Populism as a social protest against neoliberalism

Why is populism (aka anti-establishment "Popular Front" strategy) booming? 
Because neoliberalism is collapsing...

 

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Why is populism booming?  Because neoliberalism is collapsing...

Guardian comment 29 Nov 2018 12:13
 

Populism is a term used instead of the term "mass social protest" and it is advanced be neoliberal propagandists and neoliberal MSM in their attempt to smear the rejection of neoliberalism by the vast swats of the US population.  It means the legitimization of the ruling elite, with such typical charges as corruption, the control of government by financial oligarchy and suppression of wages.  This derogatory meaning of the term "populism"  is an important part of the neoliberal propaganda arsenal, an effective delegitimization dirty trick, similar to "conspiracy theorists" and the "truther".  It was invented by those weasels (which is actually affront to weasels ;-) as a substitute for “social protest” in order to discredit the whole idea of revolt against the neoliberal elite. The revolt against ruling elite, who lost its legitimacy,  has been a part of human history for centuries; in 2016 in the USA it took the form of the election of Trump, which signified the crushing political fiasco of the establishment neoliberal candidate -- Hillary Clinton. 

Rise of social protest (aka "populism") first of all signify loss of the legitimacy of the ruling elite and in modern time discreditation of the current ideology of the ruling party (in case of the USA this is neoliberalism, which as an ideology became dead in 2008. ) Charges of the elite corruption is just a tip of the iceberg in complex process of the loss of legitimacy. Nasty jokes about members of ruling elite (for example, about Clinton sexapades  or Bolton warmongering) and rumors  are two another common factors Rumors ( aka "fake news" in the neoliberal NewSpeak) should be viewed as an improvised news and their proliferation is an important  sign of loss of credibility of the official propaganda channel -- in our case the neoliberal MSM. 

All-in-all we can talk about the creation of what is called "revolutionary situation" when the elite can't govern "as usual" and low and middle classes does not want to continue to live "as usual". Right now we can talk about the loss of legitimacy of the neoliberal ruling elite, which was demonstrated by the defeat of establishing candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016 elections. Trump who won the election proved to be a turncoat and betrayed most of his election promises but the fact remains.

By taking down  the most corrupt representatives in office, some measure that lessen to burden imposed by the neoliberalism and imperial overstretch on the US workers can be leaved. While this does not solve the problem as corruption is a systemic problem under neoliberalism is institualized via revolving doors policy deposing a corrupt congressman or two reliefs some social pressure.  Outside deposing Hillary Clinton, populism in the USA did not fare well in this regard, and such odious politicians as Debbie Wasserman-Schultz managed to be reelected (she was instrumental in pushing Bernie Sanders under then bus and fueling Russiagate hysteria ).  

The 1890s and early 1900s saw the establishment of the Populist and Progressive movements. Both were based on the people’s dissatisfaction with elite and robber barons, the capture of the government and its inability to deal effectively in addressing the problems of the day. During 1880's, workers drew together to form unions to negotiate for better working conditions, shorter hours, high wages. (Steel workers had to work 7 days/wk. Seamstresses worked 6 days/wk, 12 hours/day; no vacation or reimbursement for injuries suffered on the job, which happened quite frequently ). Factory working condition were bad. Dirty, poorly ventilated, unsafe, with almost 1K deaths due to work accidents a week nationwide. Low wages meant the whole family had to work full-time, including mothers and children (sweatshops made children work 14hrs/day). Women earned half as much as men. This situation when both wife and husband need to work to provide a decent standard of living for the family returned under neoliberalism in full force.

The supporters of both these movements had become especially outraged that moneyed special interest groups controlled government, and that the people had no ability to break this control. They soon began to propose a comprehensive platform of political reforms that included women’s suffrage, secret ballots, direct election of U.S.  The press which was not completely captured by the ruling financial oligarchy and intelligence agencies like is the case today played an important role in the movement.

muckraker: A reform-oriented investigative journalist during the Progressive Era. The muckrakers’ work called attention to the problems of the time, including poor industrial working conditions, poor urban living conditions, and unscrupulous business practices. Prominent muckrakers included novelist Upton Sinclair, photographer Jacob Riis, and journalists Ida M. Tarbell and Lincoln Steffens.

The Populists wanted to nationalize railroads, break up big trusts, and get rid of the gold standard, which restricted the money supply. They also advocated an eight-hour workday, women's suffrage, and a progressive income tax. In 1892 Populist presidential candidate James B. Weaver won 8.5 percent of the vote. This movement was the first  to argue for expanding the power of the federal government to serve the welfare of ordinary Americans.  In 1896 Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, who wanted to abolish the gold standard ( "You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold") was probably the most progressive candidate on this historical period. His speeches belong to the history's most famous speeches. He lost the election to Republican William McKinley but his ideas were deeply influenced the Democratic Party and became the foundation of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. More radical versions also sprang up during the Depression, which saw the meteoric rise of Huey P. Long, who later was killed. He was a sworn enemy of oligarchs and corporate interests. In the depths of the Depression, Long's "Share Our Wealth" plan called for the federal government to confiscate the fortunes of anyone with more than $8 million in wealth to provide a $5,000 annual income ($71,450 in 2015 dollars) and health care for all American families. As governor, Long built thousands of miles of roads and improved education.

Later In the 1960s,  Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who was VP in Roosevelt administration but later dismissed by corporate forces in  favor of Truman also tried to rally voters on anti-corporatism platform. But at this point corporatism was already entrenched and intelligence agencies created by Truman (FBI, CIA and NSA) became an important factor in the USA political live (J. Edgar Hoover  systematically collected dirt of politicians even before formal establishment of FBI; JFK was killed in 1963, possibly with CIA active participation) so he lost.  Still his third-party presidential bid in 1968 drew 13.6% of the voters.

 

The 2008 financial crisis sparked an explosion of anger against Wall Street and Washington. With Sanders populism reentered the USA politics — his stump speeches would have played well in the 1890s. Please note that now the open revolt is impossible due to "National Security State" with its militarized police and  Total survellance

As MSM are totally controlled by neoliberals, the only viable forms of protest are alternative press, trade unions strikes and the voting booth. And neoliberal MSM try to hush down and discredit this anti-neoliberal sentiment among voters (which resulted in the election of Trump and Brexit in GB) linking it to "far right", xenophobia and anti-immigration sentiment.  (while simultaneously they do love far right in Ukraine, don't they; and any other places were far right dance to the tune from Washington). For example, Bloomberg presstitutes try to define this process strictly in anti-immigration and secular stagnation terms. They avoid mentioning the words neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization (Nationalists and Populists Poised to Dominate European Balloting - Bloomberg)

In the coming 12 months, four of Europe’s five largest economies have votes that will almost certainly mean serious gains for right-wing populists and nationalists. Once seen as fringe groups, France’s National Front, Italy’s Five Star Movement, and the Freedom Party in the Netherlands have attracted legions of followers by tapping discontent over immigration, terrorism, and feeble economic performance. “The Netherlands should again become a country of and for the Dutch people,” says Evert Davelaar, a Freedom Party backer who says immigrants don’t share “Western and Christian values.”

When neoliberal propagandists start using the word populism often that means that propaganda stopped working and people start waking up to the damage neoliberalism has done to societies. Emerging from decades of neoliberal brainwashing, working people class has not yet to realize the enormous task of dismantling neoliberal empire. We see only  opening moments of this unfolding struggle.

Wikipedia is especially bad (this is the case when it can really be called "CIA front" ;-):

Populism is a political ideology that holds that virtuous citizens are mistreated by a small circle of elites, who can be overthrown if the people recognize the danger and work together. Populism depicts elites as trampling on the rights, values, and voice of the legitimate people.[1]

The problem with Wikipedia definition is the people are always mistreated by the elite. That’s the essence of the elite rule. Most of the time they suffer quietly. Only when quantity turns into quality we have a vocal social protest. At this point people wake up to the level of mistreatment and abuse from the elite. While the level of degeneration of the elite prevents emergence of leaders able to cope with the challenges.  Under US neoliberal regime. since 80th social inequality in the USA has reached staggering proportions. Indeed, according to some reports, income inequality in the United States is greater than that which exists in Egypt and Tunisia befor they were spet in color revolutions (aka Arab spring). Of course the repressive apparatus in the USA is much stronger so open protest will be crushed (as quickly happened with the Occupy movement), but to control how people vote at the voting booth during 2016 presidential election is more difficult task. It requires rigging the election, to which Trump alluded several times.  The USA election are rigged by definition, as they do not have checks and balances, like international observers and  representative of both parties during counting process.  Also electronic machines used do not have the paper trail which is tremendous no-no. In general only paper ballots provides some level of verification of the process of counting the votes and usage of voting machines can be viewed as a voter suppression mechanism. 

Labeling social protest against neoliberalism as “populism” is one of the most dirty neoliberal propaganda tricks.

Labeling social protest against neoliberalism as “populism” is one of the most dirty neoliberal propaganda tricks.

And cries about “populism” signify the point when the elite loses part of the  control over previous obedient  “peons”. Propaganda and brainwashing suddenly stop working. As happened with neoliberal propaganda and brainwashing now. That signifies troubles for neoliberalism, troubles that actually started in 2008 (ideology is already dead, but social forces behind it are still strong, so it continues to exist in zombie state) and neoliberal globalization in particular. With secular stagnation, deterioration standards of living for 90% of population, widening social inequality, police brutality, ecological catastrophes, crumbling infrastructure,  and the growing threat of a new world war there is an emerging mass consensus that the great neoliberal experiment stared by Reagan and Thatcher has failed.

Note how Times has written about "color revolution" In Moscow in 2011-2012. Now this is fully applicable to the USA:

In short, 2011 was unlike any year since 1989—but more extraordinary, more global, more democratic, since in ’89 the regime disintegrations were all the result of a single disintegration at headquarters, one big switch pulled in Moscow that cut off the power throughout the system. So 2011 was unlike any year since 1968—but more consequential because more protesters have more skin in the game.

Their protests weren’t part of a countercultural pageant, as in ’68, and rapidly morphed into full-fledged rebellions, bringing down regimes and immediately changing the course of history. It was, in other words, unlike anything in any of our lifetimes, probably unlike any year since 1848, when one street protest in Paris blossomed into a three-day revolution that turned a monarchy into a republican democracy and then—within weeks, thanks in part to the new technologies (telegraphy, railroads, rotary printing presses)—inspired an unstoppable cascade of protest and insurrection in Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Milan, Venice and dozens of other places across Europe.

This discontent is the byproduct of the economic collapse of 2008. During the bubble years there was enough money trickling down to keep peons more or less happy, but now the global financial crisis and economic stagnation make them feel like suckers.

In 2016 the US ruling elite suddenly became aware of the danger from their own social isolation. They did not understand that outside the top 10%, there is the vast swats of working people, whose standard of living undergone an immense and unrelenting deterioration. The end of the USSR in 1991 unleashed an eruption of neoliberal triumphalism, which proclaimed that neoliberalism represents the permanent refutation of Bolshevism (which was true) and "the end of history". They were wrong with the second part as 35 years later that facede of neoliberalism is crumbling and the neoliberal elite is running for cover.

That means Neoliberal political leaders lose the legitimacy in the eyes of substantial strata of people, including the middle class. In other words the situation, which Marxism defines as a “revolutionary situation” arises ( http://www.marxist.com/greece-on-the-brink-of-revolutionary-situation.htm )

In the writings of Lenin and Trotsky, we can find the definition of what is a revolutionary situation. In his book “The failure of the Second International” (1916) Lenin explained:

“What, generally speaking, are the symptoms of a revolutionary situation? We shall certainly not be mistaken if we indicate the following three major symptoms: (1) when it is impossible for the ruling classes to maintain their rule without any change; when there is a crisis, in one form or another, among the “upper classes”, a crisis in the policy of the ruling class, leading to a fissure through which the discontent and indignation of the oppressed classes burst forth. For a revolution to take place, it is usually insufficient for “the lower classes not to want” to live in the old way; it is also necessary that “the upper classes should be unable” to live in the old way; (2) when the suffering and want of the oppressed classes have grown more acute than usual; (3) when, as a consequence of the above causes, there is a considerable increase in the activity of the masses, who uncomplainingly allow themselves to be robbed in “peace time”, but, in turbulent times, are drawn both by all the circumstances of the crisis and by the “upper classes” themselves into independent historical action.

“…..The totality of all these objective changes is called a revolutionary situation. Such a situation existed in 1905 in Russia, and in all revolutionary periods in the West;…”

Trotsky in 1940, in the Emergency Manifesto explained the necessary conditions for the victory of the proletariat:

“The basic conditions for the victory of the proletarian revolution have been established by historical experience and clarified theoretically: (1) the bourgeois impasse and the resulting confusion of the ruling class; (2) the sharp dissatisfaction and the striving towards decisive changes in the ranks of the petty bourgeoisie, without whose support the big bourgeoisie cannot maintain itself; (3) the consciousness of the intolerable situation and readiness for revolutionary actions in the ranks of the proletariat; (4) a clear program and a firm leadership of the proletarian vanguard—these are the four conditions for the victory of the proletarian revolution.” (Manifesto of the Fourth International on Imperialist War and the Imperialist War).

Also, at this point, the neoliberal elite itself became discredited. Attitude to Hillary is a clear indication that this is happening in the USA. People mostly despise her.

From The Guardian comments ( https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/13/birth-of-populism-donald-trump?CMP=fb_us )

sniffmysmellysocks

‘Populism’ is a term used by the neoliberal elite to describe democracy as seen recently in the Brexit referendum.

Oldfranky

A very simple way to explain popularism:- A rise against the perceived norms in politics. In the case of the UK , a vote against the smug over confident career Oxbridge politician, who has not a clue of real life…

Earl_Grey

Call it what you want, but agree, the People are starting to wake up to the fact that they are being screwed. That can only mean one thing, time the Rich start a war that is big enough to distract the People and send a lot of them off to fight in it…

GodfreyRich

The metropolitan establishment have brought this on themselves by ignoring the interests of the British working class and by promoting multiculturalism over traditional British values.

MrHumbug

As I recall, F.D. Roosevelt was also widely branded as a “populist.” Populism is always a movement against the ruling elites on behalf of downtrodden and ignored majority. It is only incidental that modern populism has a “right wing” in aspect, for most of modern history it was decidedly left-leaning since the ruling paradigm of the elite was traditionally of the right variety.

And besides, I consider the whole left/right dichotomy completely out of date and useless in 21st century. We need new terms.


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[Nov 09, 2019] This should put the kobosh in Warren saying she is a progressive

Nov 09, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

snoopydawg on Thu, 11/07/2019 - 9:25pm

Bain Capital was co-founded by Mitt Romney.

Deval Patrick is a Managing Director.

Elizabeth Warren wants Patrick in her administration. @EmmaVigeland @atrios @NomikiKonst @_michaelbrooks @BernieBroStar

-- Eric J - #Bernie2020 (@EricJafMN) November 8, 2019

Deval Patrick served on the board at subprime mortgage giant Ameriquest. Melody Barnes is on the board at bigwig defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Textbook cases of the revolving door corruption Warren frequently attacks. https://t.co/KU3Ct3j9eC

-- Zach Carter (@zachdcarter) November 8, 2019

If she really cared about the policies she is running on she would have endorsed Bernie. Period. It was during the primary that Hillary said, "single payer will never ever happen here."

Bernie was running on it and yet Warren did not endorse him for it. If she actually wants to help us she would drop out and tell people to vote for Bernie. Sure everyone has the right to run for president, but we know or believe that she is only running to keep Bernie from becoming president.

She is lying to us about not taking money from rich people and corporations because she took their money for her senate campaign and transferred it to her presidential campaign. If she isn't up front about this then how can we trust her on anything else?

Chuck Todd is such a tool

My jaw is on the floor.

Elites eliting about elites while elitseplaining to working Americans about how they are going to vote for some elites and beat the Republicans elite. https://t.co/l0W8QPUT0E

-- Nomiki Konst(@NomikiKonst) November 8, 2019

"Who is to the left of Bloomberg on guns and climate change?" Hmm let me think...of course it's not Biden. Nor Harris...Kilobits.... Buttigieg or even Warren. Doh!

[Nov 09, 2019] Warren called herself a teacher, really pushed her teacher history, and asked "Are there any teachers in the crowd", etc etc. It was so fake and pandering. I wanted to barf.

Nov 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

petal , November 8, 2019 at 2:29 pm

Warren did that(what Alex Thompson tweeted about) at her town hall here. Called herself a teacher, really pushed her teacher history, and asked "Are there any teachers in the crowd", etc etc. It was so fake and pandering. I wanted to barf. Do people really fall for this stuff? The folksy garbage was poured on mighty thick. I was sitting there thinking "Come on, lady-you've been a professor at the highest profile law school in the country for how long now?"

Lambert Strether Post author , November 8, 2019 at 2:33 pm

> The folksy garbage was poured on mighty thick.

Lime green Jello with marshmallows. That's the sort of thing I think of. Food I'd avoid at a church basement supper if at all possible.

petal , November 8, 2019 at 2:49 pm

Yep.
It's funny-I spent 10 years at Harvard, and I lived near The Yard and the law school. I knew a lot of faculty at H, and was privy to a lot of the politics that went on. My bs detector was honed there. At the town hall, I could see right through her. It was all so familiar. Don't underestimate the cunning and doublespeak. What is that quote-"When someone shows you who they are, believe them"?

Pavel , November 8, 2019 at 3:58 pm

Why didn't she proclaim her great groundbreaking achievement of being Harvard's "first woman of color" professorial appointment? Isn't she proud of that any more?

Dog, that woman seems to be in a race to seem the least authentic. Can't her staff tell her to act natural?

After I post this comment, I'm gonna get me a beer.

Phillip Allen , November 8, 2019 at 8:16 pm

"Can't her staff tell her to act natural?"

Why assume that what we see isn't her natural self, such as it is? Or, rather, that there's anything more genuinely human underneath the pandering, opportunistic surface? As Petal cited above, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them."

[Nov 09, 2019] Are You Calling Me Stupid Gabbard Rips Joy Behar's 'Useful Idiot' Smear On The View

Notable quotes:
"... Journalist Glenn Greenwald summarized the testy exchange as Gabbard "responding with righteous rage but also great dignity to the disgusting smears of Democrats about her patriotism and loyalty." ..."
"... What a woman! Get Trump out and give the POTUS to Tulsi. Wonderful. I will definitely contribute to her campaign. ..."
"... What's funny about the whole thing is that the 'regular viewers' of the view are some of the most programmable 'useless' idiots that this (excuse for a country) has ever seen.... ..."
"... The View -- owned by Disney. Openly misandrist show -- in the shows more than 2 decades, having gone through dozens of hosts, the show has never had a male host. How's that for "inclusivity"? ..."
Nov 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Democratic presidential candidate and Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard faced the increasingly nasty smears branding her a Russian asset and "traitor" head on during The View on Wednesday, following the recent spat with Hillary Clinton who suggested the Kremlin was "grooming" Gabbard to be a third-party candidate .

"Some of you have accused me of being a traitor to my country, a Russian asset, a Trojan horse, or a useful idiot I think was the term that you used," Gabbard told the panel, after in prior episodes Joy Behar especially had agreed with and aggressively amplified Hillary's baseless claims. The panel had also previously called her a Trojan horse. Gabbard came out swinging in her remarks: "It's offensive to me as a soldier, as an American, as a member of Congress, as a veteran, and frankly as a woman, to be so demeaned in such a way."

"Well, useful," Behar said, referencing her previously labeling the Iraq war veteran Moscow's 'useful idiot'. "But that's a Russian term, they use that," she added. "Are You Calling Me Stupid?" Gabbard at one point angrily shoots back. And demonstrating just how low and idiotic, and without substantive argument the "controversy" around Gabbard has become, Behar at one point even offers as 'evidence' of the presidential candidate's supposed Russian ties that she's appeared on FOX's Tucker Carlson Tonight on multiple occasions.

"I am a strong and intelligent woman of color, who has dedicated almost all of my adult life to protecting the safety, security & liberty of Americans," Gabbard fired back.

She also schooled the panel on her distinguished military career and slammed Behar's likening her to Putin's "useful idiot" -- explaining also that she joined the Army after the 9/11 attacks but that her country lied to her in invading Iraq.

"You are implying that I am too stupid, and too naive, and lack the intelligence to know what I am doing," she further counter-attacked Behar with.

The full segment from Wednesday's The View appearance is below, with the fight over Behar's "useful idiot" remarks beginning at the 1-min mark:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-Y8ayIpjPvY

One astounding moment came when Gabbard reiterated her position that Hillary Clinton is a "warmonger," at which point Behar actually asked, "What's your evidence of that?"

A perplexed Gabbard immediately shot back, "Are you serious?"

Journalist Glenn Greenwald summarized the testy exchange as Gabbard "responding with righteous rage but also great dignity to the disgusting smears of Democrats about her patriotism and loyalty."


haruspicio , 45 minutes ago link

What a woman! Get Trump out and give the POTUS to Tulsi. Wonderful. I will definitely contribute to her campaign.

BTW who is that ******* harridan to her left, the ugly one cutting her off all the time? What a ******* bitch.

Bubba Rum Das , 2 hours ago link

What's funny about the whole thing is that the 'regular viewers' of the view are some of the most programmable 'useless' idiots that this (excuse for a country) has ever seen....

wakeupscreaming , 2 hours ago link

The View -- owned by Disney. Openly misandrist show -- in the shows more than 2 decades, having gone through dozens of hosts, the show has never had a male host. How's that for "inclusivity"?

Next time you take the kids to the movies or to a themepark, think twice about patronizing Disney.

keep the bastards honest , 1 hour ago link

Stay away, they are perverts, keep your kids away from their media and products.

Petkattash , 4 hours ago link

She was clear and confident in her remarks. Still don't care for many of her policies but she is was better that the rest of the D bunch.

iSage , 7 hours ago link

I am fearful the Republic for which We Stand, is falling, right before our eyes. I guess we disengaged at some point, sad. We are all Americans, what happened to the common ground? It is disappearing...

Bobzilla. Do not piss him off , 7 hours ago link

Joy Behar is a so fugly. She's a loudmouth ******, who is even uglier than the fat negress with the stupid looking blonde dregs. ****, what a hideous show. Anyone who watches that POS show is a ******* low IQ moron .

[Nov 08, 2019] Thank you Tulsi Gabbard for speaking out against the war machine

Nov 08, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hal Duell , Nov 8 2019 19:20 utc | 22

@bevin | Nov 8 2019 18:29 utc | 12
Exactly, and thanks.
Question: Could Bloomberg change the equation, the equation being that neither Sanders nor Warren not Biden have what it takes to defeat Trump?
And thank you Tulsi Gabbard for speaking out against the war machine and the penal gulag.
Nemesiscalling , Nov 8 2019 19:41 utc | 23
With all the vitriol being leveled against Tulsi to paint her as a Russian plant or useful idiot or whatever, whether from Hillary or the worthless females on the view, a daytime television show aimed at influencing the political opinion of stay-at-home middlebrow moms and retirees (Including low energy males), I think my earlier thought that without the Djt phenomenon, there would be no Tulsi, is proven more and more correct with each passing day.

And for those suffering from such a quickening case of tds, unable to point out that before the current potus, the tpp was a thing, fake news was as of yet unexposed, Syria was a powderkeg with the potential of a Russophobic true believer ready to command and chief, and where immigration as a national question had not been brought to bear on a people that had been for decades suffering the effect of the evil of cheap, exploitative labor, your case against the man is extremely misguided and, dare I say, you are the useful idiot here.

karlof1 , Nov 8 2019 23:14 utc | 37
Perhaps one reason Gabbard's political career will continue to be successful:

"I go on Tucker Carlson, I go on Bret Baier, I go on Sean Hannity, I go on MSNBC, I go on CNN -- I am here to speak to every single American in this country about the unifying leadership that I want to bring as president, not just speak to those who agree with me."

IIRC, Sanders is the only other candidate who consistently says we need to do this (Change America) together. IMO, there's only one way Gabbard and Sanders will be nominated next year in Milwaukee: That's because We the People hijack the Convention, driving out the Clintonistas, DNC pukes, and their Super Delegates and nominate them via proclamation. All that's lacking to attain such an outcome is the effort, the will, the realization that nothing good's going to happen for We the People unless We do it Ourselves.

[Nov 08, 2019] The Poetry of Populism The American Conservative

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] Charlie Kirk and Kochsucker Conservatism E. Michael Jones

Highly recommended!
Biting critique of Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk
Nov 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

utu , says: November 7, 2019 at 6:47 am GMT

Charlie Kirk and Kochsucker Conservatism – E. Michael Jones

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9Es15SwELIA?feature=oembed

the grand wazoo , says: November 7, 2019 at 11:03 pm GMT
Kirk 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] 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.

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 GMT

Out 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:

https://www.prisonplanet.com/bill-gates-says-it-was-a-mistake-to-meet-with-epstein-5-years-after-he-was-convicted-as-a-sex-offender.html

https://www.prisonplanet.com/katie-pavlich-ties-abcs-epstein-cover-up-to-clintons-stephanopoulos.html

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.

Durruti

[Nov 08, 2019] Groyper Revolt Against Israel First Conservative Inc - Dave Reilly

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 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.

no name , 3 days 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.

Katie Rae , 23 hours ago

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] Well then, thank God for Tucker Carlson: he is against all the Middle East wars, and wants to bring the troops home and put them on our Southern Border

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.

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.

Curmudgeon , says: November 7, 2019 at 9:07 pm GMT
@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.

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.

DanFromCT , says: November 7, 2019 at 9:53 pm GMT
@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] Who has Trump kept his promise to?

Nov 08, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Nov 8 2019 17:31 utc | 8

Who has Trump kept his promise to?

Tea Party foot soldiers?

Repeal and replace Obamacare on day one
Nope. Quietly dropped coverage for prior conditions.

Build a Wall - and Mexico's gonna pay for it!

Not really. Building sections of a wall that USA will pay for.

Drain the swamp

Nope - unless by "swamp" Trump means the Democratic Party.

"Lock her up!"

Nope. He says they're good people who have been thru a lot. Aww . . .
America?
End the "threat" from NK "Rocket man"
Nope. No follow-thru on the (sham) Summit.

End the new Cold War

Nope. Increased military spending; ended treaties; militarized space.

End "forever wars", bring the troops home

Nope.

Bring jobs home

Uncertain: trade War with China doesn't necessarily mean jobs coming back US.

= = = = = = = =

Republican Party?

Cut taxes
YES!

Cut regulations on business

YES!

Israel?

Move Embassy to Jerusalem
YES!

Recognize Golan Heights as part of Israel

YES!

End aid to Palestinians

YES!

Don't give up on Syrian regime-change

YES!

US MIC, Netanyahu, MbS?

End US participation in the JCPOA
YES!

McCain: "bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran"

"locked and loaded"
!!

[Nov 08, 2019] Cuckservative -- the conservative insult of the month, explained by David Weigel

Cuckold - Wikipedia A cuckold is the husband of an adulterous wife. In evolutionary biology, the term is also applied to males who are unwittingly investing parental effort in offspring that are not genetically their own. [1]
One definition of "cuckservative" is a conservative who sells out, In a 2015 interview with Breitbart News, Ben Harrison said he did not support any presidential candidate in the 2016 election, but said he admires Trump for "shaking up the neocon-controlled Republican Party
Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
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 07, 2019] Rigged Again Dems, Russia, The Delegitimization Of America s Democratic Process by Elizabeth Vos

Highly recommended!
Images removed.
Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
"... 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 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 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, ..."
"... f 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: ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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," ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Elizabeth Vos via ConsortiumNews.com,

Establishment 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.

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

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

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 perception of 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.

[Nov 07, 2019] Charlie Kirk and Kochsucker Conservatism E. Michael Jones

Nov 07, 2019 | www.unz.com

utu , says: November 7, 2019 at 6:47 am GMT

Charlie Kirk and Kochsucker Conservatism – E. Michael Jones

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9Es15SwELIA?feature=oembed

[Nov 07, 2019] 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.

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] DNC Lawyers Argue Primary Rigging Is Protected by the First Amendment

Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
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] Note on the the degradation of the elite.

Notable quotes:
"... There is a collection of Democratic and Republican politicians and think tanks funded by various corporations and governments and bureaucrats in the government agencies mostly all devoted to the Empire, but also willing to stab each other in the back to obtain power. They don't necessarily agree on policy details. ..."
"... They don't oppose Trump because Trump is antiwar. Trump isn't antiwar. Or rather, he is antiwar for three minutes here and there and then he advocates for war crimes. ..."
"... He is a fairly major war criminal based on his policies in Yemen. But they don't oppose him for that either or they would have been upset by Obama. They oppose Trump because he is incompetent, unpredictable and easily manipulated. And worst of all, he doesn't play the game right, where we pretend we intervene out of noble humanitarian motives. This idiot actually say he wants to keep Syrian oil fields and Syria's oil fields aren't significant to anyone outside Syria. ..."
"... Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:37 am 64

" In a sense, the current NeoMcCartyism (Russophobia, Sinophobia) epidemic in the USA can partially be viewed as a yet another sign of the crisis of neoliberalism: a desperate attempt to patch the cracks in the neoliberal façade using scapegoating -- creation of an external enemy to project the problems of the neoliberal society.

I would add another, pretty subjective measure of failure: the degradation of the elite. When you look at Hillary, Trump, Biden, Warren, Harris, etc, you instantly understand what I am talking about. They all look like the second-rate, if not the third rate politicians. Also, the Epstein case was pretty symbolic."

I had decided to stay on the sidelines for the most part after making a few earlier comments, but I liked this summary, except I would give Warren more credit. She is flawed like most politicians, but she has made some of the right enemies within the Democratic Party.

On Trump and " the Deep State", there is no unified Deep State. There is a collection of Democratic and Republican politicians and think tanks funded by various corporations and governments and bureaucrats in the government agencies mostly all devoted to the Empire, but also willing to stab each other in the back to obtain power. They don't necessarily agree on policy details.

They don't oppose Trump because Trump is antiwar. Trump isn't antiwar. Or rather, he is antiwar for three minutes here and there and then he advocates for war crimes.

He is a fairly major war criminal based on his policies in Yemen. But they don't oppose him for that either or they would have been upset by Obama. They oppose Trump because he is incompetent, unpredictable and easily manipulated. And worst of all, he doesn't play the game right, where we pretend we intervene out of noble humanitarian motives. This idiot actually say he wants to keep Syrian oil fields and Syria's oil fields aren't significant to anyone outside Syria.

But yes, scapegoating is a big thing with liberals now. It's pathetic. Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence .

For the most part, if we have a horrible political culture nearly all the blame for that is homegrown.

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:40 am (no link)

Sigh. Various typos above. Here is one --

Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence.
--

I meant to say I would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence.

[Nov 06, 2019] Steven Rattner's Rant Against Warren Steven Rattner's Rant Against Warren By Dean Baker

Nov 06, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne said... http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/steven-rattner-s-rant-against-warren

November 5, 2019

Steven Rattner's Rant Against Warren
By Dean Baker

The New York Times gives Steven Rattner * the opportunity to push stale economic bromides in columns on a regular basis. His column ** today goes after Senator Elizabeth Warren.

He begins by telling us that Warren's plan for financing a Medicare for All program is "yet more evidence that a Warren presidency a terrifying prospect." He goes on to warn us:

"She would turn America's uniquely successful public-private relationship into a dirigiste, *** European-style system. If you want to live in France (economically), Elizabeth Warren should be your candidate."

It's not worth going into every complaint in Rattner's piece, and to be clear, there are very reasonable grounds for questioning many of Warren's proposals. However, he deserves some serious ridicule for raising the bogeyman of France and later Germany.

In spite of its "dirigiste" system France actually has a higher employment rate for prime age workers (ages 25 to 54) than the United States. (Germany has a much higher employment rate.) France has a lower overall employment rate because young people generally don't work and people in their sixties are less likely to work.

In both cases, this is the result of deliberate policy choices. In the case of young people, the French are less likely to work because college is free and students get small living stipends. For older workers, France has a system that is more generous to early retirees. One can disagree with both of these policies, but they are not obvious failures. Large segments of the French population benefit from them.

France and Germany both have lower per capita GDP than the United States, but the biggest reason for the gap is that workers in both countries put in many fewer hours annually than in the United States. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, an average worker in France puts in 1520 hours a year, in Germany just 1360. That compares to 1780 hours a year in the United States. In both countries five or six weeks a year of vacation are standard, as are paid family leave and paid sick days. Again, one can argue that it is better to have more money, but it is not obviously a bad choice to have more leisure time as do workers in these countries.

Anyhow, the point is that Rattner's bogeymen here are not the horror stories that he wants us to imagine for ordinary workers, even if they may not be as appealing to rich people like himself. Perhaps the biggest tell in this piece is when Rattner warns us that under Warren's proposals "private equity, which plays a useful role in driving business efficiency, would be effectively eliminated."

Okay, the prospect of eliminating private equity, now we're all really scared!

* https://fortune.com/2010/12/30/ex-car-czar-steve-rattner-settles-pay-to-play-scandal/

** https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/04/opinion/medicare-warren-plan.html

*** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirigisme

Dirigisme is an economic doctrine in which the state plays a strong directive role, as opposed to a merely regulatory role, over a capitalist market economy.

Reply Tuesday, November 05, 2019 at 11:34 AM

[Nov 06, 2019] Nearly two-thirds of the Trump voters who said they voted for Democratic congressional candidates in 2018 say that they'll back the president in hypothetical match-ups against Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren

Nov 06, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , November 05, 2019 at 08:28 AM

Wake up, Democrats https://nyti.ms/32fUM7y
NYT - David Leonhardt - November 5

Maybe this is the wake-up call that Democrats need.

My old colleagues at The Upshot published a poll yesterday (*) that rightly terrified a lot of Democrats (as well as Republicans and independents who believe President Trump is damaging the country). The poll showed Trump with a good chance to win re-election, given his standing in swing states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida.

This was the sentence, by Nate Cohn, that stood out to me: "Nearly two-thirds of the Trump voters who said they voted for Democratic congressional candidates in 2018 say that they'll back the president" in hypothetical match-ups against Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.

Democrats won in 2018 by running a smartly populist campaign, focused on reducing health care costs and helping ordinary families. The candidates avoided supporting progressive policy dreams that are obviously unpopular, like mandatory Medicare and border decriminalization.

The 2020 presidential candidates are making a grave mistake by ignoring the lessons of 2018. I'm not saying they should run to the mythical center and support widespread deregulation or corporate tax cuts (which are also unpopular). They can still support all kinds of ambitious progressive ideas -- a wealth tax, universal Medicare buy-in and more -- without running afoul of popular opinion. They can even decide that there are a couple of issues on which they are going to fly in the face of public opinion.

But if they're going to do that, they also need to signal in other ways that they care about winning the votes of people who don't consider themselves very liberal. Democrats, in short, need to start treating the 2020 campaign with the urgency it deserves, because a second Trump term would be terrible for the country.

What would more urgency look like? Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders would find some way to acknowledge and appeal to swing voters. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris would offer more of a vision than either has to date. Pete Buttigieg, arguably the best positioned to take advantage of this moment, would reassure Democrats who are understandably nervous about his lack of experience. And perhaps Cory Booker or Amy Klobuchar can finally appeal to more of Biden's uninspired supporters. ...

* One Year From Election, Trump Trails Biden but
Leads Warren in Battlegrounds https://nyti.ms/2NDDeNb
NYT - Nate Cohn - November 4 - Updated

[Nov 06, 2019] It s the DNC, Stupid Democratic Party, Not Russia, Has Delegitimized the Democratic Process by Elizabeth Vos

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 meddling

Post 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

One cannot?

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

Excellent article.

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

Good article

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

Keep writing

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] no president I am familiar with, has done in office what was promised in the campaign.

Notable quotes:
"... First the constitution emerging from Philadelphia in 1787 did not contain the bill of rights, a fact prominently exposed when the states refused to ratify the constitution their own representatives at the Philadephia convention voted for. The states said, no to ratification unless and until, as a minimum, the first ten amendments were added. <= I assert the founders and their then corporations d\n want the governed to have any privileges or rights. ..."
"... One of the ongoing impediments to broad American public understanding of the US Constitution is its elevation to 'sacrosanct' status, thus placing it above critical discussion. ..."
"... And then you have the mantra of mass continual frequent typically hypocritical/false/programmed swearing of allegiance to it, and also, of all things, the linked elevation into 'symbolic deity' of a flag. ..."
Nov 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

snake , Nov 6 2019 9:38 utc | 52

Thanks bin @ 23 for article

it noted =>America's representative appointed by the electoral college into the position of CEO of the USA interpreted the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force==> <=to mean=> executive privilege includes the right to assassinate US Citizens ?

WOW! Does that means person of wealth, corporation or foreign government can pay to get the USA to assassinate whom ever?

The article says: The democratic institutions, including the press, ..have been neutered. It notes that the Wealth and power once attributable to Americans is now consoliated inside and located behind the access controlled walls of privately owned corporate enterprise; where the dark hole of board room policy establishes how the corporation wealth and power will rape its next million or so victims...? the article discusses how America's wealth is eqally divided between 99% (wealth of 350,000,000 Americans) = and 1% (wealth of 35,000 in control of America) .

But I do not subscribe to the idea that it is deep state that is the problem. I think the problem lay in the construction of the constitution of the United States.. the deep state is just using the highly skewed distribution of power [between the governed and the governors placed in the constitution) to accommodate their for profit purposes. The constitution was never intended to protect governed Americans from exploitation by those who govern; its purpose was to protect those with the wealth and power from the Americans its federalism was designed to govern. Its pure propaganda that the constitution is to be interpreted as a democratic win for the governed.

First the constitution emerging from Philadelphia in 1787 did not contain the bill of rights, a fact prominently exposed when the states refused to ratify the constitution their own representatives at the Philadephia convention voted for. The states said, no to ratification unless and until, as a minimum, the first ten amendments were added. <= I assert the founders and their then corporations d\n want the governed to have any privileges or rights.

Secondly, it was not until the 17th amendment(1913) that Americans were empowered to vote for who would fill any of the 100 highly paid, very powerful, US Senate jobs, even today, no American can vote for but 2 senators each. <=to date Americans have no say by vote as to who shall be paid to be the President or VP of the USA [<=the electoral colleges determines the President and the states each appoint whomever they wish to the electoral college]. America is a democracy; the USA is a Republic, the states are trickle down versions of the USA.

Thirdly, ratification was invented and placed in the constitution to avoid offering all Americans the chance to decide for themselves if Americans wanted federalism or states rights, or if the excluded persons (Indians and 3/5 of other persons) wanted to be excluded or governed by federalism (federalism destroys states rights); had a popular vote been taken, I believe federalism w\h\b soundly defeated). Ratification (Article VII)<=regime changed [1788] the Articles of Confederation Government (AOCG: Hanson first President of the USA in Congress) [it was the AOCG that defeated the British Armies in America [1777] and that contributed the 1776 Declaration of Independence to the world, not the USA]. After regime change; USA, old British wealth and corporate cronies were back in charge of governing America. Today they might be called the deep state.

Fourthly, We, the American public, are spectators. An audience by Jackrabbit @ 36..

Fifthly, no president I am familiar with, has done in office what was promised in the campaign.

I think the governed must look to the constitution to see how the governors have made this happen.

My take is that civil liberties never existed in America.. the only civil liberties that Americans have ever enjoyed were those expressed in contractual promises (offered in the first 10 <=amendments of the COUS) and that courts were obliged to affirm because it would defeat the propaganda that such rights actually exist. How enforceable do you think a promise in a contract are that governors will not infringe the human rights promises made therein?

Over 200 years, during war time, the governors have suspended such rights and during normal times the only way to prevent infringement has often been to engage lawyers and costly expensive courts.. to remind the governors that it is important for propaganda purposes to honor the promises made in the amendments to the constitution? Its a joke to assume that a clause in an amended contract would be honored when it is inconvenient to the promissors; ie. Julian Assange?

even in the 'good articles', even in 'noble efforts' its pretty hard not to slip into, what? Let's call it, Empire Speak. Or is that Swamp Speak? by: Robert Snefjella @ 42 <= the mind control weapons that fire bullets made of propaganda are extremely powerful..

Robert Snefjella , Nov 6 2019 11:37 utc | 53
Re posted by: snake | Nov 6 2019 9:38 utc | 52

One of the ongoing impediments to broad American public understanding of the US Constitution is its elevation to 'sacrosanct' status, thus placing it above critical discussion.

Its 'supreme' status renders thoughts of ongoing improvement disabled. And then you have the mantra of mass continual frequent typically hypocritical/false/programmed swearing of allegiance to it, and also, of all things, the linked elevation into 'symbolic deity' of a flag.

This is helped along by a frequent stirring rendition of the national anthem, which has bombs exploding for the land of the "brave and the free".

(As an aside note of some curiosity and immeasurable impact, in Canada there is much swearing of allegiance to the very aged titular head of the dysfunctional 'Royal Family' of the UK.) Sigh.

[Nov 03, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Releases $20.5 Trillion Plan to Pay

Nov 03, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , November 01, 2019 at 07:34 AM

Elizabeth Warren Releases $20.5 Trillion Plan to Pay
for 'Medicare for All' https://nyti.ms/2N9lI4F
NYT - Thomas Kaplan, Abby Goodnough
and Margot Sanger-Katz - November 1

WASHINGTON -- Senator Elizabeth Warren on Friday proposed $20.5 trillion in new spending through huge tax increases on businesses and wealthy Americans to pay for "Medicare for all," laying out details for a landmark government expansion that will pose political risks for her presidential candidacy while also allowing her to say she is not raising taxes on the middle class to pay for her health care plan.

Ms. Warren, who has risen steadily in the polls with strong support from liberals excited about her ambitious policy plans, has been under pressure from top rivals like former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to release details about paying for her biggest plan, "Medicare for all." Her new proposal marks a turning point for her campaign, in which she will have to sell voters on a tax-and-spending plan that rivals the ambitions of the New Deal and the Great Society while also defending it against both Democratic and Republican criticism.

Under Ms. Warren's plan, employer-sponsored health insurance -- which more than half of Americans now receive -- would be eliminated and replaced by free government health coverage for all Americans, a fundamental shift from a market-driven system that has defined health care in the United States for decades but produced vast inequities in quality, service and cost.

Ms. Warren would use a mix of sources to pay for the $20.5 trillion in new spending over a decade, including by requiring employers to pay trillions of dollars to the government, replacing much of what they currently spend to provide health coverage to workers. She would create a tax on financial transactions like stock trades, change how investment gains are taxed for the top 1 percent of households and ramp up her signature wealth tax proposal to be steeper on billionaires. She also wants to cut $800 billion in military spending.

Ms. Warren's estimate for the cost of Medicare for all relies on an aggressive set of assumptions about how to lower national health care costs while providing comprehensive coverage to all Americans. Like Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, she would essentially eliminate medical costs for individuals, including premiums, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Critically, her new plan would not raise taxes on middle-class Americans, a question she has been asked over and over but has not answered directly until now. When confronted on the campaign trail and debate stage, she emphasized instead that her plan would result in higher overall costs for wealthy people and big corporations but lower costs for middle-class families. ...

"A key step in winning the public debate over Medicare for all will be explaining what this plan costs -- and how to pay for it," Ms. Warren wrote in her plan. To do that, she added, "We don't need to raise taxes on the middle class by one penny."

The issue of health care helped Democrats win control of the House in last year's midterm elections, after unsuccessful attempts by President Trump and Republicans in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It has been a central issue again this year as Ms. Warren and other Democrats have competed for their party's presidential nomination, highlighting a divide on policy between the party's moderates and its liberal wing that favors transformative change. ...

Ms. Warren's proposal shows just how large a reorganization of spending Medicare for all represents. By eliminating private health insurance and bringing every American into a federal system, trillions of dollars of spending by households, employers and state governments would be transferred into the federal budget over the course of a decade.

Her financing plan is based on cost estimates that are on the low side, relative to those from other serious economists who have assessed the program. Her estimate of $20.5 trillion over 10 years is based on a recent cost model by the Urban Institute, but with several different assumptions that lower the cost from Urban's estimate of $34 trillion over the same period.

Ms. Warren attempts to minimize fiscal disruption by asking the big payers in the current system to keep paying for health care through new taxes. She would create a new "employer Medicare contribution" that would effectively redirect what employers are already paying to health insurers, totaling $8.8 trillion over a decade. Small businesses would be exempt if they are not currently paying for their employees' health care.

Ms. Warren has also proposed that states pay the federal government much of what they currently spend to cover state workers and low-income residents under the Medicaid program.

But she also describes new revenue streams to replace the other big chunk of health spending: the money spent by households on premiums, deductibles and direct payments for services like dental care that are not always covered by insurance.

Ms. Warren would raise $3 trillion in total from two proposals to tax the richest Americans. She has previously said that her wealth tax proposal, another signature of her campaign, would impose a 3 percent annual tax on net worth over $1 billion; she would now raise that to 6 percent. She would also change how investment gains are taxed for the top 1 percent of households.

In addition to imposing a tax on financial transactions, she would also make changes to corporate taxation. She is counting on stronger tax enforcement to bring in $2.3 trillion in taxes that would otherwise go uncollected. And she is banking on passing an overhaul of immigration laws -- which itself would be a huge political feat -- and gaining revenue from taxes paid by newly legal residents.

Ms. Warren's plan would put substantial downward pressure on payments to hospitals, doctors and pharmaceutical companies. She expects that an aggressive negotiation system could lower spending on generic medications by 30 percent compared with what Medicare pays now, for example, and spending on prescription drugs could fall by 70 percent. Payments to hospitals would be 10 percent higher on average than what Medicare pays now, a rate that would make some hospitals whole but would lead to big reductions for others. She would reduce doctors' pay to the prices Medicare pays now, with additional reductions for specialists, and small increases to doctors who provide primary care. ...

Ending the Stranglehold of Health Care
Costs on American Families by @ewarren
https://link.medium.com/8Jx43ukfg1

Elizabeth Warren releases Medicare for All
plan, promising no middle class tax increase
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/11/01/elizabeth-warren-released-detailed-plan-raise-trillon-pay-for-medicare-for-all-promising-middle-class-taxes-won-increase-one-penny/yWXQ1gsnfxwZ7T2UAqzr6I/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

point -> Fred C. Dobbs... , November 01, 2019 at 09:51 AM
This seems almost uniformly great. I only have two quibbles.

One is that a 6% wealth tax is actually too high, confiscatory even. The reason is that if expected ROI is about 6%, the tax takes all the expected return. In perpetuity that is equivalent to taking the entire net worth. Property tax is a pretty good guide here, 1-1.5% works, perhaps a bit more.

Two is that the slant shows up immediately with this reporter. One example: "Ms. Warren would use a mix of sources to pay for the $20.5 trillion in new spending over a decade..." Note the use of "new spending". This may make sense if the subject is limited to government spending, but we all know the game is to distract from the good lowered-aggregate spending and emphasize the component spent by the evil government. We may see much more of this misdirection including by primary opponents.

She is basically proposing to municipalize the entire payment flows for healthcare, much as proposals now exist for California to municipalize PG&E, both excellent ideas.

Paine -> Fred C. Dobbs... , November 01, 2019 at 06:20 PM
This is a nice threat
But a universal public option is all we need here immediately
That and a Medicaid increase
funded by a wealth tax

Beyond that we need health cost cap and trade
Something not on the agenda of pols

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , November 01, 2019 at 08:54 PM
Five takeaways from Elizabeth
Warren's Medicare for All plan
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/11/01/five-takeaways-from-elizabeth-warren-medicare-for-all-plan/0xQAuKT7f3p8gCggtCkZ3O/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

Christina Prignano - November 1

Senator Elizabeth Warren on Friday released her proposal to pay for Medicare for All, a plan to move every American to government-run health insurance that would reshape the US health care system.

Warren's plan, outlined in a 9,275-word Medium post, included complex ideas for paying for health care costs after private insurance is ended . It's a lot to digest, so here are five takeaways.

Much of it is based on the Medicare for All Act
The plan released by Warren on Friday is primarily aimed at answering the question of how to pay for single-payer health care. When it comes to the nuts and bolts of how her health care plan would work, Warren points to the existing Medicare for All Act, that "damn bill" Senator Bernie Sanders colorfully reminded debate viewers that he wrote.

Under the Medicare for All Act, introduced by Sanders in April and cosponsored by Warren, all US residents would be automatically enrolled in a national health care plan administered by the federal government. In addition to traditional medical coverage, the Medicare for All Act includes vision and dental, plus long-term care services.

It relies on a lot of assumptions

At the outset, Warren acknowledges that it's difficult to predict what health care costs will be in the future, and she notes that current projections about how much Medicare for All would cost vary widely. Because the Medicare for All Act leaves open questions about how the single-payer system would work, including major ones like the amount that health care providers would be compensated, Warren fills in the gaps to arrive at a total cost estimate. Outside analysts, including two local experts, cited by Warren estimate her plan would result in overall US health care costs that are slightly lower than what the nation currently spends.

Arriving at a specific cost allows Warren to figure out how she will pay for it, and there are some assumptions here, too.

To fund the plan without increasing taxes on the middle class, Warren relies on enacting seemingly unrelated legislation, including immigration reform. The pathway to citizenship for millions of people in her immigration proposal would add to the tax base. Warren also wants to cut defense spending.

There aren't new middle class taxes, but there are hikes for businesses and the wealthy

Warren announced her Medicare for All plan with a major promise not to increase taxes on the middle class, but that doesn't mean some taxes won't go up. After accounting for existing federal spending and health care spending by employers that would be redirected to the government, there's still a big hole. Warren fills it by levying new taxes and closing loopholes in ways that target financial firms and large corporations. She also increases her previously proposed wealth tax.

Some businesses would be hit harder than others. As Vox points out, if Warren asks businesses to send their existing employee health insurance payments to the government, businesses that currently provide inadequate insurance, or no insurance at all, fare much better than those that provide good insurance coverage. That sets up a kind of penalty for businesses that offer health coverage: They're helping pick up the tab for Medicare for All, but they no longer have an advantage in attracting top talent with generous benefits.

Under Warren's plan, that situation is temporary as businesses would eventually pay into the system at the same rate. And Warren says employers ultimately will be better off because they won't get hit with unpredictable changes in health care costs.

It would be difficult to implement

Moving every single American to a new health care plan is a massive endeavor, so much so that Warren says she'll release an entirely separate plan that deals with how to handle the transition.

The transition has become a sticking point in the Democratic primary, with moderates like former vice president Joe Biden using the lengthy time period (Sanders' plan says it would take four years) as a reason to oppose it altogether.

And then there's the problem of passing such legislation: During the debate around the Affordable Care Act in 2010, a proposed public option to allow people to buy into a government-run health care plan nearly sunk the entire bill, and was stripped out of the landmark legislation. The episode underscored the difficulty of implementing a government-run health care program, even one popular with voters.

Warren has a plan for that, though. She wants to get rid of the filibuster, meaning the Senate would need a simple majority to pass legislation, rather than the 60 votes currently required to stop debate.

Warren has been reluctant to go on the offensive, but that may be changing

As she rose in the polls, Warren resisted leveling direct attacks against her primary opponents. Warren's style has been to rail against the concept of big money fueling a campaign, rather than directly criticizing individual candidates who have taken cash from high-dollar fund-raisers.

But there are hints that this could be changing. Warren's lengthy Medicare for All plan includes rebuttals to the criticism she's gotten from the moderate wing of the primary field, calling on candidates who oppose her plan to explain how they would cover everyone.

"Make no mistake -- any candidate who opposes my long-term goal of Medicare for All and refuses to answer these questions directly should concede that they have no real strategy for helping the American people address the crushing costs of health care in this country. We need plans, not slogans," she wrote.

Paine -> Fred C. Dobbs... , November 02, 2019 at 05:55 AM
Declaring war on corporate America

The corporate health sub system
Intimately involves
the entire corporate system
We are on course toward
20 % of our economic output
Flowing thru our domestic
health services and products sectors

Where is the cost control mechanism

Simply in part
Progressively resourcing
And rechanneling the inflow of funds
Addresses a result not a cause

We have to address costs

We need a cap and trade market system

With a cap sector to GDP ratio that
Slowly squeezes down
the relative costs of the health sector

Enter stage left

a colander Lerner mark up market system

Paine -> Paine... , November 02, 2019 at 06:05 AM
Public option is the transition
That empowers
people themselves
To spontaneous determine
the timing and pattern of
Their own transitioning

Anything else is political folly


Liz has set a bold end state vision
Bravely out laying where we must go eventually
And drawing in
the major shift in the share of
The total social cost burden
to the wealthy classes


But that's an end a destination
not a path

Urge choice not mandates
as the better path

The present corporate cost
burden share
is a mess
That should self dissolve over time

Now we need an optional public system
And
A means to capture the
Present corporate pay ins
Piecemeal over time as employees opt out of corporate plans into publicnplans one by one

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , November 02, 2019 at 02:15 PM
Liz Warren would double her proposed billionaire
wealth tax to help fund 'Medicare for All' https://cnb.cx/332evbX

... Warren's wealth tax proposal would also impose a 2% tax on net worth between $50 million and $1 billion. She has previously said that it would be used to fund her ambitious climate agenda, a slate of investments in child care and reductions in student loan debt.

But Warren is refusing to tax the middle class. She released an analysis produced by several respected economists on Friday that suggests she will not have to.

( https://assets.ctfassets.net/4ubxbgy9463z/27ao9rfB6MbQgGmaXK4eGc/d06d5a224665324432c6155199afe0bf/Medicare_for_All_Revenue_Letter___Appendix.pdf )

Former IMF Chief Economist Simon Johnson, former Labor Department Chief Economist Betsey Stevenson, and Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, wrote that Warren could pay for her program "without imposing any new taxes on middle-class families."

The economists cite a number of possible revenue and spending options that they found could generate $20.5 trillion in additional funding. Much of that funding is expected to come from reallocating employer spending on health care and taxing the increased take-home pay that employees are expected to receive under her system.

But taxes on the wealthy form a substantial portion. Doubling the billionaire wealth tax will raise $1 trillion over 10 years, the economists found. They note in their analysis that the calculation assumes a 15% rate of tax avoidance. ...

[Nov 03, 2019] Imagine Trump vs. Gabbard in the general. Real foreign policy would be debated, and Dems would become antiwar.

Nov 03, 2019 | www.antiwar.com

Tuyzentfloot 5 days ago ,

The 'they are manipulating Trump' angle is valid I'm sure but it tends to diminish those other aspects of Trump's 'intuition'. It is stated in the article though. Trump is antiwar in the sense that he is against useless wars. Give him a clear goal and he doesn't mind war at all. Looting and pillage is fine. Attacking defenseless enemies is fine. Convince him that endless wars are actually good business and he'll support those as well. He doesn't require manipulating for that. The antiwar elements in his thinking are easily used to paper over his other characteristics as 'being manipulated'.

Tuyzentfloot 5 days ago ,

Another subject is that of Trump's dishonesty. In fact it is more about out of sync dishonesty: 'normal people' (policy level) use shared schemas for when to lie and when not to lie. Trump uses a different one. He will lie when others consider it a bad idea and will speak the truth when others consider it a bad idea.

Luchorpan 3 days ago ,

Tulsi Gabbard just won 4% in latest national poll. Maybe Trump is taking the oil in order to make her the Dem nominee.

Imagine Trump vs. Gabbard in the general. Real foreign policy would be debated, and Dems would become antiwar.

[Nov 03, 2019] The Washington Post actually ran a very favorable article on Gabbard's campaign in Iowa a couple of days ago. Most unusual for them.

Nov 03, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

lysias | Nov 1 2019 21:28 utc | 41

The Washington Post actually ran a very favorable article on Gabbard's campaign in Iowa a couple of days ago. Most unusual for them. Only explanation I can think of is that they realize she has a good chance of winning the Iowa caucuses and don't want to be caught flatfooted by continuing their noncoverage of her campaign.


David G , Nov 1 2019 23:20 utc | 58

lysias @40:

The explanation is more likely the opposite, I'm afraid. The Iowa caucuses are now close enough, and Gabbard polling low enough, that the WashPost feel they can tidy up their record by publishing something about her, even something favorable. If she were really threatening the front-runners, minimal and/or hostile coverage would be de rigueur.

karlof1 , Nov 1 2019 23:31 utc | 60
wendy davis @48--

Thanks for your reply! IMO, Gabbard was correct to vote Yea for the inquiry as it doesn't specify the crime(s). On her Twitter , Gabbard called out Trump for his continuing criminal actions in Syria which constitute a High Crime and impeachable offense. Furthermore, the orders given were all illegal orders as they're against international and US Law and should've been refused by every soldier issued them as it's their duty to do so . Unfortunately, Gabbard didn't make that very important point.

uncle tungsten , Nov 1 2019 23:33 utc | 61
The whole impeachment show the Democrats launched is a major political mistake.

Right on b, a MAJOR blunder. But they stampeded themselves into that blunder because of their hysteria over Trump gunning for Biden and all the other carpetbaggers in Ukraine. This Demoncrat gang of shysters have as much wisdom as a flat rock. They have now lost Biden, must choose frootloop Warren as they can never have Sanders.

That looks a lot like keeping USA safe for Trump to me.

It is so pathetically obvious and these Demoncrats can't even assemble a package of legislation with their majority to benefit USA citizens even one small bit. The Demoncrats 'leadership' are owned in their entirety by the oligarchs of MIC, big pharma and big insurance. The Greens are incapable of breaking through their glass ceiling. What a total shambles in just about every USA allied country.

karlof1 , Nov 2 2019 0:00 utc | 65
David G @57--

I just posted poll results two days ago from New Hampshire showing Gabbard at 5% while Harris had dropped to 3%. And given the size of the field, 5% is respectable and was clearly a boost provided by Clinton's outburst. Gabbard was just given space for an op/ed in The Wall Street Journal which prompted the WaPost item. Can't read the WSJ item since it's behind a paywall, but The Washington Times ran its own piece about her op/ed that provides some insight as to its content, but that site won't allow copy/paste so I can't provide MoA with the blurb it published. Here's a WaPost item about Gabbard's Iowa campaign, which as I discovered when using google is one of many by the WaPost. Despite all the ads, I liked it, but it won't get me to subscribe.

Don Bacon , Nov 2 2019 0:10 utc | 66
Just got another fundraiser email from Tulsi's campaign. It ends with:
Tulsi is taking this fight directly to the people -- with a packed schedule of townhalls and meet and greets, with big ad spends in the early states, with signs and boots on the ground. The best thing you can do right now to help Tulsi rise above the smear campaigns is to help her keep speaking truth to power. . . .
pretzelattack , Nov 2 2019 0:11 utc | 67
democrats don't care if they shoot themselves in the foot as long as sanders or gabbard doesn't win. that's the real threat to their machine.
Ghost Ship , Nov 2 2019 1:25 utc | 89
Really?? @ 74
From what I read at ZeroHedge, it sounds like it will be "Make my day" time in the Senate, with GOP senators able to subpoena anyone they want.

Yes, but if the GOP senators stick with their usual grandstanding posing then they can subpoena whoever they like and it'll be pointless. Actually, it'll be a complete and utter waste of fucking time because GOP senators have little or no experience of forensic cross-examination and will spend their time dicking around and asking stupid questions in a vain vain attempt to look good.. If they really want to stick it to the Democrats they need a Senate impeachment resolution that allows them to use really experienced outside criminal lawyers to plan and carry out the questioning. Since most experienced U.S. criminal lawyers are experts at making deals with prosecutors for their clients rather than going to trial, I would suggest they should bring in a couple of top-flight British QCs (barristers)with their teams of juniors.

John Merryman , Nov 2 2019 1:25 utc | 90
With Russia and now Ukrainegate, I'm reminded on the Fed dropping interest rates every time the market has a down week. Yet eventually this shot of adrenaline will not work and the market falls through the floor.

So now that Ukrainegate has a huge hole in its chest, do the dems have a plan c, or is this the Big One?

I make this point because there are very many never Trumpers out there, clinging to this spiel, but eventually even they will wake up and where do they go? Do they finally accept the whole system really is rigged?

Eventually the ground under the powers that be will turn to quicksand and this really is a notable earthquake.

Petri Krohn , Nov 2 2019 1:29 utc | 91
THANK GOD FOR THE DEEP STATE

An interesting story and video via Fox News .

Ex-acting CIA boss expresses gratitude for 'deep state' involvement in impeachment inquiry

"Well, you know, thank God for the 'deep state'," McLaughlin responded, provoking laughter and applause.

The former intelligence official was speaking at an event hosted by George Mason University, joined by former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and former CIA Director John Brennan -- both of whom have been critical of the president.

"With all of the people who knew what was going on here, it took an intelligence officer to step forward and say something about it, which was the trigger that then unleashed everything else," McLaughlin said.

He went on to praise the intelligence community. "This is the institution within the U.S. government -- that with all of its flaws, and it makes mistakes -- is institutionally committed to objectivity and telling the truth," he said.

"It is one of the few institutions in Washington that is not in a chain of command that makes or implements policy. Its whole job is to speak the truth -- it's engraved in marble in the lobby."

As b stated in a previous post, it is the Borg who should dictate US foreign policy. It certainly is not one of the three branches of government (the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary) of the trias politica model. The Intelligence Community if the Fourth Estate (Vierte Gewalt) that rules supreme over the three other branches of government.

Peter AU 1 , Nov 2 2019 1:44 utc | 97
US Secretary of State. "We lied, we cheated, we stole." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPt-zXn05ac
lysias , Nov 2 2019 1:56 utc | 99
Since the UN Charter has the same legal status as Acts of Congress under U.S. law, the AUMF can certainly violate the UN Charter, under U.S. law. The AUMF may violate international law, but that is another matter.

A friend of mine attended a government meeting under President G.H.W. Bush. I believe the subject was the kidnapping of General Noriega from Panama. In any case, I was told that at the meeting William Barr said, "F!!! international law!" And it is well known that (according to Richard Clark) George W. Bush said in the White House the evening of 9/11, "I don't care what the international lawyers say, we're going to kick some ass!"

We are a lawless nation.

Peter AU1 , Nov 2 2019 2:13 utc | 102
lysias 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.[2]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicaragua_v._United_States

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"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xE9zczFARuM

lysias , Nov 2 2019 2:31 utc | 104
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.
lysias , Nov 2 2019 2:31 utc | 104 Peter AU1 , Nov 2 2019 2:33 utc | 105
The non Trump section of the swamp is not going down without a fight..

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-giuliani/giuliani-associate-charged-in-ukraine-linked-case-denied-release-from-house-arrest-idUSKBN1XB3XQ?il=0
"Federal prosecutors have accused Fruman and Parnas of using a shell company to donate $325,000 to the pro-Trump committee and of raising money for former U.S. Representative Pete Sessions of Texas as part of an effort to have the president remove the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

That effort was carried out at the request of at least one Ukrainian official, prosecutors said. Trump ordered the ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, removed in May."

ben , Nov 2 2019 2:54 utc | 106
b said;" The whole impeachment show the Democrats launched is a major political mistake."

Exactly b, and most Dems know it. That's the whole point, find a way to pretend they want
DJT gone, when in reality, they love what this Admin. is doing. Devolving the Gov. so their corporate masters can rake in more $ thru deregulation.

Big $ has finally achieved it's goal of of complete and total hegemony in the U$A.

Pelosi & Schumer are sycophants for the uber-wealthy, along with the majority of both parties.

Let the theater continue..

Don Bacon , Nov 2 2019 3:17 utc | 107
Known cost of Intel: $80 Billion for 17 Agencies.
Results? No known benefits.
Unknown cost: The damage they do.
Piotr Berman , Nov 2 2019 4:40 utc | 111
Known cost of Intel: $80 Billion for 17 Agencies.
Results? No known benefits.
Unknown cost: The damage they do.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 2 2019 3:17 utc | 106

Since the activity is secret, so are the benefits! Actually, as a place for work, "agencies" offer a number of benefits, especially post-employment opportunities.

james , Nov 2 2019 5:38 utc | 113
smoothie wrote a good overview of this 'whistleblower' and etc... some folks here would enjoy reading it..

Whistle While You Work...

[Nov 03, 2019] On the topic of scholarship and the benefits of war, here's a reminder of what passes for elite leadership. Tulsi Gabbard wants to end endless wars and the knives are now out for her

Nov 03, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

ph 10.19.19 at 6:04 am (no link)

On the topic of scholarship and the benefits of war, here's a reminder of what passes for elite leadership. Tulsi Gabbard wants to end endless wars and the knives are now out for her. Somebody takes Morris's thesis seriously. The world will be better off with the US the permanent military leader of the world.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/10/18/hillary_clinton_calls_jill_stein_a_russian_asset_implies_gabbard_is_being_groomed_by_russians.html

This is blowing up all over Twitter, with Gabbard slapping back, and the HRC loyalists calling Gabbard an Assad apologist and worse.

According to HRC logic, American third party candidates are necessarily Russian stooges placed to help the Kremlin's candidate win. The logic is "inescapable" according to HRC. BUT OF COURSE!!!! Now it ALL MAKES SENSE! 1992 Perot-Clinton, 2000 Nader-Bush, 2016 Jill Stein-Trump, and, 2020 Gabbard-Trump!!!!

It's all so clear now! The KGB wanted to keep HW Bush out of office as the former Soviet Union collapsed! That's how she and Bill entered the WH in 1992! Perot was a KGB stooge, and Bill and Hillary have been lifelong assets of the KGB. Of course!!! That's why Hillary sold all that uranium to the Russians! Lest, anyone believe the charge of dual-loyalty leveled against Gabbard is a fiction, check for yourselves.

The above is an actual argument just made by the 2016 candidate for POTUS. Russia controls US elections by promoting third-party candidates. The best part is that HRC, beneficiary of "obvious" Russian interference may yet end up running in 2020. Something to look forward to! Imagine if HRC had won in 2016. Conspiracy theories out the wazoo!

Kind of puts the Morris "scholarship" in perspective, doesn't it? my mother and sister have. Dipper, probably not)

ph 10.19.19 at 6:46 am ( 65 )
Hi John, do whatever you want with this interview with Tulsi. It looks like it's on – big time. Clinton versus Gabbard for the nomination and the chance to run against orange man bad. On the basis of what I've seen I'd say Tulsi is the only Dem with a message to take Donald down, and she's not scared to reach out to everyone for support.

She scares the crap out of all the right people: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtgCC5cZP5Q

I wonder about the Morris book, really. Histories aimed at the popular market are rarely written in a vacuum. As you know, post-9/11 we saw a bumper crop of mostly crap histories of the class of civilizations variety. I won't be buying or reading Morris, simply because I find wide, encompassing arguments generally useless and dull. Anyway, from the sounds of it, I do think Morris has a constituency among the FP elites.

[Nov 03, 2019] No true war is bad

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.

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.

Orange Watch 10.13.19 at 7:07 pm (no link)
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:

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.

Mark Brady 10.13.19 at 7:56 pm (no link)
John Quiggin is, of course, well aware of this quotation, but some of you may not.

"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."

Alex SL 10.13.19 at 8:37 pm (no link)
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.

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?

fran6 10.13.19 at 9:26 pm (no link)
Here's another personality who's also unfazed by the evils of war (although, she does wish more folks were "kind" to each other):

https://www.youtube.com/embed/EsWSh8kPMfg?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Barry 10.13.19 at 10:40 pm ( 18 )
Tim Worstall: "The EU came into existence in 1992, neatly coinciding with the Yugoslav unpleasantnesses."

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).

John Quiggin 10.13.19 at 11:36 pm ( 19 )
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"

Spain and Portugal are still arguing the 200+ year border dispute over Olivenza/Olivença, but it hasn't reached Kashmir levels (yet).

Ed 10.14.19 at 2:34 am ( 22 )
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.

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.

MFB 10.15.19 at 7:18 am (no link)
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.

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.

Neville Morley 10.15.19 at 9:47 am (no link)
@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.

I've excerpted the relevant section of Hays's book .

steven t johnson 10.16.19 at 8:06 pm (no link)
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.

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.

MFB 10.17.19 at 9:02 am (no link)
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.

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.

Z 10.17.19 at 9:05 am (no link)
@John Quiggin The claim is that war, despite its brutality created big states, like the Roman empire, which then delivered peace and prosperity

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).

Z 10.17.19 at 9:30 am ( 52 )
@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.

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 ).

otpup 10.19.19 at 10:51 pm ( 68 )
@7, Omega
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.
LFC 10.20.19 at 9:10 pm (no link)
"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 02, 2019] Assad Calls Trump Best US President Ever For Transparency Of Real US Motives

Nov 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Arguably some of the most significant events since the eight-year long war's start have played out in Syria with rapid pace over just the last month alone, including Turkey's military incursion in the north, the US pullback from the border and into Syria's oil fields, the Kurdish-led SDF&# deal making with Damascus, and the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. All of this is why a televised interview with Presiden39;st Bashar Assad was highly anticipated at the end of this week.

Assad's commentary on the latest White House policy to "secure the oil" in Syria, for which US troops have already been redeployed to some of the largest oil fields in the Deir Ezzor region, was the biggest pressing question. The Syrian president's response was unexpected and is now driving headlines, given what he said directly about Trump, calling him the "best American president" ever – because he's the "most transparent."

"When it comes to Trump you may ask me a question and I'll give you an answer which might seem strange. I tell you he's the best American president," Assad said, according to a translation provided by NBC.

"Why? Not because his policies are good, but because he is the most transparent president," Assad continued.

"All American presidents commit crimes and end up taking the Nobel Prize and appear as a defender of human rights and the 'unique' and 'brilliant' American or Western principles. But all they are is a group of criminals who only represent the interests of the American lobbies of large corporations in weapons, oil and others," he added.

"Trump speaks with the transparency to say 'We want the oil'." Assad's unique approach to an 'enemy' head of state which has just ordered the seizure of Syrian national resources also comes after in prior years the US president called Assad "our enemy" and an "animal."

Trump tweeted in April 2018 after a new chemical attack allegation had surfaced: "If President Obama had crossed his stated Red Line In The Sand, the Syrian disaster would have ended long ago! Animal Assad would have been history!"

A number of mainstream outlets commenting on Assad's interview falsely presented it as "praise" of Trump or that Assad thinks "highly" of him; however, it appears the Syrian leader was merely presenting Trump's policy statements from a 'realist' perspective , contrasting them from the misleading 'humanitarian' motives typical of Washington's rhetoric about itself.

That is, Damascus sees US actions in the Middle East as motivated fundamentally by naked imperial ambition, a constant prior theme of Assad's speeches , across administrations, whether US leadership dresses it up as 'democracy promotion' or in humanitarian terms characteristic of liberal interventionism. As Assad described, Trump seems to skip dressing up his rhetoric in moralistic idealism altogether, content to just unapologetically admit the ugly reality of US foreign policy.


indaknow , 4 minutes ago link

Most President's thought you had to plot coups. Regime changes, color revolutions. Long convoluted wars with many deaths and collateral damage.

Trump says **** that. We're just taking the oil. Brilliant

Chupacabra-322 , 18 minutes ago link

To fund their Black Ops to destabilize Sovereign Countries & rape, murder, pillage & steal their natural resources. And, install their Puppet leaders.

Wash, rinse & repeat.

ExPat2018 , 22 minutes ago link

I see Americans keep calling Assad and Putin a ''dictator'' Hey, jackasses, they were ELECTED in elections far less corrupt than what you have in the USSA

Guentzburgh , 54 minutes ago link

Transparently Assad is a moron, the oil belongs to the kurds snake.

beemasters , 52 minutes ago link

Not anymore... Russian Military Releases Satellite Images Confirming US Smuggling of Syrian Oil
https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201910261077154752-russian-military-releases-satellite-images-confirming-us-smuggling-of-syrian-oil/

yerfej , 1 hour ago link

Securing oil from those you don't want to have it is different than "stealing" the oil. Face it the oil means nothing to any large western economy.

Dzerzhhinsky , 33 minutes ago link

Face it the oil means nothing to any large western economy.

The one thing all capitalists have in common is they all want more money, it's never enough.

You commies will never understand the deep in your gut need to take every penny from every child.

Fiscal Reality , 1 hour ago link

Pelosi, Schiff, Cankels, Schumer, The MSM all sriek in unison "TRUMP IS ASSAD'S PAWN. IMPEACH HIM!!!"

beemasters , 1 hour ago link

the "best American president" ever – because he's the "most transparent."

Very much so. When he says something, it's definitely the opposite that he would be doing. You can't get more transparent than that.

NorwegianPawn , 1 hour ago link

Assad is a very eloquent speaker. Witty, sharp and always calm when speaking with decadent press. Of course the MSM understood what he DID mean, but they cannot help themselves, but parse anything to try hurting Trump.

Just don't believe a word the media says.

Son of Captain Nemo , 1 hour ago link

Mr. Assad's got that pitch correctly...

As a matter of fact he used "real motives" when he should have used the words "maniacal" and "desperate"...

Case in point... https://southfront.org/western-europe-archdiocese-officially-reunited-with-russian-orthodox-church/

If true. It means the Vatican (the oldest most important money there is) like Saudi Arabia and the UAE sure do seem to care about stuff like purchasing power in their "portfolios" and a "store of value"?...

I see lots of EU participants taking their money to Moscow as well with that Arctic bonanza that says "come hither" if you want your money to be worth something!!!

To Hell In A Handbasket , 1 hour ago link

It's always been about oil. Spreading Freedumb, Dumbocracy and Western values, is PR spiel. The reality is, the West are scammers, plunderers and outright thieves. Forget the billions Shell Oil, is holding for the Biafran people/region in Nigeria, which it won't give to either the Bianfran states in the east, nor the Nigerian government, dating back to the secessionist state of Biafra/Nigerian civil war 1967-70. The west are nothing more than gang-bangers, but on the world stage.

If people think its just oil we steal, then you are mad. What the UK did in reneging on 1500 Chieftain tanks and armoured personnel vehicles, with Iran which they paid for up-front and fucked Iran over in the UK courts over interest payments over 40 years. Are stories that simply do not make the news.

Yet the department for trade and industry is scratching its head, wondering why their are so few takers for a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK, where the honest UK courts have the final say? lol

truthseeker47 , 1 hour ago link

Too bad it is political suicide for an American president to try to establish communication with Assad. He seems like a pretty practical guy and who knows, it might be possible to work out a peaceful settlement with him.

TheLastMan , 1 hour ago link

economic warfare on the syrian civlian population through illegal confiscation of vital civilian economic assets, and as conducted in venezeula, is called ________________

Meximus , 1 hour ago link

That is not a compliment for Trompas .

Assad is saying where before the UKK was a masked thief, with Trompas and his egotism alias exceptionalism, has not bothered withthe mask. He is still a murderer and thief.

Obi-jonKenobi , 2 hours ago link

Now Assad has some idea why Trump is so popular with his base, they love him for not being politically correct, for "telling it like it is". He's like the wolf looking at the sheep and telling them he's going to eat them and the sheep cheering because he's not being a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Unfortunately in the case of Trump's sheeple, they don't even have a clue they're going to be eaten, the Trumptards all think he's going to eat someone else like the "deep state" or the "dumbocrats". Meanwhile he's chewing away at their health care, their export markets, piling up record deficits, handing the tax gold to the rich and corporations while they get the shaft, taking away program after program that aided students, the poor, and the elderly, appointing lobbyists to dismantle or corrupt departments they used to lobby against, and in general destroying the international good will that it's taken decades to build.

It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

[Nov 02, 2019] Russian Assets and Realignment as the Dems Morph into Neocons by Renée Parsons

Notable quotes:
"... Believing herself untouchable and immune from any genuine criticism or objective analysis after having successfully evaded prosecution from the nation's top law enforcement agencies, HRC went off the deep end dragging the Democratic party further into the ditch. ..."
"... She is a favorite of the Russians. That's assuming that Jill Stein will give it up which she might not because she is also a Russian asset." ..."
"... Gabbard's message is relatively simple -that is: Instead of the US destroying countries it should be spending the Military Budget on rebuilding the US. Yes that sounds like an America First type of stance but it has a decent logic about it. ..."
"... The US needs an enemy to justify its massive defence bill and 800 bases worldwide. ..."
"... Stoltenberg would happily stop all social services in order to buy more missiles and gain a few brownie points from Trump. Stoltenberg along with the US Neocons are are sick SOB's. ..."
"... Both Trump and Jabbard are opponents of the CIA – Wall street complex. Nationalists vs Globalists, but some people still believe the former are more dangerous than the latter. ..."
"... The Dems morphed into neocons when her willy-waving husband sold out and destroyed the Democratic Party of LBJ's Great Society. ..."
"... Tulsi has shown a lot of class, truth to the darkest Power, and long may she have this platform.. ..."
Nov 01, 2019 | off-guardian.org

As you may have figured out by now, Hillary Clinton, warped by her own self aggrandizement of entitlement, did Tulsi Gabbard and her Presidential campaign against interventionist wars a huge incidental favor.

While the Democrats continue to splinter and spiral out of control on the eve of what promises to be a transformative national election, the Grand Inquisitor seized an opportunity to allege that Gabbard (and Jill Stein) are " Russian assets " and " Putin puppets ".

Since Tulsi is a Major in the US Army Reserves and holds the highest security clearance available, the term 'asset,' which is associated with being an agent of a foreign power, carries a level of national security significance.

Believing herself untouchable and immune from any genuine criticism or objective analysis after having successfully evaded prosecution from the nation's top law enforcement agencies, HRC went off the deep end dragging the Democratic party further into the ditch.

She is a favorite of the Russians. That's assuming that Jill Stein will give it up which she might not because she is also a Russian asset."

Clinton's historic pronouncement came in the mistaken belief that publicly humiliating Gabbard would intimidate the Aloha Girl to silence and seek refuge on her surfboard – but that is not how it has played out.

An unexpected bonus proved once again that political strategy has never been Clinton's strong suit as her malicious comments have brought the anti-war alt left with the libertarian alt-right together in Gabbard's defense. With HRC's injudicious taunts, the glimmer of an emerging political realignment , one that has been at odds with both the Dem and Republican establishments, has surfaced – probably not exactly what HRC intended.

In response to having received a burst of unprecedented support, Gabbard is about to assure her place on the November debate stage and continues to solidify her credibility as a critic of a corrupt bipartisan political establishment and its endless wars.

If they falsely portray me as a traitor, they can do it to anyone. Don't be afraid. Join me in speaking truth to power to take back the Democrat Party and country from the corrupt elite."

It is noteworthy that HRCs accusation was to the only candidate who stands in direct opposition to the Queen Bee's history for the war machine and all of its bells and whistles. As if to call attention to the contradiction, the entire fiasco has acknowledged what was never meant to be acknowledged: that one little known Congresswoman from Hawaii would dare to publicly confront the omnipotent HRC with her own demons and malfeasance; thereby elevating the one candidacy that represents a threat to the military industrial complex and its globalist order.

It is no coincidence that the corporate media operates in lockstep as an offensive October 12th NY Times article was immediately followed by a CNN commentary as well as other media sycophants, all tagging Gabbard as a Russian asset.

Contrary to Journalism 101 on how professional media should conduct themselves, there has been no evidence, no facts, no supporting documentation as they characteristically rely on innuendo and disinformation.

At the last Dem debate and during the kerfuffle with Clinton, Tulsi has stepped up and showed herself to be a candidate the country has been waiting for. With a powerful inner grit, she did not hesitate to take the Times and CNN publicly to task and then in response called HRC out as a warmonger and dared her to enter the 2020 fray.

There lies a deep truth within Gabbard's response especially identifying Clinton as the " personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party. "

During Clinton's term as Secretary of State which is little more than a Glorified Global Hustler for the US military industrial complex, the Democratic Party lost its soul, morphing as nefarious neocons in pursuit of raw political and economic power that emanates from a policy of unfettered regime change and interventionist wars.

As Democrats embraced the neocons with no objection to the unrestrained violence, increased military budgets, indiscriminate selling of weapons to bomb a civilian population, then why should the party's grassroots object to the Tuesday morning assassination list or drone attacks on civilians or creating war in four countries living in peace in 2008?

As the party faithful allow themselves to dismiss all the suffering, the death and destruction wrought by US-made weapons as if Amazon and Google toys were an acceptable trade, they lost their conscience and their connection to the basic essence of humanity's need for peace, love and compassion.

The latest example of the Party's devotion to war is their opposition to the withdrawal of US troops from Syria as they created the phony debate that the Kurds were worth more American blood or resources. The Dems have always been more pro-war than they have been given credit for with WWI, WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam all initiated and/or expanded under Democrat Presidents.

With no substantiation from the mindless meanderings of a seriously disoriented woman, it is now clear that Clinton's derangement syndrome of unresolved guilt and denial led the Democratic party to its irrational embrace of Russiagate as the justification for her 2016 loss.

In other words, it was Russiagate that protected HRC's fragile self-esteem from the necessary introspection as Americans were pitted against one another, dividing the nation in a deliberate disruption of civil society in a more acrimonious manner than any time since the 1860's. The country has paid a bitter, unnecessary price for a divisive strategy due to Clinton's refusal to personally accept responsibility for her own failings.

HRC's most egregious war crimes as Secretary of State include assigning Victoria Nuland to conduct the overthrow of a democratically elected President in Ukraine in 2014 and the ensuing violence and civil war in the Donbass as well as her joyous rapture cackling at the death of Libyan President Qaddafi in 2011. The now infamous video " We came, we saw, he died " showed her to be more than just your average war criminal but a Monster who experiences an aberrant thrill at death and destruction.

Since June, TPTB have done their darnedest to deny Tulsi a spot on the debate stage rigging the qualifying requirements as best they could. Making it near impossible for the polling firms, which rely on campaign season and their economic connection with the DNC to call the shots in a fair and equitable manner.

As the early primary states loom ahead, the last thing TPTB need is a powerful pro-peace voice resonating with the American public. The message seems clear: talk of peace is verboten and equates with being a Russia asset and anyone with pacifist tendencies will be publicly chastised and condemned for being a tool of the Kremlin.

None of that has stopped Tulsi Gabbard.

Renee Parsons has been a member of the ACLU's Florida State Board of Directors and president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, an environmental lobbyist with Friends of the Earth and staff member of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. She can be found on Twitter @reneedove31


Ken Kenn

I am very impressed by Tulsi Gabbard. She's a bit too patriotic for me – but I'm a Brit so for a serving American it's understandable. It isn't the person that is dangerous- it is the insertion of the idea that Regime Change wars are counterproductive.

Gabbard's message is relatively simple -that is: Instead of the US destroying countries it should be spending the Military Budget on rebuilding the US. Yes that sounds like an America First type of stance but it has a decent logic about it.

Wasteful wars and the idea that the US should install its version of Democracy across the Middle East has always been a doomed project and co-operation and an attempt at rebuilding these nations in order to attempt some kind of democracy and future prosperity is required – not bombing and bullying.

You could be outraged by Clinton's nasty rhetoric but let's face it. Clinton lost to someone she considered to be a Clown.

In actuality the DNC almost promoted Trump as person they could beat hands down.

It bit them on the arse as did the Brexit result in the UK.

Clinton has never got over losing to a chump and she is just covering her backside as to why she lost.

Hell hath no fury like a self appointed Candidate scorned. Like Johnson in the UK Clinton thought she had the right to rule. She didn't and doesn't. To quote some US Senator; " The people have spoken. The bastards!"

Igor
The objective is not to install American "democracy". Which does not exist anywhere, USA is officially a republic. Unofficially, it is an oligarchy. Elite super wealthy families and their corporations run the USA. All 45 Presidents have been related to those families. The President is actually elected by the Electoral College, not the popular vote. This was designed into the Constitution of USA, Inc.

The aim of regime change is to create chaos in MENA, by which a small ME state can profit without doing any visible dirty work.

Ramdan
https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/they_live_we_sleep_beware_the_growing_evil_in_our_midst
falcemartello
The Democrats(oxymoron for il Partito Fascista Americano) are doing this for the simple reason knowing full well that most traditional old school democrats identify with Bernie Sanders. The whole notion of the WASP notion of left right paradigm is oxymoron in itself.

Any political science follower or student would have to agree. What is the political left mean in the west????????? Has anyone ever read Marx and Engles ???????????? Social democrat WTF does that mean. Historical revisionist get labelled Nazi sympathisers. The constant lies and obfuscation with real facts. Like population stats death births . The Classic method being used at the moment is they no longer due c0up d'etats the good old fascistic way. The popular vote gets discredited by the judicial system. IE the recent elections of Argentina and Bolivia does not suit the IMF( the International Mafia Fund) henc e the European Union Funded election monitoring organisations are all openly stating that both elections were not KOSHER.

Look at the people in Venezuela and Bolivia that are demonstrating against the popular elected and voted for Governments. White upper middle class figli di putane. Plain and simple the western paradigm of fake democrazia and fake economy is dying the plutocratic and oligarchical class are just creating storms and fires just do deviate from good old fashion bread and butter issues.

Conclusion:

The pax-americana Democrats(RATS) know full well that Bernie will not lead the party Gabbard will not lead the party so here is there strategy and good old Chuckie Schuemer the anglo-zionist par excellance laid it out in 2015. They are hoping that old fashion conservative Republicans that are disgusted with the Orange one will vote for them and further reduce the number of voters. Just think of this. In this day and age with the largest wealth gap exceeding the Gilded age which individual would take a day off to line up to vote on a bitter grey November day. So these remarkable establishment shills in their great wisdom are running as Eisenhower Republican and hoping to steal votes from the Republicans and not win any votes from the new ever growing lower so called middle class.

POST SCRIPTUM: The irony and the complete paradox more war will give us peace and the rich getting richer will give us the sheeple wealth. Black is white and grey does not exist and left vs right. What a sad state of affairs.

Docius in fundem: The sad reality in our dying western paradigm of pax-americana is never in the history of the modern and post modern era we have more people graduating from tertiary education but we have created the most ignorant and pliant class of individuals ever.

Jon
She came, we saw, she lied.
Hugh O'Neill
Russian asset and Putin puppet, Jesus of Nazareth reportedly said: "Blessed are the Peace Makers". As we know, Trump receives maximum MSM contempt for anything approaching diplomacy and peace, and highest MSM approval when advocating war and destruction. Likewise, when a Presidential candidate dare breathe the word "Peace" then she is either ignored, ridiculed or accused of treachery – and that greatest of all crimes, being pro-Russian (ergo anti-American). It is timely perhaps to re-read President Kennedy's (largely unreported) Commencement Address to American University, 10th June 1963:

" What kind of peace do I mean? What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children–not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women–not merely peace in our time but peace for all time".

"I speak of peace because of the new face of war. Total war makes no sense in an age when great powers can maintain large and relatively invulnerable nuclear forces and refuse to surrender without resort to those forces. It makes no sense in an age when a single nuclear weapon contains almost ten times the explosive force delivered by all the allied air forces in the Second World War. It makes no sense in an age when the deadly poisons produced by a nuclear exchange would be carried by wind and water and soil and seed to the far corners of the globe and to generations yet unborn."

Lest we forget: Lee Harvey Oswald was sheep-dipped as a Russian-loving commie precisely so as to blame Russia for killing that commie/socialist/pacifist/drug-addled/free-lovin' Jack Kennedy. Somehow, their script didn't really make any sense. Script-writer Allen Dulles had written a turkey, but the show must go on, and on .

Igor
It won't be allowed. The People have no say in the matter. Politics is pure spectacle, to distract and entertain the masses, and to make them think that they have a voice. All 45 US Presidents have been interrelated through 200+ super wealth elite intertwined families. If Tulsi Gabbard is not related, then she is not getting into the White House. If she is related, she will get in and do nothing different from what the previous actors have always done.

#Resist45 and Trump, Mr. #45, work for the same people. Keeping the nation dazed and confused, since January 2017. Congress does nothing useful, by design, concentrating on impeachment. The Media has plenty of Trump social media coverage to prevent ever having space to report on actual events (as if they would).

Chinese Asset?
Please don't make the Republicans look better than they are. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Ms. Hua Chunying said at a press briefing that

Pence's speech made Thursday revealed his "sheer arrogance and hypocrisy, and was packed with political prejudice and lies"

So refreshing to hear it from a high level official! Ms Hua also accused Pence of using China as a prop to distract from the United States' failings. Now we know, the 'Russian asset' accusation is used to distract from the continuous and never-ending murderous operation of the US regime.

Seamus Padraig

Since Tulsi is a Major in the US Army Reserves and holds the highest security clearance available, the term 'asset,' which is associated with being an agent of a foreign power, carries a level of national security significance.

Alt-journalist Caity Johnstone has recently remarked upon how the Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) have started to give the word 'asset' their own little proprietary meaning:

"Russian 'assets' are not formal relationships in the USIC [US Intelligence Community] sense of the word," CNN analyst and former FBI agent Asha Rangappa explained via Twitter. "If you are parroting Russian talking points and furthering their interests, you're a source who is too dumb to know you're being played to ask for money."

"It's important to point out here that a Russian 'asset' is not the same thing as a Russian 'agent'," tweeted virulent establishment narrative manager Caroline Orr. "An asset can be witting or unwitting; it's any person or org who can be used to advance Russia's interests. It's pretty clear that Tulsi satisfies that criteria."

"One doesn't have to be on the Kremlin's payroll to be a Russian asset. One doesn't even have to know they are a Russian asset to be a Russian asset. Have you not heard the term 'useful idiot' before?" tweeted writer Kara Calavera.

At this rate, pretty soon, we'll all have to check with RT first before we open our mouths in public, just to make sure we're not accidentally agreeing with the Russians!

The Dems have always been more pro-war than they have been given credit for with WWI, WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam all initiated and/or expanded under Democrat Presidents.

Ha, ha! That takes me back–all the way to 1976, to be exact–to when Bob Dole (then a candidate for Vice-President) described all the wars of the 20th century as " Democrat wars ".

Igor
"CNN analyst and former FBI agent Asha Rangappa explained via Twitter. "

Says the CNN paid asset.

Hugh O'Neill
Thanks once again to Renee for championing Tulsi. Yesterday my local paper here in NZ (The Otago Daily Times) in its "This Day in History" column, briefly referred to JFK and the peaceful resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis. I wrote to the editor my appreciation:

"Although I am old enough to remember both the 1960 election and the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, I was blissfully unaware of the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 (when I was almost 7 years old). My thanks to the ODT for marking this date which is the day in History when the world stepped back from the abyss of nuclear war and ended all life on Earth. Sadly, too many today live in blissful ignorance of the most dangerous moment in the History of Mankind.

As the old saying goes, those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. Next time around, there may no longer be the politicians with the courage and intelligence of Kennedy and Khrushchev: both men had to out-manoeuvre their own military hawks, and each man knew the personal risks he faced in doing so. Khrushchev was replaced within a year and died in ignominy.

JFK's lived another year before his own untimely end. Though we may lament the execution of John F. Kennedy, he had not lived and died in vain, because we are still here despite the military. I cannot recommend highly enough two books: firstly, Bobby Kennedy's "13 Days> A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis" and James Doulglass "JFK & The Unspeakable. Why he died & Why it Matters".

Tulsi has been the only candidate in a very long time to speak the unspeakable truth. Do not condemn her for whatever flaws some commenters below perceive. No-one is absolutely perfect in every way – not even Mary Poppins. But Tulsi is a breath of fresh air and has immense courage, eloquence, passion, integrity and charisma to bring out the best in people. The real enemy is within – in every sense.

Gwyn
I'm sure this link will be of interest to you, Hugh. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasily_Arkhipov_(vice_admiral)
Hugh O'Neill
Thanks, Gwyn. I knew this story already but it is worth rereading. The fact that some dimwitted USN ship started dropping depth charges without top authority shows that JFKs grip on his own military was tenuous. He had recently read Barbara Tuchman's "The guns of August" which showed how stupid acts by subordinates could have massive consequences. Once again, this demonstrates the treachery of the military. Recently, some British General stated publicly that if Corbyn were elected, there would be a coup. The military mind cannot cope with the concept of Democracy.
Harry Law
The US needs an enemy to justify its massive defence bill and 800 bases worldwide. Who better to shill for the US than that fool Jens Stoltenberg [Sec General NATO] "NATO General Secretary Says $100 Billion in Additional Alliance Spending Not Enough for Defence". The US spent $649 billion in 2018, other members of NATO spent an additional $314 billion, whereas Russia who do not want to be an enemy spent just $61.4 billion". https://sputniknews.com/military/201910251077152221-nato-general-secretary-says-100-billion-in-additional-alliance-spending-not-enough-for-defence/

Stoltenberg would happily stop all social services in order to buy more missiles and gain a few brownie points from Trump. Stoltenberg along with the US Neocons are are sick SOB's.

Antonym
Trump doesn't want US taxpayers to fund US mil in Europe, not unreasonable. Both Trump and Jabbard are opponents of the CIA – Wall street complex. Nationalists vs Globalists, but some people still believe the former are more dangerous than the latter.

Amazon, Google or Apple have more power than North Korea, Iran or Xyz. China cannot be the CIA-Wall street bogey now as they make too much profit of it: Russia is much smaller fish margin wise (the Clinton's only managed a few dozen million$) so that makes the perfect fake enemy. On top Russia actually competes with oil and gas, which China can't.

Wilmers31
Someone with more knowledge to the timeline needs to correlate the punishments for Russia (sanctions) to the oil price. I think they started sanctions when Russian oil and gas deliveries were getting cheaper but US needed 75$+ for the frackers. It was just eliminating a competitor, especially after they could not purchase the monopoly on Russian gas and oil through the monopoly company Yukos.
Gary Weglarz
This is something I've been thinking a lot about lately, and this seems like a good post to share it on.

Watching trolls emerge to discredit and attack the lone U.S. candidate who publicly and vocally opposes America's regime change wars and even dares tell the American people that "we are supporting the terrorists – not fighting them" – is bad enough in MSM, but a sad and interesting comment on how completely engaged the State has become with attempting to "control" and "shape" discourse on progressive sites such as this.

My favorite of course is when one State troll debates another State troll in completely "fake" discourse, attempting to amplify their troll message. The other technique that is endlessly amusing is when a single troll posts something a well informed person with progressive values can quite agree with one day, followed the next by complete gibberish posing as "sophistication," followed the next day by talking points right out of the CIA & Pentagon, and then follows all that up with posting something sensible again. Just a bit "crazy-making" no?

It pays to remember ("The 4 D's: Deny / Disrupt / Degrade / Deceive") that come right out of the trolling manual. It should be a red-flag if these descriptors characterize someone's posts.

The saying that if it ("looks like a duck, walks like a duck and talks like a duck, well, it just might be a duck") – is one that is worth applying to our comment's sections discourse. Because if it "posts like a troll"- in the end it doesn't really matter if it "is" a troll (something we will never know), or is simply an uniformed but opinionated idiot – as that person is "doing the work of" the State sponsored trolls in either case.

I find it is always worth periodically reviewing what we know about these operations (thank you Edward Snowden) – as it helps us to better understand and prepares us to better deal with the State sponsored troll operations we now see routinely in all of our truly progressive comments sections on alternative media sites. What we now deal with here at OffG and elsewhere are daily routine attempts to take over, shape and control otherwise rational informed sincere discussion by readers. Sadly this is how some people make their living – existing in a continual state of existential "bad faith."

https://theintercept.com/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/

BigB
Gary:

Anyone who stands for a perception managed 'business as usual' candidacy is authentic: anyone who tries to expose the vicious hypocrisy is an 'asset' or a 'troll'? Welcome to the postmodern anti-debate.

I'm trying to think of where I have come across a more cynical attempt to distort the truth and apologetically cover ethnic cleansing and cultural anti-Muslim genocide? And I cannot think of a better example. Anyone who attempts to expose Gabbard for her cultural links to actual Hindutva supremacism and real live fascism must be a paid state troll? What can I say: I am a peace troll exposing the Politics of Lies you appear to support. Tulsi Gabbard is a traitor to humanity.

What I laid out below is not trolling: it exposes just how much you have to invert the true values of liberation and freedom to get a 'peace candidate' from a Zionist fascist supporter. In brief synopsis: Modi tore up the Indian constitution; flooded Jammu and Kashmir with troops; invoked the 'Riot Act' to eject all journalists and TV crews; in order that his ethnic cleansing of the valley goes unseen. This is a crime against humanity: which also carries no small risk of nuclear war. Making this apparent is trolling?

In the perversion of the narrative script you propose: this is called "vocally opposing America's regime change wars". How; by apologising for not being able to attend the 'Howdy, Modi' because she was pre-commited to be lying somewhere else?

In contrast: Arundhati Roy stands accused as a traitor and having her rights and citizenship stripped for bringing attention to Modi's war crimes. What does Gabbard do? Pass the caviar and offer more lucrative trade deals for Modi's murderers? That is the difference between a real world candidate and a fake. Will Gabbard call out Modi; el-Sisi; Netanyahu or Adelson for that matter?

You know the scene that Milosevic likes to post: of Netanyahu being feted by Congress – which looks exactly like the Nuremberg Rallies Gabbard was there to listen to the ally and friend of the United States – that is the only democracy in the Middle East – denounce Iran. Afterward, she went on Fox News and glibly agreed Greta Van Susteren that the deal was akin to the infamous Munich Pact. Blithely nodding her head before engaging in some fantasy talking points about North Korean nukes hitting Hawaii: and the three month acquisition of the Iranian bomb which comes straight off of one of Nuttyyahoo's empty CD-roms. So can we drop the pretense please?

https://video.foxnews.com/v/4091784052001/#sp=show-clips

Adelson's 'Champion of Freedom' nails her real colours to the mast?

Then you invoke Sartre: did you know he was a communist? Who staid loyal to Stalin's Soviet Union for much longer than he really should have? What do you think he would have made of a candidate who dines with Hindutva fascist racist supremacists and offers them more trade on a pro rata basis of carrying out war crimes and crimes against humanity? Bad faith and authenticity: where do yo think they lie? Gabbard is an authentic candidate only in such a highly perception managed world as we have. Which is why we have such a highly perception managed world – because we highly perception manage it ourselves. No paid state trolls required: except in the imagination perhaps? Perhaps only those not suffering the illusion can see who she really is?

The only way to make this real is by censoring the right to criticism the illegitimate candidacy of those who are silent on Modi's open fascism and very probable silent, unseen ethnic cleansing. If it is silent and unseen then it is not happening. Then we have our perfect 'peace candidate'. Do you see how it works?

Let us shut down any chance of any open debate on that. Well done Gary. You and all the fawning sycophants on this page have the perfect peace candidate you deserve. By ignoring valid and authentic critical consciousness and suppressing the voice of freedom.

Gabbard needs to be exposed as a modified war candidate: and friend of the Gods of Money and their pet dictators. It is a cynical ploy to try and close down such real world exposure as 'trolling'. Trolling for peace maybe? Peace we may never now know.

Gary Weglarz
My comments were not intended to be a defense of Gabbard. Though she is the only candidate I can remember in many years that is speaking some truth, any truth, about the amoral U.S. war machine, she of course has no chance whatsoever of winning and no one in their right mind would suggest otherwise. Yet I and others who are quite aware of this obvious reality find the undeniable fact she is "publicly speaking some truth" about that war machine a rather important addition to the theatre of the absurd political debate here in the U.S. So strange that support and recognition of this simple fact is so controversial to some.

No, my comments were not some defense of Gabbard as an impure savior, but rather about the trolls and those who perhaps in their boundless narcissism simply do the work of the government trolls because they routinely "post like trolls." You know, ("The 4 D's: Deny / Disrupt / Degrade / Deceive"). Perhaps you missed that somehow?

I tire of so much smug narcissistic idiocy, and predictable attacks on any who might disagree, posing as – "commentary" or "discourse." Of course neither you nor Big B have commented a word on that topic- the actual topic of my post. Instead simply strawman attacks related to Tulsi. How strange. But then again: "You've obviously got it all sewn up :(" – eh Frank?

RobG
I really don't give a shit about what the totally corrupt US political system is doing.

They are all scum and vermin, who, in a sane world, would all be swept down the gutter.

In the Middle East we are on the verge of WW3. The Russians and the Chinese are not going to put up with the American Frankenstein any more. Do Americans realise what this will mean?

I doubt it, because many Americans don't have a brain cell between them (Clue: America will be totally destroyed in a WW3).

nonameforsure
8 elements appeared on a website recently which the author suggested could be used to identify fake, false, or self agenda propaganda.. learn them.. apply them.
Develop an international way to report in some standard way on the elements that appear in articles. Maybe date, time, place presented, element identified, together with a comment that fits each expression. In my opinion it is important to build the case that the same false narrative appears in your favorite fake media as well as everyone else's favorite fake media.

You will be able to detect how these 8 elements develop fact that identify processes and activities of those in charge and how these elements will allow those seeking the truth to build a collaborative means to debunk fake. Example refer to paragraph 7 in a subject article by indicating "place" on "date" @ "time" "time" "title" and element number and then make a comment to explain why you marked the expression with a element number.

This kind of reference system allows to detect and compare both intra article fake news with inter publication fake news.. so maybe it will be discovered the news outlets and publishers and authors that hawk the same false or misleading propaganda in time to inform the public, moreover, if you can get the public to understand and to apply the element method of debunking propaganda; article by article, paragraph by paragraph, just the act of doing it, might wake them up.

1) EN establish the narrative :fake always try to establish the tuth
2) WR They wrong, we right : inconvenient facts are transformed to support the narrative
3) PF Cherry Pick the Facts : only report the facts that support the narrative
4) IS Ignore stuff : never include something that is contrary to the narrative
5) VB Blame the Victim : keep the victim on the defensive
6) MU Make up Stuff: false or non fact claims can be made up to fit the narrative
7) AC Attack and deny any form to all challengers: Persons who ask ?s are conspiracy terrorist.
8) RL Repeat the lies, repeat the lies, repeat the lies. People need help to remember the lie

Capricornia Man
Your eight methods for creating fake news aptly describe the way the 'systemic anti-Semitism in the UK Labour Party' myth was promoted. Particularly methods 3,4 and 8.

When I complained to a broadcaster about its incompetent and biased 'coverage' of this non-issue, one of its chief defences was: 'that's what all the other news outlets are saying'.

The MSM wonder why they are regarded as mendacious and contemptible by thinking people who take the trouble to separate the facts from the spin.

mark
A Brief Summary Of The War In Syria.

2011. The Neocons activate a long standing plan that has been around for 20 years to destroy Syria. Syria is to be destroyed, like Iraq and Libya before it. Assad will be toppled within a few months and Syria smashed into a thousand pieces.

The Axis of Evil, the US and its NATO satraps, Shady Wahabia, Kosherstan and Sultan Erdogan, flood Syria with the necessary cannon fodder, hundreds of thousands of head choppers and throat slitters from a hundred countries, with a licence to murder, burn, rape, loot, steal and enslave to their hearts content. An alphabet soup of takfiri groups is created out of thin air, armed, trained, paid, transported and orchestrated with tens of billions of western taxpayers money. ISIS is just one of many.

The Syrian state, armed forces and people resist with unexpected courage and determination, and fight the proxy head choppers to a standstill. But they are under extreme pressure and have to concentrate their forces in the main battles in the west of the country. This leaves a vacuum that is filled by the phantom ISIS caliphate. This suits the Axis of Evil just fine. There is no problem with ISIS black flags flying over Damascus provided Syria is destroyed.

By 2015, the outcome is in the balance. Clinton and Sultan Erdogan have agreed to impose a no fly zone to turn the tide in favor of the head choppers. A series of Gas Attack Hoaxes and false flag atrocity claims are staged over a protracted period of time to justify Libya style intervention.

All bets are off as Putin overrides his advisors and dispatches Russian forces to intervene and prevent the destruction of the Syrian state. With the support of Iran and Hezbollah, the situation is transformed. Though the worst of the fighting is yet to come, the Neocon plot to destroy Syria is a busted flush. Syria is steadily liberated from terrorist occupation.

The main terrorist sponsors try to salvage something from this failure. Sultan Erdogan switches sides and takes the opportunity to attack the Kurds. Trump seizes the opportunity to scale back US involvement, generating much hysteria from all the Zionist shills in Washington. The Kurds seek some kind of accommodation with Damascus.

The war is now winding down. It will take some time before all the terrorist areas are liberated and occupying US and Turkish forces have to withdraw. But the outcome is now inevitable.

Chalk up another failure for the Neocons.

Gezzah Potts
Funny you mentioned Arundhati Roy as I almost bought her book today: Capitalism A Ghost Story, in a Left bookshop here, however ended up getting Culture & Imperialism by Edward Said and a second hand copy of Pedadogy Of The Oppressed which I've, um, never read. Time to broaden the mind, as have hardly read any books for years except articles on the Internet. Will pick up Arundhati's book next time. Have a good day
eddie
The Dems morphed into neocons when her willy-waving husband sold out and destroyed the Democratic Party of LBJ's Great Society.

Tulsi being a member of the establishment which she lambasts is quite a paradox, but can be seen from one's own moral perspective. During the VietNam war era, '63-75, many who opposed the fiasco took a stronger stance: prison as a conscientious objector, moving to Canada, undesirable discharges, very vocal public protests & arrests. Many lives and futures ruined, my own included, to actively stop the illegal & profit driven Invasion ..

Tulsi has shown a lot of class, truth to the darkest Power, and long may she have this platform..

Rhys Jaggar
Next they will try saying that because she is not a mother she has no place being President. If I had a vote in the US, I would vote for any man, woman, black/white/Hisoanic/Asian/any other ethnicity, straight/gay/indeterminate who:

1. Pledged to cut the US military budget in half, sign up to existing OPCW conventions on chemical+biological weapons and demanded that Israel did likewise.
2. Removed the right for dual citizen US-Israeli zionists to hold public US office (tell em to decide whether they are primarily aligned to Israel or not) and neutered the election-rigging AIPAC monstrosity at source.
3. Called out the global warming hoax as the biggest scam of the 21st century.
4. Enforced the concept that polluters pay to clean up their polluting, particularly in extractive industries, agriculture, mining and packaging.
5. Promoted the restoration of mutually owned local finance, particularly in providing mortgages.
6. Confronted the self-serving victim gravy train, in particular making the terms 'man' and 'woman' beyond the rights of anyone to take legal action.
7. vowed to shut down 25% of US overseas military bases in a first term and a further tranche in a second term.

Just for starters.

[Nov 02, 2019] Is Elizabeth Warren the New Ted Cruz The American Conservative

Nov 02, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Despite scant polling evidence, Joe Biden's continued lead , and serious concerns over her viability with the broader electorate, Elizabeth Warren's Democratic presidential campaign has taken on an air of inevitability.

Just this fall, the emcee of the financial television circuit, Mad Money 's Jim Cramer, has gone from wailing "She's got to be stopped" to insisting, "I don't think she's nearly as anti-business" as commonly portrayed. Either way, Cramer continues, "I think there is such a thing called Congress." The implication is even if the prairie populist by way of Massachusetts goes the distance, Wall Street's network on Capitol Hill would make mincemeat of her agenda.

In my interviews with members of Congress, especially Republicans, Warren's nomination is generally treated as a fait accompli. Perhaps it's projection, Warren is who many partisan Republicans think the Democrats are: female, lawyerly and anti-capitalist. The contest of Warren vs. Donald Trump would provide, if nothing else, clarity.

The dynamic extends past Northeast Washington. Where people put their money where their mouth is -- political gambling sites -- Warren's chances of winning the Democratic nomination are assessed at nearing 40 percent. On PredicitIt.com, one can buy a Warren share an absurd thirty-eight cents on the dollar.

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The idea of Democrats nominating an aged, gaffe-prone white male popular with industry and in the Rust Belt seems absurd on the face: "That's our nominee, right?" David Axelrod, mastermind of Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, earlier this month crowned Warren the "front-runner."

There's just one problem with this line of thinking: it's not at all clear Warren is going to be the Democratic nominee for president. Her principal rival, Biden, the former vice president, still leads in some national polls. Biden is frequently compared to Jeb Bush, the establishment favorite, paper tiger on the Republican side in the last round.

There are two problems with this analogy. Biden isn't nearly as "establishment" as the former Florida governor. Bush was the cash-flush son and brother of two presidents, while Biden is bleeding dough and has failed to procure the endorsement of the president he served. Conversely, unlike Bush, whose lead nationally evaporated by Labor Day, Biden has stubbornly stayed more or less at the top of the heap through all of 2019.

It's Halloween and Democratic voters haven't been spooked enough by the former vice president's at-times catastrophic performance to dump him. Unlike Bush, Biden has an ace in the hole: the anchoring constituency of his party, African-American voters. If Bush had commanded the acclaim of evangelical Christians he might have held on despite his other weaknesses as a candidate. Biden is also relatively popular , while the Bush clan is rightly still blamed for the destruction of American prestige at home and abroad.

Down With the Clapback Will Senate Republicans Take A Chance on President Pence?

Biden frequently, even pathetically presents himself as an "Obama-Biden Democrat." ButBiden's candidacy remains most similar to a non-Bush 2016 candidate: Donald Trump, the front-runner the "smart set" claimed was doomed from the start. Like Trump, Biden is famous . And as Biden has hit campaign troubles, the former veep's raison d'etre can take on an air of the self-evident: I'm leading the race because I'm leading the race.

Like Trump, who would proudly spend literally hours of his campaign rallies reading off primary poll results, Biden also seems content to run a campaign based on his own lead. After weeks of purported political battering, Biden told 60 Minutes Sunday: "I know I'm the frontrunner."

With almost Trump-like flare, Biden noted: "Find me a national poll with a notable a couple exceptions." What was true of the last Democratic debate, earlier this month in Ohio, may be true of the 2020 election as a whole. As Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of The National Interest , said : "It was a good night for the old codgers on stage."

Indeed, insistences from career progressives and conservatives that Warren is the true Democratic standard-bearer can take on a mawkish tone. Surely, in a time of ubiquitous partisanship, the victors will be most ideological. The Democrats are moving ever left, the Republicans, ever right. Surely, it is time for a true believer.

But the logic is too clever by half. Templates are incomplete assessments of the world, but play along: if Trump is Biden's proper analogue, then Warren's candidacy is perhaps most akin to Ted Cruz's in 2016. Like Cruz, Warren is somewhat unpopular with her colleagues, which doubles as a badge of honor with many, more ideological activists.

But party activists perhaps understand the organization they serve less than they think they do. Isn't it just as possible, indeed maybe even likely, that Warren, like Cruz, is waiting for a day that will never come? Trump's "implosions" were never reflected at the ballot box. Maybe so, it will also be with Biden.

Templates aren't perfect, however. While Cruz did well with evangelicals, Warren has failed to make inroads among African Americans. And unlike Cruz, the establishment has warmed to Warren's rise -- her campaign doubles as a Harvard satellite campus.

But perhaps Warren's greatest weakness as a candidate, as it was for Cruz, is that she is not the real voice of her party's discontented. A well placed source told me that in 2012 he advised Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, that the person who wins America's big elections today is the most pessimistic of the two messengers.

Of the 2016 conservatives, Cruz was perhaps most polite to Trump, but in failing to ape the future president's program, he never emerged as anything more than a poor imitation of the real estate mogul. Immigration and ennui over America's international role were the orders of the day, and for a core contingent, no substitutes for Trumpian nationalism would do.

Warren experiences this vulnerability, an intensity gap, not with Biden, but with Bernie Sanders. Warren, perhaps sensing the establishment's warmth to her, takes pains to emphasize that she is still a capitalist. Perhaps accordingly, socialist Alexandria Ocascio-Cortez, the most powerful millennial politician, has thrown in with Sanders, the candidate she volunteered for four years ago. For the under-forty set, which has been mired in a now-decade of low growth and the vise-grip of rising housing, education and healthcare costs, Warrenism, like Cruzism, may come too little, too late.

Curt Mills is senior writer at .


Signore Sharpshooter 2 days ago

The money is deserting Biden. He's toast.
Faux Squaw will take it. It's baked in.
LeeInWV 4 days ago
A well placed source told me that in 2012 he advised Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, that the person who wins America's big elections today is the most pessimistic of the two messengers.

Ummmm... Romney LOST.

For the under-forty set, which has been mired in a now-decade of low growth and the vice grip of rising housing, education and healthcare costs, Warrenism, like Cruzism, may come too little, too late.

The article was nearly completely about Biden vs Warren then changed course near the end by bring Sanders into it. So Warrenism may be "too little, too late" so Dems will go for less with Biden? Sorry, it really seems incoherent to me.

Richard Karl Schultz LeeInWV 2 days ago
Yeah, the analogy that makes more sense is Trump:Cruz as Bernie:Warren, except instead of being a total fraud with no political experience, Bernie has 40 years of experience, with lots of accomplishments, and is seen as far-and-away the most trustworthy and with the highest favorability.
Ed 4 days ago
As competing right-wing and left-wing versions of the "cool nerd"? I guess so, though the essence of the "cool nerd" is that most people don't think the "cool nerds" are cool.

Is Biden really less "Establishment" than Jeb Bush?. A lot depends on how you define Establishment -- and the word is very slippery and hard to define. I'd say they were both Establishment to something like the same degree. Bush has a waspy pedigree and two presidents in his family, but 38 years in the Senate made Biden part of the Washington Establishment to a high degree. Neither of them had much substance. Biden was sort of like the ottoman in a Washington salon - something you might not notice until you tripped over it - but still he was a Washington fixture. Jeb Bush had the connections, but so far as Washington was concerned there was something provincial about him.

Kelly Storme 4 days ago
It doesn't really matter who wins the Democrat's party nomination or who wins the Presidential election. The 'Deep State' runs the government and will continue to run the government no matter which pony is the face on stage. Pick your puppet at the polls. That is if you want to waste your time voting at all.
LewistonCatholic Kelly Storme 4 days ago
True of any candidate except Trump who is the only one not controlled by the Deep State. Not that he hasn't had limited success so far in going up against them, given their control of the FBI and CIA and ability to manufacture scandals at will such as the "Russia Collusion" hoax.
Kelly Storme LewistonCatholic 2 days ago
I'll agree that Trump is somewhat outside the 'Deep State's' control. I'll state that I am not a fan of most of his policies or the man himself and it is my firm opinion that even though he is not an 'offspring' of the Deep State, his actions and interests are self-focused just like those that are bred from within. None of them give a rat's behind about Joe Public; it's the super-elites serving the interests of the super-elites.
=marco01= Kelly Storme 3 days ago
The socalled Deep State swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. That oath comes before their loyalty to Trump.

Trump is president, not dictator. He doesn't just get to do whatever he wants despite the fact he thinks he can, he thinks he is above the Constitution.

"I have to the right to do whatever I want as president." - Trump

You no doubt nodded in agreement when he said that, but if a Democratic president ever said that, you'd erupt in outrage completely forgetting how you felt when Trump said it.

Stan Grand =marco01= 3 days ago
Elections have consequences.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) =marco01= 2 days ago
The previous Democratic president ruled largely through executive orders, if you haven't noticed. Not a dictator, right. While those upholders of the Constitution which are so dear to you, violated it left and right in everything foreign policy. Try better.
Hellprin_fan Alex (the one that likes Ike) 2 days ago
Obama issued an average of 34.6 EOs per year. Trump is at 47.7 per year. You were saying?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/...

Alex (the one that likes Ike) Hellprin_fan a day ago
Yes, and the next one, R, D or else, will issue even more of those. My point is that the tacit transition to dictatorship has already happened.
Kelly Storme =marco01= 2 days ago
Actually, as Alex stated, rule by Executive Order has become more prevalent with each successive President regardless of political party. Without going into a long explanation, I'll just say that the Constitution has been eroded by all Branches of the government - unfortunately, it's getting to the point where it will be completely ineffectual soon.
Madeleine Birchfield 4 days ago
Warren (as well as Bernie Sanders) would have been a great candidate for the Democratic Party to try to win back working-class whites in 2016, but nowadays it seems they are the Republican base and big Trump supporters and aren't returning back to the fold.

Democrats would do better to find a more center-right figure to win over neoconservatives, liberatarians, and suburban America, all alienated by Donald Trump and by what the Republican Party has become, which could potentially get them states like Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, and the like.

cka2nd Madeleine Birchfield 3 days ago
That describes most of the Democratic also-rans, and pretty much Biden, too. And Hilary Clinton, of course, and look how inspiring she was to the Democratic electorate.
Dan Madeleine Birchfield 2 days ago
You're pretty much describing Andrew Yang. His base is currently small, but very passionate, consisting of progressives, disaffected Trump voters, working class whites, libertarians, etc., basically anyone on the political spectrum.
Richard Karl Schultz Madeleine Birchfield 2 days ago
Only Bernie.
staircaseghost 4 days ago • edited
Warren is who many partisan Republicans think the Democrats are: female, lawyerly and anti-capitalist.

A few paragraphs down, you said "Warren, perhaps sensing the establishment's warmth to her, takes pains to emphasize that she is still a capitalist." Did you just assume your readers would prefer the smear up front and the facts buried near the bottom?

Message to pro-capitalist, Warren-curious conservatives: come on in, the water's fine!

" Franklin Foer : All the investment bankers who have voodoo dolls of you might be a bit surprised that you recently described yourself as "capitalist to the bone." What did you mean?

Elizabeth Warren : I believe in markets and the benefits they can produce when they work. Markets with rules can produce enormous value. So much of the work I have done -- the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, my hearing-aid bill -- are about making markets work for people, not making markets work for a handful of companies that scrape all the value off to themselves. I believe in competition."

Like Cruz, Warren is somewhat unpopular with her colleagues

"Somewhat unpopular"? Ted Cruz is positively *loathed* by his colleagues.

Wake me up when something actually analogous to Ted Cruz happens, like if Warren calls the eventual nominee a "narcissist" and "serial liar" for whom "morality doesn't exist" and then goes on to phone bank for him in the general.

Alex (the one that likes Ike) staircaseghost 3 days ago
Well, looks like I already have to wake you up. Remember that story with her saying that it ain't right when a veep's son serves on the board of a foreign company and then immediately backtracking after having understood what she just said?
Kenneth_Almquist Alex (the one that likes Ike) 3 days ago
No. In any case, you appear to be describing a case where Warren misspoke and quickly corrected herself, which is nothing like what Cruz did.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) Kenneth_Almquist 2 days ago
Nah, that's what I'm describing:

http://disq.us/p/24lfxof

There's even a video there.

IanDakar staircaseghost 3 days ago
Sounds like Warren is thinking of "Capitalism, with fixes from outside capitalism"

I'll admit, even the criticisms make me more interested in her. Though I fear that it's more of a 'too good to be true' concept. My time in customer service helped me to understand that sometimes you have to give Hard Messages to people as you really can't have Everything You Want. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing Warren as "OMG this is everything I wanted." Which is one of the red flags I had over Trump.

It's hard though. I know that giving hard messages is basically a death sentence in campaigns so people don't do that. But Bernie did and he's not dying. BLAH.

In any case, don't go too hard on TAC articles about democratic candidates. It's sort of like when a US new organization puts an editorial on a foreign culture. It's not a bad viewpoint to have, but it IS going ot be..well.. different.

marqueemoons staircaseghost 3 days ago
How about if the President says her Dad was involved in killing JFK and insults her spouse?
Alex (the one that likes Ike) 4 days ago
It becomes more and more obvious with each day that nominating Biden is incomparably greater priority to the Democratic Party as an institution than winning the election. Yes, Warren is no orator (which is an extremely ill omen for a candidate when running against someone like Trump), but neither Biden is. Warren, with all her faults, at least speaks like a non-orator with both hemispheres functional. While Biden is simply babbling.

And that's not to mention the fact that Democrats (yet) have a candidate who would reliably beat any opponent aside from Rand Paul - Tulsi Gabbard. But these... epitomes of alternative genius keep on trying to drive her away from their party at all costs instead of holding on to her for dear life.

Kent 4 days ago
Trump won because of the number of other Republican candidates who wanted to fight it out to the bitter end, rather than throw in their lot with a better candidate like Cruz or even Jeb! Had it come down to two Republican candidates, Trump and one holding more traditional views, it is likely Trump would have lost the Republican nomination.

The Democrats look the same for 2020. Biden represents the Clinton, Republican-lite wing of the party. He has the name recognition and the big money backing. Sanders is a true leftist. And Warren is somewhere in-between. The question is whether or not Sanders and Warren will fight it out to the bitter end, leaving Biden with just enough of a plurality to win the nomination. I don't give any of the rest a chance.

I tend to think that Trump would beat Biden. For the same reasons he beat Clinton: he's a neo-liberal, neo-conservative who could give a rat's a$$ about the pain of the working and middle-classes. I think Warren could beat Trump. She's really not a leftist economically, and a lot of independents would see her as a rational, thoughtful person, as opposed to Trump's Trumpism.

My lawn chair and popcorn favorite would be a Trump/Sanders title fight. Maybe terrible for the country, but definitely fun to watch.

Stan Grand Kent 3 days ago
This argument was already proved false.

We heard about Trump's "ceiling" on a daily basis back in the 2016 cycle. And yet, when people kept dropping out, Trump kept going up.

Early Cuyler Kent 2 days ago
The woman who wants to implement a wealth tax and "free" health care for everyone isn't a leftist economically? lol
Kent Early Cuyler a day ago
I think she is probably to the right of either Nixon or Eisenhower. She's certainly not proposing a 91% marginal income tax rate (Eisenhower) or a fully socialized health care system (Nixon). The world has shifted so far to the right in modern times that I can understand that some see her as far left.
Mark Thomason 4 days ago
Biden is not "popular in the rust belt." That is why he is a loser. He's popular with the elitists who want a Republican-Lite nominee against Trump.
EliteCommInc. 4 days ago
The reason that Nominee Warren is unlikely to get black support is that she played a card that was not hers to [play and doubled down on the matter and continues to play that card inspite of the cold hard light of day that she wasn't, and is not native american.

There is a huge wave of under current simmering anger because I don't cleave to notions of some incorrectly underpinnings of "conservatism", that are sacrosanct. I don't put much stock in identity political machinations online. It is simply a nonfactor or less of a factor than what is on the page as to some's ideas.

But the hijacking of someone's history that is not your own in any fashion and profiting from the same -- for people whose history are hog to negative narratives, this simply will not sit well.

----------------

Senator Cruz's attempts to rig the Colorado primaries violates the principles of fair play. Making arguments about being pro-country and at the same time manipulating the immigration arguments to favor undermining US citizens -- don't invite much enthusiasm for his leadership.

IanDakar EliteCommInc. 3 days ago
"The reason that Nominee Warren is unlikely to get black support is that she played a card that was not hers to [play and doubled down on the matter and continues to play that card inspite of the cold hard light of day that she wasn't, and is not native american."

Why in the world would African Americans care one wilt about Warren claiming she was Native American?

Af-Ams are big on identity..but the only time I've seen it brought as an issue is when someone who's not Af-Am claims they are Af-Am.

Republicans have a big issue with her using the term. But it's similar to Democrats hating Trump's attacks on Latinos: the ones that rage weren't considering her in the first place.

Warren will win or lose the Black vote by whether she notes their issues and offers options that will change their current situation, something Hillary failed to do in those key states. Though first she'll need them win them over from Biden. Possible, though not easily.

Steveb 3 days ago
Not really sure why the author thinks warren is somehow outside the democratic norms, she has worked consistently for the working voters that make up her district by trying to bring some balance against the large corporations that pretty much control the economy. Even conservatives, the champions of big business and the haters of unions and all social programs seem to actually have second thoughts about crushing the life out of the common man, or at least they write occasional comments that make nice to them while giving the corporations massive tax cuts and cutting the social programs.

If I was a bit more cynical I would think that they are pretty nervous about an articulate candidate with a solid slate of actual policy papers and positions that try to lay out a way to make the economy work for the regular folks. Why they might actually be trying to claim that she will take the side of the corporations that run conservative politics..

Stan Grand Steveb 3 days ago
I think Warren's big problem is how she talks and how she looks.

Ever since TV came into the political process, image has become incredibly important. Look at Ted Cruz. He just looked...weird.

Warren is frenetic when she talks on the debate stage. Mute your TV during the next debate and watch. She also talks like a school marm.

Lasty, history does not smile on wonks. People want easy-to-understand programs and straight talk. Warren constantly dodges how she will pay for her programs. This will not play well in 2020.

Hellprin_fan Stan Grand 2 days ago
I'm going to jump off topic to point out that no one ever asks "How are you going to pay for it?" when it comes to tax cuts or military spending.
cka2nd 3 days ago
I still think it will be Sanders, with the 1980 and 2016 GOP primaries as the templates, and the crisis in the Reagan/Thatcher/neo-liberal consensus being the bedrock of his, and Trump's, appeal.
Ed 3 days ago
Trump was such a wild card in 2016 that it's hard to make connections or analogies to any other presidential election. You don't have to see Joe Biden as some clone of Jeb Bush to see that they both have real deficiencies as candidates. Cruz also was a lousy candidate who wouldn't have won the nomination or the general election, but he was blindsided by Trump, someone new from outside politics.

There's nobody in sight who could blindside Warren like that, and I get the feeling that the Democratic Party base (the White half of it anyway) is more comfortable with Warren than the Republican Party base was with Cruz. Even Evangelicals couldn't quite bring themselves to love Ted. However unpopular Warren is with the electorate as a whole, party loyalists and activists have no problem with her.

I don't see Buttigieg winning the nomination. Alice Roosevelt Longworth once said that Tom Dewey looked like the little plastic man at the top of the wedding cake. Now that we have gay marriage, voters are offered the a candidate who looks like the little plastic man on top of a gay wedding cake. I suspect they won't go for him.

JonF311 Ed 3 days ago
Had Cruz been the nominee he would have had the same advantage that Trump did: Hillary Clinton herself. She was a deeply unlikable candidate and 2016 is best described as "Hillary lost" as opposed to "Trump won." Pretty much any Republican, excepting maybe Bush with his family baggage, would have bear Hillary, and with a more respectable showing.
Bg 3 days ago • edited
what exactly is pathetic about an Obama Biden democrat? competence? prudence?
Alex (the one that likes Ike) Bg 2 days ago
Letting their foreign policy being hijacked (or, rather, joyridden) by neolib lunatics, the twins of neocon wackos. That can hardly be called "competence" and "prudence".
Hellprin_fan Alex (the one that likes Ike) 2 days ago
I like the image, but they ARE the neolibs.

[Nov 02, 2019] Bernie defends Tulsi, so naturally Russia loves Bernie again

Nov 02, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

gjohnsit on Wed, 10/30/2019 - 3:11pm The Clinton Dead-Enders aren't very clever or original, but they can stick to a script.
First Bernie defends Tulsi from baseless smears.

Tulsi Gabbard has put her life on the line to defend this country. People can disagree on issues, but it is outrageous for anyone to suggest that Tulsi is a foreign asset.

[Nov 01, 2019] Just for starters: a real election platform for Tulsi

Nov 01, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Rhys Jaggar

Next they will try saying that because she is not a mother she has no place being President. If I had a vote in the US, I would vote for any man, woman, black/white/Hisoanic/Asian/any other ethnicity, straight/gay/indeterminate who:

1. Pledged to cut the US military budget in half, sign up to existing OPCW conventions on chemical+biological weapons and demanded that Israel did likewise.
2. Removed the right for dual citizen US-Israeli zionists to hold public US office (tell em to decide whether they are primarily aligned to Israel or not) and neutered the election-rigging AIPAC monstrosity at source.
3. Called out the global warming hoax as the biggest scam of the 21st century.
4. Enforced the concept that polluters pay to clean up their polluting, particularly in extractive industries, agriculture, mining and packaging.
5. Promoted the restoration of mutually owned local finance, particularly in providing mortgages.
6. Confronted the self-serving victim gravy train, in particular making the terms 'man' and 'woman' beyond the rights of anyone to take legal action.
7. vowed to shut down 25% of US overseas military bases in a first term and a further tranche in a second term.

Just for starters.

[Nov 01, 2019] Watching trolls emerge to discredit and attack the lone U.S. candidate who publicly and vocally opposes America's regime change wars and even dares tell the American people that "we are supporting the terrorists not fighting them" is bad enough in MSM, but a sad and interesting comment on how completely engaged the State has become with attempting to "control" and "shape" discourse on progressive sites such as this.

Nov 01, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Gary Weglarz

This is something I've been thinking a lot about lately, and this seems like a good post to share it on.

Watching trolls emerge to discredit and attack the lone U.S. candidate who publicly and vocally opposes America's regime change wars and even dares tell the American people that "we are supporting the terrorists – not fighting them" – is bad enough in MSM, but a sad and interesting comment on how completely engaged the State has become with attempting to "control" and "shape" discourse on progressive sites such as this.

My favorite of course is when one State troll debates another State troll in completely "fake" discourse, attempting to amplify their troll message. The other technique that is endlessly amusing is when a single troll posts something a well informed person with progressive values can quite agree with one day, followed the next by complete gibberish posing as "sophistication," followed the next day by talking points right out of the CIA & Pentagon, and then follows all that up with posting something sensible again. Just a bit "crazy-making" no?

It pays to remember ("The 4 D's: Deny / Disrupt / Degrade / Deceive") that come right out of the trolling manual. It should be a red-flag if these descriptors characterize someone's posts.

The saying that if it ("looks like a duck, walks like a duck and talks like a duck, well, it just might be a duck") – is one that is worth applying to our comment's sections discourse. Because if it "posts like a troll"- in the end it doesn't really matter if it "is" a troll (something we will never know), or is simply an uniformed but opinionated idiot – as that person is "doing the work of" the State sponsored trolls in either case.

I find it is always worth periodically reviewing what we know about these operations (thank you Edward Snowden) – as it helps us to better understand and prepares us to better deal with the State sponsored troll operations we now see routinely in all of our truly progressive comments sections on alternative media sites. What we now deal with here at OffG and elsewhere are daily routine attempts to take over, shape and control otherwise rational informed sincere discussion by readers. Sadly this is how some people make their living – existing in a continual state of existential "bad faith."

https://theintercept.com/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/

[Oct 31, 2019] The 10% Technocrats like Elizabeth Warren will try to keep things running until they can't anymore.

Oct 31, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

VietnamVet , October 27, 2019 at 9:58 pm

The winners write history. Surviving losers also rewrite history ('Gone with the Wind"). Or, past lives are never written about at all. The problem is that western government has swirled down the drain into incompetent delusion. Corporations rule. Plutocrats are in combat over the spoils. Protests won't work until police and mercenaries realized that they aren't being paid enough to die or to subjugate their own families.

Right now, the problem is two million Californians forced out of their homes or waiting with no electricity for evacuation orders. The American government is simply incapable rebuilding Puerto Rico or Northern California . Or handling global plagues such as African Swine Fever that has already killed a quarter of the global pig population. Simply put, climate change, overpopulation, and rising inequality assure that revolutions cannot be orderly.

The 10% Technocrats like Elizabeth Warren will try to keep things running until they can't anymore.

Lambert Strether Post author , October 28, 2019 at 1:11 am

> The American government is simply incapable of rebuilding Puerto Rico or Northern California.

American elites are resolutely opposed to simply incapable of rebuilding Puerto Rico or Northern California.

Fixed it for ya

[Oct 30, 2019] Democrats are Afraid of Tulsi Gabbard's Shadow

Oct 30, 2019 | www.redstate.com

Democrats haven't been too kind to Hawaii Rep. Tusli Gabbard. Ever since she took down California's Sen. Kamala Harris, she's had a target on her back, with wild accusations being thrown her way such as being a "Russian asset."

Recently, as my colleague Thomas LaDuke covered , Gabbard announced that she won't be seeking reelection for her seat in congress, and instead, putting all her efforts into running for President.

It's pretty clear, however, that Gabbard isn't going to win the 2020 nomination from the Democrats, but some Democrats fear that in light of this obvious fact, Gabbard may continue her campaign under a different banner, and go for a third party run. Despite Gabbard not being anywhere near the front of the pack, she is somewhat popular, and Democrats fear that her third-party run would subtract from the total number of Democrat voters.

According to The Hill , strategists are expressing their worries:

Some party strategists and operatives fear that a third-party bid by the Hawaii congresswoman could fracture parts of the electorate and stir chaos in the 2020 contest, ultimately setting the stage for President Trump 's reelection.

The criticisms are particularly pointed from people in former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 's orbit.

"She has absolutely zero path to becoming the Democratic nominee, so what is she doing?" said Adam Parkhomenko, a Democratic strategist and former aide to Clinton, the party's 2016 presidential nominee. "To say that she's going to take her campaign all the way to the convention just suggests that she's trying to create chaos."

Other Democrats have expressed their worries as well according to The Hill:

"I think the possibility of [Gabbard] running as a third party is very, very real and it should concern all of us," one DNC member said. "Look what Jill Stein did to Hillary Clinton. She was the difference in three states."

Despite Gabbard's insistence that she has ruled out a third-party campaign, some Democrats remain skeptical. Sellers said there was still plenty of time for the congresswoman to change her mind.

"I don't trust anything she says in that regard," Sellers said. "I think we've seen that before, but I think many of the concerns that Hillary Clinton and myself had about congresswoman Gabbard are proving to be true and I think that's unfortunate."

This is an echo of things Clinton herself has said previously. The failed 2016 candidate once indirectly made the wild accusation that Gabbard was being groomed for a third party run. A spokesperson later confirmed that Clinton was speaking about Gabbard.

Trending Never Fear, Jim Acosta Is Here, and He's Going to Make Sure No One Is Fooled by a Photoshopped Dog Brandon Morse

"I'm not making any predictions, but I think they've got their eye on somebody who's currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate," said Clinton to the Campaign HQ podcast.

Despite their fears, Gabbard herself has made it very clear that she has no intention of seeking a third-party run, but in the event that she did, Democrats would definitely have a problem on their hands.

As of right now, Gabbard is polling with an approval average of 12.5 according to Real Clear Politics . Miniscule in terms of the big picture, but between Gabbard, the Green Party's Jill Stein, and possibly others who may jump into the race, such as Dick's Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack , leftist figures could nickel and dime the Democrats into another election loss.

As of right now, it's already not looking good for Democrats as is. One more pebble in their shoe would spell doom, and Gabbard has proven to be a pretty big pebble.

[Oct 30, 2019] How Long Can the Israeli Goliath Last

Oct 30, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Following a short artillery and air engagement with Syria over raids by exiled Palestinian guerillas, Egypt mobilized against her nemesis in 1967. President Nasser sent six divisions to the Sinai, removed the UN peacekeeping force, and closed the Straits of Tiran south of Israel. Israel struck first, fearing annihilation.

As Israeli historian Martin Van Creveld states in The Transformation of War , "for six glorious days war was Israel and Israel was war." The result was a smashing victory for the Israelis , who lost around 800 soldiers, as opposed to 20,000 for Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. The Sinai peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights were added to Israel's territory.

Compare this short war with another conflict that played out in 2006. For 34 days, Israel battled Hezbollah in southern Lebanon in response to the Shia terrorist group's killing and capturing of several Israeli soldiers in cross-border raids. Israel launched a massive air and artillery campaign, followed by a ground invasion in late July. When the ceasefire was signed on August 14, both sides claimed victory, but as John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt noted in The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy , "it was clear to most independent experts" that "Hezbollah had come out ahead in the fight." The IDF chief of staff resigned, and an Israeli government investigation rebuked the planning and handling of the campaign, stating that the military had "pursued goals that were not clear and could not be achieved."

Worse still, the air, artillery, and naval campaign killed an estimated 1,183 Lebanese (a third of them children) and devastated the country's infrastructure. These actions drew strong condemnation from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for causing "destruction on a catastrophic scale." During the last three days of the war, the IDF fired over one million cluster bombs into southern Lebanon, "saturating the area." The leader of an IDF rocket unit called these actions "insane and monstrous."

War can still be won by being nasty and short, as shown in the first Gulf War, but time is not on the side of the powerful. Escalation by a powerful state against a poorly equipped adversary almost always works to the advantage of the weaker side. Van Creveld compares this situation to an adult who "administers a prolonged, violent beating to a child in a public place." Observers will sympathize with the child and intervene, regardless of its prior behavior.

With the Palestinians, the position of weakness is even more extreme. Israel dominates the lives of 3.8 million Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, controlling air, land, and sea access, in a situation that's been compared to "living in a cage" by Swedish foreign minister Jan Eliasson. Despite numerous American attempts to secure Palestinian statehood and resolve the conflict, the present situation seems worse than ever.

The Trump administration, on the other hand, has made it clear that Israel will be supported through thick and thin. And the world has slowly but surely begun to take notice. The BDS movement (Boycott, Divest, Sanction), initially confined to college campuses and Palestine, spilled into the national news when Democratic lawmakers Ilhan Omar and Rashida Talib spearheaded a movement opposing bills aimed at criminalizing support of BDS. Some Republicans, namely Senator Rand Paul, have opposed those bills, too, on free speech grounds.

Recently, after the congresswomen were denied entry to Israel because of their support of BDS, liberal Jewish journalist Peter Beinart defended their stance. Speaking on a CNN panel , he openly sympathized with the plight of the Palestinians, claiming their treatment by Israel constitutes an "indefensible denial of basic human rights." Fellow panelists attempted to tie support for Palestine to terrorism, a common tactic. But terrorism in that part of the world is nothing new. Israel's defenders tend to forget or are ignorant of the fact that beginning in 1937, the militant Zionist group Irgun was responsible for placing bombs in buses and large crowds. One of its leaders during Israel's war for independence, future prime minister Menachem Begin, was referred to by Prime Minister Levi Eshkol simply as "the terrorist."

Modern Israel is no longer a weak state in danger of annihilation. The IDF is highly motivated, trained, and funded. Emboldened by the financial and moral backing of the United States and powerful lobbying groups, its treatment of Palestinians and other enemies has become steadily more severe.

With recent elections still contested , it remains to be seen whether these policies will continue. But militarily, Israel's position is not tenable. You can win at the tactical level and rack up a higher body count, but still lose the war. As frequent TAC contributor and military historian William S. Lind notes, "in the 3,000 years that the story of David and Goliath has been told, how many listeners have identified with Goliath?"

Jeff Groom is a former Marine officer. He is the author of American Cobra Pilot: A Marine Remembers a Dog and Pony Show (2018). Follow him on Twitter @BigsbyGroom .

− +

Zsuzsi Kruska 10 hours ago

Israel will last as long as Wash. extorts money from our wages and supports it. Without the US taxpayer, Israel wouldn't exist, both from its beginning to right now.
Sid Finster 10 hours ago
Hell, take away American support and watch all official sympathy for Israel everywhere evaporate.
ThaomasH 10 hours ago
I think the lack of sympathy for Israel is not that it s the "Goliath" of this story but that it is allowing settlers to live in the Occupied Territories.
hooly 9 hours ago
So TAC is standing with the Palestinians now I see. Will it stand with those other Davids, the intersectional allies of the BDS crowd too? namely Black Lives Matter, illegal Latino migrants, the LGBTQ+ community, and other assorted SJW types?
Jeff Z 7 hours ago
We are now in the end times; when it comes to Israel, all is in the hands of the Lord. As the nations of the earth seek to attack and destroy Israel, they fall into ruin: look at the entire Muslim world; look at what's happening to Europe. Most of all, look at the astonishing rise and continued power of Donald Trump, the man who recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Pick your side and accept your fate accordingly.
Kent 7 hours ago

"Escalation by a powerful state against a poorly equipped adversary almost always works to the advantage of the weaker side."

I don't always buy this. For me this only works if the powerful state is in the wrong. And sadly, in this situation, Israel is deeply in the wrong.

But what does happen is over time, the weak becomes slowly stronger. Because they are always studying their enemies. They are learning their tactics and how to defeat them. This may take decades, but eventually the weak become the strong.

This is why it is always best to quickly offer a hand of friendship to a vanquished enemy. If you don't, you'll eventually trade places.

[Oct 30, 2019] Karma Three Months After Kamala Harris Made Fun of Her Polling Numbers, Tulsi Gabbard Edges Ahead of Her

Graphics deleted...
Oct 30, 2019 | www.redstate.com

You know what they say about karma being a (word that rhymes with "witch"), right?

At the second Democratic presidential primary debate back in July, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI) absolutely torched Sen. Kamala Harris' (CA) criminal justice reform record during her time as California's attorney general. It was the political shot heard round the world.

In case you missed it, watch it below:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/o1-CRrMDSLs

Understandably, Harris was none too pleased about it and let it be known in a post-debate interview in what Brandon Morse described at the time as a "childish and elitist" response :

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: Did you expect that from Tulsi Gabbard? Had you had interaction about that in the past? And how do you think it went?

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS: Well, I mean, listen, I -- this is going to sound immodest, but I'm obviously a top-tier candidate, and so I did expect that I would be on the stage and take hits tonight because there are a lot of people that are trying to make the stage for the next debate.

COOPER: For a lot of them it's do or die.

HARRIS: Especially when some people are at zero or 1%, whatever she might be at. So I did expect that I might take hits tonight.

Watch:

Embedded video

It was a particularly cheap shot from someone who'd had such a disastrously poor debate performance. She actually stooped even lower during the same interview with Cooper, calling Gabbard an "apologist" for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Well, here we are three months later, and the tables have dramatically turned. Not only has Kamala Harris' campaign cratered , but in some national and state polls Gabbard is now ahead of her, in spite of vicious attacks on the Hawaii congresswoman earlier this month from failed 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

First up, the CNN/UH state poll out of New Hampshire:

... ... ...

Here's how things have trended in that poll since July:

... ... ...

Next, a national poll from Suffolk University and USA Today:

... ... ...

The trend on that one looks like this:

... ... ...

To be fair, there are other polls taken recently that show Harris ahead of Gabbard by a few percentage points, but it's still gotta sting Harris to know that the woman whose numbers she made fun of back in July is polling ahead of her in select polls now.

Daily Caller's James Hasson calls it for what it is:

... ... ...

To make matters worse for Harris, Gabbard is just one poll away from qualifying for the November Democratic debate (which is scheduled for Nov. 20th in Georgia ).

Assuming Gabbard ends up qualifying, one has to wonder if she'll be prepared to use a rhetorical finishing maneuver on her political foe this time around (assuming the mods don't run interference ).

-- Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 16+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here . Connect with her on Twitter . –

[Oct 29, 2019] If Democrats nominate Elizabeth Warren, there will a chorus of well-funded voices declaring that her progressivism would destroy the economy

Oct 29, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne -> anne... , October 27, 2019 at 11:52 AM

https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/1188439087830786049

Paul Krugman @paulkrugman

If Democrats nominate Elizabeth Warren, there will a chorus of well-funded voices declaring that her progressivism would destroy the economy. So it's not irrelevant to look at how that sort of thinking is holding up abroad 1/

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/26/world/americas/Macri-argentina-election.html

Pocketbook Woes Drive an Unlikely Comeback in Argentine Presidential Race
President Mauricio Macri rose to office with a promise that free markets would wrest Argentina from its boom-and-bust cycle. But with the country in recession, voters may now turn to an archrival.

5:55 AM - 27 Oct 2019

Macri was the business community's candidate; he was going to bring sound management in after years of populism, and things were going to be great. But he screwed up the macroeconomics, borrowing heavily in dollars (!), and presided over recession 2/

Chile has long, as Branko Milanovic says here, been the poster child for neoliberalism. I remember very well when Bush & co tried to sell Chile's privatized pensions as a replacement for Social Security. But rampant inequality is now causing mass unrest 3/

https://glineq.blogspot.com/2019/10/chile-poster-boy-of-neoliberalism-who.html

Obviously governments of both left and right can mess up. But the persistent belief that big business and the wealthy know How Things Work and can run the economy best is completely at odds with experience 4/

[Oct 29, 2019] Will 'Medicare for All' destroy Elizabeth Warren's campaign?

Oct 29, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to anne... ,

Will 'Medicare for All' destroy Elizabeth Warren's campaign?
https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2019/10/25/will-medicare-for-all-destroy-elizabeth-warren-campaign/3Pu1BYtcxTt6GET1VvRasM/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

David Scharfenberg - October 25

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , a
Without the necessary due diligence in planning both the transition and the aftermath going into the meme, then Medicare for All is a promise for some, a threat to many more, and a boat anchor for the Democratic Party. It could be a great plan if adequately executed, but given the haphazard approach to leaning on buzz words and memes instead of a explanatory framework, then this plan will be an executioner's block next November, if not just Tuesday week. The Democratic Party has screwed itself again unless just pure outrage and at Trump and Republican politicians can rescue the Dembots from their own idiot angels.
ilsm -> EMichael... , October 28, 2019 at 10:31 AM
Used to be capitalism did not work for the poor..... since the 1990's it has failed the middle class, too!

[Oct 29, 2019] Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard appeared on Fox News' "Hannity" Thursday evening to criticize the House's impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump.

Tulsi is a great politician, who somehow feels that mode of the majority of the electorate...
Oct 29, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

EMichael -> Fred C. Dobbs... , October 26, 2019 at 07:04 AM

... ... ...

"Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard appeared on Fox News' "Hannity" Thursday evening to criticize the House's impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump.

"I don't know what's going on in those closed doors," Gabbard said. "We as members of Congress do not have access to the information that's being shared. I think the American people deserve to know exactly what the facts are, what the evidence is being presented as this inquiry goes on."

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tulsi-gabbard-fox-news_n_5db3231ce4b006d4916e0147

JohnH -> EMichael... , October 26, 2019 at 01:21 PM
Imagine that! Republicans as the anti-war party. Could happen ... and Democrats have only themselves to blame for stiffing the large percentage of the population that opposes fighting pointless and futile wars forever. But hey, if 'defense' contractors got big bucks, you can bet Democrats will be sniffing up their crotches...
Mr. Bill -> Fred C. Dobbs... , October 27, 2019 at 09:44 PM
Mitt Romney is a vicious private equity animal whose fortune was stolen from the savings of the working people.

F the morons.

[Oct 29, 2019] Russian Defense Minister Publishes Evidence Of US Oil Smuggling From Syria by Saker

Images removed...
Oct 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

10/29/2019

Via The Saker blog,

Translated by Leo, bold and italics added for emphasis.

Source: https://ria.ru/20191026/1560247607.html

MOSCOW, October 26, 2019 – RIA Novosti – The Russian Ministry of Defense has published satellite intelligence images , showing American oil smuggling from Syria.

Image 1: Situation in the Syrian Arab Republic as of October 26, 2019.

According to the ministry, the photos confirm that "Syrian oil, both before and after the routing defeat of the Islamic State terrorists in land beyond the Euphrates river , under the reliable protection by US military servicemen, oil was actively being extracted and then the fuel trucks were massively being sent for processing outside of Syria."

Image 2: Daman oil gathering station, Syria, Deir ez-Zor province, 42 km east of Deir ez-Zor, August 23, 2019.

Here, in a picture of the Daman oil gathering station (42 kilometers east of the Deir-ez-Zor province), taken on August 23, a large amount of trucks were spotted. "There were 90 automotive vehicles, including 23 fuel trucks," the caption to the image said.

In addition, on September 5, there were 25 vehicles in the Al-Hasakah province, including 22 fuel trucks. Three days later, on September 8, in the vicinity of Der Ez-Zor, 36 more vehicles were recorded (32 of them were fuel trucks). On the same day, 41 vehicles, including 34 fuel trucks, were in the Mayadin onshore area.

Image 3: Gathering of vehicles in Syria, Al-Hasakah province, 8 km west of Al-Shaddadi, September 5, 2019.

As the official representative of the Defense Ministry Igor Konashenkov noted, the Americans are extracting oil in Syria with the help of equipment, bypassing their own sanctions.

Igor Konashenkov:

"Under the protection of American military servicemen and employees of American PMCs, fuel trucks from the oil fields of Eastern Syria are smuggling to other states. In the event of any attack on such a caravan, special operations forces and US military aircraft are immediately called in to protect it," he said.

According to Konashenkov, the US-controlled company Sadcab , established under the so-called Autonomous Administration of Eastern Syria , is engaged in the export of oil, and the income of smuggling goes to the personal accounts of US PMCs and special forces.

The Major General added that as of right now, a barrel of smuggled Syrian oil is valued at $38, therefore the monthly revenue of US governmental agencies exceeds $30 million.

Image 4: Gathering of vehicles in Syria, Deir ez-Zor province, 10 km east of Mayadin, September 8, 2019.

"For such a continuous financial flow, free from control and taxes of the American government, the leadership of the Pentagon and Langley will be ready to guard and defend oil fields in Syria from the mythical 'hidden IS cells' endlessly," he said.

According to Konashenkov, Washington, by holding oil fields in eastern Syria, is engaged in international state banditry.

Image 5: Gathering of vehicles in Syria, Deir ez-Zor province, 14 km east of Mayadin, September 8, 2019.

The reason for this activity, he believes, "lies far from the ideals of freedom proclaimed by Washington and their slogans on the fight against terrorism."

Igor Konashenkov:

"Neither in international law, nor in American legislation itself – there is not and cannot be a single legal task for the American troops to protect and defend the hydrocarbon deposits of Syria from Syria itself and its own people, " the representative of the Defense Ministry concluded.

A day earlier, the Pentagon's head, Mark Esper declared that the United States is studying the situation in the Deir ez-Zor region and intends to strengthen its positions there in the near future "to ensure the safety of oil fields."


Sirdirkfan , 5 minutes ago link

The Ruskies are mad - Trump is stopping them from taking the oil, it belongs to the Kurds for their revenue and if US wants to help them have it so what....US is staying to secure those oilfields against ISIS taking it again!

If everyone listened to the President when he talks there wouldn't be any spin that anyone could get away with.

Arising , 7 minutes ago link

Trump's The Art of the Steal - New chapter just added

Fish Gone Bad , 15 minutes ago link

War is used to take resources from people who can not protect it adequately.

punjabiraj , 15 minutes ago link

The oil is on Kurdish land. This part of Syria is just a small sector of Kurdish territory that has been stolen from them by dividing it between four "countries", each of which has oil. This is why the territory was stolen and why the Kurds have become the world's best fighters.

Putin brokered a deal to stop Turkey wiping the Kurds by having their fighting force assimilate with the Syrian military and required Russian observers access to ensure the Turks keep their word and not invade to wipe all the Kurd civilians in order to also take their Syrian oil.

So the corrupt US generals get caught in the act. Their senators and reps on the payroll are going to need some more of that fairy tale PR for POTUS to read to us at bedtime.

If we are to believe that this is to protect the oil fields then the oil revenue should be going to Syria, even though the Kurds are on the land. Follow the money to find the truth because there is no one you can trust on this stage.

Bernard_2011 , 15 minutes ago link

America is not stealing Syria's oil, they are "protecting it".

haruspicio , 22 minutes ago link

MSM are simply not covering this story. Or the other story about the supposed gas attack at Douma where evidence was adulterated and/or ignored completely under US pressure.

Expect the same from MH17.

WTF is going on with our leaders and corporate MSM....can no one in a leadership position distinguish between lies and the truth? Or fantasy and reality? Where are the 'journalists' who will stand up and tell the truth in MSM? They no longer exist.

Chain Man , 25 minutes ago link

18 wheel fuel trucks around here hold 10K gal. 50 truck loads 500K of un processed oil if it's true? I though they just got there. but no telling who might steal under those conditions.

Bernard_2011 , 25 minutes ago link

If the caliphate is 100% eliminated as Trump likes to say, then what does Trump need to "protect" the oil fields from?

It's like he's just parroting whatever BS the deep state is telling him to say.

NiggaPleeze , 24 minutes ago link

The Orange Satan is the Deep State. Or, a product of it.

Orange Satan is protecting the oil from Syrians. It rightly belongs to the Globalists, not the local peasants!

Roger Casement , 27 minutes ago link

That was August. this is now. The Russians must have really wanted that oil to finance their occupation. Trump is preventing ISIS from using the oil as their piggy bank.

You're welcome.

jjames , 26 minutes ago link

no, trump is trying to starve the syrian people.

OliverAnd , 25 minutes ago link

The irony of course is that from the same oil fields the Turks were doing the exact same in cooperation with ISIS and now the US is doing it alone.

NiggaPleeze , 23 minutes ago link

Russians really want Syria to have their own soil. But the Globalist Orange Satan is stealing it to finance his Globalist Evil Empire.

After all, nothing spells Globalism like a Global Empire.

OliverAnd , 29 minutes ago link

Wasn't Erdogan doing the same not too long ago? Shortly after Erdogan became close friends with Putin. Does this mean Trump and Putin will become close friends as well? Or is this simply a common practice between two people who undeservingly place relatives in government positions? First Turkey hands over Al Baghdadi (he received medical treatment in Southern Turkey in a private clinic owned by Erdogan's daughter guarded by MIT agents) so that they can continue to commit genocide against Kurds in Turkey and Syria... and now the US is stealing Syrian oil like how the Turks initially were doing. What a mess and a disappointment. Hopefully Erdogan visits DC and unleashes his security guards beating any person freely walking the streets while Trump smiles and describes him as a great leader.

Joe A , 29 minutes ago link

War is a racket.

Manipuflation , 31 minutes ago link

So be it Ed Harley. What you're asking for has a powerful price .

IronForge , 31 minutes ago link

Since when did PLUNDERING OTHER NATION-STATES become included in the Serviceman's Oath or the Officer's Oath of Office?

expatch , 32 minutes ago link

Watch in coming weeks as the tanker convoys are proven to be rogue operations from an out of control CIA / Cabal network. Trump removed the troops, and now Russia is shining a light on it.

KuriousKat , 27 minutes ago link

No coincidence another article on ZH brung attention to the Ukrainian wareehouse arsos..12 in 2 yrs..2017-2018 where stored munition were carted away...not to fight rebels n Donbass but sold to Islamic groups in Syria..it was one of Bidens pals..one keeps the wars going while the others steal siphon of resources..whatever isn't nailed down..I've never seen anything like this..Democrats are truly CRIME INC

KuriousKat , 34 minutes ago link

w/o that oil..Syria can never reconstruct itself..Usually in a War or ,after that is, the victors help rebuild..what we see is pillaging and salting the earth and walk away.. as the Romans did to enemies like Carthage..it will resemble Libya ...a shambles

sbin , 39 minutes ago link

Simple destroy every tanker truck not authorized by Syrian government.

Remember the giant line of ISIS trucks going to Turkey US couldn't find but Russia had no problem destroying.

Some "jahhadi" should use those TOW missles and MAN pads to deal with foreign invaders.

Demologos , 45 minutes ago link

So the smuggling is protected by air cover and special forces? Light up the fields using some scud missiles. I'm sure Iran or Iraq have a few they could lend Syria. Can't sell it if its burning.

Guderian , 51 minutes ago link

Brits and Americans have pillaged, as any other empire, wherever they conquered.

After WW1 the 'Allies' robbed Germany of all foreign currency and its entire gold. This triggering hyperinflation and mega crisis.

During WW2 central bank gold was pillaged from countries that were 'liberated' across Europe.

In more recent history, the gold of Iraq, Ukraine and Libya was flown to Fort Knox.

All well documented.

This is common practice by empires. Just please stop pretending you were the good guys , spreading freedom and democracy, because that's really a mockery and the disgusting part of your invasions.

Dzerzhhinsky , 33 minutes ago link

During WW2 central bank gold was pillaged from countries that were 'liberated'.

Exactly, that's where the US got its 8,000 tons of gold. Before WWII, the US had 2000 tons of gold, after WWII it had 8,000 tons. Even today the US always steals the gold of the countries it "liberates"

Minamoto , 1 hour ago link

The USA reduced to common thievery...! How pathetic can a country become?

San Pedro , 26 minutes ago link

...and don't forget the billions and billion and billons the oooobama gave Iran in the fake "Iran Nuke Deal"!!

punjabiraj , 56 minutes ago link

This is a breach of our official secrets laws. This is none of the American peoples business like everything else we do in the deep state.

Any more articles like this and you will all be sharing a cell in solitary like we do with the whistle blowers and their anti-satanic consciences.

All devil worshipers say Aye.

gvtlinux , 1 hour ago link

Help me understand why the USA would want to smuggle oil from Syria. When the USA has more oil than all of the middleast.

Now I can see why Russia would blame the USA if smuggling Oil from Syria. Russia needs that oil really bad. So to get the USA away from the Syrian oil fields they would of course create a reason for the rest of the world that the USA is Dishonerable and must not be trusted with Syrian oil. It is just too obvious to me, what Russia is trying to accomplish.

Demologos , 58 minutes ago link

Huh? The US is stealing the oil to deprive the Syrian people energy they need to rebuild the country we destroyed. This is collective punishment of Syrians because they won't overthrow Assad.

Collective punishment is a crime against humanity according to international law. There's your impeachable offense. But don't worry, that kind of crime is ok with Shifty Schiff and the rest of the Israel ***-kissers in Congress.

God above wins , 48 minutes ago link

Most people in the US still erroneously think our gov has good intentions. At least Trump showed us the real intention of staying in Syria.

Omen IV , 40 minutes ago link

The US is NOT stealing the oil - the American Military have become PIRATES - no different than Somali Red Sea Pirates or looters in Newark stealing diapers and TV's

they probably do it in Black Face !

what a miserable excuse for a country

nuerocaster , 18 minutes ago link

No taxes, regulations, royalties. The muscle is already on payroll.

KekistanisUnite , 1 hour ago link

This is nothing new. We've been stealing oil from dozens of countries for the past 75 years since WWII. The only difference is that Trump is being blatant about it which in a way is weirdly refreshing.

spoonful , 1 hour ago link

Like Janis Joplin once sang - Get it While You Can https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ju9yFA1S7K8

[Oct 28, 2019] Elizabeth Warren's Plan-itis Excessive Lobbying Case Study

In her heart, Warren is more of Eisenhower (or Nixon, if you wish ) republican type then a real fight against excesses of neoliberalism. that actually makes her chances to win 2020 elections much stronger and changes that she will bring radical chances much weaker.
Oct 28, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

First, as a general rule, politicians who propose meaningful change should get specific enough about their idea so that voters can have a good look before they go to the polls. So Warren is setting a good example on this front and likely raising the bar for other Democratic party aspirants.

Second, I want to make sure I'm not falling prey to the cognitive bias called the halo effect, which is a tendency to see people as all good or all bad. So I want to make sure my reaction to the neoliberal frogs that sometimes hop out of Warren's mouth doesn't taint my reading of her generally. For instance, her private equity plan is very strong, particularly her sweeping ideas about how to make private equity firm principals liable when they bankrupt companies. But as America's top bankruptcy scholar, the core of that plan falls in an area where she has unparalleled expertise.

But generally, Warren's change programs have a frequent shortcoming: they do a great job of assessing the challenge but then propose remedies that fall well short of remedying them. As Matt Yglesias pointed out in January :

If Two-Income Trap were released today, I'd say it suffers from a striking mismatch between the scale of the problem it identifies and the relatively modest solutions it proposes. Tougher regulation of consumer lending would be welcome but obviously would not fundamentally address the underlying stagnation of income.

On top of that, Warren's "I have a plan" mantra sounds an awful lot like a dog whistle to Clinton voters. And even though I've only given a good look at two of her plans so far ex her private equity plan, there's a lot not to like in both of them. We covered her wealth plan earlier, and didn't treat Sanders' at the same time because hers was sucking up all the media attention even though Sanders had proposed a wealth tax years before she did. That was a mistake. Sanders' wealth tax plan is better than Warren's.

Even though Sanders plan has the same fundamental problem, that of not recognizing how the IRS in recent decades has never won a large estate tax case where you have the same valuation issues with a wealth tax, Sanders proposes a more aggressive beef up of the IRS than Warren does, so he may have a sense of the severity of the enforcement problem and also provides for some legal fallbacks regarding valuation. He also realistically does not depict his tax as a global wealth tax, since there's no way to get the needed information or cooperation on foreign holdings that aren't in bank or brokerage firms.

But even more important, both Warren and Sanders wealth tax schemes rely on the work of economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman in devising their taxes and estimating how much they'd yield. The structure of Sanders' tax hews to their recommendations as to how to maximize revenues and cut into inequality. Warren's does not. So contrary to popular perceptions, Sanders' wealth tax plan should get higher wonk points than Warren's .

So on to the next Warren plan.

Warren's Excess Lobbying Tax

Warren presented her Excessive Lobbying Tax . The problem it is meant to solve is not just lobbying as currently defined, which is the petitioning of member of Congress to influence legislation. Warren is out to tackle not just that but also what she depicts as undue corporate influence in the regulatory process:

But corporate lobbyists don't just swarm Congress. They also target our federal departments like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau .

Regulatory agencies are only empowered to implement public interest rules under authority granted by legislation already passed by Congress. So how is it that lobbyists are able to kill, weaken, or delay so many important efforts to implement the law?

Often they accomplish this goal by launching an all out assault on the process of writing new rules -- informally meeting with federal agencies to push for favorable treatment, burying those agencies in detailed industry comments during the notice-and-comment rulemaking process, and pressuring members of Congress to join their efforts to lobby against the rule.

If the rule moves forward anyway, they'll argue to an obscure federal agency tasked with weighing the costs and benefits of agency rules that the rules are too costly, and if the regulation somehow survives this onslaught, they'll hire fancy lawyers to challenge it in court.

Before we get to Warren's remedies, there are some odd things about the problem statement. One is that she fails to acknowledge that regulatory rulemaking devises more specific policies in order to implement legislation. That reflects the fact that legislation often isn't detailed enough to provide a definitive guide to agencies. And the public is entitled to weigh in on rulemaking. So what she is objecting to is that corporate interests are able to overwhelm the comment process. Second is that there is a significant abuse that she fails to mention, that some proposed rule changes, such as regarding net neutrality, where ordinary citizens weighed in heavily, saw comments on the other side that were submitted by bots, overwhelming the agency. The bot abuse is specific and important, and it's odd to see Warren leave it by the wayside.

Warren's plan has three main prongs. First, she would make pretty much anyone who as part of their employment seeks to influence Federal legislation or regulation register as a lobbyist. They would be require to make public who they'd been lobbying and what information they provided (an interesting question here as to what gets reported from in person discussions).

Second, she would require that "every corporation and trade organization" with over $500,000 per year in lobbying expenditures is subject to an "excess lobbying tax". Spending of $500,000 to $1 million would be taxed at a 35% rate, over $1 million, at a 60% rate, and over $5 million, 75%.

Warren states that her tax would have raised $10 billion in the last ten years and she intends to use that for the third major leg of her programs, which is various anti-lobbyist initiatives. She plans to spend the revenues on

A "Lobbying Defense Trust Fund" to bolster "Congressional independence from lobbyists" by providing more money to Congressional support bodies like the CBO

Extra funding to agencies that are on the receiving of lobbying. When an entity in the $500,000 or higher lobbying spending bracket, the agency gets a special allocation "to help it fight back".

An Office of the Public Advocate to help ordinary citizens get better representation in the lobbying process

She also asserts that her plan will also "shut the revolving door between government and K Street" but she offers no mechanism to provide for that. So that is a handwave.

The Conceptual Flaws in Warren's Approach

It's hard to know how much of this Warren believes and how much of this was dreamed up by her staffers (the document is signed "Team Warren).

Taxation is the wrong approach . Even though Warren discusses how much money her tax would raise, her strident disapproval of lobbying and the punitive tax levels make clear that the purpose of the tax is to discourage lobbying. But if lobbying is as bad as Warren believes it is, she should instead be prohibiting abuses, like comments by bots. In the 1970s, economist Martin Weitzman came up with an approach to determine when taxation was the right way to discourage problematic behavior, as opposed to barring it. A summary from the Bank of England's celebrated economist Andrew Haldane :

In making these choices, economists have often drawn on Martin Weitzman's classic public goods framework from the early 1970s. Under this framework, the optimal amount of pollution control is found by equating the marginal social benefits of pollution-control and the marginal private costs of this control. With no uncertainty about either costs or benefits, a policymaker would be indifferent between taxation and restrictions when striking this cost/benefit balance.

In the real world, there is considerable uncertainty about both costs and benefits. Weitzman's framework tells us how to choose between pollution-control instruments in this setting. If the marginal social benefits foregone of the wrong choice are large, relative to the private costs incurred, then quantitative restrictions are optimal. Why? Because fixing quantities to achieve pollution control, while letting prices vary, does not have large private costs. When the marginal social benefit curve is steeper than the marginal private cost curve, restrictions dominate.

The results flip when the marginal cost/benefit trade-offs are reversed. If the private costs of the wrong choice are high, relative to the social benefits foregone, fixing these costs through taxation is likely to deliver the better welfare outcome. When the marginal social benefit curve is flatter than the marginal private cost curve, taxation dominates. So the choice of taxation versus prohibition in controlling pollution is ultimately an empirical issue.

Moreover, the tax would hit all lobbyists. Who do you think has the better odds of raising more money to offset the tax and carrying on as before: Public Citizen or the Chamber of Commerce?

By contrast, one idea of ours that could have helpful chilling effects would be to go much much further than merely requiring all lobbyists, broadly defined, to register and also require them to provide reports on what government officials they contacted/met with and what information they provided them.

We'd also make these lobbyists subject to FOIA and provide stringent standards that apply only to lobbyists, such as:

Set strict and tight time limits for responses (California requires that an initial determination be made in 10 days, for instance)

Require judges to award legal fees and costs to parties who successfully sue over FOIAs where the records were withheld. Provide for awards in cases where the defendant coughs up records as the result of a suit being filed. Set punitive damages for abuses (such as excessive delay, bad faith responses). Strictly limit invocation of attorney/client privilege to demonstrable litigation risks

Letting journalists and members of the public root around in the discussion between various think tanks and their business allies would regularly unearth material that would be embarrassing to the parties involved. It would go a long way toward denting the perceived legitimacy of lobbying, which over time would strengthen the immune systems of the recipients.

Warren assumes that most people in Congress and at regulators are anti-corporate but are overwhelmed by lobbyists. First, the piece presents a Manichean world view of evil greedy corporate interests versus noble underrepresented little people. And while this is very often true, it's not as absolute as Warren suggests. The companies are often have conflicting interests, which can allow for public-minded groups to ally with the corporate types who are on their side on particular matters.

A second part of the Manichean take is the notion that the agencies aren't on board with the corporate perspective. Unfortunately, reality is vastly more complicated. For instance, banking regulators are concerned overall with the safety and soundness of the institutions they oversee. They aren't in the business of consumer advocacy or consumer protection save as required by legislation. The concern with safety and soundness perversely means that they want the institutions they oversee to be profitable so as to help assure capital adequacy and to attract "talent" to make sure the place is run adequately. (We've stated repeatedly we disagree with this notion; banks are so heavily subsidized that they should not be seen as private businesses and should be regulated as utilities). For instance, in the late 1980s, McKinsey was heavily touting the idea of a coming bank profit squeeze. McKinsey partner Lowell Bryan in his 1992 book Bankrupt spoke with pride at how his message was being received, and in particular, that regulators were embracing deregulation as a way to bolster bank incomes.

Another complicating factor is that in certain key posts, industry expertise and therefore an insider status is seen as key to performing the job. For instance, it's accepted that the Treasury Secretary should come from Wall Street so he can talk to Mr. Market. Of all people, GW Bush defied that practice, appointing corporate CEOs as Treasury Secretary. The position wound up being a revolving door in his Administration as his appointees flamed out. Finding a modern Joe Kennedy, someone who knows sharp industry practices and decides to go against incumbents, is a tall order.

Similarly, agencies have career staffers and political appointees at a senior level. That included critical roles like the head of enforcement at the SEC. If Republicans or pro-corporate Democrats control the Administration and the Senate, business-friendly appointees will go into these critical posts. The optics may be better with the Democrats, but the outcome isn't that much different. As Lambert likes to say, "Republicans tell you they will knife you in the face. Democrats tell you they are so much nicer, they only want one kidney. What they don't tell you is next year they are coming for your other kidney."

So Warren is also implicitly selling the idea of Team Dem as anti-corporate vigilantes, a fact not in evidence.

And speaking of kidneys a letter from a departing SEC career employee and Goldman whistleblower, James Kidney, shows how even staffers who want to do the right thing have their perspective warped over time. As we said about his missive, which you can read in full :

Two things struck me about Jim Kidney's article below. One is that he still wants to think well of his former SEC colleagues

Number two, and related, are the class assumptions at work. The SEC does not want to see securities professionals at anything other than bucket shops as bad people. At SEC conferences, agency officials are virtually apologetic and regularly say, "We know you are honest people who want to do the right thing." Please tell me where else in law enforcement is that the underlying belief.

So it also seems unlikely that there is a cadre of vigorous regulators just waiting to be unshackled by the likes of Warren and her anti-lobbyist funding. The way institutions change is by changing the leadership and enough of the worker bees to send the message that the old way of doing things isn't on any more. That does not happen quickly. And absent a system breakdown like the Great Depression, staff incumbents know that talks of new sheriffs in town may not last beyond the next election cycle.

And the experience of Warren's hand picks at her own pet agency shows that they were all too willing to let corporations set the agenda. Recall that Warren recommended that Richard Cordray, head of the CFPB when it became clear she would not get the job, and Raj Date, the first deputy director of the CFPB, was also an ally of hers. From our 2012 post, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Launches "Make Life Easier for Lobbyists" Tool :

I'm pretty gobsmacked by the link (hat tip reader Scott S) to a webpage at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which says it is written by Richard Cordray: " We want to make it easier for you to submit comments on streamlining regulations ."

There is more than a little bit of NewSpeak in this idea. "Streamlining regulations" is generally right wing code for "eliminating/relaxing regulations." Admittedly, Elizabeth Warren during her brief time as de facto head of the nascent CFPB, proposed and launched a project to simplify mortgage disclosure forms to combine two required forms into one and make them easier to understand .

However, this opening of the door by Cordray does not look as likely to produce such happy outcomes. Maybe this is a means for the CFPB to force lobbyists to provide their input in a format that makes it easier for CFPB to process. But I can't imagine that Cordray or Raj Date would say to the American Bankers Association: "We are trying to create a level playing field, so we won't meet with you. Put it in writing and we'll give it due consideration."

So if this portal is a supplemental channel, who exactly is it intended to serve? The dropdown menu on the "Tell Us About Yourself" page tells us who it expects to comment: people from organizations, specifically:

Financial services provider
Trade association
Government agency
Community organization
Other

In other words, it does not contemplate that consumers have the expertise or motivation to provide input. Citizens are probably assumed to be represented via the CFPB itself or perhaps also by consumer groups, but even then, they may have specific axes to grind (think the AARP).

With friends like this, who needs enemies? Date, a former McKinsey partner and Capital One executive when he joined the CFPB, was singled out in a 2013 article in The Hill on how he was among the recent departures that showed the revolving door was active at the agency .

More generally, this is another example of attacking the problem at the wrong level. The reason there is so much corruption in Washington is that the pay gap between what people can make at senior levels at regulators versus what they can make in the private sector is so enormous. And pay matters more than ever given the cost of housing, private schools, and college. Singapore's approach was designed explicitly to prevent corruption in government: pay top-level bureaucrats at the same level as top private sector professional (think law firm partners) and have tough and independent internal audit. We are a long long way from embracing any system like that, but it's important to recognize what the real issues are.

Lobbyist "tax" walks and quacks like an attack on free speech and the right to petition the government . Even worse, she makes it easy to attack her program in court with this section and similar observations in her piece:

In the first four months, the DOL received hundreds of comments on the proposed [fiducairy] rule, including comments from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, BlackRock, and other powerful financial interests. After a public hearing with testimony from groups like Fidelity and J.P Morgan, the agency received over 100 more comments -- including dozens from members of Congress, many of which were heavily slanted toward industry talking points. Because the law requires agencies to respond to each concern laid out in the public comments, when corporate interests flood agencies with comments, the process often becomes so time-consuming and resource-intensive that it can kill or delay final rules altogether -- and that's exactly what happened.

Warren is depicting the act of making public comments as an abuse. And her clear intent is to reduce corporate input. This particular bit is very problematic: " .many of which were heavily slanted toward industry talking points." Was she objecting to the fact that a lot of the submissions were highly parallel, and therefore redundant, designed to choke the pipeline or simply that they presented familiar pro-business tropes and were low value added? Not being well crafted is not a basis for rejecting a public comment.

Warren sets herself for a legal challenge to her idea with this bit: "..if the regulation somehow survives this onslaught, they'll hire fancy lawyers to challenge it in court," and she later criticizes opponents of the fiduciary rule:

Today, the Department of Labor is led by Eugene Scalia, the very corporate lawyer and ex-lobbyist who brought the lawsuit to kill off the proposal.

Was Warren missing in action in civics class when they presented the fact that Presidents make appointments subject to the advice and consent of the Senate? And what would she do about future Eugene Scalias? She is intimating that he shouldn't have been allowed to serve, but that's the call of the Senate, not hers.

But more important, Warren makes it clear that she is so opposed to undue corporate influence that she objects to judicial review. Help me. Philosophically, the US system allows even the devil to have the benefit of law. But apparently not former law professor Elizabeth Warren.

Again, the problem of ordinary people and pro-consumer organizations being outmatched in court isn't going to be solved by treating use of the legal process as illegitimate. The idea in her scheme that struck me as the most promising was the idea of an Office of the Public Advocate. If I were in charge, I'd throw tons of money at it, including for litigation.

The Practical Flaws in Warren's Approach

Since this post is already long, we'll address these issues briefly. The IRS is a weak agency that loses cases against corporate American all the time. A colleague recently confirmed that take with an insider story on enforcement matters. The short version is that the IRS was unable even to pursue issues only of moderate complexity. The problem isn't just expertise but apparently also poor internal communication and coordination.

Tax avoidance is completely legal. If you don't think some of the targets of Warren's tax would find ways to restructure their operations so as to greatly reduce their tax burdens, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you. And they'd probably do it not so much to reduce taxes ("We need more donations due to meanie Warren" would be a powerful fundraising cry and a lot of the heavyweight groups and big corporations that lobby directly wouldn't miss a stride) as to avoid funding her anti-lobbying initiatives.

And who would be least able to reorganize their lives to reduce the tax hit? The smaller public advocates, natch.

* * *

It could be that I've simply hit upon two of Warren's weakest plans. But I have a sneaking suspicion not. A contact who is an expert on political spending gave a big thumbs down to her campaign reform proposal. The spectacle of Warren, whose Congressional staffers would regularly turn out pointed, well-argued, very well supported requests for information from officials that showed her to be operating way way above legislative norms, publishing plans that score high on formatting and saber rattling and low on policy plumbing is a bad sign.

The most charitable interpretation is that Warren has weak people on this part of her campaign and either doesn't know or doesn't care. But Warren historically has also show herself to be an accomplished administrator. Is she more over her head than the press has figured out?

Tomonthebeach , October 28, 2019 at 3:32 am

Just an excellent critique. My view of Warren's plans was rather shallow and limited. I could not find any flaws in your assessment. One might think that a senator would have a better grasp of how DC works – or at least human nature.

[Oct 28, 2019] National Neolibralism destroyed the World Trade Organisation by John Quiggin

Highly recommended!
Highly recommended !
Notable quotes:
"... Trying to head off redivision of the world into nationalist trade blocks by removing Trump via dubiously democratic upheavals (like color revolutions) with more or less fictional quasi-scandals as pro-Russian treason or anti-Ukrainian treason (which is "Huh?" on the face of it,) is futile. It stems from a desire to keep on "free" trading despite the secular stagnation that has set in, hoping that the sociopolitical nowhere (major at least) doesn't collapse until God or Nature or something restores the supposedly natural order of economic growth without end/crisis. ..."
"... I think efforts to keep the neoliberal international WTO/IMF/World Bank "free" trading system is futile because the lower orders are being ordered to be satisfied with a permanent, rigid class system ..."
"... If the pie is to shrink forever, all the vile masses (the deplorables) are going to hang together in their various ways, clinging to shared identity in race or religion or nationality, which will leave the international capitalists hanging, period. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive. Saying "Greed is good," then expecting selflessness from the lowers is not high-minded but self-serving. Redistribution of wealth upward has been terribly destructive to social cohesion, both domestically and in the sense of generosity towards foreigners. ..."
"... The pervasive feeling that "we" are going down and drastic action has to be taken is probably why there hasn't been much traction for impeachment til now. If Biden, shown to be shady in regards to Hunter, is nominated to lead the Democratic Party into four/eight years of Obama-esque promise to continue shrinking the status quo for the lowers, Trump will probably win. Warren might have a better chance to convince voters she means to change things (despite the example of Obama,) but she's not very appealing. And she is almost certainly likely to be manipulated like Trump. ..."
"... I *think* that's more or less what likbez, said, though obviously it's not the way likbez wanted to express it. I disagree strenuously on some details, like Warren's problem being a schoolmarm, rather than being a believer in capitalism who shares Trump's moral values against socialism, no matter what voters say. ..."
Oct 27, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

...what replaces it will be even worse. That's the (slightly premature) headline for my recent article in The Conversation .

The headline will become operative in December, if as expected, the Trump Administration maintains its refusal to nominate new judges to the WTO appellate panel . That will render the WTO unable to take on new cases, and bring about an effective return to the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) which preceded the WTO .

An interesting sidelight is that Brexit No-Dealers have been keen on the merits of trading "on WTO terms", but those terms will probably be unenforceable by the time No Deal happens (if it does).

likbez 10.27.19 at 11:22 pm

That's another manifestation of the ascendance of "national neoliberalism," which now is displacing "classic neoliberalism."

Attempts to remove Trump via color revolution mechanisms (Russiagate, Ukrainegate) are essentially connected with the desire of adherents of classic neoliberalism to return to the old paradigm and kick the can down the road until the cliff. I think it is impossible because the neoliberal elite lost popular support (aka support of deplorables) and now is hanging in the air. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive.

That's why probably previous attempts to remove Trump were unsuccessful. And if corrupt classic neoliberal Biden wins Neoliberal Dem Party nomination, the USA probably will get the second term of Trump. Warren might have a chance as "Better Trump then Trump" although she proved so far to be pretty inept politician, and like "original" Trump probably can be easily coerced by the establishment, if she wins.

All this weeping and gnashing of teeth by "neoliberal Intelligentsia" does not change the fact that neoliberalism entered the period of structural crisis demonstrated by "secular stagnation," and, as such, its survival is far from certain. We probably can argue only about how long it will take for the "national neoliberalism" to dismantle it and what shape or form the new social order will take.

That does not mean that replacing the classic neoliberalism the new social order will be better, or more just. Neoliberalism was actually two steps back in comparison with the New Deal Capitalism that it replaced. It clearly was a social regress.

John Quiggin 10.28.19 at 3:00 am ( 2 )
Exactly right!
Matt 10.28.19 at 6:28 am ( 3 )
John, I am legitimate curious what you find "exactly right" in the comment above. Other than the obvious bit in the last line about new deal vs neoliberalism, I would say it is completely wrong, band presenting an amazingly distorted view of both the last few years and recent history.
reason 10.28.19 at 8:58 am ( 5 )
I agree with Matt.

In fact, I see the problem as more nuanced.

Neo-liberalism is not a unified thing. Right wing parties are not following the original (the value of choice) paradigm of Milton Friedman that won the argument during the 1970s inflation panic, but have implemented a deceitful bait and switch strategy, followed by continually shifting the goalposts – claiming – it would of worked but we weren't pure enough.

But parts of what Milton Friedman said (for instance the danger of bad micro-economic design of welfare systems creating poverty traps, and the inherent problems of high tariff rates) had a kernel of truth. (Unfortunately, Friedman's macro-economics was almost all wrong and has done great damage.)

Tim Worstall 10.28.19 at 12:39 pm (no link) 6

"In that context it felt free to override national governments on any issue that might affect international trade, most notably environmental policies."

Not entirely sure about that. The one case where I was informed enough to really know detail was the China and rare earths WTO case. China claimed that restrictions on exports of separated but otherwise unprocessed rare earths were being made on environmental grounds. Rare earth mining is a messy business, especially the way they do it.

Well, OK. And if such exports were being limited on environmental grounds then that would be WTO compliant. Which is why the claim presumably.

It was gently or not pointed out that exports of things made from those same rare earths were not limited in any sense. Therefore that environmental justification might not be quite the real one. Possibly, it was an attempt to suck RE using industry into China by making rare earths outside in short supply, but the availability for local processing being unrestricted? Certainly, one customer of mine at the time seriously considered packing up the US factory and moving it.

China lost the WTO case. Not because environmental reasons aren't a justification for restrictions on trade but because no one believed that was the reason, rather than the justification.

I don't know about other cases – shrimp, tuna – but there is at least the possibility that it's the argument, not the environment, which wasn't sufficient justification?

Jim Harrison 10.28.19 at 5:20 pm ( 9 )
Neoliberalism gets used as a generalized term of abuse these days. Not every political and institutional development of the last 40 years comes down to the worship of the free market.

In the EU, East Asia, and North America, some of what has taken place is the rationalization of bureaucratic practices and the weakening of archaic localisms. Some of these developments have been positive.

In this respect, neoliberalism in the blanket sense used by Likbez and many others is like what the the ancien regime was, a mix of regressive and progressive tendencies. In the aftermath of the on-going upheaval, it is likely that it will be reassessed and some of its features will be valued if they manage to persist.

I'm thinking of international trade agreements, transnational scientific organizations, and confederations like the European Union.

steven t johnson 10.29.19 at 12:29 am

If I may venture to translate @1?

Right-wing populism like Orban, Salvini, the Brexiteers are sweeping the globe and this is more of the same.

Trying to head off redivision of the world into nationalist trade blocks by removing Trump via dubiously democratic upheavals (like color revolutions) with more or less fictional quasi-scandals as pro-Russian treason or anti-Ukrainian treason (which is "Huh?" on the face of it,) is futile. It stems from a desire to keep on "free" trading despite the secular stagnation that has set in, hoping that the sociopolitical nowhere (major at least) doesn't collapse until God or Nature or something restores the supposedly natural order of economic growth without end/crisis.

I think efforts to keep the neoliberal international WTO/IMF/World Bank "free" trading system is futile because the lower orders are being ordered to be satisfied with a permanent, rigid class system .

If the pie is to shrink forever, all the vile masses (the deplorables) are going to hang together in their various ways, clinging to shared identity in race or religion or nationality, which will leave the international capitalists hanging, period. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive. Saying "Greed is good," then expecting selflessness from the lowers is not high-minded but self-serving. Redistribution of wealth upward has been terribly destructive to social cohesion, both domestically and in the sense of generosity towards foreigners.

The pervasive feeling that "we" are going down and drastic action has to be taken is probably why there hasn't been much traction for impeachment til now. If Biden, shown to be shady in regards to Hunter, is nominated to lead the Democratic Party into four/eight years of Obama-esque promise to continue shrinking the status quo for the lowers, Trump will probably win. Warren might have a better chance to convince voters she means to change things (despite the example of Obama,) but she's not very appealing. And she is almost certainly likely to be manipulated like Trump.

Again, despite the fury the old internationalism is collapsing under stagnation and weeping about it is irrelevant. Without any real ideas, we can only react to events as nationalist predatory capitals fight for their new world.

I'm not saying the new right wing populism is better. The New Deal/Great Society did more for America than its political successors since Nixon et al. The years since 1968 I think have been a regression and I see no reason–alas–that it can't get even worse.

I *think* that's more or less what likbez, said, though obviously it's not the way likbez wanted to express it. I disagree strenuously on some details, like Warren's problem being a schoolmarm, rather than being a believer in capitalism who shares Trump's moral values against socialism, no matter what voters say.

likbez 10.29.19 at 2:46 am 13

fausutsnotes 10.28.19 at 8:27 am @4

> What on earth is "national neoliberalism."

It is a particular mutation of the original concept similar to mutation of socialism into national socialism, when domestic policies are mostly preserved (including rampant deregulation) and supplemented by repressive measures (total surveillance) , but in foreign policy "might make right" and unilateralism with the stress on strictly bilateral regulations of trade (no WTO) somewhat modifies "Washington consensus". In other words, the foreign financial oligarchy has a demoted status under the "national neoliberalism" regime, while the national financial oligarchy and manufactures are elevated.

And the slogan of "financial oligarchy of all countries, unite" which is sine qua non of classic neoliberalism is effectively dead and is replaced by protection racket of the most political powerful players (look at Biden and Ukrainian oligarchs behavior here ;-)

> I think every sentence in that comment is either completely wrong or at least debatable. And is likbez actually John Hewson, because that comment reads like one of John Hewson's commentaries

I wish ;-). But it is true in the sense of sentiment expressed in his article A few bank scalps won't help unless they change their rotten culture That's a very similar approach to the problem.

politicalfootball 10.28.19 at 1:19 pm @8

> Most obviously, to define Warren and Trump as both being neoliberals drains the term of any meaning

You are way too fast even for a political football forward ;-).

Warren capitalizes on the same discontent and the feeling of the crisis of neoliberalism that allowed Trump to win. Yes, she is a much better candidate than Trump, and her policy proposals are better (unless she is coerced by the Deep State like Trump in the first three months of her Presidency).

Still, unlike Sanders in domestic policy and Tulsi in foreign policy, she is a neoliberal reformist at heart and a neoliberal warmonger in foreign policy. Most of her policy proposals are quite shallow, and are just a band-aid.

"Warren's "I have a plan" mantra sounds an awful lot like a dog whistle to Clinton voters" Elizabeth Warren's
Plan-itis Excessive Lobbying Case Study naked capitalism

Jim Harrison 10.28.19 at 5:20 pm @9

> Neoliberalism gets used as a generalized term of abuse these days. Not every political and institutional development of the last 40 years comes down to the worship of the free market.

This is a typical stance of neoliberal MSM, a popular line of attack on critics of neoliberalism.

Yes, of course, not everything political and institutional development of the last 40 years comes down to the worship of the "free market." But how can it be otherwise? Notions of human agency, a complex interaction of politics and economics in human affairs, technological progress since 1970th, etc., all play a role. But a historian needs to be able to somehow integrate the mass of evidence into a coherent and truthful story.

And IMHO this story for the last several decades is the ascendance and now decline of "classic neoliberalism" with its stress on the neoliberal globalization and opening of the foreign markets for transnational corporations (often via direct or indirect (financial) pressure, or subversive actions including color revolutions and military intervention) and replacement of it by "national neoliberalism" -- domestic neoliberalism without (or with a different type of) neoliberal globalization.

Defining features of national neoliberalism along with the rejection of neoliberal globalization and, in particular, multiparty treaties like WTO is massive, overwhelming propaganda including politicized witch hunts (via neoliberal MSM), total surveillance of citizens by the national security state institutions (three-letter agencies which now acquired a political role), as well as elements of classic nationalism built-in.

The dominant ideology of the last 30 years was definitely connected with "worshiping of free markets," a secular religion that displaced alternative views and, for several decades (say 1976 -2007), dominated the discourse. So worshiping (or pretense of worshiping) of "free market" (as if such market exists, and is not a theological construct -- a deity of some sort) is really defining feature here.

[Oct 27, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard Needs To Be Stopped... She's Telling People The Truth About US Wars

Oct 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

No wonder Democratic Party bosses and mainstream media are trying to bury presidential contender Tulsi Gabbard. She is the only candidate, perhaps the only politician in the US, who is telling the American public exactly what they need to know about what their government and military are really up to: fighting illegal regime-change wars, and to boot, sponsoring terrorists for that purpose.

It didn't come much clearer nor more explicit than when Gabbard fired up the Democratic TV debate this week. It was billed as the biggest televised presidential debate ever, and the Hawaii Representative told some prime-time home-truths to the nation:

"Donald Trump has blood of the Kurds on his hands, but so do many of the politicians in our country from both parties who have supported this ongoing regime-change war in Syria that started in 2011 along with many in the mainstream media who have been championing and cheer-leading this regime-change war."

The 38-year-old military veteran went on to denounce how the US has sponsored Al Qaeda terrorists for its objective of overthrowing the government in Damascus.

It was a remarkably damning assessment of US policy in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East. And it was by no means the first time that Gabbard has leveled with the American people on the brutality and criminality of Washington's so-called "interventions".

The other 11 Democratic candidates on the stage during the TV debate looked agog after Gabbard's devastating and calmly delivered statement. All the others have proffered the false narrative that US forces are in Syria to "fight terrorism". They deplore Trump's announcement last week to pull back US troops from northeast Syria because, they say, it will undermine the fight against Islamic State (IS or ISIS) and other Al Qaeda affiliates. They also condemn Trump for "betraying Kurdish allies" by his partial troop withdrawal.

President Donald Trump talks about "ending endless wars" and "bringing our troops home". But he still premises his views on a credulous belief that the US under his watch "defeated ISIS 100 per cent". In that way, he essentially shares the same corny view as the Democrats and media that America is a force for good, that it is the "good guys wearing white hats riding into the sunset".

On the other hand, Gabbard stands alone in telling the American people the plain and awful truth. US policy is the fundamental problem. Ending its regime-change war in Syria and elsewhere and ending its diabolical collusion with terror groups is the way to bring peace to the Middle East and to spare ordinary Americans from the economic disaster of spiraling war debts. American citizens need to know the truth about the horror their government, military, media and politicians have inflicted not just on countries in the Middle East, but also from the horrendous boomerang consequences of this criminal policy on the lives and livelihoods of ordinary Americans, including millions of veterans destroyed by injuries, trauma, suicide, and drug abuse.

Following the TV debate this week, it seems that Gabbard won the popular vote with her truth-telling. A major online poll by the Drudge Report found that she stole a march on all the other candidates, winning approval from nearly 40 per cent of voters. Top ticket candidates Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden were trailing behind with 7 per cent or less.

Gabbard has clearly struck a deep chord with the US public in her honest depiction of American wars.

Despite her shattering exposé and seeming appreciation by the public, most mainstream media tried to bury her after the TV debate. Outlets like Vox and CNN declared that Warren was the winner of the debate, whose talking points were mainly about domestic policy issues. Like the other candidates, Warren plies the propaganda narrative of US forces "fighting terrorism". Vox even slated Gabbard as "a loser" in the debate and claimed she had made "blatantly false" statements about the US' role in Syria.

Other mainstream news outlets chose to ignore reporting on Gabbard's demolishing of the official propaganda about American wars. Earlier this week, CNN and the New York Times smeared her as a "Russian asset" and an "apologist for Assad", referencing a visit she made to Syria in 2017 when she held talks with President Assad.

The Democratic National Committee is claiming that Gabbard does not have sufficient support in polls it deems worthy for her to qualify for appearing in the next TV debate in November.

International events, however, are proving the Hawaii Representative right. US troops, as with other NATO forces, have been occupying Syrian territory illegally. They have no mandate from the United Nations Security Council. The pullback of US troops by Trump has created a vacuum in northeast Syria into which the Syrian Arab Army is quickly moving to reclaim the territory which US-backed Kurdish fighters had de facto annexed for the past five years. Several reports show the local people are joyfully welcoming the arrival of the Syrian army. The scenes are reminiscent of when Syrian and Russian forces liberated Aleppo and other cities previously besieged by terror groups.

America's war machine must get out of Syria for the sake of restoring peace to that war-torn country. Not because "they have defeated ISIS 100 per cent", as Trump would conceitedly claim, nor because "we are betraying Kurds in the fight against terrorism", as most Democrats and US media preposterously claim.

Peace will come to Syria and the Middle East when Washington finally ends its criminal regime-change wars and its support for terrorist proxies. Tulsi Gabbard seems to be the only politician with the intelligence and integrity to tell Americans the truth.


wick7 , 25 minutes ago link

Unlike Trump she's against the patriot act and foreign intervention. Trump hired Bolton, attempted a coup in Venezuela, has been dropping more bombs on Syria than Obama did, is escalating a new war with Iran, has sent more troops to Saudi Arabia and Yeman. He's also for red flag laws to take away guns.

Got The Wrong No , 13 minutes ago link

Troll ****.

She abstained from voting when the issue of bringing home the troops from Syria came up recently. She isn't walking the talk already.

mtndds , 33 minutes ago link

If she wins I am sure she will get a visit by Kissinger to tell her how things are really run. Remember Kissinger visiting Trump?

NorwegianPawn , 37 minutes ago link

I cannot see her have a shot as DNC candidate. Either she will end up like a young and liberal version of Ron Paul; get angry and become a RossPerot-like spoiler type or (least likely) become another Bernie sellout for a beachhouse.

The way she is being demonized by the Democrat party, it is clear that she cannot win this battle.

Cluster_Frak , 57 minutes ago link

Hey Tulsi you got my vote, if you do what's right.

[Oct 27, 2019] Here s Why Trump s Secure Syria s Oil Plan Will Prove Practically Impossible

Notable quotes:
"... The below analysis is provided by " Ehsani " -- a Middle East expert, Syrian-American banker and financial analyst who visits the region frequently and writes for the influential geopolitical analysis blog, Syria Comment . ..."
"... An M1 Abrams tank at the Udairi Range Complex in Kuwait, via Army National Guard/Military Times. ..."
Oct 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Here's Why Trump's "Secure Syria's Oil" Plan Will Prove Practically Impossible by Tyler Durden Sat, 10/26/2019 - 23:30 0 SHARES

The below analysis is provided by " Ehsani " -- a Middle East expert, Syrian-American banker and financial analyst who visits the region frequently and writes for the influential geopolitical analysis blog, Syria Comment .

Much has been debated since President Trump tweeted that "The U.S has secured the oil" in Syria. Is this feasible? Does it make any sense? The below will explain how and why the answer is a resounding NO .

An M1 Abrams tank at the Udairi Range Complex in Kuwait, via Army National Guard/Military Times.

Al-Omar and Conoco fields are already secured by Kurdish-led SDF and U.S forces. Some of the oil from these fields was being sold through third parties to Syria's government by giving it in crude form and taking back half the quantity as refined product (the government owns the refineries).

Syria's government now has access to oil fields inside the 32km zone (established by the Turkish military incursion and subsequent withdrawal of Kurdish forces). Such fields can produce up to 100K barrels a day and will already go a long way in terms of meeting the country's immediate demand. So the importance of accessing oil in SDF/U.S hands is not as pressing any longer.

SDF/U.S forces can of course decide to sell the oil to Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) but Syria's government now has control over the border area connecting Syria to KRG territory through both Yaaroubia and Al-Mallkiya.

The Syrian government also now has control over supply of electricity. This was made possible by taking control of the Tishreen and Furat dams. Operating those fields needs electric power supply and the state is now the provider.

me title=

Securing and operating these fields also entails paying salaries to those operating the fields. International companies would be very reluctant to get involved without legal backing to operate the fields.

"Securing the oil" therefore can only mean preventing the Syrian state from accessing al-Omar/Conoco only (not oil in the north) . It's unlikely anything can be sold or transported.

And let's not forget "securing" this oil would need ready air cover, and all for what?

me title=

SDF composition included Arab fighters and tribes who accepted Kurds in leadership since they had American support and key cities in north. Many of those Arabs are already switching and joining the Syrian Army. "Securing" oil for benefit of the Kurds is likely to antagonize the Arab fighters and tribes in the region.

Preventing rise of ISIS is likely to entail securing support of the region's Arabs and tribes more than that of the Kurds. This Kurd/Arab issue is yet another reason why President Trump's idea of "securing" the oil for the benefit of the Kurds just doesn't make sense nearly on every level .


kanoli , 54 minutes ago link

"Securing the oil" means "Denying Assad government access to the oil." I don't think they care if the pumps are running or not.

comissar , 3 hours ago link

The psychopaths destroyed the last secular country in the ME. Same with Lybia. Now all we get are extremists on all sides. Mossad doing what it knows best, bringing chaos for the psychopaths.

Teja , 9 hours ago link

By withdrawing from Northern Kurdistan and by making an exception for the oil fields, Genius President Trump just told the world a number of things:

Of course, the European allies (except Turkey) are still refusing to learn from this experience. "Duck and cover until November 2020" is their current tactics. Not sure if this is a good idea.

Turkey has learned to go their own ways, but I don't think it is a good idea to create ever more enemies at one's borders. Greece, Armenia, the Kurdish regions, Syria, Cyprus, not sure how their stance is towards Iran. Reminds me of Germany before both World Wars. Won't end well.

Chochalocka , 9 hours ago link

Pretty hilarious how some see ****.

"America/The US", a label, is actually just a location on a map and is not a reference to the actual identities of those who start wars for profit.

Also it is hilarious to use that label as if an area of the planet is or has attacked another area. Land can not attack itself, ever, just as guns don't kill people, people kill people.

Trump is not claiming posession of oil in syria by leaving some troops behind. Just as he did not declare war, nor start any EVER. Every conflct on earth has it's roots with very specific individuals, none of whom are even related to Trump.

Syria was a conflicting mess before he took office and he is dutifully attempting to pull US soldiers out of a powder keg of nonsense he wants no part of. Nor does any sane American want more conflict in battles we can't afford, in countries we'll never even visit.

Like I said before, Trump can't just abruptly yank all our troops. It's simply not that simple. And for those pretending he is doing syria a disservice, I dare any one of you to go there yourselves and see if you bunch of complete dipshits can do better. Who knows, maybe you'll find the love of your life, ******* idiots.

2stateshmoostate , 7 hours ago link

There is no one on this planet more owned and controlled by Juice and Israel than Trump. He does and says what he is told to do and say. All scripted.

wdg , 10 hours ago link

First, the US invades Syria in violation of the Geneva Convention on War making it an international criminal. Then it funds and equips the most vile terrorists on the planet which leads to the killing of thousands of innocent Syrians. And now it has decided to stay and steal oil from Syria. The US is now the Evil American Empire owned and run by crooks, gangsters and mass murderers. The Republic is dead along with morality, justice and freedom.

Brazen Heist II , 10 hours ago link

Don't forget the sanctions it levies on Syria, in an attempt to prevent recovery and re-construction from said crimes of attempted regime change.

Truth Eater , 10 hours ago link

Let's limit the culprits to: The Obama regime... and not all the US. This is why these devils need to be brought to trial and their wealth clawed out of their hiding places to pay reparations to some of the victims.

wdg , 9 hours ago link

The US has been an Evil American Empire for a long time, since at least the Wilson administration, and Republican or Democrat...it make little difference. World wars, the Fed, IRS, New Deal, Korea, Vietnam, War OF Terror, assassinations, coups, sanctions, Big Pharma, Seeds of Death and Big Agri...and the list goes on and on. Please understand that America is not great and one day all Americans will have to account for what their country did in their name. If you believe in the Divine, then know that their will be a reckoning.

Shemp 4 Victory , 9 hours ago link

The Obama regime was merely a continuation of the Chimpy Bush regime, which was merely a continuation of the Clinton regime, which was merely a continuation of the Pappy Bush regime, which was merely a continuation... etc.

NorwegianPawn , 10 hours ago link

More chinks in the petrodollar armor will be the outcome of this. The credibility of murica is withering away as every day passes. Iraqi pressure upon foreign troops there to leave and/or drawdown further will also make this venture even more difficult to manage.

The Kurds may not be the smartest with regards to picking allies, but even they may by now have learned that sticking to murica any longer will destroy any semblance of hope for any autonomy status whatsoever once the occupants have left. Likewise, the Sunni tribes around this area don't want to become another Pariah group once things revert to normal.

Assad will eventually retake all his territory and this is speeding up the process of eventual reconciliation in Syria.

Fluff The Cat , 10 hours ago link

They've spent far more on these wars than they've made back by stealing other countries' resources. Trillions wasted in exchange for mere billions in profit, to say nothing of the massive loss of life and destruction incurred.

americanreality , 9 hours ago link

Well the profit was privatized while the losses were picked up by the taxpayers. So, success!

G-R-U-N-T , 12 hours ago link

'The below analysis is provided by " Ehsani " -- a Middle East expert, Syrian-American banker and financial analyst who visits the region frequently and writes for the influential geopolitical analysis blog, Syria Comment .'

this quote was my first red flag.

so POTUS outsmarts Erdongan, takes out ISIS leader BAGHDADI along with Erdongan MIT agents meeting with him. sorry, Ehsani, i think your full of sh*t.

CoCosAB , 12 hours ago link

CIA & MOSSAD LLC friends ISIS is just the excuse the american an israeli terrorists used and use in order to keep trying to remove Assad from the Government.

They just can't accept defeat and absolute failure. What's worse than an american/israeli terrorist destroyed ego?!

punjabiraj , 12 hours ago link

All info needs verification. US sources are not trustworthy including anyone where money originates from the usual fake info instigators/ players.

POTUS is so misled by the deep state MIC /CIA/ FBI et al and their willing fake media cohorts that he agreed to give the White Helmets more public money for more fake movies, as has been properly proven and widely reported.

Either they have taken control of his mind with a chip insert or they have got his balls to the knife.

The false flags have been discredited systematically and only a very brainwashed or a very frightened person would believe anything from the same source until after a thorough scourge is proven successfully undertaken.

It is evident that even the last hope department has been got at by the money-power.

If they can do 9/11 and get away with it, as they have, then they will stop at nothing to remain entrenched.

Tiritmenhrta , 13 hours ago link

Where is oil, there has to be ******* US military, business as usual...

looks so real , 12 hours ago link

90% of oil is traded in U.S. dollars if that stops living standards will drop in the U.S.. We dropped from 97% look how bad its now with 7% imagine going down to 50% life would be unlivable here.

Jerzeel , 11 hours ago link

Well US would have to learn to live within their means like other countries who dont have the world reserve currency & petrodollar

americanreality , 9 hours ago link

Exorbitant privilege. Paging Charles DeGaulle..

donkey_shot , 13 hours ago link

...meanwhile, both according to russia today as well as the (otherwise lying rag of a newspaper) guardian , the russian government seems to take a different position to the views expressed here by "a middle east expert".

russian state media is reporting that US troops are in the process of taking control of syrian oil fields in the deir el-zour region and have described such actions as "banditry". the crux of the matter is this: if the US were not actually illegally taking control of Syrian oil, then Russia would not be reporting this. Contrary to western mainstream media, Russian sources have repeatedly shown themselves to be factual.

https://www.rt.com/newsline/471940-lavrov-pompeo-russia-us-syria/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/26/russia-us-troops-syria-oil-isis

surfing another appocalypse , 13 hours ago link

Shame the "withdrawl" from Syria is tainted with "securing the oil". US doesnt need that oil at all. So Orwellian! Unless the Kurds somehow get rights to it.

Arising , 13 hours ago link

Preventing rise of ISIS is likely to entail securing support of the region's Arabs and tribes more than that of the Kurds. This Kurd/Arab issue is yet another reason why President Trump's idea of "securing" the oil for the benefit of the Kurds just doesn't make sense nearly on every level .

Trump is securing the oil not for the Kurds or anything in the middle east- his doing it as a response to the media backlash he received when he announced he's abandoning the Kurds.

donkey_shot , 13 hours ago link

this is nonsense. thinking of the kurds and their interests is the absolutely last thing on trump`s mind: what counts for trump is how he is viewed by his voter base, no more, no less.

[Oct 27, 2019] Warren cutting into Biden's lead in new SC

Oct 27, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Iowa.'" • We'll see!

Warren (D)(1): "Warren cutting into Biden's lead in new SC 2020 Democratic poll" [ Post and Courier ]. "Biden's lead in South Carolina, which had hovered around 20 percentage points since the summer, has shrunk Biden received 30 percent to Warren's 19 percent. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at 13 percent and California Sen. Kamala Harris at 11 percent are the only two other candidates with double-digit results in South Carolina . The biggest gains in the latest poll came from fifth- and sixth-place contenders, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer." • Everybody loves a winner, but the gains in the third tier show SC is still fluid (though perhaps not a firewall for Biden).

Warren (D)(2):

me title=

Yet another case where Warren's problem statement isn't commensurate with the proposed solution .

Impeachment

"Republicans criticize House impeachment process -- while fully participating in probe" [ WaPo ]. "Then the questions begin to fly, largely from the expert staff hired by lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee and other panels participating in the probe. Each side gets an equal amount of questions, as dictated by long-standing House rules guiding these interviews. 'It starts one hour, one hour,' said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), explaining how the questioning moves beyond one-hour blocks for each side. 'Then it goes 45, 45, 45, 45, with breaks, occasionally, and breaks for lunch.' Meadows, one of Trump's staunchest allies, said each side has been allowed an unlimited amount of questions they can ask of witnesses.' Those participating in the closed-door depositions generally say that these interviews are very professional and that both sides have operated under rules that were approved in January ." • As I've said, I don't like the policy on transcripts, and my litmus test for legitimacy is that there's no secret evidence at all. I don't much like that Republicans can't subpeona witnesses, either.

[Oct 27, 2019] What distinguishes Obama from other presidents is the degree to which he was manufactured. He made it to the WH without much of a political base. Control of the political context, media and process, launched Obama to the top. It was fulfillment of the liberal American dream. It was a great coup. Talk about the "deep state"!

Oct 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

jadan , Oct 27 2019 2:44 utc | 56

@41 Jackrabbit

If Obama was CIA, and GW Bush was CIA (via daddy Bush), and Clinton was CIA (via Arkansas drug-running and the Presidency), and Bush Sr was CIA ... then what can we conclude about Trump? 1) he's also CIA, or 2) he's a willing stooge

Trump at first threw down the gauntlet to the spies and proclaimed his autocratic prerogative when God held off the rain for his inauguration (!) but now he would gladly get on his knees between Gina Haspel's legs if the CIA would only help him stay in power.

What distinguishes Obama from other presidents is the degree to which he was manufactured. He made it to the WH without much of a political base. Control of the political context, media and process, launched Obama to the top. It was fulfillment of the liberal American dream. It was a great coup. Talk about the "deep state"! It's staring us all in the face.

[Oct 27, 2019] DNC is converting the debates into a farce: Andr a Mitchell as a moderator as it MadCow presence is not enough to turn it into a farce.

The parade of neocons. Yes the same Andrea Mitchell, who pushed Iraq war...
Oct 27, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
The Debate

"MSNBC names four renowned female journalists as moderators for November debate" [ NBC ]. "Moderating the Nov. 20 event, which is being co-hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post, will be Rachel Maddow, host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC; Andrea Mitchell, host of "Andrea Mitchell Reports" on MSNBC and NBC News' chief foreign affairs correspondent; Kristen Welker, NBC News' White House correspondent; and Ashley Parker, a White House reporter for The Washington Post." • The count of journalists is off by at least one.

[Oct 26, 2019] Declassified Documents: Obama Ordered CIA To Train ISIS

Oct 26, 2019 | www.unz.com

CharlieSeattle , says: October 25, 2019 at 9:35 pm GMT

2012 Classified U.S. Report: ISIS Must Rise To Power
Posted on May 23, 2015 by Sean Adl-Tabatabai

http://yournewswire.com/2012-classified-u-s-report-isis-must-rise-to-power/

Conservative government watchdog Judicial Watch have published formerly classified documents from the U.S. Department of Defence which reveals the agencies earlier views on ISIS, namely that they were a desirable presence in Eastern Syria in 2012 and that they should be "supported" in order to isolate the Syrian regime.

Levantreport.com reports:
Astoundingly, the newly declassified report states that for "THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY [WHO] SUPPORT THE [SYRIAN] OPPOSITION THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME ".
The DIA report, formerly classified "SECRET//NOFORN" and dated August 12, 2012, was circulated widely among various government agencies, including CENTCOM, the CIA, FBI, DHS, NGA, State Dept., and many others.

The document shows that as early as 2012, U.S. intelligence predicted the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a U.S. strategic asset.

CharlieSeattle , says: October 25, 2019 at 9:36 pm GMT
Declassified Documents: Obama Ordered CIA To Train ISIS
Posted on May 28, 2015 by Carol Adl

http://yournewswire.com/declassified-documents-obama-ordered-cia-to-train-isis/

Government watchdog Judicial Watch published more than 100 pages of formerly classified documents from the U.S. Department of Defense and the State Department.

The documents obtained through a federal lawsuit, revealed the agencies earlier views on ISIS, namely that they were a desirable presence in Eastern Syria in 2012 and that they should be "supported" in order to isolate the Syrian regime.

The U.S. intelligence documents not only confirms suspicions that the United States and some of its coalition allies had actually facilitated the rise of the ISIS in Syria – as a counterweight to the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad- but also that ISIS members were initially trained by members and contractors of the Central Intelligence Agency at facilities in Jordan in 2012.

HEREDOT , says: October 25, 2019 at 9:55 pm GMT
When I say Isis, I immediately think of Obama, Hillary, Mc Cain. These are the most despicable psychopaths who have resigned from humanity.

[Oct 26, 2019] Secret Jordan base was site of covert aid to insurgents targeting Assad

Oct 26, 2019 | www.unz.com

CharlieSeattle , says: October 25, 2019 at 9:33 pm GMT

WND EXCLUSIVE
BLOWBACK! U.S. TRAINED ISLAMISTS WHO JOINED ISIS

Secret Jordan base was site of covert aid to insurgents targeting Assad
Published: 06/17/2014 – By Aaron Klein

http://www.wnd.com/2014/06/officials-u-s-trained-isis-at-secret-base-in-jordan/

[MORE]
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Since publication, this story has been corrected to clarify that the fighters trained in Jordan became members of the ISIS after their training.]

JERUSALEM – Syrian rebels who would later join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, were trained in 2012 by U.S. instructors working at a secret base in Jordan, according to informed Jordanian officials.

The officials said dozens of future ISIS members were trained at the time as part of covert aid to the insurgents targeting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The officials said the training was not meant to be used for any future campaign in Iraq.
The Jordanian officials said all ISIS members who received U.S. training to fight in Syria were first vetted for any links to extremist groups like al-Qaida.

In February 2012, WND was first to report the U.S., Turkey and Jordan were running a training base for the Syrian rebels in the Jordanian town of Safawi in the country's northern desert region.
That report has since been corroborated by numerous other media accounts.
Last March, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported Americans were training Syrian rebels in Jordan.

Quoting what it said were training participants and organizers, Der Spiegel reported it was not clear whether the Americans worked for private firms or were with the U.S. Army, but the magazine said some organizers wore uniforms. The training in Jordan reportedly focused on use of anti-tank weaponry.

The German magazine reported some 200 men received the training over the previous three months amid U.S. plans to train a total of 1,200 members of the Free Syrian Army in two camps in the south and the east of Jordan.

Britain's Guardian newspaper also reported last March that U.S. trainers were aiding Syrian rebels in Jordan along with British and French instructors.

Reuters reported a spokesman for the U.S. Defense Department declined immediate comment on the German magazine's report. The French foreign ministry and Britain's foreign and defense ministries also would not comment to Reuters.

[Oct 25, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard is right, and Nancy Pelosi wrong. It was US Democrats who helped cultivate the barbarism of Isis by Jonathan Cook

Notable quotes:
"... Islamic State, or Isis, didn't emerge out of nowhere. It was entirely a creation of two decades of US interference in the Middle East. ..."
"... No, I'm talking about the fact that in destroying three key Arab states – Iraq, Libya and Syria – that refused to submit to the joint regional hegemony of Saudi Arabia and Israel, Washington's local client states, the US created a giant void of governance at the heart of the Middle East. They knew that that void would be filled soon enough by religious extremists like Islamic State – and they didn't care. ..."
"... The barely veiled aim of the attacks on Iraq, Libya and Syria was to destroy the institutions and structures that held these societies together, however imperfectly. Though no one likes to mention it nowadays, these states – deeply authoritarian though they were – were also secular, and had well-developed welfare states that ensured high rates of literacy and some of the region's finest public health services. ..."
"... After Rove and Cheney had had their fill playing around with reality, nature got on with honouring the maxim that it always abhors a vacuum. Islamic State filled the vacuum Washington's policy had engineered. ..."
"... The clue, after all, was in the name. With the US and Gulf states using oil money to wage a proxy war against Assad, Isis saw its chance to establish a state inspired by a variety of Saudi Arabia's Wahhabist dogma. Isis needed territory for their planned state, and the Saudis and US obliged by destroying Syria. ..."
"... This barbarian army, one that murdered other religious groups as infidels and killed fellow Sunnis who refused to bow before their absolute rule, became the west's chief allies in Syria. Directly and covertly, we gave them money and weapons to begin building their state on parts of Syria. ..."
"... We cannot, of course, forget an assistance this witch had from very GOPiish Senators such as late American hero John McCain and his buddy Lindsey Graham. They played a key role in supporting all kinds of jihadist elements. ..."
"... Let's be accurate: It was US Democrats AND REPUBLICANS who helped cultivate the barbarism of Isis. The mess was started with Bush/Cheney/Powell. McCain was probably the biggest ISIS guy ever. Graham, Romney and friends are the same, and at best marginally better than Hitlery Clinton. ..."
"... The population of Syria increased exponentially right up through 2010, with a doubling time of about 18 years, at which point food ran out and population started trending downwards (not so much due to outright famine, as to poverty, lack of medical care, warfare, and people fleeing the country.). ..."
"... Check out the section in wikipedia on Syria's aquifers and groundwater – the water table had been dropping drastically as far back as 1985. Long before the post-2010 dry spell, Syria's rapid population growth had been consuming more water than fell as rain – EVEN DURING WET YEARS. The low rainfall post-2010 was an early trigger, but the collapse would have come regardless. ..."
"... Tulsi may not win the democratic nomination, but I see her determination to educate the majority of Americans of what our government/deep state/military industrial complex/and later senators who become lobbyists are doing. ..."
"... Worse, I suspect that many weren't too disturbed by this prospect. After all, ISIS and its incredibly vicious terrorist attacks in the West did a great deal to fuel Islamophobia -- and Islamophobia has its uses. ISIS was probably the best thing to happen to Israel since 9/11. ..."
"... I think it is worse than that : ISIS was a creation by the Israel-US- Saudi Arabia-Gulf States-axis. Significantly ISIS never attacked Israeli interests ..."
"... It doesn't matter how many Arabs, Turks, Etruscans or Kurds are killed, as long as Israel's interests are taken care of, the results are "worth it". Its a very deeply cynical, and evil policy that the US has pursued all these years in the Mid-East. ..."
"... Gangster business and slavery are OK so long as our central bank gets our cut. ..."
"... They've re-started the Cold War. Keeps all the warmongers in business. Surely they're not stupid enough to want a hot one are they? ..."
"... It goes without comment that the first act of the US following Nudelman's (Why do these fuckers keep changing their names?) Ukraine coup was to steal its gold. ..."
"... "Pelosi and most of the Democratic leadership don't care about Syria, or its population's welfare. They don't care about Assad, or Isis. They care only about the maintenance and expansion of their own Democratic Party power – for the personal wealth and influence it continues to bestow on them." ..."
Oct 25, 2019 | www.unz.com

There is something profoundly deceitful in the way the Democratic Party and the corporate media are framing Donald Trump's decision to pull troops out of Syria.

One does not need to defend Trump's actions or ignore the dangers posed to the Kurds, at least in the short term, by the departure of US forces from northern Syria to understand that the coverage is being crafted in such a way as to entirely overlook the bigger picture.

The problem is neatly illustrated in this line from a report by the Guardian newspaper of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's meeting this week with Trump, who is described as having had a "meltdown". Explaining why she and other senior Democrats stormed out, the paper writes that "it became clear the president had no plan to deal with a potential revival of Isis in the Middle East".

Hang on a minute! Let's pull back a little, and not pretend – as the media and Democratic party leadership wish us to – that the last 20 years did not actually happen. Many of us lived through those events. Our memories are not so short.

Islamic State, or Isis, didn't emerge out of nowhere. It was entirely a creation of two decades of US interference in the Middle East. And I'm not even referring to the mountains of evidence that US officials backed their Saudi allies in directly funding and arming Isis – just as their predecessors in Washington, in their enthusiasm to oust the Soviets from the region, assisted the jihadists who went on to become al-Qaeda.

No, I'm talking about the fact that in destroying three key Arab states – Iraq, Libya and Syria – that refused to submit to the joint regional hegemony of Saudi Arabia and Israel, Washington's local client states, the US created a giant void of governance at the heart of the Middle East. They knew that that void would be filled soon enough by religious extremists like Islamic State – and they didn't care.

Overthrow, not regime change

You don't have to be a Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi or Bashar Assad apologist to accept this point. You don't even have to be concerned that these so-called "humanitarian" wars violated each state's integrity and sovereignty, and are therefore defined in international law as "the supreme war crime".

The bigger picture – the one no one appears to want us thinking about – is that the US intentionally sought to destroy these states with no obvious plan for the day after. As I explained in my book Israel and the Clash of Civilisations , these haven't so much been regime-change wars as nation-state dismantling operations – what I have termed overthrow wars.

The logic was a horrifying hybrid of two schools of thought that meshed neatly in the psychopathic foreign policy goals embodied in the ideology of neoconservatism – the so-called "Washington consensus" since 9/11.

The first was Israel's long-standing approach to the Palestinians. By constantly devastating any emerging Palestinian institution or social structures, Israel produced a divide-and-rule model on steriods, creating a leaderless, ravaged, enfeebled society that sucked out all the local population's energy. That strategy proved very appealing to the neoconservatives, who saw it as one they could export to non-compliant states in the region.

The second was the Chicago school's Shock Doctrine, as explained in Naomi Klein's book of that name. The chaotic campaign of destruction, the psychological trauma and the sense of dislocation created by these overthrow wars were supposed to engender a far more malleable population that would be ripe for a US-controlled "colour revolution".

The recalcitrant states would be made an example of, broken apart, asset-stripped of their resources and eventually remade as new dependent markets for US goods. That was what George W Bush, Dick Cheney and Halliburton really meant when they talked about building a New Middle East and exporting democracy.

Even judged by the vile aims of its proponents, the Shock Doctrine has been a half-century story of dismal economic failure everywhere it has been attempted – from Pinochet's Chile to Yeltsin's Russia. But let us not credit the architects of this policy with any kind of acumen for learning from past errors. As Bush's senior adviser Karl Rove explained to a journalist whom he rebuked for being part of the "reality-based community": "We're an empire now and, when we act, we create our own reality."

The birth of Islamic State

The barely veiled aim of the attacks on Iraq, Libya and Syria was to destroy the institutions and structures that held these societies together, however imperfectly. Though no one likes to mention it nowadays, these states – deeply authoritarian though they were – were also secular, and had well-developed welfare states that ensured high rates of literacy and some of the region's finest public health services.

Given how closed a society Syria was and is, and how difficult it therefore is to weigh the evidence in ways that are likely to prove convincing to those not already persuaded, let us set that issue aside too. Anyway, it is irrelevant to the bigger picture I want to address.

The indisputable fact is that Washington and its Gulf allies wished to exploit this initial unrest as an opportunity to create a void in Syria – just as they had earlier done in Iraq, where there were no uprisings, nor even the WMDs the US promised would be found and that served as the pretext for Bush's campaign of Shock and Awe.

The limited uprisings in Syria quickly turned into a much larger and far more vicious war because the Gulf states, with US backing, flooded the country with proxy fighters and arms in an effort to overthrow Assad and thereby weaken Iranian and Shia influence in the region. The events in Syria and earlier in Iraq gradually transformed the Sunni religious extremists of al-Qaeda into the even more barbaric, more nihilistic extremists of Islamic State.

A dark US vanity project

After Rove and Cheney had had their fill playing around with reality, nature got on with honouring the maxim that it always abhors a vacuum. Islamic State filled the vacuum Washington's policy had engineered.

The clue, after all, was in the name. With the US and Gulf states using oil money to wage a proxy war against Assad, Isis saw its chance to establish a state inspired by a variety of Saudi Arabia's Wahhabist dogma. Isis needed territory for their planned state, and the Saudis and US obliged by destroying Syria.

This barbarian army, one that murdered other religious groups as infidels and killed fellow Sunnis who refused to bow before their absolute rule, became the west's chief allies in Syria. Directly and covertly, we gave them money and weapons to begin building their state on parts of Syria.

Again, let us ignore the fact that the US, in helping to destroy a sovereign nation, committed the supreme war crime, one that in a rightly ordered world would ensure every senior Washington official faces their own Nuremberg Trial. Let us ignore too for the moment that the US, consciously through its actions, brought to life a monster that sowed death and destruction everywhere it went.

The fact is that at the moment Assad called in Russia to help him survive, the battle the US and the Gulf states were waging through Islamic State and other proxies was lost. It was only a matter of time before Assad would reassert his rule.

From that point onwards, every single person who was killed and every single Syrian made homeless – and there were hundreds of thousands of them – suffered their terrible fate for no possible gain in US policy goals. A vastly destructive overthrow war became instead something darker still: a neoconservative vanity project that ravaged countless Syrian lives.

A giant red herring

Trump now appears to be ending part of that policy. He may be doing so for the wrong reasons. But very belatedly – and possibly only temporarily – he is seeking to close a small chapter in a horrifying story of western-sponsored barbarism in the Middle East, one intimately tied to Islamic State.

What of the supposed concerns of Pelosi and the Democratic Party under whose watch the barbarism in Syria took place. They should have no credibility on the matter to begin with.

But their claims that Trump has "no plan to deal with a potential revival of Isis in the Middle East" is a giant red herring they are viciously slapping us in the face with in the hope the spray of seawater blinds us.

First, Washington sowed the seeds of Islamic State by engineering a vacuum in Syria that Isis – or something very like it – was inevitably going to fill. Then, it allowed those seeds to flourish by assisting its Gulf allies in showering fighters in Syria with money and arms that came with only one string attached – a commitment to Sunni jihadist ideology inspired by Saudi Wahhabism.

Isis was made in Washington as much as it was in Riyadh. For that reason, the only certain strategy for preventing the revival of Islamic State is preventing the US and the Gulf states from interfering in Syria again.

With the Syrian army in charge of Syrian territory, there will be no vacuum for Isis to fill. The jihadists' state-building project is now unrealisable, at least in Syria. Islamic State will continue to wither, as it would have done years before if the US and its Gulf allies had not fuelled it in a proxy war they knew could not be won.

Doomed Great Game

The same lesson can be drawn by looking at the experience of the Syrian Kurds. The Rojava fiefdom they managed to carve out in northern Syria during the war survived till now only because of continuing US military support. With a US departure, and the Kurds too weak to maintain their improvised statelet, a vacuum was again created that this time has risked sucking in the Turkish army, which fears a base for Kurdish nationalism on its doorstep.

The Syrian Kurds' predicament is simple: face a takeover by Turkey or seek Assad's protection to foil Turkish ambitions. The best hope for the Kurds looks to be the Syrian army's return, filling the vacuum and regaining a chance of long-term stability.

That could have been the case for all of Syria many tens of thousands of deaths ago. Whatever the corporate media suggest, those deaths were lost not in a failed heroic battle for freedom, which, even if it was an early aspiration for some fighters, quickly became a goal that was impossible for them to realise. No, those deaths were entirely pointless. They were sacrificed by a western military-industrial complex in a US-Saudi Great Game that dragged on for many years after everyone knew it was doomed.

Nancy Pelosi's purported worries about Isis reviving because of Trump's Syria withdrawal are simply crocodile fears. If she is really so worried about Islamic State, then why did she and other senior Democrats stand silently by as the US under Barack Obama spent years spawning, cultivating and financing Isis to destroy Syria, a state that was best placed to serve as a bulwark against the head-chopping extremists?

Pelosi and the Democratic leadership's bad faith – and that of the corporate media – are revealed in their ongoing efforts to silence and smear Tulsi Gabbard, the party's only candidate for the presidential nomination who has pointed out the harsh political realities in Syria, and tried to expose their years of lies.

Pelosi and most of the Democratic leadership don't care about Syria, or its population's welfare. They don't care about Assad, or Isis. They care only about the maintenance and expansion of American power – and the personal wealth and influence it continues to bestow on them.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and "Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair" (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net .


A123 , says: October 21, 2019 at 1:05 pm GMT

The problem largely traces back to simple mistakes by prior Saudi administrations.

The Wahhabi were a threat to the royal family. So, the royal family funded them to go elsewhere. Given the craziness of Wahhabism that made sense at the time. Crazy usually dies out. However, in this case the Crazy came with enough money in hand to establish credibility. The extremist Muslim Brotherhood is a direct result of these exported extremism.

ISIS is the result of a schism inside the extremist Muslim Brotherhood. A "direct action" group wanted an even more extreme and immediate solution and broke away.

-- Did the U.S. or Israel attempt to deploy ISIS? This is far-fetched beyond the bounds of reasonability. Violent, ultra-extreme ISIS fanatics would not follow the commands of infidel heretics. The Saudi royal family by this point realized that the Muslim Brotherhood was a threat to them just like the original Wahhabi, but they had no good way to undo their prior mistake.

-- Did Turkey attempt to use ISIS to weaken Syria and Iraq? This is far more probable. Turkey's AK party is also a schismatic offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. So, there is a great deal of opportunity for the two troops to find common cause. The New Ottoman Empire needs to absorb Syrian and Iraqi land, so undermining those governments would be step #1.

One does not need outside actors to explain how the hole was dug. Unfortunately, that means there is no good solution. If the problem was driven by outside forces, those forces could stop it. However, the reality is that there are no outside forces driving the Craziness. There is no "plug to pull".

PEACE

NegroPantera , says: October 21, 2019 at 2:59 pm GMT
The wild savage dogs of ISIS are the Khmer Rouge of Islamic fundamentalism and their rise and violence should be attributed to the liberal interventionism that has proven to be a disaster not only for the region but those who carried out the intervention.
Oscar Peterson , says: October 21, 2019 at 4:14 pm GMT
@A123

"One does not need outside actors to explain how the hole was dug. Unfortunately, that means there is no good solution. If the problem was driven by outside forces, those forces could stop it. However, the reality is that there are no outside forces driving the Craziness. There is no 'plug to pull'".

Absolute nonsense. And what do you mean by "outside forces." The US and Israel count as outside forces but Turkey does not? Forces outside of what?

ISIS emerged out of ISI, Zarqawi's Islamic State in Iraq, an affiliate, for a while, of AQ. The US invasion of Iraq created the political and military space in Iraq for transnational terror groups.

Meanwhile, the US, at Israel's instigation, had been working to weaken Assad in Syria. After the rebellion against him in 2011, the US, along with Turkey, Saudi, Qatar, Israel and others, began to support various jihadi groups inside Syria with the goal of eliminating the Assad government, each for his own reasons. Syria began lost control of its border with Iraq and much of eastern Syria and the Euphrates valley as well. This process allowed ISIS to emerge from an ISI under stress during the so-called "surge" in 2007-10 and establish itself in Syria. In 2014, ISIS, now a powerful well-armed group went back into Iraq to defeat the incompetent and unmotivated Iraq Security Forces that the US had established.

While the US moved against ISIS in Iraq after 2014, it left ISIS in Syria alone since it was depriving Assad of control over most of Syria's oil and much of its arable land.

And yes, of course the US, instigated by Israel, didn't "deploy" ISIS in the sense of directing its operations. But they left ISIS largely unimpeded to play a role in the overthrow of Assad which was always the primary goal. ISIS, it was thought, could be dealt with later after Assad was gone.

That plan would probably have worked eventually, but the Russians entered the picture in the second half of 2015 and changed the situation.

The US had been nominally supporting the usual "freedom fighters" but in effect supplying the more competent and vicious jihadis who could take the TOW missiles and other weapons the US was providing to the approved sad-sacks and make more effective use of them. Finally, with Russia and Iran facilitating the roll-back of all the jihadis, and the US threatened with being relegated to the sidelines, Obama jumped on the SDF (Kurdish) bandwagon and actually started doing what the US had not done previously: Taking serious action against ISIS so that a Russian/Iranian-backed Syrian reconquest of eastern Syria could be pre-empted.

And of course, the biggest supporter of the Kurds has consistently been Israel, who sees the possibility of creating pro-Israel statelets or at least enclaves in the midst of a Turkish, Iranian and Arab region that detests the Judenreich.

So in order to eliminate another of Israel's enemies, reduce a unified Syrian state to a handful of even more impotent emirates and ensure that Bibi would not be pestered with legal questions over the seizure and retention of the Golan, Syria was laid waste under the guise of "promoting democracy" and then further devastated under the guise of combatting ISIS.

We have done more than enough damage at the behest of Israel and its fifth column in the US. ISIS might well have emerged regardless of US actions, but it was the Jew-induced insanity of US regime-change/COIN policies that created the geographical, political and military space in Iraq and Syria for the jihadists and the ensuing physical destruction of so much of those countries.

The best solution would be to facilitate the re-establishment of Syrian sovereignty over all of Syria. But instead of doing that, Trump has instead facilitated the entry of Turkish forces and allied jihadis in an attempt to mend fences with a thoroughly alienated Erdogan. We'll see if Putin can mitigate the brutal incompetence of Israel-infected US policy.

Anon [322] Disclaimer , says: October 21, 2019 at 4:41 pm GMT
@A123 For fuck's sake. Is there any way to stop Hasbara agents from effectively using software to get consistent first posts on this site?

Their mere presence is annoying. Whatever they have to say, on any topic and no matter what it is, no one here wants to read it because they are not beginning with any credibility whatsoever. As they are are religiously-avowed enemies of the West (who they hold to be the continuation of Rome) and the demonstrated fervent enemies of non-Jewish Whites.

Given the craziness of Wahhabism

There is nothing in Sunni Islam that does not have its root in Judaism. To state otherwise is to be a typical Semitic liar.

MarathonMan , says: October 21, 2019 at 4:43 pm GMT
A very real but completely unadvertised reality of these regime changes was that the publicly owned central bank of the country – Iraq and Libya – was eliminated and changed to a private central bank. Iraq and Libya both succumbed and Ron Paul related that the smoke had barely cleared in Libya before the private central bank charter was drafted and implemented. Syria and Iran are the last two countries that do not have a private central banks. Hence the drive by the neo-cons to destroy those countries and fully implement the New World (banking) Order.

Not widely discussed but (I think) vitally important to understanding foreign policy.

Rev. Spooner , says: October 21, 2019 at 4:44 pm GMT
What of the supposed concerns of Pelosi and the Democratic Party under whose watch the barbarism in Syria took place. They should have no credibility on the matter to begin with.

But their claims that Trump has "no plan to deal with a potential revival of Isis in the Middle East" is a giant red herring they are viciously slapping us in the face with in the hope the spray of seawater blinds us.
I love the second para. Getting slapped with a red herring with hope that the salt water blinds us .

My only gripe with Jonathan Cook is that this and all mid-eastern conflicts are engineered by the dual citizens and Israel isn't called out by him as the chief instigator. The saudis are slave of the west and amount to nothing.

Paul , says: October 21, 2019 at 6:29 pm GMT
Hillary Clinton (wife of draft dodger Bill) and the New York Times are Zionist assets. Hillary is a stooge!
donald j tingle , says: October 21, 2019 at 6:50 pm GMT
Why blame Bush, Rove etc. for the mess created by Clinton/Obama in Syria? Are they still out of bounds?
joe2.5 , says: October 21, 2019 at 7:32 pm GMT
@A123 " Did the U.S. or Israel attempt to deploy ISIS? This is far-fetched beyond the bounds of reasonability"
Perhaps. Except that it did happen in plain daylight, before our eyes, but we should, of course, trust your "reasonability" -- instead of our own lying eyes.
anon [117] Disclaimer , says: October 21, 2019 at 7:48 pm GMT
@A123 US President Donald Trump said Monday that a small number of US troops remain in Syria at the request of Israel and Jordan, with some positioned near the borders with Jordan and Israel and others deployed to secure oil fields.

"The other region where we've been asked by Israel and Jordan to leave a small number of troops is a totally different section of Syria, near Jordan, and close to Israel," Trump said when asked whether he would leave soldiers in Syria. "So we have a small group there, and we secured the oil. Other than that, there's no reason for it, in our opinion."

Times of Israel
and J Post 21st oct

It 's all about Israel and for its "royal patsy when not for royal patsy it's for the cannon fodder/ foot solder of Israel.

This mayhem from 2003 hasn't seen the full effects of the blow-back yet .Just starting . Tulsi Gabbard and Trump have knowingly and sometime unknowingly have told the master that the king never had any clothes even when the king was talking about the decency of having clothes on .

anon [117] Disclaimer , says: October 21, 2019 at 8:06 pm GMT

"The first was Israel's long-standing approach to the Palestinians. By constantly devastating any emerging Palestinian institution or social structures, Israel produced a divide-and-rule model on steriods, creating a leaderless, ravaged, enfeebled society that sucked out all the local population's energy. That strategy proved very appealing to the neoconservatives, who saw it as one they could export to non-compliant states in the region."-

This sums up everything one want to know about certain human clones and the impact of the clones on the humanity.

Who will ever blame the victims for creating a future Hitler among them ?

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website October 21, 2019 at 9:13 pm GMT
We cannot, of course, forget an assistance this witch had from very GOPiish Senators such as late American hero John McCain and his buddy Lindsey Graham. They played a key role in supporting all kinds of jihadist elements.
Stop Bush and Clinton , says: Website October 21, 2019 at 10:48 pm GMT
Let's be accurate: It was US Democrats AND REPUBLICANS who helped cultivate the barbarism of Isis. The mess was started with Bush/Cheney/Powell. McCain was probably the biggest ISIS guy ever. Graham, Romney and friends are the same, and at best marginally better than Hitlery Clinton.

Lock them all up, regardless of party affiliation.

TG , says: October 22, 2019 at 12:00 am GMT
Many interesting points here, and I agree with a lot of them. But:
[MORE]
"Or was it driven by something else: as a largely economic protest by an under-class suffering from food shortages as climate change led to repeated crop failures?"

Syria did run out of water, and it's hard not to see that as a major driver of the chaos that unfolded. But Syria didn't run out of water because of "climate change," that's false.

The explanation is that the Syrian government deliberately engineered a massive population explosion. Seriously, they made the sale and possession of contraceptives a crime! (See "Demographic Developments and Population: Policies in Ba'thist Syria (Demographic Developments and Socioeconomics)", by Onn Winkler).

The population of Syria increased exponentially right up through 2010, with a doubling time of about 18 years, at which point food ran out and population started trending downwards (not so much due to outright famine, as to poverty, lack of medical care, warfare, and people fleeing the country.).

Now as far as weather goes, there were a couple of dry years before the collapse, but weather is always like that. Last year there were record rainfalls. If Syria's population had been stable at 5 or even 10 million, they could have coasted on water stored in the aquifers until the rains came back. But when the population increases so much that you drain the aquifers even when there is plenty of rain, then when a temporary drought hits you have no reserve and it all falls apart.

Check out the section in wikipedia on Syria's aquifers and groundwater – the water table had been dropping drastically as far back as 1985. Long before the post-2010 dry spell, Syria's rapid population growth had been consuming more water than fell as rain – EVEN DURING WET YEARS. The low rainfall post-2010 was an early trigger, but the collapse would have come regardless.

... ... ...

barr , says: October 22, 2019 at 2:01 am GMT
LONDON: Hundreds of Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists were smu ..
Read more at:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/61703015.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
Toxik , says: October 22, 2019 at 2:21 am GMT
simple and straightforward journalism that cuts through the "corporate veil." Tulsi may not win the democratic nomination, but I see her determination to educate the majority of Americans of what our government/deep state/military industrial complex/and later senators who become lobbyists are doing.

I also feel for our veterans who are indoctrinated to protect freedom, but in the end, when they come home injured and disabled, or even dead, it was all for naught.

Colin Wright , says: Website October 22, 2019 at 6:46 am GMT
I find some of the rhetoric in this piece irritating and repetitive -- but the analysis is essentially correct.

We created a power vacuum that was almost certain to give rise to something like ISIS.

Worse, I suspect that many weren't too disturbed by this prospect. After all, ISIS and its incredibly vicious terrorist attacks in the West did a great deal to fuel Islamophobia -- and Islamophobia has its uses. ISIS was probably the best thing to happen to Israel since 9/11.

Twodees Partain , says: October 22, 2019 at 11:00 am GMT
"The problem is neatly illustrated in this line from a report by the Guardian newspaper of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's meeting this week with Trump, who is described as having had a "meltdown". "

That's a poorly written statement. It reads as though Trump was the one having a meltdown. How about: "House Speaker Pelosi's meltdown during a meeting with Trump." ?

Twodees Partain , says: October 22, 2019 at 12:01 pm GMT
@MarathonMan That is a fact that should be kept foremost in the discussions of "why regime change is necessary". It is the most basic and obvious reason for all this war in the ME.
Twodees Partain , says: October 22, 2019 at 12:13 pm GMT
"First, Washington sowed the seeds of Islamic State by engineering a vacuum in Syria that Isis – or something very like it – was inevitably going to fill."

Not quite accurate. The US Government "sowed the seeds of" ISIS by giving them material support before the vacuum was created. IS is mainly a creature of empire, including the US and older remnants of empire in the UK and Europe which survives mainly in the existence of (international) banks.

Michael888 , says: October 23, 2019 at 2:02 pm GMT
@Christian truth Project "Tulsi is/was a member of the CFR". Aren't all Congressmen members? Doesn't that come with signing the AIPAC form, getting the secret decoder ring from Adam Schiff, and the free trip to Israel? (maybe Ilhan Omar and Rashida Talib "don't measure up?")

I believe CFR was the organization Biden was regaling with his story of holding up $one billion in Ukrainian aid unless the Ukrainians fired the investigator of his son Hunter "who did nothing wrong". Can you imagine if Biden had been President rather than VP? This would have been a scandal!

Ilya G Poimandres , says: October 25, 2019 at 4:18 am GMT
@A123 One does not need outside actors, but then there would be a lot of 'dark matter' in the history of the ME over the last 100 years. Personally it's plain state terrorism to me, and the Brits have a good definition! http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/11/part/I
Alfred , says: October 25, 2019 at 8:53 am GMT
Pelosi and most of the Democratic leadership don't care about Syria, or its population's welfare. They don't care about Assad, or Isis. They care only about the maintenance and expansion of American power

Correction: They only care about the maintenance and expansion of Israeli power.

Franklin Ryckaert , says: October 25, 2019 at 11:01 am GMT
@Colin Wright

I think it is worse than that : ISIS was a creation by the Israel-US- Saudi Arabia-Gulf States-axis. Significantly ISIS never attacked Israeli interests, and when it once did so by accident, it apologized to Israel. The destruction of Syria is part of Israel's notorious Oded Yinon plan, according to which all states in Israel's neighborhood need to be fragmentized. In Iraq and Libya that was a success, in Syria, thanks to Iran, Hizbollah and Russia, it failed. The US is simply a puppet for Israel's foreign policy, but nobody in the US, not even Tulsi Gabbard, dares to say so.

TellTheTruth-2 , says: October 25, 2019 at 12:42 pm GMT
Syria may be the biggest defeat for the CIA since Vietnam. (right click) https://consortiumnews.com/2019/10/18/pepe-escobar-the-road-to-damascus-how-the-syria-war-was-won/ . The CIA will be after Trump's scalp till Kingdom Come.
Greg Bacon , says: Website October 25, 2019 at 1:11 pm GMT
@A123 Sorry Bibi, but your beloved Israel played a BIG part in establishing ISIS, then supporting it with shekels, medical care for their wounded, training and weapons.

WikiLeaks: US, Israel, And Saudi Arabia Planned Overthrow Of Syrian Govt. In 2006

Cables reveal that before the beginning of the Syrian revolt and civil war, the United States hoped to overthrow Assad and create strife between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.

https://www.mintpressnews.com/wikileaks-us-israel-and-saudi-arabia-planned-overthrow-of-syrian-govt-in-2006/221784/

The one time their hired ISIS thugs accidentally attacked IDF forces, ISIS leaders made a profuse apology to Israel.

Isis fighters 'attacked Israel Defense Forces unit, then apologised' claims former commander

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-israel-defence-force-apology-attack-unit-golan-heights-defense-minister-moshe-ya-alon-a7700616.html

Let's not forget that when the term ISIS first came out, the Tel Aviv war mongers realized it stood for Israeli Secret Intelligence Services and changed that to ISIL, which their adoring MSM gladly obliged by parroting that change.

From the Israeli masterminded 9/11 False Flag to the destruction of Syria, there's one common factor, Israel and her American Jew sayanim who keep pushing America into forever wars so Israel can finish off the Palestinians and steal more land.

anon [113] Disclaimer , says: October 25, 2019 at 1:28 pm GMT
Panel Criticizes 'Unacceptable Practices' in the OPCW's investigation of the Alleged Chemical Attack in Douma, Syria on April 7th 2018
https://www.couragefound.org/2019/10/opcw-panel-statement

Based on the whistleblower's extensive presentation, including internal emails, text exchanges and suppressed draft reports, we are unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018. We became convinced by the testimony that key information about chemical analyses, toxicology consultations, ballistics studies, and witness testimonies was suppressed, ostensibly to favor a preordained conclusion.

We have learned of disquieting efforts to exclude some inspectors from the investigation whilst thwarting their attempts to raise legitimate concerns, highlight irregular practices or even to express their differing observations and assessments -- a right explicitly conferred on inspectors in the Chemical Weapons Convention, evidently with the intention of ensuring the independence and authoritativeness of inspection reports.

Fixed "report" of OPCW was necessary to maintain anti-Assad narrative which is now unchallenged even by Gabbard (not to mention the weak sheep-dog Sanders).

ivan , says: October 25, 2019 at 1:39 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova

The US does not have to directly support the jihadists. It just has to manage the chaos, for whatever be the action on the ground and whoever is killed or not killed, as long as there is chaos within their chosen sandbox, the chaos masters in Israel wins and that is all that counts with all too many Americans. It doesn't matter how many Arabs, Turks, Etruscans or Kurds are killed, as long as Israel's interests are taken care of, the results are "worth it". Its a very deeply cynical, and evil policy that the US has pursued all these years in the Mid-East.

But fortunately the Russians have turned things around.

Arnieus , says: October 25, 2019 at 2:09 pm GMT
@MarathonMan

Gangster business and slavery are OK so long as our central bank gets our cut. ME is also about "fragmenting" neighboring countries so Israel can expand. Yinon Plan.

Agent76 , says: October 25, 2019 at 2:51 pm GMT
Oct 18, 2019 Tulsi Gabbard responds to Hillary Clinton: Clinton "knows she can't control me"

Hillary Clinton implied Russians are "grooming" Tulsi Gabbard to run as a third-party candidate to disrupt the election, a charge which Gabbard denies. In a live interview with CBSN, Gabbard responds to Clinton's claims and says she will not run as a third-party candidate.

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

Oct 19, 2019 This Is The Final Nail For Hillary Clinton! Tulsi Gabbard Moves On Up!

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

Herald , says: October 25, 2019 at 2:54 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova

The explanation is quite simple, supporting terrorism is what the US does, and it has done so for decades.

cassandra , says: October 25, 2019 at 5:59 pm GMT
@TG Excellent post. You bring up 2 very important but rarely discussed issues.

Demographics: Population is one of the most easily predictable developments within a country, and you'd think it might be one of the most publically-discussed, and therefore, best-managed. Au contraire. Assad wasn't the only one who stood on the tracks watching the headlights approach:

1. The EU is having problems with an aging native population because it earlier encouraged low birth rates, and is now promoting mass immigration of rapidly-breeding immigrants who threaten to at least overwhelm if not overrun European society. Yet, as Douglas Murray points out in his book The Strange Death of Europe, openly talking about this problem has been, and still is, verboten.

2. China is now wondering to do with its preponderance of young men, caused very predictably by the Communist Party's one-child policy.

Climate:

If the rains had been good every single year – which is impossible – it would only have pushed the point of collapse back a few years, at most.

The Syrian case you cite shows how even relatively minor climate changes can carry events past a tipping point. I do agree with you that effects of APGW on climactic conditions are greatly exaggerated, yet changes in climate, for good or ill, have often triggered much larger historical events. The cooling that caused a famine and that preceded the Justinian Plague weakened European and Sassanian civilizations. These misfortunes paved the way for the Islamic takeover that followed. Contrariwise, Norse exploration and the Renaissance, to give 2 examples of increasing activity, both occurred during the Medieval Warming Period.

I enjoyed your comment.

Fool's Paradise , says: October 25, 2019 at 6:20 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX

They've re-started the Cold War. Keeps all the warmongers in business. Surely they're not stupid enough to want a hot one are they?

Bill Jones , says: October 25, 2019 at 7:35 pm GMT
@MarathonMan

It goes without comment that the first act of the US following Nudelman's (Why do these fuckers keep changing their names?) Ukraine coup was to steal its gold.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-18/ukraine-admits-its-gold-gone

Jeff Davis , says: October 25, 2019 at 7:41 pm GMT
"Pelosi and most of the Democratic leadership don't care about Syria, or its population's welfare. They don't care about Assad, or Isis. They care only about the maintenance and expansion of their own Democratic Party power – for the personal wealth and influence it continues to bestow on them."

FTFY

Just as the GOP is precisely and thoroughly corrupt in exactly the same way, focused exclusively on their own craven self-interest, the country be damned.

Kolya Krassotkin , says: October 26, 2019 at 12:43 am GMT
@Agent76 The end of Hill-dog? In your dreams. She rises from the grave with the regularity of an obese vampire.
ivan , says: October 26, 2019 at 1:36 am GMT
@Anonymous Jimmah was the last honest man in American politics. But since he told Americans that gas was going to cost more, that perhaps they needed to drive a wee bit less, the Americans hated him. They didn't like the "malaise" of having to pay for their lifestyle.

As for the Israelis, what did Jimmah not to do for them : Got Egypt out of the Arab alliance, arranged the annual tribute to Israel, started the ball rolling on the Holocaust religion, paid off Egypt and Jordan to stay away from any alliance against the Israelis. But what did he get in return; branded as anti-Semite merely for mentioning that the Palestinians had rights, were human beings too. With the Zionist Jews, one is always on probation. No point playing their silly games.

[Oct 25, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard is right, and Nancy Pelosi wrong. It was US Democrats who helped cultivate the barbarism of Isis by Jonathan Coo

Notable quotes:
"... Islamic State, or Isis, didn't emerge out of nowhere. It was entirely a creation of two decades of US interference in the Middle East. ..."
"... No, I'm talking about the fact that in destroying three key Arab states – Iraq, Libya and Syria – that refused to submit to the joint regional hegemony of Saudi Arabia and Israel, Washington's local client states, the US created a giant void of governance at the heart of the Middle East. They knew that that void would be filled soon enough by religious extremists like Islamic State – and they didn't care. ..."
"... The barely veiled aim of the attacks on Iraq, Libya and Syria was to destroy the institutions and structures that held these societies together, however imperfectly. Though no one likes to mention it nowadays, these states – deeply authoritarian though they were – were also secular, and had well-developed welfare states that ensured high rates of literacy and some of the region's finest public health services. ..."
"... After Rove and Cheney had had their fill playing around with reality, nature got on with honouring the maxim that it always abhors a vacuum. Islamic State filled the vacuum Washington's policy had engineered. ..."
"... The clue, after all, was in the name. With the US and Gulf states using oil money to wage a proxy war against Assad, Isis saw its chance to establish a state inspired by a variety of Saudi Arabia's Wahhabist dogma. Isis needed territory for their planned state, and the Saudis and US obliged by destroying Syria. ..."
"... This barbarian army, one that murdered other religious groups as infidels and killed fellow Sunnis who refused to bow before their absolute rule, became the west's chief allies in Syria. Directly and covertly, we gave them money and weapons to begin building their state on parts of Syria. ..."
"... We cannot, of course, forget an assistance this witch had from very GOPiish Senators such as late American hero John McCain and his buddy Lindsey Graham. They played a key role in supporting all kinds of jihadist elements. ..."
"... Let's be accurate: It was US Democrats AND REPUBLICANS who helped cultivate the barbarism of Isis. The mess was started with Bush/Cheney/Powell. McCain was probably the biggest ISIS guy ever. Graham, Romney and friends are the same, and at best marginally better than Hitlery Clinton. ..."
"... The population of Syria increased exponentially right up through 2010, with a doubling time of about 18 years, at which point food ran out and population started trending downwards (not so much due to outright famine, as to poverty, lack of medical care, warfare, and people fleeing the country.). ..."
"... Check out the section in wikipedia on Syria's aquifers and groundwater – the water table had been dropping drastically as far back as 1985. Long before the post-2010 dry spell, Syria's rapid population growth had been consuming more water than fell as rain – EVEN DURING WET YEARS. The low rainfall post-2010 was an early trigger, but the collapse would have come regardless. ..."
"... Tulsi may not win the democratic nomination, but I see her determination to educate the majority of Americans of what our government/deep state/military industrial complex/and later senators who become lobbyists are doing. ..."
"... Worse, I suspect that many weren't too disturbed by this prospect. After all, ISIS and its incredibly vicious terrorist attacks in the West did a great deal to fuel Islamophobia -- and Islamophobia has its uses. ISIS was probably the best thing to happen to Israel since 9/11. ..."
"... I think it is worse than that : ISIS was a creation by the Israel-US- Saudi Arabia-Gulf States-axis. Significantly ISIS never attacked Israeli interests ..."
Oct 25, 2019 | www.unz.com

There is something profoundly deceitful in the way the Democratic Party and the corporate media are framing Donald Trump's decision to pull troops out of Syria.

One does not need to defend Trump's actions or ignore the dangers posed to the Kurds, at least in the short term, by the departure of US forces from northern Syria to understand that the coverage is being crafted in such a way as to entirely overlook the bigger picture.

The problem is neatly illustrated in this line from a report by the Guardian newspaper of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's meeting this week with Trump, who is described as having had a "meltdown". Explaining why she and other senior Democrats stormed out, the paper writes that "it became clear the president had no plan to deal with a potential revival of Isis in the Middle East".

Hang on a minute! Let's pull back a little, and not pretend – as the media and Democratic party leadership wish us to – that the last 20 years did not actually happen. Many of us lived through those events. Our memories are not so short.

Islamic State, or Isis, didn't emerge out of nowhere. It was entirely a creation of two decades of US interference in the Middle East. And I'm not even referring to the mountains of evidence that US officials backed their Saudi allies in directly funding and arming Isis – just as their predecessors in Washington, in their enthusiasm to oust the Soviets from the region, assisted the jihadists who went on to become al-Qaeda.

No, I'm talking about the fact that in destroying three key Arab states – Iraq, Libya and Syria – that refused to submit to the joint regional hegemony of Saudi Arabia and Israel, Washington's local client states, the US created a giant void of governance at the heart of the Middle East. They knew that that void would be filled soon enough by religious extremists like Islamic State – and they didn't care.

Overthrow, not regime change

You don't have to be a Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi or Bashar Assad apologist to accept this point. You don't even have to be concerned that these so-called "humanitarian" wars violated each state's integrity and sovereignty, and are therefore defined in international law as "the supreme war crime".

The bigger picture – the one no one appears to want us thinking about – is that the US intentionally sought to destroy these states with no obvious plan for the day after. As I explained in my book Israel and the Clash of Civilisations , these haven't so much been regime-change wars as nation-state dismantling operations – what I have termed overthrow wars.

The logic was a horrifying hybrid of two schools of thought that meshed neatly in the psychopathic foreign policy goals embodied in the ideology of neoconservatism – the so-called "Washington consensus" since 9/11.

The first was Israel's long-standing approach to the Palestinians. By constantly devastating any emerging Palestinian institution or social structures, Israel produced a divide-and-rule model on steriods, creating a leaderless, ravaged, enfeebled society that sucked out all the local population's energy. That strategy proved very appealing to the neoconservatives, who saw it as one they could export to non-compliant states in the region.

The second was the Chicago school's Shock Doctrine, as explained in Naomi Klein's book of that name. The chaotic campaign of destruction, the psychological trauma and the sense of dislocation created by these overthrow wars were supposed to engender a far more malleable population that would be ripe for a US-controlled "colour revolution".

The recalcitrant states would be made an example of, broken apart, asset-stripped of their resources and eventually remade as new dependent markets for US goods. That was what George W Bush, Dick Cheney and Halliburton really meant when they talked about building a New Middle East and exporting democracy.

Even judged by the vile aims of its proponents, the Shock Doctrine has been a half-century story of dismal economic failure everywhere it has been attempted – from Pinochet's Chile to Yeltsin's Russia. But let us not credit the architects of this policy with any kind of acumen for learning from past errors. As Bush's senior adviser Karl Rove explained to a journalist whom he rebuked for being part of the "reality-based community": "We're an empire now and, when we act, we create our own reality."

The birth of Islamic State

The barely veiled aim of the attacks on Iraq, Libya and Syria was to destroy the institutions and structures that held these societies together, however imperfectly. Though no one likes to mention it nowadays, these states – deeply authoritarian though they were – were also secular, and had well-developed welfare states that ensured high rates of literacy and some of the region's finest public health services.

Given how closed a society Syria was and is, and how difficult it therefore is to weigh the evidence in ways that are likely to prove convincing to those not already persuaded, let us set that issue aside too. Anyway, it is irrelevant to the bigger picture I want to address.

The indisputable fact is that Washington and its Gulf allies wished to exploit this initial unrest as an opportunity to create a void in Syria – just as they had earlier done in Iraq, where there were no uprisings, nor even the WMDs the US promised would be found and that served as the pretext for Bush's campaign of Shock and Awe.

The limited uprisings in Syria quickly turned into a much larger and far more vicious war because the Gulf states, with US backing, flooded the country with proxy fighters and arms in an effort to overthrow Assad and thereby weaken Iranian and Shia influence in the region. The events in Syria and earlier in Iraq gradually transformed the Sunni religious extremists of al-Qaeda into the even more barbaric, more nihilistic extremists of Islamic State.

A dark US vanity project

After Rove and Cheney had had their fill playing around with reality, nature got on with honouring the maxim that it always abhors a vacuum. Islamic State filled the vacuum Washington's policy had engineered.

The clue, after all, was in the name. With the US and Gulf states using oil money to wage a proxy war against Assad, Isis saw its chance to establish a state inspired by a variety of Saudi Arabia's Wahhabist dogma. Isis needed territory for their planned state, and the Saudis and US obliged by destroying Syria.

This barbarian army, one that murdered other religious groups as infidels and killed fellow Sunnis who refused to bow before their absolute rule, became the west's chief allies in Syria. Directly and covertly, we gave them money and weapons to begin building their state on parts of Syria.

Again, let us ignore the fact that the US, in helping to destroy a sovereign nation, committed the supreme war crime, one that in a rightly ordered world would ensure every senior Washington official faces their own Nuremberg Trial. Let us ignore too for the moment that the US, consciously through its actions, brought to life a monster that sowed death and destruction everywhere it went.

The fact is that at the moment Assad called in Russia to help him survive, the battle the US and the Gulf states were waging through Islamic State and other proxies was lost. It was only a matter of time before Assad would reassert his rule.

From that point onwards, every single person who was killed and every single Syrian made homeless – and there were hundreds of thousands of them – suffered their terrible fate for no possible gain in US policy goals. A vastly destructive overthrow war became instead something darker still: a neoconservative vanity project that ravaged countless Syrian lives.

A giant red herring

Trump now appears to be ending part of that policy. He may be doing so for the wrong reasons. But very belatedly – and possibly only temporarily – he is seeking to close a small chapter in a horrifying story of western-sponsored barbarism in the Middle East, one intimately tied to Islamic State.

What of the supposed concerns of Pelosi and the Democratic Party under whose watch the barbarism in Syria took place. They should have no credibility on the matter to begin with.

But their claims that Trump has "no plan to deal with a potential revival of Isis in the Middle East" is a giant red herring they are viciously slapping us in the face with in the hope the spray of seawater blinds us.

First, Washington sowed the seeds of Islamic State by engineering a vacuum in Syria that Isis – or something very like it – was inevitably going to fill. Then, it allowed those seeds to flourish by assisting its Gulf allies in showering fighters in Syria with money and arms that came with only one string attached – a commitment to Sunni jihadist ideology inspired by Saudi Wahhabism.

Isis was made in Washington as much as it was in Riyadh. For that reason, the only certain strategy for preventing the revival of Islamic State is preventing the US and the Gulf states from interfering in Syria again.

With the Syrian army in charge of Syrian territory, there will be no vacuum for Isis to fill. The jihadists' state-building project is now unrealisable, at least in Syria. Islamic State will continue to wither, as it would have done years before if the US and its Gulf allies had not fuelled it in a proxy war they knew could not be won.

Doomed Great Game

The same lesson can be drawn by looking at the experience of the Syrian Kurds. The Rojava fiefdom they managed to carve out in northern Syria during the war survived till now only because of continuing US military support. With a US departure, and the Kurds too weak to maintain their improvised statelet, a vacuum was again created that this time has risked sucking in the Turkish army, which fears a base for Kurdish nationalism on its doorstep.

The Syrian Kurds' predicament is simple: face a takeover by Turkey or seek Assad's protection to foil Turkish ambitions. The best hope for the Kurds looks to be the Syrian army's return, filling the vacuum and regaining a chance of long-term stability.

That could have been the case for all of Syria many tens of thousands of deaths ago. Whatever the corporate media suggest, those deaths were lost not in a failed heroic battle for freedom, which, even if it was an early aspiration for some fighters, quickly became a goal that was impossible for them to realise. No, those deaths were entirely pointless. They were sacrificed by a western military-industrial complex in a US-Saudi Great Game that dragged on for many years after everyone knew it was doomed.

Nancy Pelosi's purported worries about Isis reviving because of Trump's Syria withdrawal are simply crocodile fears. If she is really so worried about Islamic State, then why did she and other senior Democrats stand silently by as the US under Barack Obama spent years spawning, cultivating and financing Isis to destroy Syria, a state that was best placed to serve as a bulwark against the head-chopping extremists?

Pelosi and the Democratic leadership's bad faith – and that of the corporate media – are revealed in their ongoing efforts to silence and smear Tulsi Gabbard, the party's only candidate for the presidential nomination who has pointed out the harsh political realities in Syria, and tried to expose their years of lies.

Pelosi and most of the Democratic leadership don't care about Syria, or its population's welfare. They don't care about Assad, or Isis. They care only about the maintenance and expansion of American power – and the personal wealth and influence it continues to bestow on them.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and "Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair" (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net .


A123 , says: October 21, 2019 at 1:05 pm GMT

The problem largely traces back to simple mistakes by prior Saudi administrations.

The Wahhabi were a threat to the royal family. So, the royal family funded them to go elsewhere. Given the craziness of Wahhabism that made sense at the time. Crazy usually dies out. However, in this case the Crazy came with enough money in hand to establish credibility. The extremist Muslim Brotherhood is a direct result of these exported extremism.

ISIS is the result of a schism inside the extremist Muslim Brotherhood. A "direct action" group wanted an even more extreme and immediate solution and broke away.

-- Did the U.S. or Israel attempt to deploy ISIS? This is far-fetched beyond the bounds of reasonability. Violent, ultra-extreme ISIS fanatics would not follow the commands of infidel heretics. The Saudi royal family by this point realized that the Muslim Brotherhood was a threat to them just like the original Wahhabi, but they had no good way to undo their prior mistake.

-- Did Turkey attempt to use ISIS to weaken Syria and Iraq? This is far more probable. Turkey's AK party is also a schismatic offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. So, there is a great deal of opportunity for the two troops to find common cause. The New Ottoman Empire needs to absorb Syrian and Iraqi land, so undermining those governments would be step #1.

One does not need outside actors to explain how the hole was dug. Unfortunately, that means there is no good solution. If the problem was driven by outside forces, those forces could stop it. However, the reality is that there are no outside forces driving the Craziness. There is no "plug to pull".

PEACE

NegroPantera , says: October 21, 2019 at 2:59 pm GMT
The wild savage dogs of ISIS are the Khmer Rouge of Islamic fundamentalism and their rise and violence should be attributed to the liberal interventionism that has proven to be a disaster not only for the region but those who carried out the intervention.
Oscar Peterson , says: October 21, 2019 at 4:14 pm GMT
@A123

"One does not need outside actors to explain how the hole was dug. Unfortunately, that means there is no good solution. If the problem was driven by outside forces, those forces could stop it. However, the reality is that there are no outside forces driving the Craziness. There is no 'plug to pull'".

Absolute nonsense. And what do you mean by "outside forces." The US and Israel count as outside forces but Turkey does not? Forces outside of what?

ISIS emerged out of ISI, Zarqawi's Islamic State in Iraq, an affiliate, for a while, of AQ. The US invasion of Iraq created the political and military space in Iraq for transnational terror groups.

Meanwhile, the US, at Israel's instigation, had been working to weaken Assad in Syria. After the rebellion against him in 2011, the US, along with Turkey, Saudi, Qatar, Israel and others, began to support various jihadi groups inside Syria with the goal of eliminating the Assad government, each for his own reasons. Syria began lost control of its border with Iraq and much of eastern Syria and the Euphrates valley as well. This process allowed ISIS to emerge from an ISI under stress during the so-called "surge" in 2007-10 and establish itself in Syria. In 2014, ISIS, now a powerful well-armed group went back into Iraq to defeat the incompetent and unmotivated Iraq Security Forces that the US had established.

While the US moved against ISIS in Iraq after 2014, it left ISIS in Syria alone since it was depriving Assad of control over most of Syria's oil and much of its arable land.

And yes, of course the US, instigated by Israel, didn't "deploy" ISIS in the sense of directing its operations. But they left ISIS largely unimpeded to play a role in the overthrow of Assad which was always the primary goal. ISIS, it was thought, could be dealt with later after Assad was gone.

That plan would probably have worked eventually, but the Russians entered the picture in the second half of 2015 and changed the situation.

The US had been nominally supporting the usual "freedom fighters" but in effect supplying the more competent and vicious jihadis who could take the TOW missiles and other weapons the US was providing to the approved sad-sacks and make more effective use of them. Finally, with Russia and Iran facilitating the roll-back of all the jihadis, and the US threatened with being relegated to the sidelines, Obama jumped on the SDF (Kurdish) bandwagon and actually started doing what the US had not done previously: Taking serious action against ISIS so that a Russian/Iranian-backed Syrian reconquest of eastern Syria could be pre-empted.

And of course, the biggest supporter of the Kurds has consistently been Israel, who sees the possibility of creating pro-Israel statelets or at least enclaves in the midst of a Turkish, Iranian and Arab region that detests the Judenreich.

So in order to eliminate another of Israel's enemies, reduce a unified Syrian state to a handful of even more impotent emirates and ensure that Bibi would not be pestered with legal questions over the seizure and retention of the Golan, Syria was laid waste under the guise of "promoting democracy" and then further devastated under the guise of combatting ISIS.

We have done more than enough damage at the behest of Israel and its fifth column in the US. ISIS might well have emerged regardless of US actions, but it was the Jew-induced insanity of US regime-change/COIN policies that created the geographical, political and military space in Iraq and Syria for the jihadists and the ensuing physical destruction of so much of those countries.

The best solution would be to facilitate the re-establishment of Syrian sovereignty over all of Syria. But instead of doing that, Trump has instead facilitated the entry of Turkish forces and allied jihadis in an attempt to mend fences with a thoroughly alienated Erdogan. We'll see if Putin can mitigate the brutal incompetence of Israel-infected US policy.

Anon [322] Disclaimer , says: October 21, 2019 at 4:41 pm GMT
@A123 For fuck's sake. Is there any way to stop Hasbara agents from effectively using software to get consistent first posts on this site?

Their mere presence is annoying. Whatever they have to say, on any topic and no matter what it is, no one here wants to read it because they are not beginning with any credibility whatsoever. As they are are religiously-avowed enemies of the West (who they hold to be the continuation of Rome) and the demonstrated fervent enemies of non-Jewish Whites.

Given the craziness of Wahhabism

There is nothing in Sunni Islam that does not have its root in Judaism. To state otherwise is to be a typical Semitic liar.

MarathonMan , says: October 21, 2019 at 4:43 pm GMT
A very real but completely unadvertised reality of these regime changes was that the publicly owned central bank of the country – Iraq and Libya – was eliminated and changed to a private central bank. Iraq and Libya both succumbed and Ron Paul related that the smoke had barely cleared in Libya before the private central bank charter was drafted and implemented. Syria and Iran are the last two countries that do not have a private central banks. Hence the drive by the neo-cons to destroy those countries and fully implement the New World (banking) Order.

Not widely discussed but (I think) vitally important to understanding foreign policy.

Rev. Spooner , says: October 21, 2019 at 4:44 pm GMT
What of the supposed concerns of Pelosi and the Democratic Party under whose watch the barbarism in Syria took place. They should have no credibility on the matter to begin with.

But their claims that Trump has "no plan to deal with a potential revival of Isis in the Middle East" is a giant red herring they are viciously slapping us in the face with in the hope the spray of seawater blinds us.
I love the second para. Getting slapped with a red herring with hope that the salt water blinds us .

My only gripe with Jonathan Cook is that this and all mid-eastern conflicts are engineered by the dual citizens and Israel isn't called out by him as the chief instigator. The saudis are slave of the west and amount to nothing.

Paul , says: October 21, 2019 at 6:29 pm GMT
Hillary Clinton (wife of draft dodger Bill) and the New York Times are Zionist assets. Hillary is a stooge!
donald j tingle , says: October 21, 2019 at 6:50 pm GMT
Why blame Bush, Rove etc. for the mess created by Clinton/Obama in Syria? Are they still out of bounds?
joe2.5 , says: October 21, 2019 at 7:32 pm GMT
@A123 " Did the U.S. or Israel attempt to deploy ISIS? This is far-fetched beyond the bounds of reasonability"
Perhaps. Except that it did happen in plain daylight, before our eyes, but we should, of course, trust your "reasonability" -- instead of our own lying eyes.
anon [117] Disclaimer , says: October 21, 2019 at 7:48 pm GMT
@A123 US President Donald Trump said Monday that a small number of US troops remain in Syria at the request of Israel and Jordan, with some positioned near the borders with Jordan and Israel and others deployed to secure oil fields.

"The other region where we've been asked by Israel and Jordan to leave a small number of troops is a totally different section of Syria, near Jordan, and close to Israel," Trump said when asked whether he would leave soldiers in Syria. "So we have a small group there, and we secured the oil. Other than that, there's no reason for it, in our opinion."

Times of Israel
and J Post 21st oct

It 's all about Israel and for its "royal patsy when not for royal patsy it's for the cannon fodder/ foot solder of Israel.

This mayhem from 2003 hasn't seen the full effects of the blow-back yet .Just starting . Tulsi Gabbard and Trump have knowingly and sometime unknowingly have told the master that the king never had any clothes even when the king was talking about the decency of having clothes on .

anon [117] Disclaimer , says: October 21, 2019 at 8:06 pm GMT

"The first was Israel's long-standing approach to the Palestinians. By constantly devastating any emerging Palestinian institution or social structures, Israel produced a divide-and-rule model on steriods, creating a leaderless, ravaged, enfeebled society that sucked out all the local population's energy. That strategy proved very appealing to the neoconservatives, who saw it as one they could export to non-compliant states in the region."-

This sums up everything one want to know about certain human clones and the impact of the clones on the humanity.

Who will ever blame the victims for creating a future Hitler among them ?

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website October 21, 2019 at 9:13 pm GMT
We cannot, of course, forget an assistance this witch had from very GOPiish Senators such as late American hero John McCain and his buddy Lindsey Graham. They played a key role in supporting all kinds of jihadist elements.
Stop Bush and Clinton , says: Website October 21, 2019 at 10:48 pm GMT
Let's be accurate: It was US Democrats AND REPUBLICANS who helped cultivate the barbarism of Isis. The mess was started with Bush/Cheney/Powell. McCain was probably the biggest ISIS guy ever. Graham, Romney and friends are the same, and at best marginally better than Hitlery Clinton.

Lock them all up, regardless of party affiliation.

TG , says: October 22, 2019 at 12:00 am GMT
Many interesting points here, and I agree with a lot of them. But:
[MORE]
"Or was it driven by something else: as a largely economic protest by an under-class suffering from food shortages as climate change led to repeated crop failures?"

Syria did run out of water, and it's hard not to see that as a major driver of the chaos that unfolded. But Syria didn't run out of water because of "climate change," that's false.

The explanation is that the Syrian government deliberately engineered a massive population explosion. Seriously, they made the sale and possession of contraceptives a crime! (See "Demographic Developments and Population: Policies in Ba'thist Syria (Demographic Developments and Socioeconomics)", by Onn Winkler).

The population of Syria increased exponentially right up through 2010, with a doubling time of about 18 years, at which point food ran out and population started trending downwards (not so much due to outright famine, as to poverty, lack of medical care, warfare, and people fleeing the country.).

Now as far as weather goes, there were a couple of dry years before the collapse, but weather is always like that. Last year there were record rainfalls. If Syria's population had been stable at 5 or even 10 million, they could have coasted on water stored in the aquifers until the rains came back. But when the population increases so much that you drain the aquifers even when there is plenty of rain, then when a temporary drought hits you have no reserve and it all falls apart.

Check out the section in wikipedia on Syria's aquifers and groundwater – the water table had been dropping drastically as far back as 1985. Long before the post-2010 dry spell, Syria's rapid population growth had been consuming more water than fell as rain – EVEN DURING WET YEARS. The low rainfall post-2010 was an early trigger, but the collapse would have come regardless.

... ... ...

barr , says: October 22, 2019 at 2:01 am GMT
LONDON: Hundreds of Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists were smu ..
Read more at:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/61703015.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
Toxik , says: October 22, 2019 at 2:21 am GMT
simple and straightforward journalism that cuts through the "corporate veil." Tulsi may not win the democratic nomination, but I see her determination to educate the majority of Americans of what our government/deep state/military industrial complex/and later senators who become lobbyists are doing.

I also feel for our veterans who are indoctrinated to protect freedom, but in the end, when they come home injured and disabled, or even dead, it was all for naught.

Colin Wright , says: Website October 22, 2019 at 6:46 am GMT
I find some of the rhetoric in this piece irritating and repetitive -- but the analysis is essentially correct.

We created a power vacuum that was almost certain to give rise to something like ISIS.

Worse, I suspect that many weren't too disturbed by this prospect. After all, ISIS and its incredibly vicious terrorist attacks in the West did a great deal to fuel Islamophobia -- and Islamophobia has its uses. ISIS was probably the best thing to happen to Israel since 9/11.

Twodees Partain , says: October 22, 2019 at 11:00 am GMT
"The problem is neatly illustrated in this line from a report by the Guardian newspaper of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's meeting this week with Trump, who is described as having had a "meltdown". "

That's a poorly written statement. It reads as though Trump was the one having a meltdown. How about: "House Speaker Pelosi's meltdown during a meeting with Trump." ?

Twodees Partain , says: October 22, 2019 at 12:01 pm GMT
@MarathonMan That is a fact that should be kept foremost in the discussions of "why regime change is necessary". It is the most basic and obvious reason for all this war in the ME.
Twodees Partain , says: October 22, 2019 at 12:13 pm GMT
"First, Washington sowed the seeds of Islamic State by engineering a vacuum in Syria that Isis – or something very like it – was inevitably going to fill."

Not quite accurate. The US Government "sowed the seeds of" ISIS by giving them material support before the vacuum was created. IS is mainly a creature of empire, including the US and older remnants of empire in the UK and Europe which survives mainly in the existence of (international) banks.

Michael888 , says: October 23, 2019 at 2:02 pm GMT
@Christian truth Project "Tulsi is/was a member of the CFR". Aren't all Congressmen members? Doesn't that come with signing the AIPAC form, getting the secret decoder ring from Adam Schiff, and the free trip to Israel? (maybe Ilhan Omar and Rashida Talib "don't measure up?")

I believe CFR was the organization Biden was regaling with his story of holding up $one billion in Ukrainian aid unless the Ukrainians fired the investigator of his son Hunter "who did nothing wrong". Can you imagine if Biden had been President rather than VP? This would have been a scandal!

Ilya G Poimandres , says: October 25, 2019 at 4:18 am GMT
@A123 One does not need outside actors, but then there would be a lot of 'dark matter' in the history of the ME over the last 100 years. Personally it's plain state terrorism to me, and the Brits have a good definition! http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/11/part/I
Alfred , says: October 25, 2019 at 8:53 am GMT
Pelosi and most of the Democratic leadership don't care about Syria, or its population's welfare. They don't care about Assad, or Isis. They care only about the maintenance and expansion of American power

Correction: They only care about the maintenance and expansion of Israeli power.

Franklin Ryckaert , says: October 25, 2019 at 11:01 am GMT
@Colin Wright

I think it is worse than that : ISIS was a creation by the Israel-US- Saudi Arabia-Gulf States-axis. Significantly ISIS never attacked Israeli interests, and when it once did so by accident, it apologized to Israel. The destruction of Syria is part of Israel's notorious Oded Yinon plan, according to which all states in Israel's neighborhood need to be fragmentized. In Iraq and Libya that was a success, in Syria, thanks to Iran, Hizbollah and Russia, it failed. The US is simply a puppet for Israel's foreign policy, but nobody in the US, not even Tulsi Gabbard, dares to say so.

TellTheTruth-2 , says: October 25, 2019 at 12:42 pm GMT
Syria may be the biggest defeat for the CIA since Vietnam. (right click) https://consortiumnews.com/2019/10/18/pepe-escobar-the-road-to-damascus-how-the-syria-war-was-won/ . The CIA will be after Trump's scalp till Kingdom Come.
Greg Bacon , says: Website October 25, 2019 at 1:11 pm GMT
@A123 Sorry Bibi, but your beloved Israel played a BIG part in establishing ISIS, then supporting it with shekels, medical care for their wounded, training and weapons.

WikiLeaks: US, Israel, And Saudi Arabia Planned Overthrow Of Syrian Govt. In 2006

Cables reveal that before the beginning of the Syrian revolt and civil war, the United States hoped to overthrow Assad and create strife between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.

https://www.mintpressnews.com/wikileaks-us-israel-and-saudi-arabia-planned-overthrow-of-syrian-govt-in-2006/221784/

The one time their hired ISIS thugs accidentally attacked IDF forces, ISIS leaders made a profuse apology to Israel.

Isis fighters 'attacked Israel Defense Forces unit, then apologised' claims former commander

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-israel-defence-force-apology-attack-unit-golan-heights-defense-minister-moshe-ya-alon-a7700616.html

Let's not forget that when the term ISIS first came out, the Tel Aviv war mongers realized it stood for Israeli Secret Intelligence Services and changed that to ISIL, which their adoring MSM gladly obliged by parroting that change.

From the Israeli masterminded 9/11 False Flag to the destruction of Syria, there's one common factor, Israel and her American Jew sayanim who keep pushing America into forever wars so Israel can finish off the Palestinians and steal more land.

Ghan-buri-Ghan , says: October 25, 2019 at 1:18 pm GMT
@Digital Samizdat Absolutely. Gabbard is the "Democrat" Trump. A Jew puppet presented as an outsider. They're exactly the same. Even Obama was presented that way to an extent.

Yet the dumb goyim will fall for it for the third time in a row.

anon [113] Disclaimer , says: October 25, 2019 at 1:28 pm GMT
Panel Criticizes 'Unacceptable Practices' in the OPCW's investigation of the Alleged Chemical Attack in Douma, Syria on April 7th 2018
https://www.couragefound.org/2019/10/opcw-panel-statement

Based on the whistleblower's extensive presentation, including internal emails, text exchanges and suppressed draft reports, we are unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018. We became convinced by the testimony that key information about chemical analyses, toxicology consultations, ballistics studies, and witness testimonies was suppressed, ostensibly to favor a preordained conclusion.

We have learned of disquieting efforts to exclude some inspectors from the investigation whilst thwarting their attempts to raise legitimate concerns, highlight irregular practices or even to express their differing observations and assessments -- a right explicitly conferred on inspectors in the Chemical Weapons Convention, evidently with the intention of ensuring the independence and authoritativeness of inspection reports.

Fixed "report" of OPCW was necessary to maintain anti-Assad narrative which is now unchallenged even by Gabbard (not to mention the weak sheep-dog Sanders).

ivan , says: October 25, 2019 at 1:39 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova The US does not have to directly support the jihadists. It just has to manage the chaos, for whatever be the action on the ground and whoever is killed or not killed, as long as there is chaos within their chosen sandbox, the chaos masters in Israel wins and that is all that counts with all too many Americans. It doesn't matter how many Arabs, Turks, Etruscans or Kurds are killed, as long as Israel's interests are taken care of, the results are "worth it". Its a very deeply cynical, and evil policy that the US has pursued all these years in the Mid-East.

But fortunately the Russians have turned things around.

Arnieus , says: October 25, 2019 at 2:09 pm GMT
@MarathonMan Gangster business and slavery are OK so long as our central bank gets our cut. ME is also about "fragmenting" neighboring countries so Israel can expand. Yinon Plan.
Herald , says: October 25, 2019 at 2:50 pm GMT
@TellTheTruth-2 As promised by themselves for themselves. Amazing that anyone can take the chosen ones even remotely seriously.
Agent76 , says: October 25, 2019 at 2:51 pm GMT
Oct 18, 2019 Tulsi Gabbard responds to Hillary Clinton: Clinton "knows she can't control me"

Hillary Clinton implied Russians are "grooming" Tulsi Gabbard to run as a third-party candidate to disrupt the election, a charge which Gabbard denies. In a live interview with CBSN, Gabbard responds to Clinton's claims and says she will not run as a third-party candidate.

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

Oct 19, 2019 This Is The Final Nail For Hillary Clinton! Tulsi Gabbard Moves On Up!

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

Herald , says: October 25, 2019 at 2:54 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova The explanation is quite simple, supporting terrorism is what the US does, and it has done so for decades.
Fool's Paradise , says: October 25, 2019 at 3:11 pm GMT
And now, according to the latest news, Trump will send tanks into Syria to help the Kurds secure the oil for Israel. It's hard to understand why the Elders of the Deep State want to impeach Trump. He has done everything they wanted, moved the embassy, gave Syria's Golan Heights to Israel, never criticizes the illegal settlements in Palestine. What else do they want from him?
DESERT FOX , says: October 25, 2019 at 3:39 pm GMT
@Fool's Paradise They want a war with Russia.
really no shit , says: October 25, 2019 at 5:49 pm GMT
What do you mean Pelosi has no credibility? Have you checked her bank balance lately? Nancy, had she not waded into politics, would have been a pole dancer she had the goods for it.
KA , says: October 25, 2019 at 5:58 pm GMT
@Greg Bacon Interesting
cassandra , says: October 25, 2019 at 5:59 pm GMT
@TG Excellent post. You bring up 2 very important but rarely discussed issues.

Demographics: Population is one of the most easily predictable developments within a country, and you'd think it might be one of the most publically-discussed, and therefore, best-managed. Au contraire. Assad wasn't the only one who stood on the tracks watching the headlights approach:

1. The EU is having problems with an aging native population because it earlier encouraged low birth rates, and is now promoting mass immigration of rapidly-breeding immigrants who threaten to at least overwhelm if not overrun European society. Yet, as Douglas Murray points out in his book The Strange Death of Europe, openly talking about this problem has been, and still is, verboten.

2. China is now wondering to do with its preponderance of young men, caused very predictably by the Communist Party's one-child policy.

Climate:

If the rains had been good every single year – which is impossible – it would only have pushed the point of collapse back a few years, at most.

The Syrian case you cite shows how even relatively minor climate changes can carry events past a tipping point. I do agree with you that effects of APGW on climactic conditions are greatly exaggerated, yet changes in climate, for good or ill, have often triggered much larger historical events. The cooling that caused a famine and that preceded the Justinian Plague weakened European and Sassanian civilizations. These misfortunes paved the way for the Islamic takeover that followed. Contrariwise, Norse exploration and the Renaissance, to give 2 examples of increasing activity, both occurred during the Medieval Warming Period.

I enjoyed your comment.

Fool's Paradise , says: October 25, 2019 at 6:20 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX They've re-started the Cold War. Keeps all the warmongers in business. Surely they're not stupid enough to want a hot one are they?
anonymous [348] Disclaimer , says: October 25, 2019 at 6:35 pm GMT
When it comes to senior American politihoes, no one is ever right. Pelosi may be cultivating the ISIS, but Gabbard is busy blowing assorted dictators and more closer to the heart, the hindoo nationalist queers, as impotent (I mean that in a literal sexual context, as their elites don't marry) as they might be.
SafeNow , says: October 25, 2019 at 7:12 pm GMT
Tulsi needs to conduct herself with gravitas, because of her age. However, she is helped by the fact that the leader of the progressive wing is a former bartender, and the leader of the environmental resistance is a high-school sophomore.
anonymous [348] Disclaimer , says: October 25, 2019 at 7:16 pm GMT
@A123

Did the U.S. or Israel attempt to deploy ISIS? This is far-fetched beyond the bounds of reasonability.

A hasbara style attempt to obfuscate and/or absolve the 2 greatest evils on earth. Joo/whitrash nationalist lowlife spotted.

DESERT FOX , says: October 25, 2019 at 7:26 pm GMT
@Fool's Paradise They are demonic warmongering hounds from hell and will destroy the world for their zionist NWO!
Bill Jones , says: October 25, 2019 at 7:35 pm GMT
@MarathonMan It goes without comment that the first act of the US following Nudelman's (Why do these fuckers keep changing their names?) Ukraine coup was to steal its gold.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-18/ukraine-admits-its-gold-gone

Jeff Davis , says: October 25, 2019 at 7:41 pm GMT
"Pelosi and most of the Democratic leadership don't care about Syria, or its population's welfare. They don't care about Assad, or Isis. They care only about the maintenance and expansion of their own Democratic Party power – for the personal wealth and influence it continues to bestow on them."

FTFY

Just as the GOP is precisely and thoroughly corrupt in exactly the same way, focused exclusively on their own craven self-interest, the country be damned.

anonymous [348] Disclaimer , says: October 25, 2019 at 7:41 pm GMT
@Anon

There is nothing in Sunni Islam that does not have its root in Judaism. To state otherwise is to be a typical Semitic liar.

Lol! Deceitful lies from some godless/pagan whitrash.

If you are referring to some self-perceived notions of barbarity/deception/etc., within Islam, then you are a deceitful !@# who is trying to cover up the sheer savagery/psychopathy/deception/hypocrisy/etc., of the Christoo whitrash race.

Again, as far as the roots of Islam being in Judaism, that is laughable. It is Christooism which is clearly having roots in Judaism (there have been so many here who have quoted from your pagan scriptures about the haloed position of the Jooscum) and Hindooism .

In-his-image mangods/womangods, Trinity/Trimurthi, the human body is the temple of god the list is long where you all share your pagan theologies.

Islam utterly rejects all such pagan abominations. The following verses of the Holy Quran amply proves the simplest and purest form of monotheism, that is Islam;

Say, "He is Allah, [who is] One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born , Nor is there to Him any equivalent ."

You are the Liar!!

Jeff Davis , says: October 25, 2019 at 7:54 pm GMT
@A123 "Did the U.S. or Israel attempt to deploy ISIS? This is far-fetched beyond the bounds of reasonability."

Wrong.

The Oded Yinon Plan employs exactly this strategy, and along with the Neocon dominated State Dept with its Regime Change program (Oded Yinon plan in stealth mode) is the predicate. Meanwhile, once it emerged, Obama & Kerry sought to preserve ISIS as a means to pressure Assad. Neocon Zionist fifth column in the US, & Israel-behind-the-scenes are the dual agency-behind-the-curtain of US regime-change wars ***EVERYWHERE*** (because they hate Russia, too.).

Fool's Paradise , says: October 25, 2019 at 8:42 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX And rule, finally, over a smoldering wreck of a planet? They already rule most of it, they're at the Endgame of their long match with the world. Not that they eschew violence and mass murder. Indeed, they got their start thousands years ago by worshiping a god who told them to genocide all their neighbors and steal all their goods.
Anonymous [124] Disclaimer , says: October 25, 2019 at 8:49 pm GMT
@really no shit I'm in the same age cohort as most of these shameless grifters, so I know the end of this run on earth is drawing near. I know that no one can take whatever they accumulate in this life with them into oblivion or whatever their imagined version of paradise might be. The loot stays here in this vale of tears.

ALL of these players busy ruining and ending lives, like Pelosi, the Clintons and the Bush family, are multi-millionaires at the least–and all on the taxpayers' dime. Why do they desperately seek to add ever more cash to their bank accounts by bringing yet more misery into the world? It won't be very long and either the collection of psychopaths known as the government of the United States and its ruthless war machine will end up with the proceeds or they will pass down to further generations of these congenital parasites and deadbeats.

Does Joe ask himself whether it was worthy to spend his wretched life accumulating ill-gotten wealth to pass on to Hunter and his ilk? Or for Hillary to set up Chelsea and the next generation of Rodham Clinton lampreys? Jimmy Carter seems to have been the only American president who didn't constantly grasp for money once out of office and the world never heard a peep about Amy ever again.

CharlieSeattle , says: October 25, 2019 at 9:33 pm GMT
WND EXCLUSIVE
BLOWBACK! U.S. TRAINED ISLAMISTS WHO JOINED ISIS

Secret Jordan base was site of covert aid to insurgents targeting Assad
Published: 06/17/2014 – By Aaron Klein

http://www.wnd.com/2014/06/officials-u-s-trained-isis-at-secret-base-in-jordan/

[MORE]
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Since publication, this story has been corrected to clarify that the fighters trained in Jordan became members of the ISIS after their training.]

JERUSALEM – Syrian rebels who would later join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, were trained in 2012 by U.S. instructors working at a secret base in Jordan, according to informed Jordanian officials.

The officials said dozens of future ISIS members were trained at the time as part of covert aid to the insurgents targeting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The officials said the training was not meant to be used for any future campaign in Iraq.
The Jordanian officials said all ISIS members who received U.S. training to fight in Syria were first vetted for any links to extremist groups like al-Qaida.

In February 2012, WND was first to report the U.S., Turkey and Jordan were running a training base for the Syrian rebels in the Jordanian town of Safawi in the country's northern desert region.
That report has since been corroborated by numerous other media accounts.
Last March, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported Americans were training Syrian rebels in Jordan.

Quoting what it said were training participants and organizers, Der Spiegel reported it was not clear whether the Americans worked for private firms or were with the U.S. Army, but the magazine said some organizers wore uniforms. The training in Jordan reportedly focused on use of anti-tank weaponry.

The German magazine reported some 200 men received the training over the previous three months amid U.S. plans to train a total of 1,200 members of the Free Syrian Army in two camps in the south and the east of Jordan.

Britain's Guardian newspaper also reported last March that U.S. trainers were aiding Syrian rebels in Jordan along with British and French instructors.

Reuters reported a spokesman for the U.S. Defense Department declined immediate comment on the German magazine's report. The French foreign ministry and Britain's foreign and defense ministries also would not comment to Reuters.

CharlieSeattle , says: October 25, 2019 at 9:35 pm GMT
2012 Classified U.S. Report: ISIS Must Rise To Power
Posted on May 23, 2015 by Sean Adl-Tabatabai

http://yournewswire.com/2012-classified-u-s-report-isis-must-rise-to-power/

Conservative government watchdog Judicial Watch have published formerly classified documents from the U.S. Department of Defence which reveals the agencies earlier views on ISIS, namely that they were a desirable presence in Eastern Syria in 2012 and that they should be "supported" in order to isolate the Syrian regime.

Levantreport.com reports:
Astoundingly, the newly declassified report states that for "THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY [WHO] SUPPORT THE [SYRIAN] OPPOSITION THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME ".
The DIA report, formerly classified "SECRET//NOFORN" and dated August 12, 2012, was circulated widely among various government agencies, including CENTCOM, the CIA, FBI, DHS, NGA, State Dept., and many others.

The document shows that as early as 2012, U.S. intelligence predicted the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a U.S. strategic asset.

CharlieSeattle , says: October 25, 2019 at 9:36 pm GMT
Declassified Documents: Obama Ordered CIA To Train ISIS
Posted on May 28, 2015 by Carol Adl

http://yournewswire.com/declassified-documents-obama-ordered-cia-to-train-isis/

Government watchdog Judicial Watch published more than 100 pages of formerly classified documents from the U.S. Department of Defense and the State Department.

The documents obtained through a federal lawsuit, revealed the agencies earlier views on ISIS, namely that they were a desirable presence in Eastern Syria in 2012 and that they should be "supported" in order to isolate the Syrian regime.

The U.S. intelligence documents not only confirms suspicions that the United States and some of its coalition allies had actually facilitated the rise of the ISIS in Syria – as a counterweight to the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad- but also that ISIS members were initially trained by members and contractors of the Central Intelligence Agency at facilities in Jordan in 2012.

HEREDOT , says: October 25, 2019 at 9:55 pm GMT
When I say Isis, I immediately think of Obama, Hillary, Mc Cain. These are the most despicable psychopaths who have resigned from humanity.
Kolya Krassotkin , says: October 26, 2019 at 12:43 am GMT
@Agent76 The end of Hill-dog? In your dreams. She rises from the grave with the regularity of an obese vampire.
ivan , says: October 26, 2019 at 1:36 am GMT
@Anonymous Jimmah was the last honest man in American politics. But since he told Americans that gas was going to cost more, that perhaps they needed to drive a wee bit less, the Americans hated him. They didn't like the "malaise" of having to pay for their lifestyle.

As for the Israelis, what did Jimmah not to do for them : Got Egypt out of the Arab alliance, arranged the annual tribute to Israel, started the ball rolling on the Holocaust religion, paid off Egypt and Jordan to stay away from any alliance against the Israelis. But what did he get in return; branded as anti-Semite merely for mentioning that the Palestinians had rights, were human beings too. With the Zionist Jews, one is always on probation. No point playing their silly games.

redmudhooch , says: October 26, 2019 at 1:37 am GMT
The CIA!

Rise of the National Security State The CIA's links to Wall Street
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30605.htm

The CIA: 70 Years of Organized Crime
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47873.htm

Regime Change and Capitalism
https://dissidentvoice.org/2018/07/regime-change-and-capitalism/

Hassan Nasrallah should know:

The path of U.S.-Israeli arrogance and domination, with its various dimensions, and with its direct and indirect extensions and alliances, which is witnessing military defeats and political failures, reflected successive defeats for the American strategies and plans, one after the other. All this has led [the U.S.] to a state of indecision, retreat, and inability to control the progress of events in our Arab and Islamic world. There is a broader international context for this – a context that, in its turn, helps to expose the American crisis, and the decline of the [U.S.] unipolar hegemony, in the face of pluralism, the characteristics of which are yet to be stabilized.

"The crisis of the arrogant world order is deepened by the collapse of U.S. and international stock markets, and by the confusion and powerlessness of the American economy. This reflects the height of the structural crisis of the model of capitalist arrogance. Therefore, it can be said that we are in the midst of historic transformations that foretell the retreat of the USA as a hegemonic power, the disintegration of the unipolar hegemonic order, and the beginning of the accelerated historic decline of the Zionist entity.

After World War II, the U.S. has adopted the leading, central hegemonic project. At its hands, this project has witnessed great development of the means of control and unprecedented subjugation. It has benefited from an accumulation of multi-faceted accomplishments in science, culture, technology, knowledge, economy, and the military, which was supported by an economic political plan that views the world as nothing but open markets subject to the laws of [the U.S.].

"The most dangerous aspect of Western logic of hegemony in general, and the American logic of hegemony in particular, is their basic belief that they own the world, and have the right to hegemony due to their supremacy in several fields. Thus, the Western, and especially American, expansionist strategy, when coupled with the enterprise of capitalist economy, has become a strategy of a global nature, whose covetous desires and appetite know no bounds.

The barbaric capitalism has turned globalism into a means to spread disintegration, to sow discord, to destroy identities, and to impose the most dangerous form of cultural, economic, and social plunder. Globalization reached its most dangerous phase, when it was transformed into military globalization by the owners of the Western hegemony enterprise, the greatest manifestation of which was evident in the Middle East, from Afghanistan to Iraq, to Palestine, and to Lebanon.

There is no doubt that American terrorism is the source of all terrorism in the world. The Bush administration has turned the U.S. into a danger threatening the whole world, on all levels. If a global opinion poll were held today, the United States would emerge as the most hated country in the world.

The most important goal of American arrogance is to take control of the peoples politically, economically, and culturally, and to plunder their resources.

– Hassan Nasrallah December 8, 2009

and Trump IS NOT "pulling out" Will Tulsi? One way to find out. Doesn't look good though, unless shes willing to splinter the C.I.A. into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds, as they say..

Where's the proof that she is CFR member, I see sock puppets parrot this line all the time but offer no proof. Her serving on the armed & financial services committees and doing a speech for them doesn't make her a member. I'd take her over Trump any day.

[Oct 25, 2019] Hundreds of Islamic State fighters, both Syrian and foreign, were covertly evacuated by US, UK and Kurdish forces from the besieged city of Raqqa last month and freed to "spread out far and wide across Syria and beyond

Oct 25, 2019 | www.unz.com

barr , says: October 22, 2019 at 1:47 am GMT

Hundreds of Islamic State fighters, both Syrian and foreign, were covertly evacuated by US, UK and Kurdish forces from the besieged city of Raqqa last month and freed to "spread out far and wide across Syria and beyond".

Although reports on the convoy surfaced at the time, BBC journalists Quentin Sommerville and Riam Dalati have revealed the details in their documentary Raqqa's Dirty Secret.

Their investigation describes how the convoy carrying 250 fighters, 3,500 family members, and lorry loads of arms and possessions, was arranged for October 12th by local officials in meetings attended by a western officer.

During a visit to Syria in mid-October, The Irish Times was told not only about the evacuation but also that senior Islamic State commanders and their families, 45 people in all, had been airlifted out of Raqqa by a US helicopter and flown to the Kurdish region in northern Iraq.

Fighters escaping Raqqa were said to have been given passage across the desert to join comrades battling the Syrian army and its allies in Deir al-Zor.

Among the people the BBC team interviewed for the exposé were drivers paid by the Islamic State to drive the buses and trucks carrying the evacuees. According to driver Abu Fawzi, men, women and children wore suicide vests and the trucks had been booby-trapped in case "something went wrong".

The convoy contained 50 trucks, 13 buses, and more than 100 of the fighters' own vehicles. Although it had been agreed they would take only personal weapons, they filled 10 trucks with arms and ammunition.

Three-day convoy

It had also been stipulated that no foreigners would leave, but drivers told the BBC that French, Turkish, Azerbaijani, Pakistani, Yemeni, Saudi, Chinese, Tunisian and Egyptians had joined the exodus. The only restriction observed was a ban against flags and banners.

Whenever it passed through a village or hamlet, fighters warned frightened bystanders they would return, a villager called Muhanad told the BBC, "running a finger across their throats".

Two Humvees led the convoy into the desert where the going was rough. Coalition aircraft and drones hovered above, dropping flares after dark to light the way. When the motorcade reached Islamic State-held territory, fighters and civilians departed with their arms and possessions and drivers returned home.

The BBC investigation compelled Col Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, to admit to the deal. He told the team: "We didn't want anyone to leave. But this goes to the heart of our strategy 'by, with and through' local leaders on the ground.

His statement on foreign fighters contradicted information given to the BBC by drivers and people along the route as well as a statement about strategy made by US defence secretary James Mattis in May.

"Our intention is that the foreign fighters do not survive the fight to return home . . . We are not going to allow them to do so," said Mattis.
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/middle-east/isis-fighters-smuggled-out-of-raqqa-by-us-uk-and-kurds-bbc-claims-1.3293105

[Oct 24, 2019] Skeptical view of Hillary demarche against Tulsi: Class is everything, which is why both Globalizing tiers have agreed to, amongst other things, pretend we don't exist. Clinton threw Tulsi a bone so that Tulsi could throw us another, but it all counts for nothing when the bill for elite criminality comes due.

Oct 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Zedd , Oct 23 2019 22:06 utc | 14

Factions of World War III

1. CIA, Hillary Clinton, 'Rothschild-Octopus' money power. Altogether, British Israel (Zionism).

2. Pentagon-NSA, Donald Trump, second tier elites including, for example, Sheldon Adelson. Altogether, Israel (and the USA) First.

If these are the primary factions vying for control of the New World Order, why did HRC throw Tulsi such a honkin' big bone by calling her a Russian asset?

Clinton has endorsed Gabbard in the same way Catholicism endorses sin: ergo, there is a working agreement between all Globalist factions for a final settlement of WW3.

Or is there a better explanation for HRC's non endorsement endorsement of TG?

Should we also mention both are card carrying members of the Council on Foreign Relations?

Understanding we are ruled by a duopoly of 1st and 2nd tier elites is essential piecing together who represents whom - and what it means for the vast majority of humanity, which remains generally ignorant and utterly voiceless.

Class is everything, which is why both Globalizing tiers have agreed to, amongst other things, pretend we don't exist. Clinton threw Tulsi a bone so that Tulsi could throw us another, but it all counts for nothing when the bill for elite criminality comes due. Both factions agree that We the People, the unrepresented Third Estate, will be paying for everything.

Nathan Mulcahy , Oct 24 2019 0:26 utc | 22

Aaron Mate does an excellent interview with Jill Stein discussing Witchery Clinton's recent diatribe against Tulsi and Jill...

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/10/23/jill-stein-hillary-clinton-is-still-sabotaging-progressives/

[Oct 24, 2019] Joltin' Jack Keane wants your kids to fight Russia and Syria over Syrian oil by Colonel Patrick Lang

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Whilst the are absorbing that part of their country the battle of Iblib will restart. After that they can move their attention south and southeast, al-Tanf and the oilfields. I can't see how the US will be able to stop them but at least they will have time to plan their exit. ..."
"... At the moment the Syrian Government has enough oil, it is getting it from Iran via a steady stream of SUEZMAX tankers. The cost, either in terms of money or quid pro quo, is unknown. ..."
"... For those who have wondered as to why the DC FedRegime would fight over the tiny relative-to-FUKUS's-needs amount of oil in the Syrian oilfields. It is clearly to keep the SAR hobbled, crippled and too impoverished to retake all its territory or even to restore social, civic and economic functionality to the parts it retains. FUKUS is still committed to the policy of FUKUSing Syria. ..."
"... This President appears at times to recognize the reality of nation states and the meaning of national sovereignty. He needs to understand that on principle, not merely on gut instinct. President Trump's press conference today focused in one section on a simple fact -- saving the lives of Americans. Gen. Jack Keane, Sen. Lindsay Graham, and other gamers who think they are running an imperial chessboard where they can use living soldiers as American pawns, are a menace. Thanks Col. Lang for calling out these lunatics. ..."
"... During the 2016 election, Jack Keane and John Bolton were the two people Trump mentioned when asked who he listens to on foreign affairs/military policy. ..."
"... The crumbling apart is apparent. I don't know in what delusional world can conceive that 200 soldiers in the middle of the desert can deny Syria possession of their oil fields or keep the road between Bagdad and Damascus cut. All the West's Decision Makers can do is threaten to blow up the world. ..."
"... Corporate Overlords imposed austerity, outsourced industry and cut taxes to get richer, but the one thing for certain is that they can't keep their wealth without laws, the police and the military to protect them. ..."
"... Latin America is burning too - although the elites here have plundered and imposed structural plunder for too long. No matter where you are it .. Chile poster of the right, or Ecuador, Peru, etc ..."
"... Did you notice the Middle East Monitor article on October 21 reporting that the UAE has released to Iran $700 million in previously frozen funds? ..."
"... Yet in early September, Sigal Mandelker, a senior US Treasury official, was in the UAE pressing CEOs there to tighten the financial screws on Iran. The visit was deemed a success. During this visit she was quoted as saying that the Treasury has issued over 30 rounds of curbs targeting Iran-related entities. That would include targeting shipping companies and banks. ..."
"... It depends on who will be the democratic ticket .. will it mobilize the basis? I think the compromise candidate is Warren, but she looks to me a lot like John Kerry, Al Gore.. representing the professional, college educated segment of society, and that doesn't cut it. ..."
"... Trump is far from consistent. This is the man who attacked Syria twice on the basis of lies so transparent that my youngest housecat would have seen through them, and who tried and failed to leave Syria twice, then said he was "100%" for the continued occupation of Syria. ..."
"... He could have given the order to leave Syria this month, but Trump did not. Instead, he simply ordered withdrawal to a smaller zone of occupation, and that under duress. ..."
"... The Great Trumpian Mystery. I don't pretend to understand but I'm intrigued by his inconsistent inconsistencies. https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/03/17/trump-mysteries-inconsistent-inconsistencies/ ..."
"... It probably should come as no surprise to us that Trump is having small, but not no, success in getting the ship to alter course - too many deeply entrenched interests with no incentive to recognize their failures and every incentive to stay the course by removing, or at least handicapping the President who was elected on a platform of change. ..."
"... Whether the country elected the right man for the job remains to be seen. At times he appears to be his own worst enemy and his appointments are frequently topsy-- turvy to the platform he ran on but he does have his moments of success. He called off the dumb plan to go to war with Iran, albeit at 20 minutes to mid night and he is trying hard against the full might of the Borg to withdraw from Syria in accord with our actual interests. Trumps, alas, assumed office with no political friends, only enemies with varying degrees of Trump hate depending on how they define their political interests. ..."
"... Keane manipulated Trump by aggravating his animosity towards Iran, more specifically, his animosity towards Obama's JCPOA. I doubt Trump can see beyond his personal animus towards Obama and his legacy. He doesn't care about Iran, the Shia Crescent, the oil or even the jihadis any more than he cares about ditching the Kurds. This administration doesn't need a national security advisor, it needs a psychiatrist. ..."
"... IMO Trump cares about what Sheldon Adelson wants and Adelson wants to destroy Iran: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sCW4IasWXc Note the audience applause ..."
"... The difference between the reality that we perceive and the way it is portrayed in the media is so stark that sometimes I am not sure whether it is me who is insane or the world - the MSM and the cool-aid drinking libtards whose animosity against Trump won't let them distinguish black from white. Not that they were ever able to understand the real state of affairs. Discussions with them have always been about them regurgitating the MSM talking points without understanding any of it. ..."
"... "This administration doesn't need a national security advisor, it needs a psychiatrist." I think TTG speaks the truth. ..."
"... On Monday, 21 October, president Trump "authorized $4.5 million in direct support to the Syria Civil Defense (SCD)", a/k/a the White Helmets, who have been discussed here on SST before-- https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-press-secretary-89/ ..."
"... TTG IMO you and the other NEVER Trumpers are confused about the presence in both the permanent and appointed government of people who while they are not loyal to him nevertheless covet access to power. A lot of neocons and Zionists are among them. ..."
"... ANDREW BACEVICH: First of all, I think we should avoid taking anything that he says at any particular moment too seriously. Clearly, he is all over the map on almost any issue that you can name. I found his comment about taking the oil in that part of Syria, as if we are going to decide how to dispose of it, to be striking. And yet of course it sort of harkens back to his campaign statement about the Iraq war, that we ought to have taken Iraq's oil is a way of paying for that war. So I just caution against taking anything he says that seriously. ..."
"... That said, clearly a recurring theme to which he returns over and over and over again, is his determination to end what he calls endless wars. He clearly has no particular strategy or plan for how to do that, but he does seem to be insistent on pursuing that objective. And here I think we begin to get to the real significance of the controversy over Syria in our abandonment of the Kurds ..."
"... the controversy has gotten as big as it is in part because members of the foreign policy establishment in both parties are concerned about what an effort to end endless wars would mean for the larger architecture of U.S. national security policy, which has been based on keeping U.S. troops in hundreds of bases around the world, maintaining the huge military budget, a pattern of interventionism. Trump seems to think that that has been a mistake, particularly in the Middle East. I happen to agree with that critique. And I think that it is a fear that he could somehow engineer a fundamental change in U.S. policy is what really has the foreign policy establishment nervous. ..."
"... we created the problems that exist today through our reckless use of American military power. ..."
"... He let them roll him, just like Obama and so many others. Just a different set of rollers. ..."
Oct 24, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"Joltin" Jack Keane, General (ret.), Fox Business Senior Strategery Analyst, Chairman of the Board of the Kagan run neocon "Institute for the Study of War" (ISW) and Graduate Extraordinaire of Fordham University, was on with Lou Dobbs last night. Dobbs appears to have developed a deep suspicion of this paladin. He stood up to Keane remarkably well. This was refreshing in light of the fawning deference paid to Keane by all the rest of the Fox crew.

In the course of this dialogue Keane let slip the slightly disguised truth that he and the other warmongers want to keep something like 200 US soldiers and airmen in Syria east of the Euphrates so that they can keep Iran or any other "Iranian proxy forces" from crossing the Euphrates from SAG controlled territory to take control of Syrian sovereign territory and the oil and gas deposits that are rightly the property of the Syrian people and their government owned oil company. The map above shows how many of these resources are east of the Euphrates. Pilgrims! It is not a lot of oil and gas judged by global needs and markets, but to Syria and its prospects for reconstruction it is a hell of a lot!

Keane was clear that what he means by "Iranian proxy forces" is the Syrian Arab Army, the national army of that country. If they dare cross the river, to rest in the shade of their own palm trees, then in his opinion the air forces of FUKUS should attack them and any 3rd party air forces (Russia) who support them

This morning, on said Fox Business News with Charles Payne, Keane was even clearer and stated specifically that if "Syria" tries to cross the river they must be fought.

IMO he and Lindsey Graham are raving lunatics brainwashed for years with the Iran obsession and they are a danger to us all. pl

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/military/graham-fox-news-star-showed-trump-map-change-his-mind-n1069901

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


Fred , 23 October 2019 at 04:54 PM

If only General Keane was as willing to defend America and America's oil on the Texas-Mexico border. Or hasn't anyone noticed that Mexico just a lost a battle with the Sinaloa drug cartel?
Harlan Easley , 23 October 2019 at 05:35 PM
I view them as selling their Soul for a dollar. Keane comes across as dense enough to believe his bile but Graham comes across as an opportunist without any real ideology except power.
JohninMK , 23 October 2019 at 05:43 PM
Its probably one step at a time for the Syrians, although the sudden move over the past couple of weeks must have been a bit of a God given opportunity for them.

Whilst the are absorbing that part of their country the battle of Iblib will restart. After that they can move their attention south and southeast, al-Tanf and the oilfields. I can't see how the US will be able to stop them but at least they will have time to plan their exit.

As I posted in the other thread, the Syrian Government is the only real customer for their oil and the Kurds already have a profit share agreement in place, so the US, if they allow any oil out, will effectively be protecting the fields on behalf of Assad. Surely not what Congress wants?

At the moment the Syrian Government has enough oil, it is getting it from Iran via a steady stream of SUEZMAX tankers. The cost, either in terms of money or quid pro quo, is unknown.

walrus , 23 October 2019 at 06:42 PM
I think this might be President Putin's next problem to solve. As far as I know, there is no legal reason for us to be there, not humanitarian, not strategic not even tactical. We simply are playing dog-in-the-manger.

My guess is that we will receive an offer to good to refuse from Putin.

different clue , 23 October 2019 at 06:54 PM
For those who have wondered as to why the DC FedRegime would fight over the tiny relative-to-FUKUS's-needs amount of oil in the Syrian oilfields. It is clearly to keep the SAR hobbled, crippled and too impoverished to retake all its territory or even to restore social, civic and economic functionality to the parts it retains. FUKUS is still committed to the policy of FUKUSing Syria.

Why is the Champs Elise' Regime still committed to putting the F in UKUS?
(I can understand why UKUS would want to keep France involved. Without France, certain nasty people might re-brand UKUS as USUK. And that would be very not nice.)

prawnik said in reply to different clue... , 24 October 2019 at 11:25 AM
Because France wants to be on the good side of the United States, and as you indicate, the United States is in Syria to turn that country into a failed state and for no other reason.
Decameron , 23 October 2019 at 07:03 PM
A good antidote for Joltin' Jack Keane's madness would be for Lou Dobbs and other mainstream media (MSM) to have Col Pat Lang as the commentator for analysis of the Syrian situation. Readers of this blog are undoubtedly aware that Col. Lang's knowledge of the peoples of the region and their customs is a national treasure.

This President appears at times to recognize the reality of nation states and the meaning of national sovereignty. He needs to understand that on principle, not merely on gut instinct. President Trump's press conference today focused in one section on a simple fact -- saving the lives of Americans. Gen. Jack Keane,
Sen. Lindsay Graham, and other gamers who think they are running an imperial chessboard where they can use living soldiers as American pawns, are a menace. Thanks Col. Lang for calling out these lunatics.

Stephanie , 23 October 2019 at 07:06 PM
In WWI millions of soldiers died fighting for imperial designs. They did not know it. They thought they were fighting for democracy, or to stop the spread of evil, or save their country. They were not. Secret treaties signed before the war started stated explicitly what the war was about.

Now "representatives" of the military, up to and including the Commander in Chief say it's about conquest, oil. The cards of the elite are on the table. How do you account for this?

Babak Makkinejad -> Stephanie... , 23 October 2019 at 08:48 PM
Men are quite evidently are in a state of total complete and irretrievable Fall, all the while living that particular Age of Belief.
Jackrabbit , 23 October 2019 at 07:39 PM
During the 2016 election, Jack Keane and John Bolton were the two people Trump mentioned when asked who he listens to on foreign affairs/military policy.
VietnamVet , 23 October 2019 at 07:47 PM
Colonel,

The crumbling apart is apparent. I don't know in what delusional world can conceive that 200 soldiers in the middle of the desert can deny Syria possession of their oil fields or keep the road between Bagdad and Damascus cut. All the West's Decision Makers can do is threaten to blow up the world.

Justin Trudeau was elected Monday in Canada with a minority in Parliament joining the United Kingdom and Israel with governments without a majority's mandate. Donald Trump's impeachment escalates. MbS is nearing a meat hook in Saudi Arabia. This is not a coincidence. The Elites' flushing government down the drain succeeded.

Corporate Overlords imposed austerity, outsourced industry and cut taxes to get richer, but the one thing for certain is that they can't keep their wealth without laws, the police and the military to protect them. Already California electricity is being cut off for a second time due to wildfires and PG&E's corporate looting. The Sinaloa shootout reminds me of the firefight in the first season of "True Detectives" when the outgunned LA cops tried to go after the Cartel. The writing is on the wall, California is next. Who will the lawmen serve and protect? Their people or the rich? Without the law, justice and order, there is chaos.

Mk-ec said in reply to VietnamVet... , 24 October 2019 at 07:40 PM
Latin America is burning too - although the elites here have plundered and imposed structural plunder for too long. No matter where you are it .. Chile poster of the right, or Ecuador, Peru, etc
Harper , 23 October 2019 at 07:49 PM
No doubt that Keane and his ilk want endless war and view Trump as a growing obstacle. Trump is consistent: He wanted out of JCPOA, and after being stalled by his national security advisors, he finally reached the boiling point and left. The advisors who counseled against this are all gone. With Pompeo, Enders and O'Brien as the new key security advisors, I doubt Trump got as much push back. He wanted out of Syria in December 2018 and was slow-walked. Didn't anyone think he'd come back at some point and revive the order to pull out? The talk with Erdogan, the continuing Trump view that Russia, Turkey, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia should bear the burden of sorting out what is left of the Syria war, so long as ISIS does not see a revival, all have been clear for a long time.

My concern is with Lindsey Graham, who is smarter and nastier than Jack Keane. He is also Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and may hold some blackmail leverage over the President. If the House votes up impeachment articles, Graham will be overseeing the Senate trial. A break from Trump by Graham could lead to a GOP Senate stampede for conviction. No one will say this openly, as I am, but it cannot be ignored as a factor for "controlling" Trump and keeping as much of the permanent war machine running as possible.

Thoughts?

Babak Makkinejad -> Harper... , 23 October 2019 at 08:52 PM
Trump has committed the United States to a long war against the Shia Crescent. He has ceded to Turkey on Syrian Kurds, but has continued with his operations against SAR. US needs Turkey, Erdogan knows that. Likewise in regards to Russia, EU, and Iran. Turkey, as is said in Persian, has grown a tail.
Tidewater said in reply to Babak Makkinejad... , 24 October 2019 at 01:14 PM
Did you notice the Middle East Monitor article on October 21 reporting that the UAE has released to Iran $700 million in previously frozen funds?

Yet in early September, Sigal Mandelker, a senior US Treasury official, was in the UAE pressing CEOs there to tighten the financial screws on Iran. The visit was deemed a success. During this visit she was quoted as saying that the Treasury has issued over 30 rounds of curbs targeting Iran-related entities. That would include targeting shipping companies and banks.

It was also reported in September that in Dubai that recent US Treasury sanctions were beginning to have a devastating effect. Iranian businessmen were being squeezed out. Even leaving the Emirates. Yet only a few days ago--a month later-- there are now reports that Iranian exchange bureaus have suddenly reopened in Dubai after a long period of closure.

Also, billions of dollars in contracts were signed between Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE during Putin's recent visit to the region. It seems to me that this is real news. Something big seems to be happening. It looks to me as if there could be a serious confrontation between the Trump administration and MBZ in the offing.

Do you have an opinion on the Iranian situation in Dubai at the moment?

Lars said in reply to Harper... , 23 October 2019 at 09:10 PM
I have my doubt that Sen. Graham will lead any revolt, but if it starts to look like Trump will lose big next year, there will be a stampede looking like the Nile getting through a cataract.

They will not want to go down the tube with Trump. I still maintain that there is a good reason for him to resign before he loses an election or an impeachment. It will come down to the price.

Jack said in reply to Lars... , 24 October 2019 at 09:30 AM
Lars,

Lose big to whom in the next election? Biden got 300 people to show up for his rally in his hometown of Scranton and he is supposedly the front runner. Bernie got 20,000 to show up at his rally in NY when he was endorsed by The Squad and Michael Moore. Do you think the Dem establishment will allow him to be the nominee?

Trump in contrast routinely can fill up stadiums with 30,000 people. That was the indicator in the last election, not the polls. Recall the NY Times forecasting Hillary with a 95% probability of winning the day before the election.

As Rep. Al Green noted , the only way the Democrats can stop him is for the Senate to convict him in an impeachment trial. Who do you believe are the 20 Republican senators that will vote to convict?

Lars said in reply to Jack... , 24 October 2019 at 02:05 PM
Trump barely won the last time and while he currently has wide support in the GOP, it is not nearly as deep as his cultists believe. When half the country, and growing, want him removed, there is trouble ahead. Republicans are largely herd animals and if spooked, will create a stampede.

You can tell that there are problems when his congressional enablers are not defending him on facts and just using gripes about processes that they themselves have used in the past. In addition to circus acts.

I realize that many do not want to admit that they made a mistake by voting for him. I am not so sure they want to repeat that mistake.

Mk-ec said in reply to Lars... , 24 October 2019 at 08:20 PM
It depends on who will be the democratic ticket .. will it mobilize the basis? I think the compromise candidate is Warren, but she looks to me a lot like John Kerry, Al Gore.. representing the professional, college educated segment of society, and that doesn't cut it.
Jack said in reply to Lars... , 24 October 2019 at 09:29 PM
Lars,

It's not a question if he barely won. The fact is he competed with many other Republican candidates including governors and senators and even one with the name Bush. He was 1% in the polls in the summer of 2016 and went on to win the Republican nomination despite the intense opposition of the Republican establishment. He then goes on to win the general election defeating a well funded Hillary with all her credentials and the full backing of the vast majority of the media. That is an amazing achievement for someone running for public office for the first time. Like him or hate him, you have to give credit where it's due. Winning an election for the presidency is no small feat.

There only two ways to defeat him. First, the Senate convicts him in an impeachment trial which will require at least 20 Republican senators. Who are they? Second, a Democrat in the general election. Who? I can see Bernie with a possibility since he has enthusiastic supporters. But will the Democrat establishment allow him to win the nomination?

Diana C said in reply to Harper... , 24 October 2019 at 08:37 AM
We're no longer having to listen to Yosemite Sam Bolton. His BFF Graham is left to fight on his own. I don't think Trump feels the need to pay that much attention to Graham. He didn't worry about him during the primary when Graham always seemed to be on the verge of crying when he was asked questions.
prawnik said in reply to Harper... , 24 October 2019 at 11:28 AM
Trump is far from consistent. This is the man who attacked Syria twice on the basis of lies so transparent that my youngest housecat would have seen through them, and who tried and failed to leave Syria twice, then said he was "100%" for the continued occupation of Syria.

He could have given the order to leave Syria this month, but Trump did not. Instead, he simply ordered withdrawal to a smaller zone of occupation, and that under duress.

Congratulations are hardly in order here.

Patrick Armstrong -> prawnik... , 24 October 2019 at 05:06 PM
The Great Trumpian Mystery. I don't pretend to understand but I'm intrigued by his inconsistent inconsistencies. https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/03/17/trump-mysteries-inconsistent-inconsistencies/
Flavius said in reply to Harper... , 24 October 2019 at 01:21 PM
What the Colonel calls the Borg is akin to an aircraft carrier that has been steaming at near flank speed for many years too long, gathering mass and momentum since the end of Cold War I.

With the exception of Gulf War I, none of our interventions have gone well, and even the putative peace at the end of GUlf War I wasn't managed well because it eventuated in Gulf War Ii which has been worst than a disaster because the disaster taught the Borg nothing and became midwife to additional disasters.

It probably should come as no surprise to us that Trump is having small, but not no, success in getting the ship to alter course - too many deeply entrenched interests with no incentive to recognize their failures and every incentive to stay the course by removing, or at least handicapping the President who was elected on a platform of change.

Whether the country elected the right man for the job remains to be seen. At times he appears to be his own worst enemy and his appointments are frequently topsy-- turvy to the platform he ran on but he does have his moments of success. He called off the dumb plan to go to war with Iran, albeit at 20 minutes to mid night and he is trying hard against the full might of the Borg to withdraw from Syria in accord with our actual interests. Trumps, alas, assumed office with no political friends, only enemies with varying degrees of Trump hate depending on how they define their political interests.

With that said, I doubt very much whether the Republicans in the Senate will abandon Trump in an impeachment trial. Trump's argument that the process is a political coup is arguably completely true, or certainly true enough that his political base in the electorate will not tolerate his abandonment by Republican politicians inside the Beltway. I think there is even some chance that Trump, were he to be removed from office by what could be credibly portrayed as a political coup, would consider running in 2020 as an independent. The damage that would cause to the Republican Party would be severe, pervasive, and possibly fatal to the Party as such. I doubt Beltway pols would be willing to take that chance.

The Twisted Genius , 23 October 2019 at 11:33 PM
I don't think Keane or Trump are focused on the oil. Keane just used that as a lens to focus Trump on Iran. That's the true sickness. Keane manipulated Trump by aggravating his animosity towards Iran, more specifically, his animosity towards Obama's JCPOA. I doubt Trump can see beyond his personal animus towards Obama and his legacy. He doesn't care about Iran, the Shia Crescent, the oil or even the jihadis any more than he cares about ditching the Kurds. This administration doesn't need a national security advisor, it needs a psychiatrist.
Fourth and Long -> The Twisted Genius ... , 24 October 2019 at 12:01 PM
In case you missed this piece in Newsweek: https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-us-has-plan-send-tanks-troops-secure-syria-oil-fields-amid-withdrawal-1467350

No idea here who the un-named pentagon "official" might be, but sounds as thought Gen Keane may not be all alone in his soup.

Artemesia said in reply to The Twisted Genius ... , 24 October 2019 at 04:17 PM
IMO Trump cares about what Sheldon Adelson wants and Adelson wants to destroy Iran: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sCW4IasWXc Note the audience applause
Decepiton , 24 October 2019 at 04:40 AM
We massacred two hundred ruskies in the battle of khasham. What can they do.
MSB said in reply to Decepiton... , 24 October 2019 at 03:21 PM
And in response, Russia killed and captured hundreds of US Special forces and PMC's alongside SAS in East Ghouta . It is said that the abrupt russian op on East Ghouta was a response to the Battle of Khasham.

http://freewestmedia.com/2018/04/11/skripal-affair-real-reason-is-capture-of-200-sas-soldiers-in-ghouta/
https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201805211064652345-syrian-army-foreign-military-presence/
http://www.newsilkstrategies.com/news--analysis/a-real-h-o-t-war-with-russia-is-underway-right-now

http://www.newsilkstrategies.com/news--analysis/confirmation-that-us-uk-special-ops-are-in-syria-some-captured

ancientarcher , 24 October 2019 at 11:19 AM
Colonel, thanks for spelling it out so clearly.

The difference between the reality that we perceive and the way it is portrayed in the media is so stark that sometimes I am not sure whether it is me who is insane or the world - the MSM and the cool-aid drinking libtards whose animosity against Trump won't let them distinguish black from white. Not that they were ever able to understand the real state of affairs. Discussions with them have always been about them regurgitating the MSM talking points without understanding any of it.

While it will always be mystifying to me why so many people on the street blindly support America fighting and dying in the middle east, the support of the MSM and the paid hacks for eternal war is no surprise. I hope they get to send their children and grandchildren to these wars. More than that, I hope we get out of these wars. Trump might be able to put an end to it, and not just in Syria, if he wins a second term, which he will if he is allowed to contest the next election. There is however a chance that the borg will pull the rug from under him and bar him from the elections. Hope that doesn't come to pass.

Larry Kart , 24 October 2019 at 11:39 AM
"This administration doesn't need a national security advisor, it needs a psychiatrist." I think TTG speaks the truth.
David said in reply to Linda... , 24 October 2019 at 04:39 PM
No, they just have to sit there and be an excuse to fly Coalition CAPs that would effectively prevent SAA from crossing the Euphrates in strength. Feasible until the SAA finishes with Idlib and moves some of its new Russian anti-aircraft toys down to Deir Ezzor.
robt willmann , 24 October 2019 at 12:46 PM
On Monday, 21 October, president Trump "authorized $4.5 million in direct support to the Syria Civil Defense (SCD)", a/k/a the White Helmets, who have been discussed here on SST before-- https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-press-secretary-89/
turcopolier , 24 October 2019 at 01:34 PM
TTG IMO you and the other NEVER Trumpers are confused about the presence in both the permanent and appointed government of people who while they are not loyal to him nevertheless covet access to power. A lot of neocons and Zionists are among them.
The Twisted Genius -> turcopolier ... , 24 October 2019 at 02:54 PM
Colonel Lang, I am well aware of the power seekers who gravitate towards Trump or whoever holds power not out of loyalty, but because they covet access to power. The neocons and Zionists flock to Trump because they can manipulate him to do their bidding. That fact certainly doesn't make me feel any better about Trump as President. The man needs help.
turcopolier -> The Twisted Genius ... , 24 October 2019 at 05:15 PM
TTG

you are an experienced clan case officer. You do not know that most people are more than a little mad? Hillary is more than a little nuts. Obama was so desperately neurotically in need of White approval that he let the WP COIN generals talk him into a COIN war in Afghanistan. I was part of that discussion. All that mattered to him was their approval. FDR could not be trusted with SIGINT product and so Marshall never gave him any, etc., George Bush 41 told me that he deliberately mis-pronounced Saddam's name to hurt his feelings. Georgie Junior let the lunatic neocons invade a country that had not attacked us. Trump is no worse than many of our politicians, or politicians anywhere. Britain? The Brexit disaster speaks for itself, And then there is the British monarchy in which a princeling devastated by the sure DNA proof that he is illegitimate is acting like a fool. The list is endless.

The Twisted Genius -> CK... , 24 October 2019 at 05:21 PM
CK, the people surrounding Trump are largely appointees. Keane doesn't have to be let into the WH. His problem is that those who would appeal to his non-neocon tendencies are not people he wants to have around him. Gabbard, for instance, would be perfect for helping Trump get ourselves out of the ME, is a progressive. Non-interventionists are hard to come by. Those who he does surround himself with are using him for their own ideologies, mostly neocon and Zionist.
oldman22 , 24 October 2019 at 01:49 PM
Bacevich interview:
> Andrew Bacevich, can you respond to President Trump pulling the U.S. troops away from this area of northern Syria, though saying he will keep them to guard oil fields?

> ANDREW BACEVICH: First of all, I think we should avoid taking anything that he says at any particular moment too seriously. Clearly, he is all over the map on almost any issue that you can name. I found his comment about taking the oil in that part of Syria, as if we are going to decide how to dispose of it, to be striking. And yet of course it sort of harkens back to his campaign statement about the Iraq war, that we ought to have taken Iraq's oil is a way of paying for that war. So I just caution against taking anything he says that seriously.

> That said, clearly a recurring theme to which he returns over and over and over again, is his determination to end what he calls endless wars. He clearly has no particular strategy or plan for how to do that, but he does seem to be insistent on pursuing that objective. And here I think we begin to get to the real significance of the controversy over Syria in our abandonment of the Kurds.

> Let's stipulate. U.S. abandonment of the Kurds was wrong, it was callous, it was immoral. It was not the first betrayal by the United States in our history, but the fact that there were others certainly doesn't excuse this one. But apart from those concerned about the humanitarian aspect of this crisis -- and not for a second do I question the sincerity of people who are worried about the Kurds -- it seems to me that the controversy has gotten as big as it is in part because members of the foreign policy establishment in both parties are concerned about what an effort to end endless wars would mean for the larger architecture of U.S. national security policy, which has been based on keeping U.S. troops in hundreds of bases around the world, maintaining the huge military budget, a pattern of interventionism. Trump seems to think that that has been a mistake, particularly in the Middle East. I happen to agree with that critique. And I think that it is a fear that he could somehow engineer a fundamental change in U.S. policy is what really has the foreign policy establishment nervous.

> NERMEEN SHAIKH: As you mentioned, Professor Bacevich, Trump has come under bipartisan criticism for this decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was one of the many Republicans to criticize Trump for his decision. In an opinion piece in The Washington Post McConnell writes, quote, "We saw humanitarian disaster and a terrorist free-for-all after we abandoned Afghanistan in the 1990s, laying the groundwork for 9/11. We saw the Islamic State flourish in Iraq after President Barack Obama's retreat. We will see these things anew in Syria and Afghanistan if we abandon our partners and retreat from these conflicts before they are won." He also writes, quote, "As neo-isolationism rears its head on both the left and the right, we can expect to hear more talk of 'endless wars.' But rhetoric cannot change the fact that wars do not just end; wars are won or lost." So Professor Bacevich, could you respond to that, and how accurate you think an assessment of that is? Both what he says about Afghanistan and what is likely to happen now with U.S. withdrawal.

> ANDREW BACEVICH: I think in any discussion of our wars, ongoing wars, it is important to set them in some broader historical context than Senator McConnell will probably entertain. I mean, to a very great extent -- not entirely, but to a very great extent -- we created the problems that exist today through our reckless use of American military power.

> People like McConnell, and I think other members of the political establishment, even members of the mainstream media -- _The New York Times_, The Washington Post -- have yet to reckon with the catastrophic consequences of the U.S. invasion of Iraq back in 2003. And if you focus your attention at that start point -- you could choose another start point, but if you focus your attention at that start point, then it seems to me that leads you to a different conclusion about the crisis that we are dealing with right now. That is to say, people like McConnell want to stay the course. They want to maintain the U.S. presence in Syria. U.S. military presence. But if we look at what the U.S. military presence in that region, not simply Syria, has produced over the course of almost two decades, then you have to ask yourself, how is it that we think that simply staying the course is going to produce any more positive results?

> It is appalling what Turkey has done to Syrian Kurds and the casualties they have inflicted and the number of people that have been displaced. But guess what? The casualties that we inflicted and the number of people that we displaced far outnumbers what Turkey has done over the last week or so. So I think that we need to push back against this tendency to oversimplify the circumstance, because oversimplifying the circumstance doesn't help us fully appreciate the causes of this mess that we're in.

more here, about Tulsi, about Afghanistan, about Trump:
https://www.democracynow.org/2019/10/24/trump_lifts_turkey_sanctions_syrian_kurds

Leith , 24 October 2019 at 01:50 PM
In addition to oil from Iran, Assad also gets oil from the SDF and the Kurds. Supposedly a profit sharing arrangement as commented on by JohninMK in a previous post.

This oil sharing deal was also mentioned by Global Research and Southfront back in June of 2018:

https://www.globalresearch.ca/video-syrian-government-sdf-reach-agreement-on-omar-oil-field/5643086

The Twisted Genius -> turcopolier ... , 24 October 2019 at 05:49 PM
Colonel Lang, the only way to "overthrow" Trump is through impeachment in the House and conviction in the Senate. That is a Constitutional process, not a coup. The process is intentionally difficult. Was the impeachment of Clinton an attempted coup?
Stephanie said in reply to turcopolier ... , 24 October 2019 at 09:59 PM
Two things.

In the first place isn't the dissolution of Ukraine and Syria and Iraq and Libya and Yemen exactly what we have wished to achieve, and wouldn't an intelligent observer, such as Vladimir Putin, want to do exactly the same thing to us, and hasn't he come very close to witnessing the achievement of this aim whether he is personally involved or not? What goes around comes around?

But that is relatively unimportant compared to the question whether dissolution of the Union is a bad thing or a good thing. Preserving it cost 600,000 lives the first time. One additional life would be one additional life too many. Ukraine is an excellent example. Western Ukraine has a long history support for Nazi's. Eastern Ukraine is Russian. Must a war be fought to bring them together? Or should they be permitted to go their separate ways?

As Hector said of Helen of Troy, "She is not worth what she doth cost the keeping."

Jane , 24 October 2019 at 05:48 PM
After hanging up from a call to Putin, thanking him for Russia's help with the Turks, YPG leader Mazloum Kobane returned to the Senate hearings in which he alternately reminded his flecless American allies of their failure, not only to protect Rojava from the Turks, but didn't even give them a heads up about what was about to happen and begged an already angry [at Trump] Senate about their urgent need for a continued American presence in the territory.

It seems that some in the USG do not understand that all the land on the east bank of the Euphrates is "Rojava" or somehow is the mandate of the Kurds to continue to control. For a long time, now, the mainly Arab population of that region have been chafing under what is actually Kurdish rule. This could be a a trigger for ISIS or some other jihadis to launch another insurgency, or at the least, low level attacks, especially in Rojava to the north.

To remind, the USG is not using military personnel, but also contracts, about 200 troops in one field and 400 contractors in the other.

There is video of the SAA escorting the Americans to the Iraqi border. PM Abdel Hadi has reiterated that the US cannot keep these troops in Iraq, as they go beyond the agreed upon number. It is quite likely that the anti-Iranian aspect of the border region is NOT something they wish to see.

"Iranian proxies" refers to Hezbollah, the various Shia militia groups from Pakistan and Afghanistan, and of course, others, not the SAA.

oldman22 , 24 October 2019 at 08:29 PM
The US is reportedly planning to deploy tanks and other heavy military hardware to protect oil fields in eastern Syria, in a reversal of Donald Trump's earlier order to withdraw all troops from the country. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/24/us-military-syria-tanks-oil-fields
turcopolier , 24 October 2019 at 09:46 PM
oldman22

He let them roll him, just like Obama and so many others. Just a different set of rollers.