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From Military-Industrial Complex to Media-Military-Industrial Complex: Review of literature

a

The mainstream media of the US is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the military industrial complex.
 If you want to call it anything, you can call it the ‘military [industrial] media,’  The military makes money by making war;
they buy the media to promote war... The military industrial media in the United States is depending on being able to speak
to a captive audience of uninformed viewers… The military controls the media because they own them.- John Bosnitch

Pseudoscience  > Who Rules America

News National Security State Recommended Links The Deep State The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies Classified America: Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism
Neo-fascism Neoconservatism Predator state American Exceptionalism New American Militarism Ethno-lingustic Nationalism Nation under attack meme
Corporatism War is racket Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law National Socialism and Military Keysianism US and British media are servants of security apparatus War is a Racket - Incredible Essay by General Smedley Butler Economics of Peak Energy
National Security State / Surveillance State Big Uncle is Watching You Social Sites as intelligence collection tools Is Google evil ? Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition Military Bureaucracy and Military Incompetence Bureaucratic Collectivism
Color revolutions Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Nulandgate Sanctions against Russia Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? The Far Right Forces in Ukraine Russian Ukrainian Gas wars
The Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum Homepage Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few History of American False Flag Operations JFK assassination as a turning event in US history Mystery of Building 7 Collapse Allan Dulles  
Understanding Mayberry Machiavellis  Ron Paul War and Peace Quotes Corporatism quotes Politically Incorrect Humor Humor Etc

Due to the size the introduction was moves to a separate page

Abstract

If the ability to anticipate future dangers for the nation is the mark of a truly great president then Dwight D. Eisenhower would be the greatest president of the XX century. But because he appointed such a devious person as Allen Dulles as the head of CIA his record is very mixed and contradictory.

In any case, he was the last Republican president to deliver broad-based prosperity. During his presidency, the gains from growth were widely shared and the incomes of the poorest fifth actually grew faster than the incomes of the top fifth. As a result, America became more equal than ever before or since. Under Ike, the marginal tax rate on the richest Americans reached 91%. Eisenhower also presided over the creation of the interstate highway system – the largest infrastructure project in American history — as well as the nation’s biggest expansion of public schools. It’s no coincidence that when Eisenhower was president, over a third of all private sector workers were unionized. Ike can’t be credited for this but at least he didn’t try to stop it or legitimize firing striking workers, as did Ronald Reagan.

At the same time Dwight D. Eisenhower was an architect of the USA "deep state" and subverting by deep state of the remnants of constitutional republic that survived WWII. As part of his own contribution to the creation of military-industrial complex, Eisenhower had overseen the creation of both the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, and a "high-risk, high-gain" research unit called the Advanced Research Projects Agency, or ARPA, that later added the word "Defense" to its name and became DARPA.

The backbone of military industrial complex is not Pentagon (although it is definitely the important part of it). It is three letter agencies such as CIA, FBI, NSA and ONI.  David Talbot's book The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government fingers CIA director Allen Dulles as the person who plotted and directed the JFK assassination, and portrays him as a psychopath who managed to rise to the high echelons of power. Unfortunately, the book has problems with  history, as explained by David M. Barrett in this review.   And the story of rise of power and influence of CIA, FBI and NSA is the key part of the story of the US military industrial complex.  With the key personal role of Eisenhower in this rise.  In other words he was the actual creator of "regime change" machine within the CIA (America's Legacy of Regime Change by Stephen Kinzer):

It was not only the Dulles brothers, however, who brought the United States into the regime-change era in the early 1950s. Eisenhower himself was a fervent advocate of covert action. Officially his defense and security policy, which he called the "New Look," rested on two foundations, a smaller army and an increased nuclear arsenal. In reality, the "New Look" had a third foundation: covert action. Eisenhower may have been the last president to believe that no one would ever discover what he sent the CIA to do. With a soldier's commitment to keeping secrets, he never admitted that he had ordered covert regime-change operations, much less explained why he favored them.

BTW it was Dwight D. Eisenhower who appointed Dulles brothers to CIA and State Department creating the most dangerous and reckless tandem the USA history ever known and putting the last nail into the coffin of constitutional republic.  It was his administration that organized coupe on Iran deposing legitimate government and installing a puppet regime, the prolog of many color revolutions accomplished the USA ever since (including Chile, and many other Latin American republics, and later the xUSSR space). See The Brothers John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War Stephen Kinzer. 


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"All democracies turn into dictatorships - but not by coup. The people give their democracy to a dictator, whether it's Julius Caesar or Napoleon or Adolf Hitler. Ultimately, the general population goes along with the idea... That's the issue that I've been exploring: How did the Republic turn into the Empire ... and how does a democracy become a dictatorship? "

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[Dec 09, 2019] One of the best indicators of imperial violence is displaced persons

Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Russ , Dec 9 2019 9:32 utc | 77

A User , Dec 9 2019 7:13 utc | 72

One of things which concerns me most about this site and most others inhabited by contrarian blokes of a certain age is the way that topics discussed are most often the same topics as those fed to the mugs via corporate media.

Sure the opinions are vastly different, but the subjects are not. So much energy and time wasted on pointless topics like the amerikan prez when we all know that it really doesn't matter who jags that gig nothing meaningful will alter for amerikans or the people outside amerika oppressed by empire.

Now the prez thing is a bit of a troll since so many amerikans have been intensely indoctrinated right through their lives to believe that all the prezdency guff is meaningful when it so obviously isn't. That in reality the odds of any amerikan suddenly having an epiphany about the pointlessness of DC kibuki from reading this, or something similar written by someone else, are negligible.

So we have to accept, to a degree, that Washington Housewives and Days of Our Lives DC will continue to feature at MoA.

But what happens when the corporate media chooses not to consider much larger, more pernicious forms of imperialism than is currently occurring in the ME because that imperialism is nascent, awful things are being done to humans western populations who have not been sufficiently propagandised against, so may not greet the tales of murder and mayhem generated by the actions of french foreign legionaires, english SAS or amerikan special forces with sufficient approval?

Easy, we just don't talk about it except when told to or where there is no choice because some action by the imperial thugs for hire has attracted too much attention. In that case the barest of details make it into the news and we will be told that whoever it was who had their families butchered belonged to an organisation which 'western intelligence' said was 'associated with ISIS'. No specificity, not details at all apart from the one unsubstantiated claim, which lets face it says any village of humans anywhere that contains a single resident which western intelligence believes is somehow associated with ISIS, is worthy of being genocided out of existence.

I reckon one of the best indicators of imperial violence is displaced persons. We saw in the ME that various forms of ethnic cleansing were practised to persuade people to move off their traditional lands in order to either exploit the natural resources in the area (see Saudi Amerika driving tribes from the newly discovered hydrocarbon prospects in North Yemen), or to create lebensraum for another group of humans currently held in favour by the empire (see the shifting of arabs and Turkamen from North Syria to give ready made villages to Kurds which only lasted for as long as the Kurds were needed by empire).

So many people were displaced in the ME during the first half of the teens that shock, horror some european countries felt obliged to allow a few of those whose lives had been destroyed into their communities.

That was then, yet we still all talk about the ME as though it is where the empire is committing its most egregious harm, but that is no longer the case.

If you check this Pew Center article you will see The total number of people living in sub-Saharan Africa who were forced to leave their homes due to conflict reached a new high of 18.4 million in 2017, up sharply from 14.1 million in 2016 -- the largest regional increase of forcibly displaced people in the world" .

If one checks the chart Pew has provided we can see that the numbers of decent humans in the ME who have been displaced from their land is alleged to currently be 21.5 million while the number of persons displaced in sub-Sahara Africa is about 3 million less at 18.4 million.

See so more action in the ME still. No, firstly the ME curve has flattened right out over the years since 2016 meaning that new displacements are relatively low unless of course it is your whanau that has been displaced in which case it wouldn't feel nearly as benign.
Secondly if you look at the fine-print on that chart you will see the 21.5 million line is labelled "Middle East-North Africa".

Libya is an African state which happens to have a proportion of arabic speaking people in its population, it also contains Berbers (e.g. Muammar Ghadaffi) and what the chart calls "sub-Saharan Africans when they want say negro but the unfortunate connotations associated with that term (99% the result of horrific whitefella behaviour) means that negro is no longer a la mode in whitefella land.

Not enough to rape, steal & steal from black Africans, now we also remove the means to identify them as a distinct group.

The Libya africa/ME issue matters a great deal because prior to the fukusi rape of Libya, that nation acted as a bulwark for all the supra-saharan nations, some Saharan eg Niger and that was just as likely a reason for amerika to destroy Libya setting loose the ethno-centrists of Misratah to kill black africans, standover Berbers & Turks to ensure that only Arab speaking semites can get control. This is the deal the empire struck. Not to enable italy to get some of that sweet sweet crude at the sort of bargain basement prices Italy hadn't enjoyed since Mussolini invaded Libya - that was purely a minor side benefit, now the good colonel was no more, fukus became the only game in town.
There was no longer any white knight determined to protect his/her neigbours from the outright theft, extortion, bribery, rape & murder which are the empire's stock in trade.

It began with aa team of US military nuclear experts in Niger .

It is foolish and counterproductive to ignore the horrors that a US-led fukus mission which runs across the entire African continent has created in the name of more billions to the already rich.
Do it if you want, but all you are really achieving is enabling the arseholes.

There is a scarcity of relevant links for the usual reasons. Not only are you more likely to put faith in info from sources you already know & trust, getting there will help you comprehend this crime far better than something easily digestible from a user, and most importantly the final paras were done long after the sun rose over the yardarm here.

@ A User 72

All very true. I would place the de jure war onslaughts within the overall context of globalization and in particular the imperialistic assault of corporate industrial agriculture upon Africa, the last great semi-frontier which wasn't fully assimilated by the first "Green Revolution" onslaught. A main goal as the global empire faces decline or collapse is to seize control of all land and drive the people OUT.

Globalization acts to destroy all local production and distribution. It destroys this outright or seizes control of it in order to force it into the global commodity framework. It seizes control of indigenous land and resources. It dumps subsidized Western goods. It destroys any functional politics and democracy. It imposes the control of multinational corporations over every part of life it can. It does this purely in the power interests of Western elites. Any benefits it lets trickle down to locals are purely calculated payouts to accomplices. Much of the global South has been crushed under the corporate boot this way, and Africa has already been subject to the IMF and World Bank’s debt indenture shock treatment (“structural adjustment”).

All this has been accompanied by the systematic ravaging of African ecosystems, culminating in the rising climate chaos driven by the patterns of energy consumption, waste, and ecological destruction practiced and imposed by Western industrialized productionism and consumerism. Climate change is caused by these actions. Since corporate state elites and their supporters have long known this and in spite of lots of lip service have refused to do anything to avert the worst of it, it’s long been true that climate change is an intentional campaign of aggression against the Earth and all vulnerable peoples. Thus climate change takes its place as the most extreme and far-reaching of the corporate campaigns designed to cause disaster, destruction, and chaos. According to this pattern of disaster capitalism the corporations then proceed to use the crises they intentionally generate as further opportunities for aggression and profit. All corporate sectors practice this, and corporate agriculture is the most aggressive and destructive practitioner of all. Today Africa is its primary new target.

Corporate control of agriculture and food has always been at the core of the globalization onslaught. In accordance with its food weapon the US government systematically has waged economic, political, chemical, biological (both of the former in the form of poison-based agriculture and other pretexts for systemic and systematic environmental poisoning), and often literal shooting warfare. Throughout this history of war and sublimated war, corporate agriculture has been a constant weapon and battleground as well as its aggrandizement being a constant goal.

[Dec 09, 2019] Our Lying Military, Our Lying Government by Rod Dreher

Dec 09, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Everybody's talking about the FBI report today, but as far as I'm concerned, this long piece in the Washington Post is the real news. Here's how it begins:

The documents include transcripts of interviews with soldiers, diplomats, and others with direct experience in the war effort. Excerpts:

"We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan -- we didn't know what we were doing," Douglas Lute, a three-star Army general who served as the White House's Afghan war czar during the Bush and Obama administrations, told government interviewers in 2015. He added: "What are we trying to do here? We didn't have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking."

"If the American people knew the magnitude of this dysfunction . . . 2,400 lives lost," Lute added, blaming the deaths of U.S. military personnel on bureaucratic breakdowns among Congress, the Pentagon and the State Department. "Who will say this was in vain?"

More:

"What did we get for this $1 trillion effort? Was it worth $1 trillion?" Jeffrey Eggers, a retired Navy SEAL and White House staffer for Bush and Obama, told government interviewers. He added, "After the killing of Osama bin Laden, I said that Osama was probably laughing in his watery grave considering how much we have spent on Afghanistan."

The documents also contradict a long chorus of public statements from U.S. presidents, military commanders and diplomats who assured Americans year after year that they were making progress in Afghanistan and the war was worth fighting.

Look at this:

Several of those interviewed described explicit and sustained efforts by the U.S. government to deliberately mislead the public. They said it was common at military headquarters in Kabul -- and at the White House -- to distort statistics to make it appear the United States was winning the war when that was not the case.

"Every data point was altered to present the best picture possible," Bob Crowley, an Army colonel who served as a senior counterinsurgency adviser to U.S. military commanders in 2013 and 2014, told government interviewers. "Surveys, for instance, were totally unreliable but reinforced that everything we were doing was right and we became a self-licking ice cream cone."

One more:

As commanders in chief, Bush, Obama and Trump all promised the public the same thing. They would avoid falling into the trap of "nation-building" in Afghanistan.

On that score, the presidents failed miserably. The United States has allocated more than $133 billion to build up Afghanistan -- more than it spent, adjusted for inflation, to revive the whole of Western Europe with the Marshall Plan after World War II.

The Lessons Learned interviews show the grandiose nation-building project was marred from the start.

Read it all.

If you can get through it all, good for you. I got so mad that I had to quit reading not long after the paragraph above. We have lost about 2,000 soldiers in Afghanistan, and sustained about 21,000 casualties of war. (Not to mention all the dead innocent Afghan civilians, and the dead and wounded troops of our NATO allies.) We have spent altogether almost $1 trillion on that country. The Afghan officials stole a fortune from us. We never knew what to do there. And every one of our leaders lied about it. Lied! All those brave American soldiers, dead or maimed for life, for a war that our leaders knew that we could not win, but in defense of which they lied.

It's the Pentagon Papers all over again. You know this, right.

Trump is negotiating now with the Taliban over the possibility of US withdrawal. The story says US officials fought the Post in court over these documents, and have said most recently that publishing them would undermine the administration's negotiating position. I don't care. Tell the truth, for once. Let's cut our losses and go before more Americans die in this lost cause. Poor Afghanistan is going to fall under the tyrannical rule of the mullahs. But if, after 18 years, a trillion dollars, and all those dead and wounded Americans, we couldn't establish a stable and decent Afghan regime, it's not going to happen.

If any of my children want to join the US military, I'm going to go to the mat to talk them out of it. I do not want them, or anybody's sons or daughters, sent overseas to die in hopeless countries in wars that we cannot win, and shouldn't have fought, but kept doing because of bipartisan Establishment foreign policy delusions. To be clear, we should have bombed the hell out of Afghanistan after 9/11. The Taliban government gave shelter to Al Qaeda, and brought retribution upon itself. But the Bush Administration's nation-building insanity was never going to work. Eight years of Obama did not fix this. Nor, so far, has three years of Trump, though maybe he will be the one to stop the bleeding. If he does withdraw, I hope he blasts the hell out of his two predecessors and the military leadership for what they've done here.

I've been writing lately in this space, and in the book I'm working on, about the parallels between late-imperial Russia and our own time and place. And I've been writing about what Hannah Arendt had to say about the origins of totalitarianism. Arendt says that one precursor of totalitarianism is a widespread loss of faith in a society's and a government's institutions. According to a 2019 Gallup poll, the US military is one of the few institutions that enjoys broad confidence. How can anybody possibly believe them after this? How can we believe our Commanders-in-Chief? According to the secret documents, the men in the field have been were their commanders for a long time that this Afghan thing was not working, and wasn't ever going to work. But they kept sending them back in.

Why? Pride? Too full of themselves to admit that it was a failure? As soldier John Kerry turned antiwar activist said back in the 1970s, about Vietnam, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" No more American dying in and for Afghanistan. Bring the troops home. They did not fail. Their superiors did.

How do you convince young people to join an institution whose leadership -- civilian as well as military -- is prepared to sacrifice them for a lost cause, and then lie, and lie, and lie about it? How do you convince mothers and fathers to send their sons and daughters with confidence to that military? How do you convince taxpayers to support throwing more money into the sh*thole that is the Pentagon's budget?

The questions that are going to come up sooner than most of us think, and, in some version, from both the Left and the Right: just what kind of order do we have in America anyway? Why do I owe it my loyalty? What does it mean to be a patriot when you cannot trust the nation's leaders and institutions?

These are the kinds of questions that, depending on how they are answered, can lead to the unraveling, and even the overthrow, of a regime. It has been said that the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan was a prime mover in the ascension of Mikhail Gorbachev and the collapse of the Soviet system. We are not the Soviet Union -- but I wouldn't be so quick to take comfort in that, if I were a political or military leader.

We learned nothing from Vietnam, did we? Not a damn thing. It is beyond infuriating. It is beyond demoralizing. And you know, the only thing more infuriating and more demoralizing than this will be if there are no consequences for it, or if people fall back into partisan positions. The report makes clear that this is a disaster that was launched by a Republican administration, continued under a Democratic administration, and has been overseen by another Republican administration.

One of the reasons Donald Trump is president today, and not some other Republican, is he was the one Republican primary candidate who denounced the wars. If he can't get us out of Afghanistan, what good is he?

UPDATE: I was just thinking about something a military friend told me almost 15 years ago, based on his direct personal knowledge of the situation: that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was lying to the nation about how the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were going. And if Rumsfeld was lying, so was the administration. My friend was deeply discouraged. Rumsfeld left office in 2006 -- but the habit remained with our leadership.


Sid Finster 29 minutes ago • edited

The only thing that surprised me in the WaPo article was that it was published in the CIA's house organ.

EDIT: I should have added that the squandering of blood and treasure, fighting a pointless war that benefits nobody but the financiers, contractors, arms manufacturers and generals, all while the politicians and generals proclaim that victory is just at hand, we can't turn back now, - all this reminds me of nothing so much as a smaller scale WWI.

Tony55398 13 minutes ago
Trump wants us out of Afghanistan, but Iran is a different story. He's sending more troupes to Saudi Arabia to defend the Saudi's from Iran, how is that disentangling from the ME. I think the Saudi's Wahhabism, basically the same as ISIS practices, is the most dangerous religion in the word today and they are busy exporting it to the rest of the world. I really think Trump is a false prophet, a lying prophet, who serves first himself.
disqus_nocmkvBMwY 10 minutes ago
Didn't vote for Trump - but: He has attempted to stand up to the elite establishment intelligence-military-arms manufacturing complex and start cutting back the forever wars. Everyone attacks him for this--establishment Republicans, Democrats, State Department, Military, Intelligence, Media--everybody. The attacks are immediate and intense. He is almost always forced to pull back. He seems determined to keep trying, but, as is evident, they will do anything it takes to stop him.

[Dec 09, 2019] When it became clear the USSR wouldn't be able to keep up technologically with the USA, Gorbachev then decided (without knowing it) it would be preferrable for The USSR to disappear than to continue to exist as a non-superpower.

Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Dec 9 2019 12:08 utc | 79

More on "Western imbecilization":

A (Grudging) Defense of the $120,000 Banana

These are the successors of Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Picasso, etc. etc.

--//--

This is Brazil's "God's Army":

'Soldiers of Jesus': Armed neo-Pentecostals torment Brazil's religious minorities

First Worlders commenting here seem to have the illusion Christianism is the good brother of the three Abrahamic religions. Although I understand the pro-Christian bias coming from the Europeans (since Christianism is an inextricable aspect of European identity), this opinion is a myth: we have already tasted this in the Bolivian coup, but it's also a Latin American phenomenon.

Christians are wolves under sheep skins.

--//--

@ Posted by: pogohere | Dec 9 2019 1:25 utc | 57

The USSR had a relatively backwards transportation system (specially railways), that still used disproportional quantities of petroil to function, but that wasn't an existential threat to the nation per se , it could be modernized.

Of all the theses I've read about the collapse of the USSR, the one that most convinced me was Angelo Segrillo's "Decline of the USSR" - which I think only exists in Portuguese right now. Segrillo covers all the arguments of the time used to explain the fall of the USSR and refutes them all empirically before he lays out that the main cause of the fall of the USSR was its structural inability to implement the Third Industrial Revolution ("toyotism").

When it became clear the USSR wouldn't be able to keep up technologically with the USA, Gorbachev then decided (without knowing it) it would be preferrable for the USSR to disappear than to continue to exist as a non-superpower.

In that sense, yes, the Soviet then relatively inneficient energy use was a symptom of the underlying cause - but it wasn't the cause.

--//--

@ Posted by: bevin | Dec 9 2019 3:03 utc | 62

The problem with Europe is its geography: it is a tiny, depleted peninsula. In the 17th Century, it was an advantage, since the lack of natural resources impelled it to aggressively exploit other continents, giving birth to capitalism.

But capitalism is a global system, not a regional system. When it reached maturity, Europe slowly, but inexorably, begun to lose its competitive advantages over purely capitalist formations - the greatest of them all being the USA. Then what was an advantage became a disadvantage.

This gordian knot was cut with WWI and WWII (both were only one war, in two parts) - a last desperate attempt by British capitalism to preserve its imperialist status.

But History is unasailable: it is the saga of class struggle, of the contradictions between the modes of production and the relations of production. The result couldn't be any different: Western Europe was on its knees after WWII. The British Empire had just sold all its assets to the Americans and German men were literally prostituting themselves to American soldiers for on cigarette (and German children, for one chocolate bar). The USA was the undisputed sovereign of the European Peninsula from 1945 on.

The last leverage the European Peninsula had, in that scenario, was the USSR itself: it could ask the USA for good treatment and some dignity in exchange of not doing socialist revolutions backed up by the Soviets. The result was the Marshall Plan and a permission to revive their previous industrial parks.

That situation resulted in the rise of Atlanticism, the ideology that the USA is the legitimate heir of Western Civilization. Andy Warhol was the successor to Michelangelo.

--//--

@ Posted by: john brewster | Dec 9 2019 4:35 utc | 65

The USSR stagnated during the period that spanned from the oil crisis of 1975 until its fall in 1991.

But it only had a recession in two years of its history: the year after the Perestroika and its last year of existence. Both were very mild recessions (by capitalist standards).

Even during the infamous "Brezhnev stagnation", growth was 1-3% per year - comparable to the developed capitalist nations since the 1990s.

But the problem is that its successor states are doing objectively worse: Russia will grown a little more than 1% this year; other ex-Soviet states are more or less in the same situation (with Ukraine doing outright worse). The mircle promised to the Russians didn't come: Putin's boom of the early 2000s was not comparable to the Soviet boom. Russia's status today are completely dependent on China (which, ironically, has the Soviet system of government) and the modernization from the old Soviet weapons and know-how it already had.

[Dec 09, 2019] Does Trump masterfully trolling the Deep State or he is such an idiot that this occurred as a side effect of his idiotism?

Notable quotes:
"... The way I see it now he basically had the backing of big Jewish gangstas like Adelson plus his own charisma resonated with a lot of people plus the fact that what self-respecting human on earth could vote for the she-devil Hillary ? ..."
"... I think too a lot of people were sick of Obama who was clearly one of the greatest con artists of all time President Hopium, as Mike Whitney tagged him ..."
"... So other than his rich Jewish friends The Donald really is pretty much alone except for a very lot of regular folks and I mean right across the socio-economic spectrum it's not just the blue collar folks, but a lot of people I know in my own profession [and others] ..."
"... So all things considered, I think Trump has actually made some pretty spectacular plays considering he is a one-man football team LOL ..."
"... As for Trump I think he's going to be re-elected the 'resistance' is just making themselves look incredibly bad they are getting up everyone's fucking nose and even Pelosi, as she was standing there the other day announcing the 'impeachment' darn well knew it they are toast ..."
"... I too believe he isn't dumb, but the real question is whether he's playing the fool in furtherance of a plan, or whether it's just who he is and his successes are accidental. ..."
"... The Deep State's (aka: PFPE's) ongoing behaviour indicates that Trump's using buffoonery to work a plan that's anathema to their created realities, and their increasing shrillness indicates it's working. At every turn, he's managed to make unavailable the resources their reality called for. From the M.E., to the Ukraine to N. Korea to Venezuela, things just aren't working the way they're supposed to. In fact, they're invariably working out in a way that exposes the Deep State's ineptitude and malevolence, and maximizes its embarrassment. ..."
"... Even though I can't imagine a more effective single handed way to accomplish what he promised to do, that he's lasted this long and has been so effective is astonishing. I guess we'll see if he abandons buffoonery when his opponents finally sink into the tar. ..."
"... Trump is a thief and an occupier in Syria, Afghanistan and many other countries. Only dummies think that he is a man of 'peace'. Only impostors spread lies that he wants to bring 'peace' but the 'deep state' does not allow. In fact the phony 'deep state' does not want war with Iran because knows that they will never win, only chaos. Israel wants war, and his servant Trump is pushing for one. ..."
"... I agree with you about all those examples Ukraine, Venezuela, even Iran seem to be a case of giving 'his' neocon 'team' enough rope to hang themselves while POTUS holds the hammer and ultimately gives a big NAY to going kinetic and then the whole thing crumbles into cracker crumbs ..."
"... On 1 May, Mosaddegh nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, canceling its oil concession (expired in 1993) and expropriating its assets. ..."
"... In March 1953, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles directed the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which was headed by his younger brother Allen Dulles, to draft plans to overthrow Mossadegh. On 4 April 1953, Allen Dulles approved $1 million to be used "in any way that would bring about the fall of Mosaddegh". Soon the CIA's Tehran station started to launch a propaganda campaign against Mossadegh. ..."
"... The zionized "progressives" have a new battle cry -- "Putin is new Hitler." Worked great for Hillary Clinton, this model of "humanitarian" interventionist. ..."
"... It does not do any good for your brains to read the Atlantic Council's idiotic propaganda. It is the same as the "Integrity Initiative" production, the dirty and poisonous brew made on orders by NATO/MIC/the Lobby. ..."
"... When Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher could get hanged at Nuremberg in 1946 for crimes against humanity, I wonder, why not the likes of Amanpour? Guess history is written by the winning side. ..."
"... Say hello to more than a century of perpetual war for profit. The Deep State, consisting of Jewish bankers and their hanger-ons, has been calling the shots since passage of the Federal Reserve Act in the closing hours of 1913, while most members of Congress were home on holiday recess. ..."
"... The current demonisation of China and Russia sets the stage for the real split that will happen in the 2020s. Gotta get the sheeple used to the notion so that they will accept, even demand, bringing the Bamboo Curtain down when the time comes. ..."
"... The PTB needs the people, not the other way around. People are happy to believe anything that makes them comfortable. Instilling Sino/Russo-phobia in their otherwise empty heads is but the prelude to splitting them off from demonic Eurasia/Eastasia, and also so they'll be happy with whatever they get in Oceania. ..."
Dec 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

FB says: Website December 7, 2019 at 2:36 am GMT 600 Words @Erebus

I had assumed that a real outsider couldn't have gotten to his position and that they had a plan and would make a stand against the Empire's nomenclatura to try to turn the ship of state to face the coming crisis head on.

Everybody has a plan until they get hit in the face.–'Iron' Mike Tyson

Yes indeed E I think PCR has commented at length about how Trump just doesn't have anyone in his corner and yes, it is kind of surprising

Now the funny thing is that I too thought for the longest time there must be some kind of establishment faction behind the scenes that was backing the Trump agenda of getting real and changing course from an obvious dead end path

But I'm not so sure about that anymore Trump may indeed be the guy that 'wasn't supposed to win' as far as all the invisible heavyweights behind the curtain are concerned

The way I see it now he basically had the backing of big Jewish gangstas like Adelson plus his own charisma resonated with a lot of people plus the fact that what self-respecting human on earth could vote for the she-devil Hillary ?

I think too a lot of people were sick of Obama who was clearly one of the greatest con artists of all time President Hopium, as Mike Whitney tagged him

So other than his rich Jewish friends The Donald really is pretty much alone except for a very lot of regular folks and I mean right across the socio-economic spectrum it's not just the blue collar folks, but a lot of people I know in my own profession [and others]

But at this point it becomes abundantly clear that what Prof Cohen says here is what everybody knows the ' permanent foreign policy establishment' which is quite out in the open and neither 'deep' nor secret

For me that 'Anonymous' oped in the NYT was the milestone event that they could be that brazen and open about basically ripping the wheel out of the president's hands I mean that's brass they even called themselves the 'steady state' not even worried one bit about what that says about this sham 'democracy'

It's like everyone knows right and is cool with it ?

Amazing

So all things considered, I think Trump has actually made some pretty spectacular plays considering he is a one-man football team LOL

I point to the Syria almost-withdrawal which is in reality almost as good as a full withdrawal since the SAA has regained almost its entire northern border and the remaining fleck of a US footprint is a logistical and political impossibility

Let's face it for all the complainers [and yes, we've all got a lot of legit beefs] who the fuck would have been able to do even this anyone else would have escalated a long time ago this is the die-hard imperialist mentality of the neocons

I remember reading how some of these very people named here [including I think the harpy Fiona Hill] were mouth-foaming freaking out at the SDF leadership and literally breaking pencils in their face to try to stop them from accepting the lifesaver offered by the Russians and SAA, with the Turks bearing down on them

I mean these people are just NUTS they are simply not rooted in reality at some point you run into a brick wall going 500 miles an hour that is what awaits this crowd

As for Trump I think he's going to be re-elected the 'resistance' is just making themselves look incredibly bad they are getting up everyone's fucking nose and even Pelosi, as she was standing there the other day announcing the 'impeachment' darn well knew it they are toast

In the second term watch out Trump is not as dumb as they think

Erebus , says: December 7, 2019 at 10:34 am GMT

@FB

the 'permanent foreign policy establishment'

AKA, the Imperial Staff.

In the days of Kissinger, Baker, et al the Imperial Staff were well coached in the Calculus of Power, knew the limits to Empire and thrived within them. Since the end of history, and the apparent end of limits, policy makers had no more need of realists and their confusing calculations and analyses.

The US had power, and no-one else had any. That's all they needed to know, and set about creating new, wonderfully intoxicating realities. As Rove famously inverted the MO they'll act first, creating realities and the analysis and calculation can come later. In awe of their creations, they failed to notice that while history may have ended in Washington, elsewhere it moved on to surround them with a reality where they found themselves in zugzwang, with no understanding how they got there. Flailing (and wailing) like a Mastodon in a tar pit, they've managed only to attract an unhelpful crowd of onlookers, fascinated by the abomination.

In the second term watch out Trump is not as dumb as they think

I too believe he isn't dumb, but the real question is whether he's playing the fool in furtherance of a plan, or whether it's just who he is and his successes are accidental.

The Deep State's (aka: PFPE's) ongoing behaviour indicates that Trump's using buffoonery to work a plan that's anathema to their created realities, and their increasing shrillness indicates it's working. At every turn, he's managed to make unavailable the resources their reality called for. From the M.E., to the Ukraine to N. Korea to Venezuela, things just aren't working the way they're supposed to. In fact, they're invariably working out in a way that exposes the Deep State's ineptitude and malevolence, and maximizes its embarrassment.

If that's so, his is the most extraordinary political performance I thought I'd ever see. Even though I can't imagine a more effective single handed way to accomplish what he promised to do, that he's lasted this long and has been so effective is astonishing. I guess we'll see if he abandons buffoonery when his opponents finally sink into the tar.

Fascinating.

anonymous [307] Disclaimer , says: December 7, 2019 at 5:54 pm GMT
The latest zionist plan designed by Donald Trump and associate to zionist stooges Pompeo and Brian Hook, intend to expand the war against Iran, has been failed. Trump ordered fomenting riots using the poor citizen of these countries who are under the Jewish mafia economic sanction in Iraq, Iran and Lebanon to create choas for the expansion of Jewish mafia and Israel in the region that he is a member of. Trump expanded the WAR against these counties, axis of resistance, using the US treasury runs by dual citizens pro Israel, and then supporting a US/Israel/Saudi proxies in these counties funded by the Saudi Arabia – to kill the citizens who are fed up with economic pressure force upon them by the criminal Tribe and its stooge Trump, and to burn buildings to create chaos so Trump can use it against Iran. This project was funded by the MBS Saudi Arabia and UAE.

Brian Hook, a U.S. Special Representative for Iran, has done everything to satisfy his masters, the Jewish mafia and made a big HOOK to bring down Iran, but he couldn't and now they are trying to go after Iran with FABRICATED news, spreading lies that Iran has killed up to 1000 people.

Trump must answer his own crimes against humanity FIRST and then shut up and focus on US interest NOT a Israel interests, because he will be viewed as a fifth column.

Trump is a thief and an occupier in Syria, Afghanistan and many other countries. Only dummies think that he is a man of 'peace'. Only impostors spread lies that he wants to bring 'peace' but the 'deep state' does not allow. In fact the phony 'deep state' does not want war with Iran because knows that they will never win, only chaos. Israel wants war, and his servant Trump is pushing for one.

... ... ...

https://www.globalresearch.ca/iranian-unrest-cover-up-mass-killings-infowar-conspiracy/5696826

FB , says: Website December 7, 2019 at 7:03 pm GMT
@Erebus

they failed to notice that while history may have ended in Washington, elsewhere it moved on to surround them with a reality where they found themselves in zugzwang , with no understanding how they got there.

Flailing (and wailing) like a Mastodon in a tar pit, they've managed only to attract an unhelpful crowd of onlookers, fascinated by the abomination.

LOL that is quote-worthy E

What can I add here you've pretty much nailed 'er down to the floor

I agree with you about all those examples Ukraine, Venezuela, even Iran seem to be a case of giving 'his' neocon 'team' enough rope to hang themselves while POTUS holds the hammer and ultimately gives a big NAY to going kinetic and then the whole thing crumbles into cracker crumbs

If that's so, his is the most extraordinary political performance I thought I'd ever see. Even though I can't imagine a more effective single handed way to accomplish what he promised to do, that he's lasted this long and has been so effective is astonishing.

Yup the one-man football team and he's actually WINNING LOL

annamaria , says: December 7, 2019 at 7:11 pm GMT
@National Institute for Study of the Obvious

"CIA runs your country." -- Correct. As a subsidiary of Mossad.

Rubicon , says: December 7, 2019 at 7:31 pm GMT
@Priss Factor Over the years that we've been reading Dr. Cohen who has written about Russia, the US, etc., we've become more and more convinced that Dr. Cohen, as a Jew, refuses to come out in bold-faced print to tell the real truths; in this case The Ukraine.

If he were to do so, his Jewish brethren, as seen in The Deep State and in Ukraine would simply destroy this man. In effect, he's a milquetoast figure of little importance.

annamaria , says: December 7, 2019 at 7:36 pm GMT
@Bardon Kaldian

"Chinese will soon become a majority in swaths of Russia; why not let them vote to secede & join the Han motherland?"

-- You think by the zionists' rules, whether the rules are applied in Palestine or Ukraine. Just give some efforts to learning the history of Russia and the history of Ukraine. You might also need to refresh your knowledge of the history of the Middle East, for good measure.

annamaria , says: December 7, 2019 at 9:20 pm GMT
@NegroPantera Leave the ancient civilization of Persia alone. Тhe US that had been messing with democratic development in Iran in the 1950-s. The "chosen" behave like homicidal maniacs towards Iran and cannot wait to see Americans dying for Eretz Israel project.

On 1 May, Mosaddegh nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, canceling its oil concession (expired in 1993) and expropriating its assets.

"Our long years of negotiations with foreign countries have yielded no results thus far. With the oil revenues, we could meet our entire budget and combat poverty, disease, and backwardness among our people. Another important consideration is that by the elimination of the power of the British company, we would also eliminate corruption and intrigue, by means of which the internal affairs of our country have been influenced. Once this tutelage has ceased, Iran will have achieved its economic and political independence."

In March 1953, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles directed the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which was headed by his younger brother Allen Dulles, to draft plans to overthrow Mossadegh. On 4 April 1953, Allen Dulles approved $1 million to be used "in any way that would bring about the fall of Mosaddegh". Soon the CIA's Tehran station started to launch a propaganda campaign against Mossadegh.

Bill Jones , says: December 7, 2019 at 9:42 pm GMT
@refl The plan is the dissolution of Russia into half a dozen client states.
annamaria , says: December 7, 2019 at 9:45 pm GMT
@Bardon Kaldian

The zionized "progressives" have a new battle cry -- "Putin is new Hitler." Worked great for Hillary Clinton, this model of "humanitarian" interventionist.

It does not do any good for your brains to read the Atlantic Council's idiotic propaganda. It is the same as the "Integrity Initiative" production, the dirty and poisonous brew made on orders by NATO/MIC/the Lobby.

Here are some of the Atlantic Council stars: Eliot Higgins (Bellingcat) and Anne Applebaum ("historian").

The exposing of the Integrity Initiative has just scratched the surface of what appears to be a much more sophisticated, insidious, and extremely online version of Operation Mockingbird.

You are on the wrong forum.

annamaria , says: December 7, 2019 at 9:54 pm GMT
@Erebus

"There are no patriots in Washington " -- So tragically true. Only profiteers.

anon [113] Disclaimer , says: December 7, 2019 at 11:01 pm GMT
@Erebus TULSI2020

"There are no patriots in Washington "

Don't be so sure. Note that Trump congratulated Tulsi on Kamala's demise. If she isn't the nominee, her mere presence in the campaign is a boon to Trump because she exposes the rot in the DNC . and the Empire.

Dem Establishment can't control me and that scares the hell out of them

https://www.youtube.com/embed/IC98dmTAKbM?feature=oembed

Vojkan , says: December 7, 2019 at 11:16 pm GMT
@anonymous Because Israel is cautious not to cross a line beyond which Russia will have no choice but to retaliate. Contrary to Americans, Russians don't have a short fuse and don't feel the need to "pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world she means business". Since Russia got involved, Israel's actions have had exactly zero effect on the course of events in Syria. Russia's goal is not to further ignite the Middle East. Overreacting to Israel's gesticulations would be counterproductive.
annamaria , says: December 7, 2019 at 11:59 pm GMT
@anonymous "The zionist WHORE, Christian Amanpour "

-- Christiane Amanpour is a valuable presstitute and a quite successful war-profiteer (net worth about $12.5 mln). "The Bloviations of Christiane Amanpour, Queen of Fake News:" https://off-guardian.org/2017/09/14/the-bloviations-of-christiane-amanpour-queen-of-fake-news/

Scum like Amanpour operating from within anti-imperialist countries are the reason why those places ever needed laws curtailing the hallowed "freedom of the press." Words ARE weapons, and the West knows this

Comments:

When Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher could get hanged at Nuremberg in 1946 for crimes against humanity, I wonder, why not the likes of Amanpour? Guess history is written by the winning side.

"Anissa Naoui takes on CNN presstitute Amanpour: CNN heavily redacts RT host's interview:" http://robinwestenra.blogspot.com/2015/10/anissa-naoui-takes-on-cnn-presstitute.html

Carroll Price , says: December 8, 2019 at 12:07 am GMT
Say hello to more than a century of perpetual war for profit. The Deep State, consisting of Jewish bankers and their hanger-ons, has been calling the shots since passage of the Federal Reserve Act in the closing hours of 1913, while most members of Congress were home on holiday recess.

Read; The Creature From Jekyll Island

Erebus , says: December 8, 2019 at 5:50 am GMT
@denk Relax denk.

The world is simply re-bifurcating into 2 camps. More specifically, the Anglo-World is splitting away from whatever parts it can't bring into their sphere of dominance. They couldn't dominate the whole playground, so they're taking their toys and carving out a corner of it for themselves.

The current demonisation of China and Russia sets the stage for the real split that will happen in the 2020s. Gotta get the sheeple used to the notion so that they will accept, even demand, bringing the Bamboo Curtain down when the time comes.

What we're seeing now in Europe, the M.E., S. America etc is nothing more than the Anglo-World's attempt to bring more along with them, and the RoW's attempts to minimize their success.

With people like these, who needs the ptb ???

The PTB needs the people, not the other way around. People are happy to believe anything that makes them comfortable. Instilling Sino/Russo-phobia in their otherwise empty heads is but the prelude to splitting them off from demonic Eurasia/Eastasia, and also so they'll be happy with whatever they get in Oceania.

They'll be living in the Free World again! Smaller this time around, but Freeeee!!!

It worked the last time. It'll work this time too. One stands in awe of how easy it is.

Meimou , says: December 9, 2019 at 1:06 am GMT
@FB BS

@Realist
True. If he appointed all these banksters and neocons by mistake, then there should have been a few who weren't neocons or banksters. Making a lot of mistakes could be seen as proof of stupidity. Making nothing but mistakes has to be by design

That pos said that those who commit "hate crimes" should get the death penalty without trail.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=ep3A0HvcI8w

3d chess right?

[Dec 09, 2019] I have doubts that zionists were central to, or instigators of, the JFK coup, but the Jewish mob sure was in on it, and since they knew and were involved, as was Lyndon, that gave the zionists Mossad the blackmail they needed to put Lyndon in their pocket

Dec 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

Anonymous [627] Disclaimer , says: December 7, 2019 at 1:28 am GMT

@Dave from Oz Dietrich Doerner's Logic of Failure makes clear that decision makers consistently make grotesque errors based on faulty modeling of the world, incomplete feedback assumed to be complete, and so on. Even the data are often mistaken for deductive truths, but if one looks at, for example, the number of actual weather data points used to create those complex surface maps, it becomes obvious why the results are disappointing -- in that case possibly spoiling a picnic, but with the military, destroying a civilization.

You might recall the lessons of Longterm Capital Management's use of predictions based on PDE's, with results that should have been foreseen as being predictably as unreliable as weather forecasting, and for the same reasons -- that beneath all the fancy math lie guesses of all too fallible men.

Regarding a faulty worldview, could there possibly be a more distorted model of reality than America serving as Israel's footstool, the country that with its fifth column is responsible for Lavon, USS Liberty, JFK/RFK, and, not least, 9/11. In the world of probabilities, there is no standard of textual evidence evaluation or mathematical demonstration so low it won't give cover to the Pentagon's costumed bureaucrats and members of Congress to look the other way regarding Israel and its fifth columns' acts of war against the country they're all sworn to protect.

Jim Christian , says: December 7, 2019 at 5:21 am GMT
@Anonymous

JFK/RFK, and, not least, 9/11.

MLK became a problem when he joined RFK against Vietnam in early 1968. When he started counseling his young Black men against Vietnam, he had to go too. I'll never forget that. Hideous.

Why do they always shoot their rivals in the head? Never a miss back then, ever..

Walter , says: Next New Comment December 8, 2019 at 3:08 pm GMT
@Anonymous I have doubts that zionists were central to, or instigators of, the JFK coup, but the Jewish mob sure was in on it, and since they knew and were involved, as was Lyndon, that gave the zionists Mossad the blackmail they needed to put Lyndon in their pocket. They proved this when he covered up the Liberty affair. Since then the zionists have been free to do as they wished. I propose these changes were gradual, and that zionism has been curated as a MI6 intelop since the Balfour Declaration, in part to create the 5th column we have now. Looks like it got out of control, Golem-like. This is a pity, as it may result in the ruin of their own people, just as we see Semitic zionists shooting Semitic natives in a sort of turkeyshoot every Friday is it kosher to kill on Shabbos? I wonder.. . a kind of civil war, so we see a vast schism forming between Jews and nominally Jewish zionists.
ivegotrythm , says: Next New Comment December 8, 2019 at 7:11 pm GMT
@Walter The Zionism Psy-Op began much earlier than the Balfour declaration. It was a result of losing sovereignty when Poland disappeared in 1772 and was partitioned between Prussia, Russia, and Austria. (Poland was a condominium with two governments, a Jewish one and a Polish one. The Jews had their own parliament, and the Poles theirs, plus a king. This evolved out of the original agreements the Khazars of the south made with the Lithuanians to be a mercenary army, police force, and tax collectors.) Having lost control of one country, Poland (through their own misuse of taxes), the High Command in Lithuania decided they needed another country. The propaganda was that the riots -- pogroms -- that began in Russia at the end of the 19th century were anti-Jewish riots; that the Czar was anti-Jewish, etc. And the big Psy-Op was the Dreyfus Affair, which was completely fake. Which is why the original written offer to sell "secrets" -- which were not secrets at all -- mysteriously disappeared before the Germans occupied France in 1940. But the phony Dreyfus Affair immediately led to the first Zionist Congress in Basel. Herzl was only a hired propagandist, and disposed off when he finished the job for which he was recruited as a journalist (as was Wilhelm Marr -- who popularized the term "Antisemitism"). World War I and the Balfour agreement to get America into the war on the British side delivered the goods.

[Dec 08, 2019] Karlan, US neocons and "The Russians Are Coming!" scare

Notable quotes:
"... When Bush and his allies used this rhetoric, they were trying to spin a war of aggression as an act of self-defense. Now it is part of an even more ludicrous effort to make supplying weapons and other military assistance to Ukraine seem as if it is vitally important to the U.S. Simply put, this is propaganda, and it isn't even very good propaganda at that. ..."
"... Obviously, we aren't going to be fighting the Russians "here" no matter what happens in this conflict. These are the sorts of irrational claims that we get after decades of irresponsible threat inflation and mistakenly assuming that every conflict in the world is somehow our business. ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Here is a congealing conventional wisdom around sending military assistance to Ukraine that is as absurd as can be, and it cropped up again this morning:

"Fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" was extremely stupid when applied to terrorism. It is much more stupid when applied to Russia, and shows how impoverished the FP thinking of even bright, engaged Americans is. My goodness.

-- Justin Logan (@JustinTLogan) December 4, 2019

It is discouraging to see that one of the dumbest talking points from the Bush era has returned. "Fight them there" was always a silly justification for waging unnecessary wars in other countries, and now it is being repurposed to justify the questionable policy of throwing weapons at a conflict in Europe. When it was used in the context of Bush-era wars, it was an attempt to make what were clearly wars of choice seem as though they were unavoidable. When a government needs to defend a bad policy, it will usually claim that they have no choice but to do what they are doing.

When Bush and his allies used this rhetoric, they were trying to spin a war of aggression as an act of self-defense. Now it is part of an even more ludicrous effort to make supplying weapons and other military assistance to Ukraine seem as if it is vitally important to the U.S. Simply put, this is propaganda, and it isn't even very good propaganda at that.

I have written many times why I think it is a mistake to arm Ukraine. It just encourages escalation at worst and the prolongation of the conflict at best. Until recently, the arguments in favor of doing this have not been very compelling, but at least they weren't quite so mindless. Needless to say, Russia's conflict with Ukraine is a local one, and the U.S. doesn't have much at stake in that conflict. Ukrainians aren't fighting Russia and its proxies on our behalf or to prevent them from attacking someone else, but for the sake of their own country.

If Russia hawks insist on providing Ukraine with weapons and other assistance, they should at least be able to acknowledge that this is a peripheral interest of the United States. Exaggerating the importance of this policy to U.S. security just calls attention to how little it matters to U.S. security.

Obviously, we aren't going to be fighting the Russians "here" no matter what happens in this conflict. These are the sorts of irrational claims that we get after decades of irresponsible threat inflation and mistakenly assuming that every conflict in the world is somehow our business.

[Dec 08, 2019] Saudi Arabia - a family holding company, not a friend. - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Dec 08, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Donald Trump is driven by desire to sweeten the balance sheet of the US as well as a deluded belief in whatever it is that he thinks Israel stands for. Israel seeks to manipulate the medieval barbarism of Saudi Arabia to further its fantasy of regional hegemony. They should "wise up."

The Saudi who killed three people at Pensacola is representative of the breed.

It is time for a basic re-appraisal of our relationships in the ME. pl


blue peacock , 07 December 2019 at 09:33 PM

Col. Lang,

It seems the Gulf Arab sheikhs and the Al Saud family have been writing big checks to all the movers & shakers in the West, including the political and governmental elites, think tank sinecures, and of course many media personalities.

Tony Balir became a wealthy man with the money of the sheikhs. In an earlier thread you had posted, we read about the Lebanese man who was a conduit for Gulf arab money going to Hillary's campaign. Then there was the post-9/11 Republican administration of George Bush who along with the so-called liberal media and most members of Congress from both parties put a complete kibosh on investigating any Saudi role with respect to the 11 out of 15 terrorists of Saudi nationality.

We can see how Trump is already covering for the Saudis by saying the King was apologetic and will compensate all those killed and injured by the Saudi airman in Pensacola.

When American and western leaders are so easily purchased by the sheikhs, how can we have a re-appraisal of our relationships in the ME? The few who are calling for such a re-appraisal like Tulsi Gabbard are being smeared as Russian bots.

oldman22 , 08 December 2019 at 11:57 AM
Col Lang, you taught at West Point.
So I am wondering if you have a view of Tim Bakken's new book:
The Cost of Loyalty: Dishonesty, Hubris, and Failure in the U.S. Military
I am not trying to argue here, I have only been at West Point as an athlete competing against it.
Bakken book reviewed here:
https://dissidentvoice.org/2019/12/west-point-professor-builds-a-case-against-the-u-s-army/
Mathias Alexander , 08 December 2019 at 01:01 PM
If the USA withdraws support from the Saudis then the Saudis might stop pricing their oil only in dollars. What effect would this have on the value of the dollar? Then again how much oil is left in Saudi Arabia? The ARAMCO shares sell off doesn't seem to be doing great buisness, maybe the market understands the situation better.
Elora Danan , 08 December 2019 at 02:59 PM
Pat, could I ask you a question?

It is a bit off-topic. but not so...in the end...

Just finished viewing he three part series on CIA, The Company , and as you always tell the hell about current CIA situation...

HK Leo Strauss , 08 December 2019 at 05:40 PM
Col Lang,

Would you have been in a position at the time to know if there there were any Carter Doctrine contrarians within the FP/IC/DoD establishment in the late 70's? Curious how extensive the debate over deeper ME engagement was at the time, or if it was all just a knee-jerk reaction to Revolutionary Iran.

[Dec 08, 2019] About making stratinc decition by chichenhawks like Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, none of whom had spent a day serving in cadre officer uniform

Dec 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

JoaoAlfaiate , says: December 6, 2019 at 11:44 am GMT

From page 12 of Martyanov's RRMA, " people such as Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, none of whom had spent a day serving in cadre officer uniform "

Rumsfeld was in fact a Naval Aviator who flew ASW aircraft for a number of years and retired from the Navy Reserve as a full Captain.

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website December 6, 2019 at 1:50 pm GMT
@JoaoAlfaiate

Rumsfeld was in fact a Naval Aviator who flew ASW aircraft for a number of years

A Tracker, in 1950s for a couple of years, while having a degree in Political Science. That sure qualifies him for making strategic decisions, right? Especially in the 21st century. Well, we all saw results, didn't we?

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website December 6, 2019 at 2:19 pm GMT
@Jim Christian Jim, a lot of truth in what you say. But especially this:

As for the military? A reflection of our society. When I went into the Navy in 1975, it was Stars and Stripes and we served in large part for Mom, Apple Pie and Chevrolet.

Here is a quote from one of Russian undercover intelligence assets which was outed when Anna Chapman was outed. Unlike her, however, this guy was a real deal. Here is what he had to say recently about US:

What is THEIR weakness? As enemies these guys are mediocrities, second rate. They overate. Their previous generation was stronger. They respected us, we respected them. We don't respect these ones,they didn't deserve it. They can bully, as for the real fight–we'll see about that They are enraged that soon they will have to live within their means.They forgot how to do so long time ago. That is why they want to solve a problem with us now, while others are still afraid of them.

here is an original in Russian, just in case.

https://vz.ru/opinions/2018/5/4/920955.html?utm_campaign=transit&utm_source=mirtesen&utm_medium=news&from=mirtesen

I remember 70s and 80s clearly, being myself a Cold Warrior, these were different times. many different people. Today, as you say, I see decay everywhere in everything, the country (the US) was literally robbed, people blinded and all for a reasons of bottom line in "business" and for Israel's, Saudi and corporate interests. The America I encountered in 1990s is gone.

Jim Christian , says: December 6, 2019 at 3:46 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov

A Tracker, in 1950s for a couple of years, while having a degree in Political Science.

Rummy flew a Stoof? Git the farg outta here? I thought he only had balls with OTHER people's lives..

[Dec 08, 2019] The real threat of the Rome Statute to the USA is the universal obligation to prosecute or extradite war criminals and enemies of humanity.

Dec 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Bailiff, Whack his Peepee , says: December 6, 2019 at 1:23 pm GMT

There's one additional revolutionary factor:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/12/05/612858/international-criminal-court-investigation-US-war-crimes-Afghanistan?jwsource=cl

The threat to US official impunity panics the regime more than any number of Russian Sarmats or nuclear ramjets. The ICC is one very new judicial forum, and its halting efforts to get its institutional footing panicked the US into imposing illegal sanctions on accredited diplomats. The real threat of the Rome Statute is the universal obligation to prosecute or extradite war criminals and enemies of humanity.

An increasing number of the most influential US functionaries will be unable to travel freely. This is, in effect, pariah-state status more abject than North Korea's. This has been a mounting challenge for years – GW Bush fled Switzerland, scared off by a war crimes accusation from a single legislator.

And international criminal law is one jaw of a pincer. It complements the doctrine of state responsibility for internationally wrongful acts. State responsibility provides the civil equivalent of international criminal law, with the potential to impose restitution, reparation, satisfaction, and compensation with interest. Satisfaction articulates directly with international criminal law by providing for prosecution of designated criminals. The US faces insupportable liabilities for its internationally wrongful acts, and US functionaries know that any one of them could be sacrificed to get the regime off the hook.

Russian policy is to enforce this law at gunpoint. Iranian policy is to make its case in independent international courts. China is vocal about upholding rule of law, and as its deterrent improves, it will be increasingly active in applying it. The G-192 – 96% of the world's population – pitches in by withholding the "waterfall" of G-5 privileges. The UK recently got pushed off the ICJ bench for the first time ever for its lawless conduct. The US is next.

The US is an underdeveloped country ineffectually waving second-rate weapons. The world is leaving it behind.

[Dec 08, 2019] US Militarism Promotes More Turmoil Than Stability In The Middle East by Rami G. Khouri

Dec 06, 2019 | responsiblestatecraft.org

For the past two centuries and, particularly the last three decades, direct foreign military intervention in the affairs of ostensibly sovereign and independent states has been perhaps the most consistent and destructive common denominator that shapes our region's worsening condition. Direct warfare by foreign powers almost always paves the way for decades, if not centuries, of continuing instability -- whether in the cases of Napoleon in 1798, the Soviet Union and the United States in Afghanistan in the decades after 1979, the U.S. in Iraq in 2003, or Russia, Iran, and seemingly half the world in Syria since 2015.

Direct foreign military attacks or other "security" activities inside Middle East lands inevitably create traumatic local power imbalances that portend chronic local ideological conflicts, and spark resentments and resistance to the foreign invader or to the invader's local ruling ally. Foreign invaders also create local authority vacuums that open the door for other states to intervene (see Iraq, Syria, and Libya), and also create the ideal spawning ground for radical, militant, resistance, or terrorist movements of all stripes. Israel repeatedly encountered this instinctive local resistance to its predatory militarism in Lebanon and Gaza, as did the U.S. and the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, and the U.S. and its allies in Iraq.

Almost nothing good emerges from direct foreign militarism in the Middle East, and even when the fighting stops surreptitious foreign support to local warring parties also perpetuates tensions and clashes, which only spur economic waste, corruption, collapse, and widespread poverty and suffering among the citizenry.

It is clear now that foreign militarism plays a destructive and sustained role in the two biggest problems that now tear apart much of the Arab region (and also touch on non-Arab Mideast states like Iran, Turkey and Israel). The first is mass pauperization that now sees over two-thirds of all Arab citizens living in poverty or vulnerability, in states that have reached or approach bankruptcy and allow citizens no meaningful political rights. This will get much worse because all prevailing economic trends that could counter it are flat or negative (trade, tourism, direct investment, remittances, job creation).

The second problematic big regional trend -- very much states' reactions to their citizens' helpless pauperization -- is the growing militarization and securitization of governance. This is evident in bloated military and security budgets that are controlled by a handful of unelected, unaccountable leaders, and expanded use of anti-terrorism laws since September 2011 to deter or imprison domestic political foes, or prevent any independent political expression by the public (see Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain). Foreign militarism since the 1940s has inevitably promoted local military rule within Arab states. The incompetence, autocracy, and corruption of Arab military rulers since the 1970s have driven economies into the ground, and sparked the nonstop street uprisings we witness today across the region.

The centuries of cumulative interventions by foreign powers inside Arab states reached a new peak in the past eight years in Syria, where dozens of foreign and regional actors that joined the fray inside the country charted new ground in the historical legacy that had mostly seen big power, usually Western and colonial, interventions in the region's affairs.

Of course Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, Persian, and other imperial dominance in the region across time all played a role in defining the Middle East as a frontline battlefield in the recurring waves of global imperial dominance and cultural influence. Starting in the 19th Century, however, as imperial powers started to come to terms with their imminent historical demise, the British and the French mostly wrote the book on the ugly heritage of battling for strategic supremacy in our region. The 20th Century saw foreign powers fight at will in the Middle East, and also provide indirect political and "security" support to their favorite local partners, allies, surrogates, and stooges, who kept fighting it out inside Arab countries that proved to be only nominally sovereign and independent states.

The civil war in Syria that started in 2011 was the logical outcome of this legacy. It mirrors other states where authority and legitimacy collapsed in the eyes of their own people, and the sovereign control of their lands and resources succumbed to the many foreign actors that came in to save the dying beast or bite off pieces of its carcass. Syria offers one of the most important examples of this, given the wide variety of warring parties that joined its several overlapping local, regional, and global wars.

The fighters in Syria included dozens of Arab states and non-state armed groups, local militias and tribal forces, regional non-Arab powers like Iran, Turkey, Israel, and Hezbollah and their clients, wannabe regional powers like Saudi Arabia and the UAE, leading global powers like the U.S. and Russia, second-tier powers like the U.K. and France, and a few smaller countries around the world that joined directly or provided mercenaries mostly to win credits with bigger Arab or foreign powers.

The eight-year war in Syria is at once a consequence and a high-water mark of sustained foreign military interventions in the Arab region, and a harbinger of how such foreign and local militarism will operate there for years to come. We can already see in Libya, Lebanon, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq and scattered other corners of our troubled region several noteworthy legacies of today's foreign militarism in Syria and its antecedents since Napoleon.

Regional and foreign powers' rolling interventions in Syria have redefined how such powers engage across the region, where two opposing loose alliances, loosely allied with Saudi Arabia or Iran, now face off -- each comprises Arab states, regional Arab and non-Arab powers, global powers, and local non-state actors. The sheer number and variety of foreign forces that directly or indirectly fought in Syria portend badly for fragile states whose illusory sovereignty can collapse at any moment in the face of dozens of armed actors that pounce like wolves circling a dazed gazelle. The "international community" that actively joined and fueled the fighting also responded weakly to the alleged and real war crimes on both sides This suggests that the "international community" is something of a fiction, but also that, whatever it represents, it can live with the Middle East's continuing authoritarian, lawlessness, and violent political systems -- as long as the violence, refugees, terrorists, and turmoil remain in the Middle East.

Indeed, global and regional powers actively engage in cross-border militarism and neo-colonialism that we can see in several arenas: Washington's support for Israeli settlements expansion and annexations of occupied Arab lands, and its lingering presence in Syria and Iraq; Russian and American support for Turkish incursions into northern Syria; Saudi Arabian and Emirati moves to control parts of the south of Yemen for their own strategic aims; British and American direct involvement in the war on Yemen; and, French, Emirati, Russian, and Egyptian support for the rebel forces of Khalifa Haftar in Libya, to mention only the most obvious.

These are only the most current but ongoing consequences of over two centuries of non-stop foreign military and political interference that our region has experienced, with devastating long-term impacts. Internal and regional wars, in a climate of very high Arab military spending, continue to propel countries back into dilapidated or vulnerable conditions every few decades. The Arab examples of this only increase, including Lebanon, Palestine, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and Jordan. Non-Arab Iran, Turkey, and Israel face their own challenges, as they simultaneously suffer the damages of external militarism and also engage in it themselves around the region.

It is time for all foreign and regional powers to start learning the hard lessons of these historical trends and instead seek non-violent diplomatic solutions to challenges they now mostly address with their guns blazing. A regional population of half a billion poor and powerless people held in check by hundreds of billions of dollars of military spending linked to foreign troops who enter our countries at will is probably a far greater real threat to their wellbeing than anything they can imagine today.

[Dec 08, 2019] WSJ Article Runs Through The Greatest Hits of a Dysfunctional Foreign Policy Debate

Notable quotes:
"... Primacists use the security threats that are responding to the unnecessary use of U.S. military force to justify why the U.S. shouldn't stop, or in fact increase, the use of force. ..."
"... These stale arguments claim there will be consequences of leaving while conveniently ignoring the consequences of staying, which of course are far from trivial. For example, veteran suicide is an epidemics and military spending to perpetuate U.S. primacy continues at unnecessarily high rates. The presence of U.S. soldiers in these complex conflicts can even draw us into more unnecessary wars. The United States can engage the world in ways that don't induce the security dilemma to undermine our own security; reduce our military presence in the Middle East, engage Iran and other states in the region diplomatically and economically, and don't walk away from already agreed upon diplomatic arraignments that are favorable to all parties involved. ..."
"... September 11th was planned in Germany and the United States, the ability to exist in Afghanistan under the Taliban without persecution didn't enable 9/11, and denying this space wouldn't have prevented it. ..."
"... For those arguing to maintain the ongoing forever wars, American credibility will always be ruined in the aftermath of withdrawal. Here's the WSJ piece on that point: "When America withdraws from the Middle East unilaterally, the Russians internalize this and move into Crimea and Ukraine; the Chinese internalize it and move into the South China Sea and beyond in the Pacific." ..."
"... The exorbitant costs of the U.S.'s numerous military engagements around the world need to be justified by arguing that they secure vital U.S. interests. Without it, Primacists couldn't justify the cost in American lives. Whether the military even has the ability to solve all problems in international relations aside, not all interests are equal in severity and importance. ..."
"... This article originally appeared on LobeLog.com . ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | responsiblestatecraft.org

The unrivaled and unchallenged exertion of American military power around the world, or what's known as "primacy," has been the basis for U.S. Grand Strategy over the past 70 years and has faced few intellectual and political challenges. The result has been stagnant ideas, poor logic, and an ineffective foreign policy. As global security challenges have evolved, our foreign policy debate has remained in favor of primacy, repeatedly relying on a select few, poorly conceived ideas and arguments. Primacy's greatest hits arguments are played on repeat throughout the policy and journalism worlds and its latest presentation is in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, written by its chief foreign policy correspondent, titled, "America Can't Escape the Middle East." The piece provides a case study in how stagnant these ideas have become, and how different actors throughout the system present them without serious thought or contemplation.

Hyping the threat of withdrawal

The WSJ piece trotted out one of the most well-worn cases for unending American military deployments in the region. "The 2003 invasion of Iraq proved to be a debacle," it rightly notes. However, there's always a "but":[B]ut subsequent attempts to pivot away from the region or ignore it altogether have contributed to humanitarian catastrophes, terrorist outrages and geopolitical setbacks, further eroding America's standing in the world."

Primacists often warn of the dire security threats that will result from leaving Middle East conflict zones. The reality is that the threats they cite are actually caused by the unnecessary use of force by the United States in the first place. For example, the U.S. sends military assets to deter Iran, only to have Iran increase attacks or provocations in response. The U.S. then beefs up its military presence to protect the forces that are already there. Primacists use the security threats that are responding to the unnecessary use of U.S. military force to justify why the U.S. shouldn't stop, or in fact increase, the use of force.

These stale arguments claim there will be consequences of leaving while conveniently ignoring the consequences of staying, which of course are far from trivial. For example, veteran suicide is an epidemics and military spending to perpetuate U.S. primacy continues at unnecessarily high rates. The presence of U.S. soldiers in these complex conflicts can even draw us into more unnecessary wars. The United States can engage the world in ways that don't induce the security dilemma to undermine our own security; reduce our military presence in the Middle East, engage Iran and other states in the region diplomatically and economically, and don't walk away from already agreed upon diplomatic arraignments that are favorable to all parties involved.

Terrorism safe havens

And how many times have we heard that we must defend some undefined geographical space to prevent extremists from plotting attacks? "In the past, jihadists used havens in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Iraq to plot more ambitious and deadly attacks, including 9/11," the WSJ piece says. "Though Islamic State's self-styled 'caliphate' has been dismantled, the extremist movement still hasn't been eliminated -- and can bounce back."

The myth of the terrorism safe havens enabling transnational attacks on the United States has persisted despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary and significant scholarly research that contradicts it. The myth persists because it provides a simple and comforting narrative that's easy to understand. September 11th was planned in Germany and the United States, the ability to exist in Afghanistan under the Taliban without persecution didn't enable 9/11, and denying this space wouldn't have prevented it.

Terrorists don't need safe havens to operate, and only gain marginal increases in capabilities by having access to them. Organizations engage in terrorism because they have such weak capabilities in the first place. These movements are designed to operate underground with the constant threat of arrest and execution. The Weatherman Underground in the United States successfully carried out bombings while operating within the United States itself. The Earth Liberation Front did the same by organizing into cells where no cell knew anything about the other cells to prevent the identification of other members if members of one cell were arrested. Organizations that engage in terrorism can operate with or without safe havens.

Although safe havens don't add significantly to a terrorist groups' capabilities, governing your own territory is something completely different. ISIS is a commonly used, and misused, example for why wars should be fought to deny safe havens. A safe haven is a country or region in which a terrorist group is free from harassment or persecution. This is different from what ISIS created in 2014. What ISIS had when it swept across Syria and Iraq in 2014 was a proto-state. This gave them access to a tax base, oil revenues, and governing resources. Safe havens don't provide any of this, at least not at substantial levels. The Islamic State's construction of a proto-state in Syria and Iraq did give them operational capabilities they wouldn't have had otherwise, but this isn't the same as the possible safe havens that would be gained from a military withdrawal from Middle Eastern conflicts. The conditions of ISIS's rise in 2014 don't exist today and the fears of an ISIS resurgence like their initial rise are unfounded .

Credibility doesn't work how you think it works

For those arguing to maintain the ongoing forever wars, American credibility will always be ruined in the aftermath of withdrawal. Here's the WSJ piece on that point: "When America withdraws from the Middle East unilaterally, the Russians internalize this and move into Crimea and Ukraine; the Chinese internalize it and move into the South China Sea and beyond in the Pacific."

Most commentators have made this claim without recognition of their own contradictions that abandoning the Kurds in Syria would damage American credibility. They then list all the other times we've abandoned the Kurds. Each of these betrayals didn't stop them from working with the United States again, and this latest iteration will be the same. People don't work with the United States because they trust or respect us, they do it because we have a common interest and the United States has the capability to get things done. As we were abandoning the Kurds this time to be attacked by the Turks, Kurdish officials were continuing to share intelligence with U.S. officials to facilitate the raid on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi because both the United States and the Kurds wanted Baghdadi eliminated and only the United States had the capability to get it done.

Similarly, the idea that pulling out militarily in one region results in a direct chain of events where our adversaries move into countries or areas in a completely different region is quite a stretch of the imagination. Russia moved into Crimea because it's a strategic asset and it was taking advantage of what it saw as an opportunity: instability and chaos in Kiev. Even if we left troops in every conflict country we've ever been in, Russia would have correctly assessed that Ukraine just wasn't important enough to spark a U.S. invasion. When the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, did the United States invade Cuba? What alliance did the Soviets or Chinese abandon before the United States entered the Korean War? Assessments of credibility , especially in times of crisis (like that in Ukraine), are made based on what leaders think the other country's interests are and the capabilities they have to pursue those interests. There is no evidence to support -- in fact there is a lot of evidence that contradicts -- the idea that withdrawing militarily from one region or ending an alliance has any impact on assessments of a country's reliability or credibility.

Not all interests are created equal

Threat inflation isn't just common from those who promote a primacy-based foreign policy, it's necessary. Indeed, as the WSJ piece claimed, "There is no avoiding the fact that the Middle East still matters a great deal to U.S. interests."

The exorbitant costs of the U.S.'s numerous military engagements around the world need to be justified by arguing that they secure vital U.S. interests. Without it, Primacists couldn't justify the cost in American lives. Whether the military even has the ability to solve all problems in international relations aside, not all interests are equal in severity and importance. Vital interests are those that directly impact the survival of the United States. The only thing that can threaten the survival of the United States is another powerful state consolidating complete control of either Europe or East Asia. This would give them the capabilities and freedom to strike directly at the territorial United States. This is why the United States stayed in Europe after WWII, to prevent the consolidation of Europe by the Soviets. Addressing the rise of China -- which will require some combination of cooperation and competition -- is America's vital interest today and keeping troops in Afghanistan to prevent a terrorism safe haven barely registers as a peripheral interest. There are U.S. interests in the Middle East, but these interests are not important enough to sacrifice American soldiers for and can't easily be secured through military force anyway.

Consequences

Most of these myths and arguments can be summarized by the claim that any disengagement of any kind by the United States from the Middle East comes with consequences. This isn't entirely wrong, but it isn't really relevant either unless compared with the consequences of continuing engagement at current levels. We currently have 67,000 troops in the Middle East and Afghanistan and those troops are targets of adversaries, contribute to instability, empower hardliners in Iran, and provide continuing legitimacy to insurgent and terrorist organizations fighting against a foreign occupation. One article in The Atlantic argued that the problem with a progressive foreign policy is that restraint comes with costs, almost ironically ignoring the fact that the U.S.'s current foreign policy also comes with, arguably greater, costs. A military withdrawal, or even drawdown, from the Middle East does come with consequences, but it's only believable that these costs are higher than staying through the perpetuation of myths and misconceptions that inflate such risks and costs. No wonder then that these myths have become the greatest hits of a foreign policy that's stuck in the past.

This article originally appeared on LobeLog.com .

[Dec 07, 2019] Enough is enough. Viva Tulsi. Down with neocons. List of wars involving the United States

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , December 01, 2019 at 08:16 AM

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

List of wars involving the United States

[Only the listed war names and dates copied without all the references and details.]

  1. American Revolutionary War - (1775–1783)
  2. Cherokee–American wars - (1776–1795)
  3. Northwest Indian War - (1785–1793)
  4. Shays' Rebellion - (1786–1787)
  5. Whiskey Rebellion - (1791–1794)
  6. Quasi-War - (1798–1800)
  7. Fries Rebellion - (1799–1800)
  8. First Barbary War - (1801–1805)
  9. 1811 German Coast Uprising - (1811)
  10. Tecumseh's War - (1811)
  11. War of 1812 - (1812–1815)
  12. Creek War - (1813–1814)
  13. Second Barbary War - (1815)
  14. First Seminole War - (1817–1818)
  15. Texas–Indian Wars - (1820–1875)
  16. Arikara War - (1823)
  17. Aegean Sea Anti-Piracy Operations of the United States - (1825–1828)
  18. Winnebago War - (1827)
  19. First Sumatran expedition - (1832)
  20. Black Hawk War - (1832)
  21. Texas Revolution - (1835–1836)
  22. Second Seminole War - (1835–1842)
  23. Second Sumatran expedition - (1838)
  24. Aroostook War - (1838)
  25. Ivory Coast expedition - (1842)
  26. Mexican–American War - (1846–1848)
  27. Cayuse War - (1847–1855)
  28. Apache Wars - (1851–1900)
  29. Bleeding Kansas - (1854–1861)
  30. Puget Sound War - (1855–1856)
  31. First Fiji expedition - (1855)
  32. Rogue River Wars - (1855–1856)
  33. Third Seminole War - (1855–1858)
  34. Yakima War - (1855–1858)
  35. Second Opium War - (1856–1859)
  36. Utah War - (1857–1858)
  37. Navajo Wars - (1858–1866)
  38. Second Fiji expedition - (1859)
  39. John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry - (1859)
  40. First and Second Cortina War - (1859–1861)
  41. Paiute War - (1860)
  42. American Civil War - (1861–1865)
  43. Yavapai War - (1861–1875)
  44. Dakota War of 1862 - (1862)
  45. Colorado War - (1863–1865)
  46. Shimonoseki War - (1863–1864)
  47. Snake War - (1864–1868)
  48. Powder River War - (1865)
  49. Red Cloud's War - (1866–1868)
  50. Formosa expedition - (1867)
  51. Comanche Campaign - (1867–1875)
  52. Korea expedition - (1871)
  53. Modoc War - (1872–1873)
  54. Red River War - (1874–1875)
  55. Las Cuevas War - (1875)
  56. Great Sioux War of 1876 - (1876–1877)
  57. Buffalo Hunters' War - (1876–1877)
  58. Nez Perce War - (1877)
  59. Bannock War - (1878)
  60. Cheyenne War - (1878–1879)
  61. Sheepeater Indian War - (1879)
  62. White River War - (1879–1880)
  63. Pine Ridge Campaign - (1890–1891)
  64. Garza Revolution - (1891–1893)
  65. Yaqui Wars - (1896–1918)
  66. Second Samoan Civil War - (1898–1899)
  67. Spanish–American War - (1898)
  68. Philippine–American War - (1899–1902)
  69. Moro Rebellion - (1899–1913)
  70. Boxer Rebellion - (1899–1901)
  71. Crazy Snake Rebellion - (1909)
  72. Border War - (1910–1919)
  73. Negro Rebellion - (1912)
  74. Occupation of Nicaragua - (1912–1933)
  75. Bluff War - (1914–1915)
  76. Occupation of Veracruz - (1914)
  77. Occupation of Haiti - (1915–1934)
  78. Occupation of the Dominican Republic - (1916–1924)
  79. World War I - (1914–1918)
  80. Russian Civil War - (1918–1920)
  81. Last Indian Uprising - (1923)
  82. World War II - (1939–1945)
  83. Korean War - (1950–1953)
  84. Laotian Civil War - (1953–1975)
  85. Lebanon Crisis - (1958)
  86. Bay of Pigs Invasion - (1961)
  87. Simba rebellion, Operation Dragon Rouge - (1964)
  88. Vietnam War - (1955–1964[a], 1965–1973[b], 1974–1975[c])
  89. Communist insurgency in Thailand - (1965–1983)
  90. Korean DMZ Conflict - (1966–1969)
  91. Dominican Civil War - (1965–1966)
  92. Insurgency in Bolivia - (1966–1967)
  93. Cambodian Civil War - (1967–1975)
  94. War in South Zaire - (1978)
  95. Gulf of Sidra encounter - (1981)
  96. Multinational Intervention in Lebanon - (1982–1984)
  97. Invasion of Grenada - (1983)
  98. Action in the Gulf of Sidra - (1986)
  99. Bombing of Libya - (1986)
  100. Tanker War - (1987–1988)
  101. Tobruk encounter - (1989)
  102. Invasion of Panama - (1989–1990)
  103. Gulf War - (1990–1991)
  104. Iraqi No-Fly Zone Enforcement Operations - (1991–2003)
  105. First U.S. Intervention in the Somali Civil War - (1992–1995)
  106. Bosnian War - (1992–1995)
  107. Intervention in Haiti - (1994–1995)
  108. Kosovo War - (1998–1999)
  109. Operation Infinite Reach - (1998)
  110. War in Afghanistan - (2001–present)
  111. 2003 invasion of Iraq - (2003)
  112. Iraq War - (2003–2011)
  113. War in North-West Pakistan - (2004–present)
  114. Second U.S. Intervention in the Somali Civil War - (2007–present)
  115. Operation Ocean Shield - (2009–2016)
  116. International intervention in Libya - (2011)
  117. Operation Observant Compass - (2011–2017)
  118. American-led intervention in Iraq - (2014–present)
  119. American-led intervention in Syria - (2014–present)
  120. Yemeni Civil War - (2015–present)
  121. American intervention in Libya - (2015–present)

{ finis }

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 01, 2019 at 08:25 AM
This list tells quite a story. It deserves a name such as "US History Written in Blood," but more ironically and yet sufficient would be "An Inconvenient List." In any case, mass murder for fun and profit has defined war throughout the entire history of humankind. That in the modern era of late that the US has pioneered rentier capitalism as a means of extracting profits from the industrial war machine is a matter of the natural evolution of state sanctioned murder, far better at returning profits to investors than the mere slaughter of stone age natives to steal their land.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 01, 2019 at 08:45 AM
Neoconservatives in this context are traditionalists rather than some aberration of modern political thought.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 01, 2019 at 08:50 AM
OTOH, pacifism is indeed an aberration of political thought, not necessarily an unwarranted aberration, yet one that should be subject to close inspection for its bona fides. My Cherokee ancestors inform me to always be suspect of the good intentions of white men claiming that they despise war.
ilsm -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 03, 2019 at 05:14 AM
Rome martyred Christians bc up to Constantine they were all "draft dodgers".
ilsm -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 03, 2019 at 05:20 AM
Pacifism for me is individual. I was a cold warrior (pacifist not!) from '72 to '85 when I went from supporting operating weapons to the "dark side" in weapons development, which a lot was also nuclear related.
JohnH -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 02, 2019 at 07:59 AM
One of the first things that happened after Trump announced his withdrawal [not!] from Syria is that Pelosi hopped on a plane to Jordan:

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a group of American lawmakers on a surprise visit to Jordan to discuss "the deepening crisis" in Syria amid a shaky U.S.-brokered cease-fire."
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/20/nancy-pelosi-goes-to-jordan-for-vital-discussions-about-syria-crisis.html

I mean, what's with that?

It's pretty obvious that Team Pelosi is more concerned with the affairs of the Empire, even though she has no constitutional responsibility. than for the welfare of the American people. The focus of the impeachment hearing on American policy in Ukraine is further evidence.

Meanwhile, I have gotten no answer to my basic question: what are the top 5 pieces of progressive legislation that Pelosi has passed--legislation that representations can brag about to their constituents when running in 2020? It's pretty obvious that their have been almost none.

Team Pelosi has gone rogue as has Trump.

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to JohnH... , December 02, 2019 at 12:30 PM
Yet, I have been assured by others here at EV that our two party representative political system is not merely engaging in so much Kabuki theatre in order to appear relevant. Who knew?
kurt -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 02, 2019 at 05:02 PM
Outside of the fact that this fellow is a liar of monumental proportion - for instance, this post alone contains 3 different lies - it is fundamentally untrue that BOTH parties are just engaged in theater. One actually passes legislation to help people and to reduce the influence of $$$. The other - as former Republican party member Norm Orenstein has pointed out - is anti-democracy, pro-despotism and a insurgent danger with a propaganda arm.
ilsm -> kurt... , December 03, 2019 at 05:12 AM
Huh... all team Pelosi/Schumer of is rant against the US constitution, demean the congress, disdain the office of the President and make up things about the Donald.

See the continuing resolution good through 20 Dec because Pelosi who owns the House won't face the responsibility to try and run the US government's purse.

ilsm -> JohnH... , December 03, 2019 at 05:08 AM
Team Pelosi like the faux liberals are sponsored by the same owners of the swamp!

Never attribute to Trump derangement what can be explained by a criminal conspiracy.

JohnH -> EMichael... , December 05, 2019 at 05:13 PM
More selective outrage from EMichael, the partisan hack.

Sure, it's horrendous that Trump pardoned a war criminal. But let's not forget that Obama never even prosecuted torturers ... or closed Guantanamo as promised.

As usual for EMichael and his ilk, what's a horror when their party does something, it's perfectly acceptable when his party does it.

kurt -> EMichael... , December 06, 2019 at 11:18 AM
All these years of being a almost pacifist and now I am seeing the error in my ways. Sometimes - hopefully increasingly less often - good people must rise up and stomp out evil. The pardons were not just condoning war crimes - it was telling the nazi ahs in the ranks that they can do the same domestically. The right has an army within the US. Most of the officers are okay - but that said, they are tolerating nazis, white supremacists, oathkeepers and dominionists in their ranks. These exceptions are to let the other nazis know they can mass murder if the want.

[Dec 07, 2019] We've turned our attention to Latin America again. That's bad for Latin America.

Notable quotes:
"... As Bolivian soldiers were firing tear gas at a funeral for slain protesters recently, the US State Department issued a statement saluting "Bolivia's political transition to democracy" and declaring that the military leaders who had just overthrown the elected government were "standing up for their constitution." It was the latest example of intensifying US support for violently oppressive regimes south of our border. We are paying attention to Latin America again. That's bad news for Latin America. ..."
Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , December 01, 2019 at 07:12 AM

We've turned our attention to Latin America again. That's bad for Latin America.
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2019/11/27/opinion/weve-turned-our-attention-latin-america-again-thats-bad-latin-america/?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

Stephen Kinzer - November 27

As Bolivian soldiers were firing tear gas at a funeral for slain protesters recently, the US State Department issued a statement saluting "Bolivia's political transition to democracy" and declaring that the military leaders who had just overthrown the elected government were "standing up for their constitution." It was the latest example of intensifying US support for violently oppressive regimes south of our border. We are paying attention to Latin America again. That's bad news for Latin America.

The US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan nearly 20 years ago are sometimes described as wars in which everyone lost. In an odd way, though, Latin America won those wars. For more than a decade, the US government focused so obsessively on the Middle East that it forgot about Latin America. Free of intervention from Washington, voters in several countries elected progressive or leftist leaders whom the United States would never have tolerated in an earlier era. That cycle is now ending. The United States is returning to its traditional role in Latin America, embracing retrograde regimes just as we did during the dark days of military dictatorship in the 1970s and 1980s.

In Bolivia, the landlocked heart of South America, the military deposed President Evo Morales on Nov. 10 after opponents charged that he had used fraud to secure his re-election three weeks earlier. Morales was Bolivia's first indigenous president and an outspoken socialist. He had nationalized the oil and gas industries. Some feared that he was preparing to limit foreign exploitation of his country's rich lithium deposits. His indigenous identity was a permanent affront to the white ruling class. The little-known politician who has installed herself as provisional president, Jeanine Añez, once tweeted: "I dream of a Bolivia free of satanic indigenous rituals."

Morales may have -- manipulated election laws to give himself an extra presidential term. But in its first days, the new regime has shown little democratic impulse. Morales has been forced to flee the country. Senior members of his party have been attacked or arrested. If his masses of indigenous followers are pushed back into political isolation despite constituting the country's majority, many will feel disenfranchised and angry.

Their cousins in Honduras would know the feeling. Late one night in 2009, the elected Honduran president, Manuel Zelaya, who like Morales had alienated both the United States and his own ruling elite, was pulled out of bed and put on a plane out of the country while still in his pajamas. In the decade since then, the new regime in Honduras has eagerly handed out mining and hydroelectric contracts to foreign corporations. It has abolished term limits for presidents -- the very sin for which we denounced President Morales in Bolivia. Mass protests have been harshly suppressed. Environmental activists are killed with impunity.

Last month in a New York court, the brother of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez was convicted on charges of large-scale drug trafficking. A witness testified that the drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman had contributed $1 million to Hernandez's presidential campaign. Yet just a couple of days after the trial ended, the senior American diplomat in Honduras was photographed partying with President Hernandez. Hondurans who saw those pictures could hardly miss the message: the United States happily supports a Latin American government that holds power unconstitutionally, allows political killers to rampage freely, and is widely reported to be infiltrated by drug traffickers -- as long as it is friendly to the United States. How has Honduras showed that friendship? By keeping leftists out of power and agreeing to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The other Latin American country in which the United States is most assiduously wrecking prospects for democracy is Guatemala. Like neighboring Honduras, it has long been dominated by a clique of lavishly corrupt oligarchs. But over the last decade, a force has emerged that for the first time mounted a serious challenge to drug traffickers, larcenous politicians, organized-crime kingpins, and death squad leaders. In 2006, the government invited a squad of investigators and prosecutors assembled by the United Nations to come to Guatemala and build cases against powerful criminals. Since then the squad, known by the Spanish acronym CICIG, has secured more than 400 convictions and deeply shaken the political elite. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama recognized that this process might help stabilize Guatemala, and provided moral support and funding for CICIG.

This year, at the request of senior Guatemalan officials who seemed likely to be indicted for corruption, the State Department agreed to stop backing CICIG. That crippled the first serious effort in generations to confront the violent corruption that throttles civic life in Guatemala. What did President Trump ask in return? That Guatemala open an embassy in Jerusalem and agree to serve as a "safe haven" for Honduran and Salvadoran immigrants the United States doesn't want to accept -- a sick joke considering that Guatemala is plagued by violence and has one of the world's highest murder rates.

Bashing leftists in Latin America and embracing their quasi-fascist enemies is one of Washington's oldest habits. It feels good and pays electoral dividends in Florida. Bolivians, Hondurans, and Guatemalans might be forgiven for wishing that United States would once again plunge into all-consuming war somewhere far away. That might allow them to try shaping their societies as they see fit.

anne -> Fred C. Dobbs... , December 01, 2019 at 09:51 AM
Important and appreciated post.
Paine -> anne... , December 01, 2019 at 06:25 PM
Wait

The uncle LA policy
has nothing but continuity

Going back to 1979

Review moves made under Barry

joe , December 01, 2019 at 09:24 AM
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-09-25/boise-homeless-encampment-amicus-brief-supreme-court-appeal-cities

In addition to L.A., others in California submitting briefs include Sacramento, San Diego, Fresno, Riverside and Orange counties, as well as a slew of cities, including Sacramento, Fullerton, Torrance and Newport Beach. Several states including Idaho, Texas and Alaska have as well. Their reasons for doing so vary.

"We're saying that we agree with the central tenet of Boise that no one should be susceptible to punishment for sleeping on a sidewalk at night if there's no alternative shelter at that point," said Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer. "But the rationale sweeps too broadly ... It makes the opinion unclear and, therefore, the opinion raises more issues than are resolved. And so it leaves jurisdictions like us without the certainty that we need."
---
The ninth curt ruling specified that without enough shelters, public camping cannot be banned.

LA is spewing horse manure, claiming they want a humane solution, but they are filing to have the ruling overturned. LA wants to ban homeless camping and they make up a bunch of irrational horse manure because they had already invited the homeless to California with promises of shelter that does not exits. They re caught in a contradiction and end up talking out of the side of their mouth.

And no, more national debt to promise apartments for everyone just make inequality worse because we end up doing bad deals with the primary dealers. The evidence is in on that. Our ten year experiment of the '50 little hoovers' crowd has been proven fraudulent.

[Dec 07, 2019] The average demorat, aside from worshipping Ba'al and hating the constitution, is depraved, been such since crooked Hillary forgot that the neocon, empire spreading, war mongering liberals living on the coasts do not run the world.

Notable quotes:
"... Just war theory and military ethics crumble to dust on the battle field. We rarely fight because it is right, but rather because in some context it seemed necessary at the time. After 9/11 there was an imperative that the US military wage an extended war against any and every group of Muslims that defied US global hegemony in any way. ..."
Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

ilsm -> JohnH... , November 29, 2019 at 09:05 AM

The average demorat, aside from worshipping Ba'al and hating the constitution, is depraved, been such since crooked Hillary forgot that the neocon, empire spreading, war mongering liberals living on the coasts do not run the world.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , November 30, 2019 at 11:56 AM
"...the neocon, empire spreading, war mongering liberals living on the coasts do not run the world."

[Who says that they do not? Certainly, it is close enough to that for government work. Besides, in the end corporations and the interests of the donor class dictate the rules of engagement for both illiberal and unconservative politicians. How the dogs of politics fight over scraps thrown out for them should be of less interest to the wage class than who is throwing out the scraps to them.]

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , November 30, 2019 at 12:04 PM
Of course a former Air Force military hardware procurements officer likely knows no more about present day life among the wage class than a banker. That would be like thinking that a kid raised in poverty by the welfare state knew how to farm. Still, it is possible for either one to be haunted by guilt late in life.
ilsm -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 01, 2019 at 06:26 AM
I stand correct the closet cultural Marxists running with wall st centered on the left coasts forgot to fix the electoral college.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , December 01, 2019 at 06:35 AM
You are bound with your adversaries in ways known only to God, not a religious testimonial but merely a proxy for the abstraction of omniscience. Some things can be seen as clear as day and remain a complete mystery, to me at least.
ilsm -> EMichael... , November 29, 2019 at 09:08 AM
" Ethical military decision-making does not make us weak; it makes us strong. "

How does Obama busting up Libya, drone assassinating US citizens and arming up al Qaeda to give them Syria fit?

Trump has committed lesser war crimes than hios predecessors, and that gets hiom in trouble with the establishment....

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , November 30, 2019 at 12:15 PM
At the very least Trump is guilty of being Trump. So, if you believe the charges against Trump are Trumped up, then what else would you expect?

Just war theory and military ethics crumble to dust on the battle field. We rarely fight because it is right, but rather because in some context it seemed necessary at the time. After 9/11 there was an imperative that the US military wage an extended war against any and every group of Muslims that defied US global hegemony in any way.

The US Constitution was written and then rewritten repeatedly in blood going all the way back to Apr 19, 1775. That is what it means to be an American, son, my Cherokee ancestors notwithstanding.

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , November 30, 2019 at 12:16 PM
We are all brethren, fellow sons of a bloody mother...

[Dec 06, 2019] Who Is Making US Foreign Policy by Stephen F. Cohen

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... A more plausible explanation is that Trump thought that by appointing such anti-Russian hard-liners he could lay to rest the Russiagate allegations that had hung over him for three years and still did: that for some secret nefarious reason he was and remained a "Kremlin puppet." Despite the largely exculpatory Mueller report, Trump's political enemies, mostly Democrats but not only, have kept the allegations alive. ..."
"... The larger question is who should make American foreign policy: an elected president or Washington's permanent foreign policy establishment? (It is scarcely a "deep" or "secret" state, since its representatives appear on CNN and MSNBC almost daily.) Today, Democrats seem to think that it should be the foreign policy establishment, not President Trump. But having heard the cold-war views of much of that establishment, how will they feel when a Democrat occupies the White House? After all, eventually Trump will leave power, but Washington's foreign-policy "blob," as even an Obama aide termed it , will remain. ..."
"... Listen to the podcast here ..."
"... War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate ..."
"... The John Batchelor Show ..."
"... Trump's anti-Iranian fever is every bit as ludicrous as the DNC's anti-Russian fever. There is absolutely nothing to support the anti-Iranian policy argument or the anti JCPOA argument. The only thing that is missing from all of this is Iranian hookers, and that would certainly be an explosive headline! ..."
"... You know why Rhodes called it the blob, right? Why he made it sound so formless and squishy? Ask yourself, how does a failed novelist with zilch for foreign-affairs credentials get the big job of Obama's ventriloquist? That's a CIA billet. It so happens that Rhodes' brother has a big job of his own with CBS News, the most servile of the Mockingbird media propaganda mills. ..."
"... It's not a blob, it's a precisely-articulated hierarchy. And the top of it is CIA. So please for once somebody answer this blindingly obvious question, Who is making US foreign policy? CIA, that's who. For the CIA show trial run by Iran/Contra nomenklatura Bill Barr and his blackmailed flunky Durham, Trump's high crime and misdemeanor is conducting diplomacy without CIA supervision. They come out and say so, pointing to the National Security Act's mousetrap bureaucracy. ..."
"... CIA runs your country. They've got impunity, they do what they want. We've got 400,000 academics paid to overthink it. ..."
"... We cannot trust that the people that destroyed the country will repair it. It is run by a Cult of Hedonistic Satanic Psychopaths. If they were limited to just the CIA, America would be in far better shape than its in. The CIA is not capable of thinking or intelligence, so we should stop paying them. ..."
"... Drumpf has been a tool of the Wall Street/Las Vegas Zionist billionaires for many, many years. so his selection of warmongering Zio neo-con advisors should be no surprise. ..."
"... Perhaps part of the reason that Trump often seems to be surrounded by people who don't support his policies or values is, as Paul Craig Roberts suggested in 2016, that Trump would have real problems simply because he was an outsider. An outsider to the Washington swamp, a swamp that Clinton had been swimming in for decades. In short he didn't know who to trust, who to keep "in the tent" & who to shut out. Thus, we have had this huge churn in Secretaries & on so on downwards. ..."
"... Sociopaths are the ones that do the worst because they lack any concern or "Empathy", like robots. So I read that the socio's are some of the brightest people who often are very successful in business etc. and can hide the fact that they would soon as kill as look at ya, but cool as ice, all they want is to get what the hell they want! They don't give a rats petoot who likes likes it or not, except as . ..."
"... Trump hasn't fired any of the neocons, but he proved that he CAN fire defense executives. He fired the Sec of Navy for disagreeing with some ridiculous personal thing that Trump wanted to do. Since Trump hasn't fired any neocons, we have to conclude that he's fully on board. ..."
"... There are so many security holes in the constitution of the USA including that it was ratified by those who invented it, not by a vote put to the people that would be made to suffer being governed by it. Basically the USA is useless as a defender of human rights (one of which is the right to self determination). The so called bill of rights (1st 10 amendments) are contractual promises, but like all clauses in contracts if there is no way to enforce them, then there is no use for the clause except maybe propaganda value. ..."
"... In a normally functioning world you simply can't simultaneously argue that in one case West can bomb a country to force self-determination as in Kosovo, and also denounce exactly the same thing in Crimea. On to Catalonia and more self-determination ..."
"... Trump, among his other occupations, used to engage with the professional wrestling circuit. In that well-staged entertainment there is always a bad guy – or a ' heel ' – who is used to stir up the crowds, the Evil Sheik or Rocky's hapless movie enemies. It makes it ' real '. The ' heel ' is sometimes allowed to win to better manage the audience. But the narrative never changes. Our rational judgments should focus on what happens, and on outcomes – not on talk, slogans, speeches, etc Based on that, Trump is a classical ' heel ' character. He might even be playing it consciously, or he has no choice. ..."
"... To answer the question who runs ' foreign policy ', let's ignore the stadium speeches, and simply look at what happens. In a world bereft of enough profitable consumer things to do, and enough justifiable careers for unemployable geo-political security 'experts' of all kinds, having enemies and maybe even a small war occasionally is not such an irrational thing to want. Plus there are the deep ethnic hatreds and traumas going back generations that were naively imported into the heart of the Western world. (Washington warned against that 200+ years ago.) ..."
"... or maybe trump was a lying neocon, war-loving, immigration-loving neoliberal all along, and you and the trumptards somehow continue to believe his campaign rhetoric? ..."
"... The fact is Trump is not an anti-neocon (Deep State) president he only talks that way. The fact that he surrounded himself with Deep State denizens gives lie to the thought that he is anti-Deep State no one can be that god damn stupid. ..."
"... "TRUMP SUPPORTERS WERE DUPED – Trump supporters are going to find out soon enough that they were duped by Donald Trump. Trump was given the script to run as the "Chaos Candidate" .He is just a pawn of the ruling elite .It is a tactic known as 'CONTROLLED OPPOSITION' ". Wasn't it FDR who said "Presidents are selected , they are not elected " ? ..."
"... Trump selected the Neocons he is surrounded with. And he's given away all kinds of property that he has absolutely no legal authority to give. He was seeking to please American Oligarchs the likes of Adelson. That's American politics. "Money is free speech." Of course, there is another connection with foreign policy beyond the truly total corruption of American domestic politics, and that's through America's brutal empire abroad. ..."
"... Obama or Trump, on the main matters of importance abroad – NATO, Russia, Israel/Palestine, China – there has been no difference, except Trump is more openly bellicose and given to saying really stupid things. ..."
Dec 06, 2019 | www.unz.com
President Trump campaigned and was elected on an anti-neocon platform: he promised to reduce direct US involvement in areas where, he believed, America had no vital strategic interest, including in Ukraine. He also promised a new détente ("cooperation") with Moscow.

And yet, as we have learned from their recent congressional testimony, key members of his own National Security Council did not share his views and indeed were opposed to them. Certainly, this was true of Fiona Hill and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. Both of them seemed prepared for a highly risky confrontation with Russia over Ukraine, though whether retroactively because of Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea or for more general reasons was not entirely clear.

Similarly, Trump was slow in withdrawing Marie Yovanovitch, a career foreign service officer appointed by President Obama as ambassador to Kiev, who had made clear, despite her official position in Kiev, that she did not share the new American president's thinking about Ukraine or Russia. In short, the president was surrounded in his own administration, even in the White House, by opponents of his foreign policy and presumably not only in regard to Ukraine.

How did this unusual and dysfunctional situation come about? One possibility is that it was the doing and legacy of the neocon John Bolton, briefly Trump's national security adviser. But this doesn't explain why the president would accept or long tolerate such appointees.

A more plausible explanation is that Trump thought that by appointing such anti-Russian hard-liners he could lay to rest the Russiagate allegations that had hung over him for three years and still did: that for some secret nefarious reason he was and remained a "Kremlin puppet." Despite the largely exculpatory Mueller report, Trump's political enemies, mostly Democrats but not only, have kept the allegations alive.

The larger question is who should make American foreign policy: an elected president or Washington's permanent foreign policy establishment? (It is scarcely a "deep" or "secret" state, since its representatives appear on CNN and MSNBC almost daily.) Today, Democrats seem to think that it should be the foreign policy establishment, not President Trump. But having heard the cold-war views of much of that establishment, how will they feel when a Democrat occupies the White House? After all, eventually Trump will leave power, but Washington's foreign-policy "blob," as even an Obama aide termed it , will remain.

Listen to the podcast here . Stephen F. Cohen Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. A Nation contributing editor, his most recent book, War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate , is available in paperback and in an ebook edition. His weekly conversations with the host of The John Batchelor Show , now in their sixth year, are available at www.thenation.com .


Curmudgeon , says: December 5, 2019 at 8:49 pm GMT

because of Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea or for more general reasons was not entirely clear.

In an otherwise decent overview, this sticks out like a sore thumb. It would be helpful to stop using the word annexation. While correct in a technical sense – that Crimea was added to the Russian Federation – the word comes with all kinds of connotations, that imply illegality and or force. Given Crimea was given special status when gifted to Ukraine for administration by the USSR, one could just as easily apply "annexation" of Crimea to Ukraine. After Ukraine voted to "leave" the USSR, Crimea voted to join Ukraine. Obviously the "Ukrainian" vote did not include Crimea. Even after voting to join Ukraine, Crimea had special status within Ukraine, and was semi autonomous. If you can vote to join, you can vote to leave. Either you have the right to self determination, or you don't.

Rebel0007 , says: December 5, 2019 at 10:38 pm GMT
This is what is so infuriating, Stephen! These silent coups of the executive branch have been taking place for my entire life! Both parties are guilty of refusing to appoint cabinet members that the elected presidents would have chosen for themselves, because both parties are more interested in making the president of the opposing party look bad, make him ineffective, and incapable of carrying out policies that he was elected to carry out. That is the very definition of treason!

Things are a disaster. The JCPOA is at the heart of the issue and Trump and his advisors stubborn refusal to capitulate on this issue very well may cause Trump to lose the 2020 election. Trump's anti-Iranian fever is every bit as ludicrous as the DNC's anti-Russian fever. There is absolutely nothing to support the anti-Iranian policy argument or the anti JCPOA argument. The only thing that is missing from all of this is Iranian hookers, and that would certainly be an explosive headline!

The anti-Iranian fever has created so much havoc not only with Iran, but with every country on earth other than Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Germany announced that it is seeking to unite with Russia, not only for Gazprom, but is now considering purchasing defense systems from Russia, and Germany is dictating EU policy, by and large. Germany has said that Europe must be able to defend itself independent of America and is requesting an EU military and Italy is on board with this idea, seeking to create jobs and weapons for its economy and defense.

The EU is fed up with the economic sanctions placed on countries that the U.S. has black-listed, particularly Russia and Iran, and China as well for Huwaei 5G.

Nobody in their right mind could ever claim this to be the free market capitalism that Larry Kudlow espouses!

National Institute for Study of the O... , says: December 5, 2019 at 11:00 pm GMT
You know why Rhodes called it the blob, right? Why he made it sound so formless and squishy? Ask yourself, how does a failed novelist with zilch for foreign-affairs credentials get the big job of Obama's ventriloquist? That's a CIA billet. It so happens that Rhodes' brother has a big job of his own with CBS News, the most servile of the Mockingbird media propaganda mills.

It's not a blob, it's a precisely-articulated hierarchy. And the top of it is CIA. So please for once somebody answer this blindingly obvious question, Who is making US foreign policy? CIA, that's who. For the CIA show trial run by Iran/Contra nomenklatura Bill Barr and his blackmailed flunky Durham, Trump's high crime and misdemeanor is conducting diplomacy without CIA supervision. They come out and say so, pointing to the National Security Act's mousetrap bureaucracy.

CIA runs your country. They've got impunity, they do what they want. We've got 400,000 academics paid to overthink it.

follyofwar , says: December 5, 2019 at 11:53 pm GMT
@Curmudgeon Pat Buchanan also uses the word "annexation" all the time.
Rebel0007 , says: December 6, 2019 at 4:31 am GMT
National Institute for the study of the obvious,

The CIA has no authority what so ever as defined by the supreme law of the land, the constitution. That would make them guilty of a coup which would be an act of treason, so if what you claim is true, why have they not been prosecuted.

It is a political game between to competing kleptocratic cults. The DNC and RNC are whores and will do what ever their donors tell them to do. That is also treason. This country is just a total wasteland.

Everyone has pledged allegiance to fraud.

Too big to fail, like the Titanic and the Hindenberg.

We cannot trust that the people that destroyed the country will repair it. It is run by a Cult of Hedonistic Satanic Psychopaths. If they were limited to just the CIA, America would be in far better shape than its in. The CIA is not capable of thinking or intelligence, so we should stop paying them.

Haxo Angmark , says: Website December 6, 2019 at 6:01 am GMT
Drumpf has been a tool of the Wall Street/Las Vegas Zionist billionaires for many, many years. so his selection of warmongering Zio neo-con advisors should be no surprise.
Monty Ahwazi , says: December 6, 2019 at 6:03 am GMT
What kind of stupid question is this? You mean you don't know or asking us for confirmation? If you really don't know then why are you writing an article about it? If you do know then why are you asking the UNZ readers?
animalogic , says: December 6, 2019 at 6:21 am GMT
Perhaps part of the reason that Trump often seems to be surrounded by people who don't support his policies or values is, as Paul Craig Roberts suggested in 2016, that Trump would have real problems simply because he was an outsider. An outsider to the Washington swamp, a swamp that Clinton had been swimming in for decades. In short he didn't know who to trust, who to keep "in the tent" & who to shut out. Thus, we have had this huge churn in Secretaries & on so on downwards.
EdNels , says: December 6, 2019 at 6:49 am GMT
@Rebel0007

It is run by a Cult of Hedonistic Satanic Psychopaths.

That's ok but it's a bit unfair to Hedonistic Satanic Psychopaths After all most of the country is Hedonistic as hell, it sells commercials or wtf. Satanic is philosophical and way over the heads of these clowns, though if the be a Satan, then they are in the plan for sure, and right on the mark. As for psychopaths, those are criminals who are insane, but they can have remorse and be their own worst enemies, often they just go off and go psycho and bad things happen, but can be unplanned off the wall stuff, not diabolic.

Sociopaths are the ones that do the worst because they lack any concern or "Empathy", like robots. So I read that the socio's are some of the brightest people who often are very successful in business etc. and can hide the fact that they would soon as kill as look at ya, but cool as ice, all they want is to get what the hell they want! They don't give a rats petoot who likes likes it or not, except as .

So, once upon a time, a people got so hedonistic and they didn't watch the game and theier leaders were low quality (especially religeous/morals ) and long story short Satan unleashed the Socio's , Things seem to be heading disastrously, so will bit coin save the day? Green nudeal?

Jon Baptist , says: December 6, 2019 at 6:54 am GMT
The simple questions that beg to be asked are who are the accusers and what media agencies are providing the amplification to transmit these accusations?
https://forward.com/news/national/434664/impeachment-trump-democrats-jewish/
https://www.jta.org/2019/11/15/politics/the-tell-the-jewish-players-in-impeachment

There is also this link courtesy of Haass' CFR – https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/russia-trump-and-2016-us-election

While massive attention is directed towards Russia and the Ukraine, the majority of the public are shown the slight of hand and their attention is never brought near to the real perpetrators of subverting American and British foreign policy.

https://electronicintifada.net/content/watch-film-israel-lobby-didnt-want-you-see/25876
http://joshdlindsay.com/2019/04/the-israel-lobby-in-the-u-s-al-jazeera-documentary/
The Truth Archive
2K subscribers
The Israeli Lobby in the United States of America (2017) – Full Documentary HD

polistra , says: December 6, 2019 at 7:49 am GMT
Doesn't matter if he's surrounded. A president CAN make foreign policy, and a president CAN fire people who disagree with his policy. Trump hasn't fired any of the neocons, but he proved that he CAN fire defense executives. He fired the Sec of Navy for disagreeing with some ridiculous personal thing that Trump wanted to do. Since Trump hasn't fired any neocons, we have to conclude that he's fully on board.
sally , says: December 6, 2019 at 8:51 am GMT
@Rebel0007

The CIA has no authority what so ever as defined by the supreme law of the land, the constitution. That would make them guilty of a coup which would be an act of treason, so if what you claim is true, why have they not been prosecuted.

--
first off the supreme law of the land maybe the Constitution and to oppose it may be Treason, but the Law that is supreme to the Law of the land is Human rights law.. it is far superior to, and it is the TLD of all laws of the land of all of the Nation States that mankind has allowed the greedy among its masses, to impose.

There are so many security holes in the constitution of the USA including that it was ratified by those who invented it, not by a vote put to the people that would be made to suffer being governed by it. Basically the USA is useless as a defender of human rights (one of which is the right to self determination). The so called bill of rights (1st 10 amendments) are contractual promises, but like all clauses in contracts if there is no way to enforce them, then there is no use for the clause except maybe propaganda value.

If you note the USA constitution has seven articles..

Article 1 is about 525 elected members of congress and their very limited powers to control
foreign activities. Each qualified to vote member of the governed (a citizen so to speak) is allowed to
vote for only 3 of the 525 persons. so basically there is no real national election anywhere .

Article II grants the electoral college the power to appoint two persons full control of the assets,
resources and manpower of America to conquer the entire world or to make peace in the entire world.
Either way: the governed are not allowed to vote for either; the EC vote determines the P or VP.

Article III allows the Article II person to appoint yes men to the judiciary

Where exist the power of the governed to deny USA governors the ability to the use the powers the constitution claims the governors are to have, against the governed? <==No where I can find? Theoretically, the governed are protected from abuse for as long as it takes to conduct due process?

One person, the Article II person, is basically the king when in comes to constitutional authority to establish, conduct, prosecute or defend USA involvement in foreign affairs.

No where does the constitution of the USA deny its President the use of American resources or USA military power, to make and use diplomat appointments, or to use the USA to use the wealth of America and the hegemonic powers of the USA to make a private or public profit in a foreign land. <= d/n matter if the profit is personal to the President or if it assigned by appointment (like the feudal powers granted by the feudal kings to the feudal lords) to corporate feudal lords or oligarch personal interest.

AFAICT, the president can USE the USA to conduct war, invade or otherwise infringe on, even destroy, the territory, or a private or public interest, within a foreign sovereign more or less at will. So if the President wants to command a private or secret Army like the CIA, he can as far as I can tell, obviously this president does, because he could with his pen alone shut it down.

Seems to me the "NO" from Wilson's four points

  1. no more secret diplomacy peace settlement must not lead the way to new wars
  2. no retribution, unjust claims, and huge fines <basically indemnities paid by the losers to the winners.
  3. no more war; includes controls on armaments and arming of nations.
  4. no more Trade Barriers so the nations of the world would become more interdependent.

have been made the essence of nation state operations world wide.

IMO, The CIA exists at the pleasure of the President.

Beckow , says: December 6, 2019 at 9:29 am GMT
@Curmudgeon all of that, plus the Kosovo precedent.

In a normally functioning world you simply can't simultaneously argue that in one case West can bomb a country to force self-determination as in Kosovo, and also denounce exactly the same thing in Crimea. On to Catalonia and more self-determination

Beckow , says: December 6, 2019 at 9:52 am GMT
Trump, among his other occupations, used to engage with the professional wrestling circuit. In that well-staged entertainment there is always a bad guy – or a ' heel ' – who is used to stir up the crowds, the Evil Sheik or Rocky's hapless movie enemies. It makes it ' real '. The 'heel ' is sometimes allowed to win to better manage the audience. But the narrative never changes. Our rational judgments should focus on what happens, and on outcomes – not on talk, slogans, speeches, etc Based on that, Trump is a classical ' heel ' character. He might even be playing it consciously, or he has no choice.

To answer the question who runs ' foreign policy ', let's ignore the stadium speeches, and simply look at what happens. In a world bereft of enough profitable consumer things to do, and enough justifiable careers for unemployable geo-political security 'experts' of all kinds, having enemies and maybe even a small war occasionally is not such an irrational thing to want. Plus there are the deep ethnic hatreds and traumas going back generations that were naively imported into the heart of the Western world. (Washington warned against that 200+ years ago.)

Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: December 6, 2019 at 10:47 am GMT
https://russia-insider.com/en/politics/majority-germans-wants-less-reliance-us-more-engagement-russia/ri27985

Macron said that NATO is " brain dead " :

https://www.economist.com/europe/2019/11/07/emmanuel-macron-warns-europe-nato-is-becoming-brain-dead

The more the US sanctions so many countries around the world , the more the US generate an anti US reaction around the world .

gotmituns , says: December 6, 2019 at 11:09 am GMT
Who Is Making US Foreign Policy?
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -
Could it be israel?
DrWatson , says: December 6, 2019 at 11:20 am GMT
Trump should have kept Steve Bannon as his advisor and should have fired instead his son-in-law. Perhaps "they" are blackmailing Trump with photos like here: https://www.pinterest.com/richarddesjarla/creepy/

That would explain why Trump is so ineffective at making a reality anything he campaigned for.

Marshall Lentini , says: December 6, 2019 at 11:28 am GMT
@melpol Betas in power -- an underappreciated dimension of this morass.
propagandist hacker , says: Website December 6, 2019 at 11:29 am GMT
or maybe trump was a lying neocon, war-loving, immigration-loving neoliberal all along, and you and the trumptards somehow continue to believe his campaign rhetoric?
Realist , says: December 6, 2019 at 11:52 am GMT

An anti-neocon president appears to have been surrounded by neocons in his own administration.

The fact is Trump is not an anti-neocon (Deep State) president he only talks that way. The fact that he surrounded himself with Deep State denizens gives lie to the thought that he is anti-Deep State no one can be that god damn stupid.

Realist , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:00 pm GMT
@sally

IMO, The CIA exists at the pleasure of the President.

The CIA sees it differently; and they are part of the Deep State.

Realist , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:03 pm GMT
@propagandist hacker

or maybe trump was a lying neocon, war-loving, immigration-loving neoliberal all along, and you and the trumptards somehow continue to believe his campaign rhetoric?

That is my contention.

Sean , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:11 pm GMT
MICHAEL CARPENTER Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia from 2015 to 2017.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russia-fsu/2019-11-26/oligarchs-who-lost-ukraine-and-won-washington

Halfway around the world from Washington's halls of power, Ukraine sits along a civilizational and geopolitical fault line. To Ukraine's west are the liberal democracies of Europe, governed by rule of law and democratic principles. To its east are Russia and its client states in Eurasia, almost all of which are corrupt oligarchies. [ ] In this war on democratic movements and democratic principles, Russia's biggest prize and chief adversary has always been the United States. Until now, however, Russia has always had to contend with bipartisan resolve to counter

No mention of China, and this is the problem with the whole foreign policy establishment not just the neocons. Russia is more of an annoyance than anything, but they are still operating assumptions on what is the Geographical Pivot of History , so they want to talk about Russia. Like an Edwardian sea cadet we are supposed to care about Russia getting (back) a water port in Crimea. Mahan's definition of sea power included a strong commercial fleet. After tearing their own environment apart like a car in a wrecking yard and heating up the planet China has taken time out from deforestation and colonising Tibet, to send huge container vessels full of cheap goods through the melting Arctic round the top of Russia all the better to get to Europe and deindustrialise it.

Western elites have sold out to China, seen as the future, so we hear about Russia rather than the three million Uyghurs in concentration camps complete with constantly smoking crematoria, and harvesting of organs for rich foreigners.

Who poses a greater threat to the West: China or Russia?
By the time the West finds itself in open conflict with Beijing, we will have lost our relative advantage. Brendan Simms and K.C. Lin [ ] The concept of China being a threat is harder to comprehend. In what way? Yes, its hacking and intellectual property theft is a headache. But is it worse than what Russia is up to? And don't we need Chinese investment, so does it really matter if China builds our 5G mobile networks? In London, ministers agonise over these issues -- not knowing whether to pity China (we still send foreign aid there), beg for its money and contracts (with prime ministerial trade trips), or treat it as a potential antagonist.

Aid ! They sent robots to the far side of the Moon

Beijing has been the beneficiary of liberal revulsion at the Trump presidency: if the Donald is against the Chinese, who cannot be for them? As a result, Trump's efforts to address China's unfair trade practices have so far missed the mark with the domestic and international audience. As Trump declares war on free trade, China -- one of the most protectionist economies in the world -- is now celebrated at Davos as the avatar of free trade. Later this month, China's Vice-President is likely to be in attendance at Davos -- and there is even talk of him meeting with Trump. Similarly, the messiness of American politics has made China's one-party state an apparent poster boy of political stability and governability.

9/11 Inside job , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:14 pm GMT
911endofdays.blogspot.com : "Sackcloth&Ashes – The 16th Trump of Arcana " :

"TRUMP SUPPORTERS WERE DUPED – Trump supporters are going to find out soon enough that they were duped by Donald Trump. Trump was given the script to run as the "Chaos Candidate" .He is just a pawn of the ruling elite .It is a tactic known as 'CONTROLLED OPPOSITION' ".
Wasn't it FDR who said "Presidents are selected , they are not elected " ?

JOHN CHUCKMAN , says: Website December 6, 2019 at 12:25 pm GMT

Trump selected the Neocons he is surrounded with. And he's given away all kinds of property that he has absolutely no legal authority to give. He was seeking to please American Oligarchs the likes of Adelson. That's American politics. "Money is free speech." Of course, there is another connection with foreign policy beyond the truly total corruption of American domestic politics, and that's through America's brutal empire abroad.

The military/intelligence imperial establishment definitely see Israel as a kind of American colony in the Mideast, and they make sure that it's well provided for. That's what the Neocon Wars have been about. Paving over large parts of Israel's noisy neighborhood. And that includes matters like keeping Syria off-balance with occupation in its northeast. And constantly threatening Iran.

Obama or Trump, on the main matters of importance abroad – NATO, Russia, Israel/Palestine, China – there has been no difference, except Trump is more openly bellicose and given to saying really stupid things.

By the way, the last President who tried seriously to make foreign policy as the elected head of government left half of his head splattered on thec streets of Dallas.

Sick of Orcs , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:36 pm GMT
@propagandist hacker Or he was fooled, tricked, bribed, coerced by The HoloNose.

Don't get me wrong, the Orange Sellout is to blame regardless.

9/11 Inside job , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:37 pm GMT
@Jon Baptist We have all been brainwashed by the propaganda screened by the massmedia ,whether it be FOX , MSNBC , CBS ,etc.. SeptemberClues.info has a good article entitled "The central role of the news media on 9/11 " :

"The 9/11 psyop relied foremostly on that weakspot of ours .We all fell for the images we saw on TV at the time we can only wonder why so many never questioned the absurd TV coverage proposed by all the major networks The 9/11 TV imagery of the crucial morning events was just a computer-animated, pre-fabricated movie."

Was "The Harley Guy" a crisis actor ?

geokat62 , says: December 6, 2019 at 1:00 pm GMT
@National Institute for Study of the Obvious

So please for once somebody answer this blindingly obvious question, Who is making US foreign policy? CIA, that's who.

Close. You got 4 of the correct letters, AIPAC. You were just missing the P.

CIA runs your country.

No, Jewish Supremacist oligarchs run America.

Herald , says: December 6, 2019 at 1:05 pm GMT
@follyofwar Pat inhabits a strange Hollywood type world, where the US is always the good guy. He believes that, although the US may make foreign policy mistakes, its aims and ambitions are nevertheless noble and well intentioned.

In Pat's world it's still circa 1955, but even then, his take on US foreign policy would have been hopelessly unrealistic.

[Dec 06, 2019] The Michael Flynn sentencing hearing is cancelled while the judge considers the issue of exculpatory material - Sic Semper Tyra

Dec 06, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The Michael Flynn sentencing hearing is cancelled while the judge considers the issue of exculpatory material Michael_flynn_web

By Robert Willmann

New attorneys for Gen. Michael Flynn (ret.) entered appearances in his court case in June 2019. He had signed a plea bargain agreement with the office of "special counsel" Robert Mueller on 30 November 2017, and under that agreement, a criminal charge consisting of a single count was filed. He pled guilty to it in court the next day. A sentencing hearing began on 18 December 2018, but went off the rails and was to be continued at a later date.

On 30 August 2019, Flynn's new lawyers filed a request (a motion) that the prosecutors for the federal government turn over exculpatory material that they likely had access to and had not disclosed to him earlier. The motion also asked the judge to issue an order that the prosecutors show cause why they should not be held in contempt of court for not turning over the material that might be favorable and helpful to Flynn. Several papers were filed by both sides on the issue after that.

A sentencing hearing had been reset to 18 December 2019. However, as a result of the documents filed about the request for exculpatory material, Judge Emmet Sullivan decided not to have a court hearing on the motion, but instead would decide it on the documents that had been filed with the court clerk. The last paper was filed on the issue on 4 November 2019. Normally, both the prosecution and defense file memoranda about an upcoming sentencing hearing. Since 18 December was approaching, they filed a joint motion to reschedule the filing of memos and any sentencing hearing--

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/files/michaelflynn_abate_sentencing.pdf

This request was granted--

"11/27/2019 Minute Order as to Michael T. Flynn granting 140 Joint Motion to Modify Briefing Schedule. The Court hereby Suspends the briefing schedule for the supplemental sentencing memoranda. The Court hereby Vacates the sentencing hearing previously scheduled for December 18, 2019 until further Order of this Court. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 11/27/2019. (Lcegs1) (Entered: 11/27/2019)"

The request for disclosure of exculpatory material may or may not be granted. But the fact that a month has gone by, and now more time is needed, means that it is being given serious consideration.

[Dec 06, 2019] The USA is an occupied by neocon country

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Wellsir, I'm old enough to remember 2002, when the Bush administration and its allies built a case for the Iraq War, using the often-heard line, "We fight the terrorists over there so we don't have to fight them here." Seriously, young folks, look it up online. ..."
"... And now comes Prof. Karlan, using the same rhetoric to characterize the conflict between the US and Russia in Ukraine. She was there to talk about the legal aspects of impeachment, but she bizarrely tipped her hand by trashing Trump because he failed to play his part as a warmonger ..."
"... The American elites didn't learn a damn thing from Iraq ..."
"... On the contrary. They learned that, via deceptive rhetoric and on false pretenses, they could easily manoeuver the U.S. into fighting a war on behalf of another nation's interests rather than its own, and face no repercussions for committing such treason, no matter how many lives it costs and how much it impoverishes the U.S. (to say nothing of what bloodshed and chaos it will cause in the targeted nation -- because after all, destabilization is the point). ..."
"... Trump will never beat an actually decent candidate, he occupies the White House because Clinton was the worst candidate in American history. He's (probably) going to win again because his opponents are even more unpopular and incompetent than he is. ..."
"... No, they are only using the mendacious phrase "spreading democracy" as a cover for what they really want to spread: globalist neoliberalism. ..."
"... The left is shameless, duplicitous and disingenous in the extreme when it comes to Russia (and frankly anything else). To be honest it was my collegiate experiences in the 1980s, comparing the handwaving garbage with what my own eyes saw in the East Bloc, that made me a lifetime, permanent rightist. The left is bankrupt, full of liars and dissemblers and needs to be stopped at any cost. ..."
"... I'd highly recommend the films "Ukraine on Fire" and "Revealing Ukraine" (available on Amazon Prime w/o extra rental $) for a good basic primer on the Ukraine over the last 15 years, particularly of US interference and malfeasance in promoting the coup in 2014. And if anyone "interfered" in the 2016 election it wasn't Russia, but the Ukraine, particularly its very pro-Hilary President Poroshenko (illegitimate though he was and remains after the unconstitutional US-backed coup in against Yanukovich in 2014). ..."
"... NATO should have been moth-balled c. 1992. Instead it is hell-bent on aggressive expansion and antagonizing Russia, for no reason (other than to line the pockets of corrupt US and other officials, "business-men" i.e. oligarchs, etc.). ..."
"... The whole conflict was completely avoidable and is 100% due to America's and Western Europe's dumb actions since the fall of the USSR. ..."
Dec 06, 2019 | theamericanconservative.com

In the Year of Our Lord 2019, sixteen years after this nation launched the catastrophic Iraq War, the following words were spoken on Capitol Hill this week:

We have become the shining city on a hill. We have become the nation that leads the world in understanding what democracy is. And one of the things we understand most profoundly is it's not a real democracy, it's not a mature democracy, if the party in power uses the criminal process to go after its enemies. And I think you heard testimony - the Intelligence Committee heard testimony about how it isn't just our national interest in protecting our own elections. It's not just our national interest in making sure that the Ukraine remains strong and on the front line so they fight the Russians there and we don't have to fight them here, but it's also our national interest in promoting democracy worldwide.

This was not the second coming of the Wolfowitz-Cheney-Bolton brigade. This was Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor and Democrat called by her party to testify in this week's House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing.

Wellsir, I'm old enough to remember 2002, when the Bush administration and its allies built a case for the Iraq War, using the often-heard line, "We fight the terrorists over there so we don't have to fight them here." Seriously, young folks, look it up online.

And I'm old enough to remember these lines from President Bush's second inaugural address, in 2005:

There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom.

We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.

America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one. From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth. Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation's security, and the calling of our time.

So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.

That didn't work out too well for us, for Iraq, or for the Middle East.

And now comes Prof. Karlan, using the same rhetoric to characterize the conflict between the US and Russia in Ukraine. She was there to talk about the legal aspects of impeachment, but she bizarrely tipped her hand by trashing Trump because he failed to play his part as a warmonger.


Loetzen 9 hours ago • edited ,
The American elites didn't learn a damn thing from Iraq

On the contrary. They learned that, via deceptive rhetoric and on false pretenses, they could easily manoeuver the U.S. into fighting a war on behalf of another nation's interests rather than its own, and face no repercussions for committing such treason, no matter how many lives it costs and how much it impoverishes the U.S. (to say nothing of what bloodshed and chaos it will cause in the targeted nation -- because after all, destabilization is the point).

The same thing will happen here. Lesson learned.

Fran Macadam Rod Dreher 8 hours ago ,

There are, as Victoria Nuland put it, 5 billion reasons for backing the CIA-led coup that overthrew an elected government and replaced it with leaders that the she and the rest of the Obama/Clinton State Department chose. It was the Democrats, since the nineties under another Clinton, that decided to move the American military right up to Russia's borders, interfere in the 1996 election to keep the puppet Yeltsin in power, and with Wall Street leaders to pillage the Russian economy with the stated end to break up Russia into smaller satrapies with governments appointed by the IMF.

Did Joe Biden brag about a quid proof not releasing funds to the Ukraine until it ended the probe into Burisma, which was paying son Hunter millions, and dismiss the investigators altogether? Does it turn out Ukrainian power brokers favored under Obama then sought to influence the American elections against Trump, viewed as wanting to make peace with Russia? Yes, and yes.

Augustine 9 hours ago ,

The US are not a democracy, since the people do not rule. Rather, it's an oligarchy, since a few influential groups do get their way all the time. Pamela is just shilling for one of these groups, the war party.

It does not matter who you vote for, you always get John McCain.

GoDawgs912 Rod Dreher 6 hours ago ,

Agreed, I hope the Republicans agree to impeach him immediately after Election Day if he does win (which I think he will due to the opposition candidates). I'd much prefer Mike Pence to represent us than freaking Trump. I voted third party last time, but even as bad as Trump is, he's not nearly as bad as every democratic front runner.

Why the Democratic Party doesn't back Tulsi Gabard is insane, she's the only candidate who everyone could be somewhat happy with.

Taking a "Unity-Party" angle this election and nominating an anti-war military Veteran who's also a super patriotic minority women would absolutely destroy Trump. She's also a religious conservative while simultaneously being a sane social liberal, she satisfies some of the concerns of literally every part of the electorate. A Tulsi Gabard/ Joe Manchin ticket would be an 84 level blowout. A Joe Biden/ Kamala Harris ticket is literally the best thing that has ever happened to Trump. Trump will never beat an actually decent candidate, he occupies the White House because Clinton was the worst candidate in American history. He's (probably) going to win again because his opponents are even more unpopular and incompetent than he is.

ask zippy Rod Dreher 5 hours ago ,

An article from someone I trust on that evidence which is not hearsay would be useful, any chance you would write one? I ask because impeachment is either political or legal. If it's political then it's just the normal noise from D.C., if it's legal then I want legal standards of evidence. The times I've paid attention the "evidence" has been at the level of someone told me they overhead a phone conversation or we all believed this, but Trump directly told me the opposite of what we all believed.

I'm looking for something like saying "I did not have sex with that woman" under oath as evidence of committing perjury.

TomD Rabiner 7 hours ago • edited ,

...OTOH, Trump's move against Hunter Biden could possibly be a "high crime and misdemeanor" worthy of impeachment, but given the existence of Acts of Congress against foreign corrupt practices and the New York Times investigation of Hunter Biden, it becomes hard to untangle Trump's motives. It would seem to be difficult to prove that an impeachable "high crime and misdemeanor" occurred if probable cause for a Hunter Biden investigation existed. If we prove (NOT assume, as the Dems currently are doing) that probable cause did not exist then impeachment would be a slam dunk. If we don't prove that then Trump's impeachment will not be seen as legitimate by large segments of the public. We really are teetering on the edge of something deep here.

Mitch Young Rabiner 6 hours ago ,

You think that finding out what the son of a sitting vice President, a VP who was also 'point man' for Ukraine, was doing getting millions from a corrupt Ukrainian entity is strictly 'personal gain'? You think that looking into Ukrainian influence into our election is 'personal gain'?

Max Rockatansky 9 hours ago ,

Oh the spreading of democracy worldwide nonsense again! Democracies are earned not given, that lesson cost us trillions and in blood! This sycophant also brought up Pres. Trumps son Baron into the proceedings for no good reason but to score points at tea time back at Stanford. What a demagogue.

Loetzen Max Rockatansky 7 hours ago • edited ,

It's always such a lie too, because it's never really about spreading "democracy" -- that is, they don't at all like the spread of true democracy when the people genuinely prefer and vote for Putin, Assad, Orban, etc., to say nothing of when democracy demonstrates the true will of the people in cases such as Brexit.

No, they are only using the mendacious phrase "spreading democracy" as a cover for what they really want to spread: globalist neoliberalism.

Seoulite Max Rockatansky 6 hours ago ,

Democracies are earned not given, that lesson cost us trillions and in blood!

Yes please give us more democracy, so the uniparty can sell our jobs to global capital and our children's future to foreigners. Nations have survived tyranny, despots, and brutal civil wars. It is not at all clear whether the nations of the West will survive your beloved democracy.

Jerry 8 hours ago ,

...Of course, anyone with a brain knows it's not about Ukraine, a country having no bearing at all on the vital interests of the United States. Rather, Ukraine is a handy pretext serving the interests of America's military-industrial complex and the enrichment of our Ruling Class.

... ... ...

sb • 8 hours ago ,

If Trump wanted to prove a really great president, he could forge a peace with Russia (which would entail getting a settlement with Ukraine). It is insane, and only to the benefit of woke liberal capitalists to frame Russia as a permanent enemy. Carving developed nations into 'us vs them', so the liberal elite can divide and rule us. They use this strategy on multiple fronts, to ensure success:

Pragmatically, we will need an alliance with Russia (and possibly with a post-communist China) to stave off the invading colonisers looking to grift a free lunch in the 'rich' west (its only the 1% wealthy in the west who are really rich, not the >90% peasant class), not to mention the ideologically/religiously motivated muslims planning to implement the global sharia subjugation of the pseudo-Christian west demanded in the Koran.

Sadly, Trump does seem to be proving he lacks the organisational skills to drain the swamp - a virtually impossible task for any one person. A 'friendship pact' with Russia (perhaps swapping trade access to US for human rights, democratic and media freedoms in Russia) would be a big step forward to building a united free west. Perhaps bring Poland and Hungary in to to reassure Russia, and strengthen the protections for Christians and traditional family life. But for this to happen Trump needs to have a Secretary of State he trusts heavily.

Fun times to look forward to anyway...

Stefan • 8 hours ago ,

... Signify... whatever, anything, but please not too much thinking. Same with Washington's foreign policy blob. What matters is that the world's is forced to take America's opinions into account, no matter how bone-headed they are. If they put the world on fire that's called collateral damage (Ledeen Doctrine).

jeremyjanson 7 hours ago ,

What I find funniest about this whole "impeachment" shenanigan is how the Democrats honestly think anyone doesn't believe they're guilty of exactly what they're accusing Trump of. All Trump has to do is reveal seven such cases to the American people after this whole shenanigan is over and turn their own words against them and they are THROUGH! This might honestly be the biggest political mistake in the history of our Republic.

Brendan • 7 hours ago ,

The whole thing is nonsense. Democracy is particular to the West, and is frankly innately fragile and dying a proper death -- slowly, mind you, but dying it is, and thankfully so.

The whole Russia situation is hilarious and a thousand percent ideological. I sat next to these same assholes in college in the 1980s as they blithely handwaved "no true Scotsman" type arguments about the Soviet Union, and moral equivalency and so on, and then of course without their precious hearts skipping one single beat, they switched immediately to "Russia is evil and must be stopped at all costs" when Russia emerged with a nationalist/rightist government.

The left is shameless, duplicitous and disingenous in the extreme when it comes to Russia (and frankly anything else). To be honest it was my collegiate experiences in the 1980s, comparing the handwaving garbage with what my own eyes saw in the East Bloc, that made me a lifetime, permanent rightist. The left is bankrupt, full of liars and dissemblers and needs to be stopped at any cost.

Disqus10021 7 hours ago ,

My guess is that Russia has enough nuclear weapons and the capability to launch them at every major city in the US. Vladimir is no drunkard like Boris Yeltsin was. We should not provoke the Russian bear into lashing out at the US. The old Soviet Union lost some 20 million of its citizens in WWII and did the heavy lifting in defeating the Nazis. Hands up if you want to send your 19 year old son to fight the Russians in Sevastopol. Does the average American even know where Sevastopol is? More than likely, a war with Russia would result in the nuclear bombing of New York, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Houston for starters.

SatirevFlesti 7 hours ago ,

I'd highly recommend the films "Ukraine on Fire" and "Revealing Ukraine" (available on Amazon Prime w/o extra rental $) for a good basic primer on the Ukraine over the last 15 years, particularly of US interference and malfeasance in promoting the coup in 2014. And if anyone "interfered" in the 2016 election it wasn't Russia, but the Ukraine, particularly its very pro-Hilary President Poroshenko (illegitimate though he was and remains after the unconstitutional US-backed coup in against Yanukovich in 2014).

NATO should have been moth-balled c. 1992. Instead it is hell-bent on aggressive expansion and antagonizing Russia, for no reason (other than to line the pockets of corrupt US and other officials, "business-men" i.e. oligarchs, etc.).

GoDawgs912 7 hours ago ,

I'm halfway cheering for Russia in their conflict with Ukraine. That's Russia's sphere of influence, Ukraine has no business in the EU or in NATO. Any sane American government would be courting Russia in the new Cold War that's obviously coming with The Chinese Communist Party. Instead we pulled all of the former European countries in the USSR into our sphere of influence. The whole conflict was completely avoidable and is 100% due to America's and Western Europe's dumb actions since the fall of the USSR.

[Dec 06, 2019] Endless War Degrades the Military

Dec 06, 2019 | www.shutterstock.com

krill_makarov/Shutterstock

December 5, 2019

|

12:44 pm

Daniel Larison TAC contributor Gil Barndollar calls attention to the damage that endless war is doing to the military:

The president has been rightly excoriated for these pardons, which dishonor the U.S. military and may degrade good order and discipline. But amid this uproar, Americans should note the bigger lesson: Endless wars, especially endless counterinsurgency or counterterrorism wars, slowly chip away at both a military's ethics and its critical war-fighting skills.

These wars are particularly corrosive because they cannot be conclusively won, and for every enemy that is destroyed it seems as if two or three more appear to replace it. Futile, open-ended wars contribute to breakdowns in discipline. Barndollar continues:

However, keeping their honor clean becomes harder and harder the longer these wars drag on. Wars among the people, as all our endless wars now are, are inherently dirty. When even senior members of the foreign policy establishment concede that we are not seeking victory in Afghanistan, it becomes harder for soldiers to make hollow mission accomplishment a higher priority than self-preservation. Treating U.S. soldiers like victims, as Trump implicitly does, also becomes more common.

When a war cannot be won, the rational thing to do would be to stop fighting it, but instead of doing that our political and military leaders treat endless war as a new normal that must not be questioned. It is bad enough when a government sends its soldiers to fight and die for a cause that it pretends can still be won when that isn't possible, but to keep sending them over and over again into war zones to fight a war they admit is futile has to be discouraging and frustrating. This also has to widen the division between the military and the civilian population. While military personnel are called on to go on multiple tours in pointless conflicts, most people back home mouth empty platitudes about supporting the troops and do nothing to bring the wars to an end. The public's failure to hold our political and military leaders accountable for these failed and unnecessary wars is bound to have corrosive effects as well.

At the same time, these wars degrade the military's ability to fight other adversaries:

Even more serious for American national security is the fact that endless small wars degrade a military's ability to fight and win big wars -- wars that have real consequences for our security and way of life.

Our endless wars have been enormously costly. It is estimated that all of the wars of the last twenty years will end up costing at least $6.4 trillion, and beyond that they have consumed our government's attention and resources to the detriment of everything else. Our political and military leaders perpetuate these wars, and the public has allowed them to do this, because they are still laboring under the faulty assumption that the U.S. is being made more secure in the process. The reality is that endless wars are undermining our security, weakening the military, and creating more enemies. They should be ended responsibly, but they must end. about the author Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC , where he also keeps a solo blog . He has been published in the New York Times Book Review , Dallas Morning News , World Politics Review , Politico Magazine , Orthodox Life , Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week . He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter .

[Dec 06, 2019] In my opinion, Tucker Carlson represents a very real and very active right-libertarian view that has been consistently present within the Republican Party for decades. Anti-war, anti-imperialist, anti-big business/pro-small business, and of course, anti-big union. Robert Taft comes to mind.

Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Fox Blew , December 5, 2019 at 8:19 am

In my opinion, Tucker Carlson represents a very real and very active right-libertarian view that has been consistently present within the Republican Party for decades. Anti-war, anti-imperialist, anti-big business/pro-small business, and of course, anti-big union. Robert Taft comes to mind. I don't share their "ideologies" but as a self-described socialist, I am deeply attracted to their criticisms. And criticisms ARE important and necessary, even if the solutions are left wanting. I dearly hope that his popularity is a sign of the realignment of politics, where issues of class and war become commonplace and issues of "to impeach or not to impeach" fall by the wayside. I recognize that my hopes may not turn to realities.

jrs , December 5, 2019 at 11:57 am

But for an employee it makes no difference if they work for a big or small business (only big business on average is LESS exploitative if anything – if for no other reason but they can afford to be – some of the worst exploitation out there is employees working for small business owners).

Carey , December 5, 2019 at 11:33 pm

That has most emphatically *not* been my experience.
With small business there is someone to talk to / point at.

teacup , December 5, 2019 at 4:04 pm

Exactly, right libertarian. Within the libertarian spectrum there are real and then royal libertarians, Tucker is of the latter. http://geolib.com/essays/sullivan.dan/royallib.html
What are his immigration views? Are people motivated to come here because this global vulture octopus thing has ruined their home market?

[Dec 06, 2019] So now when a President doesn't allow The Blob to dictate Ukraine policy it's an impeachable offense? Really?

Notable quotes:
"... Thanks again for making explicit what I have long known: To America, Ukraine is nothing but a weapon against Russia. The whole point of support for Ukraine is to make Russia bleed—doesn’t matter how many people die or suffer in the process or how much of Ukraine is destroyed. https://twitter.com/BBuchman_CNS/status/1202267180219478024 … ..."
"... So fomenting on a war on Russia's border is, it appears, self-evidently aids our national security. What's next? A war scare? Ramping up MH17? ..."
Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"'Our Democracy Is at Stake.' Pelosi Orders Democrats to Draft Articles of Impeachment Against Trump" [ Time ]. With autoplay video. ""The President abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security by withholding military aid and a crucial Oval Office meeting in exchange for an announcement of an investigation into his political rival." • So now when a President doesn't allow The Blob to dictate Ukraine policy it's an impeachable offense? Really? Yasha Levine quotes Democrat impeachment witness Karlan (see below) but the point is the same:

Yasha Levine ✔ @yashalevine

Thanks again for making explicit what I have long known: To America, Ukraine is nothing but a weapon against Russia. The whole point of support for Ukraine is to make Russia bleed—doesn’t matter how many people die or suffer in the process or how much of Ukraine is destroyed. https://twitter.com/BBuchman_CNS/status/1202267180219478024

So fomenting on a war on Russia's border is, it appears, self-evidently aids our national security. What's next? A war scare? Ramping up MH17?

"Read opening statements from witnesses at the House Judiciary hearing" [ Politico ]. "Democrats' impeachment witnesses at Wednesday's judiciary committee hearing plan to say in their prepared remarks that President Donald Trump's actions toward Ukraine were the worst examples of misconduct in presidential history." • So again, it's all about Ukraine. I feel like I've entered an alternate dimension. Aaron Maté comments:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/GkQDrYr4EZs

My very subjective impression: I've skimmed three, and read Turley. Karlan, in particular, is simply not a serious effort. Turley may be wrong -- a ton of tribal dunking on Twitter -- but at least he's making a serious effort. I'm gonna have to wait to see if somebody, say at Lawfare, does a serious effort on Turley. Everything I've read hitherto is and posturing and preaching to the choir. (Sad that Larry Tribe has so completely discredited himself, but that's where we are.)

While on Turley, see this from his testimony:

Hat tip to alert reader David in Santa Cruz for his early call on "inchoate":

Lambert, while Trump was unable to complete his attempt to extort the President of Ukraine, as someone who practiced the criminal law for 34 years, let me be the first to clue you in to the concept in the criminal law of the inchoate offense . This is criminal law, not contract law.

An inchoate offense includes an attempt, a conspiracy, and the solicitation of a crime. All focus on the state of mind of the perpetrator, and none require that the offense be completed -- only that a person or persons having the required criminal intent took material steps toward completing the crime. Such a person becomes a principal in the contemplated crime, and in the eyes of the law is just as guilty as if he or she had completed the attempted offense.

(The details of Trump's offense differ from what David in Santa Cruz said they would be.) "Inchoate" appears only in Turley's piece, indicating, to me, that his was the only serious effort.

[Dec 04, 2019] Biden is trending steadily (but very slowly) downward. Sanders and Buttigieg are trending up, Sanders slowly and Buttigieg somewhat faster, while Warren is settling back to her long term average after a bump in October

Fake polls, fake trends, fake candidates
Dec 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

ChrisPacific , December 3, 2019 at 3:57 pm

The poll graph without three day averaging is a great visual illustration of the margin of error concept. It's even clear in the averaged version. I guarantee people are NOT changing their minds that fast, and I'm sure all the issues Lambert highlighted are contributing to the inaccuracies.

That said, a few trends are clear. Biden is trending steadily (but very slowly) downward. Sanders and Buttigieg are trending up, Sanders slowly and Buttigieg somewhat faster, while Warren is settling back to her long term average after a bump in October. Harris' decision to withdraw looks like a good one. Undecided numbers are all over the place, and tend to spike up when other lines spike down, so I'm guessing that's down to differing polling methodologies and how hard people are pushed to make a call.

Mo's Bike Shop , December 3, 2019 at 9:04 pm

Are these pollsters reading all twenty names over the telephone? Or is the polled asked to name a candidate? I can't get my head around how to manage a list of this many candidates by voice without 'Name Recognition' being the first choice.

Lambert Strether Post author , December 4, 2019 at 7:17 am

> Are these pollsters reading all twenty names over the telephone?

That's a very good question. Is the list of names so long -- I don't think we've ever had one so long -- that it enables pollsters to game the polls in new ways? Could be such a simple and obvious mode of rigging that we did not see it.

Polling mavens?

dk , December 4, 2019 at 8:34 am

The short answer is yes, the full list of names is read at least once. But the number of candidates can vary between pollsters and polls.

For example in the Dec 1 polls:

HarrisX (C+)
Nov 30 – Dec 1
Sat – Sun
437 Reg'd
National
18 candidate names, plus "Other" and "Unsure" (not present in data source, derived in app)
Details here: https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/472629-bloomberg-overtakes-harris-in-new-poll

Morning Consult (B/C)
Nov 25 – Dec 1
Mon – Sun
15,773 Likely
National
16 candidate names, plus "Someone else" (not present in data source, derived in app)
Details here: https://morningconsult.com/2020-democratic-primary/

The differences are Joe Sestak and Steve Bullock in HarrisX but not MC, going to guess that MC decided not to list them because they dropped, and if they asked the names during the survey their report them in the conveniently names "Someone else" category.

Regarding ChrisPacific's point about Undecideds, yes, this is affected by methodology and whose polls came out on a particular day.

And more generally, we should expect to see noise in this data. These are minuscule samples compared to the actual voting universe of over 65 million. The "Margin of Error" / "Confidence Interval" claims are based on the assumption that all polls are distributed as a uniform bell curve. Arguably useful for getting the noise out of stats for physical observations of mechanical models, but absurd for human polling. Pollsters (who work mostly in marketing) use MoE/CI to convince clients spend money on small polls and then spin out reassuring MoE or CI (which scale to each other, bigger MoE = narrower CI). (Tangentially, on political campaigns, the tactical advantages to be found in population data come from looking into what's happening in the noise, not from smoothing it out and then assessing the distorted surface).

And as in most viscous media, quick changes tend to snap back to origin, slow ones push though. Consider also that a) these candidates are introducing themselves, impressions develop over time, and engagement is still low. Also, the context of US society may be gradually changing, but it would take a sudden shock (like 9/11 at the time) to change the background context and be reflected in a suddenly shift in Dem Primary polls.

anonymous , December 4, 2019 at 9:06 am

I participated in the last Des Moines Register/CNN Iowa poll. The pollster was required to read all of the names, even when I could name one immediately.

The call came on my cell phone from a restricted number. I asked for what company or candidate the poll was being conducted; the interviewer said that she was not given that information, but at the very end I was asked whether I would be willing to talk to a reporter from CNN or the DMR (I declined). She did tell me the research firm for which she worked, which I later saw was the name of the firm that had conducted the poll. When I saw the original release, I wondered whether I was correct that this was the poll, since I remembered a question about my preference for a health care system that wasn't in the original release. That result was released at a later date.
The M4A option for that question was simply M4A, without additional information or qualifiers. I, as is usual for me, couldn't simply answer a multiple choice question, but explained that I supported improved M4A, and that current Medicare is still expensive. The interviewer told me that she herself has trouble affording Medicare, and that she particularly has trouble paying for her medication. (We got a little chatty.)

The research firm was also contacting Republicans. She said that I had been the first Democrat that she had reached that day, and that Republicans got different questions. She did not know whom she was calling and, at the end, asked my first name so that her company could verify that she had reached the right individual.

I'll check back here in case there are any other questions about the poll that I might be able to answer. If anyone is interested in the questions themselves, those are already available online.

Why did I agree to participate? To have my support for Bernie counted, of course!

[Dec 04, 2019] There Has Been No Retrenchment Under Trump

Notable quotes:
"... A more compelling explanation for the persistence of a large global U.S. military footprint, and the concomitant creep of oversees commitments, is to be found in domestic politics. Trump's rhetoric can diverge sharply from reality without consequence because few in his party have an incentive to hold him accountable. In this hyper-polarized political moment, most voters will stick with their party regardless of how many campaign pledges are broken or foreign policy initiatives end in failure. With an all-volunteer military, flattening taxes, and deficit financing, the vast majority of Americans are insulated from the costs of American foreign policy. So long as most Americans want to look tough and influential without paying for it, politicians won't be punished for living in the same fantasy world as voters. ..."
"... The main reason why America's military commitments remain unchanged under Trump may simply be that the president doesn't really want to reduce them. ..."
Dec 04, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

aul MacDonald and Joseph Parent explain in detail that Trump hasn't reduced U.S. military commitments overseas:

But after nearly three years in office, Trump's promised retrenchment has yet to materialize. The president hasn't meaningfully altered the U.S. global military footprint he inherited from President Barack Obama. Nor has he shifted the costly burden of defending U.S. allies. To the contrary, he loaded even greater military responsibilities on the United States while either ramping up or maintaining U.S. involvement in the conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere. On practically every other issue, Trump departed radically from the path of his predecessor. But when it came to troop deployments and other overseas defense commitments, he largely preserved the chessboard he inherited -- promises to the contrary be damned.

MacDonald and Parent's article complements my earlier post about U.S. "global commitments" very nicely. When we look at the specifics of Trump's record, we see that he isn't ending U.S. military involvement anywhere. He isn't bringing anyone home. On the contrary, he has been sending even more American troops to the Middle East just this year alone. While he is being excoriated for withdrawals that never happen, he is maintaining or steadily increasing the U.S. military presence in foreign countries. Many Trump detractors and supporters are so invested in the narrative that Trump is presiding over "withdrawal" that they are ignoring what the president has actually done. Trump's approach to U.S. military involvement might be described as "loudly declaring withdrawal while maintaining or increasing troop levels." Almost everyone pays attention only to his rhetoric about leaving this or that country and treats it as if it is really happening. Meanwhile, the number of military personnel deployed overseas never goes down.

The authors offer a possible explanation for why Trump has been able to get away with this:

A more compelling explanation for the persistence of a large global U.S. military footprint, and the concomitant creep of oversees commitments, is to be found in domestic politics. Trump's rhetoric can diverge sharply from reality without consequence because few in his party have an incentive to hold him accountable. In this hyper-polarized political moment, most voters will stick with their party regardless of how many campaign pledges are broken or foreign policy initiatives end in failure. With an all-volunteer military, flattening taxes, and deficit financing, the vast majority of Americans are insulated from the costs of American foreign policy. So long as most Americans want to look tough and influential without paying for it, politicians won't be punished for living in the same fantasy world as voters.

Trump is further insulated from scrutiny and criticism because he is frequently described as presiding over a "retreat" from the world. Most news reports and commentary pieces reinforce this false impression that Trump seeks to get the U.S. out of foreign entanglements. There are relatively few people pointing out the truth that MacDonald and Parent spell out in their article. The main reason why America's military commitments remain unchanged under Trump may simply be that the president doesn't really want to reduce them.

[Dec 04, 2019] American Pravda the Nature of Anti-Semitism by Ron Unz

Notable quotes:
"... Now consider the notion of "anti-Semitism." Google searches for that word and its close variants reveal over 24 million hits, and over the years I'm sure I've seen that term tens of thousands of times in my books and newspapers, and heard it endlessly reported in my electronic media and entertainment. But thinking it over, I'm not sure that I can ever recall a single real-life instance I've personally encountered, nor have I heard of almost any such cases from my friends or acquaintances. Indeed, the only persons I've ever come across making such claims were individuals who bore unmistakable signs of serious psychological imbalance. When the daily newspapers are brimming with lurid tales of hideous demons walking among us and attacking people on every street corner, but you yourself have never actually seen one, you may gradually grow suspicious. ..."
"... It has also become apparent that a considerable fraction of what passes for "anti-Semitism" these days seems to stretch that term beyond all recognition. A few weeks ago an unknown 28-year-old Democratic Socialist named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez scored a stunning upset primary victory over a top House Democrat in New York City, and naturally received a blizzard of media coverage as a result. However, when it came out that she had denounced the Israeli government for its recent massacre of over 140 unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, cries of "anti-Semite" soon appeared, and according to Google there are now over 180,000 such hits combining her name and that harsh accusatory term. Similarly, just a few days ago the New York Times ran a major story reporting that all of Britain's Jewish newspapers had issued an "unprecedented" denunciation of Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party, describing it as an "existential threat" to the Jewish community for the anti-Semitism it was fostering; but this apparently amounted to nothing more than its willingness to sharply criticize the Israeli government for its long mistreatment of the Palestinians. ..."
Aug 05, 2018 | www.unz.com

I recently published a couple of long essays, and although they primarily focused on other matters, the subject of anti-Semitism was a strong secondary theme. In that regard, I mentioned my shock at discovering a dozen or more years ago that several of the most self-evidently absurd elements of anti-Semitic lunacy, which I had always dismissed without consideration, were probably correct. It does seem likely that a significant number of traditionally-religious Jews did indeed occasionally commit the ritual murder of Christian children in order to use their blood in certain religious ceremonies, and also that powerful Jewish international bankers did play a large role in financing the establishment of Bolshevik Russia .

When one discovers that matters of such enormous moment not only apparently occurred but that they had been successfully excluded from nearly all of our histories and media coverage for most of the last one hundred years, the implications take some time to properly digest. If the most extreme "anti-Semitic canards" were probably true, then surely the whole notion of anti-Semitism warrants a careful reexamination.

All of us obtain our knowledge of the world by two different channels. Some things we discover from our own personal experiences and the direct evidence of our senses, but most information comes to us via external sources such as books and the media, and a crisis may develop when we discover that these two pathways are in sharp conflict. The official media of the old USSR used to endlessly trumpet the tremendous achievements of its collectivized agricultural system, but when citizens noticed that there was never any meat in their shops, "Pravda" became a watchword for "Lies" rather than "Truth."

Now consider the notion of "anti-Semitism." Google searches for that word and its close variants reveal over 24 million hits, and over the years I'm sure I've seen that term tens of thousands of times in my books and newspapers, and heard it endlessly reported in my electronic media and entertainment. But thinking it over, I'm not sure that I can ever recall a single real-life instance I've personally encountered, nor have I heard of almost any such cases from my friends or acquaintances. Indeed, the only persons I've ever come across making such claims were individuals who bore unmistakable signs of serious psychological imbalance. When the daily newspapers are brimming with lurid tales of hideous demons walking among us and attacking people on every street corner, but you yourself have never actually seen one, you may gradually grow suspicious.

Indeed, over the years some of my own research has uncovered a sharp contrast between image and reality. As recently as the late 1990s, leading mainstream media outlets such as The New York Times were still denouncing a top Ivy League school such as Princeton for the supposed anti-Semitism of its college admissions policy, but a few years ago when I carefully investigated that issue in quantitative terms for my lengthy Meritocracy analysis I was very surprised to reach a polar-opposite conclusion. According to the best available evidence, white Gentiles were over 90% less likely to be enrolled at Harvard and the other Ivies than were Jews of similar academic performance, a truly remarkable finding. If the situation had been reversed and Jews were 90% less likely to be found at Harvard than seemed warranted by their test scores, surely that fact would be endlessly cited as the absolute smoking-gun proof of horrendous anti-Semitism in present-day America.

It has also become apparent that a considerable fraction of what passes for "anti-Semitism" these days seems to stretch that term beyond all recognition. A few weeks ago an unknown 28-year-old Democratic Socialist named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez scored a stunning upset primary victory over a top House Democrat in New York City, and naturally received a blizzard of media coverage as a result. However, when it came out that she had denounced the Israeli government for its recent massacre of over 140 unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, cries of "anti-Semite" soon appeared, and according to Google there are now over 180,000 such hits combining her name and that harsh accusatory term. Similarly, just a few days ago the New York Times ran a major story reporting that all of Britain's Jewish newspapers had issued an "unprecedented" denunciation of Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party, describing it as an "existential threat" to the Jewish community for the anti-Semitism it was fostering; but this apparently amounted to nothing more than its willingness to sharply criticize the Israeli government for its long mistreatment of the Palestinians.

One plausible explanation of the strange contrast between media coverage and reality might be that anti-Semitism once did loom very large in real life, but dissipated many decades ago, while the organizations and activists focused on detecting and combating that pernicious problem have remained in place, generating public attention based on smaller and smaller issues, with the zealous Jewish activists of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) representing a perfect example of this situation. As an even more striking illustration, the Second World War ended over seventy years ago, but what historian Norman Finkelstein has so aptly labeled "the Holocaust Industry" has grown ever larger and more entrenched in our academic and media worlds so that scarcely a day passes without one or more articles relating to that topic appearing in my major morning newspapers. Given this situation, a serious exploration of the true nature of anti-Semitism should probably avoid the mere media phantoms of today and focus on the past, when the condition might still have been widespread in daily life.

Many observers have pointed to the aftermath of the Second World War as marking a huge watershed in the public acceptability of anti-Semitism both in America and Europe, so perhaps a proper appraisal of that cultural phenomenon should focus on the years before that global conflict. However, the overwhelming role of Jews in the Bolshevik Revolution and other bloody Communist seizures of power quite naturally made them objects of considerable fear and hatred throughout the inter-war years, so the safest course might be to push that boundary back a little further and confine our attention to the period prior to the outbreak of the First World War. The pogroms in Czarist Russia, the Dreyfus Affair in France, and the lynching of Leo Frank in the American South come to mind as some of the most famous examples from that period.

Lindemann's discussion of the often difficult relations between Russia's restive Jewish minority and its huge Slavic majority is also quite interesting, and he provides numerous instances in which major incidents, supposedly demonstrating the enormously strong appeal of vicious anti-Semitism, were quite different than has been suggested by the legend. The famous Kishinev Pogrom of 1903 was obviously the result of severe ethnic tension in that city, but contrary to the regular accusations of later writers, there seems absolutely no evidence of high-level government involvement, and the widespread claims of 700 dead that so horrified the entire world were grossly exaggerated, with only 45 killed in the urban rioting. Chaim Weizmann, the future president of Israel, later promoted the story that he himself and some other brave Jewish souls had personally defended their people with revolvers in hand even as they saw the mutilated bodies of 80 Jewish victims. This account was totally fictional since Weizmann happened to have been be hundreds of miles away when the riots occurred.

Although a tendency to lie and exaggerate was hardly unique to the political partisans of Russian Jewry, the existence of a powerful international network of Jewish journalists and Jewish-influenced media outlets ensured that such concocted propaganda stories might receive enormous worldwide distribution, while the truth followed far behind, if at all.

For related reasons, international outrage was often focused on the legal confinement of most of Russia's Jews to the "Pale of Settlement," suggesting some sort of tight imprisonment; but that area was the traditional home of the Jewish population and encompassed a landmass almost as large as France and Spain combined. The growing impoverishment of Eastern European Jews during that era was often assumed to be a consequence of hostile government policy, but the obvious explanation was extraordinary Jewish fecundity, which far outstripped that of their Slavic fellow countrymen, and quickly led them to outgrow the available spots in any of their traditional "middleman" occupations, a situation worsened by their total disinclination to engage in agriculture or other primary-producer activities. Jewish communities expressed horror at the risk of losing their sons to the Czarist military draft, but this was simply the flip-side of the full Russian citizenship they had been granted, and no different from what was faced by their non-Jewish neighbors.

Certainly the Jews of Russia suffered greatly from widespread riots and mob attacks in the generation prior to World War I, and these did sometimes have substantial government encouragement, especially in the aftermath of the very heavy Jewish role in the 1905 Revolution. But we should keep in mind that a Jewish plotter had been implicated in the killing of Czar Alexander II, and Jewish assassins had also struck down several top Russian ministers and numerous other government officials. If the last decade or two had seen American Muslims assassinate a sitting U.S. President, various leading Cabinet members, and a host of our other elected and appointed officials, surely the position of Muslims in this country would have become a very uncomfortable one.

As Lindemann candidly describes the tension between Russia's very rapidly growing Jewish population and its governing authorities, he cannot avoid mentioning the notorious Jewish reputation for bribery, corruption, and general dishonesty, with numerous figures of all political backgrounds noting that the remarkable Jewish propensity to commit perjury in the courtroom led to severe problems in the effective administration of justice. The eminent American sociologist E.A. Ross, writing in 1913, characterized the regular behavior of Eastern European Jews in very similar terms .

Lindemann also allocates a short chapter to discussing the 1911 Beilis Affair, in which a Ukrainian Jew was accused of the ritual murder of a young Gentile boy, an incident that generated a great deal of international attention and controversy. Based on the evidence presented, the defendant seems likely to have been innocent, although the obvious lies he repeatedly told police interrogators hardly helped foster that impression, and "the system worked" in that he was ultimately found innocent by the jurors at his trial. However, a few pages are also given to a much less well-known ritual murder case in late 19th century Hungary, in which the evidence of Jewish guilt seemed far stronger, though the author hardly accepted the possible reality of such an outlandish crime. Such reticence was quite understandable since the publication of Ariel Toaff's remarkable volume on the subject was still a dozen years in the future.

Lindemann subsequently expanded his examination of historical anti-Semitism into a much broader treatment, Esau's Tears , which appeared in 1997. In this volume, he added comparative studies of the social landscape in Germany, Britain, Italy, and several other European countries, and demonstrated that the relationship between Jews and non-Jews varied greatly across different locations and time periods. But although I found his analysis quite useful and interesting, the extraordinarily harsh attacks his text provoked from some outraged Jewish academics seemed even more intriguing.

For example, Judith Laikin Elkin opened her discussion in The American Historical Review by describing the book as a "545-page polemic" a strange characterization of a book so remarkably even-handed and factually-based in its scholarship. Writing in Commentary , Robert Wistrich was even harsher, stating that merely reading the book had been a painful experience for him, and his review seemed filled with spittle-flecked rage. Unless these individuals had somehow gotten copies of a different book, I found their attitudes simply astonishing.

I was not alone in such a reaction. Richard S. Levy of the University of Illinois, a noted scholar of anti-Semitism, expressed amazement at Wistrich's seemingly irrational outburst, while Paul Gottfried, writing in Chronicles , mildly suggested that Lindemann had "touched raw nerves." Indeed, Gottfried's own evaluation quite reasonably criticized Lindemann for perhaps being a little too even-handed, sometimes presenting numerous conflicting analyzes without choosing between them. For those interested, a good discussion of the book by Alan Steinweis, a younger scholar specializing in the same topic, is conveniently available online .

The remarkable ferocity with which some Jewish writers attacked Lindemann's meticulous attempt to provide an accurate history of anti-Semitism may carry more significance than merely an exchange of angry words in low-circulation academic publications. If our mainstream media shapes our reality, scholarly books and articles based upon them tend to set the contours of that media coverage. And the ability of a relatively small number of agitated and energetic Jews to police the acceptable boundaries of historical narratives may have enormous consequences for our larger society, deterring scholars from objectively reporting historical facts and preventing students from discovering them.

The undeniable truth is that for many centuries Jews usually constituted a wealthy and privileged segment of the population in nearly all the European countries in which they resided, and quite frequently they based their livelihood upon the heavy exploitation of a downtrodden peasantry. Even without any differences in ethnicity, language, or religion, such conditions almost invariably provoke hostility. The victory of Mao's Communist forces in China was quickly followed by the brutal massacre of a million or more Han Chinese landlords by the Han Chinese poor peasants who regarded them as cruel oppressors, with William Hinton's classic Fanshen describing the unfortunate history that unfolded in one particular village. When similar circumstances led to violent clashes in Eastern Europe between Slavs and Jews, does it really make logical sense to employ a specialized term such as "anti-Semitism" to describe that situation?

Furthermore, some of the material presented in Lindemann's rather innocuous text might also lead to potentially threatening ideas. Consider, for example, the notorious Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion , almost certainly fictional, but hugely popular and influential during the years following World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution. The fall of so many longstanding Gentile dynasties and their replacement by new regimes such as Soviet Russia and Weimar Germany, which were heavily dominated by their tiny Jewish minorities, quite naturally fed suspicions of a worldwide Jewish plot, as did the widely discussed role of Jewish international bankers in producing those political outcomes.

Over the decades, there has been much speculation about the possible inspiration for the Protocols , but although Lindemann makes absolutely no reference to that document, he does provide a very intriguing possible candidate. Jewish-born British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli certainly ranked as one of the most influential figures of the late 19th century, and in his novel Coningsby , he has the character representing Lord Lionel Rothschild boast about the existence of a vast and secret network of powerful international Jews , who stand near the head of almost every major nation, quietly controlling their governments from behind the scenes. If one of the world's most politically well-connected Jews eagerly promoted such notions, was Henry Ford really so unreasonable in doing the same?

Lindemann also notes Disraeli's focus on the extreme importance of race and racial origins, a central aspect of traditional Jewish religious doctrine. He reasonably suggests that this must surely have had a huge influence upon the rise of those political ideas, given that Disraeli's public profile and stature were so much greater than the mere writers or activists whom our history books usually place at center stage. In fact, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, a leading racial theorist, actually cited Disraeli as a key source for his ideas. Jewish intellectuals such as Max Nordau and Cesare Lombroso are already widely recognized as leading figures in the rise of the racial science of that era, but Disraeli's under-appreciated role may have actually been far greater. The deep Jewish roots of European racialist movements are hardly something that many present-day Jews would want widely known.

One of the harsh Jewish critics of Esau's Tears denounced Cambridge University Press for even allowing the book to appear in print, and although that major work is easily available in English, there are numerous other cases where an important but discordant version of historical reality has been successfully blocked from publication. For decades most Americans would have ranked Nobel Laureate Alexander Solzhenitsyn as among the world's greatest literary figures, and his Gulag Archipelago alone sold over 10 million copies. But his last work was a massive two-volume account of the tragic 200 years of shared history between Russians and Jews, and despite its 2002 release in Russian and numerous other world languages, there has yet to be an authorized English translation, though various partial editions have circulated on the Internet in samizdat form.

ORDER IT NOW

At one point, a full English version was briefly available for sale at Amazon.com and I purchased it. Glancing through a few sections, the work seemed quite even-handed and innocuous to me, but it seemed to provide a far more detailed and uncensored account than anything else previously available, which obviously was the problem. The Bolshevik Revolution resulted in the deaths of many tens of millions of people worldwide, and the overwhelming Jewish role in its leadership would become more difficult to erase from historical memory if Solzhenitsyn's work were easily available. Also, his candid discussion of the economic and political behavior of Russian Jewry in pre-revolutionary times directly conflicted with the hagiography widely promoted by Hollywood and the popular media. Historian Yuri Slezkine's award-winning 2004 book The Jewish Century provided many similar facts, but his treatment was far more cursory and his public stature not remotely the same.

Near the end of his life, Solzhenitsyn gave his political blessing to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Russia's leaders honored him upon his death, while his Gulag volumes are now enshrined as mandatory reading in the standard high school curriculum of today's overwhelmingly Christian Russia. But even as his star rose again in his own homeland, it seems to have sharply fallen in our own country, and his trajectory may eventually relegate him to nearly un-person status.

A couple of years after the release of Solzhenitsyn's controversial final book, an American writer named Anne Applebaum published a thick history bearing the same title Gulag , and her work received enormously favorable media coverage and won her a Pulitzer Prize; I have even heard claims that her book has been steadily replacing that earlier Gulag on many college reading lists. But although Jews constituted a huge fraction of the top leadership of the Soviet Gulag system during its early decades, as well as that of the dreaded NKVD which supplied the inmates, nearly her entire focus on her own ethnic group during Soviet times is that of victims rather than victimizers. And by a remarkable irony of fate, she shares a last name with one of the top Bolshevik leaders, Hirsch Apfelbaum, who concealed his own ethnic identity by calling himself Grigory Zinoviev.

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The striking decline in Solzhenitsyn's literary status in the West came just a decade or two after an even more precipitous collapse in the reputation of David Irving , and for much the same reason. Irving probably ranked as the most internationally successful British historian of the last one hundred years and a renowned scholar of World War II, but his extensive reliance on primary source documentary evidence posed an obvious threat to the official narrative promoted by Hollywood and wartime propaganda. When he published his magisterial Hitler's War , this conflict between myth and reality came into the open, and an enormous wave of attacks and vilification was unleashed, gradually leading to his purge from respectability and eventually even his imprisonment.

These important examples may help to explain the puzzling contrast between the behavior of Jews in the aggregate and Jews as individuals. Observers have noticed that even fairly small Jewish minorities may often have a major impact upon the far larger societies that host them. But on the other hand, in my experience at least, a large majority of individual Jews do not seem all that different in their personalities or behavior than their non-Jewish counterparts. So how does a community whose individual mean is not so unusual generate what seems to be such a striking difference in collective behavior? I think the answer may involve the existence of information choke-points, and the ability of relatively small numbers of particularly zealous and agitated Jews in influencing and controlling these.

We live our lives constantly immersed in media narratives, and these allow us to decide the rights and wrongs of a situation. The vast majority of people, Jew and Gentile alike, are far more likely to take strong action if they are convinced that their cause is a just one. This is obviously the basis for war-time propaganda.

Now suppose that a relatively small number of zealous Jewish partisans are known to always attack and denounce journalists or authors who accurately describe Jewish misbehavior. Over time, this ongoing campaign of intimidation may cause many important facts to be left on the cutting-room floor, or even gradually expel from mainstream respectability those writers who refuse to conform to such pressures. Meanwhile, similar small numbers of Jewish partisans frequently exaggerate the misdeeds committed against Jews, sometimes piling their exaggerations upon past exaggerations already produced by a previous round of such zealots.

Eventually, these two combined trends may take a complex and possibly very mixed historical record and transform it into a simple morality-play, with innocent Jews tremendously injured by vicious Jew-haters. And as this morality-play becomes established it deepens the subsequent intensity of other Jewish-activists, who redouble their demands that the media "stop vilifying Jews" and covering up the supposed evils inflicted upon them. An unfortunate circle of distortion following exaggeration following distortion can eventually produce a widely accepted historical account that bears little resemblance to the reality of what actually happened.

So as a result, the vast majority of quite ordinary Jews, who would normally behave in quite ordinary ways, are misled by this largely fictional history, and rather understandably become greatly outraged at all the horrible things that had been done to their suffering people, some of which are true and some of which are not, while remaining completely ignorant of the other side of the ledger.

Furthermore, this situation is exacerbated by the common tendency of Jews to "cluster" together, perhaps respresenting just one or two percent of the total population, but often constituting 20% or 40% or 60% of their immediate peer-group, especially in certain professions. Under such conditions, the ideas or emotional agitation of some Jews probably permeates others around them, often provoking additional waves of indignation.

As a rough analogy, a small quantity of uranium is relatively inert and harmless, and entirely so if distributed within low-density ore. But if a significant quantity of weapons-grade uranium is sufficiently compressed, then the neutrons released by fissioning atoms will quickly cause additional atoms to undergo fission, with the ultimate result of that critical chain-reaction being a nuclear explosion. In similar fashion, even a highly agitated Jew may have no negative impact, but if the collection of such agitated Jews becomes too numerous and clusters together too closely, they may work each other into a terrible frenzy, perhaps with disastrous consequences both for themselves and for their larger society. This is especially true if those agitated Jews begin to dominate certain key nodes of top-level control, such as the central political or media organs of a society.

Whereas most living organizations exist solely in physical reality, human beings also occupy an ideational space, with the interaction of human consciousness and perceived reality playing a major role in shaping behavior. Just as the pheromones released by mammals or insects can drastically affect the reactions of their family members or nest-mates, the ideas secreted by individuals or the media-emitters of a society can have an enormous impact upon their fellows.

A cohesive, organized group generally possesses huge advantages over a teeming mass of atomized individuals, just as a Macedonian Phalanx could easily defeat a vastly larger body of disorganized infantry. Many years ago, on some website somewhere I came across a very insightful comment regarding the obvious connection between "anti-Semitism" and "racism," which our mainstream media organs identify as two of the world's greatest evils. Under this analysis, "anti-Semitism" represents the tendency to criticize or resist Jewish social cohesion, while "racism" represents the attempt of white Gentiles to maintain a similar social cohesion of their own. To the extent that the ideological emanations from our centralized media organs serve to strengthen and protect Jewish cohesion while attacking and dissolving any similar cohesion on the part of their Gentile counterparts, the former will obviously gain enormous advantages in resource-competition against the latter.

Religion obviously constitutes an important unifying factor in human social groups and we cannot ignore the role of Judaism in this regard. Traditional Jewish religious doctrine seems to consider Jews as being in a state of permanent hostility with all non-Jews , and the use of dishonest propaganda is an almost inevitable aspect of such conflict. Furthermore, since Jews have invariably been a small political minority, maintaining such controversial tenets required the employment of a massive framework of subterfuge and dissimulation in order to conceal their nature from the larger society surrounding them. It has often been said that truth is the first casualty in war, and surely the cultural influences of over a thousand years of such intense religious hostility may continue to quietly influence the thinking of many modern Jews, even those who have largely abandoned their religious beliefs.

The notorious Jewish tendency to shamelessly lie or wildly exaggerate has sometimes had horrifying human consequences. I very recently discovered a fascinating passage in Peter Moreira's 2014 book The Jew Who Defeated Hitler: Henry Morgenthau Jr., FDR, and How We Won the War , focused on the important political role of that powerful Secretary of the Treasury.

A turning point in Henry Morgenthau Jr.'s relationship with the Jewish community came in November 1942, when Rabbi Stephen Wise came to the corner office to tell the secretary what was happening in Europe. Morgenthau knew of the millions of deaths and the lampshades made from victims' skin, and he asked Wise not to go into excessive details. But Wise went on to tell of the barbarity of the Nazis, how they were making soap out of Jewish flesh. Morgenthau, turning paler, implored him, "Please, Stephen, don't give me the gory details." Wise went on with his list of horrors and Morgenthau repeated his plea over and over again. Henrietta Klotz was afraid her boss would keel over. Morgenthau later said the meeting changed his life.

It is easy to imagine that Morgenthau's gullible acceptance of such obviously ridiculous war-time atrocity stories played a major role when he later lent his name and support to remarkably brutal American occupation policies that probably led to the postwar deaths of many millions of innocent German civilians .

[Dec 04, 2019] Ukrainegaters claim that Trump Reduced the USA empire 'Global Commitments' was fraudulent from the very beginning. Trump is yet another imperial president who favours the "Full spectrum Dominance; The problem is that the time when the USA can have it are in the past. Europe finally recovered from WWII losses and that alone dooms the idea

Highly recommended!
Pelosi interference in elections might cost democrats a victory. She enraged Trump base and strengthened Trump, who before was floundering. Now election changed into "us vs them" question, which is very unfavorable to neoliberal Dems. as neolibelism as ideology is dead. She also brought back Trump some independents who othersie would stay home or vote for Dem candidate. No action of House of Representatives can changes this. Bringing Vindman and Fiona Hill to testify were huge blunders as they enhance the narrative that the Deep State, unaccountable Security Establishment, controls the government, to which Trump represents very weak, but still a challenge. As such they strengthened Trump
Essentially Dems had driven themselves into a trap. Moreover actions of the Senate can drag democrats in dirt till the elections, diminishing their chances further and firther. Can you image the effect if Schiff would be called testify under oath about his contacts with Ciaramella? Or Biden questioning about his dirty dealing with both Yanukovich administration and Provisional Government after the 2014 coup d'état (aka EuroMaydan, aka "the Revolution of dignity" ?
Notable quotes:
"... It is true that both Obama and Trump have been falsely accused of presiding over "withdrawal" and "retreat." In Obama's case, Republican hawks made this false claim so that they could attack a fantasy version of Obama's record instead of arguing against the real one. Members of the foreign policy establishment have been warning about Trump's supposed "isolationism" for four years and it still hasn't shown up. Both presidents have been criticized in such similar ways despite conducting significantly different foreign policies because these are the automatic, knee-jerk criticisms that pundits and analysts use to criticize a president. ..."
"... Because there is a strong bias in favor of "action" and "leadership," the only way most of these people know how to attack a president is to say that he is "failing" to "lead" and is guilty of "inaction." It doesn't matter if it makes sense or matches the facts. It is the safe, Blobby way to complain about a president's foreign policy without suggesting that you think there is something wrong with the underlying assumptions about the U.S. role in the world. Instead of challenging the presidents on their real records, it is easier to condemn non-existent "isolationism" and pretend that presidents that maintain or increase U.S. involvement overseas are reducing it. ..."
"... We should debate whether U.S. commitments overseas need to be reduced, but we really have to stop pretending that the U.S. has been reducing those commitments when it has actually been adding to them. ..."
Dec 04, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Originally from: The U.S. Has Not Reduced Its 'Global Commitments' The American Conservative by Daniel Larison

Gideon Rachman tries to find similarities between the foreign policies of Trump and Obama:

Both men would detest the thought. But, in crucial respects, the foreign policies of Donald Trump and Barack Obama are looking strikingly similar.

The wildly different styles of the two presidents have disguised the underlying continuities between their approaches to the world. But look at substance, rather than style, and the similarities are impressive.

There is usually considerable continuity in U.S. foreign policy from one president to another, but Rachman is making a stronger and somewhat different claim than that. He is arguing that their foreign policy agendas are very much alike in ways that put both presidents at odds with the foreign policy establishment, and he cites "disengagement from the Middle East" and a "pivot to Asia" as two examples of these similarities. This seems superficially plausible, but it is misleading. Despite talking a lot about disengagement, Obama and Trump chose to keep the U.S. involved in several conflicts, and Trump actually escalated the wars he inherited from Obama. To the extent that there is continuity between Obama and Trump, it has been that both of them have acceded to the conventional wisdom of "the Blob" and refused to disentangle the U.S. from Middle Eastern conflicts. Ongoing support for the war on Yemen is the ugliest and most destructive example of this continuity.

In reality, neither Obama nor Trump "focused" on Asia, and Trump's foray into pseudo-engagement with North Korea has little in common with Obama's would-be "pivot" or "rebalance." U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership was a major part of Obama's policy in Asia. Trump pulled out of that agreement and waged destructive trade wars instead. Once we get past generalizations and look at details, the two presidents are often diametrically opposed to one another in practice. That is what one would expect when we remember that Trump has made dismantling Obama's foreign policy achievements one of his main priorities.

The significant differences between the two become much more apparent when we look at other issues. On arms control and nonproliferation, the two could not be more different. Obama negotiated a new arms reduction treaty with New START at the start of his presidency, and he wrapped up a major nonproliferation agreement with Iran and the other members of the P5+1 in 2015. Trump reneged on the latter and seems determined to kill the former. Obama touted the benefits of genuine diplomatic engagement, while Trump has made a point of reversing and undoing most of the results of Obama's engagement with Cuba and Iran. Trump's overall hostility to genuine diplomacy makes another one of Rachman claims quite baffling:

The result is that, after his warlike "fire and fury" phase, Mr Trump is now pursuing a diplomacy-first strategy that is strongly reminiscent of Mr Obama.

Calling Trump's clumsy pattern of making threats and ultimatums a "diplomacy-first strategy" is a mistake. This is akin to saying that he is adhering to foreign policy restraint because the U.S. hasn't invaded any new countries on Trump's watch. It takes something true (Trump hasn't started a new war yet) and misrepresents it as proof that the president is serious about diplomacy and that he wants to reduce U.S. military engagement overseas. Trump enjoys the spectacle of meeting with foreign leaders, but he isn't interested in doing the work or taking the risks that successful diplomacy requires. He has shown repeatedly through his own behavior, his policy preferences, and his proposed budgets that he has no use for diplomacy or diplomats, and instead he expects to be able to bully or flatter adversaries into submission.

So Rachman is simply wrong he reaches this conclusion:

Mr Trump's reluctance to attack Iran was significant. It underlines the fact that his tough-guy rhetoric disguises a strong preference for diplomacy over force.

Let's recall that the near-miss of starting a war with Iran came as a result of the downing of an unmanned drone. The fact that the U.S. was seriously considering an attack on another country over the loss of a drone is a worrisome sign that this administration is prepared to go to war at the drop of a hat. Calling off such an insane attack was the right thing to do, but there should never have been an attack to call off. That episode does not show a "strong preference for diplomacy over force." If Trump had a strong preference for diplomacy over force, his policy would not be one of relentless hostility towards Iran. Trump does not believe in diplomatic compromise, but expects the other side to capitulate under pressure. That actually makes conflict more likely and reduces the chances of meaningful negotiations.

It is true that both Obama and Trump have been falsely accused of presiding over "withdrawal" and "retreat." In Obama's case, Republican hawks made this false claim so that they could attack a fantasy version of Obama's record instead of arguing against the real one. Members of the foreign policy establishment have been warning about Trump's supposed "isolationism" for four years and it still hasn't shown up. Both presidents have been criticized in such similar ways despite conducting significantly different foreign policies because these are the automatic, knee-jerk criticisms that pundits and analysts use to criticize a president.

Because there is a strong bias in favor of "action" and "leadership," the only way most of these people know how to attack a president is to say that he is "failing" to "lead" and is guilty of "inaction." It doesn't matter if it makes sense or matches the facts. It is the safe, Blobby way to complain about a president's foreign policy without suggesting that you think there is something wrong with the underlying assumptions about the U.S. role in the world. Instead of challenging the presidents on their real records, it is easier to condemn non-existent "isolationism" and pretend that presidents that maintain or increase U.S. involvement overseas are reducing it.

Rachman ends his column with this assertion:

In their very different ways, both Mr Obama and Mr Trump have reduced America's global commitments -- and adjusted the US to a more modest international role.

The problem here is that there has been no meaningful reduction in America's "global commitments." Which commitments have been reduced or eliminated? It would be helpful if someone could be specific about this. The U.S. has more security dependents today than it did when Trump took office. NATO has been expanded to include two new countries in just the last three years. U.S. troops are engaged in hostilities in just as many countries as they were when Trump was elected. There are more troops deployed to the Middle East at the end of this year than there were at the beginning, and that is a direct consequence of Trump's bankrupt Iran policy.

We should debate whether U.S. commitments overseas need to be reduced, but we really have to stop pretending that the U.S. has been reducing those commitments when it has actually been adding to them.

[Dec 04, 2019] America's War Exceptionalism Is Killing the Planet by William Astore

Highly recommended!
Our leaders like to say we value human rights around the world, but what they really manifest is greed. It all makes sense in a Gekko- or Machiavellian kind of way.
Highly recommended !
Notable quotes:
"... Think of this as the new American exceptionalism. In Washington, war is now the predictable (and even desirable) way of life, while peace is the unpredictable (and unwise) path to follow. In this context, the U.S. must continue to be the most powerful nation in the world by a country mile in all death-dealing realms and its wars must be fought, generation after generation, even when victory is never in sight. And if that isn't an "exceptional" belief system, what is? ..."
"... A partial list of war's many uses might go something like this: war is profitable , most notably for America's vast military-industrial complex ; war is sold as being necessary for America's safety, especially to prevent terrorist attacks; and for many Americans, war is seen as a measure of national fitness and worthiness, a reminder that "freedom isn't free." In our politics today, it's far better to be seen as strong and wrong than meek and right. ..."
"... If America's wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen prove anything, it's that every war scars our planet -- and hardens our hearts. Every war makes us less human as well as less humane. Every war wastes resources when these are increasingly at a premium. Every war is a distraction from higher needs and a better life. ..."
"... I think that the main reason of the current level of militarism in the USA foreign policy is that after dissolution of the USSR neo-conservatives were allowed to capture the State Department and foreign policy establishment. This process actually started under Reagan. During Bush II administration those “crazies from the basement” fully controlled the US foreign policy and paradoxically they continued to dominate in Obama administration too. ..."
"... Which also means that the USA foreign policy is not controlled by the elected officials but by the “Deep State” (look at Vindman and Fiona Hill testimonies for the proof). So this is kind of Catch 22 in which the USA have found itself. We will be bankrupted by our neoconservative foreign establishment (which self-reproduce in each and every administration). And we can do nothing to avoid it. ..."
"... they are not only lobbyists for MIC, but they also serve as "ideological support", trying to manipulate public opinion in favor of militarism. ..."
"... Yes. Ideology is vital. During the Cold War it was all about containing/resisting/defeating the godless Communists. Once they were defeated, what then? We heard brief talk about a "peace dividend," but then the neocons came along, selling full-spectrum dominance and America as the sole superpower. ..."
"... The neocons were truly unleashed by the 9/11 attacks, which they exploited to put their vision in motion. The Complex was only too happy to oblige, fed as it was by massive resources. ..."
"... Leaving that specific incident aside, the bigger picture is that the brains behind the Deep State understand that global capitalism is running out of new resources (which includes human labor) to exploit. Why is the US so concerned with Africa right now, with spies and Special Forces operatives all over that continent? Africa is the final frontier for development/exploitation. (The US is also deeply concerned about China's setting down business roots there, and wants to counterbalance their activities.) ..."
"... The brains in the US Ruling Class know full well that natural resources will become ever more valuable moving forward, as weather disasters make it harder to access them. Thus, the Neo-Cons (you thought I'd never get around to them, right?) came to the fore because they advocate the unbridled use of brute military force to obtain what they want from the world. Or, to use their own terminology, the US "must have the capability to project force anywhere on the planet" at a moment's notice. President Obama was fully in agreement with that concept. Beware the wolf masquerading as a peaceable sheep! ..."
Dec 02, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By William Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF) and history professor. His personal blog is Bracing Views . Originally published at TomDispatch

Ever since 2007, when I first started writing for TomDispatch , I've been arguing against America's forever wars, whether in Afghanistan , Iraq , or elsewhere . Unfortunately, it's no surprise that, despite my more than 60 articles, American blood is still being spilled in war after war across the Greater Middle East and Africa, even as foreign peoples pay a far higher price in lives lost and cities ruined . And I keep asking myself: Why, in this century, is the distinctive feature of America's wars that they never end? Why do our leaders persist in such repetitive folly and the seemingly eternal disasters that go with it?

Sadly, there isn't just one obvious reason for this generational debacle. If there were, we could focus on it, tackle it, and perhaps even fix it. But no such luck.

So why do America's disastrous wars persist ? I can think of many reasons , some obvious and easy to understand, like the endless pursuit of profit through weapons sales for those very wars, and some more subtle but no less significant, like a deep-seated conviction in Washington that a willingness to wage war is a sign of national toughness and seriousness. Before I go on, though, here's another distinctive aspect of our forever-war moment: Have you noticed that peace is no longer even a topic in America today? The very word, once at least part of the rhetoric of Washington politicians, has essentially dropped out of use entirely. Consider the current crop of Democratic candidates for president. One, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, wants to end regime-change wars, but is otherwise a self-professed hawk on the subject of the war on terror. Another, Senator Bernie Sanders, vows to end " endless wars " but is careful to express strong support for Israel and the ultra-expensive F-35 fighter jet.

The other dozen or so tend to make vague sounds about cutting defense spending or gradually withdrawing U.S. troops from various wars, but none of them even consider openly speaking of peace . And the Republicans? While President Trump may talk of ending wars, since his inauguration he's sent more troops to Afghanistan and into the Middle East, while greatly expanding drone and other air strikes , something about which he openly boasts .

War, in other words, is our new normal, America's default position on global affairs, and peace, some ancient, long-faded dream. And when your default position is war, whether against the Taliban, ISIS, "terror" more generally, or possibly even Iran or Russia or China , is it any surprise that war is what you get? When you garrison the world with an unprecedented 800 or so military bases , when you configure your armed forces for what's called power projection, when you divide the globe -- the total planet -- into areas of dominance (with acronyms like CENTCOM, AFRICOM, and SOUTHCOM) commanded by four-star generals and admirals, when you spend more on your military than the next seven countries combined, when you insist on modernizing a nuclear arsenal (to the tune of perhaps $1.7 trillion ) already quite capable of ending all life on this and several other planets, what can you expect but a reality of endless war?

Think of this as the new American exceptionalism. In Washington, war is now the predictable (and even desirable) way of life, while peace is the unpredictable (and unwise) path to follow. In this context, the U.S. must continue to be the most powerful nation in the world by a country mile in all death-dealing realms and its wars must be fought, generation after generation, even when victory is never in sight. And if that isn't an "exceptional" belief system, what is?

If we're ever to put an end to our country's endless twenty-first-century wars, that mindset will have to be changed. But to do that, we would first have to recognize and confront war's many uses in American life and culture.

War, Its Uses (and Abuses)

A partial list of war's many uses might go something like this: war is profitable , most notably for America's vast military-industrial complex ; war is sold as being necessary for America's safety, especially to prevent terrorist attacks; and for many Americans, war is seen as a measure of national fitness and worthiness, a reminder that "freedom isn't free." In our politics today, it's far better to be seen as strong and wrong than meek and right.

As the title of a book by former war reporter Chris Hedges so aptly put it , war is a force that gives us meaning. And let's face it, a significant part of America's meaning in this century has involved pride in having the toughest military on the planet, even as trillions of tax dollars went into a misguided attempt to maintain bragging rights to being the world's sole superpower.

And keep in mind as well that, among other things, never-ending war weakens democracy while strengthening authoritarian tendencies in politics and society. In an age of gaping inequality , using up the country's resources in such profligate and destructive ways offers a striking exercise in consumption that profits the few at the expense of the many.

In other words, for a select few, war pays dividends in ways that peace doesn't. In a nutshell, or perhaps an artillery shell, war is anti-democratic, anti-progressive, anti-intellectual, and anti-human. Yet, as we know, history makes heroes out of its participants and celebrates mass murderers like Napoleon as "great captains."

What the United States needs today is a new strategy of containment -- not against communist expansion, as in the Cold War, but against war itself. What's stopping us from containing war? You might say that, in some sense, we've grown addicted to it , which is true enough, but here are five additional reasons for war's enduring presence in American life:

The delusional idea that Americans are, by nature, winners and that our wars are therefore winnable: No American leader wants to be labeled a "loser." Meanwhile, such dubious conflicts -- see: the Afghan War, now in its 18th year, with several more years, or even generations , to go -- continue to be treated by the military as if they were indeed winnable, even though they visibly aren't. No president, Republican or Democrat, not even Donald J. Trump, despite his promises that American soldiers will be coming home from such fiascos, has successfully resisted the Pentagon's siren call for patience (and for yet more trillions of dollars) in the cause of ultimate victory, however poorly defined, farfetched, or far-off. American society's almost complete isolation from war's deadly effects: We're not being droned (yet). Our cities are not yet lying in ruins (though they're certainly suffering from a lack of funding, as is our most essential infrastructure , thanks in part to the cost of those overseas wars). It's nonetheless remarkable how little attention, either in the media or elsewhere, this country's never-ending war-making gets here. Unnecessary and sweeping secrecy: How can you resist what you essentially don't know about? Learning its lesson from the Vietnam War, the Pentagon now classifies (in plain speak: covers up) the worst aspects of its disastrous wars. This isn't because the enemy could exploit such details -- the enemy already knows! -- but because the American people might be roused to something like anger and action by it. Principled whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning have been imprisoned or otherwise dismissed or, in the case of Edward Snowden, pursued and indicted for sharing honest details about the calamitous Iraq War and America's invasive and intrusive surveillance state. In the process, a clear message of intimidation has been sent to other would-be truth-tellers. An unrepresentative government: Long ago, of course, Congress ceded to the presidency most of its constitutional powers when it comes to making war. Still, despite recent attempts to end America's arms-dealing role in the genocidal Saudi war in Yemen (overridden by Donald Trump's veto power), America's duly elected representatives generally don't represent the people when it comes to this country's disastrous wars. They are, to put it bluntly, largely captives of (and sometimes on leaving politics quite literally go to work for) the military-industrial complex. As long as money is speech ( thank you , Supreme Court!), the weapons makers are always likely to be able to shout louder in Congress than you and I ever will. \ America's persistent empathy gap. Despite our size, we are a remarkably insular nation and suffer from a serious empathy gap when it comes to understanding foreign cultures and peoples or what we're actually doing to them. Even our globetrotting troops, when not fighting and killing foreigners in battle, often stay on vast bases, referred to in the military as "Little Americas," complete with familiar stores, fast food, you name it. Wherever we go, there we are, eating our big burgers, driving our big trucks, wielding our big guns, and dropping our very big bombs. But what those bombs do, whom they hurt or kill, whom they displace from their homes and lives, these are things that Americans turn out to care remarkably little about.

All this puts me sadly in mind of a song popular in my youth, a time when Cat Stevens sang of a " peace train " that was "soundin' louder" in America. Today, that peace train's been derailed and replaced by an armed and armored one eternally prepared for perpetual war -- and that train is indeed soundin' louder to the great peril of us all.

War on Spaceship Earth

Here's the rub, though: even the Pentagon knows that our most serious enemy is climate change , not China or Russia or terror, though in the age of Donald Trump and his administration of arsonists its officials can't express themselves on the subject as openly as they otherwise might. Assuming we don't annihilate ourselves with nuclear weapons first, that means our real enemy is the endless war we're waging against Planet Earth.

The U.S. military is also a major consumer of fossil fuels and therefore a significant driver of climate change. Meanwhile, the Pentagon, like any enormously powerful system, only wants to grow more so, but what's welfare for the military brass isn't wellness for the planet.

There is, unfortunately, only one Planet Earth, or Spaceship Earth, if you prefer, since we're all traveling through our galaxy on it. Thought about a certain way, we're its crewmembers, yet instead of cooperating effectively as its stewards, we seem determined to fight one another. If a house divided against itself cannot stand, as Abraham Lincoln pointed out so long ago, surely a spaceship with a disputatious and self-destructive crew is not likely to survive, no less thrive.

In other words, in waging endless war, Americans are also, in effect, mutinying against the planet. In the process, we are spoiling the last, best hope of earth: a concerted and pacific effort to meet the shared challenges of a rapidly warming and changing planet.

Spaceship Earth should not be allowed to remain Warship Earth as well, not when the existence of significant parts of humanity is already becoming ever more precarious. Think of us as suffering from a coolant leak, causing cabin temperatures to rise even as food and other resources dwindle . Under the circumstances, what's the best strategy for survival: killing each other while ignoring the leak or banding together to fix an increasingly compromised ship?

Unfortunately, for America's leaders, the real "fixes" remain global military and resource domination, even as those resources continue to shrink on an ever-more fragile globe. And as we've seen recently, the resource part of that fix breeds its own madness, as in President Trump's recently stated desire to keep U.S. troops in Syria to steal that country's oil resources, though its wells are largely wrecked (thanks in significant part to American bombing) and even when repaired would produce only a miniscule percentage of the world's petroleum.

If America's wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen prove anything, it's that every war scars our planet -- and hardens our hearts. Every war makes us less human as well as less humane. Every war wastes resources when these are increasingly at a premium. Every war is a distraction from higher needs and a better life.

Despite all of war's uses and abuses, its allures and temptations, it's time that we Americans showed some self-mastery (as well as decency) by putting a stop to the mayhem. Few enough of us experience "our" wars firsthand and that's precisely why some idealize their purpose and idolize their practitioners. But war is a bloody, murderous mess and those practitioners, when not killed or wounded, are marred for life because war functionally makes everyone involved into a murderer.

We need to stop idealizing war and idolizing its so-called warriors. At stake is nothing less than the future of humanity and the viability of life, as we know it, on Spaceship Earth.

likbez December 2, 2019 at 3:17 AM

I think that the main reason of the current level of militarism in the USA foreign policy is that after dissolution of the USSR neo-conservatives were allowed to capture the State Department and foreign policy establishment. This process actually started under Reagan. During Bush II administration those “crazies from the basement” fully controlled the US foreign policy and paradoxically they continued to dominate in Obama administration too.

They preach “Full Spectrum Dominance” (Wolfowitz doctrine) and are not shy to unleash the wars to enhance the USA strategic position in particular region (color revolution can be used instead of war, like they in 2014 did in Ukraine). Of course, being chichenhawks, neither they nor members of their families fight in those wars.

For some reason despite his election platform Trump also populated his administration with neoconservatives. So it might be that maintaining the USA centered global neoliberal empire is the real reason and the leitmotiv of the USA foreign policy. that’s why it does not change with the change of Administration: any government that does not play well with the neoliberal empire gets in the hairlines.

Which also means that the USA foreign policy is not controlled by the elected officials but by the “Deep State” (look at Vindman and Fiona Hill testimonies for the proof). So this is kind of Catch 22 in which the USA have found itself. We will be bankrupted by our neoconservative foreign establishment (which self-reproduce in each and every administration). And we can do nothing to avoid it.

wjastore says: December 2, 2019 at 8:09 AM
Good point. But why the rise of the neocons? Why did they prosper? I'd say because of the military-industrial complex. Or you might say they feed each other, but the Complex came first. And of course the Complex is a dominant part of the Deep State. How could it not be? Add in 17 intelligence agencies, Homeland Security, the Energy Dept's nukes, and you have a dominant DoD that swallows up more than half of federal discretionary spending each year.
likbez December 2, 2019 at 12:09 PM
I agree, but it is a little bit more complex. You need an ideology to promote the interests of MIC. You can't just say -- let's spend more than a half of federal discretionary spending each year..

That's where neo-conservatism comes into play. So they are not only lobbyists for MIC, but they also serve as "ideological support", trying to manipulate public opinion in favor of militarism.

wjastore December 2, 2019 at 12:25 PM

Yes. Ideology is vital. During the Cold War it was all about containing/resisting/defeating the godless Communists. Once they were defeated, what then? We heard brief talk about a "peace dividend," but then the neocons came along, selling full-spectrum dominance and America as the sole superpower.

The neocons were truly unleashed by the 9/11 attacks, which they exploited to put their vision in motion. The Complex was only too happy to oblige, fed as it was by massive resources.

Think about how no one was punished for the colossal intelligence failure of 9/11. Instead, all the intel agencies were rewarded with more money and authority via the PATRIOT Act.

The Afghan war is an ongoing disaster, the Iraq war a huge misstep, Libya a total failure, yet the Complex has even more Teflon than Ronald Reagan. All failures slide off of it.

greglaxer , December 2, 2019 at 4:12 PM

There is a still bigger picture to consider in all this. I don't want to open the door to conspiracy theory–personally, I find the claim that explosives were placed inside the World Trade Center prior to the strikes by aircraft on 9/11 risible–but it certainly was convenient for the Regime Change Gang that the Saudi operatives were able to get away with what they did on that day, and in preparations leading up to it.

Leaving that specific incident aside, the bigger picture is that the brains behind the Deep State understand that global capitalism is running out of new resources (which includes human labor) to exploit. Why is the US so concerned with Africa right now, with spies and Special Forces operatives all over that continent? Africa is the final frontier for development/exploitation. (The US is also deeply concerned about China's setting down business roots there, and wants to counterbalance their activities.)

Once the great majority of folks in Africa have cellphones and subscriptions to Netflix whither capitalism? Trump denies the severity of the climate crisis because that is part of the ideology/theology of the GOP.

The brains in the US Ruling Class know full well that natural resources will become ever more valuable moving forward, as weather disasters make it harder to access them. Thus, the Neo-Cons (you thought I'd never get around to them, right?) came to the fore because they advocate the unbridled use of brute military force to obtain what they want from the world. Or, to use their own terminology, the US "must have the capability to project force anywhere on the planet" at a moment's notice. President Obama was fully in agreement with that concept. Beware the wolf masquerading as a peaceable sheep!

[Dec 02, 2019] The cost of militarism cannot be measured only in lost opportunities, lives and money. There will be a long hangover of shame

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "The cost cannot be measured only in lost opportunities, lives and money. There will be a long hangover of shame. Its essence was summed up by Col. Ted Westhusing, an Army scholar of military ethics who was an innocent witness to corruption, not a participant, when he died at age 44 of a gunshot wound to the head while working for Gen. David Petraeus training Iraqi security forces in Baghdad in 2005. He was at the time the highest-ranking officer to die in Iraq." ..."
"... " 'I cannot support a msn that leads to corruption, human rights abuse and liars,' Colonel Westhusing wrote, abbreviating the word mission. 'I am sullied.' " ..."
www.theamericanconservative.com

Michael N. Moore , says: at 12:13 pm

In my opinion the most under-reported event of the Iraq war was the suicide of military Ethicist Colonel Ted Westhusing. It was reported at the end of a Frank Rich column that appeared in the NY Times of 10-21-2007:

"The cost cannot be measured only in lost opportunities, lives and money. There will be a long hangover of shame. Its essence was summed up by Col. Ted Westhusing, an Army scholar of military ethics who was an innocent witness to corruption, not a participant, when he died at age 44 of a gunshot wound to the head while working for Gen. David Petraeus training Iraqi security forces in Baghdad in 2005. He was at the time the highest-ranking officer to die in Iraq."

"Colonel Westhusing's death was ruled a suicide, though some believe he was murdered by contractors fearing a whistle-blower, according to T. Christian Miller, the Los Angeles Times reporter who documents the case in his book "Blood Money."

Either way, the angry four-page letter the officer left behind for General Petraeus and his other commander, Gen. Joseph Fil, is as much an epitaph for America's engagement in Iraq as a suicide note."

" 'I cannot support a msn that leads to corruption, human rights abuse and liars,' Colonel Westhusing wrote, abbreviating the word mission. 'I am sullied.' "

Michael N. Moore , says: February 13, 2013 at 2:46 pm
As per the request of James Canning for more information on Col. Ted Westhusing, please see:

http://www.correntewire.com/a_disturbing_suicide_note_from_iraq

Or the book "Blood Money" by T. Christian Miller

thefatefullightning , says: June 4, 2013 at 1:09 pm
"The tiny pink candies at the bottom of the urinals are reserved for Field Grade and Above." --sign over the urinals in the "O" Club at Tan Son Nhut Airbase, 1965.

Now that sentiment, is Officer-on-Officer. The same dynamic tension exists throughout all Branches and ranks.

My background includes a Combat Infantry Badge and a record of having made Spec Four , two times. If you don't know what that means, stop reading here.

I feel that no one should be promoted E-5 or O-4, if they are to command men in battle, unless they have had that life experience themselves. It becomes virgins instructing on sexual etiquette.

Within the ranks, there exists a disdain for officers, in general. Some officers overcome this by their actions, but the vast majority cement that assessment the same way.
What makes the thing run is the few officers who are superior human beings, and the NCOs who are of that same tribe. And there is a love there, from top to bottom and bottom to top, a brotherhood of warriors which the civilian population will forever try to discern, parse and examine to their lasting frustration and ignorance.

It is the spirit of this nation [Liberty, e pluribus unum and In God We Trust ] that is the binding filament of it all. The civilians responsible for the welfare of the armed services need to be more fully aware of that spirit and they need to bring it into the air-conditioned offices they inhabit when they make decisions about men who know sacrifice.

Terrence Zehrer , says: July 15, 2013 at 12:48 pm
But the Pentagon is excellent at what it does – extort money from the US taxpayer. I call it treason.

"Massive military budgets erode the economic foundation on which true national security is dependent."

– Dwight Eisenhower

[Dec 02, 2019] A bunch of neocons in key positions in Trump administration really represents a huge threat to world peace

Notable quotes:
"... No. My point was it's very misleading. Misleading to set the parameters of discussion on U.S. posture toward Russia in such a way as to assume that Putin's actions against a purported Russian "democracy" have anything at all to do with USian antagonism of Russia. I'm sure you'll note current U.S. military cooperation with that boisterous hotbed of democratic activity, Saudi Arabia, in Yemen. Our allies in the house of Saud require help in defending their democratic way of life against the totalitarianism of Yemeni tribes, you see. The U.S. opposes anti-democratic forces whenever and where ever it can, especially in the Middle East. I guess that explains USian antipathy to Russia. ..."
Oct 28, 2016 | crookedtimber.org
Howard Frank in this blog provides a good example of Vichy left thinking...

Howard Frant 10.26.16 at 6:19 am 73

Stephen @58

Howard Frant 10.26.16 at 6:19 am ( )

Stephen @58

Yes, it was late and I was tired, or I wouldn't have said something so foolish. Still, the point is that after centuries of constant war, Europe went 70 years without territorial conquest. That strikes me as a significant achievement, and one whose breach should not be taken lightly.

phenomenal cat @64

So democratic structures have to be robust and transparent before we care about them? I'd give a pretty high value to an independent press and contested elections. Those have been slowly crushed in Russia. The results for transparency have not been great. Personally, I don't believe that Ukraine is governed by fascists, or that Ukraine shot down that jetliner, but I'm sure a lot of Russians do.

Russian leaders have always complained about "encirclement," but we don't have to believe them. Do you really believe Russia's afraid of an attack from Estonia? Clearly what Putin wants is to restore as much of the old Soviet empire as possible. Do you think the independence of the Baltic states would be more secure or less secure if they weren't members of NATO? (Hint: compare to Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova.)

phenomenal cat 10.26.16 at 6:55 pm 84

"So democratic structures have to be robust and transparent before we care about them?"

No. My point was it's very misleading. Misleading to set the parameters of discussion on U.S. posture toward Russia in such a way as to assume that Putin's actions against a purported Russian "democracy" have anything at all to do with USian antagonism of Russia. I'm sure you'll note current U.S. military cooperation with that boisterous hotbed of democratic activity, Saudi Arabia, in Yemen. Our allies in the house of Saud require help in defending their democratic way of life against the totalitarianism of Yemeni tribes, you see. The U.S. opposes anti-democratic forces whenever and where ever it can, especially in the Middle East. I guess that explains USian antipathy to Russia.

"I'd give a pretty high value to an independent press and contested elections."

Yeah, it'd be interesting to see what the U.S. looked like with those dynamics in place.

"Those have been slowly crushed in Russia. The results for transparency have not been great."

If you say so. For now I'll leave any decisions or actions taken on these outcomes to Russian citizens. I would, however, kindly tell Victoria Nuland and her ilk to fuck off with their senile Cold War fantasies, morally bankrupt, third-rate Great Game machinations, and total spectrum dominance sociopathy.

"Personally, I don't believe that Ukraine is governed by fascists, or that Ukraine shot down that jetliner, but I'm sure a lot of Russians do."

There's definitely some of 'em hanging about, but yeah it mostly seems to be a motley assortment of oligarchs, gangsters, and grifters tied into international neoliberal capital and money flows. No doubt Russian believe a lot things. I find Americans tend to believe a lot things as well.

[Dec 02, 2019] The Vichy left – essentially people who are ready to sacrifice all principles to ensure their own prosperity

Notable quotes:
"... Pretty consistent, I agree. IMHO Sanjait might belong to the category that some people call the "Vichy left" – essentially people who are ready to sacrifice all principles to ensure their 'own' prosperity and support the candidate who intends to protect it, everybody else be damned. ..."
"... Very neoliberal approach if you ask me. Ann Rand would probably be proud for this representative of "creative class". ..."
"... Essentially the behavior that we've had for the last 8 years with the king of "bait and switch". ..."
Oct 24, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

Sanjait -> Sandwichman ... October 24, 2016 at 10:35 AM

Some paranoid claptrap to go along with your usual anti intellectualism.

Interestingly, with your completely unrelated non sequitur, you've actually illustrated something that does relate to Krugmans post. Namely that there are wingnuts among us. They've taken over the Republican Party, but the left has some too. Fortunately though the Democratic Party hasn't been taken over by them yet, and is still mostly run by grown ups.

Sandwichman -> Sanjait... , October 24, 2016 at 10:42 AM

I am confident that what you say here is consistent with your methods and motivations.
likbez -> Sandwichman ...
"I am confident that what you say here is consistent with your methods and motivations."

Pretty consistent, I agree. IMHO Sanjait might belong to the category that some people call the "Vichy left" – essentially people who are ready to sacrifice all principles to ensure their 'own' prosperity and support the candidate who intends to protect it, everybody else be damned.

Very neoliberal approach if you ask me. Ann Rand would probably be proud for this representative of "creative class".

Essentially the behavior that we've had for the last 8 years with the king of "bait and switch".

[Dec 02, 2019] The Clintons And Soros were behind Russiagate and now most probably they are behind Ukraingate by Wayne Madsen

Ukrainegate has definite signs of Soros funded operation
Notable quotes:
"... America's globalists and interventionists are already pushing the meme that because so many establishment and entrenched national security and military "experts" opposed Trump's candidacy, Trump is "required" to call on them to join his administration because there are not enough such "experts" among Trump's inner circle of advisers. ..."
"... Discredited neo-conservatives from George W. Bush's White House, such as Iraq war co-conspirator Stephen Hadley, are being mentioned as someone Trump should have join his National Security Council and other senior positions. George H. W. Bush's Secretary of State James Baker, a die-hard Bush loyalist, is also being proffered as a member of Trump's White House team. ..."
"... There is absolutely no reason for Trump to seek the advice from old Republican fossils like Baker, Hadley, former Secretaries of State Rice and Powell, the lunatic former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, and others. There are plenty of Trump supporters who have a wealth of experience in foreign and national security matters, including those of African, Haitian, Hispanic, and Arab descent and who are not neocons, who can fill Trump's senior- and middle-level positions. ..."
"... Trump must distance himself from sudden well-wishing neocons, adventurists, militarists, and interventionists and not permit them to infest his administration. ..."
"... PNAC: Project for New American Century. The main neocon lobby, it focused first on invading Iraq. Founded 1997, by William Kristol & Robert Kagan. First action: open letter to Clinton advocating Iraq war. Members in the Iraq-War clique: Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith, BOLTON, Libby, Abrams, Wurmser, Perle. ..."
"... HE PROMISED he would appoint a special prosecutor, PROMISED... ..."
"... Trump should reverse the McCain Feingold bill. That would take some wind out of Soros' sails, at least temporarily because that was Soros' bill. He wanted campaign finance reform which actually meant that he wanted to control campaign finance through 501C3 groups, or foundations such as Open Society, Moveon.org, Ella Baker society, Center for American progress, etc. He has a massive web of these organizations and they fund smaller ones and all kinds of evil. ..."
"... Tyler, please rerun this! How George Sorros destroys countries, profits from currency trading, convinces the countries to privatize its assets, buys them and then sells them for yet another profit: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-08/how-george-soros-singlehandedly... ..."
"... We know so little about Trump ... he's neoCon friendly to start with (remember he hired neoCon Grandee James Woolsey as an advisor)... and remember too Trump is promising his own war against Iran ... ..."
"... JFK was gunned down in front of the whole world. ..."
"... If Trump really is a nationalist patriot he'll need to innoculate the Population about the Deep State... they in turn will unleash financial disintegration and chaos, a Purple Revolution and then assassinate Trump (or have his own party impeach him) ..."
"... Organizing a means to receive the protestors' complaints may co-opt any organized effort to disrupt good political interaction and it will also separate out the bad elements cited by Madsen. ..."
"... AMERICAN SPRING: She practiced overseas in Tunisia, Algeria, Oman, Jordan, Libya, Egypt... Now it's time to apply the knowledge in her own country! ..."
"... Really good chance these subversive operations will continue. Soros has plenty of money ..."
Nov 12, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
Submitted by Wayne Madsen via Strategic-Culture.org,

Defeated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton is not about to "go quietly into that good night". On the morning after her surprising and unanticipated defeat at the hands of Republican Party upstart Donald Trump, Mrs. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, entered the ball room of the art-deco New Yorker hotel in midtown Manhattan and were both adorned in purple attire. The press immediately noticed the color and asked what it represented. Clinton spokespeople claimed it was to represent the coming together of Democratic "Blue America" and Republican "Red America" into a united purple blend. This statement was a complete ruse as is known by citizens of countries targeted in the past by the vile political operations of international hedge fund tycoon George Soros.

The Clintons, who both have received millions of dollars in campaign contributions and Clinton Foundation donations from Soros, were, in fact, helping to launch Soros's "Purple Revolution" in America. The Purple Revolution will resist all efforts by the Trump administration to push back against the globalist policies of the Clintons and soon-to-be ex-President Barack Obama. The Purple Revolution will also seek to make the Trump administration a short one through Soros-style street protests and political disruption.

It is doubtful that President Trump's aides will advise the new president to carry out a diversionary criminal investigation of Mrs. Clinton's private email servers and other issues related to the activities of the Clinton Foundation, especially when the nation faces so many other pressing issues, including jobs, immigration, and health care. However, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said he will continue hearings in the Republican-controlled Congress on Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and Mrs. Clinton's aide Huma Abedin . President Trump should not allow himself to be distracted by these efforts. Chaffetz was not one of Trump's most loyal supporters.

America's globalists and interventionists are already pushing the meme that because so many establishment and entrenched national security and military "experts" opposed Trump's candidacy, Trump is "required" to call on them to join his administration because there are not enough such "experts" among Trump's inner circle of advisers.

Discredited neo-conservatives from George W. Bush's White House, such as Iraq war co-conspirator Stephen Hadley, are being mentioned as someone Trump should have join his National Security Council and other senior positions. George H. W. Bush's Secretary of State James Baker, a die-hard Bush loyalist, is also being proffered as a member of Trump's White House team.

There is absolutely no reason for Trump to seek the advice from old Republican fossils like Baker, Hadley, former Secretaries of State Rice and Powell, the lunatic former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, and others. There are plenty of Trump supporters who have a wealth of experience in foreign and national security matters, including those of African, Haitian, Hispanic, and Arab descent and who are not neocons, who can fill Trump's senior- and middle-level positions.

Trump must distance himself from sudden well-wishing neocons, adventurists, militarists, and interventionists and not permit them to infest his administration. If Mrs. Clinton had won the presidency, an article on the incoming administration would have read as follows:

"Based on the militarism and foreign adventurism of her term as Secretary of State and her husband Bill Clinton's two terms as president, the world is in store for major American military aggression on multiple fronts around the world. President-elect Hillary Clinton has made no secret of her desire to confront Russia militarily, diplomatically, and economically in the Middle East, on Russia's very doorstep in eastern Europe, and even within the borders of the Russian Federation. Mrs. Clinton has dusted off the long-discredited 'containment' policy ushered into effect by Professor George F. Kennan in the aftermath of World War. Mrs. Clinton's administration will likely promote the most strident neo-Cold Warriors of the Barack Obama administration, including Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, a personal favorite of Clinton".

President-elect Trump cannot afford to permit those who are in the same web as Nuland, Hadley, Bolton, and others to join his administration where they would metastasize like an aggressive form of cancer. These individuals would not carry out Trump's policies but seek to continue to damage America's relations with Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, and other nations.

Not only must Trump have to deal with Republican neocons trying to worm their way into his administration, but he must deal with the attempt by Soros to disrupt his presidency and the United States with a Purple Revolution

No sooner had Trump been declared the 45th president of the United States, Soros-funded political operations launched their activities to disrupt Trump during Obama's lame-duck period and thereafter. The swiftness of the Purple Revolution is reminiscent of the speed at which protesters hit the streets of Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, in two Orange Revolutions sponsored by Soros, one in 2004 and the other, ten years later, in 2014.

As the Clintons were embracing purple in New York, street demonstrations, some violent, all coordinated by the Soros-funded Moveon.org and "Black Lives Matter", broke out in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Oakland, Nashville, Cleveland, Washington, Austin, Seattle, Philadelphia, Richmond, St. Paul, Kansas City, Omaha, San Francisco, and some 200 other cities across the United States.

The Soros-financed Russian singing group "Pussy Riot" released on YouTube an anti-Trump music video titled "Make America Great Again". The video went "viral" on the Internet. The video, which is profane and filled with violent acts, portrays a dystopian Trump presidency. Following the George Soros/Gene Sharp script to a tee, Pussy Riot member Nadya Tolokonnikova called for anti-Trump Americans to turn their anger into art, particularly music and visual art. The use of political graffiti is a popular Sharp tactic. The street protests and anti-Trump music and art were the first phase of Soros's Purple Revolution in America.

President-elect Trump is facing a two-pronged attack by his opponents. One, led by entrenched neo-con bureaucrats, including former Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency director Michael Hayden, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, and Bush family loyalists are seeking to call the shots on who Trump appoints to senior national security, intelligence, foreign policy, and defense positions in his administration. These neo-Cold Warriors are trying to convince Trump that he must maintain the Obama aggressiveness and militancy toward Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and other countries. The second front arrayed against Trump is from Soros-funded political groups and media. This second line of attack is a propaganda war, utilizing hundreds of anti-Trump newspapers, web sites, and broadcasters, that will seek to undermine public confidence in the Trump administration from its outset.

One of Trump's political advertisements, released just prior to Election Day, stated that George Soros, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, and Goldman Sachs chief executive officer Lloyd Blankfein, are all part of "a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities". Soros and his minions immediately and ridiculously attacked the ad as "anti-Semitic". President Trump should be on guard against those who his campaign called out in the ad and their colleagues. Soros's son, Alexander Soros, called on Trump's daughter, Ivanka, and her husband Jared Kushner, to publicly disavow Trump. Soros's tactics not only seek to split apart nations but also families. Trump must be on guard against the current and future machinations of George Soros, including his Purple Revolution.

Pinto Currency nmb Nov 11, 2016 8:37 PM ,

Purple must be the color of pedophiles.

Soros, Clintons, Podestas, amd apparently Obama are all into it as we are learning from Comet Ping Pong scandal:

https://i.sli.mg/ayI6QF.jpg

https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/comments/5b1qtf/comet_ping_pong_pizz...

https://dcpizzagate.wordpress.com/

https://i.redd.it/3l20mhvrxtvx.png

http://investmentwatchblog.com/breaking-from-the-anon-who-brought-you-th...

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=a1c_1478546206

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/04/the-strange-case-of-gord...

http://www.newsdailystudio.com/2016/11/05/bill-clinton-wasnt-the-only-on...

Keep your eye on Jared Kushner, who is Trump's son-in-law. He refused to have his newspaper the NY Observer endorse Trump. That is not a good sign.

MalteseFalcon Pinto Currency Nov 11, 2016 8:39 PM ,
"It is doubtful that President Trump's aides will advise the new president to carry out a diversionary criminal investigation of Mrs. Clinton's private email servers and other issues related to the activities of the Clinton Foundation, especially when the nation faces so many other pressing issues, including jobs, immigration, and health care."

None of those "pressing issues" involve the DOJ or the FBI.

Investigate, prosecute and jail Hillary Clinton and her crew.

Trump is going to need a hostage or two to deal with these fucks.

If he doesn't, they will deal with him.

letsit Occident Mortal Nov 11, 2016 8:45 PM ,
Netanyahu, the greatest neocon of all, endorsed Trump. All TRUE neocons love Trump.

https://biblicisminstitute.wordpress.com/views-of-news/#trumpmeans

Husk-Erzulie nmewn Nov 12, 2016 9:48 AM ,
Big series of protests being planned. Recruiting ads in Craigslist nationwide. Purple ties and dresses all over MSM this morning.

This is when the Purple Hats, Flags, Balloons start coming out.

Kill it before it grows.

https://twitter.com/AustinChas/status/797445221122506752

any_mouse californiagirl Nov 12, 2016 2:54 AM ,
Purple and royalty? Purple in Rome?

News for the Clintons, The R's and D's already united to vote against Hillary.

I do not understand why they think street protests will bring down a POTUS? And that would be acceptable in a major nation.

Why isn't the government cracking down the separatists in Oregon, California, and elsewhere? They are not accepting the legal outcome of an election. They are calling for illegal secession. (Funny in 1861 this was a cause for the federal government to attack the joint and seveal states of the union.) If a group of whites had protested Obama's election in 2008?

The people living in Kalispell are reviled and ridiculed for their separatist views. Randy Weaver and family for not accepting politically correct views. And so on.

This is getting out of hand. There will be no walking this back.

Erek any_mouse Nov 12, 2016 7:47 AM ,
Purple is the color of royalty!

Are these fuckers proclaiming themselves as King and Queen of America?

If so, get the executioner and give them a "French Haircut"!

X_in_Sweden Grimaldus Nov 12, 2016 10:58 AM ,
You say
Grimaldus ,

"Yes. And who are the neocons really? Progressives. Neocon is a label successfully used by criminal progressives to shield their brand."

Well let's go a little bit deeper in examing the 'who' thing:

"The neoconservative movement, which is generally perceived as a radical (rather than "conservative") Republican right, is, in reality, an intellectual movement born in the late 1960s in the pages of the monthly magazine Commentary , a media arm of the American Jewish Committee , which had replaced the Contemporary Jewish Record in 1945. The Forward , the oldest American Jewish weekly, wrote in a January 6th, 2006 article signed Gal Beckerman: " If there is an intellectual movement in America to whose invention Jews can lay sole claim, neoconservatism is it.... "

From the article By Laurent Guyénot ,

*Who Are The Neoconservatives?*

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article35106.htm

Are you connecting the dots.......folks......?

. . . _ _ _ . . . Bendromeda Strain Nov 11, 2016 11:04 PM ,

Great avatar!

GROWTH IS THE ULTIMATE PONZI SCHEME

Lavada Chupacabra-322 Nov 12, 2016 10:41 AM ,
The idea of arresting the Clinton Crime, Fraud and Crime Family would be welcomed. BUT, who is going to arrest them? Loretta Lynch, James Comey, WHO? The problem here is that our so called "authorities" are all in the same bed. The tentacles of the Eastern Elite Establishment are everywhere in high office, academia, the media, Big Business, etc. The swamp is thoroughly infested with this elite scum of those in the Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg Group, Chatham House, Club of Rome, Committee of 300, Jason Society and numerous other private clubs of the rich, powerful and influential. The Illuminati has been exposed, however they aren't going down lightly. They still have massive amounts of money, they own the media and the banking houses. Some have described it as MIMAC, the Military Industrial Media Academic Complex. A few months ago here at Zero Hedge, there was an article which showed a massive flow chart of the elites and their organization

They could IF and WHEN Trump gets to Washington after 20 Jan 2017, simply implode the economy and blame t it on Trump. Sort of what happened to Herbert Hoover in the late 1920's. Unfortunately the situation in the US will continue to deteriorate. George Soros, a major financial backer of Hillary will see to that. Soros is a Globalist and advocate of one world government. People comment that Soros should be arrested. I agree, BUT who is going to do that?

Grimaldus ShortCommonSense Nov 12, 2016 9:12 AM ,
Agree. I think Trump will yank all the "aid" to Israel as well as "aid" to the Islamic murderers of the Palitrashian human garbage infesting the area. This "aid" money is simply a bribe to keep both from killing each other. F**k all of them. None of our business what they do.

We got progressives ( lots and lots of Jews in that group) who are the enemy of mankind and then we got Islam who are also the enemy of mankind. Why help either of them? Makes no sense.

Wile-E-Coyote Bastiat Nov 12, 2016 5:35 AM ,
How come Soros never got picked up by Mossad for war crimes against his own people?

And if he is such a subversive shit why hasn't a government given him a Polonium 210 enema.

Martian Moon Wile-E-Coyote Nov 12, 2016 8:13 AM ,
Always wondered about that

Soros is hated in Israel and has never set foot there but his foundations have done such harm that a bill was recently passed to ban foreign funding of non profit political organizations

Chupacabra-322 RopeADope Nov 11, 2016 9:03 PM ,
The fact that we all have to worry about the CIA killing a President Elect simply because the man puts America first, really says it all.

The Agency is Cancer. Why are we even waiting for them to kill another one of our people to act? There should be no question about the CIA's future in the US.

Dissolved & dishonored. Its members locked away or punished for Treason. Their reputation is so bad and has been for so long, that the fact that you joined them should be enough to justify arrest and Execution for Treason, Crimes Against Humanity & Crimes Against The American People.

King Tut Chupacabra-322 Nov 11, 2016 9:11 PM ,
JFK made the mistake of publicly stating his intention of smashing the CIA instead of just doing it quickly and quietly
Chupacabra-322 King Tut Nov 11, 2016 9:30 PM ,
There are entirely way too many Intelligence Agencies. Plus the Contractors, some of who shouldn't have high level clearance to begin with which the US sub contracts the Intel / work out to.

For Fucks sake, Government is so incompetent it can't even handle it own Intel.

Something along the lines of Eurpoe's Five Eyes would be highly effective.

Fuck those Pure Evil Psychopaths at the CIA They're nothing more than a bunch of Scum Fuck murdering, drug running, money laundering Global Crime Syndicate.

HowdyDoody Chupacabra-322 Nov 11, 2016 10:59 PM ,
Five Eyes isn't European, it is US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. If you note carefully, the NSA etc think we can't count.
chubbar Pinto Currency Nov 11, 2016 8:46 PM ,
The FBI is still investigating the Clinton Foundation, Trump needs to encourage that through backdoor channels. Soro's needs to be investigated, he has been tied to a conspiracy to incite violence, this needs to be documented and dealt with. Trump can not ignore this guy. If any of these investigations come back with a recommendation to indict then that process needs to be started. Take the fight to them, they are vulnerable!
Chupacabra-322 chubbar Nov 11, 2016 9:12 PM ,
Make a National APB Warrent for the apprehension & arrest of George Sooros for inciting violence, endsrgerimg the public & calling for the murder of our Nations Police through funding of the BLM Group.

Have every Law Informent Agency in the Nation on alert. Also, issue a Bounty in the Sum of $5,000,000 for his immediate apprehension.

kwc chubbar Nov 12, 2016 4:50 AM ,
Trump needs to replace FBI chickenshits & sellouts with loyal people then get the FBI counter-terrorism to investigate and shut down Soros & the various agencies instigating the riots. It's really simple when you quit over-thinking a problem. It's domestic terrorism. It's the FBI's job to stop it.
Laddie nmb Nov 11, 2016 8:43 PM ,
I read what Paul said this morning and thought, despite Paul's hostility to Trump during the primaries most likely due to his son, Rand's loss, that Paul gave good advice to Trump.
Let's face it Donald Trump is a STOP GAP measure. And demographic change over the next 4 years makes his re-election very, very UNLIKELY. If he keeps his campaign promises he will be a GREAT president. However as ZH reported earlier he appears to be balking from repealing Obamacare, I stress the word APPEARS.

Let us give him a chance. This is all speculation. His enemies are DEADLY as they were once they got total control in Russia, they killed according to Solzhenitsyn SIXTY-SIX MILLION Russian Christians. The descendants of those Bolsheviks are VERY powerful in the USSA. They control the Fed, Hollyweird, Wall Street, the universities...

Professor Kevin MacDonald's 'The Culture of Critique' Reviewed

Like the South Africans the Tribe TALKED us out of our nation.

Mechanisms for Cuckservatives and Other Misguided White People by Dr. Kevin MacDonald September 22, 2016

Much of the media and advertising exist by pushing buttons that trigger appropriate financially lucrative reflexes in their audiences, from pornography to romantic movies to team sports. Media profits are driven by competition over how best to push those buttons. But the effort to produce politically and racially cuckolded Whites adds a layer of complexity: What buttons do you push to make Whites complicit in their own racial and cultural demise?

Actually, there are a whole lot of them, which shouldn't be surprising. This is a very sophisticated onslaught, enabled by control over all the moral, intellectual, and political high ground by the left. With all that high ground, there are a lot of buttons you can push.

Our enemies see this as a pathetic last gasp of a moribund civilization and it is quite true for our civilization is dying. Identity Christians describe this phase as Jacob's Troubles and what the secular Guillaume Faye would, I think, describe as the catastrophe required to get people motivated. The future has yet to be written, however I cannot help but think that God's people, the White people, are stirring from their slumber.

King Tut Laddie Nov 11, 2016 8:49 PM ,
See: The Wrath of the Awakened Saxon- Rudyard Kipling
Paul Kersey -> Paul Kersey Nov 11, 2016 8:20 PM ,
"PNAC: Project for New American Century. The main neocon lobby, it focused first on invading Iraq. Founded 1997, by William Kristol & Robert Kagan. First action: open letter to Clinton advocating Iraq war. Members in the Iraq-War clique: Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith, BOLTON, Libby, Abrams, Wurmser, Perle.

JINSA, The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. "explaining the link between U.S. national security and Israel's security" Served on JINSA's Advisory Board: Cheney, Wolfowitz, Feith, BOLTON, Perle."

Mini-Me Nov 11, 2016 8:18 PM ,
If Trump has probable cause on the Soros crimes, have his DoJ request a warrant for all of Soros's communications via the NSA, empanel a grand jury, indict the bastard, and throw his raggedy ass in prison. It would be hard for him to run his retarded purple revolution when he's getting ass-raped by his cell mate.
Hurricane Baby -> Mini-Me Nov 11, 2016 8:41 PM ,
I agree. Thing is, I think as president he can simply order the NSA to cough up whatever they have, just like Obama could have done at any point. The NSA is part of the Defense Department, right? What am I missing here?
Dilluminati Nov 11, 2016 8:26 PM ,
Funny: Clinton swears Comey did her in and the DNC blames arrogant Hillary.

http://www.usnews.com/news/the-run-2016/articles/2016-11-11/dnc-staff-ar...

But in respect to Soro's money and the Dalas shooting or other incited events, there should be a grand jury empanelled and then charges brought against him. I think nothing short of him hiding in an embassy with all his money blocked by Swift is justice for the violence that he funded.

... ... ...

Skiprrrdog Nov 11, 2016 8:57 PM ,
It is doubtful that President Trump's aides will advise the new president to carry out a diversionary criminal investigation of Mrs. Clinton's private email servers and other issues related to the activities of the Clinton Foundation, especially when the nation faces so many other pressing issues, including jobs, immigration, and health care. However, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said he will continue hearings in the Republican-controlled Congress on Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and Mrs. Clinton's aide Huma Abedin. President Trump should not allow himself to be distracted by these efforts. Chaffetz was not one of Trump's most loyal supporters.

And so it begins; I really hope that this is just some misinformation/disinformation, because HE PROMISED he would appoint a special prosecutor, PROMISED...

johnwburns Nov 11, 2016 9:10 PM ,
The likes of Bill Kristol, Ben Shapiro and Jonah Goldberg get to catch up on their Torah for the forseeable future but the likes of Lloyd Blankfein will probably get to entertain the court since they have probably crossed paths doing business in NYC. The "real conservative" deeply introspective, examine-my-conscience crowd screwed themselves to the wall, god love them.
Ms No Nov 11, 2016 9:05 PM ,
Trump should reverse the McCain Feingold bill. That would take some wind out of Soros' sails, at least temporarily because that was Soros' bill. He wanted campaign finance reform which actually meant that he wanted to control campaign finance through 501C3 groups, or foundations such as Open Society, Moveon.org, Ella Baker society, Center for American progress, etc. He has a massive web of these organizations and they fund smaller ones and all kinds of evil.
Rebel yell Nov 11, 2016 9:36 PM ,
Tyler, please rerun this! How George Sorros destroys countries, profits from currency trading, convinces the countries to privatize its assets, buys them and then sells them for yet another profit: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-08/how-george-soros-singlehandedly...
Posa Nov 12, 2016 10:25 AM ,
We know so little about Trump ... he's neoCon friendly to start with (remember he hired neoCon Grandee James Woolsey as an advisor)... and remember too Trump is promising his own war against Iran ... (just in case you confused him with Mother Theresa).. But then again JFK took office with a set of initiatives that were far more bellicose and provocative (like putting huge Jupiter missile launchers on the USSR border in Turkey)... once he saw he light and fired the pro Nazi Dulles Gang , JFK was gunned down in front of the whole world.

If Trump really is a nationalist patriot he'll need to innoculate the Population about the Deep State... they in turn will unleash financial disintegration and chaos, a Purple Revolution and then assassinate Trump (or have his own party impeach him)

I'm guessing though that deep down Trump is quite comfortable with a neoCon cabinet... hell he already offered Jamie Diamon the office of Treasry Secretary... no doubt a calculated gesture to signal compliance with the Deep State.

rocknrollinhone... Nov 11, 2016 9:59 PM ,
Soros is heavily invested in the globalist agenda. Wouldn't be surprised if they don't take a shot at assassinating Trump.
bsdetector Nov 11, 2016 11:10 PM ,
The Clintons do not do things by accident. Coordination of colors at the concession speech was meant for something. Perhaps the purple revolution or maybe they want to be seen as royals. It doesn't really matter why they did it; the fact is they are up to something. They will not agree to go away and even if they offered to just disappear with their wealth we know they are dishonest. They will come back... that is what they do.

They must be stripped of power and wealth. This act must be performed publicly.

In order to succeed Mr. Trump I suggest you task a group to accomplish this result. Your efforts to make America great again may disintegrate just like Obamacare if you allow the Clintons and Co. to languish in the background.

bsdetector Nov 12, 2016 12:06 AM ,
The protestors are groups of individuals who may seek association for any number of reasons. One major reason might be the loss of hope for a meaningful and prosperous life. We should seek out and listen to the individuals within these groups. If they are truly desirous of being heard they will communicate what they want without use of violence. Perhaps individuals join these protest groups because they do not have a voice.

Organizing a means to receive the protestors' complaints may co-opt any organized effort to disrupt good political interaction and it will also separate out the bad elements cited by Madsen.

The articles reporting that Mr. Trump has changed his response to the protestors is a good effort to discover the protestors' complaints and channel their energy into beneficial political activity. Something must be done quickly though, before the protests get out of hand, for if that happens the protestors will be criminals and no one will want to work with them.

In order to make America great again we need input from all of America. Mr. Trump you can harness the energy of these protestors and let them know they are a part of your movement.

Batman11 -> Batman11 Nov 12, 2016 3:09 AM ,
Classical economists are experts on today's capitalism, it is 18th and 19th Century capitalism, it's how it all started.

Adam Smith would think we are on the road to ruin.

"But the rate of profit does not, like rent and wages, rise with the prosperity and fall with the declension of the society. On the contrary, it is naturally low in rich and high in poor countries, and it is always highest in the countries which are going fastest to ruin."

Exactly the opposite of today's thinking, what does he mean?

When rates of profit are high, capitalism is cannibalizing itself by:

1) Not engaging in long term investment for the future

2) Paying insufficient wages to maintain demand for its products and services.

Got that wrong as well.

Adam Smith wouldn't like today's lobbyists.

"The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it."

OH NO, It's ALL WRONG

dogismycopilot Nov 12, 2016 5:39 AM ,
First five minutes of Alex Jones' video today is clips of people saying "Donald Trump will never be president". Full Show - Soros-Funded Goons Deployed to Overthrow America - 11/11/2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPH26ohO_DY

CoCosAB Nov 12, 2016 7:04 AM ,
AMERICAN SPRING: She practiced overseas in Tunisia, Algeria, Oman, Jordan, Libya, Egypt... Now it's time to apply the knowledge in her own country!

lakecity55 -> CoCosAB •Nov 12, 2016 7:53 AM

Really good chance these subversive operations will continue. Soros has plenty of money. Trump will have to do some rough stuff, but he needs to, it's what we hired him for.

[Dec 02, 2019] A Think Tank Dedicated to Peace and Restraint

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The creation of a think tank dedicated to "an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing" is very welcome news. Other than the Cato Institute, there has been nothing like this in Washington, and this tank's focus will be entirely on foreign policy. ..."
"... I am quite amazed that Soros and Koch bro are involved. We will wait to see how this plays out. ..."
Jul 01, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Stephen Kinzer comments on the creation of a new think tank, The Quincy Institute, committed to promoting a foreign policy of restraint and non-interventionism:

Since peaceful foreign policy was a founding principle of the United States, it's appropriate that the name of this think tank harken back to history. It will be called the Quincy Institute, an homage to John Quincy Adams, who in a seminal speech on Independence Day in 1821 declared that the United States "goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own." The Quincy Institute will promote a foreign policy based on that live-and-let-live principle.

The creation of a think tank dedicated to "an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing" is very welcome news. Other than the Cato Institute, there has been nothing like this in Washington, and this tank's focus will be entirely on foreign policy. The lack of institutional support has put advocates of peace and restraint at a disadvantage for a very long time, so it is encouraging to see that there is an effort underway to change that. The Quincy Institute represents another example of how antiwar progressives and conservatives can and should work together to change U.S. foreign policy for the better. The coalition opposed to the war on Yemen showed what Americans opposed to illegal and unnecessary war can do when they work towards a shared goal of peace and non-intervention, and this institute promises to be an important part of such efforts in the future. Considering how long the U.S. has been waging war without end , there couldn't be a better time for this.

TAC readers and especially readers of this blog will be familiar with the people involved in creating the think tank:

The institute plans to open its doors in September and hold an official inauguration later in the autumn. Its founding donors -- Soros's Open Society Foundation and the Charles Koch Foundation -- have each contributed half a million dollars to fund its takeoff. A handful of individual donors have joined to add another $800,000. By next year the institute hopes to have a $3.5 million budget and a staff of policy experts who will churn out material for use in Congress and in public debates. Hiring is underway. Among Parsi's co-founders are several well-known critics of American foreign policy, including Suzanne DiMaggio, who has spent decades promoting negotiated alternatives to conflict with China, Iran and North Korea; the historian and essayist Stephen Wertheim; and the anti-militarist author and retired Army colonel Andrew Bacevich.

"The Quincy Institute will invite both progressives and anti-interventionist conservatives to consider a new, less militarized approach to policy," Bacevich said, when asked why he signed up. "We oppose endless, counterproductive war. We want to restore the pursuit of peace to the nation's foreign policy agenda."

Trita Parsi and Andrew Bacevich are both TAC contributors and have participated in our foreign policy conferences in recent years. Parsi and I were on the same panel last fall at our most recent conference. I have also cited and learned from arguments made by Suzanne DiMaggio and Stephen Wertheim in my posts here . Their involvement is a very good sign, and it shows both the political breadth and intellectual depth of this new institution. I look forward to seeing what they do, and I wish them luck.


chris chuba 9 hours ago
Good luck. I hope you will be invited on cable shows. I am tired of seeing the beard from the Foundation of the Defense of Democracies and his clones.

Once in a while the hosts mess up and they interview someone who doesn't give the correct answer about the M.E., or somewhere else and I see the blank look on their face as they thank the guess as since it is obvious they cannot process the information. I generally do not see those guests ever again.

The guidelines are, the world is divided into those who crave U.S. leadership and the evildoers who are constantly testing our leadership. We must always be vigilant against the latter. It is inconceivable that anyone merely act in their own interest. It is all about us.

Jonathan Dillard Lester 17 hours ago
Might be a few kindred souls put off by the Soros money, but nothing wrong with taking it!
SFBay1949 20 hours ago
I also am looking forward to reading their thoughts and ideas about a foreign policy that doesn't include the US invading yet another country under the ridiculous notion that we are somehow being threatened by them. We have the largest military on earth. It's also telling that we pick on and invade countries that can't actually hurt us. That makes us all the more the bully on the block. It's to our shame that we even consider these shameful actions.
Paul a day ago
Exciting news. An early endeavor , if not already accomplished, should be consideration of relevant theoretical models for understanding competition and cooperation. Since the Cold War and to the present day, variants of the Prisoners Dilemma serve this function. Prior to that, misconceptions of survival of the fittest led to the disasters of eugenics and WW2. Maybe the new think tank will outline or draw inspiration from a new theory.
SteveM a day ago
Re: "I look forward to seeing what they do, and I wish them luck."

So do I. Very much so. However, the most prominent realist Washington Think Tank is the Cato Institute. It has well spoken advocates of realism and restraint including Christopher Preble, Doug Bandow and Ted Galen Carpenter. Unfortunately, the thoughtful Cato scribes get very little exposure on the MSM compared to the atrocious Heritage, AEI and Brookings nests of go along to get along Neocon / Neoliberal lackeys. It's not clear to me how and why the Quincy Institute will generate any more leverage.

I've argued many times before that the linchpin of the busted U.S. Global Cop foreign policy model is the Pentagon. As long as the Pentagon hacks are considered the paragons of Olympian insight and wisdom by the political class and the MSM, nothing will change.

Related to that though, there actually was a hopeful article in the Atlantic about the newest Pentagon Big Mouth, CENTCOM Commander General General Kenneth McKenzie:

https://bit.ly/2Lyel6p

Hopefully, that is a crack in the wall of Military Exceptionalism. The sooner others start taking a 2x4 to the sanctified occupants of the 5-Sided Pleasure Palace, knocking them off of their pedestals, the better.

BTW, the new Acting Defense Secretary and MIC Parasite Mark Esper is no friend of the taxpayers. Expect that failed Pentagon audit that was deep-sixed by Mad Dog Mattis to stay deep-sixed with Esper in the Big Seat.

Taras77 a day ago
I am quite amazed that Soros and Koch bro are involved. We will wait to see how this plays out.

Jeez, who can believe this amongst the "think" tanks: "an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing"

[Dec 02, 2019] Hitchens If Bodies Like OPCW Cannot Be Trusted... World War 3 Could Be Started By A Falsehood

Notable quotes:
"... Authored by Peter Hitchens via The Mail On Sunday blog, ..."
"... I stood outside the safe house, in a road I cannot name, in a major European city I cannot identify, not sure what I might find inside. I had no way of being sure. ..."
"... In decades of journalism I have received quite a few leaks ..."
"... But I've never seen one like this. It scared me. ..."
"... If bodies such as the OPCW cannot be trusted, then World War Three could one day be started by a falsehood. ..."
Dec 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Peter Hitchens via The Mail On Sunday blog,

I stood outside the safe house, in a road I cannot name, in a major European city I cannot identify, not sure what I might find inside. I had no way of being sure.

I had travelled a long distance by train to an address I had been given over an encrypted email.

I was nervous that the meeting might be some sort of trap. Leaks from inside arms verification organisations are very sensitive matters. Powerful people mind about them.

I wasn't sure whether to be afraid of being followed, or to be worried about who might be waiting behind the anonymous door on a dark afternoon, far from home. I took all the amateurish precautions that I could think of.

As it happened, it was not a trap. Now, on carefully selected neutral ground, I was to meet a person who would confirm suspicions that had been growing in my mind over several years – that there is something rotten in the way that chemical weapons inspections are being conducted and reported. And that the world could be hurried into war on the basis of such inspections.

Inside the safe house, I was greeted by a serious, patient expert, a non-political scientist whose priority had until now always been to do the hard, gritty work of verification – travelling to the scenes of alleged horrors, sifting and searching for hard evidence of what had really happened. But this entirely honourable occupation had slowly turned sour.

The whiff of political interference had begun as a faint unpleasant smell in the air and grown until it was an intolerable stench. Formerly easy-going superiors had turned into tricky bureaucrats.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had become so important that it could no longer be allowed to do its job properly.

Too many of the big powers that sponsor and finance it were breathing down its neck, wanting certain results, whether the facts justified them or not.

My source calmly showed me various pieces of evidence that they were who they said they were, and knew what they claimed to know, making it clear that they worked for the OPCW and knew its inner workings. They then revealed a document to me.

This was the email of protest, sent to senior OPCW officials, saying that a report on the alleged Syrian poison gas attack in Douma, in April 2018, had been savagely censored so as to alter its meaning.

In decades of journalism I have received quite a few leaks : leaks over luxurious, expensive lunches with Cabinet Ministers, anonymous leaks that just turned up in envelopes, leaks from union officials and employers, diplomats and academics.

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But I've never seen one like this. It scared me. If it was true, then something hugely dishonest and dangerous was going on, in a place where absolute integrity was vital.

If bodies such as the OPCW cannot be trusted, then World War Three could one day be started by a falsehood.

Last week I reported on the first episode in this story. Within days the OPCW had confirmed that the email I leaked was authentic.

Nobody followed me home or threatened me. A few silly people on social media told blatant lies about me, insinuating that I was somehow a Russian patsy or a defender of the disgusting Syrian regime that I have been attacking in print for nearly 20 years. That was what I had expected.

But there is much more to come. And, as it grows harder for everyone to ignore this enormous, dangerous story, I suspect I shall be looking over my shoulder rather more than usual.

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[Dec 02, 2019] The Smearing of Tulsi Gabbard by W.J. Astore

Notable quotes:
"... Aha! There you have it. Back in February 2016, Gabbard resigned her position as vice-chair of the DNC to endorse Sanders, and the DNC, controlled by establishment centrists like the Clintons as well as Barack Obama, have never forgiven her. Recently, Hillary Clinton smeared her (as well as Jill Stein, Green Party candidate from 2016) as a Russian asset, and various mainstream networks and news shows, such as "The View" and NBC, have suggested (with no evidence) she's the favored candidate of Russia and Vladimir Putin. ..."
"... Just what we don't need: two bought-and-paid-for political parties in the service of the wealthiest and the corporations. But at least the Republicans are (mostly) honest about their priorities ..."
Dec 02, 2019 | bracingviews.com

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is a compelling choice for president in 2020. She's principled, she's against America's disastrous regimen of regime-change wars, and she's got the guts to criticize her own party for being too closely aligned with rich and powerful interests. She's also a military veteran who enlisted in the Army National Guard in Hawaii after the 9/11 attacks (she currently serves as a major and deployed overseas to Iraq during that war).

What's not to like about a female veteran who oozes intelligence and independence, a woman who represents diversity (she's a practicing Hindu and a Samoan-American), an early supporter of Bernie Sanders who called out the DNC for its favoritism toward Hillary Clinton

Aha! There you have it. Back in February 2016, Gabbard resigned her position as vice-chair of the DNC to endorse Sanders, and the DNC, controlled by establishment centrists like the Clintons as well as Barack Obama, have never forgiven her. Recently, Hillary Clinton smeared her (as well as Jill Stein, Green Party candidate from 2016) as a Russian asset, and various mainstream networks and news shows, such as "The View" and NBC, have suggested (with no evidence) she's the favored candidate of Russia and Vladimir Putin.

Think about that. Hillary Clinton and much of the mainstream media are accusing a serving major in the U.S. military of being an asset to a foreign power. It's an accusation bordering on a charge of treason -- a charge that is libelous and recklessly irresponsible.

A reminder: Tulsi Gabbard enlisted in the military to serve her country in the aftermath of 9/11. What did Hillary Clinton do? Can you imagine Hillary going through basic training as a private, or serving in the military in a war zone? (Hillary did falsely claim that she came under sniper fire in Bosnia , but that's a story for another day.)

Tulsi Gabbard is her own person. She's willing to buck the system and has shown compassion and commitment on the campaign trail. She may be a long shot, but she deserves a long look for the presidency, especially when you consider the (low) quality of the enemies she's made. Reply


wjastore November 26, 2019 at 1:10 PM

Whenever I post anything remotely positive about Tulsi Gabbard on Facebook, the same few people come out to denounce her. My response is below, though I know you can't reason with haters:

That Tulsi has been on Fox News is an argument in her favor, i.e. her crossover appeal and her willingness to engage with the "other side." That Tulsi met with Assad is, in my view, reasonable; true leaders are always willing to meet with "bad" people, even ruthless dictators, in the cause of averting war. My main point is how she's being smeared as some kind of traitor, or at least a useful idiot. She's neither. Also, I've read the piece on Tulsi in Jacobin, and I've heard about alleged cults. Is this really the best the media can do? Guilt by association?

Some of our readers may have concerns about Tulsi, e.g. alleged Islamophobia, alleged cults, etc. The main point is this: Does she deserve to be smeared as a Putin puppet? What does this say about our media? And why are they doing this? I can tell you why. Trillions of dollars are spent on wars and weapons, and Tulsi is calling for an end to regime-change wars and a return to diplomacy. She also, like Bernie, is willing to call out the DNC as being against the interests of ordinary Americans -- and she's right about this. She has a lot in her favor. I'm a Bernie fan myself, but I'll take Tulsi over all those phony "centrists" like Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Harris, and Biden.

rs November 26, 2019 at 1:52 PM
This was published when she was accused of being a Russian asset! https://www.thenation.com/article/tulsi-russia-clinton/

On the other hand, her connection to extreme right RSS and BJP ( of India ) though diaspora are troubling .. https://www.alternet.org/2019/10/russia-accusations-a-distraction-from-tulsi-gabbards-actual-troubling-ties/

wjastore November 26, 2019 at 2:09 PM
I can't speak to the RSS/BJP connection; I've read about it, but I admit to ignorance on the matter. Of course, every candidate has multiple connections, positions, donors, etc. All politicians carry baggage. So far, from what I've read, Tulsi is more principled and more courageous than most of her peers.

I'm still a Bernie fan -- his long record of helping the poor and vulnerable speaks for itself. Of course, he once went to Moscow oh no! Run away! 🙂

Joseph Mirzoeff November 26, 2019 at 3:24 PM
Tulsi has now done four courageous, unusual, and very positive things while merely a candidate:
1) Tulsi effectively took down a leading contender and DNC favorite, by demonstrating that Senator Harris had been a corrupt prosecutor.
2) Tulsi defended democracy as she sued Google for at least $50 million, for playing favorites in search-routing of candidates.
3) Tulsi called out Hillary Clinton for the monster she is.
4) Tulsi supported a process toward 911 truth by supporting 911-victims' families' right to see FBI documents that have been denied to them.

Tulsi is the anti-war candidate. Tulsi Gabbard should be Commander-in-Chief. Yang should be VP and in charge of the economy. Read his book. UBI is the way to go. Tulsi needs someone she can trust as VP.

Michael Murry November 26, 2019 at 4:46 PM
To your list of courageous Tulsi Gabbard positions, I would add the following, Joseph:

Tulsi Gabbard Says She Would Drop Julian Assange Charges and Pardon Edward Snowden , by Jason Murdock, Newsweek (5/15/19 at 5:22 AM EDT).

I consider the vicious persecution of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning -- both languishing in prison for having committed no crime whatsoever -- along with the exile of Edward Snowden, among the greatest travesties of justice ever committed by the U.S. and U.K. (dishonorable mention goes to Sweden and the latest Ecuadorian government, as well). I had hoped for this subject to come up in the "debates," giving Tulsi yet another opportunity to shine relative to her competitors, most of whom would soil their undergarments in panic at the thought of "crossing" the absurdly named "intelligence community" and its entirely co-opted corporate media outlets.

If Tulsi Gabbard had done no other principled thing than this, I would have considered her heads and shoulders above anyone else campaigning for a position in the U.S. government today.

Michael Murry November 26, 2019 at 4:59 PM
I ought to dedicate this one to Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard for her principled defense of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden (and no-doubt Chelsea Manning, as well):

Star Chamber, Incorporated

Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning
Jailed as twin examples for the proles:
"Look what happens if you publish secrets:
More totalitarian controls."

In Chinese: "Kill the Chicken scare the Monkey."
Rat-out your colleagues. Do not Power tempt.
Or otherwise the judges and grand juries
Will hold you in what lawyers call "contempt."

A strange word-choice, indeed, by Power's minions
Who spend careers perfecting rank abuse.
For them I'd have to feel respect much greater
Before that is the word that I would use.

I've nothing good to say for prosecutors.
Some say I wish to "damn them with faint praise."
But I reply: "You praise with faint damnation.
So which of us has coined the the better phrase?"

Despicable, the treatment of these heroes.
The US and UK have sunk so low.
Still, Julian and Chelsea have together
More balls than these two governments can grow.

No matter, they have passed into the ages.
Already they have earned a fair renown.
Each day they live defiant, undefeated,
They rise as jailers try to put them down.

As JFK once said of his elite class:
"The ship of state leaks mainly from the top."
But if some lowly, powerless, poor person
Tries that, they'll feel the lash. No truth. Now stop!

To scare a monkey, kill another monkey.
If not, the monkeys learn impunity.
While eating KFC they ask, obtusely:
"What has a chicken got to do with me?"

And so the Corporation-State must silence
Reports of its incompetence and crime.
If citizens knew what it did they'd order
Its dissolution. Now. And just in time.

Historically, they called it the Star Chamber
A secret court designed to thwart the king.
But power then perverted it to serve him.
Grand juries in the US, same damn thing.

They now indict ham sandwiches routinely
With no protection for the innocents.
Presumed as guilty, evidence not needed.
Conviction guaranteed. No court repents.

A judge may do whatever he determines
He can. So levy fines. Coerce. Demand
On penalty of prison, testimony
Against oneself, alone upon the stand.

"Democracy" is just a euphemism
If citizens allow this to proceed.
Orwellian: first Hate then Fear of Goldstein.
Two Minutes, daily. Really, all you need.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2019

Joseph Mirzoeff November 26, 2019 at 4:20 PM
Please don't fall for Bernie. He is neither Presidential nor trustworthy. Consider this: https://www.sentinelsource.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/what-did-bernie-know-about-these-conspiracies-by-joseph-mirzoeff/article_f7b43e69-6639-526a-823d-c4ca3778b5a1.html
Felix_47 November 27, 2019 at 12:21 PM
This is a good commentary. military experience is a good thing especially when we are dealing with the fact that over half of the national budget is devoted to the military.
wjastore November 27, 2019 at 5:19 PM
A good short clip on Tulsi Gabbard and smears against herL https://www.youtube.com/embed/OcCOtOCZ_qY?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent
rs November 29, 2019 at 9:34 AM
Tulsi Gabbard KNOWS it i. e. Cost of Wars!
https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-is-tulsi-the-only-democrat-who-cares-about-our-wars/
Monotonous Languor November 29, 2019 at 10:03 AM
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a thoughtful article on playing it safe, running out the clock, prevent defense, etc., on your opponent as it would apply to politics.

Jabbar writes: Almost every poll showed her with a respectable lead over Trump just days before the election. So, the Clinton campaign tried to run out the clock by not campaigning much in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota, all of which turned much redder than in the previous presidential election.

The tactic of trying to pick a "safe" candidate who can beat Trump by appealing to their ideas about Middle America sends the wrong message to all of America. No team devise a game strategy based on fear: they emphasize their strengths and exploit their opponents' weaknesses. The Democratic candidate shouldn't be the least objectionable, but the one who boldly forges ahead with clear and detailed plans for Making America America Again.

Democrats can't pander to voters by denigrating Trump but then promising them Trump-lite with a wink. Promote progressive policies and plans worthy of a party that wants to lead this country without fear of being called "socialists" or "the radical left" or whatever else your opposing team chants.
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/oct/15/how-sports-tactics-can-help-the-democrats-beat-donald-trump-in-2020
===================================
Jabbar is correct. The Corporate Democrats among them Biden, Buttigieg and Bloomberg are fighting desperately to preserve a perceived lead aided and abetted by the McMega-Media.

Chicago Alderman, Paddy Bauler (1890-1977) said in 1955 on the election of Daley the Elder, "Chicago ain't ready for reform yet", or "Chicago ain't ready for a reform mayor".

Today, the pundits employed by Corporate America, along with various Democratic Party stooges for Wall Street tell us America ain't ready for Reform.

bmcks November 29, 2019 at 4:21 PM
Yes, ML, so goes American 'Exceptionalism', after WW2 Victory. Today, so goes a Great American City in violence, all so shortsighted. I'm still confused with our never-ending wars overseas, as our cities rot in crime & violence, my main concern. I didn't grow up – or party! -later on in today's disaster areas of Baltimore or Philadelphia, etc.It was GREAT!

But somethings going on I don't know about, when the WORST cities have black Congresspeople (Maxime Waters?) living in 6.5$Mil mansions as their "districts" die.
I have NO PROBLEM with black people! Such a smear an insult. But it's worth investigating why these characters who have ruined their cities are supporters of Dems, & Billary! Oh! They spend & vote lavishly on more money for our wars, but nothing for their own cities!

Finally starting to figure it out: They're traitors to their own race, for their personal benefit. They make Dems "look proud", vs "REP's!" Yes, they too re dreadful maybe that's why I feel: TULCI GO! She's neither dreadful party!

wjastore November 29, 2019 at 5:32 PM
A long but interesting podcast with Tulsi Gabbard on the Joe Rogan show

https://www.youtube.com/embed/PdYud9re7-Q?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Eddie S November 29, 2019 at 7:05 PM
ML: Good citation of KA-J -- - although I've seen the same-sort of criticism of the Dems elsewhere, Kareem's sports analogy is very helpful in understanding the concept.

(I have to say that I got sick of the Dems milquetoast approach to politics. Maybe it was an understandable response to a frustrating right-wing zeitgeist, but DAMN, did they have to be SO passive against the Reps?? Even when they briefly held majorities in Congress under Obama, the wouldn't introduce/push bills that weren't 'filibuster-proof'!?!? I for one might still be voting Dem POTUS IF they had pushed those progressive bills., then let the Reps filibuster for weeks or months, meantime the Dems & Obama could've gone in front of the public daily and said something like "We're trying to help you by passing Bill X, but the Reps are filibustering and stopping Congress from getting any work done!" Let the government shut-down for a few weeks because of it and keep hammering away at the Reps for being the BLOCKERS, etc. Call their bluff, and use it against them during elections. Instead they tried to be overly accommodating & conciliatory BEFORE debate had even begun!)

Michael Murry November 29, 2019 at 7:46 PM
Yes. Eddie. The Democratic Party not only gets its ass kicked for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but it seems to have developed something of a masochistic taste for the Republican abuse. Hence two of my verse compositions essentially agreeing with your observations:

(1) From eight years ago. From "Hope" and "Change" to despair and the status quo. And with a Nobel Peace Prize for Endless War, too.

Congenital Stockholm Syndrome

He started by giving up quickly,
Surrendering early his case.
He offered to kiss their asses.
Replying, they pissed in his face.

Their urine, he thought, tasted strangely;
Yet not at all bad to his taste.
He'd gotten so used to it, plainly.
Why let such a drink go to waste?

The people who voted in favor
Of him and his promise of "change"
Now see in his many betrayals
A poodle afflicted with mange.

Each time that the surly and crazy
Republicans out for his skin
Condemn him for living and breathing,
He graciously helps them to win.

He'll turn on his base in an instant
With threats and disdain and neglect
While bombing some Muslims so Cheney
Might thrill to the lives that he's wrecked.

A black man in love with apartheid
He offers his stalwart support
To Zionists and their extortion
With "More, please!" his only retort.

A masochist begging for beatings
Obama takes joy in abuse
Receiving just what he has asked for
Which makes him of no earthly use

The little brown men that he's murdered
In homes far away from our land
Bring profits obscene to his backers
Who give him the back of their hand.

Obama seeks praise from the vicious
Republicans, no matter what.
He suffers, apparently, nothing
So much as his need to kiss butt.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2011

(2) From twelve years ago and on the Congressional side of the Surrender Monkey Syndrome:

Nancy the Negotiator

Nancy the Negotiator
Gives up first; surrenders later;
Takes her cards from off the table,
Then recites her loser fable:

"We don't have the votes we need,"
Nancy says, in tones that bleed:
"Mean Republicans will whine
If we do not toe their line."

Nancy bows to George and Dick
While her skinny ass they kick;
Writes them checks both blank and rubber,
Then proceeds to lamely blubber:

"We don't like what Dubya's doing.
Still, we quite enjoy the screwing.
Masochism's what we offer,
Helping crooks to loot the coffer"

"Sure, the squandered blood and treasure
Goes to those we will not measure.
Still, we promise you'll adore us
If you mark your ballot for us."

"Choices you don't have assail you,
Leaving only us who fail you.
Nonetheless, we've gotten fatter.
Why, then, should we think you matter?"

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2007

After six years in Uncle Sam's Canoe Club (the last eighteen months of that in the now-defunct Republic of South Vietnam) it didn't take me long to realize that the Republicans get paid a lavish salary to do what the fabulously wealthy demand, while the Democrats get a comparatively meager allowance to do what the Republicans tell them to do, also on behalf of the fabulously wealthy: namely, betray their own working-class anti-war base so that the Republicans will not have anything even remotely "leftist" to worry about. In truth, the Democratic party crawled up its own ass and died so many years ago that I think I've lost count.

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wjastore November 30, 2019 at 9:06 AM
Just what we don't need: two bought-and-paid-for political parties in the service of the wealthiest and the corporations. But at least the Republicans are (mostly) honest about their priorities

[Dec 02, 2019] War is a force that gives us meaning

Notable quotes:
"... Yes. "War is a force that gives us meaning," as Chris Hedges wrote. It provides (false) meaning and purpose. It's an amazingly powerful force, which is one reason why only Congress should declare war. And the last time that happened in the USA was December of 1941. ..."
Dec 02, 2019 | bracingviews.com

Doug Barr December 1, 2019 at 7:24 PM

I just read your article in TD. In my opinion you buried the reason for never ending wars. You mention exceptionalism. I call that concept preeminence. With it is one of the few ways we try to fill the void, or as you said in fewer words, try to give meaning to life. There can be no doubt our lives are becoming increasingly meaningless so we double down and double down again with what we know despite the self-destruction. https://thelastwhy.ca/poems/2015/6/25/life-a-reaction-to-the-void

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wjastore December 1, 2019 at 7:46 PM
Yes. "War is a force that gives us meaning," as Chris Hedges wrote. It provides (false) meaning and purpose. It's an amazingly powerful force, which is one reason why only Congress should declare war. And the last time that happened in the USA was December of 1941.

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greglaxer December 2, 2019 at 12:13 AM
Doug Barr–It appears to me you are trying to blur some lines, or perhaps you are confused about, what one might call general human psychology and the official policies of a specific government, that of the USA. [As a student of Anthropology, I point out that though our primate ancestors are prone to outbursts of violence, there is no evidence that making war, especially in the contemporary phase of human society, fulfills an innate "need."] Yes, the US seeks to be "pre-eminent"–or to be blunter, DOMINANT–over the rest of the globe. Where "exceptionalism"–which I have designated the American Disease–enters the picture is the attempt to justify military aggression by suggesting (some are less subtle and openly assert) that the US somehow has been granted a "right" to do this by "a higher power." (Apparently God Himself revealed to George W. Bush that he was born to be "a war president" and the genius Rick Perry asserted recently that Donald Trump was put in the presidency by direct Divine action.) A "right" to send assassin drones anywhere, anytime, to target anyone who's been designated a Bad Guy. This is absurd, if not insane, on the face of it. (In olden times, Rudyard Kipling called it "the white man's burden" to bring civilization to less "enlightened" peoples.) If there was an international court that had some teeth, the US would be vigorously swatted down, ordered to cease and desist. But one of the greatest tragedies of our time is that there is no power on Earth that could stand up to this Monster (as John Kay and his band Steppenwolf rightly identified the US 50 years ago) even if it could find the backbone to make the attempt.

[Dec 02, 2019] Yuri Gararisn the the USA tecnological superiority

Dec 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Dec 1 2019 16:45 utc | 3

From Michael Roberts Blog's Facebook:
Chile - it's not just the level of inequality and austerity in the country that triggered the social uprising against the elite. On the OECD's 'better life' index, Chile scores very badly even compared to other Latin American countries.

Chile's insurgency and the end of neoliberalism

The OECD index allows you to compare well-being across countries, based on 11 topics the OECD has identified as essential, in the areas of material living conditions and quality of life.

OECD Better Life Index

--

The Indian economy is heading into trouble - to all intent, in recession. The second-largest country in the world by population grew only 4.5 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2019, below 5 percent in the previous period and market expectations of 4.7 percent. That's the weakest pace since the first three months of 2013, mainly due to a fall in factory output and exports and a slowdown in investment.

Investment, sluggish for nearly a decade, grew a mere 1 per cent year-on-year, down from 4 per cent in the previous quarter. Manufacturing output contracted 1 per cent. Infrastructure investment has collapsed.

The government has announced several measures to boost growth including a reduction in corporate taxes, concessions on vehicle purchases, bank recapitalisation. Meanwhile, the central bank has already cut borrowing cost 5 times this year and is seen lowering rates again next week.

See my post of last May on India:

India: another China or another Brazil?

--//--

This is a very interesting example of how Western (i.e. libera, capitalist) propaganda works, and also a very illustrative example of how capitalism declined from the point of view of a person who benefitted the most from it when it was at its apex:

Perhaps it's time to remember Yuri Gagarin

The shock in the US was that the Russians were not only competitive, but had embarrassed US science and engineering by being first. In 1958, President Eisenhower signed into law the National Defense Education Act, and this enabled talented students to flow into science and engineering. The shock waves were felt throughout the entire educational system, from top to bottom. Mathematics was more important than football.

He's right in the abovementioned paragraph. If you interviewed people who were 12-14 years old between 1958 and 1963, and asked about what would be the future of the USA in the year 2000, most of them would have more or less the same answer: that the future of America was scientific, bright, of high technology; a nation where scientists and engineers would be more more venerated than tv celebrities and football/baseball players. It would be the world of the infamous "flying cars" and space exploration and colonization.

Nobody in 1963 would imagine that the USA of the 2000s would be the USA of finance, of Wall Street ; of football players, of the anti-vaxxers, of the flat earthers and of the Kardashians.

But they should've. The reason this degeneration happened is the fact that the USA is a capitalist society. In capitalism, scientific progress is accidental. What matters in the capitalist system is the valorization process, not the process of use value creation. Like any other societal formations, capitalism has a revolutionary period, an apex period, a decline period and a collapse period. In my opinion, world capitalism has just exited its apex phase and is now entering its decline phase.

Here's the propaganda part of the article:

As demonstrated by the USSR, socialism does not prohibit scientific prowess. There is a difference, of course. Socialism's success in the USSR came at the expense of millions of lives, the slave labor of millions more, and a lower standard of living. Nevertheless, the fact is that Yuri Gagarin was the first person to orbit the earth. In comparison to the US today, Soviet universities were not plagued by whining children – nor are today's Chinese universities. The Soviets thought it wiser that their young study calculus and physics.

This paragraph encapsulates all the elements of Cold War propaganda about the USSR. When I read it, it felt like a blast from the past.

First, the image of the USSR as essentially a slavery society is a Western chimera. They come from Weber -- who once theorized the USSR as a "modern Ancient Egypt" -- and the propaganda from Solzhenitsyn, who hugely exagerated the number of prisoners in the USSR.

In fact, even at the height of the GULAG era, the USSR's jailed population never went beyond 1.5% of its overall population (as we know now from Soviet official archives). That's well within the world's average. If only 1.5% of the population is able to sustain the other 98.5%, then even I want to know how the Soviets operated such an economic miracle.

Besides, the USSR obviously didn't kill "millions of people" in order to send someone to space. That's obviously absurd by any metric, logic included. First of all because this would never gather political consensus among the population, second because it is impossible to do rocket science with slave labor.

The quick rise of the Third Reich gave birth to the myth in the West that slave labor can operate miracles. Nothing is further from the truth. In Ancient times, both the Greeks and the Romans already knew slave labor was only economically viable in very basic and simple tasks, such as agriculture, mining and other domestic services. Athens achieved naval supremacy over Greece by using wage labor for its rowing and sailor crews, so that they could be professionals with high morale in the battlefield. The reason for this is that maneuvering triremes was an extremely complex art, too complex and valuable for the Athenians to trust to slaves. They also had, by the nature and complexity of the task, a naturally high degree of freedom from their "bosses". Either way, the task was simply too complex for a slave to phisically learn, since a slave was kept into his/her place through physical deprivation and domination, and a sailor had to be always fit physically and mentally to wage wars at sea. The Spartans didn't slave their coastal colonies, giving them a much larger degree of freedom (perioikoi), probably in exchange for a supply of sailors, ships. The Romans also did the same: when a slave became specialized enough in the family business (such as acting as a middle man in the paterfamilias' businesses in some coastal city), he usually "gifted" him with his freedom.

In sum: even the ancients knew that, for more complex tasks, free people were a must. Slavery was only economically viable for very simple and denigrating tasks (specially, agriculture and mining).

As for the "lower quality of living", that's highly debatable. Surely, on average, the USSR certainly didn't enjoy the same life quality than the top of the capitalist chain of the time. But inequality was much, much lower (almost negligible) except for the rural-urban divide, and there was no deprivation.

On average, life quality in the USSR was much better than the vast majority of the capitalist nations with the benefit inequality was negligible (so the average approached the median). Sure, it was no post-1980s Norway or Finland -- but those are microscopic capitalist nations, with negligible population.

Paora , Dec 1 2019 20:04 utc | 5

vk @ 3

Thanks vk. The Soviet achievements in space were the achievements of a free people who had to make superhuman sacrifices in order to preserve their freedom. Here's Boris Chertok, a remarkable Soviet space designer whose experiences stretched from the crowds of 1917 and Lenin's funeral to the construction of the international Space Station:

"I am part of the generation that suffered irredeemable losses, to whose lot in 20th century fell the most arduous of tests. From childhood, a sense of duty was inculcated in this generation - a duty to the people, to the Motherland, to our parents, to future generations, and even to all humanity.

...

Currently ... it is ideological collapse that threatens the objective recounting of [Soviet] science and technology ... motivated by the fact that its origins date back to the Stalin epoch or to the period of the 'Brezhnev Stagnation'"

[Dec 02, 2019] Cheap, ubiquitous cameras, microphones, and location trackers are the real issue. If the state can track everyone's movements and conversations, then it can build a better Stasi even with crude, simple AI

Notable quotes:
"... Seeing Like a State ..."
"... More generally, I think AI gets far too much of the billing in authoritarian apocalypse forecasts. Cheap, ubiquitous cameras, microphones, and location trackers are the real issue. If the state can track everyone's movements and conversations, then it can build a better Stasi even with crude, simple ai. ..."
Dec 02, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

The theory behind this is one of strength reinforcing strength – the strengths of ubiquitous data gathering and analysis reinforcing the strengths of authoritarian repression to create an unstoppable juggernaut of nearly perfectly efficient oppression. Yet there is another story to be told – of weakness reinforcing weakness. Authoritarian states were always particularly prone to the deficiencies identified in James Scott's Seeing Like a State – the desire to make citizens and their doings legible to the state, by standardizing and categorizing them, and reorganizing collective life in simplified ways, for example by remaking cities so that they were not organic structures that emerged from the doings of their citizens, but instead grand chessboards with ordered squares and boulevards, reducing all complexities to a square of planed wood . The grand state bureaucracies that were built to carry out these operations were responsible for multitudes of horrors, but also for the crumbling of the Stalinist state into a Brezhnevian desuetude, where everyone pretended to be carrying on as normal because everyone else was carrying on too. The deficiencies of state action, and its need to reduce the world into something simpler that it could comprehend and act upon created a kind of feedback loop, in which imperfections of vision and action repeatedly reinforced each other.

So what might a similar analysis say about the marriage of authoritarianism and machine learning? Something like the following, I think. There are two notable problems with machine learning. One – that while it can do many extraordinary things, it is not nearly as universally effective as the mythology suggests. The other is that it can serve as a magnifier for already existing biases in the data. The patterns that it identifies may be the product of the problematic data that goes in, which is (to the extent that it is accurate) often the product of biased social processes. When this data is then used to make decisions that may plausibly reinforce those processes (by singling e.g. particular groups that are regarded as problematic out for particular police attention, leading them to be more liable to be arrested and so on), the bias may feed upon itself.

This is a substantial problem in democratic societies, but it is a problem where there are at least some counteracting tendencies. The great advantage of democracy is its openness to contrary opinions and divergent perspectives . This opens up democracy to a specific set of destabilizing attacks but it also means that there are countervailing tendencies to self-reinforcing biases. When there are groups that are victimized by such biases, they may mobilize against it (although they will find it harder to mobilize against algorithms than overt discrimination). When there are obvious inefficiencies or social, political or economic problems that result from biases, then there will be ways for people to point out these inefficiencies or problems.

These correction tendencies will be weaker in authoritarian societies; in extreme versions of authoritarianism, they may barely even exist. Groups that are discriminated against will have no obvious recourse. Major mistakes may go uncorrected: they may be nearly invisible to a state whose data is polluted both by the means employed to observe and classify it, and the policies implemented on the basis of this data. A plausible feedback loop would see bias leading to error leading to further bias, and no ready ways to correct it. This of course, will be likely to be reinforced by the ordinary politics of authoritarianism, and the typical reluctance to correct leaders, even when their policies are leading to disaster. The flawed ideology of the leader (We must all study Comrade Xi thought to discover the truth!) and of the algorithm (machine learning is magic!) may reinforce each other in highly unfortunate ways.

In short, there is a very plausible set of mechanisms under which machine learning and related techniques may turn out to be a disaster for authoritarianism, reinforcing its weaknesses rather than its strengths, by increasing its tendency to bad decision making, and reducing further the possibility of negative feedback that could help correct against errors. This disaster would unfold in two ways. The first will involve enormous human costs: self-reinforcing bias will likely increase discrimination against out-groups, of the sort that we are seeing against the Uighur today. The second will involve more ordinary self-ramifying errors, that may lead to widespread planning disasters, which will differ from those described in Scott's account of High Modernism in that they are not as immediately visible, but that may also be more pernicious, and more damaging to the political health and viability of the regime for just that reason.

So in short, this conjecture would suggest that the conjunction of AI and authoritarianism (has someone coined the term 'aithoritarianism' yet? I'd really prefer not to take the blame), will have more or less the opposite effects of what people expect. It will not be Singapore writ large, and perhaps more brutal. Instead, it will be both more radically monstrous and more radically unstable.

Like all monotheoretic accounts, you should treat this post with some skepticism – political reality is always more complex and muddier than any abstraction. There are surely other effects (another, particularly interesting one for big countries such as China, is to relax the assumption that the state is a monolith, and to think about the intersection between machine learning and warring bureaucratic factions within the center, and between the center and periphery).Yet I think that it is plausible that it at least maps one significant set of causal relationships, that may push (in combination with, or against, other structural forces) towards very different outcomes than the conventional wisdom imagines. Comments, elaborations, qualifications and disagreements welcome.


Ben 11.25.19 at 6:32 pm (no link)

This seems to equivocate between two meanings of bias. Bias might mean a flaw that leads to empirically incorrect judgements and so to bad decisions, and it's true that that type of bias could destabilize an authoritarian state. But what we usually worry about with machine learning is that the system will find very real, but deeply unjust, patterns in the data, and reinforce those pattern. If there's a particular ethnic group that really does produce a disproportionate number of dissidents, and an algorithm leads to even-more-excessive repression of that group -- I'm not sure why an authoritarian state would see a stability threat in that tendency.

More generally, I think AI gets far too much of the billing in authoritarian apocalypse forecasts. Cheap, ubiquitous cameras, microphones, and location trackers are the real issue. If the state can track everyone's movements and conversations, then it can build a better Stasi even with crude, simple ai.

faustusnotes 11.26.19 at 1:00 am (no link)
I'd just like to point out (re: the tweet in the original post) that the "Uighur face-matching AI" idea is bullshit invented by scaremongers, with no basis in fact and traceable to a shoddy reddit thread. The Chinese government is not using facial recognition to identify Uighur, and the facial recognition fears about the Chinese government are vastly overstated.

Australia's border control facial recognition software is far more advanced than China's, as is the UK's, and facial recognition is actually pretty common in democracies. See e.g. the iPhone.

The main areas in which China uses facial recognition are in verifying ID for some high cost functions (like buying high speed rail tickets), and it's quite easy to avoid these functions by joining a queue and paying a human. The real intrusiveness of the Chinese security state is in its constant bag searches and very human-centric abuses of power in everyday life in connection with "security". Whether you get stopped and searched depends a lot on very arbitrary and error prone judgments by bored security staff at railway stations, in public squares, and on buses, not some evil intrusive state technology.

Conversely, the UK is a world leader in installing and using CCTV cameras, and has been for a long time. Furthermore, these CCTV cameras are a huge boon to law-abiding citizens, since they act as both excellent forms of crime prevention (I have had this experience myself) and for finding serious criminals. The people responsible for the death of those 39 Vietnamese labourers in the ice truck were caught because of CCTV; so was the guy who murdered that woman on the street in Melbourne a few years ago.

Finally to address another point that's already been raised (sadly): China no longer harvests organs, and the 2019 report that says it does is a sham. The social credit system is also largely a myth, and nobody from China even seems to know wtf it is.

If you're going to talk about how state's work, and the relative merits of autocratic vs. democratic states and their interaction with technology, it's a really good idea to get the basic facts right first.

Nathanael 11.26.19 at 6:10 am (no link)
I'll add that John Quiggin's point that Xi has already lost control of the provinces is correct -- but it DOES threaten his position as dictator. Once the provincial governors know they can act with impunity, it is absolutely standard for the next step to be getting rid of that annoying guy who is pretending to be dictator. It may take a few years but Xi now has dozens of powerful insiders who know that he's a weakling. They'll bide their time but when he crosses too many of them they'll take him out. And if China doesn't shut down coal, he's going to look like a weakling internationally too, in a couple of years. This will create a new group of ambitious insiders with a different reason to take him out.

Xi broke the "technocratic consensus" which was present after Deng, of central committee members who strove for competence and fact-based decision-making. That was a surprisingly effective type of junta government which led to lots of thinkpieces about whether authoritarian China would beat the democratic west. But it succumbed to the succession problem, like all authoritarian systems; Xi made himself Premier-for-life and the country is now exhibiting all the usual failures of authoritarian countries.

Hidari 11.26.19 at 9:08 am (no link)
@11 Yes it's strange that allegations of Chinese use of facial recognition software is gaining so much traction at a time when the Trump regime is deliberately ratcheting up tensions with China to pursue nakedly imperial goals, when the objective facts of Israeli use of similar software, which the Israelis boast about ( https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/why-did-microsoft-fund-israeli-firm-surveils-west-bank-palestinians-n1072116 ) doesn't cause so much interest, at a time when the Trump regime has simple decreed that the Israeli invasion/colonisation of Palestine is 'legal under international law'.

One of life's little mysteries I guess.

If we must talk about China could we at least bring it back to areas where we are responsible and where, therefore, we can do something about it?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/01/blackwater-founder-erik-prince-to-build-training-camp-in-chinas-xinjiang

[Dec 01, 2019] Bush Doctrine still in play

US Empire's Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell gets irked that more nations are joining the INSTEX mechanism for commerce with Iran as shown by his Tweet:
Dec 01, 2019 | sputniknews.com

"cc: @TreasurySpox @USTreasury sounds to me like all these people and groups should be added to the US Sanctions list. We should ensure that they don't get to work in the US market. Iran or the US -- they decide. But not both ." [My Emphasis]

The nations saying we're not with you are Finland, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden--what might be termed the more enlightened Europeans.

And here we have Germany's CDU acting in a manner reflecting the Bush Doctrine as it debated Germany's 5G rollout :

"The moderates, represented by Merkel, believe that Germany should not rule out any company over political issues, but focus more on objective factors such as whether its technological security and standards meet German requirements. However, some hard-liners make it an ideological issue and believe Huawei should be excluded. The reason they provided is ' no Chinese company is an independent company,' adding that Huawei's involvement is principally "an imminent question of national security .

"After decades of following the US, Germany has somewhat lost the ability to independently decide its development and destiny. But in recent years, the US has been pursuing unilateralism. The export-oriented German economy is affected by not only China-US trade conflicts, but also US threat of imposing tariffs on German products. Thus, it is time for Berlin to stop its fear of threats from Washington and make choices that are in line with its own interests." [My Emphasis]

Every Evil Outlaw US Empire chartered corporation in the tech realm is not an "independent company" since they work hand in glove with CIA, NSA, FBI, other government organizations, and are also funded by the government. The same is likely true of every Western tech company. A double standard excuse in service of continuing the Bush Doctrine.

To paraphrase Grenell, Now is most certainly the time to declare your independence and reclaim your sovereignty and cease acting in the service of another nation.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 2 2019 2:10 utc | 28

[Dec 01, 2019] The Short Road Democracy to Fascism - Global ResearchGlobal Research - Centre for Research on Globalization

Dec 01, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

The Short Road: Democracy to Fascism By Larry Romanoff Global Research, November 30, 2019 Region: USA Theme: History

Fascism is a political ideology fundamentally authoritarian in character, with a strong nationalism and an essentially belligerent militaristic outlook. Fascism carries primarily a corporate perspective as opposed to a socialist view, directed to satisfying the needs, values and objectives of finance and corporations, organising both the economy and the political system according to this agenda.

A fascist government actively suppresses any objection to its ideology and typically will crush any movement which opposes it. In keeping with their belligerent nature, fascist governments generally view violence and war as stimulants to national spirit and vitality.

Being politically Right-Wing, they maintain their position through firm control or compliance of the media, and most often engage in a vast array of lies and deception. These governments tend to be bigoted, if not racist, invariably require "enemies" to achieve public solidarity, and are often supremacist or at least 'exceptional' in their self-assessment. They either believe, or pretend to believe, that they have a license on truth. Large military budgets, the creation and demonisation of fictitious enemies to propagate fear and maintain population control, are all typical characteristics of a fascist regime, as is massive public surveillance.

In 1995 the Italian Scholar Umberto Eco produced a paper titled 'Eternal Fascism' (1) in which he examined the characteristics of fascist regimes. In 2003, Laurence W. Britt did an excellent and scholarly work in dissecting and categorising past fascist regimes (2), in which he revealed common threads that linked all of them in "patterns of national behavior and abuse of power". He wrote that "Even a cursory study of these fascist and protofascist regimes reveals the absolutely striking convergence of their modus operandi, (which is) not a revelation but useful to shed needed light on current circumstances." I am including here a composite of edited extracts from these two papers with additional commentary of my own. Significant statements by these two authors are in quotation marks. This is a list of the characteristics of fascist states, taken from Britt's original article:

Early Warning Signs of Fascism

If we examine the US on these categories, we find an almost perfect match. Certainly the US has the most strident nationalism of all nations today, with the hysteria of patriotism and flag-worship unabated and even increasing, with the delusional theory of American Exceptionalism as virulent as ever.

There is no question about military supremacy , with the US spending almost twice as much on its military as the rest of the world combined and being by an order of magnitude the world's largest arms manufacturer and dealer. Obama once stated flatly that for the US to remain 'peaceful and prosperous' it needed the world's largest and most powerful military to maintain an overwhelming military supremacy. Obsession with issues of national security is so common in the US today they have become objects of ridicule. Every manner of information is withheld, every manner of lie is told, every manner of crime is committed, all with the excuse of 'national security'. Britt noted that a national security apparatus was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints, with its actions always justified under the rubric of protecting "national security", and that questioning these oppressive activities is now often portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

All the fascist regimes have an obsession with crime and punishment, Britt stating that most "maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations" – a perfect description of America today, including the 'unchecked power and rampant abuse' by the police. He also noted that in all these fascist states, 'normal' crime and political crime were almost interchangeable, "often merged into trumped-up criminal charges used against political opponents of the regime". These characteristics of crime, punishment and incarceration are all fields in which America leads the world by a wide margin today as we have already seen.

In terms of enemies being needed for solidarity and to maintain "a unifying cause", the US is also the outstanding world leader, creating real and fictitious enemies not only for itself, but doing a rather good job in creating animosities throughout the world. In fact, a signature feature of the US is its worldwide propagation of regional unrest, as we see in Asia today, and with interference in the Ukraine, Russia, China, and dozens of other countries. Creating political chaos and large military risks is a common fascist trait, which is partly why military supremacy is necessary, black and white America attempting to partition the world into ideological factions, often in preparation for war.

For some decades, the US milked the Cold War for all it was worth, casting the Soviet Union as a bitter enemy and creating animosity where none would have existed. With the fall of the USSR, the US turned immediately to other nations, never really forgetting Russia, and then created its 9-11 'Pearl Harbor Moment' that would permit it to have a permanent enemy in the person of 'terrorism', a war that will never be won since the US creates all the terrorist events to prolong it. It has the added advantage of demonising all the world's Muslims while equating all Arabs with terrorists. Enough enemies here for a lifetime of fascism.

A fundamental practice of a fascist or pre-fascist government is demonisation of 'the others', outsiders who are the enemy.

For the people, these (usually imaginary) enemies provide not only an essential cornerstone of the fascist state but an essential adhesive for their fabricated national identity. Being thus united against a common other, fascism becomes deeply racist by definition and in practice. This demonisation of selected enemies is so intense that pacifism or a lack of belligerence equate to treason, due to sympathising with the enemy or, in today's US lexicon, "giving aid and comfort to the enemy". In the world of fascism, disagreement is treason. George Bush and Dick Cheney: "If you aren't with us, you're against us". US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles: "There are only two kinds of people in the world: Christians who believe in capitalism, and the other kind."

The Global Rise of Fascism: Capitalism End Game?

In his study of these regimes, Britt wrote that "the most significant common thread" among them was this demonisation of other peoples as enemies of the state, "to divert attention, to shift blame, and to channel frustration into controlled directions". He claimed that their methods of choice – propaganda and misinformation – were usually effective. Britt noted that "Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly", which is precisely what happens today in the US, where increasingly it occurs that challengers of the system are labeled as terrorists, even to the extent of those operating food banks being classified as 'food terrorists'.

No reasonable person can claim today that the US has any concern for human rights, certainly not any outside the continental US, and increasingly less within its borders. Except for Israel, the US has by far the worst record of human rights violations during the past several hundred years, far outstripping anything attributed to people like Stalin or Hitler, or even the Japanese. It is, after all, the US that built and still maintains the largest network of torture prisons and ships in the history of the world, even though the US media have removed this topic from the publishing list.

In terms of media control, the US government covers this not by ownership or direct censorship but by a cabal of closely-interwoven interests working on the same precise agenda, almost totally eliminating any necessity for overt acts.

Corruption and cronyism are as alive and virulent in American government today as they have ever been in any society at any time in recent history. The lobbies alone, working with the secret government, are more than sufficient evidence of this, with corruption increasing noticeably each year. Americans may quarrel with the point of an integration of religion and government but, while religion is theoretically separated from the state, it is joined at the hip in practice.

We have George Bush telling us God told him to invade and destroy Iraq, Obama telling us Christ's redemption of him provides him with solace on a daily basis, and a long list of other nonsense indicating that evangelical hysteria is never far removed from the government, even if only to mislead an ignorant population. Britt noted that religion and the ruling elite were tied together in some way .

"The fact that the ruling elite's behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the 'godless'."

Fraudulent elections are more overtly creeping into the American electoral system every year. We had George Bush's brother removing more than 50,000 persons from the voter lists in Florida, all of whom were legitimate voters, and sufficient to provide an election victory. Even then, when votes were finally counted accurately, Bush was proven to have lost the election, but the consequences could not be reversed. As well, the new digital voting machines have been condemned even by those who designed them, as wide open to electoral fraud and manipulation to the extent of changing the outcome of every vote. Moreover, it is openly admitted that even without manipulation, an accurate count is not physically possible. But the government continues to roll out these systems, one would have to assume for their manipulation potential.

It is widely recognised the US has been dumbing-down education for decades, starving the educational systems of funds, using increasingly unqualified part-time and adjunct teachers and professors, increasing tuition costs to the point where education will soon be unaffordable. We don't need an education to see that the only possible result is an increasingly uneducated and ignorant population. In his study, Britt noted that "intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities were tightly controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent were strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed." This forms a perfect description of the situation today in the US, certainly on the crushing of dissent. I have no observation to make on the arts, but the US appears to qualify solidly on every point in the above list, and I see no reason for Americans or indeed anyone else to take comfort in this. Is the US a fascist state? How do we avoid answering in the affirmative?

To people of a country like the US, who are deprived of a clear national identity, fascism creates one by stoking the fires of a false nationalism though propagandising the pathologically false conviction that "the world's greatest privilege is to be born or to live in this country", that every citizen "belongs to the best people in the world", all of whom are, by definition, "good". US President Calvin Coolidge:

"To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race".

Michael Hirsh used the same jingoistic nonsense to justify American cannibalisation of the world by stating that American global domination was "the greatest gift the world has received in possibly all of recorded history." Britt noted the powerful propagation and displays of nationalistic expression,

"From the prominent displays of flags and ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism."

To underscore the above, Global Research published an article in March of 2015 titled "The End of Canada in Ten Steps: A Conversation with Naomi Wolf" (3), in which it was noted that she studied "the way open societies were crushed from within by authoritarian elements", such as those existing in all Right-Wing countries today, and claimed there was "a 'blueprint' followed by all dictatorial rulers composed of ten steps" as follows:

Global Research finally noted that "In her 2007 book The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, Naomi Wolf not only described this formula for fascism, she outlined how these repressive measures are in evidence in modern day America."

There is one other item pertaining to fascism in America that contains elements of all characteristics we've discussed, one which Hollywood and the media have taken great pains to develop though the ground was already very fertile indeed, and this category is heroes and super-heroes. The US has always glorified war and war heroes, describing American cannon-fodder as "sons of freedom giving their lives for democracy", when they were simply massacring impoverished civilians to enrich the bankers. Eco noted that "In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Fascist ideology heroism is the norm", with the fascist hero impatient to die, but who, in his impatience, "more frequently sends other people to death".

This black and white religious proto-fascism which has perhaps always existed in America was the seedbed for the worship of heroes and winners. Americans, in their desperate jingoistic desire to be "good" and to "win", and in a bid to prove their overwhelming moral superiority, turned from reality to fiction and gave us Superman, Batman, Spiderman and Captain America. All are Christian proto-fascists engaged in fictional battles of good against evil, with the Americans living vicariously through these imaginary beings, sharing in their awesome power and moral righteousness, and whose costumes inevitably bear labels saying "Made in America". And indeed we cannot watch an American movie without encountering this irritating white supremacist ideology. Think of movies like Avatar or Independence Day; their entire purpose is to fuel this ideological jingoism and make all viewers "proud to be American". But it's all a fiction. The real American heroes are not Superman or Spiderman but Curtis LeMay, Henry Kissinger, Ronald Reagan and Madeline Albright, all criminally-insane psychopathic killers.

It is interesting that a fascist government, with its instinctive hatred of socialism, propagates "fascist socialism" which nurtures and feeds corporations while normal socialism nurtures the general population. What we might call "corporate socialism", which is what exists today in the US, is a fairly precise definition of fascism.

Tax benefits that favor the rich either primarily or exclusively, a high income inequality, the dismantling of any social safety net, different laws for the rich and powerful than for the poor, corporate immunity for crimes, a lack of corporate regulation and oversight, are all typical characteristics. Britt noted that "Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The US government and elites, except for one brief historical period, have always strived to destroy labor to protect the profits of big business. In Britt's study, "the poor formed an underclass, (and) being poor was considered akin to a vice." And in which nation today have color and poverty been criminalised? The world's largest fascist state – America.

He also noted rampant cronyism and corruption between the political and corporate elites and stated that "With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population." Corruption and cronyism are as alive and virulent in American government today as they have ever been in any society at any time in recent history. The lobbies alone, working with the secret government, are more than sufficient evidence of this, with corruption increasing noticeably each year. Similarly, no reasonable person can question any longer the suppression of labor and the protection and enhancement of corporate power in America. We have already covered in detail the trashing of the social contract, the destruction of labor protections and the evisceration of the middle class. No further evidence is necessary.

There is another alarming category that evidences even more strongly the threats to civil society from the authoritarian and fascist police-state mentality that is increasingly permeating all of the US, this involving trivial civil disputes that should in no case involve the police. In July of 2014, a Minneapolis man was ejected from a Southwest Airlines flight with his two children for questioning why he was qualified for priority boarding but his two children were not. He posted a Tweet that said, "Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy". Southwest Airlines' gate attendants saw the tweet, ejected Watson and his children from the flight, informing him he now qualified as a "safety threat", threatening to have him arrested unless he immediately deleted his post.

In the US today, kindergarten teachers regularly call the police to arrest children who misbehave. A Chinese woman tourist in New Hampshire was tasered and assaulted by police when a clerk at an Apple store complained she wanted to buy two phones. In another case, a father in New Hampshire attended a parent-school meeting to protest the classroom use of sexually-explicit reading material provided to his teen-age daughter. When the man exceeded the arbitrary maximum of two minutes speaking time, the principal called the police and had the man arrested. In each case, no 'law' was violated so the police used generic charges of "causing a public disturbance" or some other such nuisance charge.

These false charges may well be dismissed by a court but still present a serious violation of civil rights and a gross exaggeration of the ability of individuals to create their own laws and of the police to enforce them. In the Southwest Airlines case above, had the man refused to delete his negative post, the agent would certainly have called the police who, cast from the same authoritarian mold, would have automatically arrested and charged him, probably with 'Twitter Terrorism'. The man would likely have escaped in the end, but it would have been a long and expensive climb out from the bottom of that hole. In the case of the Apple store, the female customer was physically knocked to the ground and tasered by police immediately on their arrival. In neither case did the police make even minimal attempts to ascertain the facts. In fact, the only salient "fact" was that of a civilian challenging any kind of authority, even the kind that is so weak as to be invisible. No civilian has any practical defense against an airline agent or shop clerk who testifies that he "caused a public disturbance", nor against police charges for having done so. The only immunity comes from wealth or political power.

There are countless similar cases which all have in common an implicit assumption that anyone, even in a position of minimal authority such as a KFC clerk, has the power to dictate imaginary rules that obtain the force of law with the police and which, if challenged, will result in arrest. Individual private citizens, as least those lacking obvious wealth or power, are increasingly relegated to the social trash bin. Incidents such as these may appear individually trivial and unconnected, but they are not trivial in bulk and are indications of a frightening authoritarianism infecting all of America, part of the widespread rush to fascism occurring in all politically Right-Wing nations, especially in the US. That this should be such a common experience is a frightening and almost terrifying development, where one now fears to enter any dispute with even the most minor employee or clerk, in almost any context, and regardless of the justification.

When common citizens are afraid to challenge the most trivial injustices in civil society, when the people as individuals have been moved to the bottom of the priority list, when even store clerks have effective arrest authority, this is authoritarian fascism – a classic definition of a de facto fascist police state. In the US today there are so many similar examples where this, the most fundamental of civil rights – the right to voice complaint – has been converted to a criminal act. Those instances involved mostly the police badly exceeding their authority, but this category involves mere civilians with no actual invested civil authority of any kind, and yet in each case legal authority being presumed and exercised entirely at the whim of these same persons. While Americans please themselves by accusing China of being authoritarian, it is in fact the US that is both authoritarian and fascist. China is today a very human civil society compared to Transformed America.

*

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Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai's Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He can be contacted at: 2186604556@qq.com

Notes

(1) Umberto Eco: "Eternal Fascism

(2) The 14 Characteristics of Fascism, by Lawrence Britt

(3) https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-end-of-canada-in-ten-steps-a-conversation-with-naomi-wolf/5438017

The original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © Larry Romanoff , Global Research, 2019

[Nov 30, 2019] Henry Kissinger Gets It US 'Exceptionalism' Is Over

Looks like exceptions in US political jargon means "no rivals"... Trump is still dreaming about "Full Spectrum Dominance" Otherwise he would not populate his administration with rabid neocons, leftover from Bush II administration. As well as people who were responsible for Obama color revolutions and wars. Instead of gratitude from neocons viper nest in the State Department he got Ukrainegate as a Thanksgiving present.
Notable quotes:
"... If the US cannot find some modus vivendi with China, then the outcome could be a catastrophic conflict worst than any previous world war, he admonished. ..."
"... A key remark made by Kissinger was the following: "So those countries that used to be exceptional and used to be unique, have to get used to the fact that they have a rival." ..."
"... In other words, he is negating the erroneous consensus held in Washington which asserts that the US is somehow "exceptional", a "uni-power" and the "indispensable nation". This consensus has grown since the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the US viewed itself as the sole super-power. That morphed into a more virulent ideology of "full-spectrum dominance". Thence, the past three decades of unrelenting US criminal wars and regime-change operations across the planet, throwing the whole world into chaos. ..."
"... While sharing a public stage with Kissinger, the Chinese leader added: "The two sides should proceed from the fundamental interests of the two peoples and the people of the world, respect each other, seek common ground while reserving differences, pursue win-win results in cooperation, and promote bilateral ties to develop in the right direction." ..."
"... Likewise, China and Russia have continually urged for a multipolar world order for cooperation and partnership in development. But the present and recent US governments refuse to contemplate any other order other than a presumed unipolar dominance. Hence the ongoing US trade strife with China and Washington's relentless demonization of Russia. ..."
"... This "exceptional" ideological mantra of the US is leading to more tensions, and ultimately is a path to the abyss. Henry Kissinger gets it. It's a pity America's present crop of politicians and thinkers are so impoverished in their intellect. ..."
Nov 29, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger made prudent remarks recently when he said the United States is no longer a uni-power and that it must recognize the reality of China as an equal rival. The furor over a new law passed by the US this week regarding Hong Kong and undermining Beijing's authority underlines Kissinger's warning.

If the US cannot find some modus vivendi with China, then the outcome could be a catastrophic conflict worst than any previous world war, he admonished.

Speaking publicly in New York on November 14, the veteran diplomat urged the US and China to resolve their ongoing economic tensions cooperatively and mutually, adding: "It is no longer possible to think that one side can dominate the other."

A key remark made by Kissinger was the following: "So those countries that used to be exceptional and used to be unique, have to get used to the fact that they have a rival."

In other words, he is negating the erroneous consensus held in Washington which asserts that the US is somehow "exceptional", a "uni-power" and the "indispensable nation". This consensus has grown since the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the US viewed itself as the sole super-power. That morphed into a more virulent ideology of "full-spectrum dominance". Thence, the past three decades of unrelenting US criminal wars and regime-change operations across the planet, throwing the whole world into chaos.

Kissinger's frank assessment is a breath of fresh air amid the stale and impossibly arrogant self-regard held by too many American politicians who view their nation as an unparalleled power which brooks no other.

The seasoned statesman, who is 96-years-old and retains an admirable acumen for international politics, ended his remarks on an optimistic note by saying: "I am confident the leaders on both sides [US and China] will realize the future of the world depends on the two sides working out solutions and managing the inevitable difficulties."

Aptly, Kissinger's caution about danger of conflict was reiterated separately by veteran journalist John Pilger, who warned in an exclusive interview for Strategic Culture Foundation this week that, presumed "American exceptionalism is driving the world to war."

Henry Kissinger is indeed a controversial figure. Many US scholars regard him as one of the most outstanding Secretaries of State during the post-Second World War period. He served in the Nixon and Ford administrations during the 1970s and went on to write tomes about geopolitics and international relations. Against that, his reputation was badly tarnished by the US war in Vietnam and the horrendous civilian death toll from relentless aerial bombing across Indochina, believed to have been countenanced by Kissinger.

Kissinger has also been accused of supporting the military coup in Chile in 1973 against elected President Allende, and for backing the dirty war by Argentina's fascist generals during the 1970s against workers and leftists.

... ... ...

At times, President Donald Trump appears to subscribe to realpolitik pragmatism. At other times, he swings to the hyper-ideological mentality as expressed by his Vice President Mike Pence, as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mike Esper. The latter has labeled China as the US's "greatest long-term threat".

This week President Trump signed into law "The Human Rights and Democracy Bill", which will impose sanctions on China over alleged repression in its Hong Kong territory. Beijing has reacted furiously to the legislation, condemning it as a violation of its sovereignty.

This is exactly the kind of baleful move that Kissinger warned against in order to avoid a further poisoning in bilateral relations already tense from the past 16 months of US-China trade war.

One discerns the difference between Kissinger and more recent US politicians: the former has copious historical knowledge and appreciation of other cultures. His shrewd, wily, maybe even Machiavellian streak, informs Kissinger to acknowledge and respect other powers in a complex world. That is contrasted with the puritanical banality and ignorance manifest in Trump's administration and in the Congress.

Greeting Kissinger last Friday, November 22, during a visit to Beijing, President Xi Jinping thanked him for his historic contribution in normalizing US-China relations during 1970s.

"At present, Sino-US relations are at a critical juncture facing some difficulties and challenges," said Xi, calling on the two countries to deepen communication on strategic issues. It was an echo of the realpolitik views Kissinger had enunciated the week before.

While sharing a public stage with Kissinger, the Chinese leader added: "The two sides should proceed from the fundamental interests of the two peoples and the people of the world, respect each other, seek common ground while reserving differences, pursue win-win results in cooperation, and promote bilateral ties to develop in the right direction."

Likewise, China and Russia have continually urged for a multipolar world order for cooperation and partnership in development. But the present and recent US governments refuse to contemplate any other order other than a presumed unipolar dominance. Hence the ongoing US trade strife with China and Washington's relentless demonization of Russia.

This "exceptional" ideological mantra of the US is leading to more tensions, and ultimately is a path to the abyss. Henry Kissinger gets it. It's a pity America's present crop of politicians and thinkers are so impoverished in their intellect.

[Nov 30, 2019] The Transparent Cabal The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel Stephen J. Snie

Notable quotes:
"... Another episode in the sad story of recent American government. It starts with a 1996 paper entitled "A Clean Break, A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" published by an Israeli think tank, the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies. The principal idea was to foment war in the Middle East and consequently destabilize Israel's enemies. ..."
"... No informed American can afford to not know the names Oded Yinon, AIPAC, The Clean Break, The NEOCONS. Knowledge is indeed power. > ..."
"... Hersh hoped that future historians would document the fragility of American democracy by explaining how eight or nine neoconservatives were able to overcome easily the bureaucracy, the Congress, and the press. Stephen Sniegoski, in The Transparent Cabal, has provided a detailed history of how the neoconservative cult achieved the takeover. ..."
"... The neoconservatives do not represent the only case in American history of a small group attempting to take over America. The Plot to Seize the White House (Jules Archer) provided a detailed account of General Smedley Butler's testimony to Congress about a secret plot to overthrow President Franklin Roosevelt. Butler, a Republican, authored War is a Racket. ..."
"... In a recently written best-seller two political scientists at the University of Chicago and Harvard (John Meirsheimer and Stephen J. Walt _The Israeli Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy_) broke a long-standing taboo in the United States and risked charges of anti-Semitism by exposing the role of the powerful Israeli Lobby (AIPAC) in the United States and its push for war against Iraq and with its future sights on Iran. This book echoes many of the claims made by Meirsheimer and Walt and further shows the agenda of the small circle of neoconservatives in directing American foreign policy. The author maintains that the neoconservatives are a "transparent cabal", in that they have operated as a tight-knit secret group but their actions remain transparent. ..."
"... That old canard "anti-semitic" is heard again in one of the reviews of this book. Nonsense!!! If one is anti-semitic simply because he is critical of certain policies followed by Likud, then many Jews living in Israel are also Jew haters. ..."
"... Israeli politicians are, undertandably, looking out for the intestests of their nation state. However, many American pols are beholden to the Israeli lobby (of simply feaful of it) and often place American interests second to that of the lobby. ..."
Nov 30, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Although it is generally understood that American neoconservatives pushed hard for the war in Iraq, this book forcefully argues that the neocons' goal was not the spread of democracy, but the protection of Israel's interests in the Middle East. Showing that the neocon movement has always identified closely with the interests of Israel's Likudnik right wing, the discussion contends that neocon advice on Iraq was the exact opposite of conventional United States foreign policy, which has always sought to maintain stability in the region to promote the flow of oil. Various players in the rush to war are assessed according to their motives, including President Bush, Ariel Sharon, members of the foreign-policy establishment, and the American people, who are seen not as having been dragged into war against their will, but as ready after 9/11 for retaliation


Concerned Citizen , July 13, 2014

How and Why Israel Promoted the U.S. Invasion of Iraq

Every American should read this superb book about the intimate connection between the state of Israel and the Americans who planned and promoted the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 (and who still influence U.S. policy in the Middle East). This very well-researched and well-argued book will enlighten Americans who want to understand how the Jewish State of Israel powerfully shapes U.S. Middle East policy.

Stephen Sniegowski provides a detailed look at the network of die-hard pro-Israel Neoconservatives who have worked in the U.S. government, in think tanks, and in the news media to shape American foreign policy to serve the needs of Israel at the expense of the U.S. From media baron Rupert Murdoch, whose 175 newspapers around the world ALL editorialized in favor of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, to deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, to Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol, to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and later Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton, to Vice President Dick Cheney, to the Chairman of the Defense Policy Board Richard Perle, the neoconservatives successfully persuaded President George W. Bush to invade Iraq to promote Israel's foreign policy interests.

Sniegowski describes how the Neocons promoted lies about Saddam Hussein's supposed Weapons of Mass Destruction and his supposed ties to al-Qaeda terrorists from a network of think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Middle East Media Research Institute, Hudson Institute, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Middle East Forum, Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), the Center for Security Policy, and the Project for a New American Century (PNAC).

He also traces the influence of Israeli Zionist Oded Yinon on the American Neoconservatives. Yinon wrote an article in 1982 entitled "A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s" that called for Israel to bring about the dissolution of many of the Arab states and their fragmentation into a mosaic of ethnic and sectarian groupings. This is basically what is happening to Iraq and Syria today. He also called for Israelis to accelerate the emigration of Palestinians from Israel, whose border he believed should extend to the Jordan River and beyond it.

Yinon's article influenced a paper written for the Israeli Likud government of Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996 by American neoconservatives Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and David Wurmser entitled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm". This paper stated that Netanyahu should "make a clean break" with the Oslo peace process and reassert Israel's claim to the West Bank and Gaza. Like Yinon's article, it also called for the removal of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and the weakening of Syria to promote Israel's interests. It was written five years BEFORE the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. These same three men - Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and David Wurmser - who advised Netanyahu's Israeli government on issues of national security would later advise President George W. Bush to pursue virtually the same policies regarding the Middle East.

If you want to understand how and why powerful pro-Israel neoconservatives in the U.S. misled Americans and convinced President George W. Bush to order the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, and how they persuaded the U.S. Congress to give Bush the authority to order the invasion, read this outstanding book.

Baraniecki Mark Stuart , March 13, 2010
The Failure of American Government

Another episode in the sad story of recent American government. It starts with a 1996 paper entitled "A Clean Break, A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" published by an Israeli think tank, the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies. The principal idea was to foment war in the Middle East and consequently destabilize Israel's enemies.

The policy was adopted by the Israeli pro-settler right wing and Jewish activists in and around the Clinton and Bush administrations such as Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser (who all helped produce the original document). They identified as targets Iraq, Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia and were handed a golden opportunity after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre. Iraq was falsely presented as an Al Qaeda base and the media planted with stories about an imminent attack on the United States using WMD. Despite the CIA knowing all along that the WMD didn't exist, the US still invaded Iraq and the story was quietly and unbelievably changed to "building democracy".

As Sniegoski points out, the war has exceeded the cost of Vietnam and the same activists, now working through Hillary Clinton are looking for "incidents" in Iraq to trigger the next phase of the plan which is a US attack on Iran.

UPDATE October 2014:

And it gets worse: The 911 story itself keeps morphing. Google "Building 7", YouTube "911 Missing Links" or check the article at http://911speakout.org/7TOCPJ.pdf. >

Severo , May 16, 2016
A cornerstone in the quest for understanding the current Middle East Crisis.

Important book for those trying understand the chaos that is currently reigning in the Middle East. From the lies based NEOCON attack on Iraq trumpeted by the mainstream USA media as a fight to save Western Civilization, to the rise of ISIL.

This books will make those connections clear. No informed American can afford to not know the names Oded Yinon, AIPAC, The Clean Break, The NEOCONS. Knowledge is indeed power. >

Paul Sheldon Foote , January 26, 2010
The Neoconservative Cult and the Fragility of American Democracy

On January 27, 2005, [...] posted the remarks of Seymour Hersh (The New Yorker contributor) at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York that a neoconservative cult had taken over the American government.

Hersh hoped that future historians would document the fragility of American democracy by explaining how eight or nine neoconservatives were able to overcome easily the bureaucracy, the Congress, and the press. Stephen Sniegoski, in The Transparent Cabal, has provided a detailed history of how the neoconservative cult achieved the takeover.

Other books have stressed how the neoconservative ideology is contrary to traditional American values: Reclaiming the American Right (Justin Raimondo), America the Virtuous (Claes Ryn), Where the Right Went Wrong (Patrick Buchanan).

"Memoirs of a Trotskyist" in Neo-conservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea (Irving Kristol) provided a neoconservative account of the origins of neo-conservatism. Sniegoski noted correctly that the term neoconservative originated with leftists critical of their former comrades for attempting to infiltrate the Democratic and Republican parties. Thanks to leftists who call neoconservatives the ultra-right and to conservative dupes who think that anyone using a conservative label is a conservative, the neoconservative cancer has spread through the fragile American political body.

The neoconservatives do not represent the only case in American history of a small group attempting to take over America. The Plot to Seize the White House (Jules Archer) provided a detailed account of General Smedley Butler's testimony to Congress about a secret plot to overthrow President Franklin Roosevelt. Butler, a Republican, authored War is a Racket.

Unlike earlier secret plots to take over the American government, Sniegoski explained how it was possible for the neoconservatives to operate as a relatively transparent cabal. However, he observed that the neoconservatives used a Trojan horse technique to take over the American conservative movement. The goal of the neoconservatives is to promote endless wars regardless of whether the Democrats or the Republicans are in power.

The neoconservatives do not represent a popular mass movement in America. Instead, the neoconservatives rely upon the co-operation of other groups. Sniegoski provided extensive documentation of which groups enabled the neoconservatives. For example, the Christian Zionists duped their followers into sacrificing money and soldiers. Zionism originated with the writings of Moses Hess (who helped Karl Marx write The Communist Manifesto, was nicknamed the Communist Rabbi, and who is buried in Israel). In 1862, Moses Hess published Rome and Jerusalem. Moses Hess: Prophet of Communism and Zionism (Shlomo Avineri) provided a detailed explanation of the relationship between Communism and Zionism.

The reason for the fragility of American democracy is the failure of many Americans to understand the most basic aspects of the American political system and of their religions.

The Transparent Cabal is an important starting point for understanding how a neoconservative cult opposed to traditional American political and religious values is able to destroy America with endless wars.

New Age of Barbarism , October 14, 2008
A Brilliant Account of the Neoconservative War Agenda.

_The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, And the National Interest of Israel_, published in 2008 by Enigma Editions of IHS Press, by scholar Stephen J. Sniegoski is a thorough examination of the role of the neoconservatives in pushing for war in the Middle East (beginning with the war in Iraq and pushing onwards towards Iran) in order to protect the national interests of Israel. Sniegoski makes the claim that the neoconservatives have been the fundamental force behind the war efforts of the United States and have played a particularly prominent role in the Bush administration. While these claims have now become common knowledge, Sniegoski makes an important contribution by tracing the history of the neoconservative movement and its links to prominent pro-Jewish and pro-Israel groups. In particular, Sniegoski claims that neoconservativism is a tool of Zionism and the Likudniks of Israel. Sniegoski traces out how following the attacks of September 11, the neoconservative war hawks had a profound influence on the thinking of President Bush and offered him a ready made solution to his foreign policy agenda. In this book, Sniegoski also considers and refutes other theories as to the root causes behind America's intervention in Iraq (such as the role of oil and war profiteering) but explains how these theories lack the validity of that which lays the blame on the neoconservatives and their goals for Israeli dominance in the Middle East.

In a recently written best-seller two political scientists at the University of Chicago and Harvard (John Meirsheimer and Stephen J. Walt _The Israeli Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy_) broke a long-standing taboo in the United States and risked charges of anti-Semitism by exposing the role of the powerful Israeli Lobby (AIPAC) in the United States and its push for war against Iraq and with its future sights on Iran. This book echoes many of the claims made by Meirsheimer and Walt and further shows the agenda of the small circle of neoconservatives in directing American foreign policy. The author maintains that the neoconservatives are a "transparent cabal", in that they have operated as a tight-knit secret group but their actions remain transparent.

This book begins with a Foreword by Congressman Paul Findley (famous author of _They Dare to Speak Out_ and longtime opponent of the Israeli Lobby) in which he explains the importance of Sniegoski's book and deflects the spurious charge of anti-Semitism. Following this, appears an Introduction by noted paleoconservative Paul Gottfried who explains his admiration for Sniegoski's book, offers some comparisons between Sniegoski's claims and those of other individuals, and contrasts the old non-interventionist limited government form of conservativism with that of the neoconservatives.

The first chapter of Sniegoski's book is entitled "The Transparent Cabal" and notes the disastrous consequences that have followed upon the Iraq war spurred on by the neoconservatives. The author explains what he means in calling the neoconservatives a "transparent cabal" and notes the importance of their Middle East, pro-Israeli agenda. The author explains how following the events of September 11, they came to take on a prominent role in influencing the thinking of the president (who had previously shown little interest in the Middle East).

The second chapter is entitled "The "Neocon-Israel" Claim: Bits and Pieces" and exposes the role of Israel's Likudnik party behind the neoconservatives. The author deflects claims of "anti-Semitism" which are frequently hurled at those who make these charges by showing that even many prominent Jews agree with this. Following this appears a chapter entitled "Who are the Neocons?" which shows how the neocons emigrated from their original home in the Democratic party of the McGovernite left into the Republican party as the New Left began to voice criticisms of Israel. The author shows that many of the neocons are actually socialists and Trotskyites parading under the label of "conservative". Further, the author shows the role of various intellectuals centering around New York City in creating the neoconservative movement.

Next, appears a chapter entitled "The Israeli Origins of the Middle East War Agenda" which shows how the goal of Middle East war to further the interests of Israel has been supported extensively by hawkish groups in Israel. The author explains how these groups came to have such a prominent role in influencing the policy of the United States and in suppressing the native population of Palestinians in Israel. Following, appears a chapter entitled "Stability and the Gulf War of 1991: Prefigurement and Prelude to the 2003 Iraq War" in which the author explains the importance of the first Gulf War of Bush I in prefiguring the Iraq War of Bush II. After this, appears a chapter entitled "During the Clinton Years" in which the author shows the continuing role of the neocons during the Clinton years.

Following this, appears a chapter entitled "Serbian Interlude and the 2000 Elections" in which the author explains how the war in Yugoslavia paved the way for the coming Iraq War of President Bush. This also explains the split that occurred among conservatives between those traditional conservatives who opposed the war and the neocons who firmly supported it. Following this appears a chapter entitled "George W. Bush Administration: The Beginning" in which the author explains the role that the neocons came to take in the Bush administration mentioning in particular the role of such figures as Wolfowitz and Cheney and the role of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). Following this appears a chapter entitled "September 11", showing how the events of Sept. 11 allowed the neocon agenda to gain prominence in the mind of President Bush.

Next, appears a chapter entitled "Move to War" explaining how the neocons pushed for war against Sadaam Hussein presenting their case to the American people by claiming that Hussein was in possession of WMDs which could be used against America. Following this appears a chapter entitled "World War IV" explaining how the conflict in the Middle East came to be dubbed World War IV by certain intellectuals among the neocons.

Next, appears a chapter entitled "Democracy for the Middle East" showing the role of the neocons in foisting "democracy" onto various nations and their goal of global democratic revolution. The author also explains the role of the thinking of political philosopher Leo Strauss behind many of the neocons and his profoundly anti-democratic philosophy. Following this, appears a chapter entitled "Neocons' Post-Invasion Difficulties" showing how the invasion of Iraq turned out to be more serious and difficult than originally anticipated by the neocons. Next, appears a chapter entitled "Beginning of the Second Administration" showing the continuing role of the neocons under the second Bush administration.

Then, appears a chapter entitled "Israel, Lebanon, and the 2006 Election" showing the role of Lebanon and Syria in relationship to Israel and that of the 2006 election.

Next, appears a chapter entitled "2007: On to Iran" showing how the neocons continued to press for further wars in particular against Iran by alleging among other things that Ahmedinejad was a mad man with possible access to nuclear weapons. Following, appears a chapter entitled "The Supporting Cast for War" noting the role of Christian Zionists (which includes the beliefs of President Bush, although not his father), former Cold Warriors, and even prominent establishment liberals in supporting the Iraq war. The author notes however that the traditional foreign policy establishment elites and many in the intelligence agencies did not support the war, but were disregarded to further the neocon agenda. The author also contrasts the difference between the liberal elites who frequently were pro-war and the popular anti-war movement which had very little power.

Following this, the author turns to a chapter entitled "Oil and Other Arguments" in which the author considers the claims that the war was fought to obtain access to oil or for the interests of war profiteers and shows that while both groups certainly benefited they are not the real reason for the war. The book ends with a "Conclusion" in which the author expounds upon the continuing role of the neocons in influencing American foreign policy and a "Postscript" in which the author notes that no matter who wins the 2008 election that the neocon agenda will likely continue and is not likely to go away anytime soon.

This book offers a fascinating history and account of the role of the neoconservatives in pushing the United States into war. The author makes clear the influence of the Israeli Likudnik party behind the neocons and their goal of strengthening the position of Israel in the Middle East. It is important to understand the fundamental nature of the foreign policy elites who have been pushing us into war against Iraq and now with eyes towards Iran.

Honest Observer , December 30, 2009
CRITICISM OF ISRAEL IS NOT ANTI-SEMITISM

That old canard "anti-semitic" is heard again in one of the reviews of this book. Nonsense!!! If one is anti-semitic simply because he is critical of certain policies followed by Likud, then many Jews living in Israel are also Jew haters.

Let's put aside these negative and nasty characterizations and look at the facts.

Israeli politicians are, undertandably, looking out for the intestests of their nation state. However, many American pols are beholden to the Israeli lobby (of simply feaful of it) and often place American interests second to that of the lobby.

To suggest that there is such a lobby and that it is powerful is hardly anti-semitic. Nor is the author. He is simply stating verifible facts which any student of politics is free to do. He may be mistaken in his conclusions but that hardly makes him anti-semitic. And he may not be mistaken at all. He is not the first to suggest that our leaders are fearful of the Israeli lobby and do its bidding and often to the detriment of American interests .

Dennis R. Jugan , August 28, 2008
History will always link the Iraq War with the term 'neoconservative'

Stephen Sniegoski, a diplomatic historian, is uniquely qualified to write about the neoconservatives' involvement in the prolonged Iraq War originating in 2003. He accurately predicted their activities and allegiance in this entanglement in 1998, three years before the acts of 9-11 and two additional years before a traumatized nation yielded to a nescient, misdirected President, his Vice President/administration, and an ostensibly compliant bi-partisan House and Senate.

The author presents a tight outline which he cogently expands in intelligible detail, maintaining that the origins of the American war on Iraq revolve around the adoption of a war agenda whose basic structure was conceived in Israel to advance Israel's interests. The pro-Israel neoconservatives and a powerful Israel lobby in the United States fervently pushed its agenda. Ironically, he extracts his most persuasive evidence from an extensive neoconservative paper trail that's been clearly recognized by a discreet cadre of vigilant Americans for years. Thus the title, "The Transparent Cabal."

Dr. Sniegoski asks the appropriate question: "Who are the neoconservatives?" He provides insightful answers on their pertinent activities since 1972, those who shaped and mentored them, their immediate family/interconnected family networks, their prominent periodical publications, their past and present leadership, non-Jewish minority members, their persistent rise to positions of political influence and authority, their embrace of Christian Zionists, and their close ties to the extremely conservative Likud Party in Israel. He reveals their tactical affiliations with key, heavily endowed influential think tanks, and a vast number of powerful Israel-centric lobbying organizations that reactively finance and nurture their continued success.

Many readers will recognize his references to writers of previous books, articles and columns -- many of Jewish heritage -- who bravely fight against well financed, mainstream media-dominant opponents and their psychological surrogates active on the Internet. These opponents perniciously engage in personal attacks and retribution, indiscriminately applying irrelevant anti-semitic labels. They persist at attempting to sway public discourse by spreading misinformation, disinformation, and mostly NO RELEVANT INFORMATION to the public.

In various places throughout the book, the author notes curious relationships with current and former elected and appointed officials. He writes about the ongoing 2008 presidential campaign in a postscript, citing past and existing direct influences on specific candidates by the neoconservatives, the Israel Lobby and its supporters.

The book concludes with a summary of the paucity of benefits compared to the predictable losses of the American people over recent years. These are the real consequences of the Israel-inspired plan to "drain the swamp" (a euphemism for destabilizing perceived enemies then establishing precarious nominal democracies) that began with our misadventure in Iraq and was to proceed with subsequent U.S. military interventions in Iran and Syria. The few meager benefits and the enormous losses to the United States are compared to the strategic advantages that the State of Israel derives directly from our five-year induced military involvement in Iraq and our concomitant departure from past, longstanding policies of diplomacy and stability in the Middle East.

Sniegoski counsels, "it is hardly controversial to propose that elites, rather than the people as a whole, determine government policies, even in democracies."

Yet this war has a supporting cast of middle Americans. Many of them were traumatized by the events of 9-11 and reactively saw an act of patriotism in supporting retaliation against a falsely perceived enemy in Iraq. It's time to reconsider false arguments preceding the Iraq War that have only been cosmetically modified until the present day. It's time to dismiss incongruous ideas formed in the cauldron of confusion after 9-11.

Given today's realities, it DOES take patriotism and courage to insist on formally normalizing an entangled, unreciprocated military alliance with an Israeli government that burdens the taxpayers of the United States, promotes angst among its people, and imperils its military forces worldwide.

Know and embrace Thomas Jefferson's ideal of 'eternal vigilance' as citizens of the United States.
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Facts in this book are reinforced in adjacent paragraphs and referenced in nearly 50 pages of notes. Readers are encouraged to read:

James B. Pate , June 12, 2019
The Transparent Cabal

Stephen J. Sniegoski has a doctorate from the University of Maryland and studied American diplomatic history. My review here will refer to him as "S," for short.

This book is about the American neoconservative movement. S goes from its founding through its influential role in getting the U.S. into the Iraq War, then he discusses the War's aftermath. S's argument is that the neoconservative agenda regarding the Middle East is designed to serve the interests of the state of Israel, as those interests are articulated by the right-wing Likud party there. This agenda supports weakening Arab nations surrounding Israel so that they cannot pose a threat to her. According to S, the neoconservatives supported such an agenda since their beginning as a movement, but 9/11 created an opportunity for this agenda to become the foreign policy of the United States during much of the Presidency of George W. Bush.

Here are some thoughts:

A. Looking broadly at the book itself, it is a standard narration of the events surrounding and including the Iraq War. Like a lot of people, I lived through that, so the sweeping narrative of the book was not particularly new to me. The story is essentially that the U.S. went into Iraq expecting to find weapons of mass destruction after 9/11, bombed the country and found that were no WMDs, and traveled the difficult road of trying to rebuild the country, amidst ethnic division, turmoil, and opposition from Iraqis.

B. That said, there were some things that I learned from this book. First, while neoconservatism is said to believe in spreading democracy in the Middle East, it is not necessarily committed to democracy, per se. Initially, it supported a new government of Iraq that would be led by the traditional, pre-Saddam tribal authorities, who were not democratic. Second, S seems to imply that even the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan was unnecessary, since the Taliban initially appeared cooperative in offering to help the U.S. to bring al-Qaeda to justice. Third, there are neoconservatives who have supported undermining even America's allies in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia. The different groups in Saudi Arabia was also interesting, for, as S notes, Shiites hold a significant amount of control over Saudi oil, even though the political establishment is Sunni. Fourth, S argues rigorously against the idea that the U.S. launched the Iraq War to get more oil. Saddam was offering U.S. oil companies opportunities to drill in Iraq, plus oil companies did not want the oil infrastructure of the country to be disrupted or shattered by war.

C. There were also things in the book that I was interested to learn more about, even though I had a rudimentary understanding of them before. For one, S chronicles George W. Bush's changing views on foreign policy, as he went from rejecting nation-building, while retaining a tough stance, to embracing nation building. In the early days of the Bush II Administration, long before the Iraq War, Condi Rice even explained on news shows why regime change in Iraq would be a mistake at that point. Second, S discusses the coalition that emerged to support the war in Iraq. The neocons wanted to protect Israel, but Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld embraced the Iraq War as a way to showcase the effectiveness of a lean military. Meanwhile, many Americans, frightened after 9/11, supported the Iraq War as a way to keep the U.S. safe. And Christian conservatives embraced the good vs. evil, pro-Israel stance of neoconservative policy. Third, S strategically evaluates moves that the U.S. made; for S, for example, the surge did not actually work, but more stability emerged in Iraq as different ethnic factions became separated from each other.

D. According to S, the Iraq War was a disaster. It stretched America's military, taking away resources that could have been used to find Osama bin-Laden. Yet, Israel got something that it wanted as a result: disarray among her Arab neighbors. An argument that S did not really engage, as far as I can recall, is that the Iraq War placed Israel even more in peril, since it increased the power of Iran by allowing Iraq to serve as a proxy for Iranian interests.

E. For S, neoconservatism is concerned about the security of Israel. Even its staunch Cold War policy is rooted in that concern, since the U.S.S.R. tended to support Arabs over the Israelis. S acknowledges, though, that there is more to neoconservatism that that. Neoconservatives supported a strong U.S. military intervention in the former Yugoslavia during the Clinton Administration, and neoconservatism also maintains stances on domestic issues, such as welfare.

F. S is sensitive to any charges of anti-Semitism that may be launched against his book. He emphatically denies that he is saying there was a Jewish conspiracy to get the U.S. into Iraq, for he observes that many Jews opposed the Iraq War. Moreover, S does not exactly present the U.S. government as a Zionist Occupied Government (ZOG), for the neoconservatives were long on the margins prior to the Presidency of George W. Bush. Even under Bush II, the traditional national security and intelligence apparatus was critical of the Iraq War, preferring more multilateralism and a focus on stability in the Middle East. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), long a bogeyman of right-wing conspiracy theorists, also had reservations about the Iraq War.

G. S largely depicts the Likud party in Israel, and neoconservatives, as supporting Israel's security as a nation, her protection, if you will. At the same time, S argues that Israel in 2006 was acting aggressively rather than defensively in its invasion of Lebanon, for Lebanon had coveted water-supplies.

H. Near the end of the Iraq War, S demonstrates, neoconservatives were calling on the U.S. to take an aggressive stance against Iran, going so far as to bomb the country. That, of course, is an issue that remains relevant today. S probably regards such a move as a mistake. At the same time, he can understand why Israel would be apprehensive about a nuclear-armed Iran. He thinks that Ahmadinejad has been incorrectly understood to say that Israel should be wiped off the map, but S still acknowledges that a powerful Iran could provide more support to the Palestinians, which would trouble Israel. Although S understands this, he seems to scorn the idea that Israel should get everything she wants and have hegemony.

I. S is open to the possibility that neoconservatives believe that their support for Israel is perfectly consistent with America's well-being. As S observes, the U.S. government since its founding has had people who believe that partisanship towards a certain nation -- -Britain or France -- -is not only good for its own sake but serves the interests of the United States. S disputes, however, that neoconservative policy is the only way to help the U.S. Could not one argue, after all, that the U.S. would want to be on the Arabs' good side, with all the oil the Arabs have? This analysis may be a little dated, since the U.S. now has some alternative sources of energy (fracking), but S makes this point in evaluating the historical stance of neoconservatism.

Philip Collier , September 10, 2014
silence is deafening by Philip Collier

I was interested to see the reviews of this book. Usually if any book suggests that Israel is less than perfect a group of Zionist fanatics surface with several reviews telling us that there nothing wrong Israel or American support of it.

Remarkably there is only one negative review of this book which has to be seen to be believed. This reviewer "yoda" from Israel charges in all seriousness that Sniegoski does not provide evidence that the neoconservatives are "predominantly Jewish " and are " strongly aligned with Israel". Asking the author to provide evidence for such
assertions is like asking him to give evidence that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow .

This is I believe the real reason that that there are relatively few attacks on this book.The author does not engage in shrill denunciations of Israel or of the neoconservatives . What he does do is quote at length what neocoservstives say and provide careful documentation for any factual claims. For the most part the reader is allowed to draw his own conclusions. Should the US continue to finance Israeli repression of Palestinians and perhaps go to war against Iran or anyone else who might object to Israeli policie?

Instead of denouncing Sniegoski "Yoda" should consider the sane Israelis in his own country . For example former Mossad chief Meir Dagan who said that a war with Iran was the "stupidest idea he had ever heard of." Also moviemaker Emmanuel Dror who interviewed virtually all the former directors of the Shin Bett ( Israel's internal security service ) who all called for disengaging from the occupied territories .

perhaps we all would be better off listening to these Isaelis rather than follow the neoconservatives into another disastrous war on the other side of the world.

T. Marsh , November 1, 2009
Fantastic Horror story, wait. This is real

This is going to be a very strange review coming from me. You see, I wrote a novel called "Other Nations" and well, people that liked it a lot, liked it, but then those that really disliked it disliked it because my "aliens among humans" were nice people, likeable people, even charismatic people, everyday suburban types even, living that kind of life. Among us. Next door, in the next city over. They wanted instead to see the aliens among us portrayed as well, pick your favorite genocidal maniac or mind-controlling dictator or creature so dementedly alien that no sense can be made of it. Well!

There are many types of true horror. The kind that passes itself off as my aliens among us are portrayed, well, I guess some people GET IT - and they liked it.

But I'm not here to push my book. I'm here to push THIS BOOK - because my god, this is REAL, not fantasy, it's REAL, not science fiction. And yes, they are among us with well -

BUY THIS BOOK. If you are too broke to buy it, get it from the library - and by all means - READ IT.

Just hope to whatever god you choose that neocons are removed from governmental influence and that their Amen corner is ignored. Hope to god, because if they suceed in doing the INSANITY they want to do - America will be FINISHED - if it's not finished already due to what these Fifth Columnists have done during the 8 years of Twilight Zone (GWB Rule).

And for those Jewish critics on here that might want to compare these neocon FACTS and the other FACTS openly available to all (which is WHY the book is called the TRANSPARENT cabal) - compare it to the Protocols - they better think twice about that. Becauase, you see, what's in here is real, real facts, provably real facts - and if Jews themselves compare this to the Procols? Some folks might get the idea that maybe that is real too. Perhaps George Soros (who is Jewish) needs to speak LOUDER against the neocons. They are, indeed, crazies, as Colin Powell called them. Crazies.

junglejuice , July 17, 2017
Israel's interests revealed

If you want to have an eye opener then read and see who were those Jewish players working and influencing everything in the Bush Admin.promoting war with Iraq, then this is your book of truth. The cabal of Jewish players come out of the woodwork in Stephen Sniegoski's great work. When step by step the plan was a clear war map laid out for the U.S. in detail and after you realize just who was working for whom in this criminal cabal of the American government.

When you have Jewish control of the main stream media and Jewish control in Washington, D.C., don't wonder why the facts were omitted to make all the right connections for the public to see in this lead up to a war from lies.

[Nov 30, 2019] Video How the U.S. Caused the Breakup of the Soviet Union - Global ResearchGlobal Research - Centre for Research on Globalizat

Nov 30, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

Video: How the U.S. Caused the Breakup of the Soviet Union Sean Gervasi 1992 Lecture By Sean Gervasi and Dennis Riches Global Research, November 30, 2019 Region: Russia and FSU , USA Theme: History

We bring to the attention of Global Research readers the text of an unpublished Lecture delivered in 1992 by the late Sean Gervasi on the history of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the US Strategy formulated during World War II to bring down the USSR.

The full transcript and video of Sean Gervasi's presentation is preceded by Dennis Riches Introduction

Scroll down for the Video

Introduction

We defeated totalitarianism and won a war in the Pacific and the Atlantic simultaneously We worked together in a completely bipartisan way to bring down communism So now we have to use our political processes in our democracy, and then decide to act together to solve those problems. But we have to have a different perspective on this one. It [global warming] is different from any problem we have ever faced before [i] – Al Gore

These words above were spoken by former US vice-president Al Gore in 2007 in his film An Inconvenient Truth . Because audiences at the time were in rapt awe of him, treating him as a savior in the campaign to solve the global warming crisis, they never seemed to reflect on the outrageous assumptions underlying his comments about "defeating totalitarianism" and "bringing down communism." These are worth examining for what they say about perceptions of world history among the American political class, and they even hint at how the errors in these perceptions led Mr. Gore to being self-deceived about what would be necessary to solve the problem he has devoted himself to since he has been out of power.

Although the United States played a crucial role in WWII, it was slow to get involved and it let the Soviet Union do much of the heavy lifting and suffer the heaviest losses. The United States had a lot of help in achieving the victory Mr. Gore claims for America, and we could assume he knows this, so the way he chose to describe historical events is telling.

Perhaps acknowledging the reality would have detracted from his second point about "bringing down communism." Everyone knows that what he is referring to so proudly is the destabilization and destruction of the USSR, the Warsaw bloc nations, and Yugoslavia, not the abstract notion of communism. He is referring to a "victory" which precipitated civil wars and a disastrous collapse of the economy and social welfare systems in these countries, one that killed and impoverished millions. In China, Cuba and the DPRK, contrary to what he stated, these nations' versions of socialism haven't been brought down at all. [1992]

Explicitly describing the "bringing down of communism" as America's deliberate actions to dismantle the USSR might run the risk of reminding the audience about the illegality of interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign nations, and it might have reminded people of what a betrayal this was of America's WWII ally and partner in the détente of the 1970s. The inconvenient truth is that the USSR was the WWII ally that played a crucial role in the victory that Mr. Gore claimed solely for America.

Nonetheless, the comment about "bringing down communism" is refreshingly, and maybe accidentally, very honest. Most descriptions of the Soviet collapse, even those done by historians specializing in this field, pay little attention to American efforts to undermine the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s. The political class always denied that America had a plan to dismantle the USSR, and denied having any significant influence on events which they claim arose from domestic causes. If America's influence is addressed at all, it is considered as a matter of speculation, a mystery hardly worth thinking about when one can more easily look at the dramatic events that occurred on the surface within the Soviet Union in the last decade of its existence. The following transcript of the lecture by Sean Gervasi, delivered in 1992, shortly after the collapse, is unique and valuable for what it reveals about the significant, and perhaps decisive, American role in the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In his conclusion, Mr. Gervasi came to this judgment:

The Soviet Union today, in the absence of this extraordinarily crafty, well-thought-out, extremely costly strategy deployed by the Reagan administration, would be a society struggling through great difficulties. It would still be a socialist society, at least of the kind that it was. It would be far from perfect, but it would still be there, and I think, therefore, that Western intervention made a crucial difference in this situation."

The journey to how he came to this conclusion is well worth the reader's time.

A final comment about Mr. Gore's remarks: He is oblivious to the inconvenient solution that has been staring him in the face all these years: that the necessary reduction of carbon emissions will require severe constraints on capitalism, a thesis developed by Jason W. Moore in Capitalism in the Web of Life .[ii] Mr. Gore should know that a radical solution is needed. In his recent sequel to An Inconvenient Truth he complains about the undue influence of "money in politics" that has gotten so much worse over the last ten years, but that's as deep as the class analysis and ideological exploration can go in America. He evinces no awareness of the historical figures who developed answers to the problem of unaccountable private control of a nation's government, resources and productive capacities. Gore is still proud of having actively worked against a revolution in human affairs that aimed to curtail the savage capitalism that led to the present ecological catastrophe.

In spite of the flaws one might see in what the Soviet Union actually became, flaws that arose to a great extent because it had to fight against external threats throughout its existence, the goals of the revolution of 1917 are still relevant to the crises of the 21st century, and this is what makes Sean Gervasi's research so valuable now, after a quarter century in which America doubled down on its "winning ways" and worsened the crises that were evident long ago in 1992.

About Sean Gervasi

Sean Gervasi (1933-1996) spent the latter part of his career exposing the role of the United States and Western powers in the breakup of the USSR and Yugoslavia. He was working on a book,Balkan Roulette, at the time of his death.

Gervasi was an economist trained at the University of Geneva, Oxford and Cornell. His political career began when he took a post as an economic adviser in the Kennedy administration. He resigned in protest after the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

After his resignation, Gervasi was never able to get work again in the United States as an economist, despite his impressive academic credentials. He became a lecturer at the London School of Economics after leaving Washington. Notwithstanding his great popularity, the school refused to renew his contract in 1965.

During the 1970s and 1980s he was an adviser to a number of governments in Africa and the Middle East, helping them navigate the hostile and predatory world of transnational corporations and megabanks. He also worked for the UN Committee on Apartheid and the UN Commission on Namibia.

In addition, Gervasi was a journalist, contributing to a wide range of publications, from the New York Amsterdam News to Le Monde Diplomatique . He was a frequent commentator on the listener-supported Pacifica radio station WBAI in New York. In 1976, Gervasi broke the story of how the U.S. government was secretly arming the apartheid regime in South Africa.

In the late 1980s, Gervasi began to focus on the Cold War and what he called the "full court press," a basketball term for a highly aggressive "all in" strategy. In an article published in the Covert Action Information Bulletin in early 1991[iii], when the breakup of the USSR was imminent, Gervasi showed how the Reagan administration's strategy of economic isolation, a gargantuan arms buildup with the threat of a nuclear attack, overt funding of internal dissent, and CIA-directed sabotage had been decisive in bringing down the USSR. Gervasi backed up his analysis with careful scholarship and documentation.

Gervasi was widely respected as a leading independent figure in the left, but his views were contrary to the fashionable dogma that attributed the USSR's collapse almost exclusively to such things as failures of leadership, centralization of the economy, the black market, Chernobyl, or independence movements, and not to external hostility. These are the subjects which he addressed in the following lecture given to a small audience in January 1992. The lecture can still be found on internet video sites, but the thesis of this lecture still remains marginal and obscure two decades later, even though it is highly pertinent to the Cold War replay that is underway in the second decade of the 21st century -- one in which Russia stands accused of turning the tables and doing a comparatively very tame version of the propaganda war waged on the USSR in the 1980s.

After 1992, Gervasi focused his attention on the breakup of Yugoslavia, which he discovered was a replay of the strategy used to break up the Soviet Union. He became active in exposing the role of external powers, particularly the U.S. and German governments, in fomenting the civil war in the Balkans. His view that the war in Bosnia was sparked by the aggressive machinations these nations, and not age-old ethnic rivalries, alienated Gervasi from much of the liberal and progressive movement. Journals to which he had once regularly contributed would no longer print his articles. He had great difficulty finding a publisher for his book on the Balkans, but some of his research on this topic can be found in the article "Why Is NATO In Yugoslavia?"[iv] published by Global Research in 2001.[v]

Dennis Riches, November 2017

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VIDEO

Scroll down for the full Transcript

https://www.youtube.com/embed/b9_aYcpxClA

Byline of the video:

Propaganda expert reveals details in 1992 of RAND Think Tank plan under Reagan to bring down USSR, the major socialist challenge to capitalism in crisis, called Operation Full Court Press when announced at a Reagan limited invitee press conference upon its launch. It involved targeting mid-level Soviet bureaucrats with publications and Air America broadcasts pointing to problems they were facing having better outcomes in the US, military provocations when they were considering their budget in order to spend them into bankruptcy, luring them into Afghanistan followed by arming the Mujahadeen with surface to air missiles and such; and fanning flames of ethnic rivalries within the Soviet Union, like by sending publication equipment to Baltic ethnic groups.

In first 20 minutes Sean prophetically lays out the impending crisis of capitalism that drives their urgency to stamp out socialist competition. Sean died under mysterious circumstances in Belgrad where he had set up shop pointing out a PR effort in the US Congress by Ruder Finn hired by Croats and Kosovo Albanians to start a US war against Yugoslavia for their secession.

Event January 26, 1992 arranged by Connie Hogarth of WESPAC, Camera: Beth Lamont

Transcript

(edited by Dennis Riches)

Introduction

I've been speaking in the last year or so about developments in the Soviet Union from the perspective of a person who follows the workings of the Western intelligence agencies, something in which I was tutored while I was working at the United Nations, and was on the receiving end of quite a lot of that activity.

That is an important theme that one needs to look at: the role of the West in developments which have taken place in the Soviet Union, and it's one that I've been focusing on, but of course the wider and more important issue is: how shall we understand the meaning of events in the Soviet Union in the last five, six, ten years? That's really the critical question.

As you know, the developments, particularly the end or collapse of communist rule in the Soviet Union, and finally the breakup of the Soviet Union itself, have been presented in our media insistently and incessantly as evidence that socialism or social democracy, or what-have-you, which we'll discuss, is unworkable. And this, of course, in tandem with the theme which has been disseminated so energetically by these same people in the last decade, that capitalism:

  1. a) is more or less the same thing as democracy, and
  2. b) must be seen as the core and triumphant achievement of Western civilization

Hence the thesis that this is the end of history, that we have achieved everything that there is to achieve, that the present system of institutions in which we live in the West represents the pinnacle of human capacities, intellectually and organizationally, and is the best of all possible worlds.

That's the thesis, or those are the twin theses which surround us and which have been, I think, creating an enormous amount of confusion and consternation because I think people sense there is something wrong with this idea, and the effort to close off all discussion about alternatives to, what I would term, our "regime" in the United States today, and possibly in Western Europe, which is a moving backward from the more enlightened and liberal capitalism, liberal democracy and capitalism, which evolved after the Second World War in Western Europe and the United States.

We are today, I think, living in an irrational and savage capitalism of the 19th-century variety, which for particular reasons, people who have power in this society either have acceded to or have energetically worked to institute.

Part 1 The Crisis in the United States

The question is whether this great wave of propaganda makes any sense, and so I think we should examine whether the idea that socialism and alternatives to raw capitalism are impossible, undesirable, and unworkable. I think we have to look at that in two ways. First of all, we have to examine our own situation in the United States, historically, and we have to also, I think, look at what has happened in the Soviet Union because what has happened in the Soviet Union is really very different from what we are told by the mass media. We have not merely witnessed a collapse of communism in the Soviet Union. We have seen something really very different, but it has been systematically misrepresented in the Western media.

I would start then with examining the basic proposition. I would start by examining our situation in the United States today, and I'd frankly start with Charles Beard's interpretation of the American Constitution .

There's a great deal of misunderstanding about the kind of society that American democracy really represents, and that misunderstanding is both historical and contemporary. There is a tremendous tension which we are all aware of in our society. It is a tension between egalitarianism and inequality. It is a tension born of the evolution in the in the 16th, 17th and 18th century in England, and the transfer of a particular kind of society onto American soil through British political traditions, notwithstanding our rebellion as colonists at the end of the 18th century. And that is the particular set of institutions known as liberal democracy. Liberal democracy is a combination of parliamentary government and capitalism, and liberal democracy inevitably, therefore, contains some very serious tensions because the progressive development of parliamentary democracy has tended to give greater and greater scope to the principle of equality in human life and politics. That's why in the course of British 19th century political development there was a progressive expansion of the franchise. And that's why in the United States there was also an expansion of the franchise. The United States did not have the same encumbering property qualifications in the beginning, although we did have property qualifications in the 18th century in the United States, but eventually we had the full franchise extended to all adults, and we've been redefining adults most recently. We've dropped the level of political maturity or political enfranchisement to 18 years.

Capitalism, on the contrary, is a system of economic and social institutions based on the principle of inequality, and there's a rationale for that inequality which also comes from the 18th century, but the idea, essentially, is that it makes sense from the point of view of efficiency, and indeed equity, given all the considerations that one must take into account, to have a society based on the unequal distribution of property organized around that institution, to have an economy based on private property because, in the final analysis, it is most efficient, and in the long run holds the greatest promise of continuous progress. By the way, that's an argument that Marx made at a certain point -- that at a certain stage of history a capitalist society is extremely progressive, that it gathers the technical capacities of mankind, personkind, and develops them and accumulates and accumulates until it creates something new, which we won't talk about just now.

But historically and currently in the United States we very strongly sense this tension so that we go back and forth between periods when we have enormous pressures to give predominance to the principle of inequality, to pay attention to the rights of property, and periods when egalitarian tendencies have been very strong. For instance, as in the turn of the century during the expansive phase of American populism and during the antitrust of the great popular movements that sought -- not just popular -- but that sought to contain the power of the cartels and the trusts in the United States. And today we sense that too. We passed the law in 1946 that's called the Employment Act. By the way, it's not called the Full Employment Act. You have to remember that legislation. And yet we realize that our adherence to the principle of full employment was tenuous even in the 25 years which followed the Second World War, and completely spurious today. Why is that? It's because of this tremendous tension between the realities of power under capitalism and the rather fragile hold which democratic principles and institutions have on that power.

Let's go back to the Constitution and the Philadelphia Convention. I've been rereading Beard and I'm very impressed by his grasp of who predominates really in this delicate balance in liberal democracy between the principles of egalitarianism, the principles of parliamentary democracy and the enormous concentration of power, which even then was inherent in the dominance of the institutions of private property. Beard's argument essentially is that in the final analysis a small group of men, whom he refers to as one-sixth of the adult male population -- the only people who ratified the Constitution, the participants in the ratifying conventions who voted positively for the Constitution -- represented one-sixth of the adult male population. That is to say 8% of the adult population in today's terms. Against our values that represents 8% of today's population -- the equivalent.

Now, what was obtained in that framing of the Constitution? What was obtained was a system of political science, a system of government which was so structured as to ensure the dominance of private property, the power of private property in any contention between the forces of democracy and the forces of private property, and the forces of inequality, if you like, so that the structure which constitutes, at the founding of this republic, which constitutes the framework within which we operate today, is one which ensures that predominance.

I know that Beard has been attacked by many people, and it's perfectly understandable when you read Beard carefully, but it seems to me that today Beard becomes more illuminating. Why? I say I pay attention to the Constitution, to the Philadelphia Convention, to its ratification, to the numbers who ratified it and to the purposes which they saw themselves as furthering by their framing and ratification of this constitution because that is the framework within which the United States experienced the most successful and untrammeled Industrial Revolution in the history of mankind. Untrammeled. We had a straight run of industrialization which was the first to transform the condition of man in human society, by which I mean something very, very specific. And here I speak to things which were said by people like [ John Maynard] Keynes , by people like [ Joseph Alois] Schumpeter , but really ignored because they're extremely uncomfortable.

The rationalization for inequality in the institution of private property, in the thinking of eighteenth century philosophers, was that property had to be shared unequally and income had to be unequal because this inequality provided incentives which would constitute a constant assurance of the drive to the expansion of production. That was the rationalization, but in the 20th century, according to the economic historians and according to people like Keynes, countries like the United States and Great Britain began to end, began to transform the historical situation within which these institutions were conceived. How? By developing such a capacity to produce that gradually more and more numbers were lifted out of anything which could be historically or comparatively called poverty so that scarcity, which dominates the reasoning of economists, was really beginning to end in many respects. And Joseph Schumpeter was able to say, for instance, in 1928, that if economic growth continued in the United States for another 50 years we would see in 1978 the end of anything that could reasonably be called poverty.

Now that didn't quite happen. That didn't quite happen because of the enormous influence of inequality in the distribution of this productive abundance. But what it did transform was the lives of many, many people, and it transformed everyday life and the historical condition. Look between 1870 and 1970 at how the number of hours that the average American works falls. In the period between 1945 and 1970, per capita production trebled, just in that period, and we already had a huge industrial base at that time, so I would argue [agree], with Galbraith, who -- because he was right was vilified and ignored by the economist profession and studiously made little of by the mass media -- that indeed America began to be transformed with the success of its enormous industrial revolution by the end of the period after 1865, when really heavy industrialization began to take place. And indeed I would argue that the reason for the Great Depression was that the United States had lost the ability to continue to absorb everything that it could produce in an adequate way, given the institutions of the time.

So what happened then was that within this framework, which is the same framework conceived by the James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. To further the purposes of property and to insure against what Madison called "the leveling attacks of democracy," we have industrialization enhance the expansion of an enormous power, which is the power that controls the machinery and the resources of that productive system. That is to say large corporations. The largest 500 corporations in the United States today, plus the largest 500 banks and the largest 50 financial corporations control more resources than the Soviet planners ever dreamed of controlling. The control of those resources, which is made invisible by the clever workings of economists, inheres in the ability to make investment decisions. Investment decisions are the key decisions in any economic system. The power to make those decisions is the power to continuously transform and to determine the terms of everyday life among human beings in any society. That power is not only invisible in our system of thought, carefully hidden by the descendants of the 18th century philosophers, but it is also totally unaccountable.

Now maybe you could say, and we did say this between 1945 and 1975:

"OK this is a contradiction of democracy. This is the inheritance from the Philadelphia Convention, the Constitution in its ratification and the dominance of this one-sixth of the male adult population in 1789, but this system is so productive that we can alleviate the resulting social and political tensions by raising the standard of living of ordinary folks."

And that was the whole philosophy of the sophisticated American leadership in the first generation after the Second World War. That was the philosophy of the Rockefellers when they talked about the new enlightened capitalism of 20th century. Capitalism could deliver the goods and hence people would be content, despite the fact that the realities of power born at the end of the 18th century, and essentially enhanced by the enormous accumulation of power represented by industrialization and the growth of large corporations and their concentrated power in the economy. We could live with that because the United States economy was so productive.

Now, that's our history, and the tremendous tension of our situation today as contrasted with the post-war period because one thing is very clear today: that for 20 years in the United States this system has not been working. There has been a systematic retreat from full employment, high wages, advancing standards of living, security in one's job, and the advance of the welfare state. We have systematically been retreating from those things so that we have higher and higher official and real unemployment, which of course is about double the official unemployment -- and the statisticians work very hard to hide the realities of life.

Sean Gervasi

Between 1977 and 1992, according to the Congressional Budget Office, 70% of American families have seen their after-tax income fall. 70%! In the lower ranges of the income distribution those falls are quite sharp. Purchasing power falls by twenty 20.8% for the poorest fifth, by something like 12% for the next fifth, by something like 11% for the third fifth, and by smaller amounts for those in the middle of the income distribution system. So I would say that that represents, and people are increasingly becoming aware of it, a collapse of the American standard of living. And this collapse of the American standard of living is related to a gradual economic decline which is causing the post-war system, as we have known it in the United States between 1945 and 1970, to begin to disintegrate. And I think this is the reality of what is happening so that today even according to Wall Street forecasters like the Levies, attached to Bard College up here in the county, we are facing what they call a contained depression, which may be worse than the kind of depression we saw in the 1930s because the stabilizing role of the government makes it possible not to avoid some of the awful horrors that occurred in the depression, but to diminish them to a degree which makes them almost invisible.

So we have a very tense situation. I ask you to reflect on that when we confront the enormous economic difficulties from which there follow all kinds of social problems in our society today which we face. These are connected to, and, if you like, made possible by the arrangements conceived by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton . If this crisis which we have been living in for 20 years, and have become more acutely aware of in the last 10, is intractable, it is, above all, intractable because of this invisible concentrated power which exists today after industrial growth -- the rise of the large corporations in the framework conceived by Madison, Hamilton and the other Federalists.

So if you want to argue today that we need to reconsider this framework, you run into very fundamental problems. You run into the problem that the Constitution is treated like an icon, that people are unaware that the preamble to the Declaration of Independence is not the law of the United States, that people are unaware of the fact that the Bill of Rights, which is supposed to compensate for some of the failings of our constitutional system, has been systematically shredded by the two most recent administrations. Witness William Kunstler and his remarkable talks on what has happened to the Bill of Rights in the last ten years.

Part 2 The Crisis in the Soviet Union

Now, let's get to the Soviet Union, keeping in mind always that it is against this background of crisis and the intractability of crisis, and it's rooting in the historical origins of the Constitution that we are asked, that we are invited -- without anybody saying that that's the background -- that we are invited to ponder the proposition that there is no alternative to the kind of capitalism that we have, and that this capitalism is the quintessence of democracy.

Now let us look at that proposition against a second set of data, if you like, which is supposed to prove the case that there was socialism in the Soviet Union, that the Soviet Union then, along with its Eastern European partners, collapsed in chaos owing to the essential unworkability of this kind of a system. Let's look at that.

When the Reagan administration came into office we all became aware rather quickly that something new was happening. We should have known that something new was happening because, in fact, the arrival of the Reagan administration in power had been preceded by a very careful build-up which was, in part, visible in the American polity, and that was the emergence of the development and the elaboration of the power of a group which we now call the new right -- people who 20 years ago, 28 years ago in 1964, after Goldwater lost the Republican National Convention. Rockefeller took command of the party that had been relegated to what every major political commentator at the time called the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party. These were the people who, particularly in California, were coming out of the walls in the late 1970s, creating foundations, buying chairs of economics at universities. Look at it: the Coors , the Mises , with all of their contacts. These were the people who were building a new group, and the purpose of this group was to put a stop to the kind of systematic democratic entrenchment which they thought had been going on in the 1960s and the 1970s.

In the 1960s and the 1970s, there were three movements: (1) the movement for workers' rights, for unionization, the expansion of unionization, particularly among city employees and for raising wages, and the tremendous industrial disruption that attended the 1960s and the early 1970s in the industrial sector, (2) the civil rights movement, which preceded that, beginning in the late 1950s, and (3) the movement against the war in Vietnam, the war in Vietnam being one of the ways in which this society managed to utilize, in a profitable fashion, its enormous productive capacity without giving it to ordinary folks, without giving its fruits to ordinary folks.

The new right was determined to do something quite new. One of the new things that it did, and Reagan really was not its spokesman because that implies a degree of activity which I think he's incapable of. You can always program a spokesman. I don't think he had the wheels to do that.

Reagan launched, as you know, a massive, serious, intense, ugly confrontation with the Soviet Union, ideologically. At the same time we became aware that there was a significant drive on to re-arm the United States, to throw enormous resources -- ultimately it was in excess of 1.7 trillion dollars during the 1980s -- to throw enormous resources into the military sector, to throw enormous resources into shifting the technology of the military sector to war in space, SDI [Space Defense Initiative], etc. All of those things were on the agenda, but many of us at the time puzzled about this. I remember asking myself, "What is it with these folks? Do these fellows really want a world war? Can they not see that this can be the outcome?"

And I remember those discussions, and I remember when many of you and I on June 12, 1982 were at the demonstration of 750,000 to 1 million people in the center of New York City, which was an expression of the alarm that people felt at this enormous aggressive policy which was coming out of the Reagan administration, which threatened to shred US-Soviet relations.

But in fact, retrospectively, we can see that there was something else behind it, that it was not just irrational madness. There was a bit of that, but there was a rationality to what was being done, and in fact, to understand that, it's important to see that it is connected to every single major line of innovative policy that the Reagan administration developed. It was extremely well thought-out, extremely shrewd. And [it involved] the military buildup and the aggressive rhetoric towards the Soviet Union, the deliberate effort to create difficulties in the relationships between the Soviet Union and the European powers. You remember that in 1982 the United States tried to force the European powers not to accept natural gas from the Soviet Union, to deny shipments of technology to the Soviet Union which would make it possible for the Soviet Union to exploit that natural gas, to earn foreign exchange, etc. It was all part of a very complex strategy, but it was a very clear strategy.

Let me say, though, that many of us, at least I at the time, missed that. We didn't quite comprehend what was going on, but we had in the back our mind flickers that something was wrong. There were people who were saying or hinting clearly at what was happening, and shrewd people, intelligent people who did begin to grasp what was happening.

Let me quote from one or two. Writing in 1982, Joe Fromm , who was then the editor of the United States' US News and World Report , said,

"There was something behind," I'm quoting him, "the shift to a harder line in foreign policy." The US, in fact, seemed to be "waging limited economic warfare against Russia to force the Soviets to reform their political system." That suggests that's a nice journalist, a reasonably liberal journalist at US News and World Report , but Joe then quoted a State Department official saying (actually, a National Security Council official), "The Soviet Union is in deep, deep economic and financial trouble. By squeezing wherever we can, our purpose is to induce the Soviets to reform their system. I think we will see results over the next several years." That's in 1982.

Robert Scheer wrote a book in 1982 called With Enough Shovels: Reagan and Bush and Nuclear War . I think I've got the title almost right. This is a very interesting book in which Scheer saw that there was something behind this enormously aggressive foreign policy, foreign and military policy, that the Reagan administration was deploying. And he saw that the United States was not simply playing nuclear chicken with the Soviet Union, as he put it, but that it was embarked on a policy designed to create such pressure for the Soviet Union as to force changes within the Soviet Union.

Now of course it had always been the case that the Cold War consisted of moves designed to affect the behavior of others. The Cold War, from the point of view of the West, had always aimed at modifying, as the State Department cookie pushers liked to put it in their delicate prose, the behavior of our antagonist. But this, I think you will see, went beyond that because, in fact, the Reagan administration embarked on a policy of many dimensions which included pressure around the world on countries with close ties to the Soviet Union. Insurgencies were initiated in Mozambique, Angola, Cambodia against Vietnam, Nicaragua, and, quite a lot, Afghanistan.

I don't want to get into too many complicated discussions of Afghanistan, but I think anybody who reflects upon the United States' response to the Soviet entry into Afghanistan in 1979 must realize that the United States did not want the Soviet Union to leave Afghanistan, and in fact the purpose of these insurgencies around the world, which as you know, had expended billions of dollars, was to pin the Soviet Union down, and to inflict economic costs upon the Soviet Union. The purpose of the remilitarization in the West was to force the Soviet Union, at the risk of exposing itself to the pressure of escalation, to meet our resource commitments, to defend itself, or to place itself in a position to resist our pressure.

The purpose of escalating the technology of nuclear warfare, again, was to impose costs upon the Soviet Union. [This was ] the purpose of every principled measure, such as withholding advanced technology from the Soviet Union, foreign assistance programs aimed not at assisting countries on the basis of their needs, but on assisting countries on the basis of the contribution they would make to putting pressure on the Soviet Union. All of these things were part of a systematic strategy designed to create havoc in the Soviet Union.

Now I'll say a little bit more about what the purpose of that was, but first let me point out that this is a systematic strategy consisting of a number of pieces, and that it did pose enormous economic and other costs upon the Soviet Union.

But who is Gervasi [the speaker] to say that this is so, beyond quoting Joseph Fromm? Well, let me tell you a little bit about an interesting experience I had. I had lunch one day with a friend who was passing through the United States, who had been in jail in South Africa for eight years, and had just got out. He had been engaged in planning one of the principal sabotage operations against the South African nuclear installations, and he was very happy to be out of jail. We sat at lunch and he said to me -- we talked about many things, mostly about Africa which he and I had worked on together -- and he said to me,

"What's going on in the Soviet Union?" I said to him, "Well, you know, I really can't figure this out. I can't figure out what's going on." He said, "It seems to me that the Soviet Union is being destabilized." "My goodness," I say to myself quietly.

The thought had never passed my mind, but when my friend, Christie, said this I thought I should look into this, and I did.

The first thing I found was I spent a little bit of time on a computer and some things came up, and I said that looks very interesting. Within a very short time I had discovered reams of material being generated at the end of the 1970s and in the early 1980s by organizations like the RAND Corporation. You know what the RAND Corporation is. It's an Air Force/CIA contracting agency in Southern California, very large, very powerful, very influential in the so-called intellectual defense community, the military industrial complex, and in Washington. People go back and forth from the CIA, from the DIA to the State Department to the RAND Corporation. And what were the chaps at the RAND Corporation doing? Well, they were producing very interesting studies with titles like Economic Factors Affecting Soviet Foreign and Defense Policy : A Summary Outline , The Costs of the Soviet Empire , Sitting on Bayonets: the Soviet Defense Burden and Moscow's Economic Dilemma: The Burden of Soviet Defense , Exploiting Fault Lines in the Soviet Empire: Economic Relations with the USSR .

Anyway, I started reading the stuff. First of all, I started collecting it and I started reading this stuff, and I found out something very interesting: that these fellows at the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s were clearly fashioning a plan in which we began to see the pieces of in the emerging parts of foreign and military policy, foreign and military and economic policy under the Reagan administration. And the basic reasoning of this plan -- I'll give it to you -- is as follows: the Soviet Union was in a dual crisis. They knew what was going on in Soviet Union. Economic growth in the Soviet Union had begun to slow down. It had been very rapid, by the way, in the period from 1950 to the early 1970s. Between 1960 and 1984 per capita income and per capita production in the Soviet Union trebled, so it wasn't slow. That was a 4 or 5% rate of growth, very rapid considering that we're growing at about 1.5 which, is about, by the way, equivalent to the rate of growth on average during the decade of the 1930s in the United States.

Now, what I found out was that they also understood there was a leadership crisis in the Soviet Union. The old line of principal Soviet leaders born in the early stages of Soviet redevelopment after the Revolution, formed in the Second World War -- that leadership was dying out, as we all knew. And in fact Mikhail Gorbachev , selected by Andrei Gromyko , was the first representative of a new generation of Soviet leaders, but in the late 70s and early 80s, people were dying. The major figures Andropov, Chernenko and Brezhnev, were dying, and there was a very great confusion about succession. So the country was in a kind of crisis. The CIA calls it a dual crisis, a leadership crisis, not knowing to which new people of a new generation the leadership of the Soviet Communist Party and the Soviet Union should pass, and at the same time a beginning of faltering of economic growth, which was serious because since the Soviet Union had to always, like any country, choose between investing, competing in the arms race, and raising the standard of living of its population. The fact that economic growth fell off made that more difficult.

Now the next step in the reasoning of the RAND Corporation, gentlemen and ladies from the RAND Corporation, was that the United States and its allies could take various actions which would force the Soviet Union to increase its defense spending and its military assistance to allies and friends. They could take measures to deny the Soviet Union credits, which they did, and to deny it technology. They could also take measures which would reduce the overall volume of resources available to the Soviet Union and hold back the growth of productivity, which would exacerbate the problem, or force them to shift resources from consumers to investment. And [they knew] that all of these effects would (to quote them) "aggravate the difficulties confronting the Soviet leadership in a stagnant economy. So, a combination of these measures to impose costs on the Soviet Union could be expected to lead to falling investment and/or living standards, and such measures consequently might generate pressures within the Soviet Union for withdrawing from the world stage, and for political reform."

So the purpose of this operation, which I will try to define more clearly in a moment, was to impose, in a variety of ways, enormous costs on the Soviet Union, or to reduce the resources available to them in such a way as to exacerbate their economic difficulties. Let me quote from Abraham Becker , one of the shrewder Rand analysts:

Thus the Reagan administration seized Soviet economic troubles as an opportunity to complicate further their resource allocation difficulties dilemma, in the hope that additional pressures would result in a reallocation of resources away from defense, or would push the economy in the directions of economic and political reform.

The purpose of this new aggressive multi-dimensional strategy was to force reform upon the Soviet Union. What that reform was to be is a later chapter. Now, it's one thing to say that these plans exist, and I'll talk about other plans. For instance, I managed to pull together a collection of documents from the National Endowment for Democracy, which as you know, is supposed to be a quasi-government institution. It's not a quasi-government institution. It's funded by Congress. It's a government institution funded by Congress, which sees it to be its business to "promote democracy outside the United States" in the rest of the world, where by "democracy" one means essentially, and when you come down to it it's clear now in the Soviet Union, "capitalism" and "liberal democracy," if you like [the latter term].

Now, it's one thing of course to talk about all this planning, to try on your own to reason that all of these things fit together, but in fact we began to get official indications and documentation, as early as the spring of 1982, that the government had signed on to this strategy, that this was not the wild thinking of a few eager folks in a few think tanks, that it was policy and that it was policy which the American public knew very little of, did not understand the purposes and consequences of, but would nonetheless be required to pay for to the tune of several trillion dollars, which did indeed help to create the situation in which we presently find ourselves at home, locked in the Philadelphia Convention.

In the spring of 1982 I had spoken to two of the participants in this little meeting. A senior National Security Council official charged with responsibility for Soviet affairs called a number of influential Washington correspondents and asked them to come to the National Security Council for a briefing. Two of them told me that they left this briefing extremely shaken. They didn't want to say too much about it, but they gave me to understand that they thought that this was an extremely aggressive, dangerous, and highly risky strategy which the administration was describing and stating that it was about to embark upon.

Helen Thomas of UPI was one of the people who was in that meeting, and she described the results of the briefing -- this briefing on the Soviet Union -- in the following manner:

A senior White House official said Reagan has approved an eight-page National Security document that undertakes a campaign aimed at internal reform in the Soviet Union and the shrinkage of the Soviet empire. He affirmed that it could be called a full-court press against the Soviet Union.[vi]

A little later, just a few days later, in fact, further evidence, this time quoting official documentation, not hearsay from a briefer at the National Security Council, but quoting official documentation: Richard Halloran, the defense correspondent of The New York Times published an article in that paper on May the 30th of 1982, just a few days really after Helen Thomas sent out her UPI dispatch. Halloran quoted from the fiscal years 1984-1988 Defense Guidance, of which The Times stated that it had a copy.[vii] The Secretary's Guidance Document recommended what Halloran called "a major escalation in the nuclear arms race." Apart from that it indicated that a number of other measures were being taken "to impose costs on the Soviet Union." Note the language is the language of the RAND planners. Some of the same people probably wrote the document. I quote from Halloran's direct quote from the National Guidance document of the Secretary of Defense:

"As a peacetime complement to military strategy, the Guidance Document asserts that the United States and its allies should, in effect, declare economic and technical war on the Soviet Union."

This is interesting. "And so I think," it went on. They wrote,

"to put as much pressure as possible on the Soviet economy already burdened with military expenditure, they should develop weapons that are difficult for the Soviets to counter, impose disproportionate costs, open up new areas of major military competition, and obsolesce," (Nice English. I've put sic in my article) "precious Soviet investments."

So I think it's safe to say, and a number of people prove it to us a little later on, that this policy was instituted. Let me just race ahead to one of the more recent proofs. David Ignatius , who is a correspondent at The Washington Post, published a very remarkable article about "spyless coups" not long ago, in October, if I'm not mistaken. Perhaps it was September. Ignatius is a correspondent with very close ties to the intelligence community, to be very polite about it. I quote from his article: "Preparing the ground " This is immediately after the Yeltsin double event of August 1991 in which Mr. Gorbachev was seemingly threatened by a coup and in which Mr. Yeltsin did not seem to take power but did. He described the event in this way:

Preparing the ground for last month's triumph was a network of overt operatives who, during the last ten years, have quietly been changing the rules of international politics. They have been doing in public what the CIA used to do in private, providing money and moral support for pro-democracy groups, training resistance fighters, working to subvert communist rule.[viii]

Could he have written that in The Washington Post in 1982? It's difficult, I would have thought. It might not have passed muster. Some people might have noticed, but in 1991, evidently, it was all right to say that this is what we were doing.[ix]

If you look very carefully you can find many traces by officials stating that the United States had embarked upon a strategy which, retrospectively, it is very clear, was nothing more and nothing less than a strategy to destabilize the Soviet Union. Mr. Casey's magnificent and expansive imagination had carried covert operations beyond the narrow confines of Third World countries and aimed them at the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. If you go back and look at the history of these events in this perspective, reading some of the documents, you'll see things very differently

Judd Clark [name indistinct, spelling uncertain], for instance, speaking at a private seminar at Georgetown University, again around 1982, said,

"We must force our principle adversary, the Soviet Union, to bear the brunt of its economic shortcomings."

Well, that's slightly veiled language that means the same sort of thing that everybody else was saying. It wasn't, though, until 1985, that the redoubtable and incomparable Jeane Kirkpatrick appeared on the stage with the full text of the play in hand, and she gave a speech, not surprisingly in front of the Heritage Foundation, at a conference room on Capitol Hill in which she said, "The Reagan doctrine, as I understand it, is about our relations with the Soviet Union," and she then described every principal element of the strategy which Helen Thomas in 1982 called, repeating the NSC briefer's statement, "a full-court press against the Soviet Union."

If you read her speech to the Heritage Foundation, which everybody should read because it was 1985, she was saying that the United States is bent upon a strategy aimed at overthrowing the Soviet Union through internal and external pressures. She principally described the external pressure.

I want to say a little bit about the debate over the internal pressure. Again, in 1982, there was a nasty little debate between some members of Congress and the then-Secretary of State General Alexander Haig . Mr. Haig was very anxious that the United States should embark upon the program which Ronald Reagan was going to describe before the British Parliament in June 1982, at just about the time most of us were going to be in the streets of New York to protest some of the things that he was doing. And Hague said in the debate over the creation of the National Endowment for Democracy, which the Congress had insisted should not spill over into efforts to meddle in the internal affairs of the Soviet Union, Mr. Haig said,

"Just as the Soviet Union gives active support to Marxist-Leninist forces in the West and the [Global] South " [ironic commentary:] (because it owns Newsweek , for instance and it manipulates the Columbia Broadcasting Company such enormous power the Soviet Union has in the West) " we must give vigorous support to democratic forces wherever they are located, including countries which are now communist. We should not hesitate to promote our own values, knowing that the freedom and dignity of man are the ideals that motivate the quest for social justice. A free press, free trade unions, free political parties, freedom to travel, and freedom to create are the ingredients of the democratic revolution of the future, not the status quo of a failed past."

The founder of the Central Intelligence Agency said that propaganda is the first arrow of battle. A statement by Alexander Haig in 1982 to the Congress signals what the United States would attempt to do with the National Endowment for Democracy, that it would try to create and participate in the creation of [a false narrative of ] a failed past in the Soviet Union. And, in fact, as you know, all that went ahead.

Now, let's look at that for a second. I know that it's very difficult to believe this. I ask you to look at the second of the articles which I read, or to search for what I've written. You can read it and search for some of the documentation easily available. You will find that the mission statement of the National Endowment for Democracy, which functions as a kind of consortium bringing many of the pressures of the US government to bear inside the Soviet Union.

Destabilization requires external pressure and a manipulation of the internal situation to move political developments in the direction you desire. That's what targeting a country for destabilization involves. We deprive Cuba of sugar, of medicines etc. and that creates internal pressure, and utilizing the internal pressure, you insert yourself, create groups, diffuse ideas which are inconsistent with those prevailing and suitable to power, and you begin to work on that discontent. If the discontent deepens and spreads, you get better and better odds, and because the Soviet Union was already in a kind of crisis, which, as Abraham Becker said,

"the United States then systematically sought to intensify and exacerbate."

The National Endowment for Democracy and literally dozens and dozens of pseudo-private foundations, which I'll talk about in a second, went into the Soviet Union under the new umbrella of glasnost, created academic presses, created newspapers, created radio stations, and began to mobilize and to work upon the natural dissent and discontent that existed in the Soviet Union, not only because of the historical past but also because of the difficulties of the present as exacerbated by the United States and its Western partners.

If you look at how much money I'll just give you an idea of some of the projects that were involved, and this is just one agency. You have to recognize that if this was going on in the National Endowment for Democracy that there were many, many other channels of finance and influence into the Soviet Union that were working on this.

For instance, in 1984 the NED gave $50,000 to a book exhibit in the Soviet Union: America through American Eyes. At the book fair in 1985 (I mean I'm just selecting [a few]): $70,000 via the Free Trade Union Institute, which is part of the National Endowment, to Soviet Labor Review for research in publications on Soviet trade union and worker rights.

In 1986, $84,000 to Freedom House to expand the operations of two Russian language journals published in the US and distributed in the higher levels of the Soviet bureaucracy and intelligentsia, already an arresting description. Imagine the Soviet Union publishing two English-language journals in the Soviet Union during the 1980s and having them distributed and eagerly read in the highest levels of the United States bureaucracy and intelligentsia. I don't think that would have stuck very well in the United States.

In 1987, Freedom House, for the Athenaeum Press, rushed $55,000 for a Russian-language publication house in Paris to publish unofficial research conducted in the USSR by established scholars writing under pseudonyms. Now what does that mean? If you get down to 1989, we're talking already in the $200,000 category.

For instance, the Center for Democracy, which is related to the National Endowment for Democracy, began to create a center for assistance to independent and nationalist groups, including the Crimean Tatar movement for human and national rights. In other words, they began to finance ethnic and nationalist separatism, began to finance separate trade unions, began to finance their own academics etc., except this is open, but it's very large-scale, very large-scale.

I've done a little calculation and I can tell you that very large amounts of money were being spent, probably on the order of, by all the Western allies, minimum, inside the Soviet Union in the period from the mid to the late 1980s, one hundred million dollars a year -- a hundred million dollars a year to finance organizations which might begin like WESPAC but would then grow, develop, have outreach, which would become extraordinary with that kind of funding, and did finally change things.

If you look at perestroika in the Soviet Union, [we know it started when] Mr. Gorbachev became the Soviet leader. This is the background to the two stages in which we must understand perestroika. In the first stage it was clear that the Soviet leadership was desperate to find a way to renew socialism, that Mr. Gorbachev was bent upon the reformation of the notion of socialism, and that he had widespread support inside the Soviet Union.

There were genuine economic improvements which took place between 1986 and, sort of, let's say, the end of 1988, in the Soviet Union, as a result of those efforts, but the principal question we have to ask ourselves, since today we confront a fragmented, or, if you like, disassembled Soviet Union, the supremacy of nationalism, ethnic conflict, and Mr. Yeltsin -- who represents an extremely right-wing constituency at the present moment -- and the supremacy of capitalism. And a capitalist society is now being created in the Soviet Union, ending Mr. Gorbachev's experiment the crucial question to ask ourselves is a very simple one: how is it that between 1985 and 1990 a movement which began as an attempt to transform and renew socialism in the Soviet Union was supplanted by a right-wing movement aiming at the creation of a capitalist society in the Soviet Union? That is the key question. That is the key question because that's what's happened, and it's strange.

That's why many of us were puzzled about the contradictory evidence coming out of the Khrushchev [ sic ? Brezhnev?] era. It was very difficult to understand. At first, it seemed very positive, and then from the end of 1988, the fall of 1988, it became increasingly clear that things were going to pieces, that Mr. Gorbachev was either not able to control the forces which he had unleashed or that indeed he was bent upon creating, as I heard on the French radio in 1988 for the first time stated very clearly -- it arrested my attention: the purpose, said Mr. [name indistinct], on the radio in his not-bad French, was to create a regulated market economy. That was the purpose of perestroika, not when it began, but somehow something had happened.

In fact there's a lot of very interesting information out there now on the whole process. There was clearly a large dissatisfied set of strata in the Soviet intelligentsia. What has happened in the Soviet Union is more complex than the collapse through its own internal contradictions of the system of socialism in the Soviet Union. I really don't want to talk very much about whether the Soviet Union was a socialist society. There are people who say it was and people who say it wasn't. It's a long discussion between Trotsky and Stalin etc., but for my part I would say this: that the Soviet Union began as a genuine attempt to establish socialism. There were always in the Soviet Union people genuinely seeking to further socialism, and people who didn't give a damn. On balance, the thing we have to ask ourselves is whether the existence of the Soviet Union, as an apparently perceived socialist society, was a positive thing in the world equation at this particular time of history. I, on balance, having spent years in the United Nations, seeing that under the attacks of the Western countries, which in many cases were very ugly, most of the Third World countries which emerged in the late 1950s and 60s and early 70s were really only barely saved by the few sources of support which they got in the socialist world. And when the Soviet Union went down, they went down too; [for example] Angola, Mozambique, Nicaragua.

So in many respects I would have thought that the Soviet Union, for all its defects, stood as a positive development in history, with all of the horrors that took place. The United States has had its horrors. The question is this: did the Soviet Union collapse because socialism is unworkable and central planning doesn't work? No, it didn't. There was a crisis in the Soviet Union. I would argue that in the absence of the kind of pressure [that was applied], it's very difficult to weigh the balance. How important were the internal forces? How important were the difficulties experienced internally, and how important was the external pressure and the externally intervening force? How important that balance was is very difficult to get. We have to read through all a lot of intelligence to understand that, to begin to get a grasp of things, but that's our duty as people who are living history, or who seek to understand history. We have to try to do that, and my basic conclusion still at this moment is this: the Soviet Union today, in the absence of this extraordinarily crafty, well-thought-out, extremely costly strategy deployed by the Reagan administration, would be a society struggling through great difficulties. It would still be a socialist society, at least of the kind that it was. It would be far from perfect, but it would still be there, and I think, therefore, that Western intervention made a crucial difference in this situation. That's a judgment.

Conclusion

All right. Now, there is a question irrespective of that: what does it mean that the Soviet Union now has disappeared as a result of the kind of process that I'm talking about, a combination of internal difficulties and external pressure and intervention? Does it mean that socialism doesn't work? Does it mean that [there is no alternative to] the kind of capitalism that we live in today, which I think increasingly of as a return to irrational and savage 19th century capitalism? If you walk through the Bronx and Brooklyn and Harlem, how can you not conclude that we are living in an irrational and savage capitalism in which the leveling attacks of democracy have been dealt with, in which the possibility of remedying that situation by the constitutional means which exist in the normal political channels of our government are very small, that electoral changes, in other words, are not going to be very significant, until there's a mass mobilization of American people to make something happen.

If this is so, then the fact that what has happened in the Soviet Union has happened as it happened has no bearing whatsoever on our problems, and we should not be confused or pushed into consternation by it. Why? Primarily, for a very simple reason: The Soviet Union was conceived at a time when, in Marxist terms, it was not ready. The Soviet Union did not have the material base of abundance which would make it possible to create a society at once egalitarian and democratic because the struggle to create that base would require a degree of repression and authoritarianism, particularly heightened by external intervention and attack, which inevitably would distort the nature of socialism.

I sympathize with Isaac [name indistinct], but I think it's too simple when he says socialism in a backward country is backwards socialism. But the critical fact for us is this: the Soviet Union was a society conceived as a socialist society prior to the creation of the economic base which would permit the creation of a socialist society with ease. We live in a society whose capacity to produce, whose potential abundance is so great that the inability to make use of it is literally tearing this society apart.

We live in a society which is ready, and when I say that, I want to go back to the terms of the discussion on the constitutional conventions. Well, why can't we have economic democracy? What does economic democracy mean? Economic democracy inevitably would mean a number of these things: the accountability of the enormous concentrated power which exists in our society today to public democratic institutions. The planned rational use of resources at the public level, with democratic participation in the same manner that that planned rational use is conceived within the framework of the corporations, where the exercise of those decisions is not accountable. So it seems to me that in our day, when our society is riven by its contradictions, unable to use its abundance, unable to use its productive capacity in a rational, humane and democratic manner, that what is on the agenda today is the democratization of economic power, the rendering accountable of the enormous economic potential and power that exists in our society to make this a better and decent and democratic world.

Voilà.

End of lecture

Question Period

Well, dear friends, first of all, we have to have this serious debate because the real terms of the debate are rendered invisible by the absurd rhetoric and the absurd way in which we speak about ourselves, and by the mass media whose power and determination is to keep the real terms of the debate invisible. The real terms of the debate are: why is this society collapsing? Why does this economic machine not work? Who is responsible? If the people who are responsible are not going to do something about it, let them get the hell out.

Moderator : I know there have got to be lots of questions. We'll allot a certain amount of time. We'll try to recognize everyone.

Question : You've analyzed this quite well, but what does one do to change [the situation]?

Well, I think part of the problem I don't mean to be repetitious but I think that people are clearly immobilized and confused at the moment. I think one of the reasons that people are immobilized and confused is that the proper debate is not out there. It's not possible for people to express what they know from their experience to be true, to assert its truth. The public debate rejects our experience and understanding because the public debate is designed to contain us, to make us accept and even to believe in the superiority of this situation. I think people know what needs to be done out there. In a sense the quintessential problem confronting our country is the enormous concentrated power to shape people's lives, to define discourse, as [name indistinct] pointed out, which is accountable to no one. The democratization of that power means, I think, certainly radical changes in the structure of our society, but ones for which in many respects people are ready and which indeed are supported by most of the values that this society has lived by historically and attests to.

It seems to me it's really quite simple. We don't have democracy in the sense in which we normally understand ourselves to have democracy in which people often speak of us as having. We don't have that. Why do we not have it? Because of this eternal and now much more intensive, much more intense tension that has existed from the beginning between property and democracy, between popular majorities as the Federalists called them, disdainingly, and the rights of property. This now has become an enormous incubus on American society. We have enormous concentrated power for which nobody is accountable, and this is not acceptable. Roger and Me [the documentary film] is a reflection of a sensitivity that says, "We've got to talk about this, Roger. You're responsible for this." So I really think by not knowing these things, not changing the discourse of our lives, and the discourse in the public arena, coming to agreements amongst one another by hard work, by hard discussion, how can we know it's true?

And by the way, I don't think this can be done in the absence of action. That is to say, in a haltingly naive phase of my recent existence, I tried to convince some people in the Congress that we were headed into a really horrible situation, and they didn't want to know. They didn't. They don't want to believe what is uncomfortable for them to believe, so my decision was that you have to go into the trenches, that you have to work on projects that are going to materialize these ideas, that you have to work against plant closings, that you have to work for measures that alleviate the social burdens that exist in a city like New York, that you have to work for things while articulating these ideas because it seems to me it's only in the combination of action and debate of ideas that people will begin to understand the relevance and the necessity of a new discussion. You can't have in that sense -- I cede your point -- you can't have a drawing-room discussion which will prevail.

Certainly the people in the National Endowment for Democracy believe that. They don't just sit back and spend millions of dollars on printing books and making radio tapes and television shows. No. They created new political institutions. They then created new political parties, financing people like Arkady Murashev, the Inter-Regional Group in the Soviet Parliament, until recently. It doesn't exist anymore. The Inter-Regional Group was the group of pseudo-democrats, pro-capitalists, speaking, in many respects for the interests represented in the agglomeration of black market operations in the Soviet Union. Arkady Murashev was systematically cosseted, financed and trained by an organization in Washington very closely tied to certain agencies whose names we don't want to pronounce in the present circumstances. Murashev was a liaison man between Washington and Yeltsin. The National Endowment for Democracy gave $40,000 just for the faxes, and the printing machines and the telephones in the Initiatives Foundation, which was the organization that the Inter-Regional Group used to put out its messages, get itself organized, make contacts, etc. The United States was financing that operation. Arkady Murashev is now the chief of police of the city of Moscow.

This is heavy stuff. I mean, really, it's incredibly dramatic, but we mustn't go on in this vein because there are questions to be answered.

Question : Does every country have to go through this period of savage capitalism to become socialist?

No. I don't believe that. No.

Question: Bush seemed to like Gorbachev. Was Gorbachev foolish? Was he taken for a ride?

These are the great mysteries. There are, as you know, there are a different views. There are different theories about that. One of them is that Gorbachev was a mole, that Gorbachev was a deep-cover or Western intelligence agent. I believe that's exaggerated. I believe that's off the wall, but I do believe that there's an element here that's important to understand.

There was in the Soviet Union, as a result of the very success of the industrialization of the Soviet Union, an enormous alienated set of strata amongst the educated population because the Soviet elite absorbed people at a very small rate. It didn't reach out to large numbers of people. They were educating enormous numbers of people, professional scientific workers, managers, and these people were mostly urban people. They were the fruit, in many respects, of industrialization. At the same time, being urban people, they found themselves trapped in the most difficult conditions in the Soviet Union because in its industrialization the Soviet Union really ignored a lot of problems. Theyfound themselves, in many respects, in a similar situation as the United States, where the decay of urban areas, the lack of equipment, the lack of infrastructure, the lack of adequate facilities for health or education etc. became a real problem. They didn't have the resources to industrialize, to raise the standard of living in the really poor republics of the Soviet Union, and to deal with the urban problem, as we call it in the United States.

So these people were imagine all educated people earning this education and looking upon themselves as deserving of the advantages and prerogatives of their Western counterparts, living in the equivalent of New York City, but earning the wages of a skilled worker. They didn't like it. They felt shut out. They were angry, and it's those people that the neoliberals were recruiting, not just the American neoliberals but their own neoliberals. There were neoliberals in the Soviet Union. There were reactionary people in the Soviet Union this [name indistinct] operation out in Siberia, the so-called sociological think tank. There are people who, I don't know why Perhaps when you become very isolated from the world and separated from reality you conjure up the most amazing dreams in your mind. I think Marx called it idealism. In any case, these people were very much Western idealists and they came, frankly, into Moscow and Leningrad fervent believers in the need to embrace Western institutions because of their frustration, because of their understanding of their own past. Whether it was distorted or not, it's not for me to say. It's because of the way they viewed and felt about their past, because of their own personal frustration, because of the problems which were very real that they experienced by the Soviet leadership, by the Soviet economy and society. They were alienated, and that's where there was recruitment. When economic growth slowed down it made it much worse, and it spread the basis of recruitment very effectively.

There is a collection of essays which I think is quite remarkable and valuable, which gives you some background about the incredible contradictions in the Soviet Union, and how the Soviet Union, in fact, more than a decade and even two decades ago, was in fact being prepared for what is happening. It was ripening for some big bull shaking the tree, which is eventually what happened. That's the collection that The Monthly Review has published recently, After the Fall, something like that. After the Fall of the Soviet Union is really a very valuable collection of essays on the Soviet Union, or whatever it is after communism. Very useful stuff.

Question : Could you talk about Third World countries?

That's a really hard question. I've worked in Third World countries which were socialist countries and which were under attack. I worked in Mozambique in the beginning of the 1980s when the South African-Western-CIA operations were really beginning to [take a toll], and people were dying by the tens of thousands because the roads had been cut, and the supplies had been cut, and the health stations blown up, and I think that it was very hard for them to survive that. Socialism proved very frail in Mozambique, even though the leaders of the revolution had been born in armed struggle, formed by armed struggle, were dedicated to armed struggle, but the society just couldn't withstand that kind of pressure.

In some ways I think that's true of the Soviet Union. There was a war in the shadows waged against the Soviet Union on a massive scale, and what these events prove is the Soviet Union was insufficiently strong to stand up to those pressures, and I think this is all the more true in the Third World. I don't know, but I don't want to say that I know the answer, whether they should try to make that jump or not. I think that will depend on what happens in the Western world. I don't see any reason why the jump couldn't be made if the West, Western Europe and the United States, in particular North America saw [supported] significant transformation of the present system of power. Then it's not a problem, but with this massive opposition coming from the West, it's very difficult to survive.

Question (apparently edited from video recording): __________________

These same people today, and we're talking about within a few months, within the end of the year there being not 50,000 but between six and eight million unemployed people in Russia, 130 million people, labor force of 65 or 70 million, and I saw this same thing happening in East Germany.

I was very briefly in Humboldt University in 1989 or 1990, I can't remember which now. The whole situation was in upheaval, and I saw many intellectuals genuinely enraged by the arrogance of the Honecker regime, and at the same time, unfortunately, completely unaware of what would happen if that regime went down, taking everything, "really existing socialism," with it. And my question would be, OK, it's a question. You know the old version of this question used to be what about Stalin, but it's a little different now.

My problem is this: let's look at it in human terms, OK? Just forget ideology. What has happened as a result of the materialization of the dreams of the so-called reformers and democrats in the Soviet Union? What has happened is what has happened in Poland, and worse: that the standard of living of ordinary people is going to collapse, that old people will be destitute, that children will be without health care, that the transportation system is collapsing, that there will be no food distribution by spring, that people will starve, that there is continuous ethnic conflict. Now, the Soviet system of prices and of raw material supplies were such that enormous quantities that the supply system worked in a way which led to the waste of vast quantities of raw materials and semi-finished products. I mean vast quantities.

So the idea was to go in to work at the enterprise level to create incentives to create better accounting, a system of prices which would reflect the real value of these raw materials and not the fact that they could be replaced anytime you wanted because all you have to do is put an order in. It didn't matter what you did with them. It [the reform] was focused on the enterprise, on profit incentives, and this loosening of the tight bonds on the enterprise, really did lead to a recrudescence of output. For instance, between 1986 and 88 there was a 17% increase in housing production in the Soviet Union. There was a 30% increase in overall production. The production, the economy, accelerated in the period 1986-88. In those three years the economy accelerated, but as I said, there were two stages of perestroika. There was a stage of perestroika where the effects were quite beneficial, where it was clear that perestroika and glasnost were aiming to energize and develop andfree and move forward the Soviet Union.

As a friend of mine said, the only way to ensure the social development of the Soviet Union is to undertake these reforms, but there was another stage, a second stage beginning in late 1988 to, obviously, the end of 1991, where the forces that were unleashed utilized the reform program to destroy socialism, clearly to destroy socialism, and Mr. Gorbachev was either helpless before that or a willing apprentice of that process. I could not pretend to pronounce which of those was the case. It's very difficult to say.

On the other hand, I really don't know how anybody in his right mind could have conceived of the notion that the way forward for the Soviet Union -- and this was the quintessential statement of perestroika by the principle Soviet leaders in the mid-1980s -- the way for the Soviet Union was to integrate the Soviet Union into the world economy. I mean to an economist with any degree of sophistication and critical approach, that is sheer unadulterated madness. It's like saying that the North American free trade agreement will lead to real economic development in Mexico. It's absurd. I mean we know what those processes are. How can a much weaker, less industrialized Soviet Union hope to stand up against the economic forces arrayed against it and capable of penetrating it, once it declares its intention to integrate itself into the world economy? When I heard that, I said, "It's all over, boys. These people don't know that they're doing," and indeed, listening to Soviet economists as I did when I was still teaching in Paris, and meeting with some of these people, until 1989, I got the impression of two things: they had not the least actual understanding of what was going on in the West, and that their theoretical conceptions were taken out of a handbook by Voltaire making fun of the French aristocracy.

Transcript produced by Youtube "auto-caption" speech recognition software, corrected and edited by blog author, Dennis Riches.

Notes

[i] Davis Guggenheim (Director), Al Gore (Writer), "An Inconvenient Truth," Paramount Classics , 2006.

[ii] Jason W. Moore, Capitalism in the Web of Life (Verso, 2015), 267-268. "What is really needed is proper planning of available resources globally, plus a drive, through public investment, to develop new technologies that could work and, of course, a shift out of fossil fuels into renewables. Also, it is not just a problem of carbon and other gas emissions, but of cleaning up the environment, which is already damaged. All these tasks require public control and ownership of the energy and transport industries and public investment in the environment for the public good."

[iii] Sean Gervasi, " Western Intervention in the USSR ," Covert Action Information Bulletin No. 39, Winter 1991-92, 4-9.

[iv] Sean Gervasi, " Why Is NATO In Yugoslavia? " Global Research , September 9, 2001, https://www.globalresearch.ca/why-is-nato-in-yugoslavia/21008 . This paper was presented by Sean Gervasi at The Conference on the Enlargement of NATO in Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean , Prague, January 13-14, 1996.

[v] Gary Wilson, " Economist Exposed U.S.-German Role in Balkans ," Workers World News Service , Aug. 29, 1996, https://www.workers.org/ww/1997/gervasi.html . The short biography written here borrowed some wording and information from this obituary published by Workers World News Service .

[vi] Helen Thomas, " Reagan approves tough strategy with Soviets ," United Press International (UPI) , May 21, 1982, https://www.upi.com/Archives/1982/05/21/Reagan-approves-tough-strategy-with-Soviets/7761390801600/ .

[vii] Richard Halloran, " Pentagon Draws up First Strategy for Fighting a Long Nuclear War ," The New York Times , May 5, 1982, http://www.nytimes.com/1982/05/30/world/pentagon-draws-up-first-strategy-for-fighting-a-long-nuclear-war.html?pagewanted=all .

The reference appears to be to this article. The dates 1984-1988 may appear to be an error because the report referred to was written in 1982. However, the Defense Guidelines were focused on plans for the future, fiscal years of 1984-1988.

[viii] David Ignatius, " Innocence Abroad: The New World of Spyless Coups ," The Washington Post , September 22, 1991, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1991/09/22/innocence-abroad-the-new-world-of-spyless-coups/92bb989a-de6e-4bb8-99b9-462c76b59a16/?utm_term=.e9976e81e6d1 .

[ix] As we know from the perspective of 2017, the normalization of such interventions continued shamelessly, going from a bad habit to a deranged addiction. The political establishment in America now resorts to economic warfare, violence and military intervention as the solutions for every problem in international relations.

All images, except the featured, in this article are from the author.

The original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © Sean Gervasi and Dennis Riches , Global Research, 2019

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