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Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Neoconservatism Corporatism National Socialism and Military Keysianism Nation under attack meme War is racket Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism
Neo-fascism Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition Bureaucratic avoidance of responsibility Bureaucratic Collectivism Military Bureaucracy and Military Incompetence Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law Economics of Peak Energy
Big Uncle is Watching You Social Sites as intelligence collection tools Privacy is Dead – Get Over It Is Google evil ? Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few  US and British media are servants of security apparatus  
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
Understanding Mayberry Machiavellis War is a Racket - Incredible Essay by General Smedley Butler Ron Paul War and Peace Quotes Corporatism quotes Humor Etc


In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Their goals may or may not coincide with the best interests of the American people. Think of the divergence of interests, for example, between the grunts who are actually fighting this war, who have been eating sand and spilling their blood in the desert, and the power brokers who fought like crazy to make the war happen and are profiteering from it every step of the way."

- Bob Herbert, "Spoils of War," The New York Times, April 10, 2003

"Militarism means a domination of the military man over the civilian, an undue emphasis on military needs, policies, spirit, values and ideals. . . a readiness to defend one's country's interests by force of arms, the acceptance of the military profession as honourable and necessary.

Peter Phillips. The Tragedy of Nazi Germany

If the ability to anticipate future dangers for the nation is the mark of a truly great president then Dwight D. Eisenhower is the greatest president of the XX century.  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.

But paradoxically Dwight Eisenhower's presidency is probably better remembered less for what he did than for what he said while heading for the exit. In a nationally televised address on January 17, 1961, only four days before John F. Kennedy's inaugural and three years from the event which might well be considered to be coup d'etat which brought military-industrial complex in full control of all branches of the government (JFK assassination).

Eisenhower warned of the dangers of "undue influence" exerted by the "military-industrial complex." In other word appearance on the scene a new and formidable political force represented by arm manufactures, intelligence agencies, Army brass and selected supplies industries (oil industry comes to mind) and financial oligarchy.

But the term is more then undue influences, it's actually about a gradual, but inevitable transition of power to MIC either by stealth coup or open coup d'etat. And as soon as MIC came on political scene, it inevitably transforms the state into some variant of totalitarian state, such an "inverted totalitarism" or National Security State. It's not exactly "WAR IS PEACE. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength", but close enough.

This warning represents the historical importance of Eisenhower's farewell address. Here is the video of the address:

Eisenhower cautioned that maintaining a large, permanent military establishment was "new in the American experience," and suggested that an "engaged citizenry" offered the only effective defense against the "misplaced power" of the military-industrial lobby. But there are two problems with his warning:

We can state, that the key result of the second World War was the establishment of the rule of military industrial complex in all major countries, but first of all in the USA. Here is a relevant quote from his famous speech:

Throughout America's adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people. Any failure traceable to arrogance, or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us grievous hurt both at home and abroad.

Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology -- global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger is poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle -- with liberty the stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.

Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in newer elements of our defense; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research -- these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.

But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs -- balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage -- balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.

The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their government have, in the main, understood these truths and have responded to them well, in the face of stress and threat. But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise. I mention two only.


A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientifictechnological elite.

It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system -- ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.


Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society's future, we -- you and I, and our government -- must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.


Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.

Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.

Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering sadness of war -- as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years -- I wish I could say tonight that a lasting peace is in sight.

Happily, I can say that war has been avoided. Steady progress toward our ultimate goal has been made. But, so much remains to be done. As a private citizen, I shall never cease to do what little I can to help the world advance along that road.

What we have today is nothing but a full spectrum dominance of military-intelligence-industrial-academic-banking complex (and please note that Wall Street is closely interconnected with CIA and State Department;

Via revolving door mechanisms the US foreign policy is dictated not by US national interests but by interests of top 100 or so largest US corporations). In 2013 the private equity firm KKR named the retired general and CIA director David Petraueus as the chairman of its global institute. Earlier the same year, Sir John Sawers, The former head of Britain MI6 became Chairman of Macro Advisory Partners, a firm that advices business and government on geopolitics (Christina Freeland, Atlantic, May 2015, p 82) Those two examples are just tip of the iceberg, of a much larger trend of intermarriage of intelligence community and Wall Street.

From The Sorrows of Empire:

The 725 U.S. military bases acknowledged by the Department of Defense do not include the many used for communications espionage, control of the world's oil supply, or those that are simply too embarrassing for the government to speak about openly (such as the fourteen permanent bases being built in Iraq). - The United States maintains about 347,000 soldiers, airmen, and marines at military bases in 140 of 189 member states of the United Nations. - The American military budget is so large that the next-highest military budget in the world- Russia's-is only fourteen percent of our own. - Ninety-three percent of the American budget dedicated to international affairs is allocated to the military and only seven percent to the State Department. - The Congressional Budget Office projects federal deficits over the next five years of more than $1 trillion, on top of an already existing government debt in February 2003 of $6.4 trillion. Military operations in Iraq so far have cost $143 billion; reconstruction will run from between $50 and $100 billion.

We can view MIC as consisting of three parts: federal institutions,  academia (military or intelligence oriented research labs and individual researchers in universities), and private contractors. The latter is the fastest growing segment   (The Military-Industrial Complex is Real, And It’s Bigger Than Ever - The Daily Beast):

As the iconic Washington Post investigation detailed, there are 1,931 private companies working on counterterrorism, homeland security, and intelligence. Throughout the D.C. area, 33 buildings containing 17 million square feet of office space have been built since 9/11—the equivalent of 22 Capitol buildings. But despite the growth of government national-security workers, some 500,000 private contractors also have top security clearances.

This might be defensible if private contractors actually saved taxpayer dollars, but they don’t. According to a 2008 study by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, contractors made up 29 percent of intelligence agency workforce but cost the equivalent of 49 percent of personnel budgets. Consider the fact that Snowden made $122,000 a year in his brief Hawaii-based gig for Booz Allen Hamilton, offering evident tech savvy but only a GED. The average annual salary for a person with a GED is only $37,200. This isn’t an industry interested in belt-tightening.0

The proliferation of military-industrial complex contractors has helped propel the D.C. metro area to include seven of the top 10 wealthiest counties in the United States. Contra Snowden’s formal education, five of the top six counties for college-educated workers are in the D.C. metro area. The overlap between the two is not surprising: Loudoun, Arlington, and Fairfax counties in Virginia are particularly plush places to be in 2013.

If you want to find out what’s really happening in politics and government, follow the money. When it comes to national security, civic concerns compete with financial self-interest—and guess which often wins the tug of war?

The problem, of course, is not just a matter of money. It is the amount of overlap and inevitable turf battles that occur when multiple organizations—both private and public—all strive to prove their relevance to protect their self-interest. To use another example from the Post’s “Top Secret America” series, there are 51 federal organizations and military commands tracking the flow of money in terrorist networks. This just can’t be the most effective way to accomplish the mission.

But the military-industrial complex has a trump card to play with members of Congress and the public: nobody wants to argue with national security, especially when the very real threat of terrorism exists. This ain’t no phantom menace: more than 45 jihadist terror plots had been stopped before the 10th anniversary of 9/11. But the combination of real threat and opaque multibillion-dollar budgets leads inevitably to a lack of transparency and accountability. That’s where the risk of not just information-dragnet overreach but also the risk of leakers like Ed Snowden comes in. With this level of complexity in the system, security is ironically almost impossible to maintain.

Abstracting from the ideological bent, totalitarian regimes like USSR (or China) can also be viewed as examples of MIC dominance in the form of merger arms manufacturers, military contractors and the state institutions including top brass of Communist Party, the merger that creates a variant of National Security State depicted in his novel "1984".  Moreover the dissolution of the USSR as the result of the bankruptcy of its overcentralized economic model ("state socialism" -- not that different from state capitalism) is directly related to the destruction of the USSR economy imposed by Soviet  militarily industrial complex (see Are We Going Down Like the Soviets World). Although arm race with USA played significant role, Soviet military establishment willingly overplayed its hand and killed the host. Collapse of communist ideology and emergence of Neoliberalism was just a final strew that broke the camel back as KGB brass realized that they will be better off under capitalism and changed sides (with gentle encouragements via multimillion bribes from CIA). Still, China, which uses the same bankrupt ideological doctrine with political life dominated by the same Communist Party, managed to survive and even economically prosper using strange mix of communist ideology in governing the state with Neoliberalism in economics in selected economic zones of the country. Extremes meet and while Marxism was highly collectivist, while Neoliberalism is highly individualists "Homo homini lupus est" style ideology it  reuses one of core components of Trotskyism -- the idea of Permanent Revolution, which was creatively transformed into Permanent Export of Democracy.   The latter is just a  smoke screen for forced export of neoliberalism into other countries, via color revolution (Serbia, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine), or armed invasions (Iraq, Libya) )

In other words MIC dominance means inevitable transformation of modern states into National Security State fighting typical for such a state "Perpetual war for perpetual peace."

There are  other important factors/tendencies that contributed to the dominance media-military-industrial complex in the USA

  1. Relentless war mongering propaganda of corporate-controlled media. Like in Third Reich MIC dominance is supported by relentless propaganda and brainwashing with mechanisms polished since Reagan to perfection. There is now no problem to create an "enemy of the people" when the elite wants and it does not matter which country or individual is selected as an enemy. The essence of elite politics in this area was best formulated by Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief

    Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

  2. American exceptionalism. American exceptionalism should probably be more correctly called US-specific version of far right nationalism, a milder variant of  one that existed in 30th of the last century in national-socialist countries of Europe, such as Italy, Germany and Spain.  The way in which American elite as a whole relates with the rest of the world demonstrates a strong nationalistic (as in "cultural nationalism"), imperial point of view. That means that mass media presents events only from the particular  point of view, with the brainwashed lemmings believing that their nation, or culture, is superior to all others. This often produces prejudice, xenophobia and inter-group and in-group violence, with the latter directed at suppression of dissent. Indeed, the United States’ inflated sense of eminence create additional, non-economic stimulus for the country elite to act in  fundamentally ethnocentric neo-fascist ways, and to strive for unilateral rule of the world.
  3. Two party system invented by elite of Great Britain which in case of "winner takes all" more of assigning elected officials inevitably leads to the dominance of a single party -- party of large capital.  Clinton sell-out of Democratic party and Blair sell out of labor party are not exception in this case, they are the rule. "Winner takes all" system proved to be perfect for inverted totalitarism type of regimes, including the US neoliberalism as it naturally lead to two party system in which both party represent capital.  
  4. Conversion of system of governance to "Deep state" which essentially make elections optional, but they still continue to exist in an emasculated "two parties system" form with disenfranchised, brainwashed voters, a highly malleable mass that can be pushed for any real rulers bidding.  Mainly as a facade, Potemkin village to provide the legitimacy for ruling elite.
Those factors are covered in more detail in special pages:

Military Industrial Complex as another, more politically correct name for Corporatism

Bacevich traces the end of the republic to the start of both wars, which gave rise to the "ideology of national security." The mission of the new Department of Defense is not defense, but to project power globally where we will view any nation as a threat that tries to match us in military might.

The term MIC ("Military-Industrial Complex") is also closely related to the phenomena that is defined by the term corporatism and the term National Security State. In a way,  it is just a more politically correct way to describe corporatism as a social system. The term corporatism is taunted by the link to Mussolini Italy and quite often is associated with the term "Italian fascism". As such this association instantly makes the discussion more emotional and defensive.

Like the term corporatism, the term "Military-Industrial Complex" is used to denote a mutation of state in which the dominant power belong to the large corporations and banks allied with the government (with officials  moving freely between private industry and government via revolving doors) including, but not limited to, a political block between the military and the industrial producers of military equipment and their lobbyists in Congress. In a sense, the key result of WWII was that Nazi Germany and its allies lost, but corporatism as a political movement they represented, actually won. Alliance of government (both Congress and executive branch) and corporate interests is the defining feature of this new form of political regime.

In a sense, the key result of WWII was that Nazi Germany and its allies lost, but corporatism as a political movement they represented, actually won.  Alliance of government (both Congress and executive branch) and corporate interests is the defining feature of this new form of political regime.

 Eisenhower initially wrote "military-industrial-congressional complex" (the term, which is of course is more precise as corporatism is a marriage of state and large corporations, but also more divisive), but changed it moved by strong advice to omit "congressional." We can see his political abilities and instincts of this great president in action in his final speech. It became a hit and people sited it, without understanding the depth and the real meaning of the warning, as well as the nature of the danger: mutation of the state into corporatist national security state which completely excludes public from the political process.

The term is easily extended to any group of corporations for which a significant part of revenue comes from the government contracts or in other way is guaranteed by government, or which depend from the expansion of market by government force (especially foreign expansion). In this sense we can talk about financial complex as another candidate for close and dangerous alliance with government .

No matter what set of industries are the key members of the alliance with the government, the press is controlled by the same players. The net result is a super-aggressive (we are the dominant player and you suckers should not stand on our way), jingoistic foreign policy oriented on acquiring new and protecting old markets. In this sense one of the defining features of such a regime is seeking/protecting/opening foreign markets using direct military power (aka invasions) or threat of thereof. That's why, the USA foreign policy seems unchanged the last 60 years, regardless of who controls the executive, and or, the legislative branches of government.

On the other hand it can be viewed as an implementation of Military Keynesianism: a government economic policy in which the government devotes large amounts of spending to the military in an effort to increase economic growth and the speed of technological advancement (via dual use technologies). Many fundamental technologies such as computers, large scale integral circuits, Internet, GPS, etc are the net results of adoption and enhancement of former military-oriented technologies by the civilian sector.

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer's seven characteristics of a National Security State

  "Four sorrows are certain to be visited on the United States. Their cumulative effect guarantees that the U.S. will cease to resemble the country outlined in the Constitution of 1787.
  1. First, there will be a state of perpetual war, leading to more terrorism against Americans wherever they may be and a spreading reliance on nuclear weapons among smaller nations as they try to ward off the imperial juggernaut.
  2. Second is a loss of democracy and Constitutional rights as the presidency eclipses Congress and is itself transformed from a co- equal `executive branch' of government into a military junta.
  3. Third is the replacement of truth by propaganda, disinformation, and the glorification of war, power, and the military legions.
  4. Lastly, there is bankruptcy, as the United States pours its economic resources into ever more grandiose military projects and shortchanges the education, health, and safety of its citizens."

Chalmers A. Johnson

National security state is the most common form of corporatism that exist in XX and XXI century. In his book "Brave New World Order" (Orbis Books, 1992, paper), Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer identified seven characteristics of a National Security State [4]:

All those features were also typical for Bolsheviks regime in the USSR, so the term "neo-bolshevism" is also applicable. Here is a pretty telling  Amazon review of The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (The American Empire Project)

 'War is a Racket' - General Smedley Butler USMC, April 1, 2004

Am I the only one who thinks the the rest of his countryman are nuts? For the past 60 years and three generations, Americans have been led to believe that that spending billions for the Defense of the country is not only necessary but patriotic.

Forget conspiracy theories and ideological agendas, just contemplate one fact: The USA spends more on military and intelligence funding in 2004 than it has spent at any one time in history. Fourteen carrier groups to defeat the two remaining countries of the axis of evil, N. Korea and Iran? 750 and counting military bases outside the USA? However, the government tells us it is powerless to defend the country against an attack from a terrorist group with WMD???

So, the next time you watch television and the commentator tells you why we need another aircraft carrier, more tanks, more F-16's, etc., ask yourself: Who are we defending ourselves against? And, as Chalmers Johnson points out, follow the money!

This book is an excellent primer on how our beloved country is being led down the road to ruin by a group of people who are lining the pockets of themselves and their friends and supporters. All of this is being done in the name of Democracy, Freedom and Globalization. But, why do we want to liberate people who sit on oil while those countries being ruthlessly exploited and practically enslaved are ignored since they can contribute little or nothing to the "world economy" (pick any poor third world country)?

This review is written by a conservative American, cold war supporter and US Navy veteran (like Chalmers Johnson) who believes in the old Republic (when is the last time you heard that word mentioned in the era of the imperial presidency). Forget whether you are democrat or republican, take the blinders off and seek the truth, excellently told by Chalmers Johnson.

Origins and history

 "The CIA is Wall Street. Wall Street is the CIA"

 Michael Ruppert

As US phenomenon  military industrial complex was the result of confluence of several powerful forces which has no countervailing forces to check them::

And those process were not limited to the USA. The concept of "deep state" actually originated in Turkey. And MIC suckling resources out of the economy has been one of the factors of collapse of the USSR with elements of the same that can be observed in such different  countries as Israel, Pakistan, China, Brazil and France.

The most important fact is the presence of intelligence agencies in this combination of forces and close alignment of intelligence agencies with Wall Street (the first head of CIA came directly from a leading Wall Street Law firm).  This hypertrophied role of intelligence agencies in military part of media-military-industrial complex essentially guarantied that it will soon escape civilian control and turn into "state within a state". Or as they call it now the Deep State.

Essentially Dwight Eisenhower correctly predicted inevitable collapse of American democracy, which actually happened in 1963 and gradual but inevitable transformation of the state into National Security State, the conversion which actually started with signing by Truman National Security Act of 1947  which created major three letter agencies (CIA, DOD, FBI and NSA) and was in full force during Eisenhower administration. Despite his understanding of the danger and some attempt to reverse the process Dwight Eisenhower was unable even to slow down this process during his administration, although it did cut military. 

We can distinguish several phases of conversion of the USA into National Security State:

JFK assassination as a coup detat of MIC against the "old state"

50th anniversary of JFK assassination and the key cue bono question about assassination:

Church Committee is the common term referring to the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, a U.S. Senate committee chaired by Senator Frank Church, to investigate the illegal intelligence gathering by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after the Watergate incident. It also investigated the CIA and FBI conduct relating to the JFK assassination.

Numerous books about the assassination suggest that in case actions of government represent a threat to their interests, elements of military industrial complex can overthrow the United States government by force of arms and that's can well be one interpretation of events which happened on November 22, 1963. HSCA had found that there were at least 2 shooters. The circumstances of JFK assassination are so troubling and confusing that they create an impression of CIA coup d'etat. This impression is strengthened by the fact that the US intelligence communities actively deceived the public and stonewalled the JFK murder investigation. This possibility is explored in several books such as Coup d'Etat in America The CIA and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Alan J. Weberman, Michael Canfield and German book JFK: Staatsstreich in Amerika. The reading of the former book suggests that some of the same forces the did Kennedy in also brought about the downfall of Nixon. Here is one Amazon review of the book:

The authors believe that two of the tramps arrested in Dealey Plaza that day were Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis, and that JFK was killed by the CIA and Cuban exiles angry over the Bay of Pigs. The assassination was then made to look like the work of Castro. "Members of a specially trained assassination squad called Operation Forty were briefed on their roles in the conspiracy. A CIA agent named Lee Harvey Oswald, who had a high 'expendability rating,' was chosen to play the role of 'patsy' in the killing...Oswald was led to believe he was part of a plot to assassinate Castro when in reality he was being set up as a pro-Castro scapegoat...But the officials of the Cuban consulate in Mexico City refused to issue Oswald a visa. If they had acted differently, and the visa had been found on Oswald's person after the assassination, most Americans would have been convinced that [he] was an agent of Fidel Castro...His CIA case officer ordered him to bring a rifle to the depository on the same day Kennedy was visiting Dallas and told him that there would be a message waiting for him somewhere in the building around 12:30 that day."

There were two men behind the grassy knoll and two phony SS men behind the TSBD. "Meanwhile, the killers, disguised as tramps, hid in some nearby boxcars..." Tippit was supposed to silence Oswald but Oswald shot him first; he then went to the Texas Theater so he would be arrested in front of lots of people to guarantee that he would be taken alive. Ruby was ordered by the mob to kill him.

Bertrand Russell's famous question about the Warren Commission's conclusions, "If, as we are told, Oswald was the lone assassin, where is the issue of national security?" was never answered.

That creates a distinct impression that intelligence services ("Big Intelligence") play a very important role in what is called MIC and are the core component of the modern National Security State. To the extent that instead of the term "media military industrial complex" we probably should use "media military intelligence industrial complex". As John Chuckman noted in his Nov 6, 2013 essay HOW AMERICA LEARNED TO PLAY GOD

The record of arrogance and abuse by security organizations, such as CIA or the FBI, is long and costly, filled with errors in judgment, abuse of power, incompetence, and immense dishonesty. Owing to the black magic of classified secrecy, much of the record involves projects about which we will never know, but even what we do know about is distressing enough. And I’m not sure that it can be any other way so long as you have Big Intelligence. Apart from Big Intelligence’s own propensity towards criminal or psychopathic behavior, one of the great ironies of Big Intelligence is that it will always agree to bend, to provide whatever suppressions and fabrications are requested by political leaders working towards the aims of the other great anti-democratic institutions, the military and the corporations. This became blindingly clear in the invasion of Iraq and, even before that, in the first Gulf War.

Among other things by access to "dirt" on politicians they provide powerful political filtering system so that none undesirable slips into important office:

America’s political system, honed and shaped over many decades, fits comfortably with these institutions. National elections are dominated by a two-party duopoly (being kept that way through countless institutional barriers deliberately created to maintain the status quo) , both these parties are dominated by huge flows of campaign contributions (contributions which form what economists call an effective barrier to entry against any third party seriously being able to compete), both parties embrace much the same policies except for some social issues of little interest to the establishment, and election campaigns are reduced to nothing more than gigantic advertising and marketing operations no different in nature to campaigns for two national brands of fast food or pop. It takes an extremely long time for a candidate to rise and be tested before being trusted with the huge amounts of money invested in an important campaign, and by that time he or she is a well-read book with no surprising chapters.

If for any reason this political filtering system fails, and someone slips through to an important office without having spent enough time to make them perfectly predictable, there still remains little chance of serious change on any important matter. The military-industrial-intelligence complex provides a molded space into which any newcomer absolutely must fit. Just imagine the immense pressures exerted by the mere presence of senior Pentagon brass gathered around a long polished oak table or a table surrounded by top corporate figures representing hundreds of billions in sales or representatives or a major lobbying group (and multi-million dollar financing source for the party). We see the recent example of popular hopes being crushed after the election of Obama, a man everyone on the planet hoped to see mend some of the ravages of George Bush and Dick Cheney. But the man who once sometimes wore sandals and bravely avoided a superfluous and rather silly flag pin on his lapel quickly was made to feel the crushing weight of institutional power, and he bent to every demand made on him, becoming indistinguishable from Bush. Of course, the last president who genuinely did challenge at least some of the great institutional powers, even to a modest extent, died in an ambush in Dallas.

Snowden revelations of NSA activities in the USA

New round of debates about the dominance of military industrial complex and the level of control it exert over civil society was caused by recent revelations about NSA activities in the USA (see Big Uncle is Watching You).

Technology changes can really change the society. And not always in a beneficial for the society way. There is such thing as "blowback" in technologies. We can view recent NSA activities revealed by Snowden as a classic example of such blowback connected with the spread of Internet.  And it is a mistake to assume that such activities started with September 11 events and that Bush II was totally responsible for converting the USA into national-security state.  The technology was ready long before September 11 and what is available is always used by clandestine agencies.  They tend to adopt technology as soon as it is available, being in a pervert way "early adopters" of any communication technology. And this happens not only in the USA although the USA as technological leader was the most profoundly affected.

It might well be the Rubicon was crossed around JFK assassination time. On August 17, 1975 Senator Frank Church stated on NBC's Meet the Press without mentioning the name of the NSA (Church Committee - Wikipedia ):

In the need to develop a capacity to know what potential enemies are doing, the United States government has perfected a technological capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air. Now, that is necessary and important to the United States as we look abroad at enemies or potential enemies. We must know, at the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left such is the capability to monitor everything—telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There would be no place to hide.

If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.

I don't want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.[11]

The creation and use of databases of personal information and the systematic records (archives) of communications of citizens started simultaneously with NSA creation. The first targets were mail and telegraph. Some of this experience came from specialists of Third Reich. At the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, law enforcement and intelligence leaders like J. Edgar Hoover at the F.B.I. and Allen Dulles at the C.I.A. aggressively recruited onetime Nazis of all ranks as secret, anti-Soviet “assets,” declassified records show. They believed the ex-Nazis’ intelligence value against the Russians outweighed what one official called “moral lapses” in their service to the Third Reich. The agency hired one former SS officer as a spy in the 1950s, for instance, even after concluding he was probably guilty of “minor war crimes.” And in 1994, a lawyer with the C.I.A. pressured prosecutors to drop an investigation into an ex-spy outside Boston implicated in the Nazis’ massacre of tens of thousands of Jews in Lithuania, according to a government official (In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis -

Recording of all email envelopes (which was also done for snail mail) started long before email was invented and became established practice since the WWII. It just a new name now -- collection of metadata. Recording metadata of phone calls and often the calls themselves first started before WWII and technology was polished on international calls, which for obvious reasons are of great interest to all governments.

We don't know then it was extended on domestic calls, this this was trivial extension of already existing capacity and probably abuse was stated gradually as soon as power of computers allow that. That means around 1958. Even in early 1960 three letter agencies were already semi-autonomous entities, a state within the state. And as assassination on President Kennedy had shown they were audacious enough to bypass Congress.

I think that the first attempt to create a comprehensive nation-wide intelligence network that monitors sentiments of the citizens and hunt enemies of the state goes as far bask as Napoleon and his famous minister of police Joseph Fouché. Or may be it even goes as far back as to Byzantine Empire with its first in history systematic network of spies. As for recording of mail envelopes, we can even claim that this function for international mail (in a form of "black chambers") is as old as states are. In the USA it started in full force in August 1919 when J. Edgar Hoover became head of the Bureau of Investigation's new General Intelligence Division—also known as the Radical Division because its explicit goal was to monitor and disrupt the work of domestic radicals.

Hoover and his chosen assistant, George Ruch monitored a variety of U.S. radicals with the intent to punish, arrest, or deport them. Targets during this period included Marcus Garvey; Rose Pastor Stokes and Cyril Briggs; Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman; and future Supreme Court justice Felix Frankfurter, whom Hoover nicknamed as "the most dangerous man in the United States".

After 9/11 and the passage of the USA Patriot Act, the USA government got all the pre-conditions necessary for installing a regime of aggressive total surveillance. Which actually was a hidden intent and 9/11 was just a convenient pretext much like Tonkin incident in Vietnam war. And in this respect Ed Snowden whatever is his motivation (which might be not as simple as most people assume) did the right thin thing, when he with risk to his life informed the US public and the world about those activities. You may approve those revelations you may disapprove them (and they did damage the USA as a state), but keeping them secret from the US public is a crime.

NSA technically is a data collection agency. While it has legitimate function to monitor information that is crossing the national border, we need to understand that the abuse of this function and extension of it into domestic communications started nor after 9/11, but in 1950th. But the capacities to do this type of work had grown dramatically over last four decades. In a way NSA became a victim of growing power of computers and as well inherent tendency of bureaucracies, especially government bureaucracies to expand and self-justify their expansion. The classic case was the USSR where KGB was a real state within the state and sometimes it was not completely clear whether the Party controls KGB or KGB controls the Party.

In other words expansionism is an immanent quality, the second nature of large bureaucracies, and unless there is countervailing force it can be deadly for the society at large, as we observe in case with three letter agencies, which tend to escape from civil control and form a state within a state. In a way any state with powerful thre-letter agencies stand with one leg in a tyranny, even if it class itself a democracy. and that fact was already known to everybody in 1975. Actually just after president Kennedy assassination, which, no matter which version of events you adopt, in all cases indirectly pointed out that three letter agencies jumped out of control of civil government. As one Guardian reader commented "The pernicious thing is that it is in the nature of bureaucracies in general and spy agencies in particular to expand beyond reason unless there is effective oversight. In the case of intelligence agencies it has proven impossible to control them."

The nature of bureaucracies in general and spy agencies in particular to expand beyond reason unless there is effective oversight. In the case of intelligence agencies it has proven impossible to control them.

But that also means that most of those efforts are highly politicized, inefficient waist of resources as typical for large bureaucracies which are not so far technological but political bodies (see Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition).

We can admire the immortal foresight of Secretary of State Henry Stimson's  who closed the Cipher Bureau in 1929.  But this highly ethical, moral and courageous act deprived the U.S. of the capacity to read foreign diplomatic cables as world-wide threats grew.  So it was quickly reversed. In a way technology dictates the level of government surveillance in the society and in Internet society it looks like this level is permanently set on "high". That does not mean that we can't fight it. Yes, we can ;-)

MIC and dynamics of malignant growth of bureaucratic organizations

The idea that US foreign policy is affected by pressures imposed on US president  and his administration by the "national security oligarchy" interested mainly in self-preservation and expansion of their power in not new.

While major factors were conversion of the USA into empire and attempt to secure the world dominance, there was some internal dynamic connected with perverting of goals for which organization was created by any large bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is an organizational model rationally designed to perform complex tasks efficiently. Military and intelligence communities are classic examples of large bureaucratic organizations, and they are characterized by formalized rules and regulations, systematic record-keeping and archiving of past decisions, formalized planning for the future, hierarchies of status, defined career paths (within the organization and across organizations), a concern for organizational identity, and other features. Establish culture is "sticky" and is a very hard thing for any large bureaucratic organization to change. Reforms that run against a long-standing ethos -- especially chose that emphasize restraint and cut the power of the organization -- are very difficult to achieve

But most large bureaucracies, especially government, military and security  organizations (CIA, NSA FBI) quickly pervert the gols for which organization was created and start to pursue agenda of their own substituting official goal with the  goals of organization growth, and growth of power of top brass. In short that are subject to the same The Iron Law of Oligarchy as political parties.

So they have immanent propensity to become states with a state. For example the goal of army brass became to increase state engagement in any military conflict (aka "surge"). So despite the fact that bureaucracies are governed by rules make them something like staffed with human robots, where rules serve as a program governing the robot behavior. But as in sci-fi such robots very soon start to demonstrate behavior that was not designed by the original programmers ;-).

Once the bureaucracy commits itself to a course of action, it rarely adjusts its path. Bureaucracies prize continuity over innovation and cling to the prevailing orthodoxy even if that means moving strait till everybody start to fall from the cliff.  With the notable exception of the top layer of hierarchy ;-)

While each bureaucracy is created with particular mandate, like Frankenstein it very soon it escape the control of its creators and start living the life of its own, pursuing goals that might nothing to do, or worse completely opposite to those to achieve which it was created. At some point a new phenomenon called organizational culture emerge. the latter comprises an interlocking set of goals, roles, processes, values, communications practices, attitudes and assumptions. The elements fit together as a self-reinforcing system and are resistant to any attempt to change it. Hierarchy, with its attendant multiple layers of goals, roles, accountabilities, values and communication channels became entrenched.

Principal agent problem and growth of national security oligarchy

Any bureaucracy is a political coalition that is designed to protect and enrich its members and first of all top brass (see Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition). And that goal explicitly conflict with the goal of efficient and dispassionate service that they theoretically should provide. That means that there is inherent contradiction within any large bureaucratic organization. that also means that one of the most central problem of bureaucracies is Principal-agent problem  which is essentially another side of  The Iron Law of Oligarchy. This problem recently (in 2008) get some attention in respect to financial sector:

In political science and economics, the principal-agent problem or agency dilemma treats the difficulties that arise under conditions of incomplete and asymmetric information when a principal hires an agent, such as the problem that the two may not have the same interests, while the principal is, presumably, hiring the agent to pursue the interests of the former. The “agency problem” is an inherent dysfunction in all principal/agent relationships, a dysfunction so powerful that such relationships can never fully achieve their stated objectives.

. Here is how Wikipedia defines this relationship

The principal–agent problem or agency dilemma occurs when one person or entity (the "agent") is able to make decisions that impact, or on behalf of, another person or entity: the "principal". The dilemma exists because sometimes the agent is motivated to act in his own best interests rather than those of the principal. The agent-principal relationships is a useful analytic tool in political science and economics, but may also apply to other areas.

Common examples of this relationship include corporate management (agent) and shareholders (principal), or politicians (agent) and voters (principal).[1] For another example, consider a dental patient (the principal) wondering whether his dentist (the agent) is recommending expensive treatment because it is truly necessary for the patient's dental health, or because it will generate income for the dentist. In fact the problem potentially arises in almost any context where one party is being paid by another to do something, whether in formal employment or a negotiated deal such as paying for household jobs or car repairs.

The problem arises where the two parties have different interests and asymmetric information (the agent having more information), such that the principal cannot directly ensure that the agent is always acting in its (the principal's) best interests,[2] particularly when activities that are useful to the principal are costly to the agent, and where elements of what the agent does are costly for the principal to observe. Moral hazard and conflict of interest may arise. Indeed, the principal may be sufficiently concerned at the possibility of being exploited by the agent that he chooses not to enter into a transaction at all, when that deal would have actually been in both parties' best interests: a suboptimal outcome that lowers welfare overall. The deviation from the principal's interest by the agent is called "agency costs".[2]

But this problem is no less acute in intelligence organizations. By their statute it is very difficult to control them and check action of their brass. Which means intelligence brass became a new type of players within the elite with its own agenda, which they fiercely defend.   Scaremongering is one typical demonstration of "Principal-agent problem" with intelligence organization and military. That's why any attempt to downsize those organization usually are doomed to be a failure.  Inflating security threats is the way of preservation and growth for those organization.

“Looting” is a reasonably violent word that conveys with some degree of accuracy the essence of principal-agent problem. Perverse incentives is more politically correct work meaning essentially the same.  Attempts to constrain  looting by large government organizations such as CIA, NSA and FBI using laws and regulation, or at the individual level by replacing top brass, proved inefficient.

Criminal prosecution is difficult to launch against top officers of such organization and RICO status is inapplicable despite the fact that in many way they demonstrate behavior typical of organized crime. At the same time Stalinism-style purges, while definitely effective contradict norms of the modern societies.  Changing situation via regulation is difficult as "national security oligarchy" controls lawmakers and, as Obama elections had shown, also might well controls the nomination of presidential candidates from both parties. 

There are three laws that govern this process of corruption:

Even in cases of indoctrination with ideology which inhibits those impulses, corruption of the organizational elite of security services is a serious problem as collapse of the USSR demonstrated to the surprised world. Only an idiot (or PR prostitute ;-) would say that it was angry Russians who overthrow the Communist regime; in reality it was Communist elite, and first of all KGB elite which changed flags and privatized the state resources.

This is the key to understanding complex dynamics in large organization, where bureaucracies that often engage in actions that look close to absurd (or are absurd) to the uninitiated, but are always directed on preservation and enhancement of power of top bureaucrats.  One of the most important features of bureaucracies is that along with "functional side" it also necessarily becomes a political coalition which relentless, consistently and skillfully fights for self-preservation and growth of its influence, often sacrificing "functional" part like pawns in the chess game.  As soon as self-preservation become the paramount concern, the original purpose of the bureaucracy to provide efficient and dispassionate service ("functional part") is subverted and buried beneath the higher priority activities of  providing benefits, increasing staffing, and, the most importantly, increasing budgets ("political part").

As soon as self-preservation become the paramount concern, the original purpose of the bureaucracy to provide efficient and dispassionate service ("functional part") is subverted and buried beneath the higher priority activities of  providing benefits, increasing staffing, and, the most importantly, increasing budgets ("political part").

Tendency of mature bureaucracies to pervert their organizational, functional goals necessitates periodic purges and reorganizations. One of the first political party which understood this complex dynamic were Bolsheviks, who under Stalin instituted periodic purges of  State-employed bureaucrats ("apparatchiks"), so that the fear for their well-being (and often life) served as a powerful countervailing force to the natural tendency of bureaucracy to pervert its goals. Which of course have had only temporary effect. 

In the USA similar mechanisms of appointing as head of government agencies by political appointees (who are often, unfortunately, are completely incompetent in the area of activity they were made responsible for) is much less effective, but also has its positive sides.  The US Congress looks more stagnant then the USSR Politburo with the average serving term of senators probably exceeding twice of more the term of a typical Politburo member.

Limitation of term of the President along with natural change of  political objectives  serves as a periodic, but very mild reorganizing force. This effect is watered down by the short term assigned to the presidency as in such short  period it is impossible to institute substantial changes in top departments such as Department of State and Department of Defense (which actually has budget larger then GDP of the USSR and is probably less efficient in spending those money that the socialist economy of the USSR). 

Intelligence community is another part that tend quickly escape the control and pervert the goal for which particular organization was created. Here natural tendency of any large bureaucracy to try to enlarge their sphere of influence and minimize the control from  above looks really menacing to the very existence of democratic government in the country as Church Committee discovered long ago. To members of the commission CIA looked more like a tail which wags the dog, then as a regular part of the government, and as Assassination of President Kennedy had shown this is really the case. And it was the chief of FBI J. Edgar Hoover   who convincingly proved that that idea of rotation of high level executives in the US government has well defined exceptions. None of presidents dared to touch him until he died in the office occupying it for almost 40 years (1935-1972).

In large corporation the role similar to Stalin purges can play periodic changing of location of headquarters, as election of president of the corporation and its board are typically formal and are run by the same clique that runs the organization.

Security and intelligence bureaucracies as perfect environment for authoritarians and sociopaths

Another negative side of bureaucracies is that they serve as perfect environment for Authoritarians (especially Double High Authoritarians)  as well as sociopaths. See The psychopath in the corner office and Analogy between corporate and psychopathic behavior

So it is interesting that the term psychopathic is applicable to bureaucracies too, not only to individuals. Bureaucracies can demonstrate several of typical psychopathic traits. Like psychopathic managers, bureaucracies often prevent subordinates doing their jobs and prevent employees fulfilling their duties. The term Psychopathic corporation is often used to highlight the connection between corporate psychopaths and modern government organizations and mega-corporations. Here is a short but very useful list from Our Church Administration is Critically Infected « Another Voice

1.Illogical Thinking: The lack of independent, critical thinking.

2. Highly Compartmentalized Minds: Authoritarians’ ideas are poorly integrated with one another.

3. Double Standards : When your ideas live independent lives from one another it is pretty easy to use double standards in your judgments. You simply call up the idea that will justify (afterwards) what you’ve decided to do.

4. Hypocrisy: The leaders of authoritarian movements sometimes accuse their opponents of being anti-democratic and anti-free speech when the latter protest against various books, movies, speakers, teachers and so on.

5. Blindness To Themselves: self-righteousness.

6. A Profound Ethnocentrism: Ethnocentrism means dividing the world up into in-groups and out-groups…….in-groups are holy and good…out-groups are evil and Satanic.

7. Dogmatism: the Authoritarian’s Last Ditch Defense: By dogmatism I mean relatively unchangeable, unjustified certainty. Loyal followers obey without questions…..

The key feature of such companies is  that do not treat employees as humans, they treat them as animals to be culled when appropriate. 

Andrew Bacevich analysis of "New American Militarism" and its connection with American Exceptionalism, neocons and evangelicals

Professor Andrew Bacevich wrote several short books on the subject. Among them we can note two:

While both books are excellent the weakness of Bacevich approach is that he does not see connection between Neoliberalism demand for economic expansion and "New American Militarism". He provide sharp critique of neocons but never ask the question: which political forces brought those pathetic second or third rate thinkers to the forefront of formulation of the US foreign policy and maintain them for more then a decade after Iraq debacle. He also mistakenly believe that American people who were completely estranged from any influence on nation's policies bear some guilt for the policy which was formulated to benefit the first hundred of the largest US corporations,

The Limits of Power The End of American Exceptionalism

Here is one Amazon reader review of he first book ( David R. Cook Dave Cook's review of The Limits of Power The End of American E...)

David R. Cook, August 15, 2008

Cliche or not, this is a "Must Read" book

This is the bluntest, toughest, most scathing critique of American imperialism as it has become totally unmoored after the demise of the Soviet Communist empire and taken to a new level by the Bush administration. Even the brevity of this book - 182 pages - gives it a particular wallop since every page "concentrates the mind".

In the event a reader knows of the prophetic work of the American theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr, you will further appreciate this book. Bacevich is a Niebuhr scholar and this book essentially channels Niebuhr's prophetic warnings from his 1952 book, "The Irony of American History". The latter has just been reissued by University of Chicago Press thanks to Andrew Bacevich who also contributed an introduction.

In essence, American idealism as particularly reflected in Bush's illusory goal to "rid the world of evil" and to bring freedom and democracy to the Middle East or wherever people are being tyrannized, is doomed to failure by the tides of history. Niebuhr warned against this and Bacevich updates the history from the Cold War to the present. Now our problems have reached crisis proportions and Bacevich focuses on the three essential elements of the crisis: American profligacy; the political debasing of government; and the crisis in the military.

What renders Bacevich's critique particularly stinging, aside from the historical context he gives it (Bush has simply taken an enduring American exceptionalism to a new level), is that he lays these problems on the doorstep of American citizens. It is we who have elected the governments that have driven us toward near collapse. It is we who have participated willingly in the consumption frenzy in which both individual citizens and the government live beyond their means. Credit card debt is undermining both government and citizenry.

This pathway is unsustainable and this book serves up a direct and meaningful warning to this effect. Niebuhrian "realism" sees through the illusions that fuel our own individual behavior and that of our government. There are limits to American power and limits to our own individual living standards and, of course, there are limits to what the globe can sustain as is becoming evident from climate changes.

... ... ...

Edwin C. Pauzer VINE VOICE on September 24, 2008

... ... ...

According to the author, the US has reached its limit to project its power in the world. His rationale for this conclusion are three central crises we now face: economic and cultural, political, and military, all of which are our own making.

The first crisis is one of profligacy. Americans want more, whether it is wealth, credit, markets, or oil, without consideration for cost or how these things are acquired. There is complete apathy in what policies are being produced as long as they provide plenty.

The political crisis was born of our mobilization in World War II to meet the threat of tyranny, and from the Cold War to meet the challenge of the Soviet Union. Both gave rise to unprecedented presidential power, an ineffectual Congress, and a disastrous foreign policy. Bacevich contends that our legislature no longer serves their constituents or the common good "but themselves through gerrymandering, doling out prodigious amounts of political pork, seeing to the protection of certain vested interests" with the paramount concern of being re-elected. Our presidents have been willing accomplices in keeping the American dream or greed alive by using our military as part of a coercive diplomatic tool to feed and fuel the first crisis.

Bacevich traces the end of the republic to the start of both wars, which gave rise to the "ideology of national security." The mission of the new Department of Defense is not defense, but to project power globally where we will view any nation as a threat that tries to match us in military might. At the same time, the largest intelligence agencies in the world are created to afford us more security, but after seventy years are unable to defend our cities and buildings in the US while it worries about intrigues worldwide. Competition and rivalry lead to a lack of cooperation, intelligence, and security when it was needed most.

The third crisis is our military which has been employed to satisfy the neuroses of the first and second crises. The author puts much of the blame squarely at the feet of inept military leadership, which he believes has confused strategy with operations. Content with the resilience of the American fighting man or woman, he is scathing in his critique of their leadership finding them "guilty of flagrant professional malpractice, if not outright fraud." He illustrates how improvised explosive devices that cost no more than a pizza have checked a military that is designed for speed and maneuver--that was considered invincible.

Andrew Bacevich contends that nothing will change as long as Americans are told to go to Disney World instead of making sacrifices, as long as the same one half percent of our population continue to populate the military that the president sees as his personal army, as long as an apathetic public and an ineffectual Congress continue to make periodic, grand gestures of curbing presidential power, the United States will have reached the limits of its power and exceptionalism.

This book profoundly moved me, and I was impressed by the insight that Professor Bacevich could bring in such few pages. Passages of this book should be plastered in the halls and offices of Congress, as well as the West Wing.

This book really stands out as a jewel in a sea of mediocre publications by radio and TV personalities who think they know what they are talking about when it comes to economics or geopolitics. The difference is that Andrew Bacevich does

--without exception.

Also Recommended:

The New American Militarism

There are several very insightful reviews of Bacevich latest book The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War on Amazon. I strongly recommend to read them.

Bacevich argues that the new militarism came about because of a convergence of several social forces (and as such has significant social base):

For your convenience some of  them which I judge to be the most insightful are reproduced below:

Andrew J. Bacevich's The New American Militarism: How Americans Are seduced By War, Oxford University Press, New York, 2005, ISBN 0-19-517338-4, is the most coherent analysis of how America has come to its present situation in the world that I have ever read. Bacevich, Professor of International Relations and Director of the Center for International Relations at Boston University, is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and holds a Ph.D. in history from Princeton. And he is retired military officer. This background makes him almost uniquely qualified to comment on the subject.

Bacevich admits to an outlook of moderate conservatism. But in ascribing fault for our plight to virtually every administration since W.W. II, he is even handed and clear eyed. Since he served in the military, he understands the natural bureaucratic instincts of the best of the officer corps and is not blinded by the almost messianic status that they have achieved in the recent past.

His broad brush includes the classic period, the American Revolution - especially the impact of George Washington, but he moves quickly to the influence of Woodrow Wilson and his direct descendants of our time, the Neoconservatives. The narrative accelerates and becomes relevant for us in the depths of the despair of Vietnam. At that juncture, neocon intellectuals awakened to the horror that without a new day for our military and foreign policy, the future of America would be at stake. At almost the same time, Evangelical Christians abandoned their traditional role in society and came to views not dissimilar to the neocons. America had to get back on track to both power and goodness. The results of Vietnam on American culture, society, and - especially - values were abhorrent to both these groups.

The perfect man to idealize and mythologize America's road back was Ronald Reagan. Again, Bacevich does not shrink from seeing through the surreal qualities brought to the Oval Office by Reagan to the realities beneath them. The Great Communicator transformed the Vietnam experience into an abandonment of American ideals and reacquainted America with those who fought that horrible war. Pop culture of the period, including motion pictures such as Top Gun and best selling novels by many, including Tom Clancy completely rehabilitated the image of the military.

The author describes how Evangelical leaders came to find common cause with the neocons and provided the political muscle for Reagan and his successors of both parties to discover that the projection of military might become a reason for being for America as the last century closed.

One of his major points is that the all volunteer force that resulted from the Vietnam experience has been divorced from American life and that sending this force of ghosts into battle has little impact on our collective psyche. This, too, fit in with the intellectual throw weight of the neocons and the political power of the Evangelicals.

Separate from but related to the neocons, Bacevich describes the loss of strategic input by the military in favor of a new priesthood of intellectual elites from institutions such as the RAND Corporation, The University of Chicago and many others. It was these high priests who saw the potential that technology provided for changing the nature of war itself and how American power might be projected with `smart weapons' that could be the equivalent of the nuclear force that could never be used.

So it was that when the war we are now embroiled in across the globe - which has its antecedents back more than twenty years - all of these forces weighed heavily on the military leaders to start using the force we'd bought them. The famed question by Secretary of State Madeline Albright to General Colin Powell: "What's the point of having this superb military that you're always talking about if we can't use it?" had to have an answer and the skirmishes and wars since tended to provide it.

Bacevich clearly links our present predicaments both at home and abroad to the ever greater need for natural resources, especially oil from the Persian Gulf. He demolishes all of the reasons for our bellicosity based on ideals and links it directly to our insatiable appetite for oil and economic expansion. Naturally, like thousands of writers before him, he points out the need for a national energy policy based on more effective use of resources and alternative means of production.

It is in his prescriptions that the book tends to drift. The Congress must do its constitutionally mandated jobs or be thrown out by the people. Some of his ideas on military education are creative and might well close the gap between the officer corps and civilians that he points to as a great problem.

But it is the clearly written analysis that makes this book shine. It should be a must read for those who wonder how we got to Iraq and where we might be heading as a society. The nation is in grave danger, and this is a book that that shows how we got to this juncture. Where we go from here is up to us. If we continue as we are, our options may narrow and be provided by others.


===This review is from: The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (Hardcover)

In his book The New American Militarism (2005), Andrew Bacevich desacralizes our idolatrous infatuation with military might, but in a way that avoids the partisan cant of both the left and the right that belies so much discourse today. Bacevich's personal experiences and professional expertise lend his book an air of authenticity that I found compelling. A veteran of Vietnam and subsequently a career officer, a graduate of West Point and later Princeton where he earned a PhD in history, director of Boston University's Center for International Relations, he describes himself as a cultural conservative who views mainstream liberalism with skepticism, but who also is a person whose "disenchantment with what passes for mainstream conservatism, embodied in the present Bush administration and its groupies, is just about absolute." Finally, he identifies himself as a "conservative Catholic." Idolizing militarism, Bacevich insists, is far more complex, broader and deeper than scape-goating either political party, accusing people of malicious intent or dishonorable motives, demonizing ideological fanatics as conspirators, or replacing a given administration. Not merely the state or the government, but society at large, is enthralled with all things military.

Our military idolatry, Bacevich believes, is now so comprehensive and beguiling that it "pervades our national consciousness and perverts our national policies." We have normalized war, romanticized military life that formally was deemed degrading and inhuman, measured our national greatness in terms of military superiority, and harbor naive, unlimited expectations about how waging war, long considered a tragic last resort that signaled failure, can further our national self-interests. Utilizing a "military metaphysic" to justify our misguided ambitions to recreate the world in our own image, with ideals that we imagine are universal, has taken about thirty years to emerge in its present form. It is this marriage between utopians ends and military means that Bacevich wants to annul.

How have we come to idolize military might with such uncritical devotion? He likens it to pollution: "the perhaps unintended, but foreseeable by-product of prior choices and decisions made without taking fully into account the full range of costs likely to be incurred" (p. 206). In successive chapters he analyzes six elements of this toxic condition that combined in an incremental and cumulative fashion.

  1. After the humiliation of Vietnam, an "unmitigated disaster" in his view, the military set about to rehabilitate and reinvent itself, both in image and substance. With the All Volunteer Force, we moved from a military comprised of citizen-soldiers that were broadly representative of all society to a professional warrior caste that by design isolated itself from broader society and that by default employed a disproportionate percentage of enlistees from the lowest socio-economic class. War-making was thus done for us, by a few of us, not by all of us.
  2. Second, the rise of the neo-conservative movement embraced American Exceptionalism as our national end and superior coercive force as the means to franchise it around the world.
  3. Myth-making about warfare sentimentalized, sanitized and fictionalized war. The film Top Gun is only one example of "a glittering new image of warfare."
  4. Fourth, without the wholehearted complicity of conservative evangelicalism, militarism would have been "inconceivable," a tragic irony when you consider that the most "Christian" nation on earth did far less to question this trend than many ostensibly "secular" nations.
  5. Fifth, during the years of nuclear proliferation and the fears of mutually assured destruction, a "priesthood" of elite defense analysts pushed for what became known as the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). RMA pushed the idea of "limited" and more humane war using game theory models and technological advances with euphemisms like "clean" and "smart" bombs. But here too our "exuberance created expectations that became increasingly uncoupled from reality," as the current Iraq debacle demonstrates.
  6. Finally, despite knowing full well that dependence upon Arab oil made us vulnerable to the geo-political maelstroms of that region, we have continued to treat the Persian Gulf as a cheap gas station. How to insure our Arab oil supply, protect Saudi Arabia, and serve as Israel's most important protector has always constituted a squaring of the circle. Sordid and expedient self interest, our "pursuit of happiness ever more expansively defined," was only later joined by more lofty rhetoric about exporting universal ideals like democracy and free markets, or, rather, the latter have only been a (misguided) means to secure the former.

Bacevich opens and closes with quotes from our Founding Fathers. In 1795, James Madison warned that "of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other." Similarly, late in his life George Washington warned the country of "those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hotile to republican liberty."

K. Johnson:

 Relevant and Objective, January 3, 2007

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The author astutely reinforces the fact that the Militarist Mentality won't change, regardless of which political party is in control of the Executive and Houses of Congress in the United States. Here only some examples out of many:

Entry of the U.S. military into the Middle East:


The Carter Doctrine was prescribed at the State of the Union Address in 1980. Another civilian prescription utilizing the military as medicine to alleviate and even cure, political symptoms. This Doctrine began a new era of U.S. involvement in the Middle East, specifically using the American military to enforce its economic interests and lifestyle dependence on oil. The Carter Doctrine was a major shift in American foreign policy in the Middle East. It specifically stated that use of the military can and will be used to enforce U.S. economic interests.

At his State of the Union Address, Carter stated:

"Any attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be declared as an assault on the vital interest of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force" (p. 181).

Worth noting is that the Carter Doctrine was declared during the Cold War, when there was a adversary to check U.S interests. Today, that rival is gone.

Some argue the so-called 'War on Terror' is merely a historical continuation of American foreign policy interests in using its military to promote its geo-political and economic interests.


War has been, and now is presented as a spectacle. No different than a spectator sport. Live reports, video display, and laymen presentations of new technology, usually via video, to the civilian public at press conferences.

One example of many are current U.S. newspaper reports: they don't use the term "wounded" when reporting about American soldiers in Iraq. They use the euphemistic term, "injured." "17 Iraqis 'wounded' and 3 American soldiers 'injured.'" Similar to a football game. Slogans such as "Shock and Awe, Support the Troops," and deck of cards identifying the most wanted Baath party members. "Freedom is not Free." Many American military personel (and civilians) have internalized this propaganda.

Using Hollywood To Enhance "Honor" and perpetuate myths:

Bacevich carefully details the planned and choreographed footage of George W. Bush dressed as a fighter pilot on the USS Abraham Lincoln. This was intentionally and specifically lifted from the movie "Top Gun." Immediately after this planned footage, an action figure doll was created and sold for $39.99. It was called the "Elite Force Aviator: George W. Bush: U.S. President and Naval Aviator" (p. 31).

Well-dressed, handsome, and beautiful anchors report about the war in such series as "The Week in War." More simulation of the spectator sport of war in our pop culture. One segment in the "Week in War program" is called "The Fallen," where the photo of a soldier, his name, age, and hometown are presented, and the date of his death. Then the cameramen go to his family's home. Often a family picture of the "fallen soldier" is shown. Then, an interview with the somber, and at times tearful family in their living room, sitting on their couch: "He was a good kid. He always wanted to help people."

The "Fallen" is related to a concept that the Germans began about 300 years ago. This concept is called the "Cult of the Fallen Soldier." When a soldier is killed in war he is elevated to a higher status because of his death. He is placed on a pedestal, because somehow, and in some enigmatic way, he "sacrificed" for a noble cause that is often abstract or confusing to the public. To further simplify the confusion and sullenness resulting from the soldier's death, religion is often injected into the deceased soldiers elevation on a pedestal. You can see this Cult of the Fallen Soldier in Arlington, Virgina today, and in many military cemeteries around the world.


Bacevich notes moves and their role. "Top Gun" had a tremendous impact in many ways. Pop culture, and Navy recruiting sky-rocketing. As for the flurry of "Vietnam war movies," again the noble concepts of "courage, honor, fear, triumph" are latently and explicitly reinforced to the public of all ages and socio-economic levels.

It took me a chapter or two to get used to Bacevich's writing style, but I grew to like it.

Chapters: 1) Wilsonians Under Arms 2) The Military Professions at Bay 3) Left, Right, Center 4) California Dreaming 5) Onward 6) War Club 7) Blood for Oil 8) Common Defense

"Support" for the military is often incorrectly linked with one's "patriotism." This faulty thinking is perpetuated by the electronic and print media in often subtle forms but extremely effective forms, and at times very explicit and in aggressive manners. The government intentionally steers the publics' focus to the 'Military aspects of war' to avoid attention to the more realistic and vital 'political aspects.' The latter being at the real heart of the motivation, manner, and outcome of most *political* conflicts.

Bacevich notes journalists: journalist Thomas Friedman complained that a Super Bowl half-time show did not honor the "troops." He then drove to the Command Center to visit and speak with the "troops." Soon after, he carried on with his own self-centered interests, like everyone else.

The military in and of itself is not dangerous nor pernicious. The military doesn't formulate foreign policy. The military just implements it, carrying out the orders and instructions of elitist civilians who have never served in the armed forces. It's not the military nor the men and women serving in it, we must be wary of. It's the civilians masters with vested interests in the governmental and corporate world who must be held accountable.

General Creighton Abrams wanted to diminish the influence of civilian control over the military after Vietnam. Civilians and politicians were making military decisions. It seems the situation is similar in 2007. Chairman of the JCS Peter Pace sounds political. History will be the judge.

This is a very insightful book for those interested in recent history as well as the current situation the United States is in. The troops should be supported for what they do. Because unfortunately they are the ones that pay the price for elitist decisions made by upper-class civilians from the Ivy League cliques that run the U.S. politically and economically.

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Robert S. Frey
An Informed, Insightful, and Highly Readable Account of American Foreign Policy Today, December 23, 2006

... What I found most beneficial was that the book presented well-argued alternative historical "meta-narratives" that are much more closely aligned with post-World War II historical events and processes than the ones currently accepted as "conventional wisdom." A case in point is the periodization of World War IV beginning with President Carter's pronouncements regarding the Persian Gulf area in 1980 rather than with the terrorist attacks on America on 9/11. "The New American Militarism" carefully and credibly brings together the many seemingly disparate actions, decisions, and events of the past 60+ years (e.g., the atomic bombing of Japan, Vietnam, oil shortages of the 1970s and 80s, the end of the Cold War, the First Gulf War, etc.) and illustrates important patterns and trends that help to explain why United States' foreign policy is what it is today. Dr. Bacevich's book helps us understand and appreciate that the global projection of American military power today has deep roots in the national decisions and behaviors of the second half of the twentieth century.

Robert S. Frey, M.A., MBA, MSM
Adjunct Professor, History
Brenau University

Dr. Lee D. Carlson

Interesting, insightful, and motivating, October 21, 2006

...If one examines carefully American history, it is fair to say that Americans have been reluctant to go to war, preferring instead to settle conflicts via negotiation and trade agreements. Americans have been led to the horrors of war kicking and screaming, and breath a sigh of relief when they are over. Historically, Americans have applied extreme skepticism to those politicians, like Woodrow Wilson, who wanted to participate in World War I to make the world "safe for democracy." So if Americans are "seduced by war", as the author contends they have been in recent decades, an explanation must be found. It is tempting to say that they have been merely "brainwashed", and contemporary neuroscience lends some credence to this claim, but one must still be open to alternative explanations, and let the evidence determine the proper interpretation. Once the causes have been identified, it becomes necessary to find methodologies and strategies to counter these causes, lest we find ourselves in another unnecessary and brutal conflict, initiated by some who do not directly participate in it, and have no intention ever to do so.

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R. Albin:

 Exceptional Polemic; 4.5 Stars, October 19, 2006

This concise and well written book is the best kind of polemic; clear, well argued, and designed to provoke debate. Bacevich is definitely interested in persuading readers of the truth of his views but his calm and invective free prose, insistence on careful documentation, and logical presentation indicate that his primary concern is promote a high level of discussion of this important issue. Bacevich argues well that a form of militarism based on an exaggerated sense of both American mission and American power, specifically military power, has infected public life. He views this militarism as both leading to unnecessary and dangerous adventures abroad, epitomized by the Iraq fiasco, and corrupting the quality of domestic debate and policy making. Beyond documenting the existence of this phenomenon, Bacevich is concerned with explicating how this form of militarism, which he views as contrary to American traditions, came to be so popular.

Bacevich argues well that the new militarism came about because of a convergence of actions by a number of different actors including our professional military, neoconservative intellectuals and publicists, evangelical Christians, resurgent Republican party activists, and so-called defense intellectuals. For a variety of reasons, these sometimes overlapping groups converged on ideas of the primacy of American military power and the need to use it aggressively abroad. Bacevich devotes a series of chapters to examining each of these actors, discussing their motivations and actions, often exposing shabby and inconsistent thinking. Some of these, like the role of neoconservative intellectuals and the Religous Right, are fairly well known.

Others, like the behavior of professional military over the last generation, will be novel to many readers. Bacevich's chapters have underlying themes. One is the persisent occurrence of ironic events as the actions of many of these groups produced events counter to their goals. The post-Vietnam professional military attempted to produce a large, vigorous military poised to fight conventional, WWII-like, combats. This force was intended to be difficult for politicians to use. But as these often highly competent professionals succeeded to restoring the quality of the American military, the temptation to use it became stronger and stronger, and control escaped the professionals back into the hands of politicians as varied as Bush II and Clinton. Another theme is that politicians seized on use military force as an alternative to more difficult and politically unpalatable alternatives. Jimmy Carter is described correctly as initiating the American preoccupation with control of the Persian Gulf oil supplies, which has generated a great deal of conflict over the past generation. Bacevich presents Carter as having to act this way because his efforts to persuade Americans to pursue sacrifice and a rational energy policy were political losers. Ronald Reagan is presented as the epitome of this unfortunate trend.

Bacevich is generally convincing though, perhaps because this is a short book, there are some issues which are presented one-sidedly. For example, its true that Carter began the military preoccupation with the Persian Gulf. But, its true as well that his administration established the Dept. of Energy, began a significant program of energy related research, moved towards fuel standards for vehicles and began the regulatory policies that would successfully improve energy efficiency for many household items. No subsequent administration had done more to lessen dependence on foreign oil.

Bacevich also omits an important point. As he points out, the different actors that sponsored the new militarism tended to converge in the Republican Party. But, as has been pointed out by a number of analysts, the Republican Party is a highly disparate and relatively unstable coalition. The existence of some form of powerful enemy, perceived or real, is necessary to maintain Republican solidarity. The new militarism is an important component of maintaining the internal integrity of the Republican party and at unconciously appreciated as such by many important Republicans.

An interesting aspect of this book is that Bacevich, a West point grad, former career Army officer, and self-described cultural conservative, has reproduced many of the criticisms put forward by Leftist critics.

Bacevich concludes with a series of interesting recommendations that are generally rational but bound to be controversial and probably politically impossible. Again, this is an effort to change the nature of the discussion about these issues.

Adam Bahner
How Permanent Military Deployment Became Congruent With World Peace, June 29, 2006

In The New American Militarism, Andrew J. Bacevich contends that American culture and policy since the end of the Cold War has merged a militaristic ethos with a utopian global imaginary. He notes that American militarism is a "bipartisan project" with "deep roots" that even garner support on the political margins, with some leftist activists seeing a humanitarian mission for U.S. global military hegemony. He traces these roots to the worldview of Woodrow Wilson, who envisioned a globe "remade in America's image and therefore permanently at peace." Yet Wilson's view was moderated by a public and policy perception of war as an ugly, costly, brutal, traumatic and unpredictable last resort. This is corroborated by the massive military demobilizations that followed U.S. involvement in both world wars. Bacevich also points to works of popular culture, from Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet On The Western Front to Oliver Stone's Platoon, that reflect on the inhumanity of war from World War I through Vietnam.

Bacevich sees a massive deviation from these historical trends after the end of the Cold War. While conceding that a permanent military mobilization was expected during the Cold War (from roughly NSC-68 to the fall of the Berlin Wall)--no significant demobilization followed. Forces slated for deactivation were quickly mobilized for Operation Desert Storm. No successful popular culture critiques of that war's brutality would emerge. The author sees the end of the cold war and Desert Storm as framing a period of "new American militarism" that breaks from historical precedent in several regards. He claims that since the 1988 presidential campaign, the character of the presidency has emphasized military more than civilian leadership. This contradicts previous presidents of military stature (e.g. Grant, Eisenhower) who obsessively positioned themselves as civilians. Post-Cold War military budgets have been dramatically larger despite no global adversary. The public has uncritically accepted a permanent military stance. The perception of war as ghastly and treacherous has been replaced with war as a clinical and technologically managed spectacle. The link between the covenant of citizenship and military service has been replaced by a specialized force of volunteers. The numbers of veterans serving in congress has steadily decreased since World War II. Bacevich correlates this with the shunning of military service by elites as the military has increasingly drawn from areas of the population that are poor and brown. Because of this, force is "outsourced" and in turn the stature of soldiers has dramatically increased through an infrastructure of praise by the majority who are not involved in military operations. Senior military officers have tremendous clout in politics, policy, and spending.

To understand this new militarism, Bacevich notes that it is point-for-point an inversion of Vietnam's military milieu. There, politicians up through the president framed themselves as civilians, officers felt out of touch with bureaucratic decisions, and war was perceived as carnal and bumbling. The book traces cultural responses to Vietnam that reformed the American relationship to militarism. As military leaders like Creighton Abrams sought to mandate broad political investment for military action by creating interdependence with reserves and to limit the criteria for deployment with the Weinberger doctrine, politicians like Ronald Reagan rehabilitated an American demoralization that peaked with Carter's failed Operation Eagle Claw by invoking popular culture mythologies like Rambo.

Bacevich is unabashedly religious. He ultimately couches America's outsourced and technocratic militarism as a departure from natural Gods in the pursuit of a scientistic idol that more perfectly regulates human affairs. He openly sees in this scientism the same flaw and outcome as Communism or Fascism. He suggests that affirmation of military service across economic privilege would raise the stakes of military engagements and help to contradict the cultural illusions that form the basis of American militarism. (That war is technical, distant, clinical, predictable, outsourced, humane, and everything contrary to what writers like Remarque tell us.) He meticulously synthesizes a new paradigm that relates the difficult subjects of military policy and popular sanction. In this regard, The New American Militarism is an exciting contribution to historical scholarship.

M. Ward:

The New American Militarism - A Bipolar Look at Todays State of Affairs, February 4, 2006

...The book is about American militarism, which Bacevich describes as the "misleading and dangerous conceptions of war, soldiers, and military institutions" that have become part of the American conscience and have `perverted' US national security policy. According to Bacevich, American militarism has subordinated the search for the common good to the permanent value of military effectiveness that will bankrupt the US economically and morally. Bacevich supports this thesis by discussing issues that have contributed to this state of affairs.

Bacevich believes the current state of American militarism has roots dating back to the Wilson administration. Wilson's vision was to remake the world in America's image. God Himself willed the universal embrace of liberal democracies and Wilson saw the US as a `divine agent' to make the world a safe and democratic place. Today, with no serious threat to keep our military forces in check, we are now, more than ever, free to spread liberal democracy using military force, if necessary.

Considering the military, Bacevich makes the point that the militarism of America is also due, in part, to the officer corps of the US military trying to rehabilitate the image and profession of the soldier after the Vietnam War. Officers attempted to do this by reversing the roles of the soldiers and the politicians that was problematic during the Vietnam War. They tried to establish the primacy of the military over the civilians in decisions as to how to use the military. The Weinberger and Powell doctrines were the manifestation of this idea by spelling out conditions for the use of the US military in combat.

Neo-conservatives further enhanced the trend of militarism. They see US power as an instrument for good and the time was right to use the military to achieve the final triumph of Wilson's idea of spreading American liberal democracy around the globe.

Religion also played a role. According to Bacevich, evangelical Protestants see the US as a Christian nation singled out by God and Americans are His chosen people. These evangelicals believed the Vietnam War was not only a military crisis, but also a cultural and moral crisis threatening our status. Evangelicals looked to the military to play a pivotal role in saving the US from internal collapse due to the higher expression of morals and values found in the military. The military would become the role model to reverse the trend of godlessness and social decay.

Another set of actors that contributed to American militarism were the defense intellectuals whose main contribution was to bring the military back under civilian control. According to Bacevich, they laid the groundwork of our current policy of `preventative war' and reinforced American militarism.

Finally, Bacevich accuses politicians of deceiving the American public as to the true nature of American militarism by wrapping militarism in the comfortable trappings of nationalism. By using labels such as the Global War on Terrorism, politicians are using a political sleight-of-hand trick to hide our true militaristic nature in patriotic terms. Bacevich concludes his book with a list of recommendations to mitigate the current trend of American militarism.

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David Friedman:

...Refreshingly, Bacevich approaches the new American militarism as neither a Democrat nor Republican, from neither the left nor the right. No doubt, those with a stake in defending the policy of the present Administration no matter how foolish, or in castigating it as the main source of our current militarism, will see "bias" in this book. The truth though is that Bacevich makes a genuine effort to approach his subject in a spirit of open and disinterested inquiry. He has earned the right to say, near the end of his book, that "this account has not sought to assign or impute blame." As a result, he is not stymied by the possibility of embarrassing one political side or the other by his arguments or conclusions. This leads to a nuanced and highly independent and original treatment of the subject.

In chronicling the rise of American militarism, Bacevich rightly starts with Wilson's vision of American exceptionalism: an America leading the world beyond the slaughterhouse of European battlefields to an international order of peaceful democratic states. But where President Wilson wanted to create such a world for the express purpose of rendering war obsolete, Bacevich notes that today's "Wilsonians" want to export American democracy through the use of force. He follows this overview with an insider's thumbnail history of American military thinking from Vietnam to the first Gulf war. He explains how the military in effect re-invented itself after Vietnam so as to make it far more difficult "to send the Army off to fight while leaving the country behind." Today's highly professionalized and elite force is largely the result of this thinking. In turn this professional military presented to the country and its civilian leaders a re-invented model of war: war waged with surgical precision and offering "the prospect of decision rather than pointing ineluctably toward stalemate and quagmire." Gulf War I was the triumphant culmination of this model. The unintended and ironic consequence, of course, was that war and the aggressive projection of American military power throughout the world came to be viewed by some in our nation's leadership as an increasingly attractive policy option.

The body of the book analyzes how the legitimate attempt to recover from the national trauma of Vietnam led ultimately to a militarism increasingly reflected in crucial aspects of American life. In religion he traces how a "crusade" theory of warfare has supplanted the more mainstream "just war" theory. In popular culture he discusses the rise of a genre of pop fiction and movies reflecting a glamorized and uncritical idealization of war (he examines "An Officer and A Gentleman", "Rambo: First Blood Part II", and "Top Gun" as examples). In politics he identifies the neo-conservative movement as bringing into the mainstream ideas that "a decade earlier might have seemed reckless or preposterous"; for example the idea that the United States is "the most revolutionary force on earth" with an "inescapable mission" to spread democracy -- by the sword if necessary. Bacevich calls these ideas "inverted Trotskyism", and notes that the neo-conservative movement shares with Mao the assumption that revolution springs "from the barrel of a gun".

Bacevich concludes his book with a pithy ten-point critique offered as a starting point for "a change in consciousness, seeing war and America's relationship to war in a fundamentally different way." Among his points are greater fidelity to the letter and the spirit of the Constituional provisions regarding war and the military, and increased strategic self-sufficiency for America. Perhaps the most important points of his critique are those about ending or at least reducing the current disconnect between er how we might reduce

Patrick Connor

... If you criticize anything about the United States, you're automatically anti-Bush. If you question the wisdom of viewing the military as a first-option in handling international problems, you're even worse: a liberal anti-Bush peacenick. History supposedly demonstrates that diplomacy never works with any "tyrant" (whatever that is), while war allegedly always work. It's just one stark claim after another, with never any gray area in the middle.

If you read the book, this "you're either with us or with the terrorists, either dream war or hate President Bush" mentality should remind you of something. It very closely resembles the description Bacevich gives of neoconservatism, which he says engenders a worldview that is constantly in crisis mode. Things are always so dire for neocons, Bacevich explains, that only two feasible options present themselves at any given time: doing what the neocons want (usually deploying military force in pursuit of some lofty but unrealistic goal), or suffering irreversible and potentially fatal setbacks to our national cause.

... ... ...

Their most important objective was to ensure that no more Wilsonian misadventures (like Vietnam) would happen. The officer corps did this by carving out a space of authority for the top brass, from which they could have unprecedented input in policy decisions, and be able to guide strategy and tactics once the military deployed into action. After ascending to a position of greater prominence, they implemented the "Weinberger Doctrine," followed by the "Powell Doctrine," both specifically tailored to avoid Vietnam-style quagmires. The Gulf War, claims Bacevich, saw the fruition of fifteen years of hard work to accomplish these reforms. And they worked beautifully.

However, the end of the last decade saw the Neo-conservatives challenge the status quo. And with the election of W. Bush, they were finally in a position where their ideas could again have a disproportionate influence on foreign policy. What we now have in Iraq is another military quagmire, where the solution must be political, but where military occupation renders political solutions impossible...

Andrew S. Rogers:

 Baedecker on the road to perdition, December 5, 2005

I was sorry to see Andrew J. Bacevich dismiss Chalmers Johnson's 2004 The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (The American Empire Project) quite as quickly as he did (on page 3 of the introduction, in fact), because I think these two books, taken together, provide probably the best -- and certainly the most historically-informed -- look at the rise and consequences of American empire. I endorse "The New American Militarism" as heartily as I did "The Sorrows of Empire."

Bacevich's capsule summary of Johnson's work notwithstanding, both these books take the long view of America's international military presence and are quick to grasp one key point. As Bacevich notes on page 205, "American militarism is not the invention of a cabal nursing fantasies of global empire and manipulating an unsuspecting people frightened by the events of 9/11. Further, it is counterproductive to think in these terms -- to assign culpability to a particular president or administration and to imagine that throwing the bums out will put things right."

In several insightful chapters, Bacevich traces the rise of militarism over the course of several administrations and many decades. A former Army officer himself, the author is particularly insightful in charting the efforts of the military's officer corps to recover from the stigma of Vietnam and reshape the *ethos* of the armed services as an elite intentionally separate from, and morally superior to, the society it exists to defend. But the officers are only one of the strands Bacevich weaves together. He also looks at the influence of the "defense intellectuals;" the importance of evangelical Christians and how their view of Biblical prophecy shapes their understanding of politics; the rise of (yes) the neo-conservatives; and even the role of Hollywood in changing America's understandings of the "lessons of Vietnam" and the re-glamorization of the military in films like "Top Gun."

The author is a sharp-eyed analyst, but also an engaging writer, and he gives the reader a lot to think about. I was intrigued, for example, by his discussion of how "supporting the troops" has become the *sine qua non* of modern politics and how doing so has replaced actual military service as an indicator of one's love of country. More fundamentally, his identification and analysis of "World War III" (already over) and "World War IV" (currently underway, and declared [surprisingly] by Jimmy Carter) struck me as a remarkably useful lens for interpreting current events.

In tying his threads together, Bacevich is not afraid to make arguments and draw conclusions that may make the reader uncomfortable. As the passage I quoted above makes clear, for example, someone looking for a straightforward declaration that "It's all Bush's fault!" will have to go someplace else. As a further implication of the above passage, Bacevich argues that the "defense intellectuals," the evangelicals, and even the neocons were and are doing what they believe are most likely to promote peace, freedom, and the security of the American people. "To the extent that we may find fault with the results of their efforts, that fault is more appropriately attributable to human fallibility than to malicious intent" (p. 207). Additionally, Bacevich is unashamed of his military service, holds up several military leaders as heroes, has some choice words for the self-delusions of leftist "peace activists," and even argues that federal education loans should be made conditional on military service.

This doesn't mean the president and his fellow conservatives get off much easier, though. Bacevich is roundly critical of Bush and his administration, including Colin Powell; dismisses the Iraq invasion ("this preposterous enterprise" [p. 202]); and in a move that will probably get him crossed off the Thayer Award nominations list, suggests officer candidates be required to graduate from civilian universities instead of West Point (his alma mater) or Annapolis -- intellectually-isolated institutions that reinforce the officer caste's separation from civil society.

So this book isn't one that will blindly reinforce anyone's prejudices. In part for that reason -- but mostly for its trenchant analysis, readable prose, and broad historical view -- I'm happy to list "The New American Militarism" as one of the best and most important books I've read in some time. Perhaps even since "The Sorrows of Empire."

Izaak VanGaalen:
 Militarism and Public Opinion, August 12, 2005

According to many of the custodians of public opinion, Andrew Bacevich has earned his right to a fair hearing. Not only is he a graduate of West Point, a Vietnam veteran, and a conservative Catholic, he is a professor of international relations and a contributor to "The Weekly Standard" and "The National Review." Obviously, if he were a left-leaning anti-war Democrat and a contributor to, say, "The Nation," he wouldn't be taken seriously as a critic of American militarism - he would be merely another "blame-America-first" defeatist.

Bacevich sees militarism manifesting itself in some disquieting ways. Traditionally America has always gauged the size of its military with the magnitude of impending threats. After the Civil War, World War I and II, the military was downsized as threats receded. Not so after the fall of the Soviet Union. The military budget has continued to grow and the expenditures are greater - by some measures - than all other countries combined. American military forces are now scaling the globe and the American public seems quiet comfortable with it. And everyone else is growing uneasy.

The mindset of the current officer corps is dominant control in all areas "whether sea, undersea, land, air, space or cyberspace." In other words, supremacy in all theaters. Self-restraint has given way to the normalization of using military force as a foreign policy tool. From 1989 (Operation Just Cause) to 2002 (Operation Iraqi Freedom) there have been nine major military operations and a number of smaller ones. The end of the Cold War has given the US a preponderance of military strength (the proverbial unipolar moment) that has enamoured successive administrations with the idea of using military force to solve international problems. In earlier times, war was always an option of the last resort, now it is a preventative measure.

War, according to Bacevich, has taken on a new aesthetic. During World War I and II, and also Vietnam and Korea the battlefield was a slaughterhouse of barbarism and brutality. Now, with the advent of the new Wilsonianism in Washington, wars are seen as moments of national unity to carry out a positive agenda, almost as if it were international social work.

The modern soldier is no longer looked upon as a deadbeat or a grunt, but rather as a skilled professional who is undertaking socially beneficial work. In fact, in a poll taken in 2003, military personnel consider themselves as being of higher moral standards than the nation they serve.

In the political classes, the Republicans have traditionallly been staunchly pro-military, but now even Democrats have thrown off their ant-military inclinations. When Kerry was running for president he did not question Bush's security policies, he was actually arguing that Bush had not gone far enough. Kerry wanted to invest more in military hardware and training. Even liberal Michael Ignatieff argues that US military intervention should be used to lessen the plight of the oppressed and that we should be assisting them in establishing more representative government.

But superpowers are not altruistic; they are only altruistic to the extent that it serves their self-interest. That's probably why Ignatieff will not get much of a hearing and Bacevich will. This book should give us pause as to why the range of opinion in the America on the use of military force is so narrow. If there is one voice that stands a chance of being heeded, it is from this conservative ex-soldier. \

Douglas Doepke:

The US may have been an expansionist and aggressive power as history shows. But unlike European peers, the American public never really took to the seductions of militarism. That is, until now. This is an important and occasionally brilliant book that tells a forty-year tale of creeping over-reliance on the military. And a heck-of an important story it is. I like the way Bacevich refuses to blame the Bush administration, even though they're the ones who've hit the accelerator. Actually the trend has been in motion for some time, especially since 1980 and Reagan's revival of military glory, contrived though it was.

Each chapter deals with an aspect of this growing militariism movement. How intellectual guru Norman Podhoretz and other elites got the big engine together, how twenty million evangelical passengers abandoned tradition and got on board, and how a crew of enthusiastic neo-cons charted a destination -- nothing less than world democracy guaranteed by American military might. All in all, the ride passes for a brilliant post-cold war move. Who's going to argue with freeing up the Will of the People, except for maybe a few hundred million Sharia fanatics. Yet, it appears none of the distinguished crew sees any contradiction between dubious means and noble end, nor do they seem particularly concerned with what anybody else thinks. (Sort of like the old Soviets, eager to spread the blessings of Scientific Socialism.) However, as Bacevich pounts out, there's a practical problem here the crew is very alert to. Policing the world means building up the institutions of the military and providing a covering mystique to keep John Q. Public supportive, especially with tax dollars and blood supply. In short, the mission requires sanitizing the cops on the beat and all that goes into keeping them there. It also means overcoming a long American tradition of minding-one's-own-business and letting the virtues of democratic self-governance speak for themselves. But then, that was an older, less "responsible" America.

Bacevich's remedies harken back to those older, quieter traditions -- citizen soldiers, a real Department of Defense, a revived Department of State, and a much more modest role in international affairs.With this book, Bacevich proves to be one of the few genuine conservatives around, (a breed disappearing even faster than the ranks of genuine liberals). Much as I like the book, especially the thoughtful Preface, I wish the author had dealt more with the economic aspects of build-up and conquest. But then that might require a whole other volume, as globalization and the number of billion-dollar servicing industries expands daily. At day's end, however, someone needs to inform a CNN- enthralled public that the military express lacks one essential feature. With all its hypnotizing bells and whistles, history shows the momentum has no brakes. Lessons from the past indicate that, despite the many seductions, aggressive empires make for some very unexpected and fast-moving train wrecks. Somebody needs to raise the alarm. Thanks Mr. Bacevich for doing your part.

Still his critique of neocons is a class of its own has value in itself as it comes from professional military officer. Professor Bacevich argues  that the US new militarism which emerged after the dissolution of the USSR is the result of a convergence of actions by a number of different groups including our professional military, neoconservative intellectuals and publicists, evangelical Christians, resurgent Republican party activists, and so-called defense intellectuals (see New American Militarism).

Andrew Bacevich has a wonderful essay, in the form of an open letter to Paul Wolfowitz, in the current Harper's. You have to subscribe to read it -- but, hey, you should be subscribing to any publication whose work you value. This essay isolates the particular role Wolfowitz had in the cast of characters that led us to war. As a reminder, they included:

But Paul Wolfowitz was in a category of his own because he was the one who provided the highest-concept rationale for the war. As James Galbraith of the University of Texas has put it, "Wolfowitz is the real-life version of Halberstam's caricature of McNamara" [in The Best and the Brightest].

Bacevich's version of this assessment is to lay out as respectfully as possible the strategic duty that Wolfowitz thought the U.S. would fulfill by invading Iraq. Back before the war began, I did a much more limited version of this assessment as an Atlantic article. As Bacevich puts it now, Wolfowitz was extending precepts from his one-time mentor, Albert Wohlstetter, toward a model of how the United States could maximize stability for itself and others.

As with the best argumentative essays, Bacevich takes on Wolfowitz in a strong rather than an oversimplified version of his world-view. You have to read the whole thing to get the effect, but here is a brief sample (within fair-use limits):

With the passing of the Cold War, global hegemony seemed America's for the taking. What others saw as an option you, Paul, saw as something much more: an obligation that the nation needed to seize, for its own good as well as for the world's....

Although none of the hijackers were Iraqi, within days of 9/11 you were promoting military action against Iraq. Critics have chalked this up to your supposed obsession with Saddam. The criticism is misplaced. The scale of your ambitions was vastly greater.

In an instant, you grasped that the attacks provided a fresh opportunity to implement Wohlstetter's Precepts, and Iraq offered a made-to-order venue....In Iraq the United States would demonstrate the efficacy of preventive war.... The urgency of invading Iraq stemmed from the need to validate that doctrine before the window of opportunity closed.

Bacevich explains much more about the Wohlstetter / Wolfowitz grand view. And then he poses the challenge that he says Wolfowitz should now meet:
One of the questions emerging from the Iraq debacle must be this one: Why did liberation at gunpoint yield results that differed so radically from what the war's advocates had expected? Or, to sharpen the point, How did preventive war undertaken by ostensibly the strongest military in history produce a cataclysm?

Not one of your colleagues from the Bush Administration possesses the necessary combination of honesty, courage, and wit to answer these questions. If you don't believe me, please sample the tediously self-exculpatory memoirs penned by (or on behalf of) Bush himself, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Tenet, Bremer, Feith, and a small squad of eminently forgettable generals...

What would Albert [Wohlstetter] do? I never met the man (he died in 1997), but my guess is that he wouldn't flinch from taking on these questions, even if the answers threatened to contradict his own long-held beliefs. Neither should you, Paul. To be sure, whatever you might choose to say, you'll be vilified, as Robert McNamara was vilified when he broke his long silence and admitted that he'd been "wrong, terribly wrong" about Vietnam. But help us learn the lessons of Iraq so that we might extract from it something of value in return for all the sacrifices made there. Forgive me for saying so, but you owe it to your country.

Anyone who knows Andrew Bacevich's story will understand the edge behind his final sentence. But you don't have to know that to respect the challenge he lays down. I hope Paul Wolfowitz will at some point rise to it.

For another very valuable assessment of who was right and wrong, when, please see John Judis's piece in The New Republic.

The disastrous period on neocon domination in Bush II administration was not accidental

The disastrous period on neocon domination in Bush II administration was not accidental . It was a natural development of previous trends. But this was the first time when the USA foreign policy decisions were dominated by a small clique of mostly Jewish "defense intellectuals". James Mann called this new breed of super aggressive and reckless  "defense intellectuals" "Vulcans" and allied with them figures like Colin Power and Condoleezza Rice by deceit dragged the USA into Iraq war which brought a disastrous consequences for the USA. Consequences that we are feeling right now.

Neocon's worldview can be summed up as the following four themes (Rise of the Vulcans by James Mann Political Books)

  1. The belief in the centrality and efficacy of American Military power.
  2. The belief in America as a force for good around the globe.
  3. The unfettered optimism of American capabilities and the rejection of American decline.
  4. The reluctance to enter into agreements or accommodations with other countries.

 Here is a short overview of the book Rise of the Vulcans by James Mann Political Books that covers the same theme as Bacevich's books:

Realize: When George W. Bush was elected as President he had no prior foreign policy experience and frequently bumbled on naming other foreign leaders.  Not only did Bush have no experience, he also did not have a basic rudimentary conception about America’s role in the world or specific foreign policy other than his campaign platitudes against “nation building.”  To strengthen that weakness, Bush sought to surround himself with a cabinet team of experienced and trusted members that he could ultimately rely on to help him forge a path.  Enter the Vulcans.  Author James Mann puts together an enthralling account of the rise of the Bush cabinet and their place in the last 30 to 40 years in contemporary history with his book Rise Of The Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet.

Broadly, the book is the mini biographies of Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Richard Armitage, Paul Wolfowitz, and Condoleeza Rice.  However, by detailing the careers of these people Mann also gives the reader great insight into modern foreign policy, from the Nixon era to Bush II.  The book was published in 2004 so it lacks the hindsight that we now have 6 years later with regards to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, yet this detracts not at all from the book.  Rise Of The Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet, I have no doubt, will become a central reference point to any future inquisitor looking into American policy from the 1970’s on.

Many may be tempted to classify all of the subjects as neoconservatives, however one of the driving themes of the book is the role of the foreign policy realists versus the idealists (neo-cons).  Yet this was not just a battle that occurred after the collapse of the Soviet Union as some may have asserted.  Even in the midst of the Cold War, there was definite conservative in-fighting between the pragmatists, led by the Kissinger camp, and the neo-cons, who believed that America’s military might must be unchallenged.  Rumsfeld opposed Kissinger’s policy of détente and played an active role in the Ford Administration in decreasing the power and influence that Kissinger once had.

While Rumsfeld and Cheney believed mightily in American military might and hegemony, it might be hard to classify them as idealists of spreading democracy throughout the world.  However, Paul Wolfowitz meets the classic definition of neoconservative which spread from the Dixie Democrats who left the Democratic Party to join the Republicans in the Reagan Revolution.  Wolfowitz was an academic greatly admired for his intelligence.  He was highly influenced by the ideology of Leo Strauss and was also mentored by Scoop Jackson, US Senator from Washington.  Wolfowitz spent his whole career in the Defense Department and focused on policies that opposed the ideas of moral relativity or balance of power.  Instead Wolfowitz operated from a stance that Democracy and justice were grand ideas that should be spread throughout the world through the might and force of the US military.  It should also be noted that Wolfowitz had been focused on Iraq as a threat to Middle East stability long before the Middle East was on anybody’s map.

Powell and Armitage were often the counter balance to the Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz/Cheney forces, not only in Bush II but also Bush I.  Powell was also a dynamic political figure who ascended Washington’s power structure with amazing speed and was always an admired figure.  Both Powell and Armitage believed in a strong American military and were proponents of a hefty defense budget.  However, where they differed from the other cabinet members was in how the use of force should be applied.  Powell believed that if force was to be applied it must be done with the support of the public, with overwhelming force, and with a clear, communicable goal in mind.  This mindset, shared by Armitage, became known as the Powell Doctrine and was shaped by the experience of Vietnam.  The Vietnam experience made Powell and Armitage suspicious of the civilian leaders like Rumsfeld and Cheney who may recklessly damage the military and American power by engaging long term commitments with no exit plans.

Condoleeza Rice was mentored in the camp of Brent Scowcroft who was a realist.  Rice, a specialist in Russia, came to government in the first Bush Administration and made a lasting impression on everyone she worked for.  When George W. Bush was putting together a foreign policy team during his campaign, he instantly connected with Rice on a personal level and made her a central part of putting together his foreign policy.  Mann portrays Rice as somewhat amorphous, her ideas and beliefs are seemingly tied to the politics and she oftens acts as a sounding board to Bush II.  Instead of becoming a proponent of her realist background, she instead starts to reflect the President and his beliefs which were largely shaped by the dominant members of his cabinet.  In other words, Rice aimed to please, it seems, more than to persuade.

The book culminates with the decision to invade Iraq and Mann sums up that decision as a reflection of the Vulcan’s world view with four themes:

  1. The belief in the centrality and efficacy of American Military power.
  2. The belief in America as a force for good around the globe.
  3. The unfettered optimism of American capabilities and the rejection of American decline.
  4. The reluctance to enter into agreements or accommodations with other countries.

Mann makes an understated point that most historians make a clear distinction, a line in the sand, marking the end of the Cold War as the distinctive point where American foreign policy changed.  Yet, it started to occur much earlier than that with the rise of these Vulcan’s and their world view.  The end of the Cold War was merely a middle point in the chapter.  The fact that the US has mostly had Republican Presidents in the last 40 years the Vulcans have remained in power and shaped the events of modern history and to understand that story you have to understand their story.  James Mann gives a clearly written and highly detailed account of some of the most influential actors in American politics.  Rise Of The Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet is an utterly fascinating account and should be read by anyone seeking answers on the role of America in the world today.

Militarization of science

The militarization of science, particularly at physics, biology and medicine (anthrax research, experiments on humans in Guatemala, etc)  is widespread trend at the University level. Unfortunately it should be called not an aberration, but a a feature of US academic science. Recently social sciences such as psychology and anthropology were also put into service of MIC (The Militarization of Social Science CIFAS)

One of the most notable was COIN system:

 Human Terrain System, a COIN application, was conceived as a means to employ social science as a force multiplier in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq: embedded with combat patrols, anthropologists would map the human terrain across the full spectrum of conflict, and recommend to commanders methods by which they could more effectively achieve strategic goals by engaging “the people” as “the center of gravity” in their operations. The “social science” evolved into a major focus on “social networks,” which, once described, could be analyzed to reveal such critical features as “key informants,” “influencers,” and “centers of influence,” and how, for example, information may travel among participants in the network. It was believed that such analyses could offer important insights on how insurgent sympathies originate, are diffused, mobilize adherents, and are then translated into the organization and commission of hostile actions that threaten ISAF forces; or conversely, how they could be prevented or stopped. More specifically, individuals could be targeted, and then either rewarded or eliminated. Pioneered by anthropologists, such as Julian Barnes, Elizabeth Bott, Clyde Mitchell, Jeremy Boissevain, Fredrik Barth, Joan Vincent, and others, who used them to study kinship, ethnic and political organization, and agricultural production, trade, and markets, among other topics, the study of social networks and social networks analysis have become a staple of ethnographic fieldwork.

For example, I made extensive use of them studying the production, distribution, use, and misuse of illegal drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, and marijuana, in low-income neighborhoods of New York City and several Caribbean islands, which I reported in The Ganja Complex: Rastafari and Marijuana (Lexington Books 2000). Let me tell you about them, as you may then appreciate how valuable a tool they have been in traditional, or academic, anthropology and social science.

Armed with Expertise, The Militarization of American Social Research during the Cold War

During the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon launched a controversial counterinsurgency program called the Human Terrain System. The program embedded social scientists within military units to provide commanders with information about the cultures and grievances of local populations. Yet the controversy it inspired was not new. Decades earlier, similar national security concerns brought the Department of Defense and American social scientists together in the search for intellectual weapons that could combat the spread of communism during the Cold War. In Armed with Expertise, Joy Rohde traces the optimistic rise, anguished fall, and surprising rebirth of Cold War–era military-sponsored social research.

Seeking expert knowledge that would enable the United States to contain communism, the Pentagon turned to social scientists. Beginning in the 1950s, political scientists, social psychologists, and anthropologists optimistically applied their expertise to military problems, convinced that their work would enhance democracy around the world. As Rohde shows, by the late 1960s, a growing number of scholars and activists condemned Pentagon-funded social scientists as handmaidens of a technocratic warfare state and sought to eliminate military-sponsored research from American intellectual life.

But the Pentagon's social research projects had remarkable institutional momentum and intellectual flexibility. Instead of severing their ties to the military, the Pentagon’s experts relocated to a burgeoning network of private consulting agencies and for-profit research offices. Now shielded from public scrutiny, they continued to influence national security affairs. They also diversified their portfolios to include the study of domestic problems, including urban violence and racial conflict. In examining the controversies over Cold War social science, Rohde reveals the persistent militarization of American political and intellectual life, a phenomenon that continues to raise grave questions about the relationship between expert knowledge and American democracy.

In his article The Militarization of American Life  Justin Raimondo notes

March 27, 2013 |

It isn’t just them, however: militarism is a disease that spreads without effort, once it’s implanted in the body politic. It quite naturally infects the sciences, what with the diversion of scientific and technical talent that might have gone into productive civilian projects, and I’m not just talking about the hard sciences. Witness the co-opting of the "soft" science of anthropology by the same people who brought us the war in Afghanistan and the "COIN" strategy that was supposed to give us victory. These folks have created the so-called Human Terrain System, which seeks to utilize anthropology as a weapon in counterinsurgency warfare. Billions are being poured into "scientific research" on how best to subdue recalcitrant natives out in the colonies: when you’re talking about the military-industrial complex, it isn’t just Lockheed-Martin and Boeing.

The marriage of science and militarism is nothing new, but there are some resistors. As Inside Higher Education reports:

"The eminent University of Chicago anthropologist Marshall Sahlins resigned from the National Academy of Sciences on Friday, citing his objections to its military partnerships and to its electing as a member Napoleon Chagnon, a long-controversial anthropologist who is back in the news thanks to the publication of his new book, Noble Savages." [Hat tip: Jordan Bloom at The American Conservative]

You don’t have to be an anthropologist to get in on the action: yes, you too can access via live webcast the April 3 Pentagon/NAS "workshop," "New Directions in Assessing Individuals and Groups,"and hear the keynote address by Frederick Vollrath, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness and Force Management. I’ll bet those anthropologists are making out like bandits!

As for Napoleon Chagnon – could a novelist have gotten away with such a name? – he is an extremely dubious character who apparently believes violence is not only genetically encoded in humans, but that there is an evolutionary bias in favor of homicidal homo sapiens. Instead of an atavistic trait surviving from pre-civilized man, wars of aggression – according to the Chagnonite version of biological determinism – are the mark of high civilization. It is a Bizarro World perspective on the nature of human progress, one that owes much to that great anthropologist, the Marquis de Sade.

Chagnon dismisses his critics as "left-wing anthropologists" and "anti-Darwinian romantics": he and his claque present themselves as true "scientists," and treat the study of anthropology – that is, of human nature – as if it were one of the "hard" sciences, like chemistry. Armed with "scientific" certitude, their one-dimensional view of life – "impoverished," as one critic remarked – is the perfect instrument of the modern Warfare State: bloodless, dogmatic, and cruel. Chagnon’s elevation to the NAS – which used to be a prestigious organization – is an absolute disgrace, and Prof. Sahlins was right to render his resignation in protest.

Citing his own objections to Chagnon’s research methods – see here – Sahlins went on to explain the core reason for his resignation. Because of "the toll" that military action overseas "has taken on the blood, treasure, and happiness of American people, and the suffering it has imposed on other peoples,” Sahlins said, “the NAS, if it involves itself at all in related research, should be studying how to promote peace, not how to make war."

In this age of Empire, militarism pervades American culture like a poisonous fog, hypnotizing a complacent population with narratives that valorize and justify a foreign policy of perpetual war. It reaches into every corner of everyday life, from the war propaganda spewed forth by the "mainstream" media to the movies we watch and what we learn in "science" class. Once this kind of cultural rot sets in, it is hard to root out: this is the true meaning of decadence, of a society suffering the latter stages of a fatal hubris.

Yet root it out we must. The battle for peace must be waged on the cultural and scientific front, as well as in the day to day world of the pundits and the Washington policy wonks. Indeed, victory on the battlefield of the culture necessarily precedes success on the political front, as we should have learned back in the 1960s.

In best traditions of Third Reich psychologists participated in the design of torture methods in Guatanamo.

Militarization of cyberspace

"In 1990, only a quarter of a million people used the Internet; today a third of the world population is connected and the growth is exponential. Our understanding of the implications for international relations struggles to keep up." -- Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University; author of The Future of Power

Innovative weapons were always in the focus of military and intelligence agencies planners. And Cyberspace is not an exception. First of all it proved to be a tremendous resource for SIGINT. Not accidentally, on June 23, 2009 Defense Secretary Robert Gates signed a memorandum  which established the U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM). The order specifies that the new office will be a "subordinate unified command" under U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM). According to the memorandum, CYBERCOM "will reach initial operating capability not later than October 2009 and full operating capability not later than October 2010." Lt. General Keith Alexander, the  Director of National Security Agency (NSA) was assigned to lead this new intelligence unit that reside at Fort Meade, Maryland, the NSA headquarters.

But even earlier that that, around 1996, the US military became interesting in usage of malware and established research programs which at the end of the day proceed several weaponazed malware packages used to attack Iranian uranium enrichment facilities and collect intelligence information from computer of researchers involved in this project.

During the occupation on Iraq the USA (which first established full control over Iraq cellular networks) launched comprehensive metadata collection which allow them to identify "suspicious persons" without analyzing content of the communication, just based on pattern of connection of their cell phones.  Those efforts were later transferred and implemented within the USA and were subject of so called "Snowden revelations" in which it became clear the NSA blatantly overstepped all legal boundaries and essentially treated the US population as "enemy combatants". 

Technological supremacy of the USA allow not only dominate cyberspace intelligence activities, but also created preconditions for future attacks via set of backdoor in equipment and software produced by US companies. After Stixnet, the equipment from leading US companies such as Dell, Cisco and HP as well as software companies such as Microsoft is now reasonably suspected of having backdoor that allow NSA access to the data/traffic. Even if there is no such backdoors US produced equipment is now tainted from the security standpoint and there will be conscious efforts to limit its use in government and military of other countries. That especially badly hurt CISCO and Microsoft.  

And it is now government not some hacker groups who use sophisticated malicious code and hacking platforms to compromise computer networks worldwide. Private companies, government entities, critical infrastructure and citizens are all potential targets.

The overall activities of government entities in cyberspace are generally described as the “militarization of the cyberspace.” Governments are investing significant resources to improve their cyber capabilities, creating ‘cyberarmies’ to defend attacks from cyber space.

Smart phones, which initially were productivity enhancing device, now more and more are viewed by individuals as "eyes and ears" of the government. With predictable results on more security conscious individuals withdrawing from this market (which does not ends interception of all their call and collection of metadata as those activities does not depend on the type of the phone used (although geo-location is more difficult with regular phone -- you need to record the tower with which the phone is communicating)   

See also:

Establishment of regime of total survellance:
Against whom total surveillance is directed

The basic principle underlying Neoliberalism, which is a dominant social system in the USA and most other countries  is “to make rich people happy and make everybody else frightened.” The MIC has used a succession of bogeymen—the Soviets, Communist insurgents around the world, and now global terrorism—to scare taxpayers into supporting core defense programs whose technologies ultimately spin off into private hands

Total surveillance is not about terrorism. It's about population control. Terrorism is a false pretext -- a smoke screen, if you like. Let's state clearly -- the main goal of total surveillance was the same since it was introduced in Nazi Germany. it's the same as in former German Democratic Republic (with its famous STASI). In all cases it is to prevent any challenge to the ruling elite or in US-speak "regime change".   In other words total surveillance is part and parcel of the totalitarian state even if it more reserved as for violence form called inverted totalitarism.

State actors and well funded terrorist organization are a difficult nut to clack. that have access to technology and know how. that means that NSA has great difficulties intercepting and decoding traffic that is intended to be hidden. But for "open" traffic the situation is completely different. Here they are king of the hill.  Of cause correlation of open traffic can reveal some hidden information, but this is a pretty expensive undertaking.

The term "Deep state" as synonym of MIC dominance with a special emphasis on the role of intelligence agencies

The term “Deep State” was coined in Turkey and is said to be a system composed of high-level elements within the intelligence services, military, security, judiciary and organized crime. In British author John le Carré’s latest novel, A Delicate Truth, a character describes the Deep State as

“… the ever-expanding circle of non-governmental insiders from banking, industry and commerce who were cleared for highly classified information denied to large swathes of Whitehall and Westminster.”

The term means an association of elements of government. security services, selected top-level figures of financial oligarchy and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process. Assassination of JFK was probably a pivotal moment in the US history, the historical moment when "deep state" really came to power. In this sense Patriot Act was just an icing on the cake: like "nomenklatura"  rule in the USSR the system actually stands above the law.

In other words this is a hidden set of political actors and powerful institutions that are concealed within the wider, “visible” state which, essentially, took over the functions of traditional state, leaving such organization of Executive branch, President, congress and courts mainly ceremonial role. Such transformation is well explained by the The Iron Law of Oligarchy and in various forms happened in Third Reich, the USSR, Turkey, China and many other countries.

As for aggressive foreign policy there is one important difference between "predator states" and fascist regimes: extreme, rabid nationalism is typical only for fascist regimes, but is not a defining feature of "predator states". But aggressive foreign policy is and that's why the term invented by Jamie Galbraith ( “the predator state”) in his book bearing that title aptly reflect the defining feature of such states. In other words aggressive foreign policy is an immanent feature of the regime -- such regimes are almost always are engaged in some kind of war. Related, but more narrow term is "disaster capitalism" introduced by Naomi Klein which explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically. Her Shock Doctrine book is the gripping story of how America’s “free market” policies were pushed through the throat of states in trouble, and prevailed through the brutal exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries.

US armament industry implementation of the slogan War is peace, freedom is slavery

Since WWII there were very few years when the USA was not fighting some local war or two or even three. This is a powerful testament of MIC dominance in society and, especially, the power of lobby of major arms manufactures.

Of course, both the American society and the U.S. armaments industry today are different then it was when Dwight Eisenhower made his farewell speech. See also The Farewell Address 50 Years Later. The USA now is the world's greatest producer and exporter of arms on the planet. It is spending more on armed equipment and research than all other nations combined -- while converting all American citizens into "debt slaves" to do so.

It also stations over 500,000 troops, and untold number of spies, contractors, consultants, etc. on more than 737 bases around the world in 130 countries (even this is not a complete count) at a cost of near 100 billions a year. The 2008 Pentagon inventory includes 190,000 troops in 46 nations and territories, and 865 facilities in more than 40 countries and overseas U.S. territories. In just Japan, we have almost hundred thousand people who are either members of US forces or are closely connected to US. The explicit purpose is to provide control over as many nations as possible. Funny, but among other items Pentagon also maintains 234 golf courses around the world, 70 Lear Jet airplanes for generals and admirals (to make it more convenient to fly there), and a ski resort in the Bavarian Alps.

Statistics compiled by the Federation of American Scientists analyzed by Gore Vidal show 201 military operations initiated by the U.S. against others between the end of WWII and 9/11 - none of which directly resulted in the creation of a democracy. These included Iran (1953, 1979), Guatemala (1954), Cuba (1959-present), Congo (1960), Brazil (1964), Indonesia (1965), Vietnam (1961-73), Laos (1961-73), Cambodia (1969-73), Greece (1967-73), Chile (1973), Afghanistan (1979-present), El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua (1980s), Iraq (1991-present), Panama (1989), Grenada (1983). (The Korean War is a notable positive exception.)

Per Johnson, Carter's national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and former CIA director Gates made it clear that U.S. aid to the mujaheddin began six months prior to the Soviet invasion, and helped to provoke it (with the direct goal of seeking Vietnam for Soviet troops). So the USA by-and-large created, organized and financed global Islamic fundamentalist forces, which at some point became less controllable from the former center.

A recent 'Newsweek' article also pointed out waste in the Pentagon - Secretary Gates estimates there are 30 levels between himself and line officers, and expects by 2020 for the U.S. to have 'only' 20X China's number of advanced stealth fighters; other researchers recently found 530 deputy assistant secretaries of defense, compared to 78 in 1960. See also Dismantling the Empire .

Despite the economic decline, of may be because of it, New Militarism is now pandemic, supported by both parties and aggressively used by Republican Party to maintain the unity of fragile coalition of rag tag groups (see Understanding Mayberry Machiavellians). Neo-conservative ideology still dominates foreign policy and its essence (spread of "liberal democracy" with a shadow goal of defending/promoting own geo-strategical interests and first of all access to cheap oil) is not that different from the old Soviets militarism, eager to spread or "defend" the blessings of "Scientific Socialism (Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks and Poles remember those attempts all too well).

While far from historic high (reached during World War II, when it represented 20% of the civilian workforce) US military still employs 2.2 million people, or about 2% of the civilian workforce. So they represent a society within a society. If we add Department of Energy and military contractors like Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon, United Technologies. L-3 Communications, etc as well as servicing firms such as Halliburton/KBR/Blackwater/DynCorp we can add to this figure another million people. That means that all-in all at least three million US citizen directly or indirectly works for military-industrial complex.

There are also around five million (five million !!!) people in the USA with security clearance. Of them about three million has top security clearance.

But what is more important that military-industrial complex spends up to 50% of all taxes:

In Fiscal Year 1999 the Department of Defense awarded $118 billion to contractors for goods and services. The "Big Three" in the defense industry -- Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon -- alone accounted for 26% of all defense contracts in FY'99.

In fiscal year 2003 the United States Government will spend on the military more than all the rest of the countries on Earth combined. Current expenditures are 437 billion and our past obligations are 339 billion, this equals 776 billion. 46% of our Taxes go to the Military Industrial Complex: figure doesn't even begin to account for all of the off-budget, black projects, homeland security nor the 40+ billion the United States Government will spend on intelligence in 2003. -- Mark Elsis Lovearth, Jan. 8, 2002

Pentagon's Anual Top Ten Defense Contractors

Lockheed Martin Corp. $17.0 billion
Boeing Co. $16.6 billion
Northrop Grumman Corp. $8.7 billion
Raytheon Co. $7.0 billion
General Dynamics Corp. $7.0 billion
United Technologies Corp. $3.6 billion
Science Applications International Corp. $2.1 billion
TRW Inc. $2.0 billion
Health Net, Inc. $1.7 billion
L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc. $1.7 billion

Sheldon Wolin's  concept of "inverted totalitarism" as the USA specific form of MIC dominance

Arrival on political scene of military industrial complex inevitably lead to its political dominance and establishing of some variant of National Security State with managed democracy which is promoted by subservient, corrupt and totally controlled media. But this new regime, called by Sheldon Wolin "Inverted totalitalism"  is different from such classic "National Security State" as Third Reich.

Sheldon Wolin, who taught the history of political philosophy from Plato to the present in Berkeley and Princeton, introduced the term "inverted totalitarism", which probably can be better called neo-bolshevism. This is an interesting, uniquely American variant of National Security State. He thinks that the latter is based on two forces:

See an excellent review of his book at AlterNet:

"Among the factors that have promoted inverted totalitarianism are the practice and psychology of advertising and the rule of "market forces" in many other contexts than markets, continuous technological advances that encourage elaborate fantasies (computer games, virtual avatars, space travel), the penetration of mass media communication and propaganda into every household in the country, and the total co-optation of the universities. Among the commonplace fables of our society are hero worship and tales of individual prowess, eternal youthfulness, beauty through surgery, action measured in nanoseconds, and a dream-laden culture of ever-expanding control and possibility, whose adepts are prone to fantasies because the vast majority have imagination but little scientific knowledge.

Masters of this world are masters of images and their manipulation.

Wolin reminds us that the image of Adolf Hitler flying to Nuremberg in 1934 that opens Leni Riefenstahl's classic film "Triumph of the Will" was repeated on May 1, 2003, with President George Bush's apparent landing of a Navy warplane on the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln to proclaim "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq."

It a way it is so similar to the brand of totalitarism practiced in the late USSR that some call the USA USSA. It has the same strong "total surveillance" tendencies. It looks exactly like Bolshevism minus:

As Oscar Wilde's once noted: "The truth is seldom pure and never simple". Here is a relevant quote:

Wolin writes, "Our thesis is this: it is possible for a form of totalitarianism, different from the classical one, to evolve from a putatively 'strong democracy' instead of a 'failed' one." His understanding of democracy is classical but also populist, anti-elitist and only slightly represented in the Constitution of the United States. "Democracy," he writes, "is about the conditions that make it possible for ordinary people to better their lives by becoming political beings and by making power responsive to their hopes and needs." It depends on the existence of a demos -- "a politically engaged and empowered citizenry, one that voted, deliberated, and occupied all branches of public office." Wolin argues that to the extent the United States on occasion came close to genuine democracy, it was because its citizens struggled against and momentarily defeated the elitism that was written into the Constitution.

"No working man or ordinary farmer or shopkeeper," Wolin points out, "helped to write the Constitution." He argues, "The American political system was not born a democracy, but born with a bias against democracy. It was constructed by those who were either skeptical about democracy or hostile to it. Democratic advance proved to be slow, uphill, forever incomplete. The republic existed for three-quarters of a century before formal slavery was ended; another hundred years before black Americans were assured of their voting rights. Only in the twentieth century were women guaranteed the vote and trade unions the right to bargain collectively. In none of these instances has victory been complete: women still lack full equality, racism persists, and the destruction of the remnants of trade unions remains a goal of corporate strategies. Far from being innate, democracy in America has gone against the grain, against the very forms by which the political and economic power of the country has been and continues to be ordered." Wolin can easily control his enthusiasm for James Madison, the primary author of the Constitution, and he sees the New Deal as perhaps the only period of American history in which rule by a true demos prevailed.

To reduce a complex argument to its bare bones, since the Depression, the twin forces of managed democracy and Superpower have opened the way for something new under the sun: "inverted totalitarianism," a form every bit as totalistic as the classical version but one based on internalized co-optation, the appearance of freedom, political disengagement rather than mass mobilization, and relying more on "private media" than on public agencies to disseminate propaganda that reinforces the official version of events. It is inverted because it does not require the use of coercion, police power and a messianic ideology as in the Nazi, Fascist and Stalinist versions (although note that the United States has the highest percentage of its citizens in prison -- 751 per 100,000 people -- of any nation on Earth). According to Wolin, inverted totalitarianism has "emerged imperceptibly, unpremeditatedly, and in seeming unbroken continuity with the nation's political traditions."

The genius of our inverted totalitarian system "lies in wielding total power without appearing to, without establishing concentration camps, or enforcing ideological uniformity, or forcibly suppressing dissident elements so long as they remain ineffectual. A demotion in the status and stature of the 'sovereign people' to patient subjects is symptomatic of systemic change, from democracy as a method of 'popularizing' power to democracy as a brand name for a product marketable at home and marketable abroad. The new system, inverted totalitarianism, is one that professes the opposite of what, in fact, it is. The United States has become the showcase of how democracy can be managed without appearing to be suppressed."

Uniqueness of the "power agencies" elite and militarism as the business model of this part of the USA elite

MIC elite is uniquw in a sense that it closely resembled the Politburo of CPSU. What distinguishes the “power agencies elite” (Russians use the term "siloviki" when talking about those agencies and their elite)  from other elite groups in American society such as closely related to them financial oligarchy, is that this is thier elite position is not based solely on the ownership of property. Like CEO of large corporation they are in a position to rip benefits from advancement of thier corporation. And that, unfortunately, means that for them militarism is a way of advancement of thier own business interests.  The MIC elite’s goal is not to protect the nation from emerging threats, but “to appropriate the lion’s share of existing wealth for the military establishment”  If necessary by creation of new threats (like Islamic fundamentalism which was organized, financed and molded into formidable political force by the USA MIC). In other words like financial oligarchy they are predatory/parasitic in relation to the "host nation" and as such they represent serious threat for the civil society. 

... the U.S. military establishment from the 1940s onward was initially a means to an end in the process of stabilizing the world economy and serving national security interests, but -- over time -- became an end in itself, serving the interests of an elite group that uses the projection of power as a way to justify the continued expansion of military spending.

 This line of thinking is well illustrated by the paper of Aminata M. Kone The Military-Industrial Complex in the United States Evolution and Expansion from World War II to the War on Terror   which we will reproduce  in full: 

Student Pulse 2013, Vol. 5 No. 08

After World War II, the United States military gradually came into a position of overwhelming dominance in the world. Military spending in the United States far outpaces that of other countries, with their world share of military expenditures at 41% in 2011, followed by Russia and China with only eight and four percent respectively (SIPRI 2012). This has been the case since the Second World War and has been justified in different ways over time. The arguments for continued military dominance have ranged from “long-term economic gains” at the start of the war (Shoup and Murray 1977, cited in Hossein-zadeh 2006: 45) to Soviet containment during the Cold War, “a broader responsibility of global militarism” since the 1980s (Ryan 1991, cited in Hossein-zadeh 2006: 73), and most recently the need to protect citizens against Islamic fundamentalism and terrorist attacks. Nevertheless, there has been consistent concern that powerful groups in military, political, and corporate positions, profiteering from conflict and sharing interests in intensifying defense expenditure, have become the primary actors for making and administering U.S. foreign policy. Today the scope of the defense industry is now much bigger than legitimate security needs justify (see, for example, Moskos 1974, Mintz 1985, Waddell 2001 and Hossein-zadeh 2006).

This analysis argues that expansion of the U.S. military establishment from the 1940s onward was initially a means to an end in the process of stabilizing the world economy and serving national security interests, but -- over time -- became an end in itself, serving the interests of an elite group that uses the projection of power as a way to justify the continued expansion of military spending. This essay is divided into two sections: the first focuses on the origins of America’s military-industrial complex, beginning with a definition of the elite group that the complex comprises. Next, by focusing on the period in which the foundation for the complex was laid – the Second World War – it is argued that the complex arose unintentionally in some ways, although important characteristics of it were visible from the start. Third, military Keynesianism, often used to defend high military budgets once the complex was in place, will be discussed and refuted. The second section focuses on the most important argument in favor of high military budgets today: the need to protect American citizens from the global threat of terrorism. It is argued that public perceptions of the causes of terrorism are incorrect, yet have been gladly utilized and fostered by the American military-industrial complex to justify an ineffective global war.

The Evolving Military-Industrial Complex in the United States

What distinguishes the “power elite” that constitutes the military-industrial complex from other powerful groups in American society who also seek advancement of their own interests, is that this is not a ruling class based solely on the ownership of property (Mills 1956, cited in Moskos 1974: 499-500). Rather, it is a coalition of civilian agencies that formally shape military policy (such as the Senate and the CIA), military institutions, private firms, research institutions and think tanks – all centered on and linked to the Pentagon (Hossein-zadeh 2006: 13). As a result of power arising from the occupancy in top bureaucratic positions as well as from capital ownership, the interests of the ruling elite go beyond the mere accumulation of wealth and include desires to maintain themselves in power and to press for specific forms of public policy. Their most important common interest is intensifying defense expenditure. War profiteering in itself is not new – wars have always been fought at least in part for economic gains. Today’s military-industrial complex is different in that it treats war as a business: the ruling elite’s goal of having a large military establishment is not to expand the nation’s wealth, but “to appropriate the lion’s share of existing wealth for the military establishment” (Hossein-zadeh 2006: 90). As a consequence, decisions on defense allocation, arms production and military operations are motivated by desires for profit and personal power, not necessarily by security requirements.

This is not to say that expansion of the military budget has always been an ‘end’ for a powerful group of elites, but in fact was initially a means to serve other ends. The first big expansion of the military establishment took place in the early years of the Second World War, when the U.S. had legitimate concerns for its own national security due to such events as the attack on Pearl Harbor, and feared the war would negatively impact foreign trade. Military expansion is a logical result of the former concern, as it is a means to preserve physical security. However, it is closely linked to the latter concern, too. The Council on Foreign Relations, one of the nation’s most influential think foreign policy think-tanks, advised the U.S. government that it needed free access to markets and raw materials in all regions outside of continental Europe for economic self-sufficiency. To this end, the U.S. advocated globalization and open economic cooperation through multilateralism. At the time, the crisis of the ‘30s and the war had made the concept of the free market highly unpopular. This made “military supremacy for the U.S. within the non-German world” a complementary requirement to ensure all countries within the “U.S.-led, non-German Grand Area,” including Japan, would accept American conditions (Shoup and Murray 1977, cited in Hossein-zadeh 2006: 45). In short, military spending was not yet an end in itself, it was the combined result of needing to increase power in the face of security challenges and wanting to restore trust in and stabilize the global capitalist system.

Key characteristics of the current military-industrial complex, however, were already present when the objectives of U.S. foreign policy during World War II were drafted. As Hossein-zadeh points out, a brief look at the social status and class composition of the Council on Foreign Relations, which consisted of wealthy, influential people with ties to major industrial corporations and politicians, shows that a ruling class shaped major government policies “operating through the institutional umbrella of the Council, and providing intellectual justification for major foreign policy overhauls” (2006: 41). The military-industrial complex in its present form might not have been in place then or have been created intentionally, but clearly there already was a power elite based on more than capital ownership, and strong ties between the military, political, and corporate spheres.

After World War II, the Cold War stabilized U.S. foreign policy for over forty years1. With its demise, a “vacuum in the organizing principles of national government” had emerged (Waddell 2001: 133). Even if unintended, the military-industrial complex was well in place by now, and suggestions to curtail the military budget were met with fierce opposition. However, cutting back on non-military public expenditures while an expensive military establishment is preserved proved harder to justify with the loss of the perceived Soviet threat. An argument in favor of military spending that has been used consistently is that it boosts economic growth (Dreze 2000: 180). Mintz, for instance, notes that the military-industrial complex is seen by many to have “considerable influence on levels of employment, … the profitability of arms manufacture and the scope of exports” (1983: 124).

The view that large military spending is an effective means of demand stimulation and job creation, and hence of economic growth, is called military Keynesianism. Keynes’ (non-military) theory holds that in times of inadequate purchasing power, the (non-military) private sector becomes wary of expansion, and so the government should spend money in order to boost the stagnant economy by stimulating demand. Since expansion of the military industry is a government investment, it could have the desired economic effects in times of recession. However, it is important to keep in mind that Keynes argues for little government spending in times of high employment and sufficient demand. Military Keynesianists seem to ignore this fact completely and have argued for high government expenditures even during the Golden Age after World War II – and in no other sector than the military-industrial one. This can only be explained by the fact that it is a constantly shrinking number of people experiencing the economic benefits of high military spending (Waddell 2001: 135). The same people tend to switch positions between the Pentagon, its prime contractors and lobbying think tanks supporting those contractors, meaning that military spending is no longer an economic stimulus for the entire nation. Instead, it has become a redistributive mechanism of national resources in favor of the wealthy (Hossein-zadeh 2006: 226).

Cashing In on the War on Terror

What gets lots in the debate over the economic consequences of military spending is the effect it has on international stability. An old principle asserts that military threats are essential in preventing wars from occurring (Dreze 2000: 1178), but an overly extended military establishment means actual military operations are necessary from time to time to ‘prove’ the necessity of the army. And indeed, militarists have found that the most effective manner of convincing the American public of the need of a large military establishment is the constant ‘discovery’ of external threats. The threat currently most emphasized by the U.S. is global terrorism. We argue that while some fears of Islamic fundamentalism are justified, most are not; and that the threat of terrorism is not logically followed by higher military investment.

The U.S. is not being fair in its assessment of the Arab threat. Public discourse today implies that Islam is inherently more rigid and anti-modern than other religions. Huntington famously predicted that most major conflicts would be between Muslims and non-Muslims, as “Islam has bloody borders” (1993: 12). In 1990, historian Bernard Lewis described a “surge of hatred” rising from the Islamic world that “becomes a rejection of Western civilisation as such” (cited in Coll 2012). Richard Perle, American neoconservative militarist and advisor to Israel’s Likud Party, proposes a strategy of “de-contextualization” to explain acts of terrorism and violent resistance to occupation, arguing that we must stop trying to understand the territorial, geopolitical and historical reasons that some groups turn to fundamentalism; instead, reasons for the violence of such groups must be sought in the Islamic way of thinking (Hossein-zadeh 2006: 101).

Religious fundamentalism, however, is universal: it arises in response to modernity and secularism, both of which tend to weaken or threaten religious traditions. John Voll points out that by the early 1990s, “violent militancy was clearly manifest among Hindu fundamentalists, Buddhists in Sri Lanka, Jewish fundamentalists in Israel and others elsewhere” (1994, cited in Hossein-zadeh 2006: 110-11). As one scholar points out, if the Bosnians, the Palestinians and the Kashmiris are asked about their borders they would say that, respectively, Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism are the ones that have bloody borders (Ahmed 2002: 29). Yet statements like the ones by Huntington, Lewis and Perle cited above single out Islam as the most dangerous potential enemy of the West. They all interpret the militancy of Islamic fundamentalism as being somehow directly caused by distinctive Islamic doctrines and traditions (Voll 1994, cited in Hossein-zadeh 2006: 111) and attribute terrorist attacks to “pathological problems of the Muslim mind” (Hossein-zadeh 2006: 101). In doing so, they posit a characteristic supposedly shared by Muslims from Indonesia through Iran to Senegal, that makes conflict with the West inevitable.

An incorrect assessment of the roots of terrorism does not justify the extent to which the U.S. expanded its military activity after 2001; nor does it explain why it continues to fight an ineffective war. As Peña points out, a larger military would not have prevented the tragedy of 9/11, and it will not prevent future terrorist actions (2001, cited in Snider 2004). Terrorism, much like the war that is fought against it, is a means of pursuing objectives, not an actor. It cannot be stopped by military action as fighting does nothing to address the issues that terrorists feel can only be resolved violently; if anything, this is more likely to lead to a vicious cycle of constantly growing military budgets and an ever higher number of terrorist attacks. As one author put it: “the moral crusade to end terrorism can only begin with a realistic assessment of its cause” (Snider 2004). So far, the global war on terror has done little to eradicate terrorism.

On the contrary, it seems the threat of an attack is now bigger: the number of terrorist attacks worldwide has increased from just over 1800 in 2001, to a staggering five-thousand ten years later (START 2012). The question that arises, then, is why successive U.S. administrations have found it so difficult to accept that perhaps their assessment of the causes of terrorism is incorrect; that perhaps, the policies built on their premises are not effective, but rather a self-fulfilling prophecy, leading to a vicious cycle of constantly expanding military activities and an increasing number of individuals who believe their grievances cannot be settled non-violently. This has everything to do with the never-ending need for militarism: 9/11 was approached by the U.S. as an opportunity for aggression. The attacks, however heinous, were approached by the government not as crimes (which would require criminal prosecution and law enforcement), but as a personal attack against Americans (Hossein-zadeh 2006: 91). With the views expressed by Huntington, Lewis and Perle widespread among the American public already, pre-emptive war and military expansion was easily justifiable to Americans. After all, how would dialogue help if the Muslim mind is pathologically troubled? An American citizen might cringe at the idea, but it is true: the 9/11 tragedy “came from heaven to an administration determined to ramp up military budgets” (Johnson 2004: 64).


This essay has sought to argue that the U.S. military-industrial complex was the unintentional result of both a desire to stabilize the global capitalist system and to protect national security interests, but that military spending is now closely linked to the personal interests of a small, influential group of elites. In the first section, it was illustrated that the context of the Second World War made increased military expenditures a necessary means to other ends, although the power elite that would eventually come to benefit from these expenditures was already in place. Once in place, this power elite has constantly needed to justify the disproportionate allocation of national resources to the military establishment. Emphasizing the economic benefits of military investment by drawing on Keynesian theory is a way of doing so, but military Keynesianists seem to give a one-sided account of the theory, one that suits their interests.

The second section focused on the global war on terror, arguing that the U.S. is capitalizing on public fears which are based on an incorrect assessment of the causes of terrorism. The war on terror has done little to eradicate terrorism, but as long as the public continues believing it is a necessary war, the U.S. military-industrial complex will continue using it as an opportunity to keep military budgets high.


Ahmed, A. (2002) ‘Ibn Khaldun’s understanding of civilizations and the dilemmas of Islam and the West today’, Middle East Journal, Vol. 56, No. 1, pp. 20-45

Coll, S. (2012) ‘Days of Rage’, The New Yorker, 1 October. [Online] Available at (accessed 7 January 2013)

Dreze, J. (2000) ‘Militarism, development and democracy’, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 35, No. 14, pp. 1171-1183

Hossein-zadeh, I. (2006). The political economy of U.S. militarism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan

Huntington, S. P. (1993) ‘The Clash of Civilizations?’ in The Council on Foreign Relations, ed. 1996, Samuel P. Huntington’s the clash of civilizations: the debate, New York: Council on Foreign Relations, pp. 1-26

Johnson, C. (2004) The sorrows of empire: militarism, secrecy, and the end of the republic. New York: Henry Holt and Company

Mintz, A. (1985) ‘The military-industrial complex: American concepts and Israeli realities’, The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 623-639

Moskos, C. (1974) ‘The concept of the military-industrial complex: radical critique or liberal bogey?’, Social Problems, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 498-512

SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) (2012) Military spending and armament: the 15 major spender countries in 2011 (table). Solna: SIPRI. Available at (accessed 4 January 2013)

Snider, B. (2004) ‘Manufacturing terrorism’,, 14 June. [Online] Available at (accessed 6 January 2013)

START (National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism). (2012) Incidents over time. Maryland: Global Terrorism Database. [Data file] Available at (accessed 7 January 2013)

Waddell, B. (2001) ‘Limiting national interventionism in the United States: the warfare-welfare state as a restrictive government paradigm’, Capital and class, Vol. 74, pp. 109-140

1.) The U.S. did have to rethink the expenses of their policies during the crisis of the ‘70s, when expanding on both warfare and welfare became too expensive. Allocating taxpayers’ money to the military had become harder to justify for several reasons; by this time, however, the military-industrial complex was well in place. Beneficiaries of militarism succeeded in maintaining high military budgets, mainly by exaggerating the ‘Soviet threat’ (such as in the now-discredited Team B report by the Committee on the Present Danger). This was clearly a way of defining the elite group’s interests in terms of national interests and is relevant to the topic, but it is not within the scope of the essay to discuss this in detail.


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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? "

Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas

[May 27, 2015]

Unfortunatly, under neoliberalism it's not people who vote. It's only large corporations which use two party system to put forward two canditates that will follow thier agenda. quote "Unfortunately the US propaganda system is now so entrenched and so heavily financed by the financial elites that such campaigns as that by Sanders, admirable as it is, have no chance of changing the US system. The only thing that will is violent revolution and that is highly unlikely given the monopoly of legitimate force commanded by those elites."
May 27, 2015 | The Guardian
May 26, 2015 |
Nad Gough
This is a good man. He is Independent, running as a Democrat as 3rd party candidates are doomed from the start. He is elderly, so choosing his running mate will be extremely important in terms of his electibility. Elizabeth Warren? If she won't run for President, maybe this is the ticket?

So far this is the ONLY candidate whose desire for "change" matches what folks want. The other potential candidates are known sleight of hand change artists. And I use the word "artist" in the way one might describe someone who draws stick figures. Badly.

Bernie Sanders is the first candidate since Carter to actually project a sense of positive values and integrity. He is the frontrunner for most Americans who care about fairness and a sustainable future. Don't allow the corporate media to marginalize him by innuendo or non-coverage. Don't allow the Democratic Party to turn a blind eye to the issues. Don't allow the Repubs to steal another election through blatant electronic voter fraud, hacking the voting machines and gaming the results. Start a campaign for voters to photograph their results and compile independent vote counts. An honest election would likely favor a populist with integrity. Bernie Sanders is the one.
The country is ruled by greedy corporation, all governmental authorities are corrupted to the limit, unstoppable wars and overall torpidity and all these candidates are able to offer is doubtful solutions for two-or three "serious" problems. Either they're blind or just fool American people.

This population is too stupid to elect a guy like Sanders. With a median household income of 50K/year it will vote, one more time, for people who don't represent it. The only two running candidates who represents 99% of the population are Sanders and Stein, the Green candidate. All others will cater first to the wealthy. Clinton will be chosen over Sanders because for some weird reason 'mericans vote for the guy they think will fight for who they think they'll be one day, not for whom they are now. I think it's about time to stop feeling sorry for most Americans, half of them won't bother to go vote anyway, and a huge majority will keep voting for the wrong guys.
Justin Weaver PhilippeOrlando
I totally get you, but I think that a lot of Americans truly believe that they ARE prosperous even if they have minimal savings, no job security, and are only one medical disaster away from bankruptcy. Many American's have really bought the American dream narrative even if they have little chance of achieving it.
Bernie's brother Larry, long time UK resident, stood for the Green Party in my constituency in the recent elections. He has spent his adult life working for others, particularly carers, and is a man of great integrity and intelligence. Of course he didn't win but was by far the most impressive candidate at the local hustings, and thereby exposed the audience to a viewpoint most will not have experienced previously.
If Bernie is half the man his brother is, US voters have a fine candidate, and similarly he may open up the electorate's eyes to the idea that it is possible to believe in something better.
A man that openly calls himself a 'democratic socialist' will never win in the USA. People here have an allergy to the word 'socialism'. Unfortunately that allergy is causing them to be OK with living in a de-facto oligarchy.
Something I love about Bernie Sanders is that he is straight forward, honest in his views and cannot be bought. I imagine he's something of a mystery to the many 'politicians', as Barack Obama recently described himself.

Someone that actually thinks about what is best for the people, not for himself. Bernie calls himself a Socialist, if that is what Socialism means - and caring for the environment - sign me up.

Part of an analysis of the Sanders campaign, written three weeks ago by Bruce A. Dixon:

Bernie Sanders is this election's Democratic sheepdog. The sheepdog is a card the Democratic party plays every presidential primary season when there's no White House Democrat running for re-election. The sheepdog is a presidential candidate running ostensibly to the left of the establishment Democrat to whom the billionaires will award the nomination. Sheepdogs are herders, and the sheepdog candidate is charged with herding activists and voters back into the Democratic fold who might otherwise drift leftward and outside of the Democratic party, either staying home or trying to build something outside the two party box.

1984 and 88 the sheepdog candidate was Jesse Jackson. In 92 it was California governor Jerry Brown. In 2000 and 2004 the designated sheepdog was Al Sharpton, and in 2008 it was Dennis Kucinich. This year it's Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. The function of the sheepdog candidate is to give left activists and voters a reason, however illusory, to believe there's a place of influence for them inside the Democratic party,...

Doro Wynant jdanforth


1. Not one of the candidates cited had the legislative background that Sanders has -- not the duration in office, not the proven appeal to a diverse constituency, not the proven ability to work respectfully with unlike-minded peers.

2. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson clearly never had a chance; they're not at all in the same category.

3. Poverty is at a 50-year high in the US, and many once-middle-class, educated, professional persons (myself included) are -- thanks to the recession -- part of the nouveau poor. Even the formerly-non-activist-types are angry, and they're paying attention to his talk of income inequality -- and Sanders has more credibility as a potential reformer than does wealthy insider HRC.

4. What Dixon condescendingly refers to as "left activists and voters [who have no influence in the party]" are in fact people with mainstream ideas about building and maintaining a stable society. The right, having skewed the debate over the past 25 years, luvvvvvs to pretend that these centrist, humane ideas are wacky and way-out when in fact they're, well, mainstream ideas. Who among us doesn't want a safe, clean world in which to live, love, work, raise our families?

Not only is that not a wacky idea, it's a very -- GASP -- Christian idea/ideal!

Jon Phillips

If you vote for Hillary you are accepting that America is now an oligarchy. How else can you explain the amount of time the Bush & Clinton families have occupied the White House?

300 million Americans and 2 families have occupied the White House for 20 of the last 28 years........


This business comes down to just two choices: You can vote for Pennywise the Clown in either his Republican or her Democratic persona, along with the creature's Robber Baron backers, or you can vote for Sanders. You could cast a protest vote somewhere else, but doing that will just further the cause of the Robber Barons. Let's take back the wheel of the American political process!

Bertmax RickyRat

That is a fallacy called "false equivalency". It is wrong to say that both parties are to blame. Sure, both have their share of corruption, but at least the Democrats are pushing legislation that actually benefits the 90%. I am a member of neither party, since I don't believe in supporting only a narrow set of ideals one way or the other, but the GOP are the true scourge of my country. People like Sanders and Warren actually care about this country.

Doro Wynant Needsmorecow

This site links you to legislation he sponsored or co-sponsored, to his bio, and to his website:

Chris Plante
A recent poll had Bernie "lagged behind the favorite by a margin of 63% to 13%" Is that among the fake people "Hillary Who" has supporting her?

He's probably doing much better among real people.

RickyRat Chris Plante
There is a machine out there, running full blast. Sanders is the wrench the machine's owners fear.
Jeannie Parker
I take offense at the suggestion he's from far left field. It's absurd to say in the least. He's been drafted by us. He's running for us. All of us. I admin on few Bernie Sanders' pages on FB and I can tell you with all certainty that the folks getting behind this man and his campaign are coming from across the political spectrum.

The beauty of it is, he has a thirty some odd years long record that cannot be altered.
This man has and always will work for the interests of everyone.

No one can listen to him and his policy positions and not get behind him.

Bernie Sanders is coming and a revolution is coming with him.

No amount of money can sway us or turn us from our goal of seeing this fine gentleman ascend to the highest office of our Land. Cheers.

[May 27, 2015] American Militarism And Its Short- And Long-Term Implications by Taj Hashmi

The author predicted the current war in Middle East. Quote: "Rising Saudi defense budget, $46 billion in 2011, is likely to further polarize the Middle East between pro-Saudi and pro-Iranian forces. American client states in the Arab World are likely to join the fray. Direct confrontation and even a prolonged war between Sunni Gulf states and Iran under Saudi leadership with American support and instigation is another most likely scenario in the coming years.
August 23 , 2012 |

"Truth is treason in the empire of lies …. There is an alternative to national bankruptcy, a bigger police state, trillion-dollar wars, and a government that draws ever more parasitically on the productive energies of the American people."

Ron Paul, US Presidential Candidate (2008 & 2012)

"Washington's empire extracts resources from the American people for the benefit of the few powerful interest groups that rule America. The military-security complex, Wall Street, agri-business and the Israel Lobby use the government to extract resources from Americans to serve their profits and power…. That is how the American Empire functions."

-- Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of Treasury (1981-82)

American duplicities, arm-twisting diplomacy and overpowering influence of the Military-Industrial Complex have already undermine American values leading us to decades of devastating warfare in almost every continent. Meanwhile, as an Iranian "insider" Hossein Mousavian believes, if attacked by Israel or the US, the already nervous and estranged Iran would definitely go for the nuclear option by withdrawing from the NPT. Now, in view of the growing nuclear buildup in Pakistan and Iran's potential to become a nuclear power, how the US is likely to react to these developments is anybody's guess. Since America is fast moving towards "The Golden Age of Special Operations", drone operations or "wars by remote" on a massive scale by abandoning the "boots-on-the-ground" policy, will be the new way of fighting America's new wars in the coming years, and mostly in the Muslim World.

It appears that by the 2020s the "unipolar world" having America, as the global superpower will nearly disappear. The newly emerging democracies in the Arab World, including Egypt and Iraq; and possibly, an assertively pro-Muslim Turkey with very loose to non-existent ties with NATO and Israel; and possibly a nuclear-armed Iran in league with avowedly anti-American Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, Pakistan and Afghanistan in the long run will challenge American hegemony in the greater Middle East, South and Central Asia. By then the centers of economic development will further drift from the West to Asia, mainly to China and India. China is most likely to emerge as the main patron of this conglomerate of oil-rich and nuclear-armed nations. On the other hand, in view of the growing Russian influence in the region – as reflected in its veto against any UN-led invasion of Syria in early 2012 (China also vetoed against the proposal) – Russia is also expected to join the anti-American / anti-NATO conglomerate. As losing face or losing global hegemony is least desirable to American hawks and imperialists, they will try to reverse the process through major wars, first against some "manageable foes" like Iran, Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon, and then possibly against Pakistan and others. Rising Saudi defense budget, $46 billion in 2011, is likely to further polarize the Middle East between pro-Saudi and pro-Iranian forces. American client states in the Arab World are likely to join the fray. Direct confrontation and even a prolonged war between Sunni Gulf states and Iran under Saudi leadership with American support and instigation is another most likely scenario in the coming years.

Meanwhile, America has made total mess of Iraq and Afghanistan, albeit to the advantage of the Military-Industrial Complex who made most of the "trillion-dollar-profit" of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As we know, America started messing up with Iraq since the 1950s. Saddam Hussein was in CIA's payroll up to the early 1960s and later he was in the best of terms with Reagan and Bush Sr. until he was duped into invading Kuwait in 1990 by the US Ambassador. During the Iraq-Iran War (1980-1988), America provided intelligence and logistics to Saddam Hussein against Iran. The whole world watched Donald Rumsfeld meeting Saddam Hussein in Baghdad during the War. However, soon after the end of the Iraq-Iran war in a stalemate, America clipped the wing of Saddam Hussein after he had become "menacingly powerful" to the detriment of its allies in the Middle East. American Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie on purpose misled Saddam Hussein, and sort of, gave him the green signal. The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 led to the American-led invasion of Iraq, the "Operation Desert Storm", in early 1991, which Saddam Hussein classified as the "Mother of All Battles". The US ambassador is said to have told Saddam Hussein, it appears, only to encourage him to invade Kuwait:

But we have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait. I was in the American Embassy in Kuwait during the late 1960s. The instruction we had during this period was that we should express no opinion on this issue and that the issue is not associated with America. James Baker has directed our official spokesmen to emphasize this instruction. We hope you can solve this problem using any suitable methods via Klibi (Chedli Klibi, Secretary General of the Arab League) or via President Mubarak. All that we hope is that these issues are solved quickly.

We all know how preposterous was the American argument in favor of the second US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Although many Americans still believe that there was an "intelligence failure" on part of the CIA – it misread and thought Saddam Hussein had the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and was building nuclear bombs – from Bush Jr. to Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell and almost every big wig in the US administration deliberately lied to the Americans and the whole world about the so-called WMD. We also know the real motive behind the invasion, giving the most powerful lobbies in America, Britain, Italy, Spain, Australia and other allied powers the opportunity to make billions as "profits" or "dividends" of the war. We also know that directly or indirectly the invaders killed more than a million Iraqis and the country is in total mess. It is, however, an irony that the "liberated" Iraq (and Afghanistan) is very close to Iran, America's main nemesis in the Middle East. It is only a question of time when Iranian, Iraqi, Lebanese, Afghan, Pakistani, Arab and Central Asian Shiites will come closer to each other to threaten American interests in the Middle East, South and Central Asia.

Finally, one may re-iterate the following positions in the light of the foregoing discussion on the nature and extent of American imperialism; if the Empire is likely to hit again on a massive scale to prolong the ongoing conflicts; and if there is a way out of a devastatingly destabilizing future in the coming decades. We know nothing in particular has all of a sudden gone wrong with Islam, and so many things seem to be going wrong with America (since 1492), we need an understanding of the factors –people, events and ideas – that have turned the richest country into the most hated empire in our times. Thanks to Reagan's Assistant Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts's succinct definition of the American Empire, we already know that the Empire " extracts resources from the American people for the benefit of the few powerful interest groups that rule America. The military-security complex, Wall Street, agri-business and the Israel Lobby use the government to extract resources from Americans to serve their profits and power ". He also tells us that the empire-builders have modified the US Constitution in the name of national security in such a manner that "Americans' incomes have been redirected to the pockets of the 1 percent". Craig Roberts' appraisal is a good follow up of what President Eisenhower singled out in 1961 as the main perpetrator of all modern wars that America participated in after the Second World War, America's Military-Industrial-Congressional Lobby.

The foregoing discussion leads us to the conclusion that we are fast entering the post-terrorist phase of history where state-terrorism and state-sponsored violence in the name of global peace, freedom, democracy, religion and sovereignty have been destabilizing the world. Several millions have already fell victims to state-sponsored violence, from Hiroshima to Vietnam, Rwanda-Burundi to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. And many more are likely to follow them in the coming decades, mostly from the Muslim World. Now, one may raise the question: Is there a way out of the foreseeable mega wars in the names of the "War on Terror" or "Islam-in-Danger"? We know the answer, which might sound very sophomoric, that is the American people should force their government to restrain the Military-Industrial Complex from promoting wars and conflicts; make the Israeli Lobby accountable to US laws and regulations; and America should help resolve inter-state conflicts, especially over disputed territories (such as the Palestine, Taiwan and Kashmir problems) by simply not exercising its veto power in the UN and by not supporting either of the parties with money, arms or troops. America should also withdraw support from autocracies, especially in the Muslim World, as lack of democracy and freedom proliferates extremism and terrorism. Last but not least, there is no reason to assume that the ongoing Hundred-Year-War will remain confined to the asymmetric wars between the Empire and smaller states and non-state actors in the Muslim World. If not addressed, the conflicts would proliferate to engulf many more countries, including superpowers like China and Russia. One must always keep in mind that apparently insignificant event, such as the Sarajevo Incident, led to World War I and Hitler's invasion of Poland to World War II. Unfortunately, we have already crossed the threshold of many more similar events, including 9/11 and unlawful invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. How America behaves with regard to Iran and Syria will be the most important catalysts in this regard.

It is time American civil societies, veterans and their family members, and common people take pro-active measures to demilitarize the American psyche for the sake of global peace and justice. They should know – as Eisenhower pointed out – American Military Industrial Complex is at the roots of all major wars America has fought since 1945. They should all take General Wesley Clark (ret) seriously, who revealed the US secret plan to invade seven countries, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia and Iran even before it invaded Afghanistan. The plan was revealed to the General ten days after 9/11 by some top brasses at the Pentagon. As General Clark reveals, what is most worrisome is that the US loves to use the hammer (its military) to fix whatever it thinks has gone wrong anywhere in the world. The US loves to invade countries because its military is great "to take down governments". The American Congress (Eisenhower's "Congressional Lobby") and policy makers at the State Department (Senator Fulbright's "Voodoo Magicians") are too powerful and manipulative to be restrained by half-hearted peace initiatives by Americans. Last but not least, the bulk of Americans are so naïve, politically inert and indifferent that they hardly raise any question about their country's foreign policy and invasions of one country after another (America wages a major war almost after every ten years) in the name of freedom and security of America. Again, Americans are too "patriotic" to question the justifications for the wars their country initiates in distant lands, or the ones their leaders are contemplating to wage in the near future.

Taj Hashmi teaches at Austin Peay State University Clarksville, Tennessee

[May 23, 2015]Ukraine's Bloody Civil War No End in Sight

Mar 31, 2015 | The National Interest

The OSCE reported that the main railway station in the city was shelled on March 25, and a visit to it the day after showed that to be so. Rebel tanks could be seen participating in exercises on the rural outskirts of Donetsk on the 26th. The sound of sporadic artillery fire could be heard in the city's centrally located Leninsky District well into the early hours of the 27th.

The mood among many in Donetsk—noncombatants as well as rebel fighters who comprise what is known as the Army of Novorossiya—indicates little interest in a rapprochement with Kiev. This is, given the conditions of the city after nearly a full year of war, rather understandable. Many bitterly complain of Kiev's chosen moniker for the military campaign it is waging against the separatist fighters, the "Anti-Terrorist Operation." Ordinary citizens and combatants alike view it as an attempt to dehumanize them as a whole by grouping the entire population of the region in with likes of ISIS.

Interactions with several rebel rank-and-files and a briefing from two rebel officers reveal even less of an appetite for a way back into the Ukrainian fold. As one senior officer put it: "Ukraine is dead. It was killed on May 2 in Odessa." Questions regarding Russian involvement were met with scoffs—though one did admit that "[their] Russian brothers" did provide food supplies to the area.

... ... ...

Interestingly, the rebels seem to have a similar mindset to those U.S. Congressmen who overwhelmingly voted to supply Kiev with lethal military aid last week: that the remilitarization of the conflict is simply inevitable. One rebel commander said that he expects Kiev to launch a new major offensive "within a week" and added, matter-of-factly: "We are ready." And ready, he claims, for the long haul.

... ... ...

Yet it seems that the Washington establishment's (though, interestingly, it seems not the president's) preferred policy choice is to send lethal aid to Kiev because it is believed, no doubt sincerely, that a supply of javelin anti-tank missiles will somehow increase the number of Russian fatalities to such an extent that public opinion would turn against Putin—thereby forcing him to back down.

This is nothing more than a fantasy dressed up as a strategy because it attributes little to no agency on the part of the rebel fighters or, for that matter, the area's noncombatants. The simple, undeniable fact is that even if Russia was to be persuaded—via sanctions or via a significant uptick in military casualties — to wash its hands of the region, there is almost no chance that the indigenous military forces in the region would simply melt away. What is continuing to unfold in the Donbass — despite repeated protestations from Kiev's representatives in Washington — is a civil war between two groups with diametrically opposed visions for the future of their country. It is a civil war that also—given that each side has enormously powerful supporters—poses a genuinely grave risk to global security.

James Carden is a contributing editor for The National Interest.


Wow! Who is allowed to publish this article in the Western free press? Who allowed the journalist of National Interest go to Moscow and to Donetsk!? And what about the story about invisible Russian army? :-))) James Carden is real hero! :-))) Western press need 1 year for understanding of simple things...

Imba > Igor

Psst, don't scare them with your sarcasm. I'm sure author feels like a pioneer on Wild West, while writing such articles. You can scare him away and we will have to read again dull and boring articles about invasions, annexation, tattered economy, moscovites eating hedgehogs and so on.
Please respect him ;)

Dima Lauri > Imba

I am sure authors who does not accept the version of Washington will be soon labeled by "Putin troll", "Payed KGB agent", "Drunk/Stupid" or whatever verbal distortion.


a good article for a change. the Ukraine coup engineered by Washington was the worst event of Obama's administration, and may perhaps turn out to be worse that Bush jr's invasion of Iraq. Washington simply wants a war, cold or hot, to disconnect Europe from Russia. hopefully Europe, especially Germany and france, will rebel against Washington policy like they did the Chinese bank, averting a war among nuclear powers. but the issue is currently in doubt.

[May 23, 2015] George W. Bush didnt just lie about the Iraq War. What he did was much worse.

May 20, 2015 |

None of the conservatives running for president want to be associated with the last Republican president — not even his brother (for whom stepping away is rather complicated). After all, George W. Bush left office with an approval rating hovering in the low 30s, and his grandest project was the gigantic catastrophe of the Iraq War, which we're still dealing with and still debating. If you're a Republican right now you're no doubt wishing we could talk about something else, but failing that, you'd like the issue framed in a particular way: The war was an honest mistake, nobody lied to the public, and anything bad that's happening now is Barack Obama's fault.

For the moment I want to focus on the part about the lies. I've found over the years that conservatives who supported the war get particularly angry at the assertion that Bush lied us into war. No, they'll insist, it wasn't his fault: There was mistaken intelligence, he took that intelligence in good faith, and presented what he believed to be true at the time. It's the George Costanza defense: It's not a lie if you believe it.

Here's the problem, though. It might be possible, with some incredibly narrow definition of the word "lie," to say that Bush told only a few outright lies on Iraq. Most of what he said in order to sell the public on the war could be said to have some basis in something somebody thought or something somebody alleged (Bush was slightly more careful than Dick Cheney, who lied without hesitation or remorse). But if we reduce the question of Bush's guilt and responsibility to how many lies we can count, we miss the bigger picture.

What the Bush administration launched in 2002 and 2003 may have been the most comprehensive, sophisticated, and misleading campaign of government propaganda in American history. Spend too much time in the weeds, and you risk missing the hysterical tenor of the whole campaign.

That's not to say there aren't plenty of weeds. In 2008, the Center for Public Integrity completed a project in which they went over the public statements by eight top Bush administration officials on the topic of Iraq, and found that no fewer than 935 were false, including 260 statements by President Bush himself. But the theory on which the White House operated was that whether or not you could fool all of the people some of the time, you could certainly scare them out of their wits. That's what was truly diabolical about their campaign.

And it was a campaign. In the summer of 2002, the administration established something called the White House Iraq Group, through which Karl Rove and other communication strategists like Karen Hughes and Mary Matalin coordinated with policy officials to sell the public on the threat from Iraq in order to justify war. "The script had been finalized with great care over the summer," White House press secretary Scott McClellan later wrote, for a "campaign to convince Americans that war with Iraq was inevitable and necessary."

In that campaign, intelligence wasn't something to be understood and assessed by the administration in making their decisions, it was a propaganda tool to lead the public to the conclusion that the administration wanted. Again and again we saw a similar pattern: An allegation would bubble up from somewhere, some in the intelligence community would say that it could be true but others would say it was either speculation or outright baloney, but before you knew it the president or someone else was presenting it to the public as settled fact.

And each and every time the message was the same: If we didn't wage war, Iraq was going to attack the United States homeland with its enormous arsenal of ghastly weapons, and who knows how many Americans would perish. When you actually spell it out like that it sounds almost comical, but that was the Bush administration's assertion, repeated hundreds upon hundreds of time to a public still skittish in the wake of September 11. (Remember, the campaign for the war began less than a year after the September 11 attacks.)

Sometimes this message was imparted with specific false claims, sometimes with dark insinuation, and sometimes with speculation about the horrors to come ("We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud," said Bush and others when asked about the thinness of much of their evidence). Yet the conclusion was always the same: The only alternative to invading Iraq was waiting around to be killed. I could pick out any of a thousand quotes, but here's just one, from a radio address Bush gave on September 28, 2002:

The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons, is rebuilding the facilities to make more and, according to the British government, could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given. The regime has long-standing and continuing ties to terrorist groups, and there are al Qaeda terrorists inside Iraq. This regime is seeking a nuclear bomb, and with fissile material could build one within a year.

What wasn't utterly false in that statement was disingenuous at best. But if there was anything that marked the campaign, it was its certainty. There was seldom any doubt expressed or admitted, seldom any hint that the information we had was incomplete, speculative, and the matter of fevered debate amongst intelligence officials. But that's what was going on beneath the administration's sales job.

The intelligence wasn't "mistaken," as the Bush administration's defenders would have us believe today. The intelligence was a mass of contradictions and differing interpretations. The administration picked out the parts that they wanted — supported, unsupported, plausible, absurd, it didn't matter — and used them in their campaign to turn up Americans' fear.

This is one of the many sins for which Bush and those who supported him ought to spend a lifetime atoning. He looked out at the American public and decided that the way to get what he wanted was to terrify them. If he could convince them that any day now their children would die a horrible death, that they and everything they knew would be turned to radioactive ash, and that the only chance of averting this fate was to say yes to him, then he could have his war. Lies were of no less value than truth, so long as they both created enough fear.

And it worked.

[May 23, 2015] The Failures of Putin's Ukraine Strategy

Neocons are always neocons... They are becoming more reckless with time. The key problem for Washington with Russia position (which is no doubt pretty costly for Russia itself) is that it enable and encourage to say No to Washington's demands other countries making geopolitical domination for the USA a lot more costly. Something like small scale revolt against the USA post-war domination. It also catalyze economic ties of Russia and China (and by extension other BRICs members), making the situation with dollar as world reserve currency and status of IMF more fuzzy...
May 23, 2015 | The American Interest
Nevertheless, Russia failed to deliver the knockout blow last spring, allowing Kyiv to recover and establish firm control throughout most of the country, even its Russophone portions. Moscow retains the military upper hand as the two countries settle into a protracted stalemate in the Donbass, but the Kremlin's strategy must take into account a number of factors that bode ill for Russia in the longer run.

Ukraine has stumbled upon a most improbable ally—Saudi Arabia. In a stark example of the law of unintended consequences, the Russian economy has sustained heavy collateral damage from the Saudi campaign against North American shale-oil production (and secondarily, against Iran). The war of attrition in the Donbass is in large measure hostage to the economic war of attrition in the Bakken formation. This situation, unanticipated by Russia (or anyone else, to be fair) when it invaded Ukraine, appears likely to depress energy prices for years to come, sapping the strength of Russia's economy and hence the country's ability to wage war. A major cataclysm in the Middle East could turn energy prices around, of course, but it is instructive that oil prices have plummeted even in the face of Islamist depredations in Iraq and chronic chaos in Libya—and the loosening of sanctions on Iran would bring even more oil and gas onto the market.

If the Saudi factor was unforeseeable, the Western response to the invasion of Ukraine appears to represent an actual miscalculation by Moscow. The Kremlin no doubt expected something akin to the reaction over Georgia in 2008—some harsh Western rhetoric, a few pro forma sanctions, and, six months later, a proffered reset button and the resumption of business as usual. Instead, Western governments have imposed fairly extensive sanctions and have thus far stuck to them. Sanctions against individuals are largely symbolic, but restrictions on lending are a genuine hardship to Russian companies, especially in the current economic downturn.

The Kremlin has naturally responded with a variety of tactics to undermine Western unity and determination. Above all, Moscow has tried to demonize the United States and present Europe as a co-victim of sanctions imposed by Washington. The Maidan, in the Kremlin's creative retelling, was not about Ukrainian disgust with corruption or a yearning for European standards, but was just cynical American manipulation in order to strike a blow against Russia. The Russian narrative about the U.S. puppet master, of course, glosses over the enormous role played by Europeans in nurturing Ukrainian institutions and civil society over the years, and the influence on Ukrainians of the sheer example set by the transformation of Ukraine's erstwhile socialist neighbors. If Poles, Balts and Romanians can enjoy a modicum of prosperity and good governance by joining Europe, then why shouldn't Ukrainians move in the same direction?

... ... ...

Besides vilifying Washington as the bogeyman, Moscow is understandably hard at work mobilizing any and all European governments and groups that can be used to undermine sanctions. Putin has found a worthy acolyte in Hungary's Viktor Orbán, the man who would be Magyarbashi, and can count on a degree of sympathy from a variety of European leaders ranging from Slovakia's Robert Fico to the new Syriza government in Greece. However, Putin has struck out completely with the individual who matters more than any other: Angela Merkel. If there were any question about the impact of individuals on the course of history, one need only ponder how different the European reaction to Russia's invasion of Ukraine would be if Gerhard Schröder were sitting in the German chancellor's office rather than on the board of Gazprom.

Besides working sympathetic European leaders, Moscow has also cultivated a motley array of right- and left-wing extremists, people often of diametrically opposed political orientations united only by their hatred of Washington and Brussels. However, even where such groups attract a stable portion of their national electorates and can reasonably aspire to enter governing coalitions, they tend to have only a marginal influence on policy, particularly foreign policy. Electoral surprises can happen, of course, but Moscow is unlikely to see much return on its investment in these European groups.

... ... ...

[May 21, 2015] Militarization Is More Than Tanks Rifles It's a Cultural Disease, Acclimating Citizens To Life In A Police State

May 21, 2015 | Zero Hedge
Submitted by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

"If we're training cops as soldiers, giving them equipment like soldiers, dressing them up as soldiers, when are they going to pick up the mentality of soldiers? If you look at the police department, their creed is to protect and to serve. A soldier's mission is to engage his enemy in close combat and kill him. Do we want police officers to have that mentality? Of course not."

— Arthur Rizer, former civilian police officer and member of the military

Talk about poor timing. Then again, perhaps it's brilliant timing.

Only nowafter the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security (DHS) and Defense have passed off billions of dollars worth of military equipment to local police forces, after police agencies have been trained in the fine art of war, after SWAT team raids have swelled in number to more than 80,000 a year, after it has become second nature for local police to look and act like soldiers, after communities have become acclimated to the presence of militarized police patrolling their streets, after Americans have been taught compliance at the end of a police gun or taser, after lower income neighborhoods have been transformed into war zones, after hundreds if not thousands of unarmed Americans have lost their lives at the hands of police who shoot first and ask questions later, after a whole generation of young Americans has learned to march in lockstep with the government's dictatesonly now does President Obama lift a hand to limit the number of military weapons being passed along to local police departments.

Not all, mind you, just some.

Talk about too little, too late.

Months after the White House defended a federal program that distributed $18 billion worth of military equipment to local police, Obama has announced that he will ban the federal government from providing local police departments with tracked armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft and vehicles, bayonets, grenade launchers, camouflage uniforms and large-caliber firearms.

Obama also indicated that less heavy-duty equipment (armored vehicles, tactical vehicles, riot gear and specialized firearms and ammunition) will reportedly be subject to more regulations such as local government approval, and police being required to undergo more training and collect data on the equipment's use. Perhaps hoping to sweeten the deal, the Obama administration is also offering $163 million in taxpayer-funded grants to "incentivize police departments to adopt the report's recommendations."

While this is a grossly overdue first step of sorts, it is nevertheless a first step from an administration that has been utterly complicit in accelerating the transformation of America's police forces into extensions of the military. Indeed, as investigative journalist Radley Balko points out, while the Obama administration has said all the right things about the need to scale back on a battlefield mindset, it has done all the wrong things to perpetuate the problem:

It remains to be seen whether this overture on Obama's part, coming in the midst of heightened tensions between the nation's police forces and the populace they're supposed to protect, opens the door to actual reform or is merely a political gambit to appease the masses all the while further acclimating the populace to life in a police state.

Certainly, on its face, it does nothing to ease the misery of the police state that has been foisted upon us. In fact, Obama's belated gesture of concern does little to roll back the deadly menace of overzealous police agencies corrupted by money, power and institutional immunity. And it certainly fails to recognize the terrible toll that has been inflicted on our communities, our fragile ecosystem of a democracy, and our freedoms as a result of the government's determination to bring the war home.

Will the young black man guilty of nothing more than running away from brutish police officers be any safer in the wake of Obama's edict? It's unlikely.

Will the old man reaching for his cane have a lesser chance of being shot? It's doubtful.

Will the little girl asleep under her princess blanket live to see adulthood when a SWAT team crashes through her door? I wouldn't count on it.

It's a safe bet that our little worlds will be no safer following Obama's pronouncement and the release of his "Task Force on 21st Century Policing" report. In fact, there is a very good chance that life in the American police state will become even more perilous.

Among the report's 50-page list of recommendations is a call for more police officer boots on the ground, training for police "on the importance of de-escalation of force," and "positive non-enforcement activities" in high-crime communities to promote trust in the police such as sending an ice cream truck across the city.

Curiously, nowhere in the entire 120-page report is there a mention of the Fourth Amendment, which demands that the government respect citizen privacy and bodily integrity. The Constitution is referenced once, in the Appendix, in relation to Obama's authority as president. And while the word "constitutional" is used 15 times within the body of the report, its use provides little assurance that the Obama administration actually understands the clear prohibitions against government overreach as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

For instance, in the section of the report on the use of technology and social media, the report notes: "Though all constitutional guidelines must be maintained in the performance of law enforcement duties, the legal framework (warrants, etc.) should continue to protect law enforcement access to data obtained from cell phones, social media, GPS, and other sources, allowing officers to detect, prevent, or respond to crime."

Translation: as I document in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the new face of policing in America is about to shift from waging its war on the American people using primarily the weapons of the battlefield to the evermore-sophisticated technology of the battlefield where government surveillance of our everyday activities will be even more invasive.

This emphasis on technology, surveillance and social media is nothing new. In much the same way the federal government used taxpayer-funded grants to "gift" local police agencies with military weapons and equipment, it is also funding the distribution of technology aimed at making it easier for police to monitor, track and spy on Americans. For instance, license plate readers, stingray devices and fusion centers are all funded by grants from the DHS. Funding for drones at the state and local levels also comes from the federal government, which in turn accesses the data acquired by the drones for its own uses.

If you're noticing a pattern here, it is one in which the federal government is not merely transforming local police agencies into extensions of itself but is in fact federalizing them, turning them into a national police force that answers not to "we the people" but to the Commander in Chief. Yet the American police force is not supposed to be a branch of the military, nor is it a private security force for the reigning political faction. It is supposed to be an aggregation of the countless local civilian units that exist for a sole purpose: to serve and protect the citizens of each and every American community.

So where does that leave us?

There's certainly no harm in embarking on a national dialogue on the dangers of militarized police, but if that's all it amounts to—words that sound good on paper and in the press but do little to actually respect our rights and restore our freedoms—then we're just playing at politics with no intention of actually bringing about reform.

Despite the Obama Administration's lofty claims of wanting to "ensure that public safety becomes more than the absence of crime, that it must also include the presence of justice," this is the reality we must contend with right now:

Americans still have no real protection against police abuse. Americans still have no right to self-defense in the face of SWAT teams mistakenly crashing through our doors, or police officers who shoot faster than they can reason. Americans are still no longer innocent until proven guilty. Americans still don't have a right to private property. Americans are still powerless in the face of militarized police. Americans still don't have a right to bodily integrity. Americans still don't have a right to the expectation of privacy. Americans are still being acclimated to a police state through the steady use and sight of military drills domestically, a heavy militarized police presence in public places and in the schools, and a taxpayer-funded propaganda campaign aimed at reassuring the public that the police are our "friends." And to top it all off, Americans still can't rely on the courts, Congress or the White House to mete out justice when our rights are violated by police.

To sum it all up: the problems we're grappling with have been building for more than 40 years. They're not going to go away overnight, and they certainly will not be resolved by a report that instructs the police to simply adopt different tactics to accomplish the same results—i.e., maintain the government's power, control and wealth at all costs.

This is the sad reality of life in the American police state.

[May 21, 2015]Making the World Less Safe

May 21, 2015 | The Unz Review
Currently the United States is assisting Ukraine against Russia by providing some non-lethal military equipment as well as limited training for Kiev's army. It has balked at getting more involved in the conflict, rightly so. With that in mind, I had a meeting with a delegation of Ukrainian parliamentarians and government officials a couple of weeks ago. I tried to explain to them why many Americans are wary of helping them by providing lethal, potentially game changing military assistance in what Kiev sees as a struggle to regain control of Crimea and other parts of their country from militias that are clearly linked to Moscow. I argued that while Washington should be sympathetic to Ukraine's aspirations it has no actual horse in the race, that the imperative for bilateral relations with Russia, which is the only nation on earth that can attack and destroy the United States, is that they be stable and that all channels for communication remain open.

I also observed that the negative perception of Washington-driven democracy promotion around the world has been in part shaped by the actual record on interventions since 2001, which has not been positive. Each exercise of the military option has wound up creating new problems, like the mistaken policies in Libya, Iraq and Syria, all of which have produced instability and a surge in terrorism. I noted that the U.S. does not need to bring about a new Cold War by trying to impose democratic norms in Eastern Europe but should instead be doing all in its power to encourage a reasonable rapprochement between Moscow and Kiev. Providing weapons or other military support to Ukraine would only cause the situation to escalate, leading to a new war by proxies in Eastern Europe that could rapidly spread to other regions.

The Ukrainians were not buying any of that. Their point of view is that Russia is seeking to revive the Soviet Union and will inevitably turn on the Baltic States and Poland, so it is necessary to stop evil dictator Vladimir Putin now. They inevitably produced the Hitler analogy, citing the example of 1938 and Munich as well as the subsequent partition of Poland in 1939 to make their case. When I asked what the United States would gain by intervening they responded that in return for military assistance, Washington will have a good and democratic friend in Ukraine which will serve as a bulwark against further Russian expansion.

I explained that Russia does not have the economic or military resources to dominate Eastern Europe and its ambitions appear to be limited to establishing a sphere of influence that includes "protection" for some adjacent areas that are traditionally Russian and inhabited by ethnic Russians. Crimea is, unfortunately, one such region that was actually directly governed by Moscow between 1783 and 1954 and it is also militarily vitally important to Moscow as it is the home of the Black Sea Fleet. I did not point that out to excuse Russian behavior but only to suggest that Moscow does have an argument to make, particularly as the United States has been meddling in Eastern Europe, including Ukraine where it has "invested" $5 billion, since the Clinton Administration.

I argued that if resurgent Russian nationalism actually endangered the United States there would be a case to be made for constricting Moscow by creating an alliance of neighbors that would be able to help contain any expansion, but even the hawks in the U.S. Congress are neither prepared nor able to demonstrate a genuine threat. Fear of the expansionistic Soviet Union after 1945 was indeed the original motivation for creating NATO. But the reality is that Russia is only dangerous if the U.S. succeeds in backing it into a corner where it will begin to consider the kind of disruption that was the norm during the Cold War or even some kind of nuclear response or demonstration. If one is focused on U.S. interests globally Russia has actually been a responsible player, helping in the Middle East and also against international terrorism.

So there was little to agree on apart from the fact that the Ukrainians have a right to have a government they choose for themselves and also to defend themselves. And we Americans have in the Ukrainians yet another potential client state that wants our help. In return we would have yet another dependency whose concerns have to be regarded when formulating our foreign policy. One can sympathize with the plight of the Ukrainians but it is not up to Washington to fix the world or to go around promoting democracy as a potential solution to pervasive regional political instability.

Obviously a discussion based on what are essentially conflicting interests will ultimately go nowhere and so it did in this case, but it did raise the issue of why Washington's relationship with Moscow is so troubled, particularly as it need not be so. Regarding Ukraine and associated issues, Washington's approach has been stick-and-carrot with the emphasis on the stick through the imposition of painful sanctions and meaningless though demeaning travel bans. I would think that reversing that formulation to emphasize rewards would actually work better as today's Russia is actually a relatively new nation in terms of its institutions and suffers from insecurity about its place in the world and the respect that it believes it is entitled to receive.

Russia recently celebrated the 70 th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe. The celebration was boycotted by the United States and by many Western European nations in protest over Russian interference in Ukraine. I don't know to what extent Obama has any knowledge of recent history, but the Russians were the ones who were most instrumental in the defeat of Nazi Germany, losing 27 million citizens in the process. It would have been respectful for President Obama or Secretary of State John Kerry to travel to Moscow for the commemoration and it would likely have produced a positive result both for Ukraine and also to mitigate the concern that a new Cold War might be developing. But Obama chose to stay home as punishment for Putin, which I think was a bad choice suggesting that he is being strongly influenced by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the other neocons who seem to have retained considerable power in his administration.

And I also would note a couple of other bad choices made during the past several weeks. The Trans-Pacific multilateral trade agreement that is currently working its way through Congress and is being aggressively promoted by the White House might be great for business though it may or may not be good for the American worker, which, based on previous agreements, is a reasonable concern. But what really disturbs me is the Obama explanation of why the pact is important. Obama told a crowd gathered outside the Nike footwear company in Oregon that the deal is necessary because "if we don't write the rules, China will…"

Fear of the Yellow Peril might indeed be legitimate but it would be difficult to make the case that an internally troubled China is seeking to dominate the Pacific. If it attempts to do so, it would face strong resistance from the Japanese, Vietnamese, Filipinos and Koreans among others. But what is bothersome to me and probably also to many in the Asian audience is that Obama takes as a given that he will be able to "write the rules." This is American hubris writ large and I am certain that many who are thereby designated to follow Washington's lead are as offended by it as I am. Bad move Barack.

And finally there is Iran as an alleged state sponsor of terrorism. President Obama claims that he is working hard to achieve a peaceful settlement of the alleged threat posed by Iran's nuclear program. But if that is so why does he throw obstacles irrelevant to an agreement out to make the Iranian government more uncomfortable and therefore unwilling or unable to compromise? In an interview with Arabic newspaper Asharq al-Awsat Obama called Tehran a terrorism supporter, stating that "it [Iran] props up the Assad regime in Syria. It supports Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. It aids the Houthi rebels in Yemen so countries in the region are rights to be deeply concerned…" I understand that the interview was designed to reassure America's friends in the Gulf that the United States shares their concerns and will continue to support them but the timing would appear to be particularly unfortunate.

The handling of Russia, China and Iran all exemplify the essential dysfunction in American foreign policy. The United States should have a mutually respectful relationship with Russia, ought to accept that China is an adversary but not necessarily an enemy unless we make it so and it should also finally realize that an agreement with Iran is within its grasp as long as Washington does not overreach. It is not clear that any of that is well understood and one has to wonder precisely what kind of advice Obama is receiving when fails to understand the importance of Russia, insists on "writing the rules" for Asia, and persists in throwing around the terrorist label. If the past fifteen years have taught us anything it is that the "Washington as the international arbiter model" is not working. Obama should wake up to that reality before Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush arrives on the scene to make everything worse.

Tom Welsh, May 19, 2015 at 7:02 am GMT • 100 Words

All of this misses the point, IMHO. There is really no need to explain that Russia has no plans to conquer Europe, China has no plans to take over the Pacific, etc. Anyone with a little historical knowledge and some common sense can see that plainly. What is happening is that the USA has overweening aspirations to control (and then suck dry) the entire world – and Europe, Russia and China are next on its hit list.

So it naturally accuses those nations of aspiring to what it plans to do. Standard operating procedure.

The Priss Factor, May 19, 2015 at 7:19 am GMT • 100 Words

"The Ukrainians were not buying any of that. Their point of view is that Russia is seeking to revive the Soviet Union and will inevitably turn on the Baltic States and Poland, so it is necessary to stop evil dictator Vladimir Putin now."

I can understand Ukrainian animus against Russia due to history and ethnic tensions.

But that is ridiculous. They can't possibly believe it. I think they're repeating Neocon talking points to persuade American that the fate of the world is at stake.
It's really just a local affair.

And Crimea would still belong to Ukraine if the crazies in Ukraine hadn't conspired with Neocons like Nuland to subvert and overthrow the regime.

[May 19, 2015]The New Lie About Iraq

May 19, 2015 | The American Conservative
The newest lie about the Iraq war is that the truth about Iraq was not known before the American attack in 2003. One needs only to search for "lies about Iraq" to see all the many links explaining evidence from before the war started that showed the Bush/Cheney/neoconservative claims to be false.

That false narrative is important to know because many of the same people are now promoting war with Iran, as they were before with Syria. Republican candidates are also stumbling over the question of whether they would have invaded Iraq because it undermines their present, ongoing promotion of an interventionist foreign policy.

Take just one example of such a false claim, which even reached Bush's 2003 State of the Union address to Congress: "Saddam has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production." It was a lie from the beginning. Bush had been informed that the Department of Energy and State Department intelligence had analyzed the tubes and found them to be useless for a nuclear program, rather being for conventional rockets.

I was very active in reporting on the lies, writing at the time for, which every day had articles, news reports, and analyses exposing the misinformation. An article I wrote in 2002, well before the war started, "Eight Washington Lies About Iraq," was at the top of a Google search for lies for 7 years. Even today it explains, with links, many of the lies made.

Iraq's weaknesses were in fact easy to comprehend after nearly nine years of U.S. economic blockade following the First Gulf War. Iraq had been decimated by American bombing of its electricity, sanitation, irrigation, and transportation systems. Almost every bridge was destroyed. A half-million Iraqi children had died of starvation and disease. It was also subject to United Nations (read American) inspectors going all over the country to verify that it was conforming to earlier UN demands for destruction of its nuclear and chemical warfare facilities.

All Americans should be reminded again and again that recent wars were based on lies. The First Gulf War was sold to Americans on the basis of the murder of "incubator babies" and an imaginary Iraqi threat to invade Saudi Arabia, including the assertion that satellite photographs showed the Iraqi Army massed on the Saudi border. The "classified" photos never existed. The Kosovo War was based on reports that 100,000 Kosovan Albanians had been murdered by Serbs, so America had to attack so as to stop the mass killing. It was also a lie.

Today, when all the Republican candidates are being pressured by right-wing media and neoconservative money men to sound (and be) hawkish, Americans should recall how most of Washington's establishment lied to promote past wars. Wars mean billions of dollars for key congressional districts' arms producers, millions of rapt viewers for 24-7 cable news, lots of TV time for think-tank chicken hawks,, new jobs for "contractors," more growth for the "surveillance state." There's also the Israel Lobby and Christian Zionists. All In all that is a pretty formidable force for war.

All Americans should be aware and suspicious of again being panicked into supporting more wars.

Jake, May 19, 2015 at 1:43 pm

I read your article 'Eight Washington Lies About Iraq' when it was first posted. I sent the link to several 'conservative' friends who wanted war, not because they were Christian Zionists (I felt that grouyp was hopeless on the subject), but because they feared what 9/11 meant and knew only what TV news and the hakcs leading the parties told them.

None of them changed their minds about being for a war to kill Saddam Hussien and remake the Middle East. A couple of them gloated when the victory seemed so easy. Not one of them has told me that I was correct all along.

The crowd that wants to land trooops in Syria and Iran will tel any lie to get its wish. It knows that the people hodwinked before will tend to flal for another snow job, because they do not want to havce been wrong the first time.

JohnG, May 19, 2015 at 2:26 pm

Thank you for this refreshing and to-the-point article, this combination of intelligence, competence, and integrity is why I support TAC. Sadly, when it comes to our foreign policy "elites" (of course, the term is a stretch), precisely the opposite is the case, a stunning combination of stupidity, ignorance, and crookedness wherever one looks.

May I just add that the lies stretch to before the Kosovo war in the Balkans? The persistent demonizing and periodic bombings of the Serbs (in what are now Croatia and Bosnia) probably ended up giving us Putin in Kremlin and a region that will probably keep exploding in the future. And, by the way, watch out for what is about to happen in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

I believe that the unique historical opportunity for a more just, democratic, and peaceful world was actually squandered under Bill Clinton, with all the nonsense that was done in the Balkans and the de facto preparation of the confrontation with Iraq (remember Madeleine Albright's famous statement?). George Bush's war was just a continuation, and WMDs just an excuse that the cakewalk crowd thought would be irrelevant/forgotten as soon as the Iraqis started to throw flowers on American tanks.

The war was a gambit by a political class believing that it could use its powerful military to rule the world by controlling its supply of oil. And, gee, they discovered that it's a pretty big & messy world out there, surprise! They can't rule Afghanistan alone, anyone half-familiar with the history of that region could have told them that. So now we are busy talking about "what we knew" and "based on what we knew" hypothetical nonsense just to cover some dumb, arrogant, and dishonest asses rather than simply firing them all, from the media, State Dept., etc.

Fran Macadam, May 19, 2015 at 4:16 pm

On TAC there is much handwringing about the decline of Christian influence in America and the loss of faith generally. President Bush was the poster boy for evangelical Christianity, yet both lied and was manipulated by the unscrupulous, ordering torture and assassination. So the wars turned out badly for average folk, though those allied with Cheney of whatever political stripe profited handsomely. We lose, they win. The neocons are immune to loss of public faith, rather they enjoy full support of donorist elites who buy our democratically unaccountable politicians and get just the wars they continue to want.

As in Europe after the huge losses of World War I, which almost every church supported, there was a great loss of faith. American churchianity, as Dwight Eisenhower put it, is a thoroughly civil religion that supports state aims. He explained that it was built on faith and it mattered not at all which one it was. When the church allies itself with disreputable state actors, some of them Christians in retrospect so obviously dunderheaded, what evaluation will a disillusioned public make of the church's credibility? It won't be disbelief in the miracles that causes the falling away, but the mendacious and supplicating justifications that had no resemblance whatsoever to "Just War" and were in reality against every teaching of Jesus. Thus the church's prophetic role of speaking truth to power in America died.

[May 19, 2015]Why Soldiers Lie

May 18, 2015 | The American Conservative
Since the year began I have had opportunities to visit several American military units and schools. What I found was encouraging. A growing number of officers and staff NCOs accept the painful fact that we have lost two wars. They know we need to change if we are not to lose more. Finally, they have come to understand that their services' senior leaders, their top generals, do not much care about winning or losing. To them, military defeat is irrelevant because the money keeps flowing. The only war the generals care about is the budget war.

The senior military leadership is facing a crisis of legitimacy and does not know it. As one Marine officer put it to me, the generals seem divorced from reality, powerless, and risk-averse. The problem is less what they do than what they do not do, namely address the reasons for our defeats. The dissatisfaction with the senior leadership is coming not only from junior officers. I found it now goes up to the ranks of lieutenant colonel and even colonel.

Nor is the evidence merely anecdotal. The U.S. Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute in February published a study by two of its faculty members, Leonard Wong and Stephen J. Gerras, Lying to Ourselves: Dishonesty in the Army Profession. Its conclusion, that many Army officers routinely lie to "the system," is no surprise to anyone who knows our military. (The phenomenon runs across service lines.) What is more interesting is the study's finding as to the cause of institutionalized lying: "the suffocating amount of mandatory requirements imposed upon units and commanders."

Who imposes this burden? Mostly the generals, who appear neither to know nor to care that they are laying on more training and reporting requirements than there is time to meet. Their only concern is covering their own rears. Unable to do as ordered and unwilling to risk their careers by telling their superiors the truth, officers deal with the problem by lying.

The study's authors do not mince words:

The Army as a profession speaks of values, integrity, and honor. The Army as an organization practices zero defects, pencil-whipping, and checking the box. Army leaders are situated between the two identities—parroting the talking points of the latest Army Profession Campaign while placating the Army bureaucracy or civilian overseers by telling them what they want to hear. As a result, Army leaders learn to talk of one world while living in another. A major described the current trend:

'It's getting to the point where you're almost rewarded for being somebody you're not. That's a dangerous situation especially now as we downsize. We're creating an environment where everything is too rosy because everyone is afraid to paint the true picture. You just wonder when it will break, when it will fall apart.'

The larger problem, again, is less what the generals do than what they do not do. They preside smugly over a cluster of institutional disasters, like so many Soviet industrial managers—which is what most of them are.

Angry officers demanding change provide one wing of a potential new military-reform movement, one that might succeed where that of the 1970s and '80s failed. But success requires tying demands for reform to the services' budgets, which is all the senior generals care about. The earlier reform movement got generals interested in Third Generation maneuver warfare because senators and congressmen who voted on the defense budget were talking about it on the House and Senate floors. Whence might come this second arm of a political pincer movement under today's conditions?

Far more than was true 35 years ago, legislation is now for sale, for the legalized bribes we call "campaign contributions." Business as usual in defense has vast amounts of money to give to members of Congress. Military reform can offer none. That usually means "end of story" on Capitol Hill.

But there is one possibility. The House now has a number of members who served in Iraq or Afghanistan. Having seen today's military from the inside, some of them will know its weaknesses. They might put loyalty to their former comrades above payoffs. If they were to reach out to those still serving who are tired of losing, they could create the "inside/outside" nexus that made the earlier reform movement powerful for a time.

Money may still win in the end. If so, our problem will be larger than more lost cabinet wars. A republic whose government is for sale will not be a republic much longer. Or, perhaps, a state.

William S. Lind is author of the Maneuver Warfare Handbook and director of the American Conservative Center for Public Transportation.

[May 19, 2015] Why this Ukrainian 'revolution' may be doomed, too

At home, there is the possibility of more protests, a paralyzed government, and the rise of politicians seeking accommodation with Putin. "Slow and unsuccessful reforms are a bigger existential threat than the Russian aggression," said Oleksiy Melnyk, a security expert at Kiev's Razumkov Center. Even if Ukrainians don't return to the street, they'll get a chance to voice their discontent at the ballot box. Local elections are due in the fall — and the governing coalition between Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is so shaky that nobody can rule out an early parliamentary vote.

In its international relations, Ukraine is living on borrowed time — and money. A dispute over restructuring $23 billion in debt broke into the open last week with the Finance Ministry accusing foreign creditors of not negotiating in good faith ahead of a June deadline. An EU summit this week is likely to end in more disappointment, as Western European countries are reluctant to grant Ukrainians visa-free travel.

Kiev has become an accidental, burdensome ally to the West. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization only paid lip service to future Ukrainian membership, while the EU, which never had any intention of taking in Ukraine, pushed an association agreement out of bureaucratic habit more than strategic vision.

... ... ...

The least charitably inclined claim that Poroshenko prosecuted the war in eastern Ukraine as a way of delaying reform. What's undeniable is that the shaky ceasefire leaves the Kiev government at the mercy of Putin and his proxies. Should anything start going right for Poroshenko, the fighting could flare back up at any moment.

Ukrainian security officials say that the enemy forces gathering in the separatist regions are at their highest capability yet. The most alarming observation is that the once ragtag band of rebels — backed up by regular Russian troops in critical battles — is increasingly looking like a real army thanks to weapons and training provided by Russia.

... ... ...

Everybody in Kiev understands that there's no way of reconquering lost territory by force. Ukrainian politicians publicly pledge to win back breakaway regions through reform and economic success. What they hope for is that sanctions will cause enough problems inside Russia that the Kremlin will run out of resources to sabotage Ukraine. Wishful thinking won't replace the painful reforms ahead.

[May 19, 2015] US Taxpayer On The Hook As Ukraine Prepares Moratorium On Debt Repayments, Increases Military Spending

Zero Hedge
It appears, thanks to the generous backing of US taxpayers, Ukraine is about to get its cake and eat it too. On the same day as Ukraine's government unleashes a bill enabling a moratorium on foreign debt repayments - implicitly meaning default "in case of an attack from dishonest lenders" - the defense ministry unveils a plan to increase military spending by 17 billion hryvnia this year statuing that will "make efforts to find possibilities to finance needs" to secure country's defense. Ukraine bonds are tumbling.

Military Spending is set to surge...

10 agencies, including Defense Ministry, that oversee defense and law enforcement asked Finance Ministry to increase defense spending by 17b hryvnia this yr, ministry in Kiev says on its website.

Finance Ministry will "make efforts to find possibilities to finance needs" to secure country's defense.

Higher spending is needed because of increased army personnel.

But foreign debtors are set to lose... (as RT reports)

Ukraine's government has submitted to parliament a bill that allows the introduction of a moratorium on foreign debt payments. The moratorium is to protect the assets of the state and the state sector in case of an "attack" from dishonest lenders.

"To protect the interests of the Ukrainian people, the Ukrainian government today has introduced to the Rada a bill that would give the government the right to suspend payment on Ukraine's external debts and publicly guaranteed debts. In case of an attack from dishonest lenders on Ukraine this moratorium will protect the assets of the state and the state sector," a statement on the Cabinet website said Tuesday.

The moratorium "will not affect domestic payments and will not affect the stability of the banking system," the UNIAN news agency said citing s source. In also said the moratorium does not include debt to the IMF, the EBRD and other institutional creditors.

The Cabinet said the moratorium will not affect the bilateral and multilateral obligations of Kiev.

And Ukraine bonds are tumbling...

Specifcally (as Bloomberg reports),

The eastern European nation is seeking permission to hold off on paying coupons, the first of which coming due is a May 21 payment of $33 million on a $1 billion note maturing in November 2016, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Ukraine said cutting its debt burden is a question of justice, according to an e-mailed statement on Tuesday.

"This is a logical next step to show people they are serious," Dray Simpson, the London-based managing director of emerging markets at Cantor Fitzgerald Europe, said by e-mail on Tuesday. "Up to now there has been a lot of talk and very little action and any confrontations have been won by creditors. If Ukraine are going to reverse that trend they need to be firm."

Time is running out for the country and its bondholders to reach an agreement as a June 15 International Monetary Fund deadline for the restructuring approaches. Failure to strike a deal puts the next tranche of a $17.5 billion IMF loan at risk for Ukraine as it struggles to keep the economy afloat following a yearlong conflict with pro-Russian separatists in the nation's east.


Funny, Nuland actually in Russia!

"A visit to Moscow by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland is a sign that relations between Russia and the United States may be improving, the Kremlin said on Monday.

Nuland's trip comes days after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Asked if Nuland's visit was a sign of improving ties, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: "Yes, when President Putin was meeting with Minister Lavrov and Secretary of State Kerry ... it was mentioned that a closer dialogue ... was needed."

Nuland, who was holding talks in Moscow with two Russian deputy foreign ministers, has been strongly criticized in Russia in the past over her support for pro-democracy activists in Kiev during mass street protests that toppled Ukraine's pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovich in February 2014.

Nuland was expected to explore ways of bolstering a fragile ceasefire in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists and of implementing other aspects of a peace agreement forged in Minsk several months ago.

Russia blames the crisis in Ukraine on what it sees as heavy-handed meddling by the United States in a region Moscow has traditionally seen as its sphere of influence.

The West, in turn, accuses Russia of backing the separatists with weapons and troops, charges Moscow denies. More than 6,100 people have been killed in the conflict since April 2014.

The Ukraine crisis has plunged relations between Russia and the West into their worst crisis since the end of the Cold War, but the United States needs Russian cooperation to tackle a host of other global issues including Iran and the Syrian conflict."

Maybe she brought some cookies with her too.

I bet she feels like a fat stupid cunt with egg on her face. I wonder if the Russians could keep from laughing at her. Another AmeriKan fantasist, operating from the playbook in her head, where reality only intrudes sporadically, usually with the aid of a monster vibrator ya gotta kickstart.

Looks like a bunch of sissy twats saw the V-Day parade in Moscow and realized the Russians weren't fucking around.

Yet another source of victimhood for Nudelman.
Oh this is also Soros, Crown-Krinsky, Bloomturd, the Neo Cons like McCain and Neo Liberals like Schumer.

The US Govt is totally Z-evil and Z-owed.

Anglo Hondo

"moratorium on foreign debt repayments". Is this what Greece should be doing? And why not?


It is also holding two Russian ex military who are apparently being brutally tortured.

It has reneged on Minsk 2.

It has resumed shelling on Denesk civilans killing anf injuring.

Where is the outrage in the Western media?

The west has now lost any moral authority it may ever have had.

Its a bully, a liar, murderous and thieving, pouring out propaganda and poison.

That we have sunk to that?

Most of the third world is better than this.

Winston of Oceania

Funny they did not mention quitting the Russian special forces when questioned and are being visited by the Red Cross...


Russian special forces using a rifle? Sure.


ZH is behind on this: the US has given up on their Ukranian military adventure.

Mike Masr

Thanks to "Fuck the EU" Nuland and Obama's neocon pals, in the Ukraine we have another Iraq and Libya on our hands! This time ISIS hasn't taken over but Banderist Nazi's. And this time we are openly committing US tax dollars to fund the evil fucking jerks.

On February 22nd, 2014, Euromaidan kicked out not only a democratically-elected president, but a democratically-elected government. It waited three months before holding elections for a new president and 8 months for parliamentary elections. By that time the extremist Dmitry Yarosh Nazi element had already taken a stake way beyond electoral control – neo-Nazi Svoboda Party, despite scoring less than 5% in the parliamentary elections sits in the Ukraine's parliament and regularly sends fighters to the front. The leader of the neo-Nazi terrorist group Pravy Sektor Dmitry Yarosh who polled less than 1% in the presidential election and on Interpol's wanted list is now an official aide to to the Ukrainian military.

The Ukraine is DEAD and there is absolutely nothing that the US Government can do to change this.

And, we are now doing a rerun of Ukraine's Maidan in Macedonia to stop Gazprom's Turkish Stream project! More US Tax dollars hard at work!!!


Donetsk heroes victory parade with Motorola (1:20) and Givi (at 2:09). Zakarchenko was there as well.

Compare thesse heroes to NeoCons like McCain who with his dad killed more American sailors on the USS Forrestal and USS Liberty than the Russians ever did. The Russians were the first to arrive on scene to try to save dying sailors on the USS Liberty. McCain's old man and zip LBJ told F4 Phantoms to return to carriers and sailed SLOW to the aid of the USS Liberty hoping all survivors were dead.

My only complaint with Donetsk (DPR), LPR and Russia - get rid of that Stalin and communist imagery. Stalin was a mass murderer Georgian and stooge along with Lenin. They both worked for the Bolsheviks of the New York City, london and German bankster red sheild zios plus American elites who back ed the commies and nazis for $$$$$ and power.


Well reasoned Mike Masr, thank you.


Borislav Bereza, a leader of the Far right neo-nazi Pravi Sektor is Jewish and proud of it.


When Obama said, "Yes we can" he proposed that as an answer to many questions...

Like "Can we end corporate welfare?", "Can we end foreign wars?", "Can we close Guantanamo and once again respect human rights?"

Not surprisingly they were all lies.

Of course, being politicians, there are always the unspoken, yet constant, eternal questions that apply:

"Can we extinguish your retirement on Hookers and Blow?"

Yes we can.

"Can we fool you stupid fuckers one more time with outrageous claims of Nirvana following our election?"

Yes we can.

"Can we buy ourselves international money, power, and influence with your children's milk money?"

Yes we can.

Winston of Oceania

Because Russian taxpayers are financing the Russian's slow invasion of Ukraine...

Mike Masr

Russia's invasion of the Ukraine is laughable. What about the regime change orchestrated by Washington?

If I lived in Donetsk and spoke Russian why would I want to be controlled by the illegal, U.S.-funded junta in Kiev, instituted by political organizations given five billion dollars by Washington, as revealed by "fuck the EU" Victoria Nuland.

Ukraine was broke, and political parties and organizations were vastly financed by foreign nations, (US & EU) which then encouraged them to foment a coup.

The junta in Kiev then illegally deposed the democratic president, and then illegally deposed all of its governors.

Russia's slow invasion of Ukraine is a joke. It's Russian speaking Ukrainian people in Eastern Ukraine not wanting any part of the Junta in Kiev!

It's so laughable. The NPR slurping idiots always seem to forget that convenient fact when they sputter about the USSA being "obligated" by treaty to keep the Ukrainian "territorial integrity" intact.

Once you violently chase the democratically elected President from office and put on a show election with your puppets who glorify people like Bandera, threaten to nuke the Eastern Moscals and take out Russian as one of the main languages, all bets are off.

And if Russia REALLY invaded the Ukraine, we would all know about it without MSM gossipy bullshit:

Top Ten Telltale Signs Russia Has Invaded the Ukraine


Reasonable, considering what the US and her EU pups are doing on the other side. AmeriKan arms and trainers, foreign mercenaries filling out the ranks of Ukrainian army because everyone else is leaving the country to avoid conscription.

The Ukraine - overhyped and grabby fascist faggots with no economy. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian junta shells civilian areas and where is the LA Times then? One-sided lying MSM pukes. Drugs aplenty to make people think the Ukraine would be allowed to evict the Russian navy from Crimea, or join NATO and threaten Russia from the Black Sea. More Obama-inspired wishful thinking: We do not see things as they are, but how we wish them to be.

Enjoy your debt colony.

Youri Carma

U.S. provides $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine
18 May 2015, by Greg Robb - Washington (MarketWatch)

The United States on Monday gave the green light to a new $1 billion loan guarantee agreement for Ukraine.

In a statement, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said that Ukraine continues along the path of economic reform and that the loan deal is designed to support the war-torn country.

"Ukraine has taken critical reforms already, and its commitment to making a decisive break with the corruption and stagnation of the past is clear," Lew said.

Mike Masr


The Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, are never returning. The ragtag Ukrainian forces using antiquated Soviet hardware haven't taken back any territory since July of 2014, they've only lost a lot of personnel and territory. DPR and LPR forces have consolidated lines, and if there is movement, it will only be to take more of Donbass – currently they have around 1/3 of the region which once produced 80% of all Ukraine's coal, but from which the DPR and LPR do not supply to Ukraine any more, while industrial production in the rest of the former industrial heartland of Donbass has mostly ground to a halt. Ukraine's debt is over $80 billion – soon set to hit $100 billion, and with a sinking GDP. An agreed recent IMF bailout programme of $17.5 billion would only scratch the surface. By conservative estimates Ukraine's economy shrunk by 7.5% in 2014. Estimates for this year range from 6% to over 20%. European governments pledge support, meanwhile European businesses withdraw en mass, hundreds have already left the Ukrainian market, most of the 600 German firms operating in Ukraine are conducting an audit to decide on withdrawing from the market. Russia's trade with the country which was Ukraine's leading export and import parter is understandably decimated, Ukraine's economy is stricken, and will only go down the toilet. 1 Billion in loan guarantees is too little and too late!

Normal life is almost impossible in Ukraine. Inflation in Ukraine is at a whopping 272%, the hryvnia's value is now less than 40% of what it was. Inflation has skyrocketed, salaries have collapsed, businesses across Ukraine have closed. In short, people don't have any money in Ukraine anymore – sales of new cars are down 67% on the year – production of cars down 96%, 46 banks declared insolvency in the last year.

As for the eternal thorn in Ukraine's side, corruption, which apparently was so pressing an issue and one of the defining aims of Maidan – is even worse now than it was before.

Greg Robb - Washington (MarketWatch) story suggests that Jacob Lew must have drank too much of Obama's Kool Aid and released news written by Kiev's government propagandists!!!


I agree with you Mike but I do think, cynically, that Washington's policy worked out.

This whole thing started when the Ukraine rejected a free trade deal with the EU. Russia was their best choice for trade for mostly practical reasons as Russia is their biggest trading partner(don't forget the EU wanted the Ukraine to meet EU standards before exporting which meant costly re tooling which the Ukranians couldn't afford but the US and Germany could buy in at 5 cents on the dollar, I mean Hryzinia or whatever)when all hell broke loose.

Yes, the US putting in the Ukranian political roster and calling the plays from the sidelines where the Ukraine fought two offensivse and are now econmically, politically, morally and militarily defeated.

Then the US hangs them out to dry.

Why not?

The US and its allies demolished the Ukranian economy so that it hurt trade with Russia, got sanctions against Russia which further withered the trade with EU and the US grabbed 33 tons of Ukranian gold reserves that disappeared in the NY and reappeared in Belgium while US left a pile of dung on Putin's doorstep.

Shit happens.

Good thing all the Clinton donors traded their US Fiat loans for real stuff

[May 19, 2015] The Worrying Rise of Anti-China Discourse in the US By Dingding Chen

May 16, 2015 | The Diplomat

Forget U.S. patrols in the South China Sea. This is the real threat to U.S.-China relations.

There is no doubt that U.S.-China relations are entering a new period of tensions given reports that the United States is considering the possibility of sending naval ships and planes to challenge China's sovereignty in the South China Sea. This U.S. move, if realized, is certainly provocative and has the potential to lead to a clash with Chinese ships and planes.

So far a lot of analysis has focused on the possible motivations behind the U.S. move and the possible consequences thereof for China-U.S. relations and Asian security. Almost all would agree that this move, whether right or wrong, is a risky one and worrying indeed.

To better understand this particular military move, one has to understand the larger background for all of the current developments in China-U.S. relations. This larger background is the new, rising anti-China discourse in various circles of the United States, including the government, academic, policy, and certainly military spheres. Three types of anti-China discourses stand out.

One can debate how much real policy influence such radical discourses have on U.S. government policy toward China. Judging by recent tough comments by U.S. military officials, things do not look good. Maybe this is indeed a 'tipping point' for China-U.S. relations, after more than 30 years of engagement. Is the U.S. adopting a containment strategy toward China now? One cannot say that with confidence. But if this radical anti-China discourse is allowed to grow, we might enter a new era of containment politics in China-U.S. relations. That, as John Mearsheimer famously put it, is indeed a tragedy in great power politics.

Liars N. Fools

I occasionally attend academic conferences in which there are Chinese participants. And usually some if not all of the theories about China -- collapse, Asia for Asians, balancing, punishing-- are discussed. One feature has been free wheeling, transparent discussions by all non-Chinese participants and only rigid presentations by the Chinese.

My advice to Chinese participants in international conferences is that if you do not want to be laughed at, do not make laughable arguments. "The nine dashed line is a valid assertion of sovereignty because nobody objected when it was published by the Republic of China. There is no need for discussion because it is our territorial sea, reflecting our presence since time immemorial." Puh-leez. Low quality argumentation is low quality argumentation and becomes worse when China acts provocatively on its dubious claim. China makes America a lot more friends when China acts this way and its scholars look like stooges when most are in fact pretty smart people.

Then there is the ASEAN-related code of conduct in the South China Sea. China agreed to it before, but does not like it now. What is the explanation? From Chinese scholars, one gets prevarication and avoidance. This is hardly a stance that raises China's credibility as a rule abider. What about a multilateral approach to disputed territory? China once said that was OK but now says that all such issues are bilateral only. When parties want to invoke international legal mechanisms, China becomes belligerent and threatening. Does this attitude enhance its reputation as a promoter of the commons or does it paint China as a bully? We are not a bully, says China's hapless conference participants only to then recite a bully's argument of principled core interests.

Xia > Alexandre Charron-trudel

Let's not forget that it was the ROC under KMT that introduced the dash lines in South China Sea, and back in the days of Roosevelt proposing the "Four Policemen" it was still 11 dash lines. If the CCP fails to project itself in front of the Chinese public as a power that is capable of defending the Chinese territory that the ROC once held, then it would loose out popularity to the KMT on Taiwan and see its grassroots support base threatened.

ltlee1 > James Sword

Actually, the more they know, they more they realize Western democracy is an inferior good. You could ask me for details.

Mishmael > James Sword

Oh good.

"We are right because the people who disagree with us are not capable of being right."

Ive always suspected Americans of limited argumentative skills, and here is the proof.

Malaysian Expat > James Sword • a day ago

Not all of them went abroad get enlightened.

In fact, the process of self radicalization to Han Chauvinism happens to many overseas born Chinese.

A Chinese > Alexandre Charron-trudel

Chinese puts the American hypocrisy into test as every nation with integrity and critical thinking should do by pointing out the obvious of the American fallacies.

It is shameful that Canadian is flattering American megalomaniac and suppressing the freedom of speech, it demonstrates Canada is a USA lackey that is proud of licking USA's behind by ignoring freedom of speech and democracy, Canada is not trustworthy and a warmonger accomplice,

The world despise Canada's hypocrisy, and they exclude Canada from UNSC for the last thirty years as punishment; the world should also exclude Canada from any meaningful international forums for good, the world does not need such lackey to pollute the freedom of speech environment that dares to expose the ugly face of the Empire of Chaos and shame it publicly like the Chinese did.

[May 19, 2015]Military Bureaucracy

October 26, 2009 |

Two separate reviews of The Fourth Star, a new book by David Cloud and Greg Jaffee, touch on a theme that has fascinated me since I wrote a dissertation on the subject.

NYT foreign correspondent Dexter Filkins (via SWJ):

"The Fourth Star" paints wonderfully dramatic portraits of the four senior officers highlighted here, but at its heart it's a story about bureaucracy. As an institution, the United States Army has much more in common with, say, a giant corporation like General Motors than with a professional sports team like the New York Giants. You can't cut players who don't perform, and it's hard to fire your head coach. Like General Motors, the Army changes very slowly, and once it does, it's hard to turn it around again.

Actually, it's arguably easier to "cut" bad soldiers than bad football players nowadays, since the latter often have huge signing bonuses and hold teams hostage in a salary cap era. But, otherwise, Filkins is right. While the military is relatively efficient, it's not only a bureaucracy but the very thing bureaucracy was modeled after. Which makes it amusing when conservatives simultaneously rant about the inefficiency of bureaucracy while extolling the virtues of military efficiency. (The military, along with their brethren in the intelligence community and foreign service, does tend to be more motivated and obedient to orders from above than your average bureaucracy.)

New Kings of War blogger "Captain Hyphen."

One of the most trenchant discussions of these wrong "lessons learned" post-Vietnam is General David Petraeus' PhD dissertation, which the review of The Fourth Star mentions tangentially. While Petraeus might have "irritated many of his fellow officers on his way up," he also identified an important bureaucratic reality, noting it in his dissertation: any serving officer who writes a PhD dissertation critical of the US Army as an institution and publishes it as a book will not rise to the ranks of the general officer corps. Petraeus, of course, heeded his own advice, as his dissertation remained safely tucked away in the Princeton library (until the age of scanning and posting to the Internet; h/t to Paula Broadwell for sharing the link). He was able to continue his upward trajectory, unlike such recent soldier-scholars as Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) John Nagl, whose Oxford DPhil became Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife, arguably a self-inflicted career wound as an Army officer because of its coherent, incisive critique of the Army's failures as a learning organization.

Brigadier General H.R. McMaster, however, is the exception that proves the rule, because it was only the patronage of General Petraeus that made him a general officer after twice being passed over for promotion from colonel to brigadier general. McMaster's Dereliction of Duty was the oft-cited, seldom-read mantra of senior officers in the last decade and appeared to be part of the hold-up for his advancement. Further compounding the delay, his successful counterinsurgency campaign as the commander of an armored cavalry regiment in Tall Afar made his conventionally-minded brigade commander peers look bad (or at least that's one interpretation of how it was viewed within the Army).

How a bureaucracy without lateral entry promotes and selects its leaders is a vital issue with implications measured in decades, dollars, and lives. I look forward to reading how Cloud and Jaffe capture this dynamic in the US Army today.

One could argue McMaster exemplifies, rather than serving as an exception, to the rule. Generally, being passed over — let alone twice — for promotion pretty much indicates that you're done.

Certainly as a prospective general officer. Conversely — and I don't claim to have any inside scoop here — Nagl certainly seemed to be an officer on a fast track who left the Army voluntarily to 1) so his family could settle down and 2) to take advantage of a flood of opportunities to apply his expertise in the think tank arena. It seemingly proved a wise choice, as he soon wound up as president of CNAS.

[May 19, 2015] Americas Warfare State Revolution

Apr 05, 2015 | Zero Hedge
Submitted by Jacob Hornberger via The Future of Freedom Foundation,

It is impossible to overstate the magnitude of the warfare-state revolution that transformed the federal government and American society after World War II. The roots of America's foreign-policy crises today, along with the massive infringements on civil liberties and privacy and the federal government's program of secret indefinite incarceration, torture, assassination, and extra-judicial executions can all be traced to the grafting of a national-security apparatus onto America's federal governmental system in the 1940s.

Certainly, the seeds for what happened in the post-WWII era were sown prior to that time, specifically in the move toward empire, which, interestingly enough, occurred during the same period of time that Progressives were inducing Americans to abandon their system of economic liberty and free markets in favor of socialism and interventionism in the form of a welfare state and regulated economy.

I'm referring to the year 1898, when the U.S. government intervened in the Spanish American War, with the ostensible aim of helping the Cuban and Filipino people win their independence. It was a false and fraudulent intervention, one that was actually designed to place Cuba and the Philippines under the control of the U.S. government. The result was a brutal war in the Philippines between U.S. forces and the Filipino people, along with a never-ending obsession to control Cuba, one that would ending up becoming a central focus of the national-security state.

A national-security state and an empire certainly weren't among the founding principles of the United States. In fact, the revolution in 1776 was against an empire that the British colonists in America no longer wanted to be part of. They were sick and tired of the endless wars and ever-increasing taxes, regulations, and oppression that come with empire and overgrown military establishments.

In fact, there was a deep antipathy toward standing armies among the Founding Fathers. The words of James Madison, the father of the Constitution, reflect the mindset of our American ancestors:

A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.

What about foreign interventionism? The speech that John Quincy Adams delivered to Congress on the 4th of July, 1821, entitled "In Search of Monsters to Destroy," expressed the sentiments of our predecessors. Adams pointed out that there were lots of bad things in the world, things like tyranny, oppression, famines, and the like. He said though that America would not send troops to slay these monsters. Instead, America would build a model society of freedom right here at home for the people of the world. In fact, if America ever became a military empire that would engage in foreign interventionism, Adams predicted, it would fundamentally change the character of American society, one that would look more like a society under dictatorial rule.

That's not to say that 19th-century America was a libertarian paradise with respect to warfare, any more than it was a libertarian paradise in general, as I pointed out in my article "America's Welfare-State Revolution." But the fact is that there was no overgrown military establishment, no CIA, no NSA, no conscription, no foreign interventionism, and no foreign aid (and no income tax, IRS, Federal Reserve, and fiat money to fund such things).

There was a basic military force but in relative terms it wasn't very large. There were also wars, such as the War of 1812, the Civil War, and the Mexican War, and many military skirmishes, but with the exception of the Civil War, the casualties were relatively low, especially compared with such foreign wars as World War I and World War II.

Moreover, it was an established practice to demobilize after each war. That is, a permanent war machine and perpetual war were not built into the system. War and military interventionism were the exception, not the rule.

That all changed with the embrace of a national-security establishment after World War II. In his Farewell Address in 1961, President Eisenhower observed that the national-security state — or what he called the military-industrial complex — constituted an entirely new way of life for the American people, one that entailed what amounted to a new, permanent warfare-state branch of the federal government, consisting of an overgrown military establishment, a CIA, and an NSA, along with an army of private-sector contractors and subcontractors who were feeding at the public trough on a permanent basis.

Most significantly, Ike pointed out that this national-security apparatus constituted a grave threat to the liberties and democratic processes of the American people.

This revolutionary transformation was justified in the name of "national security," which have become the two most important words in the American lexicon, notwithstanding the fact that no one has ever been able to define the term. The warfare-state revolution would be characterized by an endless array of threats to national security, beginning with communism and communists, the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, and others, and later morphing into Saddam Hussein, terrorism, terrorists, Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, ISIS, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, the Taliban, and even the Muslims.

In the process, Adams proved right. By grafting a totalitarian-like structure onto America's federal governmental system, the United States began displaying the characteristics of a dictatorial society.

Assassination, torture, rendition, secret prisons, medical experiments on unsuspecting Americans, the hiring of Nazis, indefinite detention, partnerships with criminal organizations and foreign dictators, coups, sanctions, embargoes, invasions, undeclared wars, wars of aggression, and extra-judicial executions. When any of those types of things occurred in the 19th century, they were considered exceptions to the system. Now they have become permanent parts of the system.

And look at the results of this gigantic warfare-state transformation: ever-increasing infringements on liberty and privacy, ever-increasing spending, debt, and taxes, and ever-increasing anger and hatred toward our country. Yes, all the things that characterized the British Empire that British colonists revolted against in 1776. How's that for irony?

Meanwhile, like the welfare state, modern-day Americans continue to remain convinced that their system of government has never changed in a fundamental way. They continue to play like their governmental system is founded on the same constitutional principles as when the country was founded. It is a supreme act of self-deception.

The truth is that America has now had two different governmental systems: One without a national-security apparatus and one with it. It seems to me that it's a no-brainer as to who was right and which system was better in terms of freedom, privacy, peace, prosperity, and harmony.


This! You should see the faces on people when I try to explain to them that we're not supposed to have an ever present military. They call me unpatriotic and a hater of our verterans. WTF?!?! I try explaining to them we shouldn't have "veterans", that many of the conflicts they were part of should never have happened. Still, I'm the bad guy despite the fact that the country's ideals have drifted so far off course. I'm reluctantly getting more and more used to the deer in the headlights response from people, which is sad.

El Vaquero

Calm down, don't get angry, and use the Socratic method with them. The cognitive dissonance will still fight back, but ask them about why we were in Vietnam and Iraq. Lead them to the conclusion that those wars never should have been fought. Unplugging from the matrix is very, very difficult and very, very uncomfortable. You want them to understand your point of view so that it is much harder for them to condemn you for it. You are dealing with deeply ingrained cultural values that they have never questioned.

And be nice to the troops. Most of them were duped into believing that they were doing good. You want them to turn on their masters if their masters turn on us.


There is no America. There's parts of the globe that are labeled United States but the Banks and Corporations have more money and power than nations. They control the land mass that people refer to as America. They control the military that wears American uniforms and they control the nuclear weapons that used to be American weapons. That is why nuclear weapons can be removed from the US without prosecution or military intervention. Deal with it bitchez.


The biggest dilemma facing today's younger Generation is the lack of a point of reference. 911 & other False Flag / PsyOp's have diluted their minds full of lies & deception.

A former KGB Agent interviewed by G. Edward Griffen explained that for a propaganda campaign to be truly effective it has to cross over generations or be "Generational."

We"re well into the second decade of the biggest PsyOp ever conducted over the masses on a Global Scale, 911. The Social Engineers / Revisionists have been very busy rewriting history.

"He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the future controls the past."
-George Orwell.

Fun Facts

The mightiest nation on earth is run exclusively for the benefit of the mightiest banks on earth.

Too big to fail, too big to bail, too big to jail.

The politico are the puppet class.

The people [at the very bottom of the pyramid] are the serf class with no money, no voice, no power.

All as intended. Follow the money. Read the protocols for more detail.


If it were so easy. Unfortunately there are people who want control, for who knows what reason. I always wondered myself why anyone would want more than they need but I have never been able to come up with a clear answer that makes any logical sense. I can give a prime example: I had a friend in college who was very wealthy and frugal, so frugal they went to a community college with me. He was always telling me he needed more money (he already had an eight figure stash) and one day I asked him why he needed more. The only response he could come up with was: Becuase I want it. Again, I asked what for and he couldn't ever come up with a reasonable explanation other than he wanted it. I don't know about anyone else here but I can say for sure that if I was able to scrounge seven figures in my savings, I would be done saving with no need for any more. But I'm a simple, realistic person and I would expect that my children (not that I will ever have any) pave their own road like I did and I would leave nothing for them or anyone else and expect them to do the same. My money will all be spent and recycled back into the economy when I'm gone. There is no use for it after death. I'm a firm believer that if you can't survive on your own, you don't deserve to survive at all. The animals have already figured this out and humans knew it at one point to. Leave the weak to die or be dragged down with them.

If I ever had the opportunity to ask one of the banksters who has some "end-game" plan for power and control over others I would only have one question: How is that going to improve your life and why would you do that anyway? You already have everything you could possibly need for the next 100 generations of your family. What is the fucking point?


We are Rome and will follow their pattern of decline, although vastly accelerated given our modern communications and banking.


Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, a former Treasury Official in Ronald Reagan's Administration puts it pretty bluntly in what he's telling Americans.Americans reading this need to wake up to what a right wing neo-fascist government is doing to their society.

All religious Americans especially need to pay heed to his insights.It's no joke,it's what's happening right now.Can evil be defeated?The founding fathers warned you about it.

Amish Hacker

The MIC will always need a credible boogeyman to justify its existence. For years this role was played by the Soviet Union. We were told to be afraid of commies in Moscow, in the State Department, in Hollywood, and under every bed. Then, suddenly, came the end of Ivan, and the MIC was threatened with irrelevance, even dissolution. We the People were beginning to wonder aloud about a "peace dividend." Obviously, this could not be allowed.

The MIC solution was to replace the Soviet menace with the terrorist menace. Really, you have to admire the psychopathic brilliance of this move, since terrorism is a conceptual boogeyman that will never expire or be deposed. Multiple, ongoing wars are now our new normal, and saddest of all, we seem to be getting used to it.

Jack Burton

This post somehow brings to mind a High School Class Reunion I attented 5 years ago. We are all old enough now to have been set in our careers for 30 years. So when you talk to people you can get a good insight into how they all made their livings after High School. My town School was small, my class was 145 students.

What amazed me was what we all ended up talking about. It was the Military. Because as Americans THIS was the common bond we men share. Over half of the men there were veterans, me included, but even more than that, there was our lives after military service, and those who went direct to college. The college kids grew up and from those I talked to, there we many who work for the big defense industries in the Minneapolis Metro Area. Plus we had students who went west and worked for giant defense industries out there. Our conversations revolved around missiles, torpedoes, radars, air craft and high explosives. I met a class mate who designed the explosives for Bunker Busters and other High Energy weapons. One class mate helped build the guidance for the type of torpedoes my ship used. One class mate knew the type of detection gear I operated in the Navy, as his father designed much of it. On and On it went.

By the end of the night, it seems half of our class was employed in military design and construction, the other half of average guys were all vets. Yes, Middle America, out where I live, is a totally militarized entity. It really hit home when you talk to a group you have known all your life.


If we ever had an Empire .... it was a Moral Empire .... and it needs to be regained, improved and expanded .... it's called American Exceptionalism .... and I'm not impressed with the pretenders to our throne .... nor their bootlicking lackeys .... a bunch of chickens .... cackling in the Barnyard of Life !

[May 19, 2015] Paul Krugman Errors and Lies

May 18, 2015 | Economist's View

Paul Krugman: Errors and Lies "The Iraq war wasn't an innocent mistake":

Errors and Lies, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: Surprise! It turns out that there's something to be said for having the brother of a failed president make his own run for the White House. Thanks to Jeb Bush, we may finally have the frank discussion of the Iraq invasion we should have had a decade ago

The Iraq war wasn't an innocent mistake, a venture undertaken on the basis of intelligence that turned out to be wrong. America invaded Iraq because the Bush administration wanted a war. The public justifications for the invasion were nothing but pretexts, and falsified pretexts at that. We were, in a fundamental sense, lied into war.

This was, in short, a war the White House wanted, and all of the supposed mistakes that, as Jeb puts it, "were made" by someone unnamed actually flowed from this underlying desire.

Now, you can understand why many political and media figures would prefer not to talk about any of this. Some of them may have fallen for the obvious lies, which doesn't say much about their judgment. More, I suspect, were complicit: they realized that the official case for war was a pretext, but had their own reasons for wanting a war, or, alternatively, allowed themselves to be intimidated into going along.

On top of these personal motives, our news media in general have a hard time coping with policy dishonesty. Reporters are reluctant to call politicians on their lies, even when these involve mundane issues like budget numbers, for fear of seeming partisan. In fact, the bigger the lie, the clearer it is that major political figures are engaged in outright fraud, the more hesitant the reporting. And it doesn't get much bigger — indeed, more or less criminal — than lying America into war.

But truth matters, and not just because those who refuse to learn from history are doomed in some general sense to repeat it. The campaign of lies that took us into Iraq was recent enough that it's still important to hold the guilty individuals accountable. Never mind Jeb Bush's verbal stumbles. Think, instead, about his foreign-policy team, led by people who were directly involved in concocting a false case for war.

So let's get the Iraq story right. Yes, from a national point of view the invasion was a mistake. But (with apologies to Talleyrand) it was worse than a mistake, it was a crime.

pgl said

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney knew all along what the real deal in Iraq was when they went in. General Zinni knew too and he said this would be a disaster. Bush pretends he listened to his generals. Really> Zinni warned us not to go in back in 2002. So yea - Jeb and his advisers would have invaded knowing what we know today as they knew all of this back then. But hey - it worked to get Bush-Cheney reelected in 2004!

ilsm said in reply to pgl

Most of the generals (I was in the business of buying) saw Iraq as business development, a fine little war to get the budgets up.

It has been fine at getting the budgets up.

The GOP move to raise the pentagon limits over the sequestration depends on more crazed activity in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. While rattling the saber at Russia over the CIA's mistake in Kiev.

Since 2003 I tried to (really retire, I was double dipping) retire twice both times my phone rings with more "work" at great compensation.

mulp said in reply to pgl

We the People who vote in all elections voted to invade Iraq in 2002.

The declaration of war if Bush wants it was voted on before the 2002 november election. Almost five hundred members of Congress were subject to being popular referendum on that vote and on their votes for job killing tax cuts.

Republicans won on the basis of their wars and job killing tax cuts, and Democrats lost 2 Senate seats and 8 House seats.

We the People who vote in all elections love the free lunch economics and politics of the neoconservative Republican party.

It is neoconservative because conservatives decided to merge the hatred of taxes with the "spend" of liberal "tax and spend". Redefine American Exceptionalism and now you have free lunch tax cuts that pay for more spending on entitlements and wars that generate a profit.

We the People who vote in all elections seem to be in the "you can fool some of the people all the time" They are the free lunch economic conservatives who believe that sacrifice is what happens to other people. If they suffer, its the fault of liberals. But they know that they can gain disproportionate power by being We the People who vote in every election.

Opponents are those who vote only for dictator every 4 years, without realizing that neoconservatives call the president dictator to rally their faithful to vote in every damn election.

The verdict on the Iraq mistake was rendered November 2002, not in 2004, and the verdict was We the People who care about the US voted to support the stupid Iraq war. Those who opposed the war did not give a damn and did not vote in 2002, believing the power is in the dictator.

DrDick said in reply to mulp
What do you mean, "we", Kimosabe? I have never voted for a Republican and have opposed ever war or military intervention war since Vietnam. A large number of people did so, but those who did not and vocally opposed it share none of the blame.

cawley said in reply to DrDick


Plus many of the people who did vote, did so on the basis of lies.

PK is absolutely correct that shrub, et al, knew that it was a lie. Even though many of us that followed the AUMF and stove piping closely knew that a lot of it was fabricated, for John Q Public depending on network news it was all "he said, she said", suitcase dirty bombs and crop dusters spreading anthrax.

When the electorate is being intentionally mislead by the Administration - from the President, down - and the news media, it's a little disingenuous to drop all the blame on the voters.

Julio said in reply to DrDick

Not the blame, perhaps, but some of the responsibility.
We live in a representative republic. These things are done in our collective name.
pgl said in reply to mulp
Yea - did we vote to train wreck Social Security in 2004? Don't think so. BTW - I did vote in 2002 for people who were opposed to the war.
ilsm said
Jeb was caught speaking in the open things he was supposed to say only in closed sessions with war profiteer PAC's and other exploiters of the 90%.aff. He's already made a Mitten gaff.

PNAC is alive and well, undercover in the GOP.

They want to keep Iraq whole, but the Saudi royals do not want Iraq run by Shiites who are 67% of the population. hey need to resurrect Saddam!T

ISIS goes nowhere without Sunni support, Ramadi falling is example.

W and PNAC were invading Iraq for the money, oil was the least corrupt motive, the most corrupt is the trillions squandered since 2003. Trillions that were taken away from US productivity and kill social security.

The matter of US casualties is another grave sin .

mulp said in reply to ilsm
We the People who vote in all elections have the power, not PNAC.
ilsm said in reply to mulp
"We the MISLEAD People who vote,"

Faux News, we the mislead, aggravated to hate those people and misbelieve war mongering experts.

JohnH said

Twenty-twenty hindsight is often pretty good. But it's hard to understand what prompted Krugman to write this piece now. Maybe he's trying the "get" Jeb (a positive.) Or maybe he's trying to help clear a space for Hillary to "get it," a decade too late, and offer her excuses and mea culpas. In any case, the last thing we need is another President with such poor judgement.

What's particularly disturbing about the Iraq experience is that almost no lessons have been learned, other than perhaps it's better to use drones instead of boots on the ground for fighting pointless and futile foreign wars. Pelosi won a mandate in 2006 to end the war but never challenged Bush on it. Harry Reid even held "surge" hearings on 9-11-2007, the best day possible to garner support for yet more war.

What kept USA from attacking Iran was not Democrats in Congress or public opposition. Rather, it was a report issued by US intelligence services, a consensus opinion that Iran had no nuclear program. They had learned lessons from being manipulated on Iraq intelligence and wanted restore their credibility.

Moreover, the Iraq experience in no way prevented Obama from pursuing the destruction and resulting chaos in Afghanistan or Libya, or from thwarting self-determination with coups in Haiti, Honduras, and Paraguay.

What Krugman is missing here is the urgent need for opinion leaders to exercise critical thinking and judgement before these tragedies occur. By 2007, Bush was known to be a notorious liar. Nonetheless, few questioned his intention to attack Iran, even with the consensus report of the intelligence services that destroyed the pretexts for it.

By January, 2003 I had compiled enough evidence of Bush's phony intelligence to come out publicly against the war, much to the dismay and horror of most people, including my bosses. All it took was looking for the right information and connecting the dots. My point here is not to be self congratulatory, but to show that it can be done.

What really needs discussion now is how to get American people to see through the stream of BS emanating from Washington and their megaphones in the news media and to use their powers of critical thinking and judgement and to preserve their personal integrity by acting to stop stupid wars and promote the common good. That could start at Ivy League schools like the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where Krugman teaches.

pgl said in reply to JohnH
I guess you are the most ignorant person ever. Krugman was against this stupid war in 2002. And cover for Hillary who voted to support Bush for whatever reasoning she now gives.

Krugman is not leading Hillary campaign. But you still have a perfect record - for getting everything wrong.

pgl said in reply to JohnH
I guess the Google Master classes taught for Chicken Hawks like you are designed to filter out anything that does not support the Chicken Hawk agenda. Krugman was called the Shrill One back in 2002 for his tirades against Bush Cheney. But maybe you don't know this as you are: (1) stupid; and (2) trained by the Bush-Cheney Chicken Hawk school of neo-McCarthyism.

Say hello to Scooter Libby for us!

May 18, 2015 at 02:24 PM JohnH said in reply to pgl
You insist on my misinterpreting my point: more important than debating Iraq is to make sure that we don't allow ourselves to be misled again. Pulling out the long knives on Iraq means nothing if no lessons are learned about the folly of most wars. And so far none have been learned, at least in the Obama administration. One of the most important places for this to happen is at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, which would be more aptly named the Wilson School for Warmongers.

pgl said in reply to JohnH

"more important than debating Iraq is to make sure that we don't allow ourselves to be misled again."

That's fine. But why attack Paul Krugman? And why here and not in the comment of his blog? Why? Because you are a coward. This is the kind of crap one would expect from Dick Cheney. Surely you don't want be associated with the dishonest chicken hawk slime.

JohnH said in reply to pgl

I'm not happy with Krugman's stance because 1) the article seems to be a ppartisan gotcha, 2) it focuses on assigning accountability, and 3) it ignores the need for fundamental change--learning lessons so that America is never misled into war again, as we have been since then.
May 18, 2015 at 05:50 PM JohnH said in reply to pgl

Got those links showing that Krugman actually opposed the war as opposed to expressing some reservations about it? As you will recall, lots of people, including Kerry in 2004, expressed concerns, particularly about the conduct of the war, without ever expressing outright opposition.

May 18, 2015 at 05:55 PM pgl said in reply to JohnH

"By January, 2003 I had compiled enough evidence of Bush's phony intelligence to come out publicly against the war, much to the dismay and horror of most people, including my bosses. All it took was looking for the right information and connecting the dots. My point here is not to be self congratulatory, but to show that it can be done."

Your bosses? Who gave you a job? A lot of people had tons of evidence to come out against the war by then. One was General Anthony Zinni whose opposition to the planned invasion was made loud and clear.

Why don't you share with us a link to the evidence you made public? That's right - I'm calling you on this as you have lied so many times before. But please prove me wrong on this one.

May 18, 2015 at 02:28 PM JohnH said in reply to pgl

One piece that confirmed my thinking was a Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) Memorandum. It was published on Common Dreams. The link is no longer available but its message is summarized but not quoted verbatim at many other sources.

Second Piece: "In October 1998, just before Saddam kicked U.N. weapons inspectors out of Iraq [actually, they were withdrawn], the IAEA laid out a case opposite of Mr. Bush's Sept. 7 [2002] declaration: "There are no indications that there remains in Iraq any physical capability for the production of weapon-usable nuclear material of any practical significance," IAEA Director-General Mohammed Elbaradei wrote in a report to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. (.

May 18, 2015 at 03:11 PM pgl said in reply to JohnH

There was tons of the counter information. A lot of it was put up by people like Paul Krugman. No one paying attention in early 2003 believed a word from Bush or Cheney.

May 18, 2015 at 05:41 PM JohnH said in reply to pgl

So maybe Krugman should address the problem of no one paying attention. As I recall, the bigger problem was that if there was tons of counter information, which I do not recall, it was not readily available and one had to dig for it.

Maybe you could provide a link to some reputable source stating that there was tons of counter information.

As far as I'm concerned, it's just another figment of your imagination.

don said
My own take - an important cause of the war was the fact that one of Saddam's minions tried to kill W's father after he had left office. It was pretty obvious to me that the war was brought on by pretexts, and especially that any ties to 9-11 were spurious. (I recall especially a snippet from a broadcast by a British news agency, which I overheard as I was walking around the ellipse across from the White House. The announcer was saying "

and our polls indicate that the strategy appears to be working 80% of Americans believe that Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the events of 9/11 ") Colin Powell, to his credit, was such a poor liar that it was blatantly obvious. From accounts I read of Saddam's behavior as the invasion became imminent, I am reminded of a scene in Robocop, where Saddam would be in the position of the hapless employee who is asked to pick up a gun and threaten a prototype robot cop, which then malfunctions (not that Saddam has any pity coming). Yet Hillary voted for the war.

The disconnect between truth and news seems to have grown during and since W's time, or perhaps it is just things I noticed. Bush shirks Vietnam, yet the issue goes against veteran Kerry (who is attacked by the 'swift boats' propaganda). Repeal of the 'death tax' gets popular support. Despite almost $4 trillion in official reserves, China is not, and has never been a currency manipulator

JohnH said in reply to don
Kerry left everything he learned in Vietnam on the altar of political opportunism. Now he's just another member of the committee of warmongers running foreign policy
May 18, 2015 at 01:14 PM pgl said in reply to JohnH
You could not carry Kerry's shoes when he in the navy. You can't carry them now. Stick to what you know - shilling for right wing liars like Cameron.
Robert Hill said
I wonder what the USA and UK arms industry would do if world peace were suddenly to break out.

[May 18, 2015] Dueck's "Conservative Realism" and The Obama Doctrine

This is a Neoconservatism, not so much realism...
May 18, 2015 | The American Conservative
Frank Hoffman reviews Colin Dueck's The Obama Doctrine: American Grand Strategy Today:

The author proposes an alternative strategy called conservative American realism. It is designed to appeal to the center mass of today's conservatives by triangulating the three factions. This strategy seeks to counter the perceived retrenchment of the last six years, and explicitly embraces American primacy. Primacy, to Dueck, is "a circumstance and an interest, not a strategy." Conservative American realism emphasizes reassuring allies that the United States seeks to remain a key player in the international arena by expanding forward presence and bolstering deterrence. Dueck details U.S. fundamental interests, and defines the specific adversaries that must be countered. These include state competitors (China and Russia), rogue states like North Korea, and jihadi terrorists. To deal with the latter, the author chides Mr. Obama for half-hearted approaches, and suggests these implacable foes require solutions that are "appropriately Carthaginian." One wonders how far Dueck would really take that historical analogy — enslave Muslims or salt their lands?

Based on the description of Dueck's "conservative American realism" in the review, it is debatable whether the proposed strategy qualifies as either conservative or realist. It would appear to commit the U.S. in too many places to bear burdens that our allies and clients should be taking on for themselves, and it does so out of a misguided concern that the U.S. has not been activist enough during the Obama presidency. I don't know what Dueck means by "appropriately Carthaginian" solutions, but the implication that the U.S. should be seeking to ruin and dominate other nations in such a fashion is disturbing in itself. It is not at all clear that the U.S. should be doing more "reassure" allies and clients. Most of them are already too dependent on the U.S. for their security and should be expected to do more to provide for themselves, and their endless demands for "reassurance" are attempts to get the U.S. to give them extra support they don't need or that the U.S. has no interest in giving them. The U.S. currently has too many commitments overseas and hardly needs to expand the presence that it already has.

Dueck places great emphasis on applying coercive measures against various states, but there doesn't seem to much attention paid to the costs that applying these measures can have on the U.S. and its allies. Imposing costs and intensifying pressure on other states aren't ends in themselves, and they have proven time and again to be ineffective tools for changing the behavior of recalcitrant and hostile regimes. Coercive measures can backfire and can have effects that their advocates don't anticipate, and they can provoke the targeted state to pursue more hostile and dangerous policies than there would have been otherwise. Dueck's interest in relying on coercive measures seems to be little more than a reaction against the perceived laxity of the Obama administration, which has itself been too reliant on imposing sanctions as an all-purpose response to the undesirable behavior of other governments. If Obama failed to apply enough pressure, Dueck's thinking appears to be that more pressure must be the answer. Missing from all of this is any explanation of why the U.S. needs to be cajoling and pressuring these states in the first place. To what end?

Dueck also wants to throw more money at the military by insisting on setting the military budget at 4% of GDP. As Hoffman notes, tying the military budget to an arbitrary figure like this represents the absence of strategy:

The basis for this amount appears aspirational, and I have previously written on why such general goals are astrategic if not tied to specific requirements and threats. More importantly, details about how he would employ the additional $170 billion per year in defense spending are lacking.

If one wants huge increases in military spending and the pursuit of pointlessly confrontational policies against both major authoritarian powers, Dueck's book would appear to offer the desired guidance. What it has to do with either realism or conservatism remains a mystery.

[May 18, 2015] New Military Spending Bill Expands Empire But Forbids Debate on War

May 17, 2015 | The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

On Friday the House passed a massive National Defense Authorization for 2016 that will guarantee US involvement in more wars and overseas interventions for years to come. The Republican majority resorted to trickery to evade the meager spending limitations imposed by the 2011 budget control act – limitations that did not, as often reported, cut military spending but only slowed its growth.

But not even slower growth is enough when you have an empire to maintain worldwide, so the House majority slipped into the military spending bill an extra $89 billion for an emergency war fund. Such "emergency" spending is not addressed in the growth caps placed on the military under the 2011 budget control act. It is a loophole filled by Congress with Fed-printed money.

Ironically, a good deal of this "emergency" money will go to President Obama's war on ISIS even though neither the House nor the Senate has debated – let alone authorized – that war! Although House leadership allowed 135 amendments to the defense bill – with many on minor issues like regulations on fire hoses – an effort by a small group of Representatives to introduce an amendment to debate the current US war in Iraq and Syria was rejected.

While squashing debate on ongoing but unauthorized wars, the bill also pushed the administration toward new conflicts. Despite the president's unwise decision to send hundreds of US military trainers to Ukraine, a move that threatens the current shaky ceasefire, Congress wants even more US involvement in Ukraine's internal affairs. The military spending bill included $300 million to directly arm the Ukrainian government even as Ukrainian leaders threaten to again attack the breakaway regions in the east. Does Congress really think US-supplied weapons killing ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine is a good idea?

The defense authorization bill also seeks to send yet more weapons into Iraq. This time the House wants to send weapons directly to the Kurds in northern Iraq without the approval of the Iraqi government. Although these weapons are supposed to be used to fight ISIS, we know from too many prior examples that they often find their way into the hands of the very people we are fighting. Also, arming an ethnic group seeking to break away from Baghdad and form a new state is an unwise infringement of the sovereignty of Iraq. It is one thing to endorse the idea of secession as a way to reduce the possibility of violence, but it is quite something else to arm one side and implicitly back its demands.

While the neocons keep pushing the lie that the military budget is shrinking under the Obama Administration, the opposite is true. As the CATO Institute pointed out recently, President George W. Bush's average defense budget was $601 billion, while during the Obama administration the average has been $687 billion. This bill is just another example of this unhealthy trend.

Next year's military spending plan keeps the US on track toward destruction of its economy at home while provoking new resentment over US interventionism overseas. It is a recipe for disaster. Let's hope for either a presidential veto, or that on final passage Congress rejects this bad bill.

Copyright © 2015 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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[May 18, 2015] Open thread for night owls The empire strikes back

May 17, 2015 | | Daily Kos News

Hersh's latest is a ten thousand-word piece in the London Review of Books in which he explains that everything the government told you about the killing of Osama bin Laden is a lie. A few of the highlights are: (1) The government of Pakistan knew exactly where Bin Laden was, (2) Saudi Arabia was paying Pakistan to keep Bin Laden in his safe house compound, (3) America found out where Bin Laden was not by tracking an Al Qaeda courier or by torturing people, but because a disgruntled Pakistani intelligence officer wanted to claim the $25 million dollar reward, (4) America was going to make it appear as if Bin Laden had been killed in a drone strike, but switched courses at the last minute after one of the SEAL's helicopters crashed, (5) The American and Pakistani government colluded to lie to the public about how Bin Laden was found and killed.

Predictably, many in the media have rushed to the government's defense. Hersh's anonymous sources rankle them. The story itself, which is so far removed from the official narrative and implicates corruption at the highest levels of government, has a dreamlike aura. Never mind that the account the government gave has been deteriorating from the start, and the glaring contradictions between the official versions as related by the Pakistani and American governments. Put aside the fact that someone else using different sources reported a version of Hersh's story in 2011, or that NBC, within a day, had already confirmed a key point of Hersh's narrative. If Hersh's critics actually did submerge themselves in a detailed re-reporting of his allegations, the process would subjugate the American ruling class to deeper scrutiny than usual. [...]

[May 17, 2015]US Empire: American Exceptionalism Is No Shining City On a Hill

May 15, 2015 |

The concept of American exceptionalism is as old as the United States, and it implies that the country has a qualitative difference from other nations. This notion of being special gives Americans the sense that playing a lead role in world affair is part of their natural historic calling. However there is nothing historically exceptional about this: the Roman empire also viewed itself as a system superior to other nations and, more recently, so did the British and the French empires.

On the topic of American exceptionalism, which he often called "Americanism", Seymour Martin Lipset noted that "America's ideology can be described in five words: liberty, egalitarism, individualism, populism and laissez-faire. The revolutionary ideology, which became American creed, is liberalism in its eighteenth and nineteenth-century meaning. It departed from conservatism Toryism, statist communitarianism, mercantilism and noblesse-oblige dominant in monarchical state-church formed cultures." Naturally identifying America's system as a unique ideology, just like calling its successful colonial war against Britain a revolution, is a fallacy. For one, America was never based on social equality, as rigid class distinctions always remained through US history.

In reality, the US has never broken from European social models. American exceptionalism implies a sense of superiority, just like in the case of the British empire, the French empire and the Roman empire. In such imperialist systems, class inequality was never challenged and, as matter of fact, served as cornerstone of the imperial structure. In American history, the only exception to this system based on social inequality was during the post World War II era of the economic "miracle". The period from 1945 to the mid 1970s was characterized by major economic growth, an absence of big economic downturns, and a much higher level of social mobility on a massive scale. This time frame saw a tremendous expansion of higher education: from 2.5 million people to 12 million going to colleges and universities, and this education explosion, naturally, fostered this upward mobility where the American dream became possible for the middle class.

Regardless of real domestic social progress made in the United States after the birth of the empire in 1945, for the proponents of American exceptionalism — this includes the entire political class — the myth of the US being defined as a "shining city on a hill" has always been a rationale to justify the pursuit of imperialism. For example, when President Barack Obama addressed the nation to justify the US military intervention in Libya, he said that "America is different", as if the US has a special role in history as a force for good. In a speech on US foreign policy, at West Point on May 28, 2014, Obama bluntly stated:

"In fact, by most measures, America has rarely been stronger relative to the rest of the world. Those who argue otherwise — who suggest that America is in decline or has seen its global leadership slip away are misreading history. Our military has no peer…. I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being."

In his book, Democracy In America, Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville was lyrical in his propaganda-like adulation of American exceptionalism, defining it almost as divine providence.

"When the earth was given to men by the Creator, the earth was inexhaustible. But men were weak and ignorant, and when they had learned to take advantage of the treasures which it contained, they already covered its surface and were soon obliged to earn by the sword an asylum for repose and freedom. Just then North America was discovered, as if it had been kept in reserve by the Deity and had risen from beneath the waters of the deluge", wrote de Tocqueville.

This notion, originated by the French author, and amplified ever since, which defined the US as the "divine gift" of a moral and virtuous land, is a cruel fairy tale. It is mainly convenient to ease up America's profound guilt. After all, the brutal birth of this nation took place under the curse of two cardinal sins: the theft of Native American lands after committing a genocide of their population; and the hideous crime of slavery, with slaves building an immense wealth for the few, in a new feudal system, with their sweat, tears and blood.

[May 17, 2015] The Emperor Lies

If Hersh is right, the SEALs murdered an unarmed and powerless invalid, held by Pakistan, under orders from Obama when they could have brought him to trial.  Seymour Hersh  essentially stated the Obama Administration's version of the killing of Osama bin Laden was like something out of Wag The Dog -- totally fabricated.
May 16, 2015 "Information Clearing House"

Four years ago the late great journalist Alexander Cockburn wrote, "Alas, the actual story of 'our history' is an unrelenting ability to lie about everything, while simultaneously claiming America's superior moral worth."

It so happens he wrote that sentence in closing a column on President Obama's elaborate story about the Navy SEALs' May 2, 2011, assassination of Osama bin Laden. Cockburn wrote,

There was scarcely a sentence in the President's Sunday night address, or in the subsequent briefing by John Brennan, his chief counter-terrorism coordinator, that has not been subsequently retracted by CIA director Leon Panetta or the White House press spokesman, Jay Carney, or by various documentary records.

The official "back story" released Sunday night by Obama is that US intelligence learned of the Abbottabad compound only last August and spent the following months watching the place, following Osama's trusted couriers and concluding that it was highly likely, though not certain, that Osama was there. Cockburn's column was based on reporting that undermined key details of the official narrative. For example:

This is bunk. The three-storey house has been a well-known feature of Abbottabad. Shaukat Qadir, a well-connected Pakistan Army officer, reported to CounterPunch from Pakistan: "For the record, this house has been under ISI [Pakistani intelligence] surveillance while it was under construction."

Now renowned investigative reporter Seymour Hersh has published a long article in the London Review of Books, "The Killing of Osama bin Laden," that appears further to demolish Obama's politically motivated tale. Hersh, whose major scoops include the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and the torture at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, opens his piece:

Hersh says that his "major source … is a retired senior intelligence official who was knowledgeable about the initial intelligence about bin Laden's presence in Abbottabad." Use of an unnamed source has provoked criticism of Hersh, but one detects a double standard. Many good scoops have depended on unnamed sources, and Hersh says he confirmed what his major source told him. Often that's the only way to get sensitive information about what the government is up to.

The article also has set off a firestorm about its particulars, with the administration, other members of the war party, and media cheerleaders dismissing Hersh's "conspiracy theory." But others defend Hersh. The New York Times' Carlotta Gall, author of The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan 2001-2004, while not accepting every detail, writes:

Among other things, Hersh contends that the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, Pakistan's military-intelligence agency, held Bin Laden prisoner in the Abbottabad compound since 2006, and that "the C.I.A. did not learn of Bin Laden's whereabouts by tracking his couriers, as the White House has claimed since May 2011, but from a former senior Pakistani intelligence officer who betrayed the secret in return for much of the $25 million reward offered by the U.S."

On this count, my own reporting tracks with Hersh's.

Gall points out that the existence of the informant has been confirmed by NBC and a newspaper in Pakistan: "This development is hugely important—it is the strongest indication to date that the Pakistani military knew of Bin Laden's whereabouts...."

Hersh's investigation is also important regarding Saudi Arabia and its connection with bin Laden, who was a Saudi. Is this why bin Laden couldn't be taken alive?

If Hersh is right, the SEALs murdered an unarmed and powerless invalid, held by Pakistan, under orders from Obama when they could have brought him to trial.

What's most important is this: if one understands the danger inherent in government secrecy, one must oppose the empire. Politicians can lie about domestic matters, but foreign intervention offers irresistible opportunities for really big lies—the kind that get people killed. Do people still need to be persuaded about that?

If for no other reason than transparency, the empire must be liquidated.

[May 17, 2015]U.S. Wakes Up to New (Silk) World Order

Neocons got what they saw -- teeth of Chinese dragon...
May 16, 2015 | Information Clearing House
The real Masters of the Universe in the U.S. are no weathermen, but arguably they're starting to feel which way the wind is blowing.

History may signal it all started with this week's trip to Sochi, led by their paperboy, Secretary of State John Kerry, who met with Foreign Minister Lavrov and then with President Putin.

Arguably, a visual reminder clicked the bells for the real Masters of the Universe; the PLA marching in Red Square on Victory Day side by side with the Russian military. Even under the Stalin-Mao alliance Chinese troops did not march in Red Square.

As a screamer, that rivals the Russian S-500 missile systems. Adults in the Beltway may have done the math and concluded Moscow and Beijing may be on the verge of signing secret military protocols as in the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. The new game of musical chairs is surely bound to leave Eurasian-obsessed Dr. Zbig "Grand Chessboard" Brzezinski apoplectic.

And suddenly, instead of relentless demonization and NATO spewing out "Russian aggression!" every ten seconds, we have Kerry saying that respecting Minsk-2 is the only way out in Ukraine, and that he would strongly caution vassal Poroshenko against his bragging on bombing Donetsk airport and environs back into Ukrainian "democracy".

... ... ....

Thus what was really discussed – but not leaked – out of Sochi is how the Obama administration can get some sort of face-saving exit out of the Russian western borderland geopolitical mess it invited on itself in the first place.

About those missiles…

Ukraine is a failed state now fully converted into an IMF colony. The EU will never accept it as a member, or pay its astronomic bills. The real action, for both Washington and Moscow, is Iran. Not accidentally, the extremely dodgy Wendy Sherman — who has been the chief U.S. negotiator in the P5+1 nuclear talks — was part of Kerry's entourage. A comprehensive deal with Iran cannot be clinched without Moscow's essential collaboration on everything from the disposal of spent nuclear fuel to the swift end of UN sanctions.

... ... ...

The real Masters of the Universe may have also noted the very close discussions between Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and the deputy chairman of the Central Military Council of China, Gen. Fan Changlong. Russia and China will conduct naval exercises in the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Japan and will give top priority to their common position regarding U.S. global missile defense.

There's the not-so-negligible matter of the Pentagon "discovering" China has up to 60 silo-based ICBMs – the CSS-4 – capable of targeting almost the whole U.S., except Florida.

And last but not least, there's the Russian rollout of the ultra-sophisticated S-500 defensive missile system — which will conclusively protect Russia from a U.S. Prompt Global Strike (PGS). Each S-500 missile can intercept ten ICBMs at speeds up to 15,480 miles an hour, altitudes of 115 miles and horizontal range of 2,174 miles. Moscow insists the system will only be operational in 2017. If Russia is able to rollout 10,000 S-500 missiles, they can intercept 100,000 American ICBMs by the time the U.S. has a new White House tenant.

[May 16, 2015] William J. Astore The American Military Uncontained, Chaos Spread, Casualties Inflicted, Missions Unaccomplished

May 16, 2015 |

By William J. Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF) who edits the blogThe Contrary Perspective. Originally published at TomDispatch<

It's 1990. I'm a young captain in the U.S. Air Force. I've just witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall, something I never thought I'd see, short of a third world war. Right now I'm witnessing the slow death of the Soviet Union, without the accompanying nuclear Armageddon so many feared. Still, I'm slightly nervous as my military gears up for an unexpected new campaign, Operation Desert Shield/Storm, to expel Iraqi autocrat Saddam Hussein's military from Kuwait. It's a confusing moment. After all, the Soviet Union was forever (until it wasn't) and Saddam had been a stalwart U.S. friend, his country a bulwark against the Iran of the Ayatollahs. (For anyone who doubts that history, just check out the now-infamous 1983 photo of Donald Rumsfeld, then special envoy for President Reagan, all smiles and shaking hands with Saddam in Baghdad.) Still, whatever my anxieties, the Soviet Union collapsed without a whimper and the campaign against Saddam's battle-tested forces proved to be a "cakewalk," with ground combat over in a mere 100 hours.

Think of it as the trifecta moment: Vietnam syndrome vanquished forever, Saddam's army destroyed, and the U.S. left standing as the planet's "sole superpower."

Post-Desert Storm, the military of which I was a part stood triumphant on a planet that was visibly ours and ours alone. Washington had won the Cold War. It had won everything, in fact. End of story. Saddam admittedly was still in power in Baghdad, but he had been soundly spanked. Not a single peer enemy loomed on the horizon. It seemed as if, in the words of former U.N. ambassador and uber-conservative Jeane Kirkpatrick, the U.S. could return to being a normal country in normal times.

What Kirkpatrick meant was that, with the triumph of freedom movements in Central and Eastern Europe and the rollback of communism, the U.S. military could return to its historical roots, demobilizing after its victory in the Cold War even as a "new world order" was emerging. But it didn't happen. Not by a long shot. Despite all the happy talk back then about a "new world order," the U.S. military never gave a serious thought to becoming a "normal" military for normal times. Instead, for our leaders, both military and civilian, the thought process took quite a different turn. You might sum up their thinking this way, retrospectively: Why should we demobilize or even downsize significantly or rein in our global ambitions at a moment when we can finally give them full expression? Why would we want a "peace dividend" when we could leverage our military assets and become a global power the likes of which the world has never seen, one that would put the Romans and the British in the historical shade? Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer caught the spirit of the moment in February 2001 when he wrote, "America is no mere international citizen. It is the dominant power in the world, more dominant than any since Rome. Accordingly, America is in a position to reshape norms, alter expectations, and create new realities. How? By unapologetic and implacable demonstrations of will."

What I didn't realize back then was: America's famed "containment policy" vis-à-vis the Soviet Union didn't just contain that superpower — it contained us, too. With the Soviet Union gone, the U.S. military was freed from containment. There was nowhere it couldn't go and nothing it couldn't do — or so the top officials of the Bush administration came into power thinking, even before 9/11. Consider our legacy military bases from the Cold War era that already spanned the globe in an historically unprecedented way. Built largely to contain the Soviets, they could be repurposed as launching pads for interventions of every sort. Consider all those weapon systems meant to deter Soviet aggression. They could be used to project power on a planet seemingly without rivals.

Now was the time to go for broke. Now was the time to go "all in," to borrow the title of Paula Broadwell's fawning biography of her mentor and lover, General David Petraeus. Under the circumstances, peace dividends were for wimps. In 1993, Madeleine Albright, secretary of state under Bill Clinton, caught the coming post-Cold War mood of twenty-first-century America perfectly when she challenged Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell angrily over what she considered a too-cautious U.S. approach to the former Yugoslavia. "What's the point of having this superb military that you're always talking about," she asked, "if we can't use it?"

Yet even as civilian leaders hankered to flex America's military muscle in unpromising places like Bosnia and Somalia in the 1990s, and Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, and Yemen in this century, the military itself has remained remarkably mired in Cold War thinking. If I could transport the 1990 version of me to 2015, here's one thing that would stun him a quarter-century after the collapse of the Soviet Union: the force structure of the U.S. military has changed remarkably little. Its nuclear triad of land-based ICBMs, submarine-launched SLBMs, and nuclear-capable bombers remains thoroughly intact. Indeed, it's being updated and enhanced at mind-boggling expense (perhaps as high as a trillion dollars over the next three decades). The U.S. Navy? Still built around large, super-expensive, and vulnerable aircraft carrier task forces. The U.S. Air Force? Still pursuing new, ultra-high-tech strategic bombers and new, wildly expensive fighters and attack aircraft — first the F-22, now the F-35, both supremely disappointing. The U.S. Army? Still configured to fight large-scale, conventional battles, a surplus of M-1 Abrams tanks sitting in mothballs just in case they're needed to plug the Fulda Gap in Germany against a raging Red Army. Except it's 2015, not 1990, and no mass of Soviet T-72 tanks remains poised to surge through that gap.

Much of our military today remains structured to meet and defeat a Soviet threat that long ago ceased to exist. (Occasional sparring matches with Vladimir Putin's Russia in and around Ukraine do not add up to the heated "rumbles in the jungle" we fought with the Soviet leaders of yesteryear.) And it's not just a matter of weaponry. Our military hierarchy remains wildly and unsustainably top-heavy, with a Cold War-style cupboard of generals and admirals, as if we were still stockpiling brass in case of another world war and a further expansion of what is already uncontestably the largest military on the planet. If you had asked me in 1990 what the U.S. military would look like in 2015, the one thing I wouldn't have guessed was that, in its force structure, it would look basically the same.

This persistence of such Cold War structures and the thinking that goes with them is a vivid illustration of military inertia, the plodding last-war conservatism that is a common enough phenomenon in military history. It's also a reminder that the military-industrial-congressional-complex that President Dwight Eisenhower first warned us about in 1961 remains in expansion mode more than half a century later, with its taste for business as usual (meaning, among other things, wildly expensive weapons systems). Above all, though, it's an illustration of something far more disturbing: the failure of democratic America to seize the possibility of a less militarized world.

Today, it's hard to recapture the heady optimism of 1990, the idea that this country, as after any war, might at least begin to take steps to demobilize, however modestly, to become a more peaceable land. That's why 1990 should be considered the high-water mark of the U.S. military. At that moment, we were poised on the brink of a new normalcy — and then it all began to go wrong. To understand how, it's important to see not just what remained the same, but also what began to change and just how we ended up with today's mutant military.

Paramilitaries Without, Militaries Within, Civilian Torturers, and Assassins Withal

Put me back again in my slimmer, uniformed 1990 body and catapult me for a second time to 2015. What do I see in this military moment that surprises me? Unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, for sure. Networked computers everywhere and the reality of a military preparing for "cyberwar." Incessant talk of terrorism as America's chief threat. A revival, however haltingly, of counterinsurgency operations, or COIN, a phenomenon abandoned in Vietnam with a stake through its heart (or so I thought then). Uncontrolled and largely unaccountable mass surveillance of civilian society that in the Cold War era would have been a hallmark of the "Evil Empire."

More than anything, however, what would truly have shocked the 1990 version of me is the almost unimaginable way the military has "privatized" in the twenty-first century. The presence of paramilitary forces (mercenary companies like DynCorp and the former Blackwater, now joined with Triple Canopy in the Constellis Group) and private corporations like KBR doing typical military tasks like cooking and cleaning (what happened to privates doing KP?), delivering the mail, and mounting guard duty on military bases abroad; an American intelligence system that's filled to the brim with tens of thousands of private contractors; a new Department of Defense called the Department of Homeland Security ("homeland" being a word I would once have associated, to be blunt, with Nazi Germany) that has also embraced paramilitaries and privatizers of every sort; the rapid rise of a special operations community, by the tens of thousands, that has come to constitute a vast, privileged, highly secretive military caste within the larger armed forces; and, most shocking of all, the public embrace of torture and assassination by America's civilian leaders — the very kinds of tactics and techniques I associated in 1990 with the evils of communism.

Walking about in such a world in 2015, the 1990-me would truly find himself a stranger in a strange land. This time-traveling Bill Astore's befuddlement could, I suspect, be summed up in an impolite sentiment expressed in three letters: WTF?

Think about it. In 2015, so many of America's "trigger-pullers" overseas are no longer, strictly speaking, professional military. They're mercenaries, guns for hire, or CIA drone pilots (some on loan from the Air Force), or warrior corporations and intelligence contractors looking to get in on a piece of the action in a war on terror where progress is defined — official denials to the contrary — by body count, by the number of "enemy combatants" killed in drone or other strikes.

Indeed, the very persistence of traditional Cold War structures and postures within the "big" military has helped hide the full-scale emergence of a new and dangerous mutant version of our armed forces. A bewildering mish-mash of special ops, civilian contractors (both armed and unarmed), and CIA and other intelligence operatives, all plunged into a penumbra of secrecy, all largely hidden from view (even as they're openly celebrated in various Hollywood action movies), this mutant military is forever clamoring for a greater piece of the action.

While the old-fashioned, uniformed military guards its Cold War turf, preserved like some set of monstrous museum exhibits, the mutant military strives with great success to expand its power across the globe. Since 9/11, it's the mutant military that has gotten the lion's share of the action and much of the adulation — here's looking at you, SEAL Team 6 — along with its ultimate enabler, the civilian commander-in-chief, now acting in essence as America's assassin-in-chief.

Think of it this way: a quarter-century after the end of the Cold War, the U.S. military is completely uncontained. Washington's foreign policies are strikingly military-first ones, and nothing seems to be out of bounds. Its two major parts, the Cold War-era "big" military, still very much alive and kicking, and the new-era military of special ops, contractors, and paramilitaries seek to dominate everything. Nuclear, conventional, unconventional, land, sea, air, space, cyber, you name it: all realms must be mastered.

Except it can't master the one realm that matters most: itself. And it can't find the one thing that such an uncontained military was supposed to guarantee: victory (not in a single place anywhere on Earth).

Loaded with loot and praised to the rafters, America's uncontained military has no discipline and no direction. It never has to make truly tough choices, like getting rid of ICBMs or shedding its obscenely bloated top ranks of officers or cancelling redundant weapon systems like the F-35. It just aims to do it all, just about everywhere. As Nick Turse reported recently, U.S. special ops touched down in 150 countries between 2011 and 2014. And the results of all this activity have been remarkably repetitive and should by now be tragically predictable: lots of chaos spread, lots of casualties inflicted, and in every case, mission unaccomplished.

The Future Isn't What It Used to Be

Say what you will of the Cold War, at least it had an end. The overriding danger of the current American military moment is that it may lack one.

Once upon a time, the U.S. military was more or less tied to continental defense and limited by strong rivals in its hegemonic designs. No longer. Today, it has uncontained ambitions across the globe and even as it continually stumbles in achieving them, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, or elsewhere, its growth is assured, as our leaders trip over one another in continuing to shower it with staggering sums of money and unconditional love.

No military should ever be trusted and no military should ever be left uncontained. Our nation's founders knew this lesson. Five-star general Dwight D. Eisenhower took pains in his farewell address in 1961 to remind us of it again. How did we as a people come to forget it? WTF, America?

What I do know is this: Take an uncontained, mutating military, sprinkle it with unconditional love and plenty of dough, and you have a recipe for disaster. So excuse me for being more than a little nervous about what we'll all find when America flips the calendar by another quarter-century to the year 2040.

Selected Skeptical Comments

Chris Geary May 15, 2015 at 3:41 am

"Military overreach" is a nice way I guess of putting the US ruthless/reckless plan for military control of the planet.

Christer Kamb May 15, 2015 at 5:57 am

It´s name is POWER-HYBRIS. Trying to put the Roman Empire in the shade is asking for the same end.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL May 15, 2015 at 5:36 pm

"The military wants to do everything everywhere". And Americans like it that way: THAT's the problem. Between Hollywood, TV, every Politboro news organ from Business Insider to Fox News, National Friggin' Geographic fer chrissakes extolling military porn, no wonder the plebs are so bloodthirsty. Last Christmas for the first time when Norad tracked Santa Claus on his journey from the North Pole his sleigh was escorted by two fighter jets. Gotta get 'em young.
Doesn't seem to matter to anyone that the American military has not won a major engagement since WWII. Oh, except Grenada. America's defining National Myth Monster rolls on.
Dennis Kucinich proposed a Department of Peace, just fund the hell out of it. Since the plebs operate in a "conscience-free zone", pay enough people to shout "Peace Now!" at every possible turn and you might move the needle. Worked a treat in 1971.

Harriet May 15, 2015 at 4:02 am

It's crushing to think how if even a fraction of the trillions sunk into maintaining military bloat–the F-35 boondoggle, or the mercenary contractors first come to mind–had been invested in U.S. education system, health care, and/or civic infrastructure, so many people and families would be alive and thriving today. And who knows if one of them was the next Marie Curie, George Washington Carver, or Hedy Lamarr?

sufferin'succotash May 15, 2015 at 8:35 am

That's Hedley!

PlutoniumKun May 15, 2015 at 4:55 am

'Not so much a country with an army as an army with a country' they used to say about Prussia. The US is increasingly beginning to resemble that description. Historically, countries with unconfined militaries end up in wars because sections of the military decide there must be a war, not because the civilian leadership decides. What his happening now in parts of the world (most notably Ukraine and elsewhere in eastern Europe) is beginning to resemble Manchuria in the 1930's, when an unconstrained Japanese army simply decided to start a war (actually, more than one war) without even bothering to consult with Tokyo. Increasingly I do not think it is relevant who sits in the White House, the crucial decisions are not made there.

MikeNY May 15, 2015 at 6:03 am

We're the modern-age Sparta.

According to Boehner, our military can't survive on a dime less than $604,000,000,000 a year. Because "it's downright shameful … to even contemplate turning our backs on American troops."

Every time you cut funding for an F-35 or a drone or a nuke, little baby Jesus weeps.

James Levy May 15, 2015 at 6:52 am

With one sad exception: our inequality extends to who bears the ultimate burden for that Sparta-like militarism. We've fobbed off imperial policing to mostly poor rural whites and Hispanics (blacks have largely internalized which way the wind is blowing and their participation rates in recruitment have dropped significantly). Every Spartan male who was not a Helot was a soldier. Here, we've upended that relationship so that those at the bottom make up the soldiery and those at the top never go near a barracks.

MikeNY May 15, 2015 at 2:33 pm

Yes, ITA.

Felix May 16, 2015 at 12:45 am

Plenty of blacks as well. Basically it is a well funded jobs program…….do nothing jobs…….huge benefits……out of sight medical care abuse…… General Casey said, "a health care system that occasionally kills a terrorist." What other industry exists in the US that can offer an average citizen a middle or lower middle class income? Local Fire? Good luck if you don't have relatives and same with police.

Brooklin Bridge May 15, 2015 at 7:10 am

The insane expense of operating the military and the impossibility of shutting it down or limiting it in any way it is a good part of the military's (not to mention the empire's) Achilles heel. The other part is it's clunky, crusty, internal structure so resistant by hubris and habit to change and reason as Astore aptly describes. But it's cold comfort.

As always with our Empire, the tragedy is that we seem fated to go through all the machinations, but worse all the unnecessary suffering put mainly on the innocent, of a system that has reached that level of complexity or what ever it is that triggers the downward spiral of self destruction.

Brooklin Bridge May 15, 2015 at 7:21 am

Increasingly I do not think it is relevant who sits in the White House, the crucial decisions are not made there.

Hard to argue that point, but I suspect in reality it does matter in an odd sort of way. Executives have a sort of uncontrolled control like a car where the steering wheel is so loose as to be almost, but not quite, worthless. The President (and Obama with his narcissism is a pip for this) whirls the wheel and imagines he is at the helm, but the whole contraption, in reality, responds with a confused will of its own.

steviefinn May 15, 2015 at 5:17 am

It reminds me of how Bomber Command became like a giant machine during WW2. A bureaucracy which once put in motion ( as Kurt Vonnegut was told by a high level officer within it ), just kept on rolling even when it was realised, by many of the cogs working with in it that it was no longer serving a supposedly useful purpose.

There is a possibility that officer might have been the scientist Freeman Dyson, & here he talks about the sense of helplessness, when knowing something is very wrong within the organisation you are working for, but knowing that there is nothing you can do to change it :

Otter May 15, 2015 at 6:31 am

Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer: "America is no mere international citizen. It is the dominant power in the world, more dominant than any since Rome. Accordingly, America is in a position to reshape norms, alter expectations, and create new realities. How? By unapologetic and implacable demonstrations of will."

"Triumph Des Willens" was a huge fad last century. It came to a bad end 70 years ago.

Maju May 15, 2015 at 6:36 pm

Actually the best comparison is not Rome but Charles V, who also dreamed with Rome, like all European power-mongers ever. Like Charles V, the endless campaigns of the USA only manage to erode the empire, like Charles V, every other "second" power is trying to erode the influence of the USA, mostly with success, like Charles V, the hypertrophy of the military relies on an huge pile of debt, impossible to pay. The main difference is that Charles V used old-school money (silver and gold), while the USA uses paper-money.

It's kind of an ouroboros of European imperialism: the beginning and the end of it.

Jackrabbit May 15, 2015 at 6:41 am

I think the author is trying to say that our Democracy has been hijacked.

Military people tend to give too little credit to propaganda. Its an Empire of Illusion as much as it is an Empire of Chaos.

Americans have been too complacent about international relations. This allows our bought government a free hand for overseas adventures. But the war comes home in a variety of ways, from spying to cuts in social spending to militarized police and more.


juliania May 15, 2015 at 4:21 pm

I don't think he is trying to say – he is saying it. Very clearly and concisely and encompassing all aspects of military malfeasance. The 1990 perspective is appropriate and chilling for those of us whose memories as adults reach back that far. It truly was a watershed moment, even perhaps a greater one than the 2000 election as far as this country's potential for actual reversal of course is concerned.

Well done, Mr. Astore.

James Levy May 15, 2015 at 6:47 am

I understand the man's thinking and praise him for it, but he doesn't take the ultimate step which Chalmers Johnson did–to understanding that since NSC68 it was always about aggrandizement, not "containment."

As an historian of Britain, the interesting thing for me intellectually (emotionally if find this all sickening and appalling) is how there was always a constituency for retrenchment in the UK, but it never cohered here, or hasn't since Pearl Harbor. British defence spending was always cut after wars. Hell, it was Churchill as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the 1920s who carried through the so-called Geddes Axe and slashed the services unmercifully. Despite a vast empire, the British establishment was always leery of paying the high taxes needed for a huge military. I guess we owe a lot of this to Nixon closing the gold window and the death of Bretton Woods. Our unique position as issuer of the global currency with no check on how much of it we can issue makes our military extravaganzas possible.

Carla May 15, 2015 at 7:07 am

In the "WTF America?" department, I wonder what James Levy and William Astore think of Michael J. Glennon's "National Security and Double Government" ?

norm de plume May 15, 2015 at 8:21 pm

The title sounds like it sails close to the borders of the Deep State, but this review I just read:

says 'This is no secret conspiracy nor a plot to deprive Americans of their civil liberties. It is the unintended consequence of a thoughtful attempt to head off the very threats that those attempts have inadvertently created'

Which sounds eerily like stevie's relay of Freeman Dyson's comment about Bomber Command above:

'A bureaucracy which once put in motion ( as Kurt Vonnegut was told by a high level officer within it ), just kept on rolling even when it was realised, by many of the cogs working with in it that it was no longer serving a supposedly useful purpose'

So, if it's just a blind monster driven by thousands of little bureaucratic decisions it should be easier to stop than if it's actually an evil cabal of bad guys, yes? A last quote from Glennon casts some doubt:

"the term Orwellian will have little meaning to a people who have never known anything different, who have scant knowledge of history, civics, or public affairs, and who in any event have never heard of George Orwell."

MyLessThanPrimeBeef May 15, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Our unique position as issuer of the global currency with no check on how much of it we can issue makes our military extravaganzas possible.

A fiat-money empire can be a household or not a household.

The choice is up to the people…the masters of the house.

"You have chosen…wisely."

JTMcPhee May 15, 2015 at 8:21 am

See Spot run! Run, Spot, run! See Dick shoot Jane! Shoot, Dick, shoot! See Dick show Vlad how to shoot, American style! And make tactical decisions just like successful US military!

No more topheavy command and control! Except realtime GoPro Battlespace management by fatass dudes at Global Network-Centric Interoperababble Battlespace consoles!

"War In Ukraine," now we know who the official Good Guys are!
We be fu___ed. Like Totally,, Timmy!

OIFVet May 15, 2015 at 6:12 pm

The most telling bit is that these glorious, freedom loving defenders of free Ukraine are speaking in … Russian?! WTF??? They speak Russian and the US trainers' instructions get translated to them in Russian.

I guess they haven't had time to learn proper Bandera while fighting other Russian speakers…

Eureka Springs May 15, 2015 at 8:27 am

I think this is the authors most significant blind spot:

Above all, though, it's an illustration of something far more disturbing: the failure of democratic America to seize the possibility of a less militarized world.

We are not now nor have we ever been a democratic America. Beginning with the oft cited point by me that the D word does not exist in the Constitution. I say this understanding that the people even in a Democracy would likely approve if not demand to be a horrifically violent bunch. Who will change this, the Green party?

Maybe, but only in a Democracy, the kind which abhors secrecy and lies as much as bloody war mongering itself.

susan the other May 15, 2015 at 2:13 pm

I think this way as well. I sometimes think we really jumped the shark in the Cold War because we created so much advanced (mostly secret) technology it would stagger us all to learn about it. But the Cold War was the perfect window of history to accomplish this applied science. And now we are in a kind of existential crisis. Yes it was and is expensive to advance science at such a pace. And we will never know how that money has been spent because it's all top secret. I wish we could apply block chain accounting to military procurement. Pin down every penny. And for this reason: that money could have been spent on creating a sustainable world but it was "misallocated" as the capitalists like to say.

We failed to modernize our brains and our economy at a critical time. We should send the entire military to the psychologist and appoint a very enlightened bunch to change course at the DoD. The new Secty of Def is a curious guy. Almost likeable. I'd personally love to see the greatest oxymoron – a true peace, green peace preferably, even if it is a fascistic peace. It could be a great new economy.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef May 15, 2015 at 3:02 pm

You're right – the money could been spent on creating a sustainable world.

Printing more doesn't address the issue if we don't correct the misallocation, and when we correct it, we will likely see we don't need to print more.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL May 15, 2015 at 5:53 pm

Tinkering at the margins won't work. Do what Ron Paul said: bring the troops home.

When asked when he would do it, he replied "as soon as the boats can get there".
THAT's the world we need to be imagining: America with an unbelievably strong, successful fighting force (1/10th it's current size) ready to defend our borders against every conceivable threat. Take another 1/10th of the force and put them to work on American soil building roads, bridges, TRAIN TRACKS, and hospitals HERE for a change. Aim 1/10th of the force to R&D, techno-science and manufacturing advancements they are already so good at.

Loudly announce to the Taiwanese and the South Koreans and the Europeans and the Israelis that they must pay for their own defense. Faced with the impossibility of doing so just maybe they would find new ways to cooperate with their neighbors rather than simply hiding behind the World's Apex Bully.

Henry May 15, 2015 at 8:30 am

What I find interesting is that the American people are becoming more and more suspicious and fearful of big government but are still enamored and almost fawning of a big military as if they are two separate things. They believe politicians are corrupt but the military brass are honorable and respect worthy. I'm not sure if this is caused by Hollywood, but there is a real cognitive dissidence in the minds of the American people.

I hope they're able to wake from this fantasy before it's too late.

bruno marr May 15, 2015 at 1:18 pm

…I like the creative use of "dissidence" (misbelief) in this comment. I expected to see "dissonance" (inconsistency), but misbelief better describes the American mindset.

A refusal to accept reality.

barutanseijin May 15, 2015 at 1:21 pm

I don't know if it's ALL Hollywood's fault, but they certainly have something to do with it. The military parasitic complex doesn't cooperate with Hollywood projects like Top Gun for nothing.

And it's not just Hollywood, but news media which serves up blatant propaganda as "news" (yellowcake!) & pays members of the military-parasitic class to yabber away on network teevee. Not to mention the NFL which takes Pentagon dollars for salutes to soldiers. It's like an oxoplasma gondii infection, where the protozoans take over rodent brains and drive them towards the cats.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef May 15, 2015 at 2:30 pm

Government is not just for building bridges. Military is a big, big part*.

Let's not overlook this reality when we are not being skeptical (but we should be) of the unlimited money creation authority (so claimed, but debatable) for the government to spend (so that it will trickle down to you), especially when we can do better – we can take away military spending and use it for all those things mentioned above (which we desperately need) by Harriet, at 4:02AM.

*Big Brother says he's being ignored.

vegeholic May 15, 2015 at 1:24 pm

A good start would be to re-institute compulsory national service with NO DEFERMENTS. If there is pushback from uncooperative draftees, maybe that is valuable feedback that should be listened to. I am sure it was a dream come true when the brass got their professional, all volunteer army, and could then forge ahead with their plans knowing there would be little resistance from inside.

For all of the untidiness of the Vietnam era protests, there was valuable feedback indicating the citizens had lost interest in pursuing that lost enterprise. If the policy makers knew that their children and grandchildren (and themselves !) were about to become cannon fodder they might think twice about starting new adventures.

jrs May 15, 2015 at 2:33 pm

You idea of compulsory national service with NO DEFERMENTS is a delusion. The rich will NEVER EVER EVER serve with the grunts. Get that straight. Short of revolution (and even then probably!!!).

We already know the criminal laws don't' apply to the rich. And we expect them not to get out of the law when not just their freedom (ie being sent to the slammer) but their lives are at stake. Yea right. As always we will die, they will profit. That's the case even with voluntary recruitment. And it will be the case if they get the draft only no peasants will have any choice but to die in wars for their profit.

And the feedback from Vietnam took how many years to end the war? How many dead Americans? (dead Vietnamese too, yes but I'm talking about the war being ended out of self-interest and it's impact on Americans, or rather that NOT actually happening historically, or at least not until it had gone on forever).

You want to give our unaccountable rulers in an ever more unaccountable government more power to send us to die (neo-liberals "go die" isn't nothing, compared to being made to die and kill). Hasn't Fast Track and the TPP at least shown us that there's no democracy in the White House, no democracy in the Senate. And as everyone knows there's no democracy in the Supreme Court. What's left that cares what the populous wants? Maybe the House if the stars perfectly align.

If you want to make policy makers responsible for their wars, why not just send them and their children to die in them? They are rarely influenced by us anyway.

jrs May 15, 2015 at 2:54 pm

It's sometimes as if we hardly need our rulers to stuff horrible nonsense down our throats (and they do of course), when sections of the population beg for it themselves. Few in power have argued for a draft lately (thank heavens for small mercies, maybe a draft is buried in the TPP text for all we'd know!). Well then we better do so. "Please, please, oh wise ruling class you haven't done enough until you make my children die for you. Just as long as you promise it will be equal, and everyone will have an equal chance of dying, including your children, it will be equal right …. right?"

A draft over my dead body. There aren't enough horrors in the world to worry about. I mean I understand wanting some kind of accountability if they read about another wedding being bombed, another kid having his legs blown off or being made into pink mist by the U.S. empire. But a draft of the powerless (the 99s) is questionable as a solution to that, but is certain to ruin THEIR lives. People who come back from these stupid wars are killing themselves right and left from the trauma already.

JTMcPhee May 15, 2015 at 11:03 pm

Our imperial military has no use for a draft. That just means more unreliable Troops that might , as they've done before, mutiny or decline to obey orders. I'm waiting for still newer versions of the Soldier's Oath, that omit that stuff about supporting and defending the Constitution. The part about obeying LAWFUL orders is fading out, and drones and autonomous battle robots and UAVs and boats and sub's and missiles (and mercenaries, for wet work in meatspace, are just so much more reliable, from the Brass Hat's perspective. Too tired to look stuff up tonight, but a whole lot of planning is going into getting rid of GIs with their long term costs and problems.

So you need not fear having to become a dead body to resist a massive conscription… The Thing this post describes is a stage IV metastatic malignancy. Now we can all go back to our "Call of Duty" and
Blow some heads off, or a quick round of "Game of War" where you have a chance to " build an Empire that will Last Forever!!" A little different theme than "Sim City," right?

tim s May 15, 2015 at 2:11 pm

Edit. Meant as a reply to Henry

The people in the USA are a little more diverse than that. Many do not harbor such grand feelings about the military. Recall how many were opposed to actions in Syria, Iran, Ukraine. Back in 1990, there was some hoo-rah, but that was largely propaganga based. Many, like the author, were simply confused by Desert Storm. Of course, the light show streamed on TV made those predisposed to being led around by their noses fell all warm and fuzzy, so there was that support to show. That was also a time where the "markets" were just about to lift off and escape from reality, so there was so much $$$ for people to swim in that there was not any pain from these skirmishes, so they didn't give it a 2nd thought. Without thinking, there is only the flashing screens, which do seem to be used by TPTB at every opportunity to mold the thoughts of the masses. At every point in our progression to this point, there was no shortage of Hollywood / propaganda. This is predictable, however. I believe it was Goebbels that said that it works the same in all times and places, and I'm sure that this is correct. I recall reading that a large percentage of the Germans & the Japanese had no idea of the reality of their situation during or even near the end of WW2.

As pervasive as the propaganda is, the USA has such a wide variety of people that they are trying to herd cats, with about as much success as expected. The main thing to remember is that all that is happening militarily is not in support of the USA, but rather of the moneyed interests, which are not actually contained within the borders of the USA, and is is many ways counter to the interests of the people in that country.

There are many contributors to our political campaigns who are not US citizens. Even our super-rich consider themselves to be of a super-national class rather than US citizens. All of this is not about the USA. Our remaining political system still has some of the pesky remnants of a democracy, so there is some need to win us over to keep the charade going. We see that this is not going so well (i.e. TPP).

Still, I'm sure that the MIC gets funding (official and unofficial) regardless of what the people think, just as the TBTF banks get what the need as far as trillions in credit/bailouts, simply because this structure maintains the status of the moneyed interests, which are again super-national. Of course, there are factions within these moneyed interests that would fight each other to the death given the logical progression of events.

Like you, I hope that there is much more wakening. People right now are in that phase of just coming out of sleep, and many are completely confused and disoriented. What a mess. Such is life.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef May 15, 2015 at 2:56 pm

Our super-rich are American-citizen patriots who support military spending, and at the same time, super-nationals with global profit outlook.

They are a long way from the provincial "we speak only one language" American middle class of the 50's. They are fully aware of the global consequences of printing money (hot money in and out, but more significantly, as shown in this article – mutant military) here.

They know there is only one exceptional country that needs never to take out foreign currency loans.

They know there is only one exceptional country that can print fiat money as much as it wants and the rest of the world will share her burden (unlike say, Ukraine who can print as much as she likes, but no one other country will participate in economic-pain-sharing with her).

tim s May 15, 2015 at 4:45 pm

Per the Merriam–Webster dictionary : Patriotism – : having or showing great love and support for your country

Show me one way our super rich prove this love and support.

All I see is self-love and love of power. Support? How is hiding wealth in offshore accounts and shell companies supportive of their country? Show me the ranks of these rich that have volunteered for military service.

sam s smith May 15, 2015 at 6:39 pm

Prince, the head of Black Water was Navy SEAL.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef May 15, 2015 at 8:25 pm

My fault.

Should have put quotation marks around 'patriots.'

Crazy Horse May 15, 2015 at 3:53 pm

You commentators have it all wrong. After all, what would the Land of the Free be without its most viable industry, the manufacture and distribution of weapons of death?

Conventional manufacturing and all the jobs it once generated have been off-shored to whatever country comes closest to pure slave labor. Farming has been subsumed into a form of industrial sharecropping , with the chief beneficiary being companies like Monsanto that control the genetic structure of the crops and banksters that supply credit to purchase the chemicals and machinery that are the primary inputs into what was once called farming.

The largest volume of "productive" activity in the country is in "finance" which has exactly the same contribution to the welfare of the nation as a vampire has to that of its' host.

Liberals wring their hands because of what they see as the shortcomings of President Obama, ignoring his contribution to the welfare of the country.

Under his leadership the US share of international arms trade has grown from a mere 60% to over 80%. Thank god we have at least one industry that still leads the world.

Sluggeaux May 15, 2015 at 3:57 pm

One word: Corruption

Congress allocates the funds. The Presidency and the Congress use the "military" as the definitive self-licking ice cream cone, channeling these vast and wasteful appropriations of fiat money to their cronies, while claiming to be anti-Big Government (it was former Nixon-strategist Mevin Phillips who pegged the Bush dynasty as nothing but a snarling hyena-pack of war-profiteers).

Our Fearless Leader, congress-critters, and their cronies will find the rise of unaccountable surveillance and assassination described above to be a convenient resource when the masses who have been out-sourced by globalization continue with ever-larger Katrina/Ferguson/Baltimore-style uprisings. Just watch.

I will, but hopefully from a "resilient" sideline…

VietnamVet May 15, 2015 at 4:17 pm

I agree with the points of this post. It just does not bring them to a logical conclusion.

Without the draft and tax on the wealthy, none of the wars that America is fighting from Ukraine to Somalia will be won. Simply stated, these privatized conflicts are a means to extract the remaining wealth from Americans until they are so burdened with debt that infrastructure and government collapses.

North America will be borderless fiefdoms separated by language and cartel enforcers; that is if mankind avoids nuclear war, plagues, or a climate collapse.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL May 15, 2015 at 6:10 pm

OK, my third comment, this subject is very close to my heart.

Everyone uses an outdated lens when looking at war today, the old paradigm had nations seeking to acquire territory, resources, factories, the "spoils of war". But today *war making itself* IS the treasure: no reason to try to capture and hold territory or resources, the mere act of making a new war pumps dollars to the corporate and government elites.

We waste endless ink trying to parse the strategic implications of this or that conflict, who is in it, and what they could gain. That's meaningless today: just go start punching someone, anyone. This explains America's flailing around the globe, desperate to find a new enemy at every turn. The Cold War ending was a giant blow to these forces, the GWOT worked well for a while but is getting stale, hence the glee at demonizing Russia.

In between we punch Libya, try to punch Syria, get all bloodthirsty about Iran…I mean it's just so obvious. None of these have to have any glimmer of rationale about being in our "strategic interest", when KFC gets multi-million $ no-bid contracts to set up shop behind the trenches, you know the fix is in.

OIFVet May 15, 2015 at 6:26 pm

I generally agree, but I think that there is another dimension: exerting stronger control over the population as its standard of living declines ever more. The War on Terra ushered in the legalization of the tools for control: domestic surveillance, the militarization of police, the creation of the fusion centers, etc. Of course that's good for bidness, so we really have a twofer. So for all the justified criticisms toward the author's belief that we actually had a democracy, he is correct that whatever crapp and imperfect illusion of freedom there was is taken away gradually.

jrs May 15, 2015 at 6:37 pm

The MIC gets rich, but there's really no other purpose?

No oil, no pipelines, no minerals, no petrodollar, no markets to neoliberalize and conquer, noone to overthrow who is not going along, no strategic military bases to establish?

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL May 15, 2015 at 11:56 pm

I dunno, if Iraq was about the oil, then why didn't we get any? The Chinese did. And I'm not sure how we neo-liberalize markets with the military…threaten we will invade?

I know Hilary threatened Sweden with reduced cooperation/funds if they didn't lighten up on Monsanto…pretty sure she didn't say we would invade though.

And as far as installing our own bad guys, maybe it's the one-two punch: green helicopters to get rid of the previous guy, then the rep from the IMF shows up for the Economic Hitman routine.

OIFVet May 16, 2015 at 12:16 am

And I'm not sure how we neo-liberalize markets with the military

Through NATO's military umbrella, NATO being the PC name for the US military occupation of the "allies". When dependent on the US for defense from the "enemies" we spend so much time and treasure to cultivate, we ensure our native compradors' loyalty and also their protection from the natives in case they get restless and dissatisfied. Full spectrum dominance, baby!

Nick May 15, 2015 at 5:47 pm

This column is quite lopsided. Iraq is over, the US is not invading Yemen, there may yet be a nuclear deal signed with Iran, and Russia is contained (for the moment) in Ukraine. The 21st Century is all about Asia and China…and the US pivot to Asia continues.

OIFVet May 15, 2015 at 6:33 pm

The US provides target intelligence to the Saudis, so it is a proxy war. And how, pray tell, is Russia contained in Ukraine? The events of the past coupe of days point to the beginning of Western retreat from Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Russia and China went to great length to project an image of cooperation, with the leadership inseparable during the Victory Day parade and Chinese formations marching on the Red Square (with Russian formations set to return the courtesy in August's celebrations of the end of WW2 in Beijing).

Which shows that the pursuit of the pivot to Asia will only gobble ever increasing amounts…

frosty zoom May 15, 2015 at 8:37 pm

turn off your t.v.!

Jeremy Grimm May 16, 2015 at 1:37 am

A lot of the points made in this post are a little dated. Some sound like the author drank too much of the KoolAid passed around at the time and it's finally wearing off. Just touching on one:

"The U.S. Army? Still configured to fight large-scale, conventional battles, a surplus of M-1 Abrams tanks sitting in mothballs just in case they're needed to plug the Fulda Gap in Germany against a raging Red Army."

Around the end of Poppy Bush's [Mr. CIA and Mr. Shadow Iran Contra Man] Iraq war, the US Army was organized around Corps or Division size force structures best suited for a large scale war. However, following Desert Storm, many of the planners and theorists were re-thinking these basic structures as well as the larger strategy for structuring the world-wide Army forces. "Modular Army", "Army Modernization" grew into large scale efforts to re-structure and re-equip the Army forces.

These efforts coincided with changes to the Army mission. I didn't follow this process and its history well enough to trace its history — but today's Army is organized around modular brigade structures similar to the kinds of smaller force structure the Marine Corps have used for years to enable quick deployment of smaller self-contained forces — "expeditionary" forces. [If you're interested, I believe the Army's Mission Statements and Planning documents are available to the public so you could trace the evolution in thinking if you wanted, but first better make several large urns of coffee.]

I don't know about the hordes of mothballed Abrams, but I believe they exist. What impressed me were the large numbers of Humvees issued to units and replaced in theater with Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles using some specially created paperwork and paid for using the unit's discretionary funds. The armor on the initial versions of the Humvees was too thin. "Up-Armor" Humvees replaced Humvees and in turn were replaced with MRAP vehicles as it became evident the Up-Armor Humvees were too vulnerable to improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The force structure designs still allocated Humvees the last I was involved with that work. As far as I know many of these expensive vehicles ended up in storage. For a while they were considered temporary bridges to the future force built around the Future Combat Systems (FCS), a multi-billion dollar boondoggle which I suspect still haunts the Army higher command when they struggle for DoD dollars today. Bottom line is that a lot of waste very profitable to the large defense contractors who paid for the Bush trademark, was created during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

But this colossal waste isn't evidence that the Army is still organized to fight a major ground war with Russia. It is good evidence that mistakes were made and saving face is more important than saving tax-payer money, and besides none of the big Defense contractors complained.

OIFVet May 16, 2015 at 2:22 am

Pretty much spot on the reorganization of the Army. It began about 2001 with the introduction of the Stryker and accelerated in earnest after we went after Saddam. Remember, during the initial invasion it still was divisions (though stripped down) who did the deed. M1A2s are still being procured, matter of fact, even though there are already a ton of these dinosaurs around. What's more, the development of M1A3s is set to start in two to three years. General Dynamics has to pay the shareholders, don't you know…

Humvees: awesome dune buggies just as long as no one is shooting at you with RPGs or setting off IEDs. The Iraqi rascals even had a sense of humor: I've personally seen IED locations marked with red, white, and blue ribbons to help the triggerman time his blast perfectly. Forget light armor, most humvees had none initially. It was either a stamped metal doors for the combat arms or plastic on tube frame for combat support. A few up-armored humvees here and there. When we deployed in the end of 2003, my unit had no armor of any kind on our humvees. The production of up-armored humvees was just ramping up Stateside, meanwhile combat arms were receiving completely inadequate bolt-on armor kits. Support units were receiving none, even though this was a war with no rear where every unit could become frontline in a heartbeat. The more enterprising of them would get their hands on scrap armor and torches and fashion themselves a Mad Max version of humvees and 5-ton gun trucks. It was mostly worthless protection but it did provide a bit of psychological boost to soldiers. Not much urgency to actually provide proper protection until that dude went of on Rummy in Camp Udairi in Kuwait and people in the States could support our troops not only with yellow ribbon magnets but also by demanding that more money be spent of the war machine. Because the concept of bringing the troops home and not being in constant wars is just unthinkable for the modern American consumer….

[May 15, 2015] Our Next Mideast War — Syria by Patrick J. Buchanan

15th May 2015 | The Burning Platform | 1 comment | Economy |Politics |Social Issues | Iran, Pat Buchanan, Syria, war
Our Next Mideast War — Syria

Guest Post by Patrick J. Buchanan

Jeb Bush has spent the week debating with himself over whether he would have started the war his brother launched on Iraq.

When he figures it out, hopefully, our would-be president will focus in on the campaign to drag us into yet another Mideast war — this time to bring down Bashar Assad's regime in Syria.

While few would mourn the passing of the Assad dynasty, there is a problem: If Assad falls, a slaughter of Christians will follow and the battle for control of Damascus will be between the Syrian branch of al-Qaida, the Nusra Front, and the crazed terrorists of the Islamic State.

Victory for either would be a disaster for America.

Where is the evidence of an unholy alliance to bring this about?

Turkey, which turned a blind eye to ISIS volunteers slipping into Syria, has aided the Nusra Front in setting up its own capital in Idlib, near the Turkish border, to rival the ISIS capital of Raqqa.

In the fall of Idlib, said Bashar Assad, "the main factor was the huge support that came through Turkey; logistic support, and military support, and of course financial support that came through Saudi Arabia and Qatar."

Why would Turks, Saudis and Qataris collude with Sunni jihadists?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan detests Assad. The Saudis and Gulf Arabs are terrified of Shiite Iran and see any ally of Tehran, such as Assad, as their mortal enemy.

This also explains the seven weeks of savage Saudi bombing of the Houthi rebels, who dumped over a U.S.-Saudi puppet in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, then seized the second and third cities of Taiz and Aden.

But while the Houthis bear no love for us, they have been fighting al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. Thus, the Saudi bombing has given AQAP, the most dangerous terrorist foe we face, freedom to create sanctuaries and liberate hundreds of fellow terrorists from prison.

The Israelis seem to be in on the game as well. While they have taken in rebels wounded on the Golan Heights and returned them to their units, there are reports of Israel aiding the Nusra Front with intelligence and even air strikes.

This week, an Israeli official bluntly warned that Hezbollah has amassed 100,000 short-range rockets capable of striking northern Israel, thousands of which could hit Tel Aviv. The rockets are said to be hidden in Shiite villages in southern Lebanon.

Israel is preparing, writes The New York Times' Isabel Kershner, "for what it sees as an almost inevitable next battle with Hezbollah."

As Hezbollah has been the most effective fighting ally of Assad, an Israeli war on Hezbollah could help bring Assad down.

But, again, who rises if Assad falls? And who else, besides Christians and Alawites, starts digging their graves?

As one might expect, Sen. Lindsey Graham is all in. Late in April, he declared, "Assad has to go. … We're going to have to send some of our soldiers back into the Middle East."

Graham is willing to commit 10,000 U.S. ground troops.

"I would integrate our forces within a regional army. There is no other way to defend this nation than some of us being on the ground over there doing the fighting."

Wednesday, The Washington Post laid out the game plan for war on Syria. While we cannot create a NATO with kings, emirs, sheiks, and sultans, says the Post,

"[T]here is a way that Mr. Obama could serve both the U.S. interests and those of the Gulf allies: by attacking the Middle East's most toxic, and destabilizing force, the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria. Syria's dictatorship is Iran's closest ally in the region, and its barbarity opened the way for the rise of the Islamic State. Recently, it has suffered battlefield reverses, in part because of increased Gulf aid to rebel forces.

"If Mr. Obama were to … create safe zones in northern and southern Syria for the rebels, the balance could be tipped against Damascus and Tehran — and U.S. allies would have tangible reason to recommit to U.S. leadership."

Consider what is being recommended here.

The Post wants Obama to bomb a Syrian nation that has not attacked us, without congressional authorization — to aid rebels whose most effective fighters are al-Qaida and ISIS terrorists.

And we're to fight this war — to nullify ultra-rich but unhappy Gulf Arabs?

Obama must also "do more about Iranian aggression," says the Post.

But against whom is Iran committing aggression?

In Syria, Iran is backing a regime we recognized until a few years ago, that is under attack by terrorist rebels we detest. In Iraq, Iran is backing the government we support, against ISIS rebels we detest.

Bottom line: A U.S. attack on Syria is being pushed by the War Party to propel us into a confrontation with Iran, and thereby torpedo any U.S. nuclear deal with Iran.

Cui bono? For whose benefit?

[May 15, 2015] JEB & JR.

The Burning Platform

[May 14, 2015]War-Crazed Western Propaganda Machine Rages at Its Growing Insignificance

Atlantic Alliance media apparatus lashing out like a dying demon at the reality of being successfully confronted by the truth

This article originally appeared at CounterPunch

In mid-April, hundreds of U.S. paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade arrived in western Ukraine to provide training for government troops. The UK had already started its troop-training mission there, sending 75 troops to Kiev in March. [1] On April 14, the Canadian government announced that Canada will send 200 soldiers to Kiev, contributing to a military build-up on Russia's doorstep while a fragile truce is in place in eastern Ukraine.

The Russian Embassy in Ottawa called the decision "counterproductive and deplorable," stating that the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine have "called for enhanced intra-Ukrainian political dialogue," as agreed upon in the Minsk-2 accords in February, and that it would be "much more reasonable to concentrate on diplomacy…" [2]

That viewpoint is shared by many, especially in Europe where few are eager for a "hot" war in the region. Nor are most people enamoured of the fact that more billions are being spent on a new arms-race, while "austerity" is preached by the 1 Per Cent.

But in the Anglo-American corridors of power (also called the Atlantic Alliance), such views are seen to be the result of diabolical propaganda spread through the Internet by Russia's "secret army." On April 15, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Ed Royce (R-Calif.), held a hearing entitled "Confronting Russia's Weaponization of Information," with Royce claiming that Russian propaganda threatens "to destabilize NATO members, impacting our security commitments." [3]

The Committee heard from three witnesses: Elizabeth Wahl, former anchor for the news agency Russia Today (RT) who gained her moment of fame by resigning on camera in March 2014; Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow at the Legatum Institute (a right-wing UK think-tank); and Helle C. Dale, Senior Fellow for Public Diplomacy at The Heritage Foundation, a right-wing U.S. think-tank. [4] The Foreign Affairs Committee website contains video clips of the first two witnesses – well worth watching if you enjoy Orwellian rhetoric passionately delivered.

The day before the hearing, in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Royce wrote,

"Vladimir Putin has a secret army. It's an army of thousands of 'trolls,' TV anchors and others who work day and night spreading anti-American propaganda on the Internet, airwaves and newspapers throughout Russia and the world. Mr. Putin uses these misinformation warriors to destabilize his neighbors and control parts of Ukraine. This force may be more dangerous than any military, because no artillery can stop their lies from spreading and undermining U.S. security interests in Europe." [5]

In her formal (printed) submission, Ms. Wahl referred to the Internet's "population of paranoid skeptics" and wrote: "The paranoia extends to believing that Western media is not only complicit, but instrumental in ensuring Western dominance."

Helle C. Dale warned of "a new kind of propaganda, aimed at sowing doubt about anything having to do with the U.S. and the West, and in a number of countries, unsophisticated audiences are eating it up."

Peter Pomerantsev claimed that Russia's goal is "to trash the information space with so much disinformation so that a conversation based on actual facts would become impossible." He added, "Throughout Europe conspiracy theories are on the rise and in the US trust in the media has declined. The Kremlin may not always have initiated these phenomena, but it is fanning them…Democracies are singularly ill equipped to deal with this type of warfare. For all of its military might, NATO cannot fight an information war. The openness of democracies, the very quality that is meant to make them more competitive than authoritarian models, becomes a vulnerability."

Chairman Royce called for "clarifying" the mission of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the U.S. federal agency whose networks include Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Marti). [6]

The BBG is apparently in disarray. According to Helle Dale's submission, on March 4, 2015, Andrew Lack, the newly hired CEO of BBG's International Broadcasting, left the position after only six weeks on the job. On April 7, the Director of Voice of America, David Ensor, announced that he was leaving.

Andrew Lack was formerly the president of NBC News. As Paul Craig Roberts has recently noted, Lack's first official statement as CEO of the BBG

"compared RT, Russia Today, the Russian-based news agency, with the Islamic State and Boko Haram. In other words, Mr. Lack brands RT as a terrorist organization. The purpose of Andrew Lack's absurd comparison is to strike fear at RT that the news organization will be expelled from US media markets. Andrew Lack's message to RT is: 'lie for us or we are going to expel you from our air waves.' The British already did this to Iran's Press TV. In the United States the attack on Internet independent media is proceeding on several fronts." [7]

Ironically, however, it's likely that one of the biggest threats (especially in Europe) to Anglo-American media credibility about Ukraine and other issues is coming from a very old-fashioned medium – a book.

Udo Ulfkotte's bestseller Bought Journalists has been a sensation in Germany since its publication last autumn. The journalist and former editor of one of Germany's largest newspapers, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, revealed that he was for years secretly on the payroll of the CIA and was spinning the news to favour U.S. interests. Moreover he alleges that some major media are nothing more than propaganda outlets for international think-tanks, intelligence agencies, and corporate high-finance.

"We're talking about puppets on a string," he says, "journalists who write or say whatever their masters tell them to say or write. If you see how the mainstream media is reporting about the Ukraine conflict and if you know what's really going on, you get the picture. The masters in the background are pushing for war with Russia and western journalists are putting on their helmets." [8]

In another interview, Ulfkotte said: "The German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia. This is a point of no return, and I am going to stand up and say…it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do, and have done in the past, because they are bribed to betray the people not only in Germany, all over Europe." [9]

With the credibility of the corporate media tanking, Eric Zuesse recently wrote, "Since Germany is central to the Western Alliance – and especially to the American aristocracy's control over the European Union, over the IMF, over the World Bank, and over NATO – such a turn away from the American Government [narrative] threatens the dominance of America's aristocrats (who control our Government). A breakup of America's [Atlantic] 'Alliance' might be in the offing, if Germans continue to turn away from being just America's richest 'banana republic'." [10]

No wonder the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on April 15 had such urgent rhetoric, especially from Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow at the Legatum Institute – a London-based international think-tank whose motto is "Prosperity Through Revitalizing Capitalism and Democracy" and whose stated mission is "promoting prosperity through individual liberty, free enterprise and entrepreneurship, character and values."

At the end of March, Conservative London mayor Boris Johnson (named as a potential successor to David Cameron) helped launch the Legatum Institute's "Vision of Capitalism" speakers' series, whose rallying cry is "It's time for friends of capitalism to fight back." [11] The sponsor of the event was the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA), whose membership comprises "more than 500 influential firms, including over 230 private equity and venture capital houses, as well as institutional investors, professional advisers, service providers and international associations." It is not clear whether the BVCA is also sponsoring the Legatum Institute's "Vision of Capitalism" series.

The Legatum Institute was founded by billionaire Christopher Chandler's Legatum Ltd. – a private investment firm headquartered in Dubai. According to The Legatum Institute's website, its executives and fellows write for an impressive number of major media outlets, including the Washington Post, Slate, the New York Review of Books, Foreign Policy, New Republic, the Daily Telegraph, The Times, the London Review of Books, the Atlantic, and the Financial Times.

Nonetheless, the Legatum Institute's Peter Pomeranzev told the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs that "Russia has launched an information war against the West – and we are losing."
Chairperson Ed Royce noted during the hearing that if certain things are repeated over and over, a "conspiracy theory" takes on momentum and a life of its own.

Pomeranzev said the Kremlin is "pushing out more conspiracy" and he explained, "What is conspiracy – sort of a linguistic sabotage on the infrastructure of reason. I mean you can't have a reality-based discussion when everything becomes conspiracy. In Russia, the whole discourse is conspiracy. Everything is conspiracy." He added, "Our global order is based on reality-based politics. If that reality base is destroyed, then you can't have international institutions, international dialogue." Lying, he said, "makes a reality-based politics impossible" and he called it "a very insidious trend."

Apparently, Pomeranzev has forgotten that important October 2004 article by Ron Suskind published in the New York Times Magazine during the second war in Iraq (which, like the first, was based on a widely disseminated lie). Suskind quoted one of George W. Bush's aides (probably Karl Rove): "The aide said that guys like me [journalists, writers, historians] were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality…That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we'll act again, creating other new realities which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do'." [12]

It's a rather succinct description of Orwellian spin and secrecy in a media-saturated Empire, where discerning the truth becomes ever more difficult.

That is why people believe someone like Udo Ulfkotte, who is physically ill, says he has only a few years left to live, and told an interviewer, "I am very fearful of a new war in Europe, and I don't like to have this situation again, because war is never coming from itself, there is always people who push for war, and this is not only politicians, it is journalists too…We have betrayed our readers, just to push for war…I don't want this anymore, I'm fed up with this propaganda. We live in a banana republic and not in a democratic country where we have press freedom…" [13]

Recently, as Mike Whitney has pointed out in CounterPunch (March 10), Germany's newsmagazine Der Spiegel dared to challenge the fabrications of NATO's top commander in Europe, General Philip Breedlove, for spreading "dangerous propaganda" that is misleading the public about Russian "troop advances" and making "flat-out inaccurate statements" about Russian aggression.

Whitney asks, "Why this sudden willingness to share the truth? It's because they no longer support Washington's policy, that's why. No one in Europe wants the US to arm and train the Ukrainian army. No wants them to deploy 600 paratroopers to Kiev and increase U.S. logistical support. No one wants further escalation, because no wants a war with Russia. It's that simple." [14] Whitney argued that "the real purpose of the Spiegel piece is to warn Washington that EU leaders will not support a policy of military confrontation with Moscow."

So now we know the reason for the timing of the April 15 U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, "Confronting Russia's Weaponization of Information." Literally while U.S. paratroopers were en route to Kiev, the hawks in Washington (and London) knew it was time to crank up the rhetoric. The three witnesses were most eager to oblige.

[May 13, 2015] How Russias opposition united to finish Nemtsovs report on Ukraine

May 13, 2015 | The Guardian

MaoChengJi  -> kolf 13 May 2015 10:37

note was supported by hundreds of thousands - that is not a coup, but a revolution

Aside from the fact that in a 40 million people nation 'hundreds of thousands' is very far from a majority, it's the protests that were supported by hundreds of thousands.

Feb 21 Yanuk signs the agreement with the opposition, negotiated and guaranteed by European politicians. Stipulating early elections, amnesties, rollback of some laws, investigations of the police abuses, etc. It was accepted and signed by the opposition, i.e. those representing these hundreds of thousands you're taking about.

Had this agreement been implemented, everything would've probably worked out somehow.

Instead, a few ultra-nationalist militants, a fringe, refuse to accept the agreement. They take over the government. And the opposition politicians play along and become figureheads, puppets. And that's what's been going on there since: militant ultra-nationalist fringe is controlling the regime from the inside, and the US and EU from the outside, supplying them with money, weapons, propaganda, and diplomatic support. What a shame.

Babeouf 13 May 2015 08:57

Look Kerry went to see Putin to sell off an unwanted collection of Ukrainian Fascists. Apparently the Fascists had disappointed their US owners. And afterwards the invariable accompaniment of the brush off Kerry phoned Kyiv but didn't stop off on his way home. Today Yats is in Paris and the Choc Soldier is in Germany.

Their survival now depends on Germany and France. So this sad collection of non entities now have to cut a deal with Putin, on Russia's terms. I 'm not surprised that the US public repudiation of the previous US policy of isolating 'Russia' is not noticed by the Guardian.

As for the Russian opposition their identification with the 'invader at the Gates' has finished them off for a generation at least.

entirely pro-government now, apart from one radio station Ekho Moskvy, and one TV station Dozhd

MaoChengJi  -> kolf, 13 May 2015 07:01

That's precisely NOT entirely. Besides, kommersant is a newspaper, not broadcast media. There are plenty of opposition newspapers. Also, when the government is popular, the media, naturally, reflects that - there's nothing sinister about it. And murdering people is a crime, where they are journalists or not.

it is rather like the soldiers that have to "resign" before they patriotically "volunteer" in Donbass, when instructed to do so - a mere technicality

Perhaps. But we don't know that. I understand the suspicion, but not the certainty. Strelkov, in particular, gives the impression of very much anti-government character. A right-wing government opponent. Personally, I see absolutely no reason to believe that he was sent or controlled by the RF government. I'd be surprised.

The violent takeovers in Donbass were carried out initially by small Russian-sponsored groups, with the support of special forces from Russia, who carried out a range of criminal and paramilitary activity including abduction, intimidation, murders, attacks on Ukrainian military bases, and destroying military Ukrainian aircraft on the ground

This is a bunch of lies. The protests in Donetsk started the next day after the coup, I saw videos. Gubarev became the 'people's governor'. He was arrested - protests became more violent. I watched videos with old ladies blocking roads to stop the regime's troops carriers.

was installed by the Rada after the previous president fled

Oh, god. President fleeing and the majority party decimated (their offices burned) is the definition of a coup d'etat. He didn't resign, he didn't die, and he wasn't even impeached - they tried but they didn't have the votes.

Can anyone in the right mind and not being disingenuous still insist that it wasn't a coup? I don't think so. So, go ahead, have your last word.

Dmitry Berezhnov  -> Botswana61 13 May 2015 04:06

RFE is US propaganda bullhorn, of course I believe them in anything they say about Russia.

MaoChengJi  -> kolf 13 May 2015 04:05

even Russian media acknowledges it

you appear to be under the impression that Russian media are all pro-government. This completely disproves your statement that you "know the difference between propaganda and journalism". A large portion of the Russian media is rabidly anti-government. If you knew the difference between propaganda and journalism, you would've known it.

All that "clearly" is just your impression, based on anti-Russian propaganda, on the stories you read and believe. What's clear to you isn't clear to others, if they read different stories. In fact, exactly the opposite can be clear to them. It's important for you to understand that your stories are not at all better than their stories.

Also, "war started by Russian intelligence officers like Strelkov and Borodai" is all wrong, objectively. Strelkov and Borodai are not Russian intelligence officers. The Kiev regime attacked Donbas, Donbas did not attack Kiev. If Kiev acknowledged the referendum, there would've been no war. The important thing to understand here is that the Kiev regime was NOT at that time - without any doubt - a legitimate government, even if you believe that the current government is legitimate (I don't).

Kiev had a revolution, and then Donetsk had a revolution. Then Kiev attacked Donetsk. It didn't have to, but it did. Blaming this on Russia is disinformation and a manifestation of russophobia.

lionarslan Botswana61 13 May 2015 03:45

Mr. Lavrov never denied that there's Russian citizens in Ukraine. Do you know the difference between soldiers (people who signed obligatory military contract and take a vow to serve their country) and volunteers (people who consciously decided to do something or to go somewhere)? People from Russia, Germany, Spain, Netherlands comes to Donbass to fight for freedom of people of Donbass. They volunteered, no one forced them. And that is what Sergey Lavrov "admitted".

I read that report, that's really science-ficton. All so-called proofs are quotes without context which someone can understand in more than one way. The text itself is clear anti-Putin propaganda. It was really boring to read that text. It's like watching "Glee" only Glee has wonderful songs and some of actors are really good in their play.

Russian self-named opposition's report is much more boring and have so much realism as tv-series "Glee".

lionarslan  -> freedomcry 13 May 2015 03:21

Nationalists in Russia was never decent and sober-minded people. In time of Russian empire they were terrorists, in modern Russia they are still the same. Moreover, if you are sentient being you wouldn't support ideas of nationalists in any possible way. Do you forgot what nationalists did in Germany and then in half of the world in last century?

Agatha_appears ->  freedomcry 13 May 2015 01:53

it is not opposition. This is a group of people who, like Yashin, have never worked, never done anything useful. They found a job paid by the US State Dep-t. Their responsibility is to play against official Russia according to US scenario. They buy luxurious cars, apartments, go to expensive resorts. Their main audience is the western media. There is a small group of Russia haters inside the country who notice them.

There are nationalists who oppose the Kremlin. They are radicals. Some of them are in prison. They represent larger part of Russian society than so to say "liberals". Their views are similar to Ukranian nazi who are in power in Kiev. Putin tries to maintain balance and does not let them come to power, speak publicly, because nationalism is infection desease  ( see what is going on in Ukraine). And Russian nationalism can be as awful as Ukrainian. It is close to fascism.

Dmitry Berezhnov  -> Tepluken
13 May 2015 01:05

Funny enough to see fairytales about Savushkina st. Once I have decided to waste some time and watched a video about a "troll lair", well, small office with like 10-12 people there. Do you really call that a HQ of Evil Russain Propaganda Machine?

Let's just mention that:

1. UK officially annouced creation of cybersquad with unmentioned budget for delivering a propaganda.

2. US spending over 1 bln in 2014 for Russian opposition NGO sponssorship and declaring a war on "Russian propaganda" with it's own propaganda via BBG and state controlled media throughour Europe with gazillion bucks budget.

3. Ukraine creating a Truth Ministry and Ukranian Information Army with up to this very moment over 40 000! volunteers, not mentioning a full-time staff.

And we do not know about other countries trolls. In my humble opinion, Savushkina with it's 20 people tops looks very very faintly.

Colin Robinson 13 May 2015 00:31

Claims about Russian forces covertly entering the Donbas region, even if true, cannot explain the conflict there.

It would hardly be possible for Russian tanks to move across the border, without being shot at or even photographed, unless the local population had previously rejected the Kiev régime and removed its border guards.

This is conflict between two constituencies within Ukraine itself, not between a supposedly united Ukraine and a supposedly ambitious president of Russia.

normankirk  -> Botswana61 12 May 2015 23:36

What do you mean he's just admitted it, he's never denied it. I would be disgusted if no help had been given to eastern Ukrainian civilians, HRW and Amnesty intern. have both recorded use of illegal weapons against civilians by the Ukrainian army.

If ever there was a reason for humanitarian intervention you need go no further than protecting unarmed civilians from cluster bombs

MichaPalkin  -> bcnteacher 12 May 2015 23:08

If they had found the slightest evidence it was indeed rebels' BUK, froth-at the mouth anti-Russian hysteria would have been filling the free press for months now. THE FACT IS THEY CAN'T. And since the Dutch keep remarkably quiet about it, what they v. probably have is the evidence to the contrary. When someone from the investigation tried to make the findings public a few weeks ago - he was immediately silenced and fired. This is called cover-up. It shouldn't be that difficult to tell BUK from air-to-air missile really. So this investigation will either go on into the plus infinity or they'll say some evasive bs, no media outlet would ever mention it and that would be the end of it. Ok?

BorninUkraine -> Chirographer 12 May 2015 22:46

There is real opposition in Russia. If I lived there, I'd be one of them. But those are the people who do not sell their country to foreign interests, never touch Western money, and therefore are not promoted by Western media owned by the same interests that purchase third-rate opposition figures in Russia.

To give you a few examples, Eduard Limonov, Boris Kagarlitsky (who even spent some time in jail in Soviet period), and others like them are opposition, but they are not bought and paid for traitors. That's why they are not rich.

Unlike Nemtsiov, they cannot afford to pay for the abortion of a whore in Switzerland. You are welcome to ask your supervisor to find out who they are.

BorninUkraine -> nnedjo 12 May 2015 21:45

The "government" in Kyiv absolutely needs this alleged Russia aggression.

How else can they explain that they ran into the ground a reasonably decent country so quickly: from solid third world to total shit in a bit over a year.

If Poroshenko, Yatsenyuk, and Co acknowledge how much they steal and how incompetent they are, their puppeteers might start looking for better puppets, and that would never do.

BorninUkraine  -> Paul Moore 12 May 2015 21:36

Oh, yes. Military officials in Sweden have already been looking very hard for a Russian submarine. As soon as they achieved what they wanted, an increase in the military budget, they acknowledged that no submarine ever existed.

Apparently someone in Finland also wants a bigger military budget. How creative, wouldn't you say?

Sergey A Gimranov 12 May 2015 21:33

Good science-fiction report. The highlight of the presentation was "We don't have any actual evidence but we know troops were there". I could not believe they said that. Lame and fake! Shocking discovery from the "book" Russian troops were in Crimea on Russian military bases. Oh my God! Standards are lower and lower with each and every article. Where are the reporters? Why they cannot go there and report it? I guess narrative would change drastically.

Roodan 12 May 2015 20:57

But I do agree the government in Kiev does not represent the political will of all of its people and hence the civil war. That there is external support for each side in this war form special forces or otherwise be they NATO or Russian that this is not the cause of the war . I do not my self understand the relevance of the article, it states the obvious. Only a regional settlement between the waring parties will end the war. A ettlement in which all of the aspiration of the people in the Ukrainian, have representation perhaps a federation or Union like the EU .

I don't think there is any value in supporting one side against the other to impose a system of government with out the support of the people . That is a dictatorship and I don't support dictatorships by any military alliance NATO or Russian federation, they result in perpetual war in which only the powerless suffer.

Chirographer  -> Walter Potocki 12 May 2015 20:55

You seem to very concerned about who paid for the report. Why? That doesn't address the content of the report at all.

And wouldn't there be more money and a lot safer life for this Yashin character if he'd published a book supporting the government's narrative?

Walter Potocki 12 May 2015 20:18

there were never CIA operatives in Ukraine, it is not true that Maiden was a western agencies. Just few masked people gathered on the square with clubs and firearms to have a fun

Walter Potocki 12 May 2015 20:13

Hi Tom, did you ask Russian opposition how much this report cost? You did not have to ask who paid, the same sponsored paid for your piece. Nice propaganda.

nnedjo ->  nnedjo 12 May 2015 19:21

And to add one more thing. If I'd lived in the southeast of Ukraine and if my government would abolish my salary, and, on the other hand, if I would have known that soldiers receive 90,000 rubles per month, that would be an extra motivation for me to join the rebel army. So, in that case there would be no need at all for the arrival of troops from Russia, because the Ukrainian government itself supports the recruitment in the Donbas, in a way that stopped the economic support to the region.

nnedjo  -> Solongmariane 12 May 2015 19:11

It is ridiculous to speculate about it at all, because it is clear that Russia pays not only all the fighters in the southeast of Ukraine, but also all other citizens. Because how else they would survive, considering that the Ukrainian government has abolished them all salaries and pensions, and closed all the banks, and prevent the use of payment cards.

Thus, considering that the Ukrainian government itself agreed that someone else should pay these people, or more precisely, that Russia should pay them, then why do they complain about it now?

ID5868758 12 May 2015 18:26

You know, we're supposed to buy this narrative that Nemtsov was a credible political threat to Putin. But I remember seeing a video of a Russian TV station catching Nemtsov sneaking out of the side door of the American embassy in Moscow, and he was not a happy camper when he was caught.

Now, reverse that, and imagine an American politician being caught sneaking out of the side door of the Russian embassy in DC. How much credibility do you suppose that politician would have left with the American public?

Russians aren't really that different from Americans after all, and Nemtsov was no threat to Putin at all.

Puttepoju  -> Kaiama 12 May 2015 18:06

Dear Kaiama.

Russian journalists are clever and wise. They are better than the entire US satellite system. They have "common sense".I like Russia and Russians --- but what I like most -- is to be honest. My best greetings. Puttepoju

Falloe7 12 May 2015 18:00

more PROPAGANDA and the media of the West naturally believes it -because they want to believe it if you are in opposition in anything you will make up stories about your opponent just like this past Election there was enough Lies by the parties about each other hoping the voters will believe it (and they did) and the same about Russia. the papers are well known for printing Lies or make up stories

Kaiama 12 May 2015 17:44

So how come 10 Russian journalist claim to find something that the entire US satellite system can't find? It comes as no surprise that Russian volunteers have been killed in Ukraine fighting alongside their relatives.

What is more telling is the 100,000+ Kiev draft evaders and 800,000+ displaced citizens - all in Russia (defected to the enemy? or simply more astute than their government in Kiev?

Solongmariane 12 May 2015 17:38

Some bizarre figures, I find ;
a) 53 bln Rubles is just around 1 Bln $. Isn't ? Not so much money, for a war with 40.000-50.000 fighters.
b) If the average of wages of 60.000 - 90.000 rubles is correct, It is around an army of 1.500 soldiers during 10 months.
Are my calculations correct ? Please, check it !

BorninUkraine  -> bcnteacher 12 May 2015 17:32

I don't have anything except my brains, but that's enough to have a pretty prestigious job in the US.

Russia apparently has a lot to make self-appointed masters of the Universe in the US hysterical, and their European poodles even more so. Not to mention small-change commenters here paid very little (to match pathetic quality of their comments).
The three things that immediately come to mind regarding Russia are nukes, natural resources, and fighting spirit. Each of these would be enough to scare the opponents. For example, the opposition in Iraq and Afghanistan only has fighting spirit, and this was sufficient to make NATO retreat with its tail between its legs. Or, in 1940 France had an army at least as strong as Hitler's, but due to lack of fighting spirit it disgracefully surrendered in no time.

So, I can only express my sincerest condolences to the servants of humiliatingly hysterical masters.

nnedjo  -> Metronome151 12 May 2015 17:22

Perhaps you are confused with suspicious arrest and detention of a female Ukranian pilot and Estonian security officer by the FSB. Must be he effect of those drugs you refer to.

Actually, in the event that you mentions use of the drug is excluded because the pilot Savchenko was very defiant during the examination before the cameras, which is why she has acquired the status of a national hero in Ukraine, and in the absence she is elected to parliament.

It is also interesting that the example of the pilot Savchenko is the first proven case of "a soldier on leave," who fought on the Ukrainian front. Because it is known that she left the regular Ukrainian army to join the volunteer battalion Aidar. So I do not see what is the problem that Russian troops also take leave and go to help the brothers in Ukraine.

However, Ms. Savchenko has one big problem. If she had been released from the Russian prison now, she would not have anywhere to return because her Aidar battalion was disbanded by the Ukrainian authorities.

Kiev Claims Is Disbanding Notorious Aidar Volunteer Battalion

KIEV, March 2, (TASS) - Ukraine's Defense Ministry is disbanding an armed militia group blamed for abuse during recent months of regional conflict, said to be out of control and with a splinter faction planning unrest in the capital...
The move follows the arrest of former Aidar battalion fighters said by Luhansk regional administration head Gennady Moskal to be preparing transfer of weapons from the Ukraine's restive Donbas region in a bid to promote social upheaval in Kiev.

"Part of this unit long ago defected from Aidar and was engaged in looting, robbery, racketeering, auto theft and other crimes in regions controlled by the Ukrainian side," Moskal's website said.

Moskal added that an attempt had been prevented to take an arsenal of weapons from the area of combat operations in Donbas to Kiev. The arms were meant for "destabilizing the situation" in the capital.

Babeouf 12 May 2015 17:11

So the opposition united to produce a monster /blockbuster report ,you say , well when there is a report I shall force myself to read it to see what evidence it actually contains. I seen no evidence open source or otherwise just assertions based on claims made by person or persons unknown. This battle over Russian troops is itself a proxy war between the supporters of the US and the rest of the world.

MichaPalkin  -> alpamysh 12 May 2015 17:09

What's truly outstanding is how lame you are and inept Kiev regime is. And quit blubbering gibberish. It simply kills me how low RFE standards sunk. You're trained very badly, klopets.

nnedjo  -> alpamysh 12 May 2015 16:28

Gosh, you seem to have a lot of them--and you said all we had to do was just watch ONE
I am talking here about a group of 10 soldiers who were captured by the Ukrainian Security Service last year.

Yes, there are several of these videos, and from each of them, it is clear that the soldiers recite a prepared text directly into the camera.

VladimirM  -> SoloLoMejor 12 May 2015 16:28

He is not, I think. But I did, actually, it is in Russian on the Dozhd website. I had an impression of reading some of the articles here in the Guardian but in Russian. Or even some posters, which is weird. The report is incoherent, includes many topics, just one chapter is about the Russian troops in Donbas. You may read anything here in the Guardian to get some idea of what the report is like. The article "Invisible army…" will do, I think. In my view, the report is utter rubbish and does not live up to expectations.

nnedjo 12 May 2015 15:56

As I saw in another article this report mentions the examination of Russian soldiers caught in Ukraine. We all remember this event in the summer of last year. Internet was flooded with videos with "examination" of Russian "prisoners of war" who were actually recited a prepared text that was placed somewhere in front of them and behind the camera. I think it was clear to everyone at the first viewing of the video.

As an example, look at examination of the imprisoned soldier Alexei Generalov. This guy almost three minutes talking without interruption and without pauses, with a view strictly focused at one point, probably in some text that he reads somewhere on the left side of the camera. In one moment the examiner asks him something, and he looked at him, then to the right side of the camera.

A particular problem is the fact that these soldiers were arrested somewhere near the border under very suspicious circumstances. According to the official Ukrainian version, that the soldiers also recited in the camera, they were caught about twenty kilometers inside the Ukrainian territory. However, it is very possible that they were in fact kidnapped by Ukrainian special forces on the Russian side of the border.
You can say that this is my very bold assumption. But, one can easily notice that during examination these soldiers were very disoriented. I would not be surprised if this is the result of a drug that has been deliberately given to captives in order to weaken their will, but I still stand by my first assumption that they were kidnapped.
For example, another captured soldier to the question of where he is, he replies: "I am now located in Ukraine, the city of Ukraine."

Thus, it is clear that this soldier has no idea what his exact location, and that he is completely disoriented, although they examined him in a tent (ie in a tent in the "city of Ukraine"), which should be somewhere near the scene of his capture. Here you can watch, from 0:59 onwards of this video:

Interrogation of Russian Soldier #3 Captured in Ukraine on August 25. English.

henrihenri 12 May 2015 15:45

`And he will NEVER risk an open confrontation with the West`.

Oh, this is the main mistake. The Western politician think that Putin doesn`t attack Ukraine because he`s afraid of the NATO, West, etc. No, he doesn`t. He just grants the West with a good chanceopportunity to go home without shame. Why to fight Ukraine if it sooner or later crawls back? It will, it will due to many objective reasons. No, Putin won`t send troops there until Ukrainians ask him. Russia does not need any war.

normankirk  -> alpamysh 12 May 2015 15:45

Poroshenko still wants the Donetsk airport. Why are they breaking the ceasefire to try and get it back off the anti-govt fighters?

Madness to throw so many lives away

Noes Vencia -> alpamysh 12 May 2015 15:41

So 140 were given compensation to keep silence and 70 were not?!

1) Given compensation to keep silence will work in a couple of instance, never in dozens!

2) For sure it will never work, if then you don't give compensation to others.

3) Lets do some math; if Ukraine have 200,000 troops of which some 2500 died, at that rate if there are 210 dead Russian soldiers send by Moscow, that means Russia has send 16,800 troops! Trust me, you cannot send 1000 soldiers anywhere without being highly noticeable, the logistics are immense! Let alone 17000!.

4) What percentage does Kiev says of Russian troops are combating against? Because looking at the media seems that all are Russians. if so, that is a slap on the face to their own army that they cannot win an "army" of 12 times less soldiers with the same weaponry capabilities. If, however Russians are a small portion of the Revels, why 100% of focus on Russians so?

Again, I do believe Russia has personnel in there, but limited to advising and intelligence gathering. I highly doubt there are troops fighting because 1st, they don't need it (enough supply with the residents) and 2nd it would not have got better outcomes for their own safety or economy.

I feel sad that Ukrainians felt for antagonizing their biggest trading partner for the dream of UE. EU will not accept Ukraine in decades, enough we have with bankrupt tiny Greece, let alone 10 times bigger corrupted Ukraine. Nor will the French farmers will be happy with Ukrainian ones. Ukraine should had approached EU while maintained trade with Russia and assuring Russia that no NATO membership. That is what Finland choose even though of past severe confrontations with Russia; that pragmatism made of it a prosperous country.

[May 12, 2015] Merkel-Ferkel yesterday in the Kremlin

Quote: Thanks for the hour of duelling histories. Made me realise what a great agitprop resource history is for those who would like to "shape" current narratives.
You have the white-hat / bad-hat lust for an – ideally, ego-stroking – answer multiplied by the my-eyes-glaze-over factor. Result: maximum impact.
Best, this can all be deployed while seeming judicious and balanced to those not checking "facts-not-mentioned."
Moscow Exile , May 11, 2015 at 3:02 am

Merkel-Ferkel yesterday in the Kremlin:

I have arrived in Moscow today during a difficult situation for German-Russian relations. It was important for me, together with President Putin, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the end of world war II to honour those who died. I have laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and thus I want to say to the Russian people, that I, as German Chancellor, kneel in front of the millions of victims of a war that was unleashed by Nazi Germany. We shall be constantly aware of the fact that the share of the peoples of the former Soviet Union and Red Army soldiers accounted for the majority of casualties in that war. I remind you that the war in the East was carried out as a brutal race war and a war of extermination, and that it brought untold suffering to millions of people.

The occasion of the 70th anniversary of the end WWII is on August 15, 2015.

The occasion of the 70th anniversary of the end of the German-Soviet War was on the day before her arrival in Moscow.

She could not be in Moscow on 9 May because she had been told not to attend the celebrations.

Putin should have said to his "partner": Fick dich, Arschloch!

Tim Owen says:

May 11, 2015 at 3:49 am

Stalin offered in 1939 to send 1 mln troops to stop Hitler if Britain, France agreed to anti-Nazi pact; they refused

— (@exiledonline) May 10, 2015

"Papers which were kept secret for almost 70 years show that the Soviet Union proposed sending a powerful military force in an effort to entice Britain and France into an anti-Nazi alliance.

Such an agreement could have changed the course of 20th century history, preventing Hitler's pact with Stalin which gave him free rein to go to war with Germany's other neighbours."

Pavlo Svolochenko, May 11, 2015 at 4:01 am

A forlorn hope, since the Ango-French idea of an alliance was that the USSR would do the fighting while the western allies made sympathetic noises and gathered up the spoils afterward.

Tim Owen, May 11, 2015 at 5:16 am

Get a load of this: The Body Language of a Liar

— Joel Harding (@Joel_Harding) May 11, 2015

Erika, May 11, 2015 at 6:47 am

What countries signed treaties with Hitler but they only tell you about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact? #Victory70 … Héctor A. on Twitter What countries signed treaties with Hitler but they only tell you about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact

— Héctor A. (@GrinchEtor) May 6, 2015

marknesop, May 11, 2015 at 9:59 am

That's a pretty good rundown. A handy list to keep for reference.

Tim Owen, May 11, 2015 at 9:55 pm

"Sympathetic noises" is a great phrase. An emotional gesture without any underlying meaning or commitment. It therefore also has a charge of implied violence to it.

I admire your cynicism.

Warren, May 11, 2015 at 5:20 am

Listen to Michael Parenti's lecture on the real causes of WW2:

Warren, May 11, 2015 at 7:56 am

If you want the official Western version on the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact listen to this:

As Putin defends the Nazi-Soviet pact, here's our podcast interview on "The Devils' Alliance"  Matt Lewis on Twitter As Putin defends the Nazi-Soviet pact, here's our podcast interview on The Devils’ Alliance http--t. (

— Matt Lewis (@mattklewis) May 11, 2015

cartman , May 11, 2015 at 9:28 am

I see the UK is on the list above, making a "Devils' Alliance"

Moscow Exile, May 11, 2015 at 9:49 am

The UK made that Naval Treaty with Nazi Germany behind of France's back. The Frogs were none too pleased at the time.

Max, May 11, 2015 at 3:41 pm

prima facia nonsense because Stalingrad.

Tim Owen, May 11, 2015 at 9:46 pm

Thanks for the hour of duelling histories. Made me realise what a great agitprop resource history is for those who would like to "shape" current narratives.

You have the white-hat / bad-hat lust for an – ideally, ego-stroking – answer multiplied by the my-eyes-glaze-over factor. Result: maximum impact.

Best, this can all be deployed while seeming judicious and balanced to those not checking "facts-not-mentioned."

Warren, May 11, 2015 at 7:49 am

Neocon Writer Anne Applebaum Covers up the Role West Played in Looting Russia #ColdWar

— Russia Insider (@RussiaInsider) May 11, 2015

astabada, May 11, 2015 at 8:46 pm

Has an American or British political dissident, opposed to the policies of his own government, ever won a Nobel Prize?

I don't know whether you can consider Pintor a political dissident. However he certainly did not approve the policies of his own government, as clearly stated in his beautiful Nobel Prize lecture.

The trick there was the usual one, namely not to silence dissent but to drown it in noise.

marknesop , May 11, 2015 at 9:46 pm

Great find; I had never heard of Harold Pinter – shows what an uncultured Philistine I am. The lecture is indeed a thing of beauty, and one paragraph of it may be perfect for my next post, which is in the works. Thanks!! 

[May 12, 2015] Kerry set to meet Putin in first visit to Russia since start of Ukraine crisis

The problem that West and first of all the USA and Germany face now is that Ukraine is another Greece. To keep it afloat financially requires tremendous and continues investment. 40 billions from IMF is only a start. Economic ties with Russia are destroyed. And without tens of billions of annual aid that means death sentence. Allowing it to fail with shake Western financial system and we do not know how many derivatives were written on Ukrainian debt and who holds them.
Looks like MentalToo was on duty for this article with support of usual gang. There was even some backlash against "Hillary bots", specifically against alphamysh.
May 12, 2015 | The Guardian

Beckow -> StrategicVoice213 11 May 2015 22:26

By paying a price I clearly meant the very expensive support for Ukraine that EU has to provide, about 40 billion so far. The Ukraine's economy is down about 14% from just three years ago - this is going to get very, very expensive.

If you want to compare Russia's and EU's losses due to sanctions, they have been very substantial for both. EU has so far lost about 10 billion in exports and in the long run it is not clear who will end up losing more. Russia's GNP will drop by 3% after years of high growth (more than double in 10 years). EU has been largely stagnant and many countries there are still below where they were in '09 (Italy, Spain, ...).

Finally, militarily all that matters is who has local superiority. Russia has it in eastern Ukraine. You can squirm, hallucinate, cry all you want, there is no way that Nato can defeat Russia there.

They know it, thus the coming deal.

Dannycraig007 -> MentalToo 11 May 2015 21:34

You would prefer I use the corrupt and obviously biased mainstream Western media as sources I assume, rather than first person video accounts from the victims themselves? Award winning war correspondent and Guardian journalist John Pilger has a few words for you. This is a must watch video about how the Western media operate from a man who was once a part of the establishment here at the Guardian.

Standupwoman -> Captain_Underpants 11 May 2015 17:08

Yep. I think my own Pollyanna moment is already beginning to seep away.

But the stakes are so high! NATO's revival of the 'hotline' has unilaterally put us back on a Cold War footing, and at a time when the Doomsday clock is already set at 3 minutes to midnight. Putin has shown incredible restraint so far, but if the provocations don't stop then I'm genuinely worried about what might happen.

Bosula -> samanthajsutton 11 May 2015 20:43

Neither side is very open about what support it provides.

Russia says openly it doesn't stop volunteers from Russia, often family, cross the border to fight with the East Ukrainians. They are also probably supplying weapons, but we don't really know. And no Russian troops have been captured despite the huge battles. To capture a Russian soldier in a fighting zone would be worth gold in terms of PR value.

The Eastern Ukrainian are having difficulties training all their volunteers (just too many) with a million refugees, many based in camps in Russia, providing a fertile source of volunteers. The West provides no humanitarian help - a short sighted strategic decision, maybe?

The US and their allies are also pretty secret about what support they provide - best estimates are around 1,500 advisers, trainers - and 'volunteers' fighting alongside privately funded far right militias and the Ukrainian army.

The US are not really in a position to take the self- righteous moral high ground in a civil war tens of thousands of kilometres from their home.

nnedjo -> MentalToo 11 May 2015 20:17

What little influence US has on events in Ukraine is irrelevant.

Because of this "little influence" the whole Ukrainian government has become irrelevant. You know, the fact that you do not see the strings that move their limbs does not mean that they are not puppets on the strings. And that guys from Washington hold the ends of the strings, that's probably clear to everyone after the cookies of Victoria Nuland. Or Toria, as poster Dipset called her.:-)))

Funny guy that Dipset, wonder why he is not here yet.

Standupwoman 11 May 2015 20:09

'Although the 300 US trainers are operating in the west of the country'

Are we really sure of this? Yes, Kiev has predictably denied Russian claims that American troops have been spotted in the Donbass, but the odd thing is that several pro-Kiev supporters have uploaded this footage of American training under the following description:

In Severodonetsk, Luhansk region instructors from Georgia, Israel and the US carried out military exercises with the soldiers of the special units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine

Luhansk is in the ATO region - and Severodonetsk is very, very near to the front line.

geedeesee -> MentalToo 11 May 2015 20:05

Irrelevant ...?

Just the CIA advisers, military trainers, $billions of dollars, political cover, a propaganda machine.

geedeesee -> mlubiank 11 May 2015 19:59

Not proper interviews, are they? Just clips of sentences without knowing the question that is being answered. They wrap narrative around the comment. Not one of those nine soldiers admits to fighting in Ukraine, and the claim of written evidence from NGOs is negated towards the end of the article with the caveat that 'Ukraine' wasn't actually mentioned in the NGO's documentary evidence.

You're easily duped by propaganda.

Standupwoman -> ID5868758 11 May 2015 19:50

Understood. If governments had to actually fight the wars they started, the world would be a very different place...

Dannycraig007 -> mlubiank 11 May 2015 19:35

If your still doubtful about what the Kiev regime do to people who post unflattering information online, I present to you them demonstrating firsthand what happens when people step out of line. Graphic warning:

geedeesee -> mlubiank 11 May 2015 19:31

"What about the guys in military uniforms with weapons, mortars, mines, grenades, anti-tank weapons..."

What about them? They're defending themselves - the self-defence activists - after the Kiev regime sent tanks and aircraft to attack the protesters in what they called an Anti-Terror Operation as this example shows (see all four videos)..

Dannycraig007 -> mlubiank 11 May 2015 19:30

Your question answers itself, in that the Kiev Regime have been tracking down people who post videos on the internet and in social media that criticize the regime, hence the lack of video out of Slavyansk now.

Watch this Ukrainian parliamentarian call for the genocide of Ukrainians of ethnic Russian origin.

Of course, there's also this tidbit from last summer.

The Residents of Slavyansk have disappeared; the town is being re-populated with migrants from Western Ukraine.
In Slavyansk, occupied by Ukrainian troops, the local residents have practically disappeared. The town is being inundated with migrants speaking in a foreign dialect, who take over the housing of those who left to escape the Ukrainian bombing campaign.

This is reported by one of very few residents of Slavyansk who, trusting Ukrainian official propaganda, made the decision to return to his native city. The picture that he saw is terrifying. He realized that the information about residents of Slavyansk returning home is nothing but a vile lie.

"Please, heed our plea! The people have disappeared from Slavyansk!

"I am a native of Slavyansk, residing here already for twenty-seven years. Or better to say 'I was residing', having left the town three months ago, when it was becoming dangerous to stay. During this time I found refuge with relatives in Odessa. I made a decision to return when all the Ukrainian media started saying that everything in Slavyansk was back to normal, that over sixty percent of residents have come back.

"In the three months of my absence my apartment remained untouched by shells from the junta's bombardment or by its marauding thugs. I had already started to unpack when I heard the sound of my neighbour's doors opening across the hallway. I thought it must have been my neighbour, Sergey Ivanovich, but then I saw a young man unknown to me. To my question about his identity he replied that he was Sergey Ivanovich's son.

geedeesee -> mlubiank 11 May 2015 19:27

Here's an example:

Slaviansk: 10 self-defense activists and some 30 unarmed civilians killed

Notice in the video some places look pretty deserted.

nnedjo -> mlubiank 11 May 2015 19:25

... in Slavyansk since it was liberated by Ukrainian forces...
You mean, liberated like Odessa:
Occupation of Russian Hero-City Odessa 2014-2015 | Eng Subs
,or liberated like Kharkiv
Kharkiv Welcomes May: Army Patrols, BTRs, Machine guns, etc

And, speaking of Slavyansk , it is also interesting. In "liberated" Slavyansk it seems that nobody believes "liberators".

Slavyansk residents trust Putin and not Poroshenko - Ukraine Hromadske TV March 2015

Bosula -> mlubiank 11 May 2015 19:10

Can you tell us how many people have been killed in Slayvansk?

Dannycraig007 -> mlubiank 11 May 2015 19:06

Here's another video for you that proves the Kiev regime are Nazis as it shows them marching through Kiev in uniform holding the Waffen SS Wolfsangel flag and was filmed by Poroshenkos very own Chanel 5 TV outlet.

The rest of the hour and a half long video is a bloodbath showing them killing hundreds of innocent civilians. Get back to me after you've cleaned your conscience.

Ukraine Crisis: Death and destruction continues in Eastern Ukraine / [ENG SUB]

mlubiank -> ID5868758 11 May 2015 19:06

Is Reuters good enough for you or is that all lies?

Dannycraig007 11 May 2015 18:57

Investors, such as Franklin Templeton and George Soros' Foundation, who planned to make blood money and placed their bets off of the inside information right before the coup back in November 2013, have a combined $7 billion at stake in Ukraine.

The IMF is trying to convince them to take a haircut on the massive amount and get put on the back burner for the time being, but Russia put it's $3 billion loan in strict terms back in 2012 and has payback priority.

Those human flesh eating Western sharks want their money. This makes those 1%ers and their IMF vassals very upset as they didn't actually expect to lose money......they thought they were gonna double their billions with the rape of Ukraine. Now it's hard earned.

Standupwoman ID5868758 11 May 2015 18:41

I completely understand that. It's a very sensitive subject, and must be far more so for those with personal experience.

Part of the problem is the difference between what we knew then and what we know now. At the time, as you say, we all thought My-Lai was a 'one-off' by a few bad apples, but now so much material has been declassified a very different picture has emerged.

BUT there's still a world of difference between 'a lot' and 'all', and we must never allow those war crimes to taint the reputation of the good soldiers, or to belittle what they endured. It is indeed wrong to apply excessively broad brush-strokes, and I want to apologize to you personally, because I think in my post I was guilty of doing just that.

SoloLoMejor -> geedeesee 11 May 2015 18:40

Yep all good points and there's definitely some push back from Merkel and Hollande. I just don't think the US can relinquish control of our military or monetary systems as would happen if Europe developed independently and naturally became close to European Russia. This is a superpower making sure that it stays a superpower. That said, this is Europe & Russia, not the under developed middle East so they may not get it all their own way but 6000 lives so far is tolerable collateral damage for them

Beckow -> Alderbaran 11 May 2015 18:37

There are 1,000 American, British, Polish and Canadian troops in Ukraine. Officially. Plus endless civilian advisors, agents, private security companies, etc...

Maybe Russians have more people there, but it is after all on their border.

"given control of Ukraine's border back to Ukraine, in contravention of the Minsk II agreement"

No. The Minsk II specifically says that the border will be returned to Kiev control AFTER the Donbass area gets autonomy. Where is the "autonomy"? You can't cherry-pick from an agreement.

If Nato steps over the line in Ukraine, as they are about to do, the nuclear option will be on the table. It is absolutely horrible, but that's where we are heading. Try to get your head out of your behind to understand what is going on there - it is playing with a huge fire on the border of a nuclear power that said they will not allow Nato missiles 400 km from Moscow. You want to test them?

nnedjo -> Tattyana 11 May 2015 18:32

I believe there is no need in any meetings for any further escalation as well.
That's right, Tattyana, that's exactly what I said. My only criticism was related to Miss Marie Harf, who apparently recited a prepared statement, which aims only to reduce the importance of the visit of John Kerry to Russia.
By the way, a true pleasure for me is to watch the exchange of opinions between US spokeswoman Marie Harf and her favorite "reporter", Matt Lee, at the State Department press conferences.

Standupwoman -> geedeesee 11 May 2015 18:23

Yes, that all makes good sense - but I still think personal integrity can have an (admittedly tiny) role to play. Carter is a case in point.

I'm even (don't laugh!) inclined to extend that to Obama. Yes, he's technically responsible for this mess, and he must have supported Nuland and Pyatt in the original coup, but I still think things would be very much worse if either Biden or HRC had been at the helm.

Obama (like Putin) has hawks screaming at him for being weak, but the fact he's holding out suggests there's a little shred of integrity still there.

It's not much, but it's all we've got. Sometimes it feels as if the whole world is screaming for war, and in the centre is this little patch of stillness where two men are holding firm against the madness. If anything happens to either Barack Obama or Vladimir Putin then I think we really are sunk.

geedeesee -> SoloLoMejor 11 May 2015 18:22

Yes, there clearly is a strategic plan being played out, though I don't think it has gone to plan for the Americans. The release of the Nuland/Hyatt phone call obviously came from Russian intelligence, which was an embarrassment for US. I suspect this is all a prelude to the coming clash for stakes in Arctic oil. There are a number of competing nations but US probably wants to minimise Russian access.

However, there is a lot of strain within the EU at the moment, and we know the views of EU leaders were disregarded by Nuland last year ("Fvck the EU").

It's possible the whole thing has gone far enough for EU leaders (see link below to comments identifying reasons) and they're pushing back on US behind the scenes to cool it down now.

See the original post by Beckow and replies. Link direct to individual comment number:

nnedjo 11 May 2015 18:04

Although the 300 US trainers are operating in the west of the country, well away from the conflict zone, Russia has questioned their purpose.

So I do not see how it could be otherwise. Had the US sent their "trainers" in the conflict zone in the east of Ukraine, it is possible that in that case Russia would not complain at all.

In that case, Russia would also send their "trainers" who would soon be found "in the west of the country [Ukraine], well away from the conflict zone".:-)))

normankirk -> MaoChengJi 11 May 2015 18:04

and the German gold still locked up in US vaults

Popeyes 11 May 2015 17:53

Once again on Saturday Putin completely outclassed the West, and the decision by Western leaders to stay away in the end showed their total irrelevance.

Closer ties between China and Russia is Washington's worst nightmare, and a very different new World Order is emerging from the rubble of the post-Cold War period. Today Russia proposed that Greece become the 6th member of a new Development Bank set up by the BRINCS, and with some European leaders desperate to end sanctions things are not going as planned for the empire.

Dannycraig007 -> Bradtweeters 11 May 2015 17:52

Oh, I'm an 'authentic' Guardian reader alright. i'm on my 20th account after being constantly banned this past year for posting the truth about Ukraine. And when they bane me again I'll be right back. True Brits don't give up so easily.

ID5868758 -> Dannycraig007 11 May 2015 17:51

Well, it's printed in English only, given away free in places like the Metro and coffee houses, so it's not like it's the Russian equivalent of the New York Times, to begin with. My son says it's read mostly by ex-pats in Russia, tourists, that kind of audience, it's certainly not anything that Russians read on a regular basis.

ID5868758 -> salthouse 11 May 2015 17:45

Good grief, what fiction. Vladimir Putin's only problem is that he is not Boris Yeltsin, opening the door to the international banks and the multinational corporations to continue their rape of the assets and resources of the Russian people. He is slowly but surely returning Russia to Russians. Contrast that to Ukraine, going in the opposite direction, with the privatization of the assets and resources of the people just beginning, and the predators like Monsanto, Cargill, Chevron, banging at the gate.

normankirk -> salthouse 11 May 2015 17:44

Oh I know! its his nature! He can't help it! And vindictively, at home, he's raised the standard of living and life expectancy! the bastard, only a lunatic would do so.And when he walks among the people he's forcing them ... at gunpoint!.... to put on forced smiles you can tell by looking. he.s a maniac! getting Assad to give up his chemical stores! crazy!

Kaiama -> BMWAlbert 11 May 2015 17:43

There was some indication that the ships could not be sold without the explicit permission of the Russians - probably because they provided the middle part of the hull and if they were feeling bad have the right to ask for it to be cut out and given back to them.

nnedjo 11 May 2015 17:42

"This trip is part of our ongoing effort to maintain direct lines of communication with senior Russian officials and to ensure US views are clearly conveyed," state department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a written statement.

I do not see what it was unclear so far in the views of the State Department at the Ukrainian crisis. I mean, if John Kerry is going to Sochi to repeat the usual accusations against Russia, which US officials have said so far, then there's really no need for him to go to Russia only because of this, nor Putin is interested to hear it one more time.
Thus, rather it will be some other reason behind this visit, about which we can now only guess. And none of us is so naive to believe that the Ukrainian crisis can be resolved without direct negotiations between the United States and Russia. So, either to make a deal, or to enter a further escalation of the military conflict.
I am inclined to believe that the latter, less predictable solution, is not in anyone's interest.

Kaiama -> Metronome151 11 May 2015 17:41

Maybe, but if the US did cut Russia off of SWIFT for instance, the Russians have already said that they would regard it as a declaration of "war". The US might start it but the Russians will definitely finish it.

MichaPalkin -> salthouse 11 May 2015 17:40

It finally happened: A REAL nutjob.

Now why don't you put your money where you mouth is, you pos and go join the fight against Putin yourself um?.. See? Told ya.

geedeesee -> Standupwoman 11 May 2015 17:31

On the glimmer of hope, I think you maybe right, though its early days. History books on 20th century show that when there's been a stand-off for sometime an intermediary, or unofficial envoy, is often sent to explore the basis for talks. And the history books also show confidence-building measures are used, such as making an announcement via the media acknowledging part of the grievance of the other side which can use for domestic purposes.

This happened with the IRA talks, for example, both in 1970s and 1990s. Last week Jimmy Carter visited Putin in Moscow, not on its own remarkable, but what suggested this wasn't an initiative of his own volition was the interview he gave to Voice of America (official US Gov. channel) immediately after the meeting in Moscow - indicating they'd travelled with him.

The narrative is for the press and the accompanying 45 second video of Carter saying all the right things for the Russians can be used by Russian TV/media in news reports.


45 second Carter video:

You'll be disappointed if you look for integrity with the players at this level, because it doesn't exist. They have their plans and self-interests; integrity doesn't come into it.

Dannycraig007 -> dmitryfrommoscow 11 May 2015 17:30

The Moscow Times is actually operated out of Scandinavia and their readership has been dropping due to the obvious anti-Russian propaganda.

ID5868758 -> Standupwoman 11 May 2015 17:27

Well, My-Lai was, of course, just a horrific example of evil behavior on the part of a few of our troops, but Kerry came home and, without personal knowledge, painted the entire military with the same broad brush, made up stories, and just so disgraced himself with this nation that he would never have won a Senate seat if he had not run in Massachusetts.

I still to this day cannot listen to him speak for more than a few minutes at a time, his betrayal of the men who were fighting and dying in the hellhole that was Vietnam will stay with me forever.

dmitryfrommoscow -> Havingalavrov 11 May 2015 17:26

The Moscow Times is one of those pro-Washington mouthpieces which, according to the claims by Putin's critics, have been ruthlessly wiped out of the scene.

SoloLoMejor 11 May 2015 17:15

I saw the Merkel Putin press conference in full. Merkel fully acknowledged and apologised for the horrors inflicted on the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany, and quite rightly.

When asked specifically about what she still blamed Russia for with respect to Minsk she became a lot less clear and rambling and very non specific. I couldn't make out what her beef was although I really wanted to know.

She's going to need some very clear reasons to reinstate EU sanctions on Russia and the phrase Shaun Walker regurgitates in virtually every piece he writes, "mounting evidence" of Russian involvement (but without producing any) won't be enough this time round.

MichaPalkin -> alpamysh 11 May 2015 17:15

l though I find your comments stupid, and what is absolutely amazing is that guests such as you have had zero effect on anything.

Some fascist parties did once praise you and still do, ahem, "purely for the funding you was willing to give". Some grammar problems here eh.

But this has had no effect on nothing, or the policy of the EU in general.

One does not even see you loonies demonstrating in the street, shouting "hail" to Poro & Co."

Poro's only real "western" base of support comes from RFE and probably Guardian. Even Americans begin having their reservations now.


Indeed, we may well have all your clownish incompetence to thank for your highly unsuccessful trolling.

OK, klopets?

John Smith -> Alderbaran 11 May 2015 17:06

You can forget about Crimea.

Nothing will come out from this talks because the US will not let off their 'great prize'
as the NED head called it. Unfortunately for Ukrainians.

ID5868758 -> Standupwoman 11 May 2015 16:31

Standupwoman, I rarely disagree with you, but as an American who lived through Vietnam as the wife of a Marine Corps officer, and the sister of a brother in country as a cryptologist, may I just tell you that John Kerry's actions in front of Congress were not seen by most as heroic at all, not borne of courage and integrity, especially since he had spent only a very short time in country, and had awarded himself 2 or 3 purple hearts, but strangely enough, has no scars of those wounds remaining today. He lied, it was a performance that caused much of America to shun him even today, and that's the truth.

Igor1980 -> GoodOldBoy1967 11 May 2015 16:29

I am in Sochi now, a navy ship is patrolling the area of the Residence and many police cars can be seen. It is not surprising . I was surprised by the number of cars with Ukrainian license plates. The hosts say that many Ukrainian citizens moved to the area on the coast with their money.

Standupwoman -> cabaret1993 11 May 2015 16:22

I agree. If this were HRC rather than Kerry I'd think we were doomed. Do you remember her hilariously rabble-rousing claim that Putin had no soul - 'He's KGB, it's a given!' - and Putin's dry response? That woman ought never to have been allowed within a hundred miles of foreign affairs, and if she ever becomes President then it'll be time to start stocking up on the potassium iodide...

Igor1980 -> Beckow 11 May 2015 16:12

Great and sober analysis. The reality is harsh for both parties and very painful for the USA: the people in the West are not ready to die for the cause of the American dominance.

It is easy to hate Putin, it is difficult to sacrifice your lives in a war to punish Russia for a little border change in the most unpleasant part of Eastern Europe.

MaoChengJi -> DogsLivesMatter 11 May 2015 16:11

state department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a written statement

That's just standard bs. What do you expect them to say.

Standupwoman 11 May 2015 16:06

Maybe I'm having a Pollyanna moment, but I wonder if there isn't just the littlest, tiniest glimmer of hope in this. The fact the US is prepared to talk to Russia on its own ground is definitely a step in the right direction, and the fact it's John Kerry is even better.

Because Kerry was once an honest man. Back in 1971 he testified to Congress about American war crimes in Vietnam, and showed the kind of courage and integrity it's almost impossible to mention in the same sentence as 'politician'. He talked openly about the everyday reality of rapes, torture, desecration of the dead, and killing civilians for fun – the American toolbox we're all familiar with in Afghanistan and Iraq, but which in 1971 was genuinely shocking news. Nationalists hated him, but I think he showed genuine American patriotism when he explained: 'We feel that because of what threatens this country, the fact that the crimes threaten it - not the Reds, not redcoats, but the crimes which we're committing are what threaten it – and we have to speak out.'

OK, he's a politician now, and his words have frequently been used against him to show the hypocrisy of his support for America's current wars, but deep down he's still in some way the same man he was then. He and Lavrov certainly used to have a good relationship until he made that unbelievably stupid remark about Russians 'lying to his face'.

That kind of populist rudeness plays well with the 'Murica, F*ck yeah!' mob, but grown-up countries tend to choose a calmer, more courteous approach when it comes to negotiations which could lead to the threat of nuclear war. Kerry will need to apologize for that (even if only in private) if he hopes to get in the same room as President Putin.

But maybe he will. Maybe he'll even confound the words of that Psaki-Manqué Harf and actually listen as well as talk. If he does, and if there's any integrity left in him, then maybe, just maybe, there'll really be a chance of peace.

PlatonKuzin -> oleteo 11 May 2015 16:03

The Ukies think that the US and EU do them gifts for granted. And they were very suprised as they knew that, for example, in Poland, an organization named "Restitution of Kresy" was established that in the nearest future will expropriate, from Ukraine, the property belonging to the Poles.

And more than 100,000 such Poles are now ready to start proceedings to return their property from there.

Dannycraig007 -> PlatonKuzin 11 May 2015 15:57

Agreed on the 50,000. I am just citing the US/MSM 'official' number. I have been keeping up with the real numbers also. Petri Krohn has done a great job establishing a proper count of the dead form various events and battles. The majority of those 50,000 dead are Ukrainian conscripts and Kievs Baghdad Bob intentionally played the numbers way down in order to not have to pay dead soldiers families and hide the truth of the war, which the US and EU media simply parroted with no investigation whatsoever. Here's a link to the numbers:

His site is an amazing geo-political resource. Lots of really interesting MH-17 material there too.

greatwhitehunter -> MentalToo 11 May 2015 15:55

The US could have prevented all this by keeping there nose out of Ukraine . In the words of Obama we brokered the change of government in Ukraine.

Now their are 6000 plus people dead . east of Ukraine destroyed, Crimea gone never to return.

Only the US could imagine you could get away with this.\

Beckow -> Alderbaran 11 May 2015 15:54

Hmmm...don't fool yourself, he meant the Maidan crowd in Kiev. The problem Kiev government has is that as economy gets worse, the large cities like Kharkov, Odessa, etc... will become ungovernable. Except through brute force.

How do you "join EU" if you have to be suppressing large portion of your population? I am sure EU would love to look the other way, but the cognitive dissonance might get too much, with YouTube, refugees, etc...

Captain_Underpants 11 May 2015 15:52

Kerry will offer to swap Ukraine for Assad's head + no S300 missiles to Iran + sanction relief.

Putin and Lavrov will tell Kerry to stick the offer where the sun don't shine and then it's back to square one.

Obumbler won't be involved, he's too busy on the golf course, watching the NBA playoffs, and making hollow speeches filled with platitudes about race issues and police violence.

Meanwhile back in the increasingly irrelevant Euroweenie land, the NSA-compromised Frau Merckel has a desk and a phone and will do as told by her masters

Dannycraig007 -> DIPSET 11 May 2015 15:47

I'd still like to see what those US spy satellites saw the day MH-17 was shot down. They first said they had proof Russia did it, then they went quiet, then they relied on social media BS, then they said they had a drunk Ukrainian that made a confession that the rebel put on Ukrainain uniforms, then they stayed quiet. All the while they had ships in the Black Sea monitoring that airspace and they had AWACS flying over Europe.

They obviously know what really happened but they have chosen no to show that 'evidence'....there can only be one reason.......because it implicates the Kiev regime...and thereby....themselves.

geedeesee -> MentalToo 11 May 2015 15:42

"...the army of Ukraine is not at war with "protesters"."

Yes they are, they called it an Anti-Terror Operation and not war against an army. The facts are against you. Hard luck. ;-)

Dannycraig007 -> MaoChengJi 11 May 2015 15:40

Many people have no idea that Merkels father was in the Hitler youth. Sad but true fact. Hence, maybe that partly explains her allegiance to Ukraine.

Horst Kasner
Kasner was born as Horst Kaźmierczak in 1926, the son of a policeman in the Pankow suburb of Berlin, where he was brought up. His father Ludwig Kaźmierczak (born 1896 in Posen, German Empire) - died 1959 in Berlin) was born out of wedlock to Anna Kazmierczak and Ludwik Wojciechowski.[1] Ludwig was mobilised into the German army in 1915 and sent to France, where he was taken prisoner of war and joined the Polish Haller's Army fighting on the side of Entente.[2] Together with the army he returned to Poland to fight in Polish-Ukrainian war and Polish-Soviet war.[3] After Posen had become part of Poland, Ludwig moved with his wife in 1923 to Berlin, where he served as a policeman, and changed his family name to Kasner in 1930.

Little is known about Horst Kasner's wartime service, and he was held as a prisoner of war at the age of 19. During his high school years he was a member of the Hitler Youth, with the last service position of a troop leader.[citation needed] From 1948 he studied theology, first in Heidelberg then in Hamburg. He married Herlind Jentzsch, an English and Latin teacher, born on 8 July 1928 in Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland) as the daughter of Danzig politician Willi Jentzsch, and their daughter Angela was born in 1954.

PlatonKuzin -> Kaiama 11 May 2015 15:38

There is another side of this medal: Novorussia said that, if Ukraine violates the ceasefire one more time, the Army of Novorussia will make no stops any longer and will free Kiev.

Beckow -> MichaPalkin 11 May 2015 15:35

Threats are simply a part of making deals. When one threatens, there is an implicit understanding of what the alternatives are. It is how countries negotiate.

Look at it from Russia's point of view: they prefer to deal with useless twats. Putin has been smart to keep all his threats, options and deals to himself. He speaks very diplomatically and applies pressure on the ground. There is a Russian saying: "let the punishment tell" - that's what Russia is doing and it drives the likes of Kerry crazy.

Unless US escalates into a nuclear confrontation, Russia has the upper hand in the long run. That was obvious from the beginning. So the question is why did Peace Price Winner do this? Why did he start? Is he and people around him that stupid or that desperate? I hope, it is just stupidity.

"Poro & Co would be applying for the political asylum in the US" - that's going to happen anyway, but I think Canada will take the bulk of them...

Beckow -> Alderbaran 11 May 2015 15:24

Let's be clear: Kerry is flying in with a proposal to review with Lavrov. If Russia accepts, Kerry will meet Putin. If not, we will know that sh..t is about to escalate - on both sides.

Regarding "military involvement": both sides are heavily militarily involved with arms, training, "advisors" of all kinds, intelligence, logistics. And both sides downplay it ("lie", if you prefer). Why is that even an issue? Or "news"?

It is infantile to discuss it. In a war there is always "military involvement". And this is a war, has been for about a year, this is the way wars are fought now (see Syria, Libya, etc...).

And yes, of course Putin can change weather. Anyone with enough nukes can.

BMWAlbert 11 May 2015 15:15

Looks like India's participation in the Moscow parade is also paralleled by the cutting of 80% of the French fighter order (remembering that the govt. in New Delhi stated several months ago that its confidence in France as a supplier would be related to its vulnerability to political pressuring vis a vis the RU ships that will end-up being scrapped or bought by by a third party, and it might be that said party, if also participating in said parade, might sell in turn to RU for a 'cut'). IDK if this is related, big new orders from India for SU's:

These cannot be made in Russia, in any event, as Russia is entirely isolated.

Dannycraig007 11 May 2015 15:09

The US has really hurt itself with the WW2 remembrance ceremony snub. Russia won't be soon forgetting what the US has been doing in Ukraine and Europe either. After all the 7,000 people killed by the Kiev regime that came to power through the US backed coup were all ethnic Russian Ukrainian civilians. So many lives could have been saved if only the US would have allowed federalization of the obviously ethnically diverse regions of the country.

For those that missed it, here's link to the amazing WW2 Red Square commemoration concert. It truly was a sight to behold.

Absolutely Stunning! The Entire Russian "Road To Victory" Concert Spectacle -2015 Epic Masterpiece Rivals Olympic Ceremonies

SonnyTuckson 11 May 2015 14:15

Turn Ukraine into a federation. Of a rich pro western part that is member of the EU and a poor pro Russian part that is member of the Eurasian Union.

In ten years time the East Ukrainians will have had enough of their Russian propaganda-ridden life without a decent standard of living. We will then have another Euromaidan, but this time in Donbass.

History always discloses propaganda lies. In the end the people of Donbass will understand they have been used by Russia for its geopolitical games. And chose for a prosperous future in Europe as well.

Beckow -> geedeesee 11 May 2015 14:14

Yes, there are huge problems.

But if US accepts a de facto defeat in Ukraine, they are done in many other places too. My guess is that they will try to weasel out of it by offering a deal to Russia:

- US backs down, Kiev goes back in the box (over time), things quiet down, BUT no victory speeches or remarks by Russia. US has to be able to maintain that they "won".

It is a disease for insecure people. They fear being seen as losers more than anything else. Thus we might still see the fire-works if Russia refuses to oblige.

vr13vr 11 May 2015 14:09

"Unfairly blaming Russia for the crisis in Ukraine, which was actually in the main provoked by the US itself, Obama's administration in 2014 went down the road of ruining bilateral links, announced a policy of 'isolating' our country on the international stage, and demanded support for its confrontational steps from the countries that traditionally follow Washington."

Why does the press want us feel so amazed about this quote? What part of it isn't true?

1. US did and does blame Russia for crisis in Ukraine.
2. US did provoke the crisis.
3. US did go down the road of ruining bilateral links.
4. It did announced a policy of "isolation."
5. And it did demand support for its steps from other countries in Europe.

Putin actually appears to be a straight talker.

vr13vr -> caliento 11 May 2015 14:05

"The first question asked should be... "

Kerry doesn't get to ask questions as if he were running a deposition. He can talk politely and be nice. Outside of the US police TV show and court drama, nobody in the world allows anyone to speak like this, especially in the diplomatic talks with Russia.

vr13vr 11 May 2015 14:03

"Russia believes that the US is meddling in Ukraine..."

No, it's not just Russia believes. It is a fact. And everyone knows it, not just Russia.

geedeesee -> Beckow 11 May 2015 13:46

Add to your list:

EU unity under considerable strain. Divisive issues on it's plate include Greece and Grexit, UK referendum and possible Brexit, UK Human rights exit, unresolved Eurozone crisis, migrant quotas, all made worse by further US spying revelations and German betrayal of EU businesses to the benefit of US companies.

Putin now supporting/funding anti-EU parties in Europe.

MH17 report and voice recorder info, clearly delayed for political reasons, is due this summer.

Obama administration needs cooperation at UNSC on Iran nuclear deal.

Putin supplying arms to Iran is giving Obama more problems from Netanyahu.

If Obama has plans for a last attempt at cracking Israel/palestine then he'll need as much international support as he can muster.

Russia opening spying and military bases in Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

BunglyPete 11 May 2015 13:46

Russia has engaged in a rather remarkable period of the most overt and extensive propaganda exercise that I've seen since the very height of the cold war,

That suggests that it is equivalent to the RFE/RL campaigns of the Cold War.

The reports they produced in 1984 relating to showing the Ukrainian nationalists in a good light were described by Richard Pipes as "blatant anti-semitic propaganda". Not my words, the words of Richard Pipes.

These same reports are reprinted today in the Guardian and if you disagree you are a "Putin propagandist". Even though Richard Pipes agrees that it is distasteful propaganda.

Other activities involved sending millions of balloons across eastern Europe, campaigns in the US to ask for "Truth Dollars" to fund said balloon campaigns, leaflets pretending to come from a fictional resistance organisation intended to militarise citizens against their governments, and much much more. There are many books and articles on the subject.

Senator Royce said in May 2014, in an instruction to Victoria Nuland at a senate subcommitee hearing, he wants them "producing the stuff they did years ago". Indeed they granted more money than they did during the cold war to BBG campaigns.

In comparison to the rather pathetic RT, the US campaigns are far more serious in scope and effects.

madeiranlotuseater 11 May 2015 13:27

and to ensure US views are clearly conveyed," state department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a written statement

In other words, do as the USA says or we shall continue to hound you.

"Russia has engaged in a rather remarkable period of the most overt and extensive propaganda exercise that I've seen since the very height of the cold war," Kerry said in February. "And they have been persisting in their misrepresentations, lies, whatever you want to call them, about their activities to my face, to the face of others, on many different occasions."

There speaks the nation that admits to being involved in forcing regime changes all over the world since 1947. To arm twisting and invading Iraq on the basis of a known lie. If Mr Kerry believes he has been lied to he should present his evidence. We can all relax then. But he doesn't. He says to trust him to tell the truth. Why should we. The USA is a massive war machine intent on ruling the world. China and Russia are not interested in being bullied.

Beckow -> deathbydemocracy 11 May 2015 12:53

I see that even indirect criticism of the media coverage is not allowed. Interesting, but somehow understandable.

DIPSET 11 May 2015 12:31

First when they thought they thought they were "winning" they did not want to talk and instead, instructed their media to do the talking for them.


Then reality happened hahaha

As a consequence, we now have all sorts of chatter coming out of Washington and the urgent need to talk to Russia. So now it's......

Let's "talk" about East Ukraine
Let's "talk about Iraq
Let's "talk" about Syria
Let's "talk" about Yemen
Let's "talk about Iran
Lets "talk" about Latin America

Funny how seeing China and Russia stand next to each other has sharpened some minds across the Atlantic.

Pity they could not "talk" before Crimea was 'liberated' right in front of the American satellites circling in space lol


Fascinating times

Ilja NB 11 May 2015 12:28

Which mounting evidence ??? I haven't seen a single one provided ?

**The Russian foreign ministry said: "We continue to underline that we are ready for cooperation with the US on the basis of equality, non-interference in internal affairs, and that Russian interests are taken into account without attempting to exert pressure on us."**

Of-course USA will never agree with it, since USA wants to put it's nose in everyone's affairs.

BMWAlbert -> BunglyPete 11 May 2015 11:55

Mr. Semenchenko is clearly referring to Greater Ukraine here that extends east into the Kuban, including some buffer areas around the mount Elbrus region (intruded upon on this 2008 occasion) to the south, and north to the Middle Don and Upper Donets basins, to include Beograd and steppe lands east of Voronezh.

Beckow -> miceonparade 11 May 2015 11:40

Kerry is going to make a deal. Probably surrender after one more chest-beating threat. If Putin doesn't meet him (also possible), we will have a very hot summer in Ukraine. And maybe elsewhere.

Beckow 11 May 2015 11:34

Kerry is going for a reason, and it is not to restate US views. The reality is:

These realities on the ground drive US crazy. They don't like to deal with reality, it is too hard. They prefer the fantasy play world where US is god-like, others are scared and geography, resources and other realities are wished away. Infantile. Stupid. Self-defeating. Russia is actually doing US a favor by bringing them back to the real word.

I feel sorry for the Ukrainians; they will suffer for years enormously. They rebelled against a miserable life, were used by a few hustlers from Washington, Berlin and a few Polish ultra-nationalists, now they will pay for it all. Those are the wages of naivete...

emb27516 miceonparade 11 May 2015 11:32

Yes, especially if they wrestle.

BunglyPete 11 May 2015 11:32

"Mr Putin, look at these images provided to our Senator Inhofe, from Mr Semenchenko of Ukraine's official government designation to Washington.

As you can see, these images from Georgia in 2008 clearly show you invaded Ukraine last year. We feel these images prove the invasion so strongly, Senator Inhofe wrote a bill authorising arms to Ukraine, and we passed this quite easily.

What, Mr Putin, will you do about this? If you continue to send tanks to Georgia in 2008 then we will assume you have no interest in fulfilling the terms of Minsk accord and will enact necessary measures to ensure the stability of Ukraine."

alsojusticeseeker Jeremn 11 May 2015 11:27

"He may be a son of a b..., but he is our son of a b...". Just another typical example of US hypocrisy.

BMWAlbert 11 May 2015 11:25

If only his brain were as big as his hair (obviously, not the bald one).

warehouse_guy 11 May 2015 11:25

"Western leaders mainly boycotted the parade in protest at Russia's actions in Ukraine."

Aka people's will in Crimea, and Russian people's will to help Donbass, they are not exactly hiding it there are donation kiosks all over the country almost in every major city. Not on government level though. There are no on duty Russian troops in Ukraine.

RudolphS 11 May 2015 11:24

So, Barry is too chickenshit to go to Russia himself?

Jeremn 11 May 2015 11:19

Americans should be asking why their government is supporting a Ukrainian governmnet which honours veterans of an insurgency which massacred Poles, Jews and Russians across Ukraine in 1943 and 1944.

Here they are, members of the UPA-OUN. Rehabilitated by Poroshenko's governmnet. It was an organisation which formed the Nachtigall Battalion, in German service, and tasked with clearing the Lvov ghetto, and which took men from SS auxiliaries (Schutzmannschaft Battalion 201), which cleared Belarus of partisans and Jews.

Most notoriously, the UPA ran a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Poles in Ukraine, killing some 100,000 of them (mostly women and children).

So there are the veterans, in Ukraine's parliament. Here's a history of one of their massacres.

America, you should know.

Steve Ennever 11 May 2015 11:15

"The US has placed several rounds of sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine"

It has indeed. And badgered Europe into sanctioning Russia further. All of which has affected the US little but has been an immense pain economically for it's "allies."
Strangely though, in 2014, business between the US & Russia actually increased by 7%.

Honestly, you get taken for a ride as recently as Iraq & Libya & you still don't learn a thing.

StatusFoe11 May 2015 11:08

"This trip is part of our ongoing effort to maintain direct lines of communication with senior Russian officials and to ensure US views are clearly conveyed,"

i.e. "If you don't do what we say and submit to our will there'll be more costs."

warehouse_guy 11 May 2015 11:00

"While Washington has pointed to mounting evidence of Russian military involvement in the east of the country."

Yet unable to provide any concrete evidence for over a year...

[May 11, 2015]Anglo-American Bankers Organized World War II

May 11, 2015 | Voltaire Network

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Victory against Nazism, we publish a study of Valentin Katasonov on financing of the NSDAP and the rearmament of the Third Reich. The author deals with new documents that confirm the organization of the Second World War by US and UK Bankers, covered by President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, in the hope of destroying the USSR. This study raises new questions that will be addressed in a future article.

The war was not unleashed by frenzied Fuhrer who happened to be ruling Germany at the time. WWII is a project created by world oligarchy or Anglo-American "money owners". Using such instruments as the US Federal Reserve System and the Bank of England they started to prepare for the next world conflict of global scale right after WWI. The USSR was the target.

The Dawes and Young Plans, the creation of Bank of International Settlements (BIS), the Germany's suspension of reparations payments it had to pay according to Paris Peace Treaty and the acquiescence of Russia's former allies in this decision, large-scale foreign investments into the economy of Third Reich, the militarization of German economy and the breaches of Paris Treaty provisions – they all were important milestones on the way of preparing the war.

There were key figures behind the plot: the Rockefellers, the Morgans, Lord Montagu Norman (the Governor of the Bank of England), Hjalmar Schacht (President of the Reichsbank and Minister of Economics in the Hitler's government). The strategic plan of Rockefellers and Morgans was to subjugate Europe economically, saturate Germany with foreign investments and credits and make it deliver a crushing blow against the Soviet Russia so that it would be returned into the world capitalist system as a colony.

Montagu Norman (1871 - 1950) played an important role of go-between to keep up a dialogue between American financial circles and Germany's business leaders. Hjalmar Schacht organized the revival of Germany's defense sector of economy. The operation conducted by "money owners" was covered up by such politicians as Franklin Roosevelt, Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill. In Germany the plans were carried out by Hitler and Hjalmar Schacht. Some historians say Hjalmar Schacht played a more important role than Hitler. Simply Schacht kept away from spotlight.

The Dawes Plan was an attempt following World War I for the Triple Entente to compromise and collect war reparations debt from Germany. The Dawes Plan (as proposed by the Dawes Committee, chaired by Charles G. Dawes) was an attempt in 1924 to solve the reparations problem, which had bedeviled international politics following World War I and the Treaty of Versailles (France was reluctant to accept it got over 50% of reparations). In 1924-1929 Germany got $2, 5 billion from the United States and $ 1, 5 billion from Great Britain, according to Dawes Plan. In today's prices the sum is huge, it is equal to $1 trillion of US dollars. Hjalmar Schacht played an active role in the implementation of Dawes Plan. In 1929 he summed up the results, saying that in 5 years Germany got more foreign loans that the United States in the 40 years preceding WWI. As a result, in 1929 Germany became the world's second largest industrial nation leaving Great Britain behind.

In the 1930s the process of feeding Germany with investments and credits continued. The Young Plan was a program for settling German reparations debts after World War I written in 1929 and formally adopted in 1930. It was presented by the committee headed (1929–30) by American industrialist Owen D. Young, creator and ex-first chairman of Radio Corporation of America (RCA), who, at the time, concurrently served at board of trustees of Rockefeller Foundation, and also had been one of representatives involved in previous war reparations restructuring arrangement – Dawes Plan of 1924. According to the plan, the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) was created in 1930 to make Germany pay reparations to victors. In reality the money flows went in quite a different direction - from the United States and Great Britain to Germany. The majority of strategically important German companies belonged to American capital or were partly under its control. Some of them belonged to British investors. German oil refinery and coal liquefaction sectors of economy belonged to Standard Oil (the Rockefellers). Farbenindustrie AG, chemical industry major was moved under the control of the Morgan Group. 40% of telephone network and 30% of Focke Wulf shares belonged to American ITT. Radio and AEG, Siemens, Osram electrical industry majors moved under the control of American General Electric. ITT and General Electric were part of the Morgan's empire. At least 100% of the Volkswagen shares belonged to American Ford. By the time Hitler came to power the US financial capital practically controlled all strategically important sectors of German industry: oil refining, synthetic fuel production, chemistry, car building, aviation, electrical engineering, radio industry, and a large part of machine-building (totally 278 companies). The leading German banks - Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Bank, Donat Bank and some others - were under US control.


On January 30, 1933 Hitler was named the Chancellor of Germany. Before that his candidacy had been thoroughly studied by American bankers. Hjalmar Schacht went to the United States in the autumn of 1930 to discuss the nomination with American colleagues. The Hitler's appointment was finally approved at a secret meeting of financiers in the United States. He spent the whole 1932 trying to convince the German bankers that Hitler was the right person for the position. He achieved the goal. In mid-November 1932 17 German largest bankers and industrialists sent a letter to President Hindenburg expressing their demand to make Hitler the Chancellor of Germany. The last working meeting of German financiers before the election was held on January 4, 1933 in Kölnat the home of banker Kurt von Schröder. After that the National Socialist Party came to power. As a result, the financial and economic ties of Germany with Anglo-Saxons elevated to a higher level.

Hitler immediately made an announcement that he refused to pay postwar reparations. It put into doubt the ability of England and France to pay off WWI debts to the United States. Washington did not object to the Hitler's announcement. In May 1933 Hjalmar Schacht paid another visit to the United States. There he met with President Franklin Roosevelt and big bankers to reach a $1 billion credit deal.In June the same year Hjalmar Schacht visited London to hold talks with Montagu Norman. It all went down smoothly. The British agreed to grant a $2 billion loan. The British offered no objections related to the Germany's decision to suspend debt payments.

Some historians say the American and British bankers were pliant because by 1932 the Soviet Union had fulfilled the 5-year economic development plan to make it achieve new heights as an industrial power. A few thousand enterprises were built, especially in the sector of heavy industry. The dependence of USSR on import of engineering production has greatly dwindled. The chances to strangle the Soviet Union economically were practically reduced to zero. They decided to rely on war and launched the runaway militarization of Germany.

It was easy for Germany to get American credits. By and large, Hitler came to power in his country at the same time as Franklin Roosevelt took office in the United States. The very same bankers who supported Hitler in 1931 supported Roosevelt at the presidential election. The newly elect President could not but endorse large credits to Germany. By the way, many noticed that there was a big similarity between the Roosevelt's "New Deal Policy" and the economic policy of the German Third Reich. No wonder. The very same people worked out and consulted the both governments at the time. They mainly represented US financial circles.

The Roosevelt's New Deal soon started to stumble on the way. In 1937 America plunged into the quagmire of economic crisis. In 1939 the US economy operated at 33% of its industrial capacity (it was 19% in the heat of the 1929-1933 crisis).

Rexford G. Tugwell, an economist who became part of Franklin Roosevelt's first "Brain, a group of Columbia University academics who helped develop policy recommendations leading up to Roosevelt's New Deal,wrote that in 1939 the government failed to reach any success.There was an open seatill the day Hitler invaded Poland.Only the mighty wind of war could dissipate the fog. Any other measures Roosevelt could take were doomed to failure. [1] Only the world war could save the US capitalism. In 1939 the money owners used all leverage at their disposal to put pressure of Hitler and make him unleash a big war in the east.


The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) played an important role during the Second World War. It was created as an outpost of American interests in Europe and a link between Anglo-American and German businesses, a kind of offshore zone for cosmopolitan capital providing a shelter from political processes, wars, sanctions and other things. The Bank was created as a public commercial entity, it's immunity from government interference and such things as taxes collection was guaranteed by international agreement signed in the Hague in 1930.

The bankers of Federal Reserve Bank of New York, who were close to the Morgans, Montagu Norman, the Governor of the Bank of England, German financiers: Hjalmar Schacht (President of the Reichsbank and Minister of Economics in the Hitler's government), Walther Funk (who later replaced Hjalmar Schacht as President of the Reichsbank) and EmilPuhl – all of them played an important role in the efforts to establish the Bank. The central banks of Great Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium and some private banks were among the founders. The Federal Bank of New York did its best to establish the BIS, but it was not listed as a founder. The US was represented by the private First National Bank of New York, J.P. Morgan and Company, the First National Bank of Chicago – all parts of the Morgan's empire. Japan was also represented by private banks. In 1931-1932 19 European central banks joined the Bank of International Settlements. Gates W. McGarrah, a banker of Rockefeller's clan, was the first BIS chairman of the board. He was replaced by Leon Fraser, who represented the clan of Morgans. US citizen Thomas H. McKittrick was President of the Bankduring the war years.

A lot has already been written about the BIS activities serving the interests of Third Reich. The Bank was involved in deals with different countries, including those Germany was at war with. Ever since Pearl Harbor the Bank of International Settlements has been a correspondent bank for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It was under Nazi control during the war years, no matter American Thomas Huntington McKittrick was the Bank's President. Soldiers were dying on the battlefields while the leadership of BIS held meetings in Basel with the bankers of Germany, Japan, Italy, Belgium, Great Britain and the United States. There, in the Swiss offshore zone, it was all peaceful, the representatives of belligerents quietly worked in the atmosphere of mutual understanding.

Switzerland became the place where gold seized by Germany in different corners of Europe was transported to for storage. In the March of 1938, when Hitler captured Vienna, part of Austrian gold was transferred to BIS vaults. The same thing happened with the gold of Czech National Bank (48 million USD). As the war started, the flows of gold poured into the Bank of International Settlements. Germany got it from concentration camps and as a result of plundering the wealth of occupied countries (including whatever belonged to civilians: jewels, gold crowns, cigarette cases, utensils…). It was called the Nazi Gold. The metal was processed into ingots to be stored in the Bank of International Settlements, Switzerland, or outside Europe. Charles Higham in his Trading With The Enemy: An Expose of The Nazi-American Money Plot 1933-1949 wrote that during the war Nazi transferred $378 million into the accounts of Bank of International Settlements.

A few words about the Czech gold. The details surfaced when after the Bank of England's archives were declassified in 2012. [2] In the March of 1939 Germany captured Prague. Nazi demanded $48 million of national gold reserves. They were told that the sum had already been transferred to the Bank of International Settlements. Later it became known that the gold was transferred from Basel to the vaults of Bank of England. Upon the command from Berlin the gold was transferred to the ReichsbankBIS account. Then the Bank of England was involved in transactions done upon the orders of Reichsbank given to the Bank of International settlements. The commands were retransmitted to London. There was collusion between German Reichsbank, the Bank of International Settlements and the Bank of England. In 1939 a scandal broke out in Great Britain because the Bank of England executed the transactions with Czech gold upon the commands coming from Berlin and Basel, not the Czech government. For instance, in the June of 1939, three months before the war between Great Britain and Germany started, the Bank of England helped Germans to get into their accounts the amount of gold equal to 440 thousand pounds sterling and transfer some gold to New York (Germany was sure that in case of German intervention into Poland the United States would not declare war).

The illegal transactions with Czech gold were implemented with tacit approval of the government of Great Britain which was aware of what was going on. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir John Simon and other top officials did their best to hide the truth, including outright lies (the gold was returned to the lawful owner or had never been transferred to Reichsbank). The recently declassified materials of Bank of England reveal the truth and show that the government officials lied to cover up themselves and the activities of the Bank of England and the Bank of International Settlements. It was easy to coordinate the joint criminal activities because Montagu Norman, the head of Bank of England, served as the chairman of the board of Bank of International Settlements. He never made secret of his sympathy for fascists.

The Bretton Woods Conference, formally known as the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, was the gathering of 730 delegates from all 44 allied nations at the Mount Washington Hotel situated in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, the United States, to regulate the international monetary and financial order after the conclusion of World War II. The conference was held from 1 to 22 July 1944. All of a sudden the issue of the Bank of International Settlements hit the agenda. It was reported that the bank collaborated with fascist Germany. Leaving many details aside, I'd only mention that with great difficulty (some US delegates opposed the motion) the delegates reached an agreement to close the BIS. The decision of international conference has never been enacted. All the discreditable information related to the BIS wartime activities was classified. Today it helps to falsify the history of the Second World War.

Finally, a few words about Hjalmar Schacht (1877-1970) who served as President of the Reichsbank and Minister of Economics in the fascist Germany's government. He was a key figure controlling the economic machine of Third Reich, an extraordinary and plenipotentiaryambassador representing Anglo-American capital in Germany. In 1945 Schacht was tried at Nuremberg to be acquitted on October 1, 1946. He got away with murder. The same way it happened to Hitler. For some unexplained reasons he was not in the 1945 leading wartime criminals list. More to it, Schacht returned to his profession like if nothing happened and founded Schacht GmbH in Düsseldorf. This detail may go unnoticed, though it serves as another testimony to the fact that Anglo-American "money owners" and their plenipotentiary representatives in Germany prepared and, to some extent, influenced the outcome of the Second World War. The "money owners" want to rewrite the history of the war and change its results.

Valentin Katasonov

Strategic Culture Foundation (Russia)

[1] P.Tugwell, The Democratic Roosevelt, A Biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt, New York, 1957, p 477.


Source : "Anglo-American Money Owners Organized World War II", by Valentin Katasonov, Strategic Culture Foundation (Russia), Voltaire Network, 7 May 2015,

Valentin Katasonov Professor, Department of Moscow State Institute of International Finance, doctor of economic sciences, corresponding member of the Academy of Economics and Commerce. He was consultant of the United Nations (1991-1993), member of the Advisory Council to the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) (1993-1996), head of the Department of international monetary relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Russia (2001-11).

[May 11, 2015] The Choice Before Europe

May 05, 2015 | Information Clearing House

Washington continues to drive Europe toward one or the other of the two most likely outcomes of the orchestrated conflict with Russia. Either Europe or some European Union member government will break from Washington over the issue of Russian sanctions, thereby forcing the EU off of the path of conflict with Russia, or Europe will be pushed into military conflict with Russia.

In June the Russian sanctions expire unless each member government of the EU votes to continue the sanctions. Several governments have spoken against a continuation. For example, the governments of the Czech Republic and Greece have expressed dissatisfaction with the sanctions.

US Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged growing opposition to the sanctions among some European governments. Employing the three tools of US foreign policy–threats, bribery, and coercion–he warned Europe to renew the sanctions or there would be retribution. We will see in June if Washington's threat has quelled the rebellion.

Europe has to consider the strength of Washington's threat of retribution against the cost of a continuing and worsening conflict with Russia. This conflict is not in Europe's economic or political interest, and the conflict has the risk of breaking out into war that would destroy Europe.

Since the end of World War II Europeans have been accustomed to following Washington's lead. For awhile France went her own way, and there were some political parties in Germany and Italy that considered Washington to be as much of a threat to European independence as the Soviet Union. Over time, using money and false flag operations, such as Operation Gladio, Washington marginalized politicians and political parties that did not follow Washington's lead.

The specter of a military conflict with Russia that Washington is creating could erode Washington's hold over Europe. By hyping a "Russian threat," Washington is hoping to keep Europe under Washington's protective wing. However, the "threat" is being over-hyped to the point that some Europeans have understood that Europe is being driven down a path toward war.

Belligerent talk from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, from John McCain, from the neoconservatives, and from NATO commander Philip Breedlove is unnerving Europeans. In a recent love-fest between Breedlove and the Senate Armed Services Committee, chaired by John McCain, Breedlove supported arming the Ukrainian military, the backbone of which appears to be the Nazi militias, with heavy US weapons in order to change "the decision calculus on the ground" and bring an end to the break-away republics that oppose Washington's puppet government in Kiev.

Breedlove told the Senate committee that his forces were insufficient to withstand Russian aggression and that he needed more forces on Russia's borders in order to "reassure allies."

Europeans have to decide whether the threat is Russia or Washington. The European press, which Udo Ulfkotte reports in his book, Bought Journalists, consists of CIA assets, has been working hard to convince Europeans that there is a "revanchist Russia" on the prowl that seeks to recover the Soviet Empire. Washington's coup in Ukraine has disappeared. In its place Washington has substituted a "Russian invasion," hyped as Putin's first step in restoring the Soviet empire.

Just as there is no evidence of the Russian military in Ukraine, there is no evidence of Russian forces threatening Europe or any discussion or advocacy of restoring the Soviet empire among Russian political and military leaders.

In contrast Washington has the Wolfowitz Doctrine, which is explicitly directed at Russia, and now the Council on Foreign Relations has added China as a target of the Wolfowitz doctrine.

The CFR report says that China is a rising power and thereby a threat to US world hegemony. China's rise must be contained so that Washington can remain the boss in the Asian Pacific. What it comes down to is this: China is a threat because China will not prevent its own rise. This makes China a threat to "the International Order." "The International Order," of course, is the order determined by Washington. In other words, just as there must be no Russian sphere of influence, there must be no Chinese sphere of influence. The CFR report calls this keeping the world "free of hegemonic control" except by the US.

Just as General Breedlove demands more military spending in order to counter "the Russian threat," the CFR wants more military spending in order to counter "the Chinese threat." The report concludes: "Congress should remove sequestration caps and substantially increase the U.S. defense budget."

Clearly, Washington has no intention of moderating its position as the sole imperial power. In defense of this power, Washington will take the world to nuclear war. Europe can prevent this war by asserting its independence and departing the empire.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost.

[May 11, 2015]CIA leaker Jeffrey Sterling sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for Espionage Act violations

May 11, 2015 | RT USA

CIA leaker Jeffrey Sterling sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for Espionage Act violations

Convicted CIA leaker Jeffrey Sterling was sentenced to 42 months in prison under the Espionage Act. He was found guilty of nine counts of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information about a covert operation and other related charges.

Sterling was given an additional two years of supervised release after he finishes his time in jail. The government had sought a prison term of more than 20 years for Sterling, but the judge told prosecutors at the sentencing that was too harsh a punishment, according to the New York Times' Matt Apuzzo.

... ... ...

The former CIA officer, who was fired in the early 2000s, was charged under the Espionage Act for disclosing classified information about a mission meant to slow Iran's nuclear program to New York Times reporter James Risen, who then wrote about the CIA's Iranian plot "Operation Merlin" in his 2006 book, 'State of War'. The plan was designed to project a negative image of Iran's nuclear program, learn more about it program and impair its progress. Flawed nuclear weapon schematics were reportedly funneled to the Iranians via a Russian scientist with the codename "Merlin."

Risen was also critical of Operation Merlin in his book, saying it could have inadvertently helped Iran if they were able to identify what was wrong with the blueprints.

... ... ...

In remarks of his own, US District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema mentioned the punishments meted out against other government whistleblowers, including Gen. David Petraeus, who was sentenced to two years probation for leaking documents to his biographer, a woman who was also his mistress, as well as that of John Kiriakou, Rapalo said.

[May 11, 2015] Why Ukraine Still Can't Break Ties With Russian 'Aggressor State'  by Simon Shuster

Already Ukraine is approaching that point. With most of its scarce resources focused on fighting Russia's proxies in the east, Ukraine's leaders have watched their economy fall off a cliff, surviving only by the grace of massive loans from Western institutions like the International Monetary Fund, which approved another $17.5 billion last month to be disbursed over the next four years. But that assistance has not stopped the national currency of Ukraine from losing two-thirds of its value since last winter. In the last three months of 2014, the size of the economy contracted almost 15%, inflation shot up to 40%, and unemployment approached double digits.

Having survived an assassin's bullet, a revolution and a war, Gennady Kernes now faces a fight over Ukraine's constitution

One afternoon in late February, Gennady Kernes, the mayor of Kharkov, Ukraine's second largest city, pushed his wheelchair away from the podium at city hall and, with a wince of discomfort, allowed his bodyguards to help him off the stage. The day's session of the city council had lasted several hours, and the mayor's pain medication had begun to wear off. It was clear from the grimace on his face how much he still hurt from the sniper's bullet that nearly killed him last spring. But he collected himself, adjusted his tie and rolled down the aisle to the back of the hall, where the press was waiting to grill him.

"Gennady Adolfovich," one of the local journalists began, politely addressing the mayor by his name and patronymic. "Do you consider Russia to be an aggressor?" He had seen this loaded question coming. The previous month, Ukraine's parliament had unanimously voted to declare Russia an "aggressor state," moving the two nations closer to a formal state of war after nearly a year of armed conflict. Kernes, long known as a shrewd political survivor, was among the only prominent officials in Ukraine to oppose this decision, even though he knew he could be branded a traitor for it. "Personally, I do not consider Russia to be an aggressor," he said, looking down at his lap.

It was a sign of his allegiance in the new phase of Ukraine's war. Since February, when a fragile ceasefire began to take hold, the question of the country's survival has turned to a debate over its reconstitution. Under the conditions of the truce, Russia has demanded that Ukraine embrace "federalization," a sweeping set of constitutional reforms that would take power away from the capital and redistribute it to the regions. Ukraine now has to decide how to meet this demand without letting its eastern provinces fall deeper into Russia's grasp.

The state council charged with making this decision convened for the first time on April 6, and President Petro Poroshenko gave it strict instructions. Some autonomy would have to be granted to the regions, he said, but Russia's idea of federalization was a red line he wouldn't cross. "It is like an infection, a biological weapon, which is being imposed on Ukraine from abroad," the President said. "Its bacteria are trying to infect Ukraine and destroy our unity."

Kernes sees it differently. His city of 1.4 million people is a sprawling industrial powerhouse, a traditional center of trade and culture whose suburbs touch the Russian border. Its economy cannot survive, he says, unless trade and cooperation with the "aggressor state" continue, regardless how much Russia has done in the past year to sow conflict in Ukraine.

"That's how the Soviet Union built things," Kernes explains in his office at the mayoralty, which is decorated with an odd collection of gifts and trinkets, such as a stuffed lion, a robotic-looking sculpture of a scorpion, and a statuette of Kernes in the guise of Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union. "That's how our factories were set up back in the day," he continues. "It's a fact of life. And what will we do if Russia, our main customer, stops buying?" To answer his own question, he uses an old provincialism: "It'll be cat soup for all of us then," he said.

Already Ukraine is approaching that point. With most of its scarce resources focused on fighting Russia's proxies in the east, Ukraine's leaders have watched their economy fall off a cliff, surviving only by the grace of massive loans from Western institutions like the International Monetary Fund, which approved another $17.5 billion last month to be disbursed over the next four years. But that assistance has not stopped the national currency of Ukraine from losing two-thirds of its value since last winter. In the last three months of 2014, the size of the economy contracted almost 15%, inflation shot up to 40%, and unemployment approached double digits.

But that pain will be just the beginning, says Kernes, unless Ukraine allows its eastern regions to develop economic ties with Russia. As proof he points to the fate of Turboatom, his city's biggest factory, which produces turbines for both Russian and Ukrainian power stations. Its campus takes up more than five square kilometers near the center of Kharkov, like a city within a city, complete with dormitories and bathhouses for its 6,000 employees. On a recent evening, its deputy director, Alexei Cherkassky, was looking over the factory's sales list as though it were a dire medical prognosis. About 40% of its orders normally come from Russia, which relies on Turboatom for most of the turbines that run its nuclear power stations.

"Unfortunately, all of our major industries are intertwined with Russia in this way," Cherkassky says. "So we shouldn't fool ourselves in thinking we can be independent from Russia. We are totally interdependent." Over the past year, Russia has started cutting back on orders from Turboatom as part of its broader effort to starve Ukraine's economy, and the factory has been forced as a result to cut shifts, scrap overtime and push hundreds of workers into retirement.

At least in the foreseeable future, it does not have the option of shifting sales to Europe. "Turbines aren't iPhones," says Cherkassky. "You don't switch them out every few months." And the ones produced at Turboatom, like nearly all of Ukraine's heavy industry, still use Soviet means of production that don't meet the needs of most Western countries. So for all the aid coming from the state-backed institutions in the U.S. and Europe, Cherkassky says, "those markets haven't exactly met us with open arms."

Russia knows this. For decades it has used the Soviet legacy of interdependence as leverage in eastern Ukraine. The idea of its "federalization" derives in part from this reality. For two decades, one of the leading proponents of this vision has been the Russian politician Konstantin Zatulin, who heads the Kremlin-connected institute in charge of integrating the former Soviet space. Since at least 2004, he has been trying to turn southeastern Ukraine into a zone of Russian influence – an effort that got him banned from entering the country between 2006 and 2010.

His political plan for controlling Ukraine was put on hold last year, as Russia began using military means to achieve the same ends. But the current ceasefire has brought his vision back to the fore. "If Ukraine accepts federalization, we would have no need to tear Ukraine apart," Zatulin says in his office in Moscow, which is cluttered with antique weapons and other military bric-a-brac. Russia could simply build ties with the regions of eastern Ukraine that "share the Russian point of view on all the big issues," he says. "Russia would have its own soloists in the great Ukrainian choir, and they would sing for us. This would be our compromise."

It is a compromise that Kernes seems prepared to accept, despite everything he has suffered in the past year of political turmoil. Early on in the conflict with Russia, he admits that he flirted with ideas of separatism himself, and he fiercely resisted the revolution that brought Poroshenko's government to power last winter. In one of its first decisions, that government even brought charges against Kernes for allegedly abducting, threatening and torturing supporters of the revolution in Kharkov. After that, recalls Zatulin, the mayor "simply chickened out." Facing a long term in prison, Kernes accepted Ukraine's new leaders and turned his back on the separatist cause, refusing to allow his city to hold a referendum on secession from Ukraine.

"And you know what I got for that," Kernes says. "I got a bullet." On April 28, while he was exercising near a city park, an unidentified sniper shot Kernes in the back with a high-caliber rifle. The bullet pierced his lung and shredded part of his liver, but it also seemed to shore up his bona fides as a supporter of Ukrainian unity. The state dropped its charges against him soon after, and he was able to return to his post.

It wasn't the first time he made such an incredible comeback. In 2007, while he was serving as adviser to his friend and predecessor, Mikhail Dobkin, a video of them trying to film a campaign ad was leaked to the press. It contained such a hilarious mix of bumbling incompetence and backalley obscenity that both of their careers seemed sure to be over. Kernes not only survived that scandal but was elected mayor a few years later.

Now the fight over Ukraine's federalization is shaping up to be his last. In late March, as he continued demanding more autonomy for Ukraine's eastern regions, the state re-opened its case against him for alleged kidnapping and torture, which he has always denied. The charges, he says, are part of a campaign against all politicians in Ukraine who support the restoration of civil ties with Russia. "They don't want to listen to reason," he says.

But one way or another, the country will still have to let its eastern regions to do business with the enemy next door, "because that's where the money is," Kernes says. No matter how much aid Ukraine gets from the IMF and other Western backers, it will not be enough to keep the factories of Kharkov alive. "They'll just be left to rot without our steady clients in Russia." Never mind that those clients may have other plans for Ukraine in mind.

[May 10, 2015] After the fall of the Soviet Union, the U.S. tried to help Russians

More correctly Clinton administration vigorously tried to help Russia to became a vassal state...
April 15, 2015 |
May 07, 2015 | The Washington Post

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR Putin recently was interviewed for a fawning Russian television documentary on his decade and a half in power. Putin expressed the view that the West would like Russia to be down at the heels. He said, "I sometimes I get the impression that they love us when they need to send us humanitarian aid. . . . [T]he so-called ruling circles, elites — political and economic — of those countries, they love us when we are impoverished, poor and when we come hat in hand. As soon as we start declaring some interests of our own, they feel that there is some element of geopolitical rivalry."

Earlier, in March, speaking to leaders of the Federal Security Service, which he once led, Mr. Putin warned that "Western special services continue their attempts at using public, nongovernmental and politicized organizations to pursue their own objectives, primarily to discredit the authorities and destabilize the internal situation in Russia."

Mr. Putin's remarks reflect a deep-seated paranoia. It would be easy to dismiss this kind of rhetoric as intended for domestic consumption, an attempt to whip up support for his war adventure in Ukraine. In part, it is that. But Mr. Putin's assertion that the West has been acting out of a desire to sunder Russia's power and influence is a willful untruth.

The fact is that thousands of Americans went to Russia hoping to help its people attain a better life. The American and Western effort over the last 25 years — to which the United States and Europe devoted billions of dollars — was aimed at helping Russia overcome the horrid legacy of Soviet communism, which left the country on its knees in 1991. It was not about conquering Russia but rather about saving it, offering the proven tools of market capitalism and democracy, which were not imposed but welcomed. The United States also spent hundreds of millions of dollars to make Russia safer from loose nukes and joined a fruitful collaboration in outer space. Avid volunteers came to Russia and donated endless hours to imparting the lessons of how to hold jury trials, build a free press, design equity markets, carry out political campaigning and a host of other components of an open, prosperous society. The Americans came for the best of reasons.

Certainly, the Western effort was flawed. Markets were distorted by crony and oligarchic capitalism; democratic practice often faltered; many Russians genuinely felt a sense of defeat, humiliation and exhaustion. There's much to regret but not the central fact that a generous hand was extended to post-Soviet Russia, offering the best of Western values and know-how. The Russian people benefit from this benevolence even now, and, above Mr. Putin's self-serving hysterics, they ought to hear the truth: The United States did not come to bury you.

Vatnik, 5/7/2015 2:33 PM EDT [Edited]

I think, that everyoune in US must to know. As i wrote below

"we think that Navalny & Co paid by the west. they ususally call themselves "opposiotion", and one of them (Nemtsov) was frieinds with McCain (as i realized after reading McCain twitter, after Nemtsov was killed)."

"we think that our real opposition are these political parties: CPRF, LDPR. We believe them."

i write it, because i think, that when we talk that our(russian) opposition is bad and paid from the west, you think that we talk about our politic parties. but it is wrong, we talk about Navalny & Co.

MeriJ, 5/7/2015 3:08 PM EDT [Edited]

Thanks. That is a useful clarification. But I still find it odd that you would consider a member of your nation's opposition a traitor or "tool" simply because they have friends in the West.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the main difference between people like Navalny versus the CPRF/LDPR is that Navalny thinks the current system is corrupt. Whereas individuals and political parties currently benefiting from the current system think it's fine.

Those are not the thoughts of a traitor. To get to that conclusion you would need to define the current system and those who currently benefit as being "Russia." Oppose them and you oppose the Motherland.

But Putin and his new-generation oligarchs and his deputies at the Kremlin are not Russia. They are a bunch of guys who currently run things there.

Vatnik, 5/7/2015 3:47 PM EDT [Edited]

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but the main difference between people like Navalny versus the CPRF/LDPR is that Navalny thinks the current system is corrupt."

CPRF and LPDR know about corruption, and even they think that our non-systemic opposition (Navlny & Co) are traitors. And they (CPRF , LDPR) talk about corruption and another bad things of our gov even in Duma. for example, this is what said the leader of LDPR on one tv show

"коррупцию создала советская власть, кпсс, единая россия плавно подобрала у нее все инструменты коррупции и сегодня эта страстная болезнь поразила все органы и всю структуру"
google translated it:
"Corruption established Soviet power, the Communist Party, United Russia gently picked her all the tools of corruption and now this passionate disease struck all the organs and the whole structure"
"у вас фракция половина бизнесмены, воры, жулики, грабители, вся остальная половина агенты спецслужб"
google translated:
"you have a fraction of a half businessmen, thieves, swindlers, robbers, the rest of the half secret service agents"
he adressed it to our main politic party in Duma, "United Russia"

I can find more than one video where he talk about falsifications of elections, right in Duma.

but these are just examples.

P.S. oh, and here i found video, specially for you(americans) where our non-systemic opposition visited US Embassy in Moscow in July 4th.

Baranovsly71, 5/7/2015 12:11 PM EDT [Edited]

BTW, this is not true that "Americans were not in charge". I red memoirs of Eltsyn's ministers (Korzhakov, Burbulis, you can read memoirs of deputy secretary of state of that time Strobe Talbott in English, the same is there), and it's clear that in 90s Russia de facto was American colony.

For example, ministers in Russian government could not be assigned without US State Department approval. Even Russian TV anchors were instructed by US representatives.

Skeviz, 5/7/2015 12:05 PM EDT

6:42 PM GMT+0300 [Edited]
Putin has convinced you...

USA had popularity in Russia in 1990 more than Putin now, but to 1999 when Putin became prime-minister USA had less than 20% approve. It was not Putin who destroyed USA's popularity, reverse your policy created Putin.

You very often replay this your phrase, but it is lie. Did Putin created NATO, did Putin used Russia's weakness and increased NATO, did Putin bomb Kosovo, did Putin violated agreements that was done after WWII and separated Kosovo from Serbia, did Putin destroyed Russia's democracy in 1996 and in 1993, did Putin paid Chechnya terrorists to kill Russians, did Putin pressure Chechens create Islamic State (prototype of ISIL) in Chechnya, did Putin in any article said that it will be great if terrorists will created their own state (and after that will be do permanent wars against Russia)? NO, you did it before there appeared Putin.

Skeviz, 5/7/2015 12:14 PM EDT

5:48 PM GMT+0300
Much of the aid they are referring to was not lending but grants to help build civil society -- independent media, health organizations and the like. No strings attached.

You did not created Russia's civil society, you destroyed it when you created did all what was possible to lure high educated Russians in West countries. You falsified Russia's election in 1996 (and all international observers under pressure of USA supported it). You in 1993 supported Yeltsin's military operation in Moscow. You paid Chechnya terrorists to kill Russians and destabilize Russia's society. Is it civil society???

"independent media"??? Not, they was created by our oligarchs, not by you, and you payed only for those media who represented USA's point of view as your propaganda did in time Cold War. It was the continuing Cold War, not help.

" health organizations" ??????????????

USSR's health organizations was significantly better than USA, and infinity better than current Russia's organizations.

There was not "and like" we ceased Cold War, we by free will dismantled all "USSR's Empire", we by free will destroyed ideology, we ceased war, but you continued it, you continued the war all last 25 years, and NATO is the best example of it.

MeriJ, 5/7/2015 12:24 PM EDT

We lured well-educated Russians to the West? Seriously?

This is the nature of free markets and open borders. Your response should be to compete to lure them back. Give them something to come home for. Most people long to go home.

Instead you talk about anyone who doesn't hate the West as if they were traitors. Why would any well-educated Russian ex-pat want to come home now?

Skeviz, 5/7/2015 12:48 PM EDT

Seriously. Your government created very comfortable ways for engineers (and for some another categories of USSR's people), to take them on West. You are economist, so I suppose you know the reception: lure good manager from another company, it will increase your power, and it decrease power of your competitor.

MeriJ, 5/7/2015 12:51 PM EDT [Edited]

By "seriously?" I didn't mean I disagreed with your facts. I disagree that this was surprising or hostile. That is the nature of open markets -- if you see excellence, you try to recruit it.

There are only two responses I know of: Close your borders and your markets; or compete more effectively.

MeriJ, 5/7/2015 12:20 PM EDT

You are truly incorrect, my friend, and it saddens me that you see it this way.

The antagonistic relationship you describe is more true at the moment, due to the events of the last year, but not true back in the decades before that. During the Cold War, we were indeed enemies, so such motivations then were a given.

Skeviz, 5/7/2015 12:24 PM EDT

Ok, then try to explain, why USA had more 80% [popularity in polls] in Russia in 1990 and less than 20% in 1999. There was not Putin, how can you explain it?

Volkovolk, 5/7/2015 12:27 PM EDT [Edited]

He is correct. One can say that Cold War never ended - it just took place for some decades on our land in form of guerilla war. After Gorbachev and Yeltsin abandoned all interests of USSR and Russia you decided to press the advantage and to take Russia of the board [permanently]. Is it so big surprise that we are angry about it?

Joseph Volgin, 5/7/2015 11:01 AM EDT

Alert! Attention, danger! Putin trolls get into American journalism:

"...Or, as a Fred Hiatt of the 1870s might have commented about Native Americans who resisted the well-intentioned Bureau of Indian Affairs and didn't appreciate the gentleness of the U.S. Army or the benevolence of life on the reservations: "Above Sitting Bull's self-serving hysterics, Indians ought to hear the truth: The white man did not come to exterminate you."

Baranovsly71, 5/7/2015 8:22 AM EDT

Thank you, but I lived in Russia in 90s and remember very well Americans who started to come at that time - arrogant money-grabbers the only thing they were interested in is how to make money - on everything, from oil to export of Russian children to US. They stole billions from Russians and continue to do so.

Please, Americans, don't help us - go away and take your democracy with you.

Bob Bobo, 5/7/2015 7:51 AM EDT

Russia help? Yes like that Khodorkovsky Yukos submitted on a silver platter Rothschild. It would Americans like it if they can plunder the Russian mineral resources. But when Putin to allow such a persona non grata.

Larysa Mahal, 5/7/2015 6:30 AM EDT

The best article for those who do not know history and events in Russia. I think a lot of people feel a tears of emotion when they read this article. Bravo!

When author quotes Putin's speech "they love us when we are impoverished, poor and when we come hat in hand." he has forgotten to say that after these words Putin thanked all those who helped to Russia in its difficult time. Author has forgotten to give example about free help "devoted billions of dollars". Nothing was free and Russia had to pay if not money then the disadvantages agreements or concessions. But oh well it. Talk about a paranoia. Author calls the leader of the biggest country "paranoid". But this man has stood up Russia from knees during 15 years only. Think about it 15 years only! Author calls "paranoid" the man who are supported by 75 % population in Russia. The man who was addressed Crimea, insisting on joining with Russia. Are all of these people paranoid like Putin?

Then you can say about President of Poland who sad that the Victory Parade in Moscow is a threaten to all Europe. What is it, paranoia in a cube? But author does not see that because for him to write articles is a work but to know truth is for domestic use only.

I want to ask everybody to see around and say how many prosperous, beautiful countries in Europe face before a threaten to be section, detached some parts like UK, Italy. But to Russia with her "paranoid" leader want and join huge territories with huge amount of people. Think about it. In last year one man standing in a long queue on the sea crossing from Crimea to Russia sad that they are willing to endure all the inconveniences because the main thing is they are with Russia. Think about it.

Lucky_Barker, 5/7/2015 5:45 AM EDT [Edited]

The United States supported the destruction and burning of the parliament in Moscow, the murder of civilians in 1993, the bombing of Grozny in 1994-1995-m, and the killing of civilians in Chechnya. All crimes Yeltsin was American influence and American advices.

It's very like the oficial America. Manu people call "Yeltsin era" as "Time of Americans" or "Time of Prostitutes".

Restoration of parliamentary democracy, Mr. Putin did not like top US.
Putin's war in Chechnya without massive bombing did not like owners of US newspapers and US parties.

The Chechens believe that the Americans supported Yeltsin genocide Chechen civilians in 1nd Chechen war and strongly resent and hate peace in Chechnya after the 2nd Chechen war.

Tsarnaev was prepared in US as a terrorist for Syria or Chechnya - but was shot too early.

We must always remember that Al Qaeda and الدّولة الإسلاميّة at an early stage was the US-Saudi projects.

Volkovolk, 5/7/2015 5:24 AM EDT [

What a hipocrisity.
Your "volunters" with their "proven tools" provoked desolation of russian economy and defolt. The results of their actions were nothing short of economical genocide. The so-called free press you build are just a puppets of yours, instruments of your influence and of your lies. Your advises in building of democracy led to anarchy and to the brink of collapse of Russia. Yes, you tried to bury us. Guess what? You failed. And we will never forgive you.

Danila Ivanov, 5/7/2015 5:19 AM EDT

But past wrongs do not matter... now Russia and the USA on the brink of war... the war is already at a distance of 600 kilometers from Moscow, the American puppets killed thousands of ethnic Russians.

Russia is a nuclear power, such action is suicide. We all have to prevent needless and stupid war... I ask you to help.

Danila Ivanov, 5/7/2015 4:56 AM EDT

4) Let the author will call the name of at least one program, which spent a billion dollars... which would have improved the lives of ordinary Russians. At least one program (I don't know, although he lived in Russia at that time). All American billion were used to purchase depreciating assets industry of the USSR ("privatization"), actually looting people.

5) "Thousands of activists and volunteers" were actually thousands of Yeltsin's advisers... it was on the advice of these advisers was launched economic programme "shock therapy" (economic Holocaust). When Federal employees and the military is not specifically paid a salary (although the money was) ... a few years (to reduce the money supply), the economy was dead, just do not have the money, the base rate of the Central Bank was 2000% (I'm not kidding)... people were hungry... you know what hunger is? I know... The country was falling apart, if not for Putin.
6) Free press this is the press... which is verbatim from CNN, BBC, Foxnews? What is its "freedom" of this media?

7) the Oligarchs, corrupt officials... and who brought them to power, who collaborated with them, who gave them money to purchase assets? American corporations...

P. S. I don't know why the author is lying, but I would never wish the Americans in the US... to experience the poverty and hopelessness... you have experienced the Russians in the 90-ies in Russia, when the US "gave us a hand"...

Danila Ivanov, 5/7/2015 4:26 AM EDT

I accuse the author of lying... and paid propaganda.
1) Russia is satisfied with the U.S. government only when it is weak. In 1993 Boris Yeltsin ordered to shoot from tanks to the Parliament (similar to the U.S. Congress) killed many people-elected deputies, and unarmed people in the square who came to support the deputies, they were killed at close range with machine guns. Hundreds of corpses.... NO ONE representative of the United States, has condemned the event. Nobody. Everything is fine, democracy!!!
The author of the article is lying. Putin is telling the truth.
2) Almost all non-governmental organizations of Russia officially get the money of US taxpayers. Their leaders defiantly go to the American Embassy. (in other 196 embassies of the countries of the world don't go)... and declare that their goal is "revolution and overthrow the President." Opposition leaders Russia (Navalny, Nemtsov, Kasparov, Chirikov, Ponomarev) was trained in the U.S. and regularly travel to the USA... (for example ... Imagine the leaders of "Occupy Wall Street" would have officially get money from the Russians, and walked to the Russian Embassy. Presented? ) The author is lying, Putin is not lying.
3) There is No "military adventure in Ukraine." Lies about "Russian aggression" hides that Ukraine is a civil war and the destruction and arrests of thousands of unarmed ethnic Russians (they inhabit the East of Ukraine)... who disagree with an armed overthrow of the President. Near the border of Russia (31 km) is a major Ukrainian city Kharkiv... it unguarded, why in Kharkov there are no "hordes of Russian troops or the rebels?... If Putin attacked the Ukraine and began a military adventure"?
The author lied again.

Owan Skirlan, 5/7/2015 3:20 AM EDT

Okay, dear Americans, thanks for fish and sort of that, but, really - Make Your Own Buisness! Somethere between US borders, not out

Brekotin, 5/7/2015 1:07 AM EDT

Very funny article. Washington PRAVDA!
to author: please check the graph of GDP in Russia and the United States 1985-2015.
Clearly shows how redistribute wealth of the USSR was reditributed.

P.S.: teach macroeconomics and history.

Andrey Belov, 5/7/2015 12:39 AM EDT

I by the way I wonder what is so wrong left Russia communism? Developed industry and agriculture, United state, connected in the common economic space, a powerful culture and the arts, advanced science, the successful solution of social problems. And against that you have spent billions to destroy all? Lord you Americans really believe that we should be grateful for assistance in the destruction of our country?

Skeviz, 5/6/2015 11:48 PM EDT

"After the fall of the Soviet Union, the U.S. tried to help Russians"
- USA in 1990 had popularity 80%, but to 1999 (before Putin) USA had popularity 20% in Russia, is it because USA had tried help Russia? (De facto USA did all what was possible to create politician like Putin).
- USSR had dismissed Warsaw pact by free will (and USSR dismissed USSR by free will), USSR destroyed all what was linked to Cold War, did USA the same? Did USA dismissed NATO?
- USA used Russia's weakness and increased NATO (now hypocrite Americans say that it was done by will of those countries, interesting enough do they really believe in the BS? USSR could also said that E. Europe's countries became ally of USSR because they was afraid Germany).
- USA used Russia's weakness and attacked Serbia the Russia's ally (hypocrite Americans said that there was ethnic cleansing, BUT USA killed more men there than Milosevic did, moreover after war created by USA there was new ethnic cleansing and Albanians killed Serbians, why hypocrite Americans closed eyes about it?). In day when USA began war against Kosovo they loss all support that had between youth.
- USA payed Chechnya terrorists and USA do great media support to Chechnya terrorists (after 11 September 2001 it was ceased but to the time was killed many Russia's humans including children, now hypocrite Americans prefer do not remember which media support they did for creation Islamic State on Russia's south border, it was prototype of ISIL).
- USA used Russia's weakness and dismissed all agreements that interfere create anti-missile system.
- USA destroyed Russia's democracy when supported falsification of election 1996 in Russia, because USA was afraid communists in Russia, and preferred support Yeltsin. USA violated election and supported Yeltsin, who had destroying Russia.
- USA paid for many color revolutions on Russia's borders.

Skeviz, 5/6/2015 11:59 PM EDT

I could continue the list very long, but I have not time now.
So all USA's sayings about "trying to help Russia" is hypocrite lie from alpha to omega. All what wanted USA destroy country that they had afraid half century. USA didn't use Russians free will and trying end Cold War, USA continued it and I can suppose it will be great problem for USA in future. Certainly Russia is weak country now, but Russia can give very significant help to China, especially in military question (if China will be need use power, but do not show that they use power).

Irene Guy, 5/6/2015 9:34 PM EDT

"For fifty years, our policy was to fence in the Soviet Union while its own internal contradictions undermined it. For thirty years, our policy has been to draw out the People's Republic of China. As a result, the China of today is simply not the Soviet Union of the late 1940s"
Robert B. Zoellick, Deputy Secretary of State
Remarks to National Committee on U.S.-China Relations
New York City
September 21, 2005"
Enough said...

[May 10, 2015] The New York Times does its government's bidding Here's what you're not being told about U.S. troops in Ukraine

May 07, 2015 |
As of mid-April, when a Pentagon flack announced it in Kiev, and as barely reported in American media, U.S. troops are now operating openly in Ukraine.

Now there is a lead I have long dreaded writing but suspected from the first that one day I would. Do not take a moment to think about this. Take many moments. We all need to. We find ourselves in grave circumstances this spring.

At first I thought I had written what newspaper people call a double-barreled lead: American soldiers in Ukraine, American media not saying much about it. Two facts.

Wrong. There is one fact now, and it is this: Americans are being led blindfolded very near the brink of war with Russia.

One cannot predict there will be one. And, of course, right-thinking people hope things will never come to one. In March, President Obama dismissed any such idea as if to suggest it was silly. "They're not interested in a military confrontation with us," Obama said of the Russians—wisely. Then he added, unwisely: "We don't need a war."

Don't need a war to get what done, Mr. President? This is our question. Then this one: Washington is going to stop at exactly what as it manipulates its latest set of puppets in disadvantaged countries, this time pretending there is absolutely nothing thoughtless or miscalculated about doing so on Russia's historically sensitive western border?

The pose of American innocence, tatty and tiresome in the best of times, is getting dangerous once again.

The source of worry now is that we do not have an answer to the second question. The project is plain: Advance NATO the rest of the way through Eastern Europe, probably with the intent of eventually destabilizing Moscow. The stooges now installed in Kiev are getting everything ready for the corporations eager to exploit Ukrainian resources and labor.

And our policy cliques are willing to go all the way to war for this? As of mid-April, when the 173rd Airborne Brigade started arriving in Ukraine, it looks as if we are on notice in this respect.

In the past there were a few vague mentions of an American military presence in Ukraine that was to be in place by this spring, if I recall correctly. These would have been last autumn. By then, there were also reports, unconfirmed, that some troops and a lot of spooks were already there as advisers but not acknowledged.

Then in mid-March President Poroshenko introduced a bill authorizing—as required by law—foreign troops to operate on Ukrainian soil. There was revealing detail, according to Russia Insider, a free-standing website in Moscow founded and run by Charles Bausman, an American with an uncanny ability to gather and publish pertinent information.

"According to the draft law, Ukraine plans three Ukrainian-American command post exercises, Fearless Guardian 2015, Sea Breeze 2015 and Saber Guardian/Rapid Trident 2015," the publication reported, "and two Ukrainian-Polish exercises, Secure Skies 2015, and Law and Order 2015, for this year."

This is a lot of dry-run maneuvering, if you ask me. Poroshenko's law allows for up to 1,000 American troops to participate in each of these exercises, alongside an equal number of Ukrainian "National Guardsmen," and we will insist on the quotation marks when referring to this gruesome lot, about whom more in a minute.

Take a deep breath and consider that 1,000 American folks, as Obama will surely get around to calling them, are conducting military drills with troops drawn partly from Nazi and crypto-Nazi paramilitary groups…. Sorry, I cannot add anything more to this paragraph. Speechless.

It was a month to the day after Poroshenko's bill went to parliament that the Pentagon spokesman in Kiev announced—to a room empty of American correspondents, we are to assume—that troops from the 173rd Airborne were just then arriving to train none other than "National Guardsmen." This training includes "classes in war-fighting functions," as the operations officer, Maj. Jose Mendez, blandly put it at the time.

The spokesman's number was "about 300," and I never like "about" when these people are describing deployments. This is how it always begins, we will all recall. The American presence in Vietnam began with a handful of advisers who arrived in September 1950. (Remember MAAG, the Military Assistance Advisory Group?)

Part of me still thinks war with Russia seems a far-fetched proposition. But here's the thing: It is even more far-fetched to deny the gravity of this moment for all its horrific, playing-with-fire potential.

I am getting on to apoplectic as to the American media's abject irresponsibility in not covering this stuff adequately. To leave these events unreported is outright lying by omission. Nobody's news judgment can be so bad as to argue this is not a story.

Last December, John Pilger, the noted Australian journalist now in London, said in a speech that the Ukraine crisis had become the most extreme news blackout he had seen his entire career. I agree and now need no more proof as to whether it is a matter of intent or ineptitude. (Now that I think of it, it is both in many cases.)

To cross the "i"s and dot the "t"s, as I prefer to do, the Times did make two mentions of the American troops. One was the day of the announcement, a brief piece on an inside page, datelined Washington. Here we get our code word for this caper: It will be "modest" in every mention.

The second was in an April 23 story by Michael Gordon, the State Department correspondent. The head was, "Putin Bolsters His Forces Near Ukraine, U.S. Says." Read the… thing here.

The story line is a doozy: Putin—not "the Russians" or "Moscow," of course—is again behaving aggressively by amassing troops—how many, exactly where and how we know is never explained—along his border with Ukraine. Inside his border, that is. This is the story. This is what we mean by aggression these days.

In the sixth paragraph we get this: "Last week, Russia charged that a modest program to train Ukraine's national guard that 300 American troops are carrying out in western Ukraine could 'destabilize the situation.'"

Apoplectically speaking: Goddamn it, there is nothing modest about U.S. troops operating on Ukrainian soil, and it is self-evidently destabilizing. It is an obvious provocation, a point the policy cliques in Washington cannot have missed.

At this point, I do not see how anyone can stand against the argument—mine for some time—that Putin has shown exemplary restraint in this crisis. In a reversal of roles and hemispheres, Washington would have a lot more than air defense systems and troops of whatever number on the border in question.

The Times coverage of Ukraine, to continue briefly in this line, starts to remind me of something I.F. Stone once said about the Washington Post: The fun of reading it, the honored man observed, is that you never know where you'll find a page one story.

In the Times' case, you never know if you will find it at all.

Have you read much about the wave of political assassinations that erupted in Kiev in mid-April? Worry not. No one else has either—not in American media. Not a word in the Times.

The number my sources give me, and I cannot confirm it, is a dozen so far—12 to 13 to be precise. On the record, we have 10 who can be named and identified as political allies of Viktor Yanukovych, the president ousted last year, opponents of a drastic rupture in Ukraine's historic relations to Russia, people who favored marking the 70th anniversary of the Soviet defeat of the Nazis—death-deserving idea, this—and critics of the new regime's corruptions and dependence on violent far-right extremists.

These were all highly visible politicians, parliamentarians and journalists. They have been murdered by small groups of these extremists, according to reports readily available in non-American media. In my read, the killers may have the same semi-official ties to government that the paramilitary death squads in 1970s Argentina—famously recognizable in their Ford Falcons—had with Videla and the colonels.

The Poroshenko government contrives to assign Russia the blame, but one can safely ignore this. Extreme right members of parliament have been more to the point. After a prominent editor named Oles Buzyna was fatally shot outside his home several weeks ago, a lawmaker named Boris Filatov told colleagues, "One more piece of shit has been eliminated." From another named Irina Farion, this: Death will neutralize the dirt this shit has spilled. Such people go to history's sewers."

Kindly place, Kiev's parliament under this new crowd. Washington must be proud, having backed yet another right-wing, anti-democratic, rights-trampling regime that does what it says.

And our media must be silent, of course. It can be no other way. Gutless hacks: You bet I am angry.

* * *

I end this week's column with a tribute.

A moment of observance, any kind, for William Pfaff, who died at 86 in Paris late last week. The appreciative obituary by the Times' Marlise Simons is here.

Pfaff was the most sophisticated foreign affairs commentator of the 20th century's second half and the first 15 years of this one. He was a great influence among colleagues (myself included) and put countless readers in a lot of places in the picture over many decades. He was a vigorous opponent of American adventurism abroad, consistent and reasoned even as resistance to both grew in his later years. By the time he was finished he was published and read far more outside America than in it.

Pfaff was a conservative man in some respects, which is not uncommon among America's American critics. In this I put him in the file with Henry Steele Commager, C. Vann Woodward, William Appleman Williams, and among those writing now, Andrew Bacevich. He was not a scholar, as these writers were or are, supporting a point I have long made: Not all intellectuals are scholars, and not all scholars are intellectuals.

Pfaff's books will live on and I commend them: "Barbarian Sentiments," "The Wrath of Nations," "The Bullet's Song," and his last, "The Irony of Manifest Destiny," are the ones on my shelf.

Farewell from a friend, Bill.

Patrick Smith is the author of "Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century." He was the International Herald Tribune's bureau chief in Hong Kong and then Tokyo from 1985 to 1992. During this time he also wrote "Letter from Tokyo" for the New Yorker. He is the author of four previous books and has contributed frequently to the New York Times, the Nation, the Washington Quarterly, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter, @thefloutist. More Patrick L. Smith.

[May 10, 2015]Battle Tested, Ukraine Troops Now Get U.S. Basic Training


YAVORIV, Ukraine — The exercise, one of the most fundamental in the military handbook, came off without a hitch. A soldier carrying a length of rope and a grappling hook ran to within 20 feet or so of a coil of concertina wire and stopped.

For a moment, he twirled the rope in his hands like a lasso, then threw the hook over the wire, and tugged hard, testing for explosives.

When nothing happened he signaled two comrades, who ran up and started snipping the wire with cutters.

Although this was a typical training exercise for raw recruits in an elemental soldierly skill, there was nothing typical about the scene. Far from enlistees, these soldiers were regulars in the Ukrainian National Guard, presumably battle-hardened after months on the front lines in eastern Ukraine. And the trainer was an American military instructor, drilling troops for battle with the United States' former Cold War foe, Russia, and Russian-backed separatists.

... ... ...

The training included simulations of a suspect's detention. Credit Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times

The course on cutting wire is one of 63 classes of remedial military instruction being provided by 300 United States Army trainers in three consecutive two-month courses.

Here in western Ukraine, they are far from the fighting, and their job is to instill some basic military know-how in Ukrainian soldiers, who the trainers have discovered are woefully unprepared. The largely unschooled troops are learning such basic skills as how to use an encrypted walkie-talkie; how to break open a door with a sledgehammer and a crowbar; and how to drag a wounded colleague across a field while holding a rifle at the ready.

... ... ...

The United States is also providing advanced courses for military professionals known as forward observers — the ones who call in targets — to improve the accuracy of artillery fire, making it more lethal for the enemy and less so for civilians.


The training also included simulations of a home raid. Credit Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times

Oleksandr I. Leshchenko, the deputy director for training in the National Guard, was somewhat skeptical about the value of the training, saying that "99 percent" of the men in the course had already been in combat.

... ... ...

American officers described the course work as equivalent to the latter months of basic training in the United States. The courses will train 705 Ukrainian soldiers at a cost of $19 million over six months. The Ukrainian National Guard is rotating from the front what units it can spare for the training. American instructors intend to recommend top performers to serve as trainers within other Ukrainian units, and in this way spread the instruction more broadly.

... ... ...

[May 10, 2015]Obama's Petulant WWII Snub of Russia

May 09, 2015 |
President Barack Obama's decision to join other Western leaders in snubbing Russia's weekend celebration of the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe looks more like pouting than statesmanship, especially in the context of the U.S. mainstream media's recent anti-historical effort to downplay Russia's crucial role in defeating Nazism.

Though designed to isolate Russia because it had the audacity to object to the Western-engineered coup d'état in Ukraine on Feb. 22, 2014, this snub of Russia's President Vladimir Putin – like the economic sanctions against Russia – is likely to backfire on the U.S. and its European allies by strengthening ties between Russia and the emerging Asian giants of China and India.

Notably, the dignitaries who will show up at this important commemoration include the presidents of China and India, representing a huge chunk of humanity, who came to show respect for the time seven decades ago when the inhumanity of the Nazi regime was defeated – largely by Russia's stanching the advance of Hitler's armies, at a cost of 20 to 30 million lives.

Obama's boycott is part of a crass attempt to belittle Russia and to cram history itself into an anti-Putin, anti-Russian alternative narrative. It is difficult to see how Obama and his friends could have come up with a pettier and more gratuitous insult to the Russian people.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel – caught between Washington's demand to "isolate" Russia over the Ukraine crisis and her country's historic guilt in the slaughter of so many Russians – plans to show up a day late to place a wreath at a memorial for the war dead.

But Obama, in his childish display of temper, will look rather small to those who know the history of the Allied victory in World War II. If it were not for the Red Army's costly victories against the German invaders, particularly the tide-turning battle at Stalingrad in 1943-1944, the prospects for the later D-Day victory in Normandy in June 1944 and the subsequent defeat of Adolf Hitler would have been much more difficult if not impossible.

Yet, the current Russia-bashing in Washington and the mainstream U.S. media overrides these historical truths. For instance, a New York Times article by Neil MacFarquhar on Friday begins: "The Russian version of Hitler's defeat emphasizes the enormous, unrivaled sacrifices made by the Soviet people to end World War II …" But that's not the "Russian version"; that's the history.

For its part, the Washington Post chose to run an Associated Press story out of Moscow reporting: "A state-of-the-art Russian tank … on Thursday ground to a halt during the final Victory Day rehearsal. … After an attempt to tow it failed, the T-14 rolled away under its own steam 15 minutes later." (Subtext: Ha, ha! Russia's newest tank gets stuck on Red Square! Ha, ha!).

This juvenile approach to pretty much everything that's important — not just U.S.-Russia relations — has now become the rule. From the U.S. government to the major U.S. media, it's as if the "cool kids" line up in matching fashions creating a gauntlet to demean and ridicule whoever the outcast of the day is. And anyone who doesn't go along becomes an additional target of abuse.

That has been the storyline for the Ukraine crisis throughout 2014 and into 2015. Everyone must agree that Putin provoked all the trouble as part of some Hitler-like ambition to conquer much of eastern Europe and rebuild a Russian empire. If you don't make the obligatory denunciations of "Russian aggression," you are called a "Putin apologist" or "Putin bootlicker."

Distorting the History

So, the evidence-based history of the Western-sponsored coup in Kiev on Feb. 22, 2014, must be forgotten or covered up. Indeed, about a year after the events, the New York Times published a major "investigative" article that ignored all the facts of a U.S.-backed coup in declaring there was no coup.

The Times didn't even mention the notorious, intercepted phone call between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt in early February 2014 in which Nuland was handpicking the future leaders, including her remark "Yats is the guy," a reference to Arseniy Yatsenyuk who – after the coup – quickly became prime minister. [See's "NYT Still Pretends No Coup in Ukraine."]

Even George Friedman, the president of the Washington-Establishment-friendly think-tank STRATFOR, has said publicly in late 2014: "Russia calls the events that took place at the beginning of this year a coup d'état organized by the United States. And it truly was the most blatant coup in history."

Beyond simply ignoring facts, the U.S. mainstream media has juggled the time line to make Putin's reaction to the coup – and the threat it posed to the Russian naval base in Crimea – appear to be, instead, evidence of his instigation of the already unfolding conflict.

For example, in a "we-told-you-so" headline on March 9, the Washington Post declared: "Putin had early plan to annex Crimea." Then, quoting AP, the Post reported that Putin himself had just disclosed "a secret meeting with officials in February 2014 … Putin said that after the meeting he told the security chiefs that they would be 'obliged to start working to return Crimea to Russia.' He said the meeting was held Feb. 23, 2014, almost a month before a referendum in Crimea that Moscow has said was the basis for annexing the region."

So there! Gotcha! Russian aggression! But what the Post neglected to remind readers was that the U.S.-backed coup had occurred on Feb. 22 and that Putin has consistently said that a key factor in his actions toward Crimea came from Russian fears that NATO would claim the historic naval base at Sevastopol in Crimea, representing a strategic threat to his country.

Putin also knew from opinion polls that most of the people of Crimea favored reunification with Russia, a reality that was underscored by the March referendum in which some 96 percent voted to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia.

But there was not one scintilla of reliable evidence that Putin intended to annex Crimea before he felt his hand forced by the putsch in Kiev. The political reality was that no Russian leader could afford to take the risk that Russia's only warm-water naval base might switch to new NATO management. If top U.S. officials did not realize that when they were pushing the coup in early 2014, they know little about Russian strategic concerns – or simply didn't care.

Last fall, John Mearsheimer, a pre-eminent political science professor at the University of Chicago, stunned those who had been misled by the anti-Russian propaganda when he placed an article in the Very-Establishment journal Foreign Affairs entitled "Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West's Fault."

You did not know that such an article was published? Chalk that up to the fact that the mainstream media pretty much ignored it. Mearsheimer said this was the first time he encountered such widespread media silence on an article of such importance.

The Sole Indispensable Country

Much of this American tendency to disdain other nations' concerns, fears and points of pride go back to the Washington Establishment's dogma that special rules or (perhaps more accurately) no rules govern U.S. behavior abroad – American exceptionalism. This arrogant concept, which puts the United States above all other nations like some Olympic god looking down on mere mortals, is often invoked by Obama and other leading U.S. politicians.

That off-putting point has not been missed by Putin even as he has sought to cooperate with Obama and the United States. On Sept. 11, 2013, a week after Putin bailed Obama out, enabling him to avoid a new war on Syria by persuading Syria to surrender its chemical weapons, Putin wrote in an op-ed published by the New York Times that he appreciated the fact that "My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust."

Putin added, though, "I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism," adding: "It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. … We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord's blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal."

More recently, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov drove home this point in the context of World War II. This week, addressing a meeting to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe, Lavrov included a pointed warning: "Today as never before it is important not to forget the lessons of that catastrophe and the terrible consequences that spring from faith in one's own exceptionalism."

The irony is that as the cameras pan the various world leaders in the Red Square reviewing stand on Saturday, Obama's absence will send a message that the United States has little appreciation for the sacrifice of the Russian people in bearing the brunt – and breaking the back – of Hitler's conquering armies. It is as if Obama is saying that the "exceptional" United States didn't need anyone's help to win World War II.

President Franklin Roosevelt was much wiser, understanding that it took extraordinary teamwork to defeat Nazism in the 1940s, which is why he considered the Soviet Union a most important military ally. President Obama is sending a very different message, a haughty disdain for the kind of global cooperation which succeeded in ridding the world of Adolf Hitler.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He is a 30-year veteran of the CIA and Army intelligence and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). McGovern served for considerable periods in all four of CIA's main directorates.

[May 10, 2015] Neocon 'Chaos Promotion' in the Mideast

April 15, 2015 |
Former Washington insider and four-star General Wesley Clark spilled the beans several years ago on how Paul Wolfowitz and his neoconservative co-conspirators implemented their sweeping plan to destabilize key Middle Eastern countries once it became clear that post-Soviet Russia "won't stop us."

As I recently reviewed a YouTube eight-minute clip of General Clark's October 2007 speech, what leaped out at me was that the neocons had been enabled by their assessment that – after the collapse of the Soviet Union – Russia had become neutralized and posed no deterrent to U.S. military action in the Middle East.

While Clark's public exposé largely escaped attention in the neocon-friendly "mainstream media" (surprise, surprise!), he recounted being told by a senior general at the Pentagon shortly after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 about the Donald Rumsfeld/Paul Wolfowitz-led plan for "regime change" in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.

This was startling enough, I grant you, since officially the United States presents itself as a nation that respects international law, frowns upon other powerful nations overthrowing the governments of weaker states, and – in the aftermath of World War II – condemned past aggressions by Nazi Germany and decried Soviet "subversion" of pro-U.S. nations.

But what caught my eye this time was the significance of Clark's depiction of Wolfowitz in 1992 gloating over what he judged to be a major lesson learned from the Desert Storm attack on Iraq in 1991; namely, "the Soviets won't stop us."

That remark directly addresses a question that has troubled me since March 2003 when George W. Bush attacked Iraq. Would the neocons – widely known as "the crazies" at least among the remaining sane people of Washington – have been crazy enough to opt for war to re-arrange the Middle East if the Soviet Union had not fallen apart in 1991?

The question is not an idle one. Despite the debacle in Iraq and elsewhere, the neocon "crazies" still exercise huge influence in Establishment Washington. Thus, the question now becomes whether, with Russia far more stable and much stronger, the "crazies" are prepared to risk military escalation with Russia over Ukraine, what retired U.S. diplomat William R. Polk deemed a potentially dangerous nuclear confrontation, a "Cuban Missile Crisis in reverse."

Putin's Comment

The geopolitical vacuum that enabled the neocons to try out their "regime change" scheme in the Middle East may have been what Russian President Vladimir Putin was referring to in his state-of-the-nation address on April 25, 2005, when he called the collapse of the Soviet Union "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the [past] century." Putin's comment has been a favorite meme of those who seek to demonize Putin by portraying him as lusting to re-establish a powerful USSR through aggression in Europe.

But, commenting two years after the Iraq invasion, Putin seemed correct at least in how the neocons exploited the absence of the Russian counterweight to over-extend American power in ways that were harmful to the world, devastating to the people at the receiving end of the neocon interventions, and even detrimental to the United States.

If one takes a step back and attempts an unbiased look at the spread of violence in the Middle East over the past quarter-century, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Putin's comment was on the mark. With Russia a much-weakened military power in the 1990s and early 2000s, there was nothing to deter U.S. policymakers from the kind of adventurism at Russia's soft underbelly that, in earlier years, would have carried considerable risk of armed U.S.-USSR confrontation.

I lived in the USSR during the 1970s and would not wish that kind of restrictive regime on anyone. Until it fell apart, though, it was militarily strong enough to deter Wolfowitz-style adventurism. And I will say that – for the millions of people now dead, injured or displaced by U.S. military action in the Middle East over the past dozen years – the collapse of the Soviet Union as a deterrent to U.S. war-making was not only a "geopolitical catastrophe" but an unmitigated disaster.

Visiting Wolfowitz

In his 2007 speech, General Clark related how in early 1991 he dropped in on Paul Wolfowitz, then Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (and later, from 2001 to 2005, Deputy Secretary of Defense). It was just after a major Shia uprising in Iraq in March 1991. President George H.W. Bush's administration had provoked it, but then did nothing to rescue the Shia from brutal retaliation by Saddam Hussein, who had just survived his Persian Gulf defeat.

According to Clark, Wolfowitz said: "We should have gotten rid of Saddam Hussein. The truth is, one thing we did learn is that we can use our military in the Middle East and the Soviets won't stop us. We've got about five or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet client regimes – Syria, Iran (sic), Iraq – before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us."

It's now been more than 10 years, of course. But do not be deceived into thinking Wolfowitz and his neocon colleagues believe they have failed in any major way. The unrest they initiated keeps mounting – in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Lebanon – not to mention fresh violence now in full swing in Yemen and the crisis in Ukraine. Yet, the Teflon coating painted on the neocons continues to cover and protect them in the "mainstream media."

True, one neocon disappointment is Iran. It is more stable and less isolated than before; it is playing a sophisticated role in Iraq; and it is on the verge of concluding a major nuclear agreement with the West – barring the throwing of a neocon/Israeli monkey wrench into the works to thwart it, as has been done in the past.

An earlier setback for the neocons came at the end of August 2013 when President Barack Obama decided not to let himself be mouse-trapped by the neocons into ordering U.S. forces to attack Syria. Wolfowitz et al. were on the threshold of having the U.S. formally join the war against Bashar al-Assad's government of Syria when there was the proverbial slip between cup and lip. With the aid of the neocons' new devil-incarnate Vladimir Putin, Obama faced them down and avoided war.

A week after it became clear that the neocons were not going to get their war in Syria, I found myself at the main CNN studio in Washington together with Paul Wolfowitz and former Sen. Joe Lieberman, another important neocon. As I reported in "How War on Syria Lost Its Way," the scene was surreal – funereal, even, with both Wolfowitz and Lieberman very much down-in-the-mouth, behaving as though they had just watched their favorite team lose the Super Bowl.

Israeli/Neocon Preferences

But the neocons are nothing if not resilient. Despite their grotesque disasters, like the Iraq War, and their disappointments, like not getting their war on Syria, they neither learn lessons nor change goals. They just readjust their aim, shooting now at Putin over Ukraine as a way to clear the path again for "regime change" in Syria and Iran. [See's "Why Neocons Seek to Destabilize Russia."]

The neocons also can take some solace from their "success" at enflaming the Middle East with Shia and Sunni now at each other's throats – a bad thing for many people of the world and certainly for the many innocent victims in the region, but not so bad for the neocons. After all, it is the view of Israeli leaders and their neocon bedfellows (and women) that the internecine wars among Muslims provide at least some short-term advantages for Israel as it consolidates control over the Palestinian West Bank.

In a Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity memorandum for President Obama on Sept. 6, 2013, we called attention to an uncommonly candid report about Israeli/neocon motivation, written by none other than the Israel-friendly New York Times Bureau Chief in Jerusalem Jodi Rudoren on Sept. 2, 2013, just two days after Obama took advantage of Putin's success in persuading the Syrians to allow their chemical weapons to be destroyed and called off the planned attack on Syria, causing consternation among neocons in Washington.

Rudoren can perhaps be excused for her naïve lack of "political correctness." She had been barely a year on the job, had very little prior experience with reporting on the Middle East, and – in the excitement about the almost-attack on Syria – she apparently forgot the strictures normally imposed on the Times' reporting from Jerusalem. In any case, Israel's priorities became crystal clear in what Rudoren wrote.

In her article, entitled "Israel Backs Limited Strike Against Syria," Rudoren noted that the Israelis were arguing, quietly, that the best outcome for Syria's (then) 2 ½-year-old civil war, at least for the moment, was no outcome:

"For Jerusalem, the status quo, horrific as it may be from a humanitarian perspective, seems preferable to either a victory by Mr. Assad's government and his Iranian backers or a strengthening of rebel groups, increasingly dominated by Sunni jihadis.

"'This is a playoff situation in which you need both teams to lose, but at least you don't want one to win — we'll settle for a tie,' said Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli consul general in New York. 'Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that's the strategic thinking here. As long as this lingers, there's no real threat from Syria.'"

Clear enough? If this is the way Israel's leaders continue to regard the situation in Syria, then they look on deeper U.S. involvement – overt or covert – as likely to ensure that there is no early resolution of the conflict there. The longer Sunni and Shia are killing each other, not only in Syria but also across the region as a whole, the safer Tel Aviv's leaders calculate Israel is.

Favoring Jihadis

But Israeli leaders have also made clear that if one side must win, they would prefer the Sunni side, despite its bloody extremists from Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. In September 2013, shortly after Rudoren's article, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, then a close adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told the Jerusalem Post that Israel favored the Sunni extremists over Assad.

"The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc," Oren said in an interview. "We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren't backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran." He said this was the case even if the "bad guys" were affiliated with Al-Qaeda.

In June 2014, Oren – then speaking as a former ambassador – said Israel would even prefer a victory by the Islamic State, which was massacring captured Iraqi soldiers and beheading Westerners, than the continuation of the Iranian-backed Assad in Syria. "From Israel's perspective, if there's got to be an evil that's got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail," Oren said.

Netanyahu sounded a similar theme in his March 3, 2015 speech to the U.S. Congress in which he trivialized the threat from the Islamic State with its "butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube" when compared to Iran, which he accused of "gobbling up the nations" of the Middle East.

That Syria's main ally is Iran with which it has a mutual defense treaty plays a role in Israeli calculations. Accordingly, while some Western leaders would like to achieve a realistic if imperfect settlement of the Syrian civil war, others who enjoy considerable influence in Washington would just as soon see the Assad government and the entire region bleed out.

As cynical and cruel as this strategy is, it isn't all that hard to understand. Yet, it seems to be one of those complicated, politically charged situations well above the pay-grade of the sophomores advising President Obama – who, sad to say, are no match for the neocons in the Washington Establishment. Not to mention the Netanyahu-mesmerized Congress.

Corker Uncorked

Speaking of Congress, a year after Rudoren's report, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, who now chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, divulged some details about the military attack that had been planned against Syria, while lamenting that it was canceled.

In doing so, Corker called Obama's abrupt change on Aug. 31, 2013, in opting for negotiations over open war on Syria, "the worst moment in U.S. foreign policy since I've been here." Following the neocon script, Corker blasted the deal (since fully implemented) with Putin and the Syrians to rid Syria of its chemical weapons.

Corker complained, "In essence – I'm sorry to be slightly rhetorical – we jumped into Putin's lap." A big No-No, of course – especially in Congress – to "jump into Putin's lap" even though Obama was able to achieve the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons without the United States jumping into another Middle East war.

It would have been nice, of course, if General Clark had thought to share his inside-Pentagon information earlier with the rest of us. In no way should he be seen as a whistleblower.

At the time of his September 2007 speech, he was deep into his quixotic attempt to win the Democratic nomination for president in 2008. In other words, Clark broke the omerta code of silence observed by virtually all U.S. generals, even post-retirement, merely to put some distance between himself and the debacle in Iraq – and win some favor among anti-war Democrats. It didn't work, so he endorsed Hillary Clinton; that didn't work, so he endorsed Barack Obama.

Wolfowitz, typically, has landed on his feet. He is now presidential hopeful Jeb Bush's foreign policy/defense adviser, no doubt outlining his preferred approach to the Middle East chessboard to his new boss. Does anyone know the plural of "bedlam?"

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He is a 30-year veteran of the CIA and Army intelligence and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). McGovern served for considerable periods in all four of CIA's main directorates.

Reprinted with permission from Consortium News.

[May 10, 2015] Putin voices grievances as huge parade marks 70th anniversary of victory

Now we have new forces that push the world to the war much like in 30th of XX century. One of the key problem of modern world is the USA elite attempt to maintain world hegemony. The post WWII security architecture was dismantled by the USA and its allies and after the collapse of the USSR. Instead the regime of unconditional domination of the USA was put in place by Clinton's government. This switch was signified by the attack on Serbia and treatment of Russia (as well as other xUSSR countries) after the dissolution of the USSR. Russia as all other xUSSR countries were mercilessly economically raped, which provided to the USA (and EU) another 10 years of economic expansion and only in 2001 crisis hit again. And it never ended with the second wave of the same crisis coming in 2008 and the third wave being in the wings right now (whether it'll materialize in 2016 or 20120 is an open question). With the current level of world debt and, especially, the USA debt the situation changed, Also the USA economy is smaller in comparison with other world economies then ever before (Germany and Japan economies fully recovered from WWII, and China became a new world economic power). This create a drive against the US hegemony and "dollar regime" (with EU and euro as one such development). Recent US adventures in Iraq, Libya and Syria were met with understandable resistance which due to decline of the US manufacturing base threatens the current US domination in world affairs. Only in Ukraine they managed to secure a victory by using nationalists as a Trojan horse for establishing full hegemony over the country (but at the expense of partitioning the country). Due to those threats and instability of world financial system "audacious oligarchy" that rules the USA is becoming more and more reckless. Neocons continue dominate the State Department and we have a chance of neocon becoming the next US president (not the Clinton., Bush II or Obama were substantially different in this respect). Which provoked rearmament of Russia and armament of China making the world again more dangerous. Putin took a "independence" stand (may be prematurely, failing to wait for the time when Russia would be ready, forced by the events in Ukraine) which now greatly complicates US geopolitical position and expantion of its neoliberal empire (which come to the screeching end in any case because the Earth is a finite size) . Troubles with cheap oil availability ("plato oil" or "end of cheap oil") were just the straw that broke the camel back. And without continues expansion of markets neoliberalism enters deep crisis. Understandably no love left between the US elite and Russia and Ukraine was only a pretext to put Russia "in place". The USA and EU desperately need to acquire the control over Russian energy sector, but with Putin in power this is not possible.
All is fine in Guardian Russian-Ukrainian forums. Alpamysh, GreatMountainEagle, jezzam, Botswana61, Metronome151 and company perform their usual roles. We have some newcomers such as some1here
May 10, 2015 | The Guardian

freedomcry -> some1here 10 May 2015 10:36

An apologist is not necessarily a supporter. The bottom line is, you're repeating the exact things Hitler's propaganda used to justify the invasion of the USSR which were contradicted both later, in the way the Nazis behaved on occupied territories, and earlier in Mein Kampf where Hitler had laid out quite bluntly the Lebensraum argument for colonising Russia and Ukraine.

Aneesia 10 May 2015 10:36

The behavior of the West was childish in this matter. They are looking for a fight to keep their economies growing...and will do all they can to provoke the spoiled brat in a sandbox. Russia was by far the most mature.

Abiesalba -> Carly435 10 May 2015 10:33

And what percentage of Western Europeans are neo-fascists, in your opinion?

If you define Nazi-fascist ideology for what it really is, namely 'us against them' and 'superior' vs 'inferior' nations, then I think at least 10% of the population, if not more.

It is now acceptable for parties with such ideologies to even run in elections, e.g. Wilders, Le Pen, Farage etc., and they get rather high support.

This dangerous 'us and them' ideology has different forms and undertones with respect to the local context. For example, here is Slovenia I would count among such divisive and potentially very dangerous parties the party which won 20% in our 2014 elections (their main target for discrimination are the 'Southerners' = immigrants from other Yugoslav nations).

I think it is very dangerous that Europe is largely turning a blind eye. They also did not confront neither Hitler, nor Mussolini, and more recently nor Milošević until it was too late.

Freedom of speech is not unlimited; it is limited by the rights of others. The right of individuals and groups to human dignity and to not be discriminated against on any grounds has a priority over the right to freedom of expression. In other words, hate speech should be unacceptable, yet parties with hate ideologies are making it to European national parliaments and to the EU parliament. Very worrying.

I suppose that Slovenes are very sensitive to such developments. We have been oppressed by the Austrians/Germans for more than a thousand years. After WWI, Slovenes in Italy were the first nation in Europe to experience the Nazi-fascist terror, so Slovene writers and poets had very early premonitions of a new, even more sinister war coming (which indeed happened - WWII). See for example Srečko Kosovel's poem Ecstasy of Death about the death of western Europe in a sea of scorching blood. Kosovel published this poem in 1925, when he was 21 (and this was 15 years before WWII, and before Hitler rose to power).

Kosovel died at the age of 21, but he was a true European visionary. He stood for Europe of peace and brotherhood of nations. I suspect he would be horrified by the recent developments in Europe if he were alive today. Maybe he would write the Ecstasy of Death all over again.

Vladimir Makarenko -> alpamysh 10 May 2015 10:28

this is what is called "black agitprop" or in a lay man talk - lies.

Vladimir Makarenko -> Metronome151 10 May 2015 10:27

Since when you started to be heartbroken about Russian interests?

CoastalBrake1 -> Abiesalba 10 May 2015 10:24

"With all due respect to the US, the US role is not even remotely comparable to the sacrifice in the Soviet Union. The Red Army was by far the decisive power in defeating Nazi Germany" No shlt, because the Red Army had no other choice under the thumb of one of the most vicious and ignorant military leaders in history.

Yes, Russia clearly paid the biggest price for victory, but many of The Red Army casualties were simply a result of their own military strategies and the fact they had way more troops in the first place compared to other allied powers.

freedomcry -> Carly435 10 May 2015 10:23

Russians are loath to reflect too deeply on the meanings of that war.

That is one big filthy lie. I can see how a certain amount of intelligence went into its making: the fact that the Russian predicament during the war was more about survival than almost anyone else's, creates the possibility that the war impressed itself as something that's more about defeating the invader than understanding what had made them into what they were. And once you have that possibility, you go ahead and just blurt out the claim — it being the nature of ubiquitous Russophobia that any judgement of the Russians automatically rings true.

But seriously, it's so completely false, so diametrically the opposite of how we actually see the war that I'm reeling a little. And I thought I'd heard every insult of Russians out there, from the crudest to the most intricate.

Vladimir Makarenko -> GreatMountainEagle 10 May 2015 10:22

Hm all complaints please to greedy sharks which draw the Versaille treaty. As those with brains can see the WWII started the moment it was signed.

Metronome151 -> Popeyes 10 May 2015 10:22

Indeed it is a win win situation for China at Russia's expense.

Botswana61 -> BeatonTheDonis 10 May 2015 10:21

[stalin]"took the Soviet Union from a devastated agrarian economy to an industrial power that defeated Nazi Germany and was able to compete with the USA and Western Europe."

Soviet Union has never been able to compete economically, industrially with the Western Europe, let alone the U$A.

It collapsed not only because it had an insane political system, but also because it had a lunatic economic system which could not produce any quality products (especially consumer goods) for its populace.

Btw. Putinesque Russia still cannot.

[have you seen any Russian 4G cell phones, laptops, tablets, supercomputers, video cameras, HDTV large screens, modern-wide-body passenger planes or even attractive passenger cars sold anywhere in the world?]

alpamysh -> FraidyMan 10 May 2015 10:18

I think that Merkel's actions, as usual, have been the best.

Boycotting the military parade sends a clear message.

And a German chancellor honouring fallen Russians the next day sends one just as powerful...

Popeyes 10 May 2015 10:17

I hope the Russia/China agreements and the pacts they have made between themselves work out and just maybe the U.S. will climb back into its box. The alliance between Russia/China is Washington's worst nightmare. Russia with the world's largest land mass, richest natural resources and it would seem the most advanced technology together with China who has the world's largest population, and the largest producer and exporter of manufactured goods.

bailliegillies ID5868758 10 May 2015 10:15

We haven't and are fully aware of its consequences. Chamberlain's problem was that Britain was not yet ready to face the might of an emerging Germany. Home Chain was nowhere near ready, nor was Fighter Command, it had plenty of Hurricanes but the Spitfire squadrons were still being formed as was the integrated defence system that the RAF relied on in 1940. Chamberlain and others in government knew that when the war came the main threat that Britain was going to face was from the air. Chamberlain bought the country the time needed to prepare. All the same Munich is not something the country is proud off.

MyFriendWillPay -> sztubacki 10 May 2015 10:14

Murdering their own people when they should be killing other people?

Here is a more human ideal, currently practiced by "you know who"!

* Get agents provocateur to let off a few bombs to create civilian casualties.

* Pin the blame on people you want to get rid of.

* Apply to UN for no-fly zone to protect the civilians.

* Bomb the shit out of anything that moves anywhere in the country.

* Fly in local exiles from US with geologists and lawyers to secure mineral rights

* Conclude regime change

* Escape ensuing chaos to plan next regime change.

* Have your President nominated for Nobel Peace Prize!

Botswana61 -> ijustwant2say 10 May 2015 10:14

One huge difference between UK and RF.

UK has reconciled itself to the loss of the (huge) British Empire after WWII;
never looked back, but moved forward, today being more successul economically than many other EU member states.

[Modern Turkey has also reconciled itself to the loss of its huge Ottoman Empire]

But Russia has not. It still dwells in the past, relieves its past 'glories' and yearns for return of times when everybody feared it.

While still unable to transform itself into a modern, democratic, prosperous country which could have a meaningful, successful future.

Vladimir Makarenko -> dyst1111 10 May 2015 10:12

Hm, what is then the point of NATO expansion in the time when Russia was making drastic reduction in its weapons and army size?

Ukraine coup d'etat? Or should it be called what it is - a highway robbery of Russia's most important trade market?

Well, Russians successfully made it a EU disaster.

As to new generations of weapons - Russians do feel better, they know that for sure Western Europe or whoever will not repeat the 1941 mistake.

kraljevic -> MiltonWiltmellow 10 May 2015 10:10

The Russian power elites are no more pernicious than the American ones. The supposed anti-red, anti-commie Republicans are now the most vocal defenders of Big Commie himself Lenin's perverse internal borders. Lenin arrived at those borders not through democratic legitimacy but through the "blood" of millions of Russian patriots who wanted to preserve the unity of their nation and fought against his monstrous tyranny.

Although supposedly ideological enemies the likes of Breedlove and McCain on one side and Lenin and Trotsky on the other are in perfect harmony when it comes to rigging borders so that the Russian people come away with as little as possible and become the big losers!

The sudden devotion of the American right wing establishment to Lenin's "unitary" Ukraine is motivated purely by the anti-Russian nature of the new Government in Kiev and the damage and shelling and killing it can inflict on the pro-Russian population in the east!

MyFriendWillPay -> MahsaKaerra 10 May 2015 10:07

"A series of UN mandates that Russia deemed so threatening that they either voted in favor of the military interventions or didn't bother to express an opinion one way or the other. For all the US's military actions there have been zero Russian vetoes."

That's because the Yanks are so disingenuous;

* Get agents provocateur to let off a few bombs to create civilian casualties.
* Pin the blame on people you want to get rid of.
* Apply to UN for no-fly zone to protect the civilians.
* Bomb the shit out of anything that moves anywhere in the country.
* Fly in local exiles from US with geologists and lawyers to secure mineral rights
* Conclude regime change
* Escape ensuing chaos to plan next regime change.
* Have your President nominated for Nobel Peace Prize!

Abiesalba -> sztubacki 10 May 2015 10:04

It was estimated about half a million of American soldiers casualties to conquer Japan.

The Soviet Union lost about 10 million soldiers and 15 million civilians.

About 1.6 million German soldiers were killed in WWII, of which 1.1 million in the Eastern (Soviet) front. So out of 10 dead German soldiers, 7 died fighting the Red Army.

In Europe, 9 in 10 Jews were killed.

In Poland, 1 in 5 people were killed, many civilians.

In my country Slovenia, 1 in 10 were killed, many civilians. And about 10% is among the highest national death rates in WWII.

With all due respect to the US, the US role is not even remotely comparable to the sacrifice in the Soviet Union. The Red Army was by far the decisive power in defeating Nazi Germany.

And it is highly hypocritical and disrespectful that the 'west' ignored the celebration of the end of WWII in Europe in Moscow.

Was perhaps the role of the US and the UK in WWII ignored by everybody due to the recent illegal and catastrophic US/UK Iraq invasion? I thought not. There were also no sanctions etc.

Carly435 -> Nat1978 10 May 2015 10:03

Though I'm not a fan of what-aboutism, the horrific scale of German war crimes against Russian POWs has never gained the attention it deserves in the West.

BeatonTheDonis -> alpamysh 10 May 2015 10:00

Luckily for them he is back "on brand" with his latest book, about two-thirds of which is devoted to the Eastern Front, which Beevor believes redresses the balance of previous histories of the Second World War. "Ninety per cent of all Wehrmacht losses were on the Eastern Front. As far as the Germans were concerned, we were a sideshow. But each country sees the war from its own perspective and memories."

WayneB1 10 May 2015 09:53

Unfortunately the West (i.e., the America and its key European allies) refuse to recognise the realities as far as the Russians are concerned. it was understood - blatantly - that Russia did not want countries on its doorstep, including Ukraine, made members of NATO. Yet the West and Ukraine itself persist.

As for WWII. It is callous for the everyman Russian to hear that the country's then leaders - by initially siding with the Nazis and also annihilating their own people - were accountable for so many of the losses they suffered. But regardless of any and all of this, the West should have attended this commemoration in full force. Sanctions, snubbings and petty political manoeuvring is not the way to move forward. The West screwed up royally with Ukraine (and Crimea) and should accept and amend the fact that it is an insensitive behemoth guilty of the utmost arrogance and pushing for the 'unipolar world' suggested by Mr. Putin.

The only thing that will change this is Russia (and other nations) pushing back. Indeed, with the likes of Russia and China establishing relations with South America, it will only be a matter of time that America might find itself the the 'enemy' at its doorsteps.

sodtheproles -> Vijay Raghavan 10 May 2015 09:47

How dare you!? How dare you dishonour and disfigure the memory of British and American exploitation of colonised peoples, and, above all, on a day like this!? Don't you realise how lucky they were to be given the chance of dying for democracy, a chance which was simply not open to them in their home countries!? How the very dare you, Mr Raghavan!?

Eugene Weixel -> Roguing 10 May 2015 09:51

Had Neville Chamberlain and company not given Czechoslovakia to Hitler and nudged him eastward there would have been no pact between the USSR and Hitler. This pact was a response to the Dr facto Hitler Chamberlain accord.

kraljevic -> dyst1111 10 May 2015 09:50

Since the majority of the Balkan peoples are eagerly allowing their territories to be used as forward bases for NATO and American attempts to contain and encircle Russia I wouldn't have wasted a single Russian bullet freeing them from Nazi rule! Many of them schemed with Hitler and took part in the invasion of the Soviet Union with great enthusiasm!They are definitely no angels and since most of them were hostile to the Russian presence and the Americans wouldn't have been in any great hurry to free them if it meant costing them lives there was little reason for the Russians to come to their rescue!

MyFriendWillPay -> Rudeboy1 10 May 2015 09:43

If you unscrambled your comment, it would be more readable but just as wrong.

When the Nazis launched Operation Barbarossa against the Soviet Union (SU) on 22 June 1941, three million German soldiers and almost 700,000 allies of Nazi Germany crossed the border, and their equipment consisted of 600,000 motor vehicles, 3,648 tanks, more than 2.700 planes, and just over 7,000 pieces of artillery.[

The Nazis expected their blitzkrieg to bring total collapse of the SU within two months, and British Intelligence assessed the timescale as 8 - 10 weeks.

However, events unfoulded rather differently as, within the first 3 4 weeks of the campaign, Admiral Canaris, head of German Military Intelligence, confided to a German general on the easter front, that everything about the campaign now looked "black". Even Goebells at that time wrote entries in his diary about how bad German progress was in the first month.

By mid October 1941 - six weeks after the scheduled Nazi victory over the SU - various agencies, from the Swiss Secret Service to the Vatican, predicted that the Nazis would lose the war.

By the start of December 1941, when the Germans ground to a halt just 20 miles from the Kremlin - exhausted, frozen and with over-extended supply lines - the Soviets prepared to strike. Their offensive began on 5 December and it pushed the Nazis back 60 - 170 miles, whereupon Hitler postponed the assault on Moscow until Spring 1942. Significantly, the success of this Soviet offensive prompted the German Armaments Minister to suggest to Hitler that a negotiated peace might be sought. Hitler was not prepared to negotiate, although his inner circle and Hitler himself, evidently realized that the war was lost.

The Nazis fought on, hoping to seize the oilfields in the southeast, but this dream ended with the surrender of their army at Stalingrad in early 1942 and the long retreat to Berlin. During the retreat, a new dream emerged as the Nazis hoped to make peace with the western allies, and then turn their combined forceas against the Soviets. However, that was not to be, and the war ended in berlin on 9 May 1945.

In summary, the Soviets were always going to win this war after Operation Barbarossa failed to crush them during the Summer of 1941. The Nazis had failed to seize Soviet materiel - from food to oil - and, unlike the Soviets, they were not able to go on replacing casualties with high quality manpower. Also, importantly, the Soviets were not merely fighting for freedom as their western allies were doing, they were fighting for their very survival as a people, hence their monumental sacrifices.

The die for the outcome of this war was cast before the first shipments of material support to the Soviets, welcome as they were, and almost three years before the Normandy landings. But the cost to the SU was enormous: vast destruction of infrastructure, and the loss of fighters and civilians killed at 30 times higher than the combined losses of the British Empire and the United States!

That is why the western WW2 allies' boycott of the Memorial Parade was churlish.

Eugene Weixel -> Abiesalba 10 May 2015 09:43

UZ troops had their way with destitute women in Germany and Italy the price of a candy bar for years.

Abiesalba -> Carly435 10 May 2015 09:40

Russians and Russian history textbooks gloss over what was at stake in WWII. For them, it's all about defeating an enemy

Americans and Britons completely fail to understand the difference between having the territory of your own nation occupied and sending soldiers and/or planes to fight in another country.

Having the enemy on your doorstep in terrible. And having Nazi-fascists on your doorstep was much worse in Slavic countries than in the occupied western European nations, becuase Hitler, Mussolini and allies waged ethnic cleansing of 'inferior' Slavs. On the other hand, the Aryan people of the occupied western Europe were spared this horror.

I am from Slovenia, which was brutally occupied in WWII by Germany, Italy and Hungary. For two decades before WWII, Italian fascists pursued ethnic cleansing in western Slovene territory. This ethnic cleansing only intensified in WWII.

For Slovenes, WWII meant having to choose between fear and courage every day.

We had a very strong resistance movement, including the guarilla partisan fighters.

But members of the resistance knew how brutal the revenge of the occupiers against their families and Slovenes can be. When the father joined the partisans, the mother and the children had to go underground. The occupiers frequently shout 10 civilian hostages for every of their soldiers killed by the resistance. They burnt down whole villages on suspicion that they support the partisans. Oh, and the use of the Slovene language was prohibited. And Slovenes were tortured, sent to concentration camps etc.

In fact, our strong resistance drove the occupiers crazy. Italians encircled the capital of Slovenia, Ljublana, with 35 km of barbed wire and bunkers, hoping that they will defeat the resistance. In essence, they converted Ljubljana to the largest concentration camp in Europe. But people still strongly fought back, including the increasingly strong partisan units.

The people of the Soviet Union faced a similar dilemma. They fought incredibly heroically for every inch of their homeland. In fact, they largely defeated Nazi Germany themselves. The Eastern Front was the largest military combat in history.

And while the people of the Soviet Union, Slovenia and other occupied nations fought for their very existence, it seems to me, with all due respect, that the resistance in the occupied western countries was very weak, and often their regimes in effect sided with Germany.

Now, what would you do if you had the enemy on your doorstep? Would you chose fear or courage?

It is a tough personal choice and a tough decision for a nation. But under such circumstances, the true spirit of the nation shines through.

freedomcry -> lizgiag 10 May 2015 09:39

The anti-Russian feelings you encounter are really the product of decades of anti-Soviet propaganda.

It's much older than that, I'm afraid. Anti-Soviet propaganda was a continuation of an already well-established prejudice against Russians. And the sad thing is, notwithstanding the West's present obsession with fighting stereotypes and hate speech, many a Westerner nowadays would read Rudyard Kipling's ridiculous The Man Who Was and find it entirely convincing because those are the exact same cardboard Russians with horns and tails that their media and Hollywood keep showing them.

Laudig 10 May 2015 09:38

Compare the situation in the Crimea and the situation in Hawaii. The vote was held promptly in Crimea. 3 or 4 generations later in Hawaii. The USG has no moral standing to complain. It is an empire that needs to collapse so the country can exist.

Vijay Raghavan 10 May 2015 09:38

I think the President of Russia & President of China being very powerful should ask the exceptional president of America to pay pension dues for war veterans of second world war.They should take this matter up in security council & discuss this promptly.If the British & Americans claim that their values are exceptional then how come they have not paid the pensions for millions of war veterans for 70 years.

I think the exceptional president should ask his federal printing press to print a little more dollars & send it to all countries who have been paying pensions on their behalf.

BBC can do like this instead of wasting their time on silly documentaries they should produce documentaries on their war veterans & ask the moral question are they responsible for paying war veterans pensions or not.

lizgiag -> MiltonWiltmellow 10 May 2015 09:37

Great rant! But if you take a look at any country's history you will find the same - Britain, Spain, France, Germany - bloody wars instigated everywhere all for the glory of empire & resources.

Now its the turn of the EU & USA - these empires are re-branded, they no longer call themselves empires, but the outcome is the same - a geo-political land & resource grab!

Be in NO DOUBT the populace comes way down on the list of concerns - look at what is happening the world over, the middle east is in a mess because of the involvement of the West recently but also for decades past.

Do not be fooled, the New American Century is upon it!

freedomcry -> Botswana61 10 May 2015 09:25

And it probably originates with Nazi propaganda about the advancing barbarous subhuman Russian hordes.

This is not to be taken as a denial that the Red Army committed any rapes at all. Rather, I'm pointing to the fact that mass rapes are just the sort of thing that specifically Russian soldiers were likely to be accused of, whether they did it or not. And the core of that prejudice still survives more or less intact.

Vijay Raghavan -> GreatMountainEagle 10 May 2015 09:16

Those who fought for the British only got a middle finger.BBC has been so callous it does not even put in a word to British government to reimburse pension for those who fought for them.....that has been their attitude.

The total number of people for whom the British government has not paid pension is 1.5MM people for their 2nd world war.Indian governemnt had to pay their pensions & they have been paying with all courts saying it is India's responsibility.The cost per year would be 1.Billion for 60 years we had paid 60Billion dollars that is just your world war 2....add another 30 Billion for your world war 1.I think the Guardian and BBC should write a article about that and ensure British Government promptly repays back 100Billion dollars to India.If we add up Nepal that will also be huge claim on British government.

We can do a deal like this you can pay 50% for our schools & another 50% for the roads & hospitals.or May be you can give a interest free loan to Nepal for 100 billion against pension amount payable to India as they need that money badly for fixing their country after earth quake.

Standupwoman -> MentalToo 10 May 2015 09:15

'Rapes committed by western allies ground troops against German civilians are not, for the very good reason nothing like that happened.'

That is not true. There is considerable evidence to suggest the majority of rapes were committed by the Red Army (whose own civilian population had suffered in a way ours never had) but the other Allies were guilty of a lot of it too - one estimate quoting a figure of 11,040 for the Americans alone. Don't forget the Australian journalist who accompanied the American army and claimed:

I know for a fact that many women were raped by white Americans. No action was taken against the culprits. In one sector a report went round that a certain very distinguished army commander made the wisecrack, 'Copulation without conversation does not constitute fraternisation'.

Rape is always wrong, and even if the Red Army had considerably more provocation than we did, that still doesn't excuse them. But neither does it give us the right to lie about them, or about our own share in the atrocities. Can't we at least show some integrity about that?

BeatonTheDonis -> ijustwant2say 10 May 2015 09:14

The history on Churchill's role in the Bengal Famine and Allied torture and murder of German and Japanese POWs is quite recent, so you must be pretty young if you covered it at school.

You haven't provided any evidence for Putin's revisionism affecting Russian schools. From what Putin has said, it seems he acknowledges Stalin's crimes but places them in the context of the challenges Stalin faced and he compares Stalin to other historical figures whose crimes against humanity haven't seen them completely written off as monsters - Oliver Cromwell, for example.

Stalin was a murderer who terrified his populace into submission. But he was also in power for 30 years and took the Soviet Union from a devastated agrarian economy to an industrial power that defeated Nazi Germany and was able to compete with the USA and Western Europe. Life expectancy in the USSR when he died had increased to 63 for men and 69 for women.

After the fall of the USSR, life expectancy for men fell to under 60 - that is the context which sees Putin lauded by many Russians.

Tattyana -> Carly435 10 May 2015 09:13

It is easy. We can not find any single point your ideology is ever better.

You insist our media keep to lie? You think so because YOUR media told you so? I can read both - yours and ours. I can read Ukrainian as well. And I can compare. Can you?

I can continue, but unlike you I do aware, there are some bad pages in history of every country or people. And I never start to talk with any of Germany people from the point "Do you remember that Hitler killed millions of Russians?"

Though here is much more truth than in your points which should blow hatred to Russians.

Abiesalba -> Barkywoof 10 May 2015 09:10

Was nothing learned from that awful war ?

Unfortunatelly, not much. Except that it is now not politically correct in western Europe to specifically target the Jews.

However, it is very popular to specifically target the horrible 'Eastern and Central European' immigrants. The term 'Eastern and Central European' immigrants predominantly means the Slavs.

According to the Nazi ideology, Slavs were at the very bottom of the race hierarchy, below the Jews. And oppression of 'inferior' Slavs by the 'Aryan' race has more than a thousand years of history. Hitler planned a genocide of Slaves, and the Nazis killed many millions of Slavs due to their 'inferior' ethnicity.

I find it very disturbing that in the 21st century in nations which Hilter declared to be the Aryan superior race, targeting the Slavs is acceptable. Take Wilders in the Netherlands or Farage in the UK, or neo-Nazis in Austria and neo-fascists in Italy, etc.

moongibbon Carly435 10 May 2015 09:09

This is the spectacle presented in the Western media and it's not representative of Russians at all, for whom today is about remembering those who died in WWII to save their country from destruction.

Lafcadio1944 10 May 2015 09:08

The Guardian's "coverage" of Russia is pathetic. Anyone could have written this article far from Moscow by just watching TV. It is really disgraceful propagandist "reporting" just throw up some insult and scary warning about evil Putin/Russia and go home - well done.

There are huge - some even positive - things going on in Russia, China and India which count for a huge % of the global population and China is the 2nd largest economy and has launched one of the biggest global trade initiatives of modern times yet not a word about it.

The Guardian just regurgitates propaganda about these nations written by the CIA or US State Department it has no reporters in these places and just ignores any positive developments. Thu leaving its readers fearful of the "mysterious" East - purposely.

Dimmus -> Isanybodyouthere 10 May 2015 09:06

"like claims to Russian speaking populations being endangered " - everything depends on the point of view of course. Even when pro-Russian people in Ukraine were burned alive they were not endangered from the point of view of anti-Russian nationalists.

When many russian journalists were killed in Ukraine - it is not much mentioned, it is not interesting.

When one US journalist killed somewhere - country is bombed and all the media for long time are full of discussions and moaning.

When pro-Russian people (Ossetians) in Georgia were bombed by heavy artillery by order of Georgian president it was not endangering of those people because the president was a US-friendly president.

And there are many more examples of western nationalizm. Just believe, that there are many people around the world who are really feel endangered by nationalists, including western nationalism.

Eugene Weixel -> raffine 10 May 2015 09:06

Had the West not awarded Czechoslovakia to Hitler and nudged him eastward three never would have been that pact, and many fewer on all sides would have suffered and died.

teurin_hgada -> GreatMountainEagle 10 May 2015 09:05

Rotenberg is jew. TimchenKO is ukrainian. Those evil nazi russians!!

teurin_hgada -> Metronome151 10 May 2015 09:03

Poland invaded Russia somedays before that. That was revenge. 'Who will come with us with a sword will dye from a sword' very old russian proverb. Chingiskhan, Napoleon, and Hitler knew that. Obobo still dont know

kraljevic -> sztubacki 10 May 2015 09:02

Facts speak for themselves Russia emerged the victor in WW2 but its an irony that if anyone sticks up for the Russians they are accused of being a fascist!Many eastern European nations especially western leaning ones look down on Russians as oriental savages and there's no doubt many of them hated their Russian liberators more than they did the Germans even though the latter treated them like scum! That's why the Russians should have stopped when they liberated their own territories and let the Eastern Europeans stew in their in their own juices and liberate themselves.Why should a Russian mother lose her precious son to free a Pole or Czech or Hungarian who hates him with a passion and would stab him in the back first chance he got!

freedomcry nobblehobble 10 May 2015 08:58

Like I said: Russian neo-Nazis exist. Your links tell a lot about the level of attention they get from Western media (who happily follow the old trope of "take an issue that's hot in the West and make it look like it's much worse in Russia" — never fails to sell well) than about the actual scale of the problem. Did you even know Tesak is in jail now? Or that Belov (if you even know who that is) is under house arrest?

Do you know what phrase famously, and ridiculously, landed Konstantin Krylov a conviction for hate speech in 2013? Did you know last year's Russian March was pro-Ukrainian? No? Then leave me alone.

No; apologise for the paid troll libel, then leave me alone.

Eugene Weixel -> bumcyk 10 May 2015 08:51

Russia is being demonized and confronted by the West as though it was the USSR. It is in Russia and some former Soviet republics that the victory over Nazism is unambiguously seen as something positive.

Barkywoof 10 May 2015 08:58

There are a bunch of psychos always at the ready on all sides if allowed to take the reins. The Russians did terrible things. The Nazis did terrible things. Then the USA killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese women and children with a new and horrifying weapon.

I don't think it's a case of 'We Are Good... They are Bad.'
Was nothing learned from that awful war ?

teurin_hgada -> Roguing 10 May 2015 08:58

Half of Europr and Japan were Hitler allies. Ask them. And USSR just signed pact of no attack with Hitler. It is not the same that to be allies

sodtheproles -> Isanybodyouthere 10 May 2015 08:57

So what should be done when Russian speaking populations who see themselves as Russian are 'endangered', and that's 'endangered' in the sense of raped, bludgeoned, shot, beaten and burnt to death 'endangered'

Eugene Weixel -> nonanon1 10 May 2015 08:56

Good enough reason as Putin underlines the fact that his name is not Manuel Noriega.

sodtheproles -> ID5868758 10 May 2015 08:53

It's Shaun of all credibility journalism

Eugene Weixel -> Koppen616 10 May 2015 08:53

A necessary show of force, determination and support by the world's largest nation's, and many others as well.

Vladimir Makarenko -> ChristineH 10 May 2015 08:51

Hm, "dinosaur era" is marked by destroying countries by choice and then walking away cursing "f*ck, it is again didn't work..."

Military parade commemorating staggering sacrifice is internal matter of Russia and for Russia, outsiders are welcome to watch and think twice.

oAEONo -> Nolens 10 May 2015 08:50

What "well documented fact" are you talking about, can you please give me a link?

Books by Noam Chomsky would provide you with a huge amount of carefully documented facts. Some are even mentioned on this thread alone. That you missed them up until now simply beggars belief. Makes me wonder if you are interested in facts at all.

SHappens 10 May 2015 08:50

"We have seen attempts to create a unipolar world, and we see how forced bloc thinking is becoming more common."

Because of the attitude of the United States, but also because of the cowardice of European leaders, this May 9, 2015 has confirmed the division of the world in two. It symbolizes the opposition of an "old world", the Atlantic Basin and this new world emerging around Asia, which constantly attracts to itself new countries.

During his speech in Munich in 2007, Putin talked about a multipolar world. Because even the most powerful and richest country cannot alone ensure the stability of the world. The US project exceeds the US forces. But instead of listening, since this speech there was an acceleration of the US demonization of Putin.

It is important to break this dynamic of the political blocs to return towards a dynamic of a multipolar world. Beyond the shame and anger we feel for the attitude of the western leaders, beyond the disgust we feel for the insult not only to the Russian people but also to Chinese and Indian people, as well as to all others who came to Moscow on 9 May, we must realize that by calculation or cowardice, Western leaders, by abdicating their natural role, are helping to plunge the world towards a future of wars and conflicts.

It is a mistake- as we know from Talleyrand - the policy mistakes are worse than crimes.

Standupwoman ,
Are YOU remembering the massacre of Poles at Volhynia and Eastern Galicia by Ukraine's own newly celebrated UPA? Where estimates of the dead vary between 60,000 and 100,000?

Russia has at least admitted Soviet responsibility for the Katyn massacre - and officially condemned Stalin for it. Ukraine, on the other hand, has just declared Roman Shukhevych a Hero, and prohibited 'disrespect' for the UPA.

No country should be denied honour for genuinely heroic deeds, no matter what else it's done. As long as that country also admits and is sorry for its crimes, then it is also worthy our respect. Unlike Ukraine under its current regime, Russia merits

Michael A -> sztubacki 10 May 2015 08:46

Thank you for sharing MIKHAIL SHISHKIN's honest, candid and insightful words. I share his morality. He is correct in his assumptions and conclusions and he mirrors my felling about the hypocrisy that has shaped too much of my American lifetime.

The shame of the disintegration of relations between our two spheres is not the goals sought but the myopic way both sides have gone about achieving them.

Unfortunately the old American saw that our children grow up with, "it matters not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game", is almost inevitably and totally reversed in adulthood to, "it matters whether you win or lose, not how you played the game". The idealism and honesty of youth is replaced with greed and shortsightedness as age creeps in.

I thank the Russian people for the horrible sacrifices they made on behalf of victory over fascism. I also thank my American, British, French, etc, etc brothers and sisters for the their sacrifice. Sacrifice is to be commended not by degree but by intent. Thank you all.

Goodthanx -> Metronome151 10 May 2015 08:42

The number of Poles who died due to Soviet repressions in the period 1939-1941 is estimated as at least 150,000

Ukrainian nationalists[edit]
Main article: Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia
Ukrainian nationalists organized massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia during which (according to Grzegorz Motyka) approximately 80,000-100,000 Poles were killed.[5]

An OUN order from early 1944 stated: "Liquidate all Polish traces. Destroy all walls in the Catholic Church and other Polish prayer houses. Destroy orchards and trees in the courtyards so that there will be no trace that someone lived there... Pay attention to the fact that when something remains that is Polish, then the Poles will have pretensions to our land"

And these are now your friends???
says a lot.

MiltonWiltmellow kraljevic 10 May 2015 08:41

Its a sad reflection of today's selfish blinkered and short sighted world that the usual Russophobes and closet Nazis are given so much space and airtime to spread their pernicious ideology which consists of almost exclusively denigrating everything Russian.

Where are the thundering armies of the Tsar trampling the upstart Napoleon at Borodino?

Where are the Tsar's great Cossacks rousting quiet villages to pay the Tsar's new taxes during the Balybostock Pogram (1906) while terrified Russians fled into the night, onto the steppes, into the ocean...

And, as I'm a bit of an ettymologitst, where did the term "pogram" actually originate.

Where are the murderers of the Tsar's family whose blood spattered the cellar of a small estate? Who was Pavel Medevedev?

There's one Russian truth. Not this glorious past upon which Putin attempts to rebuild a lost and imperious empire, but a series of killings in the night of the Russian people by those waving saber and lance against defenseless people.

Exhortations like this this belong in the history books of Germany, Imperial Russia, and many of the religiously motivated wars that has turned Europe's soil a deep, rich crimson from which has arisen -- like a virginal saint roused from slumber-- as kingmakers and various petty tyrants lick their bloody wolf lips.

Nobility in war is about as common women and children left unmoslested by maurading troops.

Go badk to your Tolstoy ... or is it your pastiche writer Sholokov? ... to find your vanished glory, because there's little glory in Russian History. It's mostly a history of endurance and suffering.

Says Kasparov:

Arguably the world's best chess player ever, Garry Kasparov is on a new mission. He hopes to convince the world that the biggest threat to global unrest is not the Islamic State, al-Qaida or North Korea. Instead it is Vladimir Putin, Russia's president from 2000 to 2008 and then again from 2012 to today. []

mrkhawaja1944 -> Roguing 10 May 2015 08:41

Ask the Russians they will give you better answer but I am not talking about invaders Russians or no Russians but do you know any country invaded America I know of one and they are very good friends now but give you list of countries invaded and occupied by America and Europe I do not think you can name any country in present days world not invaded by so called western powers.

But I was taking about Russian who died in millions defending the country not invading other countries.

Vladimir Makarenko -> Debreceni 10 May 2015 08:36

Let's make some sorting of apples from oranges: not "Ukrainians" but Western Ukrainians or how they called themselves "Galicians". Galicia never was a part of Russia but divided between Hungary and Poland. Its pro independence movement made alliance with German Nazis in the beginning of 30-ties.

When Nazis made a call for SS division "Galicia" more than 100,000 volunteered, 27,000 were admitted. Their training was in first turn anti guerilla actions. Their fate was sealed during three days battle of Brody with regular experienced Soviet troops which without particular difficulty eliminated this bunch wannabe warriors. The remnants (about 7,000) escaped and ended up in Italy and after war across the pond, mostly to Canada. (Hence Canada attitude to Russia today).

This explains why there will be no peace between Donbass and Eastern Ukraine (which was a center of resistance then as it is today) and pro Galician (today) Kiev.

itsanevolvething 10 May 2015 08:36

A serious lack of respect and error of judgment by scameron and other western nations to not recognise the sacrifice of the Red Army in WW2 and send representation to this event. There is zero wisdom out there right now..just battle lines being drawn up.

nnedjo -> Omniscience 10 May 2015 08:33

Not sure, hope that wouldn't clash with the Victory over Czechoslovakia celebrations.

Czech President Milos Zeman met with Putin yesterday and, among other things, said the following:
President of the Czech Republic Miloš Zeman (in Russian):

Thank you, Mr President.

You know, politics are like the weather: it cools off and then it gets warmer. A person is happy when it warms up after a cool-down. This is one thing.

The other is that I have stated several times in public that I am here primarily to pay tribute not only to those soldiers who died on the territory of the Czech Republic, but to all the 20, or some say 27 million Soviet citizens, both soldiers and civilians, who died during the Great Patriotic War. This was the first purpose of my visit.

Abiesalba -> J00l3z 10 May 2015 08:32

He would do as well to remember that Stalin consigned a great number of the returning servicemen who had seen the west to death in Gulags. And that Russia exterminated more of her own people than Hitler did in concentration camps. Shmoozing despots says a lot about the nasty party !

The UK and all other imperial powers would do well to remember how many countries they forcefully occupied and then ruthlessly exploited their hunam and natural resources for centuries, including slavery. The UK and others had colonies well after WWII.

How many dead people from the activities of these most glorious empires based on Nazi-like ideologies of the 'superior' nation vs the 'inferior' nation?

And did these most democratic western powers ever pay reparations to their former colonies for the huge damage they have caused?

johhnybgood 10 May 2015 08:29

In the US the population knows nothing about the Russian involvement in the war.

Even in Europe only 13% of the population know the real story. This of course is because the history has been rewritten. If you watched the ceremony in Moscow, you realised just how deep feelings still run throughout the whole population. Few families escaped without loss.

This is why the West is playing with fire through its NATO encroachment provocation. The West's foreign policy regarding Russia is totally self defeating. Only the politicians are responsible -- the general populations have no desire for war with Russia - quite the reverse, Russia and China represent the future of global trade.

mrkhawaja1944 10 May 2015 08:18

Shameful act of revenge by western leaders not people by not attending ceremony in Russia as if their dead were better then Russians who lost millions.

They did not attend just because they do not like one man happened to be president making excuse of Ukrainian problem but who started it paid demonstrators by CIA known fact like the Arab spring where no flowers bur rubbles pile up in middle east spread to Europe thanks to American freedom loving policies.

Russians who died in millions deserver to be remembered with respect like the one in western countries who's leaders absence is disgraceful act.

Abiesalba -> HHeLiBe 10 May 2015 08:12

Sad that the hallmarks of expansionism and extreme nationalism are now most evident in Russia.

How about the illegal US/UK Iraq invasion?

How about the US relationships with its neighbours? A Berlin Wall along its border with Mexico. Decades of embarge against their neighbour Cuba. Cuba is, however, good enough for the US to have its Guantanamo concentration camp there. Oh, and how about racism in the US, and the status of the native Indians.

The UK financially supported the rise to power of Mussolini and his fascists in Italy who pursued brutal policies of ethnic cleansing of 'inferior' races long before Hitler rose to power in Germany. After WWII, the UK prevented extradition of 1,200 Italian fascists accused of war crimes to Yugoslavia, Greece and Ethiopia. These war criminals were never put to trial, and the UK kept supporting Italian pro-fascist politicians after WWII. The general acceptance of Italian fascism in the UK was also reflected in the English football team Sunderland appointing the Italian extreme Mussolini fan and self-declared fascist Paolo Di Canio as the manager in 2013.

Meanwhile, Italy keeps denying its WWII atrocities and neo-fascism is very alive. Every year, in Italy people march to celebrate the anniversary of Mussolini's march on Rome, which led to Mussolini's fascist regime taking the power in Italy (video of the march in 2014 here.) The most democratic 'western' states do not protest about it and the western media just avoid this scandal.

And there is much more. For example, in February 2015 (three months ago), the Italian GOVERNMENT (!) gave medals of honour to 300 Mussolini's fascists, including 6 accused of war crimes.

And neo-Nazism is alive and well also in Austria. Surely the EU members demanded in 2002 that neo-Nazi Jörg Haider is expelled from the Austrian government. But after that happened, nobody cared about the fact that Haider went on to be the elected (!) governor of the Carinthia region of Austria until 2008 (he was not voted out; he died in a reckless car crash) where he pursued apartheid-like policies against the Slovene minority in Carinthia. Slovenes are Slavs, and according to Nazi and fascist ideology they are an 'inferior' race and should be eradicated. The Slovene minorities in Austria and Italy keep being oppressed and attacked by neo-fascists and neo-Nazis, often also via the attitudes of the Italian and the Austrian governments.

Germany is the only Nazi-fascist country which fully admitted its war atrocities and apologized for them. Germany is now at least very watchful about neo-Nazis, and is trying to crack down on groups with neo-Nazi and similar ideologies. Even so, neo-Nazism is rising its ugly head also in Germany.

Many other European states keep denying their involvement in Nazism and fascism. In these states (e.g. Austria, Italy, Hungary, Slovakia, the Netherlands etc. etc.), the state of denial enables Nazi and fascist ideologies to thrive. In Hungary, the neo-fascist Jobbik party won 17% of the votes in the 2010 elections and 20% in 2014. In Slovakia, a neo-Nazi won regional elections in 2013. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders' party is the third largest in the parliament. In the UK, UKIP just got 13% of the votes and is the third largest party by the number of votes.

Besides, all western European states (including the UK) are collectively in denial about their centuries-long support of Nazi-like ideologies. The imperialistic Nazi-like ideology of 'superior' vs 'inferior' nations/races fuelled centuries of forceful occupation, oppression and exploitation of human and natural resources (including slavery) of many 'inferior' nations around the world.

Across western Europe, there is rising discrimination against 'Eastern and Central European' immigrants. These unwanted immigrants are largely Slavs. The specific targeting of 'inferior' Slavs has a long history in Europe (over a thousand years) and was also reflected in Hitler's hierarchy of races, where the Slavs were at the very bottom of under-humans (below the Jews). Hitler had plans for extensive genocide of Slavs, and Nazis killed many millions of them (e.g. Poles, Ukarinians).

In this historical context, I find the specific targeting of 'inferior' Slavs by various xenophobic groups in western Europe rather disturbing. This is nothing but re-painted Nazi-fascist ideology. Notably, such ideology thrives in particular in nations which Hitler declared to be the superior race = Herrenvolk = Aryan race: Germans, British, Irish, Dutch, Northern French, Swedes, Norwegians, Danes etc.

It seems to me that it would not be acceptable in modern Europe to specifically target the Jews. On the other hand, it is very acceptable to specifically target the Slavs.

Rudeboy1 -> Batleymuslim 10 May 2015 08:11

The first rule of war is logistics, logistics , that order.

I don't underestmate the Russians, far from it. It's a realistic view on their real capabilities and re-equipment in recent years. They're running to stay still at present. They have block obsolescence on the horizon for most of their kit and can't afford to replace it at the required levels. The Russian Navy is a case in point, their latest SSN was actually laid down 15 years ago and has yet to enter service. For surface ships they're done for as they either don't have the skills or they no longer have powerplants for them (their marine GT's were all built in the Ukraine).

The recent excitement over their new armour was a tad over the top. Have a look at them. The Kurganets? Is it as good as a German Puma? Bumerang? Is it really as good as a German Boxer? The Armata is an attempt to try and close the gap to western designs, but it's 25+ years too late. They'll never manage to build 2000 of them, they don't have the funds or the production capabilities.

The point about the F22 and F35 is still valid. I'm not counting the F35's as they're yet to hit IOC. The West has done all this in an era of declining military spending, with next to no effort.

In contract the Russians are spending increasing proportions on defence although they have announced some cuts recently). The Russian's simply aren't a military threat, and they know it. The last thing we need is an over-reaction. If the Armata is anything like previous Russian tanks once we get our hands on one we'll find that it was never all that anyway, still it keeps defence spending a little higher I suppose...

nnedjo -> Bradtweeters 10 May 2015 08:05

This is not a commemoration of the war dead. The commemoration of the war dead are being made at monuments to war victims. So, this is a celebration of the victory over fascism, and not any commemoration.

But, anyway, Putin is not a priest, he is a politician, and from politicians are expected on such occasions to give a political message too. Especially, if he complains that there is not enough cooperation in the world. It should be the political agenda of all politicians in the world, and not only of Putin.

lizgiag -> Natalia Volkova 10 May 2015 08:01

Privet Natalia! The anti-Russian feelings you encounter are really the product of decades of anti-Soviet propaganda. For decades there was really nothing positive said about the Soviet Union, years and years of negativity (not just about the system but also the people) meant that it is a deeply rooted feeling which was very easy to resurrect in the past few years.

Whilst this is not new, the more sinister side of this is the re-writing of history, so that the events of World War 2 are re-interpreted to the extent that the Soviet Union is now slowly being seen as the aggressor to fit in with the current narrative for the West's geo-political strategy.

Frustrating as this is, it makes it even more important that Russia's point of view is put forward even if it seems futile.

kraljevic 10 May 2015 07:59

Its a sad reflection of today's selfish blinkered and short sighted world that the usual Russophobes and closet Nazis are given so much space and airtime to spread their pernicious ideology which consists of almost exclusively denigrating everything Russian.

You could almost see some of them them practicing their Heil Hitler salutes in front of the mirror!

But however many of them delude themselves into believing that victory was snatched from their grasp by a set of unlucky circumstances rather than relentless Russian resistance then they will continue to try to kid the world that Russia's victory was a fluke!

The next step is to revive the myth that the SS and their allies stood for humane values and the defence of freedom and European civilization! But none of this relentless drivel will affect the attitude of the majority of people who continue to be inspired by the incredible, unimaginable and superhuman bravery and defiance of the Russian people in a life and death struggle unmatched in the annals of history!

geedeesee -> airman23 10 May 2015 07:46

"Crimea belongs to Ukraine"

Things change, nothing is fixed forever. Scotland may leave the UK. The Declaration of Independence by the Republic of Crimea was in accord with the provisions in the UN Charter.

Standupwoman -> sztubacki 10 May 2015 07:46

I don't actually disagree with you about the leadership. Stalin (a Georgian, as you know) was a murderous tyrant in his own right, and the Russian people suffered as much as any other Soviet country under his rule.

But Victory Day isn't about Stalin, except as a figurehead. It's about the ordinary men and women who fought and died and achieved the most incredible victory the world has ever seen. How could anyone want to take away from that?

dyst1111 -> Manolo Torres 10 May 2015 07:42

"Then we have the Royals that attended Nazi parties and married Nazis and even conspired against Britain with the Nazis."

And what of this? Nothing. They had no power.

Halifax was sidelined because of his attitude and Churchill made PM.

Soviet Union worked with the Nazis AFTER the war had broken out. Worked closely on many levels.

And there is one more aspect - what Britain and France did is regarded today with disdain as cowardly acts. What USSR did is desperately being whitewashed by Russia. So even if they acted more less the same, only Russia thinks it was OK.

John Smith -> Omniscience 10 May 2015 07:33

The US companies had some 500 mln$ investments in German war industries.

Standard Oil, General Motors, General Electric, ITT, Ford...
IG Farben ( Standard Oil) financed Hitler's rise to power.

CaptTroyTempest -> Kaikoura 10 May 2015 07:31

According to Wikileaks, Petro Walzmann (aka Poroschenko) has been in the pockets Washington's pocket since 2006. Probably just a coincidence.

juster 10 May 2015 07:25

Soviets may have won the war but they got pasted in the subsequent PR department.

I've seen interesting public opinion polls in France that immediately after the war showed 80+% people said mostly SU won the war and 60 year on 80+% people said the US played that role.

Because SU was branded the empire of evil and the US the force of good and people bought it ignoring the fact there is precious little difference. And still to this day Obama speaks of say the Vietnam war with praising the american troops for their righteous and good fight for freedom in the jungles. Clearly, he's never seen the Winter Soldier. The one from 1972 with testimonies of veterans that was and is de facto censored in the US for 40 years now, not the Cpt. America one.

Manolo Torres -> Botswana61 10 May 2015 07:24

Are you joking?!

In a new international ranking, the United Kingdom ranks first, while the U.S. performs poorly across almost all health metrics.

According to the world health organization you are second to 36 countries in 2000. Morocco, Singapore and Costa Rica have better healthsystem than you.

teurin_hgada -> AlfredHerring 10 May 2015 07:21

Your democrazy is nukong civilians in Japan after theirs capitulation. To kill Vietnam with WMD. Serbia, Syria, Lybia, Iraq.

Do you know that democracy eas invited in Greece and means slavery. There are citizens in democracy, and there are slaves, which brings prosperity to citizens. We dont want to be slaves of successors of criminals from whole word which made genocide to indeans civilization 300 years ago

Kaiama 10 May 2015 07:21

Read and Enjoy (2/2)

Dear friends,
We welcome today all our foreign guests while expressing a particular gratitude to the representatives of the countries that fought against Nazism and Japanese militarism.
Besides the Russian servicemen, parade units of ten other states will march through the Red Square as well. These include soldiers from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Their forefathers fought shoulder to shoulder both at the front and in the rear.
These also include servicemen from China, which, just like the Soviet Union, lost many millions of people in this war. China was also the main front in the fight against militarism in Asia.
Indian soldiers fought courageously against the Nazis as well.
Serbian troops also offered strong and relentless resistance to the fascists.
Throughout the war our country received strong support from Mongolia.
These parade ranks include grandsons and great-grandsons of the war generation. The Victory Day is our common holiday. The Great Patriotic War was in fact the battle for the future of the entire humanity.
Our fathers and grandfathers lived through unbearable sufferings, hardships and losses. They worked till exhaustion, at the limit of human capacity. They fought even unto death. They proved the example of honour and true patriotism.
We pay tribute to all those who fought to the bitter for every street, every house and every frontier of our Motherland. We bow to those who perished in severe battles near Moscow and Stalingrad, at the Kursk Bulge and on the Dnieper.
We bow to those who died from famine and cold in the unconquered Leningrad, to those who were tortured to death in concentration camps, in captivity and under occupation.
We bow in loving memory of sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, grandfathers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, comrades-in-arms, relatives and friends – all those who never came back from war, all those who are no longer with us.
A minute of silence is announced.

Minute of silence.

Dear veterans,
You are the main heroes of the Great Victory Day. Your feat predestined peace and decent life for many generations. It made it possible for them to create and move forward fearlessly.
And today your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren live up to the highest standards that you set. They work for the sake of their country's present and future. They serve their Fatherland with devotion. They respond to complex challenges of the time with honour. They guarantee the successful development, might and prosperity of our Motherland, our Russia!
Long live the victorious people!
Happy holiday!
Congratulations on the Victory Day!

Kaiama 10 May 2015 07:20

Read and Enjoy... (1/2)

Fellow citizens of Russia,
Dear veterans,
Distinguished guests,
Comrade soldiers and seamen, sergeants and sergeant majors, midshipmen and warrant officers, Comrade officers, generals and admirals,
I congratulate you all on the 70th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War!
Today, when we mark this sacred anniversary, we once again appreciate the enormous scale of Victory over Nazism. We are proud that it was our fathers and grandfathers who succeeded in prevailing over, smashing and destroying that dark force.
Hitler's reckless adventure became a tough lesson for the entire world community. At that time, in the 1930s, the enlightened Europe failed to see the deadly threat in the Nazi ideology.
Today, seventy years later, the history calls again to our wisdom and vigilance. We must not forget that the ideas of racial supremacy and exclusiveness had provoked the bloodiest war ever. The war affected almost 80 percent of the world population. Many European nations were enslaved and occupied.
The Soviet Union bore the brunt of the enemy's attacks. The elite Nazi forces were brought to bear on it. All their military power was concentrated against it. And all major decisive battles of World War II, in terms of military power and equipment involved, had been waged there.
And it is no surprise that it was the Red Army that, by taking Berlin in a crushing attack, hit the final blow to Hitler's Germany finishing the war.
Our entire multi-ethnic nation rose to fight for our Motherland's freedom. Everyone bore the severe burden of the war. Together, our people made an immortal exploit to save the country. They predetermined the outcome of World War II. They liberated European nations from the Nazis.
Veterans of the Great Patriotic War, wherever they live today, should know that here, in Russia, we highly value their fortitude, courage and dedication to frontline brotherhood.
Dear friends,
The Great Victory will always remain a heroic pinnacle in the history of our country. But we also pay tribute to our allies in the anti-Hitler coalition.
We are grateful to the peoples of Great Britain, France and the United States of America for their contribution to the Victory. We are thankful to the anti-fascists of various countries who selflessly fought the enemy as guerrillas and members of the underground resistance, including in Germany itself.
We remember the historical meeting on the Elbe, and the trust and unity that became our common legacy and an example of unification of peoples – for the sake of peace and stability.
It is precisely these values that became the foundation of the post-war world order. The United Nations came into existence. And the system of the modern international law has emerged.
These institutions have proved in practice their effectiveness in resolving disputes and conflicts.
However, in the last decades, the basic principles of international cooperation have come to be increasingly ignored. These are the principles that have been hard won by mankind as a result of the ordeal of the war.
We saw attempts to establish a unipolar world. We see the strong-arm block thinking gaining momentum. All that undermines sustainable global development.
The creation of a system of equal security for all states should become our common task. Such system should be an adequate match to modern threats, and it should rest on a regional and global non-block basis. Only then will we be able to ensure peace and tranquility on the planet.

Manolo Torres -> dyst1111 10 May 2015 07:19

Lets see the other side as well then:

Huge trade, far bigger, just the investment of GM in Nazi Germany was 25% of the total amount their trade with the Soviet Union, if we add Standard Oil and Ford it will probably be already much more, and we are not throwing in the bankers that are the ones that made the most profit.

Then we have the Royals that attended Nazi parties and married Nazis and even conspired against Britain with the Nazis.

Then we have France and Britain giving Hitler (and the Polish) parts of Czechoslovakia. Talking about congratulatory letters we know about one from British deputy prime minister:

"Herr Chancellor, on behalf of the British Government I congratulate you on crushing communism in Germany and standing as a bulwark against Russia" (1a)

- Lord Halifax then British Deputy Prime Minister (later Foreign Secretary) addressing Adolf Hitler, November 1937.

Standupwoman 10 May 2015 07:17

I'm having a hard time believing both the tone of this article and the venom in some of the comments. On Russia's own Victory Day? Really? Are we sunk as low as that?

The only excuse I can find is that maybe some people simply don't know what this day really represents. This piece in The Hill, for example, actually states:

The Soviet victory in World War II — also known as the "Great Patriotic War" in Russia — can in terms of mythological importance be compared to D-Day for Americans

OK, this might be an unusually crass and insensitive writer, but could anybody with even a smattering of education make such a comparison? How could the events of one day in which 2,500 Americans died conceivably equate to the events of four years in which 27 million Soviet citizens were killed - nearly 14 million of them Russian? We know how Americans feel about 9/11, but even if they'd suffered a new 9/11 every day for four years, it would still be less than half what was done to Russia.

Even the British struggle to comprehend that degree of loss. We too suffered from Nazi attack, we too saw women and children killed in their own homes, we too saw our great cities pulverized and our history smashed - like Coventry Cathedral, for a start. But the German army never set foot here, because we were saved by the English Channel, the best airforce in the world - and the fact that the Russians held out long enough to turn the tide.

No-one in the West can really imagine what Russia went through, and there isn't space to say it here. Do some reading - or better still, watch the BBC's 'The World at War' and 'Nazis: A Warning from History'. The latter programme even interviews a former German soldier who describes how they treated the 'sub-human Slavs' of their occupied territories - 'We'd kill the children first in front of their mothers, and then the mothers.' Imagine it. Try. Imagine the desperate courage of that defence, at Moscow, Leningrad and Stalingrad. Look again at the Victory Day footage, and note how young some of the veterans are - because even children took part in the sieges of their homes. At Sevastopol in 2011 I met one woman who'd been throwing Molotov cocktails against German tanks when she was seven years old.

And they won. The tide was turned before the Americans even joined, and the momentous Battle of Kursk for the first time put the Germans on the run. Yes, we retook France and Italy, but it was the Red Army who drove the Germans back from the East all the way to Berlin. Britain has many victories of which she can be rightfully proud, but none on the scale of that one. No-one has.

Of course they celebrate it - and so should we. Politics should never be allowed to rewrite history, and I'm utterly ashamed that my country chose this day to insult 27 million dead. God bless Russia, and I hope and pray they can forgive us some day. I'm not sure I ever can.

Debreceni -> jezzam 10 May 2015 07:11

What is the connection? There was apartheid in the American South in the 1930s and 1940s. Sill, you do not question or try to trivialize American contribution to the victory over Japan or Nazi Germany.

The debate about dictatorhip, politial oppresion belong to a different page. You do not go to a funeral to bring up the widow's past.

AlfredHerring veloboldie 10 May 2015 07:11

If only Truman listened to Patton,

Yep, we could have liberated Moscow within 6 months. Easy, just cut off all the lend lease crap and drop the big one on Moscow during that stupid parade of German prisoners that Stalin was watching and the whole thing would have been ripe for free elections. Thanks to the war a 'well regulated militia' was already in place, just would have had to hunt down those NKVD motherfuckers.

Hants13 sztubacki 10 May 2015 07:10

How many dictators do you know that are happily united in many multi-polar relationships with like minded nations?

Over 85% of the people of Russia support their leader and Government and these are a few reasons why:

Russia was bankrupt in 2000, when Putin first came to power. Since then:

He sorted out the oligarchs.
The average Russian lives an additional ten years since 2000.
There is a rise in the middle class sector.
Russia is now a creditor nation.
Christian Orthodox Russia paid off the $45 billion debt of the Communist Soviet Union (including when the Bolsheviks and Lenin overthrew the Russian Empire).
Russia paid off the $16.5 billion RF debt.
Russia has the 12th largest currency reserves (around $420,000,000,000)
Russia has the 5th largest gold reserves and can almost back the ruble with gold, rather than printers and paper.
Russia has minimal debt (11% GDP Debt)
Russia has control of her vast wealth of natural resources.

How is the West, up until 2019 going to pay for Russian gas? Rubles or gold. After that, there are no contract with EU countries and much of the Russian gas will be going to China and no doubt India.

No wonder Russia loves their President and his cabinet. Can any other Western Nation and the USA say the same?

Mungobel samanthajsutton 10 May 2015 07:01

I fully agree that the UK's failure to join in honouring the memory of the millions of Russians and other Soviet citizens who lost their lives in the struggle to resist the Nazi onslaught in WWII was a shaming thing. Worse still, while the Russians and others were preparing to celebrate the hard won end to that war, the UK joined with it's NATO friends in playing US-led war games on Russia's doorstep - as if intent on provoking yet another blood-letting across the globe.

Reco1234 Hants13 10 May 2015 07:00

The Jewish doctrine of Marxism rejects the aristocratic principle of Nature and replaces the eternal privilege of power and strength by the mass of numbers and their dead weight. Thus it denies the value of personality in man, contests the significance of nationality and race, and thereby withdraws from humanity the premise of its existence and its culture. As a foundation of the universe, this doctrine would bring about the end of any order intellectually conceivable to man. And as, in this greatest of all recognizable organisms, the result of an application of such a law could only be chaos, on earth it could only be destruction for the inhabitants of this planet.

-Adolf Hitler: Mein Kampf

Hmmm, Hitler was a fan of the ideology of Karl Marx........nice one, moron.

Hants13 MentalToo 10 May 2015 07:00

You are aware that the Ukrainian Krushchev took Crimea from Russia in 1954?

Using international law and self determination, the people of Crimea voted to return home to Russia in 2014. Aided by the words of the Ukrainian Presidential Candidates and what they wished to do to the 8,000,000 Russian speaking citizens of Ukraine. Eastern Ukraine did the same, but not to be ruled by Ukraine.

The argument is explained in the 1970 United Nations Report, Self Determination and Territorial Integrity. In fact NATO used the same argument in their final report, Kosovo in an International Perspective: Self Determination, Territorial Integrity and the NATO Interpretation. Then if you study the foundations of the United Nations Charter, it was based around self determination.

By the way, Russia leased Sevestopol (which NATO wanted) at a substantial cost and owing to the agreement, they were allowed 25,000 serving members of the military (no specifics on ranks, grades or trades). At the time that the people of Crimea voted to return home to Russia, there were only 20,000 out of the 25,000 little green men in Crimea.

plumrose799999 10 May 2015 06:59

The Observer(one of limited vision) is so obsessed with its Putin prodding that it fails to acknowledge Russia's part in winning the war which might not have been won by our side had it not been for the Russian people.

I don't know whether Putin is as bad as the western media make out but thankfully their is one leader left in the world who is still capable of standing up to the USA and dictorial colonist aspirations.

Liberator37 10 May 2015 06:57

Without for a moment endorsing its bloodthirsty liquidation of more helpless civilians than Hitler killed, Eric Margolis has a crackerjack and fact-filled article out today in praise of the Soviet contribution to the WW-II victory. The Western boycott of Putin's celebrations is downright churlish.

BunglyPete 10 May 2015 06:50

Lets go back 31 years to 1984.

RFE/RL was broadcasting into the USSR, what one of the most anti Russian US officials in history, Richard Pipes, called "blatant anti semitic propaganda".

His concerns, which were echoed by other US officials, were based upon an RFE/RL report that painted the Ukrainian nationalists that fought alongside Hitler in a good light.

Fast forward to 1984, sorry I mean 2015, and those messages are now reproduced in the Guardian and are enshrined in Ukrainian law and celebrations.

If Richard Pipes thought it was an issue, can't you see Russia's concern when it leads to the downfall of Ukraine?

MyFriendWillPay -> Amanda Katie Bromley 10 May 2015 06:48

It's clear that those who have criticised your comment have done so from a position of ignorance.

Operation Barbarossa, the German-led Blitzkrieg of 4 million men against the Soviet Union (SU), on 22 June 1941, was expected to bring SU defeat within weeks, which is why the Germans only stockpiled 2 months of supplies for the campaign, and even British Intelligence expected the SU to collapse within 8 - 10 weeks. However, within less than a month, the head of German Military Intelligence, Admiral Canaris, confided to a general on the eastern front that he could only see a "black outlook" for the war in the east. Even Goebells himself noted in diary entries in July 1941 of the allarming lack of progress towards victory.

By mid October 1941, the previously euphoric Vatican had decided that Germany would lose the war in the east, as had the Swiss Secret Service and other neutral intelligence agencies.

By the start of December 1941, with German forces less than 20 miles from the Kremlin, their campaign had ground to a halt due to troop exhaustion, the Russian winter and over-extended supply lines. Then, on 5 December 1941, the Soviets launched a massive attack that drove the Germans back 60 - 170 miles. Hitler then ordered the campaign to take Moscow delayed until the following Spring, although he then realised, apparently, that he would lose the war, and that was more than a year before the iconic Soviet victory at Stalingrad.

Two imprtant points can be drawn from the initial weeks of Operation Barbarossa. Firstly, the US material support in war was going to the German side until it became apparent that they would not win. Most supplies of vital material, such as oil and rubber, came from the US via Spain and Vichy France. For example, 44% of Germany's vital engine oil came from the US in July 1941, and this rose to 94% in September 1941. This means that, important as subsequent western supplies were to the SU's war effort, they started arriving after it was recognised that the SU would defeat Germany and her allies. It was a fundamental issue of resources - manpower as well as materiel - that the SU had, and Germany didn't.

Secondly, even accepting the destruction of Germany's heavy water facility, if Operation Barbarossa had succeded, Germany would have had four whole years to catch-up the US's possession of a few low-yield atomic bombs in August 1945. Taking Germany's rapid programme for the V1 & V2 rockets in the last months of the war as an example of her capability for technological development, few could seriously doubt her potential to produce the atomic bomb.

As someone who lost a father in the west and a grandfather in the east - both during WW2 - I try to view history objectively. And, in this case, I regard the boycot by western wartime allies of Russia's celebration of WW2 victory over fascism as very disappointing indeed.

[May 09, 2015] U.S. troops have stolen tens of millions in Iraq and Afghanistan

Many of these crimes grew out of shortcomings in the military's management of the deployments that experts say are still present: a heavy dependence on cash transactions, a hasty award process for high-value contracts, loose and harried oversight within the ranks, and a regional culture of corruption that proved seductive to the Americans troops transplanted there.
May 09, 2015 |

The Fraud of War: U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have stolen tens of millions through bribery, theft, and rigged contracts.

U.S. Army Specialist Stephanie Charboneau sat at the center of a complex trucking network in Forward Operating Base Fenty near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border that distributed daily tens of thousands of gallons of what troops called "liquid gold": the refined petroleum that fueled the international coalition's vehicles, planes, and generators.

A prominent sign in the base read: "The Army Won't Go If The Fuel Don't Flow." But Charboneau, 31, a mother of two from Washington state, felt alienated after a supervisor's harsh rebuke. Her work was a dreary routine of recording fuel deliveries in a computer and escorting trucks past a gate. But it was soon to take a dark turn into high-value crime.

She began an affair with a civilian, Jonathan Hightower, who worked for a Pentagon contractor that distributed fuel from Fenty, and one day in March 2010 he told her about "this thing going on" at other U.S. military bases around Afghanistan, she recalled in a recent telephone interview.

Troops were selling the U.S. military's fuel to Afghan locals on the side, and pocketing the proceeds. When Hightower suggested they start doing the same, Charboneau said, she agreed.

In so doing, Charboneau contributed to thefts by U.S. military personnel of at least $15 million worth of fuel since the start of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. And eventually she became one of at least 115 enlisted personnel and military officers convicted since 2005 of committing theft, bribery, and contract-rigging crimes valued at $52 million during their deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a comprehensive tally of court records by the Center for Public Integrity.

Many of these crimes grew out of shortcomings in the military's management of the deployments that experts say are still present: a heavy dependence on cash transactions, a hasty award process for high-value contracts, loose and harried oversight within the ranks, and a regional culture of corruption that proved seductive to the Americans troops transplanted there.

Charboneau, whose Facebook posts reveal a bright-eyed woman with a shoulder tattoo and a huge grin, snuggling with pets and celebrating the 2015 New Year with her children in Seattle Seahawks jerseys, now sits in Carswell federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas, serving a seven-year sentence for her crime.

[May 08, 2015] When Hillary Clinton Pitched the Iraq War to CodePink By and

Announcing her latest campaign for the presidency, Hillary Clinton declared she was entering the race to be the champion for "everyday Americans." As a lawmaker and diplomat, however, Clinton has long championed military campaigns that have killed scores of "everyday" people abroad, from Iraq to Yemen.

As commander-in-chief, there's no reason to believe she'd be any less a hawk than she was as a senator, when she backed George W. Bush's war in Iraq, or as secretary of state, when she encouraged President Barack Obama to escalate the war in Afghanistan. If her nomination is as sure a thing as people say, then antiwar organizing needs to start right away.

Hillary's already won the support of those who continually agitate for war. "I feel comfortable with her on foreign policy," Robert Kagan, a co-founder of the neoconservative Project for the New American Century, told The New York Times last summer.

"If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue," he said, "it's something that might have been called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that; they are going to call it something else."

We're going to call it what it is: More of the same sort of murderous policies that destroyed Iraq, destabilized Libya, killed women and children with cluster bombs and drones in Yemen, and legitimized the undermining of democracy in Honduras. There's little chance the Republicans will nominate someone better, but given Clinton's record as a senator and secretary of state — the latter giving us a very good idea of how she would approach foreign affairs once in office — it will be hard for them to find anyone much worse.

We know that Clinton is no reliable friend of peace. Today she supports diplomacy with Iran, but back in 2009, as secretary of state, she was adamant that the U.S. keep open the option of attacking the Islamic Republic over never-proven allegations it was seeking nuclear weapons. (In fact, Israel is the region's only nuclear power.)

Her attempts to portray herself as an ally of those who are pro-peace, as a sort of reluctant imperialist, is the same sort of co-opting distortion that has helped quiet opposition to President Obama's hawkish agenda. If anything, Hillary is even more militaristic than the ostensibly reluctant warrior she's campaigning to replace. Still, that hasn't stopped her from trying to be all things to all people — even people like us.

Indeed, in March 2003, Clinton did something she'll probably never willingly do again: She met with CODEPINK to explain her support for the Iraq war. "I like pink tulips around this time of the year," she began. They "kind of remind ya that there may be a spring. Well, you guys look like a big bunch of big tulips!" It got progressively more awkward after that. "I admire your willingness to speak out on behalf of the women and children of Iraq," said Clinton, but "There is a very easy way to prevent anyone from being put into harm's way and that is for Saddam Hussein to disarm and I have absolutely no belief that he will."

We thought the easiest way to prevent harming the women, children, and other living things in Iraq was to stop a war of aggression, ostensibly over weapons of mass destruction that UN inspectors on the ground couldn't find and which were, in fact, never found — because they didn't exist. Clinton, however, was steadfast: "If Saddam were serious about disarming he would have been much more forthcoming," she claimed. "The very difficult question for all of us is how does one bring about the disarmament of someone with such a proven track record of a commitment, if not an obsession, with weapons of mass destruction?"

Her answer: Destroying Iraq by dropping millions of U.S.-made WMDs, including bombs with depleted uranium that have more than doubled the country's pre-2003 rate of cancer. Speaking to the women of CODEPINK, Clinton even explicitly defended George W. Bush's unilateralism, citing her husband's go-it-alone intervention in Kosovo back in the 1990s.

In 2011, when the Arab Spring came to Libya, Clinton was the Obama administration's most forceful advocate for going above and beyond a no-fly zone to depose Muammar Gaddafi, whose U.S.-trained security forces were killing Libyans with the help of weapons and equipment provided by his erstwhile allies in the United States, Britain, and France.

She even out-hawked Robert Gates, the defense secretary first appointed by George W. Bush who was less than enthusiastic about going to war. When Libyan rebels carried out an extrajudicial execution of their country's former dictator, her response was sociopathic: "We came, we saw, he died," she said, smiling and laughing. That sent a message that the United States would look the other way at crimes committed by allies against its official enemies; indeed, it was the same policy of tolerance for friends' war crimes that arguably led Gaddafi to believe he could get away with killing anyone he labeled "al-Qaeda."

Libya was part of a pattern for Clinton. On Afghanistan, she advocated a repeat of the surge in Iraq, encouraging President Obama to more than double the number of troops there. Her State Department also provided cover for the expansion of the not-so-covert drone wars in Pakistan and Yemen. Clinton's top legal adviser, Harold Koh, exploited his pre-government reputation as an advocate for human rights to declare in a 2010 speech that not only did the government have the right to detain people without charge at Guantanamo Bay, but it can kill them with unmanned aerial vehicles anywhere in the world.

Clinton practiced "soft power" diplomacy too, of course: After Honduran forces trained at the U.S. School of the Americas carried out a coup against elected president Manuel Zelaya, Clinton's State Department immediately got to work on legitimizing the regime that seized power. As commentator Mark Weisbrot observes, she even said as much in her book, Hard Choices: "In the subsequent days [after the coup] I spoke with my counterparts around the hemisphere, including Secretary [Patricia] Espinosa in Mexico," wrote Clinton. "We strategized on a plan to restore order in Honduras and ensure that free and fair elections could be held quickly and legitimately, which would render the question of Zelaya moot."

The subsequent "free and fair" election would end up being between two candidates who supported a coup opposed by most "everyday people" in Honduras, now one of the most violent, drug-war ravaged countries in the world. Clinton has also called for deporting child refugees fleeing that violence. In Honduras, as elsewhere, it seems it's not the lives of "everyday people" that are of chief concern to politicians like Clinton.

When Barack Obama became president, the anti-war movement became his first casualty — followed by a group of Pakistanis droned to death three days after his inauguration. We should never lose hope that we can bring about positive change, but actually changing the world for the better requires being aware that whoever sits in the White House come January 2017 is not going to be our friend.

Charles Davis is a writer in Los Angeles. His work has been published by outlets such as Al Jazeera, The New Republic, and Salon. Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of the peace group CODEPINK and the human rights organization Global Exchange. She is also the author of Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control.

[May 08, 2015] Obama's Real Motive Behind The Iran Deal A Backdoor Channel To Sell Weapons To Saudi Arabia

May 06, 2015 | Zero Hedge
For a long time there was confusion about the "quo" to the Saudi Arabian "quid" over its agreement to side with the US on the Iranian "nuclear deal" (which incidentally looks like it will never happen simply due to the Russian and Chinese UN vetoes).

Then over the weekend we finally got the answer thanks to the the WSJ, which reported that "Gulf States want U.S. assurances and weapons in exchange for supporting Iran nuclear deal."

The details are quite familiar to anyone who has seen the US Military-Industrial Complex in action: the US pretends to wage an aggressive diplomatic campaign of peace while behind the scenes it is just as actively selling weapons of war.

Leading Persian Gulf states want major new weapons systems and security guarantees from the White House in exchange for backing a nuclear agreement with Iran, according to U.S. and Arab officials.

The leaders of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, plan to use a high-stakes meeting with President Barack Obama next week to request additional fighter jets, missile batteries and surveillance equipment.

They also intend to pressure Mr. Obama for new defense agreements between the U.S. and the Gulf nations that would outline terms and scenarios under which Washington would intervene if they are threatened by Iran, according to these officials.

The Persian Gulf countries say they need more drones, surveillance equipment and missile-defense systems to combat an Iranian regime they see as committed to becoming the region's dominant power. The Gulf states also want upgraded fighter jets to contain the Iranian challenge, particularly the advanced F-35, known as the Joint Strike Fighter.

A senior U.S. official played down chances that the administration would agree to sell advanced systems such as the F-35 fighter to those nations—though the planes will be sold to Israel and Turkey—because of concerns within the administration about altering the military balance in the Middle East.v

There is much more but a question already emerges: why does the "Gulf Cooperation Council" need so many ultramodern weapons to "defend" against an Iran which is supposedly halting its nuclear program and is in the process of showing its allegiance to the west by endorsing a peace process.

Unless it was all merely a ruse to arm the Middle East from the very beginning?

And now the "end" is near because when it comes to matters of revenue and profitability for the US Military-Industrial complex, seek and ye shall find. According to Reuters, "Obama is expected to make a renewed U.S. push next week to help Gulf allies create a region-wide defense system to guard against Iranian missiles as he seeks to allay their anxieties over any nuclear deal with Tehran, according to U.S. sources."

The offer could be accompanied by enhanced security commitments, new arms sales and more joint military exercises, U.S. officials say, as Obama tries to reassure Gulf Arab countries that Washington is not abandoning them.

Not only is Obama not abandoning "them", but the entire Iran "negotiations" farce increasingly appears to have been produced from the very beginning to give the US a diplomatic loophole with which to arm the biggest oil exporter in the world. Sure enough:

Gulf Arab neighbors, including key U.S. ally Saudi Arabia, worry that Iran will not be deterred from a nuclear bomb and will be flush with cash from unfrozen assets to fund proxies and expand its influence in countries such as Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.

U.S. officials with knowledge of the internal discussions concede that Obama is under pressure to calm Arab fears by offering strengthened commitments. "It's a time to see what things might be required to be formalized," a senior U.S. official said.

All of this should come as a surprise to precisely nobody as the US takes advantage of its waning years as a global hegemon, and seeks to sell US weapons far and wide to the benefit of a select few Raytheon, General Dynamics and Lockheed shareholders.

And yet something peculiar emerges: in the Reuters piece we read that "Obama is all but certain to stop short of a full security treaty with Saudi Arabia or other Gulf nations as that would require approval by the Republican-controlled Senate and risk stoking tensions with Washington's main Middle East ally Israel."

Which brings up another interesting regional player: Israel. Because while we now know the real reason for Saudi's complicity in the Iran "nuclear deal", a key middle east player is none other than Israel, which under Netanyahu's control has puffed and huffed against the Iran deal, and yet has done nothing. Why? Here Bloomberg provides some very critical perspective which introduces yet another major player in the global military exports arena.


Bloomberg has the details:

Last month, when President Vladimir Putin of Russia announced plans to sell a powerful anti-missile system to Iran before the lifting of international sanctions, Israel was quick to join the U.S. in expressing shock and anger.

But behind the public announcements is a little-known web of arms negotiations and secret diplomacy. In recent years, Israel and Russia have engaged in a complex dance, with Israel selling drones to Russia while remaining conspicuously neutral toward Ukraine and hoping to stave off Iranian military development. The dance may not be over.


One of those issues is Israel's neutrality toward Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have waged war over the past year. Israel has held back from selling weapons to the government in Kiev, which is backed by the U.S. and European Union, in the hope of keeping Russia's S-300s away from Iran.... "Israel has come under a lot of pressure for not joining the all-Western consensus on the Ukrainian crisis," said Sarah Feinberg, a research fellow at Tel Aviv's Institute for National Security Studies. "It was a difficult decision for the Israeli government, which was concerned about possible Russian retaliatory moves in the Mideast - such as selling the S-300 to Iran."

The issue at hand is the delivery of Israeli drones: whether to Ukraine, where such a deal was recently scuttled following internal dissent by opposition within the Israel government, or to Russia, which already has received Israel UAVs.

Russia expressed interest in buying Israeli drones after coming up against them during the 2008 war with Georgia. In 2010 Russia concluded a deal to purchase 15 of them from IAI, and to set up a joint venture to produce drone technology.

An Israeli familiar with the matter said the drone deal with Russia carried an unwritten quid pro quo: It would proceed only if the Kremlin suspended its announced S-300 sale to Iran. Now having gotten the Israeli technology, the Israeli said, that promise is no longer a factor in Russian considerations.

In other words, now that Israel - which is the world's largest exporter of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles - no longer has leverage over Russian military needs as Moscow has long ago reverse-engineered the Israeli technology, Israel may have no choice but to provoke Russia in the middle east.

"Sending drones or other arms to Ukraine would be an ineffective, even inconsequential Israeli response to Russia selling the S-300s to Iran," said Feinberg. More effective, she said, would be for Israel to lift its political neutrality on the Ukrainian conflict, or take actions in the Middle East against Russian regional allies such as the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria.

For now however, Israel's full on engagement in Syria (or Iran) appears to have been prevented: "On April 23 Russia did appear to backtrack somewhat on its earlier announcement of the S-300 sale to Iran, with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov telling the Interfax news agency that delivery won't occur soon, and would only happen after political and legal issues were resolved. In his April 16 call-in show on Russian television, Putin acknowledged that Israeli objections had scuttled a potential S-300 sale to another Mideast nation, reportedly Syria."

To attempt a summary: under the pretext of Iran negotiations for peace, the US is preparing to quietly arm virtually all Gulf states with the latest US military technology, even as Israel has given Russia some of its latest drone technology which means Russia may at any moment proceed to arm Iran and Syria with modern Surface to Air missiles, while Israel is contemplaring retaliation not only against Iran but Syria as well: the country which nearly led to a global proxy war in the mdidle east in the summer of 2013.

In other words, we have, for the past few years, been on the edge of a razor thin Middle Eastern balance of power equilibrium which prevented any one nation or alliance from garnering an outsized influence of military power.

All of that is about to change the moment the MIC figurehead known as president Obama greenlights the dispatch of billions of dollars in fighters, drones, missile batteries, and surveillance equipment to Saudi Arabia and its peers, in the process dramatically reshaping the balance of power status quo and almost certainly leading to yet another middle eastern war which will inevitably drag in not only Israel and Russia at least in a proxy capacity, but ultimately, the US as well.

Just as the US military industrial complex wanted.

Because as every Keynesian fanatic will tell you: in a world saturated by debt, and where organic growth is no longer possible, there is only one remaining option.


* * *

And just to assure the required outcome, moments ago John Kerry arrived in Riyadh to conclude the deal.

Kerry arrives in Riyadh #Saudi Arabia.

— Conflict News (@rConflictNews) May 6, 2015

Pool Shark

Why do they need a 'backdoor,' when they've been selling arms to the Saudis through the front door since time began?...


Barry insists there be a backdoor, for uh, personal reasons.


Reggie Love: Did I hear "Backdoor Channel"? ;-)


the real question is how does Israel view it. Netanyahu has not endorsed any of this. I would guess Israel has no friend in Obama and his controllers, and will soon take action of their own.

What possible gain is it for Israel to have the fucking tyrant insane neighbors get all armed up? hello war.

Oh regional Indian

This is very good insight.


By the way, India is totally thumbing it's nose at the US led non-coalition of the unwilling in continuing to deal with Iran for all manner of goods and services. Big barter deals, gold payments via Turkey for oil...

So there is that going on in Iran's Eastern flank. Iran, by the way, was rumored to have a "Perfect Plate" from the US mint via Henry Kissinger (or some spook) and during Shah of Iran time were the world's largest counterfeiters of the USD, only thing, they had a perfect Plate. Obviously CIA controlled.

All that money, EuroDollars, money, drug dollars (Iran is a major heroine transit point).

Nothing is as it seems...

Sequence 15 for discerning ears ;-)


Simply idiotic war propaganda


Reagan just called from the grave. He wants his Iran Contra back.


PetroDollar = Defending Saudi Arabia with US military.

PetroDollar now collpasing thanks to Russia, China, Iran which forces Saudi Arabia to spend their USD's with the MIC to defend themselves.

Endgame for the PetroDollar system.

Mike Masr

The backdoor, wasn't this the aircraft used to covertly bring all the Saudi's back home on 911 when all the other aircraft were grounded?


Anyone with a brain could guess the Iran deal was always a scam of some sort. Why? Well, because everything is a scam from these people and there is no peace, ever, not the goal. It amazes me the rest of the world even engages with the Zionist shitshow called the USA.


President Peace Prize needs MOAR war in the Middle East before he "leaves" office. He is at proxy war (for now) with Russia. That was quite a feat so:

Why not take on Iran while he is at it. Two birds with one big stone and all that.

Bill of Rights

Hmm is this like the Clinton China for Arms deal...Face it folks all US Politicians are scum of the earth, sum are just more scummy than the others.

Kaiser Sousa

Cooperation between Russia and China is necessary to maintain the balance of power in the world, China's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Cheng Guoping said Monday.

The high-ranking Chinese diplomat said that Russian-Chinese relations had reached a new level of development and the forthcoming visit of Xi Jinping to Moscow would facilitate further cooperation between Beijing and Moscow. The Chinese president will pay a three-day visit to Moscow on May 8-10, attending the Victory Day Parade on May 9 at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. "Cooperation and coordination between China and Russia are needed to maintain the international balance of power and preserve the post-war world order. The participation of the leaders of the two countries in mutual events dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Victory in World War II indicates that Russia and China, as the largest countries in the world and members of the United Nations, intend to maintain international order."

Farmer Joe in Brooklyn

9/11 exposed the unholy alliance between the US and the Saudis (for anyone with enough intellectual curiosity to seek the truth). This true axis of evil has a symbiotic relationship that knows no moral bounds.

Nothing new here...

Monty Burns

In 9/11 the Saudis provided the finance and the patsies. The event was organized by Mossad and Ziocons in the USA.


Just in time for next year's SOFEX, bitchez! The war economy has to get paper somehow. Peace Prizes for EVERYBODY!


2010: "US Congress notified over $60bn arms sale to Saudi Arabia"

They didn't backdoor that sale. Whatever President Jarret is trying to sell, it isn't to the Saudi's.

Jacksons Ghost

Anyone that thinks the House of Saud will go quietly is fooling themselves. We sell them out, how quickly will they pivot towards China and Russia. We abandon The House of Saud, you can guarentee that they will abandon the Dollar. Reserve Status of Dollar is most important to our money printers...

falak pema

No amount of US material will save the Sunni Kingdoms from their fate, as the bigger the Military spending becomes the bigger the millstone of its proliferation to its enemies grow.

Iran will play the same game of attrition, feeding the enemies of their strategic enemy, and guerrilla warfare that Giap and Ho Chi Minh did.

Remember Vietnam, USA, the cancer of opposition now runs deep in the region on all fronts and it will feed the instability of an ivory towered kingdom like poison ivy wrapping itself around the healthy tree.

The spiral is now a sign of runaway MIC malinvestment of huge proportions. Those Sauds will never have an army to match their rivals, who are as hungry as the hounds of hell and fed by the kingdom's never-ending and obscurantist fed hubris. Guns didn't save South Vietnam.

How do you avoid the same blowback that Nam has demonstrated?

Same corruption, same endgame now being concocted in a region that goes from Paki to deep Africa?

The kiss of the US MIC is the kiss of death to its allies.

Saud at the cross roads-- cut and run-- or stay US suppot like Nam.



Sale of U.S. Arms Fuels the Wars of Arab States

One World Mafia

You're leaving out two very important parts of the proxy war situation. Russia forced Syria to give up her chemical weapon defenses which led to the US & its brothers in the Brotherhood of Darkness Gulf Cooperation Council to use their proxy, ISIS, to pounce on Syria.

Remember what happened with MINSK? The breakaway republics were pressured to give up their gains since September.

Not very good for the balance of powers. The Brotherhood of Darkness won't need a real WW3 to get what they want.


These guys (MIC) are going to make a fucking killing. No pun intended. The whole video is excellent. Here are some highlights;

[May 08, 2015] - It's Official The U.S. Collaborates With Al Qaeda

May 6, 2015 | M of A

The propaganda against Syria is milking the capture of Idlib city by Jabhat al-Nusra and assorted other Islamist groups. The general tone is "Assad is losing" illogically combined with a demand that the U.S. should now bomb the Syrian government troops. Why would that be necessary if the Syrian government were really losing control?

A prime example comes via Foreign Policy from Charles Lister, an analyst from Brooking Doha, which is paid with Qatari money but often cooperating with the Obama administration. That headline declares that Assad is losing and the assault on Idlib is lauded in the highest tone. Then the piece admits that this small victory against retreating Syrian troops was only possible because AlQaeda was leading in the assault.

The piece admits that the U.S. which wants to balance between AlQaeda and the Syrian government forces prolonging the conflict in the hope that both sides will lose, was behind that move:

The involvement of FSA groups, in fact, reveals how the factions' backers have changed their tune regarding coordination with Islamists. Several commanders involved in leading recent Idlib operations confirmed to this author that the U.S.-led operations room in southern Turkey, which coordinates the provision of lethal and non-lethal support to vetted opposition groups, was instrumental in facilitating their involvement in the operation from early April onwards. That operations room — along with another in Jordan, which covers Syria's south — also appears to have dramatically increased its level of assistance and provision of intelligence to vetted groups in recent weeks.

Whereas these multinational operations rooms have previously demanded that recipients of military assistance cease direct coordination with groups like Jabhat al-Nusra, recent dynamics in Idlib appear to have demonstrated something different. Not only were weapons shipments increased to the so-called "vetted groups," but the operations room specifically encouraged a closer cooperation with Islamists commanding frontline operations.

The U.S. led operations room encouraged cooperation between the Islamists of the so called Fee Syrian Army and AlQaeda. A U.S. drone, shot down over Latakia in March, was gathering intelligence for the AlQaeda attack on Idlib. More that 600 TOW U.S. anti-tank missiles have been used against Syrian troops in north Syria. These are part of the 14,000 the Saudis had ordered from the U.S. producer.

Even if the U.S., as now admitted, would not officially urge its mercenaries to cooperate with Jabhat al-Nusra such cooperation was always obvious to anyone who dared to look:

In southern Syria [..] factions that vowed to distance themselves from extremists like Jabhat al-Nusra in mid-April were seen cooperating with the group in Deraa only days later.

The reality is that the directly U.S. supported, equipped and paid "moderate" Fee Syrian Army Jihadi mercenaries are just as hostile to other sects as the AlQaeda derivative Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State. They may not behead those who they declare to be unbelievers but they will kill them just as much.

While the U.S. is nurturing AlQaeda in Syria, Turkey is taking care of the Islamic State. Tons of Ammonium Sulfate, used to make road side bombs, is "smuggled" from Turkey to the Islamic State under official eyes. Turkish recruiters incite Muslims from the Turkman Uighur people in west China and from Tajikistan to emigrate to the Islamic State. They give away Turkish passports to allow those people to travel to Turkey from where they reach Syria and Iraq. Meanwhile the Saudis bomb everyone and everything in Yemen except the cities and areas captured by AlQaeda in the Arab Peninsula.

The U.S. and its allies are now in full support of violent Sunni Jihadists throughout the Middle East. At the same time they use the "threat of AlQaeda" to fearmonger and suppress opposition within their countries.

Charles Lister and the other Brooking propagandists want the U.S. to bomb Syria to bring the Assad government to the table to negotiate. But who is the Syrian government to negotiate with? AlQaeda?

Who would win should the Syrian government really lose the war or capitulate? The U.S. supported "moderate rebels" Islamist, who could not win against the Syrian government, would then take over and defeat AlQaeda and the Islamic State?

Who comes up with such phantasies?

Posted by b on May 6, 2015 at 03:37 AM | Permalink

lacilir | May 6, 2015 4:06:19 AM | 2

As Ed Husain stated back in 2012:

The Syrian rebels would be immeasurably weaker today without al-Qaeda in their ranks. By and large, Free Syrian Army (FSA) battalions are tired, divided, chaotic, and ineffective. Feeling abandoned by the West, rebel forces are increasingly demoralized as they square off with the Assad regime's superior weaponry and professional army. Al-Qaeda fighters, however, may help improve morale. The influx of jihadis brings discipline, religious fervor, battle experience from Iraq, funding from Sunni sympathizers in the Gulf, and most importantly, deadly results. In short, the FSA needs al-Qaeda now.

The US seems to have fully embraced this reality.

radiator | May 6, 2015 5:06:01 AM | 4

To the US and other western governments in that area ;) it probably does not matter too much, who rules "Syria", as long as they don't own any serious military hardware.

I'm not an expert ;) but looking at the past three years, my conclusion about the goals of the "west" would be: support the local militias just as much that they can destroy as many tanks, helis, air defence and aircraft as possible.

Ideally, have them use up all the anti-tank weapons we give them, so, when they've "won", they're sitting on rubble with nothing but handguns.

A second goal, maybe more of the regional enemies, would obviously be to drive out of the "former syrian territory" all non-sunni population. Severe the head of one, have 1000 flee to elsewhere...

Lone Wolf | May 6, 2015 9:43:48 AM | 8

Re: @Anonymous@5

Well, that about does it. The U.S is completely deranged and there's no hope.

There is always hope. Russia, China, and Iran know they come next in the list if they don't stop Al-Qaeda hydra in Syria/Iraq et al. Russian intelligence has declared ISIS a threat for Russia, the Chinese have been battling the Uighurs for long time now, and now they are being trained by the US to become a fifth-column on their return to China. Iran is in the surroundings, and have been preparing ever since the war with Iraq for a military maelstrom of gigantic proportions.

Idlib was taken by a coalition of taqfiris renamed "Army of Conquest," the same coalition getting ready to fight Hezbollah in the Qalamoun barrens facing Lebanon, for control of the heights that open to the Bekaa Valley. Shaykh Hassan Nasrallah declared a couple of days ago the battle for Qalamoun has reached high noon, and its start won't be announced.

On the taking of Idlib he stated any war is a pendulum with battles lost and won, and dismissed the propaganda war b has just denounced as part of the psy-op war. The onslaught suffering by Syria is flabbergasting, with US/Turkey training 15 thousand more taqfiris to throw into the war, the purpose, Nasrallah denounced, is to keep the Axis of Resistance, and in general the Arab war, in a 100 year war.

What we are seeing now, the dismembering of Iraq, the war of attrition on Syria, the destruction of Libya, the bombing of Yemen, the attack on Lebanon, was planned long ago by the neocons as a strategy for Israel, in a paper called "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm." It is all there, the rest, like the dismemberment of Iraq, the bombing of Libya, etc., are perks that came as they unfolded the strategy for destruction of the Arab/Muslim world."