Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better

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

a

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

Pseudoscience  > Who Rules America

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

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

Abstract

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

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

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

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

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


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

Home 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003

For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section

"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

[Aug 22, 2019] Trump Doesn t Know How to Negotiate by Daniel Larison

Highly recommended!
The problem with Trump is that everything in him is second rate. Even bulling. and many americans were aware of that and voted for him just because that thought that Hillary was worse. Much worse.
Actually Madeleine (not so bright) Albright was of the same mold... Gangster style bulling and extortion as the only Modus operandi
And Daniel Larison is correct: when Trump faces strong backlash he just declare the partner in negotiation "terrible" and walks out and try to justify his defeat ex post facto.
Notable quotes:
"... As we have seen, Trump's bullying, maximalist approach does not work with other governments, and this approach cannot work because the president sees everything as a zero-sum game and winning requires the other side's capitulation. ..."
"... The result is that no government gives Trump anything and instead all of them retaliate in whatever way is available to them. He can't agree to a mutually beneficial compromise because he rejects the idea that the other side might come away with something. Because every existing agreement negotiated in the past has required some compromise on our government's part, he condemns all of them as "terrible" because they did not result in the other party's surrender. ..."
"... he is so clueless about international relations and diplomacy that he still thinks it can get him what he wants. The reality is that all of his foreign policy initiatives are failing or have already failed, and the costs for ordinary people in the targeted countries and here at home keep going up. ..."
"... "Temperamentally, the president is unprepared for diplomacy and negotiations with sovereign states," said D'Antonio. "He doesn't know how to practice the give-and-take that would produce bilateral or multilateral achievements and he takes things so personally that he considers those with a different point of view to be enemies. He is offended when others decline to be bullied and angered by those who counter his proposals with their own ideas." ..."
"... The greatest trick that Trump pulled on Americans was to make many of them believe that he understood how to negotiate when he has never been any good at it. Now the U.S. and many other countries around the world are paying the price. ..."
"... "Trump has always been a lousy negotiator." ..."
"... But, but, but... he is very good in breaking up negotiated treaties, and breaking up negotiation itself. ..."
Aug 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Michael Hirsh reminds us that Trump has always been a lousy negotiator:

Michael D'Antonio, a Trump biographer who interviewed him many times, agrees with Lapidus that there is no discernible difference in the way Trump negotiates today, as president, compared to his career in business. "His style involves a hostile attitude and a bullying method designed to wring every possible concession out of the other side while maximizing his own gain," D'Antonio said. "As he explained to me, he's not interested in 'win-win' deals, only in 'I win' outcomes. When I asked if he ever left anything on the table as a sign of goodwill so that he might do business with the same party in the future he said no, and pointed out that there are many people in the world he can work with, one at a time."

As we have seen, Trump's bullying, maximalist approach does not work with other governments, and this approach cannot work because the president sees everything as a zero-sum game and winning requires the other side's capitulation.

The result is that no government gives Trump anything and instead all of them retaliate in whatever way is available to them. He can't agree to a mutually beneficial compromise because he rejects the idea that the other side might come away with something. Because every existing agreement negotiated in the past has required some compromise on our government's part, he condemns all of them as "terrible" because they did not result in the other party's surrender.

He seems particularly obsessed with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) because the trade-off inherent in any agreement made with Iran was that they would regain access to frozen assets, and he ignorantly equates this with "giving" them money. The fact that the JCPOA heavily favored the U.S. and the rest of the P5+1 doesn't interest Trump. Iran was allowed to come away with something at the end, and even the little bit they were able to get is far too much for him. This is one reason he has been so closely aligned with Iran hawks over the last four years, and it helps explain why he endorses absurd, unrealistic demands and "maximum pressure" of collective punishment. He is doing more or less the same thing he has always done, and he is so clueless about international relations and diplomacy that he still thinks it can get him what he wants. The reality is that all of his foreign policy initiatives are failing or have already failed, and the costs for ordinary people in the targeted countries and here at home keep going up.

Here is another relevant point from the article:

"Temperamentally, the president is unprepared for diplomacy and negotiations with sovereign states," said D'Antonio. "He doesn't know how to practice the give-and-take that would produce bilateral or multilateral achievements and he takes things so personally that he considers those with a different point of view to be enemies. He is offended when others decline to be bullied and angered by those who counter his proposals with their own ideas."

The greatest trick that Trump pulled on Americans was to make many of them believe that he understood how to negotiate when he has never been any good at it. Now the U.S. and many other countries around the world are paying the price.


JSC2397 8 hours ago

Pulling off that "greatest trick" was amazing easy, actually: all Trump and his creatures had to do was go on the assumption that most Americans will readily believe what they see on television. Especially when it jibes with their prejudices.
david 8 hours ago
"Trump has always been a lousy negotiator."

But, but, but... he is very good in breaking up negotiated treaties, and breaking up negotiation itself.

Martin Ranger 6 hours ago
"The greatest trick that Trump pulled on Americans was to make many of them believe that he understood how to negotiate when he has never been any good at it."

While I agree with pretty much all of the article, let us not forget that a majority of Americans was not, in fact, fooled.

Zsuzsi Kruska 6 hours ago
He can negotiate, but the thugs in Wash. don't want to. They are doing everything they can to start a war somewhere.
me 5 hours ago
Americans are certainly paying a price Benjamin Franklin warned about. But as for other countries, theirs is due strictly to their own doing, for relying excessively on the goodwill of America and turning a blind-eye to our imperialism. Quite frankly, up to now, US allies have been enablers.
Gary Rosenberg 5 hours ago
Add to that, " When someone hits me, I hit them back ten times harder."
This is not what we teach our children. It is a miserable way to live, or to run a country. No wonder the President is longer referred to as "the leader of the free world." He gave up that title. These are sad days.
d_hochberg 3 hours ago
Yes, he is utterly incompetent on his main selling point, his supposed skill at negotiating. It is very inconvenient having Trump as our standard-bearer.
Alan Vanneman 3 hours ago
"The greatest trick that Trump pulled on Americans was to make many of them believe that he understood how to negotiate when he has never been any good at it."

Actually, the people who voted for Trump and who support him now love him for being a bully. That's what they want. They want a Tony Soprano as their president, a guy who will go out and beat up all the people they hate. They don't want "negotiation". They want a guy who has a baseball bat and knows how to use it. What's "interesting" is that despite all of Trump's appeals to violence, and his willingness to support violence (for example, Saudi Arabia), he largely shrinks from it himself. We've seen far fewer Tomahawks than one might have expected, particularly considering the great press he received the first time around. Will we continue to be lucky? I hope so, but it's hard to be optimistic.

[Aug 22, 2019] FBI Informant Fed Media Lies to Smear Flynn, Defamation Lawsuit Alleges

Aug 22, 2019 | www.theepochtimes.com

Halper

Halper has links to the CIA and MI6. He also served in the Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations.

Halper met with Carter Page, a volunteer adviser to the Trump campaign, at a Cambridge symposium held on July 11 and 12, 2016. Page had just returned from a trip to Russia a few days prior and said he remained in contact with Halper for a number of months after that.

Page's trip became the core subject of the Steele dossier -- a collection of unsubstantiated claims about Trump-Russia collusion put together by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele that was paid for by Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The dossier was used by the FBI as the core evidence to obtain from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court a warrant to spy on Page several weeks before the presidential election

On Sept. 2, 2016, Halper also contacted George Papadopoulos, another Trump campaign aide, and offered $3,000 and a paid trip to London to write a paper about a gas field in the Mediterranean Sea. Papadopoulos accepted the offer and flew to London, where he met Halper and his assistant.

On Aug. 31 or Sept. 1, 2016, Halper also met with Trump campaign co-Chairman Sam Clovis in Northern Virginia and offered help to the Trump campaign with foreign policy, The Washington Post reported .

Halper's concern about Lokhova is portrayed as feigned in her complaint, since he seemed to have shown no concern for about two years after the 2014 Flynn meeting, only showing concern after Flynn started to aid Trump.

In fact, Halper appears himself to be rather close to Russian intelligence, having invited Vladimir Trubnikov, former director of Russian intelligence, to teach at CIS at least twice -- in 2012 and in 2015 -- according to the complaint. Trubnikov obliged him both times.

Between 2012 and 2017, Halper was paid more than a $1 million by the Office of Net Assessment, a strategy think tank that falls directly under the U.S. secretary of defense.

Adam Lovinger, an analyst at the think tank, raised alarm about the contracts to Halper, but was punished for it , according to his lawyer.

Flynn

Flynn was one of the most consequential post-9/11 intelligence officials in the world.

"Mike Flynn's impact on the nation's War on Terror probably trumps any other single person as his energy and skill at harnessing the Intelligence Community into a focused effort was literally historic," wrote then-Brig. Gen. John Mulholland in Flynn's 2007 performance review.

At the time, Flynn headed intelligence at the Joint Special Operations Command.

Mulholland, himself a former special forces officer, called Flynn "easily the best intelligence professional of any service serving today."

In 2014, however, he was forced into retirement over disagreements with the Obama administration.

More than a year ago, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to two FBI agents about conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that took place when former President Barack Obama imposed additional sanctions on Russia in December 2016.

He also pleaded guilty to lying about asking Russia to vote against or delay the vote on a U.N. Security Council resolution.

Finally, he pleaded guilty to lying about his foreign lobbying disclosures regarding the extent to which his work benefiting the Turkish government was overseen by that government. Foreign lobbying paperwork violations are seldom prosecuted. Flynn said the work started in August 2016; he shut down his lobbying firm in November 2016.

In March, Flynn asked a federal judge to delay his sentencing to give him more time to continue in his cooperation with a case in Virginia against two of his former associates, who face charges for concealing that they lobbied in the United States on behalf of Turkey.

Flynn has extensively cooperated with government prosecutors on multiple investigations and further cooperation will give him yet more grounds to ask for a lenient sentence. Even before the delay, the prosecutors were asking for a lenient sentence, including no prison time, while the defense wanted no more than a year of probation and community service.

[Aug 22, 2019] Did Flynn Just Call Out Mueller on Under-the-Table Plea Deal by Petr Svab

What a comple net of lies we aive...
Jul 14, 2019 | www.theepochtimes.com
Share News Analysis

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn appears to have put the team of former special counsel Robert Mueller on the defensive, unraveling what had been suggested to be a possible unofficial deal with the prosecutors.

Flynn, former national security adviser to President Donald Trump, pleaded guilty in 2017 to one count of lying to the FBI. The Mueller team recommended a light sentence for him, including no prison time, officially because of his contrition for the crime and extensive cooperation with multiple Justice Department investigations.

But it appears that another, unofficial, deal may have been in place.

Several weeks before Flynn signed his plea, NBC News reported , based on unnamed sources, that the Mueller team was trying to get Flynn's cooperation by threatening to indict his son, Michael Flynn Jr.

"If the elder Flynn is willing to cooperate with investigators in order to help his son it could also change his own fate, potentially limiting any legal consequences," the article stated.

This isn't how an official plea deal would work, according to former FBI agent and Epoch Times contributor Marc Ruskin.

"It would be done with a wink and a nod," he said in a previous phone interview, later adding that "it wouldn't be binding, but it would be like an understanding."

It's not clear whether any such deal was reached and if so, what specifically it entailed. But Flynn's case involves a number of peculiarities that suggest something was going on behind the scenes.

'Star Witness' Strzok

Flynn's statement of offense attached to his plea acknowledges that he lied to the FBI during a Jan. 24, 2017, interview.

However, the FBI agent that wrote the report from the interview was Peter Strzok, who was later kicked off the Mueller team after the revelation of his animus toward Trump in texts then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was having an extramarital affair. Strzok was later fired from the bureau, while Page left on her own.

"Michael Flynn would have faced no legal jeopardy at all if he just wouldn't have pleaded guilty because they would have never gotten a conviction with Peter Strzok as their star witness," Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox News on Dec. 4.

Lobbying Forms

Flynn's statement also included an admission that the forms submitted by lawyers for his now-defunct lobbying company, Flynn Intel Group (FIG), contained false and misleading statements.

Flynn was never charged with lying on the forms and neither was his son, who also worked for the firm.

The Mueller team simply used Flynn's admission to charge Flynn's former partner in FIG, Bijan Rafiekian, and Ekim Alptekin, a Turkish businessman and FIG's client, with false statements on the lobbying forms and for conspiring to act as unregistered lobbyists for Turkey.

The lobbying involved an op-ed published in The Hill under Flynn's name about Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic cleric living in exile in Pennsylvania who runs a group that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed for an attempted 2016 coup.

Flynn was supposed to testify on the case and has asked the court to delay his sentencing until after that matter is concluded.

Flynn's Move

Last month, however, Flynn made an unexpected move. He fired his lawyers -- the same lawyers he hired to do the lobbying paperwork for his firm. His new team includes Sidney Powell, a former federal prosecutor who is a critic of corruption in the Justice Department in general and of Mueller in particular.

Later that month, the Mueller team asked Flynn to testify that he signed the lobbying forms knowing about the false statements and intending for them. He refused , saying he only acknowledged the falsities with hindsight, but wasn't aware of them at the time.

This angered Brandon Van Grack, one of Mueller's main prosecutors, according to Flynn's lawyers.

'Retaliation'

Shortly after that, the Mueller team did several things that Powell called a "retaliation."

They called off Flynn's testimony and tried to put a gag order on him to stop him from disclosing that fact.

Then they tried to recast him as a co-conspirator in the lobbying case, despite earlier telling the court multiple times that he wasn't one.

They also had an FBI agent directly call and question Flynn Jr. "despite knowing that he was represented by counsel," Flynn's lawyers said in a court filing. "The Agent persisted in trying to speak with him even after he said to call his attorney."

Then, on July 11, they designated Flynn Jr. as a witness in the lobbying case, though he wasn't on the original witness list from the day before ( pdf ).

No Deal?

If Flynn is indeed being punished for reneging on the "wink and a nod" deal, the Mueller team seems to have the short end of the stick now because, officially, there is no deal.

The judge in the lobbying case made it clear that the government has yet to prove there was a conspiracy to begin with, not to mention that Flynn was a co-conspirator. Meanwhile, Powell told the judge in the Flynn case that the severity of his sentence shouldn't be affected because he's still cooperating with the government -- he simply clarified that what the Mueller team wanted him to say went beyond what he'd previously acknowledged and wasn't true.

If there was a deal, the Mueller team has by and large already delivered on its side of it. Whatever leverage it had over Flynn now appears about spent. Does Van Grack still have a card or two to play? And if so, does he really want to tip his hand?

New Questions

On July 12, the Mueller team handed a statement to Rafiekian's lawyers saying that the government has "multiple independent pieces of information relating to the Turkish government's efforts to influence United States policy on Turkey and Fethullah Gulen, including information relating to communications, interactions, and a relationship between Ekim Alptekin and Michael Flynn because of Michael Flynn's relationship with an ongoing presidential campaign without any reference to [Rafiekian] or FIG."

Rafiekian's lawyers seized on the statement, arguing that Flynn was "secretly acting on behalf of Turkey."

But they also acknowledged that they haven't seen any such evidence.

Powell seemed unimpressed.

"We have no idea what the government is talking about. It smacks of desperation," she said in a statement , highlighting that during Trump's presidential campaign "countless people" reached out to Flynn, who was an adviser to Trump.

"Whatever it is, it cannot be new information to the prosecution, and it was only a few months ago prosecutors recommended probation for him," Powell said. "As we have said in our recent filings, this can only be retaliation for his refusal to answer a question the way they wanted."

The Mueller team's claim raises more questions: How did it get this information? How long have they been sitting on it and why? If Alptekin reached out to Flynn on behalf of Turkey explicitly because Flynn advised Trump, why haven't we heard about it by now? Did Turkey reach out to the Clinton camp too? After all, it was Clinton who was widely expected to replace President Barack Obama, who already had an amicable relationship with Erdogan.

In fact, just days before Rafiekian and Alptekin engaged in talks about the Gulen job in July 2016, Obama called Erdogan "to deliver what a senior administration official described as a 'shout-out' for his resilience in the face of a failed coup attempt, and to express relief that the Turkish president and his family were safe," The New York Times reported .

Turkey was trying to make the Obama administration extradite Gulen, but why it would try to get help specifically from Flynn, who was known to be at odds with the Obama administration, remains unclear.

If the Obama administration, however, somehow learned that Flynn's firm, unregistered to boot, was working for Alptekin, who is known to have ties to Erdogan, it would have given it a perfect pretext to target Flynn for FISA surveillance as an "agent of a foreign power."

While it has been speculated that the FBI took out a FISA warrant on Flynn to spy on the Trump campaign, that hasn't been confirmed.

Update: The article has been updated to reflect that Michael Flynn continues to cooperate with prosecutors.

Follow Petr on Twitter: @petrsvab Share this article Show Discussion RECOMMENDED TOP VIDEOS Spygate Special Coverage May 26, 2019 FBI Informant Fed Media Lies to Smear Flynn, Defamation Lawsuit Alleges FBI Informant Fed Media Lies to Smear Flynn, Defamation Lawsuit Alleges By Petr Svab Cambridge academic Stefan Halper, who was de facto outed as an FBI informant, is being sued for allegedly spreading lies to media about a supposed relationship between ... Politics June 12, 2019 Michael Flynn Hires DOJ Critic Sidney Powell as New Counsel Michael Flynn Hires DOJ Critic Sidney Powell as New Counsel By Bowen Xiao Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn hired attorney Sidney Powell, a prominent critic of the Justice Department, to be his new counsel. Powell confirmed her new role to The Epoch ... CHINA HUMAN RIGHTS May 31, 2019 Sexual Torture in Chinese Prisons: 'No Limits to the Perversion By JOAN DELANEY After acclaimed human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng began investigating the Chinese Communist Party's campaign of persecution against adherents of the Falun Dafa spiritual practice, ... Politics June 13, 2019 House Intelligence Democrats Subpoena Michael Flynn, Rick Gates House Intelligence Democrats Subpoena Michael Flynn, Rick Gates By Ivan Pentchoukov The Democrat-controlled House Intelligence Committee issued subpoenas to President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former deputy campaign manager Rick Gates, according to a ... Politics August 22, 2019 Rep. Lee Zeldin Defends Trump Following Backlash Over His 'Disloyalty' Remarks Rep. Lee Zeldin Defends Trump Following Backlash Over His 'Disloyalty' Remarks By Janita Kan Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) defended President Donald Trump in a recent interview against accusations of anti-Semitism following the president's remarks where he suggested Jewish-Americans who vote for Democrats ... US News August 22, 2019 Mueller Overlooked Italian Ex-Minister Tied to Joseph Mifsud Mueller Overlooked Italian Ex-Minister Tied to Joseph Mifsud By Petr Svab The final report of special counsel Robert Mueller failed to explore illuminating background of one of the main actors in the Russia "collusion" narrative. Information obtained by ... US News August 22, 2019 Epstein's Will Creates Additional Barriers for Accusers, Lawyers Say Epstein's Will Creates Additional Barriers for Accusers, Lawyers Say By Bowen Xiao Accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein signed a will just two days before his suicide and placed more than $577 million in assets into a trust fund that ... US News August 22, 2019 USGS: 5.0 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Near Ridgecrest, California USGS: 5.0 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Near Ridgecrest, California By Jack Phillips A 5.0 magnitude earthquake hit Ridgecrest, California, on the afternoon of Aug. 22 -- among thousands of aftershocks to hit the region. The tremor hit at around 1:49 p.m. ... US News August 22, 2019 Video Shows Arizona Mom After Her Baby Is Found in Hot Car: 'I Don't Know How I Forgot Her' Video Shows Arizona Mom After Her Baby Is Found in Hot Car: 'I Don't Know How I Forgot Her' By Jack Phillips Police body-camera footage showed a distraught mother in Arizona saying she accidentally left her 5-month-old daughter in a hot car. The girl was rescued and was fine ... US News August 22, 2019 Epstein's New Mexico Ranch Has Story to Tell, Official Says Epstein's New Mexico Ranch Has Story to Tell, Official Says By Bowen Xiao Recently deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's secluded "Zorro Ranch" property in New Mexico is drawing attention, as state authorities there say they are cooperating with investigators and ... US News August 22, 2019 The 2019 International Chinese Traditional Martial Arts Competition Will Take Place in New Jersey The 2019 International Chinese Traditional Martial Arts Competition Will Take Place in New Jersey By Shiwen Rong The 2019 International Chinese Traditional Martial Arts Competition finals are set to take place on August 25. Dozens of martial artists will gather to compete for greatness ... Crime and Incidents August 22, 2019 Arkansas Man Arrested for Leaving Son in Hot Car as Punishment Arkansas Man Arrested for Leaving Son in Hot Car as Punishment By Tom Ozimek An Arkansas man faces criminal charges after police said he kicked his 10-year-old son in the genitals and forced him to sit in a hot car as punishment. ... Trump Presidency August 22, 2019 President Trump Considering All Sides in the Gun Control Issue President Trump Considering All Sides in the Gun Control Issue By Masooma Haq President Trump reiterated his support for expanding background checks for gun buyers. But, said that while closing the loopholes on checks, he wants to avoid the "slippery ... Trump Presidency August 22, 2019 Trump Awards Medal of Freedom to NBA Star Bob Cousy Trump Awards Medal of Freedom to NBA Star Bob Cousy By The Associated Press WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump presented 91-year-old basketball legend Bob Cousy with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Aug. 22, praising the Boston Celtics star as "one of the ... China-US News August 22, 2019 Chinese Hackers Target US Cancer Research: Cybersecurity Report Chinese Hackers Target US Cancer Research: Cybersecurity Report By Cathy He , Epoch Times Chinese hacker groups are targeting U.S. cancer research institutes as the regime looks to solve the problem of increasing cancer deaths in the country, according to a ... Trump Presidency August 22, 2019 DOJ: 64 Percent of All Federal Arrests in 2018 Were Noncitizens DOJ: 64 Percent of All Federal Arrests in 2018 Were Noncitizens By Ivan Pentchoukov Noncitizens accounted for 64 percent of all federal arrests in 2018, according to new data released on Aug. 22 by the Justice Department. The surge was driven ... Politics August 22, 2019 Ocasio-Cortez Faces Backlash for Calling Electoral College a 'Scam' Ocasio-Cortez Faces Backlash for Calling Electoral College a 'Scam' By Janita Kan Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has been criticized after she called for the elimination of the electoral college while claiming the system is a "scam" that undermines the "voters ... 2020 Election August 22, 2019 Bernie Sanders Says His $16 Trillion 'Green New Deal' Plan Will 'Pay for Itself' Bernie Sanders Says His $16 Trillion 'Green New Deal' Plan Will 'Pay for Itself' By Zachary Stieber Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a self-described socialist who is vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, released a "Green New Deal" plan that his campaign estimates will cost ... US News August 22, 2019 Sarah Sanders to Join Fox News as Contributor Sarah Sanders to Join Fox News as Contributor By Janita Kan Fox News announced on Aug. 22 that former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will join the network as a contributor. The network said in a ... Politics August 22, 2019 North Carolina Governor Vetoes Bill Mandating Deputies Comply With ICE Detainers North Carolina Governor Vetoes Bill Mandating Deputies Comply With ICE Detainers By Simon Veazey The governor of North Carolina has vetoed a bill requiring sheriffs to comply with detainers from federal immigration agents and to identify whether prisoners are illegal immigrants. House Bill ... Entertainment News August 22, 2019 Bill Maher Hits Back at Rashida Tlaib After She Suggests a Boycott of His HBO Show Bill Maher Hits Back at Rashida Tlaib After She Suggests a Boycott of His HBO Show By Zachary Stieber HBO host Bill Maher fired back at Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) after she called for a boycott of his show. "Some people have one move only: boycott. ... US News August 22, 2019 Barr Says 'I Have Seen Nothing That Undercuts the Finding' of Suicide From Epstein Autopsy Barr Says 'I Have Seen Nothing That Undercuts the Finding' of Suicide From Epstein Autopsy By Zachary Stieber Attorney General William Barr said the medical examiner's verdict that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide stands for now, with no evidence being unearthed that undercuts the finding. "I ... 2020 Election August 22, 2019 Inslee Drops Out of 2020 Race as Ex-Contender Hickenlooper Announces Bid for Senate Inslee Drops Out of 2020 Race as Ex-Contender Hickenlooper Announces Bid for Senate By Zachary Stieber Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said he's exiting the 2020 presidential race, as former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who dropped out on Aug. 15, said he's running for ... Trump Presidency August 21, 2019 President Trump Tells Reporters NBC News Is Worse Than CNN President Trump Tells Reporters NBC News Is Worse Than CNN By Colin Fredericson President Trump told reporters that NBC has less credibility than CNN. As Trump fielded questions from reporters, he weighed in on the state of major media outlets, ... Health August 22, 2019 10 Amazing Things That Happen to Your Body When You Drink Lemon Water Every Day 10 Amazing Things That Happen to Your Body When You Drink Lemon Water Every Day By Robert Jay Watson The ancient world knew the citron, the genetic ancestor of the modern lemon, as malus medica, or the "medical apple," because of its almost magical properties. The Romans ... Health August 22, 2019 Man Has Trouble Going 'Number 2' for 22 Years–Until Doctors Remove 30 Pounds of Poo From His Gut Man Has Trouble Going 'Number 2' for 22 Years–Until Doctors Remove 30 Pounds of Poo From His Gut By Michael Wing Yes, this is just as bad as it sounds. Have you ever eaten so much that you felt like you're about to explode? How about that feeling ... Life August 22, 2019 4-Year-Old Makes Parents Regret Their Actions After Grandpa Is Shunned by Them 4-Year-Old Makes Parents Regret Their Actions After Grandpa Is Shunned by Them By Li Yen , Epoch Times Words of Wisdom aims to highlight important morals, which we feel our readers will benefit from reading. We hope you enjoy this fable. "How one generation loves, ... Life August 22, 2019 John Travolta's Daughter Ella Bleu Is All Grown Up and Following Her Dad Into Acting John Travolta's Daughter Ella Bleu Is All Grown Up and Following Her Dad Into Acting By Louise Bevan "He is the best mentor that I could ever ask for," said Ella Bleu Travolta, speaking of her most recent experience working with her dear dad, veteran ... Life August 22, 2019 First Model With Down Syndrome to Walk Runway in New York Fashion Week Is Changing Perceptions First Model With Down Syndrome to Walk Runway in New York Fashion Week Is Changing Perceptions By Michael Wing There is no doubt that certain perceptions are changing in the fashion industry toward individuals with disabilities -- individuals such as 22-year-old model Madeline Stuart, who has Down syndrome. ... Food & Dining August 22, 2019 Is Fonio the New -- and Improved -- Quinoa? Is Fonio the New -- and Improved -- Quinoa? By Ruth Tobias Prior to the spring release of the schedule for the third annual Slow Food Nations (SFN) conference, held mid-July in Denver, Colorado, I had never heard of ... Recipes August 22, 2019 Pizza Meets Grill Pizza Meets Grill By Caroline Chambers When my husband George and I lived in Coronado, California, while he was serving as a Navy SEAL, we were lucky enough to meet and be embraced ... Destinations August 21, 2019 Exploring America's Most Patriotic Town: Bristol, Rhode Island Exploring America's Most Patriotic Town: Bristol, Rhode Island By Skye Sherman If Bristol has any claim to fame, it's that it's home to the oldest continuous 4th of July celebration. Destinations August 21, 2019 Knott's Berry Farm: Rides, Boysenberry Pies, and a Celebration of the Old West Knott's Berry Farm: Rides, Boysenberry Pies, and a Celebration of the Old West By Crystal Shi BUENA PARK, Calif. -- Entering Knott's Berry Farm, one of the oldest -- if not the oldest -- theme parks in the country, you'd be forgiven for making a beeline for the rides. ... Life August 22, 2019 Shopper at Walmart Asks 4-Year-Old to 'Shut Up,' Heartbroken Mom Hits Back Shopper at Walmart Asks 4-Year-Old to 'Shut Up,' Heartbroken Mom Hits Back By Robert Jay Watson For parents with small children, especially those who have behavioral conditions, going out for basic shopping trips can be a nightmare. Trying to get everything they need, ... Life August 22, 2019 Baby Is Born With Chicken Pox-Like Lumps, but It Turns Out to Be 1-in-100,000 Disease Baby Is Born With Chicken Pox-Like Lumps, but It Turns Out to Be 1-in-100,000 Disease By Robert Jay Watson It all started when little Oscar Langham was born with a red rash on his back and spots scattered around his body. Different kinds of skin conditions ... TOP NEWS subscribe newsletter Newsstands 35 COUNTRIES, 21 LANGUAGES Copyright @ 2000 - 2019

We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies, revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. More information I accept ×

[Aug 22, 2019] The US Can't 'Get' Iran to 'Shut Down' Its Nuclear Program

That's how polls distort public opinion and promote militarism...
Aug 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
survey shows that most Americans don't want war with Iran. Only 18% of all American adults favor military action against Iran, and even among Republicans that number is just 25%. 78% favor economic and diplomatic efforts. That's fine as far as it goes, and it shows that there is very little support for a new war at this time. The framing of the question is the bigger problem and makes the results from the poll much less useful.

The poll asks, "What do you think the United States should do to get Iran to shut down its nuclear program -- take military action against Iran, or rely mainly on economic and diplomatic efforts?" The question assumes that it is within our government's power to "get Iran to shut down its nuclear program," when the experience of the last twenty years tells us that it is not. The nuclear negotiations that produced the JCPOA show beyond any doubt that there are limits to what Iran is willing to concede on this point. It is good that most Americans prefer non-military options to pursue this fantastical goal, but the assumption that Iran will one day "shut down" its nuclear program is completely unrealistic. On the contrary, the more pressure that the U.S. puts on Iran in an attempt to force such a shutdown, the more inclined Iran's government is to build up its program.

If Iran's nuclear program remains peaceful, there is no need for them to shut it down. The long-term goal of the JCPOA has been to demonstrate to the satisfaction of all parties that Iran's nuclear program is and will remain peaceful, and then at that point Iran will be treated like any other member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The U.S. doesn't need to do anything to "get" Iran to do this because the goal of shutting down the program is a foolish and impossible one. Perceiving Iran's possession of a peaceful nuclear program as a problem to be solved is one of the reasons why our debate over Iran policy is so warped and biased in favor of coercive measures. The idea that Iran has to "shut down" a program that it is legally entitled to have under the NPT is bizarre, but it is obviously a common view here in the U.S.

The question is misleading in another way, since it suggests that military action could be effective in forcing Iran to "shut down" the program. In reality, attacking Iran's nuclear facilities would at most set back the program, but it would give the Iranian government a strong incentive to develop and build a deterrent that would discourage the U.S. from launching more attacks in the future. Attacking a country when it doesn't have nuclear weapons is a good way to encourage them to acquire those weapons as quickly as possible.

That makes the results to the follow-up question all the more dispiriting. The poll also asks, "Suppose U.S. economic and diplomatic efforts do not work. If that happens, do you think the United States should -- or should not -- take military action against Iran?" Once again, the question assumes that getting Iran to "shut down" its nuclear program is both a legitimate and realistic goal. If non-military measures "do not work," there is additional support for military action from a depressing 42% of those who initially favored "economic and diplomatic efforts." Put them together with the initial supporters of military action, and you have a narrow majority of all American adults that thinks the U.S. should take military action:

The 42% of those who favor military action if nonmilitary efforts fail translates to 35% of all U.S. adults. Combining that group with the 18% who favor military action outright means a slim majority of Americans, 53%, would support military action against Iran if diplomatic and economic efforts are unsuccessful.

There is a disturbingly high level of support for launching an illegal attack on another country for something it is legally permitted to have. The assumption that "economic and diplomatic efforts" will be "unsuccessful" if they don't force Iran to abandon its nuclear program helps to push respondents to give that answer, but they wouldn't endorse a military option if they hadn't been led to think that Iran's nuclear program is an intolerable danger. That is partly because of the bad framing of the questions, but it is also a product of decades of relentless propagandizing about a supposed threat from Iran's nuclear program that is completely divorced from reality. We need better poll questions on this subject, but we also need better, more informed debate about Iran and we have to stamp out the threat inflation that poisons and distorts the public's perceptions of threats from other states.

[Aug 20, 2019] The trials of Kosovo body snatchers may be stymied by cover-ups and stonewalling by James Bovard

While the USA run the show, EU was complicit in this war.
Notable quotes:
"... The American Conservative, ..."
"... In 2014, a European Union task force confirmed that the ruthless cabal that Clinton empowered by bombing Serbia committed atrocities that included murdering persons to extract and sell their kidneys, livers, and other body parts ..."
"... Clint Williamson, the chief prosecutor of a special European Union task force, declared in 2014 that senior members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) had engaged in "unlawful killings, abductions, enforced disappearances, illegal detentions in camps in Kosovo and Albania, sexual violence, forced displacements of individuals from their homes and communities, and desecration and destruction of churches and other religious sites." ..."
"... a Council of Europe investigative report tagged Thaci as an accomplice to the body-trafficking operation. ..."
Aug 20, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

In a 2011 review for The American Conservative, I scoffed, "After NATO planes killed hundreds if not thousands of Serb and ethnic Albanian civilians, Bill Clinton could pirouette as a savior. Once the bombing ended, many of the Serbs remaining in Kosovo were slaughtered and their churches burned to the ground. NATO's 'peace' produced a quarter million Serbian, Jewish, and Gypsy refugees."

In 2014, a European Union task force confirmed that the ruthless cabal that Clinton empowered by bombing Serbia committed atrocities that included murdering persons to extract and sell their kidneys, livers, and other body parts .

Clint Williamson, the chief prosecutor of a special European Union task force, declared in 2014 that senior members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) had engaged in "unlawful killings, abductions, enforced disappearances, illegal detentions in camps in Kosovo and Albania, sexual violence, forced displacements of individuals from their homes and communities, and desecration and destruction of churches and other religious sites."

The New York Times reported that the trials of Kosovo body snatchers may be stymied by cover-ups and stonewalling: "Past investigations of reports of organ trafficking in Kosovo have been undermined by witnesses' fears of testifying in a small country where clan ties run deep and former members of the KLA are still feted as heroes. Former leaders of the KLA occupy high posts in the government." American politicians almost entirely ignored the scandal. Vice President Joe Biden hailed former KLA leader and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci in 2010 as "the George Washington of Kosovo." A few months later, a Council of Europe investigative report tagged Thaci as an accomplice to the body-trafficking operation.

Clinton's war on Serbia opened a Pandora's box from which the world still suffers. Because politicians and pundits portrayed that war as a moral triumph, it was easier for subsequent presidents to portray U.S. bombing as the self-evident triumph of good over evil. Honest assessments of wrongful killings remain few and far between in media coverage.

James Bovard is the author of Attention Deficit Democracy , The Bush Betrayal , Terrorism and Tyranny , and other books. Bovard is on the USA Today Board of Contributors. He is on Twitter at @jimbovard. His website is at www.jimbovard.com This essay was originally published by Future of Freedom Foundation .

[Aug 20, 2019] Trump is a pig who is highly aggressive in foreign policy as long as he can get away with it: Trump fits well into an attempt by the most hawkish and revanchist elements in the US to destroy globalization and create a world of the jungle, where they estimate the US will have better chances

Notable quotes:
"... I see these actions as ... attempt to keep US hegemony for longer. ..."
"... Further US sanctions on Russia. Russian gdp growth is very low now, forecasts are about mere 1,2 % per anum, and thus Russia's share of world GDP is declining. ..."
"... Overall situation - the US share in the world economy is declining at slower rates than before, mainly due to the retarding of growth of everyone else, which means defacto slowing down multipolarity and the replacement of the US dollar. ..."
"... Take into account one more point: Trump personally can be a clinic idiot on the run form an asylum, it would not change much. Trump is a talking head for some movement, some semi-visible alliance, that managed to enthrone him against 1% election fraud, using pervasive MSM smear campaign and so forth. ..."
"... I think Trump, but not, let's say, Obama, fits well into an attempt by the most hawkish and revanchist elements in the US to destroy globalization and create a world of the jungle, where they estimate the US will have better chances. ..."
"... ok, I think I get it. So what Arioch and others are saying is that the U.S. empire uses the head choppers like attack dogs to do the dirty work and has some kind of indigenous recruiting stream that feeds the 'down and outs' from areas like western China, Chechnia, Arabia, Africa, Europe, America, etc, into a ragtag 'army'. ..."
"... sounds believable... ..."
Aug 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Passer by , Aug 20 2019 11:18 utc | 67

OT

Sooo, "Trump the isolationist" who "wants to dismantle the US empire", as some in alt media claim.

Trump Privately "Obsessed" With Naval Blockade Of Venezuela

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-19/trump-privately-obsessed-naval-blockade-venezuela-report

Same thing with China trade war - it was Trump who demanded more tarrifs over the advise of most of his advisors.

Trump is a pig and he will be highly aggressive in foreign policy if he can get away with it.


Arioch , Aug 20 2019 11:31 utc | 68

> Same thing with China trade war - it was Trump who demanded more tariffs

This part fits well into "isolationist' bill actually.
This part can be interpreted as "controlled demolition of US foreign trade" - racing against uncontrollable catastrophic demolition by sudden USD collapse.

Passer by , Aug 20 2019 12:25 utc | 75
Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 12:08 utc | 71

So you are of the view that Trump is part of attempt to create a controlled demolition of the US Empire?

I do not agree with that. I see these actions as a Cold War and attempt to keep US hegemony for longer.

Interestingly enough, China overtaking the US in gdp MER has been postponed after the start of the trade war. The 2016 forecasts were about 2024, and the latest are about 2032. Developing countries growth is being downgraded as well.

This fits well into the view that the US is trying to sabotage the global economy and particularly developing countries in order to slow down emerging multipolarity.

Arioch , Aug 20 2019 12:51 utc | 76
> I see these actions as ... attempt to keep US hegemony for longer.

Good. So then show me a list of Team Trump actions in foreign policy, since he got enthroned, that enhanced US position as "world leader".

As for me, i do not see a single one. And i do not buy "coincidence theory" that Trump tried to win all the encounters but lost them all, with 100% efficiency, because he is a fool surrounded by idiots. Would it be so, then by shear probability they would win at least something at least sometimes. So, i seem Trump playing his idiocy card for the sake of plausible deniability.

Basically, if to employ the anthropic principle, what else can Trump do where he is (and especially where he was in 2016) to do his dismantling and kept his office, freedom and life?

Clueless Joe , Aug 20 2019 12:52 utc | 77
It is possible that Trump tries to ruin US' standing in the world, to break some alliances, and to piss off enough people that the US wouldn't be asked to help or intervene here and there (though he'd be delusional or hypocritical not to realize that, often, the US likes to be asked to meddle in other countries' business). That might be a way to ensure the US is far more isolationist, and therefore goes further into self-reliance.

In which either he doesn't see or doesn't care that it also means that a multi-polar world will come faster, because other powers will take over the room left by the US. We'd be back to a system of spheres of influence, more than a superpower acting as the world's hegemon.

Of course, that's trying to make sense of what might either be Trump not having a clue, or having totally different plans.

Passer by , Aug 20 2019 13:15 utc | 78
Good. So then show me a list of Team Trump actions in foreign policy, since he got enthroned, that enhanced US position as "world leader".

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 12:51 utc | 76

Plenty.

Overall situation - the US share in the world economy is declining at slower rates than before, mainly due to the retarding of growth of everyone else, which means defacto slowing down multipolarity and the replacement of the US dollar.

Arioch , Aug 20 2019 13:21 utc | 79
Take into account one more point: Trump personally can be a clinic idiot on the run form an asylum, it would not change much. Trump is a talking head for some movement, some semi-visible alliance, that managed to enthrone him against 1% election fraud, using pervasive MSM smear campaign and so forth.

Focusing all the processes upon a single person and then glorifying or dehumanizing it is east to swallow, causes Hollywoodesque thrills and resonates with our animal instincts to see a biggest ape of the cave as natural leader (whether we would love or hate such a cave chief is another question). And that is why it is loved by propaganda. Stalin was godlike figure in USSR. And devil-like figure in the West, before and after WW2. And he was next door "Uncle Joe" with x-mas candies - during WW2.

Well, d'oh, did USSR as a nation or as ideology changed that much betweem 1932-1942-1952? Hardly so. Same thing about Syria - there is no such a land, there is no such a nation, there is only Assad the Dictator, and no one else there. Etc, etc.

Now in USA it is all about Trump the fascist wannabe, Trump the orange buffoon, Trump this and Trump that. Like he was the last leaving person left in USA.

Passer by , Aug 20 2019 13:34 utc | 80
Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 13:21 utc | 79

I think Trump, but not, let's say, Obama, fits well into an attempt by the most hawkish and revanchist elements in the US to destroy globalization and create a world of the jungle, where they estimate the US will have better chances.

michael , Aug 20 2019 13:41 utc | 81
ok, I think I get it. So what Arioch and others are saying is that the U.S. empire uses the head choppers like attack dogs to do the dirty work and has some kind of indigenous recruiting stream that feeds the 'down and outs' from areas like western China, Chechnia, Arabia, Africa, Europe, America, etc, into a ragtag 'army'.

sounds believable...

[Aug 20, 2019] Classic neoliberal globalisation means outsourcing, which weakens the US. It will be abolished under national neoliberalism regime

Aug 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Passer by , Aug 20 2019 17:34 utc | 103

Posted by: jared | Aug 20 2019 14:55 utc | 87

>You cite without irony that U.S. is enhancing it's position by hobbling it's erstwhile trading partners.
Not sure that's a formula for success.

Yes, point is to make others lose more that what you would lose. Thus you keep your relative power vis a vis others even if everybody is poorer.

As of now, it did have effect - it slowed down the US relative decline in economic terms, as the US share of the global economy was declining faster in 2010 or 2015 than today.


> Also not sure why this leads you to believe that this has the affect of slowing transition from dollar.

Transition away from the dollar would have happened faster if the US just sat on its hands and did nothing, as current slowing growth rates in the developing world economy suggest. Plus not controlling the EU and Saudi Arabia means game over.

Posted by: anti_republocrat | Aug 20 2019 15:14 utc | 88

>Yes, US elites are successfully causing a slow-down, perhaps even a crash, in the world economy. What their hubris does not allow them to see is that they're causing the unification of much of the world against them.

See above

>and also that their weaponry and military might is of poor quality and obsolete. It can often be defeated by low-tech counter-measures like the unguided drones the Houthis used to attack Saudi oil infrastructure.

Yes, this is what happens under conditions of globalisation. A partial solution is to try to stop globalisation, but still this proccess can not be fully stopped.

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 14:53 utc | 86

>But as of today (and as it was 10 years ago, and perhaps ever since USSR collapse) "globalisation" and "USA Hegemony" is the same! Now, of course in theory there can be Russian hegemony or Chinese hegemony or Islamic hegemony... Maybe there would. But in the world we live in today, USA Hegemony = globalisation. That is what we inherited form 1990-s.

It is not the same. Globalisation for example means outsourcing, which weakens the US. Then it means China working in Africa, or the BRI. Many benefit from globalisation, and i think that China can carry out globalisation on its own even if the US refuses to play. It also means things such as economic convergence, and knowledge and technology difussion around the world. Currently, it leads to the rise of the developing world, and the weakening of relative US power, which means that it is no longer in the US interest. See the current US attacks against the WTO, etc. It was definitely US led in 1990s, but it is no longer US driven now.

>Teamp Trump wants to "create a world of the jungle" ? But WHAT is jungle if not multipolarity? Tiger is challenging wolves, bulls are trumping the tiger, monkeys are throwing nuts at everyone while cobra and python are eating them monkeys, right?

You can have various types of multipolarity, for example cooperative multipolarity, or fragmented, walled, conflict ridden multipolarity.

The US would lose most in the first case (think about the rise of the developing world), and will preserve the most of its power in the second case.


casey , Aug 20 2019 17:41 utc | 104

"Slow down its decline as much as possible," yes, but to what end? The only point in slowing down the US decline, rather than transitioning away from Empire, would be if the US buys enough time to beggar other economies sufficiently through covert operations(kill the BRI, kill NS2 and TurkStream, ad nauseum) while keeping its own economy at slightly above beggaring.

That kind of process, given the fact that much of the world is now lining up in coalitions against the US, takes time. I have to agree with Orlov here, that it's taken 30 years for the Empire to drive itself right to the very edge of the cliff, where the least puff of wind can push it over.

[Aug 20, 2019] Leveraging US demand for geopolitical and trade advantage after decades of post-WW2 market building in devastated nations. This policy had overstayed its efficacy from an 'America First' standpoint.

Aug 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Full Spectrum Domino , Aug 20 2019 17:01 utc | 100

@ 71 & @75

"So you are of the view that Trump is part of attempt to create a controlled demolition of the US Empire?"

The 'controlled demolition of the US Empire' is an elaborate euphemism for re-nationalism, I suppose. To unfold in three concentric waves.

Step 1. Trade restructuring - close the NAFTA loophole, redirect production to the NA Trade bloc (and friendlier reciprocating markets - Laos, Vietnam, India, etc). Closer to home, Mexico will be a huge beneficiary. Redirected supply lines are no arid macroeconomic development. They mean the radical bestowal of prosperity in some countries and the revocation of prosperity in others. I liken the USMCA impending wage increase in Mexico to Fordism in turn-of-the century America. The $5 a day program minted the US middle class and averted the central crisis of capitalism, overproduction. Anybody can build factories, staff them with rural peasantry and create a tsunami of global deflation. Productive capacity's a cheap trick. What bestows today's prosperity? DEMAND. Trump is asserting the previously unasserted crown jewel of the global economy: a highly developed demand market that has long-since traversed the middle income trap, no small feat.

The Eurasian Century will not arrive soon enough to displace US demand, not for the CCP anyway. Hillary was to cement the terminus of the Managed Decline Arc. Woops. Xi misread Trump. It may sound trite, but Trump's not a politician. His resume 'moves backwards'. He's not a political class grifter who's gathering chits in career one to build a global foundation in career 2. This is the career trajectory the Chinese have been normalized towards. Their 11th hour adjustments in the first agreement would have been snatched by any craven US politician and heralded as a victory. Trump defied all expectations by walking away. There's no doubt this rattled the Chinese. Let's also not forget Trump picked this fight as he did NAFTA renegotiation. These were settled modes of business in line with globalist and corporatist agendas. The Eurasian Century (and belated domestic Chinese demand, the offsetting sponge the world needed in 1999 and should have insisted upon had Clinton not been bought off to WTO entry. This treachery, in the end, served no one except the political classes of both nations.) The ferocity of the present China-US struggle is a direct result of its criminal belatedness. WW3 is a possible outcome. Neither nation was well-served by this procrastination. (Google the 1996 United States campaign finance controversy).

Step 2. A significant resurgence of US domestic productivity collapses the Triffin Paradox which mandates structural trade deficits from the reserve currency nation. Main Street retakes the streets from Wall Street money-changers who were only too happy to abet the trade deficit (and make the $ the US' preeminent export) by shipping manufacturing overseas (it wasn't 'their' jobs after all) , hollowing out the soul of the country and creating a nation of opium-eaters. The US Chamber of Commerce (multinational mouthpiece) detests Trump. This will ultimately lead to a relinquishing of USD reserve currency status. It was going to happen anyway under the globalist regime, just more wrenchingly ala the Argentine Paradox.

Step 3. What is after all the US military's paycheck? The petrodollar. A full spectrum military answerable to a nationalized currency would hyper-inflate away overnight. The Empire military footprint is unsustainable with a trade-rebalanced and re-nationalized USD and absent the infinite flow of defended oil (hence the Oil Standard usurping the Gold Standard in 1973 - the peak household income year in the US incidentally). So a receding MIC is implicit in the Trump agenda, though too controversial to trumpet at this early juncture --back end of term 2 maybe? Natural attrition will be tagged with this outcome. We see Soros and Koch already joining forces to herald a new era of peace. Strange bedfellows.

In the broadest terms, the Trump theme is a tectonic and hyper-ambitious re-seating of Main Street as the driver of the American economy. This pits him against every vested interest on the planet. It's the ultimate counter-cycle to one-worldism and neoliberal financialization. The globalists were done with America and ready to toss the population to a fentanyl fog.

I prefer skirting Trump is a moron trope. Suffice to say SOMEBODY assembled the Navarro-Lighthizer-Ross-Mnuchin trade team - the only nucleus that matters for Step 1 above. want to sell into this market? There will be a kiosk fee. You want to call that a war? Well, that sounds a bit histrionic. But maybe it also conveys your fear. Leveraging US demand for geopolitical and trade advantage after decades of post-WW2 market building in devastated nations. This policy had overstayed its efficacy from an 'America First' standpoint.

[Aug 20, 2019] Team Trump is attempt by the most hawkish and revanchist elements in the US to destroy globalization and create a world of the jungle, where they estimate the US will have better chance

Aug 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Arioch , Aug 20 2019 14:53 utc | 86

..attempt by the most hawkish and revanchist elements in the US to destroy globalisation and create a world of the jungle, where they estimate the US will have better chances.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 20 2019 13:34 utc

Bingo!!!

But as of today (and as it was 10 years ago, and perhaps ever since USSR collapse) "globalisation" and "USA Hegemony" is the same! Now, of course in theory there can be Russian hegemony or Chinese hegemony or Islamic hegemony... Maybe there would. But in the world we live in today, USA Hegemony = globalisation. That is what we inherited form 1990-s.

Teamp Trump wants to "create a world of the jungle" ? But WHAT is jungle if not multipolarity? Tiger is challenging wolves, bulls are trumping the tiger, monkeys are throwing nuts at everyone while cobra and python are eating them monkeys, right?


Arioch , Aug 20 2019 14:53 utc | 86

jared , Aug 20 2019 14:55 utc | 87
@ Posted by: Passer by | Aug 20 2019 13:15 utc | 78

You cite without irony that U.S. is enhancing it's position by hobbling it's erstwhile trading partners.
Not sure that's a formula for success.
Also not sure why this leads you to believe that this has the affect of slowing transition from dollar.
It's one thing to destroy and something more complex to create.
However I don't think that the world will be better-off for Trumps creative destruction.
I don't know if it's harder to believe that such incompetence was all an accident or that this was his intention.

anti_republocrat , Aug 20 2019 15:14 utc | 88
>Passer by | Aug 20 2019 13:15 utc | 78

Man does not live by bread (money) alone.

Yes, US elites are successfully causing a slow-down, perhaps even a crash, in the world economy. What their hubris does not allow them to see is that they're causing the unification of much of the world against them, and also that their weaponry and military might is of poor quality and obsolete. It can often be defeated by low-tech counter-measures like the unguided drones the Houthis used to attack Saudi oil infrastructure.

Much of US GDP is either the creation of these ineffective military assets, "services" that merely transfer wealth to the already rich or resource extraction (including the mining of top soil and other agricultural assets) that pollutes the homeland and must eventually be cleaned up.

Trump either understands none of this or as Arioch suggests, has no choice in which case his bosses have no clue. If he or they did, he wouldn't be doing what he's doing. Nobody wants to go down in history compared to Nero, Caligula or worse still, Honorius.

Pablo Novi , Aug 20 2019 15:15 utc | 89
This is just my 2nd post to MoA. I'm reprinting my first (made just a few minutes ago to the thread that chronologically preceded this one) as an self-introduction.

"Hi all supporters of the Syrian people and their government / SAA; and/or opponents of US Imperialism and Zionists & Sauds. I've been a long-time reader / follower of MoonOfAlabama; but I only just now found this site and thread. Great thanx to MOA and the many posters contributing to helping us better understand what is happening on the ground in Syria.

btw, born and raised in the US, I attended my first (of multiple hundreds of) demonstrations in 1965. It was Pro-Palesitnian, Anti-Zionist. I naively went there to OPPOSE them; and got 100% convinced of the justice of their cause. That afternoon, a female member of the Anti-Vietnam-War Movement educated me about the nature of that conflict - US Imperialism at its worst - and it was the combination of learning about Palestine and Vietnam that caused me to dedicate every free moment for the rest of my life to contributing to the struggle for peace and justice.

I than worked 40+ hours a week, 50+ weeks a year, 1965-1975 (20,000+ volunteer hours) to help end the US Gov slaughter of 2-3 million innocents in Vietnam. And, for the past 54 years have done all I can to support the Palestinians and oppose Zionism (and its US-billionaire sponsors).

Kudos to all the great work by so many of you here,
Pablo"
-------
My overall position: THE PROBLEM: vis-a-vis the whole world: Capitalism (since 1550~); Monopoly-Capitalism (since 1900~); Deathroes-Capitalism (since 2000~). vis-a-vis the US: The US Gov was never "great"; instead, just the opposite, with 227 out of 243 years (a HUMONGOUS SAMPLE SIZE) of wars of aggression; and 243 out of 243 years of the American super-rich getting richer and more powerful (at the expense of the American working and poor; but especially, at the expense of the workers and poor of the rest of the world.

CORRELARIES: Capitalism has never been reformable. Israel is one of dozens of 100%-dominated US puppet-states (same for Saudi Arabia ...). Israel does not run the US Gov (the 585 American billionaires do!); and Israel did not do 9/11; the American billionaires did 9/11 to: As A pretext to: Try to maintain, if not expand, their world-straddling empire THRU never-ending, ever-expanding: wars, police states and world-wide poverty: AGAINST all enemies (Chinese-Russian billionaires, other non-American billionaires; competing economies and militaries; and especially against the ever-more-united non-rich peoples of the world to liberate themselves.

N.B. I've been a 9/11 Truther since the late afternoon of 9/11 - the ENDLESS REPETITION (of the "2nd plane crash" and the Twin Tower's demolitions) finally made me remember that endless repetition is SOP for (US) Imperialism. It's aim is to sell the exact reverse of the truth (so we don't believe what really was going on) thru mass brainwashing.

I am the original author of the Leaflet:
"End ALL The Wars & Police States, NOW!" (aka: "The 9/11 Truth UNITY Manifesto") -

which can be found at the above-listed URL;

Facebook site: International 9/11 Fraud Awareness Week

[Aug 20, 2019] Trump's Persian-Gulf Car Crash Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... the Iranian economy is in a free fall with oil exports down as much as 90 percent from mid-2018 levels. As far as Iran is concerned, this means that it's already at war with the United States and has less and less to lose the longer the U.S. embargo goes on. ..."
"... MBS, as he's known, celebrated by launching an air war in neighboring Yemen two months later – and then disappearing on a week-long vacation in the Maldives – and by funneling hundreds of U.S.-made TOWs (anti-tank guided missiles) to Syrian rebels under the command of Al-Nusra, the local Al-Qaeda affiliate, for use in an offensive in that country's northwest province of Idlib. ..."
"... For the Saudis, it was a neo-medieval crusade whose goal was to topple two religio-political allies of Iran, the Alawite-dominated government in Damascus and Yemen's Houthis, who adhere to a non-Iranian form of Shi'ism that is no less anathema to the Sunni Wahhabist theocracy in Riyadh. ..."
"... Just two days after the start of the Saudi air assault in Yemen, Obama meanwhile telephoned Salman to assure him of U.S. support. When asked why America would back a war by one of the Middle East's richest countries against the very poorest, another anonymous U.S. official told The New York Times (April 2, 2015): ..."
"... "If you ask why we're backing this, beyond the fact that the Saudis are allies and have been allies for a long time, the answer you're going to get from most people – if they were being honest – is that we weren't going to be able to stop it." ..."
"... The Obama administration was so anxious to smooth ruffled Saudi feathers and tone down criticism of the impending Iranian accord that it felt it had no choice but say yes to Saudi aggression. ..."
"... The American empire was possibly so over-extended that it was at the mercy of its ostensible clients. Even while making peace with Iran, Obama thus green-lit Saudi wars that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in Syria and another 100,000 or so in Yemen while triggering a surge of international terrorism and the greatest refugee crisis since World War II. While reducing tensions in some respects, the 2015 nuclear negotiations, paradoxically, caused them to explode in others. ..."
"... Announcing his presidential bid in June 2015, he launched into a typical Trumpian rant against China, Japan, Mexico – and Obama's nuclear talks. "Take a look at the deal he's making with Iran," he said. "He makes that deal, Israel maybe won't exist very long." A month later, he tweeted that the agreement, just inked in Vienna, "poses a direct national security threat." Two months after that, he told a Tea Party rally in Washington: ..."
"... Trumpian isolationism was fleeting, if it ever existed at all. Under intense pressure from neoconservatives, the Zionist lobby, and pro-Israel Democrats such as Russiagate attack dog Rep. Adam Schiff demanding stepped-up opposition with Iran , Trump did an about-face. In May 2017, he flew to Riyadh, announced an unprecedented $110-billion arms deal, and proclaimed himself the kingdom's newest BFF – best friend forever. ..."
"... He echoed the Saudis by accusing Iran of funding "terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region" and backed a Saudi blockade of neighboring Qatar. When ISIS launched a bloody assault on central Tehran in early June that killed 12 people and injured 42, the only White House response was to declare that "states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote." ..."
"... It was Democrats who, in a typical attempt to outflank Trump on the right, introduced legislation in June 2017 by forcing him to impose penalties on Russia, North Korea, and Iran as well. But after repudiating the JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the Iran nuclear deal) in May 2018, Trump upped sanctions even more in November – not only against the Iranian government but against some 700 individuals, entities, aircraft, and vessels. After Iran shot down a $130-million U.S. surveillance drone last month, Trump imposed sanctions on "supreme leader" Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, his office, and his closest associates. Two weeks ago, he imposed penalties on Mohammad Javad Zarif , Iran's U.S.-educated foreign minister. ..."
"... It was a gesture of contempt for the very idea of diplomacy. So what happens next? The problem is that re-starting negotiations would not be enough. Instead, Iran has demanded that the U.S. remove all sanctions and apologize before agreeing to a new round of talks. Since this would be tantamount to re-authorizing the JCPOA, it's unlikely in the extreme. While Trump is known for changing his mind in a flash, a course correction of this magnitude is hard to imagine. ..."
"... The pro-Israel Lobby owns both Republican and Democrat Russiagate enthusiasts and is the source of near hysterical demands for opposition with Iran. ..."
"... But in June 1914, clearly there were multiple political and military leaders in Europe for whom war was far from inconceivable. War was simply a question of timing and so it would be better to have a war when the circumstances were most propitious. "I consider a war inevitable", declared senior German generals such as Helmuth von Moltke the Younger in 1912. "The sooner the better". ..."
"... such blatant and reprehensible behavior carries risks for everyone but mostly the targets of our barbaric behavior seems never to enter the President, his neocon handlers' and his rabid supporters' minds. ..."
"... "If you ask why we're backing this, beyond the fact that the Saudis are allies and have been allies for a long time, the answer you're going to get from most people – if they were being honest – is that we weren't going to be able to stop it." That is unmitigated nonsense. Why not be honest. We don't want to stop it. ..."
"... To "stop it", Uncle Sam would have to first cease being a part of it. The bombing of Yemen came courtesy of U.S. mid-air refueling efforts, targeting "intelligence", and "made in America" weaponry. The blockade (starvation) of Yemen is also a duel accompaniment. It's supposed to look like a Saudi "thing", but in actuality, it's just more Uncle Sam doing his thing. Obama called it "leading from behind". ..."
Aug 20, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Trump has taken an insane U.S. policy towards Iran and make it even crazier, writes Daniel Lazare.

By Daniel Lazare
Special to Consortium News

T raffic accidents normally take just a second or two. But the coming collision in the Persian Gulf, the equivalent of a hundred-vehicle pile-up on a fog-bound interstate , has been in the works for years. Much of it is President Donald Trump's fault, but not all. His contribution has been to take an insane policy and make it even crazier.

The situation is explosive for two reasons. First, the Iranian economy is in a free fall with oil exports down as much as 90 percent from mid-2018 levels. As far as Iran is concerned, this means that it's already at war with the United States and has less and less to lose the longer the U.S. embargo goes on.

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

Second, after Trump denounced the 2015 Iranian nuclear accord from the moment he began his presidential run , it's all but impossible at this point for him to back down. The result is a classic collision between the immovable and the unstoppable with no apparent way out.

How did the world bring itself to the brink of war? The answer, ironically, is by bidding for peace.

The process began in early 2015 just as the nuclear talks were entering their final stages. Despite last-minute hand-wringing , it was clear that success was in sight simply because the participants – China, France, Russia, Germany, Britain, the European Union, Iran and the U.S. – all wanted it.

Saudi Proxy War

But other regional players felt differently, Saudi Arabia first and foremost. The kingdom's survival strategy depends on its special relationship with America, its patron since the 1940s. Hence, it was panic-stricken by anything smacking of a U.S. rapprochement with its long-standing arch-enemy Iran. The upshot was a proxy war in which the Saudis set out to roll back Iranian power by striking out at pro-Iranian forces.

The offensive began after a new Saudi monarch ascended the throne in January 2015. King Salman, a doddering 79-year-old reportedly suffering from Alzheimer's , immediately handed over the reins to his favorite son, 29-year-old Muhammad bin Salman, whom he named deputy crown prince and minister of defense. MBS, as he's known, celebrated by launching an air war in neighboring Yemen two months later – and then disappearing on a week-long vacation in the Maldives – and by funneling hundreds of U.S.-made TOWs (anti-tank guided missiles) to Syrian rebels under the command of Al-Nusra, the local Al-Qaeda affiliate, for use in an offensive in that country's northwest province of Idlib.

For the Saudis, it was a neo-medieval crusade whose goal was to topple two religio-political allies of Iran, the Alawite-dominated government in Damascus and Yemen's Houthis, who adhere to a non-Iranian form of Shi'ism that is no less anathema to the Sunni Wahhabist theocracy in Riyadh.

President Barack Obama went along. With regard to Syria, an unidentified "senior administration official" told The Washington Post that while the White House was "concerned that Nusra has taken the lead," all he would say in response to U.S.-made missiles winding up in Al-Qaeda hands was that it was "not something we would refrain from raising with our partners." (See " Climbing into Bed with Al-Qaeda ," May 2, 2015.)

Just two days after the start of the Saudi air assault in Yemen, Obama meanwhile telephoned Salman to assure him of U.S. support. When asked why America would back a war by one of the Middle East's richest countries against the very poorest, another anonymous U.S. official told The New York Times (April 2, 2015):

"If you ask why we're backing this, beyond the fact that the Saudis are allies and have been allies for a long time, the answer you're going to get from most people – if they were being honest – is that we weren't going to be able to stop it." But plainly the nuclear negotations were key. The Obama administration was so anxious to smooth ruffled Saudi feathers and tone down criticism of the impending Iranian accord that it felt it had no choice but say yes to Saudi aggression.

The upshot has been Saudi wars claiming hundreds of thousands of lives in Syria and another 100,000 or so in Yemen while triggering a surge of international terrorism and the greatest refugee crisis since World War II. While reducing tensions in some respects, Obama's efforts to reach a nuclear deal with Iran, paradoxically, caused them to explode in others.

Over-Extended Empire

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama with King Salman bin Abdulaziz at Erga Palace in Riyadh, Jan. 27, 2015. (White House/Pete Souza/Flickr)

The American empire was possibly so over-extended that it was at the mercy of its ostensible clients. Even while making peace with Iran, Obama thus green-lit Saudi wars that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in Syria and another 100,000 or so in Yemen while triggering a surge of international terrorism and the greatest refugee crisis since World War II. While reducing tensions in some respects, the 2015 nuclear negotiations, paradoxically, caused them to explode in others.

The results were so devastating in a region torn by war, sectarianism, and economic collapse that Trump could not possibly make them any worse – except that he did.

Announcing his presidential bid in June 2015, he launched into a typical Trumpian rant against China, Japan, Mexico – and Obama's nuclear talks. "Take a look at the deal he's making with Iran," he said. "He makes that deal, Israel maybe won't exist very long." A month later, he tweeted that the agreement, just inked in Vienna, "poses a direct national security threat." Two months after that, he told a Tea Party rally in Washington:

"Never, ever, ever in my life have I seen any transaction so incompetently negotiated as our deal with Iran . They rip us off, they take our money, they make us look like fools, and now they're back to being who they really are. They don't want Israel to survive, they will not let Israel survive, [and] with incompetent leadership like we have right now, Israel will not survive."

Iran's Landmark Concession

It was all nonsense. Rather than threatening the Jewish state, the treaty represented a landmark concession on Iran's part, since Israel, with an estimated 80 to 90 nuclear warheads in its arsenal and enough fissile material for a hundred more, would maintain its nuclear monopoly in the Middle East indefinitely. As for "our money," the $150 billion in various foreign accounts were actually Iranian assets that had been frozen for years – a sum, moreover, that was closer to $56 billion once Iran settled its foreign debts. Once sanctions were lifted, it was hardly unreasonable that such assets be restored.

Still there was hope. While railing against Iran, Trump also taunted the Saudis for their role in 9/11: "Who blew up the World Trade Center?" he told Fox & Friends. "It wasn't the Iraqis, it was Saudi [Arabia]." He repeatedly assailed the 2003 invasion of Iraq – even if he exaggerated his own role in opposing it – and criticized Obama for supporting Saudi-backed jihadis seeking to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"Assad is bad," he said in an October 2015 interview . "Maybe these people could be worse."

Trumpian isolationism was fleeting, if it ever existed at all. Under intense pressure from neoconservatives, the Zionist lobby, and pro-Israel Democrats such as Russiagate attack dog Rep. Adam Schiff demanding stepped-up opposition with Iran , Trump did an about-face. In May 2017, he flew to Riyadh, announced an unprecedented $110-billion arms deal, and proclaimed himself the kingdom's newest BFF – best friend forever.

He echoed the Saudis by accusing Iran of funding "terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region" and backed a Saudi blockade of neighboring Qatar. When ISIS launched a bloody assault on central Tehran in early June that killed 12 people and injured 42, the only White House response was to declare that "states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote."

But back in September 2003, some 60,000 Iranian soccer fans had observed a moment of silence in honor of the victims of the World Trade Center while then-President Mohammad Khatami declared on nationwide TV:

"My deep sympathy goes out to the American nation, particularly those who have suffered from the attacks and also the families of the victims. Terrorism is doomed, and the international community should stem it and take effective measures in a bid to eradicate it."

Yet all the Trump administration could say was that Iran had it coming.

It was Democrats who, in a typical attempt to outflank Trump on the right, introduced legislation in June 2017 by forcing him to impose penalties on Russia, North Korea, and Iran as well. But after repudiating the JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the Iran nuclear deal) in May 2018, Trump upped sanctions even more in November – not only against the Iranian government but against some 700 individuals, entities, aircraft, and vessels. After Iran shot down a $130-million U.S. surveillance drone last month, Trump imposed sanctions on "supreme leader" Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, his office, and his closest associates. Two weeks ago, he imposed penalties on Mohammad Javad Zarif , Iran's U.S.-educated foreign minister.

Crowd at Tea Party rally listening to Donald Trump denounce the Iran Nuclear Agreement, Sept. 9, 2015. (YouTube)

It was a gesture of contempt for the very idea of diplomacy. So what happens next? The problem is that re-starting negotiations would not be enough. Instead, Iran has demanded that the U.S. remove all sanctions and apologize before agreeing to a new round of talks. Since this would be tantamount to re-authorizing the JCPOA, it's unlikely in the extreme. While Trump is known for changing his mind in a flash, a course correction of this magnitude is hard to imagine.

Thus, the confrontation is set to continue. Iran may respond by seizing more oil tankers or downing more drones, but the problem is that the U.S. will undoubtedly engage in tit-for-tat escalation in response until, eventually, some kind of line is crossed.

If so, the consequences are unpredictable. U.S. firepower is overwhelming , but Iran is not without resources of its own , among them anti-ship ballistic missiles, mobile short-range rockets that can hit naval targets, plus heavily-armed high-speed boats, mini-subs, and even " ekranoplans ," floating planes designed to skim the waves at 115 miles per hour. Such weaponry could prove highly effective in the 35-mile-wide Strait of Hormuz. Iran also has allies such as Lebanon's Hezbollah, which has an estimated 130,000 missiles and rockets in its own arsenal, Assad's battle-hardened military in Syria, Yemen's Houthis, and pro-Iranian forces in Shi'ite-majority Iraq.

The upshot could be a war drawing in half a dozen countries or more. A confrontation on that scale may seem inconceivable. But, then, war seemed inconceivable in the wake of Archduke Franz Ferdinand's assassination in June 1914.

Daniel Lazare is the author of "The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy" (Harcourt Brace, 1996) and other books about American politics. He has written for a wide variety of publications from The Nation to Le Monde Diplomatique and blogs about the Constitution and related matters at D aniellazare.com .


Jeff Davis , August 20, 2019 at 12:42

America is Israel's b*tch.

The American experiment is over. A variety of corporate/neoliberal interests and foreign interests have hollowed it out, and soon, when every last bit of loot has been extracted, the dried up husk of the Empire will collapse. There is no saving it because the looters are still in control. Their control is unbreakable because buying Congress is such a minor and manageable expense for them, and the Congressmen/women are simply incapable of setting aside personal interest and personal ambition for the good of the country. Incapable, because if they ever chose country over their own careers , the "owners" -- ie donors/looters -- would find someone to replace them. There is no way out until it comes crashing down.

Don Bacon , August 20, 2019 at 11:33

Iran whipped the US in Syria, cementing the 'Shia crescent' from Tehran to Beirut, which gives Iran the mantle of ME leadership. Washington had to respond to that fact because it threatens the US and its Carter-Doctrine position as the predominate ME power. So don't blame Israel.

Zhu , August 20, 2019 at 05:44

You forgot to mention pressure from Religious Right Republicans, eager for the Rapture, the Return of Jesus, etv., etc. Christism Zionists in short.

Broompilot , August 20, 2019 at 01:19

I find it interesting that there is no mention of Netanyahu appearing before Congress or the U.N. drawing silly looking pictures of bombs. Or Netanyahu claiming he had jacked some new documents from Iran proving they had a nuclear weapons program. Or Netanyahu disrespecting Obama with his appearance in Congress. Or Bibi's landing in L.A. with a motorcade that screwed up traffic all over town to demonstrate who is really important in this country. Reading this piece you would think this is 95% about Saudis and has very little to do with Israel. There is no doubt that the gulf monarchies do not want successful representative governments breaking out on their borders and giving their citizens ideas, but I doubt they have anything resembling the Israeli lobbies and their influence operating in the U.S. with the power to influence Iran policy.

AnneR , August 20, 2019 at 08:23

True, Broompilot. And I too awaited throughout the article for Mr Lazare to discuss the really existing and marked part that Israel has played and is playing in all of the more recent destruction in neighboring countries, and that illegitimate state's huge influence on this country's politics, military actions (in the MENA countries when those actions might benefit Israel), administration decisions (not to mention the cooperation among US and Israeli secret services *and* electronic-internet companies which anyway themselves both derive from the military and remain closely entwined with it).

Most US presidents – and seemingly all US Congresses – since WWII have aided and abetted Israel and its appalling human rights record which never ends and continues with impunity. But Trump is perhaps more so than most if only because his daughter, a convert to Judaism, is married to an ardent Zionist, and buddy-buddy to Netanyahu. Lazare hints at Trump's pro-Zionism (whatever its basis) but leaves it there.

Marko , August 19, 2019 at 22:50

"Trump's Persian-Gulf Car Crash"

When you view foreign policy as a Demolition Derby competition , as Trump and the neocons do , this is called "Winning !"

Gregory Herr , August 19, 2019 at 20:44

The war of terrorism waged upon the people of Syria didn't come about because the U.S. was "possibly so over-extended that it was at the mercy of its ostensible clients", or because the "Obama administration was so anxious to smooth ruffled Saudi feathers and tone down criticism of the impending Iranian accord that it felt it had no choice but say yes to Saudi aggression."

Washington's Long War on Syria (Stephen Gowans) began well before Obama, Yahoo, Erdogan, and Petraeus set up rat lines of weaponry and training for terrorists in Jordan and Turkey. The current iteration of "topple thru terror" was in the offing, with or without Saudi "impetus".

Syria stands in the way of Greater Israel and Wall Street/central bank dominance.

Obama "went along" alright. But it wasn't the Saudis he was "appeasing".

Obama should have normalised relations with Iran and disavowed all the b.s. rhetoric about them. His "deal" had "made to be broken" written all over it because of his rhetoric. All done in bad faith with the Path to Persia kept open.

Jeff Harrison , August 19, 2019 at 18:30

The big problem is that the US is convinced that it knows what it's doing when, in fact, it is clueless. The US also is perpetually optimistic when it has nothing upon which to base said optimism. It's not as if we've actually defeated anybody in the Middle East. Revoltin' Bolton may think he's scaring people with aircraft carriers and B52s but you'll notice that Iran snatched the British tanker and the Iraqi tanker after the US moved it's carrier and bombers into the Gulf. They also shot down our drone in the same time frame.

We're playing a losing strategy.

Jeff Davis , August 20, 2019 at 12:11

We're playing a losing strategy because America is Israel's bitch.

The American experiment is over. A variety of corporate/neoliberal interests and foreign interests have hollowed it out, and soon, when every last bit of loot has been extracted, the dried up husk of the Empire will collapse. There is no saving it because the looters are still in control. Their control is unbreakable because buying Congress is such a minor and manageable expense for them, and the Congressmen/women are simply incapable of setting aside personal interest and personal ambition for the good of the country. Incapable, because if they ever chose country over their own careers , the "owners" -- ie donors/looters -- would find someone to replace them. There is no way out until it comes crashing down.

Don Bacon , August 19, 2019 at 18:29

"It was all nonsense. Rather than threatening the Jewish state, the treaty represented a landmark concession on Iran's part,. . ."

Calling the Obama agreement a treaty is nonsense, rather it was an agreement involving only the executive branch and not the Senate as required by the Constitution for treaties. Obama needed an achievement for his presidential library, so he waited until his term was almost over to do what he could have done, with Brazil and Turkey, in 2010. Therefore Trump had every right to overturn an agreement made by his hated predecessor, with the knowledge that the Senate never would have approved it since they are all corrupted.

This is another example (Bush-43 on Iraq withdrawal was another) of what the US has come to. This so-called "rules-based democracy" has become a stomping ground for the "commander-in-chief" to display his executive privilege and do any damned thing he takes a mind to, including war, with nary a peep from the so-called "checks and balance" folks who are supposed to be looking after US democracy, but aren't.

robert e williamson jr , August 19, 2019 at 16:18

I found this a Jeff Morely's Deep State Blog https://deepstateblog.org/2019/08/19/iraq-curbs-uk-s-flights-after-reported-israeli-attacks/#comment-1308

These actions by Israel should be expected as well as the Iranian response, which could very easily be war.

All the result of having an idiot at the wheel of the ship of state. Trump and his supporter will own it if it happens.

The Israeli government know no limits or no shame, a very dangerous group for the rest of the world to have to deal with.

Trump needs to be impeached no earlier than one month before the next presidential election and exiled to Israel like the turn coat he is.

Robyn , August 19, 2019 at 19:14

That link didn't work, try this one:

https://deepstateblog.org/2019/08/19/iraq-curbs-u-s-flights-after-reported-israeli-attacks/

Abe , August 19, 2019 at 15:45

"Trumpian isolationism was fleeting, if it ever existed at all."

It never existed.

A clueless Lazare has been repeatedly informed of the fact in the comments of his CN articles.

Now he's feebly wondering "if".

"Under intense pressure from neoconservatives, the Zionist lobby, and pro-Israel Democrats such as Russiagate attack dog Rep. Adam Schiff demanding stepped-up opposition with Iran, Trump did an about-face."

The pro-Israel Lobby owns both Republican and Democrat Russiagate enthusiasts and is the source of near hysterical demands for opposition with Iran.

Trump has never been under "intense pressure" and has not done "an about-face" because he has always been avowedly "1000 percent" pro-Israel.

A worse than clueless Lazare has been repeatedly informed of the fact in the comments of his CN articles.

Lazare apparently finds lots of things "hard to imagine", even "inconceivable".

But in June 1914, clearly there were multiple political and military leaders in Europe for whom war was far from inconceivable. War was simply a question of timing and so it would be better to have a war when the circumstances were most propitious. "I consider a war inevitable", declared senior German generals such as Helmuth von Moltke the Younger in 1912. "The sooner the better".

Current Israeli leadership holds such a view. The Trump administration foreign policy purchased by the pro-Israel Lobby reflects this view.

But for the obviously very well informed but perpetually clueless Lazare, it all somehow remains "inconceivable"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIP6EwqMEoE

Abe , August 19, 2019 at 16:56

Vigorous efforts by the pro-Israel Lobby keep the US committed to a succession of classic blunders:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmT0_hKSUrw

Abe , August 20, 2019 at 00:24

Trump has walked away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and has performed numerous other services, including threatening war on Iran, precisely because the Israelis wanted them done.

Don't confuse Trump's servility to the pro-Israel Lobby for "isolationism".

The arrogant aggression of the Trump-Bolton-Pompeo troika is bought and paid for by Israel.

Herman , August 19, 2019 at 14:39

Depressing. Having defended Trump because attacks were directed at the President of the United States, any president, it is hard to support a man whose every move is a political calculation. That such blatant and reprehensible behavior carries risks for everyone but mostly the targets of our barbaric behavior seems never to enter the President, his neocon handlers' and his rabid supporters' minds.

One comment in this depressing article caught my eye.

"If you ask why we're backing this, beyond the fact that the Saudis are allies and have been allies for a long time, the answer you're going to get from most people – if they were being honest – is that we weren't going to be able to stop it." That is unmitigated nonsense. Why not be honest. We don't want to stop it. The We, of course, being our decision makers and a too large segment of our brainwashed electorate.

Gregory Herr , August 19, 2019 at 19:52

To "stop it", Uncle Sam would have to first cease being a part of it. The bombing of Yemen came courtesy of U.S. mid-air refueling efforts, targeting "intelligence", and "made in America" weaponry. The blockade (starvation) of Yemen is also a duel accompaniment. It's supposed to look like a Saudi "thing", but in actuality, it's just more Uncle Sam doing his thing. Obama called it "leading from behind".

[Aug 20, 2019] When, If Ever, Can We Lay This Burden Down by Pat Buchanan

Pat lost its touch with reality " Around the world, America is involved in quarrels, clashes and confrontations with almost too many nations to count." That's what empires do. Why he can't understand this simple fact?
Aug 20, 2019 | www.unz.com
Pat Buchanan 800 Words 30 Comments Reply

Friday, President Donald Trump met in New Jersey with his national security advisers and envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who is negotiating with the Taliban to bring about peace, and a U.S. withdrawal from America's longest war.

U.S. troops have been fighting in Afghanistan since 2001, in a war that has cost 2,400 American lives.

Following the meeting, Trump tweeted, "Many on the opposite sides of this 19 year war, and us, are looking to make a deal -- if possible!"

Some, however, want no deal; they are fighting for absolute power.

Saturday, a wedding in Kabul with a thousand guests was hit by a suicide bomber who, igniting his vest, massacred 63 people and wounded 200 in one of the greatest atrocities of the war. ISIS claimed responsibility.

Monday, 10 bombs exploded in restaurants and public squares in the eastern city of Jalalabad, wounding 66.

Trump is pressing Khalilzad to negotiate drawdowns of U.S. troop levels from the present 14,000, and to bring about a near-term end to U.S. involvement in a war that began after we overthrew the old Taliban regime for giving sanctuary to Osama bin Laden.

Is it too soon to ask: What have we gained from our longest war? Was all the blood and treasure invested worth it? And what does the future hold?

If the Taliban could not be defeated by an Afghan army, built up by the U.S. for a decade and backed by 100,000 U.S. troops in 2010-2011, then are the Taliban likely to give up the struggle when the U.S. is drawing down the last 14,000 troops and heading home?

The Taliban control more of the country than they have at any time since being overthrown in 2001. And time now seems to be on their side.

Why have they persevered, and prevailed in parts of the country?

Motivated by a fanatic faith, tribalism and nationalism, they have shown a willingness to die for a cause that seems more compelling to them than what the U.S.-backed Afghan government has on offer.

They also have the guerrillas' advantage of being able to attack at times and places of their own choosing, without the government's burden of having to defend towns and cities.

Will these Taliban, who have lost many battles but not the war, retire from the field and abide by democratic elections once the Americans go home? Why should they?

The probability: When the Americans depart, the war breaks out anew, and the Taliban ultimately prevail.

And Afghanistan is but one of the clashes and conflicts in which America is engaged.

Severe U.S. sanctions on Venezuela have failed to bring down the Nicholas Maduro regime in Caracas but have contributed to the immiseration of that people, 10% of whom have left the country. Trump now says he is considering a quarantine or blockade to force Maduro out.

Eight years after we helped to overthrow Col. Moammar Gadhafi, Libya is still mired in civil war, with its capital, Tripoli, under siege.

Yemen, among the world's humanitarian disasters, has seen the UAE break with its Saudi interventionist allies, and secessionists split off southern Yemen from the Houthi-dominated north. Yet, still, Congress has been unable to force the Trump administration to end all support of the Saudi war.

Two thousand U.S. troops remain in Syria. The northern unit is deployed between our Syrian Kurd allies and the Turkish army. In the south, they are positioned to prevent Iran and Iranian-backed militias from creating a secure land bridge from Tehran to Baghdad to Damascus to Beirut.

In our confrontation with Iran, we have few allies.

The Brits released the Iranian tanker they seized at Gibraltar, which had been carrying oil to Syria. But when the Americans sought to prevent its departure, a Gibraltar court ruled against the United States.

Iran presents no clear or present danger to U.S. vital interests, but the Saudis and Israelis see Iran as a mortal enemy, and want the U.S. military rid them of the menace.

Hong Kong protesters wave American flags and seek U.S. support of their demands for greater autonomy and freedom in their clash with their Beijing-backed authorities. The Taiwanese want us to support them and sell them the weapons to maintain their independence. The Philippines wants us to take their side in the dispute with China over tiny islets in the South China Sea.

We are still committed to go to war to defend South Korea. And the North has lately test-fired a series of ballistic missiles, none of which could hit the USA, but all of which could hit South Korea.

Around the world, America is involved in quarrels, clashes and confrontations with almost too many nations to count.

In how many of these are U.S. vital interests imperiled? And in how many are we facing potential wars on behalf of other nations, while they hold our coat and egg us on?

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

Copyright 2019 Creators.com.

[Aug 20, 2019] For the US its better to wreck Venezuela's economy than to allow it to flourish and expand its influence

Aug 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Aug 20 2019 18:26 utc | 107

"For the US its better to wreck Venezuela's economy than to allow it to flourish and expand its influence.."
Not necessarily. The US is gambling that it will beat Venezuela. But if it doesn't, if Venezuela simply outlasts the imperialist sanctions, it will emerge much stronger.
In recent years there has been a drift towards compromise with the US in Venezuela. Chavez was always very generous towards his opponents and this has continued. As a result the old Creole ruling class has been relatively undisturbed. It has retained its power over the media, for example and left in a position to sabotage the economy through its control of supermarkets, banks and commerce. It has retained its landholdings and maintained its agribusiness.

And now, in cahoots with the imperialists, it has come out against the government and chavismo. Its racist, neo fascist propensities and its contempt for its own countrymen and women- the poor and the working class- have been revealed. While the people are fighting to defend themselves against imperialism, Guido and the Venezuelan right, the capitalist class have made their positions very obvious. Given any sort of opportunity they will smash the social security and food security networks that keep the poor from starvation. They will privatise- Honduras style- and death squads will roam the working class districts torturing and killing.
In short the people of Venezuela have been shown exactly what to expect if the US wins. And the allies of the US have been revealed to be the country's worst enemies: traitors and Quislings.

In the end, if the US does not replace the Maduro government, it will find itself much worse off. All its Fifth Columnist friends will be in exile or hiding. All their wealth will have been distributed to the poor or nationalised.


And the US will have one more sworn and permanent enemy, the people of Venezuela.

[Aug 20, 2019] Tulsi A Living Reminder of Iraq s Liars and Apologists by David Masciotra

Notable quotes:
"... Gabbard calls out the betrayers; Dems try to forget their heroes Mueller and Biden are among them. ..."
"... The gains of war in Iraq remain elusive, especially considering that the justifications for invasion -- weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein's connection to al-Qaeda, the ambition to create a Western-style democracy at gunpoint -- remain "murky at best." That's a quote from the 9/11 Commission's conclusion on the so-called evidence linking Iraq to Osama bin Laden's group, which actually did carry out the worst terrorist attack in American history. ..."
"... As far as stupid and barbarous decisions are concerned, it is difficult to top the war in Iraq. It is also difficult to match its price tag, which, according to a recent Brown University study, amounts to $1.1 trillion. ..."
"... Gore Vidal once christened his country the "United States of Amnesia," explaining that Americans live in a perpetual state of a hangover: "Every morning we wake up having forgotten what happened the night before." ..."
"... The war in Iraq ended only nine years ago, but it might as well have never taken place, given the curious lack of acknowledgement in our press and political debates. As families mourn their children, babies are born with irreversible deformities, and veterans dread trying to sleep through the night, America's political class, many of whom sold the war to the public, have moved on. When they address Iraq at all, they act as though they have committed a minor error, as though large-scale death and destruction are the equivalent of a poor shot in golf when the course rules allow for mulligans. ..."
"... As the Robert Mueller fiasco smolders out, it is damning that the Democratic Party, in its zest and zeal to welcome any critical assessment of Trump's unethical behavior, has barely mentioned that Mueller, in his previous role as director of the FBI, played a small but significant role in convincing the country to go to war in Iraq. ..."
"... Mueller testified to Congress that "Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program poses a clear threat to our national security." He also warned that Saddam could "supply terrorists with radiological material" for the purposes of devising a nuclear bomb. Leaving aside any speculation about Mueller's intentions and assuming he had only the best of motives, it is quite bizarre, even dangerous, to treat as oracular someone who was wrong on such a life-or-death question. ..."
"... The former vice president now claims that his "only mistake was trusting the Bush administration," implying he was tricked into supporting the war. This line is not as persuasive as he imagines. First, it raises the question -- can't we nominate someone who wasn't tricked? Second, its logic crumbles in the face of Biden's recent decision to hire Nicholas Burns, former U.S. ambassador to NATO, as his campaign's foreign policy advisor. Burns was also a vociferous supporter of the war. An enterprising reporter should ask Biden whether Burns was also tricked. Is the Biden campaign an assembly of rubes? ..."
"... Instead, the press is likelier to interrogate Biden over his holding hands and giving hugs to women at public events. Criticism of Biden's "inappropriate touching" has become so strident that the candidate had to record a video to explain his behavior. The moral standards of America's political culture seem to rate kissing a woman on the back of the head as a graver offense than catastrophic war. ..."
Aug 02, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Gabbard calls out the betrayers; Dems try to forget their heroes Mueller and Biden are among them.

Estimates of the number of civilians who died during the war in Iraq range from 151,000 to 655,000. An additional 4,491 American military personnel perished in the war. Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, toxicologist at the University of Michigan, has organized several research expeditions to Iraq to measure the contamination and pollution still poisoning the air and water supply from the tons of munitions dropped during the war. It does not require any expertise to assume what the studies confirm: disease is still widespread and birth defects are gruesomely common. Back home, it is difficult to measure just how many struggle with critical injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The gains of war in Iraq remain elusive, especially considering that the justifications for invasion -- weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein's connection to al-Qaeda, the ambition to create a Western-style democracy at gunpoint -- remain "murky at best." That's a quote from the 9/11 Commission's conclusion on the so-called evidence linking Iraq to Osama bin Laden's group, which actually did carry out the worst terrorist attack in American history.

As far as stupid and barbarous decisions are concerned, it is difficult to top the war in Iraq. It is also difficult to match its price tag, which, according to a recent Brown University study, amounts to $1.1 trillion.

Gore Vidal once christened his country the "United States of Amnesia," explaining that Americans live in a perpetual state of a hangover: "Every morning we wake up having forgotten what happened the night before."

The war in Iraq ended only nine years ago, but it might as well have never taken place, given the curious lack of acknowledgement in our press and political debates. As families mourn their children, babies are born with irreversible deformities, and veterans dread trying to sleep through the night, America's political class, many of whom sold the war to the public, have moved on. When they address Iraq at all, they act as though they have committed a minor error, as though large-scale death and destruction are the equivalent of a poor shot in golf when the course rules allow for mulligans.

As the Robert Mueller fiasco smolders out, it is damning that the Democratic Party, in its zest and zeal to welcome any critical assessment of Trump's unethical behavior, has barely mentioned that Mueller, in his previous role as director of the FBI, played a small but significant role in convincing the country to go to war in Iraq.

Mueller testified to Congress that "Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program poses a clear threat to our national security." He also warned that Saddam could "supply terrorists with radiological material" for the purposes of devising a nuclear bomb. Leaving aside any speculation about Mueller's intentions and assuming he had only the best of motives, it is quite bizarre, even dangerous, to treat as oracular someone who was wrong on such a life-or-death question.

Far worse than the worship of Mueller is the refusal to scrutinize the abysmal foreign policy record of Joe Biden, currently the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Of the Democrats in the Senate at that time, Biden was the most enthusiastic of the cheerleaders for war, waving his pompoms and cartwheeling in rhythm to Dick Cheney's music. Biden said repeatedly that America had "no choice but to eliminate the threat" posed by Saddam Hussein. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, his blustering was uniquely influential.

The former vice president now claims that his "only mistake was trusting the Bush administration," implying he was tricked into supporting the war. This line is not as persuasive as he imagines. First, it raises the question -- can't we nominate someone who wasn't tricked? Second, its logic crumbles in the face of Biden's recent decision to hire Nicholas Burns, former U.S. ambassador to NATO, as his campaign's foreign policy advisor. Burns was also a vociferous supporter of the war. An enterprising reporter should ask Biden whether Burns was also tricked. Is the Biden campaign an assembly of rubes?

Instead, the press is likelier to interrogate Biden over his holding hands and giving hugs to women at public events. Criticism of Biden's "inappropriate touching" has become so strident that the candidate had to record a video to explain his behavior. The moral standards of America's political culture seem to rate kissing a woman on the back of the head as a graver offense than catastrophic war.

Polling well below Biden in the race is the congresswoman from Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard. She alone on the Democratic stage has made criticism of American militarism central to her candidacy. A veteran of the Iraq war and a highly decorated major in the Hawaii Army National Guard, Gabbard offers an intelligent and humane perspective on foreign affairs. She's called the regime change philosophy "disastrous," advocated for negotiation with hostile foreign powers, and backed a reduction in drone strikes. She pledges if she becomes president to end American involvement in Afghanistan.

When Chris Matthews asked Gabbard about Biden's support for the Iraq war, she said, "It was the wrong vote. People like myself, who enlisted after 9/11 because of the terrorist attacks, were lied to. We were betrayed."

Her moral clarity is rare in the political fog of the presidential circus. She cautions against accepting the "guise of humanitarian justification for war," and notes that rarely does the American government bomb and invade a country to actually advance freedom or protect human rights.

Gabbard's positions are vastly superior to that of the other young veteran in the race, Pete Buttigieg. The mayor of South Bend recently told New York that one of his favorite novels is The Quiet American , saying that its author, Graham Greene, "points out the dangers of well-intentioned interventions."

Buttigieg's chances of winning the nomination seem low, and his prospects of becoming a literary critic appear even lower. The Quiet American does much more than raise questions about interventions: it is a merciless condemnation of American exceptionalism and its attendant indifference to Vietnamese suffering.

Americans hoping for peace won't find much comfort in the current White House either. President Trump has made the world more dangerous by trashing the Iran nuclear deal, and his appointment of John Bolton, a man who makes Donald Rumsfeld look like Mahatma Gandhi, as national security advisor is certainly alarming.

America's willful ignorance when it comes to the use of its own military exposes the moral bankruptcy at the heart of its political culture. Even worse, it makes future wars all but inevitable.

If no one can remember a war that ended merely nine years ago, and there's little room for Tulsi Gabbard in the Democratic primary, how will the country react the next time a president, and the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, declare that they have no choice but to remove a threat?

Norman Solomon, journalist and founder of the Institute for Public Accuracy, knows the answer to that question. He provides it in the title of his book on how the media treats American foreign policy decisions: War Made Easy .

David Masciotra is the author of four books, including Mellencamp: American Troubadour (University Press of Kentucky) and Barack Obama: Invisible Man (Eyewear Publishing).

MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR

Walter a day ago

Where ae the people who told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction? Should they be tried for lying to the American public? 4500 troops killed and over $1.1 TRILLION wasted with no good results .With hundreds of thousands of Iraq's killed. .
Clyde Schechter Walter a day ago
Where are they, indeed? They are still running US foreign policy; that's where they are. They are pundits in all the major media; that's where they are.

I cannot even imagine what historians will say about the uncanny persistence of these charlatans' influence in this era after a consistent record of disastrous, abysmal misadventures.

JeffK from PA Walter 17 hours ago
You don't have to look too hard to find them. Bolton, Pompeo, and other neocons are hiding in plain sight. The Military Industrial Complex is embedded in our foreign policy like a tick on a dog.
Sid Finster JeffK from PA 13 hours ago
Why not start with Bush and Blair?
IanDakar Sid Finster 10 hours ago
Because you'd be knocking out a storm trooper instead of the emperor, at least as far as Bush goes. Same for why the focus is on Bolton rather than simply Trump.

I CAN see an argument that Trump/Bush knew what they were doing when they brought those people in though. f you feel that way and see it more of an owner of a hostile attack dog then yeah, you'd want to include those two too.

JeffK from PA Sid Finster 10 hours ago
Cheney. Pure evil.
Sid Finster Walter 13 hours ago
Nuremberg provides an instructive precedent. Start at the top with Bush and Blair keep going on down.
Disqus10021 Sid Finster 11 hours ago
Recommended viewing: the 1961 movie "Judgment at Nuremberg".
L Walter 12 hours ago
One might wonder where that intelligence was gathered, and then maybe we could find out why these wars have been happening.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) a day ago
Here stands Tulsi. A woman, who, unlike their conventional troupe, can win this election. They reject her because... what? Moar war? She's not the member of the Cult? Or it's simply some sort of collective political death wish?
Anonne Alex (the one that likes Ike) 12 hours ago
They reject her because she had the temerity to speak truth to power and supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 race. She stepped down from her position as Vice Chair of the DNC to endorse Sanders. She has real courage, and earned their wrath. She's not perfect but she's braver and stronger than almost the entire field. Only Bernie is on par.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) Anonne 9 hours ago
And Bernie is the one they also hate, maybe a little bit less openly. Thus they reject those who can win the election. It's either a self-destructiveness or they think that it's better to keep on losing than to rebuild the party into what it needs to be.
Nelson Alex (the one that likes Ike) 8 hours ago
What do you mean "they"? Anyone is free to support her campaign.
former-vet a day ago • edited
Democrats and the Republican establishment, both, love war. It wasn't a coincidence that Hillary Clinton chose Madeleine Albright to be a keynote speaker at "her" party convention ("we think the deaths of a half million children are worth it"). Liberals know that there isn't really any "free" free, and that taxing the rich won't match their dreams -- it is the blood and bones of innocent foreigners that must pay for their lust. Establishment Republicans are more straightforward: they simply profit off the death and destruction.

This is why Trump is being destroyed, and why Tulsi is attacked. If only "she" (the one who gloated over Khameni's murder) had been elected, we'd be in a proxy war with Russia now! A real war with Iran! This is what the American people want, and what they'll likely get when they vote another chicken-hawk in come 2020.

Sid Finster former-vet 13 hours ago
Agree, except that Trump is not governing as a non-interventionist.

About the only thing one can say is that his is a slightly less reckless militarist than what the political class in this country wants.

Nelson former-vet 8 hours ago
Khameni is still alive. You're thinking of Gaddafi.
Fayez Abedaziz a day ago
Tulsi, like Sanders is a 'danger' to everything Israel wants.
So, all...all the main 'news' networks and online sites don't like them and give more coverage to the same old Dem bull peddlers like ignorant Booker and the lousy opportunist low IQ Kamala Harris and Gillibrand.
TomG 17 hours ago • edited
Manafort and his ilk can be tried and convicted for their lies. I guess if the lie is big enough we grant a pass on any need for prosecution. Justice for all? I don't think so.

Max Blumenthal posted a powerful piece at Consortium News (7/31/2019) about Biden's central and south American mis-adventures. Biden still extols his own policies however disastrous. The hubris of the man is worse than nauseating.

Great article, Mr. Masciotra.

OrvilleBerry 14 hours ago
Whether one thinks Gabbard has a shot at the nomination or not, it's important to keep her on the stage in the next round of debates. Go to Tulsi2020.com and give her just one dollar (or more if you can)
so she has enough unique contributors to make the next round. And if you get polled,early on give her your vote.
Strawman 12 hours ago
The moral standards of America's political culture seem to rate kissing a woman on the back of the head as a graver offense than catastrophic war.

Perfectly encapsulates the collective puerility of the American electorate. Thomas Jefferson must be spinning in his grave.

Disqus10021 12 hours ago • edited
The total US costs related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are expected to be considerably larger than $1.1 trillion, according to this study:
https://www.hks.harvard.edu...
Try $4-$6 trillion, according to the author of the study.

Long after I, Andrew Bacevitch and Hillary Clinton have gone to our reward, there will still be thousands of wounded warriors from these US Middle East adventures dependent on VA benefits for their survival and competing with civilian seniors for government handouts. A war with Iran would make the US fiscal situation that much worse.

The religious folks who were so anxious to protect family values only a few years ago seem to have their heads in the sand when it comes to the financial future of today's young Americans.

A few weeks ago, I made a token contribution to Tulsi Gabbard's campaign to help her qualify for the July Democratic debates. She will need more new contributors to qualify for the next round of debates.

david 12 hours ago
"The war in Iraq ended only nine years ago,..."

Ahh..., really? So why do we still have over 5000 soldiers in Iraq?

christopher kelly police ret. 11 hours ago
Tulsi was marvelous in knocking out Harris.
Zsuzsi Kruska 10 hours ago
Tulsi hasn't a chance of the nomination, but she's exposing things and maybe more people will get a clue about what's really going on with American lives and taxes being squandered for the profit of the few who benefit from these atrocities and wars abroad, done in the name of all Americans.
Eric 10 hours ago
Donated my $3 to Tulsi yesterday. She's the only Democrat I would vote for and she needs to stay in this race as long as possible.
Steve Naidamast 10 hours ago
Being a supporter of Tulsi Gabbard for the very reasons that the author writes, has me agreeing with everything he has promoted in his piece.

However, to answer his own question as to why Americans are lured into commenting on such innocuous and foolish things in such an important election such as Biden's touching of women, is answered by the author's own prose.

He states that Americans are only provided such nonsense from the press that is monitoring the election process. What else can people talk about? And even if many Americans are clearheaded enough to understand the charade of the current Democratic debates, what or who will actually provide legitimate coverage with the exception of online sites as the American Conservative, among others?

If most Americans were actually thinking individuals, Tulsi Gabbard would be a shoo-in for the presidency in 2020. However, given the two factors of a highly corrupted mainstream press and too many Americans not studying enough civics to understand what is going on around them, it is highly unlikely that Tulsi Gabbard will even get close to the possibility of being nominated...

JeffK from PA 10 hours ago
Cheney, mentioned in the article, was pure evil. I voted for GB2 for two reasons. 1) He was a very good Texas governor. He actually got anti-tax Texas to raise taxes dedicated to support education, in return for stricter standards for teachers. A good trade since Texas public schools were awful. 2) Dick Cheney. I thought he was the adult in the room that would provide steady and reliable guidance for Bush.

Boy was I wrong about Cheney. "Deficits don't matter". Just watch the movie Vice. Christian Bale does an incredible job portraying the pure evil of Cheney and the Military Industrial Complex. The movie is chilling to watch. And it is basically true. Politifact does a good job of scoring the accuracy of Cheney's role in the Bush administration as portrayed in the movie.

https://www.politifact.com/...

Mccormick47 10 hours ago
The trouble is, Conservatives promoting Gabbard and Williamson as their preferred candidates poisons their chances of staying in the race.
Mark Thomason 9 hours ago
I remember a friend of mine, a proud Marine, saying before the Iraq War, "Well, they better find some WMD for all this."

They didn't. That should matter.

[Aug 20, 2019] Propagandists Freak Out Over Gabbard s Destruction of Harris by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
all neocon scum instantly had risen to the surface to defend the neoliberal empire and its wars...
Notable quotes:
"... In the race to determine who will serve as commander in chief of the most powerful military force in the history of civilization, night two of the CNN Democratic presidential debates saw less than six minutes dedicated to discussing U.S. military policy during the 180-minute event. ..."
"... That's six, as in the number before seven. Not 60. Not 16. Six. From the moment Jake Tapper said "I want to turn to foreign policy" to the moment Don Lemon interrupted Rep. Tulsi Gabbard just as she was preparing to correctly explain how President Donald Trump is supporting Al-Qaeda in Idlib , approximately five minutes and 50 seconds had elapsed. The questions then turned toward the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 elections and impeachment proceedings. ..."
"... But the near-absence of foreign policy discussion didn't stop the Hawaii lawmaker from getting in some unauthorized truth-telling anyway. Attacking the authoritarian prosecutorial record of Sen. Kamala Harris to thunderous applause from the audience, Gabbard criticized the way her opponent "put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana;" "blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the court's forced her to do so;" "kept people in prisons beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California;" and "fought to keep the cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way." ..."
"... That was all it took. Harris's press secretary Ian Sams unleashed a string of tweets about Gabbard being an "Assad apologist," which were followed by a deluge of establishment narrative managers who sent the word "Assad" trending on Twitter, at times when Gabbard's name somehow failed to trend despite being the top-searched candidate on Google after the debate. ..."
"... "Somehow I have a hard time believing that 'Assad' is the top trending item in the United States but 'Tulsi' is nowhere to be found," tweeted journalist Michael Tracey. ..."
"... It really is interesting how aggressively the narrative managers thrust this line into mainstream consciousness all at the same time. ..."
"... The Washington Post 's Josh Rogin went on a frantic, lie-filled Twitter storm as soon as he saw an opportunity, claiming with no evidence whatsoever that Gabbard lied when she said she met with Assad for purposes of diplomacy and that she "helped Assad whitewash a mass atrocity," and falsely claiming that " she praised Russian bombing of Syrian civilians ." ..."
"... War is the glue that holds the empire together . A politician can get away with opposing some aspects of the status quo when it comes to healthcare or education, but war as a strategy for maintaining global dominance is strictly off limits. This is how you tell the difference between someone who actually wants to change things and someone who's just going through the motions for show; the real rebels forcefully oppose the actual pillars of empire by calling for an end to military bloodshed, while the performers just stick to the safe subjects. ..."
"... The shrill, hysterical pushback that Gabbard received last night was very encouraging, because it means she's forcing them to fight back. In a media environment where the war propaganda machine normally coasts along almost entirely unhindered in mainstream attention, the fact that someone has positioned themselves to move the needle like this says good things for our future. If our society is to have any chance of ever throwing off the omnicidal, ecocidal power establishment which keeps us in a state of endless war and soul-crushing oppression, the first step is punching a hole in the narrative matrix which keeps us hypnotized into believing that this is all normal and acceptable. ..."
"... Her immediate response to the first question directed to her, regardless of topic, should be prefaced with something like "I would appreciate the media and the opposition please refrain from deliberately misrepresenting my policies and remarks, most notably trying to tar me with more of the fallacious war propaganda they both dispense so freely and without any foundation. ..."
"... Gabbard has any chance to be elected only if she starts vigorously throwing over the tables of the money-lenders in the temple, so to speak. ..."
"... Hide the empire in plain sight, that way no one will notice it. Then someone like Tulsi Gabbard goes and talks about it on national TV. Can't have that, can we? People might begin to see it if we do that ..."
"... Pro war democrats are now using the Russian ruse to go after anti war candidates like Gabbard. It's despicable to even insinuate Gabbard is working for Putin or had any other rationale for going to Syria than seeking peace. This alone proved Harris unfit for the presidency. Her awful record speaks for itself. ..."
"... And she has courage. She quit the DNC to support Bernie and went to Syria to seek the truth and peace. ..."
"... She is unique. The media is trying Ron-Paul-Type-Blackout on her, lest the public catches on to the fact that she is exactly what the country needs. ..."
"... Warmonger candidates had better reconsider their positions if they believe that voters will back their stance. Just ask Hillary Clinton how that worked out for her and her warrior mentality in 2016. ..."
"... she has cross over appeal with republicans who want out of the wars. People like Tucker Carson and Paul Craig Roberts support her. Thats why the DNC hate her.. ..."
"... There's an obvious effort to Jane Fodarize Tulsi before she threatens the favorites. She seems to keep a cool head, so much of it is likely to backfire and bring the narrative back where it belongs. ..."
"... In contrast to Gabbard, a service member with extensive middle east combat experience, Cooper is a chickenhawk and a naif to murder and torture; ..."
"... "Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Whoever disrupts that narrative control is doing the real work." ..."
"... I read "narrative control" as brainwashing. ..."
Aug 02, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Establishment narrative managers distracted attention from a notable antiwar contender, seizing instead the chance to marshal an old smear against her, writes Caitlin Johnstone.

In the race to determine who will serve as commander in chief of the most powerful military force in the history of civilization, night two of the CNN Democratic presidential debates saw less than six minutes dedicated to discussing U.S. military policy during the 180-minute event.

That's six, as in the number before seven. Not 60. Not 16. Six. From the moment Jake Tapper said "I want to turn to foreign policy" to the moment Don Lemon interrupted Rep. Tulsi Gabbard just as she was preparing to correctly explain how President Donald Trump is supporting Al-Qaeda in Idlib , approximately five minutes and 50 seconds had elapsed. The questions then turned toward the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 elections and impeachment proceedings.

Night one of the CNN debates saw almost twice as much time, with a whole 11 minutes by my count dedicated to questions of war and peace for the leadership of the most warlike nation on the planet. This discrepancy could very well be due to the fact that night two was the slot allotted to Gabbard, whose campaign largely revolves around the platform of ending U.S. warmongering.

CNN is a virulent establishment propaganda firm with an extensive history of promoting lies and brazen psyops in facilitation of U.S. imperialism, so it would make sense that they would try to avoid a subject which would inevitably lead to unauthorized truth-telling on the matter.

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

But the near-absence of foreign policy discussion didn't stop the Hawaii lawmaker from getting in some unauthorized truth-telling anyway. Attacking the authoritarian prosecutorial record of Sen. Kamala Harris to thunderous applause from the audience, Gabbard criticized the way her opponent "put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana;" "blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the court's forced her to do so;" "kept people in prisons beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California;" and "fought to keep the cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way."

Harris Folded Under Pressure

Harris, who it turns out fights very well when advancing but folds under pressure, had no answer for Gabbard's attack, preferring to focus on attacking former Vice President Joe Biden instead.

Later, when she was a nice safe distance out of Gabbard's earshot, she uncorked a long-debunked but still effective smear that establishment narrative managers have been dying for an excuse to run wild with.

"This, coming from someone who has been an apologist for an individual, Assad, who has murdered the people of his country like cockroaches," Harris told Anderson Cooper after the debate, referring to the president of Syria. "She who has embraced and been an apologist for him in a way that she refuses to call him a war criminal. I can only take what she says and her opinion so seriously and so I'm prepared to move on."

That was all it took. Harris's press secretary Ian Sams unleashed a string of tweets about Gabbard being an "Assad apologist," which were followed by a deluge of establishment narrative managers who sent the word "Assad" trending on Twitter, at times when Gabbard's name somehow failed to trend despite being the top-searched candidate on Google after the debate.

As of this writing, "Assad" is showing on the No. 5 trending list on the side bar of Twitter's new layout, while Gabbard's name is nowhere to be seen. This discrepancy has drawn criticism from numerous Gabbard defenders on the platform .

"Somehow I have a hard time believing that 'Assad' is the top trending item in the United States but 'Tulsi' is nowhere to be found," tweeted journalist Michael Tracey.

It really is interesting how aggressively the narrative managers thrust this line into mainstream consciousness all at the same time.

The Washington Post 's Josh Rogin went on a frantic, lie-filled Twitter storm as soon as he saw an opportunity, claiming with no evidence whatsoever that Gabbard lied when she said she met with Assad for purposes of diplomacy and that she "helped Assad whitewash a mass atrocity," and falsely claiming that " she praised Russian bombing of Syrian civilians ."

... ... ...

War is the glue that holds the empire together . A politician can get away with opposing some aspects of the status quo when it comes to healthcare or education, but war as a strategy for maintaining global dominance is strictly off limits. This is how you tell the difference between someone who actually wants to change things and someone who's just going through the motions for show; the real rebels forcefully oppose the actual pillars of empire by calling for an end to military bloodshed, while the performers just stick to the safe subjects.

The shrill, hysterical pushback that Gabbard received last night was very encouraging, because it means she's forcing them to fight back. In a media environment where the war propaganda machine normally coasts along almost entirely unhindered in mainstream attention, the fact that someone has positioned themselves to move the needle like this says good things for our future. If our society is to have any chance of ever throwing off the omnicidal, ecocidal power establishment which keeps us in a state of endless war and soul-crushing oppression, the first step is punching a hole in the narrative matrix which keeps us hypnotized into believing that this is all normal and acceptable.

Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Whoever disrupts that narrative control is doing the real work.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Follow her work on Facebook , Twitter , or her website . She has a podcast and a new book " Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers ."


Realist , August 2, 2019 at 20:06

I'm going to venture a guess and say that the media fixers for the Deep State's political song and dance show are not going to allow Tulsi back on that stage for the next installation of "Killer Klowns on Parade." Just as she had the right to skewer Harris for her sweeping dishonesty and hypocrisy in public office, she has just as much right to proactively respond to the smears and slanders directed against her by both the party establishment and its media colluders.

Her immediate response to the first question directed to her, regardless of topic, should be prefaced with something like "I would appreciate the media and the opposition please refrain from deliberately misrepresenting my policies and remarks, most notably trying to tar me with more of the fallacious war propaganda they both dispense so freely and without any foundation. It is beneath all dignity to attempt to win elections with lies and deceptions, just as it is to use them as pretexts for wars of choice that bring no benefit to either America or the countries being attacked. As I've repeatedly made clear, I only want to stop the wasteful destruction and carnage, but you deceitfully try to imply that I'm aligned with one of the several foreign governments that our leaders have needlessly and foolishly chosen to make war upon. You've done so on this stage and you've continued this misrepresentation throughout the American media. Please stop it. Play fair. Confine your remarks only to the truth."

That would raise a kerfuffle, but one that is distinctly called for. Going gently towards exit stage right consequent to their unanswered lies will accomplish nothing. If the Dems choose to excommunicate her for such effrontery, she should run as a Green, or an independent. This is a danger the Dem power structure dare not allow to happen. They don't even want the particulars of the actual history of these wars discussed in public. Thus, they will not even give her the chance to offer a rejoinder such as I outlined above. They will simply rule that she does not qualify for any further debates based on her polling numbers (which can be faked) and/or her financial support numbers. That is nominally how they've already decided to winnow down the field to the few who are acceptable to the Deep State–preferably Harris, Biden or Booker. Someone high profile but owned entirely by the insider elites. Yes, this rules out Bernie and maybe even Warren unless she secretly signed a blood pact with Wall Street to walk away from her platform if elected.

Gabbard has any chance to be elected only if she starts vigorously throwing over the tables of the money-lenders in the temple, so to speak.

Tom Kath , August 2, 2019 at 20:05

There is a big difference between "PRINCIPLES" and "POLICY". Principles should never change, but policy must. This is where I believe Tulsi can not only make a big difference, but ultimately even win. – Not this time around perhaps, she is young and this difference will take time to reveal itself.

O Society , August 2, 2019 at 16:39

Hide the empire in plain sight, that way no one will notice it. Then someone like Tulsi Gabbard goes and talks about it on national TV. Can't have that, can we? People might begin to see it if we do that

http://osociety.org/2019/08/02/how-to-hide-an-empire-a-history-of-the-greater-united-states/

ranney , August 2, 2019 at 16:24

What is happening to Tulsi (the extraordinary spate of lies about her relationship with Assad coming from all directions) provides a good explanation why Bernie and Elizabeth have been smart not to make many comments about foreign policy.

The few Bernie has made indicate to me that he is sympathetic to the Palestinian problem, but smart enough to keep quiet on the subject until, God willing, he is in a position to actually do something about it. It will be interesting to see if debate questions force them to be more forthcoming about their opinions.

Emma Peele , August 2, 2019 at 16:05

Pro war democrats are now using the Russian ruse to go after anti war candidates like Gabbard. It's despicable to even insinuate Gabbard is working for Putin or had any other rationale for going to Syria than seeking peace. This alone proved Harris unfit for the presidency. Her awful record speaks for itself.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , August 2, 2019 at 15:58

Tulsi is the most original and interesting candidate to come along in many years. She's authentic, something not true of most of that pack.

And not true of most of the House and Senate with their oh-so-predictable statements on most matters and all those crinkly-faced servants of plutocracy. She has courage too, a rare quality in Washington where, indeed, cowards often do well. Witness Trump, Biden, Clinton, Bush, Johnson, et al.

If there's ever going to be any change in a that huge country which has become a force for darkness and fear in much of the world, it's going to come from the likes of Tulsi. But I'm not holding my breath. It's clear from many signals, the establishment very much dislikes her. So, the odds are, they'll make sure she doesn't win.

Still, I admire a valiant try. Just as I admire honesty, something almost unheard of in Washington, but she has it, in spades.

emma peele , August 2, 2019 at 16:48

And she has courage. She quit the DNC to support Bernie and went to Syria to seek the truth and peace.

Mike from Jersey , August 2, 2019 at 16:55

She is unique. The media is trying Ron-Paul-Type-Blackout on her, lest the public catches on to the fact that she is exactly what the country needs.

Sally Snyder , August 2, 2019 at 15:17

Here is an article that looks at the level of support from American voters for yet another war in the Middle East:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/07/main-street-america-and-another-war-in.html

Warmonger candidates had better reconsider their positions if they believe that voters will back their stance. Just ask Hillary Clinton how that worked out for her and her warrior mentality in 2016.

Robert , August 2, 2019 at 14:49

Tulsi is the most promising candidate to successfully run against Trump for 2 reasons. 1. She has a sane, knowledgeable foreign/military policy promoting peace and non-intervention. 2) She understands the disastrous consequences of the WTO and "free" trade deals on the US economy. No other Democratic candidate has these 2 policies. Unfortunately, these policies are so dangerous to the real rulers of the world, her message is already being shut down and distorted.

emma peele , August 2, 2019 at 16:53

And she has cross over appeal with republicans who want out of the wars. People like Tucker Carson and Paul Craig Roberts support her. Thats why the DNC hate her..

Skip Scott , August 2, 2019 at 14:05

I read this article over on Medium this morning. Thanks for re-printing it here. I made the following comment there as well.

I was a somewhat enthusiastic supporter of Tulsi until just recently when she voted for the anti-BDS resolution. I guess "speaking truth to power" has its limits. What I fear is that the war machine will manipulate her if she ever gets elected. Once you accept any of the Empire's propaganda narrative, it is a slippery slope to being fully co-opted. Tulsi has said she is a "hawk" when it comes to fighting terrorists. All the MIC would have to do is another false flag operation, blame it on the "terrorists", and tell Tulsi it's time to get tough. Just as they manipulated the neo-liberals with the R2P line of bullshit, and Trump with the "evil Assad gasses his own people" bullshit, Tulsi could be brought to heel as well.

I will probably continue to send small donations to Tulsi just to keep her on the debate stage. But I've taken off the rose colored glasses.

Bob Herrschaft , August 2, 2019 at 13:57

Well said, Caitlin! There's an obvious effort to Jane Fodarize Tulsi before she threatens the favorites. She seems to keep a cool head, so much of it is likely to backfire and bring the narrative back where it belongs.

P. Michael Garber , August 2, 2019 at 13:42

Great article! Anderson Cooper in his post-debate interview with Gabbard appeared to be demanding a loyalty oath from her: "Will you say the words 'Bashar Assad is a murderer and torturer'?" In contrast to Gabbard, a service member with extensive middle east combat experience, Cooper is a chickenhawk and a naif to murder and torture; in that context his attack was inappropriate and disrespectful, and as he kept pressing it I thought he appeared unhinged. Gabbard could have done more to call out Cooper's craven attack (personally I think she could have decked him and been well within her rights), but she handled it with her customary grace and poise.

hetro , August 2, 2019 at 13:09

Seems to me Caitlin is right on, and her final statement is worth emphasizing: "Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Whoever disrupts that narrative control is doing the real work."

I read "narrative control" as brainwashing.

Note also that Caitlin is careful to qualify she does not fully agree with Gabbard, in context with year after year of demonizing Assad amidst the murk of US supported type militants, emphasis on barrel bombs, etc etc, all in the "controlling the narrative/propaganda" sphere.

Another interesting piece to consider on the smearing of Gabbard:

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-02/empire-coming-tulsi-gabbard

Brian Murphy , August 2, 2019 at 16:25

"A soldier knows when you are taking flak you are over your target." nice.

[Aug 20, 2019] Trump is about the agony. The agony of the US centered global neoliberal empire.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The current neoliberal order failed to suppress China development enough to block her from becoming the competitor (and the second largest economy.) ..."
"... That's why a faction of the USA elite decided to adopt "might makes right" policies (essentially piracy instead of international law) in a hope that it will prolong the life of the US-centered neoliberal empire. ..."
"... As much as Trump proved to be inapt politician and personally and morally despicable individual (just his known behavior toward Melania tells a lot about him; we do not need possible Epstein revelations for that) he does represent a faction of the US elite what wants this change. ..."
"... All his pro working class and pro lower middle class rhetoric was a bluff -- he is representative of faction of the US elite that is hell bent on maintaining the imperial superiority achieved after the collapse of the USSR, whatever it takes. At the expense of common people as Pentagon budget can attest. ..."
"... That also explains the appointment of Bolton and Pompeo. That are birds of the feather, not some maniacs (although they are ;-) accidentally brought into Trump administration via major donors pressure. ..."
"... In this sense Russiagate was not only a color revolution launched to depose Trump by neoliberal wing of Democratic Party and rogue, Obama-installed elements within intelligence agencies (Brennan, Comey, McCabe, etc.) , but also part of the struggle between the faction of the US elite that wants "muscular" policy of preservation of the empire (Trump supporters faction so to speak) and the faction that still wants to kick the can down the road via "classic neoliberalism" path (Clinton supporters faction so to speak.) ..."
Aug 20, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

likbez -> anne... August 04, 2019 at 04:14 PM

It is not about the strategy. It's about the agony. The agony of the US centered global neoliberal empire.

Trump and forces behind him realized that current set of treaties does not favor the preservation of the empire and allows new powerful players to emerge despite all institutionalized looting via World Bank and IMF and the imposition of Washington Consensus. The main danger here are Germany (and EU in general) and, especially, China.

The current neoliberal order failed to suppress China development enough to block her from becoming the competitor (and the second largest economy.)

That's why a faction of the USA elite decided to adopt "might makes right" policies (essentially piracy instead of international law) in a hope that it will prolong the life of the US-centered neoliberal empire.

As much as Trump proved to be inapt politician and personally and morally despicable individual (just his known behavior toward Melania tells a lot about him; we do not need possible Epstein revelations for that) he does represent a faction of the US elite what wants this change.

All his pro working class and pro lower middle class rhetoric was a bluff -- he is representative of faction of the US elite that is hell bent on maintaining the imperial superiority achieved after the collapse of the USSR, whatever it takes. At the expense of common people as Pentagon budget can attest.

That also explains the appointment of Bolton and Pompeo. That are birds of the feather, not some maniacs (although they are ;-) accidentally brought into Trump administration via major donors pressure.

In this sense Russiagate was not only a color revolution launched to depose Trump by neoliberal wing of Democratic Party and rogue, Obama-installed elements within intelligence agencies (Brennan, Comey, McCabe, etc.) , but also part of the struggle between the faction of the US elite that wants "muscular" policy of preservation of the empire (Trump supporters faction so to speak) and the faction that still wants to kick the can down the road via "classic neoliberalism" path (Clinton supporters faction so to speak.)

[Aug 19, 2019] Trump Privately Obsessed With Naval Blockade Of Venezuela Report

Aug 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Axios is calling it President Trump's Venezuela naval blockade "obsession" based on accounts of unnamed administration officials: "President Trump has suggested to national security officials that the U.S. should station Navy ships along the Venezuelan coastline to prevent goods from coming in and out of the country , according to 5 current and former officials who have either directly heard the president discuss the idea or have been briefed on Trump's private comments," according to a new report .

He's said to have repeatedly raised the idea in private as a way to finally deliver regime change in Caracas , after prior attempts - including a short-lived push for military coup - failed earlier this year. Supposedly, the plan would be to station US Navy ships along the coast such that all vessels would be blocked from entering or exiting the South American country.

While Trump has acknowledged to the press in recent weeks that it's "an option" that's being discussed, his private comments have been more pointed and extensive. Axios quotes one source as follows: "He literally just said we should get the ships out there and do a naval embargo," the source described upon hearing the president's comments. "Prevent anything going in," the official said.

Image via Checkpoint Asia

"I'm assuming he's thinking of the Cuban missile crisis," the source said further. Push back against the president's floating such a blockade have not been centered around the potential humanitarian disaster by further cutting off the already cash-deprived country as food and energy are already at crisis shortages.

Instead, the concern voiced focused on the feasibility from a US perspective of taking on such as massive enterprise as blockading a coastline that stretches more than 1700 miles .

Per Axios, an administration source argued it's unrealistic :

"But Cuba is an island and Venezuela is a massive coastline. And Cuba we knew what we were trying to prevent from getting in. But here what are we talking about? It would need massive, massive amounts of resources ; probably more than the U.S. Navy can provide."

While there's no official blockade in place yet, the US has recently made efforts to block individual vessels from getting to Venezuela in the context of new oil sanctions by the US Treasury.

That's a lot of coastline:

Early this summer, Trump appeared to have cooled on pursuing regime change against Nicholas Maduro; however, his alleged "obsession" means the standoff could become a front and center national security priority once again.

[Aug 19, 2019] Trump's Foreign Policy All Coercion, No Diplomacy

Aug 19, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Trump's Foreign Policy: All Coercion, No Diplomacy By Daniel Larison August 19, 2019, 1:54 PM

U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, President Trump and National Security Advisor John Bolton at the NATO Foreign Ministerial in Brussels, Belgium on July 12, 2018. [State Department photo/ Public Domain] Matt Lee reports on the Trump administration obsessive use of sanctions:

Call it the diplomacy of coercion.

The Trump administration is aggressively pursuing economic sanctions as a primary foreign policy tool to an extent unseen in decades, or perhaps ever. Many are questioning the results even as officials insist the penalties are achieving their aims.

It is true that the Trump administration is using economic coercion as its default approach to almost everything, but there doesn't appear to be any diplomacy involved. There is such a thing as "coercive diplomacy," but there is no evidence that Trump and his officials understand the first thing about it. An administration that genuinely wanted to secure lasting diplomatic agreements with other states would apply pressure only as a means to a specific, achievable goal, but with this administration they are waging purely destructive economic wars that the targeted states cannot end without capitulating. The "maximum pressure" description implies an unwillingness to relieve pressure short of the other side's surrender.

It is not just that it is a "combination of more sticks and fewer carrots." The Trump administration's policies are all punishment and no reward. In the case of Iran, it could hardly be otherwise when the administration chose to penalize Iran with sanctions for daring to comply with a multilateral nonproliferation agreement. Iran behaved constructively and acceded to the demands of the P5+1 four years ago, and in return for their cooperation they have been subjected to a grueling economic war despite fully complying with their commitments. When our government punishes another state for doing what previous administrations wanted them to do, no amount of punishment could force that state to trust our government a second time.

The administration approaches each case in the same way: they impose penalties, they make threats, they offer no incentives, and they make outrageous, far-fetched demands that no government would ever accept. Trump handles the trade wars in much the same way that he handles the "maximum pressure" campaigns against intransigent governments, and he fails every time because he can't conceive of a mutually beneficial agreement and therefore refuses to compromise. Trump's "diplomacy" is no diplomacy at all, but a series of insults, sanctions, tariffs, and threats that achieve nothing except to cause disruption and pain. Unsurprisingly, a pressure campaign that is aimed at toppling a government or forcing it to give up everything it has cannot be successful on its own terms as long as the targeted government chooses to resist, and the stakes for the targeted government will always higher than they are for the administration. In a contest of wills, the party that is fighting to preserve itself has the advantage.

[Aug 19, 2019] War Party Hates Putin Loves al-Qaeda by Justin Raimondo

Late Justin Raimondo was an astute analyst of events in Syria... This is his analysys from 2015. It is still cogent as of August 2019.
Notable quotes:
"... "War on terrorism" turns into cold war against Russia ..."
"... By the way, according to the Pentagon's own testimony before a congressional committee, only sixty "vetted" fighters were sent into Syria to take on both Assad and ISIS. And while they denied, at first, that their pet "moderates" betrayed Washington and handed over most of their weapons and other equipment to al-Qaeda in return for "safe passage," the Pentagon later admitted it . ..."
"... [I]t is hypocritical and irresponsible to make declarations about the threat of terrorism and at the same time turn a blind eye to the channels used to finance and support terrorists, including revenues from drug trafficking, the illegal oil trade and the arms trade ..."
"... It is equally irresponsible to manipulate extremist groups and use them to achieve your political goals, hoping that later you'll find a way to get rid of them or somehow eliminate them. ..."
"... "I'd like to tell those who engage in this: Gentlemen, the people you are dealing with are cruel but they are not dumb. They are as smart as you are. So, it's a big question: who's playing who here? The recent incident where the most 'moderate' opposition group handed over their weapons to terrorists is a vivid example of that. ..."
Oct 02, 2015 | original.antiwar.com

"War on terrorism" turns into cold war against Russia

Posted on August 19, 2019 August 18, 2019 In both Yemen and Syria, the War Party has found an ally that they can get behind, you know, one that really supports our values: al-Qaeda. From time to time they have even managed to get President Trump to go along with this nonsense – presumably due to the baleful influence of John Bolton. (See Ron Paul's recent discussion of recent developments.) It is worth a look back at an earlier high-points in this strange alliance between the West and al-Qaeda against Russia and Syria. Justin's column from four years ago (October 2, 2015) analyzes it in depth.

Originally published October 2, 2015

As Russian fighter jets target al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria, the Western media is up in arms – and in denial . They deny the Russians are taking on ISIS – and they are indignant that Putin is targeting al-Qaeda , which is almost never referred to by its actual name, but is instead described as " al-Nusra ," or the more inclusive " Army of Conquest ," which are alternate names for the heirs of Osama bin Laden.

And there are no ideological lines being drawn in this information war: both the left and the right – e.g. the left-liberal Vox and the Fox News network – are utilizing a map put out by the neoconservative "Institute for the Study of War" to "prove" that Putin isn't really attacking ISIS – he's actually only concerned with destroying the "non-ISIS" rebels and propping up the faltering regime of Bashar al-Assad.

The premise behind this kind of propaganda is that there really is some difference between ISIS and the multitude of Islamist groups proliferating like wasps in the region: and that, furthermore, al-Qaeda is "relatively" moderate when compared to the Islamic State. Yes, incredibly, the US and British media are pushing the line that the al-Qaeda fighters in Syria, known as al-Nusra, are really the Good Guys.

Didn't you know that we have always been at war with Eastasia?

There is much whining , this [Thursday] morning, that a supposedly US-"vetted" group known as Tajammu al-Aaza has felt Putin's wrath – but when we get down into the weeds, we discover that this outfit is fighting alongside al-Qaeda:

"Jamil al-Saleh, a defected Syrian army officer who is now the leader of the rebel group Tajammu al-Aaza, told AlSouria.net that the Russian airstrikes targeted his group's base in al-Lataminah, a town in the western Syrian governorate of Hama. That area represents one of the farthest southern points of the rebel advance from the north and is therefore a crucial front line in the war. An alliance of Syrian rebel factions, including both the al Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front and groups considered by Washington to be more moderate, successfully drove Assad regime forces out of the northern governorate of Idlib and are now pushing south into Hama."

By the way, according to the Pentagon's own testimony before a congressional committee, only sixty "vetted" fighters were sent into Syria to take on both Assad and ISIS. And while they denied, at first, that their pet "moderates" betrayed Washington and handed over most of their weapons and other equipment to al-Qaeda in return for "safe passage," the Pentagon later admitted it . Furthermore, we were told that these were the only "vetted" fighters actually in the field, but now we are confronted with "Tajammu al-Aaza," which – it's being reported – is deploying US-supplied missile guidance systems against Syrian government forces.

So a handful of "vetted" fighters suddenly turns into an entire armed force – one which, you'll note, has effectively merged with al-Qaeda.

The lies are coming at us so fast and thick in the first 24 hours of the Russian strikes that we face a veritable blizzard of obfuscation. They range from the egregious – alleged photos of "civilian casualties" that turn out to be fake – to the more subtle: a supposed Free Syrian Army commander is reported killed by a Russian air strike, and yet it appears that very same commander was kidnapped by ISIS last year . We are told that the town of Rastan, the site of Russian strikes, isn't under the control of ISIS – except it was when ISIS was executing gay men there .

The Russians make no bones about their support of Assad: in his speech to the United Nations, Putin stated his position clearly: "We think it's a big mistake to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian authorities and government forces who valiantly fight terrorists on the ground." On the other hand, the objectives of the Western alliance in Syria aren't so clear: on the one hand, Washington claims to be directing the main blow against ISIS, but its claims of success have been greatly exaggerated . Yet we have spent many millions arming and training "vetted" rebels who have been defecting to ISIS and al-Qaeda in droves.

It's almost as if we're keeping ISIS around so as to put pressure on Assad to get out of Dodge. As Putin put it in his UN speech :

" [I]t is hypocritical and irresponsible to make declarations about the threat of terrorism and at the same time turn a blind eye to the channels used to finance and support terrorists, including revenues from drug trafficking, the illegal oil trade and the arms trade .

" It is equally irresponsible to manipulate extremist groups and use them to achieve your political goals, hoping that later you'll find a way to get rid of them or somehow eliminate them.

"I'd like to tell those who engage in this: Gentlemen, the people you are dealing with are cruel but they are not dumb. They are as smart as you are. So, it's a big question: who's playing who here? The recent incident where the most 'moderate' opposition group handed over their weapons to terrorists is a vivid example of that. "

The reality is that there are no "moderates" in Syria, and certainly not among the rebel Islamist groups: they're all jihadists who want to impose Sharia law, drive out Christians, Alawites, and other minority groups, and set up an Islamic dictatorship. These are our noble "allies" – the very same people who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, and against whom our perpetual "war on terrorism" was launched.

[Aug 19, 2019] Rest assured "The Great War" did not mean "The Splendid war"

Aug 19, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

It was the World's largest war at that time and surpassed WW II in many statistics, although probably not "tonnage of bombs dropped". That latter was WW II, not surpassed until the Gulf War when USAF used up all it's old arsenal (the better to let more contracts, my dear).
To be fair, military aviation was in its infancy then. The slaughter on the Western front broke England's Social Structure and paved the way for the destruction of the British Empire. Four other empire's died as a consequence of WW I (German, Austrian, Russian, and Turkish)
Note: "Kaiser" derives from "Caesar" which was an Imperial title of the late Roman Empire besides being Gaius Julius Caesar's family name). Promises made to both Arabs and Jews by the two-faced British Foreign Office paved the way for today's Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
It was a shattering event which tend to occur at 100 year intervals. The one previous was the Napoleonic Wars. I forget the one before that. War of the Spanish succession? And coincidentally, we are now living a hundred years later in the Middle east Forever war, which I fully expect to have similar consequences. The rights and civil liberties of free Americans are already a casualty.

The Great War set the stage for the Great Depression. I think a similar depression occurred after the War of 1812 (Napoleonic War in Europe). I'd have to consult a history text to see about others, but our 1970's economic travails were mirrored after the Civil war and the dot com bust is eerily similar to the Depression of 1890.

There is a theory that wars and revolutions occur at two cycles of approximately 100 and 170 years based on temperature and rainfall cycles. Every 500 years they coincide in a 5-3 resonance and whole civilizations fall or are transformed. Toynbee's 1000 year cycles can be seen as two such resonances. Following his analysis, the first crisis turns the civilization inwards and autocratic. The second breaks it entirely. Religions change too. I forget how. My Toynbee is packed away. does anyone here know what were the religious changes? Interestingly, the next 500 year supercycle fell in 2000 AD, so we are now in the first major crisis of Western Technical Civilization? (my name for the Renaissance and beyond, usually prosaically called "Modern"). this should turn WTC inward and autocratic, eventually dying in the next event around 2500 AD which should entire the collapse of civilization and a great folk-wandering sparked by environmental collapse. (loss of Eurasian pasture in the case of 500AD, turning steppe peoples westward (China was having a civilization peak, no way were the Huns turning east. In fact, they were expelled from China.

Ain't history fun? unless you are living it.

[Aug 19, 2019] There Once Was a President Who Hated War. American elites used to see war as a tragic necessity. Now they're completely addicted to it by Stephen M. Walt

Notable quotes:
"... Stephen M. Walt ..."
"... Steven A. Cook ..."
"... Jeffrey Lewis ..."
Aug 18, 2019 | foreignpolicy.com
A statue of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his dog Fala are seen at the FDR Memorial September 20, 2012 in Washington, DC. KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

Along with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt is often hailed as one of the United States' greatest presidents. FDR gave Americans hope during the Great Depression, created key institutions like Social Security that remain broadly popular today, led the country to victory in World War II, and created a broad political coalition that endured for decades. He made mistakes -- as all presidents do -- but it's no wonder he's still regarded with reverence.

On Aug. 14, 1936 -- 83 years ago -- FDR gave a speech at Chautauqua in upstate New York, fulfilling a promise he had made at his inauguration in 1933. It is a remarkable speech, where FDR lays out his thoughts on the proper American approach to international affairs. He explains his "good neighbor" policy toward Latin America, along with his belief that although a more liberal international trade may not prevent war, "without a more liberal international trade, war is a natural sequence."

For me, the most remarkable feature of this speech is Roosevelt's blunt, vivid, and passionate denunciation of war, expressed with a candor that is almost entirely absent from political discourse today. After making it clear that "we are not isolationists, except insofar as we seek to isolate ourselves completely from war," he acknowledges that "so long as war exists on Earth, there will be some danger that even the nation which most ardently desires peace may be drawn into war."

But then he goes on:

"I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen men coughing out their gassed lungs. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen 200 limping, exhausted men come out of line -- the survivors of a regiment of 1,000 that went forward 48 hours before. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war."

Roosevelt then reminds his listeners that war can result from many causes (including, in a passage that surely speaks to us today, "political fanaticisms in which are intertwined race hatreds"). He hopes to preserve U.S. neutrality should conflict erupt elsewhere and warns against the few selfish men who would seek to embroil the country in war solely to reap war profits. To make sure the country does not foolishly choose profits over peace, he calls for the "meditation, the prayer, and the positive support of the people of America who go along with us in seeking peace."

Yet, for all that, FDR leaves no doubt that the American people will defend themselves and their interests if war is forced on them. In his closing paragraph, he declares: "If there are remoter nations that wish us not good but ill, they know that we are strong; they know that we can and will defend ourselves and defend our neighborhood." And it is precisely what Roosevelt ultimately did.

Seriously, can you think of a recent U.S. president who spoke of war and peace in similar terms, with equal passion and frankness?

Bill Clinton was no militarist, but he was so worried about being labeled a dove that he kept boosting defense spending, firing off cruise missiles without thinking, and blindly assuming that exporting democracy, expanding trade, and issuing open-ended security guarantees would suffice to bring peace around the world. And when he had a golden opportunity to broker a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace, he whiffed.

By contrast, George W. Bush was a swaggering frat boy who brought wars to several places and peace nowhere. He liked to pose in a nifty flight suit and give high-minded, tough-talking speeches, but the unnecessary wars he launched killed hundreds of thousands of people and severely damaged America's global position.

Barack Obama may have agonized over every targeted killing and major military decision, but he also ramped up the drone war, sent additional troops to Afghanistan to no good purpose, helped turn Libya into a failed state, and tacitly backed the Saudi-led war in Yemen. And when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (!), his acceptance speech focused as much on defending America's role in the world -- including its widespread use of military force -- as it did on extolling the virtues of peace and the measures that must be taken to advance it.

Ironically, though Donald Trump loves military parades, flybys, and the other visible trappings of military power, he seems rather leery of war. Like former Vice President Dick Cheney, who sought and received five separate deferments from the draft during Vietnam, Trump (or his father) apparently saw military service as something that only less fortunate people ought to participate in. As president, he does seem to recognize that starting some new war could hurt him politically, even as his more hawkish advisors keep pushing him in that direction. And we've yet to hear him extolling the virtues of peace as candidly as Roosevelt did in 1936.

Look, you don't have to tell a realist like me that we live in an imperfect world and that perpetual peace is a pipe dream. But the difficulty of the task is precisely why it merits serious attention. Yet instead of embracing peace as a virtue, U.S. politicians go to great lengths to show how tough they are and how ready they are to send Americans into harm's way in order to take out some alleged enemy. But how often do they talk about trying to understand the complex origins of most contemporary conflicts? How often do they try to empathize with the United States' adversaries, not in order to agree with them but so as to understand their position and to figure out a way to change their behavior without resorting to threats, coercion, or violence? How often do prominent politicians say, as Roosevelt did, that they "hate war"?

As I've said before , the U.S. disinterest in peace isn't just morally dubious; it's strategically myopic.

The United States should not shrink from fighting if such fighting is forced on it, but it should be the country's last resort rather than its first impulse. The United States is remarkably secure from most external dangers, and apart from political malfeasance at home (see: the Trump administration), the only thing that could really screw things up in the short term is a big war. War is bad for business (unless you're Boeing or Lockheed Martin), and it tends to elevate people who are good at manipulating violence but not so good at building up institutions, communities, or companies. When you're already on top of the world, encouraging the use of force isn't prudent; it's dumb. Peace, in short, is almost always in America's strategic interest.

Which makes it even more surprising that the word has mostly vanished from Americans' strategic vocabulary, and here I think two big factors are responsible. First, fewer politicians (and especially presidents) have "seen war" in the way that Roosevelt had. Harry Truman did, and so did Dwight D. Eisenhower (obviously), John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, and George H.W. Bush. Needless to say, none of the post-Cold War presidents ever saw war in the same way.

Equally important, both the political class and the public have been imbibing an intoxicating brew of militarist rhetoric, imagery, and argument for decades. Americans cheer the troops at baseball games, wave giddily at thunderous aerial flybys, and finance all of their military adventures by borrowing money so that no one has to make obvious sacrifices now.

In Roosevelt's era, Americans were still reluctant to "go abroad in search of monsters to destroy," but they fought with unexpected ferocity when attacked. They were slow to anger but united in response. The situation today is the exact opposite -- they are quick on the trigger provided that none of them have to do very much once the bullets are flying. Instead of seeing war as a tragic necessity that is to be avoided if at all possible, Americans regard it as a rather sanitary "policy option" that takes place in countries most of them cannot locate and is conducted primarily by drones, aircraft, and volunteers. Americans fight all the time but without clear purpose or firm resolve. As one would expect, they usually lose, although others often pay a much larger price than they do.

There are faint signs that this situation is changing, after nearly 25 years of mostly failed adventures abroad. The foreign-policy elite may have acquired a certain addiction to war , but longtime addicts sometimes decide to turn their lives around and kick the habit. As noted above, Trump hasn't started any new wars yet, and his various Democratic challengers aren't pushing for more war either. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Tulsi Gabbard have pretty fair ( but not perfect ) records on this broad issue, and each has been vocal in opposing U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Pete Buttigieg wants the United States to rely less on military force in some places (but not others), Kamala Harris has been mostly silent on the issue, and the other leading candidates have more mixed records. Don't forget that Joe Biden voted for the Iraq War, and both Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar lean in more hawkish directions.

I'm waiting for one of them to start talking openly and intelligently about peace. What is needed to promote it, and how can the United States use its still considerable power to keep itself out of war and to help others escape its destructive clutches? If any of the 2020 candidates decide to tackle this issue head-on, they might start by reading what a great president once said, 83 years ago.

Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University. View
Comments
Tags: Peace , U.S. Foreign Policy , United States , Voice , War

Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola

by Taboola by Taboola Sponsored Links Sponsored Links Promoted Links Promoted Links You May Like VehicleBuff Review Detailers Get a Glass-Like Shine in Minutes With These 5 Products VehicleBuff Review Undo NewRetirement The Number 1 Reason Banks Don't Recommend Reverse Mortgages NewRetirement Undo TruthFinder People Search Subscription One Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace Yourself TruthFinder People Search Subscription Undo LeafFilter Partner If You Have Gutters You Have To Try This To Avoid Cleaning Gutters For Life! LeafFilter Partner Undo By Taboola

More from Foreign Policy

by Taboola by Taboola Sponsored Links Sponsored Links Promoted Links Promoted Links More From Foreign Policy Donald Trump Is Proving Too Stupid to Be President Undo Trump's Plan to Slash Foreign Aid Puts Humanitarian Programs in Jeopardy Undo Wishful Thinking Undo American Imperialists Have Always Dreamed of Greenland Undo The Asian Century Is Over Undo The Tragic Optimism of an American Diplomat Undo By Taboola Latest China's South China Sea Militarization Has Peaked August 19, 2019, 4:12 PM It Isn't Too Late to Save the Brazilian Rainforest August 19, 2019, 3:55 PM Mattis's Successor Signals He Wants to End the Pentagon's Long Silence August 19, 2019, 12:36 PM The United States Will Miss China's Money August 19, 2019, 9:21 AM Can Trump Make a Deal for Afghanistan? August 19, 2019, 8:47 AM See All Stories Trending
  1. 1 China's South China Sea Militarization Has Peaked
  2. 2 The United States Will Miss China's Money
  3. 3 There Once Was a President Who Hated War
  4. 4 White Supremacists Want a Dirty Bomb
  5. 5 Mattis's Successor Signals He Wants to End the Pentagon's Long Silence
Voices There Once Was a President Who Hated War Stephen M. Walt Erdogan Plays Washington Like a Fiddle Steven A. Cook A Mysterious Explosion Took Place in Russia. What Really Happened? Jeffrey Lewis ❌

By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies. This use includes personalization of content and ads, and traffic analytics. Review our Privacy Policy for more information. Foreign Policy Magazine <img src="https://foreignpolicy.com/wp-content/themes/foreign-policy-2017/assets/src/images/logos/FP.svg" alt="Foreign Policy Magazine" >

Welcome back

Sign in to your Foreign Policy account

Next Forgot Password? Need an account?

Sign up for free access to 1 article per month and weekly email updates from expert policy analysts

Sign Up

Already have an account? Log in

Sign Up

Create a Foreign Policy account to access 1 article per month and free newsletters developed by policy experts

Loading Want unlimited access? Subscribe today . Go Back

◀ Go Back

Premium Content

There Once Was a President Who Hated War

This page is only accessible by Foreign Policy Premium subscribers.

FP Premium subscribers get insider access to in-depth research reports on complex topics with far-reaching geopolitical implications, as well as exclusive conference calls with FP's editors and reporters, Foreign Policy's award-winning print magazine, and advanced access to live events. Sign in or Subscribe to Continue Sign in to your Foreign Policy account Sign In Not an FP Premium subscriber? Subscribe Now Upgrade to FP Premium to Continue

Thank you for being an FP Basic subscriber. To get access to this special FP Premium benefit, upgrade your subscription by clicking the button below.

Upgrade Now Subscribe to Continue Reading

Thank you for being an FP reader. To get access to this special FP Premium benefit, subscribe by clicking the button below.

Subscribe Now [X]

Premium Content

Subscribe Now

This page is only accessible by Foreign Policy Premium subscribers.

FP Premium subscribers get insider access to in-depth research reports on complex topics with far-reaching geopolitical implications, as well as exclusive conference calls with FP's editors and reporters, Foreign Policy's award-winning print magazine, and advanced access to live events. Sign in or Subscribe to Continue Sign in to your Foreign Policy account Sign In Not an FP Premium subscriber? Subscribe Now Upgrade to FP Premium to Continue

Thank you for being an FP Basic subscriber. To get access to this special FP Premium benefit, upgrade your subscription by clicking the button below.

Upgrade Now Subscribe to Continue Reading

Thank you for being an FP reader. To get access to this special FP Premium benefit, subscribe by clicking the button below.

Subscribe Now [X]

me name=

javascript:void(0)

me width=

[Aug 19, 2019] The Deeper Meaning in a Lost War -- Strategic Culture

Aug 19, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

It's pretty clear. Saudi Arabia has lost, and, notes Bruce Riedel, "the Houthis and Iran are the strategic winners". Saudi proxies in Aden – the seat of Riyadh's Yemeni proto-'government' – have been turfed out by secular, former Marxist, southern secessionists. What can Saudi Arabia do? It cannot go forward. Even tougher would be retreat. Saudi will have to contend with an Houthi war being waged inside the kingdom's south; and a second – quite different – war in Yemen's south. MbS is stuck. The Houthi military leadership are on a roll , and disinterested – for now – in a political settlement. They wish to accumulate more 'cards'. The UAE, which armed and trained the southern secessionists has opted out. MbS is alone, 'carrying the can'. It will be messy.

So, what is the meaning in this? It is that MbS cannot 'deliver' what Trump and Kushner needed, and demanded from him: He cannot any more deliver the Gulf 'world' for their grand projects – let alone garner together the collective Sunni 'world' to enlist in a confrontation with Iran, or for hustling the Palestinians into abject subordination, posing as 'solution'.

What happened? It seems that MbZ must have bought into the Mossad 'line' that Iran was a 'doddle'. Under pressure of global sanctions, Iran would quickly crumble, and would beg for negotiations with Trump. And that the resultant, punishing treaty would see the dismantling of all of Iran's troublesome allies around the region. The Gulf thus would be free to continue shaping a Middle East free from democracy, reformers and (those detested) Islamists.

What made the UAE – eulogised in the US as tough 'little Sparta' – back off? It was not just that the Emirs saw that the Yemen war was unwinnable. That was so; but more significantly, it dawned on them that Iran was going to be no 'doddle'. But rather, the US attempt to strangulate the Iranian economy risked escalating beyond sanctions war, into military confrontation. And in that eventuality, the UAE would be devastated. Iran warned explicitly that a drone or two landed into the 'glass houses' of their financial districts, or onto oil and gas facilities, would set them back twenty years. They believed it.

But there was another factor in the mix. "As the world teeters on the edge of another financial crisis", Esfandyar Batmanghelidj has noted , "few places are being gripped by anxiety like Dubai. Every week a new headline portends the coming crisis in the city of skyscrapers. Dubai villa prices are at their lowest level in a decade, down 24 percent in just one year. A slump in tourism has seen Dubai hotels hit their lowest occupancy rate since the 2008 financial crisis – even as the country gears up to host Expo 2020 next year. As Bloomberg's Zainab Fattah reported in November of last year, Dubai has begun to "lose its shine," its role as a center for global commerce "undermined by a global tariff war -- and in particular by the US drive to shut down commerce with nearby Iran"".

An extraneous Houthi drone landing in Dubai's financial zone would be the 'final nail in the coffin' (the expatriates would be out in a flash) – a prospect far more serious than the crisis of 2009, when Dubai's real estate market collapsed, threatening insolvency for several banks and major development companies, some of them state-linked – and necessitating a $20 billion bailout.

In short, the Gulf realised MbS' confrontation project with Iran was far too risky, especially with the global financial mood darkening so rapidly. Emirati leaders faced off with MbZ, the confrontation ideologue – and the UAE came out of Yemen formally (though leaving in situ its proxies), and initiated outreach to Iran, to take it out of that war, too.

It is now no longer conceivable that MbS can deliver what Trump and Netanyahu desired . Does this then mean that the US confrontation with Iran, and Jared Kushner's Deal of the Century, are over? No. Trump has two key US constituencies: AIPAC and the Christian Evangelical 'Zionists' to 'stroke' electorally in the lead up to the 2020 elections. More 'gifts' to Netanyahu in the lead into the latter's own election campaign are very likely also, as a part of that massaging of domestic constituencies (and donors).

In terms of the US confrontation with Iran, it seems that Trump is turning-down the volume on belligerence toward Iran, hoping that economic sanctions will work their 'magic' of bringing the Islamic Republic to its knees. There is no sign of that however – and no sign of any realistic US plan 'B'. (The Lindsay Graham initiative is not one).

Where does that leave MbS in terms of US and Israeli interests? Well, to be brutal, and despite the family friendships 'expendable', perhaps? The scent of an eventual US disengagement from the region is again hanging in the air.

The deeper meaning in the 'lost Yemen war', ultimately, is an end to Gulf hopes that 'magician' Trump would undo the earlier Gulf panic that the West would normalise with Iran (through the JCPOA), thus leaving Iran as the paramount regional power. The advent of Trump, with all his affinity towards Saudi Arabia, seemed to Gulf States to promise the opportunity again to 'lock in' the US security umbrella over Gulf monarchies, protecting these states from significant change, as well as leaving Iran 'shackled', and unable to assume regional primacy.

A secondary meaning to Yemen is that Trump and Netanyahu's heavy investment in MbS and MbZ has proved to be chimeric. These two, it turned out were 'naked' all along. And now the world knows it. They can't deliver. They have been bested by a ragtag army of tough Houthi tribesmen.

The region now observes that 'war' isn't happening (although only by the merest hair's breadth): Trump is not – of his own volition – going to bomb Iran back to the 1980s. And Gulf States now see that if he did, it is they – the Gulf States – who would pay the highest price. Paradoxically, it has fallen to the UAE, the prime agitator in Washington against Iran, to lead the outreach toward Iran. It represents a salutary lesson in realpolitik for certain Gulf States (and Israel). And now that it has been learned, it is hard to see it being reversed quite so easily.

The strategic shift toward a different security architecture is already underway, with Russia and China proposing an international conference on security in the Persian Gulf: Russia and Iran already have agreed joint naval exercises in in the Indian Ocean and Hormuz, and China is mulling sending its warships there too, to protect its tankers and commercial shipping. Plainly, there will be some competition here, but Iran has the upper hand still in Hormuz. It is a powerful deterrent (though one best threatened, but not used).

Of course, nothing is assured in these changing times. The US President is fickle, and prone to flip-flop. And there are yet powerful interests in the US who do want see Iran comprehensively bombed. But others in DC – more significantly, on the (nationalist) Right – are much more outspoken in challenging the Iran 'hawks'. Maybe the latter have missed their moment? The fact is, Trump drew back (but not for the stated reasons) from military action. America is now entering election season – and it is fixated on its navel. Foreign policy is already a forgotten, non-issue in the fraught partisan atmospherics of today's America.

Trump likely will still 'throw Israel a few bones', but will that change anything? Probably, not much. That is cold comfort – but it might have been a lot worse for the Palestinians. And Greater Israel? A distant, Promethean hope.

[Aug 18, 2019] The fundamental problem in politics is not the opposition of wickedness, but the restraint of righteousness. Hillary has always loved to kill people is distant lands

Aug 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

stevek , 18 minutes ago link

Hillary has always loved to kill people. Its in her (evil) blood.

Creative_Destruct , 22 minutes ago link

"This damn Serbian war is a symbol of all that is wrong with the righteous approach to the world and to problems within this nation."

Story of the last several decades (fill in the blank with your pick of the name of a US war or a SJW cause):

This damn _________ war is a symbol of all that is wrong with the righteous approach to the world and to problems within this nation.

Kissinger had many flaws, but he hit the nail on the head when he said:

"The fundamental problem in politics is not the opposition of wickedness, but the restraint of righteousness"

TheDayAfter , 1 hour ago link

We all know the Hypocrisy of that War. Clinton had to distract the masses from MonicaGate and Hillary had to prove to the MIC that she could be beneficial to them.

Result : Those Kosovo Albanians had a state handed to them, and instead of building it(with uncle Sam's and EU help) as prosperous country, they used their weapons and "expertise" in becoming the low level gangsters of Europe. Every Europol analysis points to the direction of Kosovo Albanians as the criminal thugs in prostitution and drug trade and protection rackets. The largest percentage of a single ethnic group in European jails is that of Albanians.

TeaClipper , 1 hour ago link

The most unjust and illegal of wars in the late 20c.

There was only one reason to bomb white Christian brothers in Serbia thereby aiding the Muslim of Kosovo and Albania, and that was Russia, which by that stage had got its act together and dealt with the traitorous oligarchs who had sold their country out to the west.

Hillary and her cronies no doubt lost a lot of money when the Russians shut their rat lines down.

I hope I live long enough to see those fuckers swing, and Tony Blair, Alistair Campnell and Peter Mandelson as well.

PKKA , 3 hours ago link

Again, your Muslims are to blame for everything. Muslims are all different. And it is necessary to separate the faithful Muslims from the bandits who are only covered by Muslim slogans.
NATO and your godless government are to blame!

An Afghan Freedom Fighter in Donbass - ENG SUBTITLE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc2KeSkl5H0

Joe A , 3 hours ago link

It happened at the time of the Lewinsky affair and the possible impeachment of Clinton. They needed a distraction.

Milosevic btw. agreed to all conditions imposed on the FR of Yugoslavia except for one condition that nobody would accept: the full and unhindered access to the territory of FRY by NATO troops. That effectively meant an occupation. Nobody would agree to that. NATO and Albright deliberately came up with that condition for they knew it was unacceptable. Even Kissinger said that condition was over the top. NATO and Albright wanted that war. Serbia btw. saved Albright twice when she was still a little Slovakian Jewish girl whose family found refuge twice in Serbia. Once they escaped the Nazis that way and the second time the communists.

NATO thought they would need 48 hours but they needed 78 days and Milosevic only gave in after NATO switched from hitting military targets to civilian targets: Hospitals, commuter trains, civilian industry, an open market, random houses in random villages. After Milosevic pulled out his troops out of Kosovo, the KLA started killing Serbs and moderate Albanians, not to mention engage in organ trafficking (...). As the article said, well over 200k Serbs, moderate Albanians, Roma and other minorities were ethnically cleansed from Kosovo.

The US also used cluster bombs and DU weapons. Of the 4000 Italian KFOR troops that went into Kosovo after the bombing, 700 are dead from cancer and leukemia with several hundreds more seriously ill. The American KFOR troops wore hazmat suits. The Italians did not have them and were not warned. Today, many people in southern Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo itself are sick and dying.

HoyeruNew , 3 hours ago link

yes just like USA tried to help Vietnam against communists... by killing 2 million Vietnamese. and tried to help Korea by killing 20 % of the population. and by helping Iraq get rid of "bad" Saddam Hussein by killing 2 million Iraqies.

Oh, the Americans are oh so helpfiul!

ItsDanger , 2 hours ago link

Not disagreeing with you but lets remember that communists were killing a lot of people in other areas not long before those wars in SE Asia. May have been a wash in the end.

seryanhoj , 1 hour ago link

13 million gallons of agent orange dropped on Vietnamese forests was our way of saying we love you. The genetic deformities are still widespread.

So glad they kicked the US out of there.

Magnum , 3 hours ago link

That conflict led to hundreds of thousands of BOSNIANS moving to USA. Gotta keep the refugees flowing no matter what....

JoeBattista , 3 hours ago link

Bring back the draft. On the whole Americans have no idea what the carnage of combat produces. Combat vets do. And the ones that aren't natural psychopaths never want to experience it again. This volunteer army we have is over loaded with a them. A military draft will actually bring some sort civilian control.

seryanhoj , 1 hour ago link

They killed the draft so they would no longer be embarrassed by student protests and having to mow them down.

It worked. Today's snowflakes don't care about slaughter , only mini verbal aggressions against perverts.

seryanhoj , 1 hour ago link

Such ********. Do the millions we kill have any human rights? It's been going on for 4000 years. Ruthless pursuit of empire and fabricating phony justifications.

He–Mene Mox Mox , 3 hours ago link

Hillary seems to enjoy killing people. If it wasn't Gaddaffi, it was all the people on her body bag count, and now it's known she encouraged killing people in Serbia. Someone needs to take that old cow out into the center of the town and burn her at the stake.

Red Corvair , 4 hours ago link

Partially true, otherwise as usually excellent Dr. Paul, ... The Pandora's box situation was opened years before Clinton's bombing of Serbia, which was part of a larger scheme started nearly a decade before.

That was when the US armed the religious extremists in Bosnia, in order to bring war, "civil war" and chaos, and disintegration, the way they more recently tried to do with Syria, or "succeeded" in doing in Libya, bringing chaos and open-air slave markets in a country that was one of the most developed on the African continent under Gaddafi (a truth that was so easily erased by propaganda).

And the whole neocon scheme started two decades before, with the Zbigniew Brzezinski doctrine, when the US started arming the mujahedin in Afghanistan, provoking the trap for the Soviet invasion of 1979, which was the real opening of US neocon's Pandora's box we are regrettably so familiar with by now. We've all fallen in that old neocon/military-industrial-congressional-complex trap by now. And there seems to be no end in sight to those eternal wars "for civilization" (the old colonial trope dressed under new fatigues). Unless serious societal and political changes take place in the US to put an end to the US "imperial" death drive.

[Aug 17, 2019] America s Benevolent Bombing of Serbia by James Bovard

By all measures Clinton is a war criminal... Hilary is a female sociopath or worse.
Notable quotes:
"... Hillary Clinton revealed to an interviewer in the summer of 1999, "I urged him to bomb. You cannot let this go on at the end of a century that has seen the major holocaust of our time. What do we have NATO for if not to defend our way of life?" ..."
"... The Kosovo Liberation Army's savage nature was well known before the Clinton administration formally christened them "freedom fighters" in 1999. ..."
"... Sen. Joe Lieberman whooped that the United States and the KLA "stand for the same values and principles. Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values." ..."
"... Clinton administration officials justified killing civilians because, it alleged the Serbs were committing genocide in Kosovo. After the bombing ended, no evidence of genocide was found, but Clinton and Britain's Tony Blair continued boasting as if their war had stopped a new Hitler in his tracks. ..."
Aug 16, 2019 | www.fff.org

Twenty years ago, President Bill Clinton commenced bombing Serbia in the name of human rights, justice, and ethnic tolerance. Approximately 1,500 Serb civilians were killed by NATO bombing in one of the biggest sham morality plays of the modern era. As British professor Philip Hammond recently noted, the 78-day bombing campaign "was not a purely military operation: NATO also destroyed what it called 'dual-use' targets, such as factories, city bridges, and even the main television building in downtown Belgrade, in an attempt to terrorise the country into surrender."

Clinton's unprovoked attack on Serbia, intended to help ethnic Albanians seize control of Kosovo, set a precedent for "humanitarian" warring that was invoked by supporters of George W. Bush's unprovoked attack on Iraq, Barack Oba-ma's bombing of Libya, and Donald Trump's bombing of Syria.

Clinton remains a hero in Kosovo, and there is an 11-foot statue of him standing in the capitol, Pristina, on Bill Clinton Boulevard. A commentator in the United Kingdom's Guardian newspaper noted that the statue showed Clinton "with a left hand raised, a typical gesture of a leader greeting the masses. In his right hand he is holding documents engraved with the date when NATO started the bombardment of Serbia, 24 March 1999." It would have been a more accurate representation if Clinton was shown standing on the corpses of the women, children, and others killed in the U.S. bombing campaign.

Bombing Serbia was a family affair in the Clinton White House. Hillary Clinton revealed to an interviewer in the summer of 1999, "I urged him to bomb. You cannot let this go on at the end of a century that has seen the major holocaust of our time. What do we have NATO for if not to defend our way of life?" A biography of Hillary Clinton, written by Gail Sheehy and published in late 1999, stated that Mrs. Clinton had refused to talk to the president for eight months after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. She resumed talking to her husband only when she phoned him and urged him in the strongest terms to begin bombing Serbia; the president began bombing within 24 hours. Alexander Cockburn observed in the Los Angeles Times,

It's scarcely surprising that Hillary would have urged President Clinton to drop cluster bombs on the Serbs to defend "our way of life." The first lady is a social engineer. She believes in therapeutic policing and the duty of the state to impose such policing. War is more social engineering, "fixitry" via high explosive, social therapy via cruise missile . As a tough therapeutic cop, she does not shy away from the most abrupt expression of the therapy: the death penalty.

I followed the war closely from the start, but selling articles to editors bashing the bombing was as easy as pitching paeans to Scientology. Instead of breaking into newsprint, my venting occurred instead in my journal:

The KLA

The Kosovo Liberation Army's savage nature was well known before the Clinton administration formally christened them "freedom fighters" in 1999. The previous year, the State Department condemned "terrorist action by the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army." The KLA was heavily involved in drug trafficking and had close to ties to Osama bin Laden. Arming the KLA helped Clinton portray himself as a crusader against injustice and shift public attention after his impeachment trial. Clinton was aided by many congressmen eager to portray U.S. bombing as an engine of righteousness. Sen. Joe Lieberman whooped that the United States and the KLA "stand for the same values and principles. Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values."

In early June 1999, the Washington Post reported that "some presidential aides and friends are describing [bombing] Kosovo in Churchillian tones, as Clinton's 'finest hour.'" Clinton administration officials justified killing civilians because, it alleged the Serbs were committing genocide in Kosovo. After the bombing ended, no evidence of genocide was found, but Clinton and Britain's Tony Blair continued boasting as if their war had stopped a new Hitler in his tracks.

In a speech to American troops in a Thanksgiving 1999 visit, Clinton declared that the Kosovar children "love the United States because we gave them their freedom back." Perhaps Clinton saw freedom as nothing more than being tyrannized by people of the same ethnicity. As the Serbs were driven out of Kosovo, Kosovar Albanians became increasingly oppressed by the KLA, which ignored its commitment to disarm. The Los Angeles Times reported on November 20, 1999,

As a postwar power struggle heats up in Kosovo Albanian politics, extremists are trying to silence moderate leaders with a terror campaign of kidnappings, beatings, bombings, and at least one killing. The intensified attacks against members of the moderate Democratic League of Kosovo, or LDK, have raised concerns that radical ethnic Albanians are turning against their own out of fear of losing power in a democratic Kosovo.

American and NATO forces stood by as the KLA resumed its ethnic cleansing, slaughtering Serbian civilians, bombing Serbian churches, and oppressing non-Muslims. Almost a quarter million Serbs, Gypsies, Jews, and other minorities fled Kosovo after Clinton promised to protect them. In March 2000 renewed fighting broke out when the KLA launched attacks into Serbia, trying to seize territory that it claimed historically belonged to ethnic Albanians. UN Human Rights Envoy Jiri Dienstbier reported that "the [NATO] bombing hasn't solved any problems. It only multiplied the existing problems and created new ones. The Yugoslav economy was destroyed. Kosovo is destroyed. There are hundreds of thousands of people unemployed now."

U.S. complicity in atrocities

Prior to the NATO bombing, American citizens had no responsibility for atrocities committed by either Serbs or ethnic Albanians. However, after American planes bombed much of Serbia into rubble to drive the Serbian military out of Kosovo, Clinton effectively made the United States responsible for the safety of the remaining Serbs in Kosovo. That was equivalent to forcibly disarming a group of people, and then standing by, whistling and looking at the ground, while they are slaughtered. Since the United States promised to bring peace to Kosovo, Clinton bears some responsibility for every burnt church, every murdered Serbian grandmother, every new refugee column streaming north out of Kosovo. Despite those problems, Clinton bragged at a December 8, 1999, press conference that he was "very, very proud" of what the United States had done in Kosovo.

I had a chapter on the Serbian bombing campaign titled "Moralizing with Cluster Bombs" in Feeling Your Pain: The Explosion and Abuse of Government Power in the Clinton–Gore Years (St. Martin's Press, 2000), which sufficed to spur at least one or two reviewers to attack the book. Norman Provizer, the director of the Golda Meir Center for Political Leadership, scoffed in the Denver Rocky Mountain News, "Bovard chastises Clinton for an illegal, undeclared war in Kosovo without ever bothering to mention that, during the entire run of American history, there have been but four official declarations of war by Congress."

As the chaotic situation in post-war Kosovo became stark, it was easier to work in jibes against the debacle. In an October 2002 USA Today article ("Moral High Ground Not Won on Battlefield") bashing the Bush administration's push for war against Iraq, I pointed out, "A desire to spread freedom does not automatically confer a license to kill . Operation Allied Force in 1999 bombed Belgrade, Yugoslavia, into submission purportedly to liberate Kosovo. Though Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic raised the white flag, ethnic cleansing continued -- with the minority Serbs being slaughtered and their churches burned to the ground in the same way the Serbs previously oppressed the ethnic Albanians."

In a 2011 review for The American Conservative, I scoffed, "After NATO planes killed hundreds if not thousands of Serb and ethnic Albanian civilians, Bill Clinton could pirouette as a savior. Once the bombing ended, many of the Serbs remaining in Kosovo were slaughtered and their churches burned to the ground. NATO's 'peace' produced a quarter million Serbian, Jewish, and Gypsy refugees."

In 2014, a European Union task force confirmed that the ruthless cabal that Clinton empowered by bombing Serbia committed atrocities that included murdering persons to extract and sell their kidneys, livers, and other body parts. Clint Williamson, the chief prosecutor of a special European Union task force, declared in 2014 that senior members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) had engaged in "unlawful killings, abductions, enforced disappearances, illegal detentions in camps in Kosovo and Albania, sexual violence, forced displacements of individuals from their homes and communities, and desecration and destruction of churches and other religious sites."

The New York Times reported that the trials of Kosovo body snatchers may be stymied by cover-ups and stonewalling: "Past investigations of reports of organ trafficking in Kosovo have been undermined by witnesses' fears of testifying in a small country where clan ties run deep and former members of the KLA are still feted as heroes. Former leaders of the KLA occupy high posts in the government." American politicians almost entirely ignored the scandal. Vice President Joe Biden hailed former KLA leader and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci in 2010 as "the George Washington of Kosovo." A few months later, a Council of Europe investigative report tagged Thaci as an accomplice to the body-trafficking operation.

Clinton's war on Serbia opened a Pandora's box from which the world still suffers. Because politicians and pundits portrayed that war as a moral triumph, it was easier for subsequent presidents to portray U.S. bombing as the self-evident triumph of good over evil. Honest assessments of wrongful killings remain few and far between in media coverage.

This article was originally published in the July 2019 edition of Future of Freedom .

Category: Foreign Policy & War

James Bovard is a policy adviser to The Future of Freedom Foundation. He is a USA Today columnist and has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New Republic, Reader's Digest, Playboy, American Spectator, Investors Business Daily, and many other publications. He is the author of Freedom Frauds: Hard Lessons in American Liberty (2017, published by FFF); Public Policy Hooligan (2012); Attention Deficit Democracy (2006); The Bush Betrayal (2004); Terrorism and Tyranny (2003); Feeling Your Pain (2000); Freedom in Chains (1999); Shakedown (1995); Lost Rights (1994); The Fair Trade Fraud (1991); and The Farm Fiasco (1989). He was the 1995 co-recipient of the Thomas Szasz Award for Civil Liberties work, awarded by the Center for Independent Thought, and the recipient of the 1996 Freedom Fund Award from the Firearms Civil Rights Defense Fund of the National Rifle Association. His book Lost Rights received the Mencken Award as Book of the Year from the Free Press Association. His Terrorism and Tyranny won Laissez Faire Book's Lysander Spooner award for the Best Book on Liberty in 2003. Read his blog . Send him email .

[Aug 17, 2019] Candidates Must Commit to Immediate US Withdrawal From Afghanistan by Marjorie Cohn

Aug 15, 2019 | truthout.org
In July 30, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan reported that the Afghan government and international military forces, primarily the United States , caused most of the civilian deaths in Afghanistan during the first six months of 2019. That's more killings than those perpetrated in the same time period by the Taliban and ISIS combined.

Aerial operations were responsible for 519 civilian casualties (356 deaths and 156 injuries), including 150 children (89 deaths and 61 injuries). That constitutes a 39 percent increase in overall civilian casualties from aerial attacks. Eighty-three percent of civilian casualties from aerial operations were carried out by the international forces.

The targeting of civilians amounts to war crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

... ... ...

Team Trump's deadly actions are a continuation of the Bush and Obama administrations' commission of the most heinous crimes in Afghanistan. On April 12, the ICC's Pre-Trial Chamber found a "reasonable basis" to believe that the parties to the Afghan conflict, including the U.S. military and the CIA, committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, most of them occurring between 2005 and 2015. They include "the war crimes of torture and cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, and rape and other forms of sexual violence pursuant to a policy approved by the U.S. authorities."

The chamber, however, refused to open a formal investigation into those crimes, as recommended by ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. In concluding that "an investigation into the situation in Afghanistan at this stage would not serve the interests of justice," the chamber questioned the feasibility of such a probe. An investigation would be "very wide in scope and encompasses a high number of alleged incidents having occurred over a long time period," the chamber wrote. It noted the extreme difficulty in gauging "the prospects of securing meaningful cooperation from relevant authorities for the future" and found "the current circumstances of the situation in Afghanistan are such as to make the prospects for a successful investigation and prosecution extremely limited."

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and a member of the advisory board of Veterans for Peace. Her most recent book is Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues.

[Aug 17, 2019] Debunking the Putin Panic by Stephen F. Cohen

Highly recommended!
Aug 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

STEPHEN COHEN: I'm not aware that Russia attacked Georgia. The European Commission, if you're talking about the 2008 war, the European Commission, investigating what happened, found that Georgia, which was backed by the United States, fighting with an American-built army under the control of the, shall we say, slightly unpredictable Georgian president then, Saakashvili, that he began the war by firing on Russian enclaves. And the Kremlin, which by the way was not occupied by Putin, but by Michael McFaul and Obama's best friend and reset partner then-president Dmitry Medvedev, did what any Kremlin leader, what any leader in any country would have had to do: it reacted. It sent troops across the border through the tunnel, and drove the Georgian forces out of what essentially were kind of Russian protectorate areas of Georgia.

So that- Russia didn't begin that war. And it didn't begin the one in Ukraine, either. We did that by [continents], the overthrow of the Ukrainian president in [20]14 after President Obama told Putin that he would not permit that to happen. And I think it happened within 36 hours. The Russians, like them or not, feel that they have been lied to and betrayed. They use this word, predatl'stvo, betrayal, about American policy toward Russia ever since 1991, when it wasn't just President George Bush, all the documents have been published by the National Security Archive in Washington, all the leaders of the main Western powers promised the Soviet Union that under Gorbachev, if Gorbachev would allow a reunited Germany to be NATO, NATO would not, in the famous expression, move two inches to the east.

Now NATO is sitting on Russia's borders from the Baltic to Ukraine. So Russians aren't fools, and they're good-hearted, but they become resentful. They're worried about being attacked by the United States. In fact, you read and hear in the Russian media daily, we are under attack by the United States. And this is a lot more real and meaningful than this crap that is being put out that Russia somehow attacked us in 2016. I must have been sleeping. I didn't see Pearl Harbor or 9/11 and 2016. This is reckless, dangerous, warmongering talk. It needs to stop. Russia has a better case for saying they've been attacked by us since 1991. We put our military alliance on the front door. Maybe it's not an attack, but it looks like one, feels like one. Could be one.


Disturbed Voter , July 30, 2018 at 6:32 am

Real politik. Don't bring a knife to a gun fight. Don't start fights in the first place. The idea that American leadership is any better than mid-Victorian imperialism, is laughable.

Jerri-Lynn Scofield , July 30, 2018 at 8:15 am

Here's the RNN link to part one: The Russia "National Security Crisis" is a U.S. Creation .

integer , July 30, 2018 at 7:12 am

AARON MATE: We hear, often, talk of Putin possibly being the richest person in the world as a result of his entanglement with the very corruption of Russia you're speaking about

Few appear to be aware that Bill Browder is single-handedly responsible for starting, and spreading, the rumor that Putin's net worth is $200 billion (for those who are unfamiliar with Browder, I highly recommend watching Andrei Nekrasov's documentary titled " The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes "). Browder appears to have first started this rumor early in 2015 , and has repeated it ad nauseam since then, including in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017 . While Browder has always framed the $200 billion figure as his own estimate, that subtle qualifier has had little effect on the media's willingness to accept it as fact.

Interestingly, during the press conference at the Helsinki Summit, Putin claimed Browder sent $400 million of ill-gotten gains to the Clinton campaign. Putin retracted the statement and claimed to have misspoke a week or so later, however by that time the $400 million figure had been cited by numerous media outlets around the world. I think it is at least possible that Putin purposely exaggerated the amount of money in question as a kind of tit-for-tat response to Browder having started the rumor about his net worth being $200 billion.

Blue Pilgrim , July 30, 2018 at 11:39 am

The stories I saw said there was a mistranslation -- but that the figure should have $400 thousand and not $400 million. Maybe Putin misspoke, but the $400,000 number is still significant, albeit far more reasonable.

Putin never was on the Forbes list of billionaires, btw, and his campaign finance statement comes to far less. It never seems to occur to rabid capitalists or crooks that not everyone is like them, placing such importance on vast fortunes, or want to be dishonest, greedy, or power hungry. Putin is only 'well off' and that seems to satisfy him just fine as he gets on with other interests, values, and goals.

integer , July 30, 2018 at 12:03 pm

Yes, $400,000 is the revised/correct figure. My having written that "Putin retracted the statement" was not the best choice of phrase. Also, the figure was corrected the day after it was made, not "a week or so later" as I wrote in my previous comment. From the Russia Insider link:

Browder's criminal group used many tax evasion methods, including offshore companies. They siphoned shares and funds from Russia worth over 1.5 billion dollars. By the way, $400,000 was transferred to the US Democratic Party's accounts from these funds. The Russian president asked us to correct his statement from yesterday. During the briefing, he said it was $400,000,000, not $400,000. Either way, it's still a significant amount of money.

JohnnyGL , July 30, 2018 at 2:54 pm

I hadn't heard about the revision/edit to the $400M, thanks!

Seems crazy to think how much Russo-phobia seems to have been ginned up by one tax-dodging hedgie with an axe to grind.

Procopius , July 31, 2018 at 1:11 am

There's something weird about the anti-Putin hysteria. Somehow, many, many people have come to believe they must demonstrate their membership in the tribe by accepting completely unsupported assertions that go against common sense.

Eureka Springs , July 30, 2018 at 7:58 am

In a sane world we the people would be furious with the Clinton campaign, especially the D party but the R's as well, our media (again), and our intel/police State (again). Holding them all accountable while making sure this tsunami of deception and lies never happens again.

It's amazing even in time of the internetz those of us who really dig can only come up with a few sane voices. It's much worse now in terms of the numbers of sane voices than it was in the run up to Iraq 2.

CenterOfGravity , July 30, 2018 at 12:52 pm

Regardless of broad access to far more information in the digital age, never under estimate the self-preservation instinct of American exceptionalist mythology. There is an inverse relationship between the decline of US global primacy and increasingly desperate quest for adventurism. Like any case of addiction, looking outward for blame/salvation is imperative in order to prevent the mirror of self-reflection/realization from turning back onto ourselves.

integer , July 30, 2018 at 9:28 am

we're not to believe we're not supposed to believe we're supposed to believe

Believe whatever you want, however your comment gives the impression that you came to this article because you felt the need to push back against anything that does not conform to the liberal international order's narrative on Putin and Russia, rather than "with an eagerness to counterbalance the media's portrayal of Putin". WRT to whataboutism, I like Greenwald's definition of the term :

"Whataboutism": the term used to bar inquiry into whether someone adheres to the moral and behavioral standards they seek to impose on everyone else. That's its functional definition.

Rojo , July 30, 2018 at 12:25 pm

Invoking "whataboutism" is a liberal team-Dem tell.

Amfortas the Hippie , July 30, 2018 at 2:20 pm

aye. I've never seen it used by anyone aside from the worst Hill Trolls.
Indeed, when it was first thrown at me, I endeavored to look it up, and found that all references to it were from Hillaryites attempting to diss apostates and heretics.

Jonathan Holland Becnel , July 30, 2018 at 8:22 pm

Eh, probably

John Oliver, whos been completely sucking lately with TDS, did a semi decent segment on Whataboutism.

Eureka Springs , July 30, 2018 at 9:52 am

The degree of consistency and or lack of hypocrisy based on words and actions separates US from Russia to an astonishing level. That is Russia's largest threat to US, our deceivers. The propaganda tables have turned and we are deceiving ourselves to points of collective insanity and warmongering with a great nuclear power while we are at it. Warmongering is who we are and what we do.

Does Russia have a GITMO, torture Chelsea Manning, openly say they want to kill Snowden and Assange? Is Russia building up arsenals on our borders while maintaining hundreds of foreign bases and conducting several wars at any given moment while constantly threatening to foment more wars? Is Russia dropping another trillion on nuclear arsenals? Is Russia forcing us to maintain such an anti democratic system and an even worse, an entirely hackable electronic voting system?

You ready to destroy the world, including your own, rather than look in the mirror?

rkka , July 30, 2018 at 9:52 am

You're talking about extending Russian military power into Europe when the military spending of NATO Europe alone exceeds Russia's by almost 5-1 (more like 12-1 when one includes the US and Canada), have about triple the number of soldiers than Russia has, and when the Russian ground forces are numerically smaller than they have been in at least 200 years?

" to put their self-interests above those of their constituents and employees, why can't we apply this same lens to Putin and his oligarchs?"

The oligarchs got their start under Yeltsin and his FreeMarketDemocraticReformers, whose policies were so catastrophic that deaths were exceeding births by almost a million a year by the late '90s, with no end in sight. Central to Yeltsin's governance was the corrupt privatization, by which means the Seven Bankers came to control the Russian economy and Russian politics.

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

Central to Putin's popularity are the measures he took to curb oligarchic predation in 2003-2005. Because of this, Russia's debt:GDP ratio went from 1.0 to about 0.2, and Russia's demographic recovery began while Western analysis were still predicting the death of Russia.

So Putin is the anti-oligarch in Russian domestic politics.

Blue Pilgrim , July 30, 2018 at 12:17 pm

"While it's true that power corrupts"

I know of many people who sacrifice their own interests for those of their children (over whom they have virtually absolute power), family member and friends. I know of others who dedicate their lives to justice, peace, the well being of their nation, the world, and other people -- people who find far greater meaning and satisfaction in this than in accumulating power or money. Other people have their own goals, such as producing art, inventing interesting things, reading and learning, and don't care two hoots about power or money as long as their immediate needs are met.

I'm cynical enough about humans without thinking the worst of everyone and every group or culture. Not everyone thinks only of nails and wants to be hammers, or are sociopaths. There are times when people are more or less forced into taking power, or getting more money, even if they don't want it, because they want to change things for the better or need to defend themselves.
There are people who get guns and learn how to use them only because they feel a need for defending themselves and family but who don't like guns and don't want to shoot anyone or anything.

There are many people who do not want to be controlled and bossed around, but neither want to boss around anyone else. The world is full of such people. If they are threatened and attacked, however, expect defensive reactions. Same as for most animals which are not predators, and even predators will generally not attack other animals if they are not hungry or threatened -- but that does not mean they are not competent or can be dangerous.

Capitalism is not only inherently predatory, but is inherently expansive without limits, with unlimited ambition for profits and control. It's intrinsically very competitive and imperialist. Capitalism is also a thing which was exported to Russia, starting soon after the Russian Revolution, which was immediately attacked and invaded by the West, and especially after the fall of the Soviet Union. Soviet Russia had it's own problems, which it met with varying degrees of success, but were quite different from the aggressive capitalism and imperialism of the US and Europe.

Not every culture and person are the same.

BenX , July 30, 2018 at 3:28 pm

The pro-Putin propaganda is pretty interesting to witness, and of course not everything Cohen says is skewed pro-Putin – that's what provides credibility. But "Putin kills everybody" is something NOBODY says (except Cohen, twice in one interview) – Putin is actually pretty selective of those he decides to have killed. But of course, he doesn't kill anyone, personally – therefore he's an innocent lamb, accidentally running Russia as a dictator.

rkka , July 31, 2018 at 9:11 am

The most recent dictator in Russian history was Boris Yeltsin, who turned tanks on his legislature while it was in the legal and constitutional process of impeaching him, and whose policies were so catastrophic for Russians (who were dying off at the rate of 900k/yr) that he had to steal his re-election because he had a 5% approval rating.

But he did as the US gvt told him, so I guess that makes him a Democrat.

Under Putin Russia recovered from being helpless, bankrupt & dying, but Russia has an independent foreign policy, so that makes Putin a dictator.

Plenue , July 30, 2018 at 3:54 pm

"Does any sane person believe that there will ever be a Putin-signed contract provided as evidence? Does any sane person believe that Putin actually needs to "approve" a contract rather than signaling to his oligarch/mafia hierarchy that he's unhappy about a newspaper or journalist's reporting?"

Why do you think Putin even needs, or feels a need, to have journalists killed in the first place? I see no evidence to support this basic assumption.

The idea of Russia poised to attack Europe is interesting, in light of the fact that they've cut their military spending by 20%. And even before that the budgets of France, Germany, and the UK combined well exceeded that of Russia, to say nothing of the rest of NATO or the US.

Putin's record speaks for itself. This again points to the absurdity of claiming he's had reporters killed: he doesn't need to. He has a vast amount of genuine public support because he's salvaged the country and pieced it back together after the pillaging of the Yeltsin years. That he himself is a corrupt oligarch I have no particular doubt of. But if he just wanted to enrich himself, he's had a very funny way of going about it. Pray tell, what are these 'other interpretations'?

"The US foreign policy has been disastrous for millions of people since world war 2. But Cohen's arguments that Russia isn't as bad as the US is just a bunch of whattaboutism."

What countries has the Russian Federation destroyed?

witters , July 31, 2018 at 1:30 am

Here is a fascinating essay ["Are We Reading Russia Right?"] by Nicolai N. Petro who currently holds the Silvia-Chandley Professorship of Peace Studies and Nonviolence at the University of Rhode Island. His books include, Ukraine
in Crisis (Routledge, 2017), Crafting Democracy (Cornell, 2004), The Rebirth of Russian Democracy (Harvard, 1995), and Russian Foreign Policy, co-authored with Alvin Z. Rubinstein (Longman, 1997). A graduate of the University of Virginia, he is the recipient of Fulbright awards to Russia and to Ukraine, as well as fellowships from the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies in Washington,
D.C., and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. As a Council on Foreign Relations Fellow, he served as special assistant for policy toward the Soviet Union in the U.S. Department of State from 1989 to 1990. In addition to scholarly publications
on Russia and Ukraine, he has written for Asia Times, American Interest, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian (UK), The Nation, New York Times, and Wilson Quarterly. His writings have appeared frequently on the web sites of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and The National Interest.

I warn you – it is terrifying!

http://npetro.net/resources/Petro-FF+Spring+2018.pdf

Carolinian , July 30, 2018 at 8:55 am

Thanks for so much for this. Great stuff. Cohen says the emperor has no clothes so naturally the empire doesn't want him on television. I believe he has been on CNN one or two times and I saw him once on the PBS Newshour where the interviewer asked skeptical questions with a pained and skeptical look. He seems to be the only prominent person willing to stand up and call bs on the Russia hate. There are plenty of pundits and commentators who do that but not many Princeton professors.

Thye Rev Kev , July 30, 2018 at 9:04 am

It has been said in recent years that the greatest failure of American foreign policy was the invasion of Iraq. I think that they are wrong. The greatest failure, in my opinion, is to push both China and Russia together into a semi-official pact against American ambitions. In the same way that the US was able to split China from the USSR back in the seventies, the best option was for America to split Russia from China and help incorporate them into the western system. The waters for that idea have been so fouled by the Russia hysteria, if not dementia, that that is no longer a possibility. I just wish that the US would stop sowing dragon's teeth – it never ends well.

NotTimothyGeithner , July 30, 2018 at 9:45 am

The best option, but the "American exceptionalists" went nuts. Also, the usual play book of stoking fears of the "yellow menace" would have been too on the nose. Americans might not buy it, and there was a whole cottage industry of "the rising China threat" except the potential consumer market place and slave labor factories stopped that from happening.

Bringing Russia into the West effectively means Europe, and I think that creates a similar dynamic to a Russian/Chinese pact. The basic problem with the EU is its led by a relatively weak but very German power which makes the EU relatively weak or controllable as long as the German electorate is relatively sedate. I think they still need the international structures run by the U.S. to maintain their dominance. What Russia and the pre-Erdogan Turkey (which was never going to be admitted to the EU) presented was significant upsets to the existing EU order with major balances to Germany which I always believed would make the EU potentially more dynamic. Every decision wouldn't require a pilgrimage to Berlin. The British were always disinterested. The French had made arrangements with Germany, and Italy is still Italy. Putting Russia or Turkey (pre-Erdogan) would have disrupted this arrangement.

John Wright , July 30, 2018 at 11:11 am

>which is oddly not easy to locate on its site

It appeared to me that Aaron Mate knew he was dealing with a weak hand by the end of the interview.

When Mate stated "it's widely held that Putin is responsible for the killing of journalists and opposition activists who oppose him."

There are many widely held beliefs in the world, and that does not make them true.

For example, It was widely held, and still may be believed by some, that Saddam Hussein was involved in the events of 9/11.

It is widely believed that humans are not responsible, in any part, for climate change.

Mate may have been embarrassed when he saw the final version and as a courtesy to him, the interview was made more difficult to find.

pretzelattack , July 30, 2018 at 11:35 am

iirc he didn't say it was true.

Elizabeth Burton , July 30, 2018 at 7:18 pm

The Crimea voted to be annexed by Russia by a clear majority. The US overran Hawaii with total disregard for the wishes of the native population. Your comparison is invalid.

vato , July 31, 2018 at 3:37 am

"Putin's finger prints are all over the Balkan fiasco".How is that with Putin only becoming president in 2000 and the Nato bombing started way beforehand. It's ridiculous to think that Putin had any major influence at that time as govenor or director of the domestic intelligence service on what was going during the bombing of NATO on Belgrad. Even Gerhard Schroeder, then chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, admitted in an interview in 2014 with a major German Newspaper (Die Zeit) that this invasion of Nato was a fault and against international law!

Can you concrete what you mean by "fingerprints" or is this just another platitudes?

ewmayer , July 31, 2018 at 6:05 pm

"Somebody called it Trump derangement syndrome."

I believe that the full and proper name of the psychiatric disorder in question is Putin-Trump Derangement Syndrome [PTDS].

Symptoms include:

o Eager and uncritical ingestion and social-media regurgitation of even the most patently absurd MSM propaganda. For example, the meme that releasing factual information about actual election-meddling (as Wikileaks did about the Dem-establishment's rigging of its own nomination process in 2016) is a grave threat to American Democracy™;

o Recent-onset veneration of the intelligence agencies, whose stock in trade is spying on and lying to the American people, spreading disinformation, election rigging, torture and assassination and its agents, such as liar and perjurer Clapper and torturer Brennan;

o Rehabilitation of horrid unindicted GOP war criminals like G.W. Bush as alleged examples of "norms-respecting Republican patriots";

o Smearing of anyone who dares question the MSM-stoked hysteria as an America-hating Russian stooge.

[Aug 17, 2019] Putin-Trump Derangement Syndrome (PTDS)

Highly recommended!
Aug 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

ewmayer , July 31, 2018 at 6:05 pm

"Somebody called it Trump derangement syndrome."

I believe that the full and proper name of the psychiatric disorder in question is Putin-Trump Derangement Syndrome [PTDS].

Symptoms include:

[Aug 17, 2019] Long Range Attack On Saudi Oil Field as a good news for Yemen and for oil producing nations in need of an oil price rise.

Notable quotes:
"... The field's distance from rebel-held territory in Yemen demonstrates the range of the Houthis' drones. U.N. investigators say the Houthis' new UAV-X drone, found in recent months during the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen, likely has a range of up to 1,500 kilometers (930 miles). That puts Saudi oil fields, an under-construction Emirati nuclear power plant and Dubai's busy international airport within their range. ..."
"... The outcome was a forgone conclusion. The smash, destroy, and destabilize campaign in the region could have only come from the most powerful lobby in the US. We all know who that is. ..."
Aug 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Today Saudi Arabia finally lost the war on Yemen. It has no defenses against new weapons the Houthis in Yemen acquired. These weapons threaten the Saudis economic lifelines. This today was the decisive attack:

Drones launched by Yemen's Houthi rebels attacked a massive oil and gas field deep inside Saudi Arabia's sprawling desert on Saturday, causing what the kingdom described as a "limited fire" in the second such recent attack on its crucial energy industry.
...
The Saudi acknowledgement of the attack came hours after Yahia Sarie, a military spokesman for the Houthis, issued a video statement claiming the rebels launched 10 bomb-laden drones targeting the field in their "biggest-ever" operation. He threatened more attacks would be coming.
New drones and missiles displayed in July 2019 by Yemen's Houthi-allied armed forces

bigger

Today's attack is a check mate move against the Saudis. Shaybah is some 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) from Houthi-controlled territory. There are many more important economic targets within that range:

The field's distance from rebel-held territory in Yemen demonstrates the range of the Houthis' drones. U.N. investigators say the Houthis' new UAV-X drone, found in recent months during the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen, likely has a range of up to 1,500 kilometers (930 miles). That puts Saudi oil fields, an under-construction Emirati nuclear power plant and Dubai's busy international airport within their range.

Unlike sophisticated drones that use satellites to allow pilots to remotely fly them, analysts believe Houthi drones are likely programmed to strike a specific latitude and longitude and cannot be controlled once out of radio range. The Houthis have used drones, which can be difficult to track by radar, to attack Saudi Patriot missile batteries, as well as enemy troops.

The attack conclusively demonstrates that the most important assets of the Saudis are now under threat. This economic threat comes on top of a seven percent budget deficit the IMF predicts for Saudi Arabia. Further Saudi bombing against the Houthi will now have very significant additional cost that might even endanger the viability of the Saudi state. The Houthi have clown prince Mohammad bin Salman by the balls and can squeeze those at will. There is a lesson to learn from that. But it is doubtful that the borg in Washington DC has the ability to understand it.

The outcome was a forgone conclusion. The smash, destroy, and destabilize campaign in the region could have only come from the most powerful lobby in the US. We all know who that is.


Jen , Aug 17 2019 20:45 utc | 3

I'm afraid the only lesson the Borg in Washington will learn is to continue squandering US resources and manpower on pursuing and inflicting chaos and violence in the Middle East. Clown prince Mohammed bin Salman will not learn anything either other than to bankrupt his own nation in pursuing this war.

Israel has driven itself into its own existential hell by persecuting Palestinians over 70+ years and doing a good job of annihilating itself while denying its own destruction. If Israel can do it, the Christian crusaders dominating the govts of the Five Eyes nations supporting Israel will follow suit in propping up an unsustainable fantasy. Samson option indeed.

Tonymike , Aug 17 2019 20:46 utc | 4
I am sure that the Suads will be looking to their zionist allies to supply them with the Iron Dome system that the US military just wasted millions of tax payer dollars and purchased several days ago. The irony of that system is that is was overwhelmed several times when the Palestinian freedom fighters launched a wave of home made rockets at Occupied Palestine. I hope the Sauds learn a lesson..doubt it though.
donkeytale , Aug 17 2019 20:53 utc | 6
This is good news for Yemen and...for oil producing nations in need of a price rise.
ebolax , Aug 17 2019 21:02 utc | 13
let me throw something out there. Israel has entrenched itself in the US political and media systems. There is no logical path to eliminate or reduce that influence, and thus perhaps the plan that has been hatched is to strengthen Iran to the point that it can confront Israel.
karlof1 , Aug 17 2019 21:07 utc | 14
I anticipated just this sort of event 2+ months ago to go along with the tanker sabotaging to expand on b's thesis about Iran having the upper hand in the current hybrid Gulf War. The timing of this new ability dovetails nicely with the recent Russian collective security proposal, with the Saudis being the footdraggers in agreeing about its viability due to its pragmatic logic. So, as I wrote 2 days ago, we now have an excellent possibility of seeing an end to this and future Persian Gulf Crises along with an idea that can potentially become the template for an entire Southwest Asian security treaty, whose only holdout would be Occupied Palestine. The Outlaw US Empire is effectively shutout of the entire process. And as I also wrote, it's now time for the Saudis to determine where their future lies--with Eurasia or with a dying Empire.
KC , Aug 17 2019 21:11 utc | 15
@Tonymike

So the U.S. bought the Iron Dome stuff from Israel? I guess that means we paid for it twice, eh? Glad to know my tax dollars are hard at work "keeping us safe."

Wonder what they might be planning for with that one?

karlof1 , Aug 17 2019 21:18 utc | 18
Ian Seed | Aug 17 2019 20:55 utc | 7--

The Yemenese military had lots of technological capabilities remaining from the Cold War along with factories, technicians and raw materials. For example, Yemen's aerospace forces allied with the Houthi and are the ones producing and shooting the missiles and drones. One doesn't need to import a complete drone; technical blueprints on a floppy, CD-ROM, DVD, thumb-drive, are all that's required. The humanitarian crisis due to food and medicine shortages played on the minds of people such that an image of a poor, backward, non-industrial capable society was generated that wasn't 100% correct.

Sasha , Aug 17 2019 21:47 utc | 24
What to say? Poetic justice!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGrUz-rdxxM

Ancient cultures are not so easy to erradicate so as to loot their resources.
A lesson the peoples without culture must learn.....

fx , Aug 17 2019 21:59 utc | 25
And of course, this makes the threat by Iran to hit back against military and industrial installations on the other side of the Persian Gulf that much stronger.
Really?? , Aug 17 2019 22:10 utc | 28
13

It would be rich indeed if Iran were to be the entity that ultimately manages to loosen the stranglehold that the Zionists have on the USA Congress, media, president, donors to political parties, etc.

Sasha , Aug 17 2019 22:31 utc | 33
A graphic idea of the distance in the map...

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1162850455954874369

Photos of the Houthis drones and rockets arsenal...published last month...Someone possibly thought it was fake...

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1147940696705392642

jerichocheyenne , Aug 17 2019 22:39 utc | 34
I can imagine the shale oil producers smiling right now...100 a barrel oil will be just what they need! Cost-push inflation leading to a return of bell bottoms and leisure suits. No wonder all these 70's band retreads are touring again :)
karlof1 , Aug 17 2019 23:11 utc | 37
Michael Droy | Aug 17 2019 22:40 utc | 35--

So, poor Yemen wasted via siege warfare waged by NATO since 2015 though its Saudi, UAE and terrorist proxies that came very close to success, finds the initiative to counterattack with what little it has at its disposal--All accusations of Iranian help have never been proven --and thanks to the Outlaw US Empire's threats against Iran force UAE to withdrawal and seek peace with Iran with Saudi soon to follow. And the situation is all Iran's fault?! Note the date above--it precedes Trump's election, his illegal withdrawal from the JCPOA and institution of the illegal sanctions regime against Iran.

Europe is on board with Russia's collective security proposal. Europe had representatives at the meet between Khamenei and the Houthi negotiator. Europe--even the UK--still working to salvage the JCPOA via the non-dollar trade conduit. And you conclude that the Outlaw US Empire "might actually get European support to attack Iran."

eagle eye , Aug 17 2019 23:21 utc | 38
First Afghanistan, then Yemen. Maybe the western media's imaging of these people as towel headed, sandal wearing primatives is just a tad misguided......

[Aug 17, 2019] The Campaign Press: Members of the 10 Percent, Reporting for the One Percent

Aug 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Our Famously Free Press

"The Campaign Press: Members of the 10 Percent, Reporting for the One Percent" [Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone ]. "Anyone who's worked in the business (or read Manufacturing Consent) knows nobody calls editors to red-pencil text.

The pressure comes at the point of hire. If you're the type who thinks Jeff Bezos should be thrown out of an airplane, or that it's a bad look for a DC newspaper to be owned by a major intelligence contractor, you won't rise.

Meanwhile, the Post has become terrific at promoting Jennifer Rubins and Max Boots. Reporters watch as good investigative journalism about serious structural problems dies on the vine, while mountains of column space are devoted to trivialities like Trump tweets and/or simplistic partisan storylines.

Nobody needs to pressure anyone. We all know what takes will and will not earn attaboys in newsrooms. Trump may have accelerated distaste for the press, but he didn't create it. He sniffed out existing frustrations and used them to rally anger toward 'elites' to his side.

The criticism works because national media are elites, ten-percenters working for one-percenters.

The longer people in the business try to deny it, the more it will be fodder for politicians. Sanders wasn't the first, and won't be the last."

• Yep. I'm so glad Rolling Stone has Matt Taibbi on-board. Until advertisers black-list "the One Percent," I suppose.

[Aug 17, 2019] In the grand scheme of things, there is a compelling historical argument for the idea that when the NSA/CIA was created, Dulles found an opportunity to consolidate control of information and by logic, populations which was in reality, a velvet coup

Notable quotes:
"... The other aspect this control and coup was NACA being taken over by Nazi Intel/strategists/scientists/war planners through Paper Clip and other relations of the Dulles family were involved with this. Dulles had not one patriotic bone in his body but only cared about elitism, and power. Yes, he made patriotic statements but they were as thin as his skin. ..."
Aug 17, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Tim Jones , August 15, 2019 at 20:47

Because "The links between high government officials, CIA, FBI, and organized crime is astonishing." we will never have an answer, just like John Kennedy, MLK, etc.

In the grand scheme of things, there is a compelling historical argument for the idea that when the NSA/CIA was created, Dulles found an opportunity to consolidate control of information and by logic, populations which was in reality, a velvet coup.

The other aspect this control and coup was NACA being taken over by Nazi Intel/strategists/scientists/war planners through Paper Clip and other relations of the Dulles family were involved with this. Dulles had not one patriotic bone in his body but only cared about elitism, and power. Yes, he made patriotic statements but they were as thin as his skin.

[Aug 16, 2019] One of the ways the Deep State undermines conspiracy theories is to plant evidence purporting to support the theory, but easily disproved by easily available information

Notable quotes:
"... Even more importantly, we should all be troubled by efforts to shut down content and discussions labeled "false and misleading" on major social media platforms . ..."
"... Conspiracies can be found out by many different ways e.g. documents uncovered, discrepancies, evidence that contradicts what has been claimed etc. ..."
"... "A two decade old CT, like 9/11, or worse, one six decades old (the JFK assassination), are false because they would have involved too many people–someone would have blown the whistle, if only on their deathbed." ..."
"... "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. ..."
"... The old adage 'two men can keep a secret, if one of them is dead' applies here. ..."
"... This co-ordinated and global media attack on the 'Conspiracy Theorist' is co-ordinated and Global for good reason. ..."
"... The determination of international deepstate to make illegal any question or recognition of it under guise of 'Conspiracy theorist=domestic terrorist/anti-semite/anti-Zionist/BDS/trump supporting white supremacist(etc)'- conflating those ULTRA memes with growing awareness of the Anglo/Yankee/zionist PSYOPS underway globally, mean we are entering a choke point in progression of reason, truth and beauty. ..."
"... The danger of the conspiracy theorist to the present world order, is that most of the BIG ones, the nasty ones, are true. And CIA operation Mockingbirds' job (Quote) 'is to Guard against the illicit Transformation of Probability into Certainty," that they are . ..."
"... Ultimately, the average conspiracy theorist has a better grasp of how the world works than the average liberal. ..."
"... The reality is that the ruling class and its public servants really do have a parasitic and predatory relationship to the vast majority of humanity ..."
"... I like Michael Moore's response when asked if he believed the conspiracy theories which were floating about at the time: "Just the ones that are true" ..."
"... A conspiracy theory, like any theory is as strong as the evidence put forward to support it. ..."
"... One of the ways they will do this is to plant "evidence" purporting to support the theory, but easily disproved by easily available information. Unfortunately,it is a sad fact that far too many "conspiracy theorists" readily accept and share along with genuine evidence, this planted "evidence" to the wider internet, thereby undermining the solid evidence of a conspiracy, by associating it with the easily disprovable nonsense. ..."
"... For example, after the attack on the WTC Kissinger was appointed to the head the 9/11 commission (before stepping down). ..."
"... 'Conspiracy theorists' would have thought – why are neocons appointing a mass-murdering neocon to investigate an event that might have involved neocons (raising obvious credibility issues) – whereas those who regard conspiracy theorists as dribbling fruitcakes would have welcomed the appointment of the nobel peace prize winner. ..."
OffGuardian

Noam Chomsky has pointed out , the more educated we are, the more we are a target for state-corporate propaganda. Even journalists outside the mainstream may internalize establishment values and prejudices. Which brings us to Parramore's embrace of the term "conspiracy theory." Once a neutral and little-used phrase, "conspiracy theory" was infamously weaponized in 1967 by a memo from the CIA to its station chiefs worldwide.

Troubled by growing mass disbelief in the "lone nut" theory of President Kennedy's assassination, and concerned that "[c]onspiracy theories have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization," the agency directed its officers to "discuss the publicity problem with friendly and elite contacts (especially politicians and editors)" and to "employ propaganda assets to answer and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose."

As Kevin Ryan writes , and various analyses have shown :

In the 45 years before the CIA memo came out, the phrase 'conspiracy theory' appeared in the Washington Post and New York Times only 50 times, or about once per year. In the 45 years after the CIA memo, the phrase appeared 2,630 times, or about once per week."
While it turns out that Parramore knows something about this hugely successful propaganda drive, she chose in her NBC piece to deploy the phrase as the government has come to define it, i.e., as "something that requires no consideration because it is obviously not true." This embeds a fallacy in her argument which only spreads as she goes on. Likewise, the authors of the studies she cites, who attempt to connect belief in "conspiracy theories" to "narcissistic personality traits," are not immune to efforts to manipulate the wider culture. Studies are only as good as the assumptions from which they proceed; in this case, the assumption was provided by an interested Federal agency. And what of their suggested diagnosis?

The DSM-5's criteria for narcissism include "a pervasive pattern of grandiosity a need for admiration and lack of empathy." My experience in talking to writers and advocates who -- to mention a few of the subjects Parramore cites -- seek justice in the cases of the political murders of the Sixties , have profound concerns about vaccine safety , or reject the official conspiracy theory of 9/11 , does not align with that characterization.

On the contrary, most of the people I know who hold these varied (and not always shared) views are deeply empathic, courageously humble, and resigned to a life on the margins of official discourse, even as they doggedly seek to publicize what they have learned. A number of them have arrived at their views through painful, direct experience, like the loss of a friend or the illness of a child, but far from having a "negative view of humanity," as Parramore writes, most hold a deep and abiding faith in the power of regular people to see injustice and peacefully oppose it. In that regard, they share a great deal in common with writers like Parramore: ultimately, we all want what's best for our children, and none of us want a world ruled by unaccountable political-economic interests. If we want to achieve that world, then we should work together to promote speech that is free from personal attacks on all sides. Even more importantly, we should all be troubled by efforts to shut down content and discussions labeled "false and misleading" on major social media platforms.

Who will decide what is false and what is true? ... ... ...

President Kennedy said:

a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."
Perhaps we should take a closer look at ideas that so frighten the powers-that-be. Far from inviting our ridicule, the people who insist that we look in these forbidden places may one day deserve our thanks.
John Kirby is a documentary filmmaker. His latest project, Four Died Trying, examines what John Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were doing in the last years of their lives which may have led to their deaths.

George
I am responding to an earlier comment you made because, for some reason, I cannot reply to it in the proper place.

"The old adage 'two men can keep a secret, if one of them is dead' applies here."

Wrong: secrets can be uncovered even if both of them are dead.

"The conspiracies we know about are exposed because someone talks, or a computer gets hacked."

Conspiracies can be found out by many different ways e.g. documents uncovered, discrepancies, evidence that contradicts what has been claimed etc.

"A two decade old CT, like 9/11, or worse, one six decades old (the JFK assassination), are false because they would have involved too many people–someone would have blown the whistle, if only on their deathbed."

Always a bad sign when you start to repeat "would have". Lots of presumption here.

"No new facts have emerged because the only people who knew anything are long dead, taking the reasons to their graves .."

New facts can emerge all the time even regarding the most ancient of events.

" .or in the case of 9/11, because there was no great conspiracy, beyond the one reported."

So you now have godlike omniscience?

"A propensity for subscribing to conspiracy theories, is, sad to say, indicative of mental inadequacy "

There's no point in going much further here. You now devolve into psychobabble which, as always, is based on the dogmatic assertion that you are right. (cf. the formerly mentioned godlike omniscience)

Ragnar
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie.

It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State." These words are attributed to Joseph Goebbels.

-So, George, it would hardly make a difference whether the State is Marxist or Capitalist. It's either power or truth. They are inherently different and can not be reconciled. Ultimately, there is no bridge possible.

However, so-called "common" goals are of a lower order and cooperation here is possible, temporarily. These relationships are unstable and prone to breaking up precisely because they're ultimately not common at all. The principle are different and the personalities too. Ships Passing In The Night, like. -See?

George
We all have common goals. Basically the goals of life and health. And these are hardly goals "of a lower order". If that was true then we must be living in a state of "postmodernist relativity" where anyone can decide arbitrarily what matters. And that would certainly lead to your ships-passing-in-the-night scenario i.e. the ultimate divide-and-rule vision.

As for power, the late Marxist writer Ellen Meiksins Wood noted that, in modern times, we have an unprecedented degree of political freedom. But the reason for that is that power no longer lies in politics. It lies in economics. What is the point of having formal rights when your livelihood is gone?

William HBonney

The old adage 'two men can keep a secret, if one of them is dead' applies here.

The conspiracies we know about are exposed because someone talks, or a computer gets hacked. A two decade old CT, like 9/11, or worse, one six decades old (the JFK assassination), are false because they would have involved too many people – someone would have blown the whistle, if only on their deathbed. No new facts have emerged because the only people who knew anything are long dead, taking the reasons to their graves, or in the case of 9/11, because there was no great conspiracy, beyond the one reported.

A propensity for subscribing to conspiracy theories, is, sad to say, indicative of mental inadequacy. Such people are unable to deal with the complexities of the world as it is, and therefore seek to make it a world of black and white, good and evil, heroes and villains. The internet, with its blurring of fantasy and fact enables them. This is why discussions like this get so polarised.

TFS

1. 9/11 and JFK are false because WILLIAM HBonney has declared it so.

Boom, thanks for watching kids.

2. In other news, some Conspiracy Theorists Imagined 747-E4Bs above Washington at the time of 9/11 and 25+second delay introduced into the Air Traffic Control System but the Official Conspiracy Account of 9/11 didn't discuss it because there was nothing to see.

3. In related news, HWB wack jobs go on one

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/07/no_author/new-york-fire-commissioners-call-for-new-9-11-investigation-about-pre-planted-explosives/

4. Corbett, goes off on one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXYswf3lzU8

5. And again, Corbett goes even more mental. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWLis-TVB2w

6. But it's ok kidz, because HWB wack jobs, like first responders, police, fire personnel architects, physicists, former military personnel, pilots, Nobel Peace Prixe winners, medical experts, etc etc all collectively asertained that the Official Conspiracy Theory of 9/11 is about as usefull as the Warren Commission Report.

7. HOWEVER, HWB THINKS YOU'RE A WACK JOB.

r. rebar
unless & until someone goes to jail -- there are no conspiracies & as silence is -- like any commodity -- only as good as the price paid to maintain it -- those who know have a real vested interest in not talking (it's not a secret if you tell someone)
roger morris
Ms Parramore is doing nothing more than her profession and tenure demands. Witting or un-witting. This co-ordinated and global media attack on the 'Conspiracy Theorist' is co-ordinated and Global for good reason.

It is the 'Great Wurlitzer' at full throat coinciding with extraordinary reductions in internet freedoms of information flow. The determination of international deepstate to make illegal any question or recognition of it under guise of 'Conspiracy theorist=domestic terrorist/anti-semite/anti-Zionist/BDS/trump supporting white supremacist(etc)'- conflating those ULTRA memes with growing awareness of the Anglo/Yankee/zionist PSYOPS underway globally, mean we are entering a choke point in progression of reason, truth and beauty.

A read of the Cass Sunstein/Cornelius Adrian Comstock Vermeule Paper describing 'Conspiracy theory' as a 'crippled Epistemology' and determining 'COINTELPRO' type strategies to counter the danger of their truth becoming certainty, will enlighten those in the dark of IIO methodology and expose Ms Parramore as a true MOCKINGBIRD.

The danger of the conspiracy theorist to the present world order, is that most of the BIG ones, the nasty ones, are true. And CIA operation Mockingbirds' job (Quote) 'is to Guard against the illicit Transformation of Probability into Certainty," that they are .

mathias alexand
Try this for conspiracy thinking

https://lorenzoae.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/part-2/

George
Good link. I like this bit:

"Ultimately, the average conspiracy theorist has a better grasp of how the world works than the average liberal. Even the most outlandish "conspiracy theory" in existence -- that people like George W. Bush and Queen Elizabeth are shape-shifting, extra-dimensional reptilians -- is closer to the truth than what liberals believe.

The reality is that the ruling class and its public servants really do have a parasitic and predatory relationship to the vast majority of humanity "

I've often felt there is a lot of (metaphorical!) truth in David Icke's ravings, although the reptile image is unfortunate in that actual reptiles are amongst the most sedate and peaceful creatures.

Molloy
Eichmann and today's useful idiots; Hannah Arendt

(start Arendt quote)

Despite all the efforts of the prosecution, everybody could see that this man was not a "monster," but it was difficult indeed not to suspect that he was a clown. And since this suspicion would have been fatal to the whole enterprise, and was also rather hard to sustain, in view of the sufferings he and his like had caused so many millions of people, his worst clowneries were hardly noticed. What could you do with a man who first declared, with great emphasis, that the one thing he had learned in an ill-spent life was that one should never take an oath ("Today no man, no judge could ever persuade me to make a sworn statement. I refuse it; I refuse it for moral reasons. Since my experience tells me that if one is loyal to his oath, one day he has to take the consequences, I have made up my mind once and for all that no judge in the world or other authority will ever be capable of making me swear an oath, to give sworn testimony.

I won't do it voluntarily and no one will be able to force me"), and then, after being told explicitly that if he wished to testify in his own defense he might "do so under oath or without an oath," declared without further ado that he would prefer to testify under oath? Or who, repeatedly and with a great show of feeling, assured the court, as he had assured the police examiner, that the worst thing he could do would be to try to escape his true responsibilities, to fight for his neck, to plead for mercy -- and then, upon instruction of his counsel, submitted a handwritten document that contained a plea for mercy?

As far as Eichmann was concerned, these were questions of changing moods, not of inconsistencies, and as long as he was capable of finding, either in his memory or on the spur of the moment, an elating stock phrase to go with them, he was quite content.
(end quote)

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1963/02/16/eichmann-in-jerusalem-i

Molloy
Chomsky dealing with the indoctrinated. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLcpcytUnWU&app=desktop Why it is important to call out the so-called 'Global Elite' facilitators on here.

And why it is essential to understand what Eichmann was facilitating (and the madness that morphed into the same apartheid bigotry in the 21st century).

Better understand than be hanged.

Gary Weglarz

I appreciate the article, but the sentence below is offered with no logical or rational support – it is simply an evidence free assertion:

("But Parramore and many journalists like her are neither assets of an intelligence service nor unthinking tools of big media; ) – really?

It is quite clear that if someone "is" (an asset of an intelligence service) that they will certainly not be broadcasting this fact to the world or to friends and family. And for someone to assert that "conspiracies" don't exist in the real world requires a level of credulity that most intelligent and rational people the least bit familiar with the historical record would find rather difficult to muster up. I dare say it would be much easier in fact to prove the assertion that our Western history is simply the "history of conspiracies" given the oligarchic control of Western populations for millennia. This is hardly "rocket science" as they say. We do have a rather well documented historical record to fall back on to show the endless scheming of Western oligarchy behind the backs of Western populations.

wardropper
I like Michael Moore's response when asked if he believed the conspiracy theories which were floating about at the time: "Just the ones that are true"
John Thatcher
A conspiracy theory, like any theory is as strong as the evidence put forward to support it. Often people offer as fact conspiracies that only as yet exist as theories,with greater or lesser amounts of evidence to support.I have no doubt that interested parties who are the accused in these theories, will mount efforts to discredit any theory mounted against them or those they represent.

One of the ways they will do this is to plant "evidence" purporting to support the theory, but easily disproved by easily available information. Unfortunately,it is a sad fact that far too many "conspiracy theorists" readily accept and share along with genuine evidence, this planted "evidence" to the wider internet, thereby undermining the solid evidence of a conspiracy, by associating it with the easily disprovable nonsense.

Harry Stotle

Isn't it high time we had a term to describe those who always accept the official version of events after controversial political incidents no matter how implausible this account might be?

For example, after the attack on the WTC Kissinger was appointed to the head the 9/11 commission (before stepping down).

'Conspiracy theorists' would have thought – why are neocons appointing a mass-murdering neocon to investigate an event that might have involved neocons (raising obvious credibility issues) – whereas those who regard conspiracy theorists as dribbling fruitcakes would have welcomed the appointment of the nobel peace prize winner.

Anyway, here's a clip of Henry – the believers in everything the government say would never have considered the objections raised in the film – such questions are tantamount to mental illness according to these 'progressives'.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/YcxjJDlbnC4?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

[Aug 16, 2019] Notice the continued exclusion of Representative Gabbard and her criticism of the destructive Empire

Aug 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
anonymous [340] Disclaimer , says: August 16, 2019 at 1:54 am GMT
@Hanrahan Notice the continued exclusion of Representative Gabbard and her criticism of the destructive Empire -- despite focusing on Beltway politics, he hasn't typed her name since June 28. He wants the "Elizabeth Warren-Bernie Sanders-AOC Democrats" to go even kookier because this website's "Mr. Paleoconservative" has become a Beltway fixture, cheerleading for Team Red in the next Most Important Election Ever

.

[Aug 16, 2019] Two key questions facing the nation is the unchecked power of MIC and financial oligarchy. Unless they are tamed the USA will follow the road of the USSR sooner or later

Notable quotes:
"... The election will be waged, like the primaries, around race-baiting. Biden will be the first victim. The other white candidates are running scared & becoming more shrill in their denunciations of whites in general by the hour. ..."
Aug 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

swamped , says: August 16, 2019 at 8:20 am GMT

"the Great Arsenal of Democracy was looted by" the military-industrial complex Arsenal & it's unending wars & nothing short of nuclear annihilation is going to change that. There is no Democrat who is willing to bet their chance at the presidency on pulling it down.

And the American public, by and large, is put to sleep by lengthy discussions of the intricacies of trade policy.

The election will be waged, like the primaries, around race-baiting. Biden will be the first victim. The other white candidates are running scared & becoming more shrill in their denunciations of whites in general by the hour.

There's no telling where it all may lead but it's becoming clearer day by day that the hostility will outlast the primaries & the general election will be a very ugly affair. There's no turning back to the soothing center now, it will be an us-vs.-them type election & hopefully, Pat Buchanan, still America's shrewdest pundit, will keep us fully apprised.

[Aug 16, 2019] According to Dr.Crenshaw who treated JFK at the Parkland Hospital Kennedy was shot once or twice from the front

Aug 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

9/11 Inside job , says: August 14, 2019 at 1:37 pm GMT

Need to investigate the role , if any , of Dr. Michael Baden in the Epstein and JFK autopsy cover-ups .

According to Dr.Crenshaw who treated JFK at the Parkland Hospital Kennedy was shot once or twice from the front and , therefore, Oswald could not possibly have been the killer. See " Trauma Room One , the JFK Medical Coverup Exposed . " By Dr. Michael Crenshaw .

[Aug 13, 2019] Our Overly Militarized Foreign Policy Gets Even Worse

Aug 13, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Daniel Benaim and Michael Walid Hanna explain that the U.S. military presence in the Middle East hasn't changed much at all under Trump, but there has been a reduction in diplomatic engagement:

For all the headlines, the U.S. military presence in the Middle East is fairly consistent. Despite the administration's intention, laid out in the 2018 National Defense Strategy, to refocus the U.S. military on great-power competition, the U.S. footprint in the Middle East remains relatively constant, and seemingly permanent. Instead, what has changed is the scale of civilian effort that, in most previous administrations, would have accompanied such a military presence. The Trump administration has left numerous vacancies for key civilian positions unfilled for long stretches, slashed aid programs, and focused on high-level personal relations at the expense of broader ties. Altogether, its approach has not been typified by either retrenchment or interventionism but by what Barry Posen, writing in Foreign Affairs, has called "illiberal hegemony" -- military superiority shorn of diplomatic stewardship.

Benaim and Hanna are right about this, and their article is a welcome corrective to the many false claims that Trump is "retreating" from the region. The administration's disdain for diplomacy and aid has been impossible to miss over the last two and a half years, and they have combined that with more or less continuing the military deployments and missions that they inherited. What that means in practice is that the U.S. remains entangled in the affairs of the region, but our government's involvement leans even more heavily towards the military. That leaves every other kind of engagement underfunded, understaffed, and neglected. Since our foreign policy is already excessively militarized, this makes a bad problem worse. Benaim and Hanna note this later in the article:

This approach also exacerbates the long-standing problem of overreliance on the military as the central tool of U.S. Middle East policy. Even on a diplomat's best days, regional leaders are well aware of the "consul effect" -- the contrast between well-resourced American military commanders and their relatively impoverished diplomatic colleagues. Further marginalizing diplomats costs them influence, access, and bargaining power, while positioning the military and intelligence communities as the only effective U.S. institutional actors in the region.

Given the reality that the U.S. military presence hasn't been reduced, and has actually increased in some places over the last two years, how is it that we keep hearing about U.S. "retreat" and "withdrawal" as if these were happening? Client states have an incentive to whine about possible "abandonment" no matter what the U.S. does. Either they complain about an "abandonment" that has supposedly already happened, or they warn against a possible "abandonment" that might take place in the future. The whining serves the purpose of putting pressure on every administration to maintain existing commitments and then to add more. Then there are pundits and analysts at home that constantly fret about U.S. "withdrawal" as a way of agitating for increased involvement. Then there are the supporters of the president that want to pretend that the "withdrawal" is really happening in order to credit the president for doing something he hasn't done. Add them all up, and you get an unfounded consensus that the U.S. is "retreating" when virtually nothing has changed. In the case of Trump, there is an additional factor of taking the president's rhetoric at face value while ignoring what his administration is doing. Trump boasts about some things that never happened and never will happen, and for some reason he is blamed/credited for things he never does while his real policies often escape close scrutiny.

Put simply, U.S. military engagement in the Middle East is largely unchanged and has even escalated to some degree under Trump, but all other kinds of engagement get short shrift. Far from disentangling the U.S. from its excessive commitments in the region, Trump has embraced our worst clients and deepened our government's involvement in the worst way for the sake of arms sales and whipping up anti-Iranian sentiment. This is the exact opposite of what should be happening, and it is antithetical to a foreign policy that extricates U.S. forces from the region.

[Aug 13, 2019] The only area UAE and Saudi Arabia agree is "Yemen must be open to their (Sunni) type Islamist extremists".

Aug 13, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

ilsm , August 13, 2019 at 04:41 AM

Shaky UAE-Saudi Arabia alliance over Yemen:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/08/13/trumps-arab-allies-turn-each-other/?noredirect=on&utm_campaign=EBB%20081319&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Sailthru

The only area they agree is "Yemen must be open to their (Sunni) type Islamist extremists".

US is siding with big oil in the thousand odd year schism.

[Aug 13, 2019] To be fair, the US has a fantastic record of f***ing up countries with aerial bombs. The part which the Saudis failed to understand is that the US isn't next to any of these countries...

Aug 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

c1ue , Aug 12 2019 14:53 utc | 98

@JW #40
To be fair, the US has a fantastic record of f***ing up countries with aerial bombs. The part which the Saudis failed to understand is that the US isn't next to any of these countries...

Yemen has a population slightly lower than Texas. Imagine, Washington bombing Texas, only filled with Texans that have more and heavier weapons(?).
The question mark is because I am not entirely certain that Yemenis are more heavily armed than Texans, but certainly they're at least as fierce defending themselves.

[Aug 13, 2019] The new war is essentially economic; it is a war of sanctions and limiting free movement of ship movements around the globe. It is a war of tankers and oil platforms.

Aug 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Grieved , Aug 12 2019 3:09 utc | 51

@2 BM

Wow, that is an outstanding tour d'horizon from Magnier you linked. This is a keeper to show others who may be amenable to learning about today's Middle East balance of forces, and how it has been arrived at.

Succinct yet very comprehensive, the piece not only catches up the histories of recent years, but provides an analysis of today and the near-to-mid-term future - both military and geopolitical. It speaks of the various lessons learned along the way, including the lessons being absorbed in real time today as the confrontation between Iran and the US has barely yet begun and yet racked up totally instructive scores.

The new war is essentially economic; it is a war of sanctions and limiting free movement of ship movements around the globe. It is a war of tankers and oil platforms. It is a starvation war where no one can threaten the enemy with a return to the "stone age" because the firepower is now universally available . Yemen is the best example: the threat of bombing Dubai forced the Emirates to seek Iranian mediation to prevent a missile attack against them. The Houthis, despite years of Saudi bombing of Yemen, have also managed to bomb Saudi airports, military bases and oil stations in the heart of Saudi Arabia, using cruise missiles and armed drones. [My emphasis]

And Hezbolllah has cemented its standing with nations in the region, expanded its skill from guerrilla and small-theater to nation-size theater, and this:

It has run intensive courses in the use of its drones, used its precision missiles with accuracy, produced thousands of highly trained Special Forces and it has fought an enemy (al-Qaeda) that is much more motivated to fight to the death than any Israeli Special Forces units. [My emphasis]

Israel is essentially paralyzed. Even to the extent, as Magnier relates, of being careful to warn Hezbollah drivers before bombing its supply trucks, because "Israel wanted to avoid human casualties among Hezbollah officers, fully aware of the price of retaliation. " My emphasis again.

The bad guys have fallen behind - as we know, but as Magnier illustrates so clearly in this appraisal, with his review of the initial western strategies just a few years ago and how they have all been rendered null. Even the US now is an antique target for modern missile and drone technology - and the battle-hardened skill with these weapons definitely resides with the Levant axis rather than with the imperialists and their dogs.

The future? This:

Gaza, along with Beirut, Damascus and Baghdad, are all highly equipped by Tehran with sufficient missiles to inflict real damage on Israel and on US forces deployed in the Middle East. Israel is playing around by targeting various objectives tactically but with no real strategic purpose- only for Netanyahu to keep himself busy and train his Air Force, and to gain publicity in the media. Soon, when Syria recovers and Iraq is stronger, the Israeli promenade will have to cease. Hezbollah in Lebanon may also find a way in the near future to keep its irregular but organised army busy by firing anti-air missiles against Israeli jets and imposing new rules of engagement.

Here's the link again:
From 2006 to 2019: after failures in Syria, Iraq, Palestine and Yemen, war is no longer an option for Israel

Great job, Elijah J. Magnier!

[Aug 12, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard to report for active duty in Indonesia for 2 weeks

Aug 12, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc , August 12, 2019 at 08:35 AM

Tulsi Gabbard has this unique resume item

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/tulsi-gabbard-to-report-for-active-duty-in-indonesia-for-2-weeks/ar-AAFHdcb

"Tulsi Gabbard to report for active duty in Indonesia for 2 weeks"

by Brian Pascus...CBS News...1 hr ago

"Tulsi Gabbard, Democrat from Hawaii and presidential candidate, will be taking a two-week absence from her campaign Monday to report for active duty with the Hawaiian Army National Guard in Indonesia, she said in an interview with CBSN's Caitlin Huey-Burns.

"I'm stepping off of the campaign trail for a couple of weeks and putting on my army uniform to go on a joint training exercise mission in Indonesia," she said. Gabbard has also taken two weeks off to report for active service in 2017."...

[Aug 12, 2019] Argentine president suffers crushing defeat in key primaries ahead of general election

Is this the end of the neoliberal counterrevolution in Argentina ? Moor did its duty moor has to go -- Macri converted Argentina into the Debt slave again and now to get out of this situation is nest to impossible.
Aug 12, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , August 12, 2019 at 05:52 AM

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2019-08-12/Argentine-president-suffers-crushing-defeat-in-key-primaries--J5Ov4caLvi/index.html

August 12, 2019

Argentine president suffers crushing defeat in key primaries ahead of general election

Argentina's President Mauricio Macri suffered a crushing defeat as people voted in party primaries on Sunday ahead of October's general election.

Given that all of the recession-hit South American country's major parties have already chosen their presidential candidates, the primaries effectively served as a nationwide pre-election opinion poll.

Center-left nominee Alberto Fernandez led by around 15 points after partial results were revealed. Center-right Pro-business Macri admitted it had been "a bad election."
The first round of the presidential election will be held on October 27, with a run-off – if needed – set for November 24.

With 87 percent of polling station results counted, Fernandez had polled 47.5 percent with Macri on a little more than 32 percent and centrist former finance minister Roberto Lavagna a distant third on just 8.3 percent.

Macri had been hoping to earn a second mandate, but his chances appear all but over.

If Fernandez was to register the same result in October, he would be president as Argentina's electoral law requires a candidate to gain 45 percent for outright victory, or 40 percent and a lead of at least 10 points over the nearest challenger.

Inflation and poverty

"We've had a bad election and that forces us to redouble our efforts from tomorrow," said Macri, whose popularity has plunged since last year's currency crisis and the much-criticized 56 billion U.S.-dollar bail-out loan he secured from the International Monetary Fund.

"It hurts that we haven't had the support we'd hoped for," he added.

Argentina is currently in a recession and posted 22 percent inflation for the first half of the year – one of the highest rates in the world. Poverty now affects 32 percent of the population.

Backed by the IMF, Macri has initiated an austerity plan that is deeply unpopular among ordinary Argentines, who have seen their spending power plummet.

The peso lost half of its value against the dollar last year. The Buenos Aires stock exchange actually shot up eight percent on Friday amid expectation that Macri would do well in Sunday's vote.

anne -> anne... , August 12, 2019 at 06:22 AM
IMF loan of $56 billion:

Then;

Austerity,

Inflation rate 22% from January to June 2019,

Poverty rate 32%,

Peso lost 50% in value in 2018.

anne -> anne... , August 12, 2019 at 07:03 AM
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=onpw

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Mexico, 1992-2018

(Percent change)


https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=onpx

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Mexico, 1992-2018

(Indexed to 1992)

anne , August 12, 2019 at 04:01 PM
An important task now is to understand why the IMF assistance to Argentina proved damaging to the economy from the beginning; the data showed the damage being done. However, there was almost no mention of the problems that developed outside Argentina and there was surprise when the failure of the economy was reflected in the serious vote against the current president.

Of course, Joseph Stiglitz watched the same sort of problems unfold in Argentina almost 20 years ago and was severely criticized for discussing them. How did the problems recur so readily now? Why is IMF national assistance seemingly so dangerous economically?

[Aug 11, 2019] Politico attack of Gabbard

What a neoliberal scam are those Politico authors are...
Aug 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Gabbard (D)(1): "Tulsi Gabbard's daredevil act" [ Politico ]. "Gabbard delivered a piercing, if inaccurate, appraisal of Kamala Harris' law enforcement record -- then turned it into a misleading, yet effective, online ad push." • That's all Politico says. I heard what Gabbard said, when she said it, and could have backed up every line of it with links. Gabbard was even nicer than she could have been, because she left out Mnuchin. I wish I could say this article was shocking, but it isn't.

[Aug 11, 2019] The party of JFK and RFK is dead. The leading present Democrats do not believe in countries

Notable quotes:
"... Joe Biden is both sadly demented and deeply compromised to the Chinese Communist Party through his use of his office as VP to fund his son's investment fund with money from China's government owned and run central bank. His condition and his compromised state will keep him from the WH. ..."
"... Gabbart is the only person that seems rational and slightly honest. Harris traded sex for political advancement I understand why she would be a favorite. No moral or ethical standards willing to do anything for what she wants. Perfect useful idiot. ..."
Aug 11, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Tulsi Gabbard is an exception to the subject of my title, but she is not going to be nominated. I am currently contributing to her campaign as a tribute to a gallant lady.

Joe Biden is both sadly demented and deeply compromised to the Chinese Communist Party through his use of his office as VP to fund his son's investment fund with money from China's government owned and run central bank. His condition and his compromised state will keep him from the WH.

They will both be irrelevant in the 2020 election as will as the Zombie candidates like Bullock, Delaney, etc. i.e. the "moderates."

The rest of the pastiche of 2020 "Democrat" candidates are essentially Globalist advocates of reduced US sovereignty as a step toward their "ideal" of a world socialist state in which they will be part of the new Nomenklatura and will enjoy exemptions from the inevitable shortages of everything resulting from universal "sharing" with the unfortunate masses who will be proletarians engaged in slave labor or doing the gardening at the dachas of people like Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Roarke and the like.

The barely hidden opposition by the leftist Democrats to border control is telling. The leftist Democrats want to take down the SW border of the US until it is nothing but a line on the map. They want to do that that in order to flood the country with illegals who can be voted for Democrat majorities in states where they control the state governments. Remember, the states run federal elections.

California is an example of dirty dealing intended to further rig election outcomes. Gavin Newsom, the apparent present leader of the Sacramento cabal, has signed into law a statute seeking to bar Trump from the ballot if he will not surrender his federal tax returns for public inspection. Was the possibility of illegally voting millions of non-citizens by driver licensing of illegals and their simultaneous voter-registration at the DMV not enough to ensure victory? Thank god that a change in the number of presidential electors allotted to California is not within the capability of the Sacramento cabal.

Americans and other people who will vote in 2020 will have a stark choice. Do you wish to remain living in a sovereign state or do you wish to become a building bloc in a world socialist empire?

Unfortunately the only choice available to the US sovereignty side will be Donald Trump, the real estate hustler from New York City. Weld is not a serious candidate. pl

Stueeeeee , 11 August 2019 at 05:58 PM

Both parties seem inclined to bring about "paradise on earth". To understand these internationalists, I cite Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor conversation with Christ:

..."'So that, in truth, Thou didst Thyself lay the foundation for the destruction of Thy kingdom, and no one is more to blame for it. Yet what was offered Thee? There are three powers, three powers alone, able to conquer and to hold captive for ever the conscience of these impotent rebels for their happiness those forces are miracle, mystery and authority. Thou hast rejected all three and hast set the example for doing so. When the wise and dread spirit set Thee on the pinnacle of the temple and said to Thee, "If Thou wouldst know whether Thou art the Son of God then cast Thyself down, for it is written: the angels shall hold him up lest he fall and bruise himself, and Thou shalt know then whether Thou art the Son of God and shalt prove then how great is Thy faith in Thy Father." But Thou didst refuse and wouldst not cast Thyself down. Oh, of course, Thou didst proudly and well, like God; but the weak, unruly race of men, are they gods? Oh, Thou didst know then that in taking one step, in making one movement to cast Thyself down, Thou wouldst be tempting God and have lost all Thy faith in Him, and wouldst have been dashed to pieces against that earth which Thou didst come to save. And the wise spirit that tempted Thee would have rejoiced. But I ask again, are there many like Thee? And couldst Thou believe for one moment that men, too, could face such a temptation? Is the nature of men such, that they can reject miracle, and at the great moments of their life, the moments of their deepest, most agonising spiritual difficulties, cling only to the free verdict of the heart? Oh, Thou didst know that Thy deed would be recorded in books, would be handed down to remote times and the utmost ends of the earth, and Thou didst hope that man, following Thee, would cling to God and not ask for a miracle. But Thou didst not know that when man rejects miracle he rejects God too; for man seeks not so much God as the miraculous. And as man cannot bear to be without the miraculous, he will create new miracles of his own for himself, and will worship deeds of sorcery and witchcraft, though he might be a hundred times over a rebel, heretic and infidel. Thou didst not come down from the Cross when they shouted to Thee, mocking and reviling Thee, "Come down from the cross and we will believe that Thou art He." Thou didst not come down, for again Thou wouldst not enslave man by a miracle, and didst crave faith given freely, not based on miracle. Thou didst crave for free love and not the base raptures of the slave before the might that has overawed him for ever. But Thou didst think too highly of men therein, for they are slaves, of course, though rebellious by nature. Look round and judge; fifteen centuries have passed, look upon them. Whom hast Thou raised up to Thyself? I swear, man is weaker and baser by nature than Thou hast believed him! Can he, can he do what Thou didst? By showing him so much respect, Thou didst, as it were, cease to feel for him, for Thou didst ask far too much from him- Thou who hast loved him more than Thyself! Respecting him less, Thou wouldst have asked less of him. That would have been more like love, for his burden would have been lighter. He is weak and vile. What though he is everywhere now rebelling against our power, and proud of his rebellion? It is the pride of a child and a schoolboy. They are little children rioting and barring out the teacher at school. But their childish delight will end; it will cost them dear. Mankind as a whole has always striven to organise a universal state. There have been many great nations with great histories, but the more highly they were developed the more unhappy they were, for they felt more acutely than other people the craving for world-wide union. The great conquerors, Timours and Ghenghis-Khans, whirled like hurricanes over the face of the earth striving to subdue its people, and they too were but the unconscious expression of the same craving for universal unity. Hadst Thou taken the world and Caesar's purple, Thou wouldst have founded the universal state and have given universal peace. For who can rule men if not he who holds their conscience and their bread in his hands? We have taken the sword of Caesar, and in taking it, of course, have rejected Thee and followed him. Oh, ages are yet to come of the confusion of free thought, of their science and cannibalism. For having begun to build their tower of Babel without us, they will end, of course, with cannibalism. But then the beast will crawl to us and lick our feet and spatter them with tears of blood. And we shall sit upon the beast and raise the cup, and on it will be written, "Mystery." But then, and only then, the reign of peace and happiness will come for men. Thou art proud of Thine elect, but Thou hast only the elect, while we give rest to all. And besides, how many of those elect, those mighty ones who could become elect, have grown weary waiting for Thee, and have transferred and will transfer the powers of their spirit and the warmth of their heart to the other camp, and end by raising their free banner against Thee. Thou didst Thyself lift up that banner. But with us all will be happy and will no more rebel nor destroy one another as under Thy freedom. Oh, we shall persuade them that they will only become free when they renounce their freedom to us and submit to us. And shall we be right or shall we be lying? They will be convinced that we are right, for they will remember the horrors of slavery and confusion to which Thy freedom brought them. Freedom, free thought, and science will lead them into such straits and will bring them face to face with such marvels and insoluble mysteries, that some of them, the fierce and rebellious, will destroy themselves, others, rebellious but weak, will destroy one another, while the rest, weak and unhappy, will crawl fawning to our feet and whine to us: "Yes, you were right, you alone possess His mystery, and we come back to you, save us from ourselves!"

"'Receiving bread from us, they will see clearly that we take the bread made by their hands from them, to give it to them, without any miracle. They will see that we do not change the stones to bread, but in truth they will be more thankful for taking it from our hands than for the bread itself! For they will remember only too well that in old days, without our help, even the bread they made turned to stones in their hands, while since they have come back to us, the very stones have turned to bread in their hands. Too, too well will they know the value of complete submission! And until men know that, they will be unhappy. Who is most to blame for their not knowing it?-speak! Who scattered the flock and sent it astray on unknown paths? But the flock will come together again and will submit once more, and then it will be once for all. Then we shall give them the quiet humble happiness of weak creatures such as they are by nature. Oh, we shall persuade them at last not to be proud, for Thou didst lift them up and thereby taught them to be proud. We shall show them that they are weak, that they are only pitiful children, but that childlike happiness is the sweetest of all. They will become timid and will look to us and huddle close to us in fear, as chicks to the hen. They will marvel at us and will be awe-stricken before us, and will be proud at our being so powerful and clever that we have been able to subdue such a turbulent flock of thousands of millions. They will tremble impotently before our wrath, their minds will grow fearful, they will be quick to shed tears like women and children, but they will be just as ready at a sign from us to pass to laughter and rejoicing, to happy mirth and childish song. Yes, we shall set them to work, but in their leisure hours we shall make their life like a child's game, with children's songs and innocent dance. Oh, we shall allow them even sin, they are weak and helpless, and they will love us like children because we allow them to sin. We shall tell them that every sin will be expiated, if it is done with our permission, that we allow them to sin because we love them, and the punishment for these sins we take upon ourselves. And we shall take it upon ourselves, and they will adore us as their saviours who have taken on themselves their sins before God. And they will have no secrets from us. We shall allow or forbid them to live with their wives and mistresses, to have or not to have children according to whether they have been obedient or disobedient- and they will submit to us gladly and cheerfully. The most painful secrets of their conscience, all, all they will bring to us, and we shall have an answer for all. And they will be glad to believe our answer, for it will save them from the great anxiety and terrible agony they endure at present in making a free decision for themselves. And all will be happy, all the millions of creatures except the hundred thousand who rule over them. For only we, we who guard the mystery, shall be unhappy. There will be thousands of millions of happy babes, and a hundred thousand sufferers who have taken upon themselves the curse of the knowledge of good and evil. Peacefully they will die, peacefully they will expire in Thy name, and beyond the grave they will find nothing but death. But we shall keep the secret, and for their happiness we shall allure them with the reward of heaven and eternity. Though if there were anything in the other world, it certainly would not be for such as they. It is prophesied that Thou wilt come again in victory, Thou wilt come with Thy chosen, the proud and strong, but we will say that they have only saved themselves, but we have saved all. We are told that the harlot who sits upon the beast, and holds in her hands the mystery, shall be put to shame, that the weak will rise up again, and will rend her royal purple and will strip naked her loathsome body. But then I will stand up and point out to Thee the thousand millions of happy children who have known no sin. And we who have taken their sins upon us for their happiness will stand up before Thee and say: "Judge us if Thou canst and darest." Know that I fear Thee not. Know that I too have been in the wilderness, I too have lived on roots and locusts, I too prized the freedom with which Thou hast blessed men, and I too was striving to stand among Thy elect, among the strong and powerful, thirsting "to make up the number." But I awakened and would not serve madness. I turned back and joined the ranks of those who have corrected Thy work. I left the proud and went back to the humble, for the happiness of the humble. What I say to Thee will come to pass, and our dominion will be built up. I repeat, to-morrow Thou shalt see that obedient flock who at a sign from me will hasten to heap up the hot cinders about the pile on which I shall burn Thee for coming to hinder us. For if anyone has ever deserved our fires, it is Thou. To-morrow I shall burn Thee. Dixi.'"*...

Sbin , 11 August 2019 at 06:33 PM
Dem candidate clown car is every bit as vile as the Gop clown car in 16.

Gabbart is the only person that seems rational and slightly honest. Harris traded sex for political advancement I understand why she would be a favorite. No moral or ethical standards willing to do anything for what she wants. Perfect useful idiot.

[Aug 11, 2019] Some government inspector in Texas had agreed to testify about the details of a gigantic corruption ring that was closely connected with LBJ. I can't remember the exact details, but not long afterward, he was found dead, shot seven times.

Notable quotes:
"... Malcolm Wallace and LBJ had been closely linked. In the early 50’s, LBJ had gone to great extents to save Wallace’s life after he shot down a professional golfer who was having an affair with LBJ’s alcoholic sister. Although guilty of murder, Wallace ended up with a minor sentence. ..."
"... Interestingly, a Wallace fingerprint was apparently found at the TSBD “Sniper nest” from where Oswald allegedly shot JFK. Probably some insurance taken against LBJ by his co-conspirators… ..."
Aug 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

Ron Unz: August 10, 2019 at 11:47 pm GMT

This reminds me a little of a almost forgotten incident from the 1960s

Some government inspector in Texas had agreed to testify about the details of a gigantic corruption ring that was closely connected with LBJ. I can't remember the exact details, but not long afterward, he was found dead, shot seven times.

The local Texas court ruled it an apparent suicide and that's exactly how it was reported in the Washington Post and the other national newspapers

Iris : August 11, 2019 at 12:16

His name was Henry Marshall.

In 1984, Billie Sol Estes told a grand jury investigating the 1961 shooting death of Henry Marshall, an official with the Department of Agriculture, that LBJ’s associate Malcolm Wallace was Marshall’s murderer.

Malcolm Wallace and LBJ had been closely linked. In the early 50’s, LBJ had gone to great extents to save Wallace’s life after he shot down a professional golfer who was having an affair with LBJ’s alcoholic sister. Although guilty of murder, Wallace ended up with a minor sentence.

Interestingly, a Wallace fingerprint was apparently found at the TSBD “Sniper nest” from where Oswald allegedly shot JFK. Probably some insurance taken against LBJ by his co-conspirators…

lysias , says: August 11, 2019 at 1:34 am GMT

@Iris Shortly before he died, Estes collaborated with a French journalist on a book called “Le dernier temoin” (“The Last Witness”) in which Estes claimed that he had participated in a meeting with LBJ in which the JFK assassination was planned. The book was published in French (I have a copy), but no English translation has ever appeared.

[Aug 07, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard on Foreign Policy and War

Notable quotes:
"... Ms. Gabbard, a congresswoman from Hawaii, has railed against "regime change wars" and warned of a nuclear arms race ..."
"... Ms. Gabbard has focused on ending what she calls "regime change wars ..."
"... She has introduced legislation in Congress that would prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars for weapons that violate a 1987 nuclear arms-control pact. ..."
Jun 26, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

Ms. Gabbard, a congresswoman from Hawaii, has railed against "regime change wars" and warned of a nuclear arms race

Ms. Gabbard has focused on ending what she calls "regime change wars ," the "new Cold War" and the nuclear arms race.

She has introduced legislation in Congress that would prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars for weapons that violate a 1987 nuclear arms-control pact.

And she has spoken out forcefully in opposition to President Trump's Iran strategy and North Korean policy , and what she sees as a general culture of warmongering.

[Aug 07, 2019] On Saker critique of Tulsi

Notable quotes:
"... The Saker also strongly criticized Milosevic for seeking an accommodation with the West after sustaining a brutal 70+ day all-out aerial assault by NATO and ground assault by Albania. He was silent on Russia's cowardly abandonment of Serbia leaving it to face the West utterly alone. ..."
"... The Saker can deliver a good analysis from time to time but can fail spectacularly as well. IIRC, he predicted that no one in Ukraine would lift a finger to stop Western domination (wrong), completely missed Crimea (just about everyone missed that in his defense) and that Russia would never intervene in Syria as it had no compelling national interest to protect (wrong again). He is right just enough to remain interesting. ..."
Aug 07, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Patient Observer August 6, 2019 at 6:30 pm

The Saker is back on his high horse – criticizing Gabbard for not going down in flames as she tries to navigate the myriad of traps laid out the the US Government and MSM.

http://thesaker.is/what-tulsi-gabbards-caving-in-to-the-israel-lobby-really-shows/

The Saker also strongly criticized Milosevic for seeking an accommodation with the West after sustaining a brutal 70+ day all-out aerial assault by NATO and ground assault by Albania. He was silent on Russia's cowardly abandonment of Serbia leaving it to face the West utterly alone.

The Saker can deliver a good analysis from time to time but can fail spectacularly as well. IIRC, he predicted that no one in Ukraine would lift a finger to stop Western domination (wrong), completely missed Crimea (just about everyone missed that in his defense) and that Russia would never intervene in Syria as it had no compelling national interest to protect (wrong again). He is right just enough to remain interesting.

[Aug 07, 2019] On September 13, 2018, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard took to the floor of the House to rebuke the administration, accusing President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence of protecting "al-Qaeda and other jihadist forces in Syria," all the while "threatening Russia, Syria, and Iran, with military force if they dare attack these terrorists."

Aug 07, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al August 2, 2019 at 6:09 am

East-West Committee via Antiwar.com: Re-posting: Interview with Tulsi Gabbard
https://eastwestaccord.com/re-posting-interview-with-tulsi-gabbard/

james carden

August 1, 2019

On September 13, 2018, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard took to the floor of the House to rebuke the administration, accusing President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence of protecting "al-Qaeda and other jihadist forces in Syria," all the while "threatening Russia, Syria, and Iran, with military force if they dare attack these terrorists."
####

Plenty more timely reminder at the link.

[Aug 07, 2019] Gabbard's sister is absolutely right

Aug 07, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star July 31, 2019 at 10:22 pm

https://www.foxnews.com/media/tulsi-gabbards-sister-hammers-biased-and-unfair-cnn-before-second-debate-even-gets-underway
Gabbard's sister is absolutely right.
Tulsi was more or less ignored by the CNN DNC programmed moderators throughout the Detroit debate last night.
It was clear that Biden was the senile soup du jour to be force fed down the vox populi throats of the
American electorate.
Northern Star August 1, 2019 at 4:38 am

https://www.youtube.com/embed/WMT5-C3igZ4?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Tulsi v Copmala

Tulsi. 1
Copmala. 0

Patient Observer August 1, 2019 at 2:10 pm
https://www.rt.com/usa/465579-kamala-harris-destroyed-tulsi/

In under a minute, Gabbard shredded Harris to pieces for jailing more than 1,500 nonviolent marijuana offenders while admitting in a radio interview that she had smoked marijuana in college, and for her "tough-on-crime" stances. "She blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row she kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor and she fought to keep the cash bail system in place," Gabbard continued, leaving Harris unable to counter.

The MSM is having a difficult time ignoring her. She may have a chance. I will make another donation to her campaign.

Northern Star August 2, 2019 at 3:04 am
A careful detailed analysis of the Detroit debate TAB* put on Copmala by Tulsi:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/WiDrd73kacY?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

TAB: Total Ass Beating

Mark Chapman August 2, 2019 at 2:44 pm
She beat Harris like a red-headed stepchild. Her monotonous reiteration "I'm proud of my record" reminded me of the Breakfast Moment in Happy Gilmour, when Shooter McGavin mocks Happy for daring to challenge him in golf.

Shooter: "Oh, you're on. But you're in big trouble, pal. I eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast."

Happy: "You eat pieces of shit for breakfast??"

Shooter: "No".

https://www.youtube.com/embed/wMAhCCZDwtU?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

thern Star August 2, 2019 at 4:31 am Very cogent..
A lot of the crucial but easily overlooked put on the table.
Never underestimate the significance of the obvious!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/DBtKMo5PVH4?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Like Reply August 2, 2019 at 5:05 am Shouda' seen this coming Tulsi is a Russian puppet!
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/08/01/progressives-say-kamala-harris-team-inventing-conspiracies-about-tulsi-gabbard

Like Reply August 2, 2019 at 4:44 pm I think a lot of people DID see that coming, to the extent that the only behavior acceptable today in the American political milieu is a rehash of that sophomore's question, "Can you say in one sentence or less what makes America the Greatest Country In The World?" The American media typically pleats that 'the system is broken', but not during election season. Then, America is the greatest and running on all cylinders, and the successful candidate is the one who will convince voters that, rather than fix the whatever system, he/she/ze/zir (it's only a matter of time) will take a system that is the best in the world and make itr squeeze out even more happiness and satisfaction for Americans. Anyway, if you go off-message with that, you are under the soulless influence of the Russians.

Anyway, it looks as if the democrats have gone to the well too often with that Russian bullshit, and people are starting to get impatient with the cop-out – it's just an excuse for having no good answer. You can always say, "X is because Russia". I think Harris just bit the dust, and will lose a lot of support over this and gradually drop out. I got a kick out of the "Gabbard is a non-issue, and won't even make the second debates" or something to that effect. Whoever smugly said that was apparently asleep when a Ukrainian comedian who plays a president on TV won the presidency in a landslide. The incumbent once thought it was safe to laugh politely at him, because he was a non-issue, too.

I saw this story also on the same site, although it was not necessary to click on it, for obvious reasons.

"A salute to the bravery of Olga Misik, 17, who during recent bloody protests for free Moscow elections sat before Putin's armed-to-the-teeth goons and calmly read aloud the Russian constitution, including Article 31 affirming the right to peaceful political assembly. She was later arrested and allegedly beaten. "Injustice always concerns everyone," said Olga, who takes the long view of repression. "Today the Moscow City Duma, tomorrow the governor of the region It is only a matter of time."

'Bloody protests for free Moscow elections'?? They were bloody? Really? and the issue was free Moscow elections? Not candidates being allowed to run despite having been disqualified for not reaching the signatory threshold? The game of coming up with enough signatures to demonstrate a valid support base is an old one, trawling the obituaries and all manner of dodges to come up with enough for people who don't really have any support, but want a soapbox from which to squawk their message and then say they were cheated of victory by the Kremlin. Putin's armed-to-the-teeth goons? Really? American police called to control demonstrations are unarmed? Since when? Does arming them make them goons? I can't see their teeth – how does the reporter know they are armed to the teeth? Olga takes the long view of repression, does she? From the jaded pinnacle of 17? I'm surprised they did not ask her views on gay sex – she's old enough. Just.

Embarrassing western hyperbole – a Russian review of the PISA tests that descended to the same level might read, "A salute to the simple-mindedness of the Amerikantsi 'students', who must have gone to school at a mental institution, or been taught by the homeless lunatics that abound in and around Amerikantsi cities. Once again they managed to score so poorly that one might reasonably wonder if they arrived at the testing institution by accident, thinking instead that they were being taken to see one of the violence-and-profanity-riddled Amerikantsi movies that pollute the television and cause the Amerikantsi schoolchildren to shoot each other as if they lived inside a video game where it is not real blood. It's difficult to imagine a sensible explanation for such a dismal performance, in which they finished below the OECD average in every category."

But you won't see anything like that in a Russian newspaper, or hear it on a Russian news program. Because they don't act like the country is run by hysterical 12-year-olds. However, if the Americans want to pin their new hopes for Putin's political immolation on some 17-year-old attention-junkie bint, they should knock themselves out. They are merely hardening Russian opinion against them, and they may not care but some day they will. And then they will wail, "Why do they hate us? It must be because of our freedom!"

I was particularly intrigued by the mention of the Democrats getting caught fabricating fake Russian troll accounts to pretend the Russians were trying to influence some state election or other, I forget what, supposedly reported in the Times. I didn't see that, and I don't recall anyone mentioning it here.

Like Reply Mark Chapman August 2, 2019 at 3:10 pm A very cogent argument for (a) keeping the debates agenda-free and independently managed, and (2) a less-insane democratic party.

[Aug 07, 2019] Neoliberals are promising to privatize garbage collection and sewer system! Which will huge help to Venezuela. After that, setting up slave markets, just like in Tripoli!

Notable quotes:
"... Cute – immediate goal, humanitarian aid so everybody gets a couple of free meals and some medicine. Next job, roll back socialism. At which time all the poor will not be able to afford to eat or get medicine. But who'll give a fuck then, right? Because corporate America will already be in charge by then, kicking ass and taking names and privatizing everything so that even Guaido will not be able to say he owns anything in Venezuela but his house. And of course, the equation for Venezuelans has not changed a bit: Captain America really wants to help, but it has to be under Guaido – they're really, really stuck on him for some reason. So it's Guaido or starvation. What's it gonna be, Venezuela? ..."
Aug 07, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star August 2, 2019 at 7:14 am

Mega corrupt economic cockroach/ghoul/scavenger:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilbur_Ross
.
Pontificates on Venezuela's future

Northern Star August 2, 2019 at 7:18 am
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-08-01/u-s-commerce-secretary-lays-out-sweeping-plan-to-help-venezuela
yalensis August 2, 2019 at 12:36 pm
"In a post-Maduro Venezuela, the U.S. will remove sanctions, foster pro-market and pro-business reforms and help rebuild confidence, Ross said. An immediate priority will be providing humanitarian aid, while a medium-term focus will be rolling back socialism, Ross said."

They are even promising to privatize garbage collection and sewer system! In the medium-term focus, of course. Immediate focus on reign of terror, while handing out tins of spam to the swarming masses. After that, setting up slave markets, just like in Tripoli!

Mark Chapman August 2, 2019 at 6:59 pm
Cute – immediate goal, humanitarian aid so everybody gets a couple of free meals and some medicine. Next job, roll back socialism. At which time all the poor will not be able to afford to eat or get medicine. But who'll give a fuck then, right? Because corporate America will already be in charge by then, kicking ass and taking names and privatizing everything so that even Guaido will not be able to say he owns anything in Venezuela but his house. And of course, the equation for Venezuelans has not changed a bit: Captain America really wants to help, but it has to be under Guaido – they're really, really stuck on him for some reason. So it's Guaido or starvation. What's it gonna be, Venezuela?

I hope somebody else will help them out. I'd dearly love to see Venezuela get on its feet without American assistance, and then tell the entire Yoo Ess of Aye to kiss its ass. No more heavy crude for your refineries, maybe you can turn them into basket shops, what say? No thanks; we'll buy our food elsewhere, if it's all the same to you. Oh, and Bolsonaro? Eat a bag of shit. Invite your Colombian buddy over for dinner

Northern Star August 2, 2019 at 10:19 pm
IMF loan for Venezuela will make things 'all better' ? Really?
https://www.publicfinanceinternational.org/news/2018/08/imf-loans-can-be-debt-trap
Northern Star August 2, 2019 at 10:32 pm
What would more than likely be the outcome of the IMF solution for Venezuela according to the clown referenced in the link I posted (supra)
https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/08/greece-bailout-imf-europe/567892/
Mark Chapman August 3, 2019 at 4:29 am
Pertinent, bitter and frightening – thanks for posting it. A useful reference.
Mark Chapman August 3, 2019 at 4:21 am
Yes, I meant to remark on that as well. It's funny that the western regime-change model relies on countries loaned huge amounts of money to be enslaved by their honesty, and actually pay it back.

[Aug 06, 2019] Half-d>ecent NYT article about Tulsi

I would not call this article decent. At best it is half-decent ;-) This is a typical NYT anti-Tulsi propaganda but it does make several relent observation buried in the sea of anti-Tulsi crapola.
Notable quotes:
"... “We should be coming to other leaders in other countries with respect, building a relationship based on cooperation rather than with, you know, a police baton,” she says. ..."
"... While she is the embodiment of this anti-interventionist message onstage, there is a much larger movement brewing. There is big money in peace. Two billionaire philanthropists from opposite ends of the political spectrum — George Soros and Charles Koch — came together this summer to fund the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a think tank to argue against American intervention abroad. ..."
Aug 06, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star August 3, 2019 at 2:55 am

Decent NYT article about Tulsi:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/02/us/politics/tulsi-gabbard-2020-presidential-race.html?ref=oembed

Aug. 2, 2019

Tulsi Gabbard Thinks We're Doomed by Nellie Bowles

Tulsi Gabbard is running for president of a country that she believes has wrought horror on the world, and she wants its citizens to remember that.

She is from Hawaii, and she spends each morning surfing. But that is not what she talks about in this unlikely campaign. She talks about the horror.

She lists countries: Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Cuba, Vietnam, Iraq. Failure after failure, she says. To drive the point home, she wants to meet on a Sioux tribe reservation in North Dakota, where, she explains, the United States government committed its original atrocity.

“These Indigenous people have been disrespected, mistreated with broken promises and desecrated lands,” Ms. Gabbard says.

... ... ...

But her run, and the unusual cross-section of voters she appeals to — Howard Zinn fans, anti-drug-war libertarians, Russia-gate skeptics, and conservatives suspicious of Big Tech — signifies just how much both parties have shifted, not just on foreign policy. It could end up being a sign that President Trump’s isolationism is not the aberration many believed, but rather a harbinger of a growing national sentiment that America should stand alone.

To Ms. Gabbard, it is the United States that has been the cruel and destabilizing force.

... ... ...

“We should be coming to other leaders in other countries with respect, building a relationship based on cooperation rather than with, you know, a police baton,” she says.

... ... ...

While she is the embodiment of this anti-interventionist message onstage, there is a much larger movement brewing. There is big money in peace. Two billionaire philanthropists from opposite ends of the political spectrum — George Soros and Charles Koch — came together this summer to fund the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a think tank to argue against American intervention abroad.

... ... ...

Ms. Gabbard says she is driven by the feeling that death could come at any moment, which she realized at age 10 but which became more intense in Iraq.

“My first deployment was at the height of the war in 2005. We were 40 miles north of Baghdad. And there was a huge sign by one of the main gates that just read: ‘Is today the day?’” she says. “It was such a stark reminder that my time could come at any moment. That any day could be my last.”

She is not sure who put the sign up or why. But it was this message of potentially imminent doom that she wanted to leave the audience with at the second Democratic debate.

“As we stand here tonight,” she told the crowd. “There are thousands of nuclear missiles pointing right at us, and if we were to get an attack, we would have 30 minutes, 30 minutes, before we were hit.”

Ms. Gabbard continued.

“There is no shelter. This is the warmonger’s hoax. There is no shelter. It’s all a lie.”

>

[Aug 06, 2019] Other trivia is that Tulsi was a martial arts instructor in 2002.

Aug 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

SaneClownPosse , says: August 6, 2019 at 10:41 pm GMT

Well, Tulsi Gabbard may actually have a real shot at POTUS.

https://www.houseofnames.com/gabbard-family-crest

"The surname Gabbard was first found in Norfolk where they held a family seat from very ancient times."

https://www.houseofnames.com/blogs/family-seat

"A seat or family seat was the principal manor of a medieval lord, which was normally an elegant country mansion and usually denoted that the family held political and economic influences in the area. In some cases, the family seat was a manor house."

She is descended from "to the manor born", thus qualified to be POTUS.

Other trivia is that Tulsi was a martial arts instructor in 2002. Similar to Justin Trudeau's part time drama teacher and ski instructor qualifications to be PM of Canada.

[Aug 06, 2019] Did Tulsi Gabbard succumb to the Israel Lobby ot this was taktical move?

Politics is a drity business. The last think any aspiring politician wants is to fight on two fronts. For example against forign wars and Isreal lobby. that's creates Doublespeak situation for candidates like Tulsi...
Notable quotes:
"... But the Empire is taking no chances. The Empire has sicced its Presstitute Battalion on her. Josh Rogin (Washington Post), Joy Reid (MSNBC), Wajahat Ali (New York Times and CNN), and, of course the Twitter trolls paid to slander and misrepresent public figures that the Empire targets. Google added its weight to the obfuscation of Gabbard. ..."
Aug 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

Originally from: Tulsi Gabbard R.I.P., by Paul Craig Roberts - The Unz Review

It is unfortunate that Tulsi Gabbard succumbed to the Israel Lobby. The forces of the Empire saw it as a sign of weakness and have set about destroying her.

The ruling elite see Gabbard as a threat just as they saw Trump as a threat. A threat is an attractive political candidate who questions the Empire's agenda. Trump questioned the hostility toward Russia orchestrated by the military/security complex. Gabbard questions the Empire's wars in the Middle East. This is questioning that encroaches on the agendas of the military/security complex and Israel Lobby. If fear of Israel is what caused Gabbard to vote the AIPAC line on the bill forbidding criticism of Israel, she won't be able to stick to her line against Washington's aggression in the Middle East. Israel is behind that aggression as it serves Israeli interests.

But the Empire is taking no chances. The Empire has sicced its Presstitute Battalion on her. Josh Rogin (Washington Post), Joy Reid (MSNBC), Wajahat Ali (New York Times and CNN), and, of course the Twitter trolls paid to slander and misrepresent public figures that the Empire targets. Google added its weight to the obfuscation of Gabbard.

Gabbard, who in the second "debate" between Democratic Party candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, took down the despicable Kamala Harris with ease, was promptly labeled "an Assad apologist" and a conspiracist with Russia to put herself as a Putin agent in the White House. https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/08/01/crazed-democrats-now-claim-it-is-tulsi-gabbard-who-is-in-conspiracy-with-putin/

Wars in the Middle East against Israel's enemies and preparation for major wars against Iran, Russia, and China are the bread and butter for the powerful US military/security complex lobby. All that is important to the military/security complex is their profits, not whether they get all of us killed. In other words, their propaganda about protecting America is a lie. They endanger us all in order to have enemies in order to justify their massive budget and power.

Those of us who actually know, such as myself and Stephen Cohen, have been warning for years that the orchestrated hostility against Russia is producing a far more dangerous Cold War than the original one. Indeed, beginning with the criminal George W. Bush regime, the arms control treaties achieved at great political expense by US and Soviet leaders have been abandoned by Washington. The lastest treaty to be discarded by Washington in service to the military/security lobby is the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) negotiated by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbechev. This treaty banned missiles that Washington could place in Europe on Russia's border with which to attack Russia with little or no reaction time, and Russian missiles that could be used to attack Washington's NATO puppet states in Europe and UK. The treaty resulted in the elimination of 2,692 missiles and a decade of verification inspections that satisfied both parties to the agreement. But suddenly Washington has pulled out of the treaty. The main purpose of pulling out of the treaty is to enable the military/security complex to develop and produce new missiles at the taxpayers' expense, but Washington also sees a military advantage in withdrawing from the INF treaty.

Washington, of course, blames the US withdrawal on Russia, just as Washington blames every country that Washington intends to attack. But it is completely obvious even to a moron that Russia has no interest whatsoever in abandoning the treaty. Russian intermediate-range missiles cannot reach the United States. Russia has no reason to attack Europe, which has no military forces of any consequence. It is the American nuclear missiles on European soil that are the problem

Washington, however, does gain by tearing up the INF treaty. At Europe's risk, not America's, Washington's intermediate-range nuclear misslies stationed in Europe on Russia's borders permit a preemptive nuclear attack on Russia. Because of proximity, the warning time is only a couple of minutes. Washington's crazed war planners believe that so much of the Russian retaliatory capacity would be destroyed, that Russia would surrender rather than retaliate with diminished forces and risk a second attack.

Putin stresses this danger as does the Russian military. US missiles on Russia's border puts the world on a hair trigger. Aside from the fact that a nuclear attack on Russia is the likely intent of the criminal neoconservatives, nuclear warning systems are notorious for false alarms. During Cold War I, both sides worked to build trust, but since the criminal Clinton regime Washington has worked to destroy all trust between the two dominant nuclear powers. All that is required to obliterate life on earth, thanks entirely to the crazed fools in Washington, is one false alarm received by the Russians. Unlike past false alarms, next time the Russians will have no choice but to believe it.

Intermediate-range nuclear missiles leave no time for a phone call between Putin and Trump. The Russian leader who has suffered hundreds of diplomatic insults, demonization of his person and his country, illegal sanctions, endless false accusations, and endless threats cannot assume that the warning is false.

The idiots in Washington and the presstitutes have programmed the end of the world. When the alarm goes off, the Russian leader has no choice but to push the button.

Any remaining doubt in the Russian government of Washington's hostile intentions toward Russia has been dispelled by Trump's National Security Advisor, the neocon warmonger John Bolton. Bolton recently announced that the last remaining arms control agreement, START, will not be renewed by Washington in 2021.

Thus, the trust built between the nuclear powers that began with President John F. Kennedy and reached its greatest success with Reagan and Gorbachev has been erased. It will be lucky if the world survives the destruction of trust between the two major nuclear powers.

ORDER IT NOW

The American government in Washington has been made so utterly stupid by its arrogant hubris that it has no comprehension of the dangerous situation that it, and it alone, has created. We are all at risk every minute of our lives because of the power, of which President Eisenhower warned us more than a half century ago to no avail, of the US military/security complex, an organized powerful force determined and able to destroy any American president who would threaten their budget and power by making peace.

Donald Trump is a strong personality, but he has been cowed by the Israel Lobby and the military/security complex. As reigning president, Trump sat there Twittering while an attack orchestrated by the military/security complex and the Democratic Party, with 100% cooperation from the American media, tried to portray him as a Russian agent as grounds for his impeachment.

A strong personality in what is allegedly the most powerful office in the world who allows his entire first term to be wasted by his opponents in an attempt to frame him and drive him from office is all we need to know about the likely fate of Tulsi Gabbard.