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Color Revolutions Bulletin, 2015

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[Dec 27, 2017] Russian military to order major research to counter color revolutions

Jun 22, 2015 | rt.com

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has told reporters that the military will sponsor a major research of coups conducted through mass protest – so called 'color revolutions' – to prevent the situations that Russia faced in 1991 and 1993.

"Some people say that the military should not be involved in political processes, some say the direct opposite. We will order a study on the phenomenon of color revolutions and the military's role in their prevention,"

Shoigu told the participants of the Army-2015 political forum Friday.

"We have no right to allow the repetitions of the collapses of 1991 and 1993," he said. "How to do it is another story, but it is clear that we must deal with the situation. We must understand how to prevent this and how to teach the younger generation so that it supported the calm and gradual development of our country."

The minister added that the consequences of color revolutions can be now observed in many Arab nations and also in Serbia. He also said that the Ukrainian crisis that started in 2014 also was "a major tragedy in the row of color revolutions."

In March this year the head of Russia's Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev promised that this body would develop a detailed plan of action aimed at preventing color revolutions or any other attempts of forceful change of lawfully elected authorities through mass street protest. He also said that the Security Council had prepared a list of proposed measures that could negate the possible threat, including some steps against "network protest activities" and propaganda work against "romantic revolutionary stereotype."

Also in March, President Vladimir Putin addressed the dangers of color revolutions in his speech to the Interior Ministry.

"The extremists' actions become more complicated," he said. "We are facing attempts to use the so called 'color technologies' in organizing illegal street protests to open propaganda of hatred and strife on social networks."

In the same month, the Interior Ministry drafted a bill containing amendments to the law on rallies that covered car protests and sit-ins. The ministry experts said that the move would circumvent legal ambiguity in the interest of society as a whole.

In November, Putin blasted color revolutions as a main tool used by destructive forces in the geopolitical struggle.

"In the modern world, extremism is used as a geopolitical tool for redistribution of spheres of interest. We can see the tragic consequences of the wave of the so-called color revolutions, the shock experienced by people in the countries that went through the irresponsible experiments of hidden, or sometimes brute and direct interference with their lives,"

the Russian leader said.

In January, a group of Russian conservative activists, uniting war veterans, nationalist bikers and pro-Christian politicians launched an "anti-Maidan" political movement in Moscow to oppose any attempts to thwart the stable development of the country. Its first rallies were held on the same days as some anti-government protests and according to law enforcers the conservatives outnumbered the pro-revolution activists by almost 10-fold.

Read more

[Sep 21, 2016] There are still a lot of "handshakable" (created by kreacks for kreakls) mass media outlets in Russia despite cries of neoliberal MSM about absence of "free press" in Russia

"Handshakable" is Soviet dissidents times term meaning a person not too in bed with "despicable" regime. Now used mainly in satical sense with the meaning almost identical to kreakls" -- useless person with strong opinions about everything and very active on the Internet.
Lyttenburgh, July 21, 2015 at 2:39 am

I've found this little gem 2 days ago and I'm still… "overjoyed" by it.

Despite Manichean claims of the Free and Independent ™ Western Media that in Russia "there are no free press", that everything is controlled by Kremlin and Putin, and only [Radio] Ekho Moskvy, Novaya Gazeta [Newspaper] and Dozhd [TV] are the few remaining honest sources of truth and independent journalism ™, there are still a lot of "handshakable" outlets created for kreakls by kreakls.

In one such handshakeble paper, the "Snob" [well, at least they are honest with themselves and their readers] recently was published this interview with another extremely handshakable, ah, "person", who used to be the Chief Editor of the "KommmersantЪ" paper in it's [even more] handshakable heyday. This particular excerpt seems especially "meaty" (translation is mine):

Snob: And when do you think the era of the "rich cooperators'" of the 90s came to an end?

AV: I think it happened when they arrested Khodorkovsky. Then not only the era of cooperators came to an end, the society in this country was finished also.

Snob: Why is society so easily reconciled with this and it's own end?

AV: And because it could not be otherwise! Because there are no such country – Russia! This is a huge geopolitical mistake … I do not know whose, Lord God's or Darwin's. This country never existed, don't exist now and never will be. This country is bad.

Snob: Even if it is so bad, it does not mean that it doesn't exist.

AV: Well, fuck with it! Here's my answer. Fuck with it, that it exists! I wish it to be healthy! But this is not interesting for me. It is a cancer on the body of the world! What, should I fight with it? I'm not a professor Pirogov, I will not cut out this tumor, I just do not know how. Honestly, I don't know how.

Snob: What are the symptoms of this cancer?

AV: There are two evidences of this cancer. Never in my life Russia and its people had any other national ideas then "we are surrounded by enemies" and "Russia for the Russians!". With such two fundamental attributes there can't be country. This is just savagery. Can you give me somw other Russian national ideas?

Snob: Empire from sea to sea.

AV: This is just "We are surrounded by enemies" and "Russia for the Russians!" in other words. It's just combined in a beautiful word "empire". Nothing else! And with such fundamental principles country of course, some country might even exist, but who needs it? I do not! It is necessary to those inside.

Needless to say, Andrey Vasiliev now is a proud and free emigre.

So, after reading this little interview I got a proverbial train of thoughts going in my head at a top speed,finally arriving to it's destination. Now I can say that I "understand" (as in "understand what makes them tic") all of them – liberasts, Byelarussian zmagars, Ukrainian svidomites, pint-sized Baltic patriots, sausage emigrants forming Brighton Beach Bitching Brigade etc.

But that's the topic for another post

ThatJ, July 21, 2015 at 2:50 am

Does Andrey Vasiliev live in Brighton Beach now?

yalensis, July 21, 2015 at 3:24 am

No, Vasiliev lives in Geneva, Switzerland.

And, no, he is not Jewish, in case that's what you are trying to get at.

He is of Russian ethnicity.

yalensis, July 21, 2015 at 3:27 am

Dear Lyttenburgh:

Thanks for this find.

These Fifth Columnists are all the same, aren't they?

For them, the true litmus test was, and always has been, Khodorkovsky.

They longed for a world in which Khodorkovsky owned every single thing in Russia that wasn't nailed down; and everybody else, including these kreakls, just getting crumbs from his table.

But the kreakls receiving bigger crumbs, plus an honored place at the master's side.

Moscow Exile, July 21, 2015 at 3:35 am
I regularly ask Russians – ordinary work-a-day Russians, be they of the working or the professional classes – if they could imagine leaving Russia forever, if they could consider emigrating, never intending to return. They all say they couldn't. They say they'd like to travel, but they always feel they would want to come "home".

I have never yet met one Russian person who speaks as does Vasiliev, no one who says "I hate this place and my fellow countrymen so much: it's a shithole; it's a dump; it's full of morons etc., etc….", though I often hear them speaking loudly and clearly in that way from afar through the bullhorn of the Western mass media.

I ask my children regularly if they would like to live in England. I get a resounding "No!" off them. They speak English fluently now (except the youngest) and say they like visiting the place, that it's "cool" and, curiously enough, all their pals think it's "cool" that they are "half-English". My children do as well, not least because I suspect they can already sense the great advantage that their bilingualism has given them – but they categorically state they are Russian and that Russia is their Motherland, their rodina, the land that "bore" them, their "Mother Russia".

My wife is the same.

None of them are nationalistic, but they are very, very patriotic.

People such as Vasiliev are a small yet vociferous minority that, I suspect, suffers from some psychological aberration.

I am so glad that many of them leap at the first opportunity to fuck off away from here.

Pavlo Svolochenko, July 21, 2015 at 3:46 am
The type is not unique to Russia.

America has a whole university set aside for people who hate America. A sort of open-air loonybin.

Your Russian anti-patriots can be corralled and stowed out of sight in the same way, if you wish. Market it right, and they'll do it entirely of their own accord.

yalensis, July 21, 2015 at 3:55 am
Dear Pavlo: Which open-air university is that? Berkeley?? :)
Pavlo Svolochenko, July 21, 2015 at 4:11 am
Naturally.
Moscow Exile, July 21, 2015 at 4:19 am
Why is Berkeley "open-air"?
Pavlo Svolochenko, July 21, 2015 at 4:23 am
In that nothing prevents the inmates from escaping but fear of employment.
Moscow Exile , July 21, 2015 at 4:28 am
I should add that I know many who have chosen to leave Russia in search of fame and fortune, education, a better standard of living etc., but none of them left because they loathe the land and its people.

I also have over the years come across a few who have returned: some because, having achieved success, they preferred to live out the rest of their lives in their Mother Russia; others because they could not adapt to an alien culture ("No 'soul' in the USA!" I have often heard such folk say; and others simply because they were homesick.

Interestingly, and unbeknownst to me, my sister emailed my wife last week when I was in the UK and told her that I was clearly "homesick".

I was: for Russia and my wife and children

Home is where the heart is.

[Dec 29, 2015] What Really Caused the Implosion of the Occupy Movement -- An Insider's View

Notable quotes:
"... The author may be too young to know about it. A detailed study of FBI and other infiltrations into various movements through the 50s , 60s, 70s would repay the effort. ..."
"... Perhaps field guides should be written on how to "spot the agent", "spot the plant", "spot the disruptor" etc. ..."
"... "Homeless people make up a significant proportion of participants in the Occupy Movement in cities across the United States, from Los Angeles to Atlanta, where at times they comprise an estimated third of the occupiers… Despite stereotypical beliefs that homeless people are not interested in politics, the homeless actually have perhaps the least to lose and the most to gain from being involved in the Occupy Movement." ..."
"... "[The social composition of the movement is] quite varied. Occupy Oakland, for example, is perhaps 50% black and Latino, whereas occupations in other parts of the country may be mostly white. Some occupations are primarily very poor people, homeless people, etc., others include a lot of white-collar workers. Young 'précaires' [people whose work situation and future prospects are precarious] are certainly among the most numerous participants." ..."
"... Yes, there was a 17-city, coordinated paramilitary crackdown. All in one night. I watched and chronicled the live stream. ..."
"... For about a year I've wondered why NC could be so hard on Syriza while continuing to run that embarrassing Occupy banner at the top of the page. And you're fond of quoting Gandhi, (you lose, you lose, they give up, you win). But while you're losing you're getting beat up. And that's the problem with Americans generally; can't take a punch. Glass jaw. ..."
"... When leadership isn't willing to make that commitment there is no organization. And with no organization we're left with "going postal". Americans are much more adept at that. ..."
"... Unlike the situation in Europe, however, there appears to be little effort among the dispersed elements of the movement in the United States to achieve political power. The stronger effort here is to create a viable alternative to the current corrupt and destructive political/economic system, to step outside it and grow something else again. ..."
"... L'Échaudée: "Would you say that State repression (especially the unified and coordinated raids against the camps) was the main cause of Occupy's decline?" Ken Knabb: "Yes." ..."
"... Yes. And the violent attack on the encampments didn't just disperse the people. Cops destroyed food and food service supplies, shelter, electronic equipment, libraries, and medical and first-aid supplies, much of it likely donated by people not necessarily able to be part of an encampment. For some campers this was maybe most of what they had or, for the homeless and other marginalized people who came to the camps, more than they had. If we do build a movement, if bringing about real change will require people to strike, or boycott, or occupy vacant land or buildings, this kind of community support is crucial. We ought not discount (the "authorities" certainly didn't) the material and psychological impact of this destruction beyond just the local participants; and we need to find more sustainable, less vulnerable ways of providing community support. ..."
"... There is a difference between "color revolution" style events which promote neoliberalism and Occupy style events that oppose it. In case of color revolution style events the participants can rely on all the power of Western embassies, NGO, intelligence agencies and flow of money and equipment. Training of leaders would be provided, "revolutionaries for hire" will emerge, etc. ..."
"... Many of us Professional-Managerial Class (PMC) activists are hampered by having been told implicitly and explicitly for our entire education that we are the leaders of the world when we are at best lieutenants of the 1%. ..."
"... The sort of utopianism on display here is not only callow and tiresome (and precisely why Occupy failed), but also depressing. And if it reflects the level of understanding held by "activists" of the nature of the crisis we face, I am not heartened. ..."
"... I agree completely. This recap is self-absorbed, naive, and absurd - it reminds me in many ways of the business plan of a start-up that has no clear route to actually making money. It's impossible to imagine a movement of people who think like this accomplishing anything, because they have no model for the outcome they want; what they do have is a model for how they want themselves to be. ..."
"... "As a life-long member of the working class I find the suggestion that I need to be schooled in the ways of courageous resistance breathtakingly arrogant" ..."
"... Whatever else you may say about Lenin, his goals, his means, or his beliefs, he had a remarkably clear-eyed and unsentimental view of power and how one goes about getting it and how one goes about holding on to it. ..."
"... From my perspective the Leninist alternative dismisses any interest in a democratically self-organized society. In postulating a disciplined revolutionary party to act in the name of society he completed the final arc in a profoundly undemocratic political trajectory from which the traditional Left has not yet recovered. ..."
"... May be the traditional Left has not yet recovered , but traditional right fully adopted Lenin's methods and organization under color revolution banner. ..."
"... "Occupy" failed because it had no goal, and having no goal, it didn't know how to get there. See: http://goo.gl/m6qmGn ..."
"... It goes on and on, protest after protest. Anti-racial profiling. Anti-union busting. Anti-tuition increases. Anti-school closings. Anti-mortgage fraud. Anti-unsustainable development. Anti-corruption. Anti-this, anti-that, anti-the other thing. ..."
"... For reasons unknown, the Occupy movement seems to take a perverse pride in being leaderless and directionless, preferring to run hither and yon, protesting whatever strikes their fancy. No focus. No plan. No idea. Just protest. ..."
"... The Tea Party has a simple, easily understood focus: Lower taxes. What is Occupy's simple, easily understood focus? ..."
"... The public grows weary of ineffectual, random, aimless protests, and Occupy, which began with such great promise, becomes last week's newspaper. A lost opportunity is a step backward, as people become discouraged and slide into lethargy. ..."
"... Somewhere, in board rooms around the world, the 1% is laughing. ..."
"... Do nothing? I'd be curious to hear what you mean on that. It took incredibly coordinated state action to defuse Occupy, not public weariness. ..."
"... It's unfortunate Occupy was not able to organize in a way to neutralize such action, but at the very least, it pulled back the curtain on the police state specifically and the power of government more generally in a way no one can deny moving forward. That's the spark of hope from the various events of the last few years. The elites want us to believe they are all powerful. But it is actually taking them quite a bit of effort to maintain that illusion. In reality, they are strategically weak and vulnerable. And they know it. ..."
"... Which is why the Democratic party has had to become so blatantly pro-inequality. Even a modest opposition to fascism on their part would ruin the efforts of the past few decades. ..."
Dec 28, 2015 | naked capitalism

Will, December 28, 2015 at 12:06 pm

Leaderlessness is very different than having many leaders. The strongest movements have many leaders that each know/feel when/how to lead and follow and cooperate in turn. Many powerful people, powerful enough to know that power does not mean dominating others in the movement. Such a movement will be much harder to stop than a leaderless one, where the FBI can easily insert its own leaders and derail the whole thing.

The author doesn't address it, but I wouldn't be surprised if many of those emotional bullies he describes were gov't plants. Building a movement full of physically and emotionally powerful people is how to combat such tactics.

different clue, December 28, 2015 at 3:10 pm

The author may be too young to know about it. A detailed study of FBI and other infiltrationism into various movements through the 50s , 60s, 70s would repay the effort.

Perhaps field guides should be written on how to "spot the agent", "spot the plant", "spot the disruptor" etc.

nobody, December 28, 2015 at 10:04 am

Anybody who says, of Occupy, that "everyone went home," doesn't know what the fuck they are talking about.

cf:

"Homeless people make up a significant proportion of participants in the Occupy Movement in cities across the United States, from Los Angeles to Atlanta, where at times they comprise an estimated third of the occupiers… Despite stereotypical beliefs that homeless people are not interested in politics, the homeless actually have perhaps the least to lose and the most to gain from being involved in the Occupy Movement."

(Matthew Charles Cardinale, "U.S.: Homeless Play Key Role in Occupy Movement," from December, 2011.)

**

"[The social composition of the movement is] quite varied. Occupy Oakland, for example, is perhaps 50% black and Latino, whereas occupations in other parts of the country may be mostly white. Some occupations are primarily very poor people, homeless people, etc., others include a lot of white-collar workers. Young 'précaires' [people whose work situation and future prospects are precarious] are certainly among the most numerous participants."

(Ken Knabb, "The Occupy Movement at Its Peak, November 10, 2011)

Yves Smith, December 28, 2015 at 1:45 pm

Yes, there was a 17-city, coordinated paramilitary crackdown. All in one night. I watched and chronicled the live stream.

Occupy had very much depended on "place" as in the actual occupations. They had a great deal of difficult regrouping after that.

In NYC some group continue to do good work, most notably Occupy the SEC and Alternative Banking. Occupy Sandy was VERY important, and some of the many Occupy Homes groups were effective but not give much credit or even notice in the media.


MarcoPolo, December 28, 2015 at 9:48 am

For about a year I've wondered why NC could be so hard on Syriza while continuing to run that embarrassing Occupy banner at the top of the page. And you're fond of quoting Gandhi, (you lose, you lose, they give up, you win). But while you're losing you're getting beat up. And that's the problem with Americans generally; can't take a punch. Glass jaw.

Jesse published a quote from Fredrick Douglas a couple of weeks ago. I can't find it now. But it speaks to that; the commitment and preparation necessary to take the kind of punishment you must. When leadership isn't willing to make that commitment there is no organization. And with no organization we're left with "going postal". Americans are much more adept at that.

Consider this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6YNlI8T4RE

Ché Pasa

Credit Yotam Marom and Alternet where this piece was posted on 23 Dec 15.

Ché Pasa, December 28, 2015 at 10:14 am

Interesting that I didn't see any recognition that Podemos has won electoral victory in Spain (May have missed it, long article and all). Podemos grew directly out of the Indignato movement which was a precursor and model for the Occupy movement in the US and latterly around the world.

Whether Podemos will go the way of Syriza and basically become the leftish face of neo-fascism and colonialism remains to be seen. They say they learned from the Greek tragedy and they won't make the same mistakes Syriza did, but power does strange things to its holders and implementers.

The occupied squares were cleared by police in Madrid and the rest of Spain, sometimes over and over again and with as much violence as the police displayed in the United States and elsewhere, but the movement did not die in Spain. It dispersed and in dispersion, it built a politically potent element that now has control of the Spanish government - at least in theory. We'll see what happens when "reality" sets in.

The movement was not destroyed, it was dispersed in the US as well. Hundreds of localized programs and projects grew out of the dispersal of the Occupy movement, many of which continue and grow. The dispersal of the movement was akin to the broadcast of seeds over fields.

Unlike the situation in Europe, however, there appears to be little effort among the dispersed elements of the movement in the United States to achieve political power. The stronger effort here is to create a viable alternative to the current corrupt and destructive political/economic system, to step outside it and grow something else again.

That's more in tune with the anarchist roots of the movement than trying to obtain control of government.

nobody

The secret truth is that Occupy Wall Street was supposed to work. And this is how it was supposed to work:

"A worldwide shift in revolutionary tactics is underway right now that bodes well for the future… The beauty of this new formula, and what makes this novel tactic exciting, is its pragmatic simplicity: we talk to each other in various physical gatherings and virtual people's assemblies … we zero in on what our one demand will be, a demand that awakens the imagination and, if achieved, would propel us toward the radical democracy of the future … and then we go out and seize a square of singular symbolic significance and put our asses on the line to make it happen.

"The time has come to deploy this emerging stratagem against the greatest corrupter of our democracy: Wall Street, the financial Gomorrah of America.

"On September 17, we want to see 20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months. Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices.

"Tahrir succeeded in large part because the people of Egypt made a straightforward ultimatum – that Mubarak must go – over and over again until they won. Following this model, what is our equally uncomplicated demand?… something all Americans, right and left, yearn for and can stand behind."

And what happened to that idea? David Graeber and his friends derailed it:

"Two days later, at the Outreach meeting we were brainstorming what to put on our first flyer. Adbusters' idea had been that we focus on "one key demand." [sic] This was a brilliant idea from a marketing perspective, but from an organizing perspective, it made no sense at all. We put that one aside almost immediately. There were much more fundamental questions to be hashed out. Like: who were we? Who did want to appeal to? Who did we represent?"

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/10/david-graeber-on-playing-by-the-rules-%E2%80%93-the-strange-success-of-occupy-wall-street.html

nobody

Yotam Marom: "But the truth is, it wasn't the state…"

**

L'Échaudée: "Would you say that State repression (especially the unified and coordinated raids against the camps) was the main cause of Occupy's decline?"

Ken Knabb: "Yes."

http://www.bopsecrets.org/recent/occupy-looking-back.htm

marym

Yes. And the violent attack on the encampments didn't just disperse the people. Cops destroyed food and food service supplies, shelter, electronic equipment, libraries, and medical and first-aid supplies, much of it likely donated by people not necessarily able to be part of an encampment. For some campers this was maybe most of what they had or, for the homeless and other marginalized people who came to the camps, more than they had. If we do build a movement, if bringing about real change will require people to strike, or boycott, or occupy vacant land or buildings, this kind of community support is crucial. We ought not discount (the "authorities" certainly didn't) the material and psychological impact of this destruction beyond just the local participants; and we need to find more sustainable, less vulnerable ways of providing community support.

different clue, December 28, 2015 at 2:54 pm

Weren't the very first few days of Occupy Wall Street conducted by semi-spontaneous contemporary young people in part responding to a slogan written and a call issued by Kalle Lasn of Adbusters Magazine ( "Occupy Wall Street") called-for to happen on a particular day? This is just sketchy memory to be sure. And it became worth much more than one day's involvement.

But after the very first few days, I read somewhere that David Graeber and other older-generation holdover-anarchist-nostalgiasts crashed the movement and infiltrated the leadership and degraded it into a live-action display of "this is what Anarchism looks like". If that is part of the problem of what happened, then younger people will have to analyse that very carefully and if they have another upsurge, they will have to rigidly exclude and reject any David Graberoid self-actualizing/validation-seeking aging Anarchist Nostalgiasts from any contact whatsoever from a genuine upsurge-of-the-young movement.

They might also do some careful thinking about what they actually DO want, and WHY they want it . . . in actionable specificity.

Jim

So what is the lesson from this type of response by the national security state?

It may be worthwhile to take a more careful look at successful occupation strikes.

For example, Solidarity in Poland, after 30 years of average citizen political defeats, managed, through a carefully thought-out and premeditated assertion of power to occupy the Lenin Shipyard, in August of 1980, and to also create an interfactory strike committee which at the beginning consisted of 20 supporting enterprises that insured lateral lines of communication between the occupying sites within the entire Baltic coastal region–in order to ultimately accomplish was was thought of as impossible–the achievement of a self-governing trade union independent of the party state.

When the strike was initially announced at the Lenin Shipyard Walesa said the following:

"I declare an occupation strike. I have been given the trust of the workers. We are occupying the shipyard. We aren't going anywhere until we're sure we've gotten what we wanted. We're staying. This is an occupation strike. I'll be the last one to leave."

They had a single strategic goal with some 20 additional demands backed by a self-created institutional structure (with significant leverage) that was able to protect its citizens and leadership within the shipyard from the State during the time of occupation.

Serious politics with extremely high stakes that managed, for a time, to shift the balance of power, within Poland–and people who participated in this success talked about how their personal fear, in the process of this democratic assertion of power, began to dissipate.

likbez

There is a difference between "color revolution" style events which promote neoliberalism and Occupy style events that oppose it. In case of color revolution style events the participants can rely on all the power of Western embassies, NGO, intelligence agencies and flow of money and equipment. Training of leaders would be provided, "revolutionaries for hire" will emerge, etc.

Occupy was against the most powerful state in the world without any substantial external support.

See

ElViejito December 28, 2015 at 12:40 pm
I would distill my history of activism since the 60's by claiming that the new society will grow within the cracks of the old. I turned from working on "the revolution" a long time ago and now focus on small, achievable projects that have a potential for lasting and making a difference – a progressive forum that brings in speakers to a monthly potluck, a progressive film festival that encourages wide-ranging political discussion, a small think tank consisting of volunteers researching local issues (tax increment financing, anyone?).

Many of us Professional-Managerial Class (PMC) activists are hampered by having been told implicitly and explicitly for our entire education that we are the leaders of the world when we are at best lieutenants of the 1%. For dealing with the rest of the (non-PMC) world, I recommend the strategy suggested by Lois Mark Stalvey in The Education of a WASP: (Loosely quoting from memory) Go to meetings run by minorities (or non PMC-types), do not take over the meeting or offer advice – just be there and help with whatever project they are working on; develop relationships.

Experience being the minority. Later, when you have become accepted as a member of the group, only make suggestions and proposals that promote progressive values and build on the group's already existing values. Always be respectful of the group and its members. This is the best training for dealing with the world and building connected centers of resistance.

GlobalMisanthrope, December 28, 2015 at 12:48 pm

Sorry everybody, but I'm going to go against the grain here. Putting to one side the intolerably wise-whimsical tone, I read this piece as hagiography posing as critique. (It's mortifying to read, especially the struggle as raison d'être trope where he's totally cribbing and doesn't even seem to know it, even though this has been put forth as recently as this year to much fanfare and criticism by Ta-Nehisi Coates. No, he thinks he made it up. Yikes!)

Human history is disheveled, spasmodic attempts by those of us who would really rather get on with our lives to stop the ruthless from making that impossible. This battle rages and recedes over and over, sometimes for centuries. Just look how the revolutions of Christianity and capitalism completely reshaped the world and in both cases for good and for bad. Good grief, son. Read a book.

What's more, if you need Gestalt therapy to evoke fear in your heart, then you either aren't paying attention or are on the safe side of the fray. The rest of us are daily made aware that power and powerlessness are not cosmetic and that those are the forces that shape our lives while we try to live in them as best we can. And yet we find the courage to smile at our children. As a life-long member of the working class I find the suggestion that I need to be schooled in the ways of courageous resistance breathtakingly arrogant. I am not charmed.

The sort of utopianism on display here is not only callow and tiresome (and precisely why Occupy failed), but also depressing. And if it reflects the level of understanding held by "activists" of the nature of the crisis we face, I am not heartened.

SRL, December 28, 2015 at 12:59 pm

I agree. Although I supported Occupy, it really had nothing to teach me.

Nick, December 28, 2015 at 3:40 pm

I agree completely. This recap is self-absorbed, naive, and absurd - it reminds me in many ways of the business plan of a start-up that has no clear route to actually making money. It's impossible to imagine a movement of people who think like this accomplishing anything, because they have no model for the outcome they want; what they do have is a model for how they want themselves to be. Naturally, it turns out after a while that they all have different models for how they want themselves to be, and then it breaks up like an unstable bunch of polyamorists who can't stand the constant negotiating anymore.

I'm trying to imagine a leader of the civil rights movement writing a post-mortem like this, and simply can't.

animalogic, December 28, 2015 at 6:59 pm

Thank you, GlobalMisanthrope, I agree.

Credit where due, the author has reached out for some knowledge of both self and circumstances, however, that knowledge is symptomatic of someone lost in the the land of PC idealism.

Frankly, the "bad conscience" is alive and well in these ones. Callow indeed. In the face of one of the most vicious oligarchies in history, these amateurs fret and fight over the simple VALIDITY of leadership.

Perhaps, I should not be unfair: after all, how could people cultivated lifelong in the playroom of PC/Identity politics ever gain the knowledge, let alone the INSTINCTS. sufficient to fight our oligarchs ?

Indeed, PC/identity politics has been one of the oligarchs greatest assets over the last few decades:

1. PC etc has usefully SPLIT workers etc into descrete, often contradictory, even isolated, movements. Divide and conquer politics.

2. PC etc has DISTRACTED effort away from core economic issues onto social/cultural ones, which have little to no real bearing on their wealth/power. Or does anyone really believe that the real elites give a SHIT whether (say) gay people marry or not ?

3. PC etc has given them a wonderful stick with which conservatives can beat their "liberal" enemies. Can we not admit that PC often slips over into the ludicrous ?

4. And, in some ways best of all, PC encourages a fearful self censoring citizenry. Indeed, the author is a perfect example of a guilt ridden, confused, trivial modern citizen…really, anything to fear there ? Lol.

Roll on the crypto (?)fascist state….

Ulysses , December 28, 2015 at 10:39 pm

"As a life-long member of the working class I find the suggestion that I need to be schooled in the ways of courageous resistance breathtakingly arrogant"

Well said!

sid_finster, December 28, 2015 at 4:53 pm

Y'all really really need to study the works of V.I. Lenin.

Whatever else you may say about Lenin, his goals, his means, or his beliefs, he had a remarkably clear-eyed and unsentimental view of power and how one goes about getting it and how one goes about holding on to it.

Jim, December 28, 2015 at 6:40 pm

Sid,

From my perspective the Leninist alternative dismisses any interest in a democratically self-organized society. In postulating a disciplined revolutionary party to act in the name of society he completed the final arc in a profoundly undemocratic political trajectory from which the traditional Left has not yet recovered.

likbez,

"In postulating a disciplined revolutionary party to act in the name of society he completed the final arc in a profoundly undemocratic political trajectory from which the traditional Left has not yet recovered."

May be "the traditional Left has not yet recovered", but traditional right fully adopted Lenin's methods and organization under "color revolution" banner.

sandra, December 29, 2015 at 12:37 am

We came out of the sixties with the idea that those people who pushed political and anti-war meetings into internal conflict that was intolerable to sit through were often undercover government agents. Sorry, it has happened and has been documented from the sixties and into the present. If it is a natural phenomenon that political movements move though that stage of participants attacking each other to the detriment of everyone, it is something that calls out for recognition as an historical phenomenon that is repeated, and that wider perspective is necessary somewhere in your analysis. The occupy movement may have been short-lived and crushed by the power of the state. But it was successful in my experience beyond our imaginings.

Your movement redefined everything that happened afterward. It is absolutely accepted that we live in an oligarchy, that wall street has destroyed the economy, that the banks are corrupt and the government is in their orbit. Your visceral reactions to the corruption that surrounds us made a profound mark upon the country's understanding of itself. Do not underestimate that. The thinking about what to do next had not yet evolved.

The corrupt capitalists are still in power and still control the major media, but they have lost the country. Sorry but there is no constituency there anymore to support their views. They must lie to us and trick us, as those in power have done. They must skew the elections. The path ahead was not clear to you or to us when your dramatic movement sprang up. And it is not clear now that we know these truths. We know how far away the power structure is from our values. And that is where we stand.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

"Occupy" failed because it had no goal, and having no goal, it didn't know how to get there. See: http://goo.gl/m6qmGn

Here is a quote from the above June 2012 article:

It goes on and on, protest after protest. Anti-racial profiling. Anti-union busting. Anti-tuition increases. Anti-school closings. Anti-mortgage fraud. Anti-unsustainable development. Anti-corruption. Anti-this, anti-that, anti-the other thing.

For reasons unknown, the Occupy movement seems to take a perverse pride in being leaderless and directionless, preferring to run hither and yon, protesting whatever strikes their fancy. No focus. No plan. No idea. Just protest.

The Tea Party has a simple, easily understood focus: Lower taxes. What is Occupy's simple, easily understood focus?

The business and political leaders, against whom Occupy protests, have learned one thing: Do nothing. Occupy will protest and then they will be gone, and we can resume business as usual.

The public grows weary of ineffectual, random, aimless protests, and Occupy, which began with such great promise, becomes last week's newspaper. A lost opportunity is a step backward, as people become discouraged and slide into lethargy.

Somewhere, in board rooms around the world, the 1% is laughing.

washunate, December 29, 2015 at 10:11 am

Do nothing? I'd be curious to hear what you mean on that. It took incredibly coordinated state action to defuse Occupy, not public weariness.

It's unfortunate Occupy was not able to organize in a way to neutralize such action, but at the very least, it pulled back the curtain on the police state specifically and the power of government more generally in a way no one can deny moving forward. That's the spark of hope from the various events of the last few years. The elites want us to believe they are all powerful. But it is actually taking them quite a bit of effort to maintain that illusion. In reality, they are strategically weak and vulnerable. And they know it.

Which is why the Democratic party has had to become so blatantly pro-inequality. Even a modest opposition to fascism on their part would ruin the efforts of the past few decades.

[Dec 24, 2015] Obama s foreign policy goals get a boost from plunging oil prices

Notable quotes:
"... At a time of tension for U.S. international relations, cheap oil has dovetailed with some of the Obama administration's foreign policy goals: pressuring Russian President Vladimir Putin, undermining the popularity of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and tempering the prospects for Iranian oil revenue. At the same time, it is pouring cash into the hands of consumers, boosting tepid economic recoveries in Europe, Japan and the United States. ..."
The Washington Post

Plunging crude oil prices are diverting hundreds of billions of dollars away from the treasure chests of oil-exporting nations, putting some of the United States' adversaries under greater stress.

After two years of falling prices, the effects have reverberated across the globe, fueling economic discontent in Venezuela, changing Russia's economic and political calculations, and dampening Iranian leaders' hopes of a financial windfall when sanctions linked to its nuclear program will be lifted next year.

At a time of tension for U.S. international relations, cheap oil has dovetailed with some of the Obama administration's foreign policy goals: pressuring Russian President Vladimir Putin, undermining the popularity of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and tempering the prospects for Iranian oil revenue. At the same time, it is pouring cash into the hands of consumers, boosting tepid economic recoveries in Europe, Japan and the United States.

"Cheap oil hurts revenues for some of our foes and helps some of our friends. The Europeans, South Koreans and Japanese - they're all winners," said Robert McNally, director for energy in President George W. Bush's National Security Council and now head of the Rapidan Group, a consulting firm. "It's not good for Russia, that's for sure, and it's not good for Iran."

... ... ...

In Iran, cheap oil is forcing the government to ratchet down expectations.

The much-anticipated lifting of sanctions as a result of the deal to limit Iran's nuclear program is expected to result in an additional half-million barrels a day of oil exports by the middle of 2016.

But at current prices, Iran's income from those sales will still fall short of revenue earned from constrained oil exports a year ago.

Moreover, low prices are making it difficult for Iran to persuade international oil companies to develop Iran's long-neglected oil and gas fields, which have been off limits since sanctions were broadened in 2012.

"Should Iran come out of sanctions, they will face a very different market than the one they had left in 2012," Amos Hochstein, the State Department's special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs, said in an interview. "They were forced to recede in a world of over $100 oil, and sanctions will be lifted at $36 oil. They will have to work harder to convince companies to come in and take the risk for supporting their energy infrastructure and their energy production."

Meanwhile, in Russia, low oil prices have compounded damage done by U.S. and European sanctions that were designed to target Russia's energy and financial sectors. And when Iran increases output, its grade of crude oil will most likely go to Europe, where it will compete directly with Russia's Urals oil, McNally said.

Steven Mufson covers the White House. Since joining The Post, he has covered economics, China, foreign policy and energy.

[Dec 24, 2015] Obama's foreign policy goals get a boost from plunging oil prices

Notable quotes:
"... At a time of tension for U.S. international relations, cheap oil has dovetailed with some of the Obama administration's foreign policy goals: pressuring Russian President Vladimir Putin, undermining the popularity of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and tempering the prospects for Iranian oil revenue. At the same time, it is pouring cash into the hands of consumers, boosting tepid economic recoveries in Europe, Japan and the United States. ..."
The Washington Post

Plunging crude oil prices are diverting hundreds of billions of dollars away from the treasure chests of oil-exporting nations, putting some of the United States' adversaries under greater stress.

After two years of falling prices, the effects have reverberated across the globe, fueling economic discontent in Venezuela, changing Russia's economic and political calculations, and dampening Iranian leaders' hopes of a financial windfall when sanctions linked to its nuclear program will be lifted next year.

At a time of tension for U.S. international relations, cheap oil has dovetailed with some of the Obama administration's foreign policy goals: pressuring Russian President Vladimir Putin, undermining the popularity of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and tempering the prospects for Iranian oil revenue. At the same time, it is pouring cash into the hands of consumers, boosting tepid economic recoveries in Europe, Japan and the United States.

"Cheap oil hurts revenues for some of our foes and helps some of our friends. The Europeans, South Koreans and Japanese - they're all winners," said Robert McNally, director for energy in President George W. Bush's National Security Council and now head of the Rapidan Group, a consulting firm. "It's not good for Russia, that's for sure, and it's not good for Iran."

... ... ...

In Iran, cheap oil is forcing the government to ratchet down expectations.

The much-anticipated lifting of sanctions as a result of the deal to limit Iran's nuclear program is expected to result in an additional half-million barrels a day of oil exports by the middle of 2016.

But at current prices, Iran's income from those sales will still fall short of revenue earned from constrained oil exports a year ago.

Moreover, low prices are making it difficult for Iran to persuade international oil companies to develop Iran's long-neglected oil and gas fields, which have been off limits since sanctions were broadened in 2012.

"Should Iran come out of sanctions, they will face a very different market than the one they had left in 2012," Amos Hochstein, the State Department's special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs, said in an interview. "They were forced to recede in a world of over $100 oil, and sanctions will be lifted at $36 oil. They will have to work harder to convince companies to come in and take the risk for supporting their energy infrastructure and their energy production."

Meanwhile, in Russia, low oil prices have compounded damage done by U.S. and European sanctions that were designed to target Russia's energy and financial sectors. And when Iran increases output, its grade of crude oil will most likely go to Europe, where it will compete directly with Russia's Urals oil, McNally said.

Steven Mufson covers the White House. Since joining The Post, he has covered economics, China, foreign policy and energy.

[Dec 23, 2015] The antipathy the Russian kreakly bear toward Matthew Lee

Notable quotes:
"... the antipathy the Russian kreakly ..."
"... the Russian intelligentsia ..."
marknesop.wordpress.com
Moscow Exile, December 20, 2015 at 3:09 am
Russian "oppositionist" tweets – don't you just love 'em?

Colonel Matt Lee receiving instructions from his superiors

No doubt the person who posted the above tweet thinks Psaki, Harf, Trudeau, Rear-Admiral Kirby et al. have all been unfairly tested by this Russian FSB colonel Matt Lee and he should not have been allowed to take part in the Dept. of State press briefings because he is an agent of the Dark Lord, whilst the above mentioned Dept. of State spokespersons are all on the side of righteousness.

marknesop , December 20, 2015 at 11:38 am
I do love them, actually. For anyone who is not stupid, the antipathy the Russian kreakly bear toward Matthew Lee and anyone like him who questions the pat and Manichean State Department narrative bespeaks an admiration for the way the United States government operates. Quite apart for an unhealthy devotion to 'Murkan nationalism and a clear belief that when America seizes something, it should be grateful because it is a compliment if America wants it, it is a preview of how they would govern if they had power. Russia's 'intellectuals' are great admirers of the disinformation and manipulation of the public consciousness with which the State Department gets about its daily work.

It is noteworthy that Matt Lee has never at any time expressed any gratuitous admiration for Russia or Putin or the way Russia conducts global affairs. He merely questions the State Department when its lies get too big or when it purports something as incontestable fact which it has gleaned from social media and Syrian activists. But the Russian intelligentsia view him as an impediment to a unipolar world ruled by America The Great And Good.

[Dec 23, 2015] Sensational government session in a European country. A historic precedent

You probably need to read the whole transcribed dialog to understand that the current situation in Ukrainian government. Here are just small except.
southfront.org

AVAKOV: You said that the cabinet of ministers itself was heading the corruption

SAAKASHVILI: …what do you mean I'm softer? Yes, your Martinenko is a criminal

... ... ...

00:46 AVAKOV: Then get the damn out of here if you don't give a damn

00:48 Poroshenko: Arsen Borisovich, I'm…

00:50 SAAKASHVILI: I'm calling you to politeness

00:53 AVAKOV: Shut up

... ... ...

1:13 AVAKOV: Shut up, you corrupt governor

... ... ....

1:39 AVAKOV: When we are speaking about the whole list of things that have been said

1:42 AVAKOV: Of course privatization

1:44 AVAKOV: Of course a total privatization

1:46 AVAKOV: including OPZ [Odessa Port Plant]

... ... ...

2:32 SAAKASHVILI: And I'm not going… not going to tolerate some corrupt minister

2:36 SAAKASHVILI: who, the entire country knows he's a thief

... ... ...

2:46 AVAKOV: I need to punch him or something?

2:47 POROSHENKO: I'm… I'm adjourning the meeting

2:51 AVAKOV: F4cking faggot!

2:52 POROSHENKO: Arsen… AVAKOV: Damn bastard!

2:55 SAAKASHVILI: Thief!

2:57 AVAKOV: Yes, a thief [irony]

2:58 SAAKASHVILI: So, you will be in a jail, or just because you are…

3:01 AVAKOV: Piss off!

3:02 SAAKASHVILI: We are going to restore the country and you'll be in a jail

... ... ...

OneFrame
This is incredible that that the functioning of the state cabinet behaves like this. Incredible the results the US delivers to the world. Very sad. I feel for the people of Ukraine and their suffering. This would not be happening if the coup had not happened. Sakashvilli is a wanted man in his own country and should not be in Ukraine. He should have been sent back to Georgia to face the charges. Unbelievable.

aprescoup

Afghanistan a basket case; Iraq a basket case; Libya a basket full of jihadi terrorists; Syria, if not for the Russian aid, would be ISIS central and a basket case, and then this example of American values playing out in the basket case of Ukraine...

WTF?!

[Dec 23, 2015] The antipathy the Russian kreakly bear toward Matthew Lee

Notable quotes:
"... the antipathy the Russian kreakly ..."
"... the Russian intelligentsia ..."
marknesop.wordpress.com
Moscow Exile, December 20, 2015 at 3:09 am
Russian "oppositionist" tweets – don't you just love 'em?

Colonel Matt Lee receiving instructions from his superiors

No doubt the person who posted the above tweet thinks Psaki, Harf, Trudeau, Rear-Admiral Kirby et al. have all been unfairly tested by this Russian FSB colonel Matt Lee and he should not have been allowed to take part in the Dept. of State press briefings because he is an agent of the Dark Lord, whilst the above mentioned Dept. of State spokespersons are all on the side of righteousness.

marknesop , December 20, 2015 at 11:38 am
I do love them, actually. For anyone who is not stupid, the antipathy the Russian kreakly bear toward Matthew Lee and anyone like him who questions the pat and Manichean State Department narrative bespeaks an admiration for the way the United States government operates. Quite apart for an unhealthy devotion to 'Murkan nationalism and a clear belief that when America seizes something, it should be grateful because it is a compliment if America wants it, it is a preview of how they would govern if they had power. Russia's 'intellectuals' are great admirers of the disinformation and manipulation of the public consciousness with which the State Department gets about its daily work.

It is noteworthy that Matt Lee has never at any time expressed any gratuitous admiration for Russia or Putin or the way Russia conducts global affairs. He merely questions the State Department when its lies get too big or when it purports something as incontestable fact which it has gleaned from social media and Syrian activists. But the Russian intelligentsia view him as an impediment to a unipolar world ruled by America The Great And Good.

[Dec 23, 2015] The Neocons - Masters of Chaos

Notable quotes:
"... It's now clear that if Obama had ordered a major bombing campaign against Assad's military in early September 2013, he might have opened the gates of Damascus to a hellish victory by al-Qaeda-affiliated extremists or the even more brutal Islamic State, since these terrorist groups have emerged as the only effective fighters against Assad. ..."
"... By late September 2013, the disappointed neocons were acting out their anger by taking aim at Putin. They recognized that a particular vulnerability for the Russian president was Ukraine and the possibility that it could be pulled out of Russia's sphere of influence and into the West's orbit. ..."
"... But Gershman added that Ukraine was really only an interim step to an even bigger prize, the removal of the strong-willed and independent-minded Putin, who, Gershman added, "may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad [i.e. Ukraine] but within Russia itself." In other words, the new neocon hope was for "regime change" in Kiev and Moscow. [See Consortiumnews.com's " Neocons' Ukraine/Syria/Iran Gambit. "] ..."
"... Putin also had sidetracked that possible war with Iran by helping to forge an interim agreement constraining but not eliminating Iran's nuclear program. So, he became the latest target of neocon demonization, a process in which the New York Times and the Washington Post eagerly took the lead. ..."
"... As the political violence in Kiev escalated – with the uprising's muscle supplied by neo-Nazi militias from western Ukraine – neocons within the Obama administration discussed how to "midwife" a coup against Yanukovych. Central to this planning was Victoria Nuland, who had been promoted to assistant secretary of state for European affairs and was urging on the protesters, even passing out cookies to protesters at Kiev's Maidan square. ..."
"... When the coup went down on Feb. 22 – spearheaded by neo-Nazi militias who seized government buildings and forced Yanukovych and his officials to flee for their lives – the U.S. State Department quickly deemed the new regime "legitimate" and the mainstream U.S. media dutifully stepped up the demonization of Yanukovych and Putin. ..."
"... Although Putin's position had been in support of Ukraine's status quo – i.e., retaining the elected president and the country's constitutional process – the crisis was pitched to the American people as a case of "Russian aggression" with dire comparisons made between Putin and Hitler, especially after ethnic Russians in the east and south resisted the coup regime in Kiev and Crimea seceded to rejoin Russia. ..."
"... Pressured by the Obama administration, the EU agreed to sanction Russia for its "aggression," touching off a tit-for-tat trade war with Moscow which reduced Europe's sale of farming and manufacturing goods to Russia and threatened to disrupt Russia's natural gas supplies to Europe. ..."
"... While the most serious consequences were to Ukraine's economy which went into freefall because of the civil war, some of Europe's most endangered economies in the south also were hit hard by the lost trade with Russia. Europe began to stagger toward the third dip in a triple-dip recession with European markets experiencing major stock sell-offs. ..."
Oct 17, 2014 | consortiumnews.com

If you're nervously watching the stock market gyrations and worrying about your declining portfolio or pension fund, part of the blame should go to America's neocons who continue to be masters of chaos, endangering the world's economy by instigating geopolitical confrontations in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Of course, there are other factors pushing Europe's economy to the brink of a triple-dip recession and threatening to stop America's fragile recovery, too. But the neocons' "regime change" strategies, which have unleashed violence and confrontations across Iraq, Syria, Libya, Iran and most recently Ukraine, have added to the economic uncertainty.

This neocon destabilization of the world economy began with the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 under President George W. Bush who squandered some $1 trillion on the bloody folly. But the neocons' strategies have continued through their still-pervasive influence in Official Washington during President Barack Obama's administration.

The neocons and their "liberal interventionist" junior partners have kept the "regime change" pot boiling with the Western-orchestrated overthrow and killing of Libya's Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the proxy civil war in Syria to oust Bashar al-Assad, the costly economic embargoes against Iran, and the U.S.-backed coup that ousted Ukraine's elected President Viktor Yanukovych last February.

All these targeted governments were first ostracized by the neocons and the major U.S. news organizations, such as the Washington Post and the New York Times, which have become what amounts to neocon mouthpieces. Whenever the neocons decide that it's time for another "regime change," the mainstream U.S. media enlists in the propaganda wars.

The consequence of this cascading disorder has been damaging and cumulative. The costs of the Iraq War strapped the U.S. Treasury and left less government maneuvering room when Wall Street crashed in 2008. If Bush still had the surplus that he inherited from President Bill Clinton – rather than a yawning deficit – there might have been enough public money to stimulate a much-faster recovery.

President Obama also wouldn't have been left to cope with the living hell that the U.S. occupation brought to the people of Iraq, violent chaos that gave birth to what was then called "Al-Qaeda in Iraq" and has since rebranded itself "the Islamic State."

But Obama didn't do himself (or the world) any favors when he put much of his foreign policy in the hands of Democratic neocon-lites, such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Bush holdovers, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. David Petraeus. At State, Clinton promoted the likes of neocon Victoria Nuland, the wife of arch-neocon Robert Kagan, and Obama brought in "liberal interventionists" like Samantha Power, now the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

In recent years, the neocons and "liberal interventionists" have become almost indistinguishable, so much so that Robert Kagan has opted to discard the discredited neocon label and call himself a "liberal interventionist." [See Consortiumnews.com's "Obama's True Foreign Policy 'Weakness.'"]

Manipulating Obama

Obama, in his nearly six years as president, also has shied away from imposing his more "realistic" views about world affairs on the neocon/liberal-interventionist ideologues inside the U.S. pundit class and his own administration. He has been outmaneuvered by clever insiders (as happened in 2009 on the Afghan "surge") or overwhelmed by some Official Washington "group think" (as was the case in Libya, Syria, Iran and Ukraine).

Once all the "smart people" reach some collective decision that a foreign leader "must go," Obama usually joins the chorus and has shown only rare moments of toughness in standing up to misguided conventional wisdoms.

The one notable case was his decision in summer 2013 to resist pressure to destroy Syria's military after a Sarin gas attack outside Damascus sparked a dubious rush to judgment blaming Assad's regime. Since then, more evidence has pointed to a provocation by anti-Assad extremists who may have thought that the incident would draw in the U.S. military on their side. [See Consortiumnews.com's "Was Turkey Behind Syrian Sarin Attack?"]

It's now clear that if Obama had ordered a major bombing campaign against Assad's military in early September 2013, he might have opened the gates of Damascus to a hellish victory by al-Qaeda-affiliated extremists or the even more brutal Islamic State, since these terrorist groups have emerged as the only effective fighters against Assad.

But the neocons and the "liberal interventionists" seemed oblivious to that danger. They had their hearts set on Syrian "regime change," so were furious when their dreams were dashed by Obama's supposed "weakness," i.e. his failure to do what they wanted. They also blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin who brokered a compromise with Assad in which he agreed to surrender all of Syria's chemical weapons while still denying a role in the Sarin attack.

By late September 2013, the disappointed neocons were acting out their anger by taking aim at Putin. They recognized that a particular vulnerability for the Russian president was Ukraine and the possibility that it could be pulled out of Russia's sphere of influence and into the West's orbit.

So, Carl Gershman, the neocon president of the U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy, took to the op-ed page of the neocon-flagship Washington Post to sound the trumpet about Ukraine, which he called "the biggest prize."

But Gershman added that Ukraine was really only an interim step to an even bigger prize, the removal of the strong-willed and independent-minded Putin, who, Gershman added, "may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad [i.e. Ukraine] but within Russia itself." In other words, the new neocon hope was for "regime change" in Kiev and Moscow. [See Consortiumnews.com's "Neocons' Ukraine/Syria/Iran Gambit."]

Destabilizing the World

Beyond the recklessness of plotting to destabilize nuclear-armed Russia, the neocon strategy threatened to shake Europe's fragile economic recovery from a painful recession, six years of jobless stress that had strained the cohesion of the European Union and the euro zone.

Across the Continent, populist parties from the Right and Left have been challenging establishment politicians over their inability to reverse the widespread unemployment and the growing poverty. Important to Europe's economy was its relationship with Russia, a major market for agriculture and manufactured goods and a key source of natural gas to keep Europe's industries humming and its houses warm.

The last thing Europe needed was more chaos, but that's what the neocons do best and they were determined to punish Putin for disrupting their plans for Syrian "regime change," an item long near the top of their agenda along with their desire to "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran," which Israel has cited as an "existential threat."

Putin also had sidetracked that possible war with Iran by helping to forge an interim agreement constraining but not eliminating Iran's nuclear program. So, he became the latest target of neocon demonization, a process in which the New York Times and the Washington Post eagerly took the lead.

To get at Putin, however, the first step was Ukraine where Gershman's NED was funding scores of programs for political activists and media operatives. These efforts fed into mass protests against Ukrainian President Yanukovych for balking at an EU association agreement that included a harsh austerity plan designed by the International Monetary Fund. Yanukovych opted instead for a more generous $15 billion loan deal from Putin.

As the political violence in Kiev escalated – with the uprising's muscle supplied by neo-Nazi militias from western Ukraine – neocons within the Obama administration discussed how to "midwife" a coup against Yanukovych. Central to this planning was Victoria Nuland, who had been promoted to assistant secretary of state for European affairs and was urging on the protesters, even passing out cookies to protesters at Kiev's Maidan square.

According to an intercepted phone call with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, Nuland didn't think EU officials were being aggressive enough. "Fuck the EU," she said as she brainstormed how "to help glue this thing." She literally handpicked who should be in the post-coup government – "Yats is the guy," a reference to Arseniy Yatsenyuk who would indeed become prime minister.

When the coup went down on Feb. 22 – spearheaded by neo-Nazi militias who seized government buildings and forced Yanukovych and his officials to flee for their lives – the U.S. State Department quickly deemed the new regime "legitimate" and the mainstream U.S. media dutifully stepped up the demonization of Yanukovych and Putin.

Although Putin's position had been in support of Ukraine's status quo – i.e., retaining the elected president and the country's constitutional process – the crisis was pitched to the American people as a case of "Russian aggression" with dire comparisons made between Putin and Hitler, especially after ethnic Russians in the east and south resisted the coup regime in Kiev and Crimea seceded to rejoin Russia.

Starting a Trade War

Pressured by the Obama administration, the EU agreed to sanction Russia for its "aggression," touching off a tit-for-tat trade war with Moscow which reduced Europe's sale of farming and manufacturing goods to Russia and threatened to disrupt Russia's natural gas supplies to Europe.

While the most serious consequences were to Ukraine's economy which went into freefall because of the civil war, some of Europe's most endangered economies in the south also were hit hard by the lost trade with Russia. Europe began to stagger toward the third dip in a triple-dip recession with European markets experiencing major stock sell-offs.

The dominoes soon toppled across the Atlantic as major U.S. stock indices dropped, creating anguish among many Americans just when it seemed the hangover from Bush's 2008 market crash was finally wearing off.

Obviously, there are other reasons for the recent stock market declines, including fears about the Islamic State's victories in Syria and Iraq, continued chaos in Libya, and exclusion of Iran from the global economic system – all partly the result of neocon ideology. There have been unrelated troubles, too, such as the Ebola epidemic in western Africa and various weather disasters.

But the world's economy usually can withstand some natural and manmade challenges. The real problem comes when a combination of catastrophes pushes the international financial system to a tipping point. Then, even a single event can dump the world into economic chaos, like what happened when Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008.

It's not clear whether the world is at such a tipping point today, but the stock market volatility suggests that we may be on the verge of another worldwide recession. Meanwhile, the neocon masters of chaos seem determined to keep putting their ideological obsessions ahead of the risks to Americans and people everywhere.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry's trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America's Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

[Dec 19, 2015] The Exception

Notable quotes:
"... "Our government has become incompetent, unresponsive, corrupt, and that incompetence, ineptitude, lack of accountability is now dangerous Carly won the sound bite of the century award with that one! ..."
"... I voted for this turd because you Rightwingnut Fuckheads gave me the option of McCain the first time and Romney the second time. ..."
Zero Hedge

FireBrander

I expect the lies....but the level of lies when it comes to "fighting ISIS" is off-the-fucking-charts!...and no one calls him on it!

>The USA/NATO Created ISIS.

>The USA/NATO is using ISIS to oust ASSAD because he's too friendly with Russia/Iran.

>The USA/NATO FUNDS ISIS via Turkey.

Obama: "ISIS is a seriously threat, they are contained and we will destroy ISIS"

Bill Clintons' mouth has got to be gaping; and I'm sure thoroughly impressed that Obama could tell a whopper like that without question...NOT ONE REPUBLICAN at the debate even called Obama on ISIS!

Neil Patrick Harris

You gotta wonder how much money they promised him when he leaves office.

Peter Pan

Unfortunately Obama is beyond being a threat. He ( and whoever is pulling on his strings) is an actual attack on America.

FireBrander

"Our government has become incompetent, unresponsive, corrupt, and that incompetence, ineptitude, lack of accountability is now dangerous" Carly won the sound bite of the century award with that one!

..and the new budget bill will fully fund ALL OF IT's desires....

FireBrander

I voted for "this turd" because you Rightwingnut Fuckheads gave me the option of McCain the first time and Romney the second time.

You're welcome for my vote saving you from those fuckheads...McCain would have nuked the planet by now and Romney would have handed the country to his VC friends and you'd be living in a "dorm" putting together iPhones.

Romney criticised Obama in one of the debates because "The number of battleships in our fleet is the lowest since the 50's"...battleships? Romney, you stupid fuck, it's 20xx you moron...battleships are pretty irrelevent in today's "theater of war"...Obama held it together and replied, I give the Admirals EVERYTHING THEY ASK FOR...and Romney dropped it.

Great ZH piece on Romney; what a piece of shit:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-17/rip-truman-show-bubble-finance-...

[Dec 17, 2015] The Putin-Did-It Conspiracy Theory

Notable quotes:
"... It was German Chancellor Angela Merkel, not Vladimir Putin, who pushed the EU agreement and miscalculated the consequences, as the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel has reported . Putin's only role in that time frame was to offer a more generous $15 billion aid package to Ukraine, not exactly a war-like act. ..."
February 15, 2015 | readersupportednews.org

The actually "incontrovertible" facts about the Ukraine crisis are these: The destabilization of President Viktor Yanukovych's elected government began in November 2013 when Yanukovych balked at a proposed association agreement promoted by the European Union. He sought more time after the sticker shock of learning from Kiev economic experts that the deal would cost Ukraine $160 billion in lost revenue by cutting trade with Russia.

It was German Chancellor Angela Merkel, not Vladimir Putin, who pushed the EU agreement and miscalculated the consequences, as the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel has reported. Putin's only role in that time frame was to offer a more generous $15 billion aid package to Ukraine, not exactly a war-like act.

Yanukovych's decision to postpone action on the EU association prompted angry demonstrations in Kiev's Maidan square, largely from western Ukrainians who were hoping for visa-free travel to the EU and other benefits from closer ties. Putin had no role in those protests – and it's insane to think that he did.

In February 2014, the protests grew more and more violent as neo-Nazi and other militias organized in the western city of Lviv and these 100-man units known as "sotins" were dispatched daily to provide the muscle for the anti-Yanukovych uprising that was taking shape. It is frankly nutty to suggest that Putin was organizing these militias. [See Consortiumnews.com's "When Is a Putsch a Putsch."]

Evidence of Coup Plotting

By contrast, there is substantial evidence that senior U.S. officials were pushing for a "regime change" in Kiev, including an intercepted phone call and various public statements.

In December 2013, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, a neocon holdover, reminded Ukrainian business leaders that the United States had invested $5 billion in their "European aspirations." In early February, she discussed with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt who the new leaders of Ukraine should be. "Yats is the guy," she declared, referring to Arseniy Yatsenyuk. [See Consortiumnews.com's "Who's Telling the Big Lie on Ukraine?"]

The Maidan uprising gained momentum on Feb. 20, 2014, when snipers around the square opened fire on police and protesters touching off a violent clash that left scores of people dead, both police and protesters. After the sniper fire and a police retreat - carrying their wounded - the demonstrators surged forward and some police apparently reacted with return fire of their own.

But the growing evidence indicates that the initial sniper fire originated from locations controlled by the Right Sektor, extremists associated with the Maidan's neo-Nazi "self-defense" commandant Andriy Parubiy. Though the current Ukrainian government has dragged its feet on an investigation, independent field reports, including a new one from BBC, indicate that the snipers were associated with the protesters, not the Yanukovych government as was widely reported in the U.S. media a year ago.

The worsening violence led Yanukovych to agree on Feb. 21 to a deal guaranteed by three European countries. He accepted reduced powers and agreed to early elections so he could be voted out of office. Yet, rather than permit that political settlement to go forward, neo-Nazis and other Maidan forces overran government buildings on Feb. 22, forcing Yanukovych and his officials to flee for their lives.

The U.S. State Department quickly deemed this coup regime "legitimate" and Nuland's choice, Yatsenyuk, emerged as Prime Minister, with Parubiy put in charge of national security.

In other words, there is plenty of evidence that the Ukraine crisis was started by the EU through its mishandling of the association agreement, then was heated up by the U.S. government through the work of Nuland, Pyatt and other officials, and then was brought to a boil by neo-Nazis and other extremists who executed the coup.

[Dec 17, 2015] Neocon Influence on Angela Merkel

February 21, 2007 | Dialog International
Is Angela Merkel getting bad advice from Washington neocons through their representative in Berlin? Now we read that Jeff Gedmin - the head of the Aspen Institute in Berlin - is meeting on a regular basis with the Chancellor to instruct her on the Bush administration's line:

Angela Merkel relies on the advice of Jeffrey Gedmin, specially dispatched to Berlin to assist her by the Bush clan. This lobbyist first worked at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) [2] under Richard Perle and Mrs. Dick Cheney. He enthusiastically encouraged the creation of a Euro with Dollar parity exchange rate. Within the AEI, he led the New Atlantic Initiative (NAI), which brought together all the America-friendly generals and politicians in Europe. He was then involved in the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) and wrote the chapter on Europe in the neocon programme. He argued that the European Union should remain under NATO authority and that this would only be possible by "discouraging European calls for emancipation." [3] Finally he became the administrator of the Council of the Community of Democracies (CCD), which argues in favour of a two-speed UN, and became director of the Aspen Institute in Berlin [4]. Subsequently he turned down the offer from his friend John Bolton [5] of the post of deputy US ambassador to the UN so as to be able to devote himself exclusively to Angela Merkel.

Elsewhere we read that Chancellor Merkel receives daily briefings from the neocon stalwart Gedmin:

Gedmin "brieft" die Kanzlerin täglich: Er hat damit die Rolle inne, die bei der Stasi die Führungsoffiziere hatten. Wenn wir uns noch Demokratie nennen wollen, dann muss Merkel gezwungen werden, die Inhalte dieser täglichen "Briefings" dem Land offenzulegen. In anderen Ländern gibt es dafür Gesetze, die "Freedom of Information Act" heissen.

Could this be true? I hope not. Gedmin is known for his columns in the conservative daily Die Welt where he reports on the marvelous successes the Iraq War. And who can forget Gedmin's column during last summer' s Israel/Lebanon War where he wrote about how Hezbollah fighters drank the blood of their victims in Lebanon? If Angela Merkel is looking for good advice, there are much more honest and intelligent resources than Jeff Gedmin.

[Dec 17, 2015] Why Merkel betrays Europe and Germany

Note that the quality of translation from German of this article is low.
Notable quotes:
"... Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung ..."
"... Bild and Die Welt ..."
"... In 2003, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder opposed the Anglo-American intervention in Ira q. Angela Merkel then published a courageous article in the Washington Post ..."
"... As Stanley Payne, the famous American historian said about Spain (or any western democracy) that now politicians are not elected but chosen by apparatus, agencies and visible hands of the markets ..."
"... Merkel is publicly supported by Friede Springer , widow of West German press baron, Axel Springer , whos publishing conglomerate, the Springer Group secretly received around $7 million from the CIA in the early 1950s. ..."
"... She is counseled by Jeffrey Gedmin. Gedmin is a regular columnist in Die Welt , a publication of the Springer Group. After becoming administrator of the Council of the Community of Democracies and director of the Aspen Institute in Berlin in 2001, Gedmin devoted himself exclusively to Merkel . Gedmin was too involved in the infamous Project for a New American Century (PNAC) and wrote the chapter on Europe in the neocon programme. He argued that the European Union should remain under NATO authority and that this would only be possible by discouraging European calls for emancipation . ..."
"... In a few years, Merkel has destroyed European solidarity, annihilated the German nuclear power plants (an old American obsession too), impoverished Germans and their once efficient Rheinisch and solitary economy, backed the mad dog American diplomacy and created along with an irresponsible American administration (irresponsible because America will never win this kind of conflict) a dangerous crisis against Russia than can end on a war or a scandalous European partition. ..."
Mar 06, 2015 | PravdaReport

One must understand the reasons of Angela Merkel's behaviour. She obeys America and her Israeli mentor ('Israel is Germany's raison d'être'???), she threatens and mistreats Europe; she attacks Russia and now she builds a new sanitary cordon (like in 1919) in order to deconstruct Eurasia and reinforce American agenda in our unlucky continent. Now Merkel advocates for the rapid adoption on the most infamous and perilous treaty of commerce in history, the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership). Dr Roberts has recently explained the meaning of 'Fast Track' expression and a courageous Guardian, last 27th may, has exposed the corruption of American Congress on this incredible yet terrible matter.

Why is Merkel so pro-American and anti-European?

Let us explain with the data we know the reasons of such nihilist and erratic behaviour.

Angela Merkel was then publicly supported by two press groups. Firstly, she was able to count on the support of Friede Springer, who had inherited the Axel Springer group (180 newspapers and magazines, including Bild and Die Welt). The group's journalists are required to sign an editorial agreement which lies down that they must work towards developing transatlantic links and defending the state of Israel. The other group is Bertelsmann.

Angela Merkel radically rejects European independence

In 2003, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder opposed the Anglo-American intervention in Iraq. Angela Merkel then published a 'courageous' article in the Washington Post in which she rejected the Chirac-Schröder doctrine of European independence, affirmed her gratitude and friendship for "America" and supported this scandalous and ridiculous war. I quote some lines of this interesting act of submission to her American lords:

Yet Merkel won the elections in 2007. She announced the abolition of graduated income tax, proposing that the rate should be the same for those who only just have what is necessary and those who live in luxury: maybe this is the a result of her Christian education?

The outgoing Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, severely criticized this proposal in a televised debate. The CDU's lead was decimated, and in the actual election, the CDU polled 35% of the votes and the SPD 34%, the remainder being spread amongst a number of small parties. The Germans didn't want Schröder any longer, but nor did they want Merkel. I repeat that she was imposed more than elected. As Stanley Payne, the famous American historian said about Spain (or any western democracy) that now politicians are 'not elected but chosen' by apparatus, agencies and 'visible hands' of the markets

These last weeks, "Mother" Merkel tries to re-launch the proposed merger of the North American Free Trade Area and the European Free Trade Area, thereby creating a "great transatlantic market" to use the words once pronounced by Sir Leon Brittan, a famous paedophile involved in scandals and bribes since, and mysteriously found dead a couple of months ago.

Let us se now some of their connections:

We have never been so far from 'emancipation' now in Europe, and never been so near to a war with Russia and maybe (in order to satisfy American gruesome appetite) with Central Asia and China. In France, 61% of the people who had witnessed the war asserted in 1945 that we were saved by the Russian Army. Now, thanks to American propaganda backed by European collaborators, we are hardly 10% to know that fact. The rest is misled by propaganda, media, TV and films. Daniel Estulin speaks of a remade, of a re-fabricated past by US television and media agencies.

In a few years, Merkel has destroyed European solidarity, annihilated the German nuclear power plants (an old American obsession too), impoverished Germans and their once efficient Rheinisch and solitary economy, backed the 'mad dog' American diplomacy and created along with an irresponsible American administration (irresponsible because America will never win this kind of conflict) a dangerous crisis against Russia than can end on a war or a scandalous European partition.

See also: Germany Americanizes Europe

[Dec 12, 2015] Guyenot Who are the Neocons

Notable quotes:
"... The American Neocons are Zionists (Their goal is expanding political / military power. Initially this is focused on the state of Israel.) ..."
"... Obviously , if Zionism is synonymous with patriotism in Israel, it cannot be an acceptable label in American politics, where it would mean loyalty to a foreign power. This is why the neoconservatives do not represent themselves as Zionists on the American scene. Yet they do not hide it all together either. ..."
"... He points out dual-citizen (Israel / USA) members and self proclaimed Zionists throughout cabinet level positions in the US government, international banking and controlling the US military. In private writings and occasionally in public, Neocons admit that America's war policies are actually Israel's war goals. (Examples provided.) ..."
"... American Jewish Committee ..."
"... Contemporary Jewish Record ..."
"... If there is an intellectual movement in America to whose invention Jews can lay sole claim, neoconservatism is it. It's a thought one imagines most American Jews, overwhelmingly liberal, will find horrifying . And yet it is a fact that as a political philosophy, neoconservatism was born among the children of Jewish immigrants and is now largely the intellectual domain of those immigrants' grandchildren ..."
"... Goyenot traces the Neocon's origins through its influential writers and thinkers. Highest on the list is Leo Strauss. (Neocons are sometimes called "the Straussians.") Leo Strauss is a great admirer of Machiavelli with his utter contempt for restraining moral principles making him "uniquely effective," and, "the ideal patriot." He gushes over Machiavelli praising the intrepidity of his thought, the grandeur of his vision, and the graceful subtlety of his speech. ..."
"... believes that Truth is harmful to the common man and the social order and should be reserved for superior minds. ..."
"... nations derive their strength from their myths , which are necessary for government and governance. ..."
"... national myths have no necessary relationship with historical reality: they are socio-cultural constructions that the State has a duty to disseminate . ..."
"... to be effective, any national myth must be based on a clear distinction between good and evil ; it derives its cohesive strength from the hatred of an enemy nation. ..."
"... deception is the norm in political life ..."
"... Office of Special Plans ..."
"... The Zionist/Neocons are piggy-backing onto, or utilizing, the religious myths of both the Jewish and Christian world to consolidate power. This is brilliant Machiavellian strategy. ..."
"... the "chosen people" myth (God likes us best, we are better than you) ..."
"... the Holy Land myth (one area of real estate is more holy than another) ..."
"... General Wesley Clark testified on numerous occasions before the cameras, that one month after September 11th, 2001 a general from the Pentagon showed him a memo from neoconservative strategists "that describes how we're gonna take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia and Sudan and finishing off with Iran". ..."
"... Among them are brilliant strategists ..."
"... They operate unrestrained by the most basic moral principles upon which civilization is founded. They are undisturbed by compassion for the suffering of others. ..."
"... They use consciously and skillfully use deception and "myth-making" to shape policy ..."
"... They have infiltrated the highest levels of banking, US military, NATO and US government. ..."
Peak Prosperity

Mememonkey pointed my to a 2013 essay by Laurent Guyenot, a French historian and writer on the deep state, that addresses the question of "Who Are The Neoconservatives." If you would like to know about that group that sends the US military into battle and tortures prisoners of war in out name, you need to know about these guys.

First, if you are Jewish, or are a GREEN Meme, please stop and take a deep breath. Please put on your thinking cap and don't react. We are NOT disrespecting a religion, spiritual practice or a culture. We are talking about a radical and very destructive group hidden within a culture and using that culture. Christianity has similar groups and movements--the Crusades, the KKK, the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem witch trials, etc.

My personal investment: This question has been a subject of intense interest for me since I became convinced that 9/11 was an inside job, that the Iraq war was waged for reasons entirely different from those publically stated. I have been horrified to see such a shadowy, powerful group operating from a profoundly "pre-moral" developmental level-i.e., not based in even the most rudimentary principles of morality foundational to civilization.

Who the hell are these people?!

Goyenot's main points (with a touch of personal editorializing):

1. The American Neocons are Zionists (Their goal is expanding political / military power. Initially this is focused on the state of Israel.)

Neoconservativism is essentially a modern right wing Jewish version of Machiavelli's political strategy. What characterizes the neoconservative movement is therefore not as much Judaism as a religious tradition, but rather Judiasm as a political project, i.e. Zionism, by Machiavellian means.

This is not a religious movement though it may use religions words and vocabulary. It is a political and military movement. They are not concerned with being close to God. This is a movement to expand political and military power. Some are Christian and Mormon, culturally.

Obviously , if Zionism is synonymous with patriotism in Israel, it cannot be an acceptable label in American politics, where it would mean loyalty to a foreign power. This is why the neoconservatives do not represent themselves as Zionists on the American scene. Yet they do not hide it all together either.

He points out dual-citizen (Israel / USA) members and self proclaimed Zionists throughout cabinet level positions in the US government, international banking and controlling the US military. In private writings and occasionally in public, Neocons admit that America's war policies are actually Israel's war goals. (Examples provided.)

2. Most American Jews are overwhelmingly liberal and do NOT share the perspective of the radical Zionists.

The neoconservative movement, which is generally perceived as a radical (rather than "conservative") Republican right, is, in reality, an intellectual movement born in the late 1960s in the pages of the monthly magazine Commentary, a media arm of the American Jewish Committee, which had replaced the Contemporary Jewish Record in 1945. The Forward, the oldest American Jewish weekly, wrote in a January 6th, 2006 article signed Gal Beckerman: "If there is an intellectual movement in America to whose invention Jews can lay sole claim, neoconservatism is it. It's a thought one imagines most American Jews, overwhelmingly liberal, will find horrifying. And yet it is a fact that as a political philosophy, neoconservatism was born among the children of Jewish immigrants and is now largely the intellectual domain of those immigrants' grandchildren".

3. Intellectual Basis and Moral developmental level

Goyenot traces the Neocon's origins through its influential writers and thinkers. Highest on the list is Leo Strauss. (Neocons are sometimes called "the Straussians.") Leo Strauss is a great admirer of Machiavelli with his utter contempt for restraining moral principles making him "uniquely effective," and, "the ideal patriot." He gushes over Machiavelli praising the intrepidity of his thought, the grandeur of his vision, and the graceful subtlety of his speech.

Other major points:

4. The Zionist/Neocons are piggy-backing onto, or utilizing, the religious myths of both the Jewish and Christian world to consolidate power. This is brilliant Machiavellian strategy.

[The]Pax Judaica will come only when "all the nations shall flow" to the Jerusalem temple, from where "shall go forth the law" (Isaiah 2:1-3). This vision of a new world order with Jerusalem at its center resonates within the Likudnik and neoconservative circles. At the Jerusalem Summit, held from October 12th to 14th, 2003 in the symbolically significant King David Hotel, an alliance was forged between Zionist Jews and Evangelical Christians around a "theopolitical" project, one that would consider Israel… "the key to the harmony of civilizations", replacing the United Nations that's become a "a tribalized confederation hijacked by Third World dictatorships": "Jerusalem's spiritual and historical importance endows it with a special authority to become a center of world's unity. [...] We believe that one of the objectives of Israel's divinely-inspired rebirth is to make it the center of the new unity of the nations, which will lead to an era of peace and prosperity, foretold by the Prophets". Three acting Israeli ministers spoke at the summit, including Benjamin Netanyahu, and Richard Perle.

Jerusalem's dream empire is expected to come through the nightmare of world war. The prophet Zechariah, often cited on Zionist forums, predicted that the Lord will fight "all nations" allied against Israel. In a single day, the whole earth will become a desert, with the exception of Jerusalem, who "shall remain aloft upon its site" (14:10).

With more than 50 millions members, Christians United for Israel is a major political force in the U.S.. Its Chairman, pastor John Haggee, declared: "The United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God's plan for both Israel and the West, [...] a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ".

And Guyenot concludes:

Is it possible that this biblical dream, mixed with the neo-Machiavellianism of Leo Strauss and the militarism of Likud, is what is quietly animating an exceptionally determined and organized ultra-Zionist clan? General Wesley Clark testified on numerous occasions before the cameras, that one month after September 11th, 2001 a general from the Pentagon showed him a memo from neoconservative strategists "that describes how we're gonna take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia and Sudan and finishing off with Iran".

Is it just a coincidence that the "seven nations" doomed to be destroyed by Israel form part of the biblical myths? …[W]hen Yahweh will deliver Israel "seven nations greater and mightier than yourself […] you must utterly destroy them; you shall make no covenant with them, and show no mercy to them."

My summary:

[Dec 11, 2015] Caught On Tape Ukraine Premier Assaulted In Parliament

Notable quotes:
"... lawmaker Oleh Barna walked over to him with a bunch of red roses and then grabbed him around the waist and groin, lifting him off his feet and dragging him from the rostrum. ..."
"... As The FT reports, ..."
Zero Hedge
& Fighting broke out in parliament among members of Ukraine's ruling coalition on Friday after a member of President Petro Poroshenko's bloc physically picked up Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk and pulled him from the podium.

Yatseniuk was defending his embattled government's record when lawmaker Oleh Barna walked over to him with a bunch of red roses and then grabbed him around the waist and groin, lifting him off his feet and dragging him from the rostrum.

Members of Yatseniuk's People Front party waded in, pushing Barna and throwing punches, sparking a brawl in the assembly.

You just can't make this up...

https://www.youtube.com/embed/2zgTl6-KWqg

The PM later said there were "a lot of morons," so he would not comment on the incident.

* * *

As The FT reports,

Ukraine's parliament has indefinitely postponed a vote of no-confidence in the government of Arseniy Yatseniuk, but not without highlighting the fragility of the country's pro-western coalition.

Citing a flurry of corruption scandals and the lacklustre pace of reforms, an increasing number of MPs - even within the ruling majority - have in recent weeks called for the ousting of Mr Yatseniuk via a no-confidence vote on Friday.

Ukraine's western backers, namely the US and EU, feared such a move could plunge the war-torn and recession-ravaged country into a deep political crisis as it continues to battle Russian-backed separatists in eastern regions - and jeopardise a $40bn international bailout led by the International Monetary Fund.

Such concerns are believed to have been expressed by US vice president Joe Biden in closed door discussions during a visit to Kiev early this week in which he publicly called for political unity, swifter reforms and deeper anti-corruption efforts.

And this is the nation's government who US-taxpayer-backed IMF just forgave their debt, implicitly backing them, and entering The Cold War...

Instead, the IMF is backing Ukrainian policy, its kleptocracy and its Right Sector leading the attacks that recently cut off Crimea's electricity. The only condition on which the IMF insists is continued austerity. Ukraine's currency, the hryvnia, has fallen by a third this years, pensions have been slashed (largely as a result of being inflated away), while corruption continues unabated.

Despite this the IMF announced its intention to extend new loans to finance Ukraine's dependency and payoffs to the oligarchs who are in control of its parliament and justice departments to block any real cleanup of corruption.

For over half a year there was a semi-public discussion with U.S. Treasury advisors and Cold Warriors about how to stiff Russia on the $3 billion owed by Ukraine to Russia's Sovereign Wealth Fund. There was some talk of declaring this an "odious debt," but it was decided that this ploy might backfire against U.S. supported dictatorships.

In the end, the IMF simply lent Ukraine the money.

By doing so, it announced its new policy: "We only enforce debts owed in US dollars to US allies." This means that what was simmering as a Cold War against Russia has now turned into a full-blown division of the world into the Dollar Bloc (with its satellite Euro and other pro-U.S. currencies) and the BRICS or other countries not in the U.S. financial and military orbit.

[Dec 09, 2015] Declassified CIA Manual Shows How US Uses Bureaucracy to Destabilize Governments

www.zerohedge.com
Submitted by Jake Anderson via TheAntiMedia.org,

When most people think of CIA sabotage, they think of coups, assassinations, proxy wars, armed rebel groups, and even false flags - not strategic stupidity and purposeful bureaucratic ineptitude. However, according to a declassified document from 1944, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which later became the CIA, used and trained a curious breed of "citizen-saboteurs" in occupied nations like Norway and France.

The World War II-era document, called Simple Sabotage Field Manual, outlines ways in which operatives can disrupt and demoralize enemy administrators and police forces. The first section of the document, which can be read in its entirety here, addresses "Organizations and Conferences" - and how to turn them into a "dysfunctional mess":

On its official webpage, the CIA boasts about finding innovative ways to bring about sabotage, calling their tactics for destabilization "surprisingly relevant." While they admit that some of the ideas may seem a bit outdated, they claim that "Together they are a reminder of how easily productivity and order can be undermined."

In a second section targeted at manager-saboteurs, the guide lists the following tactical moves:

Finally, the guide presents protocol for how saboteur-employees can disrupt enemy operations, too:

The CIA is proud of its Kafkaesque field manual and evidently still views it as an unorthodox but effective form of destabilizing enemy operations around the world. Of course, so too might an anarchist or revolutionary look at such tactics and view them in the context of disrupting certain domestic power structures, many of which are already built like a bureaucratic house of cards.

It seems if any country should refrain from showcasing how easy it is to disrupt inefficient federal agencies, however, it would be the United States.

[Dec 04, 2015] The Neoconservative Movement is Trotskyism

"... Kristol argues in his book The Neoconservative Persuasion that those Jewish intellectuals did not forsake their heritage (revolutionary ideology) when they gave up Communism and other revolutionary movements, but had to make some changes in their thinking. America is filled with such former Trotskyists who unleashed an unprecedented foreign policy that led to the collapse of the American economy. ..."
"... Noted Australian economist John Quiggin declares in his recent work Zombie Economics that "Ideas are long lived, often outliving their originators and taking new and different forms. Some ideas live on because they are useful. Others die and are forgotten. But even when they have proved themselves wrong and dangerous, ideas are very hard to kill. Even after the evidence seems to have killed them, they keep on coming back. ..."
"... These ideas are neither alive nor dead; rather…they are undead, or zombie, ideas." Bolshevism or Trotskyism is one of those zombie ideas that keeps coming back in different forms. It has ideologically reincarnated in the political disputations of the neoconservative movement. ..."
"... As soon as the Israel Lobby came along, as soon as the neoconservative movement began to shape U.S. foreign policy, as soon as Israel began to dictate to the U.S. what ought to be done in the Middle East, America was universally hated by the Muslim world. ..."
"... In that sense, the neoconservative movement as a political and intellectual movement represents a fifth column in the United States in that it subtly and deceptively seeks to undermine what the Founding Fathers have stood for and replace it with what the Founding Fathers would have considered horrible foreign policies-policies which have contributed to the demise of the respect America once had. ..."
"... For example, when two top AIPAC officials-Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman-were caught passing classified documents from the Pentagon to Israel, Gabriel Schoenfeld defended them. ..."
"... Israel has been spying on the United States for years using various Israeli or Jewish individuals, including key Jewish neoconservative figures such as Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, who were under investigation for passing classified documents to Israel. ..."
January 22, 2013 | Veterans Today

Kristol argues in his book The Neoconservative Persuasion that those Jewish intellectuals did not forsake their heritage (revolutionary ideology) when they gave up Communism and other revolutionary movements, but had to make some changes in their thinking. America is filled with such former Trotskyists who unleashed an unprecedented foreign policy that led to the collapse of the American economy.

We have to keep in mind that America and much of the Western world were scared to death of Bolshevism and Trotskyism in the 1920s and early 30s because of its subversive activity.

Noted Australian economist John Quiggin declares in his recent work Zombie Economics that "Ideas are long lived, often outliving their originators and taking new and different forms. Some ideas live on because they are useful. Others die and are forgotten. But even when they have proved themselves wrong and dangerous, ideas are very hard to kill. Even after the evidence seems to have killed them, they keep on coming back.

These ideas are neither alive nor dead; rather…they are undead, or zombie, ideas." Bolshevism or Trotskyism is one of those zombie ideas that keeps coming back in different forms. It has ideologically reincarnated in the political disputations of the neoconservative movement.

... ... ...

As it turns out, neoconservative think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute are largely extensions of Trotskyism with respect to foreign policy. Other think tanks such as the Bradley Foundation were overtaken by the neoconservative machine back in 1984.

Some of those double agents have been known to have worked with Likud-supporting Jewish groups such as the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, an organization which has been known to have "co-opted" several "non-Jewish defense experts by sending them on trips to Israel. It flew out the retired general Jay Garner, now slated by Bush to be proconsul of occupied Iraq."

Philo-Semitic scholars Stephen Halper of Cambridge University and Jonathan Clarke of the CATO Institute agree that the neoconservative agendas "have taken American international relations on an unfortunate detour," which is another way of saying that this revolutionary movement is not what the Founding Fathers signed up for, who all maintained that the United States would serve the American people best by not entangling herself in alliances with foreign entities.

As soon as the Israel Lobby came along, as soon as the neoconservative movement began to shape U.S. foreign policy, as soon as Israel began to dictate to the U.S. what ought to be done in the Middle East, America was universally hated by the Muslim world.

Moreover, former secretary of defense Robert Gates made it clear to the United States that the Israelis do not and should not have a monopoly on the American interests in the Middle East. For that, he was chastised by neoconservative Elliott Abrams.

In that sense, the neoconservative movement as a political and intellectual movement represents a fifth column in the United States in that it subtly and deceptively seeks to undermine what the Founding Fathers have stood for and replace it with what the Founding Fathers would have considered horrible foreign policies-policies which have contributed to the demise of the respect America once had.

... ... ...

Israel has been spying on the United States for years using various Israeli or Jewish individuals, including key Jewish neoconservative figures such as Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, who were under investigation for passing classified documents to Israel.

The FBI has numerous documents tracing Israel's espionage in the U.S., but no one has come forward and declared it explicitly in the media because most political pundits value mammon over truth.

For example, when two top AIPAC officials-Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman-were caught passing classified documents from the Pentagon to Israel, Gabriel Schoenfeld defended them.

In the annual FBI report called "Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage," Israel is a major country that pops up quite often. This is widely known among CIA and FBI agents and U.S. officials for years.

One former U.S. intelligence official declared, "There is a huge, aggressive, ongoing set of Israeli activities directed against the United States. Anybody who worked in counterintelligence in a professional capacity will tell you the Israelis are among the most aggressive and active countries targeting the United States.

They undertake a wide range of technical operations and human operations. People here as liaisons… aggressively pursue classified intelligence from people. The denials are laughable."

[Dec 03, 2015] On That Video Where Some Egyptians Allegedly Say Obama Is Insane And On Drugs And Should Be Removed From Office

EconoSpeak

An old and close, but very conservative and increasingly out of touch with reality friend of mine posted a video some days ago on Facebook. He indicated that he thought it was both funny and also insightful. It seemed highly suspicious to me, so I googled it and found that the person who uploaded it onto you tube stated in the comments on it that it is a spoof. Here is a link that discusses why it is known it is a spoof as well as linking to the video itself and its comments. It has reportedly been widely distributed on the internet by many conservatives who think it is for real, and when I pointed out it is a spoof, my friend defriended me from Facebook. I am frustrated.

So, for those who do not view it, it purports to show a talk show in Egypt where a brief clip of Obama speaking last May to graduating military officers about how climate change is and will be a serious national security issue, something the Pentagon has claimed. He did not say it was the most serious such issue, and at least in the clip he said nothing about Daesh/ISIS/ISIL, although of course he has said a lot about it and not only has US drones attacking it but reportedly we have "boots on the ground" now against them in the form of some Special Ops.

So, the video then goes back to the supposed talk show where they are speaking in Arabic with English subtitles. According to these subtitels, which are partly accurate translations but also wildly inaccurate in many places (my Arabic is good enough that I have parsed out what is what there) the host asks, "Is he insane?" A guest suggests he is on drugs. Another claims he just does what Michelle says and that his biceps are small. Finally a supposed retired general pounds the table and denounces him over Libya policy (that part is for real, although his name is never mentioned) and suggests that Americans should act to remove him from office. Again, conservative commentators have found hilarious and very insightful, with this even holding among commenters to the video aware that it is a mistranslated spoof. Bring these guys on more. Obviously they would be big hits on Fox News.

So, I would like to simply comment further on why Egyptians would be especially upset about Libya, but that them being so against the US is somewhat hypocritical (I also note that there is reason to believe that the supposed general is not a general). Of course Libya is just to the west of Egypt with its eastern portion (Cyrenaica under Rome) often ruled by whomever was ruling Egypt at various times in the past. So there is a strong cultural-historical connection. It is understandable that they would take Libyan matters seriously, and indeed things in Libya have turned into a big mess.

However, the move to bring in outside powers to intervene against Qaddafi in 2011 was instigated by an Egyptian, Abu Moussa. This was right after Mubarak had fallen in the face of massive demonstrations in Egypt. Moussa was both leader of the Arab League and wanting to run for President of Egypt. He got nowhere with the latter, but he did get somewhere with getting
the rest of the world to intervene in Libya. He got the Arab League to support such an intervention, with that move going to the UN Security Council and convincing Russia and China to abstain on the anti-Qaddafi measure. Putin has since complained that those who intervened, UK and France most vigorously with US "leading from behind" on the effort.went beyond the UN mandate. But in any case, Qaddafi was overthrown, not to be replaced by any stable or central power, with Libya an ongoing mess that has remained fragmented since, especially between its historically separate eastern and western parts, something I have posted on here previously.

So, that went badly, but Egyptians blaming the US for this seems to me to be a bit much, pretty hypocritical. It happens to be a fact that the US and Obama are now very unpopular in Egypt. I looked at a poll from a few months ago, and the only nations where the US and Obama were viewed less favorably (although a few not polled such as North Korea) were in order: Russia, Palestinian Territories, Belarus, Lebanon, Iran, and Pakistan, with me suspecting there is now a more favorable view in Iran since the culmination of the nuclear deal. I can appreciate that many Egyptians are frustrated that the US supported an election process that did not give them Moussa or El-Baradei, but the Muslim Brotherhood, who proceeded to behave badly, leading to them being overthrown by an new military dictatorship with a democratic veneer, basically a new improved version of the Mubarak regime, with the US supporting it, if somewhat reluctantly.

Yes, this is all pretty depressing, but I must say that ultimately the Egyptians are responsible for what has gone down in their own nation. And even if those Egyptian commentators, whoever they actually are, are as angry about Obama as they are depicted as being, the fact is that Obama is still more popular there than was George W. Bush at the same time in his presidency, something all these US conservatives so enamored of this bizarre video seem to conveniently forget.

Addenda, 5:10 PM:

1) The people on that video come across almost like The Three Stooges, which highlights the comedic aspect that even fans of Obama are supposed to appreciate, although it does not add to the credibility of the remarks of those so carrying on like a bunch of clowns.

2) Another reason Egyptians may be especially upset about the situation in Libya is that indeed Daesh has a foothold in a port city not too far from the Egyptian border in Surt, as reported as the top story today in the NY Times.

3) Arguably once the rest of the world got in, the big problem was a failure to follow through with aiding establishing a central unified government, although that was always going to be a problem, something not recognized by all too many involved, including Abu Moussa. As it was once his proposal got going, it was then Sec. of State Hillary Clinton who was the main person leading the charge for the US to get in over the reluctance of Obama. This was probably her biggest mistake in all this, even though most Republicans think the irrelevant sideshow of the unfortunate incident in Benghazi is the big deal.

4) Needless to say, Republican views at the time of the intervention were just completely incoherent, as symbolized at one point by Senator Lindsey Graham, who within the space of a single sentence simultaneously argued for the US to do nothing and also to go in full force with the proverbial "boots on the ground."

Further Addendum, 7:10 PM:

One of the pieces of evidence given that supposedly shows that the video is a spoof is that the supposed retired Brigadier General Mahmoud Mansour cannot be found if one googles his name, except in connection with this video. There are some other Egyptians named Mansour who show up, but this guy does not. However, it occurs to me that he might be for real, but simply obscure. After all, Brigadier is the lowest rank of General, one star, with Majors being two star, Lieutenants being three star (even though Majors are above Lieutenants), and with four and five star not having any other rank assigned to them. Furthermore, Egypt has a large military that has run the country for decades, so there may well be a lot of these Brigadier Generals, with many of them amounting to nothing. So, if he is for real, his claim to fame will be from jumping up and down, pounding on a table and calling for the overthrow of the POTUS.

Barkley Rosser

[Dec 01, 2015] US Intervention Before And After

Zero Hedge
WhackoWarner

Before death in Libya....Ghadaffi's crime was in "not playing along and selling out". Kinda like Iraq and all. They all should just hand over everything and say thanks...but they did not . There is disinfo on both sides, But the "madman" and people who actually live there never seem to make the NYTimes.

"For 40 years, or was it longer, I can't remember, I did all I could to give people houses, hospitals, schools, and when they were hungry, I gave them food. I even made Benghazi into farmland from the desert, I stood up to attacks from that cowboy Reagan, when he killed my adopted orphaned daughter, he was trying to kill me, instead he killed that poor innocent child. Then I helped my brothers and sisters from Africa with money for the African Union.

I did all I could to help people understand the concept of real democracy, where people's committees ran our country. But that was never enough, as some told me, even people who had 10 room homes, new suits and furniture, were never satisfied, as selfish as they were they wanted more. They told Americans and other visitors, that they needed "democracy" and "freedom" never realizing it was a cut throat system, where the biggest dog eats the rest, but they were enchanted with those words, never realizing that in America, there was no free medicine, no free hospitals, no free housing, no free education and no free food, except when people had to beg or go to long lines to get soup.

No, no matter what I did, it was never enough for some, but for others, they knew I was the son of Gamal Abdel Nasser, the only true Arab and Muslim leader we've had since Salah-al-Deen, when he claimed the Suez Canal for his people, as I claimed Libya, for my people, it was his footsteps I tried to follow, to keep my people free from colonial domination - from thieves who would steal from us.

Now, I am under attack by the biggest force in military history, my little African son, Obama wants to kill me, to take away the freedom of our country, to take away our free housing, our free medicine, our free education, our free food, and replace it with American style thievery, called "capitalism," but all of us in the Third World know what that means, it means corporations run the countries, run the world, and the people suffer. So, there is no alternative for me, I must make my stand, and if Allah wishes, I shall die by following His path, the path that has made our country rich with farmland, with food and health, and even allowed us to help our African and Arab brothers and sisters to work here with us, in the Libyan Jamahiriya.

I do not wish to die, but if it comes to that, to save this land, my people, all the thousands who are all my children, then so be it.

Let this testament be my voice to the world, that I stood up to crusader attacks of NATO, stood up to cruelty, stood up to betrayal, stood up to the West and its colonialist ambitions, and that I stood with my African brothers, my true Arab and Muslim brothers, as a beacon of light. When others were building castles, I lived in a modest house, and in a tent. I never forgot my youth in Sirte, I did not spend our national treasury foolishly, and like Salah-al-Deen, our great Muslim leader, who rescued Jerusalem for Islam, I took little for myself...

In the West, some have called me "mad", "crazy", but they know the truth yet continue to lie, they know that our land is independent and free, not in the colonial grip, that my vision, my path, is, and has been clear and for my people and that I will fight to my last breath to keep us free, may Allah almighty help us to remain faithful and free.

Kirk2NCC1701
"they hate us for our freedoms"

No, "They hate us for our freebombs" that we keep delivering.

Suppose you lived in a town that was run by a ruthless Mafioso boss. Sure he was ruthless to troublemakers and dissenters, but if you went about your business (and paid your taxes/respects to him), life was simple but livable, and crime was negligible.

Now imagine that a crime Overlord came from another country and decided to wreck the town, just to remove your Mafioso Don. In the process, your neighborhood and house were destroyed, and you lost friends and family.

Now tell me that YOU would not make it YOUR life's mission to bring these War Criminals to justice -- by any and all means necessary. And tell me that these same Criminals could not have foreseen all this. Now say it again - but with a straight face. I dare you. I fucking double-dare you!

Max Cynical
US exceptionalism!
GhostOfDiogenes
The worst one, besides Iraq, is Libya.

The infrastructure we destroyed there is unimaginable.

Sure Iraq was hit the worst, and much has been lost there....but Libya was a modern arab oasis of a country in the middle of nothing.

We destroyed in a few days what took decades to build.

This is why I am not proud of my country, nor my military.

In fact, I would like to see Nuremberg type trials for 'merican military leaders and concentration gulags for the rest of enlisted. Just like they did to Germany.

Its only proper.

GhostOfDiogenes
The USA did this murder of Libya and giving ownership to the people who did '911'? What a joke. http://youtu.be/aJURNC0e6Ek
Bastiat
Libya under Ghadaffi: universal free college education, free healthcare, free electricity. interest free loans. A very bad example of how a nation's wealth is to be distributed!
CHoward
The average American has NO idea how much damage is being done in this world - all in the name of Democracy. Unbelivable and truly pathetic. Yet - most sheeple still believe ISIS and others hate us because of our "freedoms" and i-pods. What bullshit.
Bioscale
Czech public tv published a long interview in English with Asad, it was filmed in Damascus some days ago.Very unusual thing, actually. Terrorism being transported by US, Turkey and France to Syria is being openly debated. http://www.ceskatelevize.cz/ct24/svet/1628712-asad-pro-ct-rebelove-jsou-...

Overfed

Compare and contrast Assad, giving an interview very well in a second language, with O'bomb-a, who can't even speak to school children without a teleprompter. Sad.

Razor_Edge

Along with President Putin, Dr al Assad is consistently the most sane, rational and clearly honest speaker on the tragedy of Syria. By contrast, our satanic western leaders simply lie outrageously at all times. How do we know? Their lips are moving. They also say the most absurd things.

We in the west may think that at the end of the day, it's not going to harm us, so why discomfort ourselves by taking on our own elites and bringing them down. But I believe that an horrific future awaits us, one we richly deserve, because we did not shout stop at this ocean of evil bloodshed being spilt in our names. We pay the taxes that pay for it, or at least in my countrys case, (traditional policy of military neutrality), we facilitate the slaughter (troop transports through Shannon airport), or fail to speak out for fear it may impact FDI into Ireland, (largest recipient of US FDI in the world).

We are our brothers keepers, and we are all one. It is those who seek to separate us to facilitate their evil and psychopathic lust for power and money, who would have us beieve that "the other" is evil. Are we really so simple minded or riven by fear that we cannot see through the curtain of the real Axis of Evil?

Demdere

Israeli-neocon strategy is to have the world's economy collapse at the point of maximum war and political chaos.

Then they can escape to Paraguay. Sure as hell, if they stay here, we are going to hang them all. Treasonous criminals for the 9/11 false flag operation.

By 2015, every military and intelligence service and all the think tanks have looked at 9/11 carefully. Anyone who looks at the evidence sees that it was a false flag operation, the buildings were destroyed via explosives, the planes and evil Arab Muslims were show. Those agencies reported to their civilian leaders, and their civilian leaders spread the information through their societies.

So all of the politically aware people in the world, including here at home, KNOW that 9/11 was a false flag operation, or know that they must not look at the evidence. Currently, anyone who disagrees in MSM is treated as invisible, and I know of no prominent bloggers who have even done the bits of extention of 'what it must mean' that I have done.

But it certainly means high levels of distrust for the US and for Israel. It seems to me that World Domination is not possible, because the world won't let you, and the means of opposition are only limited by the imaginations of the most creative, intelligent and knowledgable people. We don't have any of those on our side any more.

L Bean

In their farcical quest to emulate the Roman empire...

Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium; atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant - Tacitus

They plunder, they slaughter, and they steal: this they falsely name Empire, and where they make a wasteland, they call it peace.

[Nov 30, 2015] Russia Bans Soros Foundation As A Threat To National Security And Constitutional Order Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... "A lot of what we do was done 25 years ago covertly by the CIA" Alan Weinstein, one of the founders of the National Endowment for Democracy. Although it promotes itself as a "non-governmental organization", NED receives at least 90% of its funding from the US Congress, earmarked to USAID. ..."
"... Around that time, Soros Foundation 'appeared' in our country and started usual advertising and promises how they will give money to 'promising' projects made by young people. Of course, we had an amazing thing (it was really hard to make a printed computer magazine while having civil war and sanctions, heh) and were certain that we would easily qualify for grant. We got rejected. A guy printing black and white A4 pamphlet saying shit about government got the money. ..."
www.zerohedge.com
AlaricBalth

"A lot of what we do was done 25 years ago covertly by the CIA" Alan Weinstein, one of the founders of the National Endowment for Democracy. Although it promotes itself as a "non-governmental organization", NED receives at least 90% of its funding from the US Congress, earmarked to USAID.

JRobby

Maybe the USSA will do the same with "The Council On Foriegn Relations"??

What would we call it when a controlling faction of the USSA Government outlawed itself and declared itself a threat to national security and Constitutional order?

Schizophrenia?

Government need...

That's an organization that needs to go. I know some of its membership in NYC. . . It's not evil, per se, but it places self-enrichment above ethics. That, and since they all have fancy degress and like to pass their resumes around the table, they naturally believe they know better than the little people what's best for the little peons.

nmewn

"In a statement released on Monday, prosecutors said the activities of the Open Society Institute and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation were a threat to the foundations of Russia's Constitutional order and national security. They added that the Justice Ministry would be duly informed about these conclusions and would add the two groups to Russia's list of undesirable foreign organizations."

Yet here, somehow, he is still a major donor to the National Socialist Democrat Party and BlackLiesMatter.

The world, as I once knew it, has been completely turned upside down...lol.

#SafePlace!

/////

Now wut little trolls...how could that possibly offend you? I mean outside of me being absolutely correct about this worthless POS all these years ;-)

conscious being

I'm suprised it took this long.

Quinvarius

Looks like buying Russian politicians is not so easy. The West however is is craven and corrupt. This is huge set back for Obama's transvestite, looter, gay, racist agenda of destroying civilization.

blentus

So, there I was, 18 years old, and living in a shitty civil war torn country. Not giving a fuck about anything, me and few of my friends managed to print a computer magazine and keep it going for a while. It was impossible to make money with it, and we never did it for the money anyway. It was a good 'distraction' from everything around us, and it also helped other curious kids. This was before Internet became popular/accessible, so good information was not so easy to obtain.

Around that time, Soros Foundation 'appeared' in our country and started usual advertising and promises how they will give money to 'promising' projects made by young people. Of course, we had an amazing thing (it was really hard to make a printed computer magazine while having civil war and sanctions, heh) and were certain that we would easily qualify for grant.

We got rejected. A guy printing black and white A4 pamphlet saying shit about government got the money.

I was lucky enough to learn early how these pieces of shit work.

Every time I hear phrase 'NGO' my brain simply translates it to 'cunts'. Can't help it.

smacker

Something tells me that some very smart people in Moscow have been carefully studying who is creating all this global unrest.

Russia's actions to kick out "Soros Open Society" and the "US National Endowment for Democracy" - neither of which have anything to do with what their names suggest - is to prevent Russia becoming another victim.


[Nov 28, 2015] Remaking the Middle East: How the US Grew Tired and Less Relevant

Notable quotes:
"... In reality, this perception is misleading; not that Kerry is a warmonger on the level of George W. Bush's top staff, such as Vice-President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. The two were the very antithesis of any rational foreign policy such that even the elder George H. W. Bush described them with demeaning terminology , according to his biographer, quoted in the New York Times . Cheney was an "Iron-ass", who "had his own empire … and marched to his own drummer," H.W. Bush said, while calling Rumsfeld "an arrogant fellow" who lacked empathy. Yet, considering that the elder Bush was rarely a peacemaker himself, one is left to ponder if the US foreign policy ailment is centered on failure to elect proper representatives and to enlist anyone other than psychopaths? ..."
"... comparing the conduct of the last three administrations, that of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, one would find that striking similarities are abundant. In principle, all three administrations' foreign policy agendas were predicated on strong militaries and military interventions, although they applied soft power differently. ..."
"... In essence, Obama carried on with much of what W. Bush had started in the Middle East, although he supplanted his country's less active role in Iraq with new interventions in Libya and Syria. In fact, his Iraq policies were guided by Bush's final act in that shattered country, where he ordered a surge in troops to pacify the resistance, thus paving the way for an eventual withdrawal. Of course, none of that plotting worked in their favor, with the rise of ISIS among others, but that is for another discussion. ..."
"... In other words, US foreign policy continues unabated, often guided by the preponderant norm that "might makes right", and by ill-advised personal ambitions and ideological illusions like those championed by neo-conservatives during W. Bush's era. ..."
"... The folly of W. Bush, Cheney and company is that they assumed that the Pentagon's over $1.5 billion-a-day budget was enough to acquire the US the needed leverage to control every aspect of global affairs, including a burgeoning share of world economy. ..."
"... The Russian military campaign in Syria, which was halfheartedly welcomed by the US. has signaled a historic shift in the Middle East. Even if Russia fails to turn its war into a major shift of political and economic clout, the mere fact that other contenders are now throwing their proverbial hats into the Middle East ring, is simply unprecedented since the British-French-Israeli Tripartite Aggression on Egypt in 1956. ..."
"... It will take years before a new power paradigm fully emerges, during which time US clients are likely to seek the protection of more dependable powers. In fact, the shopping for a new power is already under way, which also means that new alliances will be formed while others fold. ..."
November 14, 2015 | original.antiwar.com
US Secretary of State, John Kerry, is often perceived as one of the "good ones" – the less hawkish of top American officials, who does not simply promote and defend his country's military adventurism but reaches out to others, beyond polarizing rhetoric.

His unremitting efforts culminated partly in the Iran nuclear framework agreement in April, followed by a final deal, a few months later. Now, he is reportedly hard at work again to find some sort of consensus on a way out of the Syria war, a multi-party conflict that has killed over 300,000 people. His admirers see him as the diplomatic executor of a malleable and friendly US foreign policy agenda under President Obama.

In reality, this perception is misleading; not that Kerry is a warmonger on the level of George W. Bush's top staff, such as Vice-President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. The two were the very antithesis of any rational foreign policy such that even the elder George H. W. Bush described them with demeaning terminology, according to his biographer, quoted in the New York Times. Cheney was an "Iron-ass", who "had his own empire … and marched to his own drummer," H.W. Bush said, while calling Rumsfeld "an arrogant fellow" who lacked empathy. Yet, considering that the elder Bush was rarely a peacemaker himself, one is left to ponder if the US foreign policy ailment is centered on failure to elect proper representatives and to enlist anyone other than psychopaths?

If one is to fairly examine US foreign policies in the Middle East, for example, comparing the conduct of the last three administrations, that of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, one would find that striking similarities are abundant. In principle, all three administrations' foreign policy agendas were predicated on strong militaries and military interventions, although they applied soft power differently.

In essence, Obama carried on with much of what W. Bush had started in the Middle East, although he supplanted his country's less active role in Iraq with new interventions in Libya and Syria. In fact, his Iraq policies were guided by Bush's final act in that shattered country, where he ordered a surge in troops to pacify the resistance, thus paving the way for an eventual withdrawal. Of course, none of that plotting worked in their favor, with the rise of ISIS among others, but that is for another discussion.

Obama has even gone a step further when he recently decided to keep thousands of US troops in Afghanistan well into 2017, thus breaking US commitment to withdraw next year. 2017 is Obama's last year in office, and the decision is partly motivated by his administration's concern that future turmoil in that country could cost his Democratic Party heavily in the upcoming presidential elections.

In other words, US foreign policy continues unabated, often guided by the preponderant norm that "might makes right", and by ill-advised personal ambitions and ideological illusions like those championed by neo-conservatives during W. Bush's era.

Nevertheless, much has changed as well, simply because American ambitions to police the world, politics and the excess of $600 billion a year US defense budget are not the only variables that control events in the Middle East and everywhere else. There are other undercurrents that cannot be wished away, and they too can dictate US foreign policy outlooks and behavior.

Indeed, an American decline has been noted for many years, and Middle Eastern nations have been more aware of this decline than others. One could even argue that the W. Bush administration's rush for war in Iraq in 2003 in an attempt at controlling the region's resources, was a belated effort at staving off that unmistakable decay – whether in US ability to regulate rising global contenders or in its overall share of global economy.

The folly of W. Bush, Cheney and company is that they assumed that the Pentagon's over $1.5 billion-a-day budget was enough to acquire the US the needed leverage to control every aspect of global affairs, including a burgeoning share of world economy. That misconception carries on to this day, where military spending is already accounting for about 54 percent of all federal discretionary spending, itself nearly a third of the country's overall budget.

However, those who are blaming Obama for failing to leverage US military strength for political currency refuse to accept that Obama's behavior hardly reflects a lack of appetite for war, but a pragmatic response to a situation that has largely spun out of US control.

The so-called "Arab Spring", for example, was a major defining factor in the changes of US fortunes. And it all came at a particularly interesting time.

First, the Iraq war has destroyed whatever little credibility the US had in the region, a sentiment that also reverberated around the world.

Second, it was becoming clear that the US foreign policy in Central and South America – an obstinate continuation of the Monroe Doctrine of 1823, which laid the groundwork for US domination of that region – has also been challenged by more assertive leaders, armed with democratic initiatives, not military coups.

Third, China's more forceful politics, at least around its immediate regional surroundings, signaled that the US traditional hegemony over most of East and South East Asia are also facing fierce competition.

Not only many Asian and other countries have flocked to China, lured by its constantly growing and seemingly more solid economic performance, if compared to the US, but others are also flocking to Russia, which is filling a political and, as of late, military vacuum left open.

The Russian military campaign in Syria, which was halfheartedly welcomed by the US. has signaled a historic shift in the Middle East. Even if Russia fails to turn its war into a major shift of political and economic clout, the mere fact that other contenders are now throwing their proverbial hats into the Middle East ring, is simply unprecedented since the British-French-Israeli Tripartite Aggression on Egypt in 1956.

The region's historians must fully understand the repercussions of all of these factors, and that simply analyzing the US decline based on the performance of individuals – Condoleezza Rice's hawkishness vs. John Kerry's supposed sane diplomacy – is a trivial approach to understanding current shifts in global powers.

It will take years before a new power paradigm fully emerges, during which time US clients are likely to seek the protection of more dependable powers. In fact, the shopping for a new power is already under way, which also means that new alliances will be formed while others fold.

For now, the Middle East will continue to pass through this incredibly difficult and violent transition, for which the US is partly responsible.

Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) is a media consultant, an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father was A Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold Story (Pluto Press).

[Nov 23, 2015] Tell me how Trump doesn't win the Republican nomination

Notable quotes:
"... By far the most important thing GOP voters are looking for in a candidate is someone to "bring needed change to Washington." ..."
"... He's very strong in several of the early states right now including NH, NV and SC. And he could do very well on "Super Tuesday" with all those southern states voting. I can't see anyone but Trump or Carson winning in Georgia right now, for example, most likely Trump. ..."
"... And as for the idea of the GOP establishment ganging up on him and/or uniting behind another candidate like Rubio, that's at least as likely to backfire as to work. And even if it works, what's to stop Trump from then running as an independent? ..."
"... Indeed. You have a party whose domestic policy agenda consists of shouting "death panels!", whose foreign policy agenda consists of shouting "Benghazi!", and which now expects its base to realize that Trump isn't serious. Or to put it a bit differently, the definition of a GOP establishment candidate these days is someone who is in on the con, and knows that his colleagues have been talking nonsense. Primary voters are expected to respect that? ..."
"... ... with Trump in the race, all of those states-which are more red than they were in '08-are likely out for Democrats. Swing states like Colorado and Virginia are clear toss-ups. There are few states that Romney or McCain won where Trump, as the Republican nominee, wouldn't be in the running, and an analysis of other key states shows that Trump's in far better position than his detractors would like to admit. If Trump were to win every state that Romney won, Trump would stand today at 206 electoral votes, with 55 electoral votes up for grabs in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Nevada, Wisconsin, Iowa, and New Hampshire. Similarly, Trump does not necessarily lose in a single toss-up state versus Hillary Clinton and, in fact, is seemingly competitive in many. ..."
"... Which all means that the election comes down to Florida and Ohio, two states where Trump has significant advantages. In Florida (29 electoral votes), he is a part-time resident and is polling better than the state's former governor and sitting U.S. senator. ... ..."
"... A brokered convention, maybe? Even Romney would have a shot. ..."
"... Top-tier presidential campaigns are preparing for the still-unlikely scenario that the nomination fight goes all the way to the 2016 Republican National Convention. ..."
"... There hasn't been a brokered convention since 1976, but the strength of the GOP field, when coupled with the proliferation of super PACs, increases the chances that several candidates could show up in Cleveland next July with an army of delegates at their backs ..."
"... Since the November 13 attacks, every poll-in Florida, two in New Hampshire, and three nationwide-shows Trump maintaining or expanding his lead against his primary opponents. Poor Ben Carson, only recently Trump's chief rival, is losing energy like, well, you know who. In the Fox NH poll, it's Trump at 27, Rubio 13, Cruz 11, and Carson down there at 9 percent alongside Jeb! ..."
"... Play it out: an outsider who's dismissed by his party's elite, comes into the race and overwhelms a large, much more experienced group of candidates in a series of state primaries, both increasing his margins and improving as a candidate as he goes long. All the time riding a crisis that seems made for his candidacy. Does that sound like a sure loser? ... ..."
"... While the investigation into US bombing waste is keyed on who padded the figures rather than the ineptitude of bombing in any use other than taking out property owners to get the greedy to say uncle . The shame of Paris is attributable to the US war machine and every issue requires more money for the pentagon. ..."
"... No shit, sherlock, and it's because of you and the most vile mass murderer of all time, the CIA (and DIA, and NSA, and FBI, etc.), but predominantly the CIA and the Pentagon, that ISIS and such exists today! Whether it was Allen Dulles coordinating the escape of endless number of mass murderering Nazis, who would end up in CIA-overthrown countries, aiding and abetting their secret police (Example: Walter Rauff, who was responsible for at least 200,000 deaths, ending up as an advisor to Augusto Pinochet's secret police or DINA) or the grandson of the first chairman of the Bank for International Settlements, Richard Helms and his MKULTRA, you devils are to blame. ..."
"... The Devil's Chessboard ..."
Nov 23, 2015 | economistsview.typepad.com
Fred C. Dobbs said... November 23, 2015 at 06:49 AM
(!Trump watch.)

Thinking About the Trumpthinkable
http://nyti.ms/1jeD39I
NYT - Paul Krugman - Nov 22

Alan Abramowitz reads the latest WaPo poll and emails:

'Read these results (#) and tell me how Trump doesn't win the Republican nomination? I've been very skeptical about this all along, but I'm starting to change my mind. I think there's at least a pretty decent chance that Trump will be the nominee.

Here's why I think Trump could very well end up as the nominee:

1. He's way ahead of every other candidate now and has been in the lead or tied for the lead for a long time.

2. The only one even giving him any competition right now is Carson who is even less plausible and whose support is heavily concentrated among one (large) segment of the base-evangelicals.

3. Rubio, the great establishment hope now, is deep in third place, barely in double digits and nowhere close to Trump or Carson.

4. By far the most important thing GOP voters are looking for in a candidate is someone to "bring needed change to Washington."

5. He is favored on almost every major issue by Republican voters including immigration and terrorism by wide margins. The current terrorism scare only helps him with Republicans. They want someone who will "bomb the shit" out of the Muslim terrorists.

6. There is clearly strong support among Republicans for deporting 11 million illegal immigrants. They don't provide party breakdown here, but support for this is at about 40 percent among all voters so it's got to be a lot higher than that, maybe 60 percent, among Republicans.

7. If none of the totally crazy things he's said up until now have hurt him among Republican voters, why would any crazy things he says in the next few months hurt him?

8. He's very strong in several of the early states right now including NH, NV and SC. And he could do very well on "Super Tuesday" with all those southern states voting. I can't see anyone but Trump or Carson winning in Georgia right now, for example, most likely Trump.

9. And as for the idea of the GOP establishment ganging up on him and/or uniting behind another candidate like Rubio, that's at least as likely to backfire as to work. And even if it works, what's to stop Trump from then running as an independent?'

Indeed. You have a party whose domestic policy agenda consists of shouting "death panels!", whose foreign policy agenda consists of shouting "Benghazi!", and which now expects its base to realize that Trump isn't serious. Or to put it a bit differently, the definition of a GOP establishment candidate these days is someone who is in on the con, and knows that his colleagues have been talking nonsense. Primary voters are expected to respect that?

#- Washington Post-ABC News poll, Nov. 16-19, 2015
https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/politics/washington-post-abc-news-poll-nov-16-19-2015/1880

Dan Kervick -> pgl... November 23, 2015 at 10:42 AM

My guess is that if people dug deeper into the support for Trump, they would find that there is a certain percentage of Republicans who have supported Trump because he was a business man - the only one in the pack - not because they wanted another crazy xenophobic racist wingnut. Now that Trump has gone full wingnut, they are frustrated with the mess they have created for themselves.

Fred C. Dobbs -> Dan Kervick...

Here's Why Donald Trump
Really Could Be Elected President http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/10/donald-trump-could-be-president via @VanityFair
David Burstein - October 22

... with Trump in the race, all of those states-which are more red than they were in '08-are likely out for Democrats. Swing states like Colorado and Virginia are clear toss-ups. There are few states that Romney or McCain won where Trump, as the Republican nominee, wouldn't be in the running, and an analysis of other key states shows that Trump's in far better position than his detractors would like to admit. If Trump were to win every state that Romney won, Trump would stand today at 206 electoral votes, with 55 electoral votes up for grabs in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Nevada, Wisconsin, Iowa, and New Hampshire. Similarly, Trump does not necessarily lose in a single toss-up state versus Hillary Clinton and, in fact, is seemingly competitive in many.

Virginia is trending blue, but could be a toss-up, particularly given the tale of Dave Brat, whose success in 2014 could be read as a harbinger of Trump. Colorado will have high Republican turnout, given that it is home to what's likely to be one of the country's most contested Senate races-which could make it more competitive than it should be, considering Trump's comments about Latinos. Depending on how well Trump shows in the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries, they too could be in play. In two of the remaining states, Wisconsin and Nevada, any Democratic nominee will have an upper hand-particularly Clinton.

But Trump will be able to effectively contest, particularly in a place like Wisconsin, with working-class white voters who elected Scott Walker three times in four years. Finally, Pennsylvania, which has been leaning ever-more blue and will likely go blue this year, will nonetheless require Clinton to spend some resources and time there-taking away from her efforts in other swing states.

Which all means that the election comes down to Florida and Ohio, two states where Trump has significant advantages. In Florida (29 electoral votes), he is a part-time resident and is polling better than the state's former governor and sitting U.S. senator. ...

Fred C. Dobbs -> Fred C. Dobbs...

Long time, still, from now to the GOP convention. (Curiously, less every week, however.)

Some GOPsters (including Bush, Rubio, various others) know in their hearts that eventually Trump & Carson will fade, or be dumped, and *their* star will ascend. Sure.

A brokered convention, maybe? Even Romney would have a shot.

NH primary poll puts non-candidate Romney first http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/11/21/gop-voters-would-prefer-romney/WiU9f86jd19UkXYQfb2yxM/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe - Nov 22

Fred C. Dobbs -> Fred C. Dobbs...
Could the GOP Really See a Brokered Convention
in 2016? http://natl.re/CLXxxf via @NRO
Joel Gehrke - May 14, 2015

Ask around and you'll hear a consistent theme from political strategists in the Republican party: The 2016 primary is wide open. "It is by far the most interesting presidential year since I've been involved [in Republican politics]," says Steve Munisteri, a senior adviser to Senator Rand Paul.

How interesting? Top-tier presidential campaigns are preparing for the still-unlikely scenario that the nomination fight goes all the way to the 2016 Republican National Convention.

There hasn't been a brokered convention since 1976, but the strength of the GOP field, when coupled with the proliferation of super PACs, increases the chances that several candidates could show up in Cleveland next July with an army of delegates at their backs. "It's certainly more likely now than it's been in any prior election, going back to 1976," Thor Hearn, the general counsel to George W. Bush's 2004 reelection campaign, tells National Review. "I don't put it as a high likelihood, but it's a much more realistic probability than it's been in any recent experience." ...

Fred C. Dobbs -> Fred C. Dobbs...

Believe It: Trump Can Defeat Hillary
http://www.thenation.com/article/believe-it-trump-can-defeat-hillary/
The Nation - Leslie Savan - November 20, 2015

The Paris attacks have made the demagogue even stronger.

Tt hurts to put these words in print, but… Ann Coulter may be right. Shortly after the Paris attacks began last Friday, she tweeted, "They can wait if they like until next November for the actual balloting, but Donald Trump was elected president tonight."

Stephen Colbert agrees. He told us this week to get used to saying "President Trump"-and led his studio audience to repeat the words in unison and then pretend to barf.

Yes, it's hard to stomach. America's most entertaining demagogue winning the GOP primaries and then the general? It can't happen here, can it?

Democrats have been expressing absolute incredulity at the possibility, and quietly chuckling to themselves about the Clinton landslide to come if Donald is his party's nominee. The Huffington Post has banned Trump from its politics section and relegated him to Entertainment, as if there he'd be no more than a joke.

The problem is that our liberal incredulity mirrors that of the Republican establishment, which refuses to believe that their front-runner of five straight months could possibly win their nomination. Now even after the carnage in Paris, Beltway pundits are telling themselves that the base will sober up and turn toward "experienced" pols like Rubio or Bush and away from the newbie nuts. As the always-wrong Bill Kristol said of this latest terrorism crisis, "I think it hurts Trump and Carson, honestly."

But, honestly, it's only strengthened Trump. Since the November 13 attacks, every poll-in Florida, two in New Hampshire, and three nationwide-shows Trump maintaining or expanding his lead against his primary opponents. Poor Ben Carson, only recently Trump's chief rival, is losing energy like, well, you know who. In the Fox NH poll, it's Trump at 27, Rubio 13, Cruz 11, and Carson down there at 9 percent alongside Jeb!

It's easy to laugh at GOPers in denial, but progressives who pooh-pooh Trump's chances of beating Hillary may be whistling past the graveyard of American democracy.

A post-Paris Reuters/Ipsos poll asked 1,106 people which candidate, from the entire 2016 field, could best tackle terrorism, and respondents put Trump and Clinton on equal footing, at 20 percent each.

Not good-when it comes to taking on terrorists, a reality-show "carnival barker" who's never served in the military nor held elected office is tied with a decidedly hawkish former secretary of state?

Play it out: an outsider who's dismissed by his party's elite, comes into the race and overwhelms a large, much more experienced group of candidates in a series of state primaries, both increasing his margins and improving as a candidate as he goes long. All the time riding a crisis that seems made for his candidacy. Does that sound like a sure loser? ...

ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs...

Media hype, more Americans died, most did not want to, from gun violence this past weekend......

While the investigation into US bombing waste is keyed on "who padded the figures" rather than the ineptitude of bombing in any use other than taking out property owners to get the greedy to say "uncle". The shame of Paris is attributable to the US war machine and every issue requires more money for the pentagon.

847328_3527
But they're still ... "jealous of our freedom" right?
sgt_doom

"I dealt with terrorists in South America in the 1970s, but they never attacked innocent women and children indiscriminately," he said.

No shit, sherlock, and it's because of you and the most vile mass murderer of all time, the CIA (and DIA, and NSA, and FBI, etc.), but predominantly the CIA and the Pentagon, that ISIS and such exists today!

Whether it was Allen Dulles coordinating the escape of endless number of mass murderering Nazis, who would end up in CIA-overthrown countries, aiding and abetting their secret police (Example: Walter Rauff, who was responsible for at least 200,000 deaths, ending up as an advisor to Augusto Pinochet's secret police or DINA) or the grandson of the first chairman of the Bank for International Settlements, Richard Helms and his MKULTRA, you devils are to blame.

Recommended reading (to better understand why the USA is known as the Great Satan):

The Devil's Chessboard, by David Talbot

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=the+devil%27s+chessboard&tag=googhydr-20&index=stripbooks&hvadid=78875381302&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2565125617248777980&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_34lcz93rcf_e_p4

logicalman
Funny how these fucks can come out and say this kind of shit and get away with it. The fucker's basically pleading guilty to murder, FFS.
Ms No
They didn't kill anybody in South America my ass.... The school of Americas, Operation Condor, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Guatamala, El Salvador .... who the hell are they kidding? The CIA has always been covered and nobody ever cared.
Perimetr Perimetr's picture
"If there's blame to be put. . ."

It's on the CIA for running its global terrorist operations, funded by the $1 trillion dollars a year coming from its Afghanistan heroin operation.

Noplebian

US Gives Their Proxy Army ISIS 45 Minute Warning Before Air Strikes......

http://beforeitsnews.com/conspiracy-theories/2015/11/us-gives-their-prox...

blindman

sirs and madams,
.
"Christmas celebration this year is going to be a charade because the whole world is at war. We are close to Christmas. There will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees, even Nativity scenes – all decked out – while the world continues to wage war.

It's all a charade. The world has not understood the way of peace. The whole world is at war. A war can be justified, so to speak, with many, many reasons, but when all the world as it is today, at war, piecemeal though that war may be-a little here, a little there-there is no justification.

What shall remain in the wake of this war, in the midst of which we are living now? What shall remain? Ruins, thousands of children without education, so many innocent victims, and lots of money in the pockets of arms dealers."

Francis I
.
http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2015/11/here-is-british-banned-...

Dinero D. Profit

Ladies and gentlemen of ZH.

In history, what must be, will be.

The discovery of America by Europe had to happen. The savages had to be eliminated and The Revolutionary War had to happen. Slavery had to begin, and after it, segregation had to begin, but, what must be, will be, slavery and segregation had to end. Old School colonization of poor nations had to happen. The Boer War had to happen. The Spanish American War had to happen. The Main had to be sunk. WWI had to happen. Calvary charges had to end. Totalitarian Communism had to happen. Germany's 20's depression had to happen, reactionary jingoism had to happen, and Kristallnacht and the Reichstag fire had to happen. The Allies had to win WWII, Hiroshima and Nagasaki had to be publicity stunts, and the Cold War had to begin. JFK had to be wacked, the Vietnam War had to happen, the FED still was happening. Civil Rights laws had to be passed. Recognition of China had to happen, going off the gold standard had to happen, and Nixon had to be kicked out of office. Corporate Globalization had to begin. After Carter an actor had to be President. Unions had to be stifled. Perestroika and glasnost had to happen. The Berlin Wall had to come down. The MIC had to find another enemy, and suddenly 9/11 had to happen. …

Over population has to happen, poisoning the environment has to happen, and the NWO has to happen.

Ladies and gentlemen, the NWO is here, and there is nothing you can do, and nothing you could have done to stop it.

Edit. I see none of our supposed enemies 'truth bombing' 9/11, 7/7, and the 13th Paris attacks. I see no trade embagoes, I see no arguments in the Security Council over the illegality of US/Nato bombing in Syria.

blindman

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-zuesse/jimmy-carter-is-correct-t_b_79...
Jimmy Carter Is Correct That the U.S. Is No Longer a Democracy
Posted: 08/03/2015 11:48 am EDT
.
On July 28, Thom Hartmann interviewed former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and, at the very end of his show (as if this massive question were merely an afterthought), asked him his opinion of the 2010 Citizens United decision and the 2014 McCutcheon decision, both decisions by the five Republican judges on the U.S. Supreme Court. These two historic decisions enable unlimited secret money (including foreign money) now to pour into U.S. political and judicial campaigns. Carter answered:

It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it's just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or being elected president. And the same thing applies to governors, and U.S. Senators and congress members. So, now we've just seen a subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect, and sometimes get, favors for themselves after the election is over. ... At the present time the incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody that is already in Congress has a great deal more to sell." ...
.
it is the money "system", man.

blindman

corporations and hoodwink powers ride on the indifference of the damned, the silence of the dead and doomed.

Dinero D. Profit

The Satus Quo can rely upon the loyalty of their employees, Congress, the military, the military industrial contractors, their workers and family members, the crime control establishment, all Uniersity professors and employees, and every employee of all publically traded companies, and every person employed by the MSM.

The dead and doomed are irrelevant. If you have an establishment job, you'll obey and ask no vital questions.

Dick Buttkiss
Sunnis and Shiites hate each other far more than they hate Christians, Jews, or anyone else. If it weren't for oil, the USG wouldn't give a flyiing fuck if they anihilated each other. Instead, it conspires with them in ways far beyond its ability to comprehend, much less navigate. Thus is the US ship of state heading for the shoals of its destruction, the only question being how much of the country and the outside world it takes down with it.
ross81
thats bullshit Western propaganda that Shiites hate Sunnis and vice versa. In the same way that the Brits stirred up Protestant hatred of Catholics in Ulster for centuries, the US/Israel/Saudi does the same with Sunnis vs Shiites on a much bigger scale in the Middle East. Divide and Conquer.
geno-econ
This is getting scary in that one or two more attacks will result in travel freezes, flow of Middle East oil and result in huge increase in military as well as Homeland security costs. A depression or economic collapse a real possibility Perhaps time for a Peace Conference of all interested parties. The US started this shit and should be the first to call for a Peace Conference. Macho talk will only make things worse.
moonmac
We can print trillions out of thin air at the drop of a hat but we can't kill a small group of terrorists. Got it!
sgt_doom
Or, we pour billions of dollars every year into the CIA, NSA, and DIA, and only a poor old fart such as myself can figure out that Bilal Erdogan is the ISIS connection to oil trading (Turkish president, Erdogan's son) and Erdogan's daughter is with ISIS?
GRDguy
Ex-CIA boss gets it wrong, again.

"When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

should be:

"When you have a small group of financial sociopaths willing to lie-to, steal-from and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

and you'll probably be punished, jailed or shot for tryin' to protect yourself and your family.

Ban KKiller
War profiteer. That is it. Along wth James Comey, James Clapper, Jack Welch and the list is almost endless...
BarnacleBill
"When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

Simply take out the word "their", and the description perfectly fits the CIA, MI6 and their like. For them, it's all a business deal, nothing more - a massive slum-clearance project. Destroy people's houses, provide accommodation and food, ship them somewhere else; do it again and again until the money-printing machine conks out. It's money for old rope.

http://barlowscayman.blogspot.com/2015/11/slum-clearance-on-massive-scale.html

And, yes, we're all vulnerable. The man got that right.

Duc888
"You get the politicians you deserve."

CIA types are appointed, not elected.

Duc888
I do not know if there are any Catherine Austin Fitts fans on this web site but this is definitely worth the time. The FEDGOV came after her non stop for 6 years when she worked for HUD under Bush Sr. If nothing else this lady is tenacious. In this presentation she uncorks exactly HOW the deep black budgets are paid for...and it ain't your tax dollars. What she uncovered while at HUD was simply amazing..... and she made an excellent point. At the top... it's NOT "fraud" because that's how it was all deigned right from the get go after wwII. It brings to mind the funny computer saying....."it's a feature, not a bug". She digs right into how the CIA was funded... Truly amazing stuff. ...of course the dick head brigade will come along here and deride her because of the conference she is speaking at.... well, who the fuck cares, her presentation is excellent and filled with facts. Yes it is 1 hour 20 minutes long but imho it is well worth the watch...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0mimIp8mr8

Dragon HAwk
After reading all these posts my only question is why does the CIA allow Zero Hedge to Exist ?

except of course to collect names...

[Nov 23, 2015] Imagine a U.S. presidential candidate who met with the Russian government and repeatedly accused them of being too soft on President Obama By Mark Weisbrot

Notable quotes:
"... Imagine a U.S. presidential candidate who met with the Russian government and repeatedly accused them of being too soft on President Obama. A candidate who told Russias foreign minister of the need to set limits on the White Houses misbehavior, and that the Russians silence on the abusive mistreatment [Russia] suffered at the hands of the Obama administration had encouraged more of the same. ..."
"... Mauricio Macri, a right-wing businessman from one of the countrys richest families, is running for president in elections this Sunday. According to leaked documents from the U.S. Embassy, published by WikiLeaks, this is the conversation he had with the U.S. ambassador and the U.S. State Department official in charge of Latin America. He was very concerned that Washington was too soft on Argentina and was encouraging abusive treatment of the U.S. at the hands of the Argentine government. ..."
"... From 2003-2015, according to the IMF, the real (inflation-adjusted) Argentine economy grew by about 78 percent. (There is some dispute over this number, but not enough to change the overall picture.) This is quite a large increase in living standards, one of the biggest in the Americas. Unemployment fell from more than 17.2 percent to 6.9 percent (IMF). The government created the largest conditional cash transfer program in the Americas for the poor. From 2003 to the second half of 2013 (the latest independent statistics available), poverty fell by about 70 percent and extreme poverty by 80 percent. (These numbers are based on independent estimates of inflation.) ..."
"... In the last four years, growth has slowed, inflation has been higher, and a black market has developed for the dollar. Some of this has been due to a number of unfavorable external shocks: the regional economy will have negative growth this year (Argentinas will be slightly positive); ..."
www.cepr.net
http://www.cepr.net/publications/op-eds-columns/warning-signs-on-the-road-to-change-in-argentina

November 20, 2015

Warning Signs on the Road to "Change" in Argentina
By Mark Weisbrot

Imagine a U.S. presidential candidate who met with the Russian government and repeatedly accused them of being "too soft" on President Obama. A candidate who told Russia's foreign minister of the "need to set limits" on the White House's "misbehavior," and that the Russians' "silence" on the "abusive mistreatment [Russia] suffered" at the hands of the Obama administration "had encouraged more of the same."

Would Americans trust such a candidate? OK, that's a rhetorical question. But in Argentina, it's real.

Mauricio Macri, a right-wing businessman from one of the country's richest families, is running for president in elections this Sunday. According to leaked documents from the U.S. Embassy, published by WikiLeaks, this is the conversation he had with the U.S. ambassador and the U.S. State Department official in charge of Latin America. He was very concerned that Washington was "too soft" on Argentina and was encouraging "abusive treatment" of the U.S. at the hands of the Argentine government.

The analogy is not perfect, since the current Russian government has never played a major role -- or any role, for that matter -- in wrecking the U.S. economy and creating a Great Depression here. But the U.S. Treasury Department, which was the International Monetary Fund's decider during Argentina's severe depression of 1998-2002, did indeed exert an enormous influence on the policies that prolonged and deepened that depression. Argentines are not holding a grudge, but neither would they want the U.S. to again play a major role in their politics or economic policy.

But there are other reasons to worry about Macri's intentions that hit closer to home. In his conversations with U.S. officials, in 2009, he referred to the economic policies of the Kirchners -- Néstor Kirchner, who was president from 2003-2007, and his wife Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who was elected in 2007 -- as "a failed economic model." He has made similar statements during the campaign, and although he has often been vague, he has indicated that he wants something very different, and considerably to the right of current economic policy.

It is worth looking at this much-maligned record of the Kirchners, especially since Daniel Scioli, who is the candidate of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and her "Front for Victory" alliance, represents some continuity with "Kirchnerismo." Macri's coalition is called "Cambiemos," or "Let's Change."

From 2003-2015, according to the IMF, the real (inflation-adjusted) Argentine economy grew by about 78 percent. (There is some dispute over this number, but not enough to change the overall picture.) This is quite a large increase in living standards, one of the biggest in the Americas. Unemployment fell from more than 17.2 percent to 6.9 percent (IMF). The government created the largest conditional cash transfer program in the Americas for the poor. From 2003 to the second half of 2013 (the latest independent statistics available), poverty fell by about 70 percent and extreme poverty by 80 percent. (These numbers are based on independent estimates of inflation.)

But these numbers do not describe the full magnitude of the achievement. As I describe in my book, "Failed: What the 'Experts' Got Wrong About the Global Economy" (Oxford University Press, 2015), Néstor Kirchner took office as the economy was beginning to recover from a serious depression, and it took great courage and tenacity to stand up to the IMF and its allies, negotiate a sustainable level of foreign debt (which involved sticking to a large default), and implement a set of macroeconomic policies that would allow for this remarkable recovery. It was analogous to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's leadership during the U.S. Great Depression, and like Roosevelt, Kirchner had the majority of the economics profession against him -- as well as the media. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner also had to fight a number of battles to continue Argentina's economic progress.

In the last four years, growth has slowed, inflation has been higher, and a black market has developed for the dollar. Some of this has been due to a number of unfavorable external shocks: the regional economy will have negative growth this year (Argentina's will be slightly positive); Argentina's biggest trading partner, Brazil, is in recession and has seen its currency plummet; and in 2014 a New York judge of questionable competence made a political decision to block Argentina from making debt payments to most of its creditors. So, despite the overall track record of 12 years of Kirchnerismo delivering a large increase in living standards and employment, and successful poverty reduction, there are significant problems that need to be fixed.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan ran for president of the United States in the midst of a recession and inflation passing 13 percent. He, too, promised change and he delivered it -- and ushered in an era of sharply increased inequality and other social, political, and economic maladies from which America is still suffering. Just look at his proud progeny in the Republican presidential debates.

Macri probably does not have Reagan's talent as an actor and communicator to radically transform Argentina and reverse most of the gains of the last 13 years. But it seems likely from the interests that he represents, and his political orientation, that Argentina's poor and working people will bear the brunt of any economic adjustment. And there is a serious risk that by following right-wing "fixes" for the economy, he could launch a cycle of self-defeating austerity and recession of the kind that we have seen in Greece and the eurozone.

The Kirchners also reversed the impunity of military officers responsible for mass murder and torture during the dictatorship, and hundreds have been tried and convicted for their crimes. Macri has dismissed these unprecedented human rights achievements as mere political showmanship. His party also voted against marriage equality, which was passed anyway, making Argentina the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage.

"Let's Change" is an appealing slogan, but the question is "change to what?"

[Nov 23, 2015] The Crisis of World Order

It's the same PNAC propaganda all over again.
Notable quotes:
"... From the man who brought you the Iraq war and the rise of ISIS--how to solve the ISIS crisis. ..."
"... Youd think ppl who brought the Iraq war, the best recruiters of ISIS, would be nowhere to be seen; but no, are telling how to deal w/ISIS. ..."
"... Narrative is the foundation of their skewed analysis. Their object is to sell perpetual war using super high tech, exquisitely expensive, contractor maintained versions of WW II formations to expired resources eternally for the profits they deliver. They starve the safety net to pay for their income security. ..."
"... ... In July of last year, the New York Times ran two pieces tying Clinton to the neoconservative movement. In "The Next Act of the Neocons," (*) Jacob Heilbrunn argued that neocons like historian Robert Kagan are putting their lot in with Clinton in an effort to stay relevant while the GOP shies away from its past interventionism and embraces politicians like Senator Rand Paul: ..."
"... And the thing is, these neocons have a point. Mrs. Clinton voted for the Iraq war; supported sending arms to Syrian rebels; likened Russia's president, Vladimir V. Putin, to Adolf Hitler; wholeheartedly backs Israel; and stresses the importance of promoting democracy. ..."
"... It's easy to imagine Mrs. Clinton's making room for the neocons in her administration. No one could charge her with being weak on national security with the likes of Robert Kagan on board ..."
"... Kagan served on Clinton's bipartisan foreign policy advisory board when she was Secretary of State, has deep neocon roots. ..."
"... A month before the Heilbrunn piece, the Times profiled Kagan ( ..."
"... ), who was critical of Obama's foreign policy, but supported Clinton. "I feel comfortable with her on foreign policy," Kagan told the Times. "If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue … it's something that might have been called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that." ... ..."
"... Are Neocons Getting Ready to Ally With Hillary Clinton? http://nyti.ms/1qJ4eLN ..."
"... Robert Kagan Strikes a Nerve With Article on Obama Policy http://nyti.ms/UEuqtB ..."
"... doublethink has become synonymous with relieving cognitive dissonance by ignoring the contradiction between two world views – or even of deliberately seeking to relieve cognitive dissonance. (Wikipedia) ..."
Nov. 20, 2015 | WSJ

...Europe was not in great shape before the refugee crisis and the terrorist attacks. The prolonged Eurozone crisis eroded the legitimacy of European political institutions and the centrist parties that run them, while weakening the economies of key European powers. The old troika-Britain, France and Germany-that used to provide leadership on the continent and with whom the U.S. worked most closely to set the global agenda is no more. Britain is a pale shadow of its former self. Once the indispensable partner for the U.S., influential in both Washington and Brussels, the mediator between America and Europe, Britain is now unmoored, drifting away from both. The Labor Party, once led by Tony Blair, is now headed by an anti-American pacifist, while the ruling Conservative government boasts of its "very special relationship" with China.

... ... ...

There is a Russian angle, too. Many of these parties, and even some mainstream political movements across the continent, are funded by Russia and make little secret of their affinity for Moscow. Thus Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary has praised "illiberalism" and made common ideological cause with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In Germany, a whole class of businesspeople, politicians, and current and former government officials, led by former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, presses constantly for normalized relations with Moscow. It sometimes seems, in Germany and perhaps in all of Europe, as if the only person standing in the way of full alliance with Russia is German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Now the Syrian crisis has further bolstered Russia's position. Although Europeans generally share Washington's discomfort with Moscow's support for Mr. Assad and Russia's bombing of moderate Syrian rebels, in the wake of the Paris attacks, any plausible partner in the fight against Islamic State seems worth enlisting. In France, former President Nicolas Sarkozy has long been an advocate for Russia, but now his calls for partnership with Moscow are echoed by President François Hollande, who seeks a "grand coalition" with Russia to fight Islamic State.

Where does the U.S. fit into all this? The Europeans no longer know, any more than American allies in the Middle East do. Most Europeans still like Mr. Obama. After President George W. Bush and the Iraq war, Europeans have gotten the kind of American president they wanted. But in the current crisis, this new, more restrained and intensely cautious post-Iraq America has less to offer than the old superpower, with all its arrogance and belligerence.

The flip side of European pleasure at America's newfound Venusian outlook is the perception, widely shared around the world, that the U.S. is a declining superpower, and that even if it is not objectively weaker than it once was, its leaders' willingness to deploy power on behalf of its interests, and on behalf of the West, has greatly diminished. As former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer recently put it, the U.S. "quite obviously, is no longer willing-or able-to play its old role."

Mr. Fischer was referring specifically to America's role as the dominant power in the Middle East, but since the refugee crisis and the attacks in Paris, America's unwillingness to play that role has reverberations and implications well beyond the Middle East. What the U.S. now does or doesn't do in Syria will affect the future stability of Europe, the strength of trans-Atlantic relations and therefore the well-being of the liberal world order.

This is no doubt the last thing that Mr. Obama wants to hear, and possibly to believe. Certainly he would not deny that the stakes have gone up since the refugee crisis and especially since Paris. At the very least, Islamic State has proven both its desire and its ability to carry out massive, coordinated attacks in a major European city. It is not unthinkable that it could carry out a similar attack in an American city. This is new.

... ... ...

In 2002, a British statesman-scholar issued a quiet warning. "The challenge to the postmodern world," the diplomat Robert Cooper argued, was that while Europeans might operate within their borders as if power no longer mattered, in the world outside Europe, they needed to be prepared to use force just as in earlier eras. "Among ourselves, we keep the law, but when we are operating in the jungle, we must also use the laws of the jungle," he wrote. Europeans didn't heed this warning, or at least didn't heed it sufficiently. They failed to arm themselves for the jungle, materially and spiritually, and now that the jungle has entered the European garden, they are at a loss.

With the exercise of power barely an option, despite what Mr. Hollande promises, Europeans are likely to feel their only choice is to build fences, both within Europe and along its periphery-even if in the process they destroy the very essence of the European project. It is this sentiment that has the Le Pens of Europe soaring in the polls.

What would such an effort look like? First, it would require establishing a safe zone in Syria, providing the millions of would-be refugees still in the country a place to stay and the hundreds of thousands who have fled to Europe a place to which to return. To establish such a zone, American military officials estimate, would require not only U.S. air power but ground forces numbering up to 30,000. Once the safe zone was established, many of those troops could be replaced by forces from Europe, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other Arab states, but the initial force would have to be largely American.

In addition, a further 10,000 to 20,000 U.S. troops would be required to uproot Islamic State from the haven it has created in Syria and to help local forces uproot it in Iraq. Many of those troops could then be replaced by NATO and other international forces to hold the territory and provide a safe zone for rebuilding the areas shattered by Islamic State rule.

At the same time, an internationally negotiated and blessed process of transition in Syria should take place, ushering the bloodstained Mr. Assad from power and establishing a new provisional government to hold nationwide elections. The heretofore immovable Mr. Assad would face an entirely new set of military facts on the ground, with the Syrian opposition now backed by U.S. forces and air power, the Syrian air force grounded and Russian bombing halted. Throughout the transition period, and probably beyond even the first rounds of elections, an international peacekeeping force-made up of French, Turkish, American and other NATO forces as well as Arab troops-would have to remain in Syria until a reasonable level of stability, security and inter-sectarian trust was achieved.

Is such a plan so unthinkable? In recent years, the mere mention of U.S. ground troops has been enough to stop any conversation. Americans, or at least the intelligentsia and political class, remain traumatized by Iraq, and all calculations about what to do in Syria have been driven by that trauma. Mr. Obama's advisers have been reluctant to present him with options that include even smaller numbers of ground forces, assuming that he would reject them. And Mr. Obama has, in turn, rejected his advisers' less ambitious proposals on the reasonable grounds that they would probably be insufficient.

This dynamic has kept the president sneering at those who have wanted to do more but have been reluctant to be honest about how much more. But it has also allowed him to be comfortable settling for minimal, pressure-relieving approaches that he must know cannot succeed but which at least have the virtue of avoiding the much larger commitment that he has so far refused to make.

The president has also been inclined to reject options that don't promise to "solve" the problems of Syria, Iraq and the Middle East. He doesn't want to send troops only to put "a lid on things."

In this respect, he is entranced, like most Americans, by the image of the decisive engagement followed by the victorious return home. But that happy picture is a myth. Even after the iconic American victory in World War II, the U.S. didn't come home. Keeping a lid on things is exactly what the U.S. has done these past 70 years. That is how the U.S. created this liberal world order.

In Asia, American forces have kept a lid on what had been, and would likely be again, a dangerous multisided conflict involving China, Japan, Korea, India and who knows who else. In Europe, American forces put a lid on what had been a chronic state of insecurity and war, making it possible to lay the foundations of the European Union. In the Balkans, the presence of U.S. and European troops has kept a lid on what had been an escalating cycle of ethnic conflict. In Libya, a similar international force, with even a small American contingent, could have kept the lid on that country's boiling caldron, perhaps long enough to give a new, more inclusive government a chance.

Preserving a liberal world order and international security is all about placing lids on regions of turmoil. In any case, as my Brookings Institution colleague Thomas Wright observes, whether or not you want to keep a lid on something really ought to depend on what's under the lid.

At practically any other time in the last 70 years, the idea of dispatching even 50,000 troops to fight an organization of Islamic State's description would not have seemed too risky or too costly to most Americans. In 1990-91, President George H.W. Bush, now revered as a judicious and prudent leader, sent half a million troops across the globe to drive Iraq out of Kuwait, a country that not one American in a million could find on a map and which the U.S. had no obligation to defend. In 1989, he sent 30,000 troops to invade Panama to topple an illegitimate, drug-peddling dictator. During the Cold War, when presidents sent more than 300,000 troops to Korea and more than 500,000 troops to Vietnam, the idea of sending 50,000 troops to fight a large and virulently anti-American terrorist organization that had seized territory in the Middle East, and from that territory had already launched a murderous attack on a major Western city, would have seemed barely worth an argument.

Not today. Americans remain paralyzed by Iraq, Republicans almost as much as Democrats, and Mr. Obama is both the political beneficiary and the living symbol of this paralysis. Whether he has the desire or capacity to adjust to changing circumstances is an open question. Other presidents have-from Woodrow Wilson to Franklin Roosevelt to Bill Clinton-each of whom was forced to recalibrate what the loss or fracturing of Europe would mean to American interests. In Mr. Obama's case, however, such a late-in-the-game recalculation seems less likely. He may be the first president since the end of World War II who simply doesn't care what happens to Europe.

If so, it is, again, a great irony for Europe, and perhaps a tragic one. Having excoriated the U.S. for invading Iraq, Europeans played no small part in bringing on the crisis of confidence and conscience that today prevents Americans from doing what may be necessary to meet the Middle Eastern crisis that has Europe reeling. Perhaps there are Europeans today wishing that the U.S. will not compound its error of commission in Iraq by making an equally unfortunate error of omission in Syria. They can certainly hope.

Mr. Kagan is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the author of "Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order" and, most recently, "The World America Made."

Selected Skeptical Comments
anne said... , November 22, 2015 at 05:50 AM
https://twitter.com/BrankoMilan

Branko Milanovic ‏@BrankoMilan

From the man who brought you the Iraq war and the rise of ISIS--how to solve the ISIS crisis.

Strobe Talbott @strobetalbott

A clarion call by @BrookingsFP's Bob Kagan. Hope (& bet) POTUS has read it. Would-be successors should as well. http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-crisis-of-world-order-1448052095

9:03 AM - 21 Nov 2015

anne said in reply to anne... , November 22, 2015 at 05:50 AM

https://twitter.com/BrankoMilan/status/668114578866221056

Branko Milanovic‏ @BrankoMilan

You'd think ppl who brought the Iraq war, the best recruiters of ISIS, would be nowhere to be seen; but no, are telling how to deal w/ISIS.

ilsm said in reply to anne...

Narrative is the foundation of their skewed analysis. Their object is to sell perpetual war using super high tech, exquisitely expensive, contractor maintained versions of WW II formations to expired resources eternally for the profits they deliver. They starve the safety net to pay for their income security.


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

Neoconservativism Is Down But Not Out of the 2016 Race

http://bloom.bg/1EpwSou
via @Bloomberg - February 18, 2015

... In July of last year, the New York Times ran two pieces tying Clinton to the neoconservative movement. In "The Next Act of the Neocons," (*) Jacob Heilbrunn argued that neocons like historian Robert Kagan are putting their lot in with Clinton in an effort to stay relevant while the GOP shies away from its past interventionism and embraces politicians like Senator Rand Paul:

'Other neocons have followed Mr. Kagan's careful centrism and respect for Mrs. Clinton. Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, noted in the New Republic this year that "it is clear that in administration councils she was a principled voice for a strong stand on controversial issues, whether supporting the Afghan surge or the intervention in Libya."

And the thing is, these neocons have a point. Mrs. Clinton voted for the Iraq war; supported sending arms to Syrian rebels; likened Russia's president, Vladimir V. Putin, to Adolf Hitler; wholeheartedly backs Israel; and stresses the importance of promoting democracy.

It's easy to imagine Mrs. Clinton's making room for the neocons in her administration. No one could charge her with being weak on national security with the likes of Robert Kagan on board.'

(The story also notes, prematurely, that the careers of older neocons like Wolfowitz are "permanently buried in the sands of Iraq.")

Kagan served on Clinton's bipartisan foreign policy advisory board when she was Secretary of State, has deep neocon roots. He was part of the Project for a New American Century, a now-defunct think tank that spanned much of the second Bush presidency and supported a "Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity." PNAC counted Kagan, Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, William Kristol, and Jeb Bush among its members. In 1998, some of its members-including Wolfowitz, Kagan, and Rumsfeld-signed an open letter to President Bill Clinton asking him to remove Saddam Hussein from power.

A month before the Heilbrunn piece, the Times profiled Kagan (#), who was critical of Obama's foreign policy, but supported Clinton. "I feel comfortable with her on foreign policy," Kagan told the Times. "If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue … it's something that might have been called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that." ...

*- Are Neocons Getting Ready to Ally With Hillary Clinton? http://nyti.ms/1qJ4eLN

#- Robert Kagan Strikes a Nerve With Article on Obama Policy http://nyti.ms/UEuqtB

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

(I may be a HRC supporter but Neocons still make me anxious.)

'doublethink has become synonymous with relieving cognitive dissonance by ignoring the contradiction between two world views – or even of deliberately seeking to relieve cognitive dissonance.' (Wikipedia)


[Nov 21, 2015] US Congresswoman Introduces Bill To Stop Illegal War On Assad; Says CIA Ops Must Stop

"Any candidate who supports a safe no-fly zone in Syria, must admit that US/Coalition ground/air troops are need to enforce [it]
Nov 21, 2015 | Zero Hedge
Last month, US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard went on CNN and laid bare Washington's Syria strategy.

In a remarkably candid interview with Wolf Blitzer, Gabbard calls Washington's effort to oust Assad "counterproductive" and "illegal" before taking it a step further and accusing the CIA of arming the very same terrorists who The White House insists are "sworn enemies."

In short, Gabbard all but tells the American public that the government is lying to them and may end up inadvertently starting "World War III."

For those who missed it, here's the clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHkher6ceaA

[Nov 20, 2015] Hillarys Heavy Obligations to Wall Street Money and The Banks Favorite Candidates

jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com
"The wealth of another region excites their greed; and if it is weak, their lust for power as well. Nothing from the rising to the setting of the sun is enough for them.

Among all others only they are compelled to attack the poor as well as the rich. Robbery, rape, and slaughter they falsely call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace."

Tacitus, Agricola

People are discouraged and disillusioned after almost thirty years of distorted governance, specially in the aftermath of the 'Hope and Change' which quickly became 'Vain Hope for Change.' Most cannot admit that their guys were in the pockets of Big Defense, Big Pharma, Big Energy, and Wall Street.

The real question about Hillary comes down to this. Can you trust her to do what she says she will do, the right things for her putative constituents and not her big money donors and paymasters, once she takes office?

Or will that poor family who left the White House 'broke' and then mysteriously obtained a fortune of over $100 million in the following years, thanks to enormous payments for 'speeches' from large financial firms and huge donations to their Trust once again take care of the hand that pays them the most?

This is not to say that there is a better alternative amongst the leading Republican candidates, who have been and are still under the same types of payment arrangements, only with different people signing the checks.

Or we could skip the middlemen entirely and just directly elect one of New York's most prominent of their narcissist class directly, instead of another witless stooge of big money, and hope for something different? And how will that likely work out for us?

It is an exceptionally hard time to be a human being in this great nation of ours.

And so what ought we to do? Wallow in cynicism and the sweet sickness of misanthropy and despair? Vote strictly on the hope of our own narrow self-interest no matter the broader and longer term consequences, and then face the inevitable blowback from injustice and repression?

Give up on our grandchildren and children because we are too tired and interested in our own short term comfort? Too filled with selfishness, anger and hate to see straight, and do anything but turn ourselves into mindless animals to escape the pain of being truly human? Do no thinking, and just follow orders? This latter impulse has taken whole nations of desperate people into the abyss.

Or do we stop wallowing in our specialness and self-pity, and 'stand on the shoulders of giants' and confront what virtually every generation and every individual has had to wrestle with since the beginning of recorded time?

Do we fall, finally stricken with grief in our blindness, on the road to Damascus and say at long last, 'Lord, what then wilt thou have me to do?'

This is the question that circumstance is posing to us. And hopefully we will we heed the answer that has been already given, to be 'steadfast, unshaken, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in Him our labor is not in vain.'

And the touchstone of the alloy of our actions is love.

And so we have before us what Franklin Roosevelt so aptly characterized as our own 'rendezvous with destiny.'


Related:
Wall Street Is Running the World's Central Banks
Wall Street's Favorite Presidential Candidates

[Nov 16, 2015] Bankrupt British Empire Keeps Pushing To Overthrow Putin

Notable quotes:
"... Lyndon LaRouche has observed that anybody acting according to this British agenda with the intention of coming out on top is a fool, since the British financial-political empire is bankrupt and its entire system is coming down. ..."
"... EU: British imperial interests are intent on destroying Prime Minister Putins bid for the Presidency, and throwing Russia into deadly political turmoil. ..."
"... In her testimony, Diuk came off like a reincarnation of a 1950s Cold Warrior, raving against the Russian government as authoritarian, dictators, and so forth. She said, The trend lines for freedom and democracy in Russia have been unremittingly negative since Vladimir Putin took power and set about the systematic construction of a representation of their interests within the state. She announced at that point that the elections would be illegitimate: [T]he current regime will likely use the upcoming parliamentary elections in December 2011 and presidential election in March 2012 with the inevitable falsifications and manipulations, to claim the continued legitimacy of its rule. ..."
"... The British-educated Nadia Diuk is vice president of the National Endowment for Democracy, from which perch she has spread Cold War venom against Putin and the Russian government. ..."
"... Rafal Rohozinski and Ronald Deibert, two top profilers of the Russian Internet, noted that the Runet grew five times faster than the next fastest growing Internet region, the Middle East, in 2000-08. ..."
"... NED grant money has gone to Alexei Navalny (inset), the online anti-corruption activist and cult figure of the December demonstrations. Addressing crowds on the street, Navalny sounds more like Mussolini than a proponent of democracy. A Russian columnist found him reminiscent of either Hitler, or Catalina, who conspired against the Roman Republic. Shown: the Dec. 24 demonstration in Moscow. ..."
January 1, 2012 | http://schillerinstitute.org/russia/2012/0122_overthrow_putin.html
This article appears in the January 20, 2012 issue of Executive Intelligence Review and is reprinted with permission.

[PDF version of this article]

January 9, 2012 -Organizers of the December 2011 "anti-vote-fraud" demonstrations in Moscow have announced Feb. 4 as the date of their next street action, planned as a march around the city's Garden Ring Road on the 22nd anniversary of a mass demonstration which paved the way to the end of the Soviet Union. While there is a fluid situation within both the Russian extraparliamentary opposition layers, and the ruling circles and other Duma parties, including a process of "dialogue" between them, in which ex-Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin is playing a role, it is clear that British imperial interests are intent on-if not actually destroying Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's bid for reelection as Russia's President in the March 4 elections-casting Russia into ongoing, destructive political turmoil.

Lyndon LaRouche has observed that anybody acting according to this British agenda with the intention of coming out on top is a fool, since the British financial-political empire is bankrupt and its entire system is coming down.

Review of the events leading up to the Dec. 4, 2011 Duma elections, which the street demonstrators demanded be cancelled for fraud, shows that not only agent-of-British-influence Mikhail Gorbachov, the ex-Soviet President, but also the vast Project Democracy apparatus inside the United States, exposed by EIR in the 1980s as part of an unconstitutional "secret government,"[1] have been on full mobilization to block the current Russian leadership from continuing in power.

Project Democracy

Typical is the testimony of Nadia Diuk, vice president of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), before the Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs last July 26. The NED is the umbrella of Project Democracy; it functions, inclusively, through the International Republican Institute (IRI, linked with the Republican Party) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI, linked with the Democratic Party, and currently headed by Madeleine Albright).

Diuk was educated at the U.K.'s Unversity of Sussex Russian studies program, and then taught at Oxford University, before coming to the U.S.A. to head up the NED's programs in Eastern Europe and Russia beginning 1990. She is married to her frequent co-author, Adrian Karatnycky of the Atlantic Institute, who headed up the private intelligence outfit Freedom House[2] for 12 years. Her role is typical of British outsourcing of key strategic operations to U.S. institutions.

EU: British imperial interests are intent on destroying Prime Minister Putin's bid for the Presidency, and throwing Russia into deadly political turmoil.

In her testimony, Diuk came off like a reincarnation of a 1950s Cold Warrior, raving against the Russian government as "authoritarian," "dictators," and so forth. She said, "The trend lines for freedom and democracy in Russia have been unremittingly negative since Vladimir Putin took power and set about the systematic construction of a representation of their interests within the state." She announced at that point that the elections would be illegitimate: "[T]he current regime will likely use the upcoming parliamentary elections in December 2011 and presidential election in March 2012 with the inevitable falsifications and manipulations, to claim the continued legitimacy of its rule."

Diuk expressed renewed hope that the disastrous 2004 Orange Revolution experiment in Ukraine could be replicated in Russia, claiming that "when the protests against authoritarian rule during Ukraine's Orange Revolution brought down the government in 2004, Russian citizens saw a vision across the border of an alternative future for themselves as a Slavic nation." She then detailed what she claimed were the Kremlin's reactions to the events in Ukraine, charging that "the leaders in the Kremlin-always the most creative innovators in the club of authoritarians-have also taken active measures to promote support of the government and undermine the democratic opposition...."

Holos Ameryky

The British-educated Nadia Diuk is vice president of the National Endowment for Democracy, from which perch she has spread "Cold War" venom against Putin and the Russian government.

While lauding "the democratic breakthroughs in the Middle East" in 2011, Diuk called on the Congress to "look to [Eastern Europe] as the source of a great wealth of experience on how the enemies of freedom are ever on the alert to assert their dominance, but also how the forces for freedom and democracy will always find a way to push back in a struggle that demands our support."

In September, Diuk chaired an NED event featuring a representative of the NED-funded Levada Center Russian polling organization, who gave an overview of the then-upcoming December 4 Duma election. Also speaking there was Russian liberal politician Vladimir Kara-Murza, who predicted in the nastiest tones that Putin will suffer the fate of President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. In this same September period, Mikhail Gorbachov, too, was already forecasting voting irregularities and a challenge to Putin's dominance.

The NED, which has an annual budget of $100 million, sponsors dozens of "civil society" groups in Russia. Golos, the supposedly independent vote-monitoring group that declared there would be vote fraud even before the elections took place, has received NED money through the NDI since 2000. Golos had a piecework program, paying its observers a set amount of money for each reported voting irregularity. NED grant money has gone to Alexei Navalny-the online anti-corruption activist and cult figure of the December demonstrations-since 2006, when he and Maria Gaidar (daughter of the late London-trained shock therapy Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar) launched a youth debating project called "DA!" (meaning "Yes!" or standing for "Democratic Alternative"). Gorbachov's close ally Vladimir Ryzhkov, currently negotiating with Kudrin on terms of a "dialogue between the authorities and the opposition," also received NED grants to his World Movement for Democracy.

Besides George Soros's Open Society Foundations (formerly, Open Society Institute, OSI), the biggest source of funds for this meddling, including funding which was channeled through the NDI and the IRI, is the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Officially, USAID has spent $2.6 billion on programs in Russia since 1992. The current acknowledged level is around $70 million annually, of which nearly half is for "Governing Justly & Democratically" programs, another 30% for "Information" programs, and only a small fraction for things like combatting HIV and TB. On Dec. 15, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon announced that the Obama Administration would seek Congressional approval to step up this funding, with "an initiative to create a new fund to support Russian non-governmental organizations that are committed to a more pluralistic and open society."

Awaiting McFaul

White House/Pete Souza

The impending arrival in Moscow of Michael McFaul (shown here with his boss in the Oval Office), as U.S. Ambassador to Russia, is seen by many there as an escalation of Project Democracy efforts to destabilize the country.

People from various parts of the political spectrum in Russia see the impending arrival of Michael McFaul as U.S. Ambassador to Russia as an escalation in Project Democracy efforts to destabilize Russia. McFaul, who has been Barack Obama's National Security Council official for Russia, has been working this beat since the early 1990s, when he represented the NDI in Russia at the end of the Soviet period, and headed its office there.

As a Russia specialist at Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Hoover Institution, as well as the Carnegie Endowment, and an array of other Russian studies think tanks, McFaul has stuck closely to the Project Democracy agenda. Financing for his research has come from the NED, the OSI, and the Smith-Richardson Foundation (another notorious agency of financier interests within the U.S. establishment). He was an editor of the 2006 book Revolution in Orange: The Origins of Ukraine's Democratic Breakthrough, containing chapters by Diuk and Karatnycky.

In his own contribution to a 2010 book titled After Putin's Russia,[3] McFaul hailed the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine-which was notoriously funded and manipulated from abroad-as a triumph of "people's political power from below to resist and eventually overturn a fraudulent election."

Before coming to the NSC, one of McFaul's many positions at Stanford was co-director of the Iran Democracy Project. He has also been active in such projects as the British Henry Jackson Society which is active in the drive to overthrow the government of Syria.

The Internet Dimension

The December 2011 street demonstrations in Moscow were organized largely online. Participation rose from a few hundred on Dec. 5, the day after the election, to an estimated 20,000 people on Bolotnaya Square Dec. 10, and somewhere in the wide range of 30,000 to 120,000 on Academician Sakharov Prospect Dec. 24.

Headlong expansion of Internet access and online social networking over the past three to five years has opened up a new dimension of political-cultural warfare in Russia. An EIR investigation finds that British intelligence agencies involved in the current attempts to destabilize Russia and, in their maximum version, overthrow Putin, have been working intensively to profile online activity in Russia and find ways to expand and exploit it. Some of these projects are outsourced to think tanks in the U.S.A. and Canada, but their center is Cambridge University in the U.K.-the heart of the British Empire, home of Bertrand Russell's systems analysis and related ventures of the Cambridge Apostles.[4]

The scope of the projects goes beyond profiling, as can be seen in the Cambridge-centered network's interaction with Russian anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, a central figure in the December protest rallies.

While George Soros and his OSI prioritized building Internet access in the former Soviet Union starting two decades ago, as recently as in 2008 British cyberspace specialists were complaining that the Internet was not yet efficient for political purposes in Russia. Oxford University's Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism produced a Soros-funded report in 2008, titled "The Web that Failed: How opposition politics and independent initiatives are failing on the Internet in Russia." The Oxford-Reuters authors regretted that processes like the Orange Revolution, in which online connections were crucial, had not gotten a toehold in Russia. But they quoted a 2007 report by Andrew Kuchins of the Moscow Carnegie Center, who found reason for optimism in the seven-fold increase in Russian Internet (Runet) use from 2000 to 2007. They also cited Robert Orttung of American University and the Resource Security Institute, on how Russian blogs were reaching "the most dynamic members of the youth generation" and could be used by "members of civil society" to mobilize "liberal opposition groups and nationalists."

Scarcely a year later, a report by the digital marketing firm comScore crowed that booming Internet access had led to Russia's having "the world's most engaged social networking audience." Russian Facebook use rose by 277% from 2008 to 2009. The Russia-based social networking outfit Vkontakte.ru (like Facebook) had 14.3 million visitors in 2009; Odnoklassniki.ru (like Classmates.com) had 7.8 million; and Mail.ru-My World had 6.3 million. All three of these social networking sites are part of the Mail.ru/Digital Sky Technologies empire of Yuri Milner,[5] with the individual companies registered in the British Virgin Islands and other offshore locations.

The Cambridge Security Programme

Rafal Rohozinski and Ronald Deibert, two top profilers of the Russian Internet, noted that the Runet grew five times faster than the next fastest growing Internet region, the Middle East, in 2000-08.

Two top profilers of the Runet are Ronald Deibert and Rafal Rohozinski, who assessed its status in their essay "Control and Subversion in Russian Cyberspace."[6] At the University of Toronto, Deibert is a colleague of Barry Wellman, co-founder of the International Network of Social Network Analysis (INSNA).[7] Rohozinski is a cyber-warfare specialist who ran the Advanced Network Research Group of the Cambridge Security Programme (CSP) at Cambridge University in 2002-07. Nominally ending its work, the CSP handed off its projects to an array of organizations in the OpenNet Initiative (ONI), including Rohozinski's SecDev Group consulting firm, which issues the Information Warfare Monitor.

The ONI, formally dedicated to mapping and circumventing Internet surveillance and filtering by governments, is a joint project of Cambridge (Rohozinski), the Oxford Internet Institute, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, and the University of Toronto.

Deibert and Rohozinski noted that the Runet grew five times faster than the next fastest growing Internet region, the Middle East, in 2000-08. They cited official estimates that 38 million Russians were going online as of 2010, of whom 60 had broadband access from home; the forecast number of Russia-based Runet users by 2012 was 80 million, out of a population of 140 million. Qualitatively, the ONI authors welcomed what they called "the rise of the Internet to the center of Russian culture and politics." On the political side, they asserted that "the Internet has eclipsed all the mass media in terms of its reach, readership, and especially in the degree of free speech and opportunity to mobilize that it provides."

This notion of an Internet-savvy core of the population becoming the focal point of Russian society is now being hyped by those who want to push the December demonstrations into a full-scale political crisis. Such writers call this segment of the population "the creative class," or "the active creative minority," which can override an inert majority of the population. The Dec. 30 issue of Vedomosti, a financial daily co-owned by the Financial Times of London, featured an article by sociologist Natalya Zubarevich, which was then publicized in "Window on Eurasia" by Paul Goble, a State Department veteran who has concentrated for decades on the potential for Russia to split along ethnic or other lines.

Zubarevich proposed that the 31% of the Russian population living in the 14 largest cities, of which 9 have undergone "post-industrial transformation," constitute a special, influential class, as against the inhabitants of rural areas (38%) and mid-sized industrial cities with an uncertain future (25%). Goble defined the big-city population as a target: "It is in this Russia that the 35 million domestic users of the Internet and those who want a more open society are concentrated."

The Case of Alexei Navalny

In the "The Web that Failed" study, Oxford-Reuters authors Floriana Fossato, John Lloyd, and Alexander Verkhovsky delved into the missing elements, in their view, of the Russian Internet. What would it take, they asked, for Runet participants to be able to "orchestrate motivation and meaningful commitments"? They quoted Julia Minder of the Russian portal Rambler, who said about the potential for "mobilization": "Blogs are at the moment the answer, but the issue is how to find a leading blogger who wants to meet people on the Internet several hours per day. Leading bloggers need to be entertaining.... The potential is there, but more often than not it is not used."


Creative Commons
Creative Commons/Bogomolov.PL

NED grant money has gone to Alexei Navalny (inset), the online "anti-corruption" activist and cult figure of the December demonstrations. Addressing crowds on the street, Navalny sounds more like Mussolini than a proponent of democracy. A Russian columnist found him reminiscent of either Hitler, or Catalina, who conspired against the Roman Republic. Shown: the Dec. 24 demonstration in Moscow.

It is difficult not to wonder if Alexei Navalny is a test-tube creation intended to fill the missing niche. This would not be the first time in recent Russian history that such a thing happened. In 1990, future neoliberal "young reformers" Anatoli Chubais and Sergei Vasilyev wrote a paper under International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) auspices, on the priorities for reform in the Soviet Union. They stated that a certain personality was missing on the Soviet scene at that time: the wealthy businessman. In their IIASA paper, Chubais and Vasilyev wrote: "We now see a figure, arising from historical non-existence: the figure of a businessman-entrepreneur, who has enough capital to bear the investment responsibility, and enough technological knowledge and willingness to support innovation."[8]

This type of person was subsequently brought into existence through the corrupt post-Soviet privatization process in Russia, becoming known as "the oligarchs." Was Navalny, similarly, synthesized as a charismatic blogger to fill the British subversive need for "mobilization"?

Online celebrity Navalny's arrest in Moscow on Dec. 5, and his speech at the Academician Sakharov Prospect rally on Dec. 24 were highlights of last month's turmoil in the Russian capital. Now 35 years old, Navalny grew up in a Soviet/Russian military family and was educated as a lawyer. In 2006, he began to be financed by NED for the DA! project (see above). Along the way-maybe through doing online day-trading, as some biographies suggest, or maybe from unknown benefactors-Navalny acquired enough money to be able to spend $40,000 (his figure) on a few shares in each of several major Russian companies with a high percentage of state ownership. This gave him minority-shareholder status, as a platform for his anti-corruption probes.

It must be understood that the web of "corruption" in Russia is the system of managing cash flows through payoffs, string-pulling, and criminal extortion, which arose out of the boost that Gorbachov's perestroika policy gave to pre-existing Soviet criminal networks in the 1980s. It then experienced a boom under darlings of London like Gaidar, who oversaw the privatization process known as the Great Criminal Revolution in the 1990s. As Russia has been integrated into an international financial order, which itself relies on criminal money flows from the dope trade and strategically motivated scams like Britain's BAE operations in the Persian Gulf, the preponderance of shady activity in the Russian economy has only increased.

Putin's governments inherited this system, and it can be ended when the commitment to monetarism, which LaRouche has identified as a fatal flaw even among genuinely pro-development Russians, is broken in Russia and worldwide. The current bankruptcy of the Trans-Atlantic City of London-Eurozone-Wall Street system means that now is the time for this to happen!

Yale Fellows

In 2010, Navalny was accepted to the Yale World Fellows Program, as one of fewer than 20 approved candidates out of over a thousand applicants. As EIR has reported, the Yale Fellows are instructed by the likes of British Foreign Office veteran Lord Mark Malloch-Brown and representatives of Soros's Open Society Foundations.[9] What's more, the World Fellows Program is funded by The Starr Foundation of Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg, former chairman and CEO of insurance giant American International Group (AIG), the recipient of enormous Bush Jr.-Obama bailout largesse in 2008-09; Greenberg and his C.V. Starr company have a long record of facilitating "regime change" (aka coups), going back to the 1986 overthrow of President Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines. Navalny reports that Maria Gaidar told him to try for the program, and he enjoyed recommendations from top professors at the New Economic School in Moscow, a hotbed of neoliberalism and mathematical economics. It was from New Haven that Navalny launched his anti-corruption campaign against Transneft, the Russian national oil pipeline company, specifically in relation to money movements around the new East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline. The ESPO has just finished the first year of operation of its spur supplying Russian oil to China.

Navalny presents a split personality to the public. Online he is "Mr. Openness." He posts the full legal documentation of his corruption exposés. When his e-mail account was hacked, and his correspondence with U.S. Embassy and NED officials about funding him was made public, Navalny acknowledged that the e-mails were genuine. He tries to disarm interviewers with questions like, "Do you think I'm an American project, or a Kremlin one?"

During the early-January 2012 holiday lull in Russia, Navalny engaged in a lengthy, oh-so-civilized dialogue in Live Journal with Boris Akunin (real name, Grigori Chkhartishvili), a famous detective-story author and liberal activist who was another leader of the December demonstrations, about whether Navalny's commitment to the slogan "Russia for the Russians" marks him as a bigot who is unfit to lead. Addressing crowds on the street, however, Navalny sounds like Mussolini. Prominent Russian columnist Maxim Sokolov, writing in Izvestia, found him reminiscent of either Hitler, or Catalina, who conspired against the Roman Republic.

Navalny may well end up being expendable in the view of his sponsors. In the meantime, it is clear that he is working from the playbook of Gene Sharp, whose neurolinguistic programming and advertising techniques were employed in Ukraine's Orange Revolution in 2004.[10] Sharp, a veteran of "advanced studies" at Oxford and 30 years at Harvard's Center for International Affairs, is the author of The Politics of Nonviolent Action: Power and Struggle, which advises the use of symbolic colors, short slogans, and so forth.

While at Yale, Navalny also served as an informant and advisor for a two-year study conducted at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, one of the institutions participating in the OpenNet Initiative, launched out of Cambridge University in the U.K. The study produced a profile titled "Mapping the Russian Blogosphere," which detailed the different sections of the Runet: liberal, nationalist, cultural, foreign-based, etc., looking at their potential social impact.

Allen Douglas, Gabrielle Peut, David Christie, and Dorothea Bunnell did research for this article.


Related pages:

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703-771-8390

[Nov 15, 2015] Machiavelli claim that in politics no one knows who you are but how you appear

Notable quotes:
"... More obviously, it's about "the discerning few" (as the editors of one edition of The Prince say in a footnote) versus the gullible many. ..."
crookedtimber.org
from the OP:

This shift from the visually immediate to the distant and the abstract-one can see it in Machiavelli's claim that in politics, no one knows who you are but how you appear; in Hobbes's notion of the Leviathan-would be a recurring theme in Wolin's analysis

Interesting. That Machiavelli line ("everyone sees how you appear, few touch what you are") could be read that way. More obviously, it's about "the discerning few" (as the editors of one edition of The Prince say in a footnote) versus the gullible many.

Anyway, v. nice post.

[Nov 14, 2015] Iraqi warmonger Ahmad Chalabi dies

Notable quotes:
"... Ahmed Chalabi, an Iraqi politician accused of providing false information that led to the United States toppling longtime dictator Saddam Hussein in the 2003 invasion, died on Tuesday of a heart attack, state television and two parliamentarians said. ..."
"... "The neo-cons wanted to make a case for war and he [Chalabi] was somebody who is willing to provide them with information that would help their cause," Ali Khedery, who was the longest continuously-serving American official in Iraq in the years following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, told Al Arabiya News. ..."
Nov 03, 2015 | Al Arabiya News

Ahmed Chalabi, an Iraqi politician accused of providing false information that led to the United States toppling longtime dictator Saddam Hussein in the 2003 invasion, died on Tuesday of a heart attack, state television and two parliamentarians said.

Attendants found the controversial lawmaker, 71, dead in bed in his Baghdad home, according to parliament official Haitham al-Jabouri.

... ... ...

During his heyday, the smooth-talking Chalabi was widely seen as the man who helped push the U.S. and its main ally Britain into invading Iraq in 2003, with information that Saddam's government had weapons of mass destruction, claims that were eventually discredited.

... ... ...

Chalabi had also said Saddam - known for his secularist Baathist ideology - had ties with al-Qaeda.

After Saddam's fall by U.S.-led coalition forces, Chalabi returned from exile in Britain and the United States. Despite having been considered as a potential candidate for the powerful post of prime minister in the immediate aftermath of Saddam's 24-year reign, the politician never managed to rise to the top of Iraq's stormy, sectarian-driven political landscape.

His eventual fallout with his former American allies also hurt his chances of becoming an Iraqi leader.

"The neo-cons wanted to make a case for war and he [Chalabi] was somebody who is willing to provide them with information that would help their cause," Ali Khedery, who was the longest continuously-serving American official in Iraq in the years following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, told Al Arabiya News.

[Nov 14, 2015] Why The Neocons Hate The Donald

Notable quotes:
"... The President, as commander in chief, shapes US foreign policy: indeed, in our post-constitutional era, now that Congress has abdicated its responsibility, he has the de facto power to single-handedly take us into war. Which is why, paraphrasing Trotsky , you may not be interested in politics, but politics is certainly interested in you. ..."
"... PAUL: … How is it conservative to add a trillion dollars in military expenditures? You can not be a conservative if youre going to keep promoting new programs that youre not going to pay for. ..."
"... Here, in one dramatic encounter, were two worldviews colliding: the older conservative vision embodied by Rand Paul, which puts domestic issues like fiscal solvency first, and the internationalist stance taken by what used to be called Rockefeller Republicans , and now goes under the neoconservative rubric, which puts the maintenance and expansion of Americas overseas empire – dubbed world leadership by Rubios doppelganger, Jeb Bush – over and above any concerns over budgetary common sense. ..."
"... Rubios proposed military budget – $696 billion – represents a $35 billion increase over what the Pentagon is requesting ..."
"... Pauls too-clever-by-half legislative maneuvering may have effectively exposed Rubio – and Sen. Tom Cotton, Marcos co-pilot on this flight into fiscal profligacy – as the faux-conservative that he is, but it evaded the broader question attached to the issue of military spending: what are we going to do with all that shiny-new military hardware? Send more weapons to Ukraine? Outfit an expeditionary force to re-invade Iraq and venture into Syria? This brings to mind Madeleine Albrights infamous remark directed at Gen. Colin Powell: Whats the point of having this superb military youre always talking about if we cant use it? ..."
"... Speaking of Trumpian hot air: Paul showed up The Donald for the ignorant blowhard he is by pointing out, after another of Trumps jeremiads aimed at the Yellow Peril, that China is not a party to the trade deal, which is aimed at deflecting Beijing. That was another shining moment for Paul, who successfully juxtaposed his superior knowledge to Trumps babbling. ..."
"... If Putin wants to go and knock the hell out of ISIS, I am all for it, one-hundred percent, and I cant understand how anybody would be against it. ..."
"... Trump, for all his contradictions, gives voice to the isolationist populism that Rubio and his neocon confederates despise, and which is implanted so deeply in the American consciousness. Why us? Why are we paying everybodys bills? Why are we fighting everybody elses wars? Its a bad deal! ..."
"... This is why the neocons hate Trumps guts even more than they hate Paul. The former, after all, is the frontrunner. What the War Party fears is that Trumps contradictory mixture of bluster – bigger, better, stronger! – and complaints that our allies are taking advantage of us means a victory for the dreaded isolationists at the polls. ..."
"... its election season, the one time – short of when were about to invade yet another country – when the American people are engaged with the foreign policy issues of the day. And what we are seeing is a rising tide of disgust with our policy of global intervention – in a confused inchoate sense, in the case of Trump, and in a focused, self-conscious, occasionally eloquent and yet still slightly confused and inconsistent way in the case of Sen. Paul. Either way, the real voice of the American heartland is being heard. ..."
"... Trump has rocked the boat and raised some issues and viewpoints that none of the other bought and paid for candidates would ever have raised. Has he changed the national discussion on these issues? At least he woken some people up. ..."
"... The sentence of We relied on the stupidity of the American voter resonates. ..."
"... What you did, was you fell for the oldest press trick in the book. Its called: out of context . Thats is where they play back only a segment of what someone says, only a part of what they want you to hear, so you will draw the wrong conclusion. What Trump said {had you listened to ALL of what he said} was that he was going to TAKE ISILS OIL. Oil is the largest source of revenue for them {then comes the CIA money}. If you were to remove their oil revenues from them, they would be seriously hurting for cash to fund their machine. I dont have a problem with that. ..."
"... The thing about understanding the attack on The Donald is understanding what he is NOT. Namely he is not CFR connected ..."
"... The attacks on Trump have been relentless yet he is still maintaining his position in the polls. ..."
"... The goal is to have a CFR candidate in both the GOP and Dem fold. Although Hillary is not a CFR member ostensibly Slick Willie has been for more than 20 years and his Administration was rife with them...Hello Rubin and Glass Steagal!!..as is Chelsea... a newly elected member. ..."
"... [American exceptionalism] is a reaction to the inability of people to understand global complexity or important issues like American energy dependency. Therefore, they search for simplistic sources of comfort and clarity. And the people that they are now selecting to be, so to speak, the spokespersons of their anxieties are, in most cases, stunningly ignorant. ..."
"... Yes, I have also seen the new golden boy regaled in the media. Lets see where he goes. I wonder if anyone represents the American people any better than the corrupt piece of dried up persimmon that is Hillary? ..."
"... With JEB polling in single digits and hopelessly befuddled, Rubio is the Great Hispanic Hope of the establishment Republocrats. He is being well-pimped, is all. Paul is clearly more intelligent, more articulate, and more well-informed; Trump is more forceful and popular (but independent!). Neither suits an establishment that wants to hold the reins behind the throne. ..."
Nov 14, 2015 | Zero Hedge

Submitted by Justin Raimondo via Anti-War.com,

Most Americans don't think much about politics, let alone foreign policy issues, as they go about their daily lives. It's not that they don't care: it's just that the daily grind doesn't permit most people outside of Washington, D.C. the luxury of contemplating the fate of nations with any regularity. There is one exception, however, and that is during election season, and specifically – when it comes to foreign policy – every four years, when the race for the White House begins to heat up. The President, as commander in chief, shapes US foreign policy: indeed, in our post-constitutional era, now that Congress has abdicated its responsibility, he has the de facto power to single-handedly take us into war. Which is why, paraphrasing Trotsky, you may not be interested in politics, but politics is certainly interested in you.

The most recent episode of the continuing GOP reality show, otherwise known as the presidential debates, certainly gave us a glimpse of what we are in for if the candidates on that stage actually make it into the Oval Office – and, folks, it wasn't pretty, for the most part. But there were plenty of bright spots.

This was supposed to have been a debate about economics, but in the Age of Empire there is no real division between economic and foreign policy issues. That was brought home by the collision between Marco Rubio and Rand Paul about half way through the debate when Rubio touted his child tax credit program as being "pro-family." A newly-aggressive and articulate Rand Paul jumped in with this:

"Is it conservative to have $1 trillion in transfer payments – a new welfare program that's a refundable tax credit? Add that to Marco's plan for $1 trillion in new military spending, and you get something that looks, to me, not very conservative."

Rubio's blow-dried exterior seemed to fray momentarily, as he gave his "it's for the children" reply:

"But if you invest it in your children, in the future of America and strengthening your family, we're not going to recognize that in our tax code? The family is the most important institution in society. And, yes…

"PAUL: Nevertheless, it's not very conservative, Marco."

Stung to the quick, Rubio played what he thought was his trump card:

"I know that Rand is a committed isolationist. I'm not. I believe the world is a stronger and a better place, when the United States is the strongest military power in the world.

"PAUL: Yeah, but, Marco! … How is it conservative … to add a trillion-dollar expenditure for the federal government that you're not paying for?

"RUBIO: Because…

"PAUL: … How is it conservative to add a trillion dollars in military expenditures? You can not be a conservative if you're going to keep promoting new programs that you're not going to pay for.

(APPLAUSE)"

Here, in one dramatic encounter, were two worldviews colliding: the older conservative vision embodied by Rand Paul, which puts domestic issues like fiscal solvency first, and the "internationalist" stance taken by what used to be called Rockefeller Republicans, and now goes under the neoconservative rubric, which puts the maintenance and expansion of America's overseas empire – dubbed "world leadership" by Rubio's doppelganger, Jeb Bush – over and above any concerns over budgetary common sense.

Rubio then descended into waving the bloody shirt and evoking Trump's favorite bogeyman – the Yellow Peril – to justify his budget-busting:

"We can't even have an economy if we're not safe. There are radical jihadists in the Middle East beheading people and crucifying Christians. A radical Shia cleric in Iran trying to get a nuclear weapon, the Chinese taking over the South China Sea…"

If the presence of the Islamic State in the Middle East precludes us from having an economy, then those doing their Christmas shopping early this year don't seem to be aware of it. As for the Iranians and their alleged quest for nuclear weapons, IAEA inspectors are at this very moment verifying the complete absence of such an effort – although Sen. Paul, who stupidly opposed the Iran deal, is in no position to point this out. As for the fate of the South China Sea – if we could take a poll, I wonder how many Americans would rather have their budget out of balance in order to keep the Chinese from constructing artificial islands a few miles off their own coastline. My guess: not many.

Playing the "isolationist" card got Rubio nowhere: I doubt if a third of the television audience even knows what that term is supposed to mean. It may resonate in Washington, but out in the heartland it carries little if any weight with people more concerned about their shrinking bank accounts than the possibility that the South China Sea might fall to … the Chinese.

Ted Cruz underscored his sleaziness (and, incidentally, his entire election strategy) by jumping in and claiming the "middle ground" between Rubio's fulsome internationalism and Paul's call to rein in our extravagant military budget – by siding with Rubio. We can do what Rubio wants to do – radically increase military expenditures – but first, he averred, we have to cut sugar subsidies so we can afford it. This was an attack on Rubio's enthusiasm for sugar subsidies, without which, avers the Senator from the state that produces the most sugar, "we lose the capacity to produce our own food, at which point we're at the mercy of a foreign country for food security." Yes, there's a jihadist-Iranian-Chinese conspiracy to deprive America of its sweet tooth – but not if President Rubio can stop it!

Cruz is a master at prodding the weaknesses of his opponents, but his math is way off: sugar subsidies have cost us some $15 billion since 2008. Rubio's proposed military budget – $696 billion – represents a $35 billion increase over what the Pentagon is requesting. Cutting sugar subsidies – an unlikely prospect, especially given the support of Republicans of Rubio's ilk for the program – won't pay for it.

However, if we want to go deeper into those weeds, Sen. Paul also endorses the $696 billion figure, but touts the fact that his proposal comes with cuts that will supposedly pay for the hike. This is something all those military contractors can live with, and so everybody's happy, at least on the Republican side of the aisle, and yet the likelihood of cutting $21 billion from "international affairs," never mind $20 billion from social services, is unlikely to garner enough support from his own party – let alone the Democrats – to get through Congress. So it's just more of Washington's kabuki theater: all symbolism, no action.

Paul's too-clever-by-half legislative maneuvering may have effectively exposed Rubio – and Sen. Tom Cotton, Marco's co-pilot on this flight into fiscal profligacy – as the faux-conservative that he is, but it evaded the broader question attached to the issue of military spending: what are we going to do with all that shiny-new military hardware? Send more weapons to Ukraine? Outfit an expeditionary force to re-invade Iraq and venture into Syria? This brings to mind Madeleine Albright's infamous remark directed at Gen. Colin Powell: "What's the point of having this superb military you're always talking about if we can't use it?"

In this way, Paul undermines his own case against global intervention – and even his own eloquent argument, advanced in answer to Rubio's contention that increasing the military budget would make us "safer":

"I do not think we are any safer from bankruptcy court. As we go further, and further into debt, we become less, and less safe. This is the most important thing we're going to talk about tonight. Can you be a conservative, and be liberal on military spending? Can you be for unlimited military spending, and say, Oh, I'm going to make the country safe? No, we need a safe country, but, you know, we spend more on our military than the next ten countries combined."

I have to say Sen. Paul shone at this debate. His arguments were clear, consistent, and made with calm forcefulness. He distinguished himself from the pack, including Trump, who said "I agree with Marco, I agree with Ted," and went on to mouth his usual "bigger, better, stronger" hyperbole that amounted to so much hot hair air.

Speaking of Trumpian hot air: Paul showed up The Donald for the ignorant blowhard he is by pointing out, after another of Trump's jeremiads aimed at the Yellow Peril, that China is not a party to the trade deal, which is aimed at deflecting Beijing. That was another shining moment for Paul, who successfully juxtaposed his superior knowledge to Trump's babbling.

This obsession with China's allegedly malign influence extended to the next round, when foreign policy was again the focus. In answer to a question about whether he supports President Obama's plan to send Special Operations forces to Syria, Ben Carson said yes, because Russia is going to make it "their base," oh, and by the way: "You know, the Chinese are there, as well as the Russians." Unless he's talking about these guys, Carson intel seems a bit off.

Jeb Bush gave the usual boilerplate, delivered in his preferred monotone, contradicting himself when he endorsed a no-fly zone over Syria and then attacked Hillary Clinton for not offering "leadership" – when she endorsed the idea practically in unison with him. Bush added his usual incoherence to the mix by averring that somehow not intervening more in the region "will have a huge impact on our economy" – but of course the last time we intervened it had a $2 trillion-plus impact in terms of costs, and that's a conservative estimate.

Oddly characterizing Russia's air strikes on the Islamic State as "aggression" – do our air strikes count as aggression? – the clueless Marie Bartiromo asked Trump what he intends to do about it. Trump evaded the question for a few minutes, going on about North Korea, Iran, and of course the Yellow Peril, finally coming out with a great line that not even the newly-noninterventionist Sen. Paul had the gumption to muster:

"If Putin wants to go and knock the hell out of ISIS, I am all for it, one-hundred percent, and I can't understand how anybody would be against it."

Bush butted in with "But they aren't doing that," which is the Obama administration's demonstrably inaccurate line, and Trump made short work of him with the now undeniable fact that the Islamic State blew up a Russian passenger jet with over 200 people on it. "He [Putin] cannot be in love with these people," countered Trump. "He's going in, and we can go in, and everybody should go in. As far as the Ukraine is concerned, we have a group of people, and a group of countries, including Germany – tremendous economic behemoth – why are we always doing the work?"

Why indeed.

Trump, for all his contradictions, gives voice to the "isolationist" populism that Rubio and his neocon confederates despise, and which is implanted so deeply in the American consciousness. Why us? Why are we paying everybody's bills? Why are we fighting everybody else's wars? It's a bad deal!

This is why the neocons hate Trump's guts even more than they hate Paul. The former, after all, is the frontrunner. What the War Party fears is that Trump's contradictory mixture of bluster – "bigger, better, stronger!" – and complaints that our allies are taking advantage of us means a victory for the dreaded "isolationists" at the polls.

As for Carly Fiorina and John Kasich: they merely served as a Greek chorus to the exhortations of Rubio and Bush to take on Putin, Assad, Iran, China, and (in Trump's case) North Korea. They left out Venezuela only because they ran out of time, and breath. Fiorina and Kasich were mirror images of each other in their studied belligerence: both are aspiring vice-presidential running mates for whatever Establishment candidate takes the prize.

Yes, it's election season, the one time – short of when we're about to invade yet another country – when the American people are engaged with the foreign policy issues of the day. And what we are seeing is a rising tide of disgust with our policy of global intervention – in a confused inchoate sense, in the case of Trump, and in a focused, self-conscious, occasionally eloquent and yet still slightly confused and inconsistent way in the case of Sen. Paul. Either way, the real voice of the American heartland is being heard.

Bumpo

Im not so sure. If you see it in context with Trump's other message to make Mexico pay for the border fence. If you take the Iraq war on the face of it - that is, we came in to rescue them from Saddam Hussein - then taking their oil in payment is only "fair". It's hard to tell if he is playing a game, or actually believes the US company line, though. I think he isn't letting on. At least I hope so. And that goes double for his "Support" of Israel.

Joe Trader

@greenskeeper we get it, you get butt-hurt extremely easily

The thing about Donald Trump and oil - is that a few years ago, he said all that Saudi Arabia had to do was start pumping oil, and down it would go to $25. Guess what sweet cheeks - His prediction is coming true and the presidency could really use a guy like him who knows what he's doing.

MalteseFalcon

Say what you like about Trump. 'He is a baffoon or a blowhard'. 'He can't be elected president'.

But Trump has rocked the boat and raised some issues and viewpoints that none of the other bought and paid for 'candidates' would ever have raised. Has he changed the national discussion on these issues? At least he woken some people up.

illyia

oh.my.gawd. a rational adult series of comments on zero hedge: There is hopium for the world, after all.

Just must say: Raimondo is an incredibly good writer. Very enjoyable to read. I am sure that's why he's still around. He make a clear, concise argument, presents his case with humor and irony and usually covers every angle.

I wonder about people like him, who think things out so well... versus, say, the bloviator and chief?

P.S. don't blame me, i did not vote for either of them...

Oracle of Kypseli

The sentence of "We relied on the stupidity of the American voter" resonates.

TheObsoleteMan

What you did, was you fell for the oldest press trick in the book. It's called: "out of context". That's is where they play back only a segment of what someone says, only a part of what they want you to hear, so you will draw the wrong conclusion. What Trump said {had you listened to ALL of what he said} was that he was going to TAKE ISIL'S OIL. Oil is the largest source of revenue for them {then comes the CIA money}. If you were to remove their oil revenues from them, they would be seriously hurting for cash to fund their machine. I don't have a problem with that.

palmereldritch

The thing about understanding the attack on The Donald is understanding what he is NOT. Namely he is not CFR connected:
https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2015/08/24/trump-catches-attention-of...

The attacks on Trump have been relentless yet he is still maintaining his position in the polls.

I expected a take out on Ben Carson, his next closest competitor to move up a CFR-aligned Globalist like Shrubio or Cruz given their fall-back JEBPNAC is tanking so bad...but not this early. They must be getting desperate...so desperate they are considering Romney?!

If it becomes 'Reagan/Bush Redux' again with Trump/Cruz, I hope The Donald has enough sense to say NO! or, if elected, be very vigilant knowing you are Reagan and you have the GHW Bush equivalent standing there to replace you...and we know how that unfolded early in Reagan's first term...NOT GOOD

EDIT: The goal is to have a CFR candidate in both the GOP and Dem fold. Although Hillary is not a CFR member ostensibly Slick Willie has been for more than 20 years and his Administration was rife with them...Hello Rubin and Glass Steagal!!..as is Chelsea... a newly elected member.

So that red vote I just got...was that you Hill?

Pure Evil

The point is Justin seems to believe the Iranians have no intention of building a nuclear bomb ever. I've read a lot of this guy's writing ever since he first came out on his own website and when he wrote for AsiaTimesOnline. He's always had the opinion that the Iranians are not building a nuclear bomb and have no intention to do so. He spews the same talking points about how they've never attacked anyone in over two hundred years.

Well that's because previously they were under the control of the Ottoman empire and that didn't break up until after WW1. I think he's got a blind spot in this regard. You can't tell me that even the Japanese aren't secretly building nuclear weapons since China is becoming militarily aggressive. And, stop being a prick. Your micro-aggressing against my safe place LTER and I'm gonna have to report you for "hurtful" speech.

Raymond_K._Hessel

You ignorant slut.

https://theintercept.com/2015/03/02/brief-history-netanyahu-crying-wolf-...

20 years plus of this accusation. Cia and dia both said no mil program.

If you have evidence summon it. Offering your suspicion as evidence is fucking absurd.

And if the israelis werent hell bent on taking the rest of palestine and brutalizing the natives (which, by and large, they actually are) that would sure wet some of the anti isrsel powder.

But no / they want lebensraum and years of war for expansion and regional total hegemony.

Thrn they can ethnically cleanse the historical inhabitants while everyones busy watching white european christisns kill each other, and muslims, as isis keeps not attacking israel or even isrseli interests.

Youre not dumb, you just reached conclusions that are very weakened of not refuted by evidence you wont even consider.

https://theintercept.com/2015/03/02/brief-history-netanyahu-crying-wolf-...

Bazza McKenzie

If you examine the policy detail Trump has provided, there is more substance there than any of the others. Add to that he has a long record of successful management, which none of the others have.

You don't manage successfully without self control. The persona he presents in politics at present may give the impression of a lack of self control, yet that persona and the policies which are/were verboten to the political class have quickly taken him to the top of the pack and kept him there.

If you apply to Trump the saying "judge people by what they do, not what they say", his achievements out of politics and now in politics show he is a more capable person than any of the others and that he is successful at what he sets out to do.

As the economy for most Americans continues to worsen, which is baked in the cake, who is going to look to the public a more credible person to turn it around, Clinton? Trump? one of the others? The answer is pretty obvious.

European American

"I cannot take Trump seriously."

It's not about Trump as President, a year from now. Who knows if he'll even be in the picture by then. It's ALL about Trump, RIGHT NOW. He's exposing the underbelly of a vile, hideous Z-creature that we, here at ZH have seen for some time, but the masses, those who haven't connected enought dots, yet, are getting a glimpse of something that has been foreign in politics, up until now. Everytime Trump is interviewed, or tweets or stands at the debates, another round is shot over the bow, or beak, of the monster creature that has been sucking the life out of humanity for decades, centuries, eons. As long as he's standing and he can pull it off, that is what this phenomenon is all about...one day at a time....shedding light where the stench of darkness has been breeding corruption for the last millenium.

MASTER OF UNIVERSE

Neocons hate because their collective ethos is that of a single misanthrope that crafted their existence in the first place. In brief, neocons are fascist narrow minded automatons not really capable of a level of consciousness that would enable them to think critically, and independently, of the clique orthodoxy that guides their myopic thinking, or lack thereof. Neocons have no history aside from Corporatism, and Fascism.

Escrava Isaura

American Decline: Causes and Consequences

Grand Area (after WW-2) to be under US control: Western Hemisphere, the Far East, the former British empire - including the crucial Middle East oil reserves - and as much of Eurasia as possible, or at the very least its core industrial regions in Western Europe and the southern European states. The latter were regarded as essential for ensuring control of Middle East energy resources.

It means: Africa resources go to Europe. Asia resources go to Japan. South America resources go to US.

Now (2019) the Conundrum: Where will China get the resources needed for its survival? And Russia is not Africa.

"[American exceptionalism] is a reaction to the inability of people to understand global complexity or important issues like American energy dependency. Therefore, they search for simplistic sources of comfort and clarity. And the people that they are now selecting to be, so to speak, the spokespersons of their anxieties are, in most cases, stunningly ignorant." ? Zbigniew Brzezinski

Bazza McKenzie

Through either ignorance or malice the author repeats Rand Paul's statement about Trump's comments re China and the TPP.

Trump explicitly said the TPP provides a back door opportunity for China, thus noting he understands China is not an initial signatory to TPP.

The backdoor opportunity occurs in 2 ways. The ability for TPP to expand its signatory countries without going back to the legislatures of existing signatory countries AND the fact that products claiming to be made in TPP countries and eligible for TPP arrangements don't have to be wholly made in those countries, or perhaps even mainly made in those countries. China will certainly be taking advantage of that.

The fact that Paul does not apparently understand these points, despite being a Senator, displays an unfortunate ignorance unless of course he was just attempting to score a political point despite knowing it to be false.

Paul at least made his comment in the heat of the moment in a debate. Raimondo has had plenty of time to get the facts right but does not. How much of the rest of his screed is garbage?

socalbeach

I got the impression Trump thought China was part of the trade deal from this quote:

"Yes. Well, the currency manipulation they don't discuss in the agreement, which is a disaster. If you look at the way China and India and almost everybody takes advantage of the United States - China in particular, because they're so good. It's the number-one abuser of this country. And if you look at the way they take advantage, it's through currency manipulation. It's not even discussed in the almost 6,000-page agreement. It's not even discussed."

If China isn't part of the agreement, then what difference does it make whether or not currency manipulation is discussed? Your answer is that Trump meant they could be added to the agreement later, as in this previous quote of his:

"The TPP is horrible deal. It is a deal that is going to lead to nothing but trouble. It's a deal that was designed for China to come in, as they always do, through the back door and totally take advantage of everyone."

If that's the case, Trump didn't explain himself well in this instance.

Johnny Horscaulk

Johnny Horscaulk's picture

http://www.vdare.com/articles/why-so-much-jewish-fear-and-loathing-of-do...

Neocons should not be used as a synonym for 'militarist.'

That subset was absolutely a Jewish-Zionist movement originating at the U of Chicago whether you know the history or not. Its also obvious just verboden to discuss. Not because its false, but because its true.

Neocons aren't conservative - they are zioglobalists with primary concern for Israel.

There are several groups of militarists in the deep state, but the Israel Firster faction is predominant.

Fucking obviously.

Arthur

Gee I guess we should back Iran and Isis. Must be some great jewish conspiricy that keeps you impovrished, that or maybe you are just a moron.

Johnny Horscaulk

Idiot, the us, and israel ARE backing isis. Go back to watching fox news - this is all way over your willingness to spend time reading about. You clearly have an internet connection - but you utter palpable nonsense.

OldPhart

Arthur

When/where I grew up I'd never met a jew. I think there was one black family in the two hundred fifty square miles of the town, population 2,200 in 1976. I knew jackshit other than they were greased by nazis back in WWII.

Moved out of the desert to Orlando, Flawed?-Duh. Met a lot of regular jews. Good people, best man's dad and mom had tattoo'd numbers on thier arms. To me, their just regular people that have some other sort of religion that christianity is an offshoot from.

What I've learned is that Zionism is lead by a relative few of the jewish faith, many regular jews resent it as an abomination of jewish faith. Zionists are the self-selected political elite and are in no way keepers of the jewish faith. They are the equivalent, in Israel, to the CFR here. Oddly, they also comprise many of the CFR seats HERE.

Zionists do not represent the jews any more than Jamie Diamond, Blythe Masters, Warren Buffet, or Bill Gates represent ordinary Americans. Somehow, over time, Zionists came to wield massive influence within our government and corporate institutions.

Those are the simple facts that I have been able to glean from piles of research that are massively biased in both directions.

It's not a jewish conspiracy that keeps many impoverished, it's the Zionists that keep many impoverished, at war, divided, ignorant, and given bread and circuses. Not jews.

Perhaps you should spend a few years doing a little independent research of your own before belittling something you obviously have no clue about.

Johnny Horscaulk

That rhetorical ballet aside, Israel has far far too much influence on us policy, and that is so because of wildly disproportionate Jewish... As such... Political, financial, media, etc power. And they - AS A GROUP -act in their in-group interests even when resulting policy is not in this country's interest - demanding, with 50 million Scoffield JudeoChristians that Israels interests be of utmost value...

And heres the kicker - as defined by an Israel under likud and shas, parties so odious they make golden dawn look leftist, yet get no msm criticism for being so.

Its never 'all' any group - but Israels influence is excessive and deleterious, and that is due to jewish power and influence, with the xian zios giving the votes. Framed this way, it isnt 'Zionism' - it is simply a powerful minority with deep loyalty to a tiny foreign state warping us policy - and media coverage.

MEFOBILLS

Arthur,

Iran is formerly Persia, and its people are predominantly Shia. Shia's are considered apostates by Sunni's. Isis is Sunni. Sunnis get their funding via the Petrodollar system.

Persians changed their name to Iran to let northern Europeans know they were Aryans. Persians are not Arabs.

Neo-Con's are Jewish and they have fellow travelers who are non jewish. Many of their fellow travelers are Sayanim or Zionist Christians. So, Neo-Con ideology is no longer specifically Jewish, but it certainly has Jewish antecedents.

Your comment is full of illogic, is misinformed, and then you have the laughable temerity to call out someone else as a moron.

I Write Code

The only place "neocons" still exist is at ZH. Whatever Wikipedia says about it, the term had virtually no currency in the US before 2001, and had pretty much ceased to have any influence by about 2005.

Is Rubio sounding like an interventionist? Yes. Does he really know what he's talking about? Unclear. Is Trump sounding like a non-interventionist? Yes. Does he really know what he's talking about? Almost certainly not. Trump is the non-interventionist who wants to bomb the shit out of ISIS.

Rand didn't do anything to embarass himself at the latest debate, but he also didn't stand out enough to make up for many past errors. Give him a few years, maybe he'll grow up or something.

But the harder question is, what *should* the US do about stuff? Should we cowboy on alone, or pull back because none of the other kids want to help us. Can't we make common cause with Russia and France at this point? I mean instead of Iran and Turkey? The biggest problem is of course Obama - whatever various national interests at this point, nobody in the world thinks they can trust Nobel boy as far as they can spit a rat. Would anyone want to trust Rubio or Trump? Would you?

Johnny Horscaulk

Nonsense - read this for background beginning with the philosopher Strauss. It has a fixed meaning that was subjected to semantic drift in the media. It came to be conflated with 'militarist' and the conservative thing was a misnomer they were communists who wanted to use American power for israel.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article178638.html

Only on zh is absolutely absurd to claim.

TheObsoleteMan

After listening to the press for the last week, I have come to a conclusion concerning Mr. Bush: The party big wigs have decided he can not win and are distancing their support for him.

Their new golden boy? Marco Rubio. The press in the last week has barely mentioned Bush, but every breath has been about "the young Latino". "He's rising in the polls".

I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard that on radio and the TV. They also had him on Meet The Press last Sunday. Just thought I'd mention it. I can't stand Rubio. When he ran for Senate down here a few years ago, he road to Washington on the Tea Party's back. As soon as he got there, he did what all good politicians do: Dumped their platform and forgot all about them. Scumbag.

neilhorn

Yes, I have also seen the new "golden boy" regaled in the media. Let's see where he goes. I wonder if anyone represents the American people any better than the corrupt piece of dried up persimmon that is Hillary?

Raymond_K._Hessel

Trump picks cruz as veep, offends moderate and lefty independents and latinos on the immigration stuff, kisses Likuds ass (2 million right wing batshit jews out of 8 million israeli voters in asia dominate us foreign policy via nutty, aipac, adl, jinsa, conf of pres, etc etc etc)

And he loses to hillary. The gop can not win this election. Sorry - but admit the direness of our situation - shitty candidates all and one of the very worst and most essentially disingenuous- will win because women and minorities and lefties outnumber right leaning white males.

This is super obviously the political situation.

So - how do we 'prepare' for hillary? She is more wars, more printing, more wall st, more israel just like everyone but sanders who is nonetheless a crazy person and arch statist though I respect his at least not being a hyperinterventionist mic cocksucker.

But fucking hillary clinton gets in.

What does it mean apart from the same old thing?

Red team blue team same thing on wars, banks, and bending the knee to batshit psycho bibi.

cherry picker

I don't think Americans are really ready for Bill to be the First Man, do you? I don't think Americans think about that aspect of Hillary becoming Pres.

Personally, I hope she doesn't get in. There are many other women that are capable who could fit the bill, if the US is bound and determined to have a female president.

neilhorn

"indeed, in our post-constitutional era, now that Congress has abdicated its responsibility, he has the de facto power to single-handedly take us into war. Which is why, paraphrasing Trotsky, you may not be interested in politics, but politics is certainly interested in you."

The post-constitutional era is the present time. Congress is stifled by politics while the rest of us only desire that the rights of the people are protected. The President has never been granted the right to take our nation to war. Other presidents have usurped that power and taken the power to themseves. Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama have all taken on the right to kill anyone who defied the right of the presidency. However, when the people ever abrogated their right to wage war it was only in response to a police state being established that threatened those who opposed the power of the established authority. Congress, the representatives of the people, has the right to declare war. Congress is also obligated to represent the people who elected them. When will we find a representative who has the backbone to stop the suicidal tendencies of the structures of power?

Captain Obvious.

Don't set store by any politician. They were all sent as a group to suck Israeli dick. Yes, dear Donald too. They will tell you what they think you want to hear.

Raymond_K._Hessel

Ivanka converted to judaism and all - was that for the grooms parents or genuine? Or a dynastic thing?

Wahooo

Another hit piece today in Barrons:

"Donald Trump is trying hard to look presidential these days. Too bad he's using Herbert Hoover as a role model. Hoover, of course, is best remembered as having been president during the stock market crash of 1929 that presaged the Great Depression. What helped turn a normal recession into a global economic disaster was the spread of protectionism, starting with the Smoot-Hawley tariff, which resulted in retaliation even before Hoover signed the bill in 1930."

If I recall my history, in 1927 amidst what everyone knew was already bubble stock market, the Fed dropped rates substantially. This was done against the protests of President Coolidge, his secretary of treasury, and many other politicians and business tycoons at the time. It ushered in a stock market bubble of massive proportions and the coming bust. Protectionism had little to do with it.

Faeriedust

Right. The "protectionism" meme is a piece of corporate persiflage that's been duly trotted out every time someone suggests even SLIGHTLY protecting our decimated economy. According to Wiki: "the general view is that while it had negative results, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff was not one of the main causes of the Great Depression because foreign trade was only a small sector of the U.S. economy."

Faeriedust

Well, what REALLY caused the Depression were the bills from WWI. Every nation in Europe had spent years of GNP on the War through debt, all the debts were due, and nobody could afford to pay them. So they loaded the whole pile on Germany, and then screamed when Germany literally could NOT make its payments, and then played extend-and-pretend for a decade. Which eventually caused the Credit-Anstallt collapse, and then everything finally fell like a house of cards.

Very like today, but the current run of bills were run up by pure financial frivolity and corruption. Although one could say that fighting a war that killed 1/4 of all European males of fighting age was an exercise in frivolity and corruption on the part of Europe's senile ruling elites. Nobody was willing to divide a shrinking pie equitably; they all thought it would be better to try grabbing The Whole Thing. Rather like world powers today, again.

CAPT DRAKE

educated, responsible position in a fortune 200company, and yes, will be voting for trump. why? sick to death of the existing elites, and the way they run things. a trump vote is a protest vote. a protest against the neocons and all their types that have caused so much misery around the world.

NoWayJose

If Trump is the Republucan nominee, you can bet that he will point out a lot of things Hillary has done. You know several others in the field will say nothing bad about Hillary. (A la Romney).

Not sure why Rubio still has support - Rand clobbered him on spending, including his new entitlement, and add Rubio's position on amnesty.

Faeriedust

With JEB polling in single digits and hopelessly befuddled, Rubio is the Great Hispanic Hope of the establishment Republocrats. He is being well-pimped, is all. Paul is clearly more intelligent, more articulate, and more well-informed; Trump is more forceful and popular (but independent!). Neither suits an establishment that wants to hold the reins behind the throne.

thesoothsayer

The Military Industrial Complex became entrenched after Eisenhower left office and they murdered Kennedy. Since then, they have taken over. We cover the world to spread our seeds and enrich our corporations. Our government does not protect the people, it protects the corporations, wall street. That is the reality.

dizzyfingers

https://theintercept.com/2015/11/11/trump-was-right-about-tpp-benefitting-china

Trump Was Right About TPP Benefiting China

[Nov 08, 2015] Legendary US Army Commander Says Russia Would Annihilate US In Head-To-Head Battle

Notable quotes:
"... And why is the US seeking a battle with Russia anyway? This is completely absurd....are the neo-cons/neo-libs this fucked up? ..."
"... Having said the above, the prevailing view on the ground in Moscow is that it will be NATO that pre-emptively attacks Russia, hence the refurbishing and re-provisioning of their network of Civil Defence shelters, info via Brother in Law (BNP Paribas Moscow). ..."
"... US/EU GDP approaches 40 trillion dollars. Russia has fallen down below 2 trillion due to the drop in oil prices. 25 to 1 disparity. ..."
"... US population 330 million. EU population 504 million. Russian population 142 million. 6-1 disparity. ..."
"... Carter says Russia, China potentially threaten global order. WTF! These idiots really believe America rules the world! Every country should fear us and do as we say. No other country should EVER dare to challenge our oligarchy. Good for Russia and China for finally saying enough. We patrol the South China Sea like it's our own f***ing bathtub. If China did that to us in the Gulf of Mexico we would already be at war. The GLOBAL F***ING ORDER? Who made us kings of the world? ..."
"... If the neocons think they can bring war to soil mere miles away from Russia and not get a nuclear response if they start losing or we breach a russian boder, theyre insane. Unfortunately one look at current policy confirms that yes, indeed, theyre insane. ..."
"... Any negative assessment of US military capability originating from within the military-industrial complex, must necessarily be considered suspect. First, that assessment would be considered highly classified, unless it was pre-approved and deliberately released to scare more money out of already fleeced taxpayers. Second, .Gov used the same propaganda in our decades-long cold war with the USSR to justify massive spending and involvement in global conflicts. Profligate spending and profligate lies leave them with no credibility. ..."
Zero Hedge
Cochore

The Saker wrote a very insightful post on this matter a while back

US political culture and propaganda has deeply ingrained in the minds of those exposed to the corporate media the notion that weapons or technologies win wars. This is not so. Or, not really so.

Yes, when the difference in technologies is very big AND very wide, meaning a full generational change across most key weapon systems, this can help. But not one weapon system alone, and not when the difference in quality is marginal.

Furthermore, a simpler, more "primitive" weapon which totally outclassed on the testing range can suddenly become much better suited to real combat then some techno-marvel. This is, by the way, one of the biggest problems with US weapons. Here is how they are designed:

You take all the latest and most advanced technologies, put them together, then create a new "superior" design, then design a new mission profile to fit that design, then sell (figuratively and literally) the new concept to Congress, especially to those Congressmen who come from the districts where production is planned - and, voilà, you have your brand new top of the line US weapon. And the costs? Who cares?! Just print some more money, and that's it.

Russian weapons are designed in a totally different way:

Take a mission profile, determine a need, then take all the cheapest, simplest and most reliable technologies available and combine them into your weapon system, then have that prototype tested in military units, then modify the weapons system according to the military's reaction and then produce it.

In other words, US weapons are designed my engineers and produced by businessmen and politicians, they are not really designed for war at all. Russian weapons, in contrast, are ordered by the military and created by design bureaus and they have only one objective: real, dirty and ugly warfare.

This is why the good old MiG-29 could fly better with its old fashioned hydraulics then the F-18s with fly-by-wire. It was never that the Russians could not built fly-by-wire aircraft (the SU-27 already had it), but that for the MiG-29 design goals, it was not needed.

What I am getting at here is two things: a) US weapons are not nearly as good as their marketing and b) "older" Russian weapons are often much better for actual warfighting.

Let's say the US delivers large quantities of Javelin's to the junta. So what? All that Russia will have to do in reaction is deliver 9M133 Kornets to the Novorussians. Can you guess which system is both cheaper and better?

When the US gave the junta counter-battery radars what did Russia do? The same thing. Now both sides have them.

Now here comes the key question: which of the two sides relies more on armor and artillery? Exactly - the junta.

When confronted with a problems, Americans love to do to things: throw money at it and throw technological "solutions" at it. This never works, but that is what they are good at.

The fact is that even in the 21st century what wins wars is not money or fancy gear, but courage, determination, moral strength, willpower and the rage which seizes you when faced with brute, ugly evil.

LINK to full article

Occident Mortal

Russia does have some technological advantages over the U.S. though.

Russian missile technology is superior.

The S-400 surface to air defence system is two generations better than anything else in the world.

Russian missiles are superior too. Their ICMB's fly random path trajectories. They are the masters of multiple engine rockets.

Only the Russians have the ability to put a man in space.

America is a little self deluded and they too often extrapolate their warplane technology advantage into a blanket technology advantage. That's just not the case.

Perimetr

"Well now, it seems entirely possible that the US may have to fight a conventional war against the Russians . . ."

Sorry, exactly how long do you think a war with Russia would remain CONVENTIONAL?

As soon a one side or the other started to lose, what do you think would happen? They will surrender?

Demdere

Guys, do not believe anyone who says that any part of any system is managable. Saying "I can win a war" is the same as saying "I can see the future and inside other men's minds". No you an't. You are throwing dice every time, and war is a very negative-sum game, most players don't even break even. Both can easily lose very badly, far more han they ever could have conceviablely won. I believe all modern wars have been of thar variety.

The cost of bad government keeps increasing. The cost of sufficient firepower to cause a 1% loss of GDP is within the budget of a religious cult with intelligence service ties. We spend more than 25$ of our GDP on policing, monitoring, checking, verifying. The overhead of our military is at least 10% of GDP, our industry would kill for that kind of cost advantage. The costs of dishonest are so huge.

runswithscissors

And why is the US seeking a "battle" with Russia anyway? This is completely absurd....are the neo-cons/neo-libs this fucked up?


V for ...

Yep. The new Bolsheviks are criminally insane.

1033eruth

The US? No, Uncle Fraud is trying to get Americans to condone and approve another war through constant media manipulation.

Every major war needs public approval. It doesn't happen until the media maneuvers American zombies into acceptance.

Kent State was the beginning of the end of the Vietnam war. The losses we were incurring were too great for the public to accept. Which also helps to explain why we have switched over to remote control and drone warfare. We can still spend ocean carriers of money which the American public overlooks as a cost for "safety" and the loss of life is minimized therefore less backlash.

Tell me why this hasn't occurred to you?

booboo

More scarey bullshit to whip up more support for spending trillions on another armored up coffin, flying battleship or space shotgun, not that I am under any illusion that the U.S. would win but God Damn, if you don't start a fucking war then you won't have to fight a war.

Blankone

Yes, this. And it works well because all sides lap it up. The MIC has the politicians push the agenda and fear. TPTB have the MSM push it and the sheep eat it up like always. The Putin fan club jumps on the band wagon because its the fantasy they wish was true.

JustObserving
Russia Would "Annihilate" US In Head-To-Head Battle

No wonder the Nobel Prize Winner is pushing Putin into a new world war. CIA created ISIS blows up Russian passenger jet. F-15s sent to Turkey to attack Russian jets. Obama continues to attack oil to bankrupt Russia.

US deploys F-15s to Syria, targeting Russian jets

By Thomas Gaist, 7 November 2015

The US will send a squadron of F-15C fighter jets to Turkey's Incirlik air base, the US Defense Department (DOD) announced on Friday. The nature of the US war planes, which are specifically designed for dogfighting with other highly advanced fighter jets, indicates that the deployment carries a significance far beyond what its small scale would suggest.

The F-15 line of combat jets was developed in response to the unveiling in 1967 of the Soviet Union's MiG-25 "Foxbat" interceptor.

Because they are designed for air-to-air combat against other major powers, the US has, until now, seen no need to deploy the F-15C model to its Middle Eastern and Central Asian war theaters, where the opposing forces have no warplanes.

The sudden deployment, coming less than two months after Russia began sending its own SU-30 fighters to its new airbase at Latakia, makes clear that the jets have been deployed in response to Moscow's air campaign.

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/11/07/syri-n07.html

Stakes are high as US plays the oil card against Iran and Russia

John Kerry, the US secretary of state, allegedly struck a deal with King Abdullah in September under which the Saudis would sell crude at below the prevailing market price. That would help explain why the price has been falling at a time when, given the turmoil in Iraq and Syria caused by Islamic State, it would normally have been rising.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/economics-blog/2014/nov/09/us-iran-r...

Dark Daze

I dispute that the F-15 was ever intended as a dogfighter. It is fast, much faster than the SU-30 and it can carry an impressive bomb load, but I believe the original design was rapid penetration of enemy defenses and air to ground, not air superiority. All that of course comes only when the F-15 is loaded down with not only fuselage conformant fuel tanks but drop tanks as well, reducing it's effectiveness. When you compare thrust, aerodynamics, stand off weapons and sheer manoevering capability the SU-30 wins hands down. The only air-to-air weapon the F-15's have been retrofitted with that even comes close to the air-to-air that the Russians have is the British Meteor, but that has never been tested. It is a Mach 4 weapon so the SU-30 couldn't outrun it or out climb it, but I remain to be convinced about it's capabilities.

The larger problem for the Americans is that they are stationing their F-15's at Incirlik, which is only 15 minutes from Latakia. Incirlikk was a poor choice for them to be stationing those units when the stated intention was to fly missions against ISIS. If the Syrians/Russians detect the F-15's coming south instead of going east they will have only a few moments to decide on whether to launch S-400's against them, and in an environment that might have a heigntened level of intensity that is a danger. Needless to say, an S-400 launced against an F-15 will take the later out in seconds and no amount of chaffe of manoevering with change that scenario. Check mate.

Blankone

Check mate? They are moving that close to the Russian bases to squeeze Russia and occupy the area. It is a sign they have no fear of Russia being willng to confront.

Dark Daze

Either that or a sign of sheer stupidity and a willingness to sacrifice men and material.

Talleyrand

Russia is not going to attack the Baltic states. Russia is not going to invade Poland. Russia is not going to attack the anachronism that is NATO.

On the other hand, invading Russia has, historically, proven to be a bad idea.

cowdiddly

Just more of this Russophobia boogeyman bullshit to get more funds appropriated for their sick toys and paychecks so they can continue getting their butt kicked all over the globe by anyone more powerful than Somalia.

Parrotile

Jack, Russia has no reason to "invade Europe" since Europe has nothing of immediate benefit to Russia. Having said that Russia will certainly not "telegraph" their intentions by troop movements, and will certainly use their rather capable missile tech to "soften up" EU defences should the opportunity arise. Air defence needs runways, and armies need reliable bulk transport (motorways / rail), the key locations of which (marshalling yards / major intersections) are well known to Russia.

They will not just "roll over the border" and say "come and get us" to the West.

Having said the above, the prevailing view "on the ground" in Moscow is that it will be NATO that pre-emptively attacks Russia, hence the refurbishing and re-provisioning of their network of Civil Defence shelters, info via Brother in Law (BNP Paribas Moscow).

tarabel

Let's review here...

NATO is larger than it ever was before, and Russia is much smaller and weaker than the USSR/Warsaw Pact.

Soviet armor is not parked in central Germany any more.

Vladimir Putin complains endlessly about NATO forces being forward deployed to his border regions.

Virtually every single member of the US military and many cadres from other NATO nations have years of real world battlefield experience, while only a small number of Russians have been shot at.

US/EU GDP approaches 40 trillion dollars. Russia has fallen down below 2 trillion due to the drop in oil prices. 25 to 1 disparity.

US population 330 million. EU population 504 million. Russian population 142 million. 6-1 disparity.

Russian "breakout" from nuclear treaties that limited weapons to an approximate 1-1 parity means that they are stronger in nuclear weapons than the United States, but the nuclear forces of the UK and France mean that the West still possesses a slight but shrinking superiority here

And now you understand why Russia has officially and unilaterally renounced the solemn old Soviet declaration of "no first use" of nuclear weapons. Any conventional war between the West and Russia will end in ruin for Russia even if they can make some hay early on. The economic and population disparities are far too wide for Putin to prevail or even defend his country-- unless he goes nuclear. It is the only type of warfighting in which the sides are remotely equal.

The West has no need or interest in going nuclear on Russia in the event of hostilities. No matter what sort of initial success Russian armies may achieve in the early stages of a war that starts next door to their depots, the economic power of the West is far too much for him to overcome with conventional means.

Draw your own conclusions as to who needs to light the first Roman Candle.

rejected

"Virtually every single member of the US military and many cadres from other NATO nations have years of real world battlefield experience, while only a small number of Russians have been shot at."

Yes,,, but fighting who? Vietnam, a real war, was too long ago. The veterans are old so their experience will be of no use.

The Iraqi's were surrendering so fast it was slowing down the advance on Baghdad.

Libya,,, bombed into a failed state,,, other than the Marines having to defend the gun running US Ambassador there was no fighting.

In Syria our Ally "moderate terrorists" are / was doing the grunt work against Assad.

And we're still fighting (losing) the cave dwellers of Afghanistan 15 years later. In fact they are now advancing against the puppet US government.

Russia will never attack the West but the West will attack Russia because the West is broke. That GDP your referring to was purchased by central bank printing.

The Russian Army will be defending their nation, Nato/US Armies will be trying to establish an empire.

Who do you think will have the most incentive.

HyeM

This is all propaganda.... they're using words like "Annihilate" to terrify the public and get an even larger budget for the military-industrial complex to benefit them and their friends in the defense industry. For the last 80 years we were going to be "Annihilated", first by the Soviet Army, and now this crap.

rbg81

I remember freshman ROTC lectures back in 1979. The USSR was poised to invade West Germany via the Fulda Gap--they could come over at any minute. Ivan was ten feet tall. Blah, blah, blah. Then, after the Berlin Wall fell, two generations of scary propaganda looked like a big joke. Nothing ever changes.

I Write Code

Anybody interested, please click on the link and read the Politico article yourself.

This ZH posting completely misrepresents what the article says.

The article is really about McMaster and the good news that he's still in the game at the Pentagon.

And in two out of three scenarios the US beats Russia, apparently even in this expeditionary scenario.

Now, the whole thing is absurd. The idea that the US and Russia would end up firing major weapons at each other is a mutual nightmare. And the idea that the US would pit a small force against Russia, right against Russian territory, and expect to win, is doubly absurd.

But the Politico article is actually worth reading anyway, and for that, thank you ZH.

rejected

Great!!! Our team wins!

Could have went any way....

V for ...

Fairness, justice, freedom. These are more than words. They are deeds. That was the pledge of the U.S. Military code before it was overtaken by dual citizens like the Wolfowitz Doctrine, Project for a New American Century; those who declare to be the 'chosen ones', and use my country, my people's blood and treasure.

Get off your knees, US Military Code. I have no interest in the failures of dual citizens, and nor should you. My country, tis of thee. Foreigners should fund their own fight.

This:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhZk8ronces

Then this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKvvOFIHs4k

Temerity Trader

"Carter says Russia, China potentially threaten global order." WTF! These idiots really believe America rules the world! Every country should fear us and do as we say. No other country should EVER dare to challenge our oligarchy. Good for Russia and China for finally saying enough. We patrol the South China Sea like it's our own f***ing bathtub. If China did that to us in the Gulf of Mexico we would already be at war. The GLOBAL F***ING ORDER? Who made us kings of the world?

These guys are sick. We need to pull our fleets and troops out and go home and stay there. Let China and Russia deal with Japan, Taiwan and Syria. Guaranteed these guys will get us into a major war soon. Obama is too weak to fight the MIC. They fill his head with crap about how no country should dare to challenge us.

Americans cannot tolerate large losses. They expect to always kick ass and suffer few losses. The new missile technology has changed all that. Watch the reaction when one of our aircraft carriers goes to the bottom from a dozen simultaneous missile strikes. The oligarchs know they can count on Joe Sixpack believing all their propaganda spewing forth and set his 300lb ass in his living room chair saying, "Let's go kick China and Russia's asses."

seek

If the neocons think they can bring war to soil mere miles away from Russia and not get a nuclear response if they start losing or we breach a russian boder, they're insane. Unfortunately one look at current policy confirms that yes, indeed, they're insane. Just pray they only target political and financial centers when the missiles fly. Might leave us in a better place.

lasvegaspersona

Eisenhower said war is man's greatest folly and those who pursue it or fail to prevent it are a black mark on all of humanity

...wonder if these military geniuses have read THAT military history...

V for ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y06NSBBRtY

Eisenhower warned about a new thing in his time, something called a military industrial complex.

The modern Zionist talks about the MIC being a conspiracy theory, but Eisenhower said it would have 'grave implications', and we 'must guard against ...the military industrial complex...never let it endanger our liberties...'.

Charles Offdensen

What a bullshit article. If the US were to truly go all out war and not give a damn about public opinion, which is media driven for the purpose of tying our hands visa vie Amercan public feeling and emotions, we would by any stretch of the means and definition wipe the floor with any country any where.

The problem is that most people don't realize or care to understand what it takes to win a war. Since when did the enemy give a rats ass about how they killed us. They don't, so why should we care about them or the civilians who have been so brutalized to the point of pure survival who only want the pain to stop no matter who delivers it. And that includes their slave masters which has been discussed ad nausium her at ZH.

Ask yourself. Do you really think people who have been raped and brutalized are going to be better off if we play nice or are they going to do whatever it takes to survive and that means not giving a shit about anyone else but you.

War is hell. There are no two ways about it. But do you sacrifice your objective just to win the hearts and minds of those that would probably shoot you because they can't tell which way is up or down? Especially those from a distinction all third world and seventh century mentality.

To win you have to do what is necessary regardless of judgment because judgment is what defeats us in battle.

The horror!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=o6tV1yfEPTk

For the record I tried!!!

V for ...

Blood is thicker than water. The dual citizens think they have captured the USA. I know they have a tiger by the tail.

'they' serve money first by their hideous Talmud, and 'they' are going to die by it.

'they' enjoyed the protection of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, yet strive to destroy those American ways.

F'ck 'em. Don't worry about them.. Let them die in their desert sandpit.

Dark Daze

There was a time, not so long ago, when the US at least tried to maintain the illusion that they were the 'good guys'. Of course history paints an entirely different picture. As I have written many times, from Latin America, South America, China, South East Asia, Africa and now the middle east, the US has overthrown, bombed, murdered, screwed over, enslaved and otherwise brutalised most of the worlds population. Let's not forget that it was less than 40 years from the American Revolution when the US started it's wars of conquest by trying to invade Canada while Britain was tied up with Napoleon.

Glad to see that there is at leasrt one American who makes no bones about his/her true intentions, which is total world domination. Unfortunately for you, you're economy is wrecked, your banks and government are bankrupt, you have no gold left, your population is seething in it's anger and you're vaunted war machine is phoney. So go ahead, try the Chinese or the Russians on for size and see what happens.

docinthehouse

If Russia and China were smart, they would improve theirr own country's infrastructure and let the West continue to rot of its own accord. You get what you accept Ameirca and the west have becomes slaves to debt and a tolerance of freeloading. You get what you accept.

Setarcos

Er! Russia and China ARE improving their infrastructures, Russia especially since sanctions gave a strong impetus.

Have you seen the new bridge being built to Crimea and what a about Sochi, the new technology centre near Moscow, revitalized Vladivostok and the new Cosmodrom, for instance.

Agricultural production is way up and manufacturing is being ramped up.

marcusfenix

as an aside to this piece there was another interesting disclosure regarding the growing gaps in capabilities the US would have to overcome if Washington ever engaged Russia in a conventional war.

namely the cruise missile strikes from the Caspian flotilla, while they did not make a difference in the course of the battle in Syria they did show that Russia has a capability that the US Navy does not and could put them at a serious disadvantage in any engagement. it wasn't the missiles themselves though they did show a vast improvement in Russian long range guided missile capabilities but how they were delivered that is cause for concern in DC.

unlike the US navy which relies exclusively on larger blue water destroyers for it's long range cruise missile delivery, the missiles fired from the Caspian sea were launched from much smaller, faster and more agile corvettes. long range strike capability from a package that is much harder to find, track, target and hit than the US navy's guided missile and aegis destroyers.

this capability has countless advantages but Washington never pursued it's development and apparently did not expect Moscow to either. but now not only did Moscow do just that they proved to the world that they can use it in combat in essence rendering the entire US navy's carrier fleet obsolete. consider this small of a ship, under 90 tons, can position itself anywhere up to 900 miles away and fire up to 12 LRAS missiles from areas where larger ships and even subs simply can not operate. all while still retaining blue water mission capabilities.

it is simply smaller, faster, more flexible, more cost effective and smarter than anything the US navy has to offer. these corvettes are relatively easy to produce and maintain and can be built in large numbers on short notice, they are hard to hunt and hard to kill and can sink carriers from hundreds of miles away.

instead of investing in practical, usable tech like this DC sinks one trillion dollars in the F-35 which still isn't near production and is already obsolete. as one US air force general testified before congress the Russians have had the ability to overcome the Lightnings stealth capabilities for at least 15 years now and in a dog fight it would get shredded by even a 1960's Mig 21 because it is to under powered to generate attack angels and "turns like a garbage truck".

now I wonder how many guided missile corvettes could one trillion dollars buy?

Flankspeed60

Any negative assessment of US military capability originating from within the military-industrial complex, must necessarily be considered suspect. First, that assessment would be considered highly classified, unless it was pre-approved and deliberately released to scare more money out of already fleeced taxpayers. Second, .Gov used the same propaganda in our decades-long cold war with the USSR to justify massive spending and involvement in global conflicts. Profligate spending and profligate lies leave them with no credibility.

tool

Exactly talking their own book fear mongering to increase their allocated budget and by god they will find away to spend every last cent. Remember the recent Afghan compressed natural gas outlet should have cost 500k actually cost billions!

V for ...

Why? November 22 1963. A coup d'etat.

Jack defied the moneychangers, and Israel's want of nuclear weapons.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhZk8ronces

[Nov 06, 2015] Obama Cracked Jokes While the Rest of the World Mourned

The current American administration will go down in history as one of the most weak and unprofessional with no affinity for etiquette and good manners.
Notable quotes:
"... Where Mr. Obama failed, other Western and world leaders expressed their condolences-British Prime-Minister David Cameron, Polish President Andzej Duda, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping among them. ..."
"... The Kremlin isn't worrying why Barack Obama didn't send condolences, reported Interfax. "Probably, this should not be explained by the Kremlin," said Dmitry Peskov, the Press Secretary to the Russian President, answering why there was no official telegram from Mr. Obama. Mr. Peskov said there were "a lot" of messages from other world leaders. ..."
"... Russia's national news service Information Agency outed Mr. Obama as "the only world leader that did not express his condolences [to Russia] on the air catastrophe A-321." ..."
"... "This is personal," wrote Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, adding "the current American administration will go down in history as one of the most weak and unprofessional with no affinity for etiquette and good manners." ..."
11/05/15 | Observer

On November 2, speaking at a Democratic fundraiser in New York, President Barack Obama poked fun of the Republicans, joking that if they cannot handle CNBC moderators how could they possibly handle Russia's Vladimir Putin?

"Every one of these candidates says, 'Obama's weak, Putin's kicking sand in his face. When I talk to Putin, he's gonna straighten out.' …and then it turns out they can't handle a bunch of CNBC moderators!" Mr. Obama said.

"I mean, let me tell you: if you can't handle those guys," he continued, laughing, "I don't think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you."

While Mr. Obama had his fun, he neglected to mention more serious matters-the Russian plane crash over the Sinai peninsula on October 31 that took the lives of all 224 passengers on board.

Where Mr. Obama failed, other Western and world leaders expressed their condolences-British Prime-Minister David Cameron, Polish President Andzej Duda, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping among them.

On his Twitter page, Mr. Cameron wrote: "PM expresses condolences to President Putin over Sinai plane crash. Britain shares Russia's pain and grief."

Mr. Hollande wrote: "[A]fter the occurred tragedy [President] sends his condolences to President Putin and expresses his solidarity with the Russian people.."

Even Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko took to Twitter with the following: "I express my personal condolences to all the families of those perished in the catastrophe of the Russian passenger plane over Egypt."

Not Mr. Obama.

The Kremlin isn't worrying why Barack Obama didn't send condolences, reported Interfax. "Probably, this should not be explained by the Kremlin," said Dmitry Peskov, the Press Secretary to the Russian President, answering why there was no official telegram from Mr. Obama. Mr. Peskov said there were "a lot" of messages from other world leaders.

Secretary of State John Kerry expressed condolences on behalf of "all American people" to the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov-that was all, said Putin's press secretary.

Russia's national news service Information Agency outed Mr. Obama as "the only world leader that did not express his condolences [to Russia] on the air catastrophe A-321."

"This is personal," wrote Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, adding "the current American administration will go down in history as one of the most weak and unprofessional with no affinity for etiquette and good manners."

[Nov 05, 2015] History That Makes Us Stupid

The American Century's not what most Americans think it is. Historians need to set them straight.
Notable quotes:
"... comforting fantasies go unchallenged and lodge themselves ever more deeply in the public consciousness. So the "Good War" remains ever good, with the "Greatest Generation" ever great. ..."
The Chronicle of Higher Education

Today it's race, class, gender, and sexuality that claim pride of place. The effect, whether intended or not, is that comforting fantasies go unchallenged and lodge themselves ever more deeply in the public consciousness. So the "Good War" remains ever good, with the "Greatest Generation" ever great.

[Nov 02, 2015] The End of the President Erdogans AKP Era in Turkey – Part I

Notable quotes:
"... By T. Sabri Öncü ( sabri.oncu@gmail.com ), an economist based in Istanbul, Turkey. ..."
"... Sounds like "Neo-Ottomanism" is of the same genera as "Neo-Liberalism." ..."
November 1, 2015 | naked capitalism
Lambert here: AKP stands for Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi in Turkish, which translates to Justice and Freedom Party. I admit that I don't know much about Turkey's domestic politics - which is why we're very glad to have this very timely post - but Erdogan's newly built palace (images here) seems like a fine operational definition of "wretched excess"; Erdogan's making that Ukrainian dude with the private zoo in his palace, Viktor Yanukovych, look like a mendicant monk.

By T. Sabri Öncü (sabri.oncu@gmail.com), an economist based in Istanbul, Turkey.

The worst terrorist attack in the history of the Republic of Turkey took place on October 10, 2015 in Ankara. The Ankara massacre. Two suicide bombers killed 102 of the participants in a Peace and Democracy rally and hundreds were wounded.

Why did this happen?

To give some answers, let us go back to 2002.

Turkey's ruling Sunni Islamist party, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), took power in 2002. From 2002 until 2015, it had won four general elections in a row and secured enough seats in the national assembly to form a single party government in the first three.

Although the AKP won about 50% of the votes in the third of these elections that happened in 2011, it has been in decline since then. And, in the last general election that took place on June 7, 2015, it failed to secure enough seats to form the government on its own. However, the AKP is still the ruling party, at least practically, because it is the only party in the caretaker government until the coming "repeat" election on November 1. The other parties either refused to join the interim government or left it after a while.

A milestone between the 2011 and 2015 general elections was the presidential election of August 10, 2014. Despite the ongoing decline of the AKP, its leader and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won 51.8% of the vote in the first round to become the first elected Turkish President. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, the joint candidate for the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Action Party (MHP) received 38.4% whereas Selahattin Demirtaş, the candidate of the mainly Kurdish nationalist People's Democracy Party (HDP), received 9.8%.

However, this election was of very low turnout by Turkish standards, essentially because İhsanoğlu is a known Islamist also. When a devotedly secularist section of the CHP voters resented İhsanoğlu and boycotted the election, the participation turned out to be a measly 74%. This was the lowest turnout since the coup d'état of 1980; even lower than the 79% turnout of the 2002 election that took place after a major economic collapse in 2001.

But the main event of this presidential election was the 9.8% vote the HDP candidate Demirtaş received. The 10% national threshold imposed by the 1980 military junta has been in place since the 1983 general election and no Kurdish party had ever been able to cross that threshold until June 7, 2015.

Indeed, in the 2002 election, that is, when the AKP took power, only three parties (AKP, CHP and MHP) managed to cross the threshold. With the 2007 election, a fourth party started to appear in the national assembly because the Kurdish parties and their leftist allies managed to bypass the threshold through candidates entering the elections as independents and then reassembling a party in the national assembly. However, despite that they usually secured between 5% and 7%, this trick always led to their underrepresentation in the assembly, because a big chunk of the votes on the independents were wasted.

When Demirtaş received 9.8%, indicating a high probability of crossing the 10% threshold, the HDP entered the 2015 general election as a party rather than as a collection of independent candidates. The significance of this was that had they crossed the threshold, they would have had a much larger representation in the national assembly.

And they crossed the threshold in the June 7 general election, receiving an unexpected 13%. When the HDP got 80 representatives and pushed the AKP below 276 by 18 in a 550 member national assembly, the AKP rule was over, at least legally.

This was a defining moment in the history of the Republic of Turkey.

Coming out of the ashes of the Ottoman Empire in 1923, the Republic of Turkey inherited the Empire's diverse identities and added a new one.

A major identity divide in the Empire had been along the religious lines: Muslim versus non-Muslim. However, there has been a conscious cleansing of the country from non-Muslims since the early 20th century and, as a result, this divide is currently about 99% to 1%, although it was more like 70% to 30% in the beginning.

The new identity the Republic added was that of the secular. So the new and more important religious divide in the country is the pious versus secular divide created by the founders of the Republic (although the origins of this goes way back). Of course, the founders were secularists, and their interest was to engineer a secular, capitalist nation-state along the lines of most advanced capitalist states of the West. Named after their charismatic leader, and the first president of the Republic, Mustafa Kemal, their ideology is called Kemalism.

Interestingly, they defined the nation of this nation-state – that is, the Turkish nation – based on religious identities. Who we call Turkish today – if by that we mean the citizens of the Republic of Turkey – are essentially the grandchildren of the (mostly Sunni) Muslim subjects of the Ottoman Empire, many of whom sought refuge in current-day Turkey from other parts of the Empire to avoid religious persecution. They can be from any of the many ethnicities in the former Empire as long as their grandparents were or became (preferably Sunni) Muslims.

But, the mostly Sunni Kurds (themselves a collection of many ethnicities) have never bought this definition. And, despite that Sunni Islam has been the "unofficial" religion of this "secular" Republic from the beginning, the Alevites – some of whom are Kurdish – remained, although their number decreased some as percentage.

To sum up, the most notable current identity divides include – but are not limited to – Turkish versus Kurdish, Sunni versus Alevite and pious versus secular.

Lastly, there is the military, out of which most founders of the Republic including Mustafa Kemal came. Until recently, the military had been viewed by many as guardian of the secular Republic. It took power three times: in 1960, 1971 and 1980, although there had been a number of other coup attempts also. Seen as an arch-rival, the military had been "attacked" by the AKP government as of 2010 in the courts captured by the Islamists. Many of its high ranking officers got jailed for a variety of (as recently confessed by President Erdogan, mostly made-up) reasons and the institution has been weakened. Despite this, however, whether the military is now fully under the AKP control is debatable for a variety of reasons including that there still are many Kemalists in its ranks.

Although the conflict between Turks and Kurds goes way before the start of the Republic, the most recent armed conflict started in 1984. Since then, the Turkish military and Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) have been fighting on and off (most intensely in the early 1990s) and the total death toll is at the order of tens of thousands. In a nutshell, this is the so-called "Kurdish question" in Turkey

The PKK (founded in 1978) is an armed organization considered by many including the Turkish Government to be a terrorist organization. The HDP (founded in 2013), on the other hand, defines itself as a leftist and anti-nationalist party. Further, there are many non-Kurds in the party. However, many consider the HDP as the political wing of the PKK and whether this perception is reality or not is hotly debated in the country.

Enter President Erdoğan and Prime Minister Davutoğlu.

A darling of the West until about three years ago, Erdoğan and the AKP have evidently been running a programme whose objectives were not so obvious to some. That this had been the case can easily be deduced from the recent confessions of many nationally prominent figures – mostly liberal intellectuals – who had been ardent supporters of Erdoğan and the AKP until recently. Over the last year, it has seemed as though not a single day passed without one such figure coming out and claiming that he or she had been cheated by Erdoğan and/or the AKP.

The existence of the programme became obvious to all shortly after Erdoğan won the presidential election. This was because Erdoğan's handpicked heir – former Foreign and current Prime Minister – Ahmet Davutoğlu publicly named it on August 21, 2014: the "restoration programme." According to Davutoğlu and his aides, the term does not refer to restoring the Ottoman Empire but to repairing the republic, democracy, foreign policy and a model of the economy that had been "injured" for the past 92 years.

But, what did happen 92 years ago?

Well, the Ottoman Empire ended and the Republic of Turkey was founded.

Indeed, in 2001, a year before the AKP took power, the then academic Davutoğlu published a book, "Strategic Depth," that set out the basics of this programme, so why these liberal intellectuals feel cheated is difficult to understand.

According to the Davutoğlu doctrine, Turkey is one of those countries which are "central powers." Because of its Ottoman legacy, Turkey is a Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Balkan, Caucasian, Caspian, Central Asian, Gulf and Black Sea country. It can exercise influence in all these regions and thus become a global strategic player. Or so said Davutoğlu in his "Strategic Depth." And his now badly failed "zero problem policy with neighbours" was about Turkey's capitalising on its soft power potential culminating from its historic and cultural links with all these regions, as well as its "democratic institutions" and "thriving market economy"

Given these and that Davutoğlu appeared to be objecting to the Huntingtonian theory of clash of civilisations, his doctrine had often been labelled as neo-Ottomanism. But this label was incorrect because Ottomanism was a nineteenth-century liberal political movement whose objective was to form a civic Ottoman national identity overarching ethnic, linguistic and religious identities. Any careful reading of Davutoğlu's book could have revealed that his doctrine had nothing to do with any form of Ottomanism. Furthermore, his objection to Huntington's theory was not to that there was a clash of civilisations. He agreed with Huntington there. Where he differed was that Islam was the better civilisation. Put differently, his doctrine was not neo-Ottomanism but pan-Islamism.

It now appears clear even to many of his unquestioning former supporters as well as Western powers such as the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) that not only Davutoğlu but also Erdoğan agreed with Huntington's clash of civilizations thesis. Except that Erdoğan also believed in superiority of the Islamic civilization. It now appears clear to them also that becoming the leader of the Muslim world and (there are even rumours that) caliph of the Sunni Muslims were two of Erdoğan's three major fantasies.

Of course, these two fantasies have always been beyond Erdoğan's reach, if only for the simple reason that they are based on a third fantasy that Davutoğlu invented: the unifying character of the Ottoman Empire. Ask any Arab or Balkan nation who had lived under the Ottoman rule to see how they feel about the Empire. And there are strong rivals such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran and even ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS), and Syria, Iraq and Libya are in shambles, so forth. No doubt, Davutoğlu's "zero problem policy with neighbours" eventually deformed into his current foreign policy of "honourable loneliness."

Erdoğan's third major fantasy was becoming the sultan of Turkey. This was a potentially realizable fantasy because, after his presidency, all he needed was to get the constitution changed to introduce a presidential system which would decorate him with executive powers. Had this happened, he could have become the effective sultan to continue the restoration process through which Turkey would become some sort of repressive Islamic state (which would be even more repressive than Turkey is currently).

For this, the AKP had to win at least 330 deputies in the national assembly.

And Erdoğan had a fear. Had the AKP failed to form a single party government, several legal cases could have been filed against him at the Supreme Council of Judges for a host of reasons with severe criminal consequences.

To avoid this, the AKP had to win at least 276 deputies in the national assembly.

Now, I can offer some answers to the first question I asked, that is, why the Ankara massacre happened. And I will do that in the next part, after the November 1 election.


JTMcPhee, November 1, 2015 at 7:41 am

Sounds like "Neo-Ottomanism" is of the same genera as "Neo-Liberalism."

And given how individual motivations that, for people who actually have the skills and talents and incentives to be actual Power Players in the world, all resolve to "way more for me, and as near as possible nothing for the rest of you," no surprise that the "neo" kleptocratic agenda is everywhere in the ascendant.

Erdoğan's palace, Obama's Presidential Library and Theme Park, the well documented excesses and thieveries and frauds of the ruling class pretty much everywhere - all of a piece. And where's the organizing principle and flag, for the 99% to form up and organize around? Our Betters are all reading out of the same implacable insatiable playbook– where's the book for people who just seek decency, comity, and a "modest competence" for themselves and their children, who diligently and intelligently in the Hope of Change, minimize their "footprints" (so there's more slack for the Few to consume and use up)?


PlutoniumKun, November 1, 2015 at 12:23 pm

There has been a huge boom in Turkey under Erdogan, although its a moot point as to how much he can take credit for it – certainly Turkey was a major beneficiary of QE, etc. My understanding is that he and his party was a major facilitator for the construction industry, including most notoriously of all, pretty much handing over one of the last public parks in Istanbul to a shopping mall developer.


PlutoniumKun, November 1, 2015 at 1:15 pm

Possibly. But Erdogans political base is rural and small town regular folks – the type of people who keep their cards close to their chests. Its entirely possible that this was a classic case of voters being unwilling to admit to pollsters who they will vote for. And also a case that people may reluctantly feel they should vote for a corrupt strongman over the alternative of possible chaos. Reminds me a bit of the UK election where pollsters and commentators got it very badly wrong.

Its interesting though that nobody seems to be alleging fraud (so far) – seems that Turkey has a pretty robust voting system.


susan the other, November 1, 2015 at 1:48 pm

It is clear that politix in Turkey is chaos. God only knows what the freedom and justice freaks are looking to gain. Erdogan is on the outs with everyone; NATO, Russia, the Saudis, the USA and etc. That can only mean one thing: there is no consensus and therefore there is no government. And Erdogan is just vamping around on the stage until he wears out his fishnets and high heels.

Sabri Oncu -> Synoia, November 2, 2015 at 5:55 am

Turkey and Saudi Arabia are not rivals for the new Caliphate. They are rivals for regional hegemony. So, I was combining two things together. Given that Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran are rivals of Turkey, Turkey cannot be the leader of the Muslim world. At least these three will not accept Turkey's leadership. As for the Caliphate ISIL is the competitor. But, more importantly, Arabs will not accept a Turkish as their caliph. That was what I had in mind. But, the article is already quite long even as it is so I was economizing, I guess.

Synoia, November 1, 2015 at 4:23 pm

It is not clear that Erdogan and the Saudi's are rivals for the new Caliphate.

The Saudi's will aim for the religious capital (Mecca) and the Turks the Legislative Capital as under the Ottomans, and the Rules will exchange family member in marriage as is common among royalty.

Ergogan's planace looks like it if fit for a Caliph.

Turkish Observer,

When I read articles online about this recent election people keep referring to Erdogan as having "savvy" or making some sort of "gambit".

Perhaps you could say this, if it was in any way a fair competition. But nothing about this election was fair.

Only days before the election, the government appointed trustees to 22 different companies that were part of a holding company that wasn't so keen on the government. This included two television stations and two newspapers. Immediately after seizing control of them, in clear violation of the constitution of Turkey which prohibits the seizing of media regardless of whether or not it helped enable a crime, they fired all employees who had refused loyalty to the new trustees. The next editions of these newspapers did a 180 coming out in full support of AKP and the ruling party.

The amount of media time spent on covering AKP rallies/political events was far greater in all state media than that given to the other three main parties. I believe in previous elections, and most probably this one as well, the ratio is something like 90% of all campaign airtime was given to their party.

In addition, President Erdogan repeatedly abused his power as president. This position is one that is supposed to be unpartisan and ceremonial, but instead he has turned every public appearance into an occasion to gain support for the AKP.

The ruling government has continued to systematically dismantle bastions of opposition: whether they be found in industrial, financial or media sectors. They have attacked academics, fomented assaults of media channels and stations by armed groups, and refused to provide adequate protection for opposition rallies and events.

They continue to spread lies, disinformation and enflame racial hatred on pro-government media outlets. Several weeks ago, the result of this were three or four nights of militant-nationalist rallies across different areas of Turkey including Istanbul. One of the chilling calls heard by myself and others was "we don't want war, we want genocide" while they occasionally destroyed a kurdish-looking business or stabbed/beat a kurdish-looking person to death. These were government sanctioned outbursts. If the opposition tried to rally for peace, within 30min plain clothes police officers and riot police would stop them. But rallies for genocide? Completely acceptable in Erdogan's Turkey – you could even see some of the security forces smiling.

What comes next will be more of the same, but I can only imagine what will happen when the economy here starts to crumble…

I expect all or some of the following to happen in the next year politically:

  • - further attacks on the HDP, perhaps pushing them below 10% and using this as an opportunity to get to the 330 seat level needed to change the constitution
  • - the withering away of the militant nationalist MHP, as supporters and politicians within this party have fewer differences with the policies and positions of the AKP. Perhaps a split, with half of the members crossing the aisle to the AKP.
  • - attacks on media interests/financial interests of the CHP, so that any presidential system becomes a two party one, where one party always wins (guess which). (you can expect some problems to arise with IS Bank, if they want this outcome)

Financially:

  • - continued fall in visitor/tourist numbers
  • - further contraction of industrial production as the sanctity or property rights a revealed to be a farce
  • - a complete collapse of the construction sector, if and only if the FED starts to hike rates
  • - lira reaching 4 to the dollar by May

Socially:

  • - exodus of anyone who can get out of Turkey, a significant brain drain
  • - greater conservatism within society, the imposition of more moral/social controls
  • - a dramatic increase in the breadth and width of the conflict between the Turkish military and PKK. (if and only if the HDP is dismantled as a political outlet)

[Nov 02, 2015] Turkey election Erdo an's AKP wins outright majority – as it happened Discussion

Yes another case of a global trend of resurgence of nationalism in action... Turkey now pretend for the role of of the leader of Islamic world and that paradoxically it is nationalism that stimulates shift toward more militant Islamism.
Notable quotes:
"... The only ones who had anything to gain from the bombings were AKP. That's undeniable. But, its not proof, sadly. ..."
"... The 'play caliphate jibe' was a reference to his support for ISIS and to the growing importance of religious custom in Turkey and its influence everywhere, including on law. ..."
"... BREAKING NEWS: Tonight scenes of joy in Raqqa, Mosul and Palmira...Daesh men are in a good mood...anyone knows the reason? ..."
"... Superstition prevails in some islamic and Christian states nowadays. ..."
"... That would explain why so many AK trolls have mobilised under the comments section of every major news agency. But doesn't quite explain where the AKP got its extra 1 million votes in Istanbul where the CHP took over 280k of the 268k votes lost by the HDP and MHP. ..."
"... Turkey has strong hand, many, many refugees eager to get to Europe. At the same time, it is a country which is not without its own internal problems, not least the old contradiction between Islam and modernization. One thing remains certain, Turkey is the key state in the Near East and will be courted more than ever by the USA and EU. ..."
"... The problem isn't those celebrating, it's the way the AKP party has sold itself as the party that God wants people to vote for. ..."
"... Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi sends Erdogan his congratulations from Raqqa ..."
"... Interesting how a country that couldn't count how many were killed in the Ankara suicide attack for 3 days counted 54million votes in 3 hours. ..."
"... http://www.prisonplanet.com/breaking-germanys-dw-reports-isis-supply-lines-originate-in-natos-turkey.html ..."
"... I live in Turkey and I can tell you that here is a culture of submission and complacency about any kind of real change-they will vote out of fear, vote out of intentional ignorance of the reality of things. At least half the nation are happy to live in a cloud of lies and delusion, sadly ..."
"... However it seems like this taking a lot of money from Saudi and somehow Turkish nationalist does not see it as a problems . ..."
"... This is like when Netanyahu's party won the Israeli election that followed after they incited Rabin's murder. Warmonger violence is rewarded by the voters. Unless Erdogan shows unexpected moderation, this is a grave development. ..."
"... I don't think you understand the point I am making, I never said his goal is peace with the Kurds. His goal was to win back the votes he lost in June and he did that. He got the nationalist vote back by bombing the crap out of the PKK and threatening the PYD in Syria. ..."
"... Where in all this do you get the idea that I am an AKP supporter. I am criticizing the man saying he capitalized on the deaths of soldiers to win back the important nationalist vote. Him winning in this fashion is a terrible thing, he will change the constitution and plant himself on his throne. Erdogan now has more power over Turkey than Ataturk ever did. HE is basically Putin with a moustache. ..."
"... Erdogan sweeps to power on the back of security and safety fears. His claim of intervention against Daesh (a shame) and the PKK (real); coupled with his silencing of the media critics (real); made a tremendous difference. Expect Daesh to have the welcome mat out for the black market deals - trucks and weapons and supplies for oil and concentration on the PKK and YPK. ..."
"... Turkey, whether they know it or not, voted for a Muslim Brotherhood dictatorship and ethnic war. The crumbling economic performance and the religious agenda parallel the path of Morsi in Egypt ... but here Erdogan has already neutered any threat from the military with all the treason trials. ..."
"... The war against the PKK was obviously a calculated risk. Voters usually rally behind the status quo in troubled times. The terror attacks reinforced this message. ..."
"... Yes, yet another disaster. The recent farcical goings on in Portugal, the swing to the right in Poland and Denmark and a seemingly ever increasing necessity to deal with despots and dictators. ..."
"... That is cos Erdogan controls the pools in Turkey just as the Tories controlled the polls in Britain. To get the right-wing vote out they have the polls announcing that the election is in doubt. Modern Capitalism doesn't just own the media. It owns the polls too. ..."
"... Because left is so attracted to internationalist and multi cultural garbage that lost its appeal to average people . Left used to stand for workers and better working conditions ,but now stands for pure weirdness! ..."
"... If there has been no ballot rigging, then the Turks are no different from the Americans who voted for Bush the second time or the British who voted Cameron a second time. People will vote for oligarchs and authoritarians when they are fearful or full of hate. ..."
"... I am not so sure about turkey. A country that embrace Kemal attaturk and consider him as national hero but goes against his Reforms. Attaturk changed the Arabic alphabet to Latin and closed many masques to undermine Arabic influence there but turkey now is infested with Isis and Arabic culture. I simply do not get it. ..."
"... This result is a disaster for the EU. Erdogan has Merkel and her acolytes across Europe over a barrel, and will drive a hard bargain for agreeing to help stem the migrant/refugee flood. ..."
"... America has gone along with the strategy of forming ISIS to overthrow Assad, from the very beginning. The goal was to have these mostly criminals do the dying and when they achieve overthrowing Assad, send an army to clean them out and become heroes. But reality has a way of working itself out, then ISIS got out of hand. ..."
"... Indeed. As an ardent, self-enriching neoliberal, Erdogan's hardly a threat to the West. And it probably suits the West's strategic interests better for Turkey to remain a mild Islamist democracy than for it to return to Kemalism. ..."
"... Needless to say the socialist regime of the 50s in Iran taken out by Britain and the US of the time for oil reasons was a much better vehicle for metropolitan aspirations than the shah's conservative and authoritarian regime, because the whole country, including the rural poor outside Tehran had much more of a stake in in it. A tragedy indeed. ..."
"... The west, come on, who are you exactly talking about? The west supports Saudi tyranny and their jihadi underlings, Erdogan is doing the west's bidding in Syria, and played along in Libya. ..."
"... EU supported jihadis to destroy Libya and Syria, I hope you can handle a few chanting God is great. ..."
"... Erdogan: BFF of ISIS, Nemesis of Kurds. Yep, America's ally. Feckin' perfect. Business as usual. ..."
"... Geopolitically, Turkey is an ally and partner in NATO. Turkey is a training ground and safe zone for moderate jihadis. Turkey hates Syria and agrees with Obama that Assad must go . The Guardian agrees with all these positions. Ergo the victory is legitimate . Just ask Portugal ..."
"... There will soon be comments describing AK party supporters as poor, uneducated, religious nutters from enlightened Europeans. With everything going in Turkey, Erdogan is popular because out of all the candidates he is the one the Turks think will offer economic prosperity. I think that is what matters the most to majority of voters I guess. ..."
"... Nationalism is reaction itself. It doesn't need PKK or whatever. Was Lukashenko observing these elections? Balls to them ..."
"... Erdogan was a polarising figure in Turkish politics he won't lose heavily (in fact he actually won more votes through his cynical act of social imperialism) because the political opposition to him is too incompetent and cliquey (ie non are interested in broadening their political support beyond their base, MHP for instance call Alevites heretics and want a death list of all Kurdish activists, CHP are uninterested in courting religious Turks or Kurds, HDP is still a nationalist party despite its liberal pretentions) to beat Erdogan and it seems my predictions have come true. ..."
www.theguardian.com

Candide60 -> AdemMeral 1 Nov 2015 16:29

The institutionalized religion AKP built is a dangerous tool in the hands of those who have absolute power, or any power, and no real pragmatism, nor any desire to govern all citizens fairly and equally. If you research human rights records of Turkey, you will find out how much abuse is perpetrated in the name of religion, in the name of sect, in the name of gender, in the name of party affiliation.

Having superficial knowledge of these matters and claiming to speak for all Turks, what is best for Turks is wrong. Voting for a party formed by thieves, that is perpetrating abuses, corruption, killing its own citizens, and claiming there isn't any alternative is a lame excuse. When there is no alternative, one creates its choices.

Hesham Abdelhafez -> Alfie Silva 1 Nov 2015 16:28

Just like that! where are the democracy of the "civilised" west gone? so all these talks about democracy and human rights that the western media gave us headache are all crap!

AdemMeral -> Alfie Silva 1 Nov 2015 16:25

Erdogan is not Islamist. Erbakan was. Nobody can touch republic in Turkey. Even a hint of it and Erdogan is history.

In fact Gulen was the most dangerous one and he had good people in the army. But he is history now.

missythecat -> AdemMeral 1 Nov 2015 16:13

I agree with you that the the opposition in Turkey isn't doing a great job. But this doesn't justify why one should vote for erdogan. This is really interesting, I always wanted to understand why people vote for him. Are you really not aware that he and his party members are actually breaking the law and acting against the constitution by spending public funds for their personal or the AKP's gain?

Are you really not aware that while people of Turkey suffer from unemployment, poor education and poverty, he can somehow spend our money on a palace, luxury cars, etc. and his wife can close a luxury boutique in Brussels to shop privately?

Are you really not aware that his relatives somehow always manage to land on the government's juicy construction projects? Are you really not aware that everyone who is against him is silenced by force (e.g. journalists)? Are we really talking about the same country and the same person?

Necati Geniş -> laticsfanfromeurope 1 Nov 2015 16:12

"Reports"..? By whom ? You must have followed the news about the co-operation of US an Turkish Air Forces.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/01/world/middleeast/isis-is-target-of-turkish-bombing-raids.html?_r=0

JimMcBride 1 Nov 2015 16:10

they learned elections from the U.S.A. and U.K. The winners are decided before the elections. What Turkey did not learn was to have the patience to make the elections to be a product of the will of the people which would then mean there would be less trouble with the electorate and very little need to control them with harsh measures since they would have more confidence that their votes actually counted and they could make a difference at the next election..

when you remove all hope of voting in a change you create more trouble for yourself.

littlewoodenblock -> Necati Geniş 1 Nov 2015 15:45

So prove him wrong, my friend. I would love to see some definitive evidence. But it is not there. What we have everytime is some AKP jerk atanding up and saying its PKK before the police have even opened the case to investigate! Davutoglu even came up with the stupid suggestion that PKK and ISIS were partners in the Ankara bombing!

The only ones who had anything to gain from the bombings were AKP. That's undeniable. But, its not proof, sadly.

littlewoodenblock -> AdemMeral 1 Nov 2015 15:40

The 'play caliphate jibe' was a reference to his support for ISIS and to the growing importance of religious custom in Turkey and its influence everywhere, including on law.

Whether sharia law is where Turkey arrives is unlikely, i agree, but the country will certainly not become more liberal ...

laticsfanfromeurope 1 Nov 2015 15:39

BREAKING NEWS: Tonight scenes of joy in Raqqa, Mosul and Palmira...Daesh men are in a good mood...anyone knows the reason?

RossNewman -> Gazzy312 1 Nov 2015 15:37

Mein Kampf was also quite popular there not so long ago, where it was a best seller.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/mar/29/turkey.books

As result I don't find this news surprising.

Candide60 1 Nov 2015 15:36

"It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."
Joseph Stalin

Erdogan is a dictator using religion to brainwash masses, a corrupt evil man surrounded by weak, corrupt, ignorant yes men and women.


missythecat -> AdemMeral 1 Nov 2015 15:16

Democracy? Republic? They've already been crushed by Erdogan. He is a lonely lunatic leaving in his something thousand room palace. Please don't troll here. On another note, yes, the only few remaining newspapers which haven't been raided by erdogan yet, do talk about the YSK's dodgy play with the numbers (Cumhuriyet and Sozcu) go and do some reading.

Hesham Abdelhafez 1 Nov 2015 15:10

shut up hypocrite western! you don't open your fucking mouse after what you did to Egypt and supporting a bloody military coup and inviting the criminal in Europe!


andresh -> Alfie Silva 1 Nov 2015 15:07

Superstition prevails in some islamic and Christian states nowadays.

Mmmoke 1 Nov 2015 14:58

Taking in more than 4 million refugees and still getting the same party voted in with a majority, is a testament to the greatness of the Turkish people. Bless them. And Europe, USA who caused the crisis, complain about a few thousand refugees. Shame.

Gazzy312 1 Nov 2015 14:39

Really disgusted with some of the Guardians coverage always trying to imply that Erdogan will try to rig. He is popular in Turkey you need to accept that, this is the reason the Millitary which hate him dare not launch a coup against him.

littlewoodenblock -> Ilker Camci 1 Nov 2015 14:39

Interestingly AKP overtook MHP in the fascist-look-a-like competition. So much so that 4% of its vote increase this election came directly from MHP!

Ozgen Killi -> Necati Geniş 1 Nov 2015 14:26

That would explain why so many AK trolls have mobilised under the comments section of every major news agency. But doesn't quite explain where the AKP got its extra 1 million votes in Istanbul where the CHP took over 280k of the 268k votes lost by the HDP and MHP.

BlueJayWay -> Ilker Camci 1 Nov 2015 14:23

Yeah, the reality of keeping that Islamist clown Erdogan and his fascist goons in power. This election reeks of fraud. How can the votes have been counted that quickly?

andresh 1 Nov 2015 14:21

Erdogan has allowed new recruits to reach IS through the "porous border". He sent supplies for IS. He ordered the security forces to look the other way when young Turkish students from Adiyaman organized the terrorists mass murdres in Sucuk, Ankara and Diyarbakir. At the same time he ordered killing the Kurds in Diyarbakir and tried to precent the YPG from liberating the Kurdish Syria from IS. Erdogan is a criminal.

ID9179442 RJSWinchester 1 Nov 2015 14:19

Turkey has strong hand, many, many refugees eager to get to Europe. At the same time, it is a country which is not without its own internal problems, not least the old contradiction between Islam and modernization. One thing remains certain, Turkey is the key state in the Near East and will be courted more than ever by the USA and EU.

littlewoodenblock Peter Conti 1 Nov 2015 14:18

Dont joke, at the beginning of a football match a minutes silence was held for the victims of the ankara bombings and AKP supporters started chanting "Allah Akbar!"
Sick Fucks

SHA2014 -> abf310866 1 Nov 2015 14:06

Just two lines of proof:
1. Turkey has renewed the fight against PKK one of the most effective anti-IS firces in Northern Syria.
2. Instead of assisting civilians in Kobani when it was under siege by IS, Turkey closed the borders to any refugees.
3. Where do you think all these foreigners who go to fight for IS from Europe pass through? It is Turkey of course. There is no apparent attempt to stop this traffic.
There is other evidence also.

YouHaveComment -> abf310866 1 Nov 2015 14:05

The problem isn't those celebrating, it's the way the AKP party has sold itself as the party that God wants people to vote for.

That's bad news for democracy. It's also bad news for the secular space and religious freedom that allows people of any faith or none to be members of the same community.

GoloManner Trabzonlu 1 Nov 2015 14:04

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi sends Erdogan his congratulations from Raqqa

Abu Al-Izz Hanoun -> killerontheroad 1 Nov 2015 13:56

By the way ISIS consider Erdogan and his party Kafirs and vow to fight them. ..just in case you were wondering.

1ClearSense 1 Nov 2015 13:56

Will US now support both Erdoganite Turks and YPG/PKK Kurds while they fight each other?

andresh -> decisivemoment 1 Nov 2015 13:55

Allah Akbar! Stop fascism! It was the turkish security forces that allowed young supporters of IS from adiyaman to stage the murderes if Sucuk, Ankara and Diyarbakir. Erdogan is a cynical murderer, inciting violence to remain i power.

thatshowitgoes -> abf310866 1 Nov 2015 13:54

Put it this way. The bank robbers leave from your house, go to rob the bank with guns you have given them, then come back to your house with the loot - you support the bank robbers. Or perhaps you think Turkey has no control of its borders, in which case I invite you to swan in without a visa next time you go on holiday and see how far you get.

Trabzonlu 1 Nov 2015 13:53

As predicted, HDP and PKK have shot themselves in the foot by backing violence instead of peace and their actions have led to this AKP majority, no one should be surprised by the result. As you can see, free and fair elections seem reason enough for violence in the Kurdish areas as per usual, quite how these people dream of governing a Kurdistan is beyond me. Hopefully this government will finally grow some balls and eliminate these PKK terrorists once and for all - the people have voted, time to shut this threat down unilaterally and with determination.

Super Tramp 1 Nov 2015 13:53

The good have lost by the hands of fraud. Foxy smile of the triumph of ignorance, brutality and lies.. Such a dystopia it is; watching my beautiful country helpless while it's evolving to the 3rd world for the last decade. now this is the end of the way of secularism. me and my bereaved youthfulness lets have another bottle of wine isnt it a perfect day for the losers?


RJSWinchester 1 Nov 2015 13:52

"Democracy" wrapped in Erdogan's iron fist.

Ozgen Killi 1 Nov 2015 13:52

Interesting how a country that couldn't count how many were killed in the Ankara suicide attack for 3 days counted 54million votes in 3 hours.

decisivemoment 1 Nov 2015 13:51

It's not necessarily that bad a result. Under the circumstances it's hardly surprising the party promising law and order would gain seats, but they have not gained enough to amend the constitution and the HDP has made it past Turkey's ridiculously high threshold and secured their place in parliament.

Growing pains, certainly, but not primitivism. With this somewhat conditional seal of approval -- authority to govern without having to form a coalition with crazies, but not so much authority as to silence mainstream opposition and use the constitution to promote authoritarianism -- we'll have to see what Erdogan does.

thatshowitgoes -> abf310866 1 Nov 2015 13:48

http://www.prisonplanet.com/breaking-germanys-dw-reports-isis-supply-lines-originate-in-natos-turkey.html

istanbul10 -> siff 1 Nov 2015 13:23

I live in Turkey and I can tell you that here is a culture of submission and complacency about any kind of real change-they will vote out of fear, vote out of intentional ignorance of the reality of things. At least half the nation are happy to live in a cloud of lies and delusion, sadly

Afshin Peyman -> SHA2014 1 Nov 2015 13:22

Was it the sultanate was corrupt and backward ?

That is why young Turks and attaturk tried to change the system and replace it with modern and secular government?

However it seems like this taking a lot of money from Saudi and somehow Turkish nationalist does not see it as a problems .

ChristineH 1 Nov 2015 13:21

Does anyone know how such a huge and populous country as Turkey counts its votes so quickly? Only article I could find was about people counting votes by tractor headlights, having voted at the side of the road, which makes the speed even more surprising.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/villagers-vote-on-road-in-turkeys-northwestern-district.aspx?pageID=238&nid=90576&NewsCatID=341

newageblues 1 Nov 2015 13:17

This is like when Netanyahu's party won the Israeli election that followed after they incited Rabin's murder. Warmonger violence is rewarded by the voters. Unless Erdogan shows unexpected moderation, this is a grave development.

Mr_HanMan -> littlewoodenblock 1 Nov 2015 13:13

I don't think you understand the point I am making, I never said his goal is peace with the Kurds. His goal was to win back the votes he lost in June and he did that. He got the nationalist vote back by bombing the crap out of the PKK and threatening the PYD in Syria. After the Suruc bombing the killing of the two police officers by the PKK wasn't the first time the PKK killed during the supposed ceasefire. They shot and killed soldiers in Diyarbakir last year and the government back then did nothing. The only reason they did something now was to get back the nationalist vote. So it's all one big dirty game and the PKK were in on it, or they are just too stupid to realise this as their actions harmed the HDP.

Where in all this do you get the idea that I am an AKP supporter. I am criticizing the man saying he capitalized on the deaths of soldiers to win back the important nationalist vote. Him winning in this fashion is a terrible thing, he will change the constitution and plant himself on his throne. Erdogan now has more power over Turkey than Ataturk ever did. HE is basically Putin with a moustache.

Edmund Allin -> RayMullan 1 Nov 2015 13:08

186,000 ballot boxes. About 750,000 independent (i.e. opposition) observers. 57m voters, of whom apparently 45mn turned up. 45mn/186,000 = 241 votes per ballot box. Easy enough.

owl905 1 Nov 2015 13:06

Erdogan sweeps to power on the back of security and safety fears. His claim of intervention against Daesh (a shame) and the PKK (real); coupled with his silencing of the media critics (real); made a tremendous difference. Expect Daesh to have the welcome mat out for the black market deals - trucks and weapons and supplies for oil and concentration on the PKK and YPK.

Turkey, whether they know it or not, voted for a Muslim Brotherhood dictatorship and ethnic war. The crumbling economic performance and the religious agenda parallel the path of Morsi in Egypt ... but here Erdogan has already neutered any threat from the military with all the treason trials.

Putin and al-Baghdadi are probably thinking the Cheshire Cat got into their mirror this morning.

Stechginster -> Trancedesk 1 Nov 2015 13:04

Merkel, the architect of one catastrophe, will shortly usher in another, as she promotes the entry of Turkey into the EU, in return for Erdogan's assistance.

I should turn this into a drinking game… no, she won't. She made some positive noise about supporting Turkey in the accession process, what was actually on the table were visa waivers for Turkish travellers visiting the EU and (likely, although unofficially) delaying the publication of a negative report on Turkish human rights violations.


SHA2014 -> Michael Yeovil 1 Nov 2015 13:02

The war against the PKK was obviously a calculated risk. Voters usually rally behind the status quo in troubled times. The terror attacks reinforced this message.

ErnaMsw 1 Nov 2015 12:57

At least Turkey won't become a presidential republic. With 96.48% of votes now counted, HDP stands at 10.47% and is guaranteed to pass the threshold.

ChemicalArif 1 Nov 2015 12:53

Quite hilarious reading the comments from most BTL posters... Simple fact is, the AKP has been a "popular" government in Turkey for the last decade and even won the majority of votes in the last election. Did urbane elite seriously think that they were going to be ousted from power by a fractured, dysfunctional opposition? Beggars belief.

Of course the urbane city dwelling elite can always take to the streets to protest the result, much like the Egyptians did. Democracy is only palatable when the city dweller's preferred candidate is elected to power...

Tim Gray 1 Nov 2015 12:52

A very disturbing result, it is difficult to believe the vote or that the ruling party hasn't had a hand in the unrest across the country since the voters rejected AKP in the last election. Turkey's government will now use this result as a green light to continue its war against the Kurds, attack trade unions, women and those opposed to this conservative, nationalist government.

Stechginster -> jharz15 1 Nov 2015 12:50

The Turkish people I personally know would share that opinion, but young Turkish expats and the young people in the big cities such as Istanbul and Ankara are far more liberal than the average Turkish voter in the east. I don't think it was necessarily rigged, in uncertain times, many people vote for stability (the devil you know..) over anything else.

irem demir 1 Nov 2015 12:44

Majority of Turks are not secular, modern or democratic. But there are still so many open minded people living in Turkey, unlike in other muslim countries. But sadly this didn't really help the future of the country.

Phil Porter Trancedesk 1 Nov 2015 12:42

Yes, yet another disaster. The recent farcical goings on in Portugal, the swing to the right in Poland and Denmark and a seemingly ever increasing necessity to deal with despots and dictators.

TonyBlunt Phoenix9061210 1 Nov 2015 12:41

That is cos Erdogan controls the pools in Turkey just as the Tories controlled the polls in Britain. To get the right-wing vote out they have the polls announcing that the election is in doubt. Modern Capitalism doesn't just own the media. It owns the polls too.

Afshin Peyman gregmitchell87 1 Nov 2015 12:38

Because left is so attracted to internationalist and multi cultural garbage that lost its appeal to average people .
Left used to stand for workers and better working conditions ,but now stands for pure weirdness!

Michael Yeovil 1 Nov 2015 12:35

So six months the AKP Government obtained it's worst ever result to it's best . In that six months, the worst terror attack on the country happened, civil war was resumed with the PKK, inflation rose to it's worse rate since the AKP came to power, unemployment rose, - but then the AKP obtain the best ever result it is obtained !

Make of that what you will !!

GordonBrownStain 1 Nov 2015 12:35

The Poles voted for a shower of ignorant pricks and so did us Brits, that's democracy, the Muslims are no different from us after all

Simon100 1 Nov 2015 12:34

If there has been no ballot rigging, then the Turks are no different from the Americans who voted for Bush the second time or the British who voted Cameron a second time. People will vote for oligarchs and authoritarians when they are fearful or full of hate.

Trancedesk -> studious1 1 Nov 2015 12:34

And to think we were entertaining Turkey joining the EU not that long ago.

Erdogan is now in an even stronger position, and will demand entry in return for helping Merkel deal with the consequences of her idiocy.

Afshin Peyman 1 Nov 2015 12:33

I am not so sure about turkey. A country that embrace Kemal attaturk and consider him as national hero but goes against his Reforms. Attaturk changed the Arabic alphabet to Latin and closed many masques to undermine Arabic influence there but turkey now is infested with Isis and Arabic culture. I simply do not get it.

Trancedesk 1 Nov 2015 12:32

This result is a disaster for the EU. Erdogan has Merkel and her acolytes across Europe over a barrel, and will drive a hard bargain for agreeing to help stem the migrant/refugee flood. Merkel, the architect of one catastrophe, will shortly usher in another, as she promotes the entry of Turkey into the EU, in return for Erdogan's assistance. Western Europe, the cradle of Western civilisation, is doomed and we should probably leave.

glad2baway 1 Nov 2015 12:30

Well, if that is democracy then we have to sometimes accept that this is bad news. I am surprised at the result. What does Turkey do now? Have a revolution just because lots of people don't like the result? As the saying goes, people get the governments they deserve. So something has gone badly wrong somewhere.

1ClearSense -> TeeJayzed Addy 1 Nov 2015 12:29

America has gone along with the strategy of forming ISIS to overthrow Assad, from the very beginning. The goal was to have these mostly criminals do the dying and when they achieve overthrowing Assad, send an army to clean them out and become heroes. But reality has a way of working itself out, then ISIS got out of hand.

djhurley -> SUNLITE 1 Nov 2015 12:27

Indeed. As an ardent, self-enriching neoliberal, Erdogan's hardly a threat to the West. And it probably suits the West's strategic interests better for Turkey to remain a mild Islamist democracy than for it to return to Kemalism.

Mr_HanMan -> littlewoodenblock 1 Nov 2015 12:26

Lets go back, the bombing in Suruc happened, the HDP and PKK blamed the AKP and then went on a killing spree of Turkish police officers and soldiers. Then in cities in the south east HDP members declaring autonomy, trenches being dug in the middle of the streets using machinery owned by the local government authority (HDP).

No matter which way you look at it the PKK is the reason why the HDP lost a lot of votes. To add any operation done against the PYD in Syria is a boost for the AKP when it comes to the nationalist vote.

GreatUncleEuphoria -> GreatUncleEuphoria 1 Nov 2015 12:26

Needless to say the socialist regime of the 50s in Iran taken out by Britain and the US of the time for oil reasons was a much better vehicle for metropolitan aspirations than the shah's conservative and authoritarian regime, because the whole country, including the rural poor outside Tehran had much more of a stake in in it. A tragedy indeed.

1ClearSense -> littlewoodenblock 1 Nov 2015 12:22

The west, come on, who are you exactly talking about? The west supports Saudi tyranny and their jihadi underlings, Erdogan is doing the west's bidding in Syria, and played along in Libya.

GreatUncleEuphoria -> Paul Easton 1 Nov 2015 12:22

Iran is, broadly. split between a metropolitan urban and ( urbane ) group, and a religious rural, provincial and suburban group, like Turkey, Egypt and elsewhere. The Islamic revolution traded the influence of the former for the latter, like the brief rule in Egypt of the MBrotherhood.

riceuten64 birdcv 1 Nov 2015 12:20

He's a gradualist. He will make it more and more difficult, say, to drink alcohol, as he has already done. He will put pressure on the few remaining independent news outlets. He will further censor the internet. He will change electoral systems to suit the AKP. He has already made his wish for an Executive Presidency clear.

1ClearSense -> LittleMsGggrrrrr 1 Nov 2015 12:19

EU supported jihadis to destroy Libya and Syria, I hope you can handle a few chanting God is great.

TeeJayzed -> Addy 1 Nov 2015 12:18

Erdogan: BFF of ISIS, Nemesis of Kurds. Yep, America's ally. Feckin' perfect. Business as usual.

DiplomaticImmunity 1 Nov 2015 12:17

Geopolitically, Turkey is an "ally and partner" in NATO. Turkey is a training ground and "safe zone" for "moderate" jihadis. Turkey hates Syria and agrees with Obama that "Assad must go". The Guardian agrees with all these positions. Ergo the victory is "legitimate". Just ask Portugal


littlewoodenblock -> atkurebeach 1 Nov 2015 12:12

Rubbish. AKP reignited the war with Kurds to polarise the nation and it is AKP that locked cities down for days on end, who is killing kurds with out any legal process whatsoever, it is allegedly AKP supporters that are threatening on television opposition journalists with violence. Then when that violence occurs im exactly the way threatened the supporter - a ministerial candidate - is not even questioned by police, by he took the stage with Davutoglu just 2 days ago.

AKP is allegedly courting mercenaries and thugs to achieve its aims ...

AKP is attacking kurds in northern syria and iraq because they are too strong and they are closing the gap across the Euphrates and further west - AKP have made it very clear they will not tolerate that. Why, i wonder. ISIS supply lines allegedly.

And you are still taliking about PKK.

Hilarious

littlewoodenblock -> Paul Easton 1 Nov 2015 12:06

Civil war, terrorism, providing water to Cyprus, making the parliamentary election about him, the President, silencing fully opposition media, blaming the wests fear of a strong turkey to explain economic woes ... When you have complete control you can achieve what you want easily.

The Turks are not fools, they are being lied to blatantly and they are scared

Lathan Ismail 1 Nov 2015 12:04

There will soon be comments describing AK party supporters as poor, uneducated, religious nutters from "enlightened" Europeans. With everything going in Turkey, Erdogan is popular because out of all the candidates he is the one the Turks think will offer economic prosperity. I think that is what matters the most to majority of voters I guess.

Down2dirt -> atkurebeach 1 Nov 2015 11:56

Nationalism is reaction itself. It doesn't need PKK or whatever. Was Lukashenko observing these elections? Balls to them

Newcurrency 1 Nov 2015 11:49

There is no ethnic pressure above Kurds for at least 10 years. You are the ones who turned our country into a bloodbath -- Killing innocent teachers, newly graduated doctors, officer's wifes who's only fault is sitting in their house, know your facts before you talk about peace.

Don't expect people to support a man who talks of peace while his brother is in mountains fighting with states army.

Newcurrency 1 Nov 2015 11:42

I cant believe why major media sites like guardian is backing up a separatist like Selahattin Demirtaş. Do you really think a man who threatens people with violent street acts if hdp cant pass the election threshold is a peace talker ? The Tsipras of Turkey ? Don't mock with peoples intellegence...

KK47 1 Nov 2015 11:42

Few days ago I was berated by some posters for pointing out that though Erdogan was a polarising figure in Turkish politics he won't lose heavily (in fact he actually won more votes through his cynical act of social imperialism) because the political opposition to him is too incompetent and cliquey (ie non are interested in broadening their political support beyond their base, MHP for instance call Alevites heretics and want a death list of all Kurdish activists, CHP are uninterested in courting religious Turks or Kurds, HDP is still a nationalist party despite its liberal pretentions) to beat Erdogan and it seems my predictions have come true.

Now here's my next prediction - watch for a more aggressive/militaristic approach towards Syria by the Turkish government.

[Oct 30, 2015] The Deciders by John Hay

Notable quotes:
"... The cast of characters includes President George W. Bush; L. Paul "Jerry" Bremer, the first civilian administrator of postwar Iraq; Douglas Feith, Bush's undersecretary of defense for policy; Paul Wolfowitz, Bush's deputy secretary of defense; I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, chief of staff to Vice President Richard B. Cheney (and Cheney's proxy in these events); Walter Slocombe, who had been President Clinton's undersecretary of defense for policy, and as such was Feith's predecessor; Richard Perle, who was chairman of Bush's defense policy board; and General Jay Garner, whom Bremer replaced as the leader of postwar Iraq. ..."
"... Regarding the de-Baathification order, both Bremer and Feith have written their own accounts of the week leading up to it, and the slight discrepancy between their recollections is revealing in what it tells us about Bremer-and consequently about Wolfowitz and Libby for having selected him. At first blush, Bremer and Feith's justifications for the policy appear to dovetail, each comparing postwar Iraq to postwar Nazi Germany. Bremer explains in a retrospective Washington Post op-ed, "What We Got Right in Iraq," that "Hussein modeled his regime after Adolf Hitler's, which controlled the German people with two main instruments: the Nazi Party and the Reich's security services. We had no choice but to rid Iraq of the country's equivalent organizations." For his part, Feith goes a step further, reasoning in his memoir War and Decision that the case for de-Baathification was even stronger because "The Nazis, after all, had run Germany for a dozen years; the Baathists had tyrannized Iraq for more than thirty." ..."
"... Simply put, Bremer was tempted by headline-grabbing policies. He was unlikely to question any action that offered opportunities to make bold gestures, which made him easy to influence. Indeed, another quality of Bremer's professional persona that conspicuously emerges from accounts of the period is his unwillingness to think for himself. ..."
"... What's even more surprising is how Bremer doesn't hide his intellectual dependence on Slocombe. ..."
"... Slocombe that "Although a Democrat, he has maintained good relations with Wolfowitz and is described by some as a 'Democratic hawk,'" a remark that once again places Wolfowitz in close proximity to Bremer and the disbanding order. ..."
October 27, 2015 | The American Conservative

In May 2003, in the wake of the Iraq War and the ousting of Saddam Hussein, events took place that set the stage for the current chaos in the Middle East. Yet even most well-informed Americans are unaware of how policies implemented by mid-level bureaucrats during the Bush administration unwittingly unleashed forces that would ultimately lead to the juggernaut of the Islamic State.

The lesson is that it appears all too easy for outsiders working with relatively low-level appointees to hijack the policy process. The Bay of Pigs invasion and Iran-Contra affair are familiar instances, but the Iraq experience offers an even better illustration-not least because its consequences have been even more disastrous.

The cast of characters includes President George W. Bush; L. Paul "Jerry" Bremer, the first civilian administrator of postwar Iraq; Douglas Feith, Bush's undersecretary of defense for policy; Paul Wolfowitz, Bush's deputy secretary of defense; I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, chief of staff to Vice President Richard B. Cheney (and Cheney's proxy in these events); Walter Slocombe, who had been President Clinton's undersecretary of defense for policy, and as such was Feith's predecessor; Richard Perle, who was chairman of Bush's defense policy board; and General Jay Garner, whom Bremer replaced as the leader of postwar Iraq.

On May 9, 2003, President Bush appointed Bremer to the top civilian post in Iraq. A career diplomat who was recruited for this job by Wolfowitz and Libby, despite the fact that he had minimal experience of the region and didn't speak Arabic, Bremer arrived in Baghdad on May 12 to take charge of the Coalition Provisional Authority, or CPA. In his first two weeks at his post, Bremer issued two orders that would turn out to be momentous. Enacted on May 16, CPA Order Number 1 "de-Baathified" the Iraqi government; on May 23, CPA Order Number 2 disbanded the Iraqi army. In short, Baath party members were barred from participation in Iraq's new government and Saddam Hussein's soldiers lost their jobs, taking their weapons with them.

The results of these policies become clear as we learn about the leadership of ISIS. The Washington Post, for example, reported in April that "almost all of the leaders of the Islamic State are former Iraqi officers." In June, the New York Times identified a man "believed to be the head of the Islamic State's military council," Fadel al-Hayali, as "a former lieutenant colonel in the Iraqi military intelligence agency of President Saddam Hussein." Criticism of de-Baathification and the disbanding of Iraq's army has been fierce, and the contribution these policies made to fueling extremism was recognized even before the advent of the Islamic State. The New York Times reported in 2007:

The dismantling of the Iraqi Army in the aftermath of the American invasion is now widely regarded as a mistake that stoked rebellion among hundreds of thousands of former Iraqi soldiers and made it more difficult to reduce sectarian bloodshed and attacks by insurgents.

This year the Washington Post summed up reactions to both orders when it cited a former Iraqi general who asked bluntly, "When they dismantled the army, what did they expect those men to do?" He explained that "they didn't de-Baathify people's minds, they just took away their jobs." Writing about the disbanding policy in his memoir, Decision Points, George W. Bush acknowledges the harmful results: "Thousands of armed men had just been told they were not wanted. Instead of signing up for the new military, many joined the insurgency."

... ... ...

In his memoir, Bremer names the officials who approached him for his CPA job. He recounts telling his wife that:

I had been contacted by Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, and by Paul Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of defense. The Pentagon's original civil administration in 'post-hostility' Iraq-the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, ORHA-lacked expertise in high-level diplomatic negotiations and politics. … I had the requisite skills and experience for that position.

Regarding the de-Baathification order, both Bremer and Feith have written their own accounts of the week leading up to it, and the slight discrepancy between their recollections is revealing in what it tells us about Bremer-and consequently about Wolfowitz and Libby for having selected him. At first blush, Bremer and Feith's justifications for the policy appear to dovetail, each comparing postwar Iraq to postwar Nazi Germany. Bremer explains in a retrospective Washington Post op-ed, "What We Got Right in Iraq," that "Hussein modeled his regime after Adolf Hitler's, which controlled the German people with two main instruments: the Nazi Party and the Reich's security services. We had no choice but to rid Iraq of the country's equivalent organizations." For his part, Feith goes a step further, reasoning in his memoir War and Decision that the case for de-Baathification was even stronger because "The Nazis, after all, had run Germany for a dozen years; the Baathists had tyrannized Iraq for more than thirty."

Regarding the order itself, Bremer writes,

The day before I left for Iraq in May, Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith presented me with a draft law that would purge top Baathists from the Iraqi government and told me that he planned to issue it immediately. Recognizing how important this step was, I asked Feith to hold off, among other reasons, so I could discuss it with Iraqi leaders and CPA advisers. A week later, after careful consideration, I issued this 'de-Baathification' decree, as drafted by the Pentagon.

In contrast, Feith recalls that Bremer asked him to wait because "Bremer had thoughts of his own on the subject, he said, and wanted to consider the de-Baathification policy carefully. As the new CPA head, he thought he should announce and implement the policy himself."

The notion that he "carefully" considered the policy in his first week on the job, during which he also travelled halfway around the globe, is highly questionable. Incidentally, Bremer's oxymoronic statement-"a week later, after careful consideration"-mirrors a similar formulation of Wolfowitz's about the disbanding order. Speaking to the Washington Post in November 2003, he said that forming a new Iraqi army is "what we're trying to do at warp speed-but with careful vetting of the people we're bringing on."

Simply put, Bremer was tempted by headline-grabbing policies. He was unlikely to question any action that offered opportunities to make bold gestures, which made him easy to influence. Indeed, another quality of Bremer's professional persona that conspicuously emerges from accounts of the period is his unwillingness to think for himself. His memoir shows that he was eager to put Jay Garner in his place from the moment he arrived in Iraq, yet he was unable to defend himself on his own when challenged by Garner, who-according to Bob Woodward in his book State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III-was "stunned" by the disbanding order. Woodward claims that when Garner confronted Bremer about it, "Bremer, looking surprised, asked Garner to go see Walter B. Slocombe."

What's even more surprising is how Bremer doesn't hide his intellectual dependence on Slocombe. He writes in his memoir:

To help untangle these problems, I was fortunate to have Walt Slocombe as Senior Adviser for defense and security affairs. A brilliant former Rhodes Scholar from Princeton and a Harvard-educated attorney, Walt had worked for Democratic administrations for decades on high-level strategic and arms control issues.

In May 2003, the Washington Post noted of Slocombe that "Although a Democrat, he has maintained good relations with Wolfowitz and is described by some as a 'Democratic hawk,'" a remark that once again places Wolfowitz in close proximity to Bremer and the disbanding order. Sure enough, in November 2003 the Washington Post reported:

The demobilization decision appears to have originated largely with Walter B. Slocombe, a former undersecretary of defense appointed to oversee Iraqi security forces. He believed strongly in the need to disband the army and felt that vanquished soldiers should not expect to be paid a continuing salary. He said he developed the policy in discussions with Bremer, Feith and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz. 'This is not something that was dreamed up by somebody at the last minute and done at the insistence of the people in Baghdad. It was discussed,' Slocombe said. 'The critical point was that nobody argued that we shouldn't do this.'

Given that the president agreed to preserve the Iraqi army in the NSC meeting on March 12, Slocombe's statement is evidence of a major policy inconsistency. In that meeting, Feith, at the request of Donald Rumsfeld, gave a PowerPoint presentation prepared by Garner about keeping the Iraqi army; in his own memoir, Feith writes, "No one at that National Security Council meeting in early March spoke against the recommendation, and the President approved Garner's plan." But this is not what happened. What happened instead was the reversal of Garner's plan, which Feith attributes to Slocombe and Bremer:

Bremer and Slocombe argued that it would better serve U.S. interests to create an entirely new Iraqi army: Sometimes it is easier to build something new than to refurbish a complex and badly designed structure. In any event, Bremer and Slocombe reasoned, calling the old army back might not succeed-but the attempt could cause grave political problems.

Over time, both Bremer and Slocombe have gone so far as to deny that the policies had any tangible effects. Bremer claimed in the Washington Post that "Virtually all the old Baathist ministers had fled before the decree was issued" and that "When the draftees saw which way the war was going, they deserted and, like their officers, went back home." Likewise Slocombe stated in a PBS interview, "We didn't disband the army. The army disbanded itself. … What we did do was to formally dissolve all of the institutions of Saddam's security system. The intelligence, his military, his party structure, his information and propaganda structure were formally disbanded and the property turned over to the Coalition Provisional Authority."

Thus, according to Bremer and Slocombe's accounts, neither de-Baathification nor disbanding the army achieved anything that hadn't already happened. When coupled with Bremer's assertion of "careful consideration in one week" and Wolfowitz's claim of "careful vetting at warp speed," Bremer and Slocombe's notion of "doing something that had already been done" creates a strong impression that they are hiding something or trying to finesse history with wordplay. Perhaps Washington Post journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran provides the best possible explanation for this confusion in his book Imperial Life in the Emerald City, when he writes, "Despite the leaflets instructing them to go home, Slocombe had expected Iraqi soldiers to stay in their garrisons. Now he figured that calling them back would cause even more problems." Chandrasekaran adds, "As far as Slocombe and Feith were concerned, the Iraqi army had dissolved itself; formalizing the dissolution wouldn't contradict Bush's directive." This suggests that Slocombe and Feith were communicating and that Slocombe was fully aware of the policy the president had agreed to in the NSC meeting on March 12, yet he chose to disregard it.

♦♦♦

Following the disastrous decisions of May 2003, the blame game has been rife among neoconservative policymakers. One of those who have expended the most energy dodging culpability is, predictably, Bremer. In early 2007, he testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and the Washington Post reported: "Bremer proved unexpectedly agile at shifting blame: to administration planners ('The planning before the war was inadequate'), his superiors in the Bush administration ('We never had sufficient support'), and the Iraqi people ('The country was in chaos-socially, politically and economically')."

Bremer also wrote in May 2007 in the Washington Post, "I've grown weary of being a punching bag over these decisions-particularly from critics who've never spent time in Iraq, don't understand its complexities and can't explain what we should have done differently." (This declaration is ironic, given Bremer's noted inability to justify the disbanding policy to General Garner.) On September 4, 2007, the New York Times reported that Bremer had given the paper exculpatory letters supposedly proving that George W. Bush confirmed the disbanding order. But the Times concluded, "the letters do not show that [Bush] approved the order or even knew much about it. Mr. Bremer referred only fleetingly to his plan midway through his three-page letter and offered no details." Moreover, the paper characterized Bremer's correspondence with Bush as "striking in its almost nonchalant reference to a major decision that a number of American military officials in Iraq strongly opposed." Defending himself on this point, Bremer claimed, "the policy was carefully considered by top civilian and military members of the American government." And six months later Bremer told the paper, "It was not my responsibility to do inter-agency coordination."

Feith and Slocombe have been similarly evasive when discussing President Bush's awareness of the policies. The Los Angeles Times noted that "Feith was deeply involved in the decision-making process at the time, working closely with Bush and Bremer," yet "Feith said he could not comment about how involved the president was in the decision to change policy and dissolve the army. 'I don't know all the details of who talked to who about that,' he said." For his part, Slocombe told PBS's "Frontline,"

What happens in Washington in terms of how the [decisions are made]-'Go ahead and do this, do that; don't do that, do this, even though you don't want to do it'-that's an internal Washington coordination problem about which I know little. One of the interesting things about the job from my point of view-all my other government experience basically had been in the Washington end, with the interagencies process and setting the priorities-at the other end we got output. And how the process worked in Washington I actually know very little about, because the channel was from the president to Rumsfeld to Bremer.

It's a challenge to parse Slocombe's various statements. Here, in the space of two sentences, he claims both that his government experience has mostly been in Washington and that he doesn't know how Washington works. As mentioned earlier, he had previously told the Washington Post that the disbanding order was not "done at the insistence of the people in Baghdad"-in other words, the decision was made in Washington. The inconsistency of his accounts from year to year, and even in the same interview, adds to an aura of concealment.

This further illustrates the disconnect between what was decided by the NSC in Washington in March and by the CPA in Iraq in May. In his memoir, Feith notes that although he supported the disbanding policy, "the decision became associated with a number of unnecessary problems, including the apparent lack of interagency review."

... ... ...

John Hay is a former executive branch official under Republican administrations.

[Oct 29, 2015] President Carter Rips Cheney Over Iraq: 'His Batting Average Is Abysmally Low'

Notable quotes:
"... If you go back and see what Vice President Cheney has said for the last three or four years concerning Iraq, his batting average is abysmally low. He hasn't been right on hardly anything and his prediction of what is going to happen, reasons for going over there and obviously this is not playing into the hands of al Qaeda or the people who are causing violence and destruction over there, to call for a change in policy in Iraq. ..."
"... One measure of the impact of the Iraq War is the precipitous drop in public support for the United States in Muslim countries. Jordan, a key U.S. ally, saw popular approval for the United States drop from 25 percent in 2002 to 1 percent in 2003. In Lebanon during the same period, favorable views of the United States dropped from 30 percent to 15 percent, and in the world's largest Muslim country, Indonesia, favorable views plummeted from 61 percent to 15 percent. ..."
"... One of the cell's members, Younis Elian Abu Jarir, a taxi driver whose job was to ferry the group around, stated in a confession offered as evidence in court that they convinced me of the need for holy war against the Jews, Americans, Italians, and other nationalities that participated in the occupation of Iraq. ..."
forums.allaboutjazz.com
Saundra Hummer

February 26th, 2007, 05:07 PM

.

^^^^^^^

President Carter Rips Cheney Over Iraq: 'His Batting Average Is Abysmally Low'

Last week, Vice President Cheney attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) for supporting Iraq redeployment. He charged that their plan would "validate the al Qaeda strategy."

Today, former President Jimmy Carter rejected Cheney's charges, stating that calls for a change of policy in Iraq are "not playing into the hands of al Qaeda or the people who are causing violence and destruction over there." He added, "If you go back and see what Vice President Cheney has said for the last three or four years concerning Iraq, his batting average is abysmally low. He hasn't been right on hardly anything."

Click on the following URL to view.

Watch it:

http://thinkprogress.org/2007/02/25/carter-cheney/

Digg It!

Transcript:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Vice President Cheney this week has been very harsh on those kinds of measures in the Congress.

[CHENEY CLIP]: If we were to do what Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Murtha are suggesting, all we'll do is validate the al Qaeda strategy. The al Qaeda strategy is to break the will of the American people.

CARTER: If you go back and see what Vice President Cheney has said for the last three or four years concerning Iraq, his batting average is abysmally low. He hasn't been right on hardly anything and his prediction of what is going to happen, reasons for going over there and obviously this is not playing into the hands of al Qaeda or the people who are causing violence and destruction over there, to call for a change in policy in Iraq.

^^^^^
.


Saundra Hummer

February 26th, 2007, 05:34 PM

.

.........

Iraq 101:
The Iraq Effect
The War in Iraq and Its Impact on the War on Terrorism - Pg. 1

All right, no more excuses, people. After four years in Iraq, it's time to get serious. We've spent too long goofing off, waiting to be saved by the bell, praying that we won't get asked a stumper like, "What's the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?" Okay, even the head of the House intelligence committee doesn't know that one. All the more reason to start boning up on what we-and our leaders-should have learned back before they signed us up for this crash course in Middle Eastern geopolitics. And while we're at it, let's do the math on what the war really costs in blood and dollars. It's time for our own Iraq study group. Yes, there will be a test, and we can't afford to fail.

March 01 , 2007

By Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank
Research fellows at the Center on Law and Security at the NYU School of Law. Bergen is also a senior fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C.

"If we were not fighting and destroying this enemy in Iraq, they would not be idle. They would be plotting and killing Americans across the world and within our own borders. By fighting these terrorists in Iraq, Americans in uniform are defeating a direct threat to the American people." So said President Bush on November 30, 2005, refining his earlier call to "bring them on." Jihadist terrorists, the administration's argument went, would be drawn to Iraq like moths to a flame, and would perish there rather than wreak havoc elsewhere in the world.

The president's argument conveyed two important assumptions: first, that the threat of jihadist terrorism to U.S. interests would have been greater without the war in Iraq, and second, that the war is reducing the overall global pool of terrorists. However, the White House has never cited any evidence for either of these assumptions, and none appears to be publicly available.

The administration's own National Intelligence Estimate on "Trends in Global Terrorism: implications for the United States," circulated within the government in April 2006 and partially declassified in October, states that "the Iraq War has become the 'cause celebre' for jihadists...and is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives."

Yet administration officials have continued to suggest that there is no evidence any greater jihadist threat exists as a result of the Iraq War. "Are more terrorists being created in the world?" then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld rhetorically asked during a press conference in September. "We don't know. The world doesn't know. There are not good metrics to determine how many people are being trained in a radical madrasa school in some country." In January 2007 Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte in congressional testimony stated that he was "not certain" that the Iraq War had been a recruiting tool for Al Qaeda and played down the likely impact of the war on jihadists worldwide: "I wouldn't say there has been a widespread growth in Islamic extremism beyond Iraq. I really wouldn't."

Indeed, though what we will call "The Iraq Effect" is a crucial matter for U.S. national security, we have found no statistical documentation of its existence and gravity, at least in the public domain. In this report, we have undertaken what we believe to be the first such study, using information from the world's premier database on global terrorism. The results are being published for the first time by Mother Jones, the news and investigative magazine, as part of a broader "Iraq 101" package in the magazine's March/April 2007 issue.

<< Breaking The Army << >> The Iraq Effect Pg. 2 >> Iraq Effect (continued)
Our study shows that the Iraq War has generated a stunning sevenfold increase in the yearly rate of fatal jihadist attacks, amounting to literally hundreds of additional terrorist attacks and thousands of civilian lives lost; even when terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan is excluded, fatal attacks in the rest of the world have increased by more than one-third.

We are not making the argument that without the Iraq War, jihadist terrorism would not exist, but our study shows that the Iraq conflict has greatly increased the spread of the Al Qaeda ideological virus, as shown by a rising number of terrorist attacks in the past three years from London to Kabul, and from Madrid to the Red Sea.

In our study we focused on the following questions:

Has jihadist terrorism gone up or down around the world since the invasion of Iraq?
What has been the trend if terrorist incidents in Iraq and Afghanistan (the military fronts of the "war on terrorism") are excluded?
Has terrorism explicitly directed at the United States and its allies also increased?
In order to zero in on The Iraq Effect, we focused on the rate of terrorist attacks in two time periods: September 12, 2001, to March 20, 2003 (the day of the Iraq invasion), and March 21, 2003, to September 30, 2006. Extending the data set before 9/11 would risk distorting the results, because the rate of attacks by jihadist groups jumped considerably after 9/11 as jihadist terrorists took inspiration from the events of that terrible day.

We first determined which terrorist organizations should be classified as jihadist. We included in this group Sunni extremist groups affiliated with or sympathetic to the ideology of Al Qaeda. We decided to exclude terrorist attacks by Palestinian groups, as they depend largely on factors particular to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Our study draws its data from the MIPT-RAND Terrorism database (available at terrorismknowledgebase.org), which is widely considered to be the best publicly available database on terrorism incidents. RAND defines a terrorist attack as an attack on a civilian entity designed to promote fear or alarm and further a particular political agenda. In our study we only included attacks that caused at least one fatality and were attributed by RAND to a known jihadist group. In some terrorist attacks, and this is especially the case in Iraq, RAND has not been able to attribute a particular attack to a known jihadist group. Therefore our study likely understates the extent of jihadist terrorism in Iraq and around the world.

Our study yields one resounding finding: The rate of terrorist attacks around the world by jihadist groups and the rate of fatalities in those attacks increased dramatically after the invasion of Iraq. Globally there was a 607 percent rise in the average yearly incidence of attacks (28.3 attacks per year before and 199.8 after) and a 237 percent rise in the average fatality rate (from 501 to 1,689 deaths per year). A large part of this rise occurred in Iraq, which accounts for fully half of the global total of jihadist terrorist attacks in the post-Iraq War period. But even excluding Iraq, the average yearly number of jihadist terrorist attacks and resulting fatalities still rose sharply around the world by 265 percent and 58 percent respectively.

And even when attacks in both Afghanistan and Iraq (the two countries that together account for 80 percent of attacks and 67 percent of deaths since the invasion of Iraq) are excluded, there has still been a significant rise in jihadist terrorism elsewhere--a 35 percent increase in the number of jihadist terrorist attacks outside of Afghanistan and Iraq, from 27.6 to 37 a year, with a 12 percent rise in fatalities from 496 to 554 per year.

Of course, just because jihadist terrorism has risen in the period after the invasion of Iraq, it does not follow that events in Iraq itself caused the change. For example, a rise in attacks in the Kashmir conflict and the Chechen separatist war against Russian forces may have nothing to do with the war in Iraq. But the most direct test of The Iraq Effect--whether the United States and its allies have suffered more jihadist terrorism after the invasion than before--shows that the rate of jihadist attacks on Western interests and citizens around the world (outside of Afghanistan and Iraq) has risen by a quarter, from 7.2 to 9 a year, while the yearly fatality rate in these attacks has increased by 4 percent from 191 to 198.

One of the few positive findings of our study is that only 18 American civilians (not counting civilian contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan) have been killed by jihadist groups since the war in Iraq began. But that number is still significantly higher than the four American civilians who were killed in attacks attributed to jihadist groups in the period between 9/11 and the Iraq War. It was the capture and killing of much of Al Qaeda's leadership after 9/11 and the breakup of its training camp facilities in Afghanistan--not the war in Iraq--that prevented Al Qaeda from successfully launching attacks on American targets on the scale it did in the years before 9/11.

Also undermining the argument that Al Qaeda and like-minded groups are being distracted from plotting against Western targets are the dangerous, anti-American plots that have arisen since the start of the Iraq War. Jihadist terrorists have attacked key American allies since the Iraq conflict began, mounting multiple bombings in London that killed 52 in July 2005, and attacks in Madrid in 2004 that killed 191. Shehzad Tanweer, one of the London bombers, stated in his videotaped suicide "will," "What have you witnessed now is only the beginning of a string of attacks that will continue and become stronger until you pull your forces out of Afghanistan and Iraq." There have been six jihadist attacks on the home soil of the United States' NATO allies (including Turkey) in the period after the invasion of Iraq, whereas there were none in the 18 months following 9/11; and, of course, the plan uncovered in London in August 2006 to smuggle liquid explosives onto U.S. airliners, had it succeeded, would have killed thousands.

Al Qaeda has not let the Iraq War distract it from targeting the United States and her allies. In a January 19, 2006 audiotape, Osama bin Laden himself refuted President Bush's argument that Iraq had distracted and diverted Al Qaeda: "The reality shows that that the war against America and its allies has not remained limited to Iraq, as he claims, but rather, that Iraq has become a source and attraction and recruitment of qualified people.... As for the delay in similar [terrorist] operations in America, [the] operations are being prepared, and you will witness them, in your own land, as soon as preparations are complete."

Ayman al Zawahiri echoed bin Laden's words in a March 4, 2006, videotape broadcast by Al Jazeera calling for jihadists to launch attacks on the home soil of Western countries: "[Muslims have to] inflict losses on the crusader West, especially to its economic infrastructure with strikes that would make it bleed for years. The strikes on New York, Washington, Madrid, and London are the best examples.

One measure of the impact of the Iraq War is the precipitous drop in public support for the United States in Muslim countries. Jordan, a key U.S. ally, saw popular approval for the United States drop from 25 percent in 2002 to 1 percent in 2003. In Lebanon during the same period, favorable views of the United States dropped from 30 percent to 15 percent, and in the world's largest Muslim country, Indonesia, favorable views plummeted from 61 percent to 15 percent. Disliking the United States does not make you a terrorist, but clearly the pool of Muslims who dislike the United States has grown by hundreds of millions since the Iraq War began. The United States' plummeting popularity does not suggest active popular support for jihadist terrorists but it does imply some sympathy with their anti-American posture, which means a significant swath of the Muslim population cannot be relied on as an effective party in counter-terrorism/insurgency measures. And so, popular contempt for U.S. policy has become a force multiplier for Islamist militants.

The Iraq War has also encouraged Muslim youth around the world to join jihadist groups, not necessarily directly tied to Al Qaeda but often motivated by a similar ideology. The Iraq War allowed Al Qaeda, which was on the ropes in 2002 after the United States had captured or killed two-thirds of its leadership, to reinvent itself as a broader movement because Al Qaeda's central message--that the United States is at war with Islam--was judged by significant numbers of Muslims to have been corroborated by the war in Iraq. And compounding this, the wide dissemination of the exploits of jihadist groups in Iraq following the invasion energized potential and actual jihadists across the world.

How exactly has The Iraq Effect played out in different parts of the world? The effect has not been uniform. Europe, the Arab world, and Afghanistan all saw major rises in jihadist terrorism in the period after the invasion of Iraq, while Pakistan and India and the Chechnya/Russia front saw only smaller increases in jihadist terrorism. And in Southeast Asia, attacks and killings by jihadist groups fell by over 60 percent in the period after the Iraq War. The strength or weakness of The Iraq Effect on jihadist terrorism in a particular country seems to be influenced by four factors: (1) if the country itself has troops in Iraq; (2) geographical proximity to Iraq; (3) the degree of identification with Iraq's Arabs felt in the country; and (4) the level of exchanges of ideas or personnel with Iraqi jihadist groups. This may explain why jihadist groups in Europe, Arab countries, and Afghanistan were more affected by the Iraq War than groups in other regions. Europe, unlike Kashmir, Chechnya, and Southeast Asia for example, contains several countries that are part of the coalition in Iraq. It is relatively geographically close to the Arab world and has a large Arab-Muslim diaspora from which jihadists have recruited.

European intelligence services are deeply concerned about the effect of the Iraq War. For example, Dame Eliza Mannigham-Buller, the head of Britain's MI5, stated on November 10, 2006, "In Iraq, attacks are regularly videoed and the footage is downloaded onto the Internet [and] chillingly we see the results here. Young teenagers are being groomed to be suicide bombers. We are aware of numerous plots to kill people and damage our economy...30 that we know of. [The] threat is serious, is growing, and, I believe, will be with us for a generation." Startlingly, a recent poll found that a quarter of British Muslims believe that the July 7, 2005, London bombings were justifiable because of British foreign policy, bearing out Dame Eliza's concern about a new generation of radicals in the United Kingdom.

While Islamist militants in Europe are mobilized by a series of grievances such as Palestine, Afghanistan, the Kashmir conflict, and Chechnya, no issue has resonated more in radical circles and on Islamist websites than the war in Iraq. This can be seen in the skyrocketing rate of jihadist terrorist attacks around the Arab world outside of Iraq. There have been 37 attacks in Arab countries outside of Iraq since the invasion, while there were only three in the period between 9/11 and March 2003. The rate of attacks in Arab countries jumped by 445 percent since the Iraq invasion, while the rate of killings rose by 783 percent. The November 9, 2005 bombings of three American hotels in Amman, Jordan, that killed 60, an operation directed by Abu Musab al Zarqawi's Al Qaeda in Iraq network, was the most direct manifestation of The Iraq Effect in the Arab world. Saudi Arabia, in particular, has seen an upsurge in jihadist terrorism since the U.S. invasion of Iraq. There were no jihadist terrorist attacks between 9/11 and the Iraq War but 12 in the period since. The reason for the surge in terrorism was a decision taken by Al Qaeda's Saudi branch in the spring of 2003 to launch a wave of attacks (primarily at Western targets) to undermine the Saudi royal family. These attacks were initiated on May 12, 2003 with the bombing of Western compounds in Riyadh, killing 34, including 10 Americans. While Saudi authorities believe that planning and training for the operation predated the war in Iraq, the timing of the attack, just weeks after the U.S invasion is striking.

The fact that the Iraq War radicalized some young Saudis is underlined by studies showing that more Saudis have conducted suicide operations in Iraq than any other nationality. For instance, Mohammed Hafez, a visiting professor at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, in a study of the 101 identified suicide attackers in Iraq from March 2003 to February 2006, found that more than 40 percent were Saudi. This jihadist energy was not just transferred over the Saudi border into Iraq. It also contributed to attacks in the Kingdom. The group that beheaded the American contractor Paul Johnson in Riyadh in June 2004 called itself the "Al Fallujah brigade of Al Qaeda" and claimed that it had carried out the killing in part to avenge the actions of "disbelievers" in Iraq. In January 2004 Al Qaeda's Saudi affiliate launched Al Battar, an online training magazine specifically directed at young Saudis interested in fighting their regime. The achievements of jihadists in Iraq figured prominently in its pages. Indeed, a contributor to the first issue of Al Battar argued that the Iraq War had made jihad "a commandment" for Saudi Arabians " the Islamic nation is today in acute conflict with the Crusaders."

The Iraq War had a strong impact in other Arab countries too. Daily images aired by Al Jazeera and other channels of suffering Iraqis enraged the Arab street and strengthened the hands of radicals everywhere. In Egypt, the Iraq War has contributed to a recent wave of attacks by small, self-generated groups. A Sinai-based jihadist group carried out coordinated bombing attacks on Red Sea resorts popular with Western tourists at Taba in October 2004, at Sharm el-Sheikh in July 2005, and at Dahab in April 2006, killing a total of more than 120.

One of the cell's members, Younis Elian Abu Jarir, a taxi driver whose job was to ferry the group around, stated in a confession offered as evidence in court that "they convinced me of the need for holy war against the Jews, Americans, Italians, and other nationalities that participated in the occupation of Iraq." Osama Rushdi, a former spokesman of the Egyptian terrorist group Gamma Islamiyya now living in London, told us that while attacks in the Sinai were partly directed at the Egyptian regime, they appeared to be primarily anti-Western in motivation: "The Iraq War contributed to the negative feelings of the Sinai group. Before the Iraq War, most Egyptians did not have a negative feeling towards American policy. Now almost all are opposed to American policy."

Since the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan has suffered 219 jihadist terrorist attacks that can be attributed to a particular group, resulting in the deaths of 802 civilians. The fact that the Taliban only conducted its first terrorist attacks in September 2003, a few months after the invasion of Iraq, is significant. International forces had already been stationed in the country for two years before the Taliban began to specifically target the U.S.-backed Karzai government and civilians sympathetic to it. This points to a link between events in Iraq and the initiation of the Taliban's terrorist campaign in Afghanistan.

True, local dynamics form part of the explanation for the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan. But the use of terrorism, particularly suicide attacks, by the Taliban is an innovation drawn from the Iraqi theater. Hekmat Karzai, an Afghan terrorism researcher, points out that suicide bombings were virtually unknown in Afghanistan until 2005. In 2006, Karzai says, there were 118 such attacks, more than there had been in the entire history of the country. Internet sites have helped spread the tactics of Iraqi jihadists. In 2005 the "Media Committee of the Al Qaeda Mujahideen in Afghanistan" launched an online magazine called Vanguards of Kharasan, which includes articles on what Afghan fighters can learn from Coalition and jihadist strategies in Iraq. Abdul Majid Abdul Majed, a contributor to the April 2006 issue of the magazine, argued for an expansion in suicide operations, citing the effectiveness of jihadist operations in Iraq.

Mullah Dadullah, a key Taliban commander, gave an interview to Al Jazeera in 2006 in which he explained how the Iraq War has influenced the Taliban. Dadullah noted that "we have 'give and take' with the mujahideen in Iraq." Hamid Mir, a Pakistani journalist who is writing bin Laden's biography, told us that young men traveled from the Afghan province of Khost to "on-the-job training" in Iraq in 2004. "They came back with lots of CDs which were full of military actions against U.S. troops in the Mosul, Fallujah, and Baghdad areas. I think suicide bombing was introduced in Afghanistan and Pakistan after local boys came back after spending some time in Iraq. I met a Taliban commander, Mullah Mannan, last year in Zabul who told me that he was trained in Iraq by Zarqawi along with many Pakistani tribals."

Propaganda circulating in Afghanistan and Pakistan about American "atrocities" and jihadist "heroics" has also energized the Taliban, encouraging a previously somewhat isolated movement to see itself as part of a wider struggle. Our study found a striking correlation in how terrorist campaigns intensified in Iraq and Afghanistan. The rate of terrorist attacks in Afghanistan gathered pace in the summer of 2005, a half year after a similar increase in Iraq, and in 2006 the rate of attacks in both countries rose in tandem to new, unprecedented levels.

While the Iraq War has had a strong effect on the rise in terrorism in Afghanistan, it appears to have played less of a role on jihadists operating in Pakistan and India, though terrorism did rise in those countries following the invasion of Iraq. (Of course, neither Pakistan nor India has foreign troops on its soil, which accounts, in part, for the high terrorism figures in Afghanistan.) The rate of jihadist attacks rose by 21 percent while the fatality rate rose by 19 percent. There were 52 attacks after the Iraq invasion, killing 489 civilians, while there were 19 in the period before, killing 182. The local dynamics of the Kashmir conflict, tensions between India and Pakistan, and the resurfacing of the Taliban in eastern Pakistan likely played a large role here. That said, there is evidence that the Iraq War did energize jihadists in Pakistan. Hamid Mir says, "Iraq not only radicalized the Pakistani tribals [near the Afghan border] but it offered them the opportunity for them to go to Iraq via Iran to get on-the-job training."

There is also evidence that the Iraq War had some impact in other areas of Pakistan. In the summer of 2004, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the head of the Kashmiri militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba, told followers in Lahore, "Islam is in grave danger, and the mujahideen are fighting to keep its glory. They are fighting the forces of evil in Iraq in extremely difficult circumstances. We should send mujahideen from Pakistan to help them." And Pakistan, inasmuch as it has become Al Qaeda's new base for training and planning attacks, has become the location where significant numbers of would-be jihadists--including some young British Pakistanis such as the London suicide bombers, radicalized in part by the Iraq War--have traveled to learn bomb-making skills.

In Russia and Chechnya, the Iraq War appears to have had less of an impact than on other jihadist fronts. This is unsurprising given the fact that jihadist groups in the region are preoccupied by a separatist war against the Russian military. Whilst following the invasion of Iraq there was a rise in the number of attacks by Chechen groups that share a similar ideology with Al Qaeda, the total rate of fatalities did not go up. The Iraq War does seem to have diverted some jihadists from the Russian/Chechen front: Arab fighters who might have previously gone to Chechnya now have a cause at their own doorstep, while funds from Arab donors increasingly have gone to the Iraqi jihad.

Southeast Asia has been the one region in the world in which jihadist terrorism has declined significantly in the period since the invasion of Iraq. There was a 67 percent drop in the rate of attacks (from 10.5 to 3.5 attacks per year) in the post-invasion period and a 69 percent drop in the rate of fatalities (from 201 to 62 fatalities per year). And there has been no bombing on the scale of the October 2002 Bali nightclub attack that killed more than 200. However, jihadist terrorism in Southeast Asia has declined in spite, not because of, the Iraq War. The U.S. invasion of Iraq was deeply unpopular in the region, as demonstrated by the poll finding that only 15 percent of Indonesians had a favorable view of the United States in 2003. But the negative impact of the Iraq War on public opinion was mitigated by U.S. efforts to aid the region in the wake of the devastating tsunami of December 2004--Pew opinion surveys have shown that the number of those with favorable views towards the United States in Indonesia crept above 30 percent in 2005 and 2006.

However, the main reason for the decline of jihadist terrorism in Southeast Asia has been the successful crackdown by local authorities on jihadist groups and their growing unpopularity with the general population. The August 2003 capture of Hambali, Jemaa Islamiya's operational commander, was key to degrading the group's capacity to launch attacks as was the arrest of hundreds of Jemaa Islamiya and Abu Sayyaf operatives in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore in the years after the October 2002 Bali bombings. Those arrested included most of those who planned the Bali attacks, as well as former instructors at Jemaa Islamiya camps and individuals involved in financing attacks. And in November 2005 Indonesian security services killed Jemaa Islamiya master bomber Azhari bin Husin in a shoot-out. The second wave of Bali attacks in 2005 killed mostly Indonesians and created a popular backlash against jihadist groups in Indonesia, degrading their ability to recruit operatives. And Muslim leaders such as Masdar Farid Masudi, the deputy leader of the country's largest Islamic group, condemned the bombings: "If the perpetrators are Muslims, their sentences must be multiplied because they have tarnished the sacredness of their religion and smeared its followers worldwide."

Iraq Effect (continued)
Our survey shows that the Iraq conflict has motivated jihadists around the world to see their particular struggle as part of a wider global jihad fought on behalf of the Islamic ummah, the global community of Muslim believers. The Iraq War had a strong impact in jihadist circles in the Arab world and Europe, but also on the Taliban, which previously had been quite insulated from events elsewhere in the Muslim world. By energizing the jihadist groups, the Iraq conflict acted as a catalyst for the increasing globalization of the jihadist cause, a trend that should be deeply troubling for American policymakers. In the late 1990s, bin Laden pushed a message of a global jihad and attracted recruits from around the Muslim world to train and fight in Afghanistan. The Iraq War has made bin Laden's message of global struggle even more persuasive to militants. Over the past three years, Iraq has attracted thousands of foreign fighters who have been responsible for the majority of suicide attacks in the country. Those attacks have had an enormous strategic impact; for instance, getting the United Nations to pull out of Iraq and sparking the Iraqi civil war.

Emblematic of the problem is Muriel Degauque, a 38-year-old Belgian woman who on November 9, 2005, near the town of Baquba in central Iraq, detonated a bomb as she drove past an American patrol. In the bomb crater, investigators found travel documents that showed that she had arrived in Iraq from Belgium just a few weeks earlier with her Moroccan-Belgian husband Hissam Goris. The couple had been recruited by "Al Qaeda in Iraq." Goris would die the following day, shot by American forces as he prepared to launch a suicide attack near Fallujah.

The story of Muriel Degauque and her husband is part of a trend that Harvard terrorism researcher Assaf Moghadam terms the "globalization of martyrdom." The London suicide bombings in July 2005 revealed the surprising willingness of four British citizens to die to protest the United Kingdom's role in the Coalition in Iraq; Muriel Degauque, for her part, was willing to die for the jihadist cause in a country in which she was a stranger.

This challenges some existing conceptions of the motivations behind suicide attacks. In 2005 University of Chicago political scientist Robert Pape published a much-commented-upon study of suicide bombing, "Dying to Win," in which he used a mass of data about previous suicide bombing campaigns to argue that they principally occurred "to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland." (Of course, terrorism directed against totalitarian regimes rarely occurs because such regimes are police states and are unresponsive to public opinion.) Pape also argued that while religion might aggravate campaigns of suicide terrorism, such campaigns had also been undertaken by secular groups, most notably the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers, whose most spectacular success was the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi by a female suicide attacker in 1991.

Pape's findings may explain the actions and motivations of terrorist groups in countries such as Sri Lanka, but his principal claim that campaigns of suicide terrorism are generally nationalist struggles to liberate occupied lands that have little to do with religious belief does not survive contact with the reality of what is going on today in Iraq. The most extensive suicide campaign in history is being conducted in Iraq largely by foreigners animated by the deeply-held religious belief that they must liberate a Muslim land from the "infidel" occupiers.

While Iraqis make up the great bulk of the insurgents, several studies have shown that the suicide attackers in Iraq are generally foreigners, while only a small proportion are Iraqi. (Indeed, the most feared terrorist leader in Iraq until his death earlier this year, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, was a Jordanian.) The Israeli researcher Reuven Paz, using information posted on Al Qaeda-linked websites between October 2004 and March 2005, found that of the 33 suicide attacks listed, 23 were conducted by Saudis, and only 1 by an Iraqi. Similarly, in June 2005 the Search for International Terrorist Entities (SITE) Institute of Washington, D.C. found by tracking both jihadist websites and media reports that of the 199 Sunni extremists who had died in Iraq either in suicide attacks or in action against Coalition or Iraqi forces, 104 were from Saudi Arabia and only 21 from Iraq. The rest were predominantly from countries around the Middle East. And Mohammed Hafez in his previously cited study of the 101 "known" suicide bombers in Iraq found that while 44 were Saudi and 8 were from Italy (!), only 7 were from Iraq.

In congressional testimony this past November, CIA Director General Michael Hayden said that "an overwhelming percentage of the suicide bombers are foreign." A senior U.S. military intelligence official told us that a worrisome recent trend is the rising number of North Africans who have joined the ranks of foreign fighters in Iraq, whose number General Hayden pegged at 1,300 during his November congressional testimony. A Saudi official also confirmed to us the rising number of North Africans who are being drawn into the Iraq War.

The globalization of jihad and martyrdom, accelerated to a significant degree by the Iraq War, has some disquieting implications for American security in the future. First, it has energized jihadist groups generally; second, not all foreign fighters attracted to Iraq will die there. In fact there is evidence that some jihadists are already leaving Iraq to operate elsewhere. Saudi Arabia has made a number of arrests of fighters coming back from Iraq, and Jordanian intelligence sources say that 300 fighters have returned to Jordan from Iraq. As far away as Belgium, authorities have indicated that Younis Lekili, an alleged member of the cell that recruited Muriel Degauque, had previously traveled to fight in Iraq, where he lost his leg. (Lekili is awaiting trial in Belgium.)

German, French, and Dutch intelligence officials have estimated that there are dozens of their citizens returning from the Iraq theater, and some appear to have been determined to carry out attacks on their return to Europe. For example, French police arrested Hamid Bach, a French citizen of Moroccan descent, in June 2005 in Montpellier, several months after he returned from a staging camp for Iraq War recruits in Syria. According to French authorities, Bach's handlers there instructed him to assist with plotting terrorist attacks in Italy. Back in France, Bach is alleged to have bought significant quantities of hydrogen peroxide and to have looked up details on explosives and detonators online. (Bach is awaiting trial in France.)

This "blowback" trend will greatly increase when the war eventually winds down in Iraq. In the short term the countries most at risk are those whose citizens have traveled to fight in Iraq, in particular Arab countries bordering Iraq. Jamal Khashoggi, a leading Saudi expert on jihadist groups, told us that "while Iraq brought new blood into the Al Qaeda organization in Saudi Arabia, this was at a time when the network was being dismantled. Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia could not accommodate these recruits so they sent them to Iraq to train them, motivate them, and prepare them for a future wave of attacks in the Kingdom. It is a deep worry to Saudi authorities that Saudis who have gone to Iraq will come back." That's a scenario for which Khashoggi says Saudi security forces are painstakingly preparing.

Several U.S. citizens have tried to involve themselves in the Iraq jihad. In December an American was arrested in Cairo, Egypt, accused of being part of a cell plotting terrorist attacks in Iraq. And in February 2006 three Americans from Toledo, Ohio, were arrested for allegedly plotting to kill U.S. military personnel in Iraq. According to the FBI, one of these individuals, Mohammad Zaki Amawi, was in contact with an Arab jihadist group sending fighters to Iraq and tried unsuccessfully to cross the border into Iraq. However, to date there is no evidence of Americans actually fighting in Iraq so the number of returnees to the United States is likely to be small. The larger risk is that jihadists will migrate from Iraq to Western countries, a trend that will be accelerated if, as happened following the Afghan jihad against the Soviets, those fighters are not allowed to return to their home countries.

Already terrorist groups in Iraq may be in a position to start sending funds to other jihadist fronts. According to a U.S. government report leaked to the New York Times in November 2006, the fact that insurgent and terrorist groups are raising up to $200 million a year from various illegal activities such as kidnapping and oil theft in Iraq means that they "may have surplus funds with which to support other terrorist organizations outside Iraq." Indeed, a letter from Al Qaeda's No. 2, Ayman al Zawahiri, to Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi in July 2005 contained this revealing request: "Many of the [funding] lines have been cut off. Because of this we need a payment while new lines are being opened. So if you're capable of sending a payment of approximately one hundred thousand we'll be very grateful to you."

The "globalization of martyrdom" prompted by the Iraq War has not only attracted foreign fighters to die in Iraq (we record 148 suicide-terrorist attacks in Iraq credited to an identified jihadist group) but has also encouraged jihadists to conduct many more suicide operations elsewhere. Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, there has been a 246 percent rise in the rate of suicide attacks (6 before and 47 after) by jihadist groups outside of Iraq and a 24 percent increase in the corresponding fatality rate. Even excluding Afghanistan, there has been a 150 percent rise in the rate of suicide attacks and a 14 percent increase in the rate of fatalities attributable to jihadists worldwide. The reasons for the spread of suicide bombing attacks in other jihadist theaters are complex but the success of these tactics in Iraq, the lionization that Iraqi martyrs receive on jihadist websites, and the increase in feelings of anger and frustration caused by images of the Iraq War have all likely contributed significantly. The spread of suicide bombings should be of great concern to the United States in defending its interests and citizens around the world, because they are virtually impossible to defend against.

The Iraq War has also encouraged the spread of more hardline forms of jihad (the corollary to an increase in suicide bombing). Anger and frustration over Iraq has increased the popularity, especially among young militants, of a hardcore takfiri ideology that is deeply intolerant of divergent interpretations of Islam and highly tolerant of extreme forms of violence. The visceral anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Shiism widely circulated among the Internet circles around ideologues such as Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi and Abu Qatada (both Jordanian-Palestinian mentors to Abu Musab al Zarqawi) and Al Qaeda's Syrian hawk, Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, are even more extreme, unlikely as it may sound, than the statements of bin Laden himself.

Our study shows just how counterproductive the Iraq War has been to the war on terrorism. The most recent State Department report on global terrorism states that the goal of the United States is to identify, target, and prevent the spread of "jihadist groups focused on attacking the United States or its allies [and those groups that] view governments and leaders in the Muslim world as their primary targets." Yet, since the invasion of Iraq, attacks by such groups have risen more than sevenfold around the world. And though few Americans have been killed by jihadist terrorists in the past three years it is wishful thinking to believe that this will continue to be the case, given the continued determination of militant jihadists to target the country they see as their main enemy. We will be living with the consequences of the Iraq debacle for more than a decade.

Special thanks to Mike Torres and Zach Stern at NYU and Kim Cragin and Drew Curiel at RAND.

<< The Iraq Effect Pg.5 << >> The Data: The Iraq War and Jihadist Terrorism >>
Go on-site for sources, charts, etc. Just click on the following URLs:
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[Oct 22, 2015] Russians are concerned with the possibility of organizing Maidan in their country by Western intelligence and internal neoliberal fifth column

Looks like color revolutions became less effective in xUSSR space as more and more people started to understand the mechanics and financial source of "pro-democracy" (aka pro-Washington) protesters. BTW what a skillful and shameless presstitute is this Shaun Walker
Notable quotes:
"... The State Department funding of NGOs in Ukraine promoting the right kind of democracy to the tune of $5 billion is a matter of record, courtesy of Fuck the EU Nuland. ..."
"... As for CIA involvement, the director of the CIA has visited Ukraine at least twice in 2014 - once under a false identity. If the head of the equivalent Russian organisation had made similar visits, that would be a problem, no? ..."
"... Just because some Russians are paranoid about US interference, that doesnt mean they are wrong. ..."
"... International Observer: The New Ukraine Is Run by Rogues, Sexpots, Warlords, Lunatics and Oligarchs ..."
"... This article contains unacceptable, apparently carefully wrapped up, distortions of what is happening in Russia. A piece of journalism which tell us something about the level of propaganda that most mainstream media in our free west have set up in the attempt to organize yet another coup, this time under the thick walls of the Kremlin. This newspaper seem to pursue this goal, as it shows to have taken sides: stand by NATO and of course the British interests. If this implies misguiding the readers on what is taking place in Russia\Ukraine or elsewhere (Syria for example) well...thats too bad, the answer would be. Goals justify the means...so forget about honesty, fair play and truthfullness. If it needs to be a war (we have decided so, because it is convenient) then... lies are not lies...but clever tools that we are allowed to use in order to destroy our enemy. ..."
"... The patriots are most probably a neurotic sort of reaction to what most Russians now perceive to be an attempt from NSA, CIA..and more in general of the US/EU geo-political strategies (much more of the US, of course, as the EU and Britain simply follow the instructions) to dismantle the present Russian system (the political establishment first and then the ARMY). ..."
"... Contrary to what is happening here in the west (where all media seem to the have joined the club of the one-way-thinking against Russia), some important media of that country do have a chance to criticize Putin and his policies. ..."
"... a minority can express their opinion, as long as they do not attempt to overthrow the parliament, which is an expression of Russian people. ..."
"... I will generalize here - if by those you mean the West you are mistaken. The vast majority of its populace are carrying a huge burden of personal debt - it is the bank that owns their houses and new autos. There is a tiny stratum that indeed is wildly wealthy, frequently referred to as the 1%, but in fact is much less numerous. ..."
"... If you scrap off the BS from this article they do have a point, because it has been a popular tactic of a certain country to change another countries government *Cough* America *Cough* by organising protests/riots within a target country ..."
"... if that doesnt work they escalate that to fire fights and if that doesnt work they move onto say Downing a aeroplane and very quickly claiming its the other side fault without having any evidence or claim they have WMDs well anything to try to take the moral high ground on the situation even thou they caused the situation usual for selfish, arrogant and greedy reasons. ..."
"... Wow, this is quite an assertion that Russians are poorer than Indians. I have been to India and I have been to Russia and I dont like using anecdotes to make a point. I can tell you that I have never seen as much poverty as in India. ..."
"... Also, I doubt youve visited many small and lesser known cities in Russia. Its as if the Soviet Union had just collapsed and they were forgotten. Worse, actually. ..."
"... Werent the Maidan protests anti-democracy since they used violence to remove a democratically elected leader? Just another anti-ruskie hit piece from the Guardian. ..."
"... In the US you only get 2 choices - it may be twice as many as you get with a dictatorship but its hardly democracy. ..."
"... Also the election of the coup government was unconstitutional under article 111 of the Ukraines own Constitution (Goggle - check for yourself). This is an undisputed and uncomfortable fact which the US and the EU never mention (never) when drawn on the issue. ..."
"... Since the day one the West and the GDR used nazis for their laboratories, clandestine and civil services...State owned museums still refuse to give back artwork to their rightful owners that were robbed during 1930-45. ..."
"... A more interesting story would have been the similarities between this anti maidan group in Russia and Maidan in Kiev. Both have have their military arm, are dangerous and violent, and both very nationalistic and right wing. Both appear to have strong links to politicians as well. Such an analysis might show that Russian and Ukrainian nationalist groups have more in common than they would like to believe. ..."
"... A very important difference is the Russians are defending their elected government. The Ukrainians were hired by the West to promote a coup detat against an elected government, this against the will of the majority in Ukraine and only 3 months from general election in the country. The coup was indeed a way of stopping the elections. ..."
"... Oh I see Russia has re-entered the media cross hairs in a timely fashion. I wonder whats going to happen in the coming weeks. ..."
"... And the US will continue to murder innocent civilians in the Middle East, Northern Africa and wherever else it wants to plant its bloody army boots. And will also continue to use its NGOs and CIA to foment colour revolutions in other countries, as it did in Ukraine ..."
"... What kind of democracy is the US when you have a federal agency spying on everything you do and say? Do you think they are just going to sit on what information they think they get? ..."
"... Yes. Decisions should be made in Kiev, but why are they being made in Washington then? ..."
"... Potroshenko was elected with a turnout of 46%. Of this he scored say over half, hardly a majority ..."
"... "Under the slogan of fighting for democracy there is instead total fear, total propaganda, and no freedom." ..."
"... After witnessing what happened during Maidan, and subsequently to Ukraine, I understand some Russians reluctance to see a similar scenario played out in Russia. That being: am also wary of vISISantism. ..."
"... As for the anti-Maidan quotes - of course that was organised. Nuland:, for crying out loud. Kerry and others were there, Brennan was there. Of course the Western powers were partly involved. And it wasnt peaceful protests, it was violence directed against elected officials, throwing Molotov cocktails at policemen. It culminated in the burning alive of 40+ people in Odessa. ..."
"... Professor Gregory has, dishonestly, arrived at his 15% figure by taking the minimum figure for Crimea for both turnout and for voters for union, calling them the maximum, and then ignoring Sevastopol. He has also pretended the report is based on the "real results," when it seems to be little more than the imprecise estimates of a small working group who were apparently against the idea of the referendum in the first place. ..."
"... This is not an unexpected result. EU and US governments are going out of way to stir peoples opinion in the former Soviet republics. ..."
"... There were students from Lviv who were given college credit for being at Maidan. ..."
"... There are specific politicians who rejected participation in normal political process but chosen street riots instead. ..."
"... Is the US training and funding the Ukraine opposition? Nuland herself claimed in December that the US had spent $5 billion since the 1990s on democratization programs in Ukraine. On what would she like us to believe the money had been spent? ..."
"... All of this stems from the stupid EU meddling in Ukraine. We shouldnt get involved in the EUs regime change agenda. Time to leave the EU. ..."
"... Putinbot = someone who has a different opinion to you ..."
"... How about the reporting on the indiscriminate slaughter of Eastern Ukrainians by Kievs government troops and Nazi battalions?? ..."
"... pro-democracy protesters? like ISIL, Right Sector, UÇK? They are right ..."
January 15, 2015 | The Guardian

Patriotic group formed to defend Russia against pro-democracy protesters by Shaun Walker

The group, which calls itself anti-Maidan,: Thursday it would fight any attempts to bring Russians on to the streets to protest against the government. Its name is a reference to the Maidan protests in Kiev last year that eventually led to the toppling of former Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych.

"All street movements and color revolutions lead to blood. Women, children and old people suffer first", Dmitry Sablin, previously a long-standing MP from President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party, who recently became a senator in Russia's upper house of parliament.

"It is not acceptable for the minority to force its will upon the majority, as happened in Ukraine," he added. "Under the slogan of fighting for democracy there is instead total fear, total propaganda, and no freedom."

jgbg -> RunLukeRun, 16 Jan 2015 06:36

BINGO....well done. You've got Neo Nazi's, US Aid, CIA infiltrators, indiscriminate slaughter and Nazi battalions....all in just 8 sentences. great job

I guess these are exactly the sort of people who will enrich the EU:

Nazis on the march in Kiev this month

Would you like to claim that the Azov and Aidar battalions aren't a bunch of Nazis?

Here's a Guardian article about Azov.

The State Department funding of NGOs in Ukraine "promoting the right kind of democracy" to the tune of $5 billion is a matter of record, courtesy of "Fuck the EU" Nuland.

As for CIA involvement, the director of the CIA has visited Ukraine at least twice in 2014 - once under a false identity. If the head of the equivalent Russian organisation had made similar visits, that would be a problem, no?

TuleCarbonari -> garethgj 16 Jan 2015 06:21

Yes, he should leave Syria to paid mercenaries. Do you really want us to believe you still don't know those fighters in Syria are George Soros' militias? Come on man, go get yourself informed.

jgbg -> Strummered 16 Jan 2015 06:19

You can't campaign for greater democracy, it's dangerous, it's far too democratic.

The USA cannot pay people to campaign in Russia to have the right kind of democracy i.e. someone acceptable to the US government at the helm. Instead of funding anti-government NGOs in other countries, perhaps the USA should first spend the money fixing the huge inequalities and other problems in their own country.

jgbg -> Glenn J. Hill 16 Jan 2015 06:12

What???? Have you been smoking?? Sorry but your Putin Thugs are NOT funded by my country.

I think he is referring the the NGOs which have spent large sums of money on "promoting democracy" in Georgia and Ukraine. Many of these are funded by the National Endowment for Democracy and the US State Department. Some have funding from organisations which are in turn, funded by George Soros. These organisations were seen to back the Rose Revolution in Georgia and both revolutions in Ukraine. Georgia ended up with a president who worked as a lawyer in a US firm linked to the right wing of the Republican Party. Ukraine has a prime minister who was brought up in the USA and a president whom a US ambassador to Ukraine described as "our insider" (in a US Embassy cable leaked by Wikileaks).

The funding of similar organisations in Russia (e.g. Soldiers' Mothers) has been exposed since a law was brought in, requiring foreign funded NGOs to register and publish annual accounts.

Just because some Russians are paranoid about US interference, that doesn't mean they are wrong.

Anette Mor -> Hektor Uranga 16 Jan 2015 06:09

He was let out to form a party and take part in Moscow mayor election. He got respectable 20%. But shown no platform other than anti- corruption. There is anti-corruption hysteria in Russia already. People asked for positive agenda. He got none. The party base disintegrated. The court against him was because there was a case filed. I can agree the state might found this timely. But we cannot blame on Russian state absence of positive position in Navalny himself. He is reactive on current issues but got zero vision. Russia is a merit based society.

They look for brilliance in the leader. He is just a different caliber. Can contribute but not lead. His best way is to choose a district and stand for a parliament seat. The state already shown his is welcomed to enter big politics. Just need to stop lookibg to abroad for scripts. The list of names for US sanction was taking from his and his mates lists. After such exposure he lost any groups with many Russians.

Anette Mor -> notoriousANDinfamous 16 Jan 2015 05:50

I do not disregard positive side of democracy or negative side of dictatorship. I just offer a different scale. Put value of every human life above any ideology. The west is full of aggressive radicals from animal activists and greens to extremist gays and atheists. There is a need to downgrade some concepts and upgrade other, so yhe measures are universal. Bombing for democracy is equaly bad as bombing for personal power.

Anette Mor -> gilstra 16 Jan 2015 05:41

This is really not Guardian problem. They got every right to choose anti-Russian rant as the main topic. The problem is the balance. Nobody watching it and the media as a whole distorting the picture. Double standards are not good too. RT to stay permitted in the UK was told to interrupt every person they interview expressing directly opposite view. Might be OK with some theoretical conversation. But how you going to interrupt mother who just most a child by argument in favor of the killer? The regulator:C is out of their reach. But guardian should not be. Yet every material is one sided.

Asimpleguest -> romans

International Observer: ''The New Ukraine Is Run by Rogues, Sexpots, Warlords, Lunatics and Oligarchs''

PeraIlic

"Decisions should be made in Moscow and not in Washington or Brussels," Nkolai Starikov, a nationalist writer and marginal politician.

Never mind that he's marginal politician. This man really knows how to express himself briefly. An Interview with Popular Russian Author and Politician Nikolai Starikov:

Those defending NATO expansion say that those countries wanted to be part of NATO.

Okay. But Cuba also wanted to house Soviet missiles voluntarily. If America did not object to Russian missiles in Cuba, would you support Ukraine joining NATO?

That would be a great trust-building measure on their part, and Russia would feel that America is a friend.

imperfetto

This article contains unacceptable, apparently carefully wrapped up, distortions of what is happening in Russia. A piece of journalism which tell us something about the level of propaganda that most mainstream media in our 'free' west have set up in the attempt to organize yet another coup, this time under the thick walls of the Kremlin. This newspaper seem to pursue this goal, as it shows to have taken sides: stand by NATO and of course the British interests. If this implies misguiding the readers on what is taking place in Russia\Ukraine or elsewhere (Syria for example) well...that's too bad, the answer would be. Goals justify the means...so forget about honesty, fair play and truthfullness. If it needs to be a war (we have decided so, because it is convenient) then... lies are not lies...but clever tools that we are allowed to use in order to destroy our enemy.

The patriots are most probably a neurotic sort of reaction to what most Russians now perceive to be an attempt from NSA, CIA..and more in general of the US/EU geo-political strategies (much more of the US, of course, as the EU and Britain simply follow the instructions) to dismantle the present Russian system (the political establishment first and then the ARMY).

The idea is to create an internal turmoil through some pretexts (gay, feminism, scandals...etc.) in the hope that a growing movement of protesters may finally shake up the 'palace' and foster the conditions for a coupe to take place. Then the right people will occupy the key chairs. Who are these subdued figures to be? They would be corrupted oligarchs, allowing the US to guide, control the Russian public life (haven't we noticed that three important ministers in Kiev are AMERICAN citizens!)

But, from what I understand, Russia is a democratic country. Its leader has been elected by the voters. Contrary to what is happening here in the west (where all media seem to the have joined the club of the one-way-thinking against Russia), some important media of that country do have a chance to criticize Putin and his policies. That's right, in a democratic republic. But, instead, the attempt to enact another Maidan, that is a FASCIST assault to the DUMA, would require a due response.

Thus, perhaps we could without any Patriots of the sort, that may feed the pernicious attention of western media. There should merely be the enforcement of the law:

a minority can express their opinion, as long as they do not attempt to overthrow the parliament, which is an expression of Russian people.

VladimirM

"The 'orange beast' is sharpening its teeth and looking to Russia,":e Surgeon, whose real name is Alexander Zaldostanov.

Actually, he used a Russian word "зверек", not "зверь". The latter can be rendered as "beast" but what he:s closer to "rodent", a small animal. So, using this word he just stressed his contemptious attitude rather than a degree of threat.

Kondratiev

There is at least anecdotal evidence that Maiden protestors were paid - see: http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-and-eu-are-paying-ukrainian-rioters-and-protesters/5369316 .

Bosula

These patriotic groups do seem extreme, but probably less extreme and odd than many of the current Ukrainian crop of politicians. Here is an article from the New York Observer that will get you up to speed....

The New York Observer:The New Ukraine Is Run by Rogues, Sexpots, Warlords, Lunatics and Oligarchs

Robert Sandlin -> GreenKnighht

Did you forget the people in charge of the Ukraine then were Ukrainian communists.That many of the deaths were also ethnic Russian-Ukrainians.And the ones making policy in the USSR as a whole,in that period were mostly not ethnic-Russians.The leader was Georgian,his secret police chief and many of their enforcers were Jewish-Soviets.And his closest helpers were also mostly non-ethnic Russians.Recruited from all the important ethnic groups in the USSR,including many Ukrainians.It is a canard of the Wests to blame Russia for the famine that also killed many Russians.I'm sick of hearing the bs from the West over that tragic time trying to stir Russophobia.

seventh

Well, you know a government is seriously in the shit when it has to employ biker gangs to defend it.

Robert Sandlin -> seventh

Really? The government doesn't employ them. Defending the government is the job of the police and military. These civilian volunteers are only helping to show traitors in the pay of Westerners that the common people won't tolerate treason like happened in Ukraine, to strike Russia.Good for them,that should let potential 5th columnists know their bs isn't wanted in Russia.

Bulagen

I watch here in full swing manipulation of public opinion of Europeans, who imagines that they have "democracy" and "freedom of speech". All opinions, alternative General line, aimed at all discredit Russia in the eyes of the population of Europe ruthlessly removed the wording that Putin bots hinder communication "civilized public." And I am even more convinced that all this hysteria about "the problems of democracy in Russia" is nothing more than an attempt to sell Denyen horse (the so-called democratic values) to modern Trojans (Russians).

jezzam -> Bulagen

All the wealthiest, healthiest and happiest societies adhere to "so-called democratic values". They would also greatly benefit the Russian people. Putin opposes these values purely because they would threaten his power.

sashasmirnoff -> jezzam

The "wealthiest, healthiest and happiest societies"? That is description of whom?

I will generalize here - if by those you mean the "West" you are mistaken. The vast majority of it's populace are carrying a huge burden of personal debt - it is the bank that owns their houses and new autos. There is a tiny stratum that indeed is wildly wealthy, frequently referred to as the 1%, but in fact is much less numerous.

The West is generally regarded as being the least healthy society, largely due to horrifying diet, sedentary lifestyle, and considerable stress due to (amongst other things) the aforementioned struggle to not drown in huge personal debt.

I'm not certain as to how you qualify or quantify "happiness", but the West is also experiencing a mental health crisis, manifested in aberrant behaviour, wild consumption of pharmaceuticals to treat or drown out depression, suicide, high rates of incarceration etc. All symptoms of a deeply unhappy and unhealthy society.

One more thing - the supposed wealth and happiness of the West is predicated on the poverty and misery of those the West colonizes and exploits. The last thing on Earth the West would like to see is the extension of "democratic values" to those unfortunates. That would totally ruin the World Order.

Robert Sandlin -> kawarthan

Well the Ukrainians have the corner on Black and Brown shirts.So those colors are already taken.Blue,Red,White,maybe those?

Paultoo -> Robert Sandlin

Looking at the picture of that "patriotic" Russian biker it seems that Ukraine don´t have the corner on black shirts!

WardwarkOwner

Why do these uprisings/ internal conflicts seem to happen to energy producing countries or those that are on major oil/gas pipeline routes far more often than other countries?

Jackblob -> WardwarkOwner

I don't see any uprising in Canada, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, China, Mexico, the UAE, Iran, Norway, Qatar, etc.

So what exactly is your point?

Petros -> Sotrep Jackblob

Well there is problem in Sudan Iraq Syria Libya Nigeria . you have conflicts made up by USA to change governments and get raw materials . so ward is right . you just pretending to be blind . in Mexico ppl dying pretty much each day from corrupt people .

PullingTheStrings

If you scrap off the BS from this article they do have a point, because it has been a popular tactic of a certain country to change another countries government *Cough* America *Cough* by organising protests/riots within a target country

if that doesnt work they escalate that to fire fights and if that doesn't work they move onto say Downing a aeroplane and very quickly claiming its the other side fault without having any evidence or claim they have WMD's well anything to try to take the moral high ground on the situation even thou they caused the situation usual for selfish, arrogant and greedy reasons.

Jackblob -> PullingTheStrings

For some reason I do not trust you to discern the BS from the truth since your entire comment is an act of deflection.

The truth is most Russians are very poor, more poor than the people of India. This latest economic turmoil will make it even worse. Meanwhile, Putin and a handful of his cronies hold all the wealth. He proved he did not care about his people when he sent the FSB to bomb Moscow apartment buildings to start a war in Chechnya and ultimately to cancel elections.

Now Putin sees the potential for widespread protests and he is preparing to confront any protests with violent vISISante groups like those seen in other repressive countries.

Bob Vavich -> Jackblob

Wow, this is quite an assertion that Russians are poorer than Indians. I have been to India and I have been to Russia and I don't like using anecdotes to make a point. I can tell you that I have never seen as much poverty as in India.

I can also tell you that when I drove through the low income neighborhood of Detroit or Houston, I felt like I was in a post apocalyptic world. Burned out and boarded up houses. Loitering and crime ridden streets. I can go on and on about social injustice. Regardless your comments are even more slanted than the assertion you are making about "Pulling the Strings".

Jackblob -> Bob Vavich

I was just as surprised to learn that Indians earn more than Russians. My source for that info comes from PBS's latest broadcast of Frontline entitled "Putin's Way".

Also, I doubt you've visited many small and lesser known cities in Russia. It's as if the Soviet Union had just collapsed and they were forgotten. Worse, actually.

Hamdog

Weren't the Maidan protests anti-democracy since they used violence to remove a democratically elected leader? Just another anti-ruskie hit piece from the Guardian.

We in the West love democracy, assuming you vote for the right person.

In the US you only get 2 choices - it may be twice as many as you get with a dictatorship but it's hardly democracy.

E1ouise -> Hamdog

Yanukovych was voted out of office by the *elected parliament* after he fled to Russia. Why don't you know this yet?

secondiceberg -> E1ouise

Excuse me, he was forced out of the country at gunpoint before the opposition "voted him out" the next day.

Bosula -> secondiceberg

Yes. That is correct. And armed Maidan thugs (Svoboda and Right Sector) stood around the Rada with weapons while the vote taken.

Also the 'election' of the coup government was unconstitutional under article 111 of the Ukraine's own Constitution (Goggle - check for yourself). This is an undisputed and uncomfortable 'fact' which the US and the EU never mention (never) when drawn on the issue.

Sourcrowd

The soviet union didn't go through some kind of denazification akin to Germany after it disintegrated. Russia today looks more and more like Germany after WWI - full of self pity and blaming everyone but themselves for their own failures.

Down2dirt -> Sourcrowd

I would like to hear more about that denazification of Germany and how did that go.

Since the day one the West and the GDR used nazis for their laboratories, clandestine and civil services...State owned museums still refuse to give back artwork to their rightful owners that were robbed during 1930-45.

I don' t condone Putin's and Russia polity (one of the most neoliberal countries), but you appear to be clueless about this particular subject and don' t know what you are talking about.

Bosula -> Sourcrowd

Are you thinking about Ukraine here, maybe?

Bosula

A more interesting story would have been the similarities between this anti maidan group in Russia and Maidan in Kiev.

Both have have their military arm, are dangerous and violent, and both very nationalistic and right wing. Both appear to have strong links to politicians as well.

Such an analysis might show that Russian and Ukrainian nationalist groups have more in common than they would like to believe.

TuleCarbonari -> Bosula

A very important difference is the Russians are defending their elected government. The Ukrainians were hired by the West to promote a coup d'etat against an elected government, this against the will of the majority in Ukraine and only 3 months from general election in the country. The coup was indeed a way of stopping the elections.

Flinryan

Oh I see Russia has re-entered the media cross hairs in a timely fashion. I wonder what's going to happen in the coming weeks.

MarcelFromage -> Flinryan

I wonder what's going to happen in the coming weeks.

Nothing new - the Russian Federation will continue its illegal occupation of Crimea and continue to bring death and destruction to eastern Ukraine. And generally be a pain for the rest of the international community.

secondiceberg -> MarcelFromage

And the US will continue to murder innocent civilians in the Middle East, Northern Africa and wherever else it wants to plant its bloody army boots. And will also continue to use its NGO's and CIA to foment colour revolutions in other countries, as it did in Ukraine. Kiev had its revolution. Eastern Ukraine is having its revolution. Tit for Tat.

Velska

CIF seems flooded by Putin's sock puppets, i.e. mindless robots who just repeat statements favouring pro-Putinist dictatorship.

To be sure, there's much to hope for in the US democracy, where bribery is legal. I'm not sure whether bribery in Russia is a legal requirement or just a fact of life. But certainly Russia is far from democratic, has actually never been.

Bosula -> Velska

You can take your sock off now and wipe your hands clean.

secondiceberg -> Velska

What kind of democracy is the US when you have a federal agency spying on everything you do and say? Do you think they are just going to sit on what information they think they get?

What will you do when they come knocking at your door, abduct you for some silly comment you made, and then rendition you to another country so that you will not be able to claim any legal rights? Let Russia look after itself in the face of "war-footing" threats from the U.S.

Fight for social justice and freedom in your own country.

cichonio

"All street movements and colour revolutions lead to blood. Women, children and old people suffer first,"

That's why they are ready to use weapons and violence against a foe who hasn't really been seen yet.

Also,

"Decisions should be made in Moscow and not in Washington or Brussels,"

I think decisions about Ukraine should be made in Kiev.

Bosula -> cichonio

Yes. Decisions should be made in Kiev, but why are they being made in Washington then? How much does this compromise Kiev as its agenda is very different from the agenda the US have with Russia. Ukraine is weakened daily with its civil war and the killing its own people, but this conflict benefits the US as further weakens and places Russia in a new cold war type environment.

Why are key government ministries in Ukraine (like Finance) headed by overseas nationals. Utterly bizarre.

secondiceberg -> cichonio

So do I, by the legally elected government that was illegally deposed at gunpoint. Ukraine actually has two presidents. Only one of them is legal and it is not Poroshenko.

Bob Vavich -> cichonio

Yes, if they are taken by all Ukrainians and not a minority. Potroshenko was elected with a turnout of 46%. Of this he scored say over half, hardly a majority. More likely, the right wing Western Galicia came out to vote and the Russian speaking were discouraged. What would one expect when the new government first decree is to eliminate Russian as a second official language. Mind you a language spoken by the majority. Makes you think? Maybe. Probably not.

SHappens

"Personally I am a fan of the civilised, democratic intelligent way of deciding conflicts, but if we need to take up weapons then of course I will be ready,":lia Bereznikova, the ultimate fighting champion.

This quite illustrates Russians way of doing. Smart, open to dialogue and patient but dont mess with them for too long. Once on their horses nothing will stop them.

They are ready to fight against the anti Russian sentiment injected from outside citing Ukraine and Navalny-Soros, not against democracy.

"It is not acceptable for the minority to force its will upon the majority, as happened in Ukraine," he added. "Under the slogan of fighting for democracy there is instead total fear, total propaganda, and no freedom."

ploughmanlunch

After witnessing what happened during Maidan, and subsequently to Ukraine, I understand some Russians reluctance to see a similar scenario played out in Russia. That being: am also wary of vISISantism.

FlangeTube

"Pro-democracy" protests? They have democracy. They have an elected leader with a high approval rating. Stop trying twisting language, these people are not "pro-democracy" they are anti-Putin. That, as much as this paper tries to sell the idea, is not the same thing.

Drumming up odd-balls to defend the elected government in Russia is all well and good, but I would think the other 75% (the ones who like Putin, and aren't in biker gangs) should get a say too.

As for the anti-Maidan quotes - of course that was organised. Nuland:, for crying out loud. Kerry and others were there, Brennan was there. Of course the Western powers were partly involved. And it wasn't peaceful protests, it was violence directed against elected officials, throwing Molotov cocktails at policemen. It culminated in the burning alive of 40+ people in Odessa.

Sergei Konyushenko

Btw, Shaun is always very best at finding the most important issues to raise?

FallenKezef

It's an interesting point, what happened in the Ukraine was an undemocratic coup which was justified after the fact by an election once the previous incumbent was safely exiled.

Had that happened to a pro-western government we'd be crying foul. But because it happened to a pro-Russian government it's ok.

I don't blame Russians for wanting to avoid a repeat in their own country.

Spaceguy1 One

The Crimea referendum "15% for" myth - Human rights investigations. The idea that only 15% of Crimeans voted to join Russia is speeding around the internet after an article was published in Forbes magazine written by Professor Paul Roderick Gregory.

Professor Gregory has, dishonestly, arrived at his 15% figure by taking the minimum figure for Crimea for both turnout and for voters for union, calling them the maximum, and then ignoring Sevastopol. He has also pretended the report is based on the "real results," when it seems to be little more than the imprecise estimates of a small working group who were apparently against the idea of the referendum in the first place.

It appears that Professor Gregory is intent on deceiving his readers about the vote in Crimea and its legitimacy, probably as part of the widespread campaign to deny the people of Crimea their legitimate rights to self-determination and to demonize Russia in the process.

http://humanrightsinvestigations.org/2014/05/06/the-crimea-referendum-15-percent-for-myth/

vr13vr

This is not an unexpected result. EU and US governments are going out of way to stir people's opinion in the former Soviet republics. And they also set the precedent of conducting at least two "revolutions" by street violence in Ukraine and a dozen - elsewhere. There are obviously people in Russia who believe the changes have to be by discussion and voting not by street disturbance and stone throwing.

Beckow

Reduced to facts in the article, a group in Russia they will come out and protest in the streets if there are anti-government demonstrations. Their side also needs to be represented, since the protesters don't represent the majority.

That's all. What is so "undemocratic" about that? Or can only pro-Western people ever demonstrate? In a democracy a biker with a tattoo is equal to an urbane lawyer with Western connections. That's the way democracies should work.

About funding for Maidan protesters "for which there is no evidence". This is an interesting point. There were students from Lviv who were given "college credit" for being at Maidan. And how exactly have tens of thousands of mostly young men lived on streets in Kiev with food and clothes (even some weapons) with no support?

Isn't that a bit of circumstantial evidence that "somebody" supported them. I guess in this case we need to see the invoices, is that always the case or just when Russia issues are involved?

rezevici

Very sad news from Russia. If Putin or the government doesn't condemn this project of the "patriots", if he and government doesn't react against announcement of civilian militia's plan to use violence, I'll truly turn to observe Putin as a tsar.

The ethics of Russians will be on display.

Anette Mor -> rezevici

There are specific politicians who rejected participation in normal political process but chosen street riots instead. The door to politics is open, they can form parties and take part in elections. but then there is a need for a clear political and economical platform and patience to win over the votes. These people refuse to do so, They just want street riots. Several years public watch these groups and simply had enough. There is some edgy opposition which attracts minority but they play fair. Nobody against them protecting and demonstrating even when the call for revolutionary means for getting power, like communists or national-socialists. But these who got no program other than violent riots as such are not opposition.

They still have an agenda which they cannot openly display. So they attract public by spreading slander and rising tension. Nothing anti-democratic in forming a group of people who confront these actions. They are just another group taking part in very complex process.

PeraIlic

by Shaun Walker: "Maidan in Kiev did not appear just like that. Everyone was paid, everyone was paid to be there, was paid for every stone that was thrown, for every bottle thrown,":blin, echoing a frequently repeated Russian claim for which there is no evidence.

There is evidence, but also recognition from US officials. That at least is not a secret anymore.

Is the US training and funding the Ukraine opposition? Nuland herself claimed in December that the US had spent $5 billion since the 1990s on "democratization" programs in Ukraine. On what would she like us to believe the money had been spent?

We know that the US State Department invests heavily -- more than $100 million from 2008-2012 alone -- on international "Internet freedom" activities. This includes heavy State Department funding, for example, to the New Americas Foundation's...

...Commotion Project (sometimes referred to as the "Internet in a Suitcase"). This is an initiative from the New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative to build a mobile mesh network that can literally be carried around in a suitcase, to allow activists to continue to communicate even when a government tries to shut down the Internet, as happened in several Arab Spring countries during the recent uprisings.

Indeed, Shaun! On what would you like us to believe so much money had been spent?

RandolphHearst -> PeraIlic,

You antipathy against the author speaks volumes about the contents of his article.

susandbs12 , link

All of this stems from the stupid EU meddling in Ukraine. We shouldn't get involved in the EUs regime change agenda. Time to leave the EU.

And also time for us to not get involved in any wars.

daffyddw

Thank you, thank you all, you wonderful putin-bots. I haven't enjoyed a thread so much in ages. Bless you all, little brothers.

susandbs12 -> daffyddw

Putinbot = someone who has a different opinion to you.

Presumably you want a totalitarian state where only your views are legitimate.

Grow up and stop being childish and just accept that there are people who hold different views from you, so what?

LaAsotChayim

Pro democracy protests?? Would that be same protests that Kiev had where Neo-nazis burned unarmed police officers alive, or the ones in Syria when terrorists (now formed ISIS) where killing Government troops? Are these the pro-democracy protests (all financed via "US aid" implemented by CIA infiltrators) that the Guardian wants us to care about?

How about the reporting on the indiscriminate slaughter of Eastern Ukrainians by Kiev's government troops and Nazi battalions?? Hey, guardian??!!

Anette Mor -> Strummered

Democracy is overrated. It does not automatically ensure equality for minorities. In Russia with its 100 nationalities and all world religions simple straight forward majority rule does not bring any good.

A safety net is required. Benevolent dictator is one of the forms for such safety net. Putin fits well as he is fair and gained trust from all faith, nationalities and social groups. There are other mechanisms in Russia to ensure equality. Many of them came from USSR including low chamber of Russian parliament called Nationalities chamber. representation there is disproportional to the number of population but reflecting minorities voice - one sit per nation, no matter how big or small.

The system of different national administrative units for large and small and smallest nationalities depending how much of autonomic administration each can afford to manage. People in the West should stop preaching democracy. It is nothing but dictatorship of majority. That is why Middle East lost all its tolerance. Majority rules, minorities are suppressed.

kowalli -> Glenn J. Hill

US has a separate line in the budget to pay for such "democratic" protests

kowalli -> Glenn J. Hill

U.S. Embassy Grants Program. The U.S. Embassy Grants Program announces a competition for Russian non-governmental organizations to carry out specific projects.

http://moscow.usembassy.gov/democracy.html

and this is only one of them, many more in budget.

MartinArvay

pro-democracy protesters? like ISIL, Right Sector, UÇK? They are right

[Oct 22, 2015] Russia ready to use military intervention to defend Iran and Syria from Israeli, US and Nato attacks

So Russian position was know to US neocons since at least 2012 and still they push forward "regime change" in Syria.
Notable quotes:
"... Former Member of Russian Joint Chiefs of Staff Col.-Gen. Leonid Ivashov: Russia Is Ready to Use Military Power to Defend Iran and Syria; Attack on Syria or Iran Is Indirect Attack on Russia. ..."
February 23, 2012 | YouTube

Former Member of Russian Joint Chiefs of Staff Col.-Gen. Leonid Ivashov: Russia Is Ready to Use Military Power to Defend Iran and Syria; Attack on Syria or Iran Is Indirect Attack on Russia.

Falamu445 10 months ago

And what about China? Should China also seek to protect Iran and Syria with military force if they are attacked?

hudzz

Pakistan will be with Russia if they go to war with usa or isreal

Benny Morris 1 year ago

Good thing that arrogant America is going down. America has spent nearly 70 years being a nuisance to Russians. What a bunch of swine they are when they refuse to admit what the whole world has always known that it was the Soviet Union that won WW2 and America only did so in its dreams.

optionrider12 2 years ago in reply to Brian Hynes

No, you don't understand and I'm not going to fall for your quasi-Hegelian dialectic. Communism can be categorized as a utopia and you're kindly advised to find the definition of Utopia by yourself. Fair enough?

Tristan Xavier 1 year ago in reply to Kati Kati

I understand what you mean but I would never wish the horrors of war on anybody. Peace can be done in different ways. Both Americans and Russians should focus on the corrupted governments that they both possess. The previous generations had their time and they chose either to conform or neglect to the systems. Now we see the results. It's us that needs to stand up and stop this. Why are we going to war for governments that are currently at war with it's own people? N.D.A.A,S.O.P.A and drones etc

[Oct 22, 2015] The Secret History of U.S.-Iranian Relations

Notable quotes:
"... Should we invade Iran for the benefit of our foreign policy, for the benefit of our security interests? ..."
ftmdaily.com
Feb 22, 2012 | youtube.com

FTM (Jerry Robinson): Alright, well, joining me on the program today is Stephen Kinzer. He is an award-winning foreign correspondent who has worked in more than 50 countries. He has been a New York Times Bureau Chief in Istanbul, Berlin, and Nicaragua. He's the author of many books, including the best-selling book All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror.

He's also a professor of international relations at Boston University. My guest today is Stephen Kinzer. Stephen, thank you so much for joining me on Follow the Money Weekly Radio.

KINZER (Stephen Kinzer): Great to be with you.

FTM: I am looking at your book right now-at the Preface to the 2008 edition: "The Folly of Attacking Iran." And I would say, Stephen, that many of the people who are listening to the program today are…I don't want to assume that they're not familiar with the 1953 event, but I want to assume that perhaps they don't know as much about it as perhaps maybe they should. And especially now, as we take a look at the news cycle, we see that Iran is all over the news: talk about invasion; talk about stopping the nuclear program (whether it's even occurring or not is a debate). But the issue at hand right now is, "Should we invade Iran for the benefit of our foreign policy, for the benefit of our security interests?" And you have written a book here that really peels back the layers about this entire question. Why don't you begin by sharing with our audience why you wrote this book and why this topic is important to you?

KINZER: In the first place, you're right that that 2008 edition of the book, which was the new edition, contains this Foreword, "The Folly of Attacking Iran. Now, in the last couple of years, I've been looking at that new edition and thinking, "Boy, that's kind of out of date now." That was at the end of the Bush Administration when we were being really hyped up that Iran was a mortal threat to the rest of the world, but now that introduction is really kind of outdated. Boy, was I wrong! You're absolutely right that Iran has now emerged as the Number One foreign policy issue in this presidential campaign, as candidates flail around for foreign policy issues to beat each other over the head with, Iran really seems to rise to the top of the list. We are in a situation now where we're looking for a demon in the world. I think this is not just an American impulse, but in many countries, it's almost thought that if you don't have an enemy in the world, you should try to find one. It's a way to unite your population and give people a sense of common purpose.

So, you look around the world and pick some country that you want to turn into your enemy and inflate into a terrible, mortal threat to your own security. Iran seems to be filling that role right now. It's an odd situation, because in a sense, the world looks very different from Iran's point of view than it does from here. Iran has four countries in the immediate neighborhood that are armed with nuclear weapons. That's India, Pakistan, Russia, and Israel. Iran also has two countries on its borders that have been invaded and occupied by the United States: that is, Iraq and Afghanistan. So the idea that Iran might be a little unsure as to its defense and wants to make sure that it can build whatever it needs to protect itself doesn't seem so strange when you're sitting in Iran. But even more interesting than all that, when you're looking at differences between the way the world looks when you see it from the United States and the way it looks when you see it from Iran has to do with history.

Whenever I travel in the world, particularly when I travel to a country that I'm not familiar with, I like to ask myself one question: and that is, "How did this country get this way? So, why is this country rich and powerful?" Or, "Why is this country poor and miserable?" When I was traveling in Iran and getting to know Iran for the first time, I came to realize that there's a huge gap between what Iran should be based on its culture and history and size and the education of its people, and what it is. This is a country that has thousands of years of history. It was the first empire in history-the Persian Empire. It has produced a huge amount of culture over many centuries. Its people are highly educated. Nonetheless, it's isolated from the world; poor; unhappy. And I've always wondered on my first trips there why this was. What happened? And as I began to read more, and talk to Iranians, people told me, "We used to have a democracy here. But you Americans came over here and destroyed it. And ever since then, we've been spiraling down." So I decided, "I gotta find out what really happened. I need to find a book about what happened to Iranian democracy." And then I looked around and found there was no such book.

FTM: Wow.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/pW_Rbka6eZ8?rel=0

KINZER: I finally decided that if I was going to read that book, I was going to have to write it myself. And that's how All the Shah's Men came about.

FTM: Well, I would imagine that many in the listening audience would immediately take issue with some of the things that you've stated, and I want to hit those directly head-on. You state in your book some of the reasons why to attack Iran, at least, some of the reasons that are stated.

Number One: Iran wants to become a nuclear power, and that should not be allowed. Iran poses a threat to Israel. Iran sits at the heart of the emerging Shiite Crescent which threatens to destabilize the Middle East. Iran supports radical groups on nearby countries. Iran helps kill American soldiers in Iraq. Iran has ordered terror attacks in foreign countries. Iran's people are oppressed and need Americans to liberate them.

So there's a plethora of ideas as to why American invasion, or some other type of invasion into Iran would possibly be beneficial, not only to our security interests, but also to Iran's state of health so to speak, and bringing them liberty. So you made a good case against it. What do you say to those who say, "You're crazy, Stephen. We need to go over there; we cannot allow them to have a nuclear weapon.

KINZER: In the first place, we don't have any evidence that Iran is building a nuclear weapon; in fact, the International Atomic Energy Agency has made clear that it has never seen any such evidence, and those inspectors are all over those plants, the uranium is under seal, the seals are under constant video surveillance. It's not as urgent a problem as we're making it out to be.

Nonetheless, I would add a kind of larger perspective, and it's this. When you look at a map of the Middle East, one thing jumps right out at you and it is that Iran is the big country right in the middle. It's not possible to imagine a stable Middle East without including Iran. It's a little bit comparable to the situation that we faced after the end of World War II when there was tremendous anger at Germany for very good reasons.

There was a great move afoot (in fact, we actually followed this policy for a few months) to crush Germany. We were going to slice Germany into pieces, then we were going to forbid it from ever building another factory or industrial plant again. Fortunately, cooler minds prevailed. And we decided to take the opposite tactic. And that was to realize that this country, Germany, had been stirring up trouble in Europe for a hundred years or more, and that the way to prevent that cycle from continuing was not to isolate Germany and kick it and push it into a corner, but to integrate Germany into Europe, and to make it a provider of security rather than a consumer of security. That's what we need to do with Iran. Iran needs to be given a place at the table that's commensurate with its size, and its tradition, and its history, and its regional role.

Now, the United States doesn't want to do that because when Iran is at that table, it's not going to be saying things that are pro-American. It has an agenda that's different than ours. So we don't want it at the table. We want to crush Iran. It sounds like a tempting option, and in fact, if you could wave a wand and make the regime in Iran go away and make Iran be wonderfully friendly to the United States, I'd be all for that. But bombing Iran is likely to produce the opposite result.

First of all, one thing that really surprises me when I'm in Iran is how unbelievably pro-American the people of Iran are. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that there's no country in the world where the population is so pro-American as in Iran. I have been stopped on the streets by people who are practically shrieking when they find out I'm American and tell me how much they love the United States. You don't even get that in Canada! If we're smart, we're gonna realize that this is the Middle Eastern country with the most pro-American population. And this pro-American sentiment in Iran is a huge strategic asset for us going forward. If we liquidate that asset by bombing Iran, we will be greatly undermining our own strategic power. And this is a pattern we've been following in that part of the world for a long time.

The war in Iraq greatly eroded American strategic power. It had the opposite effect that we thought it would have. And this is the real object lesson that we need to keep in mind. When we intervene in countries, we have enough power to achieve our short-term goal, but then we go away; our attention goes to other places. And the resentment and the anger festers and burns in the hearts and minds and souls of people in these countries, and ultimately, we wind up with backlash that we never anticipated and we can't control. In this rush now in these last months to demonize Iran and set the groundwork for an attack on Iran, we are doing something that Americans, and maybe all human beings do too often, and that is: we think about the short term; we never think about the long-term effects of our interventions.

FTM: You open the book with a quote, a quintessential quote, which is kind of common for a book, and it's by President Harry Truman: "There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know." And I would probably say that most of us are obviously familiar with the history of September 11th, 2001, and I would go even further and perhaps say that we are familiar with the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and people may remember those days back in the Carter years. But your book goes back to 1953.

In the Preface of your book, you state that the 1953 intervention by the United States into Iran may be seen as a decisive turning point in the 20th Century history from our perspective today. Now I don't know how many people in our listening audience know what happened in 1953. What event are you referring to, and why is it important to what's happening today?

http://www.youtube.com/embed/H8ybj5KULmA?rel=0

KINZER: For most Americans, the history of U.S.-Iran relations begins and ends with the Hostage Crisis. That's all we know, and we know that everything went bad since then. But Iranians don't think that way. For them, the Hostage Crisis is just one of a number of incidents that have happened over the past 50 years. For them, the key moment in the history of U.S.-Iran relations came in 1953. This is an episode that completely defines Iranian history and the Iran-United States relationship. Yet, many people in the United States are not even aware this happened.

Very briefly, this is the story (and I tell it in much more detail in my book): In the period after World War II, Iranian democracy, which had come about at the beginning of the 20th Century through a revolution against a corrupt monarchy, really began to take form. It took on a reality. You had elections; competing parties; parliament. This was something that had not been seen in any Muslim country. So, Iran was truly in the vanguard of democracy. But, because Iran was a democracy, it elected a leader who represented the public will-not the will of outside powers. In Iran, there was one obsession. Iran is sitting, as we know, on an ocean of oil. But all through the 1920's and '30's and '40's, that oil was completely controlled by one British company.

The entire standard of living in Britain all during that period was based on oil from Iran, since Britain has no oil or any colonies that have any oil. Meanwhile, people in Iran were living in some of the most miserable conditions of anyone in the world. Once they had a democracy, they elected a leader, Mohammad Mosaddegh, who, as prime minister, proceeded to pass a bill in congress in which Iran nationalized its oil industry. This sent the British into a panic. They tried all kinds of things to crush Mosaddegh. Finally, when he closed their embassy and chased out all their diplomats, including all the secret agents who were trying to overthrow him, the British decided, "We're going to ask the Americans to do this for us." So, Churchill asked President Truman to "do this for us. Please go over to Iran and overthrow this guy who took away our oil company. And Truman said, "No." But then, a few years later, when Dwight Eisenhower became president, and John Foster Dulles became Secretary of State, and his brother, Allen Dulles, became Director of the CIA, things changed.

The United States decided that we would work with the British to overthrow Mosaddegh -mainly because he was challenging the fundamentals of corporate globablism, the principle that international companies should be allowed to function all over the world according to conditions that they considered fair. Mosaddegh was saying, "No, we are going to determine the conditions under which foreign companies can function in our country." As a result, the United States sent a team CIA agents into Iran. They went to work in the basement of the American Embassy. They threw Iran into total chaos, and that chaos finally resulted in the overthrow of the Mosaddegh government. That put the Shah back on his peacock throne; he ruled with increasing oppression for 25 years; his repressive rule produced the explosion of the late 1970's, what we call "The Islamic Revolution"; that brought the power, this clique of fanatically anti-American mullahs who are in power now. So, when you do what they call in the CIA "walking back the cat," when you walk back the cat, that is, to see what happened before, and before, and before, you come to realize that the American role in crushing Iranian democracy in 1953 was not only the defining event in the history of U.S.-Iran relations, but it set Iran in the Middle East into turmoil from which it has never recovered.

FTM: In 1953, in the book you point out that democracy was beginning to take root there.

KINZER: It's a remarkable story. This, as I said, is something that had never happened in a Muslim country before. Iran is a remarkable country; very different from the other countries in the Middle East. And I'm not sure that people in the United States realize this. Most of the countries in the Middle East are what you might call "fake countries." They're made-up countries that were invented by some British or French diplomat drawing lines on a map at some men's club after World War I.

Iran is not a fake country by any means. It has lived for thousands of years within more or less the same boundaries, with more or less the same language, and the same kind of population. It's a country with a deep, rich culture and very strong sense of itself. We are treating Iran as if it's Honduras or Barundi or some little place where we can just go and kick sand in people's face and they'll do whatever we want. Iran is not a country like that. And, given its size, and its location, you see that that region will never be stable as long as Iran is angry and ostracized. The only way to stabilize that part of the world is to build a security architecture in which Iran has a place.

The world needs a big security concession from Iran. The world also needs big security concessions from Israel. But countries only make security concessions when they feel safe. Therefore, it should be in interest of those who want stability in the Middle East to try to help every country in the region feel safe. But our goal in the Middle East isn't really stability; it's "stability under our rule…under our dominance." And we realize that when Iran emerges as a strong, proud, independent, democratic country, it's not gonna be so friendly to the United States. So I think there is some feeling that "we prefer it this way" being poor and isolated and unhappy.

FTM: I was looking at a map the other day of the Middle East, just noticing the U.S. military bases in the Middle East, and Iran, if you look at it very objectively, and take a look at the Middle East military base map, you'll discover that Iran is completely surrounded. And as you mentioned, there are four other nations in their general vicinity that have nuclear weapons, and it seems as if pretty much the only way to keep the United States away from your country if you aren't playing by their rules is to have a nuclear weapon. So logically, it does seem to make sense that the Iranians are perhaps seeking a nuclear weapon, but what you point out here again in your book is that the program, to have a nuclear program, was first proposed by the United States to Iran back in the 1970's.

KINZER: We thought it was a great idea for Iran to have a nuclear program-when it was run by a regime that was responsive to Washington. Now that it's a different kind of regime, we don't like this idea. You're absolutely right about the lessons that Iran has drawn about the value of having a nuclear weapon, or the ability to make a nuclear weapon, based on what's happened in the world. Why did the United States attack Iraq, but not attack North Korea? I think it's quite obvious: if North Korea didn't have a nuclear weapon, we would have crushed them already; and if Sadaam did have a nuclear weapon, we probably never would have invaded that country.

An even more vivid example is Libya. We managed to persuade Gaddafi to give up his nuclear program; as soon as he did that, we came in and killed him. I think that the Iranians are acutely aware of this. They would like, if I'm gonna guess, to have the ability to put together a nuclear deterrent, a nuclear weapon-something like Japan has. Japan has something that is in the nuclear business called a "screwdriver weapon." They're not allowed to have nuclear weapons, but they have the pieces and the parts around, so that in a matter of weeks, they could probably put one together. Now, we hear a lot about how the Israelis are terrified that as soon as Iran gets a nuclear weapon, it's gonna bomb Israel. But, in fact, as people in the Israeli security establishment have made clear, none of them really believe that. They fear the Iranian nuclear weapon for a couple of other reasons.

One is, that as Israel well-knows, when you have a nuclear weapon, you don't need to use it. It gives you a certain power; a certain authority. You can intimidate people around you. And second, of course, if there's another nuclear power in that region, it's going to set off perhaps another nuclear race, and other countries like Turkey or Saudi Arabia or Egypt would want to have nuclear weapons, too. But when the Iranians look around, I think the first country they see (and I've heard this from a number of Iranians) is Pakistan. Pakistan is a far more volatile and far more dangerous country than Iran. We have serious Taliban/al-Qaeda types not only running around in Pakistan, but doing so under the egious of the government and they have a prospective to take over that government! This is not going to happen in Iran. Pakistan is far more volatile, yet the United States thought that is was fine that Pakistan should have a nuclear weapon. I'm against all countries having nuclear weapons.

I'd like to see all countries that have them abandon them, and I don't want any more countries to get them. But that's a dream world. The fact is, the most that we can do by attacking Iran (as our own Defense Secretary has said) is to postpone the day when Iran has a nuclear weapon, and in the process, make them a lot angrier. The way to reduce this danger is to build a security system in the Middle East where people don't feel the need to be threatening each other. But that requires dialogue, and dialogue requires compromise, and the United States is not ready to compromise with Iran.

FTM: Interesting. And that's where I want to take this in conclusion: What does that look like? Because obviously, the goal of your book here is to see some sort of peace reached. I mean, no one wants to see war. But the Middle East obviously is just an issue that has been debated for a long time. There are all kinds of geopolitical reasons for being involved in the Middle East-namely, oil. But predominantly, as we look at all of this, the question really boils down to this: What are we going to do? If we don't bomb Iran, then how do we prevent them from potentially becoming an explosive nation in that region? You say "security system" over there and also "dialogue." If you were President, what would you do? How do you start that process?

KINZER: The first place, we have never really tried serious diplomatic overtures to Iran. We've got some of our most senior retired diplomats in the United States now who are chafing at the bit to be sent to Iran. People like Thomas Pickering, who was George Bush's ambassador to the United Nations and ambassador to Moscow, and William Lords, another titan of 20th Century diplomacy. These are people who are itching to go to Iran and see what they can do. We have not even asked Iran the fundamental question, "What would it take from us for you to do what we would like you to do with your nuclear program?"

Forget about deciding whether we want to do it or not; we don't even know what the quid pro quo would be! So, we need first to get into a mindset where we're willing to have a real dialogue on an equal basis with Iran. We are not at that point. We feel that any dialogue with them is only going to legitimize their position in the Middle East and is going to make them feel that they're a powerful country, because we will be making concessions to them-that's what you do when you have negotiated solutions. But the fact is, Iran already is a powerful country. It doesn't need us to legitimize it. We need to understand that in dealing with Iran, we're not going to get everything we want. And we are going to have to concede Iran a measure of power in that region that's commensurate with its size, and its history, and its location. We're not even at that point yet. I think that's the first step. We have to make a psychological transition to realize that we're not going to be able to dictate to Iran if we want to reach a peaceful settlement. We're going to have to compromise. We're going to have to accept some things that Iran wants in order to get things that we want. Before we even get to the point of figuring out what those would be, we need to get over that psychological, political, diplomatic hurdle. And we haven't done that yet.

FTM: My guest today has been Stephen Kinzer. He's the author of the book All the Shah's Men. Very enlightening stuff; very illuminating. Stephen, if the folks would like to learn more about you and your work, how can they do so?

KINZER: I've got a website: stephenkinzer.com. My books are all available on that mass website that I don't want to advertise that it's named after a giant river in South America.

FTM: (laughter)

KINZER: But if you want to support your local independent bookstore, I'm sure it would be happy to order All the Shah's Men for you or any of my other books.

FTM: Very good, Stephen. Thank you so much for coming on our program today, Stephen.

KINZER: It was a great pleasure. Thank you.

(Audio Transcript - Saturday, February 11, 2012)

[Oct 19, 2015] The Banksters and American Foreign Policy by Justin Raimondo

Notable quotes:
"... But bankers are inherently inclined toward statism. ..."
"... , engaged as they are in unsound fractional reserve credit, are, in the free market, always teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Hence they are always reaching for government aid and bailout. ..."
"... Both sets of bankers, then, tend to be tied in with government policy, and try to influence and control government actions in domestic and foreign affairs. ..."
"... Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy ..."
"... The great turning point of American foreign policy came in the early 1890s, during the second Cleveland Administration. It was then that the U.S. turned sharply and permanently from a foreign policy of peace and non-intervention to an aggressive program of economic and political expansion abroad. At the heart of the new policy were America's leading bankers, eager to use the country's growing economic strength to subsidize and force-feed export markets and investment outlets that they would finance, as well as to guarantee Third World government bonds. The major focus of aggressive expansion in the 1890s was Latin America, and the principal Enemy to be dislodged was Great Britain, which had dominated foreign investments in that vast region. ..."
"... In a notable series of articles in 1894, ..."
"... set the agenda for the remainder of the decade. Its conclusion: if 'we could wrest the South American markets from Germany and England and permanently hold them, this would be indeed a conquest worth perhaps a heavy sacrifice.' ..."
"... Long-time Morgan associate Richard Olney heeded the call, as Secretary of State from 1895 to 1897, setting the U.S. on the road to Empire. After leaving the State Department, he publicly summarized the policy he had pursued. The old isolationism heralded by George Washington's Farewell Address is over, he thundered. The time has now arrived, Olney declared, when 'it behooves us to accept the commanding position… among the Power of the earth.' And, 'the present crying need of our commercial interests,' he added, 'is more markets and larger markets' for American products, especially in Latin America.' ..."
July 15, 2011 | Antiwar.com

In a free economy, the banks that invested trillions in risky mortgages and other fool's gold would have taken the hit. Instead, however, what happened is that the American taxpayers took the hit, paid the bill, and cleaned up their mess – and were condemned to suffer record unemployment, massive foreclosures, and the kind of despair that kills the soul.

How did this happen? There are two versions of this little immorality tale, one coming from the "left" and the other from the "right" (the scare-quotes are there for a reason, which I'll get to in a moment or two).

The "left" version goes something like this:

The evil capitalists, in league with their bought-and-paid for cronies in government, destroyed and looted the economy until there was nothing left to steal. Then, when their grasping hands had reached the very bottom of the treasure chest, they dialed 911 and the emergency team (otherwise known as the US Congress) came to their rescue, doling out trillions to the looters and leaving the rest of America to pay the bill.

The "right" version goes something like the following:

Politically connected Wall Streeters, in league with their bought-and-paid-for cronies in government, destroyed and looted the economy until there was nothing left to steal. Then, when their grasping hands had reached the very bottom of the treasure chest, they dialed BIG-GOV-HELP and the feds showed up with the cash.

The first thing one notices about these two analyses, taken side by side, is their similarity: yes, the "left" blames the free market, and the "right" blames Big Government, but when you get past the blame game their descriptions of what actually happened look like veritable twins. And as much as I agree with the "right" about their proposed solution – a radical cut in government spending – it is the "left" that has the most accurate analysis of who's to blame.

It is, of course, the big banks – the recipients of bailout loot, the ones who profited (and continue to profit) from the economic catastrophe that has befallen us.

During the 1930s, the so-called Red Decade, no leftist agitprop was complete without a cartoon rendering of the top-hatted capitalist with his foot planted firmly on the throat of the proletariat (usually depicted as a muscular-but-passive male in chains). That imagery, while crude, is largely correct – an astonishing statement, I know, coming from an avowed libertarian and "reactionary," no less. Yet my leftist pals, and others with a superficial knowledge of libertarianism, will be even more surprised that the founder of the modern libertarian movement, also an avowed (and proud) "reactionary," agreed with me (or, rather, I with him):

"Businessmen or manufacturers can either be genuine free enterprisers or statists; they can either make their way on the free market or seek special government favors and privileges. They choose according to their individual preferences and values. But bankers are inherently inclined toward statism.

"Commercial bankers, engaged as they are in unsound fractional reserve credit, are, in the free market, always teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Hence they are always reaching for government aid and bailout.

"Investment bankers do much of their business underwriting government bonds, in the United States and abroad. Therefore, they have a vested interest in promoting deficits and in forcing taxpayers to redeem government debt. Both sets of bankers, then, tend to be tied in with government policy, and try to influence and control government actions in domestic and foreign affairs."

That's Murray N. Rothbard, the great libertarian theorist and economist, in his classic monograph Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy. If you want a lesson in the real motivations behind our foreign policy of global intervention, starting at the very dawn of the American empire, you have only to read this fascinating treatise. The essence of it is this: the very rich have stayed very rich in what would otherwise be a dynamic and ever-changing economic free-for-all by securing government favors, enjoying state-granted monopolies, and using the US military as their private security guards. Conservatives who read Rothbard's short book will never look at the Panama Canal issue in the same light again. Lefties will come away from it marveling at how closely the libertarian Rothbard comes to echoing the old Marxist aphorism that the government is the "executive committee of the capitalist class."

Rothbard's account of the course of American foreign policy as the history of contention between the Morgan interests, the Rockefellers, and the various banking "families," who dealt primarily in buying and selling government bonds, is fascinating stuff, and it illuminates a theme common to both left and right commentators: that the elites are manipulating the policy levers to ensure their own economic interests unto eternity.

In normal times, political movements are centered around elaborate ideologies, complex narratives that purport to explain what is wrong and how to fix it. They have their heroes, and their villains, their creation myths and their dystopian visions of a dark future in store if we don't heed their call to revolution (or restoration, depending on whether they're hailing from the "left" or the "right").

You may have noticed, however, that these are not normal times: we're in a crisis of epic proportions, not only an economic crisis but also a cultural meltdown in which our social institutions are collapsing, and with them longstanding social norms. In such times, ideological categories tend to break down, and we've seen this especially in the foreign policy realm, where both the "extreme" right and the "extreme" left are calling for what the elites deride as "isolationism." On the domestic front, too, the "right" and "left" views of what's wrong with the country are remarkably alike, as demonstrated above. Conservatives and lefties may have different solutions, but they have, I would argue, a common enemy: the banksters.

This characterization of the banking industry as the moral equivalent of gangsters has its proponents on both sides of the political spectrum, and today that ideological convergence is all but complete, with only "centrists" and self-described pragmatists dissenting. What rightists and leftists have in common, in short, is a very powerful enemy – and that's all a mass political movement needs to get going.

In normal times, this wouldn't be enough: but, as I said above, these most assuredly aren't normal times. The crisis lends urgency to a process that has been developing – unfolding, if you will – for quite some time, and that is the evolution of a political movement that openly disdains the "left" and "right" labels, and homes in on the main danger to liberty and peace on earth: the state-privileged banking system that is now foreclosing on America.

This issue is not an abstraction: we see it being played out on the battlefield of the debt ceiling debate. Because, after all, who will lose and who will win if the debt ceiling isn't raised? The losers will be the bankers who buy and sell government bonds, i.e. those who finance the War Machine that is today devastating much of the world. My leftie friends might protest that these bonds also finance Social Security payments, and I would answer that they need to grow a spine: President Obama's threat that Social Security checks may not go out after the August deadline is, like everything out that comes out of his mouth, a lie. The government has the money to pay on those checks: this is just his way of playing havoc with the lives of American citizens, a less violent but nonetheless just as evil version of the havoc he plays with the lives of Afghans, Pakistanis, and Libyans every day.

This isn't about Social Security checks: it's about an attempt to reinflate the bubble of American empire, which has been sagging of late, and keep the government printing presses rolling. For the US government, unlike a private entity, can print its way out of debt – or, these days, by simply adding a few zeroes to the figures on a computer screen. A central bank, owned by "private" individuals, controls this process: it is called the Federal Reserve. And the Fed has been the instrument of the banksters from its very inception [.pdf], at the turn of the 19th century – not coincidentally, roughly the time America embarked on its course of overseas empire.

There is a price to be paid, however, for this orgy of money-printing: the degradation, or cheapening, of the dollar. Most of us suffer on account of this policy: the only beneficiaries are those who receive those dollars first, before it trickles down to the rest of us. The very first to receive them are, of course, the bankers, but there's another class of business types who benefit, and those are the exporters, whose products are suddenly competitive with cheaper foreign goods. This has been a major driving force behind US foreign policy, as Rothbard points out:

"The great turning point of American foreign policy came in the early 1890s, during the second Cleveland Administration. It was then that the U.S. turned sharply and permanently from a foreign policy of peace and non-intervention to an aggressive program of economic and political expansion abroad. At the heart of the new policy were America's leading bankers, eager to use the country's growing economic strength to subsidize and force-feed export markets and investment outlets that they would finance, as well as to guarantee Third World government bonds. The major focus of aggressive expansion in the 1890s was Latin America, and the principal Enemy to be dislodged was Great Britain, which had dominated foreign investments in that vast region.

"In a notable series of articles in 1894, Bankers' Magazine set the agenda for the remainder of the decade. Its conclusion: if 'we could wrest the South American markets from Germany and England and permanently hold them, this would be indeed a conquest worth perhaps a heavy sacrifice.'

"Long-time Morgan associate Richard Olney heeded the call, as Secretary of State from 1895 to 1897, setting the U.S. on the road to Empire. After leaving the State Department, he publicly summarized the policy he had pursued. The old isolationism heralded by George Washington's Farewell Address is over, he thundered. The time has now arrived, Olney declared, when 'it behooves us to accept the commanding position… among the Power of the earth.' And, 'the present crying need of our commercial interests,' he added, 'is more markets and larger markets' for American products, especially in Latin America.'"

The face of the Enemy has long since changed, and Britain is our partner in a vast mercantilist enterprise, but the mechanics and motivation behind US foreign policy remain very much the same. You'll note that the Libyan "rebels," for example, set up a Central Bank right off the bat, even before ensuring their military victory over Gadhafi – and who do you think is going to be selling (and buying) those Libyan "government" bonds? It sure as heck won't be Joe Sixpack: it's the same Wall Streeters who issued an ultimatum to the Tea Party, via Moody's, that they'll either vote to raise the debt ceiling or face the consequences.

But what are those consequences – and who will feel their impact the most?

It's the bankers who will take the biggest hit if US bonds are downgraded: the investment bankers, who invested in such a dodgy enterprise as the US government, whose "full faith and credit" isn't worth the paper it's printed on. In a free market, these losers would pay the full price of their bad business decisions – in our crony-capitalist system, however, they win.

They win because they have the US government behind them - and because their strategy of degrading the dollar will reap mega-profits from American exporters, whose overseas operations they are funding. The "China market," and the rest of the vast undeveloped stretches of the earth that have yet to develop a taste for iPads and Lady Gaga, all this and more will be open to them as long as the dollar continues to fall.

That this will cripple the buying power of the average American, and raise the specter of hyper-inflation, matters not one whit of difference to the corporate and political elites that control our destiny: for with the realization of their vision of a World Central Bank, in which a new global currency controlled by them can be printed to suit their needs, they will be set free from all earthly constraints, or so they believe.

With America as the world policeman and the world banker – in alliance with our European satellites – the Washington elite can extend their rule over the entire earth. It's true we won't have much to show for it, here in America: with the dollar destroyed, we'll lose our economic primacy, and be subsumed into what George Herbert Walker Bush called the "New World Order." Burdened with defending the corporate profits of the big banks and exporters abroad, and also with bailing them out on the home front when their self-created bubbles burst, the American people will see a dramatic drop in their standard of living – our sacrifice to the gods of "internationalism." That's what they mean when they praise the new "globalized" economy.

Yet the American people don't want to be sacrificed, either to corporate gods or some desiccated idol of internationalism, and they are getting increasingly angry – and increasing savvy when it comes to identifying the source of their troubles.

This brings us to the prospects for a left-right alliance, both short term and in the long run. In the immediate future, the US budget crisis could be considerably alleviated if we would simply end the wars started by George W. Bush and vigorously pursued by his successor. Aside from that, how many troops do we still have in Europe – more than half a century after World War II? How many in Korea – long after the Korean war? Getting rid of all this would no doubt provide enough savings to ensure that those Social Security checks go out – but that's a bargain Obama will never make.

All those dollars, shipped overseas, enrich the military-industrial complex and their friends, the exporters – and drain the very life blood out of the rest of us. Opposition to this policy ought to be the basis of a left-right alliance, a movement to bring America home and put America first.

In the long term, there is the basis for a more comprehensive alliance: the de-privileging of the banking sector, which cemented its rule with the establishment of the Federal Reserve. That, however, is a topic too complex to be adequately covered in a single column, and so I'll just leave open the intriguing possibility.

"Left" and "right" mean nothing in the current context: the real division is between government-privileged plutocrats and the rest of us. What you have to ask yourself is this: which side are you on?

[Oct 18, 2015] A journal of the Ukrainian National Academy of Science publishes the truth about Donbass. Panic ensues

Notable quotes:
"... Huge amounts of money were spread around in it, and not just those Nuland cookies ... Its main participants were outcasts from across the country, who, in fact, had nothing to lose. The outcasts very much wanted to take the property not just from Donetskis , but also from Kievskis , Lvivskis , Rivnenskis and others, wrote, in particular, the author of the scientific publication. ..."
"... Today, the population of Donbass en masse is being systematically, and brutally destroyed by the Armed Forces and the National Guard of Ukraine, including through means and methods of warfare that are prohibited by international law ..."
Fort Russ
Enrique Ferro's insight:

"Today, the population of Donbass en masse is being systematically, and brutally destroyed by the Armed Forces and the National Guard of Ukraine, including through means and methods of warfare that are prohibited by international law," - wrote A. Lopata.

... ... ...

According to the scientist, this revolution was nothing more than a coup.

"Huge amounts of money were spread around in it, and not just those Nuland cookies ... Its main participants were outcasts from across the country, who, in fact, had nothing to lose. The outcasts very much wanted to take the property not just from "Donetskis", but also from "Kievskis", "Lvivskis", "Rivnenskis" and others," wrote, in particular, the author of the scientific publication.

In addition, Lopata qualified the war in the Donbass as the genocide of the people in the east of the country by the army of Ukraine. "Today, the population of Donbass en masse is being systematically, and brutally destroyed by the Armed Forces and the National Guard of Ukraine, including through means and methods of warfare that are prohibited by international law," - wrote A. Lopata.

The author also points out that "the authorities of the country have made a decision to urgently direct the entire Maidan "fuel" material to Eastern Ukraine;" and that "there is no aggression of Russia against Ukraine, but instead there is a US war with Russia in Donbass "to the last Ukrainian."

[Oct 18, 2015] Irrational Unrequited Love of Ukrainians for the West

This is how neocolonialism works: "global village' wants to move to "global town", while global town mercilessly exploits it.
Notable quotes:
"... There is also an important factor: several million Ukrainians work in Russia and in Europe. Comparing, they see that life in the European Union is more comfortable. And this also affects their geopolitical preferences . Finally, most of the residents of Ukraine, especially in the center and the west of the country perceived the reunion of the Crimea with the Russian Federation as an occupation of part of their country. And in relation to the events in Donbass the propaganda has convinced many people that it was not a rebellion against the new regime in Kiev, but Russia's aggression. Unfortunately, revanchist sentiments towards our country in Ukraine can last for a long time. I would even say that it is impossible to exclude the possibility of war between Russia and Ukraine. At least today it is bigger than zero. And even 2 years ago this assumption might seem an absurd fantasy. ..."
"... Yes, there are still strong illusions of average Ukrainians in relation to Europe. Many people think that joining the EU and NATO would quickly help Ukraine improve the living standards of the population, to solve social problems and so on. Others, more realistically minded Ukrainians, think like this: yes, we know that Europe will not solve our problems, but we have no other choice. Now, Russia, if not an enemy, is at least an unfriendly state. And they do not believe in the economic prospects of the alliance with us. ..."
"... public consciousness in Ukraine is largely irrational. Ive already talked about the persisting illusions of Ukrainian men from the street. It seems to him that only the West is able to protect Ukraine from the Russian aggression . This explains such a persistent and irrational focus on Europe. ..."
"... it seems to me that the real percentage of Ukrainians who are in favor of strengthening cooperation with Russia on the territories controlled by Kiev is not much higher than what was revealed by the survey. ..."
Oct 15, 2015 | Fort Russ
Most citizens of "independent" Ukraine are disappointed with Maidan, but they still believe in Europe

The public consciousness in Ukraine continues to amaze with its irrationality. This is confirmed by the poll conducted by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).

Despite the fact that the majority of Ukrainians acknowledge that Euromaidan did not meet their expectations, a dominant sentiment in Ukraine is in favor of the pro-Western geopolitical course.

49% of respondents are of the opinion that Ukraine should better strive to deepen relations with Europe, while the percentage of those who prefer a closer relationship with Russia is only 8%.

At the same time 56% of Ukrainians believe that the country is moving in the wrong direction, and only 20% hold the opposite opinion. The notion that the country is moving in the wrong direction is spread across the country and is shared by the majority of citizens in each region.

The survey was conducted on the territory of Ukraine, controlled by the Kiev government, without regard to the views of some four million people living in the LPR and the DPR.

It would seem that in the last eighteen months Europe has demonstrated that it is in no hurry to recognize Ukraine as its "own". Western aid is given precisely in those volumes that prevent the final collapse of Ukraine's statehood. At the same time, due to the influx of Western goods and severance of economic ties with Russia hundreds of Ukrainian enterprises are closed. The latest news in this regard: in Ukraine it has become unprofitable to produce even sugar leading to the closing of 15 sugar mills.

The situation in the post-Maidan economy of Ukraine is much worse, however it has not affected the unrequited love of Ukrainians to the West. Why is this the case and what will be the outcome?

- We must understand that the process of Ukraine's reorientation to the West began long before the Maidan, - says the Head of the Center for Political Research of the Institute of Economics, Head of the Department of International Relations of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Federation Boris Shmelev. - For a quarter century that has passed since the collapse of the Soviet Union, more than one generation of Ukrainians has grown who are convinced that it is necessary not to be friends with Russia, but with Europe. That only this friendship with the West will ensure the prosperity of Ukraine.

There is also an important factor: several million Ukrainians work in Russia and in Europe. Comparing, they see that life in the European Union is more comfortable. And this also affects their "geopolitical preferences". Finally, most of the residents of Ukraine, especially in the center and the west of the country perceived the reunion of the Crimea with the Russian Federation as an occupation of part of their country. And in relation to the events in Donbass the propaganda has convinced many people that it was not a rebellion against the new regime in Kiev, but Russia's aggression. Unfortunately, revanchist sentiments towards our country in Ukraine can last for a long time. I would even say that it is impossible to exclude the possibility of war between Russia and Ukraine. At least today it is bigger than zero. And even 2 years ago this assumption might seem an absurd fantasy.

"SP": - Why a year and a half since the "February coup" have not convinced Ukrainians that the EU is not going to make Ukraine a member state and that the West is helping Kiev only to the extent that the pro-Western regime does not collapse?

- Yes, there are still strong illusions of average Ukrainians in relation to Europe. Many people think that joining the EU and NATO would quickly help Ukraine improve the living standards of the population, to solve social problems and so on. Others, more realistically minded Ukrainians, think like this: yes, we know that Europe will not solve our problems, but we have no other choice. Now, Russia, if not an enemy, is at least an unfriendly state. And they do not believe in the economic prospects of the alliance with us.

"SP": - But it is impossible to escape the logic: as long as Ukraine maintained relatively good relations with Russia, the situation in the Ukrainian economy was more or less tolerable. And as soon as Kiev finally turned towards the West, the economy began to crumble ...

- All this is true. But public consciousness in Ukraine is largely irrational. I've already talked about the persisting illusions of Ukrainian men from the street. It seems to him that only the West is able to protect Ukraine from the "Russian aggression". This explains such a persistent and irrational focus on Europe.

"SP": - And can we explain such a low percentage of Russian sympathizers by the fact that some respondents, especially in the South-East of Ukraine are afraid to openly express their opinions?

- Yes, it is possible. Although, it seems to me that the real percentage of Ukrainians who are in favor of strengthening cooperation with Russia on the territories controlled by Kiev is not much higher than what was revealed by the survey.

[Oct 12, 2015] The Tragic Ending To Obama's Bay Of Pigs: CIA Hands Over Syria To Russia

One week ago, when summarizing the current state of play in Syria, we said that for Obama, "this is shaping up to be the most spectacular US foreign policy debacle since Vietnam." Yesterday, in tacit confirmation of this assessment, the Obama administration threw in the towel on one of the most contentious programs it has implemented in "fighting ISIS", when the Defense Department announced it was abandoning the goal of a U.S.-trained Syrian force.

But this, so far, partial admission of failure only takes care of one part of Obama's problem: there is the question of the "other" rebels supported by the US, those who are not part of the officially-disclosed public program with the fake goal of fighting ISIS; we are talking, of course, about the nearly 10,000 CIA-supported "other rebels", or technically mercenaries, whose only task is to take down Assad.

The same "rebels" whose fate the AP profiles today when it writes that the CIA began a covert operation in 2013 to arm, fund and train a moderate opposition to Assad. Over that time, the CIA has trained an estimated 10,000 fighters, although the number still fighting with so-called moderate forces is unclear.

The effort was separate from the one run by the military, which trained militants willing to promise to take on IS exclusively. That program was widely considered a failure, and on Friday, the Defense Department announced it was abandoning the goal of a U.S.-trained Syrian force, instead opting to equip established groups to fight IS.

It is this effort, too, that in the span of just one month Vladimir Putin has managed to render utterly useless, as it is officially "off the books" and thus the US can't formally support these thousands of "rebel-fighters" whose only real task was to repeat the "success" of Ukraine and overthrow Syria's legitimate president: something which runs counter to the US image of a dignified democracy not still resorting to 1960s tactics of government overthrow. That, and coupled with Russia and Iran set to take strategic control of Syria in the coming months, the US simply has no toehold any more in the critical mid-eastern nation.

And so another sad chapter in the CIA's book of failed government overthrows comes to a close, leaving the "rebels" that the CIA had supported for years, to fend for themselves.

From AP:

CIA-backed rebels in Syria, who had begun to put serious pressure on President Bashar Assad's forces, are now under Russian bombardment with little prospect of rescue by their American patrons, U.S. officials say.

Over the past week, Russia has directed parts of its air campaign against U.S.-funded groups and other moderate opposition in a concerted effort to weaken them, the officials say. The Obama administration has few options to defend those it had secretly armed and trained.

The Russians "know their targets, and they have a sophisticated capacity to understand the battlefield situation," said Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., who serves on the House Intelligence Committee and was careful not to confirm a classified program. "They are bombing in locations that are not connected to the Islamic State" group.

... ... ..

Incidentally, this is just the beginning. Now that the U.S. has begun its pivot out of the middle-east, handing it over to Putin as Russia's latest sphere of influence on a silver platter, there will be staggering consequences for middle-east geopolitics. In out preview of things to come last week, we concluded by laying these out; we will do the same again:

The US, in conjunction with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, attempted to train and support Sunni extremists to overthrow the Assad regime. Some of those Sunni extremists ended up going crazy and declaring a Medeival caliphate putting the Pentagon and Langley in the hilarious position of being forced to classify al-Qaeda as "moderate." The situation spun out of control leading to hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths and when Washington finally decided to try and find real "moderates" to help contain the Frankenstein monster the CIA had created in ISIS (there were of course numerous other CIA efforts to arm and train anti-Assad fighters, see below for the fate of the most "successful" of those groups), the effort ended up being a complete embarrassment that culminated with the admission that only "four or five" remained and just days after that admission, those "four or five" were car jacked by al-Qaeda in what was perhaps the most under-reported piece of foreign policy comedy in history.

Meanwhile, Iran sensed an epic opportunity to capitalize on Washington's incompetence. Tehran then sent its most powerful general to Russia where a pitch was made to upend the Mid-East balance of power. The Kremlin loved the idea because after all, Moscow is stinging from Western economic sanctions and Vladimir Putin is keen on showing the West that, in the wake of the controversy surrounding the annexation of Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Russia isn't set to back down. Thanks to the fact that the US chose extremists as its weapon of choice in Syria, Russia gets to frame its involvement as a "war on terror" and thanks to Russia's involvement, Iran gets to safely broadcast its military support for Assad just weeks after the nuclear deal was struck. Now, Russian airstrikes have debilitated the only group of CIA-backed fighters that had actually proven to be somewhat effective and Iran and Hezbollah are preparing a massive ground invasion under cover of Russian air support. Worse still, the entire on-the-ground effort is being coordinated by the Iranian general who is public enemy number one in Western intelligence circles and he's effectively operating at the behest of Putin, the man that Western media paints as the most dangerous person on the planet.

As incompetent as the US has proven to be throughout the entire debacle, it's still difficult to imagine that Washington, Riyadh, London, Doha, and Jerusalem are going to take this laying down and on that note, we close with our assessment from Thursday: "If Russia ends up bolstering Iran's position in Syria (by expanding Hezbollah's influence and capabilities) and if the Russian air force effectively takes control of Iraq thus allowing Iran to exert a greater influence over the government in Baghdad, the fragile balance of power that has existed in the region will be turned on its head and in the event this plays out, one should not expect Washington, Riyadh, Jerusalem, and London to simply go gentle into that good night."

Which is not to say that the latest US failure to overthrow a mid-east government was a total failure. As Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma says "probably 60 to 80 percent of the arms that America shoveled in have gone to al-Qaida and its affiliates."

Which is at least great news for the military-industrial complex. It means more "terrorist attacks" on U.S. "friends and allies", and perhaps even on U.S. soil - all courtesy of the US government supplying the weapons - are imminent.

BlueViolet

It's not a fiasco. It's a success. AlQaeda/ISIS created by Israel and financed by US.

Stackers

Never forget the first chapter of this story happened in 2011 Benghazi Libya when the Turkey brokered arms deal went bad, Obama admin abandoned them and one CIA op posing as an ambasador and his security detail were killed.

This thing has been a shit show from day one and involves scandal after scandal

The Indelicate ...

Video: Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza killing seven

http://mondoweiss.net/2015/10/israeli-palestinian-demonstrators

Paveway IV

There is no such thing as 10,000 CIA 'rebels' - that's only their on-line name.

There is a 10,000-man CIA assassination team or better still - mafia hit squad - in Syria. They're not rebels, they're not terrorists, they're not even mercs. They are paid criminal assassins, nothing more. My country hired them, so my country is guilty of racketeering and assassination. There are no degrees of separation here - the U.S. is directly responsible. Since the acts were perpetrated by people who are also violating the Constitution of the U.S., they are criminals and traitors.

We should do something about them... right after this season of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

WTFRLY

White House still ignores murder of American reporter Serena Shim who filmed western aid to ISIS February 27, 2015

1 year almost since her death. Today would have been her 30th birthday.

SWRichmond

You and I (and perhaps others) wonder how 10,000 "moderate rebels" were vetted before being trained and equipped. I am guessing an interview with some commander-wannabee, who said "yes I am a moderate" and then CIA said "awesome, here's $500,000,000.00 and a boatload of sophisticated weapons. Go hire and train some more moderates." Or maybe CIA just asked McCain and took his word for it.

...but few believe the U.S. can protect its secret rebel allies

Some secret...

This kind of shit is what you get when the deep state breathes its own fumes.

Lore

Exactly. American hands are drenched in blood. It's not enough just to withdraw from Syria and leave a bunch of mercs and "assets" to burn, and it's not enough to go after the individuals behind specific atrocities like 911, the bombing of the hospital, or the weddings, or Abu Ghraib, or Benghazi, or, or... Nothing will be fixed or resolved until those responsible for drafting, approving and implementing the pathological policy behind all the loss of life over the past decade are prosecuted and brought to justice. Unless and until that happens, America has abandoned its moral foundation and is doomed as a nation. It's just a practical observation.

geno-econ

Neocons went a step too far with their marauder agenda in Ukraine and Syria. Now they have been silenced by Putin with a show of force exposing US weakness. Both Bush and Obama showed weakness in not controllling Neocon influence in Wash. and is now reflectrd in political party turmoil. EU should rejoice because US policy in Syria caused refugee problem which will subside with end of civil war in Syria. Kiev government now also realizes US will not support real confrontation with Russia and Russia will not give up Crimea. Neocon experiment in achieving growth through regime change has been a total failure and huge drain on US economy.

greenskeeper carl

I agree 100%. What I'm dreading is listening to all the republitards in the next debate trying to one up each other on the war mongering. The problem with 'let Russia have it' is that it will be talked about by the right as though that's a bad thing. It will be spun as an Obama fuck uo(which it is) not because of the simple fact that it was never any of our business in the first place. To them, EVERYTHING is our business, and they will be spending the next few weeks talking tough about how they will stand up to Putin.

RockyRacoon

You got it right, Carl. If they want to see Russia get its butt kicked, give them Syria, and Afghanistan, and Iraq and all the other crappy countries that the U. S. has managed to destabilize. Wish the Russians luck in putting that all back together. Better yet, encourage them to annex the whole shootin' match into the Russian alliance!

Hey, wait.... could this have been the long term plan all along? Hmmm.... Maybe them thar neocons are smarter than they look. Nah, never mind.

sp0rkovite

The article implies the CIA "lost" Syria. When did it ever "win" it? Total political propaganda.

datura

There are some risks, yes, dead Iranian general, perhaps soon some dead Russian soldiers. But unlike the USA, Iran is fighting for its existence here. They know if Syria falls, they could be next. As for Russia, it is very similar. As one expert said: "When the USA looks at Syria, they see pipelines, profit from weapons, money and power." But the first thing Putin sees, when looking at Syria, is Chechnya. Syria is very close to Russia, but very far from the USA. And that is a huge difference.

For example, yesterday, some ISIS fighters were arrested in Chechnya. Luckily, FSB discovered them before they could do some harm. Not even talking about those ISIS fighters, who came to Ukraine, to fight against the pro-Russian rebels!!! You can see, how close and how important is this to Russia and why Russia cannot give up here and has to go to all the extremes. Including the parked nuclear submarine near Syria.

I could say to the US lunatics: you shouldn't have kept poking the bear. You shouldn't have supported terrorists in Chechnya. You should have left Ukraine to Russia. As Putin said very clearly in Valdai: "Russia does not intend to take an active role in thwarting those who are still attempting to construct their New World Order-until their efforts start to impinge on Russia's key interests. Russia would prefer to stand by and watch them give themselves as many lumps as their poor heads can take. But those who manage to drag Russia into this process, through disregard for her interests, will be taught the true meaning of pain."


Bring the Gold

Do you have a link for that Putin statement?

JohninMK

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

agent default

House of Saud better be careful, because once Syria is taken care of, they will pay dearly for arming ISIS. If Russia wins in the ME Qatar and SA are up for regime change and the US cannot stop it.

Neil Patrick Harris

no no no. It's a about Israel seizing legal authority to drill for oil and nat gas in the Golan Heights/Southern Syria. The plan was to arm ISIS, help ISIS defeat Assad, let ISIS be terrible ISIS who will then threaten Israel, giving the Israelis a perfect excuse to invade Syria, defeat ISIS and look like a hero, then build a pipeline through Turkey, right in to Europe.

But thankfully Putin cockblocked those racist Zionists, and he is going to get all the oil and gas for himself. Poor ol' Bibi gets nothing. Checkmate.

Freddie


http://www.moonofalabama.org/

Moon of Alabama web site is saying the See Eye Aye and Pentagram are not giving up. If anything, they plan on ramping it up. How many more civilians do they want to kill? Sickening.

ThirdWorldDude

This shitshow is far from over. It might be just a coy in their efforts to improvise another Afghanistan.

"Saudi Arabia is ramping up its supplies of lethal weaponry to three different rebel groups in Syria in response to the Russian airstrikes on Syrian rebels, British media reported, citing a Saudi government official in Riyadh. He did not rule out supplying surface-to-air missiles to the rebels..."

techpreist

Given our military spending I think we actually could win an all-out war. We have enough nukes to glass the planet a dozen times after all.

However, bullies don't want to fight with someone who could actually fight back, and who could change the wars from this abstract thing that "creates jobs" and only hurts a few Americans (10k Americans = 0.003% of the population), to something that people actually might not want.

viahj

if this is framed as an Obama failure in foreign policy (it will) in the upcoming US political Presidential selection, the candidates will all be falling over themselves to come to the aide of our "ME Allies" to restore order. there will be a push to re-escalate US involvement in the ME especially with the pressure of Israel over their owned US politicians. a US retreat in the short term while fortunate for the American people, will not stand. the warmongers will be posturing themselves as to which will be the loudest in calling for re-engagement.

[Oct 12, 2015] Paul Craig Roberts: A Decisive Shift In The Power Balance Has Occurred

... my former CSIS colleague, Zbigniew Brzezinski, normally a sensible if sometimes misguided person, has written in the Financial Times that Washington should deliver an ultimatum to Russia to "cease and desist from military actions that directly affect American assets." By "American assets," Brzezinski means the jihadist forces that Washington has sicced on Syria.

Brzezinski's claim that "Russia must work with, not against, the US in Syria" is false. The fact of the matter is that "the US must work with, not against Russia in Syria," as Russia controls the situation, is in accordance with international law, and is doing the right thing.

Ash Carter, the US Secretary for War, repeats Brzezinski's demand. He declared that Washington is not prepared to cooperate with Russia's "tragically flawed" and "mistaken strategy" that frustrates Washington's illegal attempt to overthrow the Syrian government with military violence.

Washington's position is that only Washington decides and that Washington intends to unleash yet more chaos on the world in the hope that it reaches Russia.

... ... ...

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a former director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon's intelligence organization, said that Washington needs to understand that "Russia also has foreign policy; Russia also has a national security strategy" and stop crossing Russia's "red lines." Gen. Flynn thus joins with Patrick J. Buchanan as two voices of sense and sensibility in Washington. Together they stand against the arrogance and hubris that will destroy us.

Several commentators, such as Mike Whitney and Stephen Lendman, have concluded, correctly, that there is nothing that Washington can do about Russian actions against the Islamic State. The neoconservatives' plan for a UN no-fly zone over Syria in order to push out the Russians is a pipedream. No such resolution will come out of the UN. Indeed, the Russians have already established a de facto no-fly zone.

Putin, without issuing any verbal threats or engaging in any name-calling, has decisively shifted the power balance, and the world knows it.

... ... ...

worbsid

It is completely impossible for Obama to admit he is wrong. Note the 60 Min interview.

Mini-Me

Wondering which host the neocons will attach themselves to after having sucked the US dry. A parasite should never kill its host.

A Lunatic

Following advice from the likes of Brzezinski is a large part of the problem......

BarnacleBill

I've posted this before, but... we can't ask the question too often: Who sold ISIS all those Toyotas? ISIS didn't buy them themselves out of some Texas showroom, custom-built for desert warfare! Right?

http://barlowscayman.blogspot.com/2014/10/who-sold-isis-all-those-toyotas.html

johmack2

I must admit this certainly seems like a wild BEAST in action. Wreakless, seemingly unpredictable causing mass chaos in its wake


Chad_the_short_...

Why don't they want to hit israel? I thought all muslims wanted a piece of Israel.

Macon Richardson

Do you really have to ask?

Reaper

ISIS are the nutured harpies of Barack, McCain and the neo-cons, which inflict death and mayhem upon their targets. ISIS's evil is Barack's, McCain's and the neo-con" projected evil.

In US law, they are called principles and as such deserve equal punishment. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2 ISIS's acts are war crimes. The principles abetting ISIS are as guilty as ISIS. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2441

War crimes text (Geneva Convention): "To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

a)violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

b)taking of hostages;

c)outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and de-grading treatment." https://www.icrc.org/eng/assets/files/publications/icrc-002-0173.pdf


Salah

Anyone making these bullshit comments about ISIS being the USA's extra-military arm (or Israel's) has obviously NEVER BEEN IN THE MILITARY. Ditto any of the alphabet covert services.

ISIS is the enemy, period. They cleverly arose in a vacuum, and disperse at the first sign of military opposition that has its shit together.

Yeah, go out there and tell some US special ops his buddy's death, maybe at the hands of ISIS, was his own govt's doing.

Go do it you insulated fucks...I dare you. And see what happens. First rule in clandestine warfare; don't shit in your own mess tent.

SgtShaftoe

I was in the military, enlisted and officer corps. I lost a few of good friends from my unit in Iraq II. ISIS is absolutely a creation of CIA/DoD (at a distance, like planting seeds and watering them), just as so many other tragedies have the blood squarely on the hands of the same. I've seen it with my own eyes. Sorry dude, you're fucking wrong. When military people see shit they shouldn't have seen, they're either brought in, or they accidentally fall out of the sky. That's just the way it is.

Winston Smith 2009

"ISIS is the enemy, period."

Absolutely.

"They cleverly arose in a vacuum"

And what created that vacuum? The lack of the only thing, apparently, that can keep these religious fanatics absolutely infesting that area of the world in line: a dictator. Who foolishly removed the dictator in Iraq? These ignorant, arrogant assholes:

-----

In his book, "The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created A War Without End," Former Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith, the son of the late economist John Kenneth Galbraith, claims that American leadership knew very little about the nature of Iraqi society and the problems it would face after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

A year after his "Axis of Evil" speech before the U.S. Congress, President Bush met with three Iraqi Americans, one of whom became postwar Iraq's first representative to the United States. The three described what they thought would be the political situation after the fall of Saddam Hussein. During their conversation with the President, Galbraith claims, it became apparent to them that Bush was unfamiliar with the distinction between Sunnis and Shiites.

Galbraith reports that the three of them spent some time explaining to Bush that there are two different sects in Islam--to which the President allegedly responded, "I thought the Iraqis were Muslims!"

"From the president and the vice president down through the neoconservatives at the Pentagon, there was a belief that Iraq was a blank slate on which the United States could impose its vision of a pluralistic democratic society," said Galbraith. "The arrogance came in the form of a belief that this could be accomplished with minimal effort and planning by the United States and that it was not important to know something about Iraq."

-----

"Yeah, go out there and tell some US special ops his buddy's death, maybe at the hands of ISIS, was his own govt's doing."

Only indirectly, but the astoundingly arrogant stupidity at the highest levels of his government unnecessarily caused the conditions that led to it. It was and is their absolutely clueless meddling that is the problem.

And don't get the idea that I'm a pacifist. Far from it. Geopolitical gaming including the use of military force has been and always will be the way the world works. There's nothing I or anyone else can do or ever will be able to do about that. Since that is the case, I want the "coaches" of my "team" to be smart. They aren't.

They're f'ing bumbling idiots!

Dre4dwolf

I would agree it is in bad taste to go tell someone who is active military that they are fighting an enemy their own govt created.

But

When something is hard to say, a lot of times its just the truth.

Now if the people listening aren't open minded to the possibility, well . . . there exists the potential to get decked in the face by a marine.

Also, ISIS is not a direct branch of U.S. forces, its a group the U.S. funded, created to perpetuate a war so that the U.S. can spill into borders outside of current combat zones .... the scenario is sorta like well ..."O I know we attacked Iraq, but there is this new boogieman and he is called Isis and BTW hes living in your garage so I have to invade your land now... "and so on and on new invasion one after the other into new areas all blamed on the spread of isis ISIS IS HERE, WE NEED TO INVADE, ISIS IS THERE WE NEED TO INVADE,

ISIS IS EVERYWHERE ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO U.S.

Thats probably what the strategy was, and it failed horribly when Russia exposed the hypocrisy when it directly decided to engage and terminate the ISIS group , it revealed that the U.S. has no intention of squelching ISIS, and now you have proof that the U.S. govt is just para-dropping weapons in random locations all around the middle east..... they dont even care who gets the weapons, they just want a bunch of pissed off people armed to the teeth . . .

The greatest hypocrisy of all is the fact that while the U.S. govt is dropping weapons all over the place (its a weapons free-for-all bonanza ) right now, they are pushing Gun Control and Confiscation here at home....

What does that say about your govt? when it is actively caught red handed arming terrorists, while pushing gun confiscation domestically ??? lol its not that far of a stretch to connect the dots... cmon

SuperRay

Salah you sure are righteous. Like you've been in the deep shit. Maybe we should call you four leaf instead. What do you think?

Bullshitting a soldier who's risking his life for what he thinks is a noble cause, is unconscionable. You're saying - trust your leaders, they know best. I say, what planet on you on, you fucking moron? The neocon assholes who are guiding, or mis-guiding, policy in the middle east should be lined up and shot for treason. Why is Russia destroying ISIS at blistering speed? Because they want to destroy it. We could've done the same thing, but is we destroyed ISIS and 'won' the battle against terrorism, the defense contractors might not make tons of money this year. We always need an enemy. Get It? We've always been at war with Eurasia? There's no money for the Pentagon without war, so we have to always have an enemy. Duh

datura

I feel awful that Russia is now almost alone in this enormous fight:-(....We in the West won't help them. It feels like WWII again and Russians will have to bear the grunt alone again. Westerners don't seem to change. We are practically good for nothing cowards. Sorry to say, but it is so. And we even dare to judge them in any way??? We dare to judge their leader or their level of democracy? It just makes me sick.

These is how Russian ladies, who fought in WWII, looked like. These seemingly fragile creatures...more valiant than Western men at those times. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kraFEWO7Z44

Dre4dwolf

They aren't alone, the U.S. is leaving care packages full of weapons and supplies all over the middle east for Russia to discover. Its like an easter egg hunt, except there is no easter because your in a Muslim shit-hole, and.... there are no bunnies, just pissed of Jihadis who want to shoot you.

Better find the eggs before they do.

Mike Masr

And the US regime change in Ukraine resurrected Frankensteins' monster Nazism!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJQW_0utHKY

The Indelicate ...

ISIS meaning CIA/Mossad.

http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=western_support_for_islam...

I think the world is beginning to understand that the anglo-Zionist Banking and Warfare Empire can not be reasoned with.

[Oct 12, 2015] In Midst of War, Ukraine Becomes Gateway for Jihad

A new player among far right forces in Ukraine...
"... Photos: Tomasz Glowacki ..."
"... Next: The Life and Death of a Chechen Commander ..."
"... At the request of the writer, "Ruslan" is identified by a pseudonym. ..."
Feb. 26 2015 | theintercept.com
"OUR BROTHERS ARE there," Khalid said when he heard I was going to Ukraine. "Buy a local SIM card when you get there, send me the number and then wait for someone to call you."

Khalid, who uses a pseudonym, leads the Islamic State's underground branch in Istanbul. He came from Syria to help control the flood of volunteers arriving in Turkey from all over the world, wanting to join the global jihad. Now, he wanted to put me in touch with Ruslan, a "brother" fighting with Muslims in Ukraine.

The "brothers" are members of ISIS and other underground Islamic organizations, men who have abandoned their own countries and cities. Often using pseudonyms and fake identities, they are working and fighting in the Middle East, Africa and the Caucasus, slipping across borders without visas. Some are fighting to create a new Caliphate - heaven on earth. Others - like Chechens, Kurds and Dagestanis - say they are fighting for freedom, independence and self-determination. They are on every continent, and in almost every country, and now they are in Ukraine, too.

In the West, most look at the war in Ukraine as simply a battle between Russian-backed separatists and the Ukrainian government. But the truth on the ground is now far more complex, particularly when it comes to the volunteer battalions fighting on the side of Ukraine. Ostensibly state-sanctioned, but not necessarily state-controlled, some have been supported by Ukrainian oligarchs, and others by private citizens. Less talked about, however, is the Dudayev battalion, named after the first president of Chechnya, Dzhokhar Dudayev, and founded by Isa Munayev, a Chechen commander who fought in two wars against Russia.

Ukraine is now becoming an important stop-off point for the brothers, like Ruslan. In Ukraine, you can buy a passport and a new identity. For $15,000, a fighter receives a new name and a legal document attesting to Ukrainian citizenship. Ukraine doesn't belong to the European Union, but it's an easy pathway for immigration to the West. Ukrainians have few difficulties obtaining visas to neighboring Poland, where they can work on construction sites and in restaurants, filling the gap left by the millions of Poles who have left in search of work in the United Kingdom and Germany.

You can also do business in Ukraine that's not quite legal. You can earn easy money for the brothers fighting in the Caucasus, Syria and Afghanistan. You can "legally" acquire unregistered weapons to fight the Russian-backed separatists, and then export them by bribing corrupt Ukrainian customs officers.

"Our goal here is to get weapons, which will be sent to the Caucasus," Ruslan, the brother who meets me first in Kiev, admits without hesitation.

WITH HIS WHITE hair and beard, Ruslan is still physically fit, even at 57. He's been a fighter his entire adult life. Born in a small mountain village in the Caucasus, on the border between Dagestan and Chechnya, Ruslan belongs to an ethnic minority known as the Lak, who are predominantly Sunni Muslim.

The world that Ruslan inhabits - the world of the brothers - is something new. When he first became a fighter, there wasn't any Internet or cell phones, or cameras on the street, or drones. Ruslan joined the brothers when the Soviet Union collapsed, and he went to fight for a better world, first against the Russians in Chechnya and Dagestan during the first Chechen war in the mid-1990s. He then moved to Azerbaijan, where he was eventually arrested in 2004 on suspicion of maintaining contact with al Qaeda.

Even though Ruslan admits to fighting with Islamic organizations, he claims the actual basis for the arrest in Azerbaijan - illegal possession of weapons - was false. Authorities couldn't find anything suspicious where he was living (Ruslan was staying at the time with his "brothers" in the jihad movement) but in his wife's home they found a single hand grenade. Ruslan was charged with illegal weapons possession and sent to prison for several years.

In prison, he says he was tortured and deliberately housed in a cell with prisoners infected with tuberculosis. Ruslan took his case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, accusing the authorities in Azerbaijan of depriving him of due process. The court eventually agreed, and asked the Azerbaijani government to pay Ruslan 2,400 euros in compensation, plus another 1,000 euros for court costs.

But when Ruslan was released from prison, he didn't want to stay in Azerbaijan, fearing he would be rearrested, or even framed for a crime and again accused of terrorism. "Some of our people disappear and are never found," he says. "There was one brother [who disappeared], and when he was brought for burial, a card was found showing that he was one of 30 people held in detention in Russia."

In Russia, a warrant was issued for Riuan's arrest. Returning to his small mountain village was out of the question. If he goes back, his family will end up paying for what he does, anyhow. "They get to us through our families," he says. He condemns those who refused to leave their own country and fight the infidels. This was the choice: either stay, or go abroad where "you can breathe freedom."

"Man is born free," Ruslan says. "We are slaves of God and not the slaves of people, especially those who are against their own people, and break the laws of God. There is only one law: the law of God."

After his release from prison in Azerbaijan, Ruslan became the eternal wanderer, a rebel - and one of the brothers now in Ukraine. He came because Munayev, now head of the Dudayev battalion, decided the brothers should fight in Ukraine. "I am here today because my brother, Isa, called us and said, 'It's time to repay your debt,'" Ruslan says. "There was a time when the brothers from Ukraine came [to Chechnya] and fought against the common enemy, the aggressor, the occupier."

That debt is to Ukrainians like Oleksandr Muzychko, who became one of the brothers, even though he never converted to Islam. Muzyczko, along with other Ukrainian volunteers, joined Chechen fighters and took part in the first Chechen war against Russia. He commanded a branch of Ukrainian volunteers, called "Viking," which fought under famed Chechen militant leader Shamil Basayev. Muzychko died last year in Ukraine under mysterious circumstances.

Ruslan has been in Ukraine for almost a year, and hasn't seen his family since he arrived. Their last separation lasted almost seven years. He's never had time to raise children, or even really to get to know them. Although he's a grandfather, he only has one son - a small family by Caucasian standards, but better for him, since a smaller family costs less. His wife calls often and asks for money, but Ruslan rarely has any to give her.

IN THE 17th century, the area to the east of the Dnieper River was known as the "wilderness," an ungoverned territory that attracted refugees, criminals and peasants - a place beyond the reach of the Russian empire. Today, this part of Ukraine plays a similar role, this time for Muslim brothers. In eastern Ukraine, the green flag of jihad flies over some of the private battalions' bases.

For many Muslims, like Ruslan, the war in Ukraine's Donbass region is just the next stage in the fight against the Russian empire. It doesn't matter to them whether their ultimate goal is a Caliphate in the Middle East, or simply to have the Caucuses free of Russian influence - the brothers are united not by nation, but by a sense of community and solidarity.

But the brothers barely have the financial means for fighting or living. They are poor, and very rarely receive grants from the so-called Islamic humanitarian organizations. They must earn money for themselves, and this is usually done by force. Amber is one of the ideas Ruslan has for financing the "company of brothers" fighting in eastern Ukraine - the Dudayev battalion, which includes Muslims from several nations, Ukrainians, Georgians, and even a few Russians.

The brothers had hoped the Ukrainian authorities would appreciate their dedication and willingness to give their lives in defense of Ukrainian sovereignty, but they miscalculated. Like other branches of fighters - Aidar, Azov and Donbass - the government, for the most part, ignores them. They're armed volunteers outside the control of Kiev, and Ukraine's politicians also fear that one day, instead of fighting Russians in the east, the volunteers will turn on the government in Kiev. So ordinary people help the volunteers, but it's not enough. The fighters associated with the Ukrainian nationalist Right Sector get money, cars and houses from the rich oligarchs.

Ruslan has a different plan. He's afraid that if they begin stealing from the rich, the Ukrainian government will quickly declare their armed branch illegal. He's decided to work in the underground economy - uncontrolled by the state - which the brothers know best.

Back in the '90s, the amber mines in the vast forests surrounding the city of Rivne were state-owned and badly run, so residents began illegally mining; it was a chance at easy money. Soon, however, the mafia took over. For the right daily fee, miners could work and sell amber to the mafia at a fixed price: $100 per kilogram. The mafia conspired with local militia, prosecutors and the governor. That was the way business worked.

As a result, although Ukraine officially produces 3 tons of amber annually, more than 15 tons are illegally exported to Poland each year. There, the ore is processed and sold at a substantial profit. The Rivne mines operate 24 hours a day. Hundreds of people with shovels in hand search the forest; they pay less to the mafia, but they extract less amber and earn less. The better off are those who have a water pump. Those people pump water at high pressure into the earth between the trees, until a cavity 2 to 3 meters deep forms. Amber, which is lighter than water, rises to the surface.

At one point, Ruslan disappeared in Rivne for several weeks. When he returned, he was disappointed; he'd failed to convince the local mafia to cooperate with the brothers' fight for an independent Ukraine. But now, he has other arguments to persuade them. His men are holding up the mines, by not allowing anyone into the forest. Either the local gangsters share their profits, or no one will get paid.

Ruslan doesn't like this job. He knows it won't bring him any glory, and could land him in prison. He would have preferred to be among the fighters at the front lines, where everything is clear and clean. He says he can still fight, but he's already too old to really endure the rigors of battle, even if he doesn't want to admit it. He may still be physically fit, but fighters don't usually last longer than a few years. Then they lose their strength and will to fight.

He has other orders from Munayev: he's supposed to organize a "direct response group" in Kiev. The group will be a sort of rear echelon unit that take care of problems, like if someone tries to discredit the Dudayev battalion. It will also collect debts or scare off competition. There's no doubt the new branch will work behind the lines, where there isn't war, but there is money - as long as you know where to get it. If need be, the direct response group volunteers will watch over the mines in Rivne, or "will acquire" money from illegal casinos, which operate by the hundreds in Kiev.

Ruslan sends me photos of the group's criminal exploits: they came into the casinos with weapons, and broke into the safes and slot machines. They disappeared quickly, and were never punished. The money went to food, uniforms, boots, tactical vests and other equipment necessary for the fighters. The mafia knows they can't beat them at this game. The brothers are too good, because they are armed and experienced in battle. The police aren't interested in getting involved either. In the end, it's illegal gambling.

I told Ruslan that it's a dangerous game. He laughed.

"It's child's play," he says. "We used to do this in Dagestan. No one will lift a finger. Don't worry."

RUSLAN FINALLY DROVE me to see his "older brother," to Isa Munayev, and his secret base located many miles west of Donetsk.

Riding in an old Chrysler that Ruslan bought in Poland, we drove for several hours, on potholed and snowy roads. Ruslan had glued to the car one of the emblems of Ukraine's ATO, the so-called Anti-Terrorist Operation, which includes both soldiers and volunteers in the fight against separatists.

The bumper sticker allows him to drive through police traffic stops without being held up - or if he is stopped, they won't demand bribes as they do from other drivers. The ATO sticker, Ruslan's camouflage uniform, and a gun in his belt are enough to settle matters. Policemen salute him and wish him good luck.

He drives fast, not wanting to rest, sleep or even drink coffee. If he stops, it's to check the compass on his belt to check the direction of Mecca. When it's time to pray, he stops the car, turns off the engine, places his scarf in the snow and bows down to Allah.

Asked whether - after so many hardships, after so many years, and at his age, almost 60 now - he would finally like to rest, he answered indignantly, "How could I feel tired?"

There's much more work to do, according to Ruslan. "There's been a small result, but we will rest only when we've reached our goals," he says. "I'm carrying out orders, written in the Holy Quran. 'Listen to God, the Prophet.' And I listen to him and do what I'm told."

On the way into the city of Kryvyi Rih, we met with Dima, a young businessman - under 40 - but already worth some $5 million. He's recently lost nearly $3 million from his business in Donetsk, which has been hit hard by the war. Dima worked for Igor Kolomoisky, one of the oligarchs who had been funding Ukraine's volunteer battalions. Dima and Ruslan have only known each other for a short time. Ruslan claimed Dima owed him a lot of money, although it's unclear from what. Ruslan kept bothering him, threatening to blackmail him. Finally, he got $20,000 from Dima.

That's not nearly enough to support the Dudayev battalion. But Ruslan had something bigger to offer Dima: amber. Now, Dima was ready to talk. He came up with the idea to find buyers in the Persian Gulf, including wealthy sheikhs. They would like to sell an entire house of amber: furniture, stairs, floors, and inlaid stones. It only takes contacts, and Ruslan has them. The brothers from Saudi Arabia like to help the jihad in the Caucasus and the Middle East.

The next day, Ruslan was behind the wheel again. The old Chrysler barely moved, its engine overheated. A mechanic with an engineering degree and experience working in Soviet arms factories connected a plastic bottle filled with dirty water to the radiator using a rubber hose.

"I don't know how long I'll last," Ruslan says suddenly. "It depends on God. I'll probably die on this road. But I don't have any other road to take."

Photos: Tomasz Glowacki

Next: The Life and Death of a Chechen Commander

* At the request of the writer, "Ruslan" is identified by a pseudonym.

The material for this story is part of BROTHERS, a documentary film being developed for Germany's broadcaster WDR – Die Story and Autentic, produced by Propellerfilm, broadcast date May 18th, 10pm (MET).

Doctors Without Borders: we received no advance warning of US airstrike

This is war crime.

The Guardian


Pat Driscoll -> Haynonnynonny 7 Oct 2015 19:32

Obviously Kunduz was not a safe place, was it? And perfectly reasonable when you are under deadly attack - particularly by a so-called "protector" - to complain about it.

Paul Lorenzini -> liberalexpat 7 Oct 2015 19:32

Kosher islamists?


Gerard White -> DontHaveDontSpend 7 Oct 2015 19:31

Well, do you actually believe anything the United States says? I mean, they created this whole "War on Terror", WMD BS, they created Islamic State, they committed similar atrocities in Fallujah. The US is a terrorist state.

Pat Driscoll -> Haynonnynonny 7 Oct 2015 19:31

What statistical reports? Let's start with the last 13 months in Syria shall we? The official U.S. statistical report for innocents killed reports a total of : ZERO. Why is that? Because the U.S. military hasn't kept track. Iraq? Well, until the Iraq government complained after numerous massacres, the U.S. military also DIDN'T KEEP RECORDS. Same with Afghanistan.

crankyyankee1945 -> smokinbluebear 7 Oct 2015 19:28

let's see:......exaggerating and contorting the initial information from a diverse and complicated command structure, falsely stating that the US has refused to cooperate with an international investigation which has not been convened or decided upon......isn't that what cynical propagandists who could care less about the suffering or solemnity of a situation except to reprehensibly frame it callously for maximum shallow indoctrination effect do?

Donkzilla -> donkeyshit 7 Oct 2015 19:25

the chances of this US attack on kunduz hospital having been a mistake is close to zero. the question therefore is and remains: why?

Chaos and mass murder is causing the biggest refugee crisis since WW II, that's why.

An apparent war of annihilation on the Taliban is actually a war of attrition on Russia for selling oil and gas in euros. Millions of refugees flooding into the EU may break the EU and destroy the euro, that's what the US are hoping for, there is no other logical reason I can see for the US murdering innocent civilians.

hadeze242 7 Oct 2015 19:22

the buck stops here. He is the Commander in Chief ... then, behave like one.

US Obama should return his Swedish Nobel Peace Prize. To keep it (and the European money attached to the prize) means to besmirch the Peace Prize & all other past recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize.


BrightSpots -> Alto Cumulus 7 Oct 2015 19:20

Have to say it, but I think the USA went native and turned terrorist quite some time back. They have dabbled in it continually and on every continent since WWII. But terrorism has become the USA's modus operandi in the last 14 years.

Every horror IS have committed, the US has committed tenfold in one shape or form.

Civilians to Military deaths have been at a rate of 1000's to 1 for a decade and a half.

Their rage since 9/11 has resulted in more refugees than WWII and phenomenal civilian rates. With circling drones terrorising people, killing sleeping children and firing again at neighbours who go to rescue their dying screaming neighbours children. You know you will be targeted if you help, so you have to listen to the kid's prolonged death and hate yourself for not going to help, because the fly boys in their bunker in Nevada will get you.

That's not war, that's not security. That's sadistic terrorism on a par with IS.

SocalAlex -> outkast1213 7 Oct 2015 19:14

We are far from a fascist police state

I wouldn't be too sure about that. Do you know, for example that - unreported anywhere except, briefly, in The Nation - the U.S. has no quietly changed the legal definition of "the border" to include everywhere within 100 miles of a coast or official land border ? And that this definition includes the places where 2/3 of Americans live, and includes entire states, among them Florida and Maine?

Why does this matter? Because, "on the border", the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies are free to do whatever they want, and normal laws don't apply. They can enter your home and search your things or even arrest and detain you with no probable cause and your other standard rights (including even the right to a lawyer) don't legally apply either! The ACLU has termed it "a Constitution-free zone", and that's no exaggeration!

And thanks to a minor wording change to an obscure law, 2/3 of Americans now live in this Constitution-free zone! This happened with no political debate whatsoever, and, given it was never reported, it's needless to say no public debate either!

Sorry, but to me that sounds very much like the tactics of "a fascist police state"...

CliftonSantiago -> Sam Ahmed 7 Oct 2015 19:13

No, you completely misread what I was saying. Which isn't surprising considering your crass profanities, which I suspect reveal a limited vocabulary and poor reading comprehension skills.

I was agreeing with your point in principle, but disagreeing with your solution, which is one of despair. Only through the pursuit of transparency will the US, UK and their middle-eastern allies be held accountable by the other nations of the world. Only by revealing their complete hypocrisy with irrefutable evidence will one be able to weaken their position. Just look at the damage that Wikileaks, Snowden, and Manning have done to the US propaganda machine.

Surrender is completely pointless. Why should one give up hope as you suggest? Do you live in Dostoevsky novel? Not me.


Federalist10 7 Oct 2015 19:11

There is some debate among lawyers about the extent to which an insurgency such as Afghanistan's technically constitutes an international armed conflict – and accordingly whether the duty to warn applies.

If we continue to willfully ignore this law, then we are as bad as the bad guys we had in mind when we first wrote it.

When did American Exceptionalism become an excuse for American Hubris?

SeanThorp -> charles47 7 Oct 2015 19:11

Are you deliberately misreading the article or merely missing the point?

I'm reading that different branches of the Afghan security services are saying that they were coming under fire and even that the Taliban were using the hospital as a base. Afaik only one building in the hospital came under fire not the 'whole hospital' as you have imagineered.

do try to keep up

Oh the irony.


Donkzilla DallasWilliams 7 Oct 2015 19:10

... you can continue this list for as long as you'd like. Enjoy!

The US is responsible for the chaos and mass murder behind the biggest refugee crisis since WW II, refuting that fact with a straw man list of conspiracy theories is a piss poor attempt at discrediting the conclusions I have drawn about US strategy.


Olorin 7 Oct 2015 19:07

Even if there were terrorists inside of hospital, even if Afghans were asking for bombing area of their choice THERE IS NO EXCUSE to bomb innocent civilians.

This is war crime. US Air Force should be careful even if ally ask for bombing their own territory they should check twice what is in targeted area. This is serious...


gossy -> Haynonnynonny 7 Oct 2015 19:06

When the last US troops go, the Afghan government will collapse pretty quickly and we'll see what a house of cards it really was, supported by US and EU grants, subsidy, and bribe money - that's all. Within 12 months of the US going the Taliban will be in Kabul and sitting down to govern. The next US president will then be faced with the usual McCain/Republican cry of being "weak on terror" - and so the BS goes on.


Alto Cumulus -> dusablon 7 Oct 2015 19:01

Continued: and that lie fails to explain why the hospital was pounded over and over despite desperate calls pleading for the US bombing to stop, and that lie fails to explain why we did not utilize our pinpoint accurate weaponry on the "area adjacent."


macmarco 7 Oct 2015 18:59

NYT says Obama is considering three different legal arguments on why the hospital attack was not a crime. My guess is that he and the DOD will claim that someone in or near the hospital was an imminent threat and had to be taken out to save lives. Obama used "imminent threat" excuse to assassinate two American citizens one a teenbage boy drinking tea. It sailed through both the media and legal community witout one objection.


hadeze242 -> Batleymuslim 7 Oct 2015 18:59

no ... even CNN (today) clearly states & shows the vidio the 30 min US bombing run on the MSF hospital (a white cross from above) was approved by US Control Centre 3 separate times. in google speak: can i hit it again ? yes, hit it. 2nd fly around: can I hit it a 2nd time? yes, go. 3rd fly around: hit is again? yes, do it again.


katiewm 7 Oct 2015 18:58

Why would a civilian hospital ever be considered a legitimate target for an air strike, regardless of whether "warning" was issued? This is shameful.

Alto Cumulus -> dusablon 7 Oct 2015 18:58

What? Weren't the taliban INSIDE the hospital dressed in scrubs? No.

Now yet ANOTHER revision: that the Taliban was "using area adjacent" to hospital.
Problems is, hospital staff has refuted that lie. And that lie fails to explain why the HOSPITAL ITSELF

Move on to your next lie.

DiggersAndDreamers -> Sal2011 7 Oct 2015 18:55

And in accepting that there is some sort of justification for it, we condone it,

I completely agree, it should be condemned in the strongest possible terms and those who are culpable should be brought to justice.


CliftonSantiago -> thatshowitgoes 7 Oct 2015 18:53

Your sarcasm aside, that is exactly what Americans think that means. Just look at the Republican party's website: https://www.gop.com/platform/american-exceptionalism/

Pretty scary actually...


CliftonSantiago DontHaveDontSpend 7 Oct 2015 18:49

You are obviously, and deliberately (american patriot?) ignorant of the articles of the Geneva Convention, of which the US is a signatory member (regardless of the Bush regime's attempts at redefining their obligations). https://www.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_cha_chapter7_rule25


ExpatJohn22 7 Oct 2015 18:45

Doctors without borders, can you stop whinging, Really? just one bomb. We have to concentrate on demonizing Russia. You are spoiling the show.


[Oct 07, 2015] Putin Has Just Put An End to the Wolfowitz Doctrine

"... Syria ..."
"... Putin is trying to put an end to a doctrine that has caused 25 years of Bushist Crusader mayhem. Will he succeed is another question. ..."
"... But having got the ball rolling is a tipping moment and Humpty Dumpty of NWO is now a broken toy of a bygone age, especially as its created the destruction of Pax Americana's main hold on the world : Oil duopoly and monetary hegemony all gone down the shute in debt debasement folly. ..."
"... Just as the first Iraqi war was seminal in the fall of the Soviet Union IMHO when the world (and particularly the Soviet military analysts) were able to see the overwhelming technical superiority of the US smart weapons and the ease with with the US disposed of Saddam's huge standing army (breaking the illusion that the Soviet Union was a superpower on the par with the US), the move into Syria by Russia by the invitation of the legal government of Syria is in my opinion just as historic and seminal, the bell weather for a major sea-change in the the power structure of the world. ..."
"... the MSF hospital in Kunduz fiasco in juxtaposition with the well planned Russian strikes against ISIS (which the US supposedly has been attacking for 13 months), raises the question: if you needed someone to protect you, do you trust the Russian military or the US military? ..."
"... The above question is a fatal doubt intruding into the all powerful US paradigm - if the Saudis and other important players (Germany!) start to question US power and cozy up to the Russians, the US petrodollar is done for, and with it US dollar as WRC - the US as a nation will start an inevitable slide into third world status if that occurs. Imagine what happens for example if the US has to pay its military budget from actual assets or savings rather than just print dollars it needs to buy the hugely expensive F35 or send billions to Israel... ..."
"... The most rabid neocons may push the US into a poorly thought out confrontation, and get us all killed in the worst case. ..."
"... What has Putin proved? That the US desires not to destroy ISIL, but to empower ISIL. When has Assad ever attacked the US? Never. ..."
"... Everything the US government says is a lie. Everything the government's Ministry of Truth's media reports is a lie. With every lie the sheeple to emote for government. Barack is evil incarnate. The US is a tool of neo-cons and the exceptional American fools. Evil succeeds, when the American sheeple follow. ..."
"... Don't praise the day before the sunset. Imho, the more accurate statement would be: Putin has challenged the Wolfowitz doctrine. ..."
"... The neocons are not defeated until the truth about 9-11 if widely accepted, or, more properly, that which is untrue is widely rejected. it is their achilles' heel. The crime is too great, too evil and too poorly done to be explained away or ignored. once a growing majority of the nation sees through this lie (and the fraction is already larger than many imagine), new things become possible. this is not yesterday's news. There is no statute of limitations on treason or murder. The day will be won mind by mind. do your part. ..."
Oct 07, 2015 | Zero Hedge
4-Star General Wesley Clark noted:

In 1991, [powerful neocon and Iraq war architect Paul Wolfowitz] was the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy – the number 3 position at the Pentagon. And I had gone to see him when I was a 1-Star General commanding the National Training Center.

***

And I said, "Mr. Secretary, you must be pretty happy with the performance of the troops in Desert Storm."

And he said: "Yeah, but not really, because the truth is we should have gotten rid of Saddam Hussein, and we didn't … But one thing we did learn [from the Persian Gulf War] is that we can use our military in the region – in the Middle East – and the Soviets won't stop us. And we've got about 5 or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet client regimes – Syria, Iran, Iraq – before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us."

Crocodile

Putin has put an end to the Wolfowitz doctrine - end

Then Putin has found a cure for psychopathy; unlikely.

As you know, October is "Pink" month, the month they remind women of the deadly disease brought on women in which the big corporations are raping in billions and they would/will NEVER give you the cure, for their is no profit in a cure. Stupid is as stupid does.

Pinkwasher: (pink'-wah-sher) noun. A company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease.

Here are the results of those efforts: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/statistics/trends.htm (NONE from the disease perspective)

Minburi

This shit is from 2007? Wow... Just Wow!! It's only gotten worse since then!

Why is nothing being done?

Crocodile

The rich are getting richer and the middle class is being dismantled and you say "why is nothing being done?"

Johnny_Dangerously

So is the Greater Israel thing just a wild conspiracy theory? Along with the 3rd temple and "cleansing" the rest of Palestine?

Because I'd bet you my life savings that it is not a conspiracy theory as to Netanyahu and his ilk in Likud.

shutterbug

the USA people have some cleaning up to do, starting in the White House, every governmental agency and after that probably other federal departments...

BUT have you ever seen Walking Dead clean something up???

Icelandicsaga.....

Wolfowitz type thinking is spin off of Angl American establishment that grew out of Brtish empire/banking/trade ..some say reverts back to East India Trade cartel..but recent history, read for free online insider chronicler Georgetown U. Professor Carrol Quigley, who lays it out in Tragedy and Hope.http://www.amazon.com/Tragedy-Hope-History-World-Time/dp/094500110X........ of his uotes: It is this power structure which the Radical Right in the United States has been attacking for years in the belief that they are attacking the Communists.

Thus, the use of fiat money is more justifiable in financing a depression than in financing a war.

By the winter of 1945-1946, the Russian peoples were being warned of the dangers from the West.

In post Cold War guys like Harvards Samuel Huntington...discussed Anglo..American hegemony in Clash of Civilizations. Another who laid out the post Cold War game plan ..Francis Fukuyama in his The End of History. pentagon adviser Thomas Barnett laid out the countries to be taken sown in The Pentagons New Map. The guy is a wack job, but pentagon took him seriously.

Followed by PNAC..Project for a New American Century?..guys like Wolfowitz, Kagan, Kristol, Cheney et al first proposed invading Iraq a second time. But the genesis for fucked up US policy on steroids, was fall of Soviet Union. That is when elite, shadow govt and banking class from IMF TO World Bank to BIS came into their own. I recall this invade and bring democracy and KFC capitalism began in major policy journals in 1992..just about same time HW BUSH gave his ""new world order" speech at UN. It has been FUBAR evrr since.

Given what ""economic advisers" from US like Jeffrey Sachs, Larry Summers, Jonathan Hays caused in early days of new Russia, I do not blame them if they hate our guts. We have created chaos and destruction from Balkans ""war" to Ukraine ..Iraq..Libya..Syria. we have turned into a rabid stupid uncontrollable beast. Wolfowitz and his ilk were midwives. Enclosed pertinent links that may be helpful.

http://www.amazon.com/Clash-Civilizations-Remaking-World-Order/dp/145162......

and Francis Fukuyama...

Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama (born October 27, 1952) is an American political scientist, political economist, and author. Fukuyama is known for his book The End of History and the Last Man (1992), which argued that the worldwide spread of liberal democracies and free market capitalism of the West and its lifestyle may signal the end point of humanity's sociocultural evolution and become the final form of human government. However, his subsequent book Trust: Social Virtues and Creation of Prosperity (1995) modified his earlier position to acknowledge that culture cannot be cleanly separated from economics. Fukuyama is also associated with the rise of the neoconservative movement,[2] from which he has since distanced himself.[3]

Fukuyama has been a Senior Fellow at the Center on Democracy,

MSimon

No expense is too great to send a message. Until it is.

MEAN BUSINESS

False. What's your fucking problem?

MSimon

OK no expense is too great.

An estimate of what the war is costing Russia.

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/countingthecost/2015/10/russia-econo...

Looking around I found out that Russia depends on Western companies for oil field eqpt. The war is causing it to defer projects.

On top of that Russia needs to balance its economy with more consumer manufacturing. The war is deferring some of that that.

War steals from the future. And then there is this bit of news. Propaganda or reality? Or a set up for a false flag attack?

FBI has foiled four plots by gangs to sell nuclear material to ISIS: Authorities working with federal agency stop criminals with Russian connections selling to terrorists

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3262821/FBI-foiled-four-attempts...

Johnny_Dangerously

"FBI has foiled four plots by gangs to sell nuclear material to ISIS:"

Sure they did.

And they *did not* assassinate that kid down in Florida for refusing to sign a confession.

Hell In A Ha...

"An estimate of what the war is costing Russia."

The cost of this bombing campaign against ISIS is costing Russia, there is no hiding from this fact, but the cost is also being burdened by Syria and Iran. Secondly, the Military Industrial Complex(MIC) does not have total control Iran, Syria and most importantly Russia, like it does over the U.S government. IE; The Russians have flown to date less than 100 sorties and have significantly downgraded ISIS, to the point western governments and media have been bitching about the loss of innocent civilian life(translated; U.S, U.K and allied special forces are being killed by Russian bombs). Conversely the U.S air-force have officially flown over 1800 sorties in an attempt to downgrade ISIS and have been unsuccessfu to datel. 1800 sorties and a lot of bombing achieving nothing, is a great payout for the MIC.

So an obvious question must be asked. The Russians have flown and bombed just 4% compared to the U.S air-force and have downgraded ISIS. Are the Yanks vastly inferior and incompetent than the Russians? And if the answer is no, then the only logical conclusion must be the Americans never really targeted ISIS and we the public are being fed a pack of lies and propaganda.

falak pema

Well said.

Putin is trying to put an end to a doctrine that has caused 25 years of Bushist Crusader mayhem. Will he succeed is another question.

But having got the ball rolling is a tipping moment and Humpty Dumpty of NWO is now a broken toy of a bygone age, especially as its created the destruction of Pax Americana's main hold on the world : Oil duopoly and monetary hegemony all gone down the shute in debt debasement folly.

Dear Henry's legacy to the Trilateral world now looking like Petrodollar's metamorphosis into Humpty Dumpty.

But where it leads to is a debatable question.

Quo Vadis.

flapdoodle

The *really* big problem with the US Deep State is the following:

1) The US Dollar as World Reserve Currency is based on, well, the fact that it is the WRC. The "faith" the rest of the world invests in the Dollar is only backed by momentum - and the perceived preeminence of the US armed forces.

2) Just as the first Iraqi war was seminal in the fall of the Soviet Union IMHO when the world (and particularly the Soviet military analysts) were able to see the overwhelming technical superiority of the US smart weapons and the ease with with the US disposed of Saddam's huge standing army (breaking the illusion that the Soviet Union was a superpower on the par with the US), the move into Syria by Russia by the invitation of the legal government of Syria is in my opinion just as historic and seminal, the bell weather for a major sea-change in the the power structure of the world.

3) Russia in Syria has, at least in its first appearances, greatly neutralized ISIS, which was touted as a huge almost invincible juggernaut, putting on a clinic of technical prowess and coordination almost comparable to the US effort in Iraq 1.

4) The paradigm of the all powerful US military has taken a big hit, if not by its lack of technical superiority (the F35 fiasco does not inspire confidence in US technical capability), but by its intentions, will, and competence. the MSF hospital in Kunduz fiasco in juxtaposition with the well planned Russian strikes against ISIS (which the US supposedly has been attacking for 13 months), raises the question: if you needed someone to protect you, do you trust the Russian military or the US military?

5) The above question is a fatal doubt intruding into the all powerful US paradigm - if the Saudis and other important players (Germany!) start to question US power and cozy up to the Russians, the US petrodollar is done for, and with it US dollar as WRC - the US as a nation will start an inevitable slide into third world status if that occurs. Imagine what happens for example if the US has to pay its military budget from actual assets or savings rather than just print dollars it needs to buy the hugely expensive F35 or send billions to Israel...

6) What gives pause are what the US might do about what has just happened in Syria. The most rabid neocons may push the US into a poorly thought out confrontation, and get us all killed in the worst case.

7) Whatever response the US tries will not change the death of the US Dollar as WRC. The only question is how soon it will be cast aside (and my gut tells me it will be relatively soon, regardless of how "oversubscribed" dollar denominated debt is to the actual number of dollars in circulation)

GMadScientist

Fuck off. Neocons can own their fucking mistake until the end of time. It was stupid. You did it (and elected the fucker TWICE!). So get the fuck over it.

falak pema

You are missing the point : Its PAX AMERICANA's mess; but it was the Wolfowitz doctrine of the BUSHES (father and son Incorporated along with Cheney) that started it.

Boy King is just a mouthpiece (reluctant now but gung-ho in Libya) of that same imperial game.

History is a bitch and you can't play King Canute with it !

NuYawkFrankie

re Putin Ends Wolfowitz Doctrine

Now we should do our part, and put an end - a permanent end -to Mastermind War-Criminal "Rat Face" Wolfowitz; then the demonic KAGAN KLAN.

The other NeoCON warmongers can be rounded-up shortly thereafter trying to board flights to Tel Aviv, Israel

dreadnaught

Seen on a wall in a bus station: "Kill a NeoCON for Christ"

WTFUD

Long time GW! Nice watching all dem US made Saudi bought weapons go up in smoke. Now that's what i call Change you can believe in. Go Vlad, some US base collateral damage in Baghdad would be equally welcome.

The Plan to keep Russia busy with Ukraine mischief is another multi-billion farce gone up in smoke.

Really nice watching the EU erupt in a burden of refugees, none of which was ear-marked in the austerity budgets of the poodle-piss vassal states.

Cat-Al-Loan-iA here i come, right back where we started from . . .

Reaper

Evil is power. What has Putin proved? That the US desires not to destroy ISIL, but to empower ISIL. When has Assad ever attacked the US? Never.

Everything the US government says is a lie. Everything the government's Ministry of Truth's media reports is a lie. With every lie the sheeple to emote for government. Barack is evil incarnate. The US is a tool of neo-cons and the exceptional American fools. Evil succeeds, when the American sheeple follow.

bunnyswanson

You leave out the most important detail. STATE CAPTURE

Share the insults with the nation who has trained our cops in methods used against Palestinians, beating the crap out of everyone who shows the least bit of hesitation to obey their orders.

Okeefe = Full page of videos explaining ISRAEL EXPANSION PROJECT Greater Israel.

Dead politicians, dead journalists and many dead business people, all strangely similar yet some nobody from nowhere is sent to prison, with wide eyed drugged look.

ISRAEL is the source of the evil so fucking remember that prickface.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=israel+expansion+project+o%...

gezley

The source of the evil is not Israel, at least not the political entity known as Israel in the Middle East. The source of the evil is something far deeper, a Power of Darkness that exists somewhere else, a Power that created this modern state of Israel in the first place. In my opinion, that power of darkness, the truly evil "Israel", occupies the City of London, otherwise known as the Jewish Vatican, the counterpoint in this world to the other square mile that matters, the Holy See.

That's where the problems for the US and the Middle East have their beginning, middle and end. Solve that problem and America and the Middle East will both wake up to a bright new future.

Luther van Theses

"Soviet client regimes?" Didn't it ever occur to this dummy they are countries in their own right, people live there, you can't just take their countries away from them?

Bismarck said 'God has a special providence for fools, drunks, and the United States of America.' We must be in good shape considering we've had fools like Wolfowitz and drunks like G.W Bush running the country.

opport.knocks

Let's not give too much credit to Paul Wolfowitz, and his "doctrine". It was just a restatement of Halford MacKinder's "Heatland Theory" and Zbigniew Brzezinski's "The Grand Chessboard"

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

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

jcdenton

Speaking of Ziggy, the guy just snapped ..

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2015/10/06/is-terrorists-may-blast-mosques-...

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2015/10/06/zbig2putin/

August

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2015/10/06/zbig2putin/

Decent article....i.e. better than aveage for veteranstoday. IMHO.

Ol' Zbigniew sez that he USA should "disarm" Russian forces in Syria.

Guess the US Police will have to use some flash-bangs on the Russkies, and shoot their dogs, too.

fleur de lis

Brzezh has been a psycho for a long time, and has harbored a seething hatred for the Russians that still spews poison to this day. He pushed the idiots in DC to support the serial killer Pol Pot who murdered more than a million Cambodians, and that was a long time ago. He was sly enough to get the Chinese to do the direct support. Still crazy after all these years.

The Cambodians were fightng with the Vietnamese who were allied with the Russians, so that was reason enough for him regardless of all the Cambodian deaths.. The Western powers had no good reason to be mixed up in Asia except as blood sport.

Jorgen

"Putin has put an end to the Wolfowitz doctrine."

Don't praise the day before the sunset. Imho, the more accurate statement would be: Putin has challenged the Wolfowitz doctrine.

jeff montanye

The neocons are not defeated until the truth about 9-11 if widely accepted, or, more properly, that which is untrue is widely rejected. it is their achilles' heel. The crime is too great, too evil and too poorly done to be explained away or ignored. once a growing majority of the nation sees through this lie (and the fraction is already larger than many imagine), new things become possible. this is not yesterday's news. There is no statute of limitations on treason or murder. The day will be won mind by mind. do your part.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsoY3AIRUGA .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GNww9cmZPo

http://www.luogocomune.net/site/modules/sections/index.php?op=viewarticl...

11b40

Here are some examples of people in senior government position who have Israeli citizenship. Will America ever wake up and end this idiocy, which was brought about in 1967 by a Supreme Court decision guided by Justice Abe Fortas, a prominent Jewish American. If some these names are not familiar, google them for a real surprise, or follow this link:

http://www.kickthemallout.com/article.php/Story-Dual_Citizenship_Loyal_T...

Jonathan Jay Pollard
Michael Mukasey
Michael Chertoff
Richard Perle\
Paul Wolfowitz
Lawrence (Larry) Franklin
Douglas Feith
Edward Luttwak.
Henry Kissinger
Dov Zakheim
Kenneth Adelman
I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby
Robert Satloff
Elliott Abrams
Marc Grossman
Richard Haass
Robert Zoellick
Ari Fleischer
James Schlesinger
David Frum
Joshua Bolten
John Bolton
David Wurmser
Eliot Cohen
Mel Sembler
Steve Goldsmith
Adam Goldman
Joseph Gildenhorn
Christopher Gersten
Mark Weinberger
Samuel Bodman
Bonnie Cohen
Ruth Davis
Daniel Kurtzer
Cliff Sobel
Stuart Bernstein
Nancy Brinker
Frank Lavin
Ron Weiser
Mel Sembler
Martin Silverstein
Lincoln Bloomfield
Jay Lefkowitz
Ken Melman
Brad Blakeman

Beginning to see the problem?

OldPhart

Here's a full taste of Wolfowitz as he was interviewed by some metro-sexual I've never heard of...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0-wwFE_DaM

The faggot's got some solid points over Wolfowitz.

[Oct 07, 2015] Chris Hayes and Paul Wolfowitz, Amazing Interview

YouTube

OldPhart

Here's a full taste of Wolfowitz as he was interviewed by some metro-sexual I've never heard of...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0-wwFE_DaM

The faggot's got some solid points over Wolfowitz.

[Oct 05, 2015] Lawrence Wilkerson The American 'Empire' Is In Deep, Deep Trouble

Oct 05, 2015 | Zero Hedge
Former US army colonel and Chief of Staff for Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson unleashed a most prescient speech on the demise of the United States Empire.

As Naked Capitalism's Yves Smith notes, Wilkerson describes the path of empires in decline and shows how the US is following the classic trajectory. He contends that the US needs to make a transition to being one of many powers and focus more on strategies of international cooperation.

The video is full of rich historical detail and terrific, if sobering, nuggets, such as:

"History tells us we're probably finished.

The rest of of the world is awakening to the fact that the United States is 1) strategically inept and 2) not the power it used to be. And that the trend is to increase that."

Wilkerson includes in his talk not just the way that the US projects power abroad, but internal symptoms of decline, such as concentration of wealth and power, corruption and the disproportionate role of financial interests.

Wilkerson also says the odds of rapid collapse of the US as an empire is much greater is generally recognized. He also includes the issues of climate change and resource constraints, and points out how perverse it is that the Department of Defense is the agency that is taking climate change most seriously. He says that the worst cases scenario projected by scientists is that the world will have enough arable land to support 400 million people.

Further key excerpts include:

"Empires at the end concentrate on military force as the be all and end all of power… at the end they use more mercenary based forces than citizen based forces"

"Empires at the end…go ethically and morally bankrupt… they end up with bankers and financiers running the empire, sound familiar?"

"So they [empires] will go out for example, when an attack occurs on them by barbarians that kills 3000 of their citizens, mostly because of their negligence, they will go out and kill 300,000 people and spend 3 trillion dollars in order to counter that threat to the status quo. They will then proceed throughout the world to exacerbate that threat by their own actions, sound familiar?…This is what they [empires] do particularly when they are getting ready to collapse"

"This is what empires in decline do, they can't even in govern themselves"

Quoting a Chinese man who was a democrat, then a communist (under Mao) then, when he became disenchanted, a poet and writer…"You can sit around a table and talk about politics, about social issues, about anything and you can have a reasonable discussion with a reasonable person. But start talking about the mal-distribution of wealth and you better get your gun" …."that's where we are, in Europe and the United States".

pretty bird

America is going through a tough time right now. But she's been through tougher times. I wouldn't bet against her.

Manthong

Gee, might this be a Smedley Butler moment?

Crud.. looking at the Roman Empire, and Revolutionary France, you do not need to be a Phd in economics (theory, not science) or political science (?) er, NO.. theory.. to figure out where this is heading.

Oh regional Indian

It's pretty clear that the Empire dream is crumbling.

Which does not bode well for people on the INSIDE of the empires gates.

Perhaps more true for the west in general right now and to a lesser or greater extent, cultures world-wide that have been brought to their knees by the false (Jewish/Zio inspired and funded) libertarianism of freedom via sex drugs and rock and roll.....it's time to go inwards.

The next 4-5 years are going to be shocking hard in the west as everything you were brought up to believe in shows it's true, tattered colours of specious beginnings, ugly/lost individuals (Sanger, Kinsey, Steinem, Leary, Greatful Dead etc. etc. to name but a few) and a funding hand that showed it's biases early but a populace with their eyes on the TV, hands on their (or someone else's gentalia), beer and bad food...too far gone to rise in any manner of protest at all...

America is definitely sliding down a deep dark hole...

Not finger pointing, just reality...

Apathy is a cancer...

Everyone should give this a listen...

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

Handful of Dust

Did I read "Colin Powell"? The same Colin Powell who sold his country down the river into one of the most costly bloodiest wars in American history with a bareface lie about non-existent WMDs and a phantom threat from a cave-dwelling desert country of camel jocks?

THAT Colin Powell?

omniversling

"Chief of Staff for Colin Powell"...was it Wilko who prepped the vial of ANNNNTTHHHRRAAX for Powel to present to the world via the UN PROVING the WMD case for bombing Iraq back to the stoneage?

TAALR Swift

Nothing wrong with reading Machiavelli, but you're better off watching this YT 11 minute clip from a former CIA agent:

"Ex CIA agent explains how to delete the elite!"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLr8ZvgURg0


luckylongshot

Great article. However while it exposes the cycle of power centralisation that leads to empires growing and collapsing it does not propose what needs to be done to stop this cycle occurring. This can be done by teaching the public to think critically, having a constitution that you stick to and decentralising power so different arms keep each other from becoming too powerful. Imagine if the NSA reported to the public and was tasked with ensuring politicians were not bribed and that businesses did not try to influence politics? In business the formula is decentralise power, treat people with respect and weed out the narcissists...and then enjoy large profits: This works wih nations and empires as well....why not try it.

Urban Redneck

The military and civil unrest threats due of climate change are not BS. What is BS are the contortions (both distortions and outright lies) and that the brass knob jockeys at the Pentagram will perform to receive moar funding for reducing competition for potentially much more scarce resources.

The larger threat isn't actually rising temperatures, but rather falling temperatures and changes in average precipitation. A single freeze in Florida can decimate citrus production, a wetter or drier than "Goldilocks" year can wreak havoc on production of various grains, and that is all without the .gov idiocy that is the People's Republic of Draughtifornia.

On a one-year timeline the weather costs are bad enough, but on a slightly longer climate timeline... not even the EBT equipped North American Land Whale has enough stored fat to wait out new McFodder if production has to migrated to follow climate change, which for some perennials (e.g the trees necessary for the all-American apple pie) means much more than a one year wait for first harvest.

So anyway... reducing competition... assuming you are a major power grand poobah (instead of a neo-Ethiopian Arab Spring despot), you can invade someone else to steal their food, invade someone else to reduce your domestic demand for food, or you can FEMA camp the useless eaters and put them on la diète noir, (if you can't afford Zyklon B, and the infrastructure to properly deploy it). Regardless, this is Military Planning 101 level stuff.

AMPALANCE

Industrial farming it destroying top soil on a massive scale, we reached peak production years ago. Combine that with a decrease in biodiversity from unconstrianed Trojan Horse GMO's, and the prospect of a catastrophic food shock is very real. Don't forget peak Phosphorus is expected to be reached around 2030, and depleated in 50 to 100 years, it true would prove devastating for humanity.

Motasaurus

Reached peak production years ago?

Pleasr do explain then how all food crops have increased yield every year while reducing the amount of both land and fertilisers used to do so.

We're no-where near peak production, and the higher the atmospheric CO2 content climbs, and the milder the winters we have (from a warming atmosphere), the more food we will be able to produce. We're not even half way to the optimal atmospheric CO2 levels of 1000ppm for food crop growth yet.

techpreist

Here's a fun graphic from the journal Nature (Science and Nature being the two most prestigious journals in modern science):

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v461/n7263/fig_tab/461472a_F1.html#...

By mainstream academia's own numbers, industrial farming (the primary cause of nitrogen pollution is a far bigger problem than official global warming. But you never hear a peep about it because the main cause of this type of pollution is a combination of 1) subsidies and 2) GMOs which require much higher N input to get the growth that's possible from genetic modification. Since the solution is less control over farming, they have no problem driving the Earth off a cliff.

junction

Wilkerson has the freedom to travel and talk because he receives a fairly large military pension. What neither Wilkerson or any other critic of the current rulers of the United Staes will say is that the United States has no economic future anymore. The Wall Street looters have pillaged the country, first stealing the assets of corporate pension funds and now finishing off their brigandage by stealing all the future tax income of this country through the criminal use of derivatives. America is now a country with poisoned water supplies (fluoridation which causes heart disease), poisoned food (glyphosates and antbiotic contamination) and a poisoned electoral system where the top 0.1% chooses the winners.

The super-rich have their bolt holes outside the USA because they don't want to be around when this country, now a near Nazi state complete with death squads and Nazi People's Court-type hanging judges and prosecutors, completes its transformation by setting up concentration camps.


pachanguero

This asshole is part of the problem. Fuck him and his bullshit Glow-Ball warming scam. He should be in jail for the Iraq War along with Obama and Bush.

TheObsoleteMan

What do you expect from him, he is a CFR member and a CIA/NSA asset. No one ever retires from the CIA, you just aren't assigned projects and you are pensioned, but the only way you ever leave the CIA is in a box. He is not an American, he is a globalist. You have to be, or your not allowed into the CFR.


Dark Daze

Here's a fucking news flash for you Einstein. Your 'team' as you so quaintly put it has spent the last 250 years murdering, bombing, assassinating and fucking over 3/4's of the planet. Originally, just after the revolution, there was a period of say 20 years (just as Jefferson suggested) where the citizenry of the US was peacful and productive. Then, not long after the death of the last of the original Father's of the Revolution, the psychopaths arrived (General Hull at Fort Detroit) and started their crap with an attempted invasion of Canada (1812-14). That didn't work out so well, so you went south and fought with the Spanish, the Mexicans, every country in central and south america, declaring that the US had a god given right to control the entire area of North and South America (the Monroe doctrine). On the way you made sure you wiped out virtually every 'dirty injun' you could find, burned a few dozen 'witches' at the stake, invaded China and brought the opium/heroin trade to America (the Connecticut Yankees in their Clipper ships) and generally forced yourselves on an unwilling world. There are only two western democracies that have never engaged in empire, Australia and Canada. All the rest, the UK, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Greece, the Macedonians (greeks), France, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Hungary have all tried and failed at establishing empires, killing millions along the way. I read your Constitution a few years back (probably one of the most enlightened documents ever created), and I seem to remember a passage about 'not becoming entangled in foreign intrigues'. Too bad you didn't take that to heart. They left you a clear, easy to understand, definitive document on how to live and you fucking destroyed it, and yourselves in the process.

The rest of the history is available to anybody that cares to investigate, which means not very many Americans, who prefer to remain conveniently ignorant of your bloody history.

in4mayshun

News flash for YOU...All significant Governments throughout history have killed lots of people to remain in power. And FYI, Canada and Australia don't matter cause they're really just extensions of Europe, as they follow in lockstep.

The Old Man

Refernce France: 1790 through 1816. Sorry. But paper doesn't work unless you feed it war. When war is always an option, society fails in the common place. Reinvent society. I mean you got iPhones and all this crap. How hard is it to think this through?

Lyman54

Australia and Canada were just proxy extensions of the British Empire. Canadians served in the Napoleonic wars, Crimea, the Boer War, WW-1, WW-2 and Korea. It wasn't until Korea that the media would actually call Canadian troops Canadians.

Socratic Dog

Aussie eh. While I don't dispute anything you say, I have to suggest the Aussie government is even worse in that it slavishly follows the US lead in fucking EVERYTHING, including killing and maiming women and children in their millions in places far from its shores. I saw a couple of days ago in the SMH (once-great local rag) that Australia is waiting for US direction on how to respond to the Russian "provocation" in Syria. They're ready to go to war with russia to protect, err, not exactly sure what they're ready to protect, but it must be important. Israel maybe? Australia has become a pathetic lap dog, starting with Vietnam. And just like the USSA, the people support the government position in most anything.

conscious being

Mossad did 9-11. Terrerists come in a lot of shapes and sizes.

Memedada

Both Mr. Banzai and rbg81 are displaying a surprising (this forum taken into account) lack of insight into the power-structures of the US empire.

I thought it was obvious to all – who pays attention – that the 'electorate' (especially the president) are mere pawns of a hidden (not that well hidden) power-elite. The people actually ruling US are not named in MSM (the 0,01 % - and no, that's not anyone on the Forbes list). That US have a 'colored president' does not make any difference – his masters are the same.

Second: US have no real elections. An election requires an informed and educated population. US has the opposite. The medias are controlled by the 0,01%, the public education system have been eroded and made into an extension of the 0,01%'s propaganda-machine and there's no independent think tanks and/or institutions that can help the population get informed (the absolute majority of think tanks and research institutions in US are founded and funded by and for the 0.01%). Moreover, since you got 'Diebold' it doesn't matter – the votes are counted the way the 0,01% wants them to be counted.

Third: communist in what way? What's your definition of communism? If he – I don't listen to him – actually said anything that could be interpreted as communist it doesn't count (he speaks nothing but BS – distractions). What political actions has he taken that you would consider 'communist'?

+ who don't despise USA for what it has become today? US deserves nothing but contempt – and until there's a real revolt/revolution the US population deserves the same contempt.

IridiumRebel

My wife, who has been involved with Doctors Without Borders albeit briefly, asked about the errant strike that killed 19+. I stated what happened. After she gasped, I went on to say that our current leadership and trajectory as a nation has to be purposeful in its fuckery and stupidity. It's willful. They HAVE to be making these stupid decisions on purpose. There is no other possible answer. No way they could be making these decisions and think they will do anything but make us weaker and less trusted if it's even possible.

AmericanFUPAcabra

The GPS coordinates for that hospital had been given to the US months in advance. They knew it was there (probably helped build it with your money) In fact when the first bombs started falling phone calls were made to the US and NATO that they were hitting the wrong place- and guess what? The air strikes kept coming down for 30 minutes.

You can go on Youtube and watch Robert Ford (john negroponte's protege) making the news circuits lately blaming the people in the hospital for not having an evacuation plan. THEY DO NOT FUCKING CARE ABOUT CIVILIAN CASUALTIES. It has nothing to do with fucking up. A handful of Kissinger quotes come to mind.


Dark Daze

Well, it is very coincidental that less than 24 hours after 'the taliban' shot down a cargo plane carrying 'contractors' (CIA?), the hospital was bombed. There is more to this story than we know. Regardless, it still shows basially one thing which is that governments everywhere are out of control.

delacroix

a fuckup would be if they bombed the opium wharehouse.

Jorgen

"a fuckup would be if they bombed the opium wharehouse."

Yes, indeed, it would be...

Rumors Persist That the #CIA Helps Export #Opium from #Afghanistan http://t.co/yeihvYEvB3 pic.twitter.com/MYiDWqdPYV

- The Anti Media (@TheAntiMedia1) September 26, 2015

Paveway IV

"...No way they could be making these decisions and think they will do anything but make us weaker and less trusted if it's even possible..."

It would be most unhelpful to think of the actions of any branch of the U.S. government or military today as being in the interests of the people they serve. You can be certain that psychopaths running the U.S. (many groups with overlapping, occasionally competing but generally complementary interests) are in TOTAL control, and the organizations have morphed to serve ONLY psychopathic leaders, not normal ones. Arguing about which specific group of psychopaths is at the top of the heap or what their motivations are is also totally meaningless - it just doesn't matter. THAT isn't the problem.

The real problem is that the machinery of all of these government organizations has been fundamentally changed to serve only psychopathic leaders. They can no longer accomodate a 'normal' leader in any sense of the word. Replacing the heads of every one of these organizations today wouldn't work - the organizations themselves would reject a 'normal' person in charge and would oppose them at every turn or simply drive them out. It's well past the point of just getting 'the right' leaders in place.

The U.S. is on psychopath auto-pilot. There are no personal consequences for 'bad' decisions by those in charge of our government organizations. The leaders are making the exact same kind of decisions that every other failing empire has made during its decline since forever.

Perceptions of strength/weakness or trust/distrust are immaterial to the psychopaths in charge, as long as everybody seems to obey them. They're in a desperate scramble to maintain their OWN illusion of control before things go full-retard - they could care less what anyone else thinks of them or their decisions today.

o r c k

Agree, but just imagine living in most European Countries and knowing that the end of your ancient culture is only a few decades away due to the psychopathy of your "leaders".

Being surrounded by a warlike, mean-spirited and superstitious clan of early humans and NO way out whatsoever.

Jorgen

"They HAVE to be making these stupid decisions on purpose. There is no other possible answer."

Here is one theory on why the MSF hospital was bombed:

This is interesting... Did Obama Bomb Doctors Without Borders for Opposing TPP? http://t.co/2GEIbaQKyd

- AntiMedia UK (@AntiMediaUK) October 5, 2015

Flying Wombat

The Processes and Logic of The Deep State - Professor Peter Dale Scott

Unusually, just a single speaker this week: one two hour interview with the doyen of deep political research, Canadian Professor Peter Dale Scott. He provides not only a lot of details of the evolution of the post WW2 deep state in the USA, but also sketches out its guiding principles, some of the deeper patterns which allow one to understand the superficially confusing and contradictory actions of the US deep state.

Access show here: http://thenewsdoctors.com/?p=516544

SFopolis

Colin Powell has been treated as a great man for doing what? Semi-admitting that he knew we had it all wrong and everybody in power was (is) a war criminal?

In my opinion he is worse than all of the rest, because he had the platform and could have single handidly prevented this whole mess and exposed so many falshoods. Instead he did exactly what he knew was wrong. If he were a patriot and such a great man, he wouldn't have done what he did.

tool

WTF happen to him. Did he disappear into obscurity because of the extreme shame he felt for presenting that huge steaming pile of horse shit to the UN in front of the world .

I'm guessing not because people like that don't feel remorse or shame. They just get paid and live happily ever after!

conscious being

Colin proved himself to be a useful tool when he was brought in as the black face to do his part in covering up The Mai Lai Massacre in VietNam. His career took off after that.


[Oct 04, 2015] My comprehensive plan for US policy on the Middle East

Crooked Timber

5566hh, 10.04.15 at 2:02 am

Seriously though, I think a non-plan isn't really that useful. Why not have an actual plan? Something like this:
  1. End all drone strikes
  2. Cut off all military aid to countries in the Middle East
  3. Cut off diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia
  4. End all CIA or other covert support for groups in the region
  5. Put sanctions on any state in the region that funds terrorist groups
  6. Abolish the CIA, or at least covert CIA political interventions (this would help to address a lot of other problems outside the region too)
  7. Withdraw all US forces from the Middle East
  8. Encourage Britain to abandon its plans for a base in Bahrain
  9. Provide development aid (non-military) to the region
  10. Put diplomatic pressure on repressive regimes in the region

Val, 10.04.15 at 3:12 am

A U.S. air strike killed 20 MSF workers and patients in Afghanistan. A U.S. spokesperson called it collateral damage

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/03/kunduz-charity-hospital-bombing-violates-international-law

It's bullshit. That's what contemporary warfare does – kills civilians. The vast majority of those who die in contemporary warfare are civilians. It's not collateral damage, it's what war does. I don't know (as I've written on my blog) how anyone can justify war these days.

Frank Wilhoit, 10.04.15 at 3:17 am

The United States has only one option left in the Middle East. That is to build a time machine, go back to 1911, and prevent Winston Churchill and Jacky Fisher from converting the British Navy from coal to oil. Admittedly, serious obstacles stand in the way of implementing this approach, but there is no alternative.

John Quiggin, 10.04.15 at 3:40 am

@5 This amounts to spelling out my plan

@8 Or, alternatively, set the time machine for 2015, when the US is virtually self-sufficient in oil, and the price is at a historic low (the supposed need to control ME oil was always nonsense, but it's nonsense on stilts now)

[Oct 03, 2015] Moscow and Kiev in positive mood over talks to end east Ukraine conflict

Notable quotes:
"... The EU cannot do anything about Ukraine Right Sector radicals and its other nutters in the Mafia. ..."
"... But the Donbas situation is more mixed, however, even before the trouble in 2014, what I DID encounter in Kiev in particular (not so much Galycnya) was a regard of the SE UA citizens as second-class citizens, as well as attitudes that could be accurately be described as quasi-facist, ..."
"... I wonder why you call Western airstrikes "tactical". The coalition launched >7,000 military aircraft sorties in over a year, apparently carefully "missing" ISIS targets, killing on average ~0.4 terrorist per sortie and freeing up as much as 15 square kilometers of territory from ISIS. As you can easily imagine, a lot of people made huge amounts of money in the process. So we should call this a resounding success, on par with $10 billion no-bid Halliburton contract in Iraq. Wouldn't you agree? ..."
"... Does it really matter if they have ? We know the West has been involved so it would be pretty much par for the course if Russia was involved. The main thing is Ukraine becomes a peaceful nation for the benefit of its citizens, not for the benefit of either the West or Russia. ..."
Oct 02, 2015 | The Guardian

Елена Соловьева -> BMWAlbert 3 Oct 2015 20:37

Dear, you refer to "one blonde said!". On some vague feelings, assumptions... Enough speculation about Crimea, please! Let's stick to facts! Crimea 80% of the population - Russian. Not only Pro-Russian, and ethnic Russians. Russia does not need were the little green men of Crimea! But for drunk and scared of the Ukrainian military in the Crimea, for the Wahhabis, who through the streets went to the cars with black flags for Ukrainian neo-Nazis, importing explosives and suitable for shooting on the streets, probably Yes. Crimea was similar to the Autonomous Republic, until authonomy has destroyed by abandoning the Constitution. It was abolished by the President! Crimea held a referendum for secession from Ukraine long before the coup in Ukrainein 2014 .

Note that the Americans tried to seize Crimea under the guise of NATO exercises! Was absolutely illegal attempt to build an American military base in Crimea for the U.S. Navy landed the Marines on may 26, 2006, of which the citizens of Crimea dishonorably discharged. And during the state coup in Ukraine in the Black Sea suddenly a us warship.

In Debaltsevo the Ukrainian neo-Nazis fought with men that were deprived of the government, the President, sovereignty, language, external management is introduced, destroyed the economy. Take away the right to life. Whose wives, parents and children every day are killed by shells from anti-aircraft weapons in schools, hospitals, shops, bus stops, fill up with planes of white phosphorus, the water is shut off and the light stopped issuing wages and pensions, imposed humanitarian blockade.

To fight with desperate men, defending their home, or engage in rape and looting among the civilian population, where the majority of the elderly, women, children - different things.

Sarah7 -> Sarah7 3 Oct 2015 19:58

One more thing:

Actually, the first photograph accompanying this piece by Shaun Walker shows Poroshenko looking particularly angry and miserable -- if looks could kill, Merkel would be in big trouble!

That said, in the same photo, Putin appears calm, sanguine, and in a very 'positive mood' compared to his counterparts. Go figure.

Sarah7 3 Oct 2015 19:49

Moscow and Kiev in 'positive mood' over talks to end east Ukraine conflict

If you look at the photographs that accompany the following piece, Poroshenko does not appear to be in a 'positive mood' over the recent meeting of the Normandy Four, and Merkel looks like she is going to spit nails. Perhaps this explains their dour faces:

Checkmate!

3 October 2015

Finally the Penny Drops: Merkel Admits Crimea is Part of Russia
http://sputniknews.com/politics/20151003/1027980523/merkel-admits-crimea-is-part-of-russia.html

German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the first time publically accepted the fact that Crimea doesn't belong to Ukraine and that the peninsula will stay as part of Russia, Alexei Pushkov, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian Duma, said on his Twitter account, according to Gazeta.ru. (Emphasis added)

"Important: After a meeting in Paris, Merkel for the first time admitted that Crimea won't return to Ukraine. That means the crisis is only about the east of the country," Pushkov wrote. (Emphasis added)

The Normandy Four talks on Ukraine reconciliation concluded in Paris on Friday.

The leaders of the Normandy Quartet countries managed to agree on the procedure of the withdrawal of heavy weapons in eastern Ukraine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday.

"We were able to agree on the withdrawal of heavy weapons," Merkel said following the Normandy Four talks in Paris. "There is hope for progress. We are moving toward each other."

On the whole, the results of Friday's Normandy Four talks in Paris set a positive tone, Angela Merkel said, adding that she was satisfied with what the participants achieved during the meeting.

The Normandy Four are planning to meet for a followup in November, presumably to keep Poroshenko in compliance and moving head with the implementation of Minsk II.

PS -- It was the evil Putin wot done it!

HollyOldDog -> Laurence Johnson 3 Oct 2015 18:55

The EU cannot do anything about Ukraine Right Sector radicals and its other nutters in the Mafia. This mess is for Ukraine alone to sort out and Mikheil Saakashvilli is not the man for the job - his corruption runs far to deep for any action that is more than cosmetic.

BMWAlbert -> Елена Соловьева 3 Oct 2015 18:38

IDK the number of Russian nationals in the Donbas forces, something between 1-10K as a rough guess, these are not formal formations (some are organized at the battalion level as all-Russian units, just an observation from the Russian language news coverage of the closing of Debaltsevo earlier this year, e.g. so called "Khan" battalion, this is just televised news, but there must be more than one such unit, hence the estimate-there are enough weapons captures from UAF in the earlier battles also to arm a small army in Donbas, but this does not rule-out direct supplies (I would imagine something low-key and NOT the big white convoys), this would be the natural minimal level of support I would infer/expect in this case and seems a fair inference. I am not replicating mindless statements from ATO leaders, and remember that Rada twice tried

Crimea was an autonomous region in UA and with rights to hold a referendum under the early 2014 UA Constitution and an earlier legal attempt in 1993 was surprised, also that RU had large forces already legally stationed in Crimea/Krim according to the Kharkov treaty and that in some cases, civic authority, Sebastopol by the RU naval command being a case in point-a continuation of old practices. My sense from personal friends is that among the young, and old generally, the pro-RU sentiment in Krim is strong (incl. one girl with whom I have lost contact, who works there in what is now RU, due to current conditions).

But the Donbas situation is more mixed, however, even before the trouble in 2014, what I DID encounter in Kiev in particular (not so much Galycnya) was a regard of the SE UA citizens as second-class citizens, as well as attitudes that could be accurately be described as quasi-facist, this includes well-educated people, ibcl. in one case (a blonde) the desire to 'exterminate' the Russians-but I would not count the opinions in Donbas as only those enduring the bombardments, there are also many refugees, many in RU itself of course, whose opinions vary from those expressed sometimes here with all due respect, so yes it is complicated.


HollyOldDog -> William Snowden 3 Oct 2015 18:13

Putin wants Ukraine to succeed but the only way it can do this is for the Ukrainian citizens to take over its government and boot out the Self-serving Oligarchs. The Oligarchs have their place in Ukraine but that is to stay out from forming Government decisions and confine their endeavors to modernizing and improving the infrastructure of Ukraine Industrial base which would improve the finance and conditions for all of Ukrainian citizens. It's going to be a difficult road but Russia and the EU can help, though clinging on to the influences of the USA would surely be a retrograde step.

Елена Соловьева -> BMWAlbert 3 Oct 2015 18:07

What's so complicated? The war is real or not! Evidence of finding the 200 000 Russian soldiers in Lugansk and Donbass, or have or not! Crimea after the collapse of the USSR was a disputed territory, which Ukraine annexed unilaterally, without considering the opinion of the Russian Federation and, more IMPORTANTLY, against the wishes of the citizens of the Crimean Republic, which, actually, was constitutional and presidential, while Ukraine did not destroy this status! It is Ukraine annexed the Crimean Republic, and the Russian city Sevastopol, which is in the Republic even geographically not part of, Mr. specialist on Ukraine! Demarcation implies the absence of territorial disputes. And, by the way! Another monstrous stupidity of your media! Poor Ukraine after the coup d'état, followed by the external management of the country by the EU and the US are terrorized by the evil Russian, because it is weak and has no nuclear weapons because of the Treaty of non-aggression from the Russian Federation? Really? Ukraine did not pay its portion of external debt of the USSR and the Russian Empire, therefore, is not the successor,and cannot claim to nuclear power status! Ukraine is a priori not have a right to this weapon, because it was not the owner initially, as the successor! The coup in Kiev was held under the slogan "Cut all Russians!", which in Ukraine 2 years ago, it was a few million, and that is what they are doing throughout the Ukraine, especially in Eastern Ukraine and was planning to do in Crimea. The burning of people in Odessa - a vivid example.

Beckow -> Bart Looren de Jong 3 Oct 2015 17:11

You cannot survey people in the middle of a civil conflict on how much they like or dislike what is described as the "enemy". It simply cannot be done, the numbers are meaningless.

Look at Ukraine's economy and you will see the future of this conflict. The living standards are down so low that all else will become meaningless - people actually care about their incomes and living standard.

Your slogans about "illegal", "privileged sphere" are not what any of this is about, they are not what people in Ukraine think about or what matters to them. But if you insist on slogans, there is one simple answer: Kosovo. West bombed Serbia, killing about a thousand civilians, to force Albanian separation in Kosovo. All talk about "international law" is kind of meaningless after that.

Informed17 -> Laurence Johnson 3 Oct 2015 15:53

I wonder why you call Western airstrikes "tactical". The coalition launched >7,000 military aircraft sorties in over a year, apparently carefully "missing" ISIS targets, killing on average ~0.4 terrorist per sortie and freeing up as much as 15 square kilometers of territory from ISIS. As you can easily imagine, a lot of people made huge amounts of money in the process. So we should call this a resounding success, on par with $10 billion no-bid Halliburton contract in Iraq. Wouldn't you agree?

Manolo Torres -> Bart Looren de Jong 3 Oct 2015 15:49

I have condemned the actions of the Russian government in chechnya many times, if you are going to speak about anyones hypocrisy, you should at least know with whom are you talking.

Manolo Torres
9 Sep 2014 09:42
0 Recommend
Look, I already replied, I wasn´t careful with my question. Of course the Russians have committed many abuses, namely the war in Chechnya. I also explained the differences between that war and the wars by US/NATO that have simply no justification on grounds of self defense.


My concern with human life was shown by my condemnation of every violent act: the massacre in Odessa, the airstrikes and shelling that killed thousands in Ukraine, the war in Iraq and Syria, the war in Chechnya or the neo-nazi movement inside Russia (as we were discussing yesterday before you started shouting and got overwhelmed by the numbers I showed you).

As for the Ukrainians I don´t you are as stupid as to blame Putin for the Ukrainian governments shelling of residential areas. And perhaps you know that there is an investigation for MH17.

i am not like you Rob, I am not a fanatic and I only make judgements when I think I know the facts. You are just shouting and looking every time more ridiculous.

A good start for you would be to say that you stand corrected for the Amnesty report. Do it, I have done it, feels good.

Can I do anything else for you?

Laurence Johnson -> gimmeshoes 3 Oct 2015 14:15

Poroshenko is in a bit of a legal quagmire as his government has not at any stage controlled the entire nation and its borders at any time. His current claim on Eastern Ukraine in legal terms is more a wish list than a legal document of fact.

His only path is partition to legalise his government to govern what they have today, or to negotiate the handing over of East Ukraine to his governments control in order that he can legitimately govern the entire nation and its borders. An invasion of East Ukraine is probably not going to work legally, or on a more practical basis.

Informed17 -> Worried9876 3 Oct 2015 14:10

This is too categorical. Chocolate man wants anything that allows him to keep cashing in on his "president" title. The only thing that's unacceptable to him is if his masters try to prevent his thievery. Then he is likely to become angry and unpredictable. Might even remember about Ukraine, although that's highly unlikely.

elias_ 3 Oct 2015 14:04

Looks to me like Putin wins. Crimea in the bag, the eastern regions stay in Ukraine with enough clout to prevent nato membership and keep the nazis at bay. And stupid EU and US get to pay the bill for reconstruction. The sanctions hurt all sides but are forcing much needed reforms in his country, he may even become a net exporter of food products instead of importing from the eu. He gets a refund for the Mistrals and makes the poodle French look untrustworthy. Oh well, serves the sneaky bastards right (you know who i mean "fuxx the eu").

Laurence Johnson -> Alexzero 3 Oct 2015 14:03

Does it really matter if they have ? We know the West has been involved so it would be pretty much par for the course if Russia was involved. The main thing is Ukraine becomes a peaceful nation for the benefit of its citizens, not for the benefit of either the West or Russia.

[Oct 03, 2015] The Tragedy of American Diplomacy by William Appleman Williams

J. Lindner, June 7, 2004

In the Tragedy of American Diplomacy, William Appleman Williams illustrates how America fails to honor its own principles when it approaches foreign policy. America believes in self-determination and the right to develop its own brand of democracy. Unfortunately, no other nation is afforded the luxury of self discovery. Other nations must conform to America's vision of democracy or face the terror of America?s military might. This, to Williams, is the tragedy.

Cuba is his first case. America wanted Cuba to adhere to American visions which meant wealth for the sugar planters and their American backers. When Cuba sought its own course and threw off a repressive regime, America objected. The rift has existed ever since as no American administration will ever acknowledge Cuba's right to govern its own affairs so long as Castro is in power.
Williams then systematically follows the years from 1898 through 1961 and paints a similar picture. It does not take the reader long to get the idea and carry the argument beyond Williams' parameters and show that everything from Grenada to Lebanon to Afghanistan to Iraq can be shown in the same light. American puppet governments are not granting freedom and democracy to their constituents as much as they are part of a ruling class dominated by the business interests that exploit their workforce and deny requests for reform until the entire population is ripe for rebellion (remember the Shah of Iran). One wonders if the Saudi government is the next great western ally to fall victim to a popular revolt of Muslim fundamentalists.

Williams is a master of detail and works his arguments creatively in an entertaining fashion. Neoconservatives of today will have the same objections as their predecessors from the 1950s in acknowledging Williams as a valid author. But Williams makes a strong case and if more people were exposed to his writing, our country might even find a way to avoid the same pitfalls. A Saudi revolution would disrupt oil markets and jeopardize world economies. Perhaps if some thought is put into policy such a scenario is avoidable and preventable. If people are willing to give Williams a chance American foreign policy might eventually reflect a broader American vision rather than the interests of a few.

Karun Mukherji, April 8, 2006

Erudite, splendidly crafted, fine piece of scholarhip

Williams book explores paradoxical nature of US Foreign Policy.

Firstly author refutes orthodox view that accidental, inadvertent turn of events transformed America into a global power. Williams has argued market forces unleashed by private free enterprise economy dictated the growth of American power; it has also molded country's foreign policy and continues to do so. To comprehend this fully one has to understand the intricacies of Capitalism.

It goes without saying that Capitalism carries within it the seed of self destruction. Late 19th century American economy was convulsed by frequent bouts of economic depression which led to wide spread social unrest. Home markets saturated with goods which people find difficult to absorb as they had only limited purchasing power. 'Frontier' had close down and country's leading intellectuals [William Jackson Turner ,Brooke Adams, Alfred Thayer Mahan] frantically called for overseas expansion avert an impending economic doom

Thus economic considerations compelled successive American Presidents [Grover Clevland, William Mckinley, Thedore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson] to remake the world in America's image. Unfortunately this policy boomeranged because Afro ,Asian, Latin American world refused to share American view.

Iniquitous, unfair trade practised by US helped Washington to enrich in detriment to welfare of latter economies. This was closely followed by American tendency to externalise evil. It posits the view that other nations have a stake in America's continued, prosperous existence. This preposterous notion, according to the author, has been the starting point America's troubles. Actually problem lay in fundamental nature of capitalist economy. Attempts to reverse this trend triggered counter revolutionary wars in Asia, Latin America. The above feature forms essence of this book; this idea continues to permeate the book.

Williams provide fresh interpretation on the onset of Cold War. He holds Truman administration accountable for the coming of iron curtain in Eastern Europe. Firstly in immediate postwar years US taking advantage of its economic might tried to extend its 'open door' policy into Eastern Europe. Further exploiting atomic monopoly the President tried to reverse political order which emerged in areas under Soviet control.

We may pause here try to establish reasons behind America's post war hostility toward Soviet Union. Unlike Britain which during the days of the empire could invest and dominate worldwide, America upon the end of World War II inherited a divided world.

Soviet economy with its emphasis on industrial self sufficiency apart from shutting the door US investment was in the process of curtailing imports substantially. With the success of Communist revolution 1/3rd of world's population had wrenched free from capitalist sphere influence. With so much production capacity lying idle, US by the end of World War II was haunted by a spectre of another depression. Challenge before America -- challenges her still-wheather market will shrink.

Marshall plan leading to massive post war reconstruction Western Europe must be seen from this angle. Rebuilding war-ravaged economies stimulated economic growth in US. Thus in my opinion Marshall plan must not be construed as a manifestation of American altruism; it was motivated by economic self interest.

Author's stress upon market forces dictating the American destiny broadly agrees with Marxian interpretation of History. Perhaps this was reason why Williams was dubbed Marxist, Stalinist by conservative, liberal elite of his country. This book deserves to be read by those who believe current anti American sentiment sweeping the world stems from sheer envy for American prosperity.

Tim, December 31, 2009

Creates a clear path through 20th century American history

The fact that this book has become a classic is hardly debatable. Williams' examination of American foreign policy is now in its fourth printing with this 50th anniversary edition. The book takes a detailed look at "The Open Door Policy" which evolved out The Open Door Notes of the late 19th century. It shows that, for better or worse, American Capitalism had to find and constantly expand into foreign markets in order for there to be freedom and prosperity at home.

Williams argues that not only American leaders but the general population internalized this belief so deeply that it was considered the very basis of morality in the world. Any other way of looking at society was believed to be simply wrong, and in fact, evil. Williams undoubtedly knew that this way of looking at Capitalism, and the world at large, coincided directly with the predictions of Marx concerning Capitalism's globalization. The Policy of the Open Door can be used to explain the objectives of every foreign military excursion we have undertaken since the end of the 1800's.

It continues to this day in our oil-hungry drive for control of the nations in the Middle East and South Asia. It creates real and imagined enemies that have accounted for the build up of America's military might over the years. Overall I found this examination of American foreign policy to be quite satisfactory and rational in explaining the successes and failures of American actions over the years. Where I would criticize Williams is in his characterization of America's leaders having a truly benevolent anti-colonial attitude towards the lesser nations in which America invested and set up "trade".

Williams argued repeatedly, and the commentators in the 50th anniversary edition did as well, that the government really believed they were benefiting mankind as a whole by not only exporting America's goods, but American values, and that the only "Tragedy" was the failure of these policies. I think it a bit uncritical to state this unequivocally. To argue that American leaders (both government and civilian) did NOT know that they were exploiting nations and purposely directing the trade to benefit Americans regardless of the effect on foreigners is quite bold. I believe that the greed of Americans and the drive that is inherent in Capitalistic countries meant that these leaders knew EXACTLY what they were doing, and that they had little true regard for the welfare of nations.

Our failure to see that there is more than one way for societies to organize themselves is certainly a problem of ignorance in American culture, and Williams is right to argue that blaming America's leaders becomes a scapegoat. Americans need to change themselves first and realize the error of their ways...that it will cause destruction at home and abroad...before we will see any change in leadership and our destructive policies.

However, the American empire is really not that different than others in history. The drive for power becomes all consuming, and ultimately leads to disregard for humanity...unless that humanity happens to be at the top of the American food chain.

[Oct 03, 2015] Germany to supply Ferguson insurgents in the US with weapons

"... Translator's note: I like satire: just change a few words, and this could be your newspaper, or some pages in the Congressional Record. Satire actually helps one realize what is going on. ..."
Oct 03, 2015 | fortruss.blogspot.be

October 1, 2015 | Fort Russ

Translated from German by Tom Winter

Translator's note: I like satire: just change a few words, and this could be your newspaper, or some pages in the Congressional Record. Satire actually helps one realize what is going on.

The Federal government of Germany wants to supply weapons to insurgents in the US.

"The red line has been crossed!" With these words, a visibly frayed Foreign Minister Steinmeier appeared this morning before the press. "With the murder of yet another black activist, the Obama regime once again shows its ugly head!". Background: On August 09, the totally unarmed black civil rights activists Michael Brown was shot by police. Now on August 19, another black activist in St. Louis, not far from Ferguson, has been shot in cold blood by white policemen.

"The world can not continue to stand idly by," Steinmeier stressed at the press conference. "Here are peaceful human rights activists protesting against heavily armed police in a profoundly racist apartheid regime."

Therefore, the point now been reached, "in which Germany, too, must take responsibility for the oppressed peoples of the world," said Steinmeier.

As several media have unanimously reported, the government is now considering supplying arms to the rebels.

Next comes consideration what to supply in support of the rebels in Ferguson: protective vests, helmets, and night vision devices, and light infantry weapons?

Many MPs in the government coalition feel this does not go far enough. Given that the police and National Guard are geared up with weapons of war like an army, several CDU MPs are calling for supplying the rebels with heavier munitions. "We are currently discussing the proposals," an unnamed deputy is quoted. "We cannot rule out that the weapons may end up falling into the wrong hands."

In view of these events in the US, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen will not rule out the use of Bundeswehr soldiers. However, out of sensitivity and respect for the local activists "only colored members of the Bundeswehr would participate in such a mission."

Mid-East Coup As Russia Pounds Militant Targets, Iran Readies Ground Invasions While Saudis Panic

Zero Hedge
Dutti

Congratulations to Russia and Iran to standing up [to neocons strategy], I hope their strategy will work.

Why can Saudi-Arabia with the approval of the western powers bomb a foreign country, Jemen, without Jemen having attacked Saudi? Of course Saudi claims they do it at the request of the president Hadi of Jemen who fled to Saudi. If that is accepted by western powers, then how would those western powers have reacted if Russia would have attacked and bombed the Ukraine, at the request of the democratically elected president Yanukovich who fled to Russia?

I think the house of Saud is setting itself up for real bad long-term Karma or, if you prefer, the Saudis create a lot of enemies for themselves by destroying the people and their neighboring country of Jemen. Reminds me of why Americans are often times not liked in many parts of the world.

Americans often claim that Assad is a Tyrant, a Murderer and a Dictator and that's why he must go. Why does the US not call the House of Saud by the same names and try to overthrow them? I guess because the House of Saud is an obedient servant of the US, and Assad is cooperating with a different power - Russia.

The western mainstream media treats the Saudi atrocities in Jemen as a sideshow, while blowing up the story about Assad and demonizing him. What's the alternative to Assad?

Let's see how other countries, Iraq and Libya, with worse Tyrants - Saddam Hussein and Ghaddafi have "developed", thanks to western intervention.

In addition, the US is always talking about the evil Iranians, and how they took American hostages back in 1979. You don't hear much about the fact that the US staged a coup in 1953, deposed the democratically elected president Mossadegh and installed the Shah, who, just like the House of Saud became a servant for US interests. After the Iranians were finally able to get rid of the Shah who had been in power for over 25 years they understandably did not have much love left for the US. The pendulum went to the other side.

If you look at all these facts in context, it's easy to see the hypocrisy of the US and it's western "allies".

Lost My Shorts

It sounds like -- we are covertly supporing ISIS while pretending to attack them, and getting huffy because Putin is really attacking them. Or wandering around like a headless chicken. Or just wasting money. Not sure.

Crash Overide

"Remind me ... WTF are we doing in Syria ?!"

Trying to profit from destruction and keep control on the US civilian population through fear of boogeyman terrorists.

Just remember, when they fail abroad, they will start chaos at home.

Lock and load my fellow countrymen... eyes open.

[Oct 03, 2015] The Mind of Mr. Putin By Patrick J. Buchanan

October 02, 2015 | Information Clearing House

...Vladimir Putin in his U.N. address summarized his indictment of a U.S. foreign policy that has produced a series of disasters in the Middle East that we did not need the Russian leader to describe for us.

What does Putin see as the ideological root of these disasters?

"After the end of the Cold War, a single center of domination emerged in the world, and then those who found themselves at the top of the pyramid were tempted to think they were strong and exceptional, they knew better."

Then, adopting policies "based on self-conceit and belief in one's exceptionality and impunity," this "single center of domination," the United States, began to export "so-called democratic" revolutions.

How did it all turn out? Says Putin:

"An aggressive foreign interference has resulted in a brazen destruction of national institutions. … Instead of the triumph of democracy and progress, we got violence, poverty and social disaster. Nobody cares a bit about human rights, including the right to life."

Is Putin wrong in his depiction of what happened to the Middle East after we plunged in? Or does his summary of what American interventions have wrought echo the warnings made against them for years by American dissenters?

Putin concept of "state sovereignty" is this: "We are all different, and we should respect that. No one has to conform to a single development model that someone has once and for all recognized as the right one." The Soviet Union tried that way, said Putin, and failed. Now the Americans are trying the same thing, and they will reach the same end.

Unlike most U.N. speeches, Putin's merits study. For he not only identifies the U.S. mindset that helped to produce the new world disorder, he identifies a primary cause of the emerging second Cold War.

To Putin, the West's exploitation of its Cold War victory to move NATO onto Russia's doorstep caused the visceral Russian recoil. The U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine that overthrew the elected pro-Russian government led straight to the violent reaction in the pro-Russian Donbas.

What Putin seems to be saying to us is this: If America's elites continue to assert their right to intervene in the internal affairs of nations, to make them conform to a U.S. ideal of what is a good society and legitimate government, then we are headed for endless conflict. And, one day, this will inevitably result in war, as more and more nations resist America's moral imperialism.

Nations have a right to be themselves, Putin is saying. They have the right to reflect in their institutions their own histories, beliefs, values and traditions, even if that results in what Americans regard as illiberal democracies or authoritarian capitalism or even Muslim theocracies.

There was a time, not so long ago, when Americans had no problem with this, when Americans accepted a diversity of regimes abroad. Indeed, a belief in nonintervention abroad was once the very cornerstone of American foreign policy.

Wednesday and Thursday, Putin's forces in Syria bombed the camps of U.S.-backed rebels seeking to overthrow Assad. Putin is sending a signal: Russia is willing to ride the escalator up to a collision with the United States to prevent us and our Sunni Arab and Turkish allies from dumping over Assad, which could bring ISIS to power in Damascus.

Perhaps it is time to climb down off our ideological high horse and start respecting the vital interests of other sovereign nations, even as we protect and defend our own.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book "The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority." To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at www.creators.com.

[Oct 02, 2015] The pretense that it was a Russian invasion in Donetsk is exactly that, a pretense.

At fist I thought that Twaddleradar, member since Aug 9, 2015A is a new NATObot. It it looks like he is a regular Russophob... Still amazingly prolific spamming the whole discussion. It's definitly not enough for him to state his point of view and voice objection. Such commenting incontinence is very disruptive in Web forums.
Notable quotes:
"... WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE!?!? After 2 weeks in syria you have loads of satellite pictures of the Russian base/troops, but after a year + in Ukraine all your evidence is taken from social media posts? Good thing more and more people are refusing to swallow your daily dose of bullshit. ..."
"... The pretense that this was a Russian invasion is exactly that, a pretense. ..."
"... Something tells that it's easy to say but hard to implement. Far right powers in Ukraine would resist such a law very much. ..."
Oct 02, 2015 | The Guardian

ID075732 2 Oct 2015 22:51

Russia has denied military involvement in the conflict despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

This old chestnut again... Evidence please of this sweeping claim?

No mention of Putin drafting the Minsk agreement, this is what happened. Then presenting it as a road map for a resolution to the Ukrainian Civil war? As I recall it was Merkell and Holland who rushed to Moscow in February to meet with Putin and thrash out a solution which was then presented to Poroshenko.

As the USA is now in an election cycle and with the Syrian War on Isis takes centre stage with Russian involvement, it looks like the their sock puppet, Petro Poroshenko has been hung out to dry. Finally being told to get back in his box... for now, probably as no more funds via the IMF will be directed into this proxi-conflict if it continues (well they were breaking their own rules giving Ukraine money when it's at war with itself).

Finally, this made me smile...

It has been a busy diplomatic week for Putin, who has not been a frequent guest in western capitals over the past year

Actually Putin has had a very busy diplomatic year building international partnerships across Asia and the BRIC's, Trade agreements with China and Saudi Arabian investment into Russia. The Silk Route project and much more. It seems to me some of the Graun's journalists should get out more, like Putin has been doing!

PrinceEdward -> Twaddleradar 2 Oct 2015 21:12

Meanwhile every Ukrainian male is so full of patriotism, there is no need for a 5 draft rounds in Ukraine because they're flooding with so many volunteers, they turn them away. Stories of parents paying $1000 to get their kids out of the draft, or countless thousands of 20-something Ukrainians running away to Russia and Poland to get student visas, is just propaganda.

MrJohnsonJr 2 Oct 2015 21:07

Ukraine has a fucking nerve to require a diplomatic effort to have it explained to them what a murderous losers the turned out to be and that another of their "revolutions" brought nothing but a major waste of human life and EU and Russian taxpayer money.

KriticalThinkingUK 2 Oct 2015 20:39

Its great isnt it what can be achieved when Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine get together for serious negotiations. Just like in Minsk 1 and 2 when the same group first established peace in Ukraine, behind the backs of the USA and UK who were pointedly not invited to those talks either.

What is the key to this progress? Simple. Dont invite the rightwing cold war loonies to attend. Keep them out at all costs. That is to say exclude from all talks USA, UK, NATO, Poland and the rest of the crazy warmongers who have worked so hard to encourage conflict.

If these negotiations are successful expect further progress over the next decade in other spheres between Germany and Russia. In fact objectively by all measures it is in the long term interests, both economic and political, for these two major European powers to co-operate as natural trading partners....the US warmongers worst nightmare!

Interesting times................

Mazuka 2 Oct 2015 20:35

" Russia has denied military involvement in the conflict despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary."

WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE!?!? After 2 weeks in syria you have loads of satellite pictures of the Russian base/troops, but after a year + in Ukraine all your evidence is taken from social media posts? Good thing more and more people are refusing to swallow your daily dose of bullshit.

NotYetGivenUp -> HHeLiBe 2 Oct 2015 19:18

You confuse Crimea, which voted for secession after Russian forces ensured Kiev military didn't engae in anti-secessionist reprisals (as stated by Putin), with East Ukraine, in which Kiev generals admitted they were fighting Donbass forces, not Russian forces.

The pretense that this was a Russian invasion is exactly that, a pretense. But any honest appraisal of the facts on the ground, through observation of events as they happened, show that the rejection of the Kievan coup was by the people of Donbass, and is a popular rejection, not the nonsense Russian invasion peddled by the media in the west.

Mr Russian 2 Oct 2015 19:13

The compromise plan would involve the Ukrainian parliament passing a law stating these elections were indeed legal, but they would be organised by the rebels.

Something tells that it's easy to say but hard to implement. Far right powers in Ukraine would resist such a law very much.

[Oct 02, 2015] Showdown at the UN Corral

Antiwar.com
If there was any doubt that Washington has learned absolutely nothing since George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, then President Obama's address to the United Nations has confirmed the world's worst fears. It was an oration that combined the most egregious lies with the wooly-minded "idealism" that has been such a destructive force in world affairs since the days of Woodrow Wilson. First, the lies:

"The evidence is overwhelming that the Assad regime used such weapons on August 21st. U.N. inspectors gave a clear accounting that advanced rockets fired large quantities of sarin gas at civilians. These rockets were fired from a regime-controlled neighborhood and landed in opposition neighborhoods. It's an insult to human reason and to the legitimacy of this institution to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out this attack."

The evidence is far from "overwhelming," and the only insult to human reason is the dogmatic repetition of this American talking point. As Seymour Hersh pointed out in the London Review of Books:

"Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country's civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack. In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies produced a series of highly classified reports, culminating in a formal Operations Order – a planning document that precedes a ground invasion – citing evidence that the al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, had mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity. When the attack occurred al-Nusra should have been a suspect, but the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad."

And this isn't the only time this President hasn't told the whole story when it comes to the findings of US intelligence agencies: that's why fifty intelligence analysts are in open revolt at his cherry-picking of intelligence in order to show we're making progress in the fight against the Islamic State. And now we have former CIA chief David Petraeus, who was forced to resign, openly coming out with a proposal that we ally with the al-Nusra Front in order to overthrow Assad and edge out the Islamic State. Shouldn't that arouse suspicion that Washington has been covertly cooperating with al-Nusra – the Syrian affiliate of al-Qaeda – all along, and that Petraeus merely wants to formalize his deal with the Islamist Devil?

Here's another lie:

"[I]n Libya, when the Security Council provided a mandate to protect civilians, America joined a coalition that took action. Because of what we did there, countless lives were saved and a tyrant could not kill his way back to power.

"I know that some now criticize the action in Libya as an object lesson, that point to the problem that the country now confronts, a democratically elected government struggling to provide security, armed groups in some places, extremists ruling parts of the fractured land. And so these critics argue that any intervention to protect civilians is doomed to fail. Look at Libya.

"And no one's more mindful of these problems than I am, for they resulted in the death of four outstanding U.S. citizens who were committed to the Libyan people, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, a man whose courageous efforts helped save the city of Benghazi.

"But does anyone truly believe that the situation in Libya would be better, if Gadhafi had been allowed to kill, imprison or brutalize his people into submission? It's far more likely that without international action, Libya would now be engulfed in civil war and bloodshed."

It is beyond embarrassing that the President of the United States is going before the world assembly of nations proclaiming that he and his allies prevented Libya from being "engulfed in civil war and bloodshed." What does he think is happening there at this very moment?

The reality is that the intelligence did not show a "genocide" was in the making. Officials at the Defense Intelligence Agency – the same agency now being accused by its analysts of "cooking" intelligence to suit the administration's political agenda – could provide no empirical evidence for the assertions made by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Col. Moammar Gaddafi was planning on slaughtering civilians en masse.

The claims made by the Obama administration that intervention was the only alternative to "genocide" were contested, at the time, by Alan J. Kuperman, writing in the Boston Globe:

"The best evidence that Khadafy did not plan genocide in Benghazi is that he did not perpetrate it in the other cities he had recaptured either fully or partially – including Zawiya, Misurata, and Ajdabiya, which together have a population greater than Benghazi."

"It is hard to know," Kuperman continues, "whether the White House was duped by the rebels or conspired with them to pursue regime-change on bogus humanitarian grounds." With the truth-challenged Hillary Clinton at the helm of this misbegotten misadventure, it isn't at all hard to draw the conclusion that the "genocide" claim was an outright lie perpetrated by the administration and its Libyan Islamist allies.

That these brazen falsehoods are coupled with phrases oozing with liberal "idealism," calls for "international cooperation," and proclamations that all Washington desires is "peace" throughout the Middle East and the world makes for a toxic and particularly nauseating cocktail. Bashar al-Assad is a "tyrant," but the regime of Gen. Abdel al-Sisi, which overthrew the democratically elected government, is merely guilty of making "decisions inconsistent with inclusive democracy."

Speaking of Assad, Obama's focus wasn't on the spread of the Islamic State but on the Syrian strongman, who is barely holding on to power by his fingernails. He cited Washington's support for the so-called "moderate" rebels, but complained that – for some unspecified reason – "extremist groups have still taken root to exploit the crisis." What he didn't mention – although Putin did – is that these alleged "moderates" have gone over to the extremists in droves, raising the question: were these US-funded Good Guys always Bad Guys in an ill-fitting disguise?

[Editorial note: This is the first part of a two-part column contrasting President Obama's UN speech to the address delivered by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The second part, dealing with Putin's remarks, will be published on Friday.]

[Sep 30, 2015] Obama, Putin need steady nerves & stout hearts in Syria by M.K. Bhadrakumar

September 30, 2015 | Asia Times

The best thing about the ninety-minute meeting between the US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in New York on Monday was that they agreed there was not going to be any recourse to rhetoric. Putin, accordingly, handled the media himself and the White House refrained from releasing the customary readout.

A senior US official said the talks were "productive" and he calmed down the American media, explaining "this was not a situation where either one of them [Obama or Putin] was seeking to score points". Putin's interaction with the Russian media conveyed the impression that he too was satisfied with the outcome of the meeting.

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had previously met US Secretary of State John Kerry and handed over to him a 'flow chart' on the implementation of the Minsk agreements on Ukraine. Indeed, Putin also used an interview with Charlie Rose at CBS to speak without diplomatese on the Kremlin thinking regarding Syria and Ukraine.

In remarks to Russian media, Putin described his talks with Obama as "very useful and what is particularly pleasant, it was very sincere". He struck a positive tone, saying the American side explained their position "quite clearly" and "indeed, surprising as it may seem, we have many coinciding points and opinions".

Putin acknowledged the differences, but refused to be drawn into them – except on the central issue that the air strikes in Syria by the US-led coalition are incompatible with international law.

... ... ...

Obama could not have agreed with the line of Russian thinking on strengthening "al-Assad's army" – at least, not yet openly. But an increasingly wider audience in the West has learnt to live with that thought. Putin simply drew satisfaction for the moment that despite differences, "we have agreed to work together".

However, a senior US official maintained separately that the two sides fundamentally disagreed on the role that President Bashar al-Assad will play in resolving the civil conflict in Syria. The official explained that while Moscow sees Assad as a bulwark against the extremists, the Americans see him as continuing to fan the flames of a sectarian conflict in Syria.

Of course, Putin insists that the future of al-Assad is not for outsiders to propose but is the exclusive business of Syrian citizens. The principle is unquestionable. The US faces an acute dilemma here insofar as in a democratic election, Assad's re-election as president still remains a strong possibility, since secular-minded Syrians cutting across religious sects or ethnic divides would still see him as the best bet against an extremist takeover.

... ... ...


The discussions relating to Syria and the Islamic State apparently marginalized the Ukraine crisis, but tensions are not so acute on that front lately. Putin hinted that the US is now putting its weight behind the Normandy Format (comprising the leaderships of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine), allowing it to spearhead the conflict resolution in Ukraine. A Normandy Format summit meeting is due to take place Friday in Paris.

... ... ...

[Sep 30, 2015] Obama Re-Defines Democracy – A Country that Supports U.S. Policy naked capitalism by Michael Hudson

September 29, 2015

In his Orwellian September 28, 2015 speech to the United Nations, President Obama said that if democracy had existed in Syria, there never would have been a revolt against Assad. By that, he meant ISIL. Where there is democracy, he said, there is no violence of revolution.

This was his threat to promote revolution, coups and violence against any country not deemed a "democracy." In making this hardly veiled threat, he redefined the word in the international political vocabulary. Democracy is the CIA's overthrow of Mossedegh in Iran to install the Shah. Democracy is the overthrow of Afghanistan's secular government by the Taliban against Russia. Democracy is the Ukrainian coup behind Yats and Poroshenko. Democracy is Pinochet. It is "our bastards," as Lyndon Johnson said with regard to the Latin American dictators installed by U.S. foreign policy.

A century ago the word "democracy" referred to a nation whose policies were formed by elected representatives. Ever since ancient Athens, democracy was contrasted to oligarchy and aristocracy. But since the Cold War and its aftermath, that is not how U.S. politicians have used the term. When an American president uses the word "democracy," he means a pro-American country following U.S. neoliberal policies. No matter if a country is a military dictatorship or the government was brought in by a coup (euphemized as a Color Revolution) as in Georgia or Ukraine. A "democratic" government has been re-defined simply as one supporting the Washington Consensus, NATO and the IMF. It is a government that shifts policy-making out of the hands of elected representatives to an "independent" central bank, whose policies are dictated by the oligarchy centered in Wall Street, the City of London and Frankfurt.

Given this American re-definition of the political vocabulary, when President Obama says that such countries will not suffer coups, violent revolution or terrorism, he means that countries safely within the U.S. diplomatic orbit will be free of destabilization sponsored by the U.S. State Department, Defense Department and Treasury. Countries whose voters democratically elect a government or regime that acts independently (or even that simply seeks the power to act independently of U.S. directives) will be destabilized, Syria style, Ukraine style or Chile style under General Pinochet. As Henry Kissinger said, just because a country votes in communists doesn't mean that we have to accept it. It is the style of "color revolutions" sponsored by the National Endowment for Democracy.

In his United Nations reply, Russian President Putin warned against the "export of democratic revolution," meaning by the United States in support of its local factotums. ISIL is armed with U.S. weapons and its soldiers were trained by U.S. armed forces. In case there was any doubt, President Obama reiterated before the United Nations that until Syrian President Assad was removed in favor of one more submissive to U.S. oil and military policy, Assad was the major enemy, not ISIL.

"It is impossible to tolerate the present situation any longer," President Putin responded. Likewise in Ukraine. "What I believe is absolutely unacceptable," he said in his CBS interview on 60 Minutes, "is the resolution of internal political issues in the former USSR Republics, through "color revolutions," through coup d'états, through unconstitutional removal of power. That is totally unacceptable. Our partners in the United States have supported those who ousted Yanukovych. … We know who and where, when, who exactly met with someone and worked with those who ousted Yanukovych, how they were supported, how much they were paid, how they were trained, where, in which countries, and who those instructors were. We know everything."

Where does this leave U.S.-Russian relations? I hoped for a moment that perhaps Obama's harsh anti-Russian talk was to provide protective coloration for an agreement with Putin in their 5 o'clock meeting. Speak one way so as to enable oneself to act in another has always been his modus operandi, as it is for many politicians. But Obama remains in the hands of the neocons.

Where will this lead? There are many ways to think outside the box. What if Putin proposes to air-lift or ship Syrian refugees – up to a third of the population – to Europe, landing them in Holland and England, obliged under the Shengen rules to accept them?

Or what if he brings the best computer specialists and other skilled labor for which Syria is renowned to Russia, supplementing the flood of immigration from "democratic" Ukraine?

What if the joint plans announced on Sunday between Iraq, Iran, Syria and Russia to jointly fight ISIS – a coalition that US/NATO has refrained from joining – comes up against U.S. troops or even the main funder of ISIL, Saudi Arabia?

The game is out of America's hands now. All it is able to do is wield the threat of "democracy" as a weapon of coups to turn recalcitrant countries into Libyas, Iraqs and Syrias.

By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is "KILLING THE HOST: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy."

nippersdad, September 29, 2015 at 10:22 am

"We know who and where, when, who exactly met with someone and worked with those who ousted Yanukovich, how they were supported, how much they were paid, how they were trained, where, in which countries, and who those instructors were. We know everything."

That sounds like a pretty clear threat to the Democratic front runner for the Presidency to come to terms, or else. While it is good to see someone threatening accountability, it would be nice if it didn't have to come from Russia.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

September 29, 2015 at 11:49 am

Accountability will not come from an Administration that made Victoria Nuland an Assistant Secretary of State in the first place.

https://consortiumnews.com/2015/07/13/the-mess-that-nuland-made/

nippersdad, September 29, 2015 at 1:41 pm

No doubt, but I was kind of hoping that the progressive caucuses might make more of a fuss than they did over our "the king is dead, long live the king", foreign policy. That is, after all, what got many of them elected. It never ceases to amaze me how fast candidates become coopted by the establishment once elected.

Synoia, September 29, 2015 at 2:03 pm

The establishment has files on them. Hudson's piece reads as a prelude to war.

Nick, September 29, 2015 at 10:38 am

This post is nothing but tinfoil-hattery. I can assure you, the US is shedding no tears for the pain Russia is about to inflict on itself by putting Russian boots on the ground in Damascus.

OIFVet, September 29, 2015 at 11:10 am

Did a latter-day Charlie Wilson tell you that? I have no doubt that the stuck-in-the-past meatheads in DC have a wet dream over just such a scenario. I also have no doubt that Russia (as well as China and Iran) have no intention of falling into such a trap. The ongoing peeling-off of Euro/NATO lemmings is as clear indication as any that the US will end up either backing off or try to go it alone. The latter is a recipe for disaster, as even Obama realizes. So right now it's all posturing for domestic consumption, behind the scenes things are a bit different as certain recent incidents would seem to indicate. But hey, we can dream the Russophobic/Slavophobic dreams, amiright?


lylo, September 29, 2015 at 12:05 pm

Yeah, my reading too.

I also have to point out how ironic it is that a country stuck in several unresolved conflicts that continue to drain resources and produce instability years later is hoping that, somehow, their opponents get suckered into a quagmire in a country they are already stuck in.

So, sure, I guess that's what they're hoping for. Makes about as much sense as anything else they've come up with recently (including direct confrontation with Russia just to enrich a few ME and corporate pals.)

And "tinfoil hattery" is generally used as things not accepted and proven. Which part of this isn't proven? US toppling democracies and installing dictators who we then call democratic? That we have less pull on the international stage than anytime in our lives? That the other bloc has a serious advantage in this conflict, and going forward? These are all facts…


washunate, September 30, 2015 at 12:10 pm

Give Nick a little credit now; there is a shred of cleverness to the comment(!). He's trying to plant a big lie inside of the framing – namely, that the rise of IS is a legitimate rebellion within Syria.

When of course the truth is the opposite. It's IS that is the foreign invader; Russian boots on the ground would be working with the recognized government, not against it. Indeed, the comparison might inadvertently be quite apt. Syria looks more and more like a marker on the road from Pax Americana to a multipolar world. Just like the Soviet-Afghan war was a marker on the road from the Cold War to Pax Americana.

Perhaps another incident is a better comparison. Maybe Syria is our Suez moment.

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

Thure Meyer, September 29, 2015 at 11:15 am

Nick,

Tinfoil-hattery, interesting choice of words. So who's conspiracy are you talking about?

As to your assurance; well it would be a bit more convincing if you were to unveil your identity so that I know who speaks for all of us (US)...

readerOfTeaLeaves, September 29, 2015 at 2:32 pm

Oh, crikey Nick.
What codswaddle!

As near as I can tell, the US Foreign Policy establishment is driven by think tanks that are funded by oil companies, Saudis, Israelis, and others for whom 'putting America first' means covering their own asses and letting the US military (and well-compensated military contractors) do all the heavy lifting.

As if that weren't bad enough, we also have the R2Pers ("responsibility to protect"), whose hypocrisy could gag a maggot - the R2Pers seem to think it is urgent to solve every other nation's (and corporations) problems - indeed, so very urgent that kids from Iowa, Arkansas, Louisiana, Idaho, etc should all be sent into harm's way in distant lands, whose languages the R2Pers don't happen to speak, whose histories the R2Pers are ignorant about, and whose cultural nuances are unknown to the R2Pers.

IOW, Washington DC appears to be awash in egoism and careerism.

I think that Russians have managed to figure that out.

washunate, September 30, 2015 at 11:54 am

I find it rather amusing that this is the best the Democratic establishment can throw at posts pointing out the idiocy of imperialism. How the Obots have fallen.

steelhead23, September 29, 2015 at 10:56 am

It isn't just the lies and abject stupidity that keeps the U.S. constantly at war, it is our alliances with repressive dictators, like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that is leading the U.S. toward confrontation with civilization, and Russia. Not so much a leader, the U.S. has become the militant vassal of KSA. The undying irony is that it was wealthy Saudis who started the most recent mess on 9/11/01. This will not end until the U.S. turns its back on the KSA.

Sufferin' Succotash, September 29, 2015 at 11:15 am

Or KSA self-destructs.

http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/collapse-saudi-arabia-inevitable-1895380679

Ranger Rick, September 29, 2015 at 11:00 am

Russia has always maintained that the Ukrainian revolution was CIA-backed if not -instigated. It's a shrewd move given the US's track record with regime change. No one will ever be sure if the new Ukrainian government is entirely legitimate or not.

What really gets terrifying is when you take a step back and realize that the 1800s imperialist regime never really changed. When you start talking about "superpower" or "regional power" you are no longer talking about power in the military or economic sense. These countries regularly meddle in, if not directly control, the politics in other countries. It honestly does not matter to the United States or Russia or any other country what your government chooses to do as long as it does what the other country wants.

NotTimothyGeithner, September 29, 2015 at 11:48 am

The Kiev rump failed to meet constitutional standards for impeachment even with the threats of the mob, and with elections just three or four months away in September following the Maidan event, there was no practical reason for a forceful removal of the government. Third party or not, the Kiev rump government has the same legality as the Confederacy. The "separatists" and the Crimeans saw their country dissolved by a mob, not an election with a regularly scheduled one on the horizon. The Ukraine was not a case where they would be waiting four years under a tyrant. If they had made it to September with electioneering issues, then the situation would be different, but as the current cabal didn't do that, they are akin to Jefferson Davis just with a better hand.

Americans as celebrators of the Declaration of Independence should note it is not legitimate to change established governing customs because your side might lose there has to be a litany of grievances with no possibility of redress. By Mr. Jefferson's standards, this country should have nothing to do with the Kiev government until the concerns of the separatists have been addressed. Unfortunately the use of law doesn't exist in this country.

Eureka Springs, September 29, 2015 at 11:11 am

Obamacrats rhetoric and behavior (policy) are both reminiscent and escalation of Bushco in so many ways.

Wasn't it Bush Jr. who said something along the line of "Democracies don't attack each other"?

NotTimothyGeithner, September 29, 2015 at 12:03 pm

It's just the old Democratic peace theory. It's utter garbage. I'm sure 43 said it because he repeated the last thing he heard anyway. World War I is pitched as a battle between old world tyrannical such as Germany (with universal male suffrage for its power base) versus shining beacons of democracy such as the UK and France which weren't quite democracies yet. Hitler sort of won a national election. Churchill was selected in a secret meeting when Chamberlain had to step down. So where is the democratic line? It's always been subjective test.

Of course, all governments rule by the consent of the governed.

JerseyJeffersonian, September 29, 2015 at 5:37 pm

Actually, Leander, the vaunted "independence" of the central banks of the US, Great Britain, and Deutschland is largely a fiction. And this very fiction has the effect of hyper-empowering both the financial sector and the oligarchs with whom the financial sector exists in a symbiotic relationship; in point of fact, these "independent" central banks are largely mere creatures of the financial sector and the symbiont oligarchs. The carefully cultivated appearance of independence is a sham under whose cover the truth about how central bank policies cater slavishly to the interests of the financial sector and oligarchs remains unrecognized.

Careerist movement back and forth between the central banks and the financial sector (along with the academic and think tank communities in which neo-liberalism reigns supreme as the only accepted school of economics) facilitates the group-think that culminates in the intellectual capture of the "independent" central banks. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Welcome to Naked Capitalism; our hosts provide us with a rich spread of knowledge and analysis, rather as Col. Lang does at his blog, Sic Semper Tyrannis, at which I have also read your posts.

MaroonBulldog, September 29, 2015 at 11:13 pm

In United States administrative law, the word "independent" has an interesting meaning: it refers to an executive regulatory agency that is "independent of the president," in the sense that the president cannot easily remove the head of the agency. The Fed is independent in this sense: the president cannot easily fire Chair Yellen or any other member of the Fed's board of governors.

An agency can be "independent" in this sense and still completely captured by the industry it purports to regulate.

Yves Smith, September 30, 2015 at 3:42 am

*Sigh*

The Fed is NOT owned by banks.

Banks hold shares of non-voting preferred stock in regional Feds. The Board of Governors, which approves the hiring of all regional Fed presidents, is most assuredly part of the Federal government. The regional Feds are more like a nasty public-private partnership with a bad governance structure (as in the regional Fed boards on which banks have some, and I stress some, director seats, cannot hire or fire ANYONE at a regional Fed, they do not approve budgets or other policy actions. Their role is strictly advisory, although the regional Feds, being more than a little captured cognitively, give that advice a fair bit of weight.

To give an idea how much power those banks you incorrectly deem to be owners have: Congress is looking at passing a bill to cut the dividends of the all but small banks how hold shares in the Fed by 75%. Pray tell, can Congress tell a private company to cut its dividends?

TedWa, September 30, 2015 at 10:21 am

Hi Yves : I don't see any Fed "independence" in action and haven't for quite some time.


Max, September 29, 2015 at 11:40 am

Ah yes, the notoriously secular and definitely legitimate PDPA government of Afghanistan 'overthrown' by the US. Is that a joke? Has Michael Hudson ever read a book about the Afghan civil war, a highly complex, decade-plus asymmetrical conflict with constantly shifting actors and allegiances? Reducing it to a narrative about US imperialism is intellectually dishonest on its own (there is no evidence that the US ever provided material support to the Taliban – everything from HRW to internal US documents to the academic consensus to journalistic accounts such as Ahmed Rashid's Taliban (2001?) contradicts that claim), nevermind that the Khalqi-Parcham government was a Soviet puppet government and an imperial construct in its own right. Check out any works by Barnett Rubin (U Nebraska?) or Thomas Barfield (B.U.)

The Mujahideen debacle (Which is both a separable and conjoined issue to the rise of the Taliban depending on time frame) was a result of poor US oversight of Pakistan, an internal US policy failure (no accountability or human intelligence on the ground) and of course intimately tied to the USSR's campaign of genocide in Afghanistan. Yes, the CIA gave the ISI $2-3bil in loose change to funnel into the Mujahideen (which were not united in any meaningful sense at any point in time, and frequently factionalized over pork-barrel / ethnic / tribal issues), however, the US policy at the time was hands-off with regard to how that money was spent, and if you read Peter Tomsen's book about his time as HW's special envoy it becomes quite clear that the blinders were on in Washington with regard to what was actually happening there on the ground.

Here's a quick and outdated overview for anyone who would like to educate themselves about this conflict: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2001/afghan2/Afghan0701-02.htm

I understand that the Russophilia on this blog runs strongly but the inhumane destruction visited upon the Afghan people by the USSR's geopolitics is and was sickening, imperialistic and functionally a genocide. How am I supposed to take any of this polemic seriously when the author can't even be bothered to read about a conflict? This is a prime example of ideology driving discourse. There are plenty of fair-game examples to call out the US's short-sighted and globally destructive foreign policy. I do not see the point in allowing ideology to cover for misinformation and misrepresentation of historical facts – that's the playbook of neoliberal hustlers.

Faroukh Bulsara, September 29, 2015 at 2:53 pm

"…the notoriously secular and definitely legitimate PDPA government of Afghanistan 'overthrown' by the US. Is that a joke?"

Umm, Max buddy, where in this article did Hudson say such a thing? Right, he didn't. But thanks for the Afghan history lesson anyway.

Max, September 29, 2015 at 3:13 pm

"Democracy is the overthrow of Afghanistan's secular government by the Taliban against Russia."

It's right there in the opening paragraph, and the accusation is rather explicit.

juliania, September 29, 2015 at 8:53 pm

That's an awkward sentence to be sure, Max – I puzzled over that one myself. I'm more in favor of this extract from Putin's speech at the UN:

". . .We should all remember the lessons of the past. For example, we remember examples from our Soviet past, when the Soviet Union exported social experiments, pushing for changes in other countries for ideological reasons, and this often led to tragic consequences and caused degradation instead of progress. . ."

Sort of 'puts paid' to trying to equate the Russian Federation with the Soviet Union, doesn't it?

OIFVet, September 29, 2015 at 3:15 pm

Is that the same HRW that can't find evidence of Kiev purposefully targeting and killing civilians? The same HRW that has never said a thing about the US support for murderous regimes in Latin America? Or about US war crimes? Yeah OK, I will take their word on how Afghanistan went down, over the US' proven track record of destroying any and all left-leaning Third World governments from 1950 onward.

Max, September 29, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Attack one of my sources, fine – the others still exist in far greater numbers. Barnett Rubin is my favorite, his book "Blood on the Doorstep" is excellent.

Is everything part of the US capitalist plot or is there some verifiable source that you will accept without dismissing out of hand? You didn't even attempt to read the source.

The Afghan government was left leaning in the sense that it was more socially progressive than the population living outside of Kabul, all 80% of the country that the government did not control in fact; and their authoritarian approach to instituting gender equality and abolishing Islam had a disastrous effect on the government's popularity and tribal credit, which was and is necessary to gain the support of the rural population. Other than that it was your typical post-Stalinist tankie failed experiment in land redistribution and Party education apparatus that only served to create a new class of insular elites & alienating/disenfranchising the majority of the population while hamstringing developmental progress made by actual Afghans in the decades before the Soviets (and eventually Pakistan and the US) got their hands in the pot.

OIFVet, September 29, 2015 at 3:55 pm

IOW, the Soviets and the US were like peas in a pod. Funny that the "accomplishments" cited by Empire apologists also used to include gender equality and the creation of insular elites. So what's your point, that the Soviets tried to prop-up their flunkies by force? Pot calling the kettle black, much like 0bama's speech yesterday. And HRW has often acted in concert with the US to cover up its crimes while hypocritically calling out those who weren't "our sonzofbiatches."

likbez, September 30, 2015 at 9:23 pm

The Afghan government was left leaning in the sense that it was more socially progressive than the population living outside of Kabul, all 80% of the country that the government did not control in fact; and their authoritarian approach to instituting gender equality and abolishing Islam had a disastrous effect on the government's popularity and tribal credit, which was and is necessary to gain the support of the rural population. Other than that it was your typical post-Stalinist tankie failed experiment in land redistribution and Party education apparatus that only served to create a new class of insular elites & alienating/disenfranchising the majority of the population while hamstringing developmental progress made by actual Afghans in the decades before the Soviets (and eventually Pakistan and the US) got their hands in the pot.

That's plain vanilla propaganda. Or more charitably you are oversimplifying the issue and try to embellish the USA behavior. Which was a horrible crime. Soviets were not that simplistic and attempts to abolish Islam were not supported by Soviets. They tried to create a secular country that's right but with Islam as a dominant religion.

See http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=afghanwar_tmln&afghanwar_tmln_soviet_occupation_of_afghanistan=afghanwar_tmln_us_aid_to_islamist_mujaheddin

And how many years Afghan government survived after the USSR dissolved and financial and technical aid disappeared. You need to shred your post and eat it with borsch. It's a shame.


fajensen, September 30, 2015 at 5:35 am

Ah, but: "A man is known by the company he keeps".

Whatever Putin is besides, he is *not* a friend, ally and global protector of Saudi Arabic Wahhabism!

With friends like that, it is clear o everyone else that you people are circling pretty close to the drain already and we non-USA-nian un-people prefer to not be sucked into your decline via TTIP et cetera.

Michael Hudson, September 29, 2015 at 11:17 pm

Max, your comment does not make sense.

All I can say is that this blog is NOT Russiaphilia. That's name calling. It is not Russiaphilia to note the effect of U.S. foreign policy on bolstering the most right-wing fundamentalist Islamic groups, Latin American right-wing kleptocracies or other dictatorships.

Whatever Soviet oppression was in Afghanistan, it did not back religious extremism. Just the opposite.

OIFVet, September 29, 2015 at 11:38 pm

Nick was probably one of those who screamed about cheese-eating surrender monkeys while stuffing themselves with supersized freedom fries orders.

September 29, 2015 at 3:47 pm


Ahem. Egypt. Egypt had a brief democracy.

Iran had a very real and true democracy (1955) but it was wiped out by the US.

Lot's of countries actually have democratic elections but when the people elect someone the US disapproves of, that democracy has to go and is ALWAYS replaced by a dictatorship.

Obama's a corrupt idiot. Syria is a mess only because the US made it that way, NOT because Assad is a meanie.

Reply ↓

cwaltz

September 30, 2015 at 2:50 am


It's possible that Assad is a meanie AND that Syria is a mess because as usual we half assed support people who are just as horrible as him. It isn't like Saddam wasn't our great friend before we declared him horrible, terrible awful leader.

Reply ↓

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL, September 29, 2015 at 5:39 pm

The words in their respective UN speeches were very clear. Obomba: "I believe that what is true for America is true for virtually all mature democracies". Putin: "No one is obliged to conform to a single development model that is considered by someone else as the right one".
Ask yourself which statement the Founding Fathers of the U.S. would agree with. Yankee go home.

bh2, September 29, 2015 at 10:40 pm

"Hope and change", baby! The long arc of history bends toward despotism.

Knute Rife, September 29, 2015 at 11:25 pm

This has been a favorite US tactic since the Marines hit Tripoli (anti-piracy myths notwithstanding), took off with the Spanish-American War, went through the roof when the Latin American interventions started in earnest in the 20s, and became our peculiar and cherished institution with the Cold War. Obama is just continuing the tradition.

cwaltz , September 30, 2015 at 2:37 am

I'll give him this- it's as close to being transparent on our foreign policy as I've seen any of his predecessors come.

At least, he's admitting that our end game has always been first and foremost about our own interests. Now if he'll only admit that THIS is why the world really hates us. Being selfish and protecting only your own interests at the cost of others is never going to be a winning plan to encourage people to like you or trust you(particularly when you collude behind closed doors to carry out those interests.)

*Sigh* We're America. We set the bar low when it comes to caring about how others wish to govern themselves, our only criteria is that your leader always consider US interests first(nevermind that they aren't actually a US leader and should be putting their own inhabitants first.)


[Sep 28, 2015] Violence instead of democracy: Putin slams policies of exceptionalism and impunity in UN speech

"Do you realize what you've done?" -- Putin about recent US sponsored color revolutions.
Notable quotes:
"... instead of reforms and the triumph of democracy and progress "we've got violence, poverty and social disaster, and human rights, including the right to life, to which no weight is given." ..."
"... "Rather than bringing about reforms, aggressive foreign interference has resulted in the brazen destruction of national institutions and the lifestyle itself," ..."
"... "Therefore they do not have to reckon with the UN, which instead of automatically authorizing, legiti