitchell has a long, important take on the deep meaning of Trump — and it’s probably not what you think:

If you listen closely to Trump, you’ll hear a direct repudiation of the system of globalization and identity politics that has defined the world order since the Cold War. There are, in fact, six specific ideas that he has either blurted out or thinly buried in his rhetoric: (1) borders matter; (2) immigration policy matters; (3) national interests, not so-called universal interests, matter; (4) entrepreneurship matters; (5) decentralization matters; (6) PC speech—without which identity politics is inconceivable—must be repudiated.

These six ideas together point to an end to the unstable experiment with supra- and sub-national sovereignty that many of our elites have guided us toward, siren-like, since 1989.

 That is what the Trump campaign, ghastly though it may at times be, leads us toward: A future where states matter. A future where people are citizens, working together toward (bourgeois) improvement of their lot. His ideas do not yet fully cohere. They are a bit too much like mental dust that has yet to come together. But they can come together. And Trump is the first American candidate to bring some coherence to them, however raucous his formulations have been.

This is a clear repudiation of neoliberalism (aka "casino capitalism" or  Trotskyism for the rich) -- the secular religion to both Republican and Democratic parties adhere (while the term is prohibited from mass media -- can you imagine the Communist Party of the USSR would prohibit its members under the threat of purge to utter the word "communism" or call themselves "communists").  And that means that Trump is a threat to Washington neoliberal elite, the threat to neoliberal  Washington_Consensus, which  since 1980 (or even earlier) rules the place. That's why they fight and demonization of Trump is conducted by neoliberal media with such a fierce determination. That's why such a tremendous efforts and money are spend on propelling sick and unprincipled establishment candidate -- Hillary Clinton. A warmonger neoconservative, who is a staunch neoliberal (like her husband Bill Clinton).

The US neoliberal elite ("creator class" or "Masters of the Universe" in neoliberal jargon) have successfully revolted against the political and economic constraints on their wealth and power put by "enlightened corporatism" of the New Deal, and for 36 years managed to redistribute wealth up to the level that has no historical presidents. As a result social stability is in danger and "the rest" (or Untermensch, or "takers"/"welfare queen" in neoliberal jargon) are rebelling in the only way left open to them: voting for anyone who claims to be an outsider. (Romney-Ryan 'makers vs. takers' rhetoric helped spawn Donald Trump Washington Examiner)

This idea of low-income "takers" lay beneath Mitt Romney's view that the 47 percent of adults in the U.S. who owed no federal income tax were therefore "dependent upon government" and "who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them…."

...

But "taker" is a slur also when aimed at recipients of government benefits. Millions of "takers" are people who work 40 hours, but at low wages, and thus receive the earned-income tax credit. Will you blame their low wages on them? Perhaps they got horrible education thanks to incompetent government, or were just never blessed with marketable skills.

Some percentage of the 47 percent are World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam Veterans, who after serving their country, put in decades of work, and now live off the Social Security they paid into, without earning enough to owe federal income tax.

The "takers" include widows receiving food stamps, the ill being kept alive by Medicaid, and people drawing on unemployment because their employer got up and moved to Mexico.

More importantly, many of those on welfare or disability hate that they are dependent. They want to be working.

Are there "welfare queens," lazy able-bodied moochers, and people scamming disability? Yes. But lumping in 47 percent of the country with these scoundrels is as illegitimate lumping all businessmen in with the failed bankers who depend on bailouts.

This wasn't just Ryan's mistake. Conservatives broadly have equated low income with dependency. The conservative belief that the market tends to reward skill and diligence often mutates into a belief that poverty reflects some sort of turpitude.

That view helped give birth to Donald Trump, who has tapped into the working class that Ryan and Romney had pushed away.

Globalization and free trade are fast becoming dirty words. That’s because they were  culprits for major  shocks — like the 2008 financial crisis. In the United States alone, median household income has been practically stagnant for about three decades, the labor market continues to be anemic, manufacturing jobs have been lost, and many have experienced a significant deterioration in living standards.

Much of the post-Brexit and primary election conventional wisdom seems to be stuck in a political narrative in which the Brexit vote and the rise of Trumpism in the United States are seen as symbols of the populist revolution. These symbols are combined with a nationalist tide has been sweeping not only the United Kingdom and the United States, but also many other parts of Europe, including Poland, Hungary, France, The Netherlands and Scandinavia, not to mention, Russia, Turkey, India and Israel.

According to this narrative, economic insecurity and cultural anxiety that reflect sociodemographic trends have given momentum to ethnonationalism and religious separatism in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The Rust Belt is pitted against New York City, and the Midlands against London.

All this means that the crisis of neoliberalism, which started in 2008 now obtained political dimension, when the institutions created by neoliberalism are under attacks from the disgruntled population. The power of neoliberal propaganda, the power of brainwashing and indoctrination of population via MSM, schools and universities to push forward neoliberal globalization started to evaporate. And the fight against neoliberal globalization is not easy and it is not accidentally Hillary Clinton became the Democratic nominee and neoliberal MSM unlashed unprecedented campaign of blackmail against Trump.  The fact is, Sheldon Wolin not accidentally calls neoliberalism "inverted totalitarianism" . It's a system where corporate power has seized all of political  levers of control. In fact, under neoliberalism, there is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs or ExxonMobil or Raytheon. We also have lost our privacy. And under Obama, an assault against civil liberties has outstripped what George W. Bush carried out.

This is about the crisis of neoliberal ideology and especially Trotskyism part of it (neoliberalism can be viewed as Trotskyism for the rich). The following integral elements of this ideology no longer work well and are starting to cause the backlash:

  1. High level of inequality as the explicit, desirable goal (which raises the productivity). "Greed is good" or "Trickle down economics" -- redistribution of wealth up will create (via higher productivity) enough scrapes for the lower classes, lifting all boats.
  2. "Neoliberal rationality" when everything is a commodity that should be traded at specific market. Human beings also are viewed as market actors with every field of activity seen as a specialized market. Every entity (public or private, person, business, state) should be governed as a firm. "Neoliberalism construes even non-wealth generating spheres-such as learning, dating, or exercising-in market terms, submits them to market metrics, and governs them with market techniques and practices." People are just " human capital" who must constantly tend to their own present and future market value.
  3. Extreme financialization or converting the economy into "casino capitalism" (under neoliberalism everything is a marketable good, that is traded on explicit or implicit exchanges.)
  4. The idea of the global, USA dominated neoliberal empire and related "Permanent war for permanent peace" -- wars for enlarging global neoliberal empire via crushing non-compliant regimes either via color revolutions or via open military intervention.
  5. Downgrading ordinary people to the role of commodity and creating three classes of citizens (moochers, or Untermensch, "creative class" and top 0.1%), with the upper class (0.1% or "Masters of the Universe") being above the law like the top level of "nomenklatura" was in the USSR.
  6. "Downsizing" sovereignty of nations via international treaties like TPP, and making transnational corporations the key political players, "the deciders" as W aptly said. Who decide about the level of immigration flows, minimal wages, tariffs, and other matters that previously were prerogative of the state.

So after 36 (or more) years of dominance (which started with triumphal march of neoliberalism in early 90th) the ideology entered "zombie state". That does not make it less dangerous but its power over minds of the population started to evaporate. Far right ideologies now are filling the vacuum, as ith the discreditation of socialist ideology and decimation of "enlightened corporatism" of the New Deal in the USA there is no other viable alternatives.

The same happened in late 1960th with the Communist ideology. It took 20 years for the USSR to crash after that with the resulting splash of nationalism (which was the force that blow up the USSR) and far right ideologies.

It remains to be seen whether the neoliberal US elite will fare better then Soviet nomenklatura as challenges facing the USA are now far greater then challenges which the USSR faced at the time. Among them is oil depletion which might be the final nail into the coffin of neoliberalism and, specifically, the neoliberal globalization.

This has been a bipartisan effort, because they've both been captured by corporate power. We have undergone what John Ralston Saul correctly calls a corporate coup d'état in slow motion, and it's over.

Neoliberal poison destroys a society and lifts the politicians with nationalistic bend like Trump. First, neoliberalism dislocated the working class, de-industrialized the country. Then, in the name of austerity, it destroyed public institutions, education, public broadcasting. And then it poisoned the political system.

I would argue that in terms of megalomania and narcissism, Hillary Clinton is not far behind Trump. But the point is, we've got to break away from-which is exactly the narrative neoliberal MSM want us to focus on.

 We've got to break away from political personalities and understand and examine and critique the structures of power. And, in fact, the Democratic Party, especially beginning under Bill Clinton, has carried water for corporate entities as assiduously as the Republican Party.

We need to be aware of neoliberal brainwashing. I mean, this whole debate over the DNC WikiLeaks emails disclosure is insane. The key question here is not who leaked emails, but whether they are authentic or not. They are. As well as DNC dirty laundry exposed those long emails -- you should read them. They're really appalling, and exposes the way the Democratic primaries were rigged. Tricks used included the mechanism of the superdelegates (which unlawfully declared their allegiance very early creating pro-Clinton pressure of voters) , the stealing of the caucus in Nevada, and the huge amounts of corporate money and money of super PACs that flowed into the Clinton campaign. This faux feminism on which Hillary Clinton based her campaign is another propaganda trick. She si hostile to both women and children. Cold like any sociopath.  The fact is, Clinton has a track record of hurting US children: she and her husband destroyed welfare as we know it, and 70% of the original recipients were children.

If is important to understand that the rise of nationalism, the phenomenal success of Trump is just a form of backlash against neoliberalism. 

Continued...


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Post election events (the first half of 2017) US Presidential Elections of 2016 from primaries to election day US Presidential Elections of 2016: Primaries US Presidential Elections of 2016: 2015 part of the campaign US Presidential Elections of 2012

[Jul 19, 2017] Never in the field of American conflict with Russia has so much wool pulled over the eyes been owed to so few sheep. That was during the losing presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. Now, in the investigations of President Donald Trump and his family, it's a case of so many sheep producing so little wool.

Jul 19, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

et Al , July 19, 2017 at 12:54 pm

JohnHelmer.net: THE IMPROPER ASSOCIATION (MAYBE CRIME) OF VICTOR PINCHUK WITH HILLARY, BILL AND CHELSEA CLINTON, COVERED UP BY THE US MEDIA, US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, AND THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND

http://johnhelmer.net/the-improper-association-maybe-crime-of-victor-pinchuk-with-hillary-bill-and-chelsea-clinton-covered-up-by-the-us-media-us-department-of-justice-and-the-international-monetary-fund/

Never in the field of American conflict with Russia has so much wool pulled over the eyes been owed to so few sheep. That was during the losing presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. Now, in the investigations of President Donald Trump and his family, it's a case of so many sheep producing so little wool.

The case of the $13 million paid to the Clinton family by the Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk, in exchange for personal favours and escalation of the war against Russia, was reported in detail throughout 2014. Click to read the opener, and more.

Early this month there has been fresh investigation of Pinchuk's money links with the Clintons, owing to the start of Ukrainian government inquiries into the theft of billions of dollars of International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans to Ukraine – money then transferred to Ukrainian commercial banks including Pinchuk's Credit Dnepr bank, and then loaned to offshore entities controlled by Pinchuk but apparently not repaid. Theft of the IMF money was first reported here in connection with Igor Kolomoisky's operation of Privat Bank

####

More at the link. Goose & gander anyone?

[Jul 17, 2017] Tucker Carlson Goes to War Against the Neocons by Curt Mills

max Book is just anothe "Yascha about Russia" type, that Masha Gessen represents so vividly. The problem with him is that time of neocon prominance is solidly in the past and now unpleasant question about the cost from the US people of their reckless foreign policies get into some newspapers and managines. They cost the USA tremedous anount of money (as in trillions) and those money consititute a large portion of the national debt. Critiques so far were very weak and partially suppressed voices, but defeat of neocon warmonger Hillary signify some break with the past.
Notable quotes:
"... Carlson's record suggests that he has been in the camp skeptical of U.S. foreign-policy intervention for some time now and, indeed, that it predates Donald Trump's rise to power. (Carlson has commented publicly that he was humiliated by his own public support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.) According to Carlson, "This is not about Trump. This is not about Trump. It's the one thing in American life that has nothing to do with Trump. My views on this are totally unrelated to my views on Donald Trump. This has been going since September 11, 2001. And it's a debate that we've never really had. And we need to have it." He adds, "I don't think the public has ever been for the ideas that undergird our policies." ..."
"... But the fight also seems to have a personal edge. Carlson says, "Max Boot is not impressive. . . . Max is a totally mediocre person." Carlson added that he felt guilty about not having, in his assessment, a superior guest to Boot on the show to defend hawkishness. "I wish I had had someone clear-thinking and smart on to represent their views. And there are a lot of them. I would love to have that debate," Carlson told me, periodically emphasizing that he is raring to go on this subject. ..."
"... New York Observer ..."
"... Though he eschews labels, Carlson sounds like a foreign-policy realist on steroids: "You can debate what's in [the United States'] interest. That's a subjective category. But what you can't debate is that ought to be the basic question, the first, second and third question. Does it represent our interest? . . . I don't think that enters into the calculations of a lot of the people who make these decisions." Carlson's interests extend beyond foreign policy, and he says "there's a massive realignment going on ideologically that everybody is missing. It's dramatic. And everyone is missing it. . . . Nobody is paying attention to it, " ..."
"... : Flickr/Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. ..."
Jul 14, 2017 | nationalinterest.org

This week's primetime knife fights with Max Boot and Ralph Peters are emblematic of the battle for the soul of the American Right.

To be sure, Carlson rejects the term "neoconservatism," and implicitly, its corollary on the Democratic side, liberal internationalism. In 2016, "the reigning Republican foreign-policy view, you can call it neoconservatism, or interventionism, or whatever you want to call it" was rejected, he explained in a wide-ranging interview with the National Interest Friday.

"But I don't like the term 'neoconservatism,'" he says, "because I don't even know what it means. I think it describes the people rather than their ideas, which is what I'm interested in. And to be perfectly honest . . . I have a lot of friends who have been described as neocons, people I really love, sincerely. And they are offended by it. So I don't use it," Carlson said.

But Carlson's recent segments on foreign policy conducted with Lt. Col. Ralph Peters and the prominent neoconservative journalist and author Max Boot were acrimonious even by Carlsonian standards. In a discussion on Syria, Russia and Iran, a visibly upset Boot accused Carlson of being "immoral" and taking foreign-policy positions to curry favor with the White House, keep up his ratings , and by proxy, benefit financially. Boot says that Carlson "basically parrots whatever the pro-Trump line is that Fox viewers want to see. If Trump came out strongly against Putin tomorrow, I imagine Tucker would echo this as faithfully as the pro-Russia arguments he echoes today." But is this assessment fair?

Carlson's record suggests that he has been in the camp skeptical of U.S. foreign-policy intervention for some time now and, indeed, that it predates Donald Trump's rise to power. (Carlson has commented publicly that he was humiliated by his own public support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.) According to Carlson, "This is not about Trump. This is not about Trump. It's the one thing in American life that has nothing to do with Trump. My views on this are totally unrelated to my views on Donald Trump. This has been going since September 11, 2001. And it's a debate that we've never really had. And we need to have it." He adds, "I don't think the public has ever been for the ideas that undergird our policies."

Even if Carlson doesn't want to use the label neocon to describe some of those ideas, Boot is not so bashful. In 2005, Boot wrote an essay called "Neocons May Get the Last Laugh." Carlson "has become a Trump acolyte in pursuit of ratings," says Boot, also interviewed by the National Interest . "I bet if it were President Clinton accused of colluding with the Russians, Tucker would be outraged and calling for impeachment if not execution. But since it's Trump, then it's all a big joke to him," Boot says. Carlson vociferously dissents from such assessments: "This is what dumb people do. They can't assess the merits of an argument. . . . I'm not talking about Syria, and Russia, and Iran because of ratings. That's absurd. I can't imagine those were anywhere near the most highly-rated segments that night. That's not why I wanted to do it."

But Carlson insists, "I have been saying the same thing for fifteen years. Now I have a T.V. show that people watch, so my views are better known. But it shouldn't be a surprise. I supported Trump to the extent he articulated beliefs that I agree with. . . . And I don't support Trump to the extent that his actions deviate from those beliefs," Carlson said. Boot on Fox said that Carlson is "too smart" for this kind of argument. But Carlson has bucked the Trump line, notably on Trump's April 7 strikes in Syria. "When the Trump administration threw a bunch of cruise missiles into Syria for no obvious reason, on the basis of a pretext that I question . . . I questioned [the decision] immediately. On T.V. I was on the air when that happened. I think, maybe seven minutes into my show. . . . I thought this was reckless."

But the fight also seems to have a personal edge. Carlson says, "Max Boot is not impressive. . . . Max is a totally mediocre person." Carlson added that he felt guilty about not having, in his assessment, a superior guest to Boot on the show to defend hawkishness. "I wish I had had someone clear-thinking and smart on to represent their views. And there are a lot of them. I would love to have that debate," Carlson told me, periodically emphasizing that he is raring to go on this subject.

Boot objects to what he sees as a cavalier attitude on the part of Carlson and others toward allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, and also toward the deaths of citizens of other countries. "You are laughing about the fact that Russia is interfering in our election process. That to me is immoral," Boot told Carlson on his show. "This is the level of dumbness and McCarthyism in Washington right now," says Carlson. "I think it has the virtue of making Max Boot feel like a good person. Like he's on God's team, or something like that. But how does that serve the interest of the country? It doesn't." Carlson says that Donald Trump, Jr.'s emails aren't nearly as important as who is going to lead Syria, which he says Boot and others have no plan for successfully occupying. Boot, by contrast, sees the U.S. administration as dangerously flirting with working with Russia, Iran and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. "For whatever reason, Trump is pro-Putin, no one knows why, and he's taken a good chunk of the GOP along with him," Boot says.

On Fox last Wednesday, Boot reminded Carlson that he originally supported the 2003 Iraq decision. "You supported the invasion of Iraq," Boot said, before repeating, "You supported the invasion of Iraq." Carlson conceded that, but it seems the invasion was a bona fide turning point. It's most important to parse whether Carlson has a long record of anti-interventionism, or if he's merely sniffing the throne of the president (who, dubiously, may have opposed the 2003 invasion). "I think it's a total nightmare and disaster, and I'm ashamed that I went against my own instincts in supporting it," Carlson told the New York Observer in early 2004. "It's something I'll never do again. Never. I got convinced by a friend of mine who's smarter than I am, and I shouldn't have done that. . . . I'm enraged by it, actually." Carlson told the National Interest that he's felt this way since seeing Iraq for himself in December 2003.

The evidence points heavily toward a sincere conversion on Carlson's part, or preexisting conviction that was briefly overcome by the beat of the war drums. Carlson did work for the Weekly Standard , perhaps the most prominent neoconservative magazine, in the 1990s and early 2000s. Carlson today speaks respectfully of William Kristol, its founding editor, but has concluded that he is all wet. On foreign policy, the people Carlson speaks most warmly about are genuine hard left-wingers: Glenn Greenwald, a vociferous critic of both economic neoliberalism and neoconservatism; the anti-establishment journalist Michael Tracey; Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the Nation ; and her husband, Stephen Cohen, the Russia expert and critic of U.S. foreign policy.

"The only people in American public life who are raising these questions are on the traditional left: not lifestyle liberals, not the Williamsburg (Brooklyn) group, not liberals in D.C., not Nancy Pelosi." He calls the expertise of establishment sources on matters like Syria "more shallow than I even imagined." On his MSNBC show, which was canceled for poor ratings, he cavorted with noninterventionist stalwarts such as Ron Paul , the 2008 and 2012 antiwar GOP candidate, and Patrick J. Buchanan. "No one is smarter than Pat Buchanan," he said last year of the man whose ideas many say laid the groundwork for Trump's political success.

Carlson has risen to the pinnacle of cable news, succeeding Bill O'Reilly. It wasn't always clear an antiwar take would vault someone to such prominence. Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio or Mitt Romney could be president (Boot has advised the latter two). But here he is, and it's likely no coincidence that Carlson got a show after Trump's election, starting at the 7 p.m. slot, before swiftly moving to the 9 p.m. slot to replace Trump antagonist Megyn Kelly, and just as quickly replacing O'Reilly at the top slot, 8 p.m. Boot, on the other hand, declared in 2016 that the Republican Party was dead , before it went on to hold Congress and most state houses, and of course take the presidency. He's still at the Council on Foreign Relations and writes for the New York Times (this seems to clearly annoy Carlson: "It tells you everything about the low standards of the American foreign-policy establishment").

Boot wrote in 2003 in the Weekly Standard that the fall of Saddam Hussein's government "may turn out to be one of those hinge moments in history" comparable to "events like the storming of the Bastille or the fall of the Berlin Wall, after which everything is different." He continued, "If the occupation goes well (admittedly a big if ), it may mark the moment when the powerful antibiotic known as democracy was introduced into the diseased environment of the Middle East, and began to transform the region for the better."

Though he eschews labels, Carlson sounds like a foreign-policy realist on steroids: "You can debate what's in [the United States'] interest. That's a subjective category. But what you can't debate is that ought to be the basic question, the first, second and third question. Does it represent our interest? . . . I don't think that enters into the calculations of a lot of the people who make these decisions." Carlson's interests extend beyond foreign policy, and he says "there's a massive realignment going on ideologically that everybody is missing. It's dramatic. And everyone is missing it. . . . Nobody is paying attention to it, "

Carlson seems intent on pressing the issue. The previous night, in his debate with Peters, the retired lieutenant colonel said that Carlson sounded like Charles Lindbergh, who opposed U.S. intervention against Nazi Germany before 1941. "This particular strain of Republican foreign policy has almost no constituency. Nobody agrees with it. I mean there's not actually a large group of people outside of New York, Washington or L.A. who think any of this is a good idea," Carlson says. "All I am is an asker of obvious questions. And that's enough to reveal these people have no idea what they're talking about. None."

Curt Mills is a foreign-affairs reporter at the National Interest . Follow him on Twitter: @CurtMills .

Image : Flickr/Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.

[Jul 16, 2017] Will the DNC lose in 2018, because theyre beholden to inner-party special interests? Stay tuned. Say what you will about Trump, but he certainly made politics a lot more entertaining to watch. Not sure if thats good or bad, but Im getting popcorn.

Notable quotes:
"... "We need to be talking about impeachment constantly. If you're an elected Dem & you're not talking impeachment or 25th amendment then find a new party," Scott Dworkin, senior adviser to Democratic Coalition Against Trump, on Twitter. ..."
"... "Voters are getting plenty about the Russia story, and they don't need candidates' help making that case. I think it's a fundamental mistake to make this election a referendum on impeachment. That means it's not an election on a health care bill that will raise premiums and take more than 22 million people off of their health care," Zac Petkanas, Democratic strategist, former aide to Hillary Clinton. ..."
"... "All of that (on Russia) is going to come out, and if a politician was lacking in courage and never did anything about it, I think they will pay dearly for it, and they should. But if you're a governor candidate next year, you're a lot smarter saying, 'Here's what I'm going to do about jobs and education and wages' than weighing in every day on issues outside your control." David Pepper, Ohio Democratic Party chairman. ..."
"... The only two Democrats, out of that random sample, who are going "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" I mean "Russia, Russia, Russia," are Dworkin and Galland from MoveOn. I think this blog knows quite a bit about MoveOn, so I don't need to mention it, and the only other person talking about it, is someone who is trying to make his name by impeaching Trump. ..."
Jul 16, 2017 | ucgsblog.wordpress.com
ucgsblog says: July 16, 2017 at 7:21 pm Sorry about being MIA, I'm probably going to be MIA until mid-August, but in the meantime, here's an interesting article:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/message-democrats-must-more-talk-russia-122203301.html

"We know that we can be an America that works for everyone, because we believe that our diversity is our greatest strength. And we believe that when we put hope on the ballot we do well, and when we allow others to put fear in the eyes of people we don't do so hot," Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

___

"We need to be talking about impeachment constantly. If you're an elected Dem & you're not talking impeachment or 25th amendment then find a new party," Scott Dworkin, senior adviser to Democratic Coalition Against Trump, on Twitter.

___

"We're advising groups to pay attention to Russia, but the bottom line is they're trying to take your health care away. That should be the focus. Eye on the prize," Ezra Levin, co-founder of Indivisible.

___

"I focus a lot on good-paying jobs, student loan issues, health care and the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Those are the issues that are at the top of (voters') minds. I don't think (the Russia investigation) has to interfere with our conversation about every day matters in people's lives," Jason Crow, Democratic candidate in Colorado's 6th Congressional District.

___

"Voters are getting plenty about the Russia story, and they don't need candidates' help making that case. I think it's a fundamental mistake to make this election a referendum on impeachment. That means it's not an election on a health care bill that will raise premiums and take more than 22 million people off of their health care," Zac Petkanas, Democratic strategist, former aide to Hillary Clinton.

___

"We will both defend the integrity of our democracy (on the Russian investigation) and we will defend access to health care for tens of millions of people. The resistance is big enough and sophisticated enough to track both of those urgent and important issues," Anna Galland, executive director of Moveon.org Civic Action.

___

"All of that (on Russia) is going to come out, and if a politician was lacking in courage and never did anything about it, I think they will pay dearly for it, and they should. But if you're a governor candidate next year, you're a lot smarter saying, 'Here's what I'm going to do about jobs and education and wages' than weighing in every day on issues outside your control." David Pepper, Ohio Democratic Party chairman.

___

"We need to be able to explain what we're for just as emphatically as who we are against. Voters need to hear you talking about them more than they hear you talking about yourself, your opponent or the president." Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.

!!!!!!-

The only two Democrats, out of that random sample, who are going "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" I mean "Russia, Russia, Russia," are Dworkin and Galland from MoveOn. I think this blog knows quite a bit about MoveOn, so I don't need to mention it, and the only other person talking about it, is someone who is trying to make his name by impeaching Trump.

Looks like the DNC is slowly starting to realize what voters want, despite inner party special interest groups. Levin and Crow summarize mainstream Democrats, so I'll just requote them:

"We're advising groups to pay attention to Russia, but the bottom line is they're trying to take your health care away. That should be the focus. Eye on the prize I focus a lot on good-paying jobs, student loan issues, health care and the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Those are the issues that are at the top of (voters') minds. I don't think (the Russia investigation) has to interfere with our conversation about every day matters in people's lives"

Will the DNC lose in 2018, because they're beholden to inner-party special interests? Stay tuned. Say what you will about Trump, but he certainly made politics a lot more entertaining to watch. Not sure if that's good or bad, but I'm getting popcorn.

[Jul 16, 2017] As Anti-Trump - Anti-Russia Campaign Fails - Yascha Mounk Feeds New Lies

Yet another classic "Yascha about Russia... " propaganda theme variation (Gessen style Russophobia). This time he is from Germany, though. Some people would do everything to earn a living.
Notable quotes:
"... Judging by the comments in "Professor" Mounk's Twitter feed, the vast majority are pretty much wise to the deception. Whether this holds for the retweets I don't know. But I'm pretty sure we are witnessing the decay of the establishment. ..."
"... Lemoine ( http://www.twitter.com/phl43) destroys the liberal media bullshit narrative piece by piece. I haven't found a more thorough discussion anywhere else online. It's well worth reading just for its clarity and strength of argumentation. ..."
"... Illuminating how widely quoted and passed on is the rubbish of Yascha Mounk, and 'et al'. What does this say about the publications and outlets that give such dishonesty a megaphone? They must lose credibility. ..."
"... Paul Craig Roberts has written at various times words to the effect that just about all public and private institutions in the US are now corrupt. It's hard to find examples that refute that thesis. ..."
"... so this is what Harvard has to offer. and to think having a Harvard education used to mean something. ..."
"... Nice to see at least one US Journalist take on and destroy two prominent Neocons. Here Tucker Carlson takes on Lt Col Ralph Peters and Max Boot. http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/07/13/tucker-carlson-neocon-slayer/ ..."
"... The Corporate Media is owned by 6 corporations as a result of (liberal?) Bill Clinton admin enacting Republican (with Democrat Complicity) "Media Consolidation" aka monopolies. ..."
"... One Media owner is GE which also manufactures aircraft engines and weaponry and seeks government contracts for same. ..."
"... Charles C. Johnson said he also suggested that Smith get in touch with Andrew Auernheimer, a hacker who goes by the alias 'Weev' and has collaborated with Johnson in the past. Auernheimer--who was released from federal prison in 2014 after having a conviction for fraud and hacking offenses vacated [on appeal - May 2014] and subsequently moved to Ukraine . ..."
"... American lies should be put in context. The USA is a dying country, that is all but unmanageable, in the midst of its second Civil War (fought mostly in the media now, but the erosion of country's national fabric is immense and keeps worsening). In such circumstances, finding external enemy in order to redirect the destructive energy outward is simply a matter of national survival. That's why we have the anti-Russia frenzy. ..."
"... That's how great countries fracture and disappear. It' ugly, and will only get uglier. ..."
Jul 16, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

The U.S. borg is vehemently trying to set up Russia as an enemy of the "west". Their anti-Russian propaganda has become part of the campaign against U.S. President Trump who seeks détente with Russia. It requires intense efforts to denigrate the country, its citizens and its leaders. Here is an example of how such propaganda is fabricated.

Yascha Mounk is:

a Lecturer on Political Theory at Harvard University's Government Department, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Transatlantic Academy of the German Marshall Fund, and a Nonresident Fellow at New America's Political Reform Program.

He is a self declared liberal internationalist who has been published and quoted by lots of international media.

Yesterday Mounk tweeted this :


bigger

The Mounk tweet is a series of lies:

Need a reminder of the human cost of dictatorship? All these are journalists who criticized Putin--and died under mysterious circumstances

The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin is dully elected and not a dictator. The Russian Federation may not be a "liberal democracy", but it is a democracy. The picture is old. It shows all Russian journalists who died during their work since 1991. Most of them died as war- or crime-correspondents and were not involved in politics at all. The death of most of those journalists is not mysterious. Getting blown up by artillery during the wars in Chechnya, Yugoslavia or Ukraine is no mystery at all. Most of these journalists never criticize Putin. They were already dead before Putin had any significant political role.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) lists 82 killed Russian journalists since 1992, most of them died due to war or related to civil crimes or corruption. There are about 80 portraits of journalists in the picture Mounk tweeted.

Two recognizable portraits and names therein are of Vlad Listyev, a TV entertainment producer killed in 1995 over some controversy about lucrative advertisement on public TV. Another portrait is of Dmitry Kholodov, killed in 1994 while investigating mafia connections within the Russian military. At the time of their death Putin was a minor bureaucrat in Saint Petersburg. He did not gain power until he became acting president at the end of 1999.

According to the CPJ numbers more Russian journalists were killed during the eight years of Yeltsin's presidency (1992-2000) than in the 17 years of Putin's presidencies since. Mounk claims "All these are journalists who criticized Putin ..." when more than half of them were already dead before Putin became known and to power. It was during the time of the " Harvard boys " who robbed Russia blind that most of these journalist were killed. The Russian system, thanks to the Harvard driven "reforms" and criminal privatization under Yeltsin, is a rough terrain for investigating oligarchs and mafia businesses. But there is no evidence , none at all, that Putin was ever involved in the decease of any journalist.

The first original publishing of the Mounk picture may have been as early as 2009 . A piece on journalists remembrance in Russia from 2014 already includes the pic. The reverse image search shows that the picture has been has been used by several news-outlets since.

Every aspect of the Mounk tweet is a lie.

But Mounk's lies have by now been re-tweeted over 22,000 times. Many of those who see it will believe the claims he makes. They will trust a widely publish Harvard academic. But the tweet, as well as nearly all other claims about Russia one sees in "western" media, is pure propaganda. It is like the editorial in today's New York Times that claims "Russia's oil-dependent economy [is] in trouble" while all Russian economic numbers turned positive and all indicators point to accelerating growth . It is fake news.

The anti-Russian propaganda campaign is now part of the "liberal" campaign against U.S. president Trump. It is failing . Trump's support is steady if not increasing despite daily new revelation about his (non existent) "collusion with Russia" and the (non existing) "Russian interference" in the U.S. election.

The purveyors of the propaganda stories are in despair. Each and every new fire they try to stoke dies off within a day or two. The temptation then is to invent and push ever bigger lies about Trump, Russia and their non-existing connections.

The fake news Mounk spits out, and which disqualify him as an academic, is a sign of their accelerating panic.

Posted by b on July 16, 2017 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

lysander | Jul 16, 2017 12:00:05 PM | 3
Judging by the comments in "Professor" Mounk's Twitter feed, the vast majority are pretty much wise to the deception. Whether this holds for the retweets I don't know. But I'm pretty sure we are witnessing the decay of the establishment.
Lemur | Jul 16, 2017 12:12:55 PM | 4
Reminder these journalists and academics are so evil they actually want to repeal and replace the historic American nation with a variety of mystery meat immigration (invasion).
Anon | Jul 16, 2017 12:13:05 PM | 5
Here is the best discussion of the Trump Jr. nonsense available: https://necpluribusimpar.net/trumps-collusion-russia-add-nothing-nothing-get-still-nothing/

Lemoine ( http://www.twitter.com/phl43) destroys the liberal media bullshit narrative piece by piece. I haven't found a more thorough discussion anywhere else online. It's well worth reading just for its clarity and strength of argumentation.

Anonymous | Jul 16, 2017 12:20:43 PM | 6
There are journalists killed during the 1980's in that room, too. Here is a higher resolution version:
http://newsprom.ru/i/n/845/205845/tn_205845_12517dfa330f.jpg

Apart from the two you mentioned, you can make out several other names right off the bat, like Soviet journalist Alexander Kaverznev who died in 1983 and Gennadiy Kurennoy who died together with colleague and fellow Gosteleradio SSSR journalist Viktor Nogin in an armed ambush in Yugoslavia, during the war in 1991. Also visible is Andrey Pralnikov, who died in 1997 after finally succumbing to radiation injuries he sustained in 1986 during his on-site coverage of the Chernobyl accident (he wrote a book about, too).

In short, the portraits in that room are just Soviet and Russian journalists that have died on the job, regardless of how these deaths occured, and it goes back to the 1980s at least. Quite obviously, of the actual violence-related deaths the vast majority are from the 1990's, since there's been a rather dramatic downwards trend since Putin assumed office.

On his blog (I don't know if it's still up) Fedia Kriukov did an in-depth assessment of the cases post-2000 (i.e. the ones actually "under Putin") and found that several had nothing to do with the journalists' professional activities, but were just the results of them dealing with the criminal underworld themselves, some were the results of violence not targeting them but targeting people they happened to be covering at the time (e.g. Scott in 2002 and Khasanov in 2004), some were just pure bad luck, and out of the very few that actually were clear targeted killings it always had to do with organized crime (Domnikov, Politovskaya, Klebnikov).

And this is where the aforementioned downwards trend comes in, because the only correlation between journalists being murdered and the Putin period is strongly negative, and the reason is that the chief cause of investigative journalists being murdered - rampant organized crime and corrupted local law enforcement and officials - has been tackled rather successfully since 2000.

Robert Snefjella | Jul 16, 2017 12:29:31 PM | 7
Illuminating how widely quoted and passed on is the rubbish of Yascha Mounk, and 'et al'. What does this say about the publications and outlets that give such dishonesty a megaphone? They must lose credibility.

Paul Craig Roberts has written at various times words to the effect that just about all public and private institutions in the US are now corrupt. It's hard to find examples that refute that thesis.

I interpret PCR's words to at core mean that dishonesty, including evil omission, is now in the United States pervasive, normalized, institutionalized, 'mandatory' for those who want to remain 'gainfully employed' or accepted by those institutions.

That famous quote often identified with Orwell "In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act" is the opposite side of that same coin.

This culture of bs is of course much broader than the US. We have the now famous confession by Udo Ulfkotte that much German media is corrupt, CIA controlled, bought and paid for. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1lWKyRI10w

Another obscure but telling example: we have in Canada a book by Dr. Chopra titled 'Corrupt to the Core', detailing the situation at Health Canada during Chopra's long employment there.

And the WHO has been a snake in the grass for example when it comes to radioactivity and human health, for two generations allowing the nuclear powers that in effect act as censoring and misleading gatekeepers for material on that subject emanating from the WHO.
http://mondediplo.com/2008/04/14who

Perhaps I am engaging in wishfukl thinking but it seems to me we are seeing more and more signs of the breakdown of that systematic and comprehensive dishonesty machine that has infiltrated so many institutions and required and rewarded dishonesty in so many people? And along with that breakdown, the declining power of even so-called 'distinguished' institutions to wield power on behalf of lies. The 'appeal to whatever authority' seems to be losing much of its previous punch.

The recent increase in disclosures and public awareness of institutionalized pedo-predation is an example. Trump's election in the face of an unprecedented media and elite hostility, and extreme by same support for Clinton, to me suggests there is more than just a leak in the disgusting dike sustaining dishonesty as default position.

And when it comes to Putin, his popularity not just in Russia has been sustained or even grown in the face of an extreme mass media demonization effort.

The process puts me in mind of that scene from the Wizard of Oz where the wicked Witch is melting away, truth/water as deadly nemesis.

dan of steele | Jul 16, 2017 12:40:25 PM | 8
so this is what Harvard has to offer. and to think having a Harvard education used to mean something.

two are the choices here, either malice or incompetence. I want to believe it is merely because he is incurious and is getting enough positive feedback from his echo chamber but fear he knows full well what he is doing.

What is the endgame? How will rotten relations with Russia improve the lives of US citizens? If not the general population, then who stands to gain?

Robert McMaster | Jul 16, 2017 12:53:28 PM | 9
Hit these academic thugs where it hurts. Cut off their funding. The main reason they do this lying is because it pays. If the only reward was doing the right thing or speaking truth, then this Harvard Hack wouldn't be bothered. So, no tenure for you buddy. No nothing. Now go write your head off.
somebody | Jul 16, 2017 12:58:15 PM | 10
List of assassinated American politicians

Nothing like good old cold war propaganda. Ah the memories ....

Has Putin stopped talking about "our American partners" yet?

Philippe Lemoine | Jul 16, 2017 1:07:26 PM | 11
Thanks to the commenter above for sharing my post and for the nice words he had about it. People here may also be interested in the 3-part series of posts I wrote about the attack in Khan Sheikhoun. The first part is here and there are links to the other parts at the bottom of the post. I think it's the most thorough discussion of this attack, but I also discuss other similar incidents. I carefully document a shocking amount of bias and incompetence on the part of journalists. I also wrote a 4-part series of posts on this whole Russia/Trump nonsense back in February, which I think is still very relevant today. The first part is here .
james | Jul 16, 2017 1:25:53 PM | 12
thanks b... fascinating how a guy from harvard is oblivious to harvards historical role here in the phase of ripping off russia during and after the transition in 1991... great quote from you here - "It was during the time of the "Harvard boys" who robbed Russia blind that most of these journalist were killed. The Russian system, thanks to the Harvard driven "reforms" and criminal privatization under Yeltsin, is a rough terrain for investigating oligarchs and mafia businesses." why would this dipshit Yascha Mounk say all this? who pays him to lie? he is completely discredited here.. someone ought to send him a link to your article so he can see what an ignoramus or con man (it is one of the other) he really is..
Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 16, 2017 1:29:51 PM | 13
The Mythbusters motto was:
"If a thing's worth doing, it's worth overdoing."

Considering that Mythbusters were in the business of exposing and/or confirming popular myths & memes, the "overdoing" aspect was typically confined to exploring the limits to which the counter argument might prove to be valid.
The derision which the program attracted from edu-phobic 'purists' was regularly discredited by fulsome praise from scientists who pointed out that Mythbusters' exploration of the counter-argument demonstrated text-book faithfulness to The Scientific Method.

I'd love to hear what Mounk tells himself in order to anesthetise his conscience when embracing The Un-scientific Method to spread infantile, un-researched crap in the name of Harvard, Science and Mounk?

Tim | Jul 16, 2017 1:30:22 PM | 14
Yascha Mounk's book is titled, Stranger in my own country - a Jewish family in modern Germany.
harrylaw | Jul 16, 2017 1:45:05 PM | 15
Nice to see at least one US Journalist take on and destroy two prominent Neocons. Here Tucker Carlson takes on Lt Col Ralph Peters and Max Boot. http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/07/13/tucker-carlson-neocon-slayer/
fast freddy | Jul 16, 2017 1:56:36 PM | 16
The Corporate Media is owned by 6 corporations as a result of (liberal?) Bill Clinton admin enacting Republican (with Democrat Complicity) "Media Consolidation" aka monopolies.

One Media owner is GE which also manufactures aircraft engines and weaponry and seeks government contracts for same.

Liberal? ideals regularly featured are "Austerity For the Commons" and Tax Cuts for the rich with "Trickle Down" as the prevailing economic model for the past 40 years. And warmongering.

The MSM has never openly opposed any US war and it has, in fact, provided justification for all US invasions.

Liberal - Conservative labeling is a tool to divide the commons.

fast freddy | Jul 16, 2017 1:56:36 PM | 17
The Corporate Media is owned by 6 corporations as a result of (liberal?) Bill Clinton admin enacting Republican (with Democrat Complicity) "Media Consolidation" aka monopolies.

One Media owner is GE which also manufactures aircraft engines and weaponry and seeks government contracts for same.

Liberal? ideals regularly featured are "Austerity For the Commons" and Tax Cuts for the rich with "Trickle Down" as the prevailing economic model for the past 40 years. And warmongering.

The MSM has never openly opposed any US war and it has, in fact, provided justification for all US invasions.

Liberal - Conservative labeling is a tool to divide the commons.

stevelaudig | Jul 16, 2017 2:02:25 PM | 18
Meanwhile the list of those killed directly by the USG in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Afghanistan, Iraq, Panama, Grenada, Syria. Or indirectly by arming the murderers of the Yemeni, Ukraine and on and on and on, whose names we don't and may never know. "Their name is Legion". He's a bullshit academic who should participate in the wars he wants others to fight to prove 'his theory'.. He can put his own skin in the game.
Sven Lystbak | Jul 16, 2017 2:23:35 PM | 19
It is worth noting that 10 journalists and media persons have been killed in the Ukraine since the glorious revolution in 2014 against only 2 in Russia over the same period. This of cause is of zero interest to the western MSM.
Oui | Jul 16, 2017 2:26:41 PM | 20
The WSJ held an interview with Peter W. Smith and published an article by Shane Harris on June 29 titled "GOP Operative Sought Clinton Emails From Hackers, Implied a Connection to Flynn".

Peter Smith Tapped Alt-Right to Access Dark Net

Charles C. Johnson said he also suggested that Smith get in touch with Andrew Auernheimer, a hacker who goes by the alias 'Weev' and has collaborated with Johnson in the past. Auernheimer--who was released from federal prison in 2014 after having a conviction for fraud and hacking offenses vacated [on appeal - May 2014] and subsequently moved to Ukraine .

Oui | Jul 16, 2017 2:27:13 PM | 21
See Part 1 - GOP Operative Peter Smith's Death Ruled A Suicide
Petri Krohn | Jul 16, 2017 2:38:07 PM | 22
The conflict is not between Russia and the West. It is not even between the West and the East. It is between Modernity and Post-Modernity.
mh505 | Jul 16, 2017 2:42:19 PM | 23
@ 12

Interesting article on the subject :

How Harvard Lost Russia .
The best and brightest of America's premier university came to Moscow in the 1990s to teach Russians how to be capitalists. This is the inside story of how their efforts led to scandal and disgrace.

http://www.institutionalinvestor.com/Article/1020662/How-Harvard-lost-Russia.html?ArticleId=1020662&single=true

telescope | Jul 16, 2017 2:45:54 PM | 24
American lies should be put in context. The USA is a dying country, that is all but unmanageable, in the midst of its second Civil War (fought mostly in the media now, but the erosion of country's national fabric is immense and keeps worsening). In such circumstances, finding external enemy in order to redirect the destructive energy outward is simply a matter of national survival. That's why we have the anti-Russia frenzy.

It'll fail because Russia is militarily unassailable, and because continuing with the campaign is not only not helping with the domestic politics, but is scrambling America's geopolitical calculations. It's a geopolitical dead-end.

All in all, what we are seeing in the US is a full-scale panic of the establishment, with the MSM arm simply putting it all out there, no matter how preposterous or inaccurate, in a desperate bid to salvage something that is fundamentally unsalvageable.

That's how great countries fracture and disappear. It' ugly, and will only get uglier.

ruralito | Jul 16, 2017 2:56:08 PM | 25
@6 good catch!
james | Jul 16, 2017 3:17:58 PM | 26
@16 fastfreddy.. yeah, that is worth repeating...

@ 23 mh505... thanks.. that is a good link for getting a better understanding.. i wonder how Yascha Mounk perceives all this? surely he can't be ignorant of it.. is someone paying him for his propaganda? what a waste of money it is!!!

james | Jul 16, 2017 3:24:31 PM | 27
Yascha Mounk can be contacted mounk@fas.harvard.edu
Anonymous | Jul 16, 2017 3:49:31 PM | 28
Also another thing (I'm #6) again...

So, going back to the photo. There are 8 chairs/portraits in each row, and about 10 rows, so that's roughly 80 people affiliated with journalism that have died one way or another that might or might not be connected to their work, in 37 years (if we just assume it starts at 1980, seeing as there is a 1983 case in direct view...)

Considering that we clearly have journalists that have died while reporting from combat zones (see my earlier comment) as well as journalists that have died due to injuries received while reporting from dangerous "civilian" situations, it all comes across as pretty unremarkable.

Mind you, between 1980 and 1991, the USSR was a country of nearly 300 million people, and the Russian Federation has been hovering in the 140-150 ballpark since 1991.

Mind you, that the USSR was getting increasingly lawless towards the end, and pretty much all successor states were in a state of anarchy for at least a couple of years past the Soviet demise (some longer than others, Russia longer than most thanks to Yeltsin and the total carnage that the West supported)

Mind you that multiple armed conflicts occured during this time, both domestically (Chechnya 1 and 2 for instance, in which a number of journalists were injured or killed) and in the near-abroad (the Georgian/Abkhazian/Ossetian/Ajaran conflicts, the Azeri-Armenian conflicts, the numerous Central Asian conflicts, the the brief Moldovan warm, the Yugoslav wars etc)

...All things considered, 80 journalists dead over all this time is nothing compared to say Mexico. And Russia's also known to have way more journalists per capita than most countries, which further adds to how underwhelming these statistics really are. The final nail in the coffin is, of course, that all these scary statistics sank like a rock after Putin took office and Russia has never been as peaceful, free and civilized as it is right now. But we've been through that.

Somebody should compile all the relevant information on this and make a glossy report, to be honest. I mean, it's all out there, it's just that they get away with outright lying about it because people don't bother doing any research on their own and they know it.

mh505 | Jul 16, 2017 4:03:42 PM | 29
@ 26 james

You can be entirely certain that the guy does not believe his own drivel. But: he may lose his job otherwise, which some would consider attenuating circumstances.

To me, he is not the worst among those Harvard boys. A hypocrite of a much higher magnitude has to be Jeffrey Sachs, who was among the most diligent drivers behind the destruction of post-communist Russia; yet today acts as if he never was even there. A Saulus turned Paulus, except no atonement in any way

nonsense factory | Jul 16, 2017 4:16:30 PM | 30
Did a Google News search on Yascha Mounk.
First, his publicity is based on some fairly bogus research on "millenials abandoning democracy". The WaPo ran a decent article discrediting it, worth noting since the guy seems to have a taste for spinning data for political reasons:
. . .scary-chart-about-the-future-of-democracy-is-pretty-misleading/
Second, he calls for a "Cold War mentality", putting him in with the likes of Clinton & McCain & Bush-Cheney, Gary Kasparov, etc. It's pretty boilerplate neocon/neolib thinking, here's a taste:
It's time to return to a Cold War mentality
By Yascha Mounk, Slate Mar 2017
Two years ago, when Garry Kasparov, the chess champion turned political dissident, began to warn that Vladimir Putin sought to undermine liberal democracy!not only in neighboring countries, but all over the West!he was widely written off as a crank. After Russia managed to hack the servers of the Democratic National Committee and spread fake news on an industrial scale, his warnings were finally recognized as all too prescient. But it is only over the past weeks, as journalists around the world have broken dozens of stories about Russian meddling in the democratic process, that the sheer scale of this effort has become apparent.

The last time there was such a massive PR push inside the USA on a foreign policy issue was during the 2002-2003 runup to the Iraq invasion, based on an equally bogus story as the Russia bogeyman one, i.e. Iraqi WMDs.

The fact is, a multipolar world without "American exceptionalism" will be a better deal for the average American citizen, if not for the Washington circle of trough-feeders. This is a basic truth that the neoliberal empire-builders just can't handle. Of course, the big academic institutions are on board with endless military-industrial budgets, NATO expansion, regime change. Just as academic institutions in the old Soviet Union always went along with Central Committee PR lines.

On the other hand, on domestic policy? If you look into details, Clinton and Trump are not so different here - basically it's corporate rule, Trump and Clinton have similar numbers of Goldman Sachs people on their teams. Equally disastrous policies on the fundamentals like infrastructure, energy, manufacturing, etc. We'd be better off just giving our tax dollars to China to have them rebuild our infrastructure, it's that pitiful.

Maybe Trump should just spend the next four years abroad, running around with world leaders having a good time, ignoring all the neoliberal establishment pleas for regime changes and NATO wars, completely ignoring the domestic situation? The corrupt federal government in Washington can fight itself to death, and the states can run domestic policy instead?

[Jul 16, 2017] War on Russia Is Murdering Russians - LewRockwell

Notable quotes:
"... War with Russia is a call to murder Russian people. They don't deserve our hatred. ..."
"... Those of you who are preoccupied with the narrative that Russia hacked the election, please stop discounting the millions of us who had not voted for decades that came out to prevent Mrs. Clinton from rising to such a position of power. Then stop to consider that what you want the American Government to do, create an enemy of Russia, is to create an enemy of the Russian people. You want to kill the people who I have seen in these videos for really no better reason than you don't like how an election turned out. ..."
Jul 16, 2017 | www.lewrockwell.com
War on Russia Is Murdering Russians

By Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

July 14, 2017 Email Print Share

Writes Bob Strodtbeck:

Dear Lew,

Several months ago you had a video of a group of young Russian women singing a Russian folk song acapella (Youtube, Russian Girls Sing Lube) which left a lasting impression on me. For the last several days I have been exploring Russian folk music for the sake of getting an idea of what these people are like. My observations are below with a link to a video by a Russian folk music group.

The point is people who have their noses twisted out of joint over the defeat of a horribly corrupt presidential candidate would choose to see people such as those I have seen in the Russian folk music videos vaporized. We have become a hideous country.

War with Russia is a call to murder Russian people. They don't deserve our hatred.

This text is from my facebook posting which also has a link to the folk music video.

I have been taking time recently to find some information on the Russian people since the American political system seems so dedicated to make war against Russia.

I have been captivated by their folk music and the love they put into it. Much of it has been acapella and beautiful. In all of those presentations I got the sense that each singer considered the song more important than their individual talent, and the sound of the group the tribute to the song.

In watching tho se videos I came to the impression that the Russian people are happy, proud and strong. This impression speaks highly of their character, as it was within the lifetime of most Americans that the Russian system collapsed and those people had the duty to rebuild their economy, culture, and faith from the rubble left by Soviet Communism. It seems to me they have done it.

The main point here is a war with Russia is a war on these courageous, warm, and resilient people. I challenge anybody who is upset with what happened in the election last November to watch any of these videos and ask yourself if you have ever been as happy as the people that are in them. I don't believe any of them care who is President of the United States or probably that Vladimir Putin is the leader of their country. After all, Putin said that Russia spans 11 time zones an most Russians live life without worrying about the government.

Those of you who are preoccupied with the narrative that Russia hacked the election, please stop discounting the millions of us who had not voted for decades that came out to prevent Mrs. Clinton from rising to such a position of power. Then stop to consider that what you want the American Government to do, create an enemy of Russia, is to create an enemy of the Russian people. You want to kill the people who I have seen in these videos for really no better reason than you don't like how an election turned out.

You think about that.

[Jul 14, 2017] Ignore the Haters. Russia Is Not Our Enemy

Notable quotes:
"... The Washington Post ..."
Jul 14, 2017 | reason.com
The intelligence and military leakers and Trump's political enemies believe friendly relations with Vladimir Putin's government are dangerous. But since Russia can annihilate our country, the greater danger is not engaging with Putin.

The anti-Russia hyperventilation covers the political spectrum. Republican Sen. John McCain told an interviewer that Putin is a greater threat than ISIS, accusing Russia of trying to change election results in America, France and elsewhere. But Putin's regime is not decapitating or urging lone wolves to massacre Americans on US soil. And as for Russian manipulation, the pro-Russian candidate Marine LePen was crushed in the May presidential election in France.

Democrat Hillary Clinton accused the Trump campaign of conspiring with Russia to "weaponize" leaked information against her with the WikiLeaks' dump of John Podesta email messages. Clinton's collusion assertion is based on her questionable assumption that WikiLeaks is an agent of Russia. Since WikiLeaks operates out of an embassy in London, one might expect our British allies to have leaked Putin's instructions to Julian Assange by now.

McCain, Clinton and others are amplifying the US intelligence community's public indictment of Russia for election meddling during the closing days of the Obama administration. That report also claims that Russian agents hacked Podesta's email and released them through WikiLeaks, but does not provide hard evidence.

Intelligence community assertions should be treated with skepticism. After all, this community concluded in 2002 that Saddam Hussein had WMD's. Further, a senior member of the intelligence community, James Clapper, lied to Congress in 2013 when he denied that the NSA collects data on Americans.

Even assuming the allegations are true, they do not lead to the immediate conclusion that Russia is an enemy. Friendly countries spy on one another and try to influence each other's elections all the time. President Obama called on British voters to reject Brexit, and the NSA appears to have bugged German Prime Minister Angela Merkel's mobile phone.

Israel spies on the US and tries to influence our elections. Jonathan Pollard's espionage "has few parallels" according to the CIA , which concluded he had "put at risk important U.S. intelligence and foreign policy interests." In 2012, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to scuttle President Obama's re-election effort.

Most of the intelligence community memo focuses on the activities of RT, a Russian media group that operates a cable news channel, a web site and social media properties in the US. RT is accused of spreading propaganda and fake news that impacted our election. But such media are neither new nor unique to Russia.

Our Voice of America, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and other state media have been around for decades. Among the personalities on RT America are Larry King, Jesse Ventura, and former Air America hosts Thom Hartmann and Ed Schultz – none of whom appear to be stooges for Vladimir Putin. Further, as Simon van Zuylen-Wood noted in his excellent overview of RT , the network "is watched by so few people that Nielsen doesn't bother to publish its ratings."

To be sure, Putin has some very undemocratic inclinations. But the US has maintained and continues to maintain friendly relations with despotic nations. President Richard Nixon visited China in 1971, not long after Mao Zedong killed tens of millions of people with his Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution. Today, there is widespread support for friendly relations with Saudi Arabia – an undemocratic nation that stones women to death for adultery.

It is also true that Russia is a rival for influence on the world stage. This perhaps is why our generals, intelligence operatives, representatives, think tanks and the media so dislike Putin. While the foreign affairs intelligentsia views the world as a power-playing chessboard, this approach to geopolitics is contrary to the interests of ordinary Americans who don't benefit from international conflicts.

When President Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the oval office a few weeks ago, he shared intelligence about a plot by Syrian-based ISIS operatives to place laptop bombs on civilian airplanes. Russia's presence in Syria may have helped thwart this plot. And it had an incentive to do so: ISIS previously downed a Russian civilian airliner in the Sinai Desert.

As president, Donald Trump has the legal right to declassify the intelligence. But some unelected bureaucrat in the US national security establishment decided that Trump's actions were inappropriate and leaked the story to The Washington Post . It is possible the leak alerted ISIS that its plot had been compromised, encouraging the terrorists to protect their bomb-building efforts from further scrutiny. The potential victims of this leak are civilian passengers of US airlines – the presumed target of the ISIS plot.

Russia also provided intelligence that, had it been handled properly by the FBI, could have prevented the Tsarnaev brothers from bombing the Boston marathon.

Rather than cooperating, however, the national security establishment not only seeks conflict with Russia, it looks for enemies around the world. Hostilities provide lucrative contracts and a sense of mission to those advancing them – but imposes huge costs on the rest of us. US troops are now engaged in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Somalia.

Worldwide warfare has driven national security spending toward $1 trillion a year. With a national debt approaching $20 trillion, this is a financial cost our country can ill afford. And since 2001, the US has suffered almost 7,000 deaths and over 52,000 wounded in foreign hostilities.

Democrats 50 years ago were peace organizers, fired by Martin Luther King's condemnation of the Vietnam War. And Barack Obama won the presidency promising to withdraw from Iraq.

But in their desire to rid the White House of Donald Trump, Democrats have forsaken their anti-war heritage. Instead, they are teaming up with Republican hawks and the Deep State to drive a wedge between the US and Russia.

Libertarians are the logical champions of peace and prosperity, but some have expressed sympathy for coercive US government actions to counter Russian influence. These include targeted sanctions and funding for groups in Eastern Europe that supposedly promote liberal democracy.

Although portrayed as a penalty on foreign powers, sanctions prevent US individuals and companies and individuals from doing business with those countries. A new Senate bill, S.722 , prevents US companies from working on gas pipelines between Russia and Western Europe. The bill also appropriates $500 million of US taxpayer money to a "Countering Russian Influence Fund," to be spent in Eastern Europe. The legislative language lists six possible uses for this money which sound good, but are vague and open to broad interpretation.

Libertarians recognize the state usually abuses the powers we give it. We should never advocate for restrictions on trade or appropriation of tax money for so-called democracy promotion. Peace and non-interventionism are core tenets of libertarianism that too many self-identified libertarians seem to forget. We must avoid repeating the mistakes we made in the runup to the Iraq War.

Regardless of one's position on Trump, Congress has not declared war on Russia. Russia has not invaded us. Russia is not our enemy.

[Jul 14, 2017] Peter W. Smith, GOP operative who sought Clinton's emails from Russian hackers, committed suicide, records show by Katherine Skiba, David Heinzmann, Todd Lighty

Notable quotes:
"... Days earlier, the financier from suburban Lake Forest gave an interview to the Journal about his quest, and it published stories about his efforts beginning in late June. The Journal also reported it had seen emails written by Smith showing his team considered retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, then a top adviser to Republican Donald Trump's campaign, as an ally. Flynn briefly was President Trump's national security adviser and resigned after it was determined he had failed to disclose contacts with Russia. ..."
"... The Journal stories said it was on Labor Day weekend in 2016 that Smith had assembled a team to acquire emails the team theorized might have been stolen from the private server Clinton had used while secretary of state. Smith's focus was the more than 30,000 emails Clinton said she deleted because they related to personal matters. A huge cache of other Clinton emails were made public. ..."
"... Smith told the Journal he believed the missing emails might have had been obtained by Russian hackers. He also said he thought the correspondence related to Clinton's official duties. He told the Journal he worked independently and was not part of the Trump campaign. He also told the Journal he and his team found five groups of hackers - two of them Russian groups - who claimed to have Clinton's missing emails. ..."
"... Investigations into any possible links between the Russian government and people associated with Trump's presidential campaign now are underway in Congress and by former FBI chief Robert Mueller. He is acting as a special counsel for the Department of Justice. Mueller spokesman Peter Carr declined to comment on the Journal's stories on Smith or his death. Washington attorney Robert Kelner, who represents Flynn, had no comment on Thursday. ..."
"... Smith's death occurred at the Aspen Suites in Rochester, records show. They list the cause of death as "asphyxiation due to displacement of oxygen in confined space with helium." ..."
"... The employee, who spoke on the condition he not be identified because of the sensitive nature of Smith's death, described the tank as being similar in size to a propane tank on a gas grill. He did not recall seeing a bag that Smith would have placed over his head. He said the coroner and police were there and that he "didn't do a lot of looking around." ..."
"... Peter Smith wrote two blog posts dated the day before he was found dead. One challenged U.S. intelligence agency findings that Russia interfered with the 2016 election. Another post predicted: "As attention turns to international affairs, as it will shortly, the Russian interference story will die of its own weight." ..."
Jul 13, 2017 | www.msn.com
A Republican donor and operative from Chicago's North Shore who said he had tried to obtain Hillary Clinton's missing emails from Russian hackers killed himself in a Minnesota hotel room days after talking to The Wall Street Journal about his efforts, public records show.

In a room at a Rochester hotel used almost exclusively by Mayo Clinic patients and relatives, Peter W. Smith, 81, left a carefully prepared file of documents, which includes a statement police called a suicide note in which he said he was in ill health and a life insurance policy was expiring.

Days earlier, the financier from suburban Lake Forest gave an interview to the Journal about his quest, and it published stories about his efforts beginning in late June. The Journal also reported it had seen emails written by Smith showing his team considered retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, then a top adviser to Republican Donald Trump's campaign, as an ally. Flynn briefly was President Trump's national security adviser and resigned after it was determined he had failed to disclose contacts with Russia.

At the time, the newspaper reported Smith's May 14 death came about 10 days after he granted the interview. Mystery shrouded how and where he had died, but the lead reporter on the stories said on a podcast he had no reason to believe the death was the result of foul play and that Smith likely had died of natural causes.

However, the Chicago Tribune obtained a Minnesota state death record filed in Olmsted County that says Smith committed suicide in a hotel near the Mayo Clinic at 1:17 p.m. on Sunday, May 14. He was found with a bag over his head with a source of helium attached. A medical examiner's report gives the same account, without specifying the time, and a report from Rochester police further details his suicide.

In the note recovered by police, Smith apologized to authorities and said that "NO FOUL PLAY WHATSOEVER" was involved in his death. He wrote that he was taking his own life because of a "RECENT BAD TURN IN HEALTH SINCE JANUARY, 2017" and timing related "TO LIFE INSURANCE OF $5 MILLION EXPIRING."

One of Smith's former employees told the Tribune he thought the elderly man had gone to the famed clinic to be treated for a heart condition. Mayo spokeswoman Ginger Plumbo said Thursday she could not confirm Smith had been a patient, citing medical privacy laws.

The Journal stories said it was on Labor Day weekend in 2016 that Smith had assembled a team to acquire emails the team theorized might have been stolen from the private server Clinton had used while secretary of state. Smith's focus was the more than 30,000 emails Clinton said she deleted because they related to personal matters. A huge cache of other Clinton emails were made public.

Smith told the Journal he believed the missing emails might have had been obtained by Russian hackers. He also said he thought the correspondence related to Clinton's official duties. He told the Journal he worked independently and was not part of the Trump campaign. He also told the Journal he and his team found five groups of hackers - two of them Russian groups - who claimed to have Clinton's missing emails.

Smith had a history of doing opposition research, the formal term for unflattering information that political operatives dig up about rival candidates.

For years, Democratic President Bill Clinton was Smith's target. The wealthy businessman had a hand in exposing the "Troopergate" allegations about Bill Clinton's sex life. And he discussed financing a probe of a 1969 trip Bill Clinton had taken while in college to the Soviet Union, according to Salon magazine.

Investigations into any possible links between the Russian government and people associated with Trump's presidential campaign now are underway in Congress and by former FBI chief Robert Mueller. He is acting as a special counsel for the Department of Justice. Mueller spokesman Peter Carr declined to comment on the Journal's stories on Smith or his death. Washington attorney Robert Kelner, who represents Flynn, had no comment on Thursday.

Smith's death occurred at the Aspen Suites in Rochester, records show. They list the cause of death as "asphyxiation due to displacement of oxygen in confined space with helium."

Rochester Police Chief Roger Peterson on Wednesday called his manner of death "unusual," but a funeral home worker said he'd seen it before.

An employee with Rochester Cremation Services, the funeral home that responded to the hotel, said he helped remove Smith's body from his room and recalled seeing a tank.

The employee, who spoke on the condition he not be identified because of the sensitive nature of Smith's death, described the tank as being similar in size to a propane tank on a gas grill. He did not recall seeing a bag that Smith would have placed over his head. He said the coroner and police were there and that he "didn't do a lot of looking around."

"When I got there and saw the tank, I thought, 'I've seen this before,' and was able to put two and two together," the employee said.

An autopsy was conducted, according to the death record. The Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner's Office declined a Tribune request for the autopsy report and released limited information about Smith's death.

The Final Exit Network, a Florida-based nonprofit, provides information and support to people who suffer from a terminal illness and want to kill themselves.

Fran Schindler, a volunteer with the group, noted that the best-selling book Final Exit, written by Derek Humphry in 1991 and revised several times since, explains in detail the helium gas method.

"Many people obtain that information from his book," Schindler said. "It's a method that has been around for many years and is well known."

Smith's remains were cremated in Minnesota, the records said. He was married to Janet L. Smith and had three children and three grandchildren, according to his obituary. Tribune calls to family members were not returned.

His obituary said Smith was involved in public affairs for more than 60 years and it heralded him as a "quietly generous champion of efforts to ensure a more economically and politically secure world." Smith led private equity firms in corporate acquisitions and venture investments for more than 40 years. Earlier, he worked with DigaComm, LLC, from 1997 to 2014 and as the president of Peter W. Smith & Company, Inc. from 1975 to 1997. Prior to that, he was a senior officer of Field Enterprises, Inc., a firm that owned the Chicago Sun-Times then and was held by the Marshall Field family, his obituary said.

A private family memorial was planned, the obituary said. Friends posted online tributes to Smith after his death. One was from his former employee, Jonathan Safron, 26, who lives in Chicago's Loop and worked for Smith for about two years.

Safron, in an interview, said he was working for a tutoring firm when Smith became his client. His job entailed teaching Smith how to use a MacBook, Safron said. At the time Smith was living in a condominium atop the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. Safron said Smith later employed him at Corporate Venture Alliances, a private investment firm that Smith ran, first out of the same condo and later from an office in the Hancock Building.

Safron, who said he had a low-level job with the Illinois Republican Party in 2014, said he had no knowledge of Smith's bid to find hackers who could locate emails missing from Clinton's service as secretary of state. In his online tribute to his former employer, he called Smith the "best boss I could ever ask for ... a mentor, friend and model human being."

Safron said he worked part-time for Smith, putting in about 15 hours a week. But the two grew close, often having lunch together at a favorite Smith spot: the Oak Tree Restaurant & Bakery Chicago on North Michigan Ave. He called Smith a serious man who was "upbeat," "cosmopolitan" and "larger than life." He was aware Smith was in declining health, saying the older man sometimes had difficulty breathing and told work colleagues he had heart problems. Weeks before he took his life, he had become fatigued walking down about four or five flights of stairs during a Hancock Building fire drill and later emailed Safron saying he was "dizzy," he said.

Smith's last will and testament, signed last Feb. 21, is seven pages long and on file in Probate Court in Lake County. The will gives his wife his interest in their residential property and his tangible personal property and says remaining assets should be placed into two trusts.

He was born Feb. 23, 1936, in Portland, Maine, according to the death record.

His late father, Waldo Sterling Smith, was a manufacturer's representative for women's apparel firms, representing them in department stores in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, according to the father's 2002 obituary. The elder Smith died at age 92 in St. Augustine, Fla., and his obit noted that he had been active in St. Johns County, Fla. Republican affairs and with a local Methodist church

Peter Smith wrote two blog posts dated the day before he was found dead. One challenged U.S. intelligence agency findings that Russia interfered with the 2016 election. Another post predicted: "As attention turns to international affairs, as it will shortly, the Russian interference story will die of its own weight."

Skiba reported from Washington, Heinzmann reported from Rochester and Lighty from Chicago. Lauren Rosenblatt of the Tribune Washington Bureau and Dan Moran of the Lake County News-Sun contributed to this story.

[Jul 13, 2017] Progressive Democrats Resist and Submit, Retreat and Surrender by James Petras

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "Have you ever met or talked to any Russian official or relative of any Russian banker, or any Russian or even read Gogol, now or in the past?" ..."
"... Progressives joined the FBI/CIA's 'Russian Bear' conspiracy: " Russia intervened and decided the Presidential election" – no matter that millions of workers and rural Americans had voted against Hillary Clinton, Wall Street's candidate and no matter that no evidence of direct interference was ever presented. Progressives could not accept that 'their constituents', the masses, had rejected Madame Clinton and preferred 'the Donald'. They attacked a shifty-eyed caricature of the repeatedly elected Russian President Putin as a subterfuge for attacking the disobedient 'white trash' electorate of 'Deploralandia'. ..."
"... Progressive demagogues embraced the coifed and manicured former 'Director Comey' of the FBI, and the Mr. Potato-headed Capo of the CIA and their forty thugs in making accusations without finger or footprints. ..."
"... Then Progressives turned increasingly Orwellian: Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more! ..."
"... Progressives, under Obama, supported seven brutal illegal wars and pressed for more, but complained when Trump continued the same wars and proposed adding a few new ones. At the same time, progressives out-militarized Trump by accusing him of being 'weak' on Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. They chided him for his lack support for Israel's suppression of the Palestinians. They lauded Trump's embrace of the Saudi war against Yemen as a stepping-stone for an assault against Iran, even as millions of destitute Yemenis were exposed to cholera. The Progressives had finally embraced a biological weapon of mass destruction, when US-supplied missiles destroyed the water systems of Yemen! ..."
"... Thank you for putting your finger on the main problem right there in the first paragraph. There were exceptions of course. I supported Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic Primary that gave us the first black etc. But I never voted for Obama. Throughout the Cheney Admin I pleaded with progressives to bolt the party. ..."
"... This is an excellent summary of the evolution of "progressives" into modern militarist fascists who tolerate identity politics diversity. There is little to add to Mr. Petras' commentary. ..."
"... Barak Obama is America's biggest con man who accomplished nothing "progressive" during eight years at the top, and didn't even try. (Obamacare is an insurance industry idea supported by most Republicans, which is why it recently survived.) Anyone who still likes Obama should read about his actions since he left office. Obama quickly signed a $65 million "book deal", which can only be a kickback since there is no way the publisher can sell enough books about his meaningless presidency to justify that sum. Obama doesn't get royalties based on sales, but gets the money up front for a book he has yet to write, and will have someone do that for him. (Book deals and speaking fees are legal forms of bribery in the USA.) ..."
"... Then Obama embarked on 100 days of ultra expensive foreign vacations with taxpayers covering the Secret Service protection costs. He didn't appear at charity fundraisers, didn't campaign for Democrats, and didn't help build homes for the poor like Jimmy Carter. He returns from vacation this week and his first speech will be at a Wall Street firm that will pay him $400,000, then he travels to Europe for more paid speeches. ..."
"... They chose power over principles. Nobel War Prize winner Obomber was a particularly egregious chameleon, hiding his sociopathy through two elections before unleashing his racist warmongering in full flower throughout his second term. ..."
"... Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act ..."
Jul 10, 2017 | www.unz.com

Introduction

Over the past quarter century progressive writers, activists and academics have followed a trajectory from left to right – with each presidential campaign seeming to move them further to the right. Beginning in the 1990's progressives mobilized millions in opposition to wars, voicing demands for the transformation of the US's corporate for-profit medical system into a national 'Medicare For All' public program. They condemned the notorious Wall Street swindlers and denounced police state legislation and violence. But in the end, they always voted for Democratic Party Presidential candidates who pursued the exact opposite agenda.

Over time this political contrast between program and practice led to the transformation of the Progressives. And what we see today are US progressives embracing and promoting the politics of the far right.

To understand this transformation we will begin by identifying who and what the progressives are and describe their historical role. We will then proceed to identify their trajectory over the recent decades.

Progressives by Name and Posture

Progressives purport to embrace 'progress', the growth of the economy, the enrichment of society and freedom from arbitrary government. Central to the Progressive agenda was the end of elite corruption and good governance, based on democratic procedures.

Progressives prided themselves as appealing to 'reason, diplomacy and conciliation', not brute force and wars. They upheld the sovereignty of other nations and eschewed militarism and armed intervention.

Progressives proposed a vision of their fellow citizens pursuing incremental evolution toward the 'good society', free from the foreign entanglements, which had entrapped the people in unjust wars.

Progressives in Historical Perspective

In the early part of the 20th century, progressives favored political equality while opposing extra-parliamentary social transformations. They supported gender equality and environmental preservation while failing to give prominence to the struggles of workers and African Americans.

They denounced militarism 'in general' but supported a series of 'wars to end all wars' . Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson embodied the dual policies of promoting peace at home and bloody imperial wars overseas. By the middle of the 20th century, different strands emerged under the progressive umbrella. Progressives split between traditional good government advocates and modernists who backed socio-economic reforms, civil liberties and rights.

Progressives supported legislation to regulate monopolies, encouraged collective bargaining and defended the Bill of Rights.

Progressives opposed wars and militarism in theory until their government went to war.

Lacking an effective third political party, progressives came to see themselves as the 'left wing' of the Democratic Party, allies of labor and civil rights movements and defenders of civil liberties.

Progressives joined civil rights leaders in marches, but mostly relied on legal and electoral means to advance African American rights.

Progressives played a pivotal role in fighting McCarthyism, though ultimately it was the Secretary of the Army and the military high command that brought Senator McCarthy to his knees.

Progressives provided legal defense when the social movements disrupted the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

They popularized the legislative arguments that eventually outlawed segregation, but it was courageous Afro-American leaders heading mass movements that won the struggle for integration and civil rights.

In many ways the Progressives complemented the mass struggles, but their limits were defined by the constraints of their membership in the Democratic Party.

The alliance between Progressives and social movements peaked in the late sixties to mid-1970's when the Progressives followed the lead of dynamic and advancing social movements and community organizers especially in opposition to the wars in Indochina and the military draft.

The Retreat of the Progressives

By the late 1970's the Progressives had cut their anchor to the social movements, as the anti-war, civil rights and labor movements lost their impetus (and direction).

The numbers of progressives within the left wing of the Democratic Party increased through recruitment from earlier social movements. Paradoxically, while their 'numbers' were up, their caliber had declined, as they sought to 'fit in' with the pro-business, pro-war agenda of their President's party.

Without the pressure of the 'populist street' the 'Progressives-turned-Democrats' adapted to the corporate culture in the Party. The Progressives signed off on a fatal compromise: The corporate elite secured the electoral party while the Progressives were allowed to write enlightened manifestos about the candidates and their programs . . . which were quickly dismissed once the Democrats took office. Yet the ability to influence the 'electoral rhetoric' was seen by the Progressives as a sufficient justification for remaining inside the Democratic Party.

Moreover the Progressives argued that by strengthening their presence in the Democratic Party, (their self-proclaimed 'boring from within' strategy), they would capture the party membership, neutralize the pro-corporation, militarist elements that nominated the president and peacefully transform the party into a 'vehicle for progressive changes'.

Upon their successful 'deep penetration' the Progressives, now cut off from the increasingly disorganized mass social movements, coopted and bought out many prominent black, labor and civil liberty activists and leaders, while collaborating with what they dubbed the more malleable 'centrist' Democrats. These mythical creatures were really pro-corporate Democrats who condescended to occasionally converse with the Progressives while working for the Wall Street and Pentagon elite.

The Retreat of the Progressives: The Clinton Decade

Progressives adapted the 'crab strategy': Moving side-ways and then backwards but never forward.

Progressives mounted candidates in the Presidential primaries, which were predictably defeated by the corporate Party apparatus, and then submitted immediately to the outcome. The election of President 'Bill' Clinton launched a period of unrestrained financial plunder, major wars of aggression in Europe (Yugoslavia) and the Middle East (Iraq), a military intervention in Somalia and secured Israel's victory over any remnant of a secular Palestinian leadership as well as its destruction of Lebanon!

Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act, thereby opening the floodgates for massive speculation on Wall Street through the previously regulated banking sector. When President Clinton gutted welfare programs, forcing single mothers to take minimum-wage jobs without provision for safe childcare, millions of poor white and minority women were forced to abandon their children to dangerous makeshift arrangements in order to retain any residual public support and access to minimal health care. Progressives looked the other way.

Progressives followed Clinton's deep throated thrust toward the far right, as he outsourced manufacturing jobs to Mexico (NAFTA) and re-appointed Federal Reserve's free market, Ayn Rand-fanatic, Alan Greenspan.

Progressives repeatedly kneeled before President Clinton marking their submission to the Democrats' 'hard right' policies.

The election of Republican President G. W. Bush (2001-2009) permitted Progressive's to temporarily trot out and burnish their anti-war, anti-Wall Street credentials. Out in the street, they protested Bush's savage invasion of Iraq (but not the destruction of Afghanistan). They protested the media reports of torture in Abu Ghraib under Bush, but not the massive bombing and starvation of millions of Iraqis that had occurred under Clinton. Progressives protested the expulsion of immigrants from Mexico and Central America, but were silent over the brutal uprooting of refugees resulting from US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the systematic destruction of their nations' infrastructure.

Progressives embraced Israel's bombing, jailing and torture of Palestinians by voting unanimously in favor of increasing the annual $3 billion dollar military handouts to the brutal Jewish State. They supported Israel's bombing and slaughter in Lebanon.

Progressives were in retreat, but retained a muffled voice and inconsequential vote in favor of peace, justice and civil liberties. They kept a certain distance from the worst of the police state decrees by the Republican Administration.

Progressives and Obama: From Retreat to Surrender

While Progressives maintained their tepid commitment to civil liberties, and their highly 'leveraged' hopes for peace in the Middle East, they jumped uncritically into the highly choreographed Democratic Party campaign for Barack Obama, 'Wall Street's First Black President'.

Progressives had given up their quest to 'realign' the Democratic Party 'from within': they turned from serious tourism to permanent residency. Progressives provided the foot soldiers for the election and re-election of the warmongering 'Peace Candidate' Obama. After the election, Progressives rushed to join the lower echelons of his Administration. Black and white politicos joined hands in their heroic struggle to erase the last vestiges of the Progressives' historical legacy.

Obama increased the number of Bush-era imperial wars to attacking seven weak nations under American's 'First Black' President's bombardment, while the Progressives ensured that the streets were quiet and empty.

When Obama provided trillions of dollars of public money to rescue Wall Street and the bankers, while sacrificing two million poor and middle class mortgage holders, the Progressives only criticized the bankers who received the bailout, but not Obama's Presidential decision to protect and reward the mega-swindlers.

Under the Obama regime social inequalities within the United States grew at an unprecedented rate. The Police State Patriot Act was massively extended to give President Obama the power to order the assassination of US citizens abroad without judicial process. The Progressives did not resign when Obama's 'kill orders' extended to the 'mistaken' murder of his target's children and other family member, as well as unidentified bystanders. The icon carriers still paraded their banner of the 'first black American President' when tens of thousands of black Libyans and immigrant workers were slaughtered in his regime-change war against President Gadhafi.

Obama surpassed the record of all previous Republican office holders in terms of the massive numbers of immigrant workers arrested and expelled – 2 million. Progressives applauded the Latino protestors while supporting the policies of their 'first black President'.

Progressive accepted that multiple wars, Wall Street bailouts and the extended police state were now the price they would pay to remain part of the "Democratic coalition' (sic).

The deeper the Progressives swilled at the Democratic Party trough, the more they embraced the Obama's free market agenda and the more they ignored the increasing impoverishment, exploitation and medical industry-led opioid addiction of American workers that was shortening their lives. Under Obama, the Progressives totally abandoned the historic American working class, accepting their degradation into what Madam Hillary Clinton curtly dismissed as the 'deplorables'.

With the Obama Presidency, the Progressive retreat turned into a rout, surrendering with one flaccid caveat: the Democratic Party 'Socialist' Bernie Sanders, who had voted 90% of the time with the Corporate Party, had revived a bastardized military-welfare state agenda.

Sander's Progressive demagogy shouted and rasped on the campaign trail, beguiling the young electorate. The 'Bernie' eventually 'sheep-dogged' his supporters into the pro-war Democratic Party corral. Sanders revived an illusion of the pre-1990 progressive agenda, promising resistance while demanding voter submission to Wall Street warlord Hillary Clinton. After Sanders' round up of the motley progressive herd, he staked them tightly to the far-right Wall Street war mongering Hillary Clinton. The Progressives not only embraced Madame Secretary Clinton's nuclear option and virulent anti-working class agenda, they embellished it by focusing on Republican billionaire Trump's demagogic, nationalist, working class rhetoric which was designed to agitate 'the deplorables'. They even turned on the working class voters, dismissing them as 'irredeemable' racists and illiterates or 'white trash' when they turned to support Trump in massive numbers in the 'fly-over' states of the central US.

Progressives, allied with the police state, the mass media and the war machine worked to defeat and impeach Trump. Progressives surrendered completely to the Democratic Party and started to advocate its far right agenda. Hysterical McCarthyism against anyone who questioned the Democrats' promotion of war with Russia, mass media lies and manipulation of street protest against Republican elected officials became the centerpieces of the Progressive agenda. The working class and farmers had disappeared from their bastardized 'identity-centered' ideology.

Guilt by association spread throughout Progressive politics. Progressives embraced J. Edgar Hoover's FBI tactics: "Have you ever met or talked to any Russian official or relative of any Russian banker, or any Russian or even read Gogol, now or in the past?" For progressives, 'Russia-gate' defined the real focus of contemporary political struggle in this huge, complex, nuclear-armed superpower.

Progressives joined the FBI/CIA's 'Russian Bear' conspiracy: "Russia intervened and decided the Presidential election" – no matter that millions of workers and rural Americans had voted against Hillary Clinton, Wall Street's candidate and no matter that no evidence of direct interference was ever presented. Progressives could not accept that 'their constituents', the masses, had rejected Madame Clinton and preferred 'the Donald'. They attacked a shifty-eyed caricature of the repeatedly elected Russian President Putin as a subterfuge for attacking the disobedient 'white trash' electorate of 'Deploralandia'.

Progressive demagogues embraced the coifed and manicured former 'Director Comey' of the FBI, and the Mr. Potato-headed Capo of the CIA and their forty thugs in making accusations without finger or footprints.

The Progressives' far right - turn earned them hours and space on the mass media as long as they breathlessly savaged and insulted President Trump and his family members. When they managed to provoke him into a blind rage . . . they added the newly invented charge of 'psychologically unfit to lead' – presenting cheap psychobabble as grounds for impeachment. Finally! American Progressives were on their way to achieving their first and only political transformation: a Presidential coup d'état on behalf of the Far Right!

Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!

In return, President Trump began to 'out-militarize' the Progressives by escalating US involvement in the Middle East and South China Sea. They swooned with joy when Trump ordered a missile strike against the Syrian government as Damascus engaged in a life and death struggle against mercenary terrorists. They dubbed the petulant release of Patriot missiles 'Presidential'.

Then Progressives turned increasingly Orwellian: Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more!

Progressives, under Obama, supported seven brutal illegal wars and pressed for more, but complained when Trump continued the same wars and proposed adding a few new ones. At the same time, progressives out-militarized Trump by accusing him of being 'weak' on Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. They chided him for his lack support for Israel's suppression of the Palestinians. They lauded Trump's embrace of the Saudi war against Yemen as a stepping-stone for an assault against Iran, even as millions of destitute Yemenis were exposed to cholera. The Progressives had finally embraced a biological weapon of mass destruction, when US-supplied missiles destroyed the water systems of Yemen!

Conclusion

Progressives turned full circle from supporting welfare to embracing Wall Street; from preaching peaceful co-existence to demanding a dozen wars; from recognizing the humanity and rights of undocumented immigrants to their expulsion under their 'First Black' President; from thoughtful mass media critics to servile media megaphones; from defenders of civil liberties to boosters for the police state; from staunch opponents of J. Edgar Hoover and his 'dirty tricks' to camp followers for the 'intelligence community' in its deep state campaign to overturn a national election.

Progressives moved from fighting and resisting the Right to submitting and retreating; from retreating to surrendering and finally embracing the far right.

Doing all that and more within the Democratic Party, Progressives retain and deepen their ties with the mass media, the security apparatus and the military machine, while occasionally digging up some Bernie Sanders-type demagogue to arouse an army of voters away from effective resistance to mindless collaboration.

(Republished from The James Petras Website by permission of author or representative)

Recently from Author
Of Related Interest Democrats in the Dead Zone Jeffrey St. Clair June 23, 2017 1,500 Words

WorkingClass > , July 12, 2017 at 9:21 pm GMT

But in the end, they always voted for Democratic Party Presidential candidates who pursued the exact opposite agenda.

Thank you for putting your finger on the main problem right there in the first paragraph. There were exceptions of course. I supported Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic Primary that gave us the first black etc. But I never voted for Obama. Throughout the Cheney Admin I pleaded with progressives to bolt the party.

This piece accurately traces the path from Progressive to Maoist. It's a pity the Republican Party is also a piece of shit. I think it was Sara Palin who said "We have two parties. Pick one." This should be our collective epitaph.

exiled off mainstreet > , July 12, 2017 at 11:20 pm GMT

This is an excellent summary of the evolution of "progressives" into modern militarist fascists who tolerate identity politics diversity. There is little to add to Mr. Petras' commentary.

alan2102 > , July 13, 2017 at 2:04 am GMT

EXCELLENT.

Astuteobservor II > , July 13, 2017 at 5:17 am GMT

at this point, are they still progressives though? they are the new far right

CCZ > , July 13, 2017 at 5:30 am GMT

"Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!"

Perhaps the spirit of Senator Joseph McCarthy is joyously gloating as progressives (and democrats) take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

Carlton Meyer > , Website July 13, 2017 at 5:56 am GMT

The great Jimmy Dore is a big thorn for the Democrats. From my blog:

Apr 29, 2017 – Obama is Scum!

Barak Obama is America's biggest con man who accomplished nothing "progressive" during eight years at the top, and didn't even try. (Obamacare is an insurance industry idea supported by most Republicans, which is why it recently survived.) Anyone who still likes Obama should read about his actions since he left office. Obama quickly signed a $65 million "book deal", which can only be a kickback since there is no way the publisher can sell enough books about his meaningless presidency to justify that sum. Obama doesn't get royalties based on sales, but gets the money up front for a book he has yet to write, and will have someone do that for him. (Book deals and speaking fees are legal forms of bribery in the USA.)

Then Obama embarked on 100 days of ultra expensive foreign vacations with taxpayers covering the Secret Service protection costs. He didn't appear at charity fundraisers, didn't campaign for Democrats, and didn't help build homes for the poor like Jimmy Carter. He returns from vacation this week and his first speech will be at a Wall Street firm that will pay him $400,000, then he travels to Europe for more paid speeches.

Obama gets over $200,000 a year in retirement, just got a $65 million deal, so doesn't need more money. Why would a multi-millionaire ex-president fly around the globe collecting huge speaking fees from world corporations just after his political party was devastated in elections because Americans think the Democratic party represents Wall Street? The great Jimmy Dore expressed his outrage at Obama and the corrupt Democratic party in this great video.

jilles dykstra > , July 13, 2017 at 6:27 am GMT

Left in the good old days meant socialist, socialist meant that governments had the duty of redistributing income from rich to poor. Alas in Europe, after 'socialists' became pro EU and pro globalisation, they in fact became neoliberal. Both in France and the Netherlands 'socialist' parties virtually disappeared.
So what nowadays is left, does anyone know ?

Then the word 'progressive'. The word suggests improvement, but what is improvement, improvement for whom ? There are those who see the possibility for euthanasia as an improvement, there are thos who see euthanasia as a great sin.

Discussions about left and progressive are meaningless without properly defining the concepts.

Call me Deplorable > , July 13, 2017 at 12:06 pm GMT

They chose power over principles. Nobel War Prize winner Obomber was a particularly egregious chameleon, hiding his sociopathy through two elections before unleashing his racist warmongering in full flower throughout his second term. But, hey, the brother now has five mansions, collects half a mill per speech to the Chosen People on Wall Street, and parties for months at a time at exclusive resorts for billionaires only.

Obviously, he's got the world by the tail and you don't. Hope he comes to the same end as Gaddaffi and Ceaușescu. Maybe the survivors of nuclear Armageddon can hold a double necktie party with Killary as the second honored guest that day.

Seamus Padraig > , July 13, 2017 at 12:10 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

Discussions about left and progressive are meaningless without properly defining the concepts.

Properly defining the concepts would impede the system's ability to keep you confused.

Seamus Padraig > , July 13, 2017 at 12:16 pm GMT

Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson embodied the dual policies of promoting peace at home and bloody imperial wars overseas.

You left out the other Roosevelt.

Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act

Hilarious!

Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more!

This is a huge myth. All that really happened is that the INS changed some of its internal terminology to make it sound as though they were deporting more people: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2014/04/21/lies-damned-lies-and-obamas-deportation-statistics/?utm_term=.7f964acd9b0d

Stephen Paul Foster > , Website July 13, 2017 at 1:28 pm GMT

The Progressives now, failing electorally, are moving on to physical violence.

See: http://fosterspeak.blogspot.com/2017/07/trumps-would-be-assassins.html

annamaria > , July 13, 2017 at 2:22 pm GMT

@Carlton Meyer Obama, a paragon of American scoundrel

Anonymous IV > , July 13, 2017 at 2:49 pm GMT

@Seamus Padraig Agree on the bit about Obama as "deporter in chief." Even the LA Times had to admit this was misleading

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-obama-deportations-20140402-story.html

so it's not just conservative conspiracy theory stuff as some might argue.

Still, the overall point of this essay isn't affected all that much. Open borders is still a "right wing" (in the sense this author uses the term) policy–pro-Wall Street, pro-Big Business. So Obama was still doing the bidding of the donor class in their quest for cheap labor.

I've seen pro-immigration types try to use the Obama-deportation thing to argue that we don't need more hardcore policies. After all, even the progressive Democrat Obama was on the ball when it came to policing our borders, right?! Who needed Trump?

Agent76 > , July 13, 2017 at 3:28 pm GMT

"Who controls the issuance of money controls the government!" Nathan Meyer Rothschild

June 13, 2016 Which Corporations Control The World?

A surprisingly small number of corporations control massive global market shares. How many of the brands below do you use?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44864.htm

"Control the oil, and you control nations. Control the food, and you control the people." Henry Kissenger

Alfa158 > , July 13, 2017 at 5:33 pm GMT

@Carlton Meyer If Jimmy keeps up these attacks on Wall Street, the Banksters, and rent-seekers he is going to get run out of the Progressive movement for dog-whistling virulent Anti-Semitism. Look at how the media screams at Trump every time he mentions Wall Street and the banks.

yeah > , July 13, 2017 at 5:46 pm GMT

Mr. Petra has penned an excellent and very astute piece. Allow me a little satire on our progressive friends, entitled "The path to hell is paved with good intentions".

The early socialist/progressive travellers were well-intentioned but naïve in their understanding of human nature and fanatical about their agenda. To move the human herd forward, they had no compulsions about resorting to harsher and harsher prodding and whipping. They felt entitled to employ these means because, so they were convinced, man has to be pushed to move forward and they, the "progressives", were the best qualified to lead the herd. Scoundrels, psychopaths, moral defectives, and sundry other rascals then joined in the whipping game, some out of the sheer joy of wielding the whip, others to better line their pockets.

So the "progressive" journey degenerates into a forced march. The march becomes the progress, becoming both the means and the end at the same time. Look at the so-called "progressive" today and you will see the fanatic and the whip-wielder, steadfast about the correctness of his beliefs. Tell him/her/it that you are a man or a woman and he retorts "No, you are free to choose, you are genderless". What if you decline such freedom? "Well, then you are a bigot, we will thrash you out of your bigotry", replies the progressive. "May I, dear Sir/Madam/Whatever, keep my hard-earned money in my pocket for my and my family's use" you ask. "No, you first have to pay for our peace-making wars, then pay for the upkeep of refugees, besides which you owe a lot of back taxes that are necessary to run this wonderful Big Government of ours that is leading you towards greener and greener pastures", shouts back the progressive.

Fed up, disgusted, and a little scared, you desperately seek a way out of this progress. "No way", scream the march leaders. "We will be forever in your ears, sometimes whispering, sometimes screaming; we will take over your brain to improve your mind; we will saturate you with images on the box 24/7 and employ all sorts of imagery to make you progress. And if it all fails, we will simply pack you and others like you in a basket of deplorables and forget about you at election time."

TheJester > , July 13, 2017 at 6:18 pm GMT

Knowing who is "progressive" and know who is "far-right" is like knowing who is "fascist" and who is not. For obvious historical reasons, the Russian like to throw the "fascist" slogan against anyone who is a non-Russian nationalist. However, I accept the eminent historian Carroll Quigley's definition of fascism as the incorporation of society and the state onto single entity on a permanent war footing. The state controls everything in a radically authoritarian social structure. As Quigley states, the Soviet Union was the most complete embodiment of fascism in WWII. In WWII Germany, on the other hand, industry retained its independence and in WWII Italy fascism was no more than an empty slogan.

Same for "progressives". Everyone wants to be "progressive", right? Who wants to be "anti-progressive"? However, at the end of the day, "progressive" through verbal slights of hand has been nothing more than a euphemism for "socialist" or, in the extreme, "communist" the verbal slight-of-hand because we don't tend to use the latter terms in American political discourse.

"Progressives" morphing into a new "far-right" in America is no more mysterious than the Soviet Union morphing from Leninism to Stalinism or, the Jewish (Trotskyite) globalists fleeing Stalinist nationalism and then morphing into, first, "Scoop" Jackson Democrats and then into Bushite Republicans.

As you might notice, the real issue is the authoritarian vs. the non-authoritarian state. In this context, an authoritarian government and social order (as in communism and neoconservatism) are practical pre-requisites necessity to force humanity to transition to their New World Order.

Again, the defining characteristic of fascism is the unitary state enforced via an authoritarian political and social structure. Ideological rigor is enforced via the police powers of the state along with judicial activism and political correctness. Ring a bell?

In the ongoing contest between Trump and the remnants of the American "progressive" movement, who are the populists and who the authoritarians? Who are the democrats and who are the fascists?

I would say that who lands where in this dichotomy is obvious.

RobinG > , July 13, 2017 at 6:19 pm GMT

@Alfa158 Is Jimmy Dore really a "Progressive?" (and what does that mean, anyway?) Isn't Jimmy's show hosted by the Young Turks Network, which is unabashedly Libertarian?

Anyway, what's so great about "the Progressive movement?" Seems to me, they're just pathetic sheepdogs for the war-crazed Dems. Jimmy should be supporting the #UNRIG movement ("Beyond Trump & Sanders") for ALL Americans:

On 1 May 2017 Cynthia McKinney, Ellen Brown, and Robert Steele launched

We the People – Unity for Integrity.

The User's Guide to the 2nd American Revolution.

Death to the Deep State.

https://www.unrig.net/manifesto/

Ben Banned > , July 13, 2017 at 9:13 pm GMT

Petras, for some reason, low balls the number of people ejected from assets when the mafia came to seize real estate in the name of the ruling class and their expensive wars, morality, the Constitution or whatever shit they could make up to fuck huge numbers of people over. Undoubtedly just like 9/11, the whole thing was planned in advance. Political whores are clearly useless when the system is at such extremes.

Banks like Capital One specialize in getting a signature and "giving" a car loan to someone they know won't be able to pay, but is simply being used, shaken down and repossessed for corporate gain. " No one held a gun to their head! " Get ready, the police state will in fact put a gun to your head.

Depending on the time period in question, which might be the case here, more than 20 million people were put out of homes and/or bankrupted with more to come. Clearly a bipartisan effort featuring widespread criminal conduct across the country – an attack on the population to sustain militarism.

peterAUS > , July 13, 2017 at 10:05 pm GMT

@yeah Nice.

If I may add:
"and you also have to dearly pay for you being white male heterosexual for oppressing all colored, all the women and all the sexually different through the history".

"And if it all fails, we will simply pack you and others like you in a basket of deplorables and forget about you at election time. If we see that you still don't get with the program we will reeducate you. Should you resist that in any way we'll incarcerate you. And, no, normal legal procedure does not work with racists/bigots/haters/whatever we don't like".

Reg Cæsar > , July 14, 2017 at 1:19 am GMT

@CCZ

"Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!"
Perhaps the spirit of Senator Joseph McCarthy is joyously gloating as progressives (and democrats) take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee

which itself was a progressive invention. There was no "right wing" anywhere in sight when it was estsblished in 1938.

[Jul 10, 2017] Reminder: Hiding US Lies About Libyan Invasion

Jul 10, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com
et Al , July 10, 2017 at 12:59 pm
A reminder.

Consortium News: Hiding US Lies About Libyan Invasion
https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/07/hiding-us-lies-about-libyan-invasion/

Exclusive: In 2016, when a British parliamentary report demolished the excuse for the U.S. and its allies invading Libya in 2011, it should have been big news, but the U.S. mainstream media looked the other way, reports Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria (Corrects to show that a Times story was published.)

In George Orwell's 1949 dystopian novel 1984, the protagonist Winston Smith's job was to delve into The Times of London archive and rewrite stories that could cause trouble for the totalitarian government ruling Britain. For instance, if the government made a prediction of wheat or automobile production in their five-year plan and that prediction did not come true, Winston would go into the archives and "correct" the numbers in the article on record.

In writing a response the other day to a critic of my recently published book on Hillary Clinton's electoral defeat, I was researching how the U.S. corporate media covered a 2016 British parliamentary report on Libya that showed how then Secretary of State Clinton and other Western leaders lied about an impending genocide in Libya to justify their 2011 attack on that country .

Hillary Clinton, who according to leaked emails was the architect of the attack on Libya, said four days earlier: "When the Libyan people sought to realize their democratic aspirations, they were met by extreme violence from their own government."

Sen. John Kerry, at the time chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chimed in: "Time is running out for the Libyan people. The world needs to respond immediately."
####

Plenty more at the link and all the more reason that the Pork Pie News Networks need to be flushed away to make way for those who actually want to do their jobs and will not be fobbed, bought or intimidated off. Or co-opted.

et Al , July 10, 2017 at 1:09 pm
Via Antiwar.com

https://ads.pubmatic.com/AdServer/js/showad.js#PIX&kdntuid=1&p=156204

marknesop , July 10, 2017 at 7:41 pm
So say we; so say we all. And that's the tried-and-true formula which has allowed Washington so many tilts at the regime-change windmill – mention extreme violence exercised by a brutal dictator who has no regard for human rights (which have passed into the realm of sanctity that none dares challenge), and stress the urgency which does not allow time for discussion. Act now, talk later. If a disaster ensues, it was worth the risk – it might have worked out. Time for the phase I have mentioned so many times before: say it with me, will you? "This is no time for finger-pointing. Nobody could have foreseen that this would happen. We all have to work together to solve the problem."

I'm sure it's not a coincidence that John Kerry, known liar, claims to have personally seen ironclad evidence that Russia shot down MH17 – he saw the missile shot, and saw MH17's trace drop off the scope. He knows .

Show of hands – who believes him? Following on from that, why can he not be held to account for such a monstrous lie? Reply

[Jul 10, 2017] Trump Putin Up Against US Deep State by Finian Cunningham

Wishful thinking. What was so rational in launching Tomahawk missiles against Syrian airbase on fake charges? Even on DNC hacking charges Trump moves closer to neocon views. And Polish speach has nothing to do with detente with Russia. The fact that Haley is UN ambassador in Trump administration demonstrates that quite well.
Notable quotes:
"... Too bad Trump is a total self–seeking asshole who will do nothing to better the lives of his citizens and is merely pursuing policies of corporate cronyism for his buddies. Deep State and Trump are just as bad as each other. We seem to be doomed. ..."
"... I pretty much doubt that Trump has the stature of really Standing up against the US Deep State. Kaennedy paid with his life! „Deep State USA: Dulles, Dallas and Devilish Games": https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2016/04/20/deep-st... ..."
"... If President Trump is committed to pursue a more healthy relationship with Russia, a great first step would be to fire that ignorant, hysterical anti-Russia know-nothing Nikki Haley as UN Ambassador. If he does not do so, then his words of co-operation with Putin cannot be taken seriously. ..."
Jul 09, 2017 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

It was pleasing to see Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin greet each other cordially at the G20 summit. After their breakthrough first meeting, one hopes the two leaders have a personal foundation for future cooperation.

At a later press conference in Hamburg, where the G20 summit was held, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he believed there was a chance for restoring the badly frayed US-Russia relations. He praised Trump for being thoughtful and rational. "The TV Trump is quite different from the real life one," quipped Putin.

Meanwhile, the White House issued a statement hailing the two-hour discussion ( four times longer than originally scheduled ) between the two leaders as a good start to working together on major world problems.

"No problems were solved. Nobody expected any problems to be solved in that meeting. But it was a beginning of a dialogue on some tough problem sets that we'll begin now to work on together," said HR McMaster, Trump's top national security adviser.

Trump deserves credit for the way he conducted himself. He met Putin on equal terms and with respect. "It's an honor to meet you," said the American president as he extended a handshake.

The much-anticipated encounter comes nearly seven months after Trump was inaugurated in the White House. Over that period, large sections of the US media have run an unrelenting campaign accusing Trump of being a Russian stooge and alleging that Putin ordered an interference operation in last year's US election to benefit Trump.

Apart from innuendo and anonymous US intelligence claims, recycled endlessly by dutiful news organizations, there is no evidence of either Trump-Russia collusion or Putin-sanctioned cyber hacking . Trump has dismissed the claims as "fake news", while Moscow has consistently rejected the allegations as baseless Russophobia.

... ... ...

Under immense pressure, Trump has at times appeared to buckle to the US political establishment with regard to projecting hostility towards Russia, as seen in the prosecution of the covert war in Syria and renewed sanctions on Moscow.

The day before he met Putin in Germany, Trump was in Poland where he delivered a barnstorming speech in Warsaw in which he accused Russia of "destabilizing countries", among other topics. The American president also inferred that Russia was undermining "Western civilization". It was provocative speech bordering on hackneyed Russophobia. It did not bode well for his imminent meeting with Putin. A clash seemed to be coming, just as the US media had been cajoling.

... ... ...

Immediately following the constructive meeting between the leaders, the US media started cranking up the Russophobia again. The US media are vents for Deep State hostility towards Trump and his agenda for normalizing relations with Moscow.

The New York Times reported another breathless story about Trump's election campaign having contact with "Kremlin-connected" people. CNN ran opinion pieces on how the president had fallen into a trap laid by Putin.

It is hard to stomach this outlandish confabulation that passes for journalism. And it is astounding that a friendly meeting between leaders of nuclear powers should not be received as a good development.

But it shows that Trump his up against very powerful deep forces within the US establishment who do not want a normalization with Russia. The US Deep State depends on confrontation, war and endless militarism for its existence. It also wants a world populated by vassals over which US corporations have suzerainty. An independent Russia or China or any other foreign power cannot be tolerated because that upends American ambitions for unipolar hegemony.

... ... ...

President John F Kennedy was assassinated in broad daylight by the US Deep State because he dared to seek a normalization and peaceful coexistence with Moscow. The Deep State does not want normalization or peace with Russia or anyone else for that matter because there are too many lucrative vested interests in maintaining the war machine that is American capitalism.

... ... ...

What needs to change is the US power structure through a democratic revolt. Until that happens, any president in the White House is simply a hostage to the dark forces of the Deep State.

lisacarso · 9 hours ago

Yes they are indeed. Too bad Trump is a total self–seeking asshole who will do nothing to better the lives of his citizens and is merely pursuing policies of corporate cronyism for his buddies. Deep State and Trump are just as bad as each other. We seem to be doomed.

Schlüter · 6 hours ago

I pretty much doubt that Trump has the stature of really Standing up against the US Deep State. Kaennedy paid with his life!
„Deep State USA: Dulles, Dallas and Devilish Games": https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2016/04/20/deep-st...

follyofwar · 5 hours ago

If President Trump is committed to pursue a more healthy relationship with Russia, a great first step would be to fire that ignorant, hysterical anti-Russia know-nothing Nikki Haley as UN Ambassador. If he does not do so, then his words of co-operation with Putin cannot be taken seriously.

chris · 5 hours ago

Trump as victim? You have to be kidding.

He IS the president,he actually could get out on the White House lawn and blow the whistle,or at least 'tweet' sneakily. World leader? At least post 'Don't do stupid shit.' Obama had the temerity to refer to the Kennedy option'.This guy doesn't seem to lose any sleep over the many thousands of deaths worldwide,including Americans, giving their lives because Trump saw the job as a business opportunity.

And his dumb subjects run around blaming 'the Jews' [sounds like 1930's Germany doesn't it?]

[Jul 10, 2017] Trump Putin Up Against US Deep State by Finian Cunningham

What was so rational in launching Tomahawk missiles against Syrian airbase on fake charges? Even on DNC hacking charges Trump moves closer to neocon views.
Jul 10, 2017 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

July 09, 2017

It was pleasing to see Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin greet each other cordially at the G20 summit. After their breakthrough first meeting, one hopes the two leaders have a personal foundation for future cooperation.

At a later press conference in Hamburg, where the G20 summit was held, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he believed there was a chance for restoring the badly frayed US-Russia relations. He praised Trump for being thoughtful and rational. "The TV Trump is quite different from the real life one," quipped Putin.

Meanwhile, the White House issued a statement hailing the two-hour discussion ( four times longer than originally scheduled ) between the two leaders as a good start to working together on major world problems.

"No problems were solved. Nobody expected any problems to be solved in that meeting. But it was a beginning of a dialogue on some tough problem sets that we'll begin now to work on together," said HR McMaster, Trump's top national security adviser.

Trump deserves credit for the way he conducted himself. He met Putin on equal terms and with respect. "It's an honor to meet you," said the American president as he extended a handshake.

The much-anticipated encounter comes nearly seven months after Trump was inaugurated in the White House. Over that period, large sections of the US media have run an unrelenting campaign accusing Trump of being a Russian stooge and alleging that Putin ordered an interference operation in last year's US election to benefit Trump.

Apart from innuendo and anonymous US intelligence claims, recycled endlessly by dutiful news organizations, there is no evidence of either Trump-Russia collusion or Putin-sanctioned cyber hacking . Trump has dismissed the claims as "fake news", while Moscow has consistently rejected the allegations as baseless Russophobia.

[Jul 09, 2017] Patching It Up With Putin by Patrick J. Buchanan

Notable quotes:
"... President Eisenhower did not begin his summit with Nikita Khrushchev by berating him for crushing the Hungarian freedom fighters in 1956, a more grievous crime then hacking the emails of John Podesta. ..."
"... Were Trump to start his first summit with Putin by dressing him down, why meet with him at all? ..."
"... Trump would do better to explore where we can work together, as in ending Syria's civil war and averting a new war in Korea. ..."
"... Moreover, when it comes to interference in the internal politics of other nations to bring about "regime change," understandably, Putin might see himself as more sinned against than sinning. ..."
"... Should Trump bring up the email hacking in 2016, Putin could ask him to explain U.S. support for the violent coup d'etat that overthrew a democratically elected pro-Russian government in Ukraine, a land with which Russia has been intimately associated for 1,000 years. ..."
"... Consider the behavior of post-Cold War America, after Moscow gave up its empire, pulled all its troops out of Europe, let the USSR dissolve into 15 nations and held out a hand in friendship. ..."
"... We gathered all the Warsaw Pact nations and three former Russian Federation republics into a NATO alliance targeted at Russia. We put troops, ships and bases into the Baltic on the doorstep of St. Petersburg. We bombed Russia's old ally Serbia for 78 days, forcing it to surrender its birth province of Kosovo. ..."
"... Among the failings of America's post-Cold War foreign policy elites are hubris, arrogance and an utter absence of that greatest of gifts that the gods can give us ! "to see ourselves as others see us." ..."
"... Can we not see why the Russian people, who saw us as friends in the 1990s, no longer do so, and why Putin, a Russia-First nationalist, has an 80 percent approval rating on the issue of standing up for his country? ..."
"... Trump cannot allow this Beltway obsession with Putin to prevent us from closing, if we can, this breach. If we do not bring Russia back into the West, where do we think she will go? ..."
"... I don't see why he should bow to political correctness by making a boiler plate acceptance of the discredited Russia hacking story in light of all of the evidence to the contrary including the unexplained murder of Seth Rich and the recent accidental disclosures by CNN executives and pundits that they knew the story was a false one. ..."
"... Trump himself has aptly compared the story to the false "weapons of mass destruction" story used to foment the Iraq war. Bearing in mind that the publisher of the Nazi rag Der Stuermer was convicted of war crimes at Nuremberg in 1946 for propaganda, it seems to me that the present media leaders going on about these provably false stories are themselves guilty of war crimes. ..."
"... These Americans, of which you speak, are simply angry that Trump won and are looking for someone to blame because they cannot accept what he stands for to a large portion of the electorate. Foreign powers are of course going to fight, however they can, for the candidate they feel will be the most sympathetic to their interests. For example, Clinton was the preferred candidate for Israel and their efforts showed as much. ..."
"... Claiming that the Russians hacked the election, or meddled, or whatever, is an insult to Trump's supporters and voters. People like Buchanan should choose their words more carefully or they're just playing into the narrative. ..."
"... Finally, to those who follow Russia closely, the idea that it could influence the politics of the world's most powerful nation, while failing to prevent the rise to power of an explicitly hostile government in its next door neighbor with whom it shares millennia of history, is patently absurd. ..."
"... Nukes and credible delivery systems are Kim's insurance policy he saw what happened to leaders like Saddam and Ghadaffi when the failed to go there. ..."
"... There is no credible evidence that the Russians "hacked" our 2016 elections, but there is evidence that DHS did. But even if the Russians did, turnabout is fair play. There is credible evidence HRC's State Department hacked Russian elections in 2012, and there was even a Time Mag cover in the '90s crowing about American influence on Russian elections back then. ..."
"... Our entire government is nothing but a bunch of clowns standing in facade for the corprofacists pulling the strings. I am truly disgusted with this country. ..."
"... If I were the average Russian (or Ukrainian or Pole or German, et al), I'd be far more comfortable with aligning culturally with Putin's Russia than with the "West" of Hollywood and the kosher EU. ..."
"... "Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016." What hacking? Proof? None. ..."
"... Of these the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is not an independent intelligence-gathering organization, so that leaves three. Plus, this seems to have been a project run by a handpicked (read: politicized) group of analysts selected from the three agencies instead of independent analysts from three institutions reaching the same conclusion, we actually have just "one group of like-minded people " ..."
"... I'll echo other posters about Pat's mention of the so called "Russian hacking" of the 2016 presidential election. I don't know if Pat truly believes that or if he's throwing the loony left and neo-cons a bone on this for the appearance of objectivity and non-partisanship and/or to gain more appearances on FOX, but the claim has largely been exposed for the fraud that it is. ..."
"... So the claim "Russia hacked the election" boils down to RT posting some stories online unflattering to Hillary. Why is Buchanan participating in this dishonest shell game? ..."
"... . . .Let's begin with the continued refusal of the DNC to allow DHS or FBI to examine the computer/computers of the DNC where the alleged hack supposed took place. Instead of insisting that the FBI examine their computers, the DNC turned to a private organization–CrowdStrike. It was CrowdStrike that uncovered the "Russian hacking" of the DNC, and when the DNC refused to allow the FBI access to their servers to see the evidence for themselves, it was CrowdStrike that told the FBI that it was the Russians. ..."
Jul 09, 2017 | www.unz.com

President Donald Trump flew off for his first meeting with Vladimir Putin ! with instructions from our foreign policy elite that he get into the Russian president's face over his hacking in the election of 2016.

Hopefully, Trump will ignore these people. For their record of failure is among the reasons Americans elected him to office.

What president, seeking to repair damaged relations with a rival superpower, would begin by reading from an indictment?

President Eisenhower did not begin his summit with Nikita Khrushchev by berating him for crushing the Hungarian freedom fighters in 1956, a more grievous crime then hacking the emails of John Podesta.

President Kennedy did not let Russia's emplacement of missiles in Cuba in 1962 prevent him from offering an olive branch to Moscow in his widely praised American University address of June 1963.

Were Trump to start his first summit with Putin by dressing him down, why meet with him at all?

Trump would do better to explore where we can work together, as in ending Syria's civil war and averting a new war in Korea.

Moreover, when it comes to interference in the internal politics of other nations to bring about "regime change," understandably, Putin might see himself as more sinned against than sinning.

Should Trump bring up the email hacking in 2016, Putin could ask him to explain U.S. support for the violent coup d'etat that overthrew a democratically elected pro-Russian government in Ukraine, a land with which Russia has been intimately associated for 1,000 years.

Consider the behavior of post-Cold War America, after Moscow gave up its empire, pulled all its troops out of Europe, let the USSR dissolve into 15 nations and held out a hand in friendship.

We gathered all the Warsaw Pact nations and three former Russian Federation republics into a NATO alliance targeted at Russia. We put troops, ships and bases into the Baltic on the doorstep of St. Petersburg. We bombed Russia's old ally Serbia for 78 days, forcing it to surrender its birth province of Kosovo.

Among the failings of America's post-Cold War foreign policy elites are hubris, arrogance and an utter absence of that greatest of gifts that the gods can give us ! "to see ourselves as others see us."

Can we not see why the Russian people, who saw us as friends in the 1990s, no longer do so, and why Putin, a Russia-First nationalist, has an 80 percent approval rating on the issue of standing up for his country?

Looking about the world today, do we really need any more crises or quarrels? Do we not have enough on our plate? As the Buddhist saying goes, "Do not dwell in the past concentrate the mind on the present moment."

Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016. But what was done cannot be undone. And Putin is not going to return Crimea to Kiev, the annexation of which was the most popular action of his long tenure as Russian president.

As D.C.'s immortal Mayor Marion Barry once said to constituents appalled by his latest episode of social misconduct: "Get over it!"

We have other fish to fry.

In Syria and Iraq, where the ISIS caliphate is in its death rattle, Russia and the U.S. both have a vital interest in avoiding any military collision, and in ending the war. This probably means the U.S. demand that Syrian President Assad be removed will have to be shelved.

Consider China. Asked by Trump to squeeze Pyongyang on its nuclear missile program, China increased trade with North Korea 37 percent in the first quarter. The Chinese are now telling us to stop sailing warships within 13 miles of its militarized islets and reefs in a South China Sea that they claim belongs to them, and demanding that we cancel our $1.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan.

Hong Kong's 7 million people have been told their democratic rights, secured in Great Britain's transfer of the island to China, are no longer guaranteed.

Now China is telling us to capitulate to North Korea's demand for an end to U.S. military maneuvers with South Korea and to remove the THAAD missile system the U.S. has emplaced. And Beijing is imposing sanctions on South Korea for accepting the U.S. missile system.

Meanwhile, the dispute with North Korea is going critical.

If Kim Jong Un is as determined as he appears to be to build an ICBM with a nuclear warhead that can hit Seattle or San Francisco, we will soon be down to either accepting this or exercising a military option that could bring nuclear war.

Trump cannot allow this Beltway obsession with Putin to prevent us from closing, if we can, this breach. If we do not bring Russia back into the West, where do we think she will go?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."

exiled off mainstreet > , Show Comment Next New Comment July 7, 2017 at 5:47 am GMT

While, as is usual, I agree with Mr. Buchanan's foreign policy views which he again effectively and convincingly expresses, I don't see why he should bow to political correctness by making a boiler plate acceptance of the discredited Russia hacking story in light of all of the evidence to the contrary including the unexplained murder of Seth Rich and the recent accidental disclosures by CNN executives and pundits that they knew the story was a false one.

Trump himself has aptly compared the story to the false "weapons of mass destruction" story used to foment the Iraq war. Bearing in mind that the publisher of the Nazi rag Der Stuermer was convicted of war crimes at Nuremberg in 1946 for propaganda, it seems to me that the present media leaders going on about these provably false stories are themselves guilty of war crimes.

JL, July 7, 2017 at 8:28 am GMT

Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016.

These Americans, of which you speak, are simply angry that Trump won and are looking for someone to blame because they cannot accept what he stands for to a large portion of the electorate. Foreign powers are of course going to fight, however they can, for the candidate they feel will be the most sympathetic to their interests. For example, Clinton was the preferred candidate for Israel and their efforts showed as much.

Claiming that the Russians hacked the election, or meddled, or whatever, is an insult to Trump's supporters and voters. People like Buchanan should choose their words more carefully or they're just playing into the narrative.

Besides, if a foreign country really did manage to subvert the US' democracy to such an extent, that speaks volumes about the weakness of the US system, not its adversaries' malicious intents. Finally, to those who follow Russia closely, the idea that it could influence the politics of the world's most powerful nation, while failing to prevent the rise to power of an explicitly hostile government in its next door neighbor with whom it shares millennia of history, is patently absurd.

The Alarmist , July 7, 2017 at 10:36 am GMT

"If Kim Jong Un is as determined as he appears to be to build an ICBM with a nuclear warhead that can hit Seattle or San Francisco, we will soon be down to either accepting this or exercising a military option that could bring nuclear war."

Nukes and credible delivery systems are Kim's insurance policy he saw what happened to leaders like Saddam and Ghadaffi when the failed to go there.

"Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016. But what was done cannot be undone."

There is no credible evidence that the Russians "hacked" our 2016 elections, but there is evidence that DHS did. But even if the Russians did, turnabout is fair play. There is credible evidence HRC's State Department hacked Russian elections in 2012, and there was even a Time Mag cover in the '90s crowing about American influence on Russian elections back then.

Ludwig Watzal , Website July 7, 2017 at 1:31 pm GMT

How come that Pat Buchanan repeats the media lies that the Russians hacked US election? So far, this allegation is fact-free. Has he finally succumbed to the constant lies the corporate media are spreading? He is undoubtedly aware of Nazi-Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels saying: "One must only repeat a lie so long until the people believe it as true."

As the first pictures from this G-20-meeting show, Donald Trump was sidelined by Merkel. Autocrats like the Chinese President, Erdogan, and Russias Putin were standing next to her, Donald Trump has sidelined just before French's Macron.

It's funny that even the US political class regards Merkel as powerful. She is just a Stalinist and a political opportunist who would even sacrifice her loved ones when it would suit her career. The US should not be carried away and blinded by this made-up spin.

nickels, July 7, 2017 at 1:38 pm GMT

Trump and his 'Russia should stop destabilizing Ukraine.'

Our entire government is nothing but a bunch of clowns standing in facade for the corprofacists pulling the strings. I am truly disgusted with this country.

WorkingClass , July 7, 2017 at 1:49 pm GMT

I have always respected Pat Buchanan. But it's time to take away his car keys. The Russians did not hack Podesta. The Podesta files were leaked. Who killed Seth Rich?

Rurik, Website July 7, 2017 at 2:26 pm GMT

Were Trump to start his first summit with Putin by dressing him down, why meet with him at all?

exactly!

... ... ...

If we do not bring Russia back into the West, where do we think she will go?

the irony is that Russia today is far more expressive of the ancient values of the West than the zio-West of Merkel's Germany and Islamic France. Let along the home of Hollywood spiritual sewage spilling out of the ZUSA.

If I were the average Russian (or Ukrainian or Pole or German, et al), I'd be far more comfortable with aligning culturally with Putin's Russia than with the "West" of Hollywood and the kosher EU.

Anon, July 7, 2017 at 4:16 pm GMT

@WorkingClass

I have always respected Pat Buchanan. But it's time to take away his car keys. The Russians did not hack Podesta. The Podesta files were leaked. Who killed Seth Rich?

Yes, that's an odd phrase, particularly as Mr. Buchanan has expressed incredulity at this sort of accusation in the past. Perhaps he simply means that Americans' anger at Russia (which I think he exaggerates; he seems to still believe the media have some actual contact with America) is justified based on their beliefs?

Wally, July 7, 2017 at 10:51 pm GMT

"Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016." What hacking? Proof? None.

MarkinLA, July 8, 2017 at 4:02 am GMT

Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016.

Et Tu Pat? Pat, you are never going to get a network gig again no matter how much sphincter you lick. You know this is bogus.

El Dato, July 8, 2017 at 11:46 am GMT

@MarkinLA NYT Finally Retracts Russia-gate Canard

The New York Times has finally admitted that one of the favorite Russia-gate canards – that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concurred on the assessment of Russian hacking of Democratic emails – is false.

On Thursday, the Times appended a correction to a June 25 article that had repeated the false claim, which has been used by Democrats and the mainstream media for months to brush aside any doubts about the foundation of the Russia-gate scandal and portray President Trump as delusional for doubting what all 17 intelligence agencies supposedly knew to be true.

However, on Thursday, the Times – while leaving most of Haberman's ridicule of Trump in place – noted in a correction that the relevant intelligence "assessment was made by four intelligence agencies ! the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community."

Of these the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is not an independent intelligence-gathering organization, so that leaves three. Plus, this seems to have been a project run by a handpicked (read: politicized) group of analysts selected from the three agencies instead of independent analysts from three institutions reaching the same conclusion, we actually have just "one group of like-minded people "

KenH, July 8, 2017 at 1:39 pm GMT

I'll echo other posters about Pat's mention of the so called "Russian hacking" of the 2016 presidential election. I don't know if Pat truly believes that or if he's throwing the loony left and neo-cons a bone on this for the appearance of objectivity and non-partisanship and/or to gain more appearances on FOX, but the claim has largely been exposed for the fraud that it is.

Let's make no mistake that neo-conservatism, liberal interventionism, Israelphilia and Russophobia rule Washington, D.C. with an iron fist. Any elected leaders who don't play ball quickly find themselves marginalized and under attack. Either Trump was playing us during the campaign with his calls for warmer relations with Russia and a more humble foreign policy or he saw the writing on the wall after taking office and surrendered without a fight.

I think Trump's loyalty to Israel trumps his loyalty to American first principles and that's not good.

Priss Factor , Website July 8, 2017 at 3:50 pm GMT

@JL Buchanan has a kneejerk mentality on Russia as the enemy even as he argues for peace and reconciliation.

The formative and crucial period of his life was defined by the cold war.

Bill Jones, July 8, 2017 at 5:05 pm GMT

Paddy seems to take it as given that Russia hacked Podesta, despite the utter lack of evidence.

the raven, July 8, 2017 at 5:10 pm GMT

@KenH "Hacked the election" is a weasel phrase. You can go to shitlib sites and plenty of them think that Putin changed votes by hacking voting machines. Of course, this hasn't been alleged, let alone proved. The dishonest pundits using that phrase can claim they meant that Putin hacked the DNC emails. There's also no evidence for this, but it's hard to prove or disprove (but given that Podesta fell for a phishing scam, it could have been done by a 15 year old anywhere in the world). The only thing they can credibly claim is that Russia "interfered" in the US elections by their state media posting articles that the CIA disagrees with.

So the claim "Russia hacked the election" boils down to RT posting some stories online unflattering to Hillary. Why is Buchanan participating in this dishonest shell game?

Don Bacon, July 8, 2017 at 6:32 pm GMT

from the web– No, The Russians Did Not Meddle in Our Election by Publius Tacitus

. . .Let's begin with the continued refusal of the DNC to allow DHS or FBI to examine the computer/computers of the DNC where the alleged hack supposed took place. Instead of insisting that the FBI examine their computers, the DNC turned to a private organization–CrowdStrike.
It was CrowdStrike that uncovered the "Russian hacking" of the DNC, and when the DNC refused to allow the FBI access to their servers to see the evidence for themselves, it was CrowdStrike that told the FBI that it was the Russians.

Here's the problem with this: CrowdStrike's reputation is currently unraveling. Why? It seems that CrowdStrike is as politically motivated as everyone else in Washington, D.C. The company is itself an opponent of Vladimir Putin and Russia and was recently caught fabricating a report that attempted to blame Russian hacking for problems with Urkainian military technology. . .

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/07/no-the-russians-did-not-meddle-in-our-election-by-publius-tacitus.html

fuzzy, July 8, 2017 at 6:45 pm GMT

Hacked the election? How exactly? Go talk to Mr. Binney about it.

Avery, July 8, 2017 at 7:16 pm GMT

@MarkinLA { . no matter how much sphincter you lick.}

Brutal dude, brutal.

( ..well, I guess Pat asked for it: regurgitating unadulterated B____S____, to presumably appear 'balanced'.).

Bill Jones, July 8, 2017 at 9:31 pm GMT

This is worth a read

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/06/09/remarks-president-trump-regulatory-relief

The True and Original David, July 9, 2017 at 8:35 am GMT

@Ludwig Watzal Pat is an old USA conservative. The style of old USA conservatives is agree with the opponent on all essentials of fact and value then remonstrate defensively. Perfect example: "Yes, Putin hacked, but we have bigger fish to fry."

USA liberals were called "knee-jerkers," that is people whose liberal reaction is so automatic it is brain-free. But old USA conservatives also have their "knee-jerk": this is accepting the opponent's premises then quibbling.

"You're a racist!" "No, I'm certainly not, I swear."

"America is sexist!" "We are doing better lately. Salaries for women are showing progress."

"Putin hacked!" "Yes he did, but there are bigger fish to fry."

An old USA conservative would consider such replies as "fighting back"; but they are only whiny protests in response to blows.

The old USA conservative style is dated and being replaced by styles more adversarial. Pat the man is a decent guy and I wish him well.

Mr. Hack, July 9, 2017 at 2:47 pm GMT

Should Trump bring up the email hacking in 2016, Putin could ask him to explain U.S. support for the violent coup d'etat that overthrew a democratically elected pro-Russian government in Ukraine, a land with which Russia has been intimately associated for 1,000 years.

Buchanan here exhibits his supericial knowledge of Ukrainian/Russian history. Large swaths of Ukrainian territory never were under Russian hegemony until the middle part of the 20th century, but were part and and parcel of other European states including the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Hapsburg Empire. Also, insinuating that Trump need to cower in front of Putin during a hypothetical question and answer series regarding some sort of U.S. directed plot against Russia in Ukraine is also based on fluff and inuendo, and he should know better. Any 'cookies and milk' support offered to Ukrainian patriots who paid for their new found freedom by sacrificing their lives came long after altercations had already started on the Maidan. American ingenuity could not have created a protest movement of this scope and magnitude, and Buchanan should know better:

Realist, July 9, 2017 at 2:49 pm GMT

"Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016."

Pat,

You are just echoing and lending credence to the news media, including Fox News as well as the power elite. This is not the first time you have done this.
I fail to understand why anyone would believe anything the security(spy) agencies promote. They are incessant liars, as is most of our government. People should never take anything our government says at face value .always demand proof.

Realist, July 9, 2017 at 2:51 pm GMT

@exiled off mainstreet " . I don't see why he should bow to political correctness by making a boiler plate acceptance of the discredited Russia hacking story ."

Exactly

Realist, July 9, 2017 at 2:58 pm GMT

@nickels Trump and his 'Russia should stop destabilizing Ukraine.'
Our entire government is nothing but a bunch of clowns standing in facade for the corprofacists pulling the strings.
I am truly disgusted with this country. "I am truly disgusted with this country."

Rightly so.

[Jul 09, 2017] Reality about Obama regime change in Libya is horrifying. Knowledge is the antidote to propaganda and brainwashing which is exactly why it is being increasingly controlled and restricted

Notable quotes:
"... "Libyans enjoyed the highest quality of life in all of Africa. Libyan citizens enjoyed free universal health care from prenatal to geriatric, free education from elementary school to post-graduate studies and free or subsidized housing. We were told that Gaddafi ripped off the nation's oil wealth for himself when in reality Libya's oil wealth was used to improve the quality of life for all Libyans. ..."
"... We were told that Libya had to be rebuilt from scratch because Gaddafi had not allowed the development of national institutions. If we knew that infant mortality had been seriously reduced, life expectancy increased and health care and education made available to everyone, we might have asked, "How could all that be accomplished without the existence of national institutions?" ..."
Jul 09, 2017 | www.unz.com
annamaria says: July 9, 2017 at 11:45 am GMT
The sensation: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/07/hiding-us-lies-about-libyan-invasion/

http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2016/06/hillary-clinton-and-libya-sending.html

"Libyans enjoyed the highest quality of life in all of Africa. Libyan citizens enjoyed free universal health care from prenatal to geriatric, free education from elementary school to post-graduate studies and free or subsidized housing. We were told that Gaddafi ripped off the nation's oil wealth for himself when in reality Libya's oil wealth was used to improve the quality of life for all Libyans.

We were told that Libya had to be rebuilt from scratch because Gaddafi had not allowed the development of national institutions. If we knew that infant mortality had been seriously reduced, life expectancy increased and health care and education made available to everyone, we might have asked, "How could all that be accomplished without the existence of national institutions?"

Knowledge is the antidote to propaganda and brainwashing which is exactly why it is being increasingly controlled and restricted."

[Jul 09, 2017] Trump Turns The Corner And Goes On The Attack. Will He Make The GOP Follow by James Kirkpatrick

Trump deflated and sold all his election promises. He is essentially a neocon now. why he will be different on immigration?
Notable quotes:
"... Trump Interrupted 6 Times in Poland With a Chant You Might Have Thought Would Only Be Heard in the USA ..."
"... Independent Journal Review, ..."
"... Critically, the president identified border security as one of the most important issues during his speech, declaring that the will to enforce immigration laws is synonymous with the will to defend Western Civilization. ..."
"... Trump's speech in Poland sounded like an alt-right manifesto ..."
"... 'Kate's Law' battle shifts to the Senate, testing Dems ..."
"... As Trump's Coach, Senator Cotton Provides Policy to Match Rhetoric ..."
"... 'These deaths were preventable': Trump urges Senate to pass 'Kate's Law,' ..."
"... Immigration bills face Senate hurdle ..."
"... San Antonio Express-News, ..."
"... Trump's 'face-lift' tweet overshadows week to push immigration, energy policies ..."
"... Washington Examiner, ..."
"... How The Democrats Lost Their Way On Immigration ..."
"... What's the point of an anti-immigrant left ..."
"... Trump is winning the immigration debate ..."
"... In my opinion, even more important than to attack the hostile, mostly liberal media is for Trump to distance himself not just form the Neocon wing of the Republican party, but also to keep a healthy distance from and even attack Ayn Rand fanboys like Paul Ryan and other lackeys of the Koch Brothers ..."
"... No, Donald Trump hasn't really read "Atlas Shrugged." Sad! But he's surrounding himself with Ayn Rand superfans ..."
"... IMO, Trump's deeds rarely match the words written for him by his speechwriter(s). There's been little progress on our Southern border wall and his administration only marginally decreased refugees to 50K for 2018. I want zero or only white refugees from S. Africa – not racial, cultural and religious aliens from the third world. ..."
"... That remains to be seen as Trump has drifted towards the center on immigration since his inauguration. He kept DACA in place and hasn't uttered one negative word on the presumption of birthright citizenship or implored Congress to pass legislation clarifying that the 14th amendment only applied to descendants of blacks slaves and not every person who sneaks across the border and drops an anchor baby or two or eight. The same applies to visa holders and "maternity tourists". ..."
"... Poland and the CIA – what memories, what a work over! Lech Walesa and Solidarność. No wonder they cheer Trump, but they might as well be cheering any US President and that's the point. ..."
"... There is no real opposition to Trump. He's a walking clown, pay attention if you must. But the mainstream media includes Kirkpatrick as much as it does The Atlantic and Vox and Fox and CNN. Super national corporations delivering control over your lives. When they tell you who, what and when you should foam at mouth you'll obey – 'those damn other guys!' ..."
Jul 06, 2017 | www.unz.com

Donald Trump received a hero's welcome in Poland on Wednesday, with a crowd of thousands chanting both his name and the name of our country [ Trump Interrupted 6 Times in Poland With a Chant You Might Have Thought Would Only Be Heard in the USA , by Jason Howerton, Independent Journal Review, July 6, 2017].

Critically, the president identified border security as one of the most important issues during his speech, declaring that the will to enforce immigration laws is synonymous with the will to defend Western Civilization. Not surprisingly, the hysterically and openly anti-white, anti-Trump Main Stream Media screamed that the president had delivered an "Alt Right manifesto". [ Trump's speech in Poland sounded like an alt-right manifesto , by Sarah Wildman, Vox, July 6, 2017]

Nothing of the sort of course: Trump merely delivered the kinds of patriotic platitudes which every other generation in history would have taken for granted. However, with many Western nations under de facto occupation by a hostile elite, such common sense comments are revolutionary. More importantly, President Trump finally seems to be going on the attack in the last week , championing the kinds of populist policies which put him in office.

The House Republicans finally seem to be taking some action on the immigration issue, recently passing both Kate's Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act . The former increases penalties on criminal aliens who attempt to reenter our country and latter cuts funding to cities which refuse to imply with federal immigration laws. Two dozen House Democrats voted for "Kate's Law" and Senate Democrats in red states, a number of whom are facing re-election in 2018, will be under pressure to support the legislation in the Senate. [ 'Kate's Law' battle shifts to the Senate, testing Dems , by Jordain Carney and Rafael Bernal, The Hill, July 3, 2017]

The increasing willingness of the President's team to seek the advice of Senator Tom Cotton, who seems to have succeeded Jeff Sessions as the greatest immigration patriot in the upper chamber, is also an encouraging sign [ As Trump's Coach, Senator Cotton Provides Policy to Match Rhetoric , by Maggie Haberman and Matt Flegenheimer, New York Times, June 8, 2017]. Most importantly, Trump himself is taking the strategic offensive, championing his success on these issues. [ 'These deaths were preventable': Trump urges Senate to pass 'Kate's Law,' Fox Insider, July 1, 2017]

Of course, the real question is what the Republican Senate Leadership will do. Everything depends on whether Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is willing to put the bills up for a vote and pressure the caucus to vote for them. [ Immigration bills face Senate hurdle , by Bill Lambrecht, San Antonio Express-News, July 5, 2017]

And here, again, it's really not even about McConnell but about Trump's own will. While Trump's fight with the MSM is amusing and important, ultimately, he needs to put pressure on the leaders of his own party. The battles with CNN and Mika Brzezinski risks distracting from the real policy accomplishments the president poised to secure in the coming weeks [ Trump's 'face-lift' tweet overshadows week to push immigration, energy policies , by Alex Pappas, Washington Examiner, June 30, 2017]. As leader of the party, he can set the priority and challenge McConnell to put his weight behind the immigration bills.

If Trump indeed has the "will" to go through with it, there are the faint outlines how to achieve the political realignment necessary for the United States of America to survive in any meaningful sense. For the first time in many years, there are real splits on the intellectual Left on immigration.

Peter Beinart recently admitted in The Atlantic, "A decade ago, liberals publicly questioned immigration in ways that would shock many progressives today," citing the legacy of Barbara Jordan among others . While Beinart is far from a born-again immigration patriot, he admitted restrictionists have valid concerns that progressives should heed:

Liberals must take seriously Americans' yearning for social cohesion. To promote both mass immigration and greater economic redistribution, they must convince more native-born white Americans that immigrants will not weaken the bonds of national identity. This means dusting off a concept many on the left currently hate: assimilation.

[ How The Democrats Lost Their Way On Immigration , July/August 2017]

Of course, Leftist Enforcer Dylan Matthews , [ Email him ] whose entire oeuvre can be summarized as a hysterical insistence on the moral necessity of white genocide , blasted Beinart on the grounds that Open Borders is what defines the West. "Beinart doesn't actually seem to care about promoting mass immigration," Matthews sneers. "And that's the one answer to this dilemma that's completely unacceptable". [ What's the point of an anti-immigrant left , Vox, July 2, 2017]

To whom? Matthews decrees:

[A]ny center-left party worth its salt has to be deeply committed to egalitarianism, not just for people born in the US but for everyone it means treating people born outside the US as equals.

But of course, this renders American citizenship essentially pointless. Indeed being an "American" (which would simply mean owning a certain kind of passport) would be an active disadvantage, as you would simply exist to be tax-farmed for the benefit of an ever growing number of hostile and hapless Third Worlders .

Few Americans would sign up for this. So, as even Rich Lowry [ Email him ] now admits, Donald Trump is "winning" on immigration simply by mentioning the issue and breaking apart the Democratic coalition.

Trump probably wouldn't have won without running so directly into the teeth of the elite consensus. According to a study published by Public Religion Research Institute and the Atlantic of white working-class voters, it was anxiety about culture change and support for deporting undocumented immigrants that correlated with voting for Trump, not loss of economic or social standing. Likewise, a Democracy Fund Voter Study Group report found Hillary Clinton cratered among populist voters who had supported Barack Obama, with the issue of immigration looming large.[Links added by VDARE.com]

[ Trump is winning the immigration debate , July 5, 2017]

Realist says: July 9, 2017 at 3:30 pm GMT

"Trump Turns the Corner and Goes On the Attack. Will He Make the GOP Follow?"

Not much chance.

jilles dykstra says: July 9, 2017 at 7:31 am GMT

• 100 Words When Bush jr was in Vilnius he was also cheered, by 30.000 carefully selected Lithuanians.
If Warschau did the same, I do not know.
However, Poles still seem afraid of Russia, and they resist the Muslim immigration Brussels tries to force on them.
The crash of the Polish aircraft with nearly the whole Polish establishment on board on its way to Katyn still is blamed on Russia, while it was Polish stupidity, and too much liquor.
So maybe this was a spontaneous crowd.

FKA Max says: July 8, 2017 at 11:11 pm GMT

• 400 Words @FKA Max ... ... ..

https://www.unz.com/jthompson/are-we-cleverer-than-the-ancients/#comment-1927899

This paper by Dutton and van der Linden (2014) might be interesting to you:

Who are the "Clever Sillies"? The intelligence, personality, and motives of clever silly originators and those who follow them

[...]
European Romantic nationalism could be seen as problematic from a Jewish perspective. Both thinkers may have been motivated by the good of their group.
[...]
neo-liberal "Chicago School"-style economics, also known as "Freshwater" economics, promoted by Milton Friedman
[...]
Western mind seducer and manipulator, "Objectivist" Ayn Rand
[...]
The Refutation of Libertarianism
[...]
But the competition for global domination is rarely honest. Thus when Western individualist societies conquered and absorbed collectivist ones, it was only a matter of time before the more intelligent tribes learned how to cheat.

https://www.unz.com/jthompson/are-we-cleverer-than-the-ancients/#comment-1928063

In my opinion, even more important than to attack the hostile, mostly liberal media is for Trump to distance himself not just form the Neocon wing of the Republican party, but also to keep a healthy distance from and even attack Ayn Rand fanboys like Paul Ryan and other lackeys of the Koch Brothers :

Fountainhead of bad ideas: Ayn Rand's fanboys take the reins of power

No, Donald Trump hasn't really read "Atlas Shrugged." Sad! But he's surrounding himself with Ayn Rand superfans

http://www.salon.com/2016/12/14/fountainhead-of-bad-ideas-ayn-rands-fanboys-take-the-reins-of-power/

Never forget the Never Trumpers , Mr. President:

Charles Koch Snubs Trump, Prefers Hillary

https://www.youtube.com/embed/OqbHkZV1yfA?feature=oembed

annamaria says: July 9, 2017 at 11:45 am GMT

The sensation: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/07/hiding-us-lies-about-libyan-invasion/

http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2016/06/hillary-clinton-and-libya-sending.html

"Libyans enjoyed the highest quality of life in all of Africa. Libyan citizens enjoyed free universal health care from prenatal to geriatric, free education from elementary school to post-graduate studies and free or subsidized housing. We were told that Gaddafi ripped off the nation's oil wealth for himself when in reality Libya's oil wealth was used to improve the quality of life for all Libyans.

We were told that Libya had to be rebuilt from scratch because Gaddafi had not allowed the development of national institutions. If we knew that infant mortality had been seriously reduced, life expectancy increased and health care and education made available to everyone, we might have asked, "How could all that be accomplished without the existence of national institutions?"

Knowledge is the antidote to propaganda and brainwashing which is exactly why it is being increasingly controlled and restricted."

KenH says: July 9, 2017 at 4:35 pm GMT

Critically, the president identified border security as one of the most important issues during his speech, declaring that the will to enforce immigration laws is synonymous with the will to defend Western Civilization.

IMO, Trump's deeds rarely match the words written for him by his speechwriter(s). There's been little progress on our Southern border wall and his administration only marginally decreased refugees to 50K for 2018. I want zero or only white refugees from S. Africa – not racial, cultural and religious aliens from the third world.

The increasing willingness of the President's team to seek the advice of Senator Tom Cotton, who seems to have succeeded Jeff Sessions as the greatest immigration patriot in the upper chamber,

Cotton has a proposed immigration bill that reduces legal immigration from 1.1 million to 700K. It also takes aim at some chain migration mechanisms which is a positive step, but overall immigration still overwhelmingly favors the third world. Some "immigration patriot".

Even if this miraculously passes this does nothing to arrest the pro-third world demographic trends that ensures white go from majority to plurality by 2040 and America is still on a path to become Brazil Norte.

The House Republicans have proven they will go along with a Trump immigration agenda, provided the president leads the way.

That remains to be seen as Trump has drifted towards the center on immigration since his inauguration. He kept DACA in place and hasn't uttered one negative word on the presumption of birthright citizenship or implored Congress to pass legislation clarifying that the 14th amendment only applied to descendants of blacks slaves and not every person who sneaks across the border and drops an anchor baby or two or eight. The same applies to visa holders and "maternity tourists".

Ben Banned says: July 9, 2017 at 5:51 pm GMT
• 200 Words Poland and the CIA – what memories, what a work over! Lech Walesa and Solidarność. No wonder they cheer Trump, but they might as well be cheering any US President and that's the point.

Americans are long worked over – they are led to believe in some fictional mass of opposition "that hates white people so they oppose Trump" and the standard false equivalence of a "main stream media" that isn't themselves to begin with! The so-called left are the dancing partners who play their part in this fraud – put up targets so the other team can shoot at them, that isn't left, and that isn't right.

There is no real opposition to Trump. He's a walking clown, pay attention if you must. But the mainstream media includes Kirkpatrick as much as it does The Atlantic and Vox and Fox and CNN. Super national corporations delivering control over your lives. When they tell you who, what and when you should foam at mouth you'll obey – 'those damn other guys!'

The unelected mob with their clowns on podiums doesn't concern themselves with borders, security and punishment the way their controlled minions are programmed to. These are there weapons – they'll publish every op-ed online if need be for you to cheer on the use of these weapons. Wear your weblinks like Solidarnosc buttons. You love Lockheed and you hate the others.

[Jul 08, 2017] Russiagate The Stink Without a Secret by Craig Murray

Neoliberal presstitutes are now completely discredited. This is just another Iraq WDM case. But people soon forgot about Iraq WDM thing. None of pressitutute went to jail for misinforming the public.
Notable quotes:
"... After six solid months of coordinated allegation from the mainstream media allied to the leadership of state security institutions, not one single scrap of solid evidence for Trump/Russia election hacking has emerged. ..."
"... As we have been repeatedly told, "17 intelligence agencies" sign up to the "Russian hacking", yet all these king's horses and all these king's men have been unable to produce any evidence whatsoever of the purported "hack". Largely because they are not in fact trying. Here is another actual fact I wish you to hang on to: The Democrats have refused the intelligence agencies access to their servers to discover what actually happened. I am going to say that again. ..."
"... The heads of the intelligence community have said that they regard the report from Crowdstrike – the Clinton aligned private cyber security firm – as adequate. Despite the fact that the Crowdstrike report plainly proves nothing whatsoever and is based entirely on an initial presumption there must have been a hack, as opposed to an internal download. ..."
"... So those "17 agencies" are not really investigating but are prepared to endorse weird Crowdstrike claims, like the idea that Russia's security services are so amateur as to leave fingerprints with the name of their founder. If the Russians fed the material to WikiLeaks, why would they also set up a vainglorious persona like Guccifer2 who leaves obvious Russia pointing clues all over the place? ..."
"... Of course we need to add from the WikiLeaks"Vault 7" leak release, information that the CIA specifically deploys technology that leaves behind fake fingerprints of a Russian computer hacking operation. ..."
"... Crowdstrike have a general anti-Russian attitude. They published a report seeking to allege that the same Russian entities which "had hacked" the DNC were involved in targeting for Russian artillery in the Ukraine. This has been utterly discredited. ..."
"... Some of the more crazed "Russiagate" allegations have been quietly dropped. The mainstream media are hoping we will all forget their breathless endorsement of the reports of the charlatan Christopher Steele, a former middle ranking MI6 man with very limited contacts that he milked to sell lurid gossip to wealthy and gullible corporations. I confess I rather admire his chutzpah. ..."
"... The old Watergate related wisdom is that it is not the crime that gets you, it is the cover-up. But there is a fundamental difference here. At the center of Watergate there was an actual burglary. At the center of Russian hacking there is a void, a hollow, and emptiness, an abyss, a yawning chasm. There is nothing there. ..."
"... Those who believe that opposition to Trump justifies whipping up anti-Russian hysteria on a massive scale, on the basis of lies, are wrong. ..."
Jul 08, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

After six solid months of coordinated allegation from the mainstream media allied to the leadership of state security institutions, not one single scrap of solid evidence for Trump/Russia election hacking has emerged.

I do not support Donald Trump. I do support truth. There is much about Trump that I dislike intensely. Neither do I support the neo-liberal political establishment in the USA. The latter's control of the mainstream media, and cunning manipulation of identity politics, seeks to portray the neo-liberal establishment as the heroes of decent values against Trump. Sadly, the idea that the neo-liberal establishment embodies decent values is completely untrue.

Truth disappeared so long ago in this witch-hunt that it is no longer even possible to define what the accusation is. Belief in "Russian hacking" of the US election has been elevated to a generic accusation of undefined wrongdoing, a vague malaise we are told is floating poisonously in the ether, but we are not allowed to analyze. What did the Russians actually do?

The original, base accusation is that it was the Russians who hacked the DNC and Podesta emails and passed them to WikiLeaks. (I can assure you that is untrue).

The authenticity of those emails is not in question. What they revealed of cheating by the Democratic establishment in biasing the primaries against Bernie Sanders, led to the forced resignation of Debbie Wasserman Shultz as chair of the Democratic National Committee. They also led to the resignation from CNN of Donna Brazile, who had passed debate questions in advance to Clinton. Those are facts. They actually happened. Let us hold on to those facts, as we surf through lies. There was other nasty Clinton Foundation and cash for access stuff in the emails, but we do not even need to go there for the purpose of this argument.

The original "Russian hacking" allegation was that it was the Russians who nefariously obtained these damning emails and passed them to WikiLeaks. The "evidence" for this was twofold. A report from private cyber security firm Crowdstrike claimed that metadata showed that the hackers had left behind clues, including the name of the founder of the Soviet security services. The second piece of evidence was that a blogger named Guccifer2 and a website called DNCLeaks appeared to have access to some of the material around the same time that WikiLeaks did, and that Guccifer2 could be Russian.

That is it. To this day, that is the sum total of actual "evidence" of Russian hacking. I won't say hang on to it as a fact, because it contains no relevant fact. But at least it is some form of definable allegation of something happening, rather than "Russian hacking" being a simple article of faith like the Holy Trinity.

But there are a number of problems that prevent this being fact at all. Nobody has ever been able to refute the evidence of Bill Binney , former Technical Director of the NSA who designed its current surveillance systems. Bill has stated that the capability of the NSA is such, that if the DNC computers had been hacked, the NSA would be able to trace the actual packets of that information as those emails traveled over the Internet, and give a precise time, to the second, for the hack. The NSA simply do not have the event – because there wasn't one. I know Bill personally and am quite certain of his integrity.

As we have been repeatedly told, "17 intelligence agencies" sign up to the "Russian hacking", yet all these king's horses and all these king's men have been unable to produce any evidence whatsoever of the purported "hack". Largely because they are not in fact trying. Here is another actual fact I wish you to hang on to: The Democrats have refused the intelligence agencies access to their servers to discover what actually happened. I am going to say that again.

The Democrats have refused the intelligence agencies access to their servers to discover what actually happened.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/SqIY8KvuoJo

The heads of the intelligence community have said that they regard the report from Crowdstrike – the Clinton aligned private cyber security firm – as adequate. Despite the fact that the Crowdstrike report plainly proves nothing whatsoever and is based entirely on an initial presumption there must have been a hack, as opposed to an internal download.

Not actually examining the obvious evidence has been a key tool in keeping the "Russian hacking" meme going. On 24 May the Guardian reported triumphantly , following the Washington Post, that

"Fox News falsely alleged federal authorities had found thousands of emails between Rich and WikiLeaks, when in fact law enforcement officials disputed that Rich's laptop had even been in possession of, or examined by, the FBI."

It evidently did not occur to the Guardian as troubling, that those pretending to be investigating the murder of Seth Rich have not looked at his laptop.

There is a very plain pattern here of agencies promoting the notion of a fake "Russian crime", while failing to take the most basic and obvious initial steps if they were really investigating its existence. I might add to that, there has been no contact with me at all by those supposedly investigating. I could tell them these were leaks not hacks. WikiLeaks The clue is in the name.

So those "17 agencies" are not really investigating but are prepared to endorse weird Crowdstrike claims, like the idea that Russia's security services are so amateur as to leave fingerprints with the name of their founder. If the Russians fed the material to WikiLeaks, why would they also set up a vainglorious persona like Guccifer2 who leaves obvious Russia pointing clues all over the place?

Of course we need to add from the WikiLeaks"Vault 7" leak release, information that the CIA specifically deploys technology that leaves behind fake fingerprints of a Russian computer hacking operation.

Crowdstrike have a general anti-Russian attitude. They published a report seeking to allege that the same Russian entities which "had hacked" the DNC were involved in targeting for Russian artillery in the Ukraine. This has been utterly discredited.

Some of the more crazed "Russiagate" allegations have been quietly dropped. The mainstream media are hoping we will all forget their breathless endorsement of the reports of the charlatan Christopher Steele, a former middle ranking MI6 man with very limited contacts that he milked to sell lurid gossip to wealthy and gullible corporations. I confess I rather admire his chutzpah.

Given there is no hacking in the Russian hacking story, the charges have moved wider into a vague miasma of McCarthyite anti-Russian hysteria. Does anyone connected to Trump know any Russians? Do they have business links with Russian finance?

Of course they do. Trump is part of the worldwide oligarch class whose financial interests are woven into a vast worldwide network that enslaves pretty well the rest of us. As are the Clintons and the owners of the mainstream media who are stoking up the anti-Russian hysteria. It is all good for their armaments industry interests, in both Washington and Moscow.

Trump's judgment is appalling. His sackings or inappropriate directions to people over this subject may damage him.

The old Watergate related wisdom is that it is not the crime that gets you, it is the cover-up. But there is a fundamental difference here. At the center of Watergate there was an actual burglary. At the center of Russian hacking there is a void, a hollow, and emptiness, an abyss, a yawning chasm. There is nothing there.

Those who believe that opposition to Trump justifies whipping up anti-Russian hysteria on a massive scale, on the basis of lies, are wrong. I remain positive that the movement Bernie Sanders started will bring a new dawn to America in the next few years. That depends on political campaigning by people on the ground and on social media. Leveraging falsehoods and cold war hysteria through mainstream media in an effort to somehow get Clinton back to power is not a viable alternative. It is a fantasy and even were it practical, I would not want it to succeed.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster, human rights activist, and former diplomat. He was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. The article is reprinted with permission from his website .

Read more by Craig Murray

[Jul 08, 2017] Trump says he had a tremendous meeting with Putin

AP clearly pursue a neocon line of DNC hacks and Russian meddling in the US elections.
get=
The European trip to Poland and Germany has centered around the exchange with Putin, Trump's first in-person meeting as president. But both sides offered differing explanations of what took place.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Trump and Putin had a "robust and lengthy" discussion about the election interference but Putin denied any involvement. His Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, said Trump had accepted Putin's assurances that Russia didn't meddle in the U.S. election - a characterization that the U.S. disputed.

"I think the president is rightly focused on how do we move forward from something that may be an intractable disagreement at this point," said Tillerson, who took part in the meeting along with Lavrov.

Democrats seized upon Tillerson's remarks, saying that it was wrong to suggest the issue of Russia's role in the election meddling was unresolved. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York said it was "disgraceful" and said it was a "grave dereliction of duty" to give "equal credence to the findings of the American Intelligence Community and the assertion by Mr. Putin."

U.S. officials have said Russia tried to hack election systems in 21 states and sway the election for Trump, representing a level of interference in the U.S. political system that security experts said represents a top-level threat.

Trump's meeting with Putin, which was originally scheduled for 35 minutes, wrapped up after more than 2 hours, and focused heavily on a just-announced ceasefire deal for southwestern Syria that was reached by Russia and the United States.

While the U.S. and Russia have held conflicting views on Syria in the past, Tillerson said Russia had an interest in seeing the Mideast nation become a stable place.

Tillerson said details about the ceasefire still need to be worked out, but Lavrov told reporters that Russian military police will monitor the ceasefire, with a monitoring center set up in Jordan - another party to the deal.

Both the Russians and the Americans took pains to describe the meeting as "constructive," cordial and wide-ranging, covering key topics including cyber security and North Korea.

"The two leaders connected very quickly," Tillerson said. "There was a very clear positive chemistry."

[Jul 07, 2017] Was Tillerson to the right of Trump in Germany meeting

The problem if multiple personalities syndrome that Trump administration demonstrates that is mentioned below is a real one. It looks like Tilerson has its own version of foreign policy distinct from Trump. Haley also has her own definitely distinct and more neocons than Tillerson, and Tillerson did not fired her for insubordination. Yet.
Notable quotes:
"... Trump wasn't afraid to do this meeting. In this sense, even if he's a fool (which I'm not completely convinced of yet), he has some semblance here of being his own man. Also, for domestic consumption, he can say he made a deal if he wants. He walked away with some narrative. ..."
"... It seems to me that there's no reason why Putin and Trump can't keep talking as need arises if they choose to. No one is going to be friends here. But a narrative of two countries aggressively pursuing their own national interests is what Russia is now promoting. This is ground for dialog and actually some stability over time. ..."
"... Ray McGovern with RT thinks the agreement in southwest Syria is a little test from Putin to see what the strength of Trump's power is - i.e. will USAF act independently again or will it obey the commander-in-chief? Putin, Trump meeting gives way to developments in Syria . A lot of the Russian takeaway will be what kind of practical trust can be forged at this level, how in control is Trump? One wonders how much of this meta message got through to Trump himself. ..."
"... I think its clear that the 'Assad must go!' Coalition will not stop wanting Assad gone. But Russia and Iran will not allow it, arguing that Assad is needed to counter the Jihadis. This is a fundamental disagreement. ..."
"... So what can they agree on? The next logical demand of the 'Assad must go!' Coalition is some sort of division, isn't it? And whatever a division of Syria is called: "federated", "autonomous region", "safe zone" etc., it effectively means the creation of a "salafist principality"/Sunnistan - a goal which was revealed in a DIA report back in 2012. ..."
"... I think there is a full-court press to get Putin to deal. Everything has been set to make the establishment of 'Sunnistan' the least worst option (as Kissinger might say). I wrote of this here: Putin-Trump at the G-20: Birth of Sunnistan? ..."
"... How could RUSSIA - with her history - consider any backdown over Syria affecting all her allies anything but a short term Munich agreement (1938) for the space age. War between the Atlantacists and Eurasia would still be inevitable . ..."
"... more on the alleged chemical weapon attack of early april from al masdar.. OPCW ignores possibility Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack was staged: diplomat and.... US refuses Russia's offer to inspect Shayrat Airbase for chemical weapons ..."
"... here's the transcript to go with your video of the Tillerson presser held today following the Putin/Trump gab - https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/07/07/press-briefing-presidents-meetings-g20-july-7-2017 ..."
"... The Trump Administration continues to take a middle-ground approach that allows the "red scare" to continue. Some will say this is smart politics or smart negotiating or both. I think it shows a lack of will - an ambiguity that is harmful to a peaceful resolution. I think it stems from the Wahabbi-Zionist grip on US ME policy. W-Z want it ALL, so they (or their representatives) will always be ambiguous about any discussion that would leave them with something less than ALL. ..."
"... The Agreement on SW Syria was probably mostly done before the meeting. Meeting participants reviewed details of what the prepared agreement but mostly probed each other to determine how strongly held each sides views were about Syrian outcomes. ..."
"... Tillerson's blabbering about common objectives was meaningless. The Russians have long said that they believe that the Syrian people should decide the fate of Assad at some point in the future. The longstanding US position has been that Assad's removal should be sooner rather than later because free and fair elections can't be held with Assad as leader. ..."
"... Sounds quite reasonable to me. Putin/ Lavrov did the same with Obama/ Kerry, but they failed the test. They did negotiate in earnest imo, but... ..."
"... Moscow has committed far too much in Syria to 'relent'. The military, diplomatic and economic pressure on the US will increase if necessary to reach an solution. It has no choice but to agree. ..."
"... The peace deal or de-escalation with the US in southern Syria most likely has to do with US moving their operation from Tanf to Shaddadi. I had read sometime ago that Jordan wasn't happy about US using Jordan and Tanf base to attack SAA - not that Jordan would have much say in the matter. ..."
Jul 07, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Grieved | Jul 7, 2017 5:07:38 PM | 24

It's 2 cents day, so here's mine.

Two national leaders brought their heads of foreign ministry to an international meeting. Score 1 for diplomacy. They didn't bring their generals. And we've all seen how powerfully Russian diplomacy works. The message to the world and all stakeholders is that it keeps on working - work with it if you want to get somewhere.

Trump wasn't afraid to do this meeting. In this sense, even if he's a fool (which I'm not completely convinced of yet), he has some semblance here of being his own man. Also, for domestic consumption, he can say he made a deal if he wants. He walked away with some narrative.

It seems to me that there's no reason why Putin and Trump can't keep talking as need arises if they choose to. No one is going to be friends here. But a narrative of two countries aggressively pursuing their own national interests is what Russia is now promoting. This is ground for dialog and actually some stability over time.

I don't think anyone was looking for much out of this, and it was the wrong venue for such. But the meta-messages and to see how the leaders would interact were the key things, and personally I'm satisfied.

Grieved | Jul 7, 2017 5:50:53 PM | 25
More info coming...Tillerson says it was a good meeting that went on so long because they had so much to talk about. Very engaged: Listen: Tillerson describes meeting between Trump and Putin . The Duran's Adam Garrie picked up on the last soundbite in this clip where Tillerson says maybe Russia has the right approach to Syria and maybe we have the wrong approach. Very egalitarian view, not quite as bombshell as it sounds I think, more a way of signifying agreement on the (purported) end goals.

Ray McGovern with RT thinks the agreement in southwest Syria is a little test from Putin to see what the strength of Trump's power is - i.e. will USAF act independently again or will it obey the commander-in-chief? Putin, Trump meeting gives way to developments in Syria . A lot of the Russian takeaway will be what kind of practical trust can be forged at this level, how in control is Trump? One wonders how much of this meta message got through to Trump himself.

Jackrabbit | Jul 7, 2017 5:54:02 PM | 26
Everyone seems happy that Trump and Putin shook hands and agreed on something. But wasn't agreeing on SW Syria easy? Seems that both would want to avoid the messiness of stepped-up Israeli action.

I think its clear that the 'Assad must go!' Coalition will not stop wanting Assad gone. But Russia and Iran will not allow it, arguing that Assad is needed to counter the Jihadis. This is a fundamental disagreement.

So what can they agree on? The next logical demand of the 'Assad must go!' Coalition is some sort of division, isn't it? And whatever a division of Syria is called: "federated", "autonomous region", "safe zone" etc., it effectively means the creation of a "salafist principality"/Sunnistan - a goal which was revealed in a DIA report back in 2012.

IMO there is a high chance of cw ff leading to threat of US attack in the coming weeks. As a last-ditch effort to avoid a larger war, Putin might then relent and a allow a division that makes "Sunnistan" a reality.

I think there is a full-court press to get Putin to deal. Everything has been set to make the establishment of 'Sunnistan' the least worst option (as Kissinger might say). I wrote of this here: Putin-Trump at the G-20: Birth of Sunnistan?

Any thoughts?

ashley albanese | Jul 7, 2017 6:27:09 PM | 31

Jackrabbit 26

How could RUSSIA - with her history - consider any backdown over Syria affecting all her allies anything but a short term Munich agreement (1938) for the space age. War between the Atlantacists and Eurasia would still be inevitable .

james | Jul 7, 2017 6:46:47 PM | 32
more on the alleged chemical weapon attack of early april from al masdar.. OPCW ignores possibility Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack was staged: diplomat and.... US refuses Russia's offer to inspect Shayrat Airbase for chemical weapons
karlof1 | Jul 7, 2017 6:47:33 PM | 33
Well, it appears that the Putin/Abe meet was productive despite being delayed by the meet with Trump going long, http://tass.com/politics/955268. TASS has the most detailed report thanks to Lavrov's presser, http://tass.com/world/955288 "The situation in Syria, in Ukraine, on the Korean Peninsula, problems of cyber security, and a range of other issues were discussed in detail," he said, adding that the two leaders "agreed on a number of concrete things." Just what those "concrete things" are we'll need to wait and see.
h | Jul 7, 2017 7:28:39 PM | 37
Greived @25 here's the transcript to go with your video of the Tillerson presser held today following the Putin/Trump gab - https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/07/07/press-briefing-presidents-meetings-g20-july-7-2017
Jackrabbit | Jul 7, 2017 7:37:40 PM | 39
Tillerson's New Conference

Tillerson's answers to question about how much Trump pressed Putin on 'Russian interference' vaguely implied that the Russians accepted responsibility as he suggested that the Russians were willing to discuss guarantees against such interference happening in the future.

The Trump Administration continues to take a middle-ground approach that allows the "red scare" to continue. Some will say this is smart politics or smart negotiating or both. I think it shows a lack of will - an ambiguity that is harmful to a peaceful resolution. I think it stems from the Wahabbi-Zionist grip on US ME policy. W-Z want it ALL, so they (or their representatives) will always be ambiguous about any discussion that would leave them with something less than ALL.

The Agreement on SW Syria was probably mostly done before the meeting. Meeting participants reviewed details of what the prepared agreement but mostly probed each other to determine how strongly held each sides views were about Syrian outcomes.

The length of time that this took shows how close to the razor's edge US-Russia relations are. Care must be taken to avoid a miscalculation.

Tillerson's blabbering about common objectives was meaningless. The Russians have long said that they believe that the Syrian people should decide the fate of Assad at some point in the future. The longstanding US position has been that Assad's removal should be sooner rather than later because free and fair elections can't be held with Assad as leader.

It seems to me that the failure to agree "next steps" coupled with a failure to agree on a future meeting is significant. And the lack of detail from the Russian side (as per karlof1 @33) also suggests that the meeting didn't go well.

smuks | Jul 7, 2017 7:48:10 PM | 41
@Grieved 25

"Ray McGovern with RT thinks the agreement in southwest Syria is a little test from Putin to see what the strength of Trump's power is ... how in control is Trump? One wonders how much of this meta message got through to Trump himself."

Sounds quite reasonable to me. Putin/ Lavrov did the same with Obama/ Kerry, but they failed the test. They did negotiate in earnest imo, but...

@Jackrabbit

Moscow has committed far too much in Syria to 'relent'. The military, diplomatic and economic pressure on the US will increase if necessary to reach an solution. It has no choice but to agree.

james | Jul 7, 2017 8:53:20 PM | 44
i think the little test concept is exactly right... usa is notorious for failing those kinds of tests..
Peter AU | Jul 7, 2017 8:57:27 PM | 46
The peace deal or de-escalation with the US in southern Syria most likely has to do with US moving their operation from Tanf to Shaddadi. I had read sometime ago that Jordan wasn't happy about US using Jordan and Tanf base to attack SAA - not that Jordan would have much say in the matter.
Anoncommentator | Jul 7, 2017 9:00:27 PM | 47
James Corbett on the CNN gif debacle: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YJ7KIgV2s5w
Anoncommentator | Jul 7, 2017 9:13:31 PM | 49
A reminder, and if you've never seen it, how MSM (in this case C-span) broadcasts fake news as war propaganda- footage from 1991 Gulf War. This was eye opener for me as I recall being totally sucked in at time by both the CNN and C-Span stories.

But by the time of the Syrian "boy in ambulance" Omran story last year I could correctly smell a rat:

[Jul 07, 2017] Putin, Trump to meet in Germany amid a sea of disputes

Notable quotes:
"... ... The only issue where observers think a deal could be made is President Barack Obama's decision in December to shut down Russian Embassy compounds in Maryland and on Long Island, New York. The Kremlin emphasized this week that it has shown remarkable restraint by failing to respond tit-for-tat and warned that its patience is running out. ..."
www.zerohedge.com
"If Putin comes to the conclusion that even if Russia and the U.S. reach agreement, Trump would be unable to implement it for domestic policy reasons, he would lose interest in seeking an agreement," said Dmitri Trenin, the director of the Carnegie Moscow Center.

... ... ...

Russia and the U.S. have struggled to even set a specific time for Friday's meeting and the White House says there's "no specific agenda" for it. When the two presidents finally sit down for a talk, sharp differences remain on a wide range of issues, from Syria and the Ukrainian crisis to nuclear arms control.

While Trump has said the U.S. and Russia could pool efforts to fight the Islamic State group in Syria, Moscow's firm support for Syrian President Bashar Assad makes any agreement unlikely.

Moscow responded angrily when Trump ordered a missile strike on a Syrian base in April after a chemical attack blamed on Assad's forces, and was also vexed by the U.S. downing of a Syrian warplane in June. After last month's incident, the Russian military suspended a hotline with the U.S. to prevent mid-air incidents and warned that it would track U.S.-led coalition aircraft as potential targets over Syria.

And when the White House warned last week that Assad was preparing for another chemical attack and would "pay a heavy price" if he launches it, Russia responded by offering the Syrian ruler a tour of its air base.

Even though the Russian and U.S. militaries in Syria have worked out a way to avoid collisions, the situation could grow more unstable if Putin and Trump fail to get along, Trenin warned.

Bitter differences over Ukraine haven't been resolved. Some U.S. lawmakers have been pushing the White House to approve the delivery of weapons to the Ukrainian military in response to Moscow's support for separatists in eastern Ukraine - a move that would cross a red line for the Kremlin.

... The only issue where observers think a deal could be made is President Barack Obama's decision in December to shut down Russian Embassy compounds in Maryland and on Long Island, New York. The Kremlin emphasized this week that it has shown remarkable restraint by failing to respond tit-for-tat and warned that its patience is running out.

[Jul 07, 2017] Tillerson Putin Asked Trump For Proof Of Russias Interference In The 2016 Election

Trump discredited himself with the Tomahawk launches after deliberately false interpretation of Khan_sheikhoun_attack as chemical attack using zarin.
Notable quotes:
"... Putin wants to know who killed DNC email leaker Seth Rich? ..."
"... God, I hope they discussed taking down and prosecuting the Pedo elites. ..."
"... "CNN is reporting that Trump gave Alaska back to Russia during this meeting" ..."
"... when the US deep state has been neutered ??? ..."
Jul 07, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Update: As part of the 2+ hour discussion between presidents Trump and Putin, AP reports that the Russian president asked for "proof and evidence" of Moscow's alleged interference in the 2016 election which Russia denies . The request was made after Trump confronted Putin about Moscow's election meddling during their first face-to-face meeting in Germany on Friday, according to Rex Tillerson who was present in the meeting. The secretary of state told reporters afterward that Trump opened the conversation by "raising the concerns of the American people regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election."

Putin once again denied Russian involvement, Tillerson said, but Trump "pressed" him on the matter "on more than one occasion."

'President Putin denied such involvement as I think he has in the past,' he continued.

The Russians, speaking after the meeting, claimed that Trump accepted the denial - but Tillerson did not. Instead he said the issue may simply be an 'intractable disagreement.' Tillerson also said the Russians pushed Trump for proof and evidence of meddling, something which the president himself had doubted in public as recently as Thursday.

"The president at this point pressed him and felt like at this point, let's talk about how do we go forward,' Tillerson said.

Trump and Putin agreed to explore a "framework" around which they can work to better understand these types of cyberthreats, the U.S. diplomat said.

"The two leaders agreed that this is a substantial hindrance on the ability of us to move Russian-U.S. relationships forward and agreed to exchange further work ?regarding commitments of noninterference in the affairs of the United States and our democratic process as well as those of other countries," Tillerson said. "So more work to be done in that regard."

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, who was in the meeting, said afterward that Trump accepted Putin's assurances that Russia didn't interfere in the election. But Tillerson, who has publicly called out Russia for election interference in the past, said he was 'not dismissing the issue in any way' and did not echo that language.

The secretary of state acknowledged that Putin's insistence that Russia did not interfere would leave the two countries at an impasse, at least for now. "It's not clear to me that we will ever come to some agreed-upon resolution of that question between the two nations," he said.

"So the question is, what do we do now?"

We are confident that the US press, which will not let this topic drop, will come up with some suggestions.

* * *

Earlier

Following their first ever, 2+ hour meeting which was originally supposed to last only 30-40 minutes, the question on everyone's mind was what did the two discuss.

So, in addition to the previously discussed ceasefire agreement in Southwest Syria unexpectedly announced by the two nations, speaking at the beginning of his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Vladimir Putin said that during his first meeting with US President Donald Trump, the two discussed Syria, Ukraine, counterterrorism, and drumroll, the "fight against cyber crime. "

"I had a very lengthy conversation with the President of the United States, there were a lot of issues such as Ukraine, Syria, other problems, some bilateral issues", according to Interfax news agency . "We again returned to the issues of fighting terrorism and cybersecurity," Putin added.

Elaborating after the meeting, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Trump repeatedly pressed Putin on the matter over the course of their meeting (see below for details).

Putin denied Russia's involvement, and according to a parallel comment from Russia's Sergey Lavrov, " Trump accepted Putin's assurance of no election hacking ."

Or as Interfax put it:

However, it appears Lavrov may have taken some artistic liberty, because according to NBC's chief White House correspondent, one administration official has said Lavrov's comment is " not accurate "

Pushback already from Trump administration: one official tells @NBCNews Lavrov's "not accurate" w/this comment --> https://t.co/URIsFPQYWT

- Hallie Jackson (@HallieJackson) July 7, 2017

Additionally, Tillerson also discussed the ceasefire deal in Syria :

"A cease-fire has been entered into," U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters. This is the "first indication of the U.S. and Russia being able to work together in Syria," he said.

Until now, Putin and Trump had only spoken on the phone. They were not alone: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson were also present at the talks.

* * *

Earlier, during the press photo session, Trump told the media that "President Putin and I have been discussing various things, and I think it's going very well."

"We've had some very, very good talks, we are going to have a talk now and obviously that will continue," Trump added, saying there are hopes of "a lot of very positive things happening."

"It's an honor to be with you, thank you," Trump concluded, offering his hand to Putin.

"I'm delighted to be able to meet you personally Mr. President," Putin countered. "And I hope, as you have said, our meeting will yield positive result."

"Spasibo [thank you]," the US leader added in Russian. lester1 Jul 7, 2017 1:16 PM

Putin wants to know who killed DNC email leaker Seth Rich? Putin wants to know who killed DNC email leaker Seth Rich?
y3maxx lester1 Jul 7, 2017 1:22 PM
"Until now, Putin and Trump had only spoken on the phone."

CNN will jump all over this one, and Hitlary will call for another investigation.

yogibear y3maxx Jul 7, 2017 1:29 PM
Putin and Trump did what Obama could never do.

Putin and Trump did it in 2 hours!

Bathouse Barry deserved little respect. Bowing to every leader.

sixsigma cygnus... yogibear Jul 7, 2017 1:38 PM
I think a 30 minute meeting that turned into a 2 hour meeting with Putin is much better than the war with Russia that Hitlery had planned for us. Getting along with Russia is a good thing.
El Vaquero nope-1004 Jul 7, 2017 2:13 PM
That was just Kabuki theater, really. If Russia had hacked the election, the NSA and the CIA would have gone back through all of their stored data and found the evidence of it and crucified Trump and probably taken us to war.

PrayingMantis Blue Balls Jul 7, 2017 2:37 PM

... the planned 30-40-min meeting stretched to 2+ hours perhaps so they could talk about how to "carve" Syria into various "states" (since the US already has a modern airport in the Northern reaches of the beleaguered and oppressed sovereign country without the consent and permission of Syria's Al Assad >>> http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960415000266 ) ...

... and how not to hit any of their "flying objects" (jets and drones) trying to keep their respective MIC and banksters happy funding all these war toys ...

... and the oppressors, at the behest of their (((Red Shield))) masters and its BIS central banks' ownership of all worldwide central banks (with the exception of Iran, Syria, North Korea and Cuba), might just be pulling the necessary strings on how to divide the residual loot they'd get when Syria falls ...

... the ((( Red Shield snake ))) is poised to strike again ...

... meanwhile, attention Linux users ... "WikiLeaks Exposes CIA Targeting Linux Users With OutlawCountry Network Traffic Re-Routing Tool" ... >>> https://hothardware.com/news/wikileaks-exposes-cia-targeting-linux-users-with-outlawcountry-network-traffic-re-routing-tool ...

Ghost of PartysOver The_Juggernaut Jul 7, 2017 2:13 PM

I have said it before and will say it again, if the NeoCons and NeoLibs fail to find any Russian State Sanctioned evidence of election tampering or collusion then I would expect a trade deal with Russia within a year of two. Always better to have Boardroom Wars instead of Hot Wars. For the down voters may I remind you that Japan attacked the US, US was at war with Germany, do I need to mention Vietnam. All foes at one time and now trading partners.
CheapBastard Ghost of PartysOver Jul 7, 2017 2:25 PM
Clinton chairman John "Pizza Man" Podesta tells Trump: 'Get a grip'

Mr Podesta hit back in seven tweets, branding Mr Trump a "whack job".

"Everyone here is talking about why John Podesta refused to give the DNC server to the FBI and the CIA. Disgraceful!" Mr Trump tweeted on Friday morning from Hamburg.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40533959

Screw PedoMan. He should be in jail already.

laser Ghost of PartysOver Jul 7, 2017 2:30 PM

And Japan's attack was a surprise and unprovoked. Right?
Gardentoolnumber5 laser Jul 7, 2017 4:28 PM
US canceling the 1902 trade agreement. Metal and other material embargo. Oil and gas embargo. Then the open sea policy after non-declared economic war started in '38. Kind of like bombing other countries and having the welcome mat out for them. Sanctions/embargoes are acts of war.

chiswickcat sixsigma cygnusatratus Jul 7, 2017 2:26 PM

God, I hope they discussed taking down and prosecuting the Pedo elites.
Give Me Some Truth sixsigma cygnusatratus Jul 7, 2017 2:49 PM
The sanctions against Russia (that Trump must have supported, certainly 97 senators support this) are really a form of warfare.

If Trump DID "accept Putin's Assurances" that Putin's government did NOT meddle in a U.S. election, why then the necessity of these sanctions?

HRClinton sixsigma cygnusatratus Jul 7, 2017 2:50 PM
No lasting peace or deep cooperation between the US and Russia will be permitted, until the Khazariabs approve it, bless it and put their logo (with a micro tax) on it.

El Vaquero y3maxx Jul 7, 2017 1:57 PM

I think that CNN is getting its pee-pee slapped pretty hard right now. It has incurred the wrath of the internet hate machine and its ratings are sliding into the shitter on the eve of a corporate buyout of its parent company. I'd say that there are pretty good odds that CNN will either not exist in the near future, or it will exist in name only in the same way that Communist China is no longer actually Communist.

CheapBastard Lumberjack Jul 7, 2017 2:29 PM

Putin just handed him the photos of when Bill Clinton "gave a lecture" there for $2 million innturn for Hillary's handing the Russians 20% of American uranium.

Photos probably show a dozen mixed midgets peeing on Bill as he has sex with some Russian farm animals.

Sounds like Bill.

chiswickcat lester1 Jul 7, 2017 1:44 PM
"It's an honour to be with you, thank you" - Trump to Putin. Now watch Pedo-desta and Mad Maxine claim this is 'all the proof they need' that Trump is colluding with Putin.
Barney Fife lester1 Jul 7, 2017 6:24 PM
His name was Seth Rich.
Ralph Spoilsport Jul 7, 2017 1:18 PM
CNN is reporting that Trump gave Alaska back to Russia during this meeting.
Herd Redirectio... Ralph Spoilsport Jul 7, 2017 1:25 PM
Should give them California from Fort Ross south, as well...
Ralph Spoilsport Herd Redirection Committee Jul 7, 2017 1:31 PM
Interesting. Spetznaz troops could clear out La Raza in no time lol.
Herd Redirectio... Ralph Spoilsport Jul 7, 2017 1:38 PM
I am sure they would have a field day dealing with Hollywood's Gay Mafia as well.
CheapBastard Herd Redirection Committee Jul 7, 2017 2:31 PM
Barney Franks and Cooper Anderson would squeal for joy!
chiswickcat Ralph Spoilsport Jul 7, 2017 1:57 PM
CNN also reported that Trump gave Putin the launch codes.
JustPrintMoreDuh Ralph Spoilsport Jul 7, 2017 2:17 PM
Well he will likely have much more flexibility after his re-election
MaxThrust Ralph Spoilsport Jul 7, 2017 5:49 PM
"CNN is reporting that Trump gave Alaska back to Russia during this meeting"

I think this is fake news. /s/s

If Alaska becomes Russian territory again then Kim's missles will only be able to threaten Russia. How the hell will CNN beat the war drums for the MIC ?

souljaboy Jul 7, 2017 1:18 PM
I'm sure this is the kind of stuff that just kills Hillary Clinton.
chiswickcat souljaboy Jul 7, 2017 2:24 PM
...and the military industrial complex. Who do you think whispered in First Lady's ear to get meeting ended?
TILLERSON SAYS NEITHER LEADER WANTED TO STOP MEETING, U.S. FIRST LADY CAME IN AT ONE POINT TO TRY TO GET THEM TO CONCLUDE: RTRS
Anasteus TheJewsDidIT666 Jul 7, 2017 1:44 PM
Yes, indeed they have. After organizing and taking over Russia in 1917 during the Bolshevik revolution, when poor Russians had to undergo tremendous suffering caused by the most horrid scum imaginable, they now know the truth will soon come out. Everything one needs to know.
kochevnik walküre Jul 7, 2017 2:51 PM
Main activity of Ukraine is offshore banking for Nigerians
walküre kochevnik Jul 7, 2017 5:32 PM
Nigerian princes scam Americans and Brits into sending money which then gets deposited into Ukrainian banks?

Good luck with that. How safe is any of them?

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

Without the transit tolls for gas into EU, the Ukraine is a bankrupt farming nation.

EddieLomax TheJewsDidIT666 Jul 7, 2017 2:12 PM
I'd say it was more likely the people profitting from vast sums of money channelled into the US military-industrial complex. So many jobs also rely on it that it has become an impossible to kill program.

For that money the US gets a navy ready at any time to defeat imperial Japan again, and an army poised to push the Soviet hordes back in western Europe. It's absurd, like a Coyote cartoon where he is still standing but the ground beneath him has disappeared. Trump is smart, he can take on the mainstream media, the democrats and the republicans, but he cannot take on the military industrial complex at the same time and he knows it, whether he can ever or wants to is the real question.

If Trump left office with the next president no longer beholden to the military industrial complex, then he would be the greatest US president since George Washington.

ludwigvmises Jul 7, 2017 1:20 PM
So the 30 minute meeting turned into 2 hours? That's good, it means they got on well. Putin is known to cut meetings short if he finds it's a waste of time.
CheapBastard Kayman Jul 7, 2017 2:34 PM
<<So the 30 minute meeting turned into 2 hours? That's good, it means they got on well. >>

Putin and Trump enjoy talking to strong leaders, not limp wristed pussies. Even Condy Rice said Soweeto is considered a 'weak man' by foreign leaders. I guess she's being polite and at least called him a "man" instead of a tranny.

TabakLover Jul 7, 2017 1:21 PM
When will the "McCain" mindset toward Russia end? That being, if we win they lose and vice versa. Why the US and Russia could not/should not team up to stand against China and both win? We have so much more with the Russians as a people than we do with the Chinese, as do they.

Herd Redirectio... order66 Jul 7, 2017 1:32 PM

One of those forgotten episodes of history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia_and_the_American_Revolution BTW, order66, Russia has been ruled by 'dictators' for about 700 years. I'd say Putin has another 10 to 12 years left in his rule of Russia.
seataka order66 Jul 7, 2017 1:32 PM
when the US deep state has been neutered ???
CheapBastard jm Jul 7, 2017 2:35 PM
When will Putin return my TV remote they stole during the election?

[Jul 06, 2017] DNC Fraud Lawsuit is the Biggest Story in Politics that No One is Talking About

Notable quotes:
"... Chairperson, the designated Vice Chair as provided for in Article Two, Section 12(b) of the Bylaws, or the next highest ranking officer of the National Committee present at the meeting shall preside. Section 4. The National Chairperson shall serve full time and shall receive such compensation asmay be determined by agreement between the Chairperson and the Democratic National Committee. In the conduct and management of the affairs and procedures of the Democratic National Committee, particularly as they apply to the preparation and conduct of the Presidential nomination process, the Chairperson shall exercise impartiality and evenhandedness as between the Presidential candidates and campaigns. The Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring that the national officers and staff of the Democratic National Committee maintain impartiality and evenhandedness during the Democratic Party Presidential nominating process. ..."
Jul 06, 2017 | www.msn.com
In June of 2016 Jared and Elizabeth Beck filed a lawsuit in Florida against the DNC, (Wilding v.s. DNC Services Corporation) known mostly online as the #DNCFRAUDLAWSUIT. The case has slowly wound its way through the courts but has picked up steam in 2017 as court transcripts and allegations of intimidation have become public.

The plaintiffs have filed a class action suit on behalf of three classes of people, arguing that the DNC must return all donations given in the 2016 cycle to Bernie Sanders Donors, DNC Donors and Democrats in general. Why? They claim the DNC defrauded donors in the 2016 primary by failing to remain neutral during the contest. Article 5 section 4 of the DNC bylaws state s:

CHARTER

Chairperson, the designated Vice Chair as provided for in Article Two, Section 12(b) of the Bylaws, or the next highest ranking officer of the National Committee present at the meeting shall preside. Section 4. The National Chairperson shall serve full time and shall receive such compensation asmay be determined by agreement between the Chairperson and the Democratic National Committee. In the conduct and management of the affairs and procedures of the Democratic National Committee, particularly as they apply to the preparation and conduct of the Presidential nomination process, the Chairperson shall exercise impartiality and evenhandedness as between the Presidential candidates and campaigns. The Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring that the national officers and staff of the Democratic National Committee maintain impartiality and evenhandedness during the Democratic Party Presidential nominating process.

Beck and Beck cite the hacked emails from Wikileaks as evidence of Democratic Party leaders tampering with the primary process.

[Jul 04, 2017] Is -neoliberal] America Still a Nation

Neoliberalism like Bolshevism sacrifices nations on the altar of globalism.
Notable quotes:
"... You have divided into two parts all men throughout your empire everywhere giving citizenship to all those who are more accomplished, noble, and powerful, even as they retain their native-born identities, while the rest you have made subjects and the governed. ..."
"... Ultimately, the American identity has not been lost within the past 60 years, it just has transformed, similar to when the Thirteen Colonies began as primarily British, but subsumed other European groups who were historic rivals, and eventually non-Europeans. The Welsh, the Cornish, Bavarians, the Catalans–they were distinct sub-Europeans groups, but over generations they intermingled and dispersed in our great land. Americans are a mixture of European and non-European ethnostates who, like any and all groups, self-identify. ..."
"... This identification is the direct result of indoctrination from our Founding Fathers. ..."
"... The idea that "diversity is strength", in the context of a society, is the kind of barefaced falsehood that only a man made foolish or dishonest by political dogma could believe or assert. ..."
"... Americans eat like pigs. US has become the premier imperialist power in the world, even aiding Al-Qaida in Syria and aiding neo-nazis in Ukriane. We are told we must support Israel or Sodomia because it has the biggest homo 'pride' parade. ..."
"... America is a culture in decay, it is a huge piece of land with lots of resources and ruled by outside forces from within. ..."
"... Pat seems to imply that if the original ancestry had been maintained, America would not have the problems it now faces. He singlehandedly lays out the blame for the decline of American Republic/democracy at the feet of non-white foreigners. Let us follow this line of reasoning and see where it leads us. ..."
Jul 04, 2017 | www.unz.com

In the first line of the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, Thomas Jefferson speaks of "one people." The Constitution, agreed upon by the Founding Fathers in Philadelphia in 1789, begins, "We the people "

And who were these "people"?

In Federalist No. 2, John Jay writes of them as "one united people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs "

If such are the elements of nationhood and peoplehood, can we still speak of Americans as one nation and one people?

We no longer have the same ancestors. They are of every color and from every country. We do not speak one language, but rather English, Spanish and a host of others. We long ago ceased to profess the same religion. We are Evangelical Christians, mainstream Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists, agnostics and atheists.

Federalist No. 2 celebrated our unity. Today's elites proclaim that our diversity is our strength. But is this true or a tenet of trendy ideology?

After the attempted massacre of Republican Congressmen at that ball field in Alexandria, Fareed Zakaria wrote: "The political polarization that is ripping this country apart" is about "identity gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation (and) social class." He might have added - religion, morality, culture and history.

Zakaria seems to be tracing the disintegration of our society to that very diversity that its elites proclaim to be its greatest attribute: "If the core issues are about identity, culture and religion then compromise seems immoral. American politics is becoming more like Middle Eastern politics, where there is no middle ground between being Sunni or Shiite."

Among the issues on which we Americans are at war with one another - abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, white cops, black crime, Confederate monuments, LGBT rights, affirmative action.

Was the discovery of America and conquest of this continent from 1492 to the 20th century among the most glorious chapters in the history of man? Or was it a half-millennium marked by mankind's most scarlet of sins: the genocide of native peoples, the enslavement of Africans, the annihilation of indigenous cultures, the spoliation of a virgin land?

Is America really "God's Country"? Or was Barack Obama's pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, justified when, after 9/11, he denounced calls of "God Bless America!" with the curse "God Damn America!"?

With its silence, the congregation seemed to assent.

In 1954, the Pledge of Allegiance many of us recited daily at the end of noon recess in the schoolyard was amended to read, "one nation, under God, indivisible."

Are we still one nation under God? At the Democratic Convention in Charlotte to renominate Barack Obama, a motion to put "God" back into the platform was hooted and booed by half the assembly.

With this July 4 long weekend, many writers have bewailed the animus Americans exhibit toward one another and urged new efforts to reunite us. Yet, recall again those first words of Jefferson in 1776:

"When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them "

Are we approaching such a point? Could the Constitution, as currently interpreted, win the approval of two-thirds of our citizens and three-fourth of our states, if it were not already the supreme law of the land? How would a national referendum on the Constitution turn out, when many Americans are already seeking a new constitutional convention?

All of which invites the question: Are we still a nation? And what is a nation? French writer Ernest Renan gave us the answer in the 19th century:

"A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Two things constitute this soul, this spiritual principle. One is the past, the other is the present. One is the possession in common of a rich legacy of memories; the other is present consent, the desire to live together, the desire to continue to invest in the heritage that we have jointly received.

"Of all cults, that of the ancestors is the most legitimate: our ancestors have made us what we are. A heroic past with great men and glory is the social capital upon which the national idea rests. These are the essential conditions of being a people: having common glories in the past and a will to continue them in the present; having made great things together and wishing to make them again."

Does this sound at all like us today?

Watching our

The Alarmist > , July 4, 2017 at 11:35 am GMT

We're as much a nation as any in the Western world, and that is a sorry statement on the shape of the world today.

Bill Jones > , July 4, 2017 at 1:13 pm GMT

"God bless America"

Why?

What country is causing more slaughter around the world?

The Anti-Gnostic > , Website July 4, 2017 at 1:48 pm GMT

@jacques sheete Isn't the Church doubling down on modernity, social democracy, and multiculturalism?

Corvinus > , July 4, 2017 at 2:23 pm GMT

Part 1

"In the first line of the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, Thomas Jefferson speaks of "one people." The Constitution, agreed upon by the Founding Fathers in Philadelphia in 1789, begins, "We the people " And who were these "people"? In Federalist No. 2, John Jay writes of them as "one united people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs " ** If such are the elements of nationhood and peoplehood, can we still speak of Americans as one nation and one people? **

** YES

It would appear that Mr. Buchanan is making an argument our Founding Fathers established a British enthnostate, but IF (and I say IF) he is taking this position, similar to Vox Day, then he is totally wrong. Preserving rights "for one's posterity" was legal repudiation of feudalism, which stated liberties were a grant from a monarch and the State, and reverted upon his/her death. That is, fundamental freedoms were NOT passed to future generations. The Declaration and the Federalist Papers in particular destroys that feudalist notion. More importantly, Article I, Section 8, Clause 4, as a component of our Constitution and reflects original intent, granted Congress and NOT the States the authority to establish uniform rules of naturalization. By definition, naturalization extends citizenship, and the liberties related to it, to an "outsider".

So, the drafters of our Constitution and the adopting state s fully comprehended the new Congress would have to power to receive immigrants and set forth the standards under which they are naturalized. Citizenship therefore is NOT exclusively confined to the British. This means this argument that the franchise of citizenship is meant to be confined solely to the British children of rebel British subjects is not reflected in the clear meaning of the document. Since immigration was allowed to the United States, at first to Europeans but later extended to non-Europeans, the "posterity" includes more than the actual descendants of residents of our great nation at that time.

But, but, but "[the Constitution] did allow for the possibility of change. But change, by definition, is not the previous state. And the original purpose of the Constitution cannot change, obviously." Well, a contract, which essentially is what is our Constitution, that has an amendment process is NOT meant to remain constant. It has no original purpose but to establish exactly what the Preamble states. Posterity does not refer to the progeny of the founders but of the People as a whole. While this population was primarily of British descent, the Dutch, Germans, Irish, Scots, French, Africans, and Native Americans ALL fought to remove the shackles of tyranny from Great Britain.

Posterity is synonymous with "legacy"–what we leave behind. Indeed, few, if any, had imagined when the Constitution was created that anyone BUT a white European had the intellectual capacity to embrace Republican principles of government YET the criterion of commitment to those ideas is NOT itself racial or ethnic specific. Of course, that does NOT mean foreigners have the right to enter our shores, and it is legitimate, although in my opinion unreasonable, to doubt that non-white groups are equal to the task to embrace such principles. Of course, in the past foreigners have ben excluded on racial and religious grounds.

Corvinus > , July 4, 2017 at 2:25 pm GMT

Part 2

Interestingly enough, Vox Day makes these arguments

"As you probably know, my argument is that the Posterity for whom the Constitution is intended to defend the Blessings of Liberty consists solely of the genetic descendants of the People of the several and United States. Posterity does not include immigrants, descendants of immigrants, invaders, conquerers, tourists, students, Americans born in Portugal, or anyone else who happens to subsequently reside in the same geographic location, or share the same civic ideals, as the original We the People.

"Many, if not most, descendants of immigrants are not the Posterity of the then-People of the United States. Neither are people living in Mexico, Germany, Israel, or even Great Britain. The U.S. Constitution was not written for them, nor was it ever intended to secure the Blessings of Liberty for them. The idea that the Constitution was intended to do anything at all for immigrants, resident aliens, or foreigners is as absurd as the idea that its emanations and penumbras provide them with an unalienable right to an abortion. The fact that courts have declared otherwise is totally irrelevant.

"The proposition nation is a lie. There is no such thing, there never was any such thing, and there never will be any such thing."

So, everyone on this fine blog, if you are unable to trace directly your ancestors to British settlers, YOU MUST GO BACK. Like, immediately.

Happy 4th Of July!

Tom Kratman, a science fiction writer, took Vox Day to task on this matter.

http://www.everyjoe.com/2017/04/17/politics/civic-nationalism-ourselves-and-our-posterity/#1

"All of which invites the question: Are we still a nation? And what is a nation?"

Aelius Aristides, a Greek who received Roman citizenship in 123 A.D. stated

You have divided into two parts all men throughout your empire everywhere giving citizenship to all those who are more accomplished, noble, and powerful, even as they retain their native-born identities, while the rest you have made subjects and the governed. Neither the sea nor the great expanse of intervening land keeps one from being a citizen, and there is no distinction between Europe and Asia No one is a foreigner who deserves to hold an office or is worthy of trust. Rather, there is here a common "world democracy" under the rule of one man, the best ruler and director You have divided humanity into Romans and non-Romans and because you have divided people in this manner, in every city throughout the empire there are many who share citizenship with you, no less than the share citizenship with their fellow natives. And some of these Roman citizens have not even seen this city [Rome]! There is no need for troops to garrison the strategic high points of these cities, because the most important and powerful people in each region guard their native lands for you yet there is not a residue of resentment among those excluded [from Roman citizenship and a share in the governance of the provinces]. Because your government is both universal and like that of a single city-state, its governors rightly rule not as foreigners but, as it were, their own people Additionally, all of the masses of subjects under this government have protection against the more powerful of their native countrymen, by virtue of your anger and vengeance, which would fall upon the more powerful without delay should they dare to break the law. Thus, the present government serves rich and poor alike, and your constitution has developed a single, harmonious, all-embracing union. What in former days seemed impossible has in your time come to pass: You control a vast empire with a rule that is firm but not unkind "

Ultimately, the American identity has not been lost within the past 60 years, it just has transformed, similar to when the Thirteen Colonies began as primarily British, but subsumed other European groups who were historic rivals, and eventually non-Europeans. The Welsh, the Cornish, Bavarians, the Catalans–they were distinct sub-Europeans groups, but over generations they intermingled and dispersed in our great land. Americans are a mixture of European and non-European ethnostates who, like any and all groups, self-identify. They know who they are and where they come from, and create groups who share their self-identities. Furthermore, the default for American is American and not a particular race, regardless of one's willingness to admit it this decided fact. When you call yourself a black American or a Chinese American, you are still an American, as in residing in the nation referred as the United States. And while Yankees and Southerners and Midwesterners are clearly different, they are not separate "tribes" or "nations", just locations with groups of people who self-identify geographically, socially, and culturally.

This identification is the direct result of indoctrination from our Founding Fathers.

Avery > , July 4, 2017 at 2:28 pm GMT

@Johnny Smoggins

Yeah, and someone named Khizr Khan, a Pakistani Islamist-supremacist who, as a lawyer, has written articles defending Sharia law, was _invited_ by the Clinton campaign to speak at the Democratic convention, where the Islamist proceeded to lecture Trump on the U.S. Constitution, and wagging his finger declared .."Mr. Trump, this is not your America .." (or words that effect), to a wild applause of brainwashed 1,000s in the audience.

Imagine that.

Corvinus > , July 4, 2017 at 2:42 pm GMT

@The Anti-Gnostic "Isn't the Church doubling down on modernity, social democracy, and multiculturalism?"

So are you and your family, with you being a lawyer and your wife a school teacher. Now are you ready to get rid of all of your technological gadgets and live strictly in accord with the beliefs AND lifestyle of Orthodoxy?

KenH > , July 4, 2017 at 3:30 pm GMT

I think Pat already answered this question a few years ago when he observed that half the country hates the other half and one half of the nation reveres our history and traditions while the other half reviles them. Nothing has changed since then and if fact we're starting to see things slowly escalate to threats, fisticuffs and even a few shootings.

... ... ...

Randal > , July 4, 2017 at 3:46 pm GMT

Was the discovery of America and conquest of this continent from 1492 to the 20th century among the most glorious chapters in the history of man? Or was it a half-millennium marked by mankind's most scarlet of sins: the genocide of native peoples, the enslavement of Africans, the annihilation of indigenous cultures, the spoliation of a virgin land?

Both, obviously.

Randal > , July 4, 2017 at 3:56 pm GMT

Today's elites proclaim that our diversity is our strength. But is this true or a tenet of trendy ideology?

The idea that "diversity is strength", in the context of a society, is the kind of barefaced falsehood that only a man made foolish or dishonest by political dogma could believe or assert.

Common sense says that only societies that are at least reasonably homogeneous on most major issues – race, culture, religion – can be held together other than by brute force, and that the more homogeneous a society is the stronger it will be, in the sense of withstanding hard times an external shocks. Any diversity is a fault line, along which a society can crack under pressure, even if that pressure is merely the kind of opportunist identity lobby charlatans who have done so much harm in modern American and European societies.

But common sense has little chance in the face of ideology.

VIDALUS > , July 4, 2017 at 5:01 pm GMT

Pat like most Amurikans in the Fourth Reich have forgotten what ideals animated the American and French revolutions: liberty from tyrannical big guvmints, liberty to strike out on one's own to build a business and a homestead, and a declaration of universal human rights (life liberty pursuit of happiness privacy) all of which the current and past empires have trampled upon in the name of greed for money and power the glue that defines America is precisely the willingness to risk life and property for these ideals if we studied our two greatest wars 1770-87 and 1859-1965 (civil rights and states rights) we might educate ourselves to the light and dark in our culture

Priss Factor > , Website July 4, 2017 at 6:04 pm GMT

he(Wright) denounced calls of "God Bless America!" with the curse "God Damn America!"?

Happy Fourth. And God bless the USA.

ROTFL. Is Buchanan still in defensive mode about America?

Why would God bless the current America? Just think about it.

This is a degenerate nation whose new faith is homomania. People have tattoos and piercings for identity. Even in elite colleges. Mainstream culture has been pornified. Just turn on the TV. Some primetime shows are downright lurid.

We have white families falling apart too and opoid addiction going thru the roof. Gambling is of the main industries and GOP's main sugar daddy is cretin Sheldon Adelson. Fathers raise their boys to be pansies and their girls to be skanky sluts.

Catholic church is home of pederasty and homo agenda. Women's idea of protest is wearing 'pussy hats' and spewing vulgar filth from their lips.

Media are 100x nuttier than Joe McCarthy in their hysteria and paranoia. These are the very Libs who'd once made McCarthy the most sinister person in US history.
Blacks routinely beat up & wussify white boys and colonize white wombs, but white 'Muricans worship black thugs in sports and rappers.
Blacks do most violence but we are supposed to believe BLM.

Americans eat like pigs. US has become the premier imperialist power in the world, even aiding Al-Qaida in Syria and aiding neo-nazis in Ukriane. We are told we must support Israel or Sodomia because it has the biggest homo 'pride' parade.
And 'pride' is now synonymous with homo fecal penetration.

Why would God bless this kind of degenerate nation?

Bill Jones > , July 4, 2017 at 9:03 pm GMT

@KenH And on the third hand you have the whack-job "Christian" Zionist Israel first traitors.

Randal > , July 4, 2017 at 10:24 pm GMT

@Bill Jones

Despite the gibberish of the lunatic left most people recognize this and quite rightly reject the attempt to destroy their society in pursuit of a crazed political fantasy.

Not enough of them vociferously enough to make the ruling elites pay attention, clearly.

Despite this rejection the fantasy continues to be foisted upon the people.

As I noted, ideology trumps common sense, for those who make policy and for those who wish to be seen as good guys by their supposed betters and peers.

truthtellerAryan > , July 4, 2017 at 10:43 pm GMT

America is a culture in decay, it is a huge piece of land with lots of resources and ruled by outside forces from within. It is pimped to the max!!! Our cuckold "experts and politicians " imaginations run wild whenever the pimps (from outside) and their representatives (within) give the orders to further push this land into an increasingly decadent society .. look how happy we are when we kill defenseless people, clearing their (pimps) garbage, work hard to collect wealth for them, it is soooo sad just thinking about it. Carrying the pimp's flag is considered one of the most patriotic thing to do, ask Tom Cotton, Bolton, Rumsfeld .

Issac > , July 4, 2017 at 11:01 pm GMT

@Bill Jones Israel?

Talha > , July 4, 2017 at 11:18 pm GMT

@Corvinus Well thought out and stated.

Peace.

MEexpert > , July 5, 2017 at 12:04 am GMT

We no longer have the same ancestors. They are of every color and from every country. We do not speak one language, but rather English, Spanish and a host of others. We long ago ceased to profess the same religion. We are Evangelical Christians, mainstream Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists, agnostics and atheists.

Pat seems to imply that if the original ancestry had been maintained, America would not have the problems it now faces. He singlehandedly lays out the blame for the decline of American Republic/democracy at the feet of non-white foreigners. Let us follow this line of reasoning and see where it leads us.

First, unless the original white immigrants to this country had wiped out every non-white resident (the American Indians) of this country, there would still be non-white people living in America.

However, leaving that little detail aside, let us examine who caused the decline of America. The laws of the land are enacted by the congress of the United States. The US congress has the sole power of imposing taxation, allowing immigration, and the conduct of wars. Up until recently the congress of the United States consisted of mostly white citizens. Out of the 45 presidents that the country has seen, all but one have been white Americans. The one black president was more white than black. Just check with black citizens and they will tell you that they were better off before him.

The British taxes, without representation, that the colonist rebelled against were much lower than what they are now. These taxes have been imposed by the white congressmen and signed by white presidents.

The immigration laws and quotas were passed by the white congress and signed by white presidents.

The wars, both declared and undeclared, have been waged by the white presidents.
While I sympathize with Mr Buchanan lamenting upon the good old days, no one but his own white folks have destroyed those good old days. America took pride in been called the nation of immigrants but only when the going was good. As long as, the immigrant scientist, engineers, and architects made this country great they were welcome but as soon as things got rough America blamed the immigrants.

Mr. Buchanan, don't blame all immigrants. Most of them are still productive and faithful to their adopted country. If you want to blame someone, follow the money, since money is the root of all evil. I don't have to tell you who controls the money. You should know very well who. I have followed your career for a long time. I even voted for you in 1992 presidential primary. You were very outspoken then but your wings have been clipped. There is no zing left in your writing. You have toned down criticism of the very group of people that have destroyed this country.

Corvinus > , July 5, 2017 at 12:12 am GMT

@Bill Jones Bill Jones

"Societies succeed because they've built up, usually over centuries, a widely accepted and practiced set of behaviors; social capital built up of predictable actions and attitudes and beliefs. The core of the culture."

Which America has. "Immigrants; who do not have that ingrained culture are likely to be destructive of social capital and destructive to the host society." According to Vox Day, only the English immigrants were able to understand the Rights Of Englishmen. Non-English immigrants perverted its meaning. Are you non-English? If yes, you have to go back.

Jacques Sheete "We should be mourning our lost liberties on the Fourth, not wishing one another happiness over the fraud."

Thank you for your virtue signaling. "Can a cesspool be a nation? If so, who would want it?" Except America is not a cesspool, nor resembles anything like it.

The Jester

"In a historic turnabout, we have now given the feminists and sexual deviants hiding behind Cultural Marxist ideology a legally protected status and (under the Marxist aphorism that personal choice defines one's culture, gender, and sex) are inviting massive immigration from the hell-holes populating the Third and Fourth Worlds."

The scope of Cultural Marxism is Fake News.

Randal

"Common sense says that only societies that are at least reasonably homogeneous on most major issues – race, culture, religion – can be held together other than by brute force "

Except America does not fit that description.

"and that the more homogeneous a society is the stronger it will be, in the sense of withstanding hard times an external shocks."

America's people are bound by a common set of values.

[Jul 04, 2017] Foisting Blame for Cyber-Hacking on Russia by Gareth Porter

Notable quotes:
"... Recent hearings by the Senate and House Intelligence Committees reflected the rising tide of Russian-election-hacking hysteria and contributed further to it. Both Democrats and Republicans on the two committees appeared to share the alarmist assumptions about Russian hacking, and the officials who testified did nothing to discourage the politicians. ..."
"... The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a record of spreading false stories about alleged Russian hacking into US infrastructure , such as the tale of a Russian intrusion into the Burlington, Vermont electrical utility in December 2016 that DHS later admitted was untrue. There was another bogus DHS story about Russia hacking into a Springfield, Illinois water pump in November 2011. ..."
"... So, there's a pattern here. Plus, investigators, assessing the notion that Russia hacked into state electoral databases, rejected that suspicion as false months ago. Last September, Assistant Secretary of DHS for Cybersecurity Andy Ozment and state officials explained that the intrusions were not carried out by Russian intelligence but by criminal hackers seeking personal information to sell on the Internet. ..."
"... Illinois is the one state where hackers succeeded in breaking into a voter registration database last summer. The crucial fact about the Illinois hacking, however, was that the hackers extracted personal information on roughly 90,000 registered voters, and that none of the information was expunged or altered. ..."
"... "Any time you more carefully monitor a system you're going to see more bad guys poking and prodding at it," he observed, " because they're always poking and prodding." [Emphasis added] ..."
"... Reagan further revealed that she had learned from the FBI that hackers had gotten a user name and password for their electoral database, and that it was being sold on the "dark web" – an encrypted network used by cyber criminals to buy and sell their wares. In fact, she said, the FBI told her that the probe of Arizona's database was the work of a "known hacker" who had been closely monitored "frequently." ..."
"... The sequence of events indicates that the main person behind the narrative of Russian hacking state election databases from the beginning was former FBI Director James Comey. In testimony to the House Judiciary Committee on Sept. 28, Comey suggested that the Russian government was behind efforts to penetrate voter databases, but never said so directly. ..."
"... The media then suddenly found unnamed sources ready to accuse Russia of hacking election data even while admitting that they lacked evidence. The day after Comey's testimony ABC headlined , "Russia Hacking Targeted Nearly Half of States' Voter Registration Systems, Successfully Infiltrating 4." The story itself revealed, however, that it was merely a suspicion held by "knowledgeable" sources. ..."
"... But that claim of a "likely" link between the hackers and Russia was not only speculative but highly suspect. The authors of the DHS-ODNI report claimed the link was "supported by technical indicators from the US intelligence community, DHS, FBI, the private sector and other entities." They cited a list of hundreds of I.P. addresses and other such "indicators" used by hackers they called "Grizzly Steppe" who were supposedly linked to Russian intelligence. ..."
"... But the highly classified NSA report made no reference to any evidence supporting such an attribution. The absence of any hint of signals intelligence supporting its conclusion makes it clear that the NSA report was based on nothing more than the same kind of inconclusive "indicators" that had been used to establish the original narrative of Russians hacking electoral databases. ..."
"... Russian intelligence certainly has an interest in acquiring intelligence related to the likely outcome of American elections, but it would make no sense for Russia's spies to acquire personal voting information about 90,000 registered voters in Illinois. ..."
Jul 04, 2017 | original.antiwar.com
Cyber-criminal efforts to hack into U.S. government databases are epidemic, but this ugly reality is now being exploited to foist blame on Russia and fuel the New Cold War hysteria

Recent hearings by the Senate and House Intelligence Committees reflected the rising tide of Russian-election-hacking hysteria and contributed further to it. Both Democrats and Republicans on the two committees appeared to share the alarmist assumptions about Russian hacking, and the officials who testified did nothing to discourage the politicians.

On June 21, Samuel Liles, acting director of the Intelligence and Analysis Office's Cyber Division at the Department of Homeland Security, and Jeanette Manfra, acting deputy under secretary for cyber-security and communications, provided the main story line for the day in testimony before the Senate committee - that efforts to hack into election databases had been found in 21 states.

Former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and FBI counterintelligence chief Bill Priestap also endorsed the narrative of Russian government responsibility for the intrusions on voter registration databases.

But none of those who testified offered any evidence to support this suspicion nor were they pushed to do so. And beneath the seemingly unanimous embrace of that narrative lies a very different story.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a record of spreading false stories about alleged Russian hacking into US infrastructure , such as the tale of a Russian intrusion into the Burlington, Vermont electrical utility in December 2016 that DHS later admitted was untrue. There was another bogus DHS story about Russia hacking into a Springfield, Illinois water pump in November 2011.

So, there's a pattern here. Plus, investigators, assessing the notion that Russia hacked into state electoral databases, rejected that suspicion as false months ago. Last September, Assistant Secretary of DHS for Cybersecurity Andy Ozment and state officials explained that the intrusions were not carried out by Russian intelligence but by criminal hackers seeking personal information to sell on the Internet.

Both Ozment and state officials responsible for the state databases revealed that those databases have been the object of attempted intrusions for years. The FBI provided information to at least one state official indicating that the culprits in the hacking of the state's voter registration database were cyber-criminals.

Illinois is the one state where hackers succeeded in breaking into a voter registration database last summer. The crucial fact about the Illinois hacking, however, was that the hackers extracted personal information on roughly 90,000 registered voters, and that none of the information was expunged or altered.

The Actions of Cybercriminals

That was an obvious clue to the motive behind the hack. Assistant DHS Secretary Ozment testified before the House Subcommittee on Information Technology on Sept. 28 ( at 01:02.30 of the video ) that the apparent interest of the hackers in copying the data suggested that the hacking was "possibly for the purpose of selling personal information."

Ozment 's testimony provides the only credible motive for the large number of states found to have experienced what the intelligence community has called "scanning and probing" of computers to gain access to their electoral databases: the personal information involved – even e-mail addresses – is commercially valuable to the cybercriminal underworld.

That same testimony also explains why so many more states reported evidence of attempts to hack their electoral databases last summer and fall. After hackers had gone after the Illinois and Arizona databases, Ozment said, DHS had provided assistance to many states in detecting attempts to hack their voter registration and other databases.

"Any time you more carefully monitor a system you're going to see more bad guys poking and prodding at it," he observed, " because they're always poking and prodding." [Emphasis added]

State election officials have confirmed Ozment's observation. Ken Menzel, the general counsel for the Illinois Secretary of State, told this writer, "What's new about what happened last year is not that someone tried to get into our system but that they finally succeeded in getting in." Menzel said hackers "have been trying constantly to get into it since 2006."

And it's not just state voter registration databases that cybercriminals are after, according to Menzel. "Every governmental data base – driver's licenses, health care, you name it – has people trying to get into it," he said.

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan told Mother Jones that her I.T. specialists had detected 193,000 distinct attempts to get into the state's website in September 2016 alone and 11,000 appeared to be trying to "do harm."

Reagan further revealed that she had learned from the FBI that hackers had gotten a user name and password for their electoral database, and that it was being sold on the "dark web" – an encrypted network used by cyber criminals to buy and sell their wares. In fact, she said, the FBI told her that the probe of Arizona's database was the work of a "known hacker" who had been closely monitored "frequently."

James Comey's Role

The sequence of events indicates that the main person behind the narrative of Russian hacking state election databases from the beginning was former FBI Director James Comey. In testimony to the House Judiciary Committee on Sept. 28, Comey suggested that the Russian government was behind efforts to penetrate voter databases, but never said so directly.

Comey told the committee that FBI Counterintelligence was working to "understand just what mischief Russia is up to with regard to our elections." Then he referred to "a variety of scanning activities" and "attempted intrusions" into election-related computers "beyond what we knew about in July and August," encouraging the inference that it had been done by Russian agents.

The media then suddenly found unnamed sources ready to accuse Russia of hacking election data even while admitting that they lacked evidence. The day after Comey's testimony ABC headlined , "Russia Hacking Targeted Nearly Half of States' Voter Registration Systems, Successfully Infiltrating 4." The story itself revealed, however, that it was merely a suspicion held by "knowledgeable" sources.

Similarly, NBC News headline announced, "Russians Hacked Two US Voter Databases, Officials Say." But those who actually read the story closely learned that in fact none of the unnamed sources it cited were actually attributing the hacking to the Russians.

It didn't take long for Democrats to turn the Comey teaser - and these anonymously sourced stories with misleading headlines about Russian database hacking - into an established fact. A few days later, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff declared that there was "no doubt" Russia was behind the hacks on state electoral databases.

On Oct. 7, DHS and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a joint statement that they were "not in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian government." But only a few weeks later, DHS participated with FBI in issuing a "Joint Analysis Report" on "Russian malicious cyber activity" that did not refer directly to scanning and spearphishing aimed of state electoral databases but attributed all hacks related to the election to "actors likely associated with RIS [Russian Intelligence Services]."

Suspect Claims

But that claim of a "likely" link between the hackers and Russia was not only speculative but highly suspect. The authors of the DHS-ODNI report claimed the link was "supported by technical indicators from the US intelligence community, DHS, FBI, the private sector and other entities." They cited a list of hundreds of I.P. addresses and other such "indicators" used by hackers they called "Grizzly Steppe" who were supposedly linked to Russian intelligence.

But as I reported last January, the staff of Dragos Security, whose CEO Rob Lee, had been the architect of a US government system for defense against cyber attack, pointed out that the vast majority of those indicators would certainly have produced "false positives."

Then, on Jan. 6 came the "intelligence community assessment" – produced by selected analysts from CIA, FBI and National Security Agency and devoted almost entirely to the hacking of e-mail of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta. But it included a statement that "Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple state or local election boards." Still, no evidence was evinced on this alleged link between the hackers and Russian intelligence.

Over the following months, the narrative of hacked voter registration databases receded into the background as the drumbeat of media accounts about contacts between figures associated with the Trump campaign and Russians built to a crescendo, albeit without any actual evidence of collusion regarding the e-mail disclosures.

But a June 5 story brought the voter-data story back into the headlines. The story, published by The Intercept, accepted at face value an NSA report dated May 5, 2017 , that asserted Russia's military intelligence agency, the GRU, had carried out a spear-phishing attack on a US company providing election-related software and had sent e-mails with a malware-carrying word document to 122 addresses believed to be local government organizations.

But the highly classified NSA report made no reference to any evidence supporting such an attribution. The absence of any hint of signals intelligence supporting its conclusion makes it clear that the NSA report was based on nothing more than the same kind of inconclusive "indicators" that had been used to establish the original narrative of Russians hacking electoral databases.

A Checkered History

So, the history of the US government's claim that Russian intelligence hacked into election databases reveals it to be a clear case of politically motivated analysis by the DHS and the Intelligence Community. Not only was the claim based on nothing more than inherently inconclusive technical indicators but no credible motive for Russian intelligence wanting personal information on registered voters was ever suggested.

Russian intelligence certainly has an interest in acquiring intelligence related to the likely outcome of American elections, but it would make no sense for Russia's spies to acquire personal voting information about 90,000 registered voters in Illinois.

When FBI Counterintelligence chief Priestap was asked at the June 21 hearing how Moscow might use such personal data, his tortured effort at an explanation clearly indicated that he was totally unprepared to answer the question.

"They took the data to understand what it consisted of," said Priestap, "so they can affect better understanding and plan accordingly in regards to possibly impacting future election by knowing what is there and studying it."

In contrast to that befuddled non-explanation, there is highly credible evidence that the FBI was well aware that the actual hackers in the cases of both Illinois and Arizona were motivated by the hope of personal gain.

Gareth Porter, an investigative historian and journalist specializing in US national security policy, received the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for journalism for 2011 for articles on the U.S. war in Afghanistan. His new book is Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare . He can be contacted at porter.gareth50@gmail.com . Reprinted from Consortium News with the author's permission.

Read more by Gareth Porter Why Afghanistan? Fighting a War for the War System Itself – June 13th, 2017 The Kissinger Backchannel to Moscow – June 4th, 2017 Will Trump Agree to the Pentagon's Permanent War in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria? – May 14th, 2017 US 'Deep State' Sold Out Counter-Terrorism To Keep Itself in Business – April 23rd, 2017 New Revelations Belie Trump Claims on Syria Chemical Attack – April 14th, 2017

View all posts by Gareth Porter

[Jul 01, 2017] Gaius Publius An Investigation in Search of a Crime by Gaius Publius

Notable quotes:
"... http://player.theplatform.com/p/7wvmTC/MSNBCEmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_hayes_drussiafakenews_170627 ..."
"... Start at 2:25. Chris Hayes to Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell: "How long are you allowed to go before you retroactively file as a foreign agent?" Note Swalwell's carefully phrased non-answers, as well as Hayes' seeming failure to know that not registering is a very common practice. (If video doesn't play in your browser, go here and listen, again starting at 2:25.) ..."
"... The big story is that these chicken-little stories all seam to serve as cover for the bought-and-paid for chicken little politicians ..while those elected politicians who give a damp about their office and those they represent are sidelined. ..."
"... And why do you thing tyrants, despots, emirs and dictators generously donated so much to the phoney Foundation? Because they wanted to further its good works, just like the Saudis are very worried about AIDS prevention? No, they wanted to buy influence. And Clinton gave them what they wanted. And why did these same tyrants, despots, emits and dictators stop donating once Clinton lost? Because she could no longer deliver. ..."
"... Corruption in high places is the norm. It is childish, all this virtue signaling. I would respect the sore losers more if they were honest they want to put Obama in as President for Life the US is Haiti now. Or the Kissinger faction of the MIC could install one of our TV generals as our version of Gen. Pinochet. ..."
"... It was the filthy Clintonites who gave us Trump to begin with. ..."
"... No doubt plenty of insulating layers if money-laundering took place via real estate, though its worth plumbing those depths. But given Trump appointees' soft-ball approach to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, I'd guess that's an arena well worth the time of journalists, insulating layers or not. I recall Sheldon Adelson's disdain for the FCPA likely increasing his fervor to dump Democrats. ..."
"... as I keep reminding people, you can turn on the spigot of MacCarthyism, and you may think that you can turn off that spigot, but you can't. In the case of Joe MacCarthy himself, it didn't truly end till about the time of his premature death from alcoholism. ..."
"... One aspect of the now-thoroughly-rotten system in the U S of A is the constant contesting of election results. As Lambert Strether keeps writing, the electronic voting machines are a black hole, and both parties have been engaged in debasing the vote and diminishing the size of the electorate. The gravamen in both parties is that the voters don't know what they are doing and the ballots aren't being counted properly. Maybe we can do something about that ..."
"... This is an implicit warning about impeachment. I interpret this as a recommendation to vigorously oppose Trump's actions over the next three and a half years, and to effectively campaign against him in 2020. Trump really is a terrible President, but Mike Pence would be terrible, too. And so would Hillary Clinton, but I hope we won't have to worry about her any more. ..."
"... In case you're wondering why I think that Trump is a terrible President, here's a short summary: ..."
"... None of the left-leaning writers who have been pooh-poohing the Russia investigation* have demonstrated a working knowledge of counterintelligence. I've also noticed that they correlate a lack of publicly-known evidence to an actual absence of evidence, which is the purview of the investigation. Investigators will be holding any evidence they discover close to their vests for obvious reasons, but even more so in this case because some of the evidence will have origins where sources and methods will statutorily need to be concealed. ..."
"... If they had anything concrete on Trump we've have heard about it by now. The spooks have been leaking for months – they aren't going to suddenly clam up if they've discovered something that's actually a crime. ..."
"... Until someone presents actual evidence, this investigation is nothing more than Democrat payback for Benghazi, which itself was a BS investigation in search of a crime that went on for years. Unfortunately for sHillary, a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while and they did manage to uncover actual criminality in her case (and brushed it right under the rug). ..."
"... Russia disseminates propaganda that (it hopes) will sway the American election in a direction more favorable to their interests! ..."
"... This is what gets me. We're supposed to me a great power, and we're going nuts on this stuff. It's like an elephant panicking at the sight of a mouse. The political class has lost its grip entirely. ..."
"... How sad, then, that the Pied Piper email showed that the Clinton campaign wanted Trump for their opponent. Or Was she ..."
"... OK, so you are saying that we should trust the word of anonymous leakers from the intelligence community, that is, anonymous leaks from a pack of proven perjurers, torturers, and entrapment artists, all on the basis of supposed evidence that we are not allowed to see. ..."
"... For that matter, how do we know the leakers even exist? When some media outlet wants to publish some made-up story, they can just attribute it to an anonymous source. ..."
"... As Constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz pointed out, the DOJ reports to the President. Trump was completely within his authority to give instructions to Comey and fire him. Dershowitz also points out Trump can pardon anyone, including himself. But Trump doesn't read and oddly no one seems to have clued him in on what Dershowitz has said. ..."
Jun 30, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
...Gaius quotes Matt Taibbi's line of thought that the relentless Trump investigations will eventually turn up something, most likely money laundering. However, it's not clear that that can be pinned on Trump. For real estate transactions, it is the bank, not the property owner, that is responsible for anti-money-laundering checks. So unless Trump was accepting cash or other payment outside the banking system, it's going to be hard to make that stick. The one area where he could be vulnerable is his casinos. However, if I read this history of his casinos correctly, Trump could have been pretty much out of that business since 1995 via putting the casinos in a public entity (although he could have continued to collect fees as a manager). Wikipedia hedges its bets and says Trump has been out of the picture since at least 2011 . He only gets licensing fees and has nada to do with management and operations. So even if Trump got dirty money, and in particular dirty Russian money, it's hard to see how that begins to translate into influence over his Presidency, particularly since any such shady activity took place before Trump was even semi-seriously considering a Presidential bid.

By Gaius Publius , a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius , Tumblr and Facebook . GP article archive here . Originally published at DownWithTyranny

http://player.theplatform.com/p/7wvmTC/MSNBCEmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_hayes_drussiafakenews_170627

Start at 2:25. Chris Hayes to Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell: "How long are you allowed to go before you retroactively file as a foreign agent?" Note Swalwell's carefully phrased non-answers, as well as Hayes' seeming failure to know that not registering is a very common practice. (If video doesn't play in your browser, go here and listen, again starting at 2:25.)

"And most pitiful of all that I heard was the voice of the daughter of Priam, of Cassandra" - Homer, The Odyssey , Book 11 PRIAM: What noise, what shriek is this?
TROILUS: 'Tis our mad sister; I do know her voice.
It is Cassandra.
-Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida , Act II, scene 2 "I'll be your Cassandra this week." -Yours truly

So much of this story is hidden from view, and so much of the past has to be erased to conform to what's presently painted as true.

Example of the latter: Did you remember that Robert Mueller and Bush's FBI were behind the highly suspicious (and likely covered-up) 2001 anthrax investigation - Robert Mueller, today's man of absolute integrity? Did you remember that James Comey was the man behind the destruction of the mind of Jose Padilla , just so that Bush could have a terrorist he could point to having caught - James Comey, today's man of doing always what's right? If you forgot all that in the rush to canonize them, don't count on the media to remind you - they have another purpose .

Yes, I'll be your Cassandra this week, the one destined not to be believed . To what do I refer? Read on.

How Many Foreign Agents Register as Foreign Agents? A Number Far Smaller Than "All"

Today let's look at one of the original sins pointed to by those trying to take down Trump, leaving entirely aside whether Trump needs taking down (which he does). That sin - Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort's failing to register as "foreign agents" (of Turkey and Ukraine, respectively, not Russia) until very after the fact.

See the Chris Hayes video at the top for Hayes' question to Rep. Eric Swalwell about that. Hayes to Swalwell: "How long are you allowed to go before you retroactively file as a foreign agent?" What Swalwell should have answered: "Almost forever by modern American practice."

Jonathan Marshall, writing at investigative journalist Robert Parry's Consortium News, has this to say about the current crop of unregistered foreign agents (my emphasis throughout):

The Open Secret of Foreign Lobbying

The alleged hacking of the Hillary Clinton campaign's emails and the numerous contacts of Donald Trump's circle with Russian officials, oligarchs and mobsters have triggered any number of investigations into Moscow's alleged efforts to influence the 2016 election and the new administration .

In contrast, as journalist Robert Parry recently noted , American politicians and the media have been notably silent about other examples of foreign interference in U.S. national politics. In part that's because supporters of more successful foreign pressure groups have enough clout to downplay or deny their very existence . In part it's also because America's political system is so riddled with big money that jaded insiders rarely question the status quo of influence peddling by other nations .

The subject of his discussion is the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Under the Act, failure to properly register carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines. Marshall notes that while the influence of foreign agents was of great national concern during World War I and World War II, very little is done today to require or enforce FARA registration:

Since the end of World War II, however, enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act has been notably lax. Its effectiveness has been stymied by political resistance from lobby supporters as well as by the law's many loopholes - including Justice Department's admission that FARA "does not authorize the government to inspect records of those not registered under the Act."

A 2016 audit by the inspector general of the Department of Justice determined that half of FARA registrations and 62 percent of initial registrations were filed late , and 15 percent of registrants simply stopped filing for periods of six months or more. It also determined that the Department of Justice brought only seven criminal cases under FARA from 1966 to 2015, and filed no civil injunctions since 1991 .

The result - almost no one registers who doesn't want to.

Here's Russia-savvy Matt Taibbi , who is looking at the whole Russia-Trump investigation and wonders what's being investigated. Note his comments about FARA at the end of this quote:

When James Comey was fired I didn't know what to think, because so much of this story is still hidden from view .

Certainly firing an FBI director who has announced the existence of an investigation targeting your campaign is going to be improper in almost every case. And in his post-firing rants about tapes and loyalty, President Trump validated every criticism of him as an impetuous, unstable, unfit executive who additionally is ignorant of the law and lunges for authoritarian solutions in a crisis.

But it's our job in the media to be bothered by little details, and the strange timeline of the Trump-Russia investigation qualifies as a conspicuous loose end.

[So] What exactly is the FBI investigating? Why was it kept secret from other intelligence chiefs, if that's what happened? That matters, if we're trying to gauge what happened last week.

Is it a FARA (Foreign Agent Registration Act) case involving former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn or a lower-level knucklehead like Carter Page?

Since FARA is violated more or less daily in Washington and largely ignored by authorities unless it involves someone without political connections (an awful lot of important people in Washington who appear to be making fortunes lobbying for foreign countries are merely engaged in "litigation support," if you ask them), it would be somewhat anticlimactic to find out that this was the alleged crime underlying our current white-hot constitutional crisis.

Is it something more serious than a FARA case, like money-laundering for instance, involving someone higher up in the Trump campaign? That would indeed be disturbing, and it would surely be improper – possibly even impeachable, depending upon what exactly happened behind the scenes – for Trump to get in the way of such a case playing itself out.

But even a case like that would be very different from espionage and treason . Gutting a money-laundering case involving a campaign staffer would be more like garden-variety corruption than the cloak-and-dagger nightmares currently consuming the popular imagination.

Sticking narrowly with FARA for the moment, if this were just a FARA case, it would be more than "somewhat anticlimactic to find out that this was the alleged crime underlying our current white-hot constitutional crisis." It would be, not to put to fine a point on it, highly indicative that something else is going on, that other hands are involved, just as the highly suspicious circumstances around the takedown of Eliot Spitzer indicate the presence of other hands and other actors.

My best guess, for what it's worth, is that Trump-Russia will devolve into a money-laundering case, and if it does, Trump will likely survive it, since so many others in the big money world do the same thing. But let's stick with unregistered foreign agents a bit longer.

John McCain, Randy Scheuneman and the Nation of Georgia

Do you remember the 2008 story about McCain advisor Randy Scheunemann, who claimed he no longer represented the nation of Georgia while advising the McCain campaign, even though his small (two-person) firm still retained their business?

And all this while McCain himself was trying to gin up a war between Georgia and Russia that he would benefit from politically :

In the current [2008] crisis, President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia fell into a Soviet trap by moving troops into the disputed territory of South Ossetia and raining artillery and rocket fire on the South Ossetian capital city of Tskhinvali, with a still undetermined loss of civilian life. As in 1956, the Soviets responded with overwhelming force and additional loss of life. Once again the United States could offer only words, not concrete aid to the Georgians.

It is difficult to believe that, like the Hungarians in 1956, the Georgians in 2008 could have taken such action without believing that they could expect support from the United States . Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice denies that the Bush administration was the agent provocateur in Georgia. To the contrary, a State Department source said that she explicitly warned President Saakashvili in July to avoid provoking Russia.

If this information is correct, then, by inference, John McCain emerges as the most likely suspect as agent provocateur . First, McCain had a unique and privileged pipeline to President Saakashvili (shown to the right in the photo to the right). McCain's top foreign policy advisor, Randy Scheunemann, was a partner in a two-man firm that served as a paid lobbyist for the Georgian government . Scheunemann continued receiving compensation from the firm until the McCain campaign imposed new restrictions on lobbyists in mid-May. Scheunemann reportedly helped arrange a telephone conversation between McCain and Saakashvili on April 17 of this year, while he was still being paid by Georgia...

McCain has benefited politically from the crisis in Georgia. McCain's swift and belligerent response to the Soviet actions in Georgia has bolstered his shaky standing with the right-wing of the Republican Party. McCain has also used the Georgian situation to assert his credentials as the hardened warrior ready to do battle against a resurgent Russia. He has pointedly contrasted his foreign policy experience with that of his Democratic opponent Barack Obama. Since the crisis erupted, McCain has focused like a laser on Georgia, to great effect . According to a Quinnipiac University National Poll released on August 19 he has gained four points on Obama since their last poll in mid-July and leads his rival by a two to one margin as the candidate best qualified to deal with Russia.

Was Scheunemann a paid lobbyist for Georgia at the time of these events? He says no. Others aren't so sure :

Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a liberal-leaning watchdog group, said Scheunemann still has a conflict of interest because his small firm continues to represent foreign clients. The records that show Scheunemann ceased representing foreign countries as of March 1 also show his partner, Michael Mitchell, remains registered to represent the three nations. Mitchell said Tuesday that Scheunemann no longer has any role with Orion Strategies but declined to say whether Scheunemann still is receiving income or profits from the firm .

If almost no one registers under FARA who doesn't want to, what's the crime if Flynn didn't register? The answer seems to be, because he's Trump appointee Michael Flynn, and FARA is a stick his enemies can beat him with, while they're looking for something better.

The fact that FARA is a stick almost no one is beaten with, matters not at all, it seems. Not to Democratic politicians and appointees; and not to many journalists either.

An Investigation in Search of a Crime

Questioning the Michael Flynn investigation leads us (and Matt Taibbi) down a further rabbit hole, which includes two questions: what's being investigated, and how did this investigation start?

Short answer to the first question - no one knows, since unlike the Watergate break-in, this whole effort didn't start with a crime that needed investigating. It seems to have started with an investigation (how to get rid of Trump) in search of a crime. And one that still hasn't found evidence of one.

Journalist Robert Parry, who himself was a key Iran-Contra investigator, makes the same point :

In Watergate , five burglars were caught inside the DNC offices on June 17, 1972, as they sought to plant more bugs on Democratic phones. (An earlier break-in in May had installed two bugs, but one didn't work.) Nixon then proceeded to mount a cover-up of his 1972 campaign's role in funding the break-in and other abuses of power.

In Iran-Contra , Reagan secretly authorized weapons sales to Iran, which was then designated a terrorist state, without informing Congress, a violation of the Arms Export Control Act. He also kept Congress in the dark about his belated signing of a related intelligence "finding." And the creation of slush funds to finance the Nicaraguan Contras represented an evasion of the U.S. Constitution.

There was also the attendant Iran-Contra cover-up mounted both by the Reagan White House and later the George H.W. Bush White House, which culminated in Bush's Christmas Eve 1992 pardons of six Iran-Contra defendants as special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh was zeroing in on possible indictment of Bush for withholding evidence.

By contrast , Russia-gate has been a "scandal" in search of a specific crime. President Barack Obama's intelligence chieftains have alleged – without presenting any clear evidence – that the Russian government hacked into the emails of the Democratic National Committee and of Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta and released those emails via WikiLeaks and other Internet sites. (The Russians and WikiLeaks have both denied the accusations.)

The DNC emails revealed that senior Democrats did not maintain their required independence regarding the primaries by seeking to hurt Sen. Bernie Sanders and help Clinton. The Podesta emails pulled back the curtain on Clinton's paid speeches to Wall Street banks and on pay-to-play features of the Clinton Foundation.

Hacking into personal computers is a crime, but the U.S. government has yet to bring any formal charges against specific individuals supposedly responsible for the hacking of the Democratic emails. There also has been no evidence that Donald Trump's campaign colluded with Russians in the hacking.

Lacking any precise evidence of this cyber-crime or of a conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign, Obama's Justice Department holdovers and now special prosecutor Robert Mueller have sought to build "process crimes," around false statements to investigators and possible obstruction of justice.

I've yet to see actual evidence of an underlying crime - lots of smoke, which is fine as a starting point, but no fire, even after months of looking (and months of official leaking about every damning thing in sight). This makes the current investigation strongly reminiscent of the Whitewater investigation, another case of Alice (sorry, Ken Starr) jumping into every hole she could find looking for a route to Wonderland. Ken Starr finally found one, perjury about a blow job. Will Mueller find something more incriminating? He's still looking too.

Note that none of this means Trump doesn't deserve getting rid of . It just means that how he's gotten rid of matters. (As you ponder this, consider what you think would be fair to do to a Democratic president. I guarantee what happens to Trump will be repeated.)

What Was the Sally Yates Accusation Against Flynn Really About?

Short answer to the second question of my two "further rabbit hole" questions - How did this investigation start? - may be the Sally Yates accusation that Flynn was someone who could be blackmailed.

Here's Parry on that (same link):

In the case of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser, acting Attorney General Sally Yates used the archaic Logan Act of 1799 to create a predicate for the FBI to interrogate Flynn about a Dec. 29, 2016 conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, i.e., after Trump's election but before the Inauguration .

Green Party leader Jill Stein and retired Lt. General Michael Flynn attending a dinner marking the RT network's 10-year anniversary in Moscow, December 2015, sitting at the same table as Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Logan Act, which has never resulted in a prosecution in 218 years , was enacted during the period of the Alien and Sedition Acts to bar private citizens from negotiating on their own with foreign governments. It was never intended to apply to a national security adviser of an elected President, albeit before he was sworn in.

But it became the predicate for the FBI interrogation - and the FBI agents were armed with a transcript of the intercepted Kislyak-Flynn phone call so they could catch Flynn on any gaps in his recollection, which might have been made even hazier because he was on vacation in the Dominican Republic when Kislyak called.

Yates also concocted a bizarre argument that the discrepancies between Flynn's account of the call and the transcript left him open to Russian blackmail although how that would work – since the Russians surely assumed that Kislyak's calls would be monitored by U.S. intelligence and thus offered them no leverage with Flynn – was never explained.

Still, Flynn's failure to recount the phone call precisely and the controversy stirred up around it became the basis for an obstruction of justice investigation of Flynn and led to President Trump's firing Flynn on Feb. 13.

Do I need, Cassandra-like, to say this again? None of this means that Trump doesn't deserve getting rid of . It just means that how he's gotten rid of matters.

"So Much of the Story Is Still Hidden From View"

I'm not taking Robert Parry as the final word on this, but he's one word on this, and his word isn't nothing. If we were looking down rabbit holes for the source of this investigation, for where all this anti-Trump action started, I don't think Yates' concerns are where it begins.

I think this story starts well before Trump took office , a rabbit hole I don't want to jump into yet, but one with John Brennan 's and James Clapper 's fingerprints - Obama's CIA director, Obama's DNI - all over it. Models of honesty all.

What's down that hole? Who knows.

What I do know is that Manafort and Flynn not registering as foreign agents puts them squarely in the mainstream of Washington political practice. The fact that these are suddenly crimes of the century makes me just a tad suspicious that, in Matt Taibbi's words, "so much of this story is still hidden from view."

I warned you - I'll be your Cassandra this week. crime

TomDority , June 30, 2017 at 6:50 am

I would think that a crime in search of an investigation would be Clinton's private server while at state and, the tie in thru the Clinton foundation .just saying.

The big story is that these chicken-little stories all seam to serve as cover for the bought-and-paid for chicken little politicians ..while those elected politicians who give a damp about their office and those they represent are sidelined.

Ed , June 30, 2017 at 9:04 am

While some might think there is some tie in with donations to the Clinton Foundation and favors granted by the political wing of the Clinton Conglomerate and the sudden dissolution of said donations after the toppling of Dame Clinton by Der Trumpf it appears all such talk originates in the fever swamp of the right wing echo chamber and it's shot caller the GRU.

sid_finster , June 30, 2017 at 12:27 pm

Oh, what a load of bullcrap!

Present us evidence that the GRU has any influence, much less is the "shot-caller" with respect to the "right-wing echo chamber".

And why do you thing tyrants, despots, emirs and dictators generously donated so much to the phoney Foundation? Because they wanted to further its good works, just like the Saudis are very worried about AIDS prevention? No, they wanted to buy influence. And Clinton gave them what they wanted. And why did these same tyrants, despots, emits and dictators stop donating once Clinton lost? Because she could no longer deliver.

different clue , June 30, 2017 at 9:12 pm

I cannot tell if Ed's comment is straight or satire or snarcasm or what. The internet is a poor place to try such things.

I am going to take it as a straight comment. The Clintons have been grooming Chelsea for public office and will try desperately to get her elected to something somewhere. That way, they will still have influence to peddle and their Family of Foundations will still be worth something.

I hope Chelsea's wanna-have political career is strangled in the cradle. And hosed down with napalm and incinerated down to some windblown ashes.

Thor's Hammer , June 30, 2017 at 9:35 am

That investigation has been firmly crammed down the rabbit hole and cemented over.

If it had taken place in a nation where laws meant anything it would have likely disclosed:

Disturbed Voter , June 30, 2017 at 7:09 am

Corruption in high places is the norm. It is childish, all this virtue signaling. I would respect the sore losers more if they were honest they want to put Obama in as President for Life the US is Haiti now. Or the Kissinger faction of the MIC could install one of our TV generals as our version of Gen. Pinochet.

RenoDino , June 30, 2017 at 8:16 am

"None of this means that Trump doesn't deserve getting rid of."

I guess this means, he needs to go, but not this way. This way is anti-democratic. But isn't that the point?

Carolinian , June 30, 2017 at 10:09 am

Did Obama "deserve getting rid of"? Oh heck yes. You pays your money and you makes your choice. Next chance: 2020.

Crazy Horse , June 30, 2017 at 12:57 pm

Since he won't be impeached, I assume Gaius meant Trump should be assassinated? In the USA every four years we have the opportunity to battle over the control of voting machine software, voter disqualification and hanging chads. But if we want to change Presidents in mid-stream the traditional method is to have them shot.

different clue , June 30, 2017 at 9:15 pm

It was the filthy Clintonites who gave us Trump to begin with. Let Trump be smeared all over their face and shoved way deep up their noses till 2020. And if the Clintonite scum give us another Clintonite nominee in 2020, then let Trump be elected all over again. I'll vote for that.

Alice X , June 30, 2017 at 8:17 am

As regards the 2008 Georgian situation discussed here, Russia seems to have been referred to as Soviet . Twice. This happened for some years in the '90s but it is rather late to do so these days. Maybe I misunderstood something?

Vatch , June 30, 2017 at 9:50 am

You did not misunderstand; yes, the author of that article was sloppy. He was switching back and forth between events of 1956 and 2008, and he failed to adequately proofread what he wrote about 2008.

Skip in DC , June 30, 2017 at 8:39 am

Gaius offers a realistic and well-put caution for Democrats and journalists taking their eye off the ball of the Mnuchin crowd.

I've a good friend who's exasperated when I utter such blasphemies, asking how I could have missed the constant swell of opinion by Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert, Joe Scarborough, Rachel Meadow, etc

When I reply that prospects outside the courts of comedians and MSNBC infotainment pundits goosing their base are different – and I'm not so sure I'd prefer a less crass and crazed President Pence armed with Trumpster strategies – I'm asked "But what about justice?!!!"

Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown.

No doubt plenty of insulating layers if money-laundering took place via real estate, though its worth plumbing those depths. But given Trump appointees' soft-ball approach to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, I'd guess that's an arena well worth the time of journalists, insulating layers or not. I recall Sheldon Adelson's disdain for the FCPA likely increasing his fervor to dump Democrats.

sid_finster , June 30, 2017 at 12:30 pm

The right-on set ask "What about justice?"

Hell, let's see some evidence before we proceed to the sentence and verdict.

TheCatSaid , June 30, 2017 at 2:51 pm

And let's apply the justice to everyone , not just the "enemy camp" of whoever happens to be speaking.

And let's apply justice to those at the top first. Only after cleaning out all the top, most privileged layers, then the layers beneath them, should justice be applied to those at the bottom socio-economic layers. IOW, the opposite of the strategy we've seen applied over most of our history in many or most places.

DJG , June 30, 2017 at 9:18 am

Yves Smith: Thanks for this. Astute observations. And as I keep reminding people, you can turn on the spigot of MacCarthyism, and you may think that you can turn off that spigot, but you can't. In the case of Joe MacCarthy himself, it didn't truly end till about the time of his premature death from alcoholism.

Hence the observation above in the posting that the rightwingers will pull out the same techniques if a Democrat wins the next election.

One aspect of the now-thoroughly-rotten system in the U S of A is the constant contesting of election results. As Lambert Strether keeps writing, the electronic voting machines are a black hole, and both parties have been engaged in debasing the vote and diminishing the size of the electorate. The gravamen in both parties is that the voters don't know what they are doing and the ballots aren't being counted properly. Maybe we can do something about that

Crazy Horse , June 30, 2017 at 9:49 am

Perhaps we should look at the fairest electoral system in the world as a model. http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=8935

I'm sure readers will be shocked to learn that the electoral system referred to is that used in Venezuela in 2012. And it will be the rare person who can distinguish between a superior system for conducting an election and a result that they don't like.

Stephen Douglas , June 30, 2017 at 10:09 am

Do I need, Cassandra-like, to say this again? None of this means that Trump doesn't deserve getting rid of.

No. You didn't need to say it even once. Another interesting analysis utterly ruined by the writer's incessant feverish need to virtue signal himself as a Trump hater. Ugh!

You write an article chock-full of information clearly pointing to corruption, venality, un-democratic machinations, and still you feel the need to repeat over and over and over again that does not mean that you don't want to remove Trump. Remove him? Like how, Gaius? And why? Why not remove the people you write about in your article? Why not say 40 times you want to remove them. Undemocratically, of course. As you say in your article, be careful of how the talk about removing people one does not like.

You're a Cassandra alright. And methinks the lady doth protest too much.

Vatch , June 30, 2017 at 11:13 am

Here's another paragraph from the article:

Note that none of this means Trump doesn't deserve getting rid of. It just means that how he's gotten rid of matters. (As you ponder this, consider what you think would be fair to do to a Democratic president. I guarantee what happens to Trump will be repeated.)

This is an implicit warning about impeachment. I interpret this as a recommendation to vigorously oppose Trump's actions over the next three and a half years, and to effectively campaign against him in 2020. Trump really is a terrible President, but Mike Pence would be terrible, too. And so would Hillary Clinton, but I hope we won't have to worry about her any more.

In case you're wondering why I think that Trump is a terrible President, here's a short summary:

Scott Pruitt
Betsy DeVos
Jeff Sessions
Steven Mnuchin
Tom Price
Neil Gorsuch

There are other reasons, but that list should suffice for now.

Jay , June 30, 2017 at 11:10 am

None of the left-leaning writers who have been pooh-poohing the Russia investigation* have demonstrated a working knowledge of counterintelligence. I've also noticed that they correlate a lack of publicly-known evidence to an actual absence of evidence, which is the purview of the investigation. Investigators will be holding any evidence they discover close to their vests for obvious reasons, but even more so in this case because some of the evidence will have origins where sources and methods will statutorily need to be concealed.

Furthermore, many of these writers appear to be unfamiliar with the case law governing the major features of the case. Yes, money laundering may be a part of the case and a financial blog may emphasize that aspect of the case because that's what they're familiar with, but what we're fundamentally looking at is possible violations of the Espionage Act, as well as the obstruction of justice by certain players to hide their involvement. Not a single one of these articles (or any of the cable news shows) have taken note of one of the juiciest and obscure pieces of evidence that's right there out in the open, if you'd been following this as closely as I have. As much as I admire Gaius Publius and Matt Taibbi, and trust their reporting within their demonstrated and reliable competencies, neither have really written about intelligence activities in a thoroughgoing manner in order to be identified as journalists specializing in matters pertaining to intelligence, espionage, spies. Publius writes about political economy and Taibbi is as "Russia savvy" as your average Russian citizen; maybe less so. And being Russia savvy does not make you FSB savvy. Now if Sy Hersh wrote something about L'Affaire Russe, that would be worth seriously considering.

*I won't even address the seriousness or motives of the people on the right who have been pooh-poohing the Russia investigation. But it is curious for otherwise "GOP-savvy" lefties to align with people who spout Fox News talking points all the live long day, and who are wrong about everything, all the time, and not in a "broken clock tells correct time twice a day" sort of way.

lyman alpha blob , June 30, 2017 at 11:44 am

If they had anything concrete on Trump we've have heard about it by now. The spooks have been leaking for months – they aren't going to suddenly clam up if they've discovered something that's actually a crime.

Until someone presents actual evidence, this investigation is nothing more than Democrat payback for Benghazi, which itself was a BS investigation in search of a crime that went on for years. Unfortunately for sHillary, a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while and they did manage to uncover actual criminality in her case (and brushed it right under the rug).

shinola , June 30, 2017 at 2:12 pm

Just what makes Putin "the enemy"? Russia disseminates propaganda that (it hopes) will sway the American election in a direction more favorable to their interests! and in other news, the sun will rise in the east tomorrow.

Lambert Strether , July 1, 2017 at 12:45 am

> Russia disseminates propaganda that (it hopes) will sway the American election in a direction more favorable to their interests!

This is what gets me. We're supposed to me a great power, and we're going nuts on this stuff. It's like an elephant panicking at the sight of a mouse. The political class has lost its grip entirely.

NotTimothyGeithner , June 30, 2017 at 2:15 pm

"but we've been hearing new evidence on a daily and weekly basis. Mueller isn't going to show his hand until the investigation has concluded,"

Ah we've been hearing new evidence, but Mueller is simultaneously keeping it secret wait did you mean we've heard new innuendos?

Jay , June 30, 2017 at 6:33 pm

Mostly it's been gumshoe reporters getting interviews. No need for inside sources for this story: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/republican-claimed-flynn-tie-clinton-emails-article-1.3289348

Lambert Strether , July 1, 2017 at 12:51 am

This is the story where the main source is dead?

Lambert Strether , July 1, 2017 at 12:49 am

> Putin must be delighted to have a vainglorious ignoramus presiding over a US government paralyzed by division

How sad, then, that the Pied Piper email showed that the Clinton campaign wanted Trump for their opponent. Or Was she Putin's stooge? Perhaps the server she left open to the world for three months with no password provided the Russkis with some kompromat ? Really, there's as much evidence for that theory as anything else

Lambert Strether , July 1, 2017 at 12:55 am

> so must also likewise concede that there may be more there than you suppose

So either there's something there or there isn't. That does seem to exhaust the possibilities. If only Maddow, the Clintonites, whichever factions in the intelligence community that are driving the "drip, drip, drip" of stories, the Jeff Bezos Shopper, cable, and all the access journalists writing it all up would take such a balanced perspective .

sid_finster , June 30, 2017 at 12:34 pm

OK, so you are saying that we should trust the word of anonymous leakers from the intelligence community, that is, anonymous leaks from a pack of proven perjurers, torturers, and entrapment artists, all on the basis of supposed evidence that we are not allowed to see.

Because secret squirrel counterintelligence. Ah, now I get it.

sid_finster , June 30, 2017 at 2:26 pm

We don't know who the leakers are. They're anonymous, but they willingly associate themselves with an intelligence community, the very organizations that commit perjury, that engage in torture, that do entrapment, all on a regular basis. Not to mention other crimes for which men have hung, such as gin up up evidence to drive this country towards aggressive war. So nothing to be suspicious of here.

These organizations have been leaking on a regular basis but they have not leaked evidence. That by itself is suspicious, since in a white collar crime case, a serial killer case, etc. we don't usually have a flood of anonymous leaks coming from supposed investigators.

Nor in a garden-variety criminal investigation do we have the suspect laid out in advance, and any leaks are intended to make the suspect guilty in the mind of the public, before charges or brought or a crime is determined.

ian , June 30, 2017 at 4:39 pm

For that matter, how do we know the leakers even exist? When some media outlet wants to publish some made-up story, they can just attribute it to an anonymous source.

Lambert Strether , July 1, 2017 at 12:34 am

> name the leakers who have committed perjury, torture, and entrapment.

We can't. They're anonymous.

> Is everyone in the intelligence community a perjurer, a torturer, or engaged in entrapment?

No, just the leadership. Clapper (perjury), Mueller (entrapment), Brennan (torture). Those come to mind immediately; there are doubtless others.

WeakenedSquire , June 30, 2017 at 2:10 pm

Nope. Telling us prawns to wait until the evidence is in, or, worse, that only the specialists can be trusted, is one of the tactics of repression that the elite use while they are busy manufacturing and/or hiding said evidence. And surely by now we all know that "specialists" have no clothes.

different clue , June 30, 2017 at 9:21 pm

If you want serious analysis by seriously non-left people who have broken rocks in the quarry of intelligence, you can read Sic Semper Tyrannis. They have offered some hi-valu input on this whole "Putin diddit" deal.

They also offered some hi-valu input on the Hillary server matter. And Colonel Lang had a thing or three to say about the Clinton Family of Foundations . . . including a little-remarked-upon stealth-laundry-pipeline registered in Canada.

Lambert Strether , July 1, 2017 at 12:35 am

Philip Giraldi at The American Conservative also does good work.

different clue , July 1, 2017 at 3:10 am

Philip Giraldi has also written guest-posts at Sic Semper Tyrannis from time to time. The name "Philip Giraldi' is one of the pickable subject-category names on the right side of the SST homepage.

Lambert Strether , July 1, 2017 at 12:59 am

> Not a single one of these articles (or any of the cable news shows) have taken note of one of the juiciest and obscure pieces of evidence that's right there out in the open, if you'd been following this as closely as I have.

OK, what is it?

sid_finster , June 30, 2017 at 12:19 pm

An investigation seeking to find evidence that a pre-selected target has commited a crime is I believe called a "witch hunt".

Byron the Light Bulb , June 30, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Or, you know, probable cause to investigate based on very public admissions. Production before a grand jury is secret under penalty of criminal prosecution. Once probable cause is affirmed, then the indictments will be under seal for what could be some time. I think it's probable that there may already be indictments against some of the players. DJT may already be a John Doe. The Fed GJ's in DC are three months long, the current one wrapping up third week of August [a guess based on past experience as a 3rd party]. Expect movement early this fall.

Yves Smith Post author , June 30, 2017 at 4:27 pm

As Constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz pointed out, the DOJ reports to the President. Trump was completely within his authority to give instructions to Comey and fire him. Dershowitz also points out Trump can pardon anyone, including himself. But Trump doesn't read and oddly no one seems to have clued him in on what Dershowitz has said.

Nixon was a completely different case. There had been an actual crime, a break in. Archibald Cox was an special prosecutor appointed by Congress. Firing him raised Constitutional issues.

Jay , June 30, 2017 at 6:43 pm

You mean this Alan Dershowitz? http://abovethelaw.com/2016/11/alan-dershowitz-thinks-black-lives-matter-is-anti-semitic-sticks-up-for-steve-bannon/

witters , June 30, 2017 at 8:47 pm

Yes. And?

Katje Borgesius , July 1, 2017 at 12:38 am

If you really want to go down the rabbit hole, read the complaint in "Kriss et al v. BayRock Group LLC et al" [ 1:10-cv-03959-LGS-DCF ] in NY Southern District. It's a RICO. It goes from the 46-story Trump SoHo condo-hotel on Spring Street to Iceland [?] and beyond. Then check out DJT's deposition in Trilogy Properties "LLC et al v. SB Hotel Associates LLC et al" [ 1:09cv21406 ] and his D&O doc production.

If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.

Yves Smith Post author , July 1, 2017 at 12:49 am

Help me. This is the best you can do?

I've said repeatedly that people should stop hyperventilating about Trump and Russia and if anything should be bothered that he was in business with a crook, as in Felix Sater. I was on this long ago. Sater is Brighton Beach mafia. That means Jewish mafia, BTW; he worked Jewish connections overseas. He's not connected to anyone of any importance in Russia. No one with any sophistication would do business with a felon who turned state's evidence. Means he can't be trusted (by upstanding people, because he's a crook, and by crooks, because he sang like a canary).

Oh, and the former employees lost that suit.

Lambert Strether , July 1, 2017 at 12:36 am

Or a fishing expedition.

sid_finster , June 30, 2017 at 2:28 pm

For "super secret" investigations, the investigators sure leak like sieves. I wonder why.

Lambert Strether , June 30, 2017 at 5:02 pm

On the latest one, " GOP Operative Sought Clinton Emails From Hackers, Implied a Connection to Flynn ," unlocked at the WSJ, the main source, long-time Republican oppo researcher Peter W. Smith, left the land of the living on May 14 of this year, at the age of 81. So, on the up side, we've finally got a source with a name. On the down side, he's dead. Do better!

[Jul 01, 2017] Trey Gowdy Shocks The Room After Destroying Susan Rice!!!

Jul 01, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Cheryl Flores , 3 weeks ago

TREY GOWGY IS A GENUINE. THE HONEST, HIGHLY SKILLED AND INTELLIGENT LOVE THIS MAN

Michael Thomas , 3 weeks ago

Trey Gowdy was just named head of the Oversight Committee today.
upon Jason Chaffetz retiring aka (being threatened)

Jennifer Christensen3 weeks ago
I love watching how Trey Gowdy operates. He is like a surgeon. Precise, daring and gets right to the problem.
John Ratko3 weeks ago
Rice's a disgusting mutt.

[Jun 30, 2017] The Russians are coming narrative is an attempt to reassert the control by neoliberal elite after Trump election

Notable quotes:
"... i think it's because the rump 'came in through the bathroom window' ... defying 'both parties'. the uniparty is trying to reassert control, somehow. what would happen if people noticed that the uniparty was not only not needed, was in fact the engine of malfeasance and misrule, what if people decided to 'do it themselves' ... platform, primaries, elections ... the whole nine yards? ..."
Jun 30, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

jfl | Jun 29, 2017 9:35:53 PM | 62

@59 ts

i think it's because the rump 'came in through the bathroom window' ... defying 'both parties'. the uniparty is trying to reassert control, somehow. what would happen if people noticed that the uniparty was not only not needed, was in fact the engine of malfeasance and misrule, what if people decided to 'do it themselves' ... platform, primaries, elections ... the whole nine yards?

so 'the Russians are coming!' anything to reassert a narrative it can control.

[Jun 30, 2017] Russia is uniquely hated by the US neoliberal elite and neocons and they try to brainwasg everyboth that it is corrupt and rotten to the core

Notable quotes:
"... As I mentioned earlier, Iran is dismissed as a terrorist state, N. Korea a rogue regime, and China a growing rival. With Russia the Foreign Policy Establishment (FPE) will invest the time to write, scholarly looking articles that make it look like they have thoroughly studied Russia and have reluctantly come to the conclusion that Russia is a basket case of evil. ..."
"... Because I watched Stone's interviews and read Russia insider, I can see why they view Putin as a threat. Contrary to their assertion that 'Russia has no culture or ideology to challenge the west (the U.S. FPE)'. This is an issue for them. Putinism, 'sovereignty, local nationalism (for everyone), a multi-polar world, respect for the UN' vs the FPE, 'exporting U.S. democracy (including regime change) and the preeminence of U.S. world leadership'. ..."
"... You can debate Putinism but not merely dismiss it as thuggery which they invariably do with their tediously long articles. It doesn't look like they actually listen to Russians, it looks like they read each other's papers. ..."
"... Now I can see why Russia has abandoned the information war, they view it as a hopeless waste of resources that they can never match. ..."
"... For example, here is a very clever apology for how we justified not having the OPCW investigate Khan Shaykhun and the Syrian airbase https://tcf.org/content/commentary/havent-chemical-weapons-inspectors-gone-syrias-shayrat-air-base/ ..."
Jun 30, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Christian Chuba | Jun 30, 2017 2:28:05 PM | 3

Russia is uniquely hated, they get boutique articles to show that they are rotten to the core.
https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2017/05/seeing-russia-clearly/

As I mentioned earlier, Iran is dismissed as a terrorist state, N. Korea a rogue regime, and China a growing rival. With Russia the Foreign Policy Establishment (FPE) will invest the time to write, scholarly looking articles that make it look like they have thoroughly studied Russia and have reluctantly come to the conclusion that Russia is a basket case of evil.

These boutique articles will say a lot of condescending things but will tie into, 'Russia never had a liberal democratic tradition so of course they are governed by monsters like Putin'. I don't see the same level of care given to the rest of our enemies list. I read realclearworld.com which gives a sampling of neocon articles so I think I get a broad representation of their production.

Because I watched Stone's interviews and read Russia insider, I can see why they view Putin as a threat. Contrary to their assertion that 'Russia has no culture or ideology to challenge the west (the U.S. FPE)'. This is an issue for them. Putinism, 'sovereignty, local nationalism (for everyone), a multi-polar world, respect for the UN' vs the FPE, 'exporting U.S. democracy (including regime change) and the preeminence of U.S. world leadership'.

You can debate Putinism but not merely dismiss it as thuggery which they invariably do with their tediously long articles. It doesn't look like they actually listen to Russians, it looks like they read each other's papers.

If you take the time to read it, the author is diabolically clever in how he twists Putin's words. He refers to Russians who lost everything and were forced to leave (note, he leaves out the dreaded word 'oligarch', that is reserved for those who staid).

Now I can see why Russia has abandoned the information war, they view it as a hopeless waste of resources that they can never match.

For example, here is a very clever apology for how we justified not having the OPCW investigate Khan Shaykhun and the Syrian airbase https://tcf.org/content/commentary/havent-chemical-weapons-inspectors-gone-syrias-shayrat-air-base/

[Jun 30, 2017] After Hersh Investigation, Media Connive in Propaganda War on Syria

Notable quotes:
"... But, in fact, the western media were supremely uninterested in the story. Hersh, once considered the journalist's journalist, went hawking his investigation around the US and UK media to no avail. In the end, he could find a home for his revelations only in Germany, in the publication Welt am Sonntag. ..."
"... His story has spawned two clear "spoiler" responses from those desperate to uphold the official narrative. Hersh's revelations may have been entirely uninteresting to the western media, but strangely they have sent Washington into crisis mode. Of course, no US official has addressed Hersh's investigation directly, which might have drawn attention to it and forced western media to reference it. Instead Washington has sought to deflect attention from Hersh's alternative narrative and shore up the official one through misdirection. That alone should raise the alarm that we are being manipulated, not informed. ..."
"... The first spoiler, made in the immediate wake of Hersh's story, were statements from the Pentagon and White House warning that the US had evidence Assad was planning yet another chemical attack on his people and that Washington would respond extremely harshly if he did so. ..."
"... And then on Friday, the second spoiler emerged. Two unnamed diplomats " confirmed " that a report by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had found that some of the victims from Khan Sheikhoun showed signs of poisoning by sarin or sarin-like substances. ..."
"... There are also well-known problems with the findings. There was no "chain of custody" – neutral oversight – of the bodies that were presented to the organisation in Turkey, as Scott Ritter, a former weapons inspector in Iraq, has noted . Any number of interested parties could have contaminated the bodies before they reached the OPCW. For that reason, the OPCW has not concluded that the Assad regime was responsible for the traces of sarin. In the world of real news, only such a finding – that Assad was responsible – should have made the OPCW report interesting again to the media. ..."
"... In fact, the US threats increase, rather than reduce, the chances of a new chemical weapons attack. Other, anti-Assad actors now have a strong incentive to use chemical weapons in false-flag operation to implicate Assad, knowing that the US has committed itself to intervention. On any reading, the US statements were reckless – or malicious – in the extreme and likely to bring about the exact opposite of what they were supposed to achieve. ..."
"... Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are " Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and " Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair " (Zed Books). His website is www.jkcook.net . ..."
Jun 30, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

If you wish to understand the degree to which a supposedly free western media are constructing a world of half-truths and deceptions to manipulate their audiences, keeping us uninformed and pliant, then there could hardly be a better case study than their treatment of Pulitzer prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh.

All of these highly competitive, for-profit, scoop-seeking media outlets separately took identical decisions: first to reject Hersh's latest investigative report, and then to studiously ignore it once it was published in Germany last Sunday. They have continued to maintain an absolute radio silence on his revelations, even as over the past few days they have given a great deal of attention to two stories on the very issue Hersh's investigation addresses.

These two stories, given such prominence in the western media, are clearly intended to serve as "spoilers" to his revelations, even though none of these publications have actually informed their readers of his original investigation. We are firmly in looking-glass territory.

So what did Hersh's investigation reveal? His sources in the US intelligence establishment – people who have helped him break some of the most important stories of the past few decades, from the Mai Lai massacre by American soldiers during the Vietnam war to US abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib in 2004 – told him the official narrative that Syria's Bashar Assad had dropped deadly sarin gas on the town of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4 was incorrect. Instead, they said, a Syrian plane dropped a bomb on a meeting of jihadi fighters that triggered secondary explosions in a storage depot, releasing a toxic cloud of chemicals that killed civilians nearby.

It is an alternative narrative of these events that one might have assumed would be of intense interest to the media, given that Donald Trump approved a military strike on Syria based on the official narrative. Hersh's version suggests that Trump acted against the intelligence advice he received from his own officials, in a highly dangerous move that not only grossly violated international law but might have dragged Assad's main ally, Russia, into the fray. The Syrian arena has the potential to trigger a serious confrontation between the world's two major nuclear powers.

But, in fact, the western media were supremely uninterested in the story. Hersh, once considered the journalist's journalist, went hawking his investigation around the US and UK media to no avail. In the end, he could find a home for his revelations only in Germany, in the publication Welt am Sonntag.

There are a couple of possible, even if highly improbable, reasons all English-language publications ignored Hersh's story. Maybe they had evidence that his inside intelligence was wrong. If so, they have yet to provide it. A rebuttal would require acknowledging Hersh's story, and none seem willing to do that.

Or maybe the media thought it was old news and would no longer interest their readers. It would be difficult to sustain such an interpretation, but at least it has an air of plausibility – except for everything that has happened since Hersh published last Sunday.

His story has spawned two clear "spoiler" responses from those desperate to uphold the official narrative. Hersh's revelations may have been entirely uninteresting to the western media, but strangely they have sent Washington into crisis mode. Of course, no US official has addressed Hersh's investigation directly, which might have drawn attention to it and forced western media to reference it. Instead Washington has sought to deflect attention from Hersh's alternative narrative and shore up the official one through misdirection. That alone should raise the alarm that we are being manipulated, not informed.

The first spoiler, made in the immediate wake of Hersh's story, were statements from the Pentagon and White House warning that the US had evidence Assad was planning yet another chemical attack on his people and that Washington would respond extremely harshly if he did so.

Here is how the Guardian reported the US threats:

The US said on Tuesday that it had observed preparations for a possible chemical weapons attack at a Syrian air base allegedly involved in a sarin attack in April following a warning from the White House that the Syrian regime would 'pay a heavy price' for further use of the weapons.

And then on Friday, the second spoiler emerged. Two unnamed diplomats " confirmed " that a report by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had found that some of the victims from Khan Sheikhoun showed signs of poisoning by sarin or sarin-like substances.

There are obvious reasons to be mightily suspicious of these stories. The findings of the OPCW were already known and had been discussed for some time – there was absolutely nothing newsworthy about them.

There are also well-known problems with the findings. There was no "chain of custody" – neutral oversight – of the bodies that were presented to the organisation in Turkey, as Scott Ritter, a former weapons inspector in Iraq, has noted . Any number of interested parties could have contaminated the bodies before they reached the OPCW. For that reason, the OPCW has not concluded that the Assad regime was responsible for the traces of sarin. In the world of real news, only such a finding – that Assad was responsible – should have made the OPCW report interesting again to the media.

Similarly, by going public with their threats against Assad, the Pentagon and White House did not increase the deterrence on Assad, making it less likely he would use gas in the future. That could have been achieved much more effectively with private warnings to the Russians, who have massive leverage over Assad. These new warnings were meant not for Assad but for western publics, to bolster the official narrative that Hersh's investigation had thrown into doubt.

In fact, the US threats increase, rather than reduce, the chances of a new chemical weapons attack. Other, anti-Assad actors now have a strong incentive to use chemical weapons in false-flag operation to implicate Assad, knowing that the US has committed itself to intervention. On any reading, the US statements were reckless – or malicious – in the extreme and likely to bring about the exact opposite of what they were supposed to achieve.

But beyond this, there was something even more troubling about these two stories. That these official claims were published so unthinkingly in major outlets is bad enough. But what is unconscionable is the media's continuing blackout of Hersh's investigation when it speaks directly to the two latest news reports.

No serious journalist could write up either story, according to any accepted norms of journalistic practice, and not make reference to Hersh's claims. They are absolutely relevant to these stories. In fact, more than that, the intelligence sources he cites are are not only relevant but are the reason these two stories have been suddenly propelled to the top of the news agenda.

Any publication that has covered either the White House-Pentagon threats or the rehashing of the OPCW report and has not mentioned Hersh's revelations is writing nothing less than propaganda in service of a western foreign policy agenda trying to bring about the illegal overthrow the Syrian government. And so far that appears to include every single US and UK mainstream newspaper and TV station. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Jonathan Cook

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

[Jun 28, 2017] Democrats Help Corporate Donors Block California Health Care Measure, And Progressives Lose Again

Jun 28, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Christopher H. , June 27, 2017 at 07:11 AM

How does one describe this faction of Democrats? Corporate Democrats. Neoliberals? What's the shorthand way of distinguishing them from Berniecrats?

http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/democrats-help-corporate-donors-block-california-health-care-measure-progressives

Democrats Help Corporate Donors Block California Health Care Measure, And Progressives Lose Again

BY DAVID SIROTA ON 06/26/17 AT 4:06 PM

As Republican lawmakers grapple with their unpopular bill to repeal Obamacare, Democrats have tried to present a united front on health care. But for all their populist rhetoric against insurance and drug companies, Democratic powerbrokers and their allies remain deeply divided on the issue - to the point where a political civil war has spilled into the open in America's largest state.

In California last week, Democratic state Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon helped his and his party's corporate donors block a Democrat-sponsored bill to create a universal health care program in which the government would be the single payer.

Rendon's decision shows how progressives' ideal of universal health care remains elusive - even in a liberal state where government already foots 70 percent of the total health care bill.

Until Rendon's move, things seemed to be looking up for Democratic single-payer proponents in deep blue California, which has been hammered by insurance premium increases. There, the Democratic Party - which originally created Medicare - just added a legislative supermajority to a Democratic-controlled state government that oversees the world's sixth largest economy. That 2016 election victory came as a poll showed nearly two-thirds of Californians support the creation of a taxpayer-funded universal health care system in a state whose population is roughly the size of Canada - which already has such a system.

California's highest-profile federal Democratic lawmaker recently endorsed state efforts to create single-payer systems, and 25 members of its congressional delegation had signed on to sponsor a federal single-payer bill.

Meanwhile, after Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had twice vetoed state single-payer legislation, California in 2010 elected a governor who had previously campaigned for president on a pledge to support such a system. Other statewide elected officials had also declared their support for single-payer, including the current lieutenant governor, who promised to enact a universal health care program if he is wins the governorship in 2018.

None of that, though, made the difference: Late Friday, Rendon announced that even though a single-payer bill had passed the Democratic-controlled state senate, he would not permit the bill to be voted on by the Assembly this year.

"As someone who has long been a supporter of single payer, I am encouraged by the conversation begun by Senate Bill 562," Rendon said. But "senators who voted for SB 562 noted there are potentially fatal flaws in the bill, including the fact it does not address many serious issues, such as financing, delivery of care, cost controls, or the realities of needed action by the Trump Administration and voters to make SB 562 a genuine piece of legislation."

Since 2012, Rendon has taken in more than $82,000 from business groups and healthcare corporations that are listed in state documents opposed the measure, according to an International Business Times review of data amassed by the National Institute on Money In State Politics. In all, he has received more than $101,000 from pharmaceutical companies and another $50,000 from major health insurers.

In the same time, the California Democratic Party has received more than $1.2 million from the specific groups opposing the bill, and more than $2.2 million from pharmaceutical and health insurance industry donors. That includes a $100,000 infusion of cash from Blue Shield of California in the waning days of the 2016 election - just before state records show the insurer began lobbying against the single-payer bill.

While Rendon oversees a supermajority, it had never been clear that Assembly Democrats would muster the two-thirds vote needed under the state constitution to add the new taxes needed to fund the single-payer system proposed by the senate-passed bill. That is because the Democratic Assembly caucus includes progressive legislators but also more conservative members who are closer to business interests.

In addition to the money given to Rendon, the groups opposing the single-payer measure have delivered more than $1.5 million to Democratic assembly members since the 2012 election cycle. In all, the 55 Democratic members of the 80-seat Assembly have received more than $2.7 million from donors in the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries in just the last three election cycles.

Complicating matters for this year's single-payer bill was the fact that the pharmaceutical industry had just spent more than $100 million to defeat a 2016 ballot measure in California aimed at lowering drug prices. That wave of money was a powerful reminder that major industries opposed to single-payer have virtually unlimited resources to spend against California's Democratic incumbents in the next election if those Democrats ultimately try to pass a bill.

"Subject To Enormous Uncertainty"

The episode in California was the latest defeat for single-payer health care advocates, who have faced a string of losses at the hands of Democrats whose party has continued to attract significant cash from the health care industries that benefit from the current system.

In the last decade, Barack Obama raised millions of dollars from health care industry donors and then backed off his previous support for single-payer. He and other administration officials explicitly declared that the Affordable Care Act would not become a Medicare-for-all system. The Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate then failed to pass a proposal to create a publicly run insurance option to compete with private insurers.

More recently, Vermont's Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin abandoned his state's high-profile push for single-payer in 2014 - just as he was serving as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, a group whose top donors included UnitedHealthcare, Blue Cross, AstraZeneca and the pharmaceutical industry's trade association.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign was boosted by millions of dollars from health care industry donors, and she derided Bernie Sanders for pushing single payer, saying such an idea would "never, ever come to pass." In the same 2106 election, prominent Democratic Party consultants helped lead an insurer-funded campaign - backed by prominent Democratic lawmakers - to kill a single-payer ballot measure in Colorado.

And yet despite those defeats, single-payer advocates were thinking big at the beginning of 2017. Heading into the new legislative sessions, Democrats controlled both governorships and legislatures in six states - and another Democratic-leaning state with a Democratic governor, New York, appeared to have legislative support for single-payer. With its Democratic supermajority, California was the biggest focus of attention among progressive healthcare advocates.

According to a June report by California senate analysts, the single-payer legislation that was introduced in Sacramento this year would have created a government agency called Healthy California that would be "required to provide comprehensive universal single-payer health care coverage system for all California residents." The program would have been prohibited from charging participants premiums and co-pays and would have covered "all medical care determined to be medically appropriate by the members' health care provider," according to the Senate report.

While the report said fiscal estimates "are subject to enormous uncertainty," it projected that $200 billion worth of existing federal, state and local health care spending would offset about half of the estimated $400 billion annual cost. Shifting that money, though, could require California to secure waivers from the federal government that would allow it to redirect the federal money into the new program.

The original bill did not include a specific tax proposal to raise the rest of the needed revenue. However, the report estimated that the other $200 billion could be funded by moving state payroll taxes up to 15 percent , a levy the report said "would be offset to a large degree by reduced spending on health care coverage by employers and employees."

"The Only Health Care System That Makes Any Sense"

At the start of California's legislative session, bill proponents pitched the sweeping measure as a way to protect the state from Trump administration health care policy. They may have been banking on support from California's top Democrat, Gov. Jerry Brown, who endorsed single payer during his 1992 presidential campaign.

"I believe the only health care system that makes any sense is a single-payer system," Brown said during a March 1992 Democratic presidential forum. "I don't see any way, after having worked on this problem in the largest state in the union, which, after all, has the highest medical costs, to really contain costs without establishing a single payer for all basic services."

But as the the California legislation began moving forward, Brown cast doubts on it in comments to reporters in March.

"Where do you get the extra money?...This is the whole question. I don't even get ... how do you do that?" said Brown, who has collected more than a quarter-million dollars of campaign contributions from groups opposing the bill.

Supporters of the legislation tried to answer the governor's question with a detailed economic analysis asserting that the legislation could save the state money through lower administrative costs and drug prices.

"Providing full universal coverage would increase overall system costs by about 10 percent, but ... single payer system could produce savings of about 18 percent," concluded a May 2017 study led by University of Massachusetts-Amherst economist Robert Pollin. "The proposed single-payer system could provide decent health care for all California residents while still reducing net overall costs by about 8 percent relative to the existing system."

That same month, U.S. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi - California's highest-ranking federal official -- seemed to give the idea a boost. At a Capitol Hill press conference, she said "the comfort level with a broader base of the American people is not there yet" for a federal Medicare-for-all bill, but she promoted state efforts.

"I say to people, if you want that, do it in your states. States are laboratories. It can work out. It is the least expensive, least administrative way to go about this," she said. "States are a good place to start."

Economist Pollin echoed that argument, telling IBT that the California situation is fundamentally different than Vermont, which in 2014 abandoned its high-profile effort to create the nation's first state-based single-payer system. While single-payer could still be feasible in small states, he said, the concept was particularly well suited to a very large state like California.

"The issue of bargaining power is important relative to pharmaceutical companies, and that's one big area of savings," he told IBT. "If the pharmaceutical companies say we're not interested in selling to Vermont, they can walk away from Vermont. But they can't do the same thing with California because it's too large a market. It's the same thing with doctors - they are not going to run away from a market of 33 million people just because their reimbursement rates will be at Medicare levels. And the state of California is already used to running big operations, so it has the administrative power to do this kind of thing."

"Woefully Incomplete"

Despite Brown's lack of support, and opposition from Republican lawmakers and health insurers, the California senate passed the single-payer bill in June. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders pressed the Democratic governor and California lawmakers to enact the bill.

"As we sit here tonight, the California state senate has passed single-payer," Sanders told a gathering of thousands of activists in Chicago. "Now it's up to the California House and the governor to do the right thing and help us transform health care in this country by leading the way."

All of the pressure, however, was not enough to persuade Rendon. Calling the legislation "woefully incomplete," he announced that "SB 562 will remain in the Assembly Rules Committee until further notice."

The move was instantly polarizing. Inside the labor movement, the California branch of the Service Employees International Union - which has long supported single-payer health care - issued a statement supporting Rendon's decision, saying the organization wants changes to the legislation. SEIU's affiliates have previously negotiated a collective bargaining agreement with insurer Kaiser Permanente, which would be "dismantled" under the single-payer bill, according to Kaiser's lobbyist.

By contrast, the California Nurses Association, which represents 100,000 unionized nurses in the state, slammed Rendon, asserting that he had acted "in secret in the interests of the profiteering insurance companies" and that he had "destroy[ed] the aspirations of millions of Californians for guaranteed health care."

The internecine attacks were equally fierce within the Democratic Party.

"Today's announcement that the Assembly will not be moving forward on single-payer, Medicare-for-All healthcare for California at this time is an unambiguous disappointment for all of us who believe that healthcare is a right for every Californian," said newly elected California Democratic Party chairman Eric Bauman, who until the middle of June had worked in the Assembly speaker's office under Rendon, and ran his Southern California office. "We understand that SB 562 is a work in progress, but we believe it should keep moving forward, especially in light of the widespread suffering that will occur if Trump and Congressional Republicans succeed in passing their cold-blooded, morally bankrupt so-called healthcare legislation."

Perhaps seeking to bridge the divide, Rendon left open the possibility that the bill will come up next year.

"Because this is the first year of a two-year session, this action does not mean SB 562 is dead," he said. "In fact, it leaves open the exact deep discussion and debate the senators who voted for SB 562 repeatedly said is needed. The Senate can use that time to fill the holes in SB 562 and pass and send to the Assembly workable legislation that addresses financing, delivery of care, and cost control."

Rendon's focus on financing underscored the fact that passing tax increases to generate hundreds of billions of dollars of new revenue is generally no easy political task - and such initiatives can be particularly tricky in California. There, a 1988-passed measure called Proposition 98 typically requires that a significant amount of any new tax revenue must go to education. Another 1979 measure known as the Gann limit also aims to restrict spending increases. Funding a single-payer system could require complex legislation or even a separate ballot measure.

Bill proponents, though, say those potential roadblocks are navigable within the scope of the bill they are pushing. In an interview with IBT, Michael Lighty of the California Nurses Association noted that the Senate version of the legislation included language to make sure that the new health care system would not launch unless state officials certified that adequate funding was available.

"The speaker says the bill is 'woefully incomplete' but he stopped the process that would have completed it," Lighty said. "We have a failsafe mechanism in the legislation. In the event anticipated monies are not available from whatever source for whatever reason, we can address it before full program operation. There are all sorts of options, but you can't do any of it if the bill doesn't move forward."

Bauman told IBT that despite the opposition within his own party, he expects progressive Democrats to continue pushing for single payer.

"What Democratic activists need to be doing every day is educating our elected officials and the public on just how important the fight for health care is, and on why this is the moral and ethical fight of the day," he said.

JohnH -> Christopher H.... , June 27, 2017 at 07:24 AM
If the poll is correct and 2/3 of Californians support single payer, they should do an initiative.

The only way to buck the corporate Democrats is often the initiative process.

BTW I call them Wall Street Democrats because it's the Rubin-Summers-Geithner wing of the party that is stifling progress.

Christopher H. -> Christopher H.... , June 27, 2017 at 07:24 AM
PGL, above:

"Yes the California Senate pased(sic) a "single payer" proposal but it is not moving in the House until someone does the hard work of deciding: (a) what are the details about what is being provided; and (b) how it will be paid for."

[Jun 28, 2017] Trump Has Been Continuing Obamas Syria-Policy by Eric Zuesse

Jun 27, 2017 | off-guardian.org

U.S. President Donald Trump, who during the election-campaign ferociously condemned Barack Obama's foreign policies, while asserting nothing concrete of his own, has, as the U.S. President, committed himself quite clearly to continuing Obama's publicly stated policy on Syria, which policy was to place, as the first priority, the elimination of ISIS, and as the policy to follow that, the elimination and replacement of Syria's government. I have previously indicated that on June 19th "Russia Announces No-Fly Zone in Syria - War Against U.S. There" , and that the early indications are that Trump has changed his Syria-policy to accommodate Russia's demands there; but, prior to June 19th, Trump was actually following Obama's publicly stated Syria-policy.

As also will be shown here, Obama's publicly stated policy - to destroy ISIS and then to overthrow Syria's President Bashar al-Assad - was actually less extreme than his real policy, which was to overthrow Assad and to use the jihadist forces in Syria (especially Al Qaeda in Syria) to achieve that objective. Trump, at least until 19 June 2017, has been adhering to Obama's publicly stated policy. Russia's warning was for him not to adopt and continue Obama's actual policy (to overthrow Assad).

Here is the part, of the by-now-famous 12 August 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) analysis of the intelligence regarding Iraq and in Syria, that the press (despite its extensive reporting about the document) has not yet reported from the Judicial Watch FOIA disclosures (which had included that document and many others), but which part of it shows even more than the part that has been reported from the document, Obama's having made an informed choice actually to protect Al Qaeda in Syria, so as to bring down and replace the Syrian government - Obama's actual prioritization (contrary to his publicly stated one) of overthrowing Assad, even above defeating the jihadists in Syria; and this was clearly also a warning by the DIA to the Commander-in-Chief, that he can have either an overthrow of Assad, or else a non-jihadist-controlled Syria, but not both, and that any attempt to bring down Assad by means of using the jihadists as a proxy army against him, would ultimately fail:

http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version.pdf

page 69 of 100:

D. AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq], through spokesman of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) Abu Muhammed Al Adnani, declared the Syrian regime as the spearhead of what he is naming Jibha Al Ruwafdh (forefront of the Shiites) because of its (the Syrian regime) declaration of war on the Sunnis. Additionally, he is calling on the Sunnis in Iraq, especially the tribes in the border regions (between Iraq and Syria), to wage war against the Syrian regime, regarding Syria as an infidel regime for its support to the infidel party Hezbollah, and other regimes he considers dissenters like Iran and Iraq.

E. AQI considers the Sunni issue in Iraq to be fatefully connected to the Sunni Arabs and Muslims.

page 70:

A. The [Syrian] regime will survive and have control over Syrian territory.

page 71:

B. Development of the current events into a proxy war: with support from Russia, China, and Iran, the regime is controlling the areas of influence along coastal territories (Tartus and Latakia), and is fiercely defending Homs, which is considered the primary transportation route in Syria. On the other hand, opposition forces are trying to control the eastern areas (Hasaka and Der Zor), adjacent to the western Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar), in addition to neighboring Turkish borders. Western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey are supporting these [jihadist] efforts

And here is from the part that the press did report:

https://www.facebook.com/ayssar.midani/posts/10152479627582395

Ayssar Midani, May 23, 2015 · Paris, France:

"C: If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime."

The "supporting powers" are: western countries, the Gulf States and Turkey The DIA warns that the creation of such an Salafist principality would have "dire consequences" for Iraq and would possibly lead to the creation of an Islamic State and: create the ideal atmosphere for AQI to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi.
These DIA folks really earned their salary.

The Obama administration, together with other supporter of the Syrian "opposition", knew that AQ was a large part of that "opposition" from the very beginning. The U.S. and others wanted a Salafist [i.e., fundamentalist Sunni] principality in east Syria to cut Syria and Lebanon off from a land route to Iran. It was warned that such a principality would create havoc in Iraq and to the return of AQ in Iraq (today the Islamic State) to Mosul and Ramadi.

I quoted from that part in December 2016 , which was the time when the two Presidents, Obama and Turkey's Erdogan, began their joint effort to relocate ISIS from Mosul Iraq, into Der Zor Syria, in order to culminate their (and the Sauds') joint plan to use ISIS so as to bring down Assad. Then, I headlined, on 30 April 2017, that they had actually completed this task of moving Iraq's ISIS into Syria, "How Obama & Erdogan Moved ISIS from Iraq to Syria, to Weaken Assad" . That's why the Syrian government is now fighting to take Der Zor back from ISIS control.

Other portions of the Judicial Watch FOIA disclosures which received little or no press-coverage (and that little being only on far-right blogs - not mainstream 'news' sites) add still further to the evidence that Obama was using Al Qaeda and its friends, as a proxy army of jihadists to overthrow Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and replace him by a jihadist regime that would be loyal to America's fundamentalist-Sunni 'allies', the Sauds who own Saudi Arabia, and the Thanis who own Qatar. (Of course, now, the Sauds are trying to destroy the Thanis, too.)

These unpublished or little-published portions from the Judical Watch disclosures, also add to the ample published evidence that the Obama regime was transporting (as these documents acknowledged on page 4) "weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya" which "were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria," for use by Obama's 'moderate rebels' (a.k.a.: jihadists) in Syria. Specifically:

page 4:
18 Sep 2012

2. During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the ((Qaddafi)) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amounts of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo.

3. The weapons shipped from Libya to Syria during late-August 2012 [i.e., the period immediately prior to this memo] were sniper rifles, RPGs, and 125mm and 155mm howitzers missiles. The numbers for each weapon were estimated to be: 500 sniper rifles, 100 RPG launchers with 300 total rounds, and approximately 400 howitzers missiles.

It's now clear that Trump (at least until June 19th) has been continuing Obama's stated policy of killing ISIS and then overthrowing Assad. But of course no one can yet know whether or not he would be continuing it in precisely the way that Hillary Clinton made clear that she would do, which is to announce a no-fly zone in Syria and thus grab control over some portion of the sovereign nation of Syria. That way would result, now after 19 June 2017 ( Russia's warning to shoot down U.S. aircraft that attack Syrian government-allied forces ), either in U.S. retreat or else shooting down Russian planes in Syria, and war between U.S. and Russia, ending in nuclear war.

When I presented, in my December 2016 report, what I referred to above as "the part of the 12 August 2012 DIA analysis of the intelligence regarding Iraq and in Syria that the press has not yet reported from the Judicial Watch FOIA disclosures," I didn't mention then that one news-medium did report a part of that section, and it was a rabidly pro-Republican site, Glenn Beck and his "The Blaze," which headlined about this matter, very appropriately, "'It Is Damn Near Criminal': Glenn Beck Says the U.S. Is Using Islamic State as a 'Pawn'," which point, Beck presented rather well in the video accompanying it. Unfortunately, however, closed-minded 'liberals' and 'progressives' paid no attention to this and to the other evils perpetrated by Obama ( such as these ). Regardless of how untrustworthy Beck is, his statements about that particular matter were actually spot-on.

Obama was using ISIS in this way, but after Russia started bombing ISIS in Syria on 30 September 2015, Obama joined in so as not to make obvious to the world that he had been protecting and even arming ISIS until that date, and that prior to Russia's bombing ISIS, the U.S. had actually ignored ISIS.

Now that ISIS in Syria seems to be on its last legs there, only Kurds and Al Qaeda in Syria ( and their backers especially the U.S. and Sauds ) remain as big threats to Syria's sovereignty, and the evidence at least till June 19th, has been that Trump definitely backs the Kurds there, and might also be backing Al Qaeda there as well. If he continues backing the Kurds and Al Qaeda there, after Russia's warning on June 19th (which the neoconservative Washington Post called only "bluffing" and the neoconservative CNBC called "bluster" ), then the U.S. will be at war not only against Russia, but also against Turkey, and also against Iran, and it would be World War III because it would be U.S.-v.-Russia. Turkey is already at war against the Kurds; and, if America is fighting for the Kurds, to break up Syria, then Turkey - a member of the NATO anti-Russia alliance - will paralyze NATO; and the U.S. will then be waging its war without NATO's support.

Trump would need to be very stupid to do such a thing. It would be an intelligence test which, if Trump fails, the world will end, in nuclear winter - with or without support from the rest of NATO. But, nonetheless, some in the American 'elite' and its employees, say that it would merely be a recognition of Russia's "bluffing" and "bluster." One wonders what objective this 'elite' believes to be worthy of taking the risk that they're wrong. What do they actually hope to 'win', fighting on the side of the Sauds (and their Israeli agents), in order to conquer Syria? Why are they so desperate, to do that?

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

Eric Blair says June 27, 2017

Moon of Alabama commented yesterday on the US and its allies defeat (so far) in S.E. Syria. At an MSM ignored DoD press conference the US military admitted as much. From MoA's article:

Q: [ ] [W]hat potential threat do you believe these Iranian backed militias and regime forces continue to pose to your forces and your partner forces in the At Tanf - Abu Kamal area?

COL. DILLON: Well if the Syrian regime - and it looks like they are making a concerted effort to move into ISIS held areas. And if they show that they can do that, that is not a bad sign. We are here to fight ISIS as a coalition, but if others want to fight ISIS and defeat them, then we absolutely have no problem with that. And as they move eastward toward Abu Kamal and to Deir Ezzour, if we - as long as we can de-conflict and make sure that we can focus on what it is we're there to do, without having any kind of strategic mishaps with the regime or with pro-regime forces or with Russians, then that is - we're perfectly happy with that.

In a later part the spokesperson also concedes that the forces in al-Tanf are now very constricted in their movement:

if the regime is - has moved into an area that is towards Abu Kamal, then we are going to be limited to how far out we do patrols [from al-Tanf] with our partner forces.

Somewhat later the point is made again and even clearer – al-Tanf is now useless and the Syrian army is free to do what it does:

COL. DILLON: So what I was saying about that is that, out of the At Tanf area, we have used that to train our partner forces and to continue to - to fight ISIS, you know, if they are in and around that area.

You know, now that the regime has moved in, and they have made some significant, you know, progress, as it looks, towards moving to Abu Kamal and perhaps Deir Ezzour, if they want to fight ISIS in Abu Kamal and they have the capacity to do so, then, you know, that - that would be welcome.

We as a coalition are not in the land-grab business. We're in the killing ISIS business, and that is what we want to do. And if - if the Syrian regime wants to do that, and they are going to, again, put forth a concerted effort and show that they are - are doing just that in Abu Kamal or Deir Ezzour or elsewhere, that means that we don't have to do that in those locations.

So I guess that - what I'm saying is, in the At Tanf area, we will continue to train our partner forces. We will continue to do patrols in and around At Tanf in the Hamad desert. But if our access to Abu Kamal is shut off because the regime is there, that's okay.

Hmm the US military standing down? I haven't looked at the entire transcript yet but this seems almost too good to be true. Of course these press conference proclamations need to be washed down with a generous helping of delicious salt. Even if the statements are sincere, the interventionists, their media "partners" and think tank propagandists will keep on pushing for "regime change" (a coup by any other name ) and the destruction of Syria.

On the bright side US/NATO uncontested domination of the globe was stopped in its tracks by the Russian military in Syria on 30.09.2015 and there is simply no way Washington can bribe, threaten or beat every nation in the world into submission.

bevin says June 26, 2017
This is a culture at the end of its tether: it simply cannot put up with dissent or contradiction, so brittle is it. It is all part of a refusal to face ugly reality, symptomatic of which is the relegation-to Die Welt's Sunday edition- of Seymour Hersh's latest investigation of US state mendacity its irresponsibility in the matter if the recent "Sarin" attack blamed on Assad.
Ray McGovern has a piece at Counterpunch today in which he reveals that "Even the London Review of Books, which published Hersh's earlier debunking of the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin-gas incident, wouldn't go out onto the limb this time despite having paid for his investigation.

"According to Hersh, the LRB did not want to be "vulnerable to criticism for seeming to take the view of the Syrian and Russia governments when it came to the April 4 bombing in Khan Sheikhoun." So much for diversity of thought in today's West."
https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/26/hershs-big-scoop-bad-intel-behind-trumps-syria-attack/

captain Swing says June 27, 2017
Very interesting article from Counterpunch. Thanks.
Jerry Alatalo says June 27, 2017
bevin,
The facts Seymour Hersh's article lays out pushes one in the direction that Trump – totally ignoring his intelligence and military experts telling him their was no certainty Assad was responsible – had knowledge the event was a false flag. Trump couldn't be so stupid as to not understand what his experts were telling him. After launching the 50 Tomahawk missiles, he lied through his teeth to the world, saying "we know we have the evidence..", then UN Ambassador Nikki Haley (like Colin Powell, before the illegal Iraq War) blasted Assad falsely, held up pictures at the Security Council of dead children which were quickly plastered on the front pages of newspapers globally,, and literally warned Syria's Bashar al-Jaafari of impending war.

Hersh's article shows Trump, Haley and the U.S. administration, UK/France and other United Nations representatives were lying about "we have the evidence", and owe their citizens and the world an explanation, plus an apology. These psychopath liars are extremely dangerous and must become held to account for their deceptions.

archie1954 says June 26, 2017
If the US were to persist in this dangerous dance with the devil, I could imaging NATO being split by Turkey, refusing to get involved any further and even separately protecting Europe from Russian retaliation by entering into a defense treaty with Russia. The US then would be shouldering the whole foolish confrontation by itself and perhaps having to deal with China and North Korea at the same time. Now that would be an interesting scenario.
Michael Leigh says June 26, 2017
I think the worthy Historian, Eric Zuesse has not considered the possibility that a new midlle East regional grouping, offers the best chance of allowing the USA to gracefully avoid the ultimate failure of its Middle East policy by conceding to the combined alliance, of the major traditional Nations and their forces of the Middle East; being Egypt, Iran and Turkey.

Currently divided by a false religious and secular division, posed by primarily Great Britain and the USA, it was the British who over 100 years ago financed and invented the Sunni Wahhabi division which sunni division represents the most murderous of the current Islamic terrorist outrages financed also by the USA and Saudi Arabia throughout the region and globe.

Similarly, the Anglo-Franco financed and hosting of the Muslim Brotherhood to further frustrate and end Turkey's leadership of the declining Otterman Empire, formally lead by Turkey.

The most important factor against a new alignment of those three aforementioned regional leaders; is the current illegimate counter-alliance of " the lawless Hebrew State of Israel " and the Teflon-guarded deep state, which appears to own and really run the also infamous North America State?

[Jun 28, 2017] Norman Solomon: Is 'Russiagate' Collapsing as a Political Strategy? by Norman Solomon

Notable quotes:
"... By Norman Solomon, the coordinator of the online activist group RootsAction.org and the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of a dozen books including "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death." ..."
"... The Hill ..."
"... "While the voters have a keen interest in any Russian election interference, they are concerned that the investigations have become a distraction for the president and Congress that is hurting rather than helping the country." ..."
"... In early spring, the former communications director of the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign, Jennifer Palmieri, summarized the post-election approach in a Washington Post ..."
"... Polling data now indicate how wrong such claims are. ..."
"... Initially in lockstep this year, Democrats on Capitol Hill probably didn't give it a second thought if they read my article published by The Hill ..."
"... I find political strategy-speak such as "an adjustment in party messaging" to be sickening. The Democrats still seem to be talking about manipulating perception, rather than actually doing anything fundamentally different. ..."
"... Identity politics is basically a divide and rule strategy to keep progressive candidates off the ballot, the real purpose of the Democratic Party establishment. That is what they are being paid for. ..."
"... The first world has had enough neolib, pendulum has started moving the other way. Macron shows the desperation to try something new without embracing right wing LePen an option not available here, so revulsion to neolib resulted in Trump.. ..."
"... There are already significant legal barriers to the creation of a new party. Both parties will probably gang up on any new party development too. ..."
"... The Dims – because that's what these people truly are – will just assume that they haven't put enough effort into "Russia" and go triple- or quadruple-up on every failed candidate, strategy, platform, message, consultant, focus-group and whatever else a sane leadership should by now have been tarring, feathering and releasing the hounds upon. ..."
"... for Dims. The Russia thing is irresistible because it's supposed to get nationalistic rubes to turn against Trump while sucking up to the military-industrial complex. And yet, it didn't work during the campaign either. ..."
"... The fixation of Clintonites, or frustrated dems with russiagate is very telling and well explained here. It strikes me how the russiagate has treated so uncritically by the "liberal" press in Spain. ..."
"... Even if "evidence" would appear after all this time, do we not suspect it has been cooked in the truth-telling factories of the FBI, CIA, and NSA, all in bed with right-wing warmongers who own both parties ( not just Republicans – sorry, integer )? ..."
"... Comment was to your saying the security establishment "which is primarily GOP owned or aligned". Both parties, in a sense, "own" it, and use segments of it to advantage when necessary. But further, both the parties and agencies are "owned" by the power of capital as it is currently operating, and this power behind the throne makes the security and party establishment dance. You and I are on the ground, trying to avoid the footwork. ..."
"... This is one reason why russiagate is inevitable. Who wants to tell the donors that the Team D brain trust pissed away a billion and a half, with nothing to show for it? But if the election was somehow stolen (eeevil Russkies!) then it wasn't really Team D's fault you see, and then ..."
"... The entire Russia-gate issue ignores/insults the voters the Democrats hope to influence. To some extent, the Democrats are telling the deplorable Trump voters, "The Russians influenced you to vote for Trump, someone who you have been aware of for many years, over the other well-known candidate Hillary Clinton" ..."
"... The Trump voter is probably more than a little irritated to have their voting actions viewed this way, they do not see themselves influenced by the Russians and do not understand why the Russians COULD significantly influence the election when the USA spends so much money on the CIA, FBI, NSA and US military. ..."
"... The entire Russia-gate issue ignores/insults the voters the Democrats hope to influence. ..."
"... To some extent, the Democrats are telling the deplorable Trump voters, "The Russians influenced you to vote for Trump, someone who you have been aware of for many years, over the other well-known candidate Hillary Clinton" ..."
"... Unfortunately for the voters Bill Clinton and Obama and the Dem estab are neoliberals. Bill and O were neoliberals running in New Deal clothing. The current Dem estab is neolib. A better "message" sans better policies isn't any better than focusing on Russia, imo. ..."
"... Gore Vidal (among others) used to point out that the dirty little secret of America's anti-communist right was that they were actually jealous of the brutal tactics the commies could use against their dissenters and secretly – and in many cases, not so secretly – wished they could do the same thing here. ..."
"... What if "RussiaGate" was only really intended to pressure Trump hard against any diplomatic rapprochement with a country the Neocons have targeted? ..."
"... Trump's foreign policy has been relentlessly steered into a direction the Clintons always intended to take it. Ticking off the last countries on Israel's 'enemy list' as compiled by the PNAC creeps. Recall the statement of Col. Wilkerson or one of those old guard people who wandered into an office in the Pentagon to find that there was a list of countries to be destroyed, starting with Iraq and ending finally with Iran. Syria and Libya were on it. ..."
"... This whole thing is about a high level grand strategic plan that involves destabilizing and overthrowing governments the US and Israel find annoying and insufficiently obeisant. The ultimate goal will be breaking the Russian Federation into a bunch of independent statelets. This isn't 'conspiracy theory' – it's what Brzezinski advocated and aligns neatly with the needs of the military-industrial-financial complex and its obsession with total control over world energy supplies as a lever for domination. ..."
"... Cold, you bring up a topic often ignored that I find highly credible. The Deep State with all its power to manufacture information and create chaos has a long-standing interest in maintaining Russiaphobia. The Soviet Union was certainly the best enemy they have ever known. Without it trillions of dollars of armaments would have never been sold and billions of dollars of spy agency bureaucracies never have been funded. ..."
"... This has been mission accomplished for the Dems. You just have to assume they want the country to move right. ..."
Jun 27, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
By Norman Solomon, the coordinator of the online activist group RootsAction.org and the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of a dozen books including "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death."

The plan for Democrats to run against Russia may be falling apart.

Now, Democrats in Congress and other party leaders are starting to face an emerging reality: The "winning issue" of Russia is a losing issue.

The results of a reliable new nationwide poll - and what members of Congress keep hearing when they actually listen to constituents back home - cry out for a drastic reorientation of Democratic Party passions. And a growing number of Democrats in Congress are getting the message.

"Frustrated Democrats hoping to elevate their election fortunes have a resounding message for party leaders: Stop talking so much about Russia," The Hill reported over the weekend. In sharp contrast to their party's top spokespeople, "rank-and-file Democrats say the Russia-Trump narrative is simply a non-issue with district voters, who are much more worried about bread-and-butter economic concerns like jobs, wages and the cost of education and healthcare."

The Hill coverage added: "In the wake of a string of special-election defeats, an increasing number of Democrats are calling for an adjustment in party messaging, one that swings the focus from Russia to the economy. The outcome of the 2018 elections, they say, hinges on how well the Democrats manage that shift."

Such assessments aren't just impressionistic or anecdotal. A major poll has just reached conclusions that indicate party leaders have been operating under political illusions.

Conducted last week, the Harvard-Harris national poll found a big disconnect between the Russia obsession of Democratic Party elites in Washington and voters around the country.

Vermont Congressman Peter Welch, a progressive Democrat, put it this way: "We should be focused relentlessly on economic improvement [and] we should stay away from just piling on the criticism of Trump, whether it's about Russia, whether it's about Comey. Because that has its own independent dynamic, it's going to happen on its own without us piling on."

Welch said, "We're much better off if we just do the hard work of coming up with an agenda. Talking about Trump and Russia doesn't create an agenda."

Creating a compelling agenda would mean rejecting what has become the rote reflex of Democratic Party leadership - keep hammering Trump as a Kremlin tool. In a typical recent comment, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pounded away at a talking point already so worn out that it has the appearance of a bent nail: "What do the Russians have on Donald Trump?"

In contrast, another House Democrat, Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania, said: "If you see me treating Russia and criticisms of the president and things like that as a secondary matter, it's because that's how my constituents feel about it."

But ever since the election last November, Democratic congressional leaders have been placing the party's bets heavily on the Russia horse. And it's now pulling up lame.

Yes, a truly independent investigation is needed to probe charges that the Russian government interfered with the U.S. election. And investigators should also dig to find out if there's actual evidence that Trump or his campaign operatives engaged in nefarious activities before or after the election. At the same time, let's get a grip. The partisan grandstanding on Capitol Hill, by leading Republicans and Democrats, hardly qualifies as "independent."

In the top strata of the national Democratic Party, and especially for the Clinton wing of the party, blaming Russia has been of visceral importance. A recent book about Hillary Clinton's latest presidential campaign - "Shattered," by journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes - includes a revealing passage. "Within 24 hours of her concession speech," the authors report, campaign manager Robby Mook and campaign chair John Podesta "assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn't entirely on the up-and-up."

At that meeting, "they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument."

In early spring, the former communications director of the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign, Jennifer Palmieri, summarized the post-election approach in a Washington Post opinion piece : "If we make plain that what Russia has done is nothing less than an attack on our republic, the public will be with us. And the more we talk about it, the more they'll be with us."

Polling data now indicate how wrong such claims are.

Initially in lockstep this year, Democrats on Capitol Hill probably didn't give it a second thought if they read my article published by The Hill nearly six months ago under the headline "Democrats Are Playing With Fire on Russia." At the outset, I warned that "the most cohesive message from congressional Democrats is: blame Russia. The party leaders have doubled down on an approach that got nowhere during the presidential campaign - trying to tie the Kremlin around Donald Trump's neck."

And I added: "Still more interested in playing to the press gallery than speaking directly to the economic distress of voters in the Rust Belt and elsewhere who handed the presidency to Trump, top Democrats would much rather scapegoat Vladimir Putin than scrutinize how they've lost touch with working-class voters."

But my main emphasis in that January 9 article was that "the emerging incendiary rhetoric against Russia is extremely dangerous. It could lead to a military confrontation between two countries that each has thousands of nuclear weapons."

I noted that "enthusiasm for banging the drum against Putin is fast becoming a big part of the Democratic Party's public identity in 2017. And - insidiously - that's apt to give the party a long-term political stake in further demonizing the Russian government."

My article pointed out: "The reality is grim, and potentially catastrophic beyond comprehension. By pushing to further polarize with the Kremlin, congressional Democrats are increasing the chances of a military confrontation with Russia."

Here's a question worth pondering: How much time do members of Congress spend thinking about ways to reduce the risks of nuclear holocaust, compared to how much time they spend thinking about getting re-elected?

In political terms, The Hill 's June 24 news article headlined "Dems Push Leaders to Talk Less About Russia" should be a wakeup call. Held in the thrall of Russia-bashing incantations since early winter, some Democrats in Congress have started to realize that they must break the spell. But they will need help from constituents willing to bluntly tell them to snap out of it .

If there is to be a human future on this planet, it will require real diplomacy between the U.S. and Russia , the world's two nuclear-weapons superpowers. Meanwhile - even if the nuclear threat from continuing to escalate hostility toward Russia doesn't rank high on the list of Democrats' concerns on Capitol Hill - maybe the prospects of failure in the elections next year will compel a major change. It's time for the dangerous anti-Russia fever to break.

EndOfTheWorld , June 27, 2017 at 3:55 am

The "Russiagate" farce had its waterloo moment when three CNN faux journalists were asked kindly to resign for being too faux even for the Clinton News Network.

Yes, the Democrat politicians who have enough functioning brain cells to actually go back to their districts and meet with their random constituents can plainly see that the people want this BS to come to and end immediately if not three months ago.

Louis Fyne , June 27, 2017 at 9:29 am

CNN producer on video admitting that it's all bunk courtesy of James Okeefe. Expect Fox News to run this clip 24/7. http://www.veritaslive.com/06-26-2017/americanpravdacnn.html

shinola , June 27, 2017 at 2:23 pm

Thanks for the link – confirms what I've suspected for months. If any of y'all have about 9 minutes to spare, this vid. is really interesting (& damning).

Thor's Hammer , June 27, 2017 at 11:31 am

Debates about whether the Democrat wing of the Property Party should change its PR focus from trying to manufacture Russiaphobia to pretending to care about the welfare of the working class are worse than debating about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. It's embarrassing to watch a highly intelligent group of people like the NC readership engage in discussions like this while ignoring the facts before them.

NC has diligently documented the bankster fraud that characterized the 2007-2008 financial meltdown. Exactly how many of the perpetrators of this massive theft went to prison?

The US has been at permanent war in the middle east for 20 years under Democrat and Republican administrations, employing fabrication of events, torture of prisoners, shock and awe bombing attacks, assassination by remote control drones, false flag attacks, and proxy funding of Islamic terrorist organizations. How many CIA torturers, generals, and politicians have been held accountable for their lies and war crimes?

Thor's Hammer , June 27, 2017 at 4:18 pm

By "people who have been living in terror" I assume your mean people who find themselves on the Trump banned country list? Unjust and anti-humanitarian perhaps, but hardly equivalent to terrorism.

Terrorism is when your wedding party is bombed by a drone being piloted by a computer operator half a world away because the cyber spy satellites have detected too many cell phone conversations directed at one of the guests. Terrorism is when a delusional religious fundamentalist straps explosives to her body and blows herself up in a crowded nightclub. And terrorism is when a government funds the anti-human belief systems that lead to such mad acts.

Allegorio , June 27, 2017 at 5:10 pm

The first and foremost action should be government funded elections. Take the money out of politics. Open up ballot access. Election day should be a national holiday. Paper ballots publicly counted. Free electioneering on our public airwaves. Run off elections so that the elected truly have a mandate. The malefactors of wealth completely control the electoral process. Tall order but nothing else can be accomplished unless we take back the electoral system, foundation of democracy.

Lord Koos , June 27, 2017 at 1:06 pm

I find political strategy-speak such as "an adjustment in party messaging" to be sickening. The Democrats still seem to be talking about manipulating perception, rather than actually doing anything fundamentally different.

Allegorio , June 27, 2017 at 5:12 pm

That was absolutely Nancy Pelosi's line on CBS the other morning. We're not doing anything wrong we're just not getting our message out there. Delusional bought and paid for party hack. She has got to go.

oh , June 27, 2017 at 4:48 pm

Agree. Here's slight modification of one of you points:

  1. Elections are circuses organized for the distraction of the underclasses.
  2. They are never contested on the basis of fundamental issues that determine the future of the country.
  3. Rather, they are pissing contests between advertising agencies who employ all means at hand to temporarily manipulate public opinion while maximizing their revenue.
ChrisPacific , June 27, 2017 at 5:03 pm

All largely true; however, there remains a large contingent of non-NC readers (and traditional Democrat supporters) who remain unaware of most of this and who need to be convinced. Many of these people are our friends and relatives, and penetrating their illusions is essential if we are ever to reform the Democrat party by starving its more problematic members of voter support. The four points you mentioned, while largely accepted by NC readers, remain very much to be demonstrated when talking to these kind of people. We can't just lead with something like "Hillary is a warmongering crony capitalist who sold out the working class a long time ago." They will switch off if we do. We need to offer concrete, real-world examples that demonstrate it, along with the necessary context for them to understand the problem. If they follow along with the arguments then they will eventually reach the conclusion on their own. While this article may not be telling NC readers anything they don't already know, it's a good example of a narrative that we can use in those situations.

EoinW , June 27, 2017 at 8:23 am

Trojan Horse. It's the Guardian(and CNN) saying: "we deal with faux news the moment it happens. Look at how clean we are!" The entire MSM will jump all over this and pretend they've cleaned house, fixed the one isolated incident, therefore we can once again trust them to be the truth tellers they are. A wonderful script for the Lefties and the pseudo-Left media, like the Guardian. It's BS because they lie all the time about everything!

Allegorio , June 27, 2017 at 5:19 pm

Please don't conflate the left with the "Liberal Media". There is no left mass media in this country.

integer , June 27, 2017 at 5:16 am

https://twitter.com/JulianAssange/status/878773715147902977

Why the Democratic party is doomed:

1. The Democratic establishment has vortexed the party's narrative energy into hysteria about Russia (a state with a lower GDP than South Korea). It is starkly obvious that were it not for this hysteria insurgent narratives of the type promoted by Bernie Sanders would rapidly dominate the party's base and its relationship with the public. Without the "We didn't lose–Russia won" narrative the party's elite and those who exist under its patronage would be purged for being electorally incompetent and ideologically passé. The collapse of the Democratic vote over the last eight years is at every level, city, state, Congressional and presidential. It corresponds to the domination of Democratic decision making structures by a professional, educated, urban service class and to the shocking decline in health and longevity of white males, who together with their wives, daughters, mothers, etc. comprise 63% of the US population (2010 census). Unlike other industrialized countries US male real wages (all ethnic groups combined) have not increased since 1973. In trying to stimulate engagement of non-whites and women Democrats have aggressively promoted identity politics. This short-term tactic has led to the inevitable strategic catastrophe of the white and male super majorities responding by seeing themselves as an unserviced political identity group. Consequently in response to sotto-voce suggestions that Trump would service this group 53% of all men voted for Trump, 53% of white women and 63% of white men (PEW Research).

2. The Trump-Russia collusion narrative is a political dead end. Despite vast resources, enormous incentives and a year of investigation, Democratic senators who have seen the classified intelligence at the CIA such as Senator Feinstein (as recently as March) are forced to admit that there is no evidence of collusion
[ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BS5amEq7Fc ]. Without collusion, we are left with the Democratic establishment blaming the public for being repelled by the words of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party establishment. Is it a problem that the public discovered what Hillary Clinton said to Goldman Sachs and what party elites said about fixing the DNC primaries against Bernie Sanders? A party elite that maintains that it is the "crime of the century" for the public and their membership to discover how they behave and what they believe invites scorn.

3. The Democrat establishment needs the support of the security sector and media barons to push this diversionary conspiracy agenda, so they ingratiate themselves with these two classes leading to further perceptions that the Democrats act on behalf of an entrenched power elite. Eventually, Trump or Pence will 'merge' with the security state leaving Democrats in a vulnerable position having talked up two deeply unaccountable traditionally Republican-aligned organizations, in particular, the CIA and the FBI, who will be turned against them. Other than domestic diversion and geopolitical destabilization the primary result of the Russian narrative is increased influence and funding for the security sector which is primarily GOP owned or aligned.

4. The twin result is to place the primary self-interest concerns of most Americans, class competition, freedom from crime and ill health and the empowerment of their children, into the shadows and project the Democrats as close to DC and media elites. This has further cemented Trump's anti-establishment positioning and fettered attacks on Trump's run away embrace of robber barons, dictators and gravitas-free buffoons like the CIA's Mike Pompeo.

5. GOP/Trump has open goals everywhere: broken promises, inequality, economy, healthcare, militarization, Goldman Sachs, Saudi Arabia & cronyism, but the Democrat establishment can't kick these goals since the Russian collusion narrative has consumed all its energy and it is entangled with many of the same groups behind Trump's policies.

6. The Democratic base should move to start a new party since the party elite shows no signs that they will give up power. This can be done quickly and cheaply as a result of the internet and databases of peoples' political preferences. This reality is proven in practice with the rapid construction of the Macron, Sanders and Trump campaigns from nothing. The existing Democratic party may well have negative reputational capital, stimulating a Macron-style clean slate approach. Regardless, in the face of such a threat, the Democratic establishment will either concede control or, as in the case of Macron, be eliminated by the new structure.

Carolinian , June 27, 2017 at 8:34 am

I agree with 6. The fact that the Dems reacted to their presidential loss by immediately accusing their opponent of treason shows how low they have sunk. Perhaps they thought they were justified in imitating Trump's own shoot from the lip style but someone has to be the adult in the room. Meanwhile the country's two leading newspapers turn themselves into social media sites. The ruling class seems to be cracking up.

Suggested name for new third party: the Not Crazy party.

fresno dan , June 27, 2017 at 9:56 am

integer June 27, 2017 at 5:16 am
Thanks for that! Again and Again and Again:
"It corresponds to the domination of Democratic decision making structures by a professional, educated, urban service class and to the shocking decline in health and longevity of white males, who together with their wives, daughters, mothers, etc. comprise 63% of the US population (2010 census). Unlike other industrialized countries US male real wages (all ethnic groups combined) have not increased since 1973. In trying to stimulate engagement of non-whites and women Democrats have aggressively promoted identity politics. This short-term tactic has led to the inevitable strategic catastrophe of the white and male super majorities responding by seeing themselves as an unserviced political identity group. Consequently in