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

a

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

Pseudoscience  > Who Rules America

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

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

Abstract

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas

[Oct 09, 2019] "True believer" Ukies are in Canada, the US, or far away from the front in Ukraine itself and studiously avoid getting into real fighting, where they can be maimed or killed

The article has interesting statistics of foreign fighters in Donbass civil war.
Oct 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

Some interesting estimates of the numbers of foreign fighters that participated in the Donbass War from 2014-2019 from a report [PDF] by the Soufan Center. (h/t Kholmogorov)

Originally from: Census of Foreign Fighters in the Ukraine, by Anatoly Karlin - The Unz Review


AnonFromTN , says: October 7, 2019 at 8:26 pm GMT

Kiev-controlled Ukraine served as a destination for would-be murderers seeking impunity for years. However, inviting foreign scum will help it about as much as it helped ISIS. Maybe even less: some foreign and domestic ISIS bandits had ideology beyond raping and looting, Ukrainian bandits in Donbass do not. "True believer" Ukies are in Canada, the US, or far away from the front in Ukraine itself and studiously avoid getting into real fighting, where they can be maimed or killed.

In contrast, many volunteers on the side of Donbass freedom fighters do have honest beliefs and are not cowards avoiding combat. Not all, though: some just look for an adventure, on the battlefield and in bed.

AnonFromTN , says: October 7, 2019 at 9:42 pm GMT
@Korenchkin If you go by quintessence of Nazi ideology "my tribe is better than your tribe", every nation has its Nazis, including Russia.

To its credit, tribal nationalists never got more than ~7% electoral support in Russia.

After Ukrainian experience showed that any country can be quickly ruined by primeval tribal nationalism, their support in Russia dropped to below 2%. But it still isn't zero. Then again, ~1% of any population are schizophrenics, 2-3% are gays/lesbians, etc., so single digit representation of any kind of deviation is not threatening country's survival.

Anatoly Karlin , says: Website October 7, 2019 at 9:44 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack I asked the questions first, but I'll be generous and explain this to you on the fingers.

1. I used the term "Banderists" in the context of Ukraine's volunteer battalions – that is, where foreigners have the most realistic chance of getting accepted.
2. Polls show Ukrainians to generally be 50/50 on Bandera, but obviously, that number will be much higher amongst the rather self-selected sample that are volunteer battalion members. At least 80%, if not 90%.
3. Poles obviously couldn't care less for Bandera. Polish *nationalists* – even less so.
4. Nationalists are the likeliest foreigners to participate in the Donbass.
5. Do you now see why this would be a pertinent point to mention in the specific context of why 10x fewer Poles fight for the Ukraine relative to Georgians, despite having 10x the population?

jeppo , says: October 7, 2019 at 10:10 pm GMT
I'm not sure if 14 fighters is a big enough sample size to justify lumping Canada into the dreaded "Russophobe" category. But the 10 pro-Ukrainians to 4 pro-Russians ratio closely mirrors that of self-declared ethnic Ukrainians (1,359,655) to Russians (622,445) in Canada.

Though many, possibly even a majority of those "Russians" are actually Jews. The Ukrainian lobby has been disturbingly powerful in Canada for a long time (multiculturalism was their bright idea), while the Russian lobby is seemingly invisible.

There are signs and symbols of Ukrainian nationalism everywhere (banks, festivals, flags, bumper stickers etc), while similar Russian symbols are basically non-existent. The Uke to Russkie ratio may be only 10-4, but it feels more like 10-1, or even 100-1.

Philip Owen , says: October 7, 2019 at 10:29 pm GMT
I expected more Russians from the Baltics. Apparently, they and Serbs were early arrivals in Girkin's group. Perhaps the ethnic Russians were counted as Russian?

Quite a few White Russians emigrated to France. The Whites were well supported by ethnic Russians in the Donbass during the Civil War.

Many Irish Nationalist commentators supported Russia (enemy's enemy) but the table shows Ireland Pro Ukraine (anti-imperialist a stronger driver?). The Russian settlers in the Donbass are such an obvious parallel to the Orangemen.

Anatoly Karlin , says: Website October 7, 2019 at 11:47 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

Where did they come from and what motivated them?

1. Chechens would be the obvious answer. I recall reading there were 2x as many Chechens fighting for Ukrainians than for Russians.

2. Svidomy Ukrainians in Russia.

3. And, as mentioned, Neo-Nazis and White Nationalists (~60%-70% on Ukraine's side, at least initially). The other brands of Russian nationalists were overwhelmingly pro-Russian.

AP , says: October 8, 2019 at 1:17 am GMT
@AnonFromTN More foreign "scum" on Donbas side than Ukrainian side. As one would expect. It's not all bad however, Donbas should be kept apart from Ukraine.

"True believer" Ukies are in Canada, the US, or far away from the front in Ukraine itself and studiously avoid getting into real fighting, where they can be maimed or killed.

Ukrainian-American Paslawsky fought and died in the war.

https://www.rferl.org/a/mark-paslawsky/26541831.html

A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and the only American known to have fought alongside Ukrainian forces against pro-Russian separatists has been killed in eastern Ukraine.

Mark Gregory Paslawsky, 55, died while fighting with the volunteer Donbas Battalion.

Paslawsky, who fought under the nom de guerre "Franko," was killed on August 19 during fighting in the town of Ilovaysk, near the Ukrainian city of Donetsk, according to a Facebook post by Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko.

Paslawsky was born in 1959 in New York and grew up in a tight-knit Ukrainian-American family in New Jersey. He moved to Ukraine around two decades ago and informed his family earlier this year that he planned to volunteer for the Ukrainian Army, according to his brother, Nestor Paslawsky.

::::::::::::::

The American fighting for Donbas, "Cowb0y", meanwhile was some sort of petty criminal in the USA. Like Motorola in Russia, of course.

AnonFromTN , says: October 8, 2019 at 1:59 am GMT
@AP

Ukrainian-American Paslawsky fought and died in the war.

One out of how many millions? Even Georgian participation is much higher on the per capita basis. LOL.

AnonFromTN , says: October 8, 2019 at 2:02 am GMT
@AP

Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko

Just out of curiosity: Anton Herashchenko is that fatter-than-a-pig guy with five chins? The founder of the "Mirotvorets" site?

SveVid , says: October 8, 2019 at 4:06 am GMT
@Philip Owen Well the Serbs played a major role in the defence of the territory that is today the Donbas (not particularly well known among modern Russians). So Serbian nationalists have an extra cause in regards to the Donbas

Slavo-Serbia or Slaveno-Serbia, was a territory of Imperial Russia between 1753-64. It was located by the right bank of the Donets River between the Bakhmutka River (Бахмут) and Luhan (Лугань) rivers. This area today constitutes the territories of present-day Luhansk Oblast and Donetsk Oblast of Ukraine. The administrative centre of Slavo-Serbia was Bakhmut (Bahmut).

Spisarevski , says: October 8, 2019 at 6:56 am GMT
@AnonFromTN

In contrast, many volunteers on the side of Donbass freedom fighters do have honest beliefs and are not cowards avoiding combat. Not all, though: some just look for an adventure

Not mutually exclusive. If you feel that you're leading a meaningless life and you are looking for adventure, something radically different from a cubicle job or whatever, might as well do something like join a war where you get to defend innocent people.

anonymous coward , says: October 8, 2019 at 7:49 am GMT
@Philip Owen

Russian settlers in the Donbass

Don't be an idiot.

The "Russian settlers" were colonizing an empty land that was previously ethnically cleansed by the Turks.

LondonBob , says: October 8, 2019 at 8:59 am GMT
Considering ex ISIS fighters are often left to go free and claim benefits it was interesting to see the fate of the fella who went to the Donbass and didn't even fight.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/british-man-pro-russian-forces-ukraine-jailed-terrorism-benjamin-stimson-a7842521.html

Five years and four months.

LondonBob , says: October 8, 2019 at 9:06 am GMT
@anonymous coward So was South Africa but didn't stop there being close ties between loyalists and the apartheid government, a few Ulstermen were in the the government and there was the shared settler Calvinist outlook. The IRA had quite close links to Croats, don't know if loyalists had the same with Serbs. MP Ian Paisley junior is somewhat of a Russophile.
Kinez , says: October 8, 2019 at 10:59 am GMT
@SveVid This is all true, but all those people are completely and utterly assimilated into Ukrainians / Russians and have been for much longer than living memory. Most people in Serbia (except history nerds etc) have no idea about this history. A much more plausible explanation for Serbs going to fight in the Donbass would make some reference to Russian (and also Greek btw) volunteer units fighting with the Serbs in the 1990s and contacts established during that time.
Beckow , says: October 8, 2019 at 11:50 am GMT
@Anatoly Karlin Mazepa is way up there and he joined the early 17th century Swedish invasion of Russia that ended with the defeat at Poltava. That effectively ended Sweden as a great power. Seems like Ukrainians have a thing for worshipping losers allied with anyone west of them, so there is some hope for Porky's eventual rehabilitation.

Carl Bildt's ancestors were there in high stockings among the vanquished at Poltava – the Bildts never forgave the humiliation, those Swedes can be sneaky. That explains the persistent anti-Russian attitudes among the Nordics. Swedes also tend to be simple-minded, nobody swallows the current globo-homo propaganda as eagerly or looks for Russian submarines hiding behind every whale.

nokangaroos , says: October 8, 2019 at 12:23 pm GMT
By and large Austria and Croatia are the only surprises – here, the history of the last century is a bit complicated. "Altösterreicher" is a popular euphemism for "Galician Jew" i.e. the current Kiew regime. The Croats are more probably channeling their recent hatred for the Serbs. [Not really] funny what the separation of East and West Rome is still doing to a people.

[Oct 08, 2019] To [Samantha Power] applies Scott Fitzgerald's often cited comment. Once Biden is back in power, all these people will come back from the cold rain the bombs on the globally deplorables.

Notable quotes:
"... "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy -- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made . . . ." ..."
"... I have not always been a pacifist, but my view is "liberal internationalism" can never excuse war. ..."
"... Particularly, as US pushed "liberal internationalism" is maintaining a post WW II world order to add to its Degeneracy. ..."
"... They conflate PNAC strategy with US security and anyone not in to military intervention for the PNAC is a traitor. ..."
Oct 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , October 03, 2019 at 01:54 PM

https://twitter.com/lilyslynch/status/1179714507406544896

Lily Lynch‏ @lilyslynch

This is what institutional, "humanitarian" power looks like: Fluff pieces in liberal media with zero input from people on the receiving end of your bombs; unchecked power to decide who lives and who dies; and (most of all) never having to answer for it.

https://www.1843magazine.com/upfront/the-1843-interview/running-with-samantha-power

Running with Samantha Power

On a jog through a battlefield, James Astill discusses war and peace with the conscience of the Obama administration

4:07 AM - 3 Oct 2019

anne -> anne... , October 03, 2019 at 01:58 PM

https://twitter.com/BrankoMilan/status/1179715126724907010

Branko Milanovic‏ @BrankoMilan

To [Samantha Power] applies Scott Fitzgerald's often cited comment. Once Biden is back in power, all these people will come back from the cold & rain the bombs on the globally deplorables.

Lily Lynch @lilyslynch

This is what institutional, "humanitarian" power looks like: Fluff pieces in liberal media with zero input from people on the receiving end of your bombs; unchecked power to decide who lives and who dies; and (most of all) never having to answer for it.

https://www.1843magazine.com/upfront/the-1843-interview/running-with-samantha-power

4:09 AM - 3 Oct 2019

anne -> anne... , October 03, 2019 at 02:01 PM

"They were careless people, Tom and Daisy -- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made . . . ."

-- F. Scott Fitzgerald

kurt -> anne... , October 03, 2019 at 02:24 PM

Love this quote.

ilsm -> kurt... , October 03, 2019 at 02:40 PM

Yeah, it is how I view post modern liberals!

anne -> anne... , October 03, 2019 at 02:03 PM

https://www.1843magazine.com/upfront/the-1843-interview/running-with-samantha-power

Running with Samantha Power

On a jog through a battlefield, James Astill discusses war and peace with the conscience of the Obama administration

[ Degeneracy. ]

ilsm -> anne... , October 03, 2019 at 02:38 PM

"liberal internationalism in Obama's cabinet. That made her [Powers] a target for his critics. Her openness to military intervention – she was against [W Bush?] it in Iraq but for it in Libya – drew flak from the left."

How can a supposed liberal [Obama was not a liberal in a traditional sense, maybe post modern?] favor military intervention?

Does it involve ignoring "state run industrial age mass murder"?

Does it see a rationalized outcome to justify state mass murder?

I think post modern morality goes more towards the means don't matter much less the end--- see Libya!

I have not always been a pacifist, but my view is "liberal internationalism" can never excuse war.

Particularly, as US pushed "liberal internationalism" is maintaining a post WW II world order to add to its Degeneracy.

ilsm -> ilsm... , October 03, 2019 at 04:25 PM

I can answer this:

"How can a supposed liberal [Obama was not a liberal in a traditional sense, maybe post modern?] favor military intervention?"

Democrats who "worry" about "national security" are Clinton/Kerry project for a new American century (PNAC) accolades!

They conflate PNAC strategy with US security and anyone not in to military intervention for the PNAC is a traitor.

The cover for PNAC expanding spheres is "liberal internationalism"!

A great confidence game!

Why democrats call Trump a "traitor" he is not loyal to the neocon agenda.

im1dc -> anne... , October 03, 2019 at 04:43 PM

Updating F. Scott Fitzgerald

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

"Life in the Fast Lane" Eagles

(2013 Remaster)

[Oct 08, 2019] Are There Israelis in the U.S. Government by Philip Giraldi

Looks like Us politicians adopted the stance: if you can't win against Israel lobby, join... And yea we should talk about Zionists as a flavor of far right nationalism, nit about Jews, per se. The latter smells with anti-Semitism as it accuses the ethnic group as a whole. Which is not only false, but also self-defeating stance: Russophobia is "politically correct" anti-Semitism in the USA.
Notable quotes:
"... Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is ..."
"... I would suggest to Phil Giraldi to talk about Zionists instead of Jews doing Israel's bidding. These Zionists adhere to the most racist and Apartheid ideology under the sun; Zionism. Not every Jew is a Zionist. Therefore it's an insult to those Jews who do not adhere to this wicked ideology and resist it. The notion of the right-wing Zionist regime in Israel to speak in the name of world Jewry should be rejected not only by the Jewish citizens of each country but by the public in general. It's amount to the hijacking of Jews in the name of a vile racist and occupation regime. Such a claim puts the local Jewish population in a precarious position, which could reproach in "dual loyalty." As Giraldi has pointed out numerous times, the majority of Americans have lost control of their Middle Eastern policy. A group of people whose loyalty to the US can cautiously describe as vague are in charge. ..."
"... I read in a sidebar on Antiwar.com that Sigal Mandelker was one of the attorneys representing Jeffrey Epstein in 2008. ..."
"... Mandelker was one of the DOJ officials who signed off on Epstein's sweetheart nonprosecution agreement. One suspects she was the superior of Alexander Acosta who told him that Epstein belonged to intelligence and was above Acosta's pay grade. ..."
Oct 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Given Israel's clearly demonstrated ability to manipulate and manage American government at all levels, there is inevitably considerable speculation about the presence of actual Israeli citizens in the federal and state bureaucracies. Very often, lists that appear on the internet focus on Jewish legislators, but in reality, few of them are likely to have Israeli citizenship even if they regularly exhibit what amounts to "dual loyalty" sympathy for the Jewish state. Nevertheless, Jews who are Zionists are vastly overrepresented in all government agencies that have anything at all to do with the Middle East.

There are, of course, some Jews who flaunt their identification with Israel, to include current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer who describes himself as "protector" of Israel and former Senator Frank Lautenberg, frequently referred to as "Israel's Senator." One might also include Rahm Emanuel, former White House Chief of Staff and mayor of Chicago, who reportedly served as a volunteer in the Israeli Army, and Doug Feith, who caused so much mischief from his perch at the Pentagon in the lead-up to the Iraq War. Feith had a law office in Jerusalem, suggesting that he might have obtained Israeli citizenship.

To be sure there are many non-Jews in the American government who have hitched their star to the Israeli wagon because they know it to be career enhancing. One only has to observe in action Senator Lindsay Graham, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and perhaps the most revolting of all, Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who ran for office proclaiming that he would be the most pro-Israel governor in the United States. After being elected he traveled to Jerusalem with a large entourage of Zionist supporters to hold the first meeting of the Florida state government cabinet. According to some authorities in Florida, the meeting was supposed to be held in the state capitol Tallahassee and was therefore illegal, but DeSantis was undaunted and made clear to observers where his loyalty lies.

Part of the problem is that Israeli citizenship is obtained virtually automatically upon application by any Jew and once obtained it is permanent, only revocable by petitioning the Israeli government. Nor is there anything equating to a list of citizens, so it is possible to be an Israeli citizen while also holding American citizenship and no one would be the wiser. As the United States permits American citizens to have multiple passports and therefore nationalities there is, in fact, nothing in U.S. law that prohibits being both Israeli and American.

Having dual nationality only a real issue when the policies of one citizenship conflict with the other, and that is precisely where the problem comes in with Israeli dual nationals in the United States, particularly if they wind up in the government. Frank Lautenberg, for example, was responsible for the "Lautenberg amendment" of 1990 which brought many thousands of Russian Jews into the United States as refugees, even though they were not in any danger and were therefore ineligible for that status. As refugees, they received significant taxpayer provided housing, subsistence and educational benefits.

Some other current officials in the government who may or may not have dual nationality and are in policy making positions might include U.S. (sic) Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and the recently resigned international negotiator Jason Greenblatt. Both have long histories of pro-Israel advocacy to include supporting illegal settlements on the West Bank. And there is also someone named Jared Kushner, whose ties to Israel are so close that Benjamin Netanyahu once slept in his father and mother's apartment. If the metric to judge the actions – and loyalty – of these individuals is their willingness to place American interests ahead of those of Israel, they all would fail the test.

That said, there was one individual dual national who truly stood out when it came to serving Israeli interests from inside the United States government. She might be worthy of the nickname "Queen of Sanctions" because she was the Department of the Treasury's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (OTFI), who handed the punishment out and had her hand on the throttle to crank the pain up. She is our own, unfortunately, and also Israel's own Sigal Pearl Mandelker, and is its wonderful to be able to say that she finally resigned last week!

OFTI's website proclaims that it is responsible for "safeguarding the financial system against illicit use and combating rogue nations, terrorist facilitators, weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferators, money launderers, drug kingpins, and other national security threats," but it has from its founding been really all about safeguarding Israel's perceived interests. Grant Smith notes how "the secretive office has a special blind spot for major terrorism generators, such as tax-exempt money laundering from the United States into illegal Israeli settlements and proliferation financing and weapons technology smuggling into Israel's clandestine nuclear weapons complex."

To be sure, sanctions have been the key weapon in the ongoing unending war against perceived "enemies" like Russia and Venezuela, but they have been laid on most promiscuously in the case of Iran, Israel's number one enemy du jour, which has also been demonized by Washington even though it is no threat to the United States. And it should be recognized that sanctions are not a bloodless exercise used to pressure a recalcitrant government. They disproportionately affect the poor and powerless, who starve and are denied access to medicines, but they rarely have any impact on those who run the government. Five-hundred thousand Iraqi children died from sanctions imposed by President Bill Clinton and his vulturine Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Currently, Iranians and Venezuelans are dying, by some estimates in their tens of thousands.

Once on a sanctions list administered by the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) , there is no actual appeal process and no getting off the hook unless Mandelker said so. And anyone who has any contact with the sanctioned entity can be in for trouble, including American citizens who will find themselves no longer having rights to free speech and association. The terms for violation of sanctions used by OFAC are "transaction" and "dealing in transactions," broadly construed to include not only monetary dealings or exchanges, but also "providing any sort of service" and "non-monetary service," including giving a presentation at a conference or speaking or writing in support of a sanctioned group or individual.

OFAC has a broad mandate to punish anyone who has anything to do with any Iranian group or even any individual as Iran is considered a country that is "comprehensively sanctioned." To cite just one example of how indiscriminately the sanctions regime works, Max Blumenthal has described how the FBI recently, acting under Mandelker's orders, warned a number of Americans who had planned on speaking at an Iranian organized conference in Beirut that they might be arrested upon their return.

Mandelker was born in Israel and largely educated in the United States. She is predictably a lawyer. She has never stated how many citizenships she holds while repeated inquiries as to whether she retains her Israeli citizenship have been ignored by the Treasury Department. It is not clear how she managed to obtain a security clearance given her evident affinity to a foreign country. The position that she held until last Wednesday was created in 2004 by George W. Bush and is something of a "no Gentiles need apply" fiefdom. Its officials travel regularly on the taxpayer's dime to Israel for consultations and also collaborate with pro-Israel organizations like AIPAC, WINEP and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD). Mandelker's predecessor was Adam Szubin and he was preceded by David Cohen and, before that, by the office's founder Stuart Levey, who is currently Group Legal Manager and Group Managing Director for global bank HSBC. Since its creation, OFTI has not surprisingly focused on what might be described as Israel's enemies, most notably among them being Iran.

Mandelker was clear about her role, citing her personal and business relationship with "our great partner, Israel." Referring to sanctions on Iran, she has said that "Bad actors need money to do bad things. That is why we have this massive sanctions regime Every time we apply that pressure, that crunch on them, we deny them the ability to get that kind of revenue, we make the world a safer place." In support of the pain she is inflicting to no real purpose other than to force complete Iranian capitulation, she cites alleged Iranian misdeeds, foremost of which is its alleged threatening of Israel. She also condemns Iran's support for Syria's Bashar al-Assad, who she claims has killed his own people with chemical weapons, an assertion that has proven to be untrue.

Mandelker touted her personal history as a claimed child of the seemingly ubiquitous "holocaust survivors." In a speech at the Holocaust Museum in April she claimed that her parents went underground in Eastern Europe: "They were hiding underground, in forests, in ditches and under haystacks. I grew up hearing their stories, including about moments of great courage, some of which resulted in survival and others that ended in death."

To be sure, Mandelker and her predecessors have been going after Iran's money since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, constantly devising new restrictions and rules to make it hard for Tehran to do business with any other country. In 2006 Levey's office began to focus on cutting off Iran from the global financial system. Currently the Trump administration is applying what it describes as "maximum pressure" in seeking to sink Iran's economy by blocking all oil exports. Since May, any country buying Iranian oil has been vulnerable to secondary sanctions by Washington, all set up and choreographed by Mandelker.

That Mandelker and company have been engaging in economic warfare with a country with which the United States is not at war seems to have escaped the notice of the media and Washington's chattering class, not surprisingly as Israel is a beneficiary of the policy. And the fact that the way sanctions are being enforced against American citizens is clearly unconstitutional has also slipped by the usual watchdogs. Sigal Mandelker was a prime example of why anyone who is either an actual dual national or plausibly possesses dual loyalty should not hold high office in the United States government and is a blessing that she is gone, though one imagines she will be replaced by another Zionist fanatic. If anyone wonders why Israel gets away with what it does the simple answer would be that there are just too many people at the federal level who think that serving Israel is the same as serving the United States. That is just not so and it is past time that the American public should wake up to that fact.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org .


Greg Bacon , says: Website October 8, 2019 at 12:28 am GMT

As refugees, they received significant taxpayer provided housing, subsistence and educational benefits.

Including free Social Security, even though they never paid any money into that fund.

And it's not merely thousands, but hundreds and hundreds of thousands, all living off the generosity of the American taxpayer. But Shhh, don't say anything, why that would be anti-Semitic!

Talk about welfare Queens.

Those covered by the Lautenberg Amendment are eligible for Special Cash Assistance and for Federal Public Assistance Programs including, but not limited to, Social Security, Medicaid, Food Stamps, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

CRS statistics indicate that over 370,000 refugees were admitted from the Former Soviet Union in the first ten years of the Lautenberg Amendment. In October 2002 the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that "The Lautenberg Amendment allowed some 350,000 to 400,000 Jews from the former Soviet Union to gain entry into the United States without having to prove they were individually persecuted." In 2010 the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society cited Eric Rubin, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow stating that the amendment had resulted in almost 440,000 refugees from the former Soviet Union and other regions of the world.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/06/06/the-lautenberg-amendment/

I'm sure Wolf Blitzer of Rachael Madcow will cover this theft soon.

renfro , says: October 8, 2019 at 2:33 am GMT
*Eric Alterman made extended remarks in 2009 at the 92d Y, celebrating his dual loyalty:

"You know, one of the touchiest words you can say when you're discussing Jews and Israel is the word dual loyalty. It's sort of one of those words that American Jewish officialdom has ruled out of the discourse. If you say dual loyalty, you're playing into the hands of anti-semites, because it's been a consistent trope among anti-Semites that you can't trust Jews. etc. etc. And I find this very confusing because I was raised dually loyal my whole life. When I went to Hebrew school, the content of my Hebrew school was all about supporting Israel. When my parents who I think are here tonight sent me to Israel when I was 14, on a ZOA [Zionist Organization of America]-sponsored trip it was drummed into me that I should do what's best for Israel.
I was at the Center for Jewish History not long ago where I heard Ruth Wisse, the Yiddishist professor at Harvard instruct a group of young Jewish journalists that they should think of themselves as members of the Israeli army.
I am a dual loyal Jew and sometimes I'm going to actually go with Israel, because the United States can take an awful lot of hits and come up standing. Whereas if Israel takes one serious bad hit it could disappear. So there's going to be some cases where when Israel and the United States conflict I'm going to support what's best for Israel rather than what I think is best for the United States.
Then-editor of the Forward Jane Eisner: Can you imagine a time where you would feel that dual loyalty and go with Israel?
Alterman: I just said, there are many occasions.
Eisner: Can you give us an example?
Alterman: I think that bin Laden and 9/11 were to some degree inspired by U.S. support of Israel. I think a great deal of the terrorist attacks and the sort of pool of potential terrorists who want to attack the United States are inspired by the United States support for Israel. I'm not saying we shouldn't support Israel for that reason. I'm saying, Dammit if that's the price we have to pay, then I'm willing to pay it. I'm just saying Let's be honest about it.".>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Just think that what Alterman said is not condemned ..he suffers nothing for admitting that he is basically a traitor who would sacrifice Americans for the Jewish state.

Unbelievable ..staggers the mind how this kind of Jew treason is so accepted in America ..just staggering.

How did this kind of treason come to be O.K. for the Jews?
It came from this kind of treason .. Nancy Pelosi Addressing AIPAC in December of last year:

"I have said to people when they ask me, if this Capitol crumbled to the ground, the one thing that would remain would be our commitment to our aid, I don't even call it our aid, our cooperation with Israel. That's fundamental to who we are.""

If there was a terrorist out there worth a damn he would be bombing congress instead of Wal-Mart's.

Oscar Peterson , says: October 8, 2019 at 4:31 am GMT
@renfro It's true. They're utterly disgusting.
Jon Baptist , says: October 8, 2019 at 5:15 am GMT

If there was a terrorist out there worth a damn he would be bombing congress instead of Wal-Mart's

This is the key observation.

"ISIS once 'apologized' to Israel for attacking IDF soldiers – former Defense Minister" –
https://www.rt.com/news/386027-isis-apologized-israel-golan/

"'You can assume that these terrorists are fighting for Israel. If they aren't part of the regular Israeli army, they're fighting for Israel. Israel has common goals with Turkey, the United States, France, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other countries,' Assad was quoted by Ynet" – https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4946010,00.html

Greg Bacon , says: Website October 8, 2019 at 6:23 am GMT

Dammit if that's the price we have to pay, then I'm willing to pay it

Altermann is being slippery here, saying HE would be willing to pay the price of some neoCONs or Zionists dragging the USA into another war for Israel.

What he should of said is that as a member of the Jewish dominated MSM, they are more than willing to trick, deceive, bamboozle and pull us by our Star of David shaped nose ring into endless wars for the glory of Apartheid Israel and if you disagree, why you're just a mouth breathing, knuckle-dragging anti-Semite.

Dmitry , says: October 8, 2019 at 6:28 am GMT

obtained virtually automatically upon application

^ Just nonsense.

They need to live for 3 months in Israel (after attaining the correct visa) to attain the citizenship, or a year of living in Israel for the passport (unless they changed this recently or accelerated it).

What you are confused with is obtaining the repatriation visa and the temporary card. The visa they can issue before people arrive in Israel, and the temporary identity card at the airport. But those are only useful if you will live for the following months in Israel.

Ludwig Watzal , says: Website October 8, 2019 at 7:12 am GMT
I would suggest to Phil Giraldi to talk about Zionists instead of Jews doing Israel's bidding. These Zionists adhere to the most racist and Apartheid ideology under the sun; Zionism. Not every Jew is a Zionist. Therefore it's an insult to those Jews who do not adhere to this wicked ideology and resist it. The notion of the right-wing Zionist regime in Israel to speak in the name of world Jewry should be rejected not only by the Jewish citizens of each country but by the public in general. It's amount to the hijacking of Jews in the name of a vile racist and occupation regime. Such a claim puts the local Jewish population in a precarious position, which could reproach in "dual loyalty." As Giraldi has pointed out numerous times, the majority of Americans have lost control of their Middle Eastern policy. A group of people whose loyalty to the US can cautiously describe as vague are in charge.
JR , says: October 8, 2019 at 7:18 am GMT
"current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer who describes himself as "protector" of Israel "

FARA registration?

Tom Welsh , says: October 8, 2019 at 7:59 am GMT
"As the United States permits American citizens to have multiple passports and therefore nationalities there is, in fact, nothing in U.S. law that prohibits being both Israeli and American".

Although I have not checked recently, I am fairly sure that is not the whole story by any means.

It is quite true that ordinary citizens can go a lifetime with dual nationality and feel no pain. I am one such, as my parents were British by birth but I was born in Argentina. Like the USA, Argentina grants nationality to everyone born there (or, perhaps more accurately, claims such people as its citizens).

However I think you will find that US law forbids anyone with dual US-anything nationality to serve as an officer (or perhaps in any rank) in the other nation's armed forces, or to accept political office in the other nation's government. There may well be other restrictions.

The exceptions I have pointed out are very relevant indeed to the dual US-Israeli citizens mentioned in the article, as many of them have served in the Israeli armed forces. Indeed is that not compulsory for any Israeli citizen resident in Israel)? Some of them have also held political office, had civil service jobs, etc.

For such people to remain anonymous is a scandal and, frankly, a serious national security risk for the USA.

Tom Welsh , says: October 8, 2019 at 8:03 am GMT
"Israeli citizenship is obtained virtually automatically upon application by any Jew and once obtained it is permanent, only revocable by petitioning the Israeli government".

Neat and effective. "It's a kopeck to get in, but a ruble to get out".

Tom Welsh , says: October 8, 2019 at 8:08 am GMT
'OFTI's website proclaims that it is responsible for "safeguarding the financial system against illicit use and combating rogue nations, terrorist facilitators, weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferators, money launderers, drug kingpins, and other national security threats" '

Doesn't the US government mind this office setting itself up against the power of Washington?

Illicit use of funds – check.
Rogue nation – check.
Terrorist facilitators – check in CAPITAL LETTERS. (Also actual terrorists).
WMD – check. (No other nation's government still maintains nuclear, chemical and biological weapons).
Money launderers – Hell, Washington is the world's biggest counterfeiter.
Drug kingpins – check, although that is mostly delegated to the CIA.
Other national security threats – check, Washington is a national security threat to every other nation in the world except Israel.

Realist , says: October 8, 2019 at 10:32 am GMT

To be sure there are many non-Jews in the American government who have hitched their star to the Israeli wagon because they know it to be career enhancing.

It can only be career enhancing if whites allow it.

One only has to observe in action Senator Lindsay Graham, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and perhaps the most revolting of all, Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who ran for office proclaiming that he would be the most pro-Israel governor in the United States.

With the exception of Nikki Haley, who was appointed by an elected official, the other two were elected by the majority white electorate. Jews have inordinate power in our country because whites allow it.

To be clear any problems caused by Jews are the result of white insouciance.

alexander , says: October 8, 2019 at 10:46 am GMT
@renfro Dear Phil,

I read in a sidebar on Antiwar.com that Sigal Mandelker was one of the attorneys representing Jeffrey Epstein in 2008.

If it is true, then she,like Alexander Acosta, is guilty of breaking the law by entering into judgement a plea deal without first notifying the plaintiffs of what that deal was, and whether or not it met to their satisfaction.

The fact that it was MORE important to Mandelker to reward a child rapist/ pedophile with a super sweet, totally cush deal , than to seek justice for his numerous victims , indicates , with extreme clarity , she has no business working in our treasury department, let alone our OFAC.

Individuals, who breach our laws and rules of ethics to ensure pedophiles and child rapists are free to roam our streets, have no business working in the United States Government, in any capacity.

The fact that both Mendaker AND Acosta were given prominent positions of power , with the full awareness of their actions by those who appointed them, is very, very troubling.

It is simply NOT acceptable to the American People that there may be pedophiles and/or child rapists serving within, and/ or influencing , our representative bodies.

The fact there has been no investigation into any of this, as well as Mandelkers connection, is an absolute disgrace.

It seems to me, that until all the facts are clear, President Trump should order a "clean sweep protocol" As soon as possible.

Child rapists , and their enablers , belong in only one place .and that is Federal Prison. .

It is not just a matter of ethics it is a matter of National Security.

mark green , says: October 8, 2019 at 11:14 am GMT
Excellent article. Important subject.

Zionists have thoroughly infiltrated and compromised the US Treasury. This is news. Watch it be ignored.

Crypto-Israelis have captured (and partly converted) a US Federal agency for the purpose of crippling the economies of any state that interferes with the far-flung agenda of global Zionism. Their duplicitous mission borders on treason.

Using American resources to target Israel's far-away foes has nothing to do with advancing the interests of the American people. To the contrary. It damages us economically and strategically. It also undermines us domestically since these actions allow a foreign-based faction to seize and exploit US power for its own nefarious ends.

Crypto-Zionist penetration of Washington is a backdoor assault on US sovereignty. We are being parasitized.

Incredibly, Israeli influence over Washington has become so embedded that's it's now taken for granted by Jews and acquiescing gentiles alike. Success in Washington now requires one to A) fully understand (and respect) Jewish privilege, while B) never transgressing upon the taboos that protect this indomitable group.

Indeed, just examining the range and depth of Jewish power in America is a forbidden topic (except by Jewish scholars for a Jewish audience).

But for the rest of us, just noticing Jewish power is a risky enterprise. (So say nothing.)

Officially, there's no such thing. Only Jewish victims.

Hapless Americans are confused. For Diaspora Jews however these artful deceptions constitute a familiar gameplan. Organized Jewish subversion dates back to ancient Persia. Jews celebrate it. (See: Purim)

Today, Israeli operatives are all over Washington, Wall Street, Hollywood and beyond. And they're not the least bit ashamed about it. No siree. It's what they do.

Activist Jews are deeply committed to weaving Israel's economic and political needs into the very fabric of American life. They are succeeding.

When Zio-America's corrupt, bloodthirsty, and over-extended empire finally collapses, Diaspora Jews can simply cash in their chips and migrate to Israel. America's demise will mark a new chapter in their glorious, wandering, drama-filled history.

Unfortunately, we goyim are expected to go down with the American ship.

Richard B , says: October 8, 2019 at 11:23 am GMT
@Grigor That's exactly right! They should not be recognized.

What should be recognized is the fact that no American could seriously think of a single thing Israel has ever done for us.

We could think of a lot of things they've done TO us.

Now THAT's something that should be recognized.

They've corrupted our Congress.
They've subborned our Citizens.
They've looted our Treasury.
They've sold our secrets to China and Russia.
They've attacked our military (USS Liberty)
They've attacked our country (September 11th, 2001)

I could go on but I'd never finish.

Either way, you get the idea.

Just as Iran is no threat to the US, Israel is no benefit to the US.

Israel is a Terror State working with its Dual Citizens to Destroy America. Period!

By the way, if Mueller really wanted to bust someone for collusion he could arrest the entire US Congress after its next AIPAC meeting.

He could contact CNN and organize a live feed of Congress coming out of the hotel holding their AIPAC checks.

geokat62 , says: October 8, 2019 at 11:45 am GMT
@renfro

To see just how 'entitled' the Jewish State thinks it is read these two articles. They are aflame over Trump decision not to interfere in the Turkey Kurd dispute on the Turkey Syrian border.

Speaking of aflame, I would recommend a third. It's an article by Yossi Alpher, who is a former Mossad official and former director of Tel Aviv University's Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies.

Concluding paragraphs from, What Trump's Withdrawal From Syria Means For The Kurds – And For Israel :

At the end of the day, there are two basic lessons here for Israel and its supporters. For anyone who has entertained doubts about the need for a state for the Jewish people, the Kurds represent a tragic reminder. They are consistently being abandoned to an ugly fate because they don't have a country.

The second lesson is that Israel cannot and must not depend on Trump. The cries of alarm in Israel in recent days about a looming security threat do not only reflect lessons drawn from Iran's (or one of its proxy's) spectacular attack on Saudi Arabia's energy infrastructure. The alarms also reflect concern over the precedent set by Trump's refusal to get involved militarily after Washington's Saudi ally was the victim of naked aggression from Iran.

From that standpoint, America abandoning the Syrian Kurds is just icing on the cake of Trump's Middle East non-strategy.

https://forward.com/opinion/432783/what-trumps-withdrawal-from-syria-means-for-the-kurds-and-for-israel/

lysias , says: October 8, 2019 at 12:06 pm GMT
@alexander Mandelker was one of the DOJ officials who signed off on Epstein's sweetheart nonprosecution agreement. One suspects she was the superior of Alexander Acosta who told him that Epstein belonged to intelligence and was above Acosta's pay grade.

[Oct 08, 2019] The Ugly Results of an Absurd Syria Policy

Oct 08, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

By Daniel LarisonOctober 7, 2019, 12:23 PM

Trump has opened the door to a Turkish incursion into Syria:

Donald Trump has given the green light to a contentious Turkish military operation in north-east Syria against the main US allies in the battle with Isis, triggering alarm in Washington and Europe and plunging the campaign against jihadis into uncertainty.

The US has started withdrawing troops from the vicinity of a looming Turkish incursion, following Mr Trump's phone call with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's president, on Sunday night.

The White House said the US military, which has about 1,000 troops in Syria, would not "support or be involved in the operation" that Turkey has repeatedly threatened to launch against US-backed Kurdish militias. In a statement, it said US forces would "no longer be in the immediate area".

Removing U.S. forces from the area avoids having them caught up in the Turkish military operation. Unless the U.S. was prepared to oppose Turkey and defend the YPG, it's not clear what purpose would be served by keeping those forces where they were. Our absurd Syria policy has put us in the untenable position of trying to keep the peace between mutually hostile "allies" for years, and eventually the U.S. was going to have to choose which "ally" it was going to side with. It is worth remembering that Turkey is a treaty ally and the YPG is at most a proxy that has proven to be useful over the last few years. If the U.S. is going to favor one or the other, it was never likely that our government would take the side of the YPG over Turkey.

This dilemma wouldn't exist if the U.S. hadn't been waging an illegal war in Syria for the past five years, and this should teach us to think very carefully about whether we should support armed groups in a conflict where we have few clear interests. The U.S. has a long history of supporting and then discarding armed proxies, and this will keep repeating itself as long as the U.S. gets involved in unnecessary wars that it will sooner or later quit. The solution isn't to use U.S. forces as a buffer with no end in sight, as quite a few critics of this decision seem to want, but to refrain from sending U.S. forces into conflicts that don't matter for U.S. security in the first place. Eventually our forces are going to leave places on the other side of the planet, and it is unrealistic and unfair to make promises of a more enduring commitment that everyone has to know won't be kept.

Having said all that, the administration has handled all this very poorly. Like almost every Trump decision, the decision was made hastily and without coordinating with any of the people that would be affected by it. It isn't clear that all U.S. forces will be withdrawn from Syria anytime soon, so it is possible that the illegal deployment there will continue somewhere else. And it wouldn't be a Trump foreign policy decision if it didn't involve making insane threats about destroying a country if its government does something he doesn't like:

me title=

Trump clearly wants to have things both ways, but it won't work. He is obviously wrong to threaten to "destroy and obliterate" the Turkish economy, and the language in his statement is deranged. Anyone who refers to his own "great and unmatched wisdom" obviously doesn't have any wisdom to speak of, and it shows in this unhinged threat. For one thing, the threat isn't likely to deter Erdogan from ordering an attack on Kurdish forces. The Turkish government sees the YPG as part of an intolerable threat, and they aren't going to be coerced into changing their position on that. Following through on the threat would mean inflicting punishment on the people of Turkey for something their government has done, which would both inflame hostility to the U.S. and harm tens of millions of people without achieving anything.

These are all the ugly results of an absurd Syria policy and an illegal war that Trump escalated when he came into office. It should serve as a warning to future administrations about the pitfalls of involving the U.S. in wars we don't need to fight and throwing our support behind "allies" that we will eventually leave in the lurch.

Update: The movement of U.S. forces is just a redeployment inside Syria:

US troops are *not* leaving Syria and will simply be moved out of area Turkey may attack, senior administration official says. Number moving is 50 special operators.

Rep. Justin Amash says it best:

He's not bringing home the troops. He's not ending any war. Stop falling for it.

Shakes_McQueen 13 hours ago

"...if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I've done before!)."

WHO SAYS THIS?

Forget the self-aggrandizing wording, which is beyond satire... Turkey are a treaty ally! He's casually musing and threatening, in public, about "obliterating" the economy of a treat ally!

It's going to be fascinating to see what the American history books have to say about this time we are living through.

JSC2397 12 hours ago
BTW, just as background: apparently Trump's threat to "destroy and obliterate" the Turkish economy relates to a massive fine the US is "entitled" to assess on some Turkish interests regarding a huge money-laundering scheme to evade financial sanctions on dealing with Iran. Which fine we have not yet officially levied out of the goodness of our hearts...

[Oct 07, 2019] When it comes to US foreign policy, the unchallenged world record holders for 'second chances' and 'failing upward' are America's neoconservatives.

Oct 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Replying to @BrankoMilan

"When it comes to U.S. foreign policy, the unchallenged world record holders for 'second chances' and 'failing upward' are America's neoconservatives.", Stephen Walt

Actually, many of them should have been considered candidates for war criminals. "Waging the war of agression" was part of the Nuremberg trials. This was the media called euphemistically "the war of choice"!

"When it comes to U.S. foreign policy, the unchallenged world record holders for 'second chances' and 'failing upward' are America's neoconservatives. Beginning in the mid-1990s, this influential network of hard-line pundits, journalists, think tank analysts, and government officials developed, purveyed, and promoted an expansive vision of American power as a positive force in world affairs.

They conceived and sold the idea of invading Iraq and toppling Saddam Hussein and insisted that this bold move would enable the United States to transform much of the Middle East into a sea of pro-American democracies.

What has become of the brilliant strategists who led the nation into such a disastrous debacle? None of their rosy visions have come to pass, and if holding people to account were a guiding principle inside the foreign policy community, these individuals would now be marginal figures commanding roughly the same influence that Charles Lindbergh enjoyed after making naive and somewhat sympathetic statements about Adolf Hitler in the 1930s.",

Walt, S. (2018). The Hell of good intentions: America's foreign policy elite and the decline of US primacy. Straus and Giroux, p. 190.

anne , October 06, 2019 at 07:20 PM

https://twitter.com/BrankoMilan/status/1180792968598474752

Branko Milanovic‏ @BrankoMilan

You would have thought that these cheerleaders of invasion of Iraq and violation of the UN charter would have run far, far away so that we never hear from them again--but no, they are back explaining the world for us and making money doing that.

[ Milanovic was referring to a new column in Project Syndicate that I was confused by before I noticed this reference to the column. Among the points of Milanovic, we find the same self-defeating foreign policy being pushed by the same elite opinion-makers who hurt us so much by taking us to war in Iraq and beyond.

I am thinking this through. ]

[Oct 05, 2019] The Department of Homeland Security extends the definition of terrorist to political opponents of neoliberalism (nationalists are often maligned as white supremasists)

Notable quotes:
"... The Department of Homeland Security is beginning to address white supremacist terrorism as a primary security threat, ..."
Oct 05, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , October 01, 2019 at 12:24 PM

"In our modern age, the continuation of racially based violent extremism, particularly violent white supremacy, is an abhorrent affront to the nation," said Kevin McAleenan, the acting director of homeland security.

Homeland Security Dept. Affirms Threat of White Supremacy
After Years of Prodding https://nyti.ms/2oTNJmQ
NYT - Zolan Kanno-Youngs - October 1

WASHINGTON -- The Department of Homeland Security is beginning to address white supremacist terrorism as a primary security threat, breaking with a decade of flagging attention after bigoted mass shooters from New Zealand to Texas took the lives of nearly 100 people in the last six months.

In a little-noticed strategy document (*) published last month to guide law enforcement on emerging threats and in recent public appearances by Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security, the department is trying to project a new vigilance about violent white nationalism, beating back criticism that the agency has spent a decade playing down the issue.

"I would like to take this opportunity to be direct and unambiguous in addressing a major issue of our time. In our modern age, the continuation of racially based violent extremism, particularly violent white supremacy, is an abhorrent affront to the nation," Mr. McAleenan said during an address last month, describing white nationalism as one of the most dangerous threats to the United States.

The department's new stance contrasts that of President Trump, who has repeatedly dismissed white supremacy as an insignificant fringe movement. But beyond words and documents, many officials trying to combat the threat throughout the country remain skeptical that the full weight of federal law enforcement is finally being used to give bigoted domestic terrorism the attention it deserves. ...

* (Could be this.)

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK
FOR COUNTERING TERRORISM AND TARGETED VIOLENCE

September 2019

https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/19_0920_plcy_strategic-framework-countering-terrorism-targeted-violence.pdf

ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , October 01, 2019 at 01:42 PM
Pull out the racist cards!

[Oct 03, 2019] Yes, Tulsi Gabbard is wonderful.

Oct 03, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , October 01, 2019 at 06:20 PM

https://twitter.com/TulsiGabbard/status/1178751950524829696

Tulsi Gabbard‏ @TulsiGabbard

Candidates for POTUS who are fundraising off "impeachment" are undermining credibility of inquiry in eyes of American people, further dividing our already fractured country. Please stop. We need responsible, patriotic leaders who put the interests of our country before their own.

12:22 PM - 30 Sep 2019

anne , October 01, 2019 at 06:21 PM
Yes, Tulsi Gabbard is wonderful.
anne -> anne... , October 01, 2019 at 06:23 PM
https://twitter.com/TulsiGabbard/status/1178610436721332224

Tulsi Gabbard @TulsiGabbard

On day one of my presidency, I will call a summit between the United States, China, and Russia to work to end the new Cold War, stop the arms race, and reduce tensions and increase cooperation going forward.

Cold War Getting Hotter Every Day

3:00 AM - 30 Sep 2019

likbez -> anne... , October 02, 2019 at 03:58 PM
Hi Anne,

Not simply wonderful, but "wonderful & courageous."

Her move to help Sanders in 2016 and her stance against MIC both clearly demonstrate that.

[Oct 01, 2019] Ron Paul Asks Impeachment... Or CIA Coup by Ron Paul

Notable quotes:
"... CIA coup. Next. ..."
"... With so much deceit and shenanigans, it is best politicians let the voters decide in the next election rather than continue this circus. The article below argues the average American doesn't care if Trump isn't perfect and if the Democrats want him out they should offer up a better alternative. ..."
"... Globalist SES Infiltration, Subversion, De Facto Police State Coup D'Etat https://aim4truth.org/2018/01/03/deep-state-shadow-government-revealed-senior-executive-service/ ..."
"... I would call it a coup except I think it happened several decades ago. What is left is a shell. ..."
"... If that feels rotten, then you may start to understand why the world does like the USA not so much. ..."
"... This is clearly an attempted coup, i.e., removal of a duly elected President by force instead of by any legitimate political process. The leftists and RINOs have been trying by the most subversive of means to get rid of Trump even before he took office. ..."
"... Isn't it a matter of record who created and ordered the implementation of the revised whistleblower form? I know it was secretly uploaded two days before the blower blew (9/24), but why now and who said to? ..."
Sep 30, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

You don't need to be a supporter of President Trump to be concerned about the efforts to remove him from office. Last week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced impeachment proceedings against the President over a phone call made to the President of Ukraine. According to the White House record of the call, the President asked his Ukrainian counterpart to look into whether there is any evidence of Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election and then mentioned that a lot of people were talking about how former US Vice President Joe Biden stopped the prosecution of his son who was under investigation for corruption in Ukraine.

Democrats, who spent more than two years convinced that "Russiagate" would enable them to remove Trump from office only to have their hopes dashed by the Mueller Report, now believe they have their smoking gun in this phone call.

It this about politics? Yes. But there may be more to it than that.

It may appear that the Democratic Party, furious over Hillary Clinton's 2016 loss, is the driving force behind this ongoing attempt to remove Donald Trump from office, but at every turn we see the fingerprints of the CIA and its allies in the US deep state.

In August 2016, a former acting director of the CIA, Mike Morell, wrote an extraordinary article in the New York Times accusing Donald Trump of being an "agent of the Russian Federation." Morell was clearly using his intelligence career as a way of bolstering his claim that Trump was a Russian spy – after all, the CIA should know such a thing! But the claim was a lie.

Former CIA director John Brennan accused President Trump of "treason" and of "being in the pocket of Putin" for meeting with the Russian president in Helsinki and accepting his word that Russia did not meddle in the US election. To this day there has yet to be any evidence presented that the Russian government did interfere. Brennan openly called on "patriotic" Republicans to act against this "traitor."

Brennan and his deep state counterparts James Comey at the FBI and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper launched an operation, using what we now know is the fake Steele dossier, to spy on the Trump presidential campaign and even attempt to entrap Trump campaign employees.

Notice a pattern here?

Now we hear that the latest trigger for impeachment is a CIA officer assigned to the White House who filed a "whistleblower" complaint against the president over something he heard from someone else that the president said in the Ukraine phone call.

Shockingly, according to multiple press reports the rules for CIA whistleblowing were recently changed, dropping the requirement that the whistleblower have direct, first-hand knowledge of the wrongdoing. Just before this complaint was filed, the rule-change allowed hearsay or second-hand information to be accepted. That seems strange.

As it turns out, the CIA "whistleblower" lurking around the White House got the important things wrong, as there was no quid pro quo discussed and there was no actual request to investigate Biden or his son.

The Democrats have suddenly come out in praise of whistleblowers – well not exactly. Pelosi still wants to prosecute actual whistleblower Ed Snowden. But she's singing the praises of this fake CIA "whistleblower."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer once warned Trump that if "you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you." It's hard not to ask whether this is a genuine impeachment effort or a CIA coup!


ReflectoMatic , 8 minutes ago link

The WhatDoesItMean has earned a bad reputation over the years and I've avoided it as dis-info. But in recent months it seems to had done a turn around and is providing good info.

A sharply worded new Ministry of Foreign Affairs ( MoFA ) report circulating in the Kremlin today noting that the release of the Trump-Zelensky phone transcript reveals the risks of anyone talking with the United States , states that it can't be ruled out that this call transcript scandal may be linked to the failed Mueller probe -- a failed probe that has now exploded into an impeachment scandal that sees Hillary Clinton calling for President Donald Trump to be thrown from office and declaring that " he's an illegitimate president "

To which Trump immediately responded to by re-Tweeting the ominous warning issued by the powerful Pastor Robert Jeffress that says " I HAVE NEVER Seen Evangelicals More Angry Than They Are Today – If Democrats Are Successful It Will Cause Civil War Like Fracture in America " -- a warning followed by Russia and China vowing to continue protecting the world order

both of whom are becoming increasingly alarmed over the grave military implications of what is now occurring -- the evidence of which is being kept hidden from the American people by their socialist Democrat Party leaders and their leftist mainstream media lapdogs

most particularly their not being allowed to know the fact that top Trump impeachment driver US House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff has long been supported by the George Soros funded feared Ukrainian international arms dealer Igor Pasternak who held numerous money raising events to get Schiff elected -- and whom Schiff traveled to meet in Ukraine last month before igniting the impeachment bomb against Trump

All of which is known about by Trump , and is why he has just declared that he wants Schiff " Questioned At The Highest Level Tor Fraud And Treason ".

Read the full article

Dan The Man , 10 minutes ago link

If the CIA is this brazen on so many attempts...and with no accountability yet, you could argue the coup already happened. This is what a country run by a bunch of intelligence ppl looks like.

artistant , 18 minutes ago link

TRUMP threw whistleblower Assange under the bus for going vs the establishment, and now another whistleblower threw Trump under the bus.

Karma? Hey Trump, forget Biden, why don't you have an investigation on

Epstein = Mossad = Israhell = Pedophilia + Sexual Slavery

bobsmith5 , 6 minutes ago link

Epstein is not the top. Above Epstein are Soros, the Queen of England, and the Rockefeller/Rothschild's crime families. They are the head of the Satanic (NOT JEWISH) "New World Order". Hey artisant when in hell are you going to actually get way down in the rabbit hole and find out who is really behind globalism? You spout off the most stupid crap that takes you into mindless racism. We as a corporate fascist socialist nation are much higher than Israel on the globalist hierarchy. They own our monetary system, our corporate government with 22 trillion national debt, the military, and the intelligence alphabet agencies who are their right enforcement arm.

romanmoment , 32 minutes ago link

"Impeachment... Or CIA Coup?"

CIA coup. Next. Dear CIA, nobody will ever trust you again, and why should they?

Let it Go , 33 minutes ago link

Currently, a full-scale propaganda war rages with many Americans hell-bent on convincing the rest of us what is really going on. I think it is clear we have reached the point where people are either outraged, simply concerned or take the attitude this is all a big nothing burger or much ado about nothing.

With so much deceit and shenanigans, it is best politicians let the voters decide in the next election rather than continue this circus. The article below argues the average American doesn't care if Trump isn't perfect and if the Democrats want him out they should offer up a better alternative.

https://Do Average Americans Care If Trump "Dunn It?".html

Roger Casement , 37 minutes ago link

Globalist SES Infiltration, Subversion, De Facto Police State Coup D'Etat https://aim4truth.org/2018/01/03/deep-state-shadow-government-revealed-senior-executive-service/

Dexter Morgan , 38 minutes ago link

I would call it a coup except I think it happened several decades ago. What is left is a shell.

JPHR , 42 minutes ago link

CIA finally coming home to roost. Never known to respect law or human rights outside the US now CIA applying "regime change" inside the US. If that feels rotten, then you may start to understand why the world does like the USA not so much.

Little Saigon Report , 52 minutes ago link

Kyle Bass and the China bet ... https://soundcloud.com/daniel-sullivan-505714723/little-saigon-report-190-kyle-bass-and-china

Bricker , 1 hour ago link

This is why the CIA is going to die under Haspel. I just read 3 dozen tweets on Sebastian Gorka's trip to Italy with Barr...None of these liberals have a clue on what is going on in Italy...Which means they haven't a clue about the real Russia hoax and the setup with Papadopolous. This says everything about our division in America.

The media has kept these people in the dark and this is why I keep saying the media companies need to be investigated and charged with crimes.

bobsmith5 , 39 minutes ago link

The CIA and NSA are rogue foreign invaded and occupied) enemies of the State and should be surrounded by the military and seized as a national security threat and a dangerous enemy. Everyone should be thrown out of the buildings controlled and occupied by them and filled with military police until those who are true traitors can be identified and and arrested, including former employees who still have highest level security access.

Sid Davis , 1 hour ago link

This is clearly an attempted coup, i.e., removal of a duly elected President by force instead of by any legitimate political process. The leftists and RINOs have been trying by the most subversive of means to get rid of Trump even before he took office.

They have abandoned the peaceful political process and that leaves only force as a means to settle differences of opinion.

My hope is that the impeachment effort will backfire on the leftists in the House. Not only will they energize Trump's base, but they will look bad to the rest of the non-communist public. And a bonus will be that Trump will be able to blame any pre-election decline in the stock market and/or economy on the uncertainty created by their reckless and unjustified impeachment actions. (My take is that the stock market is teetering on the edge of a cliff.)

This should be an interesting year between now and the elections with this impeachment **** show and what might come out of the Justice Department relating to spygate and who was involved in it.

I almost fell like I am watching a new Game of Thrones episode.

Worst case is that Trump is actually removed from office and Civil War II breaks out. Best case is Trump wins by a landslide in 2020 and Trump supporters take the House and improve their position in the Senate followed by a huge swamp drain during Trump's second term.

Sly2U , 1 hour ago link

Understood and appreciated Ron. I wish everyone realized the consequences.

†FreeThought† , 1 hour ago link

judeo-bolsheviki are back like it's 1917

bobsmith5 , 33 minutes ago link

They are not Judeo. They hide behind that term but have absolutely no bloodline connection to the Tribe of Judah from the Middle East, they do not worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, or Moses. They worship Satan.

That you use that term shows your vast ignorance of the real enemies behind the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. It was funded and orchestrated by the Rothschild/Rockefeller Satanic bankers. The Rothschild's are Khazarian Satanist who funded Marx and Engels communist socialist creators!

JACK WAFFLE , 1 hour ago link

dr. pieczenik on top of it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3naToXWe1JU

DeadLikeMe , 1 hour ago link

It wouldn't surprise me if the same CIA who murdered Kennedy now want another coup.

TeraByte , 1 hour ago link

This is how CIA toppled a duly elected Iranian government in 1953 and now we refuse to understand, why Iranians don´t like us and don´t want our "democracy".

He–Mene Mox Mox , 2 hours ago link

Sometimes you have to wonder if the CIA learned its lessons from the Kennedy Assassination, and decided this would be a more humane way. As much as John Brennan hates Trump, I am sure he would disagree with me on that. Brennan is out for blood.

OccamsCrazor , 2 hours ago link

Time for Trump to declare martial law and have the military arrest all these treasonous cowards and pussies in the CIA, FBI, and Demoncratic party. We'll just see how 'deep' their state is. Btw, Soros and Obama will be part of those arrests along with Shillary and Billy Bob Clinton.

Its easy to find the guilty individuals as they protest the loudest.

99% of all Americans already recognize this as a coup. You just have to know which half is rooting for the coup to be successful, and the ones who are rooting for failure.

'Impeachment Inquiry' is just a fancy schmancy label for it all, that third world countries can't be bothered with, when they overthrow their President or dictator. At least those banana republics are honest about what they are actually doing when performing their version of the overthrow.

iAmerican10 , 1 hour ago link

The entire US Beast of Gog&Babylon Roman Catholic Church/Synagogue of Satan Vatican FedScam Rothschild/Rockefeller Pyramid's Satanic Fifth Column must, with precision, be 'tagged and bagged,' fully expropriated, its principals hanged for Treason, the remainder banished from Our Holy Land.

CIA/FBI/NSA is just an 'action branch' of mechanics and operatives, who too must hang.

fucking truth , 47 minutes ago link

Need to cut the head off the snake,ie the deep deep state, the ones who's names are not even uttered in fear of reprisal, the rest are just actors in this theater of the absurd.

Boydist , 1 hour ago link

Damn good point. Trump praised Wikileaks all through his campaign. A great investigation into Epstein and his connections to Clinton, Mossad, Orwellian crime detection software and 9/11.

https://t.co/4IAzVRRV3y

JPHR , 37 minutes ago link

No, this CIA operator was a gossip-blower. Insulting to Assange to be compared with a malicious CIA plant.

You are right that Trump failed to acknowledge Assange as a true Whistleblower.

2hangmen , 2 hours ago link

More than half of the country realizes this is a Deep State coup, led by Brennan's CIA traitors. If they get away with this, our country is all but finished, we have to bring all hands on deck to defeat these treasonous scum. We will support President Trump 110% and pray that the white hats in Washington will have the goods on all the traitors.

Ruler , 2 hours ago link

Been saying this for how long?

SybilDefense , 2 hours ago link

Isn't it a matter of record who created and ordered the implementation of the revised whistleblower form? I know it was secretly uploaded two days before the blower blew (9/24), but why now and who said to? That name should be at least on Fox from 8:00-11:00 for the next 3 weeks, while Lindsey is sending out subpoenas like barf at a sat night frat party. Let em flow Senator.

[Sep 29, 2019] Want To Save The Environment De-Fund The Pentagon by Caitlin Johnstone

Sep 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

Millions of people are uniting in demonstrations worldwide against our civilization's ecocidal march toward extinction, which makes me so happy to see. It's really encouraging to see so many young people burning with love for their planet and a hunger to reverse the damage that has been done to our ecosystem by the refusal of previous generations to turn away from our path of devastation. This must continue if we are to survive as a species.

The challenge now is the same perennial challenge which comes up every single time there is a massive and enthusiastic push from the public in a direction that is healthy: such movements always, without exception, become targeted for manipulation by establishment interests. I write all the time about how this has happened with the intrinsically healthy impulse of feminism; I just finished watching an MSNBC pundit proclaim that anyone who still supports Bernie Sanders over Elizabeth Warren is a sexist. This corralling of healthy energy into the advancement of corrupt establishment interests happens with feminism, it happens with the healthy fight against racism and antisemitism, and of course it happens with environmentalism.

Of course it does. People get very emotional when you say this, even if you fully support environmentalism and don't have any objections to the overall scientific consensus about what's happening to our environment, but environmentalism is not destined to be the one and only popular movement which establishment interests don't move mountains to co-opt.

We know that our oligarchic empire will do literally anything, up to and including murdering a million Iraqis, to secure control over energy resources. We know this with absolute certainty. Therefore we can also know with certainty that they are working to ensure that when new energy systems are put in place, they are put in place in a way which allows the oligarchs to retain their power, and ideally to expand it, without losing their thrones to rival plutocrats, to governments, or (worst case scenario) to the rank-and-file public gaining control over their own energy. This agenda is on the table. It is happening.

The ruling elites have many advantages over us, but one of the greatest is the fact that they know exactly what they want and exactly where they're trying to push things, whereas we the general public, on average, do not. If we only had one positive anti-establishment direction to push in there'd be no stopping us, and as soon as we find one the oligarchs will be done. But in general and on average what we have is a few clear ideas about what we don't want and a great many vague, frequently contradictory ideas about what we do want. This lack of clarity in direction always leaves us highly susceptible to the influence of any well-funded narrative manager who steps forward to say "Oh yeah I know exactly where we're going! It's this way, follow me!"

Luckily for us, there's a very clear demand we can add into the mix in this new push for environmentalist reforms which runs directly counter to the interests of the empire that is trying to manipulate our healthy impulses: de-fund the Pentagon.

There is no single, unified entity that is a larger polluter than America's dishonestly labeled "Department of Defense". Its yearly carbon output alone dwarfs that of entire first-world nations like Sweden and Portugal ; if the US military were its own country it would rank 47th among emitters of greenhouse gasses, meaning it's a worse polluter than over 140 entire nations. That's completely separate from the pollution already produced by the US itself. None of the sociopathic corporations whose environmental impact is being rightly criticized today come anywhere remotely close to that of the Pentagon. They are going under the radar.

And that's just greenhouse gas emissions, which the Pentagon's poisonous effects on our environment are in no way limited to. As journalist Whitney Webb highlighted in an excellent article for Mintpress News about the wildly neglected subject of the US military's ecological toxicity:

"Producing more hazardous waste than the five largest US chemical companies combined, the US Department of Defense has left its toxic legacy throughout the world in the form of depleted uranium, oil, jet fuel, pesticides, defoliants like Agent Orange and lead, among others."

Webb documents how the US "has conducted more nuclear weapons tests than all other nations combined", how US military interventionism in Iraq "has resulted in the desertification of 90 percent of Iraqi territory , crippling the country's agricultural industry and forcing it to import more than 80 percent of its food," and how "US military bases, both domestic and foreign, consistently rank among some of the most polluted places in the world."

"While the US military's past environmental record suggests that its current policies are not sustainable, this has by no means dissuaded the US military from openly planning future contamination of the environment through misguided waste disposal efforts," Webb writes.

"Last November, the US Navy announced its plan to release 20,000 tons of environmental 'stressors,' including heavy metals and explosives, into the coastal waters of the US Pacific Northwest over the course of this year."

This is all a massive environmental burden to take on for a branch of the government which provides no other service to anyone beyond bullying the rest of the world into obedience , wouldn't you agree? So get rid of it.

Surely with all this talk about the huge, sweeping changes that are required to avert climate catastrophe we're not going to overlook the world's single worst polluter just because a few think tankers and their plutocratic sponsors believe it's important for the US-centralized power alliance to retain total global hegemony? If we're making huge, sweeping changes, the completely needless globe-spanning US war machine would be the obvious place to start.

That's something we can inject into the mainstream dialogue as this environmental movement grows, and the cool thing about it is that the establishment manipulators can't reject it or they'll expose themselves. It's something we can demand that they can't legitimately say no to. We can surf this clear, concrete, exciting and utterly indisputable idea on the surging momentum of these climate demonstrations, and the same healthy impulse to save our planet that these budding activists are now embodying will lift it right up and carry it to the top of mainstream awareness. No sane person will reject this, so if anyone pushes back against it to say "No, not that," they'll immediately spotlight the insane agendas they serve.

The US does not need any more military power than what other normal nations have: enough to defend its own easily defended shores from unprovoked attack. Anything beyond that, and certainly the hundreds of environmentally toxic military bases circling our planet, exists solely for the benefit of murderous dominating imperialists and sociopathic war profiteers. Demanding a reversal of US military expansionism as a part of the environmental movement is sane on its face and will benefit everyone, and it will also help highlight all unwholesome elements of empire loyalism.

* * *

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , checking out my podcast on either Youtube , soundcloud , Apple podcasts or Spotify , following me on Steemit , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet merchandise , buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone , or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I'm trying to do with this platform, click here . Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I've written) in any way they like free of charge.

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[Sep 28, 2019] When one digs deeper into the forces Gabbard's attacking, she's the most patriotic one of the entire bunch, including the Rs

Sep 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Sep 26 2019 19:23 utc | 50

bevin @41--

As I reported on the previous thread, Sanders endorsed the impeachment proceedings in a tweet I linked to and cited. Gabbard is apparently the only D-Party candidate that said this decision is a mistake. This article about her stance is actually balanced. Citing her recent interview by FOXNews :

"'I have been consistent in saying that I believe that impeachment in this juncture would be terribly divisive for our country at a time when we are already extremely divided,' Gabbard explained. 'Hyper-partisanship is one of the things that's driving our country apart.'

"'I think it's important to defeat Donald Trump. That's why I'm running for president, but I think it's the American people who need to make their voices heard, making that decision,' she said.

"Regardless of how you feel about Gabbard, you have to give her credit on this front. America is extremely divided today and politicians in Washington play into that. The impeachment saga is a prime example of their role in this division ." [My Emphasis]

When one digs deeper into the forces Gabbard's attacking, she's the most patriotic one of the entire bunch, including the Rs. I haven't looked at her election websites recently, but from what I see of her campaign appearances, her and Sanders seem to be sharing each other's policy proposals, although they both choose to place more emphasis on some than others. For Gabbard, its the wonton waste and corruption of the Empire that keeps good things from being done for all citizens at home, whereas Sanders basically inverts the two.

[Sep 27, 2019] Does Trump deserves impeachment for his rabid militarism?

Sep 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

robjira , Sep 26 2019 19:20 utc | 50

JR @4 @34

Excellent points. As soon as all this started hitting the fan, I was reminded of the last impeachment of a POTUS; that time the US illegally (and amorally) destroyed Yugoslavia and ensured that religious fundamentalist terrorist proxies would have safe havens in Eastern Europe.

I think you're on the right track vis a vis looming war against Iran.

[Sep 27, 2019] Sanders endorsed the impeachment proceedings

Sanders is spend force in any case. His endorsement does not matter much. But for Warren this is a blunder. Tulsi is the only one out of this troika who proved to be capable politician.
Sep 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Sep 26 2019 19:23 utc | 51
bevin @41--

As I reported on the previous thread, Sanders endorsed the impeachment proceedings in a tweet I linked to and cited. Gabbard is apparently the only D-Party candidate that said this decision is a mistake. This article about her stance is actually balanced. Citing her recent interview by FOXNews :

"'I have been consistent in saying that I believe that impeachment in this juncture would be terribly divisive for our country at a time when we are already extremely divided,' Gabbard explained. 'Hyper-partisanship is one of the things that's driving our country apart.'

"'I think it's important to defeat Donald Trump. That's why I'm running for president, but I think it's the American people who need to make their voices heard, making that decision,' she said.

"Regardless of how you feel about Gabbard, you have to give her credit on this front. America is extremely divided today and politicians in Washington play into that. The impeachment saga is a prime example of their role in this division ." [My Emphasis]

When one digs deeper into the forces Gabbard's attacking, she's the most patriotic one of the entire bunch, including the Rs. I haven't looked at her election websites recently, but from what I see of her campaign appearances, her and Sanders seem to be sharing each other's policy proposals, although they both choose to place more emphasis on some than others. For Gabbard, its the wonton waste and corruption of the Empire that keeps good things from being done for all citizens at home, whereas Sanders basically inverts the two.

[Sep 26, 2019] I agree with Tulsi Gabbard - an impeachment at this time serves no point. It also discounts the value of voting Democrat. This act may hand the White House to Trump for another 4 years.

Notable quotes:
"... Tulsi is the only Democrat who has her head screwed tight on her shoulders. As for the rest of that clown show---God help us!! ..."
"... Russia Gate 2.0 ..."
"... The Ukrainian gas HoldCo gave Hunter Biden a no-show job that paid $600K a year. They could have hired dozen of Yale Law grads for less. ..."
"... Kind of sad we Americans after two years of Russia gate will be dragged through a new political ploy. Our intelligence community and the DOJ need come clean and quick. ..."
"... The transcript of Trump's call to the Ukrainian president is out. There is absolutely no mention of anything close to a quid pro quo. ..."
"... "Repeat after me: the President should not demand foreign powers investigate his political rivals." How about Senate Democrats, Hillary Clinton, the DNC? Do you have a problem with them soliciting, even paying cash, to foreigners to investigate Trump? How about spying? Do you have a problem with one party using U.S. intelligence to spy on another party's nominee? ..."
"... This time - played into showing an utter electoral weakness by demanding an impeachment with no grounds for such a year before an election they, according to their screams on every corner, are "poised to win". Uncool, bros and sises, uncooool... ..."
"... The only mildly critical observation as to how exactly Trump played the said fiddle is that it would have been a tad better had he taken his time and waited for some days. ..."
"... The Democrats have hitched their train to the impeachment star not with impeachment per se as the goal. ..."
"... Just dragging us through this execrable process will achieve what they want nicely, i.e., disrupting possible Trump progress on his policy initiatives ( such as they are ), and weakening his electoral chances amongst the incorrigibly indecisive segment of American voters at the margin. Fighting corruption with corruption has now become the norm in Washington, D.C. ..."
Sep 26, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

PEACEINOURTIME a day ago

I agree with Tulsi Gabbard - an impeachment at this time serves no point. It also discounts the value of voting Democrat. This act may hand the White House to Trump for another 4 years. One can only hope that a Tusi G can arise and become our next president. The rest of the team are basically knee jerk politicians waiting for the lobbies to instruct.

lex (the one that likes Ike) Brian J. 15 hours ago

That's your party's chances to win the election without someone like her are as dead as vaudeville.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) PEACEINOURTIME 15 hours ago
If Democrats weren't fanatically determined to prevent her from arising at all costs, she could become the president already in a year. She can realiably beat any Republican aside from Rand Paul, who isn't much more loved within his party than she within hers. One can only wonder why the Democratic establishment hates her so much. Not a member of the Cult? Better losing on and on and on than allowing an anti-war candidate to get the nomination? Collective political manifestation of Freudian death wish?
Connecticut Farmer PEACEINOURTIME 15 hours ago
Tulsi is the only Democrat who has her head screwed tight on her shoulders. As for the rest of that clown show---God help us!!
Clyde Schechter a day ago
"I hope with all of my soul, and with respect for those like Ellsberg, Manning, and Snowden, that this whistleblower proves worthy to stand next to them. And God help him and our country if not."

Amen.

Alex (the one that likes Ike) a day ago • edited
So, Democrats have done just what he wanted them to do - started a miserable (and a doomed, given that the Senate is in Republican hands) circus instead of actually campaigning with their voters, while also riling his ones. But thanks, team D, for showing what your candidates' chances to get elected really are. Has been no secret to me that those chances are illusory, but thanks for making the thing official anyways. Starting a stillborn attempt to depose a president, against whom you, in your fantasy world, are "poised to win" in a year, is the best testimony of how toast you are in the said fantasy world's real counterpart. Attacongressboys and attacongressgirls. Take some metaphorical cookies from the metaphorical jar.

The only sad thing is that you're sullying the notion of whistleblower with a clown, who, most probably, doesn't even exist. The whole thing is actually your petty revenge against Snowden, who has just released his new book, ain't it? Low.

JPH 21 hours ago
"Remember, he knows what was said and the Dems demanding impeachment do not."

Exactly and the Dems are setting themselves up for another public disaster thus handing Trump his reelection. Anyway Biden is history and he should withdraw immediately. Fighting this losing battle will only invoke the well deserved wrath of justice.

Looks to me that Trump is turning the tables on the democrats and they are in for a world of hurt when the investigations and indictments start rolling now.

Ramon Zarate 20 hours ago
Russia Gate 2.0
Sid Finster Someone who doesn't post often 14 hours ago
The Ukrainian gas HoldCo gave Hunter Biden a no-show job that paid $600K a year. They could have hired dozen of Yale Law grads for less.

Hunter was hired for the political cover he provided.

tweets21 17 hours ago
Kind of sad we Americans after two years of Russia gate will be dragged through a new political ploy. Our intelligence community and the DOJ need come clean and quick.
Peter Van Buren 13 hours ago
The transcript of Trump's call to the Ukrainian president is out. There is absolutely no mention of anything close to a quid pro quo. Trump asks the president to take calls from Bill Barr and Giuliani to talk about corruption broadly. Biden's son is also included in what they'll talk about. It is all very high-level, general, surface talk. If Dems want to try and impeach on this, it is a long shot at best. https://fm.cnbc.com/applica...
MM TOS 8 hours ago
"Repeat after me: the President should not demand foreign powers investigate his political rivals." How about Senate Democrats, Hillary Clinton, the DNC? Do you have a problem with them soliciting, even paying cash, to foreigners to investigate Trump? How about spying? Do you have a problem with one party using U.S. intelligence to spy on another party's nominee?

I'll repeat after you once you clarify your position on those things. But if you're not consistent, why should I?

Zgler 12 hours ago
The transcript released has Trump asking for an investigation of Biden and Biden's son explicitly. Then it emphasizes how "very good" to the Ukraine the U.S. has been and how the relationship "has not always been reciprocal". At the time of the call the president was holding back hundreds of millions of dollars in Ukranian aid. How dumb do you have to be to not interpret this as a gangsta time of quid-pro-quo attempt?

The whole whistle blower report should be released. The Demos have no real choice but to start an impeachment query as their voters will interpret not doing this as clear cowardice and moral spinelessness. They know the impeachment won't succeed.

Alex (the one that likes Ike) 12 hours ago • edited
So, looks like "some" folks have been played like a fiddle all over again. This time - played into showing an utter electoral weakness by demanding an impeachment with no grounds for such a year before an election they, according to their screams on every corner, are "poised to win". Uncool, bros and sises, uncooool...

The only mildly critical observation as to how exactly Trump played the said fiddle is that it would have been a tad better had he taken his time and waited for some days. Nothing practical - the situation served its purpose fairly and squarely - but it would be such a cute circus, and wailings would be so much louder if everything fell apart just a little bit later. But maybe he just doesn't like the circus. De gustibus non est disputandum , though.

Gerald Arcuri 11 hours ago
Whoa, there cowboys and indigenous peoples! The Democrats have hitched their train to the impeachment star not with impeachment per se as the goal.

Just dragging us through this execrable process will achieve what they want nicely, i.e., disrupting possible Trump progress on his policy initiatives ( such as they are ), and weakening his electoral chances amongst the incorrigibly indecisive segment of American voters at the margin. Fighting corruption with corruption has now become the norm in Washington, D.C.

It's sort of the long game, with a hint of the "Hail Mary" pass thrown in for good measure. They know what they're up to. But, as the author says, it just might backfire. They may overplay their hand. Or make one of the two classic blunders.

Vizzini: "Ha-ha, you fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia,' but only slightly less well known is this: 'Never go in against a Sicilian, when death is on the line!'"

The Princess Bride

[Sep 25, 2019] Trump should be impeached not for his Ukrainian call but for Venezuela regime change efforts

Notable quotes:
"... Citing a "political and humanitarian crisis" committed by Caracas, the White House Office of the Press Secretary issued a "suspension of entry as immigrants and nonimmigrants of persons who threaten Venezuela's democratic institutions." ..."
"... The move comes as the latest effort from the Trump administration to oust Venezuela's president. ' ..."
Sep 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

brian , Sep 25 2019 22:01 utc | 70

He should be impeached. His latest outrage:

'US President Donald Trump has moved to suspend Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's senior officials, relatives, and others who receive financial benefits from entering into the US in Wednesday press release from the White House.

Citing a "political and humanitarian crisis" committed by Caracas, the White House Office of the Press Secretary issued a "suspension of entry as immigrants and nonimmigrants of persons who threaten Venezuela's democratic institutions."

The move comes as the latest effort from the Trump administration to oust Venezuela's president. '

Trumps Suspends US Entry for Iranian, Venezuelan Government Officials - Sputnik International

[Sep 25, 2019] Michael Flynn pleads Fifth, refuses to be 'paraded, harassed or disparaged' by Adam Schiff

Sep 25, 2019 | www.washingtontimes.com

im1dc...Reply Monday, September 23, 2019 at 05:07 PM

"Michael Flynn pleads Fifth, refuses to be 'paraded, harassed or disparaged' by Adam Schiff"

By Rowan Scarborough...The Washington Times...Monday, September 23, 2019...7:12 p.m.

likbez said in reply to im1dc...

"Michael Flynn pleads Fifth, refuses to be 'paraded, harassed or disparaged' by Adam Schiff"

Looks like Adam Schiff who is part of Israel lobby like to take risks.

Flynn saga is about Israel not about Russia. He contacted Russia ambassador at the request of Kushner who ask him to try to block Russian vote in UN against Israel.

What if the testimony blow out in his face like was the case with Lewandowski

Reply Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 10:16 PM

[Sep 25, 2019] The Use of Low-IQ Troops in War Zone by Gilad Atzmon

Sep 25, 2019 | www.unz.com

A presentation and reading by Hamilton Gregory, author of "McNamara's Folly: The Use of Low-IQ Troops in the Vietnam." Because so many college students were avoiding military service during the Vietnam War, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara lowered mental standards to induct 354,000 low-IQ men. they were known as McNamara's "Moron Corps." Their death toll in combat was appalling. Gregory indicates at the end of his talk that the situation didn't really change. The same practice is taking place nowadays.

McNamara's Folly The Use of Low-IQ Troops in the Vietnam War - YouTube

England patriot says: September 24, 2019 at 5:27 pm GMT 100 Words A lot of people mistake low IQ brutishness for genuine bravery and strength, which is why blacks are considered by many whites to be the toughest race and probably why they are favoured by the military.

A big weakness of the US and UK militaries is the assumption that street thugs make the most effective and capable troops, in reality such people are often the most useless and cowardly in an actual war zone. Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments


niteranger , says: September 24, 2019 at 5:52 pm GMT

The story is definitely true. Not only were there low moron troops but even the so called West Point graduates with no experience in war were complete idiots. It was a two fold fiasco because these graduates couldn't read coordinates on maps and the morons couldn't find them and thus they often bombed our own troops.

There were a lot "friendly fire" deaths that were never reported. The carnage of Vietnam was a disgrace from poor military strategies to morons and incompetents running them. We were not prepared for the "Jungle Type Gorilla War" our leaders got us into and the results are told forever on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington. What did they die for? Another "Communist" are taking over Domino Policy when the true Communist Jews were running the stuff in the USA and destroying us.

SafeNow , says: September 24, 2019 at 6:21 pm GMT
Two destroyers were recently collided into by slow-moving merchant ships. Someone said that this is like a Chevy Corvette being struck by a bulldozer on the Bonneville Salt Flats while a team of trained experts had the job of keeping the Corvette from being hit.
mark green , says: September 24, 2019 at 6:32 pm GMT
@A123 Any civilization that sends their Best and Brightest to the front lines is taking huge risks. Cannon fodder troops generally come (and should come) from the lower tiers of society. This promotes a nation's long-term health and vitality.

There is no starvation–only fasting–during Ramadan. Fasting occurs each day from sunrise to sundown. On the other hand, Israel's high fertility rates among Orthodox and Sephardic Jews has dysgenics written all over it. This explains why Israel's average IQ average remains below 100. Highly religious and less-intelligent Jews are producing a disproportionate number of the births inside Israel.

Blankaerd , says: September 24, 2019 at 6:45 pm GMT
It's a lesson the US could've learned back in World War II. The US deployed black troops in France, and instead of proving that the blacks were just as capable fighters as the whites, the blacks engaged in typical black behavior of rape and thievery. It got so bad in areas like Cherbourg that the local population preferred the Germans over their supposed 'liberators'.

The same thing happened earlier in the war when the Allies deployed Moroccan mercenaries in Italy.
After the battle of Monte Cassino, these savages could rape Italian women with impunity, they wouldn't be stopped by the French, the British or indeed the Americans, and as a result more than 30.000 Italian women became victims of these vicious assaults.

But I bet it was all in good faith of course, after all the US was making Europe safe for stali I mean, 'democracy'

Paul , says: September 24, 2019 at 7:18 pm GMT
Politicians did not want the war to become an issue among the affluent. It was the old adage about wars: "Rich men start them; poor men fight them." There were plenty of chicken hawks around.
peterAUS , says: September 24, 2019 at 7:25 pm GMT
The article and comments, so far, are interesting.

A military is a tool of the ruling class/caste/layer/whatever. What is moronic, or not, is for them to decide. The only principle: is the tool good for the job?

There are several very good reasons to have "low-level IQ" troops in the military, a modern war/combat in particular.

In an infantry company of, say, 160 men, a smart O.C. would love to have 10-20 of those types. Plenty of jobs/assignments for them and definitely attributing to combat efficiency of the unit.
Even better in logistics, especially in higher units/rear areas. Comparison: warehouse/storage facilities employees in civvy street.

BTW, those guys, if/when properly treated (LEADERSHIP) can be utterly loyal and dependable. For "experts" around, there are plenty of miserable, mind-numbing jobs/tasks in the military, plus quite dangerous, which those guys shall do when others won't. If .treated properly

And, one more element, especially in contemporary wars: certain moral attitude, "relaxed" approach to human life and limb etc. Ability to commit acs of war other, more, say, smart, "sensitive" troops, are reluctant to do.
Israel. IDF as the state tool to keep Palestinians under control.
Occupation forces of The Empire in Afghanistan and Iraq.

And one more thing: for suppressing possible internal unrest in a Western country ..For that job you really don't want very intelligent/sensitive people.

Etc.
Big topic but, of course, not for this thread, for obvious reasons. Program.

Sorry for the interruption, guys. Feel free to resume the "bashing".

HJay , says: September 24, 2019 at 8:44 pm GMT
Who will write a book about the U.S. police force?

https://thefreethoughtproject.com/court-police-departments-refuse-hire-smart/

anon [102] Disclaimer , says: September 24, 2019 at 8:58 pm GMT
Infantry in Vietnam was known to be awful. Everyone in the military knew to avoid it. It was openly used as a threat for non-compliance to troops elsewhere.

There were certainly exceptions. Some Marines, people wanting or needing to get their ticket punched, etc. But before anything, Vietnam Infantry was getting the dregs. Not that I doubt McNamera leaned into it as an opportunity.

Why in the world did they want or need all these troops? Westmorland kept asking for more and more. After 500,000, per the pentagon papers, the JCS mood Westmorland that given US presence in Europe, Japan, Korea, etc., there were no more extra troops.

Too bad that the US military has made a cottage industry out of revisionist accounts regarding how it could have been "won". Showing a remarkable lack of insight into what it means to win.

Oscar Peterson , says: September 24, 2019 at 9:47 pm GMT
@A123 Interesting to see how a conniving Jew takes a piece about Vietnam and uses it to further his objective of trying (quite unsuccessfully, one infers) to generate sympathy for the Judenreich. He then doubles down with a further tangent leading somehow to Ramadan (!) It's almost comical how transparent Jew scheming has become. It makes one wonder if the Hasbara brigades have had to go low-IQ at this point?
Kolya Krassotkin , says: September 24, 2019 at 9:50 pm GMT
I look forward to seeing the effect all those affirmative action US military academy graduates have on US combat readiness.

All those Navy ships running into each other in Asia last year? A bucket of the Colonel's extra crispy says that we were seeing diversity in action.

Oscar Peterson , says: September 24, 2019 at 9:58 pm GMT
@anon Not true.

Both in terms of IQ and class background, infantry in Vietnam were generally representative of the general population. As one author assessed, "If they [soldiers in combat units] were not the social and intellectual cream of American youth, neither were they its dregs or castoffs."

steinbergfeldwitzcohen , says: September 25, 2019 at 12:32 am GMT
nI saw the author of the book give at talk. I believe it was at a Tennessee Unversity. What he described he saw as an enlisted man if I remember correctly. He was sent to OCS later and sounded a very decent man. The conditions were awful for these guys. They were treated as expendable by peers and officers alike.

I wonder how the IDF works this issue out. The Israelis are masters of the universe at everything don't you know. They are utter geniuses.

Kratoklastes , says: September 25, 2019 at 12:47 am GMT
@Hunsdon Or the line in a movie I watched a few years ago about the British savagery in Northern Ireland

War is rich cunts sending thick cunts to kill poor cunts.

War is a racket – Smedley Butler was right. But so was Randolph Bourne: war is the health of the State. https://www.panarchy.org/bourne/state.1918.html

anarchyst , says: September 25, 2019 at 1:19 am GMT
@Blankaerd Emmett Till's father was executed by the U S military for multiple rapes

[Sep 25, 2019] Those who thought that timing of the attack on Saudi oil installations had not benefited Netanyahu might want to reconsider

Sep 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Sep 25 2019 21:52 utc | 64

Further to my comment @56

Those who thought that timing of the attack on Saudi oil installations had not benefited Netanyahu might want to reconsider.

Netanyahu Tapped By Israel's President To Form Government After Deadlocked Election .

Netanyahu's coalition was given the nod because they have 55 seats to the other side's 54.

There's still some question about whether Netanyahu can form a governing coalition.

But Netanyahu now has 42 days to convince his former Defense Minister(!) Lieberman (who heads the Yisrael Beiteinu Party) to join the coalition led by Likud.

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

The Countdown to War with Iran has begun?

[Sep 25, 2019] After Chavez took power, Venezuelans told me that he had found that a critical subsidiary of the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA was basically a CIA shop.

Notable quotes:
"... One of the reasons that I doubt Biden's version of the story stems from my experience in Venezuela. After Chavez took power, Venezuelans told me that he had found that a critical subsidiary of the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA was basically a CIA shop. The names of CIA on the Board of Directors were not just ordinary CIA, but were recognizable figures at the very top. ..."
"... To me this is entirely plausible. Control of oil is critical to US global hegemony. And what better way to control foreign oil than to have trusted American asset sit on the BOD? ..."
Sep 25, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH -> JohnH... , September 25, 2019 at 03:45 PM

One of the reasons that I doubt Biden's version of the story stems from my experience in Venezuela. After Chavez took power, Venezuelans told me that he had found that a critical subsidiary of the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA was basically a CIA shop. The names of CIA on the Board of Directors were not just ordinary CIA, but were recognizable figures at the very top.

To me this is entirely plausible. Control of oil is critical to US global hegemony. And what better way to control foreign oil than to have trusted American asset sit on the BOD?

This brings us to Hunter Biden's appointment to Ukrainian energy giant Burisma. After the coup in 2014, why wouldn't Biden want a trusted asset on the board of the biggest natural gas producer in Ukraine? IOW it was unpublicized standard operating procedure.

[Sep 25, 2019] Tulsi: The ratcheting up of retaliatory actions between the US and Iran will lead to a war that will be devastating to the people of both countries. As president I will re-enter the Iran Nuclear Agreement and end the sanctions against Iran to move us back from the precipice of war.

Sep 25, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , September 23, 2019 at 06:09 AM

https://twitter.com/TulsiGabbard/status/1176102410541907968

Tulsi Gabbard @TulsiGabbard

The ratcheting up of retaliatory actions between the US and Iran will lead to a war that will be devastating to the people of both countries. As president I will re-enter the Iran Nuclear Agreement and end the sanctions against Iran to move us back from the precipice of war.

Reckless Retaliation Has Us One Spark Away From War

4:54 AM - 23 Sep 2019

[Sep 24, 2019] Terribly Divisive Tulsi Gabbard Refuses To Join Fellow Democrats' Calls For Impeachment

Notable quotes:
"... Aaron Maté warned, "They're doubling down on failure: a failure to transform after losing 2016; & a failure to bring Trump down w/ the failed Russiagate conspiracy theory." ..."
Sep 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

We've long commented that Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is certainly the most interesting and 'outside-the-establishment-box' candidate on the Democrat side running for president -- a "Ron Paul of the Left" of sorts given her outspoken criticism of US regime change wars and standing against foreign policy adventurism as her central message.

She even once met in 2016 with then President-elect Trump to discuss Syria policy and non-interventionism at a private meeting at Trump Tower just ahead of his being sworn into office, after which she said both agreed to resist "the drumbeats of war [on Syria] that neocons have been beating to drag us into an escalation...".

And now she's resisting calls for Trump to be impeached, saying it would be "terribly divisive" . She told "Fox & Friends" on Tuesday that she'll remain consistent to her message that the road to 2020 can only be found in a clear victory and mandate, saying it's for "the American people... making that decision" of who is in the White House, not impeachment .

Via Reuters

"I believe that impeachment at this juncture would be terribly divisive for the country at a time when we are already extremely divided. The hyperpartisanship is one of the main things driving our country apart," Gabbard told host Brian Kilmeade.

Once again showing herself outside of the establishment and its blindly loyal partisan narrative, and perhaps more in-tune with the American public, she's further setting herself apart from her main Democratic rivals and the presidential nominee front-runners on this one.

"I think it's important to beat Donald Trump, that's why I'm running for president," she said. "But I think it's the American people who need to make their voices heard making that decision."

Top contender Elizabeth Warren, for example, tweeted early Tuesday , "The House must impeach. It must start today."

A number of commentators pointed out this would likely end in failure as the Democrats double down on impeachment even after Trump agreed to release the full, unredacted transcript of the Ukraine call in question.

One progressive journalist and political commentator, Aaron Maté warned, "They're doubling down on failure: a failure to transform after losing 2016; & a failure to bring Trump down w/ the failed Russiagate conspiracy theory."

As we noted earlier, Democrats are now scrambling as it seems President Trump's decision to release the transcript has spoiled their narrative.

Like the failed Mueller investigation, should this blow up in Democrats' faces it will practically guarantee the reelection of Donald Trump .

And likely for this very reason, Pelosi herself had for months resisted calls to start the impeachment process, and yet here we are , with Pelosi leading the charge.

[Sep 24, 2019] Nate Silver (538) is saying that Gabbard appears to have made the October debate.

Sep 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

russell1200 , September 24, 2019 at 2:46 pm

Nate Silver (538) is saying that Gabbard appears to have made the October debate.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/tulsi-gabbard-is-the-12th-candidate-to-make-octobers-democratic-debate/

There used to be some Tulsi fans here if the only Bernie is pure enough crowd hasn't chased them off.

nippersmom , September 24, 2019 at 3:07 pm

When the other candidates prove reliably progressive, I'll consider them. So far, Sanders is the only one to reach that threshold. You may call that "purism"; I call it not supporting candidates who don't support me.

I contributed to Tulsi Gabbard's campaign (and supported her as a potential VP candidate) despite having reservations about her, specifically because I wanted her to be on the debate stage to promote her anti-imperialist foreign policy views. She lost a lot of ground with me on her vote on the anti-BDS referendum.

Jonathan Holland Becnel , September 24, 2019 at 4:14 pm

Sanders/Gabbard!

John , September 24, 2019 at 6:13 pm

Sanders/Gabbard indeed The DNC crowd has tried so hard to squeeze Tulsi out with the able assistance of the MSM. Perhaps this will cause agita.

Plenue , September 24, 2019 at 6:39 pm

Not a Gabbard 'fan', despite donating to her. She was never a serious candidate; her usefulness was in bringing a genuine anti-war platform into the debate. Now that the 'democratic' Party has cut her out, she doesn't have much point. She's still a drone loving Zionist, and her continued supporting of literal fascist (or the next closest thing) Modi is just gross.

Darius , September 24, 2019 at 6:45 pm

Purity suggests politics is about morality. It isn't. It's about who's going to get you stuff. Only Bernie talks in those terms. And he isn't pure but barely acceptable.

Purity is posturing for those who think politics is about public performance and self expression. Upper middle class liberals can afford to approach things this way, but most people are too busy trying to keep their horse out of the ditch. They need stuff.

[Sep 24, 2019] Have some fun with this imperialist Raguram Rajan: "The US served as a benevolent hegemon, administering the occasional rap on the knuckles to those acting in bad faith"

Sep 24, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Paine , September 14, 2019 at 04:38 PM

Have some fun with raguram

"The US served as a benevolent hegemon, administering the occasional rap on the knuckles to those acting in bad faith"

". Meanwhile, the system's multilateral institutions, especially the International Monetary Fund, helped countries in dire need of funds, provided they followed the rules."

anne -> Paine ... , September 14, 2019 at 04:43 PM
https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/trump-trade-war-damage-by-raghuram-rajan-2019-09

September 5, 2019

The True Toll of the Trade War

Behind the escalating global conflict over trade and technology is a larger breakdown of the postwar rules-based order, which was based on a belief that any country's growth benefits all. Now that China is threatening to compete directly with the United States, support for the system that made that possible has disappeared.
By RAGHURAM G. RAJAN

CHICAGO – Another day, another attack on trade. Why is it that every dispute – whether over intellectual property (IP), immigration, environmental damage, or war reparations – now produces new threats to trade?

For much of the last century, the United States managed and protected the rules-based trading system it created at the end of World War II. That system required a fundamental break from the pre-war environment of mutual suspicion between competing powers. The US urged everyone to see that growth and development for one country could benefit all countries through increased trade and investment.

Under the new dispensation, rules were enacted to constrain selfish behavior and coercive threats by the economically powerful. The US served as a benevolent hegemon, administering the occasional rap on the knuckles to those acting in bad faith. Meanwhile, the system's multilateral institutions, especially the International Monetary Fund, helped countries in dire need of funds, provided they followed the rules....

likbez -> anne... , September 14, 2019 at 08:30 PM
"The US served as a benevolent hegemon, administering the occasional rap on the knuckles to those acting in bad faith"

USA foreign policy since 70th was controlled by neocons who as a typical Trotskyites (neoliberalism is actually Trotskyism for the rich) were/are hell-bent of world domination and practice gangster capitalism in foreign policy. Bolton attitude to UN is very symptomatic for the neocons as a whole.

Madeline "not so bright" Allbright was the first swan. As well as Clinton attempts to bankrupt and subdue Russia and criminal (in a sense of no permission from the UN) attack on Yugoslavia. Both backfired: Russia became permanently hostile. The fact he and his coterie were not yet tried by something like Nuremberg tribunal is only due to the USA dominance at this stage of history.

The truth is that the dissolution of the USSR the USA foreign policy became completely unhinged. And inside the country the elite became cannibalistic, as there was no external threat to its dominance in the form of the USSR.

The USA stated to behave like a typical Imperial state (New Rome, or, more correctly, London) accepting no rules/laws that are not written by themselves (and when it is convenient to obey them) with the only difference from the classic imperial states that the hegemony it not based on the military presence/occupation ( like was the case with British empire)

Although this is not completely true as there are 761 US Military Bases across the planet and only 46 Countries with no US military presence. Of them, seven countries with 13 New Military Bases were added since 09/11/2001. In 2001 the US had a quarter million troops posted abroad.

Still as an imperial state that is the center of neoliberal empire the USA relies more on financial instruments and neoliberal comprador elite inside the country.

I recently learned from https://akarlin.com/2010/04/on-liberasts-and-liberasty/ that the derogatory term for the neoliberal part of the Russian elite is "liberasts" and this term gradually slipping into English language ( http://onlineslangdictionary.com/meaning-definition-of/liberast ;-)

With the collapse of neoliberal ideology in 2008 the USA centered neoliberal empire experiences first cracks. Brexit and election of Trump widened the cracks in a sense of further legitimizing the ruling neoliberal elite (big middle finger for Hillary was addressed to the elite as whole)

If oil price exceed $100 per barrel there will yet another crack or even repetition of the 2008 Great Recession on a new level (although we may argue that the Great Recession never ended and just entered in Summers terms "permanent stagnation" phase)

Although currently with unhinged Trump at the helm the USA empire still going strong in forcing vassals and competitors to reconsider their desire to challenge the USA. Trump currently is trying to neutralize the treat from China by rejecting classic neoliberal globalization mechanism as well as signed treaties like WTO. He might be successful in the short run.

In the long run the future does not look too bright as crimes committed by the USA during triumphal period of neoliberalism hangs like albatross around the USA neck.

EU now definitely wants to play its own game as Macron recently stated and which Merkel tacitly supports. If EU allies with Russia it will became No.1 force in the world with the USA No. 2. With severe consequences for the USA.

If Russia allied with China the USA No.1 position will hinge of keeping EU vassals in check and NATO in place. Without them it will became No.2 with fatal consequences for the dollar as world reserve currency and sudden change of the USA financial position due to the level of external debt and required devaluation of the dollar.

Looks like 75 year after WWII the world started to self-organize a countervailing force trying to tame the USA with some interest expressed by such players as EU, Russia, China, India, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan and even Saudi Arabia. As well as ( in the past; and possibly in the future as neoliberal counterrevolutions in both countries probably will end badly) by Brazil and Argentina.

Only Canada, Australia and probably UK can be counted as the reliable parts of the USA empire. That's not much.

ilsm -> likbez... , September 15, 2019 at 07:21 AM
"If Russia allied with China the USA No.1 position "........

Think Italy moving into the Axis in 1937? Or the Soviet German Non Aggression Pact. Nuclear weapons removes the incentive for large "rearmaments" or not?

Would the Britain to France 1938 relationship describe the US to EU? Thinking in 1939 (1914?) terms Europe is less stitched together than in 1936.

ilsm -> Paine ... , September 14, 2019 at 06:43 PM
"Beliefs" must be sustained by trust and justice... Which are clearly missing in the US' sacred cold war and post history "postwar rules-based order".

[Sep 24, 2019] CIA decided under Dulles that they were the only ones capable of leading this country

Notable quotes:
"... CIA decided under Dulles that they were the only ones capable of leading this country, mainly because they wanted it ran their way and no other. Don't take my word for it though, read Arthur B. Darling's "THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, AN INSTRUMENT OF GOVERNMENT TO 1950 copy right 1990 Penn State Press. (This work was classified for quite a long while.) ..."
"... So the first thing that works in CIA et al's favor is politicians who have been in DC long enough to be worn down and thoroughly compromised by blackmail of one sort or another and there fore vulnerable. ..."
Sep 24, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

SusanR , September 20, 2019 at 20:22

It has been my contention that Biden's powerful backers from the military-industrial-intelligence-media complex are fully aware of his mental state, and that is precisely why they want him to be president. Why? He would only be a figure-head president. He would be given a suggested running mate as well as a list of candidates for cabinet and other appointed positions (as Obama was given) and Biden would follow that in making appointments. Policies of his administration would be consistent with the interests of the military-industrial-intelligence-media complex.

robert e williamson jr , September 20, 2019 at 15:19

Kids this is exactly what the intelligence community wants, someone who they can claim needs to be told what to do or be kept discreetly out of the loop, so currently Joe maybe the chosen one just as Bill Barr is reported to have told Slick Willy.

We end up where we are at the moment because our security state apparatus is ran by the intelligence community who do not really want a strong intelligent, clear minded president who can actually think for himself. Ask Barrack Obama!

For years I've used this analogy, crude as it maybe, that when the newly elected president is called on for his national security briefing it is always a tense encounter because this "Newby" is about to have a come to Jesus meeting with this most abusive of all government entities. The intelligence community. He is "shown the way"he will act because if he doesn't this community who has relieved him of one his go -- -s will come and relieve him of the other.

This started as a joke on my part, I'm now convinced it reflects reality.

At some point many here will understand that since around the time of the murder of JFK , CIA has framed things in this manner.

CIA decided under Dulles that they were the only ones capable of leading this country, mainly because they wanted it ran their way and no other. Don't take my word for it though, read Arthur B. Darling's "THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, AN INSTRUMENT OF GOVERNMENT TO 1950 copy right 1990 Penn State Press. (This work was classified for quite a long while.)

Doing so will help make your mind more flexible , jeesh what a slog to get through it.

So the first thing that works in CIA et al's favor is politicians who have been in DC long enough to be worn down and thoroughly compromised by blackmail of one sort or another and there fore vulnerable.

I figured if Caitlin could say "dog balls " which I think was a great analogy I could say gonads.

Time to sit down Joe.

Thanks again to Consortium News for their great efforts at informing the masses.

[Sep 23, 2019] Political Journalism is Dead The American Conservative

Sep 23, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Columnist Max Boot in The Washington Post put into writing what we have all known for some time: real journalism, Jefferson's informed citizenry and all that, is dead. The job has shifted to aspirational writing, using manipulated droplets of facts and just plain made-up stuff to drive events.

Boot writes to drive Trump from office and overturn the 2016 election. Max : "Much of my journalism for the past four years has been devoted to critiquing President Trump and opposing the spread of Trumpism. But no matter how many columns or sound bites I produce, he remains in office . I am left to ask if all my work has made any difference."

Boot has spent the last several years creating and circle-supporting others who create false narratives. They manufacture reasons for Trump to resign, press Democrats to impeach, and try to persuade voters they otherwise hold in contempt that they don't know what's good enough for them. We kind of figured this out after senior staff at the New York Times had to remind reporters that they were "not part of the f*cking resistance," but it is helpful to see it in daylight. After all, democracy dies in darkness.

The uber-false narrative Max and others Frankensteined into existence was Russiagate. Trump wasn't the Manchurian Candidate and there was no quid pro quo for Russian election help. Yet the media literally accused the president of treason by melding together otherwise unrelated truthlets -- Trump wanted a hotel in Moscow, some ads were run on Facebook -- that could be spun into a narrative to bring him down. Correlation was made into causation in a purposeful freshman Logic 101 fail. What was true was of little consequence; what mattered was whether the media could collectively create a story that the rubes would believe and then pile on.

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The critical flaw in Russiagate (other than that it didn't happen) was that the media created an end-point they could not control. Robert Mueller was magic-wanded into the Last Honest Man, the Savior of Democracy, as the narrative first unfolded and then fell apart like a cardboard box in the rain. After his dismal testimony, there was nowhere for the story to go.

Was it only a week ago Law and Order: Scotland SVU was the locus of the Next Big Thing following Greenland? Because even as we race to catch up (debunking takes longer than making up accusations,) a whole new Big Thing popped up over the Ukraine. Details are vague, based all on leaks and persons familiar with some of it, but are as dire as they are lacking.

But as with every other outrage, leaks in the new phone call-gate instantly became certainties, certainties became foreign influence in our elections, and demands to impeach were recycled until Twitter voted for the death penalty. And all before a single piece of hard data is public. See the pattern yet?

If the latest "gate" doesn't pan out, Democrats have already jumpstarted an old favorite, upgraded for the 2020 election: Trump is now manipulating domestic and foreign policy for personal gain via hotel fees.

5 Questions the Media Won't Ask Biden in the Debate With Mueller Time a Flop, Dems Run to Plans B and C

At first glance, it seems like a non-starter. Trump's hotels are as much a part of him as the extra pounds he carries. He campaigned as a CEO and announced early on that he was not going to divest . But with the first cold slap of his election victory, a narrative was being shaped: he could not become president because of his business conflicts of interest; it was danged unconstitutional .

Early proponents of this dreck dug around in the Constitution's closet and found the Emoluments Clause , a handful of lines intended to bar officeholders from accepting gifts from foreign sovereigns, kings, and princes to prevent influence buying. Pre-Trump, the last time the issue was in actual contention was with President Martin Van Buren (no relation) over gifts from the Imam of Muscat.

The media ran with it. They imagined out of whole cloth that any foreign government official getting a room at any Trump hotel had been given a "gift." Then they imagined that any tiny percentage of that room profit that actually went to Trump himself represented a bribe. Then they imagined that despite the vast complexity of U.S. relations, Trump would alter course because some guy rented a room. It was Joker -like in its diabolicalness, the presidency itself merely a prank to hide an international crime spree. Pow!

It was ridiculous on its face, but they made it happen. The now-defunct leftist site Think Progress ran what might be Story Zero before Trump even took office. An anonymous source claimed that, under pressure, the Kuwaiti ambassador had canceled a major event at one hotel to switch to Trump's own D.C. hotel. It turned out to be untrue. "Do you think a reception of two hours in the Trump hotel is going to curry favors with the administration when we host thousands of U.S. troops in Kuwait? When we have in the past and still do support American operations in Afghanistan and Iraq?" the Kuwait ambassador asked when someone got around to his side of the story. But no matter: the narrative was set.

Then it grew. Though the Emoluments Clause is quite specific, the media decided that every time anyone stayed at a Trump property, it was corruption. Even when Trump visited one of his own homes, it was corruption, because the Secret Service paid Trump for the privilege. Of course, the Secret Service has always paid for the facilities used in their work because the government cannot commandeer private property or accept free rooms (which, ironically, could be seen as a bribe), not from Marriott and not from the Trump Organization. Even Joe Biden still has to charge the Secret Service rent on a cottage he owns so they can protect him when he's home in Delaware.

More? T-Mobile booked nine rooms at a Trump hotel, in media hive minds ostensibly to influence federal approval of a $26 billion merger. Those rooms were worth about $2,700. Of course, the president, who can influence the Dow with a tweet, prefers to make his illegal money off jacked up hotel bills. Think small has always been a Trump trademark.

Reuters headlined how foreigners were buying condos from third-party owners (i.e., not Trump or his company), but they were in a Trump-managed building and maybe the monthly maintenance fees would qualify as mini-emoluments? Trump was accused of " hiding " foreign government income at his hotels when servers at the bar failed to ask cash customers if they were potentates or princes (the headline : "Trump Organization Says It's 'Not Practical' to Comply With the Emoluments Clause").

And of course, there was the Air Force crew staying at a Trump place in Scotland. No matter that the hotel had forged its relationship with a nearby airport long before Trump became president, or that the Air Force had used the airport and hotel hundreds of times before Trump became president (going back to World War II), or that a decision by the Pentagon to have flights stop more frequently there was made under the Obama administration. None of that stopped the media from proclaiming corruption. One piece speculated that the $166 per night the Air Force pays for rooms was always part of Trump's cornerstone financial plan for the floundering multi-million golf course.

But to see how much the corruption narrative really is a media creation, you have only to compare it to how the mainstream media covered what might have been a similar question in the past. Imagine if journalists had treated every appearance by Obama as a book promotion. What if his every speech had been slandered across the channels as corruption, Obama just out there pimping his books? Should he have been impeached for commercializing the office of president?

Follow the money, as Rachel Maddow likes to say. The Trump Organization pays to the Treasury all profits from foreign governments. In 2018, that was $191,000 . The year before, the amount was $151,470. So Trump's in-pocket profit is zero.

Meanwhile, Obama's profit as an author during his time in office was $15.6 million (he's made multiples more since, including a $65 million book advance). In the two weeks before he was inaugurated, Obama reworked his book deals to take advantage of his new status. He agreed not to publish another non-fiction book during his time in office to keep anticipation high, while signing a $500,000 advance for a young adult version of Dreams From My Father .

Obama's books were huge sellers in China, where publishing is largely government controlled, meaning he likely received Chicom money in the Oval Office. His own State Department bought $79,000 worth of his books to distribute as gifts.

As with Trump, nothing Obama did was illegal. There are no laws per se against a president making money. Yet no one bothered to raise ethical questions. No one claimed he sought the presidency as a bully ATM machine. No one claimed his frequent messaging about his father was designed to move books. No one held TV hearings on his profits or how taxpayer funds were used to buy his books. It's not "everybody does it" or "whataboutism"; it's why does the media treat two very similar situations so very differently?

Max Boot confessed why. The media has created a pitch-and-toss game with Democrats, running false, exaggerated, and shallowly reported stories to generate calls for hearings , which in turn breathe life into the corruption stories they live off. We will soon see how far last week's breathless drama -- unnamed "whistleblower" leaks supposedly charging Trump with pressuring the Ukrainian president to investigate his rival Joe Biden -- will go.

Boot and his ilk are doing a new job. Journalism to them is for resistance, condemnation, arousal, and regime change. And that's one way democracy does die.

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, Hooper's War: A Novel of WWII Japan , and Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent.

[Sep 23, 2019] You may like this Tulsi interview. I did. The interviewer is a moron but Tulsi handled him quite well

Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star September 16, 2019 at 2:15 pm

Once Again.. She is Spot the Fuck on..

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tulsi-gabbard-donald-trump-saudi-arabia-oil-attack_n_5d7fc275e4b077dcbd622d5b

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Patient Observer September 20, 2019 at 3:34 pm
You may like this Tulsi interview. I did. The interviewer is a moron but Tulsi handled him quite well>
https://theduran.com/tulsi-gabbard-shoots-straight-on-the-middle-east-like-a-soldier-should/
Mark Chapman September 20, 2019 at 6:37 pm
She did make him look stupid – all he had was a handful of talking points. Occasionally he did try to talk over her to hammer home his points, but often he sat quietly and let her finish. When your interviewer lets you speak, he's interested in what you have to say, or if opposed to you, in letting you hang yourself.

When he talks over you, he's simply trying to do all the talking while offering the pretense of an interview.

[Sep 23, 2019] Mig 15 was a huge leap in military technology and the Mig 17 was the best subsonic fighter ever fielded.

Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star September 16, 2019 at 2:37 pm

An overlooked battle :

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

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Northern Star September 16, 2019 at 2:55 pm
Wow Learn something new..at least to some!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/PlJOvUCrN30?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

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Patient Observer September 20, 2019 at 4:10 am
Interesting and new to me as well. I do recall reading several articles that the Mig 15 was a huge leap in military technology and the Mig 17 was the best subsonic fighter ever fielded.
Moscow Exile September 20, 2019 at 4:26 am
Fancy a flight down MiG Alley , chaps?

The MiG Alley battles produced many fighter aces. The top aces were Russian. Nikolay Sutyagin claimed 21 kills, including nine F-86s, one F-84 and one Gloster Meteor in less than seven months. His first kill was the F-86A of Robert H. Laier on 19 June 1951 (listed by the Americans as missing in action), and his last was on 11 January 1952, when he shot down and killed Thiel M. Reeves, who was flying an F-86E (Reeves is also listed as MIA). Other famous Soviet aces include Yevgeni G. Pepelyayev, who was credited with 19 kills, and Lev Kirilovich Shchukin, who was credited with 17 kills, despite being shot down twice himself.

During the Korean War, NATO Allies wanted so badly to examine a MiG at close quarters that they offered a US$100,000 reward for any pilot who would defect and bring his MiG-15 with him. When a North Korean pilot, Lt. Ro Kun Suk, did defect in September of 1953, he was not aware of the reward, but was given it anyway.

Source: MiG-15

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Patient Observer September 20, 2019 at 5:51 pm
I had heard that the Mig 17 was deliberately kept out of the war as it would have decimated the US Air Force forcing them to do something really stupid like drop a nuke. Could be an urban legend.

[Sep 23, 2019] Why can't the US learn from its foreign policy failures?

Because they are foreign policy failure. All of them were huge wins for MIC, which controls the USA foreign policy
Sep 23, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , September 22, 2019 at 05:05 PM

Why can't the US learn from its foreign policy failures?
https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2019/09/22/why-can-learn-from-its-foreign-policy-failures/QSyAglf85iK9XuGT1RKK1J/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

H.D.S. Greenway - September 22

After more than 17 years of the United States pouring blood and treasure into the effort to build an Afghan army and government, why is it that the Kabul government continues to lose ground against the Taliban? Further, why were we unsuccessful creating an Iraqi army that could stand on its own against the Islamic State?

Before that, of course, came Vietnam.

Nor was that the start of the failure of American-backed armies. I was a teenager in 1949 when Chiang Kai-shek's American-backed Nationalist army lost to the Communist forces of Mao Zedong in China. The American secretary of state, Dean Acheson, having conducted a study on why our side lost, declared: "The Nationalist armies did not have to be defeated; they disintegrated. History has proved again and again that a regime without faith in itself, and an army without morale, cannot survive the test of battle."

Forty-four years ago, the American-trained and American-supplied army of South Vietnam simply melted away before the less-well-equipped but better-motivated army of North Vietnam. In 1975, I watched South Vietnamese soldiers taking off their uniforms and running away in their underwear as the North Vietnamese closed in on Saigon.

Five years ago, the world watched another American-trained and American-equipped Iraqi army bolt and run when the better motivated Islamic State forces overran Mosul in Northern Iraq.

Why, over and over again, does the side America has backed in these civil wars end up defeated? Four threads connect these lost wars of the last 70 years: corruption, patriotic nationalism, a misplaced belief in American exceptionalism, and self-deception.

I saw corruption on a grand scale in Saigon. Generals and government officials were funneling America's tax dollars into bank accounts abroad, fielding ghost armies in which there were fewer soldiers on the ground than on the official payrolls. In Baghdad during the American occupation, I learned that billions of American taxpayer dollars were bleeding out to the Persian Gulf and Jordan, causing a laundered money real estate boom in the Jordanian capital. In Afghanistan I learned that Afghan officers and soldiers routinely robbed the villages they were sent to protect. Corruption sapped the people's belief in their US-backed government in all four wars. Soldiers saw no reason to die for corrupt officials.

A second thread is that our side always appeared to be fighting on the side of foreigners, while the Communists in China and Vietnam, as well as the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, always had a better grip on patriotic nationalism and resistance to foreigners. The anti-colonial struggle was more important than the threat of Communism in most of the post-World War II world, and the Islamist insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan knew how to exploit the traditional resistance to foreign rule. The Taliban could appeal to patriotism while trying to expel the infidel forces of the United States, just as their fathers, grandfathers, and great grandfathers had resisted the Russians and the British before that in the name of jihad.

A third thread is a curiously American trait of willfully ignoring other people's history and cultures. I remember asking an American officer in Vietnam if he had read anything of the French experience in Vietnam. His answer: "No, why should I? They lost, didn't they?" Robert McNamara, defense secretary and an architect of our Vietnam War, said in later life that Americans had never understood the Vietnamese. There were plenty of people who could have helped him understand, but he wasn't interested. We were Americans -- exceptional, and therefore not susceptible to the same forces that thwarted other efforts.

I met Americans in the Green Zone in Baghdad who knew nothing about the great schism between Sunnis and Shia Muslims that was tearing the country apart. American-style democracy was the answer to all ills, they felt. In Afghanistan I met Americans who thought purple ink on the fingers of Afghans who had voted was the answer to a thousand years of tribal and ethnic rivalries.

The fourth thread is self-deception. In Saigon, in Baghdad, and in Kabul I attended briefings in which progress was always being made, the trend lines were always favorable, and we were always winning wars we were actually losing. Wishful thinking is no substitute for reality. Americans can train and assist the armies of those whom we want to support in the civil wars of others, but we cannot supply the motivation and morale that is necessary to survive the test of battle.

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , September 22, 2019 at 05:09 PM
Related:

The 'forever war' that began on 9/11
https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2019/09/10/the-forever-war-that-began/ONoP7zmI9uaxiBD3clIkDL/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

Stephen Kinzer - September 10

As we observe another anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack that shattered American life 18 years ago, its full impact is still unfolding. Those who planned it succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. The airborne assaults that took nearly 3,000 lives on that day may now be seen as the most diabolically successful terror attack in history. That attack not only wreaked carnage at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in rural Pennsylvania. It wound up dragging the United States into an endless state of war that has drained our treasury, poisoned our politics, created waves of new terrorism, and made us the enemy of millions around the world.

The apparent chief perpetrator of the 9/11 attack, Osama bin Laden, presumably cackled with joy when he heard news of his success on that stunning day. He lived for another 10 years, long enough to cackle with even greater glee at Washington's self-defeating response to the attack. Using the 9/11 attack as a pretext, the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. Bin Laden died knowing that he had lured us into the greatest foreign policy disaster in American history.

It is a truism that our lives are shaped not by what happens to us, but by how we react to what happens to us. The same applies to nations. Devastating as the death toll was on Sept. 11, 2001, it turned out to be only a taste of what was to come. The United States has been at war ever since. Thousands of Americans have died. So have hundreds of thousands of civilians in the Middle East and beyond. This nearly two-decade-long spasm of attacking, bombing, and occupying countries has decisively shaped the United States and its image in the world. Every day that our "forever war" continues is a triumph for bin Laden. So is every wounded veteran who returns home, every newly minted terrorist infuriated by an American attack, every citizen of the world who recoils at what US forces are being sent to do. We did not simply fall into bin Laden's trap, we raced in at full speed. Even now, we show little will to extricate ourselves.

America's determination to strike back with devastating force after 9/11 was understandable given our shared sense of ravaged innocence. We might have launched a concentrated strike against the gang of several hundred criminals whose leaders attacked the United States, and then come home. Instead we have used the 9/11 attack to justify wars and military deployments around the world.

On Sept. 14, 2001, Congress passed an "authorization for the use of military force" against the perpetrators of that week's attack and against their "associated forces." Three presidents have used that authorization to deploy troops across the Middle East and in countries from Kenya to Georgia to the Philippines. Every call for US withdrawal from Afghanistan or Iraq or Syria is met by warnings that ending wars could produce "another 9/11." This has become the paralyzing mantra that prevents us from halting the hydra-headed military campaign we have been waging for 18 years. We also use it to justify atrocities at prisons like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Bin Laden has succeeded even in colonizing our minds.

Soon after passing its highly elastic authorization for military action against "associated forces," Congress approved another, even more sweeping law: the Patriot Act. It gave the government broad new power to monitor people and businesses, and has become a foundation stone of our emerging "surveillance state." The 9/11 attack led us to distort not only our approach to the world, but also the balance between freedom and security at home.

Another pernicious aftereffect of the terror attack has been the deepening of our national us-against-them narrative. This began with President George W. Bush's assertion that every country in the world had to be "either with us or against us." Crusader rhetoric posits the United States as the indispensable guardian of civilization, entitled to act as it chooses in order to fend off a threatening tide of barbarism. Now this approach has leaked back into the United States. Racist attacks that tear at our social fabric are the domestic reflection of foreign policies that see the rest of the world as a hostile "other" bent on destroying our way of life.

Last month it was announced that the five surviving alleged plotters of the 9/11 attack will finally be brought to trial in 2021. If they are aware of what is happening in the world, they will arrive in court with a deep sense of satisfaction. Their great triumph was not the attack. It was the damage the United States has since inflicted upon itself.

ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , September 22, 2019 at 05:28 PM
Acheson is parroting Napoleon: "In war the moral is to the material as 3 is to 1."

He is wrong in the matter of "faith", unless the Chiang's army lost faith in Chiang's moral poverty, what he stood for.

A better quote about Chiang losing is written by George C. Marshall, who went over and came back sure Chiang was done for.

He said: "The US would not be dragged through the mud by those reactionaries". Meaning Chiang was not the moral power in China.

Same for Vietnam US puppets were not and had no moral power/authority.

In Afghanistan same!

Iraq is split in moral authority, the areas populated by Shi'a are okay as long as the central government does not pander to the Sunni 1/3 (Baathists were suppressing Shi'a).

I do not agree with quoting Acheson when there is plenty of professional soldier writings that say it more clearly.

After Korea the professional soldiers were no longer expressive when it cme to propping thugs, with no moral power in their own borders (granted many of the borders surround fictional counties).

US has stood with thugs for most of its quagmire experience.......

This week US is looking for a way to start a new quagmire with Iran for royal murderers' sharing their oil company!

[Sep 23, 2019] Israel has the means, plus the motive (Bib's reelection), and might have taken the opportunity to attribute the attack to Iran and force Trump's hand.

Sep 23, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH -> JohnH... , September 16, 2019 at 11:58 AM

"The Israeli military is armed with the latest fast jets and precision weaponry, yet it has turned to its fleet of drones to hit targets in Iraq. Deniability has played a big factor – the ability of drones to elude radar and therefore keep targets guessing about who actually bombed them is playing well for Israeli leaders who are trying to prevent an increasingly lethal shadow war with Iran from developing into an open conflict."

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/16/middle-east-drones-signal-end-to-era-of-fast-jet-air-supremacy

Israel has the means, plus the motive (Bib's reelection), and might have taken the opportunity to attribute the attack to Iran and force Trump's hand.

JohnH -> Paine ... , September 17, 2019 at 01:34 PM
Right! If you get into the cui bono game, the list is pretty long including US shale oil companies.

Russia, too. I'm surprised that the 'Russia dun it crowd' (Team Pelosi) hasn't blamed it all on Putin. I mean, isn't everything bad that happened since Nov. 2016 Putin's fault.

But now it would appear that Iran is the villain du jour. Maybe they'll even get blamed for Trump's reelection next year!

JohnH -> JohnH... , September 17, 2019 at 01:42 PM
In terms of cui bono, you can group Wall Street investors and banksters in with shale oil companies they desperately need the shale oil companies to finally start generating some profits. What better way than to knock out shal oil's biggest competitor?

But, as I said, Iran has become the villain du jour, even though they have the deterrent capability of closing the Strait of Hormuz and taking most ME oil off line. To hear the neocons, even that deterrence is not enough to dissuade them from a war on Israel's behalf. To them war is certainly preferable to trying to make room for Iranian sovereignty and assure the flow of ME oil to world markets.

ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , September 16, 2019 at 11:53 AM
if Saudi deliveries are not up and

running by Wednesday Riyadh time,

someone ampin' up crude oil futures!

Or the Brits and Americans

working for ARAMCO not qualified.

which flows to the quality of

strategic management in the oil cabal

defended by $350B a year of

pentagon trough fillin'

an PRC service company

should be called in

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to ilsm... , September 16, 2019 at 07:43 PM
Could this be the sort of false-flag
op where explosives are planted by
non-foreign operators to make a lot of
smoke and minimal real damage, and make
it look like the work of 'enemy missiles',
sort of like the 'Wag The Dog' plot. It
might be well worth it to Certain Parties
to even do a modest amount of real damage.
Paine -> ilsm... , September 17, 2019 at 10:07 AM
Short run oil markets are spec controlled

Takes weeks to sort out real flow impacts
By then house of Saud busters will be ready for another attack


My guess the hole in Saud House's crotch
is not uncle fixable
In less then a years time

Paine -> Paine ... , September 17, 2019 at 10:08 AM
Of course my sources are all
traitors pinkos and goblins
Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , September 19, 2019 at 08:10 AM
Iran's Foreign Minister Vows 'All-Out War'
if US or Saudis Strike https://nyti.ms/2AxMgFi
NYT - Richard Pérez-Peña - September 19

A military strike against Iran by the United States or Saudi Arabia would result in "an all-out war," Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said on Thursday, repeating his government's denial of responsibility for an attack last week that damaged Saudi oil facilities.

The Houthi rebel faction in Yemen -- supported by Iran in its fight against a Saudi-led coalition -- claimed responsibility for the Saturday attack. But Saudi and American officials blamed Iran, raising the threat of military retaliation. But so far it is not clear how they will react.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of carrying out an "act of war" with the aerial attacks, but President Trump has appeared reluctant to order a military strike. ...

----

Trump's National Security Aides to Meet on
Possible Iran Options https://nyti.ms/2QgO2pa
NYT - Eric Schmitt - September 19

WASHINGTON -- Senior national security officials from across the government are scheduled to meet Thursday to refine a list of potential targets to strike in Iran, should President Trump order a military retaliation for missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil fields last weekend, officials said.

Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are to present the updated options to Mr. Trump at a National Security Council meeting scheduled for Friday, a senior American official said.

In advance of being presented with the newest set of options, Mr. Trump has sent different signals on his intentions. He has threatened to order "the ultimate option" of a strike on Iran to punish the nation for its behavior, but also has made clear his continued opposition to ordering the United States into another war in the Middle East.

The Pentagon is advocating military strikes that one senior official described as at the lower end of options. The official said that any retaliation could focus on more clandestine operations -- actions that military planners predict would not prompt an escalation by Iran. ...

[Sep 23, 2019] The Russian Foreign Ministry issued an immediate response to the new US measures against Iran for the Yemen attack of Saudy oil stabilization plant denouncing them as "illegitimate

Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star September 21, 2019 at 10:39 am

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/21/iran-s21.html

"The Russian Foreign Ministry issued an immediate response to the new US measures denouncing them as "illegitimate."

"This will not affect our approaches to Iran," said Zamir Kabulov, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry Second Asian Department. "As we planned, we will continue to cooperate with Iran in the banking sector. This will have no effect [on Moscow's position] "

While Beijing, which counts Saudi Arabia as its second-largest source of oil imports, was somewhat more circumspect, it is highly unlikely that any new measures will affect its own ties to Iran. China accounts for half of Iran's sharply reduced oil exports, and Beijing and Tehran this month signed $400 billion worth of deals connected to Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of which Iran is a key component.

The sanctions imposed by the Trump administration after ripping up the nuclear agreement in May 2018 amount to an economic blockade, tantamount to a state of war. They have led to shortages of food and medicines, leaving cancer patients to die."

"Tehran has vehemently denied these accusations. The Houthi rebels, who control the bulk of Yemen, claimed responsibility, declaring the attacks an act of self-defense against the murderous US-backed war that the Saudi monarchy has waged against Yemen for nearly four-and-a-half years, killing nearly 100,000 Yemenis and driving 8 million more to the brink of starvation."

"The cost of the Patriot missile defense systems run into the billions while the price of each missile that they fire is estimated at $5 million. This massively expensive weaponry proved useless in countering drones costing a few thousand dollars that devastated the world's largest oil refining facility."

"useless in countering drones"

So why deploy more of the "useless" system???

Northern Star September 21, 2019 at 10:48 am
First rate article on this American Hero
https://www.wsws.org/asset/94b5c752-08cc-440c-83ca-9e358d9423ff?rendition=image320

The comments
"Authoritarian Western governments like the US, the UK, and Sweden preach an enlightened, exalted rhetorical reverence for "the rule of law" and absolute dedication to "justice", civil rights and due process. Meanwhile, whenever it serves their interests, their actions are heinously and ruthlessly tyrannical, brutal, hypocritical, and capricious.
As we have seen over and over with Julian Assange, governments and their ministers of (ostensible) justice will simply run roughshod over any technicalities and niceties that ordinarily compel the release of incarcerated persons."

and their links are also spot on:
e.g.
https://qz.com/1655268/us-military-is-a-bigger-polluter-than-140-countries-combined/

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/21/pers-s21.html

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[Sep 23, 2019] Pepe Escoabar (via Saker) has an interesting take on the Houthis capabilities and potential. He suggests that they could destabilize Saudi Arabia via a lightning grab of Mecca and an uprising of Shia in the eastern provinces

Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Patient Observer September 19, 2019 at 4:40 pm

Pepe Escoabar (via Saker) has an interesting take on the Houthis capabilities and potential. He suggests that they could destabilize Saudi Arabia via a lightning grab of Mecca and an uprising of Shia in the eastern provinces. The recent successful drone attacks certainly must have brought a smile to the Shia in that region and shown the ineptness of the Saudi military and their US backers.

It is amusing to watch the US squirm over the failure of its radars and missile systems to detect the attack. Also, if there any doubt, it was clearly the Houthis's handiwork likely with help from Hezbollah. There was a good story on the drone's technical capabilities which IIRC, carries a 100 pound warhead, flies at about 120 miles per hour and has a 1,000 mile range approximately. Presumably, it uses GPS for guidance. Here is the link to the Escobar story:

https://thesaker.is/how-the-houthis-overturned-the-chessboard/

Jennifer Hor September 20, 2019 at 1:32 pm
Mecca and the Red Sea port city of Jeddah are well within the range of drone and missile strikes by the Houthis. They are not much farther away from the Yemeni border than Abqaiq is. The Abqaiq attack serves as a warning to Riyadh of how vulnerable Mecca and Jeddah are, and that warning could even have been the original intention of the attack.

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davidt September 20, 2019 at 2:46 pm
I notice that Andrei Martyanov says that the Patriot systems have blind zones since they are restricted to operate 7 degrees above the horizontal. According to Martyanov, this is in contrast to the Russian S-series AD systems where missiles are launched vertically and then take "a ride on the beam" towards the target. (This seems to explain the launch pattern of these missiles where they are "popped" out vertically, whence their engines ignite sending the missile off, (often) very low and flat towards their targets.
http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2019/09/why-would-you-ask.html
From what Martyanov writes, it would seem that the US stuff has very serious design flaws.

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Mark Chapman September 20, 2019 at 6:25 pm
Contrast what the public is told with what the government is told.

http://www.turnerhome.org/jct/patriot.html

From 100% hit probability down to 9%.

You would think having so much smoke blown up one's ass would be a cancer risk.

[Sep 23, 2019] CrossTalk on the drone strike!

Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star September 18, 2019 at 2:58 pm

Stooges should definitely watch this CrossTalk on the drone strike!!!!!
As the kids say: "It's On"

https://www.youtube.com/embed/joECbBFM3gE?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

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yalensis September 19, 2019 at 3:24 pm
Thanks for posting, I LOVED this episode of Crosstalk, because it was so contentious.
That delicious catfight between the "Arab" and the "Persian".
Arab guy clearly a vicious moron.
Persian guy seemed rational and logical compared to Arab guy, and then he goes on that delicious rant about "What we will do to you, fucking Saudis, if you attack us!"
And not only Saudi Arabia will descend into Dante's hell, but AmeriKKKa too!

Chill goes down my spine, Viva Persia!

Mark Chapman September 19, 2019 at 4:11 pm
In complete fairness, though, Peter does simply talk over panelists he doesn't like until they have to stop talking, because listeners can't make sense of two people talking loudly at the same time. CrossTalk has its own politics, and the Arab was never going to get equal time or have his viewpoints uncritically aired. He should have been allowed the same courtesy everyone else was. I disagree strongly with what he was saying, but the immediate rejection of his views and shouting him down did absolutely nothing to make the Kingdom look like the party in the wrong.

[Sep 23, 2019] Washington now claims cruise missiles were involved as well as drones. What bullshit. (a) An enemy who was able to strike the Saudi oil fields with cruise missiles sent over drones as well? (b) The Saudis had 50% of their damaged capacity back online in only a day, driving the oil price spike back down?

Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman September 18, 2019 at 3:55 pm

Washington now claims cruise missiles were involved as well as drones. What bullshit. (a) An enemy who was able to strike the Saudi oil fields with cruise missiles sent over drones as well? (b) The Saudis had 50% of their damaged capacity back online in only a day, driving the oil price spike back down? After a cruise-missile strike? Did they carry a warhead the size of an orange? The Saudi oil fields are defenseless against a cruise-missile attack?

https://www.theledger.com/news/20190918/saudi-arabia-says-iran-cruise-missiles-drones-attacked-oil-sites

et Al September 19, 2019 at 11:23 am
It's hard to say because some stuff is clearly being held back from public scrutiny. We don't even know which weapons were fired at what targets.

My only thoughts about the domes is that they only need to be punctured by a high speed delayed incendiary. If it is a weight trade off for range fuel v. warhead, then range wins if popping a hole and igniting the gas is the aim. I don't know enough about the other targets.

As others have pointed out, what is the intent behind these attacks? Is it an 'act of war', a 'warning shot' or other? There are games within games and bluffs within bluffs being played here.

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et Al September 19, 2019 at 12:31 pm
Via Moon of Alabama
Michael Duitsman @DuitsyWasHere

You know who I feel sorry for in Saudi Arabia right now? The Air Defense Forces officer in charge of the short range air defenses at the Abqaiq oil facility. He'll be lucky to get out of this with his life.

Mark Chapman September 19, 2019 at 3:37 pm
On the one hand, elements within the USA want war with Iran really, really badly. Of slightly greater value, though, is the opportunity to portray Trump as weak and dithering because he hesitates to commit to it. But usually if Washington claims to have 'evidence it cannot reveal publicly' , that's because it is making it up. When it makes up evidence which it claims clearly demonstrates this or that, it always has a reason. I'm not sure yet what it is, but the USA is very serious about putting Iran in the frame for it. They may have had something to do with it, but like the so-convenient 'chemical attacks' in Syria. Iran would have been beyond foolish to do something like that right now, while their attitude suggests if they had done it, they'd be quite happy to own it.

[Sep 23, 2019] MOA suggests that the US has become stuck in the mindset that it will be always on the offense thus has no need for a real defensive capability. That sort of worked with Iraq and Grenada but against a country that can hit back, not so much.

Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Patient Observer September 17, 2019 at 4:34 pm

It was a mystery to me how cruise missiles, drones or whatever could have evaded detection, much less engagement, by US-supplied air defense systems. Per MOA, it was easy – US systems such as the Patriot stare in one direction.

The PAC-2 and PAC-3 systems are sector defenses as their radars do not rotate. They can only see an arc of 120°. In the case of the Saudis those radars only look towards the east to Iran whcih is the most likely axis of attack. That left the crude oil processing plant in Abqaiq completely unprotected against attacks from any other direction. Neither Saudi Arabia nor the U.S. know from where the attack really came.

The foregoing explains why the US is unsure where the missiles originated despite the knee-jerk braying by Pompeo. Moreover, it be be assumed that US Navy ships in the Gulf certainly were scanning the skies yet apparently detected nothing from Iran. So it really does look like the missiles originated from Yemen way.

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Mark Chapman September 17, 2019 at 4:55 pm
I'd be careful about blaming Iran, in view of the allegation that the US-supplied air defenses are focused in that direction and apparently did not even see the attack coming. It also casts doubt on American bellowing that they have loads of new evidence that Iran was responsible. If they had, why didn't they try to stop it?

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Jen September 17, 2019 at 5:06 pm
What I find really amazing in that paragraph quoted from MoA is that these radars have such a limited capability in surveying the skies. A 120° arc is about the same as the vision span / field of view of one human eye. Two eyes working together increase the span to 210° or just over. How is it that current US radar defence technology development can't produce a system of radars so that each can rotate at least 180° and can be paired with another radar to provide a full 360° range of surveillance?

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

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Patient Observer September 17, 2019 at 5:37 pm
MOA suggests that the US has become stuck in the mindset that it will be always on the offense thus has no need for a real defensive capability. That sort of worked with Iraq and Grenada but against a country that can hit back, not so much. That profoundly inept piece of junk Patriot missile system is proof positive.

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davidt September 18, 2019 at 6:07 pm
I am not sure that stupidity is ever amazing- after all, it is very easy to do stupid things. (Think Singapore, 1941) In all this, what took me a long time to accept is how technologically advanced the Russian missile technology is- for example, it seems that frequent swarm attacks by drones on the Russian air base at all been destroyed. Many decades of research have clearly gone into the development of this technology. I suspect that the key to this development was the strategic decision made by the Soviets back in the 70's to develop missiles to destroy US carrier groups. Over a long period of time their missiles became supersonic, and eventually the manoeuvrable hypersonic missiles that they have today. Putin seems very confident that it will take many years for the US to catch up. He might be right: "even 9 women cannot produce a baby within a month".

[Sep 23, 2019] Pretty sure you in particular will get a chuckle out of these comments from the wsws article

Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star September 17, 2019 at 3:42 pm

@PO .Pretty sure you in particular will get a chuckle out of these comments from the wsws article
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/17/pers-s17.html

Kalen • 16 hours ago
There is no doubt that growing global tensions provocative rhetoric, erratic reckless behavior of leadership , irrationality in global diplomatic , political or economic relations permeating official propaganda narratives serve overall purpose of stoking nationalism as counteroffensive to exploding class struggle worldwide.

In case of Saudis though it is all about destabilization of outdated medieval regime by US and Israel via enticing trained in cruelty MbS to unnecessary useless and most of all un-winnable Yemen war that in fact presents existential threat to the very existence of Saudi puppet regime itself.

It is likely that Saudis regime will be at some point swept from power in the name of progressive .. nationalism in fact fascism one way or another via sort of Arab color revolution, as this medieval circus of flaccid clowns is too easy target for socialist revolution.

In fact Saudi Arabia is ironically the prime place with required conditions for socialist revolution to erupt not only because class division is so sharp and visible even embedded into state law but also because working class there is truly international from Philippines, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and entire MENA and level of their exploitation is horrific practically amounts to slavery.

The fragility of Saudi regime was clearly shown by this attack on practically unprotected critical oil infrastructure from low intensity warfare threat Saudi are engaged in fact by proxy in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere, while spending $billions on useless junk that in fact does not work at all as Houti ballistic missile attacks proved as while Soviet era shor range ballistic missile missed the targets most of damage was done by falling patriot II missiles falling down after missing their targets.

And hence Saudis and Turkey long wanted to buy Russian air defense systems already bought by China, India and others triggering US sanctions against companies and individuals involved.

US Empire is already a technical and scientific failure founded on fraud in military area as well.

The question if quite primitive Houti forces were possibly able to pull of such attack of about twenty armed drones (claimed by Houties 1500 km range) must be answered yes, with recent technical support of Iranians (after reimposition of embargo) and local spotters/controllers on the ground.

The similar swarm drone attacks was pulled by AQ terrorist affiliated forces (with US training) several times against Russian Air and Navy base in Syria all unsuccessfully mostly due to Russia electronic warfare capability and Panzir 2 system purposefully designed to defend from drone swarm attacks.

The rather meek and balanced response of markets and politicians so far to this on its face conditions imminent regional war involving nuclear powers tells me that there is no real intention so far to start a war not because of better angel of ruling elites nature but because they do not yet feel directly threatened by socialist revolution.

For them much valuable counterrevolutionary tool is inspiring nationalism simple threat of war rather than war itself as it always unleashing law of unforeseen consequences and fuels real political instability potentially threatening their own empires of domination.

Best way to prevent war is not defending national elites but engaging in international socialist revolution.

jplotinus Kalen • 12 hours ago
In my view, the fact that Saudi Arabia's air defense system was unable to thwart an attack on major oil infrastructure is quite damning and worthy of being the leading element of this incident. However, as the Saudis have bought and paid for the very expensive but apparently ineffective Patriot air defense system means that as little coverage as possible of this aspect of the story will likely ensue in mainstream media.

I've noticed Putin has publicly offered to sell Saudi Arabia Russia's S-300 and S-400 air defense systems. Hmmm

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Patient Observer September 17, 2019 at 5:50 pm
There will be no major war against Iran. The US will continue to try to strangle Iran but success is becoming increasingly unlikely.

If there were to be a serious attack on Iran and Iran responded with its full capacity, KSA could kiss its ass goodby. Desalination facilities would be targeted, oil infrastructure would be destroyed including pipelines and loading facilities and power plants knocked out all by missiles, US warships in the Gulf would be in dire straits as well. Yes, a social revolution could then take place. I do wonder about the UAE. I hear that they are distancing themselves from the Saudis lately.

[Sep 23, 2019] The barbaric war waged by Saudi Arabia on Yemen, with US military assistance, has been all but omitted from the media coverage of the drone strikes.

Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star September 16, 2019 at 1:48 pm

More on the drone strike on KSA oil production facilities.

https://www.checkpointasia.net/surgical-strike-attack-on-saudi-oil-plant-was-incredibly-well-executed/

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Mark Chapman September 16, 2019 at 11:17 pm
Oh, well, then; speculation over. It was Iran. Nobody else could have executed it incredibly well.

Like Liked by 1 person

Northern Star September 17, 2019 at 3:36 pm
The article and the comments..Absolute must read!!! (IMO)

e.g.
"Whatever the exact circumstances of the attacks on the Saudi oil facilities, they are being exploited for the purpose of dragging the American people and all of humanity into a war that can rapidly escalate into a regionwide and even global conflagration.

US strikes against Iran carried out under the pretext of retaliation for the attacks on Saudi Arabia can trigger Iranian counterstrikes, sending US warships to the bottom of the Persian Gulf and wreaking havoc on American military bases throughout the region.

The prospect of thousands of US soldiers and sailors dying as a result of Washington's conspiracies and aggression carries with it the threat of the US government assuming emergency powers and implementing police-state measures in the US itself in the name of "national security."

This would, by no means, be an unintended consequence. The buildup to war is driven in large measure by the escalation of social tensions and class struggle within the United States itself, which has found fresh expression in the strike by 46,000 autoworkers against General Motors. "
OR

"Charlotte Ruse • 12 hours ago
"If there is, as Washington claims, "no evidence' that the attacks were launched from Yemen, one could, with equal if not greater justification, observe that there is likewise "no evidence' that they were not launched by the US itself, or by its principal regional ally, Israel.

If one proceeds from the age-old detective maxim of Cui bono? or Who benefits? Tehran is the least likely suspect. There is clearly more to Washington's rush to judgment than meets the eye."

Yes, Cui bono–who benefited most by this attack–all the usual neoconservative warmongers who've been biting at the chomp for decades to go to War with Iran–the "non-interventionist buffoon" may grant them their wish.

And undoubtedly, the usual Wall Street scum secured a financial "killing" as "Oil prices rose 10 percent on Monday.

I think Tulsi Gabbard's tweet perfectly sums up who's in-charge of US foreign policy:
"Trump awaits instructions from his Saudi masters. Having our country act as Saudi Arabia's bitch is not "America First."
https://twitter.com/realDon

https://www.nytimes.com/201

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/17/pers-s17.html

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Jen September 17, 2019 at 4:00 pm
Iran having carried out the attack on the Abqaiq facilities from a southwest direction (when it is to the northeast of the area of the attack) was a stunning achievement. How could Saudi defences, aided by US satellites – and Israeli defences for that matter – have possibly missed the Iranian drones or missiles as they circled around the entire Middle Eastern region without being shot down before hitting those oil storage tanks?

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Northern Star September 16, 2019 at 1:59 pm
"The barbaric war waged by Saudi Arabia on Yemen, with US military assistance, has been all but omitted from the media coverage of the drone strikes. Since 2015, Saudi-led air strikes on towns and cities in Houthi-held areas have killed tens of thousands of civilians, while leaving 80 percent of the population in need of food aid and several million on the brink of starvation.
Saudi war planes, armed with US and British bombs and provided with targeting information by US officers based in Saudi Arabia, have carried out repeated attacks on civilian targets, including schools, hospitals, residential areas, mosques and markets. Up to the end of last year, the US also provided mid-air refueling for the Saudi-led onslaught.
Saudi Arabia has a huge military budget. Last year it ranked as the world's third highest spender on military equipment, splurging for an estimated $67.6 billion. The ability of the Houthi rebels to penetrate Saudi defences and strike crucial oil infrastructure has heightened fears of further attacks."

(comment)
"Ric Size
The Trump administration & entire US political establishment must line-up behind the narrative that Iran is responsible for this devastating drone strike. As noted in this excellent article, Saudi Arabia now spends ~$68 billion annually on its military, and most of this comes in the form of sophisticated weaponry from the US. But these expensive instruments-of-death were unable to stop a coordinated drone attack from Yemeni rebels. This calls into question the usefulness of Saudi Arabia-US alliance, and the sustainability of the global petrodollar market.
A scapegoat is needed, and quickly. Look for an all-out war drive in the media, against Iran, as a cover-up to this disaster. Gasoline prices will rise by at least a dollar a gallon within a month, which is another embarrassment for political leaders during an election cycle, and an added expense for workers who commute by vehicle."

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/09/16/saud-s16.html

[Sep 23, 2019] Ukrainian fatigue

Notable quotes:
"... The head of the White House, Donald Trump, declared that American policy towards the Ukraine was senseless of and added that Moscow should be a friend of Washington, and that no one cared about the Ukrainians. The day before, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid said that the European Union was experiencing fatigue from the Ukraine. ..."
Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile September 21, 2019 at 1:43 am

The head of the White House, Donald Trump, declared that American policy towards the Ukraine was senseless of and added that Moscow should be a friend of Washington, and that no one cared about the Ukrainians. The day before, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid said that the European Union was experiencing fatigue from the Ukraine.

Source

Media: Trump considers senseless US actions in Ukraine
9/21/2019, 9:29:23 AM

US President Donald Trump considers US actions in the Ukraine senseless, which actions at the same time aggravate relations with Russia, The Washington Post reports, citing a former senior White House official.

According to the newspaper interlocutor, the president takes the position that "Russians should be our friends".

"What we do in the Ukraine is pointless and annoying Russia", he said, describing the president's opinion.

Earlier, former US Vice President Joe Biden called on Trump to publish a transcript of a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

So there you have it!

Trump is a Kremlin Stooge.

[Sep 23, 2019] Kiev Accepts "Steinmeier Formula" For Peace In Donbass

Notable quotes:
"... Ukraine have never kept to the ceasefire and have been destroying settlements -- once they get control of the border – Donbass is finished. ..."
"... You mention the killing in Mariupol. The assassinations will continue and the people of Donbass will be made to pay. ..."
"... Five years has shown that real hatred has been unleashed – this is not going to go away. ..."
"... the Steinmeir formula is a con to hasten the end of Donbass. This was the guy who signed the agreement with Yanukovich on early elections etc and then stood back when he was overthrown. ..."
"... I also agree. This is a trap. No treaty should be signed unless DPR/LPR are guaranteed to control the border with Russia. ..."
"... The best defense against that would be the vote, which must take place first and under OSCE supervision, without Ukrainian meddling or coercion. If the vote indicated that a majority wants to return to Kiev's control, then that's what should happen. But I don't see it going that way. ..."
Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile September 19, 2019 at 10:46 pm

Kiev Accepts "Steinmeier Formula" For Peace In Donbass

So Volker can shut his gob and go back to where he came from.

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James lake September 19, 2019 at 11:12 pm
Major issue with this formula is "The transfer of the border"

Ukraine have never kept to the ceasefire and have been destroying settlements -- once they get control of the border – Donbass is finished.

You mention the killing in Mariupol. The assassinations will continue and the people of Donbass will be made to pay.

Five years has shown that real hatred has been unleashed – this is not going to go away.

Germany in my view plays a double game – they want this to happen – the Steinmeir formula is a con to hasten the end of Donbass. This was the guy who signed the agreement with Yanukovich on early elections etc and then stood back when he was overthrown.

Moscow Exile September 19, 2019 at 11:58 pm
I agree. The filth will swarm into the Donbass from Galitsia as soon as an agreement has been made and the killings will then begin.

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yalensis September 20, 2019 at 1:37 pm
I also agree. This is a trap. No treaty should be signed unless DPR/LPR are guaranteed to control the border with Russia.

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Mark Chapman September 20, 2019 at 3:28 pm
We'll see. According to the Minsk Agreement, the elections and the autonomous status were supposed to be settled before the border was returned to Ukrainian control. That has always been an issue for Kuh-yiv. It wants to be trusted to have control over the Donbas before the other elements are fulfilled. But as His Nibs Shaun Of The Dead Walker has pointed out before now, 'the border' in that region is largely an illusion, and checkpoints are for those who have to travel by road. Military units, especially heavy armor, do not.

I think what is most likely to happen is little troublesome uprisings across a broad front, initiated by Azov Battalion and other Ukie militias and making use of 'loyal' Ukrainians in Donbas and Lugansk.

This would create a governance problem for the regions, and be portrayed in the western press as an earnest desire among the inhabitants to return to Ukraine, 'now that the Russians have gone'.

The best defense against that would be the vote, which must take place first and under OSCE supervision, without Ukrainian meddling or coercion. If the vote indicated that a majority wants to return to Kiev's control, then that's what should happen. But I don't see it going that way.

Moscow Exile September 20, 2019 at 12:02 am
But what of the Russian army that has supposedly been entrenched in the Donbass these past few years?

Surely, the Russian Army will not allow this ethnic cleansing to happen, for that surely is what will happen, albeit "ethnic" is not the right word, even though the brain-dead Nazi "true Slavs" from the West believe it is.

Moscow Exile September 20, 2019 at 12:40 am
And if it comes to the worst, that shite Snyder can add another chapter to his "Bloodlands" -- or would he?
Moscow Exile September 20, 2019 at 3:50 am
Ukraine's Ambassador to Serbia Urged the World to Destroy Russia :
September 20, 2019 Stalker Zone

"Our actions have to become offensive and have the disintegration of the Russian Federation as a conscious ultimate goal. This is the only effective long-term solution that the vast majority of countries will benefit from.

attempts to pacify Russia lead only to the growth of its arrogance, as was was the case with the return of the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Attempts to reach an agreement in a civilised way with the Russian Federation are also doomed to fail, "since such a decision contradicts the main expansionist thinking of the Kremlin regime".

"The Russian Federation, in its present borders and with its present resources, is never capable of becoming a normal civilised state", said the diplomat.

Aleksandrovich emphasises that "ways of disintegrating the Russian Federation don't demand conducting military operations".

The ambassador lists a number of tools via which it is possible to "pacify Russia":

1. personal sanctions against bosses with the freezing of assets and a ban on entrance;
2. tight restrictions for energy, bank, and financial-military and technical sectors;
3. a ban on the sale of modern technologies;
4 .a collapse in oil prices.

"There comes a time when the last evil empire has to fall," summarized the Ukrainian diplomat.

Oh please, not a ban on modern technologies!!!!!!

Brain dead?

Moscow Exile September 20, 2019 at 4:10 am
He's a bit of a shit, is Oleksandr Oleksandrovych, and has upset the Serbs on more than one occasion.

Belgrade outraged at Ukrainian ambassador's stance regarding Russia-Serbia relations

In his recent interview, Oleksandr Oleksandrovych claimed Russia 'uses Serbia to destabilize situation in Western Balkans and thereby destroy Europe'
09:15, 3 November 2017

Ukrainian ambassador's views on Russia-Serbia relations and Russia's role in continental security, all the more expressed publicly, are unacceptable. Ivica Tonchev, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia said this as quoted by Frontnews International, commenting on the statement recently made by the Ukrainian diplomat.

'The main role of ambassadors is to do everything to improve bilateral relations, primarily political and economic, as well as all other forms of cooperation. The Ambassador of Ukraine to Serbia, Oleksandr Oleksandrovych, seems to be constantly forgetting this, since all his activities are reduced to fruitless attempts to break relations between the Republic of Serbia and the Russian Federation. In the latest series of scandalous interviews he gave, he said that the Republic of Serbia does not pursue an independent foreign policy, that is, it is in the hands of Russia, thus destabilizing the entire region of the Western Balkans, thereby 'destroying Europe,' Tonchev said.

He also called on the Ukrainian government to take action on the Ambassador and his unacceptable behavior so that Serbia 'was not forced to make the usual steps in such situations.'

In recent interviews with Serbian media, Ukraine's Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Alexandrovich said that Russia is using Serbia to destabilize the situation in the region, in particular, encouraging separatism in Bosnia and trying to influence Macedonia. The ambassador also mentioned the Serbian mercenaries fighting on the side of the Russian armed formations in Donbas.


Oleksandr Oleksandrovych: he might be better suited to playing Count Dracula in horror movies.

In fact, the ambassador stepped so much out of line in November 2017 that even Rumpleklimkin, then Banderastan Foreign Minister, was forced to call him to hold consultations in Kiev because of his statements to the Serbian media.

At the same time, Ivica Toncev, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, stated that the Ukrainian Ambassador Oleksandr Oleksandrovych's statements concerning Russian influence on Serbia were unacceptable and threatened him with possible consequences in accordance with the Vienna Convention.

Mark Chapman September 20, 2019 at 3:33 pm
Let him sign out a rifle and tin hat, and get to the front.

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Moscow Exile September 20, 2019 at 6:59 am
Meet Anna Novosad: Representative of Ukraine's "New" Liquidation Committee
September 19, 2019 Stalker Zone

Novosad is a graduate of the humanitarian lyceum in Kiev, and in 2011 she ended a bachelor degree at the National University "Kiyevo-Mogilyansky Academy" as a "political scientist". Two years later she received a master's degree in the Dutch Maastricht. She studied in Spain and the Czech Republic, and was a scholar of the Soros fund. In addition, as Novosad wrote on Facebook, she took part in the Ukrainian-Canadian administrative program, within the framework of which she attended a special course ran by the Canadian authorities.

I.e., as we see, Anna Novosad is the classical representative of the new "Ukrainian elite", which was raised and brought up abroad and which already is almost not connected to Ukraine even at the mental level. And the reset of the Ukrainian authorities in the form of "Zelensky's victory" was started to a large extent for the mass invasion of such artificially grown mankurts that are supposed to completely remove people with a Soviet past and any ties (family, friendly, business) with Russia from the country's governance structures.

And they absolutely do not need either knowledge of Ukrainian, knowledge of national history, or understanding of what's admissible. Even intellectual qualities aren't especially required from them, because their task is relaying the will of their masters and to control their implementation.

And Farion doesn't like her because she can't talk the shitkicker Slav dialect as good as she can. In fact, it's debatable whether Novosad can talk Yukie with any competence at all.

Mark Chapman September 20, 2019 at 6:06 pm
Yes, what's the matter with her? Real Ukrainians ride sturdy ponies and wear their hair in the khokol style. Government superiors are referred to as 'Hetman'. And there's a lot of kneeling. The age of machines is an utter betrayal of Kievan ideals.

[Sep 23, 2019] It's Twenty-Fifth Amendment time. Americans need to get this dangerous clown out of office NOW.

Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star September 16, 2019 at 2:29 pm

Fuck Impeachment. It's Twenty -Fifth Amendment time. Americans need to get this dangerous clown out of office NOW.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9Jo8QU2s_5I?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

[Sep 23, 2019] Snowden: "I would like to return to the US"

Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star September 16, 2019 at 1:32 pm

Snowden on CBS this morning worth watching .

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/edward-snowden-wants-to-come-home-but-says-u-s-wont-give-him-a-fair-trial/

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Jen September 16, 2019 at 5:57 pm
Taco Bell, please open an outlet in Moscow or near where Ed Snowden lives to keep him happy and stop him from getting homesick!

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Moscow Exile September 16, 2019 at 10:57 pm
Snowden: "I would like to return to the US"
Mark Chapman September 16, 2019 at 11:06 pm
I don't see how he could have handled it better. He was polite and well-spoken, never flustered or defensive, and the talking heads tumbled over one another in their eagerness to be properly judgmental, to talk over him and recite their own talking points, and ended up looking like buffoons. He will be a tough nut to crack, and so far the American regime has done nothing to convince ordinary people that he is a cowardly traitor. Putting him on television only makes him look more heroic.

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Moscow Exile September 17, 2019 at 1:29 am
Typical Yankee judgementalism:

Snowdon: "Russia has, shall we say, a problematic human rights record -- at a minimum "

Never had no negro slavery, though, did it, Edward?

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Moscow Exile September 17, 2019 at 1:31 am
"That's if we're being generous" ???

Who?

The USA????

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Moscow Exile September 17, 2019 at 1:43 am
And a US "talking" head, in reply to Snowdon's belief that he would not get a fair trial in the USA (a US human rights issue, is that not, Mr.Snowdon?) says that criminals and alleged criminals do not customarily get to determine the terms of their trial: they broke the law and they face the consequences "

Guilty before proven innocent?

Presumption of innocence: an international human right under the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 11.

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Mark Chapman September 17, 2019 at 6:59 am
An excellent point I wish he had immediately made.

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Mark Chapman September 17, 2019 at 7:06 am
Nor, to the best of my recollection, did it have an Abu Ghraib. The United States actually has a pretty shitty human-rights record if you consider it from the viewpoint of how it treas others than Americans, and – going further back – only white Americans. The west always tries to factor in the Holodomor, too, how Russia deliberately starved the Ukrainians to death, as an example of their horrible human rights record.

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yalensis September 17, 2019 at 1:10 pm
I cringed at that one too. But I forgive Edward, because I think he was trying to make a tactical debating point, namely:

I am not a Russia stooge, I have my criticisms of the Russian regime yada yada, and I agree with you talking heads that their human rights record is not well received in the West. And yet they scored a human-rights trifecta when they let me in, when not one single "democracy" would defend me or give me asylum.

In other words, he would concede, for argumentation purposes, that Russia is bad, only to stick it to them that Russia did well by him and scored propaganda points against the West. It's a particular debating tactic, whose Latin name I cannot recall.

Unfortunately, Edward never got to finish his point, because those bitches cut him off before he could even get to the punchline.

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Northern Star September 17, 2019 at 3:18 pm
Ahhh I see you will need more intense beatings at the cultural reeducation camp in consideration of your continued use of the 'negro' word.

However one should ignore Gayle she's a black moron, one of the TV progeny of the uber fat whale 'O'.

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Moscow Exile September 19, 2019 at 8:20 pm
Is it "wrong" to say "negro" now?

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[Sep 22, 2019] Who Launched That Mystery Attack by Eric Margolis

Notable quotes:
"... Margolis also says the KSA's US made air defences "failed" to protect their oil installations. This maybe so. But apart from the fact that their air defences are orientated away from Yemen there's a good chance the defences were turned OFF -- apparently this is common practice in the KSA, esp on weekends. I don't believe that Margolis's "mystery" is anywhere as deep as he suggests. The Houthis have received weapons & training from Iran/Hezbollah & have demonstrated an ability to hit KSA targets with unmanned aerial weapons. ..."
"... Until better evidence appears, I'm willing to give it to the Houthis -- if for no other reason than that they deserve to get in some good licks against that vile "Kingdom" (I'd suggest they next hit the water purification plants that serve Riyadh with all its water – apparently, the city has about 3 days of water stored. Evacuating 6 million from the Capital, the Sauds would be exposed as the corrupt, negligent, incompetent, stupid, vicious frauds we all know they are. ..."
"... These Hawks are under delusional assumption that an American led war against Iran would be a "Cakewalk" ..."
"... What they do know for sure is that the military industrial complex will increase its budget during and after such a war. Follow the money! ..."
Sep 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

Who Launched That Mystery Attack? Eric Margolis September 21, 2019 700 Words 14 Comments Reply Email This Page to Someone
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The Mideast has its own variety of crazy humor. The Saudis have been blasting and bombing wretched Yemen, one of this world's poorest nations, since 2015.

These US-supported attacks and a naval blockade of Yemen imposed by Saudi Arabia and its sidekick ally, the United Arab Emirates, have caused mass starvation. No one knows how many Yemenis have died or are currently starving. Estimates run from 250,000 to one million.

The black humor? The Saudis just claimed they were victims of Iranian `aggression' this past week after the kingdom's leading oil treatment facility at Abqaiq was hit by a flight of armed drones or cruise missiles. The usual American militarists, now led by State Secretary Mike Pompeo after the demented warmonger, John Bolton, was finally fired, are calling for military retaliation against Iran even though the attack was claimed by Yemen's Shia Houthi movement.

This drama came at roughly the same time that Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a close ally of US president Donald Trump, vowed to annex Palestine's entire Jordan Valley if elected. Not a peep of protest came from the US, which recently blessed Netanyahu's annexation of Syria's Golan Heights while scourging Russia's leader, Vladimir Putin, for annexing Crimea – a Russian possession for over 300 years.

I studied US photos of the damaged Saudi oil installations. Its oil tanks appear to be precisely hit at the same place. After the attack, the Saudis claimed half of their oil production was knocked out; but a day later, they vowed production would be resumed within a week. Parts of so-called drones were shown that appeared way beyond the technological capabilities of Yemen or even Iran. The missiles may have been supplied by Ukraine.

The Saudis, like their patron in Washington, have a poor record for truthfulness. Remember the Saudi denials about the murder of journalist and Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi? More important, we have been waiting for more false flag attacks in the Gulf designed to justify a US attack on Iran.

The pattern of so-called drone attacks against the Saudi oil installations is just too neat and symmetrical. The Israelis have a strong interest in promoting a US-Saudi War. The attacks in Saudi came ironically right after the anniversary of 9/11 that plunged the US into war against large parts of the Muslim world.

As a long-time military observer, I find it very hard to believe that drones could be guided over such long distances and so accurately without aircraft or satellites to guide them. In Yemen, which is just creeping into the 12th century, changing a flat tire is a major technological achievement. To date, Iran's missile arsenal has poor reliability and major guidance problems.

Adding to the questions, the Saudis have spent billions on US-made air defense systems. They failed to protect the oil installations. The Saudis would have been better off buying air defenses from the Russians, at a quarter of the US selling price.

ORDER IT NOW

Trump at least showed some wisdom by so far rejecting demands from the neocons that surround him to launch major attacks on Iran. Blasting Iran would not serve much purpose and would expose US forces in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Somalia, and Syria to Iranian guerrilla attacks. Saudi oil installations – after what we saw last week – are vulnerable.

Attacking Iran, even if just from the air, risks a much wider Mideast war just as the Trump administration – which originally campaigned against 'stupid' Mideast wars – faces next year's elections. But the administration is under intense pressure from its pro-Israel base to go after Iran.

Bombing Iran's oil infrastructure would be relatively easy and has been intensively planned since early 2002. But what next? So-called 'regime change' (Washington's favorite euphemism for overthrowing disobedient foreign governments) rarely works as planned and can get the US into horribly messy situations. The CIA overthrew Iran's democratic government in 1953 and look where we are today.

Perhaps the attacks on Abqaiq may cause the reckless Saudi leaders to stop devastating Yemen and throttle back on their proxy war against Iran which has gone on since 1979. But don't count on it.


Alistair , says: September 21, 2019 at 3:16 pm GMT

"WHO LAUNCHED THAT MYSTERY ATTACK? "

The so called "Zionist Hawks" in Israel and Washington, who want to start a war between the USA and Iran.

These Hawks are under delusional assumption that an American led war against Iran would be a "Cakewalk", and that Iranians have no means to defend themselves, will capitulate – these are of course delusional assumptions – only found in disturbed minds of a bunch of Go-Getter Zionist Think-Tanks in Washington, DC who are eager to serve their own tribal interests at the US expense.

The US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, and Iraq in 2003, both are still ongoing – have long proven how delusional are these ridiculous assumptions – Iran will be at least 10 times harder nut to crack than Iraq was under Saddam Hussein – at least not without serious consequences to the security of Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states and the US itself, along with serious ramification to the post WWII international order under the USA; established since 1945.

By now, president Trump knows too well that he is being poorly served by these so called "Zionist Hawks" – who have instigated the US unilateral withdrawal from the Iranian Nuclear Agreement – but thanks to Trump's own instinct, and his close relationship with Emmanuel Macron; Shinzo Abe; and of course Vladimir Putin – so far, Trump has resisted the temptation of going to all out war against Iranians.

President Trump should ban these" Go-Getter Zionist Hawks" from the White House; they are "Disloyal Jews" – who are eager to serve their own tribal interests at the US expense.

Miro23 , says: September 22, 2019 at 12:25 am GMT

Trump at least showed some wisdom by so far rejecting demands from the neocons that surround him to launch major attacks on Iran.

He doesn't want to get involved in another Iraq (or worse) which makes excellent sense for the US and himself on many levels.

However, if the US Deep State (with the Israelis) could set up 9/11 without President Bush in the loop, then they could also arrange a False Flag attack on these oil installations, without Trump's knowledge.

The CIA looks very much like an independent international criminal enterprise, and they're used to working with their Israeli and Saudi friends.

Rabbitnexus , says: September 22, 2019 at 1:42 am GMT
This is a seriously flawed analysis of Yemen's and Iran's actual capabilities. We've already seen Iran's precision strike capability in Iran and Syria and we've seen Yemen's homemade drones and missiles do similar to this at slightly lesser differences. The parts shown by SA are matches to Yemeni made missiles and drones such as Iran has been sharing around with their allies. The reason they avoided the US defences was that they came from a direction these do not cover, being pointed as they are at Iran. I'd say this was a Houthis attack and as they say, more will be coming if the aggression from SA against Yemen does not stop. One thing this attack has done is cool the heels of US, Saudi and Zionist warmongers. The damage done here by relatively small attack and cheap means gives some inkling of what things might look like after an attack on Iran. This was doubtless supported by Iran and as such a masterstroke. We enter a new paradigm.
steinbergfeldwitzcohen , says: September 22, 2019 at 2:34 am GMT
Saudi Arabian oil pipelines have always been vulnerable to attack. They are not well guarded at all. This is well known by Security Experts worldwide but not well known, it would seem, by hack 'journalists'.

Saudi Arabia is attacking Yemen as part of a long term plan to reroute it's oil pipelines to the other side of it's country, the Red Sea side, so that it is no longer vulnerable at the Strait of Hormuz 'choke point'. In order to get rid of the Iranian threat to it's oil as it leaves port in the Persian Gulf, the Saudi's must sustain huge costs and PR losses to "stabilize" Yemen by a brutal war and then transit it's oil via the Red Sea. This is also well known by Security Experts but not 'hack journalist'.

... .. ...

Stan , says: September 22, 2019 at 2:57 am GMT
Trump rejected neocon demands for a war with Iran as he saw his chances for re-election vanish in the smoke of an US-Iran war. If Trump is reelected Americans will have to worry every day about a US-Iran war.
animalogic , says: September 22, 2019 at 8:23 am GMT
I love this comment by Margolis, that the KSA & US have a "poor record for truthfulness"

Priceless. Apparently Genghis Khan had a poor record for brushing his feet on the mat before entering a town for a bit of light shopping.

Margolis also says the KSA's US made air defences "failed" to protect their oil installations. This maybe so. But apart from the fact that their air defences are orientated away from Yemen there's a good chance the defences were turned OFF -- apparently this is common practice in the KSA, esp on weekends.
I don't believe that Margolis's "mystery" is anywhere as deep as he suggests. The Houthis have received weapons & training from Iran/Hezbollah & have demonstrated an ability to hit KSA targets with unmanned aerial weapons.

Until better evidence appears, I'm willing to give it to the Houthis -- if for no other reason than that they deserve to get in some good licks against that vile "Kingdom" (I'd suggest they next hit the water purification plants that serve Riyadh with all its water – apparently, the city has about 3 days of water stored. Evacuating 6 million from the Capital, the Sauds would be exposed as the corrupt, negligent, incompetent, stupid, vicious frauds we all know they are.

Justvisiting , says: September 22, 2019 at 4:34 pm GMT
@Alistair

These Hawks are under delusional assumption that an American led war against Iran would be a "Cakewalk"

What they do know for sure is that the military industrial complex will increase its budget during and after such a war. Follow the money!

[Sep 22, 2019] US reconnaissance plane operated drones that attacked Hmeymim

Highly recommended!
Oct 01, 2025 | tass.com

Thirteen drones moved according to common combat battle deployment, operated by a single crew Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin © Vadim Grishankin/Russian Defense Ministry's press service/TASS BEIJING, October 25. /TASS/. The drones that attacked Russia's Hmeymim airbase in Syria were operated from the US Poseidon-8 reconnaissance plane, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Colonel General Alexander Fomin said at a plenary session of the Beijing Xiangshan Forum on security on Thursday.

"Thirteen drones moved according to common combat battle deployment, operated by a single crew. During all this time the American Poseidon-8 reconnaissance plane patrolled the Mediterranean Sea area for eight hours," he noted. Read also Three layers of Russian air defense at Hmeymim air base in Syria When the drones met with the electronic countermeasures of the Russian systems, they switched to a manual guidance mode, he said. "Manual guidance is carried out not by some villagers, but by the Poseidon-8, which has modern equipment. It undertook manual control," the deputy defense minister noted.

"When these 13 drones faced our electronic warfare screen, they moved away to some distance, received the corresponding orders and began to be operated out of space and receiving help in finding the so-called holes through which they started penetrating. Then they were destroyed," Fomin reported.

"This should be stopped as well: in order to avoid fighting with the high-technology weapons of terrorists and highly-equipped terrorists it is necessary to stop supplying them with equipment," the deputy defense minister concluded.

The Russian Defense Ministry earlier said that on January 6 militants in Syria first massively used drones in the attack on the Russian Hmeymim airbase and the Russian naval base in Tartus. The attack was successfully repelled: seven drones were downed, and control over six drones was gained through electronic warfare systems. The Russian Defense Ministry stressed that the solutions used by the militants could be received only from a technologically advanced country and warned about the danger of repeating such attacks in any country of the world.

The forum

The eighth Beijing Xiangshan Forum on security will run until October 26 in Beijing. It was organized by the Chinese Ministry of Defense, China Association for Military Science (CAMS) and China Institute for International Strategic Studies (CIISS). Representatives for defense ministries, armed forces and international organizations, as well as former military officials, politicians and scientists from 79 countries are taking part in the forum.

[Sep 22, 2019] Shoigu calls US belief in its superiority the major threat to Russia and other states

Highly recommended!
Sep 22, 2019 | tass.com

The defense minister also stressed that the number of threats to Russia is not declining

MOSCOW, September 22. /TASS/. The United States' belief in its own superiority could lead to various unreasonable ideas, posing a major threat to Russia and other states, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in his interview with Moskovsky Komsomolets published on Sunday.

"When you think - as the United States continues to believe so by inertia - that the balance of power has developed in your favor, various ideas may come to your head, including unreasonable ones. I consider this situation now as the main threat, and not only for Russia," Shoigu said.

Meanwhile, the recognition of your vulnerability and a wish to maintain balance and universal equal security "makes you turn your head on," the defense minister said, also stressing that the number of threats to Russia is not declining.

At the same time, Shoigu voiced hope that a full-scale war is not on the horizon.

The priority task now is to ensure information security, he stressed, noting that "at the current level of informatization and automation, there is a high probability of errors in the weapons control system.".

[Sep 22, 2019] >Snowden says he married his girlfriend Lindsay Mills in Russia -- Guardian

Sep 22, 2019 | tass.com

In the interview, timed to coincide with the release of his book titled Permanent Record, Snowden said he and Mills, who later moved to him in Russia, married two years ago at a private ceremony ... ... ... One of world's most beautiful countries

According to Snowden, people in the West often have no information about the beauty of Russian nature and hospitality of Russians.

"I've been to St. Petersburg, I've been to Sochi. I love travelling and I still do, even though I can't cross borders now," he said.

"One of the things that is lost in all the problematic politics of the Russian government is the fact this is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The people are friendly. The people are warm," he continued. "And when I came here I did not understand any of this. I was terrified of this place because, of course, they were the great fortress of the enemy, which is the way a CIA agent looks at Russia."

According to Snowden, "What people don't realize about Russia is that basically you can get all the same things you can get in the United States." "The only thing they don't have in Russia is Taco Bell," he added.

He said it was never his plan to reside in Russia, but, "with time, with open eyes you can see that our presumptions of a place are almost always different from the reality."

Noble cause

According to Snowden, his book was intended not only to inform reader of his life in the US and Russia, but also to draw attention to serious challenges the modern society is now facing.

"We have moved into a time where people care much more deeply about feelings than they do about facts. And this is a dangerous moment for democracy, because people believe that once we have achieved and established a free and open society it will remain that way, it will always be there. But the reality is: things can backslide very quickly," Snowden said when asked how dangerous, in his opinion, Trump's rise to power was.

The whistleblower believes that people should be informed of infringements on their freedom and of acute problems, such as climate change or advanced mass surveillance technologies used by various governments.

"We need people to recognize these problems, to understand these problems and then to be willing to give something up to change that problem," he said. "But it's not enough to believe in something. You have to be ready to stand for something if you want it to change. And so that is what I hope this book will help people come to decide for themselves: are you ready to this change."

Snowden's case

In June 2013, Snowden leaked classified information to journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, which revealed global surveillance programs run by US and British intelligence agencies. He explained the move by saying that he wanted to tell the world the truth because he believed such large-scale surveillance on innocent citizens was unacceptable and the public needed to know about it.

The Guardian and The Washington Post published the first documents concerning the US intelligence agencies' spying on Internet users on June 6, 2013. According to the documents, major phone companies, including Verizon, AT&T and Sprint Nextel, handed records of their customers' phone conversations over to the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who also had direct access to the servers of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Skype, YouTube, Paltalk, AOL and Apple. In addition, Snowden's revelations showed that a secret program named PRISM was aimed at collecting audio and video recordings, photos, emails and information about users' connections to various websites.

After leaking classified information, Snowden flew to Hong Kong and then to Moscow, arriving in Russia on June 23, 2013. He applied for political asylum to more than 20 countries while staying in the transit zone at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport. On July 16, he applied for a temporary asylum in Russia, accepting Moscow's condition to refrain from activities aimed against the US.

The NSA and the Pentagon claim that Snowden stole about 1.7 mln classified documents concerning the activities of US intelligence services and US military operations. He is charged with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person. He is facing up to ten years in prison on each charge.

[Sep 22, 2019] The Snowden Conundrum by Yvonne Lorenzo

Highly recommended!
This article raises serious questions about Snowden's authenticity. Although the level of damage he has done make suggestion that he is apart of CIA operation against NSA much less plausible. He did some damage by publicizing operations like Prism. No question about it.
And it is diffuclt to treat Snowden like another variation of Lee Harvey Oswald defection to the USSR.
But it is true that several steps that he took after supposed exfiltration of the documents were highly suspicious: As author pointed out WaPo and Guardian are essentially intelligence agencies controlled outlets, so there is no chance that publication can't be completely blocked.
Another good point is that in any large corporation there is system of logs and they suppoedly are analysed, althout the level of qualification in doing so varies greatly.
And if reports are created automatically that not not mean that they are ver read. Another valid point is that even if you are system administrator, you have great powers over all your users. But at the same time your power is compartmentalized: you have access only to few selected computer that constitute the set of servers you manage. And you usually access then via special jumpserver, which logs everything you do. In no way you have access to any server and any database in the organization; you might not even know that some servers exist. Actually access to critical databases is very tightly controlled.
The author also pointed to an interesting question about difficulties of exfiltration of data on encrypted Windows computers. I think that copy to the UCB drive from encrypted drive to SD or USB drive might still be permitted for sysadmins, as it might be required for some operations. But SD accepted might be special, issued by NSA, not retai and they should be accounted for. Still the point that Yvonne Lorenzo raised is very interesting: how you bypass existing protections on you computer to copy information of SD card ?
On another issue, why did Snowden provide his files to known house organs of Intelligence Agencies, specifically the Washington Post and The Guardian, and not give them to Wikileaks?
Notable quotes:
"... How many reading my words work at a large entity, not necessarily government, let us say a Fortune 1000 or higher? Do you have the ability to copy data unimpeded onto any external device? Can you surf the Internet at will? Or is everything you do on the computer network under constant, real-time scrutiny? ..."
"... Edward Snowden would have us believe that the Eye of Sauron didn't notice he was looking at gigabytes of data unrelated to his job function and using his computer to copy the data to external devices over a lengthy period of time. Are his supporters alleging he is so clever he could disappear from the "Eye of Sauron's" view and be unnoticed? If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you in Crimea. ZeroHedge reported " IRS Agent Charged In Leak Of Michael Cohen Transactions To Michael Avenatti ." ..."
"... However, don't believe it takes nine months to identify such an unauthorized intrusion. Don't think every keystroke isn't monitored in real-time. So my question is: would the NSA, which has much more sensitive data (especially compromising information on the governing class) than tax returns and financial transactions have inferior capabilities than the IRS as to maintaining data security? Are we to believe the NSA lacks a "digital trail" when it comes to classified documents? ..."
"... On another issue, why did Snowden provide his files to known house organs of Intelligence Agencies, specifically the Washington Post and The Guardian, and not give them to Wikileaks to allow a publicly available searchable database? ..."
"... While other outlets -- such as the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post and the New York Times -- also possess much (though not all) of the archive, the Intercept was the only outlet with the (full) archive that had continued to publish documents, albeit at a remarkably slow pace, in recent years. In total, fewer than 10 percent of the Snowden documents have been published since 2013. Thus, the closing of the publication's Snowden archive will likely mean the end of any future publications, unless Greenwald's promise of finding "the right partner that has the funds to robustly publish" is fulfilled ..."
"... Do you believe Putin's intelligence agencies don't communicate to him how Washington "organized crime" really operates, as Whitney Webb has disclosed, now on the pages of Unz.com ? What difference does any compromised President make to the policies and goals of the occupational government of the United States (obvious to any reader of this and similar websites)? ..."
"... Why is an alleged humanitarian such a Russophobe? ..."
"... Has Snowden ever challenged the September 11 narrative, ludicrous as it is, and him being an "engineer?" ..."
"... STO equals Special Technical Operations It's highly unlikely Mr. Snowden had any access to these. ..."
"... ECI = Exceptionally Controlled Information. I do not believe Mr. Snowden had any access to these ECI controlled networks). VRK = Very Restricted Knowledge. I do not believe Mr. Snowden had any access to these VRK controlled networks. ..."
"... So what they did, is they took a few documents and they downgraded [he classification level of the documents] – just a few – and gave them to them to placate this basic whitewash investigation. ..."
"... Journalist Margie Burns asked some good questions back in June that have not yet been answered. She wondered about the 29-year old Snowden who had been a U.S. Army Special Forces recruit, a covert CIA operative, and an NSA employee in various capacities, all in just a few, short years. Burns asked "How, exactly, did Snowden get his series of NSA jobs? Did he apply through regular channels? Was it through someone he knew? Who recommended him? Who were his references for a string of six-figure, high-level security jobs? Are there any safeguards in place so that red flags go up when a subcontractor jumps from job to job, especially in high-level clearance positions?" ..."
"... In December, whistleblower Sibel Edmonds broke the news that Omidyar's Paypal Corporation was implicated in the as-yet-unreleased NSA documents from Snowden. Moreover, Edmonds had allegedly been contacted by an NSA official who alleged that "a deal was made in early June, 2013 between the journalists involved in this recent NSA scandal and U.S. government officials, which was then sealed by secrecy and nondisclosure agreements by all parties involved." ..."
"... No, no one is accusing Wikileaks of conspiring with Russia, just Robert Mueller. I really appreciate Snowden calling Julian Assange a liar, for he has consistently denied there was a "state actor." ..."
"... "Terrorism is a real problem" Snowden said. Is it credible that Snowden, who presented himself as donating funds to Ron Paul, has never read any alternative news sites? Is it credible that Snowden believes that terrorists and this would include the good "moderate terrorists" in Syria are armed and act on their own initiative, and is ignorant of the role of the governments of America, Israel, and Saudi Arabia in using them to achieve their ends as proxy armies? ..."
"... Does Snowden then think this report, " America Created Al-Qaeda and the ISIS Terror Group" is false? Does that mindset make Snowden a champion for liberty or a tool for more control of the American population? For example, is it credible that this alleged genius supports the narrative of the September 11 attacks World Trade Center attacks? ..."
"... Tor lists on its own website sponsors that include Google, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, ONR via Naval Research Laboratory (past sponsor) and DARPA. ..."
"... Perhaps Snowden is only a Soros and Hillary Clinton supporting liberal -- but then why would he have done what he did? His character is of any government employee of the "surface state" who swallows false narratives whole. ..."
"... The logging of user and information accessed is sure added to the file. But real time supervision? No. A eye of sauron? Please. The system isnt there to prevent crime, its to track down the criminal and deeds later. And yes everything takes a very long time on the public side. ..."
"... 'Edward Snowden' who first 'leaked' to the CIA's Washington Post, in fact to Bush VP Dick Cheney's biographer Bart Gellman then the Deep State realised that was too stupid, so they switched to Rothschild employee & ex-gay-pornography-seller Glenn Greenwald, former proprietor of 'hairystuds', at the Guardian, an intel-agency rag which lies about nearly everything ..."
"... NeonRevolt once floated the theory that Snowden was an FBI or CIA plant who whistleblew solely because he had the mission to undermine NSA operations by exposing their equipment/techniques and turning public opinion against them. ..."
"... inter-service rivalry and sabotage between spy agencies is absolutely a thing, and reviewing the inconsistencies of Snowden's stunt, its aftermath, and his personal views with that potential background in mind suddenly makes things make much more sense, in my mind at least. ..."
"... If we accept the later, that he's a plant, then it raises a further question: was the short term loss, associated with his revelations, ie highlighting the utterly disturbing degree of Gov surveillance over US citizens (etc) worth the long term profit of having an established, authoritive psy-op's agent able to influence/distort etc any debate or narrative concerning the US State /elites. On this side the author notes Snowmen's views on Tor, 9/11, Russia etc which clearly advantage the US State's own views on these subjects. ..."
"... Consider that nothing Snowden revealed was news. It was all old hat for anyone who'd been paying attention, and for up to ten years. Sure Snowden made it mainstream for what good it did but nothing he said was a secret anymore. In fact, I thought even at the time his actions were nothing less than a 'threat and warning' from the intel services that they had this much on everyone. Just imagine all those national leaders, politicians from all states being pout on notice. All your secrets are ours! What a powerful global message to deliver and in such a loud and clear fashion. ..."
"... The lack of deviation from official bullshit on 9/11 is on its own however reason enough to toss this guy out. ..."
"... To my mind "9/11, attitude to", is a sort of touch-stone for telling genuine dissidents from fake and both Snowden and Assange fail on that test ..."
"... Snowden is not a classic defector so it makes sense for him to keep his distance from Russian society so as not to be inadvertently compromised or used by their intelligence services. He's obviously under surveillance there, I know we all are but he's much more aware of it, so that doesn't make it easy for him but he's definitely safer there than he'd be in France or Germany. I just don't think he planned well ahead when he became a whistle-blower or was clear about what he was trying to achieve. He's not the top level type of spy we're accustomed to reading about who betray their country for money or to serve another they believe in more than their own. If he has been on active duty as a CIA asset all along I can't see that he has achieved much of use to them other than in some inter-agency rivalry game. But it's natural for Russians to be suspicious of him – they're suspicious by nature – and rightly so, but it doesn't make his life easy there. ..."
"... 9/11 is the "litmus test" and it appears that both Assange and Snowden have failed it. ..."
"... Snowden keeping "distance" to Russia, and not openly defending them seems reasonable to me. You can imagine the smear campaign back home if he would side with Russia against the U.S. on almost anything. "The Russians got to him" or "He was always their man". ..."
"... He is trying to keep his neutrality and credibility and his target audience isn't the average Unz reader, but rather some mainstream educated middle/upper class blokes. Easily scared away from his views if they become too controversial and too far from the established narrative. ..."
"... If I had been in the position like 'Snowden', after first having been granted asylum, my priority would have been to study the language. I would gtuess that he can order food or drink, do basic greetings, and not much else. ..."
"... I agree. Shilling for the Israelis regarding 911 is a deal breaker for me. They had me going about these 2 guys for a while, but when I heard that they had ridiculed 911 truthers I smelled a rat. And after this article I agree they are shills for the status quo. Reasonable people can not doubt that 911 was a false flag operation. There's just too much bullshit there. ..."
"... I think the idea Snowden is a "plant" is a bit far out there. If he is; the real purpose of the exercise is what exactly? ..."
"... I also don't get why some commenters think Julian Assange isn't who he claims to be. His Wikileaks has published great volume of highly embarrassing material for the U.S. The embassy cables come to mind – bringing to light evidence contrary to Washington narrative on many events. ..."
"... There is another thing; Just after he established Wikileaks he came to Iceland and met with journalists and few politicians. The result from that visit was he met one Kristinn Hrafnsson, long time journalist in Iceland with excellent track record and credibility. Since Assange got in trouble, accused of sexual harassment from Swedish woman and finally escaped into the Ecuador embassy in London, Hrafnsson has been spokesman for Wikileaks. ..."
"... "It all comes down to 9/11.Everything that has happened has happened based on a lie . Everyone in Government ; everyone in the media , in entertainment , in organized religion , in the public ,in the public eye who accepts and promotes the official story is either a traitor or a tool . Everyone who does not stand forth and speak truth to power is a coward , a liar and complicit in mass-murder . Everyone everywhere can be measured by this Litmus Test ." ..."
Sep 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

Have you ever had the pleasure of dealing with an agent of the Federal government? For example, have you been audited by the IRS? Did you notice what the "Agent" does to gain access to his (or her) computer -- by inserting a "Smart ID" into a slot? Did you ask how your personal information is protected from disclosure or theft? What is to prevent the Agent from copying files to a thumb drive and taking them home?

Regarding the Smart ID, the "HSPD-12" is discussed in this publicly available article ; please note the following:

HSPD-12, FIPS 201 and the PIV Card

Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12), issued by President George W. Bush on August 27, 2004, mandated the establishment of a standard for identification of Federal government employees and contractors. HSPD-12 requires the use of a common identification credential for both logical and physical access to federally controlled facilities and information systems. The Department of Commerce and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) were tasked with producing a standard for secure and reliable forms of identification. In response, NIST published Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 201 (FIPS 201), Personal Identity Verification (PIV) of Federal Employees and Contractors, issued on February 25, 2005, and a number of special publications that provide more detail on the implementation of the standard.

Both Federal agencies and enterprises have implemented FIPS 201-compliant ID programs and have issued PIV cards. The FIPS 201 PIV card is a smart card with both contact and contactless interfaces that is now being issued to all Federal employees and contractors

Additional information about FIPS 201 can be found on the Government Identity/Credentialing Resources page, from NIST, and from the Secure Technology Alliance Access Control Council.

If you engage the IRS employee in conversation, remembering the adage you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, you'll learn the computer cannot be compromised -- all data on the device are encrypted; the only access to it is via the Smart ID. Data can be copied to an external "thumb drive" but everything copied will be encrypted; any file on that thumb drive is only readable by that specific device. Wouldn't this be true of NSA devices as well? Why does Snowden never discuss dealing with such encryption: how would it be possible?

In the Oliver Stone movie Snowden , as well as in any of Snowden's descriptions of how he accessed the NSA computers, did you note either the depiction or reference to this universal Smart ID? How could Snowden be exempt from its requirement? Why wasn't its use, which is public knowledge, shown or discussed? Per the above, the Smart ID is deployed in all government agencies: there are no exceptions. And while the financial portion (think of all those Goldman Sachs alumni at the U.S. Department of the Treasury) is likely the most powerful part of the financial-military-industrial-media-congressional complex that is the central power of the federal government, do you think that IRS systems are different and superior in security to what was employed by a contractor working for Booze-Allen Hamilton at the NSA?

How many reading my words work at a large entity, not necessarily government, let us say a Fortune 1000 or higher? Do you have the ability to copy data unimpeded onto any external device? Can you surf the Internet at will? Or is everything you do on the computer network under constant, real-time scrutiny?

Did Edward Snowden, who has publicly criticized Google, mention Google is deployed as a search engine throughout the federal "intranet"? And can he catch a link to the Washington Post on the NSA homepage too? Or would he testify and can it be verified that NSA does not use Google (for example to obtain the PowerPoint he revealed) for searching for internal documents and procedures? Can anyone reading my words answer the questions I've posed so far and answer accurately and honestly with confirmatory evidence?

Edward Snowden would have us believe that the Eye of Sauron didn't notice he was looking at gigabytes of data unrelated to his job function and using his computer to copy the data to external devices over a lengthy period of time. Are his supporters alleging he is so clever he could disappear from the "Eye of Sauron's" view and be unnoticed? If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you in Crimea. ZeroHedge reported " IRS Agent Charged In Leak Of Michael Cohen Transactions To Michael Avenatti ." From the article:

John C. Fry, an analyst in the San Francisco IRS office who had worked for the agency since 2008, was charged with disclosing Cohen's Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) – nine months after we reported that it wouldn't be difficult to track down the leaker due to a digital trail left behind from accessing the system.

However, don't believe it takes nine months to identify such an unauthorized intrusion. Don't think every keystroke isn't monitored in real-time. So my question is: would the NSA, which has much more sensitive data (especially compromising information on the governing class) than tax returns and financial transactions have inferior capabilities than the IRS as to maintaining data security? Are we to believe the NSA lacks a "digital trail" when it comes to classified documents?

On another issue, why did Snowden provide his files to known house organs of Intelligence Agencies, specifically the Washington Post and The Guardian, and not give them to Wikileaks to allow a publicly available searchable database? As Roger Stone has noted, the odious Nixon was taken down principally by the CIA media front The Washington Post because he sought detente with Russia and another presidential assassination would have been too obvious. Notice the situation regarding the Snowden treasure trove as investigative journalist Whitney Webb writes about it here: " Silencing the Whistle: The Intercept Shutters Snowden Archive, Citing Cost ."

According to a timeline of events written by Poitras that was shared and published by journalist and former Intercept columnist Barrett Brown, both Scahill and Greenwald were intimately involved in the decision to close the Snowden archive.

While other outlets -- such as the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post and the New York Times -- also possess much (though not all) of the archive, the Intercept was the only outlet with the (full) archive that had continued to publish documents, albeit at a remarkably slow pace, in recent years. In total, fewer than 10 percent of the Snowden documents have been published since 2013. Thus, the closing of the publication's Snowden archive will likely mean the end of any future publications, unless Greenwald's promise of finding "the right partner that has the funds to robustly publish" is fulfilled

Yet, as Poitras pointed out, the research department accounted for a minuscule 1.5 percent of First Look Media's budget. Greenwald's claim that the archive was shuttered owing to its high cost to the company is also greatly undermined by the fact that he, along with several other Intercept employees -- Reed and Scahill among them -- receive massive salaries that dwarf those of journalists working for similar nonprofit publications.

Greenwald, for instance, received $1.6 million from First Look Media, of which Omidyar is the sole shareholder, from 2014 to 2017. His yearly salary peaked in 2015, when he made over $518,000. Reed and Scahill both earn well over $300,000 annually from First Look. According to journalist Mark Ames, Scahill made over $43,000 per article at the Intercept in 2014. Other writers at the site, by comparison, have a base salary of $50,000, which itself is higher than the national average for journalists.

And what about Snowden himself, the pontificator, the man who can speak on television or to the media with evidence of training? Practice yourself -- see how well you can answer questions and speak publicly to a TV camera. How did he get his training? Who trained him? Why? How is it that the legacy media, which applauds the slow, painful execution of Julian Assange , be in rapture over Snowden's new book tour and provide ample coverage? Is Assange being murdered in part to prevent his providing exculpatory evidence that Russia never hacked the DNC and it was a leak?

I have provided two videos below for the reader to consider and compare.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/F7J2DdiXM9Q?feature=oembed

https://www.youtube.com/embed/O4nFGOEeSP0?feature=oembed

Look at how Bill Binney, a true techno-nerd speaks and compare the difference between him with the polished interviews given by Snowden who borders on pomposity. Also, to his favor Binney is doing his best to debunk the Russia hacking narrative of the DNC; Snowden makes his thoughts about Russia and Russians clear in his latest interview with Der Spiegel promoting his new book about himself:

DER SPIEGEL: Do you have Russian friends?

Snowden: I try to keep a distance between myself and Russian society, and this is completely intentional. I live my life with basically the English-speaking community. I'm the president of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. And, you know, I'm an indoor cat. It doesn't matter where I am -- Moscow, Berlin, New York -- as long as I have a screen to look into.

DER SPIEGEL: Western authorities accuse the Russian government on a regular basis of being one of the biggest disrupters in the digital world. Are they right?

Snowden: Russia is responsible for a lot of negative activity in the world, you can say that right and fairly. Did Russia interfere with elections? Almost certainly. But do the United States interfere in elections? Of course. They've been doing it for the last 50 years. Any country bigger than Iceland is going to interfere in every crucial election, and they're going to deny it every time, because this is what intelligence services do. This is explicitly why covert operations and influence divisions are created, and their purpose as an instrument of national power is to ask: How can we influence the world in a direction that improves our standing relative to all the other countries?

I am pleased to have played a small role in getting Stephen F. Cohen's work published on Unz.com. He and others have effectively debunked Russian involvement in the manipulation of America elections and the conclusions of the Mueller report. To paraphrase a point Professor Cohen made in his most recent article posted here, which is simply common sense: We are to believe Trump is Putin's puppet yet Putin simultaneously encouraged the preparation of a dossier to destroy him. Does that make sense to any one with half a brain? Do you believe Putin's intelligence agencies don't communicate to him how Washington "organized crime" really operates, as Whitney Webb has disclosed, now on the pages of Unz.com ? What difference does any compromised President make to the policies and goals of the occupational government of the United States (obvious to any reader of this and similar websites)?

Do you notice how Snowden never challenges any government narrative, whether it's on Russia as a villain, and not as a victim of war initiated by Washington? Why is an alleged humanitarian such a Russophobe? Is this how he repays the nation that granted him asylum? Has he only compassion in the abstract, and is a genius but too stupid to consider the consequences of America going to war with Russia and in fact exacerbating the tension by his false and inflammatory statements about Russian conduct in the 2016 elections, for which there are no facts and evidence?

And then there's the destruction of the World Trade Center buildings. Of course Snowden at NSA had no access to information on how and why it was done, but as Dmitri Orlov has written:

I suppose I am a "conspiracy theorist" too. Whenever I write something that questions the veracity of some official narrative, someone (probably a troll) pops up and asks me what I think of 9/11. Here is what I typically reply:

I totally believe that it was possible to knock down three steel-framed buildings using two flying aluminum cans loaded with kerosene, luggage and meat. I have proven that this is possible by throwing two beer cans at three chain-link fences. All three fences were instantly swallowed up by holes in the ground that mysteriously opened up right under them and in which they were instantaneously incinerated into fine oxide powder that coated the entire neighborhood. Anybody who does not believe my experimental results is obviously a tin-foil-hat crackpot conspiracy theorist.

Lots of people read this and ran away bleating; a few people bust a gut laughing because this is (trust me on this!) actually quite funny. Some people took offense at someone ridiculing an event in which thousands of people died. (To protect their tender sensibilities they should consider emigrating to a country that isn't run by a bunch of war criminals.)

But if you do see the humor in this, then you may be up to the challenge, which is to pull out a useful signal (a typical experimentalist's task) out of a mess of unreliable and contradictory data. Only then would you be in a position to persuasively argue -- not prove, mind you! -- that the official story is complete and utter bullshit.

Note that everything beyond that point, such as arguing what "the real story" is, is strictly off-limits. If you move beyond that point you open yourself up to well-organized, well-funded debunking. But if all you produce is a very large and imposing question mark, then the only way to attack it is by producing certainty -- a very tall order! In conspiracy theory, as in guerrilla warfare, you don't have to win. You just have to not lose long enough for the enemy to give up.

Has Snowden ever challenged the September 11 narrative, ludicrous as it is, and him being an "engineer?" And this last point is the reason I'm writing these words: I don't have to come up with the "real story" on who Edward Snowden is and what his true motives are. I am asking questions that point out the discrepancies in Snowden's statements and conduct and his alleged sanctity. In this article, " EXCLUSIVE REPORT: NSA Whistleblower: Snowden Never Had Access to the JUICIEST Documents Far More Damning "

WASHINGTON'S BLOG: Glenn Greenwald – supposedly, in the next couple of days or weeks – is going to disclose, based on NSA documents leaked by Snowden, that the NSA is spying on all sorts of normal Americans and that the spying is really to crush dissent. [Background here, here and here.]

Does Snowden even have documents which contain the information which you've seen?

RUSSELL TICE: The answer is no.

WASHINGTON'S BLOG: So you saw handwritten notes. And what Snowden was seeing were electronic files ?

RUSSELL TICE: Think of it this way. Remember I told you about the NSA doing everything they could to make sure that the information from 40 years ago – from spying on Frank Church and Lord knows how many other Congressman that they were spying on – was hidden?

Now do you think they're going to put that information into PowerPoint slides that are easy to explain to everybody what they're doing?

They would not even put their own NSA designators on the reports [so that no one would know that] it came from the NSA. They made the reports look like they were Humint (human intelligence) reports. They did it to hide the fact that they were NSA and they were doing the collection. That's 40 years ago. [The NSA and other agencies are still doing "parallel construction", "laundering" information to hide the fact that the information is actually from mass NSA surveillance.]

Now, what NSA is doing right now is that they're taking the information and they're putting it in a much higher security level. It's called "ECI" – Exceptionally Controlled Information – and it's called the black program which I was a specialist in, by the way.

I specialized in black world – DOD and IC (Intelligence Community) – programs, operations and missions in "VRKs", "ECIs", and "SAPs", "STOs". SAP equals Special Access Program. It's highly unlikely Mr. Snowden had any access to these. STO equals Special Technical Operations It's highly unlikely Mr. Snowden had any access to these.

Now in that world – the ECI/VRK world – everything in that system is classified at a higher level and it has its own computer systems that house it. It's totally separate than the system which Mr. Snowden was privy to, which was called the "JWICS": Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System. The JWICS system is what everybody at NSA has access to. Mr Snowden had Sys Admin [systems administrator] authority for the JWICS.

And you still have to have TS/SCI clearance [i.e. Top Secret/ Sensitive Compartmented Information – also known as "code word" – clearance] to get on the JWICS. But the ECI/VRK systems are much higher [levels of special compartmentalized clearance] than the JWICS. And you have to be in the black world to get that [clearance].

ECI = Exceptionally Controlled Information. I do not believe Mr. Snowden had any access to these ECI controlled networks). VRK = Very Restricted Knowledge. I do not believe Mr. Snowden had any access to these VRK controlled networks.

These programs typically have, at the least, a requirement of 100 year or until death, 'till the person first being "read in" [i.e. sworn to secrecy as part of access to the higher classification program] can talk about them. [As an interesting sidenote, the Washington Times reported in 2006 that – when Tice offered to testify to Congress about this illegal spying – he was informed by the NSA that the Senate and House intelligence committees were not cleared to hear such information.]

It's very compartmentalized and – even with stuff that they had – you might have something at NSA, that there's literally 40 people at NSA that know that it's going on in the entire agency.

When the stuff came out in the New York Times [the first big spying story, which broke in 2005] – and I was a source of information for the New York Times – that's when President Bush made up that nonsense about the "terrorist surveillance program." By the way, that never existed. That was made up.

There was no such thing beforehand. It was made up to try to placate the American people.

The NSA IG (Inspector General) – who was not cleared for this – all of a sudden is told he has to do an investigation on this; something he has no information or knowledge of.

So what they did, is they took a few documents and they downgraded [he classification level of the documents] – just a few – and gave them to them to placate this basic whitewash investigation.

Snowden's Failure To Understand the Most Important Documents

RUSSELL TICE: Now, if Mr. Snowden were to find the crossover, it would be those documents that were downgraded to the NSA's IG.

The stuff that I saw looked like a bunch of alphanumeric gobbledygook. Unless you have an analyst to know what to look for – and believe me, I think that what Snowden's done is great – he's not an intelligence analyst. So he would see something like that, and he wouldn't know what he's looking at.

But that would be "the jewels". And the key is, you wouldn't know it's the jewels unless you were a diamond miner and you knew what to look for. Because otherwise, there's a big lump of rock and you don't know there's a diamond in there.

I worked special programs. And the way I found out is that I was working on a special operation, and I needed information from NSA from another unit. And when I went to that unit and I said "I need this information", and I dealt with [satellite spy operations], and I did that in the black world. I was a special operations officer. I would literally go do special missions that were in the black world where I would travel overseas and do spooky stuff.

Did we really need Snowden to have told us that the Internet, federally controlled, does not allow anyone a modicum of privacy and the government after implementing the Patriot Act considers ordinary Americans the enemy?

In " Inconsistencies and Unanswered Questions: The Risks of Trusting the Snowden Story " Kevin Ryan wrote:

Journalist Margie Burns asked some good questions back in June that have not yet been answered. She wondered about the 29-year old Snowden who had been a U.S. Army Special Forces recruit, a covert CIA operative, and an NSA employee in various capacities, all in just a few, short years. Burns asked "How, exactly, did Snowden get his series of NSA jobs? Did he apply through regular channels? Was it through someone he knew? Who recommended him? Who were his references for a string of six-figure, high-level security jobs? Are there any safeguards in place so that red flags go up when a subcontractor jumps from job to job, especially in high-level clearance positions?"

Five months later, journalists Mark Ames and Yasha Levine investigated some of the businesses in which Greenwald's benefactor Omidyar had invested. They found that the actual practices of those businesses were considerably less humanitarian than the outward appearance of Omidyar's ventures often portray. The result was that Omidyar took down references to at least one of those businesses from his website.

In December, whistleblower Sibel Edmonds broke the news that Omidyar's Paypal Corporation was implicated in the as-yet-unreleased NSA documents from Snowden. Moreover, Edmonds had allegedly been contacted by an NSA official who alleged that "a deal was made in early June, 2013 between the journalists involved in this recent NSA scandal and U.S. government officials, which was then sealed by secrecy and nondisclosure agreements by all parties involved."

It would appear that Snowden's whistleblowing has been co-opted by private corporate interests. Are those involved with privatization of the stolen documents also colluding with government agencies to frame and direct national discussions on domestic spying and other serious matters?

The possibilities are endless, it seems. Presenting documents at a measured rate could be a way to acclimate citizens to painful realities without stirring the public into a panic or a unified response that might actually threaten the status quo. And considering that the number of documents has somehow grown from only thousands to nearly two million, it seems possible that those in control could release practically anything, thereby controlling national dialogue on many topics.

Please read the final paragraph above twice and think about the points raised about acclimating citizens and controlling national dialog. Is Snowden as much of a "Pied Piper" as QAnon? How did Snowden describe the nature of the CIA and NSA in this earlier interview with Der Spiegel ?

DER SPIEGEL: But those people see you as their biggest enemy today.

Snowden: My personal battle was not to burn down the NSA or the CIA. I even think they actually do have a useful role in society when they limit themselves to the truly important threats that we face and when they use their least intrusive means.

**

Snowden: It wasn't that difficult. Everybody is currently pointing at the Russians.

DER SPIEGEL: Rightfully?

Snowden: I don't know. They probably did hack the systems of Hillary Clinton's Democratic Party, but we should have proof of that. In the case of the hacking attack on Sony, the FBI presented evidence that North Korea was behind it. In this case they didn't, although I am convinced that they do have evidence. The question is why?

DER SPIEGEL: Mike Pompeo, the new head of the CIA, has accused WikiLeaks, whose lawyers helped you, of being a mouthpiece for the Russians. Is that not harmful to your image as well?

Snowden: First, we should be fair about what the accusations are. I don't believe the U.S. government or anybody in the intelligence community is directly accusing Julian Assange or WikiLeaks of working directly for the Russian government. The allegations I understand are that they were used as a tool basically to wash documents that had been stolen by the Russian government. And, of course, that's a concern. I don't see that as directly affecting me because I'm not WikiLeaks and there is no question about the provenance of the documents that I dealt with.

DER SPIEGEL: Currently, there's another American guy out there who is accused of being too close to Putin.

Snowden: Oh (laughs).

DER SPIEGEL: Your president. Is he your president?

Snowden: The idea that half of American voters thought that Donald Trump was the best among us, is something that I struggle with. And I think we will all be struggling with it for decades to come.

DER SPIEGEL: But isn't there reason to fear terrorism?

Snowden: Sure there is. Terrorism is a real problem. But when we look at how many lives it has claimed in basically any country that is outside of war zones like Iraq or Afghanistan, it is so much less than, say, car accidents or heart attacks. Even if Sept. 11 were to happen every single year in the U.S., terrorism would be a much lower threat than so many other things.

No, no one is accusing Wikileaks of conspiring with Russia, just Robert Mueller. I really appreciate Snowden calling Julian Assange a liar, for he has consistently denied there was a "state actor."

"Terrorism is a real problem" Snowden said. Is it credible that Snowden, who presented himself as donating funds to Ron Paul, has never read any alternative news sites? Is it credible that Snowden believes that terrorists and this would include the good "moderate terrorists" in Syria are armed and act on their own initiative, and is ignorant of the role of the governments of America, Israel, and Saudi Arabia in using them to achieve their ends as proxy armies?

Does Snowden then think this report, " America Created Al-Qaeda and the ISIS Terror Group" is false? Does that mindset make Snowden a champion for liberty or a tool for more control of the American population? For example, is it credible that this alleged genius supports the narrative of the September 11 attacks World Trade Center attacks? Whom do you trust, the contributors to these very pages or Edward Snowden?

Snowden has promoted the use of the Tor Browser. ZeroHedge posted this article, " Tor Project 'Almost 100% Funded By The US Government': FOIA" which noted:

The Tor Project – a private nonprofit known as the "NSA-proof" gateway to the "dark web," turns out to be almost "100% funded by the US government" according to documents obtained by investigative journalist and author Yasha Levine.

In a recent blog post, Levine details how he was able to obtain roughly 2,500 pages of correspondence via FOIA requests while performing research for a book. The documents include strategy, contract, budgets and status updates between the Tor project and its primary source of funding; a CIA spinoff known as the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which "oversees America's foreign broadcasting operations like Radio Free Asia and Radio Free Europe."

By following the money, I discovered that Tor was not a grassroots. I was able to show that despite its indie radical cred and claims to help its users protect themselves from government surveillance online, Tor was almost 100% funded by three U.S. National Security agencies: the Navy, the State Department and the BBG. Following the money revealed that Tor was not a grassroots outfit, but a military contractor with its own government contractor number. In other words: it was a privatized extension of the very same government that it claimed to be fighting.

The documents conclusively showed that Tor is not independent at all. The organization did not have free reign to do whatever it wanted, but was kept on a very short leash and bound by contracts with strict contractual obligations. It was also required to file detailed monthly status reports that gave the U.S. government a clear picture of what Tor employees were developing, where they went and who they saw. -Yasha Levine

The FOIA documents also suggest that Tor's ability to shield users from government spying may be nothing more than hot air. While no evidence of a "backdoor" exists, the documents obtained by Levine reveal that Tor has "no qualms with privately tipping off the federal government to security vulnerabilities before alerting the public, a move that would give the feds an opportunity to exploit the security weakness long before informing Tor users."

Interestingly, Edward Snowden is a big fan of Tor – even throwing a "cryptoparty" while he was still an NSA contractor where he set up a Tor exit node to show off how cool they are.

In a 2015 interview with The Intercept's (Wikileaks hating) Micah Lee, Snowden said:

LEE: What do you think about Tor? Do you think that everyone should be familiar with it, or do you think that it's only a use-it-if-you-need-it thing?

SNOWDEN: I think Tor is the most important privacy-enhancing technology project being used today.

"Tor Browser is a great way to selectively use Tor to look something up and not leave a trace that you did it. It can also help bypass censorship when you're on a network where certain sites are blocked. If you want to get more involved, you can volunteer to run your own Tor node, as I do, and support the diversity of the Tor network."

Tor lists on its own website sponsors that include Google, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, ONR via Naval Research Laboratory (past sponsor) and DARPA.

When Julian Assange was taken from the Ecuadoran embassy, he was carrying a copy of Gore Vidal: History of the National Security State & Vidal on America. As an older article on Vidal in The Guardian noted, " Gore Vidal claims 'Bush junta' complicit in 9/11 ."

Isn't it odd by doing what he did with Vidal's book Assange makes the point the legitimacy of Washington must be challenged, but Snowden never does, other than offering suggestions for tinkering at the margins, perhaps advising we use DuckDuckGo instead of Google to give us the illusion of privacy? Did Snowden, for someone who is in front of a computer screen for most of the day, make public the facts obtained by Whitney Webb in her piece " How the CIA, Mossad and 'the Epstein Network' Are Exploiting Mass Shootings to Create an Orwellian Nightmare " posted on Unz.com which goes in depth into the Orwellian hell we are facing, for as Webb concludes:

With companies like Carbyne -- with its ties to both the Trump administration and to Israeli intelligence -- and the Mossad-linked Gabriel also marketing themselves as "technological" solutions to mass shootings while also doubling as covert tools for mass data collection and extraction, the end result is a massive surveillance system so complete and so dystopian that even George Orwell himself could not have predicted it.

Following another catastrophic mass shooting or crisis event, aggressive efforts will likely follow to foist these "solutions" on a frightened American public by the very network connected, not only to Jeffrey Epstein, but to a litany of crimes and a frightening history of plans to crush internal dissent and would-be dissenters in the United States.

There is the concept of willful blindness that I think applies to much of what Snowden has done, if not something altogether more nefarious -- distorations, misrepresenations, and outright lies, in addition to hubris. What is the point I'm making? Perhaps Snowden is only a Soros and Hillary Clinton supporting liberal -- but then why would he have done what he did? His character is of any government employee of the "surface state" who swallows false narratives whole.

I only wish the reader fairly and intelligently consider the questions I have raised. For I am encouraging you to think very carefully before you trust the statements, purpose, motives, and truthfulness of the secular saint, Edward Snowden.

Yvonne Lorenzo makes her home in New England in a house full to bursting with books, including works on classical Greece. Her interests include gardening, mythology, ancient history, The Electric Universe, and classical music, especially the compositions of Handel, Mozart, Bach, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, and the Bel Canto repertoire. She is the author of the novels the Son of Thunder and The Cloak of Freya and has contributed to LewRockwell.com and TheSaker.IS.


Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 4:27 am GMT

Edward Snowden is a typical American fachidiot who, despite their protestations is a striver and bootlick for the Empire. I genuinely believe that he is puzzled as to why it has turned against him. He deserves his destiny of forever languishing in political purgatory.

Several years later, practically nobody remembers him here in the US, and possible elsewhere (save for when it is convenient for the media). Julian Assange was a far more daring, more insightful figure.

(As an aside, I am curious about the author's liking of bel canto . Lot of birdbrain music to my ears; I prefer Wagner, Strauss, Schreker, and Berg. Also, the older I get, the more I realize that Schoenberg was by far the greater genius than Mahler.)

ikki , says: September 20, 2019 at 4:56 am GMT
The logging of user and information accessed is sure added to the file. But real time supervision? No. A eye of sauron? Please. The system isnt there to prevent crime, its to track down the criminal and deeds later. And yes everything takes a very long time on the public side.

You know, 16:00 hours the mouse just drops dead from the hand. Public servants don't give a damn if a job is made fast or efficient, only that procedure if followed and that it is eventually done. Unless priorities are reassigned, stuff left halfway undone in disarray is no problem when reassigned.

Just as keeping secret private archives of more or less job related data is all standard procedure. That is keep a load of data in your personal folders and move those into whatever form desired. Security is not very tight. Only in the sense that eventually every person with hours and access point etc data can be recovered if so ordered to.

So stealing data out of that system shouldn't be terribly hard. Just email it to a private email. Or store on something else and transport out. For one Hillary was doing the same thing for ages. In that case though "what difference does it make"

Jonathan Revusky , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 5:26 am GMT
Why does the author distrust the Snowden story while taking the Assange saga at face value?
Horst G , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:41 am GMT
There was an interview with Edward in the German magazine Der Spiegel this month, Nr. 18. In it, we get the tale, he copied material on SD cards, and smugeled them in his mouth, or inside a "magic cube" out of the base on Hawaii, passing "guards". A cube, the occult symbol, how blatant, just mocking the profane.

On the technical side, I got a story from a German BMW factory. A bunch of guys on nightshift plugged a USB Harddisk into a PC to watch a movie. Minutes later they received a call from the IT, it had been recognized remotely. What a charade. It has the taste of Jewish tales, smuggling stuff, tricking guards of an evil system.

Tusk , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:49 am GMT
Great article, thanks Ron for publishing.
der einzige , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 7:00 am GMT
I recommend these articles from Jon Rappaport, unfortunately, wordpress deleted his blog.

and this

Russia gov report Snowden Greenwald are CIA frauds https://www.radios.cz/en/articles/russia-gov-report-snowden-greenwald-are-cia-frauds/

Brabantian , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:00 am GMT
Nice to have a piece helping point to the truth, that Glenn Greenwald & Edward Snowden are CIA frauds, as every major government knows

'Edward Snowden' who first 'leaked' to the CIA's Washington Post, in fact to Bush VP Dick Cheney's biographer Bart Gellman then the Deep State realised that was too stupid, so they switched to Rothschild employee & ex-gay-pornography-seller Glenn Greenwald, former proprietor of 'hairystuds', at the Guardian, an intel-agency rag which lies about nearly everything

Vladmir Putin himself hinting out loud he knows Snowden is fake, and 'Snowden asylum' is a game of back-door favours between Russia & the USA, few in the West pick up on it http://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/09/21/russia-govt-report-snowden-greenwald-are-cia-frauds/

Despite the Snowden-Assange mutual sniping in their media-star rivalry, Julian Assange is also a CIA-Mossad asset, as Bibi Netanyahu himself has boasted to Israeli media, regarding aggressively pro-Zionist, anti-Palestinian Julian, equally anti-9-11-truth along with Eddie Snowden

As loyal CIA assets, neither Assange and Snowden dare to mention USA Virginia fed judge bribery files that have blocked other extraditions, tho these files would make their own extraditions impossible, if these CIA fakers really cared about their own 'defence'

Zbigniew Brzezinski on 29 Nov 2010, on the US public television PBS News Hour, also admitted Assange was intel, his Wikileaks 'selected'

People trusting Assange are dead, Peter W Smith, Seth Rich; others jailed

Very darkly, it is unknown how many dissidents Snowden and also Julian Assange helped silence or even kill, both of them a 'rat trap' for trusting whistle-blowers
https://www.henrymakow.com/2018/11/assange-snowden-rat-traps.html

You will notice that Assange & Snowden both got famous via CIA – MI6 media, NY Times, UK Guardian, who are never interested in real dissidents

Assange shared lawyer with Rothschilds, Rothschild sister-in-law posted Assange bail, Assange has ties to George Soros too

Early on, Assange helped Rothschilds destroy rival bank Julius Baer that is 'progressive Wiki-leaking' for you

Assange had a weird childhood with Aussie mind-control cult 'the Family'

Things like 'Assange living at Ecuador Embassy' – 'now in Belmarsh prison' – easily faked, Assange moved in & out for photos by MI5 MI6, police under national security orders 'Snowden' is not necessarily in Russia either

Assange & Snowden de-legitimise real dissidents, because people say, 'Wikileaks – NY Times – UK Guardian would cover it if it was true'

Tree Watcher , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:10 am GMT
NeonRevolt once floated the theory that Snowden was an FBI or CIA plant who whistleblew solely because he had the mission to undermine NSA operations by exposing their equipment/techniques and turning public opinion against them.

I completely understand if people are leery of the theorycrafting of a Q tracker, but I do believe that this suggestion is plausible. Setting aside attempts at placing it in context of a Deep State war, inter-service rivalry and sabotage between spy agencies is absolutely a thing, and reviewing the inconsistencies of Snowden's stunt, its aftermath, and his personal views with that potential background in mind suddenly makes things make much more sense, in my mind at least.

animalogic , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:10 am GMT
Interesting, thought-provoking article. It asks us to balance up competing interests & advantages.

On the one hand we can assume Snowden is "real" or not. That is, he's a genuine whistle blower, or he's a government psy-op's plant.

If we accept the later, that he's a plant, then it raises a further question: was the short term loss, associated with his revelations, ie highlighting the utterly disturbing degree of Gov surveillance over US citizens (etc) worth the long term profit of having an established, authoritive psy-op's agent able to influence/distort etc any debate or narrative concerning the US State /elites. On this side the author notes Snowmen's views on Tor, 9/11, Russia etc which clearly advantage the US State's own views on these subjects.

I don't know the answer -- except that this article raises serious questions, suspicions , about Snowden's authenticity.

Franz , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:15 am GMT
Never for a moment considered Snowden any sort of secular saint.

Snowden for the most part only confirmed the downward trajectory of the formerly at least interesting filmmaker, Oliver Stone. If JFK was worth a laugh (and evidently did get a few people thinking about the phoniness of Dallas '63 for the first time), Snowden was total chloroform on screen. Sad to see Ollie hit such lows.

This bit is interesting:

When Julian Assange was taken from the Ecuadoran embassy, he was carrying a copy of Gore Vidal: History of the National Security State & Vidal on America. As an older article on Vidal in The Guardian noted, "Gore Vidal claims 'Bush junta' complicit in 9/11."

As batty as Vidal may have been, it is a fact he was the first American with any sort of national recognition to speak out against the National Security State, starting in the Eisenhower years. His fury was partly stoked by their meddling in Central America, but he stayed at it. Even gave it a mention in a movie he had a gag role in, Bob Roberts , 1992.

His favorite line (variously rendered) was "Harry Truman signed the United States of America into oblivion in February, 1949" which was when the NSA papers were drawn up, giving us the security state, the CIA and the whole shebang. Anytime before, any US citizen could demand accounting of any government project, no matter what. Afterward, the rule by secrecy applied.

Vidal had been a WWII veteran and deplored all that came about after. Credit is due for that.

wayfarer , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:30 am GMT

Even if you're not doing anything wrong, you are being watched and recorded. The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife's phone calls, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards. – Edward Snowden

https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/edward-snowden-quotes

https://www.youtube.com/embed/e9yK1QndJSM?feature=oembed

Nik , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:05 am GMT
Both Assuange and Snowden are agent patsys
Oscar Peterson , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:14 am GMT
Who is this dizzy chick?

Snowden, exiled and isolated in Russia, is some sort of USG crypto-agent or something?

I suppose that if you're going to look for outside-the-box commentary and analysis, you're going to get some of this sort of nonsense. I guess you can't expect to hit a home run every time.

Oscar Peterson , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:20 am GMT
@Nicolás Palacios Navarro

"Edward Snowden is a typical American fachidiot who, despite their protestations is a striver and bootlick for the Empire. I genuinely believe that he is puzzled as to why it has turned against him. He deserves his destiny of forever languishing in political purgatory."

And yet this "striver and bootlick for the Empire" is exiled in Russia. So some guy sacrifices an enjoyable and secure life to go live in Russia and all you can say is that "he deserves his destiny?"

"Several years later, practically nobody remembers him here in the US"

And this is a reflection on him or on the rest of us?

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:42 am GMT
@Oscar Peterson She starts off with a falsehood:

> Edward Snowden would have us believe that the Eye of Sauron didn't notice

He states exactly the opposite. I quit reading her garbage after that.

AmRusDebate , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 10:18 am GMT
Comfortable living in Moscow, vs. Belmarsh, makes all the difference in the world.

You might be right about Snowden, you might not be, but were Assange living in a Russian city, far out of reach of NeoconiaDC, Bill Blaney would show him greater respect believe me.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 10:21 am GMT
@Horst G Boy howdy, a Rubik's Cube is now magical, profane, occult, and eerily symbolic, because it's cubical! And geometry class is a satanic false flag op of oppressive propaganda taught by crypto-Jews! Who else could be interested in IRRATIONAL numbers like π? PYTHAGORAS WAS A MOSSAD AGENT!
Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 10:57 am GMT
@Oscar Peterson

And yet this "striver and bootlick for the Empire" is exiled in Russia. So some guy sacrifices an enjoyable and secure life to go live in Russia and all you can say is that "he deserves his destiny?"

His "sacrifice" was inadvertent and involuntary. The fact that he seems not to appreciate the sanctuary offered to him by Russia -- has he not repeatedly expressed the desire to go elsewhere? -- says a lot. From everything I have read about him, it would appear that he regards his exile not as something to be borne with dignity, but as something to pout over as does a child who unexpectedly did not get his way.

Julian Assange, on the other hand, sacrificed much more and did so willingly and courageously. He had no illusions about the consequences that he would face for his beliefs and actions.

And this is a reflection on him or on the rest of us?

Both. Nobody remembers anything here in the US anyway, least of all people and events which do not flatter the national mythos. In the case of this would-be patriot -- the scion of a family that grew fat at the government teat, and who himself has made a tidy profit from his exile -- his unofficial damnatio memoriæ is deserved.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:07 am GMT
@Franz > veteran Credit is due for that.

Maybe you ought to give Snowden some credit for his military service too. Fair is fair.

Snowden enlisted in the United States Army Reserve on May 7, 2004, and became a Special Forces candidate through its 18X enlistment option.[39] He did not complete the training.[12] After breaking both legs in a training accident,[40] he was discharged on September 28, 2004.[41]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden#Career

9/11 Inside job , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:11 am GMT
@Brabantian Is Seth Rich dead ? OpDeepState.com : "The 'murder' of Seth Rich – Everything we thought we knew is wrong !" by Lisa Phillips . "The MOSSAD infiltrated Clinton's campaign with a Sayanim contractor – Seth Rich – this OP took Hillary right out of the race ."
anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:19 am GMT
Tor is a great tool, if you know how to use it correctly. The US gov't know people don't know how to use it correctly, and sets up exit nodes to spy on idiots, like this:

In 2007 Egerstad set up just five Tor exit nodes and used them to intercept thousands of private emails, instant messages and email account credentials.

Amongst his unwitting victims were the Australia, Japanese, Iranian, India and Russia embassies, .

Dan Egerstad proved then that exit nodes were a fine place to spy on people and his research convinced him in 2007, long before Snowden, that governments were funding expensive, high bandwidth exit nodes for exactly that purpose.

Tor is a fine security project and an excellent component in a strategy of defence in depth but it isn't (sadly) a cloak of invisibility.

Exit nodes, just like fake Wi-Fi hotspots, are an easy and tempting way for attackers to silently insert themselves into a network.

By running an exit node they can sit there as an invisible man-in-the-middle on a system that people choose when they want extra privacy and security.

Can you trust Tor's exit nodes?
https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2015/06/25/can-you-trust-tors-exit-nodes/

So just assume the US gov't is your exit node, thank them silently for paying for you to use it free, and keep your info encrypted.

Svevlad , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:30 am GMT
Both him and Assange are spooks
Rabbitnexus , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:50 am GMT
Well, this is refreshing. I agree wholeheartedly about Snowden and have the same reservations. My feelings about Assange, however, aren't much different. Julian has not challenged the 9/11 narrative either to be fair. I am inclined to see them both as limited hangouts. Snowden's 'revelations' were all old news to anyone who'd been paying attention for 10 years before his appearance. Even other whistleblowers, none of whom got any media coverage, had spoken of much of it previously. I see them both as pied pipers and nothing more. I think Russian intelligence services are perfectly well aware of what Snowden is and have kept him at arms length themselves. Not much they could do but play along but nothing suggests they ever saw him as any sort of 'coup'

Anyone who still plays along with the 9/11 bullshit narrative isn't worth a damn anyway.

Rabbitnexus , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:58 am GMT
@animalogic Consider that nothing Snowden revealed was news. It was all old hat for anyone who'd been paying attention, and for up to ten years. Sure Snowden made it mainstream for what good it did but nothing he said was a secret anymore. In fact, I thought even at the time his actions were nothing less than a 'threat and warning' from the intel services that they had this much on everyone. Just imagine all those national leaders, politicians from all states being pout on notice. All your secrets are ours! What a powerful global message to deliver and in such a loud and clear fashion.

The lack of deviation from official bullshit on 9/11 is on its own however reason enough to toss this guy out. Snowden NEVER impressed me for a moment and honestly, nor has Assange. I believe they're both working for the other side still. By the way, Julian Assange has actually denigrated 9/11 truthers a number of times.

Horst G , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:08 pm GMT
@anon It's in the magazine, page 82, quote "Zauberwürfel". Presented by me, for you to get the picture. Maybe you haven't seen enough cubes around, to get that humor. In real life, copying material on devices will be followed by arrest, no interview, no journey to some exile. This whole tale is not funny, it's evil on many levels. Your sarcasm is disturbing.
Realist , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:09 pm GMT
@Nicolás Palacios Navarro

Several years later, practically nobody remembers him here in the US, and possible elsewhere (save for when it is convenient for the media). Julian Assange was a far more daring, more insightful figure.

I disagree, there are plenty of people who remember him. The problem is they don't care, most Americans would rather watch America's Got Talent or Dancing With The Stars than do something about our corrupt political system.

Johnny Walker Read , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:16 pm GMT
Assange and Snowden are both shill's..

https://aanirfan.blogspot.com/search?q=assange

Johnny Walker Read , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:20 pm GMT
@Johnny Walker Read And

2013 Edward Snowden 'leaked stolen documents' (1) 'Leaked' to Dick Cheney friend at CIA WashPost, Rothschild employee Greenwald (2) Anti-9-11-truth (3) Nothing really new beyond more than 5+ previous NSA whistleblowers (4) Has CIA lawyers, worked with Brzezinski son, promoted by Brzezinski daughter, fake CV history (5) Known as fake to all major gov intel agencies

https://aanirfan.blogspot.com/search?q=snowden

Johnny Walker Read , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:31 pm GMT
@Johnny Walker Read This is absolutely dynamite material, it blows to smithereens any notion that Edward Snowden is anything other than a fraud, a CIA disinfo op.

So now we can place him alongside Julian Assange and Wikileaks in the rogue's gallery of professional liars. This report also exposes several other media outlets as being under CIA control, something we have known for some time

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/09/21/russia-govt-report-snowden-greenwald-are-cia-frauds/

foolisholdman , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:04 pm GMT
@animalogic

I don't know the answer -- except that this article raises serious questions, suspicions , about Snowden's authenticity.

To my mind "9/11, attitude to", is a sort of touch-stone for telling genuine dissidents from fake and both Snowden and Assange fail on that test. I don't have a reference for it, but I saw it in correspondence on this site. There was a video of a lecture given by Assange, where someone asked him about 9/11. He looked extremely embarrassed and then replied that he thought that it was "not very important" (Sic!) and changed the subject.

I am less sure of this but I think I saw something similar in an interview with Snowden. Perhaps someone else can remind me of exact references?

Amon , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:23 pm GMT
This is the same government whose leaders secure their laptops with the secret code "pas$word" and require the producers of computers to give them full access via day one exploits along with tailor fitted programs that are easier to hack.

That Snowden got away with what he did is not that shocking.

Justvisiting , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:23 pm GMT
These days Snowden has become a generic term for whistleblowing on the Deep State tech spying, like xerox for copying. I suppose someone here wants to remind us that this was _really_ the first copier, patented in 1879:

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

The truth or falsity of the original "myth" becames moot at some point.

The Deep State is spying. They do have hardware and software and monkey in the middle hacks. They do trade intelligence with other spy agencies, domestic and foreign. They lie about it through the Mockingbird media.

_That_ is what is important.

Snowden's bona fides are "inside baseball", and minor league baseball at that.

.gov IT security is a joke–millions of pages of regulations, proclamations, millions of hours of management meetings, goals, powerpoint slides–ultimately easily outmatched by any determined hackers (whether in mom's basement or an intelligence agency's basement).

Multiple Fronts , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:32 pm GMT
CIA Edward Snowden? ...
Antiwar7 , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:34 pm GMT
If he was a sys admin, that probably meant he had the rights to install, remove, enable, and disable the various safety guards and security checks discussed in this article.
sally , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:48 pm GMT
@Jonathan Revusky Yvonne Lorenzo paper suggest suspect issues exist to support Snowden's story but finds Assange's saga to be based in epic, consistent, continued resistance to the organized forces at work in governments and high profile international corporations and agencies to keep secret things which expose officials as criminals.

<=the difference is consistency, scope and finger points. Assange has been consistent.. always seeking to make available as much as he could, always with as much clarity as possible; making the point where he could, that much of what he exposed seems to be in the domain of organized crime. Assange often exposes high profile persons and tags them with evidence to connect them to prior and current organized crime or obviously corrupt activities. Assange shows these persons or governments or agencies are involved in secret diplomatic activities, the secrecy of which seem always to be protected by judicial and legal processes

The Assange story paints a picture that suggest globally organized crime has come into possession and now manages and controls many well armed domestic governments and that selected agencies of government have been enabling selected private enterprises. Assange exposes intelligence services of many different nations to be a bank, corporation, and agency inter connects that coordinate infrastructure destruction, invasion, regime change, and war, and that these events are often followed by opportunistic privatization.

Snowden merely says a few things are wrong and should be corrected. in time the government will fix its own mistakes. I do not know if Snowden is a Trojan, but nothing Assange has done suggest he is and governments have treated Assange as anything but one of them. My opinion.

der einzige , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 2:04 pm GMT
@foolisholdman I think you meant that

https://www.youtube.com/embed/zG23AyiIObk?feature=oembed

Oscar Peterson , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:35 pm GMT
@Nicolás Palacios Navarro I agree that Assange has suffered much more than Snowden, but why hold that against the latter?

Snowden took a risk to publicize what he thought was important information indicating a dangerous trend in US policy. He wasn't willing to offer himself up as a lamb to the slaughter, so it's true that his sacrifice is not perhaps the ultimate one. He seems to have thought he could remain in Hong Kong but didn't realize that China was never going to compromise relations with the US to protect him. Putin wouldn't have either except that the US was so imperious in demanding his return that Putin really couldn't save face and give him up, and no doubt he was rankled by US hypocrisy, knowing that had Snowden been a Russian, the US would never have considered sending him back.

But Snowden DID take action which is more than most of us do. I find your complete lack of empathy kind of weird, to be honest. Even if Assange is the more virtuous or if one disagrees with Snowden's actions, he has paid a price for principle.

What does his family background have to do with anything?

I'm not inclined to sneer at him, and I don't see how you get to "he deserves what he gets."

Commentator Mike , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:44 pm GMT
@Brabantian Brabantian,

So Pamela Anderson lied about visiting Assange in the embassy? If they're faking it, wherever he is he isn't in the public eye walking down the street or sitting in a Starbucks, so he's leading a prison life anyway behind closed doors somewhere. I suppose a dedicated agent would do something like that for Queen and country or whatever, but I doubt he's the type. I gather veterans today are trying to cast Assange as a Mossad agent but then they're the Journal of the Clandestine Community, whatever that is.

Snowden is not a classic defector so it makes sense for him to keep his distance from Russian society so as not to be inadvertently compromised or used by their intelligence services. He's obviously under surveillance there, I know we all are but he's much more aware of it, so that doesn't make it easy for him but he's definitely safer there than he'd be in France or Germany. I just don't think he planned well ahead when he became a whistle-blower or was clear about what he was trying to achieve. He's not the top level type of spy we're accustomed to reading about who betray their country for money or to serve another they believe in more than their own. If he has been on active duty as a CIA asset all along I can't see that he has achieved much of use to them other than in some inter-agency rivalry game. But it's natural for Russians to be suspicious of him – they're suspicious by nature – and rightly so, but it doesn't make his life easy there.

Justvisiting , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:46 pm GMT
@der einzige Thanks for posting–Assange looked dazed and confused by the question itself.

It could be "rogue agents". A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:48 pm GMT
@Anonymous Snanonymous > Snowden, unlike Assange, largely suffered from pussy deprivation

You're projecting your own lack of success with females. Meanwhile, Snowden's squeeze Lindsay Mills lives with him in Moscow.

Snowden's lawyer Anatoly Kucherena confirmed the lovebirds' reunion and said they've been taking in Russian theaters and cultural sights together. "Love is love," he told AFP. "She lives with him when she comes here. Moral support is very important for Edward."
https://nypost.com/2014/10/11/snowdens-girlfriend-lives-with-him-in-moscow-documentary-reveals/

There's no way an envious gamma like you could tap this:

Anonymous [893] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:51 pm GMT
Good stuff. Snowden was outed by Gordon Duff years ago. Although I'll have to come back to finish this article, it generally appears to agree with Duff's analysis that none of it adds up. If I may paraphrase Edward Bernays, To read the Washington Post and Guardian or watch TV news is to see America and Western Civilization through the eyes of its enemy.

The owners of the media own the public forum in America and through it the formation of men's attitudes and the outcome of elections. The left vs right, CNN vs Fox News, MAGA vs socialism and other contrived theater serves the interests of the media owners and no other.

TheJester , says: September 20, 2019 at 3:02 pm GMT
@Jonathan Revusky Try this:

Assange tried to destroy the "system", which would have furthered the conditions for completing the ongoing, global Cultural Marxist Revolution Mao Zedong on steroids.

Snowden, on the other hand, wanted something much less extreme. He wanted to fix and save the "system" by exposing its excesses in order to bring it back within a quasi-legal, democratic framework.

In response, the "system" was satisfied to teach Snowden a lesson. They were willing to slap Snowden's hand by exiling him to Western Russia, which is better than rotting in a Siberian labor camp or "max" prison in the United States.

Assange, on the other hand, is a reincarnated, digital version of Che Guevara. They want his scalp, recognizing that Assange (like Che Guevara) will brook no compromise in his revolutionary agitation.

Anonymous Snanonymous , says: September 20, 2019 at 3:22 pm GMT
@anon Thank you for the update I remain celibate out of consideration for those who are truly hard up.
Sparkon , says: September 20, 2019 at 3:29 pm GMT
Good article. Snowden and Assange are agents of disinformation

"I'm constantly annoyed that people are distracted by false conspiracies such as 9/11, when all around we provide evidence of real conspiracies, for war or mass financial fraud."

-- Julian Assange

http://911blogger.com/news/2010-07-22/wikileaks-founder-julian-assange-annoyed-911-truth

Assange's damming statement about 9/11 at the Belfast Telegraph is now behind a sign-up gatepost, which was not there in the fairly recent past.

9/11 Inside job , says: September 20, 2019 at 4:36 pm GMT
9/11 is the "litmus test" and it appears that both Assange and Snowden have failed it.
anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 5:06 pm GMT
@9/11 Inside job Well, the Real Litmus Test ™ is eternal security vs. conditional salvation. Don't fail, or everything else you've ever said must be summarily dismissed. Answer well, friendo .

Splitting (also called black-and-white thinking or all-or-nothing thinking) is the failure in a person's thinking to bring together the dichotomy of both positive and negative qualities of the self and others into a cohesive, realistic whole. It is a common defense mechanism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splitting_(psychology)

Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 6:09 pm GMT
@Realist

The problem is they don't care, most Americans would rather watch America's Got Talent or Dancing With The Stars than do something about our corrupt political system.

Also very true.

Outrage Beyond , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:43 pm GMT
It appears the author of this piece has not read Snowden's book, Permanent Record . If she had, she would not have asked questions which are answered, in detail, in Snowden's book. Here are some of the most obvious points.

1. "Why does Snowden never discuss dealing with such encryption: how would it be possible?"

Answer: In his book, Snowden describes the layers of encryption that he used when copying the files from NSA. He also describes the extraordinary level of access he had as a systems engineer. Further, he mentions his surprise at finding that the NSA did not practice widespread encryption, in contrast to his experience at CIA, where the hard drives were not only encrypted, but removed from the computers and placed in a safe each night.

2. "In the Oliver Stone movie Snowden, as well as in any of Snowden's descriptions of how he accessed the NSA computers, did you note either the depiction or reference to this universal Smart ID? How could Snowden be exempt from its requirement?"

Answer: Movies omit details. In his book, Snowden describes working in the one-person Information Sharing department. As part of that work, he brought an older, "obsolete" system to his office under the cover story of "compatibility testing" and used this older system to copy the data.

3. "Did Edward Snowden, who has publicly criticized Google, mention Google is deployed as a search engine throughout the federal "intranet"?"

Answer: Yes, as a matter of fact, in his book, Snowden does mention that Google provides a custom internal version of their search engine to the intelligence community.

4. "Edward Snowden would have us believe that the Eye of Sauron didn't notice he was looking at gigabytes of data unrelated to his job function and using his computer to copy the data to external devices over a lengthy period of time."

Answer: In his book, Snowden describes how he created a "readboard" that collected the documents as part of his work in the Information Sharing department. He also describes how another systems administrator did notice, and how he addressed this attention by providing access to his "readboard" to the other administrator, and explained its purpose and value to users. In other words, the "gigabytes of data" he was looking at were directly related to his job function.

5. "On another issue, why did Snowden provide his files to known house organs of Intelligence Agencies, specifically the Washington Post and The Guardian, and not give them to Wikileaks to allow a publicly available searchable database?"

Answer: Snowden also discusses this topic in his book. According to Snowden, he did not want to simply release the information, he wanted the media to remove anything that might cause harm.

6. "And what about Snowden himself, the pontificator, the man who can speak on television or to the media with evidence of training? Practice yourself -- see how well you can answer questions and speak publicly to a TV camera. How did he get his training? Who trained him? Why?"

Answer: After 6 years of media attention, it seems reasonable he would gain some expertise in dealing with the media.

My purpose in providing the answers above is not to defend or attack Snowden. Rather, these examples just show that the author of this piece is a sloppy amateur who did not do her homework. I suspect the author is also woefully ignorant of computer technology. Anyone curious about these topics should read Permanent Record and decide for themselves.

PetrOldSack , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:49 pm GMT
@sally

My opinion.

Your opinion stands. Snowden has de facto been compromised. Being in Russia, and not in control of his environment. Whether he was from the start, could be. The Tor browser bull- *** t speaks against him all the way. His conventional career start, and youth also. He is more Macron then a Galloway.

Assange was in for the long term, had thorough knowledge of affairs digital, his youth, his physical courage(there must be a point where selling out was a possibility) were exemplary all along the (long) and still ongoing slug.

Even his ego, fronting Wikileaks seems to be proportionate as compared to the conventional Jerks &, as Pompeo, Hillary, Trump, Obama. If one sees how many personnel is dedicated to steer elections and governance public opinion, he certainly looks like a lonely giant on the civil disobedience, organizational, knowledgeable, energy spent and resilience side. A true example of what White, and Western European descend stands for. Enlightenment, in system, style, and function. Relevancy, long term goals, dare, does not come better then that.

PetrOldSack , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:53 pm GMT
@Justvisiting Very to the point. True over the whole stretch digital communication is in existence.
Mark Hunter , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 6:59 pm GMT
@Oscar Peterson I don't have "Agree/Disagree/Etc" privileges so I say here that I agree with you.

Some of the pompous ingrates trashing Snowden for the flimsiest of reasons still seem to have a high opinion of Thomas Drake, William Binney, or Kirk Wiebe. They might read this: Three NSA Veterans Speak Out on Whistleblower

peterAUS , says: September 20, 2019 at 7:06 pm GMT
@ikki Pretty much.

The author, interestingly enough, isn't I.T. professional, but, has very definite opinions about IT security. Dumb.

Just email it to a private email.

Well, firewall logs could reveal your connection to some email server outside ..

Or store on something else and transport out.

Yep. Hehe the girl doesn't actually get how that "encryption" thing works. OSI layers etc.

And, what people really don't get: all security is as good as an average person using it. As hehe you pointed out:

Hillary was doing the same thing for ages.

Insider doesn't need to tackle technology. All he/she needs is to tackle is a dumb employee. Anyway .

I could make my home systems quite secure, even against Five Eyes. That would create another set of even worse problems, but let's leave it out for now.
The problem is my wife and her browsing/computer use habits. Hehe makes sense?

peterAUS , says: September 20, 2019 at 7:09 pm GMT
@Outrage Beyond A very good comment.

Especially

.a systems engineer .. the one-person Information Sharing department . .providing access to his "readboard" to the other administrator .

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 7:26 pm GMT
@Realist Snowden did "do something about our corrupt political system," not that anybody here cares.

And God Bless America.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/8kssysjyPl0?feature=oembed

niceland , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:46 pm GMT
Snowden keeping "distance" to Russia, and not openly defending them seems reasonable to me. You can imagine the smear campaign back home if he would side with Russia against the U.S. on almost anything. "The Russians got to him" or "He was always their man".

He is trying to keep his neutrality and credibility and his target audience isn't the average Unz reader, but rather some mainstream educated middle/upper class blokes. Easily scared away from his views if they become too controversial and too far from the established narrative.

Last but not least, he is playing very dangerous game, probably without much security from his host country. This probably limits what he can do, TPTB could probably get to him if they wanted it badly enough.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:49 pm GMT
@Horst G Everybody with the slight familiarity about the story knows of Snowden's use of the Ernő Rubik's Cube to hide the SD card.

> In real life, copying material on devices will be followed by arrest, no interview, no journey to some exile.

Snowden proved you wrong, by the skin of his teeth.

> Your sarcasm is disturbing.

Yeah? How do you think folks feel about your black cape and a fiberglass helmet?

Republic , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:54 pm GMT
@anon Wasn't Ross William Ulbricht compromised by using Tor ?
anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:12 pm GMT
@PetrOldSack > The Tor browser bull- *** t speaks against him all the way

No, your stupid bull- *** t lack of understanding about Tor speaks against you all the way. It's not encryption, like you probably think it is. It's simply a way to use another IP address without having to drive to the nearest Starbucks to use their wifi. You treat Tor just like any "free" wifi, assuming that your data is being sniffed and collected. If you're going to message, use Signal (or Telegram.) Always force HTTPS. Use encryption. All Tor does is obfuscate your IP location, which is exactly what Snowden states, "All Tor does is obfuscate your IP location .

"[Tor] allows you to disassociate your physical location ."

EDWARD SNOWDEN EXPLAINS HOW TO RECLAIM YOUR PRIVACY
https://theintercept.com/2015/11/12/edward-snowden-explains-how-to-reclaim-your-privacy/

And now Brave Browser has it built in! So easy. Try it. Just don't do anything on Tor that you wouldn't do with a Starbuck's free wifi in Foggy Bottom.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:29 pm GMT
@Republic How he got taken down is here , and it started with the name-fag using his Real Name while e-begging for help to run illegal websites, and ended up with a half-dozen FBI agents tailing him at his arrest. Even then, Tor made it harder for the FBI to track him, just not impossible.

Tor only does one thing, obfuscate your physical location. That's it. It's not magic. It's a virtual way to sit at the Starbucks cafe and use their free wifi. Just assume the exit node is owned by the Feds, looking for criminal morons who don't understand it and think it's "secure" or "encrypted." It's not. Use encryption too.

Gg , says: September 20, 2019 at 10:09 pm GMT
Stuff like this just confirms Qanon. He said years ago Snowden was a CIA plant in the NSA to reveal this information about their mass surveillance on purpose. Why ? Maybe it relates to what Michael Hoffman describes as revelation of the method – a process of revealing the crimes being committed against us by "they" so it breeds apathy and despair in the population when nothing comes from
The revelation of the crimes
The Company , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:06 pm GMT
The Russian authorities are capable of asking the same perceptive questions – – and yet they continue to be gracious hosts.
Sean , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:10 pm GMT
An allegedly very high iq high school from a family with drop out Snowden's tried to join special forces and failed jump school, he failed a polygraph, got accepted to the CIA though not as a field agent despite his lack of a degree, and was bounced from the CIA and then got a job with Dell as an outside contractor on the basis of his still intact security clearance, the contractors were not compartmentalised in the way government employees were.

Then he went to work for defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, at an NSA facility in Hawaii. In subsequent interview with journalists, Snowden lied about his doing undercover work for the CIA, salary and seniority at Booz Allen, being able to spy on the the emails and phone calls of President Obama. Oh, and suffering broken bones in special forces jump school, he just had shin splints It is very clear how he got access, and why most of the people who gave him it did not own up.

https://nypost.com/2013/11/08/snowden-duped-coworkers-to-get-passwords/ Snowden duped co-workers to get passwords A handful of agency employees who gave their login details to Snowden were identified, questioned and removed from their assignments, said a source close to several U.S. government investigations into the damage caused by the leaks.

Snowden may have persuaded between 20 and 25 fellow workers at the NSA regional operations center in Hawaii to give him their logins and passwords by telling them they were needed for him to do his job as a computer systems administrator, a second source said.

Are we to believe the NSA lacks a "digital trail" when it comes to classified documents?

It's only difficult to believe if you think NASA (like the CIA and FBI once were) are only guarded in relation to external rather than internal security breaches

[A] frightening history of plans to crush internal dissent and would-be dissenters in the United States.

Why would they bother? Those dissenters cannot change anything, while they are whiling away their free time on the internet. Such activity cannot change anything at all, and so it is to be encouraged from the point of view of any establishment as open dissent on the net wards off the allegation of totalitarian state. Talk is cheap.

Johnny Walker Read , says: September 21, 2019 at 2:19 am GMT
Learn to recognize government dis-info. http://mileswmathis.com/glenn.pdf
ShermanFan , says: September 21, 2019 at 2:28 am GMT
I'm not going to comment on the person or their agenda, rather the process-broadly.

Can you copy encrypted files without knowledge and smuggle them out? Short answer: Yes, with a second device and some standard hardware stuff. They can see the second device if it is plugged in, but they have to look for it. There is no need to try and copy from the source, copy the output to a second machine that can interpret.

Franz , says: September 21, 2019 at 6:25 am GMT
@anon

ought to give Snowden some credit for his military service too.

Hell, I'd give the guy credit for his quick sprinting at the NSA. But we haven't established if he was a wiz kid or a plant.

Vidal went into the US Army after Pearl Harbor, at age 17. Even though he'd been his high school representative for the America First Committee, trying to keep the US out of the war. Due to hypothermia working on army transport ships in the Aleutians, he was initially misdiagnosed as arthritic and, not being caught in time, ended up first with a titanium leg replacement years later, then in a wheelchair.

I remain sort of impressed when a young man opposes a fight, then for patriotic reasons, serves anyway (and pays a steep price).

I'm sure we'll get the full story on Snowden sooner or later.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 21, 2019 at 12:58 pm GMT
@Saggy A stupid girl who is completely unfamiliar with the Snowden history. For example, she asks this, "why did Snowden provide his files to The Guardian?"

Because he needed immediate press coverage. He didn't have weeks or even days, he had at most a few hours. His story had to be in the press the next morning. Both Greenwald and the Guardian reporter were with him at the hotel, worried that Snowden might even be assassinated if caught by US forces, and worked to get immediate press coverage of his plight to save his life. Plus, he was in constant contact with Wikileaks'Julian Assange, which she conveniently ignores to promote her lie-based conspiritard theory.

Without his story getting into the press within a few hours, and without Wikileaks' Julian Assange helping Snowden, he'd be in prison now, at best, possibly dead.

I say, give the guy a fair trial. He has asked for a fair trial. But the US Gov't has refused to allow his motive to be considered in the trial. Amazing, isn't it? Since when is motive to not be considered in a criminal trial?

For Snowden, a fair trial means allowing the jury to consider his motivations rather than simply deciding the case on whether a law was broken.

"They want the jury strictly to consider whether these actions were lawful or unlawful, not whether they were right or wrong," Snowden said. "And I'm sorry, but that defeats the purpose of a jury trial."

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/09/17/edward-snowden-releases-book-russia-wants-fair-trial-us/2349586001/

Che Guava , says: September 21, 2019 at 3:26 pm GMT
Tor may still be a good tool, it certainly was, I had great fun using it to troll and set off edit wars on English Wikipedia for a year or two mid-last decade. One of those edit wars lasted for about three days. I just watched after starting it (but I meant what I said in the comment that set it off, but not always in the trolling(^-^)v).

In any case, the English-language WP has been madly tracking Tor exit nodes and banning them since about early '07.

Fun while it lasted.

As for the wrong way to use it, that basically means making a connection to any other site, without Tor, while using Tor. I slipped up on that once or twice when slightly drunk.

I don't even know if using Tor is even legal in Japan now. I do love, however, how Wikipedia is aggressively supressing it.

Some politicians in ruling party were moving to make it illegal a couple of years ago, our polity is so nonsensical that I have to checck Japanese wiki to see the result.

Any fule knows that Tor original is a U.S.N. programme,

Yvonne Lorenzo , says: September 21, 2019 at 6:42 pm GMT
@der einzige

I recommend these articles from Jon Rappaport, unfortunately, wordpress deleted his blog.

Rappaport started my thinking and I bookmarked his pages long ago and to my horror found the site was taken down. I wonder why? Glad for this archive. Thank you.

Yvonne Lorenzo , says: September 21, 2019 at 6:57 pm GMT
@Outrage Beyond

It appears the author of this piece has not read Snowden's book, Permanent Record. If she had, she would not have asked questions which are answered, in detail, in Snowden's book. Here are some of the most obvious points.

1. "Why does Snowden never discuss dealing with such encryption: how would it be possible?"

Answer: In his book, Snowden describes the layers of encryption that he used when copying the files from NSA. He also describes the extraordinary level of access he had as a systems engineer. Further, he mentions his surprise at finding that the NSA did not practice widespread encryption, in contrast to his experience at CIA, where the hard drives were not only encrypted, but removed from the computers and placed in a safe each night.

2. "In the Oliver Stone movie Snowden, as well as in any of Snowden's descriptions of how he accessed the NSA computers, did you note either the depiction or reference to this universal Smart ID? How could Snowden be exempt from its requirement?"

Answer: Movies omit details. In his book, Snowden describes working in the one-person Information Sharing department. As part of that work, he brought an older, "obsolete" system to his office under the cover story of "compatibility testing" and used this older system to copy the data.

No, I haven't read the book–yet.

As part of a forensic analysis, which none of you were observant enough to understand, the subject is interviewed without knowledge of the questions in advance. His answers would be evaluated based on facts, for which a forensic IT team with no connections to government contractors would be part of and gain access to NSA systems. Thus, testimony is considered but it must be verified. Rand Paul might be one to open an investigation into the inadequacy of NSA security but government investigating itself is suspect. No such investigation will ever take place.

Note there has been no calls, that I am aware of, for any GAO study of NSA vulnerabilities.

Second, the critics miss the point: providing files to CIA-Five Eye fronts like Guardian and CIA Washington Post is suspect. As per what I wrote, no one now has access to this data.

I suspect Snowden leaked legitimate information to con the Russians to be on their soil and conduct malfeasance. Prior to Putin providing S-300s to Syria, Israel had better relations with Russia. I suspect Q is also coordinated by Intel agency friendly to Likud. Note his mention of John Perry Barlow before his death. He warned of Snowden being sent deliberately to Russia and hence my concern for CIA doing something stupid.

As to his comments on not supporting Russia, no support is necessary. If he were a decent human being he could simply have stated, "Election interference notwithstanding the U.S. should pursue non-aggressive posture against Russia. There was no 'Second Pearl Harbor.' The risk of nuclear war is great and I agree with President Trump to reduce tensions, although I disagree with his politics."

Instead, see his Tweets supporting the Pussy Hats and "We came, we saw, he died" Hillary Clinton.

In the event, Snowden is irrelevant. The end of Empire is imminent.

Read Martyanov's post on the recent threats America made to Russia here.

https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2019/09/why-would-you-ask.html

I have compassion for Snowden. His end will likely be as Skripals was: disappearance by Western IC which he supports and blame placed on Russia.

We are free to disagree with one another. I trust nothing a supporter of Empire says.

As to September 11 I wasn't aware of Assange's remarks. This is the touchstone as others have said. Snowden enlisted because of September 11 false flag. Yeah, right, he is an idiot savant.

Even Ed Asner who no longer wins Emmy awards and is blackballed had the courage to do this video. Trust Snowden? I think not.

Y. Lorenzo (this site will not allow me to post under my name)

p.s. Ron uses Gmail. The nearest military base is a long, long way from my location. A helicopter outfitted with surveillance bubbles overflew after I submitted this piece.. Coincidence, right?

I will fight for the truth. I receive no compensation for my work and expect none. I support the cause of peace and not Empire. Thanks for the intelligent supportive comments. Ad hominem attacks mean nothing. Thanks to Ron for posting though he disagrees.

Che Guava , says: September 21, 2019 at 7:17 pm GMT
...re. 'Smowden"when he was constantly whining about Russia, getting hhs pole-dancing gf to join him there must have been a major effort, but he has no gratitude for it.

Really strange. At the time, I thought that Putin's comment 'he is a strange young man' had to do only with questions of loyalty and betrayal, of course, it was lilekely deeper and more suspicious than that. If I had been in the position like 'Snowden', after first having been granted asylum, my priority would have been to study the language. I would gtuess that he can order food or drink, do basic greetings, and not much else.

Sean , says: September 21, 2019 at 7:22 pm GMT
@Republic Snowden's wife is a former pole dancer, those are for good for something, but its not marrying. Everything about him suggests immaturity, from his toying with the idea of being a model to his trying to go from frail civilian with a youth spent 24/7 gaming to passing jumps school. He stole vastly more than he could ever have read, much of it having no bearing on privacy so he has no idea what he might have compromised. Quoth he:

There is a secrecy agreement, but there is also an oath of service. An oath of service is to support and defend, not an agency, not even the president, it is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies – direct quote – foreign and domestic. And this begs the question, what happens when our obligations come into conflict.

If you have meaningful values (ie those that do not charge to suit your personal aggrandisement) you resign, I but instead of doing that he deliberately got another job contracting with the NSA all the better to steal data.

peterAUS , says: September 21, 2019 at 7:56 pm GMT
@Yvonne Lorenzo

.In the event, Snowden is irrelevant. The end of Empire is imminent. Read Martyanov's post on the recent threats America made to Russia here .

That was fast, even for this pub.

Ad hominem attacks mean nothing.

You mean being positive about you UNABLE to visualize a byte from a "keypress" moving all the way to the LAN cable with each timer "click"? You know, buffers, busses, microcode/firmware, interrupts, stack/heap, closed source, encryption/decryption layer of the OSI stack etc. That's for technology. As for people, unaware of an average idiot user in any environment using IT, Governments in particular, and the role and power of sysadmins in such environments? But confident to write articles what can and can not be done re IT security? Yeah .

AB_Anonymous , says: September 21, 2019 at 8:05 pm GMT
@anon Not sure about Pythagoras, but there are (very unfortunately) people who might have fun from combining "Rubik's Cube and highly classified information". And not necessarily in reality.
Yvonne Lorenzo , says: September 21, 2019 at 8:08 pm GMT
@peterAUS

You mean being positive about you UNABLE to visualize a byte from a "keypress" moving all the way to the LAN cable with each timer "click"? You know, buffers, busses, microcode/firmware, interrupts, stack/heap, closed source, encryption/decryption layer of the OSI stack etc. That's for technology.

Butthurt you are, yes? Tell me how he defeats this, be specific. https://www.symantec.com/products/endpoint-encryption

White paper here. https://www.symantec.com/content/dam/symantec/docs/white-papers/keeping-your-private-data-secure-en.pdf

Y. Lorenzo

And I don't care; fine, he was a clever op, he hacked the NSA, whoo-hoo. My other comments still stand. Go wave your flag, you're done.

Sean , says: September 21, 2019 at 8:22 pm GMT
@Yvonne Lorenzo

Rand Paul might be one to open an investigation into the inadequacy of NSA security but government investigating itself is suspect. No such investigation will ever take place.

Yes, Rand Paul who while cutting his lawn provoked his own retired doctor neighbor in a gated community into a maddened vicious rib dislocating attack that cost Paul part of his lung What a brilliant choice to annoy the government.

His end will likely be as Skripals was: disappearance by Western IC which he supports and blame placed on Russia

Skirpal is in America. The British got Skirpal out of Russia, but Russia could have killed him any time because he was homesick and meeting people from the Russian Embassy. In my opinion the Russians were trying to kill Skirpal's daughter along with him. They knew she was coming and timed the nerve agent attack so as to 'accidentally' kill her along with the traitor. The knowledge that you will go after their families is the ultimate deterrent. Unless you are a narcissistic dick like Snowden, who hardly mentions anything his family did for him except getting a second phone line so he could play some stupid internet game. Snowden actually says in his book that the internet raised him. It did not get him a job in the CIA despite him having no degree, that was his mom's NSA and her father's Pentagon connections. Aldrich Ames's father worked for the CIA .

Art , says: September 21, 2019 at 9:12 pm GMT
Edward Snowden is a great man – a great American. (Will a Dem president pardon him?) I recently viewed a video on how a poor immigrant family hid Snowden before he secured a flight out of Hong Kong. (He is working to get them out of Hong Kong, to Canada.) I am curious as to how he got the flight out to Russia?????
Yvonne Lorenzo , says: September 21, 2019 at 9:14 pm GMT
This will be my final comment. My issue is one regarding Snowden's character and integrity, especially as the collapsing Empire under FUBAR Trump is waging war on the world. Come on, none of the CIA trolls here have read The Saker with Orlov on the fate of the mass murdering Empire?

http://www.unz.com/tsaker/placing-the-usa-on-a-collapse-continuum-with-dmitry-orlov/

At this point it is important to explain what exactly a "final collapse" looks like. Some people are under the very mistaken assumption that a collapsed society or country looks like a Mad Max world. This is not so. The Ukraine has been a failed state for several years already, but it still exists on the map. People live there, work, most people still have electricity (albeit not 24/7), a government exists, and, at least officially, law and order is maintained. This kind of collapsed society can go on for years, maybe decades, but it is in a state of collapse nonetheless, as it has reached all the 5 Stages of Collapse as defined by Dmitry Orlov in his seminal book "The Five Stages of Collapse: Survivors' Toolkit" where he mentions the following 5 stages of collapse:

Stage 1: Financial collapse. Faith in "business as usual" is lost.
Stage 2: Commercial collapse. Faith that "the market shall provide" is lost.
Stage 3: Political collapse. Faith that "the government will take care of you" is lost.
Stage 4: Social collapse. Faith that "your people will take care of you" is lost.
Stage 5: Cultural collapse. Faith in "the goodness of humanity" is lost.

Sound familiar? Read it and weep. Your pensions are toast.

Or read Chris Hedges America The Farewell Tour.

Snowden's character is proven by his interview with Brian Roberts.

Now, although only 14% of U.S. TLAMs got past Syrian air defenses, hear him was rhapsodic on the "beautiful missiles."

And Snowden is happy to talk to this creep? And asks Rothschild-Kravis puppet Macron to ex-filtrate him to France?

https://www.voltairenet.org/article204303.html

It was in this milieu that he met Henry and Marie-Josée Kravis, in their residence on Park Avenue in New York [1]. The Kravis couple, unfailing supporters of the US Republican Party, are among the great world fortunes who play politics out of sight of the Press. Their company, KKR, like Blackstone and the Carlyle Group, is one of the world's major investment funds.

" Emmanuel's curiosity for the 'can-do attitude' was fascinating – the capacity to tell yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to. He had a thirst for knowledge and a desire to understand how things work, but without imitating or copying anyone. In this, he remained entirely French ", declares Marie-Josée Drouin (Mrs. Kravis) today [2].

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201909141076804460-go-west-edward-snowden-hopes-frances-emmanuel-macron-will-approve-his-asylum-application/

Snowden's revelations about his aspirations for asylum outside of Russia come just days ahead of the upcoming release of his new memoir which is expected to hit the shelves on US Constitution Day.

Famous American whistleblower and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the man responsible for exposing a number of global surveillance programs run by the US agency, has recently revealed that he would like to obtain asylum in France.

Call it female intuition, Snowden creeps me out.

Those who want to bow before his altar, be my guest. You have free will.

peterAUS , says: September 21, 2019 at 11:21 pm GMT
@Yvonne Lorenzo

Butthurt

whoo-hoo..

Go wave your flag

.CIA trolls here

Read it and weep. Your pensions are toast.

From an author here?!

Whoah ..

My God, Unz .. really ? Coming to this?

Hahaha oh man.

peterAUS , says: September 21, 2019 at 11:48 pm GMT
Just realized, isn't this creature the only female author here? A female creature is writing, as an author, on alt-whatever site, about things she has never been professionally involved in. With certain hahaha style.

Hahaha ..oh my.

So, what have we got:
1. Unz finally collapsed under "diversity" pressure?
2. There is, sort of a hidden, message here.

I really hope it's the second.

Sean , says: September 22, 2019 at 12:35 am GMT peterAUS , says: September 22, 2019 at 2:31 am GMT
@Sean True true .mea culpa. Female stuff, that is, in general.

Style, though, is unique for the creature here.

Butthurt

whoo-hoo..

Go wave your flag

.CIA trolls here

Read it and weep. Your pensions are toast .

.creep .creeps me out

I mean hahaha .when reading those things it's, almost, as written by a certain type of commentators here. Almost as one of them, actually. Same "footprint". Especially the first two.

I mean, having that from an author here is, really, a new low for sure.

This is the first time I've seen something like that, and my attitude was mild in this thread compared to some in other threads. I mean, I was quite hard on some authors here, and never, so far that. "Butthurt" ."whoo-hoo"

I've quite offended a couple of authors here and they never replied with any rude word. And ..my God "whoo-hoo". Haha crazy.

New "quality" seeping here, apparently. Hehe getting with times, I guess. And program.
Understandable.

peterAUS , says: September 22, 2019 at 2:54 am GMT
@peterAUS O.K. I could be wrong.

I've been on this site for quite some time. Read, on average, 20 % of articles and similar number of comments in those articles.

I can't, really, recollect ONE case when an AUTHOR, here, in a comments exchange with a commentator, used the words "butthurt" and "whoo-hoo". Not once from the, say, authors from the West. Born and raised there, that is. Cultural thing, I guess.

Anyone could prove me senile/wrong? Please.

2stateshmustate , says: September 22, 2019 at 3:27 am GMT
@foolisholdman I agree. Shilling for the Israelis regarding 911 is a deal breaker for me. They had me going about these 2 guys for a while, but when I heard that they had ridiculed 911 truthers I smelled a rat. And after this article I agree they are shills for the status quo. Reasonable people can not doubt that 911 was a false flag operation. There's just too much bullshit there.
Commentator Mike , says: September 22, 2019 at 3:43 am GMT
@peterAUS

isn't this creature the only female author here?

Ilana Mercer is a woman who writes on UR.

niceland , says: September 22, 2019 at 4:55 am GMT
I think the idea Snowden is a "plant" is a bit far out there. If he is; the real purpose of the exercise is what exactly?

I also don't get why some commenters think Julian Assange isn't who he claims to be. His Wikileaks has published great volume of highly embarrassing material for the U.S. The embassy cables come to mind – bringing to light evidence contrary to Washington narrative on many events.

There is another thing; Just after he established Wikileaks he came to Iceland and met with journalists and few politicians. The result from that visit was he met one Kristinn Hrafnsson, long time journalist in Iceland with excellent track record and credibility. Since Assange got in trouble, accused of sexual harassment from Swedish woman and finally escaped into the Ecuador embassy in London, Hrafnsson has been spokesman for Wikileaks.

Since I am familiar with Hrafnsson work for decades, I would be very surprised if he worked with Assagne all this time, and even took over his job, so to speak, as head of Wikileaks if Assagne wasn't genuine. Hrafnsson has struck me as smart guy and honest and it's extremely unlikely he would continue if something didn't smell right at Wikileaks. I also want to point out Wikileaks has been working with, what I consider the few remaining NEWS outlets in Europe. (Including The Guardian before it was bought few years ago and became worthless).

To Assagne credit he booted Icelandic polititian, one Birgitta Jónsdóttir; who tried to visit him in U.K. prison – and wanted nothing to do with her. She has been trying to make international name for herself as fighter for human rights and peacemaker and against corruption and so forth. Unfortunately she is a bag full of hot air and thinks SHE is the center of the universe. It's all about her and therefore she is of no use for any cause. Julian was right to send her packing.

I can't imagine what the CIA or NSA or other tentacles of the Empire would gain by running Wikileaks. It makes absolutely no sense to me.

niceland , says: September 22, 2019 at 5:07 am GMT
@niceland Here you can view interview by Chris Hedges with Hrafnsson on RT. You decide if this guy is genuine or not. It seems he has basically been running Wikileaks for past several years. https://www.rt.com/shows/on-contact/461987-kristinn-hrafnsson-extradition-wikileaks/
Digital Samizdat , says: September 22, 2019 at 6:43 am GMT
@der einzige Wow. Thank you for posting that. Doesn't look too good for Assange.
anon [310] Disclaimer , says: September 22, 2019 at 8:52 am GMT
@Yvonne Lorenzo > Call it female intuition, Snowden creeps me out.

Can't refute that! #BelieveWomen

anon [310] Disclaimer , says: September 22, 2019 at 9:56 am GMT
@Yvonne Lorenzo > A helicopter outfitted with surveillance bubbles overflew after I submitted this piece.. Coincidence, right?

No coincidence, they're distributing corn sharks in a contract with ADM. Stay indoors and cover your head with tin foil.

9/11 Inside job , says: September 22, 2019 at 10:19 am GMT
@2stateshmustate "9/11 is the Litmus Test " By Smoking – Mirrors.Com :

"It all comes down to 9/11.Everything that has happened has happened based on a lie . Everyone in Government ; everyone in the media , in entertainment , in organized religion , in the public ,in the public eye who accepts and promotes the official story is either a traitor or a tool . Everyone who does not stand forth and speak truth to power is a coward , a liar and complicit in mass-murder . Everyone everywhere can be measured by this Litmus Test ."

[Sep 22, 2019] Would anyone care to imagine what would happen to someone on holiday from Iran who got spotted flying a drone around Fort Dietrick or similar?

Notable quotes:
"... Jolie King and Mark Firkin had been arrested relatively recently and charged with espionage. They had been apprehended while flying a drone around a military establishment not far from Tehran. ..."
"... They claim to be innocent civilians who had been flying their drone, taking vids with it and publishing them online in every country they drove through on the overland/sea jaunt from Darwin to London. ..."
"... Although the internet & associated cryptography has likely made such laws irrelevant, I cannot believe that a couple of months ago when the Grace II thing was kicking off any brit or australian could think flying drones around Iranian bases wouldn't get them into trouble. ..."
"... Would anyone care to imagine what would happen to someone on holiday from Iran who got spotted flying a drone around Fort Dietrick or similar? No matter how many posts they had made about doing the same in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Panama & Mexico. Wouldn't that appear as if it were just cover lest something did go wrong? ..."
"... Well don't her specialties line up closely with another brit educated woman caught teaching local Iranians how to stir trouble online in Iran, one Zaghari-Ratcliffe convicted of espionage after now england PM, then secretary of foreign affairs B Johnson, slipped up and admitted she had been training Iranians, in Iran. ..."
"... This attempt to propagandize the arrests of spies may even succeed I suppose as most people just don't follow this stuff closely enough and the praised to the max western media is unlikely to disabuse them of their ignorance. ..."
"... The ruins of Angkor Wat Cambodia are a sacred place and you are warned that no drones are permitted, but you still are flying your drone and that all females must be fully covered, but you don't care, you just think you are untouchables, but you will fly your drone once too often in a restricted area and be caught. ..."
Sep 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

in response of how NK treats journalists, Eva Bartlett of Syria fame did a number of reports from NK and she said she had more freedom than in many western countries. As long as you dont show fake propaganda and show the NK'ians in favorable ie real light, they have no problems. They were not asked to take particular shots or taken to particular places but left to do everything themselves.

I remember cops pulling me over for taking pics of barns in south dakota.. Many such events.. I remember cops pulling me over so many times I can write a book on it. Once for having a white bag on the front seat.. For looking too young.. For looking like a car bugler because I was under the dash fixing speaker wires.. For having driving lights on before they had those on cars as standard.. For changing lanes to avoid police.. Free country my testicles..

A User , Sep 14 2019 6:59 utc | 44

I dunno how many have been following the issue of the 'brit-australian' trio who are in custody in Iran, but there are some oddities about these cases which suggest MI6/ ASIS are moronic and barefaced enough to try and propagandise the inevitable result of their own hamfisted stupidity.

No one had heard of Kylie Moore-Gilbert, Jolie King and Mark Firkin a week ago, then John Bolton copped the flick and suddenly australians & englanders are told that Iran has more than British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe slotted up, that two pom/oz types and a genuine Australian were also being held.

Jolie King and Mark Firkin had been arrested relatively recently and charged with espionage. They had been apprehended while flying a drone around a military establishment not far from Tehran.

They claim to be innocent civilians who had been flying their drone, taking vids with it and publishing them online in every country they drove through on the overland/sea jaunt from Darwin to London. Apparently both are University graduates who claim they didn't see the harm in doing what they were doing . . . yeah right, I guess it is possible to be that stupid but it is pretty unlikely. I'm old enough to remember that it wasn't that long ago when going into many of the nations between Oz and Iran with a ghetto blaster that would allow you to record and which had an AM or FM radio receiver would get you into the slammer quick smart.

Although the internet & associated cryptography has likely made such laws irrelevant, I cannot believe that a couple of months ago when the Grace II thing was kicking off any brit or australian could think flying drones around Iranian bases wouldn't get them into trouble.

Would anyone care to imagine what would happen to someone on holiday from Iran who got spotted flying a drone around Fort Dietrick or similar? No matter how many posts they had made about doing the same in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Panama & Mexico. Wouldn't that appear as if it were just cover lest something did go wrong?

But that is nothing cos up until today we have been told that nothing is known about another woman who has been in prison for a year on 'unknown charges'.

According to today's graun we still don't know the charges, but we do know she is another pom/oz type, Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a Cambridge-educated academic who we are told:

"The University of Melbourne's website lists Dr Moore-Gilbert on its "Find an expert" page as a lecturer at the university's Asia Institute.

It says she "specializes in Middle Eastern politics, with a particular focus on the Arab Gulf states," and that she had published work on the 2011 Arab uprisings, authoritarian governance, and on the role of new media technologies in political activism."

Well don't her specialties line up closely with another brit educated woman caught teaching local Iranians how to stir trouble online in Iran, one Zaghari-Ratcliffe convicted of espionage after now england PM, then secretary of foreign affairs B Johnson, slipped up and admitted she had been training Iranians, in Iran.

This attempt to propagandize the arrests of spies may even succeed I suppose as most people just don't follow this stuff closely enough and the praised to the max western media is unlikely to disabuse them of their ignorance.

Norwegian , Sep 14 2019 7:36 utc | 46
Peter AU 1 @44
Would anyone care to imagine what would happen to someone on holiday from Iran who got spotted flying a drone around Fort Dietrick or similar? No matter how many posts they had made about doing the same in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Panama & Mexico. Wouldn't that appear as if it were just cover lest something did go wrong?
They were well aware that using drones could get them into trouble, they said so themselves talking about Cambodia, so in no doubt the same applied to Iran. https://www.instagram.com/p/BngpgAIHqpD/

The ruins of Angkor Wat Cambodia are a sacred place and you are warned that no drones are permitted, but you still are flying your drone and that all females must be fully covered, but you don't care, you just think you are untouchables, but you will fly your drone once too often in a restricted area and be caught.

[Sep 22, 2019] It's become standard procedure for the US and its MSM to consider that Iran is totally responsible for all anti-US events in the Middle East because of actions by Iran's proxy forces in other countries

Notable quotes:
"... Under international law, a state is accountable for the unlawful actions of a proxy only if an organ of the state ordered the proxy to commit the act. It is not sufficient simply to have provided material support or even encouraged the unlawful act. For example, in the 1980s, the International Court of Justice found the United States not liable for Contra violations of international humanitarian law, even after concluding that the United States had "financed, organized, trained, supplied, equipped and armed" the Contras, even to the point of providing training materials that discussed "shoot civilians attempting to leave a town, neutralize local judges and officials, hire professional criminals to carry out 'jobs,' and provoke violence at mass demonstrations to create 'martyrs'." ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Don Bacon , Sep 17 2019 21:06 utc | 19

It's become standard procedure for the US and its MSM to consider that Iran is totally responsible for all anti-US events in the Middle East because of actions by Iran's "proxy forces" in other countries. While these events usually have more diverse objectives, it's often Iran did this and Iran did that. But there's no legal basis for that.

Here's some words on proxy relationships from DefenseOne: (excerpts)

Iran's proxy relationships have given it an extraordinary ability to impose costs on its adversaries while obscuring its role. Doing so allows it to manage its risks while politically constraining its adversaries' response. It might seem intuitive to simply declare Iran responsible, and satisfying to retaliate against it directly. But international law sets a high bar for holding a proxy's benefactor responsible for the actions of its proxy, making it difficult to build the kind of international consensus necessary to the legitimacy for any retaliation.

Under international law, a state is accountable for the unlawful actions of a proxy only if an organ of the state ordered the proxy to commit the act. It is not sufficient simply to have provided material support or even encouraged the unlawful act. For example, in the 1980s, the International Court of Justice found the United States not liable for Contra violations of international humanitarian law, even after concluding that the United States had "financed, organized, trained, supplied, equipped and armed" the Contras, even to the point of providing training materials that discussed "shoot civilians attempting to leave a town, neutralize local judges and officials, hire professional criminals to carry out 'jobs,' and provoke violence at mass demonstrations to create 'martyrs'."

Setting the bar so high establishes perverse incentives. A state that employs proxies is discouraged from moderating their behavior, since any attempt at moderation could imply effective control, and even from acknowledging the proxy relationships. So without proof that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which typically manages Iran's proxy relationships, ordered or participated in the attacks, there is little for which Saudi Arabia or the United States can hold Iran legally accountable.. . here

Jackrabbit , Sep 17 2019 21:07 utc | 20
Peter AU 1

Yeah. USA+allies still have a soft blockade via sanctions. And every attack that is attributed to Iran strengthens that.

It doesn't make sense that Iran participated in the attack.

And it doesn't make sense that Houthi did the damage we see by themselves.

Either they increased the damage to create a reason for war OR they increased the damage to help Netanyahu and increase oil prices.

vk , Sep 17 2019 21:10 utc | 23
@ Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 17 2019 20:50 utc | 16

9/11 doesn't even compare to the Houthi attack.

In 2001, drones were just a distant dream. It also involves a chain of once in a lifetime of human errors by at least three governmental institutions (CIA, FBI and Pentagon).

What the Houthi did in 2019 is not that far fetched. Drones are a much more developed and cheap technology, and Saudi Arabia is a basket case of a country. Surprise is how much soft power they did enjoy in the West, since many commenters here still insist Saudi Arabia is some kind of fascist utopia that couldn't be tricked by a bunch of stone age cave dwellers (which the Houthi aren't any way). Looks like the USA's aura of invincibility is contagious.

uncle tungsten , Sep 17 2019 21:12 utc | 24
Jackrabbit #16. Perhaps increased tensions are enough to get Nuttyahoo elected (which I think fits with the supposition that this attack is false flag). However My guess is that the Houthis will prosecute this war to the very doorsteps of the holy mosques in KSA and exact immense retribution if they can. They are responding to 5 years of geocidal assault and cannot but fight to the death.

Trump and his immaculate surrounds of holy zionists and pentecostal towel boys are in thrall. Mesmerised by their inspired service to the holy writ. No doubt they consult daily with their personal rabbi who talks through his fedora as O would have it. But they are beholden to something evil and beneath the dignity of humankind.

Perhaps war will be avoided by dithering and too elaborate plotting but I still consider that justice might manifest in a meteor strike on their heads.

[Sep 22, 2019] Searching for Kissinger's 'Decent Interval' in Afghanistan

Notable quotes:
"... Yet in spite of all this American sacrifice, the Taliban controls more territory than at any time since 2001. ..."
"... After all, President Trump hasn't even signed off on Khalilzad's draft deal, and even if he does, he could always change his mind. The ability of the Blob to swallow presidents is not to be underestimated -- and Trump is a case in point. For decades, reaching back to his career as a businessman, Trump had been a skeptic of foreign military engagements, and he explicitly campaigned against "endless wars" in 2016. ..."
"... Yet since then, the Blob has been extending pseudopods of keep-the-status-quo cajolery deep within his administration. Trump has thus been persuaded to keep the U.S. engaged, or, if one prefers, quagmired ..."
"... The Taliban are not an invading military force. The struggle as it is has been one of internal forces and players sharing the land and never having been but various communities that fought, lived and negotiated agreements all nearly all of the countries history, unlike Vietnam which has almost entire history had a North/South division. ..."
"... Quit calling the Kabul regime a "client". It's a puppet. The minute US forces leave Afghanistan, the puppet government in Kabul will fall. Don't be surprised if it collapses before the last US transport has its landing gear all the way up. Notwithstanding 2., yes, it's over. Time to pack up and move on. However, Trump can't do that. ..."
"... If Trump had really wanted to leave Afghanistan, the time to do it was when he first entered office. Blame his predecessors and wash his hands of the situation while the political price was at its lowest. But Trump is weak, stupid and easily manipulated. He listened to the generals, and the price of leaving has only risen and will only keep rising. ..."
"... They aren't much good for anything but staging, but Trump wants those Afghan outposts for the war on Iran that his Saudi owners and Israeli masters so crave. ..."
"... All the Democrats should be on the bandwagon for withdrawal yesterday because Trump's October Surprise could be announcing peace in our time and getting the hell out. It is a promise he can actually keep. It is not like he is getting his wall. ..."
"... Trump has become, himself, part of "the Blob." By hiring Pompeo and Bolton to head his foreign policy team he has abandoned any pretense of being an anti-war pro-restraint president. He's gone full neo-con and it's long past time conservatives stop pretending he hasn't. ..."
Sep 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Needless to say, the news from Afghanistan is always murky, and the U.S. is far from gone. Still, the BBC headline from September 3 tells us a lot: "Afghanistan war: US-Taliban deal would see 5,400 troops withdraw." U.S. negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad has hammered out an agreement, "in principle," with the Taliban.

He has now shared some of the details with the Afghan government -- which, revealingly, hasn't been involved in the negotiations -- and with the world as well. In other words, the U.S. has been bypassing its Kabul client regime in pursuit of a deal with the Taliban. Obviously, the fact that our Afghan ally has been left out of the negotiations is not a good sign for its relevance -- or its viability.

To be sure, even if those 5,400 American troops leave, another 8,600 would remain, plus an unknown number of contractors and operatives. Yet it's obvious that if the U.S. couldn't pacify Afghanistan with 100,000 troops at the beginning of this decade, it's not going to do much with a tiny fraction thereof. In fact, our current dealings with the Taliban recall our dealings with North Vietnam in the early '70s.

Back then, President Richard Nixon and his national security adviser Henry Kissinger were looking to negotiate with North Vietnam to find a way out. Their hope was for "peace with honor." Yet the appearance of "peace with honor" is not necessarily the same thing as the reality . Behind the scenes, it was grubbier. Nixon and Kissinger understood that the South Vietnamese government was deathly afraid of a U.S. deal with North Vietnam because Saigon understood that any such agreement would leave it in the lurch, unable to defend itself. North Vietnam, after all, was supported by both the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. And so Nixon and Kissinger simply pushed South Vietnam out of the loop. Indeed, South Vietnamese fears would have been fully confirmed had they heard Kissinger speaking to Nixon inside the White House in October 1972, as recorded by the notorious secret taping system.

As Kissinger put it, the U.S. should be hoping for a "decent interval" between the American departure and the inevitable fall of the Saigon government. And that's what happened: the Paris Peace Accords were signed on January 27, 1973, and barely more than two years later, on April 30, 1975, Saigon fell. Understandably, millions of South Vietnamese sought to flee the communists, and that, again, is how D.C. -- and the U.S. as a whole -- gained so many new restaurants. All that history is familiar to the policymakers and pundits of today. And so inside the Beltway, the debate over the future of Afghanistan -- more precisely, U.S. involvement in the conflict -- is far from over.

As TAC contributor Doug Bandow noted on August 29, the foreign policy establishment, a.k.a. "the Blob," is perpetually in favor of staying in Afghanistan, because, well, establishments are always perpetually in favor of doing everything that they're doing, perpetually. After all, who wants to admit a mistake? Especially when establishmentarians can snugly oversee the war from their armchairs in a Massachusetts Avenue think-tank? In the meantime, American losses continue to mount. On August 29, another G.I. was killed in Afghanistan; that would be Army Sergeant First Class Dustin B. Ard of Idaho Falls, Idaho. He leaves behind his pregnant wife Mary and daughter Reagan. Ard's death was the 15th this year, bringing the total of American military deaths in Afghanistan to nearly 2,400 .

Yet in spite of all this American sacrifice, the Taliban controls more territory than at any time since 2001. Indeed, the Taliban has proven its ability to strike anywhere, including inside Kabul; just on September 3, suicide bombers struck an international compound, killing at least 19. Tellingly, local Afghans now want the international residents out of their neighborhood, because they know the presence of foreigners is a magnet for Taliban killers -- whom nobody seems able to stop.

We can pause to observe that such popular fatalism dooms a regime. It makes people -- especially those with links to the West -- likely to flee. To be sure, there's no telling exactly when the Kabul government will crumble, as well as how, exactly, it will crumble.

After all, President Trump hasn't even signed off on Khalilzad's draft deal, and even if he does, he could always change his mind. The ability of the Blob to swallow presidents is not to be underestimated -- and Trump is a case in point. For decades, reaching back to his career as a businessman, Trump had been a skeptic of foreign military engagements, and he explicitly campaigned against "endless wars" in 2016.

Yet since then, the Blob has been extending pseudopods of keep-the-status-quo cajolery deep within his administration. Trump has thus been persuaded to keep the U.S. engaged, or, if one prefers, quagmired .

Remarkably, in August 2017, Trump even delivered a primetime speech on Afghanistan in which he pledged "victory." Even if Trump doesn't talk up victory anymore, nobody can say what exactly he will do. Does he want to get credit for extricating the U.S., finally, from an unpopular war?

Or does he not want to see a foreign capital fall on his watch? Whatever the case, it seems evident that the remaining sand is running out of the Afghan hourglass.

In the two years since that go-get-'em speech, Trump has expended zero rhetorical effort in support of the Afghan mission; instead he and his administration have shifted their focus to China. (And yes, there's also that fascination with Iran, although there again, because Trump is Trump, it's hard to know what will come of it. It could be anything from an armed conflict to a Kim Jong-un-ish summit.) In the meantime, the Democrats, too, have moved on. It wasn't that long ago that Barack Obama was referring to Afghanistan as the "good war," while surging American troops; Obama, too, was pseudopod-ed by the Blob. And while the 44th president soon enough realized that the new doctrine of counter-insurgency wasn't working any better than the old doctrine of counter-terrorism, he chose not to get cross-wise with the Blob -- and so American troops stayed. Yet today, nobody in the 2020 Democratic presidential field -- not even Obama alum Joe Biden -- has any enthusiasm for the Afghan mission. So whether it's a re-elected Trump or a newly elected Democrat in the White House in 2021, the U.S. is going to be looking for that fig-leafy "decent interval." It could come in the form of a bilateral agreement, or perhaps an international conference, complete with the promise of U.N. peacekeepers (although unless they're Pakistani or Chinese "peacekeepers," any foreign force will likely wilt in the face of the Taliban, which is nothing if not good at killing). Yes, it's intriguing to note that Afghanistan has trillions of dollars' worth of natural resources waiting to be mined. And so if a stable regime could ever be established in that war-crossed land, great wealth could spring forth. But that's a manifest destiny for someone else, not Uncle Sam. What we're going to get stateside when this misadventure finally comes to an end is a lot of new refugees -- and a lot of new restaurants.

James P. Pinkerton is an author and contributing editor at . He served as a White House policy aide to both Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.


Peter913 a day ago

IMHO, we should have left Afghanistan years ago. I'll settle for yesterday. To hell with the Rare Earth and our warmongers running/ruining foreign affairs!
Late Jan 2021 21 hours ago
Too late. The "decent interval" ended well over fifteen years ago.

I'm actually surprised that Trump isn't getting us out of there. He's told a lot of lies and broken a lot of promises, but that's one that would have been easy to keep, and he didn't do it. No spine.

EliteCommInc. 10 hours ago
This all depends on one simple factor. The integrity of the Taliban verses the integrity of the communists in North Vietnam.

And trying to hedge a "we lost in Vietnam" slip and slide assail has no more veracity here than it had in 1975.

The Taliban are not an invading military force. The struggle as it is has been one of internal forces and players sharing the land and never having been but various communities that fought, lived and negotiated agreements all nearly all of the countries history, unlike Vietnam which has almost entire history had a North/South division.

We are going to have foreign restaurants regardless, but interventions just invite more of them.

Sid Finster 10 hours ago
Quit calling the Kabul regime a "client". It's a puppet. The minute US forces leave Afghanistan, the puppet government in Kabul will fall. Don't be surprised if it collapses before the last US transport has its landing gear all the way up. Notwithstanding 2., yes, it's over. Time to pack up and move on. However, Trump can't do that.

a. If Trump were to order a withdrawal from Afghanistan, his political opponents would pounce. Expect lots of cries of "Putin puppet", angry denunciations of "Who lost Afghanistan?" and heart-rending images depicting the fates of suffering girls. Not to mention the grisly fates those persons so foolish as to cooperate with the United States.

Let us not kid ourselves - some of these images will in fact be genuine.

Also, Sunni Islamicists will be emboldened. It took some 18 years, but in the end, they sent the Americans home packing.

No matter how you spin it, they won and we lost. Yes, the much hyped and much bloated United States military was unable to defeat some medieval farmers in flip flops, who cannot boast so much as a Piper Cub to their name, much less a drone or a cluster bomb.

If Trump had really wanted to leave Afghanistan, the time to do it was when he first entered office. Blame his predecessors and wash his hands of the situation while the political price was at its lowest. But Trump is weak, stupid and easily manipulated. He listened to the generals, and the price of leaving has only risen and will only keep rising.

b. They aren't much good for anything but staging, but Trump wants those Afghan outposts for the war on Iran that his Saudi owners and Israeli masters so crave.

Of course, eighteen odd years and countless dollars, only to be defeated by peasants without a single fighter jet or drone is not exactly great PR for the folks trying to convince us that they really can win this time, why, Iran will be a walk in the park!

Trump is an imbecile, of course, but he is doing about the only thing he can do in Afghanistan, which is, to try and maintain a semblance of control over major population centers and pretend we're not losing.

Patrick O'Connor 6 hours ago
All the Democrats should be on the bandwagon for withdrawal yesterday because Trump's October Surprise could be announcing peace in our time and getting the hell out. It is a promise he can actually keep. It is not like he is getting his wall.
stevek9 6 hours ago
'Does he want to get credit for extricating the U.S., finally, from an unpopular war? Or does he not want to see a foreign capital fall on his watch?'

Any politician with sense knows that the American public could not care less about the fall of Kabul (what's a kabul?). That's the American people. Campaign contributions from the MIC is a different matter.

Clyde Schechter 6 hours ago
Trump has become, himself, part of "the Blob." By hiring Pompeo and Bolton to head his foreign policy team he has abandoned any pretense of being an anti-war pro-restraint president. He's gone full neo-con and it's long past time conservatives stop pretending he hasn't.
Rossbach 4 hours ago
Who gets to decide how many "refugees" the US will get from Afghanistan? Some of us would gladly forgo all these wonderful new restaurants to protect our communities from yet another "refugee" surge.

[Sep 22, 2019] The HBO series has many dramatizations that border propaganda

Sep 04, 2019 | moonofalabama.org

vk, Sep 4 2019 19:44 utc | 81

@ Posted by: Arioch | Sep 4 2019 15:25 utc | 67

Except for the fact that the USSR, and later the Russian Federation, learned with Chernobyl and fixed the RBMK. There are still (fixed design version) RBMK in operation in Russia plus a successor (MKER) based on the same design.

The HBO series has many dramatisations that border propaganda. The most grave of them, in my opinion, was during the fictional Legasov speech, when he stated the RBMK was designed purely because the USSR liked to make its stuff "cheap".

The RBMK was indeed much cheaper to produce than its competitors of the time, but its design was legit, with many even revolutionary aspects (being small and powerful for its size). It was updated and produced the aforementioned successor.

It certainly wasn't "cheap" in the sense the USSR disregarded human life as the TV series made it look like.

[Sep 22, 2019] It was neoliberalism that won the cold war

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... As for the USSR, the Soviet elite changed sides. I think Putin once said that Soviet system was "unviable" to begin with. And that's pretty precise diagnosis: as soon as the theocratic elite degenerates, it defects; and the state and the majority of the population eventually fall on their own sword. ..."
"... And the USSR clearly was a variation of a theocratic state. That explain also a very high, damaging the economy, level of centralization (the country as a single corporation) and the high level of ideology/religion-based repression (compare with Iran and Islamic state jihadists.) ..."
"... So after the WWII the ideology of Bolshevism was dead as it became clear that Soviet style theocratic state is unable to produce standard of living which Western social democracies were able to produce for their citizens. Rapid degeneration of the theocratic Bolshevik elite (aka Nomenklatura) also played an important role. ..."
"... It is important to understand that the Soviet elite changed sides completely voluntarily. Paradoxically it was high level of KGB functionaries who were instrumental in conversion to neoliberalism, starting with Andropov. It was Andropov, who created the plan of transition of the USSR to neoliberalism, the plan that Gorbachov tried to implement and miserably failed. ..."
"... So the system exploded from within because the Party elite became infected with neoliberalism (which was stupid, but reflects the level of degeneration of the Soviet elite). ..."
"... The major USA contribution other then supplying the new ideology for the Soviet elite was via CIA injecting God know how much money to bribe top officials. ..."
"... As Gorbachov was a second rate (if not the third rate) politician, he allowed the situation to run out of control. And the efforts to "rock" the system were fueled internally by emerging (as the result of Perestroika; which was a reincarnation of Lenin's idea of NEP) class of neoliberal Nouveau riche (which run the USSR "shadow economy" which emerged under Brezhnev) and by nationalist sentiments (those element were clearly supported by the USA and other Western countries money as well as via subversive efforts of national diaspora residing in the USA and Canada) and certain national minorities within the USSR. ..."
"... The brutal economic rape of the xUSSR space and generally of the whole former Soviet block by the "collective neoliberal West" naturally followed. Which had shown everybody that the vanguard of Perestroika were simply filthy compradors, who can't care less about regular citizens and their sufferings. ..."
"... BTW this huge amount of loot postponed the internal crisis of neoliberalism which happened in the USA in 2008 probably by ten years. And it (along with a couple of other factors such as telecommunication revolution) explain relative prosperity of Clinton presidency. Criminal Clinton presidency I should say. ..."
"... BTW few republics in former USSR space managed to achieve the standard of living equal to the best years of the USSR (early 80th I think) See https://web.williams.edu/Economics/brainerd/papers/ussr_july08.pdf ..."
"... Generally when the particular ideology collapses, far right nationalism fills the void. We see this now with the slow collapse of neoliberalism in the USA and Western Europe. ..."
"... Chinese learned a lot from Gorbachov's fatal mistakes and have better economic results as the result of the conversion to the neoliberalism ("from the above"), although at the end Chinese elite is not that different from Soviet elite and also is corruptible and can eventually change sides. ..."
"... But they managed to survive the "triumphal march of neoliberalism" (1980-2000) and now the danger is less as neoliberalism is clearly the good with expired "use by" date: after 2008 the neoliberal ideology was completely discredited and entered "zombie" state. ..."
Sep 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

likbez -> ilsm... , September 08, 2019 at 08:20 PM

This is a very complex issue. And I do not pretend that I am right, but I think Brad is way too superficial to be taken seriously.

IMHO it was neoliberalism that won the cold war. That means that the key neoliberal "scholars" like Friedman and Hayek and other intellectual prostitutes of financial oligarchy who helped to restore their power. Certain democratic politicians like Carter also were the major figures. Carter actually started neoliberalization of the USA, continued by Reagan,

Former Trotskyites starting from Burnham which later became known as neoconservatives also deserve to be mentioned.

It is also questionable that the USA explicitly won the cold war. Paradoxically the other victim of the global neoliberal revolution was the USA, the lower 90% of the USA population to be exact.
So there was no winners other the financial oligarchy (the transnational class.)

As for the USSR, the Soviet elite changed sides. I think Putin once said that Soviet system was "unviable" to begin with. And that's pretty precise diagnosis: as soon as the theocratic elite degenerates, it defects; and the state and the majority of the population eventually fall on their own sword.

And the USSR clearly was a variation of a theocratic state. That explain also a very high, damaging the economy, level of centralization (the country as a single corporation) and the high level of ideology/religion-based repression (compare with Iran and Islamic state jihadists.)

The degeneration started with the death of the last charismatic leader (Stalin) and the passing of the generation which remembers that actual warts of capitalism and could relate them to the "Soviet socialism" solutions.

So after the WWII the ideology of Bolshevism was dead as it became clear that Soviet style theocratic state is unable to produce standard of living which Western social democracies were able to produce for their citizens. Rapid degeneration of the theocratic Bolshevik elite (aka Nomenklatura) also played an important role.

With bolshevism as the official religion, which can't be questioned, the society was way too rigid and suppressed "entrepreneurial initiative" (which leads to enrichment of particular individuals, but also to the benefits to the society as whole), to the extent that was counterproductive. The level of dogmatism in this area was probably as close to the medieval position of Roman Catholic Church as we can get; in this sense it was only national that Cardinal Karol Wojtyla became a pope John Paul II -- he was very well prepared indeed ;-).

It is important to understand that the Soviet elite changed sides completely voluntarily. Paradoxically it was high level of KGB functionaries who were instrumental in conversion to neoliberalism, starting with Andropov. It was Andropov, who created the plan of transition of the USSR to neoliberalism, the plan that Gorbachov tried to implement and miserably failed.

So the system exploded from within because the Party elite became infected with neoliberalism (which was stupid, but reflects the level of degeneration of the Soviet elite).

The major USA contribution other then supplying the new ideology for the Soviet elite was via CIA injecting God know how much money to bribe top officials.

As Gorbachov was a second rate (if not the third rate) politician, he allowed the situation to run out of control. And the efforts to "rock" the system were fueled internally by emerging (as the result of Perestroika; which was a reincarnation of Lenin's idea of NEP) class of neoliberal Nouveau riche (which run the USSR "shadow economy" which emerged under Brezhnev) and by nationalist sentiments (those element were clearly supported by the USA and other Western countries money as well as via subversive efforts of national diaspora residing in the USA and Canada) and certain national minorities within the USSR.

Explosion of far right nationalist sentiments without "Countervailing ideology" as Bolshevism was not taken seriously anymore was the key factor that led to the dissolution of the USSR.

Essentially national movements allied with Germany that were defeated during WWII became the winners.

The brutal economic rape of the xUSSR space and generally of the whole former Soviet block by the "collective neoliberal West" naturally followed. Which had shown everybody that the vanguard of Perestroika were simply filthy compradors, who can't care less about regular citizens and their sufferings.

And the backlash created conditions for Putin coming to power.

BTW this huge amount of loot postponed the internal crisis of neoliberalism which happened in the USA in 2008 probably by ten years. And it (along with a couple of other factors such as telecommunication revolution) explain relative prosperity of Clinton presidency. Criminal Clinton presidency I should say.

BTW few republics in former USSR space managed to achieve the standard of living equal to the best years of the USSR (early 80th I think) See https://web.williams.edu/Economics/brainerd/papers/ussr_july08.pdf

The majority of the xUSSR space countries have now dismal standard of living and slided into Latin American level of inequality and corruption (not without help of the USA).

Several have civil wars in the period since getting independence, which further depressed the standard living. Most deindustrialize.

Generally when the particular ideology collapses, far right nationalism fills the void. We see this now with the slow collapse of neoliberalism in the USA and Western Europe.

Chinese learned a lot from Gorbachov's fatal mistakes and have better economic results as the result of the conversion to the neoliberalism ("from the above"), although at the end Chinese elite is not that different from Soviet elite and also is corruptible and can eventually change sides.

But they managed to survive the "triumphal march of neoliberalism" (1980-2000) and now the danger is less as neoliberalism is clearly the good with expired "use by" date: after 2008 the neoliberal ideology was completely discredited and entered "zombie" state.

So in the worst case it is the USA which might follow the path of the USSR and eventually disintegrate under the pressure of internal nationalist sentiments. Such a victor...

Even now there are some visible difference between former Confederacy states and other states on the issues such as immigration and federal redistributive programs.

[Sep 21, 2019] Edward Snowden On The NSA, His Book 'Permanent Record' And Life In Russia NPR

Sep 21, 2019 | www.npr.org

In 2013, Edward Snowden was an IT systems expert working under contract for the National Security Agency when he traveled to Hong Kong to provide three journalists with thousands of top-secret documents about U.S. intelligence agencies' surveillance of American citizens.

To Snowden, the classified information he shared with the journalists exposed privacy abuses by government intelligence agencies. He saw himself as a whistleblower. But the U.S. government considered him a traitor in violation of the Espionage Act .

After meeting with the journalists, Snowden intended to leave Hong Kong and travel -- via Russia -- to Ecuador, where he would seek asylum. But when his plane landed at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport, things didn't go according to plan.

"What I wasn't expecting was that the United States government itself ... would cancel my passport," he says.

Snowden was directed to a room where Russian intelligence agents offered to assist him -- in return for access to any secrets he harbored. Snowden says he refused.

"I didn't cooperate with the Russian intelligence services -- I haven't and I won't," he says. "I destroyed my access to the archive. ... I had no material with me before I left Hong Kong, because I knew I was going to have to go through this complex multi-jurisdictional route."

Snowden spent 40 days in the Moscow airport, trying to negotiate asylum in various countries. After being denied asylum by 27 nations, he settled in Russia, where he remains today.

"People look at me now and they think I'm this crazy guy, I'm this extremist or whatever. Some people have a misconception that [I] set out to burn down the NSA," he says. "But that's not what this was about. In many ways, 2013 wasn't about surveillance at all. What it was about was a violation of the Constitution."

Snowden's 2013 revelations led to changes in the laws and standards governing American intelligence agencies and the practices of U.S. technology companies, which now encrypt much of their Web traffic for security. He reflects on his life and his experience in the intelligence community in the memoir Permanent Record.

On Sept. 17, the U.S. Justice Department filed suit to recover all proceeds from the book, alleging that Snowden violated nondisclosure agreements by not letting the government review the manuscript before publication; Snowden's attorney, Ben Wizner, said in a statement that the book contains no government secrets that have not been previously published by respected news organizations, and that the government's prepublication review system is under court challenge.

[Sep 21, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard Slams Trump Over Saudi Policy -- Strategic Culture

Sep 21, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

Gabbard's uncompromising honesty and principles on these important foreign policy positions give her the moral high ground.

Trump can't respond to that without betraying his entire Presidential aura.

She is correct that US citizens who sign up for the military take an oath to protect and defend the constitution and the people of the United States. They did not take an oath to protect foreign dictators incapable of basic defense of their most precious and valuable real estate.

This is especially true when said dictators are the aggressors in a war of conquest against their neighbors. After more than four years of fighting, using weapons produced by the United States, with assistance by US military advisers, the Saudi Arabians have completely botched their war in Yemen, committing dozens, if not hundreds, of despicable attacks on civilian targets without anything to show for it but animosity and, now, wholly insecure infrastructure.

That this infrastructure is vital to the global economy should be irrelevant to Trump's calculus as to where to send US troops and war materiel. That was something Saudi Arabia's Clown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman should have considered before starting this war back in 2015.

The Houthi rebels in Northern Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack on the Abqaiq gas processing facility as a direct consequence of Saudi aggression. Of course, they are backed by Iran and Iranian technology.

It's nearly a week after the event and we still don't know for sure what happened. We have vague assurances from anonymous sources with the US and Saudi governments but no concrete details other than what was hit and how.

More questions abound, still, than answers.

That Trump ultimately decided against going to war with Iran over this incident doesn't negate Gabbard's attack on him. It was cogent given the moment and is principled in how US troops should be used.

In all of this discussion about a potential war with Iran no one in the Trump administration or anywhere else have made a credible argument as to what actual threat Iran poses to the people of the United States.

Vague proclamations by Iranian politicians of "death to America" are, ultimately far less threatening or interesting than the parade of US Senators and Congresscritters saying that Iran is a "rogue regime" and it should be wiped off the face of the earth.

Are our sensibilities so fragile that we can't handle a little criticism from people we have waged war by proxy with for over 70 years?

How is this any different than the average tweet by Lindsay Graham (R-AIPAC)?

We have senior officials, like the Secretary of State and the erstwhile National Security Adviser calling Iran 'evil' and we have officially lumped their army in with the same lot of terrorists as Al-Qaeda and ISIS. We have sanctioned their government and individuals within it.

Never forget that you reap what you sow in this life. And any animosity Iran and Iranians bear towards the US and Americans is richly deserved. The reverse, however, is difficult to make a case for.

Because, little factoid, Iran hasn't attacked anyone in a span of time that is longer than the US has been a country.

Iran threatens Israel in the same way that Israel threatens it. Saudi Arabia threatens Iran as an oil competitor and religious one.

And the idea that the President of the United States should entertain even a mere thought of going to war with Iran over an attack on Saudi oil production should be anathema to anyone with two brain cells to rub together and make a spark.

Because at the end of the day this is not our fight. This is a fight between enemies made rich by oil in some cases (Saudi, Iran), political clout in high places in the US and U.K. in others (Israel) and friends in other high places and cultural integrity (Iran).

This is a cultural and religious conflict we barely understand and cannot change the dynamics of by blundering in with weapons of mass destruction. It is precisely because we take sides in this conflict that this conflict never ends.

And it is a conflict that dovetails with prevailing 'wisdom' in the West about how to maintain control over the planet that dates back more than 150 years. And that is why we do what we do. But it is time for that worldview to end.

It's time bury Mackinder's ideas alongside his corpse.

To Trump's credit he seems to have realized that this incident was another like the events which led up to the US Global Hawk drone getting shot down in June. It was designed to get him to over-commit to a policy which would engulf the world in a war that only a very few powerful and highly placed want.

Even the tweet that Gabbard called him out on was carefully worded to cool things down and hint that he wasn't prepared to respond militarily to this incident. As Gabbard climbs in the polls and is treated worse than Bernie Sanders in 2016 and Ron Paul by the Republicans in 2008 and 2012, she will hold Trump to account on foreign policy with an ever-growing clout and moral clarity which bodes well for the future of US involvement overseas.

And, like Nigel Farage in the U.K. offering the Tories a non-aggression pact to get a real Brexit over the finish line, Gabbard should put country before career and applaud Trump when he doesn't act like Saudi Arabia's "Bitch." That will win her even more votes and more respect among the silent majority who are not in the throes of Trump Derangement Syndrome on both the Left and the Right.

Along with this, the likely end of Netanyahu's political career should mark a sea change in US policy. While AIPAC's pull is still very strong in the US, Israel's commitment to an aggressive foreign policy with an uncommitted President should falter under a new government without its Agitator-in-Chief.

And without that animus propelling events along eventually cooler heads will prevail, and the present dynamic will change.

Trump made an enormous mistake pulling out of the JCPOA. That genie cannot be put back in the bottle. The question now is does he have the sense and the humility to realize his board position has materially weakened to the point where the probability of a rout is rising?

2020 for him has to be about making good on his promises to end the Empire building and improving relations with Russia. With Putin openly trolling him and the Saudis recently over weapon sales the odds of the latter happening are low.

But he can still make good on the former. Trump has lost so much of his goodwill with the people he's 'negotiating with' that there is little to no wiggle room left. He has no leverage and he's got no goodwill.

I saw this coming the day he bombed the Al-Shairat airbase in April 2017. I said then that it was one of the biggest geopolitical mistakes ever. It set the stage for all the others because it showed us just how out of his depth Trump was on foreign affairs. It set him back with both Putin and Chinese Premier Xi and it also showed how easily he could be manipulated by his staff and their rotten information.

It's a deep hole he's dug for himself. But there are still people who want to help him climb out of it. Gabbard's 'bitch slap' is an example of the kind of tough love he needs to right his Presidency's ship.

His base needs to do that a little more often and then maybe, just maybe, we'd get somewhere


[Sep 18, 2019] The Obama Administration Destroyed Libya. Could Trump Make It Worse? by Ted Galen Carpenter

Notable quotes:
"... The United States also cannot resist the urge to meddle. Worse, U.S. officials seemingly can't even decide which faction it wants to back. Washington's official policy continues to support the GNA, which the United Nations recognizes as the country's legitimate government -- even though its writ extends to little territory beyond the Tripoli metropolitan area. President Donald Trump, however, had an extremely cordial, lengthy telephone conversation in April with Haftar and appeared impressed with Haftar's professed determination to combat terrorist groups and bring order and unity to Libya. Neither Libyan faction now seems certain about Washington's stance. ..."
"... One poster child for such continuing arrogance is Samantha Power, an influential national security council staffer in 2011 and later U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. In her new book, The Education of an Idealist , Power takes no responsibility whatever for the Libya debacle. Indeed, flippant might be too generous a term for her treatment of the episode. "We could hardly expect to have a crystal ball when it came to accurately predicting outcomes in places where the culture was not our own," she contends. American Conservative analyst Daniel Larison correctly excoriates her argument as "a pathetic attempt by Power to deny responsibility for the effects of a war she backed by shrugging her shoulders and pleading ignorance. If Libyan culture was so opaque and hard for the Obama administration to understand, they should never have taken sides in an internal conflict there. If the 'culture was not our own' and they couldn't anticipate what was going to happen because of that, then how arrogant must the policymakers who argued in favor of intervention have been?" ..."
"... Obama and company not only destroyed Libya, they also helped to unleash a wave of jihadis who are terrorizing vast swaths of west Africa, especially Mali and Burkina Faso. Their stupidity and lack of foresight is mind-boggling! ..."
"... I understand the role which the Obama administration played in getting the Libyan intervention started. However the major destruction of Libya's fragile structure of governance under Qaddafi was done by the French, Brits, and Italians. ..."
Sep 16, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

The United States cannot resist the urge to meddle. Worse, U.S. officials can't seem to decide which faction they want to back.

The Western-created disaster in Libya continues to grow worse. Fighting between Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar's so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) and the even more misnamed Government of National Accord (GNA) has intensified in and around Tripoli. The LNA boasted on September 11 that its forces had routed troops of the Sarraj militia, a GNA ally, killing about two hundred of them. That total may be exaggerated, but there is no doubt that the situation has become increasingly violent and chaotic in Tripoli and other portions of Libya, with innocent civilians bearing the brunt of the suffering.

An article in Bloomberg News provides a succinct account of the poisonous fruits of the U.S.-led "humanitarian" military intervention in 2011. "Libya is enduring its worst violence since the 2011 NATO-backed ouster of Muammar el-Qaddafi, which ushered in years of instability that allowed Islamist radicals to thrive and turned the country into a hub for migrants destined to Europe. Haftar had launched the war as the United Nations was laying the ground for a political conference to unite the country. It is now more divided than ever." The country has become the plaything not only of rival domestic factions but major Middle East powers , including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Those regimes are waging a ruthless geopolitical competition, providing arms and in some cases even launching airstrikes on behalf of their preferred clients.

The United States also cannot resist the urge to meddle. Worse, U.S. officials seemingly can't even decide which faction it wants to back. Washington's official policy continues to support the GNA, which the United Nations recognizes as the country's legitimate government -- even though its writ extends to little territory beyond the Tripoli metropolitan area. President Donald Trump, however, had an extremely cordial, lengthy telephone conversation in April with Haftar and appeared impressed with Haftar's professed determination to combat terrorist groups and bring order and unity to Libya. Neither Libyan faction now seems certain about Washington's stance.

Given the appalling aftermath of the original U.S.-led intervention, one might hope that advocates of an activist policy would be chastened and back away from further meddling in that unfortunate country. Yet, that is not the case. Neither the Trump administration nor the humanitarian crusaders in Barack Obama's administration who caused the calamity in the first place seem inclined to advocate a more cautious, restrained U.S. policy.

One poster child for such continuing arrogance is Samantha Power, an influential national security council staffer in 2011 and later U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. In her new book, The Education of an Idealist , Power takes no responsibility whatever for the Libya debacle. Indeed, flippant might be too generous a term for her treatment of the episode. "We could hardly expect to have a crystal ball when it came to accurately predicting outcomes in places where the culture was not our own," she contends. American Conservative analyst Daniel Larison correctly excoriates her argument as "a pathetic attempt by Power to deny responsibility for the effects of a war she backed by shrugging her shoulders and pleading ignorance. If Libyan culture was so opaque and hard for the Obama administration to understand, they should never have taken sides in an internal conflict there. If the 'culture was not our own' and they couldn't anticipate what was going to happen because of that, then how arrogant must the policymakers who argued in favor of intervention have been?"

The answer to Larison's rhetorical question is "extraordinarily arrogant." It is not as though prudent foreign-policy experts didn't warn Power and her colleagues about the probable consequences of intervening in a volatile, fragile country like Libya. Indeed, as Robert Gates, Obama's secretary of defense, confirms in his memoir, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War , the Obama administration itself was deeply divided about the advisability of intervention. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, Vice President Joe Biden, and Gates were opposed. Among the most outspoken proponents of action were Power and her mentor, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Gates notes further that Obama was deeply torn, later telling his secretary of defense that the decision was a "51 to 49" call.

The existence of a sharp internal division is sufficient evidence by itself that Power's attempt to absolve herself and other humanitarian crusaders of responsibility for the subsequent tragedy is without merit. Indeed, it has even less credibility than Pontius Pilate's infamous effort to evade guilt. They were warned of the probable outcome, yet they chose to disregard those warnings.

Power, Clinton, Obama and other proponents of ousting Qaddafi turned Libya into a chaotic Somalia on the Mediterranean, and the blood of innocents shed since 2011 is on their hands. Given the stark split within the president's national security team, the Libya intervention was especially reckless and unjustified. The default option in such a case should have been against intervention, not plunging ahead.

The Trump administration should learn from the blunders of its predecessor and resist any temptation to meddle further. America does not have a dog in the ongoing fight between Haftar and the GNA, and we should simply accept whatever outcome emerges. Washington's arrogant interference has caused enough suffering in Libya already.

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in security studies at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at the National Interest , is the author of thirteen books and more than eight hundred articles on international affairs. His latest book is NATO: The Dangerous Dinosaur .


Druid 7 hours ago ,

The outcome in Libya is what the intent was - chaos, per the Yinon plan. The side effect of mass immigration to Europe was warned by Gaddafi! All was known, yet the destabilization war continued.

npbinni 8 hours ago ,

Obama and company not only destroyed Libya, they also helped to unleash a wave of jihadis who are terrorizing vast swaths of west Africa, especially Mali and Burkina Faso. Their stupidity and lack of foresight is mind-boggling!

dieter heymann 13 hours ago ,

Libya was and still is the case of a civil war into which foreign powers have intervened. The major parties of that war have always been the Tripolitanian West and the Cyrenaican East. Whoever is on top considers the others to be the rebels. That is how the demise of Qaddafi began. For him Benghazi was the rebel's nest which needed some cleaning. Nothing has changed. Haftar is the new Qaddafi.

I understand the role which the Obama administration played in getting the Libyan intervention started. However the major destruction of Libya's fragile structure of governance under Qaddafi was done by the French, Brits, and Italians.

Mark Thomason a day ago ,

You can always make things worse. It is one thing that Trump and friends are good at.

They don't consider that a criticism either, since they want what the rest of us consider worse -- more war, more enemies, more inequality in outcomes at home, more desperation at home giving more power to the haves over the have-nots.

redeemed626 2 days ago • edited ,

Mortimer Adler's "How to Read a Book" is a timeless classic that still applies to articles produced for electronic consumption. One of Adler's primary admonitions was to consider the author's expertise, credibility, and potential biases. With regard to this article, scrolling down to the end reveals the author's association with the Koch Brother financed Cato Institute. The Koch Brothers and their money have done more to destroy American democracy than any foreign tyrant or Presidential folly.

And oh, by the way, what did the Neocons and the Vulcans of the W Administration do to the entire Middle East other than create a contiguous geographic belt of Iranian Shiite influence from Tehran to Beirut?

[Sep 18, 2019] Ukraine Votes for a Future in Europe by Robert C. O'Brien

A very weak article. Complete lack of understanding on the real situation in Ukraine. This worse the the level of freshmen in the second rate college.
Yet another unreformed Cold War warrior...
Oct 29, 2014 | nationalinterest.org

"Ukrainians are happy today. They showed the world that they remain unbowed in the face of aggression and are committed to a future in the democratic West."

https://lockerdome.com/lad/12130885885741670?pubid=ld-3562-627&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fnationalinterest.org&rid=duckduckgo.com&width=896

[Sep 18, 2019] Trump Makes Another Bad Choice for National Security Advisor

Looks like Trump just increased his chances to lose to Warren in 2020 elections.
Notable quotes:
"... O'Brien advised the Romney 2012 campaign, and he also advised the short-lived Scott Walker campaign in the 2016 cycle. He is a typical hawkish Republican. ..."
"... Obviously, "Bolton lite" isn't much of an improvement over Bolton, and it seems unlikely that there will be any significant improvement in administration foreign policy over the next fifteen months. The summary of O'Brien's book confirms as much: ..."
"... Back in 2014, he was praising Romney for his "Churchill-like warning of a resurgent Russia," and I pointed out that Romney had said a lot of ignorant, knee-jerk things about Russia that were wrong. The fact that O'Brien thought and probably still thinks that "Romney was right" about anything related to foreign policy is more evidence that Trump made a very poor choice again. ..."
"... Let's be serious, Mr Trump did not pick Mr Robert O'Brien. ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Trump announced the selection of his fourth National Security Advisor:

President Trump announced Wednesday that Robert O'Brien, the special envoy for hostage affairs at the State Department, will be his next national security advisor.

O'Brien previously served in the Bush administration's State Department. Hugh Hewitt, who wrote the foreword to O'Brien's book , has described him as a "long time colleague of John Bolton." Since the Bush years, O'Brien advised the Romney 2012 campaign, and he also advised the short-lived Scott Walker campaign in the 2016 cycle. He is a typical hawkish Republican. Curt Mills referred to him in his recent report on the race to replace Bolton this way:

Robert O'Brien, the Trump hostage negotiator whose stock has risen in the administration in recent months, is "Bolton lite," according to a source who has known O'Brien for years.

Obviously, "Bolton lite" isn't much of an improvement over Bolton, and it seems unlikely that there will be any significant improvement in administration foreign policy over the next fifteen months. The summary of O'Brien's book confirms as much:

The world has become steadily more dangerous under President Obama's "lead from behind" foreign policy. The Obama Administration's foreign policy has emboldened our adversaries and disheartened our allies. Indeed, Obama's nuclear deal with Iran is a 1938 moment. At the same time, the U.S. military has been cut and risks returning to the hollow force days of the 1970s. O'Brien lays out the challenges and provides the common sense "peace through strength" solutions that will allow the next president to make America great again.

There is nothing surprising in here, and a lot that is embarrassingly wrong, but it is consistent with the GOP's bankrupt foreign policy worldview. A friendly review of the book describes that worldview in boilerplate terms:

Robert writes from a series of beliefs and assumptions that I also hold: a deep belief in American Exceptionalism, that peace comes through strength, that the United States is stronger when it partners with its allies and when America is a reliable friend to its allies, that the greatness of America comes from a people that respect tradition and the rule of law, and that (yes) we are the good guys and there are some bad guys out there.

I have had occasion to criticize O'Brien's writings in the past. Back in 2014, he was praising Romney for his "Churchill-like warning of a resurgent Russia," and I pointed out that Romney had said a lot of ignorant, knee-jerk things about Russia that were wrong. The fact that O'Brien thought and probably still thinks that "Romney was right" about anything related to foreign policy is more evidence that Trump made a very poor choice again.

O'Brien's most recent high-profile assignment was to be sent to Sweden as part of the president's embarrassing fixation on the case of the rapper ASAP Rocky , who had been detained in Sweden and was facing charges for assault. It would not surprise me if this silly episode and waste of government resources was quite important in winning the president's favor. O'Brien probably wasn't the worst choice Trump could have made, but Trump's fourth choice for National Security Advisor is still a bad one.

Sydney an hour ago

Who says Mr Trump is unpredictable? Is there anybody expected anything else from Mr Trump when it comes to picking his advisers or making thoughtful decisions? Let's be serious, Mr Trump did not pick Mr Robert O'Brien. The Bolton, Pompeo, Pence triumvirate picked Trump's NSA; naturally.

[Sep 18, 2019] O'Brien lays out the challenges and provides the common sense "peace through strength" solutions that will allow the next president to make America great again.

Yet another neocon, who want to sacrifice the well being of the US population for imperial glory
Sep 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Don Bacon , Sep 18 2019 15:19 utc | 153
The new US National Security Advisor is lawyer Robert C. O'Brien, best known as author of his 2016 book "While America Slept: Restoring American Leadership to a World in Crisis."

Amazon 2016 blurb:

Robert C. O'Brien's collection of essays on U.S. national security and foreign policy, with a forward by Hugh Hewitt, is a wake up call to the American people. The world has become steadily more dangerous under President Obama's "lead from behind" foreign policy. The Obama Administration's foreign policy has emboldened our adversaries and disheartened our allies. Indeed, Obama's nuclear deal with Iran is a 1938 moment. At the same time, the U.S. military has been cut and risks returning to the hollow force days of the 1970s. O'Brien lays out the challenges and provides the common sense "peace through strength" solutions that will allow the next president to make America great again. . . here
The origin of MAGA? Or merely an update.

Norwegian , Sep 18 2019 15:29 utc | 159

Don Bacon @153
O'Brien, best known as author of his 2016 book "While America Slept: Restoring American Leadership to a World in Crisis."

Not to be confused with the Inner Party member in 1984. Just a coincidence.

[Sep 18, 2019] USA Pretend Unmasked - Global ResearchGlobal Research - Centre for Research on Globalization

Sep 18, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

"USA Pretend" Unmasked By S. Brian Willson Global Research, September 12, 2019 Region: Asia , USA Theme: History

Viet Nam – Epiphany for the USA

There was a moment in Viet Nam when I questioned whether everything I had been taught about "America" was one big fabricated lie – a huge pretend. It was April 1969, and I had just experienced witnessing the aftermath of a series of bombings of supposed military targets. They were in fact inhabited, undefended villages where virtually everyone in those villages perished from low flying bombings, that included napalming. The majority of dead – murdered – were young burned children. On several occasions I observed those bodies up close, sickened by the sight, now burdened by the criminal nature of the US war. The policy of accumulating massive numbers of body counts was an inkling of the Grand Lie. Reading the entrance sign to my squadron in-country headquarters, "Welcome to Indian Country," was a first clue.

My duty station was the "home" of the fighter-bombers and pilots who followed orders to destroy those "enemy targets", i.e., villages. I was the USAF night security commander following orders to protect those soldiers and planes from mortar and sapper attacks.

A few days later I was reading an article in Stars and Stripes , an official, independent newspaper for soldiers, reporting on a recent Supreme Court decision ( Street v . New York , 1969) that upheld the right of desecrating our "sacred" symbol – the US flag. During a period of increased burnings of the US American flag in protests of the US wars against African-Americans at home, and Asians abroad, an African-American veteran recipient of a Bronze Star, Sidney Street , publicly burned his personal flag on a New York City street corner for which he was arrested and convicted.

Depressed, I pondered how it is that one could be arrested for burning a piece of cloth – even a national symbol – that represented an official policy of criminally burning innocent human beings, including large numbers of young children, while the pilot-perpetrators were commended, and whom, in my duties I was protecting? Initially suicidal, I had difficulty wrapping my head around this dystopian nightmare. I was in psychic shock from extreme cognitive dissonance.

Our behavior against the Vietnamese, a nation of peasants with one-sixth the population of the USA, one-thirtieth its size, certainly must rank as one of the worst of a number of barbarisms in the 20 th Century. The US left 26 million bomb craters, sprayed 21 million gallons of DNA-altering chemical warfare on the landscape and people, murdered some 6 million Southeast Asians, destroyed by bombing over 13,000 of Viet Nam's 21,000 villages, 950 churches and pagodas, 350 clearly marked hospitals, 3,000 high schools and universities, 15,000 bridges, etc.

Why all this overwhelming firepower and destruction? Incredulously, to prevent the Vietnamese from enjoying their self-determination, absurdly touted as necessary to stop "communism." Does there in fact exist a kind of psychopathy in our cultural DNA? Though I hadn't fired a bullet myself, or dropped a bomb, I had been a compliant participant in a mindless murder machine. Viet Nam was not an aberration, but consistent with a long history of arrogant interventions revealing something very dark about who we are. Was I part of a savage culture of unthinking sadists, I wondered?

VNWarMontage.png

Clockwise, from top left: U.S. combat operations in Ia Đrăng , ARVN Rangers defending Saigon during the 1968 Tết Offensive , two A-4C Skyhawks after the Gulf of Tonkin incident , ARVN recapture Quảng Trị during the 1972 Easter Offensive , civilians fleeing the 1972 Battle of Quảng Trị , and burial of 300 victims of the 1968 Huế Massacre . (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Learning Real People's Versus Fake, Kool Aid US History

I have spent countless hours studying a more comprehensive people's version of world and US history. Study of US history of course is part of the Eurocentric globalization/colonization over the past 500 years. The 20 percent Eurocentric "developed-world" is a product of self-proclaimed "superiors" violently and deceitfully stealing resources and labor from the other 80 percent, all cloaked in the conceited rhetoric of spreading "civilization." This patriarchal policy is totally unsustainable from a social, political, ecological, psychological, and moral perspective.

It is instructive to learn that the "Founding Fathers" chose, not democracy, but oligarchy/plutocracy "to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority." Jefferson's "empire of liberty" was a vision to expand private property for large landowners. Our Constitution is more a document to preserve freedom of "property" and commercial transactions, than it is to preserve human liberty, of which free speech is the most fundamental. Historian Staughton Lynd summarized it thus: inherited land replaced inherited government. Recently the highest court of the land ruled the legal fiction that property (money) is a person with free speech rights, as preposterous as the earlier legal fiction that a person (slave) is property.

A fear-laden gun culture originating in violent settler-colonialism and white nationalism-supremacy serve as a basis for the founding ideology and military strategy of the United States. Slave patrols and Indian fighters were our first "special operations," establishing the essential White character of our militarized culture. As the systematic dispossession project continued, the US government signed over 400 treaties with Indigenous nations, violating every one of them, establishing deceit and outright lying as part of our cultural DNA.

The politics of violence based on classism and racism has been incessant throughout our history. Examining the US criminal injustice system housing a quarter of all the world's prisoners reveals brutal truth when comparing extreme disparities in punishments by race, and class. Justice?

I studied the history of the city of my birth – Geneva, New York, which in the 1700s was Kanadesaga, capitol of the Seneca nation. On September 8, 1779, Major General John Sullivan and his forty-five hundred soldiers eradicated these "merciless Indian Savages" in the largest Revolutionary War battle of 1779 – a terrorist, scorched-earth campaign massacring civilians while destroying all forty of the well-established Seneca towns, including Kanadesaga. By 1788, the European settlers renamed it Geneva, as if nothing had happened, a deserved reward for superiors.

All those arrowheads I enjoyed collecting as a child possessed a profound dark secret about the nature and character of my ancestors. However, I would only discover their secret after deep reflections from my Viet Nam awakening.

Official US military interventionism began with the US Marine invasion of the Dominican Republic in 1798 during the undeclared naval war with France. However, hundreds of settler paramilitary units had been killing Indians since the 1620s. But imperialism has been explicit policy since the late 1890s to assure domestic prosperity. In 1907, Woodrow Wilson while president of Princeton University (six years before being elected US president) lectured:

"Since trade ignores national boundaries and the manufacturer insists on having the world as a market, the flag of his nation must follow him, and the doors of the nations which are closed against him must be battered down. .Colonies must be obtained or planted, in order that no useful corner of the world may be overlooked or left unused."

President McKinley, and various Senators continued to advocate "a foreign market for our surplus products." US meddling, both "soft," and hard, has never stopped.

Traveling to a number of nations in Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East have exposed me to details of hundreds of US overt interventions, and thousands of covert destabilization actions. These policies have caused the murders of millions, 20 to 30 million alone since WWII during the so-called "Cold War". Only five of these nearly 600 military interventions have been declared wars as required by the Constitution, clearly indicating our sacred document is not taken seriously. This also tells us the system has no interest in being accountable to its own Constitution, or international law. Speaking with peasants in these victim-countries invariably reveals the horrendous cruelty of US interveners and their surrogates. Does the US possess any intentions to be law-abiding? Does the US possess any feelings for others, or only selfish imperial ambitions? And does anyone care?

Violence against even White citizens has matched violence we have carried out in foreign policy. The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1917-18 were enacted to suppress anti-war dissent against US entrance into World War I. Thousands of US Americans were deported and imprisoned following World War I for "radical" anti-war expressions, including labor leaders and socialists. Some were tortured in US prisons. Ironically, free speech dissent is most critical when a government decides to go to war. The original Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 stifled free speech of US citizens, including elected officials, who objected to the undeclared war against France. Free speech? Huh?

While the US was locking up and deporting citizens for opposing World War I, the FBI was ignoring extremely violent KKK supremacist groups whose six million members – nearly 25 percent of the white male population at the time – were lynching with impunity an average of six African-Americans a month. Equal protection?

The first known use of air power against civilians was committed by US Marines in Haiti in 1919. But, the second known use of US air power against civilians occurred in Tulsa, Oklahoma, May 31-June 1, 1921, when hundreds of economically successful Black residents living in a 36-square block community were murdered, including from low flying white-piloted planes dropping incendiaries, destroying nearly 1,300 buildings. How many US Americans know about this abomination?

Walter White, a longtime leader in the National Association for Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), concluded that southerners fear of Negro progress offends the intangible feeling of racial superiority, explaining the intensity of White savagery. The sense of established White superiority (or anyone possessing those feelings) often leads to an insecure character from lack of practicing accountability with others in a world of varied, challenging relationships. Those feelings easily morph into paranoia of others, and delusions of self grandeur – one of the most difficult psychological orders to treat, as the persistent pathology of racism (and classism) so attests.

America's Wars: The Day We Refused To Fight. "War is just Terrorism with a Bigger Budget"

The third known use of US bombing civilians occurred at Blair Mountain, West Virginia, August-September 1921. As many as 15,000 striking coal miners attempting to unionize were attacked by 2,000 armed sheriff's deputies, coal company paramilitaries, US troops, and US Army Martin MB-1 bombers, killing as many as 100 miners, with many more wounded. Before the battles had ended, more than a million ammunition rounds had been fired. Nearly 1,000 miners were ironically indicted for murder of the nearly 30 deaths among the miner's attackers. Over 700 union organizers have been murdered in our history. Is this known by many?

We continue to be obsessed with personal and government guns (police and military) as a guarantor of our security. Those who question easy access to guns, even assault weapons, or the ridiculously wasteful military spending, are thought of as nearly traitorous. US citizens personally own nearly 400 million firearms, or 40 percent of all private guns in the world. On average, three US citizens are killed every day by police, disproportionately African-Americans. So far in 2019, the US has experienced more than one mass shooting (4 or more shot) every day. Our gun death rate is ten times above that of other high income countries. Using violence as a default position historically ends in disaster, as it has been proven over and over that violence spirals out of control into more violence, while distracting from serious discourse. Why the incredible record of violence? Insecurity?

Under its doctrine of Full Spectrum Dominance, the US government routinely dispatches military ships to every sea space, military planes to every airspace, hundreds of satellites into outer space, while ordering Special Forces units to operate clandestinely in nearly three-fourths of the world's countries. Additionally, of the 1.4 million US soldiers in the world, nearly 200,000 are positioned in as many as 150 countries, most stationed at 800 major military bases in 80 nations. The US also possesses a large percentage of the world's weapons of mass destruction, and recently has dispensed with any genuine effort at containing the spread of nuclear weapons. The annual military budget, including hidden costs, amounts to an exorbitant $1.25 trillion a year, more money than the next seven countries combined spend on their militaries. If you want to be guaranteed health care and a modest house, join the Army. Otherwise these human rights are "unaffordable." If you want gun control, start at the top.

How to explain the extent and breadth of our violent militarism and global imperialism? Paranoia? It seems that our sense of superiority justifies hurtful dispossession from others to acquire and preserve undeserved privilege.

After exiting the military in 1970, my opinions about the US war against the Vietnamese were affirmed with the 1971 release of the Pentagon Papers revealing the more than 20 years of criminal intentions, and deceit, to thwart Vietnamese aspirations for self-determination. Earlier in 1971, January 31-February 2, Vietnam Veterans Against the War conducted the "Winter Soldier Investigation: An Inquiry into American War Crimes" when nearly 120 veterans testified about the war crimes and atrocities they committed or witnessed in Viet Nam. I was aghast when learning about Nixon's intended Huston plan to criminally interrupt antiwar activities, the FBI's sixteen-year COINTELPRO of more than 2,000 illegal actions against innocent US citizens, the CIA's Operation CHAOS keeping tabs on 300,000 citizens opposed to the Viet Nam war, and the National Security Agency's Operation SHAMROCK watch lists of those communicating with people overseas. Respect for the law? Huh? Further research revealed that as early as 1934 President Roosevelt instituted a long-standing joint FBI-military program to conduct domestic intelligence with broad investigative scope. The "American" Kool Aid indeed has sedated us.

Today our freedoms are further curtailed, for example, as the National Security Agency (NSA) spies on every US American, the Authorization of Military Force Act (AUFA) allows warrantless electronic surveillance of anyone suspected of aiding terrorism, and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) enables indefinite detention of US citizens, even arrest by the military. Where is the Constitution when we need it? Or was it ever really there for us?

One of the most revealing chapters in our history is the incredible sympathy the US possessed for authoritarian Nazi Germany. Even though the Soviet military was most critical in defeating the Nazis in World War II, deep fear of the Bolsheviks (the emergence of an alternative social-economic system to capitalism) motivated US America's wealthy class, with complicity of the US government, to support the rise of Nazi Germany from the mid-1930s into the war years themselves. The US capitalists supported the Nazi capitalists to defeat the "threat" of socialism. Elite power brokers included leaders of Wall Street and wealthy "barons" such as the Rockefellers and Andrew Mellon, and businesses such as Ford Motor, IBM (tabulating daily location of Jews in the Holocaust), General Motors, General Electric, Standard Oil, Texaco, ITT, International Harvester, Chase Manhattan Bank, the House of Morgan banking dynasty, DuPont, United Aircraft, etc., who enjoyed huge profits from the war. And following the war, the US's "Operation Gladio" systematically defeated popular anti -Nazi groups throughout Europe, while "Operation Paperclip" secretly brought Nazi scientists and other professionals to the US. Our affinity for fascism has been established.

Psychologically, it is important to note that our national identity has consistently been markedly defined by demonizing others – "merciless savages", "uppity ni**ers", "anarchists", "radicals", "communists", "Russians", "alien filth", "narco-traffickers", "terrorists", "shithole countries", "vermin", etc., echoing psychologist Carl Jung's principle of "shadow projection." Jung described a cowardly trick we play on ourselves: avoid looking in the mirror so as not to take responsibility for seeing our own demons. We "see" the evil in others, perpetuating a nation addicted to war against them, obscenely profiting as we self-righteously deny our own severe pathologies. If we had looked in the mirror we would have learned what Pogo told us, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

Eco-psychologist Chellis Glendinning suggests that modern humans suffer from deep insecurity that emerged from collective traumas hundreds of generations ago. A serious disconnect from intimacy with the earth occurred when our ancient ancestors began controlling nature through agriculture and animal domestication. Evolutionary philosopher Gregory Bateson concludes that addictive behavior is consistent with the Western approach to life that pits mind against body, while behaving as if the natural world is a commodity. We seek various distractions to numb our pain from this feeling of aloofness. Technology, not Nature, has become our God.

Recognizing the Lie

Could it be that virtually everything I was taught by my parents, community, school, church, and political leaders in terms of factual history, morality, ethics, and rational thinking about "America" was the opposite of what had been represented? How could that be?

Yes, I have been conditioned by an incredibly comfortable fairy tale, a massive cultural system denying or distorting historic realities, founded on shameful genocides. I had been betrayed. We are told we are the greatest, even as we (s)elect imperial Presidents and Congresspeople in an orgy of fantastic fiction about "democracy." The US Senate is a millionaire's club, with many members of the US House also in that class. Indian author Arundhati Roy describes "democracy" and "pro-democracy" as the "Free World's whores", hollow words satisfying a whole range of tastes, available to be used and abused at will where facts don't matter.

US America loves its myth of being committed to justice for all, but in fact it is a society ruled and funded by a wealthy elite. This is not a government of, by and for the people! It is a ruthless oligarchy sanctioned by a majority of the people believing their vote counts. Money has always mattered, severely rigging the game in many ways toward an upper class (obscenely bribing candidates, corporate personhood power, gerrymandering, proprietary election software, hacking capacity to effect results, Jim Crow laws, voter suppression, etc.). The oligarchy approves "acceptable" candidates, while contrived rhetoric, propaganda, and our education system keep us faithful to our political system comprised of one party with two right wings, the winner ruling by tyranny of its majority. But the bottom line is that (s)elected representatives obey their large donors who thrive on war-making against vulnerable others.

Nonetheless, these facts do not preclude existence of individual conscientious politicians. However, the political economic system itself is fixed, it is not broken, a dilemma every honest politician must face. This delicious Kool Aid has in fact concealed a delusional madness, a Kafkaesque, Orwellian nightmare. Our political leaders have consistently and collectively acted outside the Constitution, while selectively applying laws that preserve the cabal in power. It has always been this way, though the social revolution of the 1960s threatened to overturn the oligopoly. This revolution was unfortunately unsuccessful but the fearful system's repressive reaction is now in its fifth decade. In the end, we are in fact a nation of men, not laws.

So, in effect, our mythological story made me functionally stupid, a "good kid" who became complicit in mindless, mass murder. And I am suggesting that it has created a society comprised of millions of functionally stupid people. This is different from intelligence. This is not idiocy. This is serious non -thinking of intellectually capable people who, in effect, have suspended their autonomous critical thinking, basking in an intoxicated spell of our sense of national invincibility. It has enhanced the Friedman era of neoliberal privatization, worshipping greed, while millions are without health care and homeless. This is mass psychopathy, a dangerous cultural mental illness.

German Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer , while a prisoner in one of Hitler's jails, wrote about the role of stupidity in the German people that substantially contributed to the rise of Nazism and worship of savior Hitler. He argued that it is very separate from intellectual capacity but occurs when a cult-like belief system dangerously suspends critical thinking, bringing collective relief to an emotionally anxious population. It is a form of voluntary servitude more dangerous than malice, an entrenched belief system that makes genuine dialogue and education almost impossible. (Bonhoeffer was hung in April 1945).

As US Americans we possess no visceral memory of the two unspeakable genocides our ancestors shamefully committed, forcefully dispossessing Indigenous Africans of their labor, and genuine Americans of their land, murdering millions with impunity. Even though we are superficially taught about slavery and conquering the Indigenous, their egregious suffering has been outsourced outside our feeling fields for 25 generations . Thus, was established our cultural "DNA" of achieving expansion benefitting a few (mostly White males and those who think like them) through any means while escaping any accountability whatsoever. Now nearly 600 overt, and thousands of covert interventions later, US Americans still know little or nothing about our unspeakable imperialism. Why not? Isn't it critically important that we seriously grapple with our diabolical history?

In 2019, the President, US military, CIA, and other "regime change" entities like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and their funders in Congress, continue to intervene almost everywhere, destabilizing with crippling sanctions, sadistically causing suffering, causing chaos, creating kill lists, murdering, bombing, etc. Does any of this criminal insanity even happen? Has it ever? Does it matter to most people? I believe there is a deep shame that burdens us. It is understandable to avoid looking at shame, but the cost is perpetual war for perpetual peace until we are all dead. The era of privilege is over, as we enter the terrifying era of consequences, bringing fear, insecurity and anxiety to many heretofore privileged folks. Denial becomes a lethal seduction.

Our amnesia has precluded emotional intelligence, a depth of character, so necessary for mature development, with little understanding of historical context. We are effectively emotionally retarded, blocking the universal embedded human feeling of empathy, and the collective solidarity that emerges therefrom. Thus, "America" is very insecure having been conveniently wrapped in a fake, pretend narrative, convincing us of our "exceptional" nature, ignoring both our systemic pattern of domestic violence, and global imperialism. The corporate media, and corporate-owned social media platforms, serve as stenographers for our oligarchic policies and values. They create an agenda-driven narrative that inoculates our minds with constant group think untruths of neo-liberal capitalism.

We now live in a post-truth world, where narcissistic life is experienced as virtual, not real. Do we feel the pain of the Afghani, Yemeni, the Syrian, Iraqi, Iranian, Libyan, Somali, the Russian, the Venezuelan, Nicaraguan, Honduran, Guatemalan, Mexican, Palestinian in Gaza, or our neighbor down the street whose cancer left her homeless due to foreclosure? How much do we care? Answering these questions can tell us a lot about our own survival, including yours and mine.

Serious discussion and debate of a broad range and depth of ideas is virtually nonexistent. Mention of "socialism" is considered traitorous to the religion of neoliberal corporatism. In reality, we promote individualism over community, competition over cooperation, and acquisitiveness over inquisitiveness. These capitalist characteristics condition human development in a way that is diametrically opposed to our inherent, genetic nature as a social species requiring for survival cooperation in all our relations.

The economy and political system is now virtually dependent upon what Eisenhower proclaimed as the military/security industrial complex, and that complex thrives on creation of endless "enemies" which produce obscene war profits for a very few. Community and family units have disintegrated, and citizenship is less engaged as life is increasingly defined in terms of commodities. Everything and everybody is for sale to the highest bidder. This leads to anomie, violence and madness. And yet, we continue to enjoy shopping as the government conducts its daily bombing. How can this be? How can we pay taxes and go about our business as usual when so many people in the world are being impoverished or eliminated by US policies facilitating the wealthy getting richer?

The Deep Divide – 1959 – 2019

Having graduated from a rural upstate New York high school in 1959 at the height of post-WWII Cold War euphoria, in the midst of the short historic blip of aspiring consumerism, the "American" Kool Aid I and my 28 fellow graduates drank at that time was delicious. I was raised in a lower middle class home by conservative, religious parents, not dissimilar to the upbringings of many of my classmates. Life seemed great, and simple. However, my Viet Nam experience rudely exposed the poisonous nature of this delicious drink and its true ingredients.

Discovering information about my former classmates finds several still living in the same area we grew up, possessing similar views to that which we believed in 1959 – religiously and politically conservative, but now supporters of MAGA, Trump and Israel. One classmate who had been a basketball cheerleader, still married to her high school sweetheart after 60 years, read my Facebook postings from Nicaragua, then declared me "a fool" admonishing me to "stay there." This same cheerleader chanted for each starter before games, such as "Brian, Brian, he's our man, if he can't do it, nobody can."

Being raised in and conditioned by US America instills a desire to preserve a fantasy of post-WWII euphoria for many, at least until President Reagan. But experiential reality painfully destroys make-believe. I argue that the USA has never been great, but suspect many of my 1959 classmates would vehemently disagree.

Trump Exposes the Pretend Society

The phenomenon of the Presidency of Donald John Trump disturbingly "offers" our culture, and the world, an overdue undisguised photo of our real culture and its politics. Some say Trump brings out the worst in people – hatred, self-centeredness, cruelty, insensitivity, crassness, racism, insulting language, poisonous divisiveness, adolescent delinquency, etc. But is it possible that his language and demeanor are validating expressions of historically suppressed feelings and values which have never been sufficiently addressed or openly acknowledged in our Eurocentric, capitalist, money-oriented, nature-defying, often mean-spirited culture? These censored feelings once unleashed, no matter how adolescent they seem, are capable of manifesting in a vicious authoritarian and neo-fascist state, as they did in Germany nearly 100 years ago. It seems we are at that point again.

The "developed" world, now led by the United States of America, has historically been built on egregious exploitation and violence hidden under fanciful rhetoric. Inevitably, the chickens will come home to roost. As Eurocentrics we have been lying to ourselves and the world with our highly touted economic system and "democracy," fooling ourselves by myths and lies we have long believed about our "superiority" built on the suffering of others. As stated above, we have (s)elected leaders who are to varying degrees corrupted by money who use politically "correct" language and a finessed demeanor to gain approval. In fact, they have consistently been imperial and oligarchic, selfishly stealing to assure an insatiably consumptive lifestyle for under 5 percent of the world's population (but only benefitting a minority of its own people), while gobbling up anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of the globe's resources (depending on the resource and era examined). We ad nauseum excuse our interventions using "national security" or "humanitarian justice." We have followed in the footsteps of our imperial teachers in the United Kingdom. Fair? Sustainable? Ever thought about the structural unfairness and gross arrogance that has enabled 500 years of colonization? Trump's Presidency reveals a lot about us that we have not wanted to recognize. Scary? Our historical chronic complicity in this horror story cannot be ignored.

Trump serves as an avatar, or caricature, of a collective, creepy, violent, disgusting, mean-spirited, immature culture, at least as experienced by large numbers of people both in the US and the world. Trump's appeal can largely be attributed to the fact that he has taken the clothes off of Pretend . His childish nature of lying, tweeting and exaggerating, ironically reveals an ugly "truth" about our modern selves that has been drowned under incredible "public relations" – education, the media, Hollywood, sports, the State Department, etc. His extreme personal narcissism matches well our extreme collective exceptionalism. Is it clearer now just how big the LIE has been, protected by our comfortable 500-year myths? Welcome to dystopia, Kafka, and Orwell.

Conclusion

The 400-year history of Western dualistic Cartesian thinking (named after French philosopher Rene Descartes' view of reductionist mind-body dualism) divorcing human beings from study of observable nature, has produced a terribly flawed epistemology. The opposite basis for knowledge is holism, a framework that enables comprehension of multiple interconnections and historical context. Dispensing with any serious concern for consequences, the insatiably consumer-driven materialistic Western Way of Life has ironically and blissfully been destroying life itself by its addiction to burning finite fossil fuels. The harsh truth is that a capitalist system is on a direct collision course with sustainable societies that require conserving healthy interconnected relationships with each other and the earth's eco-system. We have become accustomed to wishful thinking that resources are infinite, and that they belong to us. This theft can only happen, of course, by force or its threat, and deceit, while living in the toxic illusion we are better than others. Does this suggest a kind of arrogant collective stupidity?

Nature bats last, something our cortex apparently chose to fatally ignore. We now face the greatest existential crisis as Nature bats last humbling modern humans into extinction, or near so. We somehow forgot the most critical truth of all – that we all part of the One. If we can now recognize our various levels of "stupidity", we have an adrenaline opportunity to leap out of our heretofore seductive comfortable fantasy, choosing instead to access our buried human characteristic of interconnection with everything and everybody, i.e., mutual respect and accountability. This leap now must be of a revolutionary nature, rocketing us out of our historic arrogant pleasureableness. Our survival foundation: embracing the evolutionary feeling of empathy. Saving ourselves is pretty damn important, and that means saving life for all. Let's do it! We are not worth more; they are not worth less.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Brian Willson, Viet Nam veteran and trained lawyer, has been a lifelong critic of US domestic and foreign policy. His essays and biography are found at his website: brianwillson.com. His recent book, "Don't Thank Me for My Service: My Viet Nam Awakening to the Long History of US Lies" is published by Clarity Press (2018). His psycho-historical memoir, "Blood on the Tracks: The Life and Times of S. Brian Willson" was published by PM Press (2011). A documentary, "Paying the Price for Peace: The Story of S. Brian Willson" was produced in 2016 by Bo Boudart Productions.

[Sep 18, 2019] Looks like Pompeo is busy sputtering platitudes and warmongering rhetorics to speed up the second coming of Christ

Notable quotes:
"... Someone should tell Mike that our credibility as a nation is further damaged with claims that are in need of supporting evidence. ..."
"... Did Fat Mike rub the head camel jockey's glowing orb? ..."
"... America is a bomb-happy empire - we kill illiterate peasants and destroy mud-walled villages. We are really good at it. ..."
"... Mike, it may be an "act of war" for Saudi Arabia but it's not an act of war for the United States. We weren't attacked, they were. Let them unfuck the situation. ..."
"... No more wars Mr. Trump, no more wars. Plus, we need to prepare to defend our Constitution on our own shores. ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Heartfully , 1 minute ago link

Someone should tell Mike that our credibility as a nation is further damaged with claims that are in need of supporting evidence.

Thordoom , 3 minutes ago link

That conversation between Pompus and MBS must be hilarious.

Mah_Authoritah , 3 minutes ago link

Did Fat Mike rub the head camel jockey's glowing orb?

Deep Snorkeler , 8 minutes ago link

V I C T O R Y !

with Trump as our Commander-in-Chief victory is certain this won't be like those other wars:

  1. Korea
  2. Vietnam
  3. Afghanistan
  4. Iraq

America is a bomb-happy empire - we kill illiterate peasants and destroy mud-walled villages. We are really good at it.

romanmoment , 1 minute ago link

Mike, it may be an "act of war" for Saudi Arabia but it's not an act of war for the United States. We weren't attacked, they were. Let them unfuck the situation.

I am pro military and I have many friends who have served or currently serve. And I have kids. I'm not sending my kids to kill Iranians for the Saudi's, for Israel or for any other fucked-up nation in the Middle East. And I don't want 18-year-old American kids getting killed or wounded for those ungrateful ***** either.

No more wars Mr. Trump, no more wars. Plus, we need to prepare to defend our Constitution on our own shores.

[Sep 18, 2019] >War With Iran Would Be a Catastrophic Miscalculation by James Howard Kunstler

Notable quotes:
"... some people did some things ..."
"... some people will do nothing ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | russia-insider.com

Sep 16, 2019 Welcome to the world where things don't add up. For instance, some people did some things to the Saudi Arabian oil refinery at Abqaiq over the weekend. Like, sent over a salvo of cruise missiles and armed drone aircraft to blow it up. They did a pretty good job of disabling the works. It is Saudi Arabia's largest oil processing facility, and for now, perhaps months, a fair amount of the world's oil supply will be cut off. President Trump said "[we] are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!" Exclamation mark his.

How many times the past few years has our government declared that "we have the finest intelligence services in the world." Very well, then, why are we waiting for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to tell us who fired all that stuff into Abqaiq? Whoever did it, it was unquestionably an act of war. And, of course, what are we going to do about it? (And what will some people do about it?)

Let's face it: the USA has had a hard-on for Iran for forty years, ever since they overthrew their shah, invaded the US embassy in Tehran, and took fifty-two American diplomats and staff hostage for 444 days. On the other hand, the Arabians and Iranians have had a mutual hard-on for centuries, long before the Saud family was in charge of things, and back when Iran was known as Persia, a land of genies, fragrant spices, and a glorious antiquity (while Arabia was a wasteland of sand populated by nomads and their camels). The beef was formerly just about which brand of Islam would prevail, Sunni or Shia. Lately (the past fifty years) it has been more about the politics of oil and hegemony over the Middle East. Since the US invaded Iraq and busted up the joint, the threat has existed that Iran would take over Iraq, with its majority Shia population, especially the oil-rich Basra region at the head of the Persian Gulf. The presence of Israel greatly complicates things, since Iran has a hard-on for that nation, too, and for Jews especially, often expressed in the most belligerent and opprobrious terms, such as "wiping Israel off the map." No ambiguity there. The catch being that Israel has the capability of turning Iran into an ashtray.

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The world has been waiting for a major war in the Middle east for decades, and it might have one by close of business today. Or perhaps some people will do nothing . The Iran-backed Houthi rebels of Yemen supposedly claimed responsibility for the attack. That's rich. As if that rag-tag outfit has a whole bunch of million-dollar missiles and the knowledge and capacity to launch them successfully, not to mention the satellite guidance mojo. A correspondent suggests that the missiles were fired from a pro-Iranian military base in Iraq, with the Houthis brought in on flying carpets to push the launch buttons.

President Trump is trumpeting America's "energy independence," meaning whatever happens over there won't affect us. Well, none of that is true. We still import millions of barrels of oil a day, though much less from Saudi Arabia than before 2008. The shale oil "miracle" is hitting the skids these days. Shale oil production has gone flat, the rig-count is down, companies are going bankrupt, and financing for the debt-dependent operations is dwindling since the producers have demonstrated that they can't make a profit at it. They're trapped in the quandary of diminishing returns, frontloading production, while failing to overcome steep decline curves in wells that only produce for a couple of years.

It's also the case that shale oil is ultra-light crude, containing little heavier distillates such as diesel and aviation fuel (basically kerosene). Alas, American refineries were all built before shale oil came along. They were designed to crack heavier oil and can't handle the lighter shale. The "majors" don't want to invest their remaining capital in new refineries, and the many smaller companies don't have the ability. So, this makes necessary a high volume of oil swapping around the world. Without diesel and aviation fuel, US trucking and commercial aviation has a big problem, meaning the US economy has a big problem.

With the new crisis in the Middle East, benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil is up from around $55-a-barrel to just over $60 at the market open (European Brent crude is just above $70). That's a pop, but not a spectacular one, considering that a whole lot more damage might ensue in the days ahead. China, Korea, and Japan stand to lose bigly if the players in the Middle East really go at it and bust up each other's assets. If that happens, the world will never be the same. You can kiss the global economy goodbye for good. Let's hope some people don't do something.

[Sep 18, 2019] Drone strikes on oil facilities were Yemen's 'reciprocal response' for Saudi bombings Rouhani

Sep 16, 2019 | www.defenddemocracy.press

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said recent drone attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure were a proportionate Yemeni response to years of daily bombings carried out by a Saudi-led coalition.

Speaking to reporters in Ankara following three-way talks between the presidents of Turkey, Russia and Iran, Rouhani suggested the drone attacks were a legitimate act of self-defense.

"On a daily basis Yemen is being bombarded and innocent civilians are dying so they have to retaliate," Rouhani explained.

Yemeni people are exercising their legitimate right of defense the attacks were a reciprocal response to aggression against Yemen for years.

Rouhani added his hope that the conflict in Yemen would be resolved through diplomacy, and said that such a process might even mirror Syria's Astana talks.

Addressing the same question, Turkish President Recep Erdogan also pointed out that it was Saudi Arabia who'd started the cycle of attacks. He said the international community should inquire into the causes of Yemen's crisis, noting the country had been "basically destroyed" during its four-year conflict, and called on other world powers to consider how to rebuild Yemen "from scratch" and "put it back on its feet."

While Russia's President Vladimir Putin said the drone attacks had not been discussed at Monday's meeting, he noted the "humanitarian catastrophe" in the country and urged a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

The war in Yemen began in earnest in March 2015, when a coalition of states, led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the US and Britain, launched a bombing campaign in an attempt to defeat the rebel Houthi movement and restore the rule of President Mansour Hadi, who'd been ousted in 2014. In addition to tens of thousands killed in the fighting, the conflict has sparked one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, leaving millions without food, water or healthcare, and dependent on international aid.

[Sep 18, 2019] Iran does have an Army, and can muster half a million fighting men.

Sep 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Yeah, Right , Sep 18 2019 9:12 utc | 112

Pat Lang won't let me post on his site, so I'll have to point this out here instead.

He has just posted an open letter to Trump regarding a war with Iran, and he points out (correctly) that:
1) Iran can set its proxy forces in Syria and Iraq loose on US troops in those countries
2) Iran will fire every missile in its arsenal at any US troops within range
3) Iran will fire its AA missiles at any and all USAF planes
4) Iran will keep attacking the 5th fleet until they run out of boats

All true, and all well and good as far as it goes.

But Pat seems to have the same blind spot as all other US pundits, in that they apparently have forgotten all about the Iranian Army.

They do have an Army, and can muster half a million fighting men.
Which, indeed, is probably ten times as many ground troops that CENTCOM possesses.

Seems to me that the Iranians can think of several good uses for such an army.
For one thing, they can launch an invasion of Afghanistan with the intention of killing each and every GI who has the misfortune of being in-theatre.

They'll have at least a 10-to-1 advantage of men.
Not so much a fight as a slaughter.


Canthama , Sep 18 2019 10:53 utc | 114

Bernhard, excellent article, as usual, thank you. The recent situation in KSA is just a small example of the collapse on classic warfare, we have seen it closely in Vietnam, Lebanon 2006, then Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and for 2,500 years in Afghanistan, time and time again. The supposed richer countries trying to impose their will and military power when facing organized societies with, purpose and means to defend, do exactly that, they fend off the aggressors.

In the case of Yemen, which has not been conquered due to the terrain and its people (similar to Afghanistan), they, as few other cases, had friends that supplied means of defense and attack, this is why Yemen/Houthis, after 5 years of war of aggression against them, they can hit back, in a way that KSA is not able to defend, small drones, flying low and hard to be spotted with a long range, this is the perfect weapon to demoralize arrogant regimes, it creates terror and damages in highly explosive places. Yemen will not back down until KSA leaves its aggressive policy and pay reparations, or Yemen will continue to inflict damages, slowly bleeding KSA and demoralizing its corrupt leadership.

I my view a decision to remove the current royalty from KSA was already taken, I mean, The Resistance will pursue it, slowly, will create situations for an internal coup, internal revolts and so on, KSA's security is mostly done by foreigners, many from Pakistan, Sudan etc...these people are treated as slaves, very badly, a time bomb when an opportunity arises, and KSA is approaching that dangerous zone, few more well placed strikes that put KSA on its knees and expose wide open its vulnerability will be the sign for the large & oppressed Shia population to revolt, with it goes Bahrain as well.

Lets remember that Qatar is a mortal enemy for KSA, and has its own ambitions to expand territory beyond its tiny area, KSA is playing with fire by bending to the US,Uk and Israel, it is risking being retaliated in pieces.

William Gruff , Sep 18 2019 10:56 utc | 115
Grieved @80 noted that "...these countries... are in fact in a coalition..."

The response to that from imperial loyalists is not unexpected: "Nooo! Primitive sand people cannot put aside the identity politics differences that our empire cultivates in them and unite against us!"

The imperial loyalists, despite considering themselves to be "woke" and "inclusive" and unbigoted and moral, find it inconceivable that any peoples other than those of northern European and anglo descent could unite in the face of an existential threat. To be certain, these empire loyalists cannot even see themselves as being the existential threat that is uniting peoples, despite having literally slaughtered millions of innocents over the last half century or so. Their sense of moral and cultural superiority is an axiom that must remain beyond question lest their all-important identities be exposed as cheap narcissism, so they pour into the forum to promote conspiracy theories about how the stunning successes of the coalition that Grieved notes above are actually convoluted and inscrutably super-sophisticated moves on a Grand Chessboard . To maintain this fiction they must overlook the fact that their empire's best strategists reached the limits of their geostrategic talent playing the board game Risk . Consider that the imperial mass media has begun to refer to pompous Pompeo as "the next Kissinger" , and recall that even the former Kissinger was never really that bright but was just ruthless and totally lacking a conscience.

Face reality, imperial loyalists: The Houthis, whom you cannot even credit with being human, have just successfully wounded your lackeys in the Middle East. The Houthis accomplished this with skill, intelligence, and determination.

[Sep 18, 2019] Aramco Attacks An Act Of War By Iran Pompeo After Arriving In Jeddah

Notable quotes:
"... And President Trump himself said Wednesday from the White House that it looks like Iran did it but that he still hopes to avoid war . He announced via a statement on Twitter that, "I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!" -- ..."
"... Pompeo is in Jedda where he's expected to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to evaluate a possible response, where the are expected to "coordinate efforts to counter Iranian aggression in the region," according to a State Department statement . ..."
"... Wednesday's Saudi Def. Ministry press briefing showcasing missile and drone debris alleged "evidence" the Iranians were behind attack. ..."
"... The fact that Johnson's statement included the word "diplomatic" - along with Trump's emphasis on extending stronger sanctions - is a good sign however, that the White House is not prepping for war. ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

What's the end game here? Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has just arrived in Jeddah for talks with Saudi leaders over a response to the weekend attacks on two of the kingdom's major oil facilities.

After a prior press conference by the Saudi Defense Ministry where it for the first time assigned public blame on Iran for the attacks which initially knocked out half of the kingdom's daily oil output, saying the air attacks "unquestionably" had Iranian state sponsorship, Pompeo has announced the Aramco attacks constitute an "act of war" by Iran .

And President Trump himself said Wednesday from the White House that it looks like Iran did it but that he still hopes to avoid war . He announced via a statement on Twitter that, "I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!" -- in what appears an alternative to launching a military response.

"I'm not looking to get into new conflict, but sometimes you have to," Trump told reporters Wednesday.

Pompeo's new "act of war" declaration indeed takes the potential for escalation right back to boiling point.

Pompeo is in Jedda where he's expected to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to evaluate a possible response, where the are expected to "coordinate efforts to counter Iranian aggression in the region," according to a State Department statement .

Meanwhile, if the 'military option' is being considered, it appears we could be in the beginning phases of an international coalition response. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced he and Trump held a phone call to discuss the need for a "united diplomatic response from international partners" after the Aramco attacks.

Wednesday's Saudi Def. Ministry press briefing showcasing missile and drone debris alleged "evidence" the Iranians were behind attack.

The fact that Johnson's statement included the word "diplomatic" - along with Trump's emphasis on extending stronger sanctions - is a good sign however, that the White House is not prepping for war.

[Sep 18, 2019] My hypothesis is this: the USA/Saudi Arabia are too embarassed to admit their anti-aircraft weapons and systems are useless against puny drones and created a big, subterranean enemy in the form of Iran in order to avoid public embarassment.

Notable quotes:
"... the attack dented the image of invincibility of Aramco's infrastructure ..."
"... Saudi Military stated the Aramco facilites were attacked with 18 missiles and 7 drones. They state cruise missiles were used. However, now they state the attack was simply "backed" by Iran. The weapons were all Iranian design. ..."
"... That Iran is backing the Houthis we already knew and nobody doubts. But those drones and missiles didn't come from Iranian territory nor were they operated by Iranian personel. It's a free market world, and everybody can buy weapons from anybody. ..."
"... The GOAL of exaggerating the attack could be to simply increase oil prices or to justify war with Iran. Tensions with Iran will be elevated for weeks, if not months. That will mean higher oil prices than otherwise. ..."
"... The timing is also suspicious because it comes just before the Israeli election and just after John Bolton was dismissed. ..."
"... Russian oil experts say 3 to 6 months to repair damage from strike as components must come from Europe according to TASS. As the remains of the uavs have been recovered their effective range can be determined. I suspect they were launched from within Saudi territory. ..."
"... It is embarrassing to the Saudis because they scarcely bother to unpack the weapons the US sends them-at premium prices - and dare not allow any of their countrymen to learn how to use them. And it is embarrassing to the Americans because they understand all this and ship over arms that don't work simply to ensure that those petrodollars circulate. ..."
"... Hence the current campaign to convince us that Iran was responsible. Mind you, that propaganda is only effective so long as the American people don't really believe it because, if they did, they might demand war (you can imagine Pelosi, Schumer and Biden insisting on it) and Washington doesn't want that. Jingoism isn't about fighting it's about threatening. ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Sep 18 2019 15:22 utc | 156

@ Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 18 2019 14:50 utc | 149

Let's see (again):

1) USA: that would only help if Trump was decided to go to a hot war against Iran. By his declarations since yesterday, we already know that isn't going to happen. He didn't even jump to the "Iran did it!" bandwagon right away. He said he increased sanctions against Iran -- but Iran is already sanctioned to the maximum by the USA, so that's empty rhetoric.

2) Israel: wars in Israel only work as an election boost to the incumbent Prime Minister when Israel emerges with a clear victory. ...

3) Saudi Arabia: it has a 188 billion barrel reserve to cover up for the losses for a couple of days, so they benefited a little bit from the 20% price rise. But so did everybody else -- including enemies of the USA, such as Russia and Venezuela. Besides, the attack dented the image of invincibility of Aramco's infrastructure, and Saudi Arabia's image as a neofascist ideal State.

4) Iran: Iran can block the Hormuz Strait -- a much more benign and cheap way to stop Saudi oil from being exported. If Iran attacks its neighbors' oil infrastructure, then it kind of states it's fair game for its neighbors to attack theirs. This is bad move for Iran from a purely game theory standpoint, let alone from the geopolitical one.

5) Masters of the Universe: yes, the oil price went up 20% in one day. But let's remember that even a USD 100.00 a barrel isn't that impressive from a historical standpoint: when the Iraq invasion happened, the barrel reached USD 300.00. Yes, a selected elite benefited a lot from this, but the USA didn't become a capitalist utopia because of that. We must not overestimate the effects of oil prices on capitalism and, specially, on the USA: the West is in terminal decline for a myriad of factors, not because of one silver bullet. Higher oil prices won't save the West.

My hypothesis is this: the USA/Saudi Arabia are too embarassed to admit their anti-aircraft weapons and systems are useless against puny drones and created a big, subterranean enemy in the form of Iran in order to avoid public embarassment.

The Houthis are telling the truth, and they will do more attacks if the Saudis don't stop with theirs and settle for peace.


vk , Sep 18 2019 15:31 utc | 160

And the number's just changed:

Saudi Military: Attack on Saudi Aramco Facilities Were "Unquestionably Sponsored by Iran"

The headline calls that the Saudi Military stated the Aramco facilites were attacked with 18 missiles and 7 drones. They state cruise missiles were used. However, now they state the attack was simply "backed" by Iran. The weapons were all Iranian design.

That Iran is backing the Houthis we already knew and nobody doubts. But those drones and missiles didn't come from Iranian territory nor were they operated by Iranian personel. It's a free market world, and everybody can buy weapons from anybody.

Jackrabbit , Sep 18 2019 15:47 utc | 163
vk @156

You're chasing your own tail.

US and Saudis say that over 20 missiles and drones were used in the attack. They say that this showed that Iran did the attack or participated in the attack because the Houthi only claim to have used 10 drones.

Peter AU 1 and I have said that it's possible to account for the excess damage as an attempt to exaggerate damage caused by the Houthi attack.

The GOAL of exaggerating the attack could be to simply increase oil prices or to justify war with Iran. Tensions with Iran will be elevated for weeks, if not months. That will mean higher oil prices than otherwise.

The timing is also suspicious because it comes just before the Israeli election and just after John Bolton was dismissed.

And despite Trump's backing away from his asinine "locked and loaded" comment, war with Iran is still very possible. The Iraq War started 18 months after 9-11.

the pessimist , Sep 18 2019 16:02 utc | 168
Russian oil experts say 3 to 6 months to repair damage from strike as components must come from Europe according to TASS. As the remains of the uavs have been recovered their effective range can be determined. I suspect they were launched from within Saudi territory.
vk , Sep 18 2019 16:05 utc | 170
Another official version came up. This time, from the Saudi military itself:

Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of sponsoring oil-plant attack, says it 'couldn't have originated in Yemen'

Their main argument is that the attacks came "from the north".

If that's true, then the question remains: why didn't the Saudi radars detect it? Either b is lying, or the Saudi military is lying.

It's really hilarious at this point: the attack caught the West so low-guarded and stunned them so much that they can't even come up with a unified official narrative.

karlof1 , Sep 18 2019 16:12 utc | 172
Houthi Armed Forces Spokesman is at this moment tweeting a series of statements explaining how the last attack was done that includes drone capabilities and types of munitions used!!!!!!!!!!! An example:

"Drones have fission heads carrying four precision bombs."

bevin , Sep 18 2019 16:19 utc | 175
Given that the entire relationship between the USA and the KSA is an elaborate protection racket the failure of all those high priced systems to protect the oil fields against Ansrullah drones is particularly embarrassing.

It is embarrassing to the Saudis because they scarcely bother to unpack the weapons the US sends them-at premium prices - and dare not allow any of their countrymen to learn how to use them. And it is embarrassing to the Americans because they understand all this and ship over arms that don't work simply to ensure that those petrodollars circulate.

Hence the current campaign to convince us that Iran was responsible. Mind you, that propaganda is only effective so long as the American people don't really believe it because, if they did, they might demand war (you can imagine Pelosi, Schumer and Biden insisting on it) and Washington doesn't want that.
Jingoism isn't about fighting it's about threatening.

And, now that 57 varieties of Israeli Fascism are squabbling about whether the Prime Minister goes to jail for theft, even that distraction is no longer useful.

the pessimist , Sep 18 2019 16:29 utc | 177
Statement from the Iranians "Saudi press conference shows they are clueless about how attack was executed and know nothing about the military capabilities of their adversary".

Seems about right. Statement by bevin is on target.

[Sep 18, 2019] Yeah, right..

Sep 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Lozion , Sep 18 2019 15:19 utc | 154

#SaudiArabia Defense Ministry press briefing:

Yeah, right..

[Sep 18, 2019] Will Trump Take Neocon Bait and Attack Iran Over Saudi Strike by Ron Paul

Sep 17, 2019 | www.ronpaulinstitute.org

The recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities by Yemeni Houthi forces demonstrate once again that an aggressive foreign policy often brings unintended consequences and can result in blowback. In 2015 Saudi Arabia attacked its neighbor, Yemen, because a coup in that country ousted the Saudi-backed dictator. Four years later Yemen is in ruins, with nearly 100,000 Yemenis killed and millions more facing death by starvation. It has been rightly called the worst humanitarian catastrophe on the planet.

But rich and powerful Saudi Arabia did not defeat Yemen. In fact, the Saudis last month asked the Trump Administration to help facilitate talks with the Houthis in hopes that the war, which has cost Saudi Arabia tens of billions of dollars, could finally end without Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman losing too much face. Washington admitted earlier this month that those talks had begun.

The surprise Houthi attack on Saturday disrupted half of Saudi Arabia's oil and gas production and shocked Washington. Predictably, however, the neocons are using the attack to call for war with Iran!

Sen. Lindsay Graham, one of the few people in Washington who makes John Bolton look like a dove, Tweeted yesterday that, "It is now time for the US to put on the table an attack on Iranian oil refineries " Graham is the perfect embodiment of the saying, "when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." No matter what the problem, for Graham the solution is war.

Likewise, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – who is supposed to represent US diplomacy – jumped to blame Iran for the attack on Saudi Arabia, Tweeting that, "Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply." Of course, he provided no evidence even as the Houthis themselves took responsibility for the bombing.

What is remarkable is that all of Washington's warmongers are ready for war over what is actually a retaliatory strike by a country that is the victim of Saudi aggression, not the aggressor itself. Yemen did not attack Saudi Arabia in 2015. It was the other way around. If you start a war and the other country fights back, you should not be entitled to complain about how unfair the whole thing is.

The establishment reaction to the Yemeni oilfield strike reminds me of a hearing in the House Foreign Affairs Committee just before the US launched the 2003 Iraq war. As I was arguing against the authorization for that war, I pointed out that Iraq had never attacked the United States. One of my colleagues stopped me in mid-sentence, saying, "let me remind the gentleman that the Iraqis have been shooting at our planes for years." True, but those planes were bombing Iraq!

The neocons want a US war on Iran at any cost. They may feel temporarily at a disadvantage with the departure of their ally in the Trump Administration, John Bolton. However, the sad truth is that there are plenty more John Boltons in the Administration. And they have allies in the Lindsay Grahams in Congress.

Yemen has demonstrated that it can fight back against Saudi aggression. The only sensible way forward is for a rapid end to this four-year travesty, and the Saudis would be wise to wake up to the mess they've created for themselves. Whatever the case, US participation in Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen must end immediately and neocon lies about Iran's role in the war must be refuted and resisted.

[Sep 18, 2019] Middle East Mystery Theater: Who Attacked Saudi Arabia's Oil Supply?

Notable quotes:
"... Committee members Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Vir.) explicitly announced their opposition to war with Iran. And prominent war powers critic Sen. Jeff Markley (D-Ore.) quipped that, "[b]ack when Presidents used to follow the Constitution, they sought consent for military action from Congress, not foreign governments that murder reporters," referring to the assassination of Saudi-American journalist Jamal Khashoggi. ..."
"... "Diplomacy by Twitter has not worked so far and it surely is not working with Iran. The president needs to stop threatening military strikes via social media," said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Mary.) in response to a question from the National Interest . "The attack on Saudi Arabia is troubling whether it was perpetrated by Houthi rebels or Iran. The U.S. should regain its leadership by working with our allies to isolate Iran for its belligerent actions in the region." ..."
"... "The U.S. should not be looking for any opportunity to start a dangerous and costly war with Iran. Congress has not authorized war against Iran and we've made it crystal clear that Saudi Arabia needs to withdraw from Yemen," he continued. ..."
"... Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) has long been a critic of Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, proposing a successful bill to cut off U.S. support for the Saudi-led war effort. (He did not have enough votes to override the veto.) After the attacks, he wrote a long Twitter thread explaining how "the Saudis sowed the seeds of this mess" in Yemen. ..."
"... "It's simply amazing how the Saudis call all our shots these days. We don't have a mutual defense alliance with KSA, for good reason. We shouldn't pretend we do," Murphy added. "And frankly, no matter where this latest drone strike was launched from, there is no short or long term upside to the U.S. military getting more deeply involved in the growing regional contest between the Saudis and Iranians." ..."
"... "Having our country act as Saudi Arabia's bitch is not 'America First,'" said Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, invoking a popular Trump slogan. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.), who had invoked Trump's antiwar message in a public feud with Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) over the weekend, took to CNN to warn against striking Iran. ..."
"... "This is a regional conflict, that there's no reason the superpower of the United States needs to be getting into bombing mainland Iran. It would be a needless escalation of this," he told journalist Jake Tapper. "Those who loved the Iraq War, the Cheneys, the Boltons, the Kristols, they all are clamoring and champing at the bit for another war in Iran. But it's not a walk in the park." ..."
"... "In order to have clean ships by the first of January next year, all the world's shipping fleet from about now until the end of the year are busy emptying their tanks of heavy sulphur fuel oil and filling their tanks with low sulphur fuel oil, which is the new standard," Latham explained, claiming that the attack could have taken up to 20 percent of the world's desulphurization capacity out of commission. ..."
"... "This little accident was designed to be maximally disruptive to the world's oil market. It could not have happened at a worse time." "But what is really interesting is in Amsterdam this morning, I saw that for fuel oil -- the sulphurous stuff -- the price went down," Latham continued, speculating that international powers might delay the new environmental regulations by months and inadvertently drive down the price of oil in the long run. ..."
"... On Sunday, Trump tapped into emergency U.S. oil reserves, in order to stabilize prices. It's not clear, however, that the United States has enough oil to cope with wider attacks on energy infrastructure. "If the Iranians did this, they have shown they have pretty immense capabilities clearly," Parsi told the National Interest . "In the case of a full-scale war, imagine what this will do for the global economy. It's not that difficult to imagine what that will do to Trump's re-election prospects. I think that is something Trump understands." ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

Retired Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis pointed out that the puncture marks do not actually show the origin of the attack. "Missiles can fly from almost anywhere. They have the ability to maneuver! And certainly drones can, too," the Defense Priorities senior fellow told the National Interest . "There hasn't been the time to do an actual analysis on the ground, so let's wait and see."

Mark Latham, managing partner at the London-based analysis firm Commodities Intelligence, told the National Interest that the puncture marks pointed to a cruise missile with no explosive warhead. Removing the payload would allow the missile to carry more fuel and launch from farther away from its target.

... ... ...

"Mr. X is a sophisticated fellow. He's sourced some Iranian cruise missiles. He's removed the explosive payload. He's replaced the explosive payload with fuel," he said. "So this isn't your twenty dollar Amazon drone. This is a sophisticated military operation."

"The culprit behind the Abqaiq attack is most definitely the Islamic Republic, either directly or through one of its proxies," argued Varsha Koduvayur, a senior research analyst at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

"The attack fits the pattern of Iran signaling to the Gulf states that if it can't get its oil out, it will cause their oil exports to become collateral damage," Koduvayur told the National Interest . "It's because of how strong our coercive financial tools are that Iran is resorting to attacks like this: it's lashing out."

Violating an Obama-era agreement to regulate Iran's nuclear research program, the Trump administration imposed massive sanctions on Iran's oil industry beginning in May 2018. The goal of this "maximum pressure" campaign was to force Iran to accept a "better" deal. Since then, Iranian forces have captured a British oil tanker and allegedly sabotaged tankers from other countries.

There were some signals that Trump was planning to use the ongoing United Nations General Assembly in New York to open a new diplomatic channel with Iran, especially after the firing of hawkish National Security Advisor John Bolton. But the weekend attack sent Trump into reverse.

"Remember when Iran shot down a drone, saying knowingly that it was in their 'airspace' when, in fact, it was nowhere close. They stuck strongly to that story knowing that it was a very big lie," he said in a Monday morning Twitter post, referring to a June incident when Iranian and American forces almost went to war. "Now they say that they had nothing to do with the attack on Saudi Arabia. We'll see?"

He also hinted at a violent U.S. response.

"There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!" Trump wrote on Sunday.

"Saudi Arabia is not a formal treaty ally of ours, so there are no international agreements that obligate us to come to their defense," John Glaser, director of foreign-policy studies at the CATO Institute, stated. "This does not amount to a clear and present danger to the United States, so no self-defense justification is relevant. He would therefore need authorization from Congress."

Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had mixed reactions to the attack.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) proposed putting "on the table an attack on Iranian oil refineries" in order to "break the regime's back." His press office did not respond to a follow-up question from the National Interest asking whether the president would have the authority to do so.

Amy Grappone, spokeswoman for Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), told the National Interest that the Senator "will support an appropriate and proportionate response" after "studying the latest intelligence pertaining to Iran's malign activities, including these recent attacks in Saudi Arabia."

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the ranking Democrat on the committee, condemned the attack with a backhanded insult towards Saudi Arabia. "Despite some ongoing policy differences with the kingdom, no nation should be subjected to these kinds of attacks on it soil and against its people," he wrote on Twitter, declining to name Iran as the culprit.

Committee members Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Vir.) explicitly announced their opposition to war with Iran. And prominent war powers critic Sen. Jeff Markley (D-Ore.) quipped that, "[b]ack when Presidents used to follow the Constitution, they sought consent for military action from Congress, not foreign governments that murder reporters," referring to the assassination of Saudi-American journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"Diplomacy by Twitter has not worked so far and it surely is not working with Iran. The president needs to stop threatening military strikes via social media," said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Mary.) in response to a question from the National Interest . "The attack on Saudi Arabia is troubling whether it was perpetrated by Houthi rebels or Iran. The U.S. should regain its leadership by working with our allies to isolate Iran for its belligerent actions in the region."

"The U.S. should not be looking for any opportunity to start a dangerous and costly war with Iran. Congress has not authorized war against Iran and we've made it crystal clear that Saudi Arabia needs to withdraw from Yemen," he continued.

Asked how he would vote on a declaration of war, the senator told the National Interest : "Let's hope it does not come to that. Congress has not authorized war against Iran. The majority voted to engage them diplomatically to slow their nuclear ambitions. The international community is ready to work with the U.S. again to ease economic pressure on Iran in exchange for their restraint. We are at a dangerous precipice."

In a statement emailed to the National Interest and posted to Twitter, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) was even more direct: "The US should never go to war to protect Saudi oil."

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) has long been a critic of Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, proposing a successful bill to cut off U.S. support for the Saudi-led war effort. (He did not have enough votes to override the veto.) After the attacks, he wrote a long Twitter thread explaining how "the Saudis sowed the seeds of this mess" in Yemen.

"It's simply amazing how the Saudis call all our shots these days. We don't have a mutual defense alliance with KSA, for good reason. We shouldn't pretend we do," Murphy added. "And frankly, no matter where this latest drone strike was launched from, there is no short or long term upside to the U.S. military getting more deeply involved in the growing regional contest between