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Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page Neoconservatism, an introduction
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.
Comment from Veteran NBC-MSNBC Journalist Blasts Network in Resignation
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 ):
The formal component of the Israel lobby consists of organized lobby groups, political action committees (PACs), think tanks and media watchdog groups. The Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks all lobbies and PACs, describes the ‘background’ of those ‘Pro-Israel’ as, “A nationwide network of local political action committees, generally named after the region their donors come from, supplies much of the pro-Israel money in US politics. Additional funds also come from individuals who bundle contributions to candidates favored by the PACs. The donors' unified goal is to build stronger US-Israel relations and to support Israel in its negotiations and armed conflicts with its Arab neighbors.”
According to Mitchell Bard, there are, three key formal lobbying groups:
- Christians United for Israel, the US "largest" pro-Israel lobby.
- The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) which directly lobbies the United States Congress
- The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations which "is the main contact between the Jewish community and the executive branch" of the US government.
... ... ...
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".
For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section
Nov 09, 2019 | uk.reuters.com
FILE PHOTO: Judges at the UN's highest court are seen during a hearing in a case launched by Ukraine which alleges Moscow is funding pro-Russian separatist groups in Ukraine, in The Hague, Netherlands June 3, 2019. REUTERS/Eva Plevier
Reading a summary of the ruling, Presiding Judge Abdulqawi Yusuf said conditions had been met for the case to be heard in full, with the 16-judge panel rejecting Russian objections by a large majority.
The International Court of Justice found that on the basis of anti-terrorism and anti-discrimination treaties signed by both countries it has jurisdiction to hear the case over Russia's alleged support for separatists in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
At a hearing in June, Moscow had asked judges to dismiss the suit, saying Kiev was using it as pretext for a ruling on the legality of Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea.
Addressing that point, Yusuf said Ukraine had not asked the court to rule "on the status of Crimea or on violations of the rules of international law" other than those contained in the United Nations anti-discrimination and anti-terrorism treaties.
Kiev says Russia's support for separatist forces violated a U.N. convention banning the funding of terrorist groups.
Nov 06, 2019 | www.unz.com
Last War Gilad Atzmon November 6, 2019 1,100 Words 59 Comments Reply Listen ॥ ■ ► RSS
In my 2011 book, The Wandering Who , I elaborated on the possible disastrous scenario in which Israel is the nucleus of a global escalation over Iran's emerging nuclear capabilities. I concluded that Israel's PRE Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PRE-TSS) would be central to such a development. "The Jewish state and the Jewish discourse in general are completely foreign to the notion of temporality. Israel is blinded to the consequences of its actions, it only thinks of its actions in terms of short-term pragmatism. Instead of temporality, Israel thinks in terms of an extended present."
In 2011 Israel was still confident in its military might, certain that with the help of America or at least its support, it could deliver a mortal military blow to Iran. But this confidence has diminished, replaced by an existential anxiety that might well be warranted. For the last few months, Israeli military analysts have had to come to terms with Iran's spectacular strategic and technological abilities. The recent attack on a Saudi oil facility delivered a clear message to the world, and in particular to Israel, that Iran is far ahead of Israel and the West. The sanctions were counter effective: Iran independently developed its own technology.
Former Israeli ambassador to the US, and prolific historian, Michael Oren, repeated my 2011 predictions this week in the Atlantic and described a horrific scenario for the next, and likely last, Israeli conflict.
Oren understands that a minor Israeli miscalculation could lead to total war, one in which missiles and drones of all types would rain down on Israel, overwhelm its defences and leave Israeli cities, its economy and its security in ruins.
Oren gives a detailed account of how a conflict between Israel and Iran could rapidly descend into a massive "conflagration" that would devastate Israel as well as its neighbours.
In Israel, the term "The War Between the Wars ," refers to the targeted covert inter-war campaign waged by the Jewish State with the purpose of postponing, while still preparing for, the next confrontation, presumably with Iran. In the last few years Israel has carried out hundreds of 'war between the wars' strikes against Iran-linked targets in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. Oren speculates that a single miscalculation could easily lead to retaliation by Iran. "Israel is girding for the worst and acting on the assumption that fighting could break out at any time. And it's not hard to imagine how it might arrive. The conflagration, like so many in the Middle East, could be ignited by a single spark."
Until now, Iran has restrained itself despite constant aggression from Israel, but this could easily change. "The result could be a counterstrike by Iran, using cruise missiles that penetrate Israel's air defenses and smash into targets like the Kiryah, Tel Aviv's equivalent of the Pentagon. Israel would retaliate massively against Hezbollah's headquarters in Beirut as well as dozens of its emplacements along the Lebanese border. And then, after a day of large-scale exchanges, the real war would begin "
Oren predicts that rockets would "rain on Israel" at a rate as high as 4,000 a day. The Iron Dome system would be overwhelmed by the vast simultaneous attacks against civilian and military targets throughout the country. And, as if this weren't devastating enough, Israel is totally unprepared to deal with precision-guided missiles that can accurately hit targets all across Israel from 1000 miles away.
Ben Gurion International Airport would be shut down and air traffic over Israel closed. The same could happen to Israel's ports. Israelis that would seek refuge in far away lands would have to swim to safety .
In this scenario, Palestinians and Lebanese militias might join the conflagration and attack Jewish border communities on the ground while long-range missiles from Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran land. Before long, Israel's economy would cease to function, electrical grids severed and damaged factories and refineries would spew toxic chemicals into the air.
In the Shoah scenario Oren describes, "Millions of Israelis would huddle in bomb shelters. Hundreds of thousands would be evacuated from the border areas as terrorists attempt to infiltrate them. Restaurants and hotels would empty, along with the offices of the high-tech companies of the start-up nation. The hospitals, many of them resorting to underground facilities, would quickly be overwhelmed, even before the skies darken with the toxic fumes of blazing chemical factories and oil refineries."
Oren predicts that Israel's harsh response to attack, including a violent put down of likely West Bank and Gaza protests, would result in large scale civilian casualties and draw charges of war crimes.
As Oren states, he did not invent this prediction, it is one of the similar scenarios anticipated by Israeli military and government officials.
If such events occur, the US will be vital to the survival of the Jewish State by providing munitions, diplomatic, political, and legal support, and after the war, in negotiating truces, withdrawals, prisoner exchanges and presumably 'peace agreements.' However, the US under the Trump administration is somewhat unpredictable, especially in light of the current impeachment proceedings against Trump.
In 1973 the US helped save Israel by providing its military with the necessary munitions. Will the US do so again? Do the Americans have the weapons capability to counter Iran's ballistics, precision missiles and drones? More crucially, what kind of support could America provide that would lift the spirits of humiliated and exhausted Israelis after they emerge from underground shelters having enduring four weeks without electricity or food and see their cities completely shattered?
This leads us to the essential issue. Zionism vowed to emancipate the Jews from their destiny by liberating the Jews from themselves. It vowed to bring an end to Jewish self-destruction by creating a Jewish safe haven. How is it that just seven decades after the founding of the Jewish state, the people who have suffered throughout their history have once again managed to create the potential for their own disaster?ORDER IT NOW
In The Wandering Who I provide a possible answer: "Grasping the notion of temporality is the ability to accept that the past is shaped and revised in the light of a search for meaning. History, and historical thinking, are the capacity to rethink the past and the future." Accordingly, revisionism is the true essence of historical thinking. It turns the past into a moral message, it turns the moral into an ethical act. Sadly this is exactly where the Jewish State is severely lacking. Despite the Zionist promise to introduce introspection, morality and universal thinking to the emerging Hebrew culture, the Jewish State has failed to break away from the Jewish past because it doesn't really grasp the notion of the 'past' as a dynamic elastic ethical substance.
A123 , says: November 8, 2019 at 2:07 pm GMTEveryone understands that a minor Iranian miscalculation could lead to total war. One in which nuclear bombs would rain down on Iran leaving its cities, economy, and security in ruins.Fran Taubman , says: November 8, 2019 at 2:34 pm GMT
The sociopath, Ayatollah Khameni is detached from reality and may be willing to take such risks. However, there is no reason to believe that The Iranian military or civilian population will embrace certain suicide. It is quite likely that the IRGC would decide that it is time for another revolution and end the theocracy, rather than die following the dubious commands of a deranged Ayatollah.
The whole theory about a prolonged conflict falls apart once accurate facts are applied to the situation. Iranian al'Hezbollah has large numbers of Katyusha pattern rockets, but very few precision weapons. And to provide human shields for these weapons, almost all of them are in a limited number of urban centers.
The facts are clear, even if Gilad chooses to ignore them in favor of his personal fantasies. Iranian al'Hezbollah would lose badly in a total forces engagement. The nuclear incineration of their rear echelons would leave forward forces totally defenseless against overwhelming Israeli air superiority.
-- Would there be Israeli civilian casulities? Certainly.
-- Would Lebanon become uninhabitable? Yes.
-- Would Ayatollah Khameni perish when Israeli nukes Tehran? Absolutely.
There is no possible scenario where Iran "wins" if they launch a substantial first strike. And, the Iranian military understands this as fact.@A123 It is really fun when Gilad gets off Epstein and rape stuff and ventures into wars and Israeli security. The generals have kept Gilad up to date on the latest and the greatest.Gilad Atzmon , says: November 8, 2019 at 2:51 pm GMT
He is so out to lunch in his desire to see Israel panic and loose the next war facing horrible casualties because it makes his point about how the Jews are doomed unless they cease being Jews.
He really believes that he can solve the problem and change our destiny if we all read "Wondering
In The Wandering Who I provide a possible answer: "Grasping the notion of temporality is the ability to accept that the past is shaped and revised in the light of a search for meaning. History, and historical thinking, are the capacity to rethink the past and the future." Accordingly, revisionism is the true essence of historical thinking. It turns the past into a moral message, it turns the moral into an ethical act. Sadly this is exactly where the Jewish State is severely lacking. Despite the Zionist promise to introduce introspection, morality and universal thinking to the emerging Hebrew culture, the Jewish State has failed to break away from the Jewish past because it doesn't really grasp the notion of the 'past' as a dynamic elastic ethical substance.
I wonder what it is like to wish death and destruction on a people and a country to prove your point and call yourself an unemotional Athenian.
No Jews in the headline another slow thread.@A123 As you may have noticed, in the Israeli apocalyptic scenarios the Jewish state doesn't put into play the Samson option.. it is slightly less genocidal than yourself .. you may want to ask yourself whyRev. Spooner , says: November 8, 2019 at 4:05 pm GMTIsrael is making a terrible mistake. The oft touted "Sampson Option" is a bogus option as Bibi, Benny Gatz and/or any other Israeli leader knows it will be suicide if they use this option. Because even if they emerge from the bunkers days later after using nuclear bombs against Iran, Syria, Lebanon and other European capitals ( Samson option targets Europe ) they will be greeted with hostility and will have no sanctuary.Miro23 , says: November 8, 2019 at 4:52 pm GMT
Three times in world history the Jews were rescued by the Persians.
Believe it or not.Sulu , says: November 8, 2019 at 5:07 pm GMT
However, the US under the Trump administration is somewhat unpredictable, especially in light of the current impeachment proceedings against Trump.
Not at all unpredictable with regards to Israel. Trump and Congress would use the last cent of US taxpayer's money and the last drop of Anglo blood to save the place. Trump is Israel's US Viceroy and Congress is its Colonial Parliament.
Israel's real nightmare starts when US nationalists toss out the colonialists, and Israel has to find a way live on its own resources.I have to think that considering the failure of military intelligence agencies in the past that no one has any real idea how close Iran is to getting the bomb. But even if they get numbers of them and have a means to deliver them on target it simply would mean that Iran and Israel are in a standoff. I can understand how Israel would not want Iran to have the bomb but in reality how much difference would it make? It would only be relevant if the two countries had already blundered into war and things were entering a final disastrous stage. Then it would simply mean both countries would be destroyed instead of just one.Tom Verso , says: November 8, 2019 at 5:45 pm GMT
Also, not being a military man am I naive in thinking Iran might be able to buy nuclear weapons on the black market? From North Korea, perhaps? I have got to suspect Israel will be faced with two options. Either fight Iran sooner, before they get nukes. Or they will simply have to accept that Iran is going to be a nuclear power. It's pretty obvious that Israel has been trying to get America to fight their war for them. But Trump has been reluctant to do so. No wonder the Jews are chomping at the bit to find some way to get rid of him. 2020 should prove to be an interesting year.This analysis leaves out two very significant historic military facts:Gilad Atzmon , says: November 8, 2019 at 6:10 pm GMT
1) The 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon aka the "33 Day War" where in:
"Hezbollah inflicted more Israeli casualties per Arab fighter in 2006 than did any of Israel's state opponents in the 1956, 1967, 1973, or 1982 Arab-Israeli interstate wars, and is generally acknowledge that Israel flat out lost that war and de facto sued for a cease fire.
(see: "U.S. Department of Defense. The 2006 Lebanon Campaign and the Future of Warfare: Implications for Army and Defense Policy." Kindle Edition.)
2) The Syrian army is currently the only army in the world that has multi-front, contiguous multi-year 'combined arms' (i.e. army, armor, artillery and air force) combat experience .
Further, the leader of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah in a recent interview pointed out that Hezbollah fighting along side of the Syrian Army these past five years, now has experience in offensive warfare. In 2006 they fought strictly defensively.
In short, if an Israeli war comes again, given the experience of the Syrian and Hezbollah armies and Syria acquiring state of the art air defense system (S 300, etc), Iranian missiles may very well be the least of Israel's worries.
Indeed, before Iran launches missiles, Hezbollah and Syria may move to take back Shebaa Farms and Golan Heights.
To my mind: Israel and American militaries are "paper Tigers". Israel has never fought a combined arms war for a sustained period of time against an equally matched military. And the US not since Korea. Their victories have always been overwhelming an inferior force.@AaronB For me the fact that the Jewish state indulges itself in apocalyptic and genocidal fantasies is really a glimpse into to tribal mind.. as far as I can tell this pre traumatic stress points at severe form of projection .. Israeli politicians and commentators attribute their own symptoms to their neighbours ..Colin Wright , says: November 8, 2019 at 6:55 pm GMT@Rev. Spooner ' Three times in world history the Jews were rescued by the Persians.Tom Verso , says: November 8, 2019 at 7:43 pm GMT
Believe it or not.'
The Persians more or less created 'the Jews.' At any rate, a religion recognizable as Judaism first appeared in the wake of the Persian conquests.
However, when did the Persians 'rescue' the Jews?
They allowed the creation of an autonomous Jewish state in Palestine when they overran that place around the beginning of the seventh century AD -- but that only lasted for about twenty years anyway.
So what are the three times?@A123 If I may: I don't know for sure what G Atzmon meant by the Samson Option; but, I have come across this express before and I took it to mean that Israel will go to nuclear war even if means the destruction of the Jewish State. That is, like Samson who destroyed his enemies by killing himself; Israel nuec's Iran and Iran nuce's Israel (kills enemies and itself).Altai_3 , says: November 8, 2019 at 9:35 pm GMT
This should not be taken lightly. While it would be totally irrational for most states to take the Samson Option, it is to my mind a plausible option for Israel. For even if the Jewish State is destroyed, the Jewish Nation i.e. the Jewish people around the world will survive and continue on as they have these thousands of years. But, they will be free of what they perceive as their arch enemy i.e. Iran and other Moslems. They survived the metaphoric Holocaust and they will survive a literal one. The Jewish State may be destroyed but not the Jewish People.This is something not enough people comment on. Israel's military is not a mini US military, it has serious problems and takes losses and casualties in contexts that would be shocking for another Western country that spends as much per capita for it's military.Adrian , says: November 8, 2019 at 10:06 pm GMT
This is why Israel having nuclear weapons irks me so much, the more it can't rely on it's conventional military, the more they'll lean into their nuclear deterrent, increasing the probability of it's use. (Not dissimilar to the situation with Pakistan vis-a-vis India, though in that case, India has nukes too)@Tom Verso The Samson OptionColin Wright , says: November 8, 2019 at 10:31 pm GMT
The Samson Option.jpg
Author Seymour Hersh
Country United States
Publisher Random House
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 362 pp
LC Class UA853.I8 H47 1991
The Samson Option: Israel's Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy is a 1991 book by Seymour Hersh. It details the history of Israel's nuclear weapons program and its effects on Israel-American relations. The "Samson Option" of the book's title refers to the nuclear strategy whereby Israel would launch a massive nuclear retaliatory strike if the state itself was being overrun, just as the Biblical figure Samson is said to have pushed apart the pillars of a Philistine temple, bringing down the roof and killing himself and thousands of Philistines who had gathered to see him humiliated.
According to The New York Times, Hersh relied on Ari Ben-Menashe, a former Israeli government employee who says he worked for Israeli intelligence, for much of his information on the state of the Israeli nuclear program. However, Hersh confirmed all of this information with at least one other source. Hersh did not travel to Israel to conduct interviews for the book, believing that he might have been subject to the Israeli Military Censor. Nevertheless, he did interview Israelis in the United States and Europe during his three years of research.@Fran Taubman ' If you study it, can be pretty scary. It is not just Israel. Also who wants another North Korea blackmail game?'Art , says: November 8, 2019 at 10:41 pm GMT
You mean something like the Samson option?
Anyway, the whole discussion is silly. No nation -- and that included Imperial Japan in 1945, when the chips were down -- chooses self-immolation. They always give way. Iran isn't a threat to Israel because Iran's not going to commit national suicide, and 'the Samson Option' is bullshit as well, because six million Jews aren't going to commit national suicide either.
Zionists such as yourself only choose to think otherwise about Iran -- in spite of the absence of any historical evidence at all -- because it justifies your own pathological aggression towards a nation that is (a) a thousand miles away, and (b) poses no serious threat to Israel whatsoever.
Try not attacking literally everyone you can think of. That might help. I mean, fuck -- Israel is the only state in modern history that has attacked literally every single one of her neighbors, and several more besides. Since 1948, she's attacked Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Tunisia, and even the United States. What's up?Art , says: November 8, 2019 at 11:14 pm GMT
Despite the Zionist promise to introduce introspection, morality and universal thinking to the emerging Hebrew culture, the Jewish State has failed to break away from the Jewish past because it doesn't really grasp the notion of the 'past' as a dynamic elastic ethical substance.
The Jews are always long-term losers because they teach their children that they have always been and will forever be victims of humanity. Jew children are traumatized at an immature young age – they are mentally damaged by the thought that humanity wants to kill them and do them harm. This notion is inculcated deep in the Jew child's psyche. These poor children can never escape what has been implanted. (For three thousand years, generation after generation, Jew culture has been abusing their children with dreadful thoughts.)
Nine out of ten adult Jews are triggered into thoughts of doom by any criticism of Israel – their reactions are visceral, and a pure reflex coming out of their brainstem.
Jews cannot be introspective because of what elder Jews have implanted in them in their youth. Their rational emotional systems have been short-circuited.
I have seen intelligent Jews on this forum flirt with empathy for Palestinians – only to fall back into mindless reflexive support of whatever Israel does.@ArtMiro23 , says: November 8, 2019 at 11:40 pm GMT
Jews Are Feeling Guilty: They Should Be. Their Influence Has Been Cancerous to America
Gilad Atzmon Wed, Nov 6, 2019
It has become an institutional Jewish habit to examine how much Jews are hated by their host nations and how fearful Jews are of their neighbours. Jewish press outlets reported yesterday that "9 out of 10 US Jews worry about anti-Semitism."
. . .
As Haartez writer Ari Shavit wrote back in 2003: "The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish " Maybe some Jews now understand that the Zionist shift from a 'promised land' to the Neocon 'promised planet' doesn't reflect well on the Jews as a group.
https://russia-insider.com/en/politics/jews-are-feeling-guilty-they-should-be-their-influence-has-been-cancerous-america/ri27813@AaronBrenfro , says: November 9, 2019 at 12:49 am GMT
Any separation of one group from another is a tribe. Any identity whatsoever is a tribe – because identity sets you apart. The moment you define yourself you are tribal, because definitions distinguish one thing from another.
The issue is that some people are not particularly tribal (i.e. Westerners) and they are open to multiculturalism – i.e. proposition nations. However, proposition nations are very much non-tribalist places and need non-tribalism to survive.
If tribalists talk multiculturalism and proposition nations (i.e. use deception) while practicing tribalism, they quickly overwhelm these societies – which is where the US is today with regards to Jewish tribalists.
What does a Jewish tribalist elite do next? And what does a (subjected) majority do next?Ash Williams , says: November 9, 2019 at 2:10 am GMT
Michael Oren, repeated my 2011 predictions this week in the Atlantic and described a horrific scenario for the next, and likely last, Israeli conflict.
The purpose of Oren's Atlantic article was to create alarm in the DC political corridors .."warning' that if the US doesnt 'soon help Israel' with its Iran enemy there will be chaos and dead bodies galore .
Its propaganda but 'true' propaganda 'if' Israel were to attack Iran on their own but they wont .they aren't capable of it alone.
They are running this same propaganda articles/warnings in Europe, saying Europe needs to 'do something' about Iran Now!
Its basically a blackmail and scare ploy because they don't think Trump will do it for them .and of course if Israel starts a war it will be because Trump/US deserted them like he/we did the Kurds and they were 'forced' to try and defend the world against Iran 'all alone' and Israel isn't to blame for the mess lol.
What Israel will do is try to start a war on Hezbollah 'first, as Hezbollah would be their most immediate and dangerous threat , severely crippling Israel right at the onset of any war with Iran.
They will claim that Iran directed attacks on Israel and so the US should step in because its an attack by Iran.
If we had anyone in DC that wasn't bought off by Jewish 'benjamin's ' they would be laughing their asses off at this typical Jewish tactic.@A123renfro , says: November 9, 2019 at 4:49 am GMT
Everyone understands that a minor Iranian miscalculation could lead to total war. One in which nuclear bombs would rain down on Iran leaving its cities, economy, and security in ruins.
The sociopath, Ayatollah Khameni is detached from reality and may be willing to take such risks. However, there is no reason to believe that The Iranian military or civilian population will embrace certain suicide. It is quite likely that the IRGC would decide that it is time for another revolution and end the theocracy, rather than die following the dubious commands of a deranged Ayatollah.
Kristol, you're drunk. Turn off the computer and go to bed, you shmuck.@Colin Wrightziogolem , says: November 9, 2019 at 5:28 am GMT
She has us all to herself
That was the goal.
Remember the Zios in Rumsfeld's pentagon stressing how the US must dump 'old Europe"?
Even a non genius like me could figure that out .old Europe might be too much of a 'restraining ' influence on the US.
The Jews hate Europe anyway ..just like they hate Russia.
Some interesting things popped up this week .Vindman , main testifier against Trump on Ukraine is a Ukraine Jew, Solderman,Trump's main man on Ukraine is a Jew, also has now testified against Trump, their attorney is also a Jew ..they all have issued statements about how the plucky "little Ukraine is fighting against Russia for the US and world" and needs our aid and so on. Exactly the same wording and bullshit spin the Jews use about Israel "fighting Iran to protect the US and world interest".
Plain to me the Uber Jews are trying to set up the Ukraine as a Israel satellite and weight on Russia's flank.
I read Vindman's testimony to congress ..something is very off about the guy. he sounded numerous times like he lost his script. He's, in his own words, a fanatical supporter of Ukraine . I don't like Trump but I think the Ukraine deal to impeach him is a set up ..and its not coming mainly from the CIA ,its coming from the Nat Sec Council that Vindman works for.
https://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=6543468-Alexander-Vindman-TestimonyThe Andinia Plan (and others like it) gives Israel almost a "reset" button, making the Samson Option a disturbing possibility.Not Raul , says: November 9, 2019 at 5:31 am GMT
"Holiday camps" with hundreds of thousands of empty houses, a military landing strip, a submarine base
A Palestinian sees for herself what these Israeli tourists are about
It seems that the Argentinian elite are reliant on Israeli (and US) armed support
It is terrifying to think that in the event Israel be run by psychopaths, they might sacrifice another "6 million", while securing themselves a new Zion.
On the other hand, a peaceful transfer of the occupation of Palestine to Patagonia (and elsewhere), without the trigger of war, would be a possible path to peace in the Middle East (not so ideal for Patagonia though).
What would it take for either outcome to pass? I fear the former is far more likely than the latter.@Altai_3 I agree.anon  Disclaimer , says: November 9, 2019 at 5:35 am GMT
Israel is much more likely to be the next country to use atomic weapons than Iran.
They reached their limit in the 2006 Lebanon War with just over a hundred fatalities.
It's hard to imagine the Israelis losing even half as many as they did in 1973 (somewhat less than 3000) before pushing the button.@renfro
I don't like Trump but I think the Ukraine deal to impeach him is a set up ..and its not coming mainly from the CIA ,its coming from the Nat Sec Council .
Have you heard of –
Growing Indicators of Brennan's CIA Trump Task Force
by Larry C Johnson
They were out to get him a year before he was elected;
Nov 09, 2019 | consortiumnews.com
Earlier in Stone's legal process his lawyers filed a motion to try to prove that Russia did not hack the DNC and Podesta emails. The motion revealed that CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC and Clinton campaign, never completed its report, and only gave a redacted draft to the FBI blaming Russia. The FBI was never allowed to examine the DNC server itself.
In the end, though, it doesn't matter if it were a hack or a leak by an insider. That's because the emails WikiLeaks released were accurate. When documents check out it is irrelevant who the source is. That's why WikiLeaks set up an anonymous drop box, copied by big media like The Wall Street Journal and others . Had the emails been counterfeit and disinformation was inserted into a U.S. election by a foreign power that would be sabotage. But that is not what happened.
The attempt to stir up the thoroughly discredited charge of collusion appears to be part of the defense strategy of those whose reputations were thoroughly discredited by maniacally pushing that false charge for more than two years. This includes legions of journalists. But principal among them are intelligence agency officials who laundered this "collusion" disinformation campaign through the mainstream media.
Faced now with a criminal investigation into how the Russiagate conspiracy theory originated intelligence officers and their accomplices in the media and in the Democratic Party are mounting a defense by launching an offensive in the form of impeachment proceedings against Trump that is based on an allegation of conducting routine, corrupt U.S. foreign policy.
Stone may be just a footnote to this historic partisan battle that may scar the nation for a generation. But he has the personality to be the poster boy for the Democrats' lost cause.
Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for T he Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe , Sunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @unjoe .
Nov 09, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Alasdair Macleod via GoldMoney.com,
The EU sees US leadership failing while the Russian beast to its east are getting stronger. The lessons of Russia wielding power over Ukraine by cutting off energy supplies have been noted: energy security is a long-term threat to the EU and Russia is on the verge of controlling Middle Eastern supplies as well. Furthermore, the lessons of China's economic successes through non-democratic government control will also have been noted as something for European statists to emulate.
The EU's response to the energy threat from Russia has been to adopt a radical green agenda without reservation. Despite about 98% of transport and logistics being delivered by diesel and gasoline, some member states in the EU are banning the sales of internal combustion engines as motive power from as soon as 2030 . This accelerated path to zero emissions will require massive investment. Clearly this is being viewed as economically stimulative at a time of declining optimism over the general economic outlook.
These views are articulated in UNCTAD's Trade and Development Report 2019, Financing a Global Green Deal [iii]. The authors argue that internationally coordinated action between governments pursuing reflationary monetary and fiscal policies, while restricting international capital flows, will generate the economic growth and capture the resources to finance the investment. The charts below are indicative of their thinking, and are copied from Page 56 of the report.
wildbad , 1 hour ago linkLA_Goldbug , 25 minutes ago link
Excellent laying out of the situation but little in the way of digestible solutions. Demonizing Russia as "the Beast" is both unhelpful and shows a prejudice of the author shared by the genuinely evil powers of the world. Russia has a huge interest in keeping Europe as an energy trading partner. The troubles with Ukraine were due to the US / Globalist efforts in that country to destabilize a competitor (Russia) in their global hegemonic bid.
Russia is well led and debt free. The gold backed crypto is well underway in that country but was not mentioned in this otherwise breathy article. Crypto is a bridge too far at the moment for general consumption. I am betting on a return to a fractional gold tie down. The mis-leaders and the bankers will not enjoy having their print-fest party spoiled but it is the only practical solution and carries the much desired mechanism of tying their dirty hands.
Debt is the noose which will hang the central banks and this hanging needs to be done in public whether 5% or 50% of the people understand it. Some people will only understand how the system works when Starbucks declines their cattle card.PKKA , 3 hours ago link
Demonizing Russia as "the Beast"
I used to be fooled into this position many Moons ago. That trick simply no longer works.
Ukraine were due to the US / Globalist
Germany did plenty to destabilize this place as well as Yugoslavia. They have gotten away from being called out on this.
Again pathetic assholes making plans against Russia.
It is a terrible shame: only two countries at the UN opposed Russia's resolution on the fight against Nazism.
The third committee of the UN General Assembly on social and humanitarian issues by a majority vote adopted a draft Russian resolution to combat the glorification of Nazism. Thanks to this initiative, radical groups can have big problems.
Representatives of 121 countries supported the idea of Russian diplomats. As expected, only two countries voted against - the United States and Ukraine. Another 55 countries abstained from voting.
No wonder. Americans are behind any Nazism. Hitler's fascism in particular, they grew up in the hope of inciting Hitler to the USSR. Well, Ukro-Nazis today are the favorite Nazi whores of Americans. Therefore, such results: the owner and his whore.
As Nikita Khrushchev said, we did not finish you off near Stalingrad, but we will finish you off!
Nov 09, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
fersur , 1 hour ago link
America is fighting terrorism and the White House is hosting it
Walid Sharabi and Gamal Hishmat , Muslim Brotherhood leaders, wanted for justice for participating in killing and inciting on terror attacks in Egypt, escaped from the country and they are hosted by Qatar, Turkey and moving freely in Europe and the USA.
They are wanted for participating and inciting on burning vital buildings and public properties, inciting for violence and killing, criminal court cases numbers 12838 year 2013 , and 10790/101 year 2013 .
Muslim Brotherhood leaders attended meetings with senior US officials and Congress in this current month Jan 2015. Walid Sharabi declared on his Face book page, that Mohamed Morsi being the legitimate president of Egypt, is not an open issue for discussion or arguments. He added that this is not the first time and won't be the last time to held meetings with US officials and also they are in contact and meetings with 27 other countries in the world to discuss Egyptian affairs issues.
MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD LEADERS IN THE US CONGRESS MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD LEADERS ESCAPED FROM EGYPT AND WANTED FOR JUSTICE FOR PARTICIPATING AND INCITING ON TERROR ATTACKS
Muslim Brotherhood leaders in the above screenshot are the leaders of the revolutionary council formed and established by Muslim brotherhood in Turkey after the 30/6/2013 revolution. The woman is Maha Azzam the chief of the council, Walid Sharabi and Gamal Hishmat Shura council member of Muslim Brotherhood and Abd Elmawgoud Aldardiri the official spokesman of Muslim Brotherhood and their dissolved political party, after being declared a "terrorist organization" in Egypt.
Despite that the US refused to consider Muslim Brotherhood as "terrorist organization", and that the US doesn't hide publicly their ties with Muslim Brotherhood, but we do have many questions and exclamations here. What is the purpose of these meetings? Is it to hold the stick from the middle?!
There is a blatant contradictory in the White house policy , The White house claims their support for stability and fighting terrorism in Egypt, and in the meantime time, they support and held meetings with the same terrorists, Egypt is fighting!
There is no official declarations from the US officials or the Brotherhood about the details of discussions of these meetings between MB and US officials. If Washington follows the transparency policy as they always claim, why these meetings details were not published to the public opinion!?
There is certainly a message there to Egypt from the US and their Muslim Brotherhood allies, and If there is any honesty or transparency in the White house policy, Obama should declare and admit publicly that they held deals with the devil and the terrorists, as long as it serve their interests, and they have no shame in applying double standards policy. This is happening already, so why not call spade a spade!
Does the White house think that playing with this idiotic card of Muslim Brotherhood, can put any pressure on Egypt, when needed, or to go on with the same chaos middle East project, that Egypt was saved from, after the 30/6 Egyptian revolution, to face the same destiny of Syria, Libya, Iraq and Yemen, so the project will be accomplished and achieve its targets!
Is it a coincidence or intentional to allow the first political party of a terrorist organization like the Muslim Brotherhood in the USA, and held official meetings with them what is the deal here?
On 26 Jan 2015, the inquisitr's Website published that Muslim Brotherhood Starts A Political Party "UMMA" out of Chicago. The founder of the party is Sabri Samirah a Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood member, was deemed a US national security risk in 2003 and was banned from entering the US for almost 11 years.
SABRI SAMIRAH ALLOWED TO ENTER THE US BY OBAMA IN 2014 AFTER 11 YEARS OF BAN FOR NATIONAL SECURITY THREAT
Sabri Samirah, was allowed into the U.S. by President Barack Obama back in 2014 following an 11-year ban!!! He immediately gathered Muslims to form the party, which is now recognized as the UMMA, an offset of the United Muslim Americans Association (UMAA means nation). The first political party in the U.S. to be openly connected to the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization .
So, not only the White House refused to consider Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist organization, but they allowed them to form a political party in the US There are some political analysis that are confirming the ties between MB and Washington, to keep the channels open between the US and terrorist Organizations through the mediation of Muslim Brotherhood, like Al-Qaeda and ISIS to ease the pressure on the US in their fight against terrorism!
What is the deal Obama?!
This is not the first time and it won't be the last time either, the White House make deals with all parties, including terrorists, this is no longer a secret and it is not shocking anymore.
But why not call things by its own names? Obama always talks about his administration's principles and values and standard policy and he is always lecturing us about the US transparency in dealing whether with internal or external affairs. But he never calls things by its right names!
The Muslim Brotherhood who deceived the entire world and many Egyptians, with their moderate Islam and that they only seek to be political partners with other political currents, are the same Muslim Brotherhood who ruled Egypt with fascism and the same who live in about 80 countries in the world, including the US, they are the same MB who consider women as nothing but a pot of desires and lusts
They are the same brotherhood who burned churches , killed Christians , tortured and killed Egyptian citizens and burned private and public properties , they are the same Brotherhood who are loyal to ISIS and raising their flags of slaughtering and terrorism in Egypt.
This is their tactics, they are spreading through deception, and when the right moment comes, they show their ugly faces and raise their swords against any one who doesn't belong to their sick distorted ideology.
This is no longer a prediction or analysis, this is no longer a reading of the scene. We repeat and we will never gave up confirming and warning the entire world that Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization, because this is what we have lived and experienced when Egypt was under the rule of Muslim Brotherhood, and we are still fighting their terror attacks.
Obama, you can't support the Egyptian people and support the terrorists at the same time, unless of course, you are a MORON or a Schizophrenic!
Obama said that the US will always support the Egyptian people's will and the Egyptians are the only ones to chose freely their own future and destiny
We did chose freely our destiny and future, like UNCLE OBAMA said, by our own free will on 30/6/2013.
We revolted against Muslim Brotherhood fascist regime and got back our identity and country that has been hijacked by Muslim Brotherhood terrorists.
Obama can't claim that the US respect our human rights and free choices, the Obama's administration violated one of our main human rights when they interfered in our internal affairs from the very first beginning, and every time they are dictating and lecturing us about what must be done to enjoy freedom and democracy.
Obama is against violence and armed demonstrations, this is what he claims He mentioned several times that those who demonstrate can not express themselves with violence!? Not even with bombs or machine guns! How come Obama is telling our gevernment to apply Restraint policy , while they are facing Muslim Brotherhood armed demonstrations and terror attacks?!
Yes, "He can" support us and support the terrorists at the same time.
Obama, you can't claim that you are with us and you are fighting terrorism, and at the same time, you are hosting Terrorists in the heart of America!
All of these flags, logos and names vary, but The terrorism is one. they symbolize the blood, racism and extremism, intolerance and discrimination, murder and slaughter and bloodshed and torture.
How come Obama supports the symbol of Muslim Brotherhood which is a symbol of terrorism, violence and blood, and he is fighting ISIS and Al-Qaeda? They are all coming from the same bloody womb! How come America declared HAMAS as terrorist group, and in the meantime, the white house is supporting Muslim brothers terrorists and Hamas is the military wing of MB!
Muslim Brotherhood raising their 4 fingers sign of terrorism and blood in the US congress and US foreign affairs department, it is not a message of challenging the Egyptian State or the Egyptian people, but Muslim Brotherhood are directly challenging the American people.
This is totally insane and beyond any logic for any brain to absorb or even to understand.
Nov 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
shinola , November 8, 2019 at 3:26 pm
From the Medium article "John Bolton's Old Rivals Say Trump Should Be Very, Very Worried"
"I don't think dirt-digging would offend Bolton. What would offend Bolton is interrupting military supplies to a country in a deadly battle with Russia. Doing something that for whatever reason appeases Putin," Thielmann said."
The country referred to is Ukraine. I guess I've missed all the msm articles detailing all those deadly clashes between Russian & Ukrainian military units along with casualty figures and all that. I suppose I need to pay closer attention (or something).
Misty Flip , November 8, 2019 at 5:46 pm
UN says 12,800–13,000 killed since April 2014. So Congress bought a pile of Javelin AT munitions, the ones with a top attack flight profile that will place a high explosive shape-charge of molten copper through tops of young Russian tank commanders' heads, who are sons of Putin's base, if there was a mechanized push further into Ukraine. [The political tolerance window for which is narrowing.]
Our benevolent leader said, "Hold-on. You gotta first get your FBI to clear my campaign and come up with some trumped-up charges against my political opponent. My FBI won't do it." Congressional impoundment, solicitation of a bribe for personal gain, and abuse of power. In any case, Ukraine's getting a smaller pile of missiles until next year, so, gross incompetent moves, both domestic and abroad.
Darthbobber , November 8, 2019 at 8:43 pm
You recall that the Obama administration opposed giving Ukraine any lethal assistance?
Congress has just come up with an excellent method of giving the Russians a lot of free Javelins if there were a serious fight. Which there continues to be no sign of.
Darthbobber , November 8, 2019 at 8:38 pm
The great bulk of (pro-government) Ukrainian casualties occurred in the course of ill-advised and poorly conducted offensives against the breakaway republics. When it only defends, the Ukrainian side doesn't suffer casualties. Because nobody attacks it.
Nov 09, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Andrew Bacevich describes how the U.S. learned all the wrong lessons from the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War:
You won't hear it from any of the candidates vying to succeed Trump, but we are still haunted by our false conception of the Cold War. On the stump, politicians get away with reciting comforting clichés about the imperative of American global leadership. Yet the time for believing such malarkey is long gone.
An essential first step toward recoupling national security policy and reason is to see the Cold War for what it was: not a "long, twilight struggle" ending in victory, but a vast and costly tragedy that inflicted needless suffering, brought humankind absurdly close to extinction, and from which U.S. policymakers have drawn all the wrong lessons.
The anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall offers an occasion not for celebration but for somber and long overdue reflection.
One of the wrong lessons that U.S. policymakers drew from the events of 1989-1991 was that the U.S. was chiefly responsible for ending and "winning" the Cold War, which inevitably overestimated our government's capabilities and effectiveness in affecting the political fortunes of other parts of the world. The far more critical and important role of the peoples of central and eastern Europe and the Soviet Union itself in overthrowing the system that had oppressed them was pushed into the background as much as possible. The U.S. took credit for their success and policymakers frequently attributed the outcome to the policies of the late Cold War rather than to the deficiencies and failings of the other system. After waging stalemated and failed wars in the name of anticommunism, U.S. policymakers wanted to be able to claim that they had "won" something, and so they declared victory for something that they hadn't caused.
The period that followed the dissolution of the USSR was one of triumphalism, expansion, and overreach. The U.S. not only congratulated itself for achieving something that was accomplished by others, but it also assumed that it could achieve similar results in other parts of the world. If NATO had been a great success as a defensive alliance, the "thinking" went, why shouldn't it continue and expand to include many more countries? If the U.S. was supposedly able to bring down the Soviet Union, why shouldn't it do the same to authoritarian regimes elsewhere? Absent the check on ambition and hubris that a superpower rival provided, the U.S. was free to run amok and do whatever it liked without regard for the consequences. That triumphalism sowed the seeds for many of the more significant post-Cold War failures that we have witnessed since then. Even today, that same overconfidence encourages U.S. policymakers to flirt with the idea of engaging in another Cold War-style rivalry with a more formidable state in China.
George Kennan presciently warned against the triumphalism that he saw around him as early as 1992. At that time, he was responding directly to the claims from Republicans that Reagan and his policies had "won" the Cold War:
The suggestion that any American administration had the power to influence decisively the course of a tremendous domestic-political upheaval in another great country on another side of the globe is intrinsically silly and childish. No great country has that sort of influence on the internal developments of any other one.
Kennan went on to say that the militarization of U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War was a boon to Soviet hard-liners and in that way helped prolong it:
The extreme militarization of American discussion and policy, as promoted by hard-line circles over the ensuing 25 years, consistently strengthened comparable hard-liners in the Soviet Union.
The more America's political leaders were seen in Moscow as committed to an ultimate military rather than political resolution of Soviet-American tensions, the greater was the tendency in Moscow to tighten the controls by both party and police, and the greater the braking effect on all liberalizing tendencies in the regime. Thus the general effect of cold war extremism was to delay rather than hasten the great change that overtook the Soviet Union at the end of the 1980's.
Whenever hawks talk about "winning" the Cold War, they invariably mean that it was the militarized policies they favored that carried the day, but Kennan reminded us that this was not so. In fact, a militarized foreign policy perpetuated the struggle by providing Soviet hard-liners with a plausible foreign threat that they could use to justify their own policies and to clamp down on internal dissent. We have seen the same thing repeated several times in the last thirty years on a smaller scale with other governments. The most aggressive and confrontational policies unwittingly aid authoritarian regimes by giving them an external enemy that they can use to deflect attention from their own failings and as a pretext for the consolidation of power at home.
Kennan was already telling us shortly after the Cold War ended that no one had "won" it:
Nobody -- no country, no party, no person -- "won" the cold war. It was a long and costly political rivalry, fueled on both sides by unreal and exaggerated estimates of the intentions and strength of the other party [bold mine-DL]. It greatly overstrained the economic resources of both countries, leaving both, by the end of the 1980's, confronted with heavy financial, social and, in the case of the Russians, political problems that neither had anticipated and for which neither was fully prepared.
We can all be grateful that the Cold War ended, but we shouldn't delude ourselves with talk of victory. Not only is it inaccurate, but it encourages the worst kinds of overreach and arrogance that has led to several serious foreign policy failures in the decades that have followed. Kennan warned us almost thirty years ago not to go down this path of triumphalism, and as so often happened Americans ignored Kennan's wisdom.
Kennan concluded with the same idea that Bacevich stated at the end of his op-ed:
That the conflict should now be formally ended is a fit occasion for satisfaction but also for sober re-examination of the part we took in its origin and long continuation. It is not a fit occasion for pretending that the end of it was a great triumph for anyone, and particularly not one for which any American political party could properly claim principal credit.
American policymakers are not known for sober re-examination and acknowledgment of error, but these are exactly the things that are needed if we are to stop making the same blunders and learning the wrong lessons from the past. Kennan and Bacevich's advice is just as timely and important today as it was twenty-seven years ago. Perhaps this time we should pay attention and listen to it.
Nov 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Peter AU1 , Nov 8 2019 19:01 utc | 19Lavrov "I wouldn't want to drag myself into a discussion about the medical side of this issue.. If Macron had felt that the diagnosis he made [of NATO] was so evident – he had all the right to state it. He knows NATO better than me, since he represents a nation which is a member of the alliance."
Peskov "Whether NATO is alive or dead, and which of its parts are comatose – that's not for us to decide. We're not pathologists."
Nov 08, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
james , Nov 8 2019 20:51 utc | 31who said this today in an official gov't press release?
"Today, Russia – led by a former KGB officer stationed in Dresden ‒ invades its neighbors and slays political opponents. It suppresses the independence of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine. Russian authorities, even as we speak, use police raids and torture against Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians who are working in opposition to Russian aggression. In Chechnya, anyone considered "undesirable" by the authorities simply disappears.
In China – in China, the Chinese Communist Party is shaping a new vision of authoritarianism, one that the world has not seen for an awfully long time. The Chinese Communist Party uses tactics and methods to suppress its own people that would be horrifyingly familiar to former East Germans. The People's Liberation Army encroaches on the sovereignty of its Chinese neighbors, and the Chinese Communist Party denies travel privileges to critics – even German lawmakers – who condemn its abysmal human rights record. The CCP harasses the families of Chinese Muslims in Xinjiang, who simply sought refuge abroad. We – all of us, everyone in this room – has a duty. We must recognize that free nations are in a competition of values with those unfree nations."
Nov 08, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Ordinary people accept uncritically and uncomplainingly the laws of nature and the fundamental and insurmountable limitations they set to the human condition. For liberals, who have agreed with Francis Bacon since the 17th century that nature is an enemy to be subjugated, exploited, and ultimately transcended, the program of mobilized rationalism this ambition requires is reasonable and acceptable. But it is irrational and intolerable to non-liberals, especially as they are the same people whom liberals, obsessed with psychology and psychological health, view as anti-social individuals in need of therapeutic treatment and reeducation to convert them to liberalism. One of the most famous liberals of the 20th century, John Maynard Keynes, was in this respect a distinguished exception. "[The] pseudo-rational view of human nature [before 1914]," he believed, "led to a thinness, a superficiality not only of judgment but of feeling .The attribution of rationality to human nature, instead of enriching it, now seems to me to have impoverished it."
Keynes identified this grave intellectual error as having been a major cause of the Great War when he likened his generation to "water-spiders, gracefully skimming, as light and reasonable as air, the surface of a stream without any contact at all with the eddies and currents below." John Gray, writing recently in The New Statesman , compared this sublime naivete in the years immediately preceding the war to the utter inability of contemporary British elites to comprehend the meaning of the results of the national referendum three years ago on whether the United Kingdom should remain within the European Union or withdraw from it. Liberals today, he asserted, cannot grasp the fact that the post-Cold War era is over and done. "If a majority in Sunderland continues to support Brexit despite the threat it poses to Nissan [which operates a plant in the vicinity] the reason can only be [in the eyes of liberals] that they are irrational and stupid. The possibility that they and millions of others value some things more than economic gain is not considered." Gray added, "Persistently denying respect to Leave voters in this way can only bring to Britain the dangerous populism that is steadily marching across the European continent [and that Remainers insist on ignoring, seeing the EU as a noble dream of mankind]."
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, liberals have been insisting that liberalism is the future of democracy. Francis Fukuyama even famously argued that liberal-democratic capitalism represents the end of history. Alain de Benoist, the French political philosopher, says the opposite. Liberalism and democracy, he thinks, in fact are incompatible, as the first endows the second with an agenda that commits democracy to a mission having nothing to do with the restricted practical task it was designed for. Modern liberalism is not a creation of political philosophy. It is a religion that has developed a body of religious law that elevates administration over politics, an inversion that another French scholar, Pierre Manent, has also noted. Since democratic politics is a matter of popular involvement, while administration is the business of trained specialists, it is unsurprising that the end, or eclipse, of politics should be a major contributing cause of "populist" rebellion. This movement away from politics does not end there. As political activity diminishes and the administrative sphere expands , the rule of law -- of lawyers and judges -- takes its place. Lawyers and judges are human beings. The most successful of them, in liberal societies, are liberals as well. And because so much of law has become discretionary, in liberal societies the law is chiefly liberal law. In point of fact it isn't really law at all but, as Joseph Sobran remarked decades ago, only bad philosophy by which judges discover "penumbras" of meaning in legal documents and the inalienable right of individuals to determine their own reality for themselves -- and afterward impose it on society at large through the courts.
So politics is replaced by administration; administration reinforced or displaced by law; and law succeeded by bad law based on personal whim. The result is that an increasingly narrow space remains in public life for ordinary citizens, often aggrieved ones -- the "populists" -- to play a part in the res publica. Their absence, of course, is conspicuously unregretted by "egalitarian" liberals. Significantly, the single demand liberals never make on behalf of "inclusiveness" is that uneducated people be represented proportionately at the higher levels of society with educated ones, the stupid along with the clever. Yet competency in politics has never been dependent on technical expertise. Many highly effective, brilliant, even great politicians have been uneducated people or persons of mediocre intelligence for which they compensated by talent and innate shrewdness.
Benoist, a brilliant writer insufficiently known in the English-speaking world, attributes the prevalence of "expertocracy" in part to the idea that many "negative phenomena" are also inevitable ones. Among these are undesirable and destructive advances in technology, which (it is argued) answers only to a logic of its own, and global migration, considered by Western technocrats and political "experts" to be unstoppable and irresistible. These things, Benoist says, "have been decreed inevitable because we have lost the habit of asking ourselves about goals, and because we are accustomed to the idea that it is no longer possible to defend a decision (which is effectively more and more the case)." Whence comes this negativity, this defeatism?
The answer seems clear enough. The "elites," as the upper directing (and owning) strata of the Western world are known, have not lost their will. That is confirmed by their insistent unflagging pursuit of their globalist-technocratic project and by their relentless determination to impose it on all and sundry who disagree with it. What they have lost is faith in themselves; not of course as the ruthless omnicompetent titans of their imagination but as descendants of the greatest civilization known to history, of the tradition that nourished this civilization and allowed it to develop, and of the religion that formed the basis of that tradition. They have lost their faith in the God Who is left no place in their system, as the decision made by the European Union to exclude any reference in its founding documents to Europe's Christian origins and traditions makes agonizingly plain. Nevertheless human nature is naturally conservative; and while a large proportion of the comfortable Western peoples have doubtless grown lazy, fat, materialistic, careless, conformist, and cowardly, the fact remains that in order truly to disbelieve one needs to deny belief explicitly and affirmatively, and this the majority of Christians in the West have not done. They are lapsed, not apostatized, from their faith. Similarly, polls that claim to show that such-and-such a percentage of the population have no religion, no church, and no belief in God cannot determine the number of those who "feel" in some vague and indeterminate way, even if they do not "believe." Nor can they assess in what proportion the popular classes have retained their acceptance of the world as God made it, and of the natural law that men may deny and defy, but not alter. What the common people lack in the way of formal knowledge they make up for by common sense, aided by unreflective experience. Unlike Bishop Berkeley, but exactly like Dr. Johnson, they test and affirm reality by kicking the rock in their path. Unlike Christoper Hitchens too, but just like T.S. Eliot, they have become conscious of the stony rubbish, the dead trees, and the dry stones that comprise the environment of the barren world -- a world in its unmaking -- that surrounds them. They may not be able to express this consciousness in poetry but they feel it much as the poets do, though perhaps less keenly than a developed intellect allows for.
Populism is not, as a contemporary French lumiere has opined, the victory "of ill-educated people over the well-educated," nor, in the estimation of another representative of the Second Age of Enlightenment, "a denial of progress itself." It is something just as simple, but infinitely more basic and healthy. It is the unlettered but true apprehension that the old familiar world is being turned upside down, roundabout, and inside-out by the people who have seized control of it and are beavering away at their task of destruction; a process that in their minds is rather one of reimagination to be succeeded by the glorious recreation of the original inferior thing.
Chilton Williamson Jr. is the former editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture and the author of many books, including fiction and nonfiction. His latest novel, The Last Westerner, is due soon from Perkunas Press .
Nov 08, 2019 | www.unz.com
utu , says: November 7, 2019 at 6:47 am GMTCharlie Kirk and Kochsucker Conservatism – E. Michael Jonesthe grand wazoo , says: November 7, 2019 at 11:03 pm GMT
https://www.youtube.com/embed/9Es15SwELIA?feature=oembedKirk ludicrously believes that, the Israeli attempt to sink the USS Liberty, is a conspiracy theory. He's a privileged brat, and he needs a spanking. Now all we have to do is find his his father. But to give him any sort of acknowledgement is plain stupid. No offense intended.
Nov 08, 2019 | www.unz.com
Realist says: November 7, 2019 at 1:30 pm GMT 200 Words @Sick of Orcs
If you think this is some kind of 'gotcha' question you don't know the good folks at Unz. Speaking only for myself, I don't want non-Europeans here in any significant numbers, 100 years ago we got all the diversity we could eat from Europe alone, diversity that could and did assimilate, unlike today when assimilation is actually fought against.
Whites were the first to build habitable buildings more than four storeys high, the first to construct bridges to carry the weight of steam trains, which we also invented, and the safe and secure mines that produced the coal that smelted the metal that formed the engines that powered the trains with the coal we mined.
We are -- in a word -- astonishing. In invention and innovation we are elves and everyone else are orcs, and the orcs despise us for it all whilst coveting the things we have created.
Technology is our culture, and art and music and beautiful soaring cathedrals, penicillin and botany, flushing toilets and refrigeration and general anesthesia and Shakespeare.
The Burning Platform
Durruti , says: November 7, 2019 at 3:11 pm GMTOut of the mouth of Babes.
Congratulations to James Kirkpatrick for an excellent article.
Such nonsense is irrelevant to the lived experience of young (and mostly white) campus conservatives, who are confronted with radical anti-white politics, corporate censorship, and the ruinous cost of family formation.
Yes, Patriotism, the Nationalist desire to rescue America, and Restore our Democratic Republic, rests in the hearts of all true Citizens. The so-called 'Right & Left' politics is making way for a politics defined by Patriotism, Nationalism, Economic control & policies that benefit all our citizens, not just the rich.
The truth of this observation lies in Kirkpatricks fine essay, complete with numerous visual supports.
The Prison Planet directors also deserve credit:
Congrats to Prison Planet for not completely burying the story (as the rest of the Mainstream Media has done).
Why are they (the Zionist owned & controlled Mainstream media), not asking -the whereabouts of Ms. Maxwell? Is she with Epstein? In the Entity, Monte Carlo, Switzerland, the Baleares, Caribbean, on one of the Rothschild's Estates?
Upcoming announcement: Hollywood's Oligarch owners & controllers are producing a Film about the lives of Epstein/Maxwell. The Film will not mention MOSSAD, but might misdirect by including reference to "bad elements within the CIA." Film will also have a brief flash of Casino Trump with Epstein, but no mention of Bill Clinton (in a blue dress), or former Entity Prime minister, Ehud Barak. Instead of Ethnic Cleansing the Palestinian People, Hollywood's Traitor Moguls will continue their Brain Cleansing/Washing of the American People.
Title of the Film will be: The Chosen Ones – Their Private Encounters with little Girls, Boys, and Owned Americans.
You heard it here, first.
Nov 03, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Published on Nov 3, 2019
Dave Reilly, who asked Charlie Kirk "how does anal sex help us win the culture war" at a TPUSA event, joins Henrik and Lana for a segment during Flashback Friday November 1, 2019. We discuss the rift inside the conservative movement. Is is going to be America First or Israel First? Additionally, how are values not traditionally associated with conservative activists going to help win over more people to their cause.
no name , 3 days agono name , 3 days ago
Mainstream Conservatives have no answer to moral questions on sodomy, fornication, adultery, et cetera, as it pertains to the culture war, and this opens up opportunities for interlopers. Dave will not have much competition on that topic. I admire the bravery.Katie Rae , 23 hours ago
Thanks for the post, good interview. Dave Reilly seems like decent fellow, but his "out of the closet" Roman Catholic material will only work on religious cable shows. It's hard to take, talking freedom with a back drop of massacres, indulgences, crusades, inquisitions, and a millennium of Pedophile cover ups.
Gays try to contribute their lifestyle to everyone else. They can contribute but don't push something I don't agree with on me. I am 100% for equality for everyone
Nov 08, 2019 | www.unz.com
follyofwar , says: November 7, 2019 at 8:08 pm GMT@DanFromCT Well then, thank god for Tucker Carlson for going against the grain. He is against all the Middle East wars, and wants to bring the troops home and put them on our Southern Border. His is the only show that I watch anymore, and he pushes back from Fox's Israel-first orthodoxy as much as he can and still keep his job, which he wouldn't have if not for his high ratings. Tucker destroyed ultra hawk neocon John Bolton shortly before Trump stupidly appointed him as his NSA.Curmudgeon , says: November 7, 2019 at 9:07 pm GMT
BTW, Hannity is a war pig, who happens to be right on one issue – supporting Trump against the democrat coup. And Buck is also right, Epstein did not kill himself.@Patricus You are a victim of finance capitalism propaganda. Communism is Marxism, not socialism. Socialists do not outright reject private ownership, the goal was co-ops to displace finance capital. Co-ops are corporations where every member has only one share. The majority decides, not one shareholder with 50.1% of the shares. The state is not the worker.DanFromCT , says: November 7, 2019 at 9:53 pm GMT
Real socialists are opposed to private central banks. I haven't heard any of the allegedly "far left" Democratic Presidential candidates suggest nationalizing the Fed. Ron Paul was more of a socialist than they are on that one.
Also part of the brainwashing is the absolute failure of the vast majority of Americans, who fail to understand that immigration is the reserve army of capital, used to attack the people of the nation. It lowers wages and working conditions; produces more pollution; increases living costs; lowers standards of living; and most importantly, increases profits
Any real nationalism, out of necessity, will have socialist aspects, because doing what is right for the nation, in the truest sense of the word, means that the best solution can come from anywhere on the political spectrum. Governments "own" armies. Is that communism, or should it be a government asset that should be privatized just as the US government privatized the control of its currency.
As long as people dwell in the land of "left" and "right" the owners will continue to divide. One solution would be to ban political parties and require all candidates running for office to be funded equally, out of the public purse. That would make candidates have to face their electorate more directly, and make them more responsive to the electorate, rather than the party. In Congress, the political parties would not get to choose committee chairs, individuals would have to earn the respect of their peers for that.
There is a long way to go.@follyofwar Tucker Carlson is the only news show I can watch, too. The rest is pretty obviously intended to neutralize the rise of native leadership with the relentless insinuation that all we can do is whine like Lou Dobbs and his guests, vote Republican, and show what we're made of by blowing hot air out our asses like Hannity with his mawkish imbecilities about America still being great because he gets great deals at Costco. Sean wuvs America and the gal who follows him turns to American-hating Alan Dershowitz to update us about the espionage of his long-term client Jeffrey Epstein. Check.
Just yesterday the kosher msm was mendaciously portraying our Army's combat vets as baby killers, while today no one says a word when Fox' toadeaters tout that "muh brothers, muh mission" fake and phony honor among "warriors" -- now all heroes of course, just for putting on the uniform for Eretz Israel and the Yinon Plan. More importantly, Fox News' elaborate efforts concealing Israel's culpability for 9/11 constitutes, as a matter of law, powerful circumstantial evidence of their guilt in the greatest act of treason against this country in its history.
Fox News' basecamp commando and armchair warrior types were outed by Homer's Achilles in the ninth century BC, in the Iliad. As Pope's translation has it,
O monster! Mixed of insolence and fear,
Thou dog in forehead, but in heart a deer!
When wert thou known in ambush'd fights to dare,
Or nobly face the horrid front of war?
'Tis ours, the chance of fighting fields to try;
Thine to look on, and bid the valiant die.
How dare Fox News demand we honor the soldiers who foolishly believed Fox News that they were fighting for their country. They still go in droves to their possible deaths, mistaking the costumed bureaucrats in the Pentagon who serve Israel first in all things for warrior patriots like themselves. I do not believe a military whose leadership's chief trait is servility toward a foreign nation and betrayal of its own can survive no matter how much money is counterfeited by the Treasury out of thin air to pay its bills.
Nov 08, 2019 | www.unz.com
EliteCommInc. , says: November 7, 2019 at 4:01 pm GMTI started out thinking this article might actually be helpful. The only real issue is that it doesn't make any clear distinctions between what the author references as "conservative inc." and conservatism. And the reference material doesn't do much to clarify the matter. I am not obtuse the difficulties of identifying or defining what a conservative is at present. given the massacre of its principles in practice as well as abandoning the same for political purposes.
But if in fact, you want to recognize that there is a damaging vent of so conservatives that is actually anything but or damaging so deep it needs confronting then you have to tackle the difficult but instrumental aspect of defining in some manner what is meant by conservatism verses "conservative inc."
From a communicative perspective using the term conservative inc. is problematic because it suggests strongly that "conservatism" as an ethos is under false -- by definition – use of the word anchored by "incorporation".
I am unclear how inc. makes it distinct.
Clearly what the article refers to are "beltway" political or left and far left conservatives, even it's possible to be far or left and still be a conservative. Those labels would make matters more clear, even if one did not define them the distinctions they would provide some manner recognizable distinction -- broadly speaking conservative relativity or relative conservatives. Those who use conservative merely as a tool for political, social or economic advantage.
And there are several issues that are outstanding to conservative ethos and practice
1. a divine authority
2. integrity of objective realities
3. the purpose of order and prudence not as an end but to the means best for all concerned to just society -- fair playing fields.
4. a respect and support for the mechanisms (institutions) that enable justice and fairness
5. limited government – not merely understood as "small" but least intrusive in the lives of citizens
6. change and improvement are part of any social order -- however, the means chosen is predicated on effectively doing so minus the damaging effects of abrupt and disorderly attend.
7. understands the pillars of successful societies and supports them: family, local community, regional, state and national mechanisms – each with attendant responsibilities . . .
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
The frame work for US citizens is embodied in the historical documents of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the US neither of which are universal documents but unique as written and intended to the formulation of the US of America and her alone.
Jul 29, 2015 | www.washingtonpost.com
Late last week, a neologism was born. Twitter was the incubator. "Cuckservative," a portmanteau of "conservative" and "cuckold" (i.e. a man whose wife has cheated on him) burned up Twitter as fans of Donald Trump's politicking warred with the movement conservatives who opposed it.
... ... ...
Who are the "cuckservatives?"
You might be one! The hashtag's targets are conservatives who seem to have made peace with elements alien to traditional white Americanism. That could mean the transgender movement; it could mean non-white immigrants. Certainly, criticizing Trump's visit to the border, saying he will alienate certain voters, is a trial run for cuckservative status.
"Just look at them!" said Spencer. "Glenn Beck, Erik [sic] Erickson, Mike Huckabee. They're mediocrities, or sub-mediocrities. They're grinning, obese doofuses. No person with a deep soul -- no person who wants to take part in a moment that's idealistic, that's going to change the world -- would want to be a part of 'conservatism.' In a way, the current 'cucks' are the residue of the Bush era. They were the 'conservative' and 'Religious Right' allies of the neoconservatives. They're still around, for no apparent reason."
What's the opposite of a "cuckservative," and how many of those people are there? There's no catch-all term, and the answer depends on how you limit results. If it's just the people using the new term, then it's a limited number of activists online. The white nationalism represented by Spencer has struggled to find footing. Youth for Western Civilization, a student group that attempted to bring millennials on campus into the "traditionalist" cause, burned brightly for a few years, then went inactive.
If you're asking how many people might agree with the underlying argument -- that the conservative movement has accommodated the cultural left for too long -- the answer might be millions.
As many as 45 percent of self-identified "conservative Republicans" oppose any legal status for undocumented immigrants -- i.e., they oppose the establishment Republican position, as represented by Jeb Bush and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
... ... ...
Nov 08, 2019 | www.unz.com
dfordoom , says: Website November 7, 2019 at 6:19 pm GMT@Rahan
it took Eastern Europe a decade (1990-2000) to undo 45 years of communism, and regain functional normality by local terms.
And it will only take slightly longer for neoliberalism, open borders ideology and globo-decadence to utterly destroy Eastern Europe. At which time they'll be wishing they still had the communists in power.
Nov 08, 2019 | www.unz.com
Almost daily for three years, Democrats and their media have told us very bad things about Donald Trump's life, character, and presidency. Some of them are true. But in the process, we have also learned some lamentable, even alarming, things about the Democratic Party establishment, including self-professed liberals. Consider the following:The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. But there was no "attack" in 2016, only, as I have previously explained , ritualistic "meddling" of the kind that both Russia and America have undertaken in the other's elections for decades. Little can be more phobic than the allegation or belief that one has been "attacked by a hostile" entity. And yet this myth and its false narrative persist in the Democratic Party's discourse, campaigning, and fund-raising. We have also learned that the heads of America's intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. Early on, I termed this operation " Intelgate ," and it has since been well documented by other writers, including Lee Smith in his new book . Intel officials did so in tacit alliance with certain leading, and equally Russophobic, members of the Democratic Party, which had once opposed such transgressions. This may be the most alarming revelation of the Trump years: Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain. We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream "free press" cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. Indeed, what the mainstream media -- leading national newspapers and two cable news networks, in particular -- chose to cover and report, and chose not to cover and report, made the abuses and consequences of Russiagate allegations possible. Even now, exceedingly influential publications such as The New York Times seem eager to delegitimize the investigation by Attorney General William Barr and his appointed special investigator John Durham into the origins of Russiagate. Barr's critics accuse him of fabricating a "conspiracy theory" on behalf of Trump. But the real, or grandest, conspiracy theory was the Russiagate allegation of "collusion" between Trump and the Kremlin, an accusation that was -- or should have been -- discredited by the Robert Mueller report. And we have learned, or should have learned, that for all the talk by Democrats about Trump as a danger to US national security, it is their Russiagate allegations that truly endanger it. Consider two examples. Russia's new "hyper-sonic" missiles, which can elude US missile-defense systems, make new nuclear arms negotiations with Moscow imperative and urgent. If only for the sake of his legacy, Trump is likely to want to do so. But even if he is able to, will Trump be entrusted enough to conduct negotiations as successfully as did his predecessors in the White House, given the "Putin puppet" and "Kremlin stooge" accusations still being directed at him? Similarly, as I have asked repeatedly, if confronted with a US-Russian Cuban missile–like crisis -- anywhere Washington and Moscow are currently eyeball-to-eyeball militarily, from the Baltic region and Ukraine to Syria -- will Trump be as free politically as was President John F. Kennedy to resolve it without war? Here too there is an inconvenient truth: To the extent that Democrats any longer seriously discuss national security in the context of US-Russian relations, it mostly involves vilifying both Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. (Recall also that previous presidents were free to negotiate with Russia's Soviet communist leaders, even encouraged to do so, whereas the demonized Putin is an anti-communist, post-Soviet leader.)
The current state of US-Russian relations is unprecedentedly dangerous, not only due to reasons cited here -- a new Cold War fraught with the possibility of hot war. Whether President Trump serves one or two terms, he must be fully empowered to cope with the multiple possibilities of a US-Russian military confrontation. That requires ridding him and our nation of Russiagate allegations -- and that in turn requires learning how such allegations originated.
Opponents of Barr's investigation into the origins of Russiagate say it is impermissible or unprecedented to "investigate the investigators." But the bipartisan Church Committee, based in the US Senate, did so in the mid-1970s. It exposed many abuses by US intelligence agencies, particularly by the CIA, and adopted remedies that it believed would be permanent. Clearly, they have not been.
However well-intentioned Barr may be, he is Trump's attorney general and therefore not fully credible. As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It's time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty.
Nov 07, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Elizabeth Colson , 1 week ago
No surprise there. The Democrats need to be held accountable for their disgusting behavior.
Nov 07, 2019 | www.unz.com
utu , says: November 7, 2019 at 6:47 am GMTCharlie Kirk and Kochsucker Conservatism – E. Michael Jones
Nov 07, 2019 | www.unz.com
follyofwar , says: November 7, 2019 at 8:08 pm GMT@DanFromCT Well then, thank god for Tucker Carlson for going against the grain. He is against all the Middle East wars, and wants to bring the troops home and put them on our Southern Border. His is the only show that I watch anymore, and he pushes back from Fox's Israel-first orthodoxy as much as he can and still keep his job, which he wouldn't have if not for his high ratings. Tucker destroyed ultra hawk neocon John Bolton shortly before Trump stupidly appointed him as his NSA.
BTW, Hannity is a war pig, who happens to be right on one issue – supporting Trump against the democrat coup. And Buck is also right, Epstein did not kill himself.
Nov 07, 2019 | archive.is
The defense counsel also took issue with Jared Beck for what they termed as: " Repeatedly promoted patently false and deeply offensive conspiracy theories about the deaths of a former DNC staffer and Plaintiffs' process server in an attempt to bolster attention for this lawsuit." This author was shocked to find that despite the characterization of the Becks as peddlers of conspiracy theory, the defense counsel failed to mention the motion for protection filed by the Becks earlier in the litigation process.
They also failed to note the voice-modulated phone calls received by the law offices of the Becks which contained a caller-ID corresponding to the law offices of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a defendant in the case. In light of this context, the Becks hardly appear to be peddlers of conspiracy theory.
The DNC defense lawyers then argued:
" There is no legitimate basis for this litigation, which is, at its most basic, an improper attempt to forge the federal courts into a political weapon to be used by individuals who are unhappy with how a political party selected its candidate in a presidential campaign ."
The brief continued:
" To recognize any of the causes of action that Plaintiffs allege based on their animating theory would run directly contrary to long-standing Supreme Court precedent recognizing the central and critical First Amendment rights enjoyed by political parties, especially when it comes to selecting the party's nominee for public office."
It appears that the defendants in the DNC Fraud Lawsuit are attempting to argue that cheating a candidate in the primary process is protected under the first amendment. If all that weren't enough, DNC representatives argued that the Democratic National Committee had no established fiduciary duty "to the Plaintiffs or the classes of donors and registered voters they seek to represent." It seems here that the DNC is arguing for its right to appoint candidates at its own discretion while simultaneously denying any "fiduciary duty" to represent the voters who donated to the Democratic Party under the belief that the DNC would act impartially towards the candidates involved.
Adding to the latest news regarding the DNC Fraud Lawsuit was the recent finding by the UK Supreme Court, which stated that Wikileaks Cables were admissible as evidence in legal proceedings.
If Wikileaks' publication of DNC emails are found to be similarly admissible in a United States court of law, then the contents of the leaked emails could be used to argue that, contrary to the defendant's latest brief, the DNC did in favor the campaign of Hillary Clinton over Senator Sanders and that they acted to sabotage Sanders' campaign.
The outcome of the appeal of the DNC Fraud Lawsuit remains to be seen.
Elizabeth Vos is the Co-Founder and Editor in Chief at Disobedient Media .
Nov 07, 2019 | crookedtimber.org
Hidari 11.05.19 at 1:54 pm 96... How many establishment Dems (or even non-establishment Dems) have indicated that they have any objections to arming the Ukrainians? That would be in the region of about 'none', I would imagine.
... ... ...
The Democrats position is that arming the Ukrainians is a good and moral thing to do and that Trump is terrible for threatening to stop it, which is far simpler, far more logical and, if one ignores its flagrant immorality, far easier to 'swallow'.
As always 'reversing the polarities' gives clarity (imagine I worked for Putin, who was arming MS-13, and then Putin put me on trial because, for whatever reason, I stopped arming MS-13 .what would we think of Putin?).
Nov 07, 2019 | nationalinterest.org
J Urie Z'ing Sui • 13 hours ago ,Gaugamela39 • a day ago ,
You are 100% correct that trust is the number one point in coming to any agreement and currently there is very little trust on either side for varying reasons. One important fact that is overlooked by most people is the leadership of President George H. W. Bush and PM Margaret Thatcher during the transition from the Soviet Union/Warsaw pact to independent sovereign nations. The Bush was a WW II pilot and Thatcher earned the name Iron Lady for her decisive action in the Falklands War, both understood the world as it was in 1990. This statement highlights the view that prevailed from Bush at the time: "Not once, but three times, Baker tried out the "not one inch eastward" formula with Gorbachev in the February 9, 1990, meeting. He agreed with Gorbachev's statement in response to the assurances that "NATO expansion is unacceptable." Baker assured Gorbachev that "neither the President nor I intend to extract any unilateral advantages from the processes that are taking place," and that the Americans understood that "not only for the Soviet Union but for other European countries as well it is important to have guarantees that if the United States keeps its presence in Germany within the framework of NATO, not an inch of NATO's present military jurisdiction will spread in an eastern direction." (See Document 6)"
These were complicated issues that involved a multitude of parties being negotiated by just a few i.e. US, UK, France and West Germany a holdover from the WW II model. The Poles, Czechs and others were not consulted and IMHO had they been the situation would have become untenable. It must be remembered that Poland and Czechoslovakia suffered heavily due to "large important nations" giving them away pre and post WW II. There was no written agreement nor official treaty between the west and the Soviet Union soon to be Russian Federation and I believe that was intentional for the reason I give above. George H. W. Bush was not reelected in 1992 and Bill Clinton became POTUS and he pursued a foreign policy that was entirely different. Some of his ideas used Thatchers earlier idea of a more political NATO with less emphasis on the original military mission which brought in the Partnerships for Peace program. That program was IMHO quite good as it stabilized countries that were wobbly in the 1990's after the breakup occurred. The Clinton White House had Madeline Albright an immigrant from Czechoslovakia as secretary of State and Zbigniew Brzezinski a former secretary of State and an academic that influenced his policies which were pro eastern European anti Russian. It was during this time that NATO expanded. The US is a country of immigrants and there is a large Polish population as well as other eastern Europeans and political considerations are always come into play.
This period is when Clinton IMHO sent NATO in a wrong direction from being strictly defensive/political to getting involved in Yugoslavia which certainly irritated Russia.
G.W. Bush basically continued the trend with regard to NATO but was preoccupied with 9/11 more than anything else. Bush thought that he understood Putin and even invited him to his ranch in Crawford, Texas which Putin accepted and they did seem to get along.
However 2008 and the Georgia War began the slide in relations between the two countries. Then good old Obama and another Clinton deciding to overthrow Gaddafi and his whole Arab Spring foreign policy to include getting involved in Syria. These were disastrous decisions that the current POTUS inherited and is trying to change except the "deep state" is fighting him tooth and nail.
Getting out of Ukraine would be a huge trust maker for Russia and it would be followed by sanctions being lifted allowing for a level playing field to begin working on the issues that need fixing. NATO isn't going away however the forward deployed forces in the Baltic's and Poland could over time in an agreed to reciprocal move say removing Iskander missiles from Kaliningrad could be accomplished.dorotea Gaugamela39 • a day ago ,
Carthago delenda est. The policy of Cato the Censor should be applied in an unrelenting manner, leading to 'salting the earth' of Moscow.The Chosen One dorotea • a day ago ,
Many have tried, usually ended up in those infamous endless Russian fields, in long boxes. See Pushkin, for the exact quote. But historical trivialities aside, there should be a way to satisfy Imperial hubris without 'salting the grounds'. Hannibal's elephants did not carry nukes in their trunks. Trying for the sixth time in the last 4 centuries to get Moscow grounds salted might end badly for the entire planet.Z'ing Sui J Urie • 39 minutes ago • edited ,
So it seems to me that only the advent of a nuclear weapon and the threat of an imminent deadly retaliation prevents a new "drang nach osten".J Urie mal • a day ago • edited ,
Trust was not breached by Russia, military buildup, hostile threatening military, NATO expansion and refusal to negotiate on these issues did not originate from Russia. Russia has tried to negotiate, concede and de-escalate before. The West did not respond to those moves. Even US sanctions placed on Soviet Union were not removed from Russia, despite there being no reason for them to remain in place. This and other recent events (libya, iran deal etc) tells Russia and other global players that de-escalating with the West doesn't work.
Even now, West seems to be interested to trade with Russia at least in some areas. And Europe is increasingly frustrated with the United States. There is reportedly a number of EU initiatives aimed at gradually limiting US economic levers created during the Cold War. Rising economies will gradually offer more opportunities outside of the Western world. Multipolar wolrd was a slogan in the 00s, in the 2040es it might be a reality.
We know NATO will not maintain ABM and CFE, and it is apparently not interested in INF and Open Skies, and even START is in question now. NATO will withdraw troops if only Russia does something? Please, you don't really believe that. With INF gone, Iskander is outdated, it was a treaty-limited weapon. Moving it a few hundred klicks will not make NATO concede anything now.
A huge trust maker would be for all NATO members to publically admit on their web page that pledges to Russia were broken and at least some NATO officials feel responsibility for that. They've spent 27 years denying any verbal assurances, now that those assurances are declassified, they build other narratives about how those pledges did not matter. For there to be trust, there needs to be an admission that trust was there, and was broken, and not by Russia. No troop movements necessary even.dorotea Roma Ilto • 14 hours ago ,
Biden isn't going to win the next election Trump will be reelected in 2020. The current strain in relations with Russia has been inherited by Trump and even before he was elected the DNC and Hillary Clinton cooked up the "Russia colusion" story which after $46 million and 2 1/2 years no Russia collision. Of course now we have the Dems trying to impeach Trump which will not go anywhere in the Senate more waste of time and money. However there is the Justice Department I.G. report soon to be released and many of the people who brought you the Russia colusion hoax will be named. The Justice Department has an ongoing criminal investigation into the key players and will undoubtedly result in indictments and prosecutions.
The real reason all of this is going on is because the establishment both Dem's & Repub's along with the deep state look at Trump as an outsider who is tipping over their apple cart i.e. he is changing the foreign policy direction and they don't like it one bit so they create fake issues to try and stop him.
After his reelection I predict that more normal relations with Russia will resume.Roma Ilto dorotea • 14 hours ago ,
Nowadays the actual attacks are manifested as 'hybrid warfare'. Of course Russia took the US intervention and financing of Chechen rebels as an attack back in the 2000 ties. She took fermenting and financing of the Georgian rose revolution as a hybrid attack, same as promises made to pres. Saakashvili to support him militarily and politically after his attack on Tskhinvali were taken as a hybrid attack. Same goes for both of the first color revolution in Ukraine, and then the Revolution of dignity of 2014 that pushed ultra-right government to power in Ukraine. In fact the NATO promise to both Georgia and Ukraine to take them in as members in 2008 right after Putin's warning in 2007 was the first move in the 'hybrid war'. The West had been warned, yet it decided to bulldoze its way across Eurasia and triggered the confrontation. The placings of Aegises ashore in Poland and Romania was the cherry on top. There can be be no meaningful compromise until the West backs off on the NATO enlargement. That 2008 conference was what had reanimated the image of the collective West as adversary for Russia.
What both sides should strive for though is at the very least to diminish the degree of danger to the planet. Russia would not back off because she finds it easy enough to corner individual EU states into minimal economic cooperation - Germany is already in recession and there is no way they are going to continue damaging their economy for the sake of US politics. And then there is China. When the Russians cannot buy goods from Germans they go for made in China, which in turn gets China secure oil and gas from Russia. Which make the repeat of pre-WW II situation with blockade on Japan pretty much impossible. Get realistic, the West is loosing this one and should count her chickens already.dorotea Roma Ilto • 14 hours ago ,
Well, then the sanctions will continue, as will the policy of keeping Russian in check in the EU gas market.
What's interesting is that NATO never attacked Russia or threatened to attack Russia. Seems to me that Putin is simply using the expansion as a pretext for military aggression against the neighboring states. It's what the USSR did in 1939 against Finland. According the Soviet side, the war started after Finland attacked the Soviet Union...
Russia *needs* the sanctions for at least another 5 years. Her milk and beef production is still lagging compared to the deceased USSR and the only way her greedy oligarchs will heavily invest in cow herd rearing is to continue to block the Eastern European milk products to enter Russia. Chicken, eggs, pork and veggies are already up to speed, wheat production is exploding, the salmon breeding programme have started so the Norway is not getting her market back, bu the cow herds take longer to rear.
The Power of Siberia pipeline is being certified and filled right now - China would receive her first delivery of piped Russian gas in 2020, so it is good that EU is prepping or the squeeze - they are not going to continue getting unlimited cheap Russian gas, because Power of Siberia II is in the works.
Every individual NATO member had attacked Russia in the past 4 centuries ( including small but meaningful US contingent in the 1918), and some non-member allies had stomped those fields as well. So the Russians are not taking any chances with the buffer zone. All of Russia expansions to the West have always started with West invading first - then being rolled back league by league. But seriously - ? Russians can live with Europe staying where she is - if in turn Europe can learn to respect her civilization borders. The move on Ukraine and Georgia was not a wise one.
Nov 04, 2019 | consortiumnews.com
With the U.S. presidential cycle gearing up, Elizabeth Vos takes stock of lessons from 2016.
By Elizabeth Vos
Special to Consortium News
E stablishment Democrats and those who amplify them continue to project blame for the public's doubt in the U.S. election process onto outside influence, despite the clear history of the party's subversion of election integrity. The total inability of the Democratic Party establishment's willingness to address even one of these critical failures does not give reason to hope that the nomination process in 2020 will be any less pre-ordained.
The Democratic Party's bias against Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential nomination, followed by the DNC defense counsel doubling down on its right to rig the race during the fraud lawsuit brought against the DNC , as well as the irregularities in the races between former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Tim Canova, indicate a fatal breakdown of the U.S. democratic process spearheaded by the Democratic Party establishment. Influences transcending the DNC add to concerns regarding the integrity of the democratic process that have nothing to do with Russia, but which will also likely impact outcomes in 2020.
The content of the DNC and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks demonstrated that the DNC acted in favor of Hillary Clinton in the lead up to the 2016 Democratic primary. The emails also revealed corporate media reporters acting as surrogates of the DNC and its pro-Clinton agenda, going so far as to promote Donald Trump during the GOP primary process as a preferred " pied-piper candidate ." One cannot assume that similar evidence will be presented to the public in 2020, making it more important than ever to take stock of the unique lessons handed down to us by the 2016 race.
Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a 2016 Democratic primary debate. (YouTube/Screen shot)
Social Media Meddling
Election meddling via social media did take place in 2016, though in a different guise and for a different cause from that which are best remembered. Twitter would eventually admit to actively suppressing hashtags referencing the DNC and Podesta emails in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. Additional reports indicated that tech giant Google also showed measurable "pro-Hillary Clinton bias" in search results during 2016, resulting in the alleged swaying of between 2 and 10 millions voters in favor of Clinton.
On the Republican side, a recent episode of CNLive! featured discussion of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which undecided voters were micro-targeted with tailored advertising narrowed with the combined use of big data and artificial intelligence known collectively as "dark strategy." CNLive! Executive Producer Cathy Vogan noted that SCL, Cambridge Analytica's parent company, provides data, analytics and strategy to governments and military organizations "worldwide," specializing in behavior modification. Though Cambridge Analytica shut down in 2018, related companies remain.
The Clinton camp was hardly absent from social media during the 2016 race. The barely-legal activities of Clintonite David Brock were previously reported by this author to have included $2 million in funding for the creation of an online " troll army " under the name Shareblue. The LA Times described the project as meant to "to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical." In other words, the effort attempted to create a false sense of consensus in support for the Clinton campaign.
In terms of interference in the actual election process, the New York City Board of Elections was shown to have purged over one hundred thousand Democratic voters in Brooklyn from the rolls before the 2016 primary, a move that the Department of Justice found broke federal law . Despite this, no prosecution for the breach was ever attempted.
Though the purge was not explicitly found to have benefitted Clinton, the admission falls in line with allegations across the country that the Democratic primary was interfered with to the benefit of the former secretary of state. These claims were further bolstered by reports indicating that voting results from the 2016 Democratic primary showed evidence of fraud.
DNC Fraud Lawsuit
"Bernie or Bust" protesters at the Wells Fargo Center during Democrats' roll call vote to nominate Hillary Clinton. (Becker1999, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)
The proceedings of the DNC fraud lawsuit provide the most damning evidence of the failure of the U.S. election process, especially within the Democratic Party. DNC defense lawyers argued in open court for the party's right to appoint candidates at its own discretion, while simultaneously denying any "fiduciary duty" to represent the voters who donated to the Democratic Party under the impression that the DNC would act impartially towards the candidates involved.
In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates.
The Observer noted the sentiments of Jared Beck, the attorney representing the plaintiffs of the lawsuit:
"People paid money in reliance on the understanding that the primary elections for the Democratic nominee -- nominating process in 2016 were fair and impartial, and that's not just a bedrock assumption that we would assume just by virtue of the fact that we live in a democracy, and we assume that our elections are run in a fair and impartial manner. But that's what the Democratic National Committee's own charter says. It says it in black and white."
The DNC defense counsel's argument throughout the course of the DNC fraud lawsuit doubled down repeatedly in defense of the party's right to favor one candidate over another, at one point actually claiming that such favoritism was protected by the First Amendment . The DNC's lawyers wrote:
"To recognize any of the causes of action that Plaintiffs allege would run directly contrary to long-standing Supreme Court precedent recognizing the central and critical First Amendment rights enjoyed by political parties, especially when it comes to selecting the party's nominee for public office ." [Emphasis added]
The DNC's shameless defense of its own rigging disemboweled the most fundamental organs of the U.S. body politic. This no indication that the DNC will not resort to the same tactics in the 2020 primary race,
Tim Canova's Allegations
Tim Canova with supporters, April 2016. (CanovaForCongress, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)
If Debbie Wasserman Schultz's role as disgraced chairwoman of the DNC and her forced 2016 resignation wasn't enough, serious interference was also alleged in the wake of two contests between Wasserman Schultz and professor Tim Canova in Florida's 23rd congressional district. Canova and Wasserman Schultz first faced off in a 2016 Democratic primary race, followed by a 2018 general congressional election in which Canova ran as an independent.
Debacles followed both contests, including improper vote counts, illegal ballot destruction , improper transportation of ballots, and generally shameless displays of cronyism. After the controversial results of the initial primary race against Wasserman Schultz, Canova sought to have ballots checked for irregularities, as the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time:
"[Canova] sought to look at the paper ballots in March 2017 and took Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes to court three months later when her office hadn't fulfilled his request. Snipes approved the destruction of the ballots in September, signing a certification that said no court cases involving the ballots were pending."
Ultimately, Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes, finding that she had committed what amounted to multiple felonies. Nonetheless, Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor through to the 2018 midterms.
Republicans appear no more motivated to protect voting integrity than the Democrats, with The Nation reporting that the GOP-controlled Senate blocked a bill this week that would have "mandated paper-ballot backups in case of election machine malfunctions."
Study of Corporate Power
A 2014 study published by Princeton University found that corporate power had usurped the voting rights of the public: "Economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence."
In reviewing this sordid history, we see that the Democratic Party establishment has done everything in its power to disrespect voters and outright overrule them in the democratic primary process, defending their right to do so in the DNC fraud lawsuit. We've noted that interests transcending the DNC also represent escalating threats to election integrity as demonstrated in 2016.
Despite this, establishment Democrats and those who echo their views in the legacy press continue to deflect from their own wrongdoing and real threats to the election process by suggesting that mere discussion of it represents a campaign by Russia to attempt to malign the perceptionof the legitimacy of the U.S. democratic process.
Hillary Clinton's recent comments to the effect that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is being "groomed" by Russia, and that the former Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein is a "Russian asset", were soon echoed by DNC-friendly pundits. These sentiments externalize what Gabbard called the "rot" in the Democratic party outward onto domestic critics and a nation across the planet.
Newsweek provided a particularly glaring example of this phenomenon in a recent op-ed penned by columnist Naveed Jamali, a former FBI double agent whose book capitalizes on Russiagate. In an op-ed titled: " Hillary Clinton Is Right. Tulsi Gabbard Is A Perfect Russian Asset – And Would Be A Perfect Republican Agent," Jamali argued :
"Moscow will use its skillful propaganda machine to prop up Gabbard and use her as a tool to delegitimize the democratic process. " [Emphasis added]
Jamali surmises that Russia intends to "attack" our democracy by undermining the domestic perception of its legitimacy. This thesis is repeated later in the piece when Jamali opines : "They want to see a retreat of American influence. What better way to accomplish that than to attack our democracy by casting doubt on the legitimacy of our elections." [Emphasis added]
The only thing worth protecting, according to Jamali and those who amplify his work (including former Clinton aide and establishment Democrat Neera Tanden), is the perception of the democratic process, not the actual functioning vitality of it. Such deflective tactics ensure that Russia will continue to be used as a convenient international pretext for silencing domestic dissent as we move into 2020.
Given all this, how can one expect the outcome of a 2020 Democratic Primary -- or even the general election – to be any fairer or transparent than 2016?
Elizabeth Vos is a freelance reporter, co-host of CN Live! and regular contributor to Consortium News.
If you value this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.
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Tags: Debbie Wasserman Schultz DNC fraud lawsuit Elizabeth Vos U.S. election meddlingPost navigation ← Europe Can Do More Than Watch the Crisis in Kurdistan 'The Test of a Country Is Not the Number of its Millionaires' → 74 comments for "It's the DNC, Stupid: Democratic Party, Not Russia, Has Delegitimized the Democratic Process"
countykerry , November 6, 2019 at 14:54
It appears that the DNC is responsible in fomenting this new cold war with Russia.
The party has become a war party and made the world very unsafe.
Instead of taking responsibility for Russiagate, it simply has progressed on to impeachment, no apologies simply moving on to the next tactic.
And why you might ask?
And weren't we a bit put off by our own intelligence agencies contributing to the overthrow of the Trump administration using the NYT and WAPO to spread innuendo and political chaos ?
Al Markowitz , November 6, 2019 at 12:31
Great analysis, yes it is the DNC, but larger than that it is the corporate oligarch which monoplize the power in both so-called parties which gave us Trump and which still prefer him to Sanders.
Ira Dember , November 6, 2019 at 00:20
Perception is everything. That is why the rigged "superdelegate" system was so effective. Clinton's sham "lead" became self-fulfilling prophesy. Many people told me, "I like Bernie but I'm voting for Hillary because she's more electable." Pure perception.
To test this widely held view, in March 2016 I started tallying every poll (at Real Clear Politics) that pitted Sanders and Clinton not against each other, but against GOP contenders including a reality-show buffoon named Trump. I did this all the way through early June, tallying 150 polls with no cherrypicking.
Result? Sanders outperformed Clinton against GOP candidates in 135 of 150 polls. That's 90 percent of the time. You can still see the results posted at my site BernieWorks.com.
What's more, Sanders remained consistently strong. It was so remarkable, so I dubbed him Iron Man Sanders. Meanwhile, Clinton's pattern of results across dozens upon dozens of polls showed disturbing signs of electoral weakness.
No one was paying attention. The corrupt system's rigged structure played a crucial role. The criminally fraudulet DNC and complicit corporate media played their respective roles.
So, disastrously wrong public perception won.
My tallies clearly show that if Sanders had become the nominee, he would have wiped the floor with Trump. And we would be living in a different world.
vinnieoh , November 6, 2019 at 12:01
As to your last sentence: yes I think he would have won handily, but no we would not be living in a different world. Recall that virtually no-one who should have endorsed Sanders did so – not Warren, and certainly not that oft-touted icon of "progressivism" my own Senator Sherrod Brown; in fact none in the D party that I can think of. They all obeyed the dictate of their undemocratic ruling central cabal. You need friends and allies to propose and enact legislation, and Bernie would have had few. As for foreign policy, aka WAR in US-speak, there was a completely unacknowledged military coup in 2000, right here in the good ol' US. The POTUS does not direct the ambitions of this empire.
Do I wish he would have won – absolutely, and that possibility yet exists. We've all watched the very unsubtle way in which the media is colluding with the D establishment. As soon as one candidate rises in the polls the media ignores them and focuses on one of the vote diluters inserted there to staunch the gathering rebellion. There was a piece by Jake Johnson on CD about the Sanders' campaign rightfully complaining about blatant misrepresentation of Sanders popularity in the polls. When distortion or silence proves ineffective look for primary election fraud to ensue.
My younger brother was one that was under the spell of that establishment party perception in '16 and I argued with him several times about it. I was flabbergasted and somewhat angry to hear him say recently that "Sanders could have won" then, but he can't now.
wtf is it with some people?
Lee Anderson , November 6, 2019 at 00:16
Good points in the article the main point being the democratic party was far more guilty of interfering with the democratic primaries by undermining Sanders. The media was complicit and should be considered an accessory to election rigging.
We the people didn't hold the democratic party heads accountable and therefore we are seeing a repeat happening again. I refuse to be forced to vote force someone I deplore just because they aren't republican. I will always vote for the best candidate. The duopoly is fiercely maintained by the oligarchs for just that reason. They correctly predict that consumer zombies will stay loyal to their team and I think they lost control of the process in 2016 by thinking if they ran Krusty the Clown Trump against Hillary, she certainly win. They didn't have a good handle on the animosity so many people had for Hillary, including millions of progressives who were are bitter about the wicked, illegal, immoral, unethical, un-American machinations by the democratic henchmen as laid out expertly in the article.
Korey Dykstra , November 5, 2019 at 22:48
It must be nearly impossible to be an honest politician when many charges made against you are based on lies couched as the truth (with out evidence) which in turn has to be defended in a way that conveys knowledge and truthfulness. Extremely difficult against an opponent versed in or deflecting from factual and/or provable information. Great article. I have not read too mcu on Consortium but will read it consistently from now on
Manqueman , November 5, 2019 at 20:35
Actually, far more harm to democratic institutions has been done not by the DNC or Russians and foreign interests but by our own GOP.
Ash , November 6, 2019 at 14:55
Thank you for that totally unbiased and nonpartisan viewpoint.
Maura , November 5, 2019 at 19:19
How foolish to use Russia in their plots against republicans.And still nothing gets done!
Walton Andrews , November 5, 2019 at 18:40
Impeachment is all about manufacturing a crime and using an investigation to damage your political opponent. The goal is to give your friends in the establishment media excuses for an endless series of negative headlines slamming your opponent. The "Russia collusion" charges were extremely useful in generating propaganda even though they fizzled out when it came time to present some actual evidence. Today, the Democrats are running the investigations. But the Republicans are open to the same tactics (Remember the Benghazi hearings?). Congress doesn't have time to address the real problems of the country – they are playing political games.
I will vote third party in 2020 because any vote for a Democrat or a Republican is sending the message that you will go along with the degenerate system in Washington.
mary-lou , November 6, 2019 at 12:17
vote, but make your ballot paper invalid (in Europe we do this): this way they can see you support the democratic process, but not the political system. cheers!
Nathan Mulcahy , November 5, 2019 at 18:03
Until Obama's first election in 2008 I was Dem leaning. That's when I started to complain to my Democratic supporting friends that I find it more meaningful and satisfying to debate and discuss political issues with Republicans as opposed to Democrats. My rationale was that while I do not agree with the Republicans' worldview I see a rationale. In contrast, Democrats argue illogically and irrationally.
I was smart enough to recognize what a fraud Obama is, and Ended up not Voting Obama. Instead I voted for the Greens.
Needless to say that that cost me a lot, including friendships Only now do I realize how perceptive I was. The irrationality and cognitive dissonance of the Dims (among the way I thought it appropriate to change the name of the Party) are in full bloom now. Only the sheeple are unable to recognize their mental disorder.
Mike K , November 6, 2019 at 02:43
In contrast, Democrats argue illogically and irrationally.
Yes, yes they do.
Richard Annotico , November 6, 2019 at 05:06
[And Look How Well They Did .You are Brilliant
You thereby might be responsible fot TRUMP the CON MAN !!! Take A bow !!!!
Skip Edwards , November 5, 2019 at 16:29
As our country is ever more exposed to be the democratic hypocrisy that it is, we are finding that oligarchic empires never last. History certainly has proven that time and again. What leaves me in dismay, however, is how seemingly educated, intelligent societies continually fall asleep while any basic securities that the majority of those populations rely on are stolen away. It is like sailors whose ship has gone down, we cling to any flotation available to hold us up for one last breath of air as the sharks circle. What is the answer, you might be asking? Is there an answer? That we certainly cannot be sure of. But one thing is for certain; and that is, taking the same steps to solve this problem and expecting anything different from the usual results does not speak wisely of an intelligent people. As the article states, or maybe it was a comment, elections have not, and will not, change one thing in our entire existence as a nation. Taking to the streets just might be our only answer if we are to retain any pride in ourselves. And, without pride, what are we?
Mike K. , November 6, 2019 at 03:01
Those sharks you speak of consist of among others, the multinational companies who bribe congresspeople to pass bad trade bills and rewrite tax code which allowed those companies to offshore good paying jobs and otherwise exfiltrate our wealth. The election of Trump may well change some things in Washington DC. After the investigations by Durham, Barr, and Horowitz are completed, you will see the depths that govt officials and various media pundits, descended in their illegal, unconstitutional effort to overturn the 2016 election results. Hopefully, congress will retract their claws long enough to pass a bill giving congress vastly more oversight of our IC including the NSA and CIA, along with the FBI.
Lois Gagnon , November 5, 2019 at 16:28
Western Empire centered in the US is being challenged and its illegitimacy exposed by increased wars of aggression abroad and creeping authoritarianism domestically. Those profiting off the system for decades will resort to the usual tactics of lies, smears and violence to prevent having to surrender their power.
Elections have no doubt been rigged for a long time, but it's being done in the open now. Those who continue to believe they live in a functioning democracy being attacked by Russia are probably beyond hope for the short term. The cognitive dissonance is more than they can deal with. Trump's mistaken elevation to the presidency seems to have turned once functioning brains into easily controlled masses of obedient children. It's been surreal to watch the transformation.
Perhaps after another election fiasco for the ruling establishment, people will being to question who is really responsible for the way things are. Then again, maybe not.
karlof1 , November 5, 2019 at 16:13
Pardon me, but how many people were cited to have committed felonies but were never prosecuted for their criminality? Might I presume that's merely the tip of an iceberg and that the truth of the matter is the entire electoral process within the USA is utterly corrupt and thus illegitimate?! And of course there's a bipartisan effort to ensure no legislation regulating political parties ever gets to a vote so we the people have no means to alter their behavior!
I've looked long, hard and deep into the USA's fundamental problems and have mused about various bandages for the 1787 Constitution that might put the nation back into the hands of those in whose name it was organized–The People–but most people just don't seem to give a damn or argue that the situation isn't all that bad and just greater citizen activism is all that's required. What was it JFK said–"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." If the electoral process is completely illegitimate as it certainly appears to be, then the only real recourse citizens retain is revolution. Have the corporate pukes at the DNC & RNC thought through the outcome of their behavior; or perhaps revolution is what they want to see occur so they can crush it and establish the dictatorship their actions deem they prefer.
Lee Anderson , November 6, 2019 at 01:29
Yes Ill join the revolution but please, just one more game of Candy Crush first. Can't you see I'm busy.
Charlene Richards , November 5, 2019 at 16:00
Progressives will NEVER have a seat at the Democrat Party table.
The Democrats and the DNC are hopelessly corrupt and the only way to strip them of their power is for ALL true Progressive Americans to walk away and refuse to vote for ANY Democrat, Trump or no Trump.
Just as Sanders got screwed by them and he and his supporters KNEW it and he STILL supported and campaigned for Hillary Clinton who is a known liar and corrupt criminal!
I will vote for Tulsi in the California primary only because she had the guts to call out Clinton for what she is.
But I can promise all of you, if necessary the Superdelegates will step in to stop Sanders and when the corruption happens again next year I will start campaigning for Trump.
Believe me. Not playing their games with them is the ONLY way to stop them.
And I hope Canova will run against DWS again as an Independent. She is evil!!
Skip Edwards , November 5, 2019 at 16:52
Thank you, Charlene, for your simple clarity on a viable, trustworthy candidate to work for. That person is Tulsi Gabbard. Bernie lost it for me when he "supported and campaigned for Hillary Clinton" after what the Clinton/DNC did to him in the last election (sorry Bernie; but, you showed your true staying power with that one). Though again I will say it; it will take most of us in the streets to make the changes we need. Climate change is our real enemy with regards to our survival. US created endless wars blind us from this reality along with the silent killer, unrelenting population growth on a finite planet. If you care about any future for those coming after us, those three issues are all that really matter.
ML , November 5, 2019 at 20:07
It seems to me though, that not voting at all would be preferable in the circumstances you describe, to voting for such a one as trump. I'll never give my vote to any wickedly repulsive human being, no matter their party affiliation. Most Green Party candidates have been ethical, reasonable, kind, highly intelligent, and have good plans for the commons. But of course, to each his or her own, Charlene. Cheers, regardless.
Mike K , November 6, 2019 at 03:35
ML one more thing, would you vote for a candidate who hasn't initiated any regime change type of war and is doing his best to extricate us from the ones he inherited?
Even saint obama sent mountains of arms to Syria via Libya, which ended up in ISIS hands and killed US troops. Despicable!
rosemerry , November 5, 2019 at 15:28
"casting doubt on the legitimacy of our elections". I am not an American but cannot believe that anyone could even pretend that there is any aspect of democracy in the US electoral process. As well as gerrymandering, the overwhelming effect of donors" ie bribes, and the appointment of partisan judges to SCOTUS and most of the other courts in the land make the selection and election of candidates a completely undemocratic procedure.Interference by Russia could never be significant, especially if, as Pres. Putin pointed out, the difference between the policies o the two Parties is minimal.
Steve Naidamast , November 5, 2019 at 15:27
I am a Green I don't care anymore :-(
Michael Crockett , November 5, 2019 at 14:03
I agree with your assessment of the DNC. They deflect from their own reprehensible conduct to blame Russia for interfering in our elections. No evidence is needed. It just a mind numbing stream of Russia! Russia! Russia! US elections are among the most corrupt in the world (Carter Foundation). It appears that our criminal justice system, to include our courts, can not or will not offer any remedy to this crisis.
Hopelb , November 5, 2019 at 13:55
The only way we US citizens can circumvent this undemocratic treachery is to hold a parallel vote on paper ballots that can be publicly counted if the election results are contested. Just read that Amazon or was it google has the cloud contract for tabulating votes in 40% of our elections.
HRC/the DNC not screaming night and day for I hackable paper ballots/publicly counted puts the lie to their Russia hoax.
Thanks for the great article! Love your show.
DH Fabian , November 5, 2019 at 13:42
We've spent years reading and talking about the illegitimacy of elections, interspersed with people railing against those who don't vote. Each election is "the most important of our lifetimes," and "every vote counts," and if Democrats lose, we're back to shouting that (fill in the blank) stole the election.
We've gone over "politics 101" a thousand times. Most votes come down to economic issues, and these are the very issues by which the Clinton right wing divided and conquered the Dem voting base., middle class vs. poor. The Obama years confirmed that this split is permanent. It isn't the result of arcane ideological differences, much less "Facebook trolls," but of the suffering caused by the policies of the Democrat Party. Predictably, we once again see much work going into to setting the stage to blame an expected election defeat on anything/everything other than this.
Antiwar7 , November 5, 2019 at 13:12
The Democratic Party will probably annoint Warren or Biden, one of the establishment candidates. After all, they could point to Trump as justification for "managing" their primary voters!
And then anyone with a brain and a heart will vote third party.
C.K. Gurin , November 5, 2019 at 18:52
Anyone with a brain and a heart will vote Bernie.
Why the heck do you think the DNC IS working so hard to stab him in the back again.
Mike from Jersey , November 5, 2019 at 13:11
It seems that dishonesty is not just acceptable to the two political parties and to the media but it is now considered "accepted practice."
This, of course, has nothing to do with real democracy. Real democracy requires honesty to function properly.
One can only conclude that we no longer have a democracy in this country.
Sam F , November 5, 2019 at 13:00
Very well said. While the DNC corruption is the proper focus for reformers, the Repubs celebrate corruption as an ideal. In Florida where "Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes [but] Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor" I have an ongoing investigation of racketeering involving the theft of over 100 million in conservation funds by wealthy scammers in government, all of whom do far are Repubs. They regularly sell public offices to donors (get yours now): $2K for committee memberships and $32K for chairmanships, including your state university board of trustees, no qualifications at all required. They include judges state and federal, governors, prominent senators, you name it. Money=virtue=qualification is the core of their belief system, and white-collar theft is their profession and only skill.
I am astounded that Canova got a summary judgment against Snipes, but not that Snipes had no prosecution or penalty and remained in the very office in which the public trust was utterly betrayed.
michael , November 6, 2019 at 07:40
Your comment calls out corruption by Republicans, but the one concrete example you give is of Brenda Snipes, a Democrat, stealing a Democratic primary for Wasserman Schultz over Canova? As Federal and Florida judge Zloch noted, primaries are a mere formality. The DNC can pick any candidates they want, votes are meaningless. The GOP has always been the party of business, mean and corrupt. But since the Clintons, the DNC has passed them in Wall Street support, corruption and war mongering; and of course they have abandoned their constituents, the Poor, the Working Class, and Progressives, knowing they will not vote for Republicans and "have nowhere else to go".
Dan Kuhn , November 5, 2019 at 12:58
Jim Poly , November 5, 2019 at 12:52
Thank you for reinforcing my cynicism in the two party system in America. Both parties are at fault here of denigrating the public's confidence in the electoral process. How better than to blame the Russian boogie man in trying to rig our already rigged system. That's the purview of the plutocrat and oligarch cabal and their elite enablers in government. Stay in your lane.
Jill , November 5, 2019 at 12:50
This article makes many excellent points.
The US hasn't had an authentic election in a very long time. Even if the process was at one time more transparent, the CIA and OGA/other entities have taken out presidents who they didn't like. Then we come to 2000 where the election for president was clearly stolen by Bush and again in 2004, there was a likely election theft by Bush. (These thefts may have been by agreement of both legacy parties, as opposed to actual election theft. I say this because the Democratic party did not fight tooth and nail to make votes count or challenge voter roll purges that were happening in plain sight.)
What has changed now are the tools available to engage in mass election theft/voter disenfranchisement. Microsoft will be determining the coming election as they are the ones rolling out the voting machines. This is why we desperately need paper ballots. I lived in Ohio and I knew people who saw their vote changed in front of their eyes. As we will not get paper we need to figure out some way around unverifiable machine votes. That may be by filming one's vote or community efforts to have people come out of the polls and mark a citizen provided private paper ballot. Basically, a citizen run paper parallel voting apparatus that could provide some basis to challenge unverified machine votes.
This article points out some other things which have changed in the current society. The ability to ignore what most people really want is endemic. This is coupled with the ability to manipulate people to "want" someone they actually wouldn't "want" as a candidate where it not for massive propaganda and information restriction. Further, the government is lawless. The powerful will not be held to account for rigging or stealing elections. That has been made perfectly clear. The lack of legal accountability has necessitated making certain that citizens will not ask for evil and illegal actions committed by "their" parties' candidate/office holder to be questioned or called out. The government/corporate amalgam needs a closed system, no legal questions, no citizen questions. This allows complete impunity for all wrongdoing.
Thus we find ourselves in an incredibly dangerous place. People cling to a party/candidate with a zeal once reserved for cult leaders. As the cults run most of the discourse and have most of the information (as cults generally do) I think we must look at ways that people have successfully left cults and apply these stories to our own lives. We must break out of the cult.
Dfnslblty , November 5, 2019 at 12:48
Thanks for a good essay
torture this , November 5, 2019 at 12:30
LOL! I just changed from unaffiliated to Democrat so I can caucus/vote* for the least worst Democrat knowing that I'll end up voting Green-no-in-between anyway when the multi-party rigged election happens. I never feel dumber than when I waste my time filling out ballots or showing up for caucuses.
* Colorado changed procedures and I haven't given enough of a shit to figure out what I have to do, yet.
Jeff Harrison , November 5, 2019 at 12:11
The Economist, of course, has called the US a flawed democracy and they were probably being kind. On top of the chicanery Ms. Vos identifies here, we have the Republicans doing their dead level best to suppress the vote of anyone that even looks like they'd vote for someone else besides a Republican.
This is the Republicans pure and simple. They are the ones that are focused on winning at all costs. And both parties are now Republicans. There is, of course, the Republican party which has become extremely right wing in the wake of St. Ronnie, driving any moderate Republican out of the party and those people have infested the Democratic party as DINOs. Three Names herself is a former Goldwater Girl. The highly anticipated rematch between Donnie Murdo and Three Names will be a real disaster. (Hint: Donnie Murdo might get impeached but he'll never be convicted in the Senate)
Dan Kuhn , November 5, 2019 at 11:59
Was there ever a better argument put forth that would prove that the Chinese Communist Party is a far better form of government than is the corrupt democratic process in the USA. At least the CCP gives the Chinese people a competant government, with the over all well being of the population first and foremost. Just look at where this democratic????? system of government has gotten us. The entire system looks like the movie " The Gangs of New York" with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as the rival gang leaders.
Dan Kuhn , November 5, 2019 at 11:47
Well one thing is certain, we won`t be seeing this op ed in the New York Times or Newsweek or any other major American news outlet any time soon.
Antonio Costa , November 5, 2019 at 11:25
Yes the rot that is the DNC!
Thank you for this great summary, that brings us to now.
These parties must be eliminated. They cannot be reformed.
Paul , November 5, 2019 at 11:23
When I read this I have to wonder if the Russia agenda is anything less than a raging success. The Democrat party is doing the work for them by splitting the country by their single minded focus on Impeaching Trump. I do not know if that was the intent but it certainly is the result.
michael , November 5, 2019 at 11:08
According to REAL CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou a Russian "asset" is someone paid by the Kremlin. The only people paid by Putin were the Clintons who received $500,000 for a talk to Putin's bank in Moscow while Hillary was Secretary of State.
The only recent documented interference in Elections was by New Knowledge pretending to be Russians to swing the Alabama US Senate race from Moore to Jones: a 'technological advance that we'll see much more of from NSA/State department spin-offs in 2020).
And by Ukraine's fake Black Ledger which knocked Paul Manafort from Chairman of the Trump Campaign, thus helping Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Campaign. Manafort is a sleazy corrupt politico just like the Bidens, Ciaramalla, the Podestas and Greg Craig, the latter two working closely with Manafort in the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine.
jmg , November 5, 2019 at 10:24
A prediction from 2016 that turned out to be correct:
"Hillary Clinton just planted a bomb under American Democracy . . .
"By far the most irresponsible and dangerous Hillary Clinton has done is however to accuse a foreign power – Russia – of meddling in the election in order to prevent her winning, and to impose Donald Trump on the American people.
"This is dangerous and irresponsible at so many levels that it is difficult to know where to start.
"Firstly, it is not true. . . ."
(Hillary Clinton just planted a bomb under American Democracy -- The Duran -- Oct 31, 2016)
Herman , November 5, 2019 at 09:59
Great article. The use of Russia as the red herring to confuse the public and to serve the Democratic Party apparatchiks. Not a surprise as ordinary folks like me can see it yet it works. Witnessing the venom in Mueller's voice when he spoke about the evil Russians interfering in our elections says a lot about the Washington mindset.
Then the point that people don't matter, money does is not a new idea but a telling one about the way we select our leaders. Throw in the media that benefits most from the money flow and you get what Ms. Vos eloquently describes in the article, a very corrupt and damaging system.
Skip Scott , November 5, 2019 at 09:16
Excellent commentary! It is apparent to anyone who bothers to think that the DNC did more to destroy our democratic process than anything Russia could ever be capable of. They constantly cry about the electoral college, yet they have "superdelegates" set up in the primary process to ensure that "corporate sponsored warmonger from column B" becomes the only Democratic Party option in the General Election. To call it blatant hypocrisy is an understatement.
Democracy has always been a farce in the USA, and Russia has nothing to do with it.
John Moffett , November 5, 2019 at 08:37
If everyone started boycotting corporate news shows, it would go a long way toward ending their negative influence over our lives. There is no excuse for watching CNN, MSNBC or any of the other corporate news outlets, unless of course you want to hear the lies that the billionaires want you to hear.
JOHN CHUCKMAN , November 5, 2019 at 07:33
A hopelessly corrupt and confused political system for a hopelessly corrupt and confused nation.
GT Barnett , November 5, 2019 at 06:56
Sixty years now of mass delusion. The southern strategy has worked well during the decades.. BUT. This president has exposed it all. Money Honey, and the Southerners are starting to feel.. STUPID.
I must say, of all of it's confessions, the "we left enough soldiers to protect the oil" (In Iraq/Iran) was casually blurted out as plain speech.
It's the beginning of the end..good riddance gop.
Paul Ellis , November 5, 2019 at 04:19
Thank you very much for putting all this together in one article. It's great to have as a resource to help people see what's going on with the DNC.
Jeff Harrison , November 5, 2019 at 01:26
Fortunately, the DNC doesn't want any of my money or support for their candidates. And the RNC is, if anything worse.
torture this , November 5, 2019 at 12:32
Are you crazy (I know you're not)? They lust for your vote and will do ANYTHING they can to get it except offer you anything you need.
Realist , November 5, 2019 at 00:09
As a life-long registered Democrat I have felt totally betrayed by the DNC for the fraudulent and illegal acts that Ms. Vos so lucidly and comprehensively outlines in her piece. It is beyond my understanding why so many rank and file party members continue to embrace the lies and seditious acts that the organisation they entrust with defending their constitutional rights has never stopped perpetrating, even after being repeatedly caught red-handed. Undoubtedly the collusion of a fully partisan mass media has a great deal to do with this sad reality. However, one must insist that Trump Derangement Syndrome and extreme Russophobia, widely propagated by that corrupt media, are not valid reasons to adopt the same sleazy standards and morals reflexively attributed by Democrats to Republicans for generations. Maybe it used to be only half the country, when Democrats purportedly stood for strictly objective empirical truth, impartiality and fair play, but now, in light of proven shameless Democratic fraud, deception, false narratives and phony alibis, most of the country insists upon brazenly embarrassing itself beyond all belief. People don't seem to care whether they are governed by a rigorously open constitutional process or a demagogic dictator who seizes or sneaks into power through fraud, as long as that dictator is from "their" tribe. Shameful.
Dan Kuhn , November 5, 2019 at 11:50
Boss Hogg would be proud.
torture this , November 5, 2019 at 12:36
Ditto! It's like a pass interference call in football. My team never deserves a flag and the other side always does.
Sam F , November 5, 2019 at 13:05
Yes, primitive tribalism remains at the core of politics, due to the extreme political ignorance spawned by our corrupt mass media.
michael , November 6, 2019 at 09:52
"It is beyond my understanding why so many rank and file party members continue to embrace the lies and seditious acts that the organisation they entrust with defending their constitutional rights has never stopped perpetrating, even after being repeatedly caught red-handed. "
The rank and file party members have nowhere else to go and the DNC leadership knows it.
jadan , November 4, 2019 at 23:27
Our electoral system doesn't work because no one can have any confidence that their vote is counted as cast in a state wide or national venue. Aside from gerrymandering, the purging of voter rolls, and other tricks and techniques of election rigging, there is the manipulation of numbers in computerized vote counts that undermines the validity of US election results. It's not the Russians or any other outside influence. It's not possible as a practical matter to do a recount of a presidential election. Why would any rational person have confidence in the outcome?
Fixing the electoral system would be easy in theory but too many players depend on a rigged system. Fact is, no one wants a true count of the majority vote because it would run counter to special interests that have grown accustomed to buying elections. The DNC becomes just another special interest. An electoral system that counted every vote as cast and could be recounted would destroy the oligarchy.
"Our democracy" is a fantasy. Funny how no politician calls for reform of the electoral process. Not even Bernie.
Sam F , November 5, 2019 at 13:12
Yes, and the reforms are quite easy, although some require amendments to the Constitution:
1. Limiting campaign contributions to the average day's pay annually (or similar means) with accounting and penalties.
2. Monitor public officials and all relatives and associate for life, with heavy penalties for payoffs etc.
3. Similar measures to isolate mass media (say over 10% of market in subject area or region) from economic power.
4. Strict monitoring of voting machine design/production/usage, or requirement of manual balloting.
But as you note, "too many players depend on a rigged system."
DH Fabian , November 5, 2019 at 13:52
Agree, and while such reforms have been needed for decades, they would not change the consequences of Democrats successfully splitting apart their own voting base. By now, middle class liberals simply appear to be unaware of, or unconcerned about, this split, making it a lost cause.
Bethany , November 5, 2019 at 16:18
Right. Not even Bernie. And no one talks about Julian Assange either. None of them, including Bernie, wanted what WikiLeaks revealed to be revealed. Bernie's refusal to fight the obvious rigging last time and his subsequent directive to vote for Hillary were very enlightening. His weak defense of Tulsi Gabbard was also enlightening. Every day I am aware of what Hannah Arendt described as 'the iron bands' of totalitarianism tightening and don't foresee relief in the future.
nondimenticare , November 5, 2019 at 17:45
It puts me in mind of the election of Liberal Justin Trudeau, who campaigned on a platform of reforming the unfair, he said, Canadian voting system of first past the post to a form of proportional representation. (This was after years of a Conservative government.) What a surprise that when he won the election with a majority government, he had a middle-of-the-night epiphany that the voting system is quite fine as is.
The same reason we haven't gotten tax reform in the US even when people had a modicum of power: Everyone was sure that s/he was a rich person hiding in a poor person's body and, by golly, when that rich person emerged s/he wanted to keep all the loot. A pipe dream then, a virtual impossibility now.
Erelis , November 5, 2019 at 22:16
"Fixing the electoral system would be easy in theory but too many players depend on a rigged system. " Indeed. First, I have worked many an election and the ONLY people who can steal an election are the people inside the electoral infrastructure. That is, no Russian hacker sitting in Moscow who can change the results of an election. In America it is Americans cheating other Americans. (Just look to the the centuries long disenfrancshment of African America voters or recently in Georgia–not a Russian in sight.)
In 2000 I thought the democratic party leadership would lead the way to electoral reform as there were just a ton of compliants about computer based voting machines. Nada. Instead the democrats blamed Nader. There is only one conclusion. Neither the democrats nor republicans want to give up their electoral advantages to change and alter and the direction of the outcomes of an election.
Zhu , November 4, 2019 at 23:23
I first voted in the US in 1972. Nothing important has ever improved because of voting. We get more wars on third world people, more homelessness, no matter which team wins. No wonder more than half never vote!
Sweet William , November 5, 2019 at 11:30
that's just silly. Encouraging people not to vote has been highly successful in this country. thanks for your help in making it a successful tactic. CN plays a part in that same old sorry: both sides are equally evil.
ML , November 5, 2019 at 20:30
This is to Sweet William: Denying party leaders legitimacy, which they both richly deserve to be denied them, is but one way to deal with the utter sham that comprises our electoral system. I don't judge people for not voting out of sheer outrage and protestation. I have always voted and since I could not abide either candidate in 2016, I voted Green, but don't judge people for making the decision not to participate in protest. It's one thing to be completely incurious and apathetic, it's quite another to be raging mad and calling the system out for what it is- a completely corrupted unethical mess like our fascistic, lying, murdering, bellicose empire, the USA. I am not proud to be an American. But my right to vote includes my right NOT to, Sweet William.
jadan , November 5, 2019 at 23:01
People do not believe their votes are counted as cast because they aren't. There is no way to recount a national election. Nothing changes for most people by and large while great benefits accrue to the elites. The war racket continues. exploitation of the environment and labor continues. People do not trust their government to work for them, so why vote? This is the result of a rigged system that is not transparent. It is easy to fix the system. Paper ballots will not solve the problem. We need to develop a block chain system for voting. Just as a bitcoin is secure, so can a voter's ID be secure. You could easily check to see if your vote was counted as cast. The election itself could be recounted quickly and easily. The majority of people are not right wing libertarian or left wing radicals. If the voice of the genuine majority were delivered in an election, the oligarchy would collapse.
Jeffery Denton , November 4, 2019 at 22:11
Next I would like to hear your take on WHY the Republicans went along with the russiagate conspiracy theory. And what Joe thinks as well.
Skip Scott , November 5, 2019 at 09:20
The MIC funds both parties to a large extent. Trump's musings about detente with Russia made him the enemy of the establishment on both sides of the aisle.
Antiwar7 , November 5, 2019 at 13:15
Because either 1) they're on the national security gravy train, or 2) they can be easily pressured by all the forces of 1).
DH Fabian , November 5, 2019 at 13:54
Republicans fully support the "Russia-gate" insanity because they see how it has driven away more Dem voters, making Democrats too dangerous to vote for.
ML , November 5, 2019 at 20:42
I think Antiwar7 has it just about right and so does Skip Scott. I'd add that Trump's musings on detente with Russia went no further in his tiny, grasping mind than "what will I get out of this personally" if I encourage rapprochement with Russia? Except that the word "rapprochement" isn't in his vocabulary- but you get the idea.
Noah Way , November 4, 2019 at 21:54
Despite the blatant manipulation of the 2016 election by the Dems (to Hillary's chagrin, LOL) and the coordinated post-election disenfranchisement of the elected president (no matter how awful he is) by the collapsed accusations of RussiaGate and likewise the totally fabricated UkraineGate (just think about this for a millisecond – they're using an anonymous CIA "source" to blame Trump for something Biden actually did, and which has been a basic tool of US foreign policy since WWII), this is only part of domestic election meddling by both parties that includes gerrymandering, voter disenfranchisement, media manipulation, unlimited anonymous money in politics, electronic vote hacking, supreme court interference, etc., etc., etc.
The entire system is corrupt from the top to the bottom.
Nov 06, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
I believe in repentance and redemption. But the FBI remains an unrepentant, vile sinner. Yesterday, Tuesday, the FBI and the Department of Justice made a stunning admission in the Michael Flynn case--they mislabeled evidence. DOJ sheepishly admitted that the notes of the interview of Michael Flynn taken by Agent Pientka actually belonged to Agent Strzok and that the notes attributed to Strzok actually belonged to Pientka. Holy Guacamole, Batman. It is still not clear that the FBI is freely confessing its sin and is committed to turning its bureaucratic life around.
There is no good news in this for the government's case. At a minimum it exposes the FBI as incompetent clowns. At worse, it may be evidence of a deliberate effort to deceive the defense and the judge. It has been exposed because of the insistent demands of the principled Sidney Powell, a relentless Honey Badger. That woman will not quit in demanding that General Flynn be treated fairly. She knows right from wrong. Cannot say the same for the FBI. The Bureau is a disgrace.
Now that we know that the FBI mislabeled the notes taken by the FBI agents during their interview of General Flynn, it would appear the entire case is in jeopardy. The foundation of the charge that Flynn lied about his conversation with the Russian Ambassador is predicated on the notes the FBI agents took and then turned into a 302 report. I asked one of my retired FBI buddies (he served as a Special Agent in Charge of a large US city) if the agents were required to date and sign their notes. He replied: No, we did not sign and date notes. They were placed in a 1-A (evidence) Envelope which had our name and the date collected along with the file number and, I believe, the case title. The 1-As were kept as part of the original case file. They were not entered into evidence like other things we collected.
Those notes should have been placed in an "evidence" envelope with the appropriate name and date on the envelope. How could so-called professionals screw up something this basic?
There was something more nefarious afoot. Let's put this into the broader context. If Flynn actually had lied to Strzok and Pientka that fact would have been reflected in the notes and the original 302. But that did not happen. A normal routine would be to write up the 302 and put it into final within five days. That did not happen. The original 302 still has not been produced. However, Ms. Powell has presented exhibits showing that there were other versions of the 302 generated and that substantive, unsupportable changes were made. The "final" 302 essentially made the case that Flynn lied.
But Sidney Powell has produced documentary evidence showing that Strzok stated he did not believe that Flynn lied. And there was more FBI misconduct. General Flynn, for example, was not advised of the need to have a lawyer present nor was he shown the transcript of the call that was illegally recorded by the NSA. At no point was he given a chance to correct the record. It was a total setup and designed to paint Flynn as a liar and a collaborator with the Russians. This is malevolently diabolical conduct by law enforcement officers.
Honey Badger Powell's terrific lawyering and insistence on getting her hands on the evidence the US Government is withholding has now backed the Mueller team into a corner. Sidney Powell has exposed staggering misconduct and malfeasance. Michael Flynn will be exonerated. The only real question is whether or not the prosecutors will be held in contempt and tried.
Jack , 06 November 2019 at 11:55 AMLarryMr Zarate , 06 November 2019 at 12:16 PM
Why doesn't the FBI, just record an interview? It's not that video cameras and tape recorders are a new invention. Is the objective to manipulate using written interpretations of conversations?I'm worried there won't be any popcorn left by the time we get to the end of this sorry saga. It would be nice to think that success by Sidney Powell might be the start of the finale in this duplicitous story but I doubt it. The world is upside down and to many this is now a matter of belief not evidence, something that has been largely caused be an entirely partisan mainstream media (interested only in improving its revenue stream) and what can only be described as a totally gullible section of the voting public.Upstate NY'er , 06 November 2019 at 01:14 PMOne thing, Flynn has one hell of a lawsuit against his prior lawyers - a well known swamp law firm. Egregious malpractice if not outright conspiring with the prosecutors.
LA Sox Fan -> Jack... , 06 November 2019 at 06:16 PMFBI interviews are not recorded because if they were, then the interview subject could not be falsely charged with the felony of lying to a federal investigator.Coleen Rowley -> Jack... , 06 November 2019 at 10:32 PMI need to write about the long history of the FBI honoring J. Edgar Hoover's policy, even countering former Director Louis Freeh, after a meeting in mid 1990's with a federal judge who had same suggestion, ORDERED the FBI to begin tape recording confessions and even after many states like Minnesota, began to find their own constitutions required tape-recording (at least of custodial confessions). After Freeh ordered the FBI to begin tape-recording, a number of SACs argued the advantages for prosecutorial purposes of sticking with the old policy of allowing Agents to write up, from memory and notes, what subjects and witnesses said. The SACs made the point that juries would always tend to believe agents over the word of defendants. So Freeh backed down. Flynn's attorney ought to request these memos documenting how FBI policy was deliberately kept antiquated because it was advantageous.artemesia said in reply to Upstate NY'er... , 06 November 2019 at 06:12 PMPerhaps Larry Johnson knows -- Does Michael Flynn have some form of redress agains the government, some established protocol for compensation for the misery and expense he's been put through? Or are lawsuits against former lawyers his only option to try to recoup legal expenses?Factotum , 06 November 2019 at 02:58 PM
Strozk's caree/life is over. An interesting meditation: is he an evil man, or did he get caught up in something larger than he could handle? (He thought he had what it took to swim with the sharks, but he was just a barnacle. Or steelhead trout.)
The "unidentified" supposed whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella, is young - early 30s. Age of consent, for sure, but very young, the "age of youthful ambition," a different category from Strozk, the age of damn well should have known better. I would judge Eric -- whom I suspect was at very least put up to carrying out dirty deeds for Biden and careerism -- less harshly than Strozk.How did Sidney Powell become involved in this long, on-going case? She can't ethically "solicit" the business, but someone must have put Flynn in touch with her -- at what point. What made Flynn seek legal advice elsewhere.Factotum said in reply to Factotum... , 06 November 2019 at 07:46 PM
Flynn seemed so passive about facing these drummed up charges earlier in the case - what exactly was he trying to protect his son about that allegedly caused this legal passivity about his own case.
Love watching this unfold and the lessons in " big government" that come with it. But Flynn having to live out a modern day Greek tragedy is a very high price to pay for our civics lesson.Asked and answered: Powell tussled dramatically in the past with Andrew Weissman over his role in the government's prosecution of Enron steam roller cases. She finally got court vindication for her clients 9 years later.Brent , 06 November 2019 at 03:04 PM
Why does Andrew Weissman's name keep popping up just about everywhere now, when one is looking in pari delitci (including our now famous Pierre Delecto)?From what I have read, I gather that the FBI in the Mueller / Comey era has made extensive use of "perjury traps". They then threaten charges to get someone to "flip" on someone bigger, in this case Trump. Flynn wouldn't flip even when they threatened to go after Flynn's son. So they decided to "F" him, as stated by Andrew McCabe.Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) , 06 November 2019 at 04:07 PM
The FBI has been thoroughly disgraced, and Wray is incapable of cleaning it up. He just wants to keep the dirt under the rug. It is too late for that, it is all coming out. US citizens deserve to know how dirty our FBI and CIA are - they are criminal organizations.Is it just me (wink, wink) but I find it completely coincidental that both Strzok (100%) and Pientka (likely) are of Polish origins. Could it be my Russian paranoia. Nah, I am being unreasonable--those people never had a bad feeling towards Trump's attempts to boost Russian-American relations with Michael Flynn spearheading this effort. Jokes aside, however, I can only imagine how SVR and GRU are enjoying the spectacle. I can only imagine how many "free" promotions and awards can be attach to this thing as a free ride.
Nov 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Teamtc321 , 3 hours ago link
Another shoe is about to drop. Gen. Flynn was entrapped by the Obama Bin Biden clan.
General Flynn Attorney Sidney Powell: "We Will Seek to Move to Dismiss for Egregious Government Conduct"
Attorney Sidney Powell joined Lou Dobbs on Tuesday night to discuss the latest updates on US Government's court case against General Michael Flynn.
The Justice Department on Friday responded to Flynn's lawyer Sidney Powell's motion to compel production of Brady Material and to hold prosecutors in contempt.
Sidney Powell filed a motion a couple weeks ago revealing that General Flynn was indeed set up by the FBI with an ambush, damaging leaks and altered 302 reports.
Powell revealed that former FBI lawyer Lisa Page EDITED General Mike Flynn's 302 report, then lied to the DOJ about the edits.
A 302 summary report consists of contemporaneous notes taken by an FBI agent when interviewing a subject.
"Lisa Page, Special Counsel to Deputy Director McCabe, resigned; she edited Mr. Flynn's 302 and was part of a small, high-level group that strategically planned his ambush." the filing said.
"Page didn't recall whether she took part in editing the FD-302," the filing stated. Included was a discussion between Lisa Page and her paramour Peter Strzok talking about editing Flynn's 302 report. Strzok to Page: "I made your edits" Also discussion of misleading leadership re: picking up 302. Upon seeing her texts, Page "believes she must have seen it at some point "
Nov 06, 2019 | www.amazon.com
I thought I understood this and many other things about the journalism business at a young age. I even knew everything that "off the record" entails -- really knew, as if it were a religious tenet -- before I hit junior high. I thought I was an expert.
Then I read Manufacturing Consent .
The book came out in 1988 and I read it a year later, when I was nineteen. It blew my mind.
Along with the documentary Hearts and Minds (about the atrocities of the Vietnam War) and books like Soul on Ice, In the Belly of the Beast, and The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Manufacturing Consent taught me that some level of deception was baked into almost everything I'd ever been taught about modern American life.
I knew nothing about either of the authors, academics named Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky. It seemed odd that a book purporting to say so much about journalism could be written by non-journalists. Who were these people? And how could they claim to know anything about this business?
This was the middle of the George H. W. Bush presidency, still the rah-rah Top Gun eighties. Political earnestness was extremely uncool. America was awesome and hating on America was sad. Noam Chomsky was painted to me as the very definition of uncool, a leaden, hectoring bore.
But this wasn't what I found on the page. Manufacturing Consent is a dazzling book. True, like a lot of co-written books, and especially academic books, it's written in slow, grinding prose. But for its time, it was intellectually flamboyant, wild even.
The ideas in it radiated defiance. Once the authors in the first chapter laid out their famed propaganda model, they cut through the deceptions of the American state like a buzz saw.
The book's central idea was that censorship in the United States was not overt, but covert. The stage-managing of public opinion was "normally not accomplished by crude intervention" but by the keeping of "dissent and inconvenient information" outside permitted mental parameters: "within bounds and at the margins."
The key to this deception is that Americans, every day, see vigorous debate going on in the press. This deceives them into thinking propaganda is absent. Manufacturing Consent explains that the debate you're watching is choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear it.
This careful sham is accomplished through the constant, arduous policing of a whole range of internal pressure points within the media business. It's a subtle, highly idiosyncratic process that you can stare at for a lifetime and nonetheless not see.
American news companies at the time didn't (and still don't) forbid the writing of unpatriotic stories. There are no editors who come blundering in, red pen in hand, wiping out politically dangerous reports, in the clumsy manner of Soviet Commissars.
Instead, in a process that is almost 100 percent unconscious, news companies simply avoid promoting dissenting voices. People who are questioners by nature, prodders, pains in the ass -- all good qualities in reporting, incidentally -- get weeded out by bosses, especially in the bigger companies. Advancement is meanwhile strongly encouraged among the credulous, the intellectually unadventurous, and the obedient.
As I would later discover in my own career, there are a lot of C-minus brains in the journalism business. A kind of groupthink is developed that permeates the upper levels of media organizations, and they send unconscious signals down the ranks.
Young reporters learn early on what is and is not permitted behavior. They learn to recognize, almost more by smell than reason, what is and is not a "good story."
Chomsky and Herman described this policing mechanism using the term "flak." Flak was defined as "negative responses to a media statement or program."
They gave examples in which corporate-funded think tanks like The Media Institute or the anti-communist Freedom House would deluge media organizations that ran the wrong kinds of stories with "letters, telegrams, phone calls, petitions, lawsuits" and other kinds of pressure.
What was the wrong kind of story? Here we learned of another part of the propaganda model, the concept of worthy and unworthy victims . Herman and Chomsky defined the premise as follows:
A propaganda system will consistently portray people abused in enemy states as worthy victims, whereas those treated with equal or greater severity by its own government or clients will be unworthy.
Under this theory, a Polish priest murdered by communists in the Reagan years was a "worthy" victim, while rightist death squads in U.S.-backed El Salvador killing whole messes of priests and nuns around the same time was a less "worthy" story.
What Herman and Chomsky described was a system of informal social control, in which the propaganda aims of the state were constantly reinforced among audiences, using a quantity-over-quality approach.
Here and there you might see a dissenting voice, but the overwhelming institutional power of the media (and the infrastructure of think-tanks and politicians behind the private firms) carried audiences along safely down the middle of a surprisingly narrow political and intellectual canal.
One of their examples was Vietnam, where the American media was complicit in a broad self-abnegating effort to blame itself for "losing the war."
An absurd legend that survives today is that CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, after a two-week trip to Vietnam in 1968, was key in undermining the war effort.
Cronkite's famous "Vietnam editorial" derided "the optimists who have been wrong in the past," and villainously imparted that the military's rosy predictions of imminent victory were false. The more noble course, he implied, was to face reality, realize "we did the best we could" to defend democracy, and go home.
The Cronkite editorial sparked a "debate" that continues to the present.
On the right, it is said that we should have kept fighting in Vietnam, in spite of those meddling commies in the media.
The progressive take is that Cronkite was right, and we should have realized the war wasn't "winnable" years earlier. Doing so would have saved countless American lives, this thinking goes.
These two positions still define the edges of what you might call the "fairway" of American thought.
The uglier truth, that we committed genocide on a fairly massive scale across Indochina -- ultimately killing at least a million innocent civilians by air in three countries -- is pre-excluded from the history of that period.
Instead of painful national reconciliation surrounding episodes like Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the CIA-backed anti-communist massacres in places like Indonesia, or even the more recent horrors in Middle Eastern arenas like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, we mostly ignore narrative-ruining news about civilian deaths or other outrages.
A media that currently applauds itself for calling out the lies of Donald Trump (and they are lies) still uses shameful government-concocted euphemisms like "collateral damage." Our new "Democracy Dies in Darkness" churlishness has yet to reach the Pentagon, and probably never will.
In the War on Terror period, the press accepted blame for having lost the most recent big war and agreed to stop showing pictures of the coffins coming home (to say nothing of actual scenes of war deaths).
We also volunteered to reduce or play down stories about torture ("enhanced interrogation"), kidnapping ("rendition"), or assassination ("lethal action," or the "distribution matrix").
Even now, if these stories are covered, they're rarely presented in an alarmist tone. In fact, many "civilian casualties" stories are couched in language that focuses on how the untimely release of news of "collateral damage" may hinder the effort to win whatever war we're in at the time.
"After reports of civilian deaths, U.S. military struggles to defend air operations in war against militants," is a typical American newspaper headline.
Can you guess either the year or the war from that story? It could be 1968, or 2008. Or 2018.
As Manufacturing Consent predicted -- with a nod to Orwell, maybe -- the scripts in societies like ours rarely change. 1
When it came time for me to enter the journalism business myself, I discovered that the Chomsky/Herman diagnosis was mostly right. Moreover, the academics proved prescient about future media deceptions like the Iraq War. Their model predicted that hideous episode in Technicolor.
But neither Herman nor Chomsky could have known, when they published their book in 1988, that the media business was going through profound change.
As it turned out, Manufacturing Consent was published just ahead of three massive revolutions. When I met and interviewed Chomsky for this book (see Appendix 2 ), we discussed these developments. They included:
1. The explosion of conservative talk radio and Fox-style news products. Using point of view rather than "objectivity" as commercial strategies, these stations presaged an atomization of the news landscape under which each consumer had an outlet somewhere to match his or her political beliefs. This was a major departure from the three-network pseudo-monopoly that dominated the Manufacturing Consent period, under which the country debated a commonly held set of facts.
2. The introduction of twenty-four-hour cable news stations, which shifted the emphasis of the news business. Reporters were suddenly trained to value breaking news, immediacy, and visual potential over import. Network "crashes" -- relentless day-night coverage extravaganzas of a single hot story like the Kursk disaster or a baby thrown down a well, a type of journalism one TV producer I knew nicknamed "Shoveling Coal For Satan" -- became the first examples of binge-watching. The relentless now now now grind of the twenty-four-hour cycle created in consumers a new kind of anxiety and addictive dependency, a need to know what was happening not just once or twice a day but every minute. This format would have significant consequences in the 2016 election in particular.
3. The development of the Internet, which was only just getting off the ground in 1988. It was thought it would significantly democratize the press landscape. But print and broadcast media soon began to be distributed by just a handful of digital platforms. By the late 2000s and early 2010s, that distribution system had been massively concentrated. This created the potential for a direct control mechanism over the press that never existed in the Manufacturing Consent era. Moreover the development of social media would amplify the "flak" factor a thousandfold, accelerating conformity and groupthink in ways that would have been unimaginable in 1988.
Maybe the biggest difference involved an obvious historical change: the collapse of the Soviet Union.
One of the pillars of the "propaganda model" in the original Manufacturing Consent was that the media used anti-communism as an organizing religion.
The ongoing Cold War narrative helped the press use anti-communism as a club to batter heretical thinkers, who as luck would have it were often socialists. They even used it as a club to police people who weren't socialists (I would see this years later, when Howard Dean was asked a dozen times a day if he was "too left" to be a viable candidate).
But the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet empire took a little wind out of the anti-communist religion. Chomsky and Herman addressed this in their 2002 update of Manufacturing Consent, in which they wrote:
The force of anti-communist ideology has possibly weakened with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the virtual disappearance of socialist movements across the globe, but this is easily offset by the greater ideological force of the belief in the "miracle of the market "
The collapse of the Soviets, and the weakening of anti-communism as an organizing principle, led to other changes in the media. Manufacturing Consent was in significant part a book about how that unseen system of informal controls allowed the press to organize the entire population behind support of particular objectives, many of them foreign policy objectives.
But the collapse of the Wall, coupled with those new commercial strategies being deployed by networks like Fox, created a new dynamic in the press.
Media companies used to seek out the broadest possible audiences. The dull third-person voice used in traditional major daily newspapers is not there for any moral or ethical reason, but because it was once believed that it most ably fulfilled the commercial aim of snatching as many readers/viewers as possible. The press is a business above all, and boring third-person language was once advanced marketing.
But in the years after Manufacturing Consent was published the new behemoths like Fox turned the old business model on its head. What Australian tabloid-merchant Rupert Murdoch did in employing political slant as a commercial strategy had ramifications the American public to this day poorly understands.
The news business for decades emphasized "objective" presentation, which was really less an issue of politics than of tone.
The idea was to make the recitation of news rhetorically watered down and unthreatening enough to rope in the whole spectrum of potential news consumers. The old-school anchorperson was a monotone mannequin designed to look and sound like a safe date for your daughter: Good evening, I'm Dan Rather, and my frontal lobes have been removed . Today in Libya
Murdoch smashed this framework. He gave news consumers broadcasts that were pointed, opinionated, and nasty. He struck gold with The O'Reilly Factor, hosted by a yammering, red-faced repository of white suburban rage named Bill O'Reilly (another Boston TV vet).
The next hit was Hannity & Colmes, a format that played as a parody of old news. In this show, the "liberal" Colmes was the quivering, asexual, "safe date" prototype from the old broadcast era, and Sean Hannity was a thuggish Joey Buttafuoco in makeup whose job was to make Colmes look like the spineless dope he was.
This was theater, not news, and it was not designed to seize the whole audience in the way that other debate shows like CNN's Crossfire were.
The premise of Crossfire was an honest fight, two prominent pundits duking it out over issues, and may the best man (they were usually men) win.
The prototypical Crossfire setup involved a bombastic winger like Pat Buchanan versus an effete liberal like New Republic editor Michael Kinsley. On some days the conservative would be allowed to win, on some days the liberal would score a victory. It looked like a real argument.
But Crossfire was really just a formalized version of the artificial poles of allowable debate that Chomsky and Herman described. As some of its participants (like Jeff Cohen, a pioneering media critic who briefly played the "liberal" on the show, about whom we'll hear more later) came to realize, Crossfire became a propagandistic setup, a stage trick in which the "left" side of the argument was gradually pushed toward the right over the years. It was propaganda, but in slow motion.
Hannity & Colmes dispensed with the pretense. This was the intellectual version of Vince McMahon's pro wrestling spectacles, which were booming at the time. In the Fox debate shows, Sean Hannity was the heel, and Colmes was the good guy, or babyface. As any good wrestling fan knows, most American audiences want to see babyface stomped.
The job of Colmes was to get pinned over and over again, and he did it well. Meanwhile rightist anger merchants like Hannity and O'Reilly (and, on the radio, Rush Limbaugh) were rapidly hoovering up audiences that were frustrated, white, and often elderly. Fox chief Roger Ailes once boasted, "I created a network for people 55 to dead." (Ailes is now dead himself.)
This was a new model for the media. Instead of targeting the broad mean, they were now narrowly hunting demographics. The explosion of cable television meant there were hundreds of channels, each of which had its own mission.
Just as Manufacturing Consent came out, all the major cable channels were setting off on similar whale hunts, sailing into the high demographic seas in search of audiences to capture. Lifetime was "television for women," while the Discovery Channel did well with men. BET went after black viewers. Young people were MTV's target audience.
This all seems obvious now, but this "siloing" effect that spread across other channels soon became a very important new factor in news coverage. Fox for a long time cornered the market on conservative viewers. Almost automatically, competitors like CNN and MSNBC became home to people who viewed themselves as liberals, beginning a sifting process that would later accelerate.
A new dynamic entered the job of reporting. For generations, news directors had only to remember a few ideological imperatives. One, ably and voluminously described by Chomsky and Herman, was, "America rules: pay no attention to those napalmed bodies." We covered the worthy victims, ignored the unworthy ones, and that was most of the job, politically.
The rest of the news? As one TV producer put it to me in the nineties, "The entire effect we're after is, 'Isn't that weird?'"
Did you hear about that guy in Michigan who refused to mow his lawn even when the town ordered him to? Weird! And how about that drive-thru condom store that opened in Cranston, Rhode Island? What a trip! And, hey, what happened in the O.J. trial today? That Kato Kaelin is really a doof! And I love that lawyer who wears a suede jacket! He looks like a cowboy!
TV execs learned Americans would be happy if you just fed them a nonstop succession of National Enquirer –style factoids (this is formalized today in meme culture). The New York Times deciding to cover the O.J. freak show full-time broke the seal on the open commercialization of dumb news that among other things led to a future where Donald Trump could be a viable presidential candidate.
In the old days, the news was a mix of this toothless trivia and cheery dispatches from the front lines of Pax Americana. The whole fam could sit and watch it without getting upset (by necessity: an important principle in pre-Internet broadcasting is that nothing on the air, including the news, could be as intense or as creative as the commercials). The news once designed to be consumed by the whole house, by loving Mom, by your crazy right-wing uncle, by your earnest college-student cousin who just came home wearing a Che T-shirt.
But once we started to be organized into demographic silos, the networks found another way to seduce these audiences: they sold intramural conflict.
The Roger Ailes types captured the attention of the crazy right-wing uncle and got him watching one channel full of news tailored for him, filling the airwaves with stories, for instance, about immigration or minorities committing crimes. Different networks eventually rose to market themselves to the kid in the Che T-shirt. If you got them in different rooms watching different channels, you could get both viewers literally addicted to hating one another.
There was a political element to this, but also not. It was commerce, initially. And reporters stuck in this world soon began to realize that the nature of their jobs had changed.
Whereas once the task was to report the facts as honestly as we could -- down the middle of the "fairway" of acceptable thought, of course -- the new task was mostly about making sure your viewer came back the next day.
We sold anger, and we did it mainly by feeding audiences what they wanted to hear. Mostly, this involved cranking out stories about people our viewers loved to hate.
Selling siloed anger was a more sophisticated take on the WWE programming pioneered in Hannity & Colmes . The modern news consumer tuned into news that confirmed his or her prejudices about whatever or whoever the villain of the day happened to be: foreigners, minorities, terrorists, the Clintons, Republicans, even corporations.
The system was ingeniously designed so that the news dropped down the respective silos didn't interfere with the occasional need to "manufacture" the consent of the whole population. If we needed to, we could still herd the whole country into the pen again and get them backing the flag, as was the case with the Iraq War effort.
But mostly, we sold conflict. We began in the early nineties to systematically pry families apart, set group against group, and more and more make news consumption a bubble-like, "safe space" stimulation of the vitriolic reflex, a consumer version of "Two Minutes Hate."
How did this serve the needs of the elite interests that were once promoting unity? That wasn't easy for me to see, in my first decades in the business. For a long time, I thought it was a flaw in the Chomsky/Herman model. It looked like we were mostly selling pointless division.
But it now seems there was a reason, even for that.
The news media is in crisis. Polls show that a wide majority of the population no longer has confidence in the press. Chomsky himself despairs at this, noting in my discussion with him (at the end of this book) that Manufacturing Consent had the unintended consequence of convincing readers not to trust the media.
There are many ways of mistrusting something, but people who came away from Manufacturing Consent with the idea that the media peddles lies misread the book. Papers like the New York Times, for the most part, do not traffic in outright deceptions.
The overwhelming majority of commercial news reporting is factual (with one conspicuous exception I'll get into later on), and the individual reporters who work in the business tend to be quite stubborn in their adherence to fact as a matter of principle. (Sadly, in the time it's taken to write this book, even this has begun to change some). Still, people should trust most reporters, especially local reporters, who tend to have real beats (like statehouses or courts), have few of the insular prejudices of the national media, and don't deserve the elitist tag. The context in which reporters operate is most often the problem.
Now, more than ever, most journalists work for giant nihilistic corporations whose editorial decisions are skewed by a toxic mix of political and financial considerations. Without understanding how those pressures work, it's very difficult for a casual news consumer to gain an accurate picture of the world.
This book is intended as an insider's guide to those distortions.
The technology underpinning the modern news business is sophisticated and works according to a two-step process. First, it creates content that reinforces your pre-existing opinions, and, after analysis of your consumer habits, sends it to you.
Then it matches you to advertisers who have a product they're trying to sell to your demographic. This is how companies like Facebook and Google make their money: telling advertisers where their likely customers are on the web.
The news, basically, is bait to lure you into a pen where you can be sold sneakers or bath soaps or prostatitis cures or whatever else studies say people of your age, gender, race, class, and political persuasion tend to buy.
Imagine your Internet surfing habit as being like walking down a street. A man shouts: "Did you hear what those damned liberals did today? Come down this alley."
You hate liberals, so you go down the alley. On your way to the story, there's a storefront selling mart carts and gold investments (there's a crash coming -- this billionaire even says so!).
Maybe you buy the gold, maybe you don't. But at the end of the alley, there's a red-faced screamer telling a story that may even be true, about a college in Massachusetts where administrators took down a statue of John Adams because it made a Hispanic immigrant "uncomfortable." Boy, does that make you pissed!
They picked that story just for you to hear. It is like the parable of Kafka's gatekeeper, guarding a door to the truth that was built just for you.
Across the street, down the MSNBC alley, there's an opposite story, and set of storefronts, built specifically for someone else to hear.
People need to start understanding the news not as "the news," but as just such an individualized consumer experience -- anger just for you.
This is not reporting. It's a marketing process designed to create rhetorical addictions and shut any non-consumerist doors in your mind. This creates more than just pockets of political rancor. It creates masses of media consumers who've been trained to see in only one direction, as if they had been pulled through history on a railroad track, with heads fastened in blinders, looking only one way.
As it turns out, there is a utility in keeping us divided. As people, the more separate we are, the more politically impotent we become.
This is the second stage of the mass media deception originally described in Manufacturing Consent .
First, we're taught to stay within certain bounds, intellectually. Then, we're all herded into separate demographic pens, located along different patches of real estate on the spectrum of permissible thought.
Once safely captured, we're trained to consume the news the way sports fans do. We root for our team, and hate all the rest.
Hatred is the partner of ignorance, and we in the media have become experts in selling both.
I looked back at thirty years of deceptive episodes -- from Iraq to the financial crisis of 2008 to the 2016 election of Donald Trump -- and found that we in the press have increasingly used intramural hatreds to obscure larger, more damning truths. Fake controversies of increasing absurdity have been deployed over and over to keep our audiences from seeing larger problems.
We manufactured fake dissent, to prevent real dissent.
Nov 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Matt Taibbi's Hate Inc . is the most insightful and revelatory book about American politics to appear since the publication of Thomas Frank's Listen, Liberal almost four full years ago, near the beginning of the last presidential election cycle.
While Frank's topic was the abysmal failure of the Democratic Party to be democratic and Taibbi's is the abysmal failure of our mainstream news corporations to report news, the prominent villains in both books are drawn from the same, or at least overlapping, elite social circles: from, that is, our virulently anti-populist liberal class, from our intellectually mediocre creative class, from our bubble-dwelling thinking class. In fact, I would strongly recommend that the reader spend some time with Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas? (2004) and Listen, Liberal! (2016) as he or she takes up Taibbi's book.
And to really do the book the justice it deserves, I would even more vehemently recommend that the reader immerse him- or herself in Taibbi's favorite book and vade-mecum , Manufacturing Consent (which I found to be a grueling experience: a relentless cataloging of the official lies that hide the brutality of American foreign policy) and, in order to properly appreciate the brilliance of Taibbi's chapter 7, "How the Media Stole from Pro Wrestling," visit some locale in Flyover Country and see some pro wrestling in person (which I found to be unexpectedly uplifting -- more on this soon enough).
Taibbi tells us that he had originally intended for Hate, Inc . to be an updating of Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent (1988), which he first read thirty years ago, when he was nineteen. "It blew my mind," Taibbi writes. "[It] taught me that some level of deception was baked into almost everything I'd ever been taught about modern American life .
Once the authors in the first chapter laid out their famed propaganda model [italics mine], they cut through the deceptions of the American state like a buzz saw" (p. 10). For what seemed to be vigorous democratic debate, Taibbi realized, was instead a soul-crushing simulation of debate. The choices voters were given were distinctions without valid differences, and just as hyped, just as trivial, as the choices between a Whopper and a Big Mac, between Froot Loops and Frosted Mini-Wheats, between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, between Marlboro Lites and Camel Filters. It was all profit-making poisonous junk.
"Manufacturing Consent," Taibbi writes, "explains that the debate you're watching is choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear it" (p. 11). And there's an indisputable logic at work here, because the reality of hideous American war crimes is and always has been, from the point of view of the big media corporations, a "narrative-ruining" buzz-kill. "The uglier truth [brought to light in Manufacturing Consent ], that we committed genocide of a fairly massive scale across Indochina -- ultimately killing at least a million innocent civilians by air in three countries -- is pre-excluded from the history of the period" (p. 13).
So what has changed in the last thirty years? A lot! As a starting point let's consider the very useful metaphor found in the title of another great media book of 1988: Mark Crispin Miller's Boxed In: The Culture of TV . To say that Americans were held captive by the boob tube affords us not only a useful historical image but also suggests the possibility of their having been able to view the television as an antagonist, and therefore of their having been able, at least some of them, to rebel against its dictates. Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets, the workings of which are so precisely intertwined with even the most intimate minute-to-minute aspects of our lives that our relationship to them could hardly ever become antagonistic.
Taibbi summarizes the history of these three decades in terms of three "massive revolutions" in the media plus one actual massive political revolution, all of which, we should note, he discussed with his hero Chomsky (who is now ninety! -- Edward Herman passed away in 2017) even as he wrote his book. And so: the media revolutions which Taibbi describes were, first, the coming of FoxNews along with Rush Limbaugh-style talk radio; second, the coming of CNN, i.e., the Cable News Network, along with twenty-four hour infinite-loop news cycles; third, the coming of the Internet along with the mighty social media giants Facebook and Twitter.
The massive political revolution was, going all the way back to 1989, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and then of the Soviet Union itself -- and thus of the usefulness of anti-communism as a kind of coercive secular religion (pp. 14-15).
For all that, however, the most salient difference between the news media of 1989 and the news media of 2019 is the disappearance of the single type of calm and decorous and slightly boring cis-het white anchorman (who somehow successfully appealed to a nationwide audience) and his replacement by a seemingly wide variety of demographically-engineered news personæ who all rage and scream combatively in each other's direction. "In the old days," Taibbi writes, "the news was a mix of this toothless trivia and cheery dispatches from the frontlines of Pax Americana . The news [was] once designed to be consumed by the whole house . But once we started to be organized into demographic silos [italics mine], the networks found another way to seduce these audiences: they sold intramural conflict" (p. 18).
And in this new media environment of constant conflict, how, Taibbi wondered, could public consent , which would seem to be at the opposite end of the spectrum from conflict, still be manufactured ?? "That wasn't easy for me to see in my first decades in the business," Taibbi writes. "For a long time, I thought it was a flaw in the Chomsky/Herman model" (p. 19).
But what Taibbi was at length able to understand, and what he is now able to describe for us with both wit and controlled outrage, is that our corporate media have devised -- at least for the time being -- highly-profitable marketing processes that manufacture fake dissent in order to smother real dissent (p. 21).
And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid.
Or pretty much so. Taibbi is more historically precise. Because of the tweaking of the Herman/Chomsky propaganda model necessitated by the disappearance of the USSR in 1991 ("The Russians escaped while we weren't watching them, / As Russians do ," Jackson Browne presciently prophesied on MTV way back in 1983), one might now want to speak of a Propaganda Model 2.0. For, as Taibbi notes, " the biggest change to Chomsky's model is the discovery of a far superior 'common enemy' in modern media: each other. So long as we remain a bitterly-divided two-party state, we'll never want for TV villains" (pp. 207-208).
To rub his great insight right into our uncomprehending faces, Taibbi has almost sadistically chosen to have dark, shadowy images of a yelling Sean Hannity (in lurid FoxNews Red!) and a screaming Rachel Maddow (in glaring MSNBC Blue!) juxtaposed on the cover of his book. For Maddow, he notes, is "a depressingly exact mirror of Hannity . The two characters do exactly the same work. They make their money using exactly the same commercial formula. And though they emphasize different political ideas, the effect they have on audiences is much the same" (pp. 259-260).
And that effect is hate. Impotent hate. For while Rachel's fan demographic is all wrapped up in hating Far-Right Fascists Like Sean, and while Sean's is all wrapped up in despising Libtard Lunatics Like Rachel, the bipartisan consensus in Washington for ever-increasing military budgets, for everlasting wars, for ever-expanding surveillance, for ever-growing bailouts of and tax breaks for and and handouts to the most powerful corporations goes forever unchallenged.
Oh my. And it only gets worse and worse, because the media, in order to make sure that their various siloed demographics stay superglued to their Internet devices, must keep ratcheting up levels of hate: the Fascists Like Sean and the Libtards Like Rachel must be continually presented as more and more deranged, and ultimately as demonic. "There is us and them," Taibbi writes, "and they are Hitler" (p. 64). A vile reductio ad absurdum has come into play: "If all Trump supporters are Hitler, and all liberals are also Hitler," Taibbi writes, " [t]he America vs. America show is now Hitler vs. Hitler! Think of the ratings! " The reader begins to grasp Taibbi's argument that our mainstream corporate media are as bad as -- are worse than -- pro wrestling. It's an ineluctable downward spiral.
Taibbi continues: "The problem is, there's no natural floor to this behavior. Just as cable TV will eventually become seven hundred separate twenty-four-hour porn channels, news and commentary will eventually escalate to boxing-style, expletive-laden, pre-fight tirades, and the open incitement to violence [italics mine]. If the other side is literally Hitler, [w]hat began as America vs. America will eventually move to Traitor vs. Traitor , and the show does not work if those contestants are not eventually offended to the point of wanting to kill one another" (pp. 65-69).
As I read this book, I often wondered about how difficult it was emotionally for Taibbi to write it. I'm just really glad to see that the guy didn't commit suicide along the way. He does describe the "self-loathing" he experienced as he realized his own complicity in the marketing processes which he exposes (p. 2). He also apologizes to the reader for his not being able to follow through on his original aim of writing a continuation of Herman and Chomsky's classic: "[W]hen I sat down to write what I'd hoped would be something with the intellectual gravitas of Manufacturing Consent ," Taibbi confesses, "I found decades of more mundane frustrations pouring out onto the page, obliterating a clinical examination" (p. 2).
I, however, am profoundly grateful to Taibbi for all of his brilliantly observed anecdotes. The subject matter is nauseating enough even in Taibbi's sparkling and darkly tragicomic prose. A more academic treatment of the subject would likely be too depressing to read. So let me conclude with an anecdote of my own -- and an oddly uplifting one at that -- about reading Taibbi's chapter 7, "How the News Media Stole from Pro Wrestling."
On the same day I read this chapter I saw that, on the bulletin board in my gym, a poster had appeared, as if by magic, promoting an upcoming Primal Conflict (!) professional wrestling event. I studied the photos of the wrestlers on the poster carefully, and, as an astute reader of Taibbi, I prided myself on being able to identify which of them seemed be playing the roles of heels , and which of them the roles of babyfaces .
For Taibbi explains that one of the fundamental dynamics of wrestling involves the invention of crowd-pleasing narratives out of the many permutations and combinations of pitting heels against faces . Donald Trump, a natural heel , brings the goofy dynamics of pro wrestling to American politics with real-life professional expertise. (Taibbi points out that in 2007 Trump actually performed before a huge cheering crowd in a Wrestlemania event billed as the "battle of the billionaires." Watch it on YouTube! https://youtu.be/5NsrwH9I9vE -- unbelievable!!)
The mainstream corporate media, on the other hand, their eyes fixed on ever bigger and bigger profits, have drifted into the metaphorical pro wrestling ring in ignorance, and so, when they face off against Trump, they often end up in the role of inept prudish pearl-clutching faces .
Taibbi condemns the mainstream media's failure to understand such a massively popular form of American entertainment as "malpractice" (p. 125), so I felt more than obligated to buy a ticket and see the advertised event in person. To properly educate myself, that is.
... ... ...
Steve Ruis , November 5, 2019 at 8:13 am
I have stopped watching broadcast "news" other than occasional sessions of NPR in the car. I get most of my news from sources such as this and from overseas sources (The Guardian, Reuters, etc.). I used to subscribe to newspapers but have given them up in disgust, even though I was looking forward to leisurely enjoying a morning paper after I retired.
I was brought up in the positive 1950's and, boy, did this turn out poorly.
Dao Gen , November 5, 2019 at 8:59 am
Matt Taibbi is an American treasure, and I love his writing very much, but we also need to ask, Why hasn't another Chomsky (or another Hudson), an analyst with a truly deep and wide-ranging, synthetic mind, appeared on the left to take apart our contemporary media and show us its inner workings? Have all the truly great minds gone to work for Wall Street? I don't have an answer, but to me the pro wrestling metaphor, while intriguing, misses something about the Fourth Estate in America, if it indeed still exists. And that is, except for radio, there is a distinct imbalance between the two sides of the MSM lineup. On the corporate liberal side of the national MSM team you have five wrestlers, but on the conservative/reactionary side you have only the Fox entry. Because of this imbalance, the corruption, laziness, self-indulgence, and generally declining interest in journalistic standards seems greater among the corporate liberal media team, including the NYT and WaPo, than the Fox team.
I'm not a fan of either Maddow (in her current incarnation) or Hannity, but Hannity, perhaps because he thinks he's like David, often hustles to refute the discourse of the corporate liberal Goliath team. Hannity obviously does more research on some topics than Maddow, and, perhaps because he began in radio, he puts more emphasis on semi-rationally structured rants than Maddow, who depends more on primal emotion, body language, and Hollywood-esque fear-inducing atmospherics.
I'd wager that in a single five-minute segment there will often be twice as many rational distinctions made in a Hannity rant than in a Maddow performance. In addition, for the last three years Hannity has simply been demonstrably right about the fake Russiagate propaganda blitz while Maddow has been as demonstrably wrong from the very beginning as propaganda industry trend-setter Adam Schiff. So for at least these last three years, the Maddow-Hannity primal match has been a somewhat misleading metaphor. The Blob and the security state have been decisively supporting (and directing?) the corporate liberal global interventionist media, at least regarding Russia and the permanent war establishment, and because the imbalance between the interventionist and the non-interventionist MSM, Russia and Ukraine are being used as a wedge to steadily break down the firewalls between the Dem party, the intel community, and the interventionist MSM. If we had real public debates with both sides at approximately equal strength as we did during the Vietnam War, then even pro wrestling-type matches would be superior to what we have now, which is truthy truth and thoughtsy thought coming to us from the military industrial complex and monopolistic holding companies. If fascism is defined as the fusion of the state and corporations, then the greatest threat of fascism in America may well be coming from the apparent gradual fusion of the corporate liberal MSM, the Dem party elite, and the intel community. Instead of an MSM wrestling match, we may soon be faced with a Japanese-style 'hitori-zumo' match in which a sumo wrestler wrestles with only himself. Once these sumo wrestlers were believed to be wrestling with invisible spirits, but those days are gone . http://kikuko-nagoya.com/html/hitori-zumo.htm
coboarts , November 5, 2019 at 9:59 am
"If we had real public debates" and if they were even debates where issues entered into contest were addressed point by point with evidence
Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , November 5, 2019 at 10:03 am
Today's Noam Chomksy? Chomsky was part of the machine who broke ranks with it. His MIT research was generously funded by the Military Industrial Complex. Thankfully, enough of his latent humanity and Trotskyite upbringing shone through so he exposed what he was part of. So I guess today that's Chris Hedges, though he's a preacher at heart and not a semiotician.
neighbor7 , November 5, 2019 at 10:04 am
Thank you, Dao Gen. An excellent analysis, and your final image is usefully haunting.
a different chris , November 5, 2019 at 12:11 pm
> In addition, for the last three years Hannity has simply been demonstrably right about the fake Russiagate propaganda blitz while Maddow has been as demonstrably wrong
Eh. Read whats-his-name's (Frankfurter?) book On Bullshit . You are giving Hannity credit for something he doesn't really care about.
jrs , November 5, 2019 at 12:21 pm
I don't believe the media environment as a whole leans corporate Dem/neoliberal.
T.V. maybe, but radio is much more right wing than left (yes there is NPR and Pacifica, the latter with probably only a scattering of listerners but ) and it's still out there and a big influence, radio hasn't gone away. So doesn't the right wing tilt of radio kind of balance out television? (not necessarily in a good way but). And then there is the internet and I have no idea what the overall lean of that is (I mean I prefer left wing sites, but that's purely my own bubble and actually there are much fewer left analysis out there than I'd like)
Self Affine , November 5, 2019 at 9:05 am
Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism
by Sheldon S. Wolin
Critical deep analysis of not just the media but the whole American political enterprise and
the nature of our "democracy".
DJG , November 5, 2019 at 9:20 am
The whole review is good, but this extract should be quoted extensively:
While Frank's topic was the abysmal failure of the Democratic Party to be democratic and Taibbi's is the abysmal failure of our mainstream news corporations to report news, the prominent villains in both books are drawn from the same, or at least overlapping, elite social circles: from, that is, our virulently anti-populist liberal class, from our intellectually mediocre creative class, from our bubble-dwelling thinking class.
In short, stagnation and self-dealing at the top. What could possibly go wrong?
Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 11:51 am
Are you serious? Maddow called Trump a traitor and accused him of betrayal in Russiagate, and was caught out when that fell apart. This was pointed out all over the MSM .
Carolinian , November 5, 2019 at 9:52 am
This is great stuff. Thanks.
One quibble: the author says
Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets
and then goes on to spend most of the article talking about television. I'd say television is still the main propaganda instrument even if many webheads like yours truly ignore it (I've never seen Hannity's show or Maddow's–just hear the rumors). Arguably even newspapers like the NYT have been dumbed down because the reporters long to be on TV and join the shouting. And it's surely no coincidence that our president himself is a TV (and WWE) star. Mass media have always been feeders of hysteria but television gave them faces and voices. Watching TV is also a far more passive experience than surfing the web. They are selling us "narratives," bedtime stories, and we like sleepy children merely listen.
Jerri-Lynn Scofield , November 5, 2019 at 9:54 am
This rave review has inspired me to add this to my to-read non-fiction queue. Currently reading William Dalrymple's The Anarchy, on the rise of the East India Company. Next up: Matt Stoller's Goliath. And then I'll get to Taibbi. Probably worth digging up my original copy of Manufacturing Consent as well, which I read many moons ago; time for a re-read.
Susan the Other , November 5, 2019 at 12:32 pm
almost every page of mine is dog-eared and marked along the edge with exclamation points
urblintz , November 5, 2019 at 1:41 pm
May I suggest Stephen Cohen's "War with Russia?" if it's not already on your list? In focusing on the danger emerging from the new cold war, seeded by the Democrats, propagated by corporate media (which he thinks is more dangerous than the first), Cohen clarifies the importance of diplomacy especially with one's nuclear rivals.
shinola , November 5, 2019 at 9:56 am
Support your local book store!
Off The Street , November 5, 2019 at 9:57 am
Us rubes knew decades ago about pro wrestling. There was a regional circuit and the hero in one town would become the villain in another town. The ones to be surprised were like John Stossel, who got a perforated eardrum from a slap upside the head for his efforts at in-your-face journalism with a wrestler who just wouldn't play along with his grandstanding. Somewhere, kids cheered and life went on.
The Historian , November 5, 2019 at 10:01 am
Ah, Ancient Athens, here we come – running back to repeat your mistakes! Our MSM media has decided that when we are not at our neighbor's throats, we should be at each other's throats!
teacup , November 5, 2019 at 10:11 am
I was watching old clips of the 'Fred Friendly Seminars' on YouTube. IMHO any channel that produced a format such as this would be a ratings bonanza. Imagine a round table with various media figures (corporate) left, (corporate) right, and independent being refereed by a host-moderator discussing topics in 'Hate, Inc.'. In wrestling it's called a Battle Royale. The Fourth Estate in a cage match!
@ape , November 5, 2019 at 10:12 am
And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid.
This is important, if people don't want to be naive about what democracy buys. Democracy in the end is a ritual system to determine which members of an elite would win a war without actually having to hold the war. Like how court functions to replace personal revenge by determining (often) who would win in a fight if there were one, and the feudal system replaced the genocidal wars of the axial age with the gentler warfare of the middle ages which were often ritual wars of the elite that avoided the full risk of the earlier wars.
That, I think, is important -- under a democracy, the winner should be normally the winner of the avoided violent conflict to be sustainable. Thus, it's enough to get most people to consent to the solution, using the traditional meaning of consent being "won't put up a fight to avoid it". If the choices on the table are reduced enough, you can get by with most people simply dropping out of the questions.
Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit
It shouldn't be a surprise that we've moved to "faking dissent" -- it's the natural evolution of a system where a lot of the effective power is in the hands of tech, and not just as in the early 20th century, how many workers you have and how many soldiers you can raise.
If you don't like it, change the technology we use to fight one another. We went from tribes to lords when we switch from sticks to advanced forged weapons, and we went from feudalism to democracy when we had factories dropping guns that any 15 year old could use (oversimplifying a bit). Now that the stuff requires expertise, you'd expect a corresponding shift in how we ritualize our conflict avoidance, and thus the organization of how we control communication and how we organize our rituals of power.
Aka, it's the scientists and the engineers who end up determining how everything is organized, and people never seem to bother with that argument, which is especially surprising that even hard-core Marxists waste their time on short-term politics rather than the tech we're building.
I'd be curious whether Taibbi thought about the issue of the nature of the technology and whether there are technological options on the horizon which drive the conflict in other directions. If we had only kept the laws on copyright and patent weaker, so that the implementation of communicative infrastructure would have stayed decentralized
Susan the Other , November 5, 2019 at 12:41 pm
Tabby's "manufacturing fake consent" was really the whole punchline – the joke's on us. Hunter S. Thompson, another of Taibbi's heroes, is, along with Chomsky, speaking to us through MT. Our media is distracting us from social coherence. Another thing it is doing (just my opinion) is it is overwhelming us to the point of disgust. Nobody likes it. And we protect ourselves by tuning it out. Turning it off. Once the screaming lunatics marginalize themselves by making the whole narrative hysterical, we just act like it's another family fight and we're gonna go do something else. When everyone is screaming, no one is screaming.
Jerry B , November 5, 2019 at 10:26 am
I have tried to read Hate Inc. and Taibbi's Griftopia but one of my main issues with Taibbi's writing is his lack of notes, references, or bibliography, etc. in his books. In skimming Hate Inc. it seems like a book I would enjoy reading, however my personal value system is that any book without footnotes, endnotes, citations, or at minimum a bibliography is just an opinion or a story. At least Thomas Frank's Listen Liberal has a section for End Notes/References at the end of the book. Again just my personal values.
Sbbbd , November 5, 2019 at 10:45 am
Another classic in the genre of manufactured consent through media from the age of radio and Adolf Hitler:
"The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception", in the book Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947), Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer.
Joe Well , November 5, 2019 at 11:04 am
I am from Greater Boston, far, far from flyover country (which I imagine begins in Yonkers NY), but I sure grew up with pro wrestling as part of the schoolyard discourse. I certainly knew it was as much of a family affair as Disney on Ice and have trouble believing he thought otherwise though I will not impugn his honesty. I am very grateful to the author for taking the time to write this, but is it possible for a male who grew up in the US to be as deeply embedded in the MSNBC demo as he claims to be?
Seriously, how is it possible for a male raised in the US to not at least have some working familiarity with pro wrestling? My family along with my community was very close to the national median income–do higher income boys really not learn about WWF and WWE?
Seriously, rich kids, what was childhood like? I know you had music lessons and sports camps, what else? Was it really that different?
Carolinian , November 5, 2019 at 11:59 am
And it's not just the US. See the British WWE movie: Fighting With My Family.
Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 12:03 pm
Sorry, my blue collar, lifetime union member brother says your view is horseshit. All the knows about WWE and WWF is that they are big-budget fakery and that's why they are of no interest.
amfortas the hippie , November 5, 2019 at 1:38 pm
aye. in my blue to white collar( and back to blue to no collar) upbringing, wrestling was never a thing. it was for the morons who couldn't read. seen as patently absurd by just about everyone i knew. and this in klanridden east texas exurbia
wife's mexican extended familia oth luche libre is a big thing that all and sundry talked about at thanksgiving. less so these days possibly due to the hyperindiviualisation of media intake mentioned
(and,btw, in my little world , horseshit is a good thing)
BlueStater , November 5, 2019 at 11:11 am
Even allowing for my lefty-liberal bias, I do not see how it is possible to equate Fox Noise and MSNBC, or Hannity and Maddow, as "both-sides" extremists. Fox violates basic professional canons of fairness and equity on a daily basis. MSNBC occasionally does, but is quick to correct errors of fact. Hannity is a thuggish outer-borough New York schmuck without much education or knowledge of the world. Maddow is an Oxford Ph.D. and Rhodes Scholar. It is one of the evil successes of the right-wing news cauldron to have successfully equated these two figures and organizations.
Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 12:05 pm
Huh? MSNBC regularly makes errors of omission and commission with respect to Sanders. They are still pushing the Russiagate narrative. That's a massive, two-year, virtually all the time error they have refused to recant.
The blind spots of people on the soi-disant left are truly astonishing.
semiconscious , November 5, 2019 at 1:08 pm
'Hannity is a thuggish outer-borough New York schmuck without much education or knowledge of the world. Maddow is an Oxford Ph.D. and Rhodes Scholar '
oh, well, then – end of conversation! i mean, god knows, it'd be a cold day in hell before a rhodes scholar, or even someone married to one, would ever lead us astray down the rosy neoliberal path to hell, while, at the same time, under the spell of trump derangement syndrome, actually attempt to revive the mccarthy era, eh?
Summer , November 5, 2019 at 12:11 pm
Actual drugs are being used to hinder debate as well as emotional drugs like hate.
They can't trust agency to be removed by words and images alone – the stakes are too high.
Now all of you go take a feel good pill and stop complaining!
McWatt , November 5, 2019 at 1:02 pm
I would like to know if Matt is doing any book signings any where around the states for this new title?
David , November 5, 2019 at 1:15 pm
I've been impressed with Taibbi's work, what I've read of it, but ironically this very article contains a quote from him which exemplifies the problem: his casual assertion that the US committed "genocide" in Indochina. Even the most fervent critics of US policy didn't say this at the time, for the very good reason that there was no evidence that the US tried to destroy a racial, religious, ethnic or nationalist group (the full definition is a lot more complex and demanding than that). He clearly means that the US was responsible for lots of deaths, which is incontestable. But the process of endless escalation of rhetoric, which this book seems to be partly about, means that everything now has to be described in the most extreme, absurd or apocalyptic tones, and at the top of your voice, otherwise nobody takes any notice. So any self-respecting war now has to be qualified as "genocide" or nobody will take any notice.
Nov 06, 2019 | www.unz.com
I'm not a big fan of Intelligence agencies, generally. I don't care much for imperialism, not even when it's global capitalist imperialism. I do not support the global capitalist ruling classes' War on Populism , or believe in the official Putin-Nazi narrative that they and their servants in the corporate media have been disseminating for the last three years. I do not sing hymns to former FBI directors . I don't believe that all conservatives are fascists , or that the working classes are all a bunch of racists , or that " America is under attack. "
Let's face it, I'm a terrible leftist.
So it's probably good that "Grayfell" and his pals discovered me and are feverishly "correcting" my article, and God knows how many other articles that don't conform to Wikipedia "policy," or Philip Cross' political preferences, or Antifa's theory of " preemptive self-defense ," or whatever other non-ideological, totally objective editorial standards the "volunteer editors" at the Ministry of Wiki-Truth (who have nothing to do with the Intelligence Community, or Antifa, or any other entities like that) consensually decide to robotically adhere to.
How else are they going to keep their content "neutral," "unbiased," and "reliably sourced," so that people can pull up Wikipedia on their phones and verify historical events (which really happened, exactly as they say they did), or scientific "facts" (which are indisputable) or whether Oceania is at War with EastAsia, or Eurasia, or the Terrorists, or Russia?
Oh, and please don't worry about my Wikipedia article. König Ubu assures me he has done all he could to restore it some semblance of accuracy, and that the Ministers have moved on to bigger fish. Of course, who knows what additional "edits" might suddenly become a top priority once "Grayfell" or Antifa gets wind of this piece.
Hail , says: Website November 6, 2019 at 11:36 am GMTDigital Samizdat , says: November 6, 2019 at 11:44 am GMT
Wikipedia is a perfect platform for manufacturing reality, disseminating pro-establishment propaganda, and damaging people's reputations, which is a rather popular tactic these days.
The simple fact is, when you google anything, Wikipedia is usually the first link that comes up. Most people assume that what they read on the platform is basically factual and at least trying to be "objective" which a lot of it is, but a lot of it isn't.
Many speak of the liberating features of the Internet, how the old MSM stranglehold has been whipped. The way the Internet is being used, that is just not true today. It was true for early adopters (1990s?) and early-mid adopters (late 1990s and early 2000s?).
The 2010s has given us a pendulum swing back in the other direction. By circa 2020, information is, effectively, funneled through a few chokepoints -- Wikipedia, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, the Google quasi-Monopoly And the limits of acceptable discourse are policed using various tactics. This is a great example.
In this sense, Unz Review is a throwback to an earlier era of the Internet, in the best way.Ludwig Watzal , says: Website November 6, 2019 at 4:18 pm GMT
In the anti-establishment circles I move in, Wikipedia is notorious for this kind of stuff, which is unsurprising when you think about it. It's a perfect platform for manufacturing reality, disseminating pro-establishment propaganda, and damaging people's reputations, which is a rather popular tactic these days.
Normiepedia sucks.Of course, the Ministry of Wiki-Truth keeps its content "neutral," "unbiased," and "reliably sourced," such as Brian Stelter's sudser "Reliable Sources" at CNN. Except for the scientific articles, all the rest are ideological Soviet-style trash. The more fool you, using this phony "Encyclopedia," which has been hijacked by the thought policy long ago.
Nov 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Teamtc321 , 3 hours ago link
Obama Bin Biden and the crooked clan need to get back in the game somehow so they can rip off another 3 billion in US tax payer loans. What were they up to 44 Billion in fraudulent loans to Ukraine?
Interesting how they want to Impeach Trump over Ukraine, don't you think?
Oleg, you followed Biden story from its very inception. Biden is not the only Dem politician involved in the Ukrainian corruption schemes, is he?
Indeed, John Kerry, the Secretary of State in Obama's administration, was his partner-in-crime. But Joe Biden was number one. During the Obama presidency, Biden was the US proconsul for Ukraine, and he was involved in many corruption schemes. He authorised transfer of three billion dollars of the US taxpayers' money to the post-coup government of the Ukraine; the money was stolen, and Biden took a big share of the spoils.
It is a story of ripping the US taxpayer and the Ukrainian customer off for the benefit of a few corruptioners, American and Ukrainian. And it is a story of Kiev regime and its dependence on the US and IMF. The Ukraine has a few midsize deposits of natural gas, sufficient for domestic household consumption. The cost of its production was quite low; and the Ukrainians got used to pay pennies for their gas. Actually, it was so cheap to produce that the Ukraine could provide all its households with free gas for heating and cooking, just like Libya did. Despite low consumer price, the gas companies (like Burisma) had very high profits and very little expenditure.
After the 2014 coup, IMF demanded to raise the price of gas for the domestic consumer to European levels, and the new president Petro Poroshenko obliged them. The prices went sky-high. The Ukrainians were forced to pay many times more for their cooking and heating; and huge profits went to coffers of the gas companies. Instead of raising taxes or lowering prices, President Poroshenko demanded the gas companies to pay him or subsidise his projects. He said that he arranged the price hike; it means he should be considered a partner.
Burisma Gas company had to pay extortion money to the president Poroshenko. Eventually its founder and owner Mr Nicolai Zlochevsky decided to invite some important Westerners into the company's board of directors hoping it would moderate Poroshenko's appetites. He had brought in Biden's son Hunter, John Kerry, Polish ex-President Kwasniewski; but it didn't help him.
Poroshenko became furious that the fattened calf may escape him, and asked the Attorney General Shokin to investigate Burisma trusting some irregularities would emerge. AG Shokin immediately discovered that Burisma had paid these 'stars' between 50 and 150 thousand dollar per month each just for being on the list of directors. This is illegal by the Ukrainian tax code; it can't be recognised as legitimate expenditure.
At that time Biden the father entered the fray. He called Poroshenko and gave him six hours to close the case against his son. Otherwise, one billion dollars of the US taxpayers' funds won't pass to the Ukrainian corruptioners. Zlochevsky, the Burisma owner, paid Biden well for this conversation: he received between three and ten million dollars, according to different sources.
AG Shokin said he can't close the case within six hours; Poroshenko sacked him and installed Mr Lutsenko in his stead. Lutsenko was willing to dismiss the case of Burisma, but he also could not do it in a day, or even in a week. Biden, as we know, could not keep his trap shut: by talking about the pressure he put on Poroshenko, he incriminated himself. Meanwhile Mr Shokin gave evidence that Biden put pressure on Poroshenko to fire him, and now it was confirmed. The evidence was given to the US lawyers in connection with another case, Firtash case.
Nov 06, 2019 | www.truthdig.com
Our democracy is not in peril -- we do not live in a democracy. The image of our democracy is in peril. The deep state -- the generals, bankers, corporatists, lobbyists, intelligence chiefs, government bureaucrats and technocrats -- is intent on salvaging the brand. It is hard to trumpet yourself as the world's guardian of freedom and liberty with Donald Trump blathering on incoherently about himself, inciting racist violence, insulting our traditional allies along with the courts, the press and Congress, tweeting misspelled inanities and impulsively denouncing or sabotaging bipartisan domestic and foreign policy. But Trump's most unforgivable sin in the eyes of the deep state is his criticism of the empire's endless wars, even though he lacks the intellectual and organizational skills to oversee a disengagement.
The deep state committed the greatest strategic blunder in American history when it invaded and occupied Afghanistan and Iraq. Such fatal military fiascoes, a feature of all late empires, are called acts of "micro-militarism." Dying empires historically squander the last capital they have, economic, political and military, on futile, intractable and unwinnable conflicts until they collapse. They seek in these acts of micro-militarism to recapture a former dominance and lost stature. Disaster piles on disaster. The architects of our imperial death spiral, however, are untouchable. The clueless generals and politicians who propel the empire into expanding chaos and fiscal collapse are successful at one thing -- perpetuating themselves. No one is held accountable. A servile press treats these mandarins with near-religious veneration. Generals and politicians, many of whom should have been cashiered or put on trial, are upon retirement given lucrative seats on the boards of the weapons manufacturers, for whom these wars are immensely profitable. They are called upon by a fawning press to provide analysis to the public of the mess they created. They are held up as exemplars of integrity, selfless service and patriotism.
After nearly two decades, every purported objective used to justify our wars in the Middle East has been upended. The invasion of Afghanistan was supposed to wipe out al-Qaida. Instead, al-Qaida migrated to fill the power vacuums the deep state created in the wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen. The war in Afghanistan morphed into a war with the Taliban, which now controls most of the country and is threatening the corrupt regime we prop up in Kabul. The deep state orchestrated the invasion of Iraq, which had nothing to do with the attacks of 9/11. It confidently predicted it could build a Western-style democracy and weaken Iran's power in the region. Instead, it destroyed Iraq as a unified country, setting warring ethnic and religious factions against each other. Iran, which is closely tied to the dominant Shiite government in Baghdad, emerged even stronger. The deep state armed "moderate" rebels in Syria in an effort to topple President Bashar Assad, but when it realized it could not control the jihadists -- to whom it had provide some $500 million in weapons and assistance -- the deep state began to bomb them and arm Kurdish rebels to fight them. These Kurds would later be betrayed by Trump. The "war on terror" spread like a plague from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya to Yemen, which after five years of war is suffering one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters. The financial cost for this misery and death is between $5 trillion and $8 trillion. The human cost runs into hundreds of thousands of dead and wounded, shattered cities, towns and infrastructure and millions of refugees.
Trump committed political heresy when he dared to point out the folly of unchecked militarism. He will pay for it. The deep state intends to replace him with someone -- perhaps Mike Pence, as morally and intellectually vacuous as Trump -- who will do what he or she is told. This is the role of America's executive: Personify and humanize the empire. Do so with pomp and dignity. Barack Obama -- who speciously reinterpreted the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force to give the executive the right to assassinate anyone abroad, even a U.S. citizen, deemed to be a terrorist -- excelled at the game.
The removal of Trump from office would not threaten corporate power. It would not restore civil liberties, including our right to privacy and due process. It would not demilitarize the police or champion the rights of the working class. It would not impede the profits of the fossil fuel and banking industries. It would not address the climate emergency. It would not disrupt the warrantless surveillance of the public. It would not end extraordinary renditions, the kidnapping of those around the globe considered to be enemies of the state. It would not halt the assassinations by militarized drones. It would not halt the separation of children from their parents and the warehousing of these children in filthy, overcrowded conditions. It would not remedy the consolidation of wealth and power by the oligarchs and the further impoverishment of the citizenry. The expansion of our prison system and of black sites throughout the world, sites where we torture, would continue, as would the gunning down of poor, unarmed citizens in urban wastelands. Most importantly, the catastrophic foreign wars that have resulted in a series of failed states and wasted trillions of taxpayer dollars, would remain sacrosanct, enthusiastically embraced by the leaders of the two ruling parties, puppets of the deep state.
The impeachment of Trump, despite the enthusiasm of the liberal elite, is mostly cosmetic. The entire political and governmental system is corrupt. Hunter Biden was reportedly paid $50,000 a month to sit on the board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings, although he has no training or experience in the gas industry. He had previously worked for the credit card corporation MBNA, which was one of Joe Biden's largest campaign contributors when he was a senator from Delaware. Hunter Biden was hired by Burisma Holdings for the same reason he was hired by MBNA. His father, long a tool of corporate power and the military-industrial complex, in short the deep state, was a senator and later the vice president. Joe Biden, the Clintons and the Democratic Party leaders personify the legalized bribery that defines their rivals in the Republican Party. Corporate candidates in the two ruling parties are preselected, funded and anointed. If they do not abide by the demands of the deep state, which protects corporate interests and the management of empire, they are removed. There is even a word for it -- primarying . Corporate lobbyists write the laws. The courts enforce them. There is no way in the American political system to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, AT&T, Amazon, Microsoft, Walmart, Alphabet, Facebook, Apple, Exxon Mobil, Lockheed Martin, UnitedHealth Group or Northrop Grumman.
We, the American public, are spectators. An audience. Who will be seated when the game of musical chairs stops? Will Trump be able to hold on to power? Will Pence be the new president? Or will the deep state elevate a political hack like Biden or a neoliberal apologist such as Pete Butiggieg, Amy Klobuchar or Kamala Harris to the White House? Will it draft Michael Bloomberg, John Kerry, Sherrod Brown or, God forbid, Hillary Clinton? And what if the deep state fails? What if the rot in the Republican Party, or what Glen Ford calls Trump's "white man's party," is so profound it won't sign on for the political extinction of the most incompetent president in American history? The power struggle, which includes blocking Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren from obtaining the Democratic Party nomination, will make for months of great television and generate billions in advertising revenue.
The war between the deep state and Trump began the moment he was elected. Former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper -- both now paid news cable commentators -- along with former FBI head James Comey soon would accuse Trump of being a tool of Moscow. Intelligence agencies leaked salacious stories about " pee tapes " and blackmail, plus reports of "repeated contacts" with Russian intelligence. Brennan, Clapper and Comey were quickly joined by other former intelligence officials, including Michael Hayden, Michael Morell and Andrew McCabe. Their attacks were then amplified by former senior military leaders including William McRaven , James Mattis, H.R. McMaster, John Kelly, James Stavridis and Barry McCaffrey.
The Russia conspiracy, after the release of the Mueller report, proved to be a dud. The deep state actors, however, were re-energized by Trump's decision to pressure the government of Ukraine to investigate Biden. Trump, this time, seems to have given his deep state enemies enough rope to hang him.
The impeachment of Trump marks a new and frightening chapter in American politics. The deep state has shown its face. It has made a public declaration that it will not tolerate dissent, although Trump's dissent is rhetorical, mercurial and ineffectual. The effort to impeach Trump sends an ominous message to the American left. The deep state not only intends to prevent, as it did in 2016, Bernie Sanders or any other progressive Democrat from achieving power, but has signaled that it will destroy any politician who attempts to question the maintenance and expansion of empire. Its animus toward the left is far more pronounced than its animus toward Trump. And its resources to destroy those on the left are nearly inexhaustible.
The political philosopher Sheldon Wolin saw it all in his 2008 book "Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism." He wrote:
The political role of corporate power, the corruption of the political and representative processes by the lobbying industry, the expansion of executive power at the expense of constitutional limitations, and the degradation of political dialogue promoted by the media are the basics of the system, not excrescences upon it. The system would remain in place even if the Democratic Party attained a majority; and should that circumstance arise, the system will set tight limits to unwelcome changes, as is foreshadowed in the timidity of current Democratic proposals for reform. In the last analysis the much-lauded stability and conservatism of the American system owe nothing to lofty ideals, and everything to the irrefutable fact that it is shot through with corruption and awash in contributions primarily from wealthy and corporate donors. When a minimum of a million dollars is required of House candidates and elected judges, and when patriotism is for the draft-free to extol and for the ordinary citizen to serve, in such times it is a simple act of bad faith to claim that politics-as-we-now-know-it can miraculously cure the evils which are essential to its existence.
There are no internal or external checks on the deep state. The democratic institutions, including the press, that once gave citizens a voice and a say in the exercise of power have been neutered. The deep state will further the corporate consolidation of wealth and power, expand the social inequality that has thrust half of Americans into poverty or near poverty, strip us of our remaining civil liberties and feed the rapacious appetites of the military and the war industry. The resources of the state will be squandered as the federal deficit balloons. The frustration and feelings of stagnation among a disempowered and neglected citizenry, which contributed to the election of Trump, will mount.
There will come a moment of reckoning, as there has during the last few days in Lebanon and Chile . Social unrest is inevitable. Any population can be pushed only so far. The deep state, incapable of reform and determined to retain its grip on power, will morph under the threat of popular unrest into a corporatized fascism. It has at its disposal the legal and physical tools to instantly turn the United States into a police state. This is the real danger behind the deep state's drive to impeach Trump. It is a stark message to obey or be silenced. Trump, in the end, is not the problem. We are. And if the deep state fails to rid itself of Trump it will, however reluctantly, use him to carry out its dirty work. Trump, if he manages to survive in power, will get his military parades. We will get, with or without Trump, tyranny.
HankHH • 2 hours ago ,DofG • 6 hours ago • edited ,
I sure wish Chris would accept and promote the truth about the government's physically impossible and intelligence insulting 9-11 grand conspiracy myth. It was a false flag operation that served as the "catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor" desired by PNAC. It's also the most powerful tool We The People have (or probably ever will have) to help bring about the dramatic regime change we so desperately need here in the U.S.. Play Hidesisterlauren Michael A Landis • 17 hours ago ,
I wish the punditry class would stop characterizing these metastatic wars for hegemony and resources, as 'mistakes and blunders' when their purpose are first, and foremost, to have the "enemy" participate in the destruction of his own land. So even when we don't get all the spoils we desire death, destruction, and chaos, are in themselves a great accomplishment. This was clearly explained by John Perkins in Zietgeist Addendum
Divide and Conquer @ MM 30:27, Causality & The Art of War @ MM 34:25Play HideIgnatius J. Reilly sisterlauren • 10 hours ago ,
Speaking of 9/11, Huffpost has gone full blown conspiracy theory on us. Referring to Tulsi Gabbard the author, Akbar Shahid Ahmed, is accusing the US congress of entertaining "poisonous theories" by allowing Americans to sue the Saudis.
Huffpost has always been a part of the 9/11 criminal cover up. It is why I hate them and why I check on them every single day. They are guilty of treason. Here is what they say. Notice how 9/11 truth is being referred to as "Islamist terror."
Now she's trying to make Islamist terror a focus of the Democratic primary ― reminding voters, in case they had forgotten, that there was something there to be afraid of.
Hundreds of other members of Congress, many of them far more senior and more mainstream than Gabbard, were wrong to bolster poisonous theories about 9/11 when they blessed the 2016 bill that implied there are still questions about Saudi ties to the attacks. Gabbard is wrong to do it now.
Tulsi Gabbard Floats 9/11 Conspiracy Theory https://www.huffpost.com/en...
President Obama vetoed that bill but it was overwhelmingly passed by congress over his veto. That makes me think that congress is not as interested in maintaining the 9/11 criminal cover up as the people are at the very top. I often wonder how many people in congress have figured out that 9/11 was an inside job. I'm sure some of them have and just keep their mouth shut about it in order to avoid the flack.hk909 sisterlauren • 11 hours ago ,
Ha, I'll check in on Huffpost once in a while to see what propaganda is being fed to corporate liberals. I hate them as well. Same goes for Zerohedge, except I check in on them to see what propaganda is being fed to fascists and "Libertarians." I have no love for them either. But reading both anthropologically does help to keep the mind limber.
Cheerssisterlauren Michael A Landis • 17 hours ago ,
You still read huffpost? I never read more than the headlines - so I could get a compacted assemblage of the day's mainstream "news." But when they did a hit piece on Nicaragua and the Ortega government, I stopped even the cursory perusal. The only place for garbage is the dumpster.Patrick Powers Michael A Landis • 21 hours ago ,
So what do you think of this story? MSM execs part of 'network of people' that covered for Epstein – Project Veritas founder to RT https://www.rt.com/news/472...jhande Roger • a day ago ,
I've heard this before. The D's aren't shy about hypocrisy.sisterlauren emma peele • 17 hours ago ,
Abolish the CIA, NSA, the Patriot Act et Al,.and have as a primary goal disengagement from foreign military entanglements, and foreign economic entanglements.
There is a short list of things to do. The people in DC know this already.emma peele sisterlauren • 9 hours ago ,
Hillary just doesn't know when to shut up. What do you think of this story? VIDEO: Leaked ABC News Insider Recording EXPOSES #EpsteinCoverup "We had Clinton, We had Everything"Play Hidesisterlauren emma peele • 5 hours ago ,
I read that too. Can't say I'm shocked. They ignored the murder accusations and the other playersA54tygghh • a day ago ,
It is a criminal cover up. The high ups at ABC were in on it.emma peele • a day ago ,
Where's the outcry in the MSP over Max Blumenthal's arrest?!! There is none because the MSP does not threaten the establishment with telling the truth.
Same with Assange, Manning, Snowden, Kiriakou...A54tygghh emma peele • a day ago ,
1. The media is working with the deep state and even hires former CIA liar and criminals like Brennan and clapper and Haden..the very people behind the coup against Trump.Whether you support Trump or not this is sedition and a greater danger to the country than Trump.Its all coming out.
Portly, Well-Paid Spy Who Infiltrated Trump Campaign Source Of WaPo Disinformation On Flynn: Report
Stefan Halper, who was paid over $1 million by the Obama administration - was enlisted by the FBI to befriend and spy on three members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 US election.
And according to a recent court filing by Flynn's attorney, Sidney Powell, Halper, the CIA, the FBI, and a Defense official used Russian-born academic Svetlana Lokhova to smear Flynn by feeding Ignatius information suggesting she was a Russian honeypot.
2. The media is covering up the murder and biggest child trafficking and blackmail operation in US history....and has for YEARS.
ABC Issues 'Cover Your Azz, Lawyer-Speak' Response To Bombshell Epstein Coverup Claims
Amy Robach, 'Good Morning America' Co-Host and Breaking News Anchor at ABC, explains
how a witness came forward years ago with information pertaining to
Epstein, but Disney-owned ABC News refused to air the material for years.
Robach vents her anger in a "hot mic" moment with an off-camera
producer, explaining that ABC quashed the story in it's early stages.
"I've had this interview with Virginia Roberts (Now Virginia Guiffre)
[alleged Epstein victim]. We would not put it on the air. Um, first of all, I was told "Who's Jeffrey Epstein. No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story."
She continues, "The Palace found out that we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us a million different ways."
https://www.zerohedge.com/p...sisterlauren A54tygghh • 16 hours ago ,
Epstein is one of the most important cases in recent history. MSM can't seem to forget it fast enough. The line from Meyer Lansky to JE Hoover to Roy Cohn and finally to Epstein exposes the cabal of government, media, corporate interests, judiciary, military contractors, the security state etc. to organized crime.emma peele A54tygghh • a day ago ,
We know why too. The men running the MSM have been taking advantage of Epstein's procurement services.A54tygghh emma peele • a day ago • edited ,
Exactly.......Now there is evidence the media covered it up for years.......WHO do they work for?sisterlauren A54tygghh • 16 hours ago ,
The big media conglomerates i.e., Disney, Universal/Comcast are run by organized crime. The Canadian based Mega Group for starters.Ron Ruggieri • a day ago ,
FYI, I am an out of the closet Russian bot.
The fact that I'm an American citizen is completely irrelevant since "Russian bots" like myself are only identified by anonymous DNC funded trolls on the internet. They labeled me as one, so I must be one. That is how it works in full fantasy politics.
Karl Rove explained it to us many years ago. They make up stuff and while we are trying to figure it out, they make up more stuff. It is a political strategy to get away with all kinds of criminality by keeping the public constantly dazed and confused.emma peele Ron Ruggieri • a day ago ,
" Trump committed political heresy when he dared to point out the folly of unchecked militarism. He will pay for it. The deep state intends to replace him with someone -- perhaps Mike Pence, as morally and intellectually vacuous as Trump -- who will do what he or she is told. "
Rather than falsely paint President Donald Trump as the " American Hitler " the generic Left and those rather obtuse sectarian Marxist parties should at least describe Trump- presently- as THE LESSER EVIL.
I see Anti-Fa and the New Democrats as promoting the HATE TRUMP , IMPEACH TRUMP , HATE RUSSIA New McCarthyism. What horrors of robot like GROUP THINK , of lock step political conformity - even on the right TWO MINUTES HATE person of the week .
To what a horrible degree has the generic Left abandoned the FREE SPEECH , FREE THOUGHT tradition of Western Civilization ? How many brainless HATERS on the Left ? THEY lead the way to a STALINIST future of dictatorship OVER the proletariat . Now SCIENCE says that 2+2 = 5 ?sisterlauren emma peele • 16 hours ago ,
The real left has pushed against this insanity.......real journalists on the left .even thought they cant stand Trump knows how dangerous this is.....these people pushing Russiagate and Impeachment are NOT LEFT......they are pro WAR corporate tools.mrrcrow emma peele • a day ago ,
They are a part of the Epstein machine. They are pro war and pro rape. Hillary Clinton is a shining example of how they behave. So is Nancy Pelosi.sisterlauren mrrcrow • 16 hours ago ,
I agree but perhaps not enough yet. The left is going to have vanquish these "woke" useful idiots before I become a card carrying member again. And I say that as someone who is anti-empire, pro massive wilderness areas, pro alternative energy, and pro access to tools (means of production) for working people, though I would prefer Credit Unions loaning to individual owner operators and small worker collectives to top down state socialism.emma peele mrrcrow • a day ago ,
The real left is people like Bernie Sanders. The Democratic Party needs to shed its authoritarian fake left members. They are powerful but they are also very vulnerable. The movements to reform incarceration and expose sexual predators are going to expose them.sisterlauren Kerryman • 16 hours ago ,
I agree.....we know Sanders would have won.....Trump is on the democrats .mrrcrow Roger • a day ago ,
Yes we do. We know it because of what Hillary and her team had to do in order to stop him. They cheated, they lied, they stole, then they went to court and the judges agreed that it was all OK for them to do that since they get to make up the rules!
It was really obvious to anyone paying close attention to Bernie's campaign that he would have won if it was not for the corrupt DNC putting such a heavy thumb on the scale. You can assert that we don't know it, but in fact we do. We know it because we were closely watching the whole thing.
It also pisses us off to think how much better things would be now if he had. Team Hillary is 100% responsible for giving us President Trump.sisterlauren mrrcrow • 15 hours ago ,
Lol. You think the Clintons, Obama's, and Bidens of the world care even one bit more about working people than Trump? Hint it was Bill Clinton who ended "welfare as we know it," who ended Glass Stegall, and vastly increased the clear cutting of National Forests. If anything things may be slightly better for working people with a Republican in charge for at least Dim party partisans like you will call out bad behavior by the government rather than sweeping it under the carpet and saying the Russians did. At least assholes like you will match against wars started by Republicans.Mike N. • a day ago • edited ,
BP and the government actually being the royal family. The British royals attacked the poor people in the US gulf by deliberately blowing up the oil well. [At least one of them is on record as believing that world population needs to be reduced by 95%. The oil well was deliberately blown.]
Our president sided with the rich people in England, a tight group but he is in it, over the poor and brown people in the US and our poisoned ocean, air and food supply.
It was an act of war, much like 9/11 and possibly Fukushima. All covered up and blamed on something else. Obama was treasonous in the way he catered to BP and the Queen over the American citizens. Just disgraceful.Heavy Fuel • 2 days ago ,
"There is no way in the American political system to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, AT&T, Amazon, Microsoft, Walmart, Alphabet, Facebook, Apple, Exxon Mobil, Lockheed Martin, UnitedHealth Group or Northrop Grumman."
The citizens of this country have allowed this to happen by unquestionably doing business these companies. The beast can be (or could have been) starved. Don't buy their products, above all don't work for them, and always seek alternatives. Now that these totalitarian systems have reached monopoly or near monopoly status the only way to fight them is not to do business with them. Is that really impossible? I see so many seemingly forward thinking people ordering 2/3 of everything they buy from Amazon, plunking away at their Windows and Mac computers, shopping at Whole (Amazon) Foods, banking at Bank of America, etc. How do they overlook their direct contribution to the problem of corporate dominance when they actively support it every day?SkyHunter Heavy Fuel • 2 days ago ,
........."The deep state will further the corporate consolidation of wealth and power, expand the social inequality that has thrust half of Americans into poverty or near poverty, strip us of our remaining civil liberties and feed the rapacious appetites of the military and the war industry"..........it's all well under way. You can thank the "DC Club" for that Too. And this time next year, will be quite telling.
That is not the deep state. That is the American way.
Nov 06, 2019 | www.unz.com
Dan Hayes , says: November 6, 2019 at 9:16 am GMTFreeman Dyson: "Wikipedia – nobody trusts it, everybody uses it!"Gall , says: November 6, 2019 at 9:22 am GMT...Here is one of the few articles where the Onion wasn't being satirical as usual:
Nov 04, 2019 | www.unz.com
... ... ...
As the White House seems to turn its back on the Neocons' immoral interventionism, some Jews may be discomfited by the fact that the Neocon war mongering doctrine has been largely a Jewish project. As Haartez writer Ari Shavit wrote back in 2003: "The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish " Maybe some Jews now understand that the Zionist shift from a 'promised land' to the Neocon 'promised planet' doesn't reflect well on the Jews as a group.
I am trying to point out the possibility that the overwhelming fear of 'anti-Semitism,' documented however poorly by the AJC, might well be the expression of guilt. American Jews may feel communal guilt over the disastrous politics and culture of some sections of their corrupted elite. They might even feel guilty as Americans about the brutal sacrifice of one of America's prime values, that of freedom of speech as guaranteed by the 1st Amendment, on the altar of 'antisemitsm.' .
Obviously, I would welcome AJC's further investigation of this. It would be interesting to learn about the correlation between the Jewish fear of anti Semitsm and Jewish guilt. It would also be fascinating to find out how Jewish anxiety translates into self-reflection. In that regard, I suggest that instead of blaming the American people, Jews try introspection. US Jews may want to follow the early Zionists, such as Theodor Herzl, who turned guilt into self-examination. Herzl was deeply disturbed by anti Semitism but this didn't stop him from digging into its causes. "The wealthy Jews control the world, in their hands lies the fate of governments and nations," Herzl wrote. He continued, " They set governments one against the other. When the wealthy Jews play, the nations and the rulers dance. One way or the other, they get rich." Herzl, like other early Zionists, believed that Jews could be emancipated from their conditions and even be loved globally by means of a cultural, ideological and spiritual metamorphosis with the aspiration of 'homecoming.' Herzl and his fellow early Zionists were clearly wrong in their proposed remedy for the Jewish question, but were absolutely spot on in their adherence to self-reflection and harsh self-criticism.
American Jews have much to learn from Herzl and other early Zionists. They should ask themselves how their American 'Golden Medina' their Jewish land of opportunities, has turned into a 'threatening' realm. What happened, what has changed in the last few years? Was it the constant cries over anti-Semitism and the desperate and institutional attempts to silence critics that turned their Golden Medina into a daunting space?
AaronB , says: October 29, 2019 at 2:35 pm GMTAnti-Semitism is a subset of class warfare, and thus perfectly natural in any society with high inequality and large numbers of Jews. Because Jews always ally themselves with the rulers and higher classes, as a survival strategy, and also because their talents naturally place them in the higher classes.Gilad Atzmon , says: Website October 29, 2019 at 3:03 pm GMT
The intelligent anti-Semitism of people like Chesterton and Belloc are of this type. These people are perfectly capable of having honorable respect for Jews and deep appreciation for Jewish culture while believing Jews may not be a good fit for their host society. Its nothing personal. Just realism.
Unlike Gilad Atzmon, who sees no problem with other groups who compete and pursue self interest but finds Jews doing so uniquely unacceptable and a cause for "guilt", they are generally self-aware and honest enough to not blame Jews for competing on the world stage – for being human – and realize Europeans were far harsher towards those foreign peoples they competed against.
There is another kind of anti-Semitism that just reflects mankind's propensity to hate anyone who is different, and comes from the same place as the vicious cruelties against all manner of heretics and dissenters, including genocides, that was such a pronounced characteristic of Christian Europe, and the racism of European society.
This generally has to do with pent up frustrations and resentments, which because of special aspects of European culture, were uniquely intense in that part of the world ( Europeans were/are uniquely frustrated and unhappy with existence). Most anti-Semites on Unz are of this kind, like commenters Colin Wright and utu, for instance, and authors Linh Dinh and Kevin Barrett, Andrew Joyce, and Guyenot, and others.
These kinds of anti-Semites despise Jewish culture and anything Jewish, and often feel compelled to invent elaborate grotesque mythologies using selective sources and distorted interpretations to "prove" that Jewish culture and religion is unlike any other and uniquely evil. Completely un-selfaware and lacking in introspection or historical perspective, they are are not honest enough and emotionally stable enough to see group competition as the historic norm, and their own group as no angels in this regard.
In their reading of history, no group competes except Jews, and the whole world would be a paradise of harmony if not for these devilishly evil Jews.
Needless to say, this kind of infantile anti-Semitism is more of an emotional cri de ceour of personal anguish, from an unbalanced mind, than anything to be taken seriously. And these people today are effectively marginalized.
The Jewish "problem" in Europe is simply that of normal group competition among a host population that by world standards, has always been uniquely intolerant of other ways of life and thought, and uniquely imperialistic about its own values and standards, and uniquely addicted to trying to control its environment (which ended up in science and technology). Jews in China, India, and to some extent the Muslim world, hardly posed a comparable "problem".
Zionism has obviously been an almost complete success in shifting Jewish group competition away from within societies more towards the more normal pattern of national competition, as Gilad Atzmon prefers as "healthy".
Jewish influence today outside of Israel is primarily directed to the current Imperial center, America. Empires, by nature, always have foreign factions vying for favor and influence. Rome was of course the same way. This is quite natural for empires. So Jewish attempts to influence America – the self-designated policeman of the world – is quite naturally a part of any imperial system, as the world policeman, one naturally needs to have him on your side, of course.
So the Jewish "problem" has largely been solved through Zionism – but of course, as more Jews move to Israel, the situation will get even better. And if imperial power shifts away from America, the new imperial center will, obviously, become the site for various foreign factions to vie for influence.@AaronB no one has a problem with Jews being gifted or being part of the elite,, but ppl do have problems with Madoffs, Binary options, Weinstein, Epstein, Aipac, ADL interfering with elementary freedoms do you really need me to explain all of that? for the record, by the time the Jewish problem was solved by Zionism, Zionism was defeated by Jewishness and Israel became the Jewish State ,,, my next book is all about thatColin Wright , says: Website October 29, 2019 at 3:18 pm GMT' So the Jewish "problem" has largely been solved through Zionism – but of course, as more Jews move to Israel, the situation will get even better. And if imperial power shifts away from America, the new imperial center will, obviously, become the site for various foreign factions to vie for influence.'Chu , says: October 29, 2019 at 3:34 pm GMT
but as power shifts away from America, she becomes less able to nurture Israel and shield her from the consequences of her actions, and then what?
You talk about moving back there. Would you do that if your standard of living there would be, say, a quarter of what it is now, and if, to please the world, you had to accept that the judge you were going to appear before might well be Muslim?
I doubt it. As US power declines, Israel will be abandoned. So we won't have gotten anywhere at all.Antisemitism is useful component of the rabbinate to generate internal group cohesion. It forms a separation barrier, like an eruv, between goyim and Jew.SolontoCroesus , says: October 29, 2019 at 4:15 pm GMT@Gilad Atzmon imo your essay misses the point of why Jews should feel guilt, therefore AaronB's comment also fails to address a critical issue.Kratoklastes , says: October 29, 2019 at 4:44 pm GMT
I can't cite chapter and verse, but it has to be the case in the course of human events that plenty of individuals and even groups have engaged in behavior as objectionable as Madoff, Weinstein, Epstein, and the the numerous swindles Israel engages in.
I don't think those offenses are exclusive to Jews. Atzmon's essay here may amount to a limited hangout.
AaronB's comment is braggadocio; Although I agree w/ AaronB that the power-center will shift from USA to the East, and that if Jews follow the pattern of their ancient myths and last 120 years of history, they will destroy USA on their way out; nevertheless Jews will have to share power with Russia and China, Arabs/Muslims will have a say, and Iran should not be counted out -- they've dealt with Jews longer than any other people and know well their treachery.
It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings , AaronB, and there's a whole cast of divas just warming up.
I do believe that the creation of zionist Israel may be unique in the known history of the world: Jews not only dispossessed a native people in Palestine -- USAians did pretty much the same -- Jews got other nation-states to do their killing for them.
But even more significantly, Jews killed -- genocided, really -- non-Jews in the countries that had hosted them -- American colonists did not genocide the British in British homeland -- once again, Jews arranged for the killing to be carried out by another state, in the case of the genocide of Germany, American and British Christians became Jewish weapons to kill their own fellow-Christians.
At the same time, Jews needed to cull their own herd: the elite that Atzmon and AaronB gloat over -- the "remnant," is a relatively recent phenomenon; it may be that the vaunted 6 million were dead wood; impoverished, filthy, inbred: Jabotinsky found them disgusting and Nordau called them "Degenerate." Worse: they were a drag on the mean. Russia and Poland were crawling with Jews of "unsuitable human material" for the "new Jew" that was to populate the zionist utopia. They had to be got rid of; just as Moses delegated Levites to kill fellow Jews at Mt. Sinai, so Louis Brandeis, Frankfurter etc. fell upon Hitler, Churchill, Stalin and FDR to kill surplus, degenerate Jews. Saddam & el Baghdadi are minor replicas of a similar mold employed to kill inconvenient challengers or competitors to zionist Jews.
Jews killed -- or arranged for the killing -- of their own undesireables. In addition, Jews killed or arranged for the killing of "the best gentiles;" and then, the master stroke: Jews proclaimed themselves the victims and psychologically manipulated those shattered peoples -- Germans and other Western Europeans– to the extent that those populations paid and continue to pay Jews for "Jewish suffering," while also punishing themselves out of existence with their own Jewish-induced, psychologically-manipulated guilt.
This systemic program -- patterned on the mythic flight from Egypt, and conquest of Canaan but worked out in real time, is, I believe, unique in all the world.
Jewish holocaustism is why Jews are hated.
Maybe some Jews realize what they have done.
Jews are correct to feel "guilty" and fearful of a "rise in antisemitism."
No statistics or polls to cite, just hazarding a guess: "antisemitism" will rise in lockstep with realization among non-Jews that the holocaust is a hoax.
I am not sure the possibility exists for Jews to be forgiven for what they have done.
It ain't gonna be pretty.@AaronBAaronB , says: October 29, 2019 at 4:48 pm GMT
as more Jews move to Israel [ sic ]
Even with activist groups trying to spook Jews and cajole them into making aliyah , fuck-all of them do – and an almost-offsetting number leave.
The net migration rate (all religions) for Occupied Palestine is 0.2%/yr – a rounding error – and inwards-migration is overwhelmingly 'economic refugee' in character (almost half of annual Jewish in-migration is from former Soviet countries).
As guys like Sassoon, Shlomo Sand, and others have noted: Western European Jews have every opportunity to go live in Palestine, but have always exhibited fuck-all interest in doing so. In this they echo Maimonides: after the Almohad conquest of Cordoba and the abolition of dhimmi status for non-Muslims, the Rambam spent almost all of his life in Egypt and Morocco – he had every opportunity to settle in Palestine but chose to live and work elsewhere.
And so it is to this day: affluent, educated Western Jews would rather eat their own dicks that move to Palestine. And that's even true of arch-Zionists like Adelson and Dershowitz – neither of whom are 'Western' in any real sense (they're pretty obvious of Lithuanian or other- Osteuropäische ). descent.
Given the Exodus (LOL) of secular Jews, and the pattern of in-migration and reproduction, it's pretty clear that Palestine will become a third-world nation in a couple of generations: having emerged from the hovels of Eastern Europe, the Ashkenazim are remaking Palestine in its image.
There are good signs though: the huge-and-rising proportion of datlashim among the children of "box-heads" (Ultra-Orthodox), for a start. Even when everyone around them is trying to fill their heads with primitive supremacist tribal drivel, almost a third of children of box-heads are secular by the time they finish high school.
There is a well-understood (outside the US) bifurcation of Jewish communities into " People Like Us " and Eastern Europeans.
In Australia the dividing line can be drawn at around 1920: "People Like Us" are integrated, and for the most part they politely and quietly ignore the rabbit-eaters – those are the ones howling all the time about how at-risk they are, but who somehow can't find a way to get to the Jewish 'safe space' in Palestine unless there is a warrant out for their arrest, in which case it's " Tomorrow Morning in Jerusalem! ".@Gilad Atzmon But that's ridiculous. Every group has its criminals and the more ambitious and talented, the worse. You can't have the talented Jews who contribute to science, technology, culture, and philanthropy without some of that energy getting corrupted.AaronB , says: October 29, 2019 at 4:53 pm GMT
It's like that will all groups. When Europe was very energetic and vital it produced tremendous sinners and corruption while also people of tremendous benefit to society and the world.
Saints go along with sinners. Its because when you have a certain quantum of energy, you cannot control where all of it goes. Some of it had to get corrupted. Only way to avoid this is to neuter people.
So again .what does this have to do with Jewishness specifically? How this is different from the Robber Barons of the 19th century, the rapacious and deceptive imperialists, the current day Chinese oligarchs, etc? Umm, European and world history is littered with bad actors a million times worse than, wet, Bernie Madoff and the ADL, lol
That Jews also produce bad actors proves that there is something uniquely wrong with Jewishness per se? Are you nuts? This is what I mean by complete lack of self awarness and historical literacy
Pick up a history book. You are so self absorbed in your fantasy world its as if no other people produces bad actors or have ever, and we must search for the utterly mysterious fact that some Jews act in the unique characteristics of Jewishness@Colin Wright US support has always acted as much as a restraint as a benefit. Israel's most contested wars were won without US support, and in fact the US only became heavily involved with Israel only after it firmly established itself and demonstrated its capacity for self reliance, and it thought it could use it as an ally in the Cold War.cyrusthevirus , says: October 29, 2019 at 4:56 pm GMT
While certainly appreciated, US support is hardly crucial to Israel's survival lol. Your historical illiteracy and wishful thinking causes you to completely misunderstand it and vastly overrate it.@Colin Wright Bullshit –accept your own stupidity if you like but dont deign to speak for anyone else !! Take any large city bedevilled by organised crime -- are the ORGANISED criminals successful at least temporarily –yes ! Are they smarter than anyone else –NO !! If the Jews are so smart why do they eventually always eff up??AaronB , says: October 29, 2019 at 5:03 pm GMT
They are organised with rat like cunning no doubt but seem to create misery wherever they go and are so effin smart they are astounded that they are hated !! What could have caused it –we are so smart why cant we figure it out !!@Colin Wright What are you talking about. I just said there is a perfectly reasonable type of anti-Semitism that is a natural response to group competition – the actions of Jews themselves.Anonymous  Disclaimer , says: October 29, 2019 at 5:33 pm GMT
Obviously no ones hands are clean when it comes to group competition. This is an "innocent" phenomenon of history that characterizes all groups without exception.
What Jews object to is not normal criticism, which we engage in ourselves in a very spirited manner, but the singling out of Jewish competitive behavior in the struggle for life as somehow uniquely evil and bad. I won't even go into the horrific crimes Europeans and Asians have committed in this struggle and compare them to, err, Bernie Maddow, but accept for the sake of argument all groups are equally guilty.
So a sane criticism of Jews that places it in the normal context of group competition, which is always horrific, is perfectly ok. But the kind of singling out for special stigma and opprobrium the Jewish part in the universal human struggle for survival – when if anything it is milder than that of other groups which are truly horrific – is indeed sinister and justifies terms like anti-Semitism.
Now because so many people single out Jews for special criticism, as if they alone are not allowed to compete to live, some Jews have become hypersensitive and see in even innocent and justified criticism the seeds of the kind of sinister anti-Semitism that so often rears its ugly head. Thats perfectly understandable, although I condemn it.Fran Taubman , says: October 29, 2019 at 5:38 pm GMT
I, for one, can't think of another people who invest so much energy in measuring their unpopularity.
This is perfectly logical. No other group sees their hosts as dangerous cattle which has to be exploited and undermined at every opportunity. Feeling the pulse of the herd – before these actions create another blowback – is just part of the chosenite's job.
I don't see much guilt among the Jews. It's mostly (justified) fear that certain elements of the Tribe are moving too aggressively and spoiling it for the rest.@SolontoCroesus This is what you have wrought Gilad. A philosophy of yours about Judaism and Jews and this is where it ends up. With guys like this writing about.anaccount , says: October 29, 2019 at 5:43 pm GMT
But even more significantly, Jews killed -- genocided, really -- non-Jews in the countries that had hosted them -- American colonists did not genocide the British in British homeland -- once again, Jews arranged for the killing to be carried out by another state, in the case of the genocide of Germany, American and British Christians became Jewish weapons to kill their own fellow-Christians.@AaronB If you knew your history you would know about Operation Nickel Grass: 22,325 tons of tanks, artillery, ammunition per Wikipedia. This was US aid during one of Israel's most contested wars (Yom Kippur) and unsurprisingly, we don't get any appreciation for it. I bet I could find an article criticizing the US for not doing it fast enough.AaronB , says: October 29, 2019 at 6:09 pm GMT@Colin Wright I have no doubt you're smarter than me, Colin. Your'e a pretty smart dude. I don't know about Fran Taubman, though.Colin Wright , says: Website October 29, 2019 at 6:15 pm GMT
Statistically, there are far more smart whites than Jews by a huge margin. And I am not even sure Jews are smarter than whites – I think the advantage in Jewish ways of thinking are cultural. We don't buy into simple binary thinking like whites do, so remain more intellectually supple and dextrous.
Anyways, one of the great things about Israel is that we can be more physical and don't have to be so smart anymore. Oh sure, Israeli Jews are smart. They make good technology and produce lots of great army officers and tactics and techniques, great conpanies, etc. But the kind of cunning needed by diaspora Jews isn't so necessary anymore, and I've always been struck by how maladroit and clumsy Israelis seemed on tv presenting defending Israel and the like.
Hopefully, when I move to Israel ill lose another 10 IQ points or so, if I'm lucky. Bliss.@cyrusthevirus 'What are you talking about. I just said there is a perfectly reasonable type of anti-Semitism that is a natural response to group competition – the actions of Jews themselves 'Colin Wright , says: Website October 29, 2019 at 6:26 pm GMT
virtually all of said actions being perfectly reasonable -- according to you. Just group competition.
Oh wait, you mentioned Bernie Madoff. How about, say, those actions that drove the previously rather amiable Lithuanian peasantry into a murderous frenzy in the summer of 1941?@AaronB ' It's like that will all groups. When Europe was very energetic and vital it produced tremendous sinners and corruption while also people of tremendous benefit to society and the world '
This is your typical glib generalization -- upon inspection, it seems to have absolutely no basis in fact.
Several small communities have managed to produce people who notably helped mankind without any concomitant output of villains. Norway comes to mind; how about Switzerland. Conversely, other groups notoriously produce bad actors in abundance without ever offering much of anything good at all in compensation -- Gypsies, for example.
So it's the purest nonsense to assert that Jewish villains are the necessary flip side to Jewish saints. There's no rational reason to accept this statement.
That's one of the things that irritates me about you. You simply dream up and write whatever sounds good -- without any apparent concern as to whether it's actually so or not. It's like you could announce that in Israel, Jews grow to be an average of seven feet tall. If it sounded good to you, you'd say it. It would never occur to you to check.
Nov 04, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Stephanie , 03 November 2019 at 09:57 AMGosh, the Taliban wiped out poppy production in 2000. The Twin Towers were destroyed in 2001. Bush (son of CIA Bush) invaded Afghanistan to... well, to do what? To defeat the Taliban? Why? To restore poppy production? To find bin Laden? Didn't really do that. After all he was in Pakistan. And what has happened to poppy farming since we invaded? Booming. For 17 years. Those farming families are doing really well under the protection of U.S. troops. Just like the oil families in Syria that are protected by U.S. troops. Now, Trump seems to be throwing a spanner in all this. Of course, "We came, we saw, he died [giggle, giggle]" Clinton would have never committed Trump's crimes. Trump's just a loose cannon.
Angleton, quoting Jesus, said "In my Father's house are many mansions."
I guess we know which mansion Brennan inhabits.
May 20, 2001
The first American narcotics experts to go to Afghanistan under Taliban rule have concluded that the movement's ban on opium-poppy cultivation appears to have wiped out the world's largest crop in less than a year, officials said today.
The American findings confirm earlier reports from the United Nations drug control program that Afghanistan, which supplied about three-quarters of the world's opium and most of the heroin reaching Europe, had ended poppy planting in one season.
But the eradication of poppies has come at a terrible cost to farming families, [A TERRIBLE COST TO FARMING FAMILIES, OH, THOSE POOR FARMING FAMILIES]and experts say it will not be known until the fall planting season begins whether the Taliban can continue to enforce it.
''It appears that the ban has taken effect,'' said Steven Casteel, assistant administrator for intelligence at the Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington.
The findings came in part from a Pakistan-based agent of the administration who was one of the two Americans on the team just returned from eight days in the poppy-growing areas of Afghanistan.
Tue 11 Sep 2001: 9/11
Tue 25 Sep 2001:
In a dramatic and little-noticed reversal of policy, the Taliban have told farmers in Afghanistan that they are free to start planting poppy seeds again if the Americans decide to launch a military attack.
Drug enforcement agencies last night confirmed that they expect to see a massive resumption of opium cultivation inside Afghanistan, previously the world's biggest supplier of heroin, in the next few weeks.
The Taliban virtually eradicated Afghanistan's opium crop last season after an edict by Mullah Mohammad Omar, the Taliban leader.
In July last year he said that growing opium was "un-Islamic" and warned that anyone caught planting seeds would be severely punished.
Taliban soldiers enforced the ruling two summers ago and made thousands of villagers across Afghanistan plough up their fields. Earlier this year UN observers agreed that Afghanistan's opium crop had been completely wiped out.
Nov 04, 2019 | www.ruthfullyyours.com
Adam Schiff's Impeachment Witness Tampering Julie Kelly
Posted By Ruth King on October 19th, 2019
The House Intelligence Committee chairman has lied with impunity to the American public and to Congress. Now he's running a secret inquiry, withholding evidence from colleagues, and may have coached the "whistleblower" behind Ukraine-gate.H ouse Republicans on Monday will attempt to force a vote to censure Representative Adam Schiff (D.-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. The resolution, authored by Rep. Andy Biggs (R.-Ariz.), has 170 Republican co-sponsors. (It's unclear why the remaining 27 GOP congressmen have not signed on.)
The motion condemns Schiff for actions that "misled the American people, bring disrepute upon the House of Representatives, and make a mockery of the impeachment process, one of this chamber's most solemn constitutional duties." It lists several specific offenses, including Schiff's repeated claims that he possessed solid evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, and his intentional misrepresentation of the July phone call between Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
If Schiff were a Republican, his own colleagues would have dispatched him long ago. Compare the way Schiff's caucus is condoning his misdeeds with the way House Republicans in 2017 signed on to a bogus House ethics inquiry into Rep. Devin Nunes (R.-Calif.), sidelining his nascent investigation into the corrupt origins of the FBI's Trump-Russia probe for eight crucial months. (He was cleared of any wrongdoing.)
Schiff has lied with impunity to the American public and to Congress. He is suspected of leaking nonpublic, and in some instances, classified material to the press.
At the same time, Schiff is denying access to his secret impeachment proceedings and withholding information from House members. Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee sent a letter to Schiff on Friday, accusing him of failing to furnish documents related to his "impeachment inquiry," a clear violation of House rules. Yet Schiff remains a media darling and a hero of #TheResistance.Schiff's Possible Crimes
But Schiff's repeated witness tampering is not just a breach of House protocol, it is a crime. In a bombshell article, Breitbart reported this week that Thomas Eager, a top Schiff aide, traveled to Ukraine in late August and met with the acting U.S. ambassador to that country. The diplomat, Bill Taylor -- who is temporarily occupying the position following Trump's removal of the previous ambassador -- is scheduled to testify next week before Schiff's ongoing impeachment tribunal.
According to Breitbart , Eager traveled to Ukraine from August 24 to August 31; Eager's meeting with Taylor was the first item of business. (The trip was approved by Schiff, according to official documents.)
The timing of the trip is suspicious for several reasons: The junket occurred during the exact timeframe that the "whistleblower" complaint concerning Trump's call with Ukranian President Zelensky was under consideration by the intelligence community's inspector general. On August 28, Schiff ominously tweeted that "Trump is withholding vital military aid to Ukraine, while his personal lawyer seeks help from the Ukraine government to investigate his political opponent."
But the report had not been submitted officially to Schiff's committee. Inspector General Michael Atkinson did not alert Schiff's committee about the complaint until September 9 over an internal disagreement about Atkinson's assessment that the complaint was of "urgent concern."
Coincidentally (or not), on that very same day , Taylor sent a text to Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.
"As I said on the phone, I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign," Taylor wrote to Sondland, who seemed surprised by the message. "Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions," Sondland replied. "The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo's of any kind." The $250 million aid package was released two days later.
So, Schiff's lackey suddenly shows up in Ukraine at the end of August to meet with the fill-in American ambassador while his boss is concocting his latest collusion-based impeachment fantasy? What exactly did Eager and Taylor discuss?
Did Eager brief Taylor about the forthcoming "whistleblower" report , which also contained false accusations that Trump "is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election" while expressing alarm about a delay in American financial assistance to Ukraine? After all, there was no reason for Taylor to suggest the aid was tied to giving assistance to a political campaign since nothing of the sort had been reported by the news media. Why did Taylor send that text on the same day that Atkinson tattled to Schiff's committee about a hold-up of the "whistleblower" report?Questions for Witnesses
Another question Republicans might want to ask Taylor is whether Eager told him that the committee already had talked to the "whistleblower" before the official report was prepared. In another example of his bad habit of tampering with witnesses, Schiff admitted that, despite his public protestations to the contrary, his committee had been approached by the "whistleblower" prior to filing the complaint on August 12.
An unnamed intelligence committee aide -- could it also be Eager? -- met with the still-anonymous "whistleblower" and advised the official how to proceed. He then notified his boss, Schiff, who later denied the pre-report rendezvous. Schiff told MSNBC on September 17 that "we have not spoken directly with the whistleblower." After the New York Times contradicted that claim on October 2, Schiff was forced to backpedal, insisting he should have been more clear. The Washington Post awarded Schiff four Pinocchios for his initial claim and subsequent excuse.
Now that his chicanery has been exposed, Schiff also is walking back his demand that the "whistleblower" immediately testify before his committee.
In addition to his most recent witness-tampering escapades, Schiff has a few more incidents on the books.
During his House testimony last February, Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney, confessed that he had been in contact with the California Democrat in advance of the spectacle. "I spoke to Mr. Schiff about topics that were going to be raised at the upcoming hearing," Cohen told Rep. James Jordan (R.-Ohio). Reports later emerged that Schiff's staff traveled to New York on four separate occasions to meet with Cohen for more than 10 hours before his testimony, leading to legitimate questions about coaching a congressional witness.
And then there is the allegedly serendipitous meet-up in Aspen between Schiff and Glenn Simpson, the co-owner of Fusion GPS, as Simpson faced congressional scrutiny for his role in facilitating the bogus Trump-Russia collusion hoax and handling of the infamous Steele dossier. A few months after his encounter with Schiff in the summer of 2018, Simpson pleaded the Fifth before the House Intelligence Committee, which was controlled by Republicans at the time.
Tampering with a witness -- including attempts to "influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding" including a secret congressional tribunal -- is a federal offense . But although Schiff is a repeat offender, his Democratic colleagues refuse to denounce his bad behavior. Schiff is lucky he isn't a Republican. Julie Kelly Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also
Nov 03, 2019 | www.unz.com
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Introduction: I recently spoke to a relative of mine who, due to her constant and voluntary exposure to the legacy AngloZionist media, sincerely believed that the three Baltic states and Poland had undergone some kind of wonderful and quasi-miraculous economic and cultural renaissance thanks to their resolute break with the putatively horrible Soviet past and their total submission to the Empire since. Listening to her, I figured that this kind of delusion was probably common amongst those who still pay attention and even believe the official propaganda. So I asked Michael Hudson, whom I consider to be the best US economists and who studied the Baltics in great detail, to reply to a few very basic questions, which he very kindly did in spite of being very pressed on time. Once again, I want to sincerely thank him for his kind time, support and expertise.
* * *
The Saker: The US propaganda often claims that the three Baltic states are a true success, just like Poland is also supposed to be. Does this notion have a factual basis? Initially it did appear that these states were experiencing growth, but was that not mostly/entirely due to EU/IMF/US subsidies? Looking specifically at the three Baltic states, and especially Latvia, these were the "showcase" Soviet republics, with a high standard of living (at least compared to the other Soviet republics) and a lot of high-tech industries (including defense contracts). Could you please outline for us what truly happened to these economies following independence? How did they "reform" their economies going from an ex-Soviet one to the modern "liberal" one?
Michael Hudson: This is a trick question, because it all depends on what you mean by "success."
The post-Soviet neoliberalism has been a great success for kleptocrats at the top. They gave themselves the public domain, from key industries to prime real estate. But the Balts largely let their Soviet industries collapse, making no effort to salvage or reorganize them.
Much of the problem, of course, was that all the linkages to Soviet-era industry were torn apart as the Soviet Union was disbanded. With their supplier and final markets closed down from Russia to Central Asia, the Baltic economies had to start afresh – with a very right-wing tax policy and no government help whatsoever, as the government itself had become privatized in the hands of former officials and grabitizers.
Lithuania was marginally better in having some industrial policy. EU and NATO accession in 2004, along with easy credit, kicked off property bubbles in the Baltics, largely inflated by Swedish banks that made a bonanza off these countries that lacked their own banks or public credit creation. The resulting 2008 crashes were the largest in the world as a percent of GDP, with Latvia suffering the world's biggest contraction.
The neoliberal western advisors who took control of these economies – as if this was the only alternative to Soviet bureaucracy – imposed crushing austerity programs to restore macroeconomic "stability" meaning security of their land and infrastructure grabs. This was applauded by Europe's bankers, who thought the Balts had discovered a workable recipe allowing austerity governments to retain power in a seeming democracy. These policies would have collapsed governments anywhere else, but the ability to emigrate, plus ethnic divisions against Russian speakers, allowed these governments to survive.
It's a historically specific situation, but Europe's bankers promote it as a generalized model. George Soros's INET and his associated front institutions have been leaders in subsidizing this financialization-cum-grabitization. The result has been a massive exodus of prime working age people from Lithuania and Latvia. (Estonians simply commute to Finland.) Meanwhile, their economies are buoyed by foreign bank lending, which sends profits back to home countries and can be reversed at any time.
Politically, the neoliberal revolution also has been a success for U.S. Cold Warriors, who sent over native Balts from Georgetown and other universities to impose "free market" doctrine – that is, a market "free" of domestic regulation against theft of the public domain, against monopolies, against land taxes and other income taxes. The Baltic states, like most of the rest of the former Soviet Union, became the Wild East.
What was left to the Baltic countries was land and real estate. Their forests are being cut down to sell wood abroad. I describe all this in my book Killing the Host .
The Saker: After independence, the Baltic states had tried to cut as many ties with Russia as possible. This included building (rather silly looking) fences, to forcing the Russians to develop their ports on the Baltic, to shutting down large (or selling to foreign interests which then shut them down) and profitable factories (including a large nuclear plant I believe), etc. What has been the impact of this policy of "economic de-Sovietization" on the local economies?
Michael Hudson: Dissolution of the Soviet Union meant that Baltic countries lost their traditional markets, and had to shift their focus to Western Europe and, to some extent, Asia.
Latvia and Estonia had been assigned computer and information technology, and they have found this to be much in demand. When I was in Japan, for instance, CEOs told me that they were looking to Latvia above all to outsource computer work.
Banking also was a surviving sector. Gregory Lautchansky, former vice-rector at the University of Riga had been a major player already in the 1980s for moving out Russian oil and KGB money. (His company, Nordex, was sold to Mark Rich.) Many banks continued to shepherd Russian flight capital via offshore banking centers into the United States, Britain and other countries. Cyprus of course was another big player in this.
The Saker: Russians are still considered "non-citizens" in the Baltic republics; what has been the economic impact of this policy, if any, of anti-Russian discrimination in the Baltic states?ORDER IT NOW
Michael Hudson: Russian-speakers, who do not acquire citizenship (which requires passing local language and history tests), are blocked from political office and administrative work. While most Russian speakers below retirement age have now acquired that citizenship, the means by which citizenship must be acquired has caused divisions.
Early on in independence, many Russians were blocked from government, and they went into business, which was avoided by many native Balts during the Soviet era because it was not as remunerative as going into government and profiting from corruption. For instance, real estate was a burden to administer. Russian-speakers, especially Jewish ones, have wisely focused on real estate.
The largest political party is Harmony Center, whose members and leadership are mainly Russian-speaking. But the various neoliberal and nationalist parties have jointed to block its ability to influence law in Parliament.
Since Russian speakers are only able to "vote with their feet," many have joined in the vast outflow of emigration, either back to Russia or to other EU countries. Moreover, the poor quality of social benefits has led to few children being born.
The Saker: I often hear that a huge number of locals (including non-Russians) have emigrated from the Baltic states. What has caused this and what has been the impact of this emigration for the Baltic states?
Michael Hudson: The Baltic states, especially Latvia, have lost about 30 percent of their population since the 1990s, especially those of working age. In Latvia, about 10 percent of the loss were Russians who exited shortly after independence. The other 20 percent have subsequently emigrated.
The European Commission forecasts that Latvia's working-age population will decline by 1.6% annually for the next 20 years, while the birth rate remains as stagnant as it was in the late 1980s. The retired population (over age 65) will rise to half a million people by 2030, more than a quarter of today's population, and perhaps about a third of what remains. This is not a domestic market that will attract foreign or local investment.
And in any case, the European Union has viewed the post-Soviet economies simply as markets for their own industrial and agricultural exports, not as economies to be built up by public subsidy as the European countries themselves, the U.S. and Chinee economies have done. The European motto is, "Give a man a fish, and he will be fed all day with your surplus fish and consumer goods – but give him a fishing rod and we will lose a customer."
Readers who are interested might want to look at the following books and articles. I think the leading work has been done by Jeffrey Sommers and Charles Woolfson.
The Contradictions of Austerity: The Socio-Economic Costs of the Baltic Model (London: Routledge Press, 2014). Editors, J. Sommers & C. Woolfson. Foreword, J. Galbraith. ISBN: 978-0-415-82003-5. Jeffrey Sommers, "No People, Big Problem': Democracy And Its Discontents In Latvia's National Elections," Social Europe, October 17, 2018. Jeffrey Sommers, "Decline of the Demos: Latvia, the Face of New Europe and Austerity's Return," in F. Jaitner, T. Olteanu and T. Spöri, eds., Crises in the Post-Soviet Space: From the dissolution of the Soviet Union to the conflict in Ukraine (Routledge Press, 2018) pp. 195-209. ISBN 9780815377245. Jeffrey Sommers, " Austerity as a global prescription and lessons from the neoliberal Baltic experiment." Economic & Labour Relations Review. Keynote article, 25:3 (fall 2014) pp. 1-20. DOI 10.1177/1035304614544091. Co-authored with C. Woolfson and A. Juskaa.
The Saker: Finally, what do you believe is the most likely future for these states? Will the succeed in becoming a "tiny anti-Russia" on Russia's doorstep? The Russians appear to have been very successful in their import-substitution program, at least when trying to replace the Baltic states: does that mean that the economic ties between Russia and these states is now gone forever? Is it now too late, or are there still measures these countries could take to reverse the current trends?
Michael Hudson: Trump's trade sanctions against Russia hurt the Baltic countries especially. One of their strong sectors was agriculture. Lithuania, for instance, was known for its cheese, even in Latvia. The sanctions led Russian dairy farming to develop their own cheese-making, and agriculture has become one of Russia's strongest performing sectors.
This is a market that looks like it will be permanently lost to the Baltic states. In effect, Trump is helping Russia follow precisely the policy that made American agriculture rich: agricultural isolation has forced domestic replacement for hitherto foreign food. I expect that this will lead to consumer goods and other products as well.
The Saker: thank you for your time and replies!
PeterMX , says: November 3, 2019 at 7:01 am GMTI am in Tallinn, Estonia right now. Just how good an economy is performing is often hard to determine by talking to people, because like economists, many people have different perceptions. I was just talking to a Russian-Estonian who was telling me how much better Lithuanians and Latvians are then Estonians at doing things and how much cheaper things are there. It is true that things are much cheaper in the other Baltic countries because Estonia (a tiny country of just over 1 million people) has taken off. Since the 2008 econmic collapse housing prices have shot up and in Tallinn there is building going on all over the city. But, my acquaintance is wrong about other things. Estonians do things very well and Tallinn is a very nice city, with beautiful cafes, clean and well kept streets and crime is very low. It is a very good city, except it is now very expensive, especially considering how much people make here. The weather is not nice, except for in the summer and there are friendly Estonians but they don't have a reputation for being particularly friendly, even among themselves. I have not been back to Latvia yet, but when I was in Riga years ago, it was a gorgeous city, bigger than Tallinn too. I think they do things very well there too. The Russians I speak to here are often friendly and based on what I have been told, relations between Russians and Estonians are much better than when I was here in the early 2000's.GMC , says: November 3, 2019 at 7:33 am GMT
No offense is intended to Russians, but the Baltic countries had large German populations that played a key role in the development of the cultures and peoples of these countries. There were also many Jews here prior to WW II. By the time WW II had begun the German populations were much smaller than they had been and at the end of the war the Jewish populations were much smaller. Jews were targeted in Latvia and Lithuania and many Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians were shipped off to far off places in the USSR during the war. I believe the Jews were largely pro communist and welcomed the Soviet takeover of these countries in 1940, while the Latvian and Estonian peoples were pro German, thus explaining the hard feelings between Balts and Jews.. They wanted independence and formed legions to fight alongside the German army during WW II.
These countries were very advanced before WW II, having engineering industries and the Russian Empire's first auto company was formed in Riga before WW I. While engineering may have been restarted after WW II, these countries populations were decimated and they never returned to their former heights. Perhaps they still can.I'm assuming that these 3 East European countries are being bombarded with the same propaganda as the Ukies are, so Russian speakers and those intelligent enough to see the game being played will be belittled and isolated. But the Russian folks living in Russia have a birds eye view of what is going on in the west and their puppet countries. Russia TV and debate programs, just have to show the delinquencies that are daily happenings in the States, and Europe, in order to make the Ru people say – No Thanks to that way of life. As far as the new Russian cheeses that are now in the markets -lol – they make a lightly smoked gouda that is really good and is about 120-140 roubles a kilo. And, they are making more cheddar that is a white medium taste as well. No scarcity of good natural food in Russia and No POlice state. Spacibo Unz Rev.Anonymous  Disclaimer , says: November 3, 2019 at 8:18 am GMTThe trade volume between Russia and the Baltic states has actually risen, despite the sanctions. The Baltics send food products and booze to Russia (and another 150 countries, food exports to Russia actually grew in 2016-2018). As well as chemical products and pharmaceuticals. Meldonium, btw, is made in Latvia and is still being sent to Russia (as well as 20 other countries), not for athletes, but for regular folks. Work is being carried out on a new generation Meldonium pill (the biggest market will be Russia).Jake , says: November 3, 2019 at 11:46 am GMT
Growth in the Baltic states has been 3-4% in the last few years. GDP per capita, as well as HDI, is higher than in Russia. Foreign investment, including from Russia, has been growing (Russia was the second largest investor in Latvia in 2018). Savings rates are growing, too. After a relative quiet period after 2010, the number of Russian (and other tourists) has grown again.
Estonia's population stopped shrinking in 2016 and is now growing in fact. They've seen immigration from Finland, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, as well as returning Estonians.
Emigration is a problem, of course, but this is partly because the Baltic states are the only former USSR republics whose citizens were even given work permits in the West, imagine what would happen if these permits were given to Russians from the regions.
Neo-liberal policies are of course bad and certain types of investment should be controlled, but to say that there are no social services in the Baltic states is complete nonsense. Due to generous parental payments, birthrates have risen significantly since the 1990s – in fact, birthrates in the Baltics are now slightly higher than the EU average. Life expectancy is also growing. Latvia covers IVF treatments in full. There are free school lunches.
Yes, it is true that some of the Soviet era factories should've been salvaged but the problem was they were not competitive globally at that time (and there was no capital to remodel them). The Soviet market was a closed one. However, some businesses were salvaged. There is local manufacturing (electronics, pharmaceuticals, etc).
Not everything is ideal, but it is also not the kind of gloom and doom as you paint.If the Anglo-Zionist Empire comes to save you, you should expect to be raped: culturally and religiously as well as economically.onebornfree , says: Website November 3, 2019 at 3:48 pm GMTSaker says: "Initially it did appear that these states were experiencing growth, but was that not mostly/entirely due to EU/IMF/US subsidies?"Anon  Disclaimer , says: November 3, 2019 at 5:16 pm GMT
"Foreign Aid Makes Corrupt Countries More Corrupt":
"Any time a government hands out money, not just foreign aid, it breeds corruption And there are few better examples than Ukraine – just don't tell the House impeachment hearings. Counting on foreign aid to reduce corruption is like expecting whiskey to cure alcoholism .If U.S. aid was effective, Ukraine would have become a rule of law paradise long ago . The surest way to reduce foreign corruption is to end foreign aid."
http://jimbovard.com/blog/2019/10/29/foreign-aid-makes-corrupt-countries-more-corrupt/@onebornfree The EU gives every year about 2,500 million euros to the 3 Baltic countries ( 6 million people the three of them ) , and 9000 million euros to Poland ( 38 million people ) , plus more billions to other eastern members .AnonFromTN , says: November 3, 2019 at 9:31 pm GMT
Older members of the EU , spetially the UK which is going out , Greece witch was tortured ( again ) economically by Germany , and south Europe in general are not very happy about admitting so many ex-soviets countries en the EU and subsidizing them .@SeekerofthePresenceKazlu Ruda , says: November 3, 2019 at 11:58 pm GMT
Recovery and self-sufficiency since Yeltsin show the brilliance of the Russian people
It's not so much brilliance as sheer necessity to survive under sanctions. But some results were better than anyone expected. Say, food before sanctions used to be so-so in the provinces and downright bad in Moscow because of abundance of imported crap. Now the food is exclusively domestic, fresh and tasty. Russia never had traditions of making fancy cheeses. Now, to bypass sanctions, quite a few Italian and French cheese-makers started production in Russia, so in the last 2-3 years domestically made excellent fancy cheeses appeared in supermarkets. Arguably, Russian agriculture benefited by sanctions more than any other sector, but there are success stories virtually in every industry. Sanctions and Ukrainian stupidity served as a timely wake up call for Russian elites, who earlier wanted to sell oil and natural gas and buy everything else. Replacing imports after the sanctions were imposed had a significant cost in the short run, but in the long run it made Russia much stronger, economically and militarily. Speak of unintended consequences.My mom is from Lithuania and I've been there several times. We have second cousins our age.AnonFromTN , says: November 4, 2019 at 12:29 am GMT
Her father was a surveyor for the Republic in the 20s and 30s, charged with breaking up the manors and estates and the state distributing the land to the peasantry. It was near-feudalism. There was very little industrialization; that which existed were in a few urban centers. One interesting comment from her was that the "Jews were communists". From what I've read they were the urban working class, but perhaps part of the socialist/Jewish Bund?
There is no doubt that the Soviet period unleashed considerable industrialization and modernization. Lithuania had some of the best infrastructure in the USSR. Its traditional culture was really celebrated.
When I first visited, not long after the fall of the USSR, there were enormous, vacant industrial plants. The collective farms were in the process of being sold off the western European agribusiness firms. One relative through marriage was from the Ukraine, with a PhD in Physics and had been employed in the military industries -- she was cleaning houses thereafter.
Any usable industrial enterprises were quickly sold off. The utilities are all foreign owned. Part of EU mandates are "open" electricity "markets", which resulting in DC interconnections costing hundreds of millions with the west to import very high priced electricity. The EU has paid for "Via Baltica", a highway running from Poland to Estonia; it is choked with trucks carrying imports and there are huge distribution and fulfillment centers along the highway. Such progress, huh?
There had been good public transport in the earlier years of independence, but that has been replaced with personal automobiles -- usually western European used cars that pollute a lot. Trakai is a commuter town to Vilnius with a medieval castle (restored in Soviet times). First time I went it was very pleasant. Second time in 2018 the place was choked with cars and not very nice at all.
The impact of emigration cannot be over-stated. College educated young people leave by the hundreds of thousands. Those that remain are paid very low wages (e.g., 1000 euros for a veterinarian or dentist), but pay west European prices for many essentials. Housing is cheaper than the west.
Last time in Kazlu Ruda there were huge NATO exercises in progress and even bigger ones planned for 2020. German units were billeted at an airbase nearby, rumored to have been a CIA black site. How fitting, as the Germans with the Lithuanian Riflemens Union exterminated a quarter of a million Jews in a matter of months (see Jager Report on Wikipedia). There is a Red Army graveyard in the town that has the remains of perhaps 350 soldiers killed in the area driving out the Nazis. I was frankly surprised it was still there.
Lithuania hasn't been independent since the days of the Pagans and Vytautas. It surely isn't independent today.
Anecdotal -- yes. But based on personal observation.Who cares about Baltic statelets? Their populations decline:
The decline in Latvia is faster than in Lithuania, in Lithuania it is faster than in Estonia, but so what? If they disappear, who's going to notice? Russia is not interested in acquiring the parasites the USSR used to stupidly feed, their new masters are greedy If someone attacks (which is doubtful), NATO is going to protect them exactly like the UK and France protected Poland in 1939. Let them fend for themselves.
Nov 01, 2019 | www.wsws.org
By a near party-line vote of 232-196, the US House of Representatives voted Thursday for a resolution laying out the procedures for the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump that was begun September 24. The resolution sets the stage for the holding of public, televised hearings and the likely drawing up of articles of impeachment in the course of the next month.
Only two Democrats out of 233 in the House voted against the resolution, Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey and Colin Peterson of Minnesota. Only one member elected as a Republican, Justin Amash of Michigan, voted for the resolution. He left the Republican Party in July because of his support for impeachment, and he now sits as an independent.
The sharp divisions over the resolution were reflected in the hour-long debate, in which Republican defenders of Trump denounced the impeachment inquiry with hysterical anticommunist rhetoric, calling it "Soviet-style" and a "show trial." Democrats wrapped themselves in the American flag -- or displayed it on a large placard as they spoke, in the case of Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- and denounced Trump for endangering US "national security."
The procedure laid down in the eight-page resolution, drafted Wednesday by the House Rules Committee, gives an outsized role to the House Intelligence Committee, which is to begin public hearings sometime in November at which many of the witnesses who have testified behind closed doors will be asked to do so again in front of television cameras.
The Intelligence Committee, along with four other committees conducting investigations into various aspects of President Trump's personal, business and official conduct, will report its findings to the Judiciary Committee, which would actually draw up any articles of impeachment, vote on them, and send them to the full House for final action.
The overall procedures, including provisions for extended questioning of witnesses by representatives of both the majority and minority parties, conform generally to similar measures adopted during the impeachment hearings against President Richard Nixon in 1974 and President Bill Clinton in 1998.
The main difference is that the right of the president to have his own attorneys attend and participate at sessions of the Judiciary Committee is conditional on Trump dropping his order that executive branch officials refuse to testify before the various House probes or supply documents to them.
In the event of continued presidential stonewalling of the House committees, the resolution provides that the chair of the Judiciary Committee "shall have the discretion to impose appropriate remedies, including by denying specific requests by the president or his counsel under these procedures to call or question witnesses."
In other words, if Trump continues to block testimony and evidence, his attorneys will not be allowed to cross-examine those witnesses who do appear despite the full-throated opposition of the White House. Given that many officials and former officials of the Trump administration have agreed to testify under subpoena, this could become a significant issue.
The special role of the House Intelligence Committee underscores the reactionary nature of the Democrats' impeachment drive. Trump is being targeted, not for his real crimes as president, attacking immigrants, undermining democratic rights, and asserting quasi-dictatorial powers, but for his foreign policy actions that are opposed by a substantial section of the US military-intelligence apparatus.
The witnesses testifying before the closed-door sessions of the Intelligence Committee are not immigrant mothers, cruelly and in some cases permanently separated from their children, or the victims of Trump-inspired fascist gunmen like the El Paso mass shooter. Instead, they are an array of State Department and military officials at odds with Trump's efforts to browbeat the government of Ukraine into supplying him with political dirt against former vice president Joe Biden, viewed by Trump as a likely opponent in the 2020 election.
Particularly significant in that context is the announcement that the Intelligence Committee has set a November 7 date for the testimony of John Bolton, Trump's former national security advisor. It is not clear whether Bolton will testify, but the potential alignment of the Democrats and one of the most notorious war criminals in the American government is a clear demonstration of the reactionary motives of the Democrats, who are acting as front men for rabid warmongers in the national-security state.
Already, on Thursday, the Intelligence Committee took hours of testimony from Bolton's top deputy for Russia and Eastern Europe, Timothy Morrison. Morrison was brought on the National Security Council by Bolton with main responsibility for White House policy on weapons of mass destruction. He spearheaded the drive by the Trump administration to withdraw from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, which both he and Bolton vehemently opposed, in order to give the US military the green light to develop nuclear missiles that could target China from US bases like Guam, other US-controlled islands, and ships in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Morrison is the highest-ranking Trump aide to provide evidence to the Intelligence Committee, and he announced his impending departure from the White House on Wednesday night, hours before he was sworn in as a witness. According to leaks to the press from the closed-door hearing, Morrison largely confirmed the testimony of other witnesses, particularly Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, that there was a direct quid pro quo involved in US policy towards Ukraine: Trump demanded a public investigation into the Democratic Party and the Bidens, in return for military aid and a visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the White House.
There are other indications that Bolton is playing a key role behind the scenes in the gathering storm over impeachment. Two Democratic senators have sent a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer seeking details on the Trump administration's decision not to restore Ukrainian access to the "generalized system of preferences" (GSP), a program that benefits developing countries. The letter follows a Washington Post report October 24 that Bolton had warned Lighthizer not to seek restoration of benefits to Ukraine because Trump would not approve it, as part of his effort to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate the Bidens. Given the content of the article, the most likely source for the leak is Bolton or one of his top aides.
There were further indications of support for the impeachment drive -- or at least for the national-security officials who have come forward to testify against Trump -- from the top levels of the military and diplomatic establishment. General Joseph F. Dunford, who retired only a month ago as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, issued a statement to CNN Wednesday defending Colonel Vindman against attacks from Fox News and other ultra-right media, calling him "a professional, competent, patriotic, and loyal officer" who "has made an extraordinary contribution to the security of our nation in both peacetime and combat."
And in testimony Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is expected to confirm his nomination to be US Ambassador to Russia, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan defended the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, and agreed that she was the victim of a smear campaign by Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who helped engineer her recall from her post in Kiev because she was an obstacle to the effort to dig up dirt on the Bidens.
Asked whether it was "ever appropriate for the president to use his office to solicit investigations into his domestic political opponents," Sullivan replied, "I don't think that would be in accord with our values." Given Trump's frequent declarations that his telephone conversation with Zelensky, in which he made just such a request, was "perfect," Sullivan's statement is extraordinary. It suggests an unprecedented degree of open revolt against Trump within the national-security establishment.
The real motives of the impeachment drive were spelled out with particular frenzy in a column by neoconservative Max Boot, who, like Bolton, has been an all-out supporter of US military aggression in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and throughout the world. Writing in the Washington Post , under the headline, "More Trump gifts to Russia," he declares, "Trump is bringing the United States to its knees and making Russia great again."
Boot focuses on two decisions that have most provoked the CIA-Pentagon-State Department axis of evil: holding up aid to Ukraine, thus undermining military operations against pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, and Trump's partial pullout of US forces in Syria.
He writes: "Russian soldiers are entering U.S. bases and taking up the joint patrolling duties with the Turkish army that U.S. troops had been performing until recently. The fate of Syria was settled not in Washington but in Sochi -- Putin's favorite Black Sea resort. Trump has given Russia what it has sought for decades: a leading role in the Middle East. This is the biggest geopolitical shift in the region since 1972 when Egypt's Anwar Sadat expelled Soviet advisers and aligned with Washington."
Boot is, of course, a fervent supporter of impeachment, because he sees that as a step towards reversing course on foreign policy and adopting a more aggressive and militaristic US role in the Middle East. His ranting only underscores the reality of the political conflict in Washington.
... ... ...
Nov 01, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca
By Edward Curtin Global Research, November 01, 2019 Region: USA Theme: Intelligence
It gets funny, this shallow analysis of the deep state that is currently big news. There's something ghoulish about it, perfectly timed for Halloween and masked jokers. What was once ridiculed by the CIA and its attendant lackeys in the media as the paranoia of "conspiracy theorists" is now openly admitted in reverent tones of patriotic fervor. But with a twisted twist.
The corporate mass-media has recently discovered a "deep state" that they claim to be not some evil group of assassins who work for the super-rich owners of the country and murder their own president (JFK) and other unpatriotic dissidents (Malcom X, MLK, RK, among others) and undermine democracy home and abroad, but are now said to be just fine upstanding American citizens who work within the government bureaucracies and are patriotic believers in democracy intent on doing the right thing.
This redefinition has been in the works for a few years, and it shouldn't be a surprise that this tricky treat was being prepared for our consumption a few years ago by The Council on Foreign Relations . In its September/October 2017 edition of its journal Foreign Affairs, Jon D. Michaels, in "Trump and the Deep State: The Government Strikes Back," writes:
Furious at what they consider treachery by internal saboteurs, the president and his surrogates have responded by borrowing a bit of political science jargon, claiming to be victims of the " deep state ," a conspiracy of powerful, unelected bureaucrats secretly pursuing their own agenda. The concept of a deep state is valuable in its original context, the study of developing countries such as Egypt, Pakistan, and Turkey, where shadowy elites in the military and government ministries have been known to countermand or simply defy democratic directives. Yet it has little relevance to the United States, where governmental power structures are almost entirely transparent, egalitarian, and rule-bound.
The White House is correct to perceive widespread resistance inside the government to many of its endeavors. But the same way the administration's media problems come not from "fake news" but simply from news, so its bureaucratic problems come not from an insidious, undemocratic "deep state" but simply from the state -- the large, complex hive of people and procedures that constitute the U.S. federal government.
Notice how in these comical passages about U.S. government transparency and egalitarianism, Michaels slyly and falsely attributes to Trump the very definition – "unelected bureaucrats" – that in the next paragraph he claims to be the real deep state, which is just the state power structures. Pseudo-innocence conquers all here as there is no mention of the Democratic party, Russiagate, etc., and all the machinations led by the intelligence services and Democratic forces to oust Trump from the day he was elected. State power structures just move so quickly, as anyone knows who has studied the speed with which bureaucracies operate. Ask Max Weber.The Deep State Goes Shallow. "Reality-TV Coup d'etat in Prime Time"
Drip by drip over the past few years, this "state bureaucracy" meme has been introduced by the mainstream media propagandists as they have gradually revealed that the government deep-staters are just doing their patriotic duty in trying openly to oust an elected president.
Many writers have commented on the recent New York Times article, Trump's War on the 'Deep State' Turns Against Him" asserting that the Times has finally admitted to the existence of the deep state, which is true as far as it goes, which is not too far. But in this game of deceptive revelations – going shallower to go deeper – what is missing is a focus on the linguistic mind control involved in the changed definition.
In a recent article by Robert W. Merry, whose intentions I am not questioning – "New York Times Confirms: It's Trump Versus the Deep State" – originally published at The American Conservative and widely reprinted , the lead-in to the article proper reads: "Even the Gray Lady admits the president is up against a powerful bureaucracy that wants him sunk." So the "powerful bureaucracy" redefinition, this immovable force of government bureaucrats, is slipped into public consciousness as what the deep state supposedly is. Gone are CIA conspirators and evil doers. In their place we find career civil servants doing their patriotic duty.
Then there is The New York Times' columnist James Stewart who, appearing on the Today Show recently, where he was promoting his new book, told Savannah Guthrie that:
Well, you meet these characters in my book, and the fact is, in a sense, he's [Trump] right. There is a deep state there is a bureaucracy in our country who has pledged to respect the Constitution, respect the rule of law. They do not work for the President. They work for the American people. And, as Comey told me in my book, 'thank goodness for that,' because they are protecting the Constitution and the people when individuals – we don't have a monarch, we don't have a dictator – they restrain them from crossing the boundaries of law. What Trump calls the deep state in the United States is protecting the American people and protecting the Constitution. It's a positive thing in this sense.
So again we are told that the deep-state bureaucracy is defending the Constitution and protecting the American people, as James Comey told Stewart, "in my book, 'thank goodness for that,'" as he put it so eloquently. These guys talk in books, of course, not person to person, but that is the level not just of English grammar and general stupidity, but of the brazen bullshit these guys are capable of.
This new and shallow deep state definition has buried the old meaning of the deep state as evil conspirators carrying out coup d'états, assassinations, and massive media propaganda campaigns at home and abroad, and who, by implication and direct declaration, never existed in the good old U.S.A. but only in countries such as Egypt, Turkey, and Pakistan where shadowy elites killed and deposed leaders and opponents in an endless series of coup d'états. No mention in Foreign Affairs , of course, of the American support for the ruthless leaders of these countries who have always been our dear allies when they obey our every order and serve as our servile proxies in murder and mayhem.
Even Edward Snowden , the courageous whistleblower in exile in Russia, in a recent interview with Joe Rogan , repeats this nonsense when he says the deep state is just "career government officials" who want to keep their jobs and who outlast presidents. From his own experience, he should know better. Much better. Interestingly, he suggests that he does when he tells Rogan that "every president since Kennedy" has been successfully "feared up" by the intelligence agencies so they will do their bidding. He doesn't need to add that JFK, for fearlessly refusing the bait, was shot in the head in broad daylight to send a message to those who would follow.
Linguistic mind control is insidious like the slow drip of a water faucet. After a while you don't hear it and just go about your business, even as your mind, like a rotting rubber washer, keeps disintegrating under propaganda's endless reiterations.
To think that the deep state is government employees just doing their patriotic duty is plain idiocy and plainer propaganda.
It is a trick, not the treat it is made to seem.
Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.
Distinguished author and sociologist Edward Curtin is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. Visit the author's website here .
Nov 03, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Peter AU 1 , Nov 2 2019 1:00 utc | 82Petri Krohn's comment @37 "ERIC CIARAMELLA IS NOT A WHISTLEBLOWER - HE IS A SUSPECT"
Little mentioned is the server in Ukraine which was brought up in the phone call. Barr's investigation has become a criminal investigation and interested in a server in Ukraine.
The impeachment farce is trying to put the focus on Biden, but the server may be what they are trying to protect.
This impeachment show looks to be a rearguard or defensive action to try and stop the Barr criminal investigation into russiagate.
Nov 03, 2019 | crookedtimber.org
I went to see occasional Timberite Astra Taylor's remarkable film What is Democracy? last night. It takes us from Siena, Italy to Florida to Athens and from Ancient Athenian democracy through the renaissance and the beginning of capitalism to the Greek debt crisis, occupy and the limbo life of people who have fled Syria and now find themselves stuck. It combines the voices of Plato and Rousseau with those of ordinary voters from left and right, Greek nationalists and cosmopolitans, ex-prisoners, with trauma surgeons in Miami, Guatemalan migrants in the US, with lawmakers and academics, and with refugees from Syria and Afghanistan. All the while it poses the questions of whether democracy is compatible with inequality and global financial systems and the boundaries of inclusion.
steven t johnson 10.23.19 at 3:05 pm (no link)At a first approximation, democracy is the alliance of the city dwellers for the power of the city, ignoring tribes and rural aristocrats, carefully contained so the landowners keep their land, and the slaves are kept under control. Or, to update it, the class collaboration of the wealthy (nowadays some sort of capitalist,) the middling strata and the common people for the power of the nation, carefully arranged so the people with great property make the decisions about the economy.Z 10.23.19 at 8:38 pm (no link)
It doesn't sound like this is very informative or useful, so I will wait until I have a cheaper way to see it.In my opinion, democracy as an actually existing property of a society is only imperfectly described in terms of institutional arrangements, philosophical constructs, political system or (as steven t johnson would have it) power relations between social groups. In addition to all that, but probably prior to all that, democracy relies on principles which are anthropological in nature, that pertains to the particular way human beings relate to each other on a given territory.steven t johnson 10.23.19 at 8:49 pm ( 12 )
This means that I absolutely believe in the necessity of a "we" to underlie democracy but I doubt that this "we" needs to be (or indeed is ever) constitutive, it exists primarily if not exclusively as a matter of human relations not as a constitutive abstraction. This also means that I'm not surprised by the general absence of convergence in democratic forms around the world (much to the bemusement of English-speaking political philosophers, or in the last 20 years, German and Flemish politicians) and that I believe that global citizenship is under present circumstances a meaningless concept with respect to democracy. Some people understand this to be arguing for a national, ethnic or cultural definition of democracy, in which only people with a specific national identity, or a particular ethnicity, or specific cultural practices or (in the contemporary American libertarian version) specific personality traits may participate, as a matter of normative or positive judgment, depending on various proponents of this theory. This seems to me to be a rather ironic analytical error: if indeed a core property of democracy is rooted in the characteristic ways people relate to each other, it is highly implausible that this could change under the influence of even a substantial minority (in one direction or the other).
Incidentally, the idea that democracy is originally native to North-America is somewhat classical (Voltaire championed it, but as usual with him, it is hard to vouch for his seriousness). Since then it has resurfaced periodically for instance in William James Sidis (disturbed) book The Tribes and the States or in the works of Bruce Johansen. Serious discussions of this question lead, I believe, to the seemingly paradoxical observation that English and Dutch settlers came to adopt the democratic principles of the Haudenosaunee because they were themselves rather primitive (temporally speaking), and hence democratic, in their anthropological values. Suc discussion would also lead to the far more pessimistic conclusion that beyond their political models, native people in North-America facilitated the establishment of a political democracy by providing a large neighboring group to exclude out of humanity.LFC@10 uses a reason for waiting as an excuse for a rhetorical question meant as a taunt. The reason I might see it, if it's cheap enough, is because new facts and the (rare) new perspective, if any, would seep into my thinking. The idea that my thinking doesn't change is unfounded. It changes, it just doesn't change by conversion experience. The cogent arguments of the wise on the internet are like Jesus on the road to Damascus, not quite able to be described consistently, but still irrefutable.steven t johnson 10.24.19 at 3:20 pm (no link)
But, try as I may, continual reworking of old ideas by new -- to me -- information inevitably leads to the change. The process usually goes A Is that really true? B My old ideas get a parenthesis added. C The parenthesis gets worked into the rest of the paragraph so that I'm more consisten. D I've always believed that. The step where I abjectly plead for forgiveness for being a moron is never there, any more than actually being consistent.
As an example, it's only in the last few years I've wakened up to the extraordinary tendency to people to ignore either the progressive content of bourgeois revolutions, such as in pretending that destroying a national secular state in Iraq or Syria and replacing it with a cantonal confederation is a step backward. Or in surreptitiously pretending that democracy has nothing to do with the democratic state needing fighters against other states. Like most people on the internet, i do tend to get a little trendy, and repetitive. But apparently I'm too socially backward to get the memo on the correct trendy, and repetitive.
For a less contentious example, as part of the process I've realized that ancient Sparta was on the democratic spectrum, not least because of two kings which is definitely not twice the monarchy. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it is still true, despite authority. But a true expert who actually cared could revise the elementary insight into a much more sophisticated, much superior way that might not even seem controversial. It might even seem just like the answer to the questions: Why did Sparta ever ally with Athens in the first place? Why did both Athens and Sparta ally (at different times) with Persia?
I will admit to a general prejudice against every historical discovery that a particular place etc. was the birth of virtue.Re the Haudenosaunee as exemplars of democracy, this is as I recall long known to be true of Benjamin Franklin, one of the disreputable founders, nearly as disgraced as Tom Paine. (Indeed, the notion that the revolutionaries weren't the founders, but Philadelphia lawyers' convention was, is remarkable, though unremarked on.) But, what did Franklin admire about the Iroquois League? I think it was the power through unity of different "tribes." The league essentially genocided the Hurons to control the fur trade; launched long distance military expeditions to drive away many other peoples from large areas in the Ohio valley to free up hunting grounds; when it was convenient, they sold their rights, lands, there to the US. (The treaty of Fort Stanwix) was later repudiated, verbally at least, by other.eg 10.25.19 at 2:35 am ( 17 )
The classic model of course was the Roman Republic. By coincidence I was reading Livy's first five books and the relationship between rights for the plebs and the need for them in war, stands out. Macchiavelli's Discourses on Livy makes this even plainer. In the US much of this was conveyed to the Americans via Algernon Sidney's Discourses on Government as refracted through Cato's Letters. (I hope to live long enough to read Discourses on Davila by John Adams, solely because of the title.)It would seem to me that the answer to the question "what is democracy" is best answered by another question: who gets (and doesn't get) the franchise?
Nov 03, 2019 | crookedtimber.org
by John Quiggin on October 13, 2019 On Facebook, my frined Timothy Scriven pointed to an opinion piece by classics professor Ian Morris headlined In the long run, wars make us safer and richer It's pushing a book with the clickbaity title War! What is it Good For? Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots .". Timothy correctly guessed that I wouldn't like it.
Based on the headline, I was expecting a claim along the lines "wars stimulate technological progress" which I refuted (to my own satisfaction at any rate) in Economics in Two Lessons" . But the argument is much stranger than this. The claim is that war, despite its brutality created big states, like the Roman empire, which then delivered peace and prosperity.
For the classical world at 100 CE or so, the era on which Morris is an expert, that argument seemed pretty convincing. As the famous Life of Brian sketch suggests, Roman rule delivered a lot of benefits to its conquered provinces.
The next 1900 years or so present a bit of a problem, though. There have been countless wars in that time, and no trend towards bigger states. On the contrary two or three dozen states (depending on how you count them) now occupy the territory of the former Roman Empire.
You could cut the number down a bit by treating the European Union as a new empire, but then you have an even bigger problem. The EU was not formed through war, but through a determination to avoid it. Whatever you think about the EU in other respects, this goal has been achieved.
Morris avoids the problem by a "no true Scotsman" argument. He admits in passing that the 1000 years of war following the high point of Rome had the effect of breaking down larger, safer societies into smaller, more dangerous ones, but returns with relief to the era of true wars, in which big states always win. That story works, roughly, until 1914, when the empires he admires destroyed themselves, killing millions in the process.
After that, the argument descends into Pinker-style nonsense. While repeating the usual stats about the decline in violent deaths, Morris mentions in passing that a nuclear war could cause billions of deaths. He doesn't consider the obvious anthropic fallacy problem – if such a war had happened, there would not be any op-eds in the Washington Post discussing the implications for life expectancy.
I haven't read the book, and don't intend to. If someone can't present a 700 word summary of their argument without looking silly, they shouldn't write opinion pieces. But, for what its worth, FB friends who have read it agree that it's not very good.
William Meyer 10.13.19 at 12:31 pm (no link)I have not read the book in question, so I don't know if the author made this point: "Since violence or implicit violence is how we overcome essentially all collective action problems as humans, war probably does belong in the human toolkit." Obviously it would be better if we could find more and better alternatives to war, and remove the obvious glitches in the alternatives (e.g., representative democracy, single-party states, etc.) we have tried in the past. So I find it odd as I get old that so little energy/research/academic effort is devoted by the human race to finding better means of collective decision making. Clearly our current abilities in this field are completely inadequate. I ponder if this is because we are incapable of doing better by some inherent flaw in our makeup or if it is because, as in some many areas of life, the wicked work tirelessly to maintain the systems that enrich and empower them. I suspect I'll never find out.Omega Centauri 10.13.19 at 4:33 pm (no link)There might be a case to be made for empire building conquest advancing human society. I think it was primarily by forcing the mixing of cultures which otherwise would have been relatively isolated from each other. Also empires tended to create safe internal trade routes, the Silk Road was made possible by the Mongol empire.Orange Watch 10.13.19 at 7:07 pm (no link)
At least the authors of books about such empires like to state that over a timespan of centuries that empire creation was a net positive.Tim Worstall and Dipper's suggestion that the EU is borne of war is mostly just a failure to take Morris's claim on its unsophisticated face and instead assume it contains subtle complexity that is obviously missing if you read the article itself:Mark Brady 10.13.19 at 7:56 pm (no link)
This happened because about 10,000 years ago, the winners of wars began incorporating the losers into larger societies. The victors found that the only way to make these larger societies work was by developing stronger governments; and one of the first things these governments had to do, if they wanted to stay in power, was suppress violence among their subjects.
For the EU to have been a result of war in the sense that Morris means, it would have to have been forcibly formed in 1945 by the US/UK/Russia forcibly incorporating Europe into it. When Morris states "wars make us stronger and richer" he very simply means wars of conquest are long-term net positives. He doesn't mean something subtle about nations banding together to forestall further war; he bluntly means conquerors gluing together their conquests into empires and then liberally applying boot leather to necks.John Quiggin is, of course, well aware of this quotation, but some of you may not.Alex SL 10.13.19 at 8:37 pm (no link)
"Though some of them would disdain to say that there are net benefits in small acts of destruction, they see almost endless benefits in enormous acts of destruction. They tell us how much better off economically we all are in war than in peace. They see "miracles of production" which it requires a war to achieve. And they see a postwar world made certainly prosperous by an enormous "accumulated" or "backed up" demand. In Europe they joyously count the houses, the whole cities that have been leveled to the ground and that "will have to be replaced." In America they count the houses that could not be built during the war, the nylon stockings that could not be supplied, the worn-out automobiles and tires, the obsolescent radios and refrigerators. They bring together formidable totals.
"It is merely our old friend, the broken-window fallacy, in new clothing, and grown fat beyond recognition. This time it is supported by a whole bundle of related fallacies. It confuses need with demand."
Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson, Chapter 3, "The Blessings of Destruction."On one side, AFAIK the last few centuries of war in Europe have indeed seen a reduction of the number of states. Yes, the trend was partly reversed since 1914, but never to the degree of splintering that existed in the middle ages.fran6 10.13.19 at 9:26 pm (no link)
On the other side, even the widely accepted cases of supposedly 'beneficial' empires such as the Romans bringing the Pax Romana and the Mongols allowing far-reaching trade and travel need to be seen against the devastation they caused to make their victories possible. The Romans, for example, committed genocide in Gaul and Carthage, and they enslaved millions.
Best case argument in my eyes is that a very successful war is beneficial because it stops continuous smaller wars, which is still not exactly the same as a general "war is beneficial". Why not just create institutional arrangements that avoid wars between small nations in the first place?Here's another personality who's also unfazed by the evils of war (although, she does wish more folks were "kind" to each other):Barry 10.13.19 at 10:40 pm ( 18 )
https://www.youtube.com/embed/EsWSh8kPMfg?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparentTim Worstall: "The EU came into existence in 1992, neatly coinciding with the Yugoslav unpleasantnesses."John Quiggin 10.13.19 at 11:36 pm ( 19 )
You might want to look at the time between then and WWII.
You also might want to check the membership in the EU in 1992, and see which state(s) were not in it (hint – Yugoslavia).Stephen @11 Say what? Are you suggesting that the Soviet bloc was part of the EU? As both your comment and Tim Worstall's unwittingly illustrate, the fact that the EU has been entirely peaceful since its creation (by contrast with non-EU Europe) is not because Europeans suddenly became pacifists.Salazar 10.14.19 at 12:39 am ( 20 )Sorry if I have a hard time getting Morris' argument, but: towards the end, be seems to be saying the world requires a "Globocop" like the US to ensure its prosperity. But how does that relate to his wider point about the benefits of war? Does Morris believe the hegemon owes it to itself, and to the rest of the world, to wage permanent war?Tabasco 10.14.19 at 1:23 am ( 21 )"the EU has been entirely peaceful since its creation"Ed 10.14.19 at 2:34 am ( 22 )
Spain and Portugal are still arguing the 200+ year border dispute over Olivenza/Olivença, but it hasn't reached Kashmir levels (yet).Morris sold out. This was evident in his book comparing the progress of China and Europe, though that book made excellent points in between the fluff and is well worth reading. But he is well versed enough in Chinese history to be aware of the ultimate example of armies conquering and bringing peace to a large area, which happens repeatedly in Chinese history.MFB 10.15.19 at 7:18 am (no link)
Actually, Chinese history itself shows that the opposite argument has more support, that instead of war being valuable because one powerful country will conquer a large area and bring peace to it, its valuable because competition between states who are worried about other states getting a jump on them turns out to be valuable to progress. Large continental empires, including the Roman one as well, tended to stagnate in terms of culture and technology and become correct.Well, the opinion-piece was published on Jeff Bezos' blog. Oligarchs are naturally in favour of centralised power and therefore of empires (so long as they are at the apex thereof, which they usually are). The best way to build an empire is through war.Neville Morley 10.15.19 at 9:47 am (no link)
Of course, the author has to say "despite Hitler, Stalin and Mao", for ideological reasons. Actually, Hitler built his empire largely through the threat of war rather than through war itself; once he had actually started the war, he antagonised three more powerful empires than his own and his empire was then crushed. As for Stalin, he actually did various double-back-somersaults to avoid getting into wars, and the "empire" which he built in Eastern Europe as a result of winning a war he didn't want did not sustain itself. And of course Mao didn't start any wars at all -- his name just had to be thrown in for reactionary reasons.
It is true that the Spanish, Portuguese, French and British empires were built upon war. But where are they now? The United States fought a lot of wars against its indigenous people, but frankly it would still have been a global superpower if it had simply sidestepped most of them, at least from about 1865 onward.
An interesting question: can it be that a professor of Classics doesn't actually have to understand the concept of evidence-based argument in any case, because everything has already been said on the subject and all you have to do is cherry-pick other people's statements? Because that seems to be how that silly article reads.
And yes, the whole thing reeks of the better angels propaganda. Let's not forget, by the way, that various members of the EU -- Britain, France, Italy et al -- have launched brutally murderous wars elsewhere, and the fact that they don't fight among themselves doesn't make them peaceful or moral entities.@TheSophist #25: that was mentioned as a joke rather than self-publicity, but if you're really interested: The Roman Empire: roots of imperialism (Pluto Press, 2020). Obviously books about the Roman Empire are ten a penny; my main claim for this one, besides its being less apologetic and/or gung-ho than most, is that I try to integrate the historical reality with its reception, i.e. how people have subsequently deployed Rome as an example or model.Bill Benzon 10.15.19 at 12:44 pm (no link)Maybe the Roman Empire delivered on peace, but prosperity is a bit more complicated. Some years ago David Hays wrote a book on the history of technology. One of the things he did was make a back-of-the-envelope estimate of material welfare at different levels of development. He concluded that, while civilization has always been a good deal for the elite, it's been rather iffy for peasants and workers. It's only during the Industrial Evolution that the standard of living at the lower end of society rose above that of hunter-gatherers. So, the prosperity delivered by the Roman Empire went mostly to the elite, not the peasantry.steven t johnson 10.16.19 at 8:06 pm (no link)
I've excerpted the relevant section of Hays's book .Peter Erwin@43 wanted the Nazis to roll right up to the eastern border of Poland, etc. etc. So did Hitler. And although I'm quite reluctant to read minds, especially dead one, I will nevertheless guarantee the move into the Baltics was seen as a blow to his plans, even if accepted for temporary advantage. You must always see who hates Stalin for beating Hitler, and those rare few who object to his real crimes.MFB 10.17.19 at 9:02 am (no link)
And, Erwin thinks Chinese troops being in Korea with permission is an aggression, while US troops closing on Chinese borders is not. The US still isn't out of Korea, but China is, but he can't figure out who the aggressor is.
Really, Peter Erwin really says it all. The maddest ant-Communist propaganda is now official.I don't want to unnecessarily dump on Peter Erwin, because I don't believe in kicking disadvantaged children, but if he reads the original post he will notice that it was talking about international wars, not civil wars. I'll admit the invasion of Finland (and of the Baltic states and Poland) but those were fairly obviously ways of strengthening the USSR's position in order to discourage a German invasion, and all took place within the boundaries of the former Russian Empire which Stalin undoubtedly saw as the default position.Z 10.17.19 at 9:05 am (no link)
As to Mao, he didn't start the Korean war (as Erwin unwillingly admits) and all the other wars except for the invasion of Vietnam were civil wars since they entailed moving into Chinese-controlled territory which had broken away during the main civil war. I'll admit that Vietnam was a problem, but then, since Mao had been dead for some time by then, it's would be hard for Erwin to blame him except for the fact that Erwin clearly lives on Planet Bizarro.@John Quiggin The claim is that war, despite its brutality created big states, like the Roman empire, which then delivered peace and prosperityZ 10.17.19 at 9:30 am ( 52 )
I don't think this is an intellectually generous summary of the arguments, as presented in the article.
The author himself summarizes it as "war made states, and states made peace", and if it is indeed true that the author often speaks of "larger, more organized societies" there is a strong implication that for a society to be "large" in the sense discussed in the article, it is not really necessary that it be territorially very wide (the most clear cut indication of that is that the author refers to the European states of the 1600s as "big, settled states" while they all were geographically tiny at the time). So the point of the author, if interpreted with intellectual honesty, seems to me to be twofold: 1) that war has been a crucial factor in the formation of complex, organized states and societies and 2) that these complex, organized states and societies brought with them so many positive things that the wars required to form them were worth it.
The second point is pure Pinker. I consider it logically meaningless, myself (it ultimately relies on the concept that History proceeds like an individual who is choosing a pair of shoes) and morally repugnant (it is not hard to see who will be pleased to have a rhetorical tool that can justify any atrocity by the long term gains it will provide humanity – indeed, it is instructive in that respect to read SS internal papers on when and why children should be executed with their parents, and how to select people for that task: contrary to what could be guessed, the manual recommends the soldiers who appear to have a strong sense of empathy and morality, with the idea that they will those who will most strongly endorse the "by doing this abominable act, we are sacrificing ourselves on behalf of future generations" thesis).
The first point, however, appears to me to be broadly correct descriptively. Extracting an interesting thesis out of it requires much more work than is indicated by the article, however (I consider Ertman's Birth of the Levianthan an example of that kind of extra work done successfully).@John Quiggin Lots of people predicted, along the lines of your post, that with the external threat of the USSR gone, and the US pulling back, the old warlike Europe would reassert itself.otpup 10.19.19 at 10:51 pm ( 68 )
I think what we may call the "wide military context thesis" runs rather like this: because of the experience of WWII and the Cold War, modern industrial states have amassed enormous military power while at the same time knowing that they can experience total destruction if they enter into a military conflict with a state of comparable military might. As a consequence, peace dominates between them. So France is not at war with the United Kingdom or Germany, certainly in part because they are all (for now) members of the EU but also in part for the same reason Japan is not at war with South Korea and Russia not at war with China.
Personally, I think it would be absurd to claim that the EU has played no role in the pacification of Western Europe in the second half of the twentieth century, but I think it would be equally absurd to deny the role of other factors that plainly play a major role in the equally remarkable pacification of other regional areas in the absence of an economical and political unification process (rise in prosperity, rise in education, aging populations, increased military power ).@7, OmegaLFC 10.20.19 at 9:10 pm (no link)
Not really wanting to get into the "do empires benefit civilization by promoting trade" argument, but having just read Lost Enlightenment, nothing in that lengthy tome suggests the Silk Road city states gain any special advantage from the Mongol invasion. In fact, quite the opposite. After the Mongols (in part for reasons preceeding the conquest), Central Asia never regained its pre-eminence (it had actually not just been a facilitator of trade but also a center of manufacture, culture, scientific progress). Maybe the trade routes hobbled along as trade routes but the civilization that was both built by and facilitated trade did not rebound. Most empires seem to get that there is wealth to be had from involvement in trade, they don't always know how to keep the gold goose alive."War made states and states made peace" is a riff on Charles Tilly's line "war made the state and the state made war."
Nov 03, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
William Gruff , Nov 2 2019 11:12 utc | 126
For the hysterical Trump Derangement Syndrome jello-brained fools saying Trump is killing people in secret or something ridiculous like that, check out the list of drone murders in Pakistan as a rather typical illustration. The trend is the same for Yemen and Afghanistan.
Here are the crucial totals for Pakistan:
- Strikes under the Bush Administration: 51
- Strikes under the Obama Administration: 373
- Strikes under the Trump Administration: 5
- 84 of the 2,379 dead have been identified as members of al-Qaeda
"O-bomber" is an apt sobriquet for the previous Nobel Peace Prize winning PotUS.
igueljose , Nov 2 2019 13:53 utc 144
migueljose , Nov 2 2019 13:53 utc | 144Karlof1,petri, lysias and others,(@40s) thank you for your details and focus on the U.S. government's crimes and actions in Ukraine, especially pointing to Obama. His name is left out of most blogs and discussions and I think is key to a critical need for us to redirect our future conversations and actions: we need to identify the neoliberal/neocon trojan horses early and often. I voted for Obama in 08 and was shocked as he immediately began filling his cabinet with neoliberal/neocons-- Geitner, Hillary, Gates, Summers, etc.
Obama's life and actions are a texbook explanation of how humans develop on the sociopathic spectrum. Not all sociopaths are evil-looking monsters. Obama, Biden, Buttigieg, Kamala, W... but their actions always expose them. We, as fellow humans and sentient beings, must develop filters that trigger deeper probes into their actions over time and their sociopathic-- even psychopatic actions will emerge.
Nov 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Nauman Sadiq,
Before the evacuation of 1,000 American troops from northern Syria to western Iraq, the Pentagon had 2,000 US forces in Syria. After the drawdown of US troops at Erdogan's insistence in order for Ankara to mount a ground offensive in northern Syria, the US has still deployed 1,000 troops, mainly in oil-rich eastern Deir al-Zor province and at al-Tanf military base.
Al-Tanf military base is strategically located in southeastern Syria on the border between Syria, Iraq and Jordan, and it straddles on a critically important Damascus-Baghdad highway, which serves as a lifeline for Damascus. Washington has illegally occupied 55-kilometer area around al-Tanf since 2016, and several hundred US Marines have trained several Syrian militant groups there.
It's worth noting that rather than fighting the Islamic State, the purpose of continued presence of the US forces at al-Tanf military base is to address Israel's concerns regarding the expansion of Iran's influence in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
Regarding the oil- and natural gas-rich Deir al-Zor governorate, it's worth pointing out that Syria used to produce modest quantities of oil for domestic needs before the war – roughly 400,000 barrels per day, which isn't much compared to tens of millions barrels daily oil production in the Gulf states.
Although Donald Trump crowed in a characteristic blunt manner in a tweet after the withdrawal of 1,000 American troops from northern Syria that Washington had deployed forces in eastern Syria where there was oil, the purpose of exercising control over Syria's oil is neither to smuggle oil out of Syria nor to deny the valuable source of revenue to the Islamic State.
There is no denying the fact that the remnants of the Islamic State militants are still found in Syria and Iraq but its emirate has been completely dismantled in the region and its leadership is on the run. So much so that the fugitive caliph of the terrorist organization was killed in the bastion of a rival jihadist outfit, al-Nusra Front in Idlib, hundreds of kilometers away from the Islamic State strongholds in eastern Syria.
Much like the "scorched earth" battle strategy of medieval warlords – as in the case of the Islamic State which early in the year burned crops of local farmers while retreating from its former strongholds in eastern Syria – Washington's basic purpose in deploying the US forces in oil and natural gas fields of Deir al-Zor governorate is to deny the valuable source of income to its other main rival in the region, Damascus.
After the devastation caused by eight years of proxy war, the Syrian government is in dire need of tens of billions dollars international assistance to rebuild the country. Not only is Washington hampering efforts to provide international aid to the hapless country, it is in fact squatting over Syria's own resources with the help of its only ally in the region, the Kurds.
Although Donald Trump claimed credit for expropriating Syria's oil wealth, it bears mentioning that "scorched earth" policy is not a business strategy, it is the institutional logic of the deep state. President Trump is known to be a businessman and at least ostensibly follows a non-interventionist ideology; being a novice in the craft of international diplomacy, however, he has time and again been misled by the Pentagon and Washington's national security establishment.
Regarding Washington's interest in propping up the Gulf's autocrats and fighting their wars in regional conflicts, it bears mentioning that in April 2016, the Saudi foreign minister threatened that the Saudi kingdom would sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets if the US Congress passed a bill that would allow Americans to sue the Saudi government in the United States courts for its role in the September 11, 2001 terror attack – though the bill was eventually passed, Saudi authorities have not been held accountable; even though 15 out of 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi nationals.
Moreover, $750 billion is only the Saudi investment in the United States, if we add its investment in Western Europe and the investments of UAE, Kuwait and Qatar in the Western economies, the sum total would amount to trillions of dollars of Gulf's investments in North America and Western Europe.
Furthermore, in order to bring home the significance of the Persian Gulf's oil in the energy-starved industrialized world, here are a few stats from the OPEC data: Saudi Arabia has the world's largest proven crude oil reserves of 265 billion barrels and its daily oil production exceeds 10 million barrels; Iran and Iraq, each, has 150 billion barrels reserves and has the capacity to produce 5 million barrels per day, each; while UAE and Kuwait, each, has 100 billion barrels reserves and produces 3 million barrels per day, each; thus, all the littoral states of the Persian Gulf, together, hold 788 billion barrels, more than half of world's 1477 billion barrels of proven oil reserves.
No wonder then, 36,000 United States troops have currently been deployed in their numerous military bases and aircraft carriers in the oil-rich Persian Gulf in accordance with the Carter Doctrine of 1980, which states: "Let our position be absolutely clear: an attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force."
Additionally, regarding the Western defense production industry's sales of arms to the Gulf Arab States, a report authored by William Hartung of the US-based Center for International Policy found that the Obama administration had offered Saudi Arabia more than $115 billion in weapons, military equipment and training during its eight-year tenure.
Similarly, the top items in Trump's agenda for his maiden visit to Saudi Arabia in May 2017 were: firstly, he threw his weight behind the idea of the Saudi-led "Arab NATO" to counter Iran's influence in the region; and secondly, he announced an unprecedented arms package for Saudi Arabia. The package included between $98 billion and $128 billion in arms sales.
Therefore, keeping the economic dependence of the Western countries on the Gulf Arab States in mind, during the times of global recession when most of manufacturing has been outsourced to China, it is not surprising that when the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia decided to provide training and arms to the Islamic jihadists in the border regions of Turkey and Jordan against the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the Obama administration was left with no other choice but to toe the destructive policy of its regional Middle Eastern allies, despite the sectarian nature of the proxy war and its attendant consequences of breeding a new generation of Islamic jihadists who would become a long-term security risk not only to the Middle East but to the Western countries, as well.
Similarly, when King Abdullah's successor King Salman decided, on the whim of the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, to invade Yemen in March 2015, once again the Obama administration had to yield to the dictates of Saudi Arabia and UAE by fully coordinating the Gulf-led military campaign in Yemen not only by providing intelligence, planning and logistical support but also by selling billions of dollars' worth of arms and ammunition to the Gulf Arab States during the conflict.
In this reciprocal relationship, the US provides security to the ruling families of the Gulf Arab states by providing weapons and troops; and in return, the Gulf's petro-sheikhs contribute substantial investments to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars to the Western economies.
Regarding the Pax Americana which is the reality of the contemporary neocolonial order, according to a January 2017 infographic by the New York Times, 210,000 US military personnel were stationed all over the world, including 79,000 in Europe, 45,000 in Japan, 28,500 in South Korea and 36,000 in the Middle East.
Although Donald Trump keeps complaining that NATO must share the cost of deployment of US troops, particularly in Europe where 47,000 American troops are stationed in Germany since the end of the Second World War, 15,000 in Italy and 8,000 in the United Kingdom, fact of the matter is that the cost is already shared between Washington and host countries.
Roughly, European countries pay one-third of the cost for maintaining US military bases in Europe whereas Washington chips in the remaining two-third. In the Far Eastern countries, 75% of the cost for the deployment of American troops is shared by Japan and the remaining 25% by Washington, and in South Korea, 40% cost is shared by the host country and the US contributes the remaining 60%.
Whereas the oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) – Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar – pay two-third of the cost for maintaining 36,000 US troops in the Persian Gulf where more than half of world's proven oil reserves are located and Washington contributes the remaining one-third.
* * *
Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based attorney, columnist and geopolitical analyst focused on the politics of Af-Pak and Middle East regions, neocolonialism and petro-imperialism.
ipsprez , 8 minutes ago linkOLD-Pipe , 19 minutes ago link
I am always amazed (and amused) at how much smarter "journalists" are than POTUS. If ONLY Mr. Trump would read more and listen to those who OBVIOUSLY are sooo much smarter!!!! Maybe then he wouldn't be cowed and bullied by Erdogan, Xi, Jung-on, Trudeau (OK so maybe that one was too far fetched) to name a few. Please note the sarcasm. Do I really need to go in to the success after success Mr. Trump's foreign policy has enjoyed? Come on Man.Blue Steel 309 , 5 minutes ago link
What a load of BOLOCKS...The ONLY, I mean The Real and True Reason for American Armored presence is one thing,,,,,,,Ready for IT ? ? ? To Steal as much OIL as Possible, AND convert the Booty into Currency, Diamonds or some other intrinsically valuable commodity, Millions of Dollars at a Time......17 Years of Shadows and Ghost Trucks and Tankers Loading and Off-Loading the Black Gold...this is what its all about......M-O-N-E-Y....... Say It With Me.... Mon-nee, Money Money Mo_on_ne_e_ey, ......ombon , 58 minutes ago link
This is about Israel, not oil.Pandelis , 28 minutes ago link
From the sale of US oil in Syria receive 30 million. dollars per month. Image losses are immeasurably greater. The United States put the United States as a robbery bandit. This is American democracy. The longer the troops are in Syria, the more countries will switch to settlements in national currencies.uhland62 , 50 minutes ago link
yeah well these are mafia guys...BobEore , 1 hour ago link
"Our interests", "strategic interests" is always about money, just a euphemism so it doesn't look as greedy as it is. Another euphemism is "security' ,meaning war preparations.
...The military power of the USA put directly in the service of "the original TM" PIRATE STATE. U are the man Norm! But wait... now things get a little hazy... in the classic... 'alt0media fake storyline' fashion!
"President Trump is known to be a businessman and at least ostensibly follows a non-interventionist ideology; being a novice in the craft of international diplomacy, however, he has time and again been misled by the Pentagon and Washington's national security establishment."
Awww! Poor "DUmb as Rocks Donnie" done been fooled agin!
...In the USA... the military men are stirring at last... having been made all too aware that their putative 'boss' has been operating on behalf of foreign powers ever since being [s]elected, that the State Dept of the once Great Republic has been in active cahoots with the jihadis ...
and that those who were sent over there to fight against the headchoppers discovered that the only straight shooters in the whole mess turned out to be the Kurds who AGENT FRIMpf THREW UNDER THE BUS ON INSTRUCTIONS FROM JIHADI HQ!
... ... ...
Nov 03, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Peter AU1 , Nov 2 2019 2:13 utc | 102lysias 98 US when it comes to international law has been lawless since 1986.
"The Republic of Nicaragua v. The United States of America (1986) ICJ 1 is a public international law case decided by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ ruled in favor of Nicaragua and against the United States and awarded reparations to Nicaragua. The ICJ held that the U.S. had violated international law by supporting the Contras in their rebellion against the Nicaraguan government and by mining Nicaragua's harbors. The United States refused to participate in the proceedings after the Court rejected its argument that the ICJ lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. The U.S. also blocked enforcement of the judgment by the United Nations Security Council and thereby prevented Nicaragua from obtaining any compensation."
In the last decades, US has used things like R2P and coalitions and so forth, but under Trump, US is dropping most pretenses. Pompeo at times is as honest as Trump when it comes to US and what it is.
I linked a video in an earlier comment to Pompeo, but then I realised there was a bit more to "We lied, we cheated, we stole." The piece that was cut off in the earlier video I linked " It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment"
Don Bacon , Nov 2 2019 2:29 utc | 103We can all wish that things were different, but they are what they are. So we have to recognize what exists and look out for ourselves. And a little shot of Edward Abbey is pain relief sometimes. Some quips from an anarchist:lysias , Nov 2 2019 2:31 utc | 104
> I know my own nation best. That's why I despise it the most. And I know and love my own people, too, the swine. I'm a patriot. A dangerous man!
> A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.
> Democracy--rule by the people--sounds like a fine thing; we should try it sometime in America.
>> No man is wise enough to be another man's master. Each man's as good as the next -- if not a damn sight better.The Bushes were a CIA family. William Barr's first jobs after college were with the CIA, and his father was OSS. This has been the CIA's attitude towards law from the start. They've largely been running the country since the JFK assassination, and now they're out in the open trying to topple an elected president.
Nov 03, 2019 | www.citizenfreepress.com
John Ratcliffe ✔ @RepRatcliffe
This is impeachment effort 3.0 by Schiff. After twice falsely accusing the President of treason with Russia and obstructing justice, Democrats put Schiff in charge of impeachment 3.0 with someone who became a whistleblower after meeting with Schiff's staff.
A former federal prosecutor who sits on the committee tasked by Democrats with removing President Donald Trump from office blasted Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., as being unfit to oversee the process. Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Tex., told The Federalist on Friday that Schiff's problem isn't mere partisan political bias, it's that Schiff has a conflict of interest given his secret interactions with the anti-Trump whistleblower before his false complaint against Trump was even submitted.
"It's more than just bias -- it's an actual legal conflict of interest," Ratcliffe told The Federalist. "Schiff is using his authority as a Chairman presiding over an impeachment inquiry to prevent the investigation and discovery of facts about his own actions or the actions of his staff."
Nov 03, 2019 | thefederalist.com
"The person who planted fake evidence shouldn't be the one ruling on the admissibility of fake evidence," Ratcliffe said of Schiff on Friday. November 1, 2019 By Sean Davis A former federal prosecutor who sits on the committee tasked by Democrats with removing President Donald Trump from office blasted Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., as being unfit to oversee the process. Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Tex., told The Federalist on Friday that Schiff's problem isn't mere partisan political bias, it's that Schiff has a conflict of interest given his secret interactions with the anti-Trump whistleblower before his false complaint against Trump was even submitted.
"It's more than just bias -- it's an actual legal conflict of interest," Ratcliffe told The Federalist . "Schiff is using his authority as a Chairman presiding over an impeachment inquiry to prevent the investigation and discovery of facts about his own actions or the actions of his staff."
"He is essentially a witness in the trial over which he is presiding," Ratcliffe continued. "He has a conflict of interest because his testimony is relevant to the origins of the impeachment process that he is simultaneously conducting, directing and managing."
Although Schiff initially claimed that he and his staff had never interacted with the anti-Trump complainant and didn't even know who he was, the New York Times reported that the whistleblower secretly coordinated with Schiff's Democratic staff, who then urged him to file a complaint against the president.
"The person who planted fake evidence shouldn't be the one ruling on the admissibility of fake evidence," Ratcliffe said on Friday.
"Despite initially denying any contact with the whistleblower, Schiff had already been briefed about at least one meeting between his staff and that individual prior to the filing of the complaint," Ratcliffe said. "Material facts about the date, nature and extent of that meeting as well as any other contacts, communication or possible coordination between Chairman Schiff, his staff and the whistleblower were never disclosed by any of those parties to ICIG Michael Atkinson -- facts confirmed in the sworn testimony of ICIG Atkinson which Chairman Schiff is refusing to release."
Testimony by Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) Michael Atkinson revealed that the whistleblower, whom Real Clear Investigations has identified as former National Security Council (NSC) staffer and current Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst Eric Ciaramella, concealed his contacts with Schiff from the ICIG in his complaint form. If the anti-Trump complainant did, in fact, refuse to disclose previous disclosures of his allegations to Congress or the news media, he could be subject to felony criminal penalties for making false statements. The final portion of the whistleblower form requires whistleblowers to attest under penalty of perjury that they have neither misstated nor concealed material facts in their complaints.
"I certify that all of the statements made in this complaint (including any continuation pages) are true, complete, and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief," whistleblowers are required to attest under penalty of perjury. "I understand that, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 1001, a false statement or concealment of a material fact is a criminal offense punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment for up to five years, or both."
Schiff has refused to detail the breadth of his interactions with the anti-Trump complainant or explain why he lied about his staff's collusion with the complainant. Ratcliffe told The Federalist that Schiff's behavior was an "outrageous offense to legal due process."
"Chairman Schiff has likewise refused to allow any inquiry by Republicans into these material facts which may bear on the credibility and motivation of the whistleblower and perhaps Chairman Schiff," Ratcliffe said. "Republicans have been and continue to be deprived of the ability to investigate these material facts which can only be ascertained from the sworn testimony of Chairman Schiff, his staff and the whistleblower."
"Chairman Schiff is a material fact witness in the same impeachment inquiry that Democrats have authorized him to preside over," Ratcliffe continued. "It's an outrageous offense to legal due process and any standard of fairness."
Earlier this year, all nine Republican lawmakers on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence called on Schiff to step down as chairman due to his repeated lies about treasonous Russian collusion by the president.
"The findings of the Special Counsel conclusively refute your past and present assertions and have exposed you as having abused your position to knowingly promote false information, having damaged the integrity of this Committee, and undermined faith in U.S. government institutions," they wrote.
"Your actions both past and present are incompatible with your duty as Chairman of this Committee, which alone in the House of Representatives has the obligation and authority to provide effective oversight of the U.S. intelligence community," they continued . "As such, we have no faith in your ability to discharge your duties in a manner consistent with your Constitutional responsibility and urge your immediate resignation as Chairman of this Committee. Sean Davis is the co-founder of The Federalist.