Softpanorama

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

Who Rules America ?

A slightly skeptical view on the US political establishment and foreign policy

If Ronald Reagan was America's neo-Julius Caesar, his adopted son was the first George Bush (just as J.C. adopted Augustus). And look what THAT progeny wrought. I fully expect that over the next century, no fewer than seven Bushes will have run or become president (mimicking the Roman Caesarian line). Goodbye, American Republic.

From review of Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia by Gore Vidal

Skepticism -> Political Skeptic

News Neoliberalism Recommended books Recommended Links Libertarian Philosophy Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism
National Security State Key Myths of Neoliberalism Big Uncle is Watching You The Iron Law of Oligarchy Color revolutions Cold War II Two Party System as Polyarchy
Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization Predator state Corporatism Elite Theory Neo-conservatism Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers
Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Demonization of Putin Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia Pathological Russophobia of the US elite Compradors vs. national bourgeoisie
Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization Ukraine: From EuroMaydan to EuroAnschluss Civil war in Ukraine Fuck the EU Odessa Massacre of May 2, 2014 Russian Ukrainian Gas Wars Neoliberalism and Christianity
Anti Trump Hysteria Anti-globalization movement Neoliberal corruption DNC emails leak Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization Disaster capitalism IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement
Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Media-Military-Industrial Complex New American Militarism Ethno-lingustic Nationalism American Exceptionalism The Deep State Obama: a yet another Neocon
Neoliberal war on reality In Foreign Events Coverage Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Corruption of Regulators Ayn Rand and her Objectivism Cult  Neo-Theocracy as a drive to simpler society American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition
Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Groupthink Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Deception as an art form Mayberry Machiavellians Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers War and Peace Quotes
Famous quotes of John Kenneth Galbraith Talleyrand quotes Otto Von Bismarck Quotes Kurt Vonnegut Quotes Somerset Maugham Quotes George Carlin Propaganda Quotes
Overcomplexity of society Paleoconservatism Non-Interventionism   Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

FDR. speech after the election (1936)

polyarchy: A system where the participation of masses of people is limited to voting among one or another representatives of the elite in periodic elections. Between elections the masses are now expected to keep quiet, to go back to life as usual while the elite make decisions and run the world until they can choose between one or another elite another four years later. So polyarchy is a system of elite rule, and a system of elite rule that is little bit more soft-core than the elite rule that we would see under a military dictatorship. But what we see is that under a polyarchy the basic socio-economic system does not change, it does not become democratized.

▬William I. Robinson, Behind the Veil, Minute 1:29:15

Neoliberalism -- the current social system in the USA and most European countries, Japan, Russia and China (with some minor variations) -- is a very interesting ideology, one that does not dare to speak its mane ;-). After triumphal march of neoliberalism in late 80th and early 90th (with the collapse of the USSR as the high point), neoliberalism entered a crisis in 2008.

This site is slightly skeptical as for long term viability of Neoliberalism as a social system. After the "triumphal march" over the globe in  late seventies and 80th with the collapse of the USSR (which elite simply changed sides) as the final crescendo of this march neoliberalism might already entered the phase of decline after the crisis of 2008.  It's ideology (market fundamentalism) is now discredited. While neoliberal think tanks try to contain damage, the fatal flaws after 2008 are now apparent and can't be  hidden. The key neoliberal country and the key enforcer of neoliberalism over the globe -- the USA -- entered "secular stagnation" in economics and now is trying to fend of the challenge that China economic growth presents to its world dominance. Election of Trump means that the protest against neoliberal globalization entered  mainstream in the USA in 2016:  Hillary Clinton as defeated as a proponent of status quo, the proponent  of neoliberal globalization and the wars for expansion of neoliberal empire, the candidate who promised to kick the neoliberal can down the road. 

In this sense Trump should probably be viewed as a new stage of this decline, the phase in which financial oligarchy not only failed to put the desired puppet into White House and was farced to unleash a with hunt to put Trump into the line  (During elections Trump used to have anti-globalization inclinations -- anathema for neoliberals -- and that's why he was so viciously attacked after he have won).

As currently I see no viable new alternative to neoliberalism, our analysis of neoliberalism has distinct New Deal capitalism bias, although the restoration of New Deal capitalism looks impossible because the social base of it -- the alliance of corporate management  and trade union leaders, was destroyed due to defection of corporate managers to the side of capital owners.

And yes, my friends, like Molière's play Le Bourgeois gentilhomme character, who was surprised and delighted to learn that he has been speaking prose all his life without knowing it., you are living under neoliberal regime at least since 1980, most probably without knowing it.  Current events are much easier to analyze if you use the framework proposed in those pages. On interesting nuance is that being some kind of "Trotskyism for rich" this regime is almost as far from real democracy as the USSR one party system. It is something Sheldon Volin called "inverted totalitarism". In certain aspects it is even more anti-democratic than the capitalism of the Gilded Age with which it  has some uncanny similarities.  

Another interesting aspect of neoliberalism is the existence of so called "neoliberal rationality" (compare with the "proletarian mindset" of Bolshevism ). As well as the extent of brainwashing into this rationality, especially at the university level. As well as  the level and the sophistication of the use of propaganda -- especially for propagating a set of neoliberal myths very similar that were created by Bolshevism. For example, "Free trade", "free market" (why not fair in both cases?) , "labor market", "human capital", etc.  In reality the key idea behind this Potemkin Village style elaborate false ideological facade  is the redistribution of wealth up toward top 1%  (or even more to the top 0.01%).  Exactly like was the case with Bolshevism, which while proclaiming the false facade of "dictatorship of proletariat" mercilessly suppressed unions and kept 90% of population at the standard of living much lower than in Western and even Eastern Europe, although not close to starvation which is the neoliberal ideal of "plantation economy" (implemented, for example, by Wal-Mart, with its below subsistence wages), with atomized and isolated form each other debt slaves.  In other words, there are some striking similarities between Soviet nomenklatura and neoliberal oligarchy, similarities that no objective scholar  studying neoliberalism  can ignore. See also Two Party System as Polyarchy -- "the first after the post system" proved to be ideal for neoliberal regime as it allows financial oligarchy preselect  candidates from both Parties,  turning the election into expensive staged event -- a grandiose political spectacle, if you wish. but with predicted outcome as stage directors who perform casting are members of a close circle of neoliberal elite -- mostly financial oligarchy.  It could be adopted by Soviet nomenklatura as well as it very effectively prevents  any real challenges to the  existing political regime by pre-selection of two candidates running to the given position and two parties, which are essentially a "soft" and "hard" factions of a single party of financial oligarchy.

The level of "synchronicity" in coverage of foreign events by neoliberal MSS also remind me the level typical for Soviet Union. With all MSM repeating the State Department talking points and in general going out their skin be politically correct stooges of the neoliberal regime.

Yet another very interesting aspect of neoliberal regime is the level of public apathy, limited  public discourse and even vocabulary (try to find the word "neoliberal" in WaPo ;-)  as well as epidemic of narco-addition (especially in Rust Belt, which is more severely hit by neoliberal globalization with its offshoring and outsourcing). Which is not that dissimilar to the epidemic of alcoholism under Bolshevism. When common people see no future for themselves and their children they tend to engage in self-destructing behaviour.

What is really interesting is that the term "neoliberalism"  has the status of a semi-taboo in the USA, and seldom can be found in articles published by the USA MSM, due to some kind of "silence" pact ;-). This set of pages intent is to fight this trend. 

It is also important to understand that the level of hostility to Trump by the "deep state" is directly connected with three main (and very quickly betrayed) promises that Trump made during elections:

  1. No more neoliberal globalization with its offshoring and outsourcing of jobs and industries;
  2. No more wars for expansion of neoliberal empire;
  3. Jobs for all Americans

All three were a direct revision of neoliberal ideology, as well as "neoliberal rationality".  That's why the counter-attack of both the "Deep State" and neoliberal MSM on Trump was so vicious, with well coordinated set of leaks, appointment of Special Prosecutor (on fake pretext), re-launch of McCarthyism, and campaign of demonization of Trump and his administration in media.  That so vividly resembles the attacks on "revisionists" in the USSR during Stalinism, that you may wish to revisit books devoted to those trials  ;-).

What is new is that elements of color revolutions technology  are used against Trump and his administration by neoliberal nomenklatura to preserve power. The gal is to remove Trump from power. This technology was used probably for second time in the USA history. Nixon's case is somewhat similar and also involves decisive intelligence agencies role (the core of the Deep State) in removal the President, JFK is an earlier case but without any color revolution elements.  Those technologies were designed  to topple "unfriendly" to neoliberalism regimes in xUSSR space and "resource nationalists" in the Middle East (as well as against China in Hong Cong). That suggests that neoliberals felt a real threat from Trump "revisionism". 

Deployment of those technologies does not spell well with the social stability because delegitimization of elected government has lasting effects. Just look at Ukraine which was the victim of the most recent "color revolution" experiment. They have now two breakaway regions.  In other words when the gin of color revolution is out of the bottle it is not that easy to put it back and the events can turn in the direction not anticipated by the originators of such a color revolution.

Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page Who Rules America


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008

It's easy to pretend to be a great strategist,
while sitting on the top of the hill,
at the safe distance from the battle in the valley

Shota Rustavelli(1172–1216)

[Nov 18, 2017] Why is communism considered as evil (like fascism and nazism) in the United States - Politics Stack Exchange

Notable quotes:
"... approximately 100 million people in contrast to the approximately 25 million victims of the Nazis ..."
Nov 18, 2017 | politics.stackexchange.com

Why is communism considered as evil (like fascism and nazism) in the United States? up vote 33 down vote favorite 10

,yesterday

In this question, a person asks why it's so easy to ban Nazi symbols and so hard to ban communist symbols: Why is banning communism symbols so hard to achieve as opposed to banning of Nazi symbols?

The implication being that communism and Nazism is pretty much the same.

What is the reason for this idea that communism is evil or like Nazism and fascism and aims to kill people?

Is it merely due to the propaganda during the Cold War? I find that doubtful as that was quite a while ago. So why do Americans still commonly have this opinion?

Wes Sayeed ,yesterday

This question is more of a philosophical one than about any specific policy, but it strikes at the very heart of political thought and policymaking in general. I think it should be left open. – Wes Sayeed yesterday

Erik ,yesterday

Do you have any stats about how communism is viewed throughout the Western world? I always get the feeling the hatred of communism isn't a "Western" thing, it's a "United States" thing. – Erik yesterday

Sam I am ♦ ,14 hours ago

Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat . – Sam I am ♦ 14 hours ago

Pakk ,11 hours ago

The current most popular answers don't answer this question, but are explanations why the answerer thinks that communism is evil. Even if everything in those answers is true, it only shows that mass murders are an originally unintended consequence of communism, while the mass murders of Nazism are part of the ideology. For me, Nazism is an evil idea, and Communism is a bad idea because it leads to evil things. This is a big difference. I think this is a great question, and I hope there will be a true answer to this question, because I don't know the answer. – Pakk 11 hours ago

user4012 ,1 hour ago

@Pakk - there's two competing philosophies (and no, they aren't communism and capitalism :). One posits that things ought to be judged on the basis of intent. The other posits that things ought to be judged on the basis of outcome (aka the road to hell is paved with good intentions). – user4012 1 hour ago

Wes Sayeed ,yesterday

Fundamental to communist ideology is the common ownership of the means of production and abolishment of social classes and social hierarchy. In practice, that means no (or very few) private property rights, and forced redistribution of wealth from those who are most able to produce to those who are less able or unwilling to do so.

Private property and the exclusive access to the fruits of one's own labor are fundamental human rights under natural law. In order for communism to be moral, it requires everyone to voluntarily cooperate with each other towards a common goal. Unfortunately, people do not work this way. They are different in their ambitions, in their capabilities, and in their values. These differences cause different outcomes, cause some to be more successful than others, and even cause differences by which success is measured in the first place. But communism requires collectivism in order to work. Communism must eliminate those variations of the individual in order to harmonize with the collective good. This is absolutely counterintuitive to everything about human nature.

In order to realize communist goals, private property and the individual's right to their own labor must be seized from them for the sake of the collective. And because this is antithetical to individual freedom, communist governments must also work to eliminate dissent. Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.

In light of the authoritarian oppression of every communist regime in the history of ever, there are those who still make the argument that the idea of communism is good; it's just been "done wrong" by every communist state that has attempted it. However, this is not true. Communism is a fundamentally flawed ideology at its core. Its goals are attractive in principle, but completely unworkable in practice.

Communist governments must necessarily use coercion to achieve the social harmony they promise, depriving the individual of the right to choose their own destiny -- especially if those choices lead to better outcomes for them than for others. This is why every communist state has been a totalitarian nightmare replete with rampant and gross human rights violations. That is the inevitable destiny of any communist regime because it is utterly and completely incompatible with individual freedom and conscience.

tim ,yesterday

Communists would argue that people already do not have full access to the result of their labor (because capitalists own the means of production and thus collect a surplus value from that labor). I also think that you make a pretty big jump from "right to their labor must be seized" (which is already a reach) to "terror" and living in fear. If you make that jump, and would agree that workers currently do not have full access to the result of their labor (which is fair to say), you could also say that people in capitalist societies must live in terror and fear (which is not generally the case). – tim yesterday

IllusiveBrian ,yesterday

@tim People living in capitalist societies who do not own 100% of their labor (per your definition) give up the percentage to their employer so that they do not have to own the risk of investing in equipment/office space/etc to be able to perform their labor and the risk of having to actually turn the labor into something someone else is willing to buy. Additionally, everyone is free to try to own 100% of their labor by investing in it and selling it themselves. If anything, the only thing laborers have to fear is that they must sell their labor to someone in order to pay taxes. – IllusiveBrian yesterday

tim ,yesterday

@IllusiveBrian Even if you calculate "risk" into the equation, there is still a surplus; it's why large companies end up with billions in revenue. I don't see how say a coal miner could bypass that by "selling it themselves"; it's not a realistic possibility. But my point was that capitalist exploitation is comparable to the "no right to their labor" argument by OP. Both have to be enforced, but saying that it has to be enforced with terror is a reach (anti-communists might argue that it needs to be in communism, and anti-capitalists might argue that the same is true for capitalism). – tim yesterday

wizzwizz4 ,10 hours ago

This answer is focussing more on why communism is bad (and is an opinion piece regardless of the validity or not of said opinion). Perhaps focussing on why it is viewed in this way instead of stating said view would make this a less controversial answer. – wizzwizz4 10 hours ago

Azor-Ahai ,9 hours ago

What is "natural law"? – Azor-Ahai 9 hours ago

user4012 ,yesterday

TL;DR: because communism did, in fact, kill people. Between 23 million (low estimate) and 100 million (high estimate) of them killed by regimes that collectively self-branded themselves as led by "communist" parties.

The question contains two premises, both 100% false:

  1. That the only reason Communism is seen as evil is "because propaganda" and "because the people with that view are uneducated/stupid".

    Contrary to that, as the answer below shows, there's objective evidence leading people to consider Communism evil.

  2. That Communism is universally unpopular in the West, especially USA.

Let's expand on both points:


Is it merely due to the propaganda during the Cold War? I find that doubtful. That was so long ago, and the people who were subject to that propaganda are all old or dead now. So why have Americans and other westerners not smartened up by now and understood what Communism is?

It's a nice theory that is fully contradicted by the fact that among the most anti-communist segments of population are those who know best - immigrants from "communist" (well, socialist) states. People from former USSR, refugees from Castro's Cuba, Venezuelans who escaped Chavez's regime - they are all far more anti-Communist than the average Westerner. Because:

  1. They know exactly what the reality of living in your "communist" dream entails.
  2. They know their history. My grandmother was almost repressed because she happened to study genetics when Lysenko was in power. Many members of my extended family were repressed during Stalin's times. She also remembers "Doctor's Plot" (and the fact that Stalin missed out on getting rid most Soviet Jews by a few weeks when he died unexpectedly). Or, for less personalized history lessons:

So yes, people who "understood what Communism is" are actually the ones most anti-Communist.


Secondly, Communism is actually pretty popular in the US/West, especially among millennials - who have been shown to not even know basic facts about history of communism.

Part of the reason for that is that this is the generation who have been subjected to and influenced by left wing biased views by educators for the last 40 years (As of 2007, 18 percent of social scientists in the United States, self-identify as Marxists , and an overwhelming majority of college professors is progressive/left wing at 12/1 ratio )

Or, for those who do understand and know the facts, they simply refuse to judge Communism by its actual record instead of some theoretical imaginary goals .

Sam I am ♦ ,14 hours ago

Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat . – Sam I am ♦ 14 hours ago

ruakh ,6 hours ago

Re: "My grandmother was almost repressed [...] Many members of my extended family were repressed during Stalin's times": I think you may be using the wrong word here; Stalin's regime was definitely repressive, but "repress" is very vague, to the point that "almost repressed" is meaningless. Did you mean something more specific? – ruakh 6 hours ago

Tony Ennis ,4 hours ago

My Russian teachers had nothing nice to say about the Socialist state from which they fled. – Tony Ennis 4 hours ago

canadianer ,3 hours ago

The poll says 7% prefer a communist country while 44% prefer a socialist country. The same poll also says that most people don't know or misidentify what socialism or communism really are. Is it not, then, misleading to say "51%... prefer to live in socialist or communist country..." in support of the premise that "Communism is actually pretty popular..." ? – canadianer 3 hours ago

user4012 ,2 hours ago

@ruakh - I'm not sure what the correct technical English term is for the russian word "repressirovan (репрессирован)". But it has a very un-ambiguous meaning in context . – user4012 2 hours ago

not store bought dirt ,yesterday

Marx wrote about the inevitability of a paradise of post scarcity once communism is achieved, but very strongly implied that we need to climb over some well dressed corpses to get there. It seems pretty expected that the people currently wearing those clothes aren't going to want that.

Negative news reports weren't that long ago. Whether this is propaganda or not is increasingly hard to say, but:

Two of the countries Americans are most concerned about are still aligned with communism. There are still reports of humans rights violations. Some fairly brutal suppressions happened in the last 40 years, which is withing living memory (not everyone is a millennial no matter what the internet says).

I remember watching The Wall being smashed and a man stopping a tank on TV. And they will live on in the internet, forever counterrevolutionary, with commentary about why they are important. These are events that stick with some people as strongly as One Small Step, I Have A Dream, or a man burning as he falls.

Some of the none governmental propaganda against communism is still regularly used. 1984 and Animal Farm are fairly hard to avoid in American school and Ayn Rand is surprisingly often mentioned.

user4012 ,yesterday

+1 but I am rather surprised where you found a single American school mentioning Ayn Rand. – user4012 yesterday

blip ,yesterday

@user4012 it's often required or suggested reading. Less so today, fortunately :) – blip yesterday

blip ,yesterday

@user4012 it's in many school libraries...or at least was. I had it as part of coursework in college. My son had it as a book he could read (suggested, not required) in high school. – blip yesterday

blip ,yesterday

@seeReality23 rather, she was a complete nutcase, a bad writer, and ultimately a hypocrite of her own philosophy. 6/half-dozen. – blip yesterday

Shautieh ,3 hours ago

Looked up Ayn Rand rom wikipedia: "In politics, she condemned the initiation of force as immoral,[3] and opposed collectivism and statism as well as anarchism, and instead supported laissez-faire capitalism, which she defined as the system based on recognizing individual rights". What's so controversial about disliking oppressive regimes and supporting individual rights? – Shautieh 3 hours ago

Chloe ,yesterday

Communism has committed atrocities far greater than the Holocaust.

Holodomor : up to 12 million dead

Khmer Rouge : up to 3 million dead

The Great Leap Forward : up to 55 million dead

Tanzania Experiment : no deaths, only near famine

Death, famine, and genocide are usually considered evil.

user41281 ,yesterday

I don't particularly see how these reflect negatively on communism as an ideology. Rather, they are examples of failed/inefficient policies by specific authoritarian governments, and in some of the above might have even been politically motivated. If one were to ascribe these failings to any particular form of government, I would personally attribute them to the authoritarian underpinnings of the states in question, not their goals of communism. Moreover, states like the USSR weren't communist in any form (they were socialist, both in the constitution and in practice). – user41281 yesterday

Dan Walmsley ,yesterday

user41281 The parent question asked "why it's so easy to ban Nazi symbols and so hard to ban communist symbols" I thinks it's fair to say many evils have been done under those symbols, it is strange they are seen in a positive light. The symbols represent specific implementations of Communism. I personally think communism as an ideology is destined to lead to tyranny but even if you don't think that's the case they symbols were used by some horrific tyrannies. – Dan Walmsley yesterday

Chloe ,yesterday

@MoziburUllah Colonialism isn't required by capitalism. Communal farming is required by communism. Also, tu quoque is a logical fallacy. – Chloe yesterday

Mozibur Ullah ,yesterday

Colonialism and slavery is historically linked with Capitalism in the same way that Communism is historically linked with the atrocities you've mentioned; its part of a even-handed critique to look at both sides of an argument, as opposed to criticism which is just one-sided. – Mozibur Ullah yesterday

jamesqf ,yesterday

@Mozibur Ullah: Linked by whom? Usually as propaganda by the left, no? Certainly we can find colonialism and slavery in cultures that pre-date modern capitalism: Rome and Islam to pick just two well-known instances. – jamesqf yesterday

Twelfth ,yesterday

Why is communism considered as evil (like fascism and nazism) in western countries?

Simple answer is them vs us. This was previously nationality, but cold-war era saw this them vs us line drawn more on economic lines as alliances spanned multiple nations. I'll try to ignore the actuals behind why communism is evil and try to focus more on the perception of why it's remained the big evil within western society.

It should be noted that if you include deaths from sweatshops, activities outlined in 'confessions of an economic hitman', and a handful of wars...capitalism likely has quite the death toll behind it as well, but where do you draw the line between imperial ambitions and capitalism...and if we're willing to draw that line for capitalism, where does that line lay for the communists death toll? Ideal theory vs less than ideal implementation is always a factor in this discussion, usually people have to wear pretty heavy blinders to declare why our system is good and just while their system is corrupt and evil.

Much longer answer, a lot of this is generational. Younger generations are more and more embracing a 'help your neighbor' viewpoint associating capitalism with a 'Individual at the expense of everyone else' ala Martin Shkreli vs a communism 'collective looking out for the good of one another', which seems to have caused a bit of a leftist tilt in the younger generation (probably a bit to do with people get screwed over by capitalism as well and the much greener grass of communism is a dream to address that). Of course, this is entirely a dream world and has little to do with what communism actually is, yet a large number of youths in capitalist nations have somehow come to the conclusion that communism is preferable. Teaching this younger generation what the implementation of communism actually looks like is often done in the 'communism is evil' standpoint, perpetuating the 'communism is evil' viewpoint.

This is greatly exacerbated in the US, which shows a weird mix of misunderstanding and political posturing...we've already got an answer claiming all socialism is communism (same people that use 'liberal' as a curseword), which makes a pretty good example for this. Very much an exercise of reductio ad absurdum in action, suggesting some social support is countered by all social support is communism and therefore evil. Much of the wealthy within the US is generally against using their money to finance social constructs (healthcare is a big one here, but it's used against a pretty wide array of social programs) and a consistent tactic to whip up support is to use the lines "this is socialism, all socialism is communism, communism is evil, therefore "insert hot topic like universal healthcare" is evil. This political posturing is a heavy reason this 'communism is evil!' argument continues in America.

But with all that said...the key reason why Communism is regarded as evil can be reduced to freedom. "communism = someone else/collective telling us what to do and how to behave" vs "capitalism is the individual choosing what to do and how to behave". People who have had their freedom denied will heavily resist what appears to be taking freedom away.

blip ,yesterday

The catch with capitalism is that it can equally end up being someone else telling us what to do and how to behave. It's not a simple contrast in that regard. – blip yesterday

Twelfth ,yesterday

@blip - Agreed entirely, I'm tried to keep my talking points to perception and not the reality...more often than not, perceptions are reduced down to the simplest form. – Twelfth yesterday

blip ,yesterday

Good point re: perception. – blip yesterday

J Doe ,yesterday

Of course under capitalism you still have people telling you how to behave. – J Doe yesterday

J Doe ,yesterday

Indeed, the whole point of communism is that it is supposed to free us from the yoke of capitalism. Here's an example: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commons-based_peer_productionJ Doe yesterday

libeako ,yesterday

The base of socialism is higher tax and more control over the economy in order to "help the poor". If one amplifies this to total [everything is taken away by tax, every economical decision is controlled], then one gets exactly in a situation that is equivalent with communism.

So "communism" is just the extreme of socialism. To be general, i will speak about socialism mostly, but it applies to communism too.

Socialism, as any other social order : has a basic categorization : voluntary or enforced. By the word "socialism" most people mean the one enforced by state, which is of course violent, as laws of the state are mandatory, and enforced by violence. Such socialism is really bad, even if not by intention, but at least by results.

In the enforced socialism : the state [hence, and more precisely the rulers] gain power to take away the private property of the people and control economical activity. This has 2 notable results :

In short time : exploitation of the economy and distribution of the stolen assets to the poor is popular. This also strengthens the political power of the socialist ruler. But in the long time : the effect on the economy is felt by the people, who then start to want political change. In this stage the ruler, who has by now established a tyranny : has 2 choices :

What makes socialism especially dangerous idea is that it gives high power to the ruler, hence is prone to tyranny. I said "prone". Socialism does not necessarily leads to tyranny. In fact : most democratic countries today are socialist for decades. If socialism is applied in a sufficiently small dose then the negative consequences are small too and the country can survive it, even prosper.

Socialism and hitlerism are the same in their core principle, which is : "I have an idea about how people should live. It is so good that we should gain power and attack people to force them to live that way."

It is very important to see where the problem is. It is not in the social ideology itself.

The problem is the idea that people should be violently attacked to enforce an idea.

Violence itself may be even a good thing. For example it is good to kill a person who is committing mass shooting. Not only because it saves more lives than it takes, but because it saves innocent life and takes guilty life. Even it is good to shoot a group of criminals who are killing a single innocent person. What is then really bad about violence? It is the initiation of it ["attack", "aggression"].

More precisely we should condemn not only initiation of violence, but more generally : initiation of harm. Harm also contains theft.

Economic freedom [voluntary exchange of goods and services] does not need violence at all, but restricting economic freedom does. Defending property right does need violence, but robbery needs more. Theft is initiation of harm, while using force against theft is violence and therefore harm too, but not initiation of harm.

Twelfth ,yesterday

You've done a great job of illustrating how communism is erroneously conflated with socialism. Not exactly the point of the question, unless you were going with irony. – Twelfth yesterday

Twelfth ,yesterday

"help the poor" - it's to help the people regardless of wealth, middle class still use the social structures. But you are badly mixing the two topics up, communism is political while socialism is economical and you seem to have this driving point to say that socialism cannot be achieved without a dictator which is completely false. Democratic socialism already exists proving your answer to be complete paranoia and a perfect example of the 'communism is evil, flee while you can' mantra. Hence my +1 for ironic answer award – Twelfth yesterday

Obie 2.0 ,yesterday

@Andy - Can one have a capitalist economy without the use of force? ;) Private property rights don't enforce themselves, you know. – Obie 2.0 yesterday

Twelfth ,yesterday

@Andy - movement in the US seems to be growing in popularity without force. thenation.com/article/ Scandinavian nations being classified as such, and the socialist related death count in Norway is low. dissentmagazine.org/article/ Social dems in Germany are doing decent. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Democratic_Party_of_Germany socialism and communism are not the same, democratic socialism is alive and distant from communism – Twelfth yesterday

owjburnham ,9 hours ago

@Andy The Internet is not in America. There is no "they". The European socialists are already here, in the comments with you. Hello! – owjburnham 9 hours ago

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

Nov 18, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wrong!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are "retreating"?

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

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

[Nov 18, 2017] MoA - NATO Adds To Turkeys Chagrin

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

NATO Adds To Turkey's Chagrin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looks like a campaign Time to kick Turkey out of NATO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Authored by Philip Giraldi via The Strategic Culture Foundation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

serotonindumptruck , Nov 17, 2017 8:14 PM

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

Publicus_Reanimated , Nov 17, 2017 9:07 PM

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

-- Network

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

Cherubim , Nov 17, 2017 9:53 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

44magnum , Nov 16, 2017 6:36 PM

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

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

All ours get funding. Both white and black budget.

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

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

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

Sudden Debt Nov 16, 2017 6:46 PM

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

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

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

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

untill they just ban it all together.

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

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

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

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

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

Moribundus Nov 16, 2017 7:20 PM

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

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

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

[Nov 16, 2017] Massive Overkill by William Hartung

Notable quotes:
"... Such fears were then exaggerated further, thanks to hawkish journalists of the era like Joseph Alsop and prominent Democratic senators like John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, as well as Stuart Symington, who just happened to be a friend and former colleague of an executive at the aircraft manufacturing company Convair, which, in turn, just happened to make ICBMs. As a result, he lobbied hard on behalf of a Pentagon plan to build more of that corporation's Atlas ballistic missiles, while Kennedy would famously make the nonexistent missile gap a central theme of his successful 1960 campaign for the presidency. ..."
"... Eisenhower couldn't have been more clear-eyed about all of this. He saw the missile gap for the fiction it was or, as he put it, a "useful piece of political demagoguery" for his opponents. "Munitions makers," he insisted , "are making tremendous efforts towards getting more contracts and in fact seem to be exerting undue influence over the Senators." ..."
"... William D. Hartung, a ..."
"... , is the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy and the author of ..."
"... . An earlier version of this essay appears in ..."
"... , edited by Helen Caldicott (the New Press). ..."
Nov 14, 2017 | www.unz.com

One thing is certain, however: the president has plenty of nuclear weapons to back up his aggressive rhetoric -- more than 4,000 of them in the active U.S. stockpile, when a mere handful of them could obliterate North Korea at the cost of millions of lives . Indeed, a few hundred nuclear warheads could do the same for even the largest of nations and those 4,000, if ever used, could essentially destroy the planet.

In other words, in every sense of the term, the U.S. nuclear arsenal already represents overkill on an almost unimaginable scale. Independent experts from U.S. war colleges suggest that about 300 warheads would be more than enough to deter any country from launching a nuclear attack on the United States.

Despite this, Donald Trump is all in (and more) on the Pentagon's plan -- developed under Barack Obama -- to build a new generation of nuclear-armed bombers, submarines, and missiles, as well as new generations of warheads to go with them. The cost of this " modernization " program? The Congressional Budget Office recently pegged it at $1.7 trillion over the next three decades, adjusted for inflation. As Derek Johnson, director of the antinuclear organization Global Zero, has noted , "That's money we don't have for an arsenal we don't need."

Building a Nuclear Complex

Why the desire for so many nukes? There is, in fact, a dirty little secret behind the massive U.S. arsenal: it has more to do with the power and profits of this country's major weapons makers than it does with any imaginable strategic considerations.

It may not surprise you to learn that there's nothing new about the influence the nuclear weapons lobby has over Pentagon spending priorities. The successful machinations of the makers of strategic bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles, intended to keep taxpayer dollars flowing their way, date back to the dawn of the nuclear age and are the primary reason President Dwight D. Eisenhower coined the term " military-industrial complex " and warned of its dangers in his 1961 farewell address.

Without the development of such weapons, that complex simply would not exist in the form it does today. The Manhattan Project , the vast scientific-industrial endeavor that produced the first such weaponry during World War II, was one of the largest government-funded research and manufacturing projects in history. Today's nuclear warhead complex is still largely built around facilities and locations that date back to that time.

The Manhattan Project was the first building block of the permanent arms establishment that came to rule Washington. In addition, the nuclear arms race against that other superpower of the era, the Soviet Union, was crucial to the rationale for a permanent war state. In those years, it was the key to sustaining the building, funding, and institutionalizing of the arms establishment.

As Eisenhower noted in that farewell address of his, "a permanent arms industry of vast proportions" had developed for a simple enough reason. In a nuclear age, America had to be ready ahead of time. As he put it, "We can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense." And that was for a simple enough reason: in an era of potential nuclear war, any society could be destroyed in a matter of hours. There would be no time, as in the past, to mobilize or prepare after the fact.

In addition, there were some very specific ways in which the quest for more nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles drove Eisenhower to give that farewell address. One of his biggest fights was over whether to build a new nuclear bomber. The Air Force and the arms industry were desperate to do so. Eisenhower thought it a waste of money , given all the other nuclear delivery vehicles the U.S. was building at the time. He even cancelled the bomber, only to find himself forced to revive it under immense pressure from the arms lobby. In the process, he lost the larger struggle to rein in the nation's nuclear buildup and corral the burgeoning military-industrial complex.

At the same time, there were rumblings in the intelligence community, the military establishment, the media, and Congress about a "missile gap" with the Soviet Union. The notion was that Moscow had somehow jumped ahead of the United States in developing and building intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). There was no definitive intelligence to substantiate the claim (and it was later proved to be false). However, a wave of worst-case scenarios leaked by or promoted by intelligence analysts and eagerly backed by industry propaganda made that missile gap part of the everyday news of the time.

Such fears were then exaggerated further, thanks to hawkish journalists of the era like Joseph Alsop and prominent Democratic senators like John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, as well as Stuart Symington, who just happened to be a friend and former colleague of an executive at the aircraft manufacturing company Convair, which, in turn, just happened to make ICBMs. As a result, he lobbied hard on behalf of a Pentagon plan to build more of that corporation's Atlas ballistic missiles, while Kennedy would famously make the nonexistent missile gap a central theme of his successful 1960 campaign for the presidency.

Eisenhower couldn't have been more clear-eyed about all of this. He saw the missile gap for the fiction it was or, as he put it, a "useful piece of political demagoguery" for his opponents. "Munitions makers," he insisted , "are making tremendous efforts towards getting more contracts and in fact seem to be exerting undue influence over the Senators."

Once Kennedy took office, it became all too apparent that there was no missile gap , but by then it hardly mattered. The damage had been done. Billions of dollars more were flowing into the nuclear-industrial complex to build up an American arsenal of ICBMs already unmatched on the planet.

The techniques that the arms lobby and its allies in government used more than half a century ago to promote sky-high nuclear weapons spending continue to be wielded to this day. The twenty-first-century arms complex employs tools of influence that Kennedy and his compatriots would have found familiar indeed -- including millions of dollars in campaign contributions that flow to members of Congress and the continual employment of 700 to 1,000 lobbyists to influence them. At certain moments, in other words, there have been nearly two arms lobbyists for every member of Congress. Much of this sort of activity remains focused on ensuring that nuclear weapons of all types are amply financed and that the funding for the new generations of the bombers, submarines, and missiles that will deliver them stays on track.

across the country . There are nuclear weapons labs in California and New Mexico; a nuclear weapons testing and research site in Nevada; a nuclear warhead assembly and disassembly plant in Texas; a factory in Kansas City, Missouri, that builds nonnuclear parts for such weapons; and a plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, that enriches uranium for those same weapons. There are factories or bases for ICBMs, bombers, and ballistic missile submarines in Connecticut, Georgia, Washington State, California, Ohio, Massachusetts, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Wyoming. Such a nuclear geography ensures that a striking number of congressional representatives will automatically favor more spending on nuclear weapons.

In reality, the jobs argument is deeply flawed. As the experts know, virtually any other activity into which such funding flowed would create significantly more jobs than Pentagon spending. A study by economists at the University of Massachusetts, for example, found infrastructure investment would create one and one-half times as many jobs as Pentagon funding and education spending twice as many.

In most cases it hasn't seemed to matter that the jobs claims for weapons spending are grotesquely exaggerated and better alternatives litter the landscape. The argument remains remarkably potent in states and communities that are particularly dependent on the Pentagon. Perhaps unsurprisingly, members of Congress from such areas are disproportionately represented on the committees that decide how much will be spent on nuclear and conventional weaponry.

A Field Guide to Influencing Nuclear Thinking in Washington

Another way the nuclear weapons industry (like the rest of the military-industrial complex) tries to control and focus public debate is by funding hawkish, right-wing think tanks. The advantage to weapons makers is that those institutions and their associated "experts" can serve as front groups for the complex, while posing as objective policy analysts. Think of it as an intellectual version of money laundering.

One of the most effective industry-funded think tanks in terms of promoting costly, ill-advised policies has undoubtedly been Frank Gaffney's Center for Security Policy. In 1983, when President Ronald Reagan first announced his Strategic Defense Initiative (which soon gained the nickname "Star Wars"), the high-tech space weapons system that was either meant to defend the country against a future Soviet first strike or -- depending on how you looked at it -- free the country to use its nuclear weapons without fear of being attacked, Gaffney was its biggest booster. More recently, he has become a prominent purveyor of Islamophobia, but the impact of his promotional work for Star Wars continues to be felt in contracts for future weaponry to this day.

He had served in the Reagan-era Pentagon, but left because even that administration wasn't anti-Soviet enough for his tastes, once the president and his advisers began to discuss things like reducing nuclear weapons in Europe. It didn't take him long to set up his center with funding from Boeing, Lockheed, and other defense contractors.

Another key industry-backed think tank in the nuclear policy field is the National Institute for Public Policy (NIPP). It released a report on nuclear weapons policy just as George W. Bush was entering the White House that would be adopted almost wholesale by his administration for its first key nuclear posture review. It advocated such things as increasing the number of countries targeted by the country's nuclear arsenal and building a new, more "usable," bunker-busting nuke. At that time, NIPP had an executive from Boeing on its board and its director was Keith Payne. He would become infamous in the annals of nuclear policy for co-authoring a 1980 article at Foreign Policy entitled "Victory Is Possible," suggesting that the United States could actually win a nuclear war, while "only" losing 30 million to 40 million people. This is the kind of expert the nuclear weapons complex chose to fund to promulgate its views.

Then there is the Lexington Institute , the think tank that never met a weapons system it didn't like. Their key front man, Loren Thompson, is frequently quoted in news stories on defense issues. It is rarely pointed out that he is funded by Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and other nuclear weapons contractors.

And these are just a small sampling of Washington's research and advocacy groups that take money from weapons contractors, ranging from organizations on the right like the Heritage Foundation to Democratic-leaning outfits like the Center for a New American Security , co-founded by former Obama administration Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy (who was believed to have the inside track on being appointed secretary of defense had Hillary Clinton won the 2016 election).

And you may not be surprised to learn that Donald Trump is no piker when it comes to colluding with the weapons industry. His strong preference for populating his administration with former arms industry executives is so blatant that Senator John McCain recently pledged to oppose any new nominees with industry ties. Examples of Trump's industry-heavy administration include Secretary of Defense James Mattis, a former board member at General Dynamics; White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who worked for a number of defense firms and was an adviser to DynCorp, a private security firm that has done everything from (poorly) training the Iraqi police to contracting with the Department of Homeland Security; former Boeing executive and now Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan; former Lockheed Martin executive John Rood, nominated as undersecretary of defense for policy; former Raytheon Vice President Mark Esper, newly confirmed as secretary of the Army; Heather Wilson, a former consultant to Lockheed Martin, who is secretary of the Air Force; Ellen Lord, a former CEO for the aerospace company Textron, who is undersecretary of defense for acquisition; and National Security Council Chief of Staff Keith Kellogg, a former employee of the major defense and intelligence contractor CACI, where he dealt with "ground combat systems" among other things. And keep in mind that these high-profile industry figures are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the corporate revolving door that has for decades been installed in the Pentagon (as documented by Lee Fang of the Intercept in a story from early in Trump's tenure).

... ... ...

William D. Hartung, a TomDispatch regular , is the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy and the author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex . An earlier version of this essay appears in Sleepwalking to Armageddon: The Threat of Nuclear Annihilation , edited by Helen Caldicott (the New Press).

[Nov 16, 2017] William Hartung How to Wield Influence and Sell Weaponry in Washington by Tom Engelhardt

Notable quotes:
"... Sleepwalking to Armageddon: The Threat of Nuclear Annihilation ..."
Nov 16, 2017 | www.unz.com

When it comes to the art of the deal, at least where arms sales are concerned, American presidents, their administrations, and the Pentagon have long been Trumpian in nature. Their role has been to beat the drums (of war) for the major American weapons makers and it's been a highly profitable and successful activity. In 2015, for instance, the U.S. once again took the top spot in global weapons sales, $40 billion dollars of them, or a staggering 50.2% of the world market. (Russia came in a distant third with $11.2 billion in sales.) The U.S. also topped sales of weaponry to developing nations. In these years, Washington has, in fact, peddled the products of those arms makers to at least 100 countries , a staggering figure if you stop a moment to think about the violence on this planet. Internationally, in other words, the U.S. has always been an open-carry nation.

Donald Trump has, however, changed this process in one obvious way. He's shoved the president's role as arms-purveyor-in-chief in everybody's face. He did so on his initial trip abroad when, in Riyadh, he bragged ceaselessly about ringing up $110 billion dollars in arms sales to the Saudis. Some of those had, in fact, already been brokered by the Obama administration and some weren't actually "sales" at all, just " letters of intent ." Still, he took the most fulsome of credit and, when it comes to his "achievements," exaggeration is, of course, the name of his game.

And he's just done it again on his blustery jaunt through Japan and South Korea. There, using the North Korean threat, he plugged American weaponry mercilessly (so to speak), while claiming potential deals and future American jobs galore. In the presence of Shinzo Abe, for instance, he swore that the Japanese Prime Minister would "shoot [North Korean missiles] out of the sky when he completes the purchase of a lot of military equipment from the United States." Both the Japanese and the South Korean leaders, seeing a way into his well-armored heart, humored him relentlessly on the subject and on his claims of bringing home jobs to the U.S. (In fact, one of the weapons systems he was plugging, the F-35 , would actually be assembled in Japan!)

Strangely enough, however, the president didn't bring up an issue he raises regularly when it comes to weapons sales in the United States (at least, sales to white people, not Muslims, with an urge to kill): mental health . Isn't it curious that, as he peddles some of the more destructive weaponry imaginable across Asia and the Middle East, he never brings that up? Fortunately, TomDispatch regular and expert on American arms sales William Hartung raises the issue today in an adaptation of a piece he wrote for Sleepwalking to Armageddon: The Threat of Nuclear Annihilation , a book just published by the New Press. You might say that he considers the most mentally unnerving aspect of American arms sales: the way, since the 1950s, the nuclear lobby has sold planet-destroying weaponry of every sort to presidents, the Pentagon, and Congress. And if that doesn't represent a disturbing mental health record of the first order, what does?

[Nov 15, 2017] China Is Using the Russia-America Standoff to Win Big in Europe by Mark Pfeifle

Notable quotes:
"... What's happening here is that China is exploiting the geopolitical standoff between Russia and the United States to obtain ownership and management of critical parts of energy infrastructure. The tactic has already given China an "energy belt" that extends from the Baltic to the Black Sea: China has effectively taken management of critical parts of infrastructure in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. ..."
"... Our approach needs to be more nuanced: we must move away from an indiscriminate containment policy toward a strategy that allows Russian projects, so long as they are not detrimental to European energy security and U.S. security concerns. ..."
"... To sum it up, Westinghouse & GE are in trouble, we must do something. ..."
"... Well, tell me how China is out maneuvering the US? And how is the US helpless to stop China from out maneuvering the US? Trump himself, during the campaign, said, "We hold all the cards". Well, while most probably believe it is mostly bluster, there is some degree of truth, meaning the US still has greater influence in the world. ..."
"... China isn't out maneuvering the US, but instead, looking for ways to acquire technology under the current global rules. And to become a developed nation. Period, that's it. Nothing more. China is a nation that is four times larger than the US, i.e., 400% of the US population. However, yet despite advances in many fields, China has not yet caught up with the US and the rest of the West in technology. In some areas China may have caught up and in still other areas, maybe even ahead of the West, but in general, China still has some holes to fill. ..."
"... There is not clandestine effort on China's part to undermine the US or the West, but instead to simply become a developed nation. ..."
"... "What's happening here is that China is exploiting the geopolitical standoff between Russia and the United States to obtain ownership and management of critical parts of energy infrastructure" Russia will help you, China will help you, American will obstruct you. It's the old 'good cop, good cop, bad cop' routine, in which we're the perennial bad cop. ..."
"... Blame Russia...why...it is all USA fault as the country is run by people who do not represent interests of wider USA population.. Zionist Jews, namely. ..."
"... Oh, what a tangled web we weave when taking our orders from Tel Aviv. ;-) ..."
"... China, Russia and a number of other nations are profiting from the US decision to 'give away' its industrial base. Trying to compete via debt finance and cost arbitrage has hollowed out the US economy. ..."
Nov 15, 2017 | nationalinterest.org
While the nation has been laser focused on the president's tweets and the first lady's footwear, a geopolitical shift has been taking place in Europe that ought to scare us to our marrow. Without anybody paying much attention, China has vastly expanded its military and economic power in Eastern Europe. At stake is a critical region that the United States depends upon for trade and geopolitical support and as a buffer from both Russia and China.

The Chinese, on top of doing little to stop North Korea's march toward a nuclear-armed missile, have already acquired a significant equity stake in the Greek Port of Piraeus. As you read this, they are also working diligently to obtain assets in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, including contracts for construction of nuclear power stations.

In Bulgaria, meanwhile, the erstwhile efforts of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to force the Bulgarians to breach their contract with the Russian state-owned uranium enrichment company Rosatom have backfired, giving China a toe-hold to replace the Russians in constructing the new Belene nuclear project.

Russian-owned Rosatom successfully sued Bulgaria over the breach -- and won. Bulgaria was ordered to pay $660 million, a big bounty for a small country. To recoup losses, the Bulgarians opted to privatize the project. According to media reports, China is aggressively bidding and is among the frontrunners. If China's bid succeeds, its state-owned nuclear companies would use Russian-made equipment, but would otherwise have full control over the new nuclear facility.

Unlike the Russians, whose nuclear development programs usually rely on a relatively benign scheme of intergovernmental loans to finance construction but leave management to the local governments, China insists on both equity and operational control. As a result, China is left with full control of critical infrastructure -- in this case, a major nuclear facility in a key former Soviet state. This gives China leverage in the region that is comparable only to that which Moscow enjoyed during the Cold War.

A similar situation is already in play in Poland, where the Chinese have scooped up contracts for a nuclear plant that was supposed to be built by the United States. The American nuclear industry is in tatters, however, with Westinghouse in bankruptcy and General Electric unable to raise capital even for its advanced boiling water reactors in more advanced countries. The Chinese, by contrast, are flush with cash -- much of it from trade with the United States.

What's happening here is that China is exploiting the geopolitical standoff between Russia and the United States to obtain ownership and management of critical parts of energy infrastructure. The tactic has already given China an "energy belt" that extends from the Baltic to the Black Sea: China has effectively taken management of critical parts of infrastructure in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

It mustn't be allowed to continue and foreign policy voices on both sides of the partisan aisle seem to be taking notice. CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security advisor to President Barack Obama, both named Beijing a greater threat than Moscow.

The White House must immediately fill empty State Department slots with Europe and Asia experts and internally promote talented Foreign Service Officers, instead of sidelining them. These specialists must take into consideration the growing Chinese influence in the region.

Our approach needs to be more nuanced: we must move away from an indiscriminate containment policy toward a strategy that allows Russian projects, so long as they are not detrimental to European energy security and U.S. security concerns.

For example, we must resist Lithuanian entreaties to cease construction of a nuclear plant being built by Russia in Belarus. The Russian reactor is using state-of-the-art technology. The design has been approved by independent regulators in over a dozen countries, including Finland, known for its highest safety standards. Lithuania's safety concerns are no match for the geopolitical risk of extending Chinese infrastructure controls even further.

The game of geopolitical chess requires players to plan not just one move, but to envision two, three or more moves ahead. Players must consider multiple dimensions of economics, geopolitics and military strategy, and -- in this case -- there are multiple adversaries.

Competition in the construction and management of nuclear plants is just one example of geopolitical chess, and the United States needs to up its game.

Mark Pfeifle served as Deputy National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush

rippled , September 25, 2017 1:11 AM

Champions of free market again revert to what US as a state ought to and ought not "allow" happen on the market when non US companies are more successful.

deliaruhe , September 29, 2017 12:39 PM

The more the occupants of Official Washington get replaced with morons, lunatics, know-nothings, and know-too-littles. the steeper the slope to irrelevance. The only advantage to waking up from denial at this late date is the possibility of saving what little is left of the republic. As things stand, China has the easy task of quickly surpassing the US economically and geopolitically -- and is doing an excellent job of it.

Zsari Maxim , September 25, 2017 4:05 PM

To sum it up, Westinghouse & GE are in trouble, we must do something.

Taishanese , September 26, 2017 2:00 AM

Well, first of all, economic ownership is not the same as an occupation. Keep in mind, when one country own assets in another country, they are trusting that other country to honor the deeds. And for the most part, countries do. However, occasionally, a country does not honor those deeds as in the case of Venezuela when they nationalized foreign ownership of all oil assets in Venezuela.

So how much control did foreigners have in Venezuela's case? None, short of invading the country or reducing business ties. When a country doesn't honor the ownership of foreign investors, there is little that foreign country can do except to withhold business ties. Or invade.

Perspectives about China like the one the author is espousing is nothing more than alarmist in nature. If China were to do something harmful to the interests of Eastern Europe, the European Union could find a way to fend off the harm. Because why? Ownership is not the same as occupation.

While the former USSR didn't exactly occupy Eastern Europe during the Cold War, they did leave a million troops in Eastern Europe from the end of WWII to the end of the Cold War. Does China have a million troops in Eastern Europe? No. So I don't see how this author can compare China's involvement in Eastern Europe with the former USSR.

It baffles me that people use inaccurate moral equivalence to portray an alarmist view of China.

Nexusfast123 Taishanese , September 27, 2017 12:14 AM

You need to understand how China is out maneuvering the US. This has been done via a series of plans going back a couple of decades via 'Centralised Technology-Based Planning'. The only way to challenge China's rise is to do what China is doing but better and faster.

Taishanese Nexusfast123 , September 27, 2017 5:15 AM

Well, tell me how China is out maneuvering the US? And how is the US helpless to stop China from out maneuvering the US? Trump himself, during the campaign, said, "We hold all the cards". Well, while most probably believe it is mostly bluster, there is some degree of truth, meaning the US still has greater influence in the world.

China isn't out maneuvering the US, but instead, looking for ways to acquire technology under the current global rules. And to become a developed nation. Period, that's it. Nothing more. China is a nation that is four times larger than the US, i.e., 400% of the US population. However, yet despite advances in many fields, China has not yet caught up with the US and the rest of the West in technology. In some areas China may have caught up and in still other areas, maybe even ahead of the West, but in general, China still has some holes to fill.

Not only that, China, while 400% of the US in population, does not have 400% of the US economy, 400% of the US overseas assets, 400% of the US military, 400% of the reach of US multinationals, etc.

I'm not saying China is setting out to have 400% of the US influence, but what I am saying is that for China to develop as a nation, it has to have technology, overseas assets, etc. This is how a nation increases its' standard of living for itself.

Unfortunately, all this economic activity appears to many in the West as some clandestine effort on the part of China.

China is not likely to ever get to 400% of the US in overall asset and wealth, etc., however, would it be wrong if she achieved 150%? 200%?

There is not clandestine effort on China's part to undermine the US or the West, but instead to simply become a developed nation.

Godfree Roberts , September 26, 2017 8:00 PM

"What's happening here is that China is exploiting the geopolitical standoff between Russia and the United States to obtain ownership and management of critical parts of energy infrastructure" Russia will help you, China will help you, American will obstruct you. It's the old 'good cop, good cop, bad cop' routine, in which we're the perennial bad cop.

Nexusfast123 Godfree Roberts , September 27, 2017 12:17 AM

Bad cop because of the policies that have been promoted over the last few decades.

Schlesinger's Zenith ElPrimero , September 25, 2017 4:07 AM

I guess if China is playing geopolitical chess with energy, Australia is eating crayons as it runs around with a fully packed diaper. Philistines!

R. Arandas , September 24, 2017 11:04 PM

Well, whose fault is that? The U.S. and Russia can only blame themselves for this situation.

Petar Petrovic R. Arandas , September 25, 2017 4:23 AM

Blame Russia...why...it is all USA fault as the country is run by people who do not represent interests of wider USA population.. Zionist Jews, namely.

Michael DeStefano Petar Petrovic , October 3, 2017 5:11 PM

Oh, what a tangled web we weave when taking our orders from Tel Aviv. ;-)

Nexusfast123 R. Arandas , September 27, 2017 12:16 AM

China, Russia and a number of other nations are profiting from the US decision to 'give away' its industrial base. Trying to compete via debt finance and cost arbitrage has hollowed out the US economy.

Michael DeStefano , October 3, 2017 5:07 PM

Oh, what a tangled web we weave when rational folks are absent without leave.

Anyway, I strongly suspect that American agents are once again posing as Russian agents infiltrating the N.I., with their subtle subliminal propaganda designed to drive a wedge between Russia and China by suggesting Russia is better off cooperating with the US than with China and to give up this silly silk road idea. How's that for 5 dimensional chess, or maybe just a bout of Facebook vertigo that CNN, NYT et. al. like to call 'motivational analysis as proof of the pudding'. ;-)

And all you Facebook dog lovers out there. Be very wary of friendly Russian wolfhounds. According to the NYT, they're out there solely to sow discord, division and chaos with all of America's cat lovers. Be scared, y'all. Be very very scared. :-(

Nexusfast123 , September 27, 2017 12:09 AM

This article is clueless and like many other there is no idea how to counter China's 'Centralised Technology-Based Planning'. China operates at foundation - the technology layer to secure technology to sustain national 'competitiveness'. They have over 4 million STEM graduates flowing into new industries. The thinking in the article is mired in debt finance and economics which is useless as a counter to the Chinese. This malaise will spread further into the military as the Chinese are rapidly applying new technologies via an asymmetrical strategy in the military sphere.

RAGE , September 24, 2017 10:28 PM

Hmmm so China can switch off nuke plants in Eastern Europe should they feel the need to do so during some future crisis? That sounds... super... safe

Nexusfast123 RAGE , September 27, 2017 12:19 AM

Why would they? There is more to be had through commercial collaboration in terms of mutual benefit. Russia supplies gas and even in the face of provocation has not cut gas to its customers in Europe.

Michael DeStefano RAGE , October 3, 2017 5:14 PM

Of course they couldn't and wouldn't do that. The China Syndrome would have all the contamination landing smack dab in their laps. Anyway, he who has the money makes the rules. We're bankrupt.

[Nov 15, 2017] Hand-Marked Paper Ballots and Virginia's 2017 Elections

Notable quotes:
"... By Lambert Strether of Corrente . ..."
"... there should be no digital determination or intermediation of voter intent whatever ..."
Nov 15, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on November 15, 2017 by Lambert Strether By Lambert Strether of Corrente .

As readers know, I'm a big fan of paper ballots[1], and the recent Election in Virginia gives me a chance to explain why. (The "recount" phase -- erroneously named, as what's been happening is resolving absentee and provisional ballots -- seems to have culminated with the Republicans keeping control of the Virginia House by a whisker, 49-51 .) First, I'll do that, and set up two requirements that any system for counting votes in a democracy should meet. Then, I'll look at Virginia's "Back to the Future" transition from digital voting to paper ballots.

From Brad Friedman's essay on " Democracy's Gold Standard" (with numbering added), a set of requirements for voting systems suitable for a democracy:

Last March, the country's highest court found that secret, computerized vote counting was unconstitutional. Unfortunately, the country was Germany, and the Constitution violated by e-voting systems was the one that the U.S. wrote and insisted Germans ratify as part of their terms of surrender following WWII.

Paul Lehto, a U.S. election attorney and Constitutional rights expert, summarized the German court's unambiguous, landmark finding :

"No 'specialized technical knowledge' can be required of citizens to vote or to monitor vote counts." There is a "constitutional requirement of a publicly observed count." "[T]he government substitution of its own check or what we'd probably call an 'audit' is no substitute at all for public observation." "A paper trail simply does not suffice to meet the above standards. "As a result of these principles, 'all independent observers' conclude that 'electronic voting machines are totally banned in Germany' because no conceivable computerized voting system can cast and count votes that meet the twin requirements of being both 'observable' and also not requiring specialized technical knowledge.

If you go through this set of requirements, you'll see that hand-marked paper ballots, hand-counted in public, meet every one of them. You will also see that digital voting systems, no matter how designed or implemented, cannot. They cannot, especially, meet requirements #1 ("no specialized technical knowledge to monitor") and #2 ("a publicly observed count"). The first requirement ensures that the voting process is not riggable by insiders with technical expertise (native, or hired); the second ensures that the actual voting is not rigged on election day. These are important requirements for a functioning democracy.

And that is how Germany conducts its voting today, from Deutsche Welle ( "German election: Volunteers organize the voting and count the ballots") .

Public observation:

On September 24, hundreds of thousands of volunteers will be handing out ballots, checking voters' names against lists, and counting votes once the polling station closes. The entire process is open to the public Every citizen is allowed to watch and monitor the entire counting process; and in effect, the volunteers monitor each other.

No specialized technical knowledge

[T]he volunteers open the ballot box, take out the envelopes and remove the ballot slips. They sort the ballots according to a pre-arranged system, decide on whether the votes are valid or invalid, and count the votes – reading out each vote aloud, which is noted in writing in a log.

At the end, the number of ballots is compared with the number of people who voted in that particular polling station.

Does that sound technical to you? The United Kingdom and Canada [3] also use handmarked paper ballots, counted in public, as do most [4] other countries. Many nations have -- I don't want to use the word "reverted" -- come home to paper ballots after experimenting with digital systems and finding them wanting; so have some states in this country.

Now, let's turn to Virginia. It's worth noting that Virginia's move back to paper is being applauded across the political spectrum . From the centrist Daily Banter , a summary of the history:

It wasn't until 2014, when the state experienced a myriad of problems on Election Day, that Governor Terry McAuliffe proposed an overhaul of the state voting system. By 2015, the Virginia Board of Elections decertified the use of WINVote, but they were still stuck with other DRE (Direct Recording Electronic) systems. This past summer, at a DefCon conference in Las Vegas, computer scientists staged a "Voting Machine Hacking Village" to prove the instabilities of DRE, which included a single password for all machines, physical ports to insert malware, and reliance on outdated software that had not been updated since the mid-2000s.

(Kudos, amazingly enough, to McAuliffe, who also managed to restore the franchise to felons .) The Richmond Times-Dispatch explains the Board of Elections' reasoning:

In emergency meeting, Virginia elections board votes to scrap all touch-screen voting machines

The Virginia State Board of Elections voted Friday to discontinue use of all touch-screen voting machines throughout the state because of potential security vulnerabilities, forcing 22 cities and counties to scramble to find new equipment just weeks before voting begins for the November gubernatorial election.

Behind closed doors at an emergency meeting in Richmond on Friday afternoon, the board heard about specific vulnerabilities identified after a cybersecurity conference this summer in Las Vegas, where hackers showed they could break into voting machines with relative ease.

In an interview, Elections Commissioner Edgardo Cortés acknowledged that the short time frame could put localities under the gun. However, 10 of the 22 localities that still use touch screens, either as their primary voting method or for more limited uses, have already begun buying new equipment, Cortés said. That leaves 12 that will have to start from scratch, but Cortés said the rapid swap is "doable" and worth the "hiccups" that may come with new equipment.

(The Banter points to "Russian targeting of last year's presidential election" (whatever that means) as do others , but if the threat of Russia hacking was a necessary cause for the Board's decisionl, it was certainly the DefCon that was the proximate one).[2] In any case, the Board's decision was taken September 8, and by Election Day, November 7, the transition was complete with no reported problems, which shows you the advantages of adopting simple, rugged, and proven systems. Here is how the system works, as described in a press release from Albemarle County :

The Albemarle County Department of Voter Registration and Elections wants to alert voters that a new, digital scan voting system will be used in all County voting precincts in the upcoming November 3, 2015 general election. The previously used "touchscreen" voting machines have been replaced by the new voting systems as a result of the Commonwealth of Virginia's mandate which requires jurisdictions move toward the use of digital scan technology.

With the new system, voters will mark paper ballots at marking booths, and then deposit the marked paper ballots into a digital ballot scanning machine, which will read the ballots, and drop them into a secure ballot storage bin. When the polls close on Election Day, at 7 PM, the election officers at the voting precincts will obtain the tabulated totals of votes from a results report that will be printed by the digital scanning machine. After the election, the paper ballots will be kept in secure storage for a period of one year, to ensure a voter-verified paper trail in the event of a recount.

Recall our two requirements. Can the Virginia System be said to meet them?

1) Public observation. Yes and no. Yes, because the ballot is handmarked, and dropped in the box in public. No, because the ballots are counted in the innards of the optical scanner. (This can be mitigated by storing the ballots for recounts later, if needed.) And no, because the actual running of the count from the scanners does not take place in public, nor (AFAIK) the integration into the totals of provisional and absentee ballots.

2) No specialized technical knowledge. Yes and no. Yes, because clearly paper ballots are an improvement in every way from the horrid touch screens. No, in the same that once again, the innards of the optical scanner must be relied upon. (This could be mitigated, depending on the choice of vendor, by dealing with an actual scanner industry, as opposed to a bunch of tiny, sketchy outfits purveying custom, proprietary software.)

In summary, and IMNSHO, there should be no digital determination or intermediation of voter intent whatever ; why should we trust the scanner software engineers, or those who run them? There's no reason to, any more than there's reason to trust the engineers or operators of mechanical voting machines.) Virginia's ballots are indeed hand-marked, but they are not hand-counted in public.[5]

With these strong caveats, Virginia's hand-marked paper ballots were well-received by the public, and that's progress. WAVY :

At a voting precinct at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, voters said they had no issues going back to pen and paper.

"It goes back to the old days, you know, we've been voting a long time, so we remember when they didn't have anything but paper ballots," said voter Winston Whitehurst.

Voter Kevin Rafferty said he enjoyed the switch.

"It works. I understand. At least if we're having to spend some time on it, we're the only ones in control, perhaps is the idea. Nobody else hacking on in I guess is their theory so hopefully it's safe," he said.

And WTVR :

"You can't hack paper," a man training a group of Hopewell poll workers on the new [optical scanning] machines said.

(But you can hack the scanners -- using "specialized technical knowledge" --
and you can social engineer any process where the ballots are not hand-counted in public.)

Conclusion

Of the two requirements, the ability to monitor election results without technical expertise is needed to prevent chicanery by those who structure the voting process. And the public count is needed to prevent chicanery on election day by those who inspect and count the ballots. Paper ballots can and do meet these requirements. That's why most Western countries use them, and why many other countries have returned to them, after experimenting with digital systems. Virginia's re-adoption of hand-marked paper ballots is a step forward, not backward.

NOTES

[1] For those who are concerned that paper ballots prevent ranked choice voting, Maine advocates disagree : "Ranked choice voting is designed to work with paper ballots."

[2] The idea that "foreign invaders" (as the Christian Science Monitor puts it) are the main threat for election theft seems very odd to me. Surely domestic operatives are, or at least should be, the main concern?

[3] I vividly recall a Quebec referendum where the Quebec "scrutineers" rejected a seemingly overlarge number of "No" ballots. But because the process was public, and not part of an algorithmic black box, the scrutineers could be called out. Although Canada does use electronic voting at the municipal level, the stakes are lower.

[4] Hilariously, a Google search on "How many countries use paper ballots" directs me to a WikiPedia page on "Electronic voting by country." 26 are listed. There are 195 countries.

[5] The convenience of election officials seems to bulk large in these disucussions; they don't want to be "up all night counting paper." Well, if the Germans (and the Canadians (and the Brits)) can make that investment in democracy, why can't we?

PlutoniumKun , November 15, 2017 at 6:50 am

Just an added note here to say that in Ireland, which uses Single Transferable Vote, the law states that the election candidates can appoint Counting Agents , known as Tallymen during the vote. They observe the opening of voting boxes and keep a tally during the count. As this allows them to get a good feel for voting patterns, it eliminates another potential source of fraud, box stuffing during or after the vote.

The Tallymen are so skilled they can often provide a very accurate result hours before the final result (vote counting is much more complex for STV). There is no interest at all from political parties for electronic voting because tally information is more fine grained than final totals (as it is box by box rather than district by district) and so provides each party with very valuable statistical information.

Anonymized , November 15, 2017 at 12:06 pm

Same in Canada but we call them "scrutineers" or monitors (at least in Ontario). I worked as an election official a while back (I think it was at the last provincial election) and one of the scrutineers raised a big stink because the number of votes were not the same as the number of people who voted. I left around 10 pm and I heard they were there until midnight trying to resolve this. It was pure schadenfreude for me because I wasn't selected as one of the vote-counting electoral officials but was just a lower-paid electoral assistant who barred people from entering the building from the wrong door and gave directions to the correct entrance. "Serves those idiots right for not picking me" was what I was thinking when I left.

Frenchguy , November 15, 2017 at 6:51 am

In France, the process is basically the same as in Germany. An interesting note, that I don't see mentionned, is that once the public count is done and the number of votes matches the number of voters, ballots are destroyed (except blank votes). A very sensible step as the whole process is fraud-proof and ballots could be tampered with afterwards.

In this sense, there are no recounts (except the basic maths check). You can only report to the courts irregularities in the process and there will be a new election if enough polling station were affected to swing the election.

And the process is generally not too long. The average seems to be between one and three hours so it's almost always done way before midnight (British seems to take a very long time, if anyone cares to explain to me why ?). Of course, it helps a lot that we don't elect a whole bunch of people on the same night (no lieutnant-governor, judges, sheriffs ), it's always one election at a time with a dozen choices at most (and half the time it's only two because of the two-round system).

Jim A. , November 15, 2017 at 8:12 am

Having used a number of different systems as I moved around the state of Maryland*, my favorite system was hand marked ballots that were scanned by machine at the voting place. My observations follow.

Old fashioned lever machines: They haven't made them for years, so there was always a shortage of machines which led to long lines. Despite the fact that people are familiar with them, they are an un-auditable black box like electronic voting machines.

Punched card machines. They always seemed physically a little difficult to operate and a slight misalignment could result in a miscast vote. But there is a recountable paper trail and only one or two scanners is required for each polling place.

Electronic voting machines. They're a completey un-auditable black box. They DO have the advantage of being easier to adjust for people with limited vision and other handicaps. Each voting station requires a separate machine, which means either greater expense or longer lines compared to other systems. My guess is that programming the ballots into them probably costs almost as much printing ballots and is more difficult to spot errors or fraud.

Hand counted ballots: The difficulty with hand counting ballots is that it is error-prone and slow.

Paper ballots and digital scanners would seem to be the best system that I have used with several caveats. You have to manually recount a random sampling of polling places to check for systemic fraud in the setup of the scanning machines. You have to have a good system to deal with errors and complications. How do you void ballots that have been mis-marked by accident? You have to make SURE that they aren't added to the tallys. You have to have a system for contested/contingent voting, a way to segregate and maintain those ballots until the eligibility of the voters is determined.

*It used to be that every county chose the vote system separately

lyman alpha blob , November 15, 2017 at 1:35 pm

You have to manually recount a random sampling of polling places to check for systemic fraud in the setup of the scanning machines.

That is an excellent suggestion however getting officials on board is not so easy. Our state got new optical scan machines in all larger precincts a few years ago and since they had never been used I made the same suggestion you did to our city council and asked for a random audit. They refused and told me that by state law the city was not allowed to do an audit just because they felt like it and the only way a recount could be done was if an election was close enough to be within the mandated threshold needed to trigger one. If they were correct about our state law, the state has actually made it illegal for cities to check the accuracy of the machines they use. That would need to be changed in order for your proposal to work.

I do still prefer handcounted paper ballots – I did get to participate in a hand recount eventually and it was a LOT quicker than you might expect.

The other issue is cost – it would be a LOT cheaper to pay people to count by hand than to replace millions of large pieces of aging machinery every decade or so.

lyman alpha blob , November 15, 2017 at 8:13 am

"You can't hack paper"

Maybe, but machines can't determine voter intent on paper ballots nearly as well as humans can. Our city uses these optical scanners and as noted last election season, we had a close race that triggered a recount that I participated in. The human beings actually counted more ballots than the machines did, as the machines didn't count those that were filled out improperly (circles not completely filled out, or checked rather than filled in, etc). Rough estimate, we were able to count approximately 2% more votes then the scanner did.

If we're going to keep pretending we still have a democracy here in the US, everybody's vote deserves to be counted in every election. The only way to do that is count paper ballots by hand.

Barry Fay , November 15, 2017 at 8:14 am

The FIRST TIME I heard that they were going to use IT technology for voting I thought they must be kidding. It is so obviously wrong ON THE FACE OF IT that I have always suspected the motives of those making that decision (although I suppose I should´t be too surprised at human laziness being a motivating force!). Anyway, it is to me just another sign of the dumbing down of America that this whole topic needs any discussion at all!!

nonclassical , November 15, 2017 at 11:55 am

Voltaire would have loved political position that the machines were perfect and unable be hacked until Chavez-Venezuela bought voting machine manufacturer

suddenly voting machines were suspect

Tom , November 15, 2017 at 9:15 am

Clinton conflates Virginia's switch to paper ballots with her claims that Russia hacked into voter rolls and possibly went even further. This is Clinton speaking about it on Monday at the Atlanta stop on her book tour.

Vatch , November 15, 2017 at 10:16 am

So maybe we're finally getting some benefit from the claims that the Russians were able to manipulate the election results in the United States! In reality, it's Republicans and Democrats who manipulate election results in the U.S., but I'll accept a victory, even if it's for the wrong reasons.

Tom , November 15, 2017 at 12:53 pm

Exactly! Clinton applauds the reduced risk of paper ballots, but of course has to muddle it all up with the dreaded Russian threat. I swear, Clinton can't help but link almost everything to Russia now -- listening to her is like plaing a constant game of 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, except it's 3 degrees and its Russia.

wilroncanada , November 15, 2017 at 7:33 pm

She'll continue to play six degrees of Kevin Bacon for the rest of her life–with egg on her face the whole time.

EoH , November 15, 2017 at 9:48 am

One would think that governments would require that any software to be used in a public election must be open source – not proprietary – and that it and its application be open to public audit.

Vendors unwilling to comply can take their sales people elsewhere. If vendors are hard to find, governments could join together in providing seed money for any number of parties to develop and maintain the necessary code.

This is the sort of change that should be part of any elections improvement commissions, not that the likes of Kris Kobach and his commission have in mind anything but voter suppression. The use of proprietary software in a public election is as appropriate as a cordon of watch dogs, lighted torches, or police cars outside a voting center.

PaulHarvey0swald , November 15, 2017 at 11:42 am

This. And why don't we turn the students at state run universities loose on it?

XXYY , November 15, 2017 at 12:06 pm

Long time software engineer here.

"Making the source code available" for a critical system makes a good sound bite, but in reality has a number of substantial problems:

o There is no guarantee that the compiled code in the box is the same as the purported source code made public. Even technical experts would have a very hard time confirming this, since the code in the box has been compiled down to machine instructions whereas the source code is normally in a high level language.

o The process of building (compiling and linking) the code introduces myriad opportunities for bad actors. E.g., code can include conditional sections or definitions that can be built in various ways. The build process itself invokes other programs that themselves can be hacked. Building also normally brings in third-party libraries of uncertain provenance, and for which the source is typically unavailable.

o Inspecting realistic industrial software for *inadvertent* problems, called a code review, is a big effort (many man weeks) and requires people with the requisite skills (often arcane) and expertise in the problem domain. Inspecting code for *deliberate hacks* would be much harder, and could well miss hacks anyway depending on the skill of the hacker.

Relying on public source code for security is a very weak reed and should be avoided altogether if at all possible.

PaulHarv3y0swald , November 15, 2017 at 4:40 pm

Fair enough. But why would proprietary code be better? I mean what stops a private vendor from doing this, but without public oversight? I mean to say "public code" in what ever form could be a start.

Synoia , November 15, 2017 at 5:19 pm

XXYY was not supporting proprietary code. I believe he was pointing out that "open source" does not have sufficient integrity for e;ections, thus closed source (proprietary code) is worse.

bsg , November 15, 2017 at 10:46 am

After the 2000 election, congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Among the provisions of the bill, money was given to states and counties to upgrade their voting systems. Most of these new systems came online in the mid 00's.

Now that it has been around a decade, the generation of machines purchased with the help of federal money are getting long in the tooth. The average person changes their cell phone every 2-3 years, so a touch screen machine machine over a decade old feels especially ancient to a technophile.

There will be a trend toward paper ballots with this next generation. More states have added tougher paper trail requirements on DRE (touch screen) voting machines. and there is a lack of federal HAVA money available to states and counties to buy top-of-the-line DRE machines with paper trails. Vendors for this generation are pushing hybrid systems that allow a voter to input their choices onto a touch screen, then the machine prints out a paper ballot which (theoretically) removes ambiguous choices and allows disabled people to vote without assistance. But ultimately, if a jurisdiction is going to a paper system anyway, why spend more money on expensive hybrid machines that will break down in another ten years? I anticipate a push to paper ballots with optical scanning tabulation machines in the medium future.

nonclassical , November 15, 2017 at 11:52 am

and states can – do take away driver licenses – I.D. "legally" determining who gets to vote, by the hundreds of thousands, even over issues having nothing to do with driving, and primarily affecting the poor:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/storyline/wp/2014/10/22/4935/?utm_term=.604ea869bedb

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/10/america-punish-poor-debtors-drivers-license-suspension

http://www.jwj.org/these-two-states-will-revoke-your-license-if-you-cant-pay-back-your-student-loans

http://www.ncsl.org/research/human-services/license-restrictions-for-failure-to-pay-child-support.aspx

UserFriendly , November 15, 2017 at 12:50 pm

Minneapolis uses ranked choice with hand marked paper ballots that get scanned just like VA. But as I've said a million times ranked choice voting is bad for 3rd parties . Approval, range, or 3-2-1 are all much better options.
http://electology.github.io/vse-sim/VSEbasic/

ken , November 15, 2017 at 2:33 pm

The convenience of election officials seems to bulk large in these disucussions; they don't want to be "up all night counting paper."

What is the rush? Why not start counting at 8 am the next morning? The all night vote count thing serves no functional purpose. Get some sleep.

Joel , November 15, 2017 at 3:26 pm

What is the rush?

In my town, we have big election night parties at the downtown bars while volunteers go to the polling stations and phone back the preliminary results which are posted in the front windows or on the front doors.

A lot of politically connected people would have trouble sleeping the night of the election if they didn't have the results.

Grebo , November 15, 2017 at 3:46 pm

That was my initial reaction too. Then I wondered: who will be guarding the ballot boxes overnight?

Joel , November 15, 2017 at 3:23 pm

In my town's municipal election last week, it seems almost a tenth of voters were confused by the design of the ballot and circled their choice rather than filling in the bubble.

Since we're in Massachusetts and all elections use Scantron ballots and tabulating machines, any circled ballot was marked "blank" the same as ballots where no notation was made.

A lot of people, including quite a few first-time and infrequent voters, and voters with eyesight issues, were disillusioned by the fact that their votes would not be counted. Some were shocked the ballots are not in fact counted by hand.

[Nov 15, 2017] Lenin's Legacy, Donald Trump and Russian Revolution at 100 Time

Notable quotes:
"... Lenin: The Man, the Dictator, and the Master of Terror, ..."
"... Get your history fix in one place: sign up for the weekly TIME History newsletter ..."
Nov 15, 2017 | time.com

By Simon Shuster / Berlin November 7, 2017 To signal the storming of the Russian imperial palace, the revolutionary guards were supposed to raise a red lantern over the fortress they had occupied in Petrograd, the city now known as St. Petersburg. It was October 1917, and Vladimir Lenin, the leader of Russia's communist underground, was finally within reach of seizing power over the largest country in the world. Pacing around the musty rooms of his rebel headquarters, he demanded that his men raise the lantern onto the flagpole and begin the siege at once.

But there was a problem. They'd forgotten to bring a lantern.

One of Lenin 's henchmen went out to look for one. But he got lost, fell into some mud and returned with a purple lamp, which the insurgents could not figure out how to attach to the flagpole. Eventually they gave up on their idea for a signal and started the siege without it.

With a lot of luck, they were successful. But in Lenin: The Man, the Dictator, and the Master of Terror, a new biography of Lenin written by Victor Sebestyen and published on Tuesday -- the 100th anniversary of Russia's October Revolution -- it becomes clear that Lenin did not attain absolute power through meticulous planning or the ruthless efficiency of his men. Much of his success seems to have come through his ability to bluff, intimidate and improvise. It's a story that, for Sebestyen, still echoes a century later. On the eve of the anniversary of Lenin's revolution, TIME spoke to his biographer about the lucky breaks that helped bring Lenin to power, the legacy he left behind in Russia and the parallels that Sebestyen sees between Trumpism and Leninism.

TIME: The book sheds a lot of light on Lenin's understanding of good and evil. How would you describe the moral compass that he used?

Victor Sebestyen: It's all about the means justifying the ends. That's what it came down to. Anything you do for the cause is morally justifiable. It's similar to the religious idea of saving souls. It doesn't matter how many heretics you burn as long as you're serving that cause.

Didn't Lenin also see himself, in a sense, as saving mankind?

Yes, he was trying to create a new type of human being, a perfect Soviet person – homo sovieticus – who would get rid of slavery and exploitation. The trouble is that people often have a disappointing wish not to be perfected. They first have to be bullied and coerced and, in the end, terrorized. So that's what Lenin did. It was a giant experiment. The scale of its ambition was monumental. But that's what makes the scale of the failure so disastrous.

Your book also suggests that for Lenin, the Russian Revolution was part of a vendetta. He wanted to avenge the death of his older brother, who was executed at the age of 21 for plotting to kill the czar. How much of this was personal to Lenin rather than ideological?

I think there was an element of both. A lot of the legend of Lenin was that of a very cold, very calculating, icy and logical figure. But actually he was moved by emotion every bit as much as ideology. It wasn't only his brother's execution that drove him, but the fact that his whole family was shunned after that by the liberal middle class. Lenin never had a kind word to say about the bourgeois after that, and that drove him just as much as his belief in Marxist theory.

As you describe in the book, Lenin came to power by colluding with a hostile foreign power -- namely, Germany during World War I -- while at the same time making appeals to Russian patriotism and national pride. How did he reconcile these two?

I don't think it was hard for him to reconcile at all. He looked at the ultimate goal, which was power for him, the power to change the world. That was his morality. It didn't matter that he was colluding. He would have seen it as a perfectly reasonable political tactic. Of course he had to hide it, because it would have been embarrassing. But he wouldn't have found the morality troubling one bit. I don't suppose he thought about it for more than a minute.

Some of the early commentaries on your book have suggested that Lenin's tactics resemble those of the Donald Trump campaign during last year's elections. Don't you think such comparisons are a bit of a stretch?

Of course I didn't have Trump in mind when I started writing the book. But I did have in mind the power of demagoguery. So I don't think it's a stretch at all to make that comparison, especially when you look at [Trump's] personality. Some of the same things are said about him: He lies shamelessly; he promises anything and everything; he offers very simple solutions to complicated problems. This is very recognizable today.

When it came down to it, Lenin's messages were often very simple, very pithy, very direct. He would have been fantastic on Twitter. I mean, his slogan -- Peace, Land, Bread -- it's a lot less than 140 characters. I really do think he is the godfather of post-truth politics, and I think we're seeing Leninist stuff going on in our politics quite often.

Steve Bannon, Trump's former chief strategist, reportedly called himself a Leninist. Do you see a parallel there as well?

I think there's a big element of Leninism in wanting to destroy everything and start again. That's the parallel between them. [Bannon and his allies] also want to smash the old system, which to them doesn't work, and they want to build anew.

Get your history fix in one place: sign up for the weekly TIME History newsletter

Lenin was also obsessed with propaganda. What were his innovations on that front?

He was really obsessed with film and radio. But he would have used whatever the new technology was at the time. I dread to think how he would use the Internet. His style was always to look at the worst of his opponents and brand them that way. That was always in his argument: Exaggerate everything wrong that your opponent does, and then identify them only like that.

The Russian media haven't paid as much attention as one might expect to the 100th anniversary of the Revolution this week. Nor has President Vladimir Putin. Why is that?

Well, they can't write [Lenin] out completely, because that would basically mean that everything their parents or grandparents fought for is meaningless, that it's all wrong. You can't do that. But trying to come to terms with the communists is not an easy one for Putin. He hates the word revolution . It's appalling to him. For a leader like Putin, it's not a great message to send to your people: Hey, you can actually get rid of an autocratic leader quite easily if you want to.

Then why does the cult of Lenin's disciple and successor, Joseph Stalin, seem to be so much more alive among Russians today?

To them modern history begins in 1945, with victory in the Great Patriotic War, and you can almost forget the years before it. You can write Stalin's history as the great national leader while barely mentioning that he was a communist. But you can't ignore that with Lenin.

Lenin's embalmed corpse is still inside the mausoleum on Red Square, in the center of Moscow, and the question of whether or not to bury him is still a major controversy. Why does Putin seem uninterested in putting it to rest?

He had the chance in 2011, when the mausoleum was in such bad shape that there was a danger of it falling down. That was a chance to get rid of it and bury him. But he said, No. And in the end they spent quite a lot of money propping it up again. I don't know how much of Lenin's actual body is left in there. There may be much more wax than an embalmed body.

Last week Putin unveiled a monument in Moscow to the victims of political repressions. He didn't name and shame Stalin or Lenin during his speech at that ceremony. But what do you make of this step to at least acknowledge that these crimes and purges took place?

That was the first big [monument] with a big state unveiling. But I don't know how you can do that without mentioning the people who committed the repressions and how it happened. Still, the fact that they put up the monument at all is important. It would be churlish to dismiss it. People have been pressing for something like this to happen in Russia for a while, and even though it might not go as far as one might want, at least it's something. It was carefully scripted, carefully crafted. But the fact that it's there at all is a good step.

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

Nov 15, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) March 9, 2017

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

-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) March 22, 2017

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

-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) June 28, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Humans are storytelling creatures.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Subsequently, he noted:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Mughassil

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perry: U.S. eyed Iran attack after bombing

Published: June 6, 2007 at 4:25 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

[Nov 12, 2017] A hundred years after the Russian revolution we are in Paradise

Notable quotes:
"... Coddenham, Suffolk ..."
Nov 12, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Letter to editor:

John Pelling, Coddenham, Suffolk

It seems appropriate for the release of the Paradise Papers to coincide with the centenary of the Russian revolution.

[Nov 12, 2017] The US election system is designed to prevent populists from winning. Populists who allowed to be elected (like Obama) are faux populists that actually serve the establishment.

Nov 12, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit | Nov 11, 2017 10:27:14 PM | 39

Somebody:
Americans seem to do what they always do to defend themselves - vote the opposition party in to limit power.
Wrong.
1) Clinton actually won a majority of the votes.

2) Clinton lost because she was such a flawed candidate who ran a flawed campaign.

3) Despite being so flawed she was allowed to win the nomination over Bernie because Obama-Clinton control of the party was absolute.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

All of the above are valid "facts" about the 2016 race. But there are several disturbing realities that cause the entire 2016 race to be suspect.

1) The US election system is designed to prevent populists from winning. Populists who allowed to be elected (like Obama) are faux populists that actually serve the establishment.

2) Bernie was a sheepdog who had (apparently) pledged to a) not attack Hillary on character issues, and b) support the party nominee.

3) Trump had supported Clinton against Obama and took up her "birther" nonsense to weaken him. During the election he actually said that it originated with Clinton and that he (now) accepted that Obama was qualified to be President.

4) Hillary had made it clear that she preferred that Trump be the Republican nominee (her supposed reasoning: as a billionaire and political neophyte, he would be easy to beat) .

5) Chelsea Clinton (the Clinton's ONLY child) and Ivanka Trump (Trump's only daughter whom he dotes over) are close friends.

6) Despite the apparently bitter contest, within days of winning the Presidency, Trump announced that he wouldn't pursue prosecution of Hillary saying that the Clinton's were "good people".

7) After assuming office, Trump has acted in ways that betrayed promises to his 'base' and/or created tension that allowed his political enemies to constrain his choices. Examples:

- keeping Comey on and then hinting that he had taped a conversation with Comey;

- a pre-mature missile attack on Syria;

- not explaining why he didn't denounce the alt-Right march in Charlottesville (they had a legal permit to march) which led to charges that he supported white supremacists.

Don Bacon | Nov 11, 2017 9:22:05 PM | 33
@chet380
Mencken was wrong and so are you. There is nothing wrong with the intelligence of the American people. Half of them are above average, as a matter of fact. Which half are you in?
Peter AU 1 | Nov 11, 2017 9:42:41 PM | 36
Don Bacon | Nov 11, 2017 9:22:05 PM | 33

When people are blinded by ideology, a great deal of inteligence is lost. People are the same all over, but in the US, the ideology of exceptionalism - and capitalism, has been pumped into them for many generations.

Have a run around the social media and check how many people believe Russia meddled in US "democracy" because of whats been pumped into them over the last year. One side believes Russia interfered on Trumps behalf and the other side believes Russia interfered on Clintons behalf, but they also know Russia interfered with their precious virgin democracy.

Mencken is right.

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

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

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

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

advertisement

According to the Post :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Nov 11, 2017] What Craziness is Going on in Saudi Arabia by Eric Margolis

Notable quotes:
"... Is this the beginning of the collapse of the House of Saud? Or a Saudi renaissance led by Prince Mohammed as he claims? Stay tuned. ..."
"... John Chuckman: "Trump Says Saudi Elites Caught In Anti-Corruption Probe Were 'Milking' Kingdom For Years". This is just nonsense from Trump. Corruption is and has been everywhere in Saudi Arabia. How else could it be with all the countless billions changing hands in a fairly closed society? ..."
"... In all the Neocon Wars in the Mideast, great effort has been made, one way or another, not to have Israel at center stage, to avoid having Israel appear as aggressor. But, in fact, without the influence of Israel, none of these terrible wars would have happened. ..."
Nov 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

November 11, 2017

What's going on in Saudi Arabia? Over 200 bigwigs detained and 'illegal profits' of some $800 billion confiscated.

The kingdom is in an uproar. The Saudi regime of King Salman and his ambitious 32-year old son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, claim it was all part of an 'anti-corruption' drive that has Washington's full backing.

Utter nonsense. I've done business in Saudi Arabia since 1976 and can attest that the entire kingdom, with its thousands of pampered princes and princesses, is one vast swamp of corruption. In Saudi, the entire nation and its vast oil revenues are considered property of the extended Saudi royal family and its hangers-on. A giant piggy bank.

The late Libyan leader Muammar Khadaffi told me the Saudis are 'an incredibly rich bunch of Bedouins living behind high walls and scared to death of their poorer neighbors.'

We have just witnessed a palace coup in Riyadh caused by the violation of the traditional desert ruling system which was based on compromise and sharing the nation's riches.

Young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's appointment as heir apparent by his ailing father, King Salman, who is reportedly suffering from cognitive issues, upset the time-proven Saudi collegial system and provoked the current crisis. Among the people arrested so far were 11 princes and 38 senior officials and businessmen, including the nation's best-known and richest businessman, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns important chunks of Apple, Citigroup and Twitter. He's being detained at Riyadh's swanky Ritz Carlton Hotel.

Also arrested was Bakr bin Laden, chairman of the largest Saudi construction firm, The Binladen Group, and former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, a bitter rival to the new Crown Prince Mohammed.

Interestingly, there are no reports of senior Saudi military figures being arrested. The Saudi military has always been kept weak and marginalized for fear it could one day stage a military coup like the one led by Colonel Khadaffi who overthrew Libya's old British stooge ruler, King Idris. For decades the Saudi army was denied ammunition. Mercenary troops from Pakistan were hired to protect the Saudi royals.

Randal , November 11, 2017 at 3:59 pm GMT

Is this the beginning of the collapse of the House of Saud? Or a Saudi renaissance led by Prince Mohammed as he claims? Stay tuned.

This is the key question, of huge import to the longer term future of the ME. In the meantime, the issue is what the collateral damage inflicted upon the region by the rivals for Saudi power is likely to be, with Lebanon and Iran the likely next targets. Can the Saudis really get away with so openly admitting what everyone has known to be true for decades – that they are firm allies of Israel? Are the Arabs really that beaten and cowed?

JOHN CHUCKMAN , Website November 11, 2017 at 5:23 pm GMT
WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON IN SAUDI ARABIA?

John Chuckman: "Trump Says Saudi Elites Caught In Anti-Corruption Probe Were 'Milking' Kingdom For Years". This is just nonsense from Trump. Corruption is and has been everywhere in Saudi Arabia. How else could it be with all the countless billions changing hands in a fairly closed society?

So, it is easy for a guy like the new Crown Prince to glance around and conveniently find some corruption among people he wants to discredit anyway.

It may go beyond merely discrediting them to having hundreds of billions seized by the Crown Prince. Not a bad day's work.

What is going on is a kind of coup against the old order by the new usurper Crown Prince. His recent appointment was by a King well known for his senility, and it suddenly and surprisingly upset the established order of succession and all kinds of extended family compacts.

We likely will never know what truly happened in this secretive kingdom. But we do know the abrupt changes created lots of enemies who needed attending to, and that seems to be what is happening.

And the enemies have no friends in Washington to whom they can appeal. The old order in Saudi Arabia suffered terribly in the wake of 9/11, and despite great efforts to pacify the US with new levels of cooperation, it is now being swept out.

Now, whatever is considered good for a hyper-aggressive United States is coincidentally good for its de facto colony in the Middle East.

Trump himself has already proved to be one of Israel's best-ever American friends. Israel has long had great influence, but it possibly never had it so good as it does now, as with a UN Ambassador who speaks as though she were a joint appointment of Trump and Netanyahu. Trump's only competitor in this regard would be Lyndon Johnson.

The US and Israel closely embrace the usurper because he has proven his dependability with bloody projects like making illegal war on Yemen. That war is exactly like the proxy war waged by mercenaries – ISIS and Al-Nusra et al – in Syria except that in this case it is the open work of a nation-state. And now he joins Israel in making threats on Lebanon.

In all the Neocon Wars in the Mideast, great effort has been made, one way or another, not to have Israel at center stage, to avoid having Israel appear as aggressor. But, in fact, without the influence of Israel, none of these terrible wars would have happened.

Yes, the Crown Prince will be a dependable component in the years-long American-Israeli project of creating a new Middle East. The Crown Prince is essentially Israel's man in Saudi Arabia, just as President el-Sisi is in Egypt. Israel is comfortable being surrounded by absolute governments, so long as they are absolute governments beholden to its patron, the United States.

Right now, the new Crown Prince is doing another bloody service for Israeli interests. The Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri, was called to come to Riyadh in the King's name for some business, as it turned out on false pretenses. Hariri had his plane surrounded and he was effectively arrested upon landing. Just pure modern piracy. Later, and who knows after what threats, he announced his sudden and unexpected resignation as prime minister, and he remains in Saudi Arabia.

It just so happens, in very recent time, Netanyahu and some of his officials have made some very ugly noises against Lebanon and even staged a large-scale set of war games, including calling up reservists, clearly threatening the country.

Anonymous , Disclaimer November 11, 2017 at 7:39 pm GMT
I would still like an article by Mr. Margolis on this interesting topic – if there is a benign explanation for it, why not share it with us. It would be fascinating to hear a description of what the place is like
Eric Margolis's name is in Jeffrey Epstein's little black book.
A journalist, Mr. Margolis certainly knows what an interesting story it would be to write about his visits to Lolita Island. Why no comment, no article? See for yourself:

https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/1508273/jeffrey-epsteins-little-black-book-redacted.pdf

Priss Factor , Website November 11, 2017 at 7:52 pm GMT
So much corruption and so much goes unreported. And most people don't care since they are hooked to Pop Culture and other nonsense. Maybe this is what all societies need: An ongoing TV series about the most powerful peoples, institutions, and industries in America. So, imagine a TV show called the FED. It has to be based on facts than fiction. Since it takes time to ascertain facts, these shows will feature events from a month ago. Always a month-time-lag to verify facts. And it will show what kind of decisions took place within the FED. And a TV show called SUPREME COURT. A dramatization of key things that happened in SC. Again, a month-lag on the programming. And the PRESIDENCY And the CIA. And the FBI. And the NYT and other elite media. And IVY LEAGUES. A show on the major decisions made by university presidents and deans. And the Pentagon. And Goldman Sachs. And Amazon. And Microsoft. And Google. And Apple.

This stuff can be made entertaining with a bit of dramatization. Outright fictionalization will not be allowed as everything has to be according to verified facts. However, narrative will of course be tightened and streamlined and dramatized with colorful personalities.

This will be a great public service.

And maybe every city can have a Play Production about City Hall. A never-ending series based on what happens among politicians, big time folks, and etc in the seats of power.

That way, entertainment won't always be about escapism but about focusing on what is happening among the powerful.

Now, there are shows like HOUSE OF CARDS that offer a vague inkling of what happens in DC. But with fictionalized characters and exaggerated situations, it's more escapism than enterism .

We need Enterism in culture. We need to enter into the way of power.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...they assumed the hackers were on their side

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enemy of my enemy anyone?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

350 "diplomatic" flights transporting weapons for terrorists - Trud

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

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

---

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


@kpax 17

Did I mis-read? McCain's cerebral?

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

So, yeah, brain tumour.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@Michael Kenny

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

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

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

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

You do protest too much.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

likbez , November 10, 2017 8:53 pm

Barkley,

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

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

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

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

In other words boomerang eventually returns.

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

== quote ==

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

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

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

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

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

4.If the target country has unions, bribe them

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barkley Rosser , November 10, 2017 11:34 pm

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

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

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

likbez , November 11, 2017 9:32 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Joe Lauria

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

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

'Cash for Trash'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dubious Stuff

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

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

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

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

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

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

Russian Fingerprints

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fueling Neo-McCarthyism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Geopolitical Risks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Think about that for a minute .

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

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

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

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

According to a timeline in the Daily Caller:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"It was then-CIA Director John O. Brennan, a close confidant of Mr. Obama's, who provided the information -- what he termed the "basis" -- for the FBI to start the counterintelligence investigation last summer .Mr. Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians

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

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

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

[Nov 10, 2017] Saudi Arabia's Desperate Gamble

More wars... more victims... More destruction...
Nov 10, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Abe , November 10, 2017 at 10:03 pm

Israel's next desperate gamble is direct military attack on Lebanon and Syria.

On 5 November, the ever more delusional Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu complained to the BBC about an "Iranian takeover" of Lebanon.

On 9 November, the equally delusional Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz complained to the Associated Press that "Lebanon is Hezbollah and Hezbollah is Iran".

Israel is by no means content to merely "contemplate" a war.

With the rollback of ISIS and Al Qaeda terrorist proxy forces in Syria, and the failure of Kurdish separatist efforts in Iraq, Israel plans to launch military attacks against southern Lebanon and Syria.

War against Lebanon and Syria is the next stage of the Israeli-Saudi-US Axis "project".

Saudi Arabia and the United States are very much available to "assist" the upcoming Israeli military adventure.

South Front has presented a cogent and fairly detailed analysis of Israel's upcoming war in southern Lebanon.

Conspicuously absent from the South Front analysis is any discussion of the Israeli planned assault on Syria, or possible responses to the conflict from the United States or Russia.

Israeli propaganda preparations for attack are already in high gear. Unfortunately, sober heads are in perilously short supply in Israel and the U.S., so the prognosis can hardly be optimistic.

"Scenarios for the Third Lebanon War

Over time, IDF's military effectiveness had declined. [ ] In the Second Lebanon War of 2006 due to the overwhelming numerical superiority in men and equipment the IDF managed to occupy key strong points but failed to inflict a decisive defeat on Hezbollah. The frequency of attacks in Israeli territory was not reduced; the units of the IDF became bogged down in the fighting in the settlements and suffered significant losses. There now exists considerable political pressure to reassert IDF's lost military dominance and, despite the complexity and unpredictability of the situation we may assume the future conflict will feature only two sides, IDF and Hezbollah. Based on the bellicose statements of the leadership of the Jewish state, the fighting will be initiated by Israel.

"The operation will begin with a massive evacuation of residents from the settlements in the north and centre of Israel. Since Hezbollah has agents within the IDF, it will not be possible to keep secret the concentration of troops on the border and a mass evacuation of civilians. Hezbollah units will will be ordered to occupy a prepared defensive position and simultaneously open fire on places were IDF units are concentrated. The civilian population of southern Lebanon will most likely be evacuated. IDF will launch massive bombing causing great damage to the social infrastructure and some damage to Hezbollah's military infrastructure, but without destroying the carefully protected and camouflaged rocket launchers and launch sites.

"Hezbollah control and communications systems have elements of redundancy. Consequently, regardless of the use of specialized precision-guided munitions, the command posts and electronic warfare systems will not be paralysed, maintaining communications including through the use of fibre-optic communications means. IDF discovered that the movement has such equipment during the 2006 war. Smaller units will operate independently, working with open communication channels, using the pre-defined call signs and codes.

"Israeli troops will then cross the border of Lebanon, despite the presence of the UN peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon, beginning a ground operation with the involvement of a greater number of units than in the 2006 war. The IDF troops will occupy commanding heights and begin to prepare for assaults on settlements and actions in the tunnels. The Israelis do not score a quick victory as they suffer heavy losses in built-up areas. The need to secure occupied territory with patrols and checkpoints will cause further losses.

"The fact that Israel itself started the war and caused damage to the civilian infrastructure, allows the leadership of the movement to use its missile arsenal on Israeli cities. While Israel's missile defence systems can successfully intercept the launched missiles, there are not enough of them to blunt the bombardment. The civilian evacuation paralyzes life in the country. As soon IDF's Iron Dome and other medium-range systems are spent on short-range Hezbollah rockets, the bombardment of Israel with long-range missiles may commence. Hezbollah's Iranian solid-fuel rockets do not require much time to prepare for launch and may target the entire territory of Israel, causing further losses.

"It is difficult to assess the duration of actions of this war. One thing that seems certain is that Israel shouldn't count on its rapid conclusion, similar to last September's exercises. Hezbollah units are stronger and more capable than during the 2006 war, despite the fact that they are fighting in Syria and suffered losses there.

"Conclusions

"The combination of large-scale exercises and bellicose rhetoric is intended to muster Israeli public support for the aggression against Hezbollah by convincing the public the victory would be swift and bloodless. Instead of restraint based on a sober assessment of relative capabilities, Israeli leaders appear to be in a state of blood lust. In contrast, the Hezbollah has thus far demonstrated restraint and diplomacy.

"Underestimating the adversary is always the first step towards a defeat. Such mistakes are paid for with soldiers' blood and commanders' careers. The latest IDF exercises suggest Israeli leaders underestimate the opponent and, more importantly, consider them to be quite dumb. In reality, Hezbollah units will not cross the border. There is no need to provoke the already too nervous neighbor and to suffer losses solely to plant a flag and photograph it for their leader. For Hezbollah, it is easier and safer when the Israeli soldiers come to them. According to the IDF soldiers who served in Gaza and southern Lebanon, it is easier to operate on the plains of Gaza than the mountainous terrain of southern Lebanon. This is a problem for armoured vehicles fighting for control of heights, tunnels, and settlements, where they are exposed to anti-armor weapons.

"While the Israeli establishment is in a state of patriotic frenzy, it would be a good time for them to turn to the wisdom of their ancestors. After all, as the old Jewish proverb says: 'War is a big swamp, easy to go into but hard to get out'."

Israeli Defense Forces: Military Capabilities, Scenarios for the Third Lebanon War
https://southfront.org/israeli-defense-forces-military-capabilities-scenarios-for-the-third-lebanon-war/

Sally Snyder , November 10, 2017 at 10:05 pm

Here are some cables that Wikileaks released showing us how the Saudi royal family tries to control the world's media:

http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2016/01/how-saudi-arabia-controls-its-own-media.html

The Saudi Royal Family has bottomless pockets when it comes to controlling negative press coverage.

Zachary Smith , November 10, 2017 at 10:28 pm

And in the shadows, at the back of the gaming room, stands Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. The idea of going to the casino was his, in the first place. If the hero lands on black, he will share in the joy, but if it is red never mind: Bibi's home is not forfeit.

At first glance it looks to me as if Netanyahu wins any coin flip, whether it is "heads" or "tails". No matter what happens, Saudi Arabia is going to be severely shaken up, and chaos in surrounding Muslim nations is almost always a "plus" for Israel.

But at second glance I imagine I can also see a downside. The Arabian Peninsula has a hefty population, and if the Kingdom here does shatter, there is a possibility that an Arabic Napoleon could emerge. During the time of Muhammad there was an outward-moving crusade, and might it not happen again? Saudi Arabia may not have much of an army at the moment, but that could change quickly. A glance at a world globe shows Israel to be very close by. This sort of thing would cause me to lose sleep if I were an Israeli strategist.

At the moment the KSA is being taken over by a young numbskull, if all the accounts I've read are even remotely true. Perhaps Israel is providing the brains. The Moon of Alabama blogger has a low opinion of the young man.

Saudi Arabia – This "Liberal Reformer" Is An Impulsive Tyrant

h**p://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/11/saudi-arabia-the-liberal-reformer-reveals-himself-as-an-impulsive-tyrant-.html

David G , November 10, 2017 at 10:59 pm

The singular fact that the planned next royal succession from Salman to MbS will be the first from father to son since the death of Abdulaziz seems to me to add a whole other level of uncertainty to what is already a difficult time for the kingdom.

[Nov 10, 2017] We don't use private lawyers to cooperate with US -- Russian Prosecutor General's Office to RT

Nov 10, 2017 | www.rt.com

The Russian Prosecutor General's Office has explained to RT how an "efficient mechanism" of information sharing with the US works.

No private lawyers are involved in the process, the agency official said, denying allegations that it has played a part in any meeting between Donald Trump Jr. with lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

[Nov 10, 2017] Priti Patel Resigns - Israel Lobby Mourns The Loss Of A Valuable British Asset

Notable quotes:
"... US Budgetary Costs of Post-9/11 Wars Through FY2018: $5.6 Trillion ..."
"... The Guardian just showed that the UK government is a state-sponsor of terrorism if it allowed LIFG terrorists to openly reside in the UK and given the love affair that the Guardian has going with various salafi jihadists, the Guardian is an organ of terrorist propaganda, which was obvious from the way it took pride in naming Ahrar al-Sham as a source for much of its reporting on Syria. ..."
"... JFK/RFK tried to get the precursor to AIPAC, the American Zionist Council, (AZC) to register as foreign agents. Of course, he also insisted that Israel allow inspectors into Israel's nuclear weapons producing facility. I forget what the resolution of those issues was. ;-) ..."
Nov 10, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

A British Minister of Hindu heritage was fired after it emerged that she secretly met Israeli officials in Israel and elsewhere without informing the Foreign Office. Back in Britain she then tried to arrange additional finances for Israel's arming of al-Qaeda in the Golan heights. The affair shines light on the nefarious influence of the Israel lobby on British politics.

Priti Patel was International Development Secretary, responsible for British aid to various countries and organizations. She is a Thatcherite Conservative, a vocal supporter of Britain's exit from the European Union and of Hindu fascism in India:

She has been a strong cheerleader of the Narendra Modi government, publicly praising a number of its policies including demonetisation.

In August Patel went on a "family holiday" to Israel. Instead of enjoying the beach she met dozens of Israeli officials from Prime Minister Netanyahoo down to the heads of Zionist aid organizations. She was shepherded by one Lord Polak, a long time Israel lobbyist in British politics. Polak accompanied her to every meeting. None of these were disclosed to the British Embassy, the Foreign Office or Downing Street. Cabinet rules demand that all such meetings are coordinated and briefed through these official channels.

Stuart Polak is a major character in Zionist lobbying in Britain:

Ennobled by David Cameron two years ago, Lord Polak is a veteran of Westminster's corridors of power. He has taken literally hundreds of Tory MPs to Israel over the years, educating them about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and securing their support in parliamentary votes and the public arena.

Under his guidance, CFI became the biggest lobbying group in Westminster, holding lunches for 700 guests, making countless Downing Street visits, and developing contacts throughout Israel and the Middle East.

Polak fled when the media tried to question him about his Israel visit arrangements for Patel.

One of Patel's meetings was at an army hospital in the Israel occupied Syrian Golan heights where the Israeli military patches up al-Qaeda Jihadis which were wounded while fighting the Syrian government. Only last week the Israeli army in the occupied Golan supported a murderous attack of al-Qaeda Jihadis on the Syrian Druze village of Hader in the Quneitra area. The Jihadis in the Golan are surrounded by Syrian government forces. Their only supply line is through Israel occupied land. Druze in Israel who protested against the attack were arrested .

Back in Britain Priti Patel asked her department to move British aid money from Palestinian causes to the Israeli military operation in the occupied Golan. (Funny how the Guardian in its wrap-up fails to mention that point ...)

Additionally to her busy holiday, Priti Patel had two other meetings with Israeli officials which she similarly did not disclose.

When it became clear yesterday that Priti Patel's behavior would cost her her job, the British Zionist lobby launched a rescue attempt. Based on anonymous sources the Jewish Chronicle claimed that Prime Minister May had been informed about two of the meetings and had ordered Patel to not disclose them:

Number 10 instructed Development Secretary Priti Patel not to include her meeting with the Israel foreign ministry official Yuval Rotem in New York on 18 September in her list of undisclosed meetings with Israelis which was published on Monday, the JC has learned.

Downing Street immediately denied the claim and no other source backed it up. The blackmail attempt failed. The Jewish Chronicle also was at the forefront of the slander campaign that tried to smear the British labor leader Corbyn as anti-semite.

The Independent notes about the Patel affair:

... ... ...

ger | Nov 9, 2017 7:13:47 AM | 2
Indeed a very influential lobbyist group ..... now having convinced governments about the world that criticism of Palestinian genocide is hate speech. They are actively seeking to make any negative comment about Zionism a crime. The only comfort I can find is: Not all Morons live in America.
librul | Nov 9, 2017 7:16:29 AM | 3
This line gave me a chill: "Lord Polak is a veteran of Westminster's corridors of power. He has taken literally hundreds of Tory MPs to Israel over the years" Once in Israel they are subjected to hypnosis and/or subliminal indoctrination.
mauisurfer | Nov 9, 2017 7:22:56 AM | 4
US Budgetary Costs of Post-9/11 Wars Through FY2018: $5.6 Trillion

Neta C. Crawford (2017)

Paper (pdf)
WATSON INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS
http://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/papers/2017/USBudgetaryCostsFY2018

scottindallas | Nov 9, 2017 7:30:15 AM | 5
mauisurfer--it's called extradition, and practiced the world over.
Ghostship | Nov 9, 2017 7:45:17 AM | 6
>>>> mauisurfer | Nov 9, 2017 6:49:39 AM | 1

I really don't see that what the British government did for Qaddafi has to do with Priti Patel.

Two leading figures in the Libyan opposition

Ah, the Libyan "opposition", the Guardian is up to it's usual trick of being economical with the truth. In this case the Libyan "opposition" was the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG or Al-Jama'a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya), a salafi jihadist group that was at the time classified as a terrorist group because of its associations with Al Qaeda, the same Al Qaeda that the Israeli government is supporting in Syria by providing medical aid and artillery support to its terrorists.

Oh, now I see the connection, Priti Patel wants the UK to provide support to salafi jihadists just as it did the LIFG during the overthrow of Qaddafi.

...who had been living legally in the UK for years

The Guardian just showed that the UK government is a state-sponsor of terrorism if it allowed LIFG terrorists to openly reside in the UK and given the love affair that the Guardian has going with various salafi jihadists, the Guardian is an organ of terrorist propaganda, which was obvious from the way it took pride in naming Ahrar al-Sham as a source for much of its reporting on Syria.

Lourenzo | Nov 9, 2017 9:02:58 AM | 17
@ SPYRIDON POLITIS

Don't be a retard. One cannot understand Western history without understanding the Jewish role. The international Jewish financiers were active in both Britain and the U.S. before WWII and even before WWI.

[long blubber taken from rense.com deleted]
[Make your own argument, don't just copy stuff from elsewhere - b.]

duplicitousdemocracy | Nov 9, 2017 10:18:47 AM | 22
Judging by the footage of her leaving Downing Street, Patel seemed unconcerned. As another poster stated, she probably knows she will be away from the front bench only temporarily. Liam Fox didn't spend too much time on the back benches. Zionists can deny having influence as much as they like, the facts speak for themselves. Pro Israeli politicians bending over backwards for Israel at the expense of their own country rarely spend too much time away from the corridors of power. Patel will be no different. The general public don't see Israel as a threat. If Patel had been meeting up with Russian government officials, she would have been arrested.
karlof1 | Nov 9, 2017 11:15:17 AM | 30
Awhile back, Craig Murray tried to make similar instances of corruption known to the Foreign Office--"He linked Matthew Gould, the then British ambassador to Israel, with the Fox-Werritty scandal and raised questions about meetings between Gould, Liam Fox and Fox's strange friend Adam Werritty." https://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2017/02/11/1014062-britains-sickening-infatuation-with-israel-continues/

The scandal prompted Murray to write "Matthew Gould and the Plot to Attack Iran," http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article29713.htm

A search of Murray's blog provides a link to the series of posts he made regarding the scandal and his attempts to get it into the public eye, https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?s=matthew+gould And although that scandal occurred in 2011, it clearly set the stage for the scandal surrounding Patel, which I trust Murray will eventually write about now that he's free from his recent legal issues. IOW, the Patel scandal isn't the first nor will it be the last and signals the very real need to scupper May's government and install Corbyn.

ToivoS | Nov 9, 2017 11:36:46 AM | 32
spyridon #8: the so-called anti-Zionist lobby. For that is what it is - a lobby.

Most certainly wrong. A lobby, at least here in the US, is registered with the government and is regulated by federal law. There might be an anti-zionist lobby in the US but I am not aware of one. Anti-zionism is a mass political movement organized into many different organizations that do not require official recognition from or registration by the government. Their autonomy is protected from government control by the constitution of the US.

Cassandra | Nov 9, 2017 12:55:44 PM | 38
To really understand the political background of the „Balfour Declaration" it is necessary to pay attention to what the British government was really up in the ME before WW I:

British imperial strategists were increasingly alarmed with the growing "Arab Awakening" emerging in the context of Arab indigenous nationalism. These fears of a growing and developing Arab nationalism informed British Prime Minister CAMPBELL BANNERMAN when he stated at the 1907 Colonial Conference:

"Empires are formed, enlarged and stabilized so very little before they disintegrate and disappear. Do we have the means of preventing this fall, this crumbling, is it possible for us to put a halt to the destiny of European colonialism which at present is at a critical stage?"

The answer Bannerman received from the commission he established to look at the question, was that it was necessary to prevent any "Union of popular masses in the Arab region or the establishment of any intellectual, spiritual or historical link between them". To achieve this one could "construct a powerful, human 'barrier' foreign to the region, a force FRIENDLY TOWARDS IMPERIALISM and hostile towards the inhabitants of the region."

The report submitted to Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman recommended the following actions:

1) To promote disintegration, division and separation in the region.
2) To establish artificial political entities that would be under the authority of the imperialist countries. [MB, KSA]
3) To fight any kind of unity – whether intellectual, religious or historical – and taking practical measures to divide the region's inhabitants.
4) To achieve this, it was proposed that a "buffer state" be established in Palestine, populated by a strong, foreign presence which would be hostile to its neighbors and friendly to European countries and their interests. [5]

Read more here: https://www.newsbud.com/2011/12/30/the-origins-of-imperial-israel-part-i/

The British rulers [and later the USG] thought they could use „Zionism" for their dirty geo-political,Machiavellian games but the Zionists soon outwitted them (the British had deceived Zionists and Arabs with false promises):

Sir John Munro Troutbeck (fmr. head of the British Middle East Office in Cairo) writing to Churchill in May 1948:

"It is difficult not to see that Zionist policy is anything else than unashamed aggression carried out by methods of deceit and brutality not unworthy of Hitler"

On June 2, 1948, Sir Troutbeck sent another diplomatic message, this time to the British foreign secretary, Ernest Bevin. He complains that "the Americans are responsible for the creation of a gangster state" headed by "an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders".

Albert EINSTEIN (who fled to the US from Nazi-Germany in 1933) concurred some months later:

"It is inconceivable that those who oppose fascism throughout the world (if correctly informed about Mr.Begins political record) could lend their names and support to the movements he represents. Before irreparable damage [..] is done,... and the creation in Palestine of the impression that a large segment of America support fascist elements in Israel, the American public must be informed as to the record and objective of Mr. Begin and his government.

The public avowels of Mr. Begin's party are no guide whatever to its actual character.
Today they speak of freedom, democracy and anti-imperialism, whereas until recently they openly preached the doctrine of the Fascist state.
It is in its actions that the terrorist party betrays its real character; from its past actions we can judge what it may be expected to do in the future."

Source: Letter to the NYT by Albert Einstein (and other prominent Jews) published in December 1948, after the DEIR YASSIN massacre to which it also refers:

„The Deir Yassin incident exemplifies the character and actions of the „Freedom" Party.
Within the Jewish community they have preached an admixture of ultranationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority. Like other Fascist parties they have been used to break strikes, and have themselves pressed for the destruction of free trade unions. In their stead they have proposed corporate unions on the Italian Fascist model.
During the last years of sporadic anti-British violence, the IZL and Stern groups inaugurated a reign of terror in the Palestine JEWISH] community
Teachers were beaten up for speaking against them, adults were shot for not letting their children join them.
By gangster methods, beatings, window-smashing, and wide-spread robberies, the terrorists intimidated the population and exacted a heavy tribute." . [to say nothing of the Arabs – see Ilan Pappe/ Ethnic Cleansing]

Read the whole letter here: http://users.physics.harvard.edu/~wilson/NYTimes1948.html

(OVERCOMING ZIONISM, a book by Dr. Joel Kovel : perhaps the best analysis of the psychopathology of Zionism ...which goes hand in hand with the psychopathology of "American exceptionalism" (moral absolutism)

Debsisdead | Nov 9, 2017 1:11:54 PM | 39
Congratulations to those posters who had the good sense to ignore the diversionary tactics of the zionist shill. Those who chose to respond would be wise to consider the motives of rather than the rather obvious lies which zionists post. When these scumsuckers aren't posting racist garbage on pro humanist threads in a weak arsed attempt to bring sites into disrepute, they try to push discussion of the egregious acts of the zionist lobby to one side by distracting naifs thru posts of extended tirades composed entirely of deceits about the genocidal campaign of rape murder and theft which israel's thugs have been conducting upon the indigenous people of the Jordan Valley. Of course they don't even believe the shite themselves, but the purpose is to shift the discussion away from zionism's hateful activities onto a never ending rehash of old stories, thereby distracting from accurate discussion and assessment of zionism's latest crimes.

The thread is about a particularly nasty piece of Gujarati gash, fortunately atypical - most of the men & women of that culture who I am familiar with are honest empathetic and like the rest of us more interested in the well being of their families than seeking profit by advancing the interests of arseholes looking for pay to play pols.

Priti Patel will get up on her hind legs and spout lies about anything as long as two basic preconditions are met. 1) The subject must be controversial and not a point of view one would expect to hear from a woman who likes to cast herself as 'the voice of the minority' - she is desperate to lead the tories and wants to appeal to the typical tory - a grumpy old whitefella who constantly moans about 'england going to the dogs'.

2) The gig must pay extremely well Patel has an expensive wardrobe and jewellery collection to maintain - not mention her jones for thousand pound handbags, so she is always on the lookout for rich arseholes desperate to sell fridges to Eskimos and that is the zionist lobby in a nutshell. They specialise in persuading racist old pricks to increase their level of hate towards young unwhite humans & in doing so ensure that lots more people die every year.

A classic example would be the horror show Israel has cooked up with KSA; from now on all shipments of medicines to Yemen a nation which Israel and Saudi have destroyed by bombing and shelling of all major population centers, will be blocked. So what if 800,000 Yemen citizens have cholera because all water reticulation infrastructure has been destroyed by bombing? All the better! Blocking the supply of all medicines will guarantee those cholera sufferers - most of em children, will die.

Not even the nazis tried that one on but that is just another part of the plan for greater israel so as per usual the end justifies the means for zionists.
Priti will be pissed she is unlikely to get the contract to sell that to englanders - not to worry the zionist lobby has a queue of greedy sociopaths eager to do the job. Maybe the arsehole who dropped by MoA fancies his chances and this post is part of his portfolio for the gig. Who cares the grumpy old pr1cks are dying out and in another decade they will be gone completely and the Jordan Valley will be returned to its owners not long after that. The enablers of zionism have backed a loser, they know it which is why their crimes get worse and more obvious each year - flailing about prior to drowning.

librul | Nov 9, 2017 1:25:05 PM | 41
@39 said,

1) To promote disintegration, division and separation in the region.
2) To establish artificial political entities that would be under the authority of the imperialist countries. [MB, KSA]
3) To fight any kind of unity – whether intellectual, religious or historical – and taking practical measures to divide the region's inhabitants.
4) To achieve this, it was proposed that a "buffer state" be established in Palestine, populated by a strong, foreign presence which would be hostile to its neighbors and friendly to European countries and their interests. [5]

Familiar sounding, reminds one of the recent attempt to balkanize Syria, and the recent 2014 coup in Ukraine...and, heck, the modus operandi of the CIA in general...

Peter AU 1 | Nov 9, 2017 1:26:45 PM | 42
Bilad al-Sham https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilad_al-Sham

Magnier mentioned this place a number of times in his articles on the Sunni jihad groups of Syria. I also noticed many of these groups with ties to AQ had al Sham or Sham in their name.

The Shia Hezbolla interactive map also covers most of the Bilad al-Sham area. Syria itself has been a steadfast opponent of the imposed state of Israel.

Strong historical ties throught the former Bilad al-Sham region -(Greater Syria? Historical Syria)- although the Sunni jihadists seem to have now sided with the Israelis?

The nasty little state of Israel is totally reliant on US (plus five eyes) protection at the UN, but like a parasite, sucking the life out of its host.

failure of imagination | Nov 9, 2017 1:30:47 PM | 43
Weirder even more is the entertainment of Rapture-Ready Christians. Certainly happy with Israel now, but looking forward to The End. Should the duplicity of Pope Pius X onwards be revealed and the mopes get angry (and not in a Christian way) then Kingdom Come comes to " a bunch of white people pretending to be Jewish protected by a bunch of white people pretending to be Christian" (Malcolm X) quicker than prophecy. More alcoholic-overreach, doubling-down on losing games (demographics). Samson suit-case nukes can't be that bad. They may even scare the Arabs out of Europe.
Actually, wishing good health and thanks all
chet380 | Nov 9, 2017 2:25:04 PM | 45
Britain's 260,000 Jews are a tiny fraction of 1% of the British population -- the amount of political influence that this miniscule proportion is able to employ is so grossly beyond disproportionate as to be laughable. So what is the answer?
ashley albanese | Nov 9, 2017 2:35:58 PM | 46
Henry Ford and his ant- Semitism often pops up in discussions of Fascisn and Zionism . Ford's involvements did not end merely with support for Nazi Germany. E H carr points out correctly that Ford engineers were active in the building and design of Soviet industry .
Anonymous | Nov 9, 2017 2:42:44 PM | 47
If you guys consider Priti Patel some kind of agent, do you guys support the latest, that Russian RT sign up to be considered a "foreign agent"?
ben | Nov 9, 2017 3:10:17 PM | 48
Debs @ 39 said:"Who cares the grumpy old pr1cks are dying out and in another decade they will be gone completely and the Jordan Valley will be returned to its owners not long after that. The enablers of zionism have backed a loser, they know it which is why their crimes get worse and more obvious each year - flailing about prior to drowning."

Great wrap-up Debs. One of your most salient rants, and if that scenario plays out, the world will be better off..

jwco | Nov 9, 2017 3:25:54 PM | 49
b Perhaps now i see why you have been called "anti-semitic."

What is your reading of the history of British colonialism?

Of the famines? (Eire, Bharat)

Can you imagine why a Hindu might refer to her travel to Israel as a "family vacation"?

Hi again | Nov 9, 2017 3:40:32 PM | 50
https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-british-high-society-fell-in-love-with-the-nazis

"British war against Germany"? Which British?

CD Waller | Nov 9, 2017 3:41:33 PM | 51
Politus...another example of the Israeli 'lobby'. Zionists publicly brag about stove piping what they consider to be anti Zionist comments to their army of social media trolls. He probably gets paid by the word. Don't encourage him. Reason will not prevail.
nonsense factory | Nov 9, 2017 3:42:50 PM | 52
Student of history. . . As far as Britain and the Balfour Declaration (2 November 1917), this can only be understood in the context of British ambitions for the Middle East after the discovery of oil in Persia in 1908 by D'Arcy, and the formation of the Anglo-Persian oil company in 1909. Britain, having transitioned its navy from coal to faster, more efficient oil-powered ships, wanted complete control over all Persian Gulf oil to ensure it would retain control of the seas.

Fun historical questions: What role did the German effort to build a Berlin-to-Baghdad rail line to access Middle Eastern oil have on the outbreak of World War I? What part did Germany's alliance with the Ottoman Empire have in (1) Britain's decision to issue the Balfour Declaration(1917) and (2) Britains support for the Levant Arab Revolt against Ottoman rule (1916)?

Controlling the oil was a huge factor, and the Berlin-to-Baghdad rail line was a major threat to British interests. Oil was also the subject of secret treaties between Britain and Russia over post-war control of Central Asian and the Middle East. To get to the point, the establishment of Israel was part of the British Empire program:

The Arabs were also opposed to a separate Israeli state, claiming that instead a larger Arab state would be a better fit for the region. In a 1919 petition, the General Syrian Congress asserted that a key principle of their government would be "safeguarding the rights of minorities" and that instead of a separate nation, "[o]ur Jewish compatriots shall enjoy our common rights and assume the common responsibilities." Instead, the British were openly committed to the creation of a Palestinian mandate for Jews. Three of the reasons offered for UK control over the Palestinian mandate, at a 1919 meeting, were that the mandate would provide the UK with "great prestige", to give access to the Hedjaz railway, and to provide a defensive buffer against possible French threats towards Egypt and the Suez Canal. The Palestinian mandate and the resulting state of Israel would long remain a symbol of the power and true priorities of foreign, European interests in the Middle East.

Thes were standard British practices - establishing a client state (Israel) that would support British imperial agendas and be reliant on British support for its long-term survival (hence, would be obedient to British directives). However, the Zionists themselves eventually turned on their British client state right after WW2. The United States eventually took over the British role in the relationship with Israel as the Cold War ignited in the 1950s. This also initiated a long period of U.S. support for Wahhabist Islam, which Israel supported (they created Hamas) both as a proxy force against the Soviet Union, as well as against the secular PLO which wanted Palestinian land returned.

Zionists are more like Wahhabists than anything else - complete merger of religious doctrine with state government, intolerance for any other religious groups, (kind of like certain groups of evangelical Christians), a real tendency towards fascist organization and authoritarian repression - hence the 'natural alliance' between groups like these:

"Patel.. Hindutva fanatics would fit well with the US touring freak show of wahhabi's, zionists and nazi's."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 9, 2017 12:31:34 PM | 34

As far as the British deal today? Israel, relying so heavily on external support for its economic health, trys hard to influence British and American politics, i.e. it spends millions to influence elections and government policy for its own interests. Funny how this is viewed as acceptable behavior for Israel (and Saudi Arabia). Some law about having to register as a foreign agent is being violated in Congress, the State Department and the associated cloud of lobbyists, isn't it?

bevin | Nov 9, 2017 3:46:41 PM | 53
"Havent we been arguing the opposite when GOP politicians have talked with russians?
Why is Preti wrong to be fired then? A bit of double standard here now.."Anonymous 36

There is no comparison between what Patel did and the unsubstantiated allegations made against Americans who are far from being cabinet members.

To talk of 'double standards' in this matter is nonsensical unless you are drawing attention to the incredible laxity with which Patel has been treated.

Ghostship | Nov 9, 2017 3:50:56 PM | 54
>>>> chet380 | Nov 9, 2017 2:25:04 PM | 45
Britain's 260,000 Jews are a tiny fraction of 1% of the British population -- the amount of polltical influence that this miniscule propoertion is able to employ is so grossly beyond disproportionate as to be laughable.

I'm not so sure British Jews as British citizens have much political power. It's more that many politicians in the UK have their noses so far up Washington's arse for some reason that when the Israelis tell them to do something they do it immediately and without question because they want to get their noses even further up Washington's arse. Why this happens I can only guess. Perhaps they're all on massive backhanders from the CIA. Perhaps the NSA and CIA have embarrassing information about them. Perhaps they're worried that the CIA will organise a colour revolution. Perhaps they believe the CIA/DoS BS that Putin is coming to murder them in their beds. Washington exerts massive influence on British as well as European politicians but what it is is not obvious. Also most of the media, including supposedly left-wing newspapers like The Guardian are strongly Zionist.

Peter AU 1 | Nov 9, 2017 4:06:59 PM | 55
54 "Why this happens I can only guess."

UK= King Salman and US= MBS? That's the way I am starting to look at it with Canada, Australia and NZ the tag along siblings.

james | Nov 9, 2017 4:30:40 PM | 57
@53 bevin.. i think they were drawing attention to the double standards where israel gets a free ride all the time in the usa and everywhere else, but any contact with Russia is a huge no no, as witness the insanity in the usa at present.. that was how i read it..
mauisurfer | Nov 9, 2017 4:41:05 PM | 58
concerned about "the jewish lobby"? it is far worse than you know unless you have read "Samson Option" by Seymour Hersh?
free copy here: https://archive.org/stream/Sampson_Option/Sampson_Option_djvu.txt
Shakesvshav | Nov 9, 2017 5:28:41 PM | 61
A moral victory, I feel, for Craig Murray in his battle with Zionist elements: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2017/11/the-end-of-the-affair/
Lochearn | Nov 9, 2017 5:37:35 PM | 62
A documentary by Peter Oborne for the UK's Channel 4 on the Israel lobby: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGAyJpzJwp4
Lozion | Nov 9, 2017 5:40:33 PM | 63
@60 Ah so that would make you a Bajan of portuguese descent? Fascinating..
Guidance & love Ras.
SFC Steven M Barry USA RET | Nov 9, 2017 6:32:37 PM | 64
There is only one solution to "The Jewish Problem." Dialogue is not part of the solution.
TSP | Nov 9, 2017 6:45:18 PM | 65
With the US and EU coming out Wednesday supporting Lebanon, doesn't seem the moar woar brigade is pulling the strings. First Qatar survives its legislated doom, now Lebanon has still not yet been freedomed.

Could this be yet another crack in the anglozionist machine? What possibly could be going on with the borg?

Laguerre | Nov 9, 2017 6:48:55 PM | 66
re Saudi

Angry Arab says MbS king in 36 hours

I'd say, assassination. serious money is involved. However well defended MbS is, the price for suborning a guard, however high, would be worth it.

Anonymous | Nov 9, 2017 7:13:22 PM | 67
VK @23

"Saudi Arabia -- the cradle of Muslim extremism -- is an ally of Israel."

Israel has no allies. It uses other countries to do its dirty work for them. If that dirty work can also destroy the 'ally' so much the better. For example, Turkey was 'allied' in the early days with the destruction of Syria - supposedly Turkey had something against Assad. The quid pro quo was to be Israel's influence in getting Turkey into the EU. However, it was clear that destruction of Syria would empower the Kurds, which would be a real existential threat to Turkey, as opposed to the imagined acts of Assad.

The supposed 'Turkish caliphate' had the same likelihood of happening as the supposed 'Qatar pipeline' which would come online shortly after the supposed UNOCAL pipeline through Afghanistan (hint try running major construction works through areas held by unstable tribal/ethnic/religious groups. Groups would blow stuff up just to spite their opponents. Those bought off would not stay bought off)

Temporarily Sane | Nov 9, 2017 7:18:00 PM | 68
@3 librul
Once in Israel they are subjected to hypnosis and/or subliminal indoctrination.

They don't need to employ extreme measures like these. For one thing the people they are influencing are already on their side, and run-of-the-mill overt peer group pressure to conform puts the human psyche under enormous strain to conform to group demands.

An experiment that has been repeated probably thousands of times in various forms goes as follows: In a rigged group discussion or "lesson" one person is the "mark" and the other members are part of the experimenters team. In a very simple version of the experiment two lines are drawn on a whiteboard. One line is, say, 20" long and the other one, drawn right beneath it, is 15" long - very obviously shorter than the one above it. The mark is engaged in a discussion and asked if he sees any difference between the two lines. Yes, the bottom line is shorter than the top one he will invariably say. The other group members then vociferously disagree with the mark and tell him no, he's wrong and both lines are exactly the same length. The mark will protest no, that's crazy...just look at them! (The "teacher" will say the group needs to reach a consensus before they can continue with the "lesson" or break for lunch.) The fake students will continue to deny the mark's very true observation and continue to pressure him to admit his "error." About 3 out of 4 the "marks" in these experiments capitulate and "go with the group" even when it is blatantly obvious he is right and they are wrong. (I don't have the exact number on hand...but it is very high.)

So, no, Zionist Israelis do not need to brainwash and "subliminally" mind fuck visiting Zionist allies to get them to go along with their hosts want. Boring old group pressure is usually sufficient to get dissenters on board. It is the same dynamic that makes hold outs go along with gang rapes and gives rise to mob mentality where even mild mannered people can become violent and kill. It can be observed in groups of all kinds including internet forums. Kids do this all the time to their friends. It is a very common human behavior.

Not every nefarious goal is achieved via a calculated and carefully planned conspiracy to secretly trick or use deeply subversive tactics to gain compliance. Anyone who thinks so does not understand human social psychology.

Peter AU 1 | Nov 9, 2017 7:18:34 PM | 69
"What possibly could be going on with the borg?"

"Sponsors" locked up at the Ritz?
Trump prasing the Saudi "crackdown on corruption" and the borg axiously wondering where there next paycheck will come from?

Temporarily Sane | Nov 9, 2017 7:21:50 PM | 70
@66 Laguerre

It's been close to 24 hrs since he posted that. If the rumors he heard come to pass that will be very interesting indeed. I wonder how the "international community" will react?

likklemore | Nov 9, 2017 7:22:22 PM | 71
@ Lozion 63

Not to detract the thread but no, the one in Bdos was sold and is not the oldest. It's further west in Jah, proudly of spanish- portuguese decent. Peace.

@ Laguerre 66

Indira Ghandi was well protected. MbS may be handed the throne but he is done. The purge was pre-emptive. In the doing, he has notched up too many enemies. Billionaires need certainty. Fear in the air. Saudi Billionaires Scramble To Move Cash Offshore, Escape Asset Freeze
also at ZH Following KSA, "Kuwait orders citizens to Leave Lebanon Immediately - against any negative impact that may take place"

Anonymous | Nov 9, 2017 7:22:53 PM | 72
The Saudi-Lebanon 'war' stuff is bullshit as was the was Saudi-Qatar 'war' on the recent past. The Saudis can't handle the khat-chewing flip-flop, dishdasha and sports jacket-wearing Houthis, let alone battle hardened Hezbollah. Saudi itself is in dire financial straits witnessed by the dismal attempts to sell of ARAMCO to get a lump sum now rather than decling sums over time. It is also attempting to diversify away from oil dependency with the NEOM bs.

This whole thing is an last ditch attempt by Israel to raise a distraction allowing it to grab the areas of Syria/Lebanon it covets in the name of 'national security'. It is already showing its concern for the Druze in the Occupied Golan, offering to protect them from its ISIS proxy force. If Lebanon and Saudi get destroyed in the process, so much the better (from Israel's viewpoint).

http://www.mintpressnews.com/israel-occupy-syria-town-near-golan-heights-protect-druze/234146/

likklemore | Nov 9, 2017 8:28:21 PM | 73
Anonymous | Nov 9, 2017 7:22:53 PM | 72

Well, Bibi could use some distraction. He is in the police hot seat as his former chief of staff and close confidant turned state's witness on corruption - allegations of "suspected bribery, fraud and breach of trust."

JPost, November 9, 2017

According to Army Radio, Netanyahu is expected to be confronted during the investigation with testimony from Ari Harrow, his former aide who has turned state's witness.

Police interrogators from the Lahav 433 unit arrived at the official residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday evening to question him over his involvement in police cases 1000 and 2000.[.]

How shocking. Isn't this the norm - taking gifts in exchange for favours?

ben | Nov 9, 2017 8:30:28 PM | 74
Lochearn @62: Thanks for the link. Sounds like a carbon copy of AIPAC, The U$A's version of Israeli buy-offs for politicians.
Daniel | Nov 9, 2017 9:19:07 PM | 76
Once again, great article and wonderful, insightful (almost universally) comments. I LOVE this site.

Anonymous @47. I'll take a stab at what I see as three different situations encompassed by your query.

Patel's wrongdoing stemmed from being a state official conducting state business without the knowledge of the state she ostensibly serves. It's ironic because the British State would likely have been just fine with what she negotiated, acquiesced to, promised or whatever - but since she did this covertly, and was outed by journalists, she was bumped from one office, though not otherwise sanctioned.

The issue of government officials overtly or covertly putting the interests of foreign powers above those of the citizens and interests of their own country should be of great concern, but serving certain "allies" seems to have no boundaries in both the US and Britain.

When a private person or group that is not part of the home country government lobbies on behalf of a foreign government, they are required to register as agents of that foreign government. Hence, I say the "Friends of Israel" in Britain and AIPAC in the U.S. should be registered as foreign agents.

That is one of the things Paul Manafort was charged with as regards Ukraine, Michael Flynn got in some trouble over as regards Turkey, and is why Tony Podesta resigned from his lobbying organization as regards RUSSIA!!!.

JFK/RFK tried to get the precursor to AIPAC, the American Zionist Council, (AZC) to register as foreign agents. Of course, he also insisted that Israel allow inspectors into Israel's nuclear weapons producing facility. I forget what the resolution of those issues was. ;-)

News media are a different situation completely. BBC in the US clearly promotes British political and economic agendas. So even if RT was promoting Russian ideology, it would be no different. In my observations of RT America, they are more honest and unbiased than most news sources. They endeavor to present both "liberal" and "conservative" viewpoints, and their news presenters like Abby Martin, Thom Harmann and Ed Schultz have all stated that the network never once tried to interfere with their editorial independence, which is something I doubt any Western corporate or state-backed news presenter/editor can say. Well, except for those who share the official ideology so much that they would never imagine presenting anything contrary to or questioning of that ideology.

Where I see bias in RT America is more in what news they choose not to cover, or to simply report as having happened with no context. The other problem I have with RT is that they report the Global War OF Terror and various false flag or hoax appearing events with the same assumptions as the Western MSM.

frances | Nov 9, 2017 11:04:46 PM | 79
reply to:Familiar sounding, reminds one of the recent attempt to balkanize Syria, and the recent 2014 coup in Ukraine...and, heck, the modus operandi of the CIA in general...
Posted by: librul | Nov 9, 2017 1:25:05 PM | 41

You are right and I think it also sounds like what is happening in the US today.

frances | Nov 9, 2017 11:25:58 PM | 80
reply to "With the US and EU coming out Wednesday supporting Lebanon, doesn't seem the moar woar brigade is pulling the strings.First Qatar survives its legislated doom, now Lebanon has still not yet been freedomed.Could this be yet another crack in the anglozionist machine? What possibly could be going on with the borg?
Posted by: TSP | Nov 9, 2017 6:45:18 PM | 65

Keep in mind the US spoken support came from the State Dept, however we haven't heard from Trump yet and as his son-in-law is "best friends ever" with the SA Clown Prince, Tillerson may once again be left to eat his words.

[Nov 10, 2017] Do Virginia and New Jersey Signal Trumps Undoing

"Empire lobby" -- people wellbeing of whom depends of enlargement and maintenance of the global US empire )and that includ employees of large Us tech companies, which all have global reach)-- now votes democratic. Democratic Party became the part of neoliberal globalization.
Nov 10, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Fran Macadam , , November 9, 2017 at 2:33 am

Too bad we always get either Democrats or Republicans.

A Hobson's Choice.

George W , , November 9, 2017 at 7:36 am
Virginia was once a red state, then a purple one. But it has been solidly blue for at least 10-15 years. This is because of the huge growth of the federal government in Washington, DC. A large percentage of them live in Northern Virginia.
Mario Diana , says: November 9, 2017 at 9:25 am
The Republicans may be facing trouble ahead, but I would say that the coming troubles have less to do with the president and more to do with the fact that the Republican Congress cannot get its act together. Establishment Republicans still don't get it, as most clearly evidenced with the issue of healthcare. The failure to institute reform and repeal "Obamacare" -- after years of grandstanding about how they were going to do just that -- paints the Republican Congress as a bunch of incompetent boobies.

Reform failed in Congress because the Republican leaders fancied being able to cook up a bill in their backrooms and then strong-arm their "underlings" in the party. Representative government isn't supposed to work that way -- and it clearly isn't working that way now.

The Republicans in Congress better start working with one another, and it's up to Republican leadership to change what it's doing. They are making a laughingstock of the party in a way that will never be matched by silly tweets.

collin , says: November 9, 2017 at 9:43 am
Lessons of Tuesday elections:

1) Republicans should be concerned for 2018 but it is still far enough to draw big conclusions.

... ... ...

ADC Wonk , says: November 9, 2017 at 12:10 pm
Those that are "blaming" the Dem victory on continual growth in federal employment are living in a bubble.

News flash: the number of civilian federal employees is lower than it was all throughout the 1980's. The so-called Dulles Technology Corridor is full of tech businesses, entrepreneurs, etc. Measured by percentage of college degrees, it's one of most highly educated areas in the Nation.

Gillespie lost college educated whites.

MM , says: November 9, 2017 at 12:18 pm
"Of course it is still possible that republicans will continue to vote to subsidize rich folks "

If by rich, you mean those households that currently pay ALL net federal taxes, and by subsidize, you mean letting said households keep more of their own income, then I hope so!

They don't even get a thank you from the Democratic Party, just slogans claiming they don't pay their fair share, even though about 1/3 of those households lean Left.

Hound of Ulster , says: November 9, 2017 at 1:03 pm
Suburbia the base of the GOP since Eisenhower, just delivered a crushing shot across the bow to the Trumpian GOP. If the D.C. Republicans, much less the GOP leadership in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Kansas, North Carolina, Arizona, Georgia, New Hampshire, Ohio, Indiana, South Carolina, Colorado, and Iowa (all the states where the GOP legislative majorities are dependent on middle-class college educated white voters of the sort who rejected the Republicans across the country on Tuesday), do not heed this warning on taxes and health care, next year could see an electoral beatdown of historic proportions.
Thaomas , says: November 9, 2017 at 1:53 pm
I think this shows that Republicans should move to the center, embrace expanding ACA, advance making the tax system more progressive as they try to make it less economically distorting. get behind comprehensive immigration reform, etc.
MM , says: November 9, 2017 at 3:16 pm
"Those that are 'blaming' the Dem victory on continual growth in federal employment are living in a bubble."

Not entirely. Virginia has the 3rd highest share (about 8%) of civilian federal employees in the country.

And from 2006-2014, total federal employees and *federal retirees* living in Virginia increased by 20%, or about 50,000 people.

JeffK , says: November 9, 2017 at 3:25 pm
I am a 60 year old former Republican. The party left me when George Bush #2 listened to Dick Cheney and the rest of the neo-cons and started the 2nd war in Iraq. Probably the worst mistake in the last 100 years. The middle east is a total mess from this horrendous decision. Let me say that I think GB2 was a decent man, but he was overwhelmed by 9/11,Cheney, and the neocons.

I grew up in New Castle, PA in the 1970's. It was a thriving mill town north of Pittsburgh and east of Youngstown OH. I worked at the Rockwell International Axle plant and paid for my Penn State education with those earnings, working a good but physically demanding union job (7 days a week). That was one plant among many in NC that no longer exist or is a shadow of it's former self (Shenango China, Johnson Bronze, Conn Welding, Universal Rundle, Rockwell Spring Division, etc).

I am now a semi-retired independent computer systems consultant. Lucky enough to have worked hard enough and long enough, and lived frugally, to not worry financially. I should be a natural constituent of the Republican party. But I am no longer a member. The Republican party is now dead to me.

I believe that Trump has destroyed the Republican party. Dead men (and women) walking. And many people I know feel that way. But I understand why people that live in places like New Castle and Johnstown and Youngstown voted for the man. But I also believe that they know, in their hearts, that those jobs are not coming back. Which is shameful. Both political parties allowed those jobs to go overseas.

Voters have seen through the Republicans charade. They are not happy. Without the 2nd worst political candidate in history (Hillary Clinton) to run against (although they continue to try), the Republican party is in real trouble. Trickle down tax cuts that benefit the 1% donor class will not fly with the voters. Destroying the ACA and not providing a better replacement will be dealt with harshly. Figuring out ways to make abortions impossible to maintain will enrage a significant percent of women.

The Republicans are bankrupt of ideas. And they have elected a President (Trump) that is hated by 95% of the Democrats, 80% of the Independents, and 20% of the Republicans. And the Independents are the key to who gets elected. In general, from what I can see, the independents are very dissatisfied with Trump.

Damn right the votes on Tuesday are a reflection of the will of the voters. They are voting against Trump in particular, and against the Republicans in general. Many of the people I are friends with despise Trump, and have become Independents instead of Republicans.

The current Republican policies on Healthcare, Tax Reform, International Relations, the Environment, Abortion, Gun Rights, etc will stain the Republicans for at least a generation.

Now if the Democrats can only find candidates that are moderate and acceptable to the general public. Which VA, WA, and the local races in PA seem to indicate they are capable of.

EliteCommInc. , says: November 9, 2017 at 3:31 pm
"Surely, this is cause for deep worry among Republicans as they enter the 2018 midterm elections."

I agree with the overall advance here. It's not as telling as it was touted. But the more the admin. and the President himself looks, smells and behave like Sec Clinton or other 'run of the mill democrats,' the more likely those who voted for him simply will not turn out to vote.

It becomes increasingly difficult to support someone who is leaving the reasons you voted for in first place. I other word it is beginning too look like there were absolutely no Republican candidates who actually support its member's desires.

grumpy realist , says: November 9, 2017 at 3:46 pm
George W–so I guess that based on your comments we shouldn't have Federal Government employees at all?

Good luck running the country, then.

(If you do an actual comparison of the salaries government employees get vs. what they could get in the private sector, you'll note that they are in fact getting much less than what they could demand. Many of them exchange the stingier salaries for the higher pensions and the higher stability of the job. Are you saying that there is a problem with that?)

KSW , says: November 9, 2017 at 5:40 pm
The real news is that Dems may have also taken the Virginia state house of delegates, which has been solidly Republican in large part due to careful gerrymandering. As a result, It looks like the Dems will be in charge of redistricting after the 2020 census. I expect that after the next cycle or two, Dems will have supermajorities in both state legislative bodies, and will dominate the Congressional delegation as well.
Thomas Hobbes , says: November 9, 2017 at 5:52 pm
Fran Macadam

Too bad we always get either Democrats or Republicans.

Awe, sometimes we get Jesse Venturas or Donald Trumps. Usually even worse, but more entertaining.

Thaomas

I think this shows that Republicans should move to the center, embrace expanding ACA, advance making the tax system more progressive as they try to make it less economically distorting. get behind comprehensive immigration reform, etc.

But this goes against pretty much everything congressional Republicans want and a lot of what their constituents want.

One Guy , says: November 9, 2017 at 6:18 pm
JeffK could be writing my posts. I'm still a Republican because I believe in Republican (historical) ideas, not because I think present Republicans care about the country. I'm considering renouncing my membership in the party because of Trump, or rather, because of GOP politicians' worship of him. I would become an Independent.
EliteCommInc. , says: November 9, 2017 at 6:20 pm
" I guess that based on your comments we shouldn't have Federal Government employees at all?"

I found this n odd take away from the comments. I think it explains the predictable election results. Less to do with Pres Trump and more to do with the employment demographics and poor selections of campaign issues.

MM , says: November 9, 2017 at 6:25 pm
"If you do an actual comparison of the salaries government employees get vs. what they could get in the private sector, you'll note that they are in fact getting much less than what they could demand."

According to the CBO, that's only a true statement statement for the 9% of federal employees with a professional degree or doctorate.

For the 91% of federal employees with a high school degree, some college, or a bachelor's/master's degree, their average salaries are not "much less" than the average salaries for private sector employees with the same education.

https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/reports/52637-federalprivatepay.pdf

Do you have a better source for your claim?

morganB , says: November 9, 2017 at 6:28 pm
The Democratic victories did not signal the demise of the GOP Trump's stupidity did!
Back Home , says: November 9, 2017 at 7:48 pm
@JeffK

You and I share a demographic, except I'm a hundred some miles further south. And I also left the Republicans because of Iraq and other stupid decisions made in the Middle East. I patiently await a candidate who will pull us out of the Middle East and start focusing on America. Trump obviously isn't that guy, certainly not with all those Israel-owned Republicans in the Congress.

Siarlys Jenkins , says: November 9, 2017 at 10:00 pm
Pundits usually read too much into the results of off-year state and local elections.

True. There is nothing so transitory as the Newest Trend.

Exit polling indicates that healthcare -- not jobs, guns, taxes, immigration, Confederate monuments or abortion -- was the top voting issue in Virginia. Nearly two out of five voters picked it as their first concern.

This may be of greater significance. Republicans seized the initiative in 2010 with horror stories of how the Affordable Care Act was GOING to work, when it went into effect about four years in the future. Now, between the fact that it actually did a fair amount of good, and that neither the GOP establishment nor President Trump have turned out "something really terrific" to replace it, people are drawing sensible conclusions, and it may be for the Dems in 2018 what it was for the GOP in 2010. Ironic, but true.

Still, I agree with Fran Macadam that its a Hobson's choice. For the past ten years or so, polls have consistently reported that about ten percent of Americans trust Republicans in congress, and about fifteen percent trust Democrats in congress. The latter is 50 percent better than their rivals, but its that is a very low bar.

For the 91% of federal employees with a high school degree, some college, or a bachelor's/master's degree, their average salaries are not "much less" than the average salaries for private sector employees with the same education.

So, pay the Ph.D's better, and cut the wages of the maintenance staff?

This is because of the huge growth of the federal government in Washington, DC. A large percentage of them live in Northern Virginia.

Perhaps, but those people voting Democratic in northern Virginia are no longer voting Democratic in Utah or Idaho.

[Nov 09, 2017] Are Journalists An Enemy Of The American People Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... If the author/site does not have a comment section then they are automatically discredited in my view. ..."
"... I've noticed again and again in many of the mainstream organs that do have fairly busy comments sections (certainly here in the United Kraken), the ability to comment is mysteriously absent for articles where they lay down the party line. It Shall Not Be Disputed, Serfs! Very telling. ..."
"... Every mainstream media outlet is too worried about offending someone. If you want "democracy" and that seems to be that which everyone thinks they want, then there will be a lot of offending going on. The UK does allow some comments but try laying a comment on MSNBC, CNN or Fox: Nor shall you comment on major newspapers sites or even many minor newspaper sites. ..."
Nov 09, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

As usual, it depends who you ask...

You will find more statistics at Statista

Statista's Niall McCarthy notes that according to the Cato 2017 Free Speech and Tolerance Survey , 63 percent of Republicans agree with President Trump that journalists today "are an enemy of the American people".

During his presidency, Trump has taken to Twitter to call the national media "fake news" and in mid-February, he tweeted "The FAKE NEWS media is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people. SICK!"

Generally, 35 percent of Americans agree with Trump's view while nearly two-thirds disagree.

Unsurprisingly, the share of Democrats considering the media an enemy of the people is very low at just 11 percent.

Among Independents, it rises to 38 percent.

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Mena Arkansas , Nov 8, 2017 11:09 PM

There are no "journalists" in the MSM. Just stenographers and propagandists.

loebster -> Mena Arkansas , Nov 8, 2017 11:17 PM

And they ONLY WORK for the REAL ENEMIES of the American People.

Those who OWN the media. http://bit.ly/1W8Hl3Z

TBT or not TBT -> loebster , Nov 8, 2017 11:31 PM

For most definitions of the word "journalist", Yes they're transnational socialist Enemies Of Republic.

wee-weed up -> TBT or not TBT , Nov 8, 2017 11:34 PM

Goebbels is MIGHTY proud of today's Lib MSM! They validate & extol his existence.

MillionDollarButter -> wee-weed up , Nov 9, 2017 1:14 AM

SOOO, after losing control of the narrative, they immediately started down the route of propornot.com attacks on truly independent media. They cannot tolerate real journalism. Media consolidation is the true enemy, yet this was not, and never will be addressed by the controlled "journalism freedom" orgs like the (((Committee to Protect Journalists))): https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Acpj.org+%22media+consolidation%22

This is why shams like "Samantha Bee's 'White House' Dinner" chose to benefit CPJ.

auricle -> Mena Arkansas , Nov 8, 2017 11:18 PM

The are actors who put on a performance. It's why the shill for hollywood, because they are hollywood.

CaptainObvious -> auricle , Nov 8, 2017 11:29 PM

+100 They even read their lines from a script on the teleprompter or get the lines fed to them from the producer speaking into their earpieces. What passes for news these days is nothing more than carefully scripted bullshit from da gubmint and press releases from the megacorps. They don't even bother to alter the wording of the press releases.

Paul Kersey -> Mena Arkansas , Nov 8, 2017 11:22 PM

The Goldmanite wealth extractors, and any elected official that puts them in charge of America's financial decisions, are the biggest enemies of the people. Gary Cohn and Steve Mnuchin are the modern financial criminal versions of Meyer Lansky and Jake Guzik. Follow the money.

WileyCoyote , Nov 8, 2017 11:14 PM

The days of 'real' journalism have long since passed. I always had that suspicion - however it was amplified and confirmed during the prez election and since Trump has been in office. The way they treated Obama (fawning over everything he did) versus the way they treat Trump is unbearable. I simply boycott them now.

Jethro -> WileyCoyote , Nov 8, 2017 11:29 PM

The contrast couldn't be greater. The press corps made a show of falling all over themselves to suck off Obama. They showed how dignified they were, why should I believe anything a sychophant says?

Badsamm -> WileyCoyote , Nov 9, 2017 12:35 AM

I only go to MSM to point and laugh

THORAX , Nov 8, 2017 11:22 PM

Real journalists are an important check on those who want to control and screw the people. FAKE NEWS JOURNALISTS WANT TO CONTROL AND SCREW THE PEOPLE!

Pernicious Gold... , Nov 8, 2017 11:26 PM

I've known this since Nixon. I was too young to pay attention before that but I'm sure journalists have been enemies of the people for a long, long time.

pizdowitz , Nov 8, 2017 11:39 PM

Let's go over that one more time: Reporters re-port (facts), journalists con-tort (opinions).

MSM employs neither. MSM employs only useful idiots, and talking-heads. Genotypically, cockroaches.

The last reporter died in 1991. His name was Harry Truman Reasoner. God bless his soul.

Citizen G , Nov 8, 2017 11:51 PM

Any so called journalist or media outlet that affixes itself to a particular party or ideology is an agent of propaganda, period. Completely defeating the intent and purpose of a free press. Sad!

hyeoncsyu , Nov 9, 2017 12:25 AM

of course they are, most are nothing more than propaganda artists.

Manipuflation , Nov 9, 2017 1:05 AM

Hmm. I don't think all are enemies. We would need to define which journalists and publications are in question. As I cruise around the web I have noticed something that really bothers me that is quantifiable regarding news sources. If the author/site does not have a comment section then they are automatically discredited in my view.

medium giraffe -> Manipuflation , Nov 9, 2017 1:28 AM

I've noticed again and again in many of the mainstream organs that do have fairly busy comments sections (certainly here in the United Kraken), the ability to comment is mysteriously absent for articles where they lay down the party line. It Shall Not Be Disputed, Serfs! Very telling.

Manipuflation -> medium giraffe , Nov 9, 2017 1:50 AM

Every mainstream media outlet is too worried about offending someone. If you want "democracy" and that seems to be that which everyone thinks they want, then there will be a lot of offending going on. The UK does allow some comments but try laying a comment on MSNBC, CNN or Fox: Nor shall you comment on major newspapers sites or even many minor newspaper sites.

Indeed sir.

cheech_wizard , Nov 9, 2017 1:36 AM

So this proves Democrats can't think for themselves?

I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.

[Nov 08, 2017] The Plot to Scapegoat Russia How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Putin by Dan Kovalik

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Kovalik's historical excursion takes in the Soviet Union. Clearly, many of the U. S. military interventions described in this valuable book wouldn't have occurred if the Soviet Union still existed. Beyond that, Kovalik says, "the Soviet Union, did wield sizable political and ideological influence in the world for some time, due to the appeal of its socialist message as well as its critical role in winning [World War] II." ..."
"... Ultimately, Kovalik sides with Martin Luther King, who remarked that, 'The US is on the wrong side of the world-wide revolution' – and with Daniel Ellsberg's clarification: 'The US is not on the wrong side; it is the wrong side.'" ..."
Jun 09, 2017 | www.amazon.com

Review " A powerful contradiction to the present US narrative of the world . . . As shown here, fake news is thriving in Washington, DC."-- Oliver Stone , Academy Award winning director and screenwriter

" The Plot to Scapegoat Russia is a beautifully written, uncommonly coherent, and very compelling treatise on the issues facing America today... a troubling indictment of where we've been and where we're headed. Moreover, this book is profoundly important , and a timely retrospective review of American foreign policy misadventures since the advent of the Cold War." -- Phillip F. Nelson , author of LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination and LBJ: From Mastermind to "The Colossus"

" The Plot to Scapegoat Russia underscores how the CIA's infiltration and shaping of the media, which began in the 1950s, successfully continues today. A very worthwhile account for anyone who wants to understand how 'reality' is manufactured, while 'real truth' is murdered and buried." -- Peter Janney , author of Mary's Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision for World Peace

"At a time when the U.S. military budget is again soaring to enrich the oligarchs, this timely and thought-provoking book turns Orwellian 'double-think' on its head in a cogent analysis of what's really behind all the saber-rattling against Russia. In a scholarly but also deeply personal and fluidly written work , Dan Kovalik pulls no punches in dissecting the history of how America has justified its own imperialistic aims through the Cold War era and right up to the current anti-Putin hysteria." -- Dick Russell , New York Times bestselling author of Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The Men Who Are Destroying Life on Earth and What It Means to Our Children

" The Plot to Scapegoat Russia confronts the timeliest of subjects, the effort to resuscitate the Cold War by blaming Russian president Vladimir Putin for interfering in the 2016 presidential campaign on behalf of Donald Trump, an effort pursued by CIA and the Democratic Party working in tandem. Kovalik establishes... that not a scintilla of evidence has emerged to grant credibility to this self-serving fantasy... [and he] deftly eviscerates the mainstream press . Reading [this book] will be salutary, illuminating and more than instructive ." -- Joan Mellen , author of Faustian Bargains: Lyndon Johnson and Mac Wallace in the Robber Baron Culture of Texas

William T. Whitney Jr on May 28, 2017

Review of "The Plot to Scapegoat Russia"

Beating up on Russia; history tells why
By William T. Whitney Jr. .

Lawyer and human rights activist Dan Kovalik has written a valuable book. He looked at a recent U. S. political development in terms of history and then skewered it. His new book, "The Plot to Scapegoat Russia," looks at mounting assaults against Russia that increased during the Obama administration and that spokespersons for the Democratic Party, among others, are promoting.

The CIA, he claims, without going into specifics, is engaged in anti-Russian activities. For Kovalik, "the CIA is a nefarious, criminal organization which often misleads the American public and government into wars and misadventures."

Kovalik devotes much of his book to what he regards as precedents for the current dark turn in U.S. – Russian relations. Toward that end, he surveys the history of U.S. foreign interventions since World War II. He confirms that the United States government is indeed habituated to aggressive adventurism abroad. That's something many readers already know, but Kovalik contributes significantly by establishing that U.S. hostility against Russia ranks as a chapter in that long story.

But what's the motivation for military assaults and destabilizing projects? And, generally, why all the wars? The author's historical survey provides answers. He finds that the scenarios he describes are connected. Treating them as a whole, he gives them weight and thus provides an intellectual weapon for the anti-imperialist cause. Kovalik, putting history to work, moves from the issue of U.S.-Russian antagonism to the more over-arching problem of threats to human survival. That's his major contribution.

His highly-recommended book offers facts and analyses so encompassing as to belie its small size. The writing is clear, evocative, and eminently readable; his narrative is that of a story – teller. Along the way, as a side benefit, Kovalik recalls the causes and outrage that fired up activists who were his contemporaries.

He testifies to a new Cold War. Doing so, he argues that the anti-communist rational for the earlier Cold War was a cover for something else, a pretext. In his words: "the Cold War, at least from the vantage point of the US, had little to do with fighting 'Communism,' and more to do with making the world safe for corporate plunder." Once more Russia is an enemy of the United States, but now it's a capitalist country.

That's mysterious; explanation is in order. Readers, however, may be hungry to know about the "plot" advertised in the book's title. We recommend patience. History and its recurring patterns come first for this author. They enable him to account for U. S. – Russian relations that are contradictory and, most importantly, for the U.S. propensity for war-making. After that he tells about a plot.

Kovalik describes how, very early, reports of CIA machinations from former agents of the spy organization expanded his political awareness, as did a trip to Nicaragua. There he gained first-hand knowledge of CIA atrocities, of deaths and destruction at the hands of the Contras, anti- Sandinista paramilitaries backed by the CIA. His book goes on fully and dramatically to describe murders and chaos orchestrated by the United States and/or the CIA in El Salvador, Colombia, and in the South America of Operation Condor. Kovalic discusses the U.S. war in Vietnam, occupation and war in Korea, nuclear bombs dropped on Japan, nuclear testing and dying in the Marshall Islands, and the CIA's recruitment of the anti-Soviet Mujahedeen in Afghan¬istan. He recounts U. S. - instigated coups in Iran, 1953; Guatemala, 1954; and Chile, 1973.

These projects were about keeping "the world safe from the threat of Soviet totalitarianism" – in other words, anti-communism. But then the USSR disappeared, and the search was on for a new pretext. The Clinton administration evoked "humanitarian intervention," and continued the intrusions: in Ruanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo (on behalf of "US mining interests"), Yugoslavia, and Libya.

In Kovalik's telling, the U. S. government eventually settled upon the notion of "American exceptionalism," that is to say, "the belief that the US is a uniquely benign actor in the world, spreading peace and democracy." Thus armed, the U. S. military exported terror to Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen (via its Saudi Arabian proxy), and Honduras, through a U. S. facilitated military coup. The book catalogues other episodes, other places. Along the way on his excursion, Kovalik contrasts U. S. pretensions and brutal deeds with the relatively benign nature of alleged Russian outrages.

Good relations with Russia, he says, would be "simply bad for business, in particular the business of war which so profoundly undergirds the US economy As of 2015, the US had at least 800 military bases in over 70 nations, while Britain, France and Russia had only 30 military bases combined." And, "under Obama alone, the US had Special Forces deployed in about 138 countries." Further, "The US's outsized military exists not only to ensure the US's quite unjust share of the world's riches, but also to ensure that those riches are not shared with the poor huddled masses in this country."

Kovalik highlights the disaster that overwhelmed Russia as a fledgling capitalist nation: life expectancy plummeted, the poverty rate was 75 percent, and investments fell by 80 percent. National pride was in the cellar, the more so after the United States backed away from Secretary of State Baker's 1991 promise that NATO would never move east, after the United States attacked Russia's ally Serbia, and after the United States, rejecting Russian priorities, attacked Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011.

The author rebuts U. S. claims that Russian democracy has failed and that Putin over-reached in Ukraine. He praises Putin's attempts to cooperate with the United States in Syria. The United States has abused peoples the world over, he insists, and suffers from a "severe democracy deficit."

By the time he is discussing current U. S. – Russian relations, readers have been primed never to expect U.S. imperialism to give Russia a break. The author's instructional course has taken effect, or should have done so. If readers aren't aware of what the U. S. government has been up to, the author is not to blame.

Kovalik condemns the Obama administration and particularly Secretary of State Hilary Clinton for intensifying the U. S. campaign against Russia. He extends his criticism to the Democratic Party and the media. The theme of anti – Russian scheming by the CIA comes up briefly in the book in connection with hacking attributed to Russia and with WikiLeaks revelations about the Democratic Party. Nothing is said about possible interaction between personnel of the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

Kovalik's historical excursion takes in the Soviet Union. Clearly, many of the U. S. military interventions described in this valuable book wouldn't have occurred if the Soviet Union still existed. Beyond that, Kovalik says, "the Soviet Union, did wield sizable political and ideological influence in the world for some time, due to the appeal of its socialist message as well as its critical role in winning [World War] II."

Kovalik acknowledges "periods of great repression." He adds, however, that "the Russian Revolution and the USSR delivered on many of their promises, and against great odds. . In any case, the goals of the Russian Revolution-equality, worker control of the economy, universal health care and social security- were laudable ones." And, "One of the reasons that the West continues to dance on the grave of the Soviet Union, and to emphasize the worst parts of that society and downplay its achievements, is to make sure that, as the world-wide economy worsens, and as the suffering of work¬ing people around the world deepens, they don't get any notions in their head to organize some new socialist revolution with such ideals."

Ultimately, Kovalik sides with Martin Luther King, who remarked that, 'The US is on the wrong side of the world-wide revolution' – and with Daniel Ellsberg's clarification: 'The US is not on the wrong side; it is the wrong side.'"

Drew Hunkins on May 30, 2017

Dissects the dangerous nonsense

The most important non-fiction work thus far of 2017 is upon us. Finally the book has arrived that cuts through all the hype, deceit, misinformation and disconcerting groupthink.

Kovalik structures TPTSR by starting at the most logical place -- the history of unilateral Washington aggression across the globe, from the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran through the Washington intell agencies' orchestrated coups and proxy wars in Latin America.

This exposition of historical Washington empire building provides a solid foundation when he ultimately addresses why the predatory military-industrial-media-complex is incessantly fomenting this dangerous contemporary Russophobic campaign. The book nails it by presenting in a crystal clear manner the two exact reasons why the demonization of Moscow never seems to subside: 1.) The corporate and Washington military empire builders are deeply threatened by the potential loss of certain markets and a sovereign Russia that desires a say over the diplomatic and military maneuvers on its borders, especially its Western region. 2.) Most importantly, the MIC/national-security state absolutely MUST HAVE a villain (real or imagined, it doesn't matter) in order to justify the trillion dollar budget and careerism that seeps into every pore of the U.S. politico-economic system. This Pentagon system of pseudo economic Keynesianism could potentially lead to nuclear war. The giant house of cards could doom us all.

D. Gordon on June 1, 2017

This book is an amazing contribution. A veritable primer on U

This book is an amazing contribution. A veritable primer on U.S. foreign policy, this book is part memoir, part history, and part analysis of current events. Kovalik makes a compelling case that U.S. policies--not Russia--are the biggest danger to world peace and human rights. The book traces Kovalik's own awakening and transformation from his conservative religious-minded youth to one of our most trenchant critics of U.S. foreign policy writing today. And he does it in his own inimitable, witty, readable, and humane style.

[Nov 08, 2017] Can Putin Survive by George Friedman

It is interesting to access George Friedman after two and half years since it was made. Looks like he is a bad forcaster.
The Us plot to move Ukraine to the "Baltic states model" was the major geopolitical victory of the Obama administration. and the EU has similar goals, so we can talk about joint invasion into traditional Russian geopolitical space by the USA and EU.
Notable quotes:
"... This week, we revisit a Geopolitical Weekly first published in July 2014 that explored whether Russian President Vladimir Putin could hold on to power despite his miscalculations in Ukraine, a topic that returned to prominence with his recent temporary absence from public view . While Putin has since reappeared, the issues highlighted by his disappearing act persist. ..."
"... Ukraine is, of course, the place to start. The country is vital to Russia as a buffer against the West and as a route for delivering energy to Europe, which is the foundation of the Russian economy. ..."
"... Part of the reason Putin had replaced Boris Yeltsin in 2000 was Yeltsin's performance during the Kosovo war. Russia was allied with the Serbs and had not wanted NATO to launch a war against Serbia. Russian wishes were disregarded. The Russian views simply didn't matter to the West. Still, when the air war failed to force Belgrade's capitulation, the Russians negotiated a settlement that allowed U.S. and other NATO troops to enter and administer Kosovo. As part of that settlement, Russian troops were promised a significant part in peacekeeping in Kosovo. But the Russians were never allowed to take up that role, and Yeltsin proved unable to respond to the insult. ..."
"... Putin also replaced Yeltsin because of the disastrous state of the Russian economy. Though Russia had always been poor, there was a pervasive sense that it been a force to be reckoned with in international affairs. Under Yeltsin, however, Russia had become even poorer and was now held in contempt in international affairs. Putin had to deal with both issues. ..."
"... The breaking point came in Ukraine during the Orange Revolution of 2004. Yanukovich was elected president that year under dubious circumstances, but demonstrators forced him to submit to a second election. He lost, and a pro-Western government took office. At that time, Putin accused the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies of having organized the demonstrations. Fairly publicly, this was the point when Putin became convinced that the West intended to destroy the Russian Federation, sending it the way of the Soviet Union. ..."
"... The Ukrainian crisis has made things worse. Capital flight from Russia in the first six months stood at $76 billion, compared to $63 billion for all of 2013. Foreign direct investment fell 50 percent in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. And all this happened in spite of oil prices remaining higher than $100 per barrel. ..."
"... The Politburo model is designed for a leader to build coalitions among factions. Putin has been very good at doing that, but then he has been very successful at all the things he has done until now. His ability to hold things together declines as trust in his abilities declines and various factions concerned about the consequences of remaining closely tied to a failing leader start to maneuver. Like Khrushchev, who was failing in economic and foreign policy, Putin could have his colleagues remove him. ..."
"... Ultimately, politicians who miscalculate and mismanage tend not to survive. Putin miscalculated in Ukraine, failing to anticipate the fall of an ally, failing to respond effectively and then stumbling badly in trying to recoup. His management of the economy has not been exemplary of late either, to say the least. He has colleagues who believe they could do a better job, and now there are important people in Europe who would be glad to see him go. He must reverse this tide rapidly, or he may be replaced. ..."
Mar 24, 2015 | Stratfor
Editor's Note: This week, we revisit a Geopolitical Weekly first published in July 2014 that explored whether Russian President Vladimir Putin could hold on to power despite his miscalculations in Ukraine, a topic that returned to prominence with his recent temporary absence from public view. While Putin has since reappeared, the issues highlighted by his disappearing act persist.

There is a general view that Vladimir Putin governs the Russian Federation as a dictator, that he has defeated and intimidated his opponents and that he has marshaled a powerful threat to surrounding countries. This is a reasonable view, but perhaps it should be re-evaluated in the context of recent events.

Ukraine and the Bid to Reverse Russia's Decline

Ukraine is, of course, the place to start. The country is vital to Russia as a buffer against the West and as a route for delivering energy to Europe, which is the foundation of the Russian economy. On Jan. 1, Ukraine's president was Viktor Yanukovich, generally regarded as favorably inclined to Russia. Given the complexity of Ukrainian society and politics, it would be unreasonable to say Ukraine under him was merely a Russian puppet. But it is fair to say that under Yanukovich and his supporters, fundamental Russian interests in Ukraine were secure.

This was extremely important to Putin. Part of the reason Putin had replaced Boris Yeltsin in 2000 was Yeltsin's performance during the Kosovo war. Russia was allied with the Serbs and had not wanted NATO to launch a war against Serbia. Russian wishes were disregarded. The Russian views simply didn't matter to the West. Still, when the air war failed to force Belgrade's capitulation, the Russians negotiated a settlement that allowed U.S. and other NATO troops to enter and administer Kosovo. As part of that settlement, Russian troops were promised a significant part in peacekeeping in Kosovo. But the Russians were never allowed to take up that role, and Yeltsin proved unable to respond to the insult.

Putin also replaced Yeltsin because of the disastrous state of the Russian economy. Though Russia had always been poor, there was a pervasive sense that it been a force to be reckoned with in international affairs. Under Yeltsin, however, Russia had become even poorer and was now held in contempt in international affairs. Putin had to deal with both issues. He took a long time before moving to recreate Russian power, though he said early on that the fall of the Soviet Union had been the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century. This did not mean he wanted to resurrect the Soviet Union in its failed form, but rather that he wanted Russian power to be taken seriously again, and he wanted to protect and enhance Russian national interests.

The breaking point came in Ukraine during the Orange Revolution of 2004. Yanukovich was elected president that year under dubious circumstances, but demonstrators forced him to submit to a second election. He lost, and a pro-Western government took office. At that time, Putin accused the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies of having organized the demonstrations. Fairly publicly, this was the point when Putin became convinced that the West intended to destroy the Russian Federation, sending it the way of the Soviet Union. For him, Ukraine's importance to Russia was self-evident. He therefore believed that the CIA organized the demonstration to put Russia in a dangerous position, and that the only reason for this was the overarching desire to cripple or destroy Russia. Following the Kosovo affair, Putin publicly moved from suspicion to hostility to the West.

The Russians worked from 2004 to 2010 to undo the Orange Revolution. They worked to rebuild the Russian military, focus their intelligence apparatus and use whatever economic influence they had to reshape their relationship with Ukraine. If they couldn't control Ukraine, they did not want it to be controlled by the United States and Europe. This was, of course, not their only international interest, but it was the pivotal one.

Russia's invasion of Georgia had more to do with Ukraine than it had to do with the Caucasus. At the time, the United States was still bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan. While Washington had no formal obligation to Georgia, there were close ties and implicit guarantees. The invasion of Georgia was designed to do two things. The first was to show the region that the Russian military, which had been in shambles in 2000, was able to act decisively in 2008. The second was to demonstrate to the region, and particularly to Kiev, that American guarantees, explicit or implicit, had no value. In 2010, Yanukovich was elected president of Ukraine, reversing the Orange Revolution and limiting Western influence in the country.

Recognizing the rift that was developing with Russia and the general trend against the United States in the region, the Obama administration tried to recreate older models of relationships when Hillary Clinton presented Putin with a "reset" button in 2009. But Washington wanted to restore the relationship in place during what Putin regarded as the "bad old days." He naturally had no interest in such a reset. Instead, he saw the United States as having adopted a defensive posture, and he intended to exploit his advantage.

One place he did so was in Europe, using EU dependence on Russian energy to grow closer to the Continent, particularly Germany. But his high point came during the Syrian affair, when the Obama administration threatened airstrikes after Damascus used chemical weapons only to back off from its threat. The Russians aggressively opposed Obama's move, proposing a process of negotiations instead. The Russians emerged from the crisis appearing decisive and capable, the United States indecisive and feckless. Russian power accordingly appeared on the rise, and in spite of a weakening economy, this boosted Putin's standing.

The Tide Turns Against Putin

Events in Ukraine this year, by contrast, have proved devastating to Putin. In January, Russia dominated Ukraine. By February, Yanukovich had fled the country and a pro-Western government had taken power. The general uprising against Kiev that Putin had been expecting in eastern Ukraine after Yanukovich's ouster never happened. Meanwhile, the Kiev government, with Western advisers, implanted itself more firmly. By July, the Russians controlled only small parts of Ukraine. These included Crimea, where the Russians had always held overwhelming military force by virtue of treaty, and a triangle of territory from Donetsk to Luhansk to Severodonetsk, where a small number of insurgents apparently supported by Russian special operations forces controlled a dozen or so towns.

If no Ukrainian uprising occurred, Putin's strategy was to allow the government in Kiev to unravel of its own accord and to split the United States from Europe by exploiting Russia's strong trade and energy ties with the Continent. And this is where the crash of the Malaysia Airlines jet is crucial. If it turns out - as appears to be the case - that Russia supplied air defense systems to the separatists and sent crews to man them (since operating those systems requires extensive training), Russia could be held responsible for shooting down the plane. And this means Moscow's ability to divide the Europeans from the Americans would decline. Putin then moves from being an effective, sophisticated ruler who ruthlessly uses power to being a dangerous incompetent supporting a hopeless insurrection with wholly inappropriate weapons. And the West, no matter how opposed some countries might be to a split with Putin, must come to grips with how effective and rational he really is.

Meanwhile, Putin must consider the fate of his predecessors. Nikita Khrushchev returned from vacation in October 1964 to find himself replaced by his protege, Leonid Brezhnev, and facing charges of, among other things, "harebrained scheming." Khrushchev had recently been humiliated in the Cuban missile crisis. This plus his failure to move the economy forward after about a decade in power saw his closest colleagues "retire" him. A massive setback in foreign affairs and economic failures had resulted in an apparently unassailable figure being deposed.

Russia's economic situation is nowhere near as catastrophic as it was under Khrushchev or Yeltsin, but it has deteriorated substantially recently, and perhaps more important, has failed to meet expectations. After recovering from the 2008 crisis, Russia has seen several years of declining gross domestic product growth rates, and its central bank is forecasting zero growth this year. Given current pressures, we would guess the Russian economy will slide into recession sometime in 2014. The debt levels of regional governments have doubled in the past four years, and several regions are close to bankruptcy. Moreover, some metals and mining firms are facing bankruptcy. The Ukrainian crisis has made things worse. Capital flight from Russia in the first six months stood at $76 billion, compared to $63 billion for all of 2013. Foreign direct investment fell 50 percent in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. And all this happened in spite of oil prices remaining higher than $100 per barrel.

Putin's popularity at home soared after the successful Sochi Winter Olympics and after the Western media made him look like the aggressor in Crimea. He has, after all, built his reputation on being tough and aggressive. But as the reality of the situation in Ukraine becomes more obvious, the great victory will be seen as covering a retreat coming at a time of serious economic problems. For many leaders, the events in Ukraine would not represent such an immense challenge. But Putin has built his image on a tough foreign policy, and the economy meant his ratings were not very high before Ukraine.

Imagining Russia After Putin

In the sort of regime that Putin has helped craft, the democratic process may not be the key to understanding what will happen next. Putin has restored Soviet elements to the structure of the government, even using the term "Politburo" for his inner Cabinets. These are all men of his choosing, of course, and so one might assume they would be loyal to him. But in the Soviet-style Politburo, close colleagues were frequently the most feared.

The Politburo model is designed for a leader to build coalitions among factions. Putin has been very good at doing that, but then he has been very successful at all the things he has done until now. His ability to hold things together declines as trust in his abilities declines and various factions concerned about the consequences of remaining closely tied to a failing leader start to maneuver. Like Khrushchev, who was failing in economic and foreign policy, Putin could have his colleagues remove him.

It is difficult to know how a succession crisis would play out, given that the constitutional process of succession exists alongside the informal government Putin has created. From a democratic standpoint, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin are as popular as Putin is, and I suspect they both will become more popular in time. In a Soviet-style struggle, Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov and Security Council Chief Nicolai Patryushev would be possible contenders. But there are others. Who, after all, expected the emergence of Mikhail Gorbachev?

Ultimately, politicians who miscalculate and mismanage tend not to survive. Putin miscalculated in Ukraine, failing to anticipate the fall of an ally, failing to respond effectively and then stumbling badly in trying to recoup. His management of the economy has not been exemplary of late either, to say the least. He has colleagues who believe they could do a better job, and now there are important people in Europe who would be glad to see him go. He must reverse this tide rapidly, or he may be replaced.

Putin is far from finished. But he has governed for 14 years counting the time Dmitri Medvedev was officially in charge, and that is a long time. He may well regain his footing, but as things stand at the moment, I would expect quiet thoughts to be stirring in his colleagues' minds. Putin himself must be re-examining his options daily. Retreating in the face of the West and accepting the status quo in Ukraine would be difficult, given that the Kosovo issue that helped propel him to power and given what he has said about Ukraine over the years. But the current situation cannot sustain itself. The wild card in this situation is that if Putin finds himself in serious political trouble, he might become more rather than less aggressive. Whether Putin is in real trouble is not something I can be certain of, but too many things have gone wrong for him lately for me not to consider the possibility. And as in any political crisis, more and more extreme options are contemplated if the situation deteriorates.

Those who think that Putin is both the most repressive and aggressive Russian leader imaginable should bear in mind that this is far from the case. Lenin, for example, was fearsome. But Stalin was much worse. There may similarly come a time when the world looks at the Putin era as a time of liberality. For if the struggle by Putin to survive, and by his challengers to displace him, becomes more intense, the willingness of all to become more brutal might well increase.

[Nov 08, 2017] Although most Americans today reject the official (lone gunman) account of the Kennedy assassination, they also have doubts about alternative versions involving CIA as the main culprit. This means the CIA program was successful, for its aim was not to sell the Warren Commission, but to sow uncertainty. Today, people are not only uncertain, they have given up ever learning the truth

Arlen Specter - Wikipedia Arlen Specter (February 12, 1930 – October 14, 2012) was an American lawyer and politician who served as United States Senator from Pennsylvania. Specter was a Democrat from 1951 to 1965,[1][2][3] then a Republican from 1965 until 2009, when he switched back to the Democratic Party. First elected in 1980, he represented his state in the Senate for 30 years.
Cyril Wecht - Wikipedia Cyril Harrison Wecht (born March 20, 1931) is an American forensic pathologist. He has been a consultant in numerous high-profile cases, but is perhaps best known for his criticism of the Warren Commission's findings concerning the assassination of John F. Kennedy. See books: Into EVIDENCE: Truth, Lies and Unresolved Mysteries in the Murder of JFK; November 22, 1963: A Reference Guide to the JFK Assassination
Notable quotes:
"... "about 500 people gathered at Duquesne University for a JFK symposium sponsored by the university's Institute of Forensic Science and Law, which is named for Wecht. Appearances by Stone and a doctor who tended to Kennedy brought national attention. People sneered when they mentioned Specter's name or the single-bullet theory. ..."
"... (Specter has been useful to the deep state in other ways: he protected Zalman Shapiro, former head of NUMEC, from prosecution for his part in smuggling uranium to Israel. http://israellobby.org/numec/ ..."
Sep 23, 2017 | www.unz.com

anon, Disclaimer September 6, 2016 at 2:10 am GMT

deHaven Smith is not that impressive on several counts.

one example: book opens:

"Although most Americans today reject the official (lone gunman) account of the Kennedy assassination, they also have doubts about conspiracy theories and those who believe them. This means the CIA program was successful, for its aim was not to sell the Warren Commission, but to sow uncertainty about the commission's critics. Today, people are not only uncertain, they have given up ever learning the truth. "

At least one high-profile person and an entire community that supports him does not have doubts, has not given up. Cyril Wecht blasted holes in Arlen Specter's "one bullet" theory in 1965. He's still at it. In 2013, the fiftieth anniversary of JFK's assassination,

"about 500 people gathered at Duquesne University for a JFK symposium sponsored by the university's Institute of Forensic Science and Law, which is named for Wecht. Appearances by Stone and a doctor who tended to Kennedy brought national attention. People sneered when they mentioned Specter's name or the single-bullet theory.

Across the state, the Single Bullet exhibit opened on Oct. 21. It's the first exhibition in Philadelphia University's Arlen Specter Center for Public Policy. Willens, the former Kennedy aide, delivered a speech. The center's coordinator, Karen Albert, said he was looking forward to defending his conclusion on the 50th anniversary. " http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5017529-74/wecht-commission-specter

Smith did not even mention Wecht or Specter and the single-bullet theory in his book. The omission is important insofar as its inclusion would have demonstrated that for many years the populace has been aware of the dishonesty of the US government and some have been raising their voices against and continue to do so.

That knowledge should give encouragement to activists such as those who demand accountability for Israel's attack on the USS Liberty and the deliberate killing of 34 US sailors and other personnel.

(Specter has been useful to the deep state in other ways: he protected Zalman Shapiro, former head of NUMEC, from prosecution for his part in smuggling uranium to Israel. http://israellobby.org/numec/

[Nov 08, 2017] Russias Line in the Sand on Syria by Dmitri Trenin

This is from 2012 -- fives year from now.
Notable quotes:
"... That cannot be further from the truth, the western public is unsure and ambivalent about the situation in Syria, The West has no choice but to give lip service to the Syrian opposition, that too is a sure bet -- the lip service that is -- the Arab street is divided over the issue, and the conservative Gulf regimes for their own reasons -- are tacitly working and hoping for calm to return to Syria soon. They are very aware of the ramifications of any escalation or a protracted conflict there on their own national interests. ..."
"... While the existence of sectarian sentiments, even passions is undeniable in the Middle East, their characterization however is often overblown and misleading. For example, during the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980's a substantial segment of Iraqi Shiites- especially the educated, influential and affluent strata of society -- sided with the perceived Sunni dominated Saddam regime against Shiite Iran; that support for the regime even increased during the first Iraq war, it started waning -- like support among other Iraqis -- in the aftermath of that war. ..."
"... Secular Sunni power within the regime and within the country has been steadily on the rise for over a generation, and the majority of Sunnis does not see the need to fix what is not broken and what time will take care of in a peaceful and evolutionary manner. "A Sunni majority that feels oppressed" is not a true statement and is a gross mis-characterization of the situation in Syria. That is where the author and I disagree. ..."
"... Conditions and expectations in Syria now are NOT unlike conditions and expectations in the USSR during the Second World WAR! ..."
"... US might is depending on oil being traded in US$. ..."
"... The article starts from the strange assumption that Russia's foreign policy is motivated by cold Machiavellian motives while the US is motivated by sublime humanitarian motives. I believe the opposite could be argued with better arguments. ..."
"... Only a psychopath would argue that a mandate to protect Libyan civilians means a license to murder as much Gadaffi soldiers a you like. Yet that is how the West de facto explained its mandate. As if these soldiers didn't have civilian parents, wives and children... In the end we left Libya with 30,000 dead: much more than even the most pessimist had expected Gadaffi to kill. ..."
"... It is not true that the opposition in Syria does not want to negotiate with Assad. The fact is that just as in Libya we have composed our own opposition whereby we have selected those who don't want to negotiate. In fact the SNC has hardly any support among the protesters inside Syria and it is dominated by revengeful Brotherhood exiles who fled Syria after Assad sr. had squashed their murder campaign against his regime in the 1980s. In fact there was an attempt to negotiate between Assad and the internal opposition in Damascus. The reaction of the US ambassador was to sabotage it by going to Hama shortly before the talks and making there some radical statements. ..."
"... In a few years hence we all will be reading about the failure of a Syrian uprising with a valid cause that enjoyed considerable public support. ..."
"... One major reason will stand out: American open support that intuitively deprived it of many potential Syrian and Arab supporters and unveiled it as the conscious or unconscious open door to Syria for the USA &Co i.e. the EU and Israel and politically brought back Russia as an active major regional player to counter American presence and influence . ..."
"... I think that there is a huge danger of creating a new nuclear superpower in the middle east lead by an Iran-Turkey-Egypt-Pakistan axis, which will replace the States and finally cut them off from Eurasia. ..."
"... If the rest of the regimes were brought down, who can be sure that a similar thing could not happen in Saudi Arabia, even if the states never supported such a thing, because of similar reasons like the Russians still support Assad, neighbor countries' intelligence could efficiently support such an effort. ..."
"... My opinion in short way USA and Israel want attack Iran but because Syria is so close Jewish is a real dangers that they take revenge as Iran will be in a trouble. So is typical dirty game American and Israel politics? They not look after people from Syria because a moral principles. ..."
"... Events in SYRIA are NOT part of the Arab Spring as earlier conceived , conceptualized and supported by the Arab masses. Though clearly an intifada with considerable public support against an indisputably despotic sectarian and corrupt regime they are, never the less, part of an attempted come back by the USA to the crux of the Middle East in Syria. ..."
"... As a USA inspired, Saudi financed and Israel supported the Syrian intifada does not qualify being substantially an America conceived design and coordinated, Saudi financed and Qatar fronted effort targeting the Iran/Syria/Hizb Allah and Palestinian armed resistance common front against Israel and the USA. ..."
Feb 05, 2012 | Foreign Affairs

Nick C. (Feb. 15, 2011)

The author is certainly an expert on Russia, and he writes a brilliant article illustrating the history of the Soviet-Russian Syrian ties, and the reasons for the current Russian support for the regime in Syria; and I agree with him on all what he writes on these subjects; it is on his assessments on the situation in other spots where we disagree.

He writes: " Russia is not blameless: It lost too much time watching others and then criticizing them without shaping an active role for itself. Late last month, Moscow invited the Syrian government and the opposition for talks. This move came much too late. The opposition wants to hang Assad, not negotiate with him. Perhaps last year the response might have been different."

Well, I am glad he used the word "might" towards the end. Let me assure him the Syrian opposition would not have accepted Russia's invitation for negotiations with the regime then, just as it rejects it now; but the timing of the proposal was- to the contrary of what the author writes- actually perfect, because though the opposition would not in the past negotiate with the regime, and will not do it now; they might be inclined to do so in the future, under either Russian or Arab auspices; once they realize it is the only option left for them after they exhaust whatever remaining illusions they have about toppling the regime through a combination of protests and armed insurgency, plus whatever naive drum beating tactics and fabrications- that have become so obvious- they are using through the media . So, I would say the move was actually a master stroke for Russian diplomacy.

Then he writes: "And now it (meaning Russia) has maneuvered itself into a position in which it must bet on Assad's survival to protect its interests. Moscow needs to learn that saying no is not good enough and that in global politics timing is everything."

He and his country are both right, true, Russia has maneuvered itself into a position in which it must bet on Assad's survival to protect its interests, and that is a sure bet; and Moscow knows very well that saying no is not good enough, that is why she is doing much more. It was so necessary for Russia to say no, it also behooves us in the West as well as Turkey and Arab players to help the opposition by making sure they understand international realities. The West, Turkey and the Arabs, in addition to what they are doing -- which is politically understandable -- must help guide the opposition towards negotiations and compromise. The veto presents a reality check to the opposition and offers an opportunity for the West, Turkey and the Arabs to help coax the opposition into a pragmatic and responsible attitude. Russia also understands that in global politics timing is everything, and she is playing this card perfectly.

Then the author writes: "Over the last year, Russia has faced the simultaneous opprobrium of the Western public, the Arab street, and the conservative Gulf regimes"

That cannot be further from the truth, the western public is unsure and ambivalent about the situation in Syria, The West has no choice but to give lip service to the Syrian opposition, that too is a sure bet -- the lip service that is -- the Arab street is divided over the issue, and the conservative Gulf regimes for their own reasons -- are tacitly working and hoping for calm to return to Syria soon. They are very aware of the ramifications of any escalation or a protracted conflict there on their own national interests.

Let me add that I also believe the Syrian revolt is not a conspiracy. It started and continues by Syrian decisions; it however would not have been this intense had it not been for the interference of others. I just wish the Syrian protesters as well as the armed groups including defectors realize they are misguided and they lack political horizon, and the world knows that, and the world is waiting for them to understand they stand alone, and they are predestined to lose until they become pragmatic, and they need to comprehend that you do not get what you want by simply asking for it, or by blindly pursuing it. You need to make sure not to be reckless and not to jeopardize so much.

Now let me list some additional points on which the author and I disagree, Russia understands these points very well.

While the existence of sectarian sentiments, even passions is undeniable in the Middle East, their characterization however is often overblown and misleading. For example, during the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980's a substantial segment of Iraqi Shiites- especially the educated, influential and affluent strata of society -- sided with the perceived Sunni dominated Saddam regime against Shiite Iran; that support for the regime even increased during the first Iraq war, it started waning -- like support among other Iraqis -- in the aftermath of that war. It must also be noted that Iraqi Shiites were split over the Shiite revolt that ensued that war, and many Iraqi Shiites then strongly urged Saddam to put a quick and decisive end to it. During the second Iraq war the regime still had respectable support in the Shiite community in Iraq; some even fought coalition forces as volunteers during their advance into the country. It was in the environment after the regime fell, that sectarian divisions and passions started intensifying in Iraq and the region.

Now before I delve into the current Syrian situation, I would like to say the author chose his words very carefully when describing the situation there, he writes: "Iran, Syria's ally, is already being drawn into the fray, with the Assad regime's Alawite core coming under attack from mainly Sunni opposition. Syria is Bahrain in reverse -- a Sunni majority that feels oppressed by a relatively small sect that many believe is closer to the Shiites."

While it is true that some Alawites are a powerful component of the core of the Syrian regime, elements of other minorities, as well as Sunnis compliment the rest of the powerful core components of the regime. Also, Iran's entry into the fray is not predicated on sectarian lines; add to that the fact that while the opposition is mainly Sunni, the majority of Sunnis still, support the regime over the mainly Sunni opposition. So far, there is no contradiction in what the author and I write on the issue, he simply chooses his words carefully and leaves out some important details, while I bring these details back to the picture. Also while there is no disagreement the majority in Syria is Sunni and true many Sunnis are apprehensive about the perceived inordinate power of the Alawites in the country, the majority of Sunnis, let alone the whole Sunni majority, does not feel oppressed. Secular Sunni power within the regime and within the country has been steadily on the rise for over a generation, and the majority of Sunnis does not see the need to fix what is not broken and what time will take care of in a peaceful and evolutionary manner. "A Sunni majority that feels oppressed" is not a true statement and is a gross mis-characterization of the situation in Syria. That is where the author and I disagree.

It must be noted that - regardless of recent events -- secularism runs deep both in Iraq and in Syria, and both countries will become more secular in the future; same applies to Jordan, the Palestinians and Lebanon -- despite its current confessional political system. Add to the list the obvious secular nations of Israel and Turkey, it then becomes clear that betting on an Islamist movement in Syria- especially one that is so extremist and so different from other Islamist movements- is a losing proposition.

On a different subject, the author recounts the events of the1973 war between Israel on the one side and Egypt and Syria on the other. He writes: "Beginning in 1973, after Egypt's disastrous defeat in the war against Israel and Sadat's embrace of U.S. mediation"

Well, it is for certain that Egypt did not lose that war, let alone disastrously. By most expert accounts, including by Egyptian and Israeli generals in that war, it was militarily a close draw and politically a victory for Egypt, some even saw it as a narrow military victory for Egypt- let us not forget that the Camp David Accords came afterwards where Israel ceded the Sinai peninsula to Egypt though with Egypt signing a peace treaty with Israel.

He then writes: "In 1972, preparing for his political break with Moscow, Sadat sent home 20,000 Soviet military advisers and their dependents" True, he did, in part to exhibit self-confidence at military capability for his country, and in part to pressure the Soviets into helping him build the military he used to mount the war -- the soviets did not believe he could mount a war, let alone win one against Israel; especially only six years after the truly disastrous -- for Egypt -- six day war.

It was not until the last days of the 1973 war that Sadat -- watching the massive American military support for Israel in terms of Armament, munitions, and logistics; and after talking to both the Americans and the Soviets -- decided to break with Moscow.

Gerry Tighe

Once you understand that 9/11 was an inside job, suddenly all the USA actions make sense. Just give it a try and suppose it is true, you will see what I mean.

Gerry Tighe

What a joke -- You pretend to understand the in depth world politics, but you are either disengenguous or pushing the usual western media mind control propaganda. Do you really believe this? Surely you are intelligent enough to work out the real game for the world.

Omar N. (Mar. 20, 2009)

Conditions and expectations in Syria now are NOT unlike conditions and expectations in the USSR during the Second World WAR!

Each was/is living under the horrible yoke of a certain regime BUT faced with a much uglier prospect in case of change: the Nazi alternative for the Soviet Union and the USA/Gulf petroldom for Syria!

It is not only that the Syrian people intuitively and consciously rejects USA neo imperialist cum USA-Israeli alliance "New Middle East" vision of a new Syria but that events and outpourings of the Iraqi change, achieved through a similar alignment of external, regional and internal forces , are still too fresh in every body's mind to ignore.
Which throws everything and all back to the USA perennial regional dilemma of attempting to influence events and gain friends in the Middle while maintaining its strategic relations with and all out support of Israel.

The recent collapse of the Sadat/Mubarak regime in Egypt underscored the impossibility of that vision and the utter non feasibility of such a dual USA role in the region.

Valdi V. (Feb. 12, 2012)

Since Iraq war in 2003 the US has lost credibility. US might is depending on oil being traded in US$. Without it, the demand for the US currency would correspond only to the products it can manufacture.

It could not afford an army bigger than the rest of the world, thousands military bases worldwide, and its population being just 6% of the world population couldn't afford to consume 40% of world production.

For many years the West kept the dictators in oil producing countries in ruling positions to get the oil cheap and without resistance. It is fully responsible for the underdevelopment of the middle east.

When finally the Arabs in Tunesia have woken up, it was a surprise for the US, who was scared to death to loose its main provider for power - Saudi Arabia. As explained, without the connection of oil versus US$, US will become to a normal country, which will struggle as everybody else.

Thats why the Iraq war started, since Saddam Hussein started to trade oil for Euro. The very first administrative order after occupying Iraq was to change the trade to US$. Russia and China are the only powers who can stop US from becoming an unchallenged dictator of the world.

That's why the thief Chodorkovsky was more important in Russia, than millions of oppressed in Middle East, in Saudia Arabia, or in Bahrain. That's why US went 10000 miles to war to free the Kuwait dictator in the first Iraq war in 1991. In order to prevent the Tunesian revolt to jump over to Saudi Arabia, US scarified Mubarak, Libya, now Syria, and simultaneously violently silenced the protests in Bahrein,

Russua wouldn't mind, but since the US administration is pushing forward with it's rocket defense in Europe in encircling Russia, it has woken up the Russian bear. The Russians see the real threat of the shield, which is not defensive, but aggressive! It would allow to neutralize the nuclear response in case of a surpise attack from USA. Will not happen with Russia - US will chop of it's teeth on Russia, as Hitler did.

And yes, Russians drink vodka, are corrupt, and have not the nicest products - and still, they have rescued the world from Hitler and freed the whole Europe, which allowed Hitler to rape its population, with help of US corporations under full knowledge of US government. The West civilization is blinded by US media, and if it doesn't learn the lessons of history, there will be WWIII. It will come sudden, on a nice day, one like June 22 1941. Best.

Wim R. (Oct. 20, 2011)

The article starts from the strange assumption that Russia's foreign policy is motivated by cold Machiavellian motives while the US is motivated by sublime humanitarian motives. I believe the opposite could be argued with better arguments.

The basic principle of international law is non-interference in each other's affairs. Recently this principle has been nuanced by the "Responsibility to protect" argument but it stays the basic principle.

So when the UN gave a mandate for the protection of civilians in Libya this was with the implicit assumption that it would be done in a way that restricted the violation of the principle of non-interference to a minimum. The road was clear: make just enough pressure on Gadaffi that he doesn't conquer Benghazi and get instead a negotiated surrender where the rebels get amnesty. One might also aim for some political reform with more freedom and representation but that certainly was the limit. Instead the US refused all negotiations and went for a military conquest with one goal: total victory.

Only a psychopath would argue that a mandate to protect Libyan civilians means a license to murder as much Gadaffi soldiers a you like. Yet that is how the West de facto explained its mandate. As if these soldiers didn't have civilian parents, wives and children... In the end we left Libya with 30,000 dead: much more than even the most pessimist had expected Gadaffi to kill.

Russia was not alone in condemning this reasoning. China vetoed the Syria resolution too. India supported it only after all language aimed at facilitating a foreign intervention had been removed. Most of the rest of the world supports this line of reasoning. So the "West" is rather isolated in this. We still get a lot of votes from the South for our resolutions in this but that is more thanks to diplomatic pressure - sometimes open blackmail - than to them sharing our convictions.

With the present anarchy the faults of the Western approach in Libya become clearer and clearer. Yet Obama and the other Western leaders refuse to learn from their mistakes and pursue the same strategy in Syria.

It is not true that the opposition in Syria does not want to negotiate with Assad. The fact is that just as in Libya we have composed our own opposition whereby we have selected those who don't want to negotiate. In fact the SNC has hardly any support among the protesters inside Syria and it is dominated by revengeful Brotherhood exiles who fled Syria after Assad sr. had squashed their murder campaign against his regime in the 1980s. In fact there was an attempt to negotiate between Assad and the internal opposition in Damascus. The reaction of the US ambassador was to sabotage it by going to Hama shortly before the talks and making there some radical statements.

It is strange that hardly a Western newspaper pays attention to the reasons why the Russians vetoed the Syria resolution. Their wish to put more effort in negotiations and to ask the armed opposition too to stop with violence are far from outrageous. In fact every textbook on conflict resolution recommends such actions.

Aly-Khan S. (Mar. 28, 2009)

Given the Historical Relationship and the fact that Tartus represents the only Russian Asset in the Meditarranean, the Russian Veto is completely understood as a cold blooded Realpolitik Calculation.

Furthermore, it is now clear that it is the Counter Revolution which is in charge and therefore, Realpolitik Calculations surely trump any shattered Dreams about Greater Democracy and an Arab Spring.

Both China and Russia must be looking at the numbers and thinking that there but for the Grace of God, we too might find ourselves and we would not want held to this Threshold Level.

Aly-Khan Satchu
http://www.rich.co.ke
Nairobi

Omar N. (Mar. 20, 2009)

In a few years hence we all will be reading about the failure of a Syrian uprising with a valid cause that enjoyed considerable public support.

One major reason will stand out: American open support that intuitively deprived it of many potential Syrian and Arab supporters and unveiled it as the conscious or unconscious open door to Syria for the USA &Co i.e. the EU and Israel and politically brought back Russia as an active major regional player to counter American presence and influence .

ALEXANDROS S. (Jan. 9, 2012)

The article is pretty much correct in my opinion, Syria seems to be the last Russian outpost in the middle east. Well it is obvious that the Americans don't want Assad any more and they are doing anything to bring him down, is there a plan though? I mean does the US government have actually a plan of replacing this government or do they just leave this work to the Turks and Muslim brotherhood?

It seems like the US trusts these two players blindly. The past has shown that this kind of blind trust to other similar movements was wrong, Hamas is the best example. I am not quite sure if the US government has foreseen the emerging player of the middle east and this is no-one else than the middle east itself, under the guidance of the master mason, Turkey. I think that there is a huge danger of creating a new nuclear superpower in the middle east lead by an Iran-Turkey-Egypt-Pakistan axis, which will replace the States and finally cut them off from Eurasia.

People might think that i am exaggerating, that Egypt does not have a stable government that is difficult for these countries to agree, that there is Israel, Saudi Arabia and the emirates. Well these countries have a very strong bond, religion, and in Muslim countries this is a huge factor. If the rest of the regimes were brought down, who can be sure that a similar thing could not happen in Saudi Arabia, even if the states never supported such a thing, because of similar reasons like the Russians still support Assad, neighbor countries' intelligence could efficiently support such an effort.

Then it would be very difficult for Israel to stand on its own, even if in the past managed to do show, this kind of conflict would be very hard. Assad is a dictator and is hostile towards Israel and US, but perhaps he is the least bad thing right now. Of course the civil war is a curse to any nation, but if there is a change to happen, then it should be in a really democratic way and not in a way similar to the existing "democracies" of the Middle East. I know that my point of view might sound cynic or even a bit of difficult to happen, but i honestly believe that there are no humanitarian motives in current politics, unfortunately, and that my scenario is very possible.

Guest (Jan. 11, 2012)

My opinion in short way USA and Israel want attack Iran but because Syria is so close Jewish is a real dangers that they take revenge as Iran will be in a trouble. So is typical dirty game American and Israel politics? They not look after people from Syria because a moral principles.

Omar N. (Mar. 20, 2009) • 3 years ago

Events in SYRIA are NOT part of the Arab Spring as earlier conceived , conceptualized and supported by the Arab masses. Though clearly an intifada with considerable public support against an indisputably despotic sectarian and corrupt regime they are, never the less, part of an attempted come back by the USA to the crux of the Middle East in Syria.

As a USA inspired, Saudi financed and Israel supported the Syrian intifada does not qualify being substantially an America conceived design and coordinated, Saudi financed and Qatar fronted effort targeting the Iran/Syria/Hizb Allah and Palestinian armed resistance common front against Israel and the USA.

The Arab Spring had at inception a fundamental common platform that brought together the hitherto wary movements and uneasy relations of the Islamists, the Nationalists and the Progressives together in a joint anti despotism, anti corruption, anti Israel and anti USA alliance.

Events in Syria seem to have removed the Islamist corner stone of the said alliance!

An interesting development it had given birth to is the inescapable tacit alliance it has forged and brought to the forefront of the USA &Co and the Islamist major movement: the Moslem Brotherhood.

Its implications for the rank and file of the Islamist movements, hitherto die hard anti Israel and anti USA ,remains to be seen and may well lead to public disenchantment with the Moslem Brotherhood in particular and Islamist movements in general.

[Nov 08, 2017] Stephen Kotkin How Vladimir Putin Rules

Highly recommended!
This analysis is from 2015 or two years from now. It Is interesting to compare it (along with comments) with he current situation and new developments...
Notable quotes:
"... Russia is classified as a high-income economy by the World Bank (having a per capita GDP exceeding $14,000). Its unemployment remains low (around five percent); until recently, consumer spending had been expanding at more than five percent annually; life expectancy has been rising; and Internet penetration exceeds that of some countries in the European Union. ..."
"... it is the predatory West's efforts to enslave people to the European weltanschauung. ..."
"... This is no World Order: it a man eat man world that has been created. ..."
"... Before America decided to KILL Gadhafi by indiscriminatingly arming gangsters to carry out their will, the incipient-unity state of Libya did not have the sectarian violence that we presently hear about. ..."
"... Dear Jamil: As an American citizen, I take my hat off to you for telling the exact truth--that the terrorist state is the United States of America and our media's propaganda stream is now in overdrive, especially in regard to Russia, which is our latest target. ..."
"... The US State Department's Victoria Nuland and our CIA (+ Blackwater mercenaries) installed the puppet Yatsenyuk/Poroshenko govt. in Kiev (to do our bidding) and CIA Dir. James Brennan himself went to Kiev to launch the civil war against the Eastern provinces that Europeans, at least, are now trying to bring to a halt. The US does leave nothing but failed states behind it, and Western Ukraine will be the next failed state in a long list. Since the end of WWII, the best estimate is that the United States, in 67 military operations and countless covert CIA operations, has destroyed between 20 and 30 million people world-wide, largely in the interest of commandeering their resources or serving the interests of the banks to which they owe money--money they were usually cajoled into borrowing. ..."
"... I hold to my original point that Islamic terrorism has been created by unjustified Western interference. ..."
"... He advocates a world ruled by an elite (unspecified). ..."
"... Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin... :)) ..."
Mar 28, 2015 | Foreign Affairs
How did twenty-first-century Russia end up, yet again, in personal rule? An advanced industrial country of 142 million people, it has no enduring political parties that organize and respond to voter preferences. The military is sprawling yet tame; the immense secret police are effectively in one man's pocket. The hydrocarbon sector is a personal bank, and indeed much of the economy is increasingly treated as an individual fiefdom. Mass media move more or less in lockstep with the commands of the presidential administration. Competing interest groups abound, but there is no rival center of power. In late October 2014, after a top aide to Russia's president told the annual forum of the Valdai Discussion Club, which brings together Russian and foreign experts, that Russians understand "if there is no Putin, there is no Russia," the pundit Stanislav Belkovsky observed that "the search for Russia's national idea, which began after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, is finally over. Now, it is evident that Russia's national idea is Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin."

Russia is classified as a high-income economy by the World Bank (having a per capita GDP exceeding $14,000). Its unemployment remains low (around five percent); until recently, consumer spending had been expanding at more than five percent annually; life expectancy has been rising; and Internet penetration exceeds that of some countries in the European Union.

But Russia is now beset by economic stagnation alongside high inflation, its labor productivity remains dismally low, and its once-vaunted school system has deteriorated alarmingly. And it is astonishingly corrupt. Not only the bullying central authorities in Moscow but regional state bodies, too, have been systematically criminalizing revenue streams, while giant swaths of territory lack basic public services and local vigilante groups proliferate.

Across the country, officials who have purchased their positions for hefty sums team up with organized crime syndicates and use friendly prosecutors and judges to extort and expropriate rivals. President Vladimir Putin's vaunted "stability," in short, has turned into spoliation. But Putin has been in power for 15 years, and there is no end in sight. Stalin ruled for some three decades...

Jamil M Chaudri

Interesting but slanted and one-sided, myopic analysis. Why would the 1.6 billion Muslims spread over three continents, accept Mr Kotkin's concept of "World Order".

There is no World Order; it is the predatory West's efforts to enslave people to the European weltanschauung. It is an effort by the colonialists to prolong their hegemony over Muslim lands and people.

One of the biggest mistakes Pakia made was to join the West in destroying Soviet Russia. A bi-polar world was a better world than a unipolar world, where the west is destroying Muslim nations (one after the other).

This is no World Order: it a man eat man world that has been created.

Jamil M Chaudri -> JACK RICE

Before the invasion (and total destruction) of Afghanis there was no daily violence in Afghania. Before the invasion (and total destruction) of Iraqia, there is no daily violence in Iraqia. Before Pakia allied itself with America (leading to the further debasement of an evolving state) there were no (practically) daily suicide bombings in Pakia. Before America decided to aid Ethiopia (and joined it) in destroying Somalia, the state of Somalia had a pretty vibrant civil society, and no gangster precipitate violence.

Before America decided to KILL Gadhafi by indiscriminatingly arming gangsters to carry out their will, the incipient-unity state of Libya did not have the sectarian violence that we presently hear about. Before America decided to Destroy the Syrian State, by leading a crusade (guised as a push for, of all things, DEMOCRACY), Syria was a fast-developing state. ......... This list could be stretched back to the days of Pilgrim Fathers. But I am hoping you follow the drift.

If the hat fits, wear it! If the shoe fits, wear them!! From the top of the head to the sole of the shoes, everything is dyed deep in BLOOD.

At the moment with more than 2'000'000 deaths in Iraqia, and more than 250'000 deaths in Afgania and more than 10'000 deaths in Pakia,

Jamil M Chaudri -> BAKER ALLON

Take some smelling salts, and read what happened in North and South America, when whole nations were destroyed by the colonialists, and kept in RESERVATIONS; their children were taken to missions for conversion to Christianity, their dwellings were destroyed. Read about the Trail of Tears, when a whole nation was banished from their ancestral lands. Read about 2'000'000 deaths in Afghania. For you destruction of HUMAN LIFE is less important than destruction of statues? Shows the kind of person you are. There are many clips available on the internet showing the destruction of Human Life in most parts of Iraqia(including Mosel) by the blood thirsty invaders. Harping about statues and museums, and totally callus about human lives (millions of them) you are indeed a museum piece! Go back to the shelf you have come off.

Renee Barclay -> Jamil M Chaudri • 19 days ago

Bush was a moron but that doesn't change the fact that Saddam was a murderous dictator. And Saddam's sons were known rapists and murderers.
Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites turned on each other after Bush eliminated Saddam and that's the simple fact. And they're STILL killing each other to this day. Google it.

Jamil M Chaudri -> Renee Barclay

I do not have to Google such assertions. They are non sequitur, in nature. Even then, let us examine your assertion for a moment: Bush was a Moron but Saddam was a murderous dictator.

By your logic we American must be the epitome of Moron-ness, for we ELECTED Bush; Iraqis must be a gentle and good people who were overpowered by the Saddam, the Murderous Dictator..

By the way, how many Iraqis did Saddam murder? And then, how many Iraqis were murdered, at the command of Bush? Since the Iraqis were killed/murdered at the command of Bush, and Americans elected Bush, Americans are responsible for the murders. We Americans have blood on our hands!

My assertion is that America is responsible for 2'000'000 deaths in Iraq.

On your non-sequitur. If a good man has evils sons, does the man become evil? Again, Sunnis turned against Shias; so what? About the American Civil War, Google says: Though the number of killed and wounded in the Civil War is not known precisely, most sources agree that the total number killed was between 640,000 and 700,000.

There was no civil war in Iraq before American Invasion and destruction of Iraqi State and Society. Thus, America is TOTALLY responsible for 2'000'000 deaths in Iraq.

Vivienne Perkins -> Jamil M Chaudri

Dear Jamil: As an American citizen, I take my hat off to you for telling the exact truth--that the terrorist state is the United States of America and our media's propaganda stream is now in overdrive, especially in regard to Russia, which is our latest target.

The US State Department's Victoria Nuland and our CIA (+ Blackwater mercenaries) installed the puppet Yatsenyuk/Poroshenko govt. in Kiev (to do our bidding) and CIA Dir. James Brennan himself went to Kiev to launch the civil war against the Eastern provinces that Europeans, at least, are now trying to bring to a halt. The US does leave nothing but failed states behind it, and Western Ukraine will be the next failed state in a long list. Since the end of WWII, the best estimate is that the United States, in 67 military operations and countless covert CIA operations, has destroyed between 20 and 30 million people world-wide, largely in the interest of commandeering their resources or serving the interests of the banks to which they owe money--money they were usually cajoled into borrowing.

As for political corruption, I don't know much about Russian levels of corruption, but I know a lot about the total corruption of our system of government and the evisceration of all of our civil liberties, subsequent to the passage of the so-called and mis-named Patriot Act. By the provisions of the NDAA, any US citizen can be picked up and held in indefinite military detention without charge or trial. I wonder how much worse is Russia than that?

And since Citizens United, nearly every legislator in our Congress is absolutely bought and paid for. Maybe we should leave Russia alone and think about how to restore what we once thought of as a democratic system of governance h ere in the United States.

jlord37 -> Vivienne Perkins

One thing has nothing to do with the other. While I'm in agreement with you on the Ukrainian matter, lets not forget that Vladimir Putin's Russia also has a very big problem with Islamic extremists in their territories as does a number of countries around the world .

Vivienne Perkins -> jlord37

I'm not sure I get your point. Maybe we should think about why the West has trouble with Islamic extremists. Might it be because for over a hundred years the Western powers have chosen the dictatorial rulers of Muslim countries, drawn their boundaries, supported leaders or removed them at its own whim (as S. Hussein in Iraq, the Shah in Iran, Mubarak in Egypt, Khaddafi in Libya, etc.) and inserted Israel into Arab territory for its own reasons. Has it ever occurred to you that if Muslim nations had been allowed to develop according to their own preferences, we might possibly have a more rational and peaceful world today? I can't prove this obviously, but it does seem clear that the more the US attacks and interferes, the more hostile the Muslims become. As an American I would like to see my country behave in a more decent way and with less self-serving propaganda.

jlord37 -> Vivienne Perkins

And was America to blame for Jihadi activity thousands of years ago before its existence? Do you not realize that their actvity is given full sanction, and indeed commands them to go to war with the Kufar? Currently, there is Jihadi activity in countries stretching from India toChechnya and in several African countries. They all have to do with Islamic aggression against there neighbors and almost nothing to do with " western imperialism'

Vivienne Perkins -> jlord37

"Thousands of years ago" Islam did not exist. I hold to my original point that Islamic terrorism has been created by unjustified Western interference.

jlord37 -> Vivienne Perkins

Islam first appeared on the world stage in about the year 620 AD.

Vivienne Perkins -> jlord37

Which means it is now 1,395 years old (not thousands) and I doubt that it's legitimate to equate its idea that it was entitled to make forcible conversions to the present situation, which seems to me to have arisen fairly recently as a response to Western meddling in Arab lands.

Jamil M Chaudri -> jlord37

The answer to the one of your question is a LOWD Yes: It was the FIRST CRUSADES that brought religiosity into the GAME OF KINGS: enlarging kingdoms at the expense of neighbouring kingdoms. The First Crusade was indeed nearly a thousand years ago. The only differences between JIHAD and CRUSADE are:

1. CRUSADERS are more cruel, surreptitious, deceptive, etc.

2. Crusades have no moral component, the goal is political supremacy. Jihad is about moral supremacy, justice and equality.

Since you bring religion into the mix, try to re-read the bible (the new and the old, both of which) PRESCRIBE DEATH to heretics and non-believers. Here is a action in pursuance of such biblical dictate:

"A Spanish missionary, Bartolome de las Casas, described eye-witness accounts of mass murder, torture and rape. 2 Author Barry Lopez, summarizing Las Casas' report wrote:

"One day, in front of Las Casas, the Spanish dismembered, beheaded, or raped 3000 people. 'Such inhumanities and barbarisms were committed in my sight,' he says, 'as no age can parallel....' The Spanish cut off the legs of children who ran from them. They poured people full of boiling soap. They made bets as to who, with one sweep of his sword, could cut a person in half. They loosed dogs that 'devoured an Indian like a hog, at first sight, in less than a moment.' They used nursing infants for dog food." 3

Currently there is CRUSADING MISSIONARY activity in all non-Christian lands by religious warrior-fanatics (wearing the piety hat of the Christian hue). Read about the recent reaction local Hindu population in India against such activity.

First the Western nations used the RELIGION hat to subdue MORALLY SUPPERIOR but less BLOOD-THURSTY peoples; When that strategy ceased to work they rolled out a second version called DEMOCRACY. The second is as much of a sham as the earlier attempt.

Even internal to American, the "down trodden" masses are beginning to cry foul. The prevailing poverty rate in America is staggering. See the figures in most authoritative publications.

Reading does bring enlightenment. That is why I read from diverse sources.

jlord37 -> Jamil M Chaudri

Yes that's why millions of people are seeking to emigrate by any means necessary., and not the reverse. I can assure the " impoverished masses" in the west are in a lot better shape than they are in your neck of the woods.

But I think your trying to deflect once again. That Christianity ad well as other religions has had a bloody past, is no revelation, band I for one am no big fan. But steps have been taken since than, to temper the extremism that brought on these acts. One does not read of to many beheadings and or sucide bombings in the name of Jesus, Buddha, or Shiva. This is not meant as a criticism of Muslim people per se, or a put down of that particular of the world, it is merely mea by as a critique of some of the problems that I, and countless others see in the Islamic faith. There's no question that the leadership in the west, can be very corrupt and rapacious at times, but I think the general trend is towards an attempt at understanding and accommodation. Now, I think it is time for the Muslim world to attempt some sort of inner dialogue where they take steps towards a dressing and correcting their own problems. I enjoyed our discussion, and I hope we will be able to part in civil terms. Best wishes.

Jamil M Chaudri -> jlord37

First of all let me disabuse your notion of "my neck of the woods". In one of my earlier posting I have clearly stated that I am a proud American Citizen, living in a well wooded and watered part of the US of A. But as my country has gone wayward (essentially in pursuit of the buck) from its charter I am trying to bring America back to its promise.

You have levied accusation against me of "deflecting" arguments. Let me tell you what your problem is: you want to levy unsubstantiated accusations against others, and when they, with references, confront your falsehoods and soothsaying, you accuse the other of "deflecting" or "hijacking" the discussion! Pot calling the kettle black? Man, it is you who is unable to stick to the argument – but then, as you have no argument, of course, you have nothing to stick to. Your statements are based on your penchant for name-calling, bad mouthing, others. Perhaps your mind-set suggests that with such strategies, you will be the last "man standing" (?).
.
In my first posing on Dr Kotkin's article, I simply wanted to repudiate the so called "World Order". By what right have Great Britain and France seats at the Security Council. By definition in a democratic set-up, every unit has equal rights. What Dr Kotkins calls a World Order is therefore a sham democracy, created to benefit the West.

Under the guise of bringing democracy to Iraqia, Afghania, Libya, the Yemen, etc. the west is simply trying to prolong its hegemony. It is a sham democracy they impose on weak nations. Pliant regimes are being installed, and millions of people being killed. Any voice that is raised against such pseudo-democracy is silenced by force, by the thugs installed as "democratic" regimes. This is western patronage.

Presently, you read about EXCESSES done by the lunatic fringes of the Muslim Society (these groups, by the way, were created by and operate with the support of CIA – so that organisations like HOMELAND Security can get more dollars), because 90% of the news buzz is created by American media.

The USA is a state trying to improve its democracy on a continuous basis. In 1777 did America treat all people the same way? When was the promulgation of freedom (of SLAVES) passed in America? When was the voting rights acts passed? Are the economic developments of the Whites and Blacks (call it Afro-American, if you like) even TODAY at the same level?

I wish you and your, the very best. May Allah have his mercy on us as a Nation, so that we can STANDING TOGETHER still sing the Star-Spangled Banner.

jlord37 -> Jamil M Chaudri

We currently have a black president, black attorney General, a black director of homeland security, and a black national security adviser. That's not to mention the various statutes and regulations on the books that are strictly enforced to prevent discrimination and instances of inequality. Are these details of such small consequence? With regards to your observations of so called regime change, I am in complete agreement with you . I against such interventions wether it is Cairo or Kiev. It is up to the indigenous population of that country to determine the course that their country should take, and not have to be subjected to outside interference. However, I have to ask the question, do you really think that the CIA bears the sole responsibility for the for the existence of these groups? Could it be that they're trying to co opt them and use them for their own purposes? Im almost certain that the CIA didn't create the leaders who take certain texts and use them for recruitment purposes. All I'm suggesting is that we need to hear more from the moderate elements, and that some sort of reformation May have to be undertaken, much in the way it occurred in other religions. ( Christianity for example )

Finally, Im not sure where you got the idea that I " have a penchant of bad mouthing others" but nevertheless, I sincerely apologize if I have offended you in anyway. You are a worthy opponent, and it's been an enlightening discussion to say the least.

Robert Munro -> Jamil M Chaudri

Stephen Kotkin is a Jewish shill for the oligarchy.

Jamil M Chaudri -> Robert Munro

I only knew Dr Kotkin's background as a historian; his religious affiliation did not concern me. The only part of his writing that offended me was the concept of "World Order". I do not accept nor do I want anybody else to be suppressed by the unbridled-capitalists.

Unfortunately, to exercise unbridled capitalism, the underpinning is provided by exercise of power over others. It is the RAPE OF NATIONS.

Robert Munro -> Jamil M Chaudri

I've read Kotkin before. He advocates a world ruled by an elite (unspecified). However, from his background and affiliations, it's very possible that his mind-set matches that of Baruch Levy, below..........

"The Jewish people as a whole will become its own Messiah. It will attain world domination by the dissolution of other races, by the abolition of frontiers, the annihilation of monarchy and by the establishment of a world republic in which the Jews will everywhere exercise the privilege of citizenship.

In this New World Order, the children of Israel will furnish all the leaders without encountering opposition. The Governments of the different peoples forming the world republic will fall without difficulty into the hands of the
Jews. It will then be possible for the Jewish rulers to abolish private property and everywhere to make use of the
resources of the state.

Thus will the promise of the Talmud be fulfilled, in which it is said that when the Messianic time is come, the Jews will have all the property of the whole world in their hands."

Baruch Levy, Letter to Karl Marx (1879), printed in La Revue de Paris, p. 574, June 1, 1928

Given the 3000 year history of Judaism, its religious writings, its possession of nuclear weapons and control of the American government/economy/media, it seems appropriate to take such claims very seriously.

Robert Munro -> BAKER ALLON

Here's some more "fantasy" about your barbaric cult............

http://www.haaretz.com/news/di...

http://www.richardsilverstein....

http://www.btselem.org/downloa...

BTW- All three of the links above are to Jewish web sites - civilized Jews.

Robert Munro -> BAKER ALLON

It is the cult for which you shill that is the disease.......for 3000 years you have been a malignant cancer trying to metastasize throughout our world.

Robert Munro -> BAKER ALLON

The disease that sickens and, hopefully, will kill your cult is truth...............

"To communicate anything with a Goy about our relations would be equal to the killing of all Jews, for if the Goyim knew what we teach about them, they would kill us openly." (found in both the Torah and Talmud)

Jamil M Chaudri -> ARJAN VELLEKOOP

Of course, of course. But then, there are even some people with eyes who do not see. For them it is a blessing, for they see no evil. It is really a mental condition due to aberrant eye. By the way, Yogi Berra is supposed to have said: "You can observe a lot just by watching". But perhaps street-walkers in Europe do not watch, because their game is different, and they are enjoying the benefits of their game.

I do not want to shatter your innocence, but slaves are not seen by street-walkers: Slaves are consigned to SLAVE QUARTERS. Present day, western world has built slave quarters in India, Pakistan, Sudan, Congo, etc. This is where the Western Worlds Slaves Live. If you want to read the whole report goto: http://www.globalslaveryindex....

India has the largest number of slaves in the world (14 million).

Mind you, A related concept is "wage slavery". To understand this concept requires sensibility.

Yet another but even more subtle concept is "mental slavery". A variation of this is known as the Stockholm Syndrome. Mental Slavery is a totally abject state where the person ceases to think eigenartig but assumes the likes and hates of the person/people who have programmed him/her.

From the last line in your post, I can only assume that deep programming has been done. Programmed consciousness is virtual reality.

ARJAN VELLEKOOP -> Jamil M Chaudri

So, now the west should care for what governments in other countries do with their citizens? I thought you hated imperialists! Your reference to India is just idiotic. Why should the west feel responsible for the condition India is in?! You are probably going to say the colonial past. Well, thats bullcrap since there are plenty of countries which have grown, since their liberty, into decent and reasonably wealthy states. The west is not responsible for India, India is responsible for itself.

Particularly the Middle Eastern countries have shown behaviour to shift the blame away from their own failures. Maybe it have to do with their Islamic background, in which so many actions are based/motivated from religious basis. And of course the prophet is never wrong, so it must be the fault of a imperialist outsider.

Get real. The countries which contain these so called slaves, can make their own choices. They dont have to be part of the capitalist terrible world order. They can make the better choice like you and other believe it. Sadly enough, that idea is, apparently, not that good. Because good ideas sell itself.

Jamil M Chaudri -> ARJAN VELLEKOOP

You seem unable to differentiate between an imperialist and a "good Samaritan". You had earlier written that, as a street walker in Europe you had not seen any slaves, my response to that posting simply told you where you could go to see slavery. And specific reference to India was simply to help you find slavery most easily - with 14 million slaves India is the centre of Modern Slavery. However, in my conversations with Indians, especially the demi-literate ones, instead of admitting to the prevailing REALITY in India, they do not admit to seeing it. With their eyes open, the street walkers do not see it.

There is absolutely no religious underpinning for State Government in any of the states where Muslims are in Majority. The Saudi Family are are there because of America; the present rule in Iran is a reaction to America (re-)installing the 2-cent "SHAH" to rule the Iranian Nation. The present excesses of the Iranian state are essentially defense postures against America intransigence, and mechanisms to harm (and if possible) destroy the Iranian Nation.

I experience reality every day. If you would just come out of your VIRTUAL REALITY, you might by just watching observe some. I know deprogramming is not easy, and self-deprogramming is even more difficult.

All the same, I suggest that you wake up and smell the Coffee; if not try some smelling salts.

Robert Munro -> ARJAN VELLEKOOP

And we have read the drivel of thousands of shills for the oligarchy and the Zionist/Fascist cult...............such as yourself.

Ivan Night Terrible

Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin... :))

Hmmm... oк, about Putin:

Look at Putin's foreign agenda this past year: Latin America just as the sanctions came in - an intentional finger in Washington's eye, as I read it - then China, China again recently, Turkey more recently, India just now. He has not been to Iran, but there, as in all these other places, he has forged or reiterated promising relations. The deals cut are too numerous to list.

A couple are worth mentioning. The twin gas deals with China, worth nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars, are historic all by themselves. In six years' time China will be buying more gas from Russia than the latter now sells to Europe. And do not miss this: My sources tell me that this gas can be priced such as to crowd the U.S. at least partially out of the Asian market. Other side of the world: Putin has just canceled a planned pipeline to southeastern Europe, the South Stream. This is the defeat Western media put it over as, surely: Russia loses some customers. But two points:

[Nov 08, 2017] Trump's Anti-Restraint Foreign Policy by Daniel Larison

The obsession with the USA "leadership" (a.k.a., hegemony) is widely shared between two parties...
Notable quotes:
"... Obviously, I agree with Merry on this, but it is worth spelling out in a little more detail what this means and why this is the case. Trump's speechwriters like to insert the phrase "principled realism" into some of the president's statements, but as I've said more than a few times the administration's so-called "principled realism" is neither principled nor realist. The administration's foreign policy does not seem to follow any guiding principles (unless maximizing arms sales counts as a principle). ..."
"... Since taking office, Trump has escalated multiple wars and ended none. He has deepened U.S. involvement in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen, and that has just been in the first nine months of his presidency. ..."
"... One of the more worrisome aspects of Trump's foreign policy to date has been his tendency to encourage what Barry Posen calls "reckless driving" by U.S. clients. Trump is hardly the first president to do this, but he has made a point of doing it fairly often since taking office. Increasing U.S. support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen is one obvious example of this. Then there was Trump's Riyadh speech in which he effectively told U.S. Gulf clients that they had Washington's blessing to do whatever they wanted. In a matter of weeks, the Saudi-led bloc launched their campaign against Qatar. Since then, the White House has backed every Saudi move without hesitation, which has just encouraged the Saudis to engage in more destabilizing behavior. ..."
"... Foreign policy restraint was never likely under a Trump administration for a few reasons. First, the president's preferences for a bigger military and his preoccupation with shows of "strength" and "greatness" mean that his instincts are to reject some of restraint's core features. Second, there are very few people in the Republican Party, whether "establishment" or populist, who think that the U.S. needs to be significantly less activist abroad. They may disagree among themselves about where and why to interfere around the world, but the obsession with "leadership" (a.k.a., hegemony) is widely shared. ..."
"... "Being White House chief of staff is not something John Kelly has been trained for. Being Secretary of Defense is not something that James Mattis has been trained for. Providing international and foreign policy assessments is not something H. R. McMaster has been trained for. They're out of their lane. And it shows." ..."
"... "We have civilian government for a reason. We have politicians doing political jobs for a reason. I'm not sure where this leads . . . But I think we've seen . . . that the 'adults in the room' . . . are more like the president than we might imagine. . . . They might, in fact, reflect the military that they're from, which is, expeditionary" -- prone to interest in conflict abroad. ..."
"... Their intense hostility to Iran has also reinforced Trump's own. Because Trump has no relevant experience or knowledge to draw that would cause him to overrule their judgment, these Cabinet members and advisers will keep talking him into deeper entanglements in many different countries. The result is a foreign policy that is consistently the opposite of restraint. ..."
"... They are not going to be able to make up the failures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya or elsewhere by instigating more of the same. If they didn't question the need to invade Ira strategically and press for an incisive , and limited incursion into Afghanistan to deal with the culprits of 9/11, I think its fair to challenge their decision making on other strategic goals as well. ..."
"... There have been some moral ground – responsibility for making a mess of their house (Iraq) -- but I suspect that the window is closed for correcting that mistake. Iran is going to be a force in the region, by our hand and sadly, for the time being -- that's the way it is. ..."
"... At the moment I think one has to conclude that Mr. Bannon was correct, whatever the campaign agenda it is losing to the opposing advocacy. Pres. Trump has it appears chosen not to be a trans-formative Pres. I don't have a beef with the generals, they are doing what generals (dogs of war do). It is the civilian leadership in and out of congress that have failed. ..."
Nov 08, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Curt Mills reports on TAC 's realism and restraint conference that was held last week at George Washington University:

TAC editor Robert Merry, a staunch realist and prolific author, went further than many: "There is no realism and restraint in American foreign policy in the Trump era."

Obviously, I agree with Merry on this, but it is worth spelling out in a little more detail what this means and why this is the case. Trump's speechwriters like to insert the phrase "principled realism" into some of the president's statements, but as I've said more than a few times the administration's so-called "principled realism" is neither principled nor realist. The administration's foreign policy does not seem to follow any guiding principles (unless maximizing arms sales counts as a principle). In practice, the administration neglects managing relations with other great powers, it encourages "cheap-" and "free-riding" by allies and clients, and it treats threats that can be managed with deterrence as intolerable menaces that must be eliminated. If Trump has not yet launched a preventive war, it is not because he thinks there is anything wrong in doing so.

Since taking office, Trump has escalated multiple wars and ended none. He has deepened U.S. involvement in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen, and that has just been in the first nine months of his presidency. He has simultaneously sought to blow up a non-proliferation agreement with Iran while stoking tensions with a nuclear-armed North Korea. He wants a larger military budget than the already bloated one that we have, and he has been even more inclined than his predecessors to give U.S. clients a blank check. A strategy of restraint would reject all of this.

One of the more worrisome aspects of Trump's foreign policy to date has been his tendency to encourage what Barry Posen calls "reckless driving" by U.S. clients. Trump is hardly the first president to do this, but he has made a point of doing it fairly often since taking office. Increasing U.S. support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen is one obvious example of this. Then there was Trump's Riyadh speech in which he effectively told U.S. Gulf clients that they had Washington's blessing to do whatever they wanted. In a matter of weeks, the Saudi-led bloc launched their campaign against Qatar. Since then, the White House has backed every Saudi move without hesitation, which has just encouraged the Saudis to engage in more destabilizing behavior.

A foreign policy of restraint would be one that keeps the U.S. out of local and regional conflicts that pose no threat to our security. The U.S. would not be stuck policing foreign battlefields in the Near East or Central Asia in perpetuity, and it wouldn't be entangled in foreign civil wars where we have nothing at stake. The U.S. wouldn't be taking sides in regional rivalries for the sake of "reassuring" our clients, and our government wouldn't be rewarding clients that destabilize their regions through ill-conceived and unnecessary wars. There would be no place for preventive war in such a foreign policy, and in general the U.S. would seek to avoid land wars whenever possible.

Foreign policy restraint was never likely under a Trump administration for a few reasons. First, the president's preferences for a bigger military and his preoccupation with shows of "strength" and "greatness" mean that his instincts are to reject some of restraint's core features. Second, there are very few people in the Republican Party, whether "establishment" or populist, who think that the U.S. needs to be significantly less activist abroad. They may disagree among themselves about where and why to interfere around the world, but the obsession with "leadership" (a.k.a., hegemony) is widely shared. Finally, Trump's fascination with current and former generals has meant that he has filled his administration with Cabinet members and advisers that have been very involved in the expeditionary wars of the last decade and a half, and as a result his views of these wars and of U.S. foreign policy more broadly have been heavily influenced by men that have no problem with continuing these wars more or less indefinitely. This is connected to a point Mark Perry made on one of the panels last Friday, which Mills quotes in his article:

"Being White House chief of staff is not something John Kelly has been trained for. Being Secretary of Defense is not something that James Mattis has been trained for. Providing international and foreign policy assessments is not something H. R. McMaster has been trained for. They're out of their lane. And it shows."

He continued: "We have civilian government for a reason. We have politicians doing political jobs for a reason. I'm not sure where this leads . . . But I think we've seen . . . that the 'adults in the room' . . . are more like the president than we might imagine. . . . They might, in fact, reflect the military that they're from, which is, expeditionary" -- prone to interest in conflict abroad.

Their intense hostility to Iran has also reinforced Trump's own. Because Trump has no relevant experience or knowledge to draw that would cause him to overrule their judgment, these Cabinet members and advisers will keep talking him into deeper entanglements in many different countries. The result is a foreign policy that is consistently the opposite of restraint.

EliteCommInc., says: November 8, 2017 at 8:04 pm

"Their intense hostility to Iran has also reinforced Trump's own. Because Trump has no relevant experience or knowledge to draw that would cause him to overrule their judgment, these Cabinet members and advisers will keep talking him into deeper entanglements in many different countries."

I'll be honest here. I think it is the other way around. I don't think these are the executives instincts. I think it reflects those of the men around him.

I was hoping he would govern them, but he doesn't seem to have much a back to tell them no.

They are not going to be able to make up the failures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya or elsewhere by instigating more of the same. If they didn't question the need to invade Ira strategically and press for an incisive , and limited incursion into Afghanistan to deal with the culprits of 9/11, I think its fair to challenge their decision making on other strategic goals as well.

There have been some moral ground – responsibility for making a mess of their house (Iraq) -- but I suspect that the window is closed for correcting that mistake. Iran is going to be a force in the region, by our hand and sadly, for the time being -- that's the way it is.

At the moment I think one has to conclude that Mr. Bannon was correct, whatever the campaign agenda it is losing to the opposing advocacy. Pres. Trump has it appears chosen not to be a trans-formative Pres. I don't have a beef with the generals, they are doing what generals (dogs of war do). It is the civilian leadership in and out of congress that have failed.

But as always, I am not inclined to abandon this President yet -- the commentaries, including my own are speculative.

[Nov 08, 2017] More 'Fake News,' Alas, From the New York Times The American Conservative by Andrew J. Bacevich

Notable quotes:
"... Third, Manafort's efforts mattered bigly. In 2010, he helped Victor F. Yanukovych become president of Ukraine. An unquestionably nasty piece of work, Yanukovych was, according to Farkas, "Putin's man in Kiev." Yet like it or not, he came to power as the result of democratic election. In 2013, Yanukovych opted against joining the EU, which along with NATO, had, in Farkas's words, "experienced a burst of membership expansion" right up to Russia's own borders. ..."
"... In response to Yanukovych's action, "the Ukrainian people," that is, the enlightened ones, "took to the streets," forcing him to flee the country. Rather than bowing to the expressed will of the people, however, Russia's Vladimir Putin "instigated a separatist movement" in eastern Ukraine, thereby triggering "a war between Russia and Ukraine that continues to this day." ..."
"... To accept Farkas's account as truthful, one would necessarily conclude that as Manafort was hijacking history, the United States remained quietly on the sidelines, an innocent bystander sending prayers heavenward in hopes that freedom and democracy might everywhere prevail ..."
"... Furthermore, Russia was not alone in its meddling. The United States has been equally guilty. When "the Ukrainian people took to the streets," as Farkas puts it, the State Department and CIA were behind the scenes vigorously pulling strings. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland believed it was incumbent upon the United States to decide who should govern Ukraine. ("Yats is the guy," she said on a leaked call). Nuland would brook no interference from allies slow to follow Washington's lead. ("F–k the EU," she told the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.) ..."
"... That Ukraine is, as Farkas correctly states, a torn country, did not give Nuland pause. Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. policymakers have assigned to themselves a magical ability to repair such tears and to make broken countries whole. The results of their labors are amply on display everywhere from Somalia and Haiti to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Now add Ukraine to that sorry list. ..."
"... Even so, can't we at least assume Nuland's motives were morally superior to Putin's? After all, President Putin is clearly a thug whereas Nuland is an estimable product of the American foreign policy establishment. She's married to Robert Kagan, for heaven's sake. ..."
"... This is why we should disband politically oriented NGO's. In essence, a country is only a democracy if it is pro-U.S. Resistance is futile. Meddling at this level will only bring about more conflict, instability and military obligations will follow. It is good to be king but it is also quite expensive and ultimately ruinous. ..."
"... Imperialism rules other peoples against their will, necessitating for its survival the lessening of democratic accountability at home, too, since it lessens the importance of citizens' own concerns, also requiring for its warmaking security keeping voters in the dark. ..."
"... Make that, More 'Fake News,' Of Course From the New York Times. Saturated with Fake News of various manifestations, the NY Times and its rancid analog Washington Post on the other end of the Crony-Elite NY-DC axis are unreadable. ..."
"... Given a ham-fisted EU run by Elite hacks in Brussels that is white washing Europe's Christian legacy, mandating overbearing economic and social controls and absorbing millions of net negative migrants, the Czechs, Poles, Hungarians and Balts seem to be having second thoughts. BTW, The Russians will not and do not want to invade those countries. As the EU spins out of control and the One Belt One Road initiative develops, Russia only needs to ask them what direction they want to face in the future. ..."
"... So, having said that, on foreign policy they, all newspapers and the vast majority of magazines, are war-peddling neo-con supporters. ..."
"... Do not buy any major newspaper. Let them wither away and, it wasn't fake spun 'news' we have been getting only this year: fake agenda driven bull has been going on for decades. Go to the internet and overseas for news think what I said over and you will see ..."
"... All this social, economic and political mess is the result of deregulation in the economic, social, political spheres. The effects of those deregulations are now quite obvious in: economy, society, morality and politics that are already corrupted to the core, but the corruption is not stopping there, it is consuming everything else on its way. There is no end to it, and what is even more surprising is that people want even more of all kinds of deregulations etc. ..."
"... Wouldn't it be more logical to bring back responsibility, moral standards and decency to politics, society and economy etc? What I now see in media is the total lack of any ideas on how to correct the obvious, but instead everybody is spinning his/her lies to make them more believable to the yet unconverted. This is pure relativism and sophistry and it destroys not only the USA, but the West as well. ..."
"... If an opinion piece in NYT or other MSM blatantly distorts the facts, then it belongs to the category of "fake news." Which should probably be called "malicious rumors." So the defense of some commenters that you can blatantly lie in opinion pieces (the right NYT exercised to the full extent in this particular example and for which Bacevich criticized them) is wrong. Anti-Russian witch hunt in NYT and other MSM destroys the credibility of the USA version of neoliberalism as well as the USA foreign policy. Along with Trump election, I view it as a symptom of the crisis of neoliberalism for which the US elite is unable to find a more suitable answer than scapegoating. Also the fact that Nuland is married to neocon warmonger Kagan is a material fact. ..."
Nov 08, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Disregarding President Trump's insistent claim that the establishment press propagates "fake news" requires a constant effort -- especially when a prestigious outlet like the New York Times allows itself to be used for blatantly fraudulent purposes.

I cherish the First Amendment. Mark me down as favoring journalism that is loud, lively, and confrontational. When members of the media snooze -- falling for fictitious claims about Saddam's WMD program or Gaddafi's genocidal intentions, for example -- we all lose.

So the recent decision by Times editors to publish an op-ed regarding Paul Manafort's involvement in Ukraine is disturbing. That the Times is keen to bring down Donald Trump is no doubt the case. Yet if efforts to do so entail grotesque distortions of U.S. policy before Trump, then we are courting real trouble. Put simply, ousting Trump should not come at the cost of whitewashing the follies that contributed to Trump's rise in the first place.

The offending Times op-ed, the handiwork of Evelyn N. Farkas, appears under the title "With Manafort, It Really Is About Russia, Not Ukraine." During the Obama administration, Farkas served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia, and Mess Kit Repair. Okay, I added that last bit, but it does seem like quite an expansive charter for a mere deputy assistant secretary.

The story Farkas tells goes like this.

First, from the moment it achieved independence in 1991, Ukraine was a divided nation, "torn between Western Europe and Russia." Ukrainians in the country's western precincts wanted to join the European Union and NATO. Those further to east "oriented themselves toward Russia, which exerted maximum influence to keep Ukraine closely aligned." In one camp were enlightened Ukrainians. In the other camp, the unenlightened.

Second, Manafort's involvement in this intra-Ukrainian dispute was -- shockingly -- never about "advanc[ing] the interests of democracy, Western Europe or the United States." Manafort's motives were strictly venal. In what Farkas describes as a "standoff between democracy and autocracy," he threw in with the autocrats, thereby raking in millions.

Third, Manafort's efforts mattered bigly. In 2010, he helped Victor F. Yanukovych become president of Ukraine. An unquestionably nasty piece of work, Yanukovych was, according to Farkas, "Putin's man in Kiev." Yet like it or not, he came to power as the result of democratic election. In 2013, Yanukovych opted against joining the EU, which along with NATO, had, in Farkas's words, "experienced a burst of membership expansion" right up to Russia's own borders.

In response to Yanukovych's action, "the Ukrainian people," that is, the enlightened ones, "took to the streets," forcing him to flee the country. Rather than bowing to the expressed will of the people, however, Russia's Vladimir Putin "instigated a separatist movement" in eastern Ukraine, thereby triggering "a war between Russia and Ukraine that continues to this day."

To accept Farkas's account as truthful, one would necessarily conclude that as Manafort was hijacking history, the United States remained quietly on the sidelines, an innocent bystander sending prayers heavenward in hopes that freedom and democracy might everywhere prevail .

Such was hardly the case, however. One need not be a Putin apologist to note that the United States was itself engaged in a program of instigation, one that ultimately induced a hostile -- but arguably defensive -- Russian response.

In the wake of the Cold War, the EU and NATO did not experience a "burst" of expansion, a formulation suggesting joyous spontaneity. Rather, with Washington's enthusiastic support, the West embarked upon a deliberate eastward march at the Kremlin's expense, an undertaking made possible by (and intended to exploit) Russia's weakened state. In football, it's called piling on.

That this project worked to the benefit of Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, the Baltic Republics, and others is very much the case. On that score, it is to be applauded.

That at some point a resentful Russia would push back was all but certain. Indeed, more than a few Western observers had warned against such a response.

The proposed incorporation of Ukraine into NATO brought matters to a head. For Putin, this was an unacceptable prospect. He acted as would any U.S. president contemplating the absorption of a near neighbor into hostile bloc of nations. Indeed, he acted much as had Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy when they assessed the implications of Cuba joining the Soviet bloc.

That doesn't justify or excuse Putin's meddling in Ukraine. Yet it suggests an explanation for Russian behavior other than the bitterness of an ex-KGB colonel still with his shorts in a knot over losing the Cold War. Russia has an obvious and compelling interest in who controls Ukraine, even if few in Washington or in the editorial offices of the New York Times will acknowledge that reality.

Furthermore, Russia was not alone in its meddling. The United States has been equally guilty. When "the Ukrainian people took to the streets," as Farkas puts it, the State Department and CIA were behind the scenes vigorously pulling strings. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland believed it was incumbent upon the United States to decide who should govern Ukraine. ("Yats is the guy," she said on a leaked call). Nuland would brook no interference from allies slow to follow Washington's lead. ("F–k the EU," she told the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.)

That Ukraine is, as Farkas correctly states, a torn country, did not give Nuland pause. Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. policymakers have assigned to themselves a magical ability to repair such tears and to make broken countries whole. The results of their labors are amply on display everywhere from Somalia and Haiti to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Now add Ukraine to that sorry list.

Even so, can't we at least assume Nuland's motives were morally superior to Putin's? After all, President Putin is clearly a thug whereas Nuland is an estimable product of the American foreign policy establishment. She's married to Robert Kagan, for heaven's sake.

Persuade yourself that the United States is all about democracy promotion, as Farkas appears to believe, and the answer to that question is clearly yes. Alas, the record of American statecraft stretching over decades provides an abundance of contrary evidence. In practice, the United States supports democracy only when it finds it convenient to do so. Should circumstances require, it unhesitatingly befriends despots, especially rich ones that pay cash while purchasing American weaponry.

Yanukovych was Putin's man, "and therefore, indirectly, so was Mr. Manafort," Farkas concludes. All that now remains is to determine "the extent to which Mr. Manafort was Putin's man in Washington." For Farkas, the self-evident answer to that question cannot come too soon.

As to whether Russia -- or any other great power -- might have legitimate security interests that the United States would do well to respect, that's not a matter worth bothering about. Thus does the imperative of ousting Trump eclipse the need to confront the pretensions and the hubris that helped make Trump possible.

Andrew Bacevich is writer-at-large at The American Conservative

John Fargo , says: November 7, 2017 at 11:17 pm

This is why the term "fake news" is so harmful and should not be used by media outlets. The use of "bad journalism" would be much more useful as it forces the claimants to justify their reasons for doing so.
"Fake news" is just a dog whistle.
William Dalton , says: November 8, 2017 at 12:02 am
Has it not occurred to the foreign policy establishment in Washington that it is more in America's national interests for Ukraine to remain in Moscow's orbit, so as to strengthen U.S.-Russian relations, not exacerbate tensions, rather than to pull them into the EU, or, God forbid, NATO? Isn't this what any of the seasoned experts at Foggy Bottom would tell you? Why aren't they doing so?
Tiktaalik , says: November 8, 2017 at 2:49 am
Two comments in order

1) Yanukovich won in 2004 as well and the election results were hijacked by 'Maidan'

2) Yanukovich wasn't Putin man back in 2010. As a matter of fact, he and his party actively promoted EU integration deal, until they read its actual conditions. After that they backtracked and rushed to Putin for a support.

So it was classical case of sitting on two chairs simultaneously.

JonB , says: November 8, 2017 at 5:39 am
Completely agree with John Fargo. "Fake News" should be reserved for deliberate falsehoods published knowingly. This NYT op-ed amounts to "an interpretation of history Bacevich doesn't agree with." I may not agree with it either – but it's not like claiming that the Vegas shooter was anti-Trump, or creating a Facebook account for a non-existent person or organization.
Nolan , says: November 8, 2017 at 6:42 am
Mr Fargo: Disagree. "Bad journalism" implies the author is lazy yet innocent in their way. "Fake news" is more about narrative control and manipulation of the reader through reinvention or exaggeration, et cetera. Calling articles and outlets fake news is more accurate and levies much more weight against the lies and deceit than simply accusing someone or thing of bad journalism.
Christian Chuba , says: November 8, 2017 at 6:54 am
This is why we should disband politically oriented NGO's. In essence, a country is only a democracy if it is pro-U.S. Resistance is futile. Meddling at this level will only bring about more conflict, instability and military obligations will follow. It is good to be king but it is also quite expensive and ultimately ruinous.
Fran Macadam , says: November 8, 2017 at 7:30 am
If it were all about democracy promotion, they wouldn't also be so anxious to negate an election here at home. Imperialism rules other peoples against their will, necessitating for its survival the lessening of democratic accountability at home, too, since it lessens the importance of citizens' own concerns, also requiring for its warmaking security keeping voters in the dark.
SteveM , says: November 8, 2017 at 7:36 am
Re: "More 'Fake News,' Alas, From the New York Times"

Make that, More 'Fake News,' Of Course From the New York Times. Saturated with Fake News of various manifestations, the NY Times and its rancid analog Washington Post on the other end of the Crony-Elite NY-DC axis are unreadable.

Re: "That this project worked to the benefit of Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, the Baltic Republics, and others is very much the case. On that score, it is to be applauded."

Given a ham-fisted EU run by Elite hacks in Brussels that is white washing Europe's Christian legacy, mandating overbearing economic and social controls and absorbing millions of net negative migrants, the Czechs, Poles, Hungarians and Balts seem to be having second thoughts. BTW, The Russians will not and do not want to invade those countries. As the EU spins out of control and the One Belt One Road initiative develops, Russia only needs to ask them what direction they want to face in the future.

Dee , says: November 8, 2017 at 8:08 am
How is it someone's "opinion" constitutes "fake News"? Trump did not win by policy issues, he rode the right-wing outrage at all things clinton/libtard better than anyone else. His policy positions were mostly promise everything to everyone, but his campaign was about Lock her up/ build the wall! After bashing Goldman Sachs during the election, once he won he promptly filled his cabinet with them and other mega donor types.
Mario Diana , says: November 8, 2017 at 9:30 am
@John Fargo – I'm in almost complete sympathy with Mr. Bacevich's essay, but you make an excellent point. "Bad journalism" is the better term. In fact, the only criticism I can make of your statement is that "dog whistle" is the wrong term. Everyone associates the term "fake news" with Donald Trump. (If it were possible, he no doubt would have trademarked it.) Using the term alienates the very people who need to hear criticisms like those in Mr. Bacevich's essay. They hear it, too; and upon hearing it, they stop listening.
Egypt Steve , says: November 8, 2017 at 11:34 am
Look, elite and non-elite self-delusion about the purity of U.S. motives abroad dates back to the Roosevelt administration at least -- and I mean the Teddy Roosevelt administration. I don't see how any of this amounts to a defense of charges of money-laundering against Manafort.
Janek , says: November 8, 2017 at 11:37 am
I disagree with John Fargo. The news that NYT, Washington Post, and other media outlets (not only liberal ) "produce" is the "Fake News". "Bad journalism" should be reserved and used in the sense Nolan explains. Besides the "Fake News" on the so called "left" in American politics in general is the problem of "double speak" and speaking with the "forked tongues". American "right" is the camp of the white flag.
Tom , says: November 8, 2017 at 12:20 pm
The op-ed page is for opinion pieces of writing and that is what this was an opinion. It isn't fake news because it isn't news.
SteveM , says: November 8, 2017 at 12:43 pm
Re: Janek:

Besides the "Fake News" on the so called "left" in American politics in general is the problem of "double speak" and speaking with the "forked tongues". American "right" is the camp of the white flag.

I've mentioned the various "flavors" of Fake News before. There is (1) the obvious – what is claimed as true is actually false. But also (2), what is claimed as important, actually isn't. And (3) what is important, is weakly or not reported at all.

An example of Type 2 is the WaPost reporting on its front page before the 2016 that Jared Kushner may have been greased into the Harvard MBA program. As if Ivy League greasing by monied Elites is unheard of. How was that front page news? And how about the acceptances of Chelsea Clinton (Stanford) and Malia Obama (Harvard)?

The cases of Type 3 Fake News are much more egregious. For example, the reasoned arguments and analysis by retired American intelligence officers and academics that the Syrian forces "chemical weapon attack" in April was almost certainly a false flag with staged recovery activity.

The NY Times and WaPost have consistently refused to acknowledge that those arguments and analysis even exist.

The linking of Russia to the DNC email leaks as factual by the Times, Post and NPR without a scintilla of published hard evidence is another example.

There are many more examples of Type 3 Fake News that could be demonstrated. Much of what claims to be journalism by the MSM is now Fake News trash.

Siarlys Jenkins , says: November 8, 2017 at 1:09 pm
Disregarding President Trump's insistent claim that the establishment press propagates "fake news" requires a constant effort -- especially when a prestigious outlet like the New York Times allows itself to be used for blatantly fraudulent purposes.

I agree in principal, although I note that President Trump and his team are as guilty of fake news as anyone, and the president himself appears to be positively delusional. I might at times disagree with Bacevich as to which news is fake.

I would also agree that there has been a great deal of "fake news" out of Ukraine, and what is really going on their is a former SSR with a bitterly divided population that each has about equal numbers, proponderance in some territories compared to others, and equally opportunistic leadership showing no great commitment to anything recognizable as "democracy."

Fayez Abedaziz , says: November 8, 2017 at 3:22 pm
Say, can we refrain from using the word 'journalism' when we refer to the American media? We should.

The internet and sources overseas, such as the Independent News paper/site out of Britain, have news that is not purposely spun as is by the neo-con American news papers and magazines. Not as much, anyway. Several points here, for example of what bad news (pun intended) the joke of American media is:

1- quit calling the main stream media liberal or left. They are liberal in a 'social issues sense,' that is, to be politically correct.

2- So, having said that, on foreign policy they, all newspapers and the vast majority of magazines, are war-peddling neo-con supporters.

3-They have agendas. Do we not remember how they, at the new york times, peddled the war against Iraq and how, when you look at the editorial page you feel that these people and the guests opinion writers are soulless people that have no concern for America's 'flyover' country?

4- Yeah, isn't that ironic that these people look down on America's middle class, blue collar workers and yes, it's troops, by that constant bashing of nations here and there and pushing for aggressive stands or even military attacks? Let the people at the major newspapers like this n.y.times rag tell us when they served in the U.S. military or their when their offspring did or when they're gonna join and volunteer for combat duty. Never mind, I've got the answer-none of 'em.

Do not buy any major newspaper. Let them wither away and, it wasn't fake spun 'news' we have been getting only this year: fake agenda driven bull has been going on for decades. Go to the internet and overseas for news think what I said over and you will see

Janek , says: November 8, 2017 at 3:39 pm
@SteveM

Not everybody has the time to analyze the deluge of all the "Fake News" and categorize it into classes and/or sub-classes you or somebody else proposes. Where all that leads? Soon we will have new sociopolitical discipline and experts on "fake-newsology" that will introduce another layer of pseudo-information that will have to be translated to the uninitiated and unwashed.

All this social, economic and political mess is the result of deregulation in the economic, social, political spheres. The effects of those deregulations are now quite obvious in: economy, society, morality and politics that are already corrupted to the core, but the corruption is not stopping there, it is consuming everything else on its way. There is no end to it, and what is even more surprising is that people want even more of all kinds of deregulations etc.

Wouldn't it be more logical to bring back responsibility, moral standards and decency to politics, society and economy etc? What I now see in media is the total lack of any ideas on how to correct the obvious, but instead everybody is spinning his/her lies to make them more believable to the yet unconverted. This is pure relativism and sophistry and it destroys not only the USA, but the West as well.

nikbez

If an opinion piece in NYT or other MSM blatantly distorts the facts, then it belongs to the category of "fake news." Which should probably be called "malicious rumors."

So the defense of some commenters that you can blatantly lie in opinion pieces (the right NYT exercised to the full extent in this particular example and for which Bacevich criticized them) is wrong.

Anti-Russian witch hunt in NYT and other MSM destroys the credibility of the USA version of neoliberalism as well as the USA foreign policy. Along with Trump election, I view it as a symptom of the crisis of neoliberalism for which the US elite is unable to find a more suitable answer than scapegoating.

Also the fact that Nuland is married to neocon warmonger Kagan is a material fact.

[Nov 08, 2017] Learning to Love McCarthyism by Robert Parry

Highly recommended!
Russiagate witch hunt is destroying CIA franchise in Facebook and Twitter, which were used by many Russians and Eastern Europeans in general.
One telling sign of the national security state is "demonizing enemies of the state" including using neo-McCarthyism methods, typically for Russiagate.
In the beginning, "Russiagate" was about alleged actions by Russian secret services. Evidence for these allegations has never emerged, and it seems that the Russiagate conspiracy theorists largely gave up on this part (they still sometimes write about it as if it was an established fact, but since the only thing in support of it they can adduce is the canard about the 17 intelligence services, it probably is not that interesting any more).
Now, they have dropped the mask, and the object of their hatred are openly all Russian people, as the new Undermensch. If these people and US MSM recognized the reality that they are now a particularly rabid part of the xenophobic far right in the United States
Notable quotes:
"... Buried in the story's "jump" is the acknowledgement that Milner's "companies sold those holdings several years ago." But such is the anti-Russia madness gripping the Establishment of Washington and New York that any contact with any Russian constitutes a scandal worthy of front-page coverage. On Monday, The Washington Post published a page-one article entitled, "9 in Trump's orbit had contacts with Russians." ..."
"... The anti-Russian madness has reached such extremes that even when you say something that's obviously true – but that RT, the Russian television network, also reported – you are attacked for spreading "Russian propaganda." ..."
"... We saw that when former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile disclosed in her new book that she considered the possibility of replacing Hillary Clinton on the Democratic ticket after Clinton's public fainting spell and worries about her health. ..."
"... In other words, the go-to excuse for everything these days is to blame the Russians and smear anyone who says anything – no matter how true – if it also was reported on RT. ..."
"... The CIA has an entire bureaucracy dedicated to propaganda and disinformation, with some of those efforts farmed out to newer entities such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) or paid for by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). NATO has a special command in Latvia that undertakes "strategic communications." ..."
"... Israel is another skilled player in this field, tapping into its supporters around the world to harass people who criticize the Zionist project. Indeed, since the 1980s, Israel has pioneered many of the tactics of computer spying and sabotage that were adopted and expanded by America's National Security Agency, explaining why the Obama administration teamed up with Israel in a scheme to plant malicious code into Iranian centrifuges to sabotage Iran's nuclear program. ..."
"... And, if you're really concerned about foreign interference in U.S. elections and policies, there's the remarkable influence of Israel and its perceived ability to effect the defeat of almost any politician who deviates from what the Israeli government wants, going back at least to the 1980s when Sen. Chuck Percy and Rep. Paul Findley were among the political casualties after pursuing contacts with the Palestinians. ..."
"... The answer seems to be the widespread hatred for President Trump combined with vested interests in favor of whipping up the New Cold War. That is a goal valued by both the Military-Industrial Complex, which sees trillions of dollars in strategic weapons systems in the future, and the neoconservatives, who view Russia as a threat to their "regime change" agendas for Syria and Iran. ..."
"... After all, if Russia and its independent-minded President Putin can be beaten back and beaten down, then a big obstacle to the neocon/Israeli goal of expanding the Mideast wars will be removed. ..."
"... Right now, the neocons are openly lusting for a "regime change" in Moscow despite the obvious risks that such turmoil in a nuclear-armed country might create, including the possibility that Putin would be succeeded not by some compliant Western client like the late Boris Yeltsin but by an extreme nationalist who might consider launching a nuclear strike to protect the honor of Mother Russia. ..."
"... The likely outcome from the anti-Russian show trials on Capitol Hill is that technology giants will bow to the bipartisan demand for new algorithms and other methods for stigmatizing, marginalizing and eliminating information that challenges the mainstream storylines in the cause of fighting "Russian propaganda." ..."
"... America's Stolen Narrative, ..."
"... witch hunt by congressional Democrats, working with the intelligence agencies and leading media outlets, to legitimize censorship and attack free speech on the Internet. ..."
"... The aim of this campaign is to claim that social conflict within the United States arises not from the scale of social inequality in America, greater than in any other country in the developed world, but rather from the actions of "outside agitators" working in the service of the Kremlin. ..."
"... The McCarthyite witch hunts of the 1950s sought to suppress left-wing thought and label all forms of dissent as illegitimate and treasonous. Those who led them worked to purge left-wing opinion from Hollywood, the trade unions and the universities. ..."
"... Likewise, the new McCarthyism is aimed at creating a political climate in which left-wing organizations and figures are demonized as agents of the Kremlin who are essentially engaged in treasonous activity deserving of criminal prosecution. ..."
"... Danny there was a time not to long ago, I would have said of how we are 'moving towards' to us becoming a police state, well instead replace that prediction of 'moving towards' to the stark reality to be described as 'that now we are', and there you will have it that we have finally arrived to becoming a full blown 'police state'. ..."
"... Thanks to Mr. Parry for this very fair and complete review of the latest attempts to generate a fake foreign enemy. The tyrant over a democracy must generate fake foreign enemies to pose falsely as a protector, so as to demand domestic power and accuse his opponents of disloyalty, as Aristotle and Plato warned thousands of years ago. ..."
"... The insanity of the entire "Russian hacking" narrative has been revealed over and over, including this past weekend when +/-100 Clinton loyalists published a screed on Medium saying Donna Brazile had been taken in by Russian propaganda. ..."
"... I have come to expect just about anything when it comes to Russia-Gate, but I was taken aback by the Hillary bots' accusation that videos of Hillary stumbling and others showing her apparently having a fit of some kind and also needing to be helped up the steps to someone's house -- which were taken by Americans and shown by Americans and seen by millions of shocked Americans -- were driven by Russia-Gate. ..."
"... Now, since the extremist xenophobic idea that contact with *any* Russians is a scandal has taken hold in the United States, people are probably not too eager to mention these contacts in these atmosphere of extreme xenophobic anti-Russian hatred in today's United States. Furthermore, people who have contact with large numbers of people probably really have difficulties remembering and listing these all. ..."
"... Their contacts are with Russian business and maybe the Russian mob, not the Russian state. There is really not question that Trump and his cronies are crooks, but they are crooks in the US and in all the other countries where they do business, not just Russia. I'm sure Mueller will be able to tie Trump directly to some of the sleeze. But there is no evidence that the Russian government is involved in any of it. "Russia-gate" implies Russian government involvement, not just random Russians. There is no evidence of that and moreover the logic is against. ..."
"... Mr. Cash . I think George Papadopoulis, Trump's young Aide, was an inside mole for neocon pro-Israel interests. Those interests needed to knock the unreliable President Trump out of the way to get the "system" back where it belonged – in their pocket. Papadopoulis, on his own, was rummaging around making Trump/Russian connections that finally ended with the the William (Richard?) Browder (well-known Washington DC neocon)/Natalia Veselnitskaya/Donald Trump, Jr. fiasco. The Trumps knew nothing of those negotiations, and young Trump left when he realized Natalia was only interested in Americans being allowed to adopt Russian children again and had no dirt on Hillary. ..."
"... It was never my impression that Cold War liberals opposed McCarthy or the anti-Communist witch hunt. Where they didn't gleefully join in, they watched quietly from the sidelines while the American left was eviscerated, jailed, driven from public life. Then the liberals stepped in when it was clear things were going a little too far and just as the steam had run out of McCarthy's slander machine. ..."
"... At that point figures like Adlai Stevenson, Hubert Humphrey and John F. Kennedy found the path clear for their brand of political stagecraft. They were imperialists to a man, something they proved abundantly when given the chance. Liberals supplanted the left in U.S. life- in the unions, the teaching profession, publishing and every other field where criticism of the Cold War and the enduring prevalence of worker solidarity across international lines threatened the new order. ..."
"... The book concludes that by equating dissent with disloyalty, promoting guilt by association, and personally commanding loyalty programs, ""Truman and his advisors employed all the political and programmatic techniques that in later years were to become associated with the broad phenomenon of McCarthyism."" ..."
"... Formed by Google in June 2015 with Eliot Higgins of the Atlantic Council's Bellingcat as a founding member, the "First Draft" coalition includes all the usual mainstream media "partners" in "regime change" war propaganda: the Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, the UK Guardian and Telegraph, BBC News, the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensics Research Lab and Kiev-based Stopfake. ..."
"... In the beginning, "Russiagate" was about alleged actions by Russian secret services. Evidence for these allegations has never emerged, and it seems that the Russiagate conspiracy theorists largely gave up on this part (they still sometimes write about it as if it was an established fact, but since the only thing in support of it they can adduce is the canard about the 17 intelligence services, it probably is not that interesting any more) ..."
"... Now, they have dropped the mask, and the object of their hatred are openly all Russian people, anyone who is "Russian linked" by ever having logged in to social networks from Russia or using Cyrillic letters. If these people and their media at least recognized the reality that they are now a particularly rabid part of the xenophobic far right in the United States ..."
"... The interview of Roger Waters on RT is one of the best I have seen in a long while. I wish some other artists get the courage to raise their voices. The link to the Roger Waters interview is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7jcvfbLoIA This Roger Waters interview is worth watching. ..."
"... It would seem that everyone on the US telivision , newspaper and internet news has mastered the art of hand over mouth , gasp and looking horrified every time Russia is mentioned. It looks to me that the US is in the middle of another of it´s mid life crises. Panic reigns supreme every where. If it was not so sad it would be funny. i was born in the 1940s and remember the McCarthy witch hunts and the daily shower of people jumping out of windows as a result of it. ..."
"... In The Fifties (1993), American journalist and historian David Halberstam addressed the noxious effect of McCarthyism: "McCarthy's carnival like four year spree of accusation charges, and threats touched something deep in the American body politic, something that lasted long after his own recklessness, carelessness and boozing ended his career in shame." (page 53) ..."
"... Halberstam specifically discussed how readily the so-called "free" press acquiesced to McCarthy's masquerading: "The real scandal in all this was the behavior of the members of the Washington press corps, who, more often than not, knew better. They were delighted to be a part of his traveling road show, chronicling each charge and then moving on to the next town, instead of bothering to stay behind and follow up. They had little interest in reporting how careless McCarthy was or how little it all meant to him." (page 55) ..."
"... Why have they not investigated James Comey? Why has the MSM instead created a Russian Boogeyman? Why was he invited to testify about the Russian connection but never cross examined about his own influence? Why is the clearest reason for election meddling by James Comey not even spoken of by the MSM? This is because the MSM does not want to cover events as they happened but wants to recreate a alternate reality suitable to themselves which serves their interests and convinces us that the MSM has no part at all in downplaying the involvement of themselves in the election but wants to create a foreign enemy to blame. ..."
Nov 08, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Special Report: Many American liberals who once denounced McCarthyism as evil are now learning to love the ugly tactic when it can be used to advance the Russia-gate "scandal" and silence dissent, reports Robert Parry.

The New York Times has finally detected some modern-day McCarthyism, but not in the anti-Russia hysteria that the newspaper has fueled for several years amid the smearing of American skeptics as "useful idiots" and the like. No, the Times editors are accusing a Long Island Republican of McCarthyism for linking his Democratic rival to "New York City special interest groups." As the Times laments, "It's the old guilt by association."

Yet, the Times sees no McCarthyism in the frenzy of Russia-bashing and guilt by association for any American who can be linked even indirectly to any Russian who might have some ill-defined links to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On Monday, in the same edition that expressed editorial outrage over that Long Island political ad's McCarthyism, the Times ran two front-page articles under the headline: "A Complex Paper Trail: Blurring Kremlin's Ties to Key U.S. Businesses."

The two subheads read: " Shipping Firm Links Commerce Chief to Putin 'Cronies' " and " Millions in Facebook Shares Rooted in Russian Cash ." The latter story, which meshes nicely with the current U.S. political pressure on Facebook and Twitter to get in line behind the New Cold War against Russia, cites investments by Russian Yuri Milner that date back to the start of the decade.

Buried in the story's "jump" is the acknowledgement that Milner's "companies sold those holdings several years ago." But such is the anti-Russia madness gripping the Establishment of Washington and New York that any contact with any Russian constitutes a scandal worthy of front-page coverage. On Monday, The Washington Post published a page-one article entitled, "9 in Trump's orbit had contacts with Russians."

The anti-Russian madness has reached such extremes that even when you say something that's obviously true – but that RT, the Russian television network, also reported – you are attacked for spreading "Russian propaganda."

We saw that when former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile disclosed in her new book that she considered the possibility of replacing Hillary Clinton on the Democratic ticket after Clinton's public fainting spell and worries about her health.

Though there was a video of Clinton's collapse on Sept. 11, 2016, followed by her departure from the campaign trail to fight pneumonia – not to mention her earlier scare with blood clots – the response from a group of 100 Clinton supporters was to question Brazile's patriotism: "It is particularly troubling and puzzling that she would seemingly buy into false Russian-fueled propaganda, spread by both the Russians and our opponents about our candidate's health."

In other words, the go-to excuse for everything these days is to blame the Russians and smear anyone who says anything – no matter how true – if it also was reported on RT.

Pressing the Tech Companies

Just as Sen. Joe McCarthy liked to haul suspected "communists" and "fellow-travelers" before his committee in the 1950s, the New McCarthyism has its own witch-hunt hearings, such as last week's Senate grilling of executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google for supposedly allowing Russians to have input into the Internet's social networks. Executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google hauled before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism on Oct. 31, 2017. Trying to appease Congress and fend off threats of government regulation, the rich tech companies displayed their eagerness to eradicate any Russian taint.

Twitter's general counsel Sean J. Edgett told the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism that Twitter adopted an "expansive approach to defining what qualifies as a Russian-linked account."

Edgett said the criteria included "whether the account was created in Russia, whether the user registered the account with a Russian phone carrier or a Russian email address, whether the user's display name contains Cyrillic characters, whether the user frequently Tweets in Russian, and whether the user has logged in from any Russian IP address, even a single time. We considered an account to be Russian-linked if it had even one of the relevant criteria."

The trouble with Twitter's methodology was that none of those criteria would connect an account to the Russian government, let alone Russian intelligence or some Kremlin-controlled "troll farm." But the criteria could capture individual Russians with no link to the Kremlin as well as people who weren't Russian at all, including, say, American or European visitors to Russia who logged onto Twitter through a Moscow hotel.

Also left unsaid is that Russians are not the only national group that uses the Cyrillic alphabet. It is considered a standard script for writing in Belarus, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbo-Croatia and Ukraine. So, for instance, a Ukrainian using the Cyrillic alphabet could end up falling into the category of "Russian-linked" even if he or she hated Putin.

Twitter's attorney also said the company conducted a separate analysis from information provided by unidentified "third party sources" who pointed toward accounts supposedly controlled by the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency (IRA), totaling 2,752 accounts. The IRA is typically described in the U.S. press as a "troll farm" which employs tech-savvy employees who combat news and opinions that are hostile to Russia and the Russian government. But exactly how those specific accounts were traced back to this organization was not made clear.

And, to put that number in some perspective, Twitter claims 330 million active monthly users, which makes the 2,752 accounts less than 0.001 percent of the total.

The Trouble with 'Trolling'

While the Russia-gate investigation has sought to portray the IRA effort as exotic and somehow unique to Russia, the strategy is followed by any number of governments, political movements and corporations – sometimes using enthusiastic volunteers but often employing professionals skilled at challenging critical information or at least muddying the waters.

Those of us who operate on the Internet are familiar with harassment from "trolls" who may use access to "comment" sections to inject propaganda and disinformation to sow confusion, to cause disruption, or to discredit the site by promoting ugly opinions and nutty conspiracy theories.

As annoying as this "trolling" is, it's just a modern version of more traditional strategies used by powerful entities for generations – hiring public-relations specialists, lobbyists, lawyers and supposedly impartial "activists" to burnish images, fend off negative news and intimidate nosy investigators. In this competition, modern Russia is both a late-comer and a piker.

The U.S. government fields legions of publicists, propagandists, paid journalists, psy-ops specialists , contractors and non-governmental organizations to promote Washington's positions and undermine rivals through information warfare.

The CIA has an entire bureaucracy dedicated to propaganda and disinformation, with some of those efforts farmed out to newer entities such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) or paid for by the U.S. Agency for International De