Years ago, whilst this reactionary putsch was still in it's infancy,
my mom would
listen to the "news" on the local CBS affiliate,
and many times I heard her gasp and say,
referring to the "reporters"
jabbering, "My God, they're a bunch of dopes!"
The dopes areascendant; stupid, scared, violent-minded, and very well-paid.
Neoconservatives, which like Bolsheviks in the past are mostly Jewish intellectuals, are frequently described as ideologues with
pro-Israel and anti-Russian bent, but the truth is that they are far more interested in gaining access to money and power. Most of them
are useless smacks with degree in journalism or history and they would starve if not fed by military industrial complex. Being a lobbyist
of military industrial complex is the only job they can get. Add to that that most of them are personal cowards and chicken hawks and
you get the picture: they are just bottom-feeders. "National security parasites" is a very apt definition for this category of people.
The ideology of Neoconservatism was explicitly formulated in Wolfowitz Doctrine
which contains the key postulates of Neoconservatism in foreign policy. They can be summarized as "America has, and intends to keep,
military strengths beyond challenge". That partially explains unprecedented level of military expenses of the USA since 1991 (after
the dissolution of the USSR) when, effectively, the USA has not external enemies and those money can be used to improve well being
of common people in the USA. But neoliberal elite engage in building global neoliberal empire rules from Washington and that empire
needed the dominant military force to protect and expand it . From other point of view that was an attempt of the
US MIC to preserve its position acquired during the Cold War, if necessary by inventing or creating a new threats. Neocons
just happen perfectly suit the role of lobbyists of MIC interest in Washington and thus were financially and politically
supported by MIC.
Large part of neocons consist of so-called "elite-wannabes," often well-educated and highly capable, who has been denied access
to elite positions and who decided to use warmongering backdoor to get there.
Proselytizing their own brand of global regime change is just a mean to sustain the access to funds and political power. They
know perfectly well which side of the bread is buttered and by whom. We can suspect that for many of them (Max Boot is a
good example here) access to money from MIC and Israel lobby is the primary driving force. Often they are viewed as Likud lobby in the
USA: "The definition of a neocon is somebody who has great difficulty distinguishing between the strategic interests of Israel,
on the one hand, and the strategic interests of the United States on the other. Israel wants bedlam in Syria, and they’ve got it." (Israel lobby in the United States - Wikipedia
A summary of pro-Israel campaign donations for the period of 1990–2008 collected by
Center for Responsive Politics indicates
current totals and a general increase in proportional donations to the
US Republican party since 1996.
The Center for Responsive Politics' 1990–2006 data shows that "pro-Israel interests have contributed $56.8 million in individual,
group and soft money donations to federal candidates and party committees since 1990."
In contrast, Arab-Americans and
Muslim PACs contributed slightly less than $800,000 during the
same (1990–2006) period.
In 2006, 60% of the Democratic Party’s
fundraising and 25% of that for the Republican Party's fundraising came from Jewish-funded PACs. According to a Washington Post estimate,
Democratic presidential candidates depend on Jewish sources for as much as 60% of money raised from private sources.
... ... ...
AIPAC does not give donations directly to candidates, but those who donate to AIPAC are often important political contributors
in their own right. In addition, AIPAC helps connect donors with candidates, especially to the network of pro-Israel political action
committees. AIPAC president Howard Friedman says “AIPAC meets with every candidate running for Congress. These candidates receive
in-depth briefings to help them completely understand the complexities of Israel’s predicament and that of the Middle East as a whole.
We even ask each candidate to author a ‘position paper’ on their views of the US-Israel relationship – so it’s clear where they stand
on the subject.”
.... ... ...
Mearsheimer and Walt state that “pro-Israel figures have established a commanding presence at the American Enterprise Institute,
the Center for Security Policy, the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute, the Institute
for Foreign Policy Analysis, and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). These think tanks are all decidedly
pro-Israel and include few, if any, critics of US support for the Jewish state.”
When strategic interests of Israeli (for example remaking of the Middle East so that Israel can exercise dominant power in this region;
which includes fragmentation of several existing states) deviate from the strategic interests of the USA (which mostly are interested
in uninterruptable supply of cheap oil) neocons do betray the USA national interests with ease. The US-Israel relationship significantly
damages the relationship between the United States and the Arab world. They also were serving as propagandists and influencers for all
recent Middle East military adventures and regime change efforts. Recently that was the case in Syria: in no way Assad government
represented a threat to the USA interests. Still the pressure of "likudniks" was such that the USA engaged in the "regime change" efforts.
But in reality they should be viewed more like lobbing group of MIC then lobbing group of Israel. As well as transnational corporations
interested in opening new markets. But recently facts that Israel spend large sums on money on trying to influence the USA politicians
came to light and to this extent one gets impression that the tail is wagging the dog.
They should probably be viewed as the lobbying and propaganda arm of military industrial complex. Is both Republican and
Democratic Party position themselves as a "War Party" they represent an important political force on the USA political landscape.
The fact that some of staunch neocons such as Max Boot recently defected to Democratic Party just confirm the fact that
in forign policy there is only one party in the usa -- the neocon party.
And there is not much conservative in neocon ideology -- it is basically a revamped Trotskyism, if not neo-fascism. Just look at
Nuland's fraternization with Ukrainian far right nationalists despite
her Jewish roots (and despite the fact that this movement was hell-bent on killing Jewish people during WWII and served as capos in
concentration camps). This was not accidental; this was a conscious political choice -- they are birds of the feather.
Ideologically they are a more militant flavor of neoliberals ("neoliberals with the gun", so to speak). They also are
more openly statist, then a typical neoliberal. But their neo-Trotskyites
roots are mostly demonstrated in foreign policy (they do not have a coherent domestic policy; but generally their views in this area are more aligned
with the Democratic Party than Republican Party views).
All-in-all, we will essentially view them as lobbyists of MIC, "neoliberals with a gun".
20190116 : Corporatism is the control of government by big business. This is what we have in the USA today. The main difference between corporatism and fascism is the level of repressions against opposition. Corporatism now tales forma of inverted totalitarism and use ostracism instead of phycal repressions ( Jan 16, 2019 , profile.theguardian.com )
I've been thinking a lot lately about the collapse of the Empire - who/what survives and
When people talk about collapse, it generally means social/political/economic collapse and
there seems to be a consensus that such a collapse would necessarily mean a military collapse
as well. I'm not convinced.
One key difference between the US today and the Soviet Union at the time of it's collapse
is that the USSR didn't have a military framework that spread out across the globe, the US
does. That framework has the infrastructure, resources, supplies, personnel, and equipment to
maintain itself in the event of collapse. For me, I'd have to put it in the category of
The global elite already have their contingencies in place and will be able to ride out
whatever comes in luxury as long as they don't actually blow up the planet. So they go in to
the "survives" category too. Preppers and some form of militarized police would also likely
survive along with those who have a propensity for brutality and violence.
The next question of who/what doesn't survive is too staggering to fully contemplate and
leads me to see collapse as a massive depopulation scheme that will leave the Empire intact.
It would emerge leaner, debt free, unhindered by any pretence of international law, and
having rid itself of the pesky masses and their demands, it would be free to dominate
everything that's left of this world.
The Overseas Empire of Bases is 100% dependent on monies from home for their survival.
Once the monies cease coming, decamping will commence.
How closely have you examined the previous Big Economic Collapse and the measures put in
place to mitigate its affects if one occurs again? Have you closely examined what made the
USSR/Russian collapse so dire for its populace? Having knowledge related to those questions
answers is rather important in being able to forecast what might occur within the Outlaw US
Empire. Actually, I agree with Hudson that the Executive choice boils down to just two
options: Save the banks as Obama did or Save the People as Hoover and FDR attempted.
As long as the USA "controls" (running up ridiculously massive debt) the money, vis a vis the
Petrodollar, the World Bank and its predatory loans, the dollar as global currency with other
currencies "pegged" to it, thereby creating massive inflation and poverty in Latin America,
the Philippines and every third world shirt hole, AND massive debt in every first world
nation, AND trillionaire individuals running loose - friends of the City of London, the
Rothschilds AND such people who maintain no allegiance to any nation state. They're holding
all the money and the gold.
AND the Massive Military Industrial Congressional Complex which guarantees the value of
the dollar via shock and awe (Shuckin' Y'all!) and full spectrum dominance. AND the ability
to impose economic sanctions to starve children and the elderly, to get all of Europe to go
along with crippling economic sanctions.
Until that changes, the USA is the leader of the free world. It's Morning and America and
the corpse of Reagan is smiling.
"The Special Counsel's investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone
associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016
U.S. presidential election. As the report states: `[T]he investigation did not establish that
members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its
election interference activities.' |"
From page one of the Barr letter to the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and
Senate Judiciary Committees.
Some call this merely the "end of the beginning." Further revelations will be emerging,
including from Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz. " J ustice Department
Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed Thursday his office is still investigating
possible abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by the DOJ and FBI in their
investigation into President Trump and associates of his 2016 campaign," reported the
Washington Examiner this week.
However, AG Barr's letter retells the tale of Russian Interference in our elections,
according to Mr. Mueller and his team's investigation and indictments. So, the anti-Trump
camp will undoubtedly continue to question the 2016 election results, and blame the defeat of
HRC on the "Reds." One could wish that DOJ IG Horowitz could investigate and sanction British
Intelligence for its use of official and non-official officials in starting this debacle.
"... "After reading several articles, it seemed clear that key difficulties for Russians communicating in English include: definite and indefinite articles, the use of presuppositions and correct usage of say/tell and said/told. Throughout 2017, I constructed a corpus of Guccifer 2.0's communications and analyzed the frequency of different types of mistakes. The results of this work corroborate Professor Connolly's assessment. ..."
"... Overall, it appears Guccifer 2.0 could communicate in English quite well but chose to use inconsistently broken English at times in order to give the impression that it wasn't his primary language. The manner in which Guccifer 2.0's English was broken, did not follow the typical errors one would expect if Guccifer 2.0's first language was Russian. ..."
"... Access and motive . . .here are two who had both: Seth Rich and Imran Awan. That our fake news organizations have no interest in either, that should tell you something. ..."
"I didn't really address the case that Russia hacked the DNC, content to stipulate it for
now." - exce
The State Department paused its investigation of the Secretary's emails so as not to
interfere with the Mueller investigation. Here we see Taibbi writes an exhaustive
condemnation of the Western press while leaving out the very crux of the story, the very
source of the stolen DNC emails was Clapper and Brennan pretending to be Guccifer 2.0.
Pitiful attempt at redemption there Matt. Seriously, go **** your self.
"After reading several articles, it seemed clear that key difficulties for Russians
communicating in English include: definite and indefinite articles, the use of
presuppositions and correct usage of say/tell and said/told. Throughout 2017, I constructed a corpus of Guccifer
2.0's communications and analyzed the frequency of different types of mistakes. The
results of this work
Professor Connolly's assessment.
Overall, it appears Guccifer 2.0 could communicate in English quite well but chose to use
inconsistently broken English at times in order to give the impression that it wasn't his
primary language. The manner in which Guccifer 2.0's English was broken, did not follow the
typical errors one would expect if Guccifer 2.0's first language was Russian.
To date, Connolly's language study has not drawn any significant objections or
All of this reminds me of the first combat scene in 'Full Metal Jacket'. Joker is being
helicoptered into the battle at Hue, and the door gunner is just firing his M-60 nonstop, yelling 'Get some! Come on! Get
some!', as people below are running and getting shot. Joker says, 'Aren't you afraid that you might be killing innocent
women......or children?'. The door gunner says,
If they run, they're VC.
If they stand still, they're WELL TRAINED VC!'.
No matter the result, what is found or is not, to the left, Trump will always be waiting for
his next check written in Cyrillic and denominated in rubles.
"... Sites that use Disqus that allow shadow banning or steal and sell your information are just plain evil. ..."
"... The marketing of Russiagate™ was no act of "stupidity". News outlets didn't erroneously "swallow" anything. They acted as agents of the Globalist American Establishment/Deep State which was attempting to shake an interloper (Trump) off its back or, at the very least, to completely tie his hands in policy-making terms. Too bad that same Deep State has created a "Cadillac of (P)residential prerogative over the years which Trump has been driving right over their little blood-stained hands....as an added benefit, this new brand of hyper-partisan "Yellow Journalism" sold papers...to some ..."
"... How many fake headlines were created? How many panels of propaganda spreading "experts" were assembled? How many drooling sycophant hosts made this their everyday routine to stir the 'divide the nation' pot as they swore to God and the American People that the President was an asset of a foreign provocateur subverting the Republic? ..."
One thing left out is the ability of readers to call BS on a story i.e. a robust comment section for debates. In other words,
the Media's ability to simply ignore criticism enabled them to go off into their own Russiagate universe. Places that still allow
competing narratives and diverse opinions, like ZeroHedge, are the main places I read anymore. If a link leads to WaPo or NYT,
I bail instantly.
Sites that use Disqus that allow shadow banning or steal and sell your information are just plain evil.
Won't even go there.
Bananaamerican , 4 hours ago (Edited)
One thing I massively disagree with Taibbi on: "news outlets once again 'swallowed' a massive disinformation campaign, only
this error is many orders of magnitude more stupid than any in the recent past, WMD included"
The marketing of Russiagate™ was no act of "stupidity". News outlets didn't erroneously "swallow" anything.
They acted as agents of the Globalist American Establishment/Deep State which was attempting to shake an interloper (Trump) off
its back or, at the very least, to completely tie his hands in policy-making terms. Too bad that same Deep State has created a
"Cadillac of (P)residential prerogative over the years which Trump has been driving right over their little blood-stained hands....as
an added benefit, this new brand of hyper-partisan "Yellow Journalism" sold papers...to some
4 hours ago
Spot on. There was no misunderstanding. Everyone in The Swamp and MSM knew and accepted their assigned roles. That's why their
was nary a retraction. Retractions played no part in their goals.
Nael, 1 hour ago
Agreed. They were totally complicit. How many fake headlines were created? How many panels of propaganda spreading "experts" were
assembled? How many drooling sycophant hosts made this their everyday routine to stir the 'divide the nation' pot as they swore
to God and the American People that the President was an asset of a foreign provocateur subverting the Republic?
This month marks the 20th anniversary of Operation Allied Force, NATO's 78-day air war against Yugoslavia. It was a war waged
as much against Serbian civilians – hundreds of whom perished – as it was against Slobodan Milošević's forces, and it was a campaign
of breathtaking hypocrisy and selective outrage. More than anything, it was a war that by President Bill Clinton's own admission
was fought for the sake of NATO's credibility.
One Man's Terrorist
Our story begins not in the war-torn Balkans of the 1990s but rather in the howling wilderness of Afghanistan at the end of the
1980s as defeated Soviet invaders withdrew from a decade of guerrilla warfare into the twilight of a once-mighty empire. The United
States, which had provided arms, funding and training for the mujahideen fighters who had so bravely resisted the Soviet occupation,
stopped supporting the jihadis as soon as the last Red Army units rolled across the Hairatan Bridge and back into the USSR. Afghanistan
descended deeper into civil war.
The popular narrative posits that Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network, Washington's former mujahideen allies, turned on the
West after the US stationed hundreds of thousands of infidel troops in Saudi Arabia – home to two out of three of Sunni Islam's holiest
sites – during Operation Desert Shield in 1990. Since then, the story goes, the relationship between the jihadists and their former
benefactors has been one of enmity, characterized by sporadic terror attacks and fierce US retribution. The real story, however,
is something altogether different.
From 1992 to 1995, the Pentagon flew
thousands of al-Qaeda mujahideen, often accompanied by US Special Forces, from Central Asia to Europe to reinforce Bosnian Muslims
as they fought Serbs to gain their independence from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Clinton administration
armed and trained these fighters in
flagrant violation of United Nations accords; weapons purchased by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran were secretly shipped to the jihadists
via Croatia, which netted a hefty profit from each transaction. The official Dutch inquiry into the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, in
which thousands of Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) men and boys were slaughtered by Bosnian Serb and Serbian paramilitary forces, concluded
that the United States was "very closely involved" in these arms transfers.
When the Bosnian war ended in 1995 the United States was faced with the problem of thousands of Islamist warriors on European
soil. Many of them joined the burgeoning Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which mainly consisted of ethnic Albanian Kosovars from what
was still southwestern Yugoslavia. Emboldened by the success of the Slovenes, Croats, Macedonians and Bosnians who had won their
independence from Belgrade as Yugoslavia literally balkanized, KLA fighters began to violently expel as many non-Albanians from Kosovo
as they could. Roma, Jews, Turks and, above all, Serbs were all victims of Albanian ethnic cleansing.
The United States was initially very honest in its assessment of the KLA. Robert Gelbard, the US special envoy to Bosnia,
called it "without any question a terrorist
group." KLA backers allegedly included Osama bin Laden
and other Islamic radicals; the group largely bankrolled its activities by trafficking heroin and sex slaves. The State Department
accordingly added the KLA to its list of terrorist organizations in 1998.
However, despite all its nastiness the KLA endeared itself to Washington by fighting the defiant Yugoslavian President Slobodan
Milošević. By this time Yugoslavia, once composed of eight nominally autonomous republics, had been reduced by years of bloody civil
war to a rump of Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo. To Serbs, the dominant ethnic group in what remained of the country, Kosovo is regarded
as the very birthplace of their nation. Belgrade wasn't about to let it go without a fight and everyone knew it, especially the Clinton
administration. Clinton's hypocrisy was immediately evident; when Chechnya fought for its independence from Moscow and Russian forces
committed horrific atrocities in response, the American president
called the war an internal Russian affair
and barely criticized Russian President Boris Yeltsin. But when Milošević resorted to brute force in an attempt to prevent Yugoslavia
from further fracturing, he soon found himself a marked man.
the KLA "the main initiator of the violence" in Kosovo and blasted "what appears to be a deliberate campaign of provocation" against
the Serbs, the Clinton administration was nevertheless determined to attack the Milošević regime. US intelligence confirmed that
the KLA was indeed provoking harsh retaliatory strikes by Serb forces in a bid to draw the United States and NATO into the conflict.
President Clinton, however, apparently wasn't listening. The NATO powers, led by the United States, issued Milošević an ultimatum
they knew he could never accept: allow NATO to occupy all of Kosovo and have free reign in Serbia as well. Assistant US Secretary
of State James Rubin later
admitted that "publicly we had to make clear we were seeking an agreement but privately we knew the chances of the Serbs agreeing
were quite small."
Wagging the Dog?
In 1997 the film Wag the Dog debuted to rave reviews. The dark comedy concerns a Washington, DC spin doctor and a Hollywood
producer who fabricate a fictional war in Albania to distract American voters from a presidential sex scandal. Many observers couldn't
help but draw parallels between the film and the real-life events of 1998-99, which included the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Clinton's
impeachment and a very real war brewing in the Balkans. As in Wag the Dog , there were exaggerated or completely fabricated
tales of atrocities, and as in the film the US and NATO powers tried to sell their war as a humanitarian intervention. An attack
on Yugoslavia, we were told, was needed to avert Serb ethnic cleansing of Albanians.
There were two main problems with this. First, there was no Serb ethnic cleansing of Albanian Kosovars until after NATO
began mercilessly bombing Yugoslavia. The German government
issued several reports confirming this. One, from October 1998, reads, in part:
The violent actions of the Yugoslav military and police since February 1998 were aimed at separatist activities and are no
proof of a persecution of the whole Albanian ethnic group in Kosovo or a part of it. What was involved in the Yugoslav violent actions
and excesses since February 1998 was a selective forcible action against the military underground movement (especially the KLA) A
state program or persecution aimed at the whole ethnic group of Albanians exists neither now nor earlier.
Subsequent German government reports issued through the winter of 1999 tell a similar story. "Events since February and March
1998 do not evidence a persecution program based on Albanian ethnicity," stated one report released exactly one month before the
NATO bombing started. "The measures taken by the armed Serbian forces are in the first instance directed toward combating the KLA
and its supposed adherents and supporters."
While Serbs certainly did commit atrocities (especially after the ferocious NATO air campaign began), these were often greatly
exaggerated by the Clinton administration and the US corporate mainstream media. Clinton claimed – and the media dutifully parroted
– that 600,000 Albanians were "trapped within Kosovo lacking shelter, short of food, afraid to go home or buried in mass graves."
This was completely false . US diplomat David
Scheffer claimed that "225,000 ethnic Albanian men are missing, presumed dead." Again, a
total fabrication . The FBI, International War Crimes
Tribunal and global forensics experts flocked to Kosovo in droves after the NATO bombs stopped falling; the total number of victims
they found was around 1 percent of the figure claimed by the United States.
However, once NATO attacked, the Serb response was predictably furious. Shockingly, NATO commander Gen. Wesley Clark declared
that the ensuing Serbian atrocities against the Albanian Kosovar population had been
"fully anticipated" and were apparently of little concern to Washington.
Not only did NATO and the KLA provoke a war with Yugoslavia, they did so knowing that many innocent civilians would be killed, maimed
or displaced by the certain and severe reprisals carried out by enraged Serb forces. Michael McGwire, a former top NATO planner,
acknowledged that "to describe the bombing as a humanitarian intervention is really grotesque."
The other big problem with the US claiming it was attacking Yugoslavia on humanitarian grounds was that the Clinton administration
had recently allowed – and was at the time allowing – far worse humanitarian catastrophes to rage without American intervention.
More than 800,000 men, women and children were slaughtered while Clinton and other world leaders stood idly by during the 1994 Rwandan
genocide. The US also courted the medievally brutal
Taliban regime in hopes of achieving stability in Afghanistan and with an eye toward building a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through
Afghanistan to Pakistan. Clinton also did nothing to stop Russian forces from viciously crushing nationalist uprisings in the Caucuses,
where Chechen rebels were fighting for their independence much the same as Albanian Kosovars were fighting the Serbs.
Colombia, the Western Hemisphere's leading recipient of US military and economic aid, was waging a fierce, decades-long campaign
of terror against leftist insurgents and long-suffering indigenous peoples. Despite
horrific brutality and pervasive human rights violations, US aid to Bogotá increased year after year. In Turkey, not only did
Clinton do nothing to prevent government forces from committing widespread atrocities against Kurdish separatists, the administration
positively encouraged its NATO ally with billions of dollars in loans and arms sales. Saudi Arabia, home to the most repressive fundamentalist
regime this side of Afghanistan, was – and remains – a favored US ally despite having one of the
world's worst human rights
records. The list goes on and on.
Much closer to the conflict at hand, the United States tacitly approved the largest ethnic cleansing campaign in Europe since
the Holocaust when as many as 200,000 Serbs were
forcibly expelled from the Krajina region of Croatia by that country's US-trained military during Operation Storm in August 1995.
Krajina Serbs had purged the region of its Croat minority four years earlier in their own ethnic cleansing campaign; now it was the
Serbs' turn to be on the receiving end of the horror. Croatian forces stormed through Krajina, shelling towns and slaughtering innocent
civilians. The sick and the elderly who couldn't escape were executed or burned alive in their homes as Croatian soldiers machine-gunned
convoys of fleeing refugees.
"Painful for the Serbs"
Washington's selective indignation at Serb crimes both real and imagined is utterly inexcusable when held up to the horrific and
seemingly indiscriminate atrocities committed during the NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia. The prominent Australian journalist
John Pilger noted that "in the attack on Serbia, 2 percent of NATO's missiles hit military targets, the rest hit hospitals, schools,
factories, churches and broadcast studios." There is little doubt that US and allied warplanes and missiles were targeting the Serbian
people as much as, or even more than, Serb forces. The bombing knocked out electricity in 70 percent of the country as well as much
of its water supply.
NATO warplanes also deliberately bombed a building containing the headquarters of Serbian state television and radio in the middle
of densely populated central Belgrade. The April 23, 1999 attack occurred without warning while 200 employees were at work in the
building. Among the 16 people killed were a makeup artist, a cameraman, a program director, an editor and three security guards.
There is no doubt that the attack was meant to demoralize the Serbian people. There is also no doubt that those who ordered the bombing
knew exactly what outcome to expect: a NATO planning document viewed by Bill Clinton, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President
Jacques Chirac forecast as
many as 350 deaths in the event of such an attack, with as many as 250 of the victims expected to be innocent civilians living in
Allied commanders wanted to fight a "zero casualty war" in Yugoslavia. As in zero casualties for NATO forces, not the people they
were bombing. "This will be painful for the Serbs," Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon sadistically predicted. It sure was. NATO warplanes
flew sorties at 15,000 feet (4,500 meters), a safe height for the pilots. But this decreased accuracy and increased civilian casualties
on the ground. One attack on central Belgrade mistakenly
hit Dragiša Mišović hospital with a laser-guided "precision" bomb, obliterating an intensive care unit and destroying a children's
ward while wounding several pregnant women who had the misfortune of being in labor at the time of the attack. Dragana Krstić, age
23, was recovering from cancer surgery – she just had a 10-pound (4.5 kg) tumor removed from her stomach – when the bombs blew jagged
shards of glass into her neck and shoulders. "I don't know which hurts more," she lamented, "my stomach, my shoulder or my heart."
Dragiša Mišović wasn't the only hospital bombed by NATO. Cluster bombs dropped by fighter jets of the Royal Netherlands Air Force
struck a hospital and a market in the city of Niš on May 7,
killing 15 people and wounding 60 more. An emergency clinic
and medical dispensary were also bombed in the
mining town of Aleksinac on April 6, killing at least five people and wounding dozens more.
Bridges were favorite targets of NATO bombing. An international passenger train traveling from Belgrade to Thessaloniki, Greece
blown apart by two missiles as it crossed over Grdelica gorge on April 12. Children and a pregnant woman were among the 15 people
killed in the attack; 16 other passengers were wounded. Allied commander Gen. Wesley Clark claimed the train, which had been damaged
by the first missile, had been traveling too rapidly for the pilot to abort the second strike on the bridge. He then offered up a
doctored video that was sped up more than three times so that the pilot's behavior would appear acceptable.
On May 1, at least 24 civilians, many of them children, were killed when NATO warplanes
bombed a bridge in Lužane just as a bus was crossing.
An ambulance rushing to the scene of the carnage was struck by a second bomb. On the sunny spring afternoon of May 30, a bridge over
the Velika Morava River in the small town of Vavarin was
bombed by low-flying German Air Force F-16 fighters while hundreds of local residents gathered nearby to celebrate an Orthodox
Christian holiday. Eleven people died, most of them when the warplanes returned and bombed the people who rushed to the bridge to
help those wounded in the first strike.
No One Is Safe
The horrors suffered by the villagers of Surdulica shows that no one in Serbia was safe from NATO's fury. They endured some 175
bombardments during one three-week period alone, with 50 houses destroyed and 600 others damaged in a town with only around 10,000
residents. On April 27, 20 civilians, including 12 children,
died when bombs meant to
destroy an army barracks slammed into a residential neighborhood. As many as 100 others were wounded in the incident. Tragedy
befell the tiny town again on May 31 when NATO
warplanes returned to bomb an ammunition depot but instead hit an old people's home; 23 civilians, most of them helpless elderly
men and women, were blown to pieces. Dozens more were wounded. The US military initially said "there were no errant weapons" in the
attack. However, Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre later testified before Congress that it "was a case of the pilot getting confused."
The CIA was also apparently confused when it relied on what it claimed was an outdated map to approve a Stealth Bomber strike
on what turned out to be the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade. Three Chinese journalists were killed and 27 other people were wounded.
Some people aren't so sure the attack was an accident – Britain's Observer later
reported that the US deliberately bombed the
embassy after discovering it was being used to transmit Yugoslav army communications.
There were plenty of other accidents, some of them horrifically tragic and others just downright bizarre. Two separate attacks
on the very Albanians NATO was claiming to help killed 160 people, many of them women and children. On April 14, NATO warplanes bombed
refugees along a 12-mile (19-km) stretch of road between the towns of Gjakova and Deçan in western Kosovo, killing 73 people including
16 children and wounding 36 more. Journalists reported
a grisly scene of "bodies charred or blown to pieces, tractors reduced to twisted wreckage and houses in ruins." Exactly one month
later, another column of refugees was
bombed near Koriša, killing
87 – mostly women, children and the elderly – and wounding 60 others. In the downright bizarre category, a wildly errant NATO missile
struck a residential neighborhood in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, some 40 miles (64 km) outside of Serbia. The American AGM-88 HARM
missile blew the roof off
of a man's house while he was shaving in his bathroom.
NATO's "Murderous Thugs"
As the people of Yugoslavia were being terrorized by NATO's air war, the terrorists of the Kosovo Liberation Army stepped up their
atrocities against Serbs and Roma in Kosovo. NATO troops deployed there to keep the peace often failed to protect these people from
the KLA's brutal campaign. More than 164,000 Serbs fled or
were forcibly driven from the Albanian-dominated province and by the summer of 2001 KLA ethnic cleansing had rendered Kosovo almost
entirely Albanian, with just a few die-hard Serb holdouts living in fear and surrounded by barbed wire.
The KLA soon expanded its war into neighboring Macedonia. Although NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson called the terror group
"murderous thugs," the United States – now with George W. Bush as president – continued to offer its invaluable support. National
Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice personally
intervened in an attempt to persuade Ukraine to halt arms sales to the Macedonian army and when a group of 400 KLA fighters were
surrounded at Aracinovo in June 2001, NATO ordered Macedonian forces to hold off their attack while a convoy of US Army vehicles
rescued the besieged militants. It later
emerged that 17 American military advisers were embedded with the KLA at Aracinovo.
The bombing of Yugoslavia was really about preserving the credibility of the United States and NATO. The alliance's saber rattling
toward Belgrade had painted it into a corner from which the only way out was with guns blazing. Failure to follow threats with deadly
action, said President Clinton, "would discredit NATO." Clinton
that "our mission is clear, to demonstrate the seriousness of NATO's purpose." The president seemed willfully ignorant of NATO's
real purpose, which is to defend member states from outside attack. British Prime Minister Tony Blair agreed with Clinton,
declaring on the eve of the war that
"to walk away now would destroy NATO's credibility." Gary Dempsey, a foreign policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute,
wrote that the Clinton administration
"transformed a conflict that posed no threat to the territorial integrity, national sovereignty or general welfare of the United
States into a major test of American resolve."
Waging or prolonging war for credibility's sake is always dangerous and seems always to yield disastrous results. Tens of thousands
of US troops and many times as many Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian soldiers and civilians died while Richard Nixon sought an "honorable"
way out of Vietnam. Ronald Reagan's dogged defense of US credibility cost the lives of 299 American and French troops killed in Hezbollah's
1983 Beirut barracks bombing. This time, ensuring American credibility meant backing the vicious KLA – some of whose fighters had
trained at Osama bin Laden's terror camps in Afghanistan. This, despite the fact that al-Qaeda had already been responsible for deadly
attacks against the United States, including the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
It is highly questionable whether bombing Yugoslavia affirmed NATO's credibility in the short term. In the long term, it certainly
did not. The war marked the first and only time NATO had ever attacked a sovereign state. It did so unilaterally, absent any threat
to any member nation, and without the approval of the United Nations Security Council. "If NATO can go for military action without
international blessing, it calls into question the reliability of NATO as a security partner," Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak,
then Moscow's ambassador to NATO, told me at a San Francisco reception.
Twenty years later, Operation Allied force has been all but forgotten in the United States. In a country that has been waging
nonstop war on terrorism for almost the entire 21st century, the 1999 NATO air war is but a footnote in modern American history.
Serbs, however, still seethe at the injustice and hypocrisy of it all. The bombed-out ruins of the old Yugoslav Ministry of Defense,
Radio Television of Serbia headquarters and other buildings serve as constant, painful reminders of the horrors endured by the Serbian
people in service of NATO's credibility.
Brett Wilkins is a San Francisco-based author and activist. His work, which focuses on issues of war and peace and human rights,
is archived atwww.brettwilkins.com
Now that Robert Mueller has closed his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016
election without bringing any new indictments, some Twitter users have lashed out at former at
political analyst and former CIA director for his recent prediction that Mueller would be
bringing additional charges before finishing his probe.
appeared on MSNBC earlier this month, where he predicted that the special counsel's office
would soon be bringing indictments to add to the list of 34
individuals already charged by Mueller's team.
In that interview, Brennan also opined that he expected that any indictment of anyone close
to President Trump, including his family or extended family, would be named at the conclusion
of the investigation.
"Bob Mueller and his team knows if he were to do something -- indicting a Trump family
member or if he were to go forward with indictment on criminal conspiracy involving U.S.
persons -- that would basically be the death of the special counsel's office, because I don't
believe Donald Trump would allow Bob Mueller to continue in the aftermath of those types of
actions," Brennan explained at the time.
Yet Mueller closed his investigation without bringing any further indictments and without
any charges being brought against anyone within Trump's closest circle. The president's
supporters and others took this opportunity to pounce on Brennan via Twitter.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has been openly critical of the Russia investigation, was
among the first to call out Brennan's indictment prediction.
"You can't blame MSNBC viewers for being confused," tweeted Greenwald in the wake of news
that Mueller had submitted his report. "They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia
spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly
suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act"
He later added, "The worst part of this video is how Brennan said Mueller would indict Trump
Family members for conspiring with Russia before March 15 or after, because he was too noble to
do it on the Ides of March. Will MSNBC or Brennan apologize? Will there be consequences for any
of this? LOL"
Conservative political pundit Charlie Kirk listed Brenna on a list of other frequent targets
-- Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, among others
-- of people who should be investigated, though it was not clear which laws Kirk believes any
of these individuals might have broken.
Actor Dean Cain likened Brennan's indictment prediction to Vermont Governor Howard Dean's
infamous "Dean Scream" that helped to tank Dean's 2004 presidential campaign.
Conservative political consultant Frank Luntz used the incorrect Brennan prediction to
criticize media outlets for what he saw as a failure to acknowledge errors on their part.
As usual, Trump made
the announcement of recognizing Israel's claim to the Golan Heights without any consultation
with any of the relevant administration officials:
President Donald Trump's tweet on Thursday recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli
territory surprised members of his own Middle East peace team, the State Department, and
U.S. diplomats and White House aides had believed the Golan Heights issue would be front
and center at next week's meetings between Trump and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu at the White House. But they were unprepared for any presidential announcement this
No formal U.S. process or executive committees were initiated to review the policy before
Trump's decision, and the diplomats responsible for implementing the policy were left in the
Even the Israelis, who have advocated for this move for years, were stunned at the timing
of Trump's message.
After more than two years of watching Trump's impulsive and reckless "governing" style,
it doesn't come as a surprise to anyone that he makes these decisions without advance warning.
There is no evidence that Trump ever thinks anything through, and so he probably sees no reason
to tell anyone in advance what he is going to do.
Trump almost never bothers consulting with the people who will be responsible for
carrying out his policies and dealing with the international fallout, and that is probably
why so many of his policy decisions end up being exceptionally poor ones. The substance of most
of Trump's foreign policy decisions was never likely to be good, but the lack of an organized
policy process on major decisions makes those decisions even more haphazard and chaotic than
they would otherwise be.
There is absolutely no upside for the United States in endorsing illegal Israeli claims
to the Golan Heights. It is a cynical political stunt intended to boost Netanyahu and Likud's
fortunes in the upcoming election, and it is also a cynical stunt aimed at shoring up Trump's
support from Republican "pro-Israel" voters and donors.
Whatever short-term benefit Israel gains from it, the U.S. gains nothing and stands to lose
quite a bit in terms of our international standing.
There has been no consideration of the costs and problems this will create for the U.S. in
its relations with other regional states and beyond because Trump couldn't care less about the
long-term effects that his decisions have on the country.
Once again, Trump has put narrow political ambitions and the interests of a foreign
government ahead of the interests of the United States. That seems to be the inevitable result
of electing a narcissist who conducts foreign policy based on which leaders flatter and praise
Trump's bad decision can be traced back to Bolton's visit to Israel earlier this year:
Administration officials said that National Security Advisor John Bolton was instrumental
to the decision, after visiting Israel in January to assure officials there that the United
States would not abandon them in Syria despite Trump's sudden withdrawal of troops from the
Nervous Israeli officials saw an opportunity. "It was an ask," one Israeli source said,
"because of the timing -- it suddenly became a relevant issue about Iran."
Bolton is usually the culprit responsible any destructive and foolish policy decision
over the last year, and his baleful influence continues to grow. We can also see the harmful
effects of the administration's Iran obsession at work. In the end, the Syria "withdrawal"
hasn't happened and apparently isn't going to, but Trump nonetheless gives Israel whatever it
wants in exchange for nothing so that they will be "reassured" of our unthinking
Well, of course Trump puts America last. There is one and only one person he is interested in
-- himself. As you say this is his narcissistic personality at work.
My never ending question is always, "Why does any Republican with a conscience remain
silent? Are they really all this shallow and self absorbed? Is there nothing Trump does that
will finally force them to put country before party and their own ambition?"
It's a really sad state of events that has put this country on the road to ruin.
Trump is making one hell of a mess for the next president to clean up. Straightening out
all this stupidity will take years. Here's hoping that Trump gets to watch his foreign policy
decisions tossed out and reversed from federal prison.
The decision to leave the INF treaty was taken in a similar way and with a total disregard for
the consequences. The leaders of the European NATO countries have shown utter spinelessness in
going along with it.
The administration says that a Russian missile violates the treaty but it will not tell us
what the range of the missile is. Nor will it allow its weapons inspectors to go and look at
The reason is clear: Fear that the weapons inspectors' findings would contradict the
I voted Republican ever since I started voting. I voted for Bush I, Dole, Dubya, and McCain. I
couldn't vote for either Obama or Romney, but I voted for Trump because of Hillary Clinton.
I am shocked and horrified by what I've seen under Trump. I am deeply disappointed that
so few Republicans (or Democrats, for that matter) have stood up to him on foreign policy, and
I will never vote Republican again. This GOP/Israel connection stinks to high heaven. Anyone
who studied or remembers our problem with Communist spies back in the '50s has got to be
hearing alarm bells ringing in their ears. Worries about Soviet spying and Russian meddling
pale in comparison to what's now going on in plain sight with Israel.
To be fair, it ain't just Team R that has the sloppy crush on Israel. Team D is just as bad,
even if they don't gush quite so publicly. In fact, episodes such as this one are useful in a
way, as they make it hard to pretend that this is just a one-off, a misguided decision that we
have to go along with to appease a powerful friend.
Europoliticians tell that last one a lot. "We really don't want to but the Americans twisted
our arms ZOMG Special Relationship so sorry ZOMG!" Only with a lot more Eurobureaucratese.
I agree with the article's premise, but not because of this move regarding Israel.
Personally, I believe this move will have little impact on the outcome of the crisis in the
Middle East. Saudi Arabia and the other Arab monarchies are too focused on containing Iran and
Turkey to give a crap about what Israel does. The only Arab states that I can see objecting to
this move are Syria (obviously) and the others who were already allied with Iran and/or Turkey
to begin with.
Right now, the REAL center of attention in the region should be Northern Syria. THAT's where
the next major war likely will begin. In that area, Saudi Arabia and to a lesser extent Turkey
and the United Arab Emirates are the ones doing the major escalations, while Israel has
virtually no role at all aside from sideline cheer-leading. And of course, Trump is doing
nothing to stop what could become the next July Crisis. What's "America First" about that?
Nevertheless, Israel should be very concerned about Northern Syria. If war breaks out and
the US is forced to go to war with its own NATO ally as a result, Israel should prepare to kiss
its alliance with the US goodbye.
There is no way our international reputation will come out of this war unscathed, and odds
are we'll be in a far worse position diplomatically than we were at any point in our history,
even during the Iraq war. When that happens, the American people will be out to assign blame.
Many (rightfully or not) will blame Israel due to its connections to neoconservatism and
Saudi jingoism, and consequently we may end up seeing BOTH parties becoming unfriendly to
Israel over the subsequent generation.
All of this could be prevented if President Trump would just tell Saudi Arabia to STOP
the nonsense. But no. He's too focused on MIC profits. He's not America First. And quite
frankly, I'm starting to think Benjamin Netanyahu is not Israel-first either, because if he
were he'd be warning Trump about the mess he's going to end up getting America, Israel, and
much of Europe and the Middle East into.
The Trump administration has
ignored yet another mandated deadline for reporting to Congress on Yemen:
A senior Pentagon official had pledged to deliver the strategy report at the beginning of
March after failing to meet a Feb. 1 deadline mandated by law.
In recent months, the Trump administration has disregarded several certification
requirements from Congress. In February, the State Department refused to say whether the
Saudi-led force had reduced civilian casualties in the Yemeni conflict. And the White House
failed to respond to lawmakers' query about whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
was responsible for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Last year, the administration met the first certification deadline by brazenly lying to
Congress that the Saudi coalition was successfully reducing harm to civilians in Yemen.
Congress completely failed to hold Secretary Pompeo accountable for those lies, and the
administration has obviously concluded that it can get away with disregarding these
requirements. For the last several months, both the Secretary of State and the Pentagon have
simply refused to comply with the law. In this case, the Pentagon probably can't "detail
specific US diplomatic and national security objectives" because the only discernible objective
of reflexive support for the Saudis and Emiratis in Yemen is to indulge them in whatever they
want to do. An administration that has illegally involved the U.S. in the war on Yemen for more
than two years obviously won't have any respect for legal requirements set by Congress when
they can't even be bothered to respect the Constitution.
The administration's contempt for the law and their disrespect for Congress are additional
reasons why the House should vote on and pass the antiwar Yemen resolution that the Senate
passed earlier this month. Beyond that, Congress needs to increase pressure on the Saudi and
Emirati governments with additional measures to cut off arms sales and hearings to scrutinize
the numerous human rights abuses and war crimes committed by their forces and their
When war supporters object that Congress risks undermining the U.S.-Saudi relationship, it
is important for members of Congress to know that it is Mohammed bin Salman who has jeopardized
the relationship through his reckless and destructive behavior. The Saudi government has been
desperately lying about its conduct in Yemen and elsewhere to the U.S. and the entire world,
and the crown prince has proven himself to be completely unreliable and strikingly incompetent
at everything except grabbing more power for himself:
"We know who this guy is, we know what he's capable of, and treating him like he's an ally
or a reliable partner is totally untenable," said Jeremy Konyndyk, a former US Agency for
International Development director during the Obama administration.
The Saudi government has made itself a liability to the U.S. Since the administration puts
Saudi Arabia first and won't do anything to defend American interests, it falls to Congress to
do what the president won't.
"... No one says Trump is a saint. But the deep state wanted to cover its tracks. Dems and deep state hated that their preferred candidate didn't win. They ended up achieving their goal of delegitimizing 2016 and distracting the country for 2 years. ..."
"... They tried to delegitimize the 2016 Election but failed to do so. ..."
The Mueller investigation is complete and this is a simple fact that will never go away: not one single American was charged,
indicted or convicted for conspiring with Russia to influence the 2016 election - not even a low-level volunteer. The number is zero.
Compare what cable hosts (let's leave them unnamed) & Democratic operatives spent two years claiming this would lead to - the
imprisonment of Don, Jr., Jared, even Trump on conspiracy-with-Russia charges - to what it actually produced. A huge media reckoning
Don't even try to pretend the point of the Mueller investigation from the start wasn't to obtain prosecutions of Americans guilty
of conspiring with Russia to influence the outcome of the election or that Putin controlled Trump through blackmail. Nobody will
believe your denials.
Are we now ready to rid ourselves of the thrilling espionage fantasy that Trump is controlled by Putin and the Kremlin using blackmail?
There's no way Robert Mueller would have gone 18 months without telling anyone about this if it were true, right? How could that
Perhaps now we can focus on the actually consequential actions the Trump administration is taking and finally move past the deranged
conspiracy theories that have drowned US discourse for 2+ years. A side benefit will be not ratcheting up tension between 2 nuclear-armed
Giving up these exciting conspiracy theories about international blackmail & convening panels to decipher all the genius hidden
maneuvers of Mueller will be bad for cable ratings, book sales & the Patreon accounts of online charlatans. But it'll be very healthy
in all other ways.
The desperate attempts to salvage something from this debacle by the Mueller dead-enders are just sad. Yes, the public hasn't
read the Mueller report. But we *know* he ended his investigation without indicting a single American for conspiring with Russia
to influence the election
Trump, Jr. testified for hours and hours before Congress, including about the Trump Tower meeting. If he lied there, or to Mueller,
why didn't Mueller indict him for perjury, lying to Congress or obstruction? Same questions for Kushner. Stop embarrassing yourselves.
If Mueller found evidence that Putin controls Trump & forces him to act against US interests & in favor of Russia - not just with
a pee-pee tape but with financial blackmail - what could possibly justify keeping that a secret through the end of the investigation?
US discourse has been drowned for 2+ years with conspiratorial, unhinged, but highly inflammatory and unhinged idiocy - playing
games with two nuclear-armed powers because of anger over the 2016 election. It's time to stop. Mueller ended his work. We see the
So many in the media devoted endless airtime & print & pixels misleading people to believe Mueller was coming to arrest & prosecute
Trump, Jr, Kushner & so many others for conspiring with Russia over the election & obstruction. None of that happened. You can't
pretend it away.
They was never the point. No one says Trump is a saint. But the deep state wanted to cover its tracks. Dems and deep state hated
that their preferred candidate didn't win. They ended up achieving their goal of delegitimizing 2016 and distracting the country
for 2 years.
As usual, Trump
made the announcement
of recognizing Israel's claim to the Golan Heights without any consultation with any of the relevant administration officials...
President Donald Trump's tweet on Thursday recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory surprised members of his own
Middle East peace team, the State Department, and Israeli officials.
U.S. diplomats and White House aides had believed the Golan Heights issue would be front and center at next week's meetings
between Trump and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. But they were unprepared for any presidential
announcement this week.
No formal U.S. process or executive committees were initiated to review the policy before Trump's decision, and the diplomats
responsible for implementing the policy were left in the dark.
Even the Israelis, who have advocated for this move for years, were stunned at the timing of Trump's message.
After more than two years of watching Trump's impulsive and reckless "governing" style, it doesn't come as a surprise to anyone
that he makes these decisions without advance warning. There is no evidence that Trump ever thinks anything through, and so he probably
sees no reason to tell anyone in advance what he is going to do. Trump almost never bothers consulting with the people who will be
responsible for carrying out his policies and dealing with the international fallout, and that is probably why so many of his policy
decisions end up being exceptionally poor ones. The substance of most of Trump's foreign policy decisions was never likely to be
good, but the lack of an organized policy process on major decisions makes those decisions even more haphazard and chaotic than they
would otherwise be.
There is absolutely no upside for the United States in endorsing illegal Israeli claims to the Golan Heights. It is a cynical
political stunt intended to boost Netanyahu and Likud's fortunes in the upcoming election, and it is also a cynical stunt aimed at
shoring up Trump's support from Republican "pro-Israel" voters and donors.
Fifteen years ago, on February 5, 2003, against the backdrop of worldwide mass demonstrations in opposition to the impending invasion
of Iraq, then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell argued before the United Nations that the government of Saddam Hussein was rapidly
stockpiling "weapons of mass destruction," which Iraq, together with Al Qaeda, was planning to use against the United States.
In what was the climax of the Bush administration's campaign to justify war, Powell held up a model vial of anthrax, showed aerial
photographs and presented detailed slides purporting to show the layout of Iraq's "mobile production facilities."
There was only one problem with Powell's presentation: it was a lie from beginning to end.
The World Socialist Web Site , in an editorial board
statement published the next day, declared the
brief for war "the latest act in a diplomatic charade laced with cynicism and deceit." War against Iraq, the WSWS wrote, was not
about "weapons of mass destruction." Rather, "it is a war of colonial conquest, driven by a series of economic and geo-political
aims that center on the seizure of Iraq's oil resources and the assertion of US global hegemony."
The response of the American media, and particularly its liberal wing, was very different. Powell's litany of lies was presented
as the gospel truth, an unanswerable indictment of the Iraqi government.
Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, who rushed off a column before he could have examined Powell's allegations, declared,
"The evidence he presented to the United Nations -- some of it circumstantial, some of it absolutely bone-chilling in its detail
-- had to prove to anyone that Iraq not only hasn't accounted for its weapons of mass destruction but without a doubt still retains
them. Only a fool -- or possibly a Frenchman -- could conclude otherwise."
The editorial board of the New York Times -- whose reporter Judith Miller was at the center of the Bush administration's
campaign of lies -- declared one week later that there "is ample evidence that Iraq has produced highly toxic VX nerve gas and anthrax
and has the capacity to produce a lot more. It has concealed these materials, lied about them, and more recently failed to account
for them to the current inspectors."
Subsequent developments would prove who was lying. The Bush administration and its media accomplices conspired to drag the US
into a war that led to the deaths of more than one million people -- a colossal crime for which no one has yet been held accountable.
Fifteen years later, the script has been pulled from the closet and dusted off. This time, instead of "weapons of mass destruction,"
it is "Russian meddling in the US elections." Once again, assertions by US intelligence agencies and operatives are treated as fact.
Once again, the media is braying for war. Once again, the cynicism and hypocrisy of the American government -- which intervenes in
the domestic politics of every state on the planet and has been relentlessly expanding its operations in Eastern Europe -- are ignored.
The argument presented by the American media is that the alleged existence of a fly-by-night operation, employing a few hundred
people, with a budget amounting to a minuscule fraction of total election spending in the US, constitutes a "a virtual war against
the United States through 21st-century tools of disinformation and propaganda" ( New York Times ).
In the countless articles and media commentary along this vein, nowhere can one find a serious analysis of the Mueller indictment
of the Russians itself, let alone an examination of the real motivations behind the US campaign against Russia. The fact that the
indictment does not even involve the Russian government or state officials is treated as a nonissue.
While the present campaign over Russian "meddling" has much in common with the claims about "weapons of mass destruction," the
implications are far more ominous. The "war on terror" is exhausted, in part because the US is allied in Syria and elsewhere with
the Islamic fundamentalist organizations it was purportedly fighting.
More fundamentally, the quarter-century of invasions and occupations that followed the dissolution of the Soviet Union is rapidly
developing into a conflict between major nuclear-armed powers. The effort of the American ruling class to offset its economic decline
using military force is leading mankind to the brink of another world war. As the National Defense Strategy, published less than
a month before the release of the indictments, declared, "Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern
in US national security."
Russia is seen by dominant sections of the military-intelligence apparatus as a principal obstacle to US efforts to control the
Middle East and to take on China -- and it is this that has been at the center of the conflict between the Democratic Party and the
There have already been a series of clashes in recent weeks between the world's two largest nuclear-armed powers. On February
3, a Russian close-air support fighter was shot down by al-Nusra Front fighters, which are indirectly allied with the United States
in its proxy war against the government of Bashar Al-Assad. Then, on February 7 and 8, Russian soldiers were killed in US air and
artillery barrages in Deir Ezzor, in what survivors called a "massacre." Both the US and Russian governments have sought to downplay
the scale of the clash, but some sources have reported the number killed to be in the hundreds.
Even as US and Russian forces clashed in Syria, representatives of the Kremlin and the Pentagon sparred at the Munich security
conference this weekend over the deployment and development of nuclear weapons. While accusing Russia of violating the Intermediate
Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Washington this month issued a nuclear posture review envisioning a massive expansion of the deployment
of battlefield nuclear weapons.
The Mueller indictment is intended to provide an appropriate "narrative" for military aggression motivated by different aims.
At the same time, it serves as a ready-made pretext for censorship and domestic repression that goes far beyond the extraordinary
measures adopted under the framework of the "war on terror." Russia, the American people are supposed to believe, uses domestic social
opposition to weaken the United States, rendering political dissent effectively treasonous.
Already, this campaign has led the major US technology firms to implement far-reaching measures to censor political speech on
the Internet. Google is manipulating its search results and Facebook is manipulating its news feeds, while seeking to turn the social
media platform it has developed into an instrument of corporate-state surveillance.
Even more extreme measures are being planned and implemented, motivated by the basic principle that the greater the lie, the more
aggressive the methods required to enforce it. The target of the repressive measures is not Russia, but the American working class.
The ruling elite is well aware that as it plots war abroad, it stands upon a social powder keg at home.
"... Perhaps most dangerous of all is the signal that it sends to Israeli hard-liners that want to annex some or all of the West Bank. It tells them that illegal occupation will eventually be rewarded with full U.S. recognition ..."
"... Trump's statement is just the latest in a string of bad decisions that are absurdly biased in favor of Israel. No U.S. interests are advanced by doing this, and it discredits any criticisms that the U.S. wants to make of any other government's illegal occupation and annexation of territory. The double standard that the U.S. applies when it comes to violations of international law by itself and its clients could not be more obvious, and it will make it much more difficult to challenge similarly egregious violations in the future. ..."
There were hints
in recent days that U.S. recognition of Israel's claim to the Golan Heights was coming, and now the president has done it. Israel's
control of this territory dates back to the 1967 war, when Israel grabbed this part of Syria and refused to return it. Israel has
no legitimate claim to this territory, and in recognizing Israeli sovereignty over land that it seized during a war the U.S. is sending
a potentially very dangerous message to governments all around the world.
Perhaps most dangerous of all is the signal that it sends
to Israeli hard-liners that want to annex some or all of the West Bank. It tells them that illegal occupation will eventually be
rewarded with full U.S. recognition, and it also tells them that the U.S. isn't going to pay any attention to international law when
it comes to making decisions regarding Israeli control over occupied territories.
Trump's statement is just the latest in a string of bad decisions that are absurdly biased in favor of Israel. No U.S. interests
are advanced by doing this, and it discredits any criticisms that the U.S. wants to make of any other government's illegal occupation
and annexation of territory. The double standard that the U.S. applies when it comes to violations of international law by itself
and its clients could not be more obvious, and it will make it much more difficult to challenge similarly egregious violations in
David Kramer, a long-time advisor to late Senator John McCain, revealed that he met with two Obama administration officials
to inquire about whether the anti-Trump dossier authored by former British spy Christopher Steele was being taken seriously.
In one case, Kramer said that he personally provided a copy of the dossier to Obama National Security Council official Celeste
In a deposition on Dec. 13, 2017 that was recently posted online, Kramer said that McCain specifically asked him in early December
2016 to meet about the dossier with Wallander and Victoria Nuland, a senior official in John Kerry's State Department. Senator McCain
asked me to meet with both of them to see if this was being taken seriously in the government," Kramer said.
"And Senator McCain asked you to meet with them?" Kramer was asked to clarify.
"Yes, just to see if this was being taken seriously. I think he wanted to do -- this was his kind of due diligence before he went
to Director Comey."
Kramer testified that in his conversations with Nuland and Wallander he was told by both of them that each were aware of the dossier
and that Nuland "thought Steele was a serious person."
Kramer revealed that he gave a copy of the dossier to Wallander, who was familiar with the contents but did not have a copy.
"I had a subsequent conversation with Ms. Wallander in which I gave her a copy of the document. That was probably around New Year's,"
"She had not seen it herself until I had shown it to her," Kramer added. "She had heard about it. And she didn't know the status
In the same testimony, the McCain associate revealed that he held a meeting about the dossier with a reporter from BuzzFeed News
who he says snapped photos of the controversial document without Kramer's permission when he left the room to go to the bathroom.
That meeting was held at the McCain Institute office in Washington, Kramer stated.
published Steele's full dossier on January 10, 2017 setting off a firestorm of news media coverage about the document.
Prior to his death, McCain admitted to personally handing the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey but he refused repeated
requests for comment about whether he had a role in providing the dossier to BuzzFeed, including numerous inquiries sent to his office
by this reporter.
book published last year, McCain maintained he had an "obligation" to pass the dossier charges against Trump to Comey and he
would even do it again. "Anyone who doesn't like it can go to hell," McCain exclaimed.
Kramer, meanwhile, also said that he briefed others reporters on the dossier contents, including CNN's Carl Bernstein, in an effort
to have the anti-Trump charges verified.
The same day BuzzFeed released the full dossier, CNN first
the leaked information that the controversial contents of the dossier were presented during classified briefings inside classified
documents presented one week earlier to then-President Obama and President-elect Trump.
Kramer said that he believed McCain was sought out in order to provide credibility to the dossier claims.
"I think they felt a senior Republican was better to be the recipient of this rather than a Democrat because if it were a Democrat,
I think that the view was that it would have been dismissed as a political attack," Kramer stated.
The controversial Fusion GPS firm hired Steele to do the anti-Trump work that resulted in the compilation of the dossier. Fusion
GPS was paid for its anti-Trump work by Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee via the Perkins Coie
Kramer's testimony sheds a new light on the role of the Obama administration in disseminating the largely-discredited dossier
that was reportedly involved in the FBI's initial investigation into the Trump campaign and unsubstantiated claims of Russian collusion.
cited the dossier as evidence in a successful FISA application to obtain a warrant to conduct surveillance on Carter Page, a
former adviser to President Trump's 2016 campaign. The testimony also revealed how McCain was utilized to give the wild dossier charges
a credibility boost.
Nuland and dossier
Nuland's specific role in the dossier episode has been the subject of some controversy for her.
book , "Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump," authors and reporters
by Michael Isikoff and David Corn write that Nuland gave the green light for the FBI to first meet with Steele regarding his dossier's
claims. It was at that meeting that Steele initially reported his dossier charges to the FBI, the book relates.
Steele sought out Rome-based FBI Special Agent Michael Gaeta, with whom he had worked on a previous case. Before Gaeta met with
Steele on July 5, 2016, the book relates that the FBI first secured the support of Nuland, who at the time was assistant Secretary
of State for European and Eurasian Affairs specializing in Russia.
Regarding the arrangements for Steele's initial meeting with the FBI about the dossier claims, Isikoff and Corn report:
There were a few hoops Gaeta had to jump through. He was assigned to the U.S. embassy in Rome. The FBI checked with Victoria
Nuland's office at the State Department : Do you support this meeting ? Nuland, having found Steele's reports on Ukraine to have
been generally credible, gave the green light.
Within a few days, on July 5, Gaeta arrived and headed to Steele's office near Victoria station . Steele handed him a copy
of the report. Gaeta, a seasoned FBI agent, started to read . He turned white. For a while, Gaeta said nothing . Then he remarked,
"I have to report this to headquarters."
The book documents that Nuland previously received Steele's reports on the Ukrainian crisis and had been familiar with Steele's
Nuland faced confirmation
prior to her appointment as assistant secretary of state over her reported role in revising controversial Obama administration
talking points about the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks. Her
reported changes sought to protect
Clinton's State Department from accusations that it failed to adequately secure the woefully unprotected U.S. Special Mission in
Nuland's name surfaced in a flurry of news media reports last year about the dossier and Kerry's State Department.
An extensive New Yorker profile
of Steele named another former official from Kerry's State Department for alleged involvement in circulating the dossier. The
magazine reported that Kerry's chief of staff at the State Department, John Finer, obtained the contents of a two-page summary of
the dossier and eventually decided to share the questionable document with Kerry.
Finer received the dossier summary from Jonathan M. Winer, the Obama State Department official who acknowledged regularly interfacing
and exchanging information with Steele, according to the report. Winer previously conceded that he shared the dossier summary with
After his name surfaced in news media reports related to probes by House Republicans into the dossier, Winer authored a Washington
oped in which he conceded that while he was working at the State Department he exchanged documents and information with Steele.
Winer further acknowledged that while at the State Department, he shared anti-Trump material with Steele passed to him by longtime
Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal, whom Winer described as an "old friend." Winer wrote that the material from Blumenthal – which
Winer in turn gave to Steele – originated with Cody Shearer, who is a controversial figure long tied to various Clinton scandals.
Nuland, Winer Give Conflicting Accounts
There are seeming discrepancies between Winer and Nuland about actions taken involving the dossier.
Nuland described in a Politico podcast
what she claimed was her reaction when she was presented with Steele's dossier information at the State Department.
She said that she offered advice to "those who were interfacing with" Steele, immediately telling the intermediary or intermediaries
that Steele "should get this information to the FBI." She further explained that a career employee at the State Department could
not get involved with the dossier charges since such actions could violate the Hatch Act, which prevents employees in the executive
branch of the federal government from engaging in certain kinds of political activities.
In a second interview, this one with CBS's Face The Nation, Nuland also stated that her "immediate" reaction was to refer Steele
to the FBI.
Here is a transcript of the
section of her February 5 interview with Susan B. Glasser, who described Nuland as "my friend" and referred to her by her nickname
Glasser: When did you first hear about his dossier?
Nuland: I first heard -- and I didn't know who his client was until much later, until 2017, I think, when it came out. I first
heard that he had done work for a client asserting these linkages -- I think it was late July, something like that.
Glasser: That's very interesting. And you would have taken him seriously just because you knew that he knew what he was talking
about on Russia?
Nuland: What I did was say that this is about U.S. politics, and not the work of -- not the business of the State Department,
and certainly not the business of a career employee who is subject to the Hatch Act, which requires that you stay out of politics.
So, my advice to those who were interfacing with him was that he should get this information to the FBI, and that they could evaluate
whether they thought it was credible.
Glasser: Did you ever talk about it with anyone else higher up at the department? With Secretary Kerry or anybody else?
Nuland: Secretary Kerry was also aware. I think he's on the record and he had the same advice.
Nuland stated that Kerry "was also aware" of the dossier, but she did not describe how he was made aware. She made clear that
she told "those who were interfacing" with Steele to go to the FBI since any State Department involvement could violate the Hatch
Her Politico podcast interview was not the only time she claimed that her reaction was to refer Steele to the FBI.
On Face The Nation on February 4, Nuland engaged in the following
exchange in which she stated her "immediate" reaction was to refer Steele to the FBI (emphasis added):
MARGARET BRENNAN: The dossier.
VICTORIA NULAND: The dossier, he passed two to four pages of short points of what he was finding, and our immediate reaction
to that was, "This is not in our purview. This needs to go to the FBI, if there is any concern here that one candidate or the
election as a whole might be influenced by the Russian federation. That's something for the FBI to investigate."
And that was our reaction when we saw this. It's not our -- we can't evaluate this. And frankly, if every member of the campaign
who the Russians tried to approach and tried to influence had gone to the FBI as well in real time, we might not be in the mess
we're in today.
Nuland gave the two interviews after her name started surfacing in news media reports involving Kerry's State Department and the
dossier. Her name also came up in relation to a criminal referral of Steele to the Justice Department in the form of a letter authored
last year by Sen. Chuck Grassley, who at the time chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
The Grassley-Graham criminal referral
contains redacted information that Steele received information from someone in the State Department, who in turn had been in
contact with a "foreign sub-source" who was in touch with a redacted name described as a "friend of the Clintons."
Numerous media reports have since stated that the source of information provided to the State Department that was in turn passed
on to Steele was Cody Shearer, a controversial figure tied to the Clintons who is also an associate of longtime Clinton friend Sidney
Blumenthal. According to sources who
to CNN, Shearer's information was passed from Blumenthal to Winer, who at the time was a special State Department envoy for Libya
working under Kerry. Winer
says that Kerry personally recruited him to work at the State Department.
It is Winer's version of events that seems to conflict with Nuland's.
oped published in the Washington Post, Winer identified Nuland as the State Department official with whom he shared Steele's
information. Winer writes that Nuland's reaction was that "she felt that the secretary of state needed to be made aware of this material."
He does not relate any further reaction from Nuland.
Winer wrote in the Washington Post (emphasis added):
In the summer of 2016, Steele told me that he had learned of disturbing information regarding possible ties between Donald
Trump, his campaign and senior Russian officials. He did not provide details but made clear the information involved "active measures,"
a Soviet intelligence term for propaganda and related activities to influence events in other countries.
In September 2016, Steele and I met in Washington and discussed the information now known as the "dossier." Steele's sources
suggested that the Kremlin not only had been behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign
but also had compromised Trump and developed ties with his associates and campaign.
I was allowed to review, but not to keep, a copy of these reports to enable me to alert the State Department. I prepared a
two-page summary and shared it with Nuland, who indicated that, like me, she felt that the secretary of state needed to be made
aware of this material.
That was the extent of Winer's description of Nuland's reaction upon being presented with Steele's dossier claims. Nuland's public
claim that her "immediate" response was to refer Steele to the FBI since State involvement could violate the Hatch Act seems to conflict
with the only reaction that Winer relates from Nuland – that she felt Kerry should be made aware of the dossier information.
In Winer's Washington Post oped, he writes that Steele had a larger relationship with the State Department, passing over
100 reports relating to Russia to the U.S. government agency through Winer. Winer wrote that Nuland found Steele's reports to be
"useful" and asked Winer to "continue to send them."
In 2013, I returned to the State Department at the request of Secretary of State John F. Kerry, whom I had previously served
as Senate counsel. Over the years, Steele and I had discussed many matters relating to Russia. He asked me whether the State Department
would like copies of new information as he developed it. I contacted Victoria Nuland, a career diplomat who was then assistant
secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, and shared with her several of Steele's reports. She told me they were useful
and asked me to continue to send them. Over the next two years, I shared more than 100 of Steele's reports with the Russia experts
at the State Department, who continued to find them useful. None of the reports related to U.S. politics or domestic U.S. matters,
and the reports constituted a very small portion of the data set reviewed by State Department experts trying to make sense of
events in Russia.
Kramer and the dossier
In his book, "The Restless Wave," McCain provided an inside account of how he says he came across the dossier.
He wrote that he was told about the claims in the document at a security conference in Canada in November 2016, where he was approached
by Sir Andrew Wood, a former British ambassador to Moscow and friend of ex-British spy Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier.
McCain wrote that Wood told him Steele "had been commissioned to investigate connections between the Trump campaign and Russian
agents as well as potentially compromising information about the President-elect that Putin allegedly possessed."
McCain, however, did not address the obvious question of whether he was told exactly who "commissioned" Steele to "investigate"
the alleged Russian ties. The dossier was paid for by Clinton's campaign and the DNC.
McCain goes on to describe Wood as telling him Steele's work "was mostly raw, unverified intelligence, but that the author strongly
believed merited a thorough examination by counterintelligence experts."
The politician says the dossier claims described to him were "too strange a scenario to believe, something out of a le Carré novel,
not the kind of thing anyone has ever actually had to worry about with a new President, no matter what other concerns."
Still, McCain says he reasoned that "even a remote risk that the President of the United States might be vulnerable to Russian
extortion had to be investigated."
McCain concedes Wood told him he had not actually read the dossier himself, and writes that he wasn't sure if he ever met Wood
before and couldn't recall previously having a conversation with Wood. Still, McCain took Wood's word for it when Wood vouched for
Steele's credibility. "Steele was a respected professional, Wood assured us, who had good Russian contacts and long experience collecting
and analyzing intelligence on the Kremlin," McCain wrote.
Present at the meeting with Wood and McCain was Kramer, who McCain writes agreed to "go to London to meet Steele, confirm his
credibility and report back to me."
McCain doesn't detail Kramer's visit to London beyond simply writing, "When David returned, and shared his impression that the
former spy was, as Sir Andrew had vouched, a respected professional, and not to outward appearances given to hyperbole or hysteria,
I agreed to receive a copy of what is now referred to as 'the dossier.'''
McCain leaves out exactly where Kramer obtained his dossier copy.
The Washington Post
reported last February that Kramer received the dossier directly from Fusion GPS after McCain expressed interest in it. Those
details marked the clearest indication that McCain may have known that the dossier originated with Fusion GPS, meaning that he may
have knowingly passed on political material to the FBI.
Also, in a New York Times oped in January,
GPS co-founders Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritch wrote that they helped McCain share their anti-Trump dossier with the Obama-era intelligence
community via an unnamed "emissary."
In his own testimony, Kramer relates conversations with Simpson about the dossier.
Merkel might say: "There is definitely a place for Brazil in NATO. They can have ours."
Forget it! Merkel is the most servile lackey that the US could wish for. She is
doing everything her masters in Washington ask her to do. For example the German public is
awaiting a mildly entertaining show of their government on how to work around yesterdays
International law is the yardstick for international politics. This has been clarified by
the Higher Administrative Court in Münster in a spectacular ruling on lethal US drone
missions in Yemen. Several relatives of victims who were killed in such attacks had sued.
They hold the Federal Republic of Germany jointly responsible for this because the United
States allegedly also uses the US airbase in Ramstein in Rhineland-Palatinate for these
There are important indications that the drone attacks in question violate international
law and the fundamental right to life. The Federal Republic of Germany must protect these
rights and stand up for them. Therefore the Federal Republic must clarify now in a first
step whether the attacks offend against international right.
NOT! Aside from the fact, that the public press largely ignores this decision, our
governments have a long record of doing actually nothing when formally independent judges
even from the highest courts ask them to adhere to the law.
Speaking of embarrassing lackeys, when the empire was seeking a new nodal point to more
efficiently drone bomb Northern Africa the most obvious/nearby European locations like Italy,
France or Greece all said "Nah, better not". But, don't you worry, Missus Merkel was of
course happy to offer Stuttgard in Southern Germany as base for AFRICOM!
This article was written 4 years ago, but the problem with Putin successor remains. Putin is a unique politician and his replacement
might be much weaker, causing troubles for Russia. This is not new problem for Russia, but this time it will be especially
acute. BTW this comment thread looks like "who is who" list for NATObots.
"... We could all use a real leader like Putin who takes no b.s. from anybody and is quick to adapt to any situation in a calm assertive way. He earns our admiration every day, the way he steers across an ever changing minefield and not because of his mucho image. We do not need leaders who deceit people by spewing relentless propaganda and no clarity. They fail as individuals and as a group because they are spineless. If multiple people repeat the same lie it does not make it true. It must be a club membership requirement to play the politics game and keep quiet about wrong things you see. ..."
"... Action man outwitting the Neocons in the international chess game. More surprises to come ..."
"... Karl Rove said "Empire creates its own reality". No wonder the mantra "Assad must go" is now enshrined in international politics by the Neocon alliance. They didnt figure on Putin obviously. ..."
"... It happens regardless, take the example in Volgograd (Vauxhall) two years ago. I am afraid that KSA and the Gulf States will be funding the usual mix of 'moderately terroristic shenanigans" in reprisal, but they did this before anyways. ..."
"... He making the US looked like whiny bitches. Good job; you alienate Russia and manage to strengthen the China-Russo relationrelationship. Sanctions that don't work, secret economic wars and multiple failed coup d'etat in Georgia and Ukraine [also do not work] ..."
"... Like US - Hospital - Afganistain. anyway ISIS are paid money by the CIA and don't care who they work for it's money that they are motivated by not ideology, that ideology stuff is made-up. Google it and dig, get yourself informed. ..."
"... Not quite sure why Mr Putin playing ice-hockey on his birthday is worthy of a story to open up for comments unless the Guardian is ' trawling ' to encourage some new anti-Putin Cold War rhetoric in the comments section. ..."
"... PS / Don't forget that nice Israeli Prime Minister Mr Netanyahu's birthday and how he celebrates it. Ensure you open it up for comment as I'm sure also that many will wish to voice an opinion. Will this now be a standard ' Birthday Feature ' for all world leaders in the Guardian, or has this newspaper just granted an exception for Mr Putin's birthday ? ..."
I wonder if everyone on the Guardian staff has the same "man crush" on Putin? Could explain all these obsessive articles. I
also wonder if he spent any time in the penalty box?
laticsfanfromeurope -> Extracrispy 7 Oct 2015 17:06
You prefer ISIS and Al-Nusra then the legitimate Syrian gov. and the legitimate help of Russia...not a surprise from stupid
pfox33 7 Oct 2015 17:05
There isn't one of our western politicians that wouldn't sell his fucking mother to be getting the attention that Putin's getting.
I thought he was supposed to be isolated.
So to keep the hockey thing going, Putin's stolen the puck in the neutral zone, split the Nato defensemen who were too far
forward and is on a breakaway.
I feel sorry for Obama because I think he's a good leader but when it comes to trying to maneuver in a geopolitical situation
like Syria he's fucked before he leaves the house. Putin can just act without trying to herd cats like Obama has to do with his
Nato minions. He doesn't have a bunch of recalcitrant GOP senators calling him everything but a white man and running their mouths
about what they would do.
... ... ...
filin led -> Braminski 7 Oct 2015 16:55
It's you who are a troll, sir. By what you say, anything can be dismissed as paid propaganda. That means, you are as likely
to be a paid agent yourself. So, if you can't come up with a constructive argument, stop commenting please.
Mordantdude -> Poppy757 7 Oct 2015 16:40
As Russians say: "Envy silently".
giacinto101 7 Oct 2015 15:59
We could all use a real leader like Putin who takes no b.s. from anybody and is quick to adapt to any situation in a calm
assertive way. He earns our admiration every day, the way he steers across an ever changing minefield and not because of his mucho
image. We do not need leaders who deceit people by spewing relentless propaganda and no clarity. They fail as individuals and
as a group because they are spineless. If multiple people repeat the same lie it does not make it true. It must be a club membership
requirement to play the politics game and keep quiet about wrong things you see.
SilkverBlogger 7 Oct 2015 15:54
Action man outwitting the Neocons in the international chess game. More surprises to come
CIAbot007 -> Poppy757 7 Oct 2015 15:39
Most of Aussies have a bit of common sense which says that you can't blame anyone before it is prooved. With Western MSM propaganda
machine blaming Russia and Putin even before anything happens you bet there's no such thing as balanced and unskewed reporting
and even will for any kind of such thing. Don't get fooled, use your brain or your brain will be used by someone else.
SilkverBlogger 7 Oct 2015 14:48
Karl Rove said "Empire creates its own reality". No wonder the mantra "Assad must go" is now enshrined in international
politics by the Neocon alliance. They didnt figure on Putin obviously.
PekkaRoivanen MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:30
In the West, we don't have a sycophantic press kissing the leader's backside:
Guardian: Barack Obama scores just 2 out of 22 basketball hoops - video
You wrote that Obama plays basketball and you prove it with this video where Obama wears dress shirt (tie removed :-D) and
Are you sure Obama plays basketball? Or is it just press kissing his backside?
Kev Kev Hektor Uranga 7 Oct 2015 14:28
the USA persecutes and kills people who speak out against it. Only difference is the USA does it in ways that nobody sees..
In other words the USA is the same as Russia only they do their work in the dark. When nobody is looking.
Abiesalba MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:26
That's the guy who is wishing Putin a happy birthday.
The US/UK duo have caused with their insane illegal wars more than a million deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and
I recommend you look up a little the complex history and present situation in Chechnya and the North Caucasus region.
ISIS (which the insanely aggressive US/UK duo have in effect created) is already spreading its influence INSIDE the Russian
Federation. So Putin has direct interests to defeat ISIS and stabilise Syria (and Iraq). In addition, the south of the Russian
Federation is on the map of territories which ISIS plans to conquer.
See for example:
8 ISIS supporters killed in N. Caucasus special op
(2 August 2015)
Russian security forces have foiled a terrorist group that recently pledged allegiance to ISIS in Ingushetia, in the Northern
Caucasus, according to the National Anti-Terror Committee (NAC). Security forces seized explosives, weapons and over 2,000 rounds
How Russian Militants Declared A New ISIS 'State' In Russia's North Caucasus
(26 June 2015)
The Islamic State group announced the creation of its northernmost province this week, after accepting a formal pledge of allegiance
from former al Qaeda militants in the North Caucasus region of Russia.
It is true that at present, the Chechens are begging Putin to let them strike in Syria (and this is also closely linked to the
complicated history of North Caucasus), but Putin has not unleashed them. See for example here:
Kadyrov asks Putin to allow Chechen infantry to fight in Syria (RT, 2 October 2015)
The head of the Chechen Republic has asked the Russian president to send Chechen units to fight Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL)
in Syria, adding that his fighters have sworn to fight terrorists till the end.
"Being a Muslim, a Chechen and a Russian patriot I want to say that in 1999 when our republic was overrun with these devils
we swore on the Koran that we would fight them wherever they are," the Chechen leader said. "But we need the Commander-in-Chief's
decision to do this," he emphasized. According to the Russian Constitution, the president [Putin] is also the commander-in-chief
of the military forces.
BMWAlbert clanview46 7 Oct 2015 14:26
It happens regardless, take the example in Volgograd (Vauxhall) two years ago. I am afraid that KSA and the Gulf States
will be funding the usual mix of 'moderately terroristic shenanigans" in reprisal, but they did this before anyways.
Julian1972 MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:21
That was last year...also it was authored by a combination of the CIA and their right-wing 'Operation Stay Behind' cohorts...though,
if you don't know that by now you doubtless never will.
Abiesalba MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:16
Murderers, thieves and embezzlers stroking each other's egos.
Putin has a long way to go to match the US/UK.
Here is a recent report about 'collateral damage' compiled by Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival
and the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War:
Body Count: Casualty Figures After 10 Years of the 'War on Terror' (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan)
This investigation comes to the conclusion that the war has, directly or indirectly, killed around 1 million people in Iraq, 220,000
in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan, i.e. a total of around 1.3 million.
NOT included in this figure are further war zones such as Yemen.
The figure is approximately 10 times greater than that of which the public, experts and decision makers are aware of and propagated
by the media and major NGOs.
And this is only a conservative estimate. The total number of deaths in the three countries named above could also be in excess
of 2 million, whereas a figure below 1 million is extremely unlikely.
For more about civilian casualties due to the US-led coalition strikes in Syria and Iraq, see the Airwars website:
584 – 1,720 civilians killed:
To date, the international coalition has only conceded two "likely" deaths, from an event in early November 2014. It is also
presently investigating seven further incidents of concern; is carrying out credibility assessments on a further 13; and has concluded
three more investigations – having found no 'preponderance of evidence' to support civilian casualty claims.
More Power -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:13
He making the US looked like whiny bitches. Good job; you alienate Russia and manage to strengthen the China-Russo relationrelationship.
Sanctions that don't work, secret economic wars and multiple failed coup d'etat in Georgia and Ukraine [also do not work].
Just look at the World Bank, BRICS is on the door step. Happy birth day Putin. A badass mofo
blueskis -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 14:06
The vats majority of the 5500 killed have been civilians in East Ukraine killed by airstrikes ordered by kiev/washington, fully
justifying Russian intervention.
ooTToo -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 13:40
Like US - Hospital - Afganistain. anyway ISIS are paid money by the CIA and don't care who they work for it's money that
they are motivated by not ideology, that ideology stuff is made-up. Google it and dig, get yourself informed.
geedeesee -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 13:19
Russia is attacking what they said they'd attack, Tavernier. ISIS, al-Nusrah, and other terrorist organisations.
inconvenienttruth13 -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 13:18
No he isn't. Anybody with a functioning brain knows he had nothing to do with that. Unlike the US genocide in the Middle East
- over 2 million dead and counting - not to mention the deliberate and sustained attack on a hospital. Maybe you don' get to see
the news in your ward?
inconvenienttruth13 -> MTavernier 7 Oct 2015 13:13
The US created, funds, trains and arms ISIS - they are only supporting terrorists in their campaign to effect regime change.
Russia is responding to a request fro the Syrian government, so its actions are entirely legal. The faces that the USA and the
KSA are the biggest sponsors of terrorism in the world.
monteverdi1610 7 Oct 2015 12:22
Not quite sure why Mr Putin playing ice-hockey on his birthday is worthy of a story to open up for comments unless the
Guardian is ' trawling ' to encourage some new anti-Putin Cold War rhetoric in the comments section.
PS / Don't forget that nice Israeli Prime Minister Mr Netanyahu's birthday and how he celebrates it. Ensure you open it
up for comment as I'm sure also that many will wish to voice an opinion. Will this now be a standard ' Birthday Feature ' for
all world leaders in the Guardian, or has this newspaper just granted an exception for Mr Putin's birthday ?
Foreign policy is no longer controlled by the President of the USA. It is controlled by the Deep state.
This article is from 2015 but can easily be written about Trump administration
"... Indeed, as Putin himself had proposed in his visionary October 2011 article, the Eurasian Union could have become one of the pillars of a huge harmonized economic area stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok and based on the EU's single-market rules (acquis communautaire). ..."
"... First and foremost, because the self-proclaimed "exceptional" power (actually, a mere "outlying island" in the Atlantic, according to the founder of geopolitics, Halford Mackinder) and its dysfunctional "deep-state" officialdom did not want it to be. How could they have permitted such a thing? How could they have allowed other countries to get on with improving the lives of their citizens without being obliged to seek Washington's approval every step of the way? ..."
"... In order to make sure that they were not side-lined, the US elites had to intervene. The Western propaganda machine started churning out all sorts of nonsense that Putin is a new Hitler who is bent on restoring the Soviet empire and who is bullying Europe, while continuing to bang on about his "increasingly autocratic rule". ..."
"... Deadly attacks by chauvinistic proxies were launched on the Russophone people in South Ossetia, Georgia in 2008 and more recently in Ukraine. ..."
"... Stuck in an Orwellian nightmare, Europe has to demonstrate its unfailing loyalty to Big Brother and go along with the view that Russia, an intrinsic and valuable part of the European mainstream both historically and culturally, represents universal evil and that the Earth will not be safe until the Federation has been dismembered and Putinism wiped out once and for all. ..."
"... Having self-destructed in two world wars, it has become an easy and even willing prey to an arrogant, ignorant and power-drunk predator that has never experienced the hardships and horrors that Europe has. ..."
"... Even more terrifying, intellectually third-rate Washington viceroys such as Victoria Nuland and the freelancing armchair warrior Senator McCain are allowed to play God with our continent. ..."
"... Indeed, the damage extends beyond the economy. By aligning with the forces of chaos – such as chauvinistic extremists in Ukraine – Washington and its Euro-vassals are corrupting the moral (and intellectual) core of the West. ..."
"... 'My Ph.D. dissertation chairman, who became a high Pentagon official assigned to wind down the Vietnam war, in answer to my question about how Washington gets Europeans to always do what Washington wants replied: "Money, we give them money." "Foreign aid?" I asked. "No, we give the European political leaders bagfuls of money. They are for sale. We bought them. They report to us." Perhaps this explains Tony Blair's $50 million fortune one year out of office'. ..."
"... "We, the [CENSORED] people, control America and the Americans know it." -- Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of [CENSORED] ..."
Washington is betraying the best interests of the American people through its current foreign policy... European
democracy is threatened by US, not Russian, foreign policy
The avalanche of commentary since the Ukrainian crisis erupted a year ago has overshadowed any reflections on the immense forgone
benefits (technically speaking, the "opportunity cost") of what might have been if Washington had been working for peace and stability
instead of war and chaos.
Imagine the following: After the unraveling of the Communist bloc, Europe, in partnership with the US, had forged a new security
system in which Russia was treated as a valued and equal partner – one whose interests were respected. Russia, decimated by a century
of wars and Communist imperialism, would doubtless have eagerly reciprocated in kind. Most countries of the former Soviet Union would
have then proceeded to build a new Eurasian structure of which Russia would have served as the natural umbrella, given its long-standing
interaction with the region's diverse nations and cultures.
Indeed, as Putin himself had proposed in his visionary October 2011 article, the Eurasian Union could have become one of the
pillars of a huge harmonized economic area stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok and based on the EU's single-market rules (acquis
The rising Far Eastern economic powerhouse, with the world's most populous country, China, at its centre, would have linked up
with the world's largest economy (the EU). An enormous Eurasian production and financial bloc would have been created – one that
drew primarily on secure supplies of Russian energy and other natural resources. Untold investment opportunities would have opened
up in Siberia and Russia's Far East as well as in Central Asia. Hundreds of millions of people in Eurasia and elsewhere would have
been lifted out of poverty. And, not least, the EU would have been refashioned as an integral part of the dynamic trans-Eurasian
economy (rather than as a German-centred empire, as appears to be the case today), thereby making a major contribution to overcoming
the ongoing global economic depression.
All of this was not to be, however. Why not? First and foremost, because the self-proclaimed "exceptional" power (actually, a
mere "outlying island" in the Atlantic, according to the founder of geopolitics, Halford Mackinder) and its dysfunctional "deep-state"
officialdom did not want it to be. How could they have permitted such a thing? How could they have allowed other countries to
get on with improving the lives of their citizens without being obliged to seek Washington's approval every step of the way?
European democracy is threatened by US, not Russian, foreign policy
In order to make sure that they were not side-lined, the US elites had to intervene. The Western propaganda machine started
churning out all sorts of nonsense that Putin is a new Hitler who is bent on restoring the Soviet empire and who is bullying Europe,
while continuing to bang on about his "increasingly autocratic rule".
Deadly attacks by chauvinistic proxies were launched on the Russophone people in South Ossetia, Georgia in 2008 and more recently
And in what is eerily reminiscent of Stalinist "bloc discipline", the EU/NATO nomenclature was ordered to implement the absurd
strategy of severing the Russian economy from the EU. For their part, the cowering Eurocrats willingly obliged by imposing sanctions
on Russia that, perversely, have had a negative impact on their own economies (but, let it be stressed, not that of the US). No questions
raised and no public debate on the wisdom of such a strategy permitted.
Stuck in an Orwellian nightmare, Europe has to demonstrate its unfailing loyalty to Big Brother and go along with the view
that Russia, an intrinsic and valuable part of the European mainstream both historically and culturally, represents universal evil
and that the Earth will not be safe until the Federation has been dismembered and Putinism wiped out once and for all.
This abuse and humiliation of Europe is unparalleled. The continent that gave the world the wonders of the Antiquity, modern democracy,
the industrial revolution and what is arguably the greatest tradition of philosophy, fine arts and classical music is being bullied
by its oversized offspring. Having self-destructed in two world wars, it has become an easy and even willing prey to an arrogant,
ignorant and power-drunk predator that has never experienced the hardships and horrors that Europe has. War and extermination
camps are etched into the European DNA. America "knows" about them only from afar – and, not least, from the Hollywood entertainment
Even more terrifying, intellectually third-rate Washington viceroys such as Victoria Nuland and the freelancing armchair warrior
Senator McCain are allowed to play God with our continent. The so-called European "leaders" are colluding with them in plunging
Europe into the abyss and thereby risking nuclear confrontation.
America, too, is a loser
But this is not just a tragedy for Europe and Eurasia. We are also witnessing the wilful misrule of America and, by default, of
the entire West. Indeed, Washington is betraying the best interests of the American people through its current foreign policy. The
"democracy-promoters" running Washington's foreign-policy apparatus apparently do not understand that America has nothing to lose
and a lot to gain from the Eurasian economic project: the rising tide of global economic welfare would lift everyone's boats, including
its own. Why should it matter to Washington if the rising tide comes from other quarters beyond its control?
Indeed, the damage extends beyond the economy. By aligning with the forces of chaos – such as chauvinistic extremists in Ukraine
– Washington and its Euro-vassals are corrupting the moral (and intellectual) core of the West. If it continues to support such
forces against Russia, united Europe will lose not only its backbone but its very soul. The moral consequences of this loss will
be enormous and could lead to the precipitous erosion of Western democracy.
The 'autocrats' want to work with the West, not against it
US and EU leaders believe that the Russian and Chinese "autocrats" are out to destroy the West because the latter hate freedom
(as George W. Bush might have put it). And hence, they argue, the autocrats must be stopped in their tracks. The simple truth is
that Western leaders are too blinkered to understand that far from desiring to destroy the West, Russia and China want it to prosper
so that they can work with it to everyone's benefit. Having enjoyed a privileged position over several centuries and having attained
unprecedented prosperity in recent decades, the West simply cannot understand that the rest of humanity has no interest in fomenting
the "clash of civilizations" but rather craves peace and stability so that it can finally improve its economic lot.
Perhaps, however, all is not yet lost. It is still possible that reason – and economic forces – will prevail and force the West
to correct the errors of its ways. What we need, perhaps, more than ever is the ability to step out of the box, question our fundamental
assumptions (not least about Russia and China) and find the courage to change policies that have proved disastrous. After all, critical
thought, dispassionate analysis and the ability to be open to new ideas is what made the West so successful in the past. If we are
to thrive once again in the future, we must resurrect these most valuable and unsurpassed assets.
What I cannot understand is the naive belief that elected politicians would act in the interests of those whom they represent.
Under what other circumstances do we see human beings act with disinterested altruism? So why would a bunch of people who have
been ruthlessly selected for selfishness, arrogance, and callousness - a bunch of carefully chosen psychopaths, if you will -
behave in that way?
'My Ph.D. dissertation chairman, who became a high Pentagon official assigned to wind down the Vietnam war, in answer to
my question about how Washington gets Europeans to always do what Washington wants replied: "Money, we give them money." "Foreign
aid?" I asked. "No, we give the European political leaders bagfuls of money. They are for sale. We bought them. They report to
us." Perhaps this explains Tony Blair's $50 million fortune one year out of office'.
- Paul Craig Roberts
"Washington is betraying the best interests of the American people through its current foreign policy".
Not only it's foreign policy but it's domestic policy as well. Let's call it for what it really is. The Wall Street/Corporate
policy which is the driving force behind behind everything the US does
"We, the [CENSORED] people, control America and the Americans know it." -- Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of [CENSORED]
"When we're done with the U.S. it will shrivel up and blow away." -- Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of [CENSORED]
The welfare or future of the American people are not part of the equation.
Michelle is the same blatant liar as her husband, the king of "bait and switch" Obama. From
comments: "Yea heard the speech - can I throw up now? How can anyone be taken in by the total
insincerity of the whole charade. Hypocrisy rules the political roost and people just love
it."... "Obama's old lady was as cheesy as the rest of them. Shallow words from shallow
Yeah, they are good with words the Obama. They can talk the talk. But they don't walk the
walk. All we got from Obama was more wars, more regime changes, more torture prisons,
hundreds of thousands of more dead women and children in the middle east, more racist killer
cops at home and a new cold war. And Hilary will bring more of the same. Now that is
something to cry about.
Collective amnesia here. The speech brought me to tears also, tears for a once proud Dem
party. The Obamas are backing a person, Clinton, who was "extremely careless" with emails in
relation to national security (FBI words) and who clearly lied under oath to Congress and who
is also clearly behind rigging the Dem nomination process to shaft Sanders and the millions
of young people who supported him, absolutely shameless
Caring Hillary? A woman who said of Gadaffi's murder "We came, we saw, he died." He was,
apparently, sodomised with a bayonet beforehand. And Obama's care for children seems limited
by borders. Doesn't seem to care much about the kids of Afghanistan or Yemen.
" In 2009, President Obama stood before an adoring crowd in the centre of Prague, in
the heart of Europe. He pledged himself to make "the world free from nuclear weapons".
People cheered and some cried. A torrent of platitudes flowed from the media. Obama was
subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
It was all fake. He was lying.
The Obama administration has built more nuclear weapons, more nuclear warheads, more
nuclear delivery systems, more nuclear factories. Nuclear warhead spending alone rose higher
under Obama than under any American president. The cost over thirty years is more than $1
Where to next Madam Obama ? You have a few months left to scrounge on the taxpayer
dime, so where is the next multi-million dollar all-expenses paid vacation with Mammy, the
kids and the entire entourage gonna be ?
An overpopulated planet, a poisoned biosphere, a militant and violent global insurgency by a
7th Century tribal faith; a potential woman in the Whitehouse (and what a gleaming example of
womanhood she is!)? A complete irrelevance. Bread and circuses and maudlin hyperbole that
will keep the tiny minds of SJWs happy but which won't solve a thing.
Only Obama obviously wasn't the first "African American" president. He was the first
African American who sold out his fellow African Americans to be a president. To big
BTW he's preparing to go on his conference tour. If you think about all the public money
he used to save the banking sector (without any consequence for the banking sector), he
should be touring at the end of his life. Poor Hillary. She so wanted the job Obama got.
The Americans are so good at farce (Trump) or heart-rending tear-jerkers (Michelle) that are
always somewhat repulsive or embarrassing, shall I say, to our European ears. It is a form of
popular catharsis that is second-nature to artists and politicians there.
These conventions seem like well managed cult get together. Both republicans and democrats
seem like mindless zombies. Obama's old lady was as cheesy as the rest of them. Shallow
words from shallow people.
I recall when she came to an inner city girls' school in London a couple of years back, on
what's despairingly referred to as a sink estate. She gave one of those syrupy, nuero
linguistic programming speeches, favoured by her dark arts husband's, TelePrompTer speech
writing team. Full of all that usual suspect; "hopey, changey, reach for the stars, you
can do it if you believe and want it bad enough" nonsense to the assembled teenage girls. And
there in lies the point of the Obamas; they're an antidepressant, a simple and effective
calming drug for sections of the masses.
"... "If that was to happen and no energy source can cover the decline rate, wouldn't the world be pretty fucked economically thereafter? Hence one can assume or take a wild ass guess that the decline after peak would resemble something like Venezuela. So not a smooth short % decline rate." ..."
"... Realistically the global economy is already in a tight spot. It started back in 2000 when Oil prices started climbing from about $10/bbl in 1998 to about $30/bbl in 2000. Then the World Major Central banks dropped interest which ended triggering the Housing Boom\Bust and carried Oil prices to $147/bbl. Since then Interest rates have remained extremely low while World Debt has soared (expected to top $250T in 2019). ..."
"... Probably the biggest concern for me is the risking risks for another World war: The US has been targeting all of the major Oil exporters. The two remaining independent targets are Venezuela & Iran. I suspect Venzuela will be the next US take over since it will be a push over compared to Iran. ..."
"If that was to happen and no energy source can cover the decline rate, wouldn't the world be pretty fucked economically
thereafter? Hence one can assume or take a wild ass guess that the decline after peak would resemble something like Venezuela.
So not a smooth short % decline rate."
Energy is the economy, The economy cannot function without energy. Thus its logical that a decline in energy supply will reduce
the economy. The only way for this not to apply is if there are efficiency gains that offset the decline. But at this point the
majority of cost effective efficiency gains are already in place. At this point gains become increasing expensive with much smaller
gains (law of diminishing returns). Major infrastructure changes like modernizing rail lines take many decades to implement and
also require lots of capital. Real capital needed will be difficult to obtain do to population demographics (ie boomers dependent
on massive unfunded entitlement & pensions).
Realistically the global economy is already in a tight spot. It started back in 2000 when Oil prices started climbing from
about $10/bbl in 1998 to about $30/bbl in 2000. Then the World Major Central banks dropped interest which ended triggering the
Housing Boom\Bust and carried Oil prices to $147/bbl. Since then Interest rates have remained extremely low while World Debt has
soared (expected to top $250T in 2019).
My guess is that global economy will wipe saw in the future as demographics, resource depletion (including Oil) and Debt all
merge into another crisis. Gov't will act with more cheap and easy credit (since there is no alterative TINA) as well as QE\Asset
buying to avoid a global depression. This creating a wipesaw effect that has already been happening since 2000 with Boom Bust
cycles. This current cycle has lasted longer because the Major central banks kept interest rates low, When The Fed started QT
and raising rate it ended up triggering a major stock market correction In Dec 2018. I believe at this point the Fed will no longer
seek any further credit tightening that will trip the economy back into recession. However its likely they the global economy
will fall into another recession as consumers & business even without further credit tighting by CB (Central Banks) Because they've
been loading up on cheap debt, which will eventually run into issues servicing their debt. For instance there are about 7M auto
loans in delinquency in March of 2019. Stock valuations are largely driven by stock buybacks, which is funded by debt. I presume
companies are close to debt limit which is likely going to prevent them from purchase more stock back.
Probably the biggest concern for me is the risking risks for another World war: The US has been targeting all of the major
Oil exporters. The two remaining independent targets are Venezuela & Iran. I suspect Venzuela will be the next US take over since
it will be a push over compared to Iran. I think once all of remaining independent Oil Exports are seized that is when the
major powers start fighting each other. However is possible that some of the proxy nations (Pakastan\India),(Israel\Iran), etc
trigger direct war between the US, China, and Russia at any time.
Notice that the US is now withdrawing from all its major arms treaties, and the US\China\Russia are now locked into a Arms
race. Nuclear powers are now rebuilding their nuclear capacity (more Nukes) and modernizing their deployment systems (Hypersonic,
Very large MIRV ICBMS, Undersea drones, Subs, Bombers, etc.
My guess is that nations like the US & China will duke it out before collapsing into the next Venezuela. If my assessment is
correct, The current state of Venezuela will look like the garden of Eden compared to the aftermath of a full scale nuclear war.
Currently the Doomsday clock (2019) is tied with 1953 at 2 minutes:
"the world's nuclear nations proceeded with programs of "nuclear modernization" that are all but indistinguishable from
a worldwide arms race, and the military doctrines of Russia and the United States have increasingly eroded the long-held taboo
against the use of nuclear weapons."
" The current international security situation -- what we call the "new abnormal" -- has extended over two years now.
It's a state as worrisome as the most dangerous times of the Cold War, a state that features an unpredictable and shifting
landscape of simmering disputes that multiply the chances for major military conflict to erupt."
Credibility of the US government and Justice system was greatly undermined, if not destroyed
by the Russiagate. Inability to investigate more plausible election interference by British an,
Saudi and Israeli actors by Mueller paints him as a despicable political operative working for
Clintons, not an independent Prosecutor, who diligently investigate the foreign interference in
The role of Rosenstein is the role of co-conspirator in a plot to deprive Trump of the
Presidency or, at least, for force him to pursue the Deep State foreign policy, which is totally
bankrupt policy. And they succeeded in this. Trump wet kiss with neocons was probably the part of
"... When even Trump who was the victim of the machinations cares only to tweet witch hunt, why would anyone expect that any of those involved in the attempted "coup" would be held to account? ..."
"... I wondered about that myself. When I was doing clan work in Europe, recruiting UK citizens was absolutely forbidden. I needed special dispensation from Bonn Station to not declare my Russian assets to the Brits when they merely traveled to the UK. I think Steele's relationship with the FBI was not as a standard recruited asset or informer. It was a business contract. An article from a year ago sheds some light on that relationship. The first instance concerns his assistance in the FIFA investigation. ..."
No one is going to face any consequences - legal or other. Hell, most of them will make money
from writing books about their "dedicated service." When was the last time the swamp applied
the laws to one of it's own. Answer: never.
The laws are enforced on us - the "deplorables out there," not the swamp creature
"elite." We are not governed, we are ruled.
And sadly that situation is as much the result of an indifferent and ignorant populace as
the behavior of the ruling class.
"One other important sidetone--there has been a longstanding agreement among the 5 Eyes
(i.e., US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) to NOT recruit as assets each other's
spies. Christopher Steele's employ with the FBI violates this policy."
I see Steele's surfacing again. Might I put in a minor query. Does this longstanding
agreement cover retired personnel?
I wondered about that myself. When I was doing clan work in Europe, recruiting UK citizens
was absolutely forbidden. I needed special dispensation from Bonn Station to not declare my
Russian assets to the Brits when they merely traveled to the UK. I think Steele's
relationship with the FBI was not as a standard recruited asset or informer. It was a
business contract. An article from a year ago sheds some light on that relationship. The
first instance concerns his assistance in the FIFA investigation.
"Steele might have been expected to move on once his investigation of the bidding was
concluded. But he had discovered that the corruption at FIFA was global, and he felt that it
should be addressed. The only organization that could handle an investigation of such scope,
he felt, was the F.B.I. In 2011, Steele contacted an American agent he'd met who headed the
Bureau's division for serious crimes in Eurasia. Steele introduced him to his sources, who
proved essential to the ensuing investigation. In 2015, the Justice Department indicted
fourteen people in connection with a hundred and fifty million dollars in bribes and
The second instance of Steele's cooperation with the FBI even had a peripheral
relationship with Trump. "Several years ago, the FBI hired Steele to help crack an
international gambling and money-laundering ring purportedly run by a suspected Russian
organized-crime figure named Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov. The syndicate was based in an apartment
in Trump Tower. Eventually, federal officials indicted more than thirty co-conspirators for
financial crimes. Tokhtakhounov, though, eluded arrest, becoming a fugitive. Interpol issued
a "red notice" calling for his arrest. But, in the fall of 2013, he showed up at the Miss
Universe contest in Moscow -- and sat near the pageant's owner, Donald Trump."
According to the New Yorker magazine article, it was standard Orbis procedure to warn
authorities about national security threats. Steele warned German authorities about IS
militants using the refugee flow to infiltrate Europe. "When Steele took his suspicions about
Trump to the FBI in the summer of 2016, it was in keeping with Orbis protocol, rather than a
politically driven aberration."
Within the FBI, I'm sure Steele was coded as a source in some way as a standard procedure
to use his information. We did the same with our non-asset sources in DOD. Hell, I was even
coded as an intelligence asset when I was a SMU operative/case officer. This was different
from the reporter number all case officers are given.
Philip Giraldi, on March 13, 2018, has an essay about this New Yorker article: 'Christopher
Steele as seen by the New Yorker. Liberal fantasies beatify the messenger.' This is in the
Mayer doesn't mention that Steele was almost certainly identified as MI6 during the
years (possibly 1990-1993) that he was stationed in Moscow under diplomatic cover. Russian
counterintelligence agents broke into his apartment, used the toilet, left it unflushed; they
stole his wife's best shoes. He was definitely identified by 1999 when he was in Paris. There
was a DSMA notice. Too late. Then, in 2006, when Steele is said to have had the Russia desk,
there was the highly embarrassing electronic spy rock in a Moscow park. Surely he held some
responsibility for that? And if Steele was a Russian expert why were his talents being wasted
John Helmer quotes some old intelligence hands who deny that he was a particularly
impressive agent or was deeply knowledgeable about Russia. Steele never went back to Russia
after 1992 or 1993. Mayer, in the New Yorker article, makes no mention of what surely were
setbacks for British intelligence regarding Russia in which Steele likely was playing a large
We've been here before in this discussion. The question remains-- was Steele an unwitting
puppet of a Russian master counterstrike, an aikido throw which has badly shaken and
distracted America? DH, we await your comments. Has TTG gone wobbly?
I'm also fairly certain RIS was aware of Steele's status as an MI6 officer when he was
stationed in Moscow. I would think anyone working out of a diplomatic embassy is first
assumed to be an intelligence officer by the host nation. I stayed away from embassies and
other government facilities just to avoid that taint. The one time I was summoned to an
embassy, I conducted extensive surveillance detection measures both before and after the
visit and I wore a disguise.
It was a normal matter for intelligence officers to be cycled through Afghanistan and Iraq
post 9-11, no matter what their former expertise. I did my turn. CIA's "Russia House" was
bitter about their fall from the pinnacle to be replaced by all things CT during that
Was some of the raw information in Steele's dossier planted by RIS? That's very possible.
Several experienced former US intelligence officers have voiced that possibility, especially
about the more salacious bits of the dossier.
That's a nice piece in the New Yorker. They mention the golden shower episode in Moscow,
however, left out Loretta Lynch. "In was in her role as district attorney that her
involvement in the Fifa investigation began. Over the course of five years in Brooklyn..."
See the BBC article on FIFA from 2015: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32912118
So did Loretta Lynch talk to Christopher Steele during this case or did Steele just
talk to the FBI agent who was years later in London? When did then US attorney for New York's
Eastern District Lorretta Lynch get informed and by which FBI agent? Who did that agent tell
about the Steele dossier, when did it get to the AG's ears, and when did she tell
"On January 5, 2017, it became clear that at least two Washingtonians remained in the dark
about the dossier: the President and the Vice-President. " Oh, apparently AG Lynch never told
Another New Yorker Enigma: "Robert Hannigan, then the head of the U.K.'s intelligence
service the G.C.H.Q., had recently flown to Washington and briefed the C.I.A.'s director,
John Brennan, on a stream of illicit communications between Trump's team and Moscow that had
been intercepted. (The content of these intercepts has not become public.) "
So the UK has been spying on US Presidential candidates? Oh, they said they were "illicit"
communications. What does that mean? Who was communicating with Whom? And how did G.C.H.Q.
decide these communications were "illicit" but others, well they'd have to have them all to
make a comparison, wouldn't they? Put a ribbon on top of that one. DId they also intercept
any of Hilary's communications?
Given that Steele played an important role in at least two major FBI investigations
leading to multiple indictments, I would assume Lynch knew about Steele. Whether they ever
conversed, I don't know.
Comey was not at all sure about Lynch's impartiality. It would not surprise me if he kept
details of the Russian investigation, including the dossier, from her. She probably learned
about it shortly before Obama and Trump were briefed on the dossier. Obama knew enough about
the Russian investigation, without the dossier, to warn Putin to knock it off in September
I don't know if the Brits spied on our Presidential candidates. I wouldn't doubt it. We
bugged Merkel's phone. What I am sure of is that the Brits spy on every Russian of importance
within their capabilities. If Trump's campaign was in contact with those Russians, the Brits
would know about it. They obviously thought those conversations were illicit enough to inform
their US counterparts and reveal that they did monitor members of the Trump campaign. They
wouldn't have done that just for shits and giggles.
"They obviously thought those conversations were illicit enough to inform their US
counterparts and reveal that they did monitor members of the Trump campaign."
They thought it illicit? Listening is one thing, giving information to aid your country's
government's preferred candidate is interference in an election process - ours. How many
times has our ally the UK interfered with US elections? They had plenty of help from the FBI
and DOJ here in the US in 2016. Who elected GCHQ to be arbiters of US elections? I can't
find them in the US Constitution. Using the FBI and DOJ to sabatouge your party's political
opponents, that's third world government standards.
If the Brits wanted to directly influence the election, they would have publicly released
their information about "illicit' contacts. Keeping it within intelligence channels does
nothing to influence an election. I would hope the Brits would never hold back on information
concerning a possible CI threat.
TTG - thank you for your reply above. The picture one gets of Steele is no longer that of
a loose canon who somehow got himself involved in a presidential election campaign. It is
that of an experienced and respected professional working in tandem, if perhaps
unconventionally, with other professionals.
And perhaps thinking that he or his contacts back home had stumbled over important
information showing that a presidential candidate was compromised. That information possibly
being the tip of the iceberg and urgently demanding further investigation.
But that makes what happened all the more unusual -
1. Why didn't the further investigation happen? Surely the fact that such an important
matter wasn't thoroughly investigated, and that using all possible resources in the States
and abroad, shows that it was no serious investigation in the first place?
And more to the point here -
2. If those involved were professionals working away soberly at a necessary investigation,
what were they doing suddenly branching out into a smear campaign?
For none, even the originators of the dossier, are claiming that the more discreditable
part of the Steele dossier is true. That is not Intelligence material. It is sensationalised
This objection has been met in part with the claim that the dossier was all raw unsifted
Intelligence and therefore was released as is.
But surely experienced Intelligence professionals don't suddenly pitch raw unsifted
Intelligence into the middle of the political arena while they are supposed to be still
assessing that intelligence?
Irrespective of the question of whether Trump was compromised the question therefore
arises - what were American officials doing running a smear campaign against a presidential
Which leads back to the original question. What officials this side of the Atlantic were
also involved, and how high did the authorisation for their involvement go in England.
On a matter I'm better informed about, I don't see the Colonel quietly farming away in
Kent. I see him striding across the limitless expanse of a Scottish grouse moor. If our lot
had known their business they'd have worked that into their offer.
The counterintelligence investigation was in progress through the lead up to the 2016
election and is still in progress. Through 2016, it was done in a remarkably quiet fashion.
That's how these investigations are supposed to work. No one hears about them until there is
an arrest or indictment. That's how Mueller is running his investigation. We hear nothing
from him except for the indictments already issued. And they are characteristically slow and
methodical, usually spanning years before an arrest is made.
None of this investigation, including Steele's reporting was used in a pre-election smear
campaign. In my opinion, the reason the Obama administration did not publicize the idea of
Russian interference with the election and possible involvement of Trump campaign officials
is that it would surely have been seen as a partisan smear campaign. The public did not hear
of the Steele dossier until well after the election was over.
It was not just British intelligence involved in collecting on Russian interference in
the election. The Estonians, the Dutch, the Australians and probably others contributed to
the intelligence picture. We may not learn the full extent of that cooperation for many
years. Given the changing nature of information warfare and social media manipulation, I
sincerely wish the full extent of that intelligence is made public quickly. Sure that would
probably also cramp Western media manipulation capabilities, of which we are far from
innocent, but the sunlight would help inoculate all of us against this malignant
DIA made me an SES-4 with presidential rank (Distinguished). Looks like the Brits expected me
to have a lot of access. They claimed these guys were off the reservation. and that they were
not authorized to pitch me.
You seem more upset over this than I was. We accepted their false statements of innocence
betrayed by their own and went right on working with them. Why would they try this? Simple.
As we do they wanted to know what we were not telling them. everyone does it. A basic
principle. Recruit your liaison.
You're right. I never worked out of an embassy or in any long term liaison function. If I was
the target of such a pitch, it would have meant that I was blown along with any operations I
was involved with. For me, it would have been life altering.
Thanks for this. I am wondering what Larry Johnson and the other members of this Committee of
Correspondence make of the possible connection between Christopher Steele, Pablo Miller, and
Some of Craig Murray's speculations in his latest post on the Skripal incident
regarding the coordinated role of Orbis Intelligence, the BBC, and the British state (which
issued a DSMA notice prohibiting press mention of Pablo Miller) are quite plausible. Murray
is, like the members of this committee, a veteran of the game....
Was Skripal coerced/encouraged by Miller to serve as one of Steele's unattributed
Russian "sources"? Did he later get cold feet? Or did he later attempt to buy his way back
into Russia with the claim that he could provide proof that the Dossier was a fraud? Or was
he working as a triple agent the whole time? Were the two sightseeing Russians "Borishov" and
"Petrov" sent to retrieve something from Skripal?
Try this. This theory ties together all the incoherencies of the official explanation better
than anything I have seen. And, I'm pleased to see it is getting reprinted here and
I concur. This is the most plausible explanation of what really happened in Salisbury that I
have read so far.
Colonel - might this theory be worth a dedicated SST post? It is 5,000 words, so perhaps
Patrick, David Habakkuk, or another interested member of the committee would be happy to
summarize the salient details (e.g. that Borisov & Petrov intended to return to Russia
with Sergei Skripal). The author's contact details are in the comments section re reprint
Trump betrayed all and every of his main election promises, except may be building the wall. For example "Trump said that
he no longer sees the point of NATO 25 years after the Soviet collapse."
"... Trump said that he no longer sees the point of NATO 25 years after the Soviet collapse. If he sticks to his view, it means a big political change in Washington's EU vassals. The hostility toward Russia of the current EU and NATO officials would have to cease. German Chancellor Merkel would have to change her spots or be replaced. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg would have to be dismissed. ..."
It also remains to be seen how the Oligarchy will respond to Trump's victory. Wall Street and
the Federal Reserve can cause an economic crisis in order to put Trump on the defensive, and they
can use the crisis to force Trump to appoint one of their own as Secretary of the Treasury. Rogue
agents in the CIA and Pentagon can cause a false flag attack that would disrupt friendly relations
with Russia. Trump could make a mistake and retain neoconservatives in his government.
With Trump there is at least hope. Unless Trump is obstructed by bad judgment in his appointments
and by obstacles put in his way, we should expect an end to Washington's orchestrated conflict
with Russia, the removal of the US missiles on Russia's border with Poland and Romania, the end
of the conflict in Ukraine, and the end of Washington's effort to overthrow the Syrian government.
However, achievements such as these imply the defeat of the US Oligarchy. Although Trump defeated
Hillary, the Oligarchy still exists and is still powerful.
Trump said that he no longer sees the point of NATO 25 years after the Soviet collapse. If he sticks
to his view, it means a big political change in Washington's EU vassals. The hostility toward Russia
of the current EU and NATO officials would have to cease. German Chancellor Merkel would have to
change her spots or be replaced. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg would have to be dismissed.
We do not know who Trump will select to serve in his government. It is likely that Trump is unfamiliar
with the various possibilities and their positions on issues. It really depends on who is advising
Trump and what advice they give him. Once we see his government, we will know whether we can be hopeful
for the changes that now have a chance.
If the oligarchy is unable to control Trump and he is actually successful in curbing the power
and budget of the military/security complex and in holding the financial sector politically accountable,
Trump could be assassinated.
Trump is losing the war with the "deep state". Badly...
President Trump's first National Security Advisor Mike Flynn got kicked out of office for talking with Russian officials. Such
talks were completely inline with Trump's declared policies of détente with Russia. (I agree that Flynn should have never gotten
the NSA job. But the reasons for that have nothing to do with his Russian connections.)
Allegedly Flynn did
not fully inform Vice-President Pence about his talk with the Russian ambassador. But that can not be a serious reason. The talks
were rather informal, they were not transcribed. The first call is said to have reached Flynn on vacation in the Dominican Republic.
Why would a Vice-President need to know each and every word of it?
With Flynn out, the war-on-Russia hawks, that is about everyone of the "serious people" in Washington DC, had the second most
important person out of the way that would probably hinder their plans.
They replaced him with a militaristic anti-Russian