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American Imperialism Bulletin, 2015

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[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 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 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 09, 2015] Narcissistic, mentally-handicapped imbeciIes who just escaped from an asylum after receiving a lobotomy

This was a tread in a pretty reputable blog. Amazing...
www.nakedcapitalism.com
jgordon

In regards to Time Magazine, it's no surprise. Time apparently thinks that most everyone in the world is thoughtful and intelligent–except for Americans–who are mostly at the intellectual level of narcissistic, mentally-handicapped imbeciIes who just escaped from an asylum after receiving a lobotomy. Or at least that's what one would gather after looking at this.

Well, they might not be wrong.

Jim Haygood

"Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders … didn't make it on [Time's] shortlist" for 2015 Person of the Year."

If Time considered Sanders a serious threat, they could dispatch him in a trice by putting his mug on a Person of the Year cover.

The most recent example of the cover story jinx in action came from Mexico. At the start of this year Time profiled president Enrique Pena Nieto as the man 'Saving Mexico', and that was the sentiment at the time. The writer of that story quoted me to the effect that, "In the Wall Street investment community, I'd say that Mexico is by far the favourite nation just now."

Since then it has been all downhill for Pena Nieto and Mexico, with the president embroiled in a series of scandals and economic growth coming in at a disappointing 2.2% this year.

http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/toi-edit-page/hit-me-baby-one-more-time-how-narendra-modi-won-by-losing-person-of-the-year/

The MSM is never right. And they always lie.

Peter Schitt

I'd say that Time are right in their assessment of Americans. As Morris Berman says, "what else could you expect of 321 million douchebags".

[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 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] 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 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 07, 2015] Russia and China Victory-by-default

Notable quotes:
"... Actually oil accounts for only about 15% of the Russian economy, which is rapidly diversifying because of the impetus provided by sanctions. ..."
"... Ironically too, because oil is still mainly traded in inflated USD and the ruble devalued, the price drop is not as great as it seems at first glance, and because internal trade, manufacturing, etc. is conducted in rubles, the impact is lessened even more. ..."
"... The USSR collapsed because the people, the foundation of support, were disgusted and disillusioned with a system with pervasive corruption at the top, while the majority suffered deprivation. ..."
"... Actually the Soviet Union was dismantled from above. The ruling (elite) group - in government, managers of large industries, academics, etc. wanted the economic privileges available in capitalist countries. Circa 80% of the population (i.e., working people) supported the Soviet Union and socialism and were the ones whose living standards collapsed following the conversion to capitalism. See- Revolution From Above: The Demise of the Soviet System by David Kotz and Fred Weir ..."
Nov 07, 2015 | Zero Hedge

Written by Jeff Nielson (CLICK FOR ORIGNAL)

... ... ...

While the American Empire still exists and has extended its imperialistic reach, it is a very different empire from the days of the Reaganites. Most obviously, the Rule of Law is dead. Saturation corruption permeates this now rancid empire.

Financial criminals (primarily based in the U.S.) commit crimes literally a thousand times larger than anything previously seen in our history, and then repeat these crimes again and again. The U.S. 'Justice' Department spends its time not in prosecuting and incarcerating these criminals (and criminalized "banks"). Rather, it expends its energies explaining why it refuses to prosecute these criminals.

The primary "prey" of this banking crime syndicate is now the American people and the U.S. economy , itself. The United States has not merely become insolvent, it is obviously bankrupt. The Oligarchs who control its puppet government literally shipped the U.S. manufacturing base to the low-wage regimes of Asia, which ironically included China. As a result, the once-envied U.S. Middle Class has been transformed into the Working Poor .

In most respects (outside of economic parameters), the American Empire would be judged to be "stronger than ever". Clearly this is true militarily. Despite having no real "enemies" since the defeat-by-default of the Soviet Union, U.S. Neo-Cons have been busy as beavers inventing Boogeymen (and then destroying them) in order to justify the continued, relentless expansion of its war machine.

Politically, successively more-fascist regimes have rendered the U.S. Constitution essentially obsolete. Legally illegitimate (i.e. null-and-void), fascist laws have been wallpapered over the Constitution, stripping the American people of their rights and liberties.

In legitimate democracies, Constitutions are the ultimate Law of the Land, which serve primarily to protect the People from the State. In fascist regimes, invariably illegitimate governments create endless laws designed to protect the State from the People. The American Empire used to represent the former paradigm. Now it epitomizes the latter .

At one time, the closer that one moved toward the "heart" of the American Empire, the more strict was adherence to the Rule of Law. Today, the closer one approaches to the political cesspool known as "Washington, D.C.", or the financial cesspool known as "Wall Street", the more-overpowering becomes the stench of corruption – and lawlessness.

In a perverse twist of fate, the American Empire now mirrors the Soviet Union, in almost every respect. In the Soviet Union, voters were given the choice of two candidates, in what it called "elections". However both of those candidates represented the Communist Party.

In the American Empire, voters are also given the choice of two candidates, they simply pretend to represent two, different parties. Incredibly, this political charade has managed to persist for at least a century.

"There is no material difference now in the old political parties, except which shall control the patronage."

- (former Congressman/prosecutor) Charles Lindbergh Sr., The Economic Pinch (p.61), 1923

Perhaps more significantly, the American Empire now bears considerable resemblance to the Roman Empire, as well. Historians are in agreement that at the time the Roman Empire was at the absolute peak of its military might that "the decline of the Roman Empire" had already been underway for centuries.

Where the ancient Roman Empire differs from the modern American Empire is that in the 21 st century, events – including the rise-and-fall of empires – progress much, much more rapidly. Roughly speaking, what used to stretch over centuries now takes place in decades. Instant communication, rapid global transportation, computerization, and numerous, other technological advances are responsible for this accelerated pace of political/economic/social evolution.

Morally and economically bankrupt, the American Empire now relies more and more heavily on its Big Stick, which it wields with ever more impunity and recklessness. Statesmen such as Ron Paul and Paul Craig Roberts have regularly warned that the current generation of Neo-Cons (who wield all, real power in the U.S. government) are marching relentlessly toward World War III.

However, while we see Psychopaths on the left/West, we see an entirely opposite political dynamic in the East. The strengthening alliance between China and Russia, represents two, large, global powers which (at least at this point in time) demonstrate no imperial aspirations. But this is only one significant way in which the East differs from the West.

In an essay titled Grandmaster Putin's Trap , Russian writer Dmitry Kalinichenko provides us with aninsightful allegory . Cold War II is not a militarily-oriented confrontation, rather it is a geopolitical chess match. The important point here is that only one "side" understands how to play (and win) a chess match.

How does a skilled chess-player achieve victory? Positioning, positioning, and more positioning. It is only once one's opponent has been completely out-positioned that any thought is given to overt attack. Chess is a game of patience, and (often) a game of simply waiting for one's opponent to self-destruct, via strategic error, or mere impatience.

This brings us back to the current geopolitical stage. In the East, we see Russia and China constantly engaged in improving their position. Unlike the American Empire, they are improving their economies – notcannibalizing them. They are relentlessly adding to their gold reserves ("He who has the gold makes the rules" – The Golden Rule), while the American Empire has squandered most of its own reserves .

While the U.S., and the West, in general, unremittingly alienates the Rest of the World, Russia and China have been rapidly improving their political and economic cooperation with other nations. While the political/economic institutions created or sponsored by the American Empire lose their legitimacy due to corruption, Russia and China are creating parallel, corruption-free institutions – to replace them.

If this was a real chess match, the player on the left would have already 'pushed over his King' (i.e. capitulated). The player on the right now has such superior position that the outcome of the game is no longer in doubt. However, this is not a game, but rather real life – where one side has utterly no respect for anything resembling "rules".

Russia and China are clearly headed for victory-by-default in Cold War II. The psychopaths of the American Empire have demonstrated that they are ready-and-willing to do literally anything to prevent this seemingly inevitable outcome. For this reason, the warnings of people such as Ron Paul and Paul Craig Roberts should be given our most serious consideration.

GreatUncle

Russia & China, you might want to add India too.

It is called mutual support because as each year passes the US becomes more and more aggressive and to be out on your own and a threat to those in power there you will be turned upon to keep you in your place.

If anything I expect this coalition of nations to only get stronger because if any become isolated and seems to be current foreign policy with Russia you are in for a bit of brutality. Then once one side or the other is eliminated and that can be economically too they will turn on the another to keep them in their place.

Top dog is always going to have an inferiority complex against any who may challenge it.

Consequence? In the last decade reckon under its own steam the US has magnificently turned a substantial portion of the global population against it. It might not be in the MSM, it will be undercurrents of all the brutality like killing innocent citizens with drones or a shoot to kill policy by the US military and the if you are not with us you are against us mentality.

laomei

Russia and China are clearly headed for victory-by-default in Cold War II.

Lol, the Russian economy is collapsing, it relies entirely on oil and oil is dirt cheap. Russia gave the EU an out with sanctions to tear up the contracts and will soon be able to turn to alternative sources. That leaves China as their main partner for oil, while Russia buys up cheap Chinese garbage. But, at the same time, China is more or less in the same position as Mexico was, combined with systemic problem that are virtually identical to the Japan bust. It's a ticking time bomb and the government is literally locking up anyone who dares to even suggest that such a thing is even possible now. Purely out of fear that someone might be listening. China is still dealing with record outflows of cash and is rapidly liquidating those vast reserves. Once the economic growth drops (official numbers or not), there will be no choice left but to devale, which is great for exporters, but toxic for all companies that have borrowed USD. It's enough to destroy entirely their advanced sectors, and they do not have the willing labor at competitive rates to rush back to manufacture like they used to.

Setarcos

Actually oil accounts for only about 15% of the Russian economy, which is rapidly diversifying because of the impetus provided by sanctions.

Ironically too, because oil is still mainly traded in inflated USD and the ruble devalued, the price drop is not as great as it seems at first glance, and because internal trade, manufacturing, etc. is conducted in rubles, the impact is lessened even more.

bthunder

If corruption is what brings empires down, then considering level of corruption in China and Russia vs in the US of A, Russia and China will collapse long before USA will.

As far as Putin's "grandmaster" skills supposedly demonstrated by Russia's "positioning, positioning, and more positioning", during 15 years of his rule Russia's economy has been positioned for oil exports, nat gas exports, and more oil exports. That takes some grndmaster-like skills indeed.

Now that he's involved in 2 conflicts and China is refusing to pay previously negotiated prices for oil and nat gas (china demands discounts to reflect current low prices) it will be interesting to see how he can conduct and pay for 2 wars at the same time.

Crash N. Burn

"As far as Putin's "grandmaster" skills..."

Perhaps you should have clicked the link in that paragraph:

"After realizing its failure in Ukraine, the West, led by the US set out to destroy Russian economy by lowering oil prices, and accordingly gas prices as the main budget sources of export revenue in Russia and the main sources of replenishment of Russian gold reserves....

..Putin is selling Russian oil and gas only for physical gold.

Putin is not shouting about it all over the world. And of course, he still accepts US dollars as an intermediate means of payment. But he immediately exchanges all these dollars obtained from the sale of oil and gas for physical gold!..

..in the third quarter the purchases by Russia of physical gold are at all-time high record levels. In the third quarter of this year, Russia had purchased an incredible amount of gold in the amount of 55 tons. It's more than all the central banks of all countries of the world combined"


Grandmaster Putin's Trap

strangewalk

The USSR collapsed because the people, the foundation of support, were disgusted and disillusioned with a system with pervasive corruption at the top, while the majority suffered deprivation. Now things have reversed, it is Americas turn.

Freddie

The USSR was totally corrupt just like the USA today. The USA has been on a slipperly slope since before the Banksters - Civil War. I pretty much expected when Obola was selected by Soros and other zios that the uSA was headed towards an implosion like the old USSR.

Phillyguy

Actually the Soviet Union was dismantled from above. The ruling (elite) group - in government, managers of large industries, academics, etc. wanted the economic privileges available in capitalist countries. Circa 80% of the population (i.e., working people) supported the Soviet Union and socialism and were the ones whose living standards collapsed following the conversion to capitalism. See- Revolution From Above: The Demise of the Soviet System by David Kotz and Fred Weir

GC

Now, I'm pretty pro-Russia these days, but..

"Only Mother Russia remained intact."

I suggest checking an atlas, or googlemap. "mother Russia" most certainly included Belarus and, arguably, some if not all of Ukraine. They don't seem to be part of the Russian federation nowadays.

"Unlike the American Empire, they are improving their economies – not cannibalizing them."

That's, unfortunately, very arguable about Russia. Russia lived on the oil price highs of the last 10 years, but its economy is largely unchanged, imports are rampant, agriculture can't keep up with internal demand and infrastructures, in general but in particular in the immense Asian part, has not much changed since the 90s, or maybe even 60s (with the exception of the oil related projects) and corruption is omnipresent.

datura

you don't seem to know much about Russia.

1] Belarus is not technically part of Russia, but in many way it is and still heading for greater integration. Belarus is now part of what is legally called Union State of Russia and Belarus. Interestingly, although economic integration has proved difficult at this point, the two states are integrated militarily. Besides, Belarus is a member of the Eurasian Union, which is a Russian parallel to the European Union. It is perhaps more easy for Russia to have this Union instead of incorporating the former Soviet countries directly into Russia again. Although there are regions, who would very much like to rejoin Russia directly, but cannot do so, because it would provoke fury of the American Empire. So all the integration and rejoining must be done very quietly and under the blanket for now.

2) asian part, has not much changed since the 90s: ummm....this has been true for entire thousands of year long history of Russia. It is incredibly difficult for Russia to develop all its territory, because it is huge. Russia will need help of China and other Asian states to do this. But cities like Vladivostok have changed for better already and are booming. There are plans for greater development of those regions and many projects in place. One of them is the new Russian cosmodrome, which will provide jobs and centre of life for many people, once it is completed. But of course, developing those regions is an enormous effort for generations to come, which Putin can only start and his successors will have to continue.

3) Apart from Far East, Russia is also positioning itself in the Artics, building bases and projects. This is also task for future generations.

4) Russian economy is certainly not unchanged! Russia jumped higher in the ranking of easy to do business chart and the World Bank says that d oing Business in Russia is now easier than in China. Russian debts (both state and external) are still decreasing and gold reserves growing. Agriculture is self-sufficient already (no Russians dying from hunger and import bans still in place). It also has much to improve, but Russians can now feed themselves without the help of the West. For example dairy production has grown 26%. And more than that, for example Russia is now surpassing USA in wheat export. Poorer regions like Africa and Middle-Eastern countries like Egypt and Iran are buying more and more food from Russia, as it is cheaper.

5) Imports rampant? I don't get what rampant means, but imports are much smaller than last year and still dropping. And most imports are now undertandably coming from China. http://www.tradingeconomics.com/russia/imports

6) Corruption is also decreasing and it is nowhere as terrible as in the USA (if only for the simple reason that Russia does not print money and does not increase its debts, so the amount of money to steal from is limited). This should be an example for future Americans. Corruption will always exist, but it will be much less, if you don't print money out of nothing and if you don't increase debts to pass them on to your children.

People tend to forget that Russia, despite being an old civilization, is actually a very young as a state in the current form. Its economy and capitalism have had far less time to develop than USA! The Russian Constitution was created only in 1993, so even its political system is very young. So it is logical that everything is still in its beginnings and evolving. Russia is now where USA was in, say, 1791:-) But that is not necessarily a bad thing, as Russians still have a lot of space for creativity and building of their state - they are in the beginning of a new cycle, while USA is in the end of a cycle.

GC

And you don't seem to understand the arguments made.

1) The writer said that "mother Russi has remained intact". Belarus and Ukraine are part of teh concept of "MOther Russia". ukraine goes without saying, considering that it is where the whole concept of Russia begun (you know, Kievan Rus?). Now, Belarus was part of Kievan Rus and Minsk itself was settled by Russians in the 9th century (the city proper was created in the 11th, still by Russians). yes, it could be argued is that the polonization process that happened once it came under the Polish-Lithuanian union when the Russian state had been conquered by the mongols set belarus culturally and linguistically apart for a few centuries, but ideally, Belarus is undoubtly part of "mother Russia". You seem to know little of the history of the place yourself for accusing othes not to know much of it.

2) yes, indeed... but still, not even you countered my argument that infrastructure is basically what it used to be. of course, not exactly what it used to be.. note that I used "largely the same". there are a few exceptions.

3) true, but artict exploration is like the space age race of the 60s: a show of power and a technological feat, with large upfront costs and with limited impact on the real economy (or rather, a large impact, but on a very long timeframe since the technologies ended up mainstream).

4) saying that doing business in Russia in easier than in China is not saying much, considering how closed to foreigners the Chinese economy is (the fact that it is open to FDI doesn't mean it is an open economy, even if many confuse the two things). Russia can feed itself with grain and potatoes, of course, and it can also export them (as it has done for decades in its history), but it cannot actually produce for a diversified internal demand, forcing people to either pay a large premium for imports (even larger now with sanctions, hence the reduction of imports) or go for second line products via import substitution. the reason why food prices jumped with sanctions is that Russia wasn't able to produce enough to make do for the food it imported and prices raised as goods were to few to meet demand. There's simply no easier evidence than that AND the fact that just last july the ministry of agricolture for Russia promised MASSIVE subsidies to the agricolture sector to stimulate production. So, are we really arguing the insufficiency of Russian agricoltural sector? Which brings as to...

5) ...You confuse the fact that imports are slowing due the economic crisis and ruble depreciation with economic strenght, which is funny. Truth is, if you remove oil from russian exports, the balance of trade of Russia is utterly negative and getting worse. Russia is not Saudi Arabia, of course, where everythign revolves around oil, but most of the economic resurgence of the Putin era is due to oil windfall and not much has been done to improve other sectors of the economy. proof is, there is no major company that is considered a major player which has been born in Russia in the last 20 years. All top russian companies are oil related (Gazprom, Rosnef and Lukoil) or financial (which raised due the financial needs and revenues of oil), while there is a (relative) desert in services and computer technology. Russia has been and largely continue to be, a raw material exporting country with heavy industries tied to raw materials and armaments, not much of an advanced tertiary or high value added items economy. And I add, unfortunately so, as nothing would please me more to see a strong enough Russia to limit the American idiocy around Europe and teh middle East. The world has gone insane since the loss of a counterweight.

6) your understanding of corruption is.. well, not understanding. Corruption isn't tied to money production, it is tied with money transfers within an economy. If you have to pay for a permission or a to move goods around, that is a net loss for the economy. In transpareny international index, Russian CPI was 24 in 2014, ranking it 136 of 175 countries, in 2012 it was 28. It IS improving, but it's still one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

One can be a Russian fan (I am), but denying the limits of the country's economy doesn't help. Putin himself understands the limits and that's the reason why Russian isn't, differently than the US id in Iraq and Afghanistan, going with its army in Ukraine or Syria: they don't have the financial means to sustain a ground war. I wish Russia a bright future, but they have much to improve and their economy has much to diversify to self sustain.

Btw, Russia has another, immense bordering on the catastrophic, problem and that is demography. Between very low natality and, until very recently, a lowering life expectancy (which is still one of the lowest , if not the lowest, of all advanced economies) Russians risk to go extincted to irrilevance by the end of the century (but at least, they are not following the folly of our Europeans to substitute disappearing locals with muslims from the middle east and Africa). I really hope they will manage to reverse the trend.

Lucky Leprachaun

Destruction from within? Undoubtedly. Caused by Americans themselves? More problematical. You see the agents of this destruction - Neocons, banksters, Cultural Marxist degenerates - are largely the 'rootless cosmopolitans' of legend, with at best a transient attachment to the country.

[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] Dilemmas of Domination The Unmaking of the American Empire

Notable quotes:
"... Dilemmas of Domination contends that the US has entered into a period of decline as the world's hegemon. ..."
"... Because the US dominates international financial institutions like the IMF, World Bank and most of the regional development banks, their imposition of neo-liberal structural adjustments programs has led to a revolt against their destructive policies as witnessed by the left ferment especially in Latin America but also in the rest of the global South. ..."
"... I've read lots of books about globalization and free trade but none exposes the uneven playing field of free trade as good as Walden Bello. He shows that not only the evenness of playing field but also how the way U.S. is imprudently trying to dominate the world by adapting short sighted policies. These kind of policies have become the distinctive mark of recent American ideology domestically and foreign. ..."
American Empire Project

Tom Mertes - See all my reviews

Dilemmas indeed, April 28, 2005

The problems of the US mount daily from a ballooning deficit to heightened opposition from multiplying points on the globe. Walden Bello's Dilemmas of Domination is a tour de force dissection of the causes of these mounting problems.

He argues from an objective and non-partisan position in the global South. Because he primarily works outside of the US and because his method relies heavily on history, his account is compelling.

Dilemmas of Domination contends that the US has entered into a period of decline as the world's hegemon. Three crises characterize the loss of power and prestige.

  • The first crisis is the problem of manufacturing and raw materials overproduction that leads to a decline in profits, and as wages are squeezed to stabilize profits demand falls further. Added to these problems is the fact that the US, the consumer of last resort, cannot continue to borrow and buy forever. The IOUs to the rest of the world will eventually have to be repaid.
  • A second critical problem is military overextension. According to Bello, the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrate the US is not invincible. If it were, how could guerillas continue to move about these occupied nations so freely and make nation-building into such a farce? The US military is so strained that it has to hire mercenaries from companies like Blackwater to protect its corporate interests abroad because a draft would undermine all of its imperial adventures.
  • The third crisis, perhaps the most enduring, is legitimacy. Ideologically, the US has lost its currency to lead the world. Because the US dominates international financial institutions like the IMF, World Bank and most of the regional development banks, their imposition of neo-liberal structural adjustments programs has led to a revolt against their destructive policies as witnessed by the left ferment especially in Latin America but also in the rest of the global South. Furthermore, the US bullying and sometimes insulting treatment of the UN has further sullied the US's reputation. Added to this international delegitimation is the quagmire of domestic politics from the surrender of civil liberties to the patently obvious corporate control of both major parties. For readers looking for a rich and clear formulation of why the US government is detested and feared by much of the earth's population this is the best primer.

Khalid S. Al Khateron October 26, 2005

Free trade as a tool for domination

I've read lots of books about globalization and free trade but none exposes the uneven playing field of free trade as good as Walden Bello. He shows that not only the evenness of playing field but also how the way U.S. is imprudently trying to dominate the world by adapting short sighted policies. These kind of policies have become the distinctive mark of recent American ideology domestically and foreign.

Luc REYNAERT, November 4, 2005

The weak must hang together, otherwise they hang separately

In this stringent view from the South, Walden Bello discerns three different crisis levels beleaguering the US world domination: a military, a judicial and an economical level.

On the military front, the Iraq war shows clearly the limits of interventions: 'today the entire US military is either in Iraq, returning from Iraq or getting ready to go.' The lesson for the South is that the US military supremacy can be brought to a halt with guerrilla warfare. A sledgehammer is useless in swatting flies.

On the judicial front, the US is loosing its legitimacy. In Western societies, enhancement of individual freedom and democratic representation are the ideological cornerstones of the regime. Nationally, recognized human rights (no access to personal information, privacy) are jeopardized in the US by the Patriot Act in the name of the war against terrorism. For Walden Bello, the US government is becoming authoritarian, because it is in the hands of the military-industrial complex, which functions on a risk-free, cost-plus basis and grabs one half of the US budget. He quotes judiciously William Pfaff: 'The military is already the most powerful institution in the US government, largely unaccountable to the executive branch.'

Internationally, consensus and multilateralism are needed through international institutions. However, the US behaves unilaterally. Dealings with the South are subordinated to strategic considerations (R. Zoellick: 'countries that seek free trade agreements with the US must cooperate on its foreign policy goals.') Walden Bello's analysis of the WTO agreements is devastating. He calls them a free trade monopoly in the hands of corporate interests. WTO's agreement on Agriculture is not less than 'Socialism for the Rich'. The result is that the US democratic messianism is seen as sheer hypocrisy by the rest of the world.

Economically, some of Walden Bello's arguments are a little of the mark. Finite natural resources and ecological space are demographic problems. The conflict between a minority in command of assets and the majority of the population is a trade union and an election problem. But some of his arguments are to the point. There is a widening inequality gap in the US: the richest 1% of the population pocketed more than half the benefit of the latest tax reduction. The actual US budget and trade deficits are unsustainable in the long run and certainly if the inflow of foreign capital comes to a halt.

Finally, there is a new hegemon at the horizon: China with its state-assisted capitalism. The author summarizes brilliantly China's behavior: 'nations have no permanent friends, only permanent interests.'

But what should the South do in the meantime: regional economic blocks, G-20, South-South cooperation, because 'the weak must hang together, otherwise they will hang separately'.

Walden Bello's hard hitting analysis of current events should be a vademecum for all politiciams and laymen. A must read. In this context, I also recommend the works of Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed and Noreena Hertz.

[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.

^^^^^
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Saundra Hummer

February 26th, 2007, 05:34 PM

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.........

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:
http://www.motherjones.com/news/featurex/2007/03/iraq_101.html

http://www.motherjones.com/news/featurex/2007/03/iraq_effect_1.html [B]

[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 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.

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] 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] 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.

[Sep 08, 2015] Days of Revolt The Making of Global Capitalism

PANITCH: Yeah, although Argentina and eventually the white dominions, like my own country, Canada, had a different status than India as a colony, despite the development of similar types of companies within the two of them, Argentina after the breakaway from Spain, and Canada in its movement from colony to independent state, to dominion, as they were called, remained very much within the orbit of the British state, but as independent states. And that became the model for how the American empire evolved. People who thought that Teddy Roosevelt was about creating colonies, that what was happening between 1998 (1898) and 1902 was America turning itself into a formal empire, that proved to be the exception much more than the rule.

And that's not to say that independent states don't exist within the panoply of this informal American empire. Canadians know very well the extent to which in substantive terms we've moved from having been a colony to an independent dominion, to a colony, in substantive terms, if not in formal terms, of the American empire.

HEDGES: Yes, of course. When you talk about the effectiveness of American imperialism, you highlight the fact that part of the reason it's so effective is because it has been able to be largely invisible, and it has been invisible, you point out, through, I think, two mechanisms, one, that it trains the elites in other countries in order to manage affairs on behalf of American imperialism, and also because it disseminates, through popular media, images of America that in essence--I'm not sure you use this word exactly--indoctrinate or brainwash a population into allowing them to believe that America is instilled with values that in fact it doesn't have, the ability of imperialistic forces to supposedly give these values to the countries they dominate. I mean, that is a kind of a raison d'être for economic and even military intervention, as we saw in Iraq, in planning democracy in Baghdad and letting it spread out across the Middle East, or going into Afghanistan to liberate the women of Afghanistan. That, as somebody who spent 20 years on the outer edges of empire, is a lie.

PANITCH: It depends how cynical you think they are. And I think it varies depending on the administration in question, and indeed different personnel inside each administration, going back to the types of interventions we were discussing under Teddy Roosevelt. There were some people who quite genuinely and naively believed that by supporting reactionary forces against rebellions in Central America, they nevertheless could establish a liberal democracy in those countries, and they ended up getting in bed with and in cahoots with extremely reactionary and conservative forces that they would have preferred would become like the United States but were unable to make them do so. The imperial power--and the Romans discovered this first of all, of course--is not absolute. And even when the Americans become a very powerful social and political force inside other countries, their ability to make those countries into a image of the United States, which they may naively have thought they were going to do, has always been limited.

HEDGES: Well, Graham Greene kind of eviscerated this kind of America. And I think it does break down between those who are very cynical and, for lack of a better word, those who are very stupid. And we saw a lot of stupid people--Wolfowitz, Cheney, Perle, and others--who know nothing about the Middle East, who knew nothing about the instrument of war, and certainly knew nothing about the culture and history of Iraq, believed that they could implant this very naive vision. And what always happens in cases like that is rivers of blood.

PANITCH: Yeah, no. I think that's true. I think that the American empire is most powerful, actually, not in those regions of the world in which it has intervened militarily, at least in recent decades. It's more powerful in those regions of the world that have become, if I may use the word, Canadianized, that is, where American capital has penetrated, where economic relations are extremely deep, where American multinational corporations are a social force inside those countries. And therefore I think the strongest linkages are with the former old imperial countries of Europe.

HEDGES: Germany. You write a lot about Germany.

PANITCH: And Germany represents that. So you see the mess in Iran or Iraq, etc.--I mean Iran with the Shah back in the '70s and Iraq in the current millennium. But the strongest linkages of empire are those amongst the advanced capitalist states, which also operate under the rubric of the American Treasury, the Federal Reserve, etc. Nevertheless, even there, as you see with Germany's behavior vis-à-vis Greece, which the American administration and the Treasury wouldn't have wanted, they aren't able to give them orders. That does show you the relative autonomy that states within an informal empire have as compared to ones that are subjected militarily, as some countries are.

HEDGES: Well, you write a lot about the kind of collapse, because of the war, of European economies after World War II and the re-creation, with the help of the American labor movement, the AFL-CIO, which was going over there working on behalf of the CIA to break what they deemed communist or leftist or socialist unions. And much of the book, I think, makes a very strong argument that especially after World War II we re-created economic political systems in our own image, which wasn't complete, as you point out correctly vis-à-vis Greece, does not mean that we had iron control. But they work within those imperialistic, capitalist, globalist parameters.

PANITCH: That's right. The difference is that even the Germans, who are so central to contemporary global capitalism, and especially to European capitalism, have never taken the responsibility upon themselves that the Americans did, trying to do with Wilson at the end of World War I, but then effectively did during the course of World War II, have never taken responsibility on themselves for managing a global capitalism and for all of the headaches that that involves in terms of the difficulties and contradictions of that. The Germans have, primarily in Europe, tried to ensure that the international institutions are replicas of the old German central bank, the Bundesbank. And they've primarily oriented the euro, let us say, to play the kind of role that the Deutsche Mark used to play. They're mainly concerned, in other words, with the competitiveness and status of the German economy.

The Americans have carried a burden. All empires carry a burden. And their burden has been--and it's an enormous headache, and they screw it up often, as Iraq shows--of trying to manage a global capitalism. And the German state doesn't do that. It's an enormous difference.

HEDGES: Right. Well, let's not feel too sorry for the Americans that killed 3 million Vietnamese and 1 million Iraqis.

PANITCH: The responsibilities of power often go with very, very dirty hands.

HEDGES: Right. I'm not sure I'd use the word responsibility.

PANITCH: I think we have to see it that way. I think we do have--I know that a lot of the left doesn't like to see it that way, but I think it's more a structural thing. And I think if you and I were dropped into being head of the Federal Reserve without having the type of political forces behind us that can allow us to transform its utter nature, we wouldn't be behaving all that differently than the current chair of the Federal Reserve, unfortunately.

HEDGES: Right. Well, they would never asked me to [crosstalk]

PANITCH: Or me. So yeah, exactly.

HEDGES: I mean, capitalism in America has changed from the old Fordism and the Rockefellers, the Carnegie, which produced, manufactured, broke labor unions, as you correctly highlight in your book, broke our radical movements, and it's shifted into the hands of financiers, into insurance, into real estate, who now virtually control the global economy at the expense of industrial capitalism, and often, I would argue, at the expense of governments.

PANITCH: And I wouldn't.

HEDGES: I know you wouldn't.

PANITCH: I don't think that there's a divorce and an antagonism between industrial and financial capital. I think they're highly integrated. I think that finance performs an absolutely crucial function for multinational industrial corporations, an essential one in terms of the productive networks around the globe. It isn't just speculation--although it is speculation, it isn't just speculation finance. Moreover, I think it isn't at the expense of states. I think that--.

HEDGES: Well, let me just ask. I mean, they're hoarding how many trillions of dollars overseas to escape taxation?

PANITCH: Well, whether that's industrial capital or financial capital is--.

HEDGES: Right, but it is at the expense of states and essentially the migration of manufacturing, first over the border with NAFTA to Mexico, Vietnam, Bangladesh, where people are earning $0.22 an hour. Global capitalism is saying, if you want to be competitive on a global marketplace, you have to be a serf. And we're seeing that. I mean, you just look at the whole--the nationalization of GM, the renegotiating of contracts, the diminishing of the power of labor within the United States.

PANITCH: Well, you're using states in an idealistic way, I think. If you understand that, as I think they are, that states are the handmaidens of capital, if one abandons this mistaken conception that comes from neoclassical economics, then one doesn't have this notion that there's an opposition between them. Of course where you have democracies, where working classes have won the right to vote, that does at least create a tendency on the part of states to be sensitive to presenting themselves in ways that look democratic and introducing the type of policies that bind working classes more deeply to the capitalist state. Sometimes that involves redistribution. Sometimes it involves benefits to them. But it isn't--.

HEDGES: You point out in your book that the American working class in particular was bought off. And you quote from--I think it's a letter that Roosevelt wrote that in essence says to the oligarchic elite--I'm kind of paraphrasing--you better give up some of your money or we're going to get a revolution and you're going to lose all of your money. I mean, he spoke--used that word revolution, and so that the whole reforms of the New Deal were not--and I don't argue with you here--some kind of beneficence on the part of--and Roosevelt came out of the oligarchic class--because of their goodheartedness or because they cared about the suffering, but because of the pressure of radical movements that have now been largely destroyed, but that rose with the breakdown of capitalism.

PANITCH: That's right. But it also happens when derivatives are used to secure mortgages for black Americans who have been excluded from the New Deal housing reforms for most of the era up to the 1990s. Thereto, politicians encourage the development of derivative markets--and we're talking about Democratic politicians now. This occurred more in the Clinton era than any other initially. And they took pride in the fact that capitalists around the world were investing in the derivative mortgage markets in the United States. And this was allowing the black poor of Cleveland to buy houses. And that too was represented as meeting democratic pressures.

HEDGES: Right, but until they were repossessed and there were foreclosures, which the banks and financial firms like Goldman Sachs knew were coming. It was a scam.

PANITCH: Of course.

HEDGES: So, I mean, the idea that--at that point I think it's evidence of a breakdown of democracy, Clinton being the kind of poster child for this, where they spoke in that traditional "feel your pain" language and concern for the poor and the underclass and the working class, and yet rammed through or allowed to go through a series of policies that were completely predatory in terms of the poor.

PANITCH: I think that neither politicians nor businessmen think in such long-run terms. I think insofar as those derivative mortgage markets were growing and were growing for five, ten years, that's the terms that they think in. Yes, I think you're right that all of them--none of them take for a moment seriously the notions of neoclassical economists about market equilibrium. They all know that crises happen. They expect them to happen. They just hope they aren't going to happen on their watch.

HEDGES: Right. But Leo, Goldman Sachs did think in the long term in that it bet against those derivatives and subprime mortgages through AIG. They knew.

PANITCH: Eventually.

HEDGES: They knew they were going to collapse.

PANITCH: Well, of course. Derivatives are all about counter-hedging. And Goldman Sachs was smart enough to counter-hedge earlier. And, heaven's sake, they had done it during the 1970s, when Goldman Sachs wasn't a major player. They had done it during the 1970s commercial paper crisis, where they were selling off commercial paper to municipalities and universities, knowing that Penn State was going to go bankrupt.

HEDGES: Right. Well, there's word for that. It's called fraud.

PANITCH: Yeah. And they paid off some fines, they were in court in the 1970s, etc.

HEDGES: Well, I mean, the LIBOR, they fixed the--for five years they [fixed] the world currency rates. They make eighty-plus billion dollars profit and they pay a $9 billion fine. That's not a bad business.

PANITCH: Well, there's always been a phenomenon of double agents in the American political system. Corporate lawyers who have worked for the major corporations taught them how to get around regulations, gone into the state, and then written the regulations that they told them how to get around.

HEDGES: Right. Well, you make that point in the book, that it has become a symbiotic, incestuous relationship, where the very people who are gaming the system then go into the system. And I think in the book you actually say that they go into the system to essentially fight the entities that they come out of. I'm not sure I would agree with that. I mean, you can look at Liz Fowler, the person who wrote the disastrous for-profit health care bill in the United States known as Obamacare, where she worked on--I think these people work on behalf of essentially writing regulations into a kind of a two-tiered system, where corporations like Goldman Sachs can write laws and regulations that allow them to carry out fraud. And then these people like Fowler are funneled right back into the system and amply rewarded for their work.

PANITCH: Yes. But the private health agencies don't have to worry about the types of popular pressures that produce this ersatz public health system in the United States. So when she's brought in, she's brought in to do something that she doesn't have to do when she's working for these private corporations. Similarly, when Robert Rubin leaves Goldman Sachs and becomes the secretary of Treasury, he is performing a function that is about reproducing Goldman Sachs and reproducing Wall Street, but nevertheless using his knowledge to engage in the management of global capitalism, which is an entirely different set of responsibilities than he occupies with Goldman Sachs. And that often involves him calling in the principals of Wall Street and telling them to do things that they otherwise wouldn't do, and which they do in order to reproduce the system, but wouldn't do it on their own.

HEDGES: Right. But if there is a single figure who's--you know, if we had to pick one--responsible for the 2008 meltdown, it's Robert Rubin.

PANITCH: Yes. I mean--.

HEDGES: So, I mean, it's not knowledge; it's idiocy.

PANITCH: Well, is it idiocy? What do you mean? American capitalism continues to thrive in relative terms.

HEDGES: Well, because it loots the U.S. Treasury to the tune of trillions of dollars,--

PANITCH: Sure.

HEDGES: --and because the Fed gives it virtually zero percent interest rate on money.

PANITCH: Sure.

HEDGES: But that's not capitalism. It's extortion.

PANITCH: No. Well, if you want to call it extortion--it's not merely extortion. It's accumulation. I don't see how it's extortion insofar as the state legalizes this. And--.

HEDGES: It's extortion of the taxpayer, because the average citizen gets austerity rammed down their throat to pay for it.

PANITCH: And the average citizen, for a period, and for a long period, was able to thrive on financial markets.

I mean, the point is we are all integrated into this system. We are all dependent on it. Had radical journalists like Michael Moore gotten their way and let Wall Street collapse instead of being bailed out by the TARP program, which of course was designed to save the banks, who would have suffered most? The point is that we are all dependent. And why we need to be really radical in trying to change this system is precisely because we need to recognize the extent to which we are all embedded in it.

HEDGES: Right. But there was an alternative to bailing out the banks, and it wasn't letting it collapse. It was creating regional banks, capitalizing them at $10 billion, leveraging them ten to one, helping people deal with their mortgages, rather than giving this money to zombie banks. There was alternatives, and that was never discussed.

PANITCH: Well, that would have involved, of course--and I've been advocating this for a very long time--turning the American banking system, and above all the principals of the American banking system, the big commercial investment banks--into public utilities.

HEDGES: Well, that's what we should do.

PANITCH: Of course. And it isn't just a matter of creating a regional bank like the Bank of North Dakota. Where do they put their surpluses every night? They put them into Wall Street. So it's a matter of taking the whole system and nationalizing it.

HEDGES: Right.

PANITCH: And I think that's an old-fashioned term, in fact, because that does imply something that I would not like to imply about the type of state we would like to have. But it does involve turning them into democratic public utilities as part of a democratic economic planning system.

Now, for that, you need to change not only the bourgeoisie. You need to change the way in which the working class is integrated into the system, the way even unemployed black people are integrated into the system and are so embedded in it, are so dependent on it for the house over their heads, for the roof over their heads.

HEDGES: The word that is called socialism.

PANITCH: Yeah, it's a word called socialism, which we're both happy to use.

HEDGES: Now we agree.

Thank you very much, Leo.

PANITCH: Happy to talk to you, Chris.

HEDGES: And thank you for watching Days of Revolt.

[Aug 08, 2015] France to pay Russia under $1.31 billion over warships

Notable quotes:
"... In exchange for the reimbursements, France will have full freedom to do whatever it wants with the two undelivered vessels, which contain some Russian technology, according to statements from Hollande's office and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. ..."
"... The ships' builder, state-backed DCNS, said last month it was spending at least 1 million euros ($1.1 million) a month to hold on to them. ..."
marknesop.wordpress.com

PARIS (Reuters) - The total cost to France of reimbursing Russia for cancelling two warship contracts will be less than 1.2 billion euros ($1.31 billion), French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Thursday.

1. France says 'several' nations interested in Mistral warships AFP
2. Hollande, Putin reach agreement on cancelled warship deal AFP
3. Russia agrees compensation deal with France over Mistral warships AFP
4. 'Extremely difficult' for France to sell Mistral warships: experts AFP
5. France, Russia reach Mistral compensation deal: RIA Reuters

Le Drian said on radio RTL the initial price for the two Mistral helicopter carrier warships had been 1.2 billion euros, but France will have to pay less than that because the ships were not been finished and the contract was suspended.

"Talks between President Putin and President Francois Hollande have concluded yesterday. There is no further dispute on the matter," he said.

He added that the discussions had been held in an amiable way and that there were no further penalties to pay over the contract, which was canceled because of Russia's role in the Ukraine conflict.

"Russia will be reimbursed euro for euro for the financial commitments taken for these ships," he said, adding that the ships are now fully owned by the French state.

In exchange for the reimbursements, France will have full freedom to do whatever it wants with the two undelivered vessels, which contain some Russian technology, according to statements from Hollande's office and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

Le Drian said that France, whose navy already has three Mistral warships, would look for other buyers for the two ships.

"I am convinced there will be other buyers. Already a number of countries have expressed an interest for these two ships," he said.

Canada and Singapore have been mentioned as potential buyers. So has Egypt, which has just bought French fighter jets and naval frigates.

The ships' builder, state-backed DCNS, said last month it was spending at least 1 million euros ($1.1 million) a month to hold on to them.

DCNS is 35 percent owned by defense group Thales and 64 percent by the French state.

France last year suspended the Mistral contract, dating from 2011, after coming under pressure from its Western allies over Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis.

The long-discussed French sale was Moscow's first major Western arms purchase in the two decades since the fall of the Soviet Union. Nicolas Sarkozy, who was France's president when the order was struck, had hailed the signing of the contract as evidence the Cold War was over.

(Reporting by Geert De Clercq, editing by Larry King)

[Aug 08, 2015] Russia found good way to get even with Netherlands

Notable quotes:
"... The surprising thing is, as the article points out, of the flowers which Netherlands exports, not all of them are even produced locally (in Holland). A surprising number of the flowers come from third countries, such as Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Kenya. ..."
marknesop.wordpress.com

yalensis, August 4, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Russia found good way to get even with Netherlands:

Starting 10 August, Russia will start limiting import of cut flowers from Netherlands.
The pretext is that all cut flowers from Netherlands must go through phyto-sanitary inspection before being admitted into the country.

In Russia, a whopping 90% of all cut flowers are imported. Of this, Europe supplies 40.5%; Netherlands by itself 38.5%. Hence, the new rule is sure to hit the Dutch in their pocketbooks.

The surprising thing is, as the article points out, of the flowers which Netherlands exports, not all of them are even produced locally (in Holland). A surprising number of the flowers come from third countries, such as Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Kenya.

Recently Russia started forming direct ties with those countries and importing the flowers directly, bypassing Netherlands. This process is expected to continue.

Already, Ecuador is pushing out Netherlands in the Russian market for flowers.

Even China is getting in on the game, starting to supply some of the voracious Russian appetite for cut flowers. Given all these sources of the flowers, Russian consumers are not likely to suffer a deficit of flowers, the article concludes.

[Jun 29, 2015] Russian sanctions blockback

www.unz.com
Fern , June 29, 2015 at 3:21 am
It would take a heart of stone not to laugh. What's the word I'm looking for? Ah yes, schadenfreude:-

"In 2015, the German economy is estimated to lose up to 290,000 jobs and receive $10 billion less than it could due to restrictive measure imposed on Moscow, the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations told Contra Magazine. German exports to Russia last year fell by $7.2 billion.
"The current developments exceed our worst fears," committee chairman Eckhard Cordes said.
This nasty short-term implication of an unreasonable Western policy towards Russia is affecting many European countries, not only the largest economy in the EU. In total, the European Union could potentially lose as much as $110 billion and up to 2 million jobs from the anti-Russian sanctions, according to the committee's estimates.

But the long-term consequences are far more profound and damaging. German businesses now fear that their reliable and long-time Russian partners have pivoted to Asia, specifically China.

German businesses are concerned that this shift could be permanent. By the time restrictive measures are lifted, former ties and partnerships could be long gone."

http://sputniknews.com/business/20150629/1023973728.html

"Former ties and partnerships could be gone". You bet. What's it gonna take before Europe's so called leaders wake up to the fact that US sanctions aren't just about trying to destroy Russia's economy, but also about doing serious, possibly terminal damage to the European one?

[Jun 28, 2015] Fuck the US Imperialism -- Top German Politician Blasts Nuland Carter

Jun 28, 2015 | Zero Hedge

With intra-Europe relations hitting a new all-time low; and, having already been busted spying on Merkel, Obama got caught with his hand in Hollande's cookie jar this week, the following exultation from one of Germany's top politicians will hardly help Washington-Brussells relations. As Russia Insider notes, Oskar Lafontaine is a major force in German politics so it caught people's attention when he excoriated Ash Carter and Victoria Nuland on his Facebook page yesterday... "Nuland says 'F*ck the EU'. We need need an EU foreign policy that stops warmongering US imperialism... F*ck US imperialism!"

Here is the Facebook post (in German):

Lafontaine has been an outsized figure in German politics since the mid-70s. He was chairman of the SPD (one of Germany's two main parties) for four years, the SPD's candidate for chancellor in 1990, minister of finance for two years, and then chairman of the Left party in the 2000s. He is married to Sarah Wagenknecht, political heavyweight, who is currently co-chairman of Left party.

Lafontaine's outburst came a day after his wife, Sarah Wagenknecht, blasted Merkel's Russia policy in an interview on RT.

Here is the full translation of the post:

"The US 'Defense' secretary, i.e., war minister is in Berlin. He called on Europe to counter Russian 'aggression'. But in fact, it is US aggression which Europeans should be opposing.

"The Grandmaster of US diplomacy, George Kennan described the eastward expansion of NATO as the biggest US foreign policy mistake since WW2, because it will lead to a new cold war.

"The US diplomat Victoria Nuland said we have spent $5 billion to destabilize the Ukraine. They stoke the flames ever higher, and Europe pays for it with lower trade and lost jobs.

"Nuland says 'F*ck the EU'. We need need an EU foreign policy that stops warmongering US imperialism.

"F*ck US imperialism!"

* * *

When he comes out swinging this way, you know something is changing.

* * *

America - making friends and influencing people for 238 years...

remain calm

I see the CIA creating a little muslim terrorism in Europe to teach them the meaning of respect.

BlowsAgainstthe...

"But in fact, it is US aggression which Europeans should be opposing."

So good, it should be required reading . . .

"Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West's Fault

The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin"

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russia-fsu/2014-08-18/why-ukrain...

Latina Lover

To date, the USSA adventurism in the Ukraine has hurt Germany financially and politically, with more losses to follow.

Instead of integrating more closely with Russia, and becoming a key part of the New Silk Road, Germany is blocked by the USSA, against her better interests. The USSA is creating a new berlin style wall of lies and propaganda between Russia and Germany claiming that Russia plans to invade the baltics, poland, moldova, blah, blah, blah.

Fortunately, most Germans are not anti intellectuals, and see through the lies, unlike the average american shlub (30% of whom cannot name the current VP but know all of the names of the Kardashians). Eventually, Merkel will get the boot, and be replaced by a more businesslike leader.

Not Too Important

30% is pretty generous, don't you think? More like 3%.

Even an aborigine in the middle of Africa with a cell phone knows more about the world than 97% of Americans.

Tall Tom

Fuck American Imperialism?

Actually it is GERMAN Imperialism over the nation states of Europe, using the European Union as a subterfuge, is that which needs be quashed.

Fuck GERMAN Imperialism and the European Union as it serves as a tool for the advancement of Germany's Imperialistic ambitions..

saveandsound

Oscar Lafontaine is member of the party "The Left". He used to be member of the "Social Democratic Party of Germany".

Both parties are of rather marginal significance, since Merkel's CDU rules them all. ;-)

Anyway, "the Left" has been opposing US Imperialism ever since, so there is not much new to see here.

datura

that won't help and no more false flags will help either. The latest poll showed that only 19% of Germans would fight Russians in case Russia attacked any NATO country. I repeat: if Russia attacked first. You can wonder, what would be the percentage of them willing to fight Russia just for the sake of Ukraine. Close to zero, I think. The USA overstepped all boundaries, when it began pushing EU countries into a military conflict with Russia. Continental Europeans are not Anglo-Saxons, they think differently. They will bow down to any USA pressure, except for a military conflict with Russia! Thats a big no no. Many of them still remember (especially Germans), what it was like to fight wild-spirited Russians, who never surrender no matter what. These constant talks about "Russian agression" by the USA politicians make Germans feel like a cornered animal with nothing to loose. Such animal cannot be subdued anymore, when your existence and life is so directly threatened, you bite. Or another example: try to force your slave to step on a rattlesnake. He may be forced to do many things, but this time he will turn against you. I already said it before: no war against Russia and Europe is possible, because even if the USA somehow forces us to any such war, huge amounts of people will be so angry that they will flee to the side of Russia. We are already discussing this openly. This is already happening in Ukraine. Already 10 000 Ukranian soldiers defected to the other side (to fight Kiev), plus one Ukrainian general, some members of the Ukranian intelligence service and about one and half million Ukrainians fled to Russia to avoid draft. I saw a video where three entire units of soldiers sent from Kiev to Donetsk (with tanks) changed side, threw out Ukrainian flags and put on Russian flags on their tanks under loud cheers from the brave people of Donbass. There are certain very natural limits to what you can force people to do, which bankers do not seem to understand. Yes, you can send many people to war, but they simply will not fight, unless you give them something to fight for. For example Hitler gave people something to fight for. But all bankers give us is chaos, no strong leader, no ideology strong enough....I think they hoped that Putin would invade Ukraine and that would be the reason for war (they provoked Hitler in a similar way). However, Putin is no Hitler, he is way too intelligent to play these silly games. And it is impossible to repeat exactly what was once so successful, because times change, people are different....you cant win with using old outdated strategies over and over. That is why all empires fall in the end. They get stuck in using the same tricks over and over, until they stop working. Even the old color revolutions are not as efficient now as they were in the past and the same goes for those silly false flags.

cherry picker

He is absolutely correct. US is surrounded by two oceans and the North and South neighbor have no intentions of invading the USA, so can anyone explain this war time nuclear, wmd, too many carriers and so forth military and paranoia.

Can't uncle Sam keep his huge nose out of everyone's business?

Can't America just enjoy what is theirs and leave others alone?

Who needs a CIA except for Nazi types.

Fuck Nuland is a good start.

Albertarocks

And the neighbors to the north and south are non-too-pleased with the USA either. We know WTF the USA is doing, although more and more are waking up to the fact that the USA is only being used as the war branch of the banking mafia. Because of this we hold nothing against American people.

In fact, up north we now probably feel more kinship with "the people" of the USA more than ever before. Because we are learning how all this works. It is the global banking monsters and the fascist corporations, the military industrial complex that is in bed with the fucking bankers. It is those assholes who are causing every damned war in the world... not "the USA" as such. Putin is a saint by comparison... not to mention the only sane leader of a superpower left on earth. He is admirable, even from this side of the pond.

Mexicans might present a problem, I don't know. Mexicans never bother Canadians so we just don't seem to have an opinion. Canadians are pretty calm, but fuck when we get mad there can be one hell of a bar fight. I don't know how all this works out but it isn't going in the right direction. I think 98% of Canadians would agree with Mr. Lafontaine. US Imperialism has got to come to an end. Or the world will. And by "US", I mean "banker".

BI2

If only our politicians could understand what that man is really saying. It is for our own good.

https://biblicisminstitute.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/warmongering-vs-econ...

Dodgy Geezer

We need need an EU foreign policy that stops warmongering US imperialism... F*ck US imperialism!"

You know what the problem is?

It's not particularly the US, though they are the biggest players at the moment. It's the result of the end of the Cold War.

Ever since WW2 the power blocs both had a big military and supporting intelligence service. When the Berlin Wall came down, the Russians collapsed theirs. The West did not. And ever since then it has been looking for a job. That's the reason we have had so much disruption. When your major arm of government is a multi-trillion dollar armed forces, every problem looks like an excuse for a war.

The Delicate Genius

It is not US imperialism

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2014/09/anglozionist-short-primer-for-...

It is the imperialism of the Anglo-Zionist cabal which has hijacked the American treasury and military.

Neocons, Interventionist "realists" and other assorted militarist scum.

Their control of the MSM is sound {they even acquired VICE News as that got too popular, and Orwellized it, beginning with the Zionist sent to fake stories out of Ukraine}...

but not the internet. As younger people grow up, post comments and articles, this cleft between the pre-internet and internet informed grows more and more obvious.

I'm sure I'm not the only one that expects aggressive moves against intent content.

We've seen some attacks on free speech already in the Fast Track bill - but it will take time to really see how bad the TPP itself is in practice.

But it does seem clear that .gov is hoping to make an end run around various Constitutional niceties by "treaty."

and no - treaties do not and can not over-ride the Constitution. Only amendment, not treaty, can change the constitution.

PrayingMantis

... US imperialism plus US exceptionalism is analogous to this >>> http://rt.com/usa/270268-falcon-launch-space-fail/

... and while the US forces the other NATO members to apply more sanctions to Russia, US hypocrisy rears its ugly head by 'allowing' products from sanctioned Russia that would benefit them ... check this out

>>> http://rt.com/usa/270220-us-space-russian-engine/

pupdog1

Gotta love a guy who knows how to define a problem.

Fuck Noodleberg.

HTZMR

As someone who actually lives in Germany i can tell you that Lafontaine is an absolute has-been and he plays no role in German politics, nor has he for years. His influence came to an end when Schroeder kicked him out of his government over 15 years ago. To claim he is a heavyweight is simply dead wrong.

Wagenknecht does play a certain role, but the Left is a pure protest party full of fundamentalist hardline social democrats and former East German communists. The Left has no say on federal government matters such as foreign policy. This post is pure alarmism.

Wild E Coyote

Actually US and Soviet Union both went bankrupt by Cold War.
Soviet Union accepted their fate.
USA still refuse to accept theirs.

Renfield

Upvoted, but I think technically it was Vietnam that bankrupted the US.

Then again, you could argue that it was the First World War, or the 1929 market crash -- although its bankruptcy wasn't admitted until 1933.

[Jun 22, 2015] The Boomerang Effect: Sanctions on Russia Hit German Economy Hard

nationalinterest.org
Moscow Exile, June 22, 2015 at 10:36 am
Hasn't even registered on European economies.

Können Sie Deutsch?

Sanktionen kosten Europa bis zu 100 Milliarden Euro, Freitag, 19.06.2015, 10:09

Russlands Wirtschaftskrise hat verheerende Folgen für Europa. Zu diesem Ergebnis kommt eine Studie aus Österreich. Besonders betroffen ist Deutschland. Die Krise könnte das Land mittelfristig eine halbe Million Arbeitsplätze und Milliarden Euro an Wertschöpfung kosten.
Die Wirtschaftskrise in Russland hat weitaus schlimmere Konsequenzen für die Länder der Europäischen Union (EU) und die Schweiz als bislang erwartet. Nach einer Berechnung des Österreichischen Instituts für Wirtschaftsforschung (Wifo), die der europäischen Zeitungsallianz "Lena" exklusiv vorliegt, sind europaweit weit mehr als zwei Millionen Arbeitsplätze und rund 100 Milliarden Euro an Wertschöpfung in Gefahr.

Moscow Exile, June 22, 2015 at 10:44 am
The Boomerang Effect: Sanctions on Russia Hit German Economy Hard – Der Spiegel, July 21, 2014
Moscow Exile, June 22, 2015 at 11:32 am
No, it's not what I maintain, it's what these people report is happening:

German businesses suffer fallout as Russia sanctions bite (Financial Times)

http://im.ft-static.com/content/images/9a620f0c-73fc-11e4-82a6-00144feabdc0.img

German Businesses Urge Halt on Sanctions Against Russia – Wall Street Journal

In most countries, it would be highly unusual for corporate executives to inject themselves into geopolitics and matters of national security with the forcefulness that a number of German business leaders have. But many of Germany's largest companies have substantial Russian operations, built in some cases over decades, and worry that tough economic sanctions would rob them of a key growth market when their home market-Europe-is stagnant.

Germany's economy hit by trade sanctions on Russia – FT

The sanctions being placed on Russia by Europe are having a negative impact on the bloc, experts have said.

European countries have implemented a series of trade embargoes as a punishment for Russia's moves to annex Crimea and for its ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Rowan Dartington Signature's Guy Stephens said the eurozone had been "rife" with weak economic data and one of the biggest concerns was Germany because of its relationship with Russia.

"Sanctions against key trading partner Russia, coupled with declining demand from China, have begun to take their toll on Europe's largest economy," he said.

"Business confidence is also waning and GDP growth for next year has been downgraded to just 0.8 per cent, well below the government's forecast of 1.3 per cent. All in all, the decline of Europe's powerhouse could just turn out to be the ammunition that European Central Bank president Mario Draghi needs to begin a prolonged quantitative-easing campaign."

Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said Europe's share of global profits had "collapsed".

"And complicating the immediate path of liquidity and corporate earnings in Europe is the ongoing collapse in the Russian rouble," he said.

[May 10, 2015] Obama s Petulant WWII Snub of Russia by Ray McGovern

Notable quotes:
"... Though designed to isolate Russia because it had the audacity to object to the Western-engineered coup d'état in Ukraine on Feb. 22, 2014, this snub of Russia's President Vladimir Putin – like the economic sanctions against Russia – is likely to backfire on the U.S. ..."
"... Obama's boycott is part of a crass attempt to belittle Russia and to cram history itself into an anti-Putin, anti-Russian alternative narrative. ..."
"... Even George Friedman, the president of the Washington-Establishment-friendly think-tank STRATFOR, has said publicly in late 2014: "Russia calls the events that took place at the beginning of this year a coup d'état organized by the United States. And it truly was the most blatant coup in history." ..."
"... So there! Gotcha! Russian aggression! But what the Post neglected to remind readers was that the U.S.-backed coup had occurred on Feb. 22 and that Putin has consistently said that a key factor in his actions toward Crimea came from Russian fears that NATO would claim the historic naval base at Sevastopol in Crimea, representing a strategic threat to his country. ..."
"... Last fall, John Mearsheimer, a pre-eminent political science professor at the University of Chicago, stunned those who had been misled by the anti-Russian propaganda when he placed an article in the Very-Establishment journal Foreign Affairs entitled "Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West's Fault." ..."
"... Much of this American tendency to disdain other nations' concerns, fears and points of pride go back to the Washington Establishment's dogma that special rules or (perhaps more accurately) no rules govern U.S. behavior abroad – American exceptionalism. This arrogant concept, which puts the United States above all other nations like some Olympic god looking down on mere mortals, is often invoked by Obama and other leading U.S. politicians. ..."
"... Putin added, though, "I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism," adding: "It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord's blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal." ..."
May 09, 2015 | antiwar.com
President Barack Obama's decision to join other Western leaders in snubbing Russia's weekend celebration of the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe looks more like pouting than statesmanship, especially in the context of the U.S. mainstream media's recent anti-historical effort to downplay Russia's crucial role in defeating Nazism.

Though designed to isolate Russia because it had the audacity to object to the Western-engineered coup d'état in Ukraine on Feb. 22, 2014, this snub of Russia's President Vladimir Putin – like the economic sanctions against Russia – is likely to backfire on the U.S. and its European allies by strengthening ties between Russia and the emerging Asian giants of China and India.

Notably, the dignitaries who will show up at this important commemoration include the presidents of China and India, representing a huge chunk of humanity, who came to show respect for the time seven decades ago when the inhumanity of the Nazi regime was defeated – largely by Russia's stanching the advance of Hitler's armies, at a cost of 20 to 30 million lives.

Obama's boycott is part of a crass attempt to belittle Russia and to cram history itself into an anti-Putin, anti-Russian alternative narrative. It is difficult to see how Obama and his friends could have come up with a pettier and more gratuitous insult to the Russian people.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel – caught between Washington's demand to "isolate" Russia over the Ukraine crisis and her country's historic guilt in the slaughter of so many Russians – plans to show up a day late to place a wreath at a memorial for the war dead.

But Obama, in his childish display of temper, will look rather small to those who know the history of the Allied victory in World War II. If it were not for the Red Army's costly victories against the German invaders, particularly the tide-turning battle at Stalingrad in 1943-1944, the prospects for the later D-Day victory in Normandy in June 1944 and the subsequent defeat of Adolf Hitler would have been much more difficult if not impossible.

Yet, the current Russia-bashing in Washington and the mainstream U.S. media overrides these historical truths. For instance, a New York Times article by Neil MacFarquhar on Friday begins: "The Russian version of Hitler's defeat emphasizes the enormous, unrivaled sacrifices made by the Soviet people to end World War II " But that's not the "Russian version"; that's the history.

For its part, the Washington Post chose to run an Associated Press story out of Moscow reporting: "A state-of-the-art Russian tank on Thursday ground to a halt during the final Victory Day rehearsal. After an attempt to tow it failed, the T-14 rolled away under its own steam 15 minutes later." (Subtext: Ha, ha! Russia's newest tank gets stuck on Red Square! Ha, ha!).

This juvenile approach to pretty much everything that's important - not just U.S.-Russia relations - has now become the rule. From the U.S. government to the major U.S. media, it's as if the "cool kids" line up in matching fashions creating a gauntlet to demean and ridicule whoever the outcast of the day is. And anyone who doesn't go along becomes an additional target of abuse.

That has been the storyline for the Ukraine crisis throughout 2014 and into 2015. Everyone must agree that Putin provoked all the trouble as part of some Hitler-like ambition to conquer much of eastern Europe and rebuild a Russian empire. If you don't make the obligatory denunciations of "Russian aggression," you are called a "Putin apologist" or "Putin bootlicker."

Distorting the History

So, the evidence-based history of the Western-sponsored coup in Kiev on Feb. 22, 2014, must be forgotten or covered up. Indeed, about a year after the events, the New York Times published a major "investigative" article that ignored all the facts of a U.S.-backed coup in declaring there was no coup.

The Times didn't even mention the notorious, intercepted phone call between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt in early February 2014 in which Nuland was handpicking the future leaders, including her remark "Yats is the guy," a reference to Arseniy Yatsenyuk who – after the coup – quickly became prime minister. [See Consortiumnews.com's "NYT Still Pretends No Coup in Ukraine."]

Even George Friedman, the president of the Washington-Establishment-friendly think-tank STRATFOR, has said publicly in late 2014: "Russia calls the events that took place at the beginning of this year a coup d'état organized by the United States. And it truly was the most blatant coup in history."

Beyond simply ignoring facts, the U.S. mainstream media has juggled the time line to make Putin's reaction to the coup – and the threat it posed to the Russian naval base in Crimea – appear to be, instead, evidence of his instigation of the already unfolding conflict.

For example, in a "we-told-you-so" headline on March 9, the Washington Post declared: "Putin had early plan to annex Crimea." Then, quoting AP, the Post reported that Putin himself had just disclosed "a secret meeting with officials in February 2014 Putin said that after the meeting he told the security chiefs that they would be 'obliged to start working to return Crimea to Russia.' He said the meeting was held Feb. 23, 2014, almost a month before a referendum in Crimea that Moscow has said was the basis for annexing the region."

So there! Gotcha! Russian aggression! But what the Post neglected to remind readers was that the U.S.-backed coup had occurred on Feb. 22 and that Putin has consistently said that a key factor in his actions toward Crimea came from Russian fears that NATO would claim the historic naval base at Sevastopol in Crimea, representing a strategic threat to his country.

Putin also knew from opinion polls that most of the people of Crimea favored reunification with Russia, a reality that was underscored by the March referendum in which some 96 percent voted to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia.

But there was not one scintilla of reliable evidence that Putin intended to annex Crimea before he felt his hand forced by the putsch in Kiev. The political reality was that no Russian leader could afford to take the risk that Russia's only warm-water naval base might switch to new NATO management. If top U.S. officials did not realize that when they were pushing the coup in early 2014, they know little about Russian strategic concerns – or simply didn't care.

Last fall, John Mearsheimer, a pre-eminent political science professor at the University of Chicago, stunned those who had been misled by the anti-Russian propaganda when he placed an article in the Very-Establishment journal Foreign Affairs entitled "Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West's Fault."

You did not know that such an article was published? Chalk that up to the fact that the mainstream media pretty much ignored it. Mearsheimer said this was the first time he encountered such widespread media silence on an article of such importance.

The Sole Indispensable Country

Much of this American tendency to disdain other nations' concerns, fears and points of pride go back to the Washington Establishment's dogma that special rules or (perhaps more accurately) no rules govern U.S. behavior abroad – American exceptionalism. This arrogant concept, which puts the United States above all other nations like some Olympic god looking down on mere mortals, is often invoked by Obama and other leading U.S. politicians.

That off-putting point has not been missed by Putin even as he has sought to cooperate with Obama and the United States. On Sept. 11, 2013, a week after Putin bailed Obama out, enabling him to avoid a new war on Syria by persuading Syria to surrender its chemical weapons, Putin wrote in an op-ed published by the New York Times that he appreciated the fact that "My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust."

Putin added, though, "I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism," adding: "It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord's blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal."

More recently, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov drove home this point in the context of World War II. This week, addressing a meeting to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe, Lavrov included a pointed warning: "Today as never before it is important not to forget the lessons of that catastrophe and the terrible consequences that spring from faith in one's own exceptionalism."

The irony is that as the cameras pan the various world leaders in the Red Square reviewing stand on Saturday, Obama's absence will send a message that the United States has little appreciation for the sacrifice of the Russian people in bearing the brunt – and breaking the back – of Hitler's conquering armies. It is as if Obama is saying that the "exceptional" United States didn't need anyone's help to win World War II.

President Franklin Roosevelt was much wiser, understanding that it took extraordinary teamwork to defeat Nazism in the 1940s, which is why he considered the Soviet Union a most important military ally. President Obama is sending a very different message, a haughty disdain for the kind of global cooperation which succeeded in ridding the world of Adolf Hitler.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He is a 30-year veteran of the CIA and Army intelligence and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). McGovern served for considerable periods in all four of CIA's main directorates.

[May 10, 2015] The New York Times does its government s bidding Here s what you re not being told about US troops in Ukraine

Notable quotes:
"... American soldiers in Ukraine, American media not saying much about it. Two facts. ..."
"... Americans are being led blindfolded very near the brink of war with Russia. ..."
"... Don't need a war to get what done, Mr. President? This is our question. Then this one: Washington is going to stop at exactly what as it manipulates its latest set of puppets in disadvantaged countries, this time pretending there is absolutely nothing thoughtless or miscalculated about doing so on Russia's historically sensitive western border? ..."
"... And our policy cliques are willing to go all the way to war for this? As of mid-April, when the 173rd Airborne Brigade started arriving in Ukraine, it looks as if we are on notice in this respect. ..."
"... Take a deep breath and consider that 1,000 American folks, as Obama will surely get around to calling them, are conducting military drills with troops drawn partly from Nazi and crypto-Nazi paramilitary groups . Sorry, I cannot add anything more to this paragraph. Speechless. ..."
"... Part of me still thinks war with Russia seems a far-fetched proposition. But here's the thing: It is even more far-fetched to deny the gravity of this moment for all its horrific, playing-with-fire potential. ..."
"... Last December, John Pilger, the noted Australian journalist now in London, said in a speech that the Ukraine crisis had become the most extreme news blackout he had seen his entire career. I agree and now need no more proof as to whether it is a matter of intent or ineptitude. (Now that I think of it, it is both in many cases.) ..."
"... In the sixth paragraph we get this: "Last week, Russia charged that a modest program to train Ukraine's national guard that 300 American troops are carrying out in western Ukraine could 'destabilize the situation.'" Apoplectically speaking: Goddamn it, there is nothing modest about U.S. troops operating on Ukrainian soil, and it is self-evidently destabilizing. It is an obvious provocation, a point the policy cliques in Washington cannot have missed. ..."
"... The Poroshenko government contrives to assign Russia the blame, but one can safely ignore this. Extreme right members of parliament have been more to the point. After a prominent editor named Oles Buzyna was fatally shot outside his home several weeks ago, a lawmaker named Boris Filatov told colleagues, "One more piece of shit has been eliminated." From another named Irina Farion, this: Death will neutralize the dirt this shit has spilled. Such people go to history's sewers." ..."
"... He was a vigorous opponent of American adventurism abroad, consistent and reasoned even as resistance to both grew in his later years. By the time he was finished he was published and read far more outside America than in it. ..."
May 09, 2015 | NYTimes.com

Reprinted from May 07, 2015 article at Salon.com

As of mid-April, when a Pentagon flack announced it in Kiev, and as barely reported in American media, U.S. troops are now operating openly in Ukraine.

Now there is a lead I have long dreaded writing but suspected from the first that one day I would. Do not take a moment to think about this. Take many moments. We all need to. We find ourselves in grave circumstances this spring.

At first I thought I had written what newspaper people call a double-barreled lead: American soldiers in Ukraine, American media not saying much about it. Two facts.

Wrong. There is one fact now, and it is this: Americans are being led blindfolded very near the brink of war with Russia.

One cannot predict there will be one. And, of course, right-thinking people hope things will never come to one. In March, President Obama dismissed any such idea as if to suggest it was silly. "They're not interested in a military confrontation with us," Obama said of the Russians-wisely. Then he added, unwisely: "We don't need a war."

Don't need a war to get what done, Mr. President? This is our question. Then this one: Washington is going to stop at exactly what as it manipulates its latest set of puppets in disadvantaged countries, this time pretending there is absolutely nothing thoughtless or miscalculated about doing so on Russia's historically sensitive western border?

The pose of American innocence, tatty and tiresome in the best of times, is getting dangerous once again.

The source of worry now is that we do not have an answer to the second question. The project is plain: Advance NATO the rest of the way through Eastern Europe, probably with the intent of eventually destabilizing Moscow. The stooges now installed in Kiev are getting everything ready for the corporations eager to exploit Ukrainian resources and labor.

And our policy cliques are willing to go all the way to war for this? As of mid-April, when the 173rd Airborne Brigade started arriving in Ukraine, it looks as if we are on notice in this respect.

In the past there were a few vague mentions of an American military presence in Ukraine that was to be in place by this spring, if I recall correctly. These would have been last autumn. By then, there were also reports, unconfirmed, that some troops and a lot of spooks were already there as advisers but not acknowledged.

Then in mid-March President Poroshenko introduced a bill authorizing-as required by law-foreign troops to operate on Ukrainian soil. There was revealing detail, according to Russia Insider, a free-standing website in Moscow founded and run by Charles Bausman, an American with an uncanny ability to gather and publish pertinent information.

"According to the draft law, Ukraine plans three Ukrainian-American command post exercises, Fearless Guardian 2015, Sea Breeze 2015 and Saber Guardian/Rapid Trident 2015," the publication reported, "and two Ukrainian-Polish exercises, Secure Skies 2015, and Law and Order 2015, for this year."

This is a lot of dry-run maneuvering, if you ask me. Poroshenko's law allows for up to 1,000 American troops to participate in each of these exercises, alongside an equal number of Ukrainian "National Guardsmen," and we will insist on the quotation marks when referring to this gruesome lot, about whom more in a minute.

Take a deep breath and consider that 1,000 American folks, as Obama will surely get around to calling them, are conducting military drills with troops drawn partly from Nazi and crypto-Nazi paramilitary groups . Sorry, I cannot add anything more to this paragraph. Speechless.

It was a month to the day after Poroshenko's bill went to parliament that the Pentagon spokesman in Kiev announced-to a room empty of American correspondents, we are to assume-that troops from the 173rd Airborne were just then arriving to train none other than "National Guardsmen." This training includes "classes in war-fighting functions," as the operations officer, Maj. Jose Mendez, blandly put it at the time.

The spokesman's number was "about 300," and I never like "about" when these people are describing deployments. This is how it always begins, we will all recall. The American presence in Vietnam began with a handful of advisers who arrived in September 1950. (Remember MAAG, the Military Assistance Advisory Group?)

Part of me still thinks war with Russia seems a far-fetched proposition. But here's the thing: It is even more far-fetched to deny the gravity of this moment for all its horrific, playing-with-fire potential.

I am getting on to apoplectic as to the American media's abject irresponsibility in not covering this stuff adequately. To leave these events unreported is outright lying by omission. Nobody's news judgment can be so bad as to argue this is not a story.

Last December, John Pilger, the noted Australian journalist now in London, said in a speech that the Ukraine crisis had become the most extreme news blackout he had seen his entire career. I agree and now need no more proof as to whether it is a matter of intent or ineptitude. (Now that I think of it, it is both in many cases.)

To cross the "i"s and dot the "t"s, as I prefer to do, the Times did make two mentions of the American troops. One was the day of the announcement, a brief piece on an inside page, datelined Washington. Here we get our code word for this caper: It will be "modest" in every mention.

The second was in an April 23 story by Michael Gordon, the State Department correspondent. The head was, "Putin Bolsters His Forces Near Ukraine, U.S. Says." Read the thing here.

The story line is a doozy: Putin-not "the Russians" or "Moscow," of course-is again behaving aggressively by amassing troops-how many, exactly where and how we know is never explained-along his border with Ukraine. Inside his border, that is. This is the story. This is what we mean by aggression these days.

In the sixth paragraph we get this: "Last week, Russia charged that a modest program to train Ukraine's national guard that 300 American troops are carrying out in western Ukraine could 'destabilize the situation.'" Apoplectically speaking: Goddamn it, there is nothing modest about U.S. troops operating on Ukrainian soil, and it is self-evidently destabilizing. It is an obvious provocation, a point the policy cliques in Washington cannot have missed.

At this point, I do not see how anyone can stand against the argument-mine for some time-that Putin has shown exemplary restraint in this crisis. In a reversal of roles and hemispheres, Washington would have a lot more than air defense systems and troops of whatever number on the border in question.

The Times coverage of Ukraine, to continue briefly in this line, starts to remind me of something I.F. Stone once said about the Washington Post: The fun of reading it, the honored man observed, is that you never know where you'll find a page one story.

In the Times' case, you never know if you will find it at all.

Have you read much about the wave of political assassinations that erupted in Kiev in mid-April? Worry not. No one else has either-not in American media. Not a word in the Times.

The number my sources give me, and I cannot confirm it, is a dozen so far-12 to 13 to be precise. On the record, we have 10 who can be named and identified as political allies of Viktor Yanukovych, the president ousted last year, opponents of a drastic rupture in Ukraine's historic relations to Russia, people who favored marking the 70th anniversary of the Soviet defeat of the Nazis-death-deserving idea, this-and critics of the new regime's corruptions and dependence on violent far-right extremists.

These were all highly visible politicians, parliamentarians and journalists. They have been murdered by small groups of these extremists, according to reports readily available in non-American media. In my read, the killers may have the same semi-official ties to government that the paramilitary death squads in 1970s Argentina-famously recognizable in their Ford Falcons-had with Videla and the colonels.

The Poroshenko government contrives to assign Russia the blame, but one can safely ignore this. Extreme right members of parliament have been more to the point. After a prominent editor named Oles Buzyna was fatally shot outside his home several weeks ago, a lawmaker named Boris Filatov told colleagues, "One more piece of shit has been eliminated." From another named Irina Farion, this: Death will neutralize the dirt this shit has spilled. Such people go to history's sewers."

Kindly place, Kiev's parliament under this new crowd. Washington must be proud, having backed yet another right-wing, anti-democratic, rights-trampling regime that does what it says.

And our media must be silent, of course. It can be no other way. Gutless hacks: You bet I am angry.

* * *

I end this week's column with a tribute.

A moment of observance, any kind, for William Pfaff, who died at 86 in Paris late last week. The appreciative obituary by the Times' Marlise Simons is here.

Pfaff was the most sophisticated foreign affairs commentator of the 20th century's second half and the first 15 years of this one. He was a great influence among colleagues (myself included) and put countless readers in a lot of places in the picture over many decades. He was a vigorous opponent of American adventurism abroad, consistent and reasoned even as resistance to both grew in his later years. By the time he was finished he was published and read far more outside America than in it.

Pfaff was a conservative man in some respects, which is not uncommon among America's American critics. In this I put him in the file with Henry Steele Commager, C. Vann Woodward, William Appleman Williams, and among those writing now, Andrew Bacevich. He was not a scholar, as these writers were or are, supporting a point I have long made: Not all intellectuals are scholars, and not all scholars are intellectuals.

Pfaff's books will live on and I commend them: "Barbarian Sentiments," "The Wrath of Nations," "The Bullet's Song," and his last, "The Irony of Manifest Destiny," are the ones on my shelf.

Farewell from a friend, Bill.

Patrick Smith is the author of "Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century." He was the International Herald Tribune's bureau chief in Hong Kong and then Tokyo from 1985 to 1992. During this time he also wrote "Letter from Tokyo" for the New Yorker. He is the author of four previous books and has contributed frequently to the New York Times, the Nation, the Washington Quarterly, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter, @thefloutist. More Patrick L. Smith.

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